Friday, February 19, 2010

US Bank Lending Falls at Fastest Rate in History

The Complex Legacy of Joseph Andrew Stack

Jenna Orkin

One of the rationales of masochists is that if they're going to feel pain, they at least want to be the ones inflicting it. (It's about control, see, as well as a cocktail of guilt, rage and fear.)

Couple that with the dictum, "Live by the sword, die by the sword" and what you get is yesterday's crash into the IRS building of the little plane that couldn't; a fitting end for Joseph Andrew Stack who, analogously to Pope Boniface in Eyeball's brilliant comment, had been banging his head against the unresponsive wall of the IRS for years.

Who, in the end, suffered more from his act - the IRS or Stack himself? His suicide note is articulate, lucid and apparently sane which is perhaps why it was removed from one of its original websites "due to the sensitive nature" of yesterday's event. However, even though the customer had exceeded his bandwidth, credit has been extended "for informational purposes," ie: the site directs you to where it's still available.

But Stack seriously undermined his credibility by his penultimate act - the torching of his own house the day after his wife, fleeing his erratic behavior, took his daughter to a hotel. The public could be forgiven for interpreting that, rather than the IRS, as the proximate cause of his suicide.

Like a number of social movements recently, Stack was a brew of despair-driven clearsightedness and misguided action. His definition of capitalism - "From each according to his gullibility; to each according to his greed" - is seriously catchy but he was also his own disinfo agent. Killing innocent people along with himself while the IRS brushes itself off and goes on with its business surely missed his mark.

Perhaps that's his real gift to posterity: To show us that violence is not the way.


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Weaseldog said...

I think it's likely that violence will change our government. But it won't be the people that enact the change or will benefit.

It will likely come as a military coup from the Pentagon.

Isn't that the path that other nations have taken, to change their governments during their downturns?

Joe's act of terrorism, certainly was futile. The IRS is a machine, and it will keep on fulfilling it's purpose. It has not heart, no conscience. But it does have a vindictive spirit. So there is the possibility that the IRS will find ways to make others suffer, as payback for what Joe did.

robmac58 said...


robmac58 said...

I wonder how many more Joe Stacks are out there. Was this an isolated event or the beginning of a trend? Jim Kunstler has written quite a bit on this subject. Personally, I condemn acts of violence. That said, I must disagree with the description of this event as futile. It's effects will be largely invisible. I bet that TPTB and their agents are a little less comfortable today than last week.
I think it a reasonable certainty that these folks have anticipated this kind of thing and are prepared. I dread to think of what that means.

RanD said...

re "The Complex Legacy of Joseph Andrew Stack":

There is a perspective that is fundamentally distinct from the one brilliantly articulated by Jenna Orkin and Eyeballs:

Would Jenna Orkin do what Joseph Andrew Stack did? No. Would Eyeballs? No. Would RanD? No.

How many of us would do what Adolph Hitler did? How many of us would do what Jesus is attributed with having done? How many of us would perfectly replicate the behaviors of G. W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, Barack Obama, Mother Teresa?

The point is that Joseph Andrew Stack did what he did; no differently than those who flew planes into Manhattan buildings on 9/11/2001 did what they did; while those who were doing what they were doing in those buildings at the time did what they did; while all of us were then as we are now doing what we are doing.

Do any of us like what's going on right now?! Hell NO! We do not! And exactly who of us is doing all of this stuff?! WE are!

Okay! So exactly "WHY" then is all of this totally unacceptable crap going on? Isn't THAT the question every single one of us with a(n) caring/intelligent mind should be examining? WHY?!

The answer is simple: The human condition is currently displaying its insufficient consciousness about the nature of reality and our human species' relationship thereto. And as long as that condition prevails we do well to know that it is going to only continue getting worse and worse for literally every single one of us until a sufficient/significant number of us wake up to what we need to.


Robert Paulsen said...

I just want to say to eyeballs that I read your comment and thought it was brilliant. That's one historical tale I'm not familiar with, but I found it fascinating. Do you remember what book you read that story of Boniface from? I'd love to check it out.

jw said...

violence will be needed eventually. it will be ineffective and mis-spun by the media. it won't change the longterm violence that will follow with real collapse.

mczilla said...

The real question is what happens when the rage becomes focused and organized? Joe Stack was ultimately pathetic. How far can the PTB push people before we get our own version of the IRA? I sure don't want to be caught in the crossfire.

PeakedOut said...

I wish I had a crystal ball, but all I have is a crystal prism. Not only can I not see the future, but every ray of truth seems to split into several shades or colors of that truth.

A recent News posting mentioned that 1 in 6 businesses in Sacramento had gone out of business. A clear sign of collapse. A stroll through downtown Sac shows restaurant after restaurant has closed its doors. First came the real estate crunch, which dropped tax revenue, then, to cut costs, state workers were furloughed, for the local restaurants, this meant loosing one day a week of income in a five day week. Businesses close, tax revenue drops, and round and round we go as we consume our own tail.

I also took my son out to teach him to shoot. We go to a public range fairly far from the city. Most times, there are one or two other guys there shooting. Last two times, the place has been packed. Not all of them your typical gun enthusiasts. Looks like lots of newcomers to gun ownership.

Having been in a few car crashes, I've always marveled at how the event seems to slow down and move at a surreal pace until impact, when all hell breaks loose. It feels like that right now, things moving slowly, in a surreal manner. I wonder when that jarring moment will come? It feels so close. I guess Kunstler had it right when he coined "The Long Emergency". The damnedest part, is that there will probably not be a single point of impact. More likely, we will tumble downhill, hitting every rock and tree stump along the way.

I largely agree with Jenna in regard to Joseph Andrew Stack. I did find his farewell note compelling, but his farewell exit seemed mis-directed. Some of the conversation I've heard about it leaves me to think that he struck a cord with many people. With our society rapidly being compressed, it may well be that a random act of futile destruction sets of a chain reaction. Remember to make sure your lifeboat is safely moored, but be ready to set it adrift if things get dicey where you live. Survival of the “fittest” means survival of the most adaptable. Joseph Andrew Stack did not adapt.

PeakedOut said...


A coup is an interesting idea. As big and partitioned as our military is, I would expect a coup to cause a fracture of the military complex resulting in several smaller groups forming. I think it more likely that the U.S. become a police state first. Then a coup would be a matter of replacing leadership.

With all of the blowback building up around the world as a result of our imperial bullying, I think America will have plenty of external threats to keep the military busy. I suspect "payback will be a bitch"!!! Do you suppose that Europe equates Goldman Sacks to be a global company, or an American one?
That's one of the worst things about this collapse, everyday Americans will shoulder the blame and the burden.

eyeballs said...

For Robert Paulson:

Hearing Voices? Nothing new. The financialist camp apparently used this kind of mind control to force the abdication of a Spiritualist pope in the late 13th century.

Two very interesting books that relate to this subject are:

Decima L. Douie, The Nature and Effects of the Heresy of the Fraticelli (Manchester U Press, 1932).
This is the classic story of the Spiritual Franciscans, who challenged the increasing worldly greed of the medieval Church and society generally. Popes Celestine and Boniface figured hugely in this struggle. No need to tell you which side won out.

David Burr, The Spiritual Franciscans: From Protest to Persecution in the Century After Saint Francis (Penn. State Press, 2001)
This would be a more modern view of the same issue, incorporating and extending from Douie.

Where, exactly, I got the story of Cardinal Gaetano (later Pope Boniface VIII) pretending to be the voice of God, escapes me. But a quick search on the internet revealed
: “All sorts of rumors followed this resignation. Peter had built himself a hut in the Vatican where he could live like a hermit. Supposedly Caetani thrust a reed through the wall of the hut and pretended he was the voice of God ordering Celestine to resign. Since his mind was undecided as to his proper course, this trick is said to have convinced him.”

And the book
Key figures in medieval Europe: an encyclopedia
, in which the authors (p.91) write that the story comes from “one of the more wild-eyed chronicles” (but do not name the chronicle or provide any citation).

To learn about Boniface VIII, google ‘Angel Pope and Papal Antichrist’, by Bernard McGinn (available on the internet only if you have access to JSTOR, which might be accessed at a university library, or possibly a large city library).

Or look for a book (which I haven’t read) called:
The Bad Popes (Barnes and Noble, 1969) – see pp. 75-103 “The Lord of Europe: Benedict Gaetani/Pope Boniface VIII”

Apparently I’m spreading rumors, but it’s also apparent that the rumor about Celestine’s “assistant” pretending to be God was current during the lifetime of Boniface, which shows that such things must have taken place in the 13th century(in order to be plausible then).

My point in posting that abstruse story was to warn against all kinds of mind-bending influences, be they weird voices, 3D movies, video games or blogs or spirits. If anything anonymous and remote suggests violence against strangers as being a noble mission, pull back and start thinking for yourself. That is the most counterproductive “revolutionary act” imaginable, especially in this (sheesh) Age of Terrorism. And it could very well be that THEM is deliberately planting this absurd suggestion in whomever is weak enough to accept it.

For the Boys said...

Honestly, MCR, aren't you relying upon the very system which has driven us into disparity? Maybe I don't know much about T.N.W.T. yet it seems, when I look at the website, beautiful women, men who wish to be something else....

Michiel said...

The Dutch coalition government has resigned tonight. The issue was extending the duration of troop deployment in Afghanistan. The ministers of our 'Labour' party have pulled their support, leaving the Christian Democrat ministers without any options.

The Christian Democrats are afraid NATO will be pissed and the Netherlands gets blamed for undermining international support for operations in the Afghan region. Ergo, no more high positions for Dutch officials for a while, at least that's the rethoric of the Christian Democrats.

I am glad to see this government go, but also weary because we have a anti-islam populist lining up (Geert Wilders). The coming months will see both local ellections and a new national ellection.

Oh, and the aforementioned populist is also pretty Euro-critical so the recent problems in that area are only more ammo for him.

Van said...

While everyone's busy self-righteously condemning Joe Stack's effort a failure because "it didnt stop the government", consider Joe's perspective - did the govt succeed in stopping him?

Doesnt look like it. For merely one out of 200 million Americans, old Joe there packed quite a punch. A mere thousand of him would be devastating.

Joe Stack - Army of One.

Of course the machine will now collectively punish the rest of us. Why shouldnt it? It's afraid of more Joe Stacks, so of course it will tighten the screws. They have to - what else can they do? Back off? That would be "showing weakness". Psychopaths bent on control have to retaliate against any retaliation by their victims. This govt would be burned to the ground if it didnt keep its citizen-victims fat and fearful.

But you're right, Joe's no hero for sacrificing a failed life. His life was a wreck already. Suicide became freedom, Im sure.

However, Joe IS a hero for putting up the multi-decade fight that he did, even as the IRS tore him down year by year. Even to the point that they took from him more than he could bear to lose.

That's sacrifice.

So go ahead, put another special note on my FBI file. As a freedom-loving American who so very desperately wishes I could just live my life and be left alone wth my countless hobbies and projects - something I would so HAPPILY do! - let me take this opportunity to formally and officially declare..

Fuck you.

Fuck all of you, who use or lend support to, or simply condone, the use of violence and force against innocent people. Cops, soldiers, prison guards, IRS agents, FBI/BATFE/Treasury/SS, none of you people are innocent - you're all accomplices to the crime of bleeding hard-working Americans dry.

Not to mention enforcing countless illegal, immoral, victimless-crime laws against our personal liberty.

This needs to be declared, out loud, proudly, by everyone who believes it, feels it, and knows it to be true.

Ive got a great job with a great career, no mortgage, no children, and a strong savings. I wont be suiciding anytime soon - Im planning to survive the coming collapse. Society's going to need leadership.

But Im still an American, and Ill damn well speak like one.

hawlkeye said...

NYC preparing to feed itself?

businessman said...

In response to eyeballs' post from the last thread, there are three books I've read that I feel really blow the doors off of the myths and inappropriate behavior around both the Catholic Church and Christianity throughout the ages. These books are:

1) The Dark Side of Christian History by Helen Ellerbe

2) In God's Name by David Yallop

3) The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty

businessman said...

In follow-up to what PeakedOut said, I just bought a handgun and a shotgun. I've never owned guns before, and I never wanted to. But with where everything looks like it's headed, I don't want to be in the position where people are breaking into my home, and all I have to give them is hot cocoa.

I did this now because in the back of my mind I'm thinking that the government may just suspend the sale of firearms when things really begin getting out of control, "in the interests of national security."

ChuckP said...

Does anybody know how strong financially is the Federal Home Loan Banks and also the Federal Farm Credit Bank??? Iam trying to find ways to protect my portfolio and my assets, rather than just "piling on" like most of you. I need to find ways to deal with the coming problem. I already have guns and ammo so don't need to solve that issue. Gold coins????

Soggy Bottom said...


I read you.

musings said...

Nobody really knows the orphan "Joe Stack". He could have done a fly by wire, because he set his house on fire but made sure his wife wasn't in it. What makes anyone think this isn't another Balloon Boy, with a different motive - tax relief and insurance fraud? I keep thinking Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn at their own funeral. Have they recovered the pilot's body? Why do they say there was extra fuel? According to someone talking less than believingly in the MSM, a normal plane of that size would have carried no more than a tanked up SUV. This is an engineer, who published a lucid, well-edited manifesto. He's an articulate guy writing in the heart of a community where many share his beliefs about the unfairness of taxation, including a large flat tax contingent adamantly opposed to the big complex code he claimed to have gotten tangled in. He would have found friends upon anti-progressive tax types. Would have? He said he did. Think of the businessman who left his car on a bridge, and turned up elsewhere. They have not found the body of the pilot - you can see the plane is not totally destroyed, seats hanging out of the tail. I think this is as likely to be a fraudulent death as a guy as resourceful as our engineer would be to off himself, poor little orphan from Pennsylvania with no records of his birth, marriages, etc. Fool me once with Balloon Boy, but shame on you if you flog this one.

RanD said...

At least one feather good ol' bad ol' Joe A. Stack can stick in his hat is having stirred up a lot of critical thinking and productive chatter down here at FTW. For sure, thinking as comprehensively & as clearly focused as one can and conversing with others in that vein is a good thing to do.

For instance, as for yielding to ANY source of influence that requires the killing of anyone, isn't it clear that to do so is ultimately always a matter of mindless inclination? From RanD's perspective it's fundamentally better to be killed by a human rather than kill a human; with the exclusive exception being for a gestating women who personally determines in heart & mind that bearing her fetus to term would not be good for her to do.

Organismic robots doing what we've been trained, or trained ourselves, to do is pretty much exactly what we are. If it's otherwise, then please do articulate a statement that better defines what we humans are in terms of what we do. RanD is always open to intelligent/thoughtful discourse.

Moreover/consequently, we don't see buying guns to defend ourselves against the mindless behaviors/practices of others -- whether they're implementing violent or passive means -- as being logical. History, life itself, and our personal experiences prove & establish our positions for us.

Nor, therefore, do we any longer invest in non-life sustaining things (i.e., graven devices, money, gold etc) when it's evident that doing so will not (any longer) provide us with essential access to what we need to sustain our lives.

In a nutshell, it's our perspective that it's eventually fruitless to continue engaging in what prove to be mindless behaviors of any kind, no matter how saying so often troubles others who cannot provide us with convincing reasons for seeing things otherwise.

And, Cheers to All.

MCR said...

Every picture on the NWT site is of us, exactly as we are, without affectations of any kind. That's what we look like.


toner deeski said...

speaking of violence, people are tripping hardcore lately. i'm sure that's not news to anyone in here.

a week ago, my wife made the mistake of honking at some guy who was sitting at a stop sign, and he would've certainly beaten her up if he had not seen our 3 year-old in the backseat.
the next day, i was caught in the middle of a brawl on a BART train on my way home from work.
also last week, a video of an older man beating down a younger man on an AC transit bus was making the rounds online.
a friend of mine said that last week she was also harassed on BART by another woman who was clearly intent on a fight.
on my way home two days ago, i saw a fistfight in front of a liquor store that i pass by every day.
last night, gunshots were fired right in front of my house for the first time in the 8 years that we have lived here.

violence in oakland is certainly not new, but it seems to be happening more often lately, and in places where previously, people had shown restraint (like on BART trains during rush hour).

we all no what's going on.

the question is, how to funnel this angst in the right direction.

RanD said...

Soggy Bottom

We very much appreciate your letting us know you read us.