Better Dead than Fed?

The local coroner has confirmed that the federal census worker found hanged from a tree in rural Kentucky did indeed have the word “Fed” scrawled on his chest. The FBI has yet to rule the death a homicide, but considering the circumstances, not to mention the FBI’s involvement, that conclusion seems pretty obvious… as does the likelihood that this was an anti-government hate crime.

It is also obvious that with the extreme level of anti-Obama, anti-government rhetoric coming from the right since they lost last November’s election, violence like this is inevitable. Words have consequences, and those who insist on inciting the violent, teabagging hordes are at the very least morally culpable for the violence that ensues.


  1. 1

    Don spews:

    Well, a coworker mentioned to me he read that the area where this guy was found was known for meth labs and pot growing. Much as I’d like to believe it was anti-government crazies, it appears to be just your garden variety criminal activity.

  2. 2


    Don @1,

    Um… putting aside the question of whether a pot grower/meth producer would want to call attention to himself by hanging a census worker and scrawling “Fed” on his chest, even that would be anti-government.

  3. 3

    correctnotright spews:

    Um, explain why a census worker would be a threat to pot growers or a meth lab?

    This would put them in much more hot water and to put FED on him would seem to be very stupid and call in the FEDS on a federal crime…no, this “explanation” does not add up.

  4. 4

    ArtFart spews:

    Not sure exactly what the Census Bureau’s field activities are focused on at the moment, but I can picture a couple of scenarios:

    (1.) The guy was updating the GIS database to identify where the houses are, for when the head count begins in earnest. Therefore, he might have been prowling around in a government-issue car, looking over fences, taking notes, and possibly snapping pictures.

    (2.) He was working as part of some sort of “mini-census” or “pre-census”, in which case he’d be knocking on doors and identifying himself as a representative of the United States Government.

    In either case, there’d likely be some folks in the Kentucky hinterlands who might react to either of the above in a somewhat paranoid manner. These would include moonshiners, pot growers, meth producers….and people whose principal sensory input consists of listenting to people on Fox and AM radio telling them Uncle Sam is out to get them.

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Whoever did this should sit in the same chair Paul Hill sat in.

    Plenty of rightwing freaks get their jollies (after masturbating becomes boring) by farting off about assassinating Obama, overthrowing the government, exterminating liberals, etc.

    So far, it’s been cheap talk. We don’t have laws against being stupid or passing gas. However, so there’s no misunderstanding, we should make it unmistakably clear to these hotheads what the consequences will be if they ever act out their violent fantasies: Any who survive target practice will get the chair.

  6. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 The solution to that is reassigning census duties in that county to the 82nd Airborne Division.

  7. 8

    Zotz spews:

    Big surprise!? (sarcasm)

    These people fuck pigs, don’t they?

    The porcine BecKKK and the Drug Addled GasBag et al should be the love objects of some of their “herdmates” when the FEMA camps open up!

  8. 9

    rhp6033 spews:

    I grew up in eastern Tennessee. Although I grew up in the suburbs of a medium-sized city, we all knew there were areas up in the hills which weren’t too friendly to outsiders.

    I spent a lot of time hiking and camping, but you made sure you were within park boundaries or had permission from the landowner. Landowners there don’t need to “post” property to deter trespassers, a blast from a double-barrel shotgun was considered sufficient notice.

    The further you go back into the hills, the more suspicious they get of outsiders. These were areas that were actually generally “loyal” to the Union during the Civil War (Eastern Tennessee, Eastern Kentucky, western North Carolina, and S.W. Virginia). They actively resisted efforts by Confederate agents and militia to enforce the draft laws. I put “loyal” in quotation marks because it wasn’t that they were particularly loyal to the national government, it’s just that they distrusted the state governments more. They considered the state governments to be controlled by wealthy flatlanders and slaveowners who always sought new ways to cheat and exploit them economically, tax their liquor stills, and draft their men into fighting a war in which they had no stake (the poor farmland made owning slaves uneconomically viable).

    During prohibition, the corn whisky stills became a relatively profitable business for an area which is usually stuck in abject poverty. At that time it was the federal “revenoor” (U.S. Treasury or “Revenue” agent) who became the hated outsider, agents who tracked down liquor stills and arrested those working them. Any outsider was considered a probable “revenoor” or somebody working for them – the area usually didn’t get many visitors otherwise.

    Now pot farms and meth labs have become more profitable than liquor stills, but the principle remains the same. It doesn’t matter who’s in office, the government isn’t trusted.

    Of course, the FDR programs of the 1930’s and 1940’s helped the areas just beyond the mountains, especially TVA and the atomic energy plant at Oak Ridge. But the areas I’m talking about weren’t affected by those economic developments, and some were upset that at losing their ancestoral farms as river valleys were flooded due to TVA dams.

    But that doesn’t mean that the hate spewed from the right-wing doesn’t fan the flames even more. And the racial componant of having a black President makes the situation even more explosive – there are quite a few unreconstructed racists in those mountains. (I remember seeing one sign posted at the entrance to a private road leading up a mountain: “Ni**ers still here after 6:00 p.m. will be shot on sight”.

  9. 10

    DavidD spews:

    We were visited the other day by the census worker that was updating the database. She knocked on the door.

    She also seemed weirded out that I was nice to her, so I don’t know what type of crap she’s been taking from the neighborhood.

    The type of people that would hang a person just for doing their legal part-time job pretty much deserve the death penalty.

  10. 13

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 11: Nope, I’m talking about the mountains to the east(Cumberland and Appalachian mountain ranges). But I assume you are referring to Pulaski as the birthplace of the KKK.

  11. 15

    Deb Eddy spews:

    RHP, thanks for the trip down memory lane. When I was “commuting” from central West Virginia to North Carolina during my law school days, my dad would caution me against running out of gas or otherwise finding it necessary to get off the main road in the southwest environs of my own home state, a couple of counties, in particular. Besides being a native of WV, he’d done landman work there and knew that, even by the mid-70s, some things had NOT changed.

  12. 16


    Having worked the census myself in the 90s, I used to get a lot of people, veterans mostly, Who would loudly refuse to participate as “they had already paid their dues for the country”. The way things are going these days It doesn’t take much imagination to see how turning the dial just a little bit on that kind of rhetoric might get messy.

  13. 17

    Me spews:

    I made a bet the other day that the extreme left wingers would blame the Republicans for causing the death of the Census Worker.

    Thanks Goldy!! I won the bet!

  14. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 That area sounds like a valuable natural resource which could be put to good use as a training site for troops going to Afghanistan.

  15. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @17 Pretty safe bet if you ask me. Who was responsible, I mean. When the perps are caught — and they will be caught — you won’t be looking at a group of tweedy college professors in the jailhouse mugshots.

  16. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I saw in today’s news that Michelle Malkin is deluged with death threats and has moved her family twice due to fears for their safety.

    Of course, I don’t condone this sort of thing, and people who threaten others should be prosecuted and jailed. But it’s hard to have much sympathy for Malkin; those who ride the tiger risk getting bitten.

    Before any of you trolls blame this harassment on lefties, I suggest the motive is more likely racial than political. Malkin spews an awful lot of racist venom about her fellow Asians, and some of those folks may not be taking it very well.

  17. 24

    don spews:

    you won’t be looking at a group of tweedy college professors

    Or as someone posted in another blog, they don’t do the NY Times crossword puzzle with a ballpoint pen.

  18. 25

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    In terms of where George Washington actually stood on ecnomic freedom for the common man, it is instructive to reflect on the ‘original intent’ of this president upon deciding to build the biggest still in the U.S. directly after squelching Shay’s rebellion.

    That’s how the rich ‘compete’. What was that story again about the chicken who built a factory….

  19. 26

    Zotz spews:

    @22 (Mr. Rabbit):

    R officials and their leadership are practically french kissing the morans.

    Even purported “moderates” like T-Paw.

    It’s why, for about 60% of us (when push comes to shove), there simply is no alternative to a D.

    What I don’t get is why the Rs think absolutely, positively cementing themselves as “the party of NO! and CRAZY(R)” will ever get them back in power.

    They’re damned dangerous people though — and I’d posit that it’s probably not safe to be near an elephant that’s thrashing its last.

  20. 27

    Blue John spews:

    Much as I’d like to believe it was anti-government crazies, it appears to be just your garden variety criminal activity.

    I wonder, did conservatives during civil rights era explain away church bombing on garden variety criminal too?

  21. 28

    Daddy Love spews:

    I think it’s pretty clear that this is the result of a conspiracy on the part of a bunch of dirty fucking hippies to pin a horrendous crime on some innocent armed, anti-government Kentucky hill-dwellers, who for all we know are liberal Democrats, right? Salt of the earth, they are. “Get your socialist hands off my SSDI disability check!” they might say, just before opening up new orifices in your body.

  22. 29


    I agree with a previous poster (#9, I think). I think you need to be thinking “Prohibition and Appalachia” rather than “Ruby Ridge”. Don’t get me wrong, sure racism and right-wing nonsense makes it worse, but I think this sort of thing was about to start happening regardless.

    Now I’m going to pimp mah blog. See: http://until-the-lamb.blogspot.....i-fed.html

  23. 30

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    “It is also obvious that with the extreme level of anti-Obama, anti-government rhetoric coming from the right since they lost last November’s election, violence like this is inevitable. Words have consequences, and those who insist on inciting the violent, teabagging hordes are at the very least morally culpable for the violence that ensues.”

    And the extreme level of anti-Bush anti government rhetoric from the left was benign? Those words didn’t have consequences? At least make some attempt at intellectual honesty. I realize this goes against the progressive grain, but do try.

  24. 31

    Sam Adams spews:


    Fringe nut(s) commits a crime.

    Opposite agenda peeps exclaim:

    Look! THEY (those on with the other agenda) are embracing these nutjobs and inciting heinous acts and deeds.

    Question: What is the real story?

  25. 32

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Sorry Sam, they don’t know the real story. Neither do you or I. Even law enforcement so far as we know is still investigating.

    That doesn’t stop folks like Goldy from making irresponsible accusations though. No sir. Words only have meaning with him if he likes the meaning. Otherwise they’re just wingnut noise.

  26. 33

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    By the way, ‘hate crime’ is among the most dangerous legal nonsense liberals have come up with.

    If I commit a crime the motivation matters only for the purposes of prosecution. It doesn’t make the crime worse or better because the victim was gay or black or hispanic or whatever. Burning a cross on my neigbors yard should be tried as vandalism and trespass only. Attacking a gay man outside a club should be tried as assault only.

    The danger is in creating a class of citizens with special rights alien to other classes. Who gets the job or university slot? The most qualified? No, the most demonstrably minority status individual. 2 men are in court for a bar fight, one of which involved a minority victim. One gets 2 years and the other 6, an obvious miscarraige of justice. I realize this is done with good intentions but is still a terrible idea if justice is the object.

  27. 34

    chicagoexpat spews:

    You rightly impy that the Glen Becks, Michelle Bachmans, Joe Wilsons, and Rush Limbaughs of the world are directly responsible for enbolding these nut cases who shoot doctors helping women have a choice, and any gov’t worker.

    But your hypocrisy knows no bounds, as you advocate left wing nuts to carry guns to rallies to intimidate others.

    Obama should also look at his own weak policies as well. He doesn’t want to “anger” the already insane angry and thinks we can all sit around & sing kumbaya

    if Obama won’t even arrest the nut cases who carry guns outside his own appearances, how can we expect him to defend those of us who heed his call for public service? We don’t have secret service guards watching us go door-to-door.

    And with supporters like Goldy, I shudder to think what kind of civil war is waiting to break out… especially when the other side (the right wing nuts) have 90 percent of the guns out there.

    Also, the supposition of many of these commenters are laughable. This was not a decennial (2010) census worker, this was a census worker who visited the area many times for some of the surveys the Census regularly does (like, the unemployment statistics).

    But we can hardly let even simple facts get in the way of opinionating, can we?

  28. 35

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 34

    Helping women have a choice to commit infanticide you mean? Just so you know doctors aren’t government workers either. Yet.

    And those “insane angry” are angry at basic undercutting of what Americans outside of the major metropolitan areas want. You see, a president has some responsibility to his constituency.

    Also, so you know, those ‘nutcases’ weren’t arrested because they didn’t, you know, violate any laws. So far that still is a kind of precondition for arrest in this country. I realize you and your kind would like to change that, but so far that’s just the way it is. Sorry.

  29. 37

    Michael spews:


    Some census folks updated GIS data in my neighborhood last week, they has shirts on that said US Census in nice big letters on them.

  30. 38

    chicagoexpat spews:

    what a fool, lostinhisownasshole is .

    any idiot carrying a gun outside an Obama rally to intimidate others can and should be arrested, for that. For suspicion. For being complete idiots.

    except in the world where the right wing nutsos & Obama’s lily liver collide.

    Only in your fantasy world can those threatening others are the free & lawful ones

  31. 39

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 36

    Hi little buddy! Did your mommy let you get onto the interweb again? Must be fun! Now don’t go to all those sites that ask if you’re 18, little guy.

    Apropos. Big word for a little nipper.

  32. 40

    Michael spews:


    There’s a reason folks that think like you have been losing elections lately…

  33. 41

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 38

    Dangerous, stupid and irresponsible are all terms that could be used for carrying a weapon in public. Illegal is not. In my world that is important, yes, and you should be ashamed that it isn’t in yours.

    You see, they didn’t actually threaten anyone. It isn’t enough simply to be uncomfortable with another person, they actually have to present a rational person with a reason to worry about their safety. Otherwise I could say I’m uncomfortable with the nutty left, or the nutty right and they should be jailed for that.

  34. 42

    Michael spews:

    Hey Goldy,

    I’m on a Mac running Safari 4.03 and lately when I try to use spell check while leaving a comment Safari crashes.

  35. 43

    chicagoexpat spews:

    No rational person would support taking guns to rallies to intimidate others… especially one where the first black prez is being held up for target practice.

    Which is why I see why you hold your insidious, unpatriotic, traitorous views… when there’s a black prez to be shot at

  36. 44

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    At 40

    And the reason would be because we’re logical in a world of the adolescent liberals? Or would it be because we have a respect for the rule of law?

    Yes it’s easy to win elections by promising everyone candy and ponies. The hard part is acting like an adult. The hard part is making tough choices with inevitable political downsides. But the left doesn’t understand that. In your world reality doesn’t exist, just wishful thinking.

  37. 45

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    With respect, go to hell. I have no problem with the president on account of his race. You cowards always play this card when you lose rational argument. Get out from behind your inuendo and argue the point or shut up, but don’t you dare call me a rascist you chump!

    So here’s what you didn’t do. You didn’t establish that the purpose of the weapon was presidential target practice, for which the person could be arrested. You didn’t establish that it was to intimidate, which it wasn’t. If you had a brain in your head you’d have seen the signs these people carried. They were and are concerned about their 2nd Amendment rights, and that’s why they carried they weapons. It’s also why they weren’t arrested. You might try knowing what you’re talking about before writing.

  38. 46

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    And by the way, don’t you dare call ME a traitor. This works in Seattle coffee shops, but not in the real world.

    I don’t believe that the leftist viewpoint is good for this country. You don’t believe the conservative one good for it. Fine. We have our opinions, but that doesn’t make either of us traitors. Try reading a dictionary for Gods sake.

  39. 47

    chicagoexpat spews:

    There must be something wrong w/ this site in Safari.

    Why does the Old ’97’s “Let the Idiot Speak” keep playing whenever the lostinhisownasshole posts?

    Or is that on purpose?

    An when the white hood fits, lostinyourasshole, you have to wear it.

  40. 48

    Michael spews:


    We have our opinions, but that doesn’t make either of us traitors

    I’m with ya on that one.

  41. 49

    Rujax! spews:


    Bullshit, pally…

    You and you’re little fake libertarian anti democracy anti Democrat rants have been done here ad nauseum.

    A person with a weapon of ANY kind would not have gotten within a MILE of a Bush or Cheney event. Hell…citizens with anti Bush administration tee shirts or buttons or BUMPER STICKERS were regularly barred or escorted out of Bush/Cheney events.

    Concern about 2nd Amendment rights my ass.

    Oh, and by the way…You lost. You and yours are out of power, your party and your policies have failed (like they always do), and you’re now a sad little gibbering irrelevant butt-plug. Sympathies…

    Thus the appropriateness of your handle variation. Quite the lovely description of you, my silly little drip.

  42. 51


    #50. You seem to think that there’s some kind of ethical absolute with regards to the use of guns. Oh, wait, I’m sorry, there is–but it’s not the one you’re thinking of.

    Let me tell you about my ethical absolute concerning the use of guns (and all violence). If that violence defends life (that is, the interests of people who die of treatable diseases because they can’t afford health care), then the violence is OK.

    If that violence destroys life (that is, backing anything that Republicans want), then it is wrong. Since most gun-nuts back guns for life-destroying purposes, making it harder for them to get guns is, in fact, a reasonable idea. On the other hands, it makes it harder for us with life-affirming purposes to get them, too, so maybe we do indeed need to rethink gun control.

    [And, yes, Republicans are so awesome that they manage to make the pro-life movement a life-destroying movement, but understanding why this is so is far beyond the ken of most Republicans.]

  43. 52

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    “Dangerous, stupid and irresponsible are all terms that could be used for carrying a weapon in public. Illegal is not.” Sound familiar?

    Don’t try to characterize me as supporting open carry of weapons in public. I neither own nor wish to own a gun. I was taught to use one as a young man and respect them enough to know I don’t need one. However, it isn’t against the law.

    Care to back up your slander with an actual argument at post 47, Chicago? Or are you just capable of insult without reason? Show me one place in which I support any form of rascism and I’ll apologize in due form. Otherwise keep your bigotry against those with whom you disagree decently hidden. Actually you sound like a terminally agrieved person. If a person like you were locked up in a room alone they’d eventually beat themselves up if only to find an outlet for their hate.

    That ‘lostinhisownasshole’ gag just doesn’t stop being funny to tiny minds, does it? It’s kind of like a kid singing in the backseat on a long trip. Annoying but meaningless.

  44. 53

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 51

    “(that is, backing anything that Republicans want”

    And yet more bigotry from the left. Not doing so well on the tolerance thing guys.

    I’ve a theory on the kind of rabid doctrinaire leftists people like Charles represent. Human beings have to believe in something. Most of us believe maybe in God, or our country or our favorite football team. People like Charles are so chronically serious they can’t have fun anymore and get mentally constipated. This expresses in dislike of everything, with a chosen target to vent on, like Republicans. They lose all reason and perspective and just go off on tangents that make no sense.

    But what do I know?

  45. 55

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @33 “If I commit a crime the motivation matters only for the purposes of prosecution.”

    For purposes of prosecution, motive is irrelevant in most crimes.

  46. 56

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @30 When we called Bush a warmonger, torturer, and liar, we were merely stating facts.

  47. 58

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 57

    For once we agree.

    Re 56

    And back to normal…Facts actually require a basis in reality. I realize this is difficult for liberals to understand, reality. How do I explain it…? Sorry, the liberal disconnect with it is too deep and can’t be bridged.

    Re 55

    You’re right. When it does become relevant is in the prosecution though. It should have nothing to do with moderating the severity of a crime, and should never be a crime in and of itself.

  48. 59

    mark spews:

    38 That guy carrying the AR-15 in Arizona was black. Must be a racist against Obamas white half. (The non Kenyan half)Its all so confusing.

  49. 61

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    re 58: “Facts actually require a basis in reality. I realize this is difficult for liberals to understand, reality. How do I explain it…? Sorry, the liberal disconnect with it is too deep and can’t be bridged.”

    Surely, you jest:
    – The earth was created in seven days a few thousand years ago.
    – Saddam Hussein tried to buy yellowcake in Niger.
    – The Iraq war was started to rid the world of Iraq’s nuclear weapons.
    – The Iraq war was started to create democracy in the middle east
    – Teacing kids about birth control causes promiscuity.
    – The solution to every economic problem is to give the rich another tax break
    – Barack Obama was born in Kenya.
    – Barack Obama is a Muslim.
    – Barack Obama is a socialist
    – Barack Obama is a Nazi.
    – Barack Obama is a godless communist nazi socialist liberal.
    – Keep your socialistic hands off of medicare!
    – Creationism is a science.
    – Al Gore said he invented the internet.
    _ George Bush won the 2000 and 2004 election fair and square.
    – The federal government is planning to form ‘death panel’s’ as part of their health plan.
    – The Laffler curve is part of a serious economic theory.
    – Trickle down economics makes all boats rise. with the tide.

  50. 62

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @61 Clabber Girl, you’re even more eloquent than me! This list of crap that wingnuts believe in puts drooling mark in quite a spot. Either he has to deny being a wingnut, or he has to admit believing in a pack of lies, which pretty much blows his pontificating about “facts” out of the water.

    Good work!

  51. 63

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    Out of many people throughout the nation taking guns to poitical rallys, the only one you ackowledge is the one black guy.

  52. 64

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @58 (continued) I really should charge you for this information — a law school would, and a lawyer would — but to keep you from foisting your nonsense on unsuspecting innocent readers of Washington’s leading news blog (i.e., HA), I’ll explain it without charge.

    Motive doesn’t have a goddam thing to do with whether you’ve committed a crime, whether the prosecutor decides to charge you with a crime, or whether the prosecutor can prove you committed a crime.

    Every first-year law student is required to take a basic course in criminal law. One of the basic things they teach you in that course is that a “crime” consists of “elements” and motive is not an “element” of most “crimes.” In other words, you do not have to prove a motive, or even know what it is, to convict someone of a crime.

    Let’s take as an example the crime of “assault.” While the precise elements may vary according to jurisdiction, in general, an “assault” requires (1) an intentional act (2) which causes a reasonable fear or apprehension on the part of the victim (3) of bodily injury. It doesn’t matter why the perp assaulted the victim; motive is not an element, and therefore is irrelevant, and need not be proven.

    It’s true that most crimes have a motive, but the motive is more of interest to readers of true-crime stories than to prosecutors. Police tend to be interested in the motive because it may help them identify the perpetrator, but the case is not prosecutable unless the prosecutor can link the alleged perpetrator to the commission of the act with evidence. Intent can be inferred, in fact it normally must be, except where the defendant admits he acted intentionally; but there must be evidence sufficient to support such an inference.

    Evidence of motive might be useful to help establish an inference the act was intentional (as opposed to inadvertent or accidential). For example, where A discharges a gun at B, but claims the discharge was accidental, evidence that A knew B was having an affair with A’s wife might serve to rebut A’s claim of accidental discharge. However, this circumstance is not an element of the crime of assault, and if the prosecutor can establish intentionality by other means, there is no need to mention the affair in court.

    Of course, the foregoing is a general statement of legal principle, to which there are exceptions. It’s not exactly correct to say that motive is an element of a hate crime, because so-called “hate crimes” usually are merely an enhancement of an underlying crime (such as assault), and the motive element in a hate crime goes to proving the enhanced, but not underlying, charge. For example, if C pistol-whips D in the course of a robbery because D is gay, this motive may support a “hate crime” enhancement to an assault charge; but if C pistol-whipped D because D resisted, the required element of the hate crime cannot be established even if it is shown that C knew D was gay.

  53. 65

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Of course, I don’t expect a small mind like mark’s to grasp any of what I just said, which is why I’m a lawyer and he’s not, but I posted this to keep him from misleading HA’s general audience.

  54. 66


    RR: However, motive can be used to establish a defense, correct? For instance, Washington’s castle doctrine allows the defense of someone else who is being assaulted as an absolute defense against a charge of assault. Right?

    (Maybe it’s not the castle doctrine, actually, but some related thing. But whatever.)