The Right Coast

December 31, 2005
Schell weighs in
By Tom Smith

It can be soothing to read other people's hysterical rantings, because it makes you feel so calm by comparison. It makes me wonder if we should pass the hat to pay for Schell to go to law school, or at least take a class on constitutional law. But then, at most law schools, that would do little good, since so little time is spent on anything but the first ten amendments.

I think of Mr. Schell as one of those nuclear winter guys, back when he had to hurry up and disarm, or at least not put Pershing missiles on European soil, lest the Soviets be provoked. (Happy anniversary, Jonathan!) Good thing we didn't listen to him back then. But then I suppose there is some complicated story in which our failure to prop up the Soviet empire has led to global warming or something. First the US wins the cold war, and now it looks like we might actually win the war in Iraq as well. Hard times for America hating socialists. It must annoy them greatly that we have a President actually determined to defend the country, and willing to use his powers to do it.

Schell avers that the NSA program is "indisputably" illegal. Indisputably? As in, not able to be disputed? But lots of people do dispute that it is illegal. In fact, it probably is legal. We would have a very silly constitution if it were illegal. What we do have is quite a few law professors who think it is illegal, many of whom no doubt also believed that the law of the Florida Supreme Court must hold.

I have a new theory. I think it has something to do with a certain tendency on the Left to think that if you wish it hard enough, it will be so. Sort of a Disney view of the world. Under this theory, if you wish it be that we don't really have
to monitor phone calls from Afghanistan to Florida to stop a dirty bomb from going off in a US city , then a dirty bomb won't go off. It's like wishing upon a star. Or maybe they think we deserve it anyway? No doubt some of them do think this. Or maybe it is just intention based morality, where if your intentions are pure, the consequences don't matter. Which I must admit puzzles the hell out of me, since most of these folks are contemptuous of religion, which strikes me as the only good reason to be a thorough going non-consequentialist.