Among all the protests, between all the debates, amidst all the furor over various political actions here in the United States, one thing often gets overlooked. There is no fear attendant on being dissident.
     At worst, a person who disagrees with the government will be shunned by a few people or, on occasion, be arrested and put in jail for a night or two, although even that is rare. More often, dissidents are held up as heroes and celebrated by the press.
    Compare that to Russia where dissidents are living on borrowed time. Perhaps the most disturbing part of the murder of yet another journalist is just that…it is “just another murder of a journalist.” Is is expected and, by extension, accepted as the natural order of things, that those who disagee with the government are going to disappear from public life in some permanent fashion, whether via arrest or death.
     It is worth remembering the next time we set out to complain about some government action or other here. Compared to Russia, the price we pay to disagree is pretty small.

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