I just did a quick search using Bing for phrases like "Obama safety freedom nsa," and "Obama nsa snowden." Whatever, right? Well, when the results came back and I tried to clink on links to articles about the president’s recent speech about the NSA, the links opened a new window that said the ol’ "page can not be displayed" thing. Huffpo, Bloomberg, Business something (I forget) – none of the links to these stories worked.

Probably just a coincidence.

But I was looking for the POTUS’s direct quote about (to paraphrase) "You can’t have one-hundred per cent safety and one-hundred per cent freedom one-hundred per cent of the time."

Most folks I know heard that and said, "It’s true. the world a scaaaary place."

And it wasn’t in 1776?

The point is that these are neat little dialectical games meant to confuse us into submission. Think about it.

You can’t measure freedom and safety externally. It’s based on individual perceptions. Do you think you’re free? Then you are. Do you think you’re safe? Then you are.

These two ideals aren’t quantifiable things you can put in a box and weigh. They’re not printer cartridges. Are you out of ink? Yes, then you’re out of ink and it doesn’t matter what you think. Freedom and safety don’t work that way. They’re abstractions.

And freedom is really simple to understand. My freedom ends where yours begins, and ditto for you. Or, as a friend of mine likes to say, "Your freedom ends at the tip of my nose."

So when you hear someone talk about freedom and safety measured in percentages, you should listen carefully to what comes next. Chances are, they’re fullovit.

How much do your ideas weigh, anyway?

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