Morons and murderers

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I hope my outrage reaches through cyberspace – is that term still used? – to your desktop. I’m angry because we live in a world like this:

 Are these the stupidest school officials in the world? Yes, yes they are.

Less utterly obnoxious, but still well situated on the idiocy continuum, is the story of the senator’s wife who's been in court because of an in-flight incident:

It seems like the crown and the aircrews can’t figure out what crime this woman is guilty of. Is it domestic abuse? Seems like a strange claim, given the almost entirely verbal fight was about her concern for her older husband’s health. Was she endangering the plane? A credible witness says not at all. Did she possibly direct profanity at some passengers? Sounds like it – and sometimes people need to be cussed out! Even if they didn’t deserve it, can we not give a little allowance for a person’s concern about a loved one?

Apparently not.

Of course, there’s foolishness and then there’s madness, which seems to be on the rise in Pakistan:

I know, I know, I already addressed this, but it’s worth another glance, especially when presented with the first two, more banal examples above. The point is, the anti-intellectual, bigoted, intolerance of hardline Islamist mobs is just at the very far extreme of the above-mentioned continuum.

When stupid is given reign, descent into ugliness becomes possible. Absolutism, ‘zero tolerance’ policies, sacrificing common sense on the altar of political correctness – these are the methods of totalitarianism and fascism.

Too much? Maybe. I realize school officials and air crews aren’t the same as murderous mobs – far from it – but a society that wants policy to replace critical thinking…?

Policy 1: All hand gestures that could remotely be viewed as weaponish are banned utterly.

Policy 2: Any unplanned excitement on a plane will result in charges, and any mention of the words ‘domestic abuse’ – even in the presence of a witness who said nothing happened – must be investigated to the nth degree.

Policy 3: Any slight to a document purported to be the words of God should be met with rabid rage, full stop. Oh, and even saying that policy's wrong is a slight against that document; please refer to the required rabid rage.

All of these rules degrade the human faculty for reasonable decision-making. They assume we can’t distinguish between a deaf child signing his name, and a thug threatening to murder; an upset woman bickering with her husband, and a man (or woman) punching a partner in the face. As for policy three…I don’t even know where to begin: how do you argue against people who think God is on their side? What’s the ‘reasonable’ alternative?

“You can’t kill people with a lynch mob. That’s medieval. First, you need to convict them of besmirching the holy book in a court of law. Then you can imprison them for a decade. That’s the reasonable approach.”

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