Send the Body To Glenn Beck!


Matt Welch eagerly awaits mea culpas (ha!) from those who blamed the suicide of Bill Sparkman on Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, Robert Taft, and Father Coughlin. A few blogs to watch in the coming days:

If conservative politicians and opinion leaders keep stoking fears about the government using census data to steal from or perhaps even round up law-abiding citizens, I am concerned that mentally unstable individuals will commit further acts of violence against census-takers next year. Republicans should condemn the hatemongers and make clear that the census is not only permitted, but required under the Constitution.


"No Suicide: That's the one thing we know for certain now in the case of the Kentucky lynching….But the most worrying possibility - that this is Southern populist terrorism, whipped up by the GOP and its Fox and talk radio cohorts - remains real. We'll see."

Andrew Sullivan

The gruesome lynching of this Census worker seems to bear a disturbing similarity to some of the worst hate crimes committed across this country. Regardless of what the motive for the killing may have been, why would a murderer(s) take such pains to so blatantly convey anger, fear, and vitriol towards a Census employee? Perhaps because some on the right have created an impression that Census employees are terrifying.

Earlier this summer, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) waged a high-profile, wildly-dishonest campaign against the Census.


Others, namely the type to kill a Census worker and string up his body as message to the government, may call it a retraining camp run by the "Feds."

This is the kind of violent event that emerges from a culture of paranoia and unsubstantiated attacks.

Huffington Post

From this profile of the cancer survivor and volunteer, it appears suicide is unlikely. We'll find out. But at some point, unhinged hostility to the federal government, whipped up by the Becks, can become violence. That's what Pelosi was worried about.

Andrew Sullivan

Send the body to Glenn Beck…Is it possible that the time has come for the FCC to consider exactly what constitutes screaming fire over the publicly owned airwaves? And what if Mr. Sparkman's murderer(s) is never found? How many other lunatics will be emboldened to make their own anti-government statement as the voices of Beck, Limbaugh and Dobbs echo in their ears?

Nobody ever intended our public airwaves to be turned over to irresponsible voices. Maybe the time has come for the FCC to worry a bit less about wardrobe malfunctions and a whole lot more about those who would use our airwaves to make a name for themselves at the expense of the public they are suppose to serve–particularly when the expense comes in the form of blood.


Back in September, The Washington Post reported that in Kentucky "Residents of impoverished Clay County say most people harbor no resentment for agents of the federal government, and they're baffled by Sparkman's apparent killing." What a bunch of hillbilly rubes! A week after the suicide, from his apartment in Washington, DC, Atlantic blogger and forensic investigator Andrew Sullivan had the case almost cracked, writing that "Suicide does not seem to me plausible, but motives for the murder are still under investigation."

Allahpundit has more here, with a post that links to Jesse Walker's terrific piece on the paranoid center.

NEXT: When Cultures Clash

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  1. Dude, this should totally be post of the year. Awesome.

  2. It's too bad the Census has occurred under Democratic presidents the last two times. I'd have been curious to know what the conservative complaint about the Census would have been under conservative majorities.

    1. There is a conservative complain about the Census?

      I have never heard one.

      In fact the only complaint i can remember was when Clinton wanted to use statistical analysis rather then a head a count. I don;t know who complained about could have been conservatives but that is not a complaint about the Census. It is a complaint on methodology.

      1. As soon as Obama took over (Jan) he announced he is moving the Census to the white house and out of the state dept, during the campaign he made mention that the census has to change, because he and some others believe it does not include enough poor and homeless.

        The way I see it the mathematicians at the census bureau should use math and science, not politics, to try to count people. But apparently science is on the outs nowadays.

        1. Census is conducted out of the Commerce Department.

        2. It was out of the commerce dept, the state dept has nothing to do with the census and never has had anything to do with it.

          The census is a necessary function of a republic. As such, with redistricting and redistribution of representation at stake it is inevitable that there are political issues to be taken account with it. While the Clinton administrations desire to use statistical analysis could be supported by a rational argument that it could improve the data, nothing the current administration has done amounts to anything other than providing a route for pure manipulation of the census for political purposes.

    2. The 1990 census was under a Republican president, nimrod.

      1. and the 2000 census was under Clinton.

        1. Shit, thought you were responding to corningm not Paul

      2. 2000=Clinton, current census=Obama, Dimrod

  3. "But at some point, unhinged hostility to the federal government, whipped up by the Becks, can become violence. That's what Pelosi was worried about."

    That also happens to be what our national anthem is about. And King George III was worried about that too, so Mama Bear Pelosi can choke on her alligator tears.

    1. It's also what our founding fathers feared when they agreed Congress should have the power to suspend habeas in times of rebellion.

      1. Bring it on.

      2. Nice dodge. The reality is that the left is guilty of loose talk about insurrection and (let's be honest) treason. The facts have come out and they have an obligation to walk this one back. They need to be dinged until they take up that obligation.

        And yes, when the right goes overboard, they need to do the same. But that isn't the case now and we shouldn't be moving off what is the main point, loose talk of insurrection and treason by the Left.

    2. But those Pelosi tears... they are soooo yummy and sweet.

      1. Yes, but I hate it when my Battali cookbooks call for Pelosi tears to season a dish. Sends the cost of reproducing a Babbo meal through the roof. Might as well book a table there and air tix to get there plus hotel.

        1. If only there were a way to collect Pelosi's sweet, sweet tears without all that muss and fuss...

          I'm thinking some sort of inversion harness, a bucket of raw onions, and an Ayn Rand reading festival... but, dammit, Pelosi wouldn't do that voluntarily.

          Unless it was For The Children.

          1. She still has tear ducts? I thought they were fused shut?

  4. There'll be nothing to watch for. The blogospheric version of the "lie big, retract small" policy in Real Journalism is "every day its own lie." This bullshit served its social need, and they've moved on.

    Unless they can find the right "but still" to make another team-building exercise out of this (the "corporate/police conspiracy for profit/Glenn Beck" spin is undiscouraged but unofficial), it's done.

  5. Andrew Sullivan: "Is it possible that the time has come for the FCC to consider exactly what constitutes screaming fire over the publicly owned airwaves?"

    Wow, is this guy serious? And you are worried about the Glen Beck's of the world?

    1. He would seem to be more at home in his native UK based on comments like this.

      1. We'd prefer if you kept him though.

        1. He runs out of waivers in 2011. Assuming no changes to U.S. immigration laws, you're going to get him back.

          1. I'll front the postage.

    2. Yeah, I used to actually read Andrew's blog. Mainly because he detested Bush and the neocons. I didn't realize what a POS he actually is.

      1. Funny, I used to read his blog when he loved Bush and the neocons.

        Then he went crazy.

        1. Got PO'd when Bush signed the Defense of Marriage Act. Then he went over to the Dark Side.

          1. Bill Clinton signed the DoMA.

            Bush's sin was expressing the belief that marriage should be limited to opposite-sex couples. Legislatively, Bush did not nothing on the issue.

  6. Hey, Michael: Thanks for not linking this or this. I owe you beers sometime, buddy . . .

    1. Rest easy. When I saw the first link on Drudge, I went to your site first. Shoeleather at its finest!

  7. Say what you want about Andy, but he's not afraid to swallow his pride and admit when he's wrong, and give a detailed explanation as to why.


    1. You had me going there for a second...

      1. Is there a reason why he should apologize? DOn't you have anything better to do than track the transgressions of others?

        1. A reason he should apologize? Other than the fact he claimed his ideological opponents are accomplices to murder? No reason I can think of. None whatsoever.

        2. Apparently not. And YOU, Ray, apparently don't have anything better to do than to tell us all we should find something better to do. Who's more pathetic?

          It's as simple as this: If they're willing to go to such lengths to lie, I'm willing to make the same effort to tell the truth.

        3. He should apologize for being a shit-guzzling fuck-bag.

          1. No, no, you mean fuck-guzzling shit-bag...

            1. bag-guzzling shit-fuck?

        4. Since dousing himself in gasoline and setting himself on fire in the Rose Garden would be insufficient apology for even half of his mendacity, no, there's no reason that he should try.

    2. What are you talking about? Sullivan LOVES to swallow.

      1. I can vouch for that.

    3. And at the same time:


      WTF, sullivan. WTF.

      1. always leave a way out when damning someone. in case you are wrong. right andy?

        1. How gay.

  8. I am totally convinced that Beck is dumb as the day is long! LOL


    1. Only 24 hrs dumb? Why so sympathetic?

  9. "No Suicide: That's the one thing we know for certain now"

    I just love it when liberals are "certain".

    1. They're just as certain as the folks in the Bush administration who "knew" where Saddam was storing the WMDs.

    2. Notice Malkin's formulation: "pointed his finger" or "immediately fingered." I said the "possibility" remained real and that "we'll see." How can you finger someone when you simultaneously say we do not yet know what happened for sure?

      Jesus, what a dishonest prick.

      1. Jesus was a dishonest prick? Anyway, what's that got to do with Malkin being a douchebag.

        Sorry, Choad was playing Literal Day today, and the antibiotics haven't kicked in yet.

  10. Funny how quiet these people are when some unhinged anti-war guy kills, like the Fort Hood killer or the guy who killed the Arkansas recruiter.

    1. Nobody was quiet about it.

    2. They weren't quiet at all; they were using it as an argument for gun control.

      You've missed the point: liberals see tragedies as opportunities. It's a very positive and healthy attitude for life.

      1. well, thanks for staying on topic

  11. I wonder if any of them have considered that maybe he felt like a tool of the oppressive government thus leading him to suicide?

    Just a thought.

  12. Liberal means never having to say you're sorry. I said that to Erich Segal before he wrote Love Story about me, but he got it wrong.

    1. We love you, Pope Albert! May you never die in a limousine or plane crash, the better that You may anoint the noggins of the heathen nonbelievers! We are not worthy to lick your armpits!

        1. Death to the outliers! Hang, then burn, those who doubt Me! For I am The Way, The Truth, and The Slayer of ManBearPig!

  13. You can always count on Moynahan to be petty and to never allow a transgression to go unanswered. Isn't it a little immature to gunnysack all of your problems? Wouldn't it be more grown-up and more productive to deal with subsidies and other forms of government waste than to play na-na poo-poo with fellow journalists who don't quite tow the line for the "free market"?

    1. If you people are going to act like jackasses and assume that anyone who disagrees with you politically is capable of murder or at best encouraging murder, then yeah, you are going to be called out on it.

      If you don't like being called out, shut the fuck up once in a while.

      1. I think you've mistaken me for someone else. I am not part of "you people"

    2. "tow the line"

      Oh no, here we go again...

      1. indeed. Keep it up

    3. It's tow the lion, you faggot retard-fucker.

      1. but if he hollers, let 'em go.

      2. With apologies to George W. Bush, I hate your freedom.


  14. Well, sometimes you have to say you're sorry. Although I had my fingers crossed when I spoke to Goldwater...

    1. That was supposed to be a reply to "Al Gore"'s first post.

      Fucking worthless threaded comments. That's it, Welch, there's no way I'm buying your fucking McCain book now!

      1. Me neither, evah!

  15. This just in ... Sullivan posts to the story confirming the suicide, yet offers no comment, then retorts to the oh-so-convenient Michelle Malkin rather than fessing up to his hysterical leap in concluding that a census worker's murder might mean tougher FCC standards. This is classic Sullivan. He will never really apologize. Rather, he will make some grand and salutary gesture befitting a "true" journalist admitting his assumption was incorrect and hasty, while at the same time making a broad statement that his suicide nevertheless proves his original point. Had the bilious screeds of Beck and Bachmann not been present in the ether(net), this tragedy, whose particulars still revolved around provincial resentment of "The Fed", never would have occurred. So Sullivan can have his cake and eat it too. As he always does.

    1. He is absolutely the most loathsome dellusion person writing in any major publication today. It is a really sad reflection on the Atlantic that they haven't long since fired him. Instead, they let him rant and rave his dellusions every day. Honestly, it is getting a bit exploitive. Sullivan clearly has some serious mental problems. And the Atlantic is just enabling him and preventing him from getting the help he obviously needs.

      1. Pffft. I'm sure you were just fine with Sullivan when he was a pro-Bush lunatic.

        1. Not me. I thought he was a vacuous gasbag during the Bush years too. (He had about three weeks of lucidity when he was outraged at torture, then he swung over to lunacy again.)

        2. He was never obsessed with Bush's vagina. Had he been pedling theories that Bush fathered Dick Cheney's children, I would have called him a loon then.

          And I was never okay with Sullivan. I always he was a nasty little shit even when I agreed with him. He was always nasty but he was never insane like he is now.

          1. "Had he been pedling theories that Bush fathered Dick Cheney's children, I would have called him a loon then."

            Obviously. You're a Bush-loving twit.

            1. I have to admit I'm pretty fond of bush, or a lack there of.

              Wait, are we talking about the same thing?

            2. When all you have is an Obama, every problem starts to look like a Bush.

              1. I like it.
                You should have a blog, or something.
                On the internet.

      2. Are you sure he's the most loathsome? Jeez, that's a lot of hostility you've got there.

    2. He is like Beck on South Park. "I'm not saying Wendy Testaburger blows the entire football team after school, I'm just asking is she the biggest whore in school history? I'm just trying to make you think and ask 'Y'."

  16. Wow, what a shock. Andrew Sullivan was not only the most hysterical, but also the most spectacularly wrong.

    1. He probably thought the guy knew something about Trig's parenthood. Sullivan will can never forgive those who have the vaginal orgasm he so desparately craves. Fucking loon.

      1. HA HA HA-Sullivan the gynocology czar!

  17. this is false! Curse you death-dealing orangites.

  18. This gentleman obviously killed himself because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  19. Not surprisingly, HuffingtonPost has turned off the comments to that article linked above because of this revelation. Evidently they are too gutless to let commenters point out to them how spectacularly fucking wrong they were when they accused their own ideological opponents of inciting murder. What fucking hypocrisy.

    1. Hypocrisy, nope.
      Dishonesty, yep.

  20. sighted on Randi Rhodes' site shortly after the news broke:

    rememberearth Moderator

    Post subject: Re: The inevitable has happened. . . violence.

    Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:49 pm

    the hate speech has to come to a screeching halt right now! this is
    the manifestation yet again of the nutter punditry!

  21. "Nobody ever intended our public airwaves to be turned over to irresponsible voices. Maybe the time has come for the FCC to worry a bit less about wardrobe malfunctions and a whole lot more about those who would use our airwaves to make a name for themselves at the expense of the public they are suppose to serve.."

    This is exhibit A in the case of why the FCC should not have ownership of the airwaves. Talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh are not public servants and should not have to worry about tailoring their message because it offends the sensibilities of some thin-skinned ideologues who evidently think accusing individuals of incitement to murder is a public service.

    1. Don't you know that the 1st Amendment is meant only to protect good speech?

  22. Now that these fucking clowns have been proven so spectacularly wrong, rather than apologize, they are insulting the KY State Police and are making hillbilly jokes about the fine citizens of my native KY. Talkingpointsmemo is full of such comments, as are other left wing cesspools like the ragingly anti-semtic Daily Kos. So much for the famed tolerance of the left.

    1. They are also all geographically, historically and culturally confused by placing Kentucky in the "South".

      1. It *was* a slave state until 1865.

        1. So was New Jersey.Your point being?

          1. Not in 1865 it warn't.

        2. It was also a UNION slave state during the CIVIL WAR, just like Delaware & Missouri, neither of which are "Southern". Throw in West Virginia for good measure (also not "Southern").


    2. I would instead make lubrication jokes about the KY State Police.

      1. I hear they use Astroglide.

    3. They should lay off KY. Not everyone has the privilege of living in a shangri la like Detroit, exquisitely managed by liberal politicians.

    4. They didn't check the body for thermite. Ergo, they didn't do their job.

  23. "publicly owned airwaves"

    God, deliver us from this kind of stupidity.

    1. "publicly owned airwaves"

      Another reason to wish Herbert Hoover had been aborted.

      1. Oh, if someone only had a time machine...

      2. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. His dam and vacuum cleaners are splendid.

        1. Mmm... baby soup stock.

        2. Yes, but the fucker hoovered the tamales and the bogarted my joint.

  24. The ONLY things any census taker needs to know:

    How many people live in one dwelling.

    That's it. That's what I'm telling him/her when they show up to do the head count - how many heads are under my roof.

    1. The Siamese twins. We, we couldn't afford the surgery. Pelosicare hadn't happened yet.

      Just fucking with you. You're absolutely correct.

      1. My fetish is Siamese quintuplets. Unfortunately, they have to be computer-generated.

    2. Ditto. That wad of paper they send- they can forget it.

  25. It should be noted that the "fire in a crowded theater" nugget of wisdom and cliched caveat to free speech the aforementioned piece references was conceived by a man who also endorsed forced sterilization of "imbeciles".

    1. Now they just want to abort the "imbeciles" before they're born.That's "Progress" for ya.

    2. Liberals love to talk about their love of free speech, yet are the ones most likely to protest on college campii when anyone right-of-center shows up for a speech... not to mention their fetish of wanting to control radio, TV, and the internet.

      "Fuck the First Amendment! We're the only ones who deserve it!"

        1. Campuses. Campage.

          Sorry, my plurals am not so much good now. Either too much coffee, or not enough.

    3. I once watched Christopher Hitchens begin a speech by shouting "Fire!" in the theater. For all his faults, that was pure awesome.

      1. If it's a crime to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater, Michael Stipe of R.E.M. should be arrested every time he performs "The One I Love."

    4. Fire in the theater is a seriously lame gotcha.

      In my experience, a fire alarm in public places rarely goes heeded because most of the time no fire is anywhere.

      When someone yells fire people look around. If there is no fire, they act like it didn't happen. If their seat is melting they panic.

      1. Warty,

        Thanx 4 pointing out that Hitchens employs this in his monologue. Good for him. And agreed, he's correct on this one.

  26. He only killed himself because he was afraid Sarah Palin would be elected President!!!! It's Sarah Palin's fault!!


    1. Just one? (scribbles note to reptile alien controllers about QA checking)

  27. BTW, threadjack!!!!

    Here is an excerpt from Wegman's 2006 social network analysis of temperature reconstruction, annotated with links to the searchable archive of CRU emails:


    1. Apparently the Competetive Enterprise Institute has filed a FOIA suit against NASA over the GRU scandal.

    2. http://limitedmodifiedhangout......stick.html

      One of the interesting questions associated with the 'hockey stick controversy' are the relationships among the authors and consequently how confident one can be in the peer review process. In particular, if there is a tight relationship among the authors and there are not a large number of individuals engaged in a particular topic area, then one may suspect that the peer review process does not fully vet papers before they are published. Indeed, a common practice among associate editors for scholarly journals is to look in the list of references for a submitted paper to see who else is writing in a given area and thus who might legitimately be called on to provide knowledgeable peer review. Of course, if a given discipline area is small and the authors in the area are tightly coupled, then this process is likely to turn up very sympathetic referees. These referees may have coauthored other papers with a given author. They may believe they know that author's other writings well enough that errors can continue to propagate and indeed be reinforced....

  28. I think you meant to say "blamed the murder of", not "blamed the suicide of"... 🙂

    Let's not give them the idea that they can now blame his suicide on listening to Glenn Beck, although I could see that as a possibility eventually.

  29. Here's what I posted on Brad Friedman's blog on September 25th. Friedman also featured that poster blaming dozens of conservatives figures and organizations for Sparkman's hanging:


    It's amazing, Brad, the way you didn't let the facts get in the way of your seething hatred.

    You almost made it, though --- you provided your readers with relevant details mitigating the popular assumption that Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann were puppet masters working the hands of a banjo-playing murderer. But then you either figured you had to keep your leftist bonafides intact, or felt your head about to explode if you failed to somehow blame the mainstream right for the tragic death. So you puked out "With all that in mind, however..." just in time.

    Just like with the 2007 incident in Jena, LA (in which the outrage was nooses hung from a tree after five black teens kicked a white boy unconscious rather than the actual attack), the 2000 suicide of Raynard Johnson (which Jesse Jackson, the NAACP, and the SPLC alleged was a "lynching" despite thorough investigation showing no foul play), and the 2000 murder of a young gay man by his stepfather that was used to smear Dr. Laura Schlessinger, people like you megaphone accusations at your enemies with flimsy evidence, but meekly mumble mea culpas when they are merited (if at all).

    More troubling than your blinding partisanship is the notion folks like you promote that somehow there is something immoral with plainly stating the truth if it will set off some unknown mentally-disturbed individual. As a previous poster wrote, there is a foundation of truth to what Bachmann said about abuse of Census information, and it's a fact that the surveys are more intrusive than the Constitution dictates. Should she not state those facts because some redneck might kill a Census taker? That makes about as much sense as saying blacktivists shouldn't say there are racist cops (hello, Van Jones!) because some unbalanced black man might shoot one ... or five.

  30. One of the problems with modern "left vs. right" politics is that journalists on either side will ignore the failings of their guy to live up to their expectations, i.e. Obama's continuance of the WOD and expansion of the war in Afghanistan (the left) and Bush's general expansion of government (the right) and will look elsewehere for something to say.
    Will Keith Olberman, Chris Matthews, et al ever stop talking about Bush-Cheney long enough to find any fault with BHO?

  31. p.s. Does anybody seriously believe that the black helicopter/world government-fearing, far-right lunatic fringe would take out their anti-government rage on a census taker? Should the janitors at my local Social Security Administration building be afraid?

    1. No, but they should get honest jobs.

      1. They might have the most honest jobs at SSA!

        1. If they work for the government, they aren't honestly employed.

          Doesn't mean they should be killed... just fired.

    2. The conspiracy figured out a long time ago that rainbow helicopters are more effective.

  32. In 50 years, the Left will be convinced that RFK was killed by a Rush Limbaugh listener named Simon Simon.

    1. Well, they've already convinced themselves JFK was assassinated by a rabid right-winger named Lee Harvey Oswald.

      1. And the Soviet Union was a right-wing empire.

        1. It was. It was CONSERVATIVE.

          1. I really shouldn't have written 1984.

  33. In 50 years, the Left will be convinced that RFK was killed by a Rush Limbaugh listener named Simon Simon.

    1. It won't take that long.

    2. It won't take that long.

    3. Because their show got cancelled? San Diegans loved them, and they loved San Diego. Say it ain't true!

  34. "Bush's general expansion of government"

    Look, SOFL, if you think Obama isn't expanding government, you need to retype that post.

    1. I didn't say Obama wasn't expanding government, of course he is. My point was about things Obama has done that the left normally would criticize a Republican for doing such as continuing the WOD and the War on Terror.

      1. True, but both libs and cons justify their expansions of government and spending with the time-honored "it's okay if WE do it" excuse.

    2. Whenever someone claims GWB "expanded government", I ask for specific examples and generally get a blank look in return - as in, "Well, it's so OBVIOUS that I don't have to know what I'm talking about!"

      In 1942 FDR created the Office of Censorship, that officially placed government censors in newsrooms across the country. The only reason the government stopped reading cables being sent overseas is that there got to be too darn garsh many of them. And in the '60s if you attended an antiwar rally there's a good chance that the hippie next to you was an FBI agent. To a large extent Bush didn't "expand government": the left started telling us about what government was already doing and blaming Bush for it.

  35. Now if only these retarded fetuses would commit suicide.

    1. Are you suggesting...abortion? Naughty boy! Naughty.

  36. Sullivan's blog is pure garbage anymore. I remember the good old days when he was focusing on the issues at hand rather than trashing Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. I hardly consider those two significant opposition but he seems to think their very existance is a threat to the self proclaimed conservative's hero, Barack Obama. The damn Daily Kos is more interesting anymore!

    1. The guy no longer even has the sense to realize he comes off as a raving lunatic when he talks about Sarah Palin and her son.

    2. I blame Sarah Palin's uterus

    3. I blame Sarah Palin's uterus

  37. if this was a suicide, is it possible that working for the federal government can create so much self loathing that they should be given psychiatric counseling? I know, as a tax payer, I do.

  38. Fantastic post. Especially the Andrew Sullivan excerpts. He is a demonstrably hysterical and malicious person.

  39. I sure hope no one is holding their breath waiting for those apologies.

  40. Don't forget Mad King Charles of LGF who thinks he doesn't have to apologize because he hedged his bets with "maybe" and "it appears"

    1. What the fuck happened to him? He has becoming a total douchebag over the course of the year.

      1. Same thing that happened to Jim Jones. Too much of a prima donna to deal with the possibility of being wrong about anything, so he's decided his little patch of the internet doesn't need any outsiders questioning him any more. Sad to see that a man who has done so much in the cause of freedom fall so far, but as owner of his servers it is his right. I only hope LGF doesn't end up like the Heaven's Gate did. Funny how ideas that were started as entertaining self-mockery can take on a life of their own among the faithful, but I still blame the faithful for their rejection of critical thinking more than the charismatic demagogues who lead them around.

  41. The same way there were no mea culpa's for the Duke lacrosse team lynch mob - you ain't gonna see them in this case either...

    NEVER let the facts get in the way of a good down home prejudice!

  42. NEVER let the facts get in the way of a good down home prejudice!

    Or the opportunity to spread some good ole left wing hate.

  43. Actually, Andy Sullivan is about to break a big story: the dead census worker is the father of Trig Palin. Yep, it takes a constant effort to see the delusional conspiracy theory in front of one's face!

  44. In the 2000 census I worked as a census taker doing ridge walking in the rural Appalacia to find residents that were either not known (walking down to old structures with no road to see if anyone lived there and/or trying to get neighbors to verify noone lived ther - most were uninhabited hunting cabins) or else which had refused to file their census form. And there were alot of these. I had whole rural towns that had more or less all engaged in group rebellion and refused to file. I personally had no threats of violence against my person, but a fellow census worker did have a shotgun pulled on him and another had dogs sicced on him. It never occured of me to blame Glenn Beck; the simple fact that I appeared to be a tresspasser and or a Fed seemed to me explain the problem.

    Distrust of federal authorities in extreme rural areas is not a recent phenomenom whipped up by talk radio, but dates back to the introduction of the Federal income tax and later Prohibition. This shouldn't be news to anyone. I've got a rural background myself, and the reason I got the job was my ability to not get shot in such situation while still getting cooperation. In my opinion, the main source of the complaints against the census have to do with several lies that in your census taker training you are told to make:

    1) That the person needs to volunteer all the information on the census form. This is a lie. The census bureau will accept as complete a form with only minimal identifying information. The fact that census takers pressure residents to give complete information and reveal many private details to a stranger make many naturally reticent rural people nervous. Heck, it would make me nervous.
    2) The census taker is required to lie and say that only 1 in 6 people get the long form. This is actually false. On average only 1 in 6 residents get the long form, but in rural areas with low population density the census does much higher sampling rates - as much as 1 in 2. So as a result, many rural residents simply throw out their forms completely unfilled.
    3) Most importantly, the long form contains extensive questions about the person's sources of income, the value of their property, the amount of savings that they have and so forth. The rural resident tends to believe that this is a sign you are covertly working for the IRS and that you are a 'revenuer'. The census bureau lacks the authority to compell the resident to reveal this information, but the census taker is required to lie (by inference or omission) to the resident and say that they do. This threat of force is in no way welcome by independent minded rural people that in some ways are natural libertarians.
    4) Other than income, the single biggest source of a problem was the extensive set of questions where the person was supposed to identify there race. Very few people wanted to do that. I could empathize. I'd refused to answer the question myself, and forced the instructor to publically state what he thought my race was. I had one individual who said to me, "I threw out the form because my mom is white and my dad is black, and I couldn't answer the question." I told him to write what he thought he was next to 'Other', and he wrote, "Black & White" I said that seemed ok to me.

    I got a lot of long forms filled. I did it by disobeying my training and not lying to people. I told the truth, and they trusted me. I very much hope that they were right to do so, because I was putting my word out there based on my faith in the Federal government. I was so successful that they wanted to send me into urban ghettos and crack houses (literally) to get forms filled out there. I declined. I think I can handle a nervous mountain man with a shot gun. I had no desire to interogate a prostitute with AIDS that was high on crack.

  45. Amateurs!

  46. When wrong, Sully ignores.

  47. OK, so maybe the facts were wrong, but the narrative was right.

  48. Charles Johnson

  49. This is so funny! When they found this guy strung up, every wacked liberal out there screamed it was Beck's fault. Clearly he 'incited anti-government extremists to brutally slaughter an innocent census man.' I knew this story was bogus, 'cause even extremist rednecks are smart enough to know that the FBI are very good at their jobs, and that they could face murder charges. More likely tar-and-feather than murder. Turns out, this guy wanted his family to benefit from the insurance, and sharpie markered "Fed" on himself for legitimacy. Then, he hung himself. Now, liberals look like..... (drumroll).... morons!

  50. I, for one, welcome Andrew Sullivan's new preoccupation with Bill Sparkman (although I sympathize with the pain this will undoubtedly cause Mr. Sparkman's friends and family). At least it will get him off the subject of Sarah Palin's womb for a while.

  51. Why does anyone on the right even read that fool anymore? Who cares what a person of his limited intelligence and horrible taste has to say? For that matter, who would pay good money to read what is printed in the magazine which employs him? They would have to pay me to accept a copy!

    This guy and the character at LGF? Really, who cares? Given the Indo Bendo we have in the WH and his coterie of criminal associates, and what they're trying to do to the country, these two leftie clowns are not even chump change.

    Ignore them and let them keep howling at the moon alone.

  52. ... and let me add: Rachel Maddow on MSNBC was practically wetting her pants hoping that she would accuse the right wing of murder.

  53. Clearly any mention of Andrew Sullivan is occaision for abuse. Carry on.

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