Friday, July 24, 2009


Those of you who have served in the military may recall that the American armed services use a set of numbered "conditions" to briefly express desired states of readiness, and particular actions to be taken without further orders. The best-known is the Defense Condition, or DEFCON, which has five levels - DEFCON 5 is normal, day-to-day operations, with everyone singing kumbaya and Kim Jong-Il acting no more stupid than usual, whereas DEFCON 1, the highest level, represents the need to enjoy that last roll in the hay with your beloved because the nukes are on the way. That's a bit of an oversimplification, but you get the idea.

There are other types of conditions as well, all expressed on the same numbered scale as the DEFCON (with 5 being lowest and 1 highest). There's the Force Protection Condition (FPCON - a measure of the threat to your installations and forces), the Information Condition (INFOCON - which expresses the assessed threat to networks and information systems), the Readiness Condition (REDCON - a measure of the overall readiness of military forces), and the CONCON (a wild French dance, ha, ha).

These are all well and good, but they don't do much good for most of us on a day-to-day basis. We need a way to express the prevailing conditions we encounter every day.

I propose the establishment of an official national Stupidity Condition - the DUMBCON. Here's are some examples of how it works:

DUMBCON 5 - ordinary, day-to-day level of stupidity. Congress is in session, Nancy Pelosi is still using expensive Air Force aircraft to commute back and forth to California, gas is pushing $3.00 per gallon, and people actually pay attention to morons like Ayman al-Zawahiri. Lindsey Lohan is arrested again for something or other. People continue to listen to rap music.

DUMBCON 4 - things are more stupid than usual. Washington, DC Metrorail trains crash because nobody wants to pay to keep the system in good repair. Congress insists on spending money on military equipment the services don't want, but which are built in the districts of key lawmakers. Mahmoud Ahmedinejad of Iran makes a speech on any topic. Osama bin Laden issues another video or audio tape that gets 24/7 air time on al-Jazeera television.

DUMBCON 3 - things are getting pretty stupid. President Sarkozy of France says high-speed internet access is a basic human right. People continue to deny the Holocaust. Kim Jong-il petulantly launches a few more missiles because he's not getting what he wants. Hamas and the Israelis continue to play a fatal version of "After You, Alphonse," blaming each other for their latest outrages. Sonia Sotomayor gets a free pass after claiming that a "wise Latina" would make better judicial decisions than a white man.

DUMBCON 2 - start shaking your head - it's getting really stupid out there. People keep listening to clueless blowhards like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Nancy Pelosi. A crazy person uses pistols and high-powered rifles to kill large numbers of people, and the NRA says that the guns are irrelevant, that the killer would still have killed the people if he didn't have guns - he'd just have smothered them with pillows or something. A chunk of ice the size of Manhattan breaks off the Arctic ice cap, and critics of global warming blame...something else.

DUMBCON 1 - stupidity beyond your wildest dreams. Go back to bed and hide under the pillows. Michael Jackson dies and receives news coverage 24 hours a day for two weeks. Former Mayor Marion Barry of DC gets away with another outrageous act and blames criticism of his behavior on racism. Businesses increase prices because of "increased costs," but your employer wants you to accept wage cuts and IOUs. Congress spends billions on silly earmarks, but can't manage to craft a plan that will ensure health care for all Americans.

You get the idea. Write to your elected reprehensives and demand that we get something more useful for day-to-day planning than a color-coded terrorism threat level - demand the DUMBCON.

Have a good day. We're at DUMBCON 1. More thoughts tomorrow.



Amanda said...

No wonder you are fleeing the country next week!

bandit said...

A huge DITTO!

The Mistress of the Dark said...

In NJ there at levels higher than DUMBCON1...seriously...3 mayors arrested for money laundering and trafficking KIDNEYS!!!

Mike said...

It's funny, since the Dems have gotten in we haven't heard about color coding. I wonder if the Repubs were just trying to keep us scared ..... HEY!!!!!

Wv: fandiess - a new line of ladies underware.

FoggyDew said...

This is one of the most profound and funniest things I've read in a while. In the future, I'll be using the DUMCON scale in post tags.

Leslie David said...

Bill, I absolutely love this!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

This is a real gem! Thanks for re-linking it!