National Polls and the Presidential Race

Its official–Hillary is kicking Obama’s rear end.

Aren’t you all excited?  I can see the lot of you jumping up and down with joy at the news!

Okay, here’s why these polls don’t matter–its not a national race!   This is a state by state race.  Where is she in Iowa?  How’s she doing in New Hampshire?  South Carolina?  Florida and California?

The early voting states are where primary presidential elections are won and lost.  Forget Hillary vs Obama, you have Edwards and others who can score victories in those states.  Anyone remember how Bill Clinton was doing in national polls before the primary election?  Of course you don’t–he wasn’t registering in them!  He came in third, THIRD, in one primary state, and blew everyone away with his strong showing.  Then went on to take the nomination.

Don’t take this as a Hillary bash.  I’m a fan.  I’m even more of a Richardson fan, but we all see how he’s doing.  Just remember that this is a media hype, one that has nothing to do with reality.  Show me how she stacks up in the primary states, and then I might get excited.  Maybe.


Politicians and Autism

Yesterday was my son’s biannual checkup with his Behavioral Pediatrician. I spent the morning discussing autistic behaviors, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. I spent the afternoon researching anti-anxiety medications for children and possible nutritional supplements. Yesterday was a day filled with autism.

So today when I read in the local paper that questions are being solicited for tonights gubernatorial debate, my mind ran to politics and autism.

Here’s the question I posed for our candidates for Governor:

As the parent of a child on the spectrum, I have first hand knowledge of what properly trained teachers and aides can do to improve the skills of an autistic child. Unfortunately, I also know what untrained teachers can do to their chances of succeeding. Knowing that 1 in 150 children are diagnosed as autistic, this is an issue too many Kentucky families face. Schools are woefully underfunded and teachers are untrained to handle the onslaught of these bright kids who do not fit into a traditional social or teaching mold. In this rapidly changing landscape of schools, what will you do to help schools and families so these children can succeed academically and become productive members of society?

I think this is a fair question for any politician that has the power to influence school funding, training and public policy. I am blessed to live in Kentucky, one of only a handful of states that mandates that insurance companies must cover therapies and treatments for autistic children. Parents in other states spend an average of $10,000 a year or more for basic therapies. Yet schools are still underfunded to handle the influx of these special needs children. These are not children who belong in a special education classroom–these children are very bright, often remarkably more than the other children in the class, but have learning disabilities or social needs that overshadow their abilities.

Just last week our region had a hearty discussion on autistic children in the classroom. I won’t go into the story, you can read it here at WCPO, but I will say that you can only imagine what the response was. I was both enlightened and horrified at the responses I saw on boards like Cincymoms.com. It only proves that a lot more education needs to happen on the topic of autism. What it is, and what it isn’t.


A Deal Hunters Paradise

I am cheap.  Have I ever mentioned that?  I am the coupon queen.  I never buy anything without looking for the better deal first.  When I decide to make a purchase, even small ones, I scour the internet looking for the absolute cheapest price I can find.  I usually am very generous in sharing the deals I’ve found–I often will let lots of people know about the great deals waiting for them at….fill in the blank.

But I’ve been selfish.  Stingy.  There’s a website I haven’t shared with anyone yet.  Just this week I’ve gotten three amazing deals.  I bought a 2 gig micro sd card for my new cell phone for $11, (normally $40) including shipping.  I bought a multi media card reader for $1.95, with free shipping.  And today I bought a George Foreman grill as a present, listed for $59 at other stores, for $12 at Kohl’s, including shipping.

But for you, my lovely readers, I will share my secret– Slickdeals.

Essentially, its a message board for deal-lovers.  I’ve gotten multiple free ringtones from AT&T, $5 shirts from Eddie Bauer, $30 giftcards from Kroger’s, and so on.  The people on the boards are serious deal-hunters–no so-so deals will do.  These are not complete an offer and get them free, these are straight up free deals or coupons.  And they do the footwork for you!  Simply check the front page daily for the best deals, then peruse the forums (hot deals or coupons) for other good ones.  If you have something you’re wanting to buy, use the search feature on the front page to search the forums.  I guarantee you’ll find a deal–haircuts, toothbrushes, prescriptions, tvs, computers, toys, clothes–you name it, someone’s posted a deal.  If you frequent Target, Walgreens or CVS, there are amazing women who ‘stack’ coupons and tell you how to do it, and which ones to use, and in what order, to get maximum discounts.  Coupons for restaurants and stores alike are usually posted there, you simply print and use.  I know I’ve read a post, printed a set of coupons, and walked out of a CVS with $100 of shampoos, medicines and groceries for $25, and a $50 Visa gift card.  I didn’t do any of the footwork–they did it all, I just followed in their footsteps.  This week I’m headed to Target for $5 Pull Ups diapers, normally $10 each.

And no, I do not get a kickback for this glowing review.  I’m just that big of a fan. 

Have fun, my lovelies!


Are you smarter than the average immigrant?

Just how well do you know your country, its workings and its history?  Do you think you know it better than the average immigrant taking their citizenship test?  Try the questions below and see if you do.  The answers are posted in the previous blog post.I do have a few questions about the new exam–if they know they have more than one answer for many of the questions, just how are they going to achieve grading equity?  And, do we really need open ended questions like that?  This looks like a college blue book exam!Let me know how you do! From the USCIS website–the actual exam:

* If you are 65 years old or older and have been a legal permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, you may study just the questions that have been marked with an asterisk.

– –

www.uscis.gov

Civics (History and Government) Items for the Redesigned Naturalization Test

Beginning October 1, 2008, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin implementation of a redesigned naturalization test. All applicants who file for naturalization on or after October 1, 2008 will be required to take the redesigned test. For those applicants who file prior to October 1, 2008 but are not interviewed until after October 1, 2008 (but before October 1, 2009), there will be an option of taking the redesigned test or the current one. Civics (history and government) items from the redesigned naturalization test are found below. Some of the items have more than one possible answer listed. Although we hope that applicants will learn all the content, applicants will only be required to give one answer from the list unless the question asks for more than one. An example of a question that requires more than one of the listed answers is item 36. It asks, “What are two Cabinet-level positions?” In this example, applicants would be required to tell the adjudicator any two of the listed possible responses.Applicants for naturalization taking the redesigned test should note that USCIS is aware that the 100 items sometimes have answers that are not listed here.

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

A: Principles of American Democracy

1. What is the supreme law of the land?

2. What does the Constitution do?

3. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?

4. What is an amendment? 5. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?

6. What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?*

 7. How many amendments does the Constitution have?  8. What did the Declaration of Independence do? 

9. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?

10. What is freedom of religion?

 11. What is the economic system in the United States?* 12. What is the “rule of law”?

 B: System of Government

13. Name one branch or part of the government.*

14. What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?

15. Who is in charge of the executive branch?

16. Who makes federal laws?

 17. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?*

18. How many U.S. Senators are there?  19. We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?

20. Who is one of your state’s U.S. Senators?*21. The House of Representatives has how many voting members?

 22. We elect a U.S. Representative for how many years? 23. Name your U.S. Representative.

24. Who does a U.S. Senator represent? 25. Why do some states have more Representatives than other states?

26. We elect a President for how many years?

27. In what month do we vote for President?*

28. What is the name of the President of the United States now?*

 29. What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now? 30. If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President?

31. If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President? 32. Who is the Commander in Chief of the military?

33. Who signs bills to become laws? 34. Who vetoes bills?

35. What does the President’s Cabinet do? 36. What are two Cabinet-level positions?

37. What does the judicial branch do? 38. What is the highest court in the United States?

39. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?

40. Who is the Chief Justice of the United States?

41. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government?

 42. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power of the states? 43. Who is the Governor of your state?

44. What is the capital of your state?*

45. What are the two major political parties in the United States?

46. What is the political party of the President now? 47. What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?

C: Rights and Responsibilities48. There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them.

49. What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?* 50. What are two rights only for United States citizens?

51. What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?  

52. What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance? 53. What is one promise you make when you become a United States citizen?

54. How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?* 55. What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?

56. When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?*

57. When must all men register for the Selective Service?

AMERICAN HISTORY

A: Colonial Period and Independence

58. What is one reason colonists came to America?

59. Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?

 60. What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves?

61. Why did the colonists fight the British?

62. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

63. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted? 64. There were 13 original states. Name three.

65. What happened at the Constitutional Convention?66. When was the Constitution written?

67. The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers. 68. What is one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for?

69. Who is the “Father of Our Country”? 70. Who was the first President?*

B: 1800s 71. What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?

72. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s.

 73. Name the U.S. war between the North and the South.

74. Name one problem that led to the Civil War.

75. What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?*

76. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?

77. What did Susan B. Anthony do? C: Recent American History and Other Important Historical Information

78. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1900s.*

79. Who was President during World War I?

80. Who was President during the Great Depression and World War II?

81. Who did the United States fight in World War II?

82. Before he was President, Eisenhower was a general. What war was he in?

83. During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States?

84. What movement tried to end racial discrimination?

85. What did Martin Luther King, Jr. do?*

86. What major event happened on September 11, 2001 in the United States?

87. Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.

INTEGRATED CIVICS

A: Geography

88. Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.

89. What ocean is on the West Coast of the United States?

 90. What ocean is on the East Coast of the United States?

91. Name one U.S. territory.

92. Name one state that borders Canada. 93. Name one state that borders Mexico.

94. What is the capital of the United States?* 95. Where is the Statue of Liberty?*

B: Symbols 96. Why does the flag have 13 stripes?

97. Why does the flag have 50 stars?*

98. What is the name of the national anthem?

C: Holidays

99. When do we celebrate Independence Day?*

100. Name two national U.S. holidays.


Citizenship Test and Answers

 

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

A: Principles of American Democracy

1. What is the supreme law of the land?

â–ª the Constitution

2. What does the Constitution do?

â–ª sets up the government

â–ª defines the government

â–ª protects basic rights of Americans

3. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?

â–ª We the People

4. What is an amendment?

â–ª a change (to the Constitution)

â–ª an addition (to the Constitution)

5. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?

â–ª the Bill of Rights

6. What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?*

â–ª speech

â–ª religion

â–ª assembly

â–ª press

â–ª petition the government– – * If you are 65 years old or older and have been a legal permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, you may study just the questions that have been marked with an asterisk. www.uscis.gov

7. How many amendments does the Constitution have?

â–ª twenty-seven (27)

8. What did the Declaration of Independence do?

â–ª announced our independence (from Great Britain)

â–ª declared our independence (from Great Britain)

â–ª said that the United States is free (from Great Britain)

9. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?

â–ª life

â–ª liberty

â–ª pursuit of happiness

10. What is freedom of religion?

â–ª You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion.

11. What is the economic system in the United States?*

â–ª capitalist economy

â–ª market economy

12. What is the “rule of law”?

â–ª Everyone must follow the law.

â–ª Leaders must obey the law.

â–ª Government must obey the law.

â–ª No one is above the law.

B: System of Government

13. Name one branch or part of the government.*

â–ª Congress

â–ª legislative

â–ª President

â–ª executive

â–ª the courts

â–ª judicial

14. What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?

â–ª checks and balances

â–ª separation of powers

15. Who is in charge of the executive branch?

â–ª the President

16. Who makes federal laws?

â–ª Congress

â–ª Senate and House (of Representatives)

â–ª (U.S. or national) legislature

17. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?*

â–ª the Senate and House (of Representatives)– – * If you are 65 years old or older and have been a legal permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, you may study just the questions that have been marked with an asterisk. www.uscis.gov

18. How many U.S. Senators are there?

â–ª one hundred (100)

19. We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?

â–ª six (6)

20. Who is one of your state’s U.S. Senators?*

Answers will vary. [For District of Columbia residents and residents of U.S. territories, the answer is that D.C. (or the territory where the applicant lives) has no U.S. Senators.]

21. The House of Representatives has how many voting members?

â–ª four hundred thirty-five (435)

22. We elect a U.S. Representative for how many years?

â–ª two (2)

23. Name your U.S. Representative.

â–ª Answers will vary. [Residents of territories with nonvoting Delegates or resident Commissioners may provide the name of that Delegate or Commissioner. Also acceptable is any statement that the territory has no (voting) Representatives in Congress.]

24. Who does a U.S. Senator represent?

â–ª all people of the state

25. Why do some states have more Representatives than other states?

â–ª (because of) the state’s population

â–ª (because) they have more people

â–ª (because) some states have more people

26. We elect a President for how many years?

â–ª four (4)

27. In what month do we vote for President?*

â–ª November

28. What is the name of the President of the United States now?*

â–ª George W. Bush

â–ª George Bush

â–ª Bush

29. What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now?

â–ª Richard Cheney

â–ª Dick Cheney

â–ª Cheney

30. If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President?

â–ª the Vice President

31. If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?

â–ª the Speaker of the House

32. Who is the Commander in Chief of the military?

â–ª the President– – * If you are 65 years old or older and have been a legal permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, you may study just the questions that have been marked with an asterisk. www.uscis.gov

33. Who signs bills to become laws?

â–ª the President

34. Who vetoes bills?

â–ª the President

35. What does the President’s Cabinet do?

â–ª advises the President

36. What are two Cabinet-level positions?

â–ª Secretary of Agriculture

â–ª Secretary of Commerce

â–ª Secretary of Defense

â–ª Secretary of Education

â–ª Secretary of Energy

â–ª Secretary of Health and Human Services

â–ª Secretary of Homeland Security

â–ª Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

â–ª Secretary of Interior

â–ª Secretary of State

â–ª Secretary of Transportation

â–ª Secretary of Treasury

â–ª Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs

â–ª Secretary of Labor

â–ª Attorney General

37. What does the judicial branch do?

â–ª reviews laws

â–ª explains laws

â–ª resolves disputes (disagreements)

â–ª decides if a law goes against the Constitution

38. What is the highest court in the United States?

â–ª the Supreme Court

39. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?

â–ª nine (9)

40. Who is the Chief Justice of the United States?

â–ª John Roberts (John G. Roberts, Jr.)

41. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government?

â–ª to print money

â–ª to declare war

â–ª to create an army

â–ª to make treaties– – * If you are 65 years old or older and have been a legal permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, you may study just the questions that have been marked with an asterisk. www.uscis.gov

42. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power of the states?

â–ª provide schooling and education

â–ª provide protection (police)

â–ª provide safety (fire departments)

â–ª give a driver’s license

â–ª approve zoning and land use

43. Who is the Governor of your state?

â–ª Answers will vary. [Residents of the District of Columbia and U.S. territories without a Governor should say “we don’t have a Governor.”]

44. What is the capital of your state?*

â–ª Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. is not a state and does not have a capital. Residents of U.S. territories should name the capital of the territory.]

45. What are the two major political parties in the United States?*

â–ª Democratic and Republican

46. What is the political party of the President now?

â–ª Republican (Party)

47. What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?

â–ª (Nancy) Pelosi

C: Rights and Responsibilities

48. There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them.

â–ª Citizens eighteen (18) and older (can vote).

â–ª You don’t have to pay (a poll tax) to vote.

â–ª Any citizen can vote. (Women and men can vote.)

â–ª A male citizen of any race (can vote).

49. What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?*

â–ª serve on a jury

â–ª vote

50. What are two rights only for United States citizens?

â–ª apply for a federal job

â–ª vote

â–ª run for office

â–ª carry a U.S. passport

51. What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?

â–ª freedom of expression

â–ª freedom of speech

â–ª freedom of assembly

â–ª freedom to petition the government

â–ª freedom of worship

â–ª the right to bear arms– – * If you are 65 years old or older and have been a legal permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, you may study just the questions that have been marked with an asterisk. www.uscis.gov

52. What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance?

â–ª the United States

â–ª the flag

53. What is one promise you make when you become a United States citizen?

â–ª give up loyalty to other countries

â–ª defend the Constitution and laws of the United States

â–ª obey the laws of the United States

â–ª serve in the U.S. military (if needed)

â–ª serve (do important work for) the nation (if needed)

â–ª be loyal to the United States

54. How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?*

â–ª eighteen (18) and older

55. What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?

â–ª vote

â–ª join a political party

â–ª help with a campaign

â–ª join a civic group

â–ª join a community group

â–ª give an elected official your opinion on an issue

â–ª call Senators and Representatives

â–ª publicly support or oppose an issue or policy

â–ª run for office

â–ª write to a newspaper

56. When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?*

â–ª April 15

57. When must all men register for the Selective Service?

â–ª at age eighteen (18)

â–ª between eighteen (18) and twenty-six (26)

AMERICAN HISTORY

A: Colonial Period and Independence

58. What is one reason colonists came to America?

â–ª freedom

â–ª political liberty

â–ª religious freedom

â–ª economic opportunity

â–ª practice their religion

â–ª escape persecution– – * If you are 65 years old or older and have been a legal permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, you may study just the questions that have been marked with an asterisk. www.uscis.gov

59. Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?

â–ª Native Americans

â–ª American Indians

60. What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves?

â–ª Africans

â–ª people from Africa

61. Why did the colonists fight the British?

â–ª because of high taxes (taxation without representation)

â–ª because the British army stayed in their houses (boarding, quartering)

â–ª because they didn’t have self-government

62. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

â–ª (Thomas) Jefferson

63. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?

â–ª July 4, 1776

64. There were 13 original states. Name three.

â–ª New Hampshire

â–ª Massachusetts

â–ª Rhode Island

â–ª Connecticut

â–ª New York

â–ª New Jersey

â–ª Pennsylvania

â–ª Delaware

â–ª Maryland

â–ª Virginia

â–ª North Carolina

â–ª South Carolina

â–ª Georgia

65. What happened at the Constitutional Convention?

â–ª The Constitution was written.

â–ª The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution.

66. When was the Constitution written?

â–ª 1787

67. The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers.

â–ª (James) Madison

â–ª (Alexander) Hamilton

â–ª (John) Jay

â–ª Publius– – * If you are 65 years old or older and have been a legal permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, you may study just the questions that have been marked with an asterisk. www.uscis.gov

68. What is one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for?

â–ª U.S. diplomat

â–ª oldest member of the Constitutional Convention

â–ª first Postmaster General of the United States

â–ª writer of “Poor Richard’s Almanac”

â–ª started the first free libraries

69. Who is the “Father of Our Country”?

â–ª (George) Washington

70. Who was the first President?*

â–ª (George) Washington

B: 1800s

71. What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?

â–ª the Louisiana Territory

â–ª Louisiana

72. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s.

â–ª War of 1812

â–ª Mexican-American War

â–ª Civil War

â–ª Spanish-American War

73. Name the U.S. war between the North and the South.

â–ª the Civil War

â–ª the War between the States

74. Name one problem that led to the Civil War.

â–ª slavery

â–ª economic reasons

â–ª states’ rights

75. What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?*

â–ª freed the slaves (Emancipation Proclamation)

â–ª saved (or preserved) the Union

â–ª led the United States during the Civil War

76. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?

â–ª freed the slaves

â–ª freed slaves in the Confederacy

â–ª freed slaves in the Confederate states

â–ª freed slaves in most Southern states

77. What did Susan B. Anthony do?

â–ª fought for women’s rights

â–ª fought for civil rights– – * If you are 65 years old or older and have been a legal permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, you may study just the questions that have been marked with an asterisk. www.uscis.gov

C: Recent American History and Other Important Historical Information

78. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1900s.*

â–ª World War I

â–ª World War II

â–ª Korean War

â–ª Vietnam War

â–ª (Persian) Gulf War

79. Who was President during World War I?

â–ª (Woodrow) Wilson

80. Who was President during the Great Depression and World War II?

â–ª (Franklin) Roosevelt

81. Who did the United States fight in World War II?

â–ª Japan, Germany, and Italy

82. Before he was President, Eisenhower was a general. What war was he in?

â–ª World War II

83. During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States?

â–ª Communism

84. What movement tried to end racial discrimination?

â–ª civil rights (movement)

85. What did Martin Luther King, Jr. do?*

â–ª fought for civil rights

â–ª worked for equality for all Americans

86. What major event happened on September 11, 2001 in the United States?

â–ª Terrorists attacked the United States.

87. Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.

[Adjudicators will be supplied with a complete list.]

â–ª Cherokee

â–ª Navajo

â–ª Sioux

â–ª Chippewa

â–ª Choctaw

â–ª Pueblo

â–ª Apache

â–ª Iroquois

â–ª Creek

â–ª Blackfeet

â–ª Seminole

â–ª Cheyenne

â–ª Arawak

â–ª Shawnee

â–ª Mohegan

â–ª Huron-0- * If you are 65 years old or older and have been a legal permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, you may study just the questions that have been marked with an asterisk. www.uscis.gov

â–ª Oneida

â–ª Lakota

â–ª Crow

â–ª Teton

â–ª Hopi

â–ª Inuit

INTEGRATED CIVICS

A: Geography

88. Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.

â–ª Missouri (River)

â–ª Mississippi (River)

89. What ocean is on the West Coast of the United States?

â–ª Pacific (Ocean)

90. What ocean is on the East Coast of the United States?

â–ª Atlantic (Ocean)

91. Name one U.S. territory.

â–ª Puerto Rico

â–ª U.S. Virgin Islands

â–ª American Samoa

â–ª Northern Mariana Islands

â–ª Guam

92. Name one state that borders Canada.

â–ª Maine

â–ª New Hampshire

â–ª Vermont

â–ª New York

â–ª Pennsylvania

â–ª Ohio

â–ª Michigan

â–ª Minnesota

â–ª North Dakota

â–ª Montana

â–ª Idaho

â–ª Washington

â–ª Alaska

93. Name one state that borders Mexico.

â–ª California

â–ª Arizona

â–ª New Mexico

â–ª Texas* If you are 65 years old or older and have been a legal permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, you may study just the questions that have been marked with an asterisk. www.uscis.gov

94. What is the capital of the United States?*

â–ª Washington, D.C.

95. Where is the Statue of Liberty?*

â–ª New York (Harbor)

â–ª Liberty Island [Also acceptable are New Jersey, near New York City, and on the Hudson (River).]

B: Symbols

96. Why does the flag have 13 stripes?

â–ª because there were 13 original colonies

â–ª because the stripes represent the original colonies

97. Why does the flag have 50 stars?*

â–ª because there is one star for each state

â–ª because each star represents a state

â–ª because there are 50 states

98. What is the name of the national anthem?

â–ª The Star-Spangled Banner

C: Holidays

99. When do we celebrate Independence Day?*

â–ª July 4

100. Name two national U.S. holidays.

â–ª New Year’s Day

â–ª Martin Luther King, Jr., Day

â–ª Presidents’ Day

â–ª Memorial Day

â–ª Independence Day

â–ª Labor Day

â–ª Columbus Day

â–ª Veterans Day

â–ª Thanksgiving

â–ª Christmas


Work at Home Jobs

I have the pleasure of being a stay at home mom.  I have two darlings, one in school full time, the other a two afternoons a week preschooler.   That schedule makes it very hard to have any kind of a “regular” job.  So I got creative, and I thought other moms might like to know how it works.  I’ve been asked hundreds of times how to do it, so I thought I’d post it here.  Feel free to add your own way of working from home.  However, let me add, this is NOT a recruiting page!  DO NOT comment with your contact info on how to join in selling Avon, jewelry, candles, etc.  But if you have a link to a group that work at home mothers can join, companies looking to hire, and so on, feel free to post.  In fact, PLEASE leave a comment with that information.  As good ideas are left in the comments, I will copy them into the body of this blog so everyone can see them.

One last comment–if you have to pay to work, be very wary.  Most likely its not for real!  Spammers and Scammers who comment will be deleted.

Ways I know of to make money from home:

1.  Blog.  This is not a lot of money at first.  Pennies a month, at first.  Blog writers sell advertising on their space (I use Google Adsense) and when readers click on the ads, the blogger gets paid.  It takes time to build it into anything that will make good money, but if you like to write and have something to say, it might be worth a shot!

2.  Customer Service.  I will list here companies I know that are hiring customer service agents to work from their homes.  I worked for West, aka WorkatHomeAgent, for the past year, and I really enjoyed it.  I left only when they switched formats and no longer employed agents in my neck of the woods.  I worked for Disney, for Proflowers, and for Virgin Mobile, doing the same work I would have done in their call centers, only from home.  I got paid by the minute–so if I received calls frequently, the pay was good.  If there was downtime between the calls, the pay wasn’t so good.  Some companies pay by the hour, some by the call, some by the minute.  Make sure to look at that when you sign up.  On average, I made between $8-$10 an hour, and worked between 10-20 hours a week.  I set my own schedule.  Training was not paid.  Basic requirements for this kind of work include a recent computer, a landline, high speed internet, and a headset.  Also very important is a quiet workspace! 

USA Today and Good Morning America have done quite a few stories on this subject.  The companies that I know of, have worked with or know someone who has, are:  West, Arise (formerly Willow), LiveOps, VIP Desk, Alpine Access, and 1-800-Flowers.  Arise is the company I am currently with.  They do charge for training, although right now their basic training is free.  They charge for training as their way of weeding out those who are not going to follow through.  But, many of the accounts offer bonuses for completing training that more than covers the amounts paid.

3.  Surveys and Panels.  Contact your local Market Research firm.  In our area that would be Qfact.  You can get paid to give people your opinion!  No, this is not sitting and clicking on questions all day long on your computer.  I know some people make money doing that, but I never have been able to.  Qfact and others will call you and ask you to participate in studies, and will pay you for your time.  I have done studies on cough medicine, toothpastes, diapers, music, and store product placement.  I get paid anywhere from $40 to $100 and more for my time–usually an hour or two.  I’ve even been an alternate–someone who sits in the waiting room to be a replacement for people who doesn’t show up for their study.  I’ve done that twice–both times getting paid $100 for sitting for an hour and a half.  Most places will not let you do too many studies in the same month or six months, but its a nice supplement to your pocketbook.  My local market research firm also provides childcare during the study.

 So, whatchya got to add?  How are you making money from home?


Skewed politics

Kentucky is in the middle of a governor’s race.  The incumbent, Republican Ernie Fletcher, is in the fight of his life.  Why?  Because two years ago, caught in a hiring scandal that shocked few and suprised no one, he pardoned everyone to cover his tracks.  Its all been downhill since then.

 However, he still holds the pursestrings, so many of the republican office holders statewide have remained loyal.  In my area, that would be Boone County Judge Executive Gary Moore.  Fletcher has crisscrossed the state handing out checks to anyone who would take them–mostly checks that were allocated by the General Assembly or other sources that he had no hand in.  This week, it was reported that a local road was to be repaired with money from the state.  That’s a good thing–this neighborhood road was slipping into the Ohio River, and the county did not have the funds to do the emergency repairs.

Of course, in an election year, this was turned into a political favor.  Moore says: “It’s great news that we are getting these dollars.  It’s just another sign that the Fletcher administration has responded well when we’ve had needs.” 

Read another paragraph, and you’ll see that its a pretty picture Moore paints, but not a complete one.  Boone county only got half the money it needs, meaning….next year we have to re-apply for the rest!

I do love election season…


Petraeus/Betray Us

Get over it.

You can’t have it both ways!  You cannot call Purple Heart winners cowards and traitors, and then expect the other side to blindly lock step and swallow every thing you feed them!  You cannot say voting for Democrats is equal to voting for terrorists, and expect to have the moral high ground!  When you play dirty, expect to get dirty!

Now, I’d like to say that I thought the MoveOn.org ad was silly, but it was also effective.  Look at the conversation going on around the nation, one that’s lasted a heck of a lot longer than it would have been if we’d just been discussing his report to Congress. 

In the KY race for Attorney General, Republican Stan Lee sent an email to supporters this week accusing Jack Conway of supporting “liberal trial lawyer friends” (jeez, that again?  Get a new writer, folks) and “making a living off the backs of Kentuckians.”  Then, he has the gall to be shocked and dismayed when Conway points out that Lee is a lawyer for State Farm, an insurance company known for not paying claims to Katrina victims.  Lee says Conway is blaming him for Katrina.  Face it Lee, if you are going to throw stones at the company Conway keeps (he’s a trial lawyer), expect the company you keep to be brought to light too.

But of course, this is how the game is played, isn’t it?


Rain Rain Rain

Today all eyes are on the sky.  At least in my neck of the woods.

 The Kentucky/Ohio/Indiana region is officially in extreme drought.  Trees are dying, grass has been dead for a long time, creeks and ponds are dry, even foundations are being damaged by the dry, hardened clay soil.  We haven’t cut our grass since the first week of July–there hasn’t been any grass to cut!  We have 70 foot trees out our back door that dropped their dry, browned leaves weeks ago.  We are already raking up fall’s leaves, an activity that usually doesn’t begin for another month.

But today, they’ve said it might rain.  Only a 60% chance, but that’s the most hope we’ve had in a long time.  So let it rain, let it rain, let it rain. And then let it rain some more.


News Roundup

Several of you have asked about my thoughts on the crackpot from the mideast speaking at the UN.  Here’s why I haven’t blogged about it yet–I refuse to increase his fame or his stature by talking about him.  The crackpot’s gotten enough attention already.  Oh, and I call him a crackpot, instead of a nutjob, because I think that would an insult to nutjobs everywhere.  😉

 Okay, on to other news.  Polls are showing that independent voters are strongly leaning democrat.  In KY, in our governor’s race, things are looking up.  Democrat Steve Beshear (who was my first political job, by the way, in his 1996 Senate race) is ahead by 20 some odd points over incumbent Ernie Fletcher, EVEN AMONG EVANGELICALS.  This is big, this is HUGE in the state of Kentucky.  Fletcher is an ordained pastor.  He’s their boy.  And if it can happen in the bible belt, it can happen everywhere.

 I noticed today the stories about the GOP shunning minority events.  I know why–they see precious resources (money and time) being used on groups who aren’t going to vote for them.  But it marks a shift.  The GOP spent the past 15 years courting African American churches and the Hispanic vote.  In this GOP free for all, you can see where the party is headed.  Chaos.  There is no common voice, reminding them of long term strategies to be taken advantage of.  The GOP put millions of dollars into African American churches, luring them away from being solidly democrat.  Looks like that’s all falling apart.  Interesting indeed!  Of course, we Democrats were in the same state 8 years ago.  Welcome to our nightmare.  Hopefully they won’t wake up too soon!

That brings me to another topic…the early attention to political manueverings and party policies for the election next year has me worried.  Too many negatives are being brought to light now, too much time for fatigue and innoculation.  Too much time to cover issue bad to the GOP now, so that when next October rolls around the average voter will be saying “Not that again, didn’t we already deal with that?” and “When will you guys stop whining and let it go already?”  While its fun for us politicos to have this much election interest, its not actually good for us.  While I’m tired of BritneyLindseyParisOJ, I’m ready for a breather, for a little more attention to the statewide races. 


Pages:1...78910111213...22