Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Probabilita' - Probabilities

This will be my first post related to politics/news from the world. In particular, I want to speak about something that is going on here in the US.
I'm not sure if the news about the accidents that occurred in West Virginia last January reached Italy, or the ears of all Americans. Well, last January, 14 people lost their lives in two coal mines in West Virginia, and more precisely, 12 in an explosion that occurred in one mine, and 2 because part of the mine suddenly collapsed. These tragic events are to be blamed not only to the companies that owned the mines (the company that owns the first mine had been already notified to improve their safety in the past), but also to Bush's government.
Recently, in fact, Bush passed a law that changed another law that was approved in the past (if I recall correctly, at least 50 years ago). The first law was meant to improve safety in coal mines, by obliging mining companies to build two different channels: one to take out the coal from the mine, and one for the people to go out. In fact, it's well known that coal burns easily (obvious consideration, since they mine it for that reason), and so the law was meant to protect miners' lives in case of fires - at least, they had another way out. For some I-don't-know-how-to-define-it reason, Bush's administration decided that this law was useless, and they actually changed it so that they made it legal to build mines with only one way out.
The consequence is now under our eyes - 12 people dead.

At the same time, we've been bombarded in the last few years by news concerning the danger of terroristic attacks in the US. This morning, we woke up with Bush's voice (sometimes I wonder why our radio alarm is set on NPR.. :) ) - who was saying that in the next few months he will check personally the plans for every big town in the US in case of major catastrophic events.. and of course, the first of these possible catastrophes is a terroristic attack. Otherwise, why would he be listening to our phone conversations and reading our emails??

Ok, so, now, just a small probability calculation: do you think that it's more likely that there is an accident in a coal mine, or that some terrorists attack the US? How many accidents in mines have there been in the past 100 years and how many terroristic attacks in the US?

I really don't understand why people support Bush's line of thought. They prefer to be taped, rather than worrying about real issues that occur in their own country.

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