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Why are we so scared of terrorists?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
When we kill ourselves by the thousands every year and never blink an eye?

From CNN:

Quote:
Study: Hospital errors cause 195,000 deaths

Report doubles earlier Institute of Medicine estimate


Wednesday, July 28, 2004 Posted: 10:08 AM EDT (1408 GMT)



WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- As many as 195,000 people a year could be dying in U.S. hospitals because of easily prevented errors, a company said Tuesday in an estimate that doubles previous figures.

Lakewood, Colorado-based HealthGrades Inc. said its data covers all 50 states and is more up-to-date than a 1999 study from the Institute of Medicine that said 98,000 people a year die from medical errors.

"The HealthGrades study shows that the IOM report may have underestimated the number of deaths due to medical errors, and, moreover, that there is little evidence that patient safety has improved in the last five years," said Dr. Samantha Collier, vice president of medical affairs at the company.

Couple this with auto fatalities, murders, accidental deaths, and what-have-you, seems like the threat from terrorism is extremely small, so small as to be negligible. Yet it seems to be our very biggest political concern, virtually to the exclusion of all else. This seems incredibly, well, cowardly to me. Your chance of being killed or injured in a future terrorist attack is likely less than you being struck by lightning.

Yet we were so bloody terrified of Iraq maybe buying uranium from Niger, so very afraid of a tinpot dictator and his measly army, that we invaded their country and lost a third as many people as we lost in the Tower attacks, to prevent possible future attacks from a moronic, self-absorbed despot who never laid a finger on us before.

I just don't get it.
post #2 of 37
Somebody's going to blame the trial lawyers.
post #3 of 37
This is JUST LIKE the McDonald's Lady.
post #4 of 37
In 2001 blind, and culturally insulated Americans were forced to acknowledge that there was a whole world out there beyond fast food and shitty sitcoms, they've been trying to forget that ever since.
Its hard to deal with when you realize that a white picket fence and Simon Cowell can't protect you from the dirt that the powerful people in the world have kicked up.
post #5 of 37
I think it's a matter of scale.

What if all of those people were getting killed in one really big traffic accident and the whole tragedy was covered for months in the media? Then blame was tossed at any number of sources for the accident's cause. Next thing you know the persons responsible for the Big Smashup said they were going to go out driving again, but this time it would be in *your* neighborhood....

....well, I bet you'd start avoiding getting into your car.
post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Singer
I just don't get it.
Because the hospital deaths are accidental? Steering an airplane into a heavily poulated area so casualties would number in the 100,000s is not an accident. If hospitals were trying to kill us, then I would be concerned.
post #7 of 37
So even though the death rate from hospital negligence is sixty-five times that of those that died on 9/11, you're more afraid of terrorists than the U.S. because one is intending to kill you?
post #8 of 37
Crass as this sounds, stupid people are easy to scare. And Bush has an awful lot of very, very stupid, uniformed and ludicrously gullible supporters.
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by theroyle
Because the hospital deaths are accidental? Steering an airplane into a heavily poulated area so casualties would number in the 100,000s is not an accident. If hospitals were trying to kill us, then I would be concerned.

This doesn't fly. It doesn't clear murders, which I think average around 16,000 a year. Second, speaking on my backwoods behalf, terrorist attacks are far more likely to occur in a major areas or cities. Whereas a murder (16,000/year), drunk driving (17,000/year), or the hospital areas can occur at anywhere.

I'm not saying that combating Islamic militant terrorist shouldn't be on our national agenda, but the general population should keep the fear over a sarin gas attack to a minimum.
post #10 of 37
Because terrorists can not only kill us, they can destroy our way of life.

a few rhetorical questions...

Does that mean we should be scared? Not necessarily.

Has Bush exploited 9/11 and exasperated the fear here at home for political gain? Absolutely.

Should we fear a plausible outcome where the policies of Bush and the neo-cons escalate the fight against Islamist extremists into a war of civilizations? Yes. As the author of Imperial Hubris said, "We are looking at the choice between war and endless war." Thank you Bush.
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by E.C.
This doesn't fly. It doesn't clear murders, which I think average around 16,000 a year. Second, speaking on my backwoods behalf, terrorist attacks are far more likely to occur in a major areas or cities. Whereas a murder (16,000/year), drunk driving (17,000/year), or the hospital areas can occur at anywhere.

I'm not saying that combating Islamic militant terrorist shouldn't be on our national agenda, but the general population should keep the fear over a sarin gas attack to a minimum.
Well, I work in a major city, in fact the one that was attacked. I wasn't to far from the WTC. If you weren't there, than you have a different perspective, and you should not judge those that actually experienced it. It's more of a reoccuring nightmare than fear. I will agree that hysteria among the "backwoods" may be a little much, because terrorists are less likely to hit heavily populated areas. I think the fear is a genesis from the fact that our entire government failed us and from the way the House just acted after the 911 report, it could happen again. But don't dismiss people's fears who have already been attacked.
post #12 of 37
Hi, I'm sitting two blocks from the hole that was the World Trade Center, where I have worked for the last six years. Before that I worked in and around the Trade Center and I know a number of people who died that day.

So save your bullshit about people who were there seeing it differently, especially since I think you're lying.
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Goldberg
So even though the death rate from hospital negligence is sixty-five times that of those that died on 9/11, you're more afraid of terrorists than the U.S. because one is intending to kill you?
You speake from the safety of OH. So you should not worry about terrorists as much as hospital negligence. I, on the other hand, work in NY, less than a mile from the financial district. I experienced 911 first hand, not on TV. Don't tell me what I should fear and not fear when you haven't lived it.
post #14 of 37
This guy is so full of shit.
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by devincf
Hi, I'm sitting two blocks from the hole that was the World Trade Center, where I have worked for the last six years. Before that I worked in and around the Trade Center and I know a number of people who died that day.

So save your bullshit about people who were there seeing it differently, especially since I think you're lying.
Think what you want. I could care less. Me, I am only thankful that you live today. My reply is honest, I don't think our government has tried to get past the politics and bearuacracy in order to fix this problem. I don't walk around everyday in fear from thinking about terrorist attacks, that would be unproductive. I also couldn't see the reason why people in rural Conneticut were taping up their houses, in fear of an attack.
post #16 of 37
Quote:
This guy is so full of shit.
You manage, don't you? Where's your fear and paranoia?
post #17 of 37
I live in probably a top five target city for terrorist activity. I am worried that when terrorists attack again it might be here but I don't obsess over it to any degree. I'm very concerned with our external security and will vote my conscience on that matter in the upcoming election. As to why middle America should be concerned about it, let's consider the economic ramifications of a major terrorist attack in a hub city like NY, LA, SF, or Washington D.C.? I guess if you like depressions then it wouldn't be any skin off a yokels nose but I tend to think that people consider things a little differently than that.
post #18 of 37
Funny, isn't it? I mean, you can't really run a campaign against mistakes in hospitals. You can't declare war against drunk drivers. You can't finger tobacco smoke as part of an axis of evil. 'We have met the enemy, and he is us.' Politics, man.
post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by theroyle
I wasn't to far from the WTC. If you weren't there, than you have a different perspective, and you should not judge those that actually experienced it. It's more of a reoccuring nightmare than fear.
Unbelievable. I'd like to point everyone in the direction of the O' Reilly Vs Moore thread to take a gander at what this guy has to say about a kid who's father was actually killed on 9/11.

Should not judge those who actually experienced it.

Hypocrisy is too small a word.
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by theroyle
You speake from the safety of OH. So you should not worry about terrorists as much as hospital negligence. I, on the other hand, work in NY, less than a mile from the financial district. I experienced 911 first hand, not on TV. Don't tell me what I should fear and not fear when you haven't lived it.
Oh, well in that case (also, I'm not in Ohio right now but in Atlanta, GA, but that's besides the point)....

You can be afraid of whatever the hell you want to be afraid of. I just think your fear is irrational and stupid and if you think the fact that you were "close" to it (didn't you say you lived outside the city?) somehow gives you the right to such a fear, then you're wrong.
post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burke
I live in probably a top five target city for terrorist activity. I am worried that when terrorists attack again it might be here but I don't obsess over it to any degree. I'm very concerned with our external security and will vote my conscience on that matter in the upcoming election. As to why middle America should be concerned about it, let's consider the economic ramifications of a major terrorist attack in a hub city like NY, LA, SF, or Washington D.C.? I guess if you like depressions then it wouldn't be any skin off a yokels nose but I tend to think that people consider things a little differently than that.
Yes, as we all know, only people in cities are affected by economic downturn.
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Singer
When we kill ourselves by the thousands every year and never blink an eye?

From CNN:




Couple this with auto fatalities, murders, accidental deaths, and what-have-you, seems like the threat from terrorism is extremely small, so small as to be negligible. Yet it seems to be our very biggest political concern, virtually to the exclusion of all else. This seems incredibly, well, cowardly to me. Your chance of being killed or injured in a future terrorist attack is likely less than you being struck by lightning.

Yet we were so bloody terrified of Iraq maybe buying uranium from Niger, so very afraid of a tinpot dictator and his measly army, that we invaded their country and lost a third as many people as we lost in the Tower attacks, to prevent possible future attacks from a moronic, self-absorbed despot who never laid a finger on us before.

I just don't get it.
Maybe because the elite power that rules the planet under a totalitarian govenment uses the media in order to keep people stupid, scared and spending?

Maybe?
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff7272
That's not an accurate statement. The term "rate" implies a frequence with respect to time. On 9/11, which was one day now, you had all those people die. On any one day, the number of hospital deaths due to malpractice is not the same. If the hospital death rate was higher, there would be millions dead at that rate.
It is accurate. 195 000/year is a rate, and a greater one than 3000/year. It's greater if you divide each number by 365, too. On a given day, you lose more people to hospitals than terrorists. How many people died in terrorist attacks on American soil yesterday? How many due to malpractice or accident in a hospital. More, or less?
post #24 of 37
Quote:
You can't simply says 3000/ a year because then who is to decide which types of deaths are to be put into the tally.
Deaths due to terrorist attacks on American soil. To keep it simple, we'll discount deaths due to injuries in the days following. Probably insignificant anyway.

Quote:
You can't divide its total out over the entire year and call it an accurate and valid statistical figure.
Of course you can. Especially if you want to compare it to another annual figure, such as, oh, say, deaths in hospitals. 3000/year is less than 195 000/year. If you want to compare the average number of hospital deaths per day, you must compare it to the average number of terrorist deaths per day. Otherwise, the comparison is not valid.

There's no question you have a better chance of dying in a hospital than dying in a terrorist attack. None at all.
post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff7272
I guess my ultimate reason for posting is why make a comparison? What does one have to do with the other other than people died?
I would suggest its to maintain a bit of perspective on the realities of the world myeslf.

Im much more worried about getting cancer some day than being hit by a car - simply because one is more likely than the other.

Conversely, Im much more worried about being hit by a car than being caught up in a terrorist attack for the same reason.
post #26 of 37
Why are we so afraid of terrorists?

Umm........maybe because they sometimes fly really big planes into big ass buildings?

And while I will agree, (partly), with the opinion offered earlier in this thread that our current administration is going a long, long way in helping us to stay scared, (and therefore malleable), to the terrorist threat, I can't completely disagree with the notion that we are plenty scared of terrorists because we, (as Americans), have a huge fucking target on our backs.

People don't like us. People don't agree with our politics. People who don't mind strapping a bomb on their chests really would like to see us all dead. They might get virgins and lambs and other cool stuff if they kill us.

Personally, I'm not so much scared just of terrorists, but for the planet as a whole. Too many people with too many reasons to hate, (and not just hating us, as we do our fair share of hating too), and kill for too many, (of what they believe to be), good reasons, just spells huge trouble for all of us.

What's the solution? Hell if I know, but I sure hope that somebody figures it out, and SOON!
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff7272
That's not an accurate statement. The term "rate" implies a frequency with respect to time. On 9/11, which was one day now, you had all those people die. On any one day, the number of hospital deaths due to malpractice is not the same. If the hospital death rate was higher, there would be millions dead at that rate.
Okay, let me put it this way then: 195,000 is more than 3,000. One is a terrible and freak occurance. One is happening with frightening consistency. The latter creeps me out more than the one terrible and freak occurance.
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeycupcakes
Why are we so afraid of terrorists?

Umm........maybe because they sometimes fly really big planes into big ass buildings?

And while I will agree, (partly), with the opinion offered earlier in this thread that our current administration is going a long, long way in helping us to stay scared, (and therefore malleable), to the terrorist threat, I can't completely disagree with the notion that we are plenty scared of terrorists because we, (as Americans), have a huge fucking target on our backs.

People don't like us. People don't agree with our politics. People who don't mind strapping a bomb on their chests really would like to see us all dead. They might get virgins and lambs and other cool stuff if they kill us.

Personally, I'm not so much scared just of terrorists, but for the planet as a whole. Too many people with too many reasons to hate, (and not just hating us, as we do our fair share of hating too), and kill for too many, (of what they believe to be), good reasons, just spells huge trouble for all of us.

What's the solution? Hell if I know, but I sure hope that somebody figures it out, and SOON!
The solution is to live your fucking life and not worry about death.
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Goldberg
Yes, as we all know, only people in cities are affected by economic downturn.
Sarcasm. Internet.
post #30 of 37
Yeah, pretty much.
post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff7272
I know you can actually make the unit conversion. But I say it wouldnt be a valid figure for comparison because 9/11 was a mutually exclusive event. Comparing those numbers tells you that you would be more likely to die in a hospital than on 9/11. and even then, there are issues with saying that.
You don't know what 'mutually exclusive' means, do you?
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burke
As to why middle America should be concerned about it, let's consider the economic ramifications of a major terrorist attack in a hub city like NY, LA, SF, or Washington D.C.? I guess if you like depressions then it wouldn't be any skin off a yokels nose but I tend to think that people consider things a little differently than that.
But a major attack in a hub city already happened, and it happened in its financial district no less. Our economy didn't crumble beyond repair. Also, call me a cynic, but I still feel that getting laid off from downsizing, outsourcing, or relocating is more of a threat to some people than a citywide terrorist attack involving an elaborate plot and WMD that the government should pick up on, but maybe I'm too optimistic that the government learned its lesson.

Regardless, the topic is concerned with death not economics.
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Goldberg
The solution is to live your fucking life and not worry about death.
Best.

Post.

Ever.

post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by E.C.
But a major attack in a hub city already happened, and it happened in its financial district no less. Our economy didn't crumble beyond repair. Also, call me a cynic, but I still feel that getting laid off from downsizing, outsourcing, or relocating is more of a threat to some people than a citywide terrorist attack involving an elaborate plot and WMD that the government should pick up on, but maybe I'm too optimistic that the government learned its lesson.

Regardless, the topic is concerned with death not economics.
You don't think billions of dollars in damage to our economy is worrisome. Okey-dokey.

I thought the topic was "why are we worried about terrorists?"
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by theroyle
Well, I work in a major city, in fact the one that was attacked. I wasn't to far from the WTC. If you weren't there, than you have a different perspective, and you should not judge those that actually experienced it. It's more of a reoccuring nightmare than fear. I will agree that hysteria among the "backwoods" may be a little much, because terrorists are less likely to hit heavily populated areas. I think the fear is a genesis from the fact that our entire government failed us and from the way the House just acted after the 911 report, it could happen again. But don't dismiss people's fears who have already been attacked.
Exactly.

Unless people have actually been thru a particular situation, or a certain experience, NOONE should judge them or make fun of their concerns. That's a big problem with people who think it can't happen to them. And it also shows that many don't care about the problems of others as long as they don't have to deal with it.

Another fear factor is our being forced to accept that these are unconventional attacks upon us. We KNOW we could beat the hell out of AL-Qaeda in a head on on a battlefield, but they are performing irregular attacks that are meant to confuse and agitate, and it shows you that where there's a will, there's a way.
We know they have the WILL, and God only knows what WAY we will be attacked next. That's another fear factor, the when, where and how. People tend to forget that war is also psychologically damaging.
post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Goldberg
Okay, let me put it this way then: 195,000 is more than 3,000. One is a terrible and freak occurance. One is happening with frightening consistency. The latter creeps me out more than the one terrible and freak occurance.
You have a good point there...but even if 9\11 style attacks haven't happened with the same "consistency" as medical malpractice related deaths..9\11 STILL happened.

And while Stalin said that "One death was a tragedy and 1 million a statistic" it's still sad that people have to die AT ALL from medical related accidents. Compared to something like, say, handgun crimes or terrorism....I would be worried more about the man (or woman) medically licensed to handle your health and physiology, because medical related accidents often CANNOT be changed. And since many people have to live with their doctors' mistakes, this makes it a bit scarier since it appears to be an almost everyday occurrence.
post #37 of 37

A dis-used thread re-opened..

With the current wave of called -in bomb threats against Jews, schools, libraries, etc. I was wondering if there have been any/many called-in bomb threats that wound up having actual bombs involved. It seems a place gets a bomb threat, they evacuate, and everybodys alright, and swat finds no evidence of bombs. I'm not complaining that everyone was OK.

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