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Thread: No wonder our government keeps passing more draconian laws

  1. #1
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    No wonder our government keeps passing more draconian laws

    US officials flunk test of Amerian history, economics, civics
    Thu Nov 20, 2:24 pm ET
    WASHINGTON (AFP) – US elected officials scored abysmally on a test measuring their civic knowledge, with an average grade of just 44 percent, the group that organized the exam said Thursday.

    Ordinary citizens did not fare much better, scoring just 49 percent correct on the 33 exam questions compiled by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

    "It is disturbing enough that the general public failed ISI's civic literacy test, but when you consider the even more dismal scores of elected officials, you have to be concerned," said Josiah Bunting, chairman of the National Civic Literacy Board at ISI.

    "How can political leaders make informed decisions if they don't understand the American experience?" he added.

    The exam questions covered American history, the workings of the US government and economics.

    Among the questions asked of some 2,500 people who were randomly selected to take the test, including "self-identified elected officials," was one which asked respondents to "name two countries that were our enemies during World War II."

    Sixty-nine percent of respondents correctly identified Germany and Japan. Among the incorrect answers were Britain, China, Russia, Canada, Mexico and Spain.

    Forty percent of respondents, meanwhile, incorrectly believed that the US president has the power to declare war, while 54 percent correctly answered that that power rests with Congress.

    Asked about the electoral college, 20 percent of elected officials incorrectly said it was established to "supervise the first televised presidential debates."

    In fact, the system of choosing the US president via an indirect electoral college vote dates back some 220 years, to the US Constitution.

    The question that received the fewest correct responses, just 16 percent, tested respondents' basic understanding of economic principles, asking why "free markets typically secure more economic prosperity than government's centralized planning?"

    Activities that dull Americans' civic knowledge include talking on the phone and watching movies or television -- even news shows and documentaries, ISI said.

    Meanwhile, civic knowledge is enhanced by discussing public affairs, taking part in civic activities and reading about current events and history, the group said.
    Apparently these dimwits have never read the Constitution at all and yet they are sworn to protect and defend it. How can they when they think the electoral college is some new thing they came out with for TELEVISION?? I guess I can conclude why our elected representatives voted for the bailouts probably because they think the money will keep everything the same as it were ! I sadly weep for this country!

    P.S. It also shows why a lot of our representatives believe in "common sense" gun control!! Most probably never even heard of the 2nd Amendment!!

  2. #2
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    Yes, I flinched a bit reading this too. But it simply confirms what we already knew...just didn't want to admit.

    We're being governed by a collective failure.

    Now, did WE elect these morons? Or was it the media? Hmmm....
    God willing, I will never have to return fire - I will initiate.

  3. #3
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    Found it!

    http://www.americancivicliteracy.org...rces/quiz.aspx


    30/33 90.91% WOOHOOO!!!!

    EDIT: I got #4, #7, and #18 wrong. But according to the site, I did better than most professors!

    EDIT2:

    Activities that dull Americans' civic knowledge include talking on the phone and watching movies or television -- especially news shows and documentaries, ISI said.
    Fixed.
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    Giving Spain as an example suggests that the writer doesnt know his history very well either. (He may be correct, but the point is made stronger by leaving Spain off the list.) Technically Spain was neutral during WW2, having just come out of a civil war and in no condition to continue fighting. But Spain was sympathetic to the Nazis and I believe gave strategic supplies to the Axis powers.
    "Nobody wins in a Dairy Challenge" —Kenny Rogers

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    And how did you score?

    http://www.americancivicliteracy.org...rces/quiz.aspx


    My wife sent me the link yesterday. Everybody in my family (2 college grads, 1 college senior, one college sophomore, one high school junior) did 66% or better. I'm rather ashamed of my pitiful 97%---embarrassing!

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    I missed the one about the Puritans. (I thought they were Protestants rather than Catholics, but I checked that one anyway because they were fleeing religious persecution by the Church of England.) I got all the rest correct, but I almost missed the one about taxes=spending.
    "Nobody wins in a Dairy Challenge" —Kenny Rogers

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    I got a lousy 76% (beer will do that to ya)
    ANJRPC, NRA

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    Note the term "self-identified elected officials" in the body of the article. There is no way for sure to know whether anybody who took the test is in fact an actual elected official. There is no indication as to what office these self-described "officials" hold. There is no indication whether these people were "elected" in a general election or were elected in a living-room meeting to represent their precinct in a party caucus. Also, many elected officials, such as state treasurer or state auditor, have no authority to enact laws, either good or bad.

    A lot of ire and chest-thumping is being generated by very little actual information.

  9. #9
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    The one about Taxes vs. Spending is IMO a poorly constructed question. (Plus, I'm bitter about "missing" it )

    - It gives no context; is there an existing debt, or are we in a balanced-budget / no-debt situation to start with?
    - Is this about a society where everyone pays exactly the same amount (not percentage) of taxes? That's pretty fanciful

    By definition, the *aggregate* taxes would be the same as the *aggregate* gov't spending in the situation described, but that makes it a silly question, if that's the intended answer

    Bitter, bitter, bitter.

    timothy

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    You answered 27 out of 33 correctly — 81.82 %
    Not too bad
    Last edited by WhisperFan; November 23rd, 2008 at 06:34 PM.

  11. #11
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    I missed 7 and 31 for a 94% grade.
    Another person I asked to take the test earned a 55%.
    "Touch Not A Cat's Butt At Target"

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    When I was appointed to a local land use control board some years ago, I (along with all other new appointees) was informed in no uncertain terms that we were expected to read the regulations we were appointed to enforce. And read them we did. I am pleased and proud to say that, for the duration of time I served on that board at least, it truly was a bi-partisan (or non-partisan) effort. There wasn't a single application that came before us that was tainted by politics during the review process. Republicrats and Demicans alike discussed each application on its merits, and (so far as I know) voted according to their own views on how the application met the regulations, not whether their party was "fer it or agin' it."

    Perhaps we need a Constitutional amendment requiring those who are elected to protect and defend said Constitution to read the dang thing when they take office, and to read it again each time they get reelected.

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    I missed the spending one on account of the fact that I considered the external/foreign expenditures as responsible for decreasing the amount spent per citizen, thus throwing it out of balance. More detail definitely needed there.
    "Training errors are recorded on paper. Tactical errors are etched in stone." -Erwin Rommel
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  14. #14
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    30 out of 33= 90.91%.
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    You answered 29 out of 33 correctly — 87.88 %

  16. #16
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    Question 30 is deceptively phrased. There's the right and sensible thing to do, but one ought not necessarily expect a government to do that.

    32 out of 33 correctly — 96.97 %
    I missed the one about the Puritans. (I thought they were Protestants rather than Catholics, but I checked that one anyway because they were fleeing religious persecution by the Church of England.)
    "Total Depravity". The Puritans thought the CofE was too squishy.
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    And beside you I desire nothing on earth." --PS 73

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    The test is obviously flawed. . .

    . . . I scored 33 out of 33. Something ain't right.
    "No one heals himself by wounding another." Saint Ambrose of Milan

    "...a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." Ps li:19

  18. #18
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    Aced it -- 100%.

    No wonder I want no part of being in the government!

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  19. #19
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    Just took it. Scored 28 out of 33. Means 84.85% according to them.
    I like the questions.
    Let's all stand together, so we won't have to stand apart later on.

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  20. #20
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    27 out of 30
    No Choice No Chance. Support Campus CCW.

    I think people are entitled to beliefs that are not completely illogical. Want to believe the sky is plaid? Too bad, facts are against you. People don't get to believe in anything willy nilly and expect to be able to hide behind defenses of "it is my belief" or "it is my opinion." I don't have to agree with the logic and/or proof, but there has to be at least some of either.
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  21. #21
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    29 out of 33 correctly — 87.88 %. I'm embarrassed, got in a hurry and didn't RTFQ a couple of times.

    ( I did get the one about the Puritans though, they were/are some serious whackjobs )
    Some people are like slinkies. Not really good for anything but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

  22. #22
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    You answered 32 out of 33 correctly — 96.97 %
    Somehow missed #7.
    "Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place." - Frederic Bastiat, The Law

  23. #23
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    Note the term "self-identified elected officials" in the body of the article. There is no way for sure to know whether anybody who took the test is in fact an actual elected official. There is no indication as to what office these self-described "officials" hold. There is no indication whether these people were "elected" in a general election or were elected in a living-room meeting to represent their precinct in a party caucus. Also, many elected officials, such as state treasurer or state auditor, have no authority to enact laws, either good or bad.

    A lot of ire and chest-thumping is being generated by very little actual information.
    I think someone forgot to look at the first sentence where it said "US elected officials." As in they were elected by a constituency. Besides does it matter what office they hold? If they are going to hold a public office representing the people of the United States they better damn well know the Constitution, history, and other areas of knowledge in being a representative. If they are elected by a "living room" meeting or party caucus does that give them a free pass to be ignorant and still hold office to create more draconian laws even if they are state auditors or treasurers. I do not care if you are the janitor if you work for the state in any way you should be well versed in the Constitution as a given. You would not hire someone who didn't have a clue on how to do their job then why do we give a pass to elected officials??

  24. #24
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    27/30 - 81%

    I screwed up on 4, 7, 11, 14, 15, and 30. I can never seem to match a quote or a particular block of text to its original document.

    Colin

  25. #25
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    There is no verification that anyone who took the test was in fact an "elected official"; some people merely categorized themselves as "self-identified elected officials".

    I don't expect the a janitor, the garbage collector or the person who holds the STOP sign at the road construction project to be amateur Constitutional scholars; they are not paid to be and it's not part of their job description.

    If they are elected by a "living room" meeting or party caucus does that give them a free pass to be ignorant and still hold office to create more draconian laws even if they are state auditors or treasurers.
    You perhaps need to re-read what I wrote a bit more closely.

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