Thursday, February 18, 2010

Being Mad as Hell and Not Going to Take it Anymore

The irrational rationale of Joe Stack, the man who flew a plane into a building that housed many IRS workers in Austin today, is both very sad and alarming. Why does being "mad as hell and not going to take it anymore" often include an attempt to take the lives of others? Stack was obviously disturbed and it is reported that he set his own house on fire. You can read his full online manifesto here. Does the rhetoric of the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and others inflame such irrationality? Or, is there simply no stopping such a one? Stack was mad as hell at everything and seemingly everyone.

13 comments:

zorro said...

Will he be labeled as a terrorist? (He should be)
Does this mean that in a way, the Glen Beck types and Osama Bin Laden have something in common?

Judith Ellis said...

I would not feel comfortable with labeling Joe Stack as a terrorist, even though his act was clearly one of domestic terror. The death toll could have been much higher. I guess there is one person unaccounted for. Blessings to the family. The difference between the Becks of the world and the Osama Bin Ladens is the actual planning of an act of terror. I would not include Beck among these. BUT there is a reason why it is forbidden to yell fire in a crowded theater.

zorro said...

The right called the muslim Dr at the army base who shot people up a terrorist.

Judith Ellis said...

Oh, I didn't know that, Zorro.

DB said...

Judith, I doubt if I would ever fly a plane into a building of people on a suicide mission even if I could, but I must tell you, in complete honesty, that I agree with most of what he wrote.

Anyone from the middle and lower classes who has ever been victimized by the collaboration of government, courts and corporations will agree.

My father was a decorated US Army officer, a hero of World War One. The government, by a neat trick, denied my mother her widow's pension. We were plunged into poverty.

My family was pulled apart by unjust and abusive court decisions.

I have been plundered by exorbitant interet rates from big banks.

I know someone whose business was destroyed by the IRS. By the time a judge got around to reversing the decision the man was destitute and unable to recover.

A single act of greed from someone in authority and with power can pursue you for the rest of your life.

Like Stack I have written letters to people who either didn't read them or didin't care about my problem at the time. I wrote to everyone every week for over a year. It costs a lot of money to stand up for your rights, and it is often money wasted.

I wonder what it would be like to have a real revolution in this country. Not one to chase out a foreign power like the last time. But one in which the greedy, let-'em-eat-cake rulers who sit on our money and don't do anything are hauled down from their lofty and protected perches. I wonder how long it will take for the sheepish Americans to wake up to the injustices they benignly suffer from, stop bickering about politics and religion and start behaving like citizens of a once great nation.

I wouldn't equate Glen Beck with Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden is a dangerous, intelligent man.

DB

Judith Ellis said...

DB - I am sorry for your misfortunes. During your most recent difficulties, I have reached out to help. We are helpers one to another. Injustice, loneliness, an overriding sense of insignificance, abuse, etc., are all powerful forces that many of us have felt at one time or another. But it is what we do during these times that matters most. Regarding a revolution, are you advocating violence? If so, you and the militia would be in agreement.

DB said...

No violence. What's the matter with using brains instead of guns or guillotines? What about an independant, unbiased citizens' review of the scoundrals who are running things?

While I appreciate compassion from whatever source it comes and for whatever reason, but you missed my point. I'm not complaining about my lonliness or poverty. Many of the examples I sited are about other people. Maybe Sack was of unsound mind when he flew the plane, but many of his reasons in the latter are sound ones, and any one wha has suffered from the kinds of injustices he speaks of would have to agree. It's an important letter and everyone should read it. Otherwise it's just a repeat of 9/11 on a smaller scale where the government and everyone else was too concerned with how it happened that no one bothered to think about why it happened.

If attention isn't paid they will both happen again, one way or another.

DB

Judith Ellis said...

DB - I think I understood your point and I didn't think you mentioned all of your misfortunes because you were seeking pity or compassion. I thought you were seeking understanding of yourself and Joe Stack as you seemed to empathize with him. You said so. By the way, I understood the distinction you also made between you and Stack.

I read every word of the manifesto. While I understand it I do not advocate making a person who was clearly deranged a hero or an example. Psychiatrists will have a lot to examine. Society as a whole need not. There are many deranged others on the edge that might empathize to the point of copycating or doing some other heinous act.

Yes, I also understand that many parts of our government need to change and that we should really have more compassion towards one another. I do not think that we need to as a nation read such a manifesto to get us there. To elevate this manifesto in any way is to elevate the crime this man committed. Thank God that it was not worse than it could have been.

zorro said...

At CPAC, the conservative convention taking place now, Grover Norquist was introduced with a joke about the IRS plane crash. Norquist is a powerful conservative thinker who was on a weekly strategy meeting with the White House when Bush was in the White House. Norquist is on record saying that he wants the US to go back the way it was before Teddy Roosevelt was President. That's Teddy, not Franklin.
In other words, absolutely no regulation and no workers rights laws. No federal inspection of food. No fire safety laws. No SEC.
He also said he wanted to make government small enough so 'it can be be drown in the bathtub".

BTW, why does anyone care about Tiger Woods outside of the fact that he is a great athlete. He did nothing illegal. He has absolutely nothing to apologize for to anyone other than his family. It just is not our business.

Judith Ellis said...

Oh, Zorro, I thought of that bathtub government quote just today, but I couldn't remember who said it. Government has a very important role to play in our democracy and to make it basically non-functional is simply silly. It can, however, function better. NO ONE denies this. I heard that clip with Grover Norquist at CPAC this evening and thought it was just terrible. What's wrong with these people?

Regarding Tiger Woods, I am in complete agreement with you. I think it is absolutely ridiculous the way we are responding to his infidelities. I was at the gym this afternoon and was watching ESPN. There was a sportscaster sounding like Tiger had personally done something to him. He had a list of things that he should have said.

I also read tweets by consultants analyzing the speech as being inauthentic and wondering who was Tiger's PR person. They seem to imply that they could have written a better apology. I guess they need to justify their work. I appreciated the speech. It sounded like he may have written many portions of it himself. Why should it be slick? The whole Tiger/Elin matter is ridiculous. It is clearly a matter between he and his wife--no one else. We are voyeurs.

Judith Ellis said...

"What about an independant, unbiased citizens' review of the scoundrals who are running things?"

DB - I thought we did this with our vote. But I like it.

DB said...

Judith, reading Sack's manifesto doesn't legitimize it any more that listening to what bin Laden has to say legitimizes him. It's a matter of understanding how a terrorist thinks as a matter of national defense. In both cases there are facts in there that need to be addressed. There's an old saying that the best way to know what your enemy is up to is to read his book.
D

Judith Ellis said...

Yeah, DB, I'm not into airing bin Laden's words either. I think it elevates his status for sure. Every time he says anything we are transfixed. This should not be. Let the CIA deal with such details and alert us when necessary. The country as a whole needs to breathe and live.