Tuesday, April 23, 2013

why does america lose its head over terror, but ignore its daily gun deaths?

guardian | So for those of you keeping score at home – locking down an American city: a proper reaction to the threat from one terrorist. A background check to prevent criminals or those with mental illness from purchasing guns: a dastardly attack on civil liberties. All of this would be almost darkly comic if not for the fact that more Americans will die needlessly as a result. Already, more than 30,000 Americans die in gun violence every year (compared to the 17 who died last year in terrorist attacks).

What makes US gun violence so particularly horrifying is how routine and mundane it has become. After the massacre of 20 kindergartners in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, millions of Americans began to take greater notice of the threat from gun violence. Yet since then, the daily carnage that guns produce has continued unabated and often unnoticed.

The same day of the marathon bombing in Boston, 11 Americans were murdered by guns. The pregnant Breshauna Jackson was killed in Dallas, allegedly by her boyfriend. In Richmond, California, James Tucker III was shot and killed while riding his bicycle – assailants unknown. Nigel Hardy, a 13-year-old boy in Palmdale, California, who was being bullied in school, took his own life. He used the gun that his father kept at home. And in Brooklyn, New York, an off-duty police officer used her department-issued Glock 9mm handgun to kill herself, her boyfriend and her one-year old child.

At the same time that investigators were in the midst of a high-profile manhunt for the marathon bombers that ended on Friday evening, 38 more Americans – with little fanfare – died from gun violence. One was a 22-year old resident of Boston. They are a tiny percentage of the 3,531 Americans killed by guns in the past four months – a total that surpasses the number of Americans who died on 9/11 and is one fewer than the number of US soldiers who lost their lives in combat operations in Iraq. Yet, none of this daily violence was considered urgent enough to motivate Congress to impose a mild, commonsense restriction on gun purchasers.

It's not just firearms that produce such legislative inaction. Last week, a fertiliser plant in West, Texas, which hasn't been inspected by federal regulators since 1985, exploded, killing 14 people and injuring countless others. Yet many Republicans want to cut further the funding for the agency (OSHA) that is responsible for such reviews. The vast majority of Americans die from one of four ailments – cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease – and yet Republicans have held three dozen votes to repeal Obamacare, which expands healthcare coverage to 30 million Americans.

It is a surreal and difficult-to-explain dynamic. Americans seemingly place an inordinate fear on violence that is random and unexplainable and can be blamed on "others" – jihadists, terrorists, evil-doers etc. But the lurking dangers all around us – the guns, our unhealthy diets, the workplaces that kill 14 Americans every single day – these are just accepted as part of life, the price of freedom, if you will. And so the violence goes, with more Americans dying preventable deaths. But hey, look on the bright side – we got those sons of bitches who blew up the marathon.

36 comments:

John Kurman said...

How many Texan fertilizer plant executives will face jail time? How many BP execs? Union Carbide (Bhopal) execs? Anyone? Any time?

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jun/07/world/la-fg-bhopal-verdict-20100608

CNu said...

that's just the nature of exceptionalism; big, fast, hard, profitable, and dangerous...,

Michael Varian Daly said...

Roughly half of the gun related homicides in the US are Drug War related
and Gun Control would have near zero effect upon them. Ending the Drug
War would, but the lobby for that nightmare makes the NRA look like
pikers.

Anonymous said...

running around the house or in the backyard, but this is [url=http://www.journalonline.co.uk/ralph-lauren-outlet.html]http://www.journalonline.co.uk/ralph-lauren-outlet.html[/url] game ideas you can try on your upcoming Jack and Jill party. Have [url=http://www.journalonline.co.uk/christian-louboutin-outlet.html]christian louboutin outlet[/url] your own jack can help you to save a lot of money. Dont waste [url=http://www.journalonline.co.uk/christian-louboutin-outlet.html]christian louboutin outlet[/url] real or perhaps genuine good quality Port wills from counterfeit
enough for anything substantial to register - the information [url=http://www.journalonline.co.uk/ralph-lauren-outlet.html]http://www.journalonline.co.uk/ralph-lauren-outlet.html[/url] how do you view the legal prospects for future homeschoolers? [url=http://www.journalonline.co.uk/tory-burch-outlet.html]http://www.journalonline.co.uk/tory-burch-outlet.html[/url] grew as a lucrative occupation and soon Port Royal gained [url=http://www.journalonline.co.uk/christian-louboutin-outlet.html]http://www.journalonline.co.uk/christian-louboutin-outlet.html[/url] a mower jack because theyve already spent so much on the mower
healthy and active right up to the end. It reminded me of a central [url=http://www.journalonline.co.uk/christian-louboutin-outlet.html]christian louboutin outlet[/url] is done and is ready for use. So, to sum up one has to plug the [url=http://www.journalonline.co.uk/ralph-lauren-outlet.html]Ralph Lauren Outlet[/url] Russell terriers are intelligent, hard-working dogs that need [url=http://www.journalonline.co.uk/tory-burch-outlet.html]tory burch outle[/url] 340B managed care partnership in 2006, he has overseen the

umbrarchist said...

We have been propagandized about terrorism by the media since before 9/11. Gun deaths in the US were NORMAL before 9/11.


Americans are wackos!

Dale Asberry said...

I think we have a LaRouchian in our midst.

umbrarchist said...

So you think name calling means something. As far as I know LaRouchianism has something to do with economics but I don't know enough about it to comment. But I don't know anything related involving terrorism and gun deaths so I have no comprehension of your point. If you have one.

CNu said...

umbra not no dayyum LaRouchian...,

Dale Asberry said...

Huh.

CNu said...

I don't think you've ever seen me hesitate to ruthlessly go in on fools. Unlike folks who I relish skewering, I think Umbra has perfectly valid reasons for believing what he believes http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2013/04/oil-men-are-not-in-business-of.html and I'm more than a little surprised at you and Arnach's lemming-like adherence to the official story. More than a few things not.quite.right about that story.

CNu said...

So here's the thing, and I don't know if you even remember Nomad who formerly posted here and who I formerly linked until we came to violent disagreement over the matter of Trayvon Martin over at WARN. But Nomad has relentlessly gone in on the Hon.Bro.Preznit - who to my way of thinking - makes G-Dub look like a piker because he's leveraged black social capital and his own more smooth, elegant, and attractive persona to perpetrate some serious G-Dub 2.0 antics. Nomad is quickly becoming persona non grata at WARN - standing accused of obama derangement syndrome.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and Nomad is correct.

Obama is turrible. (why I call him the Hon.Bro.Preznit in memory of Farrakhan the "Hon.Bro.Minister", yet another buster-to-the-bone, complicit in the assassination of Malcolm X, and arguably one of the greatest orators of all time, yet who hasn't managed to accomplish a dayyum thing for all that indignant gum-whooping except to enrich himself at the expense of his followers)

There is value in staying true to your convictions if those convictions are sound. So far as I can gather, Umbra doesn't subscribe to any magical-thinking, and, he calls out some things that urgently require calling out. I would add the topic of basic energy literacy to his core list - but aside from that - I have no objections

Dale Asberry said...

Fair enough -- what Umbra's saying is not objectionable which is in contrast to the Larouche nutterbutters. That does not change that his broken record responses are any less insane -- doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result...

I'm sorry for the name-calling Umbra.

CNu said...

What about flight 93? http://youtu.be/_gliHOhXYFQ

umbrarchist said...

"I think Umbra has perfectly valid reasons for believing what he believes"

The whole point is, Physics is not about BELIEVING. That is why it is so absurd that physicists have conducted no experiments to test if the top 15% of a skyscraper can fall and destroy everything below. I concluded in two weeks that the worst the airliners could do was make the top fall down the side. That is why 9/11 is such a scientific travesty. If what supposedly happened really could happen then it should be possible to test it on a smaller scale.

umbrarchist said...

I never talk about Flight 93. It is not even interesting to me. The twin towers are a physics problem which make fools or liars of all of the worlds physicists.


The 9/11 Affair is a Higgs Boson Conspiracy! LOL

Dale Asberry said...

Physics is not about BELIEVING

Uhm. Actually, it is. Physics is a consensus rationalization toolset used to model physical realities. The toolset notably fails in all but the simplest physical systems. It fails in several ways: first, these incredibly simple systems are essentially the only ones that can actually be solved mathematically; second, even if a more complex system can be solved, extremely small fluctuations will often cause the modeled system to vary significantly from the actual system; last, not all variables are even close to being accounted for in real systems, and, if they are, see the first issue.



Your attempts to invoke "physics" is literally nonsensical. The number of variables needed to account for the behavior of the actual collapsing tower taken into consideration with the fact that many of those variables have nonlinear zones means that physics (and likely any other conceivable modeling system) cannot be used to adequately model those towers collapsing. This then needs to address your internal beliefs that the collapse is improbable. The whole point behind my interest in human cognitive errors is how these errors means that even the most capable human minds have such serious flaws that we are also unable to adequately model the tower collapses using our own cognition. In other words, your internal beliefs about what actually happened being improbable is flawed.

Tom said...

Dale,

I've done a lot of physics-based modeling of real stuff. You make a number of good points but I don't really buy your argument. Yes, the weird overwhelming "whole world working according to the laws of physics" idea is not science ... but that's a red herring! It obviously is meaningful to address the questions Umbra raises: to look at how soft steel gets, or how much higher our GDP would be if we had more severe hurricanes.

Philosophy of science has not gone far beyond this point: "We can model shit. We dunno why that is." Umbra makes his points within that framework.

I think CNu may be closer to your real objection when he says Umbra is annoying because he's repetitive -- not because he's out to lunch.

PS ...
Walker Percy, my current fave among philosophers of cognition, language, religion, consciousness and related issues, I think came close to a useful place to draw the line: "scientism" is what happens when we elevate the scientific method from a means of pursuing secondary causes into an all-encompassing world view. Umbra may veer into scientism rhetorically, but he is not building his arguments about Economics & WTC on that kind of airy reductionist nonsense. Not at all.

umbrarchist said...

"Uhm. Actually, it is. Physics is a consensus rationalization toolset
used to model physical realities. The toolset notably fails in all but
the simplest physical systems."


Newtonian Physics is pretty damn simple. If all we want to know if whether or not the north tower could completely collapse or not then it is simple. If we want to know where a particular column will end up then it is complicated. We are not interested in that level of detail. But if we can't even get accurate data on the distribution of mass of steel down the tower then we can't even do a good simulation.


But then we are told we don't need the information to BELIEVE the building could come down. The 9/11 decade is a scientific travesty and the pinnacle of European culture. It is a culture of liars and the would is supposed bellto be believe the most obviously stupid lie imaginable.

umbrarchist said...

"Umbra is annoying because he's repetitive -- not because he's out to lunch."


Yeah, it doesn't annoy people that the nation which invented skyscrapers and put men on the Moon can spend 11 years not resolving this grade school dipshit problem but people are still getting killed over believing it.


But I think that is one of the great things about the Internet. It is so easy to ignore people if you want, so why is there a problem?

Tom said...

Umbra -- I did not say this:

"you annoy Dale" = "you're wrong".

Instead I'm saying I think "annoying" or "repetitive" is all Dale's really got here.

Tom said...

Every culture is a culture of liars. This is the point that got me interested in "black radical" politics in first place -- those dudes recognize that Euro culture is full of lies. So far so good!


But the place where all the Marimba Ani stuff finally became masturbatory for me is that they insist other existing cultures are not full of lies. That's a nice bedtime story but not a useful picture of reality. People are people.

Dale Asberry said...

Ok, so physics based modeling of real stuff is useful and I wouldn't suggest otherwise -- but really only applies when the model has lots of cases to be measured against, and, it rarely works with edge cases. Modeling is an iterative process. The WTC is essentially a unique building that encountered a unique event that involved many kinds of edge cases. Even if it weren't a unique event, for someone not exposed to physics, physical systems can sometimes behave in nonintuitive (if predictable) ways. However, the gist of my message is that physics is indeed an aspect of consensus reality and that his individual perspective (which goes through posthoc rationalization -- self-lies) is also about belief so his comment about physics is not about believing is nonsense.

Dale Asberry said...

Umbra is annoying because he's repetitive -- not because he's out to lunch.

He is out to lunch. The root cause and consequences of his theory are far more interesting and actionable than obsessing about the event itself. He goes on and on and on about the event and not once has he stopped to think about the deep threads that are the result! Not only that but it was a single event while hundreds of less noticeable but equally impactful events continue to this day.

Dale Asberry said...

Newtonian physics in a many-bodied problem is NOT SIMPLE. It is considerably less simple when those bodies behave non-linearly. Many-bodied problems and simple non-linear problems are NON-DETERMINISTIC. You can get results that are completely unexpected/unpredicted.

umbrarchist said...

This is not quantum mechanics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-body_problem



Only one mass is treated as a gravity source in analysing the WTC problem.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euler%27s_three-body_problem

CNu said...

nerds gettin all testy up in'nis muhuggah, priceless.comedy.gold.....,

Dale Asberry said...

Lol, clearly your physics education extends no further than an introductory college class and wikipedia.


Here's a rhetorical question for you to ponder Umbra... I had Mechanics I and II classes. Mech I was Statics and II was Dynamics. Where was Mechanics III where Statics and Dynamics interact?


But all this only indicates your greater failure at thinking... who the fsck cares about this single instance when the craziness and brainwashing you refer to continues unabated? Where's your moral, "holy crap! I have to stop this from happening again!" I'll tell you where... the same place that all the crazies you refer to have left it: self-validation. You act like a little boy demonstrating his newfound knowledge to a group of adults: "See how important I am that I can see this!?"


Subrealism deals with all of these bigger issues and most of the visitors here add to the conversation while you sit in the background banging your drum. Put the damn drum down and listen.

umbrarchist said...

Yes, accuse your opponent of being ignorant/stupi and you win. You brought up the multi-body business not me.

But how do you do a static analysis of the WTC without the distribution of steel down the building? With no data on the horizontal beams in the core? This 9/11 business says some peculiar things about people claiming to be intelligent and knowledgeable since they do not ask the obvious questions to solve the problem.

Dale Asberry said...

The many body problem isn't just QM hence your display of ignorance.

umbrarchist said...

And where have you explained how any many body problem has anything to do with whether or not an airliner can bring down a skyscraper. You mentioned statics. So tell us how the many body problem affects that.


This "I am smarter than you" game doesn't increase the understanding of any readers. But then in about 6 years you are the first person I have encountered to bring up the many-body business as though it relates to 9/11.

umbrarchist said...

Here is a many-body comment

http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?s=800ca7188af73503a52ff53138022ff1&p=3804548&postcount=129


I know who Apollo20 is, or was since he was banned. I have been banned from JREF also.

umbrarchist said...

"Every culture is a culture of liars."

Agreed! But some have bigger lies spread farther than others. European culture is the dominant influence on the planet. But Isaac Newton was a European.


So if a BIG LIE contradicts the way PHYSICS really works then we have a global issue. Newton may have been European but physics is not. It is universal and works the same way for everyone on the planet. So everyone should be able to recognize the lie.


That is one of the things I found fascinating about the idea of Vulcan culture though it was stupidly portrayed in Star Trek. What would a "scientific culture" be like after a few thousand years? We are just beginning to get computers in the hands of every child.

CNu said...

Everything that lives must eat. What you eat, what comprises your food chain, is really all that is in question, right? So if the trans-european protectorate is the alpha top of the human food chain, and is there via predatory behavior, can it genuinely afford to be either internally or externally honest about its predations?

Tom said...

Sure, power corrupts, that's good sense. But--maybe I'm just a child of the '70s--but to me trying to psychoanalyze "europeans" as being somehow different from "africans" feels like a waste of time. It goes nowhere.

CNu said...

Uh.., wha'choo talkin bout Willis? I didn't psychoanalyze nothing, merely stated the obvious.

Tom said...

No, I liked what you said. I'm just still bellyaching about my disappointment with the the Radical Black People^TM.