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David Rozgonyi
01:57 AM on 08/11/2009
Excellent, very funny and (sadly) very true... A friend of mine from Hungary moved to the US for a few years for work, and brought his ten year old daughter. She not only scored the top scores in her year for US Geography, but also in English. Go figure!

On a different point, this illustrates the difficulty of introducing (read: forcing) democracy on other countries. I have no better solution, I admit, but think about this: The US can still consider itself to have a well-educated populace, and look at how easily we can be fooled by slick politicians. Imagine a country where most people are subsistence farmers, peasants, impoverished.....think China, much of Asia, Africa. Let alone war-torn (Somalia?). Each country must work out its own solution based on its own history, population, and culture, or any democracy we force upon them is wasted (and rightfully resented).
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08:28 PM on 08/11/2009
Good point. How can really a country with lower educational standards and so many ignorant people impose its type of democracy on other countries?
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but I bat the right
02:51 PM on 08/13/2009
Brawn over Brains.
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It does not require many words to speak the truth.
01:35 AM on 08/11/2009
America is a bit on the slow side. Look how many people believe "Noah's Arc" story is true.
05:45 AM on 08/11/2009
I'm guessing even more believe in Noah's ARK
10:25 AM on 08/11/2009
His arc bends towards justice :)
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It does not require many words to speak the truth.
01:27 AM on 08/12/2009
I wanted to put a 'K' there but God stopped me.
12:39 AM on 08/11/2009

So what are you implying, that corp america should run the public school system instead? u know , kinda like how corporate run healthcare are sending americans so their graves prematurely..just b/c they didnt feel like something was medically necessary? All those things: Bill of Rights, Roe v. Wade, Revolutionary War were, and still are, taught in public schools. Obviously somebody was sleeping in class...
12:36 AM on 08/11/2009
While I agree this country is stupid, the real problem is the GOP's policy of denigrating "elites" and people that have put in the time and work to become experts on particular subjects. So now Joe Blow's opinion should be taken as seriously as an expert's.

Ironically the GOP also loves to hate on deconstructionism and relativism.
09:47 AM on 08/11/2009
wwew, why would someone who apparently has had enough exposure to higher education to know of deconstructionism and relativism, use such a "middle school" expression as "to hate on"?
12:20 AM on 08/11/2009
Sad but true.
Optional or Once Daily as Prescribed
11:25 PM on 08/10/2009
Bill, you're too generous. Americans aren't Stupid. They're Retarded.
10:03 AM on 08/11/2009
I like your screen name. It sounds like a tonic people use to calm themselves after being enraged by Bill Maher
09:17 AM on 08/14/2009
You should have a huge jug of Effitol then. It's good for misdirected rage, I understand.
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11:18 PM on 08/10/2009
the whole country isn't stupid, just the South. If the country was controlled by the NE and West Coast, we would be finee!
11:22 AM on 08/11/2009
Exhibit A of American stupidity.

' the whole country isn't stupid, just the South. If the country was controlled by the NE and West Coast, we would be finee! '
10:44 PM on 08/10/2009
I think it's sad that some Americans were either too stoned or didn't care enough about their education to learn things like one branch of the government, what the bill of rights is ( taught to me in middle school), who we fought in the Revolutionary War (elementrary school) and what Roe v. Wade is. People who try to shoulder the blame for their ignorance onto the inadequate education received in public shool systems are lame. You know you just didn't give a crap about school and didn't listen to anything that was taught, either that or you should have been in a special class. I learned all those things by going to class and I wasn't a 4.0 student. If you are making excueses for American citizens who claim the right to vote not knowing the answers to these simple questions then you are just as bad as every single one of them. Take some responsibility for your own stupidity instead of blaming the school systems.
10:38 PM on 08/10/2009
One reason our community is "dumber" than it was is that last year we lost our community newspaper. Since then, our school board has been doing things behind taxpayers backs that I believe are making the kids dumber. Our high school was built in the 1950s and has never been properly maintained to the point the building is no longer safe and is a terrible eyesore. But our school board has voted to spend 100 million on a new high school that has fewer classrooms, a very small library and art studio, a very small auditorium that does not have the equipment for musicals. But it will have much larger gyms and a synthetic football field and new baseball field. It seems all the emphasis is on team sports. At the old high school they used to have planetarium that was educational. Now it is being used as a detention room. To pay for this high school, our superintendent wants to close 5 elementary schools and move 1800 kids to a mega-elementary school. I can't imagine little kids are going to be able to learn that much if there are so many of them in 1 building. It seems as if some of the people doing the education actually want people to be dumber!
Blogger, dad of autistic son,
05:46 AM on 08/11/2009
Excellent points. Because national press usually is consumed with national and international politics and the local press is consumed with fires, shootings, and American Idol facts like these fall through the cracks. Local city councils give huge tax breaks and take money from libraries to build multi-million dollar stadiums for team owners who charge high prices for tickets to their sporting events, a tripple fleecing of their local tax payers. That's how George Bush made his millions with the Texas Rangers, and he says the government cannot create wealth. He's walking proof of that being a lie.
09:34 PM on 08/10/2009
It's funny how you picked up on this: "At a recent town-hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his Congressman to "keep your government hands off my Medicare," which is kind of like driving cross country to protest highways."

And then totally miss that it is this same government which funds and runs the public school system that fails us and makes us this stupid: "...polls show that a majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is. 24% could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does"

If you think about it from that angle, maybe the government shouldn't be touching our health care system.
11:13 PM on 08/10/2009
How odd, I thought that education was managed by local school districts, not the federal government. Of course, the more tax money available from property taxes, the better the school district. It's so easy to blame the schools, but the parents do make a difference whether a child learns to master critical thinking or not. So does one's peer group, or whether or not one attended college, etc. We are given the tools, but we must learn to master them ourselves. Blaming the government is just a cop out!
05:13 PM on 08/11/2009
Used to be, Frater, until the Feds created the Department of Education. There used to be lots of things controlled at the local level that have been pre-empted by the feds. Once upon a time, crime was even a local jurisdictional issue, and virtually all criminal laws were prosecuted by the states.

You're absolutely wrong about the amount of tax dollars. Study after study has proven that there is no increase in quality of education with per pupil expenditures. Last time I looked, Washington DC public shools had the highest per pupil expenditure in the nation. Guess where President Obama enrolled HIS kids.
notb observer
Technically it's a micro auto-bio...
11:32 PM on 08/10/2009
Interesting point, yet it is fair to say that much of what Maher is lamenting people don't know is actually taught in school, and some of it is so incredibly obvious that it would almost be insulting to have to teach it.
Some time ago I saw a Leno bit where he stops people randomly on the street in LA and asks them relatively simple questions and I was dumbfounded at the rampant ignorance of basic knowledge. Pointing to an American flag he asked a woman how many stars were on it, and she replied "I can't count because it's too windy."
This is what happens to a country which becomes obsessed with itself. Nothing else is relevant but Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, the Gosselins and for some in the older generation, Death Panels and birth certificates.
None of these things are really the fault of our education system. They are our own fault for being self-satisfied, lazy and arrogant. We are now paying the price for our failures by getting the government we truly deserve.
09:19 AM on 08/14/2009
I don't quite agree. The national state of dumbness is engineered. Education has been under attack by the conservative movement longer than any of us have been alive.
09:03 PM on 08/10/2009
What about elevating this to a discussion about wisdom?
07:17 PM on 08/10/2009
I agree with John Stuart Mill: "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative."
05:15 PM on 08/11/2009
Love to see the source of that quote, especially knowlng what kind of guy John was.

A better quote might be: "A young person who is not a liberal has no heart, and an old person who is not a conservative has no brain."
09:20 AM on 08/14/2009
Age is irrelevent
05:51 PM on 08/10/2009
As someone who is concerned with the long term trend of encouraging stupidity and rewarding mediocrity, it is very good to see America's mass-stupidity in the public spotlight - until the next celebrity scandal takes over the news cycle, that is.
05:17 PM on 08/10/2009
Word Bill, I don't like your delivery on-screen but your writing is spot-on man.
04:56 PM on 08/10/2009
You're right Bill, this country is full of idiots, and about half of them voted for our current president. I am a liberal, but I am astounded by some of the things that come from the mouths of Democrats. Unfortunately, neither party has a monopoly on stupidity. Our founding fathers had in mind a country run by rich landowners. Perhaps they were right.
05:39 PM on 08/10/2009
"Unfortunately, neither party has a monopoly on stupidity."

Now that is the truth! Religion, political leanings, race, sex, geographical location...stupidity is an equal opportunity attribute.