Wednesday linkfest

Here are this week’s links:

  • Terrorism on airlines is overstated – In a simple argument of reality vs. perception, terrorism on airplanes, even if there was an event every month, are so small in the spectrum of fatalities as not to warrant the dramatic attention and worry people seem to have.

3 Responses to “Wednesday linkfest”

  1. Kevin Morrill

    Thanks for the link on terrorism. This requires a bit of defense against the claim the incident is low because we protect ourselves. Of course last weeks incident demonstrates we’re not really immune to such an attack despite the TSA’s efforts.

    It’s time to label the TSA what it is and hold Congress and the President accountable for fixing it–most likely by dismantling it. If you look at the great stats at about 7 billion people flew on a plane since Oct 1999. If you figure each of them wasted about 1 hour coming early to the airport and sitting around in lines and such, that’s 7 billion hours. If you figure an average person has 700,800 hours in an 80 year lifespan (a generous estimate of avg. age)–this adds up to 9,998 total lifespans that have been wasted sitting in airports.

    Not to say that’s the same as 10,000 people being murdered by terrorists, but it’s pretty awful when you think of just how much could have been accomplished in those 10,000 lifetimes that won’t be. And it’s important not to discount that.

    It’s time to get rid of the TSA and get back to a security line that’s 5 minutes long at the most. If terrorists want to destroy planes, let them contend with the mob of people on a plane–like the heroes on Flight 93–prepared and determined to stop them.

  2. Josh

    The odds that I’ll be in a car crash for any given trip are low, but there are still safety laws that govern how cars are manufactured and those that require me to wear a seatbelt. Colorectal and cervical cancer have relatively low rates among humans, but we screen for those at a high cost in terms of time and money. The odds that bridges will collapse is very low, but we have recently invested billions in national infrastructure repair.

    A couple of arguments against the numbers, though. Consider that 9/11 showed us that it’s not only people in the plane who die when terrorists take control of an aircraft. The enemy get bolder and more creative with time, so we must remain vigilant in the face of those disasters that we can’t imagine today.

    Lastly, there is a immeasurable emotional cost that is paid when one of these sick bastards succeeds. Do you remember how the country felt in the hours, weeks, and months following 9/11? Even today it’s hard to visit ground zero without feeling deep loss and sadness for our country. Well, for many of us, anyway.

    Thanks for reminding me why having the left in charge of national security is crazy. I’d love to see this argument made by the Obama administration, since statistically it’s (apparently) accurate.



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