"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This May Seem Callous

Drudge has a headline up that the death toll for Hurricane Sandy has now gone over thirty.   Now, this may seem callous.   To the thirty families of those who have died, their deaths are tragedies.   But they are not news, at least not news on the level of wall-to-wall 24/7 coverage of the type we've been getting for the past 48-72 hours.   Consider, according to the CDC in 2011:

  • 596,339 people died of heart disease
  • 575,313 people died of cancer
  • 122,777 people died of accidents
  • 84,691 people died of Alzheimer's
  • 73,282 people died of diabetes
  • 53,667 people died of influenza or pneumonia
  • 38,285 people died of suicide

So a little more than 100 people a day are killing themselves, and about 300 people a day are dying in accidents.   Every day.   Every year.   And that's before you get to the 3000 people a day who are dying from heart disease or cancer.  

Again, I don't mean to be callous.   But weather happens.   And weather-related deaths happen.   (In fact, according to this article, lightning kills an average of 55 people a year, tornadoes 56, floods 140, cold 600-700, and heat 3000+.   Every year.)   This is not to say that Hurricane Sandy isn't a big story, it's just that it's not the only story, and there's this other thing happening called the election that some of us think is pretty important for the future of the country.

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