Thursday, January 19, 2006

Where Is The Line?

I had a commenter leave this as part of a reply to a previous post in regards to the question why are Americans more likely to give up liberty in regards to terrorism when you are much more likely to be killed by someone you know.

Somehow, Dingo, I get the feelin' if another attack happened in your backyard you'd be one of the first to blame the Bush administration for not doin' enough to stop it.

Well, if the attack were to be the result of the lack of security in our ports or one of the many other holes that the government has yet to fill, then yes, I would.

But, this brings to the forefront another question - How far is too far?

How much of our liberty is acceptable to cede to the government for security? And, what is the line where you say that the president or the congress has gone too far in "protecting" you? What is your personal limit?

I would like you hear your opinions.


Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

OK, good question- give me a bit to gather my (limited) thoughts.

tommy said...

and this is an unfair question unless you also ask how far is not far enough?

tommy said...

I've sorta touched on this a few times before, like siggy give me a chance to try and say it more clearly and eloquently this time, I'll be back later.

Dingo said...

I think it is a legitimate question. Different people will have different limits on either end. But if you want to answer that question also, feel free. I am not looking for right or wrong answers here. Just peoples personal opinions.

Pedro said...

It's a good question. It's like how many people are terrified of flying but never think twice of driving down the freeway -- even are much safer flying than you are driving a car.

If you think like a probability statistician, then it is indeed silly to worry about terrorism when you are more likely to be mugged. But think of it from a human, emotional perspective: what's CREEPIER and more alien to your sense of security and personal safety - your standard American violent criminal, or a shadowy group of weirdo religious fanatics who might as well be in a cave in Pakistan as across the street, and who want to kill you simply because of what country you were born in?

The devil you know is always less scary than the devil you don't know, even if there's a higher likelihood of being attacked by the former than by the latter.

Beth said...

I'm going to take the easy way out of answering this because it's said SO well here--and note in particular, the quoted text from none other than Michael Kinsley(!). The blog post says it so much more eloquently than I normally bother with, anyway. ;-)
Besides, I'm sick as a dog and heavily medicated so I'm too tired to give the long--book-length long--answer on that one.

So, short version right here--Michael Kinsley:
If the cost of losing the war and the cost of winning it are both measured in the same currency—American values, especially freedom—then giving up some freedom in order to avoid losing all of it is obviously the right thing to do.

Read the link for the whole thing, though, not just the Kinsley stuff. (Normally, I think he's a pointy-headed tool but he's exactly right in that sentence.)