Former Soviet political prisoner Natan Sharansky, who spent nine years in the Gulag, says his fellow dissidents had wide ranging views on many subjects—except one: freedom.

The prisoners all believed that a free society could only exist where individuals have the right to express their views without fear of arrest, imprisonment or physical abuse.

That experience led Sharansky to the conclusion, which he outlines in his book “The Case for Democracy,” that the world is divided into two kinds of societies: free and fear.

Societies based on fear are rooted in tyranny—the unrestrained abuse of authority that oppresses individuals and divergent ideas and forces people to cower before their government, yet rely on that same government for security.

America is perhaps the best example in the world today of a free society, where individual liberty exists by Providence and, as such, cannot be removed by man, except by rule of law.

Terrorism, like we witnessed Monday afternoon in Boston, strikes at the heart of a free society.  The seeming randomness of an attack on innocent citizens (as opposed to battlefield soldiers) is meant to cause every American to worry, “if it can happen there, it can happen anywhere.”

Theoretically it can, adding to the fear.

We look at the picture of eight-year-old Martin Richard, one of three people killed in the bombings, and see our own son or daughter, grandchild or neighborhood kid.  The evil behind the act that would kill, maim or wound nearly 180 people is difficult for most of us to imagine.

In response to an attack, it’s natural to demand more protection.  What is the country doing to make sure madmen can’t wreak bloody havoc?   The truth is that there’s only so much that can be done without infringing significantly on freedom.

While security forces remain aggressive in rooting out potential attacks, the charge to the American people is to remain steadfast and vigilant.  We move forward, exercising our blessed freedom while rejecting fear.

“The American people refuse to be terrorized,” President Obama said following the bombings.

In one sense, the terrorists have already scored victories.  Americans now must queue up and go through security checks to get on an airplane or enter a courthouse.

But terrorists cannot prevail where people value freedom.  Our enemies will continue their perverse fight in hopes our country becomes so paranoid that we begin to abandon our principles.

That can’t happen, not after 9/11, not after Boston.

As Natan Sharansky said, it’s only freedom that has the power to overcome tyranny and terror.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bubble graphic

32

bubble graphic

Comments

  • Michael

    Terrorosits don't care if you're a Democrat, Republican or any other party.

  • GregG

    Strange that your jumping for joy Fungo, Manchin should have been on your ticket years ago.

  • FungoJoe

    Manchin-Toomey amendment goes down in a fiery heap. Here you go Joe, have an Ollie Beer to put out those flames.

    • Hop'sHip

      Yes! In your face, parents of dead kids. You are too stupid to realize that those kids died free. Now we need to eliminate that law that requires ANY backgroud check. You all can go cry with Joe and anybody else that gives a hoot.

  • FungoJoe

    Manchin lost his amendment vote 54-46. There is your topic for tomorrow Hoppy. Manchin's rear is fluttering around out in the breeze now. Circle the wagons Big Joe. You threw the baby out with the bath water on this one.

  • FungoJoe

    1994
    Joe Manchin comin' out my radio
    He shot Obama's cap 'n trade bill
    So help me girl, this ain't no drill
    How 'bout a night to remember and a fifth of shine.
    Now Joe wants to take away my nine.
    A little feel good on the Senate floor
    I'm talking 1994

    Hey Joe, Joe, Joe Manchin
    Joe, Joe, Joe Manchin
    Joe, Joe, Joe Manchin

    Gayle don't you worry, now your ship just came in.
    So go tell your mama, tell all your friends
    That your new favorite color is Marshall green
    Hop on this yatch aka Time Machine

    1994, Joe Manchin comin' out my radio
    He shot Obama's cap 'n trade bill
    So help me girl, this ain't no drill
    How 'bout a night to remember and a fifth of shine.
    Now Joe wants to take away my nine.
    A little feel good on the Senate floor
    I'm talking 1994

    Hey Joe, Joe, Joe Manchin
    Joe, Joe, Joe Manchin
    Joe, Joe, Joe Manchin

    Will the real Joe Manchin please stand up.

    • Hop'sHip

      Fungo: You seem to have some real song-writing skills. Maybe you can pen Brad Paisley's next song, "Intentional Racist".

      • FungoJoe

        I'll put that on the list. The next one is going to be "Who let the Progressives out? Who? Who? Who? Who? Who? Who let the Progressives out?"

        And by "out" I mean out of the looney bin. The far left looney bin.

        • GregG

          We were let out of the "looney bin" by the party that has a history of cutting the benefits and closing the facilities of the mentally ill, poor, elderly and veterans. All those funds were shifted to the likes of Big Oil and Haliburton. Like so many issues of today, such as the economy, healthcare, crime etc....stem from you party Fungo. Here's some lyrics for you Fungo....and I see how they're living it up. While the poor they eat from hand to mouth, the rich drink from the golden cup....

      • FungoJoe

        I have played nice and you want to lob some hate my way by implying that I am an intentional racist.
        I am going to have to do some research on that topic though. I should have plenty of research data available to me after I talk to Chris Matthews and the rev. al sharpton.

  • wirerowe

    Well said mntnman

  • mntnman

    It is true we refuse to be terrorized. And we want to continue to live free. However, we do seem willing to give up our constitutional rights (or those of others) in times like these. It concerns me greatly that we are willing to give up constitutional freedoms for perhaps a little more security -- not a lot more, mind you, just a little more. The terrorists strategy might be to try to impact our freedom and liberty, the hallmarks of our great society. To me that may be the greatest terror of all.

    • GregG

      mntnman, I said the same thing after 9/11. I made a comment to a friend and co/worker at that time that as bad as the events that took place were, the reaction by us as a country, upon ourselves, will be just as tragic in many ways. Of course he said my opinion was based on politics, but over time he found out that knee jerk reaction doesn't know political lines. In my opinion it is unreasonable to believe that we can totally protect ourselves from acts of terrorism.

      • mntnman

        Yeah, and think of all the constitutional rights that have been compromised since 911. Those who oppose liberty and freedom will always use times of trouble to undermine our rights. We must push back. Always.

  • Harpers Ferry

    Joe Manchin should sponsor a bill that requires background checks before making a bomb!

    On a more serious note, just watch the "collapse" of building 7 of the World Trade Center and then we can talk about whom it is that we should fear.

  • wirerowe

    Hoppy I thought Richard Neely's comments regarding the balancing of security and freedom very interesting and thought provoking. i tend to agree with him. Hoppy you need to have him on as often as he will come on. As always I enjoyed Larry Puccio's comments regarding the politics of Senator Manchin's bipartisan background check bill. Larry is one of, if not, the smartest political operatives I have ever seen in West Virginia.

  • 2XLPatriot

    Let's see now, since 9/11 we have stopped profiling terrorists eventhough all muslim terrorists are males between the ages of 18 and 35, started pulling grandma's with walkers and diapers, crippled children in wheelchairs and amputee Veterans out of line at airports for "random screenings." No middle eastern (muslim) males between 18-35 because they may become "offended" or Heaven forbid, feel profiled. Trading freedom for security to what end? We have already seen the beginnings of a totalitarian regime and fascism by political correctness. If you're not PC, it's a hate crime and racist. This is the world we have created. Global policing and crap foreign policy. An influx of immigration from countries that hate America and sending billions of dollars to countries that vote against us in the U.N. 75% of the time. F-16's and millions more in currency to the muslim brotherhood while they declare that islam will dominate the world or behead those who resist islam. Freedom for security? I'll take my chances with what our Forefathers guaranteed us when they wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    they may treat the purchase of pressure cookers, bb's and black powder the way they treat the meth lab ingredients ie sudafed draino etc.

  • Mo

    That would be, "Americans now must QUEUE up..."

  • bulldog95

    Lets hope our beloved congress rushes forward and passes a new law that makes it illegal to own, make, and set off bombs. Lets make sure I have to go through a background check to buy beebee's for my son, and that I submit finger prints when buying a pressure cooker while they are at it.

    • CaptainQ

      Sadly Bulldog95, I almost expect Congress to force through a bill to ban all pressure cookers soon. Seems that politicians are SO good at 'knee-jerk' reactions because most of them are... well... JERKS!

      • Hop'sHip

        Captain: There is nothing preventing you from running for Congress. Since you are so wise, you could explain to us morons and idiots what is the right thing to do or not do. I guess, as an idiot, I misunderstood the criticism of Congress, thinking it was for not working together to get things done. Now I know that the problem is they are doing too much. But thanks for not getting all "political" on us.

        • CaptainQ

          Ok Hop'sHip, I'll 'play your game' for the time being. YOU want to claim that I'm wise, alright, let's assume for the moment you're correct. Then you should know that any 'wise' people steer clear of politics (especially in THIS state). It doesn't take a genius (which I am NOT) to figure out that our current system of government is NOT working and it'll take more than just one determined person getting elected to public office to change it.

          Besides, Hop'sHip, along the same line of thinking, nothing is stopping YOU from running for public office either. Based on your numerous postings here, you are already VERY familiar with 'politic-speak' and there's NO one on the MB better at dodging direct questions than you.

          PLEASE run for political office! You'll have my vote!

        • GregG

          Geez, did I miss something? Coming down a little hard on the Captain ain't you Hop'sHip? I don't recall the Captain calling anyone and "idiot" or "moron". Maybe I did miss something, but I can't recall the Captain using those adjectives. Granted many times the Captain and I have not seen eye-to-eye on a given subject, but I don't recall him being to harsh in his opinions.

  • CaptainQ

    Hoppy, there's always much hindsight and handwringing when tragedies such as what happened in Boston occur.

    The bottom line is this, no matter how much America as a society advances (or regresses, depending on your point of view) there will always be elements of evil (both foreign and domestic) who will plot to perform acts of terrorism against us. All we can do is do the best we can as a country to be prepared, and even that will never be enough to prevent EVERY act of terror.

    The sad thing will be if the two political parties decide to 'play politics' with this horrible event. I can imagine the morons and idiots on the far right in this nation will be quick to blame President Obama for the Boston bombings. There were folks on the far left back in 2001 who gleefully blamed Bush II for 9/11, the Great Eastern Blackout of 2005 (I think that's the correct year), Hurricane Katrina and the Ecomonic Downturn of 2007 (and anything else they could think of/invent). I am SO sick and tired of political fingerpointing from BOTH major parties, this solves NOTHING. No one, no matter how brilliant, could've foreseen how a crackpot could create bombs out of pressure cookers and plant them without being seen. This happened before, in the Olympic village in Altanta back in 1996 when the Media jumped to conclusions and blamed the security guard who actually found that bomb in the first place. Oh well.

    Life goes on, folks. It will be difficult for the people of Boston do get 'back to normal' for a very long time. The best thing all of us can do instead of joining all of the politicians and political 'talking heads' in playing the 'blame game' is to honestly and earnestly pray for the people of the city, those who lost loved ones in the blast and those who will be forever maimed by it.

    • Hop'sHip

      Captain: It looks like both of our "to be moderated" comments did get posted, and I can't for the life of me figure out what might have made them suspect in the first place. About the only thing they have in common is the mention of a certain name. Do you think that is what might have flagged them?

      Well written commentary today from the Dean. I will say this, though. The tradeoff is often between security and freedom. In this country we have currently a substantial amount of both. So maybe we should be a little less smug and try to empathise with some others where drawing the line might be a little more difficult. Remember total, unrestrained "freedom" is nothing more than anarchy

      • CaptainQ

        Good observation, Hop'sHip! Never even dawned on me that the R-word could get one placed in the MetroNews.com 'Penalty Box.'

        It's not often the two of us agree on anything, but on THIS issue, looks like we're on the same page. Just have to remember not to use the R-word anymore. Could we refer to this figure as 'Mr. X' or some other cryptic name instead?

        • hillbilly

          I used the "R" word yesterday - or Mr X - and it went "to be Moderated.."

          • CaptainQ

            This is a test of the Emergency Censorship System, this is ONLY a test:

            John Raese

            If you can read this, then MetroNews' ECS is down. If you can't read this, then you won't even realize there was a test, right?

    • GregG

      I couldn't agree more Captain. No matter the event, it never fails that both parties will take advantage of the situation to either make a profit or impose their will.

    • bulldog95

      There has already been some mentions on blogs that Obama is to blame but this appears to be a small amount. Everyone on this MB with any ounce of intergity would at least mumble to themselves that had a republican been in office that the MSM would have been blaming that person as soon as they could have interupted the local program to bring you breaking news.

      What I find my sickening is the conference where people are saying that the recovery, the handling, blah blah is a result of a well funded government. And here I thought it was due to training. Besides, how is the government well funded when its almost 17 trillion in debt?

  • Jim N Charleston

    Freedom in life
    Fear in the horror movies

    Next question