In the week that began with a terrorist incident in which no one other than the pathetically incompetent aspiring terrorist was hurt, approximately 47,000 Americans died. Around 13,000 of these people never reached old age, including nearly one thousand children.
Indeed over the past seven days approximately 350 Americans were murdered. About twenty of these murder victims were women killed by their husbands and boyfriends, while something like 35 were children who died as a result of abuse. Several hundred Americans committed suicide between Christmas and New Year’s Day and several hundred others died as a direct consequence of not having any medical insurance.
All of this is considered completely natural and normal and therefore not in the slightest bit newsworthy. At the same time, President Obama is being criticized for not rushing back to Washington from his holiday vacation because a wannabe terrorist managed to set his own underwear on fire.
Thanks for posting that. Yesterday the newspaper in Spain reported that traffic deaths here fell from about 4,000 in 2008 to about 1,900 in 2009. That's for the whole country, in a year. In the US it's about 50,000 a year if I'm not mistaken. I'm really not sure why it's hard for to perceive threats according to what's actually most likely to hurt ourselves or our families.
How the Hell did Spain reduce traffic fatalities by more than 50% in one year? Did the gas taxes go up dramatically? Or, here's a guess: public transportation is much better in Spain than in the US, so most driving in Spain is voluntary. With the economy tanking, there's less voluntary driving going on.
The gov't credits a new points system that makes it really hard to get your license back if you rack up tickets. And new drunk driving laws are really strict, like 5 years in the slammer. There isn't really a constituency of drivers here, so you can really nail them and no one cares much. Smoking here is the analogue to US driving. My own experience is that I drive more safely here because I do it so rarely, I don't get lazy. I tend to concentrate a lot more than I did when I drove daily in CA.
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