Author: learner1

What is the True America ? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2009-11-29 19:11:33 |Display all floors

True America

Originally posted by learner1 at 2009-11-26 09:30
and what is the true america?

Fat famlies.
Mcdonalds for breakfast, lunch & dinner
Big cars
Big houses & gardens

BUT they are polite " have a good day Sir!!

Chao ren

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Post time 2009-11-29 22:02:15 |Display all floors
Since the truth lies somewhere between two extremes....

Here's another true view of america

Ten Good Things About America

by Douglas Herman

"Well, I get tired of hearing it's a crummy world and that people are no damn good." ~ Robert Fulghum

I flew over the country last October, flying diagonally from Seattle to Miami . Once aloft, the plane passed over the Cascade Mountains. Mount Rainier, Washington, east of  Seattle , looked like the top of a snow cone, and I pressed my nose to the window.

I looked down on this great land for 3,000 miles (had a crick in my neck the next day), looking at my country, looking at little Western towns, rivers, unknown country ponds and lakes. Did anyone ever fish in them? Swim in them?

I've got a lot of gypsy in me. I've crossed and re-crossed this country every which way, north to south, west to east, Texas to Michigan several times. I even circled North America on a bicycle, alone but never lonely, 10,000 miles of gypsiness. I'm not much good at making money in America (never seemed to get the knack), but I'm a tremendous vagabond, a wonderful wanderer.

Too often we read about the bad things in life. TV news is the worst culprit for negativity.  Admittedly, I'm probably the second worst. So today, I challenged myself to try and find ten good things about America . To see the good and praise it.

1. Wild Nature. No other country in the world has so much accessible wild nature. Whether one is conservative, liberal, green or anarchist, most of us have united to preserve large chunks of relatively pristine land.  Life is not an indoor sport, and wild America in at the top of my list.

2. Freedom to Vagabond.  I've driven across, bicycled around, motorcycled and hitchhiked across the USA . I've been stopped by cops from numerous states while traveling around the USA . I was nearly arrested in NYC after 9-11, when I windsurfed around the Statue of Liberty . Never once was I mistreated like Rambo by any cop, even while traveling in my 1969 VW hippie van.  Vagabonding is an American tradition, as the first Pilgrims or the first Americans walking across the land bridge from the Bering Sea understood so well.

3. Cheap Stuff.  We're rich, we Americans, and most of us don't even know it. I can go into any thrift store in almost any town in America and outfit myself in nice clothes for less than ten bucks. Same is true with a garage sale. I don't know how many items I've seen on Antique Road Show that were bought cheap at some garage sale. Sometimes good stuff is just thrown out on the curb. I found an antique chest of drawers thrown out; only needed one small repair. I suppose if you looked long enough you could probably furnish a house with what you find on the curb or in the alley.

4. The Internet.  Whether we're on the political Left, Right or Center, the Internet is truly the last bastion of free speech: unfettered, outrageous, impassioned speech as Tom Paine and Sam Adams enjoyed it.  Three cheers for editors who actually allow a writer to write!  Three cheers for essayists who expand their literary width and breadth in the last place possible--The Internet. Until the so-called leaders of the Free World  figure out a way to censor or abolish the Internet (and believe me, the bastards are trying), I intend to use the 'Net or lose it.  

5. Cheap Gas. Despite predictions of $100 barrel oil by next Christmas, gas is as cheap as it's ever been in history. At least it is in America . Of course, my bicycle gets a thousand miles to the gallon (needs an occasional drop of oil) and my motorcycle gets 75 MPG, but gas is comparatively cheap. I almost feel like buying a real car! Of course, if I do, I'm certain the price of gasoline will skyrocket.   

6. Cheap Food. If you know where to look, good, cheap food is readily available. I once passed a burst grain storage elevator in North Dakota . Tons and tons of dried green peas everywhere. Nobody stopped to pick them up but lots of people stopped at the Tastee Freeze.  Here in Florida, we have Family Dollar stores that specialize in generic brands; on the West coast they're called 99 Cent stores. Rich and poor people shop there.  Of course, Americans love to eat fast foods foolishly, but that's the great thing about freedom--you have the freedom to choose what sort of fuel to stuff in your body, wholesome foods or slow poisons.

7. Good Roads. I'm surprised when I find good roads where I least expect them. They are all over the country (some of the best in North Dakota ).  A hundred years ago they were muddy tracks. Now I can bike, motorcycle or van anywhere, even to Alaska .  

8. A Diversity of Diversion. Pascal correctly observed that mindless diversion leads us to death. We have good television and bad television, good books and bad, good music and bad. It all depends on who's doing the listening, reading, watching.  But freedom of choice allows a person to make mature decisions and determine what is mindless and what isn't.  America is where wisdom and folly live side-by-side and sometimes dine together, unable to tell each other apart. Who has not been diverted one moment and inspired the next? That's America .  

9. Good Tools.  After the first immigrants stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock, the first thing they unloaded was a box of tools. The newest immigrant quickly learns to use tools and starts work in the building trades or service industry. The rich man has a garage full of tools. The poor man uses the simplest tools and encourages his kids to learn to use more complex ones so he too may become rich. We're the most inventive tool users who've ever lived, and no matter where you go, from Key West, Florida to the Arctic Circle in Alaska,  you can hear the sounds of tools.  Tool users unite this country--and quite often the very people who must work together. Whether we're a die-hard conservative or a bleeding heart liberal, we can laugh and complain together while hammering nails.

10. Inherent Decency. White, black, brown, yellow or red, Americans are pretty decent people. Sure we used to slaughter each other in ethnic wars, but we mostly learned not to do that, at least not here at home. One day we may even teach our leaders not to slaughter people. Yes, folks, Robert Fulghum is right: people are pretty good here in America . Take away their political posturing, turn off the talk radios or Fox news, put them all into some desperate situation, some tornado, flash flood or earthquake, and most Americans, ingenious sons and daughters of pioneers, will find a way to help each other.  

Most Americans question authority. Most of us trust the state about as much as we trust a cantankerous horse--we know enough not to walk behind it and to keep an eye on that mouthful of teeth!  

Most Americans will help a neighbor, maybe even a stranger. We hate charlatans and hucksters but we're easily fooled (We have the best charlatans and hucksters in the world--Ivy-League educated). I believe the average American is better than the average American leader, and the same holds true worldwide--the average Russian or Englishmen is better than their leaders. Indeed, I believe we Americans, no matter what or who we are, have more in common with the average, bigoted workman, black-shirted anarchist, liberal tree hugger, Born-Again Christian conservative, angry homeless fellow or inner city black kid than we do with anyone in Washington D.C .

We Americans just don't realize that truism--most of us--that we have more in common with each other than not. Readers may write me with additional "good" things I may have overlooked. I just realized I neglected to mention the public library! (I wrote my novel here).

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Post time 2009-11-30 06:34:56 |Display all floors
Originally posted by Morgezuma at 2009-11-29 17:13

hito, you should not be so defensive. I didn't say that America is worse in some way. The topic is "what is the true America", and the question has been raised that perceptions, rep ...

If you are an immigrant lured to America by what you see on TV, realize one thing:  America is about individual choice.  Our country was founded on an individual抯 ability to make a life for themselves, with little in the way of government 揾elp?

If you wish to, you can CHOOSE to stuff your face with McDonalds and get fat.
If you wish to, you can CHOOSE to be a terrible parent and not teach your kids about personal responsibility when it comes to drugs and alcohol.
You can CHOOSE to work hard and build a better life for yourself, or sit on your ass and post on the Internet all day about how terrible America is for not giving you handouts.

The American way of life has always been about hard work, personal choice, and not relying on government to give you hand outs.

That is why the bank bailout and big 3 bailout were met with such vehemence from average Americans (with congressional approval @ 15-20% during that time), because its not in our culture to give free handouts to people who make bad business decisions or personal decisions and expect to get a handout.  The only reason it went through is because it was sold to the population as a way to avoid an outright collapse of the entire economy.

So if you抮e an immigrant who wants to move to America, realize that the quality of life you will have is depends on how hard you want to work for that life.  If you come here expecting to be coddled, you will want to go home in short order.  But if you come here and work hard, you will find the America you dreamed about.

And most violent crime in our country is concentrated in specific cities, and in those cities, specific neighborhoods ?Chicago, Detroit, parts of LA etc.  It is very safe in the majority of US cities and rural areas.  Just like any other major city in any other part of the world, there are bad parts you want to avoid.
Don't tread on me

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Post time 2009-11-30 08:51:49 |Display all floors

Reply #26 whampoa's post

The real shame here is you and those who support you. I point out truths and you deny them all the while safe in your little island enclave. You suppose to contribute to China but you are actually opposing it by spweing your poison here. You are the disgrace, you contribute nothing and are indeed, worthless. Debate if you wish, it is your right, but you do NOT have the right to assume you can speak for China or Chinese folks, all of whom I know, oppose you also. My students have read your words and their collective anger would astound you. They oppose you and all you stand for, they are ashamed of you for claiming that you speak for them and if they met you, they would take you down a peg or two. Now, I certainly don't influence them, they are capable and intelligent young men and women who're far more representative of Chinese opinion than you can ever claim to be. You swampy, are a disgrace, and you've been told again. How about you go and f your mommy and leave the real work to real people.
BTW; by all means watch me and learn how to be civilised in the face of such an uncultured  person as yourself.

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Post time 2009-11-30 09:39:10 |Display all floors

Reply #25 whampoa's post

I assure you swampy, that I dare speak as I wish. This doesn't however mean that I wish anything remotely associated with nuking China, au contraire.

Ummmm, where are my attacks on China, Chinese folks or religions? I think you're making things up just for the sake of attacking me, which of course, is your prerogative but at least try and make such things a bit more credible please.

[ Last edited by exportedkiwi at 2009-11-30 10:50 AM ]

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Post time 2009-11-30 18:55:43 |Display all floors
Originally posted by sono_hito at 2009-11-30 06:34
If you wish to, you can CHOOSE to be a terrible parent and not teach your kids about personal responsibility when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

It would be nice if we could simply CHOOSE to raise our children up to be responsible and good. Unfortunately, the parents are only one of the sources of influence that help guide a child's development.

The poor of some countries are fortunate that their poor neighbors are generally kind, have a good work-ethic, and have no interest in drugs or violent crime.

This is not true for the poor in America. The US poor usually have an Xbox, a clunker automobile, more food than they need, and a big TV. These material things are not the keys to enjoying a good life however. If family with good character faces the misfortune of having to live in the poor district of any city in America, then they will have to face some unavoidable facts:
1.Your family will face the fact that bring poor in America means you must live in a hot-bed of immorality and violence. This poses direct danger to the safety of your family.
2. Graffiti, broken glass, abandoned houses, used drug paraphernalia and condoms decorate the environment you live in.
3. You kid will have to make friends with the poor American kids who engage in drug use, sex, and crime -- or your kid will have no friends.

No matter how good your family is, the environment that shapes your kid includes the neighborhood you live in. If misfortune forces you to live in a poor neighborhood in America, this will so heavily impact your kid that you will he/she no longer seems to be a product of your own family.

The poor class usually do not welcome outsiders and when it's crime-time, they may feel that jumping that "weird Asian kid" that just moved into the "hood" is a perfect way to spend the evening. Especially if she's a girl.

No one ever chooses to live in a crime-infested neighborhood, sometimes it's unavoidable -- if this happens to you, don't be surprised when crime happens to your family. If you can ever raise enough money to return your family to safer place, of course you'll do that. But sometimes being poor in America is a self-perpetuating condition nearly impossible to escape.

Of course, if no misfortunes send you to the poor district, you can have a pretty good life in America. Although it is worth mentioning that your kid's friends will still be driving him/her drunk to ecstasy parties occasionally, that's part of growing up in the USA.

I had a close Iranian/Turkish friend who was the most brilliant academic I've ever known. She participated in brainy school sponsored projects, and took all honors classes. Unfortunately she couldn't find peers as equally virtuous and slowly become more and more Americanized. The worst parts of her experience are too ugly to talk about.

In my own family, my aunt was raped after the neighborhood my family lived in had slowly turned into a ghetto over the years. We had a business there, we were rooted there. The neighborhood went down hill, and poor renters moved in when the owners moved out. After this happened to my aunt, my grandparents sold the family business (our heritage), and moved to the countryside. This event turned most of the family into racist, that is their own fault --but the rape wasn't.

It's true that there are bad neighborhoods in other countries. Of course I know. What I'm talking about here is the downside of bring poor in America. There are some places were being poor isn't so bad, but being poor in America is actually very dangerous, disheartening, and difficult to escape.

There is good news though! No matter what horrible corruption surrounds your family, you still have Xbox and a big TV, maybe even an old clunker to drive.

[ Last edited by Morgezuma at 2009-11-30 07:24 PM ]

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Post time 2009-11-30 20:52:54 |Display all floors
Originally posted by cossack at 2009-11-28 07:18

Rape, death, destruction & terrorism are all American values.

Just look at the way US soldiers rape, pillage and steal. Did you seen a picture of US soldiers stripping palace doorway of  ...

there are a million US soldiers, and only some do those things.  By your way of looking at things all muIim people are suicide bombers.

Better to look at the majority than the small small minority.

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