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Town Hall Talk: Man's Fingertip Bitten Off at Health-Care Rally

Updated 8:29 p.m.
By Garance Franke-Ruta and Sarah Lovenheim
One of a national series of rallies for health-care reform took a violent turn Wednesday night when, according to authorities in Thousand Oaks, Calif., an unidentified man bit off another man's pinky finger at the top joint.

The Thousand Oaks event attracted only about 100 people -- a small group compared to the turnout at congressional town halls, which have drawn up to 1,500 people. But their passions were running high, and when a supporter of health-care reform wound up among a group of about 25 counter-protesters, an argument and fistfight broke out, Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Frank O'Hanlon told the Associated Press.

Reports differ on whether the supporter went to confront the opponents intentionally or was just walking among them while trying to cross the street to the pro-reform rally.

Southern California's KTLA-TV, which first reported on the fracas, wrote, "The 65-year-old was apparently aggressive and hit the other man, who then retaliated by biting off his attacker's pinky."

The AP reported that the injured man "retrieved the finger and went to a hospital." The man, identified by ABC News as William Rice, received care from Los Robles Hospital and on Thursday told the Weekly Standard that the hospital was unable to reattach his fingertip. Also on Thursday, Rice appeared on Fox News, where he was interviewed by Neil Cavuto (see video clip, below).

O'Hanlon told the AP that authorities have a good description of the alleged biter, who fled the scene. "It's considered a mayhem which is the removal of an appendage from a human," Capt. Bruce Norris of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department told ABC News. "The crime is punishable by imprisonment for 2, 4, or 8 years."

Attendees at the Thousand Oaks rally took to their blogs Thursday to describe the clash. Reform opponent Eric Ingemunson recounts his story on RedCounty.com, and reform supporter Karoli Kuns tells her tale at DrumsnWhistles.com.

MoveOn.org sponsored the rally, along with others Wednesday night around the country, and Ilyse Hogue, a spokeswoman for the liberal advocacy group, called the incident "a regrettable act of violence."

"While we do not have any more facts about what happened then what we saw in press accounts, MoveOn condemns violence in all forms," she said in a statement to The Post.

"While we don't know if either party involved was a MoveOn member, we regret any violence that may have occurred yesterday, and we support the Ventura County Sheriff's investigation into the situation. It is our firm hope that this event does not detract from the tens of thousands who were out peacefully making their voices heard for health-care reform and a public option," Hogue said.

By Sarah Lovenheim  |  September 3, 2009; 1:10 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Comments

I think your characterizations "wound up among a group of 25 counter-protesters"
and "a fistfight broke out" are deceptive and apologetic in regard to an act of violence that would not have been out of place during the run-up to Nazi rule. You may simply laugh this off or use language designed to minimize such as "fingertip"
but this was a violent act done by a group intent on quieting dissent, done in the name of the president's policies. It seems that the person is well known enough to be doing interviews with the media but is still "unknown" to the police.
You should be ashamed of yourselves, supporting a young thug in his blatent act of violence against a 65 year-old man....
If you look about at violent acts and stand silent you are no reporter, no journalist... you're nothing but an accomplice to a violent thug.
Steve LaBelle

Posted by: srlabelle2000 | September 3, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I heard an eye witness account on the radio that the pro-Obama supporter was the agressor and did the finger biting. If so, those on the right are going to have a field day countering the "terrorist", Nazi like, astro-turf descriptions of anti-Obama health care protestors by Pelosi and other Dems. The union and Move On protestors are proving themselves to be the real thugs in this debate. Do they get paid to attend these rallies? Oh, that would be too good if proven to be true.

Posted by: saelij | September 3, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious about the age of the finger biter. If there is a good description, then why wasn't it published?

I guess the finger biter really took Obama's counsel to "get in the face" of the opposition. Nice move!

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | September 3, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bugged | September 3, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

What, exactly, is with all of these references to Nazis?

Posted by: muddiboots | September 3, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I heard a first hand account of this incident on the radio by "Scott" from Thousand Oaks who saw the whole thing and called in to share the story.
The Obamacare supporter, who was on the side of the street with other supporters, came across the street toward the anti-Obamacare crowd and singled out an elderly man and proceded to "get in his face" about his views. The Obamacare supporter then pulled the old man out into the street, unprovoked I might add, and then bit the old guys finger off while the old guy was just trying to get away. The old man then shuffled off toward a hospital.
The person giving this account,"Scott", then went out into the street and found the old man's finger. He and some others called 911 and the dispatcher gave them the location to the nearest hospital which she said would be thier best bet for finding the man. They rushed over and were able to find the old man and provide him with his finger. Scott then went back to the scene to wait for police. He gave the police the entire account and they tried to find the attacker amongst the Obamacare supports, but he had fled by then.

Posted by: member8 | September 3, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Interesting how the guy protests Government Health Care, and then uses Government Health Care (Medicare) to reattach his finger...Shouldn't he demand to pay for it, lest he be deemed a "Socialist"

Posted by: GeneTurk | September 3, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Gene - Why is it wrong to use the system in place (Medicare) when you think a private system would be better?

I think the far more interesting aspect of this story is that it's not the right winger who BIT OFF AN OLD MAN'S FINGER!

Posted by: Peejay | September 3, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

For the partisans on both sides - there is no higher ground here. No matter the political idealogy held, violence is wrong. Please realize that the "my side was in the right" mentality is shallow and immature.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | September 3, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Given the violent nature of the protesters, and the real hate displayed since the election, I am worried this is just the beginning. I am a very reasonable man, and if I were physically assaulted, I hope I would call the police to have the person charged. If not, I hope someone else would be around to peel me off the guy.

Posted by: rockcreek2 | September 3, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Things like this sort of limit our ability to criticize the political process in places like Iran, or Libya.

Posted by: crete | September 3, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

My question is why was the biter attacked? Apparently, he was just trying to get away from a situation where he was getting beaten. Looks to me like he was trying to protect himself. Granted, I do not believe in violence, but if there was a group of people yelling, screaming, and pushing you around and then it started to get violent against me. You are correct in thinking I will do anything to get out of that situation. Biting, kicking, poking people in the eyes, or even kicking them in the groin.
I do feel he should turn himself in though and give his side of the story so we don't have only these conservative republican views on record.

Posted by: dhendrix3 | September 3, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

This gent no doubt has paid Medicare taxes since 1965. That would be 43 years. I don't see why his use of that benefit has anything to do with his objections to Obamacare, since Obamacare itself has yet to be defined by the Great Leader in anything more than high level powerpoint bullets.

I wonder if the finger biter was the same guy who trashed the Democratic office in Denver. It was immediately assumed this was some out of control right wing nut, but it later turned out to be a wild eyed lib.

Why is it that most --- not all, but most --- incidents of violence are always traced back to libs? Even the notorious "noose hanging from the door" incident was traced back to the black woman who lodged the complaint. I don't get it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | September 3, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, there's a precedent for even this craziness! Somewhere in Pittsburgh, many years ago, a preacher bit the finger of a steel worker during a street brawl over the abuses of the steel barons. I don't know whether the finger actually came off and had to be reattached, but in any case it must have been very painful. Progress is a wonderful thing -- if and when.

Posted by: jeangerard1 | September 3, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

PeeJ--
Just seems ironic...For millions of uninsured Americans, such an injury would cost thousands of dollars to treat, causing untold hardship and years of medical bills. This guy signs on the line, is treated and released on the Governments dime, and immediately re-joins the fight to deny others the same common-sense program.

Posted by: GeneTurk | September 3, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, it couldn't have possibly happened this way...

Crazy pro health care guy gets in the face of 65 yo guy, nose to nose, spraying spittle on the guy's face. 65 yo guy tries to push him away. Who's the aggressor then? Bottom line, even if the 65er's finger slid into the guy's mouth as he pushed him away, what kind of animal actually bites down on another human. Oh yeah, Mike Tyson did. Debate is fine. Animals? Please stay home.

Posted by: dnha | September 3, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"I don't see why his use of that benefit has anything to do with his objections to Obamacare"

Of course you don't.

Posted by: nodebris | September 3, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

srlabelle2000 - did you *really* compare this to nazi germany?

Posted by: funkey | September 3, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Someone made the excellent point that there is no high ground. Resorting to fists and biting is embarrassing. Childish.

Posted by: rjbunny | September 3, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Now I have seen everything ! An individual literally giving another person "the finger." Of course, the other person might have "bitten off more than he could chew"...or swallow.

Posted by: Hennaojisan | September 3, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Have to keep those Republicans out of the town hall meetings. They are violent individuals.

Posted by: Classic60 | September 3, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I love how Medicare is never snidely referred to as "Johnsoncare."

Posted by: GeneTurk | September 3, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

PeeJ--
Just seems ironic...For millions of uninsured Americans, such an injury would cost thousands of dollars to treat, causing untold hardship and years of medical bills. This guy signs on the line, is treated and released on the Governments dime, and immediately re-joins the fight to deny others the same common-sense program.

Posted by: GeneTurk | September 3, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Very well put. +1 for GeneTurk

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | September 3, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Here's the irony about the pro and anti positions. The real problem is the growing number of older Americans that need health care - the baby boomers. Forget about the 47 million uninsured. Everytime I go to the doctor, all I see are old folks, like me needing expensive treatment. We could be reaching the point of dimishing returns - the more we spend, the less we get. Having the government take over will only makes thing worse. I don't think Obama or the Dems have thought this through. All they want is the power that goes along with controlling 1/6 of our economy. The consequences are secondary.

Posted by: saelij | September 3, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

You can't make this stuff up. A guy gets in a fight in his zeal to "keep the government out of health care," and when he's injured he uses his government-run health care to take have his injury treated.

Sounds like a good argument to extend Medicare to everyone. But let's refrain from punching people in the face and biting off fingers, please. Good care costs money.

Posted by: ancient_mariner | September 3, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

United We (the citizens of the USA) stand, divided We Fall. And boy are we ever divided. IMO it is intentional, by the powers that own the media I guess. We need to stop biting each others fingers and take a look at what's happening to us.

Posted by: caramello51 | September 3, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Guys, I'm watching this from Canada and it is unbelievable what is happening over this issue. Nobody got into a fight over Bush's lies about Iraq or that he looted the treasury for his phony war, stole the election, etc, etc, etc. That Cheney and those other gangsters got to walk away scott free. Insurance companies will continue to rip you off public option or not. Your whole economy is being stolen by fat cats like the banks and you folks are acting like children. This is healthcare for 30 million people. Your population is what, 350 million? Stop fighting. You can do this.

Posted by: vpucsekberman | September 3, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Quote : "The 65-year-old was apparently aggressive and hit the other man, who then retaliated by biting off his attacker's pinky."

Somebody took a swing at me, I'd do a WHOLE lot more than 'bite off his pinky'. I'd cripple the man..regardless of his 'age'. Everyone has the right to defend themselves...even against a '65-year-old man'. If the senior citizen felt capable of picking a fight, then he got what he deserved....and all you right wing nut jobs can pack salt.

Posted by: NthrnNYker | September 3, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Getting into a fight over health care reform? Good grief. How did this country ever survive real conflicts like WW2?

The media has allowed dumb people to say things publicly and in print that are untrue.

If the Post had a running article on all the lies put out by Limbaugh and Fox News during the previous day it'd take every waking minute reading that update.

The lies put out by the right wing are seldom questioned in the media. This article does nothing to squelch those lies.

Posted by: zzpat | September 3, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

It is obvious that the man who bit off the other guy's finger is an Obama supporter.

Therefore, all Obama supporters are violent.

Furthermore, all those who oppose Obama are non-violent.

Additionally, because the victim opposed Obama's healthcare proposal, the victim's point of view is correct and the attacker's point of view is incorrect.

Posted by: bonnierumsfeld | September 3, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

GeneTurk- 'and immediately re-joins the fight to deny others the same common-sense program.'

Well-said. This old guy and other like him wants to deny others the same access to affordable health care on the fear ( fear stoked by the Republicans and corporate interests) that providing that access will somehow diminish what THEY already have...a government controlled health-care program.

Posted by: NthrnNYker | September 3, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The important thing is to determine to which man the guilt belongs. Once we find the guilt we can isolate it and send it for analysis. Is it benign, confined to an individual, or is it infecting an entire ideology? Once the scope of the guilt is determined we will know whether or not insurance reform is a good thing or a foothold for Naziism in America.

Posted by: dlnsf | September 3, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"Somebody took a swing at me, I'd do a WHOLE lot more than 'bite off his pinky'. I'd cripple the man..regardless of his 'age'. Everyone has the right to defend themselves..."

You defend yourself best by avoiding circumstances reasonably calculated to place yourself at risk of harm. If in harm's way, then unless there is no option, you defend yourself best by retreating.

If, on the other hand, you wish to exact vengeance, then by all means attack the source of threat and harm, and do so with cruelty and relish.


But don't pretend that a "right to defend" oneself justifies vengeance. Have the courage and honesty to say what you really mean.

Posted by: bonnierumsfeld | September 3, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Wow... what a sea-change.

Today, the Posts Dionne admitted that the media (except FOX and Talk Radio) for months now.. have got the Town Halls all wrong! That the Town halls have in fact been generally civil and middle-class.

Hardly a single Poster in the Post today mentioned "teabaggers" or "right-wing extremists" at the Town halls.

Instead, this article identifies for perhaps the third or forth time.. that the handful of violent incidents... are caused by "in your face" Obama supporters ! This one likely from MoveOn.org.

Is it noteworthy that the MOST under-reported beating of a black man this summer.. was the beating of a black Town Hall protester by white SEIU thugs. Guess who the thugs support ?

Extraordinary.

Posted by: pvilso24 | September 3, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

And people see nothing wrong with guns at town hall meetings.

Posted by: rlj1 | September 3, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"The important thing is to determine to which man the guilt belongs. Once we find the guilt we can isolate it and send it for analysis. Is it benign, confined to an individual, or is it infecting an entire ideology? Once the scope of the guilt is determined we will know whether or not insurance reform is a good thing or a foothold for Naziism in America."

Great idea! Does anyone happen to know of any labs. that perform "guilt" "analysis"?

Posted by: bonnierumsfeld | September 3, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Odd.
I thought that protests were turning into signup sheets and Petition for REDRESS OF the 2009 Federal Government for NO CONFIDENCE by Recall of the Congress, the Hill, the Cabinet, the Czars, and Obama.

Everyone knows that returning to their abusers is a bad idea.They are not listening anyway.

Severing the Power of the abuser is much better.

A Petition signature moving into the County recordations office and becoming a document, then pooled with other Countys in the State to become a document in the Library of Congress, is a much more powerful voice anyway.

Guess these guys never team up or read much, and are just left over lone mavericks out there, failing to understand that baiting an Acorn, with a place to misbehave, is just dumb.

Don't go to these things, they are not going to listen to you soft voiced or yelling.

Instead stay Americans with power and presence with a loud voice being registered in the anals of American History instead.
Find and sign the Bear Revolt Petitions.

Posted by: dottydo | September 3, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

bonnie->But don't pretend that a "right to defend" oneself justifies vengeance.'

"Vengeance' ? How is it any more 'vengeance' than than the man who protects himself in his home with a loaded weapon ? Yano, those 'guns for self-defense' rhetoric that you right-nut jobs advocate ? Do tell.

Posted by: NthrnNYker | September 3, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Bitten by a conservatard Mike Tyson wannabee? Better check him for rabies.

Posted by: Garak | September 3, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

NthrnNYker: "Vengeance' ? How is it any more 'vengeance' than than the man who protects himself in his home with a loaded weapon ?

To what does "it" refer?

Posted by: bonnierumsfeld | September 3, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

If the guy who got his finger bitten off was a reform protester, then the motherfukker got what he deserved.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | September 3, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

adrienne_najjar: "If the guy who got his finger bitten off was a reform protester, then the motherfukker got what he deserved."

I disagree. But perhaps I might be persuaded to agree. Please provide your reasoning.

Posted by: bonnierumsfeld | September 3, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Garak: "Bitten by a conservatard Mike Tyson wannabee? Better check him for rabies."

Tyson has been checked for rabies, and has been cleared.

But thanks for the recommendation.

Posted by: bonnierumsfeld | September 3, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Should have bit his hand off.

Posted by: PulSamsara | September 3, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The the people defending the 65 year old please remember that he was the aggressor. From what I am reading at other news sites this "gentleman" punched the Pro-reform demonstrator in the face, knocking him to the ground. He then continued the aggressive behavior when the pro-reform guy got up.

But that's okay because he's against reform and 65.

Of course I didn't see anything in the WaPo about the pro-reform gentleman who is 65 and who was assaulted in Miami by an anti-reform guy. Of course the anti-reform guy was driving by and got out of his truck to be the aggressor, but that's okay, right?

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2009/09/healthcare-reform-advocate-punched-by-opponent-at-nelson-event.html

This whole thing is sickening. Grow Up America.

Posted by: alysheba_3 | September 3, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Maybe people should think before they start throwing punches, 65 years old or not. Self defense should have been part of your headline if this paper weren't so biased. At least they guy with the missing finger has Medicare to take care of his health care needs so he can get right back out there and protest the right for anybody else to have the same safeguard.

Posted by: SarahBB | September 3, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse


This is just over-the-top crazy behavior and it has to be said that Rush & Fox are the ones turning up the thermostat, driving people to distraction with their insane bogus rantings. Their ratings are coming at the expense of the country. Imagine if the idiots at this meeting had been armed. Enough is enough.

Posted by: jack824 | September 3, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

//This gent no doubt has paid Medicare taxes since 1965. That would be 43 years. I don't see why his use of that benefit has anything to do with his objections to Obamacare, since Obamacare itself has yet to be defined by the Great Leader in anything more than high level powerpoint bullets.//
-------------------
From a younger worker who will no doubt have to subsidize him while stuck in a rotten system he wishes upon me, why don't you ask him which he would prefer, his money back so he can fend for himself in finding an insurance provider to care for him in his infirmity and when he gets a little taste of his own medicine or to stay with the system he's got?

Posted by: SarahBB | September 3, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

So a Basiji bites off the finger of a 65 year old man after he failed to comply with his demand to stop opposing the regime?

I think its time to start Basij hunting.

Posted by: gorak | September 3, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

File this under entertainment.

Posted by: Crucialitis | September 3, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

SarahBB: "Maybe people should think before they start throwing punches, 65 years old or not. Self defense should have been part of your headline if this paper weren't so biased."

Unless the guy who was punched could under no circumstances have repeated, his decision to bite the other guy's finger is not a defense. It is an affirmative act of retaliation.

Now, maybe he couldn't retreat. And maybe, in that event, biting the other guy's finger was his only way of defending himself.

Or maybe he COULD have retreated but decided to retaliate anyway and was correct in do so.

But let's stop pretending that it is self-evident that he was defending himself.

Posted by: bonnierumsfeld | September 3, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

i'd like to know how the man's finer ended up in his mouth in the first place? in a fight i don't think you go for one's hand and start biting. i think it shows you that this debate isn't about health care but about Obama, some people just don't like him and will say and do anything to dis credit him. its hate at it's purest form.

Posted by: whatdyousay | September 3, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, California, aka; Granola Land.

The part that isn't fruits and nuts is flakes.

Posted by: Heerman532 | September 3, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

So, according to one account, the aggressor walked across the street, unprovoked, dragged an old guy into the intersection and bit his finger off. Then the aggressor ran away.

Sorry, but this strikes me as a little bit...incomplete.

Does anybody believe that's all that happened?

Posted by: mikem1 | September 3, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

If the "public policy" (i.e. socialized medicine) were already in place, the poor gentleman would likely have had a 3 month wait to have his finger reattached. If the perpetrator's mouth had not been full of someone else's finger, he could have just HAD A BEER, per President Obama's solution to settle disagreements. Okay, everyone, REALITY 101: when the budget WAS PASSED -- ALREADY PASSED! -- ABOUT 14% WAS CUT FROM THE MANAGED CARE SECTION OF MEDICARE AND MEDICAID -- ALL DONE, ALL GONE. How many billion is that? The question is WHAT will be cut from Medicare and Medicaid, not IF there will be cuts. THE FUNDING DECISION WAS MADE WHEN THE BUDGET WAS PASSED.

Posted by: mominmotion | September 3, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

The anti-Obama obviously does not know where his bread is buttered. Medicare took care of of his pinky at no cost. Lucky him.

Posted by: mstratas | September 3, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse


Ok, so one guy gave another guy the finger, so what. Move on. . .

Posted by: kenhyde | September 3, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I witnessed the entire event and gave a sworn statement to Sheriff's deputies.

Fact is, the man who's finger was bitten off, threw the first sucker punch and then both men went to the asphalt in the street. The pro-healthcare supporter looked like he got the worst of it - having his glasses broken by the punch and really getting beaten up - until I discovered the other guy stopped fighting because he had his finger tip bitten off.

No one should bite. No rally should ever result in violence. But everyone who wasn't there should reserve judgement. As gory as this was, this was a self defense act. The man who bit the finger was probably about 58 and was getting pretty well beaten up by this pretty robust 65 year old who was in pretty good shape. (honestly, I thought he looked like he was in his 50s because he was skinny and anything but frail, maybe ex-military)

Fact is, 152 people who participated in the Moveon.org protest were old ladies, middle aged business owners, couple of young people, my family. We aren't some sort of Brownshirts. We didn't want violence.

I read the entire bill and I like it and just felt like being civic minded by coming out to what I thought would be a productive, peaceful rally with like minded people.

But the irony is that when all is said and done, reports I read from the hospital say that the man protesting socialized medicine got his finger reattached using medicare.

Posted by: ryanhayden | September 3, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Atwater and the Devil are dancing in delight as Rush and Karl are doing a fat-boy jig of their own.

There constant propaganda of fear, uncertainty and doubt has turned health care into more than a biting issue. It's time for some liberals to start exercising some Second Amendment rights of their own - we're headed for another civil war if this keeps up.

Posted by: coloradodog | September 3, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Someone ask what about all these NAZI statements?, really not hard to imagine a comparison if you are a student of History. Although it may be a bit of a stretch. It was the Nazi movement who brought germany Hitler, A bright well spoken highly intelligent charismatic young man who wanted change for government. Blamed all of Germanys problems on the wealthy and the status quo. Once gaining power he immediately began changing the face of Germany into a fascist government by introducing radical ideas and changes without debate, he was continually on the radio addressing the nation that he was forming a better Germany, he demonized the wealthy and silenced opponents, he controlled the news and media outlets, he made the people believe he was a savior of Germany. He indoctrinated children with speeches aimed at school children. And his liberal media was his best ally who to their later deep regret helped him achieve his monstrous accomplishments !! The rest is history. Does any of this sound familiar?

Posted by: talsimmons | September 3, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Atwater and the Devil are dancing in delight as Rush and Rove probably celebrating with Big Macs and doing a fat-boy jig of their own.

Their constant propaganda of fear, uncertainty and doubt has turned health care into more than a biting issue. It's time for some liberals to start exercising some Second Amendment rights of their own - we're headed for another civil war if this keeps up.

Posted by: coloradodog | September 3, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

He's 65, why attach the pinky? That's expensive. Was it cheaper to just cut it off? He's got Medicare.

Posted by: mstratas | September 3, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

My blog is not handling the load well. Suggest you visit the mirror post at MOMocrats.com for my side of the story. http://momocrats.typepad.com/momocrats/2009/09/health-care-vigil-in-thousand-oaks-my-side-of-the-story.html

There were not 25 counterprotesters. I counted 9 at one point; there may have been as many as 13 or 14.

What makes me saddest is that the dialogue has become so violent and unforgiving that people are stirred to violence. In this story, there are no heroes. Like MoveOn, I condemn any act of violence no matter who is involved.

Posted by: DrumsNWhistles | September 3, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

To muddiboots. Regarding your question, "What, exactly, is with all of these references to Nazis?"

It’s an old tactic. Accuse others as behaving like you do or use a name that’s the opposite of what you are or stand for. Example: The Democratic Peoples Republic of North Korea is not democratic or a republic. In this instance, the Republican party, or the neo-cons and ultra-right Christians that now control it, accuse Democrats, Independents, or anyone else that disagrees with ultra-right values (like the Nazis) of being Nazis. This is the tactic of the elite using the ignorant and stupid to spread the lies the elite came up with and spread those lies around (remember the SA brown-shirts?). Using intimidation doesn’t hurt either (yelling, shouting down, stand around with loaded guns, etc.). Again, it’s a simple tactic if you’re the powerful elite trying to hold on to power and have enough of the ignorant and stupid to do your bidding.

Posted by: Randster | September 3, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Americans elected a young, intelligent, Black Democrat as President. The "Christian" right will not accept it nor the Constitution that provides for it. The President has every right to talk to school children. He is the President.

Get over it before you blow a 50 AMP fuse and finish what you started - destroying this country from within.

Posted by: coloradodog | September 3, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I am becoming cynical again. That's sad. For a brief moment I had faith in the American public again. This incident, and lots of the comments here, lead me to believe that we are headed for a HUGE train wreck and nothing can stop us. I am so pessimistic about our future, it's not even worth commenting about why.

Posted by: bicklehoff | September 3, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Bunchasavages

Posted by: jahs4fun | September 3, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Funkey;
Yes I did compare this action to the actions of those who supported a young, very popular socialist leader in Europe in the early 1930's..... Yes funkey, when a political faction turns to violence to suppress dissent and the media makes light of the situation, yes funkey, I think of the Nazi's rise to power... they rose to power by fighting in the streets, beating up their opposition. I think that a fanatical young man, who supports the party in power, screaming at and then attacking an old man who stands in opposition to the actions of the government would fit right in on the streets of Berlin in 1931...don't you?
Which part of a fanatical young man attacking an old man who is exercising his right to free speech is ok with you?
If Obama does not foreswear this sort of support immediately the situation can devolve quickly. He is the president of the nation, not the leader of the left, any sort of cynical justification for this event or minimization by saying "the old man had medicare" is strikingly similer to the sorts of things the Nazis said when acts of violence happened under their watch. Civil society depends on the rule of law, if you support, cynically apoligize for or attempt to minimize an act of violence such as this you are not a member of civil society. Imagine the effect on those elderly folks who are standing up to protest can you honestly say the reports in the media making light of this event will not suppress their willingness to protest? Is that the sort of debate you wish to have.... a debate marked by violence and fear?
Yes, I say it again, the line between our world and the era of the dictators is 70 years wide and only a few inches deep.
Ridicule me if you wish, I don't care, just don't support violence as a political tool and expect me to stand silent.
Steve LaBelle

Posted by: srlabelle2000 | September 3, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Why did the old guy put his finger near the dudes mouth? He must have had his pinkie in the guys face, because who the hell uses a pinkie-bite as a fighting move?

Posted by: smckaho420 | September 3, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

mominmotion: "If the "public policy" (i.e. socialized medicine) were already in place, the poor gentleman would likely have had a 3 month wait to have his finger reattached."

This "argument" replicates a number of logical errors typical of the anti-health reform position.

1. It assumes as true a non-falsifiable proposition.

2. It uses the word "socialized" as a mere term of propaganda (do you also refer to your local fire department and road plowing crew as "socialized hazard control"), and does so without realizing that every function at every level of government could just as easily be characterized as "socialist". I mean, why not go all the way and rename the FBI, "The Socialist Bureau of Investigation"?

3. It resorts to a non-falsifiable hypothetical by way of demonstrating that the proposed failure of a future health care system (one that does not presently exist) would not be in a position to provide a specialized emergency service, and therefore it must follow that the only viable alternative is to abandon any government intervention at all into the public healthcare arena.

As every child knows, it requires no effort to erect hypothetical failings of a proposed plan of execution, and to do so as "proof" that the plan is doomed.

Posted by: bonnierumsfeld | September 3, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm waiting for someone to say the old man should have been packing a gun and this might have ended differently, you know, the RIGHT way.

I also like the complaining about a government run healthcare and then running to government run healthcare to get medical treatment, and not paying a dime, then heading back to complain about government run healthcare again.

But I'm sure the focus will be something to do with nazis again.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 3, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I love the Post's effort to minimize this. "Finger tip," they say. The hospital says "half the finger." They try to muddy the water as to the attacker's presence among the other group. They try to blame the guy who lost his finger. And then they ask MoveOn.Org for their view - in full. But send you to other web sites for the other side of the story. No room at the inn for the other side of the story. This is like the coverage of the vandal attack on the Denver democratic party HQ. It was a huge story until they found out that a lefty did it, and wanted to blame republicans. Just as Hitler and the National Socialists did when they burned the Reichstag. That's one reason for all the nazi references here, my friend. It's the tactics the methods, and in some cases, the goals of the modern left now in charge in America. Conservatives now have the same standing in the media and receive the same treatment that black people got in the 1950s. Mister Charlie won't cut us a break.

Posted by: crusher2 | September 3, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Hillbillies gone wild!!! LOL
I think these chickenhawks are upset they haven't won a war since WWII. Give it up morons.

Posted by: member8 | September 3, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

crusher2 wrote: "Just as Hitler and the National Socialists did when they burned the Reichstag."

God I hate being right about the right.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 3, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if the 65 year old anti-Obama protester, who got his finger bit off, will use Medicare to have it sewn back on? By most accounts he was very aggresive with the pro reform protesters.

Posted by: Hoffmann1 | September 3, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Healthcare reform is needed! I and my family are on medicaid in Illinois. My 13 year old daughter was seen at an ER in Tenn. for one hour and fortyfive minutes. She had a urine sample and 2 x-rays taken nothing fancy; my bill was $4000.00. Medicaid refused to pay because it wasn't inside of Illinois. Sorry I don't make oodles of money to afford better coverage, but I do the best I can, and work full time. We all need some sort of fair equality inplace to protect the most vunerable of us. The bills that are unpaid will trickle down to those of you that are paying, in some form or another. Reform must be done to level the prices and stop the highway robbery that is occurring by the healthcare industry!

Posted by: a70ta | September 3, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Uh, so conservatives lined up around the block to support the Patriot Act, which represents the scariest expansion of government power ever. But universal health care is the first step toward a fascist state? Yeah, that makes sense...

Posted by: rchadha5 | September 3, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

NaziNazi NaziNaziNazi NaziNaziNaziNazi NaziNaziNaziNaziNazi

Next wingnut spittle!

FascistFascist
FascistFascistFascist
FascistFascistFascistFascist

Next GOP rant!

CommieSocialistCommieSocialist
CommieSocialistCommieSocialistCommieSocialist

Next pant wetting cry!

KenyanKenyan
KenyanKenyanKenyan
KenyanKenyanKenyanKenyan

Posted by: hayden1 | September 3, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Mr. Missing Finger had it coming. Too bad it wasn't his head, because he needs a new one anyway.

Posted by: Oomingmak | September 3, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Liberals are looking for the cannibal because they want to give him tenure at a major American university. He's a Hero Of The People. He's going to get lefty awards for this. The left loves their violence and they love their mass murderers. They make fashion statements with the faces of Mao and Che'. They make movies about how great they were. WIlliam Ayers spent years as a terrorist bomber and is now a college professor and a pal of the president of the United States. The left reveres the violence. Always has. That's why the libs here think it's a big joke.

Posted by: crusher2 | September 3, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The Republican party will do anything to derail healthcare reform regardless of its merits. The finger sideshow avoids the issue - is healthcare a right or a privilege (like owning a Ferrari) to be enjoyed only if you can afford it? Relying on the employer-based system is clearly not working. Silly lies (comparing healthcare reform to Nazi Germany, "death panels", etc.)and distortions are being used to confuse and scare people into buying into the status quo. Once again, the Republicans are on the side of insurance companies and have misled the people into acting against their own and the country's benefit.

Posted by: rcampbell2 | September 3, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Hypocrites, sucker punch a guy, get your finger chewed off because of it, and take no responsibility for the fact that had you not sucker punched someone you wouldn't have had your finger bitten off.

Someone should have feed the scrap to the nearest dog, guy deserved everything he got and than some.

And the irony of the whole thing is he ended up getting it stitched back on by you guessed it, the very thing he was protesting against, socialized medicine.

Ignorant people and ignorant rants.

Posted by: me8980109 | September 3, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Let that be a lessons to everybody - Don't get in between a socialist and his socialism. If you don't like what they're planning on spending your money on, protest from afar.

Posted by: luncheaterguy | September 3, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

The guy crossed over to the anti-reform Neanderthals to respond to the old coot shouting the usual psychotic right-wing garbage. The old coot threw the first punch, then he lost a finger. It's called a fight.

Right-wingers preaching civility are like Nazis preaching tolerance. Slightly disingenuous.

Posted by: lbjack | September 3, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Who ever the guy is that dragged the old fellow into the street should be charged with verbal and physical abuse of the elderly,harrassment, and assault. No one has the right to touch anyone else without their permission.

The flesh eater should not only be charged for that assault, but should be locked up as a Madd Hatter as well.

When law enforcement fails to enforce laws chaos ensues....every time.

Posted by: dottydo | September 3, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

missing finger from a Right winger!!! wow this is some crazy stuff!!

Posted by: Demogod | September 3, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I believe that we should adopt a new name for the left-wingers. A name that more accurately describes their appetite and actions: Cannibals
Cannibalism and healthcare seem to go hand in hand.
A magnificent combination to insure long life for the elderly and the weak.

Posted by: duif100 | September 3, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

lbjack,

The Acorn guy crossed over to verbally attack at close range, and then bit off a guys finger.

Left up to you the question of just how did the door of the car get closed on the unconscious victim in the water by a supposedly drunk Ted Kennedy would never have been asked either.
Ever tried to close a car door in the water?

It takes a great effort.

The reality is that those pro Obamabots are aiding and hiding a criminal and they know exactly who he is, and where he is.
The police should arrest them all as accessory to the criminal, until someone spills the beans.

They can find them through the e-mail they wrote to "organize" this.

Posted by: dottydo | September 3, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

The quick response from Moveon.org is a solid indication that the cannibal was most likely one of its (maybe even paid) members. It now wants to distance itself from the violence it has so often instigated.
Cannibalism is a cost effective way to dispose of the weak and elderly.
This is a true demonstration of what awaits us when healthcare money gets tight.

Posted by: duif100 | September 3, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

duif100,
Chud-bots was already coined in California, even before they began to openly just eat people.

"Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller."


No one else would ever support an NPD Sociopathic dual Profile like Obama.

I hope the old gent sues Obama and this illegal taxpayer Federal funding for kook Acorns, and lives well to stand up for all of us.

Posted by: dottydo | September 3, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

It is frightening. I have never witnessed the vicious anger and villifcation directed towards this bill sponsored by this President. It seems that every chance they get they are attacking and decrying this President and anything he attempts to get accomplished. Was not the perevious Administration the folks who put this country in the mess we are in?!
I don't ever remember seeing anything near the type of hate against former President Bush that they have for this President. Now because of this Health Care Bill they are acting like heathen mongrels! I am a registered Republican who is ashamed of those members of the Republican party who are behind these acts of stupidity. Alltough I voted for the President, I do not and have not agreed with all of his philisophies. I voted for him because I felt and feel that he was/is the best man for the job. The seething hate and scorn directed towards him bothers me...It says something about this country! Is it because he is a Democrat, labeled as liberal or is it something much deeper than that?

Posted by: ladswg | September 3, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Cannibals? On that note I am resuming my life. See ya...

Posted by: rockcreek2 | September 3, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Biting and fighting for $102,741.68 an hour.

Looks like the Teabaggin' Terrorists are really stamping their feet in anger again.

They're really mad that somebody might actually do something about UnitedHealthcare CEO Stephen Hemsley, who has earned $102,741.68...AN HOUR...in 2009. His paycheck comes from the profits made by denying treatment to people who've paid premiums all their lives. And their children who get cancer.

After all...that's what the health care business has become. That's what the health care business is now designed to do. Make a boatload of money. Who can blame them?

Thankfully, Stephen has the Teabaggin' Terrorists out there biting and fighting for his rights. If they win, I'm sure he'll open a couple of $20,000 bottles of champagne and toast them, next time he cruises the Mediterranean on one of his yachts.

Posted by: wilder5121 | September 3, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Rabies shots for all the right wing wackos!

Posted by: Woodstocknative | September 3, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Obamacare is finger licking good!

Posted by: wildcelt | September 3, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

bonnierumsfeld wrote: "[quoting NthrnNYker] '"Vengeance" ? How is it any more "vengeance" than than the man who protects himself in his home with a loaded weapon?'

To what does 'it' refer?"

I am not sure whether to laugh or cry. Are you deliberately trying to bait someone with this question? NthrnNYker was clearly responding to you in a thread of discussion, and I fail to see how you didn't understand what he wrote. It almost seems as if you're being deliberately obtuse about a common turn-of-phrase in English to pick on someone else or create more conflict where there does not need to be.

I think any reasonable person can tell you what he meant by "it," so let me give you my interpretation: The act to which everyone in this comment section has been referring, specifically, the altercation between two men which resulted in person A getting punched in the face, and retaliating by biting person B's finger.

Speaking as someone who lives in a state with very permissive gun laws (Arizona), I can tell you first hand that the distinction between "self-defense" and "vengeance" is pretty much non-existent.

Furthermore, while your definition of what should constitute self-defense is very genteel, it is not American. You claim that self-defense combat is only justified when you are unable to retreat. That is a very British notion of the law. The United States in general does not require a person's back to be up against a proverbial wall before they're allowed to use deadly force to defend themselves. Each state has its own statutes, but in general, most states recognize a person's right to self-defense by combat, and they don't constrain that to mean you must try to flee first. Some states even specifically have stand-your-ground laws which excuse you from trying to flee first, while others only require a duty to flee if the alternative is the use of deadly force. (This latter type of law permits the use of non-deadly force to defend oneself. I assume here that losing one's finger, while painful, is not deadly. It also had the desired effect -- person A stopped getting punched in the face.)

Now, if you want to make a claim that fighting is immoral unless retreat is impossible, I might support you there. The problem is that morality is subjective, whereas the law is supposedly objective.

Posted by: LionMage | September 3, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so the right wingers are the whackos?
Hey woodstock, besides biting do you play with your poo poo as well?

Posted by: wildcelt | September 3, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I hope he has health care insurance.

Posted by: djohnst4 | September 3, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

[This is just over-the-top crazy behavior and it has to be said that Rush & Fox are the ones turning up the thermostat]

So Obama never said get in peoples faces? Your president is a divider.

Posted by: wildcelt | September 3, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"Nazi" references are apt as those opposing the elected president in order to maintain fascistic market dynamics in the health insurance industry, make up the same sectarian faction which permitted Bush to be cheated into office by a specific bloc on the SCOTUS, and then to commit his own "Reichstag Fire." It is the same "Fifth Column" America's Founder identified as "the real Anti-Christ" more than a hundred years before Bush's grandfather acted as money conduit from their U.S. collection plates, through Vatican banker Rockefeller, to the author of "I Paid Hitler," to finance the Holocaust.
http://theamericanfundament.blogspot.com

One can't be truly American and stupid: Let's all wise up.

Posted by: iamerican | September 3, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

[permissive gun laws]
You mean liberal gun laws, you know freedom. Gun laws that don't try to restict what the constitution grants you.

[I can tell you first hand that the distinction between "self-defense" and "vengeance" is pretty much non-existent.]

Ok you use pseudo-legal jargon throughout your post and then you feign ignorance of (or you are intentionally ignorant) the legal distinction between battery and mayhem. Keep playing to your strong suit the ignorance is fun to read.

Posted by: wildcelt | September 3, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Try actually reading "Mein Kampf" before making the patently spurious claim that Hitler blamed anything on the wealthy.

Hitler was a catspaw for Rome's "Black Aristocracy."

In his book he touts the "ancient blood" of the Vatican's "aristocracy," and they returned the favor by funding his rise to power using Knight of Malta Prescott Bush as the "cut out" for Vatican banker Rockfeller's Roman Catholic collection plate money.

Posted by: iamerican | September 3, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

The assailant who bit off the finger was merely attempting to illustrate how effective coverage under H.R. 3200's "public option" is and got carried away. Give this enterprising fellow a job in the Obama Administration -- he's obviously well qualified and up to date on the latest ACORN and SEIU thug tactics.

Posted by: alchartreux | September 3, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

This is getting so out of hand. To all those opposed or in favor of a public option: Please, please, please calm down. There is not worth getting violent over.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | September 3, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Instead stay Americans with power and presence with a loud voice being registered in the anals of American History instead.
Find and sign the Bear Revolt Petitions.

Posted by: dottydo | September 3, 2009 3:43 PM |

_____________________________


Thank you for this. This made my day.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | September 3, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

LionMage: "Furthermore, while your definition of what should constitute self-defense is very genteel, it is not American. You claim that self-defense combat is only justified when you are unable to retreat. That is a very British notion of the law. The United States in general does not require a person's back to be up against a proverbial wall before they're allowed to use deadly force to defend themselves. Each state has its own statutes, but in general, most states recognize a person's right to self-defense by combat, and they don't constrain that to mean you must try to flee first. Some states even specifically have stand-your-ground laws which excuse you from trying to flee first, while others only require a duty to flee if the alternative is the use of deadly force.

You, Sir, are incorrect: under the laws of every state, including Arizona, a person may be found liable under civil and criminal law if that person, while in the course of defending against bodily harm by an assailant, undertakes an act that is not necessary to his defense but which has the effect of injuring the assailant.

The remainder of your comment reflects an understanding of Britain that appears to have been derived from reruns Mary Poppins.

Posted by: bonnierumsfeld | September 3, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

LionMage: "I can tell you first hand that the distinction between "self-defense" and "vengeance" is pretty much non-existent."

Nonesense. Even a 5-year old knows there is a clear and obvious distinction between self-defense and vengeance.

Self-defense, whatever its consequences, is motivated by an interest in protection against the foreseeability of harm.

Vengeance is motivated by an interest in exacting ex post facto retribution for a harm that has already been inflicted.

Words do not simply mean what you want them to mean. Please, think . . . then post.

Posted by: bonnierumsfeld | September 3, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

bonnie->> Self-defense, whatever its consequences, is motivated by an interest in protection against the foreseeability of harm.

Ok, given even THAT, what makes you think the guy who got punched wasn't about to get punched AGAIN...therefore necessitating the need for 'self-defense' against that 'forseeable' second punch ?

See where I'm going here ?

Or in MY example....how do you KNOW that I would not have crippled that man knowing that second punch was on it's way...again, necessitating that 'foreseeable' need for self-defense ?

After all, one's past actions is a pretty good indicator of future action.....

So your little splitting hairs of 'vengeance' vs. 'self-defense' is disingenuous at best, and downright facetious at worse.

Posted by: NthrnNYker | September 3, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

This sums the state of the health care debacle, some people fighting for reform and sending the others to the hospital for treatment. Frickin' amazing!

Posted by: chicago77 | September 3, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Bonnie -- >"under the laws of every state, including Arizona, a person may be found liable under civil and criminal law if that person, while in the course of defending against bodily harm by an assailant, undertakes an act that is not necessary to his defense but which has the effect of injuring the assailant '

Unmitigated BULLSH1T.

As a younger man, I was many times the target of assailants who wished to 'test' me because of my size....and many whom I've put in the hospital with the effect of 'injuring the assailant'. Never once was I charged with a crime, as every single witness testified that I did everything in my power to avoid confrontation...and only fought back when I had no other choice....but when I DID fight back...people took trips to the hospital.

And again...not ONCE was there criminal charges lodged against me...even tho the assailants did their best to have me charged with a crime.

So save the bullcrap for another day...nobody's buying it today.

Posted by: NthrnNYker | September 3, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh wow. 100 "anti-Obamacare" protesters far outnumber the group of 25 counter-protesters, but the SMALLER group is likened to a "Nazi Regime." The 65 old man struck first, but it's the one who bit off his finger in SELF DEFENSE who gets the rap. Had the 65 old man not been retaliated against, the very same people who are protesting his finger would justify his act as "part of the democratic process." Is this not the apex of hypocricy? Anti-healthcare people; get a life and know what the hcek you're talking about for a change!

Posted by: kogejoe | September 3, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Thus far from reading the back and forth posts I cannot tell who was the agressor. But violence at a health health care vigil is reflective of tribal instinct, no matter who started. This whole country should be ashamed for what it has become.

Posted by: Single_Payer | September 3, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Every night on the news, there's pictures of screaming rightwing fanatics. Screaming in people's faces like madmen. Showing up to public meetings with weapons and hateful signs, all meant to intimidate any opposition. Meant to scare any who disagree into giving up their rights as Americans.

Tonight I watched as some large, angry man screamed at a woman in a wheelchair while she tried to ask a question at a public meeting. She had the microphone and was just describing her fears of losing her health insurance. The rightwingers would NOT let this poor woman speak. The same way that they don't let anybody speak who disagrees with them. Just watch ANY TV talk show. Rightwingers blab at length and then talk all over the other guy, so not a word gets out.

It was only a matter of time before all the threats and intimidation and calls for violence led to violence. You guys on the right better be damn careful about how you proceed and how far. If you think for a minute that you're going to take over the place and call the shots, forget it.

People who try that end up in prison or dead at the hands of law enforcement.

This is America, 2009, not Germany 1933. Your attempts to incite fear and violence will eventually be responsible for you getting familiar with another government institution, prison. Meanwhile, let free Americans speak.

Posted by: fredfawcett | September 3, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

The republicans are now simply POLITICAL TERRORISTS. They even attacked this old man. They continue to terrorize little old ladies with threats of Death Panels and euthanazia. How dare they! They are digusting pigs. Nothing but Political Terrorists. I can't wait for election time to come around so we can get rid of the Republicans once and for all.

Posted by: angelou | September 3, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr Finger was 65? With free Socialized Government Health Care to fix it? Oh and the time to demonstrate because he had another Socialized program Social Security.

Posted by: kinoworks | September 3, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

brought a sharp implement to a gun fight... and won.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | September 3, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

What? They're saying the Democrat bit off the Republican's finger? What a role reversal! No doubt when the truth of the matter is known, it will turn out to have been exactly the opposite ...

Posted by: jamesbatic | September 3, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse


I hope he has health care insurance.

Posted by: djohnst4 | September 3, 2009 6:23 PM

==================================

they said he was 65, so... he's got medicare whether he likes it or protests against it.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | September 3, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry angelou, a lefty type person did the finger biting.

Posted by: FredKnowsBest | September 3, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

That guy has Medicare?! That's worse than Pat Robertson getting surgery from an educated person who practices science and medicine. These teabaggers have no business linking with Unemployment, Disability, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. That would be like a holy roller chasing someone other than the spouse. Oh yeah, they do that. Rev. Bookburn - Radio Volta

Posted by: revbookburn | September 3, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

That guy has Medicare?! That's worse than Pat Robertson getting surgery from an educated person who practices science and medicine. These teabaggers have no business linking with Unemployment, Disability, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. That would be like a holy roller chasing someone other than the spouse. Oh yeah, they do that. Rev. Bookburn - Radio Volta

===============================

If you stop removing the money from my paycheck, I'll do with out.

But...lets get back on topic. Why has the left resorted camibalism?

Posted by: FredKnowsBest | September 3, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a case of self-defence. The fighting erupted though on the anti-Obamacare side. They are violent.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 3, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Any you thar fellas know where I can get a Zombie-proof shelter for my basement? (Obama has
a secret International Zombie Control Unit and is behind this finger thing)

Posted by: kinoworks | September 3, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Someone who was there describes what happened:
http://www.drumsnwhistles.com/2009/09/03/health-care-vigil-in-thousand-oaks-provocation-to-violent-response/

Posted by: bugged

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Gee bugged, look at your own hand in a fist.

Now open your hand and look at it.

Which position gives an oportunity to bite off a finger????


Seems the story teller missed that little fact.
It would be fun to watch Judge Judy nail that one down.

The dude swaggering across the street yelling and spitting while he is yelling ....hmmmm....when he did that, it apparently caused the elederly man he was verbally and physically assaulting with body fluid to deflect that attack of rancid spit coming from the yellers mouth.

Elderly abuse is a much more henious crime of assault in California laws , than if the guy picked on somebody his own age.

Those pesky facts of a closed fist as opposed to an open hand up defending from spit certainly ads more charges to those who are hiding the attacker.

Accessories to a criminal can be charged as the attacker is.
Do they know that?
Somebody needs to turn the dude in and absolve themselves at that event.

Posted by: dottydo | September 3, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I hope he has health care insurance.

Posted by: djohnst4 | September 3, 2009 6:23 PM

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Why?
He should get a lawyer and sue the Federal Govenrnment for hiring these idiots with the people's dole.

Since that in itself is also a crime, he can have a very good life and also a great time yanking all the officials behind the clown Minion CHUD they put on the steeets that day.

Take all of their houses, cars, and dreams for a change.

Posted by: dottydo | September 3, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Terrorist Republicans need to be followed by the Secret Service.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 3, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Appears to be a moveon.org thug that heard some elderly protestors denouncing his side who then elected to cross the street to the protesting group and single out an elderly guy to confront and intimidate him.

The court will eventually rule - but in general, the law allows for a person minding their own business when approached by a belligerant person - menacing & threatening the approached party or saying clear "fighting words" - to throw the 1st punch. And not be blamed for starting the incident or be at fault for the damages.

Right now, moveon.org is purportedly not cooperating in identifying the thug that went over to mix it up with a peaceful assemly of counter-protestors well away from his own group - but police have pictures of the guy. So they will get him.

And the guy may be in serious legal trouble. Mayhem is a felony.

Memo to rabid Lefties AND Rightwingers. If you cross the street away from your group to "mix it up" with a peacefully assembled group of people you disagree with standing well apart - you are the party the law will see as precipitating anything that follows.

" And people see nothing wrong with guns at town hall meetings.
Posted by: rlj1"

It is lawful to bear arms. It is not lawful to brandish them in hostile manner or make threats of how much they would like to use those arms on groups, or specific individuals.
It freaks out Lefties and media - but sometimes people will legally and openly display arms if they feel someone is threatening their 2nd Amendment rights. To make precisely that point - they are allowed to do it.
I would prefer that any armed group of protestors have unloaded weapons and who have worked with police to verify members are under discipline, are following strict gun safety rules, and of no threat. But a million men and women marching on DC bearing arms might not be such a bad reminder to Holder and Obama that some Americans take gun rights as seriously as lawyers take the 4th Amendment.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | September 3, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Gun rights are for children. An adult will be more concerned with the intrusive nature of Homeland Security created by geroge Bush to collect data on American citizens, including gun ownership. Now there is a threat.

Maybe you gun freaks should march on Homeland Security!

Posted by: Maddogg | September 3, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Did any of you idiots watch the video??? NOOO??? That is what I thought, because the old man said that it was he, himself who threw the first punch and then proceed to punch the man in black again...and that is when the man in black bit off the tip of the old guys finger...But as usual don't let the facts get in your way....You guys really live up to your name of Repubatards!!!

Just watch the interview! knuckle heads! Bhahahahhhahhhahhahhah, you guys are idiots!

Posted by: nallcando | September 3, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Gun rights are for children. An adult will be more concerned with the intrusive nature of Homeland Security created by geroge Bush to collect data on American citizens, including gun ownership. Now there is a threat.

Maybe you gun freaks should march on Homeland Security!

Posted by: Maddogg | September 3, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

The guy who got his finger bite off stated he threw 1st punch and hit the guy then threw 2nd punch hit the guy in the mouth and the guy bit his finger off ,in most of the country he threw the 1st punch and is guilty of assult the other guy defended himself by biting off the finger that was in his mouth Cavuto acts like this idiot is some kind of hero,Judge Judy would this guy a stupid idiot as well as Cavuto

Posted by: swheeler3 | September 3, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Gun rights are for children. An adult will be more concerned with the intrusive nature of Homeland Security created by geroge Bush to collect data on American citizens, including gun ownership. Now there is a threat.

Maybe you gun freaks should march on Homeland Security!

Posted by: Maddogg | September 3, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

"Appears to be a moveon.org thug that heard some elderly protestors denouncing his side who then elected to cross the street to the protesting group and single out an elderly guy to confront and intimidate him."

Biting off an elderly man's finger to "advance health care reform" is NOT the way to convince anyone.

The Leftist Healthcare Lunatics have some really serious mental health issues and they are the last people I want giving orders to my Physician.

Posted by: chicago77 | September 3, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Glenn Beck has been diagnosed as a Paranoid Schizophrenic. Great job for the Terrorist Republicans.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 3, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

The big question now is will Obama turn Republican of 9-9-09?

Posted by: Maddogg | September 3, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse


Confronting and chewing on people with an opposing viewpoint is not civilized.

Posted by: chicago77 | September 3, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse


The Pro-Healthscare thug should NOT have been allowed cross over and harm the elderly man.

Future rallies need security to keep the leftists on their side.

Posted by: chicago77 | September 3, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

This is the type of disgrace that occurs when you introduce Saul Alinsky tactics into a nation already plagued by Karl Rove strategies. This place is rotting and it is from our President with his excessive agenda on down.

Posted by: chrojo01 | September 3, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of what the looney left thinks,
Biting off a elderly gentleman's finger is NOT a medically acceptable amputation.

Posted by: chicago77 | September 3, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

This dumbo throws a punch at somebody else, then throws a second punch, and proudly states: "My hand ended up in his mouth, and when it came out, I was missing a finger". Serve him right. If someone punches me and then rams his hand into my mouth, I am jolly well going to bite his head off.

Posted by: alzach | September 3, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Those who venture to throw punches should not be complaining if their fist gets bitten off. He should count himself lucky that he lost only his pinkie.

Posted by: alzach | September 3, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Medicare should add a pre-existing condition clause for getting your finger bit off by throwing the first punch.

Posted by: Single_Payer | September 3, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

It is a good thing that a few people are out voicing their opinions feverishly while others are still hypnotized on their sofas. We don't now know whether this was self-defense, a right-wing media blitz setup, or a hungry cannibal thinking the snot on his finger was mustard. What no one can argue about is this: The fat men making millions off of this story are the ones informing the 25. those informing the 100 are making nothing off of this.

Posted by: CONCENTRATE | September 4, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Now god, Fox is really as bad as they say!
I Now I remember why I do not watch fox.

Posted by: ok4u | September 4, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

I attended the MoveOn.org vigil in Riverside last night. Over 150 people of all shapes, ages and colors came together peacefully with signs and candles in front of Congressman Ken Calvert's office. About 15 people from the "anti" side showed up. They intermingled with us and started shouting and yelling in our faces, calling us and President Obama Nazis. We took the high ground and tried to ignore their rudeness and anger and not engage them. It was very difficult. They tried to pick a fight with everyone there including elderly people. When we finally gathered on the steps to start our program of stories about people affected by no insurance, pre-existing conditions, etc. they got up on the steps and put their faces within inches of our speakers' faces and literally spat invective as people were trying to speak. When that failed to stop us, they shoved their Obama as Hitler signs between the speakers' eyes and the papers they were trying to read from - declaring it was their constitutional right to do so. I was holding a flashlight so people could read the stories from across the nation. A 75-year-old woman was trying to read her story while the leader was inches from her face yelling at her. She was scared. I put my hand on his arm and asked him to move back and he screamed at me: "Don't push me. It's my right to be here and protest." I asked him to let the woman speak and he just kept yelling at her and us. We had to cut our testimony short because nobody could hear what we were saying over their yelling and screaming and calling us Nazis. I am proud to say nobody beat the crap out of them - which is what they obviously wanted.
I am 60 years old. I worked for Sierra Club for 13 years, so I've had people shout and spit in my face many times, but this was over-the-top.
I am sure that there is more to this story, and, it is probably very sad.

Posted by: LadyMorgan | September 4, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse

If it had been the other way around, and it had been an OPPONENT of ObamaCare who crossed the street, got in an altercation with and bit off the finger of an ObamaCare supporter, would the Post have worded this article the same way? Would we read that he somehow just “wound up among” those on the other side? Or that perhaps he “was just walking among them while trying to cross the street”? Would a one inch piece of finger be referred to as a “fingertip”? Or would the headline more likely have read: “Right Wing Extremist Viciously Attacks Elderly Health Care Reform Supporter; Bites Finger Off!? Oh, and how thoughtful of you to close the article with THREE PARAGRAPHS of MoveOn’s spin and lame attempt to clean-up the PR. Wouldn’t it be interesting to ID the ‘finger-biter’ and learn that he’s one of MoveOn’s PAID professional agitators? Oh what a glorious day that would be. Can you say “lawsuit”? You lefties may now resume your drivel.
TXPatriot512

Posted by: TXPatriot512 | September 4, 2009 6:07 AM | Report abuse

No more finger bites or we send in Mike Tyson. However, there is a painless way to pay for our country's medical needs.

Amendment XXVIII
Sec. 1. War profit is hereby prohibited.
Sec. 2. Congress will enforce this article
with strong legislation.

Tell the medical care haters: “Together we can ease health costs with war profit savings.” Here, truth will stymie the doubters to the point of distraction.
Not even a conservative Republican can justify war profit over health care. And, no hater can hate medical care more than war profits.

Posted by: SteveSwimmer | September 4, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that this story is getting such scant coverage. Liberal violence is ok with the liberal media, but conservative violence is not?

Also interesting is that one poster claimed that the victim who was protesting government health care used government health care to take care of his finger. None of us knows what he used, but even if he had Medicare, he used that and not Obamacare which he is against.

Likewise interesting is that he needed any medical care at all and that the liberals supporting Obama are blaming the conservatiives of violence and disruption, when the truch is that it is they (the liberals) who are intollerant of any view different from theirs.

Liberal violence and disruption is not new. Just look back at the civil rights movement, the union bullying -- baseball bats to the knee caps, homes burned down, the murdering of strike breakers, the feminist bra burning, the Vietnam protest, the burning of college campus buildings, the 1968 riots, the 1968 democratic convention, the Watts riots, the Black Panthers' clinched fists,intimidation and threatening glares and statements and the Black threat of "No justice no peace!". Wow, talk about violence!

Posted by: NC-RM | September 4, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

We are all outsiders except for those on the site, including Karoli Kuns who told her tale at DrumsnWhistles.com. If she was right, it appeared that the man who was bitten was an aggressor at the beginning. Then it is the fault of the police not to try to separate them.

Posted by: williaml1 | September 4, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

NC-RM wrote: "Liberal violence and disruption is not new. Just look back at the civil rights movement, [...] the feminist bra burning [...]

Oh thank you for entertaining me this morning. I haven't laughed that loud in a while.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 4, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Instead stay Americans with power and presence with a loud voice being registered in the anals of American History instead.
Find and sign the Bear Revolt Petitions.

Posted by: dottydo | September 3, 2009 3:43 PM |

_____________________________


Thank you for this. This made my day.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | September 3, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

-------------------------------------------
I spotted this one too.

I am not sure, but I believe that you could find dottydo's head there, also.

I hear it's warm, but it's as dark as a Republican's heart and smells like cr.ap.

Posted by: dennissuper | September 4, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I see one very important lesson here for any peaceful organizers.

!!!! Bring video cameras !!!!!

We need more videos exposing these thugs who harrass, intimidate, and provoke peaceful protesters, attempting to provoke minor violence against them so that they can claim to be virtuous victims (instead of the vitrolic villains they obviously are).

Not to mention, the bullying bozos are less likely to act up if their actions might be broadcast on the evening news!

Posted by: Denswei | September 4, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

This time it was a finger. What if there had been one of those 2nd amendment adherents packing a gun?

This isn't about healthcare, bailouts, or televised pep talks to kids.

It's about a man who doesn't fit into the frame of white man establishment.

Power and profits, over sanity and hope, coupled with ignorance, and hate is turning this country into something that none of us can live with.

Posted by: bobncar | September 4, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Another obvious question: what exactly was Mr. Rightwinger doing that someone COULD bite his finger off? It's pretty clear he was already hitting and harassing the man, and probably that's what he was doing when he was bit.

Obvious, straight forward self defense to me....

Posted by: Denswei | September 4, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Amazing (and absurd) that people on EITHER side of this debate would latch onto an aberrant incident like this one to tar their opponents; all the more so since the facts here are uncertain and disputed.

BOTH sides are making this stupid argument: "See? Our opponents are barbarians!"

From one side:

"Sounds like a case of self-defence. The fighting erupted though on the anti-Obamacare side. They are violent."

And from the other:

"Liberal violence and disruption is not new. Just look back at the civil rights movement, the union bullying -- baseball bats to the knee caps, homes burned down, the murdering of strike breakers, the feminist bra burning, the Vietnam protest, the burning of college campus buildings, the 1968 riots, the 1968 democratic convention, the Watts riots, the Black Panthers' clinched fists,intimidation and threatening glares and statements and the Black threat of "No justice no peace!". Wow, talk about violence!"

Neither of these accusations have a THING to do with the wisdom (or lack thereof) of any of the health care proposals, which is the actual issue at hand. This incident, and most of the comments about it, are merely sad commentary about how irrational some participants in the debate have become.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | September 4, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

If you watch cable news at all, you've seen the ads for “health care reform”, now being called “health insurance reform”. “It is an interesting subtle switch in language”. Mike Oliphant runs a small Utah health insurance website http://www.benefitsmanager.net/SelectHealth.html whom deals with people day to day struggling to find affordable coverage. “I think it’s important to not understate the huge difference in meaning between “health insurance reform” and “health care reform”. Let’s not lose focus on the need to reform a broken health care system which includes not only health insurance carriers but also billing practices of medical providers. Why isn’t TORT reform part of the national discussion? Studies show that alone could lower costs by 15% for both the medical professionals and health insurance carriers (Humana). Perhaps the federal government should take notice of what Utah has accomplished with first step of health insurance reform and promises for reform in the medical provider arena. Several interesting changes took place with the passage of H.B. 188. House Speaker Clark has championed the need for change while recognizing the experience of the private health insurance sector. To see more about this visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/utah_health_insurance/health_care_reform/prweb2614544.htm

Posted by: mikeoliphant1 | September 4, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

If you watch cable news at all, you've seen the ads for “health care reform”, now being called “health insurance reform”. “It is an interesting subtle switch in language”. Mike Oliphant runs a small Utah health insurance website http://www.benefitsmanager.net/SelectHealth.html whom deals with people day to day struggling to find affordable coverage. “I think it’s important to not understate the huge difference in meaning between “health insurance reform” and “health care reform”. Let’s not lose focus on the need to reform a broken health care system which includes not only health insurance carriers but also billing practices of medical providers. Why isn’t TORT reform part of the national discussion? Studies show that alone could lower costs by 15% for both the medical professionals and health insurance carriers (Humana). Perhaps the federal government should take notice of what Utah has accomplished with first step of health insurance reform and promises for reform in the medical provider arena. Several interesting changes took place with the passage of H.B. 188. House Speaker Clark has championed the need for change while recognizing the experience of the private health insurance sector. To see more about this visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/utah_health_insurance/health_care_reform/prweb2614544.htm

Posted by: mikeoliphant1 | September 4, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Probably already been said, but I bet it tasted like chicken.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | September 4, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't condone violence. But this sounds like possible self-defense: one man being provoked by 25. I've been in these demonstrations many times, and sometimes people on both sides - - but mainly the right wing side - - are insulting and aggressive. Look at what happens at abortion clinics. I hope this finger-biter, if found, is cleared!

Posted by: ejmurphy414 | September 4, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The ANIMAL is coming out in the repuglicans!!!!!!

Posted by: asclepious2 | September 4, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The ANIMAL is coming out in the repuglicans!!!!!!

Posted by: asclepious2 | September 4, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone listen to the interview. The v alleged ictim said that he punched the biter twice and on the second punch the alleged victim lost his finger.

Sounds like self defense to me. In the picture of the biter shown in the interview, he appeared shorter and smaller than the alleged victim.

Posted by: uwep | September 4, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm African-American and it's funny to see right-wing nutters calling folks Nazis. Growing up in Chicago when we had racial strife white folks would show up with Nazi flags (I don't think they were left wing liberals). I've never seen a Black Nazi! Don't think there is any such thing. In reality we've (Blacks) been subject to Nazi like treatment in America for hundreds of years. Now we have a Black President and HE'S a Nazi? You people are straight crazy!

Posted by: wiseonesun | September 4, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Our new bumper sticker/T-shirt. Cartoon of man biting a finger with the caption, "liberals Bite!"

http://www.RightWingInc.com

Posted by: RightWingInc_com | September 4, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

According to the brilliant leftists on this site, Mr. Rice should not have sought treatment paid for by his Medicare, which he has no doubt paid for with taxes for years. I wonder how many of the same people, who are bashing the insurance companies now, expect the insurance companies to pay for their medical claims? Wouldn't that be hypocrisy?

Posted by: AlBundy | September 5, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Clearly self defense. God forbid others should have the same benefits as this right wing nut. He got what he deserved... Ha Ha!

Posted by: Jomokee2002 | September 5, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

We wholeheatedly support the man who bravely stood up to the undoubtedly ill-informed Republican. If we're going to win the health reform debate, we have to show we won't be intimidated!

Show your support! Bite a republican!

http://www.cannibalsforobama.org/

Posted by: CannibalsForObama | September 6, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

We need to not let such things make us fight each other. We do need to stop this health care bill but we must stay calm and only fight with words, not with fists.

http://planotexaspolitics.wordpress.com/

Posted by: almek11 | September 8, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I was there, three feet away when the incident happened. This was not a political act, it was a case of two men behaving badly. They began shouting at each other and then the older man punched the other man in the face. They struggled on the ground a few minutes, then they both jumped up and ran away in opposite directions. One of the people standing near me picked up a fingertip that was lying on the ground and rushed it to the hospital. The older man (whose fingertip was bitten) later said on Fox News that "my hand ended up in his mouth".
The only valid conclusion that can be drawn from this is that some unstable people can be tilted towards violence by the wild accusations and rabble-rousing from politicians and talk-shows on TV and the internet, which is then repeated by the media over and over all day long.

Posted by: kstokesla | September 8, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

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