The 9/11 Anniversary Is A Time To Get Real

The New Yorker has articles about complex issues but are so well written one can understand at least some of what is involved.

In the current issue terrorism is discussed. It’s about whether or not we can ever expect to be out from under this threat. In this country believe we can “fix” things.

We invaded Afghanistan and Iraq to “fix” those countries. They fixed us instead.

It’s peculiar what we decide to “fix”. We could fix the 40,000 deaths a year from car crashes. We could fix the now even larger number of deaths from drug overdoses.

But to stop car crashes we’d all have to drive slower. For a mere 40,000 lives it’s not worth it. The drug problem would require new religion and political thinking. For just 40,000 lives, forget it.

We lost 3,000 lives over a decade ago. That is only 300 a year.

We need to stop thinking we can eliminate terrorism. We can only contain it.

14 Responses

  1. Schurkey

    Your assumption is that driving “too fast” causes traffic deaths. Nixon tried to “fix” that, and un-doing that mistake by raising speed limits has SAVED thousands of lives.

    The traffic-deaths-per-mile-traveled plummeted when “55” was finally repealed.

    Driving slower means more boredom, less attention, more death. There may be other factors as well–but they hinge on the safer, faster speed limits.

    I bet we could save even more lives by adding another twenty-to-fifty percent onto the speed limits of America.

    1. Schurkey 6:15 The traffic-deaths-per-mile-traveled plummeted when “55” was finally repealed.

      This is inconclusive. One government body says 4,000 deaths were saved the first year. By the time it was repealed there was a.) 80% non compliance in some areas and b.) automobile design had safety improvements.

      In end there is only one person who can tell us if driving faster is more dangerous. It is the crash dummy. I can tell you what he will say: The faster you are going into a crash the more likely you will die.

  2. entech

    I think The New York Times need to go back in History. The 1946 bombing of the king David Hotel in Jerusalem is usually recognised as the first in modern times. What we need to remember though is that the Irgun had a viable escape plan, there is something very strange about suicide attacks.

  3. Rob

    I agree with you Jon. Terrorism will never be wholly defeated. Containment is the best hope. In regard to the current war on terror, strict immigration guidelines is the way to go. I’m glad we don’t have the mess here that they currently have going on in parts of Europe.

  4. The Julius Project

    To get real, we’d all need to admit that the terrorists are thinking and acting theologically. Our secular society refuses to go there. Therefore, as a whole we will never “get real”.

    1. entech

      Of course, the only true answer to religious fundamentalism is more of the same. We just have to be sure that they learn that theirs is wrong and ours is right. Interesting that any side could assert this.

      Just how many centuries has this been going on.

    2. Julius To get real, we’d all need to admit that the terrorists are thinking and acting theologically. Our secular society refuses to go there. Therefore, as a whole we will never “get real”.

      Great idea, another holy war against Islam. We already had one called the Crusades. I think one was enough.

      We might get somewhere if all Christians would agree having a government dripping with religion, like some Muslim countries do, is a bad idea. The way to avoid holy wars is to be secular.

  5. Juan Ruiz

    “We could fix the 40,000 deaths a year from car crashes. We could fix the now even larger number of deaths from drug overdoses.”

    How? Both are the result of poor decisions on the part of individuals. The government generally makes a mess of everything it touches. Should it outlaw driving? It tried that with drugs and alcohol and things got worse.

    1. Juan 8:21 It tried that with drugs and alcohol and things got worse.

      There are places in the U.S. and Europe where law enforcement simply stopped prosecution of drug possession. Instead, users were invited to make their drug use known and are being referred to professionals who monitor use and drug quality. The death rate from overdose has dropped to almost zero.

      In every city and state, law enforcement monitors deaths by highway/street location. When a location results in lots of deaths, they focus enforcement on that area. Deaths drop. Have strong laws and enforcement everywhere, looks like that would work.

      The public will not support these steps, however. With drugs there is sin involved. With crashes, everyone thinks they are a good driver and every other driver is not.

      1. Juan Ruiz

        “Instead, users were invited to make their drug use known and are being referred to professionals who monitor use and drug quality. The death rate from overdose has dropped to almost zero.”

        This seems to have nothing to do with substance rehabilitation, but rather a means by which addicts stay addicts, it’s just their supply is pure.

        1. Juan 9:26 This seems to have nothing to do with substance rehabilitation, but rather a means by which addicts stay addicts, it’s just their supply is pure.

          A member of our family is in this field. I read a lot of his postings about this. It turns out that providing drugs with careful supervision is rehabilitation. Sometimes heroine in replaced with the drug methadone. There is a lot of data showing that almost inevitably, people reach a point where they are ready to stop using them. It can a few years. The problems develop when others, like therapists, feel they need to accelerate the withdrawal. This approach is at odds with the AA approach that drugs/alcohol are character weaknesses and need to be overcome. This latter idea is strongly embedded in the field and hard to jar loose.

          Here is a web site of a growing approach that is based on science and not religious or moral ideas:

          http://www.smartrecovery.org/

          1. Juan Ruiz

            “This approach is at odds with the AA approach that drugs/alcohol are character weaknesses and need to be overcome. ”

            The AA approach states that you have to wait for your god to do all the work while you create immorality inventories. Even though even he can’t cure you. Pure religious cult and faith healing.

          2. Juan Ruiz

            ” This approach is at odds with the AA approach that drugs/alcohol are character weaknesses and need to be overcome. This latter idea is strongly embedded in the field and hard to jar loose.”

            Which is, on the surface, quite a paradox. About 75% of alcohol rehabilitation companies are affiliated with AA. Yet no university social science curriculum includes it in their courses. Why? Because there is no science involved in Bill Wilson’s screed; it’s all assertion. You’re an alcoholic because you’re a sinner. What BS! So, you have a bunch of counselors with degrees pushing AA to get a paycheck. And not caring that it has no success rate whatsoever.

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