Thursday, September 24, 2009

Census Worker Hanged in Kentucky

The Associated Press reports on the frightening killing of a census worker in rural Kentucky. Thanks to Il Principe for the tip.

The FBI is investigating whether anti-government sentiment led to the hanging death of a U.S. Census worker near a Kentucky cemetery. The word 'fed" was scrawled on the dead man's chest, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

The body of Bill Sparkman, a 51-year-old part-time Census field worker and teacher, was found Sept. 12 in a remote patch of the Daniel Boone National Forest in rural southeast Kentucky. The Census has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Investigators are still trying to determine whether the death was a killing or a suicide, and if a killing, whether the motive was related to his government job or to anti-government sentiment. An autopsy report is pending.

That last paragraph is pretty funny. Of course they have to explore every possibility, but to me it seems extremely unlikely that someone scrawled "fed" on his chest after the guy himself committed suicide. What do you think?

Even as illustrated in town hall meetings today, there is a distinct hostility in a large segment of the population toward people who work for their government.

This fits in perfectly with some of our recent discussions of the influence people like Glenn Beck have on the kinds of folks who live in rural Kentucky. The oft-repeated claim that the federal government was going to take their guns away, which has proven to be laughably mistaken, as well as the suggestions of FEMA concentration camps and death panels for the elderly, has driven many people over the edge.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. When are rope owners going to step up and take responsibility for rope violence?

    By the way, what "kinds of folks . . . live in rural Kentucky"?

    Showing off your impressive powers of regional bigotry again?

  2. Ignorance and fear bread hatred.

    While we don’t know the television viewing habits of the attacker(s), it is safe to say the attacker was a coward by attacking an unarmed man. While the report does not say if he was armed or had a right to carry a firearm while doing his work as a consensus worker, it is a strong case where the right to carry and own a gun is warranted.

    Not only is the attacker a coward, but he or they are also pretty stupid in their anti-federal government rhetoric.

    If the attack was truly against a representative for the Federal Government, than why didn’t the attacker(s) target a representative of the Tennessee Valley Authority or attack one of the installations the TVA operates in Kentucky.

    Created by the Federal government in 1933, the TVA has helped an historically economically depressed area with jobs. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a federally owned corporation.

    Built between 1963 and 1970 the Paradise Fossil Plant located in western Kentucky on the Green River near the village of Paradise probably employs over 500 people working at this coal fired power plant.

    If the attacker was a man, instead of using his penmanship on the innocent man's chest, he should have used his penmanship by writing letters and creating a grass roots movement to challenge Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

    This career politician is a five-term senator from Kentucky and he recently made the list of the 15 most corrupt members of Congress. Sen. McConnell’s ethics issues stem primarily from (1) earmarks he inserted into legislation for clients of his former chief of staff in exchange for campaign contributions and (2) the misuse of his nonprofit McConnell Center for Political Leadership at the University of Louisville. Sen. McConnell was included in CREW’s 2007 and 2008 congressional corruption reports.

    Maybe Glenn Beck and some of his 15 second sound bite intellegence level followers can look into the help the Feds in Kentucky have done, instead of focusing on the negative all the time.

  3. Addendum- my analysis was off when I looked up Clay county. Google maps brought me to Clay, KY in western Ky and not eastern KY where Clay county is. Given time more time though, I am sure we can find some information on what kind of federal funds are flowing into this area..

  4. Even as illustrated in town hall meetings today, there is a distinct hostility in a large segment of the population toward people who work for their government.

    I have never seen any hostility toward those that work for the government displayed and I've been to several tea parties and town hall meetings.

    We are upset with the actions of Congress and the President. Isn't it interesting that comment is presented without evidence?

    has driven many people over the edge.

    Again presented without evidence, do you naturally like to slander people or do you have to work at it Sparky?

  5. I'm still trying to figure out why the census bureau is going door to door in 2009 when the census is in 2010?

  6. There's also the very real possibility that the killer's (or killers') motivation had nothing to do with politics or "right-wing hate."

  7. MikeB,

    From what I see, you're nothing more than a stilted, self important bag of gas. I suggest you seek treatment for your histrionic personality disorder treated. In the meantime, something a bit more logical as to what probably happened.

    Considering the part of Kentucky where this happened, you don't suppose there could be another motive like..........

    Southeastern Kentucky has become less favorable for marijuana growers

    By some estimates, Kentucky is still No. 2 in marijuana production, exceeded only by much larger California, but the legal and cultural climate for the crop in the state's most popular growing area has become less favorable, Bill Estep reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader.

    Estep's chief example is southeastern Kentucky pot grower J.C. Lawson, who bragged to the newspaper almost 20 years ago that he made $1 million in a few months and employed 20 people, bringing jobs and money to impoverished Clay County. "Lawson is still a symbol, but of a world and a war that is much different than 20 years ago," Estep writes. "The drug problem is worse in some ways, the war against it has escalated, and Lawson is headed to federal prison."

    When pot became big business, some local officials took payoffs to protect the trade, and "The acceptance of marijuana growing colored local justice systems, according to some authorities who thought they couldn't get a meaningful conviction in some counties," Estep reports. But for the last 10 years, the region has been part of the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, a federal designation that brings money and other resources to bear on the growers. Map shows that the HIDTA was recently expanded to include Hamilton and Washington counties in Tennessee and Letcher County, Ky., where The Mountain Eagle reported the move "should help local law enforcement agencies to secure more federal funding for the efforts to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations." Also, for the last five years, southeastern Kentucky has had a special, federally funded anti-drug program, Operation UNITE, courtesy of Rep. Hal Rogers, a subcommittee chairman on the House Appropriations Committee.

  8. VOR said, "I suggest you seek treatment for your histrionic personality disorder treated."
    I guess there's an insult in there somewhere but I couldn't quite understand the statement.

    In any case, VOR, you're worse than I am in associating this murder with the marijuana business. At least the conclusions I jumped to make some sense and have been bantered about by others. Yours as beowulf showed us are mainly being promoted by the Sipsey street gang.

  9. Yours as beowulf showed us are mainly being promoted by the Sipsey street gang.

    Which, of course, automatically makes it untrue, and clinches, beyond a doubt, that it was a Glenn Beck/Michelle Bachman/Rush Limbaugh/Easter Bunny (for all I know--he always struck me as kinda "right-wing")-inspired extremist, who can't think for himself (except, of course, his thinking that it would be a good idea to kill a census worker, despite no one--with the possible exception of the Easter Bunny--having told him to do so).

    Did I get that about right?

  10. By the way, if the credibility of a hypothesis is to be judged on the number of people speculating out loud about that hypothesis's (that's a weird looking word--try to say it three times fast) plausibility, it doesn't look too good for your "Famous 10%" notion, does it? In fact, I'm not sure yours is doing any better in that regard than mine.

  11. Wow! There should be a warning that this is a Moron Posting Zone.

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  13. Wow! There should be a warning that this is a Moron Posting Zone.

    Perhaps, Anon, but it's not very polite to say so. I'm sure that Mikeb and his occasional supporters try their honest best to make intelligent points. Some folks just aren't all that good at that.