RE: "What they're saying" from Austin, Texas, "American - Statesman 8/14/09 and "Price to pay for town hall rage" by David Broder 8/17/09:

The authors of these articles admonish the reader "when you go to hear elected officials or political candidates discuss issues ... be polite ... and respectful..."

Do you mean to follow the example of Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., when he said he wanted to punch President Bush in the mouth? His aide was later caught in the Senate chambers carrying a pistol.

Respect and polite? Are you referring to the denigrating they have used on Sarah Palin's family? Most abusive language and insults we've heard in public over more than 100 years, since the Democrats were name calling at President Lincoln for freeing the slaves.

They have had permission, for so many decades, from the mainstream media to denigrate anyone with whom they disagree, they can't understand ordinary people being upset when they are calling names or talking down to them as have Barney Frank, Pelosi, Reid, Durbin, Dingell, Kerry, Kucinich, Dodd, Harkin, Murtha, McDermott, Conyers, Rangel, Waters, Waxman and more of the "SAD LEADERS," "Self Anointed Democrat Leaders."

To Mr. Broder: I used to think when "SAD Leaders" were reviling Christians, our nation, President Bush, our battle against terrorism, and calling our military Nazis, that the people would kick out those tactics. I ask you: How long should this last when it's hitting the Republicans? How quickly should it end when it's hitting Democrats?

There were charges brought against some ACORN people who were carrying night sticks and acting very threateningly against voters at a voting booth last November. ALA Taliban telling Afghans to not vote under threat of being bombed. When the charges against the ACORN people was coming very close to conviction, President Obama stopped the charges.

How about the "fine elected" representatives(?) who are into calling their constituents "angry mobs," "Nazis," "evil mongers" or "white elderly malcontents." See list above.

If we could have read or heard news on both sides of the issue during the 1950s through the late 1980s, the people would not have become so uneducated on current events and therefore not become so docile on consequences. Had they been more informed, we would now most likely have a more balanced government and news media today. I am referring to the time the "Fairness Doctrine" was in effect. It was enacted during the 1930s, but we saw the real results from the late '50s through the late '80s, when there was no news advocating for the conservatives. These rackets we are witnessing today may really encourage people to keep better informed, and hopefully willing to debate the issues. The time of "don't discuss politics or religion, because it just makes people mad" may be past. Discussions encourage people to look up information.

CARL S. HELMLE,

Johnson City