Hoax quiz on patriotism

December 3, 2006

At least I hope this quiz creator wasn’t serious.

Your ‘Do You Want the Terrorists to Win’ Score: 100%


You are a terrorist-loving, Bush-bashing, “blame America first”-crowd traitor. You are in league with evil-doers who hate our freedoms. By all counts you are a liberal, and as such clearly desire the terrorists to succeed and impose their harsh theocratic restrictions on us all. You are fit to be hung for treason! Luckily George Bush is tapping your internet connection and is now aware of your thought-crime. Have a nice day…. in Guantanamo!

Do You Want the Terrorists to Win?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz


You, too, can score with the terrorists on this quiz if you pick the rational answer, or if you pick the answer most like any patriotic, Bill-of-Rights-loving citizen. If you follow the Scout Oath and Scout Law, you have a better chance of siding with the terrorists, too.

I scored 100% with the terrorists. Recall, I was Orrin Hatch’s press guy, and a Reagan administration appointee (Schedule C, but still . . .); I’m a flag-waving former Boy Scout and current Boy Scout leader. I scored with P. Z. Myers, John Wilkins (98% only? This guy is close to being a Brown Shirt!), John Lynch (94%! Oh, but he’s in Arizona, and probably trying to fit in), and Mike the Mad Biologist (note the copy of Rockwell’s “Freedom of Speech” War Bond painting there — and remember that Norman Rockwell was the art director for the Boy Scouts for some time, and their favorite artist for decades, featured at the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas).

Does this really pass as political discussion these days? Most people tire of such histrionics in political discussion, I believe. To the extent that this quiz reflects genuine views of current supporters of the current administration, it shows how and why the Democrats won so many seats in the recent election.

Oh, and it should be “hanged for treason.” But what’s grammar to a silly, raving ideologue?

Millard Fillmore hospital to close, perhaps

December 3, 2006

Millard Fillmore

Being named after the last Whig president this nation ever had doesn’t carry much water with a government cost-cutting commission in New York. The commission recommendd that Millard Fillmore Hospital in Buffalo be closed, according to the Buffalo News.

Millard Fillmore counted Buffalo as his base of operations. The hospital was named after Fillmore in 1923, though the hospital dates back to facilities that first opened in 1872. Declining population in Buffalo has made traffic easier, the newspapers note, but also made it necessary to consolidate some public facilities.

Population declines in some places are temporary, like  recent now-reversed declines in Dallas and Houston. Other declines may be permanent, like some of those in west Texas. Into which category does Buffalo’s decline fall?

While one namesake of Fillmore closes, at the other end of New York, Moravia’s Cayuga-Owasco Lakes Historical Society has a gift from Nucor Steel which will allow the Society to construct a 25-by-40-foot building to house Fillmore memorabilia, according to the Auburn (New York) Citizen. Buffalo was the haunt of the adult Fillmore, but the nation’s 13th president was born in Moravia in 1800.

If I am not careful, this blog could become for Millard Fillmore what the old Salt Flat News was for that part of Utah and Nevada that includes the famous Bonneville Salt Flats. The area’s largest city is Wendover, a city that straddles the Utah-Nevada border. It is famous for long, lonely drives. And the slogan for the Salt Flat News which flourished in Salt Lake City during the 1970s was, “The only newspaper in the world that gives a damn what happens on the Salt Flats.”

Dennis Prager’s bogus history

December 3, 2006

Conservative, sometimes-rational commentator Dennis Prager is in a dudgeon because someone suggested that our first Muslim Member of Congress might take his oath of office on the Qur’an, rather than a Bible. Prager’s irrational rant demands that Congressmen Keith Ellison of Minnesota be stripped of his religious freedom (really — go see). He claims, using bogus history, that swearing without a Bible would be a first. That’s dead wrong.

Minnesota State Rep. Keith Ellison at Macalester College

Then-State Rep. Keith Ellison speaks at a Macalester College seminar on environmental justice and human rights, in February 2006. On November 7, Ellison was elected to represent Minnesota in the U.S. Congress, the first Muslim to be elected. Photo from Macalester College, American Studies Department.

Prager claims in his bio to have done graduate study. Would it be too much to expect him to understand the U.S. Constitution?

First, the U.S. Constitution prevents anyone from requiring any official elected to federal, state or local office, from having to take any oath on any religious book. Really. It’s in Article VI: Read the rest of this entry »

Tools for teachers: Make your own Google map

December 3, 2006

Almost inevitably I want a map different from those provided by the text and all my ancillary and auxilliary sources. It’s maddening for a non-cartographer. So, I can see uses for custom map-making tools.

You can figure out what to do with this, if you have a computer and access to project it to a class — or if you send your class out on the ‘net to work: Maplib.

Tip of the old scrub brush to If:book. Be sure to check there for examples.

Death of books, and history on video

December 3, 2006

In the Eisenhower administration some wise person noted that through history, libraries have been essential to civilization. In that wisdom-tinged era, the federal government started a program to establish in every county in the U.S. a library which would contain practical information on farming, industry, health care, and government and philosophy, so that in the event a nuclear exchange wiped out great libraries in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Los Angeles, among other places, the knowledge and wisdom needed to rebuild America would be available to people easily, locally.

It was a good idea, I think, but chiefly because of the side effect of putting good information close to people, even without nuclear destruction. I wonder whether we have strayed.

Today, libraries abandon books in favor of electronic media, film and on-line applications at a prodigious rate. Million-book libraries, once the hallmark of a good university, now represent dated data and a backwater center of scholarship, to many.

Libraries missed the first video wave. Thinking they were about books and not television presentation of information, libraries missed the opportunity to attract customers for videos. Instead, here in the U.S. a company named Blockbuster did badly (by my estimation) the promulgation and protection of culture, for profit, that libraries should have done for free. Determined not to miss the next evolution or revolution in media, libraries now plan to adopt new media when possible, and store information in new electronic formats.

In the U.S., college libraries turn to coffee bars and advanced internet access to attract students to . . . where the stacks used to be. (audio story from NPR’s Saturday Edition)

In the Netherlands, libraries plan to archive local video productions and photographs, and to digitize the data to make it more widely available. Plans are to spend 173 million euro (more than $230 million U.S. at today’s exchange rate), to archive 285,000 hours of film, video and radio recordings, and nearly 3 million photos.

Will civilization survive?

Tip of the old scrub brush to If:book, from the Institute for the Future of the Book.

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