Thursday, June 13, 2013

What are the Odds

A little more info for the previous post.

From the CDC: 2010 data

Number of deaths for leading causes of death:

  • Heart disease: 597,689
  • Cancer: 574,743
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859
  • Alzheimer's disease: 83,494
  • Diabetes: 69,071
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 38,364

From the Global Terrorism Database  total domestic deaths from terrorism were 3,030 from 2000-2010. The data only goes to 2011 so far,   So the annual average is 275.  If you take the 10 years from 2001-2011 the numbers don't change significantly.   Between 9/12/2001 and 12/31/2011 the total is 32 - or approximately 3 people annually.

Given that the NSA knew when the terrorist arrived in the U.S. and essentially did nothing with that data, and given the argument is; we need to let the NSA collect all this data because it will stop attacks.  It's only useful if it's acted upon, so 9/11 doesn't meet the goal.   From a Data analysis point of view the 9/11 attack is an outlier - completely uncharacteristic of other world wide attacks. The Post 9/11 number is about 3.

So, you're 140 times more likely to commit suicide than be killed by a terrorist. Without 9/11 you're 12,788 times more likely. Are you scared yet?

From Medical News Today - there are 195,000 in hospital deaths by error each year.    Which means you are  709 times more likely to be killed by your doctor than a terrorist - that includes 9/11 - with out 9/11 the number is 65,000 times more likely to be killed by your doctor.

If TSA costs each person at the airport 15 minutes (yeah right) and the average wage is $20/hour (and I suspect the number is much higher) then we're taking 3.5 billion out of the economy each year. (source WSJ).  And that's JUST the TSA - now add in the cost of all the illegal NSA programs, the DHS TANKS, the wars.  It's not pretty.

So, from an economic point of view, the terrorists have won.  Because rather than being rational about it - we let our selves be terrified and irrational and we made really stupid choices - like the TSA, or letting the NSA and DHS destroy the Constitution - which was exactly what Osama bin Ladin was after.   It could only be accomplished with the help and cooperation of our Government.  The scope of terrorism in the U.S. would have to vastly exceed the total world levels to even come close to matching what we're costing ourselves - even without the loss of Liberty.

Let's recap, compared to terrorism, you are:
140 times more likely to commit suicide.
709 times more likely to be killed by your doctor.
120 times more likely to be killed in an auto accident.

YES we absolutely need to take precautions - we need to investigate, we need to be aware, but we've gone WAY too far with this.  There is no evidence that TSA has done anything other than harass and steal from passengers, except cost us money.   Even with all the extra man power, the militarization of the police, the extension of armed forces into domestic policy - Boston still happened, and it was a civilian who found the terrorist.  A little self reliance and paying attention did more than the DHS, National Guard, SWAT and Satellites, in capturing the perp.  
So - Get a grip people - you want to be scared of something - be scared of your doctor.

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