It is incredible that so many believe in "the Flynn effect" which insists IQs of average humans today are inexorably increasing when the evidence is all around us that this is a myth. Most people don't even possess the basic thinking skills to parse BS from fact, and too many are misled by screechifying, splenetic idiots into reinforcing their bombastic tropes. WHERE is the evidence for higher IQs? I don't see it!
As a case in point, with all the huff and puff from the Republicans based on braggadocio and playing upon people with weak minds, the latter appear to believe there's a Muslim terrorist behind every door and their kills are whoppingly large. The most high profile Reep in this regard is Donald Trump whose "strongman shtick and nonchalance over the beating of a protestor" as well as his "zeal for waterboarding" caused The Economist (Nov. 28-Dec. 4, p. 24) to pronounce Trump:
"giving off an incipient whiff of bouffant fascism".
Couldn't have said it better! I also like that "bouffant' touch given I label him "the Donna".
The facts, as spelled out in a front page NY Times editorial two days ago, say the opposite to the hysteria 'the Donna' and his collaborators are sowing, e.g.:
"The death toll from jihadist terrorism on American soil since the Sept. 11 attacks -- 45 people -- is about the same as the 48 killed in terrorist attacks motivated by white supremacist and other right-wing extremist ideologies.... And both tolls are tiny compared with the tally of conventional murders, more than 200,000 over the same period.”
Now, any dumbo even with zero math background can surely see that 200,000 >> 45! I mean, how hard can this be? And that greater number was accomplished by high powered weapons and handguns, almost all legally sold with the benediction of the NRA. So don't hand me any bollocks that we are "safer" from terrorists because we can own an AR-15 or Bushmaster .223 when we are fucking killing each other at a rate more than 4,400 times that which the terrorists are!
So why isn't this being processed? There are two possible reasons: 1) Americans are prevented from knowing the facts, the stats and hence don't process the ridiculous difference in threat, and 2) their reptilian brains have taken control and they are being ruled by atavistic emotions more than reason. Well, when you read some of their hysterical, reactionary blogs - or even comments on forums like The Financial Times (in which I was called a "statist traitor troll" yesterday by a dunce nicknamed "Trollbo" for god's sake, for mentioning the loophole in the gun laws permitting those on the no fly list to buy AR-15s).. Don't these jackasses hear in their minds' ears how they sound? Are they mentally tone deaf? This is not a matter of "free speech" - but of being responsible and mature enough to use one's right to free speech in a responsible way!
In respect to (2), I note it was Arthur Koestler in his 'Ghost in the Machine' who first elaborated on the "paleocortex" as the most primitive region of the brain, harboring the most primitive impulses including territoriality, conquest, lust, and tribal demarcations, i.e. explaining the current yen to isolate and ostracize Muslim Americans from the rest of us. It was Carl Sagan, in his 'Dragons Of Eden', who made similar points by referencing the "R-complex". And it was Robert Ornstein in his 'Evolution of Consciousness" who noted the reptilian region of the brain as a regressed "simpleton". This was as part of his general theory of brain dynamics based on the "simpleton" concept, e.g.
Well, it appears that the response to President Obama's speech last night (on American reaction to San Bernardino and ISIL) shows a plurality of Americans are operating with their reptilian brains as opposed to their higher brains (the neocortex). The GOP response especially shows that they are either all under the spell of regressive collective simpletons, or the R-complex.
None of them grasped, for example, that part of Obama's speech DID embody security strategy, namely warning us not to treat fellow Americans differently because they are Muslims. Not calling them "ragheads" or using other hateful epithets. Why? Because it simply is stupid and doesn't redound to our national security interests. Indeed, as he explained, "this is just what ISIL" wants. This "cult of thugs" which represents an extreme end of Islam, profits handsomely when it can tell all Muslims living here in the U.S. they are not wanted. This then can pave the way for them to acknowledge it, as when they're called "ragheads" or worse on social media posts, thereby justifying (in their minds ) waging jihad. After all, what are they gaining from living amongst us? Only hate and predjudice.
Neither have these boneheads grasped that dispatching large numbers of Americans into another ground war is not the answer. Yet in a poll presented on CBS Early Show 53 % of Americans want Americans sent in for a ground force invasion. And some seriously buy that these morons are the beneficiaries of the "Flynn Effect" - which I already dissed in an earlier post, e.g.
In respect of ground forces being used on ISIS, as I noted in my post of Nov. 16:
"the U.S. should stay out of such a ground war, for various reasons including we've already started enough of them with zero success, the question emerges as WHO should undertake it. (Note when I say 'stay out' I only mean only in terms of dispatching tens of thousands of ground pounders, but support and logistics advisors are a different matter, and perhaps small strike teams such as recently rescued ISIS prisoners in Iraq who were about to be slaughtered).
But the main thrust must come from: the Muslim nations in the region. They'd be fortified by two legitimate "outsiders", Russia and France - the most recent ISIS victims. (Also their peoples would be most likely to support a ground invasion after what happened to their fellow citizens.) Other NATO members from the EU may also join in support by invoking a NATO clause that "an attack on one is an attack on all"
The problem with the U.S. mounting a unilateral ground war invasion is that we'd then be seen as marshalling a "crusade" against Islam - and instead of just having the thugs of ISIS against us, we'd have the entire Muslim world and Islam. How hard can this be to drive through the brains of Americans? Well, pretty difficult if they are operating at reptilian brain level.
People need to force their brains to act in accord with their higher cognitive centers in this time of terror hype and ramped up hysteria over remote risks, and not allow themselves to be pawns for demagogues or histrionic bloggers. This means that reason must be in the forefront of how we deal with the world today, and that includes processing that we are slaughtering far more of each other with easily purchased lethal weapons than the radical Muslims are.
That means, btw, that the probability of being shot and killed by a fellow American is far greater than being killed in an Islamic massacre such as happened in San Bernardino! People need to bear that in mind before allowing their reptilian brains to seize control and go ballistic.