Monday, December 29, 2008

Iraq and Mexico 

Interesting juxtaposition here. This article at the BBC news site says (depending on who you want do believe) civilian deaths due to terrorist attacks in Iraq in 2008 were 5,714 (official Iraqi government figure) or somewhere between 8,315 and 9,328 (Iraq Body Count, an NGO). The official figure is a rate of 20.25 per 100,000, and the higher IBC rate is 33.05 per 100,000, based on the most recent population estimate for Iraq from the CIA World Factbook.

This morning I was listening to KOGO radio in San Diego, and I believe I heard one of the commentators say that as many as 5,000 homicides had occurred in Tijuana alone during 2008. Now, I researched that because it seemed awfully high, and the most recent number I came up with is 740 murders in TJ as of early December (official number), That works out to a rate of 49.8 homicides per 100,000.

So, there you have it. You're more likely to die of homicide in Tijuana than you are in Iraq.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Obama's National Security Team 

I was just watching on FNC the formal introduction by the Pres-Elect of his national security team. Aside from the personalities themselves, whom even political opponents concede are very capable and intelligent people, the parade of designates getting up to the mic and making remarks struck me as a little weird. It seemed like an event constructed to provide those people with an opportunity to pay homage to His Obamaness. Most did, some didn't. Generally, the shorter the remarks, the more comfortable I was with the selected official.

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