Saturday, September 19, 2009

Straw men and bar stools.

I was up in Sacramento on Thursday night at a bar, listening to my nephew perform. (More about that on my Facebook page, if you are interested.) I was waiting at the bar to get a pint, eavesdropping on a guy chatting up a lady. Neither of them were particularly young, so it wasn't a conversation of the sexy, flirty talk. It was pretty much a monologue, with the guy spurting out a long diatribe that you might hear listening to any of the goons on the AM radio dial.

His view was that letting progressives do what they want to do would be the start of totalitarianism. Oh, not with guns, but totalitarianism, just the same.

Seriously, do they grow them stupider in Sacramento?

Well, hypothetical question asker, I would say yes, a little bit stupider. It's easier to believe this sort of crap when you've never met someone from a totalitarian state. Sacramento is a big town. The San Francisco bay area is actually like living in a big city.

It's also remarkable that someone who fears the erosion of our liberties is pissing himself with fear over the health care debate, while I'm guessing he hardly batted an eye over the torture of prisoners and the intelligence organizations spying on citizens that happened in the last eight years.

You know, the actions that are the signature events of totalitarian states.

Some people who accept that evolution is the guiding principle of biology wonder if this blowhard isn't the contradicting evidence. From what I understand of the biological sciences, and I will grant I don't know as much as I do about math, this guy is evidence to me that intelligence is controlled by at least one recessive gene, and probably more. This limits the number of really smart people in the population to no more than 25%. If it's two recessive genes acting in concert, then it's 6.25%, and the more recessive genes in the mix, the worse the numbers get.

Now isn't that a cheerful thought?

To finish a gloomy post with at least a smile, I quote Adlai Stevenson. Years ago, a woman wanting to compliment the senator said, "Mr. Stevenson, you seem to be the thinking man's candidate."

Stevenson smiled and said, "Perhaps, madam, you may be right. But in a democracy, one must get a majority of the votes."


dguzman said...

Beside your statistical explanation for why there are so many stupids out there, I'd add that in the birding world, the dominant species who've been smart enough to thrive in their native area are often undone by invading non-natives who just breed like the dickens and thus outnumber the natives.

So many house sparrows and starlings, so few bluebirds.

Henry said...

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