Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Does it hail at night?

I'm not surprised Michele Bachmann has so much support. Dismayed. not surprised. Jay Leno had that bit where he interviewed people on the street, who revealed themselves as idiots when Jay asked them relatively easy American history questions. It was a simple schtick designed to make Jay's fans feel superior. What bothered me most was that the people were completely unembarrassed by their ignorance, thrilled even to have it displayed for millions on TV. It's not only o.k. to be ignorant in America, it's something one can flaunt. It's not just limited to history, or scientific theories that have been proven in general but are still called theories because the exact workings are subject to adjustment as we progress in our knowledge. People insist because they are only theories & contradict the Bible, they must be wrong.

Weather Channel did a Leno-type interview feature. Some questions people got wrong: Which happens first, lightning or thunder?  Can it hail at night? What meteorological invention is attributed to Ben Franklin? Does the Sun cool at night, if so, how much?

Folks, the correct answers to these are not in dispute. Lightning creates thunder. If you see lightning after a thunder clap, it's a new lightning bolt & you didn't see the one that created the thunder.  Of course it can hail at night. Probably hails less at night because conditions that create hail-forming storm cells tend to diminish at night. But as long as there are cumulonimbi clouds & tornadoes at night, so will there be hail produced by many of those storm cells.  The lightning rod may have originally been invented in South Asia, but Franklin didn't know it so as far as we're concerned it's his idea. Yes, some people said the Sun cools at night & one person said about 40 degrees cooler.

Ignorance, gross superstition that infects the rational discussion of civil law & policy, the habitual twisting of  basic historical & scientific fact because the person dispensing the misinformation can't be bothered to fact-check & believes  it doesn't matter anyway - these are no hindrance to presidential ambitions. A lot of Americans love an apparently intelligent candidate who is willfully ignorant. Such a candidate is a  reassuring mirror to supporters.

It was better to be a child in a poor two parent slave household than a child in a poor one parent free household. If Bachmann believes this, she should apply it to all families & use it to advocate criminalizing divorce & out-of-wedlock birth. (Bachmann now claims she didn't sign this portion of the "Family Leader Pledge," which has since been removed from document as "misconstrued." A lot of that misconstruing  stuff over on the right. They routinely push the most radical, outrageous positions & then withdraw them when even other Republicans object.)

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Comments:
Bachmann is an idiot and if the stupid people want to keep electing her to an office, oh well. When the stupid people finally run out of options, lose their jobs, have their social security taken away, their medicare gone, and end up homeless, then, and not necessarily then, but then they will come face to face with their stupidity. It never ceases to amaze me that people will actually "vote" against their own interests, they can be that stupid.

My favorite stupid question/answer from Leno years ago was "how many moons orbit the earth?" To which, the reply was "um two?"

Really now ...
 
That was another common response. Rather than say, "I don't know" they phrase a stupid answer as a question like they're on Jeopardy.
 
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"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

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