Smartening Up America
During this election period we've noted a frightening level of ignorance in America. Many people interviewed at political rallies evidence little knowledge about history, geography, or religions or cultures different than their own. I saw one video clip in which a man said, "I don't know about electing a Nigra [sic]; after all, this is a Christian country." Now, where would you begin with this guy?
He's far from alone. In The Age of American Unreason, Susan Jacoby relates that a quarter of Texas' high school biology teachers believe that humans and dinosaurs were contemporaries. Evidently we're burdened with an old and endemic anti-intellectualism. My cynical side predicts that during my lifetime I'll be called an "elitist" because I can read.
Popular ignorance threatens democracy. Unless we terminate this creeping disdain for knowledge, we'll lose our nation as we know it. So here's my question: do you know of any ongoing or impending intiatives designed to educate Americans about the rest of the world and America's place in it?
Many governments do not report, or misreport, the numbers of refugees who enter their country.
Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
- Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
- This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
- The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
Bernie Sanders reveals an even bigger plan than Elizabeth Warren, but does it go too far?
- Bernie Sanders has released a plan to forgive all the student debt in the country.
- It is even larger than the plan Elizabeth Warren put forward two months ago.
- The plan has drawn criticism for forgiving the debt of both the poor and those well off enough to pay their own debt.
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