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February 17, 2010

New Tomdispatch


Hold Onto Your Underwear
This Is Not a National Emergency

By Tom Engelhardt

Let me put American life in the Age of Terror into some kind of context, and then tell me you’re not ready to get on the nearest plane heading anywhere, even toward Yemen.

In 2008, 14,180 Americans were murdered, according to the FBI. In that year, there were 34,017 fatal vehicle crashes in the U.S. and, so the U.S. Fire Administration tells us, 3,320 deaths by fire. More than 11,000 Americans died of the swine flu between April and mid-December 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; on average, a staggering 443,600 Americans die yearly of illnesses related to tobacco use, reports the American Cancer Society; 5,000 Americans die annually from food-borne diseases; an estimated 1,760 children died from abuse or neglect in 2007; and the next year, 560 Americans died of weather-related conditions, according to the National Weather Service, including 126 from tornadoes, 67 from rip tides, 58 from flash floods, 27 from lightning, 27 from avalanches, and 1 from a dust devil.

The rest.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at February 17, 2010 09:34 AM

How do you die from a dust devil? I suppose the biggest ones can have strong winds, but still.

Gotta look this up.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at February 17, 2010 09:43 AM

What Engelhardt is leaving out is that it was an ISLAMIC dust devil. Far more vicious and cruel than the ones we're used to in the west.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at February 17, 2010 09:45 AM

Actually, come to think of it my wife could have been killed by a dust devil, though it was over a lake and was presumably a waterspout. But it wasn't a tornado--no thunderstorm or anything, but it was strong enough to pick up a rowboat and toss it over the dock. This happened when she was a kid--the whole family saw it.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at February 17, 2010 09:47 AM

So one of those damn Islamo-fascist vortexes nearly took out my wife's entire family. Bastards.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at February 17, 2010 12:11 PM

The Tom Dispatch link keeps coming up "error." Do you know anything? Is someone messing with his site?

If so, damn them.

Posted by: catherine at February 17, 2010 01:31 PM

Both links should work now. The second wasn't before, in a way that seemed like it was my fault but actually was the work of the damned Islamic dust devils.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at February 17, 2010 04:42 PM

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Posted by: Konnieio28 at February 17, 2010 07:34 PM

That dust devil was an inside job.

Posted by: N E at February 17, 2010 09:13 PM