Americans are understandably concerned about deterioration of their liberties resuting from the war against terrorists. However there seems to be no consensus as to what liberties should be most vigorously guarded and which can be permitted some degree of encroachment.
I should like to focus this weblog, at least for a while, into the nature of our rights and freedoms, so as to have a framework upon which to analyze challenges to our liberties.
Of all the characteristics of our liberties, I believe that the least appreciated is this: Rights and freedoms are do not derive from the altruism of the state. They have purposes that benefit not only the individual, but ultimately the state as well. The American government is not sharged with protecting essential liberties a a beneficial by-product of consensual government; it does so because protection of such freedoms is essential to the purposes for which the people have formed a state.