Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Friday, November 03, 2006

An Epidemic Of Stupidity.

Stupidity is the leading epidemic in America. Take the Schenectady DA’s office as an example. Yesterday, The Daily Gazette reported that a man entered a house unlawfully in order to steal copper pipe. He took a mentally handicapped teenager in with him. He was caught and arrested. He was not arrested for trespassing or attempted theft but for child endangerment because the house had no electricity. Following that logic, the Montgomery County DA would be obligated to arrest every Amish parent in the county.

My daughter came home from school yesterday and said that if you get caught throwing a snowball on school grounds, you get suspended for a day for the first offense and for each additional offense you get longer and longer suspensions. Over in Massachusetts, a school has outlawed tag on school grounds because it is dangerous and creates liability issues. If we keep denying kids wholesome ways of having fun, we should not be surprised if they end up experimenting with unwholesome and even more dangerous ways of having fun.

My last example of stupidity is the Times Unions refusal to publish a woman’s obituary because it violated the TU’s guidelines.

Here is the original wording that the TU objected to.

"She left strict instructions that there be no schmaltzy sentimentality of mourning, urging that in lieu of expressions of grief people should send urgent messages to their legislators to force U.S. signing of the Kyoto Protocol, then vote in such a way as to send Bush a strong message of disgust with his policies and politics."

Here is the same portion after The TU edited it.

"she left strict instructions ... urging that in lieu of expressions of grief, people who wish to remember her continue to support the Kyoto Protocol and oppose the Bush Administration."

So instead of publishing the obituary, the TU turned their refusal into a news story, then allowed the woman’s minister to publish the original obituary on his TU blog. The TU managed to cover all bases here. They stuck to their policy by refusing to publish the obituary, but at the same time they can claim they are still advocates of free speech by allowing the reverend to publish it on his blog, and to boot they got a news story out of the whole thing.


  • Am I the only one really annoyed by the TU article's use of the term "Web log." C'mon! Who says that? We all know it's a "blog!"

    By Blogger Roon, at 11:16 AM  

  • You are not the only one. I was struck also by the use of the word penultimate instead of next to the last. I guess the TU doesn't believe in "tell it to Sweeney! The Stuyvesants will understand."

    By Blogger Dan Weaver, at 12:31 PM  

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