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Confederacy of Dunces

Posted on Aug 10, 2006

OK, deep breath time….
30% of Americans cannot say in what year the Sept. 11 attacks took place, according to a Washington Post poll. Thirty. Percent.


Some 30 percent of Americans cannot say in what year the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington took place, according to a poll published in the Washington Post newspaper.

While the country is preparing to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives and shocked the world, 95 percent of Americans questioned in the poll were able to remember the month and the day of the attacks, according to Wednesday’s edition of the newspaper.

But when asked what year, 30 percent could not give a correct answer.


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By Perry, February 21, 2007 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment
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The quote goes something like this: “When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.” - Jonathon Swift

Perhaps you people are the dunces.

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By harry, November 20, 2006 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
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Quote: “That’s why I’m sure we have always been at war with Eastasia…”

I thought we were in war with Eurasia? hard to keep track in these stupifying conditions we live in. Looking forward to hate-week next month, or maybe every week is Hate-week.. makes religious knowledge easier thinking of muslims as a homgenic group.. sure showed “them” with killing 50.000 of them for the loss of 3000 USA habitants.

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By Mythmenot, August 12, 2006 at 7:40 am Link to this comment
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I wonder if that 30 percent is the same 30 percent (plus 3) who still support President Bush?

Ignorance, like tobacco smoke in a restaurant’s smoking corner, tends to spread beyond imaginary boundaries.

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By Paul M Smith, August 11, 2006 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment
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Frank (#17764),
Although I disagreed with you completely on the Pentagon (Non)airplane crash, we are in complete agreement on the blog you posted here.

Much of the ‘dumbing down’ of America I have to attribute to the failed experiment of public school bussing. I finished high school shortly before it began, but I have a brother & sister who were caught up in the middle of it, and I can tell their education suffered. If the money wasted on the costs of the bussing program had been redirected toward upgrading existing schools & raising the standard of living & quality of teaching staff I feel everyone would have gotten a better deal.

Most of the truly literate (Note: I didn’t say ‘educated’ because that now just represents a piece of paper rather than knowledge)people I have come across have a penchant for self-education, a desire to learn for self-improvement, and are not lazy. Having attended college myself in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, & 90’s, I have seen a steady deterioration in students’ ability to think, and I attribute this to grade inflation, looking at education as a ticket toward a fatter pay scale rather than becoming a better person, being self-centered rather than appreciating how much society as a whole gains from the shared expense education requires, and frankly just plain old laziness. Peer pressure to reject ‘intelligensia’  in this Republican society is apparent, much the same as pre-World War II Nazis viewed academics & intellectuals as enemies of the state. How can it be any other way today when we have a president who was at best a mediocre student (disregarding, but not disavowing the possibility his father could have had as much a hand in purchasing his Yale & Harvard degrees for him, much the same as he helped GWB ‘leap-frog’ past 500 waiting in line for the National Guard Air service, so his son could avoid Viet Nam), and freely admits an aversion toward reading, the basis for any kind of good education.

From a medical stand point Bush is not a moron, but going under the assumption Forrest Gump’s mother was correct saying, “Stupid is as stupid does”, when someone does moronic things they might qualify for the label.

A good example is the much lauded “No Child Left Behind Act”, which seems on a par toward improving education as bussing, yet does little more than transfer un-funded requirements to state budgets rather than seeing education as the national priority that it is.

I’m little surprised at the 30% figure. A few years ago I saw another study, of college students at that, and it showed they couldn’t even locate, on a blank map & within a hundred miles, the town or city they were from. Pretty sad indeed, but we can expect it to get worse because of budget cuts for students seeking higher education.

These educational cuts, and those in other vital social programs are un-necessary. Recently a number of generals & the GAO determined, without affecting the effectiveness of our military or harming national security, we could trim 15% ($65 billion) from the military budget, just through more efficient management techniques. This amount could fully fund our educational (and other) requirements so the 30% figure in the article could become a thing of the past. Why are we continually expanding an obviously inefficient military, at such a great cost to our society as a whole?

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By Wilson, August 11, 2006 at 9:19 am Link to this comment
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When would that be?

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By anonymous, August 11, 2006 at 9:10 am Link to this comment
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1.  9/11 is a bigger deal to younger people, I think.

2.  Older people have more years to remember/keep track of.

3.  Every year’s more like the other when you get older so, it’s harder to connect events or places to news events.  For a young person, 9/11 more probably happened at a place or at a time that they remember because there’s a greater chance that they were doing different things at different places from year to year.

I remember being told JFK had been killed as well or better than the hearing the news on 9/11.

Not saying we geezers don’t have our share of idiots.  From watching the dorks in Washington, I’d guess 30% is understated.

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By Bukko in Australia, August 10, 2006 at 10:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That’s why I’m sure we have always been at war with Eastasia…

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By John U., August 10, 2006 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is why America feels like such a superficial nation full of trailer trash idiots. I guess that’s why when Senator Santorum and Fox News decided (“They’re the deciders”) that those pre 1991 WMD’s they found in Iraq which had deteriorated so much that the can of Drano under your sink had more destructive capability the number of American who thought there were WMD in Iraq suddenly jumped from 36% to 50%. Or else maybe they were just desperate to grab hold onto anything that made their original war support look like the ‘right’ decision since they’re so delusional about their need for a ‘good’ war like WWII that they’ll believe anything.  This is definitely NOT a country that should be leading the free world or setting any examples. Oh well, they’re not….just look at their Lebanon failure.

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By Frank, August 10, 2006 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Even more stupifying is that a majority of Americans believe that the Bible is the world of God and that the earth is only about 6,000 years old.

Yikes. We really can’t afford the stupidity of religion on this planet any longer.

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By Collin, August 10, 2006 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sad.  Really sad.
Even sadder, guess who gets the blame?
Anybody.  Bush.  Clinton.  Global warming.  Continental Drift.  Public Schools.
Everyone but the people who don’t know.
Because we *have* to blame someone.
(And that is also a problem.)


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By Liz, August 10, 2006 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Talk about morons! It scares me how uneducated this country is. But sure they remember crap like goerge bush’s birthday!

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