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Tim K





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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:10 pm    Post subject: Terrorism! Is it around every corner? Reply with quote

It seems to me that in the media and on these blogs, that there is a disproportionate amount of time paid to "terrorism". i.e. "Terror this and terror that" in the MSM, Blogging Tories with " Terrorwatch" etc. - compared to other world events that would've been top stories had 9/11 never happened.

Studies show that we're far more likely to die in an auto accident or even from a lightning strike, than from a terrorist attack - even if terrorists downed a jetliner once a week.

Why then is it framed as the most important issue each of us are personally facing? Or is it simply that the media like the topic because it's dramatic and politicians because it makes for good rhetoric?

Since we're all supposedly targets, how big of an impact does terrorism have on your daily lives if any?
Donald Hughes





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My guess is that terror is perceived as random, deadly and could be scaled towards massive destruction where many people might believe they are being targeted in some way. That's why the natural reaction of many on 9/11, while the events were unfolding, was that we would likely see a much larger wave of violence with many more deaths. I think it is that fear of scale overwhelming us that scares us the most. Non-criminal events, and even some crimes, seem less important because we often attribute a certain failure on the part of the participants or simply call it a sort of "Act of God". Like, millions of people can die of starvation and malaria and we don't really rush to help or even act.

The other point is that such fears are functional. They help rationalize immense expenses on security (police, prisons, investigations, military) and help put brakes on many types of social spending. They serve well a range of reactionary ideologies and politicians.
FF_Canuck





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Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It seems to me that in the media and on these blogs, that there is a disproportionate amount of time paid to "terrorism".


I think it features more prominently 'round these parts than traditional media. Many here would argue that we don't pay enough attention to it. Furthermore, 'If it bleeds, it leads' has always been the unofficial motto of news media since its inception. So part drama, and part importance, I think.

Quote:
Studies show that we're far more likely to die in an auto accident or even from a lightning strike...


Quote:
Non-criminal events, and even some crimes, seem less important because we often attribute a certain failure on the part of the participants or simply call it a sort of "Act of God". Like, millions of people can die of starvation and malaria and we don't really rush to help or even act...


Well, lightning strikes are random ... and car accidents are the results of many factors that governments on all levels are continuously working to minimize. Starvation and malaria are serious problems, no doubt. However, they are not urgent problems that can be resolved by rushing. We are assisting through foreign aid, charity, and other programs, though it is perhaps not as much as some people would like.

An analogy to consider is the age-old complaint faced by police who ticket speeders. "Shouldn't you be concentrating on more important things, like (insert serious crime here), instead of harassing law-abiding citizens!?"

Society is large enough that it can (and should) tackle many different issues and problems simultaneously, without unduly retarding those efforts. We talk about Terrorism more often because we think it needs more effort, just as others promote poverty or disease as causes they think need more effort.
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The other point is that such fears are functional. They help rationalize immense expenses on security (police, prisons, investigations, military) and help put brakes on many types of social spending. They serve well a range of reactionary ideologies and politicians.


I've seen you suggest this in other threads, and I'd strongly suggest you reconsider using this argument. Please consider how insulting this argument sounds to people who have legitimate concerns about terrorism - you are basically insinuating that they are unintelligent cowards who are being crassly manipulated by government officials. You're just covering it up with a good vocabulary.

The equally unfair, yet opposite theory: Those who insist terrorism should be ignored in favour of combating poverty and diseases in the underdeveloped world or global warming, do so because it takes far less effort, is less physically dangerous, and is psychologically easier to stomach, than a confrontation with an ideological evil that requires military invention and incredible personal sacrifice from fellow citizens.
Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Please consider how insulting this argument sounds to people who have legitimate concerns about terrorism - you are basically insinuating that they are unintelligent cowards who are being crassly manipulated by government officials.
I never said that all concerns about terrorism were illegitimate, I simply explained why I thought the fear was so disproportionate and pervasive in political speech over problems of a much greater magnitude. I also made clear that I thought many people in positions of relative wealth and power did indeed have legitimate fears of terrorism, in that they sincerely believed such attacks represented a bigger danger to them than say dying of poverty. They are quite rational in this regard, as they tend to be.
Quote:
Those who insist terrorism should be ignored in favour of combating poverty and diseases in the underdeveloped world or global warming, do so because it takes far less effort, is less physically dangerous, and is psychologically easier to stomach, than a confrontation with an ideological evil that requires military invention and incredible personal sacrifice from fellow citizens.
To some degree this is actually correct. I do agree that I tend to support social intervention over direct force (although the two are actually incredibly connected) on efficiency grounds. The current mess in Iraq will have cost trillions just to create, whereas you could finance a much more generous assistance package along the lines of the UN Millennium Development Goals plus full debt relief with that money. The latter would bring much more "freedom" by whatever measure over the Iraq catastrophe. But this is disconnected from a much, much larger strategy I would support that seeks to dismantle our state as well. I don't expect that people who support the logic of capital and the state will agree, all I can do is point to what I've found useful so far.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:03 pm    Post subject: not insinuating Reply with quote

"you are basically insinuating that they are unintelligent cowards who are being crassly manipulated by government officials."

I know that you weren't refering to me but I'd like to say that I would never insinuate that. I say it outright and plain, because its the truth, and I like the truth.
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malaria could have already been eradicated had DDT not been banned.
don muntean





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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



When considering the point in the title post - we aught not forget the 'Islamic revolution' - and the Islamist's plans to bring their 'convert or die' program - to as much of the global populations as possible.

To learn of this 'plan' we don't have to hear a word from western leaders at all - actually we can see IT reflected through 'anti-war propaganda' - all over the net - the Islamist's have very well-defined their maledicted plans.

Of course 'westerners' apparently don't want to hear about this 'terrorism' all the time and - we are railed by so many anti-war propagandists - who have labled these terrorists 'freedom fighters' and - they try to befool the 'otherwise occupied' public - into thinking that the only terror problems that exist - do so within the minds of 'U.S. warmongers' - certainly - nothing could be further from the truth.



People aught to be aware of this very real threat and that the word 'terrorism' is a simple word - one which describes a very complex and - very urgent problem.

If we ignore this problem - we shall pay for it later - at some point - if ignored - the Islamists are going be able to brainwash enough pawns - to try to induce their global revolution of 'convert or die' - either it'll be our generation - or the next - but - ignored - it'll become a 'real' problem.



This idea that if we support the suppression of the Islamist's plans - then - we make ourselves a target - well that - is a very shortsighted approach.

Just read the recent letter written by the president of Iran - to President Bush - within that letter - the Islamist's plans to bring their revolution to the FREE world are laid out quite clearly.

Here you can find a 'pasted copy' of this letter [with some critical comments]:

"...Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity...Today these two concepts have failed...Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems..." [president of Iran]

http://www.audarya-fellowship......satan.html




Last edited by don muntean on Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:13 pm; edited 2 times in total
jw





Joined: 07 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fear is one of the functions which drive any society. Answering the "What is the fear' questions is one of the important things any government must do. Yet, fears are not always proportional or even reality based.

A good example of non-proportional fear is seen in fear of mugging ... it is women who are most afraid, yet it is women who have the lowest risk. It is young men who are least afraid, yet it is young men who have the highest risk (and highest by a MASSIVE margin).

To say current fear of terrorism is out of proportion to the risk is a reasonable thing to say. It might even be true ... I do not know. No one knows because we do not know enough about the terror groups as they interact with our governments' actions.

Controlling fear is a thing good governments do. We have not had a good government in many years. Controlling fear is a thing responsible publishers do: We have not had a responsible publisher in our public media for a great many years. By controlling fear I mean looking at proportional risk and teaching the public about the real risks.

Our society, our first-world culture now drowns in its own fears. This is not at all healthy. We are afraid of things which matter little and not afraid of things which very much matter.

For instance terrorists ... The person most attracted to terrorism is a middle class 14 to 25 year old male who feels he is not wanted in his current culture. You would think we would be reaching out to this group, thus cutting off terror at its roots. Yet, we ignore this group. DUMB! REAL DUMB! None-the-less, these sorts of daft errors are the sort of things one expects in a culture lead by fear.

jw
don muntean





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the ancient Vedic Scripture called Srimad Bhagavatam there is this nice verse:

A rope causes fear for a bewildered person who considers it a snake, but not for a person with proper intelligence who knows it to be only a rope. Similarly, You, as the Supersoul in everyone’s heart, inspire fear or fearlessness according to one’s intelligence, but in You there is no duality. [SB 6.9.37]

The reverse is also true...there are bewildered persons - with less 'intelligence' which see a 'snake' and consider it a 'rope'...

Then here is a quote from a qualified King about "fear":

Whoever causes offenseless living beings to suffer must fear me anywhere and everywhere in the world. By curbing dishonest miscreants, one automatically benefits the offenseless. [SB 1.17.14]

I think there ain't enough healthy fear in our world... :shock:
biggie





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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I see it, the government isn't particularly driving fear - They are reacting to it... The media is perpetuating the fear of terrorism. Funny enough, they are also perpetuating the myths about the threat not being real...

I agree that the "fear" of terrorism is disproportionate to the risk - but the consequences of ignoring that minute risk are catastrophic - in terms of cost of life, and economically.
We ARE targets - the chances canada will be hit at some point by a terrorist attack IS very high. Your chances of being directly involved (injured or killed) may be low, but thats does not translate into the chances for Canada to be hit low.

Anyone who says there is no terrorist threat has a serious problem.. they are obviously blind to the real world, they refuse to accept the fact that attacks have happened all over the world, happen all the time, and Canadians are identifiable enemies(regardless of our participation in Afghanistan - as one of the "powerful" western nations, we fall under the same umbrella.) Its incredible to see how some people can so blatently deny a threat just because they are so hell-bent on criticizing an administration, to their own(and their country-men's) peril.
don muntean





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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biggie rection wrote:
The media is perpetuating the fear of terrorism. Funny enough, they are also perpetuating the myths about the threat not being real...


Yes - that is a very good point about the media - talk about a simultaneous pulling and tossing of the populations!

:?
FrankD





Joined: 13 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A frightened population is an easier one to control, and its consent easier to manipulate.

Have you seen this video clip?

The Nexus of Politics and Terror
http://throwawayyourtv.com/200.....error.html

-FrankD
McGuire





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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
Malaria could have already been eradicated had DDT not been banned.


Amen to that, lefties have only themselves to blame for the problems caused by malaria.
Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Amen to that, lefties have only themselves to blame for the problems caused by malaria.
Rumour has it that there are countries with strong public health systems that don't use DDT and yet somehow are able to avoid millions of deaths by malaria. Also there are some people on the Left who support things like, say, building up strong public health systems in African countries. Unfortunately some mysterious force seems to be blocking their efforts... It's almost as if they face political and economic resistance... But who from?
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