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Raptor Witness

Austin IRS bomber vs. the Tea Party

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Posted (edited)

Most Americans were mildly fascinated when Joe Stack flew his little plane into the IRS building in Austin, TX in 2010. If you didn't secretly smile briefly before realizing that someone had died in that building, then you couldn't have been a founding father.

I recall attempting to read his manifesto a couple of times, but after a couple of paragraphs I found it mind numbing.

However, I did recall that he had initially gotten into trouble with the IRS for attempting to create a non-profit organization in California, apparently in response to a new 1986 tax rule that barred him from treating himself as an independent contractor. A lot of software engineers in California were not happy about this new law, and so they struck back as best as they knew how. Out manned and certainly outgunned, these well educated professionals eventually threw in the towel, except Joe Stack.

So I revisited his manifesto. It helped that I could listen to it on YouTube now, instead of reading the thing, and I'm going to stick it here for everyone else. It's not as boring as I had initially thought, especially in light of this recent IRS scandal involving the Tea Party.

After the way the IRS disenfranchised citizens who attempted to create change the right way, and now having listened to Joe Stack's argument, I realized that they haven't just done something stupid or wrong; they've endangered all of U.S. by their tyrannical efforts to squash a peaceful movement.

It's unfortunate that the media haven't picked up on the contrast of character, which becomes blurred if you avoid it, because it's one of the best civics lessons imaginable.

Edited by Raptor Witness
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Most Americans were mildly fascinated when Joe Stack flew his little plane into the IRS building in Austin, TX in 2010. If you didn't secretly smile briefly before realizing that someone had died in that building, then you couldn't have been a founding father.
The founding fathers found flying planes into buildings humorous?
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People don't like paying taxes; sometimes they go insane about it; that doesn't make them comparable to patriots.

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People don't like paying taxes; sometimes they go insane about it; that doesn't make them comparable to patriots.

I usually agree with you Frank... but you basically just described the FF. Those guys were honorable, well established in their various professions and some had considerable wealth... they risked it all, including their lives and the lives of their families. I don't think the Austin guy was a hero but I DO believe he is the shape of things to come if reform is not quickly instituted.
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The tax system in the US does appear to be unweariedly and economically harmful. This is because of its political context and evolution. You need an independent board designing the tax law that is relatively separated from political pressure, like you have with the courts or the military or the Federal Reserve. As long as Congress/President are doing the job, this will continue to get worse and worse. At least that is my opinion.

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The tax system in the US does appear to be unweariedly and economically harmful. This is because of its political context and evolution. You need an independent board designing the tax law that is relatively separated from political pressure, like you have with the courts or the military or the Federal Reserve. As long as Congress/President are doing the job, this will continue to get worse and worse. At least that is my opinion.

It is harmful, esp. to small businesses and private contractors (plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc.) and the self-employed. My in laws have to pay $5,000 in taxes, because my father in law owns his own plumbing business and he hired a guy to work for him for 4 months for a big job he did in Austin. But, $5,000! My mother in law talked tot he IRS, and she said, we don't have that kind of money! They said you can make payments.... :no:

Also, the rules and regulations make it impossible for the average American to do their own taxes. I have to pay an accountant to do my taxes! I tried to do them myself, about two years ago, and was so confused, I just paid someone to do it.

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Old money floats the rates ... and fills the pond ...

~

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Posted (edited)

I usually agree with you Frank... but you basically just described the FF. Those guys were honorable, well established in their various professions and some had considerable wealth... they risked it all, including their lives and the lives of their families. I don't think the Austin guy was a hero but I DO believe he is the shape of things to come if reform is not quickly instituted.

One of the more intriguing facts of history, as I recall, is that the American Colonies at the time of the Revolution had among the lowest taxes in the British Empire. So it gives U.S. some insight into their real motive. They were far more concerned about principle, than they were about wealth.

Hero no, but desperate, helpless, and disenfranchised, most certainly, especially given what we're hearing on CapitAl Hill in these hearings. The sad thing is that it took the independent Inspector General to find this, which means our representatives were apparently powerless to represent U.S., and might never have found out the truth, given the power the IRS holds and wields over them.

So what we have here is not real representation, but merely the illusion of it. That's the real despair, which everyone can see, except our representatives in Washington.

Long live the Kings ... but God save U.S. from their death.

Edited by Raptor Witness
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I think the American Revolution is way too much myth and not enough reality. There were many reasons for the break, probably the most important one being that communications were so difficult and the two sides didn't understand each other. Also, the leaders in the States were landed aristocrats with a few plutocratic merchants added in, all of whom suffered financially, not from taxes but from trade restrictions. Efforts to add taxes brought along more common people.

That "freedom" in some sense (other than the simple freedom from British power) is an illusion. The British in Britain were as free as Americans, and they shared the same Charta tradition and legal protections. The only serious difference was that many Americans wanted no interference with slavery.

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Posted (edited)

The Revolution was mainly about representation in Parliament. If the colonies were allowed to send their own MPs to London there's a good chance the revolution would have never happened, or would have been far more limiting. Since slavery was still legal in the Empire it wasn't that big of a factor. Though you are right Frank that there's been a lot of myth building around the Revolution and the Founding Fathers. Yes many of them were interested in more personal freedom and ensuring better lives of those in the colonies but a lot of them were more interested in increasing their own wealth.

As for their reaction to Joe Stack I'm sure most FF would have seen him as an honourless coward.

Edited by Corp
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I think the American Revolution is way too much myth and not enough reality. There were many reasons for the break, probably the most important one being that communications were so difficult and the two sides didn't understand each other. Also, the leaders in the States were landed aristocrats with a few plutocratic merchants added in, all of whom suffered financially, not from taxes but from trade restrictions. Efforts to add taxes brought along more common people.

That "freedom" in some sense (other than the simple freedom from British power) is an illusion. The British in Britain were as free as Americans, and they shared the same Charta tradition and legal protections. The only serious difference was that many Americans wanted no interference with slavery.

Not true. It wasn't until 1807, with the Slave Trade Act, the act abolished the slave trade in Britain, but not slavery itself. It wasn't until 1833 that slavery was abolished completely in Britain.

Many of the Founding Fathers who had owned slaves as British citizens released them in the years following America’s separation from Great Britain (e.g., George Washington, John Dickinson, Caesar Rodney, William Livingston, George Wythe, John Randolph of Roanoke, and others). Furthermore, many of the Founders had never owned any slaves. For example, John Adams proclaimed, "[M]y opinion against it [slavery] has always been known . . . [N]ever in my life did I own a slave." 9

Notice a few additional examples of the strong anti-slavery sentiments held by great numbers of the Founders:

[N]ever in my life did I own a slave.

But to the eye of reason, what can be more clear than that all men have an equal right to happiness? Nature made no other distinction than that of higher or lower degrees of power of mind and body. . . . Were the talents and virtues which Heaven has bestowed on men given merely to make them more obedient drudges? . . . No! In the judgment of heaven there is no other superiority among men than a superiority of wisdom and virtue.

[W]hy keep alive the question of slavery? It is admitted by all to be a great evil.

As Congress is now to legislate for our extensive territory lately acquired, I pray to Heaven that they may build up the system of the government on the broad, strong, and sound principles of freedom. Curse not the inhabitants of those regions, and of the United States in general, with a permission to introduce bondage [slavery].

I am glad to hear that the disposition against keeping negroes grows more general in North America. Several pieces have been lately printed here against the practice, and I hope in time it will be taken into consideration and suppressed by the legislature.

That mankind are all formed by the same Almighty Being, alike objects of his care, and equally designed for the enjoyment of happiness, the Christian religion teaches us to believe, and the political creed of Americans fully coincides with the position. . . . [We] earnestly entreat your serious attention to the subject of slavery – that you will be pleased to countenance the restoration of liberty to those unhappy men who alone in this land of freedom are degraded into perpetual bondage and who . . . are groaning in servile subjection.

That men should pray and fight for their own freedom and yet keep others in slavery is certainly acting a very inconsistent, as well as unjust and perhaps impious, part.

The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. . . . And with what execration [curse] should the statesman be loaded, who permitting one half the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other. . . . And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.

Christianity, by introducing into Europe the truest principles of humanity, universal benevolence, and brotherly love, had happily abolished civil slavery. Let us who profess the same religion practice its precepts . . . by agreeing to this duty.

I have seen it observed by a great writer that Christianity, by introducing into Europe the truest principles of humanity, universal benevolence, and brotherly love, had happily abolished civil slavery. Let us, who profess the same religion practice its precepts, and by agreeing to this duty convince the world that we know and practice our truest interests, and that we pay a proper regard to the dictates of justice and humanity!

I hope we shall at last, and if it so please God I hope it may be during my life time, see this cursed thing [slavery] taken out. . . . For my part, whether in a public station or a private capacity, I shall always be prompt to contribute my assistance towards effecting so desirable an event.

t ought to be considered that national crimes can only be and frequently are punished in this world by national punishments; and that the continuance of the slave-trade, and thus giving it a national sanction and encouragement, ought to be considered as justly exposing us to the displeasure and vengeance of Him who is equally Lord of all and who views with equal eye the poor African slave and his American master.

As much as I value a union of all the States, I would not admit the Southern States into the Union unless they agree to the discontinuance of this disgraceful trade [slavery].

Honored will that State be in the annals of history which shall first abolish this violation of the rights of mankind.

Domestic slavery is repugnant to the principles of Christianity. . . . It is rebellion against the authority of a common Father. It is a practical denial of the extent and efficacy of the death of a common Savior. It is an usurpation of the prerogative of the great Sovereign of the universe who has solemnly claimed an exclusive property in the souls of men.

The commerce in African slaves has breathed its last in Pennsylvania. I shall send you a copy of our late law respecting that trade as soon as it is published. I am encouraged by the success that has finally attended the exertions of the friends of universal freedom and justice.

Justice and humanity require it [the end of slavery]–Christianity commands it. Let every benevolent . . . pray for the glorious period when the last slave who fights for freedom shall be restored to the possession of that inestimable right.

Slavery, or an absolute and unlimited power in the master over the life and fortune of the slave, is unauthorized by the common law. . . . The reasons which we sometimes see assigned for the origin and the continuance of slavery appear, when examined to the bottom, to be built upon a false foundation. In the enjoyment of their persons and of their property, the common law protects all.

t is certainly unlawful to make inroads upon others . . . and take away their liberty by no better means than superior power.

For many of the Founders, their feelings against slavery went beyond words. For example, in 1774, Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush founded America’s first anti-slavery society; John Jay was president of a similar society in New York. In fact, when signer of the Constitution William Livingston heard of the New York society, he, as Governor of New Jersey, wrote them, offering:

I would most ardently wish to become a member of it [the society in New York] and . . . I can safely promise them that neither my tongue, nor my pen, nor purse shall be wanting to promote the abolition of what to me appears so inconsistent with humanity and Christianity. . . . May the great and the equal Father of the human race, who has expressly declared His abhorrence of oppression, and that He is no respecter of persons, succeed a design so laudably calculated to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke.

Other prominent Founding Fathers who were members of societies for ending slavery included Richard Bassett, James Madison, James Monroe, Bushrod Washington, Charles Carroll, William Few, John Marshall, Richard Stockton, Zephaniah Swift, and many more. In fact, based in part on the efforts of these Founders, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts began abolishing slavery in 1780; 30 Connecticut and Rhode Island did so in 1784; 31 Vermont in 1786; 32 New Hampshire in 1792; 33 New York in 1799; 34 and New Jersey did so in 1804. 35

Additionally, the reason that Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa all prohibited slavery was a Congressional act, authored by Constitution signer Rufus King 36 and signed into law by President George Washington, 37 which prohibited slavery in those territories. 38 It is not surprising that Washington would sign such a law, for it was he who had declared:

I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it [slavery]. <a href="
#FN39">'>
#FN39">
39

Taken from

Thomas Jefferson and Slavery

Thomas Jefferson was a consistent opponent of slavery his whole life. Calling it a “moral depravity” and a “hideous blot,” he believed that slavery presented the greatest threat to the survival of the new American nation. Jefferson also thought that slavery was contrary to the laws of nature, which decreed that everyone had a right to personal liberty. These views were radical in a world where unfree labor was the norm.

At the time of the American Revolution, Jefferson was actively involved in legislation that he hoped would result in slavery’s abolition. In 1778, he drafted a Virginia law that prohibited the importation of enslaved Africans. In 1784, he proposed an ordinance that would ban slavery in the Northwest territories. But Jefferson always maintained that the decision to emancipate slaves would have to be part of a democratic process; abolition would be stymied until slaveowners consented to free their human property together in a large-scale act of emancipation. To Jefferson, it was anti-democratic and contrary to the principles of the American Revolution for the federal government to enact abolition or for only a few planters to free their slaves.

Although Jefferson continued to advocate for abolition, the reality was that slavery was only becoming more entrenched. The slave population in Virginia skyrocketed from 292,627 in 1790 to 469,757 in 1830. Jefferson had assumed that the abolition of the slave trade would weaken slavery and hasten its end. Instead, slavery only became more widespread and profitable. To try to erode Virginians’ support for slavery, he discouraged the cultivation of crops heavily dependent on slave labor—tobacco—and encouraged the introduction of crops that needed little or no slave labor—wheat, sugar maples, short-grained rice, olive trees, and wine grapes. But by the 1800s, Virginia’s most valuable commodity and export was neither crops nor land, but slaves.

Jefferson’s belief in the necessity of ending slavery never changed. From the mid-1770s until his death, he advocated the same plan of gradual emancipation. First, the transatlantic slave trade would be abolished. Second, slaveowners would “improve” slavery’s most violent features, by bettering (Jefferson used the term “ameliorating”) living conditions and moderating physical punishment. Third, all born into slavery after a certain date would be declared free, followed by total abolition. Like others of his day, he supported the removal of newly freed slaves from the United States. The unintended effect of Jefferson’s plan was that his goal of “improving” slavery as a
towards ending it was used as an argument for its perpetuation. Pro-slavery advocates after Jefferson’s death argued that if slavery could be “improved,” abolition was unnecessary.

Jefferson’s belief in the necessity of abolition was intertwined with his racial beliefs. He thought that white Americans and enslaved blacks constituted two “separate nations” who could not live together peacefully in the same country. Jefferson’s belief that blacks were racially inferior and “as incapable as children,” coupled with slaves’ presumed resentment of their former owners, made their removal from the United States an integral part of Jefferson’s emancipation scheme. Influenced by the Haitian Revolution and an aborted rebellion in Virginia in 1800, Jefferson believed that American slaves’ deportation—whether to Africa or the West Indies—was an essential consequence of emancipation.

Jefferson wrote that slavery was like holding “a wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go.” He thought that his cherished federal union, the world’s first democratic experiment, would be destroyed by slavery. To emancipate slaves on American soil, Jefferson thought, would result in a large-scale race war that would be as brutal and deadly as the slave revolt in Haiti in 1791. But he also believed that to keep slaves in bondage, with part of America in favor of abolition and part of America in favor of perpetuating slavery, could only result in a civil war that would destroy the union. Jefferson’s latter prediction was correct: in 1861, the contest over slavery sparked a bloody civil war and the creation of two nations—Union and Confederacy—in the place of one.

Taken from http://www.monticello.org/site/plantation-and-slavery/thomas-jefferson-and-slavery

Also, if you look at the primary sources, Census records, etc. and such, you will see that a great majority of Americans were too poor to own slaves. It was really only the elite, rich plantation owners who owned slaves.

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and the way to keep the costs of owning slaves down was to work them all to death because buying 'new' ones was cheaper than feeding one to work ...

then someone got the bright idea of 'breeding' slaves .... till wifey want nothing to do with it or the wifey got in into a bit of the fun too ....

ahhhh what of joys of owning slaves eh ?

~

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Some of the above is a distortion of the historic reality. American Southerners were well aware of anti-slavery sentiment in New England and in Britain that was developing in the late 18th century. Many felt separation from Britain and the setting up of the southern states as essentially independent countries was the best way to preserve their "institution." While it is true that slavery was not actually abolished in Britain until later, it was not ever really present there, so this is a misleading item.

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and the way to keep the costs of owning slaves down was to work them all to death because buying 'new' ones was cheaper than feeding one to work ...

then someone got the bright idea of 'breeding' slaves .... till wifey want nothing to do with it or the wifey got in into a bit of the fun too ....

ahhhh what of joys of owning slaves eh ?

~

I read where the average slave owner spent between $18-$20 a year on feeding and clothing each slave. A freeman earned about $20-$22 a year working for a company. Of course many companies paid in script, usable only at the company stores or to pay rent for company housing. They would extend credit for the first months rent and groceries. Therefore the worker was indebted to them from the start. You couldn't quit until you had paid the company any monies owed them. Of course they weren't slaves, they were just treated like slaves.

In my opinion slavery is the worst thing one person can do to another, other than killing them (and perhaps it is even worse than that). But before unions and labor laws many a "freeman" wasn't really very free.

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Some of the above is a distortion of the historic reality. American Southerners were well aware of anti-slavery sentiment in New England and in Britain that was developing in the late 18th century. Many felt separation from Britain and the setting up of the southern states as essentially independent countries was the best way to preserve their "institution." While it is true that slavery was not actually abolished in Britain until later, it was not ever really present there, so this is a misleading item.

Well if it wasn't ever really present there why would they have to abolish it?

In 1772 Granville Sharp won a ruling in the Somerset case which held that no slave could be forcibly removed from Britain. So apparently some people in Britian had slaves.

Scotland was the first British country to abolish slavery (1778).

Slavery was legal in the British Empire until 1833.

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I read where the average slave owner spent between $18-$20 a year on feeding and clothing each slave. A freeman earned about $20-$22 a year working for a company. Of course many companies paid in script, usable only at the company stores or to pay rent for company housing. They would extend credit for the first months rent and groceries. Therefore the worker was indebted to them from the start. You couldn't quit until you had paid the company any monies owed them. Of course they weren't slaves, they were just treated like slaves.

In my opinion slavery is the worst thing one person can do to another, other than killing them (and perhaps it is even worse than that). But before unions and labor laws many a "freeman" wasn't really very free.

Mutiny on the Amistad: The Saga of a Slave Revolt and Its Impact on American Abolition, Law, and Diplomacy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search Mutiny on the Amistad: The Saga of a Slave Revolt and Its Impact on American Abolition, Law, and Diplomacy 200px-Mutiny_on_the_amistad.png Author(s) Howard Jones Country U.S. Language English Subject(s) History/U.S. History/African American history Genre(s) Non-fiction Publisher Oxford University Press Publication date January 1, 1987 Media type paperback Pages 304 pages ISBN 0-19-503829-0 OCLC Number 20257813

Mutiny on the Amistad: The Saga of a Slave Revolt and Its Impact on American Abolition, Law, and Diplomacy (1987) is a history of a notable slave mutiny of 1839 and its aftermath, written by professor Howard Jones.

or

Top 5000

Amistad (1997)

155 min

- Drama | History | Mystery - 10 December 1997 (USA)

About a 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship that is traveling towards the northeastern coast of America. Much of the story involves a court-room drama about the free man who led the revolt.

Director:

Steven Spielberg

Writer:

David Franzoni

Stars:

Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Djimon Hounso

link

I liked the book better truth be told ...... Mr Spielberg tried to make too much action sequences when no action were to be found ...

~

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