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They Blinded me with . . . SCIENCE!

Updated: 5 days ago

Trump is just a symptom of a far greater problem and its growing worse

Joe Biden went to France and praised the sacrifice of World War II veterans on D-Day.

Convicted felon Donald Trump went to Arizona, said he was in Texas and complained that his trial was rigged.

Every time Trump loses, it was “rigged”? He cannot accept responsibility for anything he’s done and his fans love him for it.

They are wearing his losses like a thorny crown, literally; comparing him to Jesus, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln to name but a few. He's the victim, but he's a savior. His acolytes send memes and litter the internet saying they'll proudly vote for a convicted felon.

By now we’re so lost in the mire of a political dystopia that it isn’t worth discussing any more. Donald Trump is a convicted felon. His supporters say he's not. Donald Trump is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people during the Covid Pandemic. His supporters say he is not. Donald Trump paid off a porn star he never met, though in closing arguments of his felony trial for trying to cover it up, his attorney admitted he did - he just did it to protect his wife. His supporters say he never knew the woman. When the FBI raided his Pigeon's Nest at Mar-a-Lago, he said there were no documents. Then, he said it was a set up and the FBI planted the documents. Then he said he had the documents but it was divine right as a King to keep them. He's a habitual liar, his supporters still love him and the rest of the world needs to move on. Every conviction is a toy he’ll manipulate to bilk his followers, so why bother?

The bigger issue is where are we today and why? How did we get to the point where we all honor the sacrifices men made on D-Day (except for the convicted felon who called them "losers") but we can't reach mutual agreement on the facts of today?

John Bennett writing in CQ/Roll Call noted what Biden said during a Thursday ceremony in Normandy, at Point Du Hoc; "To surrender to bullies, to bow down to dictators is simply unthinkable,” adding: “Were we to do that, it means we’d be forgetting what happened here in these hallowed beaches. Make no mistake. We will not bow down.”

While it has been noted that the press is responsible for a great deal of this inability to determine facts from fiction, the press isn't the only agent of destruction. It is also a lack of education.

We have abandoned science. Congress woman Marjorie Taylor Greene is for stringing up Dr. Anthony Fauci, for his efforts to assist the American public during the Covid Pandemic. She refused to call him a doctor, and even blamed him for the death threats made against him! Not only does she not understand science, but she assumes something nefarious is being undertaken by scientists. She’s obviously confused. The nefarious actions are usually made by members of congress.

Dr. Fauci is another matter. If he got things wrong, it was a matter of science. You make the best decisions you can at the time with the information you have, and when information comes to your door that refutes or changes pre-existing theories you adapt to reality. That's the major difference between science, religion, congress and buffoons. Science changes its mind. The others do not.

We no longer believe the sun orbits the earth, and only the silliest buffoons believe we live on a flat earth. Science changed our understanding of reality.

That underscores the need for teaching hard science in schools. After the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik, October 7, 1957, the United States acted swiftly. The U.S. Federal government, a few months later in 1958 passed the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) - a $1-billion spending package to bolster high-quality teaching and learning in science, mathematics and foreign languages. A report from the House of Representatives supporting passage of the NDEA read: “It is no exaggeration to say that America’s progress in many fields of endeavor in the years ahead—in fact, the very survival of our free country—may depend in large part upon the education we provide for our young people now.”

Today, many Republicans in Congress wish to slash educational funding, and it comes at a time when many, like Donald Trump are denying facts and science.

At the heart of this matter, scientist and science-fiction author Isaac Asimov said, “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Asimov offered that opinion nearly a half a century ago, and I’m afraid today it doesn’t go far enough. For some, their ignorance is impossible to acknowledge because they are too ignorant to know of their ignorance, hence their ignorance, to them, IS knowledge. That is the Dunning-Krueger effect in action, but it was expressed far better by another scientist and science fiction author, Carl Sagan. In Sagan’s 1995 book "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark," he said, “I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when we're a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition.”

Another science fiction writer, Robert Heinlein, wrote a short novella in 1940 titled "If this goes on . . ." The story is set in a future theocratic American society, ruled by the latest in a series of fundamentalist Christian "Prophets." The First Prophet was Nehemiah Scudder, a backwoods preacher turned President (elected in 2012), then dictator (no elections were held in 2016 or later). It is eery in its predictions, and spot on accurate in depicting the consequences of a nation that shuns science.

Our inability to deal with global climate change is comical. The UN Secretary General said just five days ago, "We cannot accept a future where the rich are protected in air-conditioned bubbles, while the rest of humanity is lashed by lethal weather in unliveable lands. We must safeguard people and economies. Every person on Earth must be protected by an early warning system by 2027."

In 2015 Senator Jim Inhofe, a Republican, showed up on the senate floor with a snowball to deny climate change. That's how stupid we are with science in our government.

That brings us up to the most frightening aspect of the lack of understanding of science: Nuclear War. For years our nation operated under the Mutually Assured Destruction policy regarding nuclear weapons. With so many countries in possession of them, it was the U.S. and the former Soviet Union that agreed that the risk was too great for any nuclear nation to launch those weapons at an enemy - for fear of mutual destruction. You know, the end of the world. Then last Week Vladimir Putin told the world, he might decide to use his nuclear arsenal. That comes after countless articles in the last two years have been written about the "safest place to be" in a nuclear war. As the world scoots dangerously close to a nuclear conflagration because of wars in Ukraine, the Middle East and elsewhere, remember there is ultimately no safe place to be in nuclear war. You're going to need a 3000 sunscreen on that day.

It wasn’t that long ago when we knew better. It was November, 20, 1983. The most-watched television move in U.S. history aired; The Day After. More than 100 million Americans tuned in, and afterward a special news program featured a live discussion between Sagan and conservative writer William F. Buckley, who supported the concept of "nuclear deterrence." During this heated discussion, aired live, Dr. Sagan introduced the concept of "nuclear winter" and made his famous analogy, "Imagine a room awash in gasoline, and there are two implacable enemies in that room. One of them has 9,000 matches, the other 7,000 matches. Each of them is concerned about who's ahead, who's stronger."

Former ABC White House Correspondent Sam Donaldson says one of the most disappointing things he’s seen is the abandonment of facts and the lack of understanding of basic science in the ensuing years. “You didn’t have people like that in Congress in the 60s and 70s,” he said. “Sure we had people who were thick or some you disagreed with, but you didn’t have people like Marjorie Taylor Greene or Lauren Boebert. They couldn’t get elected to office.”

The dumbing down of the nation, and a lack of respect for science has, according to Donaldson, made it a far more dangerous world in which we live - and yet he still has hope.

My hope is that we invest in education; particularly science, math and language.

Our investment in education is a cornerstone of understanding each other, a foundation for a safer future and a guarantee we have a future.

Without it, we are doomed.


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