Welcome to 2016! I thought I would start off this years blog's with an "I told you so" by way of yet another rant on Amairikuhn edgykayshun, and by way of an article shared by Mr. W.M.  When I saw it, and saw the picture, my reaction was emotionally ambiguous, to say the least. One part of me wanted to laugh hysterically; one part wanted to cry, one part was angry,  and one part wanted to gloat and say "I told you so!"  I rather suspect that when you read this article, you will probably have similar reactions:

Trucker Destroys Historic Bridge Because She Didn't Know How Many Pounds Six Tons Was

Now that you're done laughing and shaking your head, it's difficult to know where to begin with all the labyrinthine stupidity in evidence here. But a quotation from the article will suffice to ramp up the rant of the day:

The craziest part isn’t that 23-year-old Mary Lambright drove her 30-ton truck onto this tiny bridge in Paoli, Indiana built in 1880. It’s that she knew that the bridge’s weight limit was six tons. She just didn’t know how many pounds that was.

Seriously, that’s what she told the police after the crash on Christmas, as they note in their report:

Ms. Lambright was aware of the iron bridge stating she had driven on it several times in her personal vehicle and was also aware of the posted signage “no semis, weight limit of 6 tons”. When asked by Paoli Police why she continued through the bridge knowing the weight limit was only 6 tons she admitted to not knowing how many pounds that was. She was advised the weight of the vehicle at the time of the crash was close to 30 tons.

Lambright, who got her CDL earlier this year, said she wasn’t comfortable backing up her Volvo truck, so she just chanced it on the bridge.

Ok, so, number one, we have a licensed truck driver who was afraid to back up her semi, which raises all sorts of questions of its own. The last time I looked, most trucking companies hired drivers who knew how to back up a semi. After all, one has to back them into warehouses, loading docks, dead end streets, and so on. So what happened here? Did a "human resources" officer simply rubber stamp a hire based on CDL certification? If so, it raises all sorts of nasty questions about our (declining) corporate (and corporatized) culture. More than that, it raises all sorts of nasty questions about how someone might have obtained a license to drive said semi-trucks from any state. Again, the last time I looked, states usually require rather rigorous actual behind-the-wheel driving tests before certifying drivers. So what happened here? If one is uncomfortable backing up a semi truck, why would one want to drive one in the first place?

But beyond whatever failures may have occurred during the licensing or hiring process, what really disturbs here is the implications for Amairkuhn edgykayshun. Was the driver of said bridge-collapsing truck unaware of her truck's weight in tons, only pounds? And why on earth wouldn't an individual, clearly a graduate of some sort from the Amairikuhn edgykayshunal "process" not know how to convert 1 ton to 2,000 pounds? It's that failure here that intrigues me, and distresses me the most. And what about the warning sign that clearly stated "no semis"?

Well, clearly, converting pounds into tons and tons into pounds doesn't matter much any more for graduates of the Amairikuhn edgykayshunal system. According to the Doctors of Edubabble, the principals with their latest certifications in Edufaddery and Pedagogiblither, what really matters isn't accuracy or getting the "correct answer". Correctness is so passe, so middle class, so "white patriarchal male conservative Christian" (enter your favorite hate group here). What matters most is that we have a self-affirming process along the way, that we feel good about ourselves and learn to sympathize with other cultures, even though we want to be truck drivers without having to back up our semis because we're uncomfortable with that, even though it might result in the minor inconvenience of a loss of a bridge.  It makes as much sense as hiring semi-drivers with left-handism, i.e., a fear of turning left. "At least you tried to drive your truck on the latest classroom computer simulator, provided courtesy of the local tax payer and some large corporation reaping profits at his or her expense, and that's good. You get an "A"; you get to graduate and get your license." Effort trumps achievement.

And that's the rub, for in modern narcissistic psychopathic Amairikuh and its irrational edgykayshunal system, the relationship between effort and achievement has been perverted if not severed altogether. Effort exists to achieve something, and there can be no achievement without effort. But effort on its own, without proper and correct achievement, and if recognized and rewarded merely for its own sake, only results in indulgence of incompetence in or the lack of achievement. Our society was not built on effort; it was built on effort that achieved something; it was built not on incompetence, but on competence.

So, permit me to gloat a bit. I certainly have not been alone in my criticisms of Amairikuhn edgykayshun and the galloping narcissistic culture of entitlement that it has fostered. Nor have I been alone in predicting that as the system becomes nuttier and more loony with each passing day, its failures will come home to roost in self evident failures that will have physical - and ultimately life-endangering - consequences. As long as you feel good about yourself and can "sort of" approximate a "correct answer", do what you want to do and what you're "comfortable with," regardless of the consequences to others or any wider community or professional standards. And when enough such people start becoming semi-truck drivers, airline mechanics, elevator repairmen - .... er... oops, I meant elevator service maintenance experts (we MUST be gender neutral, at least, in this context) - pilots, railroad engineers, or neurosurgeons, or lawyers (imagine feeling uncomfortable learning the rules of evidence or courtroom procedure), and when enough bridges have collapsed because enough truck drivers don't know how many pounds make a ton, or patients die on the operating table because someone was "uncomfortable around blood and thus never learned blood types".. well, you get the picture. This incident is an "I told you so," but it won't be the last one. "You gave the patient fifty litres of morphine for a simple outpatient procedure?"  "I'm sorry, doctor, I was never very good with all that cc's and litres stuff. But at least Mrs. X died with a smile on her face. She felt good about herself. And I feel comfortable with that." Et cetera ad nauseum.

Like the bridge in Indiana, society may collapse under a weight of stupidity, because implicit in any sanely organized society is a "weight limit", a "critical mass," of just how much stupidity it can bear and carry before "sensitivity and being comfortable with stupidity" overwhelm it.

See you on the flip side...

Posted in

Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".


  1. LuckyChuck on January 4, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Joseph wrote: And when enough such people start becoming semi-truck drivers, airline mechanics, elevator repairmen /…/ and when enough bridges have collapsed because enough truck drivers don’t know how many pounds make a ton, or patients die on the operating table because someone was “uncomfortable around blood and thus never learned blood types”.. well, you get the picture.

    Clearly the ‘doctor scene’ in the movie Idiocracy comes to mind, the doctor himself a total dufus and the view out the window as piles of vehicles form below an unfinished overpass next to poorly engineered buildings lashed together. Well stated Janu, Idiocracy is unfolding before our eyes.

    Joseph brought out another vastly overlooked problem of general incompetence. My fear is one day incompetence will be declared a recognized handicap and as such is then fully protected under the American Disabilities Act. A person could not be fired or even denied a promotion because they were incompetent. Think of the disasters that will produce. I shudder to imagine. On the other hand we’ve already seen an example of this every day. Just watch Congress on CSPAN.

    On a personal note, I did use this same tonage excuse once driving a single axle straight truck down a residential road that used a weight limit to keep trucks from going town the mayor’s street [poor baby]. My truck’s weight was around 16,000 lbs and the road sign said 5 Ton MAX. The cop said ‘you know there’s a 5 ton limit on this street don’t you?’ And I said ‘Tons, wheh tons! they measure them big ass ships in tons don’t they? I don’t think my truck is tons. I know my trucks around 16 thousand but what’s that? 1.6 tons maybe? I don’t know officer I don’t recall ever having to do any math when I got a drivers license way back when I was 16. He let me go, he he he.

  2. zendogbreath on January 4, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Dan, there’s more to this than just a lark of stupidity and humor (or its lack). This is an intentionally systemic problem.

    An update on folk who know what a ton weighs: I’m up to 11 people questioned today. 9 had no clue. The only 2 who knew were over 55. One 27 year old had physics in high school 8 years ago. She still didn’t know and she’s one of the smarter folk in our company. The 2 who were sly enough to peek at their phones told me 2204#. They didn’t know the difference between metric and u.s. tonnage. The old ones were not aware that the younguns really had no clue.

    while this may seem a small detail, keep in mind for someone training new cdl drivers, this is more than problematic. their basic math skills aren’t much better. they needed help to figure how many tons their 33,000 pound vehicle weighed. pilot training can’t be much easier – for the teachers. the skillsets we’re all being given to work with are regressing fast. remediation is our only choice. before we can remediate, we need to recognize what’s weak. that’s not so easy. not easy means not as safe.

    couple months ago i saw a 17 ton vehicle parked next to a sign stating no trucks over 6 tons, while the driver and his boss were getting fast food across the street. the bus was so close to the sign, the driver had to move the vehicle 10 feet forward to allow the front door to open so they could get out and get fries. geniuses. i thought they were being ironic. they were most assuredly not.

    what else are they missing? these are 20, 30, and 40 somethings who have spent thousands on their tattoos and are permanently in debt on their every 3 years new cars (even through bankruptcies). the buy more interest than they do car, every 2 or 3 years. yes the banks and financial system are to blame as well and a mess. but seriously these sheep have little to no clue and are so resigned to failure that even when they are doing well, they toe shoot themselves at every opportunity.

  3. chiropractor69 on January 4, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Perhaps the concepts of; ‘Prussian education system’, lateralization of brain function and neoroplasticity will help explain the drive for this model. Interestingly, yesterday in the UK…

  4. chimera on January 4, 2016 at 1:38 am

    The US, INC. has deliberately dumbed down the population in America and they have also outsourced their model to all countries who are it’s biggest allies and now it is making its way into the third world nations too under the guise of “educating the poor and underprivileged”. People who are too stupid to realize that they are really at the top of the pyramid, allows those who are the psychopaths wanting to rule the world, the means to keep humanity subjugated. The people will be just smart enough to function and follow orders, but not too intelligent to figure out that they really are just cogs in the wheel of commerce (pretty much ALL governments are now governmental service corporations) to keep the elites living the good life at the people’s expense. But then again, what else is new. This has been the model from millennia….a few self anointed people at the top lording it over the unwashed masses. It is about time that humanity wakes up to the fact that they are being played by a small number of thieves, finaglers, war mongers and cheats who want to control the world and it’s plentiful, valuable resources.

  5. zendogbreath on January 3, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    the last 5 people i’ve asked did not know how many pounds were in a ton. 3 of them are new cdl drivers.

    • zendogbreath on January 3, 2016 at 11:40 pm

      gosh is right. while she is probably dumb enough (obviously since she made the choices that led to that) we’re all likely to miss the intentionality of the whole thang. her intentionality. the system’s intentionality. and the system’s owners’ intentionality. i love invoking george carlin.

  6. rich overholt on January 3, 2016 at 10:58 pm

  7. Dan on January 3, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    This is a bit disappointing. Could you all stop fondling each other and give me some content. Talk about dumbing down. Less self congratulatory cherry picking thanks. It’s going to be a big year and I need you all on your game. Let’s do this people !

  8. kevinxs56 on January 3, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    I chalk this up to being an oblivious and unobservant millennial, despite education level. I work with a millennial who is 25 from Japan, but has lived in the US for 5 years. He has a computer science degree, programs and works in robotics, but man, he is one of the dumbest people I have ever met once he steps away from that computer screen. He is so addicted to his I-phone GPS telling him directions, he has no concept of how to drive without it. He has no understanding of how to read a map and doesn’t even bother looking ahead at any road signs, turnoffs, exit ramps, etc… if the phone doesn’t tell him to turn, he doesn’t turn. I have driven with him dozens of times and the phone will say, ‘exit in 2 miles…’ he just keeps driving in the left lane, totally oblivious. ‘exit in 1 mile’.. nothing. ‘Exit now’… he snaps too, doesn’t even look, zips across 4 lanes of traffic, cutting people off and exits. Good grief. He recently drove from OK City to Dallas (a straight shot down 1 highway, 3.5 hours, clearly marked), he ended up driving 3 hours out of his way and didn’t realize he was lost until he saw that he was at the Louisiana border. ha ha ha. His phone apparently glitched and took him to Louisiana, and he is so oblivious it didn’t even occur to him that he was on the wrong highway, even after he had been driving several hours longer than it should have taken him. He is the poster child for millennials. They can program a computer, but they can’t make it from point A to point B in a straight line without a computer telling them where to go. Geeesh. So, it’s not just the American education system, because he grew up in Japan. it’s something alarming about that whole generation and their dependence on technology that’s making them stupid.

  9. Tim H on January 3, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    She’s a poor excuse for a truck driver, as well as being ignorant of the weight of her rig, what about the dimensions of same rig? The trailer was too high for the bridge. Having said that, plenty of trucks get stuck in tunnels here in Oz because the drivers are ignorant of the size of their loads or basically incompetent and don’t read warning signs.

    • Enlil's a Dog on January 3, 2016 at 10:50 pm

      Yep – Dudley Street bridge in West Melbourne comes immediately to mind.

      They’ve been getting stuck underneath that for decades and they’re still doing it today. Brainless!!

  10. Roger on January 3, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Sounds like she did a public service to me. If that historical bridge was capable of handling modern demands then by all means preserve it. But since it’s not, about time it gets replaced. I drive in new cities all the time and all those sentimental little inefficiencies and historical public nuecences that bottle neck traffic with unnecessary traffic jams grow tiring and many cause unnecessary accidents. She was a very green driver and made a very obvious mistake that even most inexperienced truck drivers would know not to make and hopefully she learns from it. She may or may not be cut out to be a truck driver, hopefully she will re-evaluate her career choice honestly. She should probably find a more experienced truck driver to drive as a team with until she gets more comfortable behind the wheel and more knowledge about the in and outs of the many non-sensically planned out and layed out towns and cities.

  11. goshawks on January 3, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    WalkingDead and Aridzonan_13 make good points on the wider, deeper picture. Kudos.

    Focusing on the 23-year-old for the moment, her statement on not being able to convert tons to pounds was an obvious, made-up-after-the-fact, ‘way-out’ for her. Incompetence, rather than criminal neglect. The best of ‘no good choices’.

    Let’s face it; she knew – just from looking at the bridge – that her rig was not in the same weight-class as the bridge. Obvious, and needs no math skills.

    My supposition is that she was in new territory. When she realized her ‘fix’, it was too late – she was committed. To escape the bridge bottleneck, she was going to have to back-up against following traffic (it is a one-way bridge). She decided backing-up was not doable, or at least safe. (Plus, she was likely under capitalism-based time-pressure.) So, she went ahead, to avoid embarrassment or an incident, and just hoped.

    Additional ‘justifications’ were made-up later, IMHO. Not a good day…

  12. Nidster - on January 3, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    I do not feel disadvantaged by avoiding a long term, or intimate relationship with the Amairikuhn edgykayshu system because based on my observations the longer one is entangled in that system the less likely one is able to retain any common sense, or to pay any attention to their ‘gut feelings’. I would also add that it can be harmful to a persons humanity. Some people make it through the system unaffected, others do not.

    By way of example consider the colossal failure, or considered a success by some, of the results of the Amairikuhn edgykayshu system to educate the current POTUS. Has anyone else been curious why POTUS felt compelled to mock critics of his Syrian refugee immigration policy when he accused them of being “scared of widows and 3-year-old orphans.”? If so, consider this ten minute documentary produced not by some religious fanatics, or a group of conspiracy nut-jobs.

    • Milton Zentmyer on January 3, 2016 at 7:12 pm

      Geeze Louise, that is the dumbest woman I’ve ever heard or seen.

      • Nidster - on January 4, 2016 at 2:38 am

        Hey MZ, you meant to “Reply” under the COMMENT of DownunderET because there are no women in the posted PBS video link. BTW, I agree about that woman. I suppose the producers for that show go out of their way to select the dumbest blondes they can find. You know, it feeds into the meme that blondes are good looking, but dumb!

  13. DownunderET on January 3, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    A girl trucker walks into a bar……….er no.
    You have to read the article to believe it, but I’ve got one that trumps this story.
    Here is a two minute you tube that will have you laughing your ass off for weeks, and NO I don’t think this girl is a trucker, because if she was a trucker there wouldn’t be a bridge that she couldn’t destroy.
    Watch here

    • chimera on January 4, 2016 at 1:24 am

      DownunderET, the blonde lady in that short video is Kellie Pickler, an American Country singer who got her start on American Idol. She is a very successful artist….her looks don’t hurt her career either. Oh, and she also won Dancing With The Stars last year.

      • zendogbreath on January 5, 2016 at 11:53 pm

        sounds like a gracie allen or betty white

  14. Milton Zentmyer on January 3, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    well, we’ve started the year with a bang….

    You have said, Dr. Farrell, that it won’t be long before airplanes start falling from the skies because of this sort of idiocy.

  15. Robert Barricklow on January 3, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits” Einstein
    The problem is the corporatized culture where today’s real radicalism, is unfortunately, preserving such things as family, craft, & community. The well known fraud that is Enron[steve miller’s take the money en run/corporate theme song] – is endemic to too many American[international] corporations. The corporate signature of destruction is written all over this iron bridge who weakness is exploited by neglected infrastructure[as education is part & parcel to the bad roads and bridges. The corporate script is habitual ruthlessness, deception and unlimited self-indulgence[this occurs at the level of municipal governments as well]. As the Bridge symbolizes as a structure and a gap between public will versus corporate will/there is

    no bridge to breech
    the gap –
    Corporate destruction OUTWEIGHS Public Economic Creation.

  16. marcos toledo on January 3, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    She will get her reward for a job well done. Destroying infrastructure is part of the plan either this person is stupid or lying. I am what you call a innumerate very bad at math but even I know the difference between pounds and tons. This sort of problem has been around since I was in school if you want to learn something you find away no matter how bad your school system is. That was until recently with the close down of bookstores and shops where you can buy magazines and newspapers. And with the deliberate conversion to e-readers books, magazines, newspapers and the concept of dumbing down is the new or old meme. Ignorance Is Strength is the word and mantra.

    • Nidster - on January 3, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Hey, Marcos – let us not forget cell phone texting where many words are abbreviated into nonsense. We are in a Tower of Babel ‘moment’.

      • marcos toledo on January 3, 2016 at 6:44 pm

        Nidster Eric Blair writing under the pen George Orwell covered that angle in his last book “1984”.It was called Newspeak how that book holds up sixty seven years on.

        • Nidster - on January 4, 2016 at 2:46 am

          Thanks for the info, Marcos. I also agree with your analysis of the closing down of bookstores and the shift to electronic media.

  17. moxie on January 3, 2016 at 11:11 am

    This is clearly an example of egregious judgment on both the driver and the hiring process.. something that’s becoming more prevalent these days in varying degrees. Unfortunately, this kind of dysfunction is what we are to expect from all the dumbing down, programming and everyday chemical assaults on the brain. So what does the future look like? Are we to become dependent on technology for doing even the most mundane tasks and decisions?

  18. Aridzonan_13 on January 3, 2016 at 10:32 am

    In the old days, they would have apprenticeships. Where a journeyman would teach apprentices the ropes. So, the knowledge of the craft got transmitted in a supervised fashion via an expert. Apparently, that is no longer the case.

    I have a much more chilling trucking tale. FedGov.Inc and NGO’s are bringing in 3rd World types, paying for their CDL’s and either buying them trucks or getting them access. These 3rd Worlders are now pulling Uber Top Secret payloads between T.S. and above installations.

    Here’s the rub. They can’t get on the bases to deliver or pick up their T.S. payloads. The Military won’t grant them access to the base. Because, they fail the security background checks.. This story was related to me by a US trucker who used to haul these T.S. loads and has the proper clearances. He now pulls the loads from inside the T.S. installation to the fence. Where the immigrant trucker that cannot get a clearance takes the load to it’s destination.

    Here’s a hint on how secret this cargo is.. The US driver drives his rig onto the base, after reaching the facility inside the base, he is instructed to get out. They put a gun to his head, he walks on painted foot prints to the wall and waits for the T.S. cargo to be loaded. He is then instructed with a gun at his head to follow the painted footsteps back to his truck and he then takes it out side the fence line where 3rd World trucker hauls it to it’s secret destination.

    Sleep Well:

    • Milton Zentmyer on January 3, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Oh, this makes me feel really secure. What the hell is this stuff? Radioactive waste? Or a great combo of that and something else.

    • WalkingDead on January 3, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      Having served in the military and worked in the aerospace industry for 30+ years with all the TS and above clearances this required, I fully understand the oxymoron “military intelligence”. We see a prime example of this in the above statements. Ask yourself how something like this could possibly happen in our ultra security/surveillance state. If these loads are not accompanied by armed security personnel, why are we allowing immigrants to transport them? Is this not the epitome of stupidity?
      Oops, I forgot, these people are products of the American education system, my bad.

  19. Yogi Greg on January 3, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Kinda Makes The Case For “Speeding Up” the deployment of those AI/Robot Drivers….and making such folks welfare recipients….

    • zendogbreath on January 3, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      that’s the point.

  20. kitona on January 3, 2016 at 7:16 am

    Well, women drivers!…but seriously, this isn’t really one of the Dr.’s better articles. If one spends anytime on the internet (or even watching local news these days) then one will see an endless stream of buffoonery in America (and elsewhere too for that matter). Using an example like this to condemn American education feels like picking low-hanging fruit. I usually hope for something more insightful than that from this blog.

    • WalkingDead on January 3, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Kitona is correct to observe that the MSM and internet is filled with examples of idocracy. I believe this is by design, another psy op by intelligence to stress the helplessness of the unwashed masses. Those in power WANT you to believe everyone is just this ignorant and incapable of any kind of self governing. It goes hand in hand with their “education”.
      How else could they offer for your “selection” blatant criminals like Hillary and Jeb or candidates who don’t meet the requirements for the office like Cruz. They aren’t even trying to hide their criminal activities anymore.
      We are bombarded with their programming and propaganda 24/7 through the corporate owned TV networks, movies and printed media. Every movement of any kind is infiltrated and steered away from its intended purpose toward their ends. The family, our religious beliefs, our patriotism have all been destroyed by them to keep us in a constant state of confusion, helpless to organize any form of cohesive resistance.
      Every form of opposition, white/black, Christian/Islam, American/Russian, straight/gay, etc. is constantly stirred to keep our attention away from the end goal and our efforts pitted against one another while they steal every cent we have and take every God given right from us inch by inch.
      If we spend all our effort fighting amongst ourselves over petty BS we will never be able to see what is so obvious. Evil isn’t creeping onto the scene any more, it’s charging headlong with full force while we look elsewhere.

      • chimera on January 4, 2016 at 1:40 am

        Nailed it WalkingDead.

      • Don B on January 5, 2016 at 7:21 am

        Can you say Josef Goebbels, er I mean Cass Sunstein. The so called alternative media has even been corrupted. db

  21. Janu on January 3, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Well, it seems Idiocracy is unfolding befor our eyes thanks to the US educational system.
    It’s bad enough that she was incapable of doing the conversion, but she was also too dense to realize she could’ve looked it up on her phone.

  22. DanaThomas on January 3, 2016 at 6:24 am

    If you invented a story like this people would smile with disbelief…

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