The Beating Heard 'Round The World
So I'm watching American news a couple of days ago while trying to get over a massive sinus/ear infection.....that's how you know I am sick: I'm watching television. I am treated to the sight of muscled goons pushing and shoving protesters, yelling at the protesters, and threatening worse physical violence to their supporters and People With Videocameras who are filming this.
No, it's NOT Iran. It's the United States. Yep, the Land of the Free.
The "Town Hall" concept predates the American Revolution. Back in the Old Days, white men of property (excluding slaves, women, indentured servants and poor)would have meetings in the town hall on a regular basis to conduct the town's business--everything from the need for an armory to taxes to stray cows on the Green.
Since then, the membership has been expanded to include all citizens, who all feel we have a perfect right to show up and speak our minds about whatever the government (be it local, state or federal) wants us to do. This was so important a concept that the Constitution enshrined it in the amendments guaranteeing free speech and the right to assemble peaceably.
There seems to be a tax revolt brewing, but now those veterans of the Anti-War Movement in the Sixties are old enough to collect social security and have paid all their lives for health insurance. They have a new beef--socialized health care. They have a right to be heard on the government's plan to "socialize" the health care system, which might include cutting health care benefits for elders on a cost-effectiveness basis. One story floating around (I haven't verified it) is that a woman in Oregon in her 60s wants cancer treatment after a lifetime of smoking. I loathe cigarette smoke and I think smokers should quit. However....Oregon has self-insured state-funded health care. What she reportedly got was a denial of her request for anti-cancer medication but approval for the drugs for euthanasia. In other words, you're too old for us to waste the money on, just go die.
So, at a Town Hall meeting last week in Missouri, the place was rigged for a politcal propaganda piece rather than a free discussion of the issue. Heavily muscled union guys in SEIU shirts were whisked in the "handicapped entrance" while average citizens waiting to get in were locked out. While citizen-opponents were deliberately excluded, one half of the auditorium was roped off and "reserved" for supporters of the health care initiative. The only questions permitted during the town hall meeting were plants written in advance on index cards and submitted by the shills in the audience. Citizens who wanted to ask questions weren't permitted to. After the meeting, the SEIU guys confronted Kenneth Gladney, a black conservative from the city, who was handing out “Don’t Tread On Me” flags. This didn’t go over well with the Obama supporters and union thugs who had attended the meeting, so they allegedly punched him in the face, kicked him in the head, and stomped on him on the pavement. His attorney's letter (now all over the internet) said:
Kenneth was approached by an SEIU representative as Kenneth was handing out “Don’t Tread on Me” flags to other conservatives. The SEIU representative demanded to know why a black man was handing out these flags. The SEIU member used a racial slur against Kenneth, then punched him in the face. Kenneth fell to the ground. Another SEIU member yelled racial epithets at Kenneth as he kicked him in the head and back. Kenneth was also brutally attacked by one other male SEIU member and an unidentified woman. The three men were clearly SEIU members, as they were wearing T-shirts with the SEIU logo.
Kenneth was beaten badly. One assailant fled on foot; three others were arrested. Kenneth was admitted to St. John’s Mercy Medical Center emergency room, where he was treated for his numerous injuries. Kenneth was merely expressing his freedom of speech by handing out the flags. In fact, he merely asked people as they exited the town hall meeting whether they would like a flag. He in no way provoked any argument or altercation, as evidenced by the fact that three assailants were arrested. We hope that Kenneth fully recovers from his injuries; however, he is in great pain at this time. We will be pursuing legal action at our discretion. This was a truly senseless hate crime carried out by racist union thugs.
Aside: Hey, Mr. President, where's your outrage now? A black man is knocked down, apparently called N---- (that's what 'racial epithet' usually means), and has the daylights beat out of him for exercising his free speech rights. Do the words "hate crime" mean anything when a conservative is the victim? Maybe you'd like to buy him a beer?
Another Aside: and if you google Kenneth Gladney, you will see that the Left has circled the wagons, claiming that Gladney is a fraud, that it never happened, or if it happened, he provoked it, or if it happened, it didn't happen the way he says it happened ergo he's a liar, and the proof is he'll never file a hate crime report. Guess what? He filed. The moral bankruptcy of the Left in light of their collective snide dismissal of mostly white Chicago Machine thugs beating a black man in 2009 while their black side-kick calls him a "nigger" is no doubt covered in depth by, uh, Counterpunch, right?
Speaking of moral bankruptcy, the Democrats have responded by calling the citizens, most of them Boomer grandparents, "thugs," conveniently by-passing the hired muscle they imported to quell dissent. They are particularly incensed that people bring pictures of Obama to demonstrations with Hitler-mustaches drawn on -- that was okay for demonizing George Bush, but How Dare You!! when it comes to Obama.
Other Democratic rhetoric, especially on the internet, is downright vile: "chickenhawks," "Republitards," "nazis" and "white trash" are just a few. Jeanne Garofalo played the race card (it's on YouTube) calling protesters "redneck racists" who really aren't opposed to the government debt and the potential for health care rationing--it's REALLY about hating Obama for being black. By this standard, any criticism of presidential policies is immediately trumped by the cry of "racism!" Garofalo then snidely dismisses women who protest as suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome," clearly in thrall to their white urban male masters.
One commenter, in contradiction to some of this Democratic libel, posted that "there have been a total of seven people arrested at town halls so far, all (except one reporter) being SEIU/ACORN/Democrat Party thugs. No anti-Obama demonstrators have been arrested." If that statistic is accurate, then who are the REAL thugs here?
Another pointed out, in contradiction to Pelosi's accusation that protesters are the tools of well-heeled rich big business concerns, that that "the pro-healthcare reformers found their "grass roots" activists by placing ads on craigslist for paid positions. So lets see, the real citizens are paid activists, acorn, and unions? The media is silent on all of that."
By the way, since I live in a country with government-back universal health care, I think it's great. But I also think that citizens who are faced with making a transition to such a system, AND PAYING FOR IT, have a right to sound off in public and ask noisy, uncomfortable questions rather than merely posing for photo ops arranged by Democrats pimping this deal.
Another prominent American used to think so too:
“I’m sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.”
– Hillary Rodham Clinton