Thursday, September 24, 2009
Left Wing Hate Can't Wait
Today "New York" magazine entered the frenzy of hating with an incredible superficial story that includes this:
Though it's too early to conclude that the man, 51-year-old Bill Sparkman, was targeted in an act of anti-government violence, that is an angle that authorities are currently looking into. And if that turns out to be the case, it wouldn't be all that surprising, considering the sheer volume of vitriol directed at the federal government and the Obama administration these days by conservative media personalities, websites, and even members of Congress.Yes, it's too early to conclude, unless your hurling hate at the right wing while invoking the spirit of Nancy Pelosi.
Mr. Sparkman's body was found hanging from a tree with "fed" scrawled on his chest. He was working with the Census part-time and was also a local teacher. Being a lifetime native of Appalachia, I can attest that their is plenty of anti-government sentiment. But, little of it is tied to left wing/right wing politics and plenty of it is tied to moonshine, drugs and other illegal stuff. Watch Robert Mitchum in Thunder Road, much of which was tour de force for Mitchum.
Indeed, I've been through Clay County, Ky driving to and from Lechter County where my ex's cousins grew up and her brother went through alcohol rehab to avoid jail tie for DUI. Those of us with common sense know you don't wander off the beaten path in those hills, literally. Trekking through the woods and accidentally coming across a still, marijuana patch or meth lab means almost certain death. Many bodies disappear into the depths of an old coal mine. Unfortunately, census work requires going places I would avoid.
More knowledgeable and thoughtful people realize that Clay County (and Appalachia) is far from your typical metropolitan area.
A census worker found hanged from a tree with the word "fed" scrawled on his chest met his end in a corner of Appalachia with an abundance of meth labs and marijuana fields - and a reputation for mistrusting government that dates back to the days of moonshiners and "revenuers."The article also points out previous incidents in which census workers were attacked.
At this point, police cannot say whether Bill Sparkman's death was a homicide, an accident or even a suicide.
Appalachia - particularly eastern Kentucky - has long had an image of being wary of and sometimes hostile toward strangers. Incidents such as the September 1967 shooting of Canadian filmmaker Hugh O'Connor - who was gunned down by an enraged landowner while making a documentary on poverty in nearby Letcher County - have done nothing to dispel such notions.
University of Pittsburgh sociologist Kathleen Blee, co-author of a book about Clay County, says that when she heard of Sparkman's death, she initiallywondered whether he had stumbled across a marijuana plot.
Pot growers seeking to avoid federal forfeiture statutes often plant their crops on national forest land and have even been known to booby-trap plots with explosives and rattlesnakes.
In 2000, a Milwaukee-area man was charged with battery for allegedly trying to shove a 74-year-old census worker down a flight of stairs. And in 2002, a Sacramento businessman was sentenced to a year in prison for violently dragging a 68-year-old widow off his property as she tried to explain the count's importance.Those attacks must have been the work of left wing haters, especially the one in the heart of liberalism, California, as Bush was president then.
A very strange group, the left wing haters. They profess to hate hate and to want to stomp it out. But, they spew hate at every opportunity.
P.S. "Thunder Road" is a must see movie. I watched it in the theater and at the drive-in, plus on DVD, enough times to proudly proclaim I've watched it several times more than any other movie. The theme song is a classic, and, yes, that is Robert Mitchum singing.
No one is cooler than Robert Mitchum. One of the first popular songs I memorized. And, I've driven the actual roads on which this story occurred.
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