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Texas plane crash, embittered pilot vs. the IRS

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Sam Posten, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    This is craaaaazy:
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/02/18/texas.plane.crash/index.html?hpt=T1

    He left a loooooong explaination on his own web site!
    http://www.embeddedart.com
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Here's one thing I don't get: He had enough money to buy his own plane!!!!
     
  3. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Well-Known Member

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    What does owning a plane have to do with it? You mean owning an aircraft automatically makes you wealthy? Committing suicide wasn't really the answer, but I could see his point in the letter he left behind, even if it did contain gaps in regards to the exact conditions that drove him to do what he did. The unfortunate thing is that, due to his actions, he has only helped ensure that yet another layer of draconian law infringing on personal liberties will be passed. Inadvertently, he has provided the very system he despised with the excuse for more authoritarian legislation.
     
  4. RickER

    RickER Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm...
    Watch this get political.

    And yea, i said the same thing as Sam. He couldnt of been THAT bad off if he could afford a plane.

    To bad he couldnt see another way out.
     
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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  6. Justin_S

    Justin_S Well-Known Member

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    I've been watching this story on the local news, and the building is basically a cinder. Being quite familiar with the area, it's going to be weird seeing it gone. First the almost bombing of the Fountain Place, and now this.
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully not, but if so, it'll be closed.



    As best as I could tell from his manifesto/suicide note, the plane was somehow related to his business. In that sense, it's no different than renting an office, buying a truck, or any other business-related expense. And it could easily have been subject to some sort of financing.
     
  8. Jay H

    Jay H Well-Known Member

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    I read that the plane was registered to his business so could easily have been a "expense"...

    I did not hear much of the news yesteday but when I learned about the manifesto (I saw it on his website linked from Sam, before the FBI pulled it) and the reports of 2 missing people, I was wondering what happened to his 2nd(?) wife/stepdaughter(?) but apparently, they weren't the missing and were pulled from the fire from neighbors...

    Jay
     
  9. RickER

    RickER Well-Known Member

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    CBS said on the news last night, the man and his wife had a fight. She left, with her daughter, to stay in a hotel. CBS said that happened around midnight. I guess he set fire to his house, that morning, having all night to think about his plan.
    Very fortunate his wife and step daughter were not home. Who knows what he would of done.
     
  10. LewB

    LewB Well-Known Member

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    I can sympathize with 'rage against the machine'. I can sympathize with someone who wants to end it all. I have NO sympathy for someone who decides to take out innocent people.
     
  11. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Well-Known Member

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    This shows how ineffective light planes are as weapons. Despite the damage to the building and despite him flying into it during business hours, he apparently only killed one other person. I'm not minimizing that, just pointing out that for someone who wants to commit a terrorist-type attack, small planes aren't very effective.

    Notice how much more damage and death McVeigh caused with a rented truck and fertilizer, even though parking a truck and running away isn't nearly as dramatic as flying into a building.

    Any time there's an aviation incident, the media goes crazy pointing out things like the fact that the guy didn't file a flight plan, which is completely irrelevant and also completely normal for small planes. Do they expect him to file a plan showing his plans to hit that building?

    There was a teenager who flew a light plane into a high-rise in Tampa a few years ago and killed nobody other than himself. The building didn't seem to be extensively damaged, either.
     
  12. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Well-Known Member

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    Not sure how that's relevant. If he had done a truck bomb instead of this, would you be amazed he had enough money to own a truck?

    I owned a plane for years and it cost less than many people pay for their SUVs.
     
  13. Eric_L

    Eric_L Well-Known Member

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    I do believe that this guy had mental issues. I also know that the IRS has been known to select a target then 'monitor' them with voracious tenacity (under the presumption that they are more likely to be repeat offenders) Looking at the available records in this case I don't see any real egregious tax offenses. In fact I saw much worse as a loan officer with people taking pay under the table, claiming questionable deductions, etc. for substantially more in tax 'savings'...

    Once the IRS has it in for a person, they are doomed. I have no trouble imagining that this person was driven to madness over time by the actions of the IRS. I have no desire to show support for a mad-man - but there is no way I will hold the IRS blameless in this - not when they often act like a person at a zoo poking a stick through the bars of an animal's cage...
     
  14. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    What I don't understand is the guy spent pages railing against the overwhelming power of the government to make your life miserable, then he ends it with a silly compliment towards Marxism? Uhhhh, buddy . . . Marxism requires an all powerful, intrusive government that makes your life miserable. Ol' Karl wrote it into the plan. In other words, it's not a cure, it's the disease.
     
  15. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Well-Known Member

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    While we're avoiding politics, could we also avoid boredom? It's getting late and I feel drowz....
     
  16. Will_B

    Will_B Well-Known Member

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    Without being political, I'd like to simply comment on the way some news outlets have described his essay. If you've read the essay, on The Smoking Gun website perhaps, then you've seen it for what it is -- a carefully composed, well written essay. And by that I mean the sentence structure is clear, the paragraph breaks correctly made, the argument carefully built, etc. From a storytelling point of view, he effectively provides a character arc when describing his life, and how it led him to his act of insurrection. All that can be said without agreeing or disagreeing with his thesis that the middle class is being exploited by the elite and left without any defense from the politicians who have been openly bought. It is simply a matter of objectively evaluating the writing and argumentative skills he brought to bear in his essay. Which brings me to my point about the media:

    Some news outlets describe the essay as a "rant", and some as "rambling". Some as a "rambling rant". Yet it was not!

    Observing the media, expecting neutral reporting, I was surprised to see those exceptionally subjective words being used to describe what he wrote. It was almost as if reporters instinctively felt the need to recast the guy's essay as the product of a madman, rather than consider it for what it was -- an argument that appeared to be sound.

    The New York Times was one of the very few papers to state that his argument was actually materially correct in many respects:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/19/us/19tax.html

    That's quite a rarity, for a news organization to be impartial. That so many other outlets decided not to be, was a brush with how media must have been like in the USSR -- semi-fictional and placating.

    Some say we create a future that we are familiar with, so we will instinctively create an Orwellian future, even though we've all read "1984" and got the point that it was bad. We'll create it anyway, because it is at least familiar. This was an example of that sort of recasting of the facts that really, we should never do.

    The only way to ensure that this sort of tragedy never happens again is to make sure that we attend to any of the problems that were pointed out, if any of the problems are real, and resolve them. The NY Times says they are real. So what happens next?

    Well that wraps up my comments on this event. I just had that impression, about his essay and the news coverage last week, and thought it was worth noting. I am less interested in how every political camp is trying to suggest the guy must have been a this, or a that -- always exactly into whatever opposing side that camp already has. Progressives calling him a teabagger. Conservatives calling him a communist. All reading whatever they want into what he wrote, with barely any evidence to support their claims one way or another. He was apparently a liberal conservative capitalism communist, if everyone is to be believed. And that in itself makes it futile to even discuss politics about this case, even if we could.
     
  17. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Well-Known Member

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    Your first mistake...
     
  18. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    Maybe he would have been taken more seriously if there wasn't the whole 'flying a plane into a building' thing. When you do something like that, it does tend to make people think that you're just a crazy idiot. Whether the reasoning in his letter is right or wrong, his actions clouded any point that he was trying to make.
     
  19. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Well-Known Member

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    Quote:
    Well, the fact that he killed himself and someone else by flying a plane into a building is certainly very dramatic but I actually read about these kinds of people at my job all the time; there are numerous tax defiers out there. Most of them thankfully choose to protest the IRS in court rather than committing some destructive act like this (although you do get the occasional one that holes up in a wilderness cabin with a ton of weaponry and waits for the government to lay siege but I can't recall any of those types actually managing to kill anyone before now).
     
  20. Will_B

    Will_B Well-Known Member

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    True. Yet they shouldn't. Being un-clouded is a first principle in reporting, isn't it? I can understand the public muddling it all up together, but ...well I guess reporters aren't very good any more. Still, did V for Vendetta teach us nothing?
     

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