07w39:2 Speechless Posted September 25th, 2007 by timothy. 0 Comments Goodreads | 2007 week 39 number 2 (Speechless) For those of you who only heard about the Jena Six last week, here’s a back-grounder from way back in July, proving that Democracy Now! is the only news source that matters. For those of you who are concerned that the USA will attack Iran, consider that Sarkozy is playing the role of Blair this time, and that the MSM US media is displaying the same lack of skepticism all over again. It seems like it’s only a matter of time before we hear ‘we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud’ soundbite on the Sunday morning shows. Ahmadinejad Speaks at Columbia Amid Protests, Univ. President Excoriates Iran Leader from Podium http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/25/142240 The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/25/142247 ‘ERVAND ABRAHAMIAN: He is right on target, yes. I think Juan Cole sums it up. And the question is, then, why is basically in American politics so much focused on Ahmadinejad? I think he serves the function that Saddam Hussein played. He’s an easy person to demonize. And yesterday’s Bollinger’s introduction, when he described him as a dictator, I think, shows how little people like Bollinger really know about the Iranian political system. One can call Ahmadinejad many things, but a dictator he is by no means. He can’t even — he doesn’t even have the power to appoint his own cabinet ministers. It’s a presidency with very limited power. And to claim that he is in a position to threaten the United States or Israel is just bizarre, frankly. I think someone like Bollinger should know more about Iran before they sling around smears like terms such as ‘dictator.’ Don’t Taser me, I’m a writer | Heather Mallick http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_mallick/20070924.html The sight and sound of someone screaming in pain as a cop shoots 50,000 volts into him, well, it Tasers my soul. Now I have a new trauma: the sight and silence of hundreds of students at the University of Florida sitting quietly and obediently last week as a young man was wrestled to the floor by a gang of cops, handcuffed and then repeatedly given agonizing zaps that made eerie clicking sounds. The student had no gun, only a loud voice. For this, he was tortured with a hand-held cattle prod? […] Two years ago, Britain’s New Labour Party manhandled one of their own delegates, an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor, out of a meeting for heckling. In the U.S., people are barred from political meetings for printing the wrong message on their T-shirt, or having the wrong bumper sticker on their car. In Canada, your fellow demonstrators with rocks in their hands may well be undercover cops who didn’t think to change their damning jackboots when they went into disguise. Surely it is time to remember that free speech is free speech; that people are allowed to behave badly, even grotesquely, in public as long as they obey the law. [emph mine] The former president’s pool boy | Chris Colin Link Razsa cleans former President George H.W. Bush’s pool, in Kennebunkport, Maine. […] Maybe his education about “the ignorant rich” is worth a few additional pennies: “I didn’t know places like this existed in Maine. Half an hour from the trailer where I live, there are places with multiple Ferraris, and guest houses five times larger than my trailer,” he says. Granted, the stakes are high at that level. Razsa recalls one day when former first lady Barbara Bush was on her way over, and it looked like there wouldn’t be time to bring the pool’s temperature up to her desired 82 degrees in time. The family’s caretaker was in a panic, he says. “He kept shouting, ‘Barbara will go crazy! Barbara will go crazy!'” Razsa recalls. “This is the same woman who after Hurricane Katrina said (of the Houston Astrodome refugees), ‘You know, they’re underprivileged anyway, so this — this is working very well for them.'” […] For Razsa, his job — the only one he could find — put him directly in touch with the very sort of power he holds partly responsible for his, and other people’s, hard times. “I look at the biggest middle finger in the world all day,” is his more succinct explanation.