The latest Rasmussen Poll indicates that the vast majority of Americans are convinced that "their" government is totally unresponsive to them, their concerns, and their needs. Rasmussen found that only 21-percent of the American population agree that the U.S. government has the consent of the governed, and that 21-percent is comprised of the political class itself and liberals. Rasmussen concludes that the gap between the American population and the politicians who rule them "may be as big today as the gap between the colonies and England during the 18th century."
Indications are that Joseph Stack was sane. Like Palestinians faced with Israeli jet fighters, helicopter gunships, tanks, missiles and poison gas, Stack realized that he was powerless. A suicide attack was the only weapon left to him.
Stack targeted the IRS, the federal agency that had gratuitously ruined him. He flew his airplane into an office building occupied by 200 members of the IRS. This deliberate plan and the written explanation he left behind segregate him from deranged people who randomly shoot up a Post Office or university campus.
But Stack experienced the same frustrations and emotions as Muslims who can't take it any longer and strap on a suicide vest.
"Violence," Stack wrote, "not only is the answer, it is the only answer." Stack concluded that nothing short of violence will get the attention of a government that has turned its back on the American people.
Perhaps the turning point was the federal government's bailout of the investment banks whose reckless misbehavior diminished Americans' retirement savings for the second time in eight years. Now a former head of the most culpable bank is campaigning to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits in order to pay for the bailout. President Obama has obliged him by creating a "deficit commission."
The "deficit commission" will be used to gut Social Security, just as the private insurance health plan is paid for by cutting $500 billion out of Medicare.
It could not be more clear that government represents the interest groups that finance the election campaigns.
Conservatives used to say that Washington's power should be curtailed in behalf of state and local governments that are "closer to the people." But of course state and local governments are also controlled by interest groups.
Consider Florida, for example. In 2004 the storm surge from Hurricane Ivan did considerable damage to the Gulf Coast of the Florida panhandle. At Inlet Beach in Walton County, the surge claimed two beachfront homes and washed away enough of the high ground as to leave other homes vulnerable to the next storm.
People wanted to armor their homes with some form of sea wall. When the county gave the go ahead, two houses on the West end hired engineers who constructed a barrier made of rows of tubes 60 feet long filled with sand, each weighing about 70 tons. The sand-colored tubes were buried under many tons of white sand trucked in, and sea oats were planted. It was a perfect solution, and an expensive one -- $250,000.
Just East of the two homes, Ivan washed away a section of beach front road and left three houses built on pilings sitting on the beach. Last year government with FEMA money rebuilt the section of washed away beachfront road and armored it and two adjacent houses. The government used interlocking iron or steel panels that it drove down into the sand, leaving six to seven feet of the rusty metal above ground. Hundreds of truck loads of sand were brought in to cover the unsightly sea wall.
It didn't require a storm to wash away the loose sand and leave the ugly rusty metal exposed on the beach. The first high tide did the trick. Residents and vacationers are left with an eyesore on a beach ranked as the third most beautiful in the world.
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