Mr. Stack is dead. He apparently failed to kill his wife and daughter, but may have managed to take one or more people with him.
And, not to sound too pious, an opportunity to pray - for everybody involved.
I found out about Mr. Stack's exercise in self-expression when my wife came home from minding the store for her father. These excerpts from one article give a pretty good overview of what seems to have happened in Austin, Texas, today:
"Joseph Andrew Stack, the man the FBI believes crashed a small plane into an Austin office complex out of anger at the IRS, may have left a disturbing online manifesto in which he ranted against the IRS, the Catholic Church, tax loopholes, bailouts and his own sorry state of affairs...."A few observations, by one of those Catholics:
"...The FBI believes Stack burned down his own house Thursday and crash landed a plane into the Echelon building in Austin where the IRS maintains several offices. CNN reported that as many as 190 IRS employees work in the building.
"At least one person was missing and two people were taken to a hospital...."
"...Stack was angered by a 'handful of thugs and plunderers (that) can commit unthinkable atrocities' including bailed out GM executives and the drug and insurance companies who 'are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple.'
"He was pissed at politicians of all stripes and outraged at the IRS, which he believed unfairly gave tax loopholes to big corporations and the Catholic Church, but not regular Americans.
"He said he tried to exploit the same loopholes but it backfired. That 'little lesson in patriotism cost me $40,000+, 10 years of my life, and set my retirement plans back to 0,' he wrote. ..."
- Suicide is naughty and we shouldn't do it
- Murder isn't nice, either
- Catholics, at least, are supposed to be good citizens
- That includes paying taxes
- Whether we feel like it or not
- That includes paying taxes
The Catholic Church teaches that suicide is wrong.
Does that mean that (hallelujah!) every sinner who kills himself is doomed to eternal fires? Like so many other things involving human beings, it's more complicated that. (more: "The Catholic Church Won't Even Let People Kill Themselves" (January 28, 2009))
I think the second-most-remarkable aspect of this sad affair, again from my point of view, is that he didn't blame the Jews. Given his apparent perception of victimhood, and traditional Euro-American antisemitism, I'm surprised they didn't make the list: at least in the CBS News account.
As for Mr. Stack's frustration at not being able to take advantage of (according to him) unethical 'loopholes' which (again according to him) were unfairly made available to the Catholic Church and big business and other people who weren't "regular Americans" - Amazing.
According to what seems to have been his world view, 'They' were able to do things that "regular Americans" couldn't. And 'They' used that power to do bad things.
So he, presumably a "regular American," tries to do the same bad thing - without 'Their' (presumed) power?
Even given Mr. Stack's assumptions about reality - that's just not reasonable.
- "Hating People: Not a Good Idea"
(January 22, 2010)
- "The Catholic Church Won't Even Let People Kill Themselves"
(January 28, 2009)
- "Psycho Santa's Slaying Spree - The Catholic Connection"
(December 26, 2008)
- "Elections and Citizenship, Catholic Style"
(September 24, 2008)
- "Austin Plane Crash: Joseph Andrew Stack Left Sick Suicide Note for IRS to Take 'Pound of Flesh' "
Crimesider, CBS News (February 18, 2010)