There are two kinds of people in the world; stupid people and the rest of us and I think the rest of us are slowly being outnumbered.
One of my most-read posts is the satire I wrote on what government would do if it legalized marijuana. The article did not take a position on whether legalization was good or a bad thing, in fact it really wasn’t about marijuana at all. It was about how government bureaucracies overwhelm things with rules, regulations, taxes and fees until it all becomes so complicated and expensive, it’s hardly worth engaging in anymore.
Most people got it and enjoyed the humor behind it. Some didn’t. They either agreed with me that marijuana is a gateway drug even though I didn’t state that is what I believe or they attacked me for being against legalization which is also not a position taken in the article. Some contacted me with an opinion based on having only read the first couple of paragraphs which is kind of like deciding whether or not you agree with the values articulated in the Bible after having only read the first page of Genesis.
It’s not surprising considering that these days many people actually tend to get their news and information from Twitter or something posted on their wall on Facebook.
It’s not easy to encapsulate complex ideas in 140 characters but that doesn’t prevent many from basing their opinions on those quick and dirty notes.
But stupidity isn’t reserved for the Twitterverse; government is awash in it and it never ceases to amaze me that so many who are elected to public office can utter such complete absurdities with a straight face. Some think it is because they lack respect for the people the electorate and there is a fair degree of both a lack of respect for the electorate and for themselves but it goes beyond that. The stupidity of government, particularly politicians, is palpable.
This week, for example, Nancy Pelosi led the congressional democrats in hysterical accusations that Republicans were at war with women. Why? It is because the Republicans, who actually supported the Democratic motion to freeze interest rates on student loans had the temerity to vote the funds to pay for this out of the Preventative Health Care budget. Apparently, despite the $15 trillion dollar debt, the Democrats have not caught up to the fact that the money has to come from somewhere other than more borrowing.
What made this attack all the more ridiculous is that only two tenths of one percent of this budget has anything to do exclusively with women and both Ms Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic caucus voted to take funds from the same budget in January to maintain the freeze on the payroll tax.
Nonetheless the ladies went with straight face and bent ethics before the cameras to tell the world about the Republican perfidity. We see the same thing up here in the Great White North.
|Former Prime Minister
The Liberal Government put Canada into Afghanistan and were criticized for it by the Conservatives. When the Conservatives were elected to form the government, the Liberals immediately began criticizing the Conservatives for being involved in the war and demanding the government bring home the troops that the Liberals originally sent there. The Conservatives, for their part, defended the war initiated by the Liberals.
Eventually, bowing to public and parliamentary pressure, PM Harper announced a firm withdrawal date which caused the Liberals to immediately support staying in Afghanistan until the mission was completed.
Don’t try and understand it, just pretend you do and let’s move on.
|Prime Minister Stephen Harper
and the F-35. For $25 million
each, I thought they would
Lately the arguing has been over the acquisition of F-35 fighter jets. This was a development procurement process started by the Liberals who signed the original agreement with a consortium of democratic nations. Once the Conservatives, who had been critical of the acquisition, were elected, both parties switched positions. The Liberals now attack the acquisition of the jets while the Conservatives now defend it.
I used to think politicians were hypocritical because of things like this but even hypocrites would be embarrassed to act this stupidly so I now believe that it is nothing but short attention spans and a complete lack of anything remotely resembling common sense. Only the intellectually lazy or challenged can stand up and publicly state something so completely opposite to what they said previously without embarrassment or the realization of just how stupid they are!
This week the prime minister stood in the House Of Commons and actually accused the Official Opposition of refusing to support the war against Hitler. Aside from the fact that WWII has been over for 60 odd years, the simple fact is that the opposition NDP party did not support the war because they didn’t exist. The party was formed in 1961. Clearly the PM needs better script writers because his ability to ad lib is sadly lacking.
Vic Toews, the Minister of Public Safety, went on a national news program where he berated the opposition for not reading his proposed bill to regulate the Internet. Later, the Right Honourable Vic Toews was forced to admit that he hadn’t actually read the bill either. It makes you wonder who in the hell actually drafted the proposed legislation.
Stupidity is everywhere folks.
Whether it’s the guy in the car beside you picking his nose because he thinks you can’t see him through the window of his car or the woman trying to put on her makeup while she’s driving, stupidity abounds.
In Canada, where unions do not pay taxes on their membership or investment income, they demand that corporations and the wealthy pay their ‘fair’ share. Their understanding of the word fair seems somewhat limited.
|Students protesting tuition increases
in Montreal, Quebec
University students in Quebec riot in the streets to protest an increase in tuition spread out over five years which will see their tuition in 2017 still subsidized by the government to the tune of 83%. Apparently math is not taught to those with self-absorbed adolescent values.
Occupy stands in solidarity with inmates at San Quentin, vandalizes cities, demands free public transportation as a human right and decries any kind of leadership and then wonders why its movement fell out of favour so quickly. With all the time they spend planning their next failed enterprise, it’s a wonder they had the ability to even notice.
Anonymous hacks government and financial computers, steals credit cards, posts anti-Semitic and racist hate material while the enlightened online applaud them as heroes.
All across the web people expose themselves to fraud, the theft of their private data, bullying and being manipulated by the very web sites they use but they protest their government’s attempts to bring some sense of order and protection to the web. These will be the same people who will demand the government do something once they have been victimized.
A provincial government takes the most economically powerful province in the country from a have to a have-not province in just eight years, hires one of the nation’s most respected economists to examine and make recommendations on how to fix things but after publicly thanking him for his efforts and cutting him a handsome check, they promptly shelved his report and ignored its findings.
|Ontario Premier McGuinty
leading his province to bankruptcy
Instead they introduced an ‘austerity’ budget designed to bring the province’s finances under control by freezing social assistance payments, public sector salaries and cutting doctors’ incomes. They cut equipment budgets for computers in the classrooms while budgeting $1.5 billion for full-day pre-kindergarten.
And when all was said and done and the figures added up, spending in the austerity budget will actually increase over last year. The budget has a deficit of $15 billion including $10 billion for interest on the debt they created. The government will be forced to borrow money to pay that interest. Only people so bereft of any level of intelligence could come before the public and call this fiscal prudence with a straight face.
I think I have come to the realization that stupidity is founded more on an unwillingness to become informed more than anything else. How else can you explain the absurd opinions shrieked across social media these days? There is an incredible refusal to consider anyone else’s opinion but their own and it is too often predicated on the fact that people don’t listen to anyone but those who agree with them. I’ve heard so many respond adamantly to something that wasn’t actually said that it makes you sit back and wonder with whom they are actually arguing.
It reminds me of something an old boss of mine told me once in reference to a client that rejected a better deal than the one he originally wanted. “Some people just don’t have the brains to know when to say yes.”
And that too is its own form of stupidity. So many are so busy expressing their point of view, they don’t actually hear those who may have a valid point worth considering or who might even be agreeing with them.
I think what offends me most is that these days though is that too many stupid people have their hands on the levers of power and they treat us like we are as stupid as they are. They’re wrong and I miss the days when stupid people were not able to do so much damage to anyone else but themselves.