Wednesday, January 18, 2006

American Wisdom

In Dr Steven Levitt's latest bestseller "Freakonomics", he mentions the very poor risk assessment people do. Specifically, friends, compare the danger between being killed in an automobile accident or dying in a terrorist attack. Now, guess which problem gets more tax dollars?

Making the point even better is with this post.

Quoth the maven (actually, the maveness)who is entitled to have an opinion:

Conservatives who want to berate me for not appreciating the threat of terrorism, let me take a little, er, pre-emptive action here. Unless you have lost the ten or so people that I bid farewell when the towers collapsed, including my first boyfriend, have watched the smoke rising off the ruins from the roof of your childhood home, have tried frantically to find out if your current boyfriend had been taking training down at the WTC that day, and have numbly tried to convince yourself that the buildings you knew so well were really and truly and forever gone as you turned up for another weary day of work at Ground Zero . . . unless you have done all those things, then please do not lecture me on terrorism. I get it.

Amen, sister. I spent 9/11/01 trying to contact friends who work for DOD. Within a week I'd found that, although I'd dealt with many of the people who died in the Navy Command Center, the victims i knew well enough to say 'hi' to were aboard American 77. I.e., I get it too.

So let me join with Sister Jane. What makes us Americans is our insistence that the government can't do certain forbidden things. Assertions, a la France, that the government won't don't cut it.

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