5 THINGS MOST AMERICANS DON’T KNOW ABOUT THEIR COUNTRY AMERICA

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Imagine you have a brother and he’s an alcoholic. He has his moments, but you keep your distance from him. You don’t mind him for the occasional family gathering or holiday. You still love him. But you don’t want to be around him. This is how I lovingly describe my current relationship with the United States. The United States is my alcoholic brother. And although I will always love him, I don’t want to be near him at the moment.

I know that’s harsh, but I really feel my home country is not in a good place these days. That’s not a socioeconomic statement (although that’s on the decline as well), but rather a cultural one.

I realize it’s going to be impossible to write sentences like the ones above without coming across as a raging prick, so let me try to soften the blow to my American readers with an analogy:

You know when you move out of your parents’ house and live on your own, how you start hanging out with your friends’ families and you realize that actually, your family was a little screwed up? As it turns out, stuff you always assumed was normal your entire childhood was pretty weird and may have actually fucked you up a little bit. You know, dad thinking it was funny to wear a Santa Claus hat in his underwear every Christmas or the fact that you and your sister slept in the same bed until you were 22, or that your mother routinely cried over a bottle of wine while listening to Elton John.

The point is we don’t really get perspective on what’s close to us until we spend time away from it. Just like you didn’t realize the weird quirks and nuances of your family until you left and spent time with others, the same is true for country and culture. You often don’t see what’s messed up about your country and culture until you step outside of it.

And so even though this article is going to come across as fairly scathing, I want my American readers to know this: some of the stuff we do, some of the stuff that we always assumed was normal, it’s kind of screwed up. And that’s OK. Because that’s true with every culture. It’s just easier to spot it in others (e.g., the French) so we don’t always notice it in ourselves.

So as you read this article, know that I’m saying everything with tough love, the same tough love with which I’d sit down and lecture an alcoholic family member. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It doesn’t mean there aren’t some awesome things about you (BRO, THAT’S AWESOME!!!). And it doesn’t mean I’m some saint either because god knows I’m pretty screwed up (I’m American, after all). There are just a few things you need to hear. And as a friend, I’m going to tell them to you.

And to my foreign readers, get your necks ready, because this is going to be a nod-a-thon.

A Little “What The Hell Does This Guy Know?” Background: I’ve lived in half a dozen states in the US, primarily in the deep south and the northeast. I have visited 45 of the US’s 50 states. I also lived abroad for several years, primarily in South America and Asia (with various stints in Europe). I speak three languages. I’m married to a foreigner. So I feel like I have a good perspective on the US from both the inside and outside.

(Note: I realize all the things on this list are generalizations and I realize there are always exceptions. I get it. You don’t have to send 55 emails telling me that you and your best friend are exceptions. If you really get that offended from some guy’s blog post, you may want to double-check your life priorities.)

OK, we’re ready now. 10 things Americans don’t know about America.

1. FEW PEOPLE ARE IMPRESSED BY US

Unless you’re speaking with a real estate agent or a prostitute, chances are they’re not going to be excited that you’re American. It’s not some badge of honor we get to parade around. Yes, we had Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison, but unless you actually are Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison (which is unlikely), then most people around the world are simply not going to care. There are exceptions of course. And those exceptions are called English and Australian people. Whoopdie-fucking-doo.

As Americans, we’re brought up our entire lives being taught that we’re the best, we did everything first and that the rest of the world follows our lead. Not only is this not true, but people get irritated when you bring it to their country with you. So don’t.

2. FEW PEOPLE HATE US

Despite the occasional eye-rolling, and complete inability to understand why anyone would vote for George W. Bush (twice), people from other countries don’t hate us either. In fact — and I know this is a really sobering realization for us — most people in the world don’t really think about us or care about us. I know, that sounds absurd, especially with CNN and Fox News showing the same 20 angry Arab men on repeat for ten years straight. But unless we’re invading someone’s country or threatening to invade someone’s country (which is likely), then there’s a 99.99% chance they don’t care about us. Just like we rarely think about the people in Bolivia or Mongolia, most people don’t think about us much. They have jobs, kids, house payments — you know, those things called lives — to worry about. Kind of like us.

Americans tend to assume that the rest of the world either loves us or hates us (this is actually a good litmus test to tell if someone is conservative or liberal). The fact is, most people feel neither. Most people don’t think much about us.

Remember that immature girl in high school, how every little thing that happened to her meant that someone either hated her or was obsessed with her; who thought every teacher who ever gave her a bad grade was being totally unfair and everything good that happened to her was because of how amazing she was? Yeah, we’re that immature high school girl.

3. WE KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE REST OF THE WORLD

For all of our talk about being global leaders and how everyone follows us, we don’t seem to know much about our supposed “followers.” They often have completely different takes on history than we do. Here were some brain-stumpers for me: the Vietnamese were more concerned with independence (not us), Hitler was primarily defeated by the Soviet Union (not us), there is evidence that Native Americans were wiped out largely by disease and plague BEFORE Europeans arrived and not just after, and the American Revolution was partly “won” because the British invested more of their resources in fighting France (not us). Notice a running theme here?

(Hint: It’s not all about us. The world is more complicated.)

We did not invent democracy. We didn’t even invent modern democracy. There were parliamentary systems in England and other parts of Europe over a hundred years before we created a government. In a recent survey of young Americans, 63% could not find Iraq on a map (despite being at war with them), and 54% did not know Sudan was a country in Africa. Yet, somehow we’re positive that everyone else looks up to us.

Condescending Wonka

4. WE ARE POOR AT EXPRESSING GRATITUDE AND AFFECTION

There’s a saying about English-speakers. We say “Go fuck yourself,” when we really mean “I like you,” and we say “I like you,” when we really mean “Go fuck yourself.”

Outside of getting shit-housed drunk and screaming “I LOVE YOU, MAN!”, open displays of affection in American culture are tepid and rare. Latin and some European cultures describe us as “cold” and “passionless” and for good reason. In our social lives, we don’t say what we mean and we don’t mean what we say.

In our culture, appreciation and affection are implied rather than spoken outright. Two guy friends call each other names to reinforce their friendship; men and women tease and make fun of each other to imply interest. Feelings are almost never shared openly and freely. Consumer culture has cheapened our language of gratitude. Something like, “It’s so good to see you” is empty now because it’s expected and heard from everybody.

In dating, when I find a woman attractive, I almost always walk right up to her and tell her that a) I wanted to meet her, and b) she’s beautiful. In America, women usually get incredibly nervous and confused when I do this. They’ll make jokes to defuse the situation or sometimes ask me if I’m part of a TV show or something playing a prank. Even when they’re interested and go on dates with me, they get a bit disoriented when I’m so blunt with my interest. Whereas, in almost every other culture approaching women this way is met with a confident smile and a “Thank you.”

5. THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE AVERAGE AMERICAN IS NOT THAT GREAT

Supposedly, Pablo Escobar once said, “I’m not a rich man; I’m a poor man with a lot of money.”

The United States is not a rich country, it’s a poor country with a lot of money. If you’re extremely talented or intelligent, the US is probably the best place in the world to live. The system is stacked heavily to allow people of talent and advantage to rise to the top quickly.

The problem with the US is that everyone thinks they are of talent and advantage. As John Steinbeck famously said, the problem with poor Americans is that “they don’t believe they’re poor, but rather temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” It’s this culture of self-delusion that allows America to continue to innovate and churn out new industry more than anyone else in the world. But this shared delusion also unfortunately keeps perpetuating large social inequalities and the quality of life for the average citizen lower than most other developed countries. It’s the price we pay to maintain our growth and economic dominance.

To me, being wealthy is having the freedom to maximize one’s life experiences. In those terms, despite the average American having more material wealth than citizens of most other countries (more cars, bigger houses, nicer televisions), their overall quality of life suffers in my opinion. American people on average work more hours with less vacation, spend more time commuting every day, and are saddled with over $10,000 of debt. That’s a lot of time spent working and buying crap and little time or disposable income for relationships, activities, or new experiences.

Bangkok City at night time, Hotel and resident area in the capital of Thailand

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Donald Trump Has One Trick Up His Sleeve To Stop The Caravan

Donald Trump

The migrant caravan threatening to invade America is still making its way through Mexico.

Thousands of migrants think they will be able to pour across the border and enter America.

But Donald Trump has one trick up his sleeve to stop the caravan dead in its tracks.

Donald Trump Promises To Change Asylum Laws To Stop The Caravan

The caravan – which once numbered as many as 10,000 migrants according to some reports – is intent on invading America.

Even though it is now down to roughly 3,000 migrants, these invaders still plan to breach America’s Southern border.

Their plan is to get caught by border patrol agents and request asylum.

You can request asylum at legal points of entry.

Border patrol agents catching migrants in the act of illegally entering America is not one of those points of entry.

But the Immigration and Naturalization Act also states if asylum seekers have a “well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion,” they can request asylum at non-designated points of entry.

Illegal aliens caught entering the country then have one year to request asylum.

But Trump plans to change all that.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions previously issued guidelines rolling back Obama-era rules that allowed migrants to request asylum if they feared gang or domestic violence.

In a pre-election press event, Trump announced he would issue an executive order changing asylum laws.

“If these caravans are allowed into our country, only bigger and more emboldened caravans will follow — and you see that’s what’s happening now,” Trump declared.

That’s why he said he would change asylum laws to prevent migrants who are caught entering the country illegally from requesting asylum.

Why This Executive Order Is Necessary

The day after the midterm elections, news broke that Trump planned to issue this executive order before he left for Paris.

Trump said that asylum is not a program for people in poverty.

In fact, many of the migrants in these caravans are economic refugees.

Employers in the United States want the cheap labor to cut costs, but it depresses the wages of American workers.

Trump knows migrants abused the asylum program for too long.

So he is making whatever changes the Constitution allows him through his executive authority.

If the caravans aren’t stopped, Trump noted this could lead to a flood of migrants invading the country.

A Pew poll showed 58 percent of people in El Salvador would move to America if they could.

The United States cannot sustain itself as a nation with open borders and allowing the world’s poorest people to flood into the country.

Trump and his supporters believe there needs to be a tightly controlled system in place to allow for legitimate claims but will clamp down on the idea that just anyone can enter America.

U.S. Military Just Made A Bold Move To Stop The Caravan Going To America

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An illegal migrant caravan is on its way to the U.S. border.

It is full of criminals and gang members masquerading as asylum seekers.

And the military is aware of this, and just made a bold move to stop them.

The Caravan Is On The Move

Droves of illegal migrants are working their way across Mexico toward the United States.

The majority of them come from South American countries like Honduras.

Those countries are rampant with crime.

So the caravan is attempting to enter the U.S. to get away from that.

But one concern that many have is that the caravan includes many criminals.

President Trump has raised this concern on more than one occasion.

And when he does, fake news outlets like CNN call him a liar.

CNN seems to be the propaganda wing of the caravan.

Just as they provide cover for Democrats, they are covering for the illegal migrants.

Because the reality is that there are many criminals in the caravan.

Gang members, including ones from MS-13, are prevalent.

The left is trying desperately to dispute that.

But Trump knows the truth and is taking action.

The Military Makes Their Way To Stop The Caravan

Trump has U.S. troops on the ground ready to stop the caravan.

It has now ballooned to over 12,000 people, so it could get ugly.

But the future of the U.S. is at stake, so everything is on the table to stop them.

The first move that the military is doing is defensive.

They are creating hard obstacles to prevent the caravan from marching across the border.

So far, they are working with border patrol to place barbed wire along likely entry points.

This is a solid step towards preventing the caravan from getting in easily.

And it proves how serious Trump is about protecting the border.

Trump is even willing to go so far as to say that the military will open fire if attacked by the caravan.

Many are attacking him for saying that.

But it is common self-defense.

When tens of thousands of people are attacking, that force may be necessary.

Trump is one of the few people willing to say that.

A Wall Would Work Better To Stop The Caravan

While this is a good step, it doesn’t fix the problem permanently.

A wall on the Southern border is the ultimate fix.

But so far it hasn’t been started.

Trump is working to change that.

It is his main campaign promise after all.

But so far his efforts to build a wall have been blocked by both Democrats and weak-kneed Republicans.

Despite being a wildly popular issue among Republicans, he still has resistance.

It may be the biggest issue that led towards Trump being elected.

That’s because it makes sense, and voters like that somebody is actually using common sense.

Do you support building a wall on the Southern border?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Migrants In The Caravan Filed Lawsuit That Could End America

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The migrant caravan marching toward America is a serious threat.

But no one had any idea just how dangerous they really are.

Migrants in the caravan just filed one lawsuit that could end the country as you know it.

Migrants In Caravan Sue Donald Trump

Twelve Honduran migrants in the caravan – including six children – are suing Donald Trump by claiming he violated their Fifth Amendment rights.

They cite a 1993 opinion by Justice Scalia who stated, “it is well established that the Fifth Amendment entitles aliens to due process of law in a deportation proceeding.”

Mike Donovan, the lawyer who filed the suit, appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show to explain this absurd motion.

“They are claiming rights under the asylum provisions of our statutes that affords them due process rights under that law. We have due process under the law. This is a law that is specifically directed to them so of course, they have due process rights,” Donovan declared.

But Carlson shut him down with one cold, hard truth.

The migrants are not on U.S. soil.

Therefore, the Constitution does not apply to them.

“Let me just correct you as a non-lawyer. They do not possess those rights if they are in another country and not U.S. citizens. If they possess those rights, then, I don’t know, the entire country of Nigeria — pick a country that is poorer than the United States and say ‘we want to come there,’ president says you can’t come and all of a sudden eight hundred million people sue you for violating their constitutional rights for a country they’ve never been to?” Carlson told Donovan.

The Left’s Real End Game

Donald Trump wants to deny asylum to anyone entering the country illegally.

But the left not only wants to undercut Trump’s desire to secure the border, they want to do something even more sinister.

They want to file a series of cases to eventually create a right to illegally immigrate into America.

The left ran this playbook when the court imposed nationwide homosexual marriage in 2015.

First, they won the Lawrence v. Texas case that struck down Texas’s sodomy laws.

Then they won a second case in 2008 by overturning California’s Proposition 8—which amended the state Constitution that established marriage as one man and one woman.

Finally, in 2015, the left used these victories to eventually win the Obergefell v. Hodges case, which invented the right to homosexual marriage.

The left wants a repeat with illegal immigration.

If the court establishes a right to illegal immigration, many Americans fear the country will be lost forever.

Democrats would open the borders to millions of illegal immigrants.

Liberals would then ram amnesty into law and grant them voting rights.

That would allow the Democrats to win elections for a generation.

The consequences for America would be catastrophic.

We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this ongoing story.

US midterm results and maps 2018: What time will we know today’s US midterm election outcome?

President Trump election rally

Today’s midterm elections will mark two years since Donald Trump was elected President, and its results will be a barometer of how the people of the US think he is faring. In recent weeks birthright citizenship, the migrant caravan and the mail bomber have overshadowed debates and may spell trouble for the Republican party.

The midterm elections, which involve a combination of elections for the US Congress, governorships and local races, take place every two years.

Republicans currently control the House of Representatives and the Senate – the two chambers which make up the US Congress. But pundits are suggesting the Democrats might take control.

With all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 out of the Senate’s 100 seats up for election, as well as 36 state governors, there are a lot of races to keep an eye on.

And with Trump’s approval rating hovering around 40 per cent, a lot could change. Here is our guide on the seats to watch – and when we can expect to see results from them.

When does voting start and end?

People will take to the polls across the 50 states from 1pm GMT today, with polls closing from midnight GMT onwards. Below are the last polling times for each state.

  • 19:00 EST (midnight GMT): Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia
  • 19:30 EST (00:30 GMT): North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia
  • 20:00 EST (01:00 GMT): Alabama, Conneticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massacheutts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee
  • 20:30 EST (01:30 GMT): Arkansas
  • 21:00 EST (02:00 GMT): Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming
  • 22:00 EST (03:00 GMT): Iowa, Montana, Nevada, Utah
  • 23:00 EST (04:00 GMT): California, Hawaii, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington
  • 01:00 EST (06:00 GMT): Alaska

When will we know the results?

The votes will start to be counted as soon as the each polling station closes, which means results will trickle in over the early hours of the morning. We can expect a clear picture on what the elections mean for the country by 8am tomorrow (Wednesday 7th November) GMT.

Which are the seats to watch for the House of Representatives?

The number of seats each US state receives depends on its population size. California, the most populous state, has 53 representatives while seven states – Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming have just one representative.

The Republican Party currently controls the chamber with a 43-seat majority, but it is widely expected that the Democrats will gain control in the upcoming election. The current House has 236 Republicans and 193 Democrats, with six vacant seats.

The Democrats need a net gain of 24 seats to win a majority, which is no small accomplishment, but the president’s low approval ratings have given the party reason to hope.

West Virginia

Donald Trump won West Virginia’s 3rd district by 30 points. But it is the Democratic candidate running in the district, which has a long history of coal mining, that is gaining national attention. Richard Ojeda says he voted for Donald Trump in 2016, opposes universal background checks for gun buyers, and is pro-coal.

Mr Ojeda is running against Republican Carol Miller in the open-seat race after the incumbent Republican Evan Jenkins vacated the seat to run for the Senate.

Polling suggests it will be a tight race between the two candidates, but analysts are keeping a close watch to see if a populist Democrat in a pro-Trump area is a winning formula.

Last polls for West Virginia close at 19:30 EST (00:30 GMT).

California

Republican Representative Mimi Walters is battling to keep hold of her seat against Democrat Katie Porter in the state’s 45th district, Orange County. The number of registered Republicans in the county has consistently declined as its population becomes more diverse.

Ms Walters is one of seven Republicans representing districts in California which Hillary Clinton won in 2016. The Democrats need to take several of these in order to have a chance of regaining a majority in the House.

Pundits are viewing a win in this race as a sign they will do well across Southern California – picking up crucial Republican-held seats. Professor Larry Sabato from the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics has changed his prediction from ‘leaning Republican’ to a ‘toss-up’.

Last polls for California close at 23:00 EST (04:00 GMT).

Minnesota

Minnesota’s 8th district is considered one of the Democrats’ most at-risk seats in November. It is a traditionally Democrat area – former president Barack Obama won the district twice but it swung heavily to Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

The seat is currently held by Democrat Rick Nolan but the 74-year-old is not seeking re-election. The party’s candidate Joe Radinovich, a former state legislator, is facing a tough battle against Republican Pete Stauber, a county commissioner.

Last polls for Minnesota close at 21:00 EST (02:00 GMT).

Texas

The race in Texas’ 23rd district will largely focus on one of the Trump administration’s main concerns – immigration. The district contains a third of the US-Mexico border and has the second highest population of ‘Dreamers’ – the term given to undocumented migrants who arrived in America as children and have been granted temporary protection.

The incumbent, Republican Will Hurd, is a former CIA agent who has chosen to distance himself from Mr Trump. His Democratic rival, Gina Ortiz Jones, is a Filipina-American, openly LGBTQ and an Iraq veteran.

Mr Hurd, who became the first African-American elected to Congress from Texas when he was elected in 2015, is tipped to win by a narrow margin in the swing district.

He has distanced himself from the national Republican party and even wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in July stating that the president had been manipulated by Russian intelligence.

Last polls for Texas close at 21:00 EST (02:00 GMT).

Florida

Moderate Republicans will be looking to Florida’s 26th district to see whether they can keep hold of a largely Hispanic area in the Trump era.

The incumbent, Carlos Curbelo, is well-liked but Republicans still fear his Democrat opponent, Latin immigrant Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, could sweep to a surprise victory. Hillary Clinton won the district by 16 points in 2015.

Last polls for Florida close at 20:00 EST (01:00 GMT).

What about the Senate?

The US Senate is the upper chamber on Capitol Hill. There are 100 Senators, two from each state, and Republicans currently hold a razor thin majority with 51 seats.

The US Senate writes and passes laws but has a number of other powers and responsibilities, from ratifying treaties with other countries to overseeing investigations of officials and public bodies.

Senators have six-year terms and just 35 seats are up for re-election. Most of these are currently held by Democrats, making it hard for them to make gains.

Nevada

Senator Dean Heller’s election fight is an interesting one to watch. He is the only Republican senator up for re-election in a state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

Senator Heller’s Democratic opponent, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, has also support from anti-Trump female voters. She is also hoping Nevada’s growing Hispanic population will help her to victory in November.

However she faces an uphill battle in encouraging voter turnout, and Republicans are relying on white rural voters to come out to support Mr Heller.

Last polls for Nevada close at 22:00 EST (03:00 GMT).

North Dakota

Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who is facing re-election in a state Mr Trump won by nearly 40 points in 2016, is considered the most endangered Democrat in the Senate.

Ms Heitkamp will face pressure from conservative voters if she votes against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, as she has suggested she will. However Ms Heitkamp has touted her previous support for Mr Trump’s first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, last year.

Her opponent, Kevin Crammer, also has the backing of the president. Mr Trump headlined a fundraiser for the Republican in early September which brought in more than $1 million in donations to his campaign.

Last polls for North Dakota close at 23:00 EST (04:00 GMT).

Florida

The race between Democratic Senator Bill Nelson and his Republican challenger Rick Scott is one of the most expensive of the year. Mr Scott, Florida’s governor, has challenged Mr Nelson’s record in Washington and distanced himself from the president so as not to lose out on Puerto Rican voters.

Republicans see the seat as one of their most promising chances of picking up an extra Senate seat and have spent heavily in the race. Polls show the two almost neck and neck – an interesting race to tune into on election night.

Last polls for Florida close at 20:00 EST (01:00 GMT).

Texas

Despite being a presidential candidate in 2016, Republican Senator Ted Cruz is now fighting for his political life in Texas. His Democratic challenger  – Bete O’Rourke – has brought Mr Cruz’s lead in the deeply red state down to single digits, shocking political pundits.

Mr Trump has overcome his previous animosity with the Senator to lend his support to his campaign. Donald Jnr has already been deployed to campaign for Mr Cruz and the president himself may make an appearance in a bid to bolster support.

Mr O’Rourke, a 45-year-old congressman, has campaigned on a platform of inclusion and optimism, particularly on issues such as immigration. It is a message that chimes with the state’s growing Hispanic population, which currently stands at 39 per cent.

Pollsters still predict a Cruz victory but Mr O’Rourke’s popularity and upbeat campaign rallies have left Republican operatives deeply troubled.