Sunday, February 21, 2010

Joseph Stack Anti-Hero, Newt's Hypocrisy

Benjamin Sarlin
Bill Moyers
Matt Taibbi

"I have not heard people in the Republican Party admit yet that they have a problem, I haven't seen the Come-To-Jesus moment from Republicans yet." - Glenn Beck
"That famous definition of a cynic as someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing has come to define this present moment of American politics." - Bill Moyers
"The post-bailout era in which Goldman thrived has turned out to be a chaotic frenzy of high-stakes con-artistry, with taxpayers and clients bilked out of billions using a dizzying array of old-school hustles that, but for their ponderous complexity, would have fit well in slick grifter movies like The Sting and Matchstick Men" - Matt Taibbi

Here is a link to the latest on the Dubai murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, and it looks more and more like Israeli intelligence planned it, and the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed off on it, giving the green light for the assassination. What is it about political power that people can make decisions to capture or kill an opponent? Dick Cheney had his Blackwater hit squad bumbling about the Middle East, capturing people, torturing them, then releasing them back to their home countries like they were prize fish. Now Israel's Prime Minister is echoing those kinds of morally ambiguous actions. perhaps after watching a Cheney interview on CNN... Worse, what crazed form of psychological illness allows a leader of a country to invade another one on no other reason than he wanted to prove that he was better and tougher than his daddy was, making up lies about mythical weapons of mass destruction and feeding into our fears and paranoia...

Now there are web sites calling Joe Stack a hero for diving his plane into an IRS building, calling on others to take on big government in similar fashion. Do unto others... Conspiracy theorists claim that the FBI already knew and had issued a warning for that day: "The claim dovetails with reports we are receiving from Austin residents that the FBI were immediately on the scene after the plane crash and were filming both the building and eyewitnesses. A separate witness told KXAN News that there were Hazmat teams and fire trucks in place across the street before the plane struck the building."

Of course, this is probably made up, as the actual hero, a two time Iraqi veteran, who used the ladder on his truck to rescue five people trapped inside of the burning building, arrived before any emergency vehicles. My nephew, who was working then as an EMT, was stationed not far away in Georgetown, and arrived with his ambulance a few minutes later, did not see any filming by Federal agents. Probably the folks saw tv cameras filming when reporters arrived, and ascribed that to being FBI, because we all use our imaginations to embellish a good story... I don't know how premeditated his actions were, he decided to commit suicide the night before after his wife left the house with their daughter, he spent the rest of the night typing away at his web site, finishing at 6:42 in the morning, set a timer that set fire to his house, left a similar device in his car at the airport, and left the airport without filing a flight plan, thought that would have been interesting, I'm only flying a few miles away into downtown Austin, try and stop me... And the vultures out there, who ignore all of this man's built up pain, his failed family, and use him as a symbol for their own twisted reasons, are the real reasons why we may fail as a nation.

Watching the Olympics was certainly more fun this weekend than following the CPAC Conference. Notice that Glenn Beck will never appear on the same stage as Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin. Years past, this gathering of so-called conservatives would never get much news coverage, but now it does, and every speech is pored over to see who will commit to running for president. Newt Gingrich: "Addressing a standing room-only crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, Gingrich called the “secular, socialist machine” that he said now controls the country “antithetical to the survival to America as a prosperous healthy country based on sound principles.” He also called for a balanced budget amendment. This is so typically hypocritical, calling for a balanced budget one year after our economy almost collapsed, and a record deficit was incurred by George W Bush. If Newt ever had been serious about this, he could easily have passed this kind of amendment when he was Speaker of the House, and the Republicans controlled Congress. He's just being an opportunistic bastard, yet already this theme is being used by lesser candidates like Jane Norton, who is running for the Senate here in Colorado.

We are not waging a war for America, the Republican Party is waging a war for its survival, different packs of conservative wolves taking nips at each other as they circle around the carcass of each Congressional bill they try to veto. But most of the CPAC audience was made up of the real future of America and the GOP - the younger generations, who booed an anti-gay speaker and went to workshops on the lies behind the war on terror. This next election maybe the last hurrah for the old dinosaurs before they sink into the ooze and mud. The only sound principles our country needs to run on is common sense, not Christian fundamentalism or any other "ism" that excludes one group of Americans for another. The speeches of Newt, Tim Pawlenty (who offered his Swiss cure for America's problems), Glenn, and the others are designed to strike the emotional chords of anger, worry, and fear, with themselves as the tough guy who can be the solution, incredibly wimpy folks that they really are. In contrast, Obama's speeches invite you to think about our problems and offer solutions, he tries to resonate on hope, and pride and self-worth. You come away more proud to be an American, not angrier and more cynical... Plus, he's a good debater, and I look forward to him debating Thursday's health care forum... See you there.


  1. The only difference between Joe Stack and James Von Brunn who walked into the Holocaust Museum and gunned down a security guard is Von Brunn was a raving racist and Stack composed a lucid "manifesto" (or more accurately a lengthy suicide note). Both Stack and Von Brunn succeeded in only killing middle-aged Black men, but Stack was a "nice" terrorist because he was anti-government and a pretty good writer. Von Brunn was a "naughty" terrorist because he was a vicious anti-Semite and racist. I'm not seeing any real difference between the two.

    I wonder if the idiots who are slapping up web sites and Facebook pages praising Stack as a "patriot" would feel the same way if he hadn't killed a black man but instead plowed into a schoolyard during recess?

  2. Pretty powerful statement, Jeff. This morning Stack's daughter claimed that her dad was a hero, which is a good thing to say about her father, considering it was the fact that she and her mother arguing with him the night before and then leaving the house was the act that sent him over the edge... yeah it's weird how other people's intolerance can make us mad, I guess we have only so many responses hardwired into our brains...


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