(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)
JB: Yo, boss, know what Sept. 17 is?
BE: Constitution Day.
JB: Yep. The day in 1787 our Constitution was signed right here in Philadelphia. I'm impressed you know that.
BE: You forget how old I am. I covered it. But Constitution Day is being celebrated today, Sept. 16.
JB: You are one fact-filled editor!
BE: Only in my rare sentient moments.
JB: Anyway, the Annenberg Public Policy Center at Penn is releasing results of a national survey of 1,230 Americans that suggest not all of us are as well informed. Only 13% of those surveyed know when the Constitution was signed. The majority (55%) said 1776.
BE: Which is when the Declaration of Independence was signed.
JB: Right again, oh wise one. There were other miscues, too.
BE: Try me.
JB: What are the three branches of government?
BE: Lobbyists, campaign donors and the tea party?
JB: Funny guy. It's executive, judicial and legislative. But get this: only 38% of our countrymen could name all three.
BE: Did they survey only reality TV viewers?
JB: There's more. Just 37% know that a citizen cannot appeal a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
BE: Which is why George W. Bush was president.
JB: And while 15% correctly named John Roberts as U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, almost twice as many (27%) correctly named Randy Jackson as a judge on "American Idol."
BE: I would have said "Dancing with the Stars."
JB: Problem is, according to Annenberg Center Director Kathleen Hall Jamieson, "knowing how democracy works predicts civic participation."
BE: Yeah, well, that would explain a few things.
JB: And she says, "The nation should be troubled by the extent to which civic education is downplayed in its schools."
BE: I want my country back.
JB: You can read a report recommending action to improve all this right here.
BE: Maybe we should send a copy to one or two presidential candidates, wink, wink.
JB: Maybe to all of them. Grrr.