strange sqlite3 errors - validates_associated & failing activerecord unit tests

I'm getting two strange errors, both which I believe relate to sqlite3.

The first one is with validates associated. Here is my test:

require File.dirname(__FILE__) + '/../test_helper'

class SubscriptionPlanTest < Test::Unit::TestCase
  fixtures :subscription_plans
  fixtures :publications

  def setup
    @six_month_gold = subscription_plans(:six_month_gold)
    @gold = publications(:gold)
  end

  def test_should_make_sure_record_can_be_created
    sub_plan = create
    pub = Publication.find(sub_plan.publication_id)
    assert_valid pub, "publication errors: #{pub.errors}"
    assert_valid sub_plan.publication, "sub_plan.publication.errors:
#{sub_plan.publication.errors}"
    assert_equal sub_plan.publication_id, pub.id

    assert_valid sub_plan, "errors: #{sub_plan.errors.to_yaml}"
  end

private
  # just a little util method to create a record with the necessary parameters
  def create(h={})
    SubscriptionPlan.create({
      :price => 55.25,
      :duration_in_months => 17,
      :publication => @gold,
      :active => false
    }.merge(h))
  end
end

And here are the test results:

  4) Failure:
test_should_make_sure_record_can_be_created(SubscriptionPlanTest)
    [./../test_helper.rb:33:in `assert_valid'
     subscription_plan_test.rb:19:in
`test_should_make_sure_record_can_be_created']:
errors: --- &id002 !ruby/object:ActiveRecord::Errors
base: !ruby/object:SubscriptionPlan
  attributes:
    price: 55.25
    duration_in_months: 17
    deleted_at:
    publication_id: 1
    active: false
  errors: *id002
  new_record: true
  publication: &id001 !ruby/object:Publication
    attributes:
      long_name: J. Taylor's Gold & Technology Stocks
      id: "1"
      version: "1"
      short_name: gold
    errors: !ruby/object:ActiveRecord::Errors
      base: *id001
      errors: {}

errors:
  publication:
  - is invalid
.
<false> is not true.

The test fails on line 19, which is the line:
    assert_valid sub_plan, "errors: #{sub_plan.errors.to_yaml}"

Notice that the associated model has already been checked for errors
in the previous assertion in the test, but assert sub_plan.valid?
fails...

This lead me to running the unit tests for active record. When I run
the tests through Rake ("rake test_sqlite"), they all pass. But when
running the individual test "base_test.rb", I obtain failures. Here
is the output:

euclid% rake -I "connections/native_sqlite3" base_test.rb
/opt/local/bin/rake:17:Warning: require_gem is obsolete. Use gem instead.
(in /Users/smtlaissezfaire/devel/rails/subscription_manager/vendor/rails/activerecord)
rake aborted!
Don't know how to build task 'base_test.rb'

(See full trace by running task with --trace)
euclid% ruby -I "connections/native_sqlite3" base_test.rb
Using native SQLite3
Loaded suite base_test
Started
.........F.................................................................................................................................F..
Finished in 3.775074 seconds.

  1) Failure:
test_attributes_on_dummy_time(BasicsTest) [base_test.rb:903]:
<Sat Jan 01 05:42:00 EST 2000> expected but was
<nil>.

  2) Failure:
test_utc_as_time_zone(BasicsTest) [base_test.rb:662]:
<Sat Jan 01 05:42:00 UTC 2000> expected but was
<nil>.

142 tests, 474 assertions, 2 failures, 0 errors

I also have heard of the problems with newer versions of sqlite. Here
are my system specs:

OS: Mac OS X.4
ruby 1.8.4 (2005-12-24) [powerpc-darwin8.7.0]
rails: edge revision 6139
sqlite3: version 3.3.7