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View Diary: Odds of Dying by Terrorist Attack: 20,000,000 to 1 (246 comments)

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    •  Yep - just like my tiger repellent. (20+ / 0-)

      Haven't been attacked by a single tiger since I started using it.

      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

      by jrooth on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:04:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmm, sounds familiar . . .. (18+ / 0-)
        Homer: Well, there's not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol is sure doing its job.

        Lisa: That's specious reasoning, Dad.

        Homer: Thank you, sweetie.

        Lisa: Dad, what if I were to tell you that this rock keeps away tigers.

        Homer: Uh-huh, and how does it work?

        Lisa: It doesn't work. It's just a stupid rock.

        Homer: I see.

        Lisa: But you don't see any tigers around, do you?

        Homer: Lisa, I'd like to buy your rock.

        guess it goes to show we as a nation are roughly as savvy as Homer . .
        •  Of course that's all based on the premise (0+ / 0-)

          That tigers hadn't hurt anyone in Springfield, which was correct. Terrorists have in fact hurt many people in the United States. Whether our response is proportionate is another matter, but to pretend that it is an imaginary threat is not helpful.

          •  Who's pretending it's an imaginary threat? (6+ / 0-)

            You are (for the sake of a phony argument).

            Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

            by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:48:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  plenty of people (0+ / 0-)

              in this diary.

              •  No, they aren't (5+ / 0-)

                That's you feeling that way about it.

                Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:53:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The whole (0+ / 0-)

                  "Tiger rock" example for the Simpsons is about Homer feeling he's being kept safe for a threat which never existed in the first place.

                  •  I know (5+ / 0-)

                    It's just the "feeling" that counts.

                    That's why bulk data catalogue is important.

                    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                    by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 08:09:31 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's why the stupid airport theater is important. (4+ / 0-)

                      We are shown drama to make us feel safe, because we're a bunch of trembling cowards, afraid to live free in a free world with risks.

                      Our best way to address those who hate us is to understand why and do what we can to eliminate those reasons.

                      Get out of the Middle East.
                      Stop supporting evil, cruel, abusive and repressive regimes.
                      Stop killing people for their "profile" of activities.

                      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                      by YucatanMan on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:03:14 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  This (0+ / 0-)
                        Our best way to address those who hate us is to understand why and do what we can to eliminate those reasons.
                        Would involve letting them destroy Israel.
                        •  OBL was radicalized, not by Israel, but by US (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          CitizenOfEarth

                          bases being in the holy land.

                          The Palestinian / Israeli terrorist issue was dealt with in the 1970s by good old fashioned police work and international cooperation.

                          Again, yes, people got killed but it was nowhere nearly enough to justify what is being done today to snoop on all Americans.

                          There are many reasons that "the terrorists" "hate America," but one of the foremost for OBL is our policy of stationing troops in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and elsewhere.

                          "Letting them destroy Israel" is another false choice.

                          Most of the kids who go to Madrassas, for example, go there because there are no other schools and no other way to be educated and move ahead in life. So their parents send them to Madrassas and some of them are run by radical Islamists gathering cannon-fodder for terrorist acts.

                          What if there were neutral state schools for all?  What if there were roads and food and shelter for all?

                          We've wasted much more money than what that would take in these wars where we're motivating yet more people to hate us.

                          Time to give it a rest. Look at how Kennedy used the Peace Corp to bring about positive change in the 1960s.  Try something besides bombs and bullets.

                          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                          by YucatanMan on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:18:33 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  This is not what history shows (0+ / 0-)

                            From Bin Ladin's famous post 9/11 letter

                            I say to you, Allah knows that it had never occurred to us to strike the towers. But after it became unbearable and we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the American/Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind.
                            and this;
                            The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorised and displaced
                            .

                            sure, he wad mad about other things, including our tolerance for homosexuality, for example, but let's not pretend that Israel isn't a huge part of this as well.
                            http://www.aljazeera.com/...

                          •  You put stock in what that nutcase said? (0+ / 0-)

                            Really?

                            Heck, even claimed responsibility for 9.11 when he had next to nothing to do with it.

                            And that's not even mentioning his infatuation with Whitney Houston and massive amounts of pornography . . . .  

                          •  Can't have it both ways (0+ / 0-)

                            if ones cites OBL for this position, as the poster I was replying to did:

                            There are many reasons that "the terrorists" "hate America," but one of the foremost for OBL is our policy of stationing troops in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and elsewher
                            Then one cannot disregard the rest. And it's not exactly a nutty idea that a lot of arab terrorists loathe Israel and us for backing them.  They don't want to kill us because we didn't build schools for them.
                          •  My main point is that it is impossible to know (0+ / 0-)

                            what "radicalized" him - other than the US media portraying him as something other than he was (e.g., a Super Villain we need to spend $1.2 trillion a year to defend against rather than a rather insignificant putz).

                            To date, the best theory to me of what radicalized him was being spurned by WH:

                            In her memoir “Diary of a Lost Girl: The Autobiography of Kola Boof” — which was excerpted by Harper’s Bazaar in 2006 — Boof recalls Bin Laden’s fervor for Houston. “He said that he had a paramount desire for Whitney Houston, and although he claimed music was evil he spoke of someday spending vast amounts of money to go to America and try to arrange a meeting with the superstar,” Boof wrote. “It didn’t seem impossible to me. He said he wanted to give Whitney Houston a mansion that he owned in a suburb of Khartoum. He explained to me that to possess Whitney he would be willing to break his colour rule and make her one of his wives.” Of course, Houston was already married, to Bobby Brown, but bin Laden had a plan to take care of that, too — he would simply have Brown rubbed out.
                            Ahh, ain't that a shame
              •  Name one. n/t (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CitizenOfEarth, divineorder

                I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

                by bobdevo on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 08:19:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  No it's not based on that premise at all. (7+ / 0-)

            Rather, the opposite argument (that the GWOT really is working) is all based on the premise that we would have been attacked again on US soil if we hadn't done all the crazy shit we did and are doing.

            But if tiger repellent doesn't do it for you, here's another version:

            I haven't been struck by lightning even once ever since I started wearing my anti-lightning necklace.  And lightning really is a threat down here in South Florida.

            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

            by jrooth on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 08:25:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The terrorist organization which organized 9/11 (7+ / 0-)

            killed off their main guys with that attack. The trainers have been killed over the last many years as fast as they were found. The leaders have been killed too. Further killing just enrages civilians who are getting hurt in our attacks.

            There is no "there" there.  There wasn't much of a "there" after 9/11. Their big groups of skilled guys was killed in their own suicide attack.  Yes, lots of Taliban exist, but they only want their country back.  

            Al Qaeda?  Really?  Let's review:

            Underwear bomb: severe burns to the legs and genitals of the super intelligent bomber. In prison. No one hurt.

            Shoe bomber:  nada. couldn't light the laces. In prison. No one hurt.

            Boston:  one-off internal nutjobs just like the continual RW nutjobs. Plus, we knew about them and failed to sufficiently follow up Russia's information. Going to prison. Other one dead.

            Times Square: likewise, one-off nutjob. No one hurt. In prison.

            Anthrax?  nutjobs in the USA, like always.
            Ricin?  nutjobs in the USA, like always.

            We've had nutjobs for years. Unibomber: catch him with police work, not searching every American.  Hell, he was way out in the woods anyway. Even if we had searched every American, he likely wouldn't have been because no one even knew he was out there. Nor did he have a cell phone, computer, etc.

            So, for basically a threat of ... nothing ... you would like the NSA to have every tiny granule of information about your life?  Is it OK for the government to hold that forever, so they can build patterns and find wrong doers (in whoever's eyes happen to be in power at the moment).

            It is a list-generating machine:

            Lists of women who had or want abortions.
            Lists of people who own pit bulls.
            Lists of people who own and enjoy guns.
            Lists of people who cheat on their taxes or spouses.
            Dirt on political enemies since childhood.
            Lists of Jews.
            Lists of any human activity, behavior or identity you can imagine.

            It isn't like any country ever used lists for any bad purposes before, is it?

            It is all data, all the time. It has to be dismantled.
            The GWOT is a phony war which only helps motivate enemies to become terrorists.  

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:00:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  So, 200 times more likely to be struck by (8+ / 0-)

      lightning that killed in a terrorist attack.

      Would people be willing to have the police shut down the highways and clear the city streets anytime there is a storm?  Glowbal War on Internal Illumination by Lightning!  GWIIL!   We could even have sirens that make that sound:  Guwwwwwwwwwiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiillllllllllllllllllllllllllll!

      Upon hearing them, we'd all dutifully file inside and stay there any time a storm is, say, within a 20 mile range. That ought to stop the horrific terror of death by lightning. We know how it has been mowing down people right and left.

      The only real threat from "terrorists" is the threat to political careers.  Some people die; a politician might be tagged with it being their fault.  So, they'll spend billions to keep themselves in office, rather than just telling people:

      The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
      Look at the resources we're putting into GWOT. Bridges fall down. Schools are not funded. Teachers are unemployed. Our priorities are all messed up.

      And much of the "terrorist" motivation could be defused with simple policy moves:  get our country off of Middle East oil, completely.  Energy independence through internally generated renewable sources.

      Are there no leaders at all willing to speak the truth? None in sight. And that's a shameful thing about our country.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 10:45:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even worse... (4+ / 0-)

        You're 1.44 times more likely to be hit by lightning while being struck by a motor vehicle than killed by a terrorist.  Totally worth bankrupting the country to prevent that, amirite?

        Leaving out the little factoid that none of the super-expensive super-secret super-invasive spying programs have been objectively shown to have prevented even one terrorist attack.  Not asserted by the people who stand to benefit from continued funding, but proven in by convictions of terrorists in a court or using rigorous scientific methods.  I posted a diary about this titled "The case for why NSA surveillance must be proven to work or be shut down."  Not as good as this diary, though.

        •  Even if they did provide clues to an attack, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder

          they'd not be justified in my mind.

          Lots of things will "work."

          We could put a police officer inside every single home, business and vehicle and stop crime. That would work. Should we surrender that much freedom?

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:03:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's the reverse- this only applies one way. (0+ / 0-)

            If the program does not work by objective measures, work better than other security-related uses of the same amount of money, then it should be stopped, whether or not it is legal.  The reverse, working as a security measure, does not make it legal or ethical and by itself does not justify its' use. (An agreement and an explanation.)

      •  Listening to the NSA claims on why the massive ... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, Ryvr, divineorder, shaharazade

        ... spying is necessary to "keep us safe," the following thoughts occurred to me:

        Safe from what?

        It's not terrorists who are spying on my phone calls and internet usage.

        45,000 Americans die needlessly every year because of inadequate health care.  That is fifteen 9/11's worth of Americans dying every year.

        It's not terrorists who are killing those almost 4000 Americans/month.  It's our "representatives" in Congress ... our government ... because they can't be bothered to actually do what is necessary to stop those deaths.

        If we are supposed to be scared and "kept safe" -- whom have I more rational reason to be scared of?

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