Protester Identified in Abuse of Man With Parkinson’s Disease

Many of us were shocked by the scene of Tea Party activists attacking a disabled man with Parkinson’s disease who held a sign calling for health care reform. One man threw money at Robert A. Letcher, 60, and began screaming uncontrollably that him. The man has now been identified as Chris Reichert and he has issued an apology.

Letcher, a former nuclear engineer, suffers from Parkinson’s, was attacked while sitting in front of Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy’s district office. Since my father died after years with Parkinson’s (here and here), the video was particularly disturbing to watch Letcher dealing with such bullies.

Reichert now says “I snapped. I absolutely snapped and I can’t explain it any other way.”

He has added “I made a donation (to a local Parkinson’s disease group) and that starts the healing process.”

For the story, click here.

111 thoughts on “Protester Identified in Abuse of Man With Parkinson’s Disease”

  1. mespo,

    Sure thing. The best thing about contractual terms like “eternal” is that the principal is really irrelevant once you realize how low you can make the monthly payments. It’s almost as neat a trick as compound interest.

  2. Buddha:

    Can I get a condo near you overlooking the Styx? I’ll consider an eternity time share.

  3. Tootie,

    Awww. Is you gonna sick your lil’ sky god on me, Tootilicious?


    Well I guess that’s just an ass kicking I’ll have to take. I’m good but I still have to obey the laws of physics. Hardly sporting when being attacked by a “loving” god.

    How about you bring the proof? Then maybe I’ll believe in the invisible man who loves us unconditionally yet will torment and torture us for all eternity for “breaking the rules” as the preferred M.O. for life instead of reason and logic.

    un·con·di·tion·al \ˌən-kən-ˈdish-nəl, -ˈdi-shə-nəl\, adj.

    1 : not conditional or limited : absolute, unqualified (unconditional surrender)(unconditional love)
    2 : unconditioned

    — un·con·di·tion·al·ly, adv.

    Kinda rules out that whole torture and torment part, a part which was specifically included in the New Testament – by MEN – over much controversy at the Council of Nicea for not actually comporting with that whole “God is love” line Jesus was Himself selling. The widely held consensus was then that St. John was, in modern layman’s terms, crazy as a shithouse rat. A belief still not uncommon today, but a belief based upon rational observation of his work product. Too much time in the desert sometimes doesn’t lead to enlightenment, but rather just a cooked brain.

    Those basic definitions are a lot like basic logic. They’ll get you every time, Tootie.

    Heaven? Hell? I’ll be drinking a mojito either place. I’ll save you a seat. Because the first person to tell another they are going to Hell is usually holding open the door for themselves (usually by their own “rules”).

    Swing by and see me. I’ll still sell you an asbestos hand basket for $1. No hard feelings.

  4. Tootie, your response brought a smile to my face, but I’m getting ready to go to court and will catch up with you later on this.

  5. Mike:

    Naps are wonderful.

    I realize that sexual debauchery is about the only liberty (outside of stealing other peoples money) which liberals, progressives, and democrats think ought to be legitimized. But such sexual “liberty” (an old fashioned idea) has been proven to be a buzz-kill for a civilization time and again. And that is the approach I take to the matter.

    If we are to agree that liberty is doing that which we wish until it hurts others, then I believe a case can be made that porn (masquerading as art) is linked to all declining civilizations, not advancing ones. And therefore there is a case to limit it because it does hurt others even though we might not know exactly how. I think we have to err on the side of safety.

    Let’s say that we limit all porn masquerading as art. What then? Civilization doesn’t advance? Hardly. There is no reason why it wouldn’t advance.

    Now let’s say we limit political speech as much as we limit porn masquerading as art. What then?


    Absolute and unmitigated disaster.

    What you have done is take the low (porn) and put it on par the high (free speech) and claimed both are indispensable, when one clearly is not, as I show in the above example.

    So I feel we should have as much a case against porn (because it is a signal of regression) as a civilization ought to have a case against other more obvious errors and form laws to address.

    What I mean about democrats wanting to shut down talk radio is that they want to muzzle right-wing talk radio. Just about everyone knows democrats want to do this so I’m not sure why you don’t.

    Naturally, normal people are not interested in listening to leftists talk on the radio, and this drives democrats nuts because they cannot compete in an open market place. That is why they want to force themselves on radio stations and demand they run leftist programming.

    Once they open their mouths, peoples sensibilities are shocked. (Max Baucus, neo-slave master Democrat)

  6. “Freud thought the reason for evil was sexual repression.

    Unwin (Cambridge Anthropologist) thought Freud was right and sought to prove him right. Then he discovered it was opposite of what Freud thought: the more repression, the better for civilization.”

    Damn damn damn….I sure do hope there’s someplace in between…

  7. rafflaw:

    You said:

    I hate to disappoint you, but I am not an atheist. I merely was trying to show you that the belief in any God without any skepticism leads to the abuses that we see in every religion.


    I’m glad you don’t blame God. And you don’t disappoint me either way. My husband is an atheist and he is the best person on earth. Better than me. So I have nothing against atheists either.

    I believe that even if religion was non-existent, the abuses mankind renders to mankind would still be a key feature of the human race. There is something clearly wrong with the whole race (evidence that in my opinion counters Darwin’s theory of evolution). Even if religion was the problem, something wrong with the human mind led him to choose the worst possible thing.

    My point is that mankind is rotten to the core (with some moments of bright-shiny light) and pinning the bad things on religion is a distraction. If there was no such thing as religion I believe mans gruesome history would still be intact (the evidence of the atheist behavior last century somewhat indicating that). I think religion is a response to what was already a fact: humans are a bad species. Man needed religion to explain what was already noticeable. I don’t think that religion was invented and then mankind became bad.

    From what I understand, the main reason for conflict is the struggle over resources (land, food, water, minerals). And I think that even Karl Marx believed that. So, I’m in good standing there even with those I am philosophically diametrically opposed to.

    Freud thought the reason for evil was sexual repression. Democrats and lefitsts liked that idea because they saw that as an excuse to behave like rutting pigs copulating in the barnyard and streets (or on film, if you wish).

    Unwin (Cambridge Anthropologist) thought Freud was right and sought to prove him right. Then he discovered it was opposite of what Freud thought: the more repression, the better for civilization.

    Science, I believe will absolutely prove that murder, rape, and all manner of criminal activity are physiological in nature (what else could they be?). And that will lead to the idea that, actually, the criminal was at a disadvantage because he was wired to do wrong.

    God was right about that already then when he said: all have missed the mark even before they were born. (sin means “miss the mark”). All are tainted from birth. But he still demands justice because he expects man to resist his bad wiring and train himself to do right.

    We simply are not physically capable of doing that which is right as a race. Something outside of ourselves has to provide the rules or we eat each other alive.

    You seem to agree with that much. I’m sorry if I misunderstood you, and it was wrong for me to assume you were an atheist.

  8. Tootie:

    “And just what vengeance am I taking?

    You really don’t believe that I’m not to make judgments about people do you? ”

    No, I’m saying there is a difference between discernment and ‘black and white’, ‘right and wrong’ thinking and that the Bible(as the word of G*d) actually directs us to temper our judgements accordingly.Cause we don’t always know *everything*. And vengeance, well uncompassionate thinking is a form of vengeance, I think.

  9. Having taken Tootie’s last suggestion to heart, I am now well rested and wish to offer him or her the following:

    1. Democrats do not wish to shut down talk radio, restrict access to the internet or otherwise interfere with the free flow of information. Nor do we wish to compel Venus de Milo to buy a bra or Michelangelo’s David to wear a jock strap, a view which I understand is contrary to your own sensibilities. Indeed, efforts to censor literature, art or the communication of ideas, political or otherwise, have historically come from the conservative end of the spectrum.

    2. Neither truth nor fundamental human rights owe their existence to the will of the majority.

  10. Buddha: I cannot prove to you God exists. You’ll have to do that work yourself.

    I would make a very bad preacher as I’m quite happy that you won’t be in heaven.

  11. He damned sure looked like it in the video. Watch his facial expressions. He was totally of guard. Maybe the silver bracelets that woman had made him nervous.

  12. I’m a witness that God exists. Accept or reject. End of story.

    That is faith.

    Oh, and there are billions who have agreed with me.


    Let me count the logical fallacies here:

    1. Argumentum ad verecundiam (Ipse-dixism). The personal endorsement of an idea by self-serving testimonials is not argument — it’s advertisement. Would you be convinced if I said, “I am a witness that God doesn’t exist?”
    2. Ad populum/Ad numerum arguments are indeed the last resort of those can muster no rational basis for their beliefs, i.e., Witchcraft must be valid because every society has experienced it throughout history and billions have agreed with it.

    I agree with one thing you’ve implied, however. Faith truly is presupposing facts without a scintilla of evidence to substantiate the belief. You may call that piety; I call it insanity.

  13. Tootie,

    Be sure to pay close attention to what Harris says about the value of consensus in evaluating evidence. You won’t like it as it contains the line “(i)ts presence or absence in no way constrains what may or may not be true.”

    Now go on. Apply your tortured logic to what Sam lays out. I like a good laugh as well as the next guy. Some suspect that I like a good laugh more than every third guy. They may be correct in that consensus.

  14. When I read how Mr. Reichart understands his behavior at the rally, he still seems unreflective to me.
    “I snapped” is an assertion, not an explanation. As such, it resembles the unreflective and sarcastic statements he made at the rally. What’s more, by simply telling me that he “snapped” he fails to address what I was doing, (sitting there with a sign) which caused him to snap, and how his behaviors was part of the larger context of Tea Party people surrounding him.

    Mr. Reichart continues his non-reflective, one-sided assertions, when he says that he (alone?) can set the terms for “start[ing] the healing process”. At most, he might be able to “hope to start” such a process, particularly since he also asserted that this was his very first political rally. Shouldn’t the aggrieved have a say in what might start a ‘healing process?” Or even what might start negotiations toward reflecting what such a healing process might look like to both parties?

    While the two guys who accosted me are drawing all the attention, from my vantage it seemed that the whole crew of Tea-baggers around me had “just snapped.” The language around me was rough and sarcastic and both shrill and loud. Does Mr. Reichart feel any responsibility for for choosing his friends? You know what they used to say: “When in Berlin, do as the Berliners do.” It seems to me that what he did was merely emblematic of what everyone else on his side of the street was doing.

    I could wish that abdication responsible and courteous citizenship is not part of Mr. Reichert’s politics. But the whole episode left me with an impression that Tea Bagger politics is a politics of simplistic and hostile assertion.

    I’ll conclude with threee observations and an offer. First, I remain skeptical of Mr. Reichert’s sincerity regarding his change of heart toward—well… generally. One reason for my continuing skepticism is his apparent disinclination toward questions—not a single question appeared in the report of his sudden regret and change of heart. Yet, and second, I am totally sympathetic to his fears for his family—and I appeal to all sides to stop the violence and intimidation—both are inappropriate in a country bound by Laws, beginning with the Constitution, copies of which several people on Mr. Reichert adopted sides had appropriated for their own asserted purposes and shaken so menacingly across the divide that day. Third, I have no reason to back away from my original characterization of Mr. Reichert as being “cultivatedly angry”.

    Finally, my offer: under conditions acceptable to both Mr. Reichert and myself, I would agree to join Mr. Reichert in a plea for his family’s safety, in a Public Service Announcement.

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