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Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:30 PM

What was the weirdest part of the country, politically speaking, you have visited?

For me it was the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I have taken long drives out in the outskirts of Marquette, Michigan and I had never seen anything like it before.

I have driven down roads there that were tens of miles long and every few hundred feet would be one house inside a compound. And when I say compound I mean walled in. 10-12 feet high.

On the outside of these compounds people had plastered huge anti-government signs. And all kinds of warnings about trespassing, we will shoot on sight and other crazy stuff. Like they were all waiting to be invaded or something.

And I don't mean they hate Democrats either. They hate everyone. Seen just as many of these signs hating Republicans as I seen hating Democrats. Truly equal opportunity haters, this bunch.

I had a digital camera all charged up and ready to go laying right in my lap and I was too freaking scared for my life to pick it up and snap any pictures of anything around that area. Pretty scary folks around there.

Now don't get me wrong. I love the UP. One of the most beautiful places I have ever visited in my life. I highly recommend going there. Just don't wander too far off the normal tourist routes. And keep in mind some of the folks up there are kind of funny.

And not the kind of funny that makes me laugh either.

Don

61 replies, 4593 views

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Reply What was the weirdest part of the country, politically speaking, you have visited? (Original post)
NNN0LHI Aug 2012 OP
grasswire Aug 2012 #1
Brickbat Aug 2012 #4
RKP5637 Aug 2012 #6
frogmarch Aug 2012 #11
kentuck Aug 2012 #15
RKP5637 Aug 2012 #19
Initech Aug 2012 #2
Brickbat Aug 2012 #3
RockaFowler Aug 2012 #21
Warpy Aug 2012 #52
s-cubed Aug 2012 #5
RKP5637 Aug 2012 #8
OutNow Aug 2012 #14
twizzler Aug 2012 #7
cali Aug 2012 #47
twizzler Aug 2012 #48
Warpy Aug 2012 #53
COLGATE4 Aug 2012 #9
JaneyVee Aug 2012 #10
Uncle Joe Aug 2012 #16
valerief Aug 2012 #32
kentuck Aug 2012 #35
riverbendviewgal Aug 2012 #38
RKP5637 Aug 2012 #40
Scuba Aug 2012 #44
sufrommich Aug 2012 #12
NNN0LHI Aug 2012 #22
siligut Aug 2012 #13
RZM Aug 2012 #23
reflection Aug 2012 #17
Fawke Em Aug 2012 #45
xmas74 Aug 2012 #50
distantearlywarning Aug 2012 #18
RKP5637 Aug 2012 #30
Zorra Aug 2012 #33
Johonny Aug 2012 #41
Blue_In_AK Aug 2012 #58
Liberal_in_LA Aug 2012 #20
doohnibor Aug 2012 #24
kentuck Aug 2012 #25
RKP5637 Aug 2012 #54
KamaAina Aug 2012 #26
Fire Walk With Me Aug 2012 #27
xmas74 Aug 2012 #51
TlalocW Aug 2012 #28
aikoaiko Aug 2012 #29
Zorra Aug 2012 #31
valerief Aug 2012 #34
hunter Aug 2012 #36
Zen Democrat Aug 2012 #37
PDJane Aug 2012 #39
Texasgal Aug 2012 #42
nadinbrzezinski Aug 2012 #43
steve2470 Aug 2012 #46
rug Aug 2012 #49
RKP5637 Aug 2012 #56
slackmaster Aug 2012 #55
Raine Aug 2012 #57
Blue_In_AK Aug 2012 #59
libinnyandia Aug 2012 #60
NightWatcher Aug 2012 #61

Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:33 PM

1. interesting

The sand hills of Nebraska don't sound too alluring, either.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:44 PM

4. They're actually beautiful.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:47 PM

6. The sand hills of Nebraska

The sand hills of Nebraska

Paranoia and profit by DHS.



On the edge of the Nebraska sand hills is Lake McConaughy, a 22-mile-long reservoir that in summer becomes a magnet for Winnebagos, fishermen and kite sailors. But officials here in Keith County, population 8,370, imagined this scene: an Al Qaeda sleeper cell hitching explosives onto a ski boat and plowing into the dam at the head of the lake.

The federal Department of Homeland Security gave the county $42,000 to buy state-of-the-art dive gear, including full-face masks, underwater lights and radios, and a Zodiac boat with side-scan sonar capable of mapping wide areas of the lake floor.


http://warincontext.org/2011/08/30/counter-terrorism-inc-how-the-us-government-funds-americas-booming-security-industry/

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:00 PM

11. holy crap! Uneffinbelievable. Oh, wait...

Nebraska, you say? Okay then. Makes sense.

I live in western Nebraska, and yes, it's interesting here.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:16 PM

15. Have you been to Lexington NE lately?

You might be surprised at the number of Islamists living there?

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Response to kentuck (Reply #15)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:39 PM

19. No, haven't been. n/t

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:39 PM

2. For me it'd be Phoenix Arizona.

There are some unbelievably extreme, rabid, crazy right wingers there. I definitely agree about the Upper Peninsula - I have a cousin that lives there. Crazy place.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:41 PM

3. Florida, driving from Orlando to Ft. Myers.

I couldn't believe the amount of weird churchy signs.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:51 PM

21. My trip from Orlando to the Panhandle was similar

Heck the Panhandle itself was a complete disaster. My poor mom can't wait to leave the area and move back down here to So Fla!!

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:20 PM

52. There was one town on the way from Orlando to the Cape

where my dad warned me not to make eye contact with anyone. He'd wanted to take the back roads because he enjoyed seeing how built up it had gotten but there was one town that had been started by a bunch of Evangelical nutcases that he said was kind of dangerous to go through.

There weren't many signs there but there was a lot of overt hostility to strangers driving through.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:46 PM

5. For me driving across Arkansas.

We saw two kinds of billboatds: adult stores and Jeses saves

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Response to s-cubed (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:50 PM

8. I've noticed that, the more RW, the more the combination of

adult stores and Jesus saves billboards. Some of them get pretty bizarre.

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Response to s-cubed (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:13 PM

14. Yup, Arkansas

My sister had the misfortune to live north of the Texarkana area for several years. Crazy right wing local "leaders", low education standards (they thought my sister and BIL were brainiacs because they had been to college), no restaurants other than fast food chains, no credit card readers at gas pumps, a hell and brimstone Babtist church at every crossroads, etc. Kinda scary to drive in that part of the state.

This was the state where Bill Clinton was governor and Jocelyn Elders ran the public health department. But, I could see real changes taking place and the positive role Dr. Elders had on the state. Clinton and Elders were very supportive of girls athletic programs as a way to empower young girls and reduce teenage pregnancy and encourage girls to stay in high school and graduate. My nieces were all involved and 2 ended up getting college scholarships for sports. This was not without a struggle. At some point the PTB decided the boys would practice and play baseball at the nice high school field while the girls could have the weed field down the road; because that's the way it had always been. With surprising pushback from parents and some quick intervention from the state government it was decided that both teams would share the high school field. A small victory, but this was seen as real progress in that neck of the woods. I agree.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:49 PM

7. Texas panhandle.

 

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Response to twizzler (Reply #7)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:08 PM

47. Me too. And OK

Welcome to DU, twizzler.

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Response to cali (Reply #47)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:11 PM

48. Thank you for the welcome

 

and I should've added the OK panhandle.

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Response to twizzler (Reply #7)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:21 PM

53. Welcome to DU

but I think east Texas is worse.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:57 PM

9. The UP is a world unto itself.

I am reliably informed that its inhabitants (the 'Yoopers') run through the woods naked during Winter (September - May), howling at the moon.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:59 PM

10. Mississippi. It's like a whole different country, right out of the Twilight Zone

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #10)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:17 PM

16. I got lost driving through Mississippi with an ex-girlfriend, we stopped at a bar to ask

for directions, and it was like a scene out of the Twilight Zone, fortunately my girlfriend had her video camera on and surreptitiously recorded the incident.



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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #16)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:01 PM

32. Gawd, the only sound more annoying than that "music" is Palin's voice. nt

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #16)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:10 PM

35. That is great Uncle Joe !!

I sent it to my friends.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #16)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:33 PM

38. that was great

loved it.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #16)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:40 PM

40. Wow!!! Simply WOW!!! n/r

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #10)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:50 PM

44. +1

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:02 PM

12. I'm in the U.P. right now and usually

spend my summers in the Keweenaw Peninsula or Drummond Island. I've been all over the U.P. and have never seen anything like what you're talking about, where did you see this?

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #12)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:51 PM

22. Back roads on the outside of Marquette - Edited

Last edited Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:11 PM - Edit history (1)

And if you ever make it to downtown Marquette I recommend eating at this restaurant and microbrewery:

http://www.thevierling.com/

They make the best beer I have ever had in my life. About ten different flavors. They have very good food too. My favorite was the Wheat flavored beer. The blueberry was very good too. You can actually see the blueberries floating in it. Good stuff. I am not a big beer drinker but this was the best beer I have ever had from anywhere. Then after you eat and drink at the restaurant you can get a beer to go in a plastic cup and walk about a block and sit on the rocks next to Lake Superior and watch the huge ships loaded full of Taconite pulling out and the empty ones pulling in.

Beautiful town with some really nice visual and historic sights. We watched the sun set from Sugarloaf Mountain one evening. Took a little hiking to get to the top but it sure was worth it.

Side Note. The movie "Anatomy of a Murder" was filmed there at the Marquette County Courthouse. That is worth checking out if you make it there.

Don

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:06 PM

13. Salt Lake City UT and the gulf coast of Fla

Fla was pretty obvious, Stepford women and extreme RW politics, a bank and doctor on every corner. Go into a restaurant and get stared at. One waitress actually asked me why I chose to eat there, like I was up to something.

Salt Lake City took a while, but I don't ever want to go there again, I won't even fly Delta anymore because their hub is there. I would compare it to the borg, they try to assimilate you.

I have lived and traveled all over the US, and as I got older, I realized just how different the states were from each other and politics seems to play a large role in that.

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Response to siligut (Reply #13)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:56 PM

23. I don't have the same impression of either place

 

I like SLC. It struck me as very clean and the people quite friendly. Wasn't there long, but that was the impression I got. I probably wouldn't want to live there but I did enjoy it very much.

Been to the Gulf Coast many times over the years (Sarasota, mostly). Aside from the large senior citizen population, it hasn't struck me as all that different from anywhere else.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:24 PM

17. Booger Hollow, AR

Yes, you read that correctly. Stopped at a little cafeteria once there on my way to somewhere else and everyone in the place was screaming at each other about "Sodomites" and "Democrats," I kid you not. I wondered why everyone didn't just sit at the same table instead of bellowing their bellicosity back and forth in a wide-open room. I choked down my sandwich, paid, and peeled out of there posthaste.

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Response to reflection (Reply #17)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:53 PM

45. We have a Boogertown in Tennessee (an area near Dollywood).

In this instance, "booger" does not mean snot ball. It means a trouble-causing ghost imp.

Just a note for DU readers.

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Response to Fawke Em (Reply #45)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:16 PM

50. I want a pic of the town sign!

I'd love that hanging on my wall.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:38 PM

18. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Home of the megachurch.

It was Stepford land, no joke. Every house the same, every reverse-mulleted soccer mom the same, every SUV in every driveway the same, 2.5 kids and the same dog in every house, Republican voter registrations in every wallet, Support The Troops magnets on the back of every car. 50 miles of smug, bland, conformist megachurch suburban sprawl. Puke.

My soul was on the verge of death by the time I finally managed to extricate myself from the sucking white bread morass that was Colorado Springs. I flipped off the "Leaving Colorado" sign as it receded in my rear view mirror, my car headed east. And I never looked back.

You could not pay me enough money to live in Colorado Springs again.

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Response to distantearlywarning (Reply #18)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 04:49 PM

30. I've been there several times on business. I didn't like Colorado Springs at all. There

was just something about the environment. I found it a depressing place.

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Response to distantearlywarning (Reply #18)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:03 PM

33. +1. I forgot about Colorado springs.

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Response to distantearlywarning (Reply #18)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:41 PM

41. Yip to this one

I turned on the TV and there was channel after channel of for profit religion. It was worse than TV in the south. Is the population that big to support that many religious phoneys is it? The road system for the city is terrible too.

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Response to distantearlywarning (Reply #18)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:57 PM

58. A shame, too.

I lived there when I was a kid before all of that, and it was a great place to grow up.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:40 PM

20. some southern rural area where car radio went 100% religious on sunday

white religious programming and black religious programming EVERY SINGLE CHANNEL!! Georgia I think

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 04:18 PM

24. Southern Utah

 

Including that piece of Arizona that is cut off by road from the rest of the state. Oh, if you stay close to I-15, it can look normal, just like a Mormon church (not a temple, just a regular stake house) can look like any other Christian church. But the further you stray from I-15, the more you get into the heart of polygamyland.

These folks KNOW they are weird, so they can't put up signs and other threatening stuff. If you come off as just a "Gentile" passing through, they are friendly enough, they save the ultra-weird for people who show an actual interest in their way of life and a possible willingness to join.

It's only after you've left that you are able to reflect back and wonder at how wide a cult has spread over a sparsely populated area.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 04:33 PM

25. SE Kentucky, I guess?

They have been buying votes since I was knee-high to a cricket. It's not under the table -it's out in the open. Although that may have changed since our Mayor went to prison on the testimony of his son, who got a shorter sentence.

I can recall the bootleggers getting a call from the county sheriff or one of his deputies that the state police were going to raid his place in a few hours. That would give them time to move all the beer and liquor out, except for a couple of cases, so everyone would be happy with the results, and then bring it back after the raid was over. Of course, the bootlegger would put a couple of hundred dollars in the back pocket of the sheriff and everyone was happy.

I can recall one brother stabbing his other brother over a political dispute at the polling place when I was younger. They took their politics seriously. I haven't lived there in a while but I suppose they still do?

And there was the story about the old farmer that would haul his manure right thru the middle of town and dump it in the fields going up to Clear Creek. And one day he was coming back with an empty wagon, just as there was a political "discussion" going on in the square at the County Court House. There was a fairly good crowd gathered around and somebody wanted Homer, a candidate for Sheriff, to say a few words. So they invited him to jump up in the back of that empty "honey wagon" and so he did. He looked out over the crowd and studied for a moment. Then he said, "I've been a Democrat all my life and this is the first time I have ever given a speech on a Republican platform.."

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Response to kentuck (Reply #25)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:21 PM

54. I loved that story in your last paragraph!!! Great!!! n/t

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 04:41 PM

26. Eureka Springs, AR

about evenly divided between neo-hippies, with a strong LGBT contingent -- and heavy-duty right-wing fundies who put up billboards at the edge of town reading "Get US Out! of the UN" and even put on an old-school passion play, just like the one in Germany, for the tourists.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 04:42 PM

27. I never knew that about the UP!

 

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #27)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:17 PM

51. Neither did I

and I have family in the area he's talking about.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 04:44 PM

28. Approximately 200 feet outside of Mullinville, Kansas

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 04:47 PM

29. The rural libertarian areas of NH were really interesting.


I never saw so many average people involved with politics on a regular basis. Town hall meetings are not TV time events, but real basic level democracy at play (with its good and bad implications).

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:00 PM

31. Northern North Dakota, along US Rte 2.

They don't seem to like my kind up there much; seems to be some serious collective regional prejudice against certain races and orientations up there.

I suspect that, back in the day, Bob Seger may have written part of "Turn The Page" up there, and wrote the other part "east of Omaha".

Well you walk into a restaurant all strung out from the road
And you feel the eyes upon you as you're shaking off the cold
You pretend it doesn't bother you, but you just want to explode

Most times you can't hear 'em talk, other times you can
All the same old cliche's, is it woman or a man?
You always seem outnumbered, so you don't dare make a stand...


Parts of southern Idaho and most of Utah seem pretty scary to me too, although Moab is fun.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:03 PM

34. DC. The inhumanity on Capitol Hill is astounding. nt

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:17 PM

36. Slab City, California?

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2105597,00.html

California is full of odd places.

My city is mostly Mexican, very cosmopolitan, and that's my normal.

Affluent Republican essentially "whites only" suburban California communities make me feel uncomfortable and fund a lot of the crazy in state and national politics. I couldn't live in a place where people like Orly Taitz or Darrell Issa are taken seriously; places where people drive their expensive cars to big box churches on Sunday to hear the prosperity gospel.

I've got progressive family and friends who live in such places, but no thanks, I don't have to.

I'm not uncomfortable in rural California. Dogs, beat up old pickup trucks, raising cattle, hunting, fishing... that America is closer to my reality than people who think they deserve giant homes, expensive cars, illegally employed house servants, low taxes, and a fat paycheck simply because they are white, speak English, and God loves them.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:30 PM

37. I ventured off I-10 in Mississippi looking for gas ... OMG!

I felt like I was in a third world country.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:40 PM

39. Oh, there are a couple of candidates for that honour......

I got a faith healing in a washrrom in Georgia, in the Cracker Barrel. It was interesting. I also didn't get one damn thing I ordered in Georgia; I hate grits, for starters. Mind, as I get annoyed, the more British I sound, so that may have been one of those "divided by a common language things." One waitress, when I explained that the plate in front of me wasn't what I ordered, looked at me as though I had two heads and drawled, "Well, it's what you got!" And the politics are off the scale weird.

Phoenix is another one of those places. Ultra-religious and reich wing politics and lots of gated communities. NOT my kind of place. Coffee is lousy, people are strange, and the place is too damn hot.

Texas. Dallas, Texas. That is the one of the most paranoid places I've ever been in....when my host started explaining to me where they kept the guns, that was the end.

And they're all vieing for the racist bit. Strange as hell.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:42 PM

42. Actually, it was in my home state Texas:

East Texas near the LA border.

Hateful anti-Obama rhetoric everywhere I went. Big signs along the highways admonishing Obama and Dems! It literally took my breath away. This was right around the election.

My husband and I stopped at a gas station to fill up and they asked for my drivers license BEFORE I filled up and paid cash. The reason? People kept on driving off with the guzzle in their cars. The country clerk saw that my address was in Austin and she laughed and said " be careful 'round here, we watch you Austin types" .

Very scary, just the people and the vibe. We were in Center, TX. for a wedding. I could not wait to get out of there!

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:45 PM

43. Some of the highlands in Maui

stay out signs, and of course pro independence....

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:04 PM

46. hate to admit it, but my hometown Orlando, FL....

Exhibit A:

George W. Bush "Our Leader" billboard paid for by Clear Channel

http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/images/blbushourleader.htm

Shades of North Korea, indeed.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:15 PM

49. The Upper East Side.

Absolute wealth and absolute power. The .1 of the 1%.

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Response to rug (Reply #49)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:30 PM

56. Yep, that's a bit scary IMO too! I've known people of wealth that

earned it by tremendously hard work, I don't mine that, and they respected people. The wealth that gets to me are those that are obnoxious and would sell another individual to make a buck. I really loath that type of wealth.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:24 PM

55. I lived in Alamogordo, NM from the fall of 1968 until July 20, 1969

 

Quite a shock compared to San Diego, seeing Wallace/LeMay bumper stickers everywhere. Many of the people in that town regarded themselves as Southerners at the time, even though they were technically two states away from the South.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:43 PM

57. Bolinas, CA ... they are liberal but they sure don't like

outsiders, they even hide the signs. I'm a Californian too and after searching finally found the place. It was like in one of those old westerns where the stranger enters the saloon and the music stops and everyone stares. I've never been to a place where I picked up such "get out of here vibes" ... I got out fast as I could.

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Response to Raine (Reply #57)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 07:02 PM

59. Yep.

I lived there for about five years back in the '70s, but I loved what you hate about Bolinas. It was like Brigadoon or something. That is, if Brigadoon was inhabited by a bunch of hippies.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 07:39 PM

60. I know a place full of friendly small towns where neighbors help each other and welcome strangers

and vote for Steve King for Congress.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 07:40 PM

61. I drove past a David Duke billboard in bfe Louisiana many moons ago

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