You answered 30 out of 33 correctly — 90.91 %
Average score for this quiz during November: 77.8%
Average score: 77.8%
Now you try it:
After reading the summary of the ISI study of American college students who took this exam, I was: 1) pleased with myself for having an apparently pretty good grasp on the subject matter; and 2) really disappointed that the majority of surveyed students failed the quiz miserably.
Our Fading Heritage:
Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions is the third major study conducted by ISI on the kind of knowledge required for informed citizenship. In 2006 and 2007, ISI published the first ever scientific surveys of civic learning among college students. Each year, approximately 14,000 freshmen and seniors at 50 schools nationwide were given a 60-question, multiple-choice exam on basic knowledge of America’s heritage. Both years, the students failed. The average freshman scored 51.7% the first year and 51.4% the next. The average senior scored 53.2%, then 54.2%. After all the time, effort, and money spent on college, students emerge no better off in understanding the fundamental features of American self-government.
How much do you know about your heritage, America? Well, go find out.
BECAUSE WE TOOK OVER THEIR LAND, TREATED THEM LIKE SHIT, AND THEN STUCK THEM ON RESERVATIONS AND TOOK AWAY THEIR KIDS.
So, give thanks while you stuff your face and pretend to like your family today... I recommend consuming a good bit of alcohol to help take the edge off the "holiday season".
Oh, if you need a laugh, this is good (via Aa):
Disgraced pastor returns, as Christian businessman
This is the same man who was in Jesus Camp.
I have absolutely no words. All I can think of is that this one single person represents everything I stand against: intolerance, homophobia, discrimination, and blind ignorant devotion (and in the name of my least favorite religion, no less: Christianity).
How can someone even begin to consider believing what this man says is true? How?
Never underestimate the power of "believers".
If there actually were a God I hope he'd strike people like Ted Haggard with lightning. I know I would.
This article is no exception:
Killing the trolley, now themselves
I thought it had some pretty good insights :]
In times of economic recession, we as a country have always responded by centralizing government and looking to "big government" to step in and pull us back out. The most prominent example that comes to mind is Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. Hoover's (a Republican) ideology did not work. He was so hellbent on preserving individualism (yes, one of the tenets our country was founded on) that he refused to incorporate direct government policies to do anything to help the country. He instead left it to the bureaucracy and big business to right itself. This clearly did not work-- however, since the time of Woodrow Wilson this theory has been the predominant one of the Republican party. It is obviously not working. Conversely, FDR's centralization ideals have become the predominant ones of the Democratic Party. This is important because I don't think you are going to find many people labeling FDR as a "Socialist". This is simply the same theory that Obama is using to bring about recovery by preserving the capitalist democratic system. He realizes that he also has to reinstate faith in the Presidency and the American economy. In order to do that he has to use "big government" to preserve these capitalist ideals.
This is NOT socialism. Welfare reform and government programs are exactly what this country needs right now if we are to pull ourselves back up both domestically and internationally.
Furthermore, Obama is the only candidate that I heard offering a clear solution to the war-- on which BOTH parties agree we must end. 16 months. That's the deadline. In fact, if you've been watching CNN or MSNBC or the BBC (personally I favor these because they give a slightly more objective point of view on the news), Iraq has already endorsed President-elect Obama for his promise to withdraw, and giving a finite deadline for doing so. However, he has not backed down from the threat of terrorism and has repeatedly stated that he will keep troops in the Middle East with a renewed effort to combat said terrorism and pursue terrorist organizations. This has also recieved endorsement from the Middle East.
As for Obama being a Muslim, personally, Islam scares me a whole lot less than Christianity. And I still don't see what religion has to do with any of it since we have no official national religion; if it were up to me (I'm glad it's not) the presidential candidate's religion would remain undisclosed in the election because I would certainly like to believe that our President would act in the best interest of our country, not his own personal beliefs or tenets of a dogmatic religion.
Call that socialism. I dare you.
This country has long since been founded on borderline socialist ideals, easily interpreted from the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. However, we enact them through the process of a democracy.
Although I am still extremely skeptical of the government and politics in general, I am certainly hopeful that Obama will practice what he preaches. I think that in this time it is important to have a President that is not only intelligent but also willing to listen to advisers of all different creeds, colors, and opinions. And I honestly believe Obama will do that.
I also think it is important that on many issues petty partisan differences are set aside to reach a common goal: whether or not we made the best choice is now irrelevant. We must now take a stand toward the development of our future and the prosperity and reputation of our nation.
Peace and love,
An entire holiday nearly devoted to hedonism. And really good scary movies on TV. And multiple excuses to party one's ass off.
I know I will be enjoying myself =]
Yes, I have had my experiences with discrimination and prejudice in this community. Yes, I am usually offended by someone's intolerance and ignorance; even the fact that sometimes people get uncomfortable when they realize I'm gay (it's not really all that hard). But in spite of all of that, I had a blast last night at a big gay party out in somebody's barn. The fact that the community in Springfield can mobilize enough have a really decent turnout at an event like that means that they could mobilize for our rights and social equity.
Anyway, it was a great party and a great night.
In a tangential but almost entirely unrelated side note, apparently we have a roundabout just outside of town on one of the minor highways. How exciting is that?!?
Pretty damn, if you ask me.
Sometimes, I could hit someone in the face because of their arrogance and ignorance. Anyone who can fascistly subscribe to a belief system that uses fear and intimidation to scare people into their doctrine is evil. It's amazing to me that the majority of the United States of America's population simply doesn't understand how horrific Christianity can be.
How sick is this? It just makes me even angrier that there's so little I can do about it.
Some people are just so filled with utter hatred (excuse me, piety) that they really buy into and believe the racist and discriminatory bullshit that they are preaching. They are right about one thing though: the world may be headed towards a scary future... at the hands of the Christians.
I wonder when they decide to endorse holy wars if people will come to their senses?
Oh, and Dr. James Dobson, this is a special message for you and the horrible organization called Focus on the Family:
SUCK MY HOMOSEXUAL ATHEIST LIBERAL COCK YOU IGNORANT, MISLEADING, INTOLERANT-FASCIST-BIGOT-ASSHOLE.
... on second thought, please don't...
Fuck you and your Ph.D. in Christian Psychology. You are directly responsible for the hardship of so many people. I honestly hope that one day someone gets to bring you to justice and that you realize before the end how hateful your message is, how many lives it has affected, and how worse off the world is because of the things that you preach to the masses (which eat it up like cheesecake on a silver platter).
It's days like these that I look around and sigh with the vague hope that humanity isn't sowing the seeds of its own destruction.
I know that I can always count on the American people to ruin my lovely evening, further encourage my growing dislike of humanity, and give me something to rant about. At least I have something to spend my time being frustrated at. (Yes, I realize that I ended that sentence with a preposition. Deal with it.)
Being an openly gay male, it is my hope that one day I will be afforded the same rights as every other American citizen; I will not be a second-class minority that is continually marginalized in American society and American politics. Even though I have serious issues about monogamy (see: The Case Against Monogamy) I do believe that everyone, EVERYONE, should have the right to the option of marriage. Gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, etc etc.; black, white, red, yellow; Chinese, Egyptian, French, American, Venezuelan, Australian, Syrian; tall, short, fat, skinny; male or female; any and all of these and more I'm sure. Everyone has the right to get married in our country. I don't even care if can you speak English; I don't care if you regularly brush your teeth; I don't care if you don't have a driver's license; I don't care if you make a million dollars a year or if you live off of welfare: everyone has the right to get married to whomever they so choose.
In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 22 of the California State constitution was unconstitutional on the basis that it violated the equal protection clause of said constitution. Proposition 22 enacted a statute that "limited marriage to a relationship between a man and a woman." On June 17, 2008, it became legal for same-sex couples to get married in the state of California. Kudos to CA, and the Supreme Court for having the balls to go up against such discriminatory legislation.
So here's the conservative reaction to this, because they absolutely cannot stand the fact that fags are getting married all around them:
PROPOSITION 8: California Marriage Protection Act
ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Fiscal Impact: Over next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact on state and local governments.I would love to say that I am both shocked and outraged but quite frankly it doesn't really surprise me. In a land where a mother wouldn't love her own offspring because of their sexual orientation, I understand that this kind of narrow-minded paleolithic way of thinking is firmly embedded in our current "modern" society. Unfortunately, for me and the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF OTHER LIKE ME, this kind of thinking is denying us some of our basic freedoms, mainly: THE RIGHT TO GET MARRIED AND BE HAPPY.
Where does said right derive from? Several places. Since I already wrote a ten-page research paper on the Defense of Marriage Act and Why It's Unconstitutional, I will spare you the subsequent litany on why same-sex marriage does not violate the United States Constitution in any way, shape, or form. The only reason that same-sex marriage violates any state constitutions is because several states enacted legislation to amend the definition of marriage in their constitutions.
This is a classic case of blatant discrimination. It's amazing to me that these right-wing fundamentalists don't draw the parallels between gay rights and the African-American civil liberties struggle of the 1960's. It's the same story, different time period. Soon we will have assigned places to sit on the bus and subway.
Just how sad and behind is our country? Well, let's see: Belgium, Canada, Norway, South Africa, Spain, and the Netherlands all recognize and allow same-sex marriage. In the United Kingdom, civil partnerships have identical legal status to a marriage, and partners gain all the same benefits and associated legal rights; ranging from tax exemptions and joint property rights, to next-of-kin status and shared parenting responsibilities. Partnership ceremonies are performed by a marriage registrar in exactly the same manner as a secular civil marriage.
The thing that people who argue that marriage is a religious institution and therefore legalising same-sex marriage is a violation of church and state fail to recognize is that marriage is both a state and religious institution. Guess what you have to do to become legally accepted as a partnership in the United States? Sign a MARRIAGE LICENSE. It's not legal nor federally recognized until you do. You can have as many marriage ceremonies at your local church as you want to but that don't make it legit, Sparky.
Likewise, simply allowing same-sex couples to get married does not force any religious institution to marry those couples, in the same way that no religious institution is forced to marry any hetero couples: they can choose not to. So there's no interference with religion in any way by legally recognizing a same-sex marriage. At all.
I like Senator Obama's sentiment on the subject:
[he supports extending] "fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law....And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states."
By the way, the proponents of Prop. 8 cite that "All 4 candidates endorse their cause!" based on Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin's statements during the V.P. debates in September. Actually, the Obama/Biden campaign is in support of deregulating marriage as a state institution, instead, redefining "marriage" as a religious institution and "civil union" as a federal institution. Effectively, this means that you have to sign a CIVIL UNION to become legally recognized as a couple in the United States; you then get "married" in a church, synagogue, or equivalent religous facility. So, even hetero couples would have to get a civil union to be legally recognized as partners. What this would do is effectively extend all the same rights, benefits, and recognition to both hetero and homo couples. Pretty fantastic idea, huh? So although Joe Biden and Barack Obama don't support "gay marriage", they certainly don't support any form of discrimination or traditional definition of marriage.
Somehow it is beyond me that many people consider that we live in the greatest country in the world, yet would advocate the subjugation of any minority seeking refuge and equal protection under the law. It's the basis that our country was founded on: everyone is equal, and everyone has the right to pursue their own personal happiness (insomuchas it doesn't hurt anybody else). And let's face it, homophobes: two fags hooking up doesn't affect or even remotely affect you in any way, shape, or form. So why the fuck is it such a big deal to you? The fact that there are people in this world that would spend such effort on marginalizing and discriminating against other people is both sad and astounding to me.
Oh yes, for all you red, white and blue blooded Christians out there, I realize that our country was founded under God in one teensy place in the damn Preamble. This is the particular reason why we don't let buddhists, muslims, or jews into our country, and why we certainly don't let them worship here... in the same way your pedantic, antiquated, and hateful beliefs don't apply to homosexuals. Sorry, bro.
I am nearly ashamed to live in a country that would tout itself as "the greatest country in the world" when there are people living in it that do not have the same version of humanity, rights, or citizenship extended to them as others.
My point here being: if this passes I'm considering moving to Canada.
PS- if John McCain wins the presidency, I am already checking out apartments in Montreal.
Because here's what I'd ask him:
You said in the V.P. debates that both you and Sen. Obama are against gay marriage. Since I'm gay that's a big part of my agenda, so what incentive does the gay community have to vote for you?Just because I want to see him eat his words, and I know he won't be expecting that kind of question from southwest Missouri. Ha.
So. I understand that there are plenty of marriages out there that last forever and ever until death do they part (death's a bitch, sometimes) and that there are many many many happy, committed couples that stay together and pray together and blah blah blah. So here's the thing: I don't think marriage is the be all, end all.
I increasingly find myself becoming a pariah for thinking (and saying) so, but it's true. Marriage is not the final answer to relationships. And here's why:
One. I can't even get married in this country. No, not even in California, silly. That's a gimmick. A joke. And Republicans don't agree with it anyhow. So marriage, for me, in this way, is not even a viable option. Which is just fine as I don't plan on getting married any time soon [if ever].
Two. People seem to have this idea that relationships progress along a very certain system, a list of the "right" way to meet someone, fall in love, and follow a very boring plot line for said relationship. I think it goes something like this:
A. Meet desired partner.
B. Become infatuated [minorly obsessed with said person].
C. Start dating.
D. Start fucking.
E. Fall in love and/or have children*.
*having children is negotiable at E stage; it is often the product of D stage, in which case E stage also becomes negotiable
F. Get married.
G. Get a mortgage on a house you can't afford.
H. Have children/more children.
I. Attempt to raise children.
J. Deal with separation anxiety when said children grow up and begin relationship processes of their own.
K. Grow old together and take really dumb vacations to places like Tunica, MS.
L. Death does you part.
However, this is not the only method that works, and although it works for everyone who has a 1950's view of the family, *cough* conservatives *cough*, there are many different ways to go about this process. It is particularly interesting to mix up the steps a little and see where that leads, or, some people never decide to make it past stage D.
This "linear" idea of the relationship process is embedded into our psyche from the moment we meet dysfunctional mommy and daddy. It's the only norm presented by our modern society. And if you don't follow this norm, you're defective. You don't get it. You don't make the cut. You're not "relationship material".
Let's face it, many people are happy to be single and enjoy all the promiscuous sex they can handle in their relatively short lifespan. And many people add a divorce stage at random at any stage between F. and L.
Three. Marriages don't work FOR-EV-ER. Many times you wake up ten years later next to a complete stranger, or even worse, THE SAME PERSON YOU MARRIED. People grow and change, that doesn't stop after age 25. Sometimes they grow together, sometimes they grow apart. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Marriage doesn't have to be forever. It's a nice idea, it's just a fourteen-year-old-schoolgirl idea of romance and love and happy endings. I don't write this because I'm bitter or disillusioned or jaded or spurned or had a bad childhood; I write this because it's the truth. Marriages can last for twenty years, ten years, five years, two years. It's the idea of commitment (at the time) that counts. Saying, "Look, I will devote myself entirely to you so long as we can stand to be devoted to each other." Marriage is a serious commitment, to be sure, but it is not the solution to the relationship equation. It shouldn't be entered into or exited out of lightly, either. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with ending a marriage when it's done and over, when the two people are neither in love nor compatible any longer.
And for being single: that works for some people. Why is there such pressure in today's society to have a partner, a significant other, a lover, a companion? Some people go their whole lives without marrying or committing, not because they can't, but because they don't want to. Again, there's nothing wrong with that.
So this question of "when will you meet a nice boy/girl and settle down?" is one that is entirely out-dated and slightly ignorant. I think people should decide what works for them on their own terms, without being told from infancy that there is a certain formula for reciprocal happiness with a significant other. Marriage should be considered an option, not a goal. Marriage doesn't (at least, it shouldn't) give you any higher standing or more respect as an individual. Congratulations! You've mastered commitment! Huzzah for you!
Now fuck off and let the rest of us single people lead our lonely lives running from all forms of relationships. HA!
No, seriously, I really mean all of that but the preceding sentence. And I might mean that just a little.
So, since this has been a ranting blog, let me end it with something REALLY amusing, stolen from Aa at Braving the Elements.
We Saw The Shadows of the Morning Light, The Shadows of the Evening Sun, 'Till The Shadows and Light Were One
Richard Kelly may have gotten a bit ambitious with this one-- it takes his
Kelly shows us yet again that there is much more to film-making than stock characters and expensive stunt scenes.
I do have to wonder: did the actors understand the movie they were making any better than I did watching it?
Even if MySpace now has several corporate sponsors. And the new music player fucks with my profile... but Tom sent out a lovely message that said they were working on improving it.
So about this nifty video I found:
It's an animation of Radiohead's Reckoner from the In Rainbows album, by Clement Picon. It was one of the winners of Aniboom's Animation Contest. The part when the tree is red and golden reminds me of The Fountain (which of course is my fav movie of all time. Duh.)
Radiohead - Reckoner - by Clement Picon
and why right-wing conservatives love that she's a lesbian
So here's the deal, Lindsay. You can be whoever the hell you want to be. I don't give a shit. But why did you have to be gay? Is it a phase? Is it to continually capitulate yourself into the tabloid sphere and therefore remain an imminent celebrity?
Lohan, get your shit in order. This is a critical time for gay rights, which as far as I'm aware you don't give a rat's ass about. The last thing we need is you as an example of how well-adjusted the queer community is. Fuck, you're a step backward: in the wrong direction. That being said, you be whoever you want to be, do whatever you want to do, whoever you want to do. Whoever will do you. I hope this isn't some cry for attention, or that you don't think you could find legitimate affection from anyone other than a lesbian, because I really want to honestly believe maybe you're actually a genuine person inside that coked-out paparazzi-harrassed red-headed body.
*gets off soap box*
If you haven't seen the intro to the last SNL, here it is. Not only am I eternally horny for Tina Fey, I am also remarkably surprised at how much she really looks like Palin in this skit. It's almost enough to make me not in love with her [Tina] any more.
1. I love Coldplay. (There's a chance that I'm listening to X&Y right now) Small wonder Gwyneth Paltrow married the frontman... if someone wrote songs like that I'd marry them too. In a similar but tangential statement I also love Radiohead.
2. I found a neat picture today:
It makes me wonder what a Jackson Pollock would look like if he had gotten ahold of Photoshop CS2. I don't think the world is ready for that.
3. I got a new(er) and much less-smelly couch today, which I am comfortably resting my posterior on while posting a blog which is pretty trivial compared to the massive amounts of reading I should be doing for my History class.
4. I also bought myself a little present. Well, little is subjective I suppose considering that it is actually 5 feet long... That's right. A fire-staff. Now I can be simultaneously cool and geeky and gay whilst spinning kerosene-lit kevlar wicks rapidly around myself. At least it is pretty to watch... even if Sarah thinks it's lame salad.
Well I suppose that's it for today; now it's off to work serving/explaining Mediterranean fine dining to people who've never experienced an ounce of culture in their lives. At least work is never boring.
Hasta la proxima vez,
PS--> the answer is 42.
Fuck. [Off to very bad start as world-class-humor-blog-writer-savant]
The thing is, I just know people are going to look at this and thank their lucky charms that they don't live within a hundred miles of this "crazy lunatic bastard". Being a college student, a *cough* very liberal one at that, I am [almost] completely used to this kind of what-planet-are-you-from reaction. Although, I am used to seeing it face to face rather than having to face internet rejection.
The question becomes thus: Am I ready to thrust myself into the great world of blogging? Do I even dare to place my utterances in the same universe as my highly esteemed (and highly underpaid and unappreciated, I'm sure) fellow bloggers? Don't even pretend that everyone's blogs don't ooze middle-class resentment... you know what I'm talking about.
For now, I suppose, this will have to do as a "first" entry. I'm sure that they will get much funnier and fucked up as they go.
PS I completely forgot that yesterday was the umpteenth anniversary of 9/11. No kidding... The thought never even crossed my mind.
PPS I am a terrible effing American.
PPPS This photo is simply the reason I get up in the morning =)