999 posts tagged with America.
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Touching, sad, chilling account of obesity in America.

Touching, sad, chilling account of obesity in America People outside the US have this view of us as disgustingly, morbidly obese...and it can be true. This article from the Washington Post Sunday Magazine (free registration may be required) put a touching, terrifying, human face on one of America's biggest problems.
posted by chinese_fashion on Jul 19, 2004 - 219 comments

Tocqueville And America

The Man Who Best Understood America Was A French Aristocrat: If there's a book which manages to grow better and more pertinent with every passing year, it's Tocqueville's fascinating, prescient and utterly apposite Democracy in America. Of how many other books could you safely say every American and European should read it and know beforehand they will enjoy it and learn from it? Of none.
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jul 2, 2004 - 21 comments

America Is

America Is is the weblog of a "freelance photojournalist traveling across the US on a mission to hit all 48 contiguous states." Some nice photos.
posted by kirkaracha on Jun 23, 2004 - 7 comments

Language Map USA

Modern Language Association Language Map of the USA.
posted by stbalbach on Jun 23, 2004 - 12 comments

They never forget they're tough trucks

Building a Better Way: Music from the 1974 Chevrolet Announcement Film • "An interesting look at some of the musical trends from the early 70s. A little Isaac Hayes, a little John Denver, some Allman Brothers and a few sounds from that new-fangled instrument, the synthesizer."
posted by dhoyt on Jun 21, 2004 - 7 comments


Europe versus America (PDF) is a report by a Swedish public policy institute comparing the two economies, concluding that "If the European Union were a state in the USA it would belong to the poorest group of states." The WSJ has read the report, and highlights that "Most Americans have a standard of living which the majority of Europeans will never come anywhere near [...]. in the U.S. a large 45.9% of the 'poor' own their homes, 72.8% have a car and almost 77% have air conditioning, which remains a luxury in most of Western Europe. The average living space for poor American households is 1,200 square feet. In Europe, the average space for all households, not just the poor, is 1,000 square feet.". With a looming demographic crisis in Europe to boot, will the EU be able to implement much-needed reforms to save their welfare-state system before it is too late?
posted by dagny on Jun 20, 2004 - 118 comments

Rumsfeld hidews prisoner from Red Cross

Pentagon officials tell NBC News that late last year, at the same time U.S. military police were allegedly abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordered that one Iraqi prisoner be held “off the books” — hidden entirely from the International Red Cross and anyone else — in possible violation of international law.
posted by hipnerd on Jun 17, 2004 - 60 comments

The Pentagon—Spying in America

We have some questions for you The DoD, with the help of some friendly legislatures, is getting an exemption to restrictions put in place after the scandals of the early '70s against intelligence operations inside US borders. PATRIOT Act III?
posted by billsaysthis on Jun 13, 2004 - 5 comments

Vote the bastards out!

Republican Survivor The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has created a cartoon "Republican Survivor." Read the profiles of the contestants. You can vote them out after each "episode." The National Republican Committee says that they are just "Playing with cartoons." But I think it's friggin hilarious.
posted by aacheson on Jun 9, 2004 - 3 comments

America's First POWs

America's First POWs. The Department of Defense says there were 4,435 battle deaths during the Revolutionary War. More than twice as many Americans died in British prison ships in New York Harbor. You can get an idea of their suffering from the news stories I've linked, or read a more detailed account written in the 1860s from Henry R. Stiles's A History of the City of Brooklyn (scroll down a bit and keep hitting Next). There are more links at this site, which focuses on the long-neglected Monument for the Prison Ship Martyrs in Brooklyn's Fort Greene Park. A remembrance for Memorial Day.
posted by languagehat on May 31, 2004 - 6 comments

Malaria vaccine casues permanent brain damage

In the can-anything-else-go-wrong file, US Troops suffer from permanent brain damage after being administered malaria treatment. For as big a logistical challenge a war might be, and technological advances in mass support systems, you'd think the joint-forces would do a better job?
posted by omidius on May 27, 2004 - 11 comments

Eric Alterman on Abu Ghraib and the media.

Eric Alterman on Abu Ghraib and the media. Alterman: And how pathetic is it that the only cable network really grappling with the media's failure is Comedy Central? Let's give the last word to the Daily Show's incomparable Stephen Colbert: "The journalists I know love America, but now all anybody wants to talk about is the bad journalists--the journalists that hurt America.... Who didn't uncover the flaws in our prewar intelligence? Who gave a free pass on the Saddam-Al Qaeda connection? Who dropped Afghanistan from the headlines at the first whiff of this Iraqi snipe hunt? The United States press corps, that's who."
posted by skallas on May 26, 2004 - 12 comments

Conversations with America

Studs Terkel: Conversations with America (in Real audio).
posted by nthdegx on May 9, 2004 - 1 comment

Poison and Profits

Ling Chan gave up everything to come to America. "Chan arrived in the United States with no knowledge of English, no support network, and a dependent child...she was happy to land a janitorial job with AXT Inc., a Fremont, California semiconductor manufacturing firm...on a four-person cleaning crew, scrubbing the boxes used to ship semiconductor wafers around the factory...after a few weeks, her colleagues -- mostly Chinese immigrants, like herself -- whispered that this was no ordinary dust: It could give you cancer." [via Fark, of all places]
posted by mr_crash_davis on May 8, 2004 - 17 comments

Roaring 78s, Roaring '20s

Joe Bussard is the self-proclaimed king of record collectors (pre-war 78s, of course). He'll even make you a tape. According to Bussard, jazz died in 1933. Were the '20s America's golden age? Great art, architecture, movies, and even coins.
posted by hyperizer on May 6, 2004 - 24 comments

The Battle of Antietam

The Battle of Antietam is the single bloodiest single day battle American history. Historically told in words, the battle illustrated in pictures [SVG required] shows jostling strategies that resulted in a loss of over 20,000 troops in 13 hours.
posted by pedantic on Apr 30, 2004 - 7 comments

No Communion for Pro-Abortion Politicians

No Communion for Pro-Choice Politicians
Apparently they have some issue with women having control over their own bodies so they'll deny communion to pro-choice politicians.
Hey, isn't John Kerry a pro-choice Catholic? This couldn't have anything to do with him could it?
Isn't a divisive move like this more likely to result in more people leaving the "faith"?
posted by fenriq on Apr 23, 2004 - 70 comments

The $700 Million Dollar Gyroscope

The $700 Million Gyroscope. A spacecraft set to test Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is now on the launch pad, with the world's most accurate gyroscopes stowed away inside. The experiment will have cost $700 million when the data is in and finally analysed. What practical benefits will the average American reap from this?
posted by DWRoelands on Apr 13, 2004 - 51 comments

Journalising humanity

A photo journal of a UNPA Nurse Practitioner's experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
posted by nthdegx on Apr 12, 2004 - 4 comments

just wow

Mike Disfarmer had a photo studio in the resort town of Heber Springs, Arkansas throughout the 30s and 40s, creating images with an amazing blunt, unvarnished beauty and strength. Nothing speaks more eloquently about Disfarmer's artistry than the photographs themselves. His genius was the ability to capture without judgment, the essence of a people and a time.
posted by amberglow on Apr 11, 2004 - 11 comments

Big Fat Whale Comix

Big Fat Whale Funny Web Comix
posted by ColdChef on Apr 9, 2004 - 3 comments

The Grace Of Wrath

"The people of Dogville are proud, hypocritical and never more dangerous than when they are convinced of the righteousness of their actions" (NYT link) "The movie is, of course, an attack on America—its innocence, its conformity, its savagery—though von Trier is interested not in the life of this country (he’s never been here) but in the ways he can exploit European disdain for it." (The New Yorker). Lars Von Trier's new movie, Dogville, is under attack from critics who consider it anti-American. Von Trier, of course, has never been to the US but he counters that he knows more about U.S. culture through modern media than, say, the makers of "Casablanca' knew about Morocco. Kafka hadn't been to Amerika either. Should non US-ian artists leave America alone if they've never been there? Von Trier says that "in my own country, I'm considered anti-Danish - again, that's more about politics than issues of nationality." (more inside)
posted by matteo on Mar 22, 2004 - 42 comments

American Taliban, sans condoms, extra brimstone

American Taliban plans theocracy - soon Theocracy Watch reports on the religious right's takeover of the Republican Party. The Bush Administration's proposed Federal Marriage Amendment is but one ploy of the new American Taliban : "with one amendment the religious right could wipe out access to birth control, abortion, and even non-procreative sex" ["...behind this amendment: Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Gary Bauer, Robert Bork, Rick Santorum" - via Andrew Sullivan]. Maureen Farrell chronicles the power centers of the newly powerful religious right. Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind series, has the President's ear and this concerns more than jamming Creationism into your school's curriculum.

On the agenda - "The civil government of our nation, its laws, institutions, and practices must therefore be conformed to the principles of Biblical law as revealed in the Old and New Testaments." Writes Farrell - "How did this happen? - Voter apathy is the key to the phenomenal ascent of the Religious Right in the U.S. government." Pat Robertson, 1990 : "With the apathy that exists today, a small, well-organized minority can influence the selection of candidates to an astonishing degree."
posted by troutfishing on Mar 10, 2004 - 142 comments

Who speaks for you America?

The American People. Greg Knauss' latest offering let's the Americans know who is speaking on their behalf. Nifty use of RSS technology. [via msippey]
posted by riffola on Mar 5, 2004 - 8 comments

Go To School, Do Nothing.

Go to school and do nothing. The Sudbury approach to learning is one in which the kids can do whatever they want. Literally. Want to play games all day? Fine. Want to read comics all day? Fine. Want to watch movies? Fine. From the FAQ: What happens if a student doesn't do anything? It is actually impossible to do nothing. I think what most people are concerned about is students doing what looks like nothing; for example playing video games, playing magic cards, reading all day, etc. The truth is that everything the students do has value. Take video games for example; this "teaches" reading skills, social skills, the ability to concentrate and focus, and, depending on the game, history, strategy, math or science. Is this a good way to educate kids?
posted by Atom12 on Mar 4, 2004 - 71 comments

Suffragists Oral History Project

The Suffragists Oral History Project has collected and transcribed oral histories from leaders and participants of the American women's suffrage movement. Suffragists Speak has audio clips of Alice Paul. [Via rebecca's pocket.]
posted by homunculus on Feb 18, 2004 - 3 comments

coming to a city near you!

Killing the Buddha: a heretic's bible is on a "Tent Revival" book tour and I suspect it would be worth checking out. Did anyone catch the readings in Austin or Phoenix USA?
posted by sudama on Feb 7, 2004 - 7 comments

Pizza Party USA

Pizza Party USA. Matthew "Yeti" Baldwin has an excellent initiative for what America the Beautiful can do with our -- our! -- Leap Days, for just $3 an American.
posted by brownpau on Feb 4, 2004 - 26 comments

ID checks ineffective

How We Are Fighting the War on Terrorism: IDs and the illusion of security IDs and the illusion of security Bruce Schneier at sfgate.com writes about why ID checks are ineffective.
posted by tbc on Feb 3, 2004 - 18 comments

twenty sided die

Pakistan Bans Anti-al-Qaida Operations. Where does the United States go from here?
posted by the fire you left me on Jan 29, 2004 - 15 comments

The Spook Who Sat By The Door - 30 years later.

The Spook Who Sat By The Door, a movie pitched and marketed as blaxploitation, was a low budget political science fiction thriller about black revolution in urban black America based upon the novel written by Sam Greenlee. It was withdrawn two weeks after its release in 1973, ostensibly at the behest of the FBI. Some remember it fondly, while others revile it in recollection. Thirty-one years later, it has been released on DVD. Sam Greenlee's an interesting man--another book of his, Baghdad Blues, is evidently an autobiographical novel based upon his first hand experience of the 1958 Baath coup in Iraq. Side notes: Researching this post led me to the intriguing Chicken Bones. And here is Elvis Mitchell's take on The Marginalization of Black Action Films.
posted by y2karl on Jan 20, 2004 - 6 comments

Disney Vs. Plato: Is There Really A Contest?

Just How Influential Is America? Mark Rice-Oxley, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, argues that, 2000 years from now, Disney will probably be more remembered than Plato. Really? [More inside. Via Arts & Letters Daily.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jan 16, 2004 - 33 comments

Paul Krugman gives some free advice

Paul Krugman gives some free advice to reporters covering the election.
posted by skallas on Dec 25, 2003 - 39 comments

The Father of the Shopping Mall

The Father of the Shopping Mall "His most remarkable innovation--unveiled in Edina, Minn., in 1956--was the first enclosed shopping mall, a climate-controlled community of retailing under a single vast canopy. But it was intended to be more than just a place to shop. It was to provide a center to otherwise centerless developments, offering community, entertainment and even enlightenment. Gruen lamented that Americans, at the time, were living 'detached lives in detached houses.' With his shopping-center designs, Mr. Hardwick writes, 'Gruen hoped to offer a corrective to this grim and soulless American environment.' "
posted by jamsterdam on Dec 24, 2003 - 30 comments

Foot in Mouth award

Donald Rumsfeld has won the 2003 Foot in Mouth award. The award is given by the Plain English Campaign for the most baffling quote by a public figure, but they don't seem to realize that Rumsfeld was actually creating poetry. I wonder who will present the award.
posted by homunculus on Dec 1, 2003 - 23 comments


Walmart Nation Wal-Mart's decisions influence wages and working conditions across a wide swath of the world economy, from the shopping centers of Las Vegas to the factories of Honduras and South Asia. Its business is so vital to developing countries that some send emissaries to the corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., almost as if Wal-Mart were a sovereign nation. [First of a three part series in the LATimes. free reg. req.]
posted by srboisvert on Nov 23, 2003 - 89 comments

A flood of red ink

A flood of red ink This time the turnaround will be much tougher. There will be no “peace dividend” from the end of the cold war (indeed, the pressure on military spending may continue to increase). America is unlikely to see another stockmarket bubble, with its surge in tax revenues. As baby-boomers retire, the pressure from entitlement spending will be more acute. Set against this background, the path back to a sustainable fiscal policy will be extremely painful, even without any dramatic fiscal crisis. Long after Dubya is back on his ranch, Americans will be trying to recover from the mess he created.
posted by y2karl on Nov 6, 2003 - 35 comments

american global political standing is at its nadir

"American power worldwide is at its historic zenith. American global political standing is at its nadir." - Zbigniew Brzezinski speaking at the New American Strategies for Security and Peace Conference. [ via tpm ]
posted by specialk420 on Nov 3, 2003 - 31 comments

What will we come to With all this pride of ancestry, we Yankees? -- Robert Frost

Ancestry Maps from the 1990 census: Which states have the highest percentage of people of Danish ancestry? Greek? Hispanic? Who (perhaps) doesn't realize that we almost all came here from somewhere else? Using the data provided on 1990 Census question 13, which asked respondents to identify the ancestry groups with which they identified most closely, the State of Minnesota provides us with these nifty Ancestry maps. More info here on 'the ancestry question' from the US Census Bureau. link via ::crabwalk.com::
posted by anastasiav on Oct 28, 2003 - 38 comments

Miss a Payment, Triple Your Interest Rate

Americans are not going broke over lattes! Salon (warning: ad click-through required) interviews the author of a book who contends that American middle class overconsumption is a myth. This made me really think about how I relate to my $$$, and what I think is pushing me deeper into a hole. According to this author, kids are forcing people into bankruptcy, and it's not because we buy them gameboys and expensive clothes. The author also claims that credit card companies and mortgage lenders need to be regulated by the govt., as they are feeding off of middle class hardships. It's also making me wonder why real estate developers aren't building small homes anymore, at least in my state of the union.
posted by archimago on Oct 14, 2003 - 91 comments

This place is dazzlingly, I was going to say glaringly, beautiful...

Travels in America. Another amazing resource from the Library of Congress, this contains "253 published narratives by Americans and foreign visitors recounting their travels in the colonies and the United States and their observations and opinions about American peoples, places, and society from about 1750 to 1920... The narratives in American Notes range from the unjustly neglected to the justly famous, and from classics of the genre to undiscovered gems." Go to "Search by keyword," put the name of a city into "Search Full Text," and enjoy. (The quote in the post title is about Santa Barbara, from First impressions in America by John Ayscough [pronounced "ascue"].) Via MeFi's own plep.
posted by languagehat on Oct 14, 2003 - 5 comments

P2P Senate Committee Hearing

U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. Privacy & Piracy: The Paradox of Illegal File Sharing on Peer-to-Peer Networks and the Impact of Technology on the Entertainment Industry. View the hearing of September 29. [Real Media].
posted by nthdegx on Oct 1, 2003 - 3 comments

100 Documents that Shaped America

100 Documents that Shaped America. (Via Fark, of all places.)
posted by PrinceValium on Sep 29, 2003 - 18 comments

American Denim

Levi Strauss to Shut Last Plants in U.S. Levi Strauss & Co. said that it would close the last of its North American manufacturing plants, laying off almost 2,000 workers. San Francisco-based Levi, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, said it would shutter two plants in San Antonio by the end of the year, displacing 800 workers there and marking the end of its U.S. manufacturing operations. And Cone Mills Corp., the world's largest denim fabric maker, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and accepted a letter of intent from W.L. Ross & Co to purchase all of its assets in a $90 million transaction (more inside)
posted by matteo on Sep 26, 2003 - 18 comments

Democrats or Mudcats?

Ted Rall has a theory as to why some people hate George W. Bush. Some of us got beyond the hate and just plan to support Frickles the Mudcat in 2004. A Frickles regine benefits you!
posted by clango on Sep 25, 2003 - 38 comments

See America!

I have to travel the highways and byways of America by car and train a great deal, and its much more fun if you actually see America on the way. Two of my favorite sites for finding offbeat attractions and tasty eats are By The Way Magazine and Roadside America.
posted by anastasiav on Sep 22, 2003 - 5 comments

Do cars force us to give up the outdoors?

Do Cars force us to give up the outdoors? In jail, prisoners are stuck indoors and aren't allowed to go outside except for an hour at most. But are the car-driving residents of the average American suburb consigned to the same fate? "You go from the box garage in the house to the box car, driving down the street, not touching anything or being part of your environment" says Jessica Denevan. [More Inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Sep 16, 2003 - 70 comments

Johnny Cash

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine, I walk the line.

RIP Johnny Cash. He died last night at 71.
posted by PrinceValium on Sep 12, 2003 - 9 comments

Think We Can (French) Kiss and Make Up?

Think We Can (French) Kiss and Make Up? Two years ago it was "I'll always love and support you". It only took a little while, though, before the arguments began. But there are always counselors to help you work on the relationship. There is even talk of reconciliation. And anyway, this love-hate relationship has been going on for almost three centuries.
posted by twsf on Sep 11, 2003 - 10 comments

US Muslims, civil rights, and the 2004 elections

"I am an American, I am a Muslim and I vote." That was one of the themes at the Islamic Society of North America convention this weekend, and Muslim leaders, who endorsed George Bush in 2000, may be looking elsewhere as a result of the government's actions against Muslims since 9/11. There are plans to register 1 million new Muslim voters, out of an estimated 2 to 6 million population.
Until recently, the plight of the Palestinians dominated political discussion among American Muslims. But Muslim leaders say they must now be pragmatic as they seek greater influence in government.
A newly-energized U.S. Muslim population up for grabs--but would their endorsement be a liability in our current climate?
posted by amberglow on Sep 1, 2003 - 18 comments

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