Another Perspective

News Quiz #3 Report Card

The identity of our winners may be an issue, but not the identity of the bogus paragraph they astutely fingered. 

By 7.26.10

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In last Monday's Quiz #3 (here), contestants were asked to identify the bogus paragraph. Although takers of earlier quizzes complained that they were too easy, they would have done better to study harder. In order to get a passing grade to a decent number of the takers of Quiz#2, it had to be graded on a curve so steep it looked like an excuse, about something, from the Obama Administration.

Quiz #3 was a bit livelier in content, and had more takers. The first three to identify the bogus paragraph were, interestingly, the first three to hand in their papers: MoneyMatters, Monty.Crisco, and Bill Lannon, though MoneyMatters had read the story about the students' complaining about substandard condoms, which takes a little luster off his success. They will each get a bottle of bubbly and an autographed copy of Bob Tyrrell's new book -- but only if they send us their real names and addresses.

Jameson Campaigne guessed item #3 because, he said, "The rest read like daily dispatches from the New York Times, so they must be true." That's exactly the point, of course, as R Martin noted: "You've made your point: when it comes to government behavior it's hard to distinguish believable from unbelievable."

Maddox made a similar comment: "I say they are all true because the world we now live in is absolutely crazy! None of theses stories are more absurd than what we read every day about actions taken by our dear leader and his crowd of crooks." Just so, Maddox.

Bill agreed that "All of the stories are entirely plausible" and he agreed with Eric Cartman, that the transgendered bikini-wearers wouldn't have put their tops back just because the cops showed up. Excellent point! In Washington it's always the cover-up that gets you into trouble. And for the record, it was Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, not Horseneck Beach in Massachusetts.

Ray thought item #2 was bogus, arguing that "two different mandatory retirement ages based on gender? Yea right, and I have some oceanfront property for sale in Arizona."

Yeah, right. You can't make this stuff up because some government crazy has beaten you to it, although Ray must learn to read a bit more closely: the issue was not different mandatory retirement ages but different ages for pension eligibility. And a point to note: in the U.S., from 1956 to 1962, women were allowed to retire at 62 (with benefits reduced by 25%) but not men.

Ray was joined in his guess by pump shoes, who said he (she?) was going with number 2, "because, even in the UK, I doubt there is a Recognition of Gender Act." Ah, but there is, pump shoes, though it is actually called the Gender Recognition Act.

But then Ray handed in a second blue book: "I've Chengdu my mind, it's the INTRO that's bogus! Here's what tipped me off: 'A bottle of bubbly and an autographed copy of the new book by American Spectator editor Bob Tyrrell goes to the first three readers who correctly identify the bogus paragraph.' Well, there's your bogus paragraph. A bottle of 'bubbly,' as if!"

C'mon Ray, don't be such a cynic. The champagne will be on the way to the winners as soon as we get their addresses. But, you, for your doubting, will have to be the very first with the correct answer next time in order to get the bubbly. Second place will get you exactly what you think the winners of Quiz #3 are getting.

And for all the paternity lawyers, congratulations on spotting the flaw in the bogus paragraph. You all deserve a bottle of whiskey, but we know the Surgeon General would disapprove, and you know, and we know you know, how much we value his opinion.

Well, that's the recap. Thanks for participating.

Oh, and please note: all participants, indeed all readers, are invited to send in genuine news items for future quizzes. Anyone whose item is used in a quiz will get an autographed copy of Bob Tyrrell's new book (or, if they prefer, one of his previous books, or a copy of Upstream, publisher Alfred Regnery's excellent book on the conservative movement.) -- except Ray, who will have to send in two items.

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About the Author

Daniel Oliver is a Senior Director of White House Writers Group in Washington, D.C. He served as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Ronald Reagan.