Tuesday, January 12, 2021


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 and reset the current DUMBCON level.

If you’re a first-time visitor here, this is the story of why I developed the DUMBCON scale …

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 prevailing level of stupidity among my fellow citizens. 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. I bypassed all the lesser levels just on principle.

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, I added an eighth level – DUMBCON -2 (Minus Two).

After adding the eighth 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 June of 2017 I modified the scale yet again to add a much-needed ninth level - DUMBCON -3 (Minus 3).

Thirteen months later, in July of 2018, such was the state of the world that I decided to add an unprecedented tenth level – DUMBCON -4 (Minus 4). Yes, Dear Readers, we had finally exceeded the number of levels in Dante’s Hell.

A year and a half or so later, in March, 2020, I thought that my DUMBCON structure had become too large and unwieldy, and contained too many unused levels. I decided to reset the structure and the level to its original 2009 state, and we have been at DUMBCON 1 since then.

But here we are, less than a year later, with a sitting president who is at best clueless and at worst insane, tens of millions of Americans who believe the most ridiculous of conspiracy theories, a pandemic – downplayed by Der Furor and ignored by his followers – that has killed more than 375,000 Americans in less than a year, our international standing reduced to the level of “laughingstock,” and a Capitol building that has been stormed and ransacked by a mob clad in Der Furor’s regalia and waving his flags ... caught on video beating a police officer with an American flag.

I don’t know if any scale can effectively capture the level of dangerous stupidity that is convulsing the country I love, but I now know that my decision last spring to revert to the initial structure was wildly wrong.

Effective immediately, we are returning to the ten-level DUMBCON structure of 2018, and resetting the national DUMBCON level to Minus Four:

Here is my updated explanation of each level and it’s descriptive colors ...

DUMBCON 5 (Code Green) - ordinary, day-to-day stupidity. Congress is in session; people continue to pay attention to ludicrous personalities like Rudy Giuliani, Lin Wood, Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, and Louis Gomert; 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 ignores the blatant criminality and incompetence of Der Furor and his lackeys in favor of the assembly-line production of conservative judges and tax cuts for those who don’t need them.

DUMBCON 3 (Code Yellow) - things are getting pretty stupid. People continue to deny the Holocaust. Kim Jong-un looks like more of a statesman than Der Furor.

DUMBCON 2 (Code Magenta) - start shaking your head - it's getting really stupid out there. People continue to believe 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 killers would just smother their victims 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 offers no replacement. People insist that wearing cloth masks – a simple measure for protection against the danger of Covid-19 – is an unconstitutional and blatant violation of their God-given personal rights and freedoms, second only to their sacred rights under the Second Amendment.

DUMBCON 0 (Code Red) - A level of stupidity far exceeding your worst nightmares. Q-Anon supporters wholeheartedly buy into a ludicrous conspiracy theory 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 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. Tens of millions of Americans once again vote for a manifestly unqualified megalomaniac as president and accept that he governs via Twitter rants and childish insults (piously intoning that “I don’t like everything he says, but I like what he does”). Courtesy and civility have almost completely disappeared from public discourse. Credulous Americans accept without the least shred of proof Der Furor’s drumbeat assertion that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him, and believe only “news” presented by organizations and websites so far to the right of Faux News that they are in risk of falling off the edge of the flat earth in which some Americans, amazingly enough, still believe. When a howling mob of his supporters storms and ransacks the Capitol in Washington and threatens to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and hang Vice President Mike Pence, Der Furor tells the mob “we love you” and “you are very special,” worrying only that the screaming mob looked “low-class.”

DUMBCON -3 (Code Gray) – Oy. Just, oy. 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. Republican voters elect candidates who are avowed white supremacists, Nazis, and deniers of basic scientific facts. Despite the fact that the mob which vandalized the US Capitol was mainly dressed in Der Furor’s campaign regalia and MAGA hats and waving vast numbers of his flags, Republicans claim that “Antifa” and Black Lives Matter social justice protesters were actually responsible for the deadly riot and accompanying destruction. Even after having to cower under their desks in fear of a howling mob, eight senators and 140 representatives continued to object to the reality of an election their candidate lost by more than seven million votes. The last shreds of courtesy and civility have disappeared, exemplified by a mob that cannot put together a sentence that does not contain at least three screamed iterations of “F**K YOU!!”

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

God help us.

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



Mike said...

It's a good thing for the future that a computer can render 16 million colors.

allenwoodhaven said...

Tragic but necessary. God, or whatever Beings guide the Universe, help us all!

Mike makes a great, and deeply disturbing, point...