Terrorism

Obama Astonishes Sean Hannity by Noting the World Is Less Violent Than It Used to Be

It's the Fox News host, not the president, who inhabits "an alternate reality."

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Fox News

"If you had to choose a moment in history to be born, and you didn't know ahead of time who you were going to be, you'd choose now," President Obama remarked in a speech last week, "because the world has never been less violent, healthier, better educated, more tolerant, with more opportunity for more people, and more connected than it is today." Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity, an avid Donald Trump supporter, was astounded:

Less violent? Never been—are you kidding me?…

What do you make, Dr. Gorka, about Obama [saying] the world has never been less violent? What alternate reality is he living in? What Alice in Wonderland fantasy is he in as of right now because it's almost on a daily basis, sadly, we have to report this….

The world has never been less violent? That's President Obama, of course, naively claiming that the world is safer now more than ever….

The world has never been less violent. I don't know what fantasy he's living in….

When he says the world has never been less violent, my 14-year-old daughter recognizes he's an idiot to say that because it's so obviously not true….  

What the hell is he talking about? Donald Trump last night said we got to defeat ISIS and do it expeditiously. Obama: The world's never been safer than today. Really? 

Yes, really. Obama has made similar remarks before, and what he's talking about is the fact, documented by Steven Pinker in his book The Better Angels of Our Nature, that humans are, broadly speaking, less likely to die violent deaths than ever before in recorded history. Contrary to what Hannity apparently thinks, that long-term trend—which includes deaths by war, genocide, terrorism, and other forms of mass killing as well ordinary homicide—is unaltered by whatever Fox News report happens to be uppermost in Hannity's mind at any given moment. Updated graphs that Pinker published last year show, among other salutary trends, that the U.S. murder rate has fallen sharply since the early 1990s, that the worldwide death rate from genocide and other mass killings fell from 10 per 1 million people in 1996 to 1 in 2013, that the number of battle deaths per 100,000 people in 2013 was close to the all-time low since 1945, and that the number of civil wars worldwide, although up since 2010, was far lower in 2013 than in the '90s. 

Looking specifically at deaths from terrorist attacks in Western Europe, which Hannity sees as a refutation of Obama's claim, there was a spike last year, but the total was still lower than in 2004 and far lower than the averages for the 1970s and '80s. Worldwide, according to a 2015 report from the Institute for Economics and Peace, the total number of deaths from terrorism has been rising since 2011, with five countries—Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria—accounting for 78 percent of those deaths in 2014. But deaths from terrorism represent a small percentage of all deaths by homicide: less than 3 percent worldwide in 2012, based on data from the United Nations and the National Center for Counterterrorism. They represent an even smaller share of all deaths, and for Americans the risk of dying in a terrorist attack pales beside the risk of dying from a host of quotidian causes that get much less attention from Fox News. 

Terrorists want us to overlook all that, because their strategy depends on instilling inordinate fear. Donald Trump also wants us to overlook all that, for the same reason. His authoritarian, "law and order" appeal depends on perceiving the world as more dangerous than it actually is, especially when it comes to the threat posed by terrorism. Historical perspective and an understanding of relative risk are deadly to that appeal, which is why Hannity dismissed Obama's sensible comments as unworthy of serious consideration.

NEXT: Donald Trump Releases The Strangest Presidential Ad of All Time (So Far).

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  1. OK, tell us about the abortion rate.

    1. OK, tell us about the gun homicide rate.

      1. Ok – its incredibly tiny compared to states that have strict gun control like Mexico or Russia.

        1. To be fair, mass shootings only occur here and absolutely nowhere else in the civilized world – ever.

          1. Wild fucking west, bitches!

            *empties six-shooters into the air*

          2. Especially not in EU countries like Germany. And thankfully like in other EU countries such as France when the terrorists practising a certain religion don’t use guns (because they can get them, just not the potential victims for self-defense purposes) they also don’t use more effective means such as high-capacity assault-style trucks.

            1. The ones with the black thing that goes up.

        2. Do you pick cherries professionally or just as a hobby?

          1. You’re the one who dropped the ‘what about the gun homocide’ non-sequitor.

            You can’t complain about the US gun homocide rate unless you cherry pick to drop out all the other civilized countries that have significantly higher rates *despite having* strict gun control laws*.

            You can’t even complain about US homocide rates unless you drop out of your comparisons all other homocide types.

            So, you wanna be George Washington or do you want to admit that you like them cherries?

            1. Brazil has a higher rate of gun violence and has some of the strictest gun control laws on the planet. Gun control laws do NOT reduce gun violence at all. Governments know this. Gun control is not about violence, it’s about disarming citizens so that the government doesn’t need to ever worry about an armed uprising.

              1. Brazil has horrifically high murder rates in states like Alagoas. Murder rates are also rising in the U.S., which Reason ignores through cherry-picking of date ranges, as Pablo Meelar notes above, since Reason selectively ignores the large post-2014 increase in murder rates, even as it touts the gradual fall in murder rates from the early 1990s until 2014.

                As a lawyer and criminal justice expert noted this month on the Washington Post web site,

                “2015 closed with a 17 percent increase in homicides in the 56 largest cities, a nearly unprecedented one-year spike. Twelve cities with large black populations saw murders rise anywhere from 54 percent in the case of the District to 90 percent in Cleveland. Baltimore’s per capita murder rate was the highest in its history in 2015. Robberies also surged in the 81 largest cities . . .

                In the first quarter of 2016, homicides were up 9 percent and non-fatal shootings up 21 percent in 63 large cities.”

                1. “In the first three months of the year [2016], New York City saw a 21 percent drop in murders compared with the same period last year”

                  I can cherry-pick too.

            2. You’re the one who dropped the ‘what about the gun homocide’ non-sequitor.

              No, I checked, and the question was about gun homicide. You are the one who repeatedly spelled it homocide, for no apparent reason. I guess what happened in Orlando could be described as homocide. It’s a pretty bad pun. I’m not sure if you intended it or not, maybe you just don’t know how to spell homicide. It certainly wasn’t a typo, since it was repeated three times.

              1. Don’t get yer panties in a wad, I just don’t know how to spell homicide. And I don’t see where the question is about gun homicide.

                1. And just to clear something up – ‘homo’ means ‘same’, not ‘gay’. ‘Homocide’ (my mispelling) would not have anything to do with homosexuality in particular, only ‘killings by the same’ (ie, killings of people by people).

          2. Gun homicides down in the US, up in the EU, overall not looking good for your narrative. In any case I don’t think they’re are any cherries left to pick as you seem to have plucked the whole orchard dry.

        3. Ag

          I’m sure AmSoc was referring to all of the countries that have strict gun control. Their violent crime rates ate through the roof!

          1. But that’s OK – as long as those murders aren’t being committed by *guns*.

            Swords, axes, gang-beatings, bombs, trucks, those deaths are all a completely different category.

            1. Just for fun, Ag. Do you want to compile the murder rates in 1st world industrialized countries or should I. That list, sadly, would not include El Salvador or Venezuela.

              1. Some of the countries with the lowest homicide rates in the world are non-industrialized, non-1st world countries. What exactly about the wealth and industrialization (Brazil is industrialized regardless…) of a country magically means that gun control will be less effective?

              2. Doing so would ignore the data within the US that shows much higher violent crime rates in gun-banning “blue” areas.

                1. NYC has lower crime than many cities in red states. You’re better off arguing from a position of rights than crime stats – because there are many other factors which impact those besides “gun control”.

                  1. My favorite stat is the two least violent places in the US are both constitutional carry (one of them allows ANY US citizen to conceal carry there):
                    here

                    Our biggest problem seems to be folks from NY with illegal guns:
                    here

                    Blue cities in red states are not the same as red cities in red states.

              3. Wouldn’t that be cherry picking?

              4. Try comparing black vs white homicide rates. Then look at Europe’s demographics compared with ours. Do you then, as a Good Progressive, conclude that what we need is common-sense negro control laws?

                1. About a decade ago William Bennett threw out that aborting all black babies would affect crime rates:
                  http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITI……comments/

              5. Venezuela was a 1st world industrialized country before Chavez.

              6. How about comparing the homicide rate among Americans of European descent with European countries? Or Americans of Asian descent with Asian countries?

                America isn’t a homogeneously first world country because it has assimilated more third world immigrants than any other country in the world. That they or their descendants haven’t all adopted first world behavior in their entirety within a generation or two isn’t exactly a surprise.

          2. Wrong ! No one ever died in Venezuela, N. Korea, the Soviet Union, Cambodia…

      2. Did you read yesterday’s post on the subject, toots?

      3. Gun homicide rate is down too.

      4. Define irony: A President and media that has spent the better part of a decade trying to scare the shit outta the American public about a “gun violence epidemic” (while all violent crimes are in decline over that period), are now trying to use actual statistics because Trump is capitalizing on their well laid foundation of fear mongering.

        Question AmSoc, how is there no crime problem if there is a gun violence problem?

        tl;dr version: You took part in creating this narrative that Trump is using to his benefit. Take responsibility for your bullshit and pay your mortgage while you’re at it.

    2. Hannity has been a blubbering mangina for twenty fucking years.

      1. “managing”- is that a Pokemon thing?

        1. Goddamned autocorrect
          “Mangina”- is that a Pokemon thing?

  2. Well, it happened. Finally Obama says something sensible. Not only that, verifiable. Indeed, humans have never been better off.

    Of course, we likely differ on why this is so. His policies pretty much point to that.

    Hannity is the equal of Maddow and Matthews on Rufus’s “Insufferable Index’.

    1. You’re a great American, Rufus.

      1. Tell me something I don’t know dang it.

        1. I’ve already told you about Sir Hugo. What else don’t you know that I can tell you?

    2. If you run your mouth enough, you’re bound to say something intelligent every once in a while, even if it is an accident.

    3. Or Hannity has spent the last year listening to Hillary talk about gun violence.

    4. Hannity and the Fox News talking heads are all Neocons.

      1. When you need to sell war, stay away from facts.

        1. ISIS is the one boogeyman that they don’t have to make up.

          1. ISIS is the boogeyman America created with its horrible foreign policy.

            But, hey, after $4T in the shitter, they’ll ensure we double down. To the relief of the media, politicians and the defense industry.

            1. ISIS is the boogeyman America created with its horrible foreign policy.

              Which still has essentially no capability beyond their neighborhood. It’s a pretty shitty boogeyman.

    5. You forgot Bill O’Reilly.

    6. The world may be a safer place. But those places Obama has directly influenced are worse – civil wars increased since 2010 and terrorism increased since 2011 as stated in Sullum’s Obama apologia.

      Hannity is just too dim to mention that, and Sullum too biased to note it.

      1. We can add Chicago, Baltimore, St Louis (Ferguson) to the list of Obama’s influence.

  3. Heading into a presidential election, the opposition will never want the population to say that they are better of now then they were eight years ago. In any category. It’s bad for business. And I imagine Hannity feels that the world is more violent. It’s difficult not to have that feeling coming fresh off the heels of sensational terrorish attacks in Europe.

    Presidential election plus terrorism do not equal clarity and rationality. Not even for great Americans.

    1. Have to agree with you. No one stops and remembers the 350+ days of the year nothing happened. They do remember the dozen days when something bad did happen. Then they think this stuff is happening more often now then it actually does thanks to the media constantly hitting you over the head about these events for the following several weeks. People hear about some terrorist attacks and then start shitting their pants thinking that the right TOP MEN can stop it from happening again if they just DO SOMETHING.

      1. Then they think this stuff is happening more often now then it actually does thanks to the media constantly hitting you over the head about these events for the following several weeks.

        See mass shootings, child abductions, cops getting shot…

        Both the media and politicians make their money on fear. Making you afraid and keeping you afraid is their primary motivation. And sheep want to be led.

        1. And sheep want to be led. And fed.

        2. Will you join me and vote for the first politician who says, “I’m not a leader, I figure you know where you’re going. I’m hired help.”?

    2. Correct, Fist.

      Winston Churchill ? ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’

      “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” H L Mencken

      1. Winston Churchill never said that, at least not in anyway someone could quote him as saying it.

    3. Conversely, if you want your side to stay in charge, tell everybody how goid they’ve got it.

      Violence rations have decreased 25% in my term of Consulship.

      1. “good”

        1. TOO LATE YOU SAID GOID. Comment: invalidated.

  4. One of our literate pals (I forget who!) suggested Trump is more this guy and I think it’s more on cue:

    http://bit.ly/1XsQdP2

    1. Oops. Wrong thread. Meant for the Trump article by Nick.

  5. This is a moronic post. The world may be less violent in some general sense – fewer catastrophic wars. But does anyone want to sit here and pretend that the Middle East isn’t worse off now than 8 years ago (not all Obama’s fault, though he did his part), relations with Russia and China aren’t worse, and that a number of our allies have even less faith?

    Domestically, the GOP’s focus on an uptick in murder in certain geographical areas is more factually accurate than the Dems insistence that there is a gun epidemic that needs addressing.

    And does anyone want to pretend that race relations aren’t at their lowest point since the early to mid-90’s?

    I’m not justifying the Republican pant shitting angle. But I don’t think the message to send to anyone right now is that everything is peachy (mainly to attack Trump…because TRUMP).

    1. Higher Learning did come out in 1995, so I think you’re onto something.

    2. Higher Learning did come out in 1995, so I think you’re onto something.

    3. Yeah bickering about specific violence statistics was a dumb fight to pick. Maybe the world really is more peaceful? The real argument is maybe we’re all just sitting on a powder keg and nobody’s had the balls to light a cigarette. Yet.

    4. Addendum to the above – I just don’t think the best way to sell libertarianism is to jump on a bad narrative that completely misses the entire god damn point. People are wrong that the world is more dangerous than ever. They are less wrong about how things stack up right now compared to 8, 16, or 24 years ago.

      Higher Learning is a perfect example of leftwing fantasies. I’m surprised the movie hasn’t been revived in this era of identity politics. It seems perfect for college activists to watch as they get themselves psyched up for the next protest.

    5. Maybe race relations are suffering because we have more smart phones taking videos of cops?

      If so, that is a process of discovering the underlying reality. Relations are more accurately reflecting racial interactions. This is arguably a good thing.

      1. When said focus ends up entirely on race and becomes part of culture war with the underlying causes ignored, I can’t view it as a positive. Results remain to be seen, but the actions taken thus far seem pretty pitiful to me. More to assuage the public than any meaningful reform. It is becoming a wedge issue for the two parties.

        You think Rand Paul is going to have success talking to Republican voters about criminal justice reform right now?

        I personally think one area where presidents are influential is in setting a tone. And under Obama the tone from his administration and the media has been anyone who disagrees with the left is racist. Even worse than normal. Identity politics came back in force. Just like under Bush we had the Christian right running stupid in their own way.

        And when it comes to cops shooting black people, there is no evidence of any racist component to it. You could easily argue the opposite. If blacks are more likely to be profiled and stopped, they are less likely to be shot in proportion to those same stops, there violent crime rates, and the rate at which they actually *do* shoot cops.

      2. If people can more easily record mass shootings or crimes committed by minorities, thereby fomenting fear of those things, is it also a good thing?

        IMO, it’s a bad thing in itself that people base their view of reality on what they see on the news. Personally I see no major difference between the modern black race activists and the bored white guy who watches youtube videos of Kamau Kambon calling for the eradication of white people and videos of the 1992 LA riots until he has a bug enough racial rage boner to justify a perpetual sense of indignation and self-righteousness. Only the former has the media on its side, stroking that rage boner all along.

  6. I agree with Sean. The amount of carnage the Pok?mon’s have caused is disheartening.

    1. Including ex-Presidents.

    2. Including ex-Presidents.

      1. *chucks Pokeball at squirrels*

  7. Has anyone else thought that the cartoon American Dad is making fun of Hannity?

  8. Excellent article. A site living up to its name.

    1. Is the world this year less violent than last year? What about this year compared to 2, 3, or 4 years ago?

      I see Reason taking a general study, which itself is an estimate, and stretching it to say more than it really does. Reason is confusing the general for the specific. It’s tone deaf.

      1. Is the world this year less violent than last year?

        I don’t give a flying fuck. My odds of being killed by a terrorist (as an American, throughout the entire world, in a given year) is one in 20,000,000. For the sake of comparison, my odds of being murdered are about one in 20k (1000 times greater) and my odds of being struck by lightning are about one in 10,000,000 (twice as likely).

        To devote, literally, TRILLIONS of dollars to such an insignificant probability is a fucking abomination. Who worries about shit with a 1:20M probability?

        Answer:

        IDIOTS!

        1. And, of course, that is exactly Obama’s…oh, wait. Obama wants to spend a shit ton of money in the name of keeping you safe and launch foreign interventions. And libertarians like that guy Gary Johnson presumably don’t. So maybe the best way to draw a contrast there isn’t to agree with whatever dumb shit Obama says, which he only says when he needs to counteract Republicans pointing out his own incompetency, but instead to actually focus on general foreign policy of the current and previous administrations that *have* made the world worse off.

          In the long term, getting people to be less pants-shittingly fearful and reactionary is positive. In the short term, feeding Obama’s narrative that under his watch the world is more peaceful than ever (Dems will be singing a different tune if they lose in November) is stupid and, as I said, tone deaf. The world was also more peaceful than it used to be under Bush.

          Obama isn’t speaking on principle anymore than Hannity.

        2. To be clear, I often use the ‘world is safer than ever’ bit in various conversations. When the subject is related to a defense of the administration’s current foreign policy, it’s a stupid time to bring it up.

        3. That’s even using a very loose definition of terrorism, which includes lone nutcases. If you only include true politically-motivated terrorism, the comparison number for American deaths is even tinier.

          1. How many lone nutcase killers before you realize that your in a Guerrilla war?

        4. On the contrary, it’s idiotic to judge a force of who knows how many thousands that is at war with you, and supported by a worldwide network of who knows how many millions, by the body count so far. Al Qaeda didn’t look very dangerous on 9/10/2001, either. Human agency is a crucial difference. Terror groups are not mere accidents, like lightning.

          1. I’m probably going to get ripped for this, but…

            Now that emotions have calmed, I don’t think Al Queda looked that dangerous on 9/12/2001, either. The attacks were significant for their symbolism and the fear they instilled, but the actual loss of life and existential threat to America as a nation or our way of life were not significant. That doesn’t diminish the tragedy, especially for those that lost their lives or who lost loved ones, but, again, other than the raw emotion, how did the attacks directly impact any of us? How likely was it that Al Queda was ever going to invade or extract concessions from the US that would significantly impact us? Nearly all of the impact came from our response.

            And that is sort of the entire point of terrorism – terrorists lack the capacity to pose a true existential threat to a nation, so they lash out in ways that cause people to overreact to the actual threat. And it continues to be successful.

            1. Pretty much anything libertarians are concerned about can be dismissed as “not really an existential threat to the country”: police abuse, taxation, gun rights, and on and on.

              1. Exactly. About 1,000 people get killed by cops each year, odds 1/330,000. And yet this group is rightly disturbed about this.

                Why? Because getting killed by cops is something that is evil that we can do something about.

              2. Many of them are existential threats to individual rights, though. The governments reach is greater than ISIS’s.

                Even so, I’m not advocating for doing nothing. Just for some perspective. That same perspective is helpful when we start to get a bit too pessimistic about the state of liberty.

        5. If you like statistics, here’s one: Your chance of being killed by our health care system due to a preventable medical error is ONE THOUSAND TIMES greater than being killed by a mass shooter with an assault rifle.

    2. No kidding. A lot of the new crowd here would complain bitterly if Obama said that the sun fuses hydrogen.

      1. Today Obama is saying the world is safer than ever. Tomorrow he’s droning some terrorist in Pakistan or we are half-assedly bombing ISIS. Hence why I won’t sign on to his transparent attempts to defend his administration’s foreign policy which only looks good compared to his predecessors screw-ups.

        1. I agree that if we are going to bomb somebody, we should full-assedly bomb them.

        2. I’m not defending Obama’s foreign policy, but saying the world is safer now than ever before in a general sense doesn’t preclude limited military engagements or areas of violence.

      2. “A lot of the new crowd”

        As opposed to crying about the new crowd like a fucking bitch.

        You can leave if you don’t like it, I’m sure we’ll find someone to whine about the other posters and write stupid shit in all caps.

        1. You sound familiar.

        2. As opposed to crying about the new crowd like a fucking bitch.

          That’s what Oldfags do

      3. Well considering the same Obama will be going on tomorrow about the epidemic of gun violence or rape or what have you, I’d say some complaining about his hypocrisy is somewhat justified.

  9. This would article would have been more appreciated if, while in addition to noting that Obama’s comments made sense and Hannity is a buffoon, the author posted some quotes from Obama about how out of control gun violence is in America.

    1. I mean, the same guy said both of these things:

      “If you had to choose a moment in history to be born, and you didn’t know ahead of time who you were going to be, you’d choose now, because the world has never been less violent, healthier, better educated, more tolerant, with more opportunity for more people, and more connected than it is today.”

      “But all of us can agree that it makes sense to do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of people who would try to do others harm or to do themselves harm, because every year we’re losing 30,000 people to gun violence.”

      1. or to do themselves harm

        This is not the government’s business. It’s how we got the WOD and other destructive government policies.

        1. We encage people for wishing to alter their brain chemistry in a way the State doesn’t approve of. Yet when I point this out to people and how barbarous it is, they think I’m the crazy one.

          1. There needs to be a massive deprogramming process.

          2. Ted, maybe because you ARE the crazy one. I mean in general, not that specific statement.

            1. Just because I don’t like carbonated beverages, or used the Opera browser for a decade, doesn’t mean that I’m crazy!

        2. Yes. Paging sarcasmic – need some Bastiat quotes about good intentions.

        3. or to do themselves harm

          This is not the government’s business.

          But including them, does come with the benefit of DOUBLING the number…so…

          1. Tripling

    2. Relevance? You know you could have a more peaceful world AND increased gun violence in America, right? They’re not mutually exclusive.

      1. But you don’t have both. You have the first and not the second. Making Obama a hypocrite.

  10. Wikileaks claims it’s first victim?

    DNC Duhbie bites the dust

    1. She had already been essentially pushed out a month ago: somebody else had taken over day-to-day operations from her and she just had the title. Losing the speaking slot must bite but the DNC doesn’t want to have a Cruz repeat.

    2. “At least he didn’t plagiarize portions of his speech. (chortle chortle)” – progderp

      1. That’s what Joe Biden’s spot is for.

    3. It couldn’t have happened to a more wonderful or charming person.

      1. At least she has time to wash her hair now. U.S. oil reserves, down.

  11. You can make the argument that the relative peace we see today actually portends chaos in the future and point to facts that support that argument (rising economic nationalism, proxy wars between great powers, refugee crises, etc.).

    Of course this is too subtle of an argument for Sean Hannity to make (or maybe even consider).

  12. Peace is boring. People want war. So they make up stories for why it’s necessary. Hannity doesn’t really believe his own nonsense.

    1. Dajjal delenda est!

        1. Desirable.

          1. Et tu, (((renegade)))?

    2. Don’t forget that war is highly entertaining.

  13. humans are, broadly speaking, less likely to die violent deaths than ever before in recorded history.

    I know everyone thinks this is a slam dunk argument (because ed used a version of it earlier) but its not. Its not even addressing how ‘terrorism’ works.

    my comment on ed’s piece, which i think applies here =

    “Problems” will always be defined by the way people choose to measure them.

    What’s the objective of terrorism, and why do we call it terrorism rather than mere ‘random murder’? because it is done to draw attention to a political cause, and is intended to cause a political over-reaction.

    By its own measures, its hardly ever been more effective.

    While it seems convenient and superficially appealing, the same argument about “gun violence” in the US – i.e. that it has been in long term decline, and proves that ‘wider gun ownership’ has zero correlation to crime or mass-killings – does not work when ported over to talking about Terrorism.

    Even when terror-acts ‘fail’, and kill few, they are generally as effective in their objective as when they kill many. Generating awareness that there are organizations willing to strike and kill innocents at any time is the objective. Mere casualties #s are not the measure of its effect or impact, and its misleading to pretend so.

    1. Imagine the same argument applied to some movement like BLM (which no one would of course dare make)

      i.e. – “”We’re a less-racist society today than ever before in history! sure, *some* incidents occur, but at a rate far lower than anytime ever before! We have a black president for god’s sake! America is better-integrated than most of the Western World!””
      (waves statistics around)

      Would the same argument-by-stats be effective? or do you think maybe the audience would find it a bit patronizing, and completely missing the point?

      The threat of *any* terrorism is cause for popular concern, and suggesting that “things were worse before” doesn’t in any way ameliorate the perception that “middle-class white westerners” are being targeted in greater frequency.

      Which is why attacks in Europe reverberate as much in the US as they do in Munich. Its not the casualty numbers – its the random and arbitrary nature of the attacks themselves, where they happen. Bombs in baghdad that kill hundreds don’t concern anyone in Iowa. Random shootings at a McDonalds (anywhere) do. The total death-count #s are irrelevant.

      1. Bingo. You beat me to the punch. Sure it is bad when a mob goes out and beats a random gay couple to death, but that happens only half as often as it used to. What are all you people so pissed off about?

        That is how stupid reason sounds on this issue.

        1. that happens only half as often as it used to

          And it was already incredibly rare here.

          Or are you aiming for more job security at DHS?

          1. It has always been rare. Yet, I don’t recall anyone claiming that meant it wasn’t a big deal when it happened. Moreover, “rare” is a relative term. We seem to have a mass casualty terror attack about once a year right now. Is that “rare”? Depends on how you define rare. I seriously doubt that if there were one lynching occurring every year in the south or one murder of a gay couple by some random mob every year, reason would consider that rare or be pointing to the small chance of it actually happening to someone.

            If the question of whether a problem is serious or not rests on the chances of it happening to any individual person, then nothing short of genocide will ever be a problem. Playing the “what are the chances?” game is just a way to fool the dim witted into ignore something that the speaker wants ignored.

            1. If it’s rarer than getting hit by lightning, yeah, it’s rare.

              1. So are a lot of things. But there is more to life than keeping score. Lynching in the south were rarer than getting hit by lightening. Is it your position lynchings were never issue in this country? It would seem so.

                Again, at what frequency and intensity does something have to happen for you to consider it a problem? You don’t seem to know that and just fall back on the default answer that “it is not a problem” because you say so.

          2. Or are you aiming for more job security at DHS?

            This.

            When the incentives of the politicians align with those of the terrorist…

            1. And the police should send people like you a thank you note. If the only response available is the one the police provides or you saying “who cares if a few hundred people get murdered every year”, the police are going to win that argument by default.

              If you refuse to even try to come up with a reasonable solution, you better be ready for the public to accept the unreasonable one provided by the police.

              1. Sometimes the answer actually is that there’s no solution.

                If being a homicidal maniac occurs in 1 ppm, there are 320 homicidal maniacs running around. There’s no solution to that, it’s the law of large numbers.

                1. Sometimes the answer actually is that there’s no solution.

                  But there is a solution. It’s the same solution we use to bring criminals to justice every day. When a criminal commits a crime we investigate, apprehend, try, convict and punish the bad guy. That’s how we deal with those rare anti-social actions that occur in society WITHOUT trampling on the rights of the innocent in the process.

                  If it works for things like murder, it should certainly be appropriate for things 1000 times less likely than murder.

            2. Your problem is that you assume the people who do this only do it for the effect it has on us. And that is just not true. Sure they want to terrorize us but the actually guys who are pulling the trigger are doing it because they believe doing so will get them a place in heaven. So saying “who cares” to their acts isn’t going to deter them. They have their own reasons for doing it beyond its effect on us.

              You have a real problem understanding human agency. You think that everything people do must be in some causal response to something the government and society has done. These people who are doing this in your view are doing it because the like our reaction to it and therefore do it again to cause more of it or our reaction is what is driving it not their own moral agency. Sorry, it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes it does but not every time and not in this case. In this case, they are doing it for their own reasons that are independent of anything we do. They are doing it because they want meaning in their lives and have convinced themselves that killing in the name of religion will both make their life meaningful and secure them a spot in a better world after death.

              That sounds crazy because it is. It is however what is going on. And there seems to be a long supply of people willing to do it and no amount of “just ignore it and it will go away” is going to change that.

              1. Your problem is that you assume the people who do this only do it for the effect it has on us. And that is just not true.

                No, I assume that (if you mean Americans by “us”) the people who do this are lone nutcases whose relevance to ISIS is equivalent to Son of Sam’s relevance to the ASPCA.

                1. The cops who shoot unarmed suspects are rogue bad cops. The vast majority of cops will never shoot anyone and only 600 or so people out of a population of over 300 million are actually shot by cops every year.

                  Yet, I have never heard you get on here and claim that cop shooting people is just no big deal and the people demanding something be done about it a bunch of ignorant pants shitters.

                  You and Frank are perfectly capable of getting your outrage on and seeing the qualitative problem of murder. You just only choose to do so when it is something that furthers your politics. Cops shooting people does, so you dismiss any arguments about the small chances of it happening. Muslims terrorism does not and worse still conflicts with your deeply held cultural biases. So there you are all about this is just a bunch of pants shitting.

                  You are unconvincing and transparent in both cases.

                  1. Pointing out that the actual threat of terrorism, or cop violence, or racism, is pretty small doesn’t preclude doing something. It is simply a plea to 1) deal in facts and 2) make the response somewhat proportional to the actual threat. To the extent that there are structural changes that can be made to policing to better hold bad cops accountable, we should do it. To the extent that we should try to reduce racist attitudes, we (as in you and me) should do it. And to the extent that we can reduce the chances that terrorists can successfully attack us, we should do so. In other words, we should react, but not overreact.

                    1. Lynchpin,

                      Cop defenders use the same tactics reason is using here. Most cops are not violent or criminals. Shootings are very rare and more rare than in the past. And no one here buys those arguments much less calls people who are concerned about cop violence irrational and stupid. Yet, that is exactly what they regarding terrorism. They just switch sides and use the same logical fallacies that cop defenders use to discount police shootings.

                      It is utterly hypocritical on their part and done only because reason refuses to admit terrorism is a problem no matter what the evidence to the contrary.

                    2. John, I don’t discount the arguments that police shootings are down or that there are good cops. But it’s not an apples to apples comparison with terrorist shootings. Most of what reason and others advocate are structural reforms that would make it easier to hold bad cops accountable and take some control of policies out of the hands of unions and other institutions that don’t have an incentive to hold bad cops accountable. And we can do this because, at least in theory, the institutions of law enforcement are under democratic control. Reason is not, to my knowledge, advocating policies that would punish good cops with the bad.

                      Terrorism is harder because it’s not under democratic control. Still, to the extent that we can improve our abilities to catch the bad guys before they become a threat or bring them to justice after the fact, we should. What we shouldn’t do is trample on the rights of the innocent to punish the guilty. Unfortunately, fear makes it easier to pass policies that do just that, so trying to assuage that fear by pointing out that the risk from terrorism is not as high as is often perceived is a worthwhile endeavor.

                    3. In other words, we should react, but not overreact.

                      couple problems –

                      1) many argue that “reacting at all” is the problem.
                      2) “Over-reaction” depends on this idea of proportionality; and proportionality requires controlling the definition of the threat.

                      My entire point was that the ‘means of measuring/defining the threat’ is arbitrary, and not how it is in fact perceived.

                      The ‘risk’ is not measured by the # of bodies, as though terrorism were a virus that can be inoculated against;

                      its in the *potentiality*. The *threat* of potential violence is how terrorism works. It doesn’t matter if you kill 10, 100 or 1000. the violence of the “next act” is always unknown, its location is always unpredictable, its scale can not be predictably limited, its targets are not easily identifiable.

                      The very potency of terrorism is in its amorphousness, and that a full-accounting of the risk isn’t so simple.

                      Which makes arguments suggesting “limited response” weak in the face of popular sentiment.

                      As with the BLM analogy – would you expect people crying ‘police racism’ to be assuaged by saying, “BUT ONLY 100 UNARMED BLACK PEOPLE ARE KILLED BY COPS EACH YEAR?”

                      It may be true. It may suggest, “its not a big problem” compared to other things. But would you expect everyone to be completely convinced by that argument?

                      That latter point is what i was getting at.

                    4. I hear you, but a few things

                      The very potency of terrorism is in its amorphousness, and that a full-accounting of the risk isn’t so simple.

                      The risk of the next attack may not be known, but it’s still bounded, for all practical concerns, by certain realities – ISIS is not in any position to invade or to seriously disrupt trade or block access to vital resources. While I suppose they could, in theory, gain access to WMDs, the chances of that seem extremely small as well. The chances of any individual getting caught in the next attack are very small.

                      would you expect people crying ‘police racism’ to be assuaged by saying, “BUT ONLY 100 UNARMED BLACK PEOPLE ARE KILLED BY COPS EACH YEAR?”

                      No, but I might expect them to take proper stock of the scale of the problem. And as I say above, it’s not a good comparison because there are more obvious policies we could put in place to address police violence, and which specifically target bad police, than in the case of terrorism.

                      Regardless, I’m not advocating for doing nothing or just dismissing people’s concerns. Only for trying to ground the debate in something closer to reality.

                    5. I’m not advocating for doing nothing or just dismissing people’s concerns. Only for trying to ground the debate in something closer to reality.

                      Sure, and there’s value in that.

                      but by itself, the argument the blog-post makes here (particularly in the second to last paragraph)… is un-compelling.

                      The headline is ultimately talking about a political-debate – one party wants to claim that the world is “more dangerous” and the other “less so”.

                      Whatever data you bring to bear for each claim is ultimately just a matter of *how you define the data* and the significance you apply to it. And even when its a decent case (and i’m not sure the one made here is any good), it still fails to address the real impact of terrorism – which is less about ‘body count’ and more about its randomness & ubiquity.

                      to the point of whether Sullum’s actual data-claim is ‘any good’. – he claims deaths from terrorism in 2015 are “still lower than in 2004”; look at that and tell me its not in any way ‘misleading’.

                      What that actually shows is that “hundreds” of people were killed in 2004, and “hundreds” were killed in 2015. and that both were years of “way above average” activity.

                      And what if you just isolated for “islamic” terror? (because most of the other will be Spanish ETA, Irish IRA – limited to domestic separatists)

                    6. … my point is that its actually very easy to parse the numbers he’s playing with, and point out that he’s entirely wrong *using his own numbers*.

                      That in fact, according to these data – there’s a huge upsurge in international islamic terror.

                      which – compared to terror in the 1970s and 1980s, which he suggests – is actually far more geographically far-reaching, and targets far more ‘average citizens’ than prior incarnations of terrorism

                      If you want to make a purely data-centric argument, its very easy to get more granular and turn the tables on any claim being made. Which is partly why a purely-data-centric argument is insufficient.

                      What’s the goal? The goal is to actually convince people that the terror threat “not that big a deal”. Doing that requires a more detailed rhetorical approach than “look at these numbers”. Its not that simple, and that’s not how you sway people.

                      I think the BLM analogy still has some utility. = Are police ‘more racist’ or ‘more violent’ than they were 30-40 years ago? Absolutely not. Do we still think that police need reform? YES. Because there’s much *more to the issue than that*.

                      The “more to it” part is what i’m suggesting needs to be done on the terrorism-argument. Simply appealing to some headline data on “casualties” and pretending you’ve made an argument is specious.

                    7. As a final (hope) thought on this….

                      what would you think if someone said, “The Cold War was a time of great safety and very peaceful relations between the US and the Soviet Union”

                      and used as the basis of their claim that “their armies never actually clashed directly”. and that “no nuclear war ever happened”

                      They have data! See = no russian soldiers killed by americans (*that we know of), or vice versa. No nuclear explosions. No (direct) casualties at all! peace.

                      You’d say they were being retarded and mendacious. that in fact, it was a time of incredible danger, where on multiple occasions we risked nuclear conflict

                      the superficial headline-data doesn’t capture actual “risk” experienced; the perception of potential threat was enormous and overwhelming. the fact that the potential threat of WWIII never actually materialized…. it doesn’t change the reality that international relations were shaped almost entirely by that threat.

                      Islamic terrorism is of a distinctly lesser-order than the cold-war threat. far lesser. in fact, even if it killed 10,000… nay, 50,000 a year…. it would remain ‘non-existentially threatening’. At best, its a nuisance.

                      A good argument about terrorism should ignore the mere “body count”, and look at the range of potential conflicts the US could be engaged in, and say, “this is really just a sideshow”. One which we’re overblowing for the sake of demanding “protection” from institutions that *can’t in fact protect us at all*

    2. Yes. People’s view of something is always relative. So saying “hey it could be worse” or “it isn’t as bad as it once was” is never going to convince anyone.

      Reason also completely ignores the possibility that people get angry about politically motivated murder of other Americans regardless of the small chance that they themselves will be murdered. It is just such bullshit on their part and they know it. Imagine the litter of Kittens reason would have if some cop in response to a police shooting said “what are the chances of any individual member of the community being killed by a cop?” or “the number of unjustified shootings by police officers is today half what it was in 1993 and therefore no longer a problem”. Yet, that is exactly the answer reason tries to give in response to terrorist attacks.

    3. *None of this is to defend pants-shitting sean hannity. Its just a comment on the standard rhetorical M.O. when talking about something like terrorism. I personally think its a perfectly legitimate argument when it comes to crime, or gun violence. it adds perspective that forces people to acknowledge that draconian responses are unwarranted.

      but draconian responses to terror have nothing to do with ‘proportionality’ in the same way. because the reactions tend to be demands to “blow up someone far away” – not punish your next door neighbor.

      i just think they need a better fallback argument other than the “let’s look at the big picture here” and wave around some generic statistics. Use it as a “nice to have”, additional supporting argument; but it doesn’t function as the central case about “why terror doesn’t matter”, and it frankly comes off a bit thick-headed.

      1. but draconian responses to terror have nothing to do with ‘proportionality’ in the same way. because the reactions tend to be demands to “blow up someone far away” – not punish your next door neighbor.

        Except that the assault on the Constitution does punish our next door neighbor. (And us.)

    4. Mere casualties #s are not the measure of its effect or impact, and its misleading to pretend so.

      People CHOOSE to be afraid. You make it sound like people have no agency. That the only reaction to a terrorist attack is to be terrified.

      It’s not. And doing so is not rational. And doing so is EXACTLY the objective of the terrorist as it is his ONLY weapon. The only power a terrorist has is that which you voluntarily grant him. Fear.

      The “effect or impact” is a result of our own making, not anything the terrorist did.

      Terrorism is a perfect weapon. It is highly effective and costs next to nothing. It allows a weak adversary to defeat a very powerful one. But the “power” is an illusion. It rests upon the adversary turning onto their backs and pissing on themselves.

      Simply…don’t. The ONLY way to defeat a terrorist is to refuse to play his game. Refuse to be afraid (and statistically speaking, there is nothing to fear). Unfortunately, the goals of politicians and the media are completely in line with those of the terrorist. If you are afraid you’ll vote for a savior and if you’re afraid you’ll watch more CNN.

      Pointing out the statistical probabilities to alleviate the fear of the sheep is not, as you say, misleading. It is, in fact, the only way to beat these fuckers.

      1. Is it your position that there is never a point where people should be afraid? If not, then at what point does something become a problem worth noting? What is the standard for something being an issue.

        If for example, someone set off a bomb in Times square and killed say five thousand people, would that not be a reason for people to be concerned? I mean there are nine million people in New York. What is five thousand.

        It looks to me like your standard of concern is whenever enough people are harmed such that every individual in the country reasonably thinks there is a significant chance of it happening to them. Given that, it would seem that any amount of violence and mayhem short of mass destruction of cities is nothing to fear and not something the government should concern itself with beyond of course catching the people who do it and letting them finish their lives in prison.

        If that isn’t your position, then what is?

        1. If not, then at what point does something become a problem worth noting? What is the standard for something being an issue.

          Rarer than getting struck by lightning = not a significant issue.

          1. Then police shooting members of the public is not a problem. About 500 or so people a year are struck by lightening and about 600 or so are shot by police.

            Is that your answer?

            1. It’s not just their shooting members of the public that’s a problem. It’s the whole OBEY OR DIE mindset that effectively places them above the law.

              1. Okay. The fact that Muslims are willing to die committing acts of terrorism and can’t be deterred is what makes that problem special. So what is your point?

          2. Lightning rarely kills more than one person at a time Terrorist kill dozens to thousands at a time. When there are thunderstorms I protect myself from lightning and I install lighting rods on my house. When there are people of concern do I not prepare myself do I not lock my door at night even though the odds of being robbed are very small. Lightning ? Terrorist, apples to oranges

      2. People CHOOSE to be afraid

        You might want to take that Psychology 101 class and see how far it gets you.

        You’re saying people make the wrong choices. Great. It still fails to address that its an unconvincing argument. You can’t reason people out of views that they didn’t reason themselves into.

        1. Frank’s position is that a government can deal with people’s concern over acts of mass murder by telling them to “suck it up”. Even if he were right in the abstract, it wouldn’t matter since people are not going to do that and pretending they will won’t do you any good.

          1. “Suck it up” is a better strategy than “shelter in place”

            /BOSTON WEAK

            1. KEEP CALM and shit your pants.

        2. You can’t reason people out of views that they didn’t reason themselves into.

          Ooooo. That sounds very rational.

          It’s also complete bullshit.

          And they didn’t “REASON” themselves into it, for if they applied “REASON” that wouldn’t have been their conclusion.

          If I’m not afraid of something I’ve got a one in 20,000 chance of being killed by (and I don’t live my life fearing being murdered) I’m certainly not going to live in fear of something 1000 times less likely to occur.

          Not saying that you shouldn’t bring those who’ve committed atrocities to justice. Simply saying the resourses you bring to bear in prevention should be commensurate with the odds of occurrence. This is risk mitigation 101. The degree of risk is based upon both the magnitude of the potential outcome AND the probability of occurrence. Terrorist acts are generally low on both. If you want to devote resourses, focus them where the probability OR magnitudes are high (like a nuke getting into a city).

          1. If I’m not afraid of something I’ve got a one in 20,000 chance of being killed by

            So black people who are afraid of being shot by the cops are irrational? A black person has a lot lower than one in 20,000 chance of being shot by a cop.

            Come on Frank, lets go down this road. Tell me about how black people are stupid and irrational for worrying about police shootings.

            1. So black people who are afraid of being shot by the cops are irrational?

              By and large, yes. Ditto white and brown and yellow people. The only reason it’s a problem is because we pay the cops for protection and give them immunity. It’s the same kind of abuse of office that we see in the tiny percentage of people who are politicians.

              1. If it is appropriate to worry about the injustice of the occasional cop shooting someone for no reason, is it also not appropriate to worry about the injustice of some terrorist nut killing a few scores of people?

                If it is appropriate for the black community to demand wholesale changes in law enforcement because of the statically rare police shooting, why is it also appropriate for people to demand the government take action in regards to immigration and make changes in law enforcement to deal with the statistically rare terrorist attack?

                The only difference I can see is that you are bothered by cop shootings and really don’t give a shit about terrorist attacks. As someone who is bothered by both, I find your position to be rather unconvincing.

                1. I agree with you about the logic, but that’s not what’s at play here.

                  Unlike terrorists and terrorism:

                  1. abusive cops completely get away with their abuses
                  2. our legal system is protecting police abuse
                  3. criticizing police abuse is frowned upon by most of society

                  So yeah, while the chance of getting harmed by a cop is essentially zero, especially for the Reason reading demographic of high income white males, I can understand the heavier emotional reaction to police abuse.

                2. I think John’s got you there, Francisco. The pure statistical argument is absurd, and the cop shooting vs. terror argument shows it.

                  And of course, there’s another aspect to that. Cops who shoot are not doing so out of a religious conviction to kill people. They aren’t organized in a worldwide group that advocates murder. They aren’t cheered by scores of millions. They aren’t itching to get their hands of weapons of mass destruction.

                  1. I think John’s got you there, Francisco.

                    I’m sorry, when did I claim I didn’t want terrorists brought to justice for their actions?

                    OR

                    When did I claim I wanted anything but bad cops brought to justice?

                    The issue at hand is whether to prevent activity or simply punish it after the fact. Preemption costs orders of magnitude more than punishment and tramples rights of the innocent. And all you get for your money/liberty is the illusion of security.

                    Do you want to be free and unsafe or do you want to be a slave and unsafe (but live under a delusion of safety)?

                    1. Okay Frank, so you want no changes in how cops are treated and how they are allowed to police? You think it is okay just to bring them to justice after the fact?

                      Sure, but I would like to hear more about that. Moreover, you are doing more than arguing against the solutions proposed by people concerned by terrorism. You are claiming their concerns are unfounded. You don’t know get to back off and claim you just object to their proposed solutions. If that were the case, you should have just said why you objected and not spent paragraphs explaining how they were stupid and irrational for being concerned.

                      Sorry, you lose.

                  2. And of course, there’s another aspect to that. Cops who shoot are not doing so out of a religious conviction to kill people. They aren’t organized in a worldwide group that advocates murder. They aren’t cheered by scores of millions. They aren’t itching to get their hands of weapons of mass destruction.

                    I think I need a new sarcasm detector.

                    1. Why? It’s perfectly logical to fear an organized, international, religious-based totalitarian movement supported by millions than a few trigger-happy cops.

          2. Ooooo. That sounds very rational.

            It’s also complete bullshit.

            As opposed to your

            Arguments which appeal to me and tell me what i already believe will SURELY convince people who feel completely differently” -pretensions?

            The difference between you and i is that i recognize that the rationale that works for people like you or I (partly because it doesn’t *need to*) is completely ineffective with the general public.

            You’re pretending that what works for you SHOULD work for everyone else. Its obtuse.

            1. Regardless of what the general public believes or is able conceive, there is reality. And the reality is that the ONLY way to defeat terror is to not succumb to it. As is evidenced by 15 years of conventional warfare, sacrificed liberty at every turn (been on an airplane lately), and $4T in the shitter with terror tactics as prevalent or more so than when we started.

              So you can side with reason or you can side with the “we need to doooooo something” crowd and continue to squander treasure without ROI.

              1. So you can side with reason or you can side with the “we need to doooooo something” crowd and continue to squander treasure without ROI.

                You seem to think that recognizing a weak argument is the same as “siding” with its opposition

                Would your “but numbers don’t lie!” argument convince a crowd of BLM supporters that Police violence against unarmed blacks is not only statistically “super rare”…. but that in fact, they’re not even the most at-risk population?

                Do you really think everyone is supposed to go, “Well there you go! He has numbers to support his claim, therefore we shall change our minds forthwith!”

                Again – your superficially-appealing set of data appeals to you, because that’s how YOU think.

                Pretending that others should be convinced by what happens to appeal to you is willfully ignorant of political reality;

                That approach is also (as repeatedly pointed out) irrelevant to how terrorism actually works – which doesn’t rely on “total #s” to achieve its effect, so much as the arbitrary nature of its targets and unpredictable origins of attack.

                1. Do you really think everyone is supposed to go, “Well there you go! He has numbers to support his claim, therefore we shall change our minds forthwith!”

                  Are you really arguing that numbers in support of a position are irrelevant? Much better to believe and base decisions on no data, huh?

                  That approach is also (as repeatedly pointed out) irrelevant to how terrorism actually works – which doesn’t rely on “total #s” to achieve its effect, so much as the arbitrary nature of its targets and unpredictable origins of attack.

                  Who said anything about total #s being required to achieve its effect.

                  Fear is achieved by convincing people that it will happen to them or someone they care about. Targets and predictability have little to do with it.

                  AGAIN

                  Risk is the magnitude of the potential outcome combined with the likelihood of occurrence. When you fly there is the possibility of dying a screaming fiery death. You fly anyway because you realize the odds of it happening to you are next to nothing. I don’t fear flight because I know and understand the odds.

                  I don’t fear terrorism because I know the odds of it happening to me are even longer than dying from flying.

                  You, personally, base a thousand actions a day on this formula. Do I cross that street? How careful should I be when I cross that street?…

                  Managing fear through education statistical analysis is ignorant? Really Gilmore?

                  1. Are you really arguing that numbers in support of a position are irrelevant?

                    No. As i pointed out, if you told BLM that “only 100 unarmed blacks are killed annually by police”, they would be unconvinced that its therefore “not much of a problem”

                    And that repeatedly hemming and hawing about that data would not only completely fail to influence people, it would make you look stupid

                    Similarly, trying to suggest that “fewer average deaths due to terrorism occurred in recent years compared to some arbitrary period in the past” will completely fail to influence people, and make you look stupid.

                    If you want to continue to fail to influence people, and continue to look stupid, continue to make stupid, over-simplified, reliant-on-generic-data arguments.

                    I presume you do, and presume you will.

                    I hope this was very clear and simple so you can understand.

                    1. This doesn’t mean “data = BAD”. Data is generally necessary.

                      But one should have an argument which appeals to something other than the idea that “Terrorism is the same as lightening strikes”.

                      i.e. Terrorism isn’t just a mere statistical phenomenon which no one can do anything about.

                      Of course one can and should bring data to bear. trying to reduce complex phenomena like “terrorsim” to very simple data like “annual casualties”, however, isn’t sufficient by itself.

                      as noted way up in the very beginning, that sort of argument works better when you’re talking about “gun control”, because it really is about simple correlations. “more guns DOES NOT mean more deaths”.

                      Terrorism isn’t at all like that. For reasons articulated above, at great length, and repeatedly overlooked.

          3. the resourses you bring to bear in prevention should be commensurate with the odds of occurrence. This is risk mitigation 101. The degree of risk is based upon both the magnitude of the potential outcome AND the probability of occurrence.

            The fact that you say this at all means you’ve completely ignored the point i made in the first post.

            e.g.

            Even when terror-acts ‘fail’, and kill few, they are generally as effective in their objective as when they kill many. Generating awareness that there are organizations willing to strike and kill innocents at any time is the objective. Mere casualties #s are not the measure of its effect or impact, and its misleading to pretend so.

            The ‘deaths’ or ‘casualties’ are irrelevant. No one cares about the epidemiological data of terrorism because it can not be defended against in any epidemiological way. There is no political argument which ameliorates the reality of the threat – which is effectively ‘random’.

            No one’s talking about “the most rational policy in response to a quantifiable risk”. You’re simply ignoring what was actually said.

            We’re talking about political perceptions — and how terrorism works through influencing those perceptions.

            You seem to think you should be able to win a political debate with a calculator. Its exactly the kind of myopic stupidity i was pointing out.

            1. You seem to think you should be able to win a political debate with a calculator.

              Politics is based upon lies and manipulation. Risk is managed via reality.

              So, to be clear. When determining a course of action that involves your liberty and money, you prefer to listen to the politicians?

              Gilmore step back and think about what you just said.

              1. step back and think about what you just said.

                Consider that your reading comprehension appears to be completely broken.

                Pointing out that an argument is ineffective with the general public has nothing to do with what *I* might believe.

                You’re so dense it appears you can’t actually separate me “pointing out what is a bad political argument” from “what i personally think policy positions should be”

                try again from the beginning, because (as usual) you’re just repeating arguments which have less and less to do with what’s actually being said.

                1. Reality is not a bad argument, EVER, political or otherwise.

                  Taking action based upon politics over reality, which is what you are advocating, is truly ignorant.

                2. But, you’re really, really smart and we all know that about you. And we say that about you all the time. In fact, just the other day I was telling my mom how smart you are and now she wants to sleep with you.

                  Perhaps, your positions would be more understandable if you worried a little less about impressing everyone and actually communicated your positions.

                  1. if you have a problem, hit the mute button frank. i’m not interested in doing the same thing with you forever. Don’t expect me to stop pointing out when you’re being ridiculously dull-witted.

                    1. Hey, G…

                      Fuck off and die in a fire, you pretentious cunt.

      3. Franky! The voice of reason thank you. And thanks for not reluctantly droning me again today (dare I speak too soon?). You are obviously very thoughtful and considerate. I won’t have fear today because I know that Franky’s twitchy finger will falter not once but twice in view of ‘subsumed collaterality’.

          1. Oh Franky now remember you are obligated to protect even the trolls who don’t appreciate the existential threat of the terrists you create in the middle east.

        1. “And thanks for not reluctantly droning me again today”

          You seem to have gotten your sock puppets mixed up again.

      4. There’s a vast middle ground between being terrified and having your head in the sand.

        Is it OK to be “concerned”? Is it OK to feel that while we shouldn’t shit our pants and overreact to mass shootings and terrorist attacks, we also shouldn’t actively engage in practices that will increase your 1 in 20 million odds?

        I don’t want a police state. I also don’t want to import unvettable(?), unemployable people with 10th century mentalities.

        1. You would think that wouldn’t you Randian?

          1. Just as a heads up, you may be confusing my handle with someone else’s, as I think there used to be a “Randian” handle here, but that’s not me.

            1. I know you are not him. Just being lazy.

      5. “And doing so is not rational. ”

        Sure it is.

    1. What the movie industry really needs is another re-make.

      1. Lets guess how Hollywood will destroy that movie once it gets its filthy paws on it. My guess is that after the murder of his black wife, Willis will take revenge on a band of racist, white Supremacists who are roaming the city murdering black people with the sanction of the evil Republican mayor.

        1. Who takes Alan Rickman’s role? I vote for Jeremy Irons.

          1. Irons is too old to play Blofeld in the wheelchair.

            It would more likely be Cumberbatch.

        2. While it’s way worse now, even the 80’s had some pretty funny PC things in the Death Wish type movies, like how every gang in NY was interracial. And the ultimate villain was usually some sinister rich white guy with a vaguely European accent.

      2. Those bastards better not remake the classics, such as Aces: Iron Eagle III.

    2. I can’t wait for the Dr. Strangelove remake.

      1. You are a sick man Crusty.

      2. Starring Seth Rogen and the other fat guy with a ‘fro!

      3. As long as they remake it with all women and minorities

        1. Aka a preview of the Hillary administration

  14. At some point Reason will understand that “hey what your chances?” really isn’t a very convincing response to terrorist attacks.

  15. http://www.washingtonexaminer……le/2597498

    The DNC email hack continues to get more entertaining. A Clinton aide now claims that Russia hacked the DNC in order to help Trump. That is probably true. Unless you can show that Trump was in on it, I am not sure how claiming “the Russians hacked our email and are now releasing the evidence of our misconduct in order to help our opponent” really helps your cause very much.

    1. It’s such inside baseball that I think it will hardly make a blip on the public consciousness. Too bad, but still true.

      1. It seems to be making a very big blip with Bernie supporters. Finding out that yes the party really did fix the primaries against your guy is kind of a big deal. So is the lose talk about Bernie being an atheist Jew. You have to understand the history Democrats have with that and the absolute religious conviction they have that they are better because that is the kind of thing Republicans do.

        It is not “inside baseball”. It is a big deal to a lot of Democratic voters.

        1. It seems to be making a very big blip with Bernie supporters.

          Yes, like that’s going to suddenly flip them to Trump or Johnson. They are so pants-shittingly scared of Trump that Hillary really could strangle a puppy and they’d still pull the lever for her.

          Sadly, “none of the above” isn’t an option, otherwise this actually COULD be an issue for her.

          1. It will flip them to Stein or get them to stay home, which is effectively the same thing as voting Johnson or Trump. Hillary can’t win unless they turn out and vote for her.

        2. You’re overestimating the morality of progs. Unless you can give me one example, ever, of Hillary or Bill suffering any repercussions for their actions/crimes.

          1. Bill didn’t get his VP elected President in 2000 primarily because Progs stayed home or voted for Nader.

            1. Gore lost because he was a douchebag.

              “Sigh”

              1. Douchebag or no, had Progs showed up and voted for him, he would have been President. The facts are what they are.

    2. Russia hacked the DNC in order to help Trump

      Oh, so they’re admitting that the DNC *did* scheme against Bernie Sanders, collude with media, etc., but they’re angry that someone stole their emails saying so? “no fair!”

      I’m not sure the defense against “the president was seen through the window ass-fucking a 8yr old boy” is “PEEPING TOMS ARE DISGRACEFUL NOT TO MENTION ILLEGAL”

      1. Pointing out the accuser’s deficiencies is, however a common, effective tactic when doubags get caught douchebagging it up.

        1. True. But will the Bernie supporters incensed over this suddenly stop being so because someone says “but this is just a plot to help Trump”? Maybe but I am not sure why.

          1. And it’s not like the Berntards have a deep dislike of Soviets, err, Russians, either.

      2. “I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling Russians!”

    3. It was not merely a Clinton aide who said that, it was her aptly-named campaign manager Robby Mook.

      According to wikileaks, the emails were hacked by Guccifer, who is Romanian and despises the Russian govt. Yeah, they could be conspiring together for some unknown reason, but this conspiracy would have to be so delicate, pointless, and convoluted that it would make Alex Jones blush.

      Now the DNC is “quarantining” DWS from the convention to prevent disturbances; the convention chair will now be Marcia Fudge. Gotta love these names.

      1. I would think if the Russians were smart enough to hack the DNC, they would be smart enough to cover their tracks when the emails are leaked. Also, who is to say wikileaks is telling the truth?

        I am not saying for sure the Russians did it. But I think it is at least possible and regardless I don’t see how it matters. I just think it is funny how desperate these people are.

        1. You’re right that it doesn’t really matter.

          When the advancing German armies discovered the mass graves from Stalin’s various pre-war massacres, FDR’s government and press dismissed the evidence because it came from those horrible Nazis. Considering the source is a long-standing Democrat tradition.

      2. Robby Mook
        Marcia Fudge

        And people say Ayn Rand was over the top in her caricatures!

      3. It’s always Marcia. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!

    4. The email server that we deliberately set up on our own outside the larger protective envelope set up around the State Department’s IT assets so we could control what was released was hacked because our own security was shitty.

      THE HACK WAS DONE BY THE RUSSIANS TO HELP DONALD TRUMP!!! DON’T READ THE FIRST PART!!!!

  16. At some point Reason pundits will understand that issuing fatwahs against your fellow commenters is not really an effective response to terrorist attacks. Nor is standing back in silence while others do it.

    1. What? Please tell me you’re not upset that the old delenda est joke got dug out.

      1. “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, ‘I am only joking!'”

        You people have turned into the monsters you claim to be fighting. Which by the way proves my original point.

        1. Holy shit. You’re just pretending to be an easily offended idiot, right? This is absurd.

          1. Holy shit. You’re just pretending to be a warmongering zombie, right? This is absurd.

          2. WARTY DELENDA EST!

            1. RATIONE COMMENTATORS DELENDA EST APUD WOODCHIPPER!

            2. Dulce et decorum est pro hittus et runnus mori.

              1. You plagiarized that from Wilfred Owen’s 2008 DNC speech.

        2. People say mean things to me when I act like a self-righteous asshole!

          WAH!!!!!

          1. People threaten to kill me when I point out that they are killing people. Meanwhile others pile on, doubling down on the threat while calling it a ‘joke’. And meanwhile others, stand back and say nothing – which is really how the great atrocities in history have occurred. So thanks at least for demonstrating that. Will be useful for future historians in trying to explain ‘how it happened, again’.

            1. Ah yes, throwing out tribalistic group accusations like ‘they’. I wonder why you’re not well liked.

              Shockingly dajjal, no one will defend you because you constantly act like a childish idiot who demands other people defend you. If you think anyone here would actively waste their time attempting to have you killed then you have a very grandiose sense of your worth.

              The only thing that future historians could possibly get from that is that you’re a thin-skinned cowardly little twerp.

              1. You don’t have the right to kill people just because you don’t like them. You don’t have the right to threaten to kill people because you don’t like them. You don’t have the right to double down on those threats because it’s ‘childish’ for the victim to complain about people threatening to kill him. Everyone is a potential victim of Trump’s and Hannity’s fantasized frenzy of self-destruction. I do not feel special in that regard.

                1. Again, if you think that anyone here is actually threatening to kill you, you’re a thin-skinned moron with massive insecurities. Self-righteous sophists tend to be justifiably hated on internet forums.

                  1. Again, if you think that defending fatwahs by your fellow commenters who are issuing fatwahs against people for allegedly issuing fatwahs against you, then you are a warmongering zombie. You don’t have to like me. However you shall not defend fatwahs against me.

                    1. Right, thin-skinned moron it is. Get back to me when /pol/ causes the Second Holocaust.

                    2. I find this quite entertaining in an otherwise relatively boring thread.

                      Please do continue dajjal.

      2. Especially when I was making responding in part to a comment calling for war.

        (I have to admit that I find dajjal a bit tediously monomaniacal in the same that say, Addiction Myth is or Eddie can be when it comes to Catholicism. In that sense I suppose the joke works on multiple levels.)

        1. I thought dajjal was addictionmyth’s new handle.

          Also, the delenda est joke goes way back on here. I seem to remember making it back in 2008ish.

          1. That AddictionMyth blog is crazy as shit. Mary levels of crazy.

    2. Reason pundits a) do not issue fatwas and b) do not comment so you are not one of their ‘fellow commenters’.

      A ‘fellow commenter’ got tired of your boring crap and made a joke and now you’re running around *here* screaming about how violent we all are. Except *here* we. Don’t. Care.

      It would make sense if you took that somewhere else as some sort of ‘evidence’ to how we’re all NAP violating hypocrites or something. Complaining because someone suggested that the world’s utility would be maximized if you were no longer in it is not a threat, only an incredibly obscure joke.

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  18. It’s just a re-play of 80’s drug addiction scourge epidemic propaganda. They need to make everyone panic so that we’ll agree to a raft of oppressive measures that will destroy large swaths of the population. How’d the drug war work out for you? It’s the same damn thing. They issue fatwahs against the terrists because “The terrists issue fatwahs against us!” It’s just another witch hunt. If you actually look at the individual cases you discover that in fact the cause was not “ISIS” but Saudi Arabia or Russia or Assad (in the middle east) and in Germany it is ‘de-radicalization’ programs and ‘Unemployment districts’. And in the US it is teaching kids tactical snipery and then acting all surprised when they demonstrate it for us.

    1. Some problems solve themselves. Drug use solves itself because drug addicts mostly harm themselves and most people don’t want to be drug addicts. Problems like genocidal ideologies don’t solve themselves or at least don’t until a lot of people have died.

      1. The only ‘genocidal ideology’ here is yours.

        1. So the people running ISIS are not genocidal? The guys who did that in Munich yesterday are not genocidal?

          1. You make them genocidal with your daily drone runs. It’s no wonder they want to kill you. You need to stop bombing them. And you need to stop making up reasons for why you must bomb them. You don’t have to let them in your country but you must stop killing them. And the guy in Munich was the product of Europe’s failed and doomed assimilation programs. Anyway ISIS is a bunch of thugs and petty criminals. They are no real threat to you. They are a boogeyman which you use to agitate the masses. And the masses want to be agitated because peace is boring and people are scared of the future mostly due to fear of being obviated by technology. So they want to revert to the good old days of violence and war. That’s the ‘genocidal ideology’ which I will fight, so hey, feel free to keep spouting it if it makes you feel better and even if it proves all my points:

            1. So some guy who grew up in Florida to a well off family was “driven to be genocidal” by US drone runs. Okay. So will US homosexuals now be driven to be genocidal because of Muslim mass murders in gay clubs? If not, why not? Maybe one isn’t enough but there were three or four would gays be justified in engaging in mass murder of Muslims? Would you blame the Muslims if they did?

              I doubt it. Take your excuses and bullshit elsewhere.

              1. Jesus said, “Turn the other cheek.” That’s what the gays are doing. They understand human nature. Trump said he will protect them from the “violence and depression of Islamic theology”. What the heck do you think he meant by that? They are disgusted with him. They don’t need you guys for protection. More like extortion.

            2. Islam was a violent, aggressive religion long before drones, and long before the USA even existed. Islamic terror is more than ISIS.

              1. You are a radical bombisist. Your doctrine is more dangerous than can be dreampt of in the Islamic theosophies.

              2. Christianity was a violent, aggressive religion long before Islam, and long before Mohammed even existed.

                1. Christianity – Spread primarily in its first two hundred years via exploiting pre-existing Roman institutions, primarily road and transportation systems and through promising rewards to the lowest levels of Roman society (slaves, plebs, etc.) while also converting wealthier intellectuals, allowing a greater dissemination of work. Spent its early years as a persecuted religion in a larger empire, eventually managed to get into the Roman bureaucratic system and encouraged conversion by mandating Christianity for official offices.

                  Islam – Spread primarily in its first two hundred years via exploiting the weakness of the Byzantines and Sassinids following decades of war, engaging in a massive campaign of conquest after subjugating the Arabian pennisula. Being the basis of the political system as well as the religious, never experienced being a religious minority in a larger empire.

                  Yep, exactly the same development cycle there.

                  1. You gave “aftertouch” (Tulpa?) a better refutation than he deserved.

    2. Nobody’s teaching kids ‘tactical snipery’ and kids aren’t demonstrating it for us.

      Some dude opening fire on cops with a rifle is not ‘snipery’ tactical or otherwise.

  19. Steven Pinker in his book The Better Angels of Our Nature, that humans are, broadly speaking, less likely to die violent deaths than ever before in recorded history

    Without a convincing explanation of why that is the case and why it will continue to be the case, who cares? Past performance is an indication of future performance right up until it isn’t. Reason doesn’t seem to have a position here other than “things are good now and therefore will never be bad again”. I hope so, but I see no reason for that to be true.

    Is it reason’s position that man’s nature has somehow changed in the last 50 years? It would seem that it has to be. Otherwise, why would man be getting more peaceful and less violent after never doing so in the past?

    This entire argument rests on the leftist assumptions that mans nature can no only be changed but also is determined by his level of material and political comfort. if reason actually believes that man’s nature can be perfected and made less violent by material comfort and social stability, they should consider leaving classical liberalism and becoming Marxists.

    1. To paraphrase: “If violence did not exist, I would stay up all night thinking up lots of reasons to justify it.” Get some rest.

      1. So in other words, you have no response to what I am saying but don’t like it. Thanks for telling everyone I have won the argument.

    2. You do bring up good points, but I think what Reason is simply trying to bring out is the facts that the world currently is less violent statistically speaking then it was in the past. However I do believe that the west cannot ignore Islamofascism, it is a long war that never stopped and political Islam is simply incompatible with western philosophy, in that sense I do think prudent steps should be taken in immigration.

      1. More like Reason is defending the left by attacking the weakest criticism of it while ignoring the stronger ones.

    3. Violence in Euope declined every year from 1918 to 1938. Explains why 1939 onward was a peaceful love fest.

    4. “Otherwise, why would man be getting more peaceful and less violent after never doing so in the past?”

      John, you need to read Pinker’s book. In short, culture of disapproval of violence is restraining human nature slowly. Civilization has improved man’ conditions to where there are fewer things to fight about and designated agents to fight back against transgressions.

      1. Civilization has improved some people’s conditions to where there are fewer things to fight about and designated agents to fight back against transgressions.

        This can be generally correct, and you can still be 100% wrong about the argument re: terrorism.

        The entire point about islamic fundamentalism is that they’re exactly the people who the “civilization” you laud has failed to reach.

        90% of the ‘western, secular, liberal-democratic’ world can become more and more harmonious; but it means little when that same world is increasingly intertwined with a 10% which rejects every aspect of it.

        It also ignores that the ‘western, secular, liberal-democratic’ world is engaged in a conflict with an entirely different civilization which is not planning to similarly “evolve” anytime soon.

        1. My response was to John’s wondering how violence in general could be declining while human nature hasn’t changed. Terrorism is a different issue. If anything it shows that human nature is the same where civilization is more primitive. Sorry to be judgmental, but isn’t judgment just applied morality and reason?

    5. Because people are only as good as the world allows them to be. We’re not angels, we’re just ahead of the curve.

      And, today, the world allows them to be pretty fucking good. We are rich (bitch!) and the opportunities to increase wealth through trade of surplus means the incentives to simply band together and *take* what someone else has are reduced.

  20. SWIM may have been radicalized to jihad by an online video. What should I do?

  21. “If you had to choose a moment in history to be born, and you didn’t know ahead of time who you were going to be, you’d choose now,” President Obama remarked in a speech last week, “because the world has never been less violent, healthier, better educated, more tolerant, with more opportunity for more people, and more connected than it is today.”

    I suppose in a global sense that is true, because so many countries have only recently emerged from poverty and misery (thanks to the capitalism that Obama and company despise). But that’s only because things have sucked so terribly for so much of the world in the past.

    But if we restrict it to being born in the US, or the developed world in general? Fuck no. The late 70s were the time to be born so that you could grow up in the era of ballooning political and economic freedom in the mid-late 90s and come of age in the early 2000s. I really feel sorry for the kids who are coming of age now… all they’re going to know is increasing statist misery.

    1. I agree with you. Reason seems to be of the opinion that access to technology and readily available porn is the entire measure of one’s quality of life. I wouldn’t want to be young just getting out of college into this job market. But hey, you can use your Iphone to call an uber and that totally makes up for having a shitty job and having to waste 4 years and tens of thousands of dollars in college to obtain it.

      1. If you have the right skills and the right attitude, the job market is not that bad. Problem is our current educational system seems designed to discourage both.

        1. I’m currently charged with hiring US Citizens for a STEM field, and if you are looking for an entry level person with a good work ethic, willingness to adapt to job requirements, able to work in a team, the cupboard is fucking bare. The kids coming out of college who purportedly have the skills all want to work in the stereotypical fantasy Silicon Valley T-shirt and jeans environment and be able to text and watch You Tube while they work.

          1. I can imagine the nightmare it is to hire a good graduate. Personal responsibility has gone down the shittube in the last few decades and today’s kids just don’t possess those work ethics. It’s like each generation gets softer, both literally and figuratively, actually males today have less testosterone then males of a hundred years ago, each generation males are literally less male.

    2. You bring out some great points there, I do agree a lot of what happened is the rest of the world got better but here in America it got worse.

      1. And when America (and the developed world) gets worse, that brings down the ceiling for everybody else. Every one of those countries lifted people out of poverty by directly or indirectly serving American (and developed world) consumption.

        The only self-sustaining systems of economic and political liberty, based on a strong set of institutions independent of the state, were those of England and the United States. When other countries that had mimicked our systems went off track, we jumped back in and kicked them in the tail. England’s liberty system is basically gone, the US is eroding more and more quickly. Once those are gone there’s no reservoir for the rest of the world to draw from.

    3. I think you’re way off base about the ’70’s, man.

      Burgeoning drug war to start with. All this shit with the cops today – they were doing the same shit back then. Just no cameras to show how prevalent it was. You don’t think Chicago’s Guantanamo is *new*, do you?

      http://socialistworker.org/201…..in-chicago (please forgive the ‘socialist worker’ link).

  22. Hannity was always the rigid uber conservative, no surprise there. It is amazing though how prominent conservatives like Hannity who presumably possess a well educated knowledge of the history and rise of authoritarian politicians would support an obvious authoritarian like Trump, but then again it lays bare the big government tendencies of right wing conservative hypocrites such as Hannity.

  23. It’s not really terrorism. They’re trying to trick the FBI into turning off the power so they can get into the safe in the basement.

      1. The quarterback is toast!

  24. This morning, RCP avg.

    Trump vs Hillary – Hillary +1.9

    Hillary’s polling numbers are still in free fall.

    1. I’ve been saying for some time that Donald Trump is the artistically correct choice for president. If you were writing a screenplay about this, would you ever have your Trump character lose the election? Of course not.

      1. Of course you wouldn’t. Whatever you think of Trump, the problem is that Washington and the people in it so desperately deserve him becoming President. It has created a situation where cosmic justice demands he be inflicted upon Washington and by extension the rest of the country.

        1. “cosmic justice demands he be inflicted upon Washington and by extension the rest of the country.”

          John, that’s beautiful.

      2. If you were writing a screenplay about this, would you ever have your Trump character lose the election? Of course not.

        So you’re saying “Life is a re-make of The Dead Zone“?

        1. Yes, essentially.

      3. The question though is which one is ‘The Smiler’? I’m leaning Clinton but . . .

      4. So who’s going to end up on the Iron Throne? No way it can be Danerys or Jon Snow — way too obvious.

  25. I don’t often find myself supporting President Obama’s assertions, but in this case I do. The world is less violent than 75-years ago or 100-years ago. That’s not to say that the world is less dangerous, but definitely less violent. How do I reconcile that?
    Well, technology has made violence less rewarding than it seemed a century ago. Then the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs and all of that changed immediately. A few nations had such weapons and then many more, but the costs of being violent against those who possessed such weapons was far more than the potential gain from that violence. More dangerous weapons have lead to a less violent world.

    Now, where I disagree with President Obama is his belief that if we only got rid of nuclear weapons, we would have a less dangerous AND less violent world. My belief is that we would have a less dangerous and MORE violent world… reverting back to pre-nuclear weapon days.

    On an individual level, people argue that guns make this a more dangerous society. But statistics have shown that murders have decreased during a period of increased gun ownership. Perhaps it is because guns make society potentially more dangerous, but like nuclear weapons, less violent. Sometimes instilling a little fear is not always a bad thing. Fear can lead to better behavior in those who otherwise would be inclined toward violence.

    1. You are right about that Bruce. Obama is engaging in the same sort of idiocy that he does when he claims society would be less violent and safer if we eliminated private ownership of guns.

  26. What is also disturbing about Hannity is that he simply dismisses the argument and never offers facts or statistics to back up what he says. It’s basically “Hey…can you believe dis guy, dis fuckin guy. Look what dis fuckin guy just said, can you believe it? What a tool!”

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  28. You can’t seriously believe we’re safer now than in the past.

    Car accidents, mass shootings and bear attacks are anomalies. ISIS is a dedicated terrorist pseudo nation state that reaches behind visible walls. The “odds” of me getting mugged and getting blown up by lone wolf ISIS agent might be the same, but I fear the latter the more, because his objective is sheer destruction. If ISIS blows up a building in LA and kill 300 people, which might be less than the total deaths due to childhood hunger in a single day. But who would make that kind of comparison?

    To my knowledge, eco terrorists and random European separatists were limited to regional conflicts. ISIS recruits middle class Americans who literally nothing to do with the Iraq war. Was anyone in Idaho afraid of the IRA at its height?

    South Korea was a police state not that long ago. There were two military coups and the police shot student protesters liberally. The country has since stabilized, but many of its citizens could still consider their nation “violent” thanks to its lax criminal justice system, negligent regulation and sporadic fits of violence caused by stress and social pressure.

    Of course perspective is important. But there’s difference between giving into irrational fear and choosing to willfully ignore visible threats. The declining rate of murder and rape in the world (which wasn’t that high in many places to begin with) doesn’t change the fact that a quarter of the world is in upheaval.

    1. Unless you understand statistics.

  29. So the real issues in this presidential election should be about how to make our roads and hospitals safer, not how to stop terrorism.

  30. so sit back and let them fuck us over is that what you are saying. that is what would happen if we don’t respond to terrorism they will just keep coming. Some of us are not willing to stand around while others are killed because you think there is not enough terrorism to respond to.

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