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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/8/14

Where Did All The Dumbasses Come From?

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Message Bob Alexander
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U.S. System of Education
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After reading through this morning's news I had to get away from the computer and go take a walk. I can get through the Canadian news without too much difficulty, but sifting through news from the U.S. is becoming as difficult as trying to watch an entire program on Fox News. There's just too much dumbassery to absorb, and I no longer have the stomach lining for it.

After I got back from storming through the neighborhood, and with a fresh cup of coffee in hand, I came up with The Answer. Not an answer -- THE Answer.

Kay Crisman Petrini

If Kay, and other teachers like her, were allowed to do their jobs unhindered by bureaucracy and lousy paychecks, the rule of dumbasses would be over within a generation.

The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking defines critical thinking as the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.

Critical thinking. That's what the best teachers inculcate in their students. And it's not necessary to have every teacher be a Kay Petrini. If a child has the opportunity to have two or three or four Kay Petrinis sprinkled throughout the elementary and high school years, that's usually enough to ignite the life-long fire of critical thinking. And then on graduation day there will be one more person who will be able to tell the difference between Shinola and that other stuff.

I'm not talking about creating the American Ubermensch. Not at all. See, here's how it shakes out.

Historically one third of the country votes Conservative. Another third votes, for lack of a better word, Liberal. The battle is always about grabbing a little more than half of the remaining third. So the party that consolidates their base, and can convince a little more than one sixth of the voters to come on over to their side -- wins.

Now let's return to that wonderful time before the Republicans and the Supreme Court stole the 2000 presidential election for George W. Bush.

Al Gore was doing his wonky best to convince the middle third that he knew what he was doing and George W. was having a helluva time trying to walk and chew gum at the same time. It was painfully obvious there was something wrong with him. The guy Could Not Talk without lapsing into Bush-isms.
Bush-isms. That's what the friendly media termed the gibberish that escaped from his mouth. I'm not going to list any of them here. None of them are actually funny. They're all just sad examples of someone out of his depth but grimly determined to get to the finish line.

Christopher Hitchens summed Bush up best, "He is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things."

Bush was the candidate the Republicans offered. I was not a big fan of Al Gore and thought Joe Lieberman was a gawdawful choice as running mate but there was really no contest. Bush was (and is) an idiot and Dick Cheney was an evil congressman, an evil Secretary of Defense, and an evil CEO of Halliburton. It didn't take much critical thinking, just a little, to decide who to vote for in the 2000 election.

Regardless of all the ways the Republicans tried to steal and suppress the vote in Florida, if 1,000 more Florida voters had been taught critical thinking by someone like Kay Petrini, election night would not have been the beginning of our perpetual nightmare.

A lot of people have e-mailed me saying Gore would have done exactly what Bush/Cheney did because of 9/11.

Really?

My initial response is I don't believe the events of 9/11 would have happened if Al Gore was the president.

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Some 45 years ago I became aware of the fact that the government of The United States was trying to kill me. I wasn't paranoid or anything. I mean I knew the government wasn't out to kill me personally. They just wanted to kill as many Vietnamese (more...)
 
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