Those of you who have been with me for a while know that back in July of 2009 I realized that things in America had become so stupid that there was a need for a scale with which to measure the national stupidity level. I used as my model the five-stage “Defense Condition" (or "DEFCON") scale used by the military services to set their level of readiness in response to world conditions. I called my scale the National Stupidity Condition Index, or DUMBCON.
The original DUMBCON structure served well until January of 2013, when I found it necessary to add a sixth level – DUMBCON 0 - to accommodate surging levels of national stupidity.
But such was the ever-increasing degree of stupidity that I was forced, a mere ten months later, to add a seventh level – DUMBCON -1.
Since that time, I have often considered adding an eighth level, but I’ve always talked myself out of it. I've tried to be optimistic and positive, figuring that things just had to get better … but I have finally accepted that Americans have grown so appallingly stupid that seven levels of stupidity are no longer enough.
With that sad fact in mind, I have decided to modify the DUMBCON scale to add a much-needed eighth level*; in addition, I have modified the colors assigned to the eight levels to better reflect the new situation in the nation and the world.
Here is the new DUMBCON scale, effective immediately:
DUMBCON 5 (Code Green) - ordinary, day-to-day level of stupidity. Congress is in session; people continue to listen to rap music; companies plaster all sorts of warning labels on products in an attempt to avoid lawsuits from people injured through their own stupidity.
DUMBCON 4 (Code Blue) - things are more stupid than usual. Congress berates the Defense Department for wasting money, but insists on keeping open military installations which are not needed, but are located in the districts of key lawmakers.
DUMBCON 3 (Code Yellow) - things are getting pretty stupid. People continue to deny the Holocaust. Kim Jong-un petulantly launches a few more missiles because he's not getting what he wants.
DUMBCON 2 (Code Magenta) - start shaking your head - it's getting really stupid out there. People keep listening to clueless blowhards like Ann Coulter and Alex Jones. Crazy persons use firearms to kill large numbers of people, and the NRA says that the guns are irrelevant to the discussion, that killer would still kill people even if they didn't have guns - they'd just smother them with pillows or something. Ninety-seven percent of serious scientists agree that climate change is a real threat, but conservatives refuse to accept it because "the science isn't settled."
DUMBCON 1 (Code Orange) - stupidity beyond your wildest dreams. Go back to bed and hide under the pillows. Businesses increase prices because of "increased costs," but your employer wants you to accept wage cuts and IOUs or he'll send your jobs to Mexico. The GOP thunders about the immediate need to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, but has no coherent plan for the “replace” part. Congress adjourns, having accomplished nothing ... and nobody notices.
DUMBCON 0 (Code Red) - A level of stupidity far exceeding your worst nightmares. People wholeheartedly buy into ludicrous conspiracy theories that even the least-educated, religiously hidebound person in the Middle East wouldn't accept; local sheriffs announce that they will decide on their own authority which laws are constitutional and will be enforced; and people actually believe that a government that can't even pass a budget - or agree on anything at all - will somehow be able to get its act together enough to confiscate weapons from the most heavily-armed population on earth.
DUMBCON -1 (Code Scarlet) - A level of stupidity so far exceeding your worst nightmares that all you can do is hide under the bed and pray. Ultra-conservative members of Congress sincerely believe nothing bad would happen if the government defaults on its debts; Congress, egged on by the far-right wing of the GOP, throws hundreds of thousands of government workers out without pay while forcing others to work without any guarantee that they’ll ever be paid ... but insists that the Constitution says members of Congress must continue to be paid no matter what; and the House, the Senate, and the President unite to replace Italian government as the poster child for dysfunctional rule.
DUMBCON -2 (Code Black) – Hiding under the bed and praying is no longer enough; it’s time to invest in a seat on Elon Musk's planned one-way manned expedition to Mars. Americans elect a manifestly unqualified megalomaniac as president and accept that he plans to govern via Twitter rants, 140 characters at a time. Despite the frenzied warnings of the far right and eight years of time in which to do it, President Obama fails to confiscate a single gun. Courtesy and civility have almost completely disappeared from public discourse. Credulous Americans accept without the least shred of proof the most outrageous and improbable of conspiracy theories, and believe only “news” presented by organizations and websites that confirm their own outlandish beliefs.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, we are going to DEFCON Minus Two.
God help us.
Have as good a day as you can. More thoughts tomorrow.
* Dante's Hell only had nine levels.