Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fear is really the only thing to Fear.

I’ve been thinking about his whole refugees and terrorist thing.  Quite frankly given recent statements, I’m surprised that Trump hasn't tried to pander his fear by worrying that Isis terrorists will disguise themselves as Mexicans and sneak across the border as illegal immigrants.  It is about as reasonable as anything else this demagogue has stated.  Let’s be clear about this idea of building walls that will keep people out.

According to the U.S. Geological survey, the U.S. Mexican border is 1,933 miles. If, however, you think Isis is going to wait the average of 12 to 18 months for a fake refugee to become active, when they can sneak across a border illegally, you must not actually be thinking it through.  The Mexican border is nothing compared the U.S. – Canadian border which is 3,987 miles and 1,538 miles at the Canadian-Alaska border.  So that’s basically 7,458 miles of border. We also have 12,380 miles of coast line in case you’re worried about boats landing. Stopping a handful of refugees is not really much of an impediment. So if you’re living in fear of foreign terrorists, perhaps you should stop and think about the homegrown varieties that are already here.

According to a New York Times article from June, since September 11, 2001 the majority of terrorist attacks have been from non-Muslim extremist groups. There were at that time 19 extremist, non-Muslim attacks resulting in 49 deaths compared to the 26 deaths by self-proclaimed jihadists.  If we add the three who died at the attack in Colorado Springs that brings the total to 51 of non-Muslim attacks.  The 14 deaths in California bring the jihadists to 40.  I’ll just leave this here: 32,000 people die each year from guns according to Forbes magazine, and according to the CDC, 10,076 people died in alcohol-related car accidents in 2013, alone.  Roughly 30 people die in drunk-driving accidents every 51 minutes. 
Following the terrorist attack in Paris, France renewed its vow to take in 30,000 refugees, who are, contrary to what some presidential candidates announced, women and children.  Women make up 50.5 per cent of the refugees.  Of the refugees, 38.5 percent are under the age of 12. These 30,000 refugees are a 4.6165 percent addition to France's population of  64, 982,894.

The number of refugees the U.S. committed to take was 10,000 when all this came up. Only 1500 have been let in before this announcement.  Let’s put that into perspective.  According to the U.S. Government census clock, there are 322 million people in the US.  So, 10 thousand is .0000310559 of the current population.  In other words, the addition of these people from a population is statistically zero. By the way, despite what governors have announced about taking or not taking refugees is constitutionally not in the governor’s power since immigration and naturalization is a Federal issue.

But what if there is a terrorist or two with the refugees? Let me just put this here.  There are 42.1 million immigrants in the U.S. at this moment.  That doesn’t include tourists and I have no idea if the number includes those who are here illegally. If you still feel that those horrible terrorist are going to get you, in the US the odds of you being in a terrorist attack both foreign and domestic is 1 in 20 million.  In fact, you have a better chance of dying from lightning or a fireworks discharge than being involved in a terrorist attack.

So if you think Isis, which is wealthy as far as terrorist organizations go, cannot afford a plane ticket and a fake passport or two,  will instead wait for the bureaucracy of the U.S. to lurch into action, as we learned sadly in California that they don’t need refugees to spread terrorist acts.  It is truly appalling that we now have a presidential contender advocating that we stop all Muslims from any country coming for any reason to the US.  It is sad to think that he believes we should identify all those now living here.  It saddens me because it reminds us that following the internment of Americans of Japanese descent after December 7 in World War II, that we have a would-be leader who would do the same.  He and his followers seem to have learned nothing from that horrifying event in our history. Advocating the registration and blocking of all Muslims is also reminiscent of the registering of  Jews by Fascist Germany in the 1930's. By the way, it is also true that before WWII we rejected refugee Jews from Germany for the same reasons and one of those Jews was Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank.  We truly do forget history’s lessons if we listen to the fear mongers.

This is not who we are or hopefully it is not who we have become. Once we were the sleeping giant, but all the fear mongering I've seen has this giant playing right into the the hands of the Terrorists.  I would remind you why they are called terrorist and not warriors. They thrive on fear...terror. Maybe, just maybe, we fear the wrong things.  If we are not going to protect the weak and down-trodden, then perhaps we should take down that statue on Liberty Island and send it back to the folks who gave her to us, France.