Stupidity On The Upswing?

Apparently, federal officials do not believe they can spare enough money to help Ohio County individuals and business people who suffered losses in the July flash floods. That form of assistance has been approved for some counties, but not ours.

But Uncle Sam does have enough in the bank to give the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security $1,653,935 “for the monitoring of debris created by demolishing unsafe privately-owned homes” damaged in the floods.

Strange, but even with all the pleas from Charleston for more money for this, that and the other thing, I don’t recall any state officials bemoaning the fact we didn’t have enough to monitor debris from houses damaged badly by flood water. Actually, I’m not even certain how one spends nearly $1.7 million doing that.

For years, I’ve been arguing that the big thing wrong with Americans is that we seem to have misplaced our common sense. One wonders if the hardy pioneers who settled our region would have thought it proper to spend $1.7 million on monitoring debris while some of their neighbors were being told there could be no help for them in rebuilding.

There were other examples of common sense taking a vacation last week:

ESPN, the big sports network, plans to broadcast the football game between the University of Virginia and William and Mary next weekend. The game will be played at Charlottesville, Va.

Among those who had been scheduled to broadcast the contest was an ESPN employee named Robert Lee. ESPN reassigned him. They worried about a Robert Lee on the air in Charlottesville. Same name as the Confederate general, you know.

I don’t make this stuff up.

Then there’s the letter Tesla head Elon Musk and 115 pioneers in robotics and artificial intelligence sent to the United Nations. They want the U.N. to ban “autonomous weapons” — robots, in essence. They worry such armaments could be used by despots and terrorists.

Apparently Musk and company believe the same U.N. that couldn’t keep nuclear weapons out of North Korea’s hands will be more successful with robots.

This is crazy, but no more so than a lot of things we human beings have been doing for years. We criticize much of it as “political correctness,” but I think that dignifies irrational behavior too much. Why not just call it what it is — stupidity?

Myer can be reached at: mmyer@theintelligencer.net.

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