Saturday, February 20, 2010

Joseph Stack destroys Austin Tx IRS building with airplane; creates and/or saves hundreds of jobs

A reader of Radley Balko's Agitator blog took him to task for not commenting on the libertarian who flew a plane into an IRS building.  Here's Mr. Balko's response:

Sorry for my silence. It’s just that yesterday’s events have stunned me into a moral crisis. I’ve been up all night recontemplating my entire political philosophy. It’s so clear now how a philosophy that espouses nonviolence and peaceful, voluntary exchange could drive a man to fly a plane into a building in a murderous, suicidal act of hate.

I can’t believe I didn’t see it all along.

Well said, Mr. Balko. 

It's too soon to be posting anything glib or flippant about this, and I apologize ahead of time for being insensitive.  But....
This guy did a huge amount of damage to a building, and it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, to repair it. 
Just think of the jobs created or saved....
Here's a video from the Cash For Clunkers era, illustrating the same flawed concept.  Let's destroy things to stimulate the economy. 

Pic came from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 


Dr Ralph said...

"Just think of the jobs created or saved...."

Uh, this borders on glib *and* flippant, in case you overlooked it. Especially since there was loss of innocent life, and multiple injuries.

Ann-Marie said...

While I don’t condone what he did; I certainly can sympathise with w h y he did it. The IRS can drive a saint crazy.

Browncoat Libertarian said...

Gee, what surprise, libertarians are the fall guys.


Fester said...

We should shut down the IRS. It is worth it if we can only save even one innocent life.

Dr Ralph said...

Certain Tea Party flavored politicians are flirting with making Mr Stack a poster child for their followers' anti-government sentiments.

I believe it is our friend the Whited Sepulchre who labeled Stack a Libertarian here, though why anyone wanting to change the public's perception of Libertarians as closet nutballs would want to do a thing like that.

Nowhere in the MSM have I seen anyone identify him as a Libertarian, unless being militantly anti-tax automatically makes him one.

Stephen M. Smith said...

Dr. Ralph, you're on a roll. I'll be the first to admit I haven't researched this particular murderer to any degree, but it seems like everyone is anxious to assign him to someone else's group.

I was a bit taken aback by Balko's seeming acceptance of the assertion that this guy was a libertarian. Just because someone objects to some aspect of the government doesn't necessarily mean they are pro-liberty by a long shot.

And killing people is as a clear a violation of the non-aggression axiom as you can get.

Thanks for acknowledging a distinction.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I knew going in that it was going to be perceived as glib and flippant, hence the pre-emptive strike on the apology ahead of time. It's like buying indulgences. Or carbon offsets.
But can we not agree at this point that destroying good things in order to create employment is a goofy concept, regardless of the Keynesian window-dressing that accompanies the vandalism?

Nice to have you here; interesting blog you've got there. I'm kinda proud to be in the midst of all those other languages.

Nice to see you posting again, even if it's sporadic. I join you in mourning the loss of Wan-Fu's. From what I understand, the restaurant was doing great, but there was a family dispute of some kind. Every time i went in there, they had a nice crowd.

S.M. Smith,
The Balko post was the first, but not the only reference I've seen to Stack as a Libertarian. Seemed more like a disgruntled populist, but from what I heard, his suicide note covered lots and lots of bases. Sad story.

Dr Ralph said...

Would you have been so glib had one of your loved ones been in that building?

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

If Stack was a "large L" libertarian i.e. member of the party, research should be able to confirm it.

As for the "initiation of violence" pledge, it would seem that the IRS was initiating violence against him and his actions were reactive. Under such conditions the characterization of IRS employees as "innocent" borders on the oxymoronic.

Browncoat Libertarian said...

Boy, I gotta say, Doc is a collectivist to his core.

OF COURSE Whited wouldn't be so glib if one of his loved ones was involved, but that's not the case, is it? What a nonsensical, "shut up and march lock-step" statement.

But naturally, to those with the hive mentality, Whited's outsider observations equate to him physically driving down to Austin, arriving at the grieving families doorsteps and announcing "Hi, I'm the Whited Sepulchre, sorry for your loss, now allow me to introduce you to the Broken Glass Fallacy...yummm, is that a triple layered bean-dip?"

I guess the Blogosphere is supposed to just shut down so that The Collective Hive's feelings don't get hurt.

Pogo said...

Both Dr Ralph and Leonidas bring up an interesting paradox. They are both correct of course and that is the nub of the paradox. The best treatment of this specific instance is discussed here.

I would submit that God must have a macabre sense of humor to have programmed the species with such capabilities.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Of course I wouldn't be glib and flippant about it if my loved ones were in the building. However, whenever a GREAT analogy presents itself on the national stage, I can't help myself.
But we can all agree, can we not, that vandalism, whether its scheduled or unscheduled, is not a good way to stimulate the economy?
Like Browncoat said about the Broken Windows fallacy? Are we all there yet?
BTW, Doc, I'm seriously considering coming back to church for the Bass book study.

Gar said...

The real crime is in giving the guy doing the crime a name and a title.

He should have been the nut job that flew his plane into the IRS building. You might mentioned the people he killed or injured in his nuttiness.

It's just like calling the Taliban Terrorists or Jihadists. Stupid-asses don't need titles or reasons for their stupidity.

We can just all agree that they were stupid.

The nut job that flew his plane into the IRS building was a stupid ass. The guy that agreed to the destruction of working automobiles to stimulate the economy was also stupid. But on an entirely different ethical level.

Dr Ralph said...

Collectivist? Nah...more like a humanist.

Sorry, but I've enjoyed about all of this discussion I can stand. You're on your own -- carry on without me.