Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pegging the Moron Meter

Yesterday we finished voting in our "special election" in northwest Oregon.

I've been following this little treasure mostly as a way of checking on the credulity and stupidity level of voters in the Portland metro area, and the final readings of the Moron Meter are now in.

First, on the issue of fluoridation of Portland's water supply, a bizarre coalition of looney Left and looney Right defeated fluoridation because...well, because fluoride isn't natural. God alone knows what these people - about 85,000 of them, by the way - think about pasteurization, immunization, the Germ Theory of disease, and quantum mechanics.

At least we're safe from those goddamn polio monkey serums.

I should note in passing that there are about 446,000 registered voters in Multnomah County, Oregon. And this election was, like almost all elections in Oregon now, done by mail. You didn't have to devote any time or effort to it. You opened the envelope, filled in the little ovals on the form, stuffed the thing back in another envelope and shoved it in the mailbox.

Only about 36% of the electorate - about 160,000 people - even bothered.

But aside from the usual non-interest in the election the real red light on my Moron Meter was pegged to these two guys:

First was a gomer named Lasswell who was running for a position on the Multnomah Educational Service District. Leaving aside the actual role of and value of the MESD, the part that caught me about this guy's ad in the Voter's Pamphlet was is complete and utter incompetence for anything relating to education or any other sort of political administration, for that matter.

The giveaway was his observation about how he was gonna do to the MESD what he'd done in the city of Anfal when he was a'servin' of his Country in Iraq. Because, as we all know, an impoverished Third World city rife with sectarian strife in a former Ottoman province now devastated by war is exactly the political equivalent of the Multnomah Educational Service District.

This goop got 25% of the vote.

Got that? This means that of the some 93,000 people in Multnomah County engaged and motivated enough in the political process to register AND to actually vote in this contest, one in four - 23,382 theoretically-sane individuals - were equally unable to make the same distinction Lasswell could not, between a smashed city in a Muslim state in the Third World and the educational administration of a mid-size American city.

One in four, people. One in four.

But wait; it gets worse.

This goof, name of Morrison, a genuine full-on, rubber-room, unapologetically whackadoodle bull-goose looney whose only issue as a reason for running for Portland Public School board was because WiFi makes your brain all funny (and I tend to agree that someone's brain was all funny here but not that WiFi had anything to do with that) got 18.7 percent of the ballots cast.

Almost 19 percent. Of the people who are probably in the uppermost quintile of engaged and politically aware and socially motivated citizens in the People's Republic of Portland. Nearly one in five. 12,165 people - more than were in the crowd attending that Thorns match I went to watch Sunday.

Voted for a complete and utter tinfoil-hat-grade lunatic.

You can say that, well, fine; the "process worked". The loonies lost.

But think; these are people who shouldn't have gotten anyone's vote. Lasswell, yeah, okay, maybe a handful of people who liked the idea that he was an ex-GI. But Morrison? For fuck's sake, people, the man is certifiable. Around the bend. Ripe for a canvas sportjacket with wraparound sleeves. And yet more than twelve thousand of you fuckers voted for him!

And then you complain about how we can't have nice things.

This is why, people. This is fucking why.

Because a critical minority of you will vote for absolutely goddamn anything no matter how idiotic.

Think about it; if almost one out of five of the most well-informed, motivated, and civically-engaged people in a nationally-known hotbed of social progressivism and intellectual liberalism will vote for a lunatic who is mumbling about electrical radiation melting his brain what the hell is going on out there in places where they think people like Limbaugh, Imhofe, Palin, and Bachmann have a functioning cerebrum?

Jesus wept.

We Are So, so, so, SO Fucked.

16 comments:

  1. The addition of fluoride to drinking water is uncommon in many developed countries and no matter what reasons the loudest people against it brought forward, I think it's perfectly acceptable to be against intentional additives in drinking water in general.

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  2. I'd agree, Sven, except that this brought out all the looney arguments out of the closet; discredited "studies" long refuted, whackadoodle nature-fakery, and even the old Bircher chestnuts. The opposition pulled a lot of the same demographic and used a lot of the same tactics as the anti-vaccination crowd, and that's fairly skeevy.

    I don't object to the loss of the fluoridation efforts so much as the bad science and magical thinking it exposed in a fairly substantial swathe of Portlanders. I won't disagree with anyone's right to their own opinions, but they don't get to have their own facts.

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  3. Clorine is a deadly poison, but I am not against them adding it to my water supply (in appropriate quantities of course).

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    Replies
    1. You should be more careful.

      Soma people have a allergy against Chlorine, and to them Chlorine in the water could mean a common good is effectively poisoned.

      Delete
    2. I made no claims about other people. I simply stated that I am not against them adding it to my water supply.

      In my town, our water treatment plant produces chlorinated and fluoridated water for the masses. They also have a tap that produces a heavily filtered water with as few additives as practical. Those people who do not want fluoride or chlorine in their water are able to drive up to the tap and fill up a water buffalo for themselves.

      It seems to work.

      Delete
  4. If you're looking for reasons for all this stupidity, it almost has to be something in the water.

    Just saying...

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  5. srv, a lot of folks drink bottled water, I'd have to go with something in the air...

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  6. Shades of Brigadier Ripper's precious bodily fluids! No, I guess that was fluoridation vice chlor...

    Years ago my looney left sister (now she is one of God's Republicans) used to send me newspaper articles about chlorination causing baldness. But that was for swimming pools I believe, not drinking water. But a look at photos of my mother's father shows a more genetic cause of my partial chrome-dome.

    Has Portland ever had cholera outbreaks in her early history??? You are pretty far north but there have been outbreaks at even higher latitudes. Modern antimicrobial filtering (or UV treatment??) can get rid of the cause but are expensive treatments.

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  7. Thing is, Portland already chlorinates it's water. And pace Sven, chlorination of water is right up there with the germ theory of disease as a public health measure. Prior to treatement we DID have several incidents of cholera and typhoid from public water sources. Even our so-called "pure" Bull Run water has the usual contaminants.

    But somehow fluoridation was "more evil" than chlorination. Go figure...

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  8. And, frankly, it was the WiFi-nutter vote that got me worse than the fluoridation. I don't agree, but there is at least a case there.

    The WiFi nutter vote, though, is pure D "kick myself in the ass"; 12,000-some people were willing to elect a full-blown looney to our local school board. If that's not "poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick" I don't know what is, and almost 20% of a very limited self-selected elite of the Portland electorate did that. THAT is what truly makes me despair of democracy.

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  9. Chief-

    Democracy simply means that everyone has the right to vote. There is no guarantee that the electorate is wise nor enlightened. Just that they meet the legal qualifications to cast a vote. As I have said before, my late uncle described democracy as "it's own form of self punishment". Perhaps the results of those elections elevate my uncle in your eyes?

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  10. Yep; ol' Unc was a true pundit.

    I guess I know that there is a fairly significant portion of the electorate that is dumber than a bag of hammers. But there's "knowing" and "having it shoved in your face like roadkill".

    The first two items (fluoridation and the Anfal = MESD guy) are at least arguable. I don't AGREE with the arguments, but I accept that there are at least BAD arguments in favor of both.

    But the other guy, the WiFi guy? He's off the trolley. Crazy as a loon. Completely ground-looped. He should have got his mom's vote and a couple of other nutters; couple of hundreds, tops.

    And instead he gets something like one in five of the voters?

    THAT's completely nuts itself, and a terrible observation on exactly HOW self-punishing we have become (or possibly always were...)

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  11. How self-punishing is an understatement. Consider that at present, it is possible to claim a patent on a human gene that occurs in nature, simply based on discovering it's existence and basic effect. Some 40% of the human genome has been patented. Frightening commercialization of our bodies, isn't it.

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  12. Good article here - www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=do-seed-companies-control-gm-crop-research - about the stupidity of allowing private corporations to deny public scientific research into their products and GM organisms. As the author points out: "The agricultural revolution is too important to keep locked behind closed doors." He goes on to observe: "It would be chilling enough if any other type of company were able to prevent independent researchers from testing its wares and reporting what they find—imagine car companies trying to quash head-to-head model comparisons done by Consumer Reports, for example. But when scientists are prevented from examining the raw ingredients in our nation’s food supply or from testing the plant material that covers a large portion of the country’s agricultural land, the restrictions on free inquiry become dangerous."

    We are truly our own worst fucking enemy. Osama must be laughing in hell.

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  13. Loosely related:
    I got into a discussion at Chicago Boyz (who for reasons totally unknown to me, link to my blog).
    http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/36760.html

    The discussion was largely about errorism and the US, but it revealed several things:
    (a) They did quit thinking long ago, and are instead on a tunnel vision ideology autopilot.
    (b) They won't see evidence if it hits them in the face.
    (c) They cannot see right wing error because to them, right wing errorists are apparently freedom fighters.

    Judging by my observations, this demographic isn't only loud and established; it's also somewhat politically effective and numerous. The U.S. is really not in an enviable state with this infection with idiocy.

    All countries have their small share of dangerous idiots (I estimate it at 5-10% at least among males) and I know where they can easily be found in Germany, but the US seems to be failing to contain them in irrelevance. That's about the worst domestic thing that could happen to a society in my opinion.

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