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Talk:United States of America/Archive 2008

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This is an archive of all discussions finished in 2008.

Everyone's a little bit racist[edit]

"Most Americans abhor racism": true enough. No one sane is advocating a return to slavery or to any of the serious ill-treatment that occurred 50-200 years ago. Simultaneously, low-grade racial prejudice is pretty common. Is it any wonder we're always pretty self-contradictory about it? (In case you're wondering, though I'm currently in China, I grew up in the Greater LA area.) I noticed the recent vandalism -- probably born of frustration -- and the rv, and so I added a clarification for the sake of greater neutrality. I also fixed some spelling in the section. If you have qualms with my clarification, we can sort it out, but don't put the bad spelling back in. Tatterdemalion 05:04, 9 January 2008 (EST)

Respect Changes[edit]

At 04:19, 14 February 2008 151.197.206.234 (Talk) (127,461 bytes) (→Respect), changes were made. I think the changes are well written and should remain, without edit or reversion. 2old 12:13, 14 February 2008 (EST)


Honestly, to think that Americans are much more concerned about their personal space than Europeans is a rather typical American thing to think. The whole mention implies that here in Europe we all dryhump each other at every opportunity, whereas we actually appreciate personal space as much as Americans do if not more, and I've found Americans to be far more outgoing to strangers in general than most European peoples. Towards the south of Europe there is a greater degree of physical closeness but almost all the rest of Europe is about the same as the US in terms of personal space to be maintained. - S

Get In[edit]

I would like to see information for Americans who want to re-enter the country after a trip abroad. For example, the article could explain (or at least mention) that Americans who are returning to the US will have to complete form 6059b, which asks what items they have to declare as well as what countries they visited while away. The article should also mention the documents that are required for citizens to reenter the country, and when these document requirements will change in the future, and what the specific changes will be. I would add this information myself, but the article is blocked. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bknight009 (talkcontribs)

I believe the blocking is only for unregistered users (if I did that right) -- sorry, but we're having problems with automated vandalism this week. So if you're logged in, that should allow you to edit. --Jonboy 00:26, 11 March 2008 (EDT)

By Plane[edit]

I can't edit either, and I'm a long time registered user. This sentence needs to be qualified:

Foreign airlines are not allowed to transport passengers to/from Hawaii or Alaska and the other 48 states.

This is true for passengers who have visited Alaska & Hawaii and are going to the 48 states (or vice versa). It does not mean a foreign airline can't include a stop there to let passengers off and then fly to the mainland. For example, a Japanese airline could fly Tokyo/Honolulu/San Francisco. They would be forbidden from selling Honolulu to San Francisco tickets, though Canadian stops are allowed to be ticketed e.g. Tokyo/Vancouver/Chicago. MMKK 00:04, 17 March 2008 (EDT)

You're right, the wording is not clear. I'm considering justing taking the whole sentence out rather than changing it. I don't want to get to "down in the weeds" about US civil aviation policy, and when someone books reservations it becomes rather obvious which airline flies where.SONORAMA 05:41, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
I filed a bug at [1] about the potential problem with the protection not working properly. Unfortunately, that page does not display correctly at shared:Tech:Protection_blocking_registered_users?, so I filed another bug about that. Sigh. --Jonboy 10:05, 17 March 2008 (EDT)

Has happened to me before too, the ? in the page title I think is what is causing the problems – cacahuate talk 21:39, 17 March 2008 (EDT)

7+-2 subregions?[edit]

Isn't the rule to have a region, such as the United States, divided into 5-9 immediate subregions? Currently there are 13, four too many. Also, the current regions are incomplete, they leave out Puerto Rico and Guam.

Some suggestions:

  • Make a new region, 'Island States and Territories' for Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, etc.
  • Make 'Great Plains' part of 'Midwest'. I grew up in the Midwest, and I've always considered Nebraska and the Dakotas to be very midwestern. I mean, Nebraska's sports mascot is the 'Cornhuskers', how midwestern is that?
  • Combine Mid-Atlantic and New England into Northeast.
  • Merge Texas into Southwest. "Heavily influenced by Spanish and Mexican culture, the arid Southwest is home to some of the nation's most spectacular natural attractions, and flourishing artistic communities. Although mostly empty, the region's deserts have some of the nation's largest cities." Doesn't sound too unlike Texas, no?
  • Merge Florida into South. People have said 'its different'. But its not like any regions are homogeneous.
  • Merge California and Pacific Northwest into Pacific Coast.
  • Perhaps merge Alaska into Pacific Coast too.
  • Completely different idea: Make a gulf region with Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida.

Any four of the above suggestions, not including the first, would be sufficient to bring the total down to nine.

--JohnKarp 22:08, 27 June 2008 (EDT)

This is a toughie. First, although 7+/-2 is just a guideline, it's a useful one. The question is whether it's useful to exceed the rule in this case. As with all things on Wikitravel, the traveler comes first -- is it better for the number of regions to be a little on the unwieldy side, or better to combine disparate regions that the average traveler would recognize as distinct destinations?
If we were to combine things, I would suggest combining down to four regions, possibly with Alaska and/or Hawaii/territories separate (which would make five or six): "North" (Great Plains, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, New England); "South" (Texas, The South, Florida); Northwest (upper Rockies and Pacific Northwest); Southwest (California, The Southwest, plus Colorado). Then break each of those down further into the current regions. That adds another level, but it's the only practical way I can see to do it.
I note that the South region as it stands is already way too large (as far as states-as-subregions go); adding Texas and/or Florida to it would simply exacerbate that.
-- LtPowers 16:38, 1 July 2008 (EDT)
Addendum: I note that the biggest problem with using the 7+/-2 rule for the United States is that (apparently) we want to have states be subregions somewhere in the hierarchy. With fifty states (plus a few non-state territories), the only way to get from 50 down to 5-9 in just two steps is to have about seven regions of about seven states each, making the region boundaries even more arbitrary than they already are. Mathematics may get in the way of an elegant solution if we hew too closely to 7+/-2. =) LtPowers 16:44, 1 July 2008 (EDT)
I agree, that is a nice guideline a lot of the time, but when it comes down to creating awkward guides to satisfy a rule or bending the rule, the latter it is :) I think the current top level breakdown is working well, personally – cacahuate talk 17:23, 1 July 2008 (EDT)
Off the top of my head, mid-atlantic seems weird. I mean, would you put New York state in the mid-Atlantic? Almost nothing, other than the city, even touches the atlantic and few non-Americans (and many Americans) even know or care that New York is not in New England. I'd say go with the North East grouping, push Texas into SW and Florida into the South all make sense to me. From the traveler's perspective, having a limited number (7+2) of regions is a nice way to plan a trip to a country. --Wandering 18:24, 1 July 2008 (EDT)
Personally, I think the current region split is fine, and I don't see any massive gains to be had from reworking it. But if you insist, then in my view Texas into SW and merging Cali/Pacific NW into "West Coast" (surely a more common name than "Pacific Coast"?) would be the least bad options. I don't much like the name "Mid-Atlantic", but there is (IMHO) too big a qualitative difference between (say) Maryland and Maine to make merging it into New England sensible, and I'm against merging Florida though, as with 11 states the South is already big enough. (The Gulf region is an interesting idea though.) Hawaii and Alaska should also stay as outliers, because, well, they are. And yes, there should be a list of non-state US territories somewhere for completeness, but it's not a geographical region, only a political one. Jpatokal 01:35, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
While there may be a qualitative difference between Maine and Maryland (there is also a bigger qualitative difference between Vermont and everybody else!), the reality is that most tourists think of the DC - Boston corridor as one unit when visiting the country. Getting around (shuttle, amtrak's ne corridor trains, various chinatown buses) tends to work better as a single NE unit. So does Getting In, since either the NY area airports or Logan or Philly or DC airports are often reasonable alternative arrival points. If the traveler comes first, I'd say club Maine and Maryland together. --Wandering 05:43, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
I agree with Jani that the current split is fine as is. I could stomach moving Texas into the Southwest, and a "West Coast" consolidation, though I think neither is worth it. New England and Mid-Atlantic are names that are in common usage and should remain as sub-regions of Northeast if you go that way. To me this is all really worthless tweaking, the result of which doesn't really serve the traveler or the efficiency of our wiki. My $.02. OldPine 07:27, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
It would be a shame to miss out on an opportunity to organize the northeast in the way that it is organized for travel. But, I'm no expert on what the travelers are really looking for, so, ...--Wandering 09:43, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
"New England" is a very well known region of the United States; it's not worth losing that designation in order to create an eleven-member super region with less well-known borders. LtPowers 08:36, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Push for Guide status[edit]

This article is the closest our site has to a guide-level country article—it would even be the first guide level region! Only three region pages need to be worked on, to get them to usable status, then this article's a guide:

That's not much work if we work together on it. I think I know enough about the Rockies to get them to usable status, but I'm clueless on the other two. Lets plunge forward on this! --Peter Talk 23:53, 8 September 2008 (EDT)

Down to two—shouldn't be too hard! --Peter Talk 01:42, 9 September 2008 (EDT)

what to buy[edit]

I wonder whether we can have some answer to the following question in the article's Buy section:

What to buy in US--like what can't be easily found outside of US, or what is dramatically cheaper in the US compared to the rest of the world?

--DenisYurkin 04:20, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

Colorado[edit]

The image is wrong. Colorado is placed as Southwest in the image, while in the explanation it's listed as "Rocky Mountains". Could someone change the picture? Globe-trotter 09:43, 9 October 2008 (EDT)

Fixed. Nice catch. LtPowers 13:49, 9 October 2008 (EDT)

Entry Requirements[edit]

I found current Entry Requirements section very unstructured and wordy. I've made a first step in adding it some structure, but much more work is needed. Could someone with better than my (absence of) knowledge of entry specifics group related pieces together, so we could fix duplication and even make the section more concise?

Specifically:

  • visa waiver program info is scattered all across the section
  • I-94(W) card is mentioned twice, and I am still not sure where it should belong to, and whom does it really applies to
  • I am not sure current order of sections is most logical--I believe it can be improved (ideas?))

--DenisYurkin 15:25, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

Midwestern Cities?[edit]

I was thinking for the nine cities-you include a nice midwest city (not Chicago-is that there?) because you bscially have eastern and western cities. Why not Houston, St. Louis, Twin Cities, or Dallas-all very large cities...so? Keep smiling, Edmontonenthusiast 17:23, 26 October 2008 (EDT) What about Atlanta or Dallas ? ee talk 10:24, 5 November 2008 (EST)


bump...no thoughts. keep smiling, ee talk 12:40, 4 November 2008 (EST).

Interstates / Highways[edit]

I just reverted an edit that added links to several articles on highways from this article before realizing that people have begun creating articles about interstates. Route 66 was our first article about a road (I believe) and it turned out well, and since then Interstate 10, U.S. Highway 49, U.S. Highway 1 and U.S. Highway 40 (and possibly others) have been created. Should these articles be linked from the US article? I would rather not encourage creation of articles about roads since the article should be about an itinerary and not about the actual road per Wikitravel:What is an article, but if we're going to keep these articles then we should also link to them from region articles. Thoughts? -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:02, 1 November 2008 (EDT)

Probably a question for the Travellers' Pub. LtPowers 16:18, 1 November 2008 (EDT)
We have in the past VFDed unserious Highway itineraries. So first, a highway should only be linked if the itinerary article already exists. Second, I think we should VFD any content-free highways itineraries which have not been worked on recently because they don't get their own articles automatically. The Highway 49 article needs either to be worked on or VFDed. -- Colin 20:36, 1 November 2008 (EDT)
Fair enough - I've added the articles with content to the Itineraries section of the US article and have left the Highway 49 article alone for now since it was only created in the past couple of days. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:22, 2 November 2008 (EST)

American "Friendliness"[edit]

I think it's safe to say that America is renown for it's cavalier attitude towards each other--and I mean that in the best way. For any person visiting from conservative, traditional counties like Asian or Middle Eastern it's rather shocking. Even for Western countries like France Americans are considered disrespectful. It only makes sense to mention under the Respect section that America is, in the best way to put it, very friendly. I've been to countries where people pass off my straightforward demeanor as "being American" (of course they're right). I know some Americans are very conservative themselves, but it's fair to mention that many will treat you like a well-known friend upon meeting. 74.70.204.125 20:56, 18 December 2008 (EST)

I think I agree, but it should be said nicely. Even as a Canadian, Americans are sometimes portrayed as mean here. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 21:00, 18 December 2008 (EST).
We should be a little careful. Americans are friendly people. However, unfortunately, in a major US city if someone is trying to assertively befriend you they are usually trying to scam you, sell something to you, or convert you. Any mention of friendliness, should at least mention these contexts, to avoid misleading the naive traveler. --Inas 22:15, 18 December 2008 (EST)

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