Shocked and Persuaded


Separating Fact From Fiction

The Conflict Within

“Even as Islamist terrorism grabs the headlines, more familiar varieties cling stubbornly to existence. It would be a brave man willing to bet where the next attack will come from.”

This is a quote from an article titled “The Airline Bombers: Bang to Rights” in the September 12th-18th 2009 edition of The Economist ( However, given a recent and very disturbing story emanating from from a town called Big Creek in Clay County, KY this quote could easily be superimposed on the current moral and political divide in this country (; Bill Sparkman a Boy Scout leader and substitute teacher was found dead, naked, and gagged in the Daniel Boone National Forest, with a rope hung around his head and looped over a tree. The coroners believe that Mr. Sparkman was dead prior to being hung as his feet were in contact with the ground. One of the more disturbing aspects of this story is that Mr. Sparkman a part-time census field worker was found with the word “FED” written across his chest with red ink. Folks at New America Media noted that a blogger named “Hill Jill” an appalachian resident was defending her region on the Daily Kos:

“This does not strike me as a “native” crime. A native might shoot you, I won’t argue there-but they would not do the whole elaborate staged crime scene.”

This is something I would whole-heartedly agree with and having worked in Northeastern Kentucky and much of Western West Virginia I know that there are plenty of folks in this region that are pissed that they are immediately conflated with the folks in Deliverance. Yet, there is a problem here and unfortunately The Times has not deemed it worthy of sending someone to the region relying instead on AP reports. Yet, apparently the Roman Polanski story is worthy of round-the-clock editorials and in-depth coverage. Why is this so scary? Well because we need to know how many people are in this country and census workers in no way reflect the Big Brother image promulgated in this country since Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. I must wonder why the coward that killed Mr. Sparkman didn’t revolt against the Bush administration’s constant probing of our phones, emails, and if they had their way our bedrooms? Why did the coward who killed Mr. Sparkman not revolt when the 2000 election was literally stolen from the people of this country by Antonin Scalia et al.? Why did the coward who killed Mr. Sparkman not revolt when his or her taxes were used to bail out a bunch of criminals on Wall Street?

I think the reason he or she didn’t revolt is because this country has transformed from the United States of America into nothing more than a bunch of “tribes with flags”, which ironically was coined by Tahsin Bashir to describe the 22 Arab states of the Middle East and Africa ( I think if we were to lift up all the rocks surrounding the crime scene in Big Creek we would be mightily disturbed by what we find. But here in this country the truth more often than not doesn’t set you free, rather it gets you jailed, fired, or relegated to the marginal fringe. It is a shame because what happened in Clay County, KY last week is a symptom of a great sickness that appears to be spreading. It will be easier to address this issue now rather then later. This will require us to engage in thoughtful inter-state dialogue with the politicians and lobbyists locked out, because all they seem to want to stoke rather than quash divisiveness.

The lack of attention this story has received in favor of more titillating and irrelevant events is a shame but in no way surprising. Accountability is something we need to demand of our politicians and current-event purveyors alike.

Category: National News

Tagged: , ,

Leave a Reply