Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Mind Boggles

I've talked about irreverent, funny Bill Maher before. I discover in my little pile of web references this gem from his continuing "New Rule" series: "Smart President [not equal to] Smart Country." Funny how people seem to be landing on one of my recurrent themes.  He actually said during a TV interview that he wouldn't put anything past this stupid country. Well, the outrage was immediate! And what do you think the message was. This is the greatest country on earth and if you don't like it, go live somewhere else. Why, what else would you expect?

Just a random sampling from Maher's highly entertaining piece of the same kind of depressing factoids I've put out here occasionally:

  • Polls show that a majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is. 
  • 24% could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. 
  • More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade. 
  • Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does.
  • Nearly half of Americans don't know that states have two senators and more than half can't name their congressman. 
  • Gallup poll says 18% of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth. (I know, I didn't believe it either. But check this out. And read more to become more appalled than you already are.)
  • A third of Republicans believe Obama is not a citizen, and a third of Democrats believe that George Bush had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks---which is an absurd sentence because it contains the words "Bush" and "knowledge."
  • The average voter thinks foreign aid consumes 24% of our federal budget. It's actually less than 1%. 
  • Seven in ten think Napolitano is a kind of three-flavored ice cream. (Well, okay, that Maher's statement, but in the context of relating that most Americans don't know who's in the cabinet.)
  • Only about half of Americans are aware that Judaism is an older religion than Christianity That's right, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and cannot figure out which one came first. 

I can't go on. And these are the people we're entrusting to guide us on matters such as healthcare reform? The mind boggles.
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