Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Joe Sobran reviews Spielberg's Minority Report, and complains that federal government law enforcement has assumed radical new powers, and no one objects. I didn't see the movie that way. The new powers were being assumed by a private company called PreCrime. It was presumably under contract to the feds, but with virtually no oversight. In the movie there is a plan for the feds to take over the program, and expand it nationwide. The DoJ sends an agent to figure out exactly how the program works, and when he finds out, the DoJ shuts down the program.

I just don't see why Sobran says, "The state simply seizes any powers it craves, no questions asked. Its only limits are technological, not legal." The powers were seized by an insufficiently regulated private company. The scheme did not fail for any technological reason. It is not clear exactly why the program was shut down -- maybe because it was abused, maybe because it was inhumane, maybe because it was not scalable, maybe because the PreCrime company was discredited, I don't know. But it was working.

Sobran really goes off the deep end when he says, H.G. "Wells was a very fallible prophet". Who predicted the future better than Wells? Among other things, he predicted the invention of the atomic bomb. Read more here.

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