2020-04-12

The Dumbing of America

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by Neil Godfrey

In a single Easter weekend (that still has a day or two to go) . . . .

From happy slaps on the back for the most solemn day of the Christian calendar . . . .

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to understanding the “real” reason he has critics . . .

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to catching up with ten-day-old news and proving he didn’t even read it anyway . . .

(I first read that “First” news in a 2nd April article of The Intercept: Coronavirus Started in China, but Europe Became the Hub for Its Global Spread. “NAMED sources” in the New York Times article are . . .

    • Harm van Bakel, a geneticist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    • Adriana Heguy, a member of the N.Y.U. Grossman School of Medicine
    • Maciej Boni of Penn State University
    • Trevor Bedford, an associate professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington
    • Sidney Bell, a computational biologist working with the Nextstrain team
    • Peter Thielen, a molecular biologist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory)

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to not knowing the difference between bacteria and viruses . . . .

So…he doesn’t even remember that antibiotics can’t touch viruses? They must have told him, they must have told him a hundred times, because that’s who he is, but I guess a hundred times he didn’t listen. (Ophelia Benson)

Jesus christ, the man is an idiot . . . . He’s never more stupid than when he pretends to be smart. (PZ Myers)

TRUMP: “Antibiotics used to solve every problem and now one of the biggest problems the world has is the germ has gotten to brilliant that the anti-antibiotic can’t keep up with it. … there’s a whole genius to it … not only is it hidden, but it’s very smart.”

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To the Dumbing of America . . . 

 

(I have since discovered Susan Jacoby has an article titled Dumbing of America in a 2008 edition of The Washington Post. To bring her point to the level of the Presidency of the U.S. she compared George W. Bush’s “I am the decider” dismissal with F.D. Roosevelt’s invitation for his radio audience to have open maps before them so they could more completely follow his speech. Little could she expect what was to come.)

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Every Single Thing . . . 

Every single thing that could be wrong with a human being is wrong with him. But the single most dangerous thing about Donald Trump is how unbelievably stupid he is. It’s not the most dangerous thing in someone who has no responsibilities, but in a President it’s the most dangerous thing.

(Fran Lebowitz in interview with Michael Schulman, H/T Butterflies and Wheels)

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12 thoughts on “The Dumbing of America”

  1. The most dangerous thing about Donald Trump is that no matter how stupid he is there are millions of Americans who are just as & more stupid who think he is brilliant.

    1. To be stupid they would “know” the evidence that he is lying making nonsense claims but they have had that opposing knowledge discredited and have become oblivious to it — reacting to any hint of it as itself a lie. Why?

  2. I have lots of friends that swear by him. Anyone Trump puts down, or anyone that disagrees with him, is automatically anathema. Seems now Dr. Fauci is the latest victim. Doesn’t matter if they are experts in their field they side with Trump. It’s unbelievable. I didn’t think my friends were that stupid.

    1. Me too. I sometimes find myself comparing my response many years ago to anyone who was critical of “my” cult leader. Of course Trump’s whole thing about attacking and humiliating critics is to discredit them and to discredit any criticisms against him. I don’t think his followers are stupid, though. There is something else at work.

  3. Soundbite with no context. FtB. P.Z. Meyers. Count the spoons.

    I went and read the transcript. This is about a spike of deaths in Denver and seems to be related to the super-bacteria phenomena. The President is talking about antibiotic resistance. There’s a world-wide problem with Corvid 19 death stats. If you have the virus or the antibodies and you die you get counted.

    In Italy about 12% of the deaths are down to the virus, directly or indirectly; the cake is over-egged.

    Even without the transcript I thought the President was talking about antibiotic resistance and NOT the Corona virus. What he seems to be saying is the Denver spike was correlation not causation, and down to super-staph in hospitals, which is a thing. Given that none of the reporters there got their knickers in a twist about it, I suspect they knew what the President was talking about, even if P.Z. Meyers didn’t want to.

    Scroll to the end of the transcript and you find at least one pillock with an agenda was at the briefing. The dog didn’t bark in the night-time again; so that dog won’t hunt. Again.

    P.Z. Meyers is the James McGrath/Tim O’Neill of “Woke” bollocks and not to be trusted about anything but spiders, cephalopods and evolution. Watch C-SPAN and get what is said or not said unfiltered by the biases of 2nd-and-3rd-hand interpreters. You know, like you would do with the Bible.

    1. Even without the transcript I thought the President was talking about . . .

      Others listened to his actual words, not to what they wanted to think he was saying.

      You seem to base strong opinions on superficial reading, e.g. “problems with stats”. How about reading about those “problems” in some more depth and understanding the reasons the professionals are alert to problems with counting and why they exist at all?

      1. I’ve written a reply. I’ll read it again in the morning and see if it is still the reply I want to make. We may be done here; there is only so much condescension and insult I’ll put up with.

      2. Nevermind the particular Presidential snippets for the moment. I notice you are deflecting from what I’m writing about them to the other things I’ve noticed about commentary on the current crisis. I could cut those remarks; they have no particular bearing on the President’s words other than the observation that misinterpretation is egregious in the current environment. My evidence for that and my remarks is coming from reputable physicians and virologists of decades experience.

        Let’s exchange skepticism in the present medical emergency as a topic for skepticism of the existence of Jesus, and physicians and virologists for Ancient Historians and New Testament Scholars. What happens? If you make the same kind of pooh-poohings of Carrier and Brodie, you become Tim O’Neil and ilk.

        Returning to the President:

        My annoyance with things of this ilk goes way back before President, or even Candidate, Trump. A lot of folk seem to make their mind up about what a thing is about before they have even read or watched it; or they read or watch what someone else has to say or write about a thing and that informs their thinking about it. Even if they go beyond the soundbite or snippet to check it out.

        You seem to be basing strong opinions on soundbites created by others and influenced by what thoses others have written around the soundbite. I just listened to the soundbite, thought it didn’t quite support the narrative it was illustrating, and went looking for the WHOLE briefing on C-SPAN.

        I’m not a native New Yorker obviously, so the President can be a little difficult (!) to follow at times but the gist seems to be deaths were trending in a particular direction then this spike in Denver came to the President’s team’s attention and they naturally wanted to check it out and see if they had to revise anything they were going to do or advise in light of it. They seem to have concluded the spike wasn’t due to Corona but due to hospital admission. You can work that out when the President talks about heart ops.

        I listen to the man’s words, if I don’t understand what I’m listening to, I read a transcript. The. Whole. Transcript; I watch the original video. The. Whole. Video. Capisce?

        I was initially commenting that even as excerpted the clip didn’t seem to warrant the interpretation being made of it; that on watching it in context it seemed unlikely that it warranted that interpretation alone and probably not at all. (I’m not certain of mine or anyone else’s interpretation because I don’t speak New York.)

        The clip was posted, and the commentary around it was, by people I simply have no reason to believe anymore.

        We were not long into this being a crisis for us and not just people in a particular place on the other side of the planet than I began seeing references to racism in regard of China and “China virus”. Which soon became the usual furore of Woke nonsense. “Mustn’t say “China virus”, itsth wacist”. From the folk who’d been calling it the “China virus” since before Christmas. Now the same loons are trying to deflect onto Europe.

        130,000 dead and you want to shit-post daft memes and critique the President for being colloquial and not being technically correct, when we should all be able to understand well enough what he means.

        So he is reacting to ten-day-old news that he mightn’t taken in properly. There are twenty-odd thousand dead Americans, a state of emergency and lock-down across the whole nation, ensuring this doesn’t become two hundred thousand dead Americans, etc, etc, etc, and the everyday of sitting at the desk where, de facto, the buck stops for the whole damned planet, for him to deal with. Jesus Fucking Christ! What the hell is the matter with you fucking people?

        You and I are on different pages politically; we are inevitably going to differ about topics on which politics encroaches. I think past experience renders your particular politics wrong-headed to say the least.

        Do I begrudge you those politics? Not in the least. I think it is a fundamental right to be wrong and make wrong-headed statements. You, on the other hand seem to think political opinions that differ from yours are beyond the pale; don’t count; shouldn’t be expressed; and should be illegal. If that doesn’t wash, you revert to making out folk are stupid and liars and that no-one of any intelligence could hold such opinions.

        On the gripping hand I don’t think that this is a thing that can any longer be tolerated. There must be a reckoning and politics of your ilk must be vocally and vehemently pushed back on, lest it comes to blood and the knife.

        Hyperbole? Perhaps; but on the strength of your latest post you, mate, are dangerously away with the fairies.

        1. You seem to be going to great lengths to avoid the obvious: Trump goofed with his statement about antibiotics and the virus. Sure, he may well have contradictied himself later in the briefing — he often contradicts himself even in his tweets.

          Instead of imputing all sorts of nonsense about me wanting other viewpoints made illegal and following an interpretation I read by some soundbite here or there, just acknowledge the simple fact that Trump goofed with his statement about antibiotics.

          Goofing like that is okay for you or me but not for a President addressing the nation.

          1. I didn’t expect any different a reply from you to be honest. I don’t think the President goofed in his statement. It wasn’t the clearest statement ever made (No suprise there then!) but what was said doesn’t actually fit the meaning or interpretation you are giving it. That is clear from even from the out-of-context clip. Sorry mate, you are coming at this with your mind made up and making things fit your preconceptions that don’t actually do so. Your saying it is so does not make black white.

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