Speaking of Atta (though only indirectly), I just saw this on BoingBoing:
Are you an American who worries about terrorism? Stop. If you want to worry about something, here's John Goekler's Counterpunch article - The Most Dangerous Person in the World? - on the statistically likely killers that you need to fear:
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, between 310,000 and 580,000 of us will commit suicide by cigarette this year. Another 260,000 to 470,000 will go in the ground due to poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. And some 85,000 of us will drink to our own departure.Related: Bruce Schneier has a really good blog, which was the source for Cory Doctorow for the above Boing-Boing article, about security (and security-theater) and the way it has become part and parcel of life in the post-9-11 world.
After the person in the mirror, the next most dangerous individual we're ever likely to encounter is one in a white coat. Something like 200,000 of us will experience "cessation of life" due to medical errors - botched procedures, mis-prescribed drugs and "nosocomial infections". (The really nasty ones you get from treatment in a hospital or healthcare service unit.)
The next most dangerous encounter the average American is likely to have is with a co-worker with an infection. Or a doorknob, stair railing or restaurant utensil touched by someone with the crud. "Microbial Agents" (read bugs like flu and pneumonia) will send 75,000 of us to meet the Reaper this year.
If we live through those social encounters, the next greatest danger is "Toxic Agents" - asbestos in our ceiling, lead in our pipes, the stuff we spray on our lawns or pour down our clogged drains. Annual body count from these handy consumer products is around 55,000...
Imagine what the world could look like if we made a conscious choice to live out whatever time we have with courage, compassion, service and joy.
Terrorism is an act of the weak. But so is walking through the airport in our socks.