Friday, October 30, 2009


I have tried my best to avoid our local hospital over the past year.

But I've been up there two or three times since Mom died; once for a workshop and once for blood work, anyway. Still I have managed to avoid the actual wards. Like the plague.

There is a coffee/snack kiosk in the lobby and surprisingly, the coffee is pretty good. Being a true coffee addict, I spent a lot of time there when Mom was in the hospital. One woman, in particular, who worked there (her name escapes me now -I have a good memory but it's a little on the short side) was particularly friendly. Sweet, actually. We chatted a lot and shared a lot of personal stuff.

I've seen her at the kiosk on a couple of occasions when I've been at the hospital since then. And I literally could not physically force myself to walk over there and say hello.

Just. Could. Not. Do. It.

It was too much. Just the thought of it hurt too bad.

I was up at the hospital this morning for blood work. And she was at the kiosk. I was surprised to find that not only could I go over, get a coffee and chat with her but I was compelled to. I really wanted and needed to say hello.

So I did. And shared with her that I hadn't been able to speak to her for the past 11 months. Not until now. She got it. She's still sweet. I wouldn't have expected any less.

I walked out the door with tears in my eyes. But I had to wonder ... perhaps, just perhaps, it was a small sign of healing?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

'Secure' Health Care

There is a good opinion piece in today's paper concerning the inappropriateness of using security guards as long-term attendants for patients suffering from various forms of dementia.

There is no question that many with Alzheimer's and various other issues are simply confused and wandering the halls of health care institutions. Others become violent.

And it's not like we can them "accountable" for that in some meaningful way - consider how much their world has changed, how confusing and scary that must be and then add in ever-changing caregivers, some always better than others. Consider that someday that could well be you and I.

Even without the issue of violence, the 'wanderers' can pose a huge problem. Both for their own safety (if they happen to wander off the ward) and to the mental health of other patients. We saw that happening during Mom's long hospital ordeal last year.

When Mom was hospitalized and confined to bed by her physical illness, an older gentleman in the room across the hall was a wanderer. He would come and stand in the doorway to Mom's room and talk to her. The problem was that both and he and Mom were subject to dementia. So while what he said probably wasn't making a whole lot of sense, it made even less sense to Mom's fogged mind.

When we returned from a weekend away, I found Mom terrified, refusing to eat or sleep. Between 'the man in the doorway', the nurses in and out of the room and the absence of her main support person (me), those two days became too much for her. It had all meshed into some confused horrifying story in her mind which made her sure that "they" were out to hurt her and her family.

Ironically, it turned out that 'the man in the doorway' was the father of a close friend, who I never even realized was in the hospital. Once we discovered that and told Mom about it, she was fine. Because, as she put it, she "knew the family".

But we also saw hospital rooms with security guards at the door day and night. It definitely made you wonder what was up.

First of all, it can't be an efficient use of resources.

Then there is the question of how much training these officers have. Does it prepare them to safely engage the "60-year-old stroke victim who throws furniture; the psychotic senior who violently strikes everyone, including their own family; or the frail grandmother who screams day and night"?

There's a situation ripe with potential for abuse. Although, in fairness, that's not just an issue for security guards.

And, as noted in the article, the "deterrent factor" offered by a uniformed presence might only serve to make thing worse, especially if paranoia is part of the patient’s illness. The omnipresent security guard, outside the door, only adds to the patient’s isolation, stigmatizes them and their family, and erodes what little dignity the disease has left them.

I can say it no better than the words of John D. Allen (a security professional for more than 20 years; four of those spent supervising the security teams assigned to three Nova Scotia hospitals):

A security officer should never be the primary care plan. It is a clear indication you are not coping.

. . .

Whether their condition is organic, caused by trauma or dementia, brain-injured Nova Scotians deserve the same level of dignity and care we all enjoy, and the need for properly trained health care professionals to deal with their special needs has been clear for some time.

Mahatma Gandhi said, "You can judge a society by how it treats its weakest members" - but the issue, as with everything in health care, is funding.

As we age and face the insidious prospect of our minds turning on us, specially trained orderlies and attendants will become a necessity if we hope to live in a dignified, caring environment.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Illogical Logic, Irrational Fear?

The story of the 13-year-old boy from Ontario who died on Monday is enough to scare any parent.

Almost enough to scare this parent into reconsidering the vaccination issue for her kids. After all, Kit Kat has mild asthma and the Blue Jay has a neuro-developmental disorder, which presumably puts them both at higher risk. Hell, even my own MS, some might argue, might put me in a higher risk category.

But here's my problem.

There's still everything Dr. Mercola has to say on the subject. And although this video interview is quite lengthy, it's worth a listen. He makes a lot of sense. And the interview will tell you a lot more than the text on the page, which makes some valid points on its own.

My two problems in particular have to do with the fact that although we are told repeatedly ad nauseum that flu activity is increasing in the United States, with most states reporting "widespread influenza activity", a three-month-long investigation by CBS News revealed some very different facts.
The CBS study found that H1N1 flu cases are NOT as prevalent as feared. A CBS article even states: "If you've been diagnosed "probable" or "presumed" 2009 H1N1 or "swine flu" in recent months, you may be surprised to know this: odds are you didn't have H1N1 flu. In fact, you probably didn't have flu at all."
Apparently in late July 2009 the CDC advised states to STOP testing for H1N1 flu, and they also stopped counting individual cases. Their rationale being that it was a waste of resources to test for H1N1 flu because it was already confirmed as an epidemic. Okay, fair enough.

But. Just like that virtually every person who visited their physician with flu-like symptoms since late July was assumed to have H1N1, with no testing necessary because, after all, there's an epidemic.
Before beginning their investigation, CBS News asked the CDC for state-by-state test results prior to their halting of testing and tracking. The CDC did not initially respond so CBS went to all 50 states directly, asking for their statistics on state lab-confirmed H1N1 prior to the halt of individual testing and counting in July.

What did they find? CBS reported:

"The results reveal a pattern that surprised a number of health care professionals we consulted. The vast majority of cases were negative for H1N1 as well as seasonal flu, despite the fact that many states were specifically testing patients deemed to be most likely to have H1N1 flu, based on symptoms and risk factors, such as travel to Mexico."

In other words, the diagnosis of swine flue is being repeatedly made NOT based on any lab tests. In fact, the diagnosis is made even when the test results prove otherwise.

And just to back up that little observation, last night I was watching the CTV news. Which was where I first heard the tragic (to say nothing of scary) story of Evan's death. But that piece was followed by another piece on the mass immunizations programs now beginning in which it was stated that you can self-diagnose the swine flu.

Get this. Supposedly, if you have fever and two or more of the following symptoms, you can diagnose yourself with swine flu. The additional symptoms included things like
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • extreme fatigue
  • headache

Well, excuse me, but based on those criteria, I must have had the swine flue at least 500 times in my life. In which case, I should have built up a whack of immunity and pretty well be swine flu proof by now, right?

Yeah. And that logic seems to make as much sense to me as the constant non-ending hype demanding that I must vaccinate myself and my family against this great pandemic.

By the by, I'm sick. Have been for two and a half weeks.

It sucks. It's very hard to get through the day without a two-hour nap. Sinuses, bad. The cough is intermittent. But I think a fair bit of it is coming from my nose draining, if you know what I mean. Fever? Maybe. I think so. Sometimes.

I have no doubt my doctor will tell me tomorrow that I have swine flu. But I won't buy it unless he can prove it to me with a blood test. Because, personally, I am 99.5% sure that I don't. That last 0.5% only because anything can happen.

Although if I do, I would actually be okay with that. Because I can get it over with and forget about it. And everyone else in the house has been exposed, too. So we won't have to worry about that any more, will we?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Enough Said

"Epilepsy strikes and kills about as many people every year as breast cancer, which gets five times more federal funding."

Watch CBS News Videos Online

More Americans are suffering from epilepsy than Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy combined.

*Please watch the video*

H/T to Take Five

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Maritime Kitchen Party

I leave tomorrow for the one-day Maritime Kitchen Party in New Brunswick on Saturday.

And, yeah, I am looking forward to it.

I've never been able to attend any of the Association for Community Living's Conferences before. But I've always wanted to.

And although this means missing my annual trek to Tools for Life, I guess sometimes you just have to choose. I'm sorry to miss Tools for Life but I am sure it will be back again next year.

So here's to a good weekend. A little bit of learning, a little bit of networking, a little bit of respite. Doesn't sound so bad, does it?

* Cross-posted on a Primer on Special Needs and the Law

Well, Well, Well

Thanks to Dust's comment over at Lex's, I turned to my good friend Google to see whatever happened to that pastor who was ordered by the Alberta Human Rights Commission last year to desist from expressing his views on homosexuality in any sort of public forum. And pay the complainant $7,000 in damages.

Turns out the good Reverend is a fighter.
Today, however, he is in Alberta Court of the Queen's Bench, appealing the conviction of hate speech that resulted in the above penalties. That conviction was based upon a letter to the editor in the Red Deer Advocate, in which Boissoin expressed his opinion that homosexuality is immoral and dangerous, and called into question new gay-rights curricula permeating the province's educational system.
Personally, I'm rooting for a victory for Rev. Boissoin. Because, as I've said before on more than one occasion, I'm a firm believer that Canada has went too far with some of the "hate speech" provisions in our various Human Rights Acts.

And, lo and behold, apparently some progress is being made on that front.
OTTAWA, Ontario, September 2, 2009 ( - The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled today that section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, Canada's human rights legislation against hate messages, unreasonably limits the Charter right to freedom of expression.
You might protest that the Commission's decision in this matter is self-serving. A last ditch effort to save itself. And you may (or may not) be right. But either which way, it's the result that matters to me. And this is a result I strongly agree with.

It's not that I feel such cases shouldn't be brought forward where appropriate. It's just that it strikes me that a court of law (with all the substantial and procedural protections that applies) is the forum for such cases to be litigated.

Because although I firmly believe in free speech as a constitutional right, I also believe that it, like all rights, has to be subject to such "reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society".

And that’s why I feel these matters shouldn’t be dealt with by human rights commissions. The balancing involved is too important, too critical … it needs to be done in a court, not by a quasi-judicial tribunal. Where there is too much potential for abuse.

So. Onward and upward, then.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sick and Tired

It's official.

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired, I am.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Zero Tolerance = Zero Sense

Zero tolerance has been variously defined as:
  1. A "get tough" policy of making no exceptions in regards to a particular (usually criminal or undesirable) matter, born as a response to a general sense of uneven application of rules and punishments. To react to a proscribed activity or substance with absolute prejudice... Without regard to mitigating circumstances or conditions.

  2. Authoritarian rule system whereby breaking of the rules is taken very seriously and punishment is overly severe to get the message through.

  3. A common phrase referring all lack of being able to tolerate something. Often a policy referring to various rules to increase strictness and banish all regard for anything against the zero tolerance policy.

  4. A policy, usually by American schools that any reference to a gun, violence, or drugs will get you expelled automatically with no trial.
You can read more on the history of the concept here.
Since the 1980s the phrase zero tolerance has signified a philosophy toward illegal conduct that favors strict imposition of penalties regardless of the individual circumstances of each case. ... Critics of zero tolerance believe that inflexible discipline policies produce harmful results. Moreover, school administrators have failed to use common sense in applying zero tolerance, leading to the expulsion of children for bringing to school such items as an aspirin or a plastic knife.
I have a friend who rightfully likes to note that common sense is the least most common sense of all. And that last statement about school administrators failing to use common sense in applying zero tolerance could probably win an award for the understatement of the year.

A six-year-old was suspended ordered to spend 45 days at his school district's "alternative school for troublemakers" after he brought a combination folding fork, knife and spoon to eat his lunch at his Delaware school last month.
The knife is banned as a dangerous instrument under the Christina School District’s zero-tolerance policy, which officials said required them to expel Zachary or send him to the equivalent of reform school regardless of his age or what he planned to do with the utensil.
But don't worry he's in good company - a fifth-grader in the same school district was expelled last year for bringing a birthday cake and a serrated knife to cut it with. In that case, perhaps, common sense prevailed; the expulsion was overturned.

The Board isn't too worried though. They seem to think they have it under control. They're prepared to consider a narrow change that wold affect only kindergartners and first-graders and allow for [wait for it] three to five day suspensions rather than mandating harsher punishments.

That's right, boys and girls, apparently the solution to 5 or 6 year old bringing his camping utensils to class is a 3 to 5 day suspension. As opposed to being expelled. Because that's compassion. That's common sense.

And these are the people we entrust with the care, teaching and discipline of our children? What does that make us - as crazy as them?

But sadly for all of us, there's more to this than just the obvious insanity. In theory, Nova Scotia has recognized [See pages 2 & 3 of the link] it's disparate impact (or some might say, stupidity) and it's harmful effects and thus, does not have a zero tolerance policy.

Notice I said "in theory". In reality, students are being suspended or otherwise punished for behaviour for which is a result of their disability. Behaviour over which they have little, if any, control.

Anybody remember this story? About the Digby teacher who permitted encouraged his students to hit a child with Down's Syndrome. As a way to "teach" him not to hit his classmates. And I am aware of more than a few other instances in this fine Province where students with special needs have been punished (in some cases up to the point of multiple suspensions) for behaviour which is caused by or related to their disability.

I am all for challenged children learning self-discipline. But that can be a long slow process. For which many times teaching appropriate behaviour as opposed to punishment is much better suited.

But consider this: Would you suspend a child with verbal Tourette Syndrome for shouting out inappropriate comments in a classroom? Would you punish a blind child for walking into a wall?

Don't be ridiculous. Such a thing would never happen, you say? Go back and reread the fate of the six-year-old above. Are you so sure?

And although a child with Tourette or who is blind are more obvious examples, is there really any difference between those scenarios and suspending an autistic child (for example) for her behaviour? As opposed to developing an appropriate program and behavioural interventions for the child?

And don't let anyone say it can't be done. For proof otherwise, we need only look to the US.
On the positive side, the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is viewed by many in the United States as a sound legal framework for accommodating students with disabilities within the school system, including in the application of discipline. The purpose of the Act is to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services to meet their unique needs.

The provisions on discipline in the Act flow from this principle. First, a child with a disability who is removed from school must still have access to educational services. Second, a child with a disability cannot be removed from a regular school placement indefinitely. And third, a child whose behaviour was a manifestation of disability must be accommodated.
Golly gee, what a good idea. Think there's any chance it might just catch on here?

Sunday, October 11, 2009








Friday, October 9, 2009

Colour Me Stunned

When the alarm goes off in the morning, I stumble out of bed and turn the radio on. Then I stumble back into bed, ostensibly to listen to the news before I got up but, in reality, to get a few more winks of sleep.

This morning, my half-asleep brain jarred itself awake when I heard that President Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Price. Actually, in all honesty, for a split second I questioned whether I had been or still was dreaming as I lay there listening intently to the rest of the story.

So, yeah, colour me shocked, if you will. Did you know there were a record 205 nominations for this year's peace prize?

Now, look, I am not anti-Obama. Trust me, enough are. It's not like they need any more help in promoting their cause. Like I said at the time, I appreciate the historical significance in the US electing its first black President. In fact, I think it's rather cool. But I'm not so much into personality cults.

And my standards for Obama are pretty much the same as they are for any politician. Namely, show me your stuff. Impress me with your good judgment and acute sense of right and wrong. Show me that you are, indeed, worthy of people's vote.

To date, I haven't felt much for Obama, the politician, one way or another. Good or bad. Other than he does give good speeches. He has a good voice. And his kids are cute.

In all honesty, I have nothing too much either for or against the man at the moment. Because he hasn't accomplished a whole hell of a lot yet. In all fairness, hasn't had a whole lot of time to accomplish a whole hell of a lot. I don't hold it against the man. It's just the way it is. Time will tell.

Which would explain my shock at not his not just being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (that, in and of itself would have surprised me), but at him being actually awarded it.

I mean, what the hell has he done to further world peace?

Like I said, this isn't really so much about a criticism of him. He's only been in office for less than a year. So if he had managed to accomplish something to further world peace in that time, I would be very suitably impressed. But other than his speeches apologizing to the world for America's past actions and inactions and his promises to lead us into the dawn of a new age of international relations ... I ain't seen too much.

And, forgive me please, but just because Iran has supposedly agreed in principle to ship most of its current stockpile of enriched uranium to Russia, where it would be refined for exclusively peaceful uses and pledged that within weeks it would allow the inspection of a previously covert uranium enrichment facility, I'm not quite ready to cry "peace in the Middle East" just yet. As in seeing really is believing.

First of all, it appears that no ground has been given on demands that Tehran halt the enrichment of uranium, meaning that the overall problem of Iran's nuclear program remains. And I seem to remember a neighbouring country that failed to follow through on its promise to allow full weapons inspections by the international community. So, yeah, Seeing Is Believing.

Then again, there's also the fact that this "agreement in principle" was just reached yesterday. So somehow I doubt it was what swayed the Committee to make the award it did.

But hey, apparently they had their reasons. And for them, it's not so much about seeing. Just about believing.
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," the Norwegian committee said in a statement.

"His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."

Asked why the prize had been awarded to Mr Obama less than a year after he took office, Nobel Committee head Thorbjoern Jagland said: "It was because we would like to support what he is trying to achieve".

"It is a clear signal that we want to advocate the same as he has done," he said.
Silly me, I had no idea it had been renamed the Nobel We Would Like To Have Peace Prize. I mean, I'm sure more than a few people qualify for that one.

Well, at least I know I'm not the only one to feel this way. Apparently, I'm in good company.
The award to Mr. Obama so early in his presidency stunned much of official Washington, and drew a wide range of reactions from around the world. "So soon? Too early," said former Polish President Lech Walesa, who won the peace prize in 1983. "He has no contribution so far. He is only beginning to act."
Ah, well, I really cannot say it any better than Lex did earlier today.
And congratulations, Mr. President. Please accept my fondest wishes that your accomplishments may some day match your accolades.
And I mean that with the utmost sincerity. Because if the man actually can manage to live up to his press advance billing, the world truly will be a better place.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

About That Needle in the Haystack

Far be it from me to recommend to anybody one way or another whether they or a family member should be vaccinated for swine flu.

But I have no hesitation in being an advocate for individuals having all the knowledge possible and making an informed choice.

No, I'm not suggesting that you should make a decision one way or another based on this piece, either. That would simply be foolish.

But admitting my own biases upfront when it comes to vaccines [my older sister suffered severe results from vaccination encephalitis many years ago from a small pox vaccine and I believe vaccines triggered (not caused, but triggered) my oldest daughter's challenges], I only suggest that people take the research plunge and make a decision based on their own perceived risk factors as opposed to blindly taking the vaccination plunge.

You could certainly do worse than to start your journey with Dr. Mercola.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In The Year of Our Lord 2009

Dubai: The UAE law grants people with special needs the right to employment, education, marriage, nd decent living on equal terms with their normal peers, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said.

"People with special needs can involve in creative works in various fields," Shaikh Mohammad said as he welcomed a group of people with special needs from all overthe UAE who were invited to visit him on Saturday, in the presence of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince.

The Vice-President said people with special needs should not stay at home and become a burden to others, because the UAE laws give them all rights to live like others.

So I suppose I should be happy with this, like it's a good thing. Right?

The fact that it took until 2009, well, better late than never. Right?

I was particularly interested in that last line though, that "people with special needs should not stay at home and become a burden to others, because the UAE laws give them all rights to live like others". Yeah, that's important I suppose. A good enough reason on its own to pass the law, really. So that they won't have to be a burden to others anymore.

If my sarcasm cuts a bit thick (or if, in case you missed it, that was, by the way, sarcasm), it's because I find it hard to know how to respond to stumbling across a story like this. Hey, for a society that can't find it in itself to give women equal rights, it is indeed quite a step forward to grant them to individuals with "special needs".

Whatever that terms means.

Shaikh Mohammad instructed the Ministry of Social Affairs to accelerate the enforcement of relevant legislations, devise an early intervention programme to deliver full care to the physically challenged people and oblige all federal and local entities to provide all necessary services in government buildings and utilities to cater for the requirements and needs of this special category.

Shaikh Mohammad described this category, which plays a vital role in the social fabric, as ‘people with special challenges’, because they challenge hearing and speech impairment and physical disability by work and contribution to the service of their community and nation. Each one of them can do so by being creative in his or her field and according to their own capability, he said.

I'm not sure if this special category includes all those that we in the Western world would lump together in the catch all category of "special needs". In that I can't really tell from reading the article whether equal rights have been granted to the mentally challenged, as well as the physically challenged.

But who know? Maybe in another 1000 years or so?

At any rate, it's always nice to know they are fans of the "Semi-Olympics".

Monday, October 5, 2009

Flying With The Angels

In my (very) short air show career, I've been fortunate enough to watch Sean Tucker perform twice. That would be two out of three air shows I've been to.

The man is good. Very, very good. An absolute pleasure to watch perform.

So would you care to?

It's the first time I've actually heard Tucker speak and I must say it's really impressive how his love for flying and his excitement comes through in the video. Just listening to him puts a smile on my face.

Which is all the more impressive when you consider how often he's flown with the Angels. And just about everybody else who's anybody. You would have almost sworn this must have been his first time.

And just for the record, did you happen to notice that reference to Tucker's aviation lawyer/pilot father? Again, what's up with that?

H/T to FbL for the video link

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Buried Like a Needle in a Haystack

Speaking of the impeccable integrity of journalism, I found it a mite bit strange last week when I came across this story about the possibility of seasonal flu shots raising a person's risks of contracting swine flu buried deep in Section B of Nova Scotia's provincial newspaper.

Strange because Section A (in other words, the entire front piece) of that day's paper, all 10 plus pages of it, made no mention of what could have turned out be such an important little fact. Instead it was full of stories about like this one, setting out Nova Scotia's plan for inoculating its residents against both H1N1 and the seasonal flu and others concerning whether or not pharmacists might be used to give the H1N1 vaccine.

It's always good to see even, unbiased reporting, says I.

Then again, in their defence, I suppose they might have been a little concerned that if they put the story in the front half of the paper, there might just be some readers out there gullible enough to think that there could possibly be any legitimate concern [scroll to the bottom of the link] about this newest, or any, vaccine. And we would never want that to happen.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gullible? Who's Gullible?

Apparently the Supreme Court of Canada docket is ripe with freedom-of-the-press issues this fall. And not so surprisingly, the media types feel compelled to weigh in on the legal issues.

So tell me, does anyone else see a problem with this reasoning?
The most high-profile case arises from the arrests in 2006 of the "Toronto 18" terrorism suspects. While some details of the group’s alleged plans to blow up public buildings have emerged, a sweeping publication ban on evidence has produced more questions than answers.

Courts routinely restrict media reports about crimes, citing the need to rein in publicity that could influence the outcome of the case or make it tough for suspects to receive a fair trial. Judges have the power to suppress evidence presented at bail hearings and other pre-trial proceedings until the trial is over.

But is it necessary to delay the public’s right to know for several years, the time it takes most major cases to reach trial? Why do our courts treat jurors as if they are gullible enough to believe everything they read in the papers? And how effective are news blackouts in an era when the Internet and social media give citizens unprecedented power to share information about court cases?

Let me get this straight.

One of the points this columnist hinges his argument against publication bans on is that jurors aren't actually gullible enough to believe everything they read in the papers?

Presumably our columnist still intends for us all to read the newspaper he is writing in. He just doesn't expect us to be "gullible enough" to believe everything they print. I can only assume he would apply the same reasoning to what we see on the TV news, as well.

So which one of these definitions of "gullible" do you suppose he is using?

fleeceable: naive and easily deceived or tricked; "at that early age she had been gullible and in love"
easily tricked because of being too trusting; "gullible tourists taken in by the shell game"

Easily deceived or duped; naïve, easily cheated or fooled

gullibility - credulousness: tendency to believe too readily and therefore to be easily deceived

gullibility - The quality of readily believing information, truthful or otherwise, usually to an absurd extent

gullibly - In a gullible way or manner

"Easily deceived or tricked"?

"Easily cheated or fooled"?

Or "readily believing information ... to an absurd extent "?

Do you really mean to tell me that I really can't believe what I read in the newspaper?

But. But. But. I thought journalism was built on certain tenets. Subject to professional ethics and standards, like.

  • Like to "seek truth and report it".
  • To "test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error"
  • To "diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing".
  • To "identify sources whenever feasible: you know, so we will have as much information as possible on sources' reliability.
  • To "make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent".
  • To "not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context".
  • And to "distinguish between advocacy and news reporting", to make sure that "analysis and commentary [is] labeled and not misrepresent fact or context".
Gawd, it looks like I really am gullible, after all.

Either that or our columnist has taken his mandate to report truth to a whole new level.