Thursday, March 06, 2003

Students and the Police State: I think you're on to something. Almost all students I have met from the former Warsaw Pact nations (who know from police states) fall on what might be called the conservative side of things, at least when it comes to the nonsense about "Imperialist" America and other fanciful college humanities notions. Only once, that I can think of, have I met someone who violated this rule. He was from Russia, and he argued that the de jure one-party USSR was the same as our de facto two-party America. His logic was a bit tortured, but he implied that at least the USSR was honest about not offering a real choice at the polls. Anyhoo, I don't much care for impositions on our freedom, though I don't think that the Patriot Act has turned us into Stalinist Russia in one fell swoop. For one thing, we have a (relatively) activist judicial system, one that hasn't in the past shied away from telling the Feds that they've overstepped the Constitution. For all the badmouthing of Ashcroft, he's not really been spanked by the courts yet. I don't support everything the DOJ has in mind, but I've yet to feel particularly threatened by the government simply because they hauled some Taliban down to Gitmo for a little "smacky-face" (as one official delightfully called it in the WSJ this week).

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