Stupidity

A Short Treatise

© 2021 P. Arthur Stuart
pastuart@pastuart.com
Updated -- May 31, 2022


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Stupidity is Ubiquitous


Smart people don't think they're smart;
stupid people do, i.e., think they're smart.


Common Ground

I'm going to use this section to define what I mean when I speak on the subject of this text. I'm doing this because a friend told me the first thing you need to do in making a point is to insure the other person is looking at the topic from the same viewpoint—not to be confused with point of view. A simple example is two people are standing in front of a door. One says the door swings to the right, the other says it swings to the left. Both are right, it just depends on which side of the door your standing on. So, this section is to hopefully put you on the same side of the door that I'm on.
Before I move on, let me clear the air. Have I done stupid things? “Yes.” Will I do stupid things in the future? “Probably.” However, I'll try not to. Have I lied? Unfortunately, I have to confess, “Yes.” Will I lie in the future? I hope not. By lie, I mean saying something I know not to be true. Will I say something that isn't accurate or true that I believe is correct, probably but if I learn later I was wrong, I will own it and if necessary apologize. Unlike many people I know, should someone offers contradictory information; I will check it out.
Throughout my writings, I've stated, “I want to know what is correct and not who’s correct.” However, where my life is in danger and the issue is an “It Just Doesn't Matter,” I will avoid the truth. Let me explain, if a woman, for example, asks me if her butt looks big in her new pants or dress, I'd likely say something to the effect, “Your ass looks great.” Only an insane man would say yes. For what it’s worth, I want to be an honest man in all respects. And in a lot of conversations where I know someone is spouting bullshit, I just don't say anything. I've found it’s not worth it and nearly everyone I've met has no desire to know the truth. So far, no one has ever came back to me and said they were wrong. Oh, incidentally, when I find out another person is correct, I will go back and apologize. If I'm right, it ends with me.
Throughout my writing it would appear that I am anti “Right Wing.” My examples are predominately from conservatives. I'm not anti “Right Wing” nor anti “Liberal.” Since I started to pay attention to political issues, around 2016, the people at the places I go to are markedly extreme conservatives. I only know one professed liberal and I do use an example or two of his biases. My point is I can't use liberal examples firsthand because I don't deal with them. I'm sure they also harbor their own misconception and inaccuracies. Once again, I'm an independent. I've voted republican, democrat, and whatever. I choose a candidate based on what they claim they will do and their apparent concern for society. One example was Senator John McCain, who I valued as a good man. When it comes to issues, like “California Initiatives,” I do my best to research and make a choice that I believe is the best for society, not necessarily for me. I've been wrong.


For the sake of this discussion, I like to establish a common understanding of what some words mean: Stupid — The following are definitions found in several dictionaries:
  • having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense.
  • silly or unwise; showing poor judgment or little intelligence:
  • not intelligent: having or showing a lack of ability to learn and understand things
  • Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
  • Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
  • Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless:
  • Lie—something that is known not to be true.
    There is no simple answer to knowing what is true.
    Liar—someone who tells a lie and knows it’s not true.


    May 31, 2022 addendum: Although it might surprise you, I was speaking with a friend. We were discussing stupidity. I told him the definition, as espoused by Carlo M. Cipolla, author of the Basic Laws of Human Stupidity, was “A person that does something that harms others and harms themselves.” He pointed out that they, in most cases, were probably acting on beliefs and not purposefully or intentionally doing it. I have to agree. He further stated, they probably didn't give their prospective action any real thought. In the case of following and believing someone, they would conclude the person would make their lives better.
    My conclusion is that there are other aspects to consider. Let’s see if I can refine the definition of stupidity for the purpose of this discussion. While I believe Mr. Cipolla’s definition is correct, I don't think it goes far enough. Accepting Mr. Cipolla’s definition, I would add that if the action of a person causes harm to themselves and others intentionally, they're stupid. If a person cause harm to themselves unintentionally when there is—for our purpose—“valid” data or information available that would likely prevent the person from doing something, had they researched and accepted it. There are numerous examples on “The Darwin Awards” webpage: https://darwinawards.com/
    So, for the purpose of this discussion, I'm going to use the definition of Stupid as follows: A person is stupid if intentionally or unintentionally cause harm to themselves and others. Exception to the stupid definition is a person that intentionally does something that causes harm to others but in doing so they gain something.

    What is the Truth?

    How does one know what’s true. I wish I could answer that; unfortunately, sometimes, perhaps, all the time, it is a matter of one’s perception, likely based on what they already believe is true. I'm having a great deal of trouble attempting to find a strong foundation for defining what’s true. When people refuse to believe science, or rather scientists, you can't even prove physical things. Most people believe the Earth is spherical, yet there are many that still believe the Earth is flat. Okay, I guess all I can conclude is that truth depends on the person. So, if you're going to have a conversation, all parties need to agree to a common truth, which is nearly impossible when it comes to religion, politics, and life in general, unless you're both rooted in the same beliefs. I guess I'm saying once one. or more persons, has a different belief, a sensible conversation is not achievable. The exception is if one, or more of the participants, are willing to challenge their own beliefs.

    Since I wrote this page, I have come to the conclusion that, as with Stupidity, the Truth should be a standalone page: - - Truth - - Some of the following is on that page, as well as some new thoughts.

    Food for Thought

    As you read through this, please keep the following in mind:

    Proverb: When arguing with a fool, first make sure the other person isn't doing the same thing.

    Also: Arguing with some people is like wrestling with a pig in the mud, after a while you realize the pig is enjoying it.

    If you don't live it, you don't believe it. Marion Wade, founder of ServiceMaster.

    “Ridicule (name calling) is the first and last argument of a fool,” Clarke Simmons, British Politician.

    A person’s perception is their reality.

    One of the good things I've learned was, when trying to determine if something is true, first try to disprove it, rather than trying to prove it. Over many years I've been trying to solve how to divide an angle into three equal parts with just a straight-edge and a compass; currently I believe there is no known solution. At times, I thought I had solved it, I had reasoned that I did, then I set out to disprove it, and I did. My original reasoning was floored. I've discovered from this that it is easy to deceive ourselves.

    If it appears too good to be true, then it’s probably not true.

    Leo Tolstoy said it best: I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious if it be such that as it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they had proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into their lives.

    Ten faces of fascism:
    1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
    2. Create a gulag
    3. Develop a thug caste
    4. Set up an internal surveillance system
    5. Harass citizens' groups
    6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
    7. Target key individuals
    8. Control the press
    9. Dissent equals treason
    10. Suspend the rule of law

    Some Background

    As far back as I can remember, I realized that I frequently questioned things I believe, not only those that others have an issue with. I guess it started when I was in my teens, maybe even earlier, when most people, perhaps my parents as well, thought I was retarded or just plain stupid; I thought I was retarded and stupid; yes, I'm serious. I suspect some people still do think I'm retarded and stupid.
    I was failing in school, my father had a heart attack, and I was scared I might not be able to survive on my own. So, when I was sixteen, I enlisted in the Navy and three days after I turned seventeen, I was on my way to boot camp. I'm sure my enlistment, which my parents approved, gave them some assurance that I would grow up and be taken care of. While in boot camp, I was assigned to be an Electrician’s Mate and would attend the rating’s “A” (basic) school. A few weeks into the training, my dad passed away; I was really on my own now. My mom barely had enough to live on. I was able to provide her with a dependent’s allotment; never gave it a second thought.
    The first time I ever felt I wasn't as dumb as I believed was when I came in second in my class at Electrician’s school. The next time I got a boost was when the XO of the ship I was serving on told me I did extremely high on the Navy’s third class advancement exam. At the time I didn't question how he knew and I couldn't ever figure it out. For me it was a needed affirmation that I wasn't dumb or retarded.
    During my first enlistment, I read a lot, took many correspondence courses, took advance placement exams and did well, and did well on advancement exam—first and second class. I made second class at nineteen, two years into my naval service and first class as I was discharged into the Naval Ready Reserve. All of these things began to build my confidence; however, I've always felt the need to know, what I know is correct—for me. I'm just telling you this so you'll understand where I'm coming from.
    To begin, again, yes I've been stupid in many things. Foremost is failure to providing emotional support to my wife; support in the sense of letting her know I loved and cared. I learned too late but it was always there in front of me. Although it was always lurking in the background, I got started on my quest to understand “Stupidity,” when a few YouTube captions caught my eye; actually, I've always wonder but never did any real consideration to understanding the ubiquitous stupidity that abounds around us. This is in addition to my dealing with people that only believe what they want to believe. Much of what appears in this treatise, can be found on my webpage “Whenever ... Whatever … Wherever” . The YouTubes I watched on the subject are as follows:

    Bonhoeffer‘s Theory of Stupidity - - -OR - - -

    294 The Five Laws Of Stupidity

    The Dunning Kruger Effect

    #04 The greatest problem of today's world: Dunning-Kruger effect

    How do you know what's true? -- Sheila Marie Orfano (the Rashomon Effect)

    What is RASHOMON EFFECT? What does RASHOMON EFFECT mean? RASHOMON EFFECT meaning

    Cognitive Dissonance Theory: A Crash Course

    Why It's So Hard to Admit You're Wrong | Cognitive Dissonance

    There are plenty of other YouTubes and Bing Videos on the aforementioned subjects. Just search for Cognitive Dissonance, Mass Stupidity, Dunning Kruger Effect, and Basic Laws of Human Stupidity.

    The 5 Basic Laws of Human Stupidity, according to Mr. Carlo Cipolla.
    1. First Basic Law: Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
    2. Second Basic Law”: The probability that a certain person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.
    3. Third Basic Law: A stupid person is one who causes losses to another person or a group of people while they gain nothing or may even suffer losses.
    4. Fourth Basic Law: Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular, non-stupid people constantly forget that in any time and place and circumstance dealing and/or hanging out with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.
    5. Fifth Basic Law: Stupid people are the most dangerous type of people.
    Stupidity and People

    According to Carlo M. Cipolla, author of the Basic Laws of Human Stupidity, stupid people are the most dangerous of all.

    The following are what many would call mass stupidity. These are only examples of the phenomenon.

    Jonestown Massacre, On the 1978 recordings known as “The Death Tapes,” Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones is heard encouraging his followers to commit “a revolutionary suicide” with him. Jones instructed everyone to die together peacefully by drinking a cyanide-laced Flavor Aid punch. In all, 918 people died, including nearly 300 children.

    Rancho Santa Fe -- March 26, 1997, 39 Heaven’s Gate religious cult members killed themselves inside a Rancho Santa Fe mansion, believing their souls would board a spaceship that was supposedly trailing the Hale-Bopp comet. It remains the country’s worst mass suicide. Sheriff’s deputies received a telephone tip about the suicides.

    The worst being: Hitler’s Germany.

    There are unbelievable amounts of this form of behavior, just Google or Bing examples of “Mass Stupidity.” I've put ten at the end.

    How do you get people to behave stupidly:
  • Tell people what they want to hear and they'll believe it.
  • Tell them you're their savior.
  • Tell them you'll protect them from others they feel are against them and want to harm them.
  • Tell them they and you're the chosen ones.
  • Tell them everyone else is a liar, particularly the media, and only you know the truth.
  • These are the principle roots to gaining a following.

    According to Mr. Cipolla, it’s important to point out that there are no characteristics associated with stupid individuals, or groups, such as IQ, business success, wealth, education, race, gender, manners, or whatever. His definition for a stupid person (and for the purpose of this discussion) is one who causes losses to others without benefiting themselves.

    Truthful/Lies

    Originally, I had Honesty/Lies but I realized that honesty has several meanings. I know lots of people that would not steal, however, when it comes to telling the truth, I wouldn't trust them, as the saying goes, as far as I could throw them. In the clubs I go to, I have no problem leaving money on the bar, but many of those same people say things I discover later are not true. I don't know if they genuinely believe it; I suppose they do.

    I want to start this piece by referring to something I wrote previously which in this discussion is so, so, apropos. The following was taken from: “Things that make me want to, &GB#&*!@+&%$#”, on this my webpage: Whenever -- Whatever – Wherever.

    People that use bad examples done by others, usually by a person they dislike but not always, to justify something they've done or a person they support did: It's the kid's argument, e.g., “Timmy's mom lets him stay up later and doesn't rag on him for getting grades, 'D's or 'F's, so why can't I stay up later and get grades like Timmy?” I would hope that this appears to you as very childish and you would think, perhaps hope, by the time a person were in their twenties, they would stop using this type of rationalizing. A crime is a crime is a crime. It doesn't matter how many people did it before, and maybe got away with it, it's still a crime. Don't try to convince me that it's okay to have been a draft dodger because others were draft dodgers. I don't care if you want to consider the individual some sort of hero, just don't tell me what he or she did was okay, because someone else did it, regardless of who that someone else is. Fortunately for society, there are more people that do the right thing.

    I could give you all sorts of examples and I do give a few on my website: pastuart.com



    It’s important to me that I reiterate that people in general do not want to know when they're wrong. I'm not speaking of opinions; I'm speaking of reasonable facts; by facts I mean facts are things that are well documented and are a matter of record, and in general considered by the vast majority to be true. I think that the biggest difference between me and others, is I seek out the correct answer, not who’s right. I found the nearly all people, subjective observation of the people, I've dealt with, just didn't care if they might be wrong.
    From all the conversations I have had, and some in which I was a listening participant, not to be confused with eavesdropping, I believe that the big difference between me and others, is not our position or political stance, but rather our willingness to seek the truth. To face the possibility that what we believe is incorrect. When I'm faced with information that I don't know if it is correct, yet I suspect it might be or with information I have no knowledge of, I check it out. Sometimes I'm right and sometimes I learn; actually, I learn in all cases. I believe that not a single person, I've discussed things with has ever checks it out. I've concluded that people just don't want to know they're wrong, about anything. I do. I want to know what’s right, more than I want to know who’s right. Check out ‘You Can't Handle the Truth!’, where I give one example. I've tested this over and over and over . . . and have yet to meet someone that actually wanted to know what’s right. Oh, this is not just about me presenting something, I've seen it in three, four, and more way conversations. In areas I'm not knowledgeable, which is many, I just listen, ask questions, and learn. In these conversations there are disagreements. I've never been privy to someone later on telling the other person they were correct. I don't remember when anyone has ever come up to me later and told me my information was correct; information that I would check to insure I was correct.
    One more point that separates people in general, that is their value system. For me, good values are: honesty, of which truthfulness is a part, integrity, being ethical, being kind, respecting others, courage, and most importantly, a sense of humor. There are others similar values. So, it shouldn't surprise anyone that I value people based on the aforementioned qualities, not on their notoriety, athletic ability, acting skill, artistical skill, popularity, how friendly they are, political association, or other similar things they are admired for.
    Before proceeding let me say, people make mistakes. I have seen too often one of these personalities do something like being unethical, which includes lying, stealing, cheating, and so on. Now you're getting bored and wondering where the hell is he going with this. Okay, you deserve an answer if you've gotten this far.
    At the start of World War II, a majority of movie stars and professional athletes chose to enlist. One particular actor decided not to enlist because his career was more important and he would enhance his chances to become a star, because his competition was away fighting the war. In a bio it was indicated that he was also able to avoid the draft, it was not a physical issue. As a serviceman of twenty-two years, I like to think I served for more than just the retirement. Regardless, I reenlisted during the Vietnam War. I don't think it was noble, I was just doing my duty. At the time, I'd likely not see combat because there was little action at sea, although I could have been ordered to in-country duty. I would also like to think that if I were of age at the beginning of World War II, I would have enlisted. I did enlist toward the end of the Korean War. So, I have no respect for the actor and I will not watch any of his movies, particularly those where he plays a war time hero. Other than starting a cancer foundation, because he became a cancer survivor, he has never acknowledged or apologized for his action, i.e., avoiding the military. It disappoints me that people look at him as some kind of hero, when in reality he’s hasn't done anything heroic. Don't miss understand me, people make mistakes, admit them, sometimes they are punished, and become good citizens. For example, Tim Allen was arrested, convicted, and imprisoned. He said it was a mistake and changed his life. I have respect for him. He served his sentence and became a productive citizen. He, to the best of my knowledge, never tried to excuse it.
    Today, Nov 21, 2021, I read the title of a book, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.” My initial thought was, wow, if I could only do that, that is, not care. Then I realized if I didn't, I'd just be a hollow shell. Caring gives us purpose. I considered suggesting changing the title to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck About What Others Think or Do,” but others do effect our lives, not always directly.

    We Believe What We Want To Believe!
    “Cognitive Dissonance”

    Before I get into this discussion, I know and hope you know, “That everything on the internet, in books, on TV, and media in general is not always accurate or truthful.”
    I was discussing politics, in a truly friendly way, with a man I respect for his ability to talk about controversial topics without getting upset, like so many people do, and his skill in not offending others. The more I talked with him, I could detect that his biases overcame his objectivity. That is, he apparently accepted information, I have no idea where he gets it, that fit his beliefs. Let me give you examples of what he told me and how he viewed the situation, and when I checked I found it not to be accurate.
    To start with my colleague doesn't like Joe Biden, although he considers himself a liberal. He stated that Joe Biden was a racist because he was against bussing, and a crook. I'm not a racist, yet I was against bussing. I didn't believe it was the solution. I felt that more resources had to be put into schools in poverty areas and more family assistance provided. Furthermore, he said Joe Biden got a Ukraine prosecutor fired because the prosecutor was investigating Biden's son. My research indicated that, Biden and a coalition of at least three other countries push for the prosecutor to be fired because he wasn't doing anything to end government corruption. In essence, if the US was going to give the Ukraine government one billion dollars, we wanted it to go into helping the country and not the politicians’s pockets. At the time Hunter Biden was not under any investigation and has never been under Ukraine investigation. The company he was with, as well as other companies, were under investigation. What I've read, various papers, indicated that investigation of Joe Biden, stated there is no evidence of wrongdoing; I'm sure had there been any real evidence the Trump campaign would have jumped on it. I know, that doesn't mean he’s innocent. To add more fodder to the mix he didn't like Biden because he wants gun control and he’s a diehard second amendment advocate. I like and own guns. If some kind of real control would help reduce the senseless killing, I'd be for it. I don't have an answer though. In addition, he told me that Biden had gained his money dishonestly, although he didn't specify how. My research indicated that Biden had a lucrative book deal, worth over eight million and at an average of one-hundred-thousand dollars per speaking engagement, since leaving the white house are the sources of his wealth. All his tax papers are available and have been released.
    Staying with Biden, he also accused him of nepotism because of the job Hunter Biden got with a Ukraine oil company. While I believe that the primary reason Hunter was hired was due to his father being Vice President. However, there is no indication that Joe Biden solicited in any way to get his son hired. What I read so far is that the CEO offered Hunter the job; no doubt in my mind that it was because his father was Vice President. I don't know much about Hunter and his qualifications. In general, most people would say nepotism is always wrong; I wonder, is it? For example, if your car needs repairs and someone in your family is a mechanic, who do you take the car to? I could give you hundreds, perhaps thousands of similar examples that people would have no problem with. So, under certain situation, nepotism is acceptable. For me, nepotism is wrong when a person is employed by a company, they don't own, or in a government position and they use their influence to get someone hired when other more qualified people are available. Nevertheless, to accuse someone of nepotism is to label them negatively. What I have observed, subjectively, is that people that don't like someone, affix a negative label on them, whether it is true or not. Staying with Biden, he also accused him of nepotism because of the job Hunter Biden got with a Ukraine oil company. While Again, with Biden. He said he doesn't think Biden is cognitive. Biden is, I think, is seventy-seven and I'm eighty-three -- at this writing. While Biden isn't quite the orator that Clinton, Obama, Reagan, and JFK were, he manages to say what needs to be said. Yes, he stumbles occasionally, I do the same thing; does that make me less cognitive? Good, bad, or otherwise, since I turned seventy-seven, I've written six complete books and have eight more in various stages. I've been paid a small amount, and I do mean small or rather minuscule, royalties and have not receive positive or negative responses. I maintain this website and solve math problems. My point is I believe I'm cognitive, although I may forget a word or two occasionally.
    When we talked about Hillary Clinton’s emails, he said she had destroyed, literally destroyed, her equipment to cover up evidence. When I check this out, the FBI reported that when Mrs. Clinton changed equipment, she had the old unit destroyed. When I upgrade my phone, I didn't quite go to that extreme, but I do my best to wipe it clean of personal information and my data; after transferring what I want. I suspect most people do the same. The report didn't indicate whether she transferred, which I expect she did, data stored on the old device. The point is she didn't have the equipment destroyed to hide evidence. And the equipment they're talking about occurred before the email investigation started. In addition, a good technician can recover data we think was erased, so if you have secret and top-secret material, destroying equipment when no longer needed isn't such a bad idea.
    And yet another. I don't remember how we mentioned Dr. Fauci but he said he didn't trust him because he once said masks are not needed. I checked and it was true. Dr. Fauci did say that but when you take things out of context it’s false by omission. An example: one of the republican advertisement show Joe Biden stating the following, “I'm going to raise taxes for everyone.” The advertisement implied taxes would go up for everyone. Biden did say that but what was missing was, “for everyone making over four-hundred-thousand dollars.” The same is true for Fauci’s mask statement. At the time it was believed not necessary for various factors, like the rate of spread was low at the time and masks were needed for first responders that were dealing with Covid patients. I don't know all the details and analysis that went into the recommendation. I believe in science and as data is accumulated things change. Things constantly change. The covid vaccine appears to be having a profound positive effect.
    For the record, it is not my intention to promote Biden, Fauci, or Clinton, they were simply a topic of discussion that fostered this item, but rather to show how easy it is to accept what we want to believe, that which supports our view. My point is that we, you and I, have a choice, that is, to believe what supports us or to seek the truth, which may in fact support what we believe.
    Let me end this rambling with, I believe that every president since I started voting, except for two, were good men and wanted what was best for our country. That does not mean they were right; it means that they did what they believed was best for the country. Whether they were good or bad remains to be seen. Over the past several months, now that socializing is happening once again, I have come to a personal conclusion: People Believe What They Want To Believe -- Cognitive Dissonance. In the vast majority of cases, it just doesn't matter. I've ask people, “When is the Sun closest to the Earth?” Nearly all said during our summer, of course I'm speaking of people that live in America. The fact is we're nearer the Sun sometime in January. The astronomical and science communities aside, it really doesn't matter. Knowing when the Sun is closer doesn't affect my life and I'll probably never have a need for knowing it; it’s just trivia.
    Before getting into my discussion, I want to state, I won't be debating or using religion. You can believe what you want, only don't tell me what to believe. FYI: there are roughly 4,200 known religions worldwide, per Google.
    Also, I consider myself a true political independent. In fact, it pisses me off that people have created an Independent Party. If there is more than one person, it’s no longer independent, i.e., to be an independent there is no affiliation with or loyalty to an organization or political party. I may not do the greatest job; however, I do attempt to find out all I can about candidates and issues before I vote. Generally, I look for a candidate that most aligns with my values. In truth, I'm really a novice when it comes to politics. It’s only in the last few years that I took a real interest.
    From the movie “A Few Good Men,” Jack Nicholson’s statement, “You can't handle the truth,” is so apropos in today’s world. The real question is, “What is the truth?” A movie that impressed me many, many years ago was, “Rashomon.” It was about the death of a samurai from the perspective of the three people involved. Each one gave their own version, which made them the hero, sort of. The movie ends with a forth witness that was not involved in the incident telling what really happened. I have recently watched a YouTube on the subject of the Rashomon Effect. It’s quite interesting: How do you know what's true? -- Sheila Marie Orfano (the Rashomon Effect)
    Months before the 2020 presidential election, proponents of Covid 19 being a hoax professed that a person that died in a vehicle accident would be classed as dying of Covid 19. They would say that the doctor and hospital would be paid a substantial sum by the government. Question: Would Trump and his regime allow this; I think not? I did some investigating and found that falsifying a death certificate was a felony and may include imprisonment. Furthermore, no one gets paid to fill out a death certificate. Yes, hospitals get paid, as do doctors, for treating Covid 19: the amount varies with the extent of care. If hospitals wanted to fake treatment to make money there are some treatments that cost up to one and a half million dollars. Fake one or two and it would likely be worth maybe fifty to a hundred Covid 19 cases. One more point, the people that pay are the insurance companies and Medicare, and both require validation, which includes testing. These payers are reluctant to pay in general and demand substantial proof-of-treatment and its need.
    Whether or not you agree with it, during the Trump administration, children were separated from the parents of illegal aliens. When this topic came up one individual said they were only taken from parents that couldn't prove the children were theirs; they didn't have birth certificates with them. I said it’s a good thing I wasn't stopped because I couldn't prove my kids were my kids when I traveled. And furthermore, a birth certificate isn't really proof of who you or your children are. To which he said they have footprints—not true. I've never seen a birth certificate with foot or fingerprints on them. The real point is he fabricated this view to justify what was done. In everything I heard, read, or seen, regarding this subject, the mention of birth certificate or other means of proof was never raised or reported.
    While I was nursing my evening wine at my local hangout, someone said that Kamala Harris had admitted to being a prostitute because she wanted it to get out before it would hurt hers and Biden’s chances at winning the election. I ask her, “Did you actually hear her say that?” She told me yes. I asked could you show me the video. She said it was buried deep because “The Democrats” didn't want everyone to know, which contradicts her statement that "Kamala did it to get it out." I sighed and let it go. To begin, Kamala is not a stupid woman, whether or not you like her. She would never make a confession of being a prostitute. And Biden would have dropped her, so to speak, like a hot potato, if she made such a statement. Lastly, Trump and all his staff would have jumped on it like the proverbial bandwagon. If true, it would certainly have won Trump the election. In her early years she dated the ex-mayor of San Francisco, an older man, for which she was called a whore. There is no record of her ever being an escort, which it was also expressed and of course if you're an escort, you have to be a whore or gigolo.
    Let me give you a less volatile topic, although some people would go hyper. Some time back, I read a small piece, on my Facebook page, that some research had shown that bras caused breast cancer. First off, I don't believe most of the stuff on Facebook.
    Nevertheless, I was intrigued and decided to research it for possible inclusion in a book I was writing. I found that the theory was not well substantiated and that there were many factors that could also be contributors. However, while I was doing the research, there was a large contingent that supported going braless for various reasons, like the breast became less droopy and didn't sweat as much. Anyway, when I mention that there were many advocates that women should go braless for physical reasons, one woman said, “If I went braless my boobs would hang down to my belly.” Maybe she’s right; I really don't know. My point is simple, she believed what she wanted to believe. Personally, when it comes to one's health, I think you should do research. Oh, I didn't say more. If this item intrigues you, check out my webpage, To Bra or Not To Bra; you may or may not agree but one never knows?
    Another excellent example of this behavior occurred a short time before the 2016 presidential election. I don't remember how the conversation arose about Clinton and Monica. My friend, a female, said, “Clinton was abusive and took advantage of the girl. I asked, “What you are saying is that Clinton was responsible and the blame.” She agreed and said it wasn't the woman’s fault. I asked, “Who’s responsible when Trump stated that he grabs, women’s genitalia?” Without losing a beat she stated it was the women’s fault because they asked for it.” She was serious. The point is she would likely have reversed her view had her political alignment been the other way.
    Over the years, too many to count, I have found that this form of behavior is ubiquitous. While I was writing this piece, I have found that psychologist call this form of behavior “Cognitive Dissonance.” Essentially, it states that a person when faced with information that contradicts their beliefs, will usually disregard it, or if they believe it, will rationalize it away or will use another’s similar bad behavior to justify it, the 'others' will usually be someone they are opposed to; in politics it is the other party. Some people, a rare few, will sometimes ask, “What if it’s true?” and then research it. If you're interested in learning more about “Cognitive Dissonance,” just YouTube the topic.
    My conclusion is that people that act on false information are stupid. And most people harbor extensive false information; unfortunately, they also vote.

    Ten Acts of Mass Stupidity

    According to “unbelievable-facts.com” the following are the 10 GREATEST ACTS OF MASS STUPIDITY

    1. In 1957, when the BBC had broadcast a hoax news report about how spaghetti was grown from trees, hundreds of viewers called to find out more information and ask how to grow a “spaghetti tree” themselves.

    2. In the 1850s, a Xhosa prophetess in South Africa prophesied that if the tribe destroyed their crops and killed all their cattle, the spirits would sweep the English settlers into the sea. The tribe obeyed and it resulted in famine, killing tens of thousands.

    3. In 1958, Mao introduced a campaign which prompted the Chinese to kill millions of sparrows to alleviate the pest problem they posed. By 1960, the population of locusts and other crop-eating insects ballooned contributing to the Great Chinese Famine that killed over 20 million people.

    4. A man claiming to be a police officer over phone calls convinced the managers of over 70 restaurants and stores to strip search their female employees. The scams happened over a period of 10 years until 2004, and such calls were reported in 30 US states.

    5. In the 1980s, A&W sold 1/3-pound burger to rival McDonald’s 1/4-pound burger at the same price. But customers preferred McDonald’s because they thought 1/3 is a smaller fraction than 1/4, and so they were getting less meat.

    6. In 1637, people in Netherlands were so obsessed with tulips that a single bulb was exchanged for a ton of butter, 1,000 lbs. of cheese, or 12 sheep. Eventually, it got to the point when people paid 10 times the annual wage of a skilled craftsman for one tulip.

    7. In April 2013, after the Boston Marathon bombings, over 3,000 Redditors joined a subreddit to crowdsource and “identified” the bomber as an American student who went missing in March. His body was found a few days after the actual bombing suspects were officially identified and apprehended.

    8. During the Y2K scare, several fringe groups and individuals believed it to be the end of the world and advocated survivalist strategies. People prepared for an apocalypse and stocked up on food and other things necessary for survival.

    9. In 2000, a British pediatrician was forced to flee her home when some local residents mistook her job title to mean she was a pedophile and vandalized her house.

    10. In 2008, a horde of Black Friday shoppers crushed a Walmart employee to death as they smashed through the front doors. The cops who were trying to perform CPR were also trampled on by the crowd desperate for the discounts.


    Addendum May 2022

    In a discussion with a fellow club goer, the topic of Cognitive Dissonance came up. Afterwards I began to ask myself, "What are my, 'I believe what I want to believe'?" I can't answer that because I don't know. For me if someone raises an issue which goes against what I believe to be true, I will research it. One of two things happen: I learn or I confirm. What I'm attempting to say is, I'm not sure there is anything rooted in me I wouldn't change given the factual data or information. I can honestly say that over the years I have switched my view on so many things. Religion aside, ask yourself, "What are my cognitive dissonances?"