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Stranger Than Fact By: Judith Weizner
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, December 08, 2005

Dear students,


As you know, in Bennington we do not believe that stress is a positive motivator, however, in order to demonstrate to the State of Vermont that all elements of its social studies curriculum have been adequately addressed we must occasionally resort to the use of examinations such as are used in many other parts of the country. I trust you will not find it too difficult to achieve a perfect score.


Good luck and best wishes from your learning facilitator.


Bennington, Vermont High School Social Studies Exam


I. Multiple choice:


1. The so-called Pilgrims came to the New World in order to


      a)  engage in religious persecution of polytheists

      b)  tyrannize the native peoples

      c)  seek cheap land for investment purposes

      d)  any or all of the above


2.  We no longer refer to the Founders as the Founding Fathers because


      a)  you can never really be sure who your father is

      b)  the phrase “Founding Fathers” demeans the contributions of women

      c)  we don’t refer to Founding Aunts and Uncles, either, do we?

      d)  any or all of the above


3.  The first Thanksgiving was celebrated


a)      on land stolen from Native Americans

b)   with food stolen from Native Americans

            c)      to allow the white interlopers to feel better about themselves after having treated Native Americans so badly

            d)      any or all of the above


4.  The Boston Tea Party was a shameful event in American history because


      a)  the first deliberate act of pollution went unpunished, encouraging other polluters

      b)  incalculable numbers of marine animals choked to death on tea bags

      c)   Boston Harbor still has not been declared a Superfund site

      d)   any or all of the above


5.  Which of the following American presidents did not own slaves?


      a)  George Washington

      b)  Thomas Jefferson

      c)  James Madison 

      d)  William Jefferson Clinton


6.  Abraham Lincoln, one of our most revered presidents,


      a)  had a high, squeaky voice

      b)  was probably gay

      c)  had untreated bi-polar disorder

      d)  any or all of the above


7.  The Civil War was fought


      a)  because slack-jawed southerners enjoy keeping their fellow man in bondage

      b)  because Halliburton needed America to go to war

      c)  so that a Republican president could claim credit for abolishing slavery

      d)  any or all of the above


8.  How did America justify dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima?


      a)  It was right to save American soldiers even at the cost of Japanese civilian lives

      b)  They wanted to see if it would really work and didn’t care that it would kill people

      c)  Japanese weren’t really people anyway

      d)  any or all of the above


9.  The income tax was passed in 1913 to


      a)  make sure the rich would pay their fair share

      b)  provide employment for tax preparers

      c)  increase the number of rental storage units in areas where people did not have enough space to keep all their receipts

      d)  any or all of the above


10.  The Cold War ended because


      a)  Mikhail Gorbachev realized that the whole thing had been silly

      b)  Ronald Raygun finally completed his anger management class

      c)  Nancy’s astrologer told her 1989 would be a good year to go shopping with Raisa

      d)  any or all of the above


II. Underline the word or phrase that best completes each sentence.


1. Conservatives are (hidebound, stupid, evil) people who want to tell you what to do with your own body.

2.  The reason John Kerry lost the 2004 election is that George Bush (rigged, fixed, kept African-Americans from participating in) the voting process.

3.  Most people think George Bush is (an idiot, an imbecile, a moron).

4.  The War in Iraq is (a failure, a quagmire, immoral).

5.  Whenever tax rates are lowered it is always (working families, the poor, African-Americans) who suffer.

6.  The “attacks” of 9-11 were (the result of, the logical consequence of, a foreseeable side-effect of) the domination of our State Department by neo-cons.

7.  (Oil, Israel, Bush’s ego) is the reason we are in Iraq.

8.  The “War on Terror” is (a cover, camouflage, an excuse) for genocide against Muslims.

9.  If the World Court were to find George Bush guilty of war crimes he should be (hanged, drawn, quartered).

10. The death penalty is a sign of (an inferior, an unevolved, a barbaric) society.


III. Write a brief paragraph explaining why you agree with any three of the following statements:


1. Dick Cheney really is Darth Vader.

2. Hillary Clinton should be president because she deserves a chance to live in the White House on her own terms.

3. Michael Moore may look dirty, but we all know that repulsiveness, like beauty, is only skin deep.

4. People should not dismiss the views of Hollywood actors. They have feelings, too.

5. Cindy Sheehan hates the limelight.

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Judith Weizner is a columnist for Frontpagemag.com.

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