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Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thanks for watching us tonight.

Don't know much about geography, or anything else for that matter.  That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo .

A new study by the National Geographic Society said most American students are dunderheads when it comes to geography.  Eighty-seven percent of Americans between 18 and 24 cannot locate Iraq on a world map, 11 percent cannot even locate the United States, even though they live here.  However, 34 percent of this group knew that last season's "Survivor" series was located in the South Pacific.

Swedish students scored the highest in this world survey.  The USA was at the bottom.  Only Mexico worse.  However, many Mexicans know where the border is, but Talking Points digresses.

This survey should come as no surprise, as discipline in America's public schools has collapsed.  No matter how much taxpayer money we send to those schools, unless discipline is reimposed, many students will embrace the philosophy of the legendary Sergeant Schultz -- they will know nothing.

The danger here is that in the next 20 years, Americans will become so isolated in their thinking, so selfish in their motivations, that the rest of the world will lose respect for us.  Already Europe mocks President Bush because of his limited travel abroad.  And many Americans couldn't care less about what happens on the rest of the planet.

Since we live in a world that is both dangerous and necessary for our economic prosperity, American students simply have to learn about other cultures and people.  But again, our public schools do not force students to learn about history and geography.  Instead they are inundated with touchy-feely self-esteem classes and given excuses to avoid academic discipline.

Great countries are created by great people.  If the majority of citizens in any country become soft and stupid, it is only a matter of time before that country falls into chaos.  Unfortunately, few American students know anything about the fall of the Roman Empire.  But the parallels with America are eerie.

Right now we Americans are enthusiastic about money, fame, intoxicants, sex, and entertainment diversions.  We are not real bullish on academics, introspective thought, or patriotic duty.  It's time that we the people demand public schools begin educating American children before it's too late.

And that's The Memo .

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for the "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."

People magazine has selected Ben Affleck as the sexiest man alive.  Now your humble correspondent -- me -- sat next to Affleck on a plane.  Maybe it is me, but -- well, anyway.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran its own sexiest man alive poll, and the winner is [CNN Anchor] Aaron Brown.  I'm not being ridiculous.  Mr. Brown at CNN got 42 percent of the internet votes.

Somehow, I think his cohorts down there in Atlanta may have helped him out a bit.  However, I could be wrong, and Mr. Brown may, indeed, be the sexiest man alive.  God help us.

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