Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up himself and 277 other people on Flight 253 to Detroit Christmas Day. Fellow passengers subdued and disarmed him.

Lessons? Start with the obvious: There are still terrorists in other countries who want to hurt us.

Some will say that we must beef up security. But consider: America’s security state, which has been in alleged high gear (or some bright color) since 2001, has already been beefed up. And yet, once again, this security broke down.

It could be that preventing violence is just not that easy to do. If you have determined enemies who spring up in unexpected quarters, it’s really hard for government to stop them.

Herbert Spencer, a 19th century sociologist, explained it this way: “The law-made instrumentality lumbers on under all varieties of circumstances at its habitual rate. By its very nature it is fitted only for average requirements, and inevitably fails under unusual requirements.”

We cannot expect government to always foresee dangers. We cannot even rely on government to transmit warnings of a specific terrorist from one department to another, and do something about it.

I’m not saying we should expect nothing of government. Just don’t expect too much.

All hope is not lost, however. We have each other. From the heroism of

Flight 93 on 9.11 to this Christmas Day incident, passengers have shown they’re not powerless.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Donovan says:

    I would still like to find out more about the older middle eastern man who snuck the underwear bomber through customs. I smell something fishy with all this new hype about invading Yemen over this. Seems the news and Washington are quick to jump to conclusions without a proper investigation.

  2. Ken Warner says:

    The whole focus on preventing all “possibility of a bad action” is foolish. The only method that could have good results over the long term is to encourage passengers to be armed and vigilant.

  3. Mary Bodily says:

    I agree with your premiss. It seems that in the name of protecting us,the people, we have limited our freedoms extensively. Thankfully in the case on Christmas the passengers were sharp and were able to respond to the problem at hand and “fixed” it.
    Isn’t this our “job”?
    Goverment cannot and should not fix everything. We, the people, need to take responsibility for problems we must solve and not run to the government and ask them to solve everything for us.

  4. James Roeder says:

    Simply put: The fight against the “OTHERS” will never end. Pick who you wish for “others”-terrorist, religious leaders, local dog catcher… The fight against those who would impose their unjust ‘governance’ on you, me or “We-the-people” is unending (infinite). Tyranny is the natural state of governance, only when good people serve as leaders, working within “limited power”, do we have freedom. Our founding fathers gave us a constitution to limit the power of government, which all other governments HATE US FOR and seek, along with most politicians, to destroy the limits of governmental power. Power to the people really is power to the leader, but politicians are too mis-informed to understand that usually, eh?

  5. […] a reason for this. At their best, bureaucracies “lumber on,” to quote one sociologist’s analysis. They are, “by their nature . . . fitted only for average requirements.” Picking long shots? […]

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