American Terrorists

Keith Olbermann on terrorism and the modern Republican Party:

…The dictionary definition of the word ‘terrorize’ is simple and not open to misinterpretation: ‘To fill or overpower with terror; terrify; coerce by intimidation or fear.’ Note please that the words ‘violence’ and ‘death’ are missing from that definition. For the key to terrorism is not the act–but the fear of the act. That is why bin Laden and his deputies and his imitators are forever putting together videotape statements and releasing virtual infomercials with dire threats and heart-stopping warnings.

But why is the Republican Party imitating them? Bin Laden puts out what amounts to a commercial of fear; the Republicans put out what is unmistakable as a commercial of fear….

and more:

…This administration has derived benefit and power from terrorizing the very people it claims to be protecting from terror. It may be the oldest trick in the political book: scare people into believing they are in danger and only you can save them. Lyndon Johnson used it to bury Barry Goldwater. Joe McCarthy leaped from obscurity on its back. And now the legacy has come to President George W. Bush….

and more:

…But to forgive you for terrorizing us, we would have to believe that you somehow competent in keeping others from terrorizing us. Yet last week, construction workers repairing a subway line in New York City were cleaning out an abandoned manhole on the edge of the WTC site, when they stumbled on the horrific and impossible: human remains from 9/11. Bones and fragments, eighty of them. Some as much as a foot long. The victims had been lying literally in the gutter for five years and five weeks. The families and friends of each of the 2,749 dead, who had been grimly told in May 2002, that there were no more remains to be found, were struck anew as if the terrorism of that day had just happened all over again.

And over this weekend, they have found still more remains. And now this week will be spent looking in places that should have already been looked at a thousand times, five years ago.

For all the victims in New York, Mr. Bush, the living and the dead, it is a touch of 9/11 all over again. And the mayor of this city, who called off this search four and a half years ago is a Republican. The governor, with whom he conferred, is a Republican. The House of Representatives, Republican. The Senate, Republican. The President, Republican. And yet you can claim that you and you alone can protect us from terrorism?

You can’t even recover our dead from the battlefield. The battlefield in an American city. When we’ve given you five years and unlimited funds to do so….

Here’s the video, long at 10 minutes, but worth every second:

Idiots' letters to Newsday 2

Uh oh! Our first isolationist moron decided to write to Newsday to complain that no one helps the big ol’ America when we’re in trouble, but we’re the first to respond when another nation needs help:

When a tsunami strikes in Southeast Asia, the United States is one of the first countries to offer aid. When an earthquake hits in the Mideast, the United States is one of the first countries to offer aid. When a typhoon devastates a far-off country, the United States is one of the first to offer aid.

Now a terrible natural disaster has hit our country. Where is the outpouring of aid from other countries?

Robert L. Sass Brilliant. Mr. Sass, I think the important question to ask is, “Where was the United States when the people in three states were devastated by Katrina?” But in response to your blind accusations, maybe if you checked, you’d see that several nations were offering aid, and Canada had attempted to offer aid before our own National Guard was finally on the scene. There were rumors to the effect that US officials denied entry to these Canadians, since we obviously could handle it all ourselves. Said our brave president: I’m not expecting much from foreign nations because we hadn’t asked for it. I do expect a lot of sympathy and perhaps some will send cash dollars. But this country’s going to rise up and take care of it. Now that our wonderful secretary of state has returned from her shopping spree in NYC, our government is actually considering foreign assistance, but why these other nations want to help foreign-hating xenophobes like Robert Sass is beyond me. P.S. That far-off country getting hit by a typhoon is spelled C-H-I-N-A.

Idiots' letters to Newsday

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. My local paper, Newsday, gets letters from some real pieces of work. Long Islanders are notoriously worried about immigration, property taxes, and traffic conditions, for good reasons, so most of the letters to Newsday are related to those categories, but sometimes a letter rises above it all to shine a bright light on its writer’s sheer idiocy. This letter was in today’s edition, entitled Lefty Schumer. Schumer, of course, refers to New York’s senior senator. The letter is written by William Schroeder of Rockville Centre, and it deals with Chuck Schumer’s warning to the president that John Roberts, Bush’s Supreme Court nominee, will have to face some tough questions when he goes in front of Congress. Here is an excerpt:

[Schumer] will [define what is mainstream] from his far-left perch of the Democratic Party that suffered one of its most crushing defeats in history last November. Not only did the presidency remain in the Republicans’ hands but their majorities in both the House and Senate have been substantially increased. Crushing defeat? 51% versus 48%? I admit it is crushing to still have Bush as president and that a bare majority in our nation voted for this asshole, but it wasn’t a crushing defeat. Bush (Senior) versus Dukakis, now there was a crushing defeat! The majorities in Congress were increased for the Republicans in the last election, but that was a gain of 4 seats in the Senate and 4 seats in the House. Bad news in the Senate, for sure, but not surprising in the House, where Tom DeLay used undue influence to squeeze out Democratic representative in Texas with a bogus redistricting. But here is the thing that makes me laugh. “Far-left” Schumer easily won re-election in 2004. The people of New York gave Schumer a huge 70% of the vote. His nearest competitor got 24%. That, Bill Schroeder, is a crushing defeat. The people of New York, therefore, want their senator to stand up against Bush and his far-out agenda. Schroeder sarcastically continues: How dare George W. Bush think that his impressive victory entitles him to select a Supreme Court candidate when mainstream maven Schumer should be the arbiter of who is qualified and who is not? Okay, Bill. How dare Chuck Schumer think that his impressive victory entitles him to do the people of New York’s work when idiots like Bill Schroeder should be the arbiter of who is out of the mainstream and who is not?