Friday, September 28, 2007


The new naturalization test will include 100 questions (pdf) about American history and government. (Rising Hegemon has a good list of alternative questions.) The questions are okay, but the answers could use some work. For example, for question 2, “What does the Constitution do?”, allowable answers are a) sets up the government, b) defines the government, c) protects basic rights of Americans. Nothing about d) cleans Dick Cheney’s ass after each and every bowel movement.

Clearly we can do better. Contest: provide better answers to as many of the questions as you like.

I have a few suggestions:

1. What is the supreme law of the land? You do not talk about Fight Club.

3. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words? “Yo, homies, wassup?”

5. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution? Suspended until further notice.

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

12. What is the ‘rule of law’? Jude Law will eventually remake every single one of Michael Caine’s movies, including Jaws: The Revenge.

14. What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful? No, really, we’d really like to know.

15. Who is in charge of the executive branch? That box Cheney had installed in the middle of Bush’s back.

24. Who does a U.S. Senator represent? If you have to ask...

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

26. We elect a President for how many years? Four, but sometimes it seems like 400.

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

37. What does the judicial branch do? Under those robes, who can tell?

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

48. There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them. I don’t have anything funny here, but, um, there are actually 5 amendments about who can vote. Somebody needs to go back and read the 14th again.

49. What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens? Weaseling out of jury duty.

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

55. What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy? They list things like voting, joining a political party, calling your representative, writing to a newspaper. Not a fucking thing about blogging.

64. There were 13 original states. Name three. The Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.

65. What happened at the Constitutional Convention? Those stains were there when we got here.

72. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s. The official correct answers are the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. No Indian wars.

86. What major event happened on September 11, 2001 in the United States? Rudy Giuliani started calling up his wife (and assorted mistresses) to tell them that he loves them.

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