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Retiring Congressman: The Public Is Dumber Now

June 25, 2012 by  

Retiring Congressman: The Public Is Dumber Now
Is America becoming a Nation of dunces?

The people are getting dumber.

That was the message from retiring Representative Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) when asked about the difference in cooperation across the aisle in Congress and how it has changed during his 30 years as a lawmaker.

“Congressman Ackerman, you’ve been here 30 years. Can you define comity as it existed when you arrived versus how it exists now?” Bloomberg Businessweek asked him.

Ackerman’s response: “Your premise is that comity exists now. It may not be entirely accurate. It used to be you had real friends on the other side of the aisle. It’s not like that anymore. Society has changed. The public is to blame as well. I think the people have gotten dumber. I don’t know that I would’ve said that out loud pre-my announcement that I was going to be leaving. [Laughter] But I think that’s true. I mean everything has changed. The media has changed. We now give broadcast licenses to philosophies instead of people. People get confused and think there is no difference between news and entertainment. People who project themselves as journalists on television don’t know the first thing about journalism. They are just there stirring up a hockey game.”

While Ackerman’s statements may anger some, there is evidence to show that on a broad scale he is correct.

A few years ago, The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs commissioned a civic education poll among public high school students. They learned that 77 percent of the students didn’t know that George Washington was the first President, and 86 percent couldn’t name Thomas Jefferson as the author of the Declaration of Independence. If they were administered a U.S. Citizenship Test only about 3 percent of the high school students would have been able to pass.

Newsweek gave the U.S. Citizenship Test to 1,000 Americans last year—38 percent failed. Twenty-nine percent couldn’t name Joe Biden as the Vice President. Another 73 percent didn’t know what the Cold War was about.

Of course Ackerman and his colleagues in Congress are also getting dumber, according to an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation. Using the Flesch-Kincaid test, which equates higher grade levels with longer words and longer sentences, to examine Congressional speeches the Institute found that Congress collectively speaks to the public at a 10.6 grade level. In 2005 they were at 11.5. Ackerman did, however, manage a personal grade level of 12.07.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • GALT

    What were those 56 dead white guys thinking? Let’s see if knowing who they actually were
    matters………because “thinking” has never been a product or a goal of the educational system………..and this hasn’t changed.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

    Which of the following: Air, Water, Food, Clothing,or Shelter…… you believe are
    non essential elements regarding the unalienable right to LIFE?

    What is government’s role in securing THIS UNALIENABLE RIGHT?

    I have never seen this question on any test, in fact I have never seen anyone offer any analysis regarding how these things, the essential underlying definitive meaning of the terms used here, individually and in combination, lead one to a consistent conclusion that can be said to have been arrived at through the use of logically reasoned intelligence.

    What is quite common……is the ASSUMPTION that everyone KNOWS what the words mean……………..just like everyone knows that ole Sam’s truth that the “public is dumber now” is RIGHT ON……..( and that this group does NOT include THEM. )

    Responses to this post, and the attempted “answers” to the actual questions asked
    ( if any ) should pretty much “expose”…..the TRUTH….and it will not be pretty.

    • none

      Wow, dumb is right. Government = Laws; Unalienable Rights to Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness = rights of all people to have the freedom to retain/pursue life, and achieve happiness (comfort, warship, peace) without being unduly detained/constrained/taxed by a non-representatve government. Not a government assuming authority to be/do the opposite to some, so others need do nothing. Historically welfare states have always failed, after first becoming broadly oppressive; whose who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it. Our Constitution most broadly represents the set of very limited authorities which our government is able to possess (ever), in an attempt to prevent it from becoming too repressive on anyone’s behalf through time.

      • Mike in MI

        Good answer, none -
        Too bad it is wasted on Who’ziee’what’zis up above there who had his educatin curtailed at the point the NEA intervened in education on behalf of the teacher’s unions. I know that is true because that one thinks “thinking” was never the goal of education and “never was”. That means it’s around 50 years old or less.
        Further, It doesn’t realize that “The Declaration” was written to a time and for a people who were widely trained in and fully believer’s of the Bible. “It (above)” mentions food as an unalienable Right. Back then i was widely known that it is written in II Thessalonians 3:10 – “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work neither should he eat.” We may need to think a minute that not working lead to not eating …meaning “no food”. So food was not a “RIGHT” unless one did something to earn it.
        Tough LOVE. But the people who knew the revelation for that verse knew that the word “PURSUIT” as in “pursuit of happiness” indicated WORK…dirty hands, muscles, mind, and thinking.
        George Washington, that great General and first President guy, even went so far as to say, “It is impossible to govern without God.” On JUST a practical level that is easy to figure out.
        People who hate things that are right will hate God who indicates what He knows is “RIGHT” an will hate anyone who brings up those things. But…those are an awful lot of ideas to string together – let alone think about – for a recent grad of those tortured by the teacher’s unions.

      • GALT

        Actually, not an answer at all, by either one of you…… either question, but you have demonstrated the assumption part…..and then proceeded to attempt to justify those assumptions based on your belief that everyone KNOWS what you know…….which was exactly what was predicted………!

      • JUKEBOX

        If you want to see how dumb these people are, you don’t need to look any further than Nancy Pelosi, who appears to be on some mind altering drugs when she speaks.

      • BigBadJohn


        “I know that is true because that one thinks “thinking” was never the goal of education and “never was”.”

        I disagree with this. I went to school in a Detroit suburb. American History class, our homework was to read the newspaper every night. We covered the text in class. But the discussion was always about how are history and current events alike????

        Too bad most people never thought about it like that – HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF over and over and over again. My suggestion to you, read BOTH points of view and try to make up your own mind. That is the basis of “thinking”.

      • GALT

        and it continues………..NEXT!

      • Mike in MI

        BBJ -
        The Detroit News and Free Press had been controlled in their editorial policy by the left for so long that when Detroit started to descend into the abyss it is in now The News and Free Press hailed it as a victory for the left.
        ‘Course they hardly exist as an entity anymore…but that’s irrelevant. Except that it points up the origin of your occaisional “Thought Patterns”.

      • GALT

        I guess the problem is, that as SIMPLE as I have tried to make the questions, you do not understand the questions……so let’s see if we can break this down….

        With regard to the UNALIENABLE RIGHT TO LIFE with of the following: air, water, food, clothing, and shelter, is a non essential element?

      • GALT

        BTW I don’t know if you have noticed but on average this has been a remarkably civil day, if we can maintain THIS, who knows what we can accomplish………

    • Average Joe

      “What is government’s role in securing THIS UNALIENABLE RIGHT?”

      As outlined in the opening preamble of the United States’ constitution, it was the Founding Fathers’ intent to have the federal government perform six fundamental functions. An excerpt from the U.S. Constitution that best expresses these purposes reads, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”.

      1. To Form a More Perfect Union
      2. To Establish Justice
      3. To Provide for the Common Defense
      4. To Secure the Blessings of Liberty
      5. To Promote the General Welfare
      6. To Insure Domestic Tranquility

      Other than those six things mentioned….absolutely….. nothing.

      Best Wishes,

      • GALT

        I have no problem with the guidelines or the sentiment, but the devil is in the details, and the results in this case don’t quite match the “aspirations”…… this is sort a connect the dots exercise……with the early dots………we have a ways to go to get to your dots…..

      • Average Joe


        You asked a question…I have answered the question pondered…..
        There are no devils in my details…that is what the founders wrote in the document.

        Those dots that you are trying to connect…really aren’t there…those , I fear…are your brains’ synapses…misfiring. You are sort of like a V8….firing on 3 cylinders…..
        You may wish to consider a tune-up

        He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.
        Douglas Adams

        Best Wishes,

      • GALT

        Wrong answer AJ……I should not have responded…..I guess this site is so far beyond any application of intelligence…….that compliments are mistaken for challenges…..connect the dots bright boy…….since you want to be ahead of the class….then answer the question that was ASKED!!!!!!

        I apologize for ASSUMING that you might have understood it…….

        • Bob Livingston

          Dear GALT,

          Have you ever for a moment thought…….that perhaps your tendency to use incorrect sentence structure…..could create confusion…..for those……trying to read…….what you post? Commas, semicolons, colons and periods are all commonly used to separate clauses and phrases. “An ellipsis [three dots, not six or more] is the conventional punctuation mark indicating the ommission of irrelevant parts of sentences, speeches, documents and other text… Those three dots may be pretty, but ellipses should generally be avoided when possible–and it usually is.” The Associated Press Guide to Punctuation.

          Best wishes,

      • GALT

        Thank you Bob…….I will and have tried to take all manner of foibles, my own included into the “mix”………I’m not sure that THAT is the problem here……..

        But ” I shall consider it”……..

        BTW while your here…….wanna maybe take a go at the first question?

        • Bob Livingston

          Dear GALT,

          I believe the document is self-explanatory. Or am I missing your point?

          Best wishes,

      • GALT

        Well you didn’t answer the question…….not that I expected you to…..but you really have to
        explain to me……what ARE you doing? You are spending way to much time here under the circumstances that would make sense to anyone that “Has found freedom in an unfree world”………if you have……..seems like an awful lot of work to maintain,,,,, especially since you clearly are not “unintelligent”……Bob……..did you imagine that this would not be noticed?

        • Bob Livingston

          Dear GALT,

          You write: “Well you didn’t answer the question…” I answered the question as I understood it. I responded to: “BTW while your here…….wanna maybe take a go at the first question?” The first question at the top of the thread was: “What were those 56 dead white guys thinking?”

          If that is not the question you meant, please forgive me. Perhaps I’m not as intelligent as you think. But perhaps you are being obtuse.

          You write: “…but you really have to explain to me……what ARE you doing?” No. I don’t.

          Best wishes,

      • GALT

        That wasn’t the question Bob…at least not MINE……and I have had to simplify it….
        so just for you…….

        With regard to the UNALIENABLE RIGHT TO LIFE which of the following: air, water, food, clothing, and shelter, is a non essential element?

        Then you get to answer part two……

        • Bob Livingston

          Dear GALT,

          You write: “That wasn’t the question Bob…at least not MINE……and I have had to simplify it….so just for you…….” Then you were being obtuse. You asked me to answer the first question. I scrolled to the top of the thread where you began with, “What were those 56 dead white guys thinking?” Which I answered. Now you ask a second question and imply a third. Thanks for “simplify[ing] just for [me].”

          You write: “With regard to the UNALIENABLE RIGHT TO LIFE which of the following: air, water, food, clothing, and shelter, is a non essential element?” I do not accept your premise.

          You write: “Then you get to answer part two……” I will head you off and assume your part two is “What is government’s role in securing THIS UNALIENABLE RIGHT?” In its broadest sense, government’s role is remove barriers that would inhibit the individual from securing the elements essential to maintaining “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

          Best wishes,

      • GALT

        Well that was fun….why did you not accept my premise? and there is no reason to continue or actually say anything else… all.

        We are on the same side……sir…….or it would appear to be so……what you need to understand is……….you are running with the wrong crowd………

        Take all the money you are making now, and multiply it by the TRUTH………you don’t really think these idiots at agora or anywhere else….matters, do you? If it did, you would be long gone or you must be greedy beyond belief……..

        Anything is possible…….so that check was to WHOM, address?

        • Bob Livingston

          Dear GALT,

          You write: “why did you not accept my premise?” I do not accept that one of those is not essential. I do not accept that they are the only elements that are essential.

          You write: “you are running with the wrong crowd” What crowd is that?

          You write: “Take all the money you are making now, and multiply it by the TRUTH………you don’t really think these idiots at agora or anywhere else….matters, do you? If it did, you would be long gone or you must be greedy beyond belief……..

          Anything is possible…….so that check was to WHOM, address?” I must say I am at a loss to understand your question and your point.

          Best wishes,

      • GALT

        BTW Bob……it is kind of absurd not to accept the premise……the elements required and the fact that I didn’t write it………but if you want to blame me for asking…….

    • TIME

      Dear Galt,

      The answer to your question is really quite simple;
      “UNALIENABLE” means – its the right to be born with {NO Debt}

      To be born into a life with – “No form of Slavery be it by force or indentured Servitude.”

      Black’s Law 1950′s edition.

      • GALT

        Okay, that would be a good start with one dot……..

      • Mike in MI

        Time -
        I wonder of if G(ui)alt ever considered, “The borrower is slave to the lender” and it’s meaning? Like…what is his “over-educated” thoughtlessness doing to my children? I know he doesn’t have a concern about that, AT ALL.
        Someone as High and Mighty as he can not deign to become concerned about nor sweat “the small stuff”.

      • GALT

        Even simple definitions are a problem……….every time you post Mike, you confirm that YOU ARE THE PROBLEM……….and doing exactly what was predicted……I know. why would anyone ever question YOU, as the what the meaning of the words you profess to BELIEVE actually mean…………. ( so even though you can’t do it….everyone ELSE is dumb. ) and this little post by Sam is so olde…….that you’d have to be a childe not to have seen it hundreds of time before……….yet you salivate every time…….good boy, pat pat.

      • trw

        unalienable means a god given rilght

      • GALT

        no it doesn’t

      • Average Joe

        “Unalienable: incapable of being alienated, that is, sold and transferred.” Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, page 1523:

        You can not surrender, sell or transfer unalienable rights, they are a gift from the creator to the individual and can not under any circumstances be surrendered or taken. All individual’s have unalienable rights.

        Best Wishes,

      • GALT

        Then AJ that would be incorrect……..the whole concept of DEBT is built precisely on the FACT that you can do that……and that if you DO DO THAT, then you OWE…..

        Do you not own your being? and if so can you not sell it? AND IF YOU DO, THEN WHAT?

        My apologies to you…..hopefully you understand that I am not your enemy…or if not, that I have nothing to gain by engaging you in this “dialog”…….

        The question regarding unalienable rights is actually one step removed from the basic question………….and it has been ASSUMED that the answered to these questions are the equivalent of “natural law”!

        But there are NO UNALIENABLE RIGHTS in natural law…….natural law consists of one
        right……..and it is UNIVERSAL………

        The point is….we are supposed to be BETTER this……. I know you are better than this….
        I hope you will forgive me for asking more….or maybe expecting more from me….than is possible for either of us to deliver under the circumstance…….

      • Average Joe

        It is always more difficult to engage in meaningful dialog when we are unable to converse face to face. Many times, body language says more about the direction of a conversation than the words. Or, as I like to put it, “sometimes how the message is delivered…is more important than the message itself”.
        Unfortunately, too often, the written word gets taken in the wrong context and folks say things that well, frankly shouldn’t be said. We are all guilty of it, myself included. Occasionally, I go back and re-read things and have a completely different interpretaion of what was said, as with my un-called for reply to you above. After re-reding, I saw it from a differnt view, my appologies.

        I do understand a lot of what you are saying and actually agree with most of it. But, let’s face it we are never going to agree 100% on all issues and that occasionally there will be friction. The key is to recognize that fact andd not let it get under our skin too much.

        Best Wishes, AJ

      • GALT

        Yes AJ I agree completely……and I want you to consider something……..I know how hard it is to be here………and how hard it is to want to make a difference……….

        You need to believe that you ARE making a difference, and that I would be most honored to have you next to me…regardless of what the odds were……

        But I also need you to TRUST me, because even though I don’t believe I can pay you any greater compliment than I just have……….I don’t ever want to have to depend on the reality……….of your having to fullfill it, which I know you would do without question.

        Frankly, I would rather not…………and if I push those that understand that they would rather not a little bit harder……..maybe we won’t have to?

    • ChristyK

      Galt, you misunderstand what a right is. A right does not infringe on another person. If you think food is a right, you don’t understand. To give a person food that he did not work for means you have to take (steal) food from another person that did work for it. That is the primary difference between the constitutional bill of rights and FDR’s 2nd bill of rights. My right to speak my thoughts, worship how I please, own and use a gun, privacy, property ownership, etc. do not infringe on another. Guaranteeing food, a job, healthcare, etc. requires taking property away from people who worked hard to earn/produce that property. It is theft (or legal plunder according to Bastiat) whether it is done by an individual or a government.

      • GALT

        No Christy, I did not misunderstand…….I asked a question, which YOU did not ANSWER….
        when you do…..then we can proceed… are NOT afraid of this process are you?

        Individual instruction is hard to come by……..

      • Mike in MI

        ChristyK – You did good, girl.
        Answering lieberls like Whoozeewhatzis (up there) is always a difficult proposition. Since they’re liebs you can bet they are going to engage in circuitously reasoned ideas which are impossible to end. “Impossible” because a circle has no end. Also, lieberl talking points have no point. Especially Galt who is somewhat more clever than most lieberls in that he includes “convoluted” and “continuity challenged” in his act.
        It’s a waste of time since they usually argue for things God’s Word speaks against. “There’s your sign.” I’ve finally decided “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou be like him.” – Proverbs 26:4
        Bless you, have a good day.

    • Average Joe


      Since I don’t know how many of these you wanted answered, in what order or what answers that you are expecting, but I will attemt to answer them all, in order and to the most simplified version that I can write.

      “What were those 56 dead white guys thinking?”

      Which 56 “dead white guys are you referring to? There have been many over the centuries. All I am saying, is please be specific. with your enquiries.

      If you are referring to the founders, a read of the Federalist Papers as well as their personal letters, notes and speeches might lend a bit of insight as to their thoughts.

      “Which of the following: Air, Water, Food, Clothing,or Shelter…… you believe are
      non essential elements regarding the unalienable right to LIFE?”

      While each of these things are nessesary to sustain life, none of them are unalienable rights.
      You have the right to obtain all of those things by the sweat of your own brow, but not by the sweat of anyone else’s brow. If we wish to have these things, then we must obtain them by our own endeavors, without infringing upon anyone elses ” Unalieable Rights”.

      What is government’s role in securing THIS UNALIENABLE RIGHT?

      What is “THIS” UNALIENABLE RIGHT? Again, “THIS’ leaves a pretty broad pool of options to choose from. Be more specific.
      If you are referring to “Air, Water, Food, Clothing,or Shelter”, as I explained above…they are not in fact “unalienable rights” , but rather “NEEDS”.

      I have already given my view above as per the Preamble to the Constitution, but I will add:

      The Governments main purpose is to secure the unalienable rights of the people.

      Best Wishes,

      • GALT

        Thank you A.J. you are now back in the jungle……..they are NEEDS…..they are absolute REQUIREMENTS…………if you don’t acknowledge these as a minimum……what is the point of GOVERNMENT……….to pretend? That was the point of the question in the first place…….now you are here……follow that thought……..or does the jungle suit you?
        No debt there……;-)

    • http://PeronalLiberty Alondra

      Galt asks his “lefty” stupid question: “Which of the following: Air, Water, Food, Clothing, or Shelter…… you believe are nonessential elements regarding the unalienable right to LIFE?”

      The same stupid post Galt already posted on this web. Previously I dismissed/ignored this self- egocentric, self-pleasing posting, but this time I decided to comment on this persistently ignorant post.

      And as a GOOD libtard Galt first changing subject, than he twisting and distorting the Declaration of Independence.

      So, Galt, let analyze your distortion and nonsense and point the FACTS/IDEA of the Declaration of Independence:

      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

      What are the Unalienable Rights? Life, Liberty, pursuit of Happiness. Let talk about each of them.

      1) LIFE. We know that God gives/grants us life. Don’t you, Galt?
      a) God gave us life, not government: God “breathed into his [man’s] nostrils the
      breath [AIR] of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis)
      Galt, God provides us with Air and Water, not government.

      b) But what Founders meant by declaring LIFE as Unalienable Right?
      It means that no one can take your life, even thru abortion.

      Again, God gave us a FREE WILL in the moment of our birth/first breath. This is the most valuable God’s gift, because without LIBERTY and FREEDOM the life is worthless, even for liberals like you, Galt.

      The Founders highlighting/underlining/underscoring the role of Government:
      a) The Government MUST “TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS”
      b) And Founders precociously warning and advising the PEOPLE that in the
      case if “Government becomes destructive of these ends [by other words

      Now Galt, answering your ignorantly stupid and hypothetical question, which nothing has to do with the Declaration of Independence: Which of the following: Air, Water, Food, Clothing, or Shelter…… you believe are nonessential elements regarding the unalienable right to LIFE?

      1) AIR. Galt, it’s so ridicules, absurd and laughable to think that your right to BREATH comes from Government.
      Galt, God supplies us with AIR limitlessly, not Government. We DO NOT have to ask Government’s permission to breath. And by a way, Galt, you and Government are breathing the “God’s” AIR.

      2) WATER. Galt, Government do not produces WATER.
      Again, God is providing us with WATER limitlessly. And thanks to God, we do not have to ask Government’s permission to drink. Government & you also drinking “God’s” WATER.

      3) FOOD. Galt, Government does not produce FOOD. People do produce FOOD, but God PROVIDES.

      “And God said, “See, I HAVE GIVEN YOU EVERY HERB that yields seed which is ON THE FACE OF ALL THE EARTH, and EVERY TREE whose fruit yields seed; TO YOU IT SHALL BE FOR FOOD.” (Genesis)

      God said: “EVERY MOVING THING THAT LIVES SHALL BE FOOD FOR YOU. I HAVE GIVEN YOU ALL THINGS, even as the green herbs.” (Genesis)

      Galt, God said that “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” (Genesis)

      Galt, as you see the Government does not supply us with FOOD. People, who produce FOOD, supplying us and Government.

      The same: Galt, the Government does not produce or supply or provide us with CLOTHING or SHELTER. Hard working PEOPLE DO.

      Galt, Here is the conclusion: Government does not produce or provide Air, Water, Food, Clothing or Shelter.Hard working PEOPLE DO.

      Galt, I understand that Government for leftists is god. But it does NOT for self-relying hard working and lovers of the FREEDOM & LIBRTY true Americans.

      Galt, I don’t think that your communistic propaganda convinced anybody, at least on this Web.
      Good luck to you in worshiping to your god and your messiah.

    • http://PeronalLiberty Alondra

      Galt, now I would like to bring your attention to the article’s subject.

      Mr. Ackerman says: “It used to be you had real friends ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE. It’s not like that anymore.”

      Of cause, the witch Pelosi harassing and threatening each & everyone, who makes even an half step to the center.

      Mr. Ackerman says: “I think the people have gotten dumber.”

      Galt, I am not agree with Mr. Ackerman. And here is why:

      According to the 2010 survey of none other than the Pew Research Center, a left-of-center organization, REPUBLICANS outperformed Democrats on 10 of 12 questions, with one tie and Democrats outperforming Republicans on just 1 (ONE) of the 12.

      In the latest 2011 survey, however, REPUBLICANS OUTPERFORMED Democrats on EVERY SINGLE one of 19 questions.

      Galt, Mr. Ackerman is not correct, because he is generalizing all people. But it DEMONcratics who “have gotten dumber.” And they became not only stupider, but also more senseless, unwise, ill-advised and misguided. And there is an explanation for that: They adapted in full communistic ideology. And from the history we know how countries with the communistic regimes ended – total destruction and degradation.

      Galt, I think you have to switch the party.

      • GALT

        Gee thanks…but the question was which one of these was not essential to life……did you identify one of them that was not essential? Or did you agree that they are?

      • GALT

        BTW you do not have the capability to proceed to the next phase of reasoning until you demonstrate that you have mastered the first……..this means Bob and you…..

  • Bobseeks

    Of course the public has gotten dumber; that is the whole purpose of the lieberal controlled mis-education system and media. Dumb people are easier to control and mislead than smart people and that is the whole thrust of lieberalism – to produce mindless sheep to be fleeced by lieberal parasites. As far as comity is concerned, one cannot cooperate with evil and the democrat party is 100 percent evil.

    • Ken S.

      Bob, ….. L-I-B-E-R-A-L . ….. please spell it correctly or you reinforce the essence of the Gary Ackerman article.

      • Carter

        Bob is correct – the “miseducation system” is based on and run by a LIEberal-oriented oligarchy – they teach LIES, capisce?.

      • JUKEBOX


      • Bobseeks

        The spelling was intentional, fool. A liberals are liars, therefore I call them lieberals.

    • Kinetic1

      I will admit that Sen. Kennedy made some big mistakes in co-authoring “no child left behind”, and that other Democrats followed suit with their votes, but there is no avoiding the fact that this law, which proposes to improve our schools by forcing our teachers to instruct students in how to pass the test, is a conservative win. Since the implementation of this misleading law, the Big Three text book publishes—McGraw-Hill, Houghton-Mifflin, and Harcourt General have come to dominate the testing market. One Wall Street analyst aptly referred to these as “Bush stocks,” following the 2000 election, and all three represent owners like Harold McGraw III, who has longstanding ties to the Bush administration and the lobbying efforts of Sandy Kress. Kress has other clients of note, such as “Ignite! Learning”, a company headed by Neil Bush, and K12 Inc., owned by Bill Bennett. All of these long standing and up start companies have tailored themselves to take advantage of what the administration has offered, to the tune of between 2 to 5 BILLION dollars a year!

      When I was in school we were taught to think. We were asked to analyze and interpret the information. In Jr. high my math class had us faux investing in the stock market. We chose, tracked and justified our buying decisions. In high school I took classes like “clear thinking”, where each class was a debate. Now it’s Math, English and History. Period. Science? If we can find the time, but who needs scientists? Music? Who cares if study after study shows that the abstract concept of music improves math comprehension? Generalized tests results are simple to read and understand, and the testing materials are worth a fortune for those who print them. Follow the money.

  • ralf

    As ye sow, so shall ye reap……………

  • clyde carter

    If we are dumber then what about congress, they pass laws not knowing
    what they are voting on. this is really smart. What are we paying them

    • Mike in MI

      clyde carter -
      Well-l-l-l, quite obviously to carry out the “People’s Business”…meaning, name local post offices and branches thereof…before they close them down forever because we can no longer afford to keep them open and do their business. But, that is really a confounding bit of information because I can’t see how that contributes to the “franking privileges” of the Congress????
      I wonder if they are planning on interrupting – uninvited – anyone’s internet discussion time to hawk their lies and propaganda?

  • Isaac Davis

    “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
    ~Thomas Jefferson

  • Ragss

    The article is correct America is stupid, just look at who won in 08′ that should explain enough about our society.

    • Kinetic1

      Just look at the choice we had! McCain was all over the map trying to appease and one look at Palin’s record says it all. As long as the system remains in it’s current state, we can only pick from what is offered.

  • Bill

    If people are reading at the 7-8 grade level, then why are the members of Congress trying to communicate with them on the 10.6 to 12.06 grade level? Source:National Center for Education Statistics. Seems sort of a paternalistic opportunity for the politicians—”they’re too ignorant to make important decisions so I’ll do it for them”. If that’s not an open door for corruption, I don’t know what is.

    Education Information Branch
    Office of Educational Research and Improvement
    U.S. Department of Education
    555 New Jersey Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20208-5641
    (800) 424-1616

  • Floridian in Costa Rica

    It is also a testament to our Teachers Union…


      Can you say “TENURE”?

      • GALT

        Yes Alex, I’ll take “Words people ask “can you to say”, for $2000.”

      • GALT

        key bored finger rambling…….-to

    • Kinetic1

      You can’t tie the teachers hands behind their backs, crowd their classrooms, cut their funds and tell them that they MUST teach the kids how to pass a State/Federal test above all else and then blame the teachers for students failing. I’ve worked in my kid’s class room. I’ve seen the homework from kids whose parents either aren’t available to help, won’t help or can’t help due to a language barrier. I’ve seen very bright kids failing due to language issues that could be overcome if the budget wasn’t cut to shift money over to testing materials. The extra attention the teachers have to direct to these kids then costs the rest of the kids. “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”

      • The GLB

        Didn’t George Bush ask: Is are children learning?

        Proof there that our ‘S’elected rulers (er, leaders) are less intelligent (read: dumber in the context of this article).

        By the way, Ackerman’s Flesch-Kincaid test score would be higher if he did NOT use words like dumber.

    • Kinetic1

      One more thing: who gets paid the big bucks?
      I live in a county that covers just 520 sq. miles. The population is about 250,000. We have, as most counties do a county office of education, and no fewer than 19 districts. Each district has it’s own supervisor and staff. Supervisors earn between $125,000 and $160,000. I won’t bother to take the time to figure out the staff pay, but it’s a fair assumption that each district office pays out at least $200,000 to $500,000 in salary alone! Teachers, on the other hand average between $37,000 and $64,000 (the lowest paid pre-school teacher is paid $25,000 and the highest paid HS teacher gets around $90,000) and most of them end up spending hundreds of their own on supplies the schools no longer budget for. Oh those evil teachers and their high paying jobs. They’re just bleeding us dry!

      Who does the real work of education? Do we really need 19 school districts to oversee 83 schools? A dozen of these offices have 3 or fewer schools in their district! Others have as many as 20. How much would we save if they cut it down to, say 4 or 5 districts? How much more money could be spent on educating our kids instead of overlapping duties?

  • http://survivingurbancrisis.COM Silas Longshot

    It has been the liberal ‘interpretation’ of education for the past 50 years, getting more effective as each generation passes through the system, to merely produce a ‘useful workforce’ smart enough to work in factories or McD’s, but not so smart as to be a threat to elected officials pulling their usual BS on the public. 0bama getting elected is a concrete example that it’s working all too well. The article and ‘man on the street’ interviews even by late night comics prove beyond any doubt that Americans are ‘stupid’ partially by choice but more so by design. If they have never been taught these things, while ‘forced’ to go to school, there’s no way they’ll bother finding those facts when school is done.
    click the name

    • Mike in MI

      Silas -
      well said. But one of the most effective dumbing down tools is the use of drugs put in the hands of the teachers to silence the brain power of the kids before they can complain about the worthlessness of the teachers.
      One of the main jobs we must do is totally undo and then rebuild the present construct we call “health care”, medicine, medical education or the modern method of social destruction by drugging the populace into compliance.
      But,…who knows? It’s probably too little, too late,…too latte’.

      If Eric Holder and Obama can get away with what they’ve done, for this long and so few people get outraged – - – people are just too tranquilized and anxiolyticized. They’ll survive.

      The rest of us will, without doubt, be identified, rounded up and moved to the re-education centers.

      • Mike in MI

        That program will begin after November.

    • Kinetic1

      It was my “liberal” teachers who pushed me to think. They wouldn’t accept the idea of just memorizing facts (though they demanded that as well,) they wanted us to be able to explain, in our own words the reasons for and consequences of that which we were learning about. Again, it’s unfunded edicts like “no child left behind” that are creating generations of workers trained to follow the rules and do the work without question.

  • Ron in pa

    Let’s try to remember that the “dumbing down” is part of the plan for the New World order.
    Fortunately, the sheeple are waking up. Their knowledge is a bit disorganized, but that
    will change in time. The liberals are mad because they can’t control the Internet. The days
    of Big Government and Big Corporations are coming to an end. Hoorah!!

  • TIME

    Your only as DUMB / Stupid or Ignorant as you will allow yourself to be.

    Its not up to any Government, nor your mommie to educate you, its up to “YOU” to do the job.
    If you have questions – {SEEK the answers.}
    When the answers don’t jive, then figure out why that is.

    The Truth is out there BUT – and this is a really BIG BUTT, YOU have to really want to find the REAL TRUTH!

    Just as not a single one of us has ever VOTED for a POTUS, what your really doing is nothing more – nor less than voting in a “massive Public Opinion Poll.”
    Your – Masters have been picked by thier Masters long before you ever even know who they are.

    One coin with only ONE single Goal, oddly with two differant sides, but again the same GOAL!

    Note the term; Good Cop; Bad Cop.
    They are working for the same goal even though they look differant.

    Peace and Love

  • http://Yahoo Rob

    Dumber….Maybe!!!…But “APATHY” is running rampant…..and our government leaders are taking the advantage of this society’s attitude….it is our own fault….

    • RichE

      Numb and dumb.

    • GALT

      Not really Rob………there is very little that you actually can do…… is very hard to communicate what is the TRUTH and then convince people to “act”…….but despite this there are two things that everyone can do……..

      1.) Do not blame the “victims”…….if you have been fortunate enough to escape this latest trip to the edge of insanity and even if you think that you were prepared and expected it,
      do not imagine that you are immune……….

      2.) No matter how bad things get….remember what soldiers really fight for…….the person next to them………there are people next to you now……… the end, you will need to depend on them and they on you……….be prepared……get to know those next to you.

      • RichE

        GALT, “there is very little that you actually can do” … last week’s article on “collectivism” comes to mind. Not what we can do for government, not what government can do for us, but what we can do for each other. It wouldn’t be much, but it would be enough.

      • GALT

        yes it would……and that is all you can ask.

    • JerryWheelerWroteThis..

      “Your only as DUMB / Stupid or Ignorant as you will allow yourself to be. Its not up to any Government, nor your mommie to educate you, its up to “YOU” to do the job. If you have questions – {SEEK the answers.} When the answers don’t jive, then figure out why that is”. … (Time)… Why that is, is the education system is not responding to anything but criminal activity and rule breaking.. The ‘learning’ aspect is now antiquated and placed into one ridiculously ignorant test that even a cave man could pass but never understand..

      THIS is what I have a problem with, ‘lil buddy.. Your chucking on me, and him and other adults when it’s not us at all, it’s the new generations they are targeting.. First the powers make it where we (adults) must work our lives away just to enjoy what we strive for as the American dream.. Not only us but our spouse.. This doesn’t leave much time for our kid’s attention (though we continually try) but the kids don’t want a “Father knows best”.. they want what the establishment is providing (for a price) so, hand held gaming, computer and cell phone communication, even TV has placed us all in a lose/lose situation.. The kids learn from these ‘gadgets’ but nothing that will help them in the real world.. Schools are the real world but their teachings do not resemble anything like how we viewed life.. These kids can’t ask questions because there’s nothing related to the games that society has provided to them.. We are not the problem, young minds are the problem and so long as education keeps them ‘dumbed down’ how can they even find a question? It IS the education’s duty to teach our kids else their nothing more than highly paid baby sitters.. We should help them as well but when the G’ment continues to threaten us with foreclosures, high prices and more and more demands.. How can we take even a little time to help kids who blatantly tell us “We know it all”… As far the rest of your post, I couldn’t agree any stronger.

  • 45caliber

    I must agree. People certainly are dumber now, both in intelligence and in common sense. But one of the reasons is that Congress has passed numerous laws to teach the people that way.

  • JerryWheelerWroteThis..

    Do not look for the ‘Stupidity’ in America’s youth.. Look for the ‘Dumbing Down” of the institute’s level of education for the sole purpose of continual Fed welfare.. It has been reported to them that failing grades will be subject to failing grants.. how can the education system determine failing grades BEFORE their cash cow is affected? By the SAT.. The SAT is set up like youngster sports today.. Lose or tie, Everybody wins. Nothing to learn from that philosophy so the competition stagnates as it turns into nothing more than a ‘get together’.. Same way with the education system.. Whether the kids are taught well or totally ignored, in the end with the lax questions and illogical choices of the questions where the right answer makes the most sense, why does it matter how much the teacher tries to ‘teach’ AND as a safe guard (so as to even the teachings across the board) make certain the teachers have other responsibilities as well as a policy of not using punishments for disrespectful kids save to send them to the principal’s office where their also treated with kid gloves.. THEN to make even obedient kids rebellious, place metal detectors, armed guards and bullish monitors throughout the school as a deterrent for those small numbers who like to raise hell.. Kids today are dumbed down because the establishment is making them so in the name of federal welfare.

  • http://peresonallibertydigest.. gottaplenty

    This retireing congressman has a very vivid insight. He is truly versed on the stupidity of the people he knows. And being a Dem. he has been surrounded by the most stupid But the other side have thiers as well. He probably was in constant contact with Nancy Palosie and that crew. So we realy will not blame him for his observation Thinking all people are stupid… THINK

  • Aunty Galt

    Thinking has never been a product of the educational system?

    What educational system are you referring to? In the present one based on the Prussian educational model. True dat! Thinking is not a product. Teaching to the test is. This is why my daughter who has taught in three different schools in NYC and has an M.Ed. wants to get out of teaching now. She can’t stand the regimentation of the teachers to teach to the test which turns out parrots not thinkers. Is it therefore any surprise than an educational system like this produces less in the form of thinkers? Shouldn’t be. The liberal (or lieberal take your pick) solution. Throw more money at the problem. The result? A declining educational system producing dummies aka a dumber public like the outgoing Congressman said. Goes back to the computer adage GIGO. Garbage In. Garbage Out.

    Which of the following: Air, Water, Food, Clothing, or Shelter?

    Moronic question that begs the answer. The assumption built into the question is that if it is essential to living, government must provide it because it is essential and therefore an unalienable right. So, government should give us all our food, water, clothing and homes?

    Gee, sign me up. Uh, who pays for all this stuff BTW? You know like the housing bubble that was created with public money generated by the cheap money, low interest loans and legislation. Uh, what happened to that government produced bubble I wonder?

    May the liberal Utopia visit us all asap! I can hardly wait till I can walk into Whole Foods load up my cart with the “free” (at least on paper) organic food of my choice and then get the government helper to wheel it out to my government provided car (Hey, mobility is essential too these days right?) and then call home (on my government provided cell phone of course since communication is essential too these days. BTW, the Feds do already provide the “poor” with free phones from public money) and alert thems there at home in my government provided domicile that I will be toting in yet another government provided feast.

    Gee, life sure is good in Utopia! Kinda like the Eloi in the Time Machine. Sure hope there ain’t no Morlocks (or morons as may be more likely the case these days) waiting to eat me after it gets dark.

    Silly question anyway.

    Anyway, that was not an attempt at an answer to the silly question because questions that moronic deserve no answer.

    Gee, I sure hope Galt’s arm is OK. I think he may have broken it patting himself on the back.

    Liberals (or liebrals as the case may be) ya gotta love ‘em. At least they produce something………..entertainment. Look at all the laughs Obama is providing as we watch the economy tank under his wonderful Marxist watch…..a utopian comedy at its best.

  • Oldbutnotadumbbutt2012

    The Public School are going down the drain!!!I However I think the big problem lays with the people,and the way that they look at things.A lot of people are just out for themselves .Also,.The break-up of families,Drugs,(too many Wars) Too many parnets that don’t care for their children !!!.I,Myself,think that the public schools ,and teachers have a hard time dealing with some of these children.Over the years,I’ve seen,and met , teachers that could hardly get along with themselves,let alone with children,or teenagers!!Of course i’ve seen some very good teachers to!!Most of which taught back in the 50′s!!!If you really don’t want your kids brainwashed ,find out every day what he was taught in school,if you don’t like what is being taught ,the answer is very simple -home school!!!! But will agree ,the general Public is dumber ,because look what we have in the “White” House!!!!!!!!!!!(Congress Too!!!!!)


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