Creating Stupidity in America — USA’s Most Abundant Product

Stupidity in America: Alfred E. Neumann, the symbol of stupidity in America.
Alfred E. Neumann, the simpleminded, red-haired kid, has been the symbol of stupidity in America for over a century. Illustration by unknown artist, circa 1910 (PD).

Stupidity seems to be rampant in America and gradually getting worse. SAT tests have needed to be re-centered downward in recent years, because the average student is now less capable of entering college.

Citizens of America have been assaulted on numerous fronts:

  • Education
  • Media (entertainment and news)
  • Health (food and medicine)
  • Government

Selfishness Breeds More Selfishness and Contributes to Stupidity in America

Self-concern or selfishness is the root of all evil. Some say, “the Love of Money” is the root of all evil, but let’s look more closely at that claim. The word “love” in the statement refers to a form of selfishness or personal need. That feeling motivates people to do things that could harm others while it benefits self. But what about activities that harm others, benefit self, but don’t involve money? See? This symbolic wisdom was describing with its symbolism a far larger problem. And selfishness has led to the creation of abundant stupidity in America—some by accident and some by design.

The “Love of Money” quote comes from the Bible. Some people simply don’t get it. Biblical translators will do the best they can, but sometimes will translate a passage in a way which mangles its original intent. Between the King James version and the New King James version, the difference seems subtle, but the implications remain huge.

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows”—1 Timothy 6:10, KJV.

The original King James version isn’t perfect throughout the Bible, but its meaning with this passage is far more potent than the watered down, “New” version of the same passage:

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows”—1 Timothy 6:10, NKJV.

The second, newer version masks the clear symbolism of the phrase “love of money.”

What about lust, sloth, pride, murder for revenge, lying to avoid punishment or to shift the guilt to a blameless party, slaughter of innocents, genocide, tyranny, negligence which results in suffering and more? These have nothing to do with money and everything to do with self-concern (selfishness, ego).

What does selfishness have to do with stupidity in America? Lots!

Stupidity in America: in Education

Stupidity in America: John Stossel
American television host, John Stossel. He produced two shows called “Stupid in America,” one for 20/20 and one for his own series, Stossel. Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 3.0).

In 2006 and then again in 2011, television journalist, John Stossel reported on many of the educational system problems in two programs each entitled, “Stupid in America.” The first was for the ABC news magazine, 20/20. Later, he did a similar program, also called “Stupid in America,” for his own television series, Stossel.

Selfish teacher’s unions make it nearly impossible to fire awful teachers. While protecting incompetence, they are harming their students. That selfishness—looking out for their own selves—is costing our children dearly in time, confusion and lost opportunities. Bureaucratic governments (federal, state and local) make it difficult for parents to choose which school to send their children. Parents usually don’t have a choice. So, like the employees in the worker’s paradise of the Soviet Union, most educators don’t have to try very hard. There is no incentive. The students are their slaves to do with as they will.

To the teachers who belong to unions, corporations are the evil ones. While there is some truth to this so-called “liberal” viewpoint, companies which hire teachers to educate children, and can fire them at will, remain far more competitive—driven to provide visible results. Why? Because their students’ parents can fire the school, if they so choose. That makes the private, non-union schools work harder. And those private schools do it for less money and pay their teachers more.

In 1995, the SATs (college entrance exams) were recentered, because the score averages were falling. Some attempted to explain away the slipping average score as indicative of the greater diversity of those taking the test. So what? While it’s likely this had an effect, changing the standard creates an illusion—a lie. But score averages continue to fall even after the fudge was done. Recentering the SATs have supposedly made it easier for kids to get into college, but they could merely have stated that they were letting kids with lower scores in, rather than changing the meaning of the scores. You don’t achieve excellence by hiding mediocrity.

You don’t achieve excellence by hiding mediocrity.

 

Robert Holland, a journalist writing for the Heartland Institute, criticized one obvious flaw in the recentering strategy. “The College Board said the recentering was done to help clarify for test-takers what their math and verbal scores meant. But given the readjustment of past scores, can the College Board credibly boast of a few points’ rise and a 30-year high?” Holland added, “Dr. George K. Cunningham, a testing expert at the University of Louisville… regards the College Board’s press release touting a ‘30-year high’ in math performance as ‘propaganda.’” Holland also pointed out that questions which stumped the test takers were dropped, making the SATs easier. In conclusion, Holland quoted an education reformer: “Jeanne Allen, president of the Center for Education Reform, said of the purging of questions, ‘rather than hold all children to high standards, the SAT was lowered to reflect the poor education that some children receive.’”

Charles Krauthammer, writing for the Chicago Tribune, compared the SAT recentering to many promised government handouts. “It means that every child in America will get something like 100 free points added to his score.”

It’s almost as if someone does not want America’s children to excel. Passing a student to the next grade level when they did not understand the material is a sure path to scholastic disaster and lifetime failure.

Testing standards may be slipping, but so may the image of education with many of America’s students.

When a personal friend of mine was able to get her 14-year-old son to move to America from Thailand, he could not speak English very well. He had done poorly in Thai schools, but the school system in Los Angeles placed him in the next higher grade, because he had been learning, in Thailand, a year ahead of his same age group in America. The first few months, he struggled, but before the end of his first year, he was at the top of his class. Then the bottom fell out. His grades plummeted. Upon investigation, his mother had discovered that the young boy was purposefully failing, because being smart was not popular.

But why has being smart become so unpopular?

Stupidity in America: from Media

 Stupidity in America: painting of a fool by Quentin Matsys
During Medieval and Renaissance periods, courts frequently included fools to entertain the royals. Painting: Quentin Matsys circa 1510 (PD).

For years, the entertainment (movies and television) have made idols out of the class cutups and dropouts while demonizing the smart ones as arrogant, boring and quite simply “not cool.” Movies and TV have also made idols out of criminals. If anyone cool was smart, they were frequently the bad guys—bank robbers, assassins or terrorists.

Other forms of entertainment, like reality TV, have not contributed to critical thinking skills, but may well have helped corrupt the ability of America’s youth to think clearly.

The news media has not helped either. Today, news is dished out by emotional sound bites and propagandistic appeals. In America, war has long been a “peacekeeping action.” The countries which America invades don’t think it’s at all very peaceful. This kind of language distortion is like something right out of Orwell’s chilling dystopia, 1984. In that novel, the government aimed to control every individual thought and action. Personal freedom was considered unsustainable and undesirable. Ironically, the United Nations thinks the same thing. Their Agenda 21 reads like an Orwellian playbook.

Stupidity in America: Created by the Health and Dietary System

Stupidity in America: Illustration of Alfred E. Neumann
Popular image of stupidity in America, Alfred E. Neumann, circa 1930s (PD).

There is an old saying that you are what you eat. If you eat junk or poison, you end up far less healthy. If you eat like a pig, then you end up looking like one. And today, Americans are, on average, far more obese than they ever have been. Oink!

On January 29, 2012, I wrote an article for the popular site, HubPages.com, entitled, The Shocking Truth about Cancer Statistics. I happened to have been researching for another project when I noticed an interesting correlation between cancer rates and national GDPs (gross domestic products). What would the economy of a nation have to do with individual health? Then I noticed that there was a pattern of divergence. High GDP had low occurrences of cancer in nations that did not have strong ties to Western culture—Arab North Africa and the Middle East, India, most of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Philippines, Mexico and Bolivia. But the Philippines is strongly aligned with America, isn’t it? Why is it included in my list? Why aren’t the Filipino cancer rates as high as those in America? Perhaps because most Filipinos cannot afford to eat packaged American food. The same goes for Mexico and Bolivia. Most of the people are too poor to afford such deadly “luxuries.”

The highest rates of cancer were to be found in USA, Canada, all Western European nations, Scandinavian countries, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. South Africa, though nominally aligned with Western nations, has only an 8.4% white European population. That nation’s 80.2% black population is not aligned with Western nations—again, too poor to buy Western toxic “treats.”

As I’ve already hinted, things like government affiliation and economic strength are not the sources of cancer—food is! Or, more accurately, food additives are. The correlation is huge. Though correlation sometimes does not mean causation, food remains the most logical culprit based on these simple statistics. And food is the one huge ingredient which people put into their bodies on a daily basis. The fact that some doctors ignore or even ridicule the notion that nutrition has anything to do with health says something very dark about Western, so-called “modern” medicine. For all their fancy machines and volumes of knowledge, people are getting sicker, and some doctors remain ironically baffled. America has the most expensive health care in the world, but far from the best health, on average.

If cancer can be so prevalent in America, what are the same toxins doing to people’s abilities to think? The fact that SATs (Scholastic Aptitude Tests) have had to be “dumbed down” in America is only one frightening symptom of this phenomenon. Neurological problems amongst children have skyrocketed.

On the flip side of health—treatment—the problem runs far deeper. Corporations have a fiduciary duty to increase profits—nothing more. They have no responsibility to make their products safe or effective. In the long run, they need to make them merely “safe enough” to make it to market, and “effective enough” to allow marketers to recommend them. So, when pharmaceutical corporations come out with drugs which kill people by the thousands, they pay a small fine and go back to business as usual. No one goes to jail for lying about the drug tests or for taking shortcuts in the approval process.

Government agencies which ostensibly protect the public’s health are filled with former industry executives with ties to their former employers. The approval process becomes skimpier and more streamlined, against the warnings of their own agency scientists.

CDC scientists in 2004 found a relationship between MMR vaccine and autism, but the head of the CDC told her scientists to dump the incriminating data—scientific fraud and a crime. Not long afterward, that CDC executive went to work for Merck, a major manufacturer of the MMR vaccine. If you smell a rat in this mix, you’re not alone.

Autism rates have skyrocketed in recent years, going from 1-in-10,000 to 1-in-50. Critics of this correlation say that it’s simply a matter of better detection methods. Older teachers, who have had 30 or more seasons of students, beg to differ. To them, their recent students are nothing at all like their first batch of students at the beginnings of their careers. Far lower attention spans, more emotional instability, lower intelligence—all of these are part of the mix with increasing vaccination schedules which have never been tested for safety in such combinations and frequency. Vactruth.com states that a child in 1950 received 7 vaccines by age 6. In 2013, this had jumped to 36 vaccines by age 6—a 414% increase! Again, zero studies have been done on the safety of vaccines done in combination or in such an aggressive schedule.

There is a more telling fact that debunks the “better detection methods” reason for more alarming autism statistics. If the rates had not skyrocketed, but had always been at the same high level, then we’d be seeing millions of 30 and 40-year-old autism sufferers. These sufferers don’t exist, because the rates were far lower in the past.

Thimerosal (a form of the toxic heavy metal, mercury) has been used in vaccines for nearly 90 years, but was never adequately tested for safety. Never! The one test done had all patients die from the disease against which they were inoculated. That one test proved that thimerosal did not kill those terminally ill patients, but it did not show that this mercury-based preservative was safe to inject into the human body. No long-term studies were done on the health effects to different organs, including the brain. It is known that mercury is extremely damaging to the brain (Mercola.com). “A new study found that primates that received just ONE vaccination containing thimerosal, the mercury-preservative found in many vaccines including the new swine flu shot, had significant neurological impairment when compared with those who received a saline solution injection or no injection at all.”

Manufacturers of vaccines are well aware of the fact that thimerosal is cumulative. In other words, the more vaccinations a child has which contains this preservative, the more mercury there is that accumulates in their body.

Some pro-vaccine advocates remain deluded to think that thimerosal has been removed from all vaccines. This remains far from the truth. The mercury-based preservative is still used in most flu vaccines, including those given to pregnant mothers and infants.

But thimerosal is not the only toxic substance included in vaccines. Others include aluminum derivatives used as adjuvants, formaldehyde (embalming agent), MSG (monosodium glutamate, a neuroexcitotoxin) and dozens of other substances. Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease (Dr. Joseph Mercola, 2014).

All too frequently, children are given drugs to treat their behavioral symptoms. Many studies have shown that some of these drugs create far more problems than they solve. It’s quite possible that all of them create detrimental effects to the mental health of the children. According to Dr. Mercola (2013:0720), “In contrast, one in 10 US children is now claimed to have ADHD, which is a 22 percent increase since 2003.” Nearly all of them are given mind-altering, psychotropic drugs. Whatever problems the children are getting from their toxic diet and aggressive vaccination schedules, these are being made far worse by the drugs being given to treat their symptoms.

On another front, the fact that American dentists continue to insist on using mercury amalgam fillings in teeth remains problematic at best. Mercury vapor coming off of the fillings has been detected and such vapor is easily absorbed through the skin or ingested.

Sodium fluoride is another toxic substance too readily used by humans. Dr. Mercola wrote for Huffington Post, “A recently-published Harvard University meta-analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has concluded that children who live in areas with highly fluoridated water have ‘significantly lower’ IQ scores than those who live in low fluoride areas.” He went on to add, “Despite the evidence against it, fluoride is still added to 70 percent of U.S. public drinking water supplies.”

Stupidity in America: Caused by Government Programs

Stupidity in America: Alfred E. Neumann drawing in newspaper ad
An illustration in 1941:0224 newspaper ad for stupidity in America wanting to vote (PD).

Common Core is one program in the United States which has made a horrible education system far worse. Even the experts who helped to develop the Common Core program speak out against it. Their recommendations were not followed, yet their names and reputations were held hostage—forever linked to Common Core.

An educator from Hudson, Wisconsin gave an example of Common Core’s lunacy. “Little kids in my state were sent home—third graders—and given the following writing assignment: ‘Tell us how the state is just like the family, but better.’ That was their writing assignment. And this… I’m now giving away the game. If you ask me—if you put a gun to my head and asked me, What in one word Common Core is—that’s it, it’s statism. It has nothing to do with education. It is a concerted effort on the part of the government to convince your kids that they belong first to the government and second to you [the parents]…. to make kids wards of the state” (Corbett, 16:17).

Ironically, similar wording was apparently voiced by one of the Rockefellers to the late Aaron Russo. It seems the Rockefellers have been behind many of the problems facing America. Sometime before 2001, Russo had become casual friends with Nick Rockefeller. In one discussion over dinner, Rockefeller told Russo that his famous family had supported Women’s Liberation in order to double the money they made from American taxes (perhaps because they are part owners of the Federal Reserve System) and in order to destroy the American family by making children dependent upon the state, instead of their parents.

Common Core has helped to water down the critical thinking skills of children. Drew Desilver, writing for the Pew Research Center in 2015, included a chart which gave the grim news about America’s standing in the educational world. For mathematics, America placed 35th, with many East Asian nations ranking far above the USA (Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Macao and Japan bringing in the top 5 positions). Also far above America were Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Netherlands, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Vietnam, Austria, Australia, Ireland, Slovenia, New Zealand, Denmark and Czech Republic.

In science, the picture is not quite as grim, with America placed at 27th, behind many of the same countries.

Julia Ryan, wrote in 2013 for The Atlantic, “The U.S. education system is mediocre compared to the rest of the world, according to an international ranking of OECD countries. More than half a million 15-year-olds around the world took the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2012.”

In the PISA study, America ranked in reading at 24th place, again behind many of the same countries. Should it embarrass Americans that Polish and Vietnamese students are better at reading?

Writing for Good magazine, Liz Dwyer wrote, “Back in 1964, American 13-year-olds took the First International Math Study and ended up ranking in 11th place. Considering that only 12 nations participated, including Australia, Finland, and Japan, our next-to-last performance was pretty abysmal.”

In a Washington Post article, David Drew related, “Fragmented evidence suggests that American schools demanded much more of their students in the 19th Century and early in the 20th Century…. But we have no systematic comparative data about what other countries were requiring in those earlier eras.” What lost teaching methods did the 19th century educators use? Will we ever be able to recover them?

What Can Be Done About Stupidity in America

Stupidity in America: Albert Einstein, not so stupid
Albert Einstein in 1921. He immigrated to America and boosted the average IQ. Photo: Ferdinand Schmutzer (PD).

First of all, stop manufacturing and selling chemical additives and food with such additives. Stop selling meat with toxins (hormones, arsenic and others). Stop selling pharmaceuticals that have not been thoroughly tested for safety alone and in combination with other medicines or vaccines. Prefer instead to use natural methods of healing, using nutrition as the first line of defense.

Outlaw teachers unions. Make schools competitive. Attach the money to each student, not to the district.

Stop using fluoride in water. Stop using mercury in dental fillings. Stop putting toxins in vaccines and produce unbiased studies of the efficacy and safety of each and every vaccine and combinations of vaccines. Such studies should not be vaccine against vaccine, but vaccine against placebo (yes, this hasn’t been done!). The test should not be whether or not an immune response is stimulated, but whether or not the vaccination protects against the disease (again, never tested!). There have been too many instances of vaccinations causing the disease against which they were meant to protect. Too many instances of vaccinations killing their patients or crippling them for life.

These suggestions won’t be easy to implement, but American citizens need to realize that corporations are not their friends, even if the citizens work for a corporation. Corporations have stolen their government, right out from under them. Owners of corporations have an interest in dumbing down the population to keep them compliant—a not-so-subtle form of slavery.

We need an educational system which makes learning fun. It needs to captivate the children’s interests and make them wake up each morning excited to get to school.

We need an educational system where the teachers and professors are not afraid of social justice wusses who complain about their feelings being hurt by criticism and by demands for critical thinking.

Imagine what the world would be like without the selfishness and self-concern of corporations, unions and other groups working against our children. Imagine the genius in each child unleashed and energized. We might get far more Einsteins, Picassos and Hemingways. We might also get far more Florence Nightingales and Mother Teresas. The world could be a far more beautiful place without selfishness. Stupidity in America could very well disappear. Impossible? Taking up the challenge makes it possible. If you never dream it, of course it will never happen. Daring to dream big opens the door to achievement. Next, you merely have to step through that door.

References:

Corbett, James. (2014:0527). “Why Common Core Must Be Opposed.” Retrieved on 2014:0701 from https://youtube.com/watch?v=jp_mp5cJMDU

Desilver, Drew. (2015:0202). “U.S. students improving – slowly – in math and science, but still lagging internationally.” Retrieved on 2016:0128 from http://pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/02/02/u-s-students-improving-slowly-in-math-and-science-but-still-lagging-internationally/

Drew, David. (2012:0702). “Why U.S. can’t get back to head of the class (because it was never there).” Retrieved on 2016:0128 from https://washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/the-myth-of-americas-historical-educational-supremacy/2012/07/02/gJQAwpgAHW_blog.html

Dwyer, Liz. (2011:0212). “Debunking Education Myths: America’s Never Been Number One in Math.” Retrieved on 2016:0128 from https://good.is/articles/debunking-education-myths-america-s-never-been-number-one-in-math

ErikTheRed.com. (ND). “A (Mostly) Brief History Of The SAT And ACT Tests.” Retrieved on 2016:0129 from http://www.erikthered.com/tutor/sat-act-history.html

Holland, Robert. (2000:1201). “Recentered SAT Yields Apples and Oranges.” Retrieved on 2016:0129 from http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2000/12/01/recentered-sat-yields-apples-and-oranges

Krauthammer, Charles. (1994:0617). “‘Recentered’ Scores Just Another Step Toward Mediocrity.” Retrieved on 2016:0129 from http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1994-06-17/news/9406170113_1_recentering-average-sat-score-verbal

Martin, Rod. (2015:0705). “The Silent Coup — How Wall Street Took Over Washington without Firing a Shot.”

Mercola, Dr. Joseph. (2013:0330). “Harvard Study Confirms Fluoride Reduces Children’s IQ.” Retrieved on 2016:0128 from http://huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/fluoride_b_2479833.html

Mercola, Dr. Joseph. (2013:0720). “Documentary: The Drugging of Our Children.” Retrieved on 2016:0128 from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/07/20/drugging-children.aspx

Mercola, Dr. Joseph. (2014:0322). “First Case Study to Show Direct Link Between Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Toxicity.” Retrieved on 2016:0128 from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx

Mercola.com. (2009:1022). “New Study Demonstrates Significant Harm From Just ONE Mercury-Containing Vaccine.” Retrieved on 2016:0128 from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/22/New-Study-Demonstrates-Significant-Harm-From-Just-ONE-Mercury-Containing-Vaccine.aspx

Russo, Aaron. (2009). “Reflections And Warnings: An Interview With Aaron Russo.” Retrieved on 2015:0206 from https://youtube.com/watch?v=YGAaPjqdbgQ

Ryan, Julia. (2013:1203). “American Schools vs. the World: Expensive, Unequal, Bad at Math.” Retrieved on 2016:0128 from http://theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/12/american-schools-vs-the-world-expensive-unequal-bad-at-math/281983/

Stossel, John. (2006:0113). “Stupid in America: How We Cheat Our Kids” (20/20 ABC newsmagazine). Retrieved on 2014:0701 from https://youtube.com/watch?v=DIsZpttVSTY

Stossel, John. (2011:0917). “Stupid in America” (special, John Stossel Show). Retrieved on 2016:0128 from https://youtube.com/watch?v=WvrrE0nH6AU

Vactruth. (ND). “History of Vaccine Schedule.” Retrieved on 2016:0128 from https://vactruth.com/history-of-vaccine-schedule/

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