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Linc did a wonderful job of debunking the VWRC Civics Test as a Wing-nut push poll.

So I started this diary to document some alternative questions that would test civics knowledge from a Progressive perspective.


(1) Which Founding Father wrote the following, "Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise."

a) George Washington
b) John Adams
c) Thomas Jefferson
d) Thomas Paine

(2) Which U.S. President instituted the progressive taxation system, wherein the higher one's income the greater the taxes owed?

a) Franklin Roosevelt
b) Theodore Roosevelt
c) Jimmy Carter
d) Ronald Reagan

(3) Which American stated, "No, I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard on this or the other side of the Atlantic, I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people."

a) John Adams
b) Thomas Paine
c) Frederick Douglass
d) Thomas Jefferson

(4) Which Article of the Constitution states the following, "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

a) Article 2
b) Article 4
c) Article 6
d) Article 8

(5) Which ratified U.S. Treaty states the following, "As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, - as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, - and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

a) Treaty of Tripoly
b) Treaty of Versailles
c) Treaty of Velasco
d) Treaty of Washington

(6) Which ratified U.S. Treaty states the following, "No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."

a) The Geneva Convention
b) The Berne Convention
c) The Bretton Woods Agreement
d) The Kyoto Protocol

(7) Which Founding Father wrote the following, "Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a common censor over each other.  Is uniformity attainable?  Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion?  To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.  To support roguery and error all over the earth."

a) George Washington
b) Thomas Jefferson
c) Benjamin Franklin
d) James Madison

(8) Which Founding Father wrote the following, "It may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points.  The tendency to unsurpastion on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst. by an entire abstinence of the Gov't from interfence in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect agst. trespasses on its legal rights by others."

a) George Washington
b) Thomas Jefferson
c) Benjamin Franklin
d) James Madison

(9) Which Supreme Court ruling stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal"?

a) Brown vs. Board of Education
b) Plessy vs. Ferguson
c) Roe vs. Wade
d) Miranda vs. Arizona

(10) Which Supreme Court ruling stated that some words are not protected under the First Amendment because they are tantamount to violent actions?

a) Miller vs. California
b) Cohen vs. California
c) Texas vs. Johnson
d) Chaplinsky vs. New Hampshire


(11) Which ratified U.S. Treaty states the following, "In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

  1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) Taking of hostages;

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples."

a) The Geneva Convention
b) The Berne Convention
c) The Bretton Woods Agreement
d) The Kyoto Protocol

(12) Which U.S. President wrote the following, "Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

a) Thomas Jefferson
b) Abraham Lincoln
c) Franklin Roosevelt
d) Ronald Reagan

(13) Which political party in the U.S. once claimed in its party platform: "Any system of civil service under which the subordinate positions of the government are considered rewards for mere party zeal is fatally demoralizing; and we, therefore, favor a reform of the system, by laws which shall abolish the evils of patronage, and make honesty, efficiency, and fidelity the essential qualifications for public positions."

a) The Socialist Party
b) The Democratic Party
c) The Republican Party
d) The Libertarian Party

(14) Which U.S. President set aside nearly 200 million acres of land for national parks and nature reserves, protecting the vast American treasure of her lands with the newly formed U.S. Forest Service?

a) Abraham Lincoln
b) Franklin Roosevelt
c) Teddy Roosevelt
d) Jimmy Carter

(15) Which global economist warned, "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices"?

a) Adam Smith
b) Karl Marx
c) Milton Friedman
d) Paul Krugman

Answers: (1-c), (2-b), (3-c), (4-c), (5-a), (6-a), (7-b), (8-d), (9-a), (10-d), (11-a), (12-b), (13-c), (14-c), (15-a)

Originally posted to TheOpinionGuy on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:20 AM PST.

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