Here's the nut of his argument:
If the data are objectively assessed, which age-slice of today's working-age adults really does deserve to be called the dumbest generation?
The answer may surprise you. No, it's not today's college-age kids, nor even today's family-starting 30-somethings. And no, it's not the 60-year-olds who once grooved at Woodstock. Instead, it's Americans in their 40s, especially their late 40s -- those born from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s. They straddle the boundary line between last-wave boomers and first-wave Generation Xers. The political consultant Jonathan Pontell labels them"Generation Jones."
Whatever you call them (I'll just call them early Xers), the numbers are clear: Compared with every other birth cohort, they have performed the worst on standardized exams, acquired the fewest educational degrees and been the least attracted to professional careers. In a word, they're the dumbest.
I don't think much of the argument. First, Howe neglects data developed by Pew and others which shows that young people today read less and know less than previous generations. If he wants to join this debate he has to show that this data is in error in some way (invalid or unreliable). He cannot simply cite other data (SAT scores & NAEP) to build an alternative case based on selective stats.
My broader objection is that he slices the generational apple too thinly. He sees differences between people born in the early 1950s and those in the late 1950s. Can one really make generalizations based on these kinds of distinctions?
It seems to me it is one thing to bail out GM and Ford, which I favor, and quite another to bail out Chrysler, which I don't.
GM and Ford are public companies. Chrysler? It's owned by Cerberus, a private firm, and 100 co-investors.
Why should the federal taxpayer bail out 100 rich investors?
A few years ago they bought Chrysler for $7 billion. And their deal went bad. Shouldn't they suffer?
Guess what amount they want from the federal taxpayer?
Yep. $7 billion.
This is highway robbery.
We must save Detroit to save ourselves. But we should let Chrysler die.
BAGHDAD -- When he learns that I live in New York, Ridha Mohammed leans toward me and lowers his voice to a conspiratory whisper."I will tell you a secret that the Americans don't know," he says."Their next President is a Shi'ite."
It's not just right-wing kooks in Middle America who believe Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim: conspiracy theorists across the Middle East have embraced the idea with the same fervor they bring to other bizarre notions. I am not a bit surprised when, later in the conversation, Mohammed assures me that Israel was responsible for the 9/11 attacks and that Saudi Arabia had agreed to bail out the U.S. economy in exchange for an American invasion of Iran.
A Pew opinion poll a month ahead of the Nov. 4 election showed that 12% of Americans still thought Obama was a Muslim. There are no reliable statistics on how many in the Middle East believe that, but there's some anecdotal evidence that the notion is especially popular among poor, undereducated Shi'ites in Iran and Iraq.
The last eight years of yahoo anti-intellectualism (i.e. worship of stupidity) is coming to an end. I note that incoming National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones"spent part of his youth in France and is fluent in French."
It seems like only yesterday that Republican majority leader Tom DeLay was taunting 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry for knowing French. (DeLay is under indictment for corruption).
Jones not only knows French, but as supreme NATO commander he worked closely with the French military. Unlike the ignoramus DeLay, Jones knows that French troops have died in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban in solidarity with the United States.
So much for the US stand up comedians' glib jokes about alleged French cowardice.
De Lay, awaiting trial, actually accused Obama of being a"Marxist" while his own party was busy nationalizing the banks they had allowed to rob the public.
You can just feel the incompetence and stupidity and venality draining out of Washington with each passing day.
America’s at war and in the midst of economic problems of an historic magnitude. We’re also at the end of one presidency and the beginning of the next, with a largely new cast of characters to lead the nation at this critical time.
For now most voters don’t know much about the people Barack Obama is surrounding himself with, even as the president-elect’s ratings are near their all time high in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Approval Index. Tomorrow’s front-page newsmakers are still relatively unknown today.
Take Timothy Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, named on Monday by Obama to be the next secretary of the Treasury. Right now 53% of U.S. voters don’t know enough about him to have an opinion of him one way or the other.
Obama’s other top economic advisers – former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and ex-Fed Chairman Paul Volcker – aren’t much better know despite their earlier high-profile posts.
Over one-third of voters (35%) don’t know enough about current Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to have an opinion of him, but Obama is expected to announce as early as Monday that he is keeping Gates in his Cabinet. Gates is regarded much more favorably than his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld as he continues to shepherd an unpopular war toward victory.
The key Democrats on Capitol Hill who will be working to reverse the country’s financial downturn are better known than Obama’s new economic team but not better thought of by voters. Just 30% of U.S. voters have a favorable opinion of Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, while only 27% have a favorable view of Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
CNN's Rick Sanchez reported on a church marquee that reads"America we have a Muslim president. This is a sin against the Lord." Mark Holick is pastor of The Spirit One Christian Center in Wichita, Kansas where the sign is being displayed.
Holick told KSNW,"The main point of the marquee is to cause the Christians to understand he is not a Christian, Again, they will call me and they will tell me that he's not a Muslim because he is a Christian. That's not the point. The point is he's not a Christian."
You can read it here.
The column discusses my recommendation that college students be given weekly current events quizzes.
Parker's column is carried in 400 newspapers.
Maybe this will help light a fire under administrators to take this idea seriously.
There is a complex side to the story that is less known. While many Canadians bravely fought in the Second World War, the government of Canada turned away Jews desperately trying to flee persecution in Europe. This paradoxical story is carefully documented in the book None is Too Many by Irving Abella and Harold Troper. Nonetheless, the Léger survey reveals that 54 per cent of Canadians believe that their country welcomed Jews during the Second World War. Another 25 per cent admit that they don't know.
"On Concerns Over Gun Control, Gun Sales Are Up"
Here's the story:
DENVER — Sales of handguns, rifles and ammunition have surged in the last week, according to gun store owners around the nation who describe a wave of buyers concerned that an Obama administration will curtail their right to bear arms.We report. You decide.
“He’s a gun-snatcher,” said Jim Pruett, owner of Jim Pruett’s Guns and Ammo in northwest Houston, which was packed with shoppers on Thursday.
“He wants to take our guns from us and create a socialist society policed by his own police force,” added Mr. Pruett, a former radio personality, of President-elect Barack Obama.
Mr. Pruett said that sales last Saturday, just before Election Day, ran about seven times higher than a typical good Saturday.
My take: Only 30%?
A poll last year indicated that 30% of Americans can't name the vice president.
In a separate survey on Election Day, 42% of voters had an unfavorable view of Reid, including 27% who said their view of him was Very Unfavorable. Twenty-eight percent (28%) had a favorable view of the Democratic senator from Nevada, but just six percent (6%) said that opinion was Very Favorable.
Over one-quarter of voters (27%) on Election Day said they didn’t know who Reid was. Even 30% of Democrats didn’t know him, compared to 23% of Republicans and 29% of unaffiliated voters.
Then there’s House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the outspoken San Francisco Democrat. Forty percent (40%) had a favorable view of her, but 53% regarded her unfavorably. Fourteen percent (14%) had a Very Favorable view of Pelosi, compared to 39% who had a Very Unfavorable opinion of her.
Only seven percent (7%) didn’t know who she was, though, but that included 10% of women voters versus three percent (3%) of men.
Again, more Democrats didn’t know who their House leader was than Republicans and unaffiliated voters. While six percent (6%) of both GOP voters and unaffiliateds said they weren’t familiar with Pelosi, eight percent (8%) of Democrats said the same.
Do Dems really know less than Repubs? Is that why more Dems than Repubs answered that they didn't know who Reid and Pelosi are?
Maybe. But we cannot know for sure from the vague way in which the results were reported. If the question gave people the option of saying whether they liked Reid and Pelosi and identified the positions they hold then it would be natural for more Republicans to trash them than Democrats. That is, the Republicans would be more likely to say that they dislike Reid and Pelosi than to admit they don't know much about them.
Unfortunately, we cannot know whether the pollster identified Reid and Pelosi in the question. The pollster doesn't indicate how the question was worded.
I didn't understand his point when he made it. Rereading the transcript I still don't. Here's the excerpt:
LAMB: Did Hillary Clinton ever deceive?
SHENKMAN: I’m sure she did. Sure, she did.
LAMB: Has Barack Obama ever deceived?
SHENKMAN: Of course. They all – they all – they all engage in it.
LAMB: But you’re going to vote for him, right?
LAMB: So no matter the fact that he deceived you and no matter that you are closer to these issues than a lot of other people, you still are going to vote for him? I mean, I’m getting to the point is – what difference does it make if you know or don’t know, you’re still going to vote for him.
SHENKMAN: Well, of course it’s a matter of degree. When Barack Obama says, for instance – I mean, just you know – just to – let’s be honest here – when he says the American people are smart and they’re not going to fall for some Republican shenanigans, well, a high percentage of the American people will actually fall for shenanigans. History proves that.
Why is he saying that? He’s saying it because he’s pandering. ...
LAMB: But what’s the difference between you, who I assume you think you know what’s really going on.
SHENKMAN: Up to a point. I mean, it’s very hard to grasp everything.
LAMB: You’re not ignorant.
SHENKMAN: But I – no, I’m not ignorant about politics, that’s true.
LAMB: So you know you’re being pandered to.
LAMB: You go in and you encourage them by voting for them. You go in there and you vote for them. What’s the difference between that and somebody who’s ignorant who just happens to like Barack Obama and goes in and votes for him? What’s the big difference there? I mean, he’s – the end is the same. He either is president or he’s not president. Or John McCain’s either president or not president.
SHENKMAN: Well, I think there’s a big difference....
Surely, there would be a difference in our politics if we lived in a country of smart (knowledgeable) voters. The level of public debate would be serious instead of shallow. Policies that need explaining might actually be implementable.
Take entitlement reform. All serious thinkers agree that both Social Security and Medicare need reform. We simply cannot fund these programs at current levels indefinitely without bankrupting ourselves. But have we faced up to this challenge? Of course not. Why not? Because pols fear the dopey 30 second spot that will be broadcast against them at the next election if they so much as hint at compromise. So we keep kicking the ball down the field, allowing the problem to get worse and worse. Action now would be relatively painless in fixing Social Security. But we won't take the measures needed because too many voters would be susceptible to cheap demagogic appeals.
Does Brian Lamb not agree? I guess not.
here will bring up an MP3 audio file). Source: Howard Stern in Sirius.
Brace yourselves, people: Barack Obama's real father isn't Barack Obama, Sr. His real father is -- wait for it -- Malcolm X.
No, I'm not being serious. But that is the claim being made on Atlas Shrugs, a pretty well-known right-wing blog. (How well-known? Its proprietor, Pamela Geller, has interviewed John Bolton, who served as, essentially, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations earlier in the Bush administration.)
So if you thought the paranoid theories about Obama couldn't get any crazier, clearly you were wrong. In fact, there are now so many floating around that no one can even seem to get their conspiracy theory straight. Andy Martin, the anti-Semite who was a source for one of Sean Hannity's specials about Obama, has retracted his earlier smear, when he said Obama was a Muslim; he now believes Frank Marshall Davis, a Communist, is Obama's real father. On the other hand, Jerome Corsi, the co-author of the book that launched the Swift Boat Vets, has a new article out at WorldNetDaily claiming that in fact Obama and his grandfather used to hang out with Davis at his hot dog stand in Hawaii, which was really just a front for selling cocaine and marijuana. (Corsi's"source" for this one apparently has an uncanny ability to remember in detail just how much cocaine he was buying 33 years ago, not to mention when he bought it and who he bought it from. Very believable.)...
No matter what the pols say, they assume people are stupid enough to be moved by simplistic analyses, dopey slogans, and misleading ads.
Here's the ad.
A new poll finds that 23 percent of registered voters in Texas believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim, even though the Democratic candidate has repeatedly explained that he is a church-going Christian.
The poll, conducted by the Texas Politics Project and Department of Government at The University of Texas in Austin, showed Obama trailing John McCain by 11 points in the Lone Star State.
Forty-five percent of those polled accurately described Obama as a Protestant. But the 23 percent who identified his religion as Islam is about twice as high as in typical national polls.
I’m sure you’ve heard that the uber-Christian group Focus on the Family has released a scathing critique of life under President Obama, in an essay called “A Letter from 2012 under Obama’s America” from “a Christian in 2012.” I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure time travel is outlawed in the Bible.
Anyway, this is about much more than politics. Since they have conquered time travel, Focus on the Family is now one step closer to reaching its ultimate goal: finding a way to fornicate with the Bible.
First and foremost, the letter addressed the biggest issue on everyone’s mind: Boy Scouts.
"The Boy Scouts no longer exist as an organization. They chose to disband rather than be forced to obey the Supreme Court decision that they would have to hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with young boys."
Because, as you know, all gay men are also pedophiles.
"Since 2009 terrorist bombs have exploded in two large and two small U.S. cities, killing hundreds, and the entire country is now fearful, for no place seems safe."
Um, no place seems safe? They hit two large cities and two small cities, so here’s a novel idea: medium cities. Pittsburgh, here I come.
"In mid-2010 Iran launched a nuclear bomb which exploded in the middle of Tel Aviv, destroying much of that city. They then demanded that Israel cede huge amounts of territory to the Palestinians, and after an anguished all-night cabinet meeting, Israel’s Prime Minister agreed."
Really, Mr. Israeli Prime Minister? You’re attacked by a nuke, and all you can come up with is an all-nighter? What is this, are you cramming for midterms?...
I GIVE UP!