What's past is prologue, so read up

What's past is prologue, so read up

There are 28 comments on the Newsday story from Nov 21, 2008, titled What's past is prologue, so read up. In it, Newsday reports that:

Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services. November 21, 2008 While Congress spends like the proverbial drunken sailor to "bail out" various industries for practices that are largely their fault and ...

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Josh

United States

#21 Nov 23, 2008
I disagree with the assertion that the correct answers are "the more conservative" answers. It isn't the answers that are particularly conservative, but the questions themselves. When one asks WHY a free-market is more effective than government intervention, the conservative bias is determined for you already, and thus it's not a question of whether or not the correct answer is the more conservative one. Does anyone else wonder how well Cal Thomas did on this test?
AtlantaBill

Lawrenceville, GA

#22 Nov 23, 2008
Cal should get over his high and mighty attitude. I for example am an electrical engineer and read the journals and publications in the field. Now, since we all are surronded by electronics should I expect Cal to Kirchoff's voltage law, Ampere's current law or Thevennin's theorem. We are all put here for different roles. Pastors, doctors, scientists, and laborers all have different roles in society and need not know all this valuable stuff that journalist like Cal knows. Cal, I wonder if you could express the "half-power" point in an electric circuit in terms of decibels - dB's or dBm's. Shame on you Cal if you don't know this elementary concept used by engineers in the design of you cell phone.
rhizome

San Francisco, CA

#23 Nov 23, 2008
The ISI claims that it is 'non-partisan,' but the books it offers for sale on its website are, by their own account, meant to promote 'the conservative mind.' Though the majority of questions on the test are straightforward and can yield but one correct, empirically-verifiable answer, others, e.g. the ones concerned with the allegedly 'free market,' quite clearly treat matters that are open to debate. Whether 'international trade' leads to a nation's 'increased productivity,' besides being rhetorically vague, is hardly as inarguable as whether a phrase is to be found in the Gettysburg Address. It is disingenuous to dock someone's score on a test of 'civic literacy' merely because that person does not concur on an ideological point. I submit that what is as worrisome as an abysmal ignorance of history is the gullibility and laziness that disincline folks from investigating whether an organization is what it purports to be, and the lack of discernment that incapacitates their ability to detect bias- an ignorance, in short, about how opinions are shaped.

Since: Nov 08

AOL

#24 Nov 23, 2008
Zogby did a poll for John Ziegler on an upcoming documentry about the effects of the media on this election. In it they asked questions to the Obama voters about the election and why they voted for their candidate. It was amazing and disheartning to see and hear their answers and opinions on the issues. It showed how they were greatly influenced by all the negative publicity of the press against Senator McCain
Effin Morons I Tell Ya

Port Washington, NY

#25 Nov 23, 2008
Oh yeah? jorge el dumbya and caribou barbie are a Poster Children for this sort of rising anti-intellectualism and complete lack of intellectual curiosity.
Ian

San Diego, CA

#26 Nov 23, 2008
Can this questionare be put on a webpage so interested persons can take it and see how much they know?
Vernon

Seattle, WA

#27 Nov 24, 2008
So Cal? What's your score?
nmu1991

Naturita, CO

#28 Nov 26, 2008
I agree that the lack of knowledge by the electorate allows for manipulation by those elected. James Madison gave the best advice "Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." I disagree with your reason for the cause of our apathy. Rather than a left wing conspiracy, the reason can be brought back to economic reasoning. What incentives do schools have to teach Government, Economics, History? When schools are shut down for not increasing State reading, writing, math, and science tests, their resources are placed there. Anecdotally, middle schools here in Colorado where friends of mine teach have routinely opted for relegating social studies courses to every Friday, while those social studies teachers teach reading the other four days. Two districts in the State of Colorado require Economics as a course to graduate. Once History, Economics, and Government are given the high stakes test status, results may improve.

I am an economics and government teacher in Colorado where both are required to graduate. Several of my students took the released test online in class this week averaging a 78%, and that's after 12 weeks in class. Ultimately, the decision is that of the individual to become engaged in the history and workings of their country. When 39% of elected officials and 36% of citizens understand "fiscal policy ofr economic stimulus" and 43% of elected officials and 40 percent of citizens understand Federal Reserve Monetary policy, we are asking the blind to lead the blind down the road of economic illiteracy into deeper economic troubles.

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