How the US Blew up a Russian Gas Pipeline in Siberia, 1982.

◾The information from this text was first published in The Guardian

By David E. Hoffman February 27, 2004.

◾In January 1982, President Ronald Reagan approved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfers of technology that contained hidden malfunctions, including software that later triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian natural gas pipeline, according to a memoir by a Reagan White House official.

Thomas C. Reed, a former Air Force secretary who was serving in the National Security Council at the time, describes the episode in “At the Abyss: An Insider’s History of the Cold War,” published by Ballantine Books. Reed writes that the pipeline explosion was just one example of “cold-eyed economic warfare” against the Soviet Union that the CIA carried out under Director William J. Casey during the final years of the Cold War.

At the time, the United States was attempting to block Western Europe from importing Soviet natural gas. There were also signs that the Soviets were trying to steal a wide variety of Western technology.

“In order to disrupt the Soviet gas supply, its hard currency earnings from the West, and the internal Russian economy, the pipeline software that was to run the pumps, turbines, and valves was programmed to go haywire, after a decent interval, to reset pump speeds and valve settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to pipeline joints and welds,” Reed writes.

“The result was the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space,” he recalls, adding that U.S. satellites picked up the explosion. Reed said in an interview that the blast occurred in the summer of 1982.

Reed said he obtained CIA approval to publish details about the operation. The CIA learned of the full extent of the KGB’s pursuit of Western technology in an intelligence operation known as the Farewell Dossier. Portions of the operation have been disclosed earlier, including in a 1996 paper in Studies in Intelligence, a CIA journal. The paper was written by Gus W. Weiss, an expert on technology and intelligence who was instrumental in devising the plan to send the flawed materials and served with Reed on the National Security Council. Weiss died Nov. 25 at 72.

@youblacksoul

Russian Talk of Going Nuclear: Hot Air or Serious Warning?

By Sergey Poletaev, co-founder and editor of the Vatfor project.

Just the other day, Moscow sharply upped the ante in the stand-off over Ukraine: it gave the go-ahead for referendums in territories formerly controlled by Kiev and announced a partial military mobilization. It also again issued a reminder that its actions are backed by the world’s most powerful weapons. This was immediately dubbed “nuclear blackmail” in the West.

So why are we hearing these hints over and over again? Is Russia really prepared to use such force, or is it just a form of verbal deterrence?

First, since the end of the Cold War there has been an imbalance between Moscow’s nuclear power, its economic capabilities, and its political weight in the world. Secondly, these weapons of mass destruction are perceived by our former adversaries as a relic of the past rather than a relevant factor in international relations, today.

Russia, on the contrary, sees the nuclear arsenal as the basis of its sovereignty and has assumed that as long as we were still a great power in nuclear terms, we could also claim to be important in terms of foreign policy, even as an economic dwarf. It was the presumption of being a great power that determined our actions in Ukraine and throughout the post-Soviet space.

This difference in perception is the fundamental reason for the Ukrainian crisis, and it’s why we and the West cannot find any common ground to at least try to kick-start some sort of agreement.

Russia does not pretend that the West shares its views on Ukraine. If there were such illusions a decade or more ago, they have long since dissipated. The Kremlin now seeks to push Washington and Brussels out of the country, which it considers to be part of its vital interest zone, and if this fails, it hopes to reformat Ukraine as a state and remove its potential as a threat.

In this endeavor, Moscow doesn’t care what others think.

The West is stubborn, and this means Moscow’s years-long attempts to settle the matter with little blood spilled have failed. In the interim, things have only gotten worse, and we are now in the eighth month of a large-scale conflict in Ukraine, with Kiev having lost control over five regions since 2014.

We also have two armies facing each other, one with the largest country on earth at its rear and the other with the most powerful military bloc in history providing huge support.

By raising the stakes and again mentioning nuclear weapons, Russia is telling the West:

  • The harder you push us and the more you drag us into this conventional conflict in Ukraine, the closer the nuclear scenario will be, both tactically (strikes against specific targets in the theatre of operations) and strategically (intercontinental missiles). The more you try to pin us down, the less choice you will leave us.
  • There can be no winners in a nuclear war. So, your military victory in Ukraine is impossible. Thus, you have two options: either continue to help Kiev or withdraw your direct backing. Ukraine will lose either way, and you can lose with it, or you can limit your involvement – and survive.

It could be argued that the Kremlin’s vague hints are not aimed at finding détente, but rather are about promoting increased uncertainty and forcing the opponent to think about exactly where the red lines are drawn.

Firstly, for Russia, the number one military objective is to defeat the Ukrainian army (AFU). The Kremlin seems confident that after partial mobilization we can deal with the AFU and its western rear. But it is not certain that we will be able to handle the Western-supplied systems which have been deployed.

Secondly, it is likely that clear messages are being conveyed through closed channels to Western counterparts about what Moscow considers totally unacceptable. In any case, NATO has been very careful in its expansion of arms deliveries and has so far categorically not allowed its weapons to hit Russia’s core territory and Crimea, while also still not intervening with its air force and air defense.

What’s next? Well, there are three scenarios. Let’s label them by appropriate moods.

Black: In response to our actions, NATO raises the stakes again and intensifies its level of engagement to defeat Russia on the battlefield. This is the route to nuclear action, although there are still many more bridges to cross first.

Grey: Freezing the conflict in its current state with the perpetual non-recognition of Russia’s new borders. This leaves Ukraine torn apart and left to prepare for more fighting down the road, with ties between Russia and the West severed for many years.

Sunshine: For this to happen, awareness of the reality of the nuclear threat must become clear to the Western leadership. Then, and only then, will they lose interest in Ukraine. When it comes to Russia, on the other hand, it will make sense to restore relations, now in the full knowledge of what lines can’t be crossed in the future.

Then and only then can we finally move on.

A New European Leader? Giorgia Meloni!

via ZeroHedge

So much for European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen’s threats from days ago, which Italians clearly ignored as Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing bloc is celebrating its historic, if largely expected, victory and a clear majority. Rod Dreher of The American Conservative sounds off on von der Leyen’s failed attempts at bullying entire populations of Europe: “How dare she?! How dare this unelected globalist technocrat threaten a free and democratic people like this! It is an outrage. This threat to bring the EU mechanism to bear against Italy if Italian voters give Giorgia Meloni power at this weekend’s election is a staggering moment. It shows what the EU is really about: not democracy, but rule by globalist elites.”  
This brings us to the question of ‘Why do they hate her so much?’ The below 2-minute clip of Meloni giving a prior event speech which went viral this weekend as the votes in Italy were being counted provides a glimpse of why they must be on suicide watch in Brussels. The new Italian Prime Minister describes eloquently that Italians and human beings in general are not mere identity-less consumers and economic playthings of the ivory tower technocrat class, but belong under God, country and family…

From the archived speech, Meloni said… The short version.
* * *
And here is the electrifying long version:

“Please answer me these questions. This is about what we are doing here today. Why is the family an enemy? Why is the family so frightening?There is a single answer to all these questions. Because it defines us. Because it is our identity. Because everything that defines us is now an enemy for those who would like us to no longer have an identity and to be perfect consumer slaves.”
“And so they attack national identity, they attack religious identity, they attack gender identify, they attack family identity. I can’t define myself as Italian, Christian, woman, mother. No.”
I must be citizen x, gender x, parent 1, parent 2. I must be a number. Because when I am only a number, when I no longer have an identity or roots, then I will be the perfect slave at the mercy of financial speculators. The perfect consumer.”
“That’s the reason why. That’s why we inspire so much fear. That’s why this event inspires so much fear. Because we do not want to be numbers. Will will defend the value of the human being. Every single human being. Because each of us has a unique genetic code that is unrepeatable. And like it or not, that is sacred. We will defend it. We will defend God, country and family.”
Those things that disgust people so much. We will do it to defend our freedom, because we will never be slaves and simple consumers at the mercy of the financial speculators. That is our mission. That is why I came here today.”
“Chesterton wrote, more than a century ago… ‘Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four.’ Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer.'”
“That time has arrived. We are ready.”
* * *
And that is why they hate her. As we noted earlier, the ultra-left wing press just can’t stop comparing Giorgia Meloni to Mussolini…

And more from her prior speeches…

“Yes to natural families, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology, yes to the culture of life, no to the abyss of death, no to the violence of Islam, yes to safer borders, no to mass immigration, yes to work for our people.”

Likely we are about to hear more about the “tools” that the European Commission has for years threatened to use against Poland and Hungary, in last-ditch Brussels efforts at staving off a conservative and traditionalist tide over increasingly deeply frustrated corners of Europe…

Are We Sleepwalking into Nuclear War?

Dmitry Trenin is a Research Professor at the Higher School of Economics and a Lead Research Fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations. He is also a member of the Russian International Affairs Council.

This October marks the 60th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, which drew Moscow and Washington into a nuclear showdown that threatened the immediate annihilation of the world.

Luckily, the leaders of the time – Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy – had the wisdom to step back from the brink, and then engage with each other on first steps toward jointly managing adversity in the nuclear era. Given the current conflict in Ukraine, which is steadily escalating toward a direct military collision between Russia and the United States, there is a hope that the lessons of the past can also help to end the present confrontation on a peaceful note.

However, we should also be mindful of the major differences between the two crises.

On the surface the root cause of both confrontations has been acute feelings of insecurity created by the expansion of the rival power’s political influence and military presence right to the doorstep of one’s own country: Cuba then, Ukraine now.

This similarity, however, is almost as far as it goes. The salient feature of the Ukraine crisis is the vast asymmetry not only between the relevant capabilities of Russia and the United States, but even more importantly between the stakes involved. To the Kremlin, the issue is literally existential.

Essentially, it is not only the future of Ukraine, but that of Russia itself that is on the table. To the White House, the issue is definitely important, but far less critical. What is in question is clearly US global leadership (which will not collapse within the Western world, whatever happens in Ukraine), its credibility (which can be dented but hardly destroyed), and the administration’s standing with the American people (for whom Ukraine is hardly a top concern).

The 1962 Cuban missile crisis broke out in the atmosphere of a pervasive fear of World War III, which rose to its highest pitch during the 13 days in October. The 2022 Ukraine crisis is unfolding virtually in the absence of such fear. Russia’s actions over the past seven months have been taken in the West more as evidence of its weakness and indecision than its strength.

Moreover, the war in Ukraine is seen as an historic opportunity to defeat Russia, weakening it to a point when it can no longer pose a threat even to its smallest neighbors. A temptation emerges to finally solve the ‘Russian Question’, permanently neutering the country by seizing its nuclear arsenal, and possibly breaking it into many pieces that would likely bicker and war among themselves. Among other things, this would rob China of a major ally and resource base, and create favorable conditions for Washington to prevail in its conflict with Beijing, thus sealing its global dominance for many more decades.

The Western public is being prepared for the eventuality of nuclear weapons being used in the Ukraine crisis. Russian warnings to NATO countries, with reference to Moscow’s nuclear status, to stay away from direct involvement in the war, which are meant as deterrence rather than an intention to widen the conflict, are dismissed as blackmail. Indeed, a number of Western experts actually expect Russia to use its tactical nukes if its forces face a rout in Ukraine.

Rather than seeing this as a catastrophe to be absolutely averted, they seem to view this as an opportunity to hit Russia very hard, make it an international outlaw, and press the Kremlin to surrender unconditionally. At a practical level, the US nuclear posture and its modernization programs focus on lowering the atomic threshold and deploying small-yield weapons for use on the battlefield.

This does not suggest that the administration of US President Joe Biden wants a nuclear war with Russia. The problem is that its highly pro-active policy on Ukraine is based on a flawed premise that Russia can indeed accept being ‘strategically defeated’ and, should nuclear weapons be used, their use would be limited to Ukraine or, at worst, to Europe. Americans have a long tradition of ascribing their own strategic logic to their Russian opponents, but this can be fatally misleading. Ukraine, parts of Russia and Europe being hit by nuclear strikes – while the US emerges from the conflict unscathed – might be considered a tolerable outcome in Washington, but hardly in Moscow.

So many of Russia’s so-called red lines being breached without consequence from the start of the Ukraine war have created an impression that Moscow is bluffing, so that when President Vladimir Putin recently issued another warning to Washington, saying that “it is not a bluff,” some people concluded that it was precisely that. Yet, as recent experience demonstrates, Putin’s words deserve to be taken more seriously. In a 2018 interview he said, “Why do we need a world in which there is no Russia?”

The problem is that Moscow’s strategic defeat, which the US is aiming for in Ukraine, would probably ultimately result in “a world without Russia.” This probably suggests that if – God forbid! – the Kremlin will face what the Russian military doctrine calls “a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation,” its nuclear weapons will not point to some location on the European continent, but more likely across the Atlantic.

This is a chilling thought, but it may be salutary. Any use of nuclear weapons must be prevented, not just the use of strategic ones. It is cruel but true that peace between adversaries is based not on solemn pledges and pious wishes, but, in the final count, on mutual fear. We came to call this deterrence and “mutually assured destruction.” That fear should not paralyze our will, but it should ensure that neither side loses its senses. On the contrary, the erosion of deterrence and its dismissal as bluff would leave us sleepwalking into big trouble.

Unfortunately, this is precisely where we are heading now. It is telling that the constant shelling, over many weeks, of Europe’s largest nuclear power station is tolerated by Western – including, incredibly, European – public opinion, because it is Ukrainian forces seeking to dislodge the Russians who have occupied the station.

If there are lessons to be learned from the Cuban missile crisis, these are basically two. One is that testing nuclear deterrence is fraught with fatal consequences for all of humanity. The second is that the resolution of a crisis between major nuclear powers can only be based on understanding, and not either side’s victory.

There is still time and room for that, even if the former is running out and the latter is getting narrower. Right now, it is still too early even to discuss a potential settlement in Ukraine, but those Russians and Americans who like me spent the last three decades in a failed effort to help create a partnership between their two countries need to come together now to think about how to avert a fatal clash. In 1962, after all, it was informal human contact that saved the world.

via RT

The Start of the Organized Massive Migrant Invasion to Europe

Europe may soon face a new wave of the migration crisis. Since the beginning of the year, the influx has reached a record for all six years – almost 200 000 illegal border crossings of EU countries.

Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from Africa and the Middle East calling themselves the “Convoy of Light” are approaching the Turkish city of Edirne. And it looks impressive.

The caravan of migrants formed a few weeks ago.Information is that tonight they are preparing to storm the border with Greece, and then move north through the Balkans. The final destination is the countries of Western Europe, mainly Germany.

They say this is just the beginning: in total, up to ten such “convoys” can be formed this fall…EU can thank the USA for this for creating so much conflicts in those regions…EU should soon say “thank you” to the USA for creating the energy crisis in EU…

More videos attesting to the authenticity of the migratory assault on Europe.

A crowd of migrants decided to storm the border with Bulgaria from Edirne. The Turkish police are trying to direct the flow precisely at the Greek border.

What is Behind the Protests in Iran?

🇮🇷 Protests in Iran. What is behind the riots in the country? Mass unrest continues in Iran for the ninth day. In many Iranian cities, the rebels are trying to create chaos and anarchy. The most intense clashes with law enforcement agencies are taking place in provinces with a predominantly Azerbaijani and Kurdish population.
🔻What is happening now?
▪️Representatives of the opposition, first of all, members of the Organization of the Mujahideen of the Iranian People (OMIN) banned in Iran, together with the Kurdish groups Kumele and the Democratic Party of Iraqi Kurdistan, are trying to ignite the conflict and unleash a full-scale revolution using the media.
▪️Western media and politicians from Europe and the USA actively help them in this. Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi “the butcher of Tehran” and criticized Joe Biden for inviting Raisi to a meeting of the UN General Assembly. At the same time, Pompeo met with UMIN leader Maryam Rajavi in Albania in May.
▪️Anti-government channels use disinformation and ignorance of the Persian language by the majority of the population of Western countries to publish false information, including about the transition of military personnel and law enforcement officers to the side of the protesters and the loss of control over some cities.
▪️The Iranian government is jamming the Internet to extinguish the unrest. During hours of special protest activity (after the working day), access to the network slows down. The Internet is not completely blocked yet.
▪️ US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the US will provide free Internet access for “democracy supporters in Iran.” We are talking about the Starlink satellite Internet, the launch of which in Iranian territory was announced by the head of the American company SpaceX, Elon Musk.
▪️The Iranian leadership has begun using the regular forces of the Army and the IRGC to fight riots and rebellions. Tear gas, stun guns, batons are used against protesters, and small arms are used in the cities of violent clashes.
▪️According to government media, more than 700 people were detained, of which 60 were women. Opposition media are talking about more than 100 deaths during the eight days of protests.
▪️In addition, the IRGC artillery attacked the positions of the Kumele militants in the border regions of Iran with Iraqi Kurdistan.
🔻 What are the prospects? Despite the fact that the protests do not subside, the situation is under relative control. The disinformation about establishing control over cities and administrative buildings dispersed by the opposition information centers is not true. The authorities have not yet used regular troops to suppress the riots, which means that the situation is still far from a critical level. Law enforcement forces are still coping with the situation. Most of the country’s population still supports the state system.
Demonstrations were held in major Iranian cities in support of Ayatollah Khamenei and President Raisi. However, the propaganda published by various media, including the Soros Foundation and various Ukrainian sources, indicates a serious intention to shake Iran from within and overthrow the current authorities by force.
Turning off the Internet in the future to combat disinformation will deprive opponents of the power of coordinates and communications. However, this is not enough: in the future, this will actually be leveled by the satellite Internet from SpaceX.
The Iranian leadership needs to address the current crisis as soon as possible. The conflict de facto froze at one stage, and the opposition is unable to transfer it into the format of a civil war.
Nevertheless, attempts will continue: due to its geographical position, Iran today is too convenient a place to wreak havoc in the Middle East. If the situation in Iran can be shaken up to a full-fledged civil war, then all neighboring countries will be hooked. Large resolution map Russian version

#Iran #protests @rybar

Ukraine, EU’s Dictatorship and Change of Global Order: Lavrov Speaks at UNGA

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke at the 77th UN General Assembly on Saturday, explaining Russia’s stance on key international issues, including Moscow’s relationship with the West and the ongoing conflict with Ukraine. After delivering his speech, Lavrov gave a big press conference on the UNGA sidelines.

Russia’s security proposals “arrogantly” rejected by the West

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is largely a result of the inability of the collective West to negotiate with Russia and address its security concerns, Lavrov told the UNGA. All the repeated attempts to establish the rules of co-existence made by Moscow have been ignored, he said.
“We have repeatedly proposed over the years to agree on the rules for coexistence in Europe based on the principle of equal and indivisible security, approved at the highest level of OSCE documents. We made our last proposal to make this principle legally binding in December 2021, to which we received an arrogant refusal,” Lavrov stated.

Ukraine is expendable for the US

Ukraine has become a mere tool for Washington to maintain its global dominance and target Russia, the top diplomat believes.

“It is evident to any unbiased observer: For the Anglo-Saxons, who have completely subjugated Europe, Ukraine is simply expendable material in the fight against Russia. NATO declared our country a direct threat on the path to total US dominance, and named China as a long-term strategic challenge,” Lavrov told the UNGA.
The minister further elaborated on the matter at the press conference after his speech, stating that Moscow already views the US and its NATO bloc as parties to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Recently, Ukrainian military has admitted that the Pentagon chooses its targets, he explained.
“What is this if not a direct participation in aiming of deadly weapons and participation in the war?” Lavrov asked.

Referendums in breakaway Ukrainian regions are in line with Kiev’s wishes

Russia’s top diplomat also touched upon the ongoing referendums in the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics, as well as in the Russian-controlled parts of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. While the vote has already triggered a “tantrum” in Ukraine and in the West, with the G7 vowing even more anti-Russian sanctions, the referendums are actually fully in line with Kiev’s wishes, Lavrov suggested.

The people living there are essentially only reacting to what President Zelensky recommended for them to do in one of his interviews in August 2021. Back then, he advised everyone who feels Russian to ‘go to Russia’ for the benefit of their children and grandchildren. That’s what the residents of said regions are doing now, taking their lands, on which their ancestors lived for centuries, with them.

US exceptionalism has reached ‘godlike’ level

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington’s strive for global domination and exceptionalism has reached an unprecedented height, resulting in multiple aggressive wars and claiming lives of “many hundreds of thousands” of people worldwide, Lavrov stated.
“Having proclaimed victory in the Cold War, Washington elevated itself almost to the rank of the messenger of God on earth, with no obligations, but only ‘sacred’ rights to act with impunity, as it pleases and anywhere,” Lavrov said.
Any nation can fall victim to Washington’s ambitions should it somehow anger the “self-styled masters of the world,” Lavrov warned. That fate has befallen the people of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and other countries, he added.

EU is sliding into a dictatorship

The EU, while being “subjugated” by the US, is showing the same symptoms of exceptionalism and arrogance, Lavrov believes. The minister recalled fresh remarks by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who threatened Italy with consequences should right-wing candidates sweep to power, as indicated by polls, in Sunday’s election.
“This is arrogance, sense of impunity, exceptionalism. Only they have the right to make judgments. What Mrs. von der Leyen said about the Italian elections was astounding,”Lavrov told reporters, adding that he did not recall such threats made by an EU leader before.
“The European Union, in principle, is becoming an authoritarian, rigid, dictatorial entity,”the top diplomat said.

End of unipolar world is coming

Despite all the effort made by the US, its era of dominance is ending and the unipolar world is crumbling, Lavrov said. He added that the future of the world order is being decided now. The question is whether said order will be with “one hegemon, forcing everyone to live according to its notorious ‘rules’ that are beneficial only to itself,” or will be a truly “democratic, just world without blackmail and intimidation of objectionable people, without neo-Nazism and neo-colonialism,” the diplomat said, adding that Moscow firmly stands by the second option.
“However, objective geopolitical processes are seen by Washington and the ruling elites of Western countries, completely submitted to [the US], as a threat to their dominant position,” Lavrov stated.

via RT

Dumber Than the Average Human

by Larry Romanoff via Unz Review

For background, the Boston school system had for many years grappled with the problem of how to assign students to Boston’s public schools that could both let children attend one of the few good schools in the system while also finding one close to their homes. They also wanted to ensure that students from poor neighborhoods had the same chance of attending good schools as those from more affluent neighborhoods. The school system was divided into zones where many students were bused far from home but still attended the lower-quality schools. A newly-appointed 27-member committee tried yet again to find a solution but after months of examination and debate became hopelessly entangled in what were largely irrelevancies, and again could find no solution. But a 24-year-old Chinese student named Peng Shi who was in a Ph.D. program at MIT and who was looking for a thesis topic, attended the meetings, asked a few questions and gave them the obvious solution of eliminating their school zones and applying a different model for selection. After some study, the committee voted overwhelmingly to adopt Shi’s model, calling it “a breakthrough moment” for Boston’s school system.

According to an NYT article reporting on the event: “That it took a dispassionate outsider with … no political agenda to formulate the model is a measure of the complexities facing urban school districts today”, but that is a baldly dishonest statement. Yes, it took a ‘dispassionate outsider with no political agenda’ to solve the problem, but the problem was not “a measure of the complexities facing American school districts” but one more indication that (a) creativity, independent thinking, problem-solving and all the other good words do not in fact exist in the US educational system, and (b) adult Americans really are dumber than the average human.

After multiple repeated attempts over many months, the solution was not only not obvious but non-existent, to the 27 adult American “educators” who “lead the world in innovation and critical thinking”. But after only 30 minutes the solution was obvious to Shi, a 24-year-old Chinese kid, a rote-learning robot whose educational system taught him only to memorise and not to think, who knew only how to produce high scores but not to apply any knowledge, someone with no creativity and no imagination.[2][3]

We know all the criticisms. China’s children are taught only to memorise and not to think or question. They are rote-learning robots without capacity for original thought. They know only how to produce high scores but not to think. They have no creativity, no imagination, no concept of innovation. The classes are too large; there is no individual attention paid to students. The entire Chinese educational system is corrupt and failing. But this is all nonsense, yet one more foolish myth propagated by the Americans. There has never been any evidence to document such claims which, like so many others, are fabricated solely on an imaginary moral superiority.

America Leads the World. Or Does it?

The quality of American education, as we will see, is far lower than the world has been led to believe, and the quality in China is in many cases much superior to that in the US. Americans might care to ask why it is that Chinese elementary or high school students moving to the US are often promoted by one or two grades. The reason is that they know so much more than their American counterparts they would suffer terminal boredom if forced to remain at their prior grade level.

If we refer to the PISA tests, Shanghai’s math scores were 119 above the OECD average, or the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling, with reading and science exceeding the OECD average by about 1.5 years of schooling. And in some cases, the American students were behind the OECD average by approximately the same number of years as the Chinese were ahead.[4][5]

The myth persists that the US has always led the world in quality of education, but this is nothing more than branding propaganda and part of the indoctrination process of American moral superiority that is wholly unsupported by facts. Consider this quote from an American education expert:

The US has never been first in the world, nor even near the top, on any international tests. Consistently over the past half century, American students have typically scored near the median at best, but most often being in the bottom quartile. The historical record indicates that American elementary students are only average at best, their performance degrading year by year until high school seniors perform last in almost all international tests. The International Science Studies that began in high schools in the late 1960s and early 1970s found that 14-year-olds were below average and seniors scored last of all countries. In the International Mathematics tests that began in the 1960s, American high school seniors scored last of all nations. In the 1982 International Mathematics Study, high school seniors placed at the bottom on almost every test. In terms of the PISA tests, American students – placing last – are simply following the pattern that has been consistent for the past 50 years or more.” [5a][6][7]

The National Assessment of Education Progress, or NAEP — called the Nation’s Report Card — is an exam given to fourth-grade and eighth-grade students throughout the country by the National Center for Education Statistics, a branch of the U.S. Department of Education. Only 36 percent of fourth-grade students and 34 percent of eighth-grade students in 2015 scored high enough to be considered proficient or above in reading. In math, 40 percent of fourth-grade students and 33 percent of eighth-grade students scored proficient or above. Many experts have stated that Americans are “uneducated to a degree unmatched by many third-world countries”.[8]

Recent tests in the New York area show that less than half of all students are proficient in English and Math, and in some areas the number is as low as 13%. This is true in most of the country, literacy being marginal in most American secondary schools. In an article published in the San Jose Mercury in 2001, it was documented that 75% of California high school seniors could not read well enough to pass their exit exams.

A quote from one news report: “In October of 2013 a new global report issued by the OECD found that Americans ranked well below the worldwide average in just about every measure of skill. In math, reading, and technology-driven problem-solving , the United States performed worse than nearly every other country… The US would have looked even worse if China had been included in this study. In basic literacy – the ability to understand and use basic written text – 80% of Americans reached only a level 2 out of 5. And in math and numerical proficiency, using numbers in daily life, they are worse … and 10% scored below level 1. Technological literacy and ability were worse too. In problem-solving in a technological environment and the use of “cognitive skills required to solve problems”, the Americans were at the bottom.” And that bottom is in math, vocabulary, language usage and technology, with Chinese students far surpassing the Americans even when using a language that is not their own.[9][10]

In early 2014 the Washington Times reported that new studies and the results of the recent SAT tests demonstrate conclusively that the vast majority of America’s 2012 high school graduates aren’t ready for college, and SAT scores have plummeted to their lowest level in more than 40 years. The results of the exams, released by the College Board, revealed that only about 39% of students planning to attend university are in any way prepared for the world of higher education. More than 60% displayed functional illiteracy by failing the reading portion of the test, with only a slightly better result on math and writing, which means most US university students will achieve C or D grades at best, and that a great many will either fail or be falsely graduated without merit or knowledge. And the dropout rates are fierce. In Washington DC, the nation’s capital, almost 70% of college students fail to graduate.[11][12]

The solution was to abandon the SAT tests for college entry.

I deleted this paragraph, then decided to re-insert it because the topic irritated me. We’re dealing with the English language, and listening to a senior American educator, a Ph.D. from Harvard, explaining why only 39% of all students who took the SAT college admissions test scored well enough to be deemed ready for college. In her little media sound-byte, she said this fact showed American educators where they needed to “hone in”. The correct expression is “to home in on”, as with a homing device, to focus on or bring us to the correct place, in fact to take us home. To “hone” is to sharpen, as to hone a blade, but for Americans who don’t – or can’t – read, the sound is similar and sloppy carelessness accounts for the rest. Critics pounced on this, but she and other ‘educators’ defended such a foolish error by claiming that language is alive and fluid, and it changes. To make matters worse, another shining light, this one an education expert from Duke University, informed us that our criticisms of poor-quality education (and educators) would likely “snuff out democracy”.

In spite of all the branding propaganda and rhetoric, the decreasing quality of American education is well-known in the West. It is not a secret that for many decades the US has been “dumbing-down” its education at all levels, consistently reducing government funding to result in fewer teachers, larger classrooms, poorer facilities, lower salaries and teacher quality, and steadily decreasing learning. One need only do a quick Internet search to find hundreds of studies and alarmed reports of the greatly-deteriorated quality of American education. As John Kozy noted, “In fact, piles of evidence reveal that Americans are getting dumber. People who have graduated from high school since the pocket calculator was invented can’t calculate in their heads, not even simple addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Many people addicted to the Internet have difficulty reading anything more complicated than a tweet”.

The propaganda machine focuses heavily on the mythical superiority of the American education system, but Americans haven’t the critical thinking skills needed to see through the lies presented to them. One author pointed out that American public schooling grinds away at children until they graduate with little creativity or curiosity, stating further that “Such people will never be informed citizens, and most could care less”. All of this has been heavily researched and documented by John Gatto, who was nominated as Teacher of the Year for New York State and New York City, and who has since left teaching, claiming he was no longer willing to harm children by teaching them in the US public school system.[13]

In 2013, Jeff Schweitzer wrote an article in the UK Guardian titled ‘God created gravity’, in which he deplored the sad state of American education, to quite an extent blaming religion for the lack of intelligent focus, with subjects like science still in the 17th century in US schools. He said that while the rest of the world is becoming educated, Americans spend their time discussing how exceptional and awesome they are, with the result that Americans are number one only in delusion. “Steeped in this wasteland of scientific illiteracy we march ever further toward a theocracy … twisting history to indoctrinate our children with stories about god and gravity”, with educational debates, like all others based on faith rather than logic. He wrote that the only way for Americans to support any position they hold is to simply assert their supremacy as loudly as possible, reduced to childlike tantrums of “I’m right, you’re wrong, I win.”[14]

Because American schools do not demand critical thinking and problem-solving from students starting at a young age, the students are lost in university classrooms when they are years behind and struggling with the basics of reading and understanding. Many US educators complain that fewer than one-quarter of their students have any proficiency at all in basic skills like math and reading comprehension, that they are never taught original ideas or methods of learning that will prepare them for higher education. One educator claimed, “My former teachers simply did not push me to think past a basic level, to apply concepts, to move beyond memorizing facts and figures.” And of course the students feel the pressure acutely. One first-year university student said, “I basically thought I was stupid. I just felt like, What’s wrong with me? Maybe I’m not meant to be here.” Another said, “You can’t make it in college by yourself. You just need all the help you can get.” One student who felt blessed by having a good teacher in her final year in high school said, “I feel like it was too late. It just wasn’t enough to have that kind of teacher for one year.”[15]

And it isn’t only the students who are in this position. The New York Post ran an interesting article titled, “US adults are dumber than the average human“, which stated in part, “It’s long been known that America’s school kids haven’t measured well compared with international peers.[16]

Now, there’s a new twist: Adults don’t either. In math, reading and problem-solving using technology – all skills considered critical for global competitiveness and economic strength – American adults scored below the international average on a global test.” The studies also found that it was much more difficult on average to overcome the lack of knowledge, literacy and other barriers in the United States, than in other nations.

The article continued, “It’s not just the kids who require more and more preparation to get access to the economy, it’s more and more the adults don’t have the skills to stay in it. Americans scored toward the bottom in the category of problem solving in a technology rich environment, even in skills such as using a mouse”, creating a kind of “underclass – a large group of people who are basically unemployable“. And again, “A quarter of all Americans never become proficient in math. In Shanghai and Korea, the comparable figure is about 6%. Some 7% of US students reached the top two scientific performance levels, compared with an amazing 27% in Shanghai.”[17][18][19]

Rick Shenkman wrote an interesting and enlightening article titled ‘Just How Stupid Are We?’, in which he wrote “Americans generally do not seem to absorb what it is that they are reading and hearing and watching. Americans cannot even name the leaders of their own government. The error can be traced to our mistaking unprecedented access to information with the actual consumption of it.” He said that in the postwar period, social scientists began to systematically measure what Americans actually knew, and even back then the results of their displayed ignorance were devastating. He further claimed that surveys showed Americans’ level of ignorance remaining constant over time, and that by some measures “Americans are dumber today than their parents of a generation ago. Young people … know less today than young people forty years ago.”[20][20a]

[21]

The situation is so bad that in 2003, when the Strategic Task Force on Education investigated Americans’ knowledge of world affairs, they concluded that “Americans’ ignorance … is so great as to constitute a threat to national security.”

But according to the NYT‘s resident jack-of-all-trades Paul Krugman, if you had to “express the greatness of the United States in one word, that word would be ‘education’.” Other more knowledgeable and competent people disagree with Krugman. Donald Kagan, a former president of Yale University gave a final speech in 2013 in which he said that American universities were failing their students, that the curricula were inappropriate and were “unfocused and scattered”, the campuses “a kind of cultural void, with an ignorance of the past”, and that “faculty with atypical views” were rare. Perhaps most importantly, Kagan said, “At the university, there must be intellectual variety. If you don’t have [that], it’s not only that you are deprived of knowing some of the things you might know. It’s that you are deprived of testing the things that you do know or do think you know or believe in, so that your knowledge is superficial.”[22][23]

The man was precisely correct in this last statement, reflecting one of the hazards today of being an American, the programmed and propagandised uniformity of thought that deprives Americans of any way to test the validity of their (mostly) foolish beliefs. Such regimented and incessant propaganda provides a uniform reinforcement of ideology, creating impenetrable boundaries of the mind. The simple-minded adherence to a single ideology narrows one’s views and cripples the ability to think clearly or critically. As one author wrote, “a closely adhered-to ideology becomes a mental locality with limits and borders just as real as those of geography. In fact, if we consider (American) nationalism a pervasive modern ideology, there is a direct connection between the boundaries induced in the mind and those on the ground.”[24]

Karl Weiss wrote an excellent and perceptive article that was published in Germany’s Berliner Umschau in October of 2009; I will quote some of his observations here. He began with the decrepit American educational system, stating “.. the education system in America is unlike that of almost any other industrialized country. Free education is available only at primary and secondary levels; beyond that, community and technical colleges and universities are so expensive that children in lower socioeconomic classes have little chance of attending unless they are “gifted” and get scholarships. The education provided by the public school system is often so inferior that graduates who can’t afford better schooling have little chance of ever getting the knowledge and skills necessary to lead fulfilling lives. Instead, the focus is on producing nationalistic dimwits who know nothing but their own country.”

He went on to say that one result is a deeply divided society with the capitalists and bankers on one side and the uneducated and lower class on the other, resulting in what he called “a society of force so shot through with violence that any other value has little or no meaning”, and with everything rooted in the Christianity-based black and white dog-eat-dog competition that creates only winners and losers. Weiss’ allegation of “nationalistic dimwits” is not only accurate for the US educational system, but the process is universal throughout the nation. Educational materials in the US are largely propaganda tools, intended not to educate but to indoctrinate.

In the wonderfully disingenuous but disturbing manner of propagandising in which Americans excel, one educational website made the following claim: “While lawyers, doctors, and teachers typically complete additional schoolwork, computer programmers, nurses, and automotive technicians may be qualified with only one or two years of study”.

Doctors “typically” complete “additional schoolwork”? That sounds like some, but not all, medical students doing a bit of extra homework at the Grade Three level, but doctors in most countries need an undergrad degree plus an additional four years of grueling medical training to become an M.D., and yet this is being equated with an auto mechanic who may be qualified with only one year of study. This re-categorisation may appear trivial to the casual reader, but this anti-intellectual linguistic magic is reprogramming Americans with a much-denigrated appreciation of a university education. Now, an American hairdresser and manicurist is trained to the same level of competence as a gynecologist – except for the bit of “additional schoolwork”. And only in the US can a nurse be “qualified” with only one year of study. Many countries require a 4-year nursing degree.

The amount of mythological propaganda and marketing surrounding American education is stunning. Shailendra Raj Mehta, a visiting professor at Duke University, wrote one of the most nonsensical articles I have seen in years, titled ‘The secret of Harvard’s Success’, in which he wrote “No country dominates any industry as much as the United States dominates higher education”.According to him, in a ranking of world universities, 17 of the world’s 20 best universities are American, with Harvard topping the list by a substantial margin, a feat he attributes to “America’s innovative governance model for higher education“. I have no idea what that would be, but it can’t be good. As I’ve detailed elsewhere, Harvard was established by the Puritans as a religious training camp to produce missionaries for their heresies, not to “educate” anybody. And, as with all rankings everywhere, the Americans choose the game, set all the parameters, lay down the rules, decide the scoring system, then win the game. And the US media promote this nonsensical propaganda literally to the ends of the earth. American universities are not ranked so highly because they are the best; it’s because the Americans determined the ranking rules so they would come out on top.

In fact, in a recent, more intelligent and less-biased, examination of higher education systems, China ranked ninth, six places above the US. Universitas 21, a group of 27 research-intensive universities from around the world, created an international ranking system of educational quality based on national purchasing power. A leading Universitas researcher said that despite a relatively low per capita income, China had made a “phenomenal” investment in its top universities, resulting in Chinese universities now being “serious players” in research and other fields.

Here is an excerpt written by Sarah Brown, taken from Canada’s Globe and Mail, in response to an NYT article about Harvard students always receiving A grades:

“Having attended both Harvard and the University of Toronto, I can state that there are two differences between the schools: Harvard is much more difficult to get into, whereas the University of Toronto is much more difficult to get out of – with a degree and decent grades, that is. At Harvard, undergraduates have to take only four full-time courses per year to earn a degree, and they have a longer school year in which to prepare for their exams. At U of T, five full-time courses must be taken, and the school year is much more condensed. The atmosphere at Harvard is quite “country-clubish” and leisurely, while at U of T it is a downright pressure-cooker. At U of T there is an unwritten policy that 20 per cent of the students in every class will receive a failing grade. At Harvard, most students receive a minimum of A- grades. In fact, to receive anything less than a B, one would have to miss exams and not hand in assignments. As far as getting into Harvard goes, the most significant factor is whether or not you are a so-called “legacy,” meaning that if your father, mother, or sibling went to Harvard before you, you can still get in, as hundreds do, with mediocre high school grades. I’m not surprised that current Harvard students feel that they deserve A’s for their $100,000 investment; if they were forced to compete with students at the U of T, many would receive only C’s at best.” And many would fail.

Dumber Than the Average Human

When I was a university student, there were Americans at my school who had obtained B.A. degrees from UCLA with majors in – and I am not kidding – basket-weaving and ceramics. In America, that’s called an education. Basket-weaving. That’s about the same being granted a Master’s degree if you can learn to knit a sweater. At around the same time, a US polling firm did a nation-wide study and discovered, among other things, that a full 75% of Americans could not find their own country on a map of the world. Similar studies have been repeated many times since then, with essentially the same results among adults and students at all levels including university: about 75% of Americans couldn’t find either their country or Canada. One of the most famous references to this astonishing level of American ignorance occurred on US national television during a Miss Teen USA pageant when one of the finalists, Miss South Carolina, Caitlin Upton, was asked why most Americans couldn’t find their country on a world map. Here is her answer, which was posted on YouTube and received more than 40 million views.

“I personally believe that US Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the US should help the US, uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our children.”[25]

If that doesn’t tell you what you need to know about the quality of American education, I don’t know what would. It isn’t only the ignorance, but the obvious functional illiteracy of such a person, that is so stunning.[26]

The American media flood the nation and the world with the most astonishing propaganda and fabricated fairy-tales about the quality of the nation’s education. The US used to boast that it had the highest percentage of population with university degrees. I don’t know if that claim was ever true, but it eventually became false so the Americans moved the goalposts. Now, in all the statistics, including those by the US government itself, anyone with almost any kind of accreditation above High School, perhaps including even a hairdressing or lawn maintenance diploma – which they call an “associate degree” is listed as a college graduate.

Similarly, the US claims the highest level of literacy in the world – 99%.Truly enviable. But then, reading the small print at the end of a recent highly-regarded “definitive study” purporting to document American educational supremacy, what do we find? Just as with its economic statistics and every other comparison the US produces, we discover manipulated and falsified data. In these so-called studies produced by the US government and its educational institutions, the Americans simply misrepresented the facts so they could place themselves at the top of the list. In the case of functional literacy, the US position is this:

“For highly developed or high-income countries where literacy statistics were not collected, a rate of 99% was assumed.”

We might legitimately ask why the Americans didn’t bother to collect statistics. The reason is that in all studies, researchers have found the rate of functional illiteracy in the US is almost 25% of the total population, with the illiteracy rate for adults in many American cities like Detroit having been documented at almost 50%, a very long way from the fictional 99% literacy ‘assumed’, and in many other major cities like New York large swathes of the population read below a grade three level and have no math or other skills. The highly-regarded National Adult Literacy Survey found a total of almost 25%, or about 50 million of the 200 million American adults functioning at the lowest literacy level. In basic literacy – the ability to understand and use basic written text – 80% of Americans reached only a level 2 out of 5. It is so bad that 75% of the Fortune 500 companies have to provide some level of remedial training for their workers – a large number of whom are college graduates.[27]

Countless books and academic studies have been produced on the severe literacy problem in America, but the media ignore these facts and continue, like Paul Krugman, to feed the world the foolish utopian claim that the US is a world leader in education when nothing could be farther from the truth.

More than 25% of Americans believe the sun revolves around the earth, but one US columnist wrote that this wasn’t really a bad thing. He claimed, “Firstly, the great majority of humans throughout history have believed this. Secondly, it’s not a problem that impinges on the daily life of anyone. We should pick co-ordinates for convenience, not dogma.”

Talking to Americans

Canada had a popular TV personality named Rick Mercer, who took a camera crew into the US on a crusade to satirise the true educational level of Americans. One of his trademark programs (on Canada’s CBC network) was called ‘Talking to Americans’, in which he would conduct random interviews with average Americans and tell them outrageous stories about Canada which they would inevitably accept as true. In one show, Mercer told Americans that very old or terminally-ill Canadian citizens are put onto ice floes and just pushed out into the Arctic Ocean to die. He pretended to be collecting signatures for a petition to the Canadian government to stop this practice; the signatures he obtained included those of full professors from Harvard and Yale.

In another, he interviewed George W. Bush (who had previously stated “you can’t stump me on world leaders”), conveying to him compliments from Canada’s Prime Minister Jean Poutine, on Bush’s Presidential candidacy, to which Bush responded with the warmest expressions of heartfelt gratitude.[28][29]

The Prime Minister of Canada was Jean Chretien; “poutine” is a French-Canadian dish of French fries with gravy and melted cheese. Bush was so miffed when the program aired, that Canada’s CBC was banned in the US for years.

In one of his shows, Mercer asked Americans how many sides a triangle had: One victim of American education said, “None. There are no sides in a triangle.” Another said “Four.” He asked them if the movie “Star Wars” were based on a true story; many Americans answered in the affirmative. It was so bad that Mercer claimed “About 80 per cent of the people give me the right answer, by which of course, I mean the wrong answer.” Mercer convinced tourists at Mount Rushmore that the mineral rights to the mountain had been sold to a Canadian firm that was going to drill for oil in Lincoln’s forehead. “Professors at Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Berkeley, NYU and Stanford University were consistently fooled by [Mercer’s] absurdities.”[30]

It isn’t only Canadians who mock American ignorance and lack of education. The US late-night talk shows often do this kind of thing, ridiculing the fabled ignorance of their own citizens, claiming that they need to speak to only ten or at most twenty Americans to find 5 stupid ones who know nothing – 25%. This is so well-known that in Europe, ‘American’ equals ‘ignorant’, the two adjectives considered equivalent and synonymous.

Ron Unz wrote an excellent and informative article in The American Conservative titled The Myth of American Meritocracy, in which he detailed issues with admission to top US universities, quoting other studies as well, all of which suggest that various preferences and biases, including the role of cash in this process, with most universities, including Harvard, having a ‘cash price’ of admission, meaning that a substantial donation will obtain admittance even for a dim-witted student with no particular ability.[31]

He wrote that the notion of a wealthy family buying their son his entrance into the Grandes Ecoles of France or the top Japanese universities would be an absurdity.” He mentioned China as well, confirming that China’s gaokao is strictly based on merit and has never been corrupted by favoritism, and has been kept “remarkably clean for 1300 years”. He confirmed what many of us already know, that this uncorrupted system may be one reason so many wealthy Chinese send their “dim and lazy” offspring to study in the West. In his words, “enrolling them at a third-rate Chinese university would be a tremendous humiliation, while our own corrupt admissions practices get them an easy spot at Harvard or Stanford, sitting side by side with the children of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and George W. Bush.” One of his final comments was that the admissions process at top American universities operates under the principle of “Ideology and Diversity tempered by Corruption”, not what many Chinese have been led to expect from the propaganda machine.

It should be abundantly obvious that there is no way to reconcile these testimonials and experiences, and countless thousands similar, with claims that the US ‘dominates higher education’, at least not in any positive way. And so, with appropriate apologies to Paul Krugman, for those of you who are desperate to “express the greatness of America in one word”, that word would be “bull****”, not education.

[Mr. Romanoff’s writing ]has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. ([Chapt. 2 — Dealing with Demons]).

His full archive can be seen at

https://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/ + https://www.moonofshanghai.com/

Notes

[1] Dr. Andreas Schleicher who was in charge of the PISA test on behalf of OECD, said “While that’s important, for me the real significance of these results is that they refute the commonly held hypothesis that China just produces rote learning. Large fractions of these students extrapolate from what they know and apply their knowledge very CREATIVELY in novel situations. In my opinion, it’s the American k-12 education which has failed miserably in teaching the American students the solid basics, has to be reformed.”

He also added this: “I have no respect for a large number of the Chinese students who come to U.S. for UNDERGRADUATE study. Most of these students are from well-off families and academically too weak to get into decent Chinese colleges. The real smart Chinese students are the ones who finish their undergraduate education in China and come to the U.S. for graduate study and beyond.”

[2] Dr. Peng Shi | USC CAIS;

www.cais.usc.edu/news/prediction-and-optimization-in-school-choice/

[3] No Division Required in This School Problem;

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/13/education/no-division-required-in-this-school-problem.html

[4] What You Need to Know About the International Test Scores;

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/international-test-scores_b_4379533

[5] Global Test Shows U.S. Stagnating – Education Week;

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/12/11/14pisa-2.h33.html

[5a] Vietnam Wallops U.S. on Test Scores;

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/vietnam-wallops-us-on-tes_b_7290682

[6] Asian countries top OECD’s latest PISA survey;

www.oecd.org/…countries-top-oecd-s-latest-pisa-survey-on-state-of-global-education.htm

[7] In PISA Test, Top Scores From Shanghai Stun Experts;

https://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/education/07education.html

[8] National Assessment of Education Progress Scores

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/naep-scores_562fd4fde4b06317990fcf74

[9] The Washington, DC radio station, WTOP, reported in 2016 that only 25% of American 12th graders are able to write an essay.

Many educators called in to say they thought the number was too high..

[10] Scores for Class of 2014 show no improvement

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/sat-scores-for-class-of-2014-show-no-improvement-from-previous-marks/2014/10/06/80beb554-4d5b-11e4-aa5e-7153e466a02d_story.html

[11] Average SAT Scores Over Time:

https://blog.prepscholar.com/average-sat-scores-over-time

[12] SAT scores at lowest level in 10 years;

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/sat-scores-at-lowest-level-in-10-years-fueling-worries-about-high-schools/2015/09/02/6b73ec66-5190-11e5-9812-92d5948a40f8_story.html

[13] John Taylor Gatto “Dumbing Us Down”

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/41319.John_Taylor_Gatto

[14] God Created Gravity: Why the U.S. Can’t Keep Pace With …

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/god-created-gravity-why-t_b_4387942

[15] Only 25 Per Cent of All Americans Go to College and Only 16 Per Cent of These Actually Try to Learn Anything. The Unz Review; Alexander Cockburn • March 23, 2012;

https://www.unz.com/acockburn/the-myth-of-the-knowledge-economy/

[16] US adults are dumber than the average human;

https://nypost.com/2013/10/08/us-adults-are-dumber-than-the-average-human/

[17] US adults rank below average in global survey of basic education skills

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/10/08/us-adults-rank-below-average-global-survey-basic-education-skills

[18] National Assessment of Adult Literacy;

https://nces.ed.gov/naal

[19] Adult Literacy in the United States.

https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2019/2019179/index.asp

[20] Author: Irwin S. Kirsch; National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS);

https://nces.ed.gov/statprog/handbook/pdf/nals.pdf

[20a] Just How Stupid Are We?

[21] Terence P. Jeffrey, October 28, 2015; Detroit Public Schools: 93% Not Proficient in Reading; 96% Not Proficient in Math

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/detroit-public-schools-93-not-proficient-reading-96-not-proficient

[22] Learning to Be Stupid in the Culture of Cash; March 8, 2003; by Luciana Bohne

http://www.democraticunderground.com/articles/03/03/08_learning.html

[23] On November 18, 2015, Christopher Ingraham wrote in the Washington Post that Ben Carson’s presidential campaign inadvertently underscored this point Tuesday night, when it took to social media to share a map of the United States in which five New England states were placed in the wrong location.

[24] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/18/ben-carsons-campaign-made-a-u-s-map-and-put-a-bunch-of-states-in-the-wrong-place/?tid=pm_pop_b

[25] Caitlin Upton

[26] In another televised beauty pageant, a high school girl was asked to explain a quote by Confucius. In response, she said: “Confucius was one of the men who invented confusion.”

[27] An article in Forbes magazine stated that “America’s Millennials Are Among the World’s Least Skilled”. Specifically, they are short on literacy, numeracy, ability to follow simple orders, poor at solving problems.

[28] Talking to Americans – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talking_to_Americans

[29] 22 Minutes star pulls prank on George W. Bush | CBC News

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/22-minutes-star-pulls-prank-on-george-w-bush-1.212339

[30] “Rick Mercer talks to Americans on Nightline”. Welland Tribune, August 2, 2001.

The Myth of America Meritocracy

[31] https://www.unz.com/runz/the-myth-of-american-meritocracy/

The US Army’s Modus Operandi – Top Secret

One thing that seems to be missed by some commentators, is that the US military is extremely good at killing people, on or off the battlefield.  They suck at nation building, or more likely, use peacekeeping and nation building as a low intensity way to prop up the MIC.  Just a note, as some equate the failure in Afghanistan and Iraq to lack of lethality.

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