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Maybe Dumbest Thing Ever Written on the Interwebs

Idris Leppla breaks the news story of the year that the Naval Academy is ... wait for it... part of the Navy.

Leppla managed to finish high school, and get all the way to her senior year at Barnard (which is the woman's wing of Columbia) and never figure this out; until her bother went there and it took her family by surprise.

So with keyboard at the ready, she went to the interwebs exposing the, "The Truth About the Academies"

I know why I chose Columbia: the campus is magnificent, the education is top-tier, and my peers are intelligent. I could look at a stranger, tell him or her that I went to Columbia, and hear the predictable, "Wow, you must be smart." [Irony alert -ed] ...

While we knew that someday he would be required to serve, we also were drawn to the top-tier education he was promised to receive. We were told that the Naval Academy was first and foremost an elite college. He would be able to learn history, economics, political science, and even engineering. He would play lacrosse on a nationally ranked team and play the bugle in the marching band. He would have seminars about leadership and selflessness. He would even go to school for free.

When I talked to my brother about why he wanted to go, he admitted that it was because he was drawn to the structure of the place--as a kid who did not want to sit around and drink beer during college, he liked the fact that he would be busy and have a purpose. I soon became comfortable with the idea of the academy, as if it would be a haven for my brother's undergraduate career. And when people would congratulate me on my brother's decision, it made me feel reassured.

Soon that pride turned to anger and fear: after my mom dropped him off at Annapolis, she came home with an acute sense of grief. The only thing she could talk about was how to get him out. In addition to missing his presence at home, she was scared by the extent to which her son had suddenly become the property of the U.S. Navy.

She begged me to call a naval lieutenant Monday morning to start the out-processing forms for my brother. After leaving countless messages for the lieutenant, he finally called me back, at which point he informed me that my brother would have to go through 13 exit-interviews to be dismissed, including an interview with the head of the Navy. When I asked him whether this might intimidate him out of leaving, the lieutenant reminded me that my brother had signed an oath legally binding him to the Navy. When I reminded the lieutenant that he had signed that oath after he had been yelled at all day and that his hair had just been shaven off during his first day there, he comforted me that John was not at all forced to sign the oath.

Can you imagine how embarrassed Midshipman Leppla must be now that this is out? That his mommy tried to get him out because the Navy was just a bunch of big meanies.

Really, are these people so clueless they don't understand the military academies are run by the military? Do they think officers in the military get ordained, that they don't have to earn it?

And I won't even get into the abject condescension her and her mother displayed. Capt. Ed says everything I'd say plus some more so just go read it there.

UPDATE From the "Oh Dear God Help Us Department" for some reason I did not notice she is a senior in POLITICAL SCIENCE... sigh... Next year she'll be a staffer in some liberal Congressman's office and she'll be considered by her peers an expert on the military because he brother is in the Navy. We all knew liberals said such dumb things about the military because they where clueless... tonight we just had it confirmed. YIKES!

But a personal note in the extended section:

Idris Leppla, if you ever read this, stop thinking of your little brother as a stupid kid who doesn't know what is best for him. I know in that liberal infested swamp you go to you're taught that you know what's best for people. Grow up and smell the coffee; you don't.

You're brother is a big boy and rather than embarrass him, you should respect his decision but more importantly Idris, you should respect HIM. He's not your little bother any more, he's a man. He's a man who is doing more for his country than ... well let's just say he's doing more for his country than most of the people you hung out with at Columbia today.

Instead of disparaging his mental ability to make life decisions.. Thank him.

Thank him for serving his country when so many would prefer us fail. And when you thank him Idris ... tell him that comes from me too.


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Comments (56)

Wow. I wonder if he was ado... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Wow. I wonder if he was adopted? Not much in the way of brains in the rest of the family.

The second cousin once remo... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

The second cousin once removed but he just hasnt been removed far enough

literally, just when you th... (Below threshold)

literally, just when you think you've seen, read or heard EVERYTHING!

if Idris Leppla's brother had gone off to Pakistan to join alQueda she'd probably be happy as a clam. but becoming part of the EVIL United States military???


Paul,You threw dow... (Below threshold)


You threw down the gauntlet and set an extremely high bar with your headline there.

But, goddamit, I think you might be right that this is the stupidest thing written on the web . . . at least for 2007.

... she's gettin' lit up in... (Below threshold)

... she's gettin' lit up in the comments section of the article:

"What next, an expose on "1 + 1 = 2" ?- WARN YOUR CHILDREN !"

"Has anyone arranged for a doctor or nurse to call this poor girl about every 30 seconds or so? She clearly needs to be reminded to breathe"

She's pretty dumb, all righ... (Below threshold)

She's pretty dumb, all right. Almost Patty Murray dumb.

But "ever" is a long, long time. Check out some of our lefty commenters here, for examples of how high the bar is being constantly reset.

At least one thing is very ... (Below threshold)
civil disobedience:

At least one thing is very incorrect in what she writes. If he has been there less than 2 years he can leave at any time, and he does not have to go through 13 interviews, and he sure as hell does not have to meet with the head of the Navy. If this was his first summer then he was going through basic, which a lot like any other military basic training program. Now that the academic year has began he can call home every night, if for some crazed reason he wants to put up with his mother's and sister's rants.

As a result, it appears the main purpose of the article is to try and smear the military. Note to dumb sister, talk with your brother, not the Navy. He can be out of there in 48 hours if he wants.

Right up there with the mom... (Below threshold)

Right up there with the momma trying to get her son (who volunteered) out of the Army because he didn't know he might have to fight. Are these people born stupid or did their local liberal Moveon.org party (former democrat) ran school teach a class in stupidity? Inbred for a century or two could explain it.

Damn. Just DAMN. It is so h... (Below threshold)

Damn. Just DAMN. It is so hard for me to understand how someone could be SO FREAKIN' CLUELESS. It's truly amazing - in a scary way - that someone could be raised in America, get what is presumably a decent education, and get into college and not understand that the military academies are MILITARY.

And then - once she finally groks the purpose of our military academies, for her to hold them in ill regard -- nauseating. Her brother should disown her.

What a waste - this girl is pathetic.

I guess she will support hi... (Below threshold)
civil disobedience:

I guess she will support him like liberals support the troops, she can hope for his failure so he can come home in disgrace.

I never even applied to the... (Below threshold)

I never even applied to the Air Force Academy, just talked to the liaison officer about it and other people. Everyone is up front.

I know that the Naval Academy isn't the same (even if I don't know how it is different) but the idea that ANYONE doesn't know about the basic training part of it, hair cutting, no calling or visiting home, and then freshman year daily-life elements before they go in... yes, it's the definition of stupid.

Sorry Idris. If you went to Columbia because you liked the idea of people thinking you must be smart... you just blew it. Big time.

It might not be entirely your fault. Chances are your brother lied... or at least sugar coated his decision in a way that would diffuse conflict and resistance at home.

I think that the 13 interviews and hoops to jump are BS but so is the idea that YOU or your MOTHER can start out-processing for your brother.

Or do you not realize that you just publicly declared him legally and mentally incompetent?

Oh... another stooopid thing...

Do you not have any CLUE how easy it is to get kicked OUT of the Academies?

Having spent a career in th... (Below threshold)

Having spent a career in the military and the son of career military, I always try to remind myself that not everyone has a familiarity with that institution that almost everyone I've ever known has.

Then I run up against something like this girl, and realize there is no excuse for total ignorance of the most basic of known facts of one of our nation's oldest and esteemed institutions like the military academies.

It's not as if what they do at the service academies is the Manhattan Project.

Then think about the fact that her university, Columbia, is only about 48 miles from the USMA. And she had no idea what goes on there.

And liberals talk about conservatives having no intellectual curiosity.

Heheh, my favorite was the ... (Below threshold)

Heheh, my favorite was the moonbat mom who was worried about her son, a US Army Ranger in Iraq.

So, she went to Iraq to make sure he was doing okay.

I'd be like, "mom? MOM!!!"

Idris -- With all due respe... (Below threshold)
From the other comment section:

Idris -- With all due respect, you might want to memorize the line, 'Would you like fries with that?' Might help you after you graduate.

Yeah, those she and her fri... (Below threshold)
Wow, you're so smart:

Yeah, those she and her friends are so smart, they need to be told not to play in traffic.

Like wow, you must be so smart!

Nothing in the article indi... (Below threshold)

Nothing in the article indicates that she was crossing the road when she shouldn't have been or suddenly jogged out into traffic.

Unless you know different, Wow, you're out of line.

She should call Columbia an... (Below threshold)

She should call Columbia and demand her money back.

She should call Co... (Below threshold)
She should call Columbia and demand her money back.
Plus a bonus for ever treading upon the grounds of Columbia.

I hate to say it, but I'm thnkin' it might be best her brother leaves Annapolis. With a backgroud like that he has the potential to turn out to be a later day Kerry.

On the other hand his staying in, then volunteering for Persian Gulf duty on board an, OMG, a floating War Machine would provide months of entertainment after Code Pink and the rest of the moonbats get a hold of them.

I just noticed her piece is... (Below threshold)

I just noticed her piece is the first of a four part series.

Jeebus, stupid times 4!

On the other hand ... (Below threshold)
On the other hand his staying in, then volunteering for Persian Gulf duty on board an, OMG, a floating War Machine...

Wouldn't it just devastate the Columbia girl if her brother elected to be a Marine at the end of boat school?

What are you doing, wishing... (Below threshold)

What are you doing, wishing sis and mom have a heart attack John?

One other thing on the cluelessness of this idiot.

Unless something has drastically changed since I retired from the Service one has to be recommended by a U.S. Senator to be accepted to one of the service academes.

In addition, a potential student must submit his request to his Senators office anytime from January of their junior year through September of their senior year in high school.

So this young man knew long... long ago where he was going and what he was doing and his family was blindingly unaware.

MeThinks he's TRYING to get away and Sis better re-evaluate her relationship with the Bro.

'Cause it SUCKS. It's broken if not non-existent.

WAIT........!!!!!!!!1... (Below threshold)


Doesn't the Naval Academy offer a major in Orange Grove Management & Husbandry?

And YOU guys thought she was Schuuuutpid!!

"While we knew that someday... (Below threshold)

"While we knew that someday he would be required to serve...."

What, did I miss the reinstatement of the draft?

The scary part is not that ... (Below threshold)

The scary part is not that there are people so dumb they can write this stuff; what's scary is that there are people who read it and believe it.

I just don't get it. What ... (Below threshold)

I just don't get it. What part of "United States Naval Academy" did she not understand? Even more painful is the question, "Does the Columbia Spectator have a proof-reader?" Gah!

There was a point in my life when I thought a college graduate was a de-facto "smart person". That illusion was crushed a long time ago. This girl does not surprise me in the least. I deal with people every day with college degrees in various fields and often wonder how some of them even remember to breathe. Somehow, many people think education somehow compensates, or is a replacement, for their lack of common sense and wisdom.

"While we knew that some... (Below threshold)

"While we knew that someday he would be required to serve...." What, did I miss the reinstatement of the draft?

If I'm not mistaken, I think graduates are required to serve at least four years after going to one of the academies. I believe that may be what she was referring to.

Which brings us to a whole new level of dumbness.

My fear is that these dumbs... (Below threshold)
Glen Braden:

My fear is that these dumbsh*ts outnumber those with thinking brains.

Which brings us her ... (Below threshold)

Which brings us her to a whole new level of dumbness.

I like how she falls all ov... (Below threshold)

I like how she falls all over herself telling us how smart she is in the first paragraph. "See, I, a paragon of intelligence at Columbia, will tell you how bad the military is and you must believe me because I go to Columbia. Did I mention I go to Columbia?"

Remember the famous scenari... (Below threshold)

Remember the famous scenario where you have a room full of chimpanzees typing on type-writers and someday one will write Shakespeare?....well she's the one.

As a graduate of one of the... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

As a graduate of one of the other sevice academies, I can attest that they do not try to hide what they are from potential recruits. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The academies are very proud of their heritage and the people they produce. I applaud this kid for sticking to it and not allowing his idiot family to influence him.

This thing is so stupidly i... (Below threshold)

This thing is so stupidly ignorant, I'm beginning to get paranoid about it. If this is not sibling rivalry in public and disgraceful flaunt, I'd like to know what it is. But why must the sins of the sister be visited on the brother, if this is what is going on? How make whole Frere Jacque?

Please tell me this was a s... (Below threshold)

Please tell me this was a satire piece and Idris doesn't exist. Please.

The best comment in the threads at the original piece is:

"This article is a virtual pinata of asininity worthy of hyper-ridicule.
Tony Licari"

I think the real irony is t... (Below threshold)

I think the real irony is that rightists could believe a leftist could be so ignorant, and yet.....

Well, Idris is getting a pr... (Below threshold)

Well, Idris is getting a proper ass-whuppin' in the comments section over there, anyway...

Poor girl, I hope she's not too embarrassed to discover that she hasn't been getting that "top-tier" edumcation that she expected (and that mummy and daddy paid for, no doubt).

Plus, after writing that article (and I simply can't wait for parts II, III, and IV), there's probably NOBODY in her little sector of the universe who's gonna say to her, "Wow, you must be smart."

Au contraire, Susan, she ex... (Below threshold)

Au contraire, Susan, she expects this to vault her into the top tier of candidates for Secretary of Defense in the incoming Progressive Administration we are all moveingon dot to.

Oh crap, Kim, you're probab... (Below threshold)

Oh crap, Kim, you're probably right. *Sigh*

Wow, Paul, this is Barney l... (Below threshold)

Wow, Paul, this is Barney level stupid. I can just imagine him nodding his head and moving his lips as he reads it.

I wonder - Is Idris Leppla ... (Below threshold)

I wonder - Is Idris Leppla blond?

Mother of Gaia-<br... (Below threshold)

Mother of Gaia-

This is a quote from the "expose"-

When I looked at the course catalogue, which boasted seminars about leadership and selflessness, they were in fact seminars about weaponry and leading troops into combat. The reality of sending my brother to the Naval Academy began to set in: this was not a school; this was the military. While they boast a first class education, the main goal of this institution was to get my brother "combat ready."

Well hell just send him off with a really fine education -he can have rational discussions with IEDs and talk them out of blowing up...

It's not like Idra -his sister- is interested in him surviving or anything so base as that.

You know- B-A-S-I-C Training.

Seriously though- there are Republican Representatives thisstupid.

Representative Hefley-R of the Colorado Springs tried to put a stop to the glider program at the United States AIR FORCE Academy-because rich people had moved next door to the Academy and didn't realize that they would actually be subjected to plane noise coming from the flight line there.

They actually used the rational something to the effect that they thought it was "a college"...

Hefley was advocating dropping the programs-Let's teach the kids the mechanics of flying from books the hell with really experiencing it. Wouldn't want to actually prepare them to fly in the best Air Force in the world.

Wouldn't want the American taxpayer's to get their money's worth.

The noise for a few rich residents- who moved in "unknowingly" next door to a service Academy- was just too much to bear.

Thankfully Hefley was unsuccessful but he came too damn close for comfort.

Here is a link to a synopsis of an article describing Hefley's actions.

I forgot he also tried to stop the parachute jump classes....

Hefley Republican Representative from Colorado Springs tries to stop flight and jump training at USAFA

Part of the comment I left:... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Part of the comment I left:

"What you have just written, is the most insanely idiotic thing I have ever read. At no point, in your rambling incoherent post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this thread is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul."

I could look at a... (Below threshold)
I could look at a stranger, tell him or her that I went to Columbia, and hear the predictable, "Wow, you must be smart."

Funny, that she's unwitting helping to remove that 'stigma' from the school.

Her article is a tacit admission that neither she nor her family adequate thought through the decision that her brother was making. Hell, it's apparent that they didn't think at all. I submit that she should respond to the above quoted question with the statement, "No, at least one of your assumptions are incorrect."

I must allow him to pursue whatever path he is drawn toward, and he has admitted to me that he feels called to being there

She must 'allow' him ? Allow ? Why does she believe that he, an adult by society's standards, requires her permission ? Methinks thou authoritarian tendencies are showing.

Why didn't she provide info... (Below threshold)

Why didn't she provide information on just how difficult it is to get accepted into one of the academies.

In most cases its not as simple as just applying. Along with academic achievements, there is usually some level civic involvement, and in a lot of cases recommendation letters from elected officials and/or high-ranking officers.

Kudos to her brother for being accepted into such a great establishment.

Don't worry Idris. <... (Below threshold)

Don't worry Idris.

There's still hope your brother might someday become a gullible, meddlesome, leftist.

After all, Jimmy Carter graduated from the Naval Academy.

This is far from the first ... (Below threshold)

This is far from the first thing dear Idris has penned for that site. The others are not dis-similar in tone and substance:


For example:

"Yogurt is a tricky food."

Be sure to read her "thank you" to President Shapiro, which leads off with the following deathless prose:

"When I ask Barnard students what comes to mind when they think of President Shapiro, they say one of two things: Convocation and Strong Beautiful Barnard Woman."

It must be The Columbia Onion.

(Hmmm, "one of two things" - should that not have been an "or" instead of an "and" after that colon? Far be it for me, though, a former midshipman, to correct a highly intelligent Barnard/Columbia woman's grammar.)

What struck me is that momm... (Below threshold)

What struck me is that mommy and sis were calling the acadamy to get hime out, but at no point did I see where baby brother wanted out.

I am still chuckling over the phrase "navy marine".

I read about the first 300 ... (Below threshold)

I read about the first 300 comments and laughed my head off! This essay is all over USNA now... I feel sorry for her poor Plebe brother. He must really be taking it. But then, the essay was so factually incorrect and the sister is getting pounded so hard maybe his company circled the wagons around him. I hope so...

My runner up for best comment was posted by "Mid X": If you come to the academy I'll throw poop on you.

2nd runner up: What did you think he was studying, yachting?

Best comment: Why can't we all just go to Barnard and solve the world's problems through interpretive dance and poetry?

I personally believe that 2... (Below threshold)

I personally believe that 20% of the Bernard and Columbia students cannot find the Naval Academy on a map because some people...such as in South Africa and The Iraq do not have maps. And I personally believe that we should help students such as...Bernard and Columbia...students to find South Africa and The Iraq on a map and they can GO LIVE THERE.

#48.. we have a new winner... (Below threshold)

#48.. we have a new winner

You do not just stumble int... (Below threshold)

You do not just stumble into the service academies, any of them. You do not just wake up one day, and say, "Oh, I want to go to X Academy," show up, sign up, and walk on in. Her brother knew exactly what he was doing. He worked hard to get it. In fact, he worked his fraking ass of to get where he is now. He is pursuing a relatively decent education, followed on with a guaranteed offer of employment - doing one of the most honorable and respectable jobs I can think of of the top of my head.

And this halfwit moron of a sister, and absolutely idiotic mother, are trying their utmost damnest to ruin it all for him? Bugger to that.

To the mother: (Assuming he is over 18...) Your son is a man now. Legally, he is capable of making his very own decisions, by his very own self. Regardless, he raised his right hand, signed on the dotted line, and swore an oath. Would you have your precious little son break his word, break a contract, break his agreement? Some mother you are.

To the sister: Holy flying squirrel tails. Educate your idiotic self. I guess it goes without saying that you single-handedly destroyed the concept that people coming from your college are somehow "smart". What part about NAVAL Academy did you just not understand? Are you incapable of reading? Or is just putting two words together too hard for you? Hell's bells girl, all it would take is for you to go to the college's bloody webpage, and even someone as painfully dense as you would probably be able to catch on. And for the love of all that is holy and good in this world, please, PLEASE, PLEASE stop writing these thought-forsaken columns. Plebe year is a pain in the butt as it is, but having a complete moron of a sister like you back on the home front doing this kind of fifth-column bulldren is bound to make his life miserable. Of course, that could very well be your goal - humiliate and embarass your brother in the eyes of his classmates enough that he cannot bear it any more and leaves. If so, with family like you at home, we surely do not even need the Al Qaeda.

*sighs* What morons, we raise these days.

If Idris was born and raise... (Below threshold)

If Idris was born and raised in San Francisco, then went to Barnard, it might explain things.



Hmm, Idris no longer exists... (Below threshold)

Hmm, Idris no longer exists on the ColumbiaObserver site. Must have been a figment of our imagination.

Musta been a temporary thin... (Below threshold)

Musta been a temporary thing. She's back on their server.

In the future when someone ... (Below threshold)

In the future when someone tells me they went to Columbia this idiot will come to mind.
You went to Columbia? you must be drooling idiot.

I understand where Idris Le... (Below threshold)
Pastor Gordon Spot:

I understand where Idris Leppla and her mother are coming from. USMA, USNA, AFA, CGA and even the MMA are not Kansas anymore Toto. Only a person that has been there for four years knows what it is like. If a person is there for the reasons that were stated, being set for life, money, top tier college, the uniform, or the girls, a separation is in order. If they are in to serve their country to the best of their ability and are willing to accept the training and resources made available to them, they will do well.
As a retired restricted line officer that has served our country for 30 years and have supported three sons in their decisions to attend service academies I feel that it is unconscionable that belligerent comments are being posted about liberals. I post my service record in comparison to any other here.

Admittedly, I don't usually... (Below threshold)
You People Are Idiots:

Admittedly, I don't usually stoop to reading right-wing drivel such as this. I usually just laugh to myself at what astute, intelligent, well-informed people fine institutions like Bob Jones and Pepperdine produce (and I have to say, I just feel sorry for Lily for even realizing that this poor girl goes to "Barnard" as opposed to "Bernard").

But I just couldn't hold back.

Do none of you really have anything better to do with your time than pat each other on the back for all disagreeing in the same way at a college undergrad? Have you really already gotten bored of denying gays the right to marry and supporting the white high school students of Jena, Louisana?

Or do you just not have the attention span?

I'm sure only a couple in the 55 of you have ever had anything to do with the military whatsoever (I would bet my next semester's tuition that not one of you geniuses actually *got in* one of the academies)... So for the love of Christ, get a hobby.

How about you, Paul- have you been to Baghdad recently? Can you point it out on a map? How about your children? Have you shipped them off yet?

Nevermind how much it offends my sensibilities as a female Columbia graduate to read that Barnard is the "woman's wing of Columbia." 1983 called to tell you that Barnard is a separate, but affiliated institution of Columbia University and that Columbia is co-educational... Or maybe you didn't do your research?






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