On those rare occasions where I've gotten serious here, I've apologized in advance. Other people do a lot better job of it. They do research. They have credentials. They write better than I do. So usually, I've admiringly read someone else's well crafted rant and contented myself with a hearty, "What he said!"
This morning, I ran across two oddly contrasting bits of video and they've got me in something of a lather. First, from Deus Ex Malcontent, here's a bunch of people protesting Eric Holder's decision to hold Khalid Shaikh Mohamed's and five other accused terrorist's trials in Federal Court here in NYC. I'll cheerfully admit that I only watched about half of it. I have no intention of refuting each individual point (many of them pointless in themselves and others displaying jaw-dropping cluelessness about...well...everything). Go ahead and watch as much as you can stand. (Maybe a contest is in order? But I'm not sure if winning should be defined as turning it off the quickest or actually making it through the whole thing.)
A little while earlier, I was playing with Stumble and one of the random clicks brought me to this video. What you'll see here is David Letterman returning to the air on September 17th, 2001. Forgive him his few errors in facts; nobody knew the real numbers at the time. And there's no need to forgive him his praise of Rudy Giuliani -- it's what we all felt at the time and it's utterly accurate with regard to Giuliani's actions and statements in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.
This is the little piece of advice I'd like to take from Letterman:
"There is only one requirement for any of us and that is to be courageous. Because courage, as you might know, defines all other human behavior. And I believe, because I've done a little of this myself, pretending to be courageous is just as good as the real thing."
At the risk of offending any of the 9/11 families (who are well-represented in the first video), and at the risk of offending Rudy Giuliani who was so impressive in September of 2001, but now seems to think that some illusive sense of safety trumps everything else, I'd like to say, "Man up, you pansy-ass twits!"
The crimes took place here. The victims of the crimes were here. The trials belong here.
Traditionally, jurisdictions fight tooth and nail against a change of venue. Because we want and deserve our pound of flesh. If you're concerned about being a target for further terrorism, I've got news for you...you already are! If you're so scared, maybe you should consider living in Iowa...or Wyoming. (No slur on Iowa or Wyoming is intended, but face it, they're not terribly attractive high-impact targets, now are they.)
And I will respond to one of the idiots in the first video. I'm not going to search for the exact quote, but early on, there's a guy babbling about giving rights to people who aren't even citizens. OK, fine, the Declaration of Independence isn't part of the law of the land; it isn't codified like the Constitution is, but it is the document that announced why we intended to sever our ties with England and the impetus for everything that followed. The first sentence of the second paragraph is: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. It makes reference to all men. It doesn't quibble about where you were born or where you live now; it makes a blanket statement about how we view the rights and station of all men. I'll acknowledge that we have no power to extend basic human rights to citizens of other countries (something we actually strive toward all the time - uh, China anyone?), but we do have the power to live up to our ideals here.
Don't you dare mistake any of what I'm saying as advocating going easy on any of these people. They murdered more than three-thousand people here in New York, and I'm confident they'll be convicted and receive an entirely appropriate sentence for it. And I don't give a rat's ass how their friends back home view us; I don't have any illusions that they'll say, "Oh, look how fair and impartial the Americans are. Maybe they're not so bad after all." But I do care about how we collectively view ourselves in the mirror.
Man up and pretend to be courageous. It's just as good as the real thing.
* In spite of the title of this post and Mr. Letterman's recent, uh...difficulties(?), I really do admire the guy quite a bit. I just couldn't resist.