OT: Guy flies plane into Austin, TX building

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on February 18th, 2010 at 1:40 PM

A plane flew into a building in Austin today for those of you who haven't seen the news. Come to find out, it appears to be in anger over the IRS/justice system.

The plane was linked to a guy who wrote a long rant (or several of them supposedly) and posted it on the internet. It's too long for me to post, but this guy is freaking crazy.

Internet Note

Keep the comments away from IRS practices if you could. I haven't seen official figures on the injury/death toll yet, but I imagine there are probably a few.

Comments

gater

February 18th, 2010 at 1:46 PM ^

I had heard one missing and a few hurt. I hope they are all ok, other than that pilot. I could care less if he's ok. I don't have a ton of sympathy for people who light their houses on fire, steal planes and try to kill people with them...but that's just me.

Blue in Yarmouth

February 18th, 2010 at 2:12 PM ^

What I did read is not far from some of the feelings I have about the governement here in Canada. He has some valid points but honestly, how do you get from being angry at your political representastives to flying your plane into a building?

Some peoples thought processes astound me.

Hemlock Philosopher

February 18th, 2010 at 2:17 PM ^

With the tl;dr - but I am at work and, well, anything is better than TPS reports, so I may end up reading all of it. I find myself agreeing with his point that tax code is made so confusing that the average American cannot understand what they are signing on tax day.

Hemlock Philosopher

February 18th, 2010 at 2:40 PM ^

Well, El Duderino, I agree that most people a stupid and make rash decisions, but that is only part of the issue. I now own a home and two cars and I cannot guarantee that I know everything that I signed despite going through the pains of actually reading the bank contracts. Reading that shit is like reading computer code - one has to be specifically trained to fully understand what they are doing and the person answering their questions is a bank representative. It seems stacked against the stupid and set up to placate the curious.

NorCalGoBloo

February 18th, 2010 at 3:13 PM ^

...but in order for something to be considered "terrorism", doesn't the spread of terror for political or military gain have to be a principle goal of the act, and not just a byproduct of the act?

In this case, it sounds like this guy was pissed at the government and thought (insanely) that this would be a good revenge mechanism...

Perhaps I'm splitting hairs. Still, if I were a news room editor, I'm not sure I'd rush to call it terrorism.

Zone Left

February 18th, 2010 at 3:33 PM ^

Below is how Princeton defines terrorism. I think the definition can fit, but even the guy's suicide note didn't seem to believe that he was actually going to attain a goal. To me, the main difference for the government is that he didn't appear to be a part of a larger group of organized tax protestors (i.e. it was an isolated incident).

terrorism: the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear

Captain Obvious

February 18th, 2010 at 3:40 PM ^

There's no "part of an organized group" requirement. Do you think McVeigh committed an act of terrorism? I do. He wasn't part of any real, organized movement. I think you are letting the size of the tragedy influence your definition here. This guy made some anti-govt/anti-tax (i.e., political and ideological) rant (I didn't read it) then drew a bunch of attention to it by attempting to kill a bunch of civilians.

jabberwock

February 18th, 2010 at 4:02 PM ^

A person who sits alone in their living room and puts a gun to their head in despair is a suicide.

The person who writes a note including a protest against an organized body (especially a government) then blows themselves up (or crashes a plane) willfully harming innocents as part of an attention getting act, should most definitely be classified as a terrorist IMHO.

TrppWlbrnID

February 18th, 2010 at 2:40 PM ^

that have no government and no taxes. he had a plane, he could have got to one of them.

somalia is nice this time of year. iraq was good for a while, but it is totally played out. the pakistan/afghan border has exquisite lawlessness and no taxes. also, haiti, pretty nice lack of infrastructure there.

also, one good way to make government distant itself more from the public and spend more public dollars on defense is to fly planes into it.

Noahdb

February 18th, 2010 at 3:04 PM ^

I'm on board with most of his complaints, I think lots of people are.

But...god, if you have a plane and a complete and total disregard for laws and government and you're already in Texas -- why not just head south? There are scores of people that can use your particular talents.

bigmc6000

February 18th, 2010 at 3:31 PM ^

I, sadly, read the whole thing and it really seems to me like this guy got caught up in one of those "I shouldn't have to pay taxes" groups. I work with a number of contractors and they LOVE it - every single one of them prefers it to being a "direct." Basically, this guy was flat out loaded (he owned a plane for crying out loud!) and he didn't like the fact that he had to pay taxes just like everyone else. The year he said he didn't work but still didn't earn any money but owed the feds 10k means that he had to have had, what, like 50k earned in interest/sales alone (selling his house)? Yeah, this guy was swimming in it, milking the very rule that he despises for all it's worth and still tries to take some kind of retarded moral high ground.

As far as taxes are concerned - I've been doing my own ever since my very first one and I've worked as an engineering contractor on the side and claimed self-employed income. It's really not that hard at all to be perfectly honest. Claim everything you're supposed to, keep documentation for all of it and you'll be fine even if they come after you and for the Tax Professional that screwed him over (or so he claims), he should have paid the extra and got "audit protection" or whatever they call it.

Basically, he was a rich SOB who wanted to be even richer and hated paying taxes but construes everything around to the point where he makes the gov't (and churches for whatever reason) look evil and the average jo schmo an idiot.

It's a shame he didn't stay in his house while it burned to the ground...

bigmc6000

February 18th, 2010 at 3:59 PM ^

He wanted to you think that. Maybe when he was in college he was but I can tell you that by working 100 hour weeks as a contract engineer and then working in Austin (where, despite his claim, there actually is some great engineering work being done, he just couldn't get in with the right company apparently) as a contractor he was being paid very, very well. Claiming that his retirement was gone because he had to pull it all out and all of that and still owing the feds 10k means he had a sh!t load of money.

From everything I've read he owned the plane.

Basically, he was a contract engineer, he was very well paid and, being in Texas, I can tell you the rates are, to the average person, VERY good. He wanted to make 100's of thousands of dollar each year and not have to pay taxes on it and then writes his goodbye letter to make you think he was a broke SOB his entire life. The irony in the whole thing is that had he decided to work for "the man" he'd likely have been just fine and be somewhere in the upper middle class. He got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and decided the problem wasn't him but the fact that he couldn't have his cookies for free and whenever he wanted them.

MaizeNBlue

February 18th, 2010 at 4:15 PM ^

I think the main problem with his argument (and I read the whole thing) is that even though he accuses specific groups in some cases of being corrupt, he doesn't go in depth on how they actually wronged him. Not filing your tax return is fail in the first place. A lot of his complaints are really ambiguous (i.e. the air force bases in Cali closing...I'll admit I'm not read up on that situation given that it's relatively far in the past, but I'm not quite following how things like that imply that one should fly a plane into a building. Prisons in MI have been closing like crazy the past five years and people find a way to survive).

Overall, he's a pretty good writer and at first his "this isn't justice at all" idea makes you do a double take, but in the end his evidence isn't explained explicitly and completely enough to be effective. The average reader wants to see every detail as to how he came to the conclusion that things aren't "just" but they don't get every detail, they only get the outcomes/bottom lines of situations that went poorly for him...and, honestly, someone's poor luck isn't going to convince anyone that this isn't a free country. Please excuse the multitudes of middle class families who are gearing up to go to Cancun, Hawaii, or wherever for spring break while we send them the memo that they have no monetary freedom.

Noahdb

February 18th, 2010 at 5:06 PM ^

I don't have any opinion at all on his anti-tax rant. But the rest of it is pretty populist stuff.

He goes after the corporate greed, theft and resultant bailouts. (check...we're with you)

He goes after the drug companies (check...I think most of us are with you).

He goes after the insurance companies (check...no problem).

He doesn't like the fact that the tax code is written in such a way that an entire industry has to exist to decipher it (check...very common complaint).

He doesn't like that churches get off without paying taxes (check...I hear ya brother!).

That's all pretty mainstream stuff. After that, he basically says that his divorce, the shift during Clinton away from cold war era military procurement, the dot-com bust, and 9/11 pretty much wore away his sanity. I don't think he's the only one. It's just most manage to handle it without killing people.