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November 25, 2017

Alaska “Deathers” Heckle Sick People (Updated with Photos)

I am taking a break.

This was a strange and disturbing morning.

I started the day with a big cup of coffee, and an 8:30am arrival at The Egan Center in downtown Anchorage.  That’s where the special session of the Alaska State Legislature is meeting today.  They have two things on their plate – voting on whether to overturn ex-governor Sarah Palin’s rejection of the stimulus money for energy efficiency, and whether to confirm Craig Campbell as Lt. Governor.

The joint session convenes at 1:00, so I had time to pop over and attend a press conference Organizing for America held about health care reform in front of Mark Begich’s office downtown.  I’ve been hearing a lot about these Town Hall meetings across the country where people stand and shout to try to disrupt the conversation and prevent discourse.  People are angry and they are taking it out on those who want health care reform.  Why this is, is a mystery to me, but it happens nonetheless.

Alaska is different, though.  You hear that all the time.  But here, in such a small community, we all need each other.  We may vehemently disagree with each other politically.  We may carry signs in opposition to one another’s opinion.  We may campaign for different people and vote for different people.  But when it comes down to it, we are more united as Alaskans than we are divided.  If you break your ankle on the trail nobody asks your political affiliation, or if your car breaks down on the side of the road at 20 below zero, nobody will look at your bumper sticker and drive past.

I knew there would be protesters carrying signs at this event, but when the press conference began, and four brave Alaskans…regular citizens….stood up to tell their harrowing stories of health care challenges, I never believed anyone would heckle them.  I really didn’t.  But as I stood there and watched, that’s exactly what they did.  They shouted at a mom of a young child with special needs.  They asked her how much she got paid by the AFL-CIO. 


They shouted at a man with lung cancer, breathing with assistance, telling him he wasn’t an American.  healthc4

~~~Heckler (far right) taunts Roland Shanks as he talks about his bout with lung cancer an his trials with health care~~~

They shouted at small business owners who can no longer afford to provide their employees with health care,  telling them that they are in cahoots with “Obama’s Dirty Nuts” – ACORN. 

I watched these brave Alaskans, not professional media people, not people who do public speaking for a living, get up and subject themselves to taunting from their fellow Alaskans while publicly sharing intimate and personal stories of some of the most emotional parts of their lives.  I want to salute them.


Bravery is not wearing a t-shirt with a gun on it, carrying a flag with a snake, and screaming while someone is trying to to tell people how to contact their elected representatives.  Bravery is not shouting accusations at sick people.  Bravery is not stopping discourse.  That is cowardice and ignorance and bullying.  That is what you do when you know that in rational discourse you will lose.


Bravery is standing up in the face of anger and speaking your story, telling people how to become engaged with their democracy, and demanding that the government listen to the voice of the majority of Americans, not just the bullies.


Eddie Burke managed to show up, and get on camera.  He repeated Sarah Palin’s lies about a “Death Panel.”  He did it because it sounded good and because it will inflame his “posse” as he called them.  He didn’t say it because it was true.  He didn’t say it because he wants dialogue.  Alaskans who use fear, and anger to intimidate those seeking discussion and reform harm us all.  They shame their party, and their state.


There was a woman who shouted, loud and piercing while people were trying to speak,  “I SPEAK FOR ALASKANS!”  The  only time I wanted to interrupt, and yell over the discourse was to tell that woman, “You do not speak for me.”


~~~The woman who does not speak for me shouts at Johnathan Teeters of Organizing for America while he tries to give out contact information so people can contact their elected officials.~~~



277 Responses to “Alaska “Deathers” Heckle Sick People (Updated with Photos)”
  1. jojobo1 says:

    Jamie great post and you said it all and make a point some won’t ever see.

  2. AlaskaDisasta says:

    Healthcare in the US as viewed from abroad – worth a read (and the comments are very telling too) – it seems now they are debasing Englandâ��s health care, now that they have debased Canadaâ��s – just pathetic! The world is watching and wondering what direction the US will take – is it heading towards fascism? And will decent Americans let this happen?

  3. Janet Alexander says:

    Scary people these ‘Christians’. They really believe some sort of weird god has given them permission to judge and punish. Did they miraculously turn stone blind when they came to the words ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged” and “Vengeance is mine, sayth the Lord” Possibly; their world is a strange one. LOL

  4. Marnie says:

    “Bravery is not wearing a t-shirt with a gun on it, carrying a flag with a snake, and screaming while someone is trying to to tell people how to contact their elected representatives. Bravery is not shouting accusations at sick people. Bravery is not stopping discourse. That is cowardice and ignorance and bullying. That is what you do when you know that in rational discourse you will lose.”

    Amen to that.

    As well it is not related in any way to the teachings of Christ, it sadly is to some self styled Christians.
    Not is it the act of a patriot who appreciates and venerates what the founding citizens of the nation fought and died for.

  5. Desa Jacobsson says:

    Palin is the Frau Goebbels of the right wingy conservative republican party and Baby Eddie (Burke) fluctuates between being the King of Trailor Trash to Sir Oh Get of ex-governor Palin The Liar/Quitter. The hate that has manifested in recent times has members of the Native Community discussing plans to organize an economic boycott. I hope the hate stops.

  6. HamletsMill says:

    Pittsburgh AKMudstock 2009

    Sunday, August 16th, 2009 – 1PM – Pittsburgh, PA

    AKM will be journeying to the Lower 48 tomorrow! It is all really going to happen! Please note that we have extended the RSVP deadline to FRIDAY AUGUST 14th for any last minute Mudpuppies on the SURGE! There is still time to RSVP!

    RSVP by this Friday evening to: HamletsMillMudFlats (at) gmail (dot) com

    There is now a PRE-AKMudstock gathering scheduled for SATURDAY NIGHT AUGUST 15th at 7PM or when you get there for those in town by Saturday night! Details are now on the below UPDATE thread link!

    CHECK HERE FOR THE LATEST UPDATE INFORMATION:,7283.msg75900.html#msg75900

  7. VernD says:

    Janet Alexander Says:
    August 11th, 2009 at 10:23 AM
    Someone mentioned the only way to get at Fox News was to get at the advertisers. Here’s the list

    I went to this link and it appears that the site is a little dated, but good links to many sponsors. I can’t stomach watching Faux Knews to see the current sponsorship. ugh.

  8. LiladyNY says:

    #220 Alaska Pi Says:
    August 10th, 2009 at 6:56 PM

    @198 Elsie –
    I agree.
    AKM owes no apology for not speaking up to a screaming dingbat….
    AKM stands right right up, day after day.
    Sometimes speaking, always bearing witness, that’s more than most of us do.
    I have NEVER been so engaged until I heard the brave clear voice of AKM last year!
    AlaskaPi you took the words right out of my mouth. AKM has withstood things that would have brought a lesser person down and kept them down. AKM may have been bloodied, but, by the gods, remains unbowed and has my unbounded admiration and respect!

    I ♥ AKM and the Mudflats


  9. Mudpuppy Wannabe says:

    “Bravery is not wearing a t-shirt with a gun on it, carrying a flag with a snake, and screaming while someone is trying to to tell people how to contact their elected representatives. Bravery is not shouting accusations at sick people. Bravery is not stopping discourse. That is cowardice and ignorance and bullying. That is what you do when you know that in rational discourse you will lose.”

    AKM, you brought me to tears.

    At its heart, I do not understand all of this anger and hatred. And it seems like it’s the only thing these people can hold on to.

    It hurts my heart to know that this is here and happening in this country.

    Thank you, to all of you who have been brave enough to stand up and talk with dignity and respect and pain and hope about what we can do together to make sure we all have the best chance to be healthy. You’ve reminded me that I have not done enough.

  10. Janet Alexander says:

    Someone mentioned the only way to get at Fox News was to get at the advertisers. Here’s the list

  11. grandma68 says:

    Those astroturfers are so ignorant, so mean spirited, so devoid of compassion, I’m almost speechless. They are interfering with the democratic process. Those poor people who are fighting health problems have every bit of my concern, though. A protracted illness, accident, acute disease or chronic ill health of any kind shouldn’t mean bankruptcy, or loss of the essentials of life; everyone deserves health care whether they have money or not.

  12. Jamie says:

    My husband is French as many of you know. We talked about this last night, about what is happening in the US. He said to me “Tell them about my dad.” Over 5 years, my FIL had several surgeries, both bypass and several cancer surgeries. After the surgeries and hospital stays, he had what may be called hospice care (“maison de repos”) where he stayed up to 6 weeks at a time and recieved his chemo treatements. When at home, he had daily visits from nurses, home care aide for dressing and washing and getting in and out of bed, visits from his physical therapist, etc. My MIL, who suffers from Parkinson’s, had daily help with cooking, cleaning, laundry. All of this was paid for. They never saw a bill, no out of pocket costs.

    Same for my 2 pregnancies, monthly blood tests and doctors visits, 3 sonograms, a physical for the dad, the birth and a week in the maternity ward (once shared room, once private room), post-natal visit, etc. Never saw a bill, no out of pocket costs, excellent care.

    How many emergency room visits we have had with the boys in Canada (on vacation), France and Italy: childhood accident, food poisoning on vacation, tiny boys swallowing coins or shoving things up their noses, sun poisoning, etc. Paid $20 in Canada, and maybe 10 bucks for one hospital stay for Clem, 2 nights and a nose probe under general anesthesia.

    My dad who worked his entire life for the government was refused coverage of medical care and hospice care when he suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease (in Florida). When I had to have a lump removed asap in NYC, my doctor told me without insurance I couldn’t afford to get it done in the hospital and he did it in his clinic as outpatient surgery for $500 (my month’s money for bills and food).

    See the difference?

  13. Lighthouse says:

    I’m at work, so haven’t taken the time to read through all these comments, although I did link to the Please Cut the Crap debunking. That’s great!

    I also debinOH’s comment and I do agree that there is no changing these people’s minds. They don’t want to listen to reason. I keep having Facebook messages pop up with my friends saying that they took a poll about whether or not to vote for Obama in 2012. They’ve all voted no so far. And I think to myself “what are you basing that decision on? He’s just getting started!!!”

    Anyway, I think its a stupid poll, but the way these people acted in Anchorage yesterday is just heartbreaking. I am just so sick of people not showing any respect for other people. They seem to think nothing of taking these people’s human dignity away. And sadly, they are doing it, so often, in the name of God; “We are a CHRISTIAN nation!”

    I am frustrated. I am sad.

  14. twain12 says:

    sitting here with CNN running in the background and they had some sort of poll on asking if people thought health care was a universal right ?
    81 % said yes. I wish those people would show up at town halls .

  15. aview999 says:

    Is the US on the Brink of Fascism?

    Be sure to read the comments, where many disagree with the authors analysis. She accurately points out many signs though, that are happening right now in this country.

  16. Sandra says:

    In the 1960s, young people who incited mob violence on campuses, were arrested. It would appear that policy needs to be re-enacted now. If people are taunting, encouraging violence, behaving in a threatening manner that encourages physical violence….arrest them. It’s a little ironic, however, that the people who did the arresting (or supported the arresting) in the 60s, are now the ones who would be arrested for behavior much more violent than putting a flower in a rifle barrel.

  17. debinOH says:

    I know that this is hard to believe but people don’t want to hear the truth. We can give them the information & point them to the correct government website but they don’t or won’t read it or listen to it. Their minds are made up. It is bad because someone told them it was. They would rather believe some stranger that sent them a bogus e-mail than figure it out for themselves.

    The people (& groups) who have been passing all this crap around about “death panels” and all the rest of the bullcrap don’t CARE what the truth is. They want to be MAD about anything & everything. You can’t force people to see the truth or even listen to reason. They HATE the president – pure & simple.

  18. SouthernMuckracker says:

    Whoa. There’s dumb, there’s Republican and then there’s DESPICABLE.

    I wonder how those b… sleep at night.

  19. trisha says:

    This is so disturbing…..on so many levels. I am just saddened by all of this news.

    Yesterday, I heard that Fox was insinuating that the White House web site for healthcare was collecting names and would retaliate against citizens who are against healthcare reform.

    First of all, HUH? How would they do this? Secondly, they dont want their viewers to have the facts. They want to spoon feed them lies, so they are discouraging them from seeking out the facts. They are telling people that they can’t trust the White House, but trust them.

    It is beyond wrong…. yet besides contacting adversters, I feel helpless. How can a news organization discourage people from seeing truth. What is happening to our nation?

    Maybe we need a stronger PR campaign that highlights the advertisers on Fox who support that garbage.

  20. the problem child says:

    Unfortunately, what is on offer with the current proposed legislation is NOT socialized medicine. It is, however, a step in the right direction.

  21. Judy5cents says:

    First off, I am extremely fortunate that my husband works for a major corporation that provides excellent health insurance. But we know our health care is subject to the whims of the company. If upper management decides to lay him off, close the plant or cut costs by offering everyone medical savings plans and health insurance with a huge deductible, we’re stuck with it.

    And so is every single one of us who depends on an employer for health insurance. It’s a take it or leave it situation. Here in Wilmington, NC, if you don’t work for the handful of major corporations like my husband, most of the jobs available are $8 an hour with no benefits. Your only health care option is to hope like hell you don’t get sick.

    My niece suffers from a chronic kidney ailment which has no cure and puts her in the hospital on an average of once a year. When her husband’s company switched health plans, they found they had to meet a $9000 deductible. She managed to find a job that offered better insurance (and didn’t bump her for her “pre-existing condition”) but a lot of people in that situation don’t have that option.

    Is that what the screamers are fighting to protect?

    In contrast, I’d like to offer another example from my own family. My husband is from England. His cousin has a son who’s severely disabled. According to my mother-in-law, the little boy is receiving excellent care, including occupational therapy and phsyical therapy from the National Health. If that’s socialized medicine, I’ll take it.

  22. the problem child says:

    Jamie@250, thank you for those wise words.

  23. Lani Formerly Bash Budweiser Palin says:

    Employer-based insurance doesn’t work. First up, we become serfs to the company that pays the insurance. We must cling to those jobs no matter what. That stifles whistleblowers, creativity, small business start ups, and a healthy lifestyle. People are not using their leave to have vacations, recover from illness, and care for family members. Too scared of losing insurance.

    In Hawaii, we have mandatory employee coverage for those who work over 20 hours per week. Sound good? You’d amazed by the number of 19 hr/wk jobs! Or not. It’s completely obvious what happens with that kind of requirement.

    For those that do have insurance from employers, they still have to pay for family coverage. We just had a 20% increase. Did the pay go up proportionally? Of course not.

    As is occuring elsewhere in the country, employers are searching for cheaper insurance. So employees may stay insured, but the policies are changing, the deductible is increasing, the copay is increasing and the range of services is shrinking. And then there is the insurance company “death panel”, always looking for a way out of paying.

    I don’t understand why every single not-wealthy person isn’t up in arms about the health care crisis in the US.

  24. wakeupak says:

    Sarah ran for MAYOR and ran a divisive, unfriendly campaign-bringing in unrelated national issues that Wasilla never saw before. Then the truly lucky slide into first base as new Gov. since Murkowski was so lousy in that position and acted out of entitlement for himself and cronies and Whats His Name was the best Dems had to offer…then the one in a million choice by an elderly, past his prime, Republican candidate-one MAN-who met her for 15 minute enraptured chat and whala-she is on the road to Sat Nite Live Fame and now fork tongued Fortune.
    Sarah doesn’t care what comes out of her mouth with the help of Meg StapleIt…whatever gets the boys’ juices flowing. Fan the flames, pour gas on bon fire versus inform and discuss. And her first “press release” is this drivel? I haven’t believed a word outta her mouth since telling us she is expanding -in family numbers or her belly size. What crappola that fraud was-including the wild ride from Texas for the good ole baby to be born with a Carhartt cap versus a cowboy hat. Ha! She likes riling up the hormones of her mainly male, white, extreme religious or rt-wing political and Sarah- wanna- be female followers. Her postings will get worst as no staff now, they come unfiltered outta her mouth. Fed-up in AK Interior.

  25. Terzah says:

    …I was brought to tears by this piece…I am ashamed of the Alaskans who treated other Alaskans so badly, I am mortified by the lack of empathy and compassion and finally I am sad…and no, not one of those narrow-minded, anger-filled, people speak for me…

  26. honestyinGov says:

    A post comment on the Huffpo pointed out this link that could be helpful for people trying to debunk those fictitious emails floating around with the lies in them. These are usually the ones that the Right will post with the page number and ‘ their VERSION ‘ of what the bill says. Some people said their friends or family members were getting those emails.

    You see these on Huffpo where people keep cut-and-pasting these lists.
    This website is called pleasecutthecrap. Some far right loonies were upset that he was debunking their lies and went off in the comments on his page as well. Trying to discredit him for telling the truth.
    It is written in easy to read language with his comments in red to follow along.
    See if it is helpful.

  27. Janet Alexander says:

    Margaret Thatcher once said “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” That seems to explain the behavior of the loonies showing up at these informational meetings. They don’t have a single argument left against health care reform so they just shout crazy, angry, illogical “stuff”.

  28. Jamie says:

    Okay, I’m jumping in here after reading only half the comments posted. There was a short discussion about healthcare reform on FB among people I know from back home and one woman said “I love my neighbor I just don’t want to pay for his healthcare.” This sounds like the little old lady (where, I don’t remember) years ago who said she was furious because part of her taxes went to pay for schools and school teachers and since she had no kids she thought it was unfair and she should be able to say no.

    What we need to keep reminding people that we live in a society, a community in which there is shared responsibility. We all pay into the pot and we all profit from this money: roads, hospitals, schools (a better educated population), free clinics (yes!), a well-trained military, bridges, etc. Some of us may not have kids, but others may never drive over a bridge or live somewhere that requires a dam built. It’s all the same. And as a community or society, all of this matters to each of us. A better educated society where people can find jobs, a healthier society where people are in better shape, feel better and have the comfort of knowing that they can have surgery if needed and their kids can get cancer treatment if needed and their parents will have a respirator if needed is a happier, more content society.

    They need to know that the anger and unrest and violence in any society is caused by unhappy people who cannot live a happy, dignified life where they have opportunities open to them. And these people who keep screaming “keep govt out of my… (you fill in the blank)” are those, like Sarah, who think that the USA is the greatest country in the world. Do they know how badly our kids are educated or how unhealthy our population is compared to other countries, the countries they mock? Yes, I live in that most horribly Socialist of countries, France, yet there are ZERO healthcare worries, college is a fraction of the cost it is in the US, there is a fabulous train, public transport and hghway system that works, and the list goes on. It is far from perfect, but people understand the need to share. Because in the end, what our neighbor gets out of the system, we get as well.

  29. honestyinGov says:

    This petition was also posted by someone on Huffpo. I signed it… every little bit helps.
    It’s a petition to suspend all Senators and Congressmen’s Healthcare until they pass healthcare reform for the rest of us. What is good for one…should be good to all. It said it was going to be given to Nancy Pelosi. They need to stop playing games. They are not the ones at risk and WE are paying for their coverage when we have none ourselves.

  30. Riverside says:

    I grew up along in Eastern seaboard states, just north of the Mason-Dixon line.
    The mobs who gathered back in the 1950’s and 1960’s to drive (that old word used then) “Negro” families from their newly purchased homes in “white” neighborhoods, I remember those mobs. The mobs that tried to stop “Negro” students from attending State Universities in the South, I remember those mobs. The mobs that have been shutting down health care meetings in 2009, they will be remembered as well. Take their pictures. Publish them. Get their names and addresses. Why not, they are not ashamed of what they are doing, they are out in the open, showing off in front of everyone. They are proud of themselves. They won’t mind their neighbors seeing photos of them shouting down cancer patients and mothers with special needs children.

    Mother’s with special needs children. Now that is rich coming from the followers of the Dark Queen of the North. They are acting just like little Orks. They really are like something out of an ancient fairy tale. I wonder how they respond to flashlights shone in their faces. Maybe some in depth profiles. Why leave the publicity to the royals. Surely the mob would appreciate at least 15 minutes of individual fame. Or would that be curtailing their civil rights?

  31. sally says:

    twodux Says:
    August 10th, 2009 at 7:58 PM
    Thailand is a big destination for people from the States needing affordable medical procedures. Doctors are trained right here in the States. You can pay for the trip and still save thousands.******
    The Thailand medical facilities are wonderful. We had a great experience and would suggest anyone who is looking for “care” go there! It is difficult to explain the benefits because each has there own need, but know that the patient care is incredible, the doctors and staff are top notch, and the price is right!

  32. honestyinGov says:

    Clip # 2 of Olberman on U-tube

  33. honestyinGov says:

    I was on a Huffpo thread and someone there posted a U-tube clip of Olberman tonight.
    I think it is the same info that was posted on MSNBC but you won’t have to go to the NBC website to view it. Unless you have high-speed the Cable link can take forever to view. This is the first of the 2 clips. One to follow this.
    This is the one where he really goes after $arah.

  34. Aussie Blue Sky says:

    Even Yahoo (where the more illiterate haters like to gather) has seen fit to publicize the facts.

    I know people who will believe it simply because Yahoo said so ….

  35. Aussie Blue Sky says:

    @beth 9.57 PM – come to think of it, I’m a little surprised they didn’t bring their guns.

  36. beth says:

    AKM – do you happen to know who the fellow is in the 4th picture – the one with the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag and the bullhorn? And, maybe the more important question: Do Alaskans *normally* go to press conferences with a bullhorn strapped across their shoulder?

    Oh, wait, he’s the guy who was heckling the lung cancer man. I guess he had the bullhorn in case he couldn’t get close enough to the microphone…or close enough to harrass the speakers. I suppose he just wanted to make sure HIS voice was heard. What a poor excuse for a human he is.

  37. beth says:

    For mary b @ 106 (and anyone else it might benefit)

    Overhauling the nationâ??s healthcare system is a â??fightâ?? near and dear to my heart. My [adult] son is w/o health/medical insuranceâ?¦ [couldnâ??t get it even if he could afford it; preexisting condition, donâ??cha know.] We were paying out the wazoo for his 3 meds at â??big nameâ?? pharmacy. Month after month after â??aiii-thereâ??s-no-money-left-in-the-back-account-at-the-end-of-the-monthâ?? month.

    I searched the â??net for programs thatâ??ll help the medically uninsured pay for (get assistance in paying) prescription medicine. I came across Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) (you know, the one that Montel Williams promotes; one Iâ??ve seen countless times but never really paid any attention to), and started clicking on some of the links on the site.

    One of the links was to: Savings Cards I ended up â??joiningâ?? three different card programs for the uninsured person â?? name and email were all that was needed to â??join.â?? â??Cardsâ?? were instantly created for printing. And I printed them out.

    (I also checked out: Drug Pricing Lookup – linked from one of the Savings Programs sites. Whoa! Incredible to see a side-by-side comparison of prices charged for the exact same medicine at different stores/places!)

    So, having studied the pricing list, and with the printed cards and prescriptions in hand, I headed off to Kmart. (Until that day, honestly, when I thought of â??pharmacy,â?? the last place that came to mind was Wal-Mart or Kmartâ?¦Walgreens, Rite-Aid, CVS, etc., yes; Wal-Mart or Kmart, no.)

    I handed in the â??scripts, told the Kmart pharmacist they were for someone not covered by any medical insurance, and asked what the price would be if any or all of the discounts from the (three printed out) cards were applied. The pharmacist put the various â??cardâ?? group numbers into the computer to check how much it would cost, and was astounded that using the cards would actually be quite a savings over what using Kmartâ??s prescription med program/card would be. And the final price for the 2 prescriptions using the assistance from the cards Iâ??d printed out? Just what I needed to hear: A whopping savings of over 34%!

    Anyway, just thought Iâ??d share some info on the PPA program and the free savings cards they list. No means test to get them, nothing. Just apply. And, depending on what medical insurance a person has (or doesnâ??t have,) the savings are pretty darned substantial.

    [Many states have their own â??specialâ??/supplemental site for PPA; a site specifically tailored for their citizens with additional information about state programs/assistance for those uninsured or under-insured, medically. Georgiaâ??s, for example, is: ]

    Sorry this is so long, but UNTIL healthcare can be reformed in this country, we all have to help each other muddle through the nightmare the best we know how. Hope the above can help a Mudflatter or someone a â??flatter knows. beth.

  38. Lainey says:

    why do those rude crazy ppl care what kind of coverage I want for myself?…they can keep what they have (or don’t have) and suffer the consequences when it changes for them and let me decide what’s best for ME! Stop the yelling!

  39. lexky says:

    always speak up and let your voice be heard. stand up for something or dont stand at all

  40. seattlefan says:

    I agree mommom!

    What he said tonight was amazing and so true. His last quote by Lincoln brought me to tears. After a stressful few days of disturbing news, his comments were so healing for me.

  41. Pursang says:

    These people truly have no shame.

  42. mommom says:

    There are actually people on the meatrasah website trying to tell people the truth about the healthcare !!! Of course,they are being derided and shouted down. But at least some of them can think.

  43. dowl says:

    Should have added

    It’s also not about just us-ness either!

  44. seattlefan says:

    Thanks AKM for your first hand reporting. I agree on your sentiments on bravery. You stated:

    “Bravery is not stopping discourse. That is cowardice and ignorance and bullying. That is what you do when you know that in rational discourse you will lose.”

    You could not have hit it on the head better than a hammer on a nail. Just before I read this post I saw Keith Olbermann’s special comment and it was mind blowing. There is hope in this world when we see people who can argue and discuss with reason and intellect. Sarah Palin’s remarks only invoke hate and ridicule. I feel better tonight after hearing Keith’s comments and reading this post. My brother and my Dad even said Sarah Palin was FOS and they are die-hard conservatives. (FOS=full of …..)

    btw….(slightly OT) I’ve been absent the past few days and hope you and Shannyn raised sufficient funds for your trip. Please let us know how it went or if more is needed. 🙂

  45. dowl says:

    Thank you AKM for letting the nuts and the plain ignorant know that they to not speak for you or for the many ‘flatters here. You are brave and courageous. Your loving heart shows and I thank God for you and the work that you (and other bloggers of like mind) do for those of us who want to be good neighbors. Is really is about ‘we’ and less so about me-ness only.

  46. Chaim says:

    #167 EdgedInBlue,

    If anyone dares to heckle you, go ahead and scream. When you’ve been through that kind of hell, and you’re making an effort to help prevent others from going through it, there is no excuse for abusing you. You can let people know that you are a real person, with a real story and real feelings. Decent people will cheer for you.

  47. Sharon says:

    Thanks AKM. You’ve summed up the situation beautifully.

  48. VernD says:

    Here’s a reply a friend of mine got to a post on Facebook where she stated that the health care system is BROKEN and needs to be fixed.

    “Weird. Its not broken for me. I would love to have someone reach into my pocket so I can pay their way too. Why not, I am already helping them buy a car thanks to Comrade Obamas Everything is Free plan.”

    We sure have become “self sighted” in the way we look at things as a nation.

  49. VernD says:

    YO YO YO….. How I love that KO!
    Man… that clip was spot on!

  50. Sourdough Mullet says:

    I haven’t read the comments, and I’m sure someone has already posted a link to this, but it SO bears reposting. Go and watch Keith Olbermann’s special report concerning Palin’s absurd “death panels” statement and the healthcare debate overall. He is laying it all out there, and not mincing any words. A long overdue “calling out” of the lies and liars who tell them, and it is SPOT-ON!
    View it and send it to everyone in your email address list! Here’s the link:

  51. twodux says:

    Thailand is a big destination for people from the States needing affordable medical procedures. Doctors are trained right here in the States. You can pay for the trip and still save thousands.

  52. mommom says:

    That deal about people from Canada coming here for procedures holds no water.Many more cross the borders to both Canada and Mexico for meds,dental care,eyecare,and some cancer treatments.

  53. jojobo1 says:

    These dissenters want someone to yell back than they can say it was started by others.In an unruly crowd like that it is best to observe and do just what AKM did,Write about what happened.Get the truth of it out for all to see.All these people can’t be fron the GOP or insurance companies some I believe just take people like palin,beck,hannity and burke at there word instead of fact checking what is said.

  54. Pat says:

    Please submit this thoughtful piece to the adn. More people need to hear what you saw.

  55. These morons are everywhere, not just in Alaska. John Dingell was confronted by these fools in a town hall meeting. He asked everyone to raise their hands if they were receiving Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. Roughly half the people (by his count, in his words) raised their hands, including an equal share of the protesters. What are they protesting? Their OWN so-called “socialist” health care? These idiots don’t even know what they have!

    The same day, last Saturday, the Detroit Free Press ran an article saying BCBS will raise rates over 22% (talked DOWN from over 50%). They already raised rates over 30% last year (based on what I’m paying now vs. what I paid in 08). WHAT THE **** can they possibly protest if they’re not protesting that??

  56. Madeline says:

    We, the rational people, have to stand up and take these wingnuts on. Someone is going to get killed and Palin and her groupies will be responsible. She tried to get Obama assasinated during the campaign, and is continuing her racist rant. She doesn’t give a SHIT about her “Downs” child and would have aborted him if she had the guts. Instead, she got on a plane and flew from Texas to Anchorage while in labor, hoping he would die enroute. This has to stop, reasonable people have to take over. We can’t let Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity run this country, enough is ENOUGH!!!

  57. Alaska Pi says:

    @198 Elsie –

    I agree.
    AKM owes no apology for not speaking up to a screaming dingbat….
    AKM stands right right up, day after day.
    Sometimes speaking, always bearing witness, that’s more than most of us do.

    I am disgusted, as an Alaskan, that I have neighbors who have forgotten what AKM says so well… about needing each other and we all used to (apparently don’t anymore) know that through and through .
    Ashamed for my state.

  58. The Right Reverend says:

    May I please have permission to copy/paste this to anyone supporting the opposition? I’ll provide a link, but there’s plenty of people willing to ignore a link. I’d like to do both, and extract a few paragraphs. No other writing has been so true-to-point and eloquent.

  59. MonaLisa IS MY NAME! says:

    156 strangelet:

    I up my bid to $75, and I’ll throw in lawn mowing!

  60. jojobo1 says:

    Sheesh,The same thing happened with Hillarycare but from the way I understood it she was for universal health care not just an public option and Yes Ted Kennedy,no matter what or how you think of the man has worked on health care for years.I saw someone had a sign at one of the meetings that said why didn’t Ted go to Canada for treatment of his cancer.My answer would be he had the money even if he did not have insurance to pay for any treatment he wanted.Many people go over to Europe for treatment that they can’t get here.As a small business owner I would think you would go for the option of getting together with other small business owners to get decent insurance for your employees,you know pooling to get cheaper rates.I don’t think any of these plans are strictly Obama he said their were things he would like to see in them but left it up to congress to work out details.The insurance companies have fought tooth and nail to stop pooling and that says a lot about them.

  61. tamara says:

    lilybart Says:
    August 10th, 2009 at 2:30 PM

    sandrainoregan: Ezekiel Emmanuel is a bioethicist, they deal with life in the abstract, philosophy, academic thinking, not real world. That concept is beyond Miss Wasilla and her followers though.

    You are right. It’s research, therefore factual and crude, no emotions allowed. If we did not have these people doing this type of research in order to set up laws and policies, it would be up to individuals to make decisions on which of their chirldren, siblings, parents could receive a rationed healthcare such as an organ transplant. Let’s say Trig, Todd and Granny all need a heart transplant in order to survive, and only one heart is available, does $p believe she could take a decision on who of the three gets the transplant ? (heartless as she is, she may need one herself). Probably not, and it would not be expected of her. And doctors know that in such a situation, they will be subjected to the anger of grieving parents, no matter who gets the transplant. It goes with the job, and we often forget that most of these doctors have very human feelings.

    And if laws and policies were inexistent, then money and power would prevail.

  62. justafarmer says:

    mudpup healthcare task force is in chat…join us for the conversation and suggestions

  63. Polly says:

    I saw some of the sign holders standing across from the Egan Center late morning as I was making my way to the Chamber luncheon to hear Begich speak about Healthcare Reform. There were approx. 500 (!) people at the luncheon, no hecklers, and good steady applause everytime he spoke of a particular benefit on items in the bill. He explained it will still take a lot of time to iron out details, there are three section of the bill in the House, three in the Senate, and one in finance. Eventually things get consolidated and more debate. The Q&A was good, and during his introduction. he did bring up that there were certain myths and lies out there All in all, good turn-out, presentation, feedback, and positive event. So, the thinking business people sounded like they “got” it. Senator Begich did a nice job with a powerpoint and made a lot of sense!!

  64. Claw Washout Palin says:

    What the Obama Administration should do is; sign a Health Insurance Bill into Law. When the August recess is over, they should tell the Repubs to visit the WH website to become familiar with the New Health Care Reform Bill with the single payer option. It was introduced and has passed by the 51 Senate votes. The End….Next

  65. winkwink says:

    Oberman is hot on Sarah tonight!!! Called Fox , CLUSTER FOX. name fits, don’t you think? Love Oberman and Rachel!!!

  66. 264 Crayons says:

    KO = Sarah Palin is a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER (That’s a Tom Clancy novel – holy cow!) Wow, awesome job!

    And how about the nice federal rates? If I were working for the state I could pay about $242 for FULL FAMILY coverage. Coverage for me and my two kids at my non-profit job is $350 per month – that’s MY contribution. I can’t afford to add my spouse at ANOTHER $350 per month. Every change in jobs has led me to assuming more and more of the cost with less and less of benefits.

    Let’s not even talk about car insurance and house insurance in the gulf states.

  67. bubbles says:

    `elsie. thank you… akm was the first blogger i ever read. she is not only brave but a class act.

  68. twodux says:

    The only thing I want to know about Eddie Burke is…. Why isn’t he on the registered sex offender list?

  69. sjk from the belly of the plane says:

    “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” is what I came up with for my blooze fix…. A few bars of that and it makes ya think…An old Rev. Gary Davis song covered by many artists…

    google and enjoy some of the best old time classic gospel/blues ever.

    scarah can ya me?

  70. Elsie says:

    As far as I know, AKM was the first widely-read Alaskan blogger in the lower 48, who directed a very bright light on Palin when the nation and the world, shocked at the vp selection, wanted more information.

    I winced at criticism in this very blog that AKM shoulda spoken up today. I believe the service, dedication and truthfulness she shows via this avenue of communication precludes anyone scolding her about any of her choices online or out in public.

  71. AlaskaDisasta says:

    Abraham Lincoln must have been thinking of Bimbo Brain when he said this:

    “She can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any one I know.”

  72. not that sarah says:

    sorry if this was posted already — but please pass it on in emails, twitter, and fb. I just signed up to go to my rep’s office, where I can be heard without teabaggers drowning me out.

  73. Quarter Granite Palin says:

    Did you voice out loud (not a yell but a firm statement) ‘You do not speak for me’? Many people standing together chanting in quiet, yet firm voices can often drown out the shouts of insanity surrounding them.

    Try it next time. ‘You do NOT speak for me.” I’d be surprised if other sane and caring people in the room do not join in the chant. It needn’t be shouted. The minority is doing enough shouting for now. Let’s let the majority use their voice (instead of frustrated silence). Many voices together can make a very LOUD statement.

  74. sjk from the belly of the plane says:

    nan, sorry for the brevity of my omg…KO was a bit long winded, but he excoriated (sic???) the royal moose pellet, aka sarah palin.

    When the opposition is unable to intelligently defend itself its a Technical
    Knock Out.

  75. duchessofdork says:

    mlaiuppa ~ thanks for all the great quotes today. 🙂

  76. mlaiuppa says:

    Another Asimov quote:

    “Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly. ”

    These are the brownshirts the Corporatocracy is employing to hijack the town halls.

    We need another Asimov. And another Wallace.

  77. sheesh says:

    A few comments back (actually quite a few by now!) someone asked me to back up my comment that the Obama plan (referred to as the President’s plan on myobama email I got yesterday) was seriously flawed. First of all let me qualify this by saying I have not read the over 1000 pages of the plan. I have relied upon the professional associations I belong to guide me to, what I hope are, unbiased assessments of the plan. What I can tell you is that the plan has tried to appease a number of groups and in the process it is a diluted program which tries to marry a public plan with private options, somewhat similar to what we have now in many ways except that it attempts to include those who have no plan and are not coverable under current state medicaid options. The primary flaw is in how this plan will be paid for. It attempts to curb costs by addressing wasteful and unneccessary spending and fraud. I would draw your attention to the fact that we have allegedly been attacking wasteful spending and fraud in government programs for decades with no decrease in the same. Some of the fear tactics used by the likes of Limbaugh, et al are to scare seniors into believing that they’ll no longer have access to procedures such as hip replacements because of insurance actuarial tables. Shame on anyone who massages the fear of our most vulnerable! But the bottom line is there is simply no way to pay for this plan without increased taxation or cutting something from somewhere. I’ve not been given a satisfactory answer to that problem by any legislator I’ve discussed this with.

    As far as recent efforts at health reform one only need look to the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, the most recognizable change being Medicare D which was supposed to provide seniors and others eligible a way to cover the exhorbitant cost of prescription medications. Just ask any really sick person who hits the dreaded ‘donut hole’ just how effective this government plan is. I’m not so naive to think what little reform there has been and what is currently offered hasnt been thoroughly influenced by the very people who would stand to lose the most with a single payor system.

    What would be lovely is if we all had the plan currently offered to our congressional leaders….but we won’t because the cost would simply be unaffordable. For a good assessment of not only the current plan in debate but also a look at what works and doesnt and why and all of it backed up go to It behoves all of us to sift through the rhetoric and get the facts as unadulterated as we can so that we can address these town halls intelligently and with a passion that speaks of understanding rather than with fear and name-calling.

  78. emrysa says:

    “They shouted at a mom of a young child with special needs. They asked her how much she got paid by the AFL-CIO. They shouted at a man with lung cancer, breathing with assistance, telling him he wasn’t an American. They shouted at a small business owner telling him that he was in cahoots with “Obama’s Dirty Nuts” – ACORN. ”

    thank you for being there to document this. I am sure it was not pleasant.

    we have a serious ignorance problem in this country.

  79. Donna says:

    KO’s Special Comment was sensational. Right on the money.

  80. Canadian Neighbour says:

    Kathy Griffen is hosting Larry King tonight. She’s talking with Joan Rivers at the moment. Levi is coming on shortly.

  81. Nan (aka roswellborn) says:

    sjk from the belly of the plane (186)

    uh… you’re leaving it at that?

    sigh. Will have to watch online

  82. sjk from the belly of the plane says:

    Locked, Loaded and Liberal.

    (AKM, please feel free to “moderate” this…I feel the need to implore folks to protect themselves if they choose to do so….I love all of the Amendments)

    Now I feel the urge to take out my lovely Taylor guitar, or maybe the Martin and play da blooze…

  83. sjk from the belly of the plane says:


  84. sjk from the belly of the plane says:

    KO=Knock OUT!

  85. justafarmer says:

    “the real life you know so little about Ms. Palin….”
    get ‘er KO!

  86. justafarmer says:

    oh my!
    KO is nailing $P’s hide to the wall!

  87. NMJ says:

    Special Comment is on SP!

  88. NMJ says:

    Love KO’s Special Comment on now!

  89. sjk from the belly of the plane says:

    KO just said , “Cluster Fox and Friends” and I almost spit decent wine on a new laptop.

  90. manxmamma says:

    Bless you!

  91. duchessofdork says:

    sky ~ Just the fact that these lies and distortions have caused that older person to cry with fear and dread shows how far these people (Beck, Limbaugh, etc.) are willing to go to promote their agenda. They don’t care that they’re causing real people real trauma.

  92. BuffaloGal says:

    Sky – where are you located ? How many folks showed up ? Did people get to speak?

    I’m just heartbroken thinking about how these “churches” are spreading lies and fear.

  93. NMJ says:

    Want to see what the health benefits are for Federal employees…including Congress? You won’t believe your eyes, especially when you look at the charts and see what the employee contribution is!

    Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB)

  94. Rob in Ca says:

    Say NO to Palin in Politics Says:
    August 10th, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    I agree with you that more discussion is good. Let’s make this as good as we can. I don’t see anyone stopping discussion other than the right wing noise machine and the majority of the Republican lawmakers. There has been plenty of time, and plenty of opportunity, and we have the recess to continue discussions.

    Then, it is time to act. We cannot wait for a perfect health care bill (single payer would be a step in that direction though..). We need to get started on fixing this immense, complex problem now.

    Good point on Campbell, and great link to Halcro’s piece on him. Fortunately, Campbell will probably have very little impact on the state during his short term unless the unthinkable happens and he becomes Governor.

  95. I tried to post this earlier, but lost my internet connection:

    It’s not just 16 years; presidents going back to Truman have said we need health care insurance reform, and just health care reform in general. That’s 60 years, so I don’t buy the line that this is being rushed. No plan is going to be perfect. If we wait for perfect, we’ll just give the insurance companies that much more control and that much more money.

    The people who rant at the town halls are being duped by large corporations who are taking millions of dollars of everyone’s hard earned money, all the while these ill-informed people who look so ugly when they yell and disrupt keep telling the government to leave them alone. Well, there’s the problem – do you want the government doing something about health care or do you want corporations in control of your life and death issues? But they don’t, and won’t, get it because they are too busy listening to the sound of their own voices, and unwilling to try to hear anyone else’s point of view.

    AKM, my first reaction was the same as some others – you should have spoken up. However, on thinking of myself in that same situation, I’m not sure I would have either. There is a time to speak up and a time to be silent. Yelling back at someone who is yelling only makes the sound so deafening that no one can possibly be heard. And shutting down discourse in any way is exactly what they want.

    You have spoken up – here, and eloquently. And you have created a place for dialogue. Even here, we don’t all agree, but we are talking, exchanging ideas, asking questions, getting links to places for answers, and that, after all, is much more important and valuable than shouting down one of the nitwits who shows his ignorance in a public meeting.

    Many of us have our own blogs or are on facebook or twitter. What better way to spread the word than by linking this to our own accounts. In my email today I got a letter from Axelrod with a link to a new White House site that explains and debunks the many erroneous errors being spread by the uninformed, but very vocal, minority. Later, I plan to post both those on facebook, and on my several blogs. I don’t have tons of people who read what I write or follow me on social network sites, but I do have some and I know that they don’t all think the same as I do. It takes getting information out to people, sometimes one person at a time. This isn’t the time to give up or to give up hope.

    We each need to do whatever we can to make sure that every person in the United States has affordable health care. If we don’t do that, then shame on all of us.


  96. honestyinGov says:

    One comment on Huffpo just now said Keith O. was going to talk about $arah’s comments on his show right now.

  97. Cathy in Texas says:

    ABC World News just did a segment on Facts about the Health Care Reform bill. While brief, they did indicate that the portion of the bill about End of Life Decisions is intended to encourage physicians to discuss End of Life decisions with their patients every 5 years. As a RN for over 30 years, it is sad to me that doctors and health care professionals have to be encouraged to address choices and decisions that people should consider making in advance. Aside from that however, is the fact that hospitals have been required for years to ask patients if they have Advance Directives (living wills and designated Medical Power of Attorney) . Unfortunately, most hospitals address this as part of their admission paper work. Nurses address it in their admission assessment but most people don’t have enough information to even ask questions. This small portion of the Health Care Reform bill is a valid attempt to educate people but I think it is appalling that it is being used as a distraction to the more pertinent issues of Health Care Reform (or should I say Health Insurance Reform).
    I guess I better get ready here in Texas. It is going to be a long, bumpy ride! I am on my way to my Congressman’s office tomorrow to do my part in having a voice…..and, no, I won’t be yelling obsenities at him. (sure would like to though!) I have emailed Rachel Maddow with a request that they do a segment to educate viewers about End of LIfe Care and Decision Making. In case anyone wants to become more informed, google Robert Wood Johnson Foundation or the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. In addition, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) is another informative source. Hospitals who receive Medicare funding are required to be JCAHO accredited. JCAHO has had end of life care standards for years. Sorry for my lengthy post, but End of Life Care has been a professional interest of mine. I see too many families and patients going through miserable and futile procedures, surgeries, and treatments because they have never been educated and informed about making personal decisions about a dignified and peaceful end of life. I hope that the “death panel” distraction won’t negatively impact the chances for reasonable reform.

  98. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    Drop by your senator’s office–

    This is how to make your healthcare views known…just enter your zip and they’ll guide you to the office, give you the office hours and even sign you up for a visit!

  99. AlaskaDisasta says:

    People think of violence as involving the physical. I consider shouting and screaming at others as violence as well. It is a form of abuse and those who use it are thugs. Some who said it more eloquently:

    Isaac Asimov:
    Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

    John F. Kennedy:
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    Bishop Desmond Tutu:
    We must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose.

  100. BuffaloGal says:

    samper Says:

    BuffaloGal: Someone on huffpo commented using the term “whilst”! LOL! It was you being all elitist with your fancy words the other night, wasn’t it?
    Samper – I only pose as elitist because Sarah has such disdain for them. In reality I live in a hovel with an evil cat and a cupboard filled with box mac n’ cheese. (that I happen to eat whilst watching the cat think evil thoughts at me)

    Re: the town hall meetings – I just checked for something local and have found naught. I really want to check in on the temperament of Buffalo.

  101. EdgedInBlue says:

    Stories like these frighten me because I plan on speaking at a local town hall. My husband died in 2002 of cholangiocarcinoma. Whilst we had very good union insurance, the doctors pressed him to take chemotherapy (not effective against this disease) up until 2 days before he died. It was horrendous trying to refuse treatment that was obviously not needed but pressed by the oncologist. After he died, most of his life insurance went to pay off those bills of unnecessary care, including 3 trips by ambulance over 250 miles.

    I know I can tell the story, it has been long enough that I am very objective about it. But even tho I am not an angry person, I am afraid that should someone disrupt me, or my wonderful Senator, I will return that anger in kind. I don’t like feel like screaming, but I am afraid I might succumb to it. I wish for sense and civility…especially from their side! 😉

  102. daMamma says:

    I would like to say that I am shocked about the “shouting down” of those that spoke of personal health care experiences at this town meeting. I would like to say, but I am not. I am simply saddened that those that would refuse to educate themselves, those that would prefer to get their information through sounds bites, that those whose fears are inflamed by the Republican party should act out in this manner.

    Civil discourse means I can stand up and say, “I disagree with you on this matter.” Then state my case in a civil manner. Then you get to stand up and explain to me why you are right and I am wrong in a civil manner. Only in this way can we come together and find a common ground, an understanding and either find a way to fix our disagreement or walk away agreeing to disagree on this (or any other) matter.

    This is not civil discourse. This is blatant baiting, spoiling for a fight action.

    Thank you AK for going, and thank you for telling us how it was there today.

  103. Rob in Ca says:

    Nan thanks for the link….and Bubbles thank you too! Got some readin’ to do!

  104. Empish says:

    No questions were asked of Campbell. Les Gara made a brief statement regarding something he had read regarding Campbell’s feelings about homosexuals being barred from food service employment due to aids risk.
    Gara said it had been further explained and had no merit.
    That was the only statement made.

  105. honestyinGov says:

    Someone just posted this link on Huffpo.
    CNN is running this ‘ false ad ‘ put out by this deceptive Right Wing Agency with all kinds of lies. But they refused to run the ‘ truthful’ Lou Dobbs ads…
    CNN….. buy some integrity. You have none left. It fell out of your pockets while you were stuffing all that Ad CASH into them.

    From the TPM website.

  106. Nan (aka roswellborn) says:

    Rob in CA

    Here ya go:

  107. NMJ says:

    105 sheesh Says: August 10th, 2009 at 2:04 PM
    It would be interesting to get the demographics of the ‘ranters’. I suspect that most are middle-class folk who feel the democratic party no longer speaks to them or for them.

    Actually, many of them, while saying they are “middle-class folk”, are actually Republican shills and employees of the health care or insurance industries. This was abundantly documented on both KO and Rachel last week. One woman carrying a baby said she didn’t even belong to a political party while, in reality, her online documentation showed she was a staunch Republican who, until recently, actually ran part of the local Republican organization. A closeup of a man showed he hadn’t even bothered to change his company shirt…which had the health care company he worked for embroidered in large letters on his sleeve.

    I’m sure more of this will come out as people start looking more closely at these troublemakers.

  108. Diane from Arkansas says:

    Ironies of irony. The man responsible for Advance Care Planning being in the health care legislation is a conservative R from Georgia:

    And as it turns out, the cause of advance planning has been championed especially strongly by a pro-life Republican — U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia.

    Isakson (photo above) is a member of Senate Health committee that played a key role in shaping the health care reform legislation. He successfully offered an amendment in committee that allows funds for a government-funded program that provides in-home services to people with disabilities to be used for advance care planning, according to the national Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

    Isakson has been promoting advance care planning for years. In 2007, for example, he co-sponsored two bills to encourage such planning — the Medicare End-of-Life Care Planning Act and the Advance Planning and Compassionate Care Act.

    I just emailed his website thanking him for this important work and now he has to stand up and defend it from the lunatics who have hijacked the good legislation. He needs to speak out, now! Let’s help him do just that.

  109. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    yep, yep, yep Rob in CA.

    It is past due, has been a long time coming and most should have been expecting it. It’s just so much high drama to effect so much change needed in so many areas, lol.

    But perhaps, the ‘flaws’ people are seeing or not finding in the bill, be it from citizens, Dr.’s, health care givers, medical product, insurance, drugs, we, not just our government, need to hear all the voices and we as citizens deserve to have those questions addressed by our government and, we as citizens deserve the opportunity to add our own creative input as to possible ways to solve any problems.

    So I see the stirring debate as a good thing to raise questions and considerations, but no, not the violence, rudeness or disruption.

    I’m guessing the lobbyists of large groups have had more than their fair chance at our official’s ear, but I think we deserve to know what they are saying to or asking of our elected officials.


    I did not get a chance to listen to the special session, please tell me they asked Campbell questions, like any investigations about conduct, before voting a yes confirmation. And who voted yay or nay. After reading a lot of comments about him, I am concerned. I hope a “WAR” type character wasn’t just slipped into our government via Scarah.

    Here is an example of what I’m referring to……

  110. Nina Trick says:

    Thanks, AKM.

    This kind of stuff makes me so sad, and frankly, very afraid.

  111. Canadian Neighbour says:

    The summit in Mexico today between Mex, U.S. & Canada. Canadian news stations showed all three speaking. CNN announced they were watching until Obama spoke and showed him. What ground Obama has gained in the world, the media helps to kill it by ignoring it as CNN does show worldwide.

  112. strangelet says:

    This disruption plague is quite scary. The reason the U.S. has maintained a stable, coup-free government (well, except for that unpleasantness in 1860-4), with generally improving civil liberties, is not because the Constitution (specifically the Bill of Rights) is so cleverly written. It’s because the vast majority of citizens over the last 220 years have basically taken it for granted.

    We (and our predecessors) collectively assume that what it says is the way it is, and that we do have a government of laws. (Certainly, there have been exceptional periods, but we’ve always sort of come back to the ground state. I think it’s because the dangerous periods have never lasted a whole generation).

    Freedom of speech and assembly is the fundamental right that secures all the others — because it allows us to point out violations and ask for redress. An unspoken underpinning of the notion of “freedom of speech” is the concept of civility in discourse; that is, you must be able to express your opinion — whatever it is — without being shouted down.

    Now, shouting down has a long and dishonorable tradition in all societies, including ours. It is often rationalized by the shouters as occurring because they are just fed up with the shoutee, or what the shoutee represents, or just the “system” in general. I believe that the Framers felt that as long as the shouting wasn’t orchestrated by the government, things would eventually work themselves out.

    The Framers, however, lived in a predominantly rural, low-population-density society. In the urbanized 20th Century, we saw plenty of instances of “mob rule”, on all sides of the political spectrum. One common feature of all of them was, of course, the suppression of civil discourse, at first by unofficial means. This tends to make me very nervous when I see organized shouting-down. These folks are taking chances with the very supports of our society.

    I’d feel a little better if ALL our elected officials and opinion leaders would condemn this activity, but of course many on the right are either encouraging it, or pretending that it’s somehow normal behavior. There is nothing more fundamentally American than civility in political argument. Supporting its erosion — actively or passively — is a vile betrayal.

  113. AlaskaDisasta says:

    America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system
    ……………..Walter Cronkite

  114. NMJ says:

    Here is a great new part of the Whitehouse website addressing in plain English the Healthcare controversies:

    Health Insurance Reform Reality Check

    Note the two links to the right for 1) Consumer Protections and 2) Health Insurance Reform FAQs. Both are excellent rebuttals to the crazy fascists and simply-confused out there.

  115. Rob in Ca says:


    What was that link to ‘healthylookathealth’? It didn’t work as typed, but sounds interesting!

  116. AlaskaDisasta says:

    Canadians make ‘good bogeyman’ in U.S. health-care debate, says president

    On a separate issue, Obama cracked a joke in Canada’s direction.

    He warned that Canada would continue to serve as a whipping boy in the highly charged U.S. debate over the future of health care, which has seen town hall meetings erupt into scuffles this summer.

    Warnings about the danger of adopting “Canadian-style socialized medicine” are a ubiquitous refrain among critics of Obama’s intended reforms.

    “I suspect that you Canadians will continue to get dragged in by those who oppose reform – even though I’ve said nothing about Canadian health-care reform,” Obama said.

    “I don’t find Canadians particularly scary, but I guess some of the opponents of reform think they make a good bogeyman.”

    The 3 Amigos are meeting in Mexico (Harper, Obama, Calderone) and I guess Obama cracked above joke. At least he appreciates how ridiculous this all is and we get to read about it in the Canadian papers. I think Obama should move to Canada. We’d feed him maple leaf cookies, beaver-tails, poutine, and enjoy him tremendously, not to mention his delightful wife and children. You guys can have our not-so-prime minister. Yuck!

  117. Ripley in CT says:

    *volunteers to be a bouncer*

  118. Lee says:

    118 Elsie Says:
    August 10th, 2009 at 2:14 PM
    I’m so confused. It’s not bullying; it’s FASCISM!
    That is a good read. I recommend it to one and all. Now you know what Sarah is. She is a Fascist. This is a dangerous time in our country. This is a time to keep your friends close, but your enimies even closer.

  119. AlaskaDisasta says:

    And again from VP Wallace (this guy had a GOOD brain!)

    “The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact,” Wallace wrote. “Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy.”

    In his strongest indictment of the tide of fascism the Vice President of the United States saw rising in America, he added, “They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.”

    Finally, Wallace said, “The myth of fascist efficiency has deluded many people. … Democracy, to crush fascism internally, must…develop the ability to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It must put human beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels.”

    Hits the nail squarely on the head. Do you recognize any of these people?

  120. bubbles says:

    also,too. i am going to see Nydia Velasquez next week. she is my representative. i am going at the behest of president Obama. i am to tell her what i am going to tell her. then tell her. then tell her what i told her. that way she won’t be confused about what president wants done. i suggest we all write and or visit our senators and reps.and do exactly what i plan to do in exactly the same format. that ought to make our thoughts and intentions clear enough..

  121. AlaskaDisasta says:

    Mlaiuppa – thank you for that great link! Here is another quote from FDR’s VP Wallace (1941-1945):

    Vice President Wallace bluntly laid out in his 1944 Times article his concern about the same happening here in America:

    “If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. … They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.”

    Guess what?! I think we can very easily identify the American Fascists amongst us. This is heavy stuff.

  122. Diane from Arkansas says:

    AKRaven and Booboodog, I had the very same conversation this morning. I am sick to tears about all the hate bubbling up from the sewers; radio, tv, internet, in front of me….I just want to turn my head and walk away. BUT, that’s just what they want us to do. If we don’t speak up, they win. And, by God we can’t let that happen. While their agenda is loud, stupid and ugly, ours needs to be quiet, firm and in LARGE numbers. Call, visit, email, write your representatives, tv networks, and foes. When some lunatic screams they speak for all America, quietly tell them they don’t speak for you. I would have hunted that woman up after the event and quietly told her she does not speak for me and to quit makin’ things up.

    However, Niceville should exist for occasional respite from the large work ahead of us. I’ll bring the chocolate.

  123. psg_Bill says:

    Here is a website for folks to go to get information about aspects of the health care plan;

    Learn what you can, speak up and participate.

  124. samper says:

    BuffaloGal: Someone on huffpo commented using the term “whilst”! LOL! It was you being all elitist with your fancy words the other night, wasn’t it? 😉

    Someone on The Ed Show (woman) just said that folks should get up and tell their nightmares at the meetings. She obviously didn’t hear about what happens to people who do.

    I’m just aching over this. It is so ridiculously out of control.

    Each congressperson should hire bar bouncers for their meetings… A few extra bucks for the bouncers and no disruptions. Bouncers don’t mess around.

  125. Canadian Neighbour says:

    Sorry to disagree, but Ted Kennedy has worked on healthcare for years.

  126. AKraven says:

    130 mlaiuppa Says:
    August 10th, 2009 at 2:27 PM

    check this:

    You can google more.

    Thanks for the link. I often don’t revisit mudflats every day, but today was an especially disturbing one.

  127. 264 Crayons says:

    HEY, Say NO to Palin in Politics Says…

    You are on the right track! Not only show their faces but also air their voices and hatred coming through. The media seemed to avoid the negative SP rallys – I don’t recall seeing the angry mobs and foul words and language being broadcast. It was ordinary people with video cameras who posted it and sent it viral.

    I was reading about another town hall meeting last week and watching video of it. Not only was I appalled at such anger but the total lack of disrespect for fellow human beings. It gave me the chills much like the palin’ around with terrorists speeches and the first time I heard Palin speak at the convention. Such putrid filth in those hearts.

    What people NEED to do that attend these meetings is gather around the people wishing to speak and create a positive barrier of encouragement. Sneak in a bullhorn too.

    My Democratic rep, Landrieu, is against a public option. So even a D by the name guarantees nothing. It’s all about the money.

  128. duchessofdork says:

    I agree with Village Reader: I want to see this article on Huffington Post.

  129. bubbles says:

    {{{mary b}}}}…. rob in ca and sheesh. just a farmer and some of the pups are talking about this subject at last night they started really getting us organized. yes we can

  130. Sue says:

    @duchessofdork: These screaming people are ignorant of the facts. If they would educate themselves, they would see that health care is currently being RATIONED by the HMO’s. The “death panels” are currently maintained by rich businessmen. It is the health care corporations who stand to lose if this bill passes, and they are so greedy that they will do anything to stop it. They are USING these people to try to maintain the status quo. They incite fear and violence in the masses by spreading lies that upset them. Then they set them loose at town hall meetings to try to make the media report that health care reform is a bad thing. The media is in cahoots with them; they report this screaming as if it were a grass roots movement. The best thing we can do, IMO, is attend every town hall meeting that we can; while there, we need to let the media see that the majority of us support this bill and support our President.

  131. Sue says:

    Well-put, AKM. Thank you for attending. WE MUST ALL ATTEND EVERY TOWN MEETING THAT WE CAN this month, or the shouting minority will be the only ones heard. We must show support for health care reform and for our President; otherwise, we will allow the bullies to deny us our freedom of speech.

  132. michigander says:

    AKM, I am so sad for you. I know it is happening everywhere, I just didn’t want to believe it would happen there.

  133. duchessofdork says:

    All this hatred and vitriol over . . . . Health Care Reform?

    My God. We thought the long 8 year nighmare was over with Obama’s election, but it seems that the cancer had spread farther and deeper than we’d ever thought possible.

    *hanging my head in grief*

  134. mlaiuppa says:

    in 1944 Vice President Wallace wrote:

    “The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power. It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice. It may be shocking to some people in this country to realize that, without meaning to do so, they hold views in common with Hitler when they preach discrimination…”

    It’s about time the liberal media starting using the F word, often and with citations. Fascism.

  135. Bystander says:

    Sarah is genetically programmed, and probably contractually obligated, to spew idiotic crap during each news cycle, so expect more of the same.

  136. lilybart says:

    sandrainoregan: Ezekiel Emmanuel is a bioethicist, they deal with life in the abstract, philosophy, academic thinking, not real world. That concept is beyond Miss Wasilla and her followers though.


  137. sheesh says:

    Rob in CA.

    I am agreeing that we are seeing a mob now and I believe that it’s fueled by the media (Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh and the like). But I will have to disagree that we’ve been working on healthcare for 16 years. Healthcare reform took a huge backseat after ‘Hillarycare’ failed to see the light of day. Why? Other issues took center stage; 9/11 and the dizzying response of the Bush administration to engage in a war were in large part responsible for our attentions being focused elsewhere. But there are other issues as well. Both sides are to blame for dropping the ball.

    My work involves dealing with and advocating for the healthcare of seniors, the mentally ill and the developmentally disabled on a daily basis and through the professional associations I belong to I am updated continually on healthcare reform issues and bills on a statewide as well as national issue. I depend on the non-partisan assessments of these efforts to base my own opinions on. The Obama plan was truly ‘rushed’ even though the issue is decades old. There was no time for anyone to truly absorb and question the plan. It was rushed for the very reason we’re talking about this now…to avoid the public discussion of the plan….sorry…but that’s how politics is played and when it’s played poorly it backfires as it has done in this case.

    Do I want to see reform? Of course I do! I’m a small business owner who provides a fully covered health plan to my employees at an outrageous monthly cost to my business. But is that what distresses me? No…it’s the quality of what I can offer my employees or should I say lack of quality. The plan has a huge deductable which most of my staff, should they actually incur a debilitating illness, would be hard-pressed to meet and yet this is all that is available for me to offer. There are far more small business owners who simply don’t cover their employees at all. I could give you countless case histories of clients who’ve been denied coverage because of mental illness but who are not financially eligible for indigent programs. Ultimately we all pay for the inequities whether people get their healthcare in the emergency room or from a medicaid authorized doctor.

  138. lilybart says:

    Miss Wasilla’s runner-up, Parnell, he now has to actually apply for the money, yes? Will he?

  139. Elsie says:

    Wow, I’m just learning ALL kinds of things today.

    “Campaign for America’s Future” is the sponsor of Netroots Nation! Of course, they must be good people! You can get some really good info if you go to their website, and check out THEIR ideas about confronting the bullies in the town hall meetings.


    Stand Up For Health Care Reform: Take Back The Town Halls”
    “The wild mobs disrupting congressional town hall events, intimidating lawmakers and shouting down reform are not just expressing their views. Don’t let them hijack the debate. Make our voices heard for real health care reform.”
    Print out pdf pages that explain the facts about health care reform and learn how to talk about it. Good stuff here!!!

  140. deist says:

    UK Lady:

    Just goes to show, she was Alaska’s extremist governor, now she’s just an extremist.

    Its disturbing there are still 14 rabid extremists in Alaska’s legislature.

  141. lilybart says:

    I believe that people should share in the revenue from natural resources, but, do these Deathers realize that they get checks just for breathing, in Alaska? That Alaska is the most socialized state in the 50 states??

    just sayin

  142. Suchanut says:


  143. fawnskin mudpuppy says:

    akm just posted on facebook about the legislature’s overturn thingy

  144. Rob in Ca says:

    Say NO to Palin in Politics Says:
    August 10th, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    I agree with your comments 100%. The plan is not even done. I believe 6 different committees have passed versions of a plan. This is the time to be coming together and discussing the pros and cons. It is not Obama’s plan. It is not rushed (after 16 years of ongoing discussion in every venue on earth…). It does not have to be bipartisan to be right.

    This is not a time to be giving credence to the talking points of the right wing mouthpieces. What it is, is a time for every citizen to contact their representatives and demand real conversation, a complete denunciation of the hate-mongering, the racism, the lies, and the incitement to bullying and violence.

  145. the problem child says:

    Celtic Diva just tweeted that the stimulus override passed. So the day’s not a complete wash.

  146. UK Lady says:

    Empish – YeeeeHaaah!

    deist – it was still overturned though, she will be spitting feathers.

  147. sauerkraut says:

    42 Village Reader Says:
    August 10th, 2009 at 12:43 PM
    @ Mlaiuppa

    I agree. They need to clamp down on these meetings and control them. Anyone harassing needs to be removed immediately.

    I’ve heard that extra security will be present at a town hall meeting Senator Specter will hold at Harrisburg Area Community College tomorrow morning. I may go just to see what happens. Let’s see if the bullies are made to allow people to ask questions and to hear responses, and let’s see if security removes those who get disorderly.

  148. BuffaloGal says:

    I have to say that I don’t think I would’ve shouted back, either. As much as I would’ve been moved to, I just don’t think it would’ve done anything more than stoke the fire. These folks are not going to listen. They want us to shout back.

    I haven’t read the two articles about taking back the town hall meetings yet , but to me that sounds like one place to start. In my mind I want us to take back the town meeting forum for the sake of BOTH sides of the debate. I imagine there are those who are in the middle or even against the reform who would like a reasonable forum for discussion. Actually, I’ve been hoping the reasonable heads that oppose the bill would step up to say, ‘HEY! Stop it! I’m against the bill too but we all need to speak! ” to the mob. (they are out there, right ??? )

  149. Alaska Pi says:

    it’s awful… makes me sick.
    Don’t have time to read all the comments right now… have to go back to work
    IS anyone asking why the organizers of these forums, including this one today, are not having security escort disruptors outside…?
    Why are they being allowed to disrupt meetings?
    Why is it acceptable to allow these hecklers to stay ?
    Hecklers OUTSIDE a meeting- phhht- happens all the time.
    Hecklers inside should be escorted OUT…
    it’s done all the time, all over…
    Why is it being tolerated in the healthcare forums?

  150. Elsie says:

    I’m so confused. It’s not bullying; it’s FASCISM!

    What is fascism? What are the five recognizable stages of fascism? How far along that road to fascism has the US come today?

    A very interesting discussion, and extremely upsetting, too, can be found at:

    The last hope of the rejected Congressional Republican leadership with no legitimate paths to power “is to invest the hardcore remainder of their base with an undeserved legitimacy, recruit them as shock troops, and overthrow American democracy by force. If they can’t win elections or policy fights, they’re more than willing to take it to the streets, and seize power by bullying Americans into silence and complicity.”

    Robert Paxton, a historian and maybe the world’s leading scholar on the subject of how countries turn fascist, argues that emerging fascist movements follow a recognizable process, a set of five stages that mature democracies move through. Fascism is here, now. It’s arrived. According to Paxton we are already at stage three. Fascists are intent on destroying “the last vestiges of democratic government. Once they start racking up wins, the country will be doomed to take the whole ugly trip through the last two stages, with no turnoffs or pit stops between now and the end.”

    This is a conversation we all need to have together. It’s an eye-opening account of what is passing as town hall meetings today. Please take a look at this discussion. And, then, let’s figure out how to get this train back on the track, before it is too late.

  151. sandra in oregon says:

    I have been involved in a “discussion” on the other site. The point of contention is a paper for which Ezekiel Emmanuel is the third author. It is a discussion of allocation of scarce resources (vaccines, organs, etc.) and is not about providing health care in usual circumstances. The tactic seems to be to take statements out of context and even to interpret the words falsely. Probably most of the commenters have not had strong training in reading academic papers, so they will believe what someone else tells them.

    I sincerely hope that our legislators are able to see through these tactics.

  152. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:


    Thanks for the update! You, too, deist!

    The quitter just got slapped!

  153. AlaskaDisasta says:

    Perhaps when hearing these rude people, ask in an equally loud voice “Could you repeat that please? We’d like to be able to see as well as hear how incredibly moronic you are. Thanks.”

  154. deist says:

    Palin’s veto was barely overturned!

  155. Empish says:

    yea’s 45, 14 nay’s. Governors veto is overturned!

  156. Rob in Ca says:

    Mary B…you are so right about single payer. The fearful talk about single payer has been funded by the healthcare industry, and it will take a long time to ever put it in place. But it is the efficient answer, the least expensive answer, and the moral answer to the healthcare crisis. And the heck with bipartisanship. If they don’t want to play, we need to still do what is right for the American people – including MY Down Syndrome baby. If single payer can’t be resurrected, then we need to force a public option through. And it is urgent, and it needs to be done NOW.

  157. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    Sheesh said: “Let’s be fair though….the Obama plan is seriously flawed”

    Please don’t make statements like that without backing up what you mean. What in your opinion is flawed? please provide facts to back your opinion

    Also, I don’t think it’s fair to call it Obama’s plan, it is being written by all our government leaders, well, at least those who are choosing to participate and have what they think are constructive ideas that would help.

    I hope you don’t think I am attacking you, I’m just asking for clarification of why you said it was “seriously flawed”. I admit I don’t know everything about it.

    Thank you.

  158. AlaskaDisasta says:

    overthemoon Says:

    Hope she’s happy with the fruits of her efforts before she ‘got reason’ yesterday. Just yesterday.


    I think Bible Spice is The FRUIT of her efforts. FRUIT LOOP

  159. teutonic13 says:

    Sounds pretty frustrating AKM

  160. KaJo says:

    I’m sorry to feel a little disappointed, AKM, but as mlaiuppa said (12:32 PM) “Why didn’t you?”

    I myself am more of an introvert than an extrovert, but if something makes me mad enough, like neighbor kids throwing rotten fruit across the street at our house at midnight and hitting just below our bedroom window, I get up, go out and across the street, and confront the teenage twerps.

    I’d like to think I’d stand up, all 4’11” of me, and shout out to that woman exactly what you wished you’d said. I’m that mad at how stupid these people are.

    I’d make sure both my 6′ tall 225 and 275 pound nephews were on either side of me, though…. 🙂

  161. Rob in Ca says:

    Overthemoon: wouldn’t you just love to know who told Sarah she had gone too far, and provided her with that nicely worded statement to walk it back?

    I think they should give her the Twitter account back. You just can’t be as hateful and inciteful when you are limited to 140 characters. Facebook in her hands is like a toddler with an AK-47….

  162. Empish says:

    polling house on stimulus funds now.

  163. mary b says:

    I am sorry that good Alaskans have to put up wit these hateful, racist people throwing temper tantrums. It really is tragic.
    I don’t live in Alaska. I was born and lived in CT for 36 years. I am now trapped in a southern red state, one of THE reddest. I have disabilities an then some like Celtic Diva. I also need to see a Cardiologist and Lung Specialist. I spend 900/month just for pain meds so that I can get out of bed in the morning. Then on some days, I still have enormous pain. So, I cannot afford to get my heart and lung diagnosed and treated. I know that there are a lot more people worse off than I am. I have been waiting on Social Security for over 2 years now to make a decision on my case.
    I am telling you all of this to let you know that the Public Option is definitely needed. I would rather that Obama and the Congress just wrote up a Universal Single Payer bill and passed it with 51 votes. Screw the GOP. They do not want ANY reform. Screw the deathers. They don’t want anything that we Progressives want. They are a bunch of sorry losers.
    Please keep up all the hard work you and your readers have been doing. If I didn’t have so many physical ailments, I would be at my own Town Hall. But on top of what I have already listed, I am also nearly deaf. So it’s useless for me. That is why I appreciate all you have done and are still doing.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  164. sheesh says:


    It would be interesting to get the demographics of the ‘ranters’. I suspect that most are middle-class folk who feel the democratic party no longer speaks to them or for them. Most have seized upon misinformation (particularly the provision about end of life planning) and see it as a threat. The buzz words are ‘socialism’, ‘communism’, ‘socialist’, etc. Those have always been words people react to strongly, especially those who lived through WWII and the Cold War. Some are reacting to provisions to provide care to undocumented aliens. The rest of the plan could be wonderful but all they’ll see is that one provision and react vehemently. People like Sean Hannity are guilty for keeping those buzz words alive and foremost in people’s minds. Some may have good coverage and some may not. Some may be unemployed and blame it on Obama and ‘Mexicans’. Most people, in my experience, will stick with the status quo rather that venture out to something untested.

  165. trisha says:

    AKM, that is so disturbing I am at a loss for words. These people (Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Palin, Coulter, Burke,etc.) are destroying our country and taking away our democracy away by using fear an intimidation tactics. In America?

    I thought things like this happened in Iraq when people are intimidated to prevent them from going to the polls.

    I am deeply saddened and feel very helpless.

  166. Elsie says:


    Stand Up For Health Care Reform
    Don’t Let Special Interests Use Town Halls To Block Change

    How to take back the debate.

    A printable pdf gives key points and tells us “How to Talk about Health Care Reform”

  167. LaLa's-mom says:

    Mudflats – thank you for the summary, you can speak for me anytime you want.

  168. AlaskaDisasta says:

    Listening to some of these’ good ole folk’ (as they certainly cannot be called ladies or gentlemen), one is reminded of the brown shirts of Nazi Germany sent to disrupt political meetings. I wonder when these types will start wearing their uniforms with their tight armbands, for that is what they sound like and are beginning to look like (although the brown shirts tended to be well-groomed and not slovenly).

  169. overthemoon says:

    Looks like Sarah is going to find out that once you loose the crazies there is not bringing them back into the barn. Hope she’s happy with the fruits of her efforts before she ‘got reason’ yesterday. Just yesterday.

  170. AlaskaDisasta says:

    Sounds like the ‘civil’ has been taken out of ‘civilized’ for many uneducated ‘good ole folk’.

  171. Gindy51 says:

    #87 “People who are prone to fear don’t like change. And some studies show conservatives have a much lower fear threshold. They’re plain scared all of the time.”

    Being scared makes them feel alive. They have little else that does so.

  172. BuffaloGal says:

    @85 sheesh – Nicely said and I agree. Perhaps you’d be willing to repost over on one of the pro-Palin boards ? You’d most likely get jumped on or maybe deleted but maybe you could reach a few ?

    (always a “glass half full” kinda gal)

    I also think the health care reform is being pushed too quickly. It’s all so complex that I’d much rather it be brought to the table and worked on. This is big stuff that is going to effect our country deeply and broadly.

    And, re: the town hall meetings – There certainly must be rules that are in place for disruptions, yes ? For goodness sake, can you imagine this being allowed to continue in a kindergarten classroom ??

  173. Rob in Ca says:

    Sheesh…it IS a mob.

    There is no discussion to be had there. We need to have the discussion with the people who are willing to listen, and ask them (moderate Repubs…especially those who are elected and therefore actually represent someone) to speak up and take a stand. Every politician who has not denounced the bullying, conversation-stopping tactics of the mobs is part of a sad time in our political history, and should be voted out.

    As for ‘rushing’ the plan. We have been working on this for 16 years. Any legislator who was not prepared to discuss and contribute either didn’t do their homework, or wanted the plan to fail no matter what it contained. People are dying over lack of healthcare. This is the most urgent thing facing our country now that we have averted a depression. Talk of ‘rushing’ is a delaying tactic. If the Republicans and the Blue Dogs really wanted to discuss things, we could have the best of all worlds with a true bipartisan plan.

    Unfortunately, the money trail leads to the healthcare industry, and the profits there are so immense that they are buying our politicians and the hateful pundits spewing the lies and nonsense like Palin’s Poison…

  174. Elsie says:

    “Take back the town halls.” Sane discussion for progressives…I’m still reading it.

  175. Polly says:

    @91 Say NO to Palin in Politics- Good idea! There was a television crew today, so there may be some footage on the news, but a viral utube made by the citizens for the citizens would be better.

  176. Polly says:

    I saw some of the sign holders standing across from the Egan Center as I was making my way to the Chamber luncheon to hear Begich speak about Healthcare Reform. There were approx. 500 (!) people, no hecklers, and good steady applause everytime he spoke of a particular benefit of the reform package. The Q&A was good, and during his introduction. he did bring up that there were certain myths out there and outright lies, like the “death panel.” All in all, good turn-out, presentation, feedback, and positive event.

  177. rebekkah says:

    The whole crazy thing is that before this, most of these hate-filled people couldn’t have cared less by the health insurance situation. They couldn’t care less about those without. They’re just mad that democrats are in control and they’re not. It’s just bitterness, selfishness, lack of concern for their fellow man.

    They probably have good jobs, good coverage and hate the idea of having to share a bit of the load through taxes to help all people get coverage. It’s the ideology of survival of the fittest. If they are stronger, then don’t ask them to help those who are weaker.

  178. sheesh says:

    JC in CO…

    I couldnt agree more. The MSM is responsible in large part for fueling the divisiveness and perpetuating the polarization. And why? It doesnt take long to realize that the cable news networks have a huge stake in keeping us all on one side or the other….ratings (advertising dollars).

  179. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    People, those going to the Town Hall meetings should be prepared to video tape the hecklers! Seriously, get them on tape and get it viral, show how rude they’re being to those testifying and stupid they are acting, embarress the heck out of them, let their neighbors, friends and family members whereever they may live see what these people are doing! They should be ashamed of themselves.

  180. Ashkee Colorado says:

    I don’t know how these townhalls are run. Don’t they have an organizer or host whose job it is to recognize each speaker after they have id’d themselves? The meetings must follow some rules of order, otherwise you get the mob scenes we’ve been witnessing. Those who do not follow these rules are disruptive and should be removed from the premises (Police presents required). Everyone who can should carry a video camera to witness whatever may occur in the process (who knows, you might get something for America’s Funniest Videos). Order must be organized and enforced because people are beyond civility and self-restraint anymore. Final rule: if you drop a weapon, you lose it! he he.

  181. justafarmer says:

    I’ve got the AARP link and loads of others at

  182. jc in co says:

    Governor Dean has now called out the msm for giving her statement attention & therefore lending credibility to her rants. I voted on the CNN poll last week. I gave the president and sos high marks, I gave dem congress a D, repub in congress & the media an F. They have failed America in their stupid, petty little ratings game. I have respect for Rachel, Bill Moyers & Jon Stewart. I can’t throw Keith totally under the bus but his histrionics make him not so credible.
    Sometimes I agree with Bill Maher & sometimes I want to spit on him. I’m really po’d at the media, they should be so ashamed of themselves.

  183. not that sarah says:

    Lilybart, I concur, but I also think that for 40 years the religious “right”, mm, conservatives ran this country (save the brief Clinton respite and Carter). But the public was very identified with being conservative, leaning right.

    Suddenly, there’s a new world out there. An Hispanic appointed to the SCOTUS, a black POTUS, liberal values winning the day, more people wanting marriage rights for all, and the devastating onslaught of public humiliation accompanying the proof that the conservative policies were an epic failure, along with proof that the “religious right” were hypocrites.

    They’ve lost their moral authority and their policies were implemented fully and failed miserably.

    Bush lied us into Holy war against Gog.

    It’s called progress, and the bus left without these folks.

    People who are prone to fear don’t like change. And some studies show conservatives have a much lower fear threshold. They’re plain scared all of the time. All the R have to do is point a finger to show them who to be scared of, and they jump out of their seats and grab their guns.

    Maybe we aren’t fighting a physical war, but we are in battle. SP is leading the charge- she’s the face of racism and hate and fear and irrationality, even more so than Bush.

    Tough times… I really wish I could go to PA to meet up with y’all as this is getting rough. Hugs to all.

  184. HistoryGoddess says:

    Teaser on msnbc- KO to address Palin’s death panel comment. (For me, he is on at 5pm PST) I don’t know what he is going to say, but I am pretty sure he will be speaking for me. Heaven only knows the teabagger types don’t.

    Thanks to the mudpup yesterday who posted the AARP health care link. Very good information from what is seen as being a convervative-ish group. Very supportive of the health care bill. I wrote my ‘old people” letter for AARP mailings, but I am also bracing myself to forward it to my uncle, a man whose forwarded e-mails are becoming increasingly more ugly and hateful. I will never be able to change his mind, but maybe, just maybe, he would listen to AARP info and become a bit more critical of the information he has been consuming.

    Big shout out to CD who is keeping some of us posted via Twitter on why leg. are saying about energy stimulus. Thanks, Diva!

  185. sheesh says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted on the ‘flats’ but I do feel the need to speak out on this. Once again, we are polarized to the hilt. It’s ‘us’ against ‘them’ and it makes no difference what side of the fence you sit. I’ve watched videos of some of the alleged ‘mobs’ speak their minds at town hall meetings when the initial town halls began. Initially these people were exercising their right to disagree and speak out against the Obama healthcare proposal. Some were impassioned with their own stories of why they oppose the plan overall, citing experiences with government-run healthcare in the US. Some spoke with anger at the thought of the plan being passed. I did not see disrespect, simply emotional pleas to be heard. I heard similar emotional pleas and stories from those who support the president’s plan. It saddens me that those who disagree are referred to as a ‘mob’. Misinformation from both sides of the fence hasnt helped this situation any. ‘Mob’ is a pretty strong word and polarizing. What is to be gained with intolerance from either side?

    Least you think that I am ‘going to the dark side’ let me continue… Those respectful efforts have now been overtaken by the organized efforts of the followers of the far right to literally hijack these meetings and turn them into shouting matches spurned on by Limbaugh and Palin. Unproductive rants which do nothing to forward the issue with respectful discourse but seem to me to be the direct response to the ‘left’ referring to conservative expression as a ‘mob’. The difference now is that because it is an organized effort it IS a mob. Their intent is to destroy Obama first and foremost. There are no efforts by this mob to put forth any alternative plan even though there are plans offered by the Republican legislators which do offer some logical and workable alternatives. Sadly, logical and respectful discourse has all but disappeared as the left and the right square off to have the upper hand and the last word.

    Let’s be fair though….the Obama plan is seriously flawed and the effort to push it through before the legislative break was a grave error in judgment by this administration as well as a bit insulting to assume that we, the American people, would blindly adopt a gigantic proposal without reading it.
    Instead of working towards a bipartisan effort both sides have engaged in partisan politics as usual and both are to blame in the long run for the disgusting behavior we are currently witnessing.

    The change I had hoped for hasn’t come close to materializing. Let me qualify myself by stating that I long for healthcare reform as a consumer, a taxpayer, as well as a small business owner. Ignore the ‘mob’ and work with your legislators bring forth workable solutions. Respectfully listen to those who have ideas regardless of where they come from. It’s not ‘us’ against ‘them’…we are all in this together and stronger when we act as a whole instead of fractured parts.

    end of rant

  186. Far fromFenway Fan says:

    I see that Palin (on facebook, of course) is now calling for civil discourse on health care. No, you can’t stir up the mobs with imflammatory rhetoric and then come our for civil discourse. This is a dangerous woman and party; I am fearful for our country.

  187. pacos_gal says:

    AKM, I can see why you need a break after that emotional flood.

    I hope that you submit this to Huff Post. It is important that in combating the fear tactics used by the “I don’t want Health Care for anyone but myself side” that truthful, heart felt witness’s come forward to tell what they have seen and heard.

    Who can say that Palin now is for the heath of handicap children when those who follow her devotedly would heckle a mother of a special needs child? Who can say they are a Christian and ridicule a man dying of lung cancer? Who can say they are human, with they deny humanity?

  188. jc in co says:

    This just makes me sick. Deranged nitwits like Palin incite & condone this type of behavior. There’s a special place in hell for people like this, there’s also a thing called karma, it strikes while they still walk this earth.

  189. lilybart says:

    dragon Says:
    August 10th, 2009 at 12:33 PM
    Seriously, where is this hate, division, & ignorance coming from?

    We have a black president and they can’t get over it. I am not sure there is any more to it than that.

  190. Canadian Neighbour says:

    64 Paula,
    The fathers of Sarah and Todd Palin will be joining forces this month to help an Idaho congressional candidate who’s getting an early start on his 2010 election bid.

    That’s taking a chance in that Chuck Heath has contradicted her in interviews before!! Heath could be a loose cannon as they wouldn’t invite him and not let him speak!!

    He had varying viewpoints as to Levi in I think a People magazine interview.

  191. leenie17 says:

    AKaurora –

    I am also a teacher and work mostly with kids in the primary grades, visiting their classes once a week. Within a month after school starts, I expect even my kindergarten students to raise their hand and wait quietly to be called on. They know that shouting out and interrupting someone else is not acceptable. Now, with 5-year-olds, they often forget and get too excited to wait, but they try really hard! When they forget, my ‘mean teacher look’ is usually enough to remind them. Obviously, these obnoxious yahoos need to go back to kindergarten and learn how to behave appropriately!

    I am truly sickened by the kind of behavior I have been seeing at these town hall meetings. Sorry people, but your First Ammendment rights end where your behavior infringes upon MY First Ammendment rights.

    I was very relieved to hear on the news today that the meeting held by one of our Western NY representatives was quite civil. Congressman Eric Massa held a meeting that was attended by more than 500 people and was moved outdoors to accommodate everyone. The crowd ended up standing for more than 2 hours in a circle surrounding him (kudos to him for being brave enough to allow that!) and he answered questions until dark. There were a few hecklers, but most of the crowd behaved themselves and actually had a worthwhile discussion. I’m sure that many of the people in attendance actually learned something about the bill…and isn’t that the point of these meetings??????

    I have sooo much respect for people like those at Begich’s meeting who shared their own private and moving stories, despite the disrespect shown by members of the crowd.

  192. Liz I. says:

    AKM, please, please cross-post this at Daily Kos!

  193. Trini says:


    Akm, that was my heart breaking.

  194. Soldotna Sue says:

    The terrible behavior of these mad mobs scares and angers me. I think that the person who suggested that members of these townhall meetings, who seek to learn and discuss health care issues, perhaps pointing and speaking in unison saying,”You don’t speak for me.”might be the only way to combat this assault on everyone’s right to free speech.

  195. wes_ben says:

    AKM, I must ask…why didn’t you (say you do not speak for me)? As Canadian Neighbor points out…we are too polite. I’m not advocating that we get down to their level, but God, we MUST stand together and publicly support one another.

    I did not do it because the woman who was speaking was having a difficult time. I wondered if I engaged the woman what would happen. I didn’t want to make it worse for those who were there talking. I didn’t want the media to make it about a conflict between the protesters, I wanted those people to stand out for the bullies they were, shouting at someone who was sharing her story. If I had yelled out, it would have become about me. Maybe that was wrong, but it was the call I made at the time. AKM

  196. Those hecklers have lost all sense of reality and reason. I’m afraid this lack of respect and civility is heading into dangerous territory. Someone is going to get hurt and who will be held responsible? Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, the Repugnant Pary, Bill O’Rielly, Fox News? Oh no they just incite and you’ll see them pointing fingers elsewhere.

  197. samper says:

    KO is going to do the Death Panel thing tonite. 7PM EDT. MSNBC.

  198. TwoBlueJays says:

    Here is an absolutely brilliant retort to Rapture Barbie’s Death Panel BS:

    Poignant description of what many of us have witnessed in our own lives, making the hardest choices for the people we love the most.

  199. samper says:

    This made me choke up. Really.

    This is scary and its embarrassing.

    I worry for the physical safety of our pups and all with like minds. I saw that gun story this morning and posted it on open thread. It scared me.

    I think it was KO who made the suggestion that if real people got up and told their stories, that there was no way the points would be shouted over. Whoever said this was sadly mistaken. It just opened up our fellow citizens who THOUGHT they were doing a good thing by sharing to violence.

    What ever happened to PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY? Why are these people so downright nasty? I have never before seen a group who didn’t get their way behave so badly (and at the expense of their neighbors!).

    Sickening. Just sickening.

    They really DO think that the louder they are the “righter” they are. They couldn’t be more “wronger”, though.

    Someone is going to get hurt or worse. Look at what this riling up of the minority brought to Dr. Tiller.

  200. justafarmer says:

    the very unofficial mudpup healthcare task force met in chat for their initial meeting (about 10 in attendance overall).
    A blog has been created to consolidate information & resources at
    Suggestions for the blog are welcome!

    What AKM witnessed today is among concerns to be addressed, with resources and techniques for non-violent actions, especially at these town hall meetings.
    The group will be meeting again tonight in chat at 10 pm ET. All are welcome!

  201. InJuneau says:

    Wow, I am so saddened that you and the other brave Alaskans had to endure that. You’d think that as Alaskans, we would ALL be better than that. I guess not, and that makes me sad…

  202. CO almost native says:

    This is tragic for all, not just Alaskans. I will be attending my Repub. Rep. (Coffman) town hall meeting on Wednesday evening, and I will go with fact sheets and printouts as support.

  203. Canadian Neighbour says:

    “The one and only time I wanted to interrupt, and yell over the discourse was to tell that woman, “You do not speak for me.””

    “Democrats, liberals and progressives are too polite. ”

    That last line hits the nail on the head.

  204. GA Peach a/k/a Lance the Boil aka Crust Scramble says:

    It’s disgusting how easily these ignorant people are played by special interests.

  205. Empish says:

    Campbell confirmed. 65 yea, 4 nay

  206. Paula says:

    The fathers of Sarah and Todd Palin will be joining forces this month to help an Idaho congressional candidate who’s getting an early start on his 2010 election bid.

    Both Chuck Heath and Jim Palin will be in Idaho later on this month to help out Vaughn Ward, a Republican candidate for Congress. They’ll be attending events for Ward at the end of the month in Boise and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Ward’s campaign spokesman said.

    The former Alaska governor’s father is an Idaho native who graduated from Sandpoint High School in northern Idaho. Palin, Sen. John McCain’s vice-presidential running mate last year, is herself is a 1987 graduate of the University of Idaho.

    Ward is a 40-year-old veteran of the Iraq War who worked on Dirk Kempthorne’s staff when Kempthorne was a senator from Idaho. Most recently, Ward worked for the McCain-Palin presidential campaign in Nevada. He also has secured McCain’s endorsement.

    Ward is challenging a Democrat, Rep. Walt Minnick, who himself unseated a one-term Republican last year. Minnick has one of the most conservative voting records in his own party — he has voted with Democrats just 64 percent of the time, according to a Washington Post database of congressional votes.

  207. NMJ says:

    Yes, we have a Constitutional amendment in this country to guarantee free speech to everyone.

    When you are using your free speech to deny someone else their right to free speech, you are no longer exercising your free speech rights…you have perverted it into the very thing our Constitution and its amendments were created to combat and destroy.

  208. Paula says:

    Now we have a gun toter…and it isn’t an Alaskan:
    Town hall disruptions around the country have led to some outbreaks of violence. Unions participating in town halls have received death threats. At an event held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) last week, the threat of violence led her aides to call the police after one attendee dropped a gun.

    “Yelling and screaming is counterproductive,” she told the Sierra Vista Herald at a Congress on Your Corner event last week. There, one visitor dropped a gun at the meet n’ greet held in a Douglas Safeway, her staff says.

  209. marcus2 says:

    There is no excuse for shouting down these people who wanted to express their views. And that these “protesters” would do this to people who are ill is shameful beyond words. It’s the behavior of morons and zealots.

    The fact that someone like Eddie Burke lives in Alaska and has a radio program is proof that some Alaskans are not beyond this form of cowardly and shameful behavior.

  210. the problem child says:

    I would suggest, if someone has the opportunity, to go to one of these meetings as a group, and be ready to shame the hecklers. Point, and everyone speak in unison, “You do not speak for me, I would never so speak so rudely”. Just keep repeating it every time someone heckles. I bet you are not limited to your original group within a few repetitions.

  211. ericmiami says:

    I thought we’d turned a corner of some sort when we elected Obama. These displays of ignorance we’re seeing; this blind following of pandering millionaires like Rush and Glenn; latching on to Hitler-in-Skirts Sarah Palin; are most discouraging. Tears are building in the corners of my eyes.
    I’m getting angry as well.

  212. Seagull Junker Palin says:

    There is a MUDFLATS diary on Kos

  213. I put the blame on McCain. He wasn’t popular with the base so he chose Sarah Palin as VP and let her loose with comments like “pallin around with terrorists”,
    and “the real America.” What she did was deliberately ignite the lunatic fringe and they are madder than hell that we have our first African-American President. She speaks for them and is one of them. An uneducated, mindless, uninformed, racist, bigoted, arrogant know-nothing. Some politicans speak of her “raw” talent, her talent in my book is smiling while lying and winking at you. After inciting fear and spewing lies about health care, now she wants people to be “civil”? GIMME A BREAK.

  214. not that sarah says:

    AKM, I’m so sorry this happened.

    Your article is beautifully written and expressed.

    Please take heart, in the darkest hours, that you have been an important voice of peace, justice and truth. As jaded as I am, I still believe that those values prevail in the end. It’s the getting there that is so painful.

    Yes, we can. And yes, we will. I don’t know how or when, but I do believe. And we are in this thing together. We are not alone.

    Thank you for all that you do for all of us — not just Alaskans.

  215. Angela says:

    @ Village Reader (30)
    This was a shock for me as well. I had worked at Alaskaland several summers before I moved outside (I know the park is now called Pioneer Park – I have to keep reminding myself it was renamed….). One of the remarks I heard visitors repeatedly say is “You Alaskans are so friendly”. Until I had moved to CA I had always wondered why visitors had made these remarks.

    I know no one is perfect (including me!) and we all have our “evil twins” who periodically make appearances. Thanks for confirming things have not changed that much since I’ve been out of state. Like you, I would hate to see that respect and patience for others change. When I read articles such as these I can’t help but wonder why we can’t all get along…

  216. booboodog says:

    as soon as I find a place! (and after everyone takes a nice test!)

  217. Empish says:

    roll call commenced

  218. Empish says:

    that wacky connection is up again.

  219. Paula says:

    booboodog, we’re in. When are we to meet you there?

  220. John says:

    You can’t reason with those who’re so indoctinated to blind faith and group thinking. It’s frightening that there are so many, and that they’re so hateful, and so violent. For all our self aggrandizing about being a civilization…we’re not very civil.

  221. Paula says:

    Wow, these people are losing their minds. I am not for big governement control, I was opposed to the Patriot Act, but these folks working so hard to incite violence (Beck, Palin, Limbaugh) should be arrest, tried and punished. The more they scream, the farther Left I go. I swear, the more these folks act like this, the more former Republicans and Independents join me in swinging “lefter and lefter and lefter…”

  222. lilyf says:

    Someone had asked about the ABC update on Palin’s outlandish, incendiary comments and fact checking the “death panel”…here it is, apparently Meg S. gave the “explanation”. It doesn’t really hold water, and actually makes it more likely that SP just wants to make all the protesters like the ones AKM saw this morning froth at the mouth a little more:

  223. kareninTexas says:

    This is sad and scary. My heart goes out to the people who were trying to tell their stories. I hope there is an end to this vile hatred soon.
    Scarah is not doing anything to help, she continues to spew lies and incite violence. She is too stupid and ignorant to comment on important issues. She just needs to SHUT UP! She is a political whore who pimps herself to anyone that will give her attention and pay her. This narcisstic, hypocrital , evil demon needs to be escorted away from the limelight. How low can she get? I can’t believe people still believe her. Please wake up before someone gets hurt or killed.

  224. booboodog says:

    Some of us have been saying that since the sixties! Canada was the usual answer! Maybe we could buy our own island and call it Niceville..and not let in bad people. That was my plan when I was young.

  225. AKraven says:

    I agree:

    41 WakeUpAmerica Says:
    August 10th, 2009 at 12:41 PM
    Why aren’t these bullies being arrested for disrupting the peace. They have no right to do what they are doing. These are cold, calculated, bullying tactics. Nothing good is going to come from this. People are going to get killed.

    Where are the police? We need to call the police every time there is a town meeting to keep the peace. This should be done across the country. Everyone has the right to speak and not be interrupted and harrassed! The police should be there to protect our rights.

  226. Peggno in SoCal says:

    Sigh. It’s a sad day for our democracy.

  227. Empish says:

    and poof, link to session now gone again.

  228. AKraven says:

    35 mlaiuppa Says:
    August 10th, 2009 at 12:36 PM
    Danger signs of fascism:
    1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
    2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
    3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
    4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
    5. Rampant sexism.
    6. A controlled mass media.
    7. Obsession with national security.
    8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
    9. Power of corporations protected.
    10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
    11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
    12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
    13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
    14. Fraudulent elections.

    Where did this list come from??

  229. Village Reader says:

    @ Mlaiuppa

    I agree. They need to clamp down on these meetings and control them. Anyone harassing needs to be removed immediately.

  230. WakeUpAmerica says:

    Why aren’t these bullies being arrested for disrupting the peace. They have no right to do what they are doing. These are cold, calculated, bullying tactics. Nothing good is going to come from this. People are going to get killed.

  231. AKraven says:

    God! I keep thinking about where I can move to where people respect each other and try to help one another. Then I think of creating a community here where people do that- can anyone enlighten me on this? ideas? I do love Alaska, but many of the people are just downers.

  232. mlaiuppa says:

    If our elected officials can’t control a public meeting, I think they need to spend a few months teaching junior high school.

    Sorry, but there is no way I’d allow a mob like this to control any town hall I was running.

  233. booboodog says:

    I think $P has given a voice to a lot of those churches in Alaska and down here and they follow her lead. I don’t see her as representing Alaskans anymore. You guys fought to get her out of office. But she won’t go away and is causing people across the country to pick fights with their neighbors. It is funny how proud and hopeful I felt in November compared to the anger and fear I feel for our country now. But, we either fight it or give up in despair. I have better things to do (and thought I could relax a bit with a decent pres. in office finally!), but this can NOT continue.

  234. AKaurora says:

    Sorry I missed Mark’s press conference! I wanted to give my stern old teacher stare down to disruptive twits. I was even at the Egan this morning. I did have an opportunity to speak with Sharon Cissna. Anxious to see how the day pans out. I did have a protracted debate with Mark Fish (my former community council prez). He is still blustering about federal strings to the stimulus. I politely explained to him that if he wants people like me to read his say-NO flyer then he should includes links that we can analyze his interpretation of the law for ourselves. His response: most people just want a (his) summary. My thought was: I vote, therefore I think.

  235. Fern says:

    (((Dear AKM)))

  236. mlaiuppa says:

    Danger signs of fascism:
    1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
    2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
    3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
    4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
    5. Rampant sexism.
    6. A controlled mass media.
    7. Obsession with national security.
    8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
    9. Power of corporations protected.
    10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
    11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
    12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
    13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
    14. Fraudulent elections.

  237. Bystander says:

    When I become discouraged, I remind myself that these criminal thugs, inspired by Sarah the Queen of Hate, represent less than 1% of the population.

  238. DrChill says:

    Here is where the exercise of faith and non-reason come into play. Some people are accustomed to believing what their group says, what their leader says. They take on arguments like attacks from the other side, and throw all manner of verbal assault to defend against the others.

    Its a sick us v. them mentality that places dogma above the search for truth.

    I got an anti-“America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009’’ email that cites page after page of the legislation claiming all sorts of false claims.
    I replied to my ‘friend’ with a link to the actual legislation, where its easy to refute each false claim.
    Her reply was – “Well, I oppose it anyway.”

    This means these are not the ‘reasons’ for opposing the bill, they’re just an excuse, a false excuse, one that people are pleading to send to everyone you know…

    Here’s the link to the proposed health care legislation.

  239. Empish says:

    link to special session is now operating.

  240. London Bridges says:

    I’ve posted this before, but I don’t think too many have seen it as I posted at the end of an old thread. I think it’s simplocity could help it work and be effective.

    Health Insurance Reform

    Here is a simple, effective, relatively painless-for-all, starting point for health care reform.

    Effective January 1, 2010, lower the minimum beginning or starting age for Medicare heath insurance eligibility from the current, age 65, to age 60.

    Then, each succeeding year, for the next 8 years, continue to lower the minimum beginning age by 5 years until everyone age 20 and up would be potentially eligible for Medicare.

    While the minimum eligibility age would be lowered, the current 40 wage credits (10 years of work) rule would be retained providing an incentive to work in order to become eligible for health insurance.

    Younger and uninsured workers would continue to be covered by the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and/or Medicaid.

    Workers would be required to keep work provided private health insurance if it, both, was cheaper and provided better coverage than Medicare.

    Private health insurance companies would continue to be eligible to bid for contracts to administer the Medicare program as they do now as well as to continue to offer Medigap plans which supplement Medicare coverage.

    Medicare would continue to evolve and make changes and improvements to coverage, deductible, and coinsurance rules.

    Partial funding would be obtained by raising the current Medicare 1.45% payroll tax to 2.45% for all workers whose wages exceed the Social Security covered wage base amount, currently, $106,800. The higher rate will only apply to that portion of earnings that exceed the covered wage base cap.

  241. Village Reader says:

    @ Angela (19)

    This was like a shock wave to me reading this article. I’ve lived here my entire life and I’ve never heard such conduct to anther person. We’re not angels but we’re normally very civil.

    Just had a friend visiting from the states last month. We traveled down to Homer and back to FAI. She said, ‘you guys don’t honk your horns up here?’ I looked at her and said ,’no’. She asked ‘why not?’ I told her it was rude. Generally we don’t, and I would hate to see that respect and patience for others change.

  242. sdragon says:

    Seriously, where is this hate, division, & ignorance coming from? I have to go outside & look at my flowers for awhile, I feel sick. Houston, we have a big ass problem!

  243. mlaiuppa says:

    “The one and only time I wanted to interrupt, and yell over the discourse was to tell that woman, “You do not speak for me.””

    Why didn’t you?

    We Democrats, liberals and progressives are too polite.

    Someone needs to tell the hecklers to sit down, shut up, wait their turn and how some courtesy. If they cannot do that, they will be escorted from the premises. Their right to free speech does not trump the rights of those taht disagree with them. They are denying others their right to free speech.

    And there needs to be some accountability. When you speak, you give your name and your address. If you don’t live there, you yield to someone that does. No one likes a carpetbagger. Especially one that is depriving others of their constitutional rights.

  244. Elsie says:
    (snip) “Yes, well-heeled interest groups are helping to organize the town hall mobs. Key organizers include two Astroturf (fake grass-roots) organizations: FreedomWorks, run by the former House majority leader Dick Armey, and a new organization called Conservatives for Patients’ Rights.

    “The latter group, by the way, is run by Rick Scott, the former head of Columbia/HCA, a for-profit hospital chain. Mr. Scott was forced out of that job amid a fraud investigation; the company eventually pleaded guilty to charges of overbilling state and federal health plans, paying $1.7 billion — yes, that’s “billion” — in fines. You can’t make this stuff up.”

    Somehow, some way, there must be a LEGAL basis to disrupt the bullies, get their attention, and shut them up, in spite of their right to speak. Do they have a constitutional or civil right to harangue other speakers? When the legal system comes to bear on their bullying, they will stop bullying. So, how does that begin, and by whom?

  245. AKM,

    I so much wanted to be there this morning with you and Dennis and Shannyn and so many others. But as I sit here at my sister’s office desk in Seattle, reading your post, and crying, I’m so glad I am not.

  246. Village Reader says:

    @ booboodog (17)

    And unlike the ‘Quitter’, I keep my word.

  247. Ripley in CT says:


    the human race never ceases to amaze me.

    It is imperative that we stand up to the bullies. It’s worth it.

  248. There appears to be “permission” being granted by those who feel they are in “authority” for others to be rude and obnoxious. How awful. Unfortunately, when no one speaks up these “ruders” feel they are right. But, when someone does speak up it just makes them louder. I don’t think we’ve come across the most effective way to deal with them.

    On another note, at least these Alaskans will help each other on the trail. We had an instance here where a man fell in a WalMart parking lot after having dialysis, and was left lying there for an hour. People walked by and saw him and did nothing.

  249. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    Letters to the Editor need to be written!

  250. BigPete says:

    Maybe Bill Maher is right: on the whole, we’re a pretty stupid country.

  251. Nan (aka roswellborn) says:

    My hat is off to those brave souls simply trying to tell their own experiences, and my heart goes out to them.

    This behavior seems awfully similar to one SP listening and laughing as a cancer survivor is mocked during a radio interview.

    Is this behavior the kind of manners their mothers taught them as children? Is this the kind of Christianity they learned in Sunday School? I must be an old fogey then, because I want none of it.

  252. lilyf says:

    I was just thinking the same thing…can you send it on?

  253. Angela says:

    Perhaps it is either my naiveté or selective memory (or a combination of the two), but I had always remembered my fellow Alaskans being more civil than this. Granted I had been out of state for many years before I moved back years ago, but have things changed up here that much that we can not be civil when our fellow Alaskans express their views?

  254. booboodog says:

    Villiage Reader,
    I’ll smack em up one side, you smack em up the other!..

  255. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    We are definitely in an ugly chapter right now thanks to nasty politics and Sarah the Weaver of Lies and Hate.

    It’s the churches that are mostly organizing these bizarre incidents. I’ve been the accidental recipient of an email or two passed around by church members – Sarah and ilk are feeding them crap as usual so they become malleable and usable for her purposes.

    They are joining the vocal minority around the country which is voicing snottiness, lack of respect, and lack of truth as a means to their end. That’s too bad – I guess some Alaskans are losing famous “independence” due to their affiliations – it’s their loss. It’s not like we have a shortage of strange people here, but fights have generally been of a different nature!

    Thanks again, Sarah – for being a big part of ripping our state apart. Your sucky legacy grows by the day, and yes – I plan to blame your divisiveness for most of the negative things which Alaska is experiencing now and in the foreseeable future.

  256. Village Reader says:

    I also think this article should go to Huffingtonpost.

  257. Blue Idaho says:

    I just don’t get it. 95% of our country is one serious health crisis away from living on the street including those horrible people you talk about. People’s health should not be for profit. I don’t know how this became a red vs. blue debate when it’s a people vs. special interest debate.

  258. Evergladesgirl says:

    This made me cry.

  259. Village Reader says:

    I felt ill reading your article. Your right, I thought Alaskans were better then this. Even with all the anger surrounding the various issues facing us now and in the past, it seemed there was always a line we never crossed. I would like to know WHO these hecklers are. Name, occupation and how LONG they’ve lived here. I don’t like it when someone ‘speaks’ for me in an insulting way. I’d go up to them and smack them in the face. One Alaskan to another.

  260. lilyf says:

    That’s so upsetting. Sounds like a nightmare.

  261. AKraven says:

    This article is a great run-down of Sarah’s lies. The ending says “Palin should follow her own advice-lay off the kids and ‘quit makin things up'”. Great.

    A good sign at the rally today would have been “quit makin things up”.

  262. booboodog says:

    I am afraid this behavior is being repeated everywhere, Alaska included, it seems. One citizen’s freedom may be another’s insult and it is getting out of hand, fast. Maybe we should remember common decency is just as important to our country as our constitution.

  263. John says:

    Wow. Thanks for reporting this. Why do they hate America so much? We do need to denounce them, and our elected officials should be the first to do so. I am writing Sen. Murkowski right now.

  264. Elsie says:

    My first thought is:

    Don’t forgive them, because they know exactly what they are doing…they are bullying their neighbors.

    And that is just wrong on so many different levels.

  265. sharon in canada says:

    So well written..I could feel tears coming.I am so grateful for my Ontario Health Insurance.We are so fortunate in Canada to never worry about our health care. It is a good model to adopt and I can’t for the life of me understand why the US Congress and Senate is not looking north for advice and/or answers.

  266. sandra in oregon says:

    This behavior is very disturbing. I haven’t been a Christian for a long time, but I remember: Forgive them, for they know not what they do. Sometimes that is very difficult.

  267. delnorteco says:

    wow,just… wow what the heck is wrong with people

  268. ds55 says:

    The anti-healthcare people need to be motivated by totally selfish arguments like, imagine someone has a highly contagious disease and no health insurance. It would be nice if EVERYONE had access to good healthcare so the rest of us don’t catch it. We can’t allow sick people to walk around spreading germs now, can we?

  269. Angela says:

    Wow. I had hoped that Alaska would be different on this. Last week I sent a message to Senator Murkowski asking her denounce this horrible behavior. It’s not right for those people to deprive others’ their right to be heard at a meeting by shouting over them, and to prevent our representatives from trying to answer questions. When Pelosi said that this extreme disruptive behavior is anti-American, she was attacked. How is it American to disrupt the speech of your fellow citizens? The goal of the protesters isn’t to simply express their views and anger, but to repress the dialogue about health care completely. I believe there needs to be debate and dialogue, but it’s not right to hijack a public meeting. Grrrr!

  270. nswfm CA says:

    What happened to these whackos that they have joined a cult? Where is the critical thinking ability? If these are Fundamentalists, I think they are mental.

  271. TheraP says:

    God help us all….

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  1. […] little later, AKMuckracker at The Mudflats wrote a full-fledged blog post, reporting also on how hecklers shouted down other Alaska citizens attempting to testify about […]

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