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The World Is Not Full Of Danger

The latest in the politics of fear was delivered this week by Ted Poe, a Republican from Texas, who stood up in front of Congress and gave a speech with the title “The World Is Not Safe Today”.

“The world is full of dangerous, rogue nations seeking to do harm,” Poe said.

It would be silly, of course, to say that the world is completely safe, but then, when has it ever been?

Go to a major city in the wintertime, and you’ll see signs warning people walking down the sidewalk to beware of falling ice. Every now and then, big icicles form on the skyscrapers, and then crash down onto pedestrians, killing them. Yet, most of the time, when people walk past these buildings, they don’t get hurt. The nation doesn’t freak out. Nobody suggests going to war, or restricting civil liberties.

Yet, Republicans like Ted Poe routinely propose warfare and the compromise of civil liberties, and they do it on the basis of fear. Their violent political agendas just don’t make any sense, if people don’t accept the premise that “the world is not safe” and that terrible dangers threaten us at all times.

There are dangers in the world, but the world is not “full of dangerous, rogue nations seeking to do harm”. Actually, it’s mostly empty of them.

It’s easier to identify stable, non-threatening nations, like Poland, New Zealand, Brazil, Togo, Mongolia, Vanuatu and Canada than it is to identify dangerous rogue nations. Every country has its problems, and many have bad governments, but open warfare is actually becoming less common over time. Terrorism isn’t a common event in most communities. There are a few dangerous, rogue nations, but mostly they aren’t actively seeking to do harm. Mostly, they’re like North Korea, weak and desperate nations that are trying to bluster their way into a position of international attention.

Serious, mature responses to war, terrorism, corruption and other problems needs to be taken, but there is no cause for panic, no need for war, and no reason for us to surrender constitutional rights to the merchants of fear.

19 thoughts on “The World Is Not Full Of Danger”

  1. Korky Day says:

    Peregrin Wood seems to suggest complacency.
    Not until the last paragraph is a hint that the problems in the world, large or small, should be fixed much more than they are already.

    Even the ice falling and killing people: why is Wood not outraged, demanding action? Just trying to lull us into complacency.

    Not being a Republican, I easily see much folly in ‘warfare and the compromise of civil liberties’. The alternative, though, is NOT to verbally minimize the danger, as Wood does. But then, Wood probably lives in a relatively safe place. My grandfather survived the Armenian Genocide of 1894-1896. I am not complacent, even today in Canada.

    1. J Clifford says:

      When the danger is minimal, it is quite appropriate to minimize the danger.

  2. Korky Day says:

    That’s like saying, J Clifford, that when you have only one or 2 cockroaches left in your house is the time to ease up on killing them.

    1. Peregrin Wood says:

      No, it’s like saying that when you have only one or two cockroaches left in your entire town, you shouldn’t send airplanes up into the skies to spray pesticides over all its homes.

      1. Korky Day says:

        Thanks for the colorful response, Peregrin Wood.
        I still prefer my analogy.

  3. Korky Day says:

    I guess The Irregular Times sponsor doesn’t sell badges or shirts with that popular saying,
    ‘If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.’
    Not complacent enough.

    But, wait a minute. If you’re not outraged, why would you buy ANY badge, shirt, or sign? Oops.

    You won’t sell many items saying ‘The World Is Not Full Of Danger’, the title of this article. Probably few are even reading this article or this comment of mine.

    The readers ARE reading the articles about dangers, including, probably, the danger of driving while Black.
    Because, even if dangers are diminishing, we activists still want to oppose them. Probably even Peregrin Wood.

    1. Peregrin Wood says:

      To say that there is cause for outrage is not to argue that there is cause for everyone’s outrage.

      Discretion is at the heart of wisdom.

      Focus on those things that merit outrage because of the scale of the problem they represent. Don’t waste your outrage on minor problems such as the rare occurrence of Muslim terrorists in the United States.

      1. Korky Day says:

        Maybe you, Peregrin Wood, should persuade The Irregular Times to stop publicizing all the bad news in the USA which is as rare as Muslim terrorists.

  4. ella says:

    “It’s easier to identify stable, non-threatening nations, like Poland, New Zealand, Brazil, Togo, Mongolia, Vanuatu and Canada than it is to identify dangerous rogue nations.” by Peregrin Wood

    Peregrin, I have to agree, it is easier to name these few countries that to name the 196 nations of Earth. 🙂 But it would not be wise to go to Iran and declare Christianity, or any religion other than Islam. The world is safer here in America.
    http://geography.about.com/cs/countries/a/numbercountries.htm

  5. John says:

    There is only one situation in which jihad becomes a personal obligation of each and every Muslim even without an order from the Muslim leadership – namely when non-Muslims attack Muslims or invade a Muslim country. Bin Laden and the adherents of extremist Islam claim that this is the situation today: Islam is under attack, both physically and ideologically. The infidels – Christians and Jews – are invading the lands of Islam: Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq and Afghanistan. Therefore, they maintain that waging jihad has become a personal obligation incumbent upon all Muslims, wherever they may be.

  6. ella says:

    Comparatively speaking it may be that the middle east was tame before the Twin Towers were plowed down. That, however, was an attack on American soil, against America in general and killed thousands. Dictators in the middle east were complacently slaughtering their own people with any fuss until America so rudely intervened, granted. Just Muslims killing Muslims, no war necessary.

    In the recent past a Kurd would not have been labeled a Muslim (http://ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2009/12/independentstate3386.htm) simply because they were not Muslim. Due to being slaughter by Muslims, because they were not, has no doubt brought about the desired result of “recruiting” new Muslims. Revolt was in the works before they involved America and Europe in this last great push to conquer the world.

    And the great religions of the world all claim Abraham.

    1. J Clifford says:

      Ella, Buddhism claims Abraham? Shinto claims Abraham?

      1. ella says:

        J. Clifford, Looking at historical progression from around 1000 BC, even the Oriental Prince who became the Buddhist “prophet” is seen as related in this concept.

        “In the Bahá’Ă­ Faith, religious history is seen to have unfolded through a series of divine messengers, each of whom established a religion that was suited to the needs of the time and to the capacity of the people. These messengers have included Abrahamic figures—Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, as well as Indian ones—Krishna, Buddha, and others. For Bahá’Ă­s, the most recent messengers are the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. In Bahá’Ă­ belief, each consecutive messenger prophesied of messengers to follow, and Bahá’u’lláh’s life and teachings fulfilled the end-time promises of previous scriptures. Humanity is understood to be in a process of collective evolution, and the need of the present time is for the gradual establishment of peace, justice and unity on a global scale.[6] ” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bah%C3%A1%27%C3%AD_Faith

        And sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. Shinto is also related. It is a small world after all. http://moshiach.com/tribes/ns/5.html

        1. J Clifford says:

          Sometimes, religious conspiracy theories are stranger than fiction.

          1. ella says:

            Korky Day, please go back and check your history. Kurdish people were not Muslim until they were conquered by them. While some are, by force, Muslims today, not all Kurd’s are of that religion yet. They are a strong, independent as possible, people

            Having put up fierce resistance to the Arabo-Muslim invasions, the Kurds ended up joining Islam, without, as a result, becoming Arabized. This resistance continued for about a century. The Kurdish tribes resisted the Arab tribes for social rather than religious reasons. All methods were used to coax the Kurds and convert them to Islam, even, for example, the matrimonial strategy, the mother of the last Omayyad caliph, Marwan Hakim, was Kurdish.
            Due to the weakening of the caliphs’ power, the Kurds, who already had a key role in the arts, history and philosophy fields, begin to assert, from the middle of the IXth century onwards, their own political power. In 837, a Kurdish lord, of the name Rozeguite, founds the town of Akhlat on the banks of Lake Van and makes it the capital of his principality, theoretically vassal of the caliph, but in actual fact virtually independent. In the second half of the Xth century Kurdistan is shared amongst 4 big Kurdish principalities. In the North, the Shaddadids, (951-1174), in the East, the Hasanwayhids (959-1015) and the Banu Annaz (990-1116) and in the West the Marwanids (990-1096) of Diyarbakir. One of these dynasties would have been able, during the decades, to impose its supremacy on the others and build a state incorporating the whole Kurdish country if the course of history hadn’t been disrupted by the massive invasions of tribes surging out of the steppes of Central Asia. Having conquered Iran and imposed their yoke on the caliph of Baghdad, the Seljuk Turks annexed the Kurdish principalities one by one. Around 1150, the sultan Sandjar, the last of the great Seljuk monarchs, created a province from Kurdistan. http://www.institutkurde.org/en/institute/who_are_the_kurds.php

          2. Korky Day says:

            Thanks for the history, ella.
            Today, Kurds are Muslim. Almost all.

          3. ella says:

            “Sometimes, religious conspiracy theories are stranger than fiction.” J Clifford

            Now how can that be a religious conspiracy? If it is, it started a long time ago, by those who seem to want to perpetuate a single ideology, through different threads, throughout the world. That was accomplished by having different prophets deliver the message at different stages of human social and technical development. It seems every time we get close to destroying ourselves, somehow, the message of common sense arises yet again. And that of a Supreme Being.

          4. Korky Day says:

            The Supreme Being is mostly a patriarchal concept, ella.
            Has to do with the male tendency to create a hierarchy, as opposed to matriarchies, which tend to be less violent and more sharing of power.

    2. Korky Day says:

      Kurds are Muslims.

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