Tuesday, July 03, 2018


Well, Dear Readers, it’s finally happened. I have bowed to the inevitable and decided that it’s time once again to modify my DUMBCON scale.

If you’re a first-time visitor to my blog, here’s the story of why I developed the DUMBCON scale and how we got to the point at which it needed ten levels …

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 and describe 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 initial level at DUMBCON 1 - the highest level.

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 (Minus One).

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 (Minus Two).

After adding the eight level, I tried to be optimistic and positive, figuring that things just had to get better … but a mere six months later I recognized that the country I love had grown so appallingly stupid that eight levels of stupidity were no longer enough to measure it. Thus, in July of 2017 I modified the scale yet again to add a much-needed ninth level - DUMBCON -3 (Minus 3).

And now here we are, thirteen months later, and such is the state of the world that I have decided to add an unprecedented tenth level – DUMBCON MINUS FOUR. Yes, Dear Readers, we have now exceeded the number of levels in Dante’s Hell.

Here is the new DUMBCON scale, effective immediately:

Here is the updated explanation of each level, with a slight revision of the descriptive colors ...

DUMBCON 5 (Code Green) - ordinary, day-to-day level of stupidity. Congress is in session; people continue to listen to rap music; companies plaster thick layers 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 unneeded military installations which 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, and alternates with a charm offensive designed to make him look more statesmanlike than the American president.

DUMBCON 2 (Code Magenta) - start shaking your head - it's getting really stupid out there. People keep paying attention to clueless blowhards like 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 and childish insults. 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. Citing “national security” as an excuse, Donald Trump imposes tariffs on steel and aluminum imports which trigger a trade war and alienate key allies.

DUMBCON -3 (Code Gray) – 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 simply calls it "unacceptable." A Republican congressman from Michigan says there’s no need for science-based policy measures because God will take care of any climate change problems.

DUMBCON -4 (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. The GOP puts forward candidates who are avowed white supremacists, avowed Nazis, and deniers of basic scientific facts. The Democrats, responding to Republican actions, continue a slide to a far left as ridiculous as the far right. Both parties have resorted to shouted slogans and blatant ignorance rather than rational policy. The level of governmental hypocrisy has risen to historic levels, exemplified by the smug position of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Supreme Court nominations in an election year. The last shreds of courtesy and civility have disappeared from public discourse.

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

God help us.

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



John Hill said...


Mike said...

Start working on Dumbcon -5 now.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Will we make Dunbcon -6 by Christmas?

Banana Oil said...

Weird seems to be normal nowadays.

Dave Peterson said...

I know you keep *hoping* that the DUMBCON level is "unlikely to change any time soon", but I'm thinking you might want to modify that phrase somewhat. Maybe something like "we hope it won't get worse any time soon - better would be good".

allenwoodhaven said...

My first reaction to "DUMCON Update" was to say aloud "Oh no, it can't be!". My first thought was that it already is. Sigh... At least you express it so well. Thanks for your civic duty in keeping track for us.