The Only Thing We Have To Fear …

Posted on July 4, 2015

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The media is partnering with the government to reinforce irrational fear regarding domestic terrorism from the ISIS threat. Unless Americans can be convinced that jihadists are swarming the country and that “chatter” in the social media communications grid and on cell phones suggest that an attack is imminent, no sane justification remains for the excessive surveillance infrastructure. In reality however, putting lie to the hyperventilated media reporting by CNN and Fox News, drumming up anxiety, Breitbart was in fact told by a DHS (Department of Homeland Security) official:

“There is no specific, credible intelligence to indicate any threats against celebrations over the 4th of July weekend,” said the official. “However, we have seen repeatedly calls for violence over the past year by leadership and supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) against members of the military and military installations, law enforcement, the U.S. government, and the American public. These threats are always taken seriously and we continue to work with state and local law enforcement to ensure their safety.”

Certainly we know the Islamic State is issuing more threats than McDonalds’ is selling hamburgers, if you will pardon the hyperbole. But hyperbole is the point. Is ISIS / ISIL dangerous? Of course they are. Have they been on a killing rampage in the Middle East? Obviously. Are they, according to a rash of documentary evidence, a menace that was midwifed by the United States (Pentagon, CIA) and our “allies” in the region including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and others? Without question – although this is extremely incriminating to the government and they would prefer it not be brought up, thank you very much.

About 30 arrests have been made that authorities report, are related to terror plots. And of course, the reports of vacationers being attacked and killed on a beach in Tunisia last week are not very reassuring – along with the talk of “soft targets” – attacks on victims in a less coordinated fashion, more random in nature and in places where law enforcement is less concentrated than in New York City or Los Angeles.

So, far be it from me to suggest that some sort of attack might not be contemplated by the group or its followers – keyed to dates of prime significance, such as our national Fourth of July celebration tomorrow and Ramadan, which until Barack Hussein Obama occupied the Oval Office, was not even so much as mentioned by U.S. presidents. Nor am I in anyway suggesting that law enforcement or the FBI should take a donut break during the holiday – or any other time.

What I would point out is that Americans need to look at the government’s publicity and the media’s complicity with some good old American skepticism (on the endangered list) and through the lens of objective reality. Keep in mind that the government juiced up the potential of terror when it argued for the continuation of collection of bulk telephone records. First 50 terrorist ‘events’ were prevented, then under sworn testimony, the number got whittled down to one. What was the one? A cab driver in San Diego sending cash to a Somali group judged to be a terrorist organization. In particular, the cab driver and 3 other men raised a total of $8,500 and sent it to Somalia.

Incidentally, what about the lamenting from the likes of Dick Cheney and John McCain that if we had NSA surveillance before 9/11, the attack on the World Trade Center would have been interdicted? We did have it and federal authorities were tracking participants in the attack, getting detailed information from a key informant who was even renting an apartment to two of the men and clear details of the plot were intercepted by wiretaps by the NSA of phones outside the US (in Yemen and elsewhere) and still nothing was done.

It was not a technology failure, it was a policy decision at the highest level followed by coverups ordered by the Bush administration after the event. A majority of Americans are now more concerned about the government going too far with attacks on civil liberties than they are of potential terror risks according to multiple polls including the Washington Post.

How likely are you to be a victim of a terrorist attack – with or without all the “heightened vigilance”? Despite the impression one might get from these reports, the odds of being killed by an Islamic extremist on a killing spree are relatively miniscule – estimated by research to be 1 in 20 million. Here are some of the more notable threats to your continued existence that make terror attacks look like a microscopic organism in comparison. We’ll start the list with natural disasters and weather related hazards:

  • Earthquakes
  • Tornados, Hurricanes, Floods – all together 5 times more likely
  • Lightning strikes – twice as likely (fatal lightning strikes are extremely rare – 1 / 10,500,000, but sensationalized by the media when they occur).
  • Fires

Next, human related risks:

  • Heart Disease – 600,000 times more likely
  • Cancer – 584,000 times more likely
  • Automobile accidents and use of automobile as a deadly weapon – 32,000 times more likely
  • Drug overdoses
  • Choking
  • Prescription drug side effects  – 37,000 times more likely
  • Suicides41,000 times more likely
  • Police shootings and excessive force617 times more likely
  • Gang violence12,000 times more likely
  • Domestic violence
  • Arson1,000 times more likely
  • Tobacco480,000 times more likely (see Cancer risk)
  • Alcohol – about 2,500 times more likely
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases – see Aids statistics and complications related to 24 other STD’s
  • Drowning3,500 times more likely
  • Falling out of a window, off a ladder or down a flight of stairs

There are an amazing number of everyday perils confronting mankind by just getting out of bed in the morning and stepping out of one’s residence, that are more deadly than terrorism. A lot were left off the above list – insects, vending machines and bathroom fixtures, hospital visits, among them.

The last item that I did not include is deaths attributable to open borders – in other words, killings and manslaughters committed against people who, if immigration enforcement was functioning competently, would yet be among us today, absent all the other above hazards.

Just within the last few days a woman was shot to death by an illegal in San Francisco, a 12 year old was sexually assaulted and another American in Minnesota was beaten to death. The illegal that killed a woman in San Francisco had seven prior felony convictions and had been deported nine times. He also benefited from San Francisco’s sanctuary city policies.

Which leads to a key question about not only the dire and intimidating coverage of potential terror attacks, but to the whole pretense of the “War On Terror” – a term, which I’ve noted, the government itself no longer uses. If the government truly believed that domestic terror was as severe a vulnerability to its citizens, wouldn’t the borders be considerably more protected than they are at present? Is it possible however, that terrorists are – in a sense, a partner with your government in maintaining the fear level, in order to persuade you to trade your liberty for false security?

The good news? Apparently people aren’t taking the bait – at least as it relates to the grave warnings this 4th of July weekend. Willie Nelson is still having his annual picnic in Austin and the annual Watermelon eating contest is underway. Do as they are doing, enjoy yourself, don’t succumb to fear. Be careful in the water and watch out for sharks (more hazardous than terrorists).

And one more thing – do exercise caution with fireworks. They are also more dangerous than terrorists.

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