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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Monday, February 12, 2007

Take Me To Your Leader

More politics! Well, kinda.

Here is a simple, 15-question quiz which will test your knowledge of world leaders.

You can play it without registering, in both HTML and Flash.

Don't worry -- it shouldn't be too difficult for blog readers, since polls indicate that people who read blogs are just as likely to read newspapers, and therefore, to be au courant of world affairs.


Play Quiz: World Leader 2006 now!


(Do not click on the comments section, until you've finished)



MY SCORE: 12 / 15


In the interests of full disclosure, I got the 3, 5, 8 questions wrong. Argh, I'm really angry about that Japan one -- that's inexcusable.

And for a girl who blogged about female world leaders under the title, "Heroine Chic" (see Sidebar) back in 2005, I really stunk up the joint with my dismal knowledge of two current female world leader milestones.

And that's after I almost blogged about Laura Bush representing the US at one of these ladies' inauguration!

UPDATE: Can you believe these people also have a How Much Do You Know About Fidel Castro Quiz?


Play Quiz: Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution now!


Yeah, I got 100%, but number 9 is a trick question, which anyone who KNOWS about Cuba, will probably get wrong.

Ugh. Just remember, don't listen to Lucia Newman.

Labels: ,

17 Comments:

  • Well, I got all the women right. I missed on the current leader of Ethiopia and have to admit that I inferred the leaders of Madagascar and the Netherlands by a combination of knowing the other choices or the likelihood of that name being from that country (which is why I've always done well on multiple choice tests ;-)

    As for Fidel, I was quite surprised that I did as well as I did, 9/10, falling for the sucker punch you warned about in Q.9.

    By Blogger Internet Ronin, at Mon Feb 12, 02:59:00 am GMT-5  

  • And I got all the women wrong... plus the Thailand coup... thought it was Fiji... inexcusable, really, but that's life ;)
    There was no chance I'd mistake Madagascar's president - his daughter-in-law is a Bulgarian ;)

    But I got all the Cuban ones correct except for Eisenhower - I stupidly forgot that US presidents begin serving in the year after the election, and that election is at the end of the year. However, why would #9 be dificult - is the anti-Castro propaganda that untruthful? I thought everybody knew that Cuba has the best health care, education and sports in the Carribean. By looking at the percentages of correct answers, it seems like one of the easy questions.

    Cheers,
    Elko

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Feb 12, 04:33:00 am GMT-5  

  • Well, I got all the women right.

    Argh! Somebody just slap me now! Not you. ;)

    I missed on the current leader of Ethiopia

    I know who you mean, but it's not Ethiopia (close!).

    and have to admit that I inferred the leaders of Madagascar and the Netherlands by a combination of knowing the other choices or the likelihood of that name being from that country

    That's exactly what I did for the Netherlands, I admit. :)

    There was one that I didn't know the response to, but I got right anyway. Won't say which, since I don't want to ruin it for the others. YET.

    (which is why I've always done well on multiple choice tests ;-)

    Me too, but only after going to 11th grade here in the US (and attending one of those crammer schools, for my MCAT).

    It's actually easy, when you know how to read questions, with their "cheating" criteria.

    As for Fidel, I was quite surprised that I did as well as I did, 9/10,

    Oh, that's fantastic!

    falling for the sucker punch you warned about in Q.9.

    Wow. But see...

    That's what people mean when we say, questions are "framed" a certain way to reflect one political philosophy.

    And people who make up these quizzes, rarely share mine.

    I remember one quiz, the one where at the end, you got all these like-minded famous people who were said to share your politics based on an anticipation of their responses (in and of itself, stupid), and finding the representive people to favour quite heavily, the progressive viewpoint.

    E.G.:

    A lot of people found themselves being given the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Gandhi as their co-progressives, and Hitler, Thatcher and George W. Bush as the conservative equivalent..........

    I scored nearest to Gerhard Schröder and Paul Martin of Canada (!?), but it left a really sour taste in my mouth.

    The fact is, had I made the quiz, I could have given people ANY number of progressives, who run the gamut between hardline to permissive.

    Castro
    Che Guevara
    Zapatero of Spain
    Lula

    Are just but a few examples of left-liberals of varying degrees of viewpoints, they easily could have mentioned -- but they didn't.

    I have my theories, but I won't bore you with them.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 12, 05:06:00 am GMT-5  

  • ELKO! Shhh! ;)

    Okay, don't worry, I will put a disclaimer on the front page, not to click here in case our comments help them to cheat.

    I thought everybody knew that Cuba has the best health care, education and sports in the Carribean.

    Oh, Elko...how much you have to find out, when Castro falls.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 12, 05:09:00 am GMT-5  

  • P.S.: I don't trust propaganda on either side. I read, do independent research, speak to those who fled Cuba early on; grew up in Cuba but left it later; and those who are still there.

    Lastly, I trust my own eyes rather than Potemkin Village façades.

    After all, I've actually been to Cuba, in the year 2000.

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 12, 05:16:00 am GMT-5  

  • Aww, shucks, Vicky, so sorry to spoil it - I totally forgot. You'd think posting on rss would've taught me to include an [R]. ;)

    About what will surface with Fido's fall - who knows? For instance, what surfaced in Bulgaria was less than what the critics expected, and more than what the naive followers thought would. In any event, all gross violations, disappearings and tortures had happened well before my birth.

    It might be different in Cuba; after all, it is not surrounded by commie countries, and the dissent - repression cycle is constantly fuelled by the proximity of Miami. We'll see.

    Cheers,
    Elko

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Feb 12, 05:50:00 am GMT-5  

  • Aww, shucks, Vicky, so sorry to spoil it - I totally forgot. You'd think posting on rss would've taught me to include an [R]. ;)

    LMAO!

    As for the Fifo thing, yeah, it's hard to say without concrete knowledge, either way.

    It all depends how much people are willing to open in terms of archives, and insider info.

    There is a reason we know a lot about Nazi Germany, because though it was a murderously evil Totalitarian society, like Communism, their archives were completely accessible after they fell.

    But there was no Allied Army knocking down the archives of the Kremlin in Moscow, revealing all and sundry.

    What I am trying to say is, it's always easier to reveal embarrassing information about your foreign enemy, than your enemy-compatriot.

    Especially if your enemy-compatriot is still in bureaucratic power, after your system falls.

    We will one day find out the extent of the brutality (maybe not of historically pro-Russia Bulgaria, the most enthusiastic of all the satellite East Europe countries towards the USSR), but 20 years just isn't enough.

    It won't be enough in Cuba, either.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 12, 06:13:00 am GMT-5  

  • After having to guess on too many, I scored a 9 out of 15. On castro I did get all 10 since I knew the MSM propaganda would answer #9 the way they did; yet the Miami Mafia has to send everything from aspirins to band-aids to their relatives on the enslaved island!

    Yes Victoria, much should come out once the evil system in Cuba falls but don't hold your breath waiting for honest reporting from Katie Couric, Dianne Sawyer and Barbara Walters.

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Mon Feb 12, 10:16:00 am GMT-5  

  • After having to guess on too many, I scored a 9 out of 15.

    Hey, you're honest, Jose.

    Even the reverse could happen, and someone could feel embarrassed to say they got 15/15!

    ...remember in 2000, when a reporter decided to blindside the future President by asking him world leader names -- he didn't know the name of the President of Pakistan?

    Well, I bet you he knows Musharraf's name now. :)

    On castro I did get all 10

    Yeah. It's anecdotal info really.

    Herbert Marcuse did a good job of spreading his story to everyone...

    since I knew the MSM propaganda would answer #9 the way they did;

    Right...

    yet the Miami Mafia has to send everything from aspirins to band-aids to their relatives on the enslaved island!

    EXACTLY.

    But people who don't know OR are a little, shall we say, more pro-Castro politically (yet not Communist) than we are, think that people are inventing lies to "discredit" Castro and modern Cuba.

    I have had this discussion with DOZENS, who knows, maybe hundreds of people in my life.

    I know their rebuttal before they open their mouths.

    (1) If you tell them you have to send or take with you EVERY Vitamin supplement, aspirin, Tylenol, Nyquil, and precious antibiotics (not to mention soap, underwear, toys, feminine napkins, etc. etc. etc.), they will say:

    "Oh, it's because of the embargo. The Americans are to blame"

    ...completely ignoring the fact that ration cards for all items is the normal Communist modus operandi, and that the embargo has nothing to do with Spain, Canada, Brazil and other countries.

    For the record, in Cuba a person gets only 1 kilo of red meat and sugar and 2 kilos of rice per month, plus 2 pair of underwear per year -- that is IF you arrive in the government depot, and they have it...which they more often than not, they don't.

    Can ANYONE ANYONE in the pampered West, imagine having to live under these conditions? Please.

    Yes Victoria, much should come out once the evil system in Cuba falls but don't hold your breath waiting for honest reporting from Katie Couric, Dianne Sawyer and Barbara Walters.

    Yeah but, at least WE in the US, can keep them more honest than citizens in the countries I mentioned above -- the self-same Canada, Spain, Brazil et cetera.

    Just thinking of the sex tourists I saw in Havana, who exploit the poverty for their own vices and arrive with no clue about the suffering of the Cuban people, thus never go into those dingy-ass hospitals I visited, makes me sick to my stomach as I type.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 12, 12:43:00 pm GMT-5  

  • After my stellar performance in those two quizzes, in a fit of misguided over-confidence, I spent far too long over at that place trying to replicate those outstanding results. I severely damaged my self-esteem, failing miserably time after time, until I happened upon the Bear Republic test, which I aced, and then promptly went to bed, far, far later than normal or generally advisable.

    Thus, I blame you entirely not only for my heightened sense of self-doubt but also for my impaired ability to function this morning!

    (Point taken about it not being Ethiopia, BTW. And when I think about it, I should have known the answer to that because I'd just read 3-4 articles about that particular country & its leader and China within the past few days.)

    By Blogger Internet Ronin, at Mon Feb 12, 01:49:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Thus, I blame you entirely not only for my heightened sense of self-doubt but also for my impaired ability to function this morning!

    Good! Suffer!

    They don't call me The Ironbeer Lady for nothing.

    (Point taken about it not being Ethiopia, BTW. And when I think about it, I should have known the answer to that because I'd just read 3-4 articles about that particular country & its leader and China within the past few days.)

    Heh, guess what? I got the Gabon one right, because I had listened to a report about it on NPR last year.

    Good ole NPR.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 12, 02:11:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Herbert Marcuse was a socialist, but you probably meant Herbert Matthews from the NYT.

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Mon Feb 12, 02:49:00 pm GMT-5  

  • LOL! Yes, I did. :)

    Good. I'm glad I got it wrong -- I don't want to honour what he did.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 12, 03:09:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I thought everybody knew that Cuba has the best health care, education and sports in the Carribean.

    Elko, I don't know if you are being sarcastic or not, but if not, go to therealcuba.com. Then spend some time at BabaluBlog.com. Then look which way the boats are pointed.

    By Anonymous class factotum, at Mon Feb 12, 04:47:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Well, I was partly sarcastic, and partly serious. I admit I don’t know the current situation in Cuba in great detail, and was never there. What I know is how things were before 1990 – both from official info and from personal accounts of friends who had visited. At that time, Cuba was one of the commie countries with the best living conditions and healthcare. Heck I remember official discussions in the BG Party newspaper whether we should match their approach by channeling 1/3 of the budget into healthcare – that being after all, the most important aspect of society’s well-being. Their sport was top-notch too; their “amateur” boxers were regularly beating ours, and we in BG had a very good boxing school, same goes for athletics, etc. My high school friends who had been to Cuba had nothing but good things to say about the experience, especially about the girls. (One standing joke between them was that if you didn’t have a constant hard-on while in Cuba, there was something wrong with you, and to seek medical help ;)

    Now, I don’t doubt that living conditions deteriorated after 1990 with the end of the commie block trade and the drying-up of the essentially free oil from the Soviet Union; the same thing happened in Bulgaria, This is when I saw rationing for the first time in my life, and essential things started disappearing; that’s when one had to get up before dawn to queue up for milk or bread. We eventually went over it, as capitalism slowly grew, but Cuba doesn’t have that choice. And the US embargo doesn’t help things either; it is not the reason for the situation, but is one of the most important contributing factors.

    Lastly, I briefly checked to see what the Bulgarian online resources and discussion groups had to say about the current situation. While most of the opinions differed substantially, depending on whether the opining leaned left or right (that was chiefly on the topic of whether Cubans really support the system, and if they do or don’t, then why, and what will happen when Fido dies), the consensus opinion was that 90% of the dissidents in Cuba and all Cuban organizations in Miami are CIA funded, and therefore do not represent the real attitudes that Cubans in Cuba have. I tend to agree with this, because the people that say it have the distinction of being both competent and neutral – they have been to Cuba both before and after 1990, they are not Cuban, and they know firsthand what it means to live in a commie country.

    Cheers,
    Elko

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Feb 13, 06:19:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Well, I was partly sarcastic, and partly serious. I admit I don’t know the current situation in Cuba in great detail, and was never there. What I know is how things were before 1990 – both from official info and from personal accounts of friends who had visited. At that time, Cuba was one of the commie countries with the best living conditions and healthcare.

    But Elko, do you know the standards of education, health care, and living conditions in Cuba, BEFORE 1959?

    I think you will be pretty astonished to find out that they were comparable to many parts of the United States, at the time.

    Cuban exiles who were medical doctors, instantly built up medical practises here, and instituted those HMO-like clinics that Cubans had been used to, back home.

    When I remarked to one such doctor, if this were an "American" idea, he scoffed at me, and said that health care in Cuba, was the best in the Caribbean since AT LEAST the 1920s.

    That Cubans are fantastic doctors, even now, sent to do Chavez' bidding in Venezuela to the detriment of their own people, is no shock.

    It's only a shock when people say that this only happened post-Castro.

    That's the way it's been for a very long time.

    Yet, you have to separate the intelligence of the doctor, from the conditions he had to work with, in Cuba since 1959.

    The hospitals are so run-of-the-mill, and uncleanly, that they would immediately be shut down anywhere in the world.

    The supplies they have to work with, are beyond ancient.

    And this is not even mentioning all the forced sterilisation and abortions which women in Cuba have had to endure, by Castro Fiat, since the 60s.

    Heck I remember official discussions in the BG Party newspaper whether we should match their approach by channeling 1/3 of the budget into healthcare – that being after all, the most important aspect of society’s well-being. Their sport was top-notch too; their “amateur” boxers were regularly beating ours, and we in BG had a very good boxing school, same goes for athletics, etc.

    Elko, you know very well that the Communists used sport, education and healthcare (but particularly sport) to gain themselves notoriety on the world stage.

    Nazi Germany did too.

    The West's reacted ferociously in the sporting arena, during the Cold War, so as to put paid that notion that the Soviets had a superior system, sportwise.

    And in the US and the UK, they did it without state-sponsorship either.

    My high school friends who had been to Cuba had nothing but good things to say about the experience, especially about the girls. (One standing joke between them was that if you didn’t have a constant hard-on while in Cuba, there was something wrong with you, and to seek medical help ;)

    Do you know what a Cuban girl called coming back from Russia, Poland, or one of the Soviet satellites, with a blonde, blue-eyed baby in her arms?

    She called it "her diploma".

    I daresay coming from Bulgaria, going to Cuba was a paradise.

    Certainly, that was the word Christopher Columbus used way back in the 1490s, though the Castro regime wasn't around to get credit for it.

    Now, I don’t doubt that living conditions deteriorated after 1990 with the end of the commie block trade and the drying-up of the essentially free oil from the Soviet Union; the same thing happened in Bulgaria, This is when I saw rationing for the first time in my life, and essential things started disappearing; that’s when one had to get up before dawn to queue up for milk or bread. We eventually went over it, as capitalism slowly grew, but Cuba doesn’t have that choice. And the US embargo doesn’t help things either; it is not the reason for the situation, but is one of the most important contributing factors.

    No, Elko. During the height of the "good times" in Cuba, in 1980, Miami got overrun with people hopping on every kind of flotable device, including shrimping boats, pleasure craft, heck even dinghies, to escape during the Mariel boatlift, as you no doubt have heard AFTER you emigrated from Bulgaria (because the official Communist censors, never spoke about such a mass exodus from such a "worker's paradise" as Cuba).

    Tell me, my love, and I say this with a gentle voice, why do you think over 100,000 people would've escaped if conditions were so amazing?

    Why did they do it before that, during that, and after that?

    Lastly, I briefly checked to see what the Bulgarian online resources and discussion groups had to say about the current situation. While most of the opinions differed substantially, depending on whether the opining leaned left or right (that was chiefly on the topic of whether Cubans really support the system, and if they do or don’t, then why, and what will happen when Fido dies), the consensus opinion was that 90% of the dissidents in Cuba and all Cuban organizations in Miami are CIA funded,

    Oh My God, Elko...sigh.

    I don't know how to react to this, and I am cognisant that there are a number of Cubans who read my blog, who must have their blood pressure up to HERE right now, but how can I counter this?

    It's like me saying that the protests of peasant farmers in Bolivia against the rich and powerful are negligible, because today they are funded by Chavez' government.

    Are Cuban organisations funded by the CIA? I have no doubt many of them are, but there are THOUSANDS which are not.

    And even if they are funded by them, what does that have to do with reality?

    Conditions suck in Cuba, and no amount of agitprop by the CIA (if you are of that mindset) can change that fact.

    and therefore do not represent the real attitudes that Cubans in Cuba have.

    You're mistaken.

    I just don't know how else to put this, but this baldly.

    I tend to agree with this, because the people that say it have the distinction of being both competent and neutral – they have been to Cuba both before and after 1990, they are not Cuban, and they know firsthand what it means to live in a commie country.

    I will let you see what opinions come out of Cuba, when the Castro regime (not Castro himself, but the whole kit-and-caboodle) comes down.

    I think you and those whom you speak, if they keep an open mind about Communism being a failed system by definition, will be very surprised.

    I guess I can preempt your next question, because as I say, I've had this conversation with others who espouse what you said above.

    You will ask, well then, why do people stay? Why don't they all leave?

    There were enough people who didn't make it out, who stayed, even during the hard times. Surely that means SOMETHING right? It means Castro is doing SOMETHING right, surely?

    Well, no. First, you have to leave an island, and that's not easy since you are not entitled to own a boat without registering it like if it were a gun (the same is true of typewriters).

    Secondly, you have to leave everything you know behind, including a very special culture which doesn't exist anywhere else, I don't need to tell a Bulgarian is something which some people refuse to do.

    And thirdly, some people simply don't have the guts to. They go with the flow, and try to wait things out.

    I think it's the last group, that are the saddest, because whilst we in the West have freedoms they cannot imagine, they have spent their lives in that island prison, waiting to have what we were born to, as a matter-of-course.

    What a waste.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Feb 14, 12:46:00 am GMT-5  

  • But Elko, do you know the standards of education, health care, and living conditions in Cuba, BEFORE 1959? I think you will be pretty astonished to find out that they were comparable to many parts of the United States, at the time. That Cubans are fantastic doctors, even now, sent to do Chavez' bidding in Venezuela to the detriment of their own people, is no shock. It's only a shock when people say that this only happened post-Castro. That's the way it's been for a very long time.

    Good, so why are we arguing at all? The question was are education, medicine and sport good, and yes, they are, you said so yourself. That some of it is carryover tradition, and some of it propaganda, doesn’t change the fact. And I never said it is due to Castro.


    And this is not even mentioning all the forced sterilization and abortions which women in Cuba have had to endure, by Castro Fiat, since the 60s.

    I’m afraid I don’t know anything about this one. Are these practices different from the standard soc-block practices? The only forced sterilization cases I remember were on multiple birth gipsy mothers in Czechoslovakia, and I’m not even sure if it wasn’t after 1990. And do you mean forced abortions? That would be horrible. In BG (unlike Romania), abortion was freely available and voluntary; the only restriction was introduced at some point for married women with no children, and I remember how upset some girls were because of that.


    Do you know what a Cuban girl called coming back from Russia, Poland, or one of the Soviet satellites, with a blonde, blue-eyed baby in her arms? She called it "her diploma".

    I’m afraid I don’t get it. Why would she call it that? And what is your point in giving this example? It reminds me that one of my high school friends went to university in Moscow, and while there, had a Cuban girlfriend. He was very much in love and wanted to marry her, but she refused, he didn’t elaborate why, he was clearly heartbroken. After graduating, he came back to Bulgaria and promptly married our English teacher. ;)


    Tell me, my love, and I say this with a gentle voice, why do you think over 100,000 people would've escaped if conditions were so amazing?
    Why did they do it before that, during that, and after that?


    The short answer is, I don’t know. The longer, and somewhat more speculative, is, to never underestimate the “the grass is greener” mindset. The conditions needn’t have been that bad; it was enough that the conditions on the other side were much better. And there’s the community factor of guaranteed instant acceptance, with (in many cases) relatives waiting to embrace them. I totally accept I might be wrong on this one, though.


    Oh My God, Elko...sigh.
    I don't know how to react to this, and I am cognisant that there are a number of Cubans who read my blog, who must have their blood pressure up to HERE right now, but how can I counter this?


    Why should you counter this? And if your Cuban friends that read here (hats off to you, friends) have their pressure up, tough luck. It’s not my opinion, I’m just the messenger. I simply think it might be right, based on the most improbable fact of Bulgarians agreeing on an issue.


    Conditions suck in Cuba, and no amount of agitprop by the CIA (if you are of that mindset) can change that fact.

    Never underestimate the CIA ;)


    Secondly, you have to leave everything you know behind, including a very special culture which doesn't exist anywhere else, I don't need to tell a Bulgarian is something which some people refuse to do.

    I lost you here. What did you want to say? Is it a typo?


    And thirdly, some people simply don't have the guts to. They go with the flow, and try to wait things out.
    I think it's the last group, that are the saddest, because whilst we in the West have freedoms they cannot imagine, they have spent their lives in that island prison, waiting to have what we were born to, as a matter-of-course.


    This warrants a philosophical answer. Being born in oppression, one doesn’t really experience it. It is schizophrenic, but that’s how many people feel. Right now, I would fight for freedom with tooth and claw, and I can understand the agony and loss that my grandparents experienced when the red army and the communists swept Bulgaria. But I didn’t feel it when living there. When you are born in the cage, and grow up there, you accept that as given, and even though you know on an abstract level that there are freedoms that you are denied, it doesn’t strike home. In order to really miss a freedom, you have to experience it first.

    Cheers (with a glass of Vampire merlot from Transylvania, before going to bed in the morning),
    Elko

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Feb 14, 06:13:00 am GMT-5  

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