Sunday, December 20, 2015

Hey, France, UK, and the USA: Don't Fear Terrorism, Do the Opposite.

I can't tell if this is an Islamic terrorist or what. But just to be safe...

The difference between the GOP candidates' selling fear, fear, fear as a result of the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino and the Democratic candidates standing firm against destroying our American values to save them is stark, crystal-clear.

If you want an isolationist, panicked, fearful country turning to Big Brother for protection and sealing off our borders -- and abandoning the very people we should help, refugees -- then by all means follow the hate-, fear- and war-mongering GOP leadership into the Hell of the New Paradigm, which is driven by Dick Cheney's one-percent doctrine.
The Cheney Doctrine assumes, wrongly, that there are two states of existence: We are either “safe” or we are not. The reality is this: Terrorism, even though it feels like it could happen anywhere at any time, is almost certainly not going to kill you or your family if you live in the United States. Take a look at all the terrible things that are more likely to befall Americans than being killed by a terrorist, and consider how we deal with those kinds of threats. Yes, you really are more likely to be killed by a lightning bolt. Knowing the level of the threat is necessary in order to properly assess the best response.
The link to the work "look" above is so important I repeat it here. It's a real examination of risk.

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and a host of Democrats (and, no doubt, a few Republicans) have spent much of their time in office trying to play down fears of terrorist threats and tamping down rhetoric that encourages attacks and/or discrimination against Muslims in our country -- not to mention misplaced abuse of and attacks on Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and others who are mistaken for Muslims. Such rhetoric and such actions are an abomination, an expression of the polar opposite of our most highly regarded American values.

It's plain as the nose on your face that Muslims in America have stopped many, many more attacks through tipping off authorities of suspicious activity in their community than they've perpetrated. Yes, San Bernardino was horrific, but it was perpetrated by American-born citizens and one mail-order bride from Pakistan and, mind you, employed legally purchased, American-made guns and rifles.

Since 9/11, the following people have been killed by terrorist attacks in the U.S.:
  • Forty-five have died in nine attacks by Jihadists.
  • Forty-eight have died in eighteen attacks by far-right-wing (white) terrorists.
By contrast, since 9/11:
  • 301,797 Americans have died from gun deaths.
  • 490,690 Americans have died in auto accidents. (Both numbers best approximations.)
So there you have it. The next time a Republican gets all hysterical about "extreme Islamic terrorism," just tell him or her to knock it off.

Sure, let's be vigilant and prepared, but let's end the hate and fear-mongering. It's useless. In fact, it's harmful to our health and contrary to American values.

If you're a terrorist, first Ted Cruz is going to carpet-bomb the crap out of you.
Then Chris Christie is going prosecute the hell out of what's left of you. Freedom!

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