Monday, June 05, 2017


If you’re a first-time visitor to my blog, you may want to take a moment and look up to the upper left corner of the screen, where the “DUMBCON Level” is noted. Here’s the history of that notice … and word of the latest update.

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, and set the level at DUMBCON 1.

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.

Less than three years later, on December 21st of 2016, in response to the ludicrous chicanery of the presidential campaign and its results, I added an eighth level – DUMBCON -2.

Since that unhappy time I have been sorely tempted to add a ninth 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 - after less than six months - that the country I love has grown so appallingly stupid that eight levels of stupidity are no longer enough to measure it.

With that sad fact in mind, I have decided to modify the DUMBCON scale to add DUMBCON MINUS THREE - a much-needed ninth level*.

Here is the new DUMBCON scale, effective immediately:

And here is the updated explanation of each level ...

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 paying attention 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 its proposed replacement – the so-called “American Health Care Act” – is worse. Congress goes into recess, 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 Brown) – A level of stupidity that makes you wonder who comes up with all this s**t. Americans elect a manifestly unqualified megalomaniac as president and accept that he plans to govern via Twitter rants, 140 characters at a time. 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.

DUMBCON -3 (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. Citing false and misinterpreted data and statistics, Donald Trump pulls the country out of the Paris Climate Accords, after returning from an overseas trip in which he gratuitously insulted allies and cozied up to authoritarian rulers. A ranting right-wing moron in Oregon murders two men who tried to keep him from assaulting two young women because were Muslims, and Donald Trump calls it "unacceptable." A Republican congressman from Michigan says there’s no need for science-based policy measures because God can take care of any climate change problems. The last shreds of courtesy and civility have disappeared from public discourse.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, we are going to DUMBCON Minus Three.

God help us.

Have as good a day as you can. More thoughts tomorrow.


* We’ve now caught up to the number of levels in Dante’s Hell.


John Hill said...


Mike said...

Can I suggest Dumbcon -2 be brown for 'What a bunch of shit'? Dumbcon -3 can be standard black. When we get to -4 it can be super black which has been recently discovered. It's like black hole black. No light comes out of the hole. And when we start dropping nukes on people we can go to Dumbcon -pi. An irrational imaginary infinite number.

Mike said...

And I just noticed Dumbcon green is a 0 instead of 5. How long has that been in front of my face and I didn't notice.

Gonzo Dave said...

You might want to fix the graphic for the green level - *you* say it's Dumbcon 5, but *it* says Dumbcon 0.

(Of course, that leaves all the rest of us at Dumbcon [something] for not seeing the typo before now....)

Gonzo Dave said...

...sorry, Mike. I didn't see your comment before posting mine. :-)

Bilbo said...

Mike - I think your suggestion for the color of DUMBCON -2 is brilliant, and I will make the update. And this after I just fixed the DUMBCON 5 error after Gonzo Dave pointed it out on my FB page. Oy.

allenwoodhaven said...

Perhaps another 10th level won't be needed, but I don't know.
Just read today that Einstein (allegedly ) said "Only two things are infinite,
the universe and human stupidity, but I'm not sure about the universe."