[Vision2020] Kerry speech/student tasered

g. crabtree jampot at roadrunner.com
Fri Sep 21 18:51:43 PDT 2007

I very much doubt that you would be making the same argument if the guy was 
a raving Bush supporter who refused to stand down after his time was up and 
only wanted to hold forth, not ask a specific question.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Sunil Ramalingam" <sunilramalingam at hotmail.com>
Cc: <vision2020 at moscow.com>
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 6:25 PM
Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Kerry speech/student tasered

> Paul,
> The possibility that the student was looking to 'shake things up' is, if
> true, irrelevant.  He was at a political forum engaging in political 
> speech.
>  That's protected by the First Amendment.  None of us have to like it; 
> it's
> protected speech.  I wouldn't say there was a 'conspiracy' to shut his 
> views
> down, but someone made the wrong decision to shut down what was clearly a
> dialog between him and Kerry.
> I won't defend the decision to taser him.  I think it's abominable.  They
> shouldn't have been touching him, let alone choosing between options such 
> as
> electrocuting him or dislocating his shoulder or breaking his wrist.  They
> were state actors shutting down free speech, and they shouldn't have been
> doing anything of the sort.  They should have allowed him to exercise his
> rights.
> It would be different if he showed up and did this in your living room; 
> but
> this was a political event.  There are few places where political speech 
> is
> more appropriate than in this setting.
> You're right that Kerry didn't initiate anything.  Instead of trying to 
> stop
> this, he did nothing but drone on.  He could have told the cops there was 
> no
> need for their action.  He could have reminded them that this is America,
> and that citizens are allowed to question politicians, and that 
> politicians
> answer to the People.  What a chance to show what free speech means!  But
> instead he showed once again his innate ability to miss an opportunity;
> oddly enough, that was the thesis of one of the student's questions.
> Sunil
>>From: Paul Rumelhart <godshatter at yahoo.com>
>>To: Ted Moffett <starbliss at gmail.com>
>>CC: Sunil Ramalingam <sunilramalingam at hotmail.com>,  vision2020 at moscow.com
>>Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Kerry speech/student tasered
>>Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2007 17:34:15 -0700
>>I think there are a couple of things going on here.
>>The first was a decision by the police to remove him from the microphone
>>and from the vicinity.  The second was to taser him when they did.  I'm
>>unsure about the first decision.  I have little pity for him, because I
>>think he was looking for an avenue to "shake things up".  That's just my
>>opinion.  I also don't think he was removed from the podium because of any
>>specific thing he said.  I don't think he was removed because he was
>>upsetting Kerry, either.  I think he was removed because he was recognized
>>as someone who disrupts public events.  I would rather that they let him
>>finish his question.  However, I don't think he wanted to be allowed to
>>finish his question, I think he wanted to make a scene.  I don't see a
>>conspiracy to shut this man's views down.  If he had asked them calmly and
>>politely, he would probably have been fine.
>>The decision to taser him when they did I can somewhat agree with.  They
>>were removing him from the room, and he would not calm down and submit to
>>that action.  When they had him on the ground, presumably trying to get
>>cuffs on him, he wouldn't stop shouting and wouldn't cooperate.  So they
>>tasered him, after warning him they were going to taser him several times,
>>in order to shake him up long enough to get control of him.  I think they
>>chose to do that rather than to do something more damaging, such as
>>dislocating a shoulder or breaking a wrist.  I say that I can "somewhat"
>>agree with the decision because I'm not an expert in restraining someone.
>>Perhaps they had other less headline-making options at their disposal.
>>This is all my opinion from watching one of the videos on youtube that
>>shows the arrest, and from reading comments on various websites on this
>>guy's history.
>>I also think this had nothing to do with Kerry.  He was willing to answer
>>the questions, and he didn't initiate anything.
>>Ted Moffett wrote:
>>>Sunil et. al.
>>>  Sorry, I had not read the story at the "Counterpunch" link you offered.
>>>And given some of the responses to this thread, I wonder how many others
>>>read the story.  I found out what the student was questioning Kerry about
>>>(the Palast book and the "stolen" election of 2004, etc.) from other
>>>sources.  The more I find out about what happened in this incident, the
>>>more disturbing the police response appears.  As the "Counterpunch" story
>>>headline questions, "Why did Senator John Kerry stand idly by?"  I wonder
>>>if Kerry has issued any public responses to the coverage of this story in
>>>the media.
>>>  Meyer (the tasered student) asked very good questions that need to be
>>>asked over and over...
>>>  The questions asked were, according to the "Counterpunch" article:
>>>  At the conclusion of Kerry's speech, Andrew Meyer, a 21-year old
>>>journalism student was selected by Senator Kerry to ask a question. 
>>>held up a copy of BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast's book, Armed
>>>Madhouse, and asked if Kerry was aware that Palast's investigations
>>>determined that Kerry had actually won the election.  Why, Meyer asked,
>>>had Kerry conceded the election so quickly when there were so many 
>>>examples of vote fraud?  Why, Meyer, went on to ask, was Kerry refusing 
>>>consider Bush's impeachment when Bush was about to initiate another act 
>>>military aggression, this time against Iran?
>>>Ted Moffett
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