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Talk:United States of America

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This is not a political forum; please restrict all discussion here to discussion about how best to improve the United States of America article. Off topic debates, political rants, nonsense poetry, etc. will all be removed as it is added. This is a travel guide and political disputes are utterly irrelevant except insofar as they directly bear upon the experience of a traveller. See Wikivoyage:Be fair#Political disputes for further guidelines.


Archived discussions

Formatting and language conventions

For articles about the United States, please use the 12-hour clock to show times, e.g. 9AM-noon and 6PM-midnight.

Please show prices in this format: $100, and not USD 100, 100 dollars or US$100.

Please use American spelling.

Food deliveryEdit

Just a clarification on this. They often have a delivery fee and service fee tacked on when you order food delivery, so is that the tip, or do you need to tip on top of that? The dog2 (talk) 08:15, 31 December 2018 (UTC)

You need to tip, regardless, because the fee, if any, doesn't go to the delivery person. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:04, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
By the way, if you order through the likes of Deliveroo, Lieferando, and so on, you should tip as well. They are quite well known for undercutting the minimum wage and union-busting. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:58, 1 January 2019 (UTC)

Horse racingEdit

I think horse racing is a big enough deal in the U.S. to be worth a short mention like the one on the left. I don't think it's comparable to calling the Super Bowl a European event, as that game doesn't take place in Europe. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:53, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

And I will say it is travel relevant, because some people do travel to other countries to watch horse racing. The Kentucky Derby is most certainly one of the world's premier horse races, and coveted by the world's top jockeys. So I really think it's worth a brief mention. Even if you're not the biggest horse racing fan, some people want to go there just to experience the festivities.
If you insist on cutting, perhaps we can cut MLS out. Soccer is most certainly not popular in the U.S., except perhaps among European, African and Latin American immigrant communities. The dog2 (talk) 05:08, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
In 2017, 158,000 people attended the Derby, while MLS gets average attendance of 20,000 people per game. There are 408 regular season games, and a bunch of post-season games. Wikivoyage isn't just for international travel: it for people travelling within their home countries too.
Don't make the desire to have this article a reasonable length sound like something Ikan Kekek is "insisting on", it is something for which there is a clear consensus, and a lot of us would appreciate you respecting this consensus, instead of continuing to add to the article. In the past, you have made good efforts to trim this article. If you think there are things that should be added, others editors are more likely to be receptive to those additions if you trim some of the details in the article at the same time. Proposing to cut soccer, which has hugely bigger attendance than the Kentucky Derby, isn't going to fly. Ground Zero (talk) 10:15, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
That comment wasn't targeted at Ikan Kekek, and he's not the one who brought up the issue of length. But anyway, I will see what I can cut from the history section. Perhaps that can do with trimming of a few details.
I will say though that many horse racing fans will travel to the US to watch the Kentucky Derby, just as many tennis fans travel to the US to watch the US Open, and many golf fans travel to the US to watch the Masters. On the other hand, very few soccer fans, except maybe Canadians supporting their local MLS teams, will specifically make a trip to the US to watch soccer. Europe, South America and I'd say even Mexico make much better destinations for that. An American MLS fan who travels regularly to support his local team would probably not need to read this article, while a foreigner looking to experience US sports culture might find this useful.
And finally, what's the stats on the length of country articles? The U.S. is a much bigger country than say, Germany or France, so I don't think it's fair comparison to say the article is too long on the basis that it is longer than those articles. How does it compare to say, the China article? That would be more fair since both countries are of a similar size. The dog2 (talk) 13:02, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
It's definitely a good idea to broach any idea that would increase the length of this article even very slightly (like the brief mention of horse racing does) on this page, but I don't think that the idea of limiting the length of this article is so sacrosanct that it should be the enemy of useful content. Horse racing merits a brief mention. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:18, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
USA (251,000 bytes) is longer than Germany (233,000) and France (158,000), but not as long as China (305,000). I think that China is longer than it needs to be. The longer the article, the more difficult it is for readers to find information. Splitting detailed information into separate articles makes it easier to navigate. The USA article is an instructive case: after we agreed to cut it down, a lot of detailed information was shifted to branch articles so that it is still available for readers interested in specific topics. There is a tendency to keep adding more bits and pieces so that the article expands over time unless we keep watching it. Adding background information, like history and politics, adds bulk that duplicates what is available through Wikipedia, and makes finding travel information more difficult. I doubt there are any Wikivoyage readers who are unaware of Wikipedia, and we provide a link to its article anyway. Ground Zero (talk) 13:52, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps some stuff from the Eat section can be moved into the American cuisine article. I'm not the best person for this, but I'd be open to looking at what people propose.
And if you want to start an expedition to shorten the China article, I'd be happy to participate in that discussion as well. The dog2 (talk) 16:11, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
I've tried to do some trimming, so hopefully now there won't be so much opposition to a brief mention of horse racing. The dog2 (talk) 20:41, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
The trimming, if anything, weakens the argument that horse racing should be mentioned. This is not a matter of "making room": the information about horse racing was not primarily deleted because the article is too long (though that was a secondary reason), but because it's no more than a minor footnote in American culture. And in an article where facts of lesser importance have been moved to sub-articles like American cuisine and only the essential broad stokes remain, the horse racing factoid seems even more minor and out of place by comparison. In the end, that's what we're striving for in moving content to different articles: not reducing length so much as reducing the level of detail and thus the level of difficulty in digesting the information. And it's also a way to prevent those sub-articles from languishing in obscurity, since readers who want to dig deeper on any particular sub-topic will have no choice but to seek out the more detailed information there. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:59, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
I understand about not adding trivial things, but the Kentucky Derby is a major event in the world horse racing calendar. MLS may have a larger cumulative audience over the entire season, but nobody really cares about American soccer. In any case, even the top American players aspire to play in Europe. And I bet you the Kentucky Derby gets more attention from average Americans than MLS games, so if horse racing is too trivial to be mentioned, then MLS doesn't belong in the article either. A foreigner is certainly more likely to visit the US to watch the Kentucky Derby than to catch an MLS game. At the end of the day, shouldn't the benchmark we use be how much interest the event will has to a traveller? The dog2 (talk) 05:19, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Why do you exclude Americans in this discussion and focus only on foreign tourism? Domestic tourism is much more important to the US than international tourism. In 2018, domestic travellers spent $933 billion, and international travellers spent $156 billion in the U.S. according to the US Travel Association. We want those domestic travellers to be our readers as much as we want international travellers to be our readers. Ground Zero (talk) 18:41, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The "Do" section should be about typical things for travellers to do when visiting the United States. And let's be clear here about what you're actually arguing. You're saying that because of the importance of the Kentucky Derby, the entire sport of horse racing qualifies as a "typical thing for travellers to do when visiting the United States". But we're talking about a single event that takes place in a single location for one day out of the year, with a follower base that, by and large, couldn't care less about horse racing on the other 364 days of the year. As for the Kentucky Derby itself, no one is arguing that it shouldn't be mentioned in Horse racing, that Churchill Downs doesn't merit a listing in Louisville, or even that the Kentucky article wouldn't be an appropriate venue for this information. But individual events don't belong in this article for the same reason that we wouldn't list an individual restaurant or hotel, regardless if it were the most important or famous one in the country.
Furthermore, you're also arguing that soccer does not qualify as a "typical thing for travellers to do when visiting the United States" despite the fact that MLS alone comprises 24 teams that play literally hundreds of games every year. Regardless if "nobody [outside the U.S.] really cares about American soccer", it's a phenomenon that applies to the entire country rather than one specific location, and it's far more plausible that a soccer fan from overseas might coincidentally find himself in a city with a team on a game day and decide to attend. And that's assuming your statement regarding indifference to American soccer is true: given that MLS is becoming a major destination for overseas superstars toward the end of their careers after they've already proven themselves in Europe or elsewhere (i.e. David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, etc), it's also rather unbelievable that none of those players' fans would be inclined to come overseas to see them in action again. Do you see the difference here?
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:47, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Cutting down the China article is a worthwhile project, and I'll add it to my to-do list, but at the moment I am engaged in a one-person expedition to upgrade Canadian city-level articles from "outline" to "usable". The country-level articles are in good shape: we can do more to make Wikivoyage a good travel guide by bringing up the quality of articles about smaller places than by forever fussing over and expanding already detailed articles. I think any time a reader hits an outline or stub article, they go away frustrated by not finding anything useful when they click through. The USA article isn't a problem for us. Ground Zero (talk) 18:50, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Andre's last comment pointing out that this is an individual event has convinced me that the Kentucky Derby shouldn't be in an already big country-level article. I agree with removing it. Ground Zero (talk) 19:08, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

Dietary supplementsEdit

I think this section leaves the "information for travellers" category and goes straight into "information about daily life" category. Information about daily life in the USA is far too big a subject to be covered in a single article in a travel guide. We don't provide general diet and nutrition advice here, so why single out supplements for comment? Ground Zero (talk) 16:29, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

I agree. On top of that the section was wrong, but I've corrected the errors I noticed (there may be other errors I missed). Inadequate regulation of dietary supplements is not limited to the United States, and this is pretty deep into the weeds for a travel guide. On the other hand people from China do sometimes shop for vitamins in Hong Kong or Australia—I can imagine they might do it in the US too. I'd say remove or move to Shopping in the United States. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:59, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
My parents sometimes go to the drug store to purchase dietary supplements when they visit me because there are some supplements that are not available in Singapore. I'm pretty sure most visitors to the U.S. will come across Walgreens, Target or Wal-mart, and you will find dietary supplements sold in those places. So I think it is useful to let visitors know that you can't trust what's on the label. Especially on megavitamins, I think this is a safety issue, and because of the lack of regulation, the companies can just sell it to you and claim that is it good for you when it is actually harmful. It may not be widely known, but I assure you I am following scientific consensus on this. Even though popular opinion is that Vitamin C is water-soluble and therefore not a safety risk, at high enough doses it does become toxic just like anything else. It's just that what would be considered a dangerous dose is much higher for Vitamin C than for a fat-soluble vitamin like Vitamin A, but some of these megavitamins actually contain Vitamin C at high enough doses that it becomes toxic (Think of it this way. If you come across a pill that contains as much Vitamin C as 3 gallons of orange juice, there is probably a good reason why your stomach is not big enough to hold 3 gallons of orange juice, so taking that pill is probably a bad idea).
@Mx. Granger: I honestly don't think I'm being inaccurate. I have taken a university-level class in toxicology, and this was something that was brought up by the professor. Also go and check out some of the content put out by Paul Offit, a doctor who has been the main public face leading the fight against pseudoscience such as the anti-vaccine movement, and he brings this up to. I don't know if you're familiar Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. Basically, what happened was that the FDA tried to regulate the dietary supplement industry, but the industry fought back and lobbied against it, leading Congress to pass that particular legislation that effectively prevented the FDA from regulating the industry except for when it came to enforcing Good Manufacturing Practice. The dog2 (talk) 17:05, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm certainly not an expert, though for what it's worth I've taken a university-level class in nutrition (but not toxicology). I think many people agree that the industry is insufficiently regulated, but saying that it's completely unregulated is not true. As you mention, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 allows the FDA to regulate supplements for good manufacturing practices.
At your suggestion, I looked up some materials by Paul Offit about supplements, but they seem to be concerned about unsubstantiated health claims and undisclosed risks, rather than inaccuracies in the quantity of nutrients that the products contain.
How would you feel about discussing supplements in Shopping in the United States but not this article? —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:29, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Edit: The dog2 changed the comment above after I replied. This is the comment I was responding to. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:41, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm open to moving it there. The dog2 (talk) 17:34, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I have done so. Ground Zero (talk) 18:03, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Well-done, everyone. Good solution. And yes, lab tests have shown that you can't trust that the stated amounts of vitamins are really in each pill or capsule. I could look for links, but I think what's now in Shopping in the United States covers the problems sufficiently, anyway. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:18, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Names for US citiesEdit

Swept in from the pub

Currently, the page names for US cities are like "Cambridge (Massachusetts)" or "Covington (Kentucky)". But US cities are far more often called "Cambridge, Massachusetts" or "Covington, Kentucky". Should we change the names to the more common form? SmileKat40 (talk) 07:36, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

No, taking the name used by the people in that region is fine when there are not other places with the same name. When people in other regions use the same name for another location then the page name should be with bracketed region name. Within the article you obviously just used the name without region. The title on the pagebanner can also be overridden. --Traveler100 (talk) 08:03, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

Native American cuisineEdit

I've noticed there is no mention of this anywhere in this article or the American cuisine article. Shouldn't we mention something about this for visitors who are curious to try it? Unfortunately, I'm quite ignorant when it comes to this, so would it be possible for anyone to add this in? The dog2 (talk) 14:53, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

American cuisine#Native American -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:10, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

Lua error: not enough memoryEdit

Am I the only one who can see this error message, in bold, red text which is twice the size of our normal text? In 'Understand', it's in place of the quickbar, and then in place of all the temperature templates. There are other pockets of this throughout the article, always instead of a template. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:48, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

I see that too. Ground Zero (talk) 20:58, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
It seems to be something wrong with Template:Pagebanner—removing the template solves the problem. Is anyone familiar enough with templates to figure out what's going wrong? User:ARR8? —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:02, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

Chinese/Lunar New YearEdit

Let's figure out how we should handle this. The U.S. is also home to large ethnic Korean and Vietnamese communities, in addition to a large ethnic Chinese community, and they all celebrate their new year on the same day. I don't think saying that Korean- and Vietnamese-Americans celebrate the Chinese New Year is appropriate because the Koreans and Vietnamese do not identify as Chinese, and lumping them under "Chinese" does seem to hark back to more racist times when people lumped all Asians together as "Chinese" and ignored the significant cultural differences between different Asian ethnic groups (and believe it or not, I still occasionally encounter such attitudes even today). "Asian" New Year is also not appropriate, because the Japanese, Thais and Burmese are Asians too, and celebrate their new years on different days. While I understand the need to avoid bloat, I also think we should reasonably try to be inclusive and not perpetuate old racist stereotypes that could be offensive to their respective communities. Therefore, while it may not be as well-known a name, I think we should stick to "Lunar" New Year as a neutral and inclusive term. The dog2 (talk) 18:40, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

But the Jewish New Year is also a lunar New Year. Any lunar calendar has a new year's day. There may be no way to avoid something like "Lunar (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese) New Year".

Do we really need to get into the weeds about this in the United States of America article? If there is a need to edit this article further, care should be taken not to add it its considerable length. We should not just keep dumping more text in whenever something occurs to us that may be of passing interest to travellers. Let's also remember that we don't want to bore readers with excessive detail. Ground Zero (talk) 19:43, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

How about "Chinese (Korean, Vietnamese) New Year"? Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:45, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Ground Zero, I saw your solution and I'm fine with it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:15, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Agreed. w:Chinese New Year says right at the beginning "Chinese New Year (or generally referred to as Lunar New Year globally)". An internet search for cnn "chinese new year" turns up vastly more results than a similar search for Vietnamese or Korean New Year, while "Lunar New Year" turns up almost as many as Chinese New Year. Same with a search for site:.gov "chinese new year" versus other countries.
Ground Zero's latest edit (making it "Chinese or Lunar New Year") seems like a perfect solution. It covers the two most common names for this US holiday, and omits others that travellers are less likely to hear. TTCF, and a list of holidays is not the place to dive into a subtle aspect of the US's racial history. --Bigpeteb (talk) 20:20, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
That solution works for me too. And I was not suggesting that we dive to into the US's racial history in the article. I was only bringing it up here to explain why lumping the Koreans and Vietnamese under "Chinese" absolutely cannot stand. And given that Korean- and Vietnamese-Americans are also very prominent Asian-American groups, I also didn't think it was appropriate to leave them out. The dog2 (talk) 20:30, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── isn't the Vietnamese name for that festival "Tet" and more used in the west than any "New Year" term at least since the eponymous offensive in the Vietnam War... Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:23, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Oh for God's sake please let's not further question a perfectly good solution. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:02, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
The "issue" was a petty non-issue ("Chinese New Year" is what Americans call it and it's done so without malice. There is nothing "anti-Korean" or "uninclusive" about calling Chinese New Year Chinese New Year), but yes, it seems to be solved. Tet is not important in the US. Just because people have ancestry from abroad doesn't mean we need to list every country's New Year and all of their other holidays in the US article... ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:50, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

Should we include a warning box at USA?Edit

Swept in from the pub

Per https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/08/06/gun-violence-america-prompts-growing-list-countries-issue-travel-warnings/Justin (koavf)TCM 22:28, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Definitely not the entire country but if there are states or cities where crime and gun violence is particularly high, or if they have an established association with antisemitism, white nationalism, etc. it may be worth a mention. It would have to be comparable to other destinations which have a warning box. Otherwise mentioning it in "Stay Safe" is sufficient. Gizza (roam) 22:33, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
Related discussion at Talk:Avoiding_travel_through_the_United_States#Some_governments_issue_warnings. Pashley (talk) 22:56, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
No. The United States is a huge country, with many regions where crime is not rampant. High crime rates should be explained in stay safe, and IMO, should only include caution or warningboxes in extreme cases. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 00:53, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
To be honest, a mass shooting can happen anywhere, and there is no way to predict where it's going to happen. It's purely dependent on luck. And if you're wandering whether or not the U.S. is a war zone, at least in the areas a tourist is likely to visit, it is not. Most of the gun violence occurs in very poor areas that are of little to no interest to a tourist. So at this point, I will say a warning box is neither helpful nor warranted. The dog2 (talk) 03:22, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Mass murders are up, but overall homicides are down drastically from a couple of decades ago. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:29, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Speaking of which, although I think a warning box is overboard, I think it may be worth considering if a mention of white nationalist terrorism in the "Stay safe" section is appropriate. I don't think it is rampant, but if you believe the statistics, it seems to have gone up in the past few years, and the vast majority (98% in 2018, if I'm not mistaken) of terrorist attacks in the USA these days are committed by white nationalists. That said, as a tourist, even if you are not white, I still think that it is quite unlikely that you will be caught in one, so that brings into question how useful such a mention would be for travellers. The dog2 (talk) 03:57, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
I feel this discussion is a little hypocritical. A travel warning is a travel warning - it is not up to us to decide how to interpret it. Interestingly, we do not have travel warnings for the US and Israel but Myanmar, Karabakh, the West Bank and many others where dangers to travellers might be equally high/low.
The US is a gun country, let's face it and I reckon we are all on the non-IRA side. I think it is just fair to all travellers, especially non-English, to emphasis this and recommend caution.
Cheers Ceever (talk) 09:38, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Pretty much all of the above. USA does have 'challenges' with gun violence, but these are best addressed in 'stay safe'. Travel warnings are more appropriate for literal war zones or a recent uptake in violence. Andrewssi2 (talk) 10:14, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Andrewssi2, that's how I feel. Myanmar is a rather different case, since as I understand it, Muslims are being thrown out of the country (making it dangerous for Muslims to visit, I assume). I think, with the white nationalist issue, it seems to be an increasing problem and we'll have to watch how it goes. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:14, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────In the case of Myanmar, it's just the Rohingya people in Rakhine State. If you're a Muslim tourist visiting Yangon, that is not a problem. In fact, quite a significant minority of the Indian community in Yangon are Muslims, and there are mosques in Little India to serve them.

And with regard to crime, both South Africa and Brazil have higher violent crime rates than the US, and we do not have a warning box in those countries' articles, so no, one is not warranted in the USA article. The dog2 (talk) 13:36, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

Never mind then about Myanmar. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:11, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm sympathetic to Ceever's point. I think it's reasonable to mention the warnings in "Stay safe", while putting them into context. Because if you think about it, there's no doubt that during the Second Intifada, there would have been a travel warning about terrorism in Israel, although the danger has always been much greater to be killed in a road accident while in Israel than to be killed in any of the wars or acts of terror. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:17, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
The United States is too big to paint with a broad brush. Crime and gun violence rates vary greatly across the country. A similar approach should be adopted for other countries where the danger is confined to a few parts of the country (if it is the case that only one state in Myanmar is dangerous). Gizza (roam) 02:21, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
As I said, sensational mass murders are up, while the number of homicide deaths is way down. That's part of putting things into perspective. And though the U.S. is much safer per driver/passenger hour than Israel, road accidents are a way, way more likely cause of death than a gunshot. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:27, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I think the way to do it will be to say that there has been a rise in white nationalist terrorist attacks in the past few years, and that the locations where they occur are random and impossible to predict, but as a tourist your chances of being caught in one are slim. The dog2 (talk) 02:45, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes, and that deaths from homicide are also way down, in spite of the public impact of a string of high-profile mass shootings. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:19, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

I unironically think all our driving articles should come with warning boxes, but I know it's not a viewpoint that'll ever get majority support. Hobbitschuster (talk) 08:30, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

I actually see your point, but at the same time, I think drivers should understand the high level of risk that comes with that mode of transportation before they read our articles. We are not responsible for someone's crash of bad driving, as dangerous as it may be. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:13, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
By the way, should we move this discussion to Talk: United States of America? I think that will be a more appropriate place to continue this. The dog2 (talk) 13:27, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Tough question. I personally think that makes sense, but my decision would rely upon what others think. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:44, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't think the US article needs a warning box for this. In spite of the fun and sensational claims that they're "mostly white nationalists", most of the listed mass shootings do not seem to have any political or ideological bent at all [1] as many are described as escalating from private disputes and arguments. I think the Stay Safe intro describes the situation best "Headline-grabbing major crimes give the U.S. a reputation for crime", but perhaps a short sentence for acknowledgment purposes could be added to the "Gun" section. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:12, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
In minor cases, do we know? I agree that we don't need to go all-out on this, but the racist violence issue should be covered somewhere. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:23, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Agreed. A warning box is overboard, but facts are facts. While it's true that globally, Islamic extremism is responsible for the most terrorism-related deaths, in the U.S., it is white nationalism that is responsible for the most terrorism-related deaths. Not all mass shootings are tied to a particular ideology (therefore, those are not classified as "terrorism"), but among those that are, these are the facts. The dog2 (talk) 16:41, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
How long has that been the case? It seems that "white nationalism," as it is called, has grown over the last couple years. Probably since the Charlotte incident. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:43, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────My understanding is that statement was true as of 2017 and I think 2018. Of course, the statistics for 2019 are not out yet since the year isn't over. Speaking of which, while there has been no official statement on this, there are indications that the Dayton, Ohio mass shooting may be a left-wing terrorist attack, since the shooter's social media posts indicated sympathies for violence in the name of left-wing causes. Of course, even if true, that's just an isolated incident, and if you look at the bigger trend, there have been far more white nationalist incidents. The dog2 (talk) 17:43, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Is the proposal then to add a brief statement about domestic terrorism, gun violence, or both? The two are related but by no means the same. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 09:34, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
At this point I'm quite ambivalent about whether to add anything at all, but if anything is to be added, I lean towards white nationalist terrorism. If you look at official statistics, there's no question it's been on the rise in the past few years, but that said, it's still not prevalent enough for us to need to warn non-white vistors away from the U.S. The dog2 (talk) 21:18, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
@The dog2: But it's not for us to say: if several places that we think provide reliable and valuable travel advisories publish them, then we don't need to otherwise vet or second-guess them: we should just republish them. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:01, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Some other nations have issued travel advisories. Trump threatens to retaliate against countries like Japan, Canada, Uruguay that issued travel warnings Pashley (talk) 17:21, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Another: https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2019/08/countries-offer-travel-warnings-over-us-violence-and-racism-donald-trump-threatens-retaliation.htmlJustin (koavf)TCM 17:41, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

I agree with you that we are duty-bound to post travel advisories from countries that are deemed generally more or less reliable in issuing them. The issues surrounding them can be discussed in a bit more detail in United States#Stay safe, but we don't have the option to ignore a travel advisory from Canada because it's for the U.S., rather than Somalia, Israel or wherever. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:13, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Based on the warning box at Somalia, the only foreign department with a travel warning is NZ which has a yellow light: https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/north-america I recommend adding this to the top of USA. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:45, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
We should do so, absolutely. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:48, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
No. Official government travel warnings tend toward needless alarmism even in the best of times, and the more polarized and contentious international relations become, the more politicized such warnings tend to get and the more they need to be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, there have been several recent mass shootings that have received extensive media coverage, but are travellers to the U.S. really in more danger now than they were last year, two years ago, five years ago? The lack of any concomitant increase in the overall murder rate during that time period suggests not, or at least calls for a more nuanced approach to the topic than these overly simplistic warnings provide. I'm no fan of Trump, and believe me, I sympathize with the desire of other countries' governments to stick it to him, but unfortunately our focus has to remain on providing travellers with the most accurate and unbiased information possible. If a warningbox for the U.S. has been unnecessary heretofore, then it remains unnecessary now. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:56, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
We as armchair travel guides are not better equipped to judge on a case-by-case basis. If we assume that State Departments X, Y, and Z are reliable, then why are you second-guessing them now? New Zealand says that travel to America is more dangerous than Canada and less so than Mexico: sounds sensible to me. Either you think that NZ is generally not reliable or they are and if they are, then you shouldn't cherry-pick which travel advisories you personally think are bogus: let readers decide. Since ttcf, give them the information and the citation, and let them decide. —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:11, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm not cherry-picking reliable vs. bogus travel advisories; I'm prioritizing unpoliticizable hard statistics (i.e. the overall murder rate) over easily politicizable (and indeed frequently politicized) government warnings. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:15, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
That hasn't been our policy. If it becomes our policy, perhaps we should delete every governmental warning that we lard numerous articles with. If we'd post a New Zealand warning for Iraq or Afghanistan, what gives us the prerogative to omit their warning for the U.S.? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:32, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Iraq and Afghanistan are literal war zones, and the need for a warningbox on those articles is self-evident. I'd actually be fine with letting the text we place in those boxes speak for itself rather than supplementing it with links to specific advisories issued by specific countries, but with the U.S. we have the additional question of whether a warningbox is necessary at all. Again I would point to the lack of any statistically significant change in the U.S. murder rate that would warrant a travel advisory being in effect in 2019 that was not in effect in 2018 or previous years. As terrible as these mass shootings are, the cumulative effect is still a drop in the bucket compared to the dangers faced by travellers in many other countries for which we don't have warningboxes, and that's something that's not based on anything other than hard numbers. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:43, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
The point about statistics is a good one that I've made upthread, and it can be made in "Stay safe", but I think there's a fairly decent argument for some kind of warning for tourists, which is that while murders in general are down, mass-casualty murders are up, and tourists tend to congregate in places where there are big crowds, thereby exposing themselves to more danger from that kind of murderer. Moreover, though it's statistically a very small risk, it's still a bigger risk than in most other developed countries. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:52, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think this information can be covered as a section under "Stay safe". I'm a non-white foreigner living in the U.S., and I get to go about my daily life without incident for the most part. You can argue that that is because I live in a blue state, but I've also travelled to rural areas in solidly red states and never run into any major issues. So in short, a warning box is overboard. I am OK with mentioning mass shootings and white nationalist terrorism in the "Stay safe" section, but if I'm still comfortable letting my parents visit me here, we clearly do not need a warning box. In any case, you are far more likely to get murdered in South Africa or Brazil, but we don't have warning boxes in those countries' articles, so I just don't see how I could be convinced that one is required for the U.S. The dog2 (talk) 07:09, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

Exactly. Mass shootings have been in the news lately, and it's natural that travellers will have heard about them and be curious about the dangers they face. We absolutely should include something about them in "Stay safe". But if we include a warningbox, then we endorse the idea that travellers are somehow more likely to become victims of gun violence now than they would have been before, yet the numbers don't bear that out. I understand the argument that mass shootings are more likely to occur in places where tourists congregate than shootings in general, but as Thedog said, the risk is still miniscule compared to other countries like South Africa and Brazil for which we don't have warningboxes, and the idea that the U.S. and other developed countries ought to be held to more stringent requirements for avoiding warningboxes than developing countries strikes me as a case of the soft bigotry of low expectations vis-à-vis the latter. There are many developing countries, notably Indonesia, China, India, much of the Middle East, and even some African countries, where the murder rate is comparable to that of the developed world, so the logic for a double standard is questionable in any event. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:16, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Justin, the NZ website lists word-for-word identical warnings for Albania, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden in Europe. About the UK and several other countries, it says the same thing and adds a warning about crime or civil unrest. Would you reproduce the same warning on all of those countries, too? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:48, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
If we think NZ is reliable. If your argument is, "They have lots of these things indiscriminately" then we should remove them entirely. What we shouldn't do is have to hash out which individual ones we think are meaningful or not. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:07, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
We are a guide for travellers by travellers. Our job here is not to parrot what governments say, regardless of whether it's the New Zealand government, the Chinese government, the U.S. government or whichever other government, but to provide the most reliable and accurate information to potential travellers based on what's happening on the ground. So if there is a conflict between what some government says and what the situation on the ground actually is, I think we should most certainly follow the latter, because that is actually what is of concern to travellers. So yes, we absolutely should be allowed to judge whether or not a government's travel warning is fair when deciding whether or not to incorporate it into our articles. Blindly following some government's travel advisory without verifying whether or not it matches the actual situation on the ground is doing a disservice to travellers in my opinion. And think of this carefully. If the U.S. is really such a dangerous s***hole that a warning box would imply it to be, do you think I'd still be here? Unlike the Americans in this discussion, I have the option of packing up and moving back to Singapore should it ever come to that, and my family will do everything they can to get me out of America if it ever becomes that dangerous. So if I feel safe enough to continue living in America, why should we be unduly alarmist and warn potential tourists to stay away? The dog2 (talk) 20:23, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
"What we shouldn't do is have to hash out which individual ones we think are meaningful or not" is half of my argument. The other half is that travel advisories are routinely issued, or at least the language in them is routinely exaggerated, for political reasons. Together, they add up to the conclusion that we should regard all government-issued travel advisories as potentially politically motivated and therefore dubious, and avoid implicitly taking sides in political disputes, either by using the existence of government travel advisories as a rationale for adding a warningbox to a particular destination or by linking to government travel advisories within warningboxes. There are plenty of other ways for us to determine the real situation on the ground in any given place, to decide whether or not a warningbox is appropriate and if so, what information it should contain. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:49, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Because the subjective experience of one person is inevitably different than someone else. There are plenty of (e.g.) black persons in America who think it is dangerous and outright hostile to them. I personally know a white American who doesn't go anywhere except work and the grocery store because she is afraid of mass shootings. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:51, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
If we don't regard any government's warnings as reliable, we need to adopt a policy of not quoting or linking to them, and then we'll have to use some other justification for why we mention "controversial" things like genocide in Rakhine State of Myanmar (that is, controversial because Burmese people deny the facts). Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:57, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm not saying that we completely disregard government warnings. I'm saying that we can and should try to make an assessment on whether or not those warnings are fair. As AndreCarrotflower said, governments often issue travel warnings for political reasons, and that includes governments that most people would deem reliable. For instance, I visited Myanmar back in the day when the U.S. and virtually all Western governments had travel advisories advising people not to go there. In reality, it was no more dangerous than visiting Thailand or Vietnam, which most Western governments did not have similar advisories for. The dog2 (talk) 21:32, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I get you, but I think it's very important for us to have on record in some non-temporary place a clear statement of what our policy on government advisories is. I should say, I completely agree that travel warnings can be unreliable and biased. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:39, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree with the comment ACF made when this discussion got going earlier on the 19th. What matters is the situation: as he has stated in a different way, a travel warning to Iraq is one thing, but the US is another. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:11, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I think if a government has issued a travel advisory to a particular country, that can be a good signal that the issue is worth looking further into, for instance with a conversation like this one. What I'm against is the idea of not bothering to do our own research and instead taking those advisories at face value. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:20, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Anyway, moving forward, it appears that we do have a consensus on writing something in the "Stay safe" section, just not a warning box. Should we just proceed with that? The dog2 (talk) 01:56, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

Seeing that nobody objected, I went ahead and added the point under "Stay safe". Please feel free to phrase it in a better way if you can, but what I've tried to do is to cover the issue adequately without being unduly alarmist. The dog2 (talk) 00:58, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

Hiroshima and NagasakiEdit

I agree with AndreCarrotflower that "A travel guide is not the place to get into debates about whether or not the atomic bombing of Japan was necessary, but I disagree with that "abruptly ended the war" is an "accurate, apolitical statement". I think the statement gives the impression that the war would have lasted significantly (whatever that means) longer without the bombs – and ignores the horrific other effects. As such it is far from neutral and apolitical. I am sorry that I could not find a good short wording, due to deficiency in my English skills, but I think a more nuanced statement is needed if we are to mention the bombs (which we perhaps still should). --LPfi (talk) 17:20, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

It is an accurate statement - the atomic bombings were the direct cause of the abrupt end of the war, regardless of whether other scenarios would have caused the war to end with comparable abruptness - and the very fact that it ignores the question of those other hypothetical scenarios, and the inevitable moral debates that spring from them, is precisely what makes the statement apolitical. (As for "horrific", that's subjective; a perfectly tenable argument could be made that the bombings were a more humane option than a protracted and bloody invasion would have been. Personally, I'm of the opinion that the mere fact of the forward progress of human scientific knowledge made it inevitable that nuclear weapons would be developed by some nation at some point in the course of history; I'm just glad it was the Americans who ended up doing it and not the Nazis.) -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:19, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
I actually find this coverage of WWII to be quite sparse. I know we're trying to prune it down to just a summary and keep the details in other articles, but what we have now strikes me as too little. All we say is that the U.S. joined on the side of the Allies, and then in the next sentence, they dropped bombs on Japan and ended the war. There's no mention of the U.S.'s involvement in Europe, island hopping in the Pacific, or air raids on Japan. The latter should not be neglected, as the firebombing of Tokyo was more immediately destructive than either of the nuclear bombings. The nuclear bombings are important to mention in Japan, but this article is about the U.S., and I'm not sure I'd say they were the single biggest contribution the U.S. made to either front of the war. --Bigpeteb (talk) 22:17, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Yes, the war starts in the first sentence and ends in the next. I think it does need a little something more than what's there now, which more than implies that the atomic bomb abruptly ended the war on all fronts. It's basically true for the Pacific front but had no bearing on the European front. I don't think a lot of details need to be added, because none of the events happened in the US and like most US history texts, WWII is being mentioned mostly to showcase the US came out of that war as the dominant world power alongside Russia to lead into the Cold War. As for "abruptly ending the war", I think that's okay. We just need something about the US' involvement in defeating Europe. Incidentally, we don't even cover the effects of the bomb in the Pacific War article's history section, even in the part titled "Aftermath". It basically ignores Japan aside from the tribunals and then nothing until the return of Okinawa. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:39, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

$6 I-94 feeEdit

The article currently states "Foreigners entering by land are required to pay a $6 fee when crossing the border." Is this true even for Canadian and Mexican visitors (e.g., those not coming to work or study)? Powers (talk) 01:36, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

Return to "United States of America" page.