I wrote this back in August of 2015. It seemed to me like I’d covered all the bases and could call it a day. I was wrong. Uber announced they are going to launch a flying car service in select cities starting next year. There is one itsy-bitsy problem with that. I’ll start with the simple stuff, the Moller Skycar, written about here on several occasions, still doesn’t do what it claims and no one will license it for use. But, if you must have one, they’re dumping them on e-Bay. [Read more…] about Why Don’t You Know This?
Search Results for: bigfoot
There are some things many of us take for granted. Using the internet comes to mind. Yet, for a shocking number of people this simple task eludes them. What happens mostly is that they get duped into believing something that is patently false or they see their hard earned money go somewhere other than where they need it to be. So, in an effort to help folks out a little bit here today, I’m going to share some facts. I covered some of this back in January, but it bears repeating and a little elucidation probably wouldn’t hurt. Back in November of 2011 I tried to explain the difference between a hunch and a fact. Based on some of the emails I’ve been getting it’s worth popping an updated version of that little bon mot up here again.
Here’s how science works, for those of you who are new to this.
First, you have a hunch. That’s just an idea, nothing more. It could be something you noticed or something that came to you in a dream. No matter where it comes from it’s vague.
Second, you have a hypothesis, this is your hunch backed up by enough data to make it interesting. You now have enough examples of your hunch to allow others to examine and measure it to see if it holds true.
Third you have a theory. This is a hypothesis that now has enough facts to verify it that scientists can use it as a template for further research. The running average is around 95% of observed facts fit your hypothesis. That does not mean that it is writ in stone. Evolution, for example, is a theory. It allows for science to learn more while providing a solid, verified, framework for others to work from.
If, after a long time and tons of research, the theory no longer needs to change, it becomes a fact.
First, let’s start with some safe internet tips.
- If the subject or the headline ends in a question mark, it’s click bait and the content will range from useless to harmful.
- i.e., Did Obama Have Sex with a Lizard? Has Your Credit Card Been Hacked? Is your Grandma a Porn Star?
- Anything “they” don’t want you to see.
- The American Medical Association Doesn’t Want you to see this Foolproof Diet! These are always scare tactics designed to get you to sign up for even scarier, fact deprived, newsletters. They also promote “cures” that can harm or kill you or investment scams that prey on your fears (e.g., Save Your Guns by Sending us Money!).
- Anything that promises a “gift card” or claims that “your gift card” is about to expire.
- The former are just links to surveys that can cost you a fuck ton of money (that’s a lot) and the latter are just a way to get your personal info.
- Anything from Dr. Oz or Fox News.
- The former is medically specious and can harm or kill you and the latter doesn’t send out unsolicited emails.
- Anything that promises you sex with a “hot, young” anyone is a scam.
- I’m sorry to have to tell you that.
Start there, and mix in some common sense, and the internet can be a safe and enjoyable experience.
Another thing that seems to be popular (again – sigh) are flying cars.
THEY’RE AVAILABLE NOW!!!
No they’re not. Back in 2013 I wrote about Moller International and their flying cars. They have three. None are in production. There are seven other companies that also have some version of a flying car at some stage of development. None have been approved, in any country, for commercial sale or use. The latest, the TFX, is the first to claim that you don’t need to know how to fly since a computer will do that part for you. You don’t need to be a scientist to see all the red flags that raises. Something that can top 200 mph and travel up to 500 miles without guidance could be great. It could also be a nightmare should anything happen and the “pilot” has no idea how to deal with it.
I wrote a humorous Sci-Fi story about that years ago but no one would be laughing if one of those bad boys came screaming out of the sky into a school or shopping mall.
Now, let’s have some fun with facts.
- Bigfoot doesn’t exist. I covered this extensively back in 2012 but I’ll give you a simple question to use on anyone who thinks otherwise; “Where is the shit?” An animal that big eats, eating creates feces, feces is detectable. Since you’d need at least 1,000 of them to keep the species alive that’s a lot of missing shit. If you want a bunch more reasons why it doesn’t exist just click the link.
- Atlantis has been found. Quit searching for it. It’s in Spain and there are no aliens.
- Yetis have been found. You can keep searching for them. They have DNA evidence of a species of ancient bear that survived in the remote mountains of the Himalayas. Now they need a body. Hey, it’ll give you something to do.
- Vaccines don’t cause autism. They never have and never will. People who don’t believe that are either ignorant or frightened. Although the former state usually leads to the latter so they could be both.
- UFOs don’t exist. Now, let’s be VERY clear here; I am not saying that there isn’t non-human life in the universe. I strongly believe there is. But one quick look at a map of our galaxy shows that we’re in the boondocks. Not exactly a high point of any excursion. Furthermore, the common reasons given for coming here, grab our precious resources is the most popular, fall apart if you know anything about space. Our solar system alone has plenty of water and minerals. Anyone visiting could take what they need without ever coming near us. It appears that this is common in most systems we’ve discovered so there’s no need to travel beyond research. And if they wanted to get to know us they could do much better than eviscerating cows. For a boat load of more reasons click here and have fun.
- Sexbots are real! Hey, I had to give you some good news. With the integration of Siri-like technology you should soon see interactive Sexbots in a market near you. As anyone who’s seen the Stepford Wives can attest, absolutely nothing can go wrong there.
Of course, all this may become moot as other animals appear to be evolving and may be primed to replace us. No, this isn’t some weird, late night, bit of bad TV. It’s that evolution thingie you may have heard about.
Carolyn Gregorie reports that apes appear to be able to develop human-like speech.
Koko’s (ED Note: the gorilla who learned sign language) behavior was voluntary, and appears to be the result of living with humans throughout her life.
This was surprising, since scientists had generally believed apes were incapable of controlling their vocalizations or their breathing. Documented gorilla vocalizations were limited to a set of calls related to relaying information about the environment (such as the presence of food or predators) or the apes’ emotional states.
While Koko’s behavior clearly transcends these simple calls, that doesn’t mean that other gorillas aren’t also capable of what she’s achieved.
“Presumably, she is no more gifted than other gorillas,” Perlman said in a statement. “The difference is just her environmental circumstances. You obviously don’t see things like this in wild populations.”
The Beginning Of Language
The findings have some fascinating implications for our understanding of the evolution of language.
Most theories of language evolution have held that spoken language is unique to humans, developing as the human line evolved after splitting off from chimpanzees roughly 7 million years ago. But the whole picture may be more complicated than that, and it’s distinctly possible that the seeds of spoken language go much further back than we’ve thought.
The foundation for human speech may have been in place at least 10 million years ago, the time of our last common ancestor with gorillas, according to researchers.
Many simians already know how to use basic tools and one species has been known to domesticate wolves. That would be the same evolutionary route your ancestors took to wipe out Neanderthals and all other proto-humans.
If you click on the “evolution thingie” link above you’ll also find out that squirrels have learned how to kill the power grids for entire cities and polar bears are developing rudimentary refrigeration for storing food.
Look, evolution is continuing to happen all around us no matter what you believe. You can either learn to adapt and live with that fact or end up in a museum just like the Neanderthals.
The choice is yours.
Or, you can get a jump on things and just dump your mind into a computer and hope that it’s not running Windows 98.
George Dvorsky at iO9 tells you how.
We are not just our brains. Conscious awareness arises from more than just raw calculations. As physical creatures who emerged from a material world, it’s our brains that allow us to survey and navigate through it; bodies are the fundamental medium for perception and action. Without an environment — along with the ability to perceive and work within it — there can be no subjective awareness. Brains need bodies, whether that brain resides in a vertebrate, a robot, or in future, an uploaded mind.
In the case of an uploaded mind, however, the body doesn’t have to be real. It just needs to be an emulation of one. Or more specifically, it needs to be a virtual body that confers all the critical functions of a corporeal body such that an uploaded or emulated mind can function optimally within its given virtual environment. It’s an open question as to whether or not uploading is possible, but if it is, the potential benefits are many.
In other words, go ahead, grab a sexbot, upload your mind and let the fucking monkeys have the planet.
There are people walking among us who believe in Bigfoot, UFOs (as alien visitors and not just something unidentified), chemtrails (because condensation trails make too much sense), President Obama is a Kenyan Muslim, or worse, follow the teachings of the Food Babe (a complete sociopath who has the I.Q. of a stone) and on and on. Little things like facts or logic don’t dissuade them. When reality conflicts with their perverted views, they deny reality. It’s that simple.
Now here’s the sad part; they’re the reasonable ones.
Paul Poisu has a great list of the new ones that will baffle you but I’m just going to highlight my faves. Make sure to click his link for even more bafflement.
The first, Kurt Cobain is still kicking.
According to this particularly inspired theory making the rounds, the bespectacled frontman of the alt-rock group Weezer is indeed Kurt Cobain in disguise, because the first thing a famous rock star who is clinically depressed does after freeing himself from the shackles of celebrity is to start the whole rise-to-fame process all over again. Still, you can kind of see some suspicious similarities in the men’s careers, if you squint while ingesting twice the human body’s limit of LSD. Weezer’s career-making Blue Album came out shortly after Cobain’s death. They both have reservations about fame, their guitar sound is somewhat similar, they’re roughly the same age, and, of course, they kind of resemble each other.
Well, not really, and once you get past the “holy shit, that’s kind of weird” aspect of those other facts, you quickly realize that there’s absolutely no freaking way this can be true. Cuomo didn’t just appear overnight — we have childhood pictures and shit, and Weezer has been around since 1992. Also, Cuomo confesses to being Nirvana’s biggest fan, which would be an unlikely statement from Cobain, a man who openly resented the band’s fame and mainstream status to the point where he contemplated joining freaking Hole.
The level of stupid there is so intense it could melt steel. But, wait, there’s more!
Bob Marley died because the CIA poisoned his shoes.
Here’s how the theory goes: Allegedly, the politically active singer might have ended up on the CIA’s shit list. So one day, a mysterious white man came to see Marley, bringing him the gift of shoes. Marley promptly tried them on and described their fit thusly: “Ouch!” This is because one of the shoes had a small metal spike in the toe. Then, a mere five months later, Marley was playing soccer when someone stepped on that very same toe. Then, the toe cancer thing, and a few active years later, a sad and untimely death. Damn, CIA, someone must have gotten an effectiveness bonus.
Look, no one is saying the CIA never tried to assassinate anyone via ridiculous means. Shit, just everything they threw at Fidel Castro earned them a permanent Customer Of The Year discount at ACME, much to the chagrin of Wile E. Coyote. However, if they were so damn keen on killing Marley, why would they have bothered to off him in a way that literally took years — and enabled him to perform and function normally for the vast majority of said years? Also, people, are we really doing the “government deliberately gives cancer to people who annoy it” thing again?
Since he did such a great job of pointing out the obvious I’ll just continue merrily along.
There’s a web site called Hard Dawn that I check in on from time to time. Mostly if I need a laugh. They travel in the usual forms of paranoia unburdened by objective verities.
Are Militant Atheists Using Chemtrails to Poison the Angels in Heaven? is an actual article.
But every now and then they ramp up the crazy to a level that truly inspires awe.
Try this on for size; Did Leonard Nimoy Fake His Own Death So He Could Seize Control of the Illuminati?
I wonder why I bother writing fiction.
Okay, let’s dumpster dive into this bad boy.
In the heady days immediately following the Gulf of Tonkin incident, Leonard Nimoy made a profound decision. It was 1964 and America was being torn apart. Ethnic minorities were rioting, the hippie movement had grown into a domestic terrorism threat and a newly-installed President Johnson was on the verge of committing troops to an all-out war in Southeast Asia. In the midst of all that turmoil, Nimoy made the crucial decision to enlist.
No, the 33-year old actor had not joined our military forces fighting against communism in Vietnam. Instead, he had enlisted in a far older, far more momentous battle, one being waged for the very future of the human race. He had decided to join the cast of the new science fiction television series, Star Trek, and in doing so, finally accepted his destiny as a foot soldier for the Illuminati agenda.
It was the culmination of decades of training, and the beginning of a 50-year rise up the dark pyramid of global power.
Ignoring, for a moment, the complete lack of verifiable facts in that mess, how many decades could a 33 year old person have dedicated to “training?” Unless he had familial ties already.
Of course he did. It’s just that the story you know about him being the child of Jewish immigrants was a lie.
Of course it was.
However, the most fascinating counterpoint to Nimoy’s manufactured backstory is the theory that he may have been the secret love child of playboy Maurice de Rothschild and Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia. Smuggled to America at an early age, he was entrusted to a nondescript family in suburban Boston, then a safe haven of New Deal liberalism despite the ravages of the Great Depression. His lineage was crucial, as we shall see, for it bound the child to the two great dynasties of hidden rule — the Romanovs and the Rothschilds. It was also a dangerous bloodline to possess, as the treachery of both families knows no bounds.
As a Rothschild, young Leonard was naturally raised as a Jew and even as a teenager, he betrayed all the trigonometric and sensual qualities of that exotic race.
Nimoy does bear a slight resemblance to Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna. As does anyone of eastern European decent. Large noses don’t make a solid genetic link. Hell I have one and no one thinks I’m the spawn of a Grand Duchess.
So to what end is Nimoy being trained? Read on.
Nimoy spent the ensuing years in Hollywood, exploring a carefully curated series of acting roles meant to educate him in the themes of futurism and power. When Gene Roddenberry, a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Freemason with his own ties to military intelligence, became Nimoy’s handler in the 1960s, the actor fully embraced his fated position in the New World Order disinformation machine.
Star Trek is what analysts would describe as predictive programming, i.e. a subtle way of seeding the media with clues about future events. It makes the public far more apathetic towards dangerous change. In the case of Trek, the show introduced the concept of a United Nations-style government having complete control over a multicultural society that lacked private property, elections or even genetically proper family units. Instead, we are shown a soulless empire where interspecies sexual relations are the norm and faith is derided as archaic. This is, in essence, just how the Bible describes the beginning of the End Times.
By the way, the sites that claim that Roddenberry was a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Freemason are so childishly written and so poorly researched as to be laughable. And they would be if fools didn’t actually believe this shit.
The article goes on to link Spock to Jay-Z & Beyonce because …. fuck you, that’s why.
All right, let’s cut to the chase. How did he fake his death and how does an 83 year old man plan on running a multinational terrorist organization?
With the stunning power of Hollywood and the NSA critical informational infrastructure behind him, Leonard Nimoy was likely no longer content to play foot soldier in the Illuminati army. When one studies his astrological divinations, it seems predicted that he would rise to challenge the old guard, the European leadership of bankers and kings. One could point to the death of Lou Reed or the sudden success of chemtrails as indicators that the Illuminati was suffering internal conflict as America became a new center of geopolitical strength.
Yet how could such a high-profile figure like Leonard Nimoy seize control of the Illuminati without the paparazzi catching wind of it all? Faking his own death seems almost predictable when one considers the options. It elevates the man to a mythical status, while subverting the genuine threat he poses to the future of our freedom. It would also be illogical not to assume that elites like Nimoy have access to medical treatments far beyond the comprehension of everyday citizens. Wouldn’t an Illuminati insider take advantage of these resources, if he was even ill in the first place?
In fact, wouldn’t it be safer to assume that Nimoy’s ties to the dark underworld of Satanism are far more likely to provide him with a lifespan beyond a normal human? It should come as no surprise that this is the very notion predicted and programmed into the Star Trek movie franchise. And yet even that theory might be a false flag, a cover up of Leonard Nimoy’s true reptilian nature, which would afford him a far longer lifespan, as so blatantly foretold in his famous catchphrase, “Live long and prosper!”
Yes, Lou Reed died because of chemtrails and, no, he didn’t actually present one plausible theory as to how Nimoy did it, just that he must have. But you knew all that already didn’t you?
Now, as to the whole reptile thing. That is a common conspiracy trope. In Paul’s story linked above reptiles are blamed for the death of Princess Diana. A guy named David Icke posited that there was this group called the Babylonian Brotherhood (featuring George W. Bush & Boxcar Willie) that. were actually reptiles wrapped in human skin. He has written numerous books on the subject. They are masterpieces of assumptions.
I’ll help you out a little here. Let’s say I tell you that blue is not really the color blue but is, in fact, yellow. And that I am Curious Yellow was the name of a (very bad) porno, and that Yellow Journalism is what was practiced by William Randolph Hearst and that yellow was, and is, the color of mustard gas then you can plainly see that Yellow is what “they” will use to poison your mind and soul with sensationalistic porn.
Unfortunately, blue is still blue and no amount of personal assertions by me will change that.
As to the Kabbalistic assertion above it is patently false. The “Live Long and Prosper” gesture is based on the priestly blessing performed by Jewish Kohanim with both hands, thumb to thumb in this same position, representing the Hebrew letter Shin (ש), which has three upward strokes similar to the position of the thumb and fingers in the salute.
Kohanim is a Jewish word defining a priest of any religion. What few hand signs that are used in Kabbala come from Jewish tradition. If you want to know more about Jewish mysticism check out The Origins of Kabballah by Allan Arkush & Gershom G. Scholem.
What’s truly dangerous about shit like this is that it encourages people to ignore reality and, instead, act on that same reality in a subversive and, occasionally, violent manner. Hard Dawn is a site that advocates violence (i.e., liberating others) and they are not alone.
Kids, the truth really is out there, it’s just not anywhere near this crap.
I have long bemoaned the dumbing down of America. There seems to be a growing number of humans who sincerely believe that their opinion carries as much weight as actual facts. They are 100% wrong but that fact doesn’t even enter their equations. If I may insult the word equations. It’s one thing to believe in something. Regular readers know that I believe in God. Mostly because I refuse to believe that I’m the most evolved being in the universe. Believing in God does not, by any stretch, require me to believe all of the hateful things that a god is supposed to enjoy. My beliefs are simple. Since I do not want to marry someone of the same sex I have not done so. See how easy that is? Just because I’m not comfortable loving a man as I would love a woman should have no impact on those who are wired differently. The same applies to most things. And yet there are those, a growing contingent it seems, who feel contrariwise. They firmly believe that all truth flows through them. That if they don’t understand it then it’s not true. And that’s not only stupid, it’s dangerous. Diseases long conquered are making a comeback thanks to these idiots. Science long settled is being bludgeoned into meaningless sound bites. Facts are now treated as politically skewed opinions. There are people who firmly believe that hex signs and such have as much validity as science. And thanks to these people children are dying and people are rediscovering that human rights are not a given.
As I said, this is not just stupid, it’s dangerous.
South Carolina’s state beverage is milk. Its insect is the praying mantis. There’s a designated dance—the shag—as well a sanctioned tartan, game bird, dog, flower, gem and snack food (boiled peanuts). But what Olivia McConnell noticed was missing from among her home’s 50 official symbols was a fossil. So last year, the eight-year-old science enthusiast wrote to the governor and her representatives to nominate the Columbian mammoth. Teeth from the woolly proboscidean, dug up by slaves on a local plantation in 1725, were among the first remains of an ancient species ever discovered in North America. Forty-three other states had already laid claim to various dinosaurs, trilobites, primitive whales and even petrified wood. It seemed like a no-brainer. “Fossils tell us about our past,” the Grade 2 student wrote.
And, as it turns out, the present, too. The bill that Olivia inspired has become the subject of considerable angst at the legislature in the state capital of Columbia. First, an objecting state senator attached three verses from Genesis to the act, outlining God’s creation of all living creatures. Then, after other lawmakers spiked the amendment as out of order for its introduction of the divinity, he took another crack, specifying that the Columbian mammoth “was created on the sixth day with the other beasts of the field.” That version passed in the senate in early April. But now the bill is back in committee as the lower house squabbles over the new language, and it’s seemingly destined for the same fate as its honouree—extinction.
What has doomed Olivia’s dream is a raging battle in South Carolina over the teaching of evolution in schools. Last week, the state’s education oversight committee approved a new set of science standards that, if adopted, would see students learn both the case for, and against, natural selection.
Charles Darwin’s signature discovery—first published 155 years ago and validated a million different ways since—long ago ceased to be a matter for serious debate in most of the world. But in the United States, reconciling science and religious belief remains oddly difficult. A national poll, conducted in March for the Associated Press, found that 42 per cent of Americans are “not too” or “not at all” confident that all life on Earth is the product of evolution. Similarly, 51 per cent of people expressed skepticism that the universe started with a “big bang” 13.8 billion years ago, and 36 per cent doubted the Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years.
The American public’s bias against established science doesn’t stop where the Bible leaves off, however. The same poll found that just 53 per cent of respondents were “extremely” or “very confident” that childhood vaccines are safe and effective. (Worldwide, the measles killed 120,000 people in 2012. In the United States, where a vaccine has been available since 1963, the last recorded measles death was in 2003.) When it comes to global warming, only 33 per cent expressed a high degree of confidence that it is “man made,” something the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has declared is all but certain. (The good news, such as it was in the AP poll, was that 69 per cent actually believe in DNA, and 82 per cent now agree that smoking causes cancer.)
If the rise in uninformed opinion was limited to impenetrable subjects that would be one thing, but the scourge seems to be spreading. Everywhere you look these days, America is in a rush to embrace the stupid. Hell-bent on a path that’s not just irrational, but often self-destructive. Common-sense solutions to pressing problems are eschewed in favour of bumper-sticker simplicities and blind faith.
In a country bedevilled by mass shootings—Aurora, Colo.; Fort Hood, Texas; Virginia Tech—efforts at gun control have given way to ever-laxer standards. Georgia recently passed a law allowing people to pack weapons in state and local buildings, airports, churches and bars. Florida is debating legislation that will waive all firearm restrictions during state emergencies like riots or hurricanes. (One opponent has moved to rename it “an Act Relating to the Zombie Apocalypse.”) And since the December 2012 massacre of 20 children and six staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn., 12 states have passed laws allowing guns to be carried in schools, and 20 more are considering such measures.
The cost of a simple appendectomy in the United States averages $33,000 and it’s not uncommon for such bills to top six figures. More than 15 per cent of the population has no health insurance whatsoever. Yet efforts to fill that gaping hole via the Affordable Health Care Act—a.k.a. Obamacare—remain distinctly unpopular. Nonsensical myths about the government’s “real” intentions have found so much traction that 30 per cent still believe that there will be official “death panels” to make decisions on end-of-life care.
Since 2001, the U.S. government has been engaged in an ever-widening program of spying on its own—and foreign—citizens, tapping phones, intercepting emails and texts, and monitoring social media to track the movements, activities and connections of millions. Still, many Americans seem less concerned with the massive violations of their privacy in the name of the War on Terror, than imposing Taliban-like standards on the lives of others. Last month, the school board in Meridian, Idaho voted to remove The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie from its Grade 10 supplemental reading list following parental complaints about its uncouth language and depictions of sex and drug use. When 17-year-old student Brady Kissel teamed up with staff from a local store to give away copies at a park as a protest, a concerned citizen called police. It was the evening of April 23, which was also World Book Night, an event dedicated to “spreading the love of reading.”
If ignorance is contagious, it’s high time to put the United States in quarantine.
Americans have long worried that their education system is leaving their children behind. With good reason: national exams consistently reveal how little the kids actually know. In the last set, administered in 2010 (more are scheduled for this spring), most fourth graders were unable to explain why Abraham Lincoln was an important figure, and only half were able to order North America, the U.S., California and Los Angeles by size. Results in civics were similarly dismal. While math and reading scores have improved over the years, economics remains the “best” subject, with 42 per cent of high school seniors deemed “proficient.”
They don’t appear to be getting much smarter as they age. A 2013 survey of 166,000 adults across 20 countries that tested math, reading and technological problem-solving found Americans to be below the international average in every category. (Japan, Finland, Canada, South Korea and Slovakia were among the 11 nations that scored significantly higher.)
The trends are not encouraging. In 1978, 42 per cent of Americans reported that they had read 11 or more books in the past year. In 2014, just 28 per cent can say the same, while 23 per cent proudly admit to not having read even one, up from eight per cent in 1978. Newspaper and magazine circulation continues to decline sharply, as does viewership for cable news. The three big network supper-hour shows drew a combined average audience of 22.6 million in 2013, down from 52 million in 1980. While 82 per cent of Americans now say they seek out news digitally, the quality of the information they’re getting is suspect. Among current affairs websites, Buzzfeedlogs almost as many monthly hits as the Washington Post.
The advance of ignorance and irrationalism in the U.S. has hardly gone unnoticed. The late Columbia University historian Richard Hofstadter won the Pulitzer prize back in 1964 for his book Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, which cast the nation’s tendency to embrace stupidity as a periodic by-product of its founding urge to democratize everything. By 2008, journalist Susan Jacoby was warning that the denseness—“a virulent mixture of anti-rationalism and low expectations”—was more of a permanent state. In her book, The Age of American Unreason, she posited that it trickled down from the top, fuelled by faux-populist politicians striving to make themselves sound approachable rather than smart. Their creeping tendency to refer to everyone—voters, experts, government officials—as “folks” is “symptomatic of a debasement of public speech inseparable from a more general erosion of American cultural standards,” she wrote. “Casual, colloquial language also conveys an implicit denial of the seriousness of whatever issue is being debated: talking about folks going off to war is the equivalent of describing rape victims as girls.”
That inarticulate legacy didn’t end with George W. Bush and Sarah Palin. Barack Obama, the most cerebral and eloquent American leader in a generation, regularly plays the same card, droppin’ his Gs and dialling down his vocabulary to Hee Hawstandards. His ability to convincingly play a hayseed was instrumental in his 2012 campaign against the patrician Mitt Romney; in one of their televised debates the President referenced “folks” 17 times.
An aversion to complexity—at least when communicating with the public—can also be seen in the types of answers politicians now provide the media. The average length of a sound bite by a presidential candidate in 1968 was 42.3 seconds. Two decades later, it was 9.8 seconds. Today, it’s just a touch over seven seconds and well on its way to being supplanted by 140-character Twitter bursts.
Little wonder then that distrust—of leaders, institutions, experts, and those who report on them—is rampant. A YouGov poll conducted last December found that three-quarters of Americans agreed that science is a force for good in the world. Yet when asked if they truly believe what scientists tell them, only 36 per cent of respondents said yes. Just 12 per cent expressed strong confidence in the press to accurately report scientific findings. (Although according to a 2012 paper by Gordon Gauchat, a University of North Carolina sociologist, the erosion of trust in science over the past 40 years has been almost exclusively confined to two groups: conservatives and regular churchgoers. Counterintuitively, it is the most highly educated among them—with post-secondary education—who harbour the strongest doubts.)
The term “elitist” has become one of the most used, and feared, insults in American life. Even in the country’s halls of higher learning, there is now an ingrained bias that favours the accessible over the exacting.
“There’s a pervasive suspicion of rights, privileges, knowledge and specialization,” says Catherine Liu, the author of American Idyll: Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critiqueand a film and media studies professor at University of California at Irvine. Both ends of the political spectrum have come to reject the conspicuously clever, she says, if for very different reasons; the left because of worries about inclusiveness, the right because they equate objections with obstruction. As a result, the very mission of universities has changed, argues Liu. “We don’t educate people anymore. We train them to get jobs.” (Boomers, she says, deserve most of the blame. “They were so triumphalist in promoting pop culture and demoting the canon.”)
The digital revolution, which has brought boundless access to information and entertainment choices, has somehow only enhanced the lowest common denominators—LOL cat videos and the Kardashians. Instead of educating themselves via the Internet, most people simply use it to validate what they already suspect, wish or believe to be true. It creates an online environment where Jenny McCarthy, a former Playboy model with a high school education, can become a worldwide leader of the anti-vaccination movement, naysaying the advice of medical professionals.
Most perplexing, however, is where the stupid is flowing from. As conservative pundit David Frum recently noted, where it was once the least informed who were most vulnerable to inaccuracies, it now seems to be the exact opposite. “More sophisticated news consumers turn out to use this sophistication to do a better job of filtering out what they don’t want to hear,” he blogged.
But are things actually getting worse? There’s a long and not-so-proud history of American electors lashing out irrationally, or voting against their own interests. Political scientists have been tracking, since the early 1950s, just how poorly those who cast ballots seem to comprehend the policies of the parties and people they are endorsing. A wealth of research now suggests that at the most optimistic, only 70 per cent actually select the party that accurately represents their views—and there are only two choices.
Larry Bartels, the co-director of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at Vanderbilt University, says he doubts that the spreading ignorance is a uniquely American phenomenon. Facing complex choices, uncertain about the consequences of the alternatives, and tasked with balancing the demands of jobs, family and the things that truly interest them with boring policy debates, people either cast their ballots reflexively, or not at all. The larger question might be whether engagement really matters. “If your vision of democracy is one in which elections provide solemn opportunities for voters to set the course of public policy and hold leaders accountable, yes,” Bartels wrote in an email to Maclean’s. “If you take the less ambitious view that elections provide a convenient, non-violent way for a society to agree on who is in charge at any given time, perhaps not.”
A study by two Princeton University researchers, Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, released last month, tracked 1,800 U.S. policy changes between 1981 and 2002, and compared the outcome with the expressed preferences of median-income Americans, the affluent, business interests and powerful lobbies. They concluded that average citizens “have little or no independent influence” on policy in the U.S., while the rich and their hired mouthpieces routinely get their way. “The majority does not rule,” they wrote.
Smart money versus dumb voters is hardly a fair fight. But it does offer compelling evidence that the survival of the fittest remains an unshakable truth even in American life. A sad sort of proof of evolution.
That last part is a solid reminder how much your vote counts. If you sit on the sidelines and allow idiots to get into office then you get the government you deserve.
So how do we fix this? Education. We stop legislators from gutting curricula and force kids to learn actual facts. The earth is more than 6,000 years old. Jesus never rode a velociratpor. Vaccines cure diseases, they don’t cause them. Drinking bleach does not cure AIDS. 2+2=4. The universe is infinite. Life can, and most likely does, exist on other worlds. There is no such thing as Bigfoot. There is no such thing as UFOs. Contrails are not chemtrails. 9/11 was caused by a small band of terrorists, not by the world’s largest religion. Fluoride does not allow the government to track your movements via satellites. Seeing a man kiss another man will not make you gay any more than drinking milk will make you a cow.
We need to teach them these facts and more if we ever hope of having a better world.
It can be done, but we need to get off our complacent asses to make it happen.
We’ve been touching on some serious stuff like science and reality and stuff. And we have noted that there are people who are not convinced that this whole reality thing exists. Bigfoot? Sure. Science? Well that’s just a theory. So I thought that today might be a fun day to take a look at these reality deniers. And where do we find them? Well, sure, we could head to any Tea Party rally but that’s picking low hanging fruit. So where then? Well, you know us, we are going to look for even lower hanging fruit. We want that stuff scraping the ground. Therefore I direct your jaundiced gaze south to the lovely realm of Florida. An empathetic state that has made it legal for the police to confiscate the clothes and personal possessions of homeless people. No, seriously, they did that. Specifically in Ft. Lauderdale because all the poor people their economy created make the rich people queasy. Yes, you may feel free to insert a “head desk” here. While I’m here I should note that Florida’s bestiality law is still being challenged in court as an infringement on personal freedoms. Just in case you were worried I was going to the wrong place to look for morons.
So let’s get this party started.
As an intelligent adult you may have figured out that getting arrested is not a good thing. Furthermore, asking the arresting officer to drop down and blow you might, just might, lead to additional charges. You would know that. Charles Bolen has no such limitations.
A South Florida man is accused of being a nuisance and then making some pretty serious threats to the arresting officer.
Charles Bolen, 53, of Pompano Beach, was arrested Friday in Palm Beach Gardens.
He’s accused of yelling at customers in front of a Walgreen’s store on Northlake Boulevard, and threatening to hurt them.
Bolen then took his act down the street to Pep Boys, where he “demanded money for beer,” according to his arrest report.
Once he was convinced to leave the store, he told officers to “wait until I get across the street and you will see what I am going to do,” the report said.
That’s when the officer started to arrest him, prompting Bolen to say “you are not taking me to jail.”
As he was being taken to jail, Bolen told the officer he was going to “****” the officer’s “wife in the ***,” according to the report.
And the final insult came when Bolen was in his holding cell, when he “unzipped his pants” and told the officer to perform a sex act on him, the report said.
Bolen is charged with disorderly conduct and exposure of sexual organs.
Of course, since this is Florida, the incident is far from isolated, as evidenced by the tawdry tale of The City Pimp.
A homeless man who goes by the nickname “City Pimp” was arrested after allegedly eating fast food from Wendy’s while lying in front of another business with his pants down and his genitals exposed.
Anthony Johnson, 54, was arrested in front of a Walgreen’s store in the 1200 block of Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard on Wednesday afternoon.
According to the arrest report, Johnson “was laying in the front of the business with his pants around his knees, exposing his genitals.”
The arresting officer also wrote in the report that the Walgreen’s manager said Johnson “is a constant problem to the business, and they receive numerous complaints a day about him on the property.”
Johnson was charged with lewd or lascivious exhibition.
Well, to be fair, Wendy’s does make one of the best fast food chain burgers in the country. I’m not sure I’d get that excited about them, but that’s just me.
Of course not all food related police calls involve genitalia, I know – you’re shocked, sometimes it just involves some crack and linguine. With the linguine being used as a weapon.
Yeah, this is the state that just keeps on giving.
A woman described as a “crazy” acting “crackhead” got locked up after accusations she hurled pasta at a man, punched him in the mouth and busted a coffee cup, according to a recently released affidavit.
What could be called the case of the linguine launching lady began boiling late on April 5 as Port St. Lucie police went to an address in the 2400 block of Southeast Garden Terrace.
A man identified as the victim said he was expecting Jeri Rossello, 45, to drop by and get some of her stuff. She came in and walked to the kitchen. Rossello, he said, grabbed a pasta meal from the refrigerator and threw it at him.
Pasta is a general term for a variety of thin, dough-based foodstuffs of Italian origin sometimes served with meatballs. Available in a cornucopia of shapes and dimensions, pasta typically is rigid until boiled. It’s often served with a sauce, such as marinara, pesto, bolognese, alfredo or Fra Diavolo, with types of pasta including angel hair, linguine and elbow macaroni.
Meanwhile, the victim said, Rossello smashed a coffee mug and pulled phone wires from the wall. He said she punched him in the mouth and took off in a U-Haul van.
He described Rossello as a “crack head” who acted “crazy,” telling police she may have gone to a different address where she’s staying with another dude.
Investigators eventually found Rossello, who said she tried some leftover linguine but put it back in the refrigerator. She said there was no physical or verbal altercation.
Asked about the victim’s injured lip, Rossello said he must have done that to himself.
Rossello, of the 1500 block of Southeast Balcourt Court in Port St. Lucie, was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge.
Go back and read that again. The author felt that he needed take an entire paragraph to explain what pasta is and how it’s used.
That’s what’s called “speaking to your target audience” i.e., morons.
But what do all these fine citizens have in common? Well, (1), they’re citizens of Florida and, (2) they are products of the Floridian educational system. And who’s the shining example of that fine institution? Nancy Louise Vaughn would be a good contender. After all not many teachers are so hammered at 7:00 AM that they get a DUI on their way to school.
An Estero High School teacher was arrested and charged with driving under the influence Monday morning.
Just before 7 a.m., a deputy was dispatched after receiving calls about a reckless driver on Imperial Parkway and Terry Street. The callers advised that the driver of a red car was going 20 mph and was swerving in both lanes.
The deputy caught up to the red vehicle and observed the same behavior as described by the callers. Subsequently, the deputy conducted a traffic stop.
The driver identified herself as Nancy Louise Vaughn, 56, and asked the deputy why she was being stopped, claiming she was not speeding and only going 45 mph.
While talking to Vaughn, the deputy said she had a glassy look in her eyes and had a slow reaction to his questions. The deputy said she could not keep her balance when she was asked to step out of the vehicle.
Vaughn was asked to perform some sobriety exercises, which the deputy says she failed.
The deputy concluded that she was impaired and she was arrested.
When asked if she had been drinking or possibly taking any prescription drugs, Vaughn told the deputy she had not.
She then told the deputy that she was a school teacher and was on her way to work at Estero High School.
Over two hours after she was stopped, deputies say Vaughn’s breathalyzer test readings were .258 and .273 – three times the legal limit.
The school’s website lists Vaughn as an Intensive Reading teacher, with the goal of improving reading comprehension and FCAT scores. The FCAT testing started for Lee County students on Monday.
“She was my favorite. She was awesome, not only did she care about me as a high school student but what was to come of me in college also,” said Emma Kenline, a former Estero High student.
“[She] needs to learn from her mistakes. She did it before this is the second time,” said Estero High School senior, Austin Roberts.
This is Vaughn’s second DUI in Lee County in less than one year.
Students say in the classroom, Vaughn was nice, but strict. Outside, she had tons of school spirit.
“She didn’t really talk about her family life at all. It was very professional didn’t really talk about her personal life,” said Estero High School junior, Maddie Dawson.
“I mean everybody makes mistakes. I guess this is hers. But what she needs is our help, not our criticism,” Kenline said.
We asked students if Vaughn ever seemed drunk in the classroom before–the kids we spoke with said no.
Vaughn is no longer teaching her classes and has been reassigned to another position outside of the school.
The district is investigating the incident.
Note number one; there were several typos in this article that I fixed so my readers would not think I was an idiot. Number two, this is why you hire someone with, at least, a high school education to proof your work.
Now, again, go read this one more time. It took them two hours to administer a sobriety test. Plus this is her second go round with a DUI and he students are aware of them both.
But I’m not done.
The town where she lives, Estero, was founded by a complete whack job, Dr. Cyrus Reed Teed, who proposed a theory that we live on the inside of the Earth’s outer skin, and that celestial bodies are all contained inside the hollow Earth.
To be fair, Estero has a high employment rate, a nice fire department and 98% of its population is white, which is why drunken teachers who could cause kids to die get a pass.
I don’t need to tell you who doesn’t get a pass.