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Terrorists & Teabaggers

Topics: Politics | Add A CommentBy admin | February 21, 2010

The greatest threat to American security right now is probably a white fella from the heartland.

Is this what you picture when
you hear the word “terrorist”?

Just when I was starting to find this whole teabagging thing entertaining, some mentally unstable individual in Texas has to go and wreck everything for me. You’ve almost certainly heard about Joe Stack burning his house down and crashing his plane into the IRS office in Austin, TX. But did you read his final note at embeddedart.com? If not, I’ve saved an original copy here. I saw it the morning before his hosting company decided to take it down for bandwidth reasons, so unlike the nutjobs posting in the forum the hosting company courteously provided visitors, I’m confident that there’s no FBI coverup conspiracy behind the takedown. I’m not surprised that both liberal and conservative sources are trying to link or unlink his action with the teabagger movement though; that’s just par for the course in politics these days. But to me it’s clear that he was just a fairly intelligent person who became consumed by his own pathological thinking. Reading Stack’s last words made me especially uncomfortable, partly because – like many of us – I can find myself agreeing with a lot of what he said. It revived unpleasant memories of reading Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s ramblings; there were portions of his lumbering manifesto that any modern person might agree with, but the overall tone and the author’s real-world actions rendered any points one might agree with irrelevant. For me, this was especially true in Kaczynski’s case; a personal friend of mine was one of the victims of his deranged actions. But back to the teabagger link. Is there a connection? How can a reasonably informed person deny that regardless of whether Stack considered himself a teabagger, he ABSOLUTELY had common ground with them? It’s ironic that a recent Fox News piece expressed concern with the headline Radical Anti-tax Groups Growing Threat, when it’s the opportunistic sentiment-baiting that Fox News and Bitchzilla from Wasilla (yeah, I can say that, there’s no editor around here) engage in that fuels the kind of rage that sparks violent protests and makes crazy men fly planes into buildings or bulldoze their houses. I imagine we’ll see a few more tragic events over the next few years as a result of people’s frustration with money & taxes. This Newsweek blog post points out that there have been 75 domestic incidents since the Oklahoma bombings, with 6 of them specifically targeting the IRS. I find it more than a little ironic that a government that was born of tax rebellion and presently sees terrorism as a threat from Islam is going through a two-decade struggle with domestic terrorists. If you’re not familiar with the recent history of violence and the American radical right, the Southern Poverty Law Center has compiled some interesting material. They have a quick list of specifically anti-IRS plots here, and a comprehensive and well-assembled summary of all the acts since Oklahoma City in a 3MB PDF here. If you were following the story around the time of the Oklahoma bombings, you’ll recall that at first everyone was sure it was arab terrorists, and were somewhat astounded when it turned out to be a freckle-faced midwestern former soldier. You can relax about the dark people now America. Your greatest enemy may be the dorky programmer at work who’s also in a band.

Don’t worry, there’s plenty of hate still to go around in America:

Click for larger image
From the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Terror From The Right (2.9MB PDF)