So what is America really like?

Which can be a good or bad thing. Yes, you get fundies who are only good for laughing at, but religion can also be part of a solid ethical stance within a populace.

Whatever organized mainstream intent there is currently to the atheism movement, is almost exclusively a counter reaction to the organized threat of theocracy I’ve already mentioned. And while the zealots were certainly primed by the secularist trend of the 20th century, that trend was itself organic and not ultimately organized. So in that respect I do personally see the theocracy agenda as the original aggressor in this equation, they started fighting an intangible with fire and brimstone.

Sure, I’m not saying the US isn’t a religious country (it’s a vast Christian majority). Just saying that the country was founded based on individual rights and a distinct separation of Church and State. Nobody is trying to take religion away from anyone. Far from it. People are simply making sure that religion isn’t put into the law, as is stated in the Constitution.

It’s a perceived oppression of the Christians in this nation, which would be extremely difficult to accomplish, given the fact that, as I said, the majority of America is Christian. However, the common ground upon we stand should not be religion. It should be the Constitution, plain and simple. To say that religion should be the grounding force that holds the country together does a disservice to not only the atheists of the country (who are just as moral and upstanding as their Christian brothers), but also to the people who subscribe to the numerous other religious beliefs: Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, etc.

You often hear religious argument from the far right as being Christians vs Atheists (i.e. the claim to “teach both sides of the story” regarding evolution vs creation - they conveniently forget that every religion has their own version of Creation), but there is a veritable cornucopia of views in the US.

Personally, that is what I believe makes this country strong. Not a need to homogenize the culture.

Homogenised culture winds up smelling like spoiled milk.

I’m interested - may I ask where you’ve traveled to?


That’s probably the biggest problem I have with the left wing as it stands, institutionally they take their tolerance to intolerant extremes at times. I used to have a stock generalization to justify my own ambivalence: Democrats want to mandate everyone’s ethics, Republicans want to mandate everyone’s morals… and they both somehow manage to believe one is reasonable while the other is not.

As Geoffrey basically pointed out, both sides are being played by an economic elite oligarchy that doesn’t care about the ideology of any of it. But ethics regulation can actually affect their bottom line, so it’s not arbitrary which side they have locked down…

Wait, what’s wrong with group sex?

Group sex is only really advisable considering everybody is over the age of consent and infection free.

Bring condoms as well, plz.

Dang it Abadd, you make me miss Bay area life. And I also sign with all that he has said in regards to living there. That said, stay out of Central California… shoot even Southern.

China (Shanghai, Hong Kong - lived in HK for 2 years), Japan (all over, but mostly the Tokyo area), London (and a few of the neighboring areas), Paris, Geneva, Rome, Venice, Athens, Philippines, Mexico, and Jamaica. Still want to visit southeast Asia, South America, and Africa. I’d love to visit the Middle East and India, but I’m afraid my weak stomach would be the death of me there :stuck_out_tongue:

Atolm - Oh, and SoCal isn’t all that bad, depending on where you go. The coastal/beach areas are quite pleasant, actually. My mom lives in the Torrance/San Pedro area and it’s quite nice. The biggest pain about LA, though, is that you need a car to get everywhere, and everything is so goddamn far away :frowning:

What a poser!!

shakes fist

And brown. Everything is brown.

I’d be more worried about getting captured and beheaded than my stomach.

Although you survived Hong Kong, it can’t possibly get more undercooked than there, no?

Actually, my former karate sensei is Iranian and his family is quite well-respected and he offered to take me on a tour there. I’m still thinking about it…

As for Hong Kong, it wasn’t bad at all. Considering that I was there when it was still “owned” by the Brits, it was amazingly westernized. Funny, though, that when I went to Shanghai, I was completely fine until the last day when I had McDonald’s for breakfast and got food poisoning.

I dunno, whenever I’ve gone to Cafe de Coral or KFC in HK the chicken is always still bleeding. (If not alive)
Many there would claim that this is ok because the chicken is fresh, but it is not ok!
Salmonella and bird-flu don’t work like e-coli!

Although the KFCs in Shanghai are much worse… (As in, the chicken bleeds more than it does in HK).

I haven’t noticed much changes in Hong Kong since it went back to China, they still operate by their own rule book it would seem. They even managed to avoid being encompassed under the great firewall of China.

Although the boiled salted duck Cafe de Coral do is rather nice… if you can ignore the still occasional blood vessel here in there and stuff ;p
No extra charge though!

The best food is always from scummy street vendors. This is true even in the UK! Burgers are always best with a bit of fag-ash and spit on them ;p

Haha, yeah, that’s true of most places. Even in Tokyo, some of the best places are the little hole in the walls that have been around for 40 years or so.

But from the foreigners that I talked to in Shanghai, they say that McD’s is the bastion of cleanliness in comparison to a lot of the stuff in Shanghai. My coworker that transferred there got food poisoning 3 times in the first 9 months. He said that he won’t eat salads because the veggies aren’t cooked and who knows how they’ve been handled. But for me, it was the McD’s that did me in =\

Though, I think it’s simply lack of exposure to a lot of the germs that makes foreigners get sick so easily. I used to live in the Oakland Chinatown and watching the butchers work was naaaasty. Yet, you never hear of any food poisoning cases.

I’m dying to go back to HK, though. Been over 20 years, so I bet everything has changed completely. I’ve got 2 good friends living over there now, so now I’ve got a good excuse :slight_smile:

I swear once, when I was in one of the subway stations there in 2001 (At least… I think it was 2001), the announcer alerted “Beware that Wan Chai is a red light district, please do not buy from hookers”.

That made me chuckle to myself a good deal.

In 2006 I went to the Hong Kong Disney Land in summer… in that level of heat and humidity it is one of the most alienating acid-trip-esque experiences I have ever had to endure, god knows how the dudes inside the Mickey costumes survive… I’m betting on battery powered AC inside the helmets or some shit.

I too will go back some day… I have family to see, they actually came over here last year… but I didn’t go to see them cause I had an issue with my family that live over here at the time… and they were staying at one of their houses. Bah.

HK has changed loads since 20 years ago… a lot… in 2006 when I was there, they were building what is now the tallest building in Hong Kong, (Or at least… it was then… who knows what they’ve built now xD)

Although for nostalgia’s sake there are still a good few shit-hole buildings that look like they could colapse any second, I had the pleasure of looking out directly onto one as teh view from my Hotel window. <.<
Also, one day when I was out shopping a plank of wood fell from someone’s window frame down into the street, it didn’t hit anyone though… just. :-/

Japanese culture has had a big influence on Hong Kong though, expect to see Animu, Mango and Idols all over the place. Hentai is also in abundance at most PC stores.

Impressive list. Looks like I have some catching up to do. :wink:

Africa and South America are quite high on my list of places to visit as well.

If you like beautiful architecture, Edinburgh is an impressive city to visit. For wild scenery, you can’t go wrong with New Zealand (especially the South Island, although I’m biased in the matter).

My fiancee has been to Edinburgh (I love saying that name), but I haven’t yet :frowning: She went with her family when they attended the worldwide kendo tournament that was held there (she said the queen was there… which is just bizarre). I didn’t get to go because of work and I completely regret it :frowning:

New Zealand is another place I’d love to visit. I’ve got a few friends there, so I figure I’d be able to experience the local flavors and whatnot, but I’d love to just spend a few days wandering the countryside :smiley: