Thursday, November 6, 2008

Governor Palin's Ignorance

A. Zarkov observes in a comment at VFR that Governor Palin's alleged ignorance concerning the great land mass Africa, otherwise known as one of the six inhabitable continents on the earth, is not necessarily as far-fetched as some might think.

Mr. Zarkov writes:

When we went to school (I was born and educated in New York City), we had a lot of geography, a subject not generally taught any more.

Indeed. I'm assuming that Mr. Zarkov attended public school at least twenty years before I attended public school. By the time I attended school, the subject of geography was no longer taught as a distinct subject unto itself, which it most certainly is. It was, rather, crammed in with the new and progressive, and therefore good "social studies" program, and therefore its fundamental principles, distinctive to itself as a subject unto itself, were wholly neglected during my education in the public schools. Or maybe I was sick the day they taught the basics of geographical science at my public school. Everything I've learned since about geography is the product of independent research and study.

Mr. Zarkov says in his post that a study was conducted in the 1980s which found that a third of Harvard seniors at the time didn't even know the causes of the changing of the seasons. That's an amazing statistic if it is at all close to the truth. But maybe the year the study was conducted was just a bad year for Harvard University. LOL I don't doubt that it's true, nor that it continues to be true, and I have a lot of anecdotal evidence to support the validity of the claim, albeit my anecdotal evidence does not include Harvard graduates to my knowledge. Nonetheless it is a general ignorance of the basics of the subject of geography that I've personally observed.

But think about this for a second, if what Mr. Zarkov is saying is true (and I'd put good money down that it is true), my school age children, with exception of the youngest who is four, know more about the physical planet they live on than at very least a third (and probably more) of Harvard seniors know. That's the disaster of public education in America. It is quite disturbing to contemplate the implications of the fact.

I wonder how many average college graduates today would have any clue what you were referring to if you asked them to describe the land and water hemispheres? Or how about this one, why is it that the hottest and the coldest days of the year generally lag two months behind the longest and the shortest days of the year respectively? Or how about this, what effect does the shape of the earth have on climate in various places on the surface thereof? How about altitude? What about geographical position, latitude and longitude? At what rate of speed does the earth rotate on its axis? What effect does this have on climate? If I were to give them two balls -- one representing the earth, the other representing the sun -- and were to ask them to show me the position of the earth on June 21st of the year in relation to the sun, could they do it?; could they place the earth accurately in its proper position?, and explain why they placed it there?, etc. You know, general stuff that my eleven year old daughter can answer.

19 comments:

jrock said...

Palin's an idiot, what else is new. Thank god or Allah or Buddah or creator or whoever you want to thank, that she is not my vice president.

You betcha!

stephenhopewell said...

Very thought-provoking entry, Terry. I'm not sure I can answer all those questions either...but I'm about the same age as you and got the same junk in school; my only consolation is that I got to learn about the Yanomamo and Bushman people in Social Studies class!

Terry Morris said...

Stephen, LOL.

I deal with the general public every day. It is amazing to me at times how very ignorant of basic facts they truly are. One area the public is severely lacking in knowledge in is this subject of Geography, I've found. The problem with this, to my mind, is that this lack of basic knowledge in certain core subjects creates a situation in which quite literally anything, any falsehood can be passed off on them for truth. They have no knowledge base by which to measure the accuracy/inaccuracy of what they're being told and taught.

Most modern Americans who subject their impressionable children to public school "education" have little to no understanding of these basics themselves, so how is their awareness ever to be raised that the public schools are failing miserably to enlighten the minds of their children in the core subjects and the principles which govern them?

Jayrock, what kind of joy do you derive from berating Governor Palin? You seem to think anyone who disagrees with you in any way, shape, or form is an idiot. Palin may be eminently not qualified for the Vice Presidency, as I've said since she entered the race as McCain's running mate, but that doesn't mean she's an idiot. She's clearly not an idiot to anyone who is willing to give her a fair hearing.

Even if the rumor is true that she thought Africa was a country or whatever, that does not make Palin an idiot. The whole point of the post, which seems to have gone completely over your educated head, was to show that if Governor Palin can rightly be called ignorant (or an idiot which you prefer since it's more insulting) based on what is being said of her, then I'm betting that a large proportion of her detractors, which would include you, Jayrock, are much more deserving of the title than Palin ever was. You see, Jayrock, ignorance (or idiocy) is not the same thing as anti-leftism, as you would seem to have it.

Would you like to add anything of any relevancy to the conversation, or will you continue to pile insult upon insult attempting to disrupt the conversation, or to goad me into replying in kind, or whatever it is you're trying to achieve?

Terry Morris said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous said...

No she's pretty much an idiot and clearly was underqualified for the job of VP. Why was she an idiot? Well on top of not being able to differentiate between a continent and a country she was clearly clueless when Katie Couric asked her very simple questions, she told a grade schooler that the VP was in charge of congress, in her debates she avoided actual answers to questions and could only stick to talking points and she apparently doesn't read because she had trouble naming ONE source where she gets her news. McCain's aid's at this point are railing her for her lack of intelligence, or um, idiocy?

So you see, those who aren't blinded by right wing extremist partisanship see her for what she was. The worst thing of all was that she mistook her confidence and drive for qualification and that McCain's poor judgement allowed him to choose her even in desperation it was a horrible choice.

Deep down you know she's an idiot Terry.

Terry Morris said...

The worst thing of all was that she mistook her confidence and drive for qualification.

That's the most intelligent thought you've conveyed since you've been posting here, Jayrock. Congratulations.

I don't want to go into who said this and who said that, and blah blah blah. By your reckoning, though, Obama is an idiot too, since he said in front of God and everyone that he'd visited all but two of the 57 U.S. states, and etc... Since Obama made the statement, and there's no doubt that he made the statement, and etc., then he must have meant exactly what he said, which means the idiot Obama (by your reasoning) thinks there are actually 57 U.S. States.

But anyway...

Now if we could just get you to resist the juvenile impulse to throw an insult at your opponents every single time you post at this site, we may well have something to work with in you, Jayrock.

How about we play a game; we'll call it the "let's see if I can post minus the insults" game. I'll even give you the first turn.

Terry Morris said...

Jayrock, look, I need to explain something to you about why your description of Sarah Palin is so insulting...

Taken to its conclusion anyone, and especially any woman, that is equal to in intelligence, or is less intelligent by whatever degree than Sarah Palin, is ipso facto an idiot by your goofy insulting juvenile reasoning. Sarah Palin is not an idiot, nor are millions of other American women who are her equals or lesser thans.

Try to act like an adult, huh.

jrock said...

oh appeal to the masses, another leap of illogical faith for you.

Me observing that Palin is an idiot, okay how about imbecile, does NOT mean to say that I'm declaring all women idiots.

Taken in it's context, without regard to right wing zealotry and defensive posturing, you will see that this woman who RAN for VP is quite honestly, an imbecile in that context. After all, who in the right mind would run for office of VP who was so lacking in qualifications? She was clearly out of her league, and I'm not being partisan when I state that case, people in your own party have said the same. McCain's own handlers have stated that case, albeit anynomously. You have a problem with that then look within your own party lines.

Change the word but the fact remains the same, she is a first class doofus and I for one am so glad she is not my VP.

Clear enough Terry? Not sure how much more clear I can be, or how much more I can dumb it down for ya.

Terry Morris said...

After all, who in the right mind would run for office of VP who was so lacking in qualifications? She was clearly out of her league, and I'm not being partisan when I state that case, people in your own party have said the same.

Hell, Jayrock, I've stated that case from day one about Governor Palin's eminent lack of qualifications. Apparently you're not paying attention, so invested in insulting anyone who disagrees with your view, as you are.

You're just going to have to grow up and learn a few things about human nature, and about the nature of females, that's all I can tell you at this point.

All of us, including yourself, Jayrock, have made any number of bonehead moves during the course of our lifetimes. Very few of us have the ability to step outside ourselves and honestly assess our qualifications/lack thereof when everyone else is telling us how eminently qualified we are for this or that position, whatever it may be.

Que insults.

jrock said...

I have no sympathy for Palin. She slung tons of mud at Obama in the final days leading up to the election, declaring him a terrorist, or "palling around with terrorists", people at her rallies were calling him a communist and were even heard yelling death threats. Look at any youtube of her rallies and you can see some of the most ignorant people in the nation, people crawling from under rocks, to come to her rallies, to yell and scream and bask in the shared glow or racism. She didn't do one thing about it. McCain at least tried to keep the crowd in line. It was even more evidence of her lack of qualifications.

Spare me the justifications or attempt at justifications for turning a blind eye to her lack of intelligence and simple common sense. She wanted to win so bad she became reckless, ignoring her own partner's interests. She brought down the campaign, evidence of her own hubris and idiocy.

This has nothing to do with other women. It had everything to do with HER as a PERSON. She was not fit for the job. She even joined in the SNL skit that made her look like a fool. There is a different in people laughing WITH you as opposed to AT you. She was too much of an idiot to know the difference.

Terry Morris said...

She brought down the campaign,...

Now c'mon Jayrock, you're too smart to fall for that lie. It was due to Palin, and only to Palin, that McCain's campaign was resurrected from the dead.

jrock said...

Palin and the rnc were resurrected after introducing her. Every news source out there agrees with this. However it's increasing clear that people became skeptical of her after getting to know her, or trying to understand her positions and just what she knew in general, which apparently wasn't much. The Katie Couric interview was disastrous for her, but illuminating for the rest of us. She showed her true colors.

Frankly I'm surprised that anyone still sees her as an intelligent human being in light of the cold heart facts.

Terry Morris said...

Again, you're applying too harsh and too critical a standard to Governor Palin. Eighty percent of the people in this country, at least, would screw up such an interview to one extent or the other. Are all of them not intelligent as well? And again, Obama and Biden have screwed up their own interviews during the course of their campaign. Why don't you apply the same standard to them as you do to Gov. Palin?

jrock said...

Too harsh and too critical a standard to the possible Vice president of the country, a heartbeat away from being thrust into the presidency? Vice president to an elderly man with a history of cancer?

Are you freaking serious? I'd like to see the interviews you give to people you would hire...you would be positively lenient!

I'm sorry I hold the office of the president and vp to a higher standard than your average manager at the local wal mart. Call me crazy. Yeah I am critical of those who want to lead one of the most powerful countries in the world, call me crazy.

She's not so much an idiot for lacking intelligence and being unqualified for the position she ran for, she's more an idiot for continuing the run in the face of her obvious lack of qualifications and not knowing it or choosing to ignore it. THAT's what makes her an idiot. You're totally missing the point.

The same standard applies to everyone, but the difference is you know that Obama made a slip when he referred to 57 or 58 states in the union. He's a freakin Harvard grad. We KNOW Palin is an idiot because she continually missteps and her missteps are not so much she had a long day and she needs to be cut some slack. She consistently screws up and is obviously unknowledgeable of the basic tenets of the job she applied for. McCain made goofs but they were accepted because we know he knows better. SHE doesn't.

Just give it up Terry there's no denying it, she's an idiot. Putting on your blinders doesn't make it any less so. She's the reason you guys are in the toilet.

Terry Morris said...

Just give it up Terry there's no denying it, she's an idiot. Putting on your blinders doesn't make it any less so. She's the reason you guys are in the toilet.

What makes you think I and others who share my view are "in the toilet." You think I wanted Governor Palin as my V.P.? You think I ever supported McCain in his bid for the presidency?

It doesn't matter how many times you say it, saying Palin is an idiot doesn't make her so. I could say you're an idiot, Jayrock, a million times. Does that mean you're an idiot? Of course not.

jrock said...

When I run for VP you can officially call me an idiot, how about that?

I might answer some of the questions Katie Couric asked Palin in similar fashion, i.e. B.Sing my way through it

I am not however, running for VP.

Terry Morris said...

I'm not going to call you an idiot in any case. You're obviously not an idiot, so why would I do so? Because I opposed you, or because I don't care for your brand of politics?; because you screwed up an interview with Katie Couric, or because you allegedly don't know the difference between a continent and a country? C'mon.

Terry Morris said...

When I run for VP you can officially call me an idiot, how about that?

Jayrock, a person doesn't just "run" for a job like that, as if to say you make an application out for that specific job along with other applicants -- Help Wanted: V.P. position open. That's not the way it works, man, you know better than that.

Sarah Palin was chosen from a short list of names by the McCain team. She went through a vetting process which consisted of interviews and so forth and so on. During that process she was made to believe that she was qualified for the position. Initially she was probably skeptical about her own abilities and qualifications. Later, through a lot of coercion from the McCain machine, she allowed herself to become convinced that she was at least qualified enough to run on the McCain ticket.

You think that makes Sarah Palin an idiot, I think it makes her a human being and a female; someone susceptible to lies and deception of deceivers, someone whose innocence was exploited by McCain and Co. If there's any Palin that's an idiot, it is her husband Todd who wasn't there to protect her from the wolves in sheep's clothing otherwise known as the McCain team. It's the classic story of Adam and Eve all over again. As soon as Eve ventured away from her husband, wandering around in the garden alone, Wham!, that deceiver Satan tricked her into eating the forbidden fruit. She didn't fall for it initially, but deceivers are good at what they do. Had her husband been there to protect her, it would have been a different story altogether. Doesn't mean she was an idiot, just means she was a human being and a female who got caught up in a lie and a snare laid down by a liar and a deceiver.

I've seen stuff like this happen too many times during my lifetime not to know how this all plays out generally. Hell, Jayrock, I've had people do the same thing to me before, convincing me I was ready and qualified for a position that I was clearly not qualified for in retrospect. How did they do it? Coercion, deception. Why did they do it? Because to them I was a useful pawn that they could form and shape into whatever it was they wanted me to be. It didn't take me long to get wise to it though, nor they. They mistook my humility for weakness, I mistook their deceptions for sincerity.

Sarah Palin made a big mistake entertaining the lies and trickery perpetrated on her by that deceiver McCain. She was never qualified for the V.P. position, and I'd lay down good money that her intuitions initially informed her that this was the case. But it's very understandable that she fell for it to anyone who's experienced the same kind of deception perpetrated on themselves, and/or has seen it done to or tried on others. I've had to rescue my wife from those kinds of snares before, more times than I care to count, know what I mean?

What the McCain team has done to her is simply unforgiveable. They are snakes, and that's all they are.

Call Me Mom said...

Not to horn in, but it occurs to me, jrock, that you may not have had much experience with the press.
Even in the few, small, interviews I have participated in, with friendly interviewers who had a favorable view of the subject, there were mistakes made when it came to press and broadcast.

You have to remember that what the press shows is what will make the point the editors want made. There were bits of interviews with Mr. Obama, that had they made it to the national media stage, I am convinced would have sunk his campaign.

Now that the election is over, the press is admitting to it's own bias, although not to the point of conceding that it may have influenced the election.

The press has much to answer for in this generation.