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Now write it down a hundred times. If it's not done by sunrise, I'll cut your balls off.

Here’s a sweet little story of Democracy in Action. A bright eighth grader writes to her state legislator with an idea for a law: Vermont doesn’t have an official Latin motto, so why not adopt one? And for that matter, make it a reference to history? Neato!

So state Sen. Joe Benning — a Republican who was actually trying to do a good thing, which he has probably learned to never try again — introduced a bill to adopt the motto “Stella quarta decima fulgeat.” — May the fourteenth star shine bright.” Because Vermont was the 14th state, see? Benning noted that when Vermont briefly minted its own currency, it was engraved with “Stella Quarta Deccima,” so the phrase had real historical cachet.

And then Burlington TV station WCAX put the story on its Facebook page with the headline, “Should Vermont have an official Latin motto?” and all Stupid broke loose when morons thought that Vermont was knuckling under to a bunch of goddamned illegal immigrants.

Charles Topher at “If you Only News” collected some of the worst of the over 600 comments from some of the geniuses worried about protecting ‘Merca from the invading Latin hordes:

vermont latin 1

Oh yes, there’s more:
vermont latin 2

And a bit more:

vermont latin 3

We are happy to report that Dan Zucker up there is actually parodying all the derp, as we’ll see in a moment.

Finally, there was the genius who wrote, apparently without a trace of irony, “Hell No! This is America, not Latin America. When in Rome do as the Romans do!”

Happily, since the news first broke, the literate smartasses have flooded into the WCAX Facebook comments, which now feature a few better replies:

  • I heard Obama even has our military YES OUR MILITARY!! Speaking latin. I went by a group of marines yelling Semper Fidelis. Can you believe it?

Of course, several people replied to this by excoriating the writer for criticizing the sacred Marine motto.

  • We don’t need any of them Romans taking our jobs!!!

Dan Zucker popped up again to explain in pure Palinese:

romans is italians. they is not the probelms. we keep boardars closed to chinese who take jobs from russians which is why they speak latin to virus imunization autism shot in the kidney like black lungh subura honey tuna.

So there. A few more:

  • I’ve got no problem with that. I’m more concerned that you stop teaching the Hindu-Arabic number system in schools. I for one am sick of all the pandering to foreigners in this country. We should be using American numbers.
  • This is America, not the ancient Roman empire. What’s next, Justinian law? If they don’t want to learn modern English, they should go back to the colosseum where they belong!
  • What’s Latin for, “A state full of crotchety old farts, half of whom are almost too stupid to breathe”?
  • What have the Romans ever done for us!?

We’re betting that, like Olivia McConnell, the kid whose proposal for South Carolina to adopt a state fossil almost crashed and burned when creationists decided the declaration should insist that the fossil was no more than 6000 years old, the anonymous 8th grade Latin student in Vermont has learned an important lesson about Democracy in America: It is conducted by morons.

[WCAX / WCAX on Facebook / If You Only News]

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  • vreejack

    His name is Benning. That’s True Vermont, there. (I used to live in Bennington)

  • 54StarryNights

    Such ignorance and stupidity combined with such bigotry is one of the major reasons this country is in such a sorry state. How does one graduate from middle school (at the latest) without knowing that Latin is the ancient language of the Roman Empire that is still used today by the legal profession, by some religions, and very typically in mottos, etc. There is a Latin motto on the Great Seal of the United States and on our currency–“E Pluribus Unum. There are other Latin mottos on historical government documents and buildings. Latin in sprinkled throughout the English language. It has nothing to do with illegal immigrants or illegal immigration. Seriously, how have we ended up with so many ignoramuses in this country?

    • Jhink

      It’s not accidental. The dumbing down of America over the last thirty years has brought us to a place where a fascist element has taken over the country. They seek to reverse the social progress achieved since the New Deals. A dumbed down populace is easy to lead around by the nose.

      • 54StarryNights

        Yeah. One example of that which has always really irritated me is conservative politicians (especially those with degrees from top ranked colleges and universities) who pretend to be all folksy by criticizing the elites and cultivating what i call an “I’m ignorant and proud of it” image as part of their effort to convince the gullible that “I’m one of you.” It bolsters the idea that ignorance is something positive and that knowledge is elitist and should be scorned.

    • Russell’s Teapot

      Well, unfortunately these clowns seem to revel in their own ignorance.

  • 54StarryNights

    My very favorite Monty Python Latin joke occurs in The Life of Brian when Brian is caught painting anti-Roman graffiti on the walls of the city square (in Latin, of course) and a Roman centurion corrects his Latin grammatical errors. I will not say more because I do not want to spoil that scene for anyone who has not seen it.

    • mrmiller

      Just watched it again. Those guys are genius.

  • George Williams

    It is alarming to note that Asshattery is everywhere… Everywhere.

  • mirsm

    Stupid ipsa loquitur.

  • 54StarryNights

    That’s like George W. Bush’s statement that the French don’t even have a word for entrepreneur.

    That one makes me laugh every time.

  • 54StarryNights

    All the names on English language Calendars have Latin roots. January for the Roman god Janus, February for a Roman feast, March for the Roman god Mars, April from the Latin Aprilis (to open) which was a month full of festivals related to the arrival of Spring, May for the Roman goddess Maia, June for the month honoring Juno, July honoring Julius Caesar (as you pointed out), August honoring Augustus Caesar (as you pointed out), September for the number 7 because September was the seventh month on the Roman calendar, October for the number 8 because it was the 8th month on the Roman calendar, November for the number 9 because it was the 9th month on the Roman calendar, and December for the number 10 because it was the 10th month on the Roman calendar.

  • Walt Ski

    I live in VT and although we’re pretty well educated and liberal I’ll be the first to admit we should have left #3 on the questionnaire you have to fill out before being granted access to the internet “Do you or any member of your family watch fox news?”.

  • Joseph

    How about in just regular uneducated American: Place of Dumb. Since the only real difference between the Southern states and Kentucky and Pennsylvania is how long the road kill has to be on the road before you can grab it for dinner.

  • PerpetualVisitor

    Vermont, trying to make me feel good about my own state. Thanks!

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