NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

May 16, 2013

Anderson ad absurdum


Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

On Saturdays, your generally progressive readership is treated to the retrogressive notions of carpetbagger columnist Barbara Anderson. After Obama’s re-election, for a time she deemed discretion to be the better part of her right-wing valor by changing subjects.

Her “zenith of absurdity” (May 4) finds her on the trail, this time, of terrorists — and I bid all to be careful lest you find her net cast broadly enough to include you. Quoting first an old friend with whom she has since parted political company, she informs us that the FBI’s most wanted terror list is full of names from Abdul to Muhammad (isn’t there a Z in Arabic?), as if that is supposed to put us on to something unknown in the world of dangerous intrigue. We can easily guess there are countries whose lists of people-worth-watching include many Americans, albeit their national origins are harder to figure since our melting-pot names provide natural cover.

Anderson seeks to redefine “human” to exclude egregiously violent persons, and that is precisely the great mistake of the modern right-wing mind: that being human is all about good folks with non-Arabic, non-Islamic names. Names like McVeigh, presumably, create no suspicions of inhumanity. Indeed, when Anderson strays from taxation, she falls easily on slippery philosophical slopes.

She also plays the old chip that foreigners, whose native countries deny freedom of religion, come here and, mayhap, start trouble. She needs to read the long and daunting history of espionage to see what a two-edged sword this is, worldwide.

Then, Barbara joins a recent Daily News editorial about wasting welfare on trouble-makers. Such is what limited-taxation (read: no-taxation) people lose sleep over, forgetting (or not wanting to remember) that for every breath it takes to say that, Exxon, e.g., snags another billion of our tax dollars. But this is the new conservativism — respect and admiration for those who have power and money (regardless how they got it) but decry the desperate who buy a Snickers bar with food stamps and lump them all together with “terrorists.”

It is Barbara who is absurd. Ad nauseum.

John Burciaga

Newburyport