Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sometimes you have to wonder . . .

. . . about the Sullivanesque lack of self-awareness over at Little Green Footballs, where Charles Johnson reacts to Dan Rieh's post and my link to Dan by declaring that I'm "right on board with the 'ghey child predator' murder theories," provoking classic LGF comments like these:

5 Sharmuta
Sat, Oct 3, 2009 5:12:55pm
Riehl needs professional help. This is beyond depraved.

6 Cathypop
Sat, Oct 3, 2009 5:14:46pm
How dare this POS do this to an innocent man.
Pay-back is hell and I hope Riehl enjoys hell. . . .

9 Guanxi88
Sat, Oct 3, 2009 5:18:32pm
I said before - this fellow, and guys like him, will do anything in their desperation to remove the blood they see on their hands. Anything.

14 Killgore Trout
Sat, Oct 3, 2009 5:19:43pm
re: #7 Conservative Moonbat
I'm guessing that story might not be true. I think it's just an effort to discredit him.

At which point, the overwhelming irony caused my eyes to roll completely out of my head. Readers who've followed the story of the Little Green Meltdown can only laugh at the thought of Killgore Trout pretending to be appalled by "an effort to discredit" someone.

Dan Riehl is a friend I've worked with often, and disagreed with from time to time. I linked his original "child predator" post last weekend, but of course, I linked Sully's "Southern populist terrorism" post, too. If I only linked things I agreed with 100%, I'd mostly be linking myself. Blogospheric onanism is not a productive commercial traffic-enhancement strategy.

Remember that Dan's done a lot of true-crime blogging (he made a big splash with the Natalie Holloway case) so he's not a rookie in this regard. His flame-baiting with Pandagon might have been unnecessarily provocative, but I don't tell Dan Riehl what to do. (In case you haven't figured it out yet, nobody tells Dan Riehl what to do.)

There is no evidence of any child predation by Bill Sparkman, but Dan's interest in that angle caused him to spot a Tampa Tribune story crammed with gaydar-tingling hints that "Fe Fe" -- the nickname Sparkman picked up in his native Florida -- was gay. And so I linked Dan's post and the Tampa story and said:
[T]he speculation that Sparkman was gay has been bouncing around all over the 'sphere for days. Dan e-mailed to mention this to me, and I replied that many people in Clay and Laurel counties suspected that, at the very least, Sparkman had homosexual tendencies. NTTAWWT.
As I told Dan, the problem is that we have no idea whether Sparkman's sexuality (whatever it was, and all I know is what people in Kentucky told me) had anything to do with his disappearance and death. It might be relevant or not.
Because a good reporter doesn't burn his sources, I'm not going to get any further into what I heard in Kentucky or who I heard it from. But if the Associated Press or some Kentucky media outlet decides to jump on that angle, I've done enough background preparation that I'm not going to be scooped too bad or for very long.

What fascinates me is the intense desire to control the "narrative frame" of this story in terms of political symbolism. Left-wingers like MyDD's David Empsall pushed so hard to turn Sparkman's death into "Lynching in Lower Glennbeckistan" -- some kind of feral right-wing madness unleashed by Michelle Bachmann, Eric Cantor, talk radio and Fox News -- that I was inspired to drive more than 500 miles to Clay County and spend three days checking it out.

As a result of that trip, I can report that what might be called the consensus view of well-informed area residents is that some local drug operator -- a pot grower, a meth cooker or a dealer -- was most likely to have killed Sparkman.

At the hotel in London, Ky., where I stayed (after checking out of the Best Western in Manchester because I couldn't get the Wi-Fi connection to work), there were two marked Kentucky State Police patrol cars in the parking lot, as well as an unmarked SUV with government tags and all kinds of radio aerials.

The night clerk at the hotel was himself a former law-enforcement official, retired on medical disability, who explained to me that these KSP officers weren't in town for the murder investigation. Rather, they were participating in the annual crackdown on the local marijuana harvest. (See this 2007 USA Today article for background.) KSP brings in officers from other parts of the state, so that local officers don't have to bust their friends, relatives and neighbors.

Meanwhile, in August, a big undercover investigation ("Operation Borrowed Time") headed up by Clay County Sheriff Clay Johnson and Manchester Police Chief Jeff Culver resulted in more than 50 drug arrests in Clay County.

Which is to say, Sparkman turned up dead at a time when illegal drug operations in Clay County were coming under some very heavy law-enforcement pressure. It's very easy to understand why a dope grower or meth cooker might have been paranoid about somebody with a federal ID asking a bunch of questions. And if that somebody was Bill Sparkman, the motive for his death isn't a big mystery.

Where do the rumors about Sparkman's sexuality fit into this story? I don't know that they do. If it's a 75% chance that Sparkman was killed just because he "knocked on the wrong door," as one Kentucky source put it, then his sexuality is irrelevant.

I'm trying to get to the facts here, and don't have a lot of patience with idiots wasting my time by pointing fingers at Dan Riehl (or Michelle Malkin or Glenn Beck) and screaming hysterically about "blood on their hands." For myself, you can go ask Kelsee Brown what a horrible homophobic hatemonger I am.

Whoever killed Bill Sparkman -- and I agree with Sparkman's son Josh that suicide and accident can be practically ruled out -- the killer or killers are still on the loose. Until they're brought to justice, this politicized finger-pointing is just a waste of time.

UPDATE: In regard to the shortage of people willing to do actual reporting, Patrick at Alexandria writes:
The harvest is vast, but the laborers are few.
Exactly. While I was checking out the story in Kentucky last week, I had an interesting conversation with Andrew Marcus of Founding Bloggers who asked me, Where are all these laid-off journalists who've lost their jobs in the Great Newspaper Meltdown of the past few years?

There is clearly an opportunity for entrepreneurial online journalism by resourceful reporters who can find a way to operate indepedently on a shoestring budget. And yet it's hard to see where any of the people laid off from the big metropolitan papers have actually taken advantage of this opportunity.

UPDATE II: You've got to laugh at the mind-numbing idiocy of "Cato the Elder," a damned fool who doesn't even get my Cousin Brian's jest about "the new black," a pop culture reference which means that something is the latest vogue, e.g., "taupe is the new black."

The Fool Cato construes Brian's remark as a "whine," when in fact it was a shrug of indifference, a dry acknowledgement of contemporary reality. The Fool Cato is so inextricably wedded to the liberal victimhood narrative -- where every problem ever suffered by anyone who isn't white can be understood only as a result of white racism -- that he can't even realize what's happening when his game is busted by an Atlanta bar bouncer.

Here you see how The Vision of the Anointed blinds people to reality. It's "The Irrelevance of Evidence," as Sowell called it. Envisioning the world categorically, with prefabricated explanations for every phenomenon, the anointed loudly proclaim their open-mindedness and tolerance while fanatically pursuing vendettas of narrow-minded zealotry.

When the anointed encounter anomalous phenomena that don't fit their rigid mental molds, they become frustrated. When you try to explain that they might have stumbled onto evidence that their categories and prefab explanations are invalid, this provokes a vengeful rage. And that's when you realize that you're not actually arguing about whatever it was that provoked the argument.

Their own infallibilty -- the awe-inspiring authority of their opinions -- is the actual subject of their argument. The anointed worldview is an incomprehensible mish-mash of self-contradiction and error, which is why the liberal furiously denounces as guilty of bad faith (mala fides) anyone who persistently criticizes the validity of the worldview.

No person of good faith could fail to agree with liberalism, you see. Therefore, when you disagree with the liberal, you are not merely mistaken, but evil.

The Fool Cato doesn't need to know anything about my Cousin Brian in order to conclude that Brian is inferior. And Brian's inferiority -- his status as some hick on whom Cato is qualified to pronounce judgment -- is the entire point of what Cato calls a "Socratic" rant.

Grab a cup of hemlock, Socrates. Cheers!


  1. Meanwhile on LGF the smear continues:
    "Meanwhile, white supremacist blogger Robert Stacy McCain is back from Kentucky where he apparently spent most of his “shoe leather” time trying to get into the pants of a 20-year old girl (she has a tattoo! and it’s in a hidden place! slobber, drool), only to discover that she was a lesbian — and came up with absolutely NO news about the murder of Bill Sparkman. So he struck out twice."
    I can't fathom this idiocy at KGF. I've read your reports from KY and you are professional in your approach to the Sparkman case.

  2. "When the anointed encounter anomalous phenomena that don't fit their rigid mental molds, they become frustrated. When you try to explain that they might have stumbled onto evidence that their categories and prefab explanations are invalid, this provokes a vengeful rage."

    Applying this to another subject, this explains Garofalo's theory of the tea parties and the respect she's being given for it in the anointed media.

    "... the liberal furiously denounces as guilty of bad faith (mala fides) anyone who persistently criticizes the validity of the worldview."

    This tactic helps to ensure that the liberal will rarely encounter contrary evidence and argument, since people are disinclined to argue with someone exhibiting what amounts to a personality disorder.

  3. There's one thing I do know. This entire blog is a libel. Sometimes intent is hard to prove but they prove their own. Not just about You Mr.McCain but about Sarah Palin Look at this:
    re: #106 Charles

    Hmm. Somebody with a lot of Twitter followers just tweeted the link to my Sarah Palin ghostwriter post. Lots of hits coming from Twitter. Anyone know who it was?
    155 Dante41 Sat, Oct 3, 2009 6:16:27pm replyquote 0

    re: #149 iceweasel

    I found two people who retweeted, and each of them had just under 2K followers as well. It's spreading.

    My, my, my. Charles, you may have managed to slightly derail Palin's book

  4. I congratulate you for being able to comprehend Cato the Elder's post.

    Paragraphs, Cato, Paragraphs!

  5. Good money for the police doing the drug policing. And if an officer gets shot at or killed better for next years funding.

    Here are some police officers tired of seeing their brothers killed for nothing.

    Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

    And at the same time Pot is being Main Streamed. It is no longer for slackers any more.

    Marie Claire - Stiletto Stoners

    Jennifer Pelham* kicks off her black Marc Jacobs pumps, slips out of her trim Theory blazer, and collapses on the couch. The 29-year-old corporate attorney for one of Manhattan's top law firms has just clocked another 12-hour day, and though it's over, she's having a hard time shaking off her frustrations. (A partner had eviscerated the contract she'd drafted, then left before Pelham had a chance to explain herself.) Still distracted, Pelham orders dinner—sushi, as usual—then reaches for a plastic orange prescription bottle standing on the corner of her coffee table alongside a glass pipe and blue Bic lighter, just as the cleaning lady left them. She twists off the cap, pinches off a piece of the fragrant green bud inside, gingerly places it in the bowl of the pipe, and lights up.

  6. Right on, right on, etc., but can you please not sully the good name of my hero Michelle Bachmann by placing it in such close quarters with that of that lily-livered, yellow-bellied, unprincipled, spineless, shameless fake 'conservative' Cantor? (Yeah, I'm a little bitter, but I live in Virginia and have to hear about that scoundrel on a regular basis, forgive me)

  7. this explains Garofalo's theory of the tea parties and the respect she's being given for it in the anointed media.

    Evan Sayet nailed it in his first Heritage Foundation lecture:

    So, if The New York Times and CNN and News­week and the rest of the leftist media outlets are right and there is no objective difference between the ter­rorist and the freedom fighter, why is it that you and I teach our children that George Washington is a hero and Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein are vil­lains? You and I know why because we think.

    George Washington risked his personal fortune to personally lead his troops into battle: battles fought nobly against other uniformed warriors for the purpose of creating the freest nation in the his­tory of the world. Pretty noble, pretty heroic stuff. Yasser Arafat, on the other hand, stole his people's money, sent 14-year-olds out to fight his battles: battles fought against kids and women and civilians in pizza parlors and Passover ceremonies, all for the purpose of maintaining his corrupt dictatorship. Pretty villainous stuff.

    But to the folks at The New York Times, there is no objective difference between the terrorist and the freedom fighter. So why do we teach our children that George Washington is a hero? The only possible explanation is that he is a white Christian of Euro­pean descent. If there is no difference between the behaviors of the freedom fighters and the terrorists, then why do we teach that Yasser Arafat and Sadd­am Hussein are villains? There can be no other rea­son than they are darker-skinned Muslims of Middle Eastern birth.

    Sayet's explains leftist thinking as someone who "grew up a liberal New York Jew; you don't get much more liberal than that" and understand how it works. I heartily recommend it, and his second Heritage lecture to anyone who wants to understand what we're up against.

  8. It's Nathan Empsall, not David Empsall.