Jefferson: "I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."
Comment: Occasional, even violent, social insurgence effectively stirs the pot of politic awareness.
Jefferson: "Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them."
Comment: Even when the gov't suppresses acts of resistance up to and including full insurrection, those issues that led to the rebellion are disclosed and reveal how the gov't is abusing its power as respects at least some members of society, and a goodly gov't ought to attend to the repair of its excesses.
Jefferson: "An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much."
Comment: The gov't ought to turn a relatively blind eye to the criminality of rebellious misbehaviors in exchange for the valuable identification of needed reforms that were disclosed.
We can but hope that death is truly the final slumber so as not to be required to imagine how tortured a spirit must be that of Jefferson.
Ladar Levison's (LL) actions strike me as highly laudable patriotism. PJ's not so much. I can certainly relate to her trepidation and don't begrudge PJ the choice to avoid spying and to discourage others from having their privacy violated by communicating with her/Groklaw. I can sympathize with PJ's choice to withdraw from conflict and cower in hiding, but I admire LL's heroic iconoclasm.
There has never been "beauty and safety in the rule of law." The law invests the power of the rod and sword, the authority to coerce and destroy. Keeping the abuse of that power in check requires public resistance.