Monday, November 24, 2008

Proof That I Know What I'm Talking About

Americans have the dumb: Haven't the first clue when it comes to American history and Civics.

Just today, to-freakin'-day I was grousing at the tv in the docs waiting room about how all the assholes in the government haven't the first fucking clue about how the government is supposed to function according to the Constitution and how the vast majority don't even have a basic knowlege of economics, much to the amusement of the two other folks in the room, and also about how ignorant the average person is when it comes to government or economics.

Major Findings

Finding 1:

Americans Fail the Test of Civic Literacy

Seventy-one percent of Americans fail the test, with an overall average score of 49%.

  • Liberals score 49%; conservatives score 48%. Republicans score 52%; Democrats score 45%.
  • Fewer than half of all Americans can name all three branches of government, a minimal requirement for understanding America’s constitutional system.

That's fucking pathetic. Executive, Legislative, and Judicial for those not in the know.

Finding 2:

Americans Agree:
Colleges Should Teach America’s Heritage

Americans remain divided over many issues, but on one they have forged a deep consensus. A large majority agrees that colleges should prepare citizen leaders by teaching America’s history, key texts, and institutions.

  • Seventy-three percent in the West, 69% in the Midwest, 74% in the Northeast, and 74% in the South agree.
  • Seventy-four percent of conservatives agree, as do 71% of liberals.
  • Seventy-two percent with a high school diploma and 74% with a graduate degree agree.

Uuuuhhhh, ya think?

Finding 3:

College Adds Little to Civic Knowledge

Earning a college degree does little to increase knowledge of America’s history, key texts, and institutions. The average score among those who ended their formal education with a bachelor’s degree is 57%, or an “F.” That is only 13 percentage points higher than the average score among those who ended their formal education with a high school diploma.

  • Only 24% of college graduates know the First Amendment prohibits establishing an official religion for the United States.

Case in point: my ex-friend Mrs. PA, who has two Masters degrees and zero clue when it came to the subject of good governance.

Finding 4:

Television—Including TV News—Dumbs America Down

ISI examined whether other factors add to or subtract from civic literacy and how they compare with the impact of college. The survey revealed that in today’s technological age, all else remaining equal, a person’s test score drops in proportion to the time he or she spends using certain types of passive electronic media. Talking on the phone, watching owned or rented movies, and monitoring TV news broadcasts and documentaries diminish a respondent’s civic literacy.

In contrast to these negative influences, the civic knowledge gained from the inexpensive combination of engaging in frequent conversations about public affairs, reading about current events and history, and participating in more involved civic activities is greater than the gain from an expensive bachelor’s degree alone.

Finding 5:

What College Graduates Don’t Know About America

By the time an American earns a bachelor’s degree, it is highly unlikely that he or she will have a solid command of the founding and Civil War eras, core constitutional principles, and market economics. Pre-college education tends to increase knowledge of themes from twentieth-century American history at the expense of economics and pre-twentieth-century themes that tend to be the foundation of much subsequent political discourse. Colleges begin to reverse this trend, but not enough to close significant gaps in these crucial categories of civic knowledge.

  • Only 54% can correctly identify a basic description of the free enterprise system, in which all Americans participate.

Sad, sad. All very sad considering I learned the majority of that stuff BY THE TIME I FINISHED HIGH SCHOOL.

Additional Finding

Elected Officials Score Lower than the General Public

Officeholders typically have less civic knowledge than the general public. On average, they score 44%, five percentage points lower than non-officeholders.

  • Thirty percent of elected officials do not know that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are the inalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence.

Which I can attest to from personal experience. My dirty little secret is that I worked for 10 years in a "technically" government job. Oh. My. Effin'. Gawd.

And because I'm a smarty pants, I just had to take the quiz. I got 88%. (missed 4, but WAY better than average) Not too bad since I haven't been in school for like a decade.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

That, And A Fire This Tall

You know what really burns my ass? All the fucking bullshit government interference and bureaucracy regarding every fucking aspect of your life. Any fucking thing that you want to do, the fucking government has thought up a way to make you pay dearly for. Want to go to the beach? Gotta pay a fucking meter. Want to go to the park? Gotta pay an entrance fee. Want to go hunting? Gotta buy a license AND permits. And what REALLY has me fired up-(puns if ya want 'em) you can't get the fucking license without first taking a god damned 16 hour Hunting Safety Course!

The fuck?!? Sixteen fucking hours? Are you fucking shitting me? Just what the fuck is so vitally important that it's going to take sixteen hours to learn? I already know how to shoot fucking guns and I know all about gun safety. And the nearest place to take the class is two hours up the road in fucking N. Palm Beach County?!?

Well fuck me. Not good enough that you've been handling guns pretty much all your life. Yeah, my parents started me off with an air rifle when I was a wee lass. Nowadays they would probably be arrested for child abuse or child endangerment or some such horseshit.

Long gone are the days of dispatching small quarry in the back yard with an air rifle. Now you'll be arrested for animal cruelty.

It's really all out of control. I know there are plenty of jackasses out there who ruin it for everyone because they have no sense and no respect, but still! Sixteen hours? I just can't take it. It really offends my libertarian sensibilities (there, I've outed myself). Land of the free my ass.
Sixteen hours. It didn't take that much time to prep for a fucking drivers license. That only took a four hour dumb ass class, five minutes on the DMV's computer for the written test, and a five minute spin around the DMV road test course (not actually driving on the road in real traffic, mind you). I'm pretty sure more people are killed with the deadly weapons known as automobiles each year than out in the fucking woods hunting.

[wanders off grumbling]

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Who Writes This Shite Anyway?

So this is going around like a bad penny at the moment. They think my humble, wee blog is written by a woman (68%). Only 68%? Guess all the gardening posts were dead giveaways.

Then there's this. Seems I'm an ISTP- The Mechanics or some such bollocks.

ISTP - The Mechanics

The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts.

The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.

Yeah, I guess so. Except that mechanic dude looks a bit dodgy.

And then there's this. Apparently I'm right-brained by a 10-8 score.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

So Who D'Ya S'pose These Guys Are?

I acquired this some time ago. It's pretty ancient. I normally don't get crazy about autographs, but this kinda sorta goes along with the last post. And the coolness factor...fuckin' A!