They’ve Won

I’ve been reading about these backscatter machines, the science fair motion-detector “bomb threat” at a school in California, the report of FBI investigators pushing false claims to get information, the indefinite detention of suspected people, how policing agents are using cell phones to track people, and so forth and so on.

Do I feel safer? Absolutely not. Do I feel that there is too much handing over of information? Absolutely. Yet, there’re people out there that would consent to a strip search of their entire family if it meant that they could fly without a fear in the world that the plane would be blown up by terrorists. What about any of the other means by which you could die in a plane? But, my biggest peeve is that fear is a necessary part of life. You cannot completely take away that which you fear, it’s just impossible. I fear my dentist, yet I go to him. I fear clowns, yet I ignore them, completely aware that they exist.

At what point will people let their fear completely ruin their lives? I fear that it’s already coming.

If you think about it realistically, car accidents caused more deaths in the US, in a single year (25,351 in 2008) than terrorism, again here in the US, has caused in a decade. There were 5.8 million accidents, and consider at the low end, the property damage averages $2500 per accident, that works out to $14.5B in damages. The cost of 9/11 property damage works out to be a hair under $30B. Why not the fear over car accidents? Why not test everyone to see if they’re drunk, before they get into a car, or why not test them during all driving conditions to see if they’re fit? Why not pull everyone over to check for a license, or keep an eye on them to know if they’ve gotten 8 hours of sleep the past day?

It’s completely asinine to think that all deaths related to people can be prevented. It’s more so think that others aren’t thinking of ways to circumvent the illusions of security in place.

  1. #1 by Chadwick on January 20, 2010 - 7:43 AM

    Yeah, well a lot of it has to do with the illusion of control. To run with your comparison, when you get behind the wheel of your car, you’re in control of what happens—even if that’s not really true. You could be stopped at a red light and get killed by a drunk driver, but that’s not a consideration, because it’s just something that might happen. And maybe you could get your car out of the way or something.

    But when you’re talking terrorists, well…they just come out of nowhere, and there’s nothing you can do. You’re just along for the ride. Which scares people, because they can’t tell themselves that they have control there. Thus, they’d like to be cavity searched before flying naked everywhere so that they can thwart all the terrorists who haven’t swallowed the explosives or had them implanted under his skin.

    • #2 by Phillip on January 20, 2010 - 8:38 AM

      But there are lots of uncertainties in life, things where people have no control. The very nature of same acts require the giving of control. I don’t know if they have them by you, but down here they have these bus type things for seniors. Someone drives this bus thing all day, should we strip search the seniors to make sure they don’t have a bomb on them? I’m sure that there’ve been octogenarian terrorists before.

      At what point does it end? From what I’ve seen, there is no end in sight.

  2. #3 by Chadwick on January 20, 2010 - 7:45 AM

    Oh, and the other part of the problem is that the government has to be seen doing something about the problem, or face days of press with the right wing screaming that the American people are unsafe.

    (On a related note, as “terrorists,” their goal is to cause “terror.” Thus, anyone who suggests people should be scared of terrorists is, by definition, helping the terrorists win. They are surrendering to what the terrorists want.)

    • #4 by Phillip on January 20, 2010 - 8:48 AM

      The government having to be seen doing something would work better if the system actually worked. In the December incident, they got a heads up from the guy’s dad! I understand what you’re saying, but, maybe they should realize that it actually doesn’t work.

      That’s the definition I was working off of. They’ve caused people to be so incredibly terrified of them when the reality of it is that most people would have remained untouched for quite some time afterward under the old system.

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