s skippy the bush kangaroo: hey, we've got a finger for ya, right here!

skippy the bush kangaroo

Thursday, September 03, 2009

hey, we've got a finger for ya, right here!

yes, it's getting nasty out there. man's finger bitten off in scuffle at health care rally:

thousand oaks -- a 65-year-old man had his finger bitten off wednesday evening at a health care rally in thousand oaks, according to the ventura county sheriff's department.

sheriff's investigators were called to hillcrest and lynn road at 7:26 p.m.

about 100 protesters sponsored by moveon.org were having a rally supporting health care reform. a group of anti-health care reform protesters formed across the street.

a witness from the scene says a man was walking through the anti-reform group to get to the pro-reform side when he got into an altercation with the 65-year-old, who opposes health care reform.

the 65-year-old was apparently aggressive and hit the other man, who then retaliated by biting off his attacker's pinky, according to karoli from drumsnwhistles, who attended the rally.
good thing it wasn't a gun, we suppose.

but let's parse those words, "scuffle" and "altercation." here's the eyewitness account from karoli @ drumsnwhistles:

to be clear here: there were no threats, no dark moods, and there was no mob. i repeat, there was no mob. we were peaceful people holding candles and signs.

one petite woman was also handing out single payer flyers. she was passionate about it, but not rude, not mean, always smiled, and simply offered the flyer. at some point, she crossed back over (she may have run out of her flyer supply. i don’t know for sure. but she was not in any way confrontational.)

all of a sudden, i saw a very tall man in an orange shirt (yes, he is in the photo i linked you to) confront her, verbally at first. her back was to the thruway, and he was shooing her, approaching her, speaking to her in a very aggressive fashion (observation from body language only) and waving his arms in a shooing motion. with each step she took back, he took one forward, shooing her more. from where i was, it appeared as though he were telling her to get on her own side of the street, and backing it up with a very clear physical threat. even from where i stood, it chilled me. i pointed it out to others and called out for anyone with a video camera to aim it over there. (i had a small nikon cam with me that does video, but it would have been useless in that light.)

ultimately, she did cross the street and come back over to our side.

several minutes later, there was another altercation. my best recollection is that this man saw what happened to the woman and reacted to it. i cannot say with certainty where he was when he saw it — he may have arrived and was navigating his way through that group, or he may have crossed the street to defend her. he was confronted by the same man. i could tell from where i was that the man was belligerent, angry, and confrontational.

the man in the orange shirt hit the pro-reform guy (i’m going to call him pr guy just to keep the players straight). hard. ( tweeted in real time) he punched him in the face, knocked him to the ground and into that thruway. as you can see from the photo, cars drive straight through that without stopping. the pro-reform guy could have been run over. he got up, tried to get back up on the curb, but orange shirt guy was in his face. finger in his face, pr guy standing, steps up to the curb, and there’s a scuffle. orange shirt seemed to have pr guy in a hold, but again, i was across the street, so won’t state that as absolute fact. next thing i see is pr guy’s hat being tossed into the street, both yelling at one another, then orange shirt walks away, pr guy picks up hat and crosses to our side.

when he gets to our side, he tells a story in one sentence: “he punched me hard, straight in the face, so i bit his finger off.”

honestly, i thought he was exaggerating. i guess he wasn’t.

i’ve given this report to the police along with my photos. i am not heralding anyone as a hero here. i certainly do not celebrate the idea of anyone biting anyone else, no matter what the reason. however, there is no question that orange shirt guy was aching to fight, was willing to pick a fight, and certainly didn’t care who he fought with. he chose people who were shorter than he, and he used his voice, his body, his body language and his height to intimidate them.

don’t be fooled by reports ginning up sympathy for that 65-year old guy or worse yet, reports characterizing him as a senior citizen. he was aggressive and ready to mix it up.
as jesse @ pandagon points out, the hardly-ever-right wing is already spinning this to make it sound like moveon was looking for trouble and ready for blood.

but the truth is far from that. the anti-reform guy (who, ironically, is on medicare and is having his finger-re-attachment surgery paid for by the us gummint) is the guy that started trouble. the anti-reform guy is the guy who threw the first punch. the anti-reform guy is the guy that kept getting in people's faces. the anti-reform guy is the guy who continued the screaming when the other guy was down on the ground.

the anti-reform guy is the guy who picked a fight. and lost.

moral of the story: don't start something you can't finish.
posted by skippy at 3:37 PM |


Lady finger samiches anyone???
A wise man once said
"Son, never start a fight, but ALWAYS finish it"
commented by Anonymous 4K, 11:37 AM PDT  
>the anti-reform guy is the guy who picked a fight. and lost.

Bartkid sez,
Cue tomorrow's story AR guy announces he is taking donations [pause] because he doesn't have any health care coverage.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1:56 PM PDT  
"The suspect fled the scene, authorities said.

He was described as a short man with a medium build, wearing a blue cap, black shirt and black shorts."

Did he also have a small bone thru his nose and "I Love People,..Really" tatooed on his arm...???
My pinkie, my pinkie, my kingdom for a pinkie but I guess he has that terrible Medicare a “Single-payer health care insurance” what a hypocrite. Did the little pinkie cry "Wee-wee-wee!" all the way home? It real should have been his right pinky finger that would have been a better story. They are haters not debaters.
commented by Anonymous Paul, 6:40 PM PDT  
moral of the story: don't start something you can't finish.

Really. Doesn't he know that there are people starving out there? Though I don't think I could stomach these people either.
commented by Anonymous sean, 7:21 PM PDT  
Oddly enough, the CAPCHA letters to get my previous comment posted were "obitings"

To quote Dave Barry, "I am not making this up."
commented by Anonymous Mad Kane, 8:32 PM PDT  
The now pinkyless attacker was quoted as saying he is against government sponsored healthcare, including medicare, but used it to pay the emergency room bills. However, “If I had any other options, I would not have used it, even though I pay for it.”

Pardon me while I bang my head against a wall. This man, along with thousands of other mostly white folk on social security and medicare, are against medicare but of course don't ask them not to take advantage of a lifesaving program. Even though they're against it. Because government run healthcare is evil. Except when they use it.


Oh, and I've seen lots of guys like that getting their butts whipped in bar fights, thinking the smaller guy is an easy beat down if he's sucker punched a couple of times. If they're lucky, the bully only loses a few teeth.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 4:20 AM PDT  
All this talk about who started what is irrelevent. What matters is the discussion about who should fund health-care, and the anti-government activist, whatever he may say, has cast his vote with his wallet:

YES! to government health-care.

Another victory!*

*in a world which makes sense, maybe, but not here.
commented by Blogger daveawayfromhome, 8:00 PM PDT  

Add a comment