Odds of Terrorism

I received this link today and wanted to pass it along.  Again, do your homework on such things.

After 9/11, the fear of another attack on U.S. soil cleanly supplanted the fear of having one`s penis chopped off by a vengeful lover in the pantheon of irrational American fears.

While we’re constantly being told that another attack is imminent and that radical Islamic fundamentalists are two steps away from establishing a caliphate in Branson, Missouri, just how close are they? How do the odds of dying in a terrorist attack stack up against the odds of dying in other unfortunate situations?

The following ratios were compiled using data from 2004 National Safety Council Estimates, a report based on data from The National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, 2003 mortality data from the Center for Disease Control was used.

  • You are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack
  • You are 12,571 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack
  • You are 11,000 times more likely to die in an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane
  • You are 1,048 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack
  • You are 404 times more likely to die in a fall than from a terrorist attack
  • You are 87 times more likely to drown than die in a terrorist attack
  • You are 13 times more likely to die in a railway accident than from a terrorist attack
  • You are 12 times more likely to die from accidental suffocation in bed than from a terrorist attack
  • You are 9 times more likely to choke to death on your own vomit than die in a terrorist attack
  • You are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist―great.
  • You are 8 times more likely to die from accidental electrocution than from a terrorist attack
  • You are 6 times more likely to die from hot weather than from a terrorist attack

I really hope this is not true.

Aside from the fact that there has never been a single arrest by our ridiculous Transportation Safety Administration, or a single thwarted terrorist plot aided by their illegitimate searches, our irrational fears of terrorism is allowing power-hungry forces to erode our true safety, collective dignity and common sense.

America―in any guise: capitalist, socialist, communist―does  not deserve to inherit the future if it continues to behave like superstitious savages afraid of a single tongue of flame.

It is so difficult to reverse this level of incompetence only because it has risen not immediately, but steadily over  the decades, aided by idiots, the blind, dreamers, and the foremen and wardens of air castles.

Pitiful.

Guillotines in America

I simply have to believe this is an elaborate prank.

Georgia House of Representatives – 1995/1996 Sessions
HB 1274 – Death penalty; guillotine provisions

Code Sections – 17-10-38/ 17-10-44

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT

  1- 1  To amend Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 17 of the Official
1- 2  Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the
death penalty
1- 3  generally, so as to provide a statement of legislative
1- 4  policy; to provide for
death by guillotine; to provide for
1- 5  applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other
1- 6  purposes. 

    SECTION 1. 

  1- 8  The General Assembly finds that while prisoners condemned to
1- 9  death may wish to donate one or more of their
organs for
1-10  
transplant, any such desire is thwarted by the fact that
1-11  
electrocution makes all such organs unsuitable for
1-12  
transplant. The intent of the General Assembly in enacting
1-13  this legislation is to provide for a method of execution
1-14  which is compatible with the
donation of organs by a
1-15  condemned prisoner.

20 Signs of U.S. Decline

An anonymous person emailed this link today.  I am trying to confirm the numbers in this list, but if they are true, or even close to being true, they should send a shudder down your spine.

As with anyone else’s numbers, always double-check them yourself and take nothing at face value.

Allegedly:

  1. The U.S. trade deficit with the rest of the world rose to 497.8 billion dollars in 2010. That represented a 32.8% increase from 2009.
  2. The U.S. trade deficit with China rose to an all-time record of 273.1 billion dollars in 2010. This is the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.
  3. The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.
  4. In the years since 1975, the United States had run a total trade deficit of 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the world.
  5. The United States spends more than 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.
  6. In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of all U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented only 11.5 percent and it continues to fall.
  7. The number of net jobs gained by the U.S. economy during this past decade was smaller than during any other decade since World War 2.
  8. The Bureau of Labor Statistics originally predicted that the U.S. economy would create approximately 22 million jobs during the decade of the 2000s, but it turns out that the U.S. economy only produced about 7 million jobs during that time period.
  9. Japan now manufactures about 5 million more automobiles than the United States does.
  10. China has now become the world’s largest exporter of high technology products.
  11. Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
  12. The United States now has 10 percent fewer “middle class jobs” than it did just ten years ago.
  13. According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time period, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.
  14. Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.
  15. Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Ten years later, the United States had less than 15 percent and China’s share had soared to 20 percent.
  16. The number of Americans that have become so discouraged that they have given up searching for work completely now stands at an all-time high.
  17. Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.
  18. The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
  19. Since 2001, over 42,000 U.S. factories have closed down for good.
  20. In 2008, 1.2 billion cellphones were sold worldwide. So how many of them were manufactured inside the United States? Zero.

Ouch.

If we do not reverse our current course, we will mutate into another failed, third-world socialist ruin.

The Order of the World

Wilt þu, fus hæle, fremdne monnan,
wisne woðboran wordum gretan,
fricgan felageongne ymb forðgesceaft,
biddan þe gesecge sidra gesceafta

cræftas cyndelice cwichrerende,
þa þe dogra gehwam þurh dom godes
bringe wundra fela wera cneorissum!
Is þara anra gehwam orgeate tacen,
þam þurh wisdom woruld ealle con

behabban on hreþre, hycgende mon,
þæt geara iu, gliwes cræfte,
mid gieddingum guman oft wrecan,
rincas rædfæste; cuþon ryht sprecan,
þæt a fricgende fira cynnes

ond secgende searoruna gespon
a gemyndge mæst monna wiston.
Forþon scyle ascian, se þe on elne leofað,
deophydig mon, dygelra gesceafta,
bewritan in gewitte wordhordes cræft,

fæstnian ferðsefan, þencan forð teala;
ne sceal þæs aþreotan þegn modigne,
þæt he wislice woruld fulgonge.
Leorna þas lare. Ic þe lungre sceal
meotudes mægensped maran gesecgan,

þonne þu hygecræftig in hreþre mæge
mode gegripan. Is sin meaht forswiþ.
Nis þæt monnes gemet moldhrerendra,
þæt he mæge in hreþre his heah geweorc
furþor aspyrgan      þonne him frea sylle

to ongietanne godes agen bibod;
ac we sculon þoncian þeodne mærum
awa to ealdre, þæs þe us se eca cyning
on gæste wlite forgiefan wille
þæt we eaðe magon upcund rice

forð gestigan, gif us on ferðe geneah
ond we willað healdan heofoncyninges bibod.
Gehyr nu þis herespel ond þinne hyge gefæstna.
Hwæt, on frymþe gescop fæder ælmihtig,
heah hordes weard, heofon ond eorðan,

sæs sidne grund, sweotule gesceafte,
þa nu in þam þream þurh þeodnes hond
heaþ ond hebbaþ þone halgan blæd.
Forþon eal swa teofanade, se þe teala cuþe,
æghwylc wiþ oþrum; sceoldon eal beran

stiþe stefnbyrd, swa him se steora bibead
missenlice gemetu þurh þa miclan gecynd.
Swa hi to worulde wlite forþ berað
dryhtnes duguþe ond his dæda þrym,
lixende lof in þa longan tid,

fremmaþ fæstlice frean ece word
in þam frumstole þe him frea sette,
hluttor heofones weard, healdað georne
mere gemære; meaht forð tihð
heofoncondelle ond holmas mid,

laþað ond lædeþ lifes agend
in his anes fæþm ealle gesceafta.
Swa him wideferh wuldor stondeþ,
ealra demena þam gedefestan,
þe us þis lif gescop, ond þis leohte beorht

cymeð morgna gehwam ofer misthleoþu
wadan ofer wægas wundrum gegierwed,
ond mid ærdæge eastan snoweð
wlitig ond wynsum wera cneorissum;
lifgendra gehwam leoht forð biereð

bronda beorhtost, ond his brucan mot
æghwylc on eorþan, þe him eagna gesihð
sigora soðcyning syllan wolde.
Gewiteð þonne mid þy wuldre on westrodor
forðmære tungol faran on heape,

oþþæt on æfenne ut garsecges
grundas pæþeð, glom oþer cigð;
niht æfter cymeð, healdeð nydbibod
halgan dryhtnes. Heofontorht swegl
scir gescyndeð in gesceaft godes

under foldan fæþm, farende tungol.
Forþon nænig fira þæs frod leofað
þæt his mæge æspringe þurh his ægne sped witan,
hu geond grund færeð goldtorht sunne
in þæt wonne genip under wætra geþring,

oþþe hwa þes leohtes londbuende
brucan mote, siþþan heo ofer brim hweorfeð.
Forþon swa teofenede, se þe teala cuþe,
dæg wiþ nihte, deop wið hean,
lyft wið lagustream, lond wiþ wæge,

flod wið flode, fisc wið yþum.
Ne waciað þas geweorc, ac he hi wel healdeð;
stondað stiðlice bestryþed fæste
miclum meahtlocum in þam mægenþrymme
mid þam sy ahefed heofon ond eorþe.

Beoð þonne eadge þa þær in wuniað,
hyhtlic is þæt heorðwerud. þæt is herga mæst,
eadigra unrim, engla þreatas.
Hy geseoð symle hyra sylfra cyning,
eagum on wlitað, habbað æghwæs genoh.

Nis him wihte won, þam þe wuldres cyning
geseoþ in swegle; him is symbel ond dream
ece unhwylen eadgum to frofre.
Forþon scyle mon gehycgan þæt he meotude hyre;
æghwylc ælda bearna forlæte idle lustas,

læne lifes wynne, fundige him to lissa blisse,
forlæte heteniþa gehwone sigan
mid synna fyrnum, fere him to þam sellan rice.

Sunshine Theme

Every once in a long while a piece of music surfaces from the imagination of a musician which seems to slip into our aural world from someplace beautiful and beyond.

The theme from Sunshine (Adagio in D Minor) by John Murphy is such a piece of music.

I hope to die some distant day surrounded by my wife and children, and my children’s children with music like this in my ears.

It is the perfect soundtrack to farewells, endearments and the giggle of newborns.

Clarence Darrow vs. G. K. Chesterton

In January of 1931, during his second trip to America, Chesterton did indeed debate with Clarence Darrow, at New York City’s Mecca Temple. The topic was “Will the World Return to Religion?” There is no known transcript of the proceedings, but perhaps the following clippings will give you the flavor.

THE FOLLOWING is a passage from “Chesterton As Seen by His Contemporaries,” complied by Cyril Clemons, Webster Groves: International Mark Twain Society, 1939, pp. 66-68.

Mr. Joseph J. Reilly attended a debate at Mecca Temple in New York City, between Chesterton and Clarence Darrow, which dealt with the story of creation as presented in Genesis.

It was a Sunday afternoon and the Temple was packed. At the conclusion of the debate everybody was asked to express his opinion as to the victor and slips of paper were passed around for that purpose. The award went directly to Chesterton. Darrow in comparison, seemed heavy, uninspired, slow of mind, while G.K.C. was joyous, sparkling and witty …. quite the Chesterton one had come to expect from his books. The affair was like a race between a lumbering sailing vessel and a modern steamer. Mrs. Frances Taylor Patterson also heard the Chesterton-Darrow debate, but went to the meeting with some misgivings because she was a trifle afraid that Chesterton’s “gifts might seem somewhat literary in comparison with the trained scientific mind and rapier tongue of the famous trial lawyer. Instead, the trained scientific mind, the clear thinking, the lightning quickness in getting a point and hurling back an answer, turned out to belong to Chesterton. I have never heard Mr. Darrow alone, but taken relatively, when that relativity is to Chesterton, he appears positively muddle-headed.”

Although the terms of the debate were determined at the outset, Darrow either could not or would not stick to the definitions, but kept going off at illogical tangents and becoming choleric over points that were not in dispute. He seemed to have an idea that all religion was a matter of accepting Jonah’s whale as a sort of luxury-liner. As Chesterton summed it up, he felt as if Darrow had been arguing all afternoon with his fundamentalist aunt, and the latter kept sparring with a dummy of his own mental making. When something went wrong with the microphone, Darrow sat back until it could be fixed. Whereupon G.K.C. jumped up and carried on in his natural voice, “Science you see is not infallible!” Whatever brilliance Darrow had in his own right, it was completely eclipsed. For all the luster that he shed, he might have been a remote star at high noon drowned by the bright incandescent are light of the sun. Chesterton had the audience with him from the start, and when it was over, everyone just sat there, not wishing to leave. They were loath to let the light die!

“Clarence Darrow wrote the author shortly before his death, “I was favorably impressed by, warmly attached to, G.K. Chesterton. I enjoyed my debates with him, and found him a man of culture and fine sensibilities. If he and I had lived where we could have become better acquainted, eventually we would have ceased to debate, I firmly believe.”

THE FOLLOWING is excerpted from the February 4, 1931, issue of The Nation. Here Henry Hazlitt gives his impressions of the debate:

In the ballot that followed, the audience voted more than two to one for the defender of the faith, Mr. Chesterton of course, and if the vote was on the relative merits of the two debaters, and not on the question itself, it was surely a very just one. Mr. Chesterton’s argument was like Mr. Chesterton, amiable, courteous, jolly; it was always clever, it was full of nice turns of expression, and altogether a very adroit exhibition by one of the world’s ablest intellectual fencing masters and one of its most charming gentlemen.

Mr. Darrow’s personality, by contrast, seemed rather colorless and certainly very dour. His attitude seemed almost surly; he slurred his words; the rise and fall of his voice was sometimes heavily melodramatic, and his argument was conducted on an amazingly low intellectual level.

Ostensibly the defender of science against Mr. Chesterton, he obviously knew much less about science than Mr. Chesterton did; when he essayed to answer his opponent on the views of Eddington and Jeans, it was patent that he did not have the remotest conception of what the new physics was all about. His victory over Mr. Byran at Dayton had been too cheap and easy; he remembered it not wisely but too well. His arguments are still the arguments of the village atheist of the Ingersoll period; at Mecca Temple he still seemed to be trying to shock and convince yokels.

Mr. Chesterton’s deportment was irreproachable, but I am sure that he was secretly unhappy. He had been on the platform many times against George Bernard Shaw. This opponent could not extend his powers. He was not getting his exercise.