Monday, March 20, 2006
robberies and filibusters
I've noticed that in many robberies of banks, stores, etc., there's no weapon displayed -- and the news reports don't indicate that any was even mentioned. It appears to be common these days to hand someone a note saying "This is a robbery", and immediately get cash handed over. I understand that the rob-ees don't want to ask "Well, are you armed?" and get a fatal, nonverbal reply. I believe that most employers tell their employees to be very cooperative with robbers to reduce the chance of violence. Reasonable as those attitudes may be, they still feel somehow odd to me. I'm reminded of filibusters. Back when, a filibuster was work. You had to actually stand up and pontificate for hours on end. Now, a senator essentially hands the Senate a note saying "This is a filibuster", and the Senate rolls over and gives up the intended legislation. In both circumstances, neither the victim's powers of resistance nor the determination of the perpetrator are tested. Am I being an old crank to sense a whiff of decadence?