The longer I live, an unfortunate truth becomes increasingly evident: the world is full of idiots.
Idiots fall into several classes I have identified and compiled into a far from comprehensive list. The list grows almost daily, but a few enduring entries include:
- local idiots (a.k.a. "village idiots")
- politicians (most of them; a few standout statesmen provide contrast)
- animal people (place inordinate value on animals in general and domestic animals in particular)
- environment people (know nothing about conservation or resource management, and villanize everything human)
- religious zealots (think their beliefs trump morality, right and wrong, and every other brand of beliefs)
- sue-happy people (think everything that happens is someone elses fault and sue accordingly; bereft of any sense of personal responsibility)
- mainstream media reporters and personalities (think themselves superior but are among the most ignorant, arrogant, and condescending segment of the population; closely related to politicians)
I adopted "ignorance is curable, stupid is forever" as a personal catchphrase to illustrate that a bit of information often can remedy incorrect notions and misunderstandings, but the congenitally stupid are beyond hope of redemption.
To the former end, I hereby offer a few words of advice and time-tested wisdom that, if adopted by the applicable, would go far to ameliorate ignorance, notwithstanding the enduring nature of idiocy:
Dont let kids operate ATVs. Kids lack the necessary self-discipline, coordination, and motor skills. If you let your child operate an ATV, dont whine, reassign blame, or sue the manufacturer when Junior gets hurt or killed; it is your fault and no one elses.
Dont recycle paper or plastic. It uses more energy than it saves, costs more than producing the materials from scratch, and (for paper and cardboard) removes incentive to plant trees--a renewable resource.
Do recycle aluminum. It is energy efficient, costs less than mining and processing the raw materials--and you get paid for your efforts.
Dont assign value to a fish or animal based on its size or the proportions of its antlers. Whoever caught or killed the fish/animal did not have a damned thing to do with its development.
Do value each catch and kill equally as a gift of sustenance provided by Nature.
Dont try to force your ethics onto others by weight of law. Ethics are the personal rules individuals follow when no one is looking, and are not universal. Force-feeding personal ethics by law or fiat is equivalent to forcing religion.
Do share your ethical concerns with others who are disposed to listen, but remember your guaranteed right to free speech does not include a right to be heard.
Dont use words whose meanings or pronunciations you do not understand. e.g.: writing "Faux News" makes you look like an idiot; it is pronounced "foh" not "fawks."
A few special notes for media idiots:
- Trappers catch things; hunters kill things.
- "12-gauge" is not a "caliber."
- A "silencer" does not work on revolvers.
- A "silencer" is not a silencer, but a "suppressor."
- A gun collection is not an "arsenal."
- Not all firearms are semi-automatic.
- A revolver is not a semi-automatic.
- A semiautomatic handgun is not a "service revolver."
- Semi-automatic firearms are not capable of "high rates of fire" except when using "trick fire" techniques few shooters ever master, and are nonetheless useless for any practical application.
- An "assault weapon" is any weapon used by a person to assault another person. e.g.: chain, baseball bat, kitchen knife, rock, stick, fist, frozen squirrel (no joke, really happened), etc.
- It is not illegal to own or possess any kind of firearm or accessory, although some require payment of a federal tax and background check to possess legally.
- A graphic of an AR15 or Glock is not an appropriate backdrop for a report on rape, burglary, theft, embezzlement, or any other crime in which firearms had no role--"gun" does not equal "crime" nor vice-versa.
- Gun control legislation is not "crime legislation."
- The local dogcatcher, and animal rights extremist organizations such as the Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, are not legitimate sources for animal-related questions or sound bites, nor are their representatives "animal experts."
- Arrested suspects are not "held on bond" but held in lieu of bond and released on bond.
The idiot/ignorant ratio among politicians is difficult to pin down, but it is quite easy to mark them for yourself by simply reading or listening to their words:
- U.S. Representative Fred Upton declaring, "The more daylight we have, the less electricity we use. It is that simple," clearly oblivious to the obvious fact you cannot manufacture daylight.
- U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, who was in charge of the committee that oversees the internet, demonstrating his ignorance/idiocy with, "...an internet was sent by my staff at 10 oclock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet ... Its a series of tubes...those tubes can be filled."