Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019 April 2019 May 2019 June 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Monday, February 16, 2015

The everyday terror we all live with

by digby

I realize that terrorism is scary and I certainly hope that the US doesn't suffer any more attacks from Islamic extremists any time soon.

But this is the kind of thing that really scares the hell out of me and it's all too common in America:
After giving her 15-year-old daughter a driving lesson in the parking lot of a Las Vegas middle school last Thursday night, Tammy Meyers nearly hit another car on their drive home. That car apparently followed them home, police say, where one passenger opened fire, hitting Meyers in the head. Meyers, 44, died at University Medical Center Saturday after her family took her off life support.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, after avoiding the wreck with the other vehicle, Meyers pulled over, and got into an argument with the three people reportedly in the second car; one apparently threatened her.

The car allegedly followed the Meyers' home, and after the mother and daughter pulled in front of their house, opened fire. Tammy's husband, Robert, told the Associated Press that after hearing gunshots, the couple's adult son ran out of the house with a handgun, firing several shots. ABC News reports the daughter had run inside before the shooting started.

We live in a shooting gallery in this country. The bullet of a random armed asshole angry about a fender bender is far more likely to kill us than a terrorist:

A few more statistics:

In the combined US and European Union statistics for 2010, percentage of terrorist attacks that occurred in the US: .008

Among 23 developed OECD countries, percent of all firearm deaths that occurred in the U.S. in 2003: 80

Number of 249 terrorist attacks in 2010 in European Union carried out by Muslim extremists: 3

Number of whites killed by other whites, primarily by firearms, in US, 2000-2009: 46,171

There is no apparent path in this country to curb the kind of random violence that occurs every day among our own people for the most mundane of reasons, even when people are mowed down in movie theatres and armed lunatics shoot 1st graders by the dozens.

And yet I hear ridiculous crapola like this all day long on cable news networks, the worst of which on Fox and CNN are basically running snuff porn as often as possible and pimping the most hysterical ideas possible. Yesterday terrorism expert Bob baer said on CNN that ISIS was "the worst pandemic of violence ever" and that it was inevitable that American lone wolves inspired by ISIS would attack us here: "I can see them coming."

Apparently if you are killed by a lone wolf ISIS misfit the death is worse than if you are killed by a miscreant with a gun who gets upset over a fender bender or a parking place. I don't know why that should be, especially since the latter is far more likely than the former.

I certainly understand why the Europeans are freaking out. They aren't used to random gun violence. And needless to say, the fact that Jews are being specifically targeted is extremely horrifying. Terrorism carries a special brand of fear due to its political motivation.

But the "lone wolf" threat in the US? Considering the threat we live with from our fellow "lone wolf" citizens every day, even from political violence, it ridiculously hysterical. Nobody bats an eye at abortion clinics being targeted for years on end. A couple of right wing lunatics gunned down police officers in Las Vegas with a political beef a few months back and we didn't launch a national crusade against it. We can't even sustain any alarm at kids shooting up kids in schools for longer than a couple of days. We hardly even report it anymore it's so old hat. If there's one nation on earth that knows how to keep calm and carry on in the face of random armed misfits gunning down strangers it's us.

Update: Paul Waldman has a good piece up at the Plumline about the return of the GWOT:

To date, ISIS has killed four Americans, a horrible tragedy for those people and their families. But since the idea of the group’s threat to America is at this point entirely hypothetical, we should be as specific as we can when we talk about that threat. Do we think they’re going to try to hijack planes or send agents here to set off bombs? And if so, what do we need to do to counter those threats that we aren’t already doing? If we’re going to expand our military involvement in the Middle East, is there a way to do it that won’t create more problems than it solves?

Those are simple, obvious questions, but so often they’re overwhelmed by people waving their arms and shouting “We’re all gonna die!” In the days and years after September 11, Republicans repeated that al Qaeda was an “existential threat,” a notion that was utterly insane yet seldom examined. And we certainly acted as though the very existence of the United States of America was indeed in question. Congress gave the federal government a slate of new powers to spy on its citizens. We created a surveillance apparatus of gargantuan size and scope. We deployed a network of secret prisons as sites for a program of torture. And we all got used to the idea that the War on Terror is forever.

From what I gather from the comments of various law enforcement officials and terrorism experts, the threat that concerns them is the Lone Wolf scenario. I'm sure it's very scary. But again, what makes it so much scarier than Adam Lanza or James Holmes or Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold? I don't think anyone wants those kinds of killings but we haven't decided to turn ourselves into a full-blown police state to stop them. In fact, we have pretty much done nothing to stop them, even the smallest common sense measures like trying to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill kids. So all this handwringing over Muslim lone wolves seems just a bit over the top.

But it is very convenient and lucrative for certain politicians, news networks and military contractors, so there's that ...