The public interest, established by thousands of disciplinary statutes, should begin and end with the linkage between specified misbehavior and specified sanctions. With those sanctions achieved, the establishment of the facts of the misbehavior – at least by the prosecutor or agency in question – is not important. Why then is it pursued? Often, I believe, from the conscious desire to inflict those collateral consequences, a blood-lust to stigmatize.
Archive for November 2011
If I knew that my contributions would only finance food, clothing, shelter, health care and child care and not drugs, I’d be much more inclined to be generous. But how can I know? When the panhandler approaches, there’s no grant application and no time for due diligence.
These are small-timers, and what makes their souls as small as their business, I think, is America itself, a place where there is no state religion nor any religion or code of ethics at all which anyone is required to internalize. Here you are free to be a scheming psychopath while talking a blue streak; no one will stop you. And while Mamet is clearly pointing out how amusing people who do this can be, I do not see much evidence he thinks we can learn much from them; the encounter is all. Fortunately, it is enough.