Editor’s note: At the request of the author, this column has been edited to remove references to Rush Limbaugh in the wake of the radio show host's death on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
Things are getting crazy around here; we need to calm everything down a bit. One thing I think people on both sides of the Greatest-Ever Divide will agree on is the need for quality education.
MATH: We'll start with the basics: 81 million is more than 74 million. Now, to be sure, 74 million is a big number, but it's LESS THAN 81 million. In fact, it's a full seven million less than 81 million.
On top of that (and this goes for everybody on KNST radio, from early in the morning 'til late at night), 74 million is NOT 75 million. It's 74 million. You don't get to round up. You don't get to pretend that there were phantom votes. And you damn sure don't want to piss off those Dominion or Smartmatic voting machine folks because they'll sue you and make you backtrack in a most humiliating manner. (Just ask Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo, and the entire Newsmax network.)
• ENGLISH: For those who like making death threats against President Obama online, remember a human being is "hanged." "Hung" is what you did with your picture of Hitler on the wall.
• SOCIAL STUDIES: In this class, we'll learn that while Communism is crap and doomed to failure, there are lots and lots of democratic socialist countries where the people are free and happy with their government and their lives. Then, in the second semester, we'll learn that (gasp!) some of the most popular programs in the United States (Medicare, Social Security) are actually of a socialist nature.
• CIVICS: There should be some kind of requirement that if somebody is going to storm the Capitol of the United States or show up outside the place where votes are being counted, armed to the teeth and screaming about the Constitution, they should be able to pass a third-grade-level test on the document.
Seriously, you see these crazed Clampetts on TV, screaming about the Constitution and you just know that they couldn't pick that document out of a lineup of one. And it's not just them; it's almost all Americans.
About a decade ago, I attended a Tea Party rally at the Kino baseball complex. In retrospect, it seems almost quaint: A bunch of unarmed people who peacefully gathered to protest a government program that offered expanded health-care opportunities to people who previously couldn't afford it.
I walked around that day and asked people how many amendments there are to the Constitution. I probably asked 50 people and not one person got it right (although several people's guesses were close). One woman said 12, which would mean that Black people are still slaves. A guy was certain that there are 55.
Probably not even 5% of Americans know that there are 27 Amendments. I'm guessing that the percentage is even lower among people who stormed the Capitol.
• BUSINESS/ECONOMICS: If local TV station Channel 11 doesn't want to air reruns of My Mother, The Car, that's not censorship. It's a business decision guided by the economic principle of not wanting to go broke. Likewise, it's not censorship when a private company (say, Twitter, for example) doesn't want its business platform being used by knuckleheads who want to spread seditious lies in hopes of starting deadly riots.
Freedom of speech (which does have legal limits) is a huge part of what makes America the greatest country of all time. When government attempts to go beyond those limits in an effort to curtail free speech, that's censorship. When a business decides not to pass along obvious lies and inflammatory speech designed to incite violence, that's not censorship. That's commerce.
• BIOLOGY: Much to the chagrin of some people in this country, science has proven once and for all that black people are the same as white people. And, for the record, so are Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders. In fact, it's hard for some people to tell them all apart, because they all just sorta look like Americans.