No. 337: "Substandard"

No. 337: "Substandard"

No. 337: "Substandard"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Nov. 16 1999 3:30 AM

No. 337: "Substandard"

To justify a current policy, a well-known organization cites these conditions: "unrelenting crowding, lack of privacy, infrequent communications with family and the outside world, no ability even to go … for fresh air and a view." Who is defending what policy?


Send your answer by noon ET Tuesday to

Thursday's Question (No. 336)--"Three for All":

Planned Parenthood, the Museum of Natural History, CNN--what's the connection?

"Name the next three entries on Liddy Dole's résumé."--Jim Derby


"Failed pitch for the next season's Real World: Wacky high jinks ensue when a group of reproductive-rights activists are picked to live in a neoclassical beaux-arts science institution on Central Park West and have their lives taped for a 24-hour news channel."--Michele Siegel

"Surprisingly, they all have very cruise-y men's rooms."--Larry Amoros

"Trendy weddings sites featured in the Times 'Style' section."--Julie Anderson

"Is there a board of directors that Gerald Ford won't sit on?"--Mark Greenberg


Click for more answers.

Randy's Wrap-Up

News Quiz responses typically offer a reliable guide to what America is thinking (if only by providing sullen and resentful counterexamples), but from time to time participants make small errors of--well, fact would be too vulgar a word; let's say emphasis. I would like to correct--no, let's say refine--a few of these enormities--no, let's just say fatuities.

  • Planned Parenthood is "pro-abortion."--It would be more correct to say the organization offers a variety of reproductive options and defends a woman's right to choose.
  • The Museum of Natural History is boring and old-fashioned.--It's pretty obvious that some of you haven't seen the new hominid penis.
  • It is only when CNN runs out of airplane accidents to cover at tedious length that it turns to the inane blather of lackluster commentators--I'm sure there's a flaw in this, but I can't think of it now.


Web of Sin Answer

They are among the many Web sites off-limits to all New York City public school students, K-12, thanks to the filtering program installed by the board of education.

After initially lying, insisting it had received no complaints, the board shifted to the more reliable techniques of equivocating and trivializing its critics, insisting that there was no problem, and if there was it was small, and temporary, and that those who complained were just a bunch of complainers whose purpose is just to make some complaints.

The board of education's computers use I-Gear, a filtering package made by Symantic. The board has no plans to remove or modify this software, although individual schools may phone for help in making their own alterations.


"A Serial Violator of the First Amendment" Extra

That's how some guy on local news described New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, whose latest defeat came Friday when a federal judge found that the city unlawfully punished an AIDS group critical of his administration. Below, a few of the mayor's 21 First Amendment cases. Did he win or lose each?

  • United Yellow Cab Drivers vs. (Police Commissioner) Safir--attempt to block cabbies from holding a demonstration.
  • Latino Officers Association vs. Safir--attempt to stifle cops from speaking to the press.
  • People vs. Lyons, etc.--attempt to stop people from handing out Socialist Workers campaign literature.
  • Bery vs. City of New York--attempt to stop artists from selling work on streets without official artist license.
  • Time Warner Cable vs. City of New York--attempt to force Fox News Network onto the system.
  • Rudolph Giuliani vs. A Bunch of Idiots--attempt to brand letter "I" on foreheads of those who disagree with him.
  • Kalke vs. City of New York--attempt to thwart All Saints Lutheran's Church from distributing condoms in city parks as part of AIDS education program.
  • City of New York vs. Jerks Who Cross Against the Light--attempt to impose corporal punishment on those who impede any car any time with their damn walking.
  • New York Magazinevs. City of New York--attempt to stop the magazine from making fun of the mayor in ads on the sides of buses. 
  • City of New York vs. Time Warner Cable II: This time it's personal--attempt to make Fox prime-time lineup mandatory viewing in city's schools.


The city lost all these cases, except 6, 8, and 10, which do not exist.

Extra Credit

You can keep the money you've won so far, or risk it on this follow-up: What is the overall tally in those 21 cases?

Extra Credit Answer

The NYCLU has gone to court in First Amendment cases against the Giuliani administration 21 times. It has prevailed, in full or in part, in 18 of the 20 cases so far decided.

Delightful Footnote

Public advocate Mark Green may sue the mayor for wasting more than $5 million in public funds in these "frivolous lawsuits."

Read More About It

(Special thanks to Donna Lieberman.)

Common Denominator

Ted Turner.