Author Topic: The end of democracy in the USA?  (Read 34698 times)

Offline gillianren

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #75 on: January 28, 2013, 09:24:30 PM »
It's also worth noting that I traveled over a thousand miles one way last summer and never left the US.  Americans may not know the differences between a lot of European countries, but how many Europeans know the difference between Arizona and Missouri?
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Offline Halcyon Dayz, FCD

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #76 on: January 28, 2013, 09:31:34 PM »
Arizona is desert and American Indians, Missourah is mostly farmland?

You'd be surprised, we get exposed to a lot of American media products, including old Westerns.
We've been cocacolonised.
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Offline Echnaton

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #77 on: January 28, 2013, 11:03:03 PM »
We've been cocacolonised.

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Offline ka9q

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #78 on: January 29, 2013, 04:38:41 AM »
but how many Europeans know the difference between Arizona and Missouri?
Point taken. I have encountered a few people (mostly Europeans who've never been here, or have just arrived on their first visit) who seemed to have no idea how big the United States is. They think they can drive from New York to California and back in a couple of days and see everything along the way.

I even know a New Yorker (though he is actually a Greek immigrant) who didn't realize that San Francisco and San Diego aren't within commuting distance of each other just because they're in the same state.


Offline Peter B

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #79 on: January 29, 2013, 06:00:14 AM »
...In Houston now days, it seems that I meet as many people that are from another country as Americans that have been abroad. My children's high school seems to be half filled with students whose parents moved here, judging by accents and teh students I have met...
Funny you should mention that. I visited Houston in 2004 (wow, nine years ago!), and one morning the guy at the front desk of the motel I stayed at was from Sri Lanka, studying at university. We talked about cricket.

Offline gillianren

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #80 on: January 29, 2013, 02:03:01 PM »
I even know a New Yorker (though he is actually a Greek immigrant) who didn't realize that San Francisco and San Diego aren't within commuting distance of each other just because they're in the same state.

That's actually, from what I can tell, a fairly common one in the US.  We drove from Olympia to LA and back last summer, and my friends were stunned at how long California is north-south.  We left LA at around eleven or so in the morning, and we weren't in Oregon until well after midnight, driving pretty much nonstop.  Even getting all the way across LA takes a couple of hours, depending on how much of the "greater Los Angeles area" you count.
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Offline twik

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #81 on: January 29, 2013, 02:40:07 PM »
Funny you should mention that. I visited Houston in 2004 (wow, nine years ago!), and one morning the guy at the front desk of the motel I stayed at was from Sri Lanka, studying at university. We talked about cricket.

One of my memories of Houston is going to a nearby wildlife preserve. I met a local family who were crabbing there, and starting talking.

They seemed to find it very odd that I had come there, from Canada, to look at birds. I might have been from Alpha Centauri for how far they seemed to think I'd travelled.

Offline ka9q

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #82 on: January 29, 2013, 08:11:45 PM »
my friends were stunned at how long California is north-south.
Yup, even though I'd already lived here for quite a few years, I didn't really have that brought home until we drove between San Diego and southern Oregon a few times.

So many people call San Francisco "northern" California that it's easy to forget it's still only halfway up the state.

Offline Echnaton

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #83 on: January 29, 2013, 08:43:10 PM »
Funny you should mention that. I visited Houston in 2004 (wow, nine years ago!), and one morning the guy at the front desk of the motel I stayed at was from Sri Lanka, studying at university. We talked about cricket.

One of my memories of Houston is going to a nearby wildlife preserve. I met a local family who were crabbing there, and starting talking.

They seemed to find it very odd that I had come there, from Canada, to look at birds. I might have been from Alpha Centauri for how far they seemed to think I'd travelled.
Maybe some people simply don't appreciate how much birders love doing what they do.  I've been told that Brazoria County, just south of Houston is the single best county in the U. S. for bird watching.  Birders that are looking for single day records flock to the place at certain times of year to see the abundant year round and migratory species.  I did my first bird watching trip last weekend to the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. 

And it is an area that where people tend to be less sophisticated, the main employment there is working in refining and petrochemicals. 
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Offline gillianren

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #84 on: January 29, 2013, 09:09:37 PM »
Yup, even though I'd already lived here for quite a few years, I didn't really have that brought home until we drove between San Diego and southern Oregon a few times.

So many people call San Francisco "northern" California that it's easy to forget it's still only halfway up the state.


I think it's a climate thing.  Or "there's not much important north of there"!  But yeah, we had lunch in Oakland on the way down and got to Mom's around midnight.  When the driver is asking if we're there yet, you know you've got problems.  Of course, I was the only one who knew the state at all.
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Offline Tedward

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #85 on: January 30, 2013, 03:25:01 AM »
I knew the US was big but did not appreciate it until I went there last year, one four hour hop on an internal flight. Friends were asking why it took me a day to get most of the way to where I wanted to go (flight times were not helpful).


I tell  little white lie, I did drive from Vancouver to Calgary but that was a while ago and the memory fogs. Our last visit (see above, first proper visit), we are asked if it is our first visit. I reply I went there for a day trip once. I get an incredulous look.

Offline ka9q

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #86 on: January 30, 2013, 03:52:32 AM »
They seemed to find it very odd that I had come there, from Canada, to look at birds.
Canada doesn't really count because it's, like, attached... right? (Goldie Hawn in Protocol).

Offline twik

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #87 on: January 30, 2013, 09:22:04 AM »
I remember about 30 years ago, there was a human-smuggling operation that landed some refugees on shore in Nova Scotia. Some of them found a taxi, and asked the driver to take them to Toronto, where they had family. They were rather taken aback at the estimated cost of several thousand dollars, as well as the two-day timeframe.

Offline Echnaton

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #88 on: January 30, 2013, 09:51:53 AM »
I have always found it amusing that Americans don't know that Canada is about the same size as the U.S. (A bit larger in total area, slightly smaller in land area) Somehow people think it should be much smaller. My guess is that people get confused in mentally reversing the flat map projections that make Canada look so much larger and overestimate the percentage of non-land space.  The facts of the V shape of the continent and that the northern US border is obviously our longest are clues to the relative sizes.   A cursory look at a globe will show the relatively equal sizes.
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Offline gillianren

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Re: The end of democracy in the USA?
« Reply #89 on: January 30, 2013, 12:20:11 PM »
More people should listen to the song "Canada Is Really Big."
"This sounds like a job for Bipolar Bear . . . but I just can't seem to get out of bed!"

"Conspiracy theories are an irresistible labour-saving device in the face of complexity."  --Henry Louis Gates