Political and Entertainment Humor Peppered With A Garnish Of Logic

I read from an article written by Ray Williams of PSYCHOLOGY TODAY
Wired for Success
Anti-Intellectualism and the "Dumbing Down" of America

Posted Jul 07, 2014

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It’s the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility.

Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, says in an article in the Washington Post, "Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture; a disjunction between Americans' rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism."

There has been a long tradition of anti-intellectualism in America, unlike most other Western countries. Richard Hofstadter, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his book, Anti-Intellectualism In American Life, describes how the vast underlying foundations of anti-elite, anti-reason and anti-science have been infused into America’s political and social fabric. Famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once said: "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

Mark Bauerlein, in his book, The Dumbest Generation, reveals how a whole generation of youth is being dumbed down by their aversion to reading anything of substance and their addiction to digital "crap" via social media.

Journalist Charles Pierce, author of Idiot America, adds another perspective: “The rise of idiot America today represents--for profit mainly, but also and more cynically, for political advantage in the pursuit of power--the breakdown of a consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good. It also represents the ascendancy of the notion that the people whom we should trust the least are the people who best know what they are talking about. In the new media age, everybody is an expert.”

“There’s a pervasive suspicion of rights, privileges, knowledge and specialization,” says Catherine Liu, the author of American Idyll: Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critique and a film and media studies professor at University of California. The very mission of universities has changed, argues Liu. “We don’t educate people anymore. We train them to get jobs.”

Part of the reason for the rising anti-intellectualism can be found in the declining state of education in the U.S. compared to other advanced countries:

After leading the world for decades in 25-34 year olds with university degrees, the U.S. is now in 12th place. The World Economic Forum ranked the U.S. at 52nd among 139 nations in the quality of its university math and science instruction in 2010. Nearly 50% of all graduate students in the sciences in the U.S. are foreigners, most of whom are returning to their home countries;

The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs commissioned a civic education poll among public school students. A surprising 77% didn't know that George Washington was the first President; couldn't name Thomas Jefferson as the author of the Declaration of Independence; and only 2.8% of the students actually passed the citizenship test. Along similar lines, the Goldwater Institute of Phoenix did the same survey and only 3.5% of students passed the civics test;

According to the National Research Council report, only 28% of high school science teachers consistently follow the National Research Council guidelines on teaching evolution, and 13% of those teachers explicitly advocate creationism or "intelligent design;"

18% of Americans still believe that the sun revolves around the earth, according to a Gallup poll;

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities report on education shows that the U.S. ranks second among all nations in the proportion of the population aged 35-64 with a college degree, but 19th in the percentage of those aged 25-34 with an associate or high school diploma, which means that for the first time, the educational attainment of young people will be lower than their parents;
74% of Republicans in the U.S. Senate and 53% in the House of Representatives deny the validity of climate change despite the findings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and every other significant scientific organization in the world;

According to the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress, 68% of public school children in the U.S. do not read proficiently by the time they finish third grade. And the U.S. News & World reported that barely 50% of students are ready for college level reading when they graduate;

According to a 2006 survey by National Geographic-Roper, nearly half of Americans between ages 18 and 24 do not think it necessary to know the location of other countries in which important news is being made. More than a third consider it "not at all important" to know a foreign language, and only 14 percent consider it "very important;"

According to the National Endowment for the Arts report in 1982, 82% of college graduates read novels or poems for pleasure; two decades later only 67% did. And more than 40% of Americans under 44 did not read a single book--fiction or nonfiction--over the course of a year. The proportion of 17 year olds who read nothing (unless required by school ) has doubled between 1984-2004;
Gallup released a poll indicating 42 percent of Americans still believe God created human beings in their present form less than 10,000 years ago;

A 2008 University of Texas study found that 25 percent of public school biology teachers believe that humans and dinosaurs inhabited the earth simultaneously.

In American schools, the culture exalts the athlete and good-looking cheerleader. Well-educated and intellectual students are commonly referred to in public schools and the media as "nerds," "dweebs," "dorks," and "geeks," and are relentlessly harassed and even assaulted by the more popular "jocks" for openly displaying any intellect.  These anti-intellectual attitudes are not reflected in students in most European or Asian countries, whose educational levels have now equaled and and will surpass that of the U.S.  And most TV shows or movies such as The Big Bang Theory depict intellectuals as being geeks if not effeminate.

John W. Traphagan ,Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Texas, argues the problem is that Asian countries have core cultural values that are more akin to a cult of intelligence and education than a cult of ignorance and anti-intellectualism. In Japan, for example, teachers are held in high esteem and normally viewed as among the most important members of a community. There is suspicion and even disdain for the work of teachers that occurs in the U.S. Teachers in Japan typically are paid significantly more than their peers in the U.S. The profession of teaching is one that is seen as being of central value in Japanese society and those who choose that profession are well compensated in terms of salary, pension, and respect for their knowledge and their efforts on behalf of children.

In addition, we do not see in Japan significant numbers of the types of religious schools that are designed to shield children from knowledge about basic tenets of science and accepted understandings of history--such as evolutionary theory or the religious views of the Founding Fathers, who were largely deists--which are essential to having a fundamental understanding of the world, Traphagan contends. The reason for this is because in general Japanese value education, value the work of intellectuals, and see a well-educated public with a basic common knowledge in areas of scientific fact, math, history, literature, etc. as being an essential foundation to a successful democracy.

We’re creating a world of dummies. Angry dummies who feel they have the right, the authority and the need not only to comment on everything, but to make sure their voice is heard above the rest, and to drag down any opposing views through personal attacks, loud repetition and confrontation.

Bill Keller, writing in the New York Times argues that the anti-intellectual elitism is not an elitism of wisdom, education, experience or knowledge. The new elite are the angry social media posters, those who can shout loudest and more often, a clique of bullies and malcontents baying together like dogs cornering a fox. Too often it’s a combined elite of the anti-intellectuals and the conspiracy followers – not those who can voice the most cogent, most coherent response. Together they forment a rabid culture of anti-rationalism where every fact is suspect; every shadow holds a secret conspiracy. Rational thought is the enemy. Critical thinking is the devil’s tool.

Keller also notes that the herd mentality takes over online; the anti-intellectuals become the metaphorical equivalent of an angry lynch mob when anyone either challenges one of the mob beliefs or posts anything outside the mob’s self-limiting set of values.

Keller blames this in part to the online universe that “skews young, educated and attentive to fashions.” Fashion, entertainment, spectacle, voyeurism – we’re directed towards trivia, towards the inconsequential, towards unquestioning and blatant consumerism. This results in intellectual complacency. People accept without questioning, believe without weighing the choices, join the pack because in a culture where convenience rules, real individualism is too hard work. Thinking takes too much time: it gets in the way of the immediacy of the online experience.

Reality TV and pop culture presented in magazines and online sites claim to provide useful information about the importance of The Housewives of [you name the city] that can somehow enrich our lives. After all, how else can one explain the insipid and pointless stories that tout divorces, cheating and weight gain? How else can we explain how the Kardashians,or Paris Hilton are known for being famous for being famous without actually contributing anything worth discussion? The artificial events of their lives become the mainstay of populist media to distract people from the real issues and concerns facing us.

The current trend of increasing anti-intellectualism now establishing itself in politics and business leadership, and supported by a declining education system should be a cause for concern for leaders and the general population,one that needs to be addressed now.
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Happiness is a decision....it's one I struggle with all the time. One way I can at least go in that direction without "substances" is gratitude...counting the things that actually work for me in life. Being creative is another way, getting immersed in what one enjoys the most. Simple things, like communing with nature or listening to music that evokes happiness or contentment. Gratitude, creativity, clearing the mind of clutter, caring less about the mundane and more about what's working. 

It all starts with gratitude...and that can be hard sometimes, especially if you are in a relationship that is draining or you feel isolated. Sometimes we attract drama by putting out negative energy into the universe. I am guilty of that...especially with what's going on in the country and in our communities, where things are a lot less "communal." 

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We're all tied into the Grid. That's the Source. You can ask that source for help by clearing the mind and focusing on what you need, knowing that Source does not "get" doubt or No. Whatever you need in life, if you ask for it, you negate it by not having faith it will happen. It's not in any way tied to religion...that's just dogma that takes you on a roundabout journey from where you need to go. Faith gets us up in the morning. Hoping for a better day and then embracing that it could be a better day rather than "this is going to be a shit day" is a good start on the journey to happiness. 

Look at how many rich people have a scowl on their face...you'd think they'd be happy, right? They're not because their goals in life are temporal & they're living in fear. They are not grateful...many think they're owed. That's the key...being thankful for what you have, even if by others' standards, it isn't much. Wealth isn't what you possess...it's what's in your heart. When you're thankful, you can start looking outside yourself and maybe helping someone else without the condition they help you back...those are the keys to happiness. 

Gratitude, clearing the mind and altruism. 

Be Cool, Be Nobody's Fool & Don't Dismiss the Bliss.

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For his incessant conspiracy theories, horrible comments attacking Hillary Clinton, and general douche nuggetry, I have to throw Trump into Douche Nugget award status yet again, which may lead to his nomination as not president but douche nugget of the year.

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In this segment from the BKP RADIO SHOW, Madison and I discuss the Dumbing Down of America & how we can controvert that by participating in local elections. Madison debuts the BLUENami initiative, in which Democrats can make this election a turning point for the country.

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QUANTUM MECHANIC'S BRASS KNUCKLE PROGRESSIVES RADIO #S02E15: The Dumbing Down Of America

  • Morgan Freeman Reads the News from Associated Press
  • My guest Madison Paige from Bold Blue Media & I talk about the Dumbing Down Of America and how we can change things through participating in local elections.
  • Obama is one of the most consequential presidents, a piece from Vox.
  • This Week In Metaphysics - Happiness and the Chewbacca Mask Lady
  • Tweets & Twits - my  best tweets and some twits I run into online
  • Douche Nugget of the week. Who could it be this time? Someone evil awaits my award!
  • Listen live or later in archive. Our show's on Wednesday nights at 8 Eastern, 7 Central or listen on demand to any of our shows, always free. Visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/shenderson19
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QUANTUM MECHANIC'S BRASS KNUCKLE PROGRESSIVES RADIO #S02E14: Trash Is For Tossers!

  • Morgan Freeman Reads the News from Associated Press
  • My guest Lauren Singer of TRASH IS FOR TOSSERS will tell us how we can live a trash-free lifestyle by reducing our carbon footprint. She's been on ABC News as she lives in NY & can put all of her refuse in a mason jar. Visit her youtube channel for tips!
  • ICYMI - Obama's Legacy
  • ICYMI - Larry Wilmore & Obama's remarks from #WHCD
  • Tweets & Twits - my  best tweets and some twits I run into online
  • Douche Nuggets of the week. Who could it be this time? Someone evil awaits my award!
  • Listen live or later in archive. Our show's on Wednesday nights at 8 Eastern, 7 Central or listen on demand to any of our shows, always free. Visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/shenderson19
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QUANTUM MECHANIC'S BRASS KNUCKLE PROGRESSIVES RADIO - WED. NIGHT EDITION

SEASON 2 EPISODE 13 

  • Morgan Freeman Reads Today's AP Headlines & News Stories
  • Breaking news about Hastert, the primaries & more. Special international report from "Walter Cronkite" and Primary Analysis from "Al Pacino."
  • Tweets & Twits - my best tweets and the twits I run into online
  • Comedy Bits & Skits Raymond Burr rapping, Bill Clinton reading Shakespeare?
  • Douche Nuggets Of The Week: Cruz & Trump? - Again for his misogyny regarding Hillary Clinton. WARNING - BLUE LANGUAGE!
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Hire me for your answering service, voice mail, gags, anything audio. Celebrity impressions saying anything you want for a great low price!

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The orange colostomy bag who's about as presidential as his cheeto sized dick is our douche nugget of the week.

Trump. Worst candidate since pre-shot George Wallace.
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Interview with Madison Paige of Bold Blue Media - we discuss how to help Democrats win in downticket races as the presidential race is actually a little less important than the House and Senate races, where the real power is. She has some awesome breaking news about how the Democrats are poised to take back the House & Senate!

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QUANTUM MECHANIC'S BRASS KNUCKLE PROGRESSIVES RADIO - WED. NIGHT EDITION

SEASON 2 EPISODE 12 REMIX VERSION WITH ALL SEGMENTS INTACT - 76 Minutes of Informative FUN!

Morgan Freeman Reads Today's AP Headlines & News Stories
Ben King from The Ben King Report on what you can do in this election.
Analysis of the Democratic & Republican Presidential Races 
Madison Paige from Bold Blue Media talking about how we can help Downticket races (more important than presidential).
This Week In Metaphysics - thinking beyond the mundane.
Comedy Bits & Skits, Voice Impressions and lots more. LOTS MORE!
Tweets & Twits - my best tweets and the twits I run into online WARNING - BLUE LANGUAGE!
Douche Nuggets Of The Week: Trump...7/11 was the last straw. WARNING - BLUE LANGUAGE!
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Ben King of benkingreport.com and I discuss 5 Things You Can Do To Help Democrats Win Elections this year.

These really work. 

From Quantum Mechanic's Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio Season 2, episode 12
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Bernie, tired from campaigning, stops in a bar where John Boehner is knocking back a few cold ones. They talk the race, Cruz, Clinton, Marijuana, and the difference between high and buzzed. 5 minutes of silliness from two politicians who likely would not talk to one another except in this setting.

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The soul is pure energy, but coherent. Our bodies are matter, a slower vibrational state of energy, and is an organism. Think of it as traveling around in a late model car, with all its issues, contrivances and limitations. The mind is part of both the "car" and the soul. We are three. Soul (higher mind), Mind and body. Three states of existence, each at varying levels, the soul being the highest (part of the Divine), the mind as the middle, the body as the lowest level. It is our nature to want to ascend, but we are often trained to focus on the lowest level of our existence...just the body. It's really the other way around. Can you imagine being nearly totally separate from the body? Stephen Hawking, for example, is in a state where the body has nearly fallen away, and so there's just mind and higher mind. His focus seems to us has been on the mind alone, but how do we know that he hasn't ventured into higher mind? Maybe his understanding of the cosmological nature of existence has been influenced by his connection with higher mind. It is a goal of mine to try reaching higher mind. Should not be too difficult since the "car" I'm riding in is a hoopty.
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God--is not a person. It's Universal Soul or The Nameless. Making it a deity limits the limitless which is impossible. Here's a simple analogy...can you put the sun on the head of a pin? NO? It's the same thing when human beings try to humanize the universe. Not possible. Belief is tied to ego. If you want to know "God," you can manifest through unconditional love. A simple analogy is your pet....your pet loves you without conditions. That's one way to start manifesting reality instead of belief. Jesus, I BELIEVE existed...but my beliefs do not deify nor diminish him. Knowing the concept of Jesus is DOING his message...to JUST LOVE and LOVE JUSTLY. The only JUST LOVE is unconditional...and that's DIVINE LOVE.

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My interview with Democratic Congressional Candidate Khary Penebaker (Wisconsin's 5th District) 4-12-16 taken from Quantum Mechanic Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio show.

We talk politics, gunsense, GOP obstruction in Congress, how to fix problems instead of kicking the can.
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QUANTUM MECHANIC'S BRASS KNUCKLE PROGRESSIVES RADIO - WED. NIGHT EDITION 

SEASON 2 EPISODE 11 

  • Morgan Freeman Reads Today's AP Headlines & News Stories
  • Interview with Democratic Candidate Khary Penebaker for Wisconsin's 5th Congressional District
  • Analysis of the Democratic & Republican Presidential Races
  • Comedy Bits & Skits
  • Tweets & Twits - my best tweets and the twits I run into online
  • Douche Nuggets Of The Week: Do you want to gamble that it might be Trump again?  Well, it might also be Cruz. Either one of these characters will likely say something to guarantee DNOTW award status. We'll see.
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Various celebrities, both living and "in the great Beyond," wish Roy Thinnes a Happy Birthday!

  • Bill Clinton
  • Walter Cronkite
  • Johnny Carson
  • Jimmy Stewart
  • Charlton Heston
  • Strother Martin
(Voice impressions by DJ Quantum Mechanic)
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QUANTUM MECHANIC'S BRASS KNUCKLE PROGRESSIVES RADIO - WED. NIGHT EDITION 

  • Morgan Freeman Reads Today's AP Headlines & News Stories
  • Special Birthday Tribute to Hollywood Legend & Veteran Actor Roy Thinnes, star of THE INVADERS, ONE LIFE TO LIVE, LONG HOT SUMMER, DARK SHADOWS, A BEAUTIFUL MIND & Many Other films & TV Shows
  • Perspectives Part 6 Reprise of "Political Landscape." Interview with Shannon K, Law Student From Mass. & Friend of the show.
  • Comedy Bits
  • Douche Nuggets Of The Week: Scott Walker for disenfranchising over 300,000 voters in Wisconsin with the new, stringent voter ID which was designed, the gops say, to stop the non-existent voter fraud or what thinking people say is just to stop people of color, who traditionally vote Democratic, from voting at all. The runners up are Trump for his punish women comments and the entire republiKKKan party for their horrifying, draconian policies against women, the LGBT community, their robbery of the poor, their stealing from the treasuries of state and local governments, their poisoning of the water in Flint, Michigan and many other communities around the country, their willful rejection of president Obama's Supreme Court nominee, their racist agenda, and I could go on, but then I'd go over my 45 minute alotted time for this show. Anyway, may the republikkans implode this summer, may they get a pox on all their houses, may they get struck by an extinction event level asteroid, or break out in boils just before getting sneezed on by anybody who happens to have ebola.  Twice.
  • Be Cool, Be Nobody's Fool...and Don't Dismiss The Bliss.
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Welcome to another edition of Quantum Mechanic's Wednesday edition of Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio. S02E09

On the docket tonight:

  • Morgan Freeman Reads The Headlines - up to the minute from the Associated Press
  • Primary Analysis 
  • Comedy Bits & Skits
  • Perspectives Part 5; Interview with Law Student Shannon K); We ask her opinion about what's happening in the world and how it relates to her age group. 
  • Tweets & Twits - My best tweets this week and the twits I've run into online.  
  • Douche Nuggets Of The Week: Pat McCrory, Goobernor of North Carolina for signing a bill that forces transgendered persons to use bathrooms based solely on the gender listed on their birth certificate and Donald Trump for fomenting violence, including one of his people groping a female teenager and his campaign manager assaulting a female reporter. Trump is chicken shit, especially of strong women. I can't wait until Hillary guts him like a fish.

BE COOL, BE NOBODY'S FOOL & DON'T DISMISS THE BLISS! 

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