Dear Daily Beast,
RARELY DO I DEIGN to publicly respond to the seemingly innumerable slights visited upon what I consider my spiritual home, Las Vegas. However, given the particularly sour tabloid flavor of your so-called "report," "America's Smartest (and Dumbest) Cities," today I feel duty-bound to offer at least a brief rejoinder to your glib and irresponsible characterization -- not to mention your hopelessly unsound methodology behind said characterization -- of Las Vegas as "America's Dumbest City."
NOW, I SHALL DISPENSE here with unearthing the egregious flaws in your study, such as the alarming absence of any fineness or detail regarding the use of variables such as "year-to-date adult nonfiction booksales [sic]" in the specious and foolhardy quest for evaluating a city's total intelligence. For example, did you pursue a line of inquiry that sought to determine whether Boston's 7,031,000 nonfiction book sales thus far this year were largely composed of purchases of "Hot Chicks with Douchebags" or, worse, "Tuesdays with Morrie"? The assumptions built into such measurements would indeed prove lethal to the publication of a study of any real scientific merit -- a consideration that would have been borne firmly in mind if The Daily Beast had any meaningful standards of publication, not to mention a grasp of what constitutes scientific merit. Again, however, I shall attempt to keep the length of my retort commensurate with the import of your alleged piece of journalism.
THIS IS NOT TO SAY, HOWEVER, that your "report" is not without some utility, in that it coincidentally (if a bit stumblingly) does underscore some of my deepest concerns relating to education in Nevada -- specifically, the comparatively dismal rate of government funding of education at all levels. I won't belabor your time or patience with yet another dreary recitation, for instance, of Nevada's low per-pupil funding level, or its teacher salaries, or even the grave budget cuts recently inflicted upon the institutions of higher education in Nevada. However, I must concur with you in at least one slim sense: That if we continue along, starving our educational infrastructure -- curiously, a variable your "report" neglected to consider -- we will be a dumb state indeed.
OH, AND SERIOUSLY. We ranked below Fresno. Fresno? I ask you in all earnestness: WTF?!