August 12, 2010
NYC Letter: Beyond Words
Day 568 of CHOPE
There are many ways to silence an opposition. There is simple squelching. There is superior argument. Then there is gobsmacking. Taking a position so outrageous, so outré, so bizarrely misconceived that in reply words fail.
Case in point, a post from the Daily Kos bylined "Something the Dog Said":
Given that they [scil., Muslims] are such a small minority in this nation, it is odd that so many of our fellow citizens see them as such a threat. Yes, the 9/11 attacks were horrific, but they were more about optics than actual harm. The economy was already taking a hit before the Twin Towers fell. The reaction of the nation to seeing two major buildings in New York fall on T.V. has boosted the attack out of proportion. While the loss of even a single life is to be condemned* and the devastation these deaths caused the families of those killed, more than this number of teens are killed every year in car crashes. These are also tragic losses but we do not make the kind of high profile issue of it that the 9/11 attacks are.
[Hat tip: NewsBusters]
Picking up the argument, let us use the annual teen car fatality number** as the hem for "high profile issues" -- front page stuff, things we should be especially concerned about. That puts Pearl Harbor (2,350) on the back pages. The Kennedy and King assassinations (total: three guys) hardly rate an eyebrow lift. Second-hand smoke is where the focus should be (126 million nonsmoking Americans exposed, all of whom will eventually be fatality fodder to further the criminalization of smoking).
Hey! Why the fuss?
* This pro-forma piety is used here to introduce the diminishment of the very losses it condemns. Condemning the loss of life, as the post does absolutely, makes no sense. Loss is an outcome not an agency, and, as it does not act, it hasn't the capacity to be culpable. The word is "regret" not "condemn". [Pause.] But it sounds righteous to the weak mind -- and would explain the punitive premiums of malpractice insurance.
** What number? The latest count we found was ~3,500 for 2K8. Traffic fatalities declined 8.9% in 2K9 from the year previous, which, if applied generally, would put teen car fatalities at ~3,188 for 2K9.Posted by Damian at August 12, 2010 11:45 PM