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America: Like It Or Unfriend It

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the please-extend-below dept.

United States 277

Hugh Pickens writes "As we celebrate America's birthday today, head over the to the NY Times and take a look at a very clever 'op-art' creation, 'Like it or Unfriend It' by Teddy Wayne, Mike Sacks, and Thomas Ng, that represents what 'America's Wall' would look like through our history. Beginning with 'Christopher Columbus wrote on America's wall: 'This IS India, right?,' through 'America added Great Britain to Kingdoms I am Fighting With,' through 'The South has changed its privacy settings to accept carpetbaggers,' and finishing with 'America stopped playing the game Wild-Goose Chase While Nation-Building,' and 'America has joined the China Network' the wall includes dozens of invitations, likes, posts and changes to privacy settings that shows a summary of American history as seen from a Facebook perspective. Our favorite from the 1980s: 'Ronald Reagan created a page: "Trickle-Down Economics" followed by "Half a million upper-income people like this.'" For another take on 4th of July data visualization, Tim O'Reilly points out flag.codeforamerica.org, which aggregates twitter posts tagged #July4 into an evolving flag tapestry.

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277 comments

cunt (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654402)

pretty much

Re:cunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654534)

Which one, Teddy, Mikey, or little Tommy?

You know... that might not be a bad idea... (3, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654434)

... as a means of teaching history. This particular "wall" is a bit too brief to be useful for most purposes, but a more detailed one could probably be contrived to describe the activities surround noteworthy events in history.

If it helps kids learn, then that's a good thing... right?

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (2, Informative)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654574)

I wish they'd get it right for once. Christopher Columbus wasn't looking for "India", he was looking for Hindustan.

http://www.documentingreality.com/forum/f181/name-indian-origins-72901/ [documentingreality.com]

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654840)

That's not really that big of a deal, he was looking for the Indian subcontinent it doesn't really matter what you call it, he was looking for the land that is present day India. The bigger issue is that he wasn't concerned with falling off the edge of the world.

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655096)

The "Columbus thought the world was round, while everyone else thought it was flat" isn't accurate.

What Columbus was fighting against is that people though the Earth was (correctly) approximately 40,000 km in diameter (The Greeks had measured it fairly accurately) while Columbus thought (incorrectly) it was much smaller and that it was practical to sail west to India. Columbus lucked out in that America was in the way, otherwise he would have been a footnote in history as the leader of an expedition of 3 ships that sailed west never to be seen again.

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (3, Informative)

xkuehn (2202854) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655180)

What Columbus was fighting against is that people though the Earth was (correctly) approximately 40,000 km in circumference (The Greeks had measured it fairly accurately) while Columbus thought (incorrectly) it was much smaller and that it was practical to sail west to India. Columbus lucked out in that America was in the way, otherwise he would have been a footnote in history as the leader of an expedition of 3 ships that sailed west never to be seen again.

FTFY

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655374)

India got it's name from River Indus.........which is called Sindhu in Sanskrit. Persians and Arabs called us Hindu(Do you see the rhyme scheme in Hindu and Sindhu) and from Hindu we got Hindustaan(Land of the Hindus). The Greeks called Sindhu as Indus(whatever way the Greek spelt it! India was known to the Greeks(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_conquests_in_India) and Romans(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_India#Roman_trade_with_India http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_commerce)) and Indus became India.

The original name of the country was Aryavrata(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%80ry%C4%81varta) or Abode of the Aryans(Noble people........not the Nazi thing(you can blame Max Muellar and Hitler)). Then the country was renamed Bhaarat from Bharat(Brave son of King Ajatshatru). All our modern or old text refer to India as Bharat or AryaVrata. Foreigners named us India and Hindustaan. We use Bhaarat in our daily language.

Hinduism as religion doesn't exist in any of our texts. We call it Sanaatan Dharma(it means Eternal Law/Duty http://www.sanatandharma.org/) or just Dharma(pronounced Dharm)

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655064)

Hindustan was the muslim name for the country in the area of the world called (back in antiquity and now) India. Saying that Columbus wasn't looking for India is incorrect.
Also, the site you link to claims that Indian refers from a term for savages which are easy to convert. This is incorrect. Indian derives from Spanish indio < India (the country India) < Latin India < A. Greek 'Indía < 'Indós (the river Indus) < O. Persian hindush < Sanskrit síndhu: a river or stream.

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655102)

Who gives a shit? He was looking for India.

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (3)

nicholas22 (1945330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654632)

Actually it is very depressing that THIS is how you get children to be interested in your history. I blame the parents.

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (5, Insightful)

Minupla (62455) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654822)

Why do you find it depressing? I would imagine that any society where these things don't evolve would be on its way to the end.

I expect the generation that went through school after me probably had their parents saying the same things about computers in schools, my mother probably said the same thing when "School House Rock" came on TV, and her parents probably said the same thing about organized education, so on back to the printing press, literacy, and so forth... One can imagine a parent saying "If oral tradition was good enough for us, it should be good enough for our children".

Not all change is negative, not all of it is positive either of course. Change can however stimulate people to think in new ways and consider things that they did not consider in the past.

An oft quoted study in fact measured productivity improvements around change. If a study group *thought* that a change was being implemented to improve productivity, productivity improved. In the case I read about I believe it was "replacing light bulbs with wide spectrum bulbs" the "work people" came in and swapped out the tubes with identical ones and productivity went up for awhile and plateaued and then regressed back to mean levels.

So if doing something new and fresh causes kids to learn, speaking as a parent, more power to innovative educators. If it is only a short term improvement, that's fine too, just be thinking about the next thing down the road.

"Think of the children" - why make learning hard/repetitive/stale when we have choices?

Min

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655264)

Aside from the obvious Facebook advertisement here - could we get an option on /. to filter content by Hugh Pickens and other mentally retarded marketing people - kind of like the AC filters that will prevent this from ever being seen.

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655362)

"Think of the children" - why make learning hard/repetitive/stale when we have choices?

Because Facebook has nothing to do with learning, and is about the stupidest application of social networking out there.

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (1)

belthize (990217) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654662)

We'd need to come up with a name for a more detailed version. It might be nice if it included pictures, complete sentences and maybe some insight as to why the details are important. Too bad 'history book' is already taken.

Re:HistoryBook (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655058)

FaceBook's Lawyers Like this.

The wall posts need to be TFA type story link though. So then you get all your detail, but it's sorted as 200 articles and not like an author who keep writing and writing in one, long, incredibly unbroken chapter moving from topic to topic so that the student cannot interrupt it. Those books are really quite hypnotic.

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654838)

I've got this book called 'The Timetables of History" http://www.amazon.com/Timetables-History-Horizontal-Linkage-People/dp/067174271X
It's kind of like the 'America's wall' but for everything.

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654958)

This particular "wall" is a bit too brief to be useful for most purposes

Missed out the entire Spanish-American war dealie. I guess they forgot the Alamo.

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (3, Informative)

Gryle (933382) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655036)

The Battle of the Alamo occurred during the Texian revolt from Mexico and has nothing to do with the Spanish-American War. Unless you're just making a list of things the NY Times didn't put on the wall.

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655342)

Not my country. All I know about it I got from watching Zorro, King of the Hill, and the odd Western. My knowledge, to sum up, is that there was a Spanish-American War, that Texas used to be part of Mexico (spanish colony), and now it's a state. There was a battle at the Alamo. So, given that sparse information, it's not unreasonable to conclude that the Alamo massacre was part of the Spanish-American War.

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655214)

I guess you forgot the Maine.

Re:You know... that might not be a bad idea... (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655398)

'Christopher Columbus wrote on America's wall: 'This IS India, right?,'

He didn't say that, he was Italian, he said:
Questa è l'India, giusto?

I didn't know I "friended" it to begin with (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654450)

How to I unfriend it?

Re:I didn't know I "friended" it to begin with (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654774)

Stop reading /.

By jingo! (0, Troll)

Any Web Loco (555458) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654458)

By jingo you American's are inspiring! Such self-awareness, such humility, such jingoism!

Re:By jingo! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654652)

How fitting. Your comments are both petty and bourgeois.

Too gay for words. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654464)

and not in the good way.

Re:Too gay for words. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654954)

That's called Ghey.

Re:Too gay for words. (3, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655024)

That's called Ghey.

No. The word 'Ghey' was invented by mouth-breathing morons who felt bad about getting ostracized for their use of the word 'Gay' but didn't really want to stop using it either.

And like all good compromises, everybody hates the resultant state of affairs.

Followed By ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654474)

"10% unemployment reduction ensues" followed by "millions and millions and millions of unemployed are now happy to have a job" followed by "liberals refuse to accept or comprehend this concept for the next 30 years".

America (-1, Flamebait)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654478)

-1 Flamebait

Re:America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654684)

-1 Flamebait

In other words, the post did not espouse the Liberal point of view, so it automatically becomes "flamebait". I'll give you a -2, Subjective and Intolerant.

So... (3, Insightful)

feepness (543479) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654480)

There are around 150,000 troops in Iraq/Afghanistan. We have bases all over the world. We are currently bombing other nations (Libya/Yemen/Somalia). We have bases in over a hundred other countries around the world.

When did we stop nation building again?

You are not nation building (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654600)

You are maintaining an empire.

HTH.

Re:You are not nation building (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654672)

You, as in the puppet Obama administration is maintaining an empire.

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654646)

When did we stop nation building again?

When we became too P.C. to finish a war. If we're nation building now, it's somebody else's nation and financed by our national debt.

Re:So... (1, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655004)

it's somebody else's nation and financed by our national debt.

You have to know who your pimp is. Financing is done by China and Japan, since they own most of the national debt (the US government holds most of the rest, but that's just the fluff that's propping up the illusion of the US dollar).

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655292)

I didn't know peace was "PC". So to be a tough realist I should support spending another trillion bucks? I thought conservatives were against pissing away money.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655350)

The last nation we did actual nation building in was Japan....burn everything to the ground to the point that the survivors think we are going to kill them too.....and then rebuild.

Verses what we do now, which is sort of pick around the edges piss off a bunch of people, act in a semi-timid manner that makes people think they have a say in what we are doing, and then flip flop for ten years and once we are completely demoralized and broke, leave and have to listen to the bitching for the next 50 years of how we screwed up everything.

Last time I checked all of the mess in the Middle East, Asia, and South America can be laid at three countries' feet. Spain (South America), England (Middle East), and France (Asia). For centuries these countries ran around messing with anyone and everyone in the name of their empires and some how the US get's the blame for all of it.

I say if it is that urgent we go interviene someplace it should be so terrible (shock and awe was weak cheese) that noone wants us to step in and when we do they cooporate because they are gratefull that we had the restraint not to exterminate every last mother fucking one of them (occassionally we should have no restraint just to get the point accross) and then leave after we set things up the way we want them set up.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655376)

Absolutely right - I'm sick and tired of all the negativity that is directed against our military forces esp in relation to Afghanistan. You can say what you like about that conflict but we're gonna have a fantastic team for the Paralympic Games in 2012!

Re:So... (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654976)

You don't build a nation with bombs. You destroy a nation with them. You build a nation with schools, infrastructure, trade, etc.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655080)

It isn't profitable to build private schools and infrastructure in a war torn country, and it's too socialist to build public schools and infrastructure. Trading only works if they have money already.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655218)

Thus, there is no nation building going on.

Re:So... (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655408)

When did we stop nation building again?

When Obama failed to get his tax hike through, the Chinese bought all your bad debt, and Congress refused to allow Obama anymore money. Happy fucking Independence Day :D

Turrorists. (5, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654490)

A part of me can't help but think of what our founding fathers would think of America today and how quickly they'd be branded as terrorists.

War on Drugs, TSA, 'mandatory' DUI checkpoints, gun control, police abuses, etc, etc.

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.-

Imagine if a group of informed citizens stood up and sent that to the feds. How quickly would they be shut down?

Re:Turrorists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654580)

They wouldn't be -shut down-, per se, they'd just be accused of molesting baby kittens until the whole thing blew over.

Re:Turrorists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654692)

This speech is dangerous.

Re:Turrorists. (1)

blcamp (211756) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654696)

I've posted that passage from the Declaration on my Facebook page many times - including today - and I haven't been "shut down".

And you know what? They ain't shutting me down... or shutting me UP... until I stop making CO2.

Re:Turrorists. (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654798)

They shut others up. Like that one who said some president was a dick and he was forced to apologize.

Sure, it wasn't the government that made him shut up and that makes it even worse,

Re:Turrorists. (4, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654888)

If you're going to relay that anecdote you might want to point out that the individual was a journalist and made the comment on live TV while he was acting in an official capacity. This wasn't a matter of some random individual calling the President a dick on his or her free time.

And it was the right thing to do, journalists are not supposed to express personal views with company resources, they're supposed to be trying to be as impartial as possible.
Journalist apologizes for strongly worded criticism of Obama [thehill.com]

Re:Turrorists. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655034)

a journalist and made the comment on live TV while he was acting in an official capacity

ROFL. Yeah, journalists in "official" capacity. When did Americans stop thinking for themselves - oh let me rephrase that, when are Americans going to start thinking for themselves?

Re:Turrorists. (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655016)

I've posted that passage from the Declaration on my Facebook page many times - including today - and I haven't been "shut down"

That's because you don't really matter to those in power. You're a single person, and its doubtful in their eyes that you'll ever do anything but post quotes from old documents. Now if you and a thousand other people took to the streets chanting that passage, then they might take a little more notice.

Re:Turrorists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655026)

They ain't shutting me down... or shutting me UP... until I stop making CO2.

That's because you're completely and utterly non-threatening.

Re:Turrorists. (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654906)

You don't really have anything to worry about until you start stock-piling weapons. Think Waco Texas or Ruby Ridge. Start collecting guns on a compound, you might draw the attention of the feds, and it might be bad for you.

If all you do is talk, you will be mocked. Like Sharron Angle [about.com] , when she suggested using second-amendment remedies to take out Harry Reid. The whole point of democracy is we don't need an armed insurrection to change things. The War on Drugs, TSA, DUI checkpoints all continue because people don't care enough to vote against them. You might care, but most people are at least ok with the war on drugs. (note: DUI checkpoints are a state issue, which is different). If people cared to the point they were willing to fight for them, then things would change.

Re:Turrorists. (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655010)

I guess the war on drugs is allowed to continue on because the visible users are the "outsiders" of society. I wonder how many there is that wear a suit and tie each day, and inject or snort something in at times and places less publicly visible.

Re:Turrorists. (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655088)

Yeah, I agree.....the people who feel strongest about drug legalization are mainly the ones who want to do drugs. Other people are indifferent or see drug users as crack-idiots who live on the street; and let's face it, most of us know a couple people from High-school who ruined their lives with drugs.

Assuming that all drug users (that is, those who are aware enough to vote) would vote yes to drug legalization [wikipedia.org] , we can say there are fewer than 46% who use drugs regularly. The number for harder drugs, like cocaine or heroin, is probably much lower. Those drugs are really hard to be addicted to long-term without going off the deep end.

Re:Turrorists. (2)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655420)

"...most of us know a couple people from High-school who ruined their lives with drugs. "

I also know people that didn't amount to anything and were never on drugs. As well as some who still do drugs 20 years later who are quit successful, well adjusted, productive members of society. I've always thought there may be a strong a correlation not equal to causation issue with this.

Also (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655014)

He may well not care enough to vote. I'm amazed at the number of people who will whine online, but do not cast their vote. They will cry about how bad things are but cannot be bothered to take the least of steps to try and change it.

That is also part of the reason why things like this get supported. It isn't that so many people necessarily support it, it is that so many people who vote do. If the supporters of something all vote and the opponents of ti all don't then it'll continue even if the opponents outnumber the supporters.

That, combined with people's tendency to self select groups that agree with them leads to people having their view that "everyone" wants something changed. You get someone who hangs out with people who want drugs legalized, and who posts in forums online that want that and they come to believe that most of America wants it, the government just won't listen. They do not consider that there are people not in those groups that feel different, and that the groups may have a very low amount of voters and thus not matter so much to those in charge.

So remember: If you really care about something vote, and write to your representatives. It is never futile, even if you lose. Democracy isn't about getting your way 100% of the time.

Re:Also (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655140)

Yeah, you are probably right.

Another thing I am finding is that a lot of people lack knowledge of basic American civics (maybe other countries too, I don't know). They don't understand how government works, so they don't understand how things can change. This leads them to seeing government as a giant monolithic evil 'thing,' instead of an extension of the will of the people.

Then they don't vote, and the cycle perpetuates itself.

Re:Turrorists. (3, Insightful)

The Great Pretender (975978) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654912)

While interesting, the thing that bothers me about this exercise is it puts the focus on friending/unfriending the US, but as with a lot of these exercises it completely ignores the assholishness of all those countries critiquing the US. I'm British by birth, lived there 23 years, came to the US and now naturalized. As much as people want to be critical about the US history, I grew up learning how Britain has been completely prickish throughout the whole of history in general. The difference I suppose is that we were taught about this in school. The point being there is no country, the US included, out there that who has the right to critique any countries history without critiquing their own. People in glasshouse shouldn't throw stones.

Re:Turrorists. (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654988)

I wonder if those founding fathers ever considered a nation that would span the continent when they wrote that document.

Re:Turrorists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655414)

Illegal since 1940. [wikimedia.org]

LEAVE AND TAKE YOUR TOWELS WITH YOU !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654536)

We don't want your kind around here anyway !!

Not the First (1)

Khomar (529552) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654544)

While I am certain the religious content of this video will not be liked by many on Slashdot, it should be noted that this is not the first time this idea was used -- to mimic social media to explain history. In my opinion, the video was far more creative in the telling of its story as well. It creatively shows the story of Christmas with great insight and thoughtfulness.

A Social Network Christmas [youtube.com]

Ronald Reagan (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654614)

Let's see... When the inept Carter admin was overthrown I got a tax cut. It was my first job out of college and the pay sucked. Hardly upper class.

And wait, there's more. The tax cuts gave us a couple decades of growth. Oh, and the Soviet empire fell.

You know, he was a good president after all.

Re:Ronald Reagan (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654910)

Not really, he gave us $4tn in deficits, several bubbles in the equities market and led the nation to increasingly hand over its money to the rich on the basis of a completely disproven theory of economics. Hell, even Reagan himself know that tax cuts for the rich were not a panacea which is why he raised them that second year in office.

Re:Ronald Reagan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654962)

The actor?! Who's Vice President? Jerry Lewis?

Re:Ronald Reagan (1)

approachingZero (1365381) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655198)

Revenue to the US Treasury increased under Reagan, unfortunately the Congress (Tim O'Neil & Co.) increased spending even more. Quacks like Krugman spend their entire lives trying to prove Reagan was a failure, it's pretty sad really. Sure, Reagan raised taxes here and lowered them there. The bottom line is if punish those who grow the economy to the point where they stop don't act surprised when that's what happens.

Birthday? (2)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654628)

Just because you declare independance doesn't make you a country. Try again on April 9, when the treaty that ended the war of independance was ratified, and the former colonies became recognized as their own country. If anything, July 4 (or July 2, or August 2 depending on which historian you're reading and what your point of view is) is America's "Conception Day".

Re:Birthday? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654732)

What I've learned about people and socially accepted facts:
You may be right, but it really doesn't matter.
Eg. Jesus wasn't born on Dec 25th...many people know this, yet they don't care.
Etc.
Etc.

Re:Birthday? (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654940)

Had we lost the war we wouldn't be observing Independence day at all. The reason we observe it on July 4th is because that was the day on which the Declaration of Independence was signed and the day on which quite a few individuals more or less signed their own death warrants had the bid failed.

I think it's the right choice as it better exemplifies the spirit of the revolution than the day upon which we succeeded in throwing the Brits out.

Re:Birthday? (1, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655060)

So what does the spirit of the revolution have to say about the American media obsession with the British royal family? Cake and eat it too?

Re:Birthday? (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655184)

That Americans aren't so petty as to hold a grudge against the British for two hundred years.

Re:Birthday? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655216)

I don't see any problem with that, as long as they're over there and not over here for reasons other than a visit. Considering that we haven't had any wars with the Brits in nearly 200 years, I'm not sure there's anything wrong with being fascinated by the royal family.

Re:Birthday? (1)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655224)

I'm not saying "Don't celebrate it." There is of course reason to celebrate July 4. I'm just saying it's not America's birthday.

Re:Birthday? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655504)

Says you, we consider that to be the event that signifies the start of our country. It's the point when we stopped recognizing the crown as the ruler of our land. Strikes me as a completely legitimate way of deciding when to start counting.

no (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654676)

People loath America, but they aren't going to because we give them billions in aid every year why our citizens are being kicked out of their homes.

CASEY ANTHONY INNOCENT OF ALL CHARGES !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654718)

O.J. calls Casey Anthony to congratulate her on a killing well done, saying if the duct tape don't fit you must aquit !!

Aren't they missing the progressive era? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654726)

America likes Eugenics.
America likes Sterilization.
"Three generations of imbeciles are enough!"
America likes Prohibition.
Woodrow Wilson shares Nationalistic Militarism.
    Italy and Germany like this.

Oh, hey, how about the NY Times's own wall?
"Walter Duranty sets Russian famine to Private."
"Pulitzer Prize committee likes Walter Duranty."
(70 years pass...)
"Pulitzer Prize committee unfriends Walter Duranty."

News for nerds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654746)

... stuff that matter.

Funny To Whom? (1, Insightful)

blcamp (211756) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654768)

Clever? I think not. Facebook satire has been around ever since Facebook hit the big time. This is not original by any means.

On top of that, the lefty drivel and Bush-bashing has no appeal for, oh, at least half of the NYT's potential audience. Unless of course, they no longer have any interest in having readership that leans to the right.

Re:Funny To Whom? (2)

hercubus (755805) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655316)

the lefty drivel and Bush-bashing has no appeal for, oh, at least half of the NYT's potential audience

obviously you lean right. did you not get the memo that right-thinking, right-leaning people should only head to "nytimes.com" to bitch at Krugman? to suggest that a "real American" would ever be in the NY Times audience shows your commitment to the cause must be flagging or flaccid. the left still has its Mojo, just ask Mr. Weiner. no flaccid problems there!

Re:Funny To Whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655382)

Conservatives read the NYT? Since when?

Wish they'd done a better job immitating FB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654784)

Seems like the authors don't really know how Facebook works. It would have been nice and more funny if they'd done a better job imitating existing notifications on FB, gotten the fonts right, etc.

Wrong, wrong & again wrong. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36654788)

America? No.. USA is a PART of America, and it's citizens are less than 50% of the total population.

You also got the Columbus part wrong, Leif Ericson was the first European to step foot in Northern America, 500 years before Columbus.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leif_Ericson

Columbus (1)

holizz (737615) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654866)

Columbus never landed on US soil - I even knew that before I read a single book on US history. I won't bother reading TFA since it's obviously a load of crap.

Totally off topic here (5, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654872)

I had a bit of an epiphany today about date formats. Any other day of the year and this would be known as July 4th, 2011 (ie Sept 11th), and any attempt by other people to say "why are you using such a dumb arsed date format?" would be met by jeers of "It's our date format and we'll do what we like with it". However, today, on what is probably the most venerable US national holiday its known as "4th of July" .. just like it would be known in pretty well every other country in the world. I can't say that I know the history of why this is, but I do find it curious.

Tacky... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#36654878)

I find the "Lets make a fake facebook wall" means of communicating to be incredibly tacky and not at all funny or smart,

You're still reading a ton of text anyway.

Deja vu all over again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36655388)

Wasn't there something very much like this, possibly last year around here?

I'm sure I've seen this before. Though the linked article appears to be new-ish, the content doesn't appear to be. Can't recall the original (or at least previous) take though.

friend or foe (3, Insightful)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 2 years ago | (#36655466)

It wouldn't bother me if some of our so-called "friends" quit being our friends. What does bother me is the fact that these "friends" are our friends because we give them money. In an economy that has yet to see the bottom, our so-called "friends" would understand if the money stopped, and those that don't understand, screw 'em. The abuses of the state department in squandering the tax money of the US voters while the voters once again, have to tighten their collective belts. The payoffs to these "friends" does nothing more than prop up totalitarian regimes and support an illicit drug industry.
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