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

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  •  Statistics don't tell the whole story (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goObama, Texknight

    Deaths aren't the only negative results of terrorism. For example, while the Boston Marathon bombing killed "Only" three people, it wounded many others, some very severely. It also cost the city a lot of money in lost business and extra police costs.  I agree that the threat is overstated by some but its' also wrong to trivialize its effects.

    •  "It" Didn't Cost the City 1% As Much As (5+ / 0-)

      the city & nation's response cost the city.

      It's the Bin Laden principle: trigger them to beat themselves up.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 06:27:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  we didn't beat oursevles up in Boston (0+ / 0-)

        The response seemed proportional to me. We got the people who did it and live returned to at least a semblance of normalcy in fairly short order. Still the number of dead doesn't tell the whole story of the costs of terrorism.  Again, I agree with the basic premise, that some have overhyped the threat and used this to justify disproportionate responses, but comparing terrorism to lightning, for example, is pretty silly.

        •  Odds of terror death in Boston 20,000,000/1, ergo (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Swig Mcjigger

          it's not worth our time to try to catch.....wait, let me get my Stats textbook out. Something's not right.

          "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

          by Inland on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:13:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What's your idea (8+ / 0-)

            for a solution?

            Is the current solution working?  How's it working for us? How's it working for the population of the Middle East?

            How about the long term costs?

            Or is it easier to just jump on the terrorism bandwagon and not worry about all of that?


            "Justice is a commodity"

            by joanneleon on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:48:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  No one is saying it is not worth the time to do (4+ / 0-)

            what we have always done:  look for leads, follow-up leads, track down bad guys.

            Police work.  We've always used it and it works.

            We don't need these massive databases.  Bush was warned in clear and specific term before 9/11 and we didn't have this huge database sweeping up the info of all Americans back then.

            It is a false choice to say "we must become an authoritarian state with full-time government monitoring of anyone for the first clue they are about the flip out, give up their lives, and throw in with the terrors" Versus "nothing."

            The argument is that these massive expenditures are massive overkill regarding the real, not overblown, issue that we face.  We can do something without overkill.

            "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 11:18:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  No, not the point, Inland. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CitizenOfEarth, Ryvr, quagmiremonkey

            Nobody is saying "it's not worth" trying to catch terrorists (criminals), except you.  If we put even 1/1,000 of this money on the GWOT to more FBI agents, more first responders, more renewable energy (instead of getting oil overseas) etc., then we'd be doing a lot better.  We would not be bankrupting the country.  We would not be polluting the world as much.  AND we would be preventing terrorism and catching the criminals, as has been shown in other countries which have taken this saner approach (Spain, UK).

      •  ? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inland
        the city & nation's response cost the city.
        So you are suggesting no response? It clearly required a large response, even if you think it was excessive. People needed to be treated for injuries. The Tsarnov brothers did need to be stopped. The marathon course did need to be investigated and secured to ensure that there were no more bombs waiting to kill more people. Theses are additional costs that would have had to have been incurred.
      •  Boston's reponse was cost effective and reasonable (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Swig Mcjigger

        by any accounting.

        Particularly since spouting off the odds against terror deaths have very little relevance to actual terrorists having carried out actual attacks with actual deaths and are actually still at large.

        "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

        by Inland on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:11:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL! (6+ / 0-)

          You can't be serious.

          By any accounting?  That really made me laugh out loud.

          And what is this word salad supposed to mean?

          Particularly since spouting off the odds against terror deaths have very little relevance to actual terrorists having carried out actual attacks with actual deaths and are actually still at large.
          Time to wake up and get caught up with the real world, Inland.


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:51:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ooh, Boston is eating you up. (0+ / 0-)

            Finally, the ersatz activists saw a truly spontaneous demonstration in the streets. And it was in appreciation of the capture of terrorists, not in anger against police.

            But you just keep bringing up Boston. Its a real winner for the crowd trying to convince us that all we have to fear is the government.

            "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

            by Inland on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:40:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  What was the total cost in Boston? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw, CitizenOfEarth, Ryvr

          What accounting are you using?

          "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

          by tardis10 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 10:59:10 AM PDT

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          •  The people of Boston's accounting. (0+ / 0-)

            Go argue with them, as if the handwringing omn daily kos didn't look silly after one day. It's not hurting MY credibility.

            "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

            by Inland on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:43:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not saying that there should be NO response (16+ / 0-)

      to the terrorist threat. I'm saying the magnitude of the response is insanely over blown.

      And despite all we have spent, several of the highest profile attacks went undetected. So we are spending the country into ruin for what?

      The most notable recent terrorist attacks were not even detected by the massive Surveillance State. Underwear bomber: detected by alert passengers, not the Surveillance State. Times Square bomber: detected by alert street vendors, not the Surveillance State. Boston Marathon bomber: was on the Surveillance State radar but dots were not connected.

      No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

      by CitizenOfEarth on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 06:36:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which secruity measures should we cut? n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Swig Mcjigger

        Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

        by thestructureguy on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:39:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Start with the ones (4+ / 0-)

          that have most potential for abuse and/or blowback.

          “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 08:35:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Number one - Get the hell out of Afganistan now (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TealTerror, Ryvr, YucatanMan

          should have been done on Obama's first day in office. Who the hell cares about the Taliban?

          The longer we stay there the more martyrs we create. Which increases the number of revenge jihadists.

          Number two - Stop the drones. Same reason. It just creates more martyrs.

          I could go on but you get the idea.

          No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

          by CitizenOfEarth on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 09:30:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  -The NSA metadata-gathering program (4+ / 0-)

          -Actually, most of our surveillance state

          -Much of the Department of Homeland Security

          -Our airport "security" theater

          -Drone bombings

          -Halve the defense budget

          That would be a good start.

          "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

          by TealTerror on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 09:45:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Start by separating which security measures WORK (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CitizenOfEarth, T100R, YucatanMan

          versus those which sound good and beef up security budgets and overpay contractors.  The best security measures are not the most visible ones like TSA pat-downs.  Security expert Bruce Schneier calls those "security theater" (look it up).  Reality is, danger is inevitable and some people will die due to lightning, poor health, accidents, and yes, terrorism.  As I wrote above, if we put even 1/1,000 of this money on the GWOT to more FBI agents, more first responders, more renewable energy (instead of getting oil overseas) etc., then we'd be doing a lot better.  Fewer people would die, and those resources would be good for other problems like other crimes or natural disaster response.  That's what really counts, not "feeling safe" from extremely low probability events.

          •  Great comment. I'm on Bruce Schneier's newsletter (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ryvr

            list. He is always saying how the govt is over reacting to terror events. And yes it is gut wrenching to watch the US decay as they piss incredible amounts of treasure down this rat hole. But the MIC is always there to stop any attempts to sanely prioritize.

            No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

            by CitizenOfEarth on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:07:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Same could be said of lightning or disease (4+ / 0-)

      I mean we could save far more limbs by aggressive prevention and treatment of diabetes particularly among those in underserved communities.  

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