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There is no crime in being ignorant. We are all ignorant on different subjects. I am ignorant on most things Canadian. I don't know how many provinces they have, couldn't name all of them, haven't a clue what the population of each is, etc., etc. You name it -- if it's Canadian -- I probably don't know it. It's nothing to be proud of, but neither is it something of which to be terribly ashamed.

But then, I'm American. They taught us mostly US history in school. If I were a Canadian and didn't know those facts about Canada, I'd have to be pretty stupid. And there are stupid Canadians just as there are stupid Americans and stupid people of every nationality, race, creed, or population grouping of your choice.

Ignorance and stupidity are generally identified by a lack of knowledge. Insanity is a little different. The insane know something is "true" despite overwhelming contrary evidence. It's one thing to be wrong, it's another thing to persist in being wrong when every fact is against you. Often these loonies have conversations inside their heads (delusions) that justify their beliefs. Just completely irrational.

Evil. Knowing right and doing wrong -- intentionally, with eyes wide open. Generally as a result of avarice or a lust for power -- or for the sheer joy of corrupting something good. Evil knows.

As I go through life I play a game. The rules are simple: Observe conservative right-wing zealots, and then identify them correctly as ignorant, stupid, insane or evil.

Each of them will fall into one of the four categories, but sometimes it can be difficult to decide which one. Gingrich was obviously evil, but Reagan? Was he stupid or insane? It's even possible he was evil. Jerry Falwell? Ignorant or insane. Pat Robertson? Evil. Dubya? That's a tough one. I'll have to get back to you on that.

Ignorant -- a lack of knowledge
Stupid -- a lack of wisdom
Insane -- a lack of reality
Evil -- a lack of morality

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