Wednesday, January 6, 2010


So there is no doubt how I feel about vaccinations, especially for children, if I had children they would be vaccinated. This was the first year I received the flu vaccine. I did not receive H1N1 because every time I enquired with the VA they did not have the vaccine available. In fact unlike the regular flu vaccine the VA never pushed H1N1 on the veterans.

There is a growing movement in the US against the use of vaccines. The claims range from a host of developmental problems to Autism as a side effect from vaccines. I have heard doctors on both sides of the debate throw out their scientific proof that there is not a problem and here is a problem. So much for meaningful scientific proof.

But here is my question - has America gotten dumber over the years? Yes, a most definite yes. It has become frightening for me just how dumb people have become. It is not an IQ issue, it is a dumb issue. Something is causing for this, and I do not know what it is. The only common variable I can find is vaccines. This does not mean they are the cause - all I am doing is raising a question - and again I would still get my children vaccinated regardless.

The other day I watch as someone gave up trying to explain to another person that ATT has nothing to do with the manufacture of their phones. It was a loss cause - ATT sells them so they must manufacture them. What informs a woman that it is okay to change her child’s dirty diaper onto of a table at Taco Bell? How else do we explain the Teabaggers? (LOL)

Is it mere incompetence or dumbness which informs a psychologist that it is okay to allow the entire family into every session for a child who is the only one under treatment. I have seen this wherein this quack therapist sits there and allows the child’s siblings to bad mouth him for 50 minutes and then not know why the child hates the therapist and now refuses to go anymore.

The next question is, how is this problem becoming more and more prevalent among professionals? The medical schools now promote and matriculate doctors based on their ability to engage in memorization of anatomy and physiology. Critical thinking has been abandoned at far too many medical and law schools. It was a slow process of highly qualified professors retiring and eventually being replaced with the graduates of the 60's, most of whom where the products of a liberal revolution which put advancement ahead of actual exceptional intelligence. Mass vaccinations were also an issue of the 60's. I remember clearly being in line for my sugar cube polio vaccine.

The 70's saw the graduation of the first professionals trained under those who were part of the mass education of the 60's. This is when our education system took a massive dive southward. It was like the dumbest of the dumb had taken over. Intelligence was measured based on the placement of a comma, and not rational critical thinking skills. Trust me, I have worked with adults who are working on their GED’s who are near perfect on the grammar part of the exam but cannot seem to pass the other sections of the exam because of poor reading skills, or an inability to learn math.

Think about my posts about VA doctors in training. Can they really be that dumb? I say yes - they have been moved up based on their ability to memorize. I forget the term, but medical schools use a form of differential diagnosis in how they approach medical problems. The problem is they do it in a mechanical way rather in a critical analysis way. This is a consequence of the use of memorization as a teaching method instead of critical thinking.

The other day I heard someone use the word dulcet. The context was “dulcet tones.” I had never heard the word before. My brain processed it anyway because of the way I learned. It made the connection to dulce in Spanish and the phrase dulcet tones made sense. This is not how we are currently educating our children. Today the method is handouts and memorization without the skills needed to connect and build ideas.

For me the question is, what forced us into this failed method? I think what began with a failed system of education in the 60's to address the influx of massive new numbers of students resulted in the dumbing down of our universities. This in turn resulted in the educators of the 70's, just entering education in both the regular public schools, and public universities (this is not yet a problem among the Ivy League - but it is getting there) responding to an extremely lower intelligence among the students by using handouts and memorization as teaching tools instead of developing truly critical skills.

Something caused for this drop in intelligence. It is now affecting our politics and possible freedom. I truly fear the Teabaggers. They are clueless about how the corporatists are playing them for fools to support their agenda. It is interesting to me how the Republicans are slow to embrace the Teabaggers. The leadership knows the Teabaggers are clueless and fear being caught on the wrong side when the movement collapses under the manipulation of the corporatists.

So in the end I do not know if vaccines have caused for a new form of mental retardation in the US which is not measurable through IQ tests. But something is happening. When I was in highschool I had to write a 30 page pager in Spanish for my 4th year Spanish project. At UTEP in the mid 70's in every course which was part of my major I had to write 30 page papers as part of my term grade. It had to have at least 3 different sources per page, with at least 9 citations per page. We were only allowed to use primary sources. News magazines were not considered credible sources. The NY Times was considered one of the few newspapers we were allowed to use. Most research had to be based on government documents or professional journals which were subject to peer review. Most social science professors at UTB could not meet this standard today. The research coming out of the universities is not trustworthy.

If the process I had to follow in 4th year Spanish in highschool were followed today in graduate school, most graduate school students would drop out. I remember when working on my masters in education teachers crying like babies if we were assigned a 10 page paper. Years earlier when I worked on my masters in Political Science, I had to write 10 page papers every week, along with a 30 page term paper.

Something has happened. I do not know what - but I know this - a highschool dropout from the 50's knows more and has significantly better critical thinking skills than anyone graduating today with a master’s degree. The question is why? My further question is, does it have something to do with the mass use of vaccinations since the 60's?


Anonymous said...

Professional journals are not primary sources just as newspapers are not primary sources. How did you have access to true primary sources on Eastern Europe in El Paso, Texas? I doubt they have much as the program's extinct. With your verbose blog, taking hundreds of words to explain a simple concept that should take scores less, I'm led to believe you had no trouble writing a 30 page paper lickity split. The crying student in all likelihood had wit; you have diarrhea of the typewriter.

In defense of education today, the more students the professor has in a program, I could argue, the less he has the ability to grade and nurture his student's lenghty papers. I could argue that easy access to financial aid, like Pell which grew for the first time in years, inflated student populations, damaging effect on higher education including critical thinking skills. Maybe I'm a simpleton without critical thinking skills, but that seems the simplest and most logical explanation.

BobbyWC said...

I love your comment because it proves your lack of knowledge. First and foremost when I was at UTEP the staff in the program were all U of Chicago graduates. Second, teh Army sent their officers to be trained by the same people who trained me. The training was at Fort Bliss. My training allowed me to be accepted to the program at Columbia in New York. It was then the best undergraduate program in the US hands down.

Dr. Tony Kruszewski was the Chair of the program. The program as I knew it changed after the fall of the Soviet Union. It is hard to have a Soviet Studies program when there is no Soviet Union.

Eventually with Tony reaching his late 80's the program became part of the comparative politics program.

As to journals, you have again proven your lack of knowledge. the premier journal until the fall of the Soviet Union was "Problems in COmmunism." which was published back then by the US Government. Further, UTEP had a very large library holding of both US and Foreign documents. Fort Bliss used the library resources for the training of its officers.

As to professional journals - if your only experience is what you see today I can understand your comment - but back then they were filled with original research using the methods developed from the Statistical manual for Social Scientists. All of the reseach was original - which makes it a primary resource.

Finally as to the Pell grant you demonstrate your lack of knowledge. I agree the Pell grant has resulted in a lot of wasted taxpayer money and the dumbing down of our universities.

The Pell grant was not created yesterday - it was part of the liberal reforms of the 6o's which was a big part of my point. 1965 to be exact. How do you think all of these people got into college without money - the Pell Grant.

I fully support requiring a B average to get a Pell grant - it should be a kind of financial aid scholarship provided for by the government. This would enourage more people to start in real communiity colleges where they have a better chance at success. TSC is not a real community college. real community colleges are very affordable without financial aid and allows for students to prove themselves before going on to the university on the public dollar.

In the end you have proven you needed to spew stupidity and had zero knowledge of the facts.

Two last notes - I did not have the benefit of computer to write papers - I wrote my papers on a Royal portable typewriter after handwriting my papers on a legal pad.

I made a lot of money in college because during most summers I worked the front desk in the dorms on the night shift. I took the job because it was quiet and they allowed me to use the electric typewriter.

You see back then you could not get a PhD in Geology from Yale unless you did a summet at UTEP which had the best labs of their kind in the country.

These guys had to turn in 2 10 page papers a week. I love geology so I loved typing their papers. It was a money maker.

You know nothing about UTEP but allowed your narrow mind to guide your writing

Bobby wC

Anonymous said...

"My training allowed me to be accepted to the program at Columbia in New York."

So what? My training in high school got me to be accepted at Duke, but it doesn't mean I went there. It doesn't mean I was or would have been more successful there than someone else, grandpa. But did you go to Columbia? Did you get a degree? Did you drop out? Spare us the walking through snow in 2 degree weather bull shit.

Yeah, you are verbose i.e. your most recent comment.

If the journals had original research, then the writer of the research did the work using primary sources. Your use of the work and not the sources means the journal is a secondary source. Should I petition UTEP to revoke your degree as it is obvious you don't understand primary sources and used actual secondary sources but claimed otherwise?

BobbyWC said...

Dude you can play all of the games you want but reality does not change - the journal articles were peer reviewed and based on the research of the authors. If they did the research and analyzed their own data it is not secondary it is primary.

And no I did not go to Columbia - I was tired. And I could not find housing on campus. back then housing near campus was in very bad neighborhoods. 125th street - we are talking 1980.

I simply could not justify the money I was going to have to borrow to pay for tuition and an expensive apartment - so I joined the Army - a decision I do not regret

And for teh record in kinder I do remember walking to school in snow nearly knee deep even after the walks were so called cleaned by the owners. We had no buses just snow shoes and a desire to get to school where it was warm

Bobby WC

BobbyWC said...

You know dude i will go with George Washington Universities definition of primary sources before I go with the ideas of a bitter angry anony who speaks without actual knowledge of real facts.

In 9th grade in my highschool the big project was in library research. We were given like some 100 questions about the Illiad and Odyssey. We had to prove use of library research tools to answer the questions. I believe we had 4 weeks.

It was a lesson I loved and which has stayed with me until this day.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

That is a good lesson -- the 100 questions. Nothing like that being assigned now, though.
Something to add to your comment on ed decline. A recent report says 75% of professors are now part-timers. That seems too high, but it is the trend, and increasing. The report suggests students and parents should actively seek out, and request full time faculty. I think a great era of scholarship has peaked.

Anonymous said...

"Bitter angry anon" is coming from a man whose ego is only surpassed by his belt size. Seriously, I think you are both right in a strange way. In analyzing the anon's words, anon was obviously talking about this from your link, "Secondary sources interpret or analyze an event or subject. Examples of secondary sources are biographies and JOURNAL ARTICLES written well after the event or time period under investigation."

But you were talking about statistics and journals written at the time. Encyclopedias in this sense could be considered primary sources. Actually, I think the anon knew what he was doing to screw with you. It worked, since ironically, you had to do research. LOL Was it secondary or primary? Who cares! In the end, the anon got you to bite. Oh come on. Laugh a little.

Did you read the US Attorney resigned? Do you know if he was temporary or was he chosen over Villalobos? Does Villalobos have a shot at it now? Or will you bitterly start faxing away?

Anonymous said...

Richard Shenkman's latest work offers compelling insight into the this phenomena. No vaccine correlation though. The obvious "common variables" to me appear to be the continued erosion of the so-called institutions known as the American Public School System and the Western Press.

Anonymous said...

I doubt it was the vaccines but rather the general 'dumbing down' of the public school system in order to turn out graduates whether they were educated or not. (God forbid they should actually be required to study and learn!). The public schools have been lowering the river instead of raising the bridge for 30+ years yet we all scratch our heads and wonder why American scores sink lower and lower. The mental retardation we are seeing is, unfortunately, self-inflicted.