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Sep. 24 2009 - 3:29 pm | 128 views | 2 recommendations | 42 comments

Send the body to Glenn Beck

BillSparkman_300x200Today we learn that 51-year old Bill Sparkman, a part time worker for the US Census Bureau, was found hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery with the word “fed” scrawled across his chest. The FBI is  investigating to determine if Mr. Sparkman was a victim of what they are calling “anti-government” sentiment.

While it would be inappropriate to pre-judge the motive behind the murder before the FBI finishes its work, it stretches the imagination to interpret the inscription on the dead man’s chest so as to suggest that the killer(s) fed Mr. Sparkman a good meal before ending his life.

This latest shock to the national system will inevitably lead to yet another discussion about the influence incendiary broadcasters, such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, have on the minds and hearts of those who would commit such a horrible act.

But it’s not only the radio and TV talkers.

There has always been an element of paranoia regarding census taking that has been spread by a small group of conservative leaders. Most notable among them would be Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. It was Bachmann  who, as recently as this past June, bragged about how she was going to refuse participation in the census, despite the fact that doing so is a federal crime punishable by a $5,000 fine. Her reason for breaking the law? Bachmann does not wish to assist the president in his effort to create what she charges are ‘re-education’ camps where children would be indoctrinated in the Obama government’s official philosophy. According to Bachmann, such internment camps are the direct result of the national census, as she explained in an interview on FOX News.

If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the census bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations, at the request of President Roosevelt, and that’s how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps. I’m not saying that’s what the Administration is planning to do. But I am saying that private, personal information that was given to the census bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up.
Via NonPublic.com

This, of course, is the same Michele Bachmann who used the people’s airwaves to join Sean Hannity in calling for a revolution against our government when she appeared on Hannity’s radio show.

We may never know if Rep. Bachmann’s words reached the ears of Sparkman’s killer(s).

But here is what we do know – we know that words bring consequences. We also know who the people are who make their living delivering words of hatred and intolerance – words they purposefully broadcast in order to  stir the passions of their audience.

After all, a passionate audience is a loyal audience – and a loyal audience delivers ratings and top prices in the advertising market.

Here is something else we know, although pointing it out is sure to cause a fuss.

Can anyone recall the last time a liberal cause resulted in murder?

I can hear the conservatives out there screaming, in unison, that abortion murders unborn children every day. And while I appreciate the sincerity and strength of their belief, abortion remains legal under the law of the land. Murdering doctors who deliver abortions does not. Killing federal employees – along with a bunch of  innocent  children – in a federal office building in Oklahoma, is not.

Killing a census taker because he works for the federal government is not.

Still, the hate talkers who spew their conspiracy theories over the airwaves rely upon the protections of the First Amendment as they whip up listeners to the point where those on the fringe are inspired takes matters into their own hands and bad things happen. Is this really what our Founders had in mind when they protected our freedom of speech? We know that one cannot stand up in a crowded movie theater and scream fire when there is no fire. Why? Because someone might get needlessly hurt. Yet, we allow radio and television talkers to scream fire, day in and day out, without a care for the fact that someone might get hurt.

Someone did get hurt – and it wasn’t just Mr. Sparkman. His son got hurt. His mother got hurt.

Today, Glenn Beck’s ratings will, no doubt, skyrocket as the audience tunes in to watch him defend himself. Same for Rush, O’Reilly, Dobbs, the whole bunch of them.

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.


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  1. collapse expand

    Add instigating a government employee’s death to the mounting allegations Beck might have been involved in the rape a woman in 1990- and this guy might be off the air and behind bars by this same time next week.
    I feel as if enough of the dots ( http://wp.me/sBfFK-beckrape ) have been connected to justify raising the question whether Glenn Beck had a deep seated hatred of consensual sex in 1990.
    I think we owe it to that poor woman who had her vaginal freedom allegedly taken from her in 1990. I think we owe it to her family. I think we owe it to year 1990. More importantly, I think we owe it to America- because we deserve to know the truth!!!

  2. collapse expand

    [quote]Can anyone recall the last time a liberal cause resulted in murder?[/quote]

    Leaving aside the death toll of communism and socialism in general, there is plenty of blood on liberal hands (SLA, Jim Jones, Baader-Meinhof and its ilk).. And IIRC there was a murder of an anti-abortion activist recently..

    But yeah, I guess the liberals got all killed out in the 20th century?

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      “death toll of communism and socialism in general”

      We’ll just file that under that “absurd statements of the day”

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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      Apparently I wasn’t clear that I was speaking about Americans. Further, as one who tends to fall on the more liberal side of the political equation, and not being a socialist nor a communist, I really can’t fathom what you are speaking about. You’ll notice that I never suggested that American conservatives are fascists or any other such ridiculous label. the SLA committed murder in the process of robbing a bank, Jim Jones’ murders could hardly be considered political acts nor statements (and how do you know that Jim Jones was a liberal) and since, last I checked “badder-Meinoff” was a right-wing nationalist group that couldn’t be any further from the definition of liberal ideology. I assume their “ilk” would follow the same path.
      Bottom line- what in the world are you talking about?

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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        “You’ll notice that I never suggested that American conservatives are fascists”

        Yeah that’s my job!

        In response to another comment. See in context »
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        With all due respect, Mr. Ungar , you are not being completely honest .
        I noticed how you overlooked the SLA’s murder of school superintendent Marcus Foster by using cyanide laced hollow point bullets .

        However, I’m not here to discuss history or do a body count for either side . To cite a crime like that from a long time ago takes this discussion far from context . Just the same as using the Oklahoma City bombing to support your point . McVeigh seemed to be a crazy redneck to me , but to tie the actions of a few bands of radicals together with anti-government sentiment is misleading . That , friends, is the hypocrisy I am seeing . This makes you much more like Beck than I believe you realize. Leftists are
        stoking anti-conservative hatred just as right wing nuts are stoking anti-government hatred .
        The difference is the right hates the government as opposed to the left hating fellow citizens . I have endured ridicule from so-called ‘friends’ of the liberal persuasion just for trying to remain neutral, and not supporting the left agenda.
        Is this not the result of bigotry?

        The point being, we do not know if this is an extreme right-wing crime at this time .
        The motive behind Mr. Sparkman’s apparent murder is still undetermined . It is hypocrisy to blame this crime on conservative talk show rhetoric while inciting anti-conservative sentiment. I see little difference between their rhetoric and spin such as this . That’s just stoking the same fire .

        In response to Zaid Jilani’s comment :
        I read a comment from an angry young liberal a couple days ago . He posted ,” I’m literally going to start killing conservatives soon!”
        While violence has not been a big problem in the past , and it is not as of yet ; I definitely see the animosity growing between Americans .

        That is America’s problem . We will not progress if continue to divide . We need to work together intelligently . The right-wing nuts really need to stop anti-goverment fear mongering ; which certainly wasn’t so prevalent in W’s days .
        The left does not need to resort to the same
        underhanded tactics . Your fellow Americans are not your enemies .

        Tactics of censorship and ridicule will only empower the determination of those who are the opposition.

        For the record; I am an independent/centrist/moderate who feels more and more marginalized by the left . Way to win the swing voters!

        In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        >Can anyone recall the last time a liberal cause resulted in murder?
        >>there is plenty of blood on liberal hands (SLA, Jim Jones,
        >>>(and how do you know that Jim Jones was a liberal)

        Because he walked, talked and acted as a liberal. Becuase he supported liberal politicians and they supported him. The list is longer but here’s a short list:

        Mayor George Moscone, Dianne Feinstein, Walter Mondale, First Lady Rosalynn Carter, Willie Brown, Governor Jerry Brown, ,Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally
        San Francisco Sun-Reporter publisher Dr. Carlton Goodlett

        In September 1976, Willie Brown served as master of ceremonies at a large testimonial dinner for Jones attended by Governor Jerry Brown and Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally and other political figures.[45] At that dinner, while introducing Jones, Willie Brown stated “Let me present to you what you should see every day when you look in the mirror in the early morning hours … Let me present to you a combination of Martin King, Angela Davis, Albert Einstein … Chairman Mao.”[46] Harvey Milk, who spoke at political rallies at the Temple,[47] and wrote to Jones after a visit to the Temple: “Rev Jim, It may take me many a day to come back down from the high that I reach today. I found something dear today. I found a sense of being that makes up for all the hours and energy placed in a fight. I found what you wanted me to find. I shall be back. For I can never leave.”

        In response to another comment. See in context »
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          That’s all swell, but nobody ….ever…suggested that the murders at Jonestown were politically motivated. What’s more, if you recall the Congressman that he had gunned down, was a liberal member of Congress.
          Using Jones as an example of being involved in a political murder is just stupid. Why not include every murdered on death row who might support liberal causes in their politics but shot up a bank guard during a robbery? Is that your idea of a liberal, political crime.
          I know you can better than this. At least I hope so.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
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            “how do you know that Jim Jones was a liberal”

            The point is, Jim Jones and his cult was heavily involved with various liberal politicians and favored socialist policies. They helped liberal politicians get elected, busing people to polling stations and so forth. It’s also worth remembering, Jim Jones hope of a saving grace was fleeing to the Soviet Union.

            So they were a violent left leaning group. and did intimidate political opponents with their “Red Brigade” guards. Of course, they were totally nuts, but that doesn’t change their clear political associations. That said, the fact that jones was a nutbar says nothing about the left as a whole, any more then the murder of George Tiller’s murder indicts the right.

            In response to another comment. See in context »
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        Bader-meinhoff was a far left terrorist group, aligned with Rote Armee Faktion. They saw west Germany as a re-incarnation of the Nazis, unreformed and unrepentant. They were internationalist and completely opposed to German nationalism, and believed the revival of a post war German identity was destructive. If anything, they would have preferred a pan European soviet state. To this end they wanted the west German army de-mobilized.

        Ulrike Meinhoff was an intelligent woman, who sadly was a myopic in her own views, failing to see that violent methods that she wanted to employ against the Vietnam war, west Germany and so on would only alienate the populace. If you want to learn more I recommend the movie: “The Bader-Meinhoff Komplex”

        I don’t know how you got the impression they were far right, they are more like a German version of the Weather Underground.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
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      We’re talking about the sort of groundswell of hatred that’s in this country, and during the entire Bush era, all the protesting against him never really turned violent.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Zaid, there is a groundswell happening in America, but i’m glad to say that it is not a groundswell of hatred.

        Whoever is filled with hate this year was probably filled with hate last year too.

        Most of us in America are “Live and Let Live” types, unless we are assaulted or threatened, and even then the vast majority are still cool headed problem solvers in their personal lives.

        The groundswell that is happening is an awakening to the importance of standing up for the constitution as the guarantor of our personal liberties.

        Do you not see how many people are reading the Constitution and Declaration of Independence and books dealing with the founding of the nation?

        An informed citizenry is what keeps the government from being tempted to accumulate to itself unconstitutional powers. It is an implied check and balance.

        You may be seeing some hate, but I submit to you that most of what is going on are the yells of startled people who have just been jolted awake and are worried about the future of the country.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  3. collapse expand

    I fully expect Beck to claim that this was totally wrong and that NO ONE is saying we should kill census workers, then proceed to play 10 minutes of Nazi reel footage while talking about the Census Bureau.

  4. collapse expand

    Rick, I’m going to have to disagree with you here. His body should be bifurcated, the halves bronzed, and the statues fixed permanently near Beck’s and Michele Bachmann’s homes. Great care ought be taken to make sure they have to see the statues frequently as they go about their lives.

  5. collapse expand

    “We’re talking about the sort of groundswell of hatred that’s in this country”

    And whoever killed the Cencus bureau worker was a nut and he is the hater! We need only to look at the last year to see that there hasn’t been the violence that Pelosi and her cronies are projecting.
    And why are you blaming Beck…a person who continually promotes peaceful action?
    A recent liberal cause? how about the murder of the anti-abortion activist.
    Words have consequences? How about the continual race baiting and hateful name calling?
    The “religious Liberals” hate speech is alive in well in the USA.

  6. collapse expand

    It’s sad how you can stoop down to the ideology that the actions of an individual are the at the fault of their environment. We are all responsible of our own actions. You’re loosing your good cred.

    Liberalism has turned into victimization. Even killers are victims. You search for external reasons for the cause, but ignore the internal reasons for his actions. What make the killer take that huge step to violence and murder? Instead, you play on the blaming something or someone else. The same foolish idea of blaming the gun, video games, and movies.

    If you say the FCC should silence radio if they are voicing paranoia and violence. Then we would need to silence history(as there’s lots of violence), violent movies, and media on a war. I see no difference.

    We cannot live in a society were every word has to be carefully made politically correct. Where we have to worry about affecting the 0.001% of the population that is crazy and can be triggered to murder. The basis of your argument is to silence the other 99.99% because of the 0.0001%. If you’ve studied social behavior, these crazy types can be triggered by any environment exposure. They are ticking time bombs.

    And as others have noted, and being a semi-regular listener to Beck, I have never heard him promote violence or aggression. Annoyingly he has been vocal on non-violent solutions. Agreed, his shows are dramatic and periodically adds excitement(which sometimes gets old). But show me any other show or news broadcast that does not add drama to draw viewers.

    That leads me to the key question, why do you hate Beck? Is it simply he has opposing views? His dramatic shows? By the way, no more dramatic than posing a title like “Send the body to Glen Beck”. If Beck is killed, can we send his body to you for instilling hatred?

    • collapse expand

      I might have been disturbed regarding your suggestion that I was losing my “good cred” had it not been for your later statements beginning with
      “Annoyingly he has been vocal on non-violent solutions.” Apparently, you would prefer violent solutions?
      Any FYI, I don’t hate Glenn Beck – I’ve never met him. I do hate what he says and what can result. I hate that he misleads his audience with lies rather than truth. I have no problem with disagreement – half the people I know and respect see things differently than I do. But they aren’t people who spew hatred in order to make a buck.
      Most of what Beck says is nonsense, so what the hell. Some of it is dangerous. but when he calls the President a racist who hates white people, do you see some benefit to the country in that? If so, I’d love to know what it is.
      Finally, while there are no doubt arguments you could make defending Glenn Beck, suggesting that I am “instilling hatred” because I don’t like how Glenn Beck behaves and what results from that behavior, is pretty stupid. I’d say offensive but it wouldn’t matter. Mr. Beck and his supporters, of which you are clearly one, are all about being offensive and stoking dishonest dialogue. You know, there are some really smart Conservatives out there who aren’t about the money no matter who they hurt. Why don’t you listen to Bill Bennett every now and then. The show might not be as “entertaining and dramatic” as Beck, but here’s a man who, while having different views than I might, says what he says to benefit his country- not tear it apart.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  7. collapse expand

    Like many reasonable Americans, I, too, have been alarmed by the rising level of hatred among conservatives. But I’ve also come to see, we should have expected it.

    The whole 10 years that the far right was in control of Congress and then the presidency, they remained angry. They constantly played the victim card. They controlled everything, yet were still furious.

    It shouldn’t surprise us that now they’re out of power, their rage is boiling over.

  8. collapse expand

    Respects and Condolences to the friends and family of Bill Sparkman.

    This back and forth reminds me of the scene from the “Life of Brian” where two factions of Anti-Roman Empire Jewish resistance fighters run into each other in Herods Palace and start killing each other over which group is the authentic defenders of the Jews.

    Do we really need to defame each other with charges that the political speech of those we disagree with is the root cause of murder? Really?

    If you are serious back up your allegation: If Glenn Beck is guilty of complicity in a murder, call for a suit to be filed against him in court of law and dispense with this obvious threat to a peacful society.

    Otherwise you leave the appearance of launching a gratuitous attack on a commentator with whom you disagree politically/ideologically/personally.

    Your suggestion to another reader to listen to Bill Bennett is spot on. I know that Bill wouldn’t write such a nonsensical article.

  9. collapse expand

    Hrm, as it turns out the fellow scrawled ‘fed’ on himself (upside down) and wanted folks to think he was murdered since a suicide claim wouldn’t have been paid by his life insurance.


    “Police: Census worker made death look like homicide to get money”

    Guess Glenn Beck has deep enough pockets to bribe Kentucky cops?

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    I am an attorney in Southern California, and a frequent writer, speaker and consultant on health care policy and politics. To that end, I am active member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Based in beautiful Santa Monica, California, I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to be a contributing editor to True/Slant. I've recently finished a book designed to make the health care debate understandable to the average reader, and expect it to be out in the next five months or earlier. In my 'spare time', I continue to write for television and, occasionally, for comic books.

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