Are Killers Still In Charge Of Our Healthcare?

Malcolm MacDougall is dead, but he left us a really important message before he died.

Just five days before he died of prostate cancer, Malcolm MacDougall, a speechwriter and creative director, wrote about the ordeal he was being put through by his insurance company, Health Republic/MagnaCare. MacDougall’s tale, if true, is another piece of evidence that shows that even with the significant improvements of Obamacare, our healthcare system is still broken because for-profit health insurance companies are at the core of it, and they will always, always put profits ahead of people.

For five months, MacDougall writes, he repeatedly had payments denied by Health Republic/MagnaCare for his medical bills. Every time he went to a doctor or cancer specialist, MacDougall says he made sure that they were covered under Health Republic/MagnaCare. He made sure that they were considered “in-network,” meaning that they took his plan.

MacDougall even got letters from the insurance company saying that specific treatments “meet criteria and have been certified,” only to find out later, he writes, that they weren’t covered and that he was out-of-pocket thousands of dollars.

MacDougall writes that when he asked Health Republica/MagnaCare about those letters, and why the procedures were initially approved and then later denied, all an insurance representative told him was, “we will get back to you on that.” They never, he says, got back to him.

And, MacDougall reports, when he asked the insurance company why it took them five months to tell him that none of his doctors’ visits or procedures were covered, he says they told him, “we can’t possibly inform all of our customers when things like this happen.”

Later, MacDougall switched to another oncologist who he says was considered “in-network”. The first thing that doctor did when he saw MacDougall was order a CAT scan to see how the cancer was progressing, and if any new areas could be targeted with treatment. Health Republic/MagnaCare refused to pay for that test too, MacDougall wrote, even though the new doctor was definitely “in-network”.

That CAT scan was already months overdue, but MacDougall had to put it on hold previously because, he says, Health Republic/MagnaCare was refusing to pay for it.

Throughout the progression of his cancer, MacDougall wrote that he had to routinely delay treatments and doctors’ visits, which he wrote could have helped slow the spread of the cancer, prolong his life, and ease his pain.

Towards the end of October, MacDougall took a turn for the worse. His pain was off the charts, and he found that the cancer had spread from his ribs to his spine, and was dangerously close to entering his spinal cord.

Knowing that he was facing a life and death situation, MacDougall decided that he couldn’t worry about the costs of the procedures, and went ahead with more MRI’s, CAT scans, biopsies, and radiation therapy. Unfortunately, those latest treatments weren’t enough, and MacDougall passed away.

Just days before his death, MacDougall writes that he got a letter from Health Republic/MagnaCare, explaining that, “the request for outpatient medical services has been reviewed and has not been certified.” It was, he writes, another refusal to cover the costs of his treatments. But that letter went on to say something else. Speaking about MacDougall, it said that, “Member is over 85 years old and continues to smoke.”

Referring to that statement, MacDougall wrote that, “So, that’s it. According to my insurers, I have already lived too long. And because, until recently, I enjoyed my two or three cigarettes a day, I am a bad boy who is not worth the cost of keeping alive. No wonder they won’t pay.”

When asked by The Daily Beast to comment on Malcom MacDougall’s tragic story, Health Republica/MagnaCare released a statement saying that, “Health Republic Insurance of New York reviews coverage requests to determine if service is covered under the member’s plan. We ensure that service is delivered within established evidence-based clinical guidelines issued by recognized national authorities. Our reviews are conducted by highly trained clinicians. In addition, Health Republic has one of the broadest networks of doctors and hospitals in the state, including Memorial Sloan Kettering, one of the leading cancer hospitals in New York and across the country.”

In other words, there was no explanation offered for why payment for MacDougall’s treatments and doctors’ visits was routinely denied, or why doctors who were supposedly “in-network” weren’t covered.

Whether MacDougall's charges are true or not, they're similar to complaints people have made about for-profit insurance companies for generations.

Even with Obamacare, America’s for-profit health insurance companies are still incentivized by their for-profit status to put profits ahead of people’s lives. They’re raking in billions of dollars in profits, while you and I can easily be forced to delay treatments or doctors’ visits, and while people like Malcolm MacDougall are losing their lives.

Now, a lot of this could be resolved. We could have these for-profit insurance companies out of our lives once and for all. Calling for Medicare as a public option would be a good start, and it could be added into the Affordable Care Act with a single page of legislation. But that simple legislative fix is highly unlikely, because Republicans will soon be in control of Congress, and will continue to pursue the Caucus Room Conspiracy of sabotaging the Obama presidency at every turn possible.

So instead, it’s up to you and me to keep pushing for a national single-payer healthcare system, and to encourage more states to follow in Vermont’s footsteps, which will soon have our nation’s first single-payer state-wide system. Obamacare was a good start for reeling in for-profit insurance companies and their “profits over people” platform, but it’s not enough.

No more Americans should die because of delayed treatments and denied doctors’ visits all done in the name of increased profits.


DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago

This story is disgraceful! The executives of this insurance company belong in jail. Not only do we have a broken healthcare system in this country we also have a very broken criminal justice system. When you visit a Doctor you have to waive the right to sue him in court for malpractice. However, I see nothing stopping a class action suit against the insurance racket. Time to knock these kingpins back down to size.

johnbest's picture
johnbest 9 years 29 weeks ago

Was it in a red state? The Health Commissioner for the State of California would have been all over this company. A few years ago he penalized Blue Cross for screwing their customers. If this happened in California the Health Commissioner would ban the Company from business in California. If this is a red state, the ahole governor should shut them down. They probably do not have a health commissioner.

Legend 9 years 29 weeks ago

I had problems with a company healthplan not paying a few years ago. I went to the HR office and told the HR Manager that I was not wasting my personnal time dealing with this anymore and called them from his office. He squirmed and squirmed listening to the excuses and then finally joined in. It was resolved almost immediately.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago

I hate to be the one to interrupt this thread with a news bulletin; but, the Grand Jury in Ferguson has just reached a verdict: No indictment for Officer Darrel Wilson. Just thought you all might like to know. If you live in Ferguson, you might want to stay home tonight. Justice has once again been pissed away on the alter of knuckle dragging ignorance and blind racism. God help us all!

KDelphi's picture
KDelphi 9 years 29 weeks ago

The way Dems talk, I thought the ACA had solved all those,...look, as long as you are dealing with the "health" (death) "insurance industry", they can make more by denying you care...what is it about that that you neoliberal,s refuse to understand? We stuck on Medicaid (who had hoped for another option) sure as hell understand had better too and dont stop fighting for natioanl health care.

BTW, I am in a Red state that expanded Medicaid....I just dont WANT Medicaid..I want the same helath care Thom Hartmann gets...its a human right

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago

Heres a live stream to the protests in Ferguson:

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 29 weeks ago

The Teapublican Party's premiere think greed tank, The Heritage Foundation, came up with the idea of Romneycare in 1989, so of course it's all about preventing healthcare from standing in the way of unregulated profit. But hey, when perceived "truth" amounts to nothing more than expensive lies, lies paid for by billionaires like the Kochs, because they're freaking nuts, this Heritage foundation idea suddenly becomes a Government takeover with death panels and don't forget, Obama is coming for your 20 gauge. Then wide eyed Bachmanns and Palins run around sceaming out the bull with all kinds of media idiots covering them.

It's all hilarious until the few dummies who buy into this Koch anti-government rhetoric happen to be the 16% of the 30% who even bother to vote. It's so embarrassing and pathetic for the leaders of the free world to end in reality being just a couple of crazy old billionaires.

hibatt's picture
hibatt 9 years 29 weeks ago

If he was 85 wouldn't Medicare be responsible for covering all that?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 29 weeks ago

I think the key words here are "he was 85" and "he smoked". I had a friend who was 67 and he smoked and he got cancer too. But he was unable to afford any health care except that he had VA. So, the VA doctor wouldn't send him to get a CAT Scan or anything...just kept writing a prescription for pain killers. By the time he got into the VA hospital, against his doctors wishes, he was diagnosed as having cancer that was so progressed that all they could do was put him in a unit awaiting his death. That was just before the expose of the VA system. As with the 85 year old (and he was lucky to have even made it to 85) the 67 year old friend smoked. If you smoke, you are writing your own death sentence! My friend wouldn't agree to stop smoking either. I think the doctors at the hospital thought: well, what's the use...he caused his own problem and won't even try to help make himself better. Tobacco is an addictive drug that will eventually kill the smokers...usually way earlier than 85.

Yes, that insurance company should be stood up in front of a firing squad for fraud. As many others, including those VA doctors, should also be shot. They take our money and wiggle out of paying for necessary care. If they were in Saudi Arabia, they'd have their hands, or heads, chopped off. But our system is so crooked these bandits get away with murder, but not before stealing our every last cent. If they ever privatize Medicare or Social Security, they will have completely destroyed us.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 29 weeks ago

I agree with the Grand Jury's verdict. Anyone dumb enough to reach through a police officer's car window and punch him out and wrestle for a gun is dumb enough, and dangerous enough, to suffer the consequences. And the fact that MB had just used his very large size to bully a convenience store clerk indicates that he was setting a precedence for being a bully.

Kerry McClain Pay Mann's picture
Kerry McClain P... 9 years 29 weeks ago

I was disabled in 2000 from a back surgeon who messed up my surgery. It was only to be 4 hours but became over 8 hours. He never informed me about all the complications and I was in massive pain that the nurses were forced to contact the surgeon who then contacted my pain management doctor. That doctor informed him to use OxyContin because I have an unusual gene which effects how I respond to all Rx's. Oxy is the only pain medication that ever reduces my pain. The surgeon NEVER told me what occurred during the surgery and I never would have learned the truth unless a relative informed me after I was released from the hospital. I was unable to move my entire left side of my body. Unable to move or feel my entire left leg and entire stomach . The surgeon ordered a rush job of a body cast that I was now suppose to wear before I would be allowed to rise out of my bed. Six months after the surgery when feeling returned to my left leg it was a "new" pain in my thigh that was totally unbearable. I never was able to return to work and our county welfare system had to file Social Security Disability for me at 49. I received my disability within 4 months. I was unable to get any medical records from that surgeon or the hospital. The surgeon refused to see me at my 7 month recheck because he had nothing he could tell me about the severe damage he caused. I returned to my pain doctor who also failed to obtain my medical records from the surgeon or hospital and only recently have I discovered he also failed to write all my surgery complications that I informed him. Instead he wrote medical records as if he had never been my doctor and was now trying to diagnose a problem about back pain. Completely false medical records for 11 years that I have been unable to obtain. This medical office would only provide a partial copy. I also had another complication that damaged my breathing which I have been unable to get any diagnosis of what it was because none of the doctors wrote the medical symptoms I was providing to all of them. After 10 years one PCP mentioned a sleep test but failed to write the order. This PCP was with our county hospital that provided medical care for Medicaid & Medicare people with SSI. I finally rememered that the test had not been performed and demanded the sleep test get ordered. I learned I had severe obstructive sleep apnea because that I did not have before that surgery. Then I never was provided any competent medical care with any specialist either. I learned a year after when I went to a sleep specialist who read my CPAP testing that she incorrectly diagnosed the sleep test and no type of CPAP equipment would help my illness. The second opinion sleep specialist informed me that the first specialist had just made a "guess" instead of repeating the testing. A very expensive bi-pap was paid by Medicare that was a total waste of money because the doctor violated Medicare rules when she failed to stop the monthly rental as no improvement was obtained; therefore, retesting should have been performed for a downgrade to a less expensive CPAP machine if the test found an oxygen pressure that kept my airway open when I slept. The test testing was not performed as I was told it would be with higher pressures that the first test. The second test only proved that the first was misdiagnosed. But no oxygen pressure was found. Then the expensive bi-pap had never functioned correctly either and was returned many times for replacement but the DME would not fix it or replace it until I contacted the manufacturer. I am now with my 4th sleep specialist because of incorrect medical records and test results not performed correctly and my pain doctor altered my medical records many years ago that I just discovered as he added symptoms that I never had so he would not be held liable for malpractice for writing a high dose of OxyContin all those years when I had severe obstructive sleep apnea that had not been diagnosed from the first moment I returned to him for treatment of all the surgery complication. He omitted all that medical information and wrote completely false records to cover up the mistakes of the surgeon. I never will trust any doctor to every write a correct medical record and now voice record my medical appointments and send certified confirmation letters about all that was discussed at my medical appointments. My pain management doctor installed an Electronic Healthcare software package in 2008 that writes modules of paragraphs about exams and conversations that never occurred regarding side effects of medications that they write, conversations that they had discussed all medical issues with me and that I had been completely satisfied and informed about everything. Then they continued to write the false medical symptoms of "lower back pain" which I have informed them repeatedly is a false medical record and stop writing that to my medical record or I will inform Medicare/Medicaid about the false medical records. This doctor's medical group has become so large they don't respond to a single certified letter that I have written year upon year to get my full copy of records or to amend all the false records they have previously written. I only received a response when I posted all my medical experience about my medical care that their surgeon and they had provided since 2003 that also lost my job because the doctor wrote an incorrect insurance authorization to my Medicare Rx insurance company twice. Only then did I get any response about not receiving a copy of my medical records and the fact that masses of medical info is missing from my records. What happened to all my medical file before the surgery and why have false records been written after I returned totally disabled from complications from that surgery that "you" had referred me to get done. This is how doctors treat Medicaid/Medicare disabled patients. Absolutely no respect and write any medical record they want. Now I have a useless spinal cord stimulator implanted that was written to my medical records which was placed because I reported "lower back pain" which is totally false record. The owner of this medical group who is my doctor did not see how they had harmed me in not providing my medical records or about the incorrect diagnosis that has repeatedly been written to my medical record. Doctors have no morals anymore. I have had to file a complaint with Health & Human Services Office of Civil Rights because I have been unable to get a full copy of any medical record from any doctor for the last 12 years since my illness has gotten worse every year. It isn't just insurance companies it is also many of the doctors who provide medical care to obtain payment from Medicare & Medicaid when the devices they tell you must have to get better don't provide any benefit. Therefore, they write a false record to get Medicare to pay the bill. I would love to tell my story to Congress because no person would believe all the incompetent medical care I have received since 2000 and the tens of thousands of dollars that have been billed to Medicare/Medicaid for useless medical care and I continue to become more ill .

Kerry McClain Pay Mann's picture
Kerry McClain P... 9 years 29 weeks ago

My useless 4th bi-pap machine broke within 6 months of receiving and I was forced to write Medicare that I will not accept another of these badly manufactured devices which has a design flaw. I need a tracheotomy tube surgery so that I can sleep past 90 minutes . No body cares if a patient has correct full medical records. Doctors leave most of what you inform them excluded from your medical record. Then they omit all the important symptoms that would diagnose your illness. When they discover that they made a gross error they will go back and alter your medical records as my pain doctor altered mine. This is why every person should be afraid of electronic healthcare records because their is not a single law about them. Read the GAO report to Congress about ways that fraud my be committed because of all the ways that software is written to make auditing very difficult. They still have not made any rules to audit EHR records and Medicare fraud is bad. Mine would be a good example.

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 9 years 29 weeks ago

I agree. Palindromedary, MB stole a $50 box of cigars and had marijuana in his system. Instead of blaming the police officer blame the parents! It was their job to teach their children right from wrong! The rioting and looting after the incident and after the verdict has no place in polite society.

Willy Lohman's picture
Willy Lohman 9 years 29 weeks ago

People like yourself have been warning the American public about the un-elected coup being perpetrated on the American public by way of the Economic Elite, Reaganomics, media consolidation of Right wing ideology, and the inverted totalitarianism (New World Order) now gripping the US.

Being a Vietnam era vet and a life long counter culture kid, I agree with you and those who have commented about "For Profit" health insurance. It does not work!!

I remember the US had a National carrier in the 60's, Blue Cross- Blue Shield. When I started working it was free to employees: never got a medical bill, all prescriptions were covered; you merely presented your BC/BS card and all the services needed were coordinated and sent for reimbursement. This was replaced with Reagan's HMO's.

I have live in Canada for 16 years and obtained dual citizenship. In Ontario, OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Program) is quite similar to BC/BS. I am currently disabled; both surgeries to remove discs in my neck were covered completely including all diagnostics, surgery and follow-ups. However, even here the ultra conservatives are trying to de-fund all social programs and replace them with "For Profit" entities.

This corporatization is nothing but an "End Around" democracy and social responsibility. If the ISDS mechanism is codified, corporate law will overrule "ALL GOVERNMENT AND STATE LAWS TO PROTECT PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT".

It is time to stand up and bring destruction to this NeoCon revolution. Howard Zinn, in a 1970 speech said," The spirit of the Constitution demands that when the "Rights of Man" are deprived by illegitimate forces, it urges the right to "alter or Abolish" the current form of government... And it stressed "Abolish". See Matt Damon reading Howard Zinn.

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 9 years 29 weeks ago

D Anne Marc,

So you think it is okay to smoke marijuana, take things that don't belong to you and push around store clerks when they try to stop people from shoplifting?

I guess you also think that destroying city property and businesses is ok also I saw video of looters in August and last night so explain to me how it is legal to burn down buildings and take things that don't belong to you? Oh and what about the people who owned a business or worked in those buildings that now have no job?

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 9 years 29 weeks ago

For profit health insurance companies are the death panels that Sarah Palin and Senator Chuck "Don't pull the plug on grandma" Grassely were referring to.

What we need in this country is Medicare part E for everyone and card check for unionization. An Oligarch friendly Congress we don't need!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 29 weeks ago

Reply to #15: Shoplifting, jaywalking and smoking pot, last I heard, were not "crimes" that warranted the death penalty. Hello.

So much more here I'd like to respond to, if only time warranted! I'll be back. - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago

UNC Tarheels ~ Smoking marijuana and the alleged shoplifting had nothing to do with the killing of Brown. Since he is dead and cannot stand trial any actions on his part prior to the incident in question are hearsay and irrelevant at best. All that matters is what happened at the scene of the tragedy.

Also, what the looters did is another story. There is never any justification for random vandalism. That will never help any cause. If they attacked the police in defense as a result of the police attacking them that would have been a completely different circumstance. However, from what I saw in live streams last night, the police went out of their way to give clear and fair warning and were attacked themselves without provocation. This I do not condone under any circumstances.

Palindromedary ~ The key question here is whether or not Brown attacked Wilson as claimed. It fell upon Wilson to prove to the Grand Jury that he felt threatened enough by Brown to shoot him. If he was attacked, that might explain several warning shots or even one shot to the legs; however, the man unloaded his entire gun at an unarmed man several yards away shooting his torso and head with a clear intent to kill. I personally have seen no concrete evidence that Brown attacked Wilson in anyway to warrant that shooting. All I've seen so far is clearly falsified evidence and I'm sure that is all the looters have seen too. However, I'm open to the facts. Certainly the Grand Jury was convinced. Now, convince me.

In my opinion, if the facts and evidence were released before the verdict, this entire riot may have been avoided. It is very suspicious how the authorities have been handling this case from the get go. They seem to be intentionally trying to incite violence; rather, than to suppress it. If they are not sitting on credible evidence, than clearly this is nothing more than a coverup. I don't see any other possibilities--do you?

Ou812's picture
Ou812 9 years 29 weeks ago

During Grand Jury proceedings a defense isn't presented. The district attorneys present evidence to the members of the Grand Jury. The members of the Grand Jury question witnesses, and have subpoena power to call in whoever they want to help them make a decision. They can either indicte the accused, which means there is sufficient evidence to go to trial, or no bill, in which case the process is ended. It does not have to be a unanimous decision, in most cases a simple majority. This case required 75% to indicte. The system is fair, and it works,

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 29 weeks ago

If the system was fair, these killers would not be skating free again and again and again, after massacring unarmed teenagers. Once again I am reminded how cheap human life is in this country, especially if that human life happens to be that of a black person.

Reply to #10: Palindromedary, where do you get your facts? - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago
Quote Ou812: The system is fair, and it works,

Ou812 ~ Yes, I agree! It certainly does work; especially, if you happen to be the right color, have enough money, or are sitting on the right side of a badge. It works just great. How do we know that district attorney, the police chief, and the Mayor weren't in on not pursuing the case as well as they could? Several towns in the south have a nasty reputation for such collusion. Even the Governor seemed to know the outcome of the investigation far before the verdict was reached. How can that be? It seems like Wilson's known testimony conflicted with several eye witnesses that I've heard. I have yet to see a shred of physical evidence that Wilson was assaulted in anyway. I have, however, seen falsified evidence and a video of him pacing around immediately after the shooting where he clearly wasn't injured at all. I also saw a report of how Brown was shot, and how many bullets were fired from a distance. Witnesses say he was standing still with his hands in the air asking Wilson not to shoot anymore. How many times do you have to shoot an unarmed kid with his hands in the air in the head and torso before you feel non threatened?

The system works alright--if you're a white cop. It doesn't seem to work that great if you are a black man. Certainly, it is far from fair and has been so for some time. At least it didn't do any of these black men any good:

Perhaps you don't realize that when the civil rights of any one of us is diminished we are all at risk. If we can not stand up for our rights together, we will surely fall together.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 29 weeks ago
Quote nytimes:The most credible eyewitnesses to the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., said he had charged toward Police Officer Darren Wilson just before the final, fatal shots, the St. Louis County prosecutor said Monday night as he sought to explain why a grand jury had not found probable cause to indict the officer.
The fact that at least nine members of the 12-member panel could not agree to indict the officer indicates that they accepted the narrative of self-defense put forth by Officer Wilson in his voluntary, four hours of testimony before the grand jury. Mr. McCulloch, in his summary of the months of testimony, said it was supported by the most reliable eyewitness accounts — from African-Americans in the vicinity of the shooting — as well as physical evidence and the consistent results of three autopsies.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago

Ou812, Palindromedary, and UNC Tarheels ~ Here you go, straight from the horses mouth. An Ed Show interview with attorney, Mike Papantonio, and the Brown's family attorney, Daryl Parks, which explains how the District Attorney's played the jury to lead them to not indict Wilson. As I suspected all along, the office was in on it; and, the Grand Jury investigation was a dog and pony show.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 29 weeks ago

Reply to #8: excellent question hibatt! I'm very curious what the answer would be. Why couldn't an 85-year-old with prostate cancer be availed necessary life-saving treatment via Medicare?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ Yeah, you gotta love the New York Times. Here's an article about how one of their columnists is demanding that Elizabeth Warren stops hurting Wall Street's feelings. Not a very progressive rag. It is obvious whos back pocket they are in.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland ~ (Reply to #24) That is a very good point and I wanted to respond to it too. The man should have had Medicare. Anything else he had should have merely been supplemental. That really is the big hole in this whole story. One of the reasons I didn't mind changing the subject--even Thom wonders if the story is true

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago

From Ring of Fire, Papantonio expands on his assessment of the Grand Jury decision in Ferguson.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 29 weeks ago

I usually agree with most everything Mike Papantonio says...but not it this case! MB attacked Wilson sitting in his squad car. MB bullied the convenience store operator. They found MJ in MB's blood. He was a huge bully that, in my opinion, was on the path of possibly doing something much worse down the line. His attitude sucked and anyone who attacks a cop like that shows right off the bat that he was a loose cannon ready to hurt someone else. By the way, they keep showing a picture of poor little MB, innocent teen, but what about these photos?

In this discussion, where the guy was white, he was involved in a hit-and-run accident and just kept driving...he wouldn't even stop for the police when they tried to pull him over. He was obviously a danger to the community.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ Giving the camera the finger means nothing. White bikers do it all the time. Being photographed doing it is a counterculture gesture independent of race and nothing else. I agree that what transpired at the car is a critical element as to what happened. Personally, both the idea that Brown was pulled into the car by Wilson, and that Brown punched Wilson for no reason are absurd. I don't buy either story. I haven't seen or heard enough evidence either way. Regardless, even if Brown struck Wilson and ran that doesn't excuse Wilson for getting out of his car and chasing him if he really was afraid of the big bad black man. It certainly does not excuse Wilson for discharging his entire weapon. The only thing that would excuse Wilson is if it were proven in a court of law, before a jury, that Brown charged Wilson and continued to charge until the final shot was fired. That is all Mike Papantonio and I are asking for. A chance to cross examine the forensic experts. We just want to be sure that Wilson didn't unload a weapon on an unarmed kid standing still with his hands in the air. The whole world wants to know that. It would be easy to prove with blood splatter analysis in a courtroom and this issue is behind us. By denying us that trial, the justice department is painting the picture of a coverup. You know what a coverup is don't you? I personally cannot blame the African American community for being outraged. I'm outraged and you should be too. I also find it very interesting that the Governor out there declared a state of emergency and called out the National Guard long before the decision was ever reached. A very provocative act.

One other thing, Palindromedary, kindly refrain from claiming you know what happened when you obviously don't. You're not clairvoyant are you? You were not there and the only eyewitness to what happened in the car was Wilson. If you buy that one sided story and use it to justify his subsequent behavior you are really displaying a lack of open mindedness which is critical into getting to the truth. The only thing that is going to stop these riots and attacks are the truth and justice. You are standing in the way of that.

One thing we know for sure was that Wilson was pissed off when he got out of his car. Wilson was about the same size as Brown; and, trained in self defense. The idea that a man like that with a gun in his hand who chases an unarmed kid is suddenly going to become terrified for his own life amuses me. The fact that you believe that story astonishes me. The only question I have is if Wilson shot Brown out of fear; or, out of anger and hatred. The simply logical fact of the matter remains that if he really was afraid for his life he should have stayed in his car, called for backup, and waited for them to arrive. The fact that he didn't sheds doubt on his story and warrants a trial. I see no other way of looking at it. Thank God there will be a civil trial. Just like with OJ, maybe we will get the truth out of the civil action.

PS Happy Thanksgiving, buddy!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago

Here's an interesting article that claims that the attorneys of the owners of the store that Brown allegedly robbed claim that he was not the one in the video. Only the police and the mainstream media are claiming that. Very provocative turn of events if true.

Quote Counter Current News:

The convenience store surveillance tapes that the Ferguson police released supposedly shows Michael Brown “robbing” a the local market shortly before being shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson. The Ferguson police have characterized this as a “robbery” in spite of the fact that it was carried out without any brandishing of a weapon. This was really more a case of petty theft shoplifting than anything else. But in an interesting turn of events, this Friday the owners of the store announced that they never said that they believed Michael Brown was even the individual who stole the item from their store.

While the owners of the market are speaking out through an attorney about the surveillance video, the mainstream media have decided to virtually ignore everything they said. Instead, the corporate media outlets have remained content to pretend that this video definitively identifies Michael Brown as the strong arm shoplifter.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 29 weeks ago

Reply to #28: Palin, I don’t give a rat’s ass if Michael Brown smoked pot or had cannabinoids in his system. That has no relevance to anything. And given the sources of your information, I would not assume there is any truth to the claim this young man “attacked” Officer Wilson in his car, or that he robbed a convenience store just before he was murdered. Your willingness to believe mainstream corporate media’s version of reality whenever it suits you is something I find rather troubling.

You seem to imply that pot smokers are somehow more deserving of such a fate, especially if they’re black, and that troubles me too.

Having cannabinoids in your blood is irrelevant. Doesn’t mean squat, by the way. All it indicates is that the person smoked pot sometime within the past month. It doesn’t even prove the person is (or was) stoned at the time of the incident in question. But even if Michael Brown was stoned — so what?! Doesn’t mean shit to a tree. Hey, maybe he brushed his teeth that morning with Colgate tooth paste. How about that? - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 29 weeks ago

Reply to #11: Kerry, your long, painful story deserves a response. Apparently you have been disabled by the quackery that seems to have run rampant in our medical system. This is one of the ugliest manifestations of a system corrupted by profit motives. Rather than becoming better healthcare practitioners and living up to their pledge to “do no harm”, these quacks are seeing to it they don’t have to pay any consequences for their malpractice, and the lives they damage and destroy along the way. Your ordeal sounds horrific and is not something I would wish on my worst enemy (except maybe Dick Cheney or George W. Bush!). If there is anyone whose story is worthy of being told to Congress, yours sounds like a strong candidate. However in light of the outcome of the recend midterm elections, I reckon it would fall on deaf ears.

Beyond that, it’s hard to know what to say to someone in your situation, who continues to suffer so hideously. If I were you, I’d keep up the fight to obtain those medical records; they are your property more than anyone else’s. Those hacks & quacks have no right to withhold them from you. It really does seem like they've got something to hide, which gives you ample reason to pursue this.

I wonder if there are any support groups for people like you who've been harmed by medical malpractice, and are familiar with whatever legal resources are available to those in your predicament.. I hope and pray you have family and/or friends as allies or advocates. What ;you've described is an awful lot for one person to deal with alone. - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 29 weeks ago
Quote AIW:Palin, I don’t give a rat’s ass if Michael Brown smoked pot or had cannabinoids in his system.
Yes, I have long been quite aware of the fact that you have quite a penchant for the drug. Whether people are addicted to tobacco or marijuana or other drugs they will never admit they have a problem.

Quote AIW: I would not assume there is any truth to the claim this young man “attacked” Officer Wilson in his car, or that he robbed a convenience store just before he was murdered.
Well, MB and DJ were caught on store surveillance video both matching the exact size of each man and exactly what they were wearing matched perfectly what was found at the crime scene...I say "crime scene" because MB (and possibly even DJ) attacked officer Wilson. At that moment, the non-felon for stealing cigars became a felon by attacking a policeman.

But you don't even believe that video evidence. So, I doubt you'd even believe MB's ghost that haunted you in a dream that admitted it all. Your mind is made up in line with a well established anti-establishment meme. At least one thing you might have right...MB's teeth were deemed in good sanitary order as per the Medical Examiner's autopsy report. Maybe he did brush with Colgate tooth paste that morning. ;-}

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 29 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: It makes no difference at all what the store's owners are now saying. Were they even there at the time? No one has said. That clerk was probably not the owner. The owners would probably have seen the same video that we have all seen now (at least those of us who are willing to look at it and observe the evidence in them). The owners, I believe, are most likely very afraid of what the appearance of siding with the police would do to their business. When you are living in the middle of a powder key, you don't light matches. The people that could positively ID MB and DJ in that store was the clerk who got a close up look. Problem is, would he even admit it? He is in the same position as the owners...afraid of retribution from those in the community that wouldn't hesitate to do violence against them or the store. Take a long good look, watch the video over and over again looking for items that could match the two men in the store with the photos of what was found at the site of the shooting. The photo of MB laying in the street...the clothes he was wearing...the red cap, the shorts, the shirt, the size of MB, and the diminutive size of DJ, the bracelet DJ was wearing in the store and the one that was laying in the street, the goatee MB had in the store you can clearly see as MB was strong-arming the clerk, the cigars they stole from the store at the crime scene. I'd say that unless you have spent some time scrutinizing those things that you are just plain biased and are obscuring or blocking what you probably know is the truth but just won't admit it.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ I'm not saying I believe what the store owners attorney said, I'm just passing along an interesting story I read. What I am saying is even if Brown robbed the liquor store, it is completely irrelevant. What Brown did in the last few minutes of his life; and how Wilson reacted to him is all I'm interested in. I'm more concerned with the behavior of Wilson than Brown. Wilson is a public servant who carries a loaded gun. His behavior is far more important to me than some unarmed kid. Up until that kid met up with Wilson he was--at best--nothing more than a petty thief who's victim didn't even want to bother reporting to the police.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 29 weeks ago

Palin, your harsh judgment of those who enjoy mildly mind & mood altering substances only goes to show that it is you with the problem. It only exemplified what I've long recognized as an addiction some have to self-righteousness, superiority and the illusion of knowing it all. Frankly Palin I care even less than a rat’s ass what you think of me as one who loves to toke. If you don’t like it, and want to tag me and those with similar inclinations as “addicts”, all it reveals is your ignorance of such things, coupled with your arrogance. I think I can manage to live my life without your regal approval.

As to that video "evidence", I'll say it again. To most white people, all big black guys look alike. Any big black guy will do, eh Palin? Just pin Michael Brown's name on him and presto! The victim becomes the perpetrator. Just characterize him as a thug. It's the corporate fascist lie and you've bought into it. Perhaps I should feel flattered by your put-downs, considering the source. To quote ole Theodore: "I welcome their hatred." Amen. - AIW

P.S. It's legal in Oregon now, so you can kiss my stoney ass.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ I have to agree with Alice concerning marijuana. It has been fairly proven clinically that weed is not physically addictive. However, like many enjoyable activities it can be habit forming and can lead to a dependency. Personally, I don't find anything wrong with that. Everyone has some kind of a crutch they use. Without a doubt you do too. Not that you would share it with us on this forum; but, I'm sure you probably have to have that cup of coffee in the morning or that cup of tea. Perhaps you smoke, eat sweets, or chocolate. I'm sure you watch certain programs, listen to certain music, play certain games, read certain books, magazines, websites, or blog. Guess what? They are all mind altering experiences that can be habit forming. That is, if you don't do--whatever it is--for a while you begin to miss it. I've even heard it said that this very blog is quite an addicting experience. Go figure!

Humans are creatures of habit. As such, they tend to repeat behavior and make habits out of them. It is a very natural and good thing that they do. It is through habit that we are able to maintain our daily lives. It is because of habit that we develop lifestyles. What is a lifestyle if it isn't simply a set of daily habits? If it wasn't for habits you would constantly lose your keys and forget to lock your doors and windows at night. If it wasn't for habits you would forget to say, "thank you" to people, or "bless you" when they sneeze. Habits make our lives easier, safer, and more enjoyable. For many years marijuana was considered an evil unhealthy habit whereas cigarette smoking was perfectly acceptable. How stupid was that? 375,000 people a year died paying the ultimate price for that mistake. I think this country would be a far better place if we really had the freedom that we are always telling ourselves we have.

The problem our society has is that is compartmentalizes habits into good habits and bad habits based solely on religious pretenses that disguises and cloaks the real economic reasons behind them. In doing so it arbitrarily strips people of their natural and Constitutional freedoms to live as they chose. Personally, I really don't care what people want to put into their bodies. It is what comes out of their mouths that troubles me. Everything else is water under the bridge.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 29 weeks ago

...water under the bridge, or pee in a cup!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago
Quote Aliceinwonderland: ...water under the bridge, or pee in a cup!

Aliceinwonderland ~ How very perceptive of you! For the record, water under the bridge and pee in a cup is exactly the same thing. Also, for the record, water under the bridge is meaningless. Thanks so much for asking!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 29 weeks ago

Anytime, ole buddy. Great posts, by the way!

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