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Stark not concerned about town hall meetings

By Linh Tat
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 at 5:40 pm in Fremont, Stark.

Congressman Pete Stark, D-Fremont, does not plan to cancel or change the format of three upcoming town hall meetings in light of demonstrations at similar forums nationwide in protest of Obama’s proposed health care reform. (Over the past week, other congressional leaders have received threats, called off their town hall meetings or switched to teleconferencing with their constituents to avoid a potential showdown.)

Stark chairs the Ways and Means Committee’s health subcommittee and helped draft major portions of Obama’s plan, which, he acknowledged, could make him a target for protesters. A staff member in his Fremont office said she expects that there will be security at the town hall meetings, even though neither Stark nor his office have received threats.

Saturday’s meetings are scheduled for the following times/locations:

* 9-10 a.m.: Fremont Senior Center, 40086 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont.

* 10:30-11:30 a.m.: San Leandro City Hall, 835 E. 14th St., San Leandro

* Noon-1 p.m.: Alameda City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda

“If all (the demonstrators) do is come and scream, what can I do? There’s no law against it. You just have to be patient and hope that everybody can be polite and maybe they’ll get some questions answered. Or maybe they can make a point about their belief of how the bill should be written,” said Stark, who has erupted into impassioned speech himself during public meetings.

Read more comments from the congressman in Thursday’s Argus.

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  • Lois

    Jon,

    Sorry about your grandfather.

    For longevity, we need to instill good health into our young ones, so they don’t use the mineral energy reserves they were born with, so they will have a longer life span. I only wish I knew as a youth, what I know now.

    No disease can live in a well oxygenated body. Unfortunately, as we get older, we’ve more than likely have expended our reserves, become tired, therefore do not keep our body oxygenated…disease sets in. Oxygen is a nutrient.

    I assume your grandfather lived through the depression, where the stresses were high. Stress/negative emotions depletes the body of mineral reserves.

    I, also, don’t want to leave our young and future generations with an evil medical dictatorship through the government.

    Again, I’m sorry about the loss of your grandfather.

  • fremont Lifer

    Lois, we’re both old enough to remember a lot of the events referred to in Rick Perlstein’s recent article in the Washington Post that puts the recent protests about health care reform in a historical context:

    (excerpts)

    “The quiver on the lips of the man pushing the wheelchair, the crazed risk of carrying a pistol around a president – too heartfelt to be an act. The lockstep strangeness of the mad lies on the protesters’ signs – too uniform to be spontaneous. They are both. If you don’t understand that any moment of genuine political change always produces both, you can’t understand America, where the crazy tree blooms in every moment of liberal ascendancy, and where elites exploit the crazy for their own narrow interests.

    In the early 1950s, Republicans referred to the presidencies of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman as “20 years of treason” and accused the men who led the fight against fascism of deliberately surrendering the free world to communism.

    When John F. Kennedy entered the White House, his proposals to anchor America’s nuclear defense in intercontinental ballistic missiles and form closer ties with Eastern Bloc outliers such as Yugoslavia were taken as evidence that the young president was secretly disarming the United States. Thousands of delegates from 90 cities packed a National Indignation Convention in Dallas, a 1961 version of today’s tea parties.

    Before the “black helicopters” of the 1990s, there were right-wingers claiming access to secret documents from the 1920s proving that the entire concept of a “civil rights movement” had been hatched in the Soviet Union; when the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act was introduced, one frequently read in the South that it would “enslave” whites.

    The instigation is always the familiar litany: expansion of the commonweal to empower new communities, accommodation to internationalism, the heightened influence of cosmopolitans and the persecution complex of conservatives who can’t stand losing an argument. My personal favorite? The federal government expanded mental health services in the Kennedy era, and one bill provided for a new facility in Alaska. One of the most widely listened-to right-wing radio programs in the country, hosted by a former FBI agent, had millions of Americans believing it was being built to intern political dissidents, just like in the Soviet Union.

    So, crazier then, or crazier now? Actually, the similarities across decades are uncanny.

    The various elements – the liberal earnestly confused when rational dialogue won’t hold sway; the anti-liberal rage at a world self-evidently out of joint; and, most of all, their mutual incomprehension – sound as fresh as yesterday’s news.

    Good thing our leaders weren’t so cowardly in 1964, or we would never have passed a civil rights bill — because of complaints over the provisions in it that would enslave whites.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/14/AR2009081401495_pf.html

  • Ashley Butler

    Having social concerns and a social conscience is not communism. Communism is both economic and political. The definition of communism is everyone sharing everything – no one owns anything themselves, but as a collective they do.

    If anything we’re talking about socialism, and socialism is is an economic system not a political system, which isn’t at all anathema to democracy. Alaska’s distribution of oil profits makes it a socialist state, and I don’t hear Alaskans complaining about that.

    We will always be dependent on government for some services; that’s why government came into existence. The Post Office, interstate highways, food quality standards, national defense, the prison system, the FAA, the EPA – all of these are programs that we need and use but cannot provide for ourselves. It is time to add universal health care to this list.

  • Lois

    I have recently gone to a few social functions, and have heard from people who lived under a communist regime. Also, my former fiancee (killed in a car accident at age 27 years old) also raised under communist rule. My former fiancee told me some terrible stories..he also told me an egg cost $1.00 per egg. The economies destroyed.

    The people I met recently said, if only Americans could live in another country where there is no freedom, live under a communist regime, would they truly appreciate America.

    Socialism is just a SOFT word for communism.

  • Californiaguy

    Lois, are you trying to bring back McCarthyism

    McCarthyism is the politically motivated practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. …
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism

    I checked under my bed, no communist!

  • Ashley Butler

    Lois, socialism is not a soft word for communism; they are distinctly different. In order to say they are the same, you’d have to believe that Cuba and Sweden are the same. Cuba is communist and Sweden is socialist, but I don’t hear about a lot of human rights abuses in Sweden.

    If I remember right, you mentioned that you were 70 years old; born in 1939? So, if you and your unfortunate fiancee were of approximately the same age, he was probably raised either in Russia or Mongolia, as they were the only communist countries at that time (Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Romania, Hungary, and Argentina were fascist at that time, not communist). I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess he was from Russia. I’m sure he did see some awful things under the Stalinist regime. That’s why “communist” is a favorite buzz-word for those who seek to raise people’s hackles, like “Nazi”.

    All of which has nothing whatsoever to do with the current proposals for health care reform.

    Keeping people from being dropped by their insurance companies when they become sick, even though they have paid their premiums for years (rescission) is not communist.

    Allowing people to keep their health insurance when they change jobs (portability) has nothing to do with communism.

    Insuring people who have pre-existing conditions is not communist.

    Capping your health care costs for deductibles, co-pays, premiums, and other expenses at a percentage of your income is not communist.

    Closing the”donut hole” in Medicare’s prescription drug program that leaves seniors with thousands of dollars in drug costs when their coverage runs out partway through the year is not communist.

    Health care reform will expand access to high-quality health insurance, and give individuals, families, and businesses more choices for coverage. Currently, big corporations decide whether to give you coverage, what doctors you get to see, and whether a particular procedure or medicine is covered – that is rationed care.

    Health care reform will do away with some of the most nefarious aspects of rationing: discrimination for pre-existing conditions, insurers that cancel coverage when you get sick, gender discrimination, and lifetime and yearly limits on coverage. Reform will increase insurance options, not force anyone into a rationed situation.

  • Lois

    Ask how did we get where we’re at today. It started many years ago, with the thieving Federal Reserve, taking control of our money system. Then the first world war. Then we hop to the Great Depression, caused by the same one world elitists, that are causing the forth coming depression. This set the stage for the New Deal, Social security, make people dependent on the government. Forced withholding income tax in 1941. Then we have the union bosses that demand health insurance for their people…make people dependent again. People have been played like a fine tuned guitar. This is how communism comes about….making people dependent, without them really realizing it…at first. The enemy increment by increment introduces communism, slowly, but surely, and then before you know it…you’re enslaved. They set the stage for a fall….such as we have today. The enemy uses dissension, confusion, racial strife, war, to bring about enslavement.

    Joseph McCarthy was right on the mark…he tried to warn people, but they did not heed the warning. I’ve talked to many people, and they say McCarthy was right. Charles Lindbergh Sr. tried to warn people also. The John Birch Society also has warned people. We’re as sheeple, being led to the slaughter.

    My boyfriend was Hungarian/German. Spoke impeccable English, only spoke German at home. He was young during the second world war. He told me what he had heard about the Austrian women soldiers, a mean lot. Told me about seeing Hitler. He told me he remembers being in a concentration camp, having to listen to his parents make love at night. He was young. I can’t remember every detail of the ordeal, but he was 12 years old when he came here. He was older than me. Their family left Hungary, fled to Germany, from Germany to the U.S. Came through legally, and sponsored by his sister and husband. They never went on the public dole. They respected our culture, learned our language, unlike the immigrants coming into this country today.

    The problem is some Americans are too lazy to fight for their freedoms, and take more personal responsibility about their lives.

  • Lois

    Oh, I meant to say, the enemy also uses credit and debt to cause enslavement…but then again we know that.

  • bbox231

    Lois -

    You have not answered any of my questions see my original post #29 – and my second inquiry in post #46.

    You seem to be ignoring issues and continuing to slather around political platitudes and rhetoric.

    How about a dialogue ?

    See my questions in post #29.

  • Fremont Lifer

    OK, I’m done. When you claim that McCarthy and the John Birchers were right, you’re clearly right up there with the “he’s an Arab” lady at McCain’s town hall, the folks who carry loaded weapons to Presidential events, and the “Nazi” lady at Barney Frank’s town hall – like Barney, I can’t carry on an intelligent conversation with a dining room table. Bye.

  • Niles Baxter

    Let me get this straight – the commies have been trying to take over this country since 1929? Boy, they’re having a hard time with that, don’t you think?

    Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin liar, demagogue and drunk, gave us the term “McCarthyisim”, which means, according to Wikipedia, “reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries.”

    McCarthy’s involvement with the phenomenon that bears his name began with a speech he made in 1950 to a Republican Women’s Club in West Virginia. He produced a piece of paper which he claimed contained a list of known communists working for the State Department. McCarthy went on to build his career on exploitation of the public’s fear of communists.

    Not only were they abroad, but they were here in America – spies, fellow travelers, pinkos, apologists, intellectuals and minorities. It was their ubiquity and invisibility that made them so dangerous.

    McCarthy’s career was mercifully short. He made his famous speech in 1950 and was censured by the Senate in 1954. By 1957, he was dead. His rise was the product of the now-antiquated newspaper culture; his fall was abetted by the advent of television. Americans looked and were appalled. He was finished.

    Today, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, and North Korea are communist countries. There are seventy-two democracies. Commies are so 1950, Lois. We’ve moved on to Al Quaeda.

    Has it ever occurred to you to think of all of the young men and women who are right now serving in our armed forces who have not yet become citizens? That’s right, Lois, you don’t have to be a citizen to serve. These people respect our culture, they learn our language, and they defend our country.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/us/15immig.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

    I wasn’t raised to say mean things to old people, Lois, but unfortunately you are living proof that it is, sadly, possible to old without growing wise.

  • Lois

    Your question – How do you strike a balance (efficiently and quickly) between the interests of the patient and the economic interest of whomever is paying for medical services ?

    Big, difficult question – since there is so much dependency on government and so much greed.

    Get rid of Medicare, get rid of all the free health programs

    Those 65 years and older, a government mandate for a low cost insurance policy to be offered.

    For those that are younger, government mandate for a low cost insurance policy, a sliding scale according to wages

    A mandate on what doctors can charge. Exorbitant fees have to stop.

    New tort law, a mandate on what lawyers can charge. The law belongs to the people, and should have easy access to it without exorbitant fees.

    Train doctors, pay them when they HEAL Emphasize preventive medicine

    Encourage people to be more health conscious, which could possibly be reflected in their insurance premiums

    Those that are illegals, let it be known no more free benefits. They are here illegally, no more free benefits. Tired of them taking our jobs, ringing up our debt

    I know it’s a pipe dream…but just thinking

  • Lois

    I still vote for NO national health care program, ran by the government.

    From some of the answers I see, this country hasn’t a chance….Americans are naive, too lazy to fight for this wonderful country.

    McCarthy was railroaded because he told the truth. A few years ago, a well known movie producer Elia Kazan admitted to being a problem, he was a communist, spilled the beans on others. Look at Hollywood, so influential in the media, indoctrinating. Joseph McCarthy was right.

    http://www.filmnight.org/eliakazan.htm

  • Irvington

    Well, I for one would encourage Lois to continue to post here, to post often, at length and in detail. It is seldom these days that one encounters a museum-quality example of just how far we have come in this country in, say, the last 70 years; how much we have changed and learned, how our attitudes have broadened. We may still have a long way to go, but here, ladies and gentlemen, is living proof that we have made progress. Living in a decidedly blue state, in the predominantly liberal Bay Area, I have not often encountered this particular blend of old-time paranoia and new age medicine.

    Regarding your post #10, Lois, you mentioned that we need people with a conscience in the medical field, which leads me to wonder if you feel that you possess the requisite insight to see into the souls of potential doctors and nurses, to gauge the acceptability of their conscience? By what standards would a candidate’s conscience be deemed to be acceptable? Given your fondness for Mr. McCarthy, I can’t wait to find out what you think constitutes a person of conscience.

  • Perrry Masonary

    “As far as illegals, I say have a contract with the country from which they come, bill the country for the medical bills.”

    OK, so how do we get another country to agree to sign such a contract? Who would negotiate these contracts, the State Department? How enforceable would such contracts be? In what court would contract disputes be heard, and how would any judgments be enforced? Would the contract be reciprocal – would the U.S. government be responsible for the costs related to the treatment of any of our citizens who became ill or injured in the other country? If so, what would prevent our citizens from going to other countries to get procedures, such as transplant surgeries, that may not be available to them in the U.S. and then sticking the government with the cost of the procedure?

    Would the treated individuals be held in the treating country until payment was received and, if so, how would their status differ from that of a hostage? If the person who was treated had not committed any crime, what legal basis would we have to hold them in the United States? Where would they be held? In a correctional facility? An internment camp? Would they have a right to counsel? Would the U.S. government also bill the foreign country for the costs related to detaining a foreign national here? Would the U.S. government only accept payment from the country of origin, or would we accept third-party payments from family members, churches, corporations or other entities?

    It’s not so simple, Lois.

  • Lois

    Paranoia? Have you looked around lately? We’re losing our freedoms daily. We’re heading for a depression that will make the Great Depression look like a cake walk.

    The national health plan will just sink us down, down, even more than we already are.

    If the sheeple really believe in the AMA type of medicine, perhaps, a little competition between doctors..educate more of them?

    What constitutes a conscience in the medical field? A person that really cares about healing, cares about the patient, not just the money…quite simple.

  • Marty

    I think Lois is a very interesting person -even further proof that you cant peg someone based on their politics. Who would have guess far-right thinker would be so passionate about alternative healing? I disagree with Lois’ positions regarding what I see as junk-pharmacology and pseudo-treatments but it’s refreshing to see people who don’t fit the mold.

    Contrast this to certain posters who have their politics dictate every move they make, from their worldview to who they love and hate. It’s almost pathetic in a way to see one’s politics have such control over one’s Life.

  • Lois

    Perry Masonary

    Recently, I read one state did contact Mexico about reimbursing them for the care given to Mexico’s citizens, here illegally. I’d like to know the end result. In the first place, all the illegals don’t belong here. If their government were made to pay for their medical and other expenses, maybe the government wouldn’t be encouraging them to come here, perhaps would fix their economy so they wouldn’t be wanting to come here. We can’t save the world, no matter how much we’d like to save others. The best we can do is, help them, help themselves in their countries.

    You are right, it isn’t so simple.

    On another note, I think the American people should endorse a Constitutional Amendment for Freedom of Medicine.

  • bbox231

    Marty = Lois = dissention that is so obtuse as to only be of benefit to the venue itself.

    It serves only to garner responses from other “legitimate” participants.

    BLOG marketing 101.

  • Marty

    “Marty = Lois”

    You just amplified my point, ‘box.

    Another display of absolute bubble-borne liberal dumfoundary in this thread is the following statement from Lifer…

    “If Matt took any comments off the site, they must have been doozies, because he hasn’t given any indication of having any past problems with obscenity and wingnuttery.”

    …in the context of Lifer being a self-described wingnut.

    My point is that those you disagree with are not all that much alike, and you are more like the people you disagree with than you think.

  • Marty

    In fact, ‘box. I challenge you to name one position I’ve taken that could be considered “obtuse”.