Liberty Isn’t for Sissies

This is not the correct driving behavior.

Recently, I was conversing with The Vermont Farmer about issues he has against the Republican Party. He had made reference to GOP policies he viewed as “extreme”. As the conversation evolved, he mentioned the Patriot Act and said “Liberty is not for sissies”, calling it “risky business”. He’s right, and it got me to thinking.

When I was learning to drive, my dad was in the right seat and I used the horn for some reason I don’t remember. From the reaction of my dad, my reason for using it apparently wasn’t warranted. He simply said to me, “If you’re driving the car correctly, you’ll never need that horn.” It took a few seconds for that to sink in, but it did. He was right.

Here’s another one from my brother. He once got ticked-off when the ATMs started to show up. I asked why and he said, ” ‘They’ can track you. ‘They’ know that at that moment, you are there at that machine pulling money out of your account.” Falling back on my horn-lesson, I retorted with something like “So what? If you’re behaving properly, who cares who knows where you happen to be?” He only said something like “That’s not right. That’s intrusion.” I thought then and today continue to think it’s a very weak argument. The bank and authorities could “intrude” upon my withdrawal habits long before the advent of ATMs.

Smile, you're being surveilled.

Today, we see that ATMs and camera’s have turned out to be a valuable tool for law-enforcement making our society a safer one in that it helps authorities apprehend the perpetrator quicker.

Liberty isn’t for sissies, which is to say we have to be willing to stomach the actions of those who take their rights of liberties too far by robbing, killing and destroying.

The game has changed.

Today we live in a world where we have a stateless enemy we like to call “radical Muslims”. (Which is a joke, but that’s another topic) I won’t go into the reasons, but we know they have avowed to kill Americans from any quarter and in as many numbers as possible. They have demonstrated their mission on numerous occasions in our country and abroad. It is a hard fact.

If we know we have a stateless enemy who is submerged into our society, we would be irresponsible to wait for them to attack a refinery or another high-rise as in the recent case in Dallas (given simulated explosive and detonator which they pushed). That was stopped only because of broad surveillance methodologies. Many lives and millions of dollars in property were saved. They are now in jail.
You and I were never targeted by those surveillance methodologies. Know why?

We behaved properly.

My acceptance of these methodologies isn’t easy. It’s a hard choice for me, but it is also easy to see the price for not choosing this position is very, very high. Too high. Liberty is at stake. I will not tolerate another event on the scale of 9/11 and I am willing to be surveilled to avoid that. As I said, liberty isn’t for sissies and as we see, it’s a double-edged sword. To enjoy our liberty we have to be willing to make some hard choices. It isn’t going to be pretty, either.

In this video, Gingrich classifies America’s anti-terror strategy as weak.

  1. Ben,

    First, thank you for the reference to me in your blog. It is appreciated. When I made the remark to you that “Liberty is not for Sissies” and that “by definition, it is a risky business.” What I meant by that is: As a child, our parents protect us, guide us, provide for us. As we mature, we go out into the world as free citizens, responsible for our own welfare. As government has evolved in this country, and I might add I believe far from the intentions of the founders and the limitations placed on it by the constitution, it has assumed a paternalistic character in the lives of many Americans. With Freedom comes personal responsibility. With personal responsibility comes success or failure in our endeavors without the paternalistic government to protect us from ourselves. We have developed what one of my commentors called a “Plantation Mentality.” Many of us don’t even recognize the loss of our liberties, our responsibilities.

    I long for a community of Americans that take care of themselves and their communities free of the shackles of government and under the constitution as written.

    The Vermont Farmer

  2. You mean there is a terror strategy? I thought we dumped a strategy in favor of reacting on a case by case basis. I thought we rejected the notion that terror was anything more than a criminal activity to be handled by local law enforcement. We denied the latest terror attack was terror. No it was called a crazed act of a lone gunman. Hardly.

    Ben, I read your essay with great interest. This has been a concern of mine since that fateful day in 2001. I wonder to what extent we should be watched. I wonder if in the name of anti-terror we are sacrificing too much freedom. We are giving government access into too much of our daily lives.

    I agree that liberty isn’t for sissies and in my mind that means we endure a degree of risk in order to protect that liberty. Sure I have nothing to worry about from a benevolent government but I no longer feel we have such a government and everyday I feel increasingly under siege by it.

    • Ben
    • November 19th, 2009

    RE:I thought we rejected the notion that terror was anything more than a criminal activity


    When you say you no longer feel you have a benevolent government, I recall the Obama regime’s program to ask citizen’s to report upon “distortions and lies” about his coveted health care program and to report these transgressions against him to a government web site.

    I also recall the Obama regime’s efforts to marginalize Fox News, the only mainstream conservative news outlet on cable (or the rest of the planet for that matter) after the White House felt its policies (see above for one) where too often criticized and therefore biased.

    Contrast the above with the left’s whining and crying about the Patriot Act designed to protect the soft underbelly of America. Remember the cry of those who did not want to understand the reasons for its existence and lamented with “‘they’ can intrude on your electronic communications without a warrant”. Yes, they can. But like the camera in the ATM machine, who the hell cares if they do? I have nothing to worry about if I’m behaving properly. Meanwhile, a building is saved from the actions of a devout Muslim only because of these surveillance techniques.

    The left talks about intrusion, yet they think nothing of a pending health care bill which has provisions in it to force me to buy insurance or “they” will fine me and put me in jail. What did I do wrong to deserve that? Fricking hypocrites the Dems are, who are quick to point to the GOP as the party of oppression.

    I might add that after 9/11 and during those years following to the end of the Bush administration, we did not have another attack on America soil. After 10 months of Obama, we get Fort Hood.

    However, it would be unfair to not mention the possible culpability of the U.S. Army by being conditioned to be soft on terror and to be politically correct on the issue of terrorism. You see, soon after Obama got into office, the term “War on Terror” was removed from the play-book. How else could the Army be so obtuse as to assign a Muslim psychiatrist to council Army personnel returning from a war-zone where they had been fighting against his fellow Muslim brothers?

    So while “Liberty is not for sissies”, we had better “Man-up” and start showing “the pair” to make the hard decisions today lest we loose those liberties tomorrow. When we lose those liberties because we failed to treat this war on the proper footing, i.e. profiling, screening, open surveillance of Muslim communities in an overt effort to make it as uncomfortable as possible for those “not behaving correctly”, then we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

    As long as we continue to be politically correct with our society, we had better be prepared for that day of lost liberties.

    • deg
    • November 19th, 2009
  3. Star Parker’s “Uncle Sam’s Plantation” and “Back on Uncle Sam’s Plantation” describe perfectly the dependence on the government and what it does to people. The corrosiveness of the loss of liberty to the human spirit is what the Vermont Farmer was referring to. Great book if you haven’t read it.

    American, like you I was not concerned with my phone being tapped because I wasn’t doing anything I needed to hide. And given the enemy we Americans are facing I was happy the federal government was being as vigilant in protecting me. I am however extremely upset over the federal government taking over the entire health care system when they have proven with Medicare, Medicaid, the Post Office, The TARP, the Stimulus and dozens of other programs and projects they have involved themselves in that they are incompetent and wasteful and just plain corrupt.

    I am also frightened of the monster and his minions that we have in the White House. His czars who have almost unlimited power and whom no one elected and who were not even approved by congress. His Marxist cabinet and staff who are doing all in their power to bring down our democracy. This latest move by AG Holder to give Muslim murdering terrorist the rights of American citizens and Congress is allowing it to happen is merely a move to destroy our intelligence agencies. It gets worse every day and we the people are being battered from all fronts so much that it is hard to keep up.

    The health care bill is not wanted by the American public and if the number of hits to my posts offering Senators phone, fax and email address is any indication then Americans are making a last ditch effort to let congress know how they feel. The bill however will be pushed thru and tho we are being told this is not the final vote it is because if this passes as it will then actions approved in this bill as it stands with this one vote in the Senate will activate programs that have already been approved in the Bail Out Bill and the Stimulus Bill. If I am aware of this then surely our Congressmen are! and yet they are going ahead. The lady from Arkansas sold out for $100 million which I have a feeling will not be enough to buy her constituents votes in 2010 but it won’t matter by then anyhow. BB

    • Brenda, Agreed. I am sick to my stomach as I realize we have given America’s worst enemies control of our government and they are proceeding to destroy the nation as fast as they can. When the government finally defaults, I hope we can put those who voted for the stimulus, Cap and trade, and health care on trial for treason. For I now believe it is premeditated subversion.

      You do not spend more than 3 times the entire income of the government by accident. You don’t surrender national sovereignty by accident. And you don’t rush it all through under cover of darkness and through the power of bribes by accident.

      I told many people after the 2008 election, the country has survived bad Presidents before and will survive this one. I fear I may have been wrong. If all I could criticize this government for was apologizing for Bush and bowing too deeply to foreign dictators and royalty I would be a much happier man. Such things pale in importance to reckless spending and pushing the federal debt to critical mass. For libs who don’t read (and most don’t) they are following the playbook for the Cloward-Piven Strategy. Google it if you never heard of it. I know Brenda has. It’s nothing new originating in 1966 there has never been anyone of power to help drive the strategy to success. There is now. The Axis of evil Pelosi/Reid/Obama, are determined not to leave office before activating the national self-destruct sequence.

      I hope I’m wrong and just suffering from political depression but every time I look at the deficit and debt numbers I see them approaching a point where we won’t be able to pay the interest. I see government panels setting the stage for official health care rationing and I see millions of American Idiots saying ignorant hateful things like, “Move over Granny and Give Me MY Free Health Care.” Geez, they really think it’s free. They are idiots.

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