Skip to comments.The Ignoramus Americus
Posted on 12/29/2008 8:54:49 AM PST by IrishMike
I have often written about the ignorance that has resulted from decades of pathetic, dumbed-down parenting and schooling, and, sadly, there's no shortage of material on this subject.
There is often a profound difference between morality and legality, and, if this were a just world, a good percentage of the American Left would be tried for treason. If that seems a radical statement, I ask you: What price should be paid for sowing the seeds of your nation's destruction? What should be the punishment for creating millions of people so ignorant, so effete, so corrupted in judgment that they are unable to sustain a free republic, resist enemies foreign and domestic, and perpetuate their culture? I'll leave that to you to decide and just talk a bit about the state of the electorate.
I have often written about the ignorance that has resulted from decades of pathetic, dumbed-down parenting and schooling, and, sadly, there's no shortage of material on this subject. In fact, you could probably read three large volumes on it and not know all Americans don't know about what they should know. However, one short article recently written by economics professor and columnist Dr. Walter Williams perhaps tells us all we need to know. It is called "Ignorance reigns supreme" and relates the findings of a national survey measuring people's knowledge of civics titled "Our Fading Heritage: Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions." Its findings are staggering, although not at all surprising to me. For starters, 71 percent of Americans surveyed failed the test, and the average score on it was 49 percent. As for some details, Williams tells us (some of the following information he gleaned from sources other than the survey):
Only 27 percent know the Bill of Rights expressly prohibits establishing an official religion for the United States . . . 25 percent [of college seniors] did not know that Columbus landed in the Western Hemisphere before the year 1500; 42 percent could not place the Civil War in the correct half-century; and 31 percent thought Reconstruction came after World War II . . . 50 percent of whites and more than 80 percent of blacks couldn't state in writing the argument made in a newspaper column; 56 percent could not calculate the right tip . . . 98 percent could identify rap artist Snoop Dogg and Beavis and Butt-Head, but only 34 percent knew George Washington was the general at the battle of Yorktown.
Williams then opines:
With limited thinking abilities and knowledge of our heritage, we Americans set ourselves up as easy prey for charlatans, hustlers and quacks [i.e., that is, at least 80 percent of our politicians]. If we don't know the constitutional limits placed on Congress and the White House, politicians can do just about anything they wish to control our lives, from deciding what kind of light bulbs we can use to whether the government can take over our health care system or bailout failing businesses. We just think Congress can do anything upon which they can get a majority vote.
Without a doubt. To put it differently, how can we protect our rights as Americans if we don't understand civics and the Constitution and thus cannot know what those rights are? And how can we preserve our culture and traditions and know what we're relinquishing by not doing so and the consequences of this sin of omission if we don't know what they are? Rhetorical questions both.
Most distressingly, the civics survey found that almost 25 percent of us believe that Congress shares its foreign policy powers with the United Nations. If Americans believe such nonsense, can we expect them to vigorously oppose efforts to move us closer to one-world government? If people already believe that a certain degree of our sovereignty is gone, then all the internationalists need do is make it official; they will be able to relinquish precisely that degree of sovereignty without opposition from those ignorant citizens.
Yet, despite this abject ignorance, we still have get-out-the-dopes drives. What percent of the electorate should actually vote? Well, take the 71 percent that failed the civics test and subtract it from the total, and you'll have the answer.
Of course, though, fewer and fewer Americans can make that calculation all the time.
Which is the plan of the new fuhrer's handlers. And the sheeple will go along because they are too stupid not to.
I hate to quote Star Wars but Padma had it right: "So this is how liberty dies -- to thunderous applause."
Yet...I wonder how long it will be before some Freeper posts that their Marxist indoctrination camp is different. Their school sings a Christmas carol or two. Their child's school wrote letters to our military men and women. ( Written with and exasperated eye roll)
If conservatives are to save our nation we ***MUST** do the follow:
*Establish education foundation that will sponsor conservative teachers willing to open one room school houses, mini-schools, and homeschool cooperatives. Tuition would be free.
* Work with neighbors and friends who will elect representatives who will shut down the Marxist indoctrination camps.
* Break the government school monopoly on team sports by sponsoring sporting leagues.
...”What percent of the electorate should actually vote?”...
Only those who have filed an IRS 1040 form showing earned income in the year of the election. Election Day can adjusted to account for IRS filing.
No skin in the game, no vote. Period.
America is going to fall. We are going to become another hell hole like all other socialist countries. There is going to come a time when the liberals will relinquish all personal liberties except for the grotesque “new liberty” that they have created through propaganda. We can’t fight decades of intense liberal brainwashing so all we can do is fight for the lives and inalienable human rights of as many individual people as we can.
Communism is the oppression of the ignorant majority by a conniving, power-hungry intelligent minority. We’ve chosen to be lorded over by our Marxist masters. Welcome to the USSA.
This is a good read. I always hear news commentators and politicians make comments like “the American people aren’t stupid” or “the American people know better”, etc. The truth is... YES, they really are and it’s counted on that we remain that way. One only need watch Jay Leno’s “J Walking” to realize how terrifyingly stupid and uninformed the next generation actually is.
Another “patriot” ranting about how rotten this country is.
“Only those who have filed an IRS 1040 form showing earned income in the year of the election. Election Day can adjusted to account for IRS filing.”
I like it but the Rats would find a way around it.
The voters who supported Obama went to the polls to pillage and plunder the largess of the US treasury.
I am a product of the government schools (GS). I graduated from high school in 1957 and was exposed to several hundred teachers. Most were dedicated professionals. And I can STILL name the EXCEPTIONAL ones.
Edna Kleinmeyer who didn’t just teach English: She imbued us with a love of language I carry to this day. It was Ms. Kleinmeyer who told me I had a gift for writing;
Charlie Kluckholn, the tough old wrestling coach who taught chemistry and gave me some of the best advice I had received to that time;
Charles Huffman, the homeroom teacher who helped me over a very rough spot in my life;
Franklin Jefferis, a “lowly” shop teacher, whose love of a job well done was wordlessly communicated to his kids in thousands of subtle ways. Mr. Jefferis died soon after I graduated. One October night, I visited him alone — at the funeral home and wept as I thanked him one last time.
But the current GS are radically different from the system through which I passed 50 years ago. Know that my concern and hostility are NOT directed at those who still TEACH — really teach, really want the best EDUCATION for the kids, want to prepare them academically for the future.
Those feelings are reserved for SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS who have socialist/collectivist agendas or quietly acquiesce to the agendas imposed on them from above. They know that what is going on is wrong, but say nothing lest they jeopardize their careers. Author Thomas Sowell calls these folks “the anointed.” And as the title of his book on the subject, “The Vision of The Anointed,” indicates, they HAVE a vision!
That it is NOT the PARENTS vision is of no concern to them.
When my kids were still in the GS, my wife and I were quite active. The Principal of their elementary school chose me to represent the school in something called the LSAC (Local School Advisory Committee) program. I attended several meetings held at the County Board of Education headquarters. I came away from the VERY FIRST of those meetings with these impressions:
1. Those folks DID NOT speak English. Through tight little smirks clearly indicative of the low esteem, indeed, contempt, they had for the uninformed and ignorant gaggle of parents arrayed before them, they spoke in buzz words and technobabble code only they comprehended. At one point — to the visible relief of the other parents — I stopped one womans presentation and asked for a translation of what she’d said. She was NOT pleased!
2. They DID NOT want parents involved! Cookie sales and PTA? OK. Serious criticism of a course or textbook? Verboten! Your option was private or parochial school. There very little home schooling then.
3. Most of these people MAY have once been educators. They were now bureaucrats guarding their turf.
4. Many of those administrative folks were making over $50K and, though I looked for signs of it, I saw little evidence of anything resembling work. And this was 20 years ago when the average classroom teacher earned less than $25K.
5. There were WAY too many administrators in the GS. It is a perfect opportunity to provide make-work sinecures for anointed members of the educational fraternity. Four years as an Air Force instructor taught me how to spot the signs.
Heres the bottom line: Simply hurling more money into the black hole of the GS WILL NOT WORK. Most of that money will NEVER get to the classroom or into the pockets of DESERVING teachers who actually TEACH. And teach what any sensible human being REGARDLESS of race, faith or ethnicity — instinctively understands to be correct, morally defensible material.
Bush is right about one thing: We need accountability! Perhaps you recall Clintons asinine plan to send 100,000 PAID Americorps volunteers into the grade schools to TEACH KIDS TO READ. Why hadnt their PREVIOUS teachers OR THEIR PARENTS! — taught them to perform that rather basic skill???
Think about what you just read as YOUR local government schools continue to raise YOUR property taxes.
Another encounter with The System
In 1978, my wife and I came to know a young woman named Patty. She
was a devoutly religious young mother who’d become more devout when her
husband and father of her two small sons aged 2 and 6 informed her that he
was leaving. In dire economic straits, I offered to let her stay in our
former home in Chamblee — which was not rented at the time rent-free until she got back on her feet. She had been clandestinely home schooling the 6 year
old for about 2 years using very well done Christian course materials from
an organization in Texas the name of which escapes me. The lad had recently been tested and had placed at least a year ABOVE his chronological age. As required by the government school authorities at the time, she dutifully apprised the authorities of his scores.
For reasons which would become clear in a moment, Patty had been harassed by the DeKalb County school authorities for about 6 months and, by the time she moved into the Chamblee house, had been — unbeknownst to us — ORDERED to put the 6 year old into the nearest government elementary school or suffer the consequences. Because she wanted the boys to be educated Christians, there was no way she was going to do that and she told them so.
At approximately 2 am one morning, a loud knock on the door announced the
arrival of the aforementioned “consequences.”
Dressed only in a nightgown, she was confronted by several burly police officers who thrust an arrest warrant in her face. With the now awakened 6 year old watching and the 2 year old wailing in the other room, she was handcuffed and led out the door to jail. She was tossed into a large cell with a couple of hookers and a junkie who spent much of the rest of that morning vomiting in the corner. The two young boys for whom the educational authorities professed such great concern were just left AT THE HOUSE — ALONE! Patty was later told that the bureaucrats from Children Services who were SUPPOSED to accompany the cops were late and, in their haste to get this dangerous miscreant behind bars, the cops just missed the fact that the Children Services people were, well, missing. The CS folks showed up an hour later to find two terrified kids, one of whom had just seen his mother hauled off in cuffs.
Patty was ultimately brought to trial under the Georgia Truancy Statutes. Her pro-bono attorney tore the school authorities to shreds and hers has been called THE case that opened the floodgates to home schooling in Georgia. Once they had all the facts, the jury didnt take long to acquit her. Im proud to have played a small part in that.
At Pattys trial, a previously overlooked aspect of the government schools was put into sharp focus for those paying attention: The Director of Instruction for DeKalb County testified that the then current 7 hour school day consisted of an average of approximately 3 hours or less of instruction. At that time, Patty was devoting 4 to 5 hours a day to direct instruction.
He also as much as admitted that the REAL reason they wanted ALL these kids in school was the $3,000.00 per kid per year (Im sure that number is higher in 2001!) they then got from the state and federal government. Empty seats = lost funds. As in most things, follow the money.
Patty home schooled these two boys through high school.
And how did the boys turn out?
One is now a physician and the other a budding journalist.
But that now seems to be the norm for the growing legions of home schooled kids which most likely explains why the NEA and the government school folks feel so threatened. For what its worth, a home schooled kid won the last National Spelling Bee.
Thomas Jefferson believed an EDUCATED PUBLIC to be the cornerstone of the system he and the other Founders TRIED to leave behind. He would NOT, I feel certain, be a big fan of the current government education system. If he returned today, hed home school just as he did before.
Reminds me of a discussion I had with some conservative friends about Gonzales v. Raich.
In Gonzales v. Raich, the Supreme Court confirmed and extended the power of the Federal government beyond the already absurd reaches of Wickard v. Filburn.
Wickard v. Filburn, you may recall, determined that the Commerce Clause enabled Congress to forbid the a farmer’s cultivation of wheat even if he did not sell wheat. The farmer used the grain for fodder for his own livestock. The SCOTUS reasoned that, though his crop did not directly enter interstate commerce, his wheat displaced other wheat which could have entered interstate commerce. The SCOTUS ruled that the Constitution’s Commerce Clause thus empowers Congress to regulate the cultivation of crops on private property.
Gonzales v. Raich rules that the Commerce Clause covers the cultivation of a plant that cannot even be traded in interstate commerce. Thus, the displacement like that imagined in Wickard v. Filburn is no longer even necessary.
In other words, the Commerce Clause now enables Congress to regulate anything ... even if there is no commerce involved. Combined with the SCOTUS rulings on the General Welfare Clause, there remain only a few constraints on Congress. (I suppose that the SCOTUS would object if Congress were to establish Catholicism as the national religion or, perhaps, if it ordered civilians to provide quarters to Soldiers.)
Of course, my conservative friends agreed with the SCOTUS regading Gonzales v. Raich because it confirms the constitutionality of Federal drug laws. The case involved cultivation of medical marijuana for personal consumption, which is not illegal under California law.
It’s time for people to take off the rose-colored glasses and recognize that the Constitution is a dead letter when it comes to limitations on the scope of the powers of the Federal government. Not just the 10th Amendment, the entire Constitution.
I had a 100%. 81% is very low for FReepers.
If more all-knowing big-talkers would simply become teachers, they could help the handful of us who already did fight the system from within.
Half the posts of late have been of “the country is doomed, Americans are stupid” variety.
Well, the country is not doomed. Americans are not stupid.
Repubs lost a presidential election.
It is not the end of civilization as we know it.
Your post makes a good point. A very good point.
(As does your tagline)
If you’re talking about “America” the PLACE, I’ll agree.
If, however, you’re talking about “America” the IDEA, I must disagree.
America, the idea, came down with a fever shortly after the Constitution was ratified, developed a severe sinus infection between the Wilson and Roosevelt administrations, was diagnosed with influenza during the Carter years and now is close to death.
The obit will read something like “America, in declining health for over 100 years, took her own life yesterday. A memorial service had been planned but has been cancelled due to lack of interest and a conflict with the final installment of ‘American Idol’.”
We haven’t just lost an election. We have lost to an America-hating, Marxist, racist, with no qualifications for the job. There was a time when all the foregoing would have made it impossible even for a Democrat to win his party’s nomination.
Thanks for sharing - very informative.
The shame is that what you describe has become the ‘norm’.
It must be changed... but how?
There were a few insignificant questions that threw me...... 81.82 %
No. Everything is just swell. Go back to sleep n00b.
“rotten” or “swell”.
Pretty narrow vision you have, Geezer.
You want the conservative mob to be political and religious bullies. You want other taxpayers to pay for the conservative annointed religious and political worldview.
Government schools are in fundamental conflict with the First Amendment and freedom of choice. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FIX THIS!!! Yes, I am shouting I wish more conservatives could see this!
It is an abomination for the voting mob ( or conservatives) to force others to support the religious and political indoctrination of other people's children!!!!
Let's examine this:
There are only 2 possible worldviews godless or God centered. A school must choose one or the other. BOTH have religious and political consequences for the children and our nation. The content and consequences are NEVER religiously neutral. At the moment our government schools must by law teach from a godless worldview perspective.
OK...so Let's say we do as you suggest. We infiltrate the government schools or we attempt through mob rule to force a Christian worldview on other people's children. Whose Christian, Jewish, or other religious denomination do we choose.? Do Mormons in Utah get to preach Mormonism to their Catholic or Baptist students. Do we teach from a Baptist point of view and force this on the minority Mormons or Jews in the Southern States.
If we infiltrate the Marxist government indoctrination camps and try to **sneak** in our religious worldview what are we teaching the children???? Answer: We are teaching them that Christians and conservatives are SNEAKY LAW BREAKERS.
There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY TO FIX GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS!!!! The very concept of government schooling is a First Amendment and freedom of conscience ABOMINATION!!
Please read post #30. The Marxist government indoctrination camps can not be fixed. Post #30 explains why.
Also..Even if the government indoctrination camps could be turned around so the conservatives could be the oppressors trampling the freedom of conscience of non-Christians and liberals, it would take several generations. We need to get children out of this environment **IMMEDIATELY** if we are to win elections in the next generation.
Your entire basic premise is flawed. A school can teach math, science, government, literature without having first to determine if it’s going to be Christian math or Buddhist math. But this requires a long term commitment, not merely screaming on the internet.
America is in the trouble it's in because conservates ( being static) will not open free conservative schools.
America is in the trouble it's in because foolish people believe the government schools can be reformed.
American is in the trouble it's in because stupid conservatives continue to keep their children in these godless Marxist indoctrination camps.
Christian teachers who teach in these godless madrassas are teaching children that Christians will sell their principles for a paycheck.
Christian teachers who attempt to sneak Christian ideals into their classes are teaching the children that Christians are sneaky.
Christian teachers who believe that their faith can not be scrubbed from cultural values are lying to the students when the attempt to do exactly that in godless schools. In effect they are teaching children that Christians are unprincipled liars who are teaching what they know to be a lie.
America is in trouble? Is it any wonder? Look at the example of Christian unrighteousness walking before them every day in their Marxist prison camps. ( mis-named “schools”).
You’re talking about religion. I’m talking about teaching children the classics that created the culture that founded this country, and the philosophies of free market, private property rights, self-reliance, and individualism.
yep - 87.88 %
In my Catholic school it was impressed ( almost daily) upon us that math and science was a reflection of a rational God. The world was rational because God is a rational being. It was our responsiblity and **duty** to learn about our God's creations.
To NOT teach this concept has just as many profound religious consequences as teaching it. It is IMPOSSIBLE to approach the teaching of math and science in a religiously neutral manner. Godless or God-center BOTH HAVE NON-NEUTRAL CONSEQUENCES!!!
In literature our nuns made certain that we understood exactly which of the Ten Commandments that were broken that led to the conflict in each story. In fact, other that “Man Against Nature” it is impossible to have fiction without the trespassing of one of the Ten Commandments. Hey! And...What about the 7 deadly **sins**!?
To ignore the religious foundations of a child's traditions, to omit his religious leaders writings and commentary from the study of literature, history, or the culture is PROFOUNDLY religiously NON-NEUTRAL. It is teaching him that his religious beliefs, his scriptures, and his religious leaders’ teachings are unimportant and can be discarded. This is PROFOUNDLY religiously non-neutral. It teaches the child that his religious beliefs are unimportant or even shameful and must be hidden like a bathroom activity.
It is impossible to have religiously neutral education! Both godless and God-centered PROFOUNDLY effect the child in religiously non-neutral ways.
By the way...If you think that religiously neutral education is possible please describe one. I will have great fun pointing out the religiously non-neutral consequences and contradictions.
Or... You can educate/train an ape but it doesn't necessarily make it intelligent.
Please read post #36.
Hopefully you can get your mind around the idea that a religiously neutral education is impossible. It is for this reason that conservatives must not attempt to reform government schools. We must open free private conservative alternatives, and we must not cooperate with the government schools in any manner ( especially by not teaching in them.) Conservatives must work to shut down ( permanently ) all government schooling.
The nuns that taught me would point out that we are equal before a just and rational God. It follows then that our natural endowment from God is to stand equal before a just system of rule of law.
If you ignore the God part, you are teaching children that equality before the law rests not upon an endowment from God but upon human good will.
Big difference! Both have **non-neutral** religious, political, cultural, free market, private property, self-religiance, and individualism consequences.
The only reason I don’t agree with the “all is lost” crowd is that I believe there are enough of us true patriots left to where we can still turn this around.
Ninety percent of you post referred to the appalling ignorance of the American people. This is **entirely** due to our Marxist government schools.
I have been sounding the alarm for years. CONSERVATIVES MUST OPEN FREE SCHOOLS!!!
If Harvard can have an endowment of $35 BILLION and colleges and universities across this nation can have endowments in the BILLIONS then surely conservatives could and **MUST** do this for free private K-12 education.
Hopefully, it is not too late. We can turn this nation around but we MUST open free conservative schools and work to completely shut down the Marxist government K-12 schools.
CONSERVATIVES MUST OPEN FREE SCHOOLS!!!
I don’t know any schools which can possibly operate without some sort of revenue.
Of course I graduated High School 33 years ago (1975), when a High School Diploma was actually worth the parchment it was printed on.
That should read: Conservatives should open **tuition** free schools.
Apparently you are commenting on a post that is one of several posts and you missed the funding part.
If Harvard can have an endowment of $35 BILLION and colleges and universities across this nation can have endowments in the BILLIONS then surely conservatives could and **MUST** do this for ( tuition) free private K-12 education.
Is this possible? Absolutely!
Conservative education foundations could sponsor conservative teachers willing to open small one room school houses, mini-schools, and homeschool cooperatives. Surely the homeschoolers have show us that it is completely possible to do an excellent job of educating children in small and simple settings with the minimum of expense. Also...The curriculum exists. It has already been used by homeschoolers for several decades now.
I do not recommend the establishment of the Prussian model brick and mortar schools. It is too expensive and fraught with too many zoning, health, and other regulation problems. Very small conservative home-based “mini-schools” could probably be regulated under existing daycare or babysitting regulations.
The conservative education foundations would certify the teacher, approve the curriculum, and see that the children were meeting goals through standardized testing.
I would also recommend that the conservative education foundations establish private team sporting leagues. Government schools have a monopoly on team sports. These team sports generate “rah rah” support at the voting booth and are the reason that many children attend.
Conservatives **must** work diligently with others to shut down government K-12 schooling completely by whatever legal means necessary.
So when are you going to DO something?
That's all fine, but there has to be adult remedial civics education somewhere in the mix, to compensate for the lack of such education in the formative years.
Break the government school monopoly on team sports.
I suppose your point there is that kids who are interested in playing team sports are forced to go to public schools to do so. Not generally true. Many, if not most, private and parochial schools have field sports teams as well, though opportunities for sports aren't generally as good. This isn't exactly that big of an issue.
Why shut down the public schools? If you have the ability, know how and resources, do it. By calling for the downfall of the public school system it looks like a grab for public funding.
The author of the posted article was remiss in not mentioning specifically the connection between ignorance of the electorate and the election to POTUS of a man who is, for starters, constitutionally ineligible to hold the highest office in the land.
Well...Actually, I have already done a lot. I homeschooled 3 of my 4 children, and “afterschooled” the child who was institutionalized for his schooling. All four are strong in the gospel. Two have served full-time missions for our church. The two youngest girls are married to men who served missions. All are college graduates and our 10 grandchildren are being raised in strong gospel centered homes. My husband and I are very generous financially and personally with our time in the education of the grandchildren. For instance, this summer I will have the older girls fly in to visit. We will hold a “sewing camp” and I will teach the girls how to read and cut out a pattern and assemble a dress. ( This was very successful last summer, and I hope to make a yearly or bi-annual event).
For almost all of the 26 years my husband and I have been members of our church, we have served as leaders of and teachers in our church's young child and teen youth programs. That was a **lot** of work!..but...very rewarding. :-)
Please remember that the **most** important mission field of any family is that of their **own** children. The second most important mission field is that of the children of their own congregation. When these needs have been met then they can reach out to serve others.
We have been very active in homeschooling organizations. My husband has been a very active scouter in our church for several decades. This organization served members and non-members.
We were recently called to be Spanish speaking missionaries at the local Spanish congregation of our denomination. This takes about 20 hours of service on our part each week. Today for instance, I am making phone calls looking for a wheelchair for one of our members. We will likely be very active in scouting again. If a Spanish speaking boy will join and remain active in scouting his chances for graduating from high school, going to college, and staying out of our local gangs is **greatly** improved.
Evidently from your tag line you feel others are not doing enough. What are you **DOING**?
By the way, I do not know of any organization that are setting up private conservative educational foundations. I hope to plant the idea. Perhaps it will catch on.
Few that I have spoken to ( even among conservatives) are aware of the birth certificate/citizenship issue.
Our Marxist dominated media has made certain that it is not publicized, and our **weenie** conservative media is afraid of being called nut jobs.
( By the way, it just steams me that Rush Limbaugh has ignored it. WHAT A BIG FAT COWARD! )