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A Matter of Scale

November 10, 2009
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What I don’t know about health care can just about fit into the U.S. Capitol; I certainly don’t pretend to understand what should be done to remedy the situation.

That said, I do know that about 3,000 Americans died in the attacks of September 11, 2001. The severity of that attack apparently warranted the creation of the massive Department of Homeland Security, and it led to the passage of the USAPATRIOT Act.

I also know that a Harvard study found that 45,000 Americans die each year because they don’t have health insurance. If my division skills haven’t failed me, that amounts to a body count equal to fifteen 9/11s every year.

We have lost hundreds of billions of dollars and over 5,100 U.S. soldiers’ lives in Afghanistan and Iraq, ostensibly to prevent more attacks like 9/11. Why would we even hesitate to commit a comparable amount of money and zero soldiers’ lives to a national crisis beyond the scale of Osama bin I Wouldn't Dream of Comparing ThemLaden’s wet dreams?

Just before I had my picture taken with Michelle Bachmann last weekend, she was bragging to a coterie of like-minded assholes about her role in the Republicans’ strategy of delaying the health care bill with every available procedural stall tactic. Imagine what would have happened had any member of Congress been similarly obstructionist after 9/11.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Dan permalink
    November 12, 2009 2:13 pm

    Ummm as the joker noted:

    “Nobody panics when the expected people got killed. Nobody panics when things go according to plan, even if the plans are horrifying. If I tell the press that tomorrow a gangbanger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will get blown up, nobody panics.”

    • Barry permalink*
      November 12, 2009 2:17 pm

      So Obama is a Maoist Hitler, and the Republicans get to be the Joker? I guess the Republicans have already won the PR war.

  2. Dan permalink
    November 12, 2009 2:16 pm

    Which actually I guess is really the whole thing about our response to terrorism and its effect on how society works. People are much better at responding to a perceived discrete threat as opposed to systematic consequences of societal forces.

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