Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dissecting Ben Franklin

Where is the trade-off between security and liberty?

Dissecting Ben Franklin

0 comments
Blog Image

Here's a famous Ben Franklin quote:

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Here's a CNN report:

 "A new CNN/Time/ORC International Poll indicates four in 10 Americans say they are willing to give up some civil liberties to fight terrorism, and suggests worries about terrorism have edged up after the Boston Marathon bombings.

In light of the Boston Marathon bombings, are you willing to consider giving up some civil liberties in order to combat terrorism?

"The national survey shows that concerns about terrorism are up slightly, with 40% saying they worry that someone in their family will become a victim of terrorism, up 6 percentage points from a 2011 CNN poll conducted on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

"The survey also indicates that support for government monitoring of the Internet is down 8 points from right after 9/11, although there is still majority support: 55%. However, there is widespread and growing approval of the use of surveillance cameras in public places, with 81% saying they are in favor of it, nearly a 20 point jump from 2001.

"The poll, conducted April 30, 2013, has a sampling error of +/-4 percentage points."

I'm surprised it's only 40 percent who favor tighter security, giving up some liberties. Without knowing what is meant by that, it's vague, but we have given up some "liberty" already. Think airports. That affects us all. Think the Patriot Act. Doesn't affect me much.

Notice that Ben Franklin said "essential liberty." There's devil in the details. What is "essential?" We can argue that. I am willing to be, let's say inconveninced, to keep some a--hole from blowing up Americans.

Remember, too, we are at war. It may not feel like that (until a beautiful spring day in Boston), but while we be asleep, our enemies are not.

Daily News Columnist
0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Stu Bykofsky has been a columnist with the Philadelphia Daily News since 1987. Prior to the column, his assignments included theater critic, TV critic, copy editor, general assignment features reporter. He supports civil-rights and animal causes, he opposes political correctness, bicycles on the sidewalk and most other forms of selfishness and stupidity.
 Follow Stu on Twitter

Reach Stu at stubyko@phillynews.com.

Stu Bykofsky Daily News Columnist
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter