Time to Take Your Civics Aptitude Test

If you have a high school junior or senior in the house, you know the drill.

SAT, ACT, testing, testing, testing.

Test for math, test for English, test for science.

Go to visit colleges.

Apply. Wait for the call. Dish out the cash.

But here’s something that’s missing from the routine – civics education.

Education about our shared civics culture, about the activists who are seeking to make our country a better place to live, about the laws and institutions that keep this country from spinning into the abyss.

Are there any universities that specialize in civics education?

Haven’t found one yet.

Are there any universities that emphasize it?

Haven’t found one yet.

Most are overrun with corporate money, corporate influence, and are what my uncle once called high priced tool factories for the corporate state.

To help fill in the void, I’ve taken a first cut at what I call the CAT – Civics Aptitude Test.

If you watch Democracy Now, read Common Dreams, the Corporate Crime Reporter or CounterPunch, you’ll do okay.

If you don’t, and are a student at any of America’s premier universities, you probably won’t.

But try it and see how you do.

Answer key is at the end of the test.

No cheating.

Civics Aptitude Test (20 Minutes)

1. Wrote for the Multinational Monitor, host of Democracy Now

2. Author of The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America,  taught at Duke

3. Legislation that would limit the size of banks to four percent of GDP. Got 33 votes in the Senate in 2010

4. Law repealed by Clinton that separated investment banking from commercial banking

5. Opposed Vietnam war and military industrial complex, had a dream

6. Labor activist, head of the National Nurses Union

7. Noble Prize winning economist, taught at Yale, father of the speculation tax

8. Premier U.S. antitrust think tank

9. Premier single payer couple, founders of Physicians for a National Health Program

10. Safe cosmetics campaigner, author of  Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry


11. 97 year old labor activist, AFL reformer

12. Former New York Times foreign correspondent, author of Death of the Liberal Class

13. Princeton Professor, arrested on steps of Supreme Court protesting corporate control

14. Rolling Stone reporter, described Goldman Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity,” author of Griftopia

15. Author of Unsafe at Any Speed, ran for president

16. Climate change affirmer, leader in the fight against Keystone XL Pipeline

17. Lead CounterPuncher, climate change denier, co-author of The Politics of Anti-Semitism

18. Palestinian-American co-founder of Electronic Intifada author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse

19. First African American woman admitted to the Mississippi bar, founded Children’s Defense Fund

20. Columbia University professor, author of Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention


21. Key documentarian of ObamaBush, author of With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful

22. Former Nader for President campaign manager, author of Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny

23. Camped out in Texas, author of Peace Mom: A Mother’s Journey through Heartache to Activism

24. Vet survived Iraq, head crushed by Oakland police

25. Co-founder of environmental group Peaceful Uprising, in jail for bidding on public lands

26. Recently drafted legislation to criminalize the corporation and to criminalize fracking, co-author of Fear at Work: Job Blackmail, Labor and the Environment

27. Founder of Black Agenda Report

28. MIT Professor, author of The Fateful Triangle, pro nuclear power

29. Canadian author of The Shock Doctrine and author of No Logo

30. Co-founder of The Indypendent and The Occupied Wall Street Journal

31. Battled chemical pollution in Niagara Falls, New York, founder of  Center for Health, Environment and Justice

32. Public Citizen’s anti-GATT, NAFTA, WTO campaigner

33. Creator of The Story of Stuff video, author of The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health

34. Film producer and editor of Firedoglake

35. Co-founder of Democracy Now, author of News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media

36. Investigative journalist, beaten by Indonesian military in East Timor, author of Nader report –  The Reign of ETS

37. Walked across the country for campaign finance reform, also known as Granny D

38.  Campaigner against Presidential Debate Commission, author of No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates

39. Author of The Closed Corporation and Blood in the Face, campaigner against solitary confinement

40. Kentucky poet, campaigner against mountaintop removal, author of The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture

41. Historian and author of A People’s History of the United States

42. Major auto company prosecuted for corporate homicide after deaths of three teenagers in defective automobile

43. Documented criminal conspiracy of auto, gas, tire companies to rip out inner city rail transit systems, writing a massive history of General Motors

44. Madoff whistleblower author of  No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller

45. Charles Manson prosecutor and author of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

46. Anti-poverty campaigner, author of Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America

47. The News Dissector and author of Plunder: Investigating Our Economic Calamity and the Subprime Scandal

48.  Bearded Eastern European philosopher, told Occupy Wall Street “The problem is not corruption or greed. The problem is the system that pushes you to give up,” pulls on his shirt when he speaks

49. Supersize Me moviemaker

50. Beirut based correspondent for The Independent and author of The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East

51. Former editor of the Multinational Monitor magazine, current President of Public Citizen

52. FDA official credited with blocking Thalidomide sales in the United States

53. Lead Counterpuncher and author of Born Under a Bad Sky: Notes from the Dark Side of the Earth

54. Author of books on the civil rights movement and most recently of The Cartel: Inside the Rise and Imminent Fall of the NCAA

55. In front of its building on Pennsylvania Avenue in DC, has a statue of a muscular guy trying to restrain a horse – symbolic of public trying to restrain corporate power

56. Law that prohibits any U.S. corporation from paying bribes overseas

57. Lead organizer of “No Nukes” movement and author of The Last Energy War: The Battle Over Utility Deregulation

58. GWU law professor and author of recent Los Angeles Times article Obama: A Disaster for Civil Liberties

59.  Former editor of Editor and Publisher magazine, blogger of Occupy Wall Street, author of The Campaign of the Century: Upton Sinclair’s Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics

60. The Greatest Canadian, credited with bringing single payer national health insurance to Canada

61.Chicago-based coordinator for Voices for Creative Non Violence and author of Other Lands Have Dreams: From Baghdad to Pekin Prison

62. Communications director for Public Accuracy in Washington, D.C., also creator of washingtonstakeout.com

63. Code Pink activist, led a group called Jews for Helen Thomas

64. Education activist and author of  The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America

65. Wealth inequality expert at Institute for Policy Studies and author of Economic Apartheid In America: A Primer On Economic Inequality & Insecurity

66. The me in Roger and Me

67. Palestine peace activist, denied tenure at DePaul University, author of Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History

68. Canadian magazine credited with the call to Occupy Wall Street

69. Cell phone safety campaigner and author of Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation

70. Corporate campaigner against JP Stevens, Hormel, Campbell Soup and now runs Killer Coke Campaign

71. 30 year old DC public interest group that tracks government contractors who violate the law

72. Institute for Policy Studies Middle East peace activist and author of Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer

73. Culture jamming activist duo and network of supporters created by Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos, they impersonate entities that they dislike, a practice that they call “identity correction”

74. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, People Have the Power singer

75. Wall Street dirt digger, journalist for the New York Times, co-author of Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon

76.  Executed by lethal injection in Georgia September 21, 2011, fueled movement against death penalty

77.  Documentary filmmaker, producer of Why We Fight and Move Your Money

78. University of Missouri Kansas City Law Professor and author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry

79. MIT Economist and author of 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown

80. Man Booker Prize winner and author of Walking with Comrades and The God of Small Things

81. Founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, author of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights

82. Former New York Times tax reporter and author of most recently Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill)

83. Public interest group that sponsors opensecrets.org, best web site tracking money in politics

84. Television talk show host, started in Dayton, Ohio, MSNBC show cancelled because he was a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war”

85. Former Goldman Sachs director now Demos Fellow and author of Black Tuesday

86. Australian physician, public health campaigner and author of Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer

87. Director of the Arms Trade Resource Center at the World Policy Institute and author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex

88. Founder and CEO of C-Span

89. This law allows you to sue corporations on behalf of the government to recover defrauded millions. If the government recovers, you get a bounty.

90. Workplace safety campaigner, asbestos expert, author of Asbestos: Medical and Legal Aspects, Fifth Edition

91. Ha’aretz journalist, campaigner for Palestinian rights co-author of Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land Under Siege

92. West Virginia born author of Deer Hunting with Jesus and Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir

93. Founder of TransAfrica and author of The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks

94. Anti sweatshop activist, founder of Press for Change

95. Chicago labor lawyer and author of Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?: How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life

96.  Documentary movie about corporate agribusiness narrated by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser

97.  New York based Yemeni teacher, founder of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, forced out for explaining to reporters the meaning of the word Intifada

98. Television actress turned activist, author of Roseannearchy: Dispatches from the Nut Farm

99.  The people’s Bob Dylan, sang Love Me Love Me Love Me I’m a Liberal

100. Palestine peace activist and author of The Color Purple



1. Amy Goodman

2. Lawrence Goodwyn

3. Brown-Kaufman

4. Glass-Steagall

5. Martin Luther King

6. Rose Ann DeMoro

7. James Tobin

8. American Antitrust Institute

9.  David Himmelstein and Stephanie Woolhandler

10. Stacy Malkan

11. Harry Kelber

12. Chris Hedges

13. Cornel West

14. Matt Taibbi

15. Ralph Nader

16. Bill McKibben

17. Alexander Cockburn

18. Ali Abunimeh

19. Marian Wright Edelman

20. Manning Marable

21. Glenn Greenwald

22. Theresa Amato

23. Cindy Sheehan

24. Scott Olsen

25. Tim DeChristopher

26. Richard Grossman

27. Glen Ford

28. Noam Chomsky

29. Naomi Klein

30. Arun Gupta

31. Lois Gibbs

32. Lori Wallach

33. Anne Leonard

34. Jane Hamsher

35. Juan Gonzalez

36. Alan Nairn

37. Doris Haddock

38. George Farah

39. James Ridgeway

40. Wendell Berry

41. Howard Zinn

42. Ford Motor Company

43. Brad Snell

44. Harry Markopolos

45. Vincent Bugliosi

46. Frances Fox Piven

47. Danny Schecter

48. Slavoj Zizek

49. Morgan Spurlock

50. Robert Fisk

51. Robert Weissman

52. Frances Kelsey

53. Jeffrey St. Clair

54. Taylor Branch

55. Federal Trade Commission

56. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

57. Harvey Wasserman

58. Jonathan Turley

59. Greg Mitchell

60. Tommy Douglas

61. Kathy Kelly

62. Sam Husseini

63. Medea Benjamin

64. Jonathan Kozol

65. Chuck Collins

66. Michael Moore

67. Norman Finkelstein

68. Adbusters

69. Devra Davis

70. Ray Rogers

71. Project on Government Oversight

72. Phyllis Bennis

73. Yes Men

74. Patti Smith

75. Gretchen Morgenson

76. Troy Davis

77. Eugene Jarecki

78. Bill Black

79. Simon Johnson

80. Arundhati Roy

81. Omar Barghouti

82. David Cay Johnston

83. Center for Responsive Politics

84. Phil Donahue

85. Nomi Prins

86. Helen Caldicott

87. William Hartung

88. Brian Lamb

89. False Claims Act

90. Barry Castleman

91. Amira Hass

92. Joe Bageant

93. Randall Robinson

94. Jeffrey Ballinger

95. Thomas Geoghegan

96. Food Inc.

97. Debbie Almontaser

98. Roseanne Barr

99. Phil Ochs

100. Alice Walker

Russell Mokhiber edits Single Payer Action.

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Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..