Sat Mar, 13 2004
Consider this story. Then, consider this one.
What do they have in common?
As things stand right now, we are at least a generation into training the sort of people who stood around with rifles and herded others into cattle cars without hearing the sounds of their own consciences. And if you think I'm being too dramatic about this, stop to consider these two cases as elements of a context including their epistemic and ethical implications: we're talking about people who've been trained to not reason to a moral conclusion on their own powers with simple facts right in front of them. They are forbidden to think, and that's why nobody within arm's reach of that airport scene was able to stand up and say, "Just give the guy his bloody wire-cutters before he gags on this nonsense and dies right here in front of us."
"Zero Tolerance" actually means "Don't think, because you're not qualified," and it should not be difficult to figure out where a culture like that is headed. It's why we're seeing The Rise of the Asshole Class, now. Everyone is authorized, and none of them are responsible.