"Educate men without fail and all you make are clever devils."
— Arthur Wellesley
"Ye thought? Ye are paid to think! This is not the parliament. I am Britain aboard this ship."
— Lord Nelson
"Only the Awkward question. Only the foolish do so twice."
— Imperial Proverb, Warhammer 40,000
It starts with just a little thing
no one would miss at all.
What possible, perceivable harm can it do
to break just a little law?
— What Harm Can It Do?, from the US Acres episode Wanted: Wade!
"He was jaywalking! And smoking on the street! I was confronting an evil villain threatening our city's safety!"
— Masayoshi Hazama, Samurai Flamenco
The facts of the Wharton case were as follows. At Brakebills, most serving duties at dinner were carried out by First Years, who then ate separately afterwards. But, by tradition, one favored Fourth Year was chosen every year to serve as wine steward, in charge of pairings and pourings and whatnot. Wharton had had this honor bestowed upon him, and not for no reason.
But in the judgment of the League, Wharton had sinned against the honor of his office, sinned most grievously, by systematically short-pouring the wine, especially for the Fifth Years, who were allowed two glasses with dinner. Seriously, these were like three-quarter pours. Everybody agreed. For such a crime, there could be no forgiveness.
— The Girl In The Mirror, a short story from the anthology Dangerous Women
The standard set-up of a Judge Dredd story involves Dredd going to great lengths to bust some “creep” whose crime seems relatively minor. Even if there is a proper villain, it’s not uncommon for a Judge Dredd strip to end with some minor accomplice getting arrested by Dredd, who inevitably rejects any pleas for mercy. An early story, for instance, ends with Dredd arresting a man for receiving an illegal but presumably life-saving organ transplant, proclaiming him to be one of “the real villains” in the illegal transplant ring he’s busting.
The strip, in other words, is an aggressive satire of what would become known as the broken windows theory of policing, in which focusing on small crimes against the social order - vandalism being the textbook example - was believed to reduce crime in general. In practice, of course, broken window policing became an excuse for police forces to focus on petty crime committed by poorer people, and was little more than an excuse for neoliberal crypto-fascists like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to arrest more racial minorities.
—Phil Sandifer, The Last War in Albion
With only scarce seconds before the families would notice their absence, Mary Ellen and Jacob snuck behind the Miller's house to share the most decadent of sins: a Snickers bar.