Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spinning Backwards

If you're one of those people who pays attention to the news, you have no doubt been terrorized for the past couple of days by the newsreaders' relentless respiratory distress over the horrific European terror plot. Actually here's what I gather from the facts as reported. (Duly noted that we do not in fact know exactly WTF is going on because it's all, you know, a secret.)

a) Al Qaeda consists of a few wackos hiding out somewhere in remote mountainous regions of Pakistan.
b) The CIA is listening to everything they say to each other.
c) They do not possess any unconventional or powerful weapons. In fact, they hadn't even been able to figure a way to get automatic rifles into the hands of people in Europe in order to carry out their "plot" which
d) Wasn't even a plot but just some guys idly speculating about what they might like to do.

Are you terrified yet? You should be, because more than 123,000 Americans die in a typical year from unintentional injuries, and more than 18,000 are murdered. Al Qaeda has close to nothing to do with that. We duly note the Fort Hood murders last year, and the doofus who barely managed to set his underwear on fire. This year we had another doofus load the back of his SUV with Vigoro and set off some firecrackers in the back seat. Those were unfortunate events, but driving to the grocery store should scare you a whole lot more.

If you really want a government that keeps you safe, you might want them to spend some money on protecting you from the pollution that comes out of tailpipes, which might cost a small fraction of the trillions of dollars of your money they are spending to blow up buildings and people in Pakistan and Afghanistan, just on the off chance that somebody there might persuade somebody here to set his underwear on fire again.

Site news: As I have already noted, posting may be a bit erratic because I am transitioning to a new job. You will know it has happened when my e-mail address in the sidebar changes. That may also produce some subtle changes in the overall style and spirit of Stayin' Alive, but it will stay alive.

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