CVTV (public access) recording of Aug. 18, 2009 Town Hall with Rep. Brian Baird.
If you've got 2 1/2 hours to kill feel free to click on the above link and watch the town hall. I'm just right of center aisle about halfway up.
I'm proud to say it was an exceedingly civil affair. Less than a handful of protesters out front. Nobody (visibly) packing heat :) No shouting down.... all a very good, logical, mostly respectful conversation. As I'd expected the hall was overwhelmingly filled with older, more affluent, retired white folks. Looked like a country club social. Maybe that's due to the fact that there was no public transportation to the venue. In any event - conspicuously absent were any people of color or folks under 50. Maybe 10% of the crowd of nearly 3000. If that.
Yes, there were some passionate boo-ing, chearing, applause and standing ovations but nothing worse than what you'd see from the gallery at a state of the union address.
Anyway. Very Republican and anti-government Independents. I'm very glad I went even though my number wasn't called to step up to the mike. I'll address more of the perfectly reasonable objections/concerns in the coming days but just had to jot down one of the more ridiculous.
Most ridiculous: the guy who somehow got the impression that Obama wants to outfit/fund Americorps volunteers "exactly like" the army. According to my Repub. coworker who was also there last night, Obama made some remark to the effect somewhere that he wishes Americorp would be just as well funded, or outfitted, etc as the military and now people are being told by somebody that this is, in fact his evil plan to take over the interior of the country. Americorps volunteers are apparently going to be the new gestapo. You heard it here first. Note - just because a politician says in his dream world that a peaceful, proven effective community service program (that provides thousands of at-risk youth with training, skills and opportunities to keep them out of jail and/or off of welfare) would receive funding on a par with the military does not mean he wants or intends to turn them INTO a military.
Almost as ridiculous if it weren't so scary true and sad:
People who claim to be patriots and say they love this country of America with all their heart and soul are perfectly capable, at the same time of viewing the non-millionaire, non-business owning, non-property owning fellow Americans as worthy of nothing but total contempt. Regardless of skin color, actually so at least they're not racist. Those working stiffs who don't have the "guts" to sacrifice their family's financial security and health insurance in order to try to start their own business don't deserve a single penny of their hard earned tax dollars..
They did it the hard way and they'll be damned if they make it any easier for anyone else to accomplish the same thing. All for None and None For All. I say we make that our new Olympic slogan. Fills you with pride, doesn't it?