During the Soviet era, there was a joke going around about how Soviet citizens expressed their feelings about life under Communist rule.
Whatever a citizen is asked about, he shrugs and says, “I can’t complain.” Finally the exasperated interviewer asks, “Well, is there anything about life in the Soviet Union that you do dislike?” Of course the answer is “I CAN’T COMPLAIN!!!”
In certain societies, persons who complain too pointedly or publicly are subject to arrest and imprisonment, if not worse. Luckily, being arrested for complaining, especially in a civil, peaceful, non-rights-violating way, would never happen in the U.S., right?
Don’t tell it to Jim Howe, the Tennessee parent arrested by a splenetic officer, Avery Aytes (“Officer Absolute Obedience” as Cory Doctorow dubs him), for calmly articulating disagreement with a new school policy on how his kids were to be picked up from school. The policy created traffic jams, so Howe walked to the school to get his kids. When he continues to calmly express his viewpoint despite being told to zip it, Aytes slaps on the cuffs.
The crime: talking.
County Sheriff Butch Burgess says he doesn’t even need to look at the starkly unambiguous video of the incident to know that the arrest was justified, Aytes was just doing his job. This means that all arrests by law enforcement officers are per se justified because they are arrests by law enforcement officers. Which is a prescription for cowed submission to tyranny.
That’s not common sense.
I’m Paul Jacob.