I was actually kind of proud of dear old alma mater for having more cojones than Mike Bloomberg (himself a Hopkins grad and Hahvahd MBA); the Lord Mayor decided to invoke bullsh*t "security concerns" to deny Iranian wildman president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad an opportunity to lay a wreath at Ground Zero... I mean, let's face it... the last thing this country, or this city needs, is even the remote possibility of coming to understanding and reconciliation with people we disagree with, especially when our political overlords and the punditocracy need bogeymen. I guess we saw how well that sort of thing worked with Iraq, and want to keep doing it. (I was kind of hoping Ahmadinejad would order his motorcade past ground zero and flip a wreath out the window in a drive-by wreathing... but it didn't happen either...) To his credit, at least, the Lord Mayor was a lot cooler about the Iranian wildman speaking at Columbia than was our intolerant lesbian City Council Speaker. (BTW, even the President... the one from the US of A... said he had no problem with Columbia inviting the Iranian president to speak... of course, he's no longer running for anything...)
Still, in a move that will surprise no one, that dip-sh*t twit Neanderthal moron from California, Congressman Duncan "Rice Pilaf and Lemon Chicken" Hunter, proudly announces his intent to punish Columbia University by introducing legislation to cut off its federal funding in retaliation for its promotion of free speech and permitting the Iranian president to speak there. (h/t Bruce the Veep). Coming the same week that another dip-sh*t Neanderthal moron, Tom "DipSh*t" Davis, him from Virginia, demands a Congressional hearing on Move-On.Org's purchase of advertising from the Grey Lady. [No word on where my alleged classmate at Columbia, Sen. Obama stands on either issue...]
Last I looked, this was, you know, a free country. It seemed that our nation's long post-9-11 stupor had evaporated, and the invocation of swarthy furrin' lookin' bogeymen hellbent on doing bad things to us was no longer sufficient to drive most people off of all semblance of reason. Then again, Hunter proudly raised his hand to tell us he doesn't believe in evolution, or that the Earth is round, or that our Constitution precludes assholes like himself from punishing others for exercise of free speech. Ditto Davis, who is vying with ex-VA governor Gilmore to get throttled by Mark Warner in next year's VA senate race, and thinks pandering to closed-minded bigoted people will help him. I admit, it's usually a winning strategy in American politics to be sure, but still...
Things wasn't always as cushy as they are now: real people did real jail time as recently as during World War I (still in the living memories of a few people left, I suppose) just for saying "I don't think it's a good idea that the President is getting us into that war thing." And we don't exactly look back at that era as happy times, now do we? The closest recent analog, the McCarthy era, isn't exactly thought of as happy times either. And yet, why is it that the entire Republican establishment seems to think that treating our Constitution as toilet paper is sound policy?
Yes, that was a rhetorical question; no need to answer. Free speech, boys and girls, is ultimately a use it or lose it proposition. That Move-On may be offensive to some of us, or the Iranian President to most, if not nearly all of us, is not relevant: we either believe in free speech, or we do not. I personally do.
I seem to be ever more lonely in that belief.
I'm pretty sure some Democrats voted for the Patriot Act and similar measures. Actually, I think it was most of them.
Posted by Just Wondering at September 25, 2007 9:55 AM
Don't forget that it was the PC crowd's "dangerous" and "hateful" speech designation (see Barry Manilow and The View) that became a beachhead in the War on the First Amendment.
Posted by FirstAm Friend at September 25, 2007 3:45 PM
I watched Mr. Ahmadinejad's speech live on the Propaganda channel (Fox News) and the first question that came to mind was, what's up with that frickin coat he's wearing?
It was without a doubt the ugliest piece of clothing seen on the leader of a country since the "Mao jacket". Since Iran makes about $200 million a day selling oil and could easily afford to take it's president to JC Penney's for some presentable attire, Ahmadinejad must've intentionally chosen his "get-up" so as to make a political statement.
The problem is that, as with at least 50% of his verbiage, I haven't got the foggiest idea WHAT he was trying to say. And at the risk of sounding unPC or even racist, I believe Mr. Ahmadinejad's native language put him at severe disadvantage - if an "academic" like him can't say what he means, farsi must rate somewhere below pig latin when it comes to expressing ideas. As for the man's "duds", I'll give him a pass there too, and assume iranian taylors are just incredibly lacking in talent.
Regarding all the pissing and moaning coming from the right wing reactionaries, they have just as much trouble expressing themselves as the president of Iran - they said he had "dangerous" ideas, but what they were really worried about was the danger that the American people would see Ahmadinejad for what he really is (a clown in a clown-suit) instead of the "dangerous madman" described in their propaganda.
Posted by rummy at September 26, 2007 4:21 PM
Well put, Mr. Secretary.
The other thing that Iranians want us to know is just how little power he really has under their religious mullah-dominated system; he may be called "president", but we fail to understand that in most countries with parliaments and no monarchs, president is often just ceremonial... and in Iran, the bat-sh*t current president has little if any more power than his predecessor the reformer Khatami.
I will say that Columbia President Bollinger spoke out of turn; it was rude and inappropriate. Once you have invited someone (no matter how sound the decision is), you owe them the courtesy of... courtesy. You can warn him of what he'll face from ques-tioners, to be sure, and if other people ask tough-- even rude questions-- so be it. But at the introduction? Fortunately, Ahmadidijad wasn't swift enough to say "Contrary to what you think, I come from a poor, backward and weak country. You Americans are a rich and powerful country; now I see you are a classy one as well." The point would have been well-taken.
Posted by the talking dog at September 26, 2007 5:34 PM
Although Bollinger's pre-emptive disclaimer wasn't exactly a shining example of tolerance, considering what Bill O'Reilly did to Ward Churchill, I don't think CU's president really had any choice but to pander to all the morons who've been "Hannitized" and/or "O'Reillyated" - at least not if he wanted to keep his job.
Posted by rummy at September 26, 2007 9:14 PM
I think it was Bill Maher who asked one of his guests (a congressman) how he would respond if he introduced him as that A'hole from Washington ... (paraphrased).
I watched part of Mr. Pres. A's speech and laughed out loud when he confided there are no homosexuals in Iran.
Now I know they are not Arab, but don't they do that same praying thing ... in the mosques where they don't allow women?
Or is that just my hillbilly showin?
Posted by Granny at October 3, 2007 12:03 AM