28 September 2009

On The Murdered US Census Worker

I am afraid I have the same callous response to this as to the police complaining that their job is dangerous.

Bill Sparkman was not murdered for any of the laundry list of exemplary things he'd done before accepting the job with the Census.

Ponder on that for a moment.

The stain of participation in administering the census ERASED the good works he'd done to that point and he was murdered for that association.

The questions being put forth in the current census are beyond the scope intended by the Constitution. Since it's a crime to refuse to answer the questions, you've backed some people into a corner about breaking the law. Murder is breaking the law and there's a good chance of not getting caught; refusing to answer the census taker's questions has 100% of being caught since the agent of the state is at your house and talking to you.

Unintended consequences indeed.

I am sorry you were murdered Mr. Sparkman. I am even more sorry that the people who murdered you were not angry at you in particular, but some faceless government official in a distant office.

Just like a police officer, the anger is fomented by the legislatures and aimed at the executive branch's lowest rungs. Just like a police officer, you need to appraise yourself of this situation and weigh the risk. If you accept the job, you do not get to use the "following orders" defense.

There may well come a time when the bottom level functionaries, the people who have to deal with the common citizen, will have to refuse to carry out the orders of their superiors or be killed with them. It may even come to pass that the functionaries will have to have resigned long before the shooting starts to be spared.

It would be far better for the people responsible for this mess to fix things while there is still time to stop it. I desperately hope the soap and ballot boxes have the power left in them.

UPDATE
Or he's just another victim of our war on some drugs and refusal to secure the damn border with Mexico and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. In which case, the motives for killing him were entirely different and my position is less valid about this case.

P.S.
Notice that this post is not gone down memory hole when new facts are presented. Truth is there is not a lot of solid evidence about this case in the public yet and the speculation that some right wing group did it to avoid participating in the census had great traction. I need to find my hook-remover...

P.P.S.

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