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You should be afraid of this column
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    Be afraid of this column. This column is toxic to inflammatory rhetoric and could cause spontaneous outbursts of critical thinking and common sense.
    Be afraid of this column because it exposes the bombastic language currently being used to keep Americans in a constant state of fear over the threat of terrorism. Be afraid government employees and administrators. Consider this column to be “threat level orange” to your propagandizing ways.
    Be afraid. Be very afraid.
    Seriously, can anyone tell me why we fear terrorism so much and why we’re constantly bombarded by messages of fear?
    For example, when I walked into the old police office, I would see the terror threat warning hanging on the window. It never once, in the three months I went in there, ever changed from yellow.
    Really? On a scale of 1 to 5, never once was there a less than 20 percent chance of a terrorist strike? In Statesboro?
    I heard the terrorists hate our freedom but I never realized they also hated Splash in the Boro. Jihad on the water slide!
    But I guess that’s the point. We are being drowned in fear. Even our little city election devolved into a pathetic campaign of fear mongering - the students were afraid they’d lose the right to drink and the community was afraid that drunken yahoos would take over the town.
    We’re constantly being fed fear.
    Look at the Republicans in the field, particularly Giuliani and Romney. In the September debate, Romney is so afraid of terrorists he said would wiretap churches in order to track terrorists. Watch out for that progressive supper! They’re training grounds for terror!
    As for Giuliani, Senator Biden said it best, when he said “There’s only three things that [Giuliani] mentions in a sentence - a noun, a verb and 9/11.”
    We’re told almost daily of the threat of islamofascism. Really?
    OK, let’s do some math (I’m sure math is scary to some).
    According to the web site, there were 2996 people lost in the trade center attacks. Then there were 33 killed at Virginia Tech.  We’ll add in the Oklahoma bombing, even though it was  12 years ago, so that adds another 168 lives and 800 wounded. Then, just for good measure, we can add the various, inexplicable random shootings over the past six years and the total equals 4200.
    There is no doubt that these deaths were horrible, unwarranted, and ultimately life changing to those families who were affected. I sincerely wish they never happened. But let’s also be realistic. When you do the math, it amounts to 700 people killed in this fashion each year. If we added in all the years since 1970 or 1980 that number would be miniscule, but for arguments sake, let’s just average the last six years.
    700 people annually.
    Let’s look at some of the other unnatural causes of death - for fear’s sake.
     According to the National Vital Statistics Reports, since 1990, automobile accidents have taken between 40,000 and 45,000 lives each year. So, an individual is 64 times more likely to die in a car accident than terrorism.
    Want to be really scared? In 2004, 5,157 people died while at work. That means it’s seven times as likely that you’ll die at work than be killed in a terrorist attack (More so if you’re covering a contentious election). Should we all stop going to work?
    If you’re under 34, you’re nine times more likely to die from heart disease.
    Here are some others:
    Four times more likely to die during medical and surgical care.
    Five time more likely to drown or die in a fire.
    25 times more likely to be killed in a homicide.
    27 times more likely to fall to your death.
    30 times more likely to die by unintentional poisoning.
    2,970 times more likely to die from anything other than terrorism.
    It’s apparent that we all have many, many, many more things to worry about than the “terrorists following us home.” Seriously, I can’t even tell you what a truckload of bull manure that statement is.
    Billy Joel once said, “I don’t why I go to extremes/Too high or too low there ain’t no in between.” The extreme rhetoric we hear from the Bush administration, Limbaugh and Fox News is nothing other than fear-mongering - and the ultimate low in American political and social discourse. Frankly, it’s scary.
    Phil Boyum can be found hiding under the bed.
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