Posts Tagged ‘ TX ’

Suicide Pilot a Personal Tragedy, Not Tea Party Terrorism

Below is my breaking news story published on Follow The Austin Capital Times on Twitter: @ATXCapTimes.  Follow me on Twitter: @FreemanTweets

Online speculations took flight this afternoon over the motivation for Joseph Stacks’ suicidal piloting of a small plane into a building that houses IRS offices this morning in Austin, TX. Despite a Marxist-laden rant left behind online by Stack- in which he rails against the IRS, the Catholic Church, and his wife, among others – rumors of Stacks’ affiliation with the Tea Party movement were running rampant by day’s end.

“He’s not one of ours,” Austin Tea Party co-founder Greg Holloway told The Austin Capital Times. “We’ve heard that some media outlets are trying to make an association between Mr. Stack and the tea parties. We’ve checked our records and we don’t have anyone named Joseph Stack.”

Stack’s final “manifesto” posted online reveals a personally troubled man who also seemed to have had trouble paying his taxes. The post-mortem characterization of Stack as “anti-tax” may be what pointed some left-wing pundits toward associating him with the Tea Party due to the movement’s well-known tactic of staging “tax day” demonstrations to protest big government.

Holloway says Stack’s act of extreme violence is the biggest clue that he was not a tea partier. “Violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer,”  wrote Stack before slamming his plane into an office building where as many as 200 federal tax employees worked.

“He took the law into his own hands,” Holloway said. “We’re against that. We will never use violence to force our agenda.”

That agenda, according to Holloway, is centered around five core principles: smaller government, personal responsibility, fiscal responsibility, the rule of law, and national sovreignty. Holloway cites the rule of law as another key to recognizing that Joseph Stack was not affiliated with the Tea Party movement or its ideals.

“Once a law is appropriately passed into legislation, people need to adhere to it or we slip into anarchy, and that’s never been good for any society,” said Holloway, adding, “I’m sorry for him, his family, and for anyone else hurt in the attack this morning.”

When asked what local Tea Party organizers would do if anyone espousing views like Stark’s showed up at a rally or meeting, Holloway said they would be asked to either tone it down, or leave. “There’s a difference between being disgruntled and being willing to work within the parameters of an ordered society.”

Holloway estimates current membership in the Austin Tea Party at between 2-4,000. The movement here was started in February, 2009, by Holloway’s wife, Judy, after the infamous “Santelli Rant” on CNBC. The local group’s first event was a “Tax Day” protest on April 15th, that drew more than 5,000 demonstrators.

Could Joseph Stark have been among them?

“No one I know has ever met him,” Holloway responded. “He could have gone to the grocery store, to play golf, or to a tea party rally. Who knows? We don’t know everyone that comes to rallies but we do know they’re well-behaved and unified around our common goals. We don’t know Joseph Stark, and he wasn’t involved in the development or fulfillment of our goals.”