Stop treating Americans like idiots and cowards

An excellent article in the Wall Street Journal about the way the media and politicians want us to react to the recent Christmas Day attempted terrorist attack.

“No amount of statistical evidence, however, will make any difference to those who give themselves over to almost completely irrational fears. Such people, and there are apparently a lot of them in America right now, are in fact real victims of terrorism. They also make possible the current ascendancy of the politics of cowardice—the cynical exploitation of fear for political gain.” (from Paul Campos writing in the Wall Street Journal)

Bruce Schneier, as usual has a lucid and convincing commentary on the article:

“But as a nation we get to set our priorities, and decide how to spend our money. No one is suggesting we ignore the risks of terrorism — and making people feel safe is a good thing to do — but it makes no sense to focus so much effort and money on it when there are far worse risks to Americans.” (from Bruce Shneier’s blog)

He is always lucid and convincing. Here is a recent column in CNN, “Stop the Panic on air security”:

“As circular as it sounds, rare events are rare primarily because they don’t occur very often, and not because of any preventive security measures. If you want to do something that makes security sense, figure out what’s common among a bunch of rare events, and concentrate your countermeasures there.” (from Bruce Schneier, in CNN)

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