Knowledge

Anti Intellectualism Run Rampant: The War On Knowledge, Education, Facts, Science, History

America is in a crisis of anti intellectualism run rampant, and it is undermining the nation in the present and the future!

There is a war on knowledge, education, facts, science and history.

Ignorant people, led by the President of the United States, are telling us we do not need any of these basic parts of a decent society.

This, if not overcome, will lead to the deterioration and decline of the country, to the detriment of all of us.

Just because many Americans do not move on in education beyond high school does not mean it is a virtue.

The saying “Ignorance is bliss” is NOT true!

The Trump Crowds And Trump Bullyism And Lies: What Do They Tell Their Children After These Rallies?

The issue of basic morality and ethics, and the power of a crowd, comes into play as one watches Trump crowds at campaign rallies over the past two years since Donald Trump became President.

It is one thing to excuse people who had hope for change who voted for Donald Trump two years ago.

But how these same people can still support Donald Trump when they see his bullyism, his over 5,000 verifiable lies in office, more than 8 per day on the average, and witness the terrible example he presents for our future generations. They will be the recipients of the long term damage he has wrought on the nation, while he is constantly enriching himself, his real aim in being President, not the welfare of the American people.

Do these parents and grandparents encourage their sons to be bullies, their daughters to accept sexual abuse, and all of them to lie openly with no consequences?

What kind of people are these blue collar, working class people, who are so poorly educated that they accept a con man, a used car salesman, as a person to follow?

One sees these people laughing, as Trump insults everyone, and encourages attacks on journalists doing their job, and tells us that the Democrats are evil, rather than opponents.

One sees these people accept without question his statements about Democrats opposing opiod addiction funding, when the Senate voted 98-1 for it, and only a total of 8 members of the House voted no.

These people have no interest in knowledge, facts, truth.

So what is the future of America when children are being brought up by parents who have no morals, ethics, or values?

Trump Proposal To Eliminate Corporation For Public Broadcasting (PBS And NPR) Must Be Prevented, Best Bargain In Government

The total federal government cost for PBS and NPR (Corporation For Public Broadcasting) in the present budget is $495 million, a half billion dollars to promote education, knowledge, public affairs, history, science, culture on television and radio.

Formed in 1965 as part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society programs, PBS and NPR have done great work and deeds for more than a half century.

How much tens of millions of Americans have gained from both PBS and NPR is incalculable.

It only costs $1.65 per person in the federal budget, with both PBS and NPR also asking for and gaining private contributions from millions of Americans, who appreciate the good work it does.

Considering so much wasted money that is spent by the federal government, this half billion dollars is a pittance, well spent and worth sustaining.

It is all part of a plan of conservatives, Republicans, and Donald Trump to promote ignorance, and discourage education, as ignorant people can more easily be controlled.

This is a battle worth fighting, and hopefully, both these valuable contributions to public discourse will be protected, along with the National Endowment For The Arts and the National Endowment For The Humanities, which promotes the arts and humanities in higher education.

Donald Trump’s Ignorance Of Science, History, Geography, Spelling, Math, Reading: Just Like His Poorly Educated Base!

Donald Trump has proved himself to be totally ignorant of so many fields of knowledge.

He is ignorant of science, and of the dangers presented by climate change and global warming.

He is ignorant of history, displaying his total lack of basic historical facts.

He is ignorant of basic geography, and could not point out nations or states on a map of the world.

He cannot spell, making constant mistakes on Twitter. It is true that anyone can misspell occasionally, and that typos can occur, but it happens so often that it demonstrates that he cannot spell, or if he does, he has no concern about how his blunders in spelling appear to readers of his Twitter account. He has no concern to correct himself, or admit shortcomings in spelling.

He has no concern about math, and what kind of increased costs his Mexico Wall proposal and vastly increased defense spending request would do to the budget.

He has no interest in reading, and lacks concentration power to stick to anything he reads, the reason why he wishes all memos to him to be one page, so he has never read the text of any healthcare bill conjured up by Congress to destroy ObamaCare.

He has no concern about details about anything, just wishing to add a notch to his so called “accomplishments” list, which now after eight months is one name–Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch–but by a smaller vote margin of 55-45, the least of anyone in the 20th or 21st century, except for Justice Clarence Thomas, who was confirmed in 1991 by a vote of 52-48.

What is truly sad is that Donald Trump’s gaps of knowledge are shared by a large portion of his poorly educated base, who hate universities, professors, and intellectuals, because they revel in their own inferiority and ignorance.

This is a definite long term crisis for America, the ignorance and lack of appreciation of education and knowledge, by a substantial percentage of the masses, who would rather follow an ignorant billionaire, and hang on his every word, rather than use reason and evaluation in their daily lives.

The 166th Anniversary Of The “National Newspaper” With More Pulitzer Prizes Than Any Other: The New York Times

Today is the 166th Anniversary of a treasured newspaper, seen as the “National Newspaper” of America, the New York Times.

Founded on September 18, 1851, the New York Times has recorded America’s history and that of the world through the Civil War, the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, The Great Depression and the New Deal, the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Vietnam War, The Watergate Scandal, The Reagan and Clinton Era, September 11, the Obama Era, and now the Trump Presidency and the challenges it presents to a free press.

Through it all, it has been the leader in news reporting and scoops often unique from others, and has been under attack by those who are angry that it exposes evil and wrong doing so often.

The New York Times has made its mistakes and had some stories later demonstrated to be untrue or manufactured, and is certainly far from perfect, but what source is perfect?

But it has admitted its shortcomings when they have become evident.

It is the newspaper of record, with the best index for researchers, writers, and historians. It has won 122 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper, and has the highest paper circulation of any metropolitan daily newspaper in America.

It is the only paper to have such an index going back to its founding in 1851. Any one doing newspaper research would need to search the archives of the NY Times as a beginning point for other research.

It has a slogan: “All The News That’s Fit To Print”, very appropriate for a great newspaper that has changed knowledge by its efforts in all fields of learning and public interest.

July 20, 1969: Man Lands On The Moon To July 20, 2017: Six Months Of Disastrous Presidency Of Donald Trump–From Unity To Division!

Forty eight years ago, Americans landed on the moon, and Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon, a moment of great rejoicing, and a time of unity and nationalism, even in the midst of the divisive Vietnam War. We had heroes, including Neil Armstrong, that we could be truly proud of.

Now, nearly a half century later, we have finished today six months of the most divisive, corrupt, and mean spirited Presidency, and it is dividing America down the middle in a way we nave not seen since Vietnam.

The disastrous Presidency of Donald Trump is based on pure salesmanship, the idea of PT Barnum, that a sucker is born every minute, and we have sixty or more million such suckers, who think Trump is like a God, and believe every lie and deception that he utilizes multiple times a day.

The refusal of millions of Americans to understand the danger America is in is shocking, and their willingness to believe any propaganda that comes out with fake information, and see educated people as those to be condemned in the name of prejudice and hatred of knowledge is detrimental to American survival,

One has to wonder how this crisis will end, as we are truly in a nightmare scenario that could lead, and likely will lead to a greater tragedy than at any time in the past century, as the situation is that dire!

The Purposes Of Higher Education

Why should one pursue higher education, and gain one or more college degrees?

Higher Education promotes appreciation of the world around us, and makes us better able to understand who we are and where we are in the universe.

Higher Education makes us able to communicate our thoughts and ideas in oral speech and in writing on a much higher level.

Higher Education opens us up to new areas of knowledge, even those we may think we have no interest in, but often return to later in life.

Higher Education assists in making each of us better conversationalists when with others in any social setting.

Higher Education helps to assist in overcoming prejudices, stereotyping, and judging people without forethought.

Higher Education teaches us to question and challenge and to work against propaganda and dogma of any kind.

Higher Education makes one willing to be skeptical about organized religion, wanting documentation, rather than simply accepting doctrine as reality.

Higher Education opens up our eyes to exposure to the brilliance of men and women who have made major contributions of all kinds to human endeavor.

Higher Education makes one a better partner in marriage, and a better parent.

Higher Education promotes tolerance, open mindedness, empathy, compassion, and appreciation of others who are different from us.

Higher Education enriches us for a lifetime of thought, besides providing a career in an occupation, so that we can provide for ourselves and our families.

Higher Education is attacked, sadly, by those who tell us that it is a bad investment, when there is no better investment for a lifetime. Even when it creates a financial burden for many years, it is so urgent, and since it does so much not only for oneself but also for society as a whole, it is urgent that a plan to cut college loan costs be instituted. By doing so, it will encourage more students to see the value of higher education for the long term.

So when any politician, particularly those on the conservative and Republican side of the political system work to undermine higher education, realize that it is a ploy to keep people ignorant and under one’s control. Higher education must continue to be a goal for more people, rather than an effort to promote ignorance and narrow mindedness!

War On The Liberal Arts In Florida, Texas, North Carolina: The Promotion Of Dumbness!

The right wing Republican Governors of Florida, Texas, and North Carolina have declared war on public funding of the liberal arts at the state university level in their states!

Considering that poverty is very high in these states, and educational attainment is lower than in the Northeast, Midwest, and Western states, it is clear that the Republican Party in these Southern states wants to keep people dumb, and prevent the promotion of skills that are essential for a good productive life–like reading, writing, analyzing, and simply THINKING!

A person who gains a college education with little or no exposure to the liberal arts is a person denied basic knowledge and appreciation of the great contributions of mankind over the millenniums!

To say that no one needs to major in anthropology, or literature, or history, or classics, etc is to declare war on intellectual pursuits, and it is clear that we have many people coming out of college ready for the technical and business worlds who have no basic communicative skills, but are simply robots who cannot read, write, analyze or think clearly!

And to say that different fields of knowledge are unworthy is to declare war on the whole point of education, to make people better human beings, not just train them for a field of work that might, very likely, disappear over the course of a work life!

To gain intellectual skills is to gain vision, gain a sense of humanity and compassion, and to have a quality life, not one only judged and based on materialism and greed!

These governors—Rick Scott, Rick Perry (and his likely successor, Greg Abbott), and Pat McCrory–prefer stupidity and ignorance, as that makes it easier for them to pursue their right wing goals to undermine the future of their states, among the lowest in achievement, and bound to get worse with this kind of damaging attack on the liberal arts! They are only out to promote the top one to two percent, and want a work force that is unable to compete in a way to advance and, actually, challenge the establishment elite!

Those who do not know the past are doomed to repeat it! We still need anthropologists, historians, poets, playwrights, artists, musicians, and others in the liberal arts, as part of a humane society, and no student should be denied the opportunity to major in any of these or other liberal arts fields, and they are often better educated than those who come out of colleges with no exposure to the liberal arts!

There is a need for a strong reaction to this detrimental attack on basic human knowledge by the scholarly community!

Celebration Of Knowledge: The 214th Anniversary Of The Library Of Congress In Washington, DC!

This weekend, the nation commemorates the 214th anniversary of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the national library of the United States!

Anyone who has done scholarly research, as this author has, or anyone who has read any book published in the US or worldwide that has been available in the United States, owes a lot to the Library of Congress, as it catalogues all books, prints, photographs, manuscripts, periodicals, newspapers, and every other kind of venue for knowledge that exists!

Spending many months in the Manuscript Division, as this author did in the early 1970s for his dissertation/ book which was published in 1981, made one fall in love with the institution, and realize how fortunate this nation is for this institution, and its three magnificent buildings in the nation’s capitol, along with research facilities and repositories all over the country.

In league with the National Archives and the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress gives the nation and the world unprecedented access to the “hospital of the mind,” the knowledge that expands human aspirations and activity, and makes the world a better place!

Conservatives, Republicans, And Basic Knowledge: Science, Mathematics, History, Economics, Spelling And Grammar, World Diplomacy

Many Republicans and conservatives, whether in Congress, the news media, think tanks, or just ordinary citizens, have a real and fundamental problem with basic knowledge. It makes one wonder where they were when they were young, and supposedly being educated, and the indications that they have learned nothing new as adults.

Consider the field of Science, with many of the Republicans and conservatives believing in creationism, the BIble theory of creation, that claims the earth is maybe 10,000 years old at the most, and that dinosaurs walked with man, with a Creationist Museum open to the public in Kentucky, near the border with Cincinnati, Ohio. There is complete denial of Charles Darwin, to the point of total craziness.

Also, there is the failure of these people to accept that there is global warming and climate change, despite so much evidence that there is a problem, and refusal to plan for the future on the basis that we are facing a long range threat, with Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma being the political leader of the “deniers”.

But also, many Republicans and conservatives seem to have their own version of the process of pregnancy and what is a rape, as for instance, defeated Senate nominees Todd Akin and Richard Mouroick.

But let’s move on from Science to Mathematics, and we are talking here about basic math, arithmetic, not geometry, trigonometry, or calculus. Many members of the GOP, including Paul Ryan, claim a magical system of numbers to come up with their budget plans, but as Joe Biden said to Paul Ryan in the Vice Presidential debate, it does not add up!

Then we move on to history, and the image that America is the greatest nation in history, and has never made a mistake, never needs to apologize, has no faults or shortcomings that anyone needs to learn about. And our exceptionalism is enough to wave in the faces of all nations around the world. Why should we teach or learn about slavery, mass murder of native Americans, discrimination against Jews and Catholics and other immigrants, the exploitation of labor by corporations, the destruction of our environment, the corruption of many politicians over our history, the war crimes committed by our troops in many wars, and so on? NO, that is unpatriotic, and instead we must sanitize all historical learning!

And the field of economics is another area of believing that the best system is NO regulation, and the promotion of Adam Smith’s Laissez Faire economics, expressed in the Wealth Of Nations, and if there is poverty or other human suffering, that is the way it was intended by God, so the promotion of Social Darwinism, the one time Darwin is utilized by these KNOW NOTHINGS!

Spelling and grammar do not matter, as many Tea Party radicals who hold rallies show their total ignorance of all subject matter, and cannot express themselves appropriately, and in a respectable manner! They march with signs that are misspelled, as with the Secession signs now being brandished by many of these characters, who are upset with the Obama victory last week!

World Diplomacy, the whole idea of trying to relate to other countries in a respectful manner, is also insignificant to many, who believe the answer is to BOMB everyone you do not agree with, throw our weight around, and not give a damn about how the world perceives us!

This ignorance and stupidity is totally unacceptable, and the Republican Party and the conservative movement needs to purge itself, or go into the dustbin of history!