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On the Eighteeth of April in Seventy Five
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I just cringed when I watched Sarah Palin mangle the story of Paul Revere. I thought every school child in America (real Americans, thank you) knew the "one if by land, two if by sea" story of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, April 18, 1775.

It was celebrated in a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, which starts

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere
On the Eighteenth of April in Seventy Five
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

Who remembers? Nobody, probably, remembers this poem, except those of us with flypaper memories (everything sticks). But most people I know have a rough idea that the British were coming (in force) and that Paul Revere rode from town to town, raising the alarm. He was warning the colonists, not the British. [Read the poem out loud; the opening stanzas will stir your blood and fire your imagination.]

Obviously Sarah Palin never had a history or poetry lesson, or she has a memory like Teflon, the nonstick coating for cookware. Geeks like me have very little respect for cheerleaders like her.

I don't expect, for instance, that my next door neighbor, a hair salon owner, will know anything about pre-Revolution American history (and I was pleasantly surprised to find out he does), but I do expect a would-be candidate for political office to know something, a rough outline (perhaps study up before her visit?)--or to know that she doesn't know and keep her ignorant mouth shut. A great part of wisdom is knowing what you don't know.

The way those pre-rehearsed catch phrases rolled out of her mouth clearly show a disorganized, uneducated mind. Not beautiful.

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