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Holiday Stories of Stupid

As families come together for the holiday season, it’s important for us to remember the less fortunate among us. Even as we share in the joy and love of this time of year, there are still those poor souls who quite obviously don’t have two brain cells to rub together to warm themselves during these cold winter nights. So let us pause to remember those who, but for the grace of common sense, we could easily be this December. Like these idiots:

Airport security officers in Lafayette, Louisiana who, after seeing an “odd and not readily identifiable” package in a scanning machine, evacuated the terminal and closed the airport while they figured out what it was. It turned out to be a headlamp and some frozen chicken. Bonus points available if Homeland Security bans meat products in checked baggage. (Thanks for this one to The Daily Advertiser)

Administrators at a high school in Haymarket, Virginia who couldn’t give the same reason twice for why they slapped ten unsuspecting bros with detention and other punishments for giving candy canes to their fellow students. Their stated motivations varied from preventing litter to student safety (administrators alleged that the candy could be fashioned into a weapon.) Furthermore, one official seemed to thing that the “Christmas cheer” the students were spreading could cause other students to commit suicide. (Thanks to WUSA-TV)

The editorial board of The New York Times who proclaimed President Obama’s legislative agenda during the 111th Congress to be a rousing success. Except for the part where Congress, driven by a heavily marginalized Republican Party, basically held him at gunpoint to massively rewrite his health-care proposal, refused to pass the Dream Act, forced him into extending the vast majority of the tax cuts he campaigned against, and repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” not because they wanted to, but because the Federal Judiciary was about to do so for them. Yeah, guys… quite the grand achievement on the national political scene.

St. Paul, Minnesota school officials who are apparently banning not only the sale of, but the possession and consumption of candy and other sweets during the school day. As told by The Star Tribune: “’All my friends say, ‘This really sucks,’’ said Misky Salad, a 10-year-old fifth-grader at Chelsea Heights Elementary. ‘A lot of us feel it should be up to us to determine what we should do with our bodies.’” Look forward to kids in St. Paul ducking into bathrooms to “hit some M’s (M&Ms)” and sitting out back drinking Coca-Cola from a brown paper bag.

Everyone involved in the arrest of a 13 year old who was caught writing on a piece of paper with a permanent marker in class one day in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The boy’s teacher, thinking the marker would bleed through the paper and stain the desk, and citing an obscure ordnance against the possession of such markers, promptly called the police who transported the suspect to a juvenile detention facility, while taking the marker into evidence. It pains me to decide who is more absurd in this instance: the teacher who called the cops, the officer who actually arrested this kid, the police chief who had not fired that officer yet, or the local lawmakers who voted to ban Sharpies. Stories like these make me feel better about covering the ASUO because it really could, in all reality, be a lot worse. Ok, maybe just a little worse. (Thanks to The Smoking Gun)

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