The Shiite village houses, it was explained to me, had no glass in their windows, the better to get their weapons out fast to fire at the Israelis. Who wants the inconvenience of glass between you and the despised enemy? No matter that it snowed in winter in this part of Galilee. Hate is hate.

I’ll take the risk of being obvious and say, when you’re in Israel, you’re never very far from global conflagration. The number of religious lunatics out there is staggering. The Tsarnaev brothers may have been closer to the rule than the exception.

So we are in a serious conundrum. Much as our civil liberties are precious, so are our lives. And so is the civilization that preserves our freedoms. Ironically, as technology advances, we may depend more than ever on the morality and good judgement of our leaders.

Recent events have shown Barack Obama not to be strong in those areas — to put it mildly. Unfortunately, however, few politicians are. And it is extremely difficult to know in advance who will be until they have been tested. As with the case when we send emails with private information, we may simply have to hold our noses and go forward.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage based on a modified image.)