Talk:United States of America/Archive 2018-2020

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Separate "Studying in..." and "Working in..." articles[edit]

Following the discussions above (here and here), I have created Studying in the United States by bringing together text from the USA article and the Studying abroad article into one place. I have ensured that there are links so that readers can find the information easily. I think it works well.

I did not roll in Touring prestigious and notable universities in the U.S., which I know is a contentious article, and it would make the "Studying in..." article unwieldy.

These changes can be revisited if anyone finds them to be problematic, but let's discuss first. Ground Zero (talk) 22:55, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

After a while, if there are no objections, I'll try a "Working in..." article. Ground Zero (talk) 23:11, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
I've made this change to show what it can look like. See Working in the United States. It was strange that the Work section started with a discussion of people from overseas territories. I wrote a new introductory paragraph, and move the technical info to the new article. Ground Zero (talk) 04:05, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Just in case you haven't seen, check out Working in China Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:22, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

Euros accepted?[edit]

"Euros may be accepted at high end retailers and restaurants in New York City."

As a New Yorker, that's news to me. Please name some retailers and restaurants that accept Euros. I'll bet the rate is terrible. At that point, why wouldn't you just use a credit card? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:30, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

If it's anything like the US reactions to Canadian currency? Head even 100 miles from the border and all your funny foreign money will buy are blank looks. K7L (talk) 02:17, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Well, there's no frontier with the EU, unless the large expanse of water between North America and Europe counts... Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:16, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Respect and Trump[edit]

I thought we came to an (albeit uneasy) consensus that we couldn't advise for every single potential thing that could offend someone in America. ( Link of recent edits )

When it comes to Trump (and a multitude of other polorizing public figures from both sides of the political spectrum), I don't think we are going to be able to provide decent advice that satisfies our neutral tone. I believe that we have already covered politics in a general way already. Any objection to leaving out named people from this article when it comes to being respectful?

(as an aside, I do find it strange that we no longer even mention Trump is President) Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:41, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

I doubt there's anyone among our readership who doesn't already know who's POTUS. As for the recent edits re: Trump, I'd say the whole issue could likely be distilled into a generalized "don't talk politics with the locals unless you really know your audience", but wouldn't that fall under the Captain Obvious rule? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:46, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I get your point, but we're completely ignoring the elephant in the room? What elephant? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:05, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Pretty sure that mentioning 'Hillary' will trigger people in many circles. There are a lot of elephants (admittedly only one sits in the oval office). Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:14, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
As we've learned, mentioning either of these people by name will ensure never-ending attempts to tweak the wording and never-ending talk page discussions. If that's what we're here for, then go for it. I'd rather build a travel guide. Ground Zero (talk) 01:20, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
"but her emails" oh boy remember when Americans were known as the people who didn't talk politics with strangers? Hobbitschuster (talk) 02:28, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I've met people who really hate Obama, people who really hate Bush and so on, although it seems to be true that Bush is in general not as hated among liberals as Trump for the most part. What perhaps distinguishes Trump from other recent presidents is his exceptionally belligerent attitude when it comes to foreign relations, but still, it is also true that if you talk about local politics in any country, you have the potential to offend someone. I'm pretty sure that if you go to Canada, you will find people who get triggered by you mentioning Justin Trudeau, and if you go to Australia, you will find people who get triggered by you mentioning Malcolm Turnbull. So even if Trump is unusually polarising, this may still be a case of Captain Obvious. The dog2 (talk) 02:31, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
What distinguishes Trump to Americans, too few of whom care greatly about foreign policy as long as it doesn't cause a war that engulfs the populace, is his outright expressions of bigotry, his intemperance and his personal moral turpitude. I understand a lack of desire to spend endless time on this talk page discussing him or other aspects of domestic politics in the U.S., but completely ignoring him because he's controversial? How are other travel guides, printed and online, handling the mention or non-mention of him? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:53, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
In which traveller relevant contexts would you like to see discussion around President Trump? I would agree that there probably are some (limited) scenarios where we could do this in a relevant and 'fair' manner. Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:13, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Can we, for instance, say that the rise of Trump and his Administration reflect and coincide with a greater degree of open hostility toward people of color, both domestic and foreign, than has existed in recent years? Statistics on hate crimes certainly seem to bear this out. How this affects individual visitors to the United States may depend a lot on their nationality, religion, color and where they travel, but the general trend in the last 3 years or so is unmistakable. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:38, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
The hate crime statistics have increased since before Trump and Jews have continued to be the most targeted group, so for us to say Trump is responsible sounds like us trying to spin a narrative. We could just as easily say, for instance, that media obsessions with identity politics and making "news" out of random Twitter comments that relate to such topics, replacing news reporting with pundits, ascribing the worst intent to everything to push a "story", etc. are responsible. There are lots of possible reasons for crime increases and just looking at numbers certainly isn't enough to identify one culprit as responsible for all of the crimes. We do not know the circumstances or nature of the crimes let alone what might have made someone commit a crime (particularly when it's subconscious). Some editors aren't too keen on Trump. We got it the first time, and the time after that, and the time after that, and we get it this time... Was it too difficult to start a blog? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:35, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
So because there are disagreements, we pretend Trump isn't President? I phrased my remark quite carefully. Let me repeat: "the rise of Trump and his Administration reflect and coincide with a greater degree of open hostility toward people of color, both domestic and foreign, than has existed in recent years". That is not blaming only one person. And Jews are not targeted as much as black people; Jews are the most targeted for religion, which is where I think you got confused. Look, I think it's quite annoying that doing anything whatsoever to stop completely ignoring the elephant in the room leads to pushback. Until very recently, the genocide in Myanmar was completely ignored on the Western Myanmar and Myanmar pages, and the remarks are still pretty weak. Imagine if, ignoring Wikivoyage:Be fair, we simply allowed people to revert such mentions, either without argument or by arguing a Burmese nationalist propaganda line and causing us to conclude that it isn't worth some controversy to state a fundamental and salient truth about a dangerous situation in which people are getting murdered, raped and forced to flee. Granted, that's a more extreme situation than most people currently face in the U.S. (rather, it's more likely refugees living in the U.S. will be raped and murdered when forced to go back to their countries of origin), but the point is, we should be able to at least point out something factual, which is that the United States is a more bitterly divided country than it has been since at least the 1960s, that much of the division is due to bigotry and resentment of perceived enemies, both internal and external, and that people of certain nationalities, colors and religions might face more trouble trying to enter the United States and travel around the country now than they would have a few years ago. Being fair doesn't mean pretending we're all totally unaware of what's going on. No, it certainly didn't start with Trump, but Trump has certainly not made or tried to make the country more unified or tolerant, and that may be felt by visitors to certain parts of the country. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:53, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

[Unindent] And let's please get back to my question: How do other printed and online guides address or avoid addressing the current political situation in the U.S.? Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:01, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Yes, it is strange, it is unusual, just like the political situation in the United States. We should ignore this issue because (a) it takes up way too much time, and (b) we can't tell the reader anything they don't already know. Let's move on. Ground Zero (talk) 12:03, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
You're really sure all potential visitors to the U.S. know what the current situation is like? I'll bet you're wrong. I feel sure some of them think it's much worse currently than it is and others don't realize that it actually has gotten worse than it was. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:12, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I can't speak for the situation in the US, I can only speak as a non-American travelling in other countries. People outside of the US are following the situation. The world is watching, and we're not laughing with you. Ground Zero (talk) 12:27, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I still want to know how other guides handle the situation in the U.S. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:34, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I don't know if we have to follow the lead of other guides. Wikivoyage is in a class of its own. But if you want to know what the other guides say, you could look it up and report back to us. All of the big guides have websites. Ground Zero (talk) 14:52, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I haven't read other guides yet but I can try to speak from the position of a non-white foreigner living in the US. I'd say that I have yet to encounter any racist incidents since Trump became president, even when I travelled through rural Utah and Idaho. Of course, that doesn't mean they don't happen, but I personally haven't encountered any. The only trouble I've had was with Immigration once when I was returning from a trip home, but the officer who gave me trouble wasn't white. For the most part, my biggest concern regarding Trump is whether my funding will get cut because I do scientific research in the course of my work, and Trump hasn't really been very supportive of the scientific community apart from NASA.
And I have met people who come from Trump country, and I have also met Trump supporters, and I feel I should point out that many people who support Trump aren't necessarily racist. From what I've gathered, many of these people, such as the coal miners in Pennsylvania and the white working class in the Midwest simply felt ignored by the "establishment", and when Trump came along, they were so touched that a national politician finally acknowledged them and promised to tackle their issues. So rather than being actively racist, many of these people considered ethnic minorities as acceptable collateral damage if Trump could give them back their jobs, in the same way that many feminists see innocent men falsely accused of rape to be acceptable collateral damage if it advances their cause. So while I would agree that Trump was not helping things by not condemning the alt-right after the Charlottesville riots, it is not fair to say that all Trump supporters are racists.
And this is just my personal take here, but I suspect Trump being elected could be in part a backlash against the extreme political correctness the American left has been pushing. One thing I've noticed is that left-wing Americans don't distinguish between jokes and genuine bigotry, and people get offended by things that are non-issues elsewhere (for instance, saying "Merry Christmas" to a Jew). Of course, things like these may be Captain Obvious to Americans, but foreigners not used to this level of political correctness, even if we may be somewhat left-leaning in our home countries, will notice this. The dog2 (talk) 16:09, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I appreciate your remarks on your situation as a foreigner in the U.S. and will hold back on expressing my opinion on your take on the nature of the "political correctness" being flouted by Trump and objected to by many of his supporters, and what some would read as a false equivalency in your analysis, as we've been over this kind of stuff repeatedly. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:19, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I believe that we can all agree that things have changed in America since the election. Probably we won't be able to pinpoint exactly why it has changed or even the nature of the change itself. From the perspective of a foreign student/traveler one might notice nothing substantial at all has changed in their daily interactions, yet still be aware that 'America First' and 'Make America Great Again' has changed the overall tone. Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:33, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
If we can have a rough consensus about what you wrote in your last sentence, could we post that? I completely agree that we don't want to concentrate on current-day American politics on this article or overstate what's changed, but totally ignoring the current situation just seems like someone closing their eyes and ears and saying "La la la la la, I can't hear you!" Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:40, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I think that would be fair. Certainly you can see a lot more polarisation in social media and even the mainstream media, but in terms of daily interactions, I haven't been affected that much. The only significance for travellers is that if you are from one of the countries targeted by Trump's Muslim ban, you'll have to give up your dream of going to Harvard or MIT, but otherwise, I still think that the vast majority of non-white visitors to the US will not be targeted by racist mobs when walking down the street, at least in the major cities. It may be true that the KKK and the neo-Nazis have been emboldened by Trump's election, but it doesn't mean that the vast majority of white Americans suddenly decided to join the KKK and the neo-Nazis because Trump got elected. The dog2 (talk) 00:01, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
I agree with all of that 100%. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:06, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────There has been an increase in all sorts of hate crimes in many European countries, stuff that would have been way outside polite discourse has become "normal" and aliyah numbers among Jews in many countries are up. There is no one single cause of this but various political sides blame economic woes, the refugee crisis and right wing populism on this. Do we really need to sort out all those minefields? Should we say "avoid all parts of Austria where the FPÖ has gotten more than x%" should we say "avoid Saxony due to the AfD"? Or should we just roll over when some IP editor wants to paint certain urban neighborhoods as overrun by Sharia law and whatnot? Hobbitschuster (talk) 01:08, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

I don't disagree with Andrewssi's last sentence, but I am concerned that adding it will lead to endless attempts to tweak it or elaborate on it in one direction or another, or in all directions at the same time. This is a can of time-sucking worms that is best left unopened. Ground Zero (talk) 01:13, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
[Edit conflict] Look at Paris#Danger for identifiably Jewish people. If there is real potential in the short run for danger for Jews, Muslims, people of color or whomever, it should be noted in the relevant article. Your point that safety for identifiably "different" people may be better in most situations in the U.S. than in parts of Europe is well taken, though, and means that this article should avoid overly extreme warnings. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:14, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
Ground Zero, I'm not satisfied with completely ignoring things just because it's been hard to agree on anything so far. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:16, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
It's not a perfect solution, but i believe that the value-added for travellers is marginal, and the time-suck for contributors is excessive. We don't have unlimited resources. Let's use them wisely. Ground Zero (talk) 01:20, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
We can probably at least tell people not to bring it up. I have found that bringing up Trump in a conversation does result in more polarised feelings being aroused than bringing up Obama or Bush. The reasons for Trump's election are rather complex, as are the reasons for pretty much any other politician's election, and we probably cannot distill it into one single reason. Explaining all of them is probably too much for this article.
And as far as racism goes, I am from Asia and have travelled to many different Asian countries, so I can say that for the most part, countries like China and Japan are more racist than the US. Sure, violent attacks are extremely rare, but I can assure you that black people will face far more discrimination when applying for jobs, and will be stared at a lot more in China than in the US, which can make some people feel uncomfortable. And I'm sure some of you guys can remember that racist washing machine commercial from China that would never have been allowed to air in the US. So just to keep things in perspective, I got far more people staring at me in rural India than in rural America. Of course, we shouldn't pretend that racism no longer exists, but let's not go overboard with our warnings here. The dog2 (talk) 01:35, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
Applying for jobs is, for the most part, outside our project scope as our target audience is the short-term voyager, not someone looking to permanently relocate to these destinations and establish a career there. Racist policies like "Muslim ban" and "build a wall", OTOH, are concerns which directly impact our agenda as they are barriers to travel. K7L (talk) 02:53, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
I think The dog2 has it right. State that Trump is a particularly controversial president, especially in places in the U.S. which draw the most visitors, but don't overstate the gravity of the situation at the moment, or as compared with other countries. At this point, I'm satisfied with almost anything that could muster a consensus - I just think that _something_ should be said, because I don't like totally pretending. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:12, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
I brought up the job searching thing just to highlight how you are actually better off as a black person in America than in China, and many young Americans go to China for a year or so to teach English. But that's besides the point. I'll go with Ikan Kekek on this one. Let's just state that Trump is controversial in the parts of the U.S. that foreigners are most likely to visit. The Muslim ban has already been covered in "Get In", and I guess we can mention that visitors should probably not discuss it unless they know someone's political persuasion. (And by the way, despite my misgivings about many things on the American left, the Muslim ban is something I most certainly stand with the left in opposing.) The dog2 (talk) 03:34, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
I don't think it is helpful to draw comparisons with other countries regarding racism. It is way too simplistic to say that China is more racist than the USA, and the comparison is just useless on so many levels. Each country has a different society with its own issues relating to race. A black person might have a harder time interviewing for an English language school in China, but also very unlikely to be shot dead by a nervous policeman. Which of those scenarios makes a country more racist than another? Andrewssi2 (talk) 09:22, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

(indent) The term "racist"/"racism" is thrown around way too loosely these days. "Muslims ban" and "Build a Wall" racist? Islam is not race. Anyone of any race can become Muslim. It was also a temporary suspension (not a ban) designed to evaluate current procedures/protocols regarding countries that were already on the radar before Trump. As for the wall, there are discussions to be had on the cost vs benefit and the effectiveness or lack thereof of such a thing, but there's nothing racist about border security unless you are of the belief that anything less than open borders is "racist". In which case, I suppose having immigration laws and trying to genuinely enforce them would be "racist", but most Americans (of all races) have been wanting immigration reform and stricter enforcement of immigration laws since long before Obama, let alone Trump. Concerning how that affects us, it actually doesn't, because Wikivoyage doesn't promote illegally entering countries for "Travel" (And let's not pretend people are hopping the borders simply to cut travel expenses.), so in that regard, physical barrier aside, we agree with Trump.

The likelihood of a black person to be shot by a "nervous police officer" is highly unlikely in both China and the US. The proportions of black suspects vs white suspects getting shot by police in the US have shown white suspects actually a bit more likely to get shot than black suspects. Comparisons between countries can be helpful for perspective, though, as thedog said. Some Americans seem to like thinking their country is the most racist and intolerant country on earth, even claiming modern America is akin to the days of slavery, Nazi Germany, etc. Comparisons can keep us grounded and can be helpful in determining how needed certain advice is, whether its Captain Obvious, etc. It's part of the reason this discussion is being had after all. There are strong elements of Captain Obvious as we know similar advice applies to almost all other countries, yet some people feel there is something "special" or "significant" about what is happening in the US and we are struggling to pin it down so that it doesn't sound obvious. I don't think waiting to rush to judgment on modern events is "pretending" anything. Similarly, the implied accusation above that the lack of information in the Myanmar article about a specific event indicates there must be some user(s) who don't want it mentioned is faulty reasoning and assumes bad faith to a slightly conspiratorial degree (I looked at those articles, and the discussion that brought up the lack of info was simply not responded to. I myself don't "Watch" any Myanmar articles nor do I read them, so I was unaware that anyone even had a problem with them, Unless there is discussion elsewhere, it's much more reasonable to assume people didn't see it). The strong polarization of political parties though definitely predates Trump, as well. There was a rapidly growing rift already present under Obama (some analysts believe it played a significant role in Trump's election). It's difficult to write about without sounding like Captain Obvious, but maybe if we acknowledge that fact, it would help to convey the message better. Also, I think in order to keep this from being politicized one way or the other, it's best to avoid mentioning specific names. I also think it's just generally more honest, because none of what is being discussed was new with Trump nor would it go away if Trump were to walk away tomorrow, so how about something like:

"While it may seem obvious to avoid political discussions, in recent years, Americans have become especially polarized in their political beliefs and party allegiance can take precedence over reason and civility. If it even sounds like you might be saying something positive about a political figure or policy that someone is against (or speaking ill of a figure or policy they support), you may receive some verbal hostility. Violence however remains almost unheard of." ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:51, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

While it is true that the travel ban is not explicitly called a Muslim ban, if you look at what Trump and Giuliani have been saying, it is very clear that the ban is meant to pander to Trump's rural conservative Christian voter base, many of whom have never met a Muslim before, and only hear about Islam when they see the news about some terrorist attack by an Islamic extremist. It's pretty obvious he's been extremely selective in only condemning Islamic extremist and, to an extent, left-wing extremist violence, while failing to condemn violence by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and fundamentalist Christians.
But I've also noticed that the left tends to automatically cry out "racism" everytime a black or Latino person gets arrested without even bothering to consider and verify all the facts of the case, which in my opinion is counter-productive. At the same time, I have black colleagues who live in bad neighbourhoods and complain that they get stopped by police when driving home because someone just got murdered on their block, and about how annoying they find it because they are making an honest living and have never committed a crime, so let's also try to understand it from their perspective. Of course the idea that America is the most racist country on Earth is absolute nonsense; the vast majority of Americans, even conservative ones, accept black people as Americans, while if you go to China, a black person will never be accepted as Chinese, even if he/she was born and raised there.
Anyway, it is not true that violence is almost unheard of. Just look at the rioting that goes on when a conservative speaker like Ben Shapiro is invited to speak on campus. And of course, let's also not forget that a counter-protester was killed in Charlottesville during a white supremacist rally last year. While it is true that a visitor's chances of encountering random violence are slim, I think the responsible advice would be to just tell people to stay away from political discussion, and avoid stirring the hornet's nest. The dog2 (talk) 18:43, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
I didn't say that the reason for the almost complete ignoring of the genocide in Myanmar is opposition to mentioning it, but there was at least one instance of someone attempting to delete the mention of Rohingyas without comment, and my point is that there are some current events that ought to be mentioned and shouldn't be left out of the guide because someone opposed to their mention may unfairly object.
As for your proposed statement, I think it's reasonable, except that I'd oppose "violence remains almost unheard of" and support "political violence is uncommon". Anyone who follows events in the U.S. knows that there are a lot more murders here than in many other countries, although it's less well known that, in spite of the highly-publicized mass shootings, the overall crime rate is way lower than it was a few decades ago. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:19, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
I'd say that's fair enough. Political violence in the US is most certainly not unheard of, but it is true at as a tourist, you are unlikely to encounter it. The dog2 (talk) 03:08, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
"The proportions of black suspects vs white suspects getting shot by police in the US have shown white suspects actually a bit more likely to get shot than black suspects" - wow, an awesome example of 'alternative facts'. Statistics show there were 191 fatalities of Black people (12.3% of US population) by police shootings compared to 392 shootings of white people (73.6% of US population.
Frankly if something as obvious as this makes some of our contributors uncomfortable to face truths, then I don't really see how we could come to a consensus about how to treat this subject. Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:43, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
Not "alternative facts", you just didn't read correctly. I didn't say the black population; I said suspects. Black people commit more crimes in the US, so they have more interactions with the police than white people. However, the proportion of those interactions that result in police shooting the suspect are lower for black people than for white suspect interactions with officers. It's rather funny that you claim we can't come to a consensus on the grounds of my being a part of it when I am the one who authored the proposed addition that seems to be mostly agreed upon (with one suggested tweak). Are you saying you don't support the additions because you don't like/trust the author? You are the one who falsely claimed Islam was a race, after all, so how can you arbitrate what is "obvious"? I'm sure we're both mistaken on some things and hopefully everyone is open to abandoning certain beliefs if new credible information is presented. With that said though, there is nothing in my proposed statements about shootings of any kind. Attempting to nullify any possible consensus on the grounds that you don't agree with me on a sort of off-shoot discussion that doesn't even impact the proposal looks an awful lot like an attempt to politicize Wikivoyage or at least this page and usurp the consensus-building process. There are no policies that would support the nullification of a consensus on the grounds that one participant has a different view than another (or others or all of the others)...
Ikan Kekek: Regarding the "Violence remains almost unheard of", I was thinking that in the context of someone saying something positive/negative about Trump/Obama around people who vehemently hate them, the possibility of violence on those grounds is almost unheard of. Do you think the likelihood of violence in that context is still enough to say "uncommon". Maybe "rare" is better? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:44, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
In that context, I do believe "rare" would be accurate, yes. I'll avoid discussing the tangent, as it's not important to debate everything about the situation in the U.S. here. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:49, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
We could, I guess, tell people to avoid political gatherings in the interest of safety, but then again, I feel that this applies to pretty much any foreign country you visit. The dog2 (talk) 22:35, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
I wouldn't support such a global warning. The women's marches, for example, have been a lot of fun as well as serious, and they've been overwhelmingly peaceful and safe. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:37, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Good point. And avoiding a white supremacist rally if you are not white is pretty much commonsense. I guess we can say that “Political violence occurs on occasion, but as a tourist, your chances of being targeted are very slim.” If anything, it’s black Americans who get targeted by white supremacist attacks, and not non-white tourists. The dog2 (talk) 22:51, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

I think even "Political violence occurs on occasion" is pushing it a little bit, I think. Racist violence occurs on occasion, but I wouldn't necessarily characterize every incidence of racist violence as "political". If it happened at a Black Lives Matter rally, or during a Charlottesville-style alt-right gathering, then yes, but I think only a small minority of incidents like that occur within such explicitly political contexts. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:59, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
Definitely correct, IMO. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:00, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
Even racist violence is quite rare. The only racist incident I've encountered in the US (and that was before Trump got elected) was a bunch of teenagers driving through San Francisco Chinatown shouting racist slurs. And even in that scenario, I won't discount the possibility of those kids just being trolls.
So I guess we can leave the last part of the paragraph as "As a tourist, your chances of encountering violence is slim." The dog2 (talk) 23:17, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
I agree that the chances are slim. That's another way of saying "rare". Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:28, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
Have we agreed on a form of words? If so, let's insert it into the article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:50, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
I don't think it is clear how this has ended up. It would be best to present the proposed wording clearly, and then allow for wordsmithing here (if any is needed), rather than putting something in the article that people may then want to change. Ground Zero (talk) 01:08, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

(indent) From what I gather, it is the last sentence that people want to see changed, so does it read well now: "While it may seem obvious to avoid political discussions, in recent years, Americans have become especially polarized in their political beliefs and party allegiance can take precedence over reason and civility. If it even sounds like you might be saying something positive about a political figure or policy that someone is against (or speaking ill of a figure or policy they support), you may receive some verbal hostility. Violence of this nature remains rare." ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:22, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

Thanks ChuubyWimbus. A couple of suggestions to trim unnecessary emphasis that set some people off:
"While it may seem obvious to avoid political discussions, in recent years, Americans have become especially polarized in their political beliefs and party allegiance can take precedence over reason and civility. If it even sounds like you might be are saying something positive about a political figure or policy that someone is against (or speaking ill of a figure or policy they support), you may receive some verbal hostility. Violence of this nature remains rare."
Ground Zero (talk) 13:01, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
I don't think this information is necessary, but if we must include it, I don't think we should include the link to Captain Obvious, which is a Wikivoyage policy rather than part of the travel guide. In fact, I think the whole phrase "While it may seem obvious to avoid political discussions" doesn't really add much. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:02, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. Unless Captain Obvious is a captain of a steamboat (which we would list in "get in" or "get around") he shouldn't be linked from a destination article... and Uncyclopedia says that he's not a ship's captain at the current time. K7L (talk) 14:15, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
It's true that in the original formulation the two introductory clauses together served to bury the lede, but I'd say if we're cutting out "while it may seem obvious to avoid political discussions" then we should restore "in recent years". Also, I'd insert a "however" into the last sentence, which currently reads brusque and needs more of a connection and flow with the preceding text. Here's my proposal:
"In recent years, Americans have become especially polarized in their political beliefs, and party allegiance can take precedence over reason and civility. If it even sounds like you are saying something positive about a political figure or policy that someone is against (or speaking ill of a figure or policy they support), you may receive some verbal hostility. However, violence of this nature remains rare."
or "...Violence of this nature, however, remains rare."
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:40, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
I have a purely writing style-based objection to the phrasing of the last sentence, because "violence of this nature" is unclear to me. I'd make a slight edit:
"In recent years, Americans have become especially polarized in their political beliefs, and party allegiance can take precedence over reason and civility. If it even sounds like you are saying something positive about a political figure or policy that someone is against (or speaking ill of a figure or policy they support), you may receive some verbal hostility. However, physically violent reactions to political statements remain rare." Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:39, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
I think that looks good. The dog2 (talk) 22:21, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
"In recent years" is vague and unnecessary. Travellers need to know the situation now, which is what "Americans have become especially polarized" (or "Americans are especially polarized"). The past is the past and belongs in Wikipedia. "In recent years" sounds like we're trying to imply that this came about because of the election. We shouldn't imply things. Either we should say it was because of the election if we feel that the political commentary is necessary, or we should leave it out if we are content with being a travel guide. I vote for the latter. (There is a reason why "recently" is on our list of words to avoid.) Ground Zero (talk) 00:55, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
It certainly predates the 2016 election and was true of people who hated President Obama, too. To a somewhat lesser degree, it also applied to G.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, but I think that things have been getting increasingly worse, as reflected by the degree of conflict and dysfunction in Congress, as well as the degree of vituperation from people with and without substantial audiences outside of Congress. I think it would be nice to indicate that increased polarization is not just something happening now but an increasing trend, because unless something unforeseen happens (and though the situation is much less critical here, I'm thinking for example of the negotiations that produced the Good Friday Accord that ended most of the intercommunal terrorism in Northern Ireland that seemed intractable to that point), trends are likely to continue for a while.
So would you be satisfied with this?
"Since at least the 1990s, the trend has been for Americans to become increasingly polarized in their political beliefs, and nowadays, party allegiance can take precedence over reason and civility. If it even sounds like you are saying something positive about a political figure or policy that someone is against (or speaking ill of a figure or policy they support), you may receive some verbal hostility. However, physically violent reactions to political statements remain rare."Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:23, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I really don't think the history/political commentary is appropriate, but it is better than "in recent years", so if everyone else is okay with it, I'll live. Ground Zero (talk) 01:29, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
That's fine too. I vaguely recall that when I visited the US on a high school summer programme, people weren't as polarised and in general not as sensitive, though it might be because we were all high school kids. The dog2 (talk) 02:01, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
That works for me. I wasn't married to the "in recent years" verbiage so much as I felt there needed to be an introductory clause to frame the paragraph rather than just plunging right into "Americans have become especially polarized...", which sounded a bit abrupt to me. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:32, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
If everyone is at peace with this language, we can insert it tomorrow and feel happy that we were able to agree on a statement that addresses the state of American politics in a reasonable, non-partisan way. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:45, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure that the 1990s is the best place to set the pin on when the escalation of polarization got so bad (I'd at least place it in this century), but I don't think it matters so much, so I'd say it's okay. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:13, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I think it started around 1994 with the Speakership of Gingrich and the impeachment of Clinton and has gotten steadily worse since then. Some people might date the beginning of it back further, but that's enough to me. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:10, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I think Ikan Kekek has it right. There were certainly some pre-1994 forerunners to the current era of partisan intransigence - the Reagan Revolution; Watergate; you could even push it as far back as Barry Goldwater's failed but influential campaign for the presidency in 1964 - but you rarely if ever saw the two parties outright refusing to work together, and consequently creating legislative gridlock for protracted periods of time, until the Clinton years. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:09, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Let's not forget Lincoln and the American Civil War; I don't think it has gotten that bad yet. But what I've heard from different people is that there has been increasing intolerance of the other side in the last ten years or so. And I know this is going off on a tangent, but from what I know, Lincoln was a Republican, and the Democrats were the ones engaging in racist politics back then. It beats me how the two major political parties in the US actually ended up swapping their political platforms; in Australia, Labor has always been left-wing and the Coalition has always been right-wing. The dog2 (talk) 01:48, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Regarding "you rarely if ever saw the two parties outright refusing to work together", obviously I'm talking about within living memory. As for your last question, I could expound at length on the political effects of desegregation, the Civil Rights Movement, and the aftermath of the Great Depression, Nixon's "Southern Strategy", and the effect of the differences between federal and parliamentary systems on party discipline, but that would be abandoning this discussion's last remaining tenuous links with the scope of this site. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:25, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
The dog2, are you OK with this phrasing? Anyone object to anything in it? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:18, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
It works for me. You guys have been in the US longer than me, so you'll know better when this increasing political polarisation started. And I must say that we've done very well in coming to a consensus despite our diversity of political opinions here. The dog2 (talk) 05:25, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Media Bias[edit]

One thing I was thinking of is mentioning under News and Media about the political biases of television news. For instance, it is most certainly known that MSNBC has a strong left-wing bias, while Fox News has a strong right-wing bias, and most of the others, such as ABC, the main NBC, CBS and PBS are somewhat centre-left. At least my view is that this is something that is good to know so people can make an informed decision on where to get your news from, and perhaps even consult different news sources to get the whole picture.

And one more thing we could perhaps mention is to perhaps mention YouTube news channels. For instance, for people who lean left, The Young Turks would probably be the YouTube news channel of choice and for people who lean right, perhaps Ben Shapiro's The Daily Wire will be what they want to watch. The dog2 (talk) 18:27, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

sigh. Didn't we remove some sentence(s) to that effect in one of the culls in the course of the last year? Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:03, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Someone else did, but it was not discussed here. My view is that it should be mentioned in some form, but I'll wait and see what the consensus is. The dog2 (talk) 19:06, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I thought consensus was a year ago that we should stop wasting so much time on this one article. Seriously. There are so, so many state articles below USA that could do with some eyeballs instead of this repetitive discussion of literally a handful of words here or there saying this or that or the opposite. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:09, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Let's please avoid discussing media bias in the U.S. here! No-one will profit from that. And visitors who watch or listen to the news at home will certainly be able to tell the difference. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:09, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I agree. Look at how much time we spent on the above edit. Please, please move on to other articles, and please, please, please focus on information directly related to travel. Arguing over contentious political issues tangentially related to travel is not a good use of time, as several editors have told you before. Ground Zero (talk) 21:17, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Many travellers watch the evening news when they are in the US. And these biases are actually widely known in the US, so it's for the most part not a political debate on whether these biases actually exist. But if the consensus is against mentioning them, I won't push the issue. The dog2 (talk) 23:19, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
The biases are well-known in the rest of the world too. I've never been to the U.S. and knew all about the "fake news" long before it was cool :-) Putting in this info is well within Captain Obvious territory. The U.S. is the most influential country in the world, and its media is probably the single most influential aspect of American culture on the world stage, ergo everyone knows about the media in the U.S. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 23:39, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Tex-Mex[edit]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the article currently says Tex-Mex is "localized Mexican food". Isn't at least the origin of that food the food of Texas in the 19th century combined with the food of Northern Mexico to some extent? IIRC Chili con Carne is traditionally Tex-Mex but cannot in any way shape or form be described as a "localized" version of any dish somebody from DF would be all that familiar with. Now Taco Bell is of course something else entirely, as attested by their repeated failures to enter the Mexican market and the reaction to it by Mexicans... Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:10, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

I wouldn't say that Tex-Mex is "localized" so much as Americanized. The usage/exact definition may be regional. In the Midwest, Tex-Mex is any kind of Americanized Mexican food (some would even include Taco Bell in that category), especially if you put cheddar cheese and sour cream on it. I agree that historically the term originated in Texas but (if you allow me to wax poetic for a bit) I feel it describes a trend of taking Mexican foods and adjusting them to American palates and ingredients, not a specific type/style of food. DethDestroyerOfWords (talk) 22:01, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
"Tex-Mex" refers to a hybrid cuisine based on Mexican but native to the U.S. and with American touches, rather than Americanized versions of individual dishes that also exist in authentically Mexican versions. Furthermore, Tex-Mex restaurants in the United States are rarely billed as such - they almost invariably call themselves "Mexican restaurants", with the potential customer left to figure out for him- or herself which restaurants are Tex-Mex and which are the "small authentic Mexican taquerías" that have been increasingly popping up even away from the border and the large metro areas. (Sadly, in fact it's only recently that the American everyman - at least away from the Mexican border - has even come to realize that there is a difference between Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican.) -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:12, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
Let's just use your wording in the article. I feel it sums up my thoughts better than I can. That bit about not being advertised as Tex-Mex is a big one that I couldn't articulate. DethDestroyerOfWords (talk) 22:15, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Hey, let's remember that this isn't an article on "Food in the United States", and Tex-Mex is just one of many cuisines. This should be high-level, not a detailed section. If you want to add something, please consider removing something else to keep this article manageable. Thank you. Ground Zero (talk) 22:25, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

I still think it would be worthwhile to have a formal policy mandating that all contributions to this article must have a net-negative length, since the article length invariably creeps back up as soon as we divert our attention. Note that my additions re: Tex-Mex cuisine came on the heels of several previous net-negative contributions. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:02, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
I've had this discussion before on fairly sophisticated, knowledgeable food discussion boards. The consensus there was that Tex-Mex, properly speaking, is the authentic cuisine of Texans that is indeed part of a continuous tradition going back to when Texas was part of Mexico (and "continuous tradition" in no way means "no change"). Similarly, there are Cal-Mex and New Mexican cuisines. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:51, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

Dietary Restrictions[edit]

As for my edit that was reverted, I understand people's concerns about length, but I think that we should briefly provide information that is relevant to Jewish and Muslim travellers as well. We have a lot written for people with gluten-free diets, vegetarians and so on, so I think it is only fair that we also have some information pertaining to people with religious diets. Many Jewish and Muslim travellers do visit the United States after all. The dog2 (talk) 01:10, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

I agree with you, but I don't think there is such a profusion of kosher delicatessens nowadays, which serve pastrami, corned beef, tongue and other huge meat sandwiches. Rather, we'd be talking about kosher shops and restaurants. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:43, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
I agree that a brief summary of kosher and halal information is worth including. —Granger (talk · contribs) 11:45, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

In an article that gets as many edits as this one two people is hardly a consensus. This should not have been restored so quickly, in my opinion. But instead of arguing over it, I've demonstrated that it was possible - in fact, easy - to trim down the bloat in the section in order to accommodate the new text.

It is up to the person who wants to add stuff to do this editing. Adding a bunch of new text and inviting others to edit it down is not constructive. Next time text is added and the editor spends time on the talk page arguing why it should be added instead of trimming other text to make space, then maybe the safest option is to just revert the edits. This is not the only article in Wikivoyage, and it is in pretty good shape, even if it is really long. It is time to work on improving other articles, and leave this one alone. Ground Zero (talk) 00:43, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

I'd like to see this article as DotM someday (dare I say it?), so I think continuing to shorten and simplify content to improve readability is a worthwhile pursuit. Other than that particular activity, I agree that attention should be turned elsewhere than this article. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:39, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

The length of this article, again[edit]

@AndreCarrotflower: Regarding your edit summary that you're "going to start simply reverting edits that add text without removing text elsewhere": I sure hope that was an exaggeration. You made that proposal before, and it still has not gotten consensus. I for one oppose any policy that edits must result in a net decrease in article length. Sometimes a useful and important addition means increasing the length of the article a bit. Users who are concerned that the article is too long can always continue cutting things down. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:53, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

I second this; consensus simply doesn't work that way. By all means, continue to simplify existing text, and move text to other articles that are more appropriate; those will still help to decrease the total length of the article. But do not remove or undo edits simply because they add length. That is not a policy on this or any other WV page, and several of us do not agree with the idea. --Bigpeteb (talk) 02:05, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
But which side of this argument is more guilty of ignoring consensus? Consensus also holds that this article needs to be shortened, yet despite repeated admonitions there are many of us happily undoing others' efforts to slim down the text here. Obviously there are certain extenuating circumstances where a necessary bit of information has been overlooked, but in cases like the anonymous editor who I reverted with the edit summary at issue here, where the information added nothing of value, then I will have absolutely no compunction about reverting. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:38, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
I think that additions should be a clear improvement, but adding information for people on kosher and halal diets seems like an obvious improvement to me, not something to be reverted just on account of length. I also would like to know why Super Bowl Sunday was removed from the list of holidays, since the effect of the day on visitors would be quite pronounced. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:08, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Ikan, the edit referred to here was this one. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:11, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
That edit really didn't add anything of importance. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:18, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. For the record, I have no argument with the information about dietary restrictions, especially now that Ground Zero has trimmed it down and excised some other text for a net negative effect (or, at least, more-or-less a wash) in terms of length. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:26, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"Consensus also holds that this article needs to be shortened". No, I don't think it does. I think the consensus is that this article tends to bloat, and that we need to be vigilant about adding so many little details and factoids that the article's length becomes a hinderance for readers. But that doesn't imply that the article must always be made shorter. If we find something important that's been left out, we should add it. If something changes (e.g. political or legal issues) and warrants coverage, we should add it. If we notice one day that something is inaccurate or poorly explained, we should fix it, and while it's a good goal to always improve the text to be more succinct, sometimes an edit will make the text longer.

I simply do not agree that this article needs to be shortened in every single edit, and I don't even agree that it needs to be shorter in general. If anything, every other country article needs to be improved until they all have this level of detailed coverage! --Bigpeteb (talk) 18:33, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

After that post from AndreCarrotflower and Ground Zero that was clearly targeted against me, I was trying to do my part to trim some stuff. We did mention Super Bowl Sunday under the section about Sports, and it is not really a holiday, which was why I thought we could perhaps remove it. We do not list the Champions' League final as a holiday in the European country articles, and neither do we list the AFL Grand Final as a holiday in the Australia article. But I most certain felt that before my edit, information about halal and kosher food for practising Muslims and Jews was lacking, and it was something that should be mentioned even if the article was lengthened a little bit. My comment on asking people to trim was to trim down stuff from my addition in case it was too long-winded. The dog2 (talk) 19:10, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
The dog2 deserves full credit for the trimming s/he did after the comments above. Those edits demonstrate how bloated this article is. The edit history of the article shows that the grows pretty unrelentingly over time. There is a tendency for editors to want to add stuff to this high profile article, and there is little interest in removing stuff that is out of date, too detailed, too local, too historical. If we don't ask contributors to trim while they add, how will the bloat be controlled? If the answer is "someone else should do it", then we know exactly what the problem is and what the result will be: the USA article will become a dumping ground for every bit of information about things in the USA that editors decide to add, rather than a article that is useful for readers.
That "Halal Guys" is a big chain that started from a food truck is interesting, but what the heck is that info doing in the United States of America article? Commentary on gluten-free food fadism? Not important for an article about this huge diverse nation. Repetition and repeated explanations? Please give our readers some credit for being able to understand plain English words. Stating the obvious? We have a policy on that.
Obviously important missing content should be added, but there is nothing wrong with asking editors to take less important or outdated stuff while they are doing it. Ground Zero (talk) 19:38, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Nobody in Europe gives a crap about the Champion's League Final. I'd wager there are more avid watchers of the Super Bowl than there are avid watchers of the who cares which company spent more money this year final of scoreless draw ball. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:04, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
I can tell you for a fact that the AFL Grand Final is a really big deal in Australia. It is to Australians what Super Bowl is to Americans, and even Australians who typically do not regularly watch Australian Rules Football will often turn on their TVs just for this game. The pubs will also be absolutely packed full of people watching the game. The dog2 (talk) 20:16, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
That may be, but the Champion's League is overhyped stuff that works better in the foreign market than any given domestic market. Mostly because the vast majority of European soccer fans hate the half dozen teams that usually wins it all. And casual fans are too, well, casual... Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:32, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Please expand upon this in the Australia article. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:35, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Ground Zero, gluten-free diets are not only for faddists. There are people who actually have gluten intolerance, and they travel, too. I do think this article should be shortened, but maybe we can do that with more copy editing. I'll try doing a little. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:47, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
I'll give my two cents as someone who works in science. Yes, it's true that some people have coeliac disease or some other form of gluten sensitivity, and these people need to have gluten-free diets. But there are also many people who go on a gluten-free diet as a fad. There is just so much misinformation in the media about gluten that give people this idea that gluten is something inherently bad for your health. Of course, if you've studied toxicology, it's true that anything is toxic if taken in a large enough dose, even water, vitamin C and oxygen. But in general, there is absolutely no benefit to going gluten-free if you don't have some form of gluten sensitivity. Many people who claim gluten sensitivity just came to this conclusion on their own without consulting a doctor, so it is true that gluten sensitivity is one of the most self-misdiagnosed conditions in the Western world right now. Of course, it's people's choice what diets they want to follow, but I will say that unless someone has seen a doctor and been medically diagnosed as such, take it with a pinch of salt if someone tells you that they have gluten sensitivity. The dog2 (talk) 00:02, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
Certainly. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:36, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
Ikan, we should provide information for people who follow GF diets and leave it at that. What I removed was commentary about how some people are following a fad while others have medical issues (I can't remember the exact wording). My point was that we don't need to get into that discussion in the USA article. I have my own opinions on the GF fad (as distinct from coeliac disease), but I don't think anyone needs to hear them in a travel guide. Ground Zero (talk) 02:09, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Yes, we are in full agreement. Regardless of the facts about gluten, it's no more necessary to get into that discussion here than to express an opinion about whether liberal or conservative politics is superior. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:27, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────While I think the text in that section is good as it stands, I will say that I believe that even though we should refrain from partisan politics here on WV, factual accuracy is still important for our articles. I believe at as a community, we have a consensus (or at least I hope we do) that everything written in the articles should stand up to the test of science, even if some people may believe in alternative facts. The dog2 (talk) 03:42, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

I was out of commission for most of yesterday, but getting back to earlier events in this discussion: The dog2, I appreciate your contributions to slimming the article down, and I see no value in pointing fingers and assigning blame for this article's bloat to any particular editor or editors. My statement above says it all, "the article length invariably creeps back up as soon as we divert our attention". It's not necessarily anyone's "fault", per se, but it is something that we should be keeping in mind more than we are now (or had been until a couple days ago). Bigpeteb, you seem to be under the mistaken impression that an article's length and level of detail are directly proportional to its quality. We've never held that to be the case on Wikivoyage. The number one rule of thumb is that articles should be readable and usable for the actual traveller, and particularly the offline user. If this article were to be printed out onto paper, it would be 66 pages long. No one is going to read that cover to cover, especially not while travelling, and for those looking for something specific, it's exceedingly difficult to sift through that whole glut of information to find a needle in the haystack. However, I don't support deleting any information that's valuable to travellers - everything a traveller might find helpful has a place on this site, but, and this is the kicker, not necessarily in this article. There's some information specific to certain regions that can be devolved to the respective subregion article, as I did a few weeks ago with a lengthy tangent on Southern cuisine in the "Eat" section; there's also the option of creating new travel topic articles to which to move detailed information on a particular topic, as Ground Zero has done with Studying in the United States, Working in the United States, and perhaps some others I've missed. I'm cognizant of the fact that United States of America will probably always be among the longest articles on this site, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't slim it down where possible. As I said elsewhere, I'd like to get this article on the Main Page as DotM someday (though probably not soon, given how the schedule is looking for 2018 and '19), and I think 200KB is a good length to shoot for. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:49, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, User:AndreCarrotflower... that's a much more nuanced perspective on the matter, and I can't really disagree with any part of it. You're especially right that because we use wiki format, a lot of information may be appropriate to keep, but best moved to other articles.
Without meaning to be argumentative — merely informative — I did a quick experiment: I just grabbed several paperback travel guides from my shelf and checked their intro sections that cover the same things as WV's country-level articles. All of them are longer than 66 pages. (Let's Go guides for 4 different countries ranged from 84 to 109 pages, and Rough Guide to Japan had 75 pages of text plus another 23 glossy pages of overview and photos.)
I admit, it's not a hugely meaningful comparison. Those printed guidebooks include a lot more listings and itineraries in their country-level description than WV does. And "printed pages" is a meaningless number if you don't control for how much text fits on one page (although at a glance, it appears to be similar). Nevertheless, to me that suggests that country-level articles are naturally going to be long, as they have a lot of information to cover. --Bigpeteb (talk) 18:46, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

Spin off a travel topic for something along the lines of "traveling to the US" or "US customs and immigration"[edit]

Given that this section was rather long and some of what has been excised since then may seem obvious to some but isn't to everybody and the potential consequences of getting deported, maybe we want to have a standalone travel topic with subsections like "Can I apply through Visa Waiver", "Do I need a visa", "Which type of visa should I get", "What if my plans change?", "What if I want to visit Canada or Mexico, too?" and so on and so forth... Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:39, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

I didn't remove all that information. Merely some that seem obvious, as well as some repetitions. Some of these are true for any and every country. For instance, where else will you go after picking up your bags from the carousel? To the exit of course. That's just commonsense. And for no country does a visa guarantee you entry. Any country's immigration officer can refuse you entry and deport you even if you have a valid visa. That information probably belongs in the "Visa" article instead of this one. And baggage allowance is something that you should be checking with your airline about. Every airline has its own rules, and we can't possibly cover all airlines that fly to the US in this article, so the best we can do is to ask travellers to check with their airlines under one of the "Flying" articles. The dog2 (talk) 16:00, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
I agree with The dog2's changes and with Hobbitschuster's proposal. I think we could say something like: "Please see the US customs and immigration article if you:" followed by a bullet point list. I don't think separate paragraphs covering citizens of Micronesia, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, etc., are appropriate for this article. Only about a hundred people live in these places, and some of them don't read Wikivoyage, so it would be safe to branch the information off to another article. Details on the quantities of perfume, etc., that you can bring in could also be moved. Ground Zero (talk) 10:58, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
My immediate reaction is that instead of having articles about stuff like this, we should refer people to the official websites that will always give them up-to-date information and otherwise, cover just the basics. I don't see why we would want to duplicate this stuff in detail.
I should also say that at this point, I am far from panicky about the length of this article. I think it's OK, and readers can skip any sections that don't interest them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:04, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Ikan Kekek on both counts. I don't really like the idea of splitting off a separate "US customs and immigration" article, because customs and immigration are something all (or almost all) visitors to the US need to worry about, unlike, say, Driving in the United States or Fast food in the United States and Canada. I do think it's a good idea to remove obscure, niche issues like importing raw milk; we can direct travellers with very unusual customs concerns or passport situations to the official websites for detailed, up-to-date information. —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:04, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
I don't think we should moving all of the customs and immigration info. We should leave the key information that is applicable to make St travellers, and move the niche information to a separate article. Links to the officials sites are a good idea, but people are coming to Wikivoyage as a starting point to get general info about travelling to the US, so I think we should provide it where we can. Ground Zero (talk) 12:20, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
I think general info has to be covered in this article either way. For obscure and niche info, why not just rely on the official site, which will always be more detailed and more up to date. I just don't see how we're adding value by creating a separate "US customs and immigration" article. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:55, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
That's true of information for places to see, things to do, restaurants, hotels, transport information. Where Wikivoyage adds value is by bringing it all together in one place. Readers will always know that official sources are best for legal information, but Wikivoyage can provide an introduction. I'm not in favour of deleting information from Wikivoyage (unless it is incorrect), and encourage you to stop doing so while this discussion is ongoing. Ground Zero (talk) 20:55, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
I'm happy to stop removing information from this article. I was trying to help with the effort to make it shorter, but I'll stop doing so until this discussion is resolved. My feeling is that customs and immigration information is different from places to see, things to do, and so on, in that it is already all in one place: the US government website. What kind of information would we put in the proposed spin-off article that isn't already available at the US government website? —Granger (talk · contribs) 22:36, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
The point would be to gather all the information directly relevant to travelling in one place, Wikivoyage. The US government website does not list places to see, restaurants, hotels, transportation information. And it isn't as witty and amusing as Wikivoyage, but that's another issue. Ground Zero (talk) 01:12, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
I think we should keep customs and immigration information at the country level and not spin it off. However, I think that we can remove overly detailed information and simply refer people to the appropriate U.S. government website for accurate, up-to-date information. For example, we should refer them to the Department of Agriculture website in regard to what kinds of foods they can bring in. The generalization about cheese being OK to bring in is unhelpful, by the way, because there are young raw milk cheeses that are specifically banned from importation to the U.S. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:19, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I agree with this. Let's not spin it off because visas, immigration and customs affect every single foreigner who wishes to enter the U.S. But let's keep this focussed on the most common issues for travellers. For detailed information that only a very small minority of travellers will need to know, we can just direct them to CBP's web-site. But we should definitely mention that getting a U.S. visa is exceptionally cumbersome. For most other countries, you just fill up a few forms and hand your passport over to a travel agent, and they'll take care of it for you, but this does not work for the U.S. You have to actually go to the embassy/consulate and be seen in person. Thankfully, my visa interview was very straightforward (I guess because Singapore is considered a friendly country), but I've heard other people talk about being asked weird questions and even having their passports taken for several months while the U.S. government conducts background checks. The dog2 (talk) 05:06, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

So what to do about special information for people from obscure places? Do we provide info for Canadians and Europeans but send Micronesians, Cayman Islanders and Turks and Caicos Islanders to another website? Ground Zero (talk) 11:47, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
I'll admit that's a grey area, but I'm leaning towards keeping them in. You won't find this information on the web-site about the VWP, so WV is a good place to compile all this information about visa-free travel to the US. On CBP's web-site, the VWP, the waiver for Canadians and Bermudians, and all the other waivers are all over the place. What I would say we don't need to go into detail about though, is about things like the procedure to get a work visa. And we need not go into details about how to apply for a visa except when there are some issues specific to the U.S. that tourists applying for visas for other countries do not face. The dog2 (talk) 22:37, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
Ground Zero, what kind of information are you thinking of? Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:30, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
Under United States of America#Visa-free entry, there are five or six paragraphs covering residents of jurisdictions with few residents - Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, American Samoa, and the Cayman Islands. I can't see removing it from Wikivoyage, or keeping it in the country-level USA article.
I am confused about the comment about details on applying for work visa - I don't see those. I think they have already been moved to the "Working in the US" article, which should be referenced and link in this section, but isn't. Ground Zero (talk) 05:50, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
Keep the content at "Visa-free entry" in the U.S.A. guide, but remove the remark about people born in U.S. territories being American citizens/nationals. They all know that, and if they don't, they don't need to read Wikivoyage to find out. I will remove this paragraph if there's no objection:
People born in the U.S. overseas territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands are considered to be U.S. citizens [my comment: by the way, they aren't merely considered to be but are U.S. citizens]. Those who are born in American Samoa are U.S. nationals. Therefore, they do not require a passport to travel to or live in the United States (unless they are travelling from non-U.S. territories). Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:11, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

My fear is that directing people to official sites might leave then with too much of a puppy dogs and rainbows impression when the actual US border regime is notorious for drastic punishments of even minor infractions and stuff a visitor wouldn't have suspected. And unlike being disallowed from visiting the glorious people's democratic national reorganization god fearing kingdom of the Republic (which might get a new [visa] regime next year) the article avoiding travel through the United States shows that the US are kind of a big deal if for whatever reason you can't enter... Hobbitschuster (talk) 06:27, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

That kind of stuff should be in this article! What I think we should omit is a list - especially an inaccurate list - of what foodstuffs an individual traveler can import. For details like that, a referral to the relevant official page (in this case, presumably one on the Department of Agriculture's site) should be provided. I'd like to delete that entire little subsection. In other words, I'd like to keep this sentence and add a link to it: "The legality of agricultural products varies by the product." I would like to delete the subsequent 3 lines of bullet points. As I've pointed out, much cheese is illegal to import to the U.S., but we don't need to detail that, do we? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:38, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
I am surprised that there is such eagerness to purge relevant information from Wikivoyage. My focus in making this article more usable had been in moving information to other articles, and providing useful information more concisely by removing redundancies, and background/context stuff that is not needed to describe the current situation. I don't understand the objection to moving the overly detailed parts of this topic to another article so that it is still available in Wikivoyage for readers. With links, of course, to official websites, as we always try to do. Ground Zero (talk) 06:41, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
I don't really care greatly about decreasing the length of this article per se. I don't have a huge problem with leaving details in this article, but let's please not have inaccuracies like a blanket assurance that cheese is OK to bring into the U.S. from other countries. Try doing that with some young Epoisses and find out what happens if they catch you. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:05, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
No one ever objects to removing inaccurate or obsolete information. That isn't an issue here. Ground Zero (talk) 07:14, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
OK, but I also would like to delete those 3 bulleted lines saying what foods you can and can't bring in. However, if it's really important to leave them in, I guess we have to state what makes a cheese OK or not OK to bring in, and its a bit complicated, because with raw milk cheeses, it depends how long they were aged. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:44, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
My view is that there needs to be a short summary about bringing food in. At the very least, we have to tell people that all food must be declared. Sure, the US is not as strict as Australia in this regard, but it's still pretty strict by most standards. Like Australia, even if the food is permitted, you still have to declare it, and you'll get fined, or even prosecuted if you don't. The dog2 (talk) 16:34, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Speaking of which, I think we should remove the mention of Mexicans from the list of visa-free nations. Mexicans need a visa to visit the US, and the border crossing card is just a regular tourist visa in card form. The requirements and procedures for getting a border crossing card are exactly the same as a regular tourist visa. I have spoken to a Mexican from Tijuana with a border crossing card about this before, so I'm pretty sure this is the case. The dog2 (talk) 16:53, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

I agree on a short summary about bringing food in, as The dog2 outlines. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:55, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
For reference, we can look at the Australia article. Perhaps something along those lines will be good. The dog2 (talk) 04:26, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. The direct link is Australia#Customs and quarantine. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:55, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
So if there are no objections within 24 hours, I guess we can proceed with the edit. I don't object to the removal of information for US overseas territories citizens, so you can do that too. And as previously mentioned, let's also remove the bit about Mexicans, because the border crossing card is just a tourist visa in card form. Unlike Canadians, Mexicans cannot visit the US without a visa. The dog2 (talk) 19:33, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

World class museums in San Francisco[edit]

Since the article specifically mentions SF as a place for those, can someone please name them? I think L.A. has them beaten by a mile on that, but tell me where to go on my next trip to SF. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:10, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

The Legion of Honor and De Young are good ones that I have been to. I've heard good things about the Asian Art Museum too, but I've never been there myself. The dog2 (talk) 00:13, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
Are they world-class to you? Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:19, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
I'd say the Exploratorium is a world-class museum. I haven't been to any other museums in SF recently enough to be sure about them. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:26, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
IMO, those two are good, but not as good as the Met in NYC, the British Museum in London, the Prado in Madrid or the National Palace Museum in Taipei. I'd visit them over the NYC's Guggenheim anytime though. The dog2 (talk) 00:35, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

Region descriptions[edit]

Maybe we can shorten some of these. How about the Mid-Atlantic one?

Ranging from New York in the north to Washington, D.C., the Mid-Atlantic is home to some of the nation's most densely populated cities, historic sites, rolling mountains, the New Jersey Pine Barrens, the Lehigh Valley, and seaside resorts like the Long Island beaches and the Jersey Shore.

I'd shorten it to:

"Ranging from New York in the north to Washington, D.C., the Mid-Atlantic is home to some of the nation's most densely populated cities, historic sites, rolling mountains and seaside resorts."

To me, that's enough. If you disagree, why? And how about the other regions? Here's Midwest:

The Midwest is home to farmland, forests, picturesque towns, industrial cities, and the Great Lakes, the largest system of freshwater lakes in the world, forming the North Coast of the U.S. Known for their simplicity and hospitality, Midwesterners are a welcoming people.

How about this:

"A region of simple, hospitable people; farmland; forests; picturesque towns; industrial cities; and the Great Lakes — the largest system of freshwater lakes in the world, which forms the North Coast of the U.S."

I'll bet we could do that with some other descriptions. Should we discuss each one's wording here, or should we feel free to plunge forward? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:48, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

Those look good to me. The dog2 (talk) 03:44, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
I'll insert the one for the Midwest. I'll wait a little on Mid-Atlantic in case someone wants to argue that it's really important to specifically mention the Pine Barrens, Lehigh Valley, Long Island and the Jersey Shore at the country level. I don't think it is, but I don't want to cause offense by plunging too far forward without consensus. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:54, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

[unindent] Here's Great Plains:

Travel westward through these flat states, from the edge of the eastern forests through the prairies and onto the High Plains, an enormous expanse of steppes (shortgrass prairies) nearly as desolate as in the frontier days, but filled still with pockets of quirky and diverse history.

Westward is how the pioneers traveled, but you can travel in any direction. I think this is really the point, and I'd propose this shortened/edited version:

"Where there are not huge farms or the occasional town, there are still enormous expanses of praries, some of them nearly as desolate as in the frontier days, but filled still with pockets of quirky and diverse history."

Maybe someone has a better suggestion. I guess "flat" is a good description for most of it and should stay. Hmmmm...Lemme try again:

"In some places flatter than a pancake, this region used to consist of endless grasslands. Much of it is now one huge farm after another, with occasional towns, but the remaining prairies are still vast, sometimes desolate, and redolent with history today."

That's intermediate in length between the original and first edited version, but I like it best. Any other ideas? (And by the way, Kansas was actually calculated by a mathematician to be flatter than the average pancake.) Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:05, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

Sorry about my roll back. I didn't even see that I had done that. I fully agree with tightening up the region descriptions. Regards, Ground Zero (talk) 08:45, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
No problem. I've inserted my second edited version of the "Great Plains" description, for whatever that's worth. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:40, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
"Redolent" means "suggestive" or "reminiscent". Saying the Great Plains are "redolent with of history" (and it should usually be "redolent of") implies that the Great Plains suggest history or remind you of history, not that they actually have history! Perhaps you meant "replete with" instead, which means "full of"? But I'd prefer to just use a simpler word. --Bigpeteb (talk) 19:04, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
Also, I wonder if the first phrase would be better as
Often describe as "flatter than a pancake",
It turns out that some scientists calculated that Kansas really is flatter than a pancake (although that's now disputed!), but "flatter than a pancake" is both an Americanism and a saying particularly applied to the Great Plains, so I think quoting it would be better. (Given the difficulty of English we use in this article already, it's not really worth considering "what if the reader doesn't know what a "pancake" is?".) --Bigpeteb (talk) 19:16, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
I'll have a look. Thanks for your feedback. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:20, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
I edited it. I frankly am not up on how the Prairies are historic, and I'm not sure just stating that is meaningful, so I instead had the description start with "A former Wild West frontier land". I think that fits. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:26, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
I also plunged forward and put in the edit to the Mid-Atlantic Region description. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:29, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

Root Beer[edit]

The question here is whether root beer is even worth a mention. You can easily find it at any convenience store or supermarket in Singapore, and I drank it multiple times before I even made my first trip to the US, so it is absolutely untrue that it can only be found easily in North America. The dog2 (talk) 20:05, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

I'm shocked! I had always heard it was a fairly American curiosity that isn't known or available elsewhere. w:Root beer confirms that you're right, though. Very well, away it goes! --Bigpeteb (talk) 20:12, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
I have heard it is one of the main things Americans miss when abroad for extended periods of time. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:24, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
I've heard that repeated many times, too, but I suspect it shows up on a lot of listicles as a small bit of "Yay, America!" without anyone actually questioning whether it's true. I like root beer well enough, but even when I drank soda often, I still rarely had root beer because it's so sickly sweet. When I'm abroad, I'm more likely to miss things like large glasses of bottomless ice water! --Bigpeteb (talk) 00:05, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
I did miss it in Uruguay, where it's unheard of as far as I can tell. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:31, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
I did notice that it was not very common in Australia when I was living there, though you can still find it if you know where to go. I'm not the best judge though because I don't drink soft drinks that often. But for sure root beer is very common in Singapore. Just go to any neighbourhood supermarket and you will find cartons to A&W root beer there. The dog2 (talk) 02:10, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
Speaking of which, Ikan Kekek, since you have lived in Malaysia, what is your take on this? The dog2 (talk) 02:42, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
There was one A&W restaurant in Petaling Jaya (the largest suburb of Kuala Lumpur) that was already well-established in 1975 and popular, so it was possible to get root beer there then. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:44, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
In addition to the above, it is widely available in Canada and carried by Tesco and other supermarkets in the UK. I think we can remove this. Ground Zero (talk) 17:14, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
You can get root beer in Finland too, hypermarkets often have a selection of exotic American soda and snacks. --ϒpsilon (talk) 17:44, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
Would that it were so easy to get Finnish food in the U.S.; I have to go to Canada every time I get a craving for salmiakki. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:55, 10 March 2018 (UTC)

Private Property[edit]

I think we should discuss about where this should be. Someone has written it under "Respect", and while it's a valid point, the question is whether it belongs under "Respect" or "Stay Safe". Things that could get you killed or arrested would typically belong in the "Stay Safe" section. I actually wrote a small bit about it being legal for property owners to shoot trespassers in the section about guns, so some of that paragraph is repetition, but I'm not sure how we can combine the two paragraphs into one. The dog2 (talk) 20:29, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

I think this is definitely more of a "Stay safe" issue. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:02, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

"Go next" section[edit]

I'm loath to suggest anything that would lengthen this still somewhat bloated article, but don't Guide-level articles require one of these? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:28, 10 March 2018 (UTC)

City guides do. Region guides might. Country guides do not. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:05, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
Ok, I stand corrected. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:14, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
Go next is indeed not part of the country template, and I don't think such a section would be very useful in a country article (other than perhaps for small countries). ϒpsilon (talk) 16:58, 10 March 2018 (UTC)

No tip or one cent tip?[edit]

When it comes to tipping I have heard that a one cent tip more directly expresses extreme displeasure with service than no tip at all. No tip might just have been a forgotten tip after all. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:03, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

That's true, and should be covered in Tipping if it isn't already. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:12, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
It is already covered under Tipping. I removed the part about leaving out the tip in extreme cases of bad service because I have never encountered a situation where it's acceptable not to tip. I have encountered several very rude taxi drivers in New York City, and even then I was still expected to tip. And I've never heard of a situation where a customer is assaulted by the waiter, so I don't think we need to cover such an improbable scenario. The dog2 (talk) 23:30, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
I had a taxi driver once who tried to make a wrong turn on my way home, and it was not at all ambiguous. I yelled at him to go straight and asked whether he had smoked too much ganja, and he laughed. That kind of crap deserves no tip. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:40, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Visa policy map[edit]

This edit removed a visa policy image that has by now become de facto standard in most of our country articles. Why? Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:42, 26 March 2018 (UTC)

The edit was reverted because we're trying to shorten this article - and I know you don't agree with that consensus, but it's a consensus nonetheless - and the map was redundant to what's already written in prose in the visa policy section. That said, I have no argument with including the map as long as the prose is excised; reverting the map was simply a quicker way to the same redundancy-avoidance result. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 12:47, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
While most people think "redundant" is exactly the same as "superfluous", that's not always the case. Redundancy can also be a important as a safety measure or to ensure that information that cannot be communicated through one way can be received through another. In addition to that, those maps are based off of the corresponding Wikipedia articles, which see more maintenance than our list of visa free countries. And even if there isn't (yet) a sitewide policy, I think it's desirable to have our country articles look the same where possible. I also dislike a certain tendency to be wrong for the sake of "tone" or "brevity" though it hasn't crept up that much in this here article; sometimes a "shortening" or "straightening" or "simplification" has left the text inaccurate or giving a misleading nuance. Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:58, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
I've really wondered about the proliferation of those maps. Can you tell me, for example, why it's useful in the Bhutan article? Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:51, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
Again, if it's really important to the community that these maps be included, I won't stand in the way of that provided that the prose that explains the exact same thing the map does is removed. But I'd prefer not to lose sight of the fact that we, just like any travel guide, are, and should be, a prose-based project. That's especially important when we start to consider offline users. That map is just one more image they have to render on what is potentially limited bandwidth. And will they be able to tell all the colors apart if printing the article out in black and white? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:20, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
Who decided it was important to the community? Was there any discussion anywhere, or did someone just decide to add all those maps because they're in Wikipedia articles? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:56, 29 March 2018 (UTC)

Metoo and Related Stuff[edit]

I don't know if it's just me, but somehow, my feeling is that things have become a lot more sensitive since the Metoo movement started. Of course, I know that Captain Obvious says that sexual harrassment or sexual assault are not OK, but my sense is that since the start of the movement (or perhaps seven earlier), the definitions of these terms have been broadened in the US. For instance, if a man and a woman drink alcohol together and end up having sex, that has now been reclassified as rape as the woman is deemed incapable of giving consent. If my gut feeling is indeed true, I feel we should warn male visitors that they need to be extra careful when around American women to avoid getting into trouble. The dog2 (talk) 14:50, 26 April 2018 (UTC)

"Me too" is not at all just an American movement, and what exactly is it that you would like to warn men who would get a woman so drunk that she's incapacitated and then rape her? What kind of "trouble" are you anticipating for them that's any different from 5, 10, 20 years ago? Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:14, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
Its not a US-only thing. Let's not spend a whole lot of time discussing this. Let's move to travel stuff. Ground Zero (talk) 16:19, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
Ikan Kekek, of course it goes without saying that in the scenario you describe, that would and should be classified as rape. What I mean is let's say both the man and the woman got drunk on their own accord with no coercion whatsoever and end up having sex. Under new guidelines, that has now been reclassified as rape while in the past, that would be considered a drunken hookup in which both parties were just being stupid. Moral of the story: If you are a man, make sure any woman you have sex with is 100% sober or you will go to jail for rape. The dog2 (talk) 16:55, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Ikan Kekek and Ground Zero. Let's not waste our time arguing about yet another controversial political issue that's at best only tangentially related to travel. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:05, 26 April 2018 (UTC)

Internet News[edit]

I'm wondering if in the section about News and Media, we should add a short paragraph about YouTube. There are actually some rather popular news channels and talk shows on YouTube (eg. The Young Turks), and while they haven't overtaken traditional TV news yet, they are becoming increasingly popular as alternatives to the likes of CNN and CNBC among millenials. Without getting into detail about their political biases (since the previous consensus was not to get into that), perhaps we can just have a short statement mentioning that these can be alternatives to TV news. The dog2 (talk) 18:13, 30 April 2018 (UTC)

Are these USA based news sources or sources focused on the USA? Internet is more-or-less global, so I disagree that we should add a site such as YouTube to the USA article. We absolutely should not promote any specific channels. If anything was added it should be a single sentence saying that there is alternate media on the internet without mentioning specific sites or channels. DethDestroyerOfWords (talk) 18:25, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes, most of the YouTube news channels that I have seen are focussed on the USA. Of course there are foreign YouTube channels, but most of them focus on comedy skits, or specific topics of interest, while serious YouTube news channels and talk shows are very much an American phenomenon. Some of them may cover foreign news from time to time, but the bulk of news they cover is American news, and their political commentary is very much aimed at an American audience. I mentioned The Young Turks simply because it is the most popular of the YouTube news channels, but I agree in priciple that we should remain neutral and not promote specific channels over others. The dog2 (talk) 18:47, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
Dig, I think I can speak for other editors who agree with me that we really value your diverse contributions to Wikivoyage, but your endless fussing over this article drives us crazy. It saps energy that is better devoted to improving other articles. Please leave this article alone. It is a great article - it's time to focus elsewhere. Ground Zero (talk) 19:48, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
Sigh. First of all, YouTube which can be accessed from most of the world (baring crackpot dictatorships that restrict access) is relevant to travel, how? Second, how is debating this for days a good use of anybody's resources? Third why can't you leave this article alone? Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:53, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
The Young Turks and channels like it aren't really news channels. They are commentary channels that talk about what the real news stations have already reported on. It's like The View or talk radio. There is little to no original reporting. They are not journalists. For general news, even with their biases, travelers can trust CNN, Fox News, etc. and local news stations for news specific to a city/region. Most of the Youtube channels are also heavily biased with very specific target audiences, so there is no benefit to directing people to Youtube for alternatives to mainstream news. It's not like the news stations are covering up major news about diseases and murders nationwide that only Youtube is talking about. To me, it also has a feeling of "Hey, kiddos! We here at Wikivoyage discovered this new thing called the WORLD WIDE WEB. It's chock-full of information! Why not check it out?" The internet is quite a well-known thing and internet news sources have been around since its inception. I don't see any real need to inform people about the internet that they are already accessing to read our site... I agree with Hobbitschuster that this is not a worthwhile topic. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:31, 1 May 2018 (UTC)

World's largest commodities trading hub[edit]

I hate to start a big discussion about this, but I don't think the recent addition of this piece of information makes sense. I lived in Chicago for a few years and was unaware until today that it was the world's largest commodities trading hub. I don't think this fact is salient or relevant to most visitors. Of course, anyone who walks around the Loop can tell there's a lot of business going on there, but the fact that a disproportionate amount of this business has to do with commodities trading seems like a detail that most travellers wouldn't even notice. In the Chicago article, it doesn't seem to be mentioned in the lead or the first few paragraphs of the "Understand" section and is instead relegated to a single sentence in the "Economy" subsection and another sentence in the "Work" section. If we want to expand the one-liner description for some reason, there are plenty of other things about Chicago that are more famous and relevant to a typical tourist. For all of these reasons, I don't think it makes sense to add commodities trading to the one-liner description. —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:24, 30 May 2018 (UTC)

I live in New York and have heard about the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for years, and I'm emphatically not in the finance business, just someone who's casually heard the business news every so often on WCBS-AM, a local all-news station in New York. I think it's part of Chicago's character and history. But let's see what others say. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:23, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
I added it simply because it is an important part of Chicago's economy. I'd reckon it's one of the reasons why Chicago hasn't fallen as hard as other former industrial cities in the rust belt like Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh or Buffalo. Sure most tourists are not going to trade commodities in Chicago, but that is without a doubt part of the city's character, and IMO it is an interesting tidbit that visitors may be interested to know, and it passes the notability test. In the same way, we mention Wall Street in the description of New York City, even though tourists are not permitted to enter the NYSE. And though it will be too much to go into detail in the description, most of the commodities trading done in Chicago is in agricultural commodities, due to the fact that the Midwest is a major agricultural region. The dog2 (talk) 04:24, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
Respectfully, dog, though I tend to agree with this edit, I would request that you seriously consider editing other articles, but not this one. Your edits to this article and remarks on this talk page have produced too much controversy over small things that aren't very important. Would you be OK with not editing this article, but concentrating on any other one you like? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:00, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
I've not done anything major to the Respect section after the last discussion, and I did try to play my part in reducing the bloat on this article, but if the community has decided that I should be banned from this article, I guess I don't have much of a choice. At the end of the day, my aim has always been to help visitors to avoid potential faux pas that they might not be aware of, and unfortunately a lot of these things are very politically charged these days. But since that is what the community has decided, with a heavy heart, I accept the topic ban. The question I'd like to ask is if it's an indefinite topic ban, or whether it's for a certain period. The dog2 (talk) 05:13, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
Commodities trading is one of the major things that made Chicago what it is today, particularly the wealth you can see in the architecture. Such background information I think is of interest to visitors, and it would appear locals. --Traveler100 (talk) 06:21, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
The dog2, no-one has decided anything. I was making a request. Maybe it was an inappropriate one, and if so, I apologize. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:00, 30 May 2018 (UTC)

I agree that commodities trading is an important part of Chicago's history—it should be mentioned in the Chicago article, as it already is. My point is that is that it isn't of such key importance to the typical traveller as to merit being mentioned in the one-liner description. But so far I seem to be in the minority with this opinion, so unless someone else chimes in to agree with me, I'll drop the issue. —Granger (talk · contribs) 09:08, 30 May 2018 (UTC)

Includes vs. comprises[edit]

Regarding this edit, I used the word "includes" precisely because 50 states and D.C. are "an incomplete list" - there is also the matter of Puerto Rico and the other territories described at the end of that section, which are also part of the United States even if Wikivoyage doesn't treat them as such. In the spirit of the concerns recently expressed in the Pub, I'm not going to make a mountain out of this molehill, but I did want to lay out my case without doing anything so brusque as reverting Ikan's edit. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:53, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

I thought that might be the case, but I think it's confusing. If we're using "includes", I think we have to make a complete list: "The U.S. includes 50 states, the District of Columbia and various outlying territories in the Caribbean and Pacific". I think that's complete (are there any others in the Atlantic, etc.?), and if so, I'd be perfectly happy with that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:01, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
I agree with AndreCarrotflower about word usage. If we use the word "comprise", we should give a complete list (including mentioning the territories). If we use "include", it's okay to give a complete list or an incomplete list. Ikan Kekek's suggested phrasing with "includes" seems like an acceptable compromise to me. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:13, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
Those other territories aren't exactly the same as the 50 States and D.C. though. I guess the key distinction is that you have to be resident in one of the 50 states or D.C. to vote for President. Residents of say, Puerto Rico or Guam can't. And as a side note, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands have their own Olympic teams, while Hawaii and Alaska can only send athletes as part of the U.S. Olympic Team, so that's another significant difference. The dog2 (talk) 01:14, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
Right. I definitely agree that "includes" indicates an incomplete list, but that's why using it with 50 states is so confusing, because people are so accustomed to thinking that the Union consists of the states, period. Mentioning "territories" without naming them is still not exhaustive. The differences between them can be mentioned below (and are, are they not?). Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:17, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
Yes, under United States of America#Government and politics. The dog2 (talk) 01:28, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

Why not just "the United States has 50 States"? Hobbitschuster (talk) 07:52, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

"Regarded as the most powerful and influential country in the world" - citation needed[edit]

On July 1, I changed the phrase "Regarded as the most powerful and influential country in the world" to "Regarded as one of the most powerful and influential countries in the world".

On July 3, @The dog2: reverted my edit.

On July 5, anonymous user 94.119.64.3 reverted that reversion.

On July 5, @AndreCarrotflower: reverted the reversion of the reversion.

We need to discuss this phrase before the edit war gets any worse.

First, does it even belong in a travel guide?

Second, The dog2 gave the reversion reason of "I think there is a broad consensus that the US is the most powerful and influential country in the world. China and Russia may be gaining on America's heels, but they're most certainly not quite there yet." I do not doubt that there is broad consensus within the US that the US is the most powerful and influential country in the world. However, if this was true, Crimea would currently be governed by the nation that the US prefers it be governed by, the civil war in Syria would have been over years ago, and the current US trade tariffs would have gone unanswered - three counter-examples to the stated theorem.

Third, Wikivoyage is international in scope. Being jingoistic in any of our articles strikes a false chord.

Should we just remove the phrase altogether?

--Robkelk (talk) 15:34, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

I don't think that "the most powerful" is problematic, but I also don't think it's necessary. We're writing for earthling travellers, not visitors from other planets. We don't have to state the obvious. Ground Zero (talk) 15:52, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
the most powerful is not omnipotent. You are arguing against calling the United States omnipotent. Nobody is doing that Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:56, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
For the record, although I live in the U.S. now, I was not born and raised here, and I am still a foreign citizen. That said, if we look at this objectively, the U.S. has the world's largest economy, and the world's strongest military. There is absolutely no dispute about these two facts. And even when it comes to soft power, American corporations like McDonald's, Amazon, Microsoft, Caterpillar and so many others are quite dominant globally in their respective sectors. As a mental exercise, just try to randomly think of 10 brands. Most probably, there will be American brands among the 10 you randomly came up with. Sure, there are European, and increasingly even Chinese companies that are dominant, but in terms of sheer numbers, there are still more American companies that are dominant internationally. The New York Stock Exchange is still the world's largest by market capitalisation, and the U.S. dollar is still the preferred currency for international trade. And let's not forget American cultural influences that have been exported the world over through Hollywood. And for education, the U.S. is home to many of the world's most prestigious universities. Sure, the UK has Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College, but the U.S. has so many more; Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, U Chicago, etc. just to name a few. And as a scientist myself, I can say that the U.S. is the undisputed leader in scientific research. Sure, there are top scientists and cutting edge research elsewhere too, but in terms of the sheer number of top scientists and the amount of top level research that is going on, the U.S. is way ahead of everyone else. When I moved from Australia to the U.S., the gulf in class was very much noticeable. Therefore, whatever your political views may be, based purely on the facts, I don't think that statement is controversial at all. Let's also not forget that being the most powerful is not the same as being omnipotent, so having more influence than other countries does not necessarily mean that the U.S. always gets its way.
And while this is not directly relevant to travel, in our articles, we do provide introductions to each of the countries that include some notable facts about them, and this is one of them, so I think it should stay. The dog2 (talk) 16:00, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Jingoism has no place on our site, but misrepresenting objective fact for the sake of maintaining a false sense of balance has even less of a place. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:54, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
an institution of higher learning based in Karlsruhe chose to not call itself technische Universität as most similar institutions in Germany but Karlsruhe institute of technology - KIT. Emulating of course a similarly named institution in Massachusetts. Now if the country that led in cumulative Nobel prices before the US arrived does stuff like that, what does that tell us? Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:01, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Why do we spend so much time arguing over something that could easily be removed without diminishing the article? We're a travel guide not a guide to geopolitics. Neither the original statement nor the alternative version tells the reader something they don't already know. Let's drop the contentious statement and move on. Ground Zero (talk) 17:08, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
In much the same way as consensus is not unanimity, one person quibbling about a statement everyone else agrees with, or at least sees as a non-issue, does not make said statement "contentious". I agree that we should move on, but with the statement left intact. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:10, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
I gave all those examples just to demonstrate the point that the statement is an objective fact and not controversial at all. But yes, I agree that we should just leave the statement as it is and move on. The dog2 (talk) 17:42, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't object to either statement. I just figured that removing something so obvious would settle this quickly. Ground Zero (talk) 19:55, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
If the United States was "omnipotent", we wouldn't be able to have this discussion at all. That's a rather disingenuous misstating of my position. --Robkelk (talk) 22:04, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Could you please clarify your position then. Your points have all been taken, but all that proves is that U.S. influence and power is not absolute. It doesn't prove that the U.S. is not the world's most powerful and influential country. And another point I'll make is that acknowledging the U.S. as the world's most powerful and influential country does not mean that we are promoting a pro-U.S. political view. You could easily hate the U.S., but still grudgingly acknowledge its power and influence. Stating a factually true superlative about the U.S. is not the same as American exceptionalism (which I personally don't believe in, by the way). The dog2 (talk) 22:40, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
This very discussion proves there is no broad consensus on its supposed most powerful and influential status at all. Regardless, such claims are irrelevant to the traveler, and would be nearly impossible to back up without elaborate definitions of the vague terms influential and powerful. Removed the sentence accordingly. ArticCynda (talk) 07:30, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
It shows that at least two people disagree, that's all. And such basic facts about a country are in no way irrelevant to the traveler. But what's definitively wrong is the statement that only Canada shares North America with the U.S. That cannot stand. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:17, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
@Ikan Kekek: That was indeed an unfortunate formulation, thanks for correcting! ArticCynda (talk) 09:17, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

One user cheekily removed the statement despite the ongoing discussion. I am not sure that is the way things are usually done around here. Hobbitschuster (talk) 08:31, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

I reinstated it. That kind of behavior is inappropriate and needs to stop. At any rate, citations have indeed been provided. By most measures of power and influence, the US is on top (it's neither "vague" nor requiring of any elaborate definitions). The argument that you can't be powerful or influential if you don't ALWAYS get your way is nonsense. The statement should remain because it's true and it is is definitely of interest and relevance to travelers. A lot of people develop intrigue with the US for those reasons alone and many more that such facts give heightened curiosities in addition to whatever other interests they have. I will add that we shouldn't feel compelled to delete things just to avoid controversy or discussion. I think that has very negative implications for our goal of having "interesting and lively writing". I also don't see much of a debate left anyway. The concerns have been addressed. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 10:20, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
That is actually the way to get things done on Wikivoyage, @Hobbitschuster: see Wikivoyage:Plunge_forward. Reaching a consensus is preferable, but there are literally thousands of "ongoing discussions" on WV (look at the talk pages of Talk:Brussels and Talk:Sarajevo, to name a few high profile examples) that have stalled for months without ever reaching a consensus, and preventing any progress practically indefinitely. Obviously a consensus should be reached for high impact changes (like moving Crimea back to Ukraine, or other changes of that magnitude) but for small details the Wikivoyage:Plunge_forward principle de facto applies, in my opinion.
With so many articles requiring substantial work, and given the relatively small number of regular contributors, we as a community simply cannot afford to spend time on reaching consensus on every little detail — hence why the Wikivoyage:Plunge_forward policiy was introduced in the first place. ArticCynda (talk) 11:46, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
No, what you are talking about is an abuse of plunge forward. You are part of the discussion, which means you can't claim ignorance of the discussion and that a consensus is being built. Maybe you sense it's not going your way, but it is against policy to use plunge forward to circumvent or ignore consensus. Plunge forward was NOT established for the purpose of encouraging people to go rogue against consensus because they simply "know they are right" or they feel building consensus is "a waste of time". If you cannot afford to spend time on reaching a consensus, then just edit content and don't involve yourself in discussions. There's no need to feign concern about others' time. We are all willing participants, so do not worry about us. If you do not want to be involved in any discussions though, you MUST accept the results of the consensus reached by other users. This concern that "consensus-building is a huge burden and causing harm to the site" is a threat to the project. Consensus-building is a strength of the project. This thread began as a result of an edit war. Edit wars require consensus to resolve and always require people to stop the edit war while discussion is taking place. Continuing to edit war or attempting to make your change while others are discussing it is not acting in good faith and not covered as part of plunge forward. If you really think that plunge forward was meant to override consensus, you greatly misunderstand both the roles of plunge forward and consensus-building and should probably look further into general site policies regarding user conduct. You can only plunge forward once (in this case someone deleted a phrase). If your edit is challenged, doing it again is no longer "plunging forward". If we all took up that attitude, we would waste a lot more time in hundreds of small but endless edit wars than we would having a discussion and forming consensus. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:36, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
The point made is that, unfortunately, in a substantial number of cases (to not say, the majority of discussions) a strong consensus seems to be never reached on WV — instead, they tend to go on until people gradually lose interest in them, and they stall forever. Therefore, for details as explained, plunge forward is a far more effective way to get forward (hence the name) than waiting forever for everyone to agree on every little detail — which doesn't seem to be likely on this issue either.
If you have doubts about the effectiveness of plunge forward over trying to reach a consensus to make this travel guide grow, feel free to compare the number of bytes we both contributed over the course of the last year, and draw your conclusions. ArticCynda (talk)
I would say there is consensus here; consensus to keep the phrase. Comparing this discussion, one that was active when you made the underhanded edit, to a discussion stumbled upon that tapered off weeks/months/years ago is entirely dishonest (some of those discussions you reference had consensus but no one acting upon it. That's not even an issue with consensus-building). Again: Edit warring is not plunging forward nor is ignoring consensus or dismissing discussions because you think you're above it and know better than everyone else. There is no threshold of edits or "contributed bytes" (cute jab, but it doesn't actually prove any points) that permits users to ignore policies or consensus. We're not talking about gaining consensus "for everything". You're deflecting and grasping at straws; it's a classic, clear-cut edit war. Just stop edit warring and understand that edit warring isn't covered in "plunging forward". Concerning this discussion though, it looks like a consensus to keep. There are a lot of arguments in favor of keeping which more than addressed the main concern that the statement was false, and although it was addressed to a lesser extent, I think there is consensus that it's travel-related and more interesting to read as is. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 14:30, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
I know I've made my point already, but I'll re-iterate that it's not a controversial statement. I've been to China numerous times, and I speak the language fluently, so I can say that even the most fervent Chinese nationalists generally acknowledge that the U.S. is the most powerful and influential nation on Earth. They may not like the fact that it is, and they may want China to supplant the U.S. in that position as soon as possible, but they acknowledge that the statement is true. The dog2 (talk) 15:04, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Based on which elements do you think there is a consensus, @ChubbyWimbus? You'd like to keep the phrase as much as I'd like it to be deleted, how is that a consensus? ArticCynda (talk) 15:39, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
ArticCynda, if you have to strain credulity that far to make your case, then it's time to accept that you've lost the argument. You know very well how consensus works, and you know very well that you and ChubbyWimbus aren't the only ones engaged in this discussion. Myself, Hobbitschuster, Ikan Kekek, and The dog2 are all in agreement that the passage should stay, and have already addressed the concerns raised by you and Robkelk - the only two participants in this conversation who continue to object to the passage - by explaining that the mere statement of the fact that the U.S. is the most powerful country in the world does not mean it is omnipotent, and does not constitute an endorsement of the way the U.S. has often used that power. That should spell the end of the argument, except that you refuse to let it go. Unfortunately, though, part of working on a wiki is learning to lose debates with dignity and make peace with situations that you wish had gone another way. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:13, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Exactly. We don't know whether this statement will remain true in 20 or 30 years, but it does remain true now, and that's all that matters for these purposes. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:40, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
If it's merely a statement of opinion, can it be proven true or false... or is it merely fluff? K7L (talk) 18:38, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
Don't tell me you disagree with this, too. If you do, refute the specific points that have been made above. I mean, sure, there's a complication, which is that right now, during the Trump Administration, the U.S. is reportedly being ignored as much as possible by its erstwhile European allies, but unfortunately, you can't really ignore the​ 1,000-pound gorilla. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:25, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
Whether or not it's true that the US really is the most powerful country, it is certainly true that it's regarded this way, and that's what the article actually says. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:57, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

Airport security[edit]

Security at airports is covered twice, once under Get in and once under Get around. It makes sense that both sections would have a By plane subsection, but we should probably condense the security info to just one of them, and put a "See Get in/around - By plane - Security" link in the other.

Which one should it be covered under? I'm thinking probably Get around, since that's also where the link to Flying in the United States is. --Bigpeteb (talk) 16:42, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

The same type of security applies to both. As far as flying from U.S. airports goes, there is no difference between domestic or international departures. Only the arrival procedure is different. It probably makes sense that there would be some repetition, but the question is how much do we want? The dog2 (talk) 00:23, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
I agree it should only be there once, with a "see the other section for information on airport security" reference on the other. I would put it in "Get in" since most people will get into the US before getting around it. Ground Zero (talk) 05:17, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
Telling the reader to see another section is just distracting; it's better to just state in 'Get around' that all of the security theatre (US: "security theater") that applies to international flights is present on domestic flights - just the customs and immigration controls are removed - and leave it at that. K7L (talk) 13:35, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
I guess that works. The U.S. does not have outbound immigration checks, so the departure procedure is exactly the same for domestic and international flights. The dog2 (talk) 15:50, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
Except for small bush planes doing short hops between airstrips in the middle of nowhere, I believe everywhere in the world security checks are performed on passengers on domestic flights too. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:48, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
Telling the traveller to see another section is the most direct way of helping them to find the information, so that's what we do in lots of places, and that's what other websites and other publications do. We even have a Template:See also to do just that, so let's do that. Ground Zero (talk) 20:01, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

@Ypsilon:I flew out of a small regional airport (Ceduna, South Australia to be exact, on a commercial flight) in the Australian outback before, and there was no security to go through. Not even metal detectors. But then again, there was no control tower, and the terminal building was just a little shack, and there were only 2 flights a day from there. But regardless, in most countries, you will have to go through immigration checks when you are departing on an international flight, but not when you are departing on a domestic flight. For instance, in Australia, at the large airports, you only go through regular security checks when you have to catch a domestic flight, but you have to go through immigration checks after security for international flights. In the U.S., this immigration check is completely absent, even if you are departing on an international flight. That is why in Australia, you can accompany you friends and family all the way to the gate if they are flying domestically, but not if they are flying internationally. Also, in Australia, you can bring liquids, aerosols and gels on board a domestic flight but not an international flight, while in the U.S. the restriction applies to both domestic and international flights. The dog2 (talk) 22:15, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

Interesting. In Europe you're in general never able to enter the airside without security checks and a valid ticket. ϒpsilon (talk) 17:30, 8 September 2018 (UTC)

Marijuana users and producers inadmissible[edit]

Should something about this be mentioned in United States of America#Get in? —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:36, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Yes, of course. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:41, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Would that also apply for noncitizens who partake in cannabis where legal inside the US? Hobbitschuster (talk) 04:57, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
I would guess so – the federal government considers it an illegal drug regardless of state law. But I don't know. —Granger (talk · contribs) 05:28, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
If questioned may one "take the fifth"? And what happens if one is (by which ever means) caught lying to a border control agent? Hobbitschuster (talk) 06:16, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
No, one may not. And I'm sure that if you refuse to answer, they refuse to let you in. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:39, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
I know a few dead former British subjects who would have taken issue with things like that. One of them grew hemp in Virginia... With slave labor, but that's beside the point... Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:08, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

Regional cuisines[edit]

Someone reverted my edit on the basis of it being Captain Obvious, but I want to put it out there that I don't think it's as Captain Obvious as it was made out to be. Maybe it should be, but I really don't think it's actually the case. For instance, let's compare a similarly-sized country like China. How many Americans know about the diversity of Chinese cuisine and its vast regional variations? Not too many, I would presume. My hunch is that the average American would think of Chinese food as things like sweet and sour pork or dim sum, not realising that those are very much local specialities of Guangdong and not widespread throughout all of China. So don't be surprised if many foreigners think of American food as burgers, steaks, fried chicken and barbecued pork ribs, without realising that some of those could be regional specialities. For instance, I really loved barbecued pork ribs when I went to American restaurants back in Singapore, but from my experience to date living in New York City and Chicago, those are not particularly common in either city. I only managed to get really good ribs when I visited St Louis (and I heard there are very good ones down in Texas as well). Likewise, not many foreigners know that it is mainly the South that is known for fried chicken (even though you can find it everywhere these days thanks to KFC, as well as the legacy of the Great Migration), and the steaks are generally best regarded in the Midwest (trust me, if there's one dish that Chicago beats New York City hands down in, it's steak). So to sum it off, it may be Captain Obvious to Americans, but you'll be surprised at the stereotypes many foreigners have of the U.S., as well as how shallow an understand of the U.S. many people living abroad have. So in short, I think that we should mention that there are distinct regional cuisines in the U.S., and even many dishes considered to be typical American food can be best known from particular regions. The dog2 (talk) 23:48, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

China has regional cuisines? The fact that I didn't know this supports your point.
And yes, I agree that it should be stated that there regional cuisines in the US, along with some information about what those regional cuisines are. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 01:08, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't object to the sentence, but I'll point out that this isn't specific to cuisine. It's part of a more general fact that a large country is likely to have significant regional variations—in cuisine, music, religion, accent/language, politics, ethnicity, etiquette, and other aspects of culture. A brief overview of US regional cuisines seems reasonable to include in the article. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:20, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
Of course, we need not go into too much detail in the main article, but I think we should mention that regional cuisines exist, and that our readers should look at the region articles for more details on those types of food. The dog2 (talk) 01:24, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
Do we have articles for regional America cuisines, by the way? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 01:26, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
Not specifically for regional American cuisines, but there are articles about different regions of the U.S., and we do cover the regional cuisines in those articles. For this main article, I think what we can do is direct people to the regional articles for more details about their cuisines. There is in fact a lot more diversity in American cuisine (and American culture in general, for that matter) than Hollywood would lead many foreigners to believe. The dog2 (talk) 01:31, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
I agree that this is Captain Obvious. I think most reasonable non-Americans understand that Hollywood movies, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola aren't the sum total of American culture. For those who don't, the article already goes out of its way repeatedly in other sections to emphasize the U.S.'s vastness and diversity, and there's no reason why a reader would think cuisine is any different. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:50, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
Given that most Americans have absolutely no clue about regional variations in Chinese cuisine, what makes you think most Chinese (or non-Americans in general, for that matter) will be well-versed in regional American cuisines? As I said, there's no need to get into the nitty gritty in the main article (since that belongs more in the region and city articles), but I think we should have a short statement mentioning that regional cuisines exist. The dog2 (talk) 02:07, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't think "regional cuisines exist" is a useful statement. I think mentioning and offering some brief examples of regional styles is useful. And Tex-Mex and Cal-Mex are regional styles, along with Cajun and Creole in Louisiana, general Southern cuisine, New York, Boston-area (Downeast?), California, and certainly Hawaii. Philadelphia and cities in Upstate New York also have specialties, as do St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, etc. We can't mention them all, but a few examples are worth mentioning. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:11, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
I'd agree with the The dog2's point with Chinese cuisine, where many people from Western countries would believe is just sweet & sour chicken and not realize the large amount of regional variations. That said, most visitors to the US probably have a good idea of the multi-cultural and diverse nature of the country beforehand, and it probably would not be surprised that variations exist. Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:18, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I am from Asia, and I can assure you that most Asians have little to no clue about regional American cuisines. Hardly anyone knows that fried chicken is from the South, and most people's impression of American food is of things like burgers, pizza and fries, and in at least Singapore, of steak and barbecued ribs due to the existence of Tony Roma’s. And with regards to pizza, most people have no idea that there are distinct New York and Chicago styles. Maryland crab cakes, New England clam chowder, Maine lobster and Hawaii's spam musubi are further examples of regional American dishes that your average Asian will have no clue about. The dog2 (talk) 02:29, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

That may be so, but you're talking about the average Asian. Average people ≠ Wikivoyage's audience. I can't imagine that a huge proportion of the people who think Chinese food is "just sweet & sour chicken" or that American food is "just burgers, pizza and fries" are particularly inclined to seek out travel information about China or the U.S., respectively. Those who have developed an interest in traveling abroad to a particular country to enough of a degree that they're visiting a site like Wikivoyage usually do so only after already having learned a certain amount of general information about said country, so we don't need to spoon-feed our readers. I also agree with Ikan that "regional cuisines exist" is not a useful statement, so if the choice is between regarding this as Captain Obvious and going in depth about the various regional cuisines, I would have to come down even more firmly on the side of Captain Obvious. We've made some impressive headway in shortening this article, but there's more work yet to be done, and the last thing we should be letting happen to this article is for it to backslide back into being a bloated mess. Readers who want to know more about the regional cuisines of the U.S. can go to the region articles. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:33, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
We already have many dedicated cuisine article : Food_and_drink, and this includes two related to the US. As suggested already, why not just create a Regional Cuisine in the United States article? Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:52, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
It would be Regional cuisines in the United States. But I disagree that there's any harm in giving a few examples. I don't think the happy medium between nothing and great detail is nothing. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:01, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
AndreCarrotflower, how aware do you think most Europeans (travelers all, as they get standard 5-week vacations) are of American regional cuisines? I doubt, for example, that most Italians are more aware of them than most Americans are of regional Italian cuisines. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:03, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
I think we might be too worried about the length of the article. The US is a big country. If there’s a lot to talk about, then let’s say it. Otherwise we will sacrifice useful information due to length. I’m not supporting extremely long articles, but I think considering the size and diversity of the US a long article is appropriate, as long as it is well organised. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 03:07, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Ikan - I think most Europeans who are the type of people who'd be inclined to to travel to the U.S. would assume that regional variations in U.S. cuisine exist, even if they're unfamiliar with any specific regional cuisines, and would seek out such information in the region articles. SelfieCity - I don't support removing any information from Wikivoyage. Many of the U.S. region articles are woefully incomplete and would benefit from including information about regional cuisine equally as much as this overlong article would benefit from not including such information. Same goes for U.S.-related travel topics, etc. to which we could move a lot of information that's currently cluttering various sections of this article. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:11, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
I see what you are saying. And I’d support moving information to travel topics from the article we are discussing, as long as it doesn’t leave any holes in this article. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 03:18, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The regional articles are where we go into the details, but I think we should give an overview, even if only a cursory one, in this main article. With regards to American cultural diversity, at least from a Singaporean perspective, sure everyone knows about the cultural diversity that arises from being a global melting pot because Hollywood does portray that, but what is less known is the regional variations in American culture. So while everyone knows that you can get Chinese, Korean, Mexican, Italian and a bunch of cuisines from all over the world within New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago or San Francisco, not as many people know about the regional specialities of New England, Hawaii, the South, Texas, New York City or whatever other places you can think of. The dog2 (talk) 03:21, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

The article already mentions regional variation in cuisine—it says, "While many types of food are unchanged throughout the United States, there are a few distinct regional varieties of food (most notably in the South)" and goes into some detail later in that section. —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:24, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
The dog2, why don't you post a brief paragraph here that constitutes the summary you'd like to include, so we can comment on that instead of continuing to discuss this mostly in theory? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:26, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
"Many regions and cities also have their own respective local specialities that are sometimes hard to find elsewhere. Examples include clam chowder from New England, crab cakes from Maryland, spam musubi from Hawaii, chicken and waffles from the South, and the distinctive Cajun and Creole cuisines of Louisiana. Even some ostensibly national dishes are strongly associated with particular regions, such as fried chicken with the South, steak with the Midwest and pizza with New York City and Chicago (with a distinct variation in each city)."
How does this sound? The dog2 (talk) 03:44, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
'Southern fried chicken' is pretty well known around the world and available (dare I say) in Singapore. Other parts of the sentence sound OK. Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:53, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
The term "Southern fried chicken" might be known, but I can attest to the fact that most Singaporeans see fried chicken (at least the version you get at KFC and Popeye's, as we also have our own local Malay and Chinese versions of fried chicken that are very different from the American version) as just American food, and not as a regional speciality of the South which it actually is. The dog2 (talk) 04:01, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
It's pretty good, but I don't agree about steak being just a Midwestern specialty (note American spelling of "specialty", by the way). New York strip is well-known, too. I think hotdishes/casseroles are probably the most Midwestern dishes, especially Upper Midwest, but maybe I've been too influenced by A Prairie Home Companion, and I'd defer to someone who knows the Midwest much better than I do as a very occasional visitor. For the South, I'd add grits, but it's fine to give a single dish as an example, as you do. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:36, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
It's okay, except a little misleading IMO. There isn't that much variation in American regional cuisines. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:20, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
I continue to think this is all unnecessary detail. If we absolutely must address regional cuisines in this article, why not something like: "Like any other country of its size, the cuisine of the United States is diverse, with many interesting local and regional specialties. For details on these, please see the respective [[United States of America#Regions|region articles]]." -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:25, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@SelfieCity:If you really think that all American cuisine is similar, I highly recommend you go to a restaurant serving Cajun cuisine. You'll be surprised at how different its flavour profile is from the cuisine of a place like New York City.

I am fine with AndreCarrotflower's suggested statement as well, so I'll go with whatever the consensus is. As a side note, Australia is not that much smaller than the U.S. in terms of land area, but you do not get the same regional variation in Australian cuisine that you do in American or Chinese cuisine. Sure, there are a few local specialities, but it's nothing like the huge difference between say, Guangdong and Sichuan cuisine in China, or between Louisiana and New York cuisine in the U.S. So the size of a country does not necessarily directly correlate with the diversity of its cuisine. I would in fact argue that there is more regional diversity in the cuisine of Malaysia despite the fact that it is a much smaller country than Australia. The dog2 (talk) 14:42, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

I want to point out again that regional cuisines are already discussed in United States of America#Types of food. If we want to add the examples The dog2 mentioned above, why not incorporate them into that section? —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:51, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't mind that either. I guess we can just expand that section briefly and direct people to the region and city articles. We should probably explicitly mention that some local specialities are unique to specific cities though. For instance, the jibarito is a speciality of the Puerto Rican community in Chicago, and you don't normally find it elsewhere, not even in the rest of the Midwest or Illinois for that matter. And speaking of Illinois, Springfield has the horseshoe sandwich that is very difficult to find in Chicago despite being in the same state. And I think it should be mentioned that fried chicken is a speciality of the South, and we should probably give Louisiana's Cajun and Creole cuisines a mention given how distinctive they are. The dog2 (talk) 18:34, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
What is the purpose served by giving examples of regional cuisine in this article? If it's just to provide evidence to prove that regional dishes do exist, I don't think it's necessary. If it's to give the article some flavor (no pun intended), it's a nice thought but may not be welcome in an article that often gets complaints for being so long. If it's to point out some regional dishes that visitors might want to look for, then doesn't that belong in the region articles (or city articles, in the case of the jibarito or horseshoe sandwich you mentioned)? It's surely not to tell readers where to find each specific dish that we might mention; that's the job of region/state/city articles and the search function.
There might be a small benefit to giving a few examples of regional cuisines or dishes, just as the Talk section gives examples of some regional dialects and pockets of non-English communities, but it really needn't be very detailed, since information about regional cuisines belongs in region articles. And there's already a sentence that says, in short, "The US has regional cuisines"; how much more detail does such a fact really need? --Bigpeteb (talk) 19:01, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
How about this as a revised version of that statement:
"While many types of food are unchanged throughout the United States, some regions or even individual cities have their own local specialties. Perhaps some of the best known examples are fried chicken from the South, and the distinctive Cajun and Creole cuisines of Louisiana. See the individual region and city articles for more details." The dog2 (talk) 19:07, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
Or we could just leave it the way it is. Granger has pointed out that regional cuisines are already mentioned in a separate section; I've given several reasons why they probably don't need to be mentioned at all. Why the continued push for adding information to an article that already has the same information in another section? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:28, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
What I am referring to is a slight expansion of the statement Granger referred us to. The dog2 (talk) 19:38, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
If the article would be fine without the information being there at all, why are we talking about expanding it, even slightly? As I said, the point about the U.S.'s cultural diversity is made over and over again in other sections of the article, and everyone who's serious about travel ought to assume that every country, especially ones the size of the U.S., has regional variations in cuisine. There's no problem here that needs to be solved; just leave it alone. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:42, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yes, we don't want an article that says "America is varied" over and over again in different forms (it's a fact that should be said, just not several times). It's a bit like when someone thinks you didn't understand something the first time (when, actually, you did), so they keep bringing it up again over and over as if they just thought of it. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 00:12, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

Mid-Atlantic Region Definition[edit]

Should Virginia not be included along with Maryland in the Mid-Atlantic? I am from the Richmond area and Virginia (including the Richmond region) is much more similar culturally, geographically, and structurally to cities and counties in Eastern Maryland than to areas south of it. Virginia and Maryland also share the Chesapeake Bay, Blue Crabs, architectural similarities, and accents among natives to the region. These similarities are not found in the Deeper South or in the Upper Mid-Atlantic. Also, many organizations recognize that Virginia is in the Mid-Atlantic region. These include the Greater Washington Partnership (focuses on improving Richmond, Washington, and Baltimore), American 2050 (includes Richmond and Hampton Roads as apart of the Northeast Megaregion), the US Department of Labor, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the US Office of Management and Budget. Politically, Virginia is the only state included in the South that voted for Hilary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and has two democratic senators. Virginia also is the only state in the South as of November 7th to have a majority democratic representation in congress. Virginia is the only state in the South that does not have above average religiosity (Bar Florida). If Virginia can not be included in the Mid-Atlantic, would it be possible for Virginia and Maryland to have their own independent region? —The preceding comment was added by Magicstar1234 (talkcontribs)

Virginia is a tricky case, as it straddles both regions, and parts of the state fit better with one or the other. [1] is a few years old but IMO does a good job illustrating the various ways to categorize whether Virginia is part of the South or not.
I will say that pointing to a big city like Richmond is not a good argument for categorizing the whole state. In the US, if not worldwide, big cities always tend to be more culturally metropolitan and liberal, and in the US that puts them in opposition to the largely conservative (socially and politically) South. What would you say about Roanoke, or any of the cities and towns along I-81 through the Appalachians and Shenandoah Valley?
As much as I agree with you, it seems that no matter where we put Virginia, it's going to be a compromise. Traditionally, Virginia has long been considered part of the South, and even if that may be changing for some [large] parts of the state, it's still broadly true enough IMO to keep it this way for the purposes of a travel guide. --Bigpeteb (talk) 17:32, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
As I said on Talk:Mid-Atlantic, if we're going to upend over a decade of carefully-crafted consensus on which U.S. states belong in which regions based on the say-so of one brand-new user, said user had better have a far more compelling rationale than the countless other newbies who've dropped by this talk page over the years convinced their ideas were better and that reigniting this endless debate was a good use of any of our time. This rationale is not especially compelling. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:39, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for reviewing my suggestion. I understand why you are unable to change the article at this time. Would it be possible to include a description about Richmond and Central Virginia under in the American South Article to reference its similarities to the Mid-Atlantic and differences from the traditional South including elements of Chesapeake Bay Culture? Although Richmond was the capital of the confederacy, it does not seem accurate to describe its culture the way it is described currently since it does have very notable Mid-Atlantic traits that have existed since it was settled and still exist today. These are a few sources that reference Richmonds unique cultural differences from most southern cities and similarities with Mid-Atlantic areas. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/24/the-north-of-the-south/ http://statchatva.org/2016/03/28/why-are-black-households-wealthier-in-virginia/ http://statchatva.org/2016/03/15/black-households-earn-more-in-the-mid-atlantic-but-there-is-no-simple-explanation-why/ https://www.richmond.com/realestate/features/richmond-neighborhoods/the-tuckahoe-a-historic-building-mixes-southern-charm-with-fifth/article_f6587d00-efb5-11e6-b6e5-db1017408225.html https://ggwash.org/view/68771/map-where-to-find-rowhouses-in-the-us-canada —The preceding comment was added by Magicstar1234 (talkcontribs)

  • I would suggest for you to plunge forward at the spot "Northern Virginia is culturally Mid-Atlantic", and keep it tight and simple and informative. And thank you for engaging in constructive conversation - there have been a lot of overeager edit-warring newbies around WV these times, and as for myself, I'm tired of their game. Your positive attitude is much appreciated. Ibaman (talk) 18:39, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

Thank You. —The preceding comment was added by Magicstar1234 (talkcontribs)

Welcome Magicstar1234! Others have stated their points well. I would only add that Virginia is well into a transition and in a way, a few decades behind Maryland, in that much more of Maryland was culturally Southern through the 1960s or 70s, I guess. Of course a major difference is that Virginia included the capital of the Confederacy, but if I remember the details correctly, the only reason Maryland was never a Confederate state is that the U.S. Army prevented their Legislature from taking a vote to secede. Also, a procedural observation: On talk (discussion) pages, it is the practice to sign the end of every post by typing 4 tildes (~) in a row. I've signed for you these three times, but try to remember to sign from now on, as that will make it much easier to follow where your comments start and stop and who posted them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:54, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Also, Virginia + Maryland (+DC) is too small to be a region of the entire U.S. on this site. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:55, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
I imagine Delaware would also be included, but still. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:45, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
What if we made an extraregion for these states? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 00:49, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Not really appropriate. Extraregions are recognized regions that don't fit into our hierarchy. That is not a recognized region, or if it is, an important regional grouping per se. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:58, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
I mean if we are re-litigating that late unpleasantness over a century and a half after the fact, we might have an extra region for Border States (United States), but I am not sure Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and Maryland share much beside their role during said conflict... Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:12, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
You forgot Missouri. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:47, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Fair enough. By the way, it is largely thanks to German Americans, among them many "forty eighters" that Missouri did not fall to Southern treachery. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:46, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

Minimum Wage[edit]

This edit changed the range of minimum wages from 7.25-15 $ to 7.25-9$. I know that several local ballot measures have introduced 15$ minimum wages. I do not know whether they apply statewide anywhere, but especially for tourists citywide stuff can be more important if it is in big cities. A previous edit had yet another upper bound. Should this be changed? And where does the nine Dollar number come from? Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:08, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

I think $9 is the highest state-level minimum wage among states where $2.13 is the minimum wage for waitstaff. I'm not sure if the $9 figure is needed in the article, though. —Granger (talk · contribs) 13:26, 30 November 2018 (UTC)
My inclination is to revert this edit. For one, WV does not use citations, nor do we need to link to a map or chart for this information. The point being made is that tipping is not optional, because wages are generally low. This extra info about the precise minimum in each state is unnecessary, because it doesn't change the bottom line: tips are expected for restaurant staff in every state. --Bigpeteb (talk) 17:53, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
If you don't want the link to the .gov site to appear as a citation, just change [https://example.gov minimum wage] to <!--https://example.gov-->minimum wage (a document comment, which doesn't display). I'd oppose a revert as the old version is wrong - none of the states which have a $2.13 minimum wage for servers have $15 minimum for other workers, the most generous (of those specific states) was $9, and if that's going to be disputed we do need a copy of the source link so the next editor can verify these numbers - even if the link doesn't display inline. K7L (talk) 03:51, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

"low cost" and "ultra low cost" airlines[edit]

This edit introduced an alleged difference. While I am even skeptical of the claim of any airline to be "low cost", what exactly is the difference to an "ultra low cost" carrier? And should we really use those borderline marketing terms? Hobbitschuster (talk) 01:01, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Meaningless filler and reverted as such. The information about tipping tour guides was also factually inaccurate. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:07, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Food delivery[edit]

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 racing[edit]

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 supplements[edit]

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 cities[edit]

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 cuisine[edit]

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 memory[edit]

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 Year[edit]

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 [2] 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 Nagasaki[edit]

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 fee[edit]

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)

The Land of Contrasts[edit]

I wonder if this is worth mentioning somewhere. At least I think it's something that makes the US a very intriguing country. For instance, the US is the undisputed number one in the world in medical research, but fares the worst in the developed world in terms of access to healthcare for the average citizen. It is home to the highest concentration of the world's greatest scientists, but also home to the highest proportion of non-believers in science in the developed world. It has the highest concentration of the world's top universities, but the public school system for K-12 fares poorly by the developed world's standards. And GDP per capita is at an all-time high (at least it was before COVID-19 hit), but the average salary of the bottom 50% has declined over the past 30 years. There's probably more, but these are just some I can think of. Let me know what everyone thinks. The dog2 (talk) 00:12, 9 May 2020 (UTC)

I guess there's a certain degree to which such matters - descriptions of the "essence" of a place, for lack of a better term - fall within Wikivoyage's scope, since they help travellers contextualize what they see and experience along the way. But none of the examples you list above are really travel-related, and inasmuch as the U.S. is a diverse and sometimes self-contradictory place in travel-related ways, I think the article already makes that point repeatedly. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:25, 9 May 2020 (UTC)
The "Land/City of Contrasts" trope has got to be one of the laziest in travel writing. It's said about basically everywhere. The idea that a place has good points and bad points is essentially true everywhere and at all times. Whatever intrigue those points may have is not really there from a travel perspective. I don't suspect a lot of travelers are actually planning trips to the US just to see how brain-dead the teens are, observe 30 year salary declines in real-time, or watch an anti-vax Power Point (or whatever they do). ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:05, 9 May 2020 (UTC)
It does sound like a personal essay to be added to a long article that already has plenty of context. Context is worth having in a travel guide, and I have added it to most of the articles that I've been working to expand from outline to usable, but travel information is always more important. Ground Zero (talk) 15:28, 9 May 2020 (UTC)

Lua errors again[edit]

Once again, the article has lots of big red messages saying "Lua error: not enough memory." How do we fix this? —Granger (talk · contribs) 18:34, 9 May 2020 (UTC)

And again. User:Johnuniq, any chance you'd be able to help? —Granger (talk · contribs) 06:23, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
Apparently Template:quickbar is using 35 MB. That feels like a lot. —Granger (talk · contribs) 06:37, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
I'll have a look in a day or two. If I'm not back by Wednesday, please remind me. Johnuniq (talk) 09:54, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
It's very temperamental. I'm just about to try something but before I did that, I purged the article and it is not showing any errors and has Lua memory usage: 49.62 MB/50 MB. That is too close for comfort and it's sure to fail again so I will try my experiment. Johnuniq (talk) 08:11, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
Correction: article still has errors and 49.62 is too high. Johnuniq (talk) 08:17, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

@User:Mx. Granger: I replaced Template:quickbar using a kludge from User:Johnuniq/quickbar with edit diff. That removed the errors and gave Lua memory usage: 30.42 MB/50 MB. I'll think some more about a proper solution. It looks like quickbar is trying to do too much work while fetching information from Wikidata. Johnuniq (talk) 08:22, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

Hmm, I thought that it was necessary to transclude User:Johnuniq/quickbar but maybe it's not. You might try just pasting the wikitext into the article as a test. Johnuniq (talk) 09:48, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
@Johnuniq: Thank you so much for this fix and insight.
The point about Wikidata gave me the idea of removing the wikidata parameters from the article's marker templates (these parameters aren't accomplishing much of anything because the coordinates are included locally anyway), and that seems to bring Lua usage down to about 30 MB, even with the old version of quickbar.
So I think we have two satisfactory solutions to this problem: removing the wikidata parameters from the markers or replacing the quickbar. I think the solution with the marker templates seems simpler (no need for an extra template or confusing syntax), but I'm open to either option. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:16, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
It seems you can fix the article and I'll leave it to you how you do that. Ideally Module:Quickbar would be investigated to see if it can be made more efficient but I have certain rather hot opinions about the Wikidata API and I hate looking at the contortions modules have to go through. That means I have only very little experience in that area and I'm not motivated much. If you decide to keep a version of what I did (presumably by copying the wikitext to a proper template), it would be interesting to see whether the template is actually needed. I can't find any good documentation on templatestyles (despite browsing w:WP:TemplateStyles and its links) and I am no longer confident about my earlier opinion that the templatestyles wikitext has to be transcluded. That is, perhaps you could just copy the wikitext into the article without a template. Let me know if you try that. Would you please put the standard welcome template on my talk as I like to see them. Johnuniq (talk) 06:01, 20 October 2020 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and implemented the marker solution for now. If anyone disagrees we can discuss of course. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:31, 20 October 2020 (UTC)

Riots[edit]

Should we write anything about the riots going on over the death of George Floyd? The dog2 (talk) 02:29, 31 May 2020 (UTC)

No, I agree with the removal of that information and the reasons given. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 04:29, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I would say put it in the warning box, obviously an immediate danger to travellers in the U.S. Why wouldn't we have a warning box about something like this? Already more people have died in these protests than in months of protests in Hong Kong, which still has a warning box. —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:08, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
For reference, FCO advice: "There have been numerous protests across the USA since 27 May 2020, some of which have turned violent, most notably in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Louisville, Kentucky; Atlanta, Georgia; and Los Angeles, California. There is potential for further protests and curfews may be enforced as a result. You should avoid demonstrations and protests, and follow the instructions of local authorities." --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:12, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I don’t feel strongly either way about mentioning this in the U.S. warningbox, but I slightly prefer including it because it’s in so many cities in various regions of the country. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:19, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
Let's not take people for fools. If you're one of the few international travellers in the U.S. right now, a Wikivoyage warningbox is not the first you're hearing of what's going on. If you've heard the news already and are just too dumb to figure out it's a bad idea to get involved in situations where looting and arson is going on, there's not much Wikivoyage can do for you. And if you're not in the U.S. right now but are for some reason planning to travel there despite the fact that virtually all the tourist infrastructure has been shut down due to the COVID epidemic, the information will most likely be outdated in short order anyway, for the simple reason that sustained, long-term, dangerous-for-tourists demonstrations lasting for weeks, as in Hong Kong, are simply not a thing that happens in the U.S. Even in the Civil Rights/Vietnam War era they were sporadic, albeit more frequent than the norm. The only situation in America in living memory that's even remotely analogous to the Hong Kong protests was the Occupy Wall Street camps, which, far from being dangerous for tourists, almost became tourist attractions themselves; I remember the one in downtown Buffalo had information booths, buskers, a lot of guerrilla art stuff. And weeks-long riots are almost certainly not going to become a thing now that the U.S. has outfitted municipal police forces with equipment and operational training that's basically military-grade. The analysis I've been reading says that law enforcement held back last night in order to avoid aggravating an already tense situation, in light of the fact that the theme of the demonstrations was explicitly anti-police, and in the hopes that this was basically a spasm of rage that would resolve itself quickly, but if we see the pattern repeat itself tonight and in the future, that we should expect police to respond in a way that's more assertive, so to speak, and that brings a quick and decisive end to the violence.
If all this is wrong, we can certainly restore the warningbox once it becomes clear that last night wasn't a one-off, as we did with the Hong Kong warningbox. But to do so now is premature.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:08, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I suppose it's already clear that last night wasn't a one-off, as there was violence the night before last. There is no requirement to wait until a dangerous situation has lasted for weeks before adding a warningbox. —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:46, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
For anyone who hasn't been following the other discussions, there are at least two warningboxes in question here: the one in United States of America and the one in Minneapolis. See User talk:AndreCarrotflower and Talk:Minneapolis for more. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:01, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
If you define "requirement" as written policy, then no, there's no requirement. But it's something that's not appropriate in this situation for two reasons. The goal of a warningbox is to provide travellers with accurate information about situations that are a danger to them, but here we lack both travellers (global tourism is shut down due to COVID) and accurate information (we know where the violence was, but the situation is changing too rapidly for a small wiki with limited manpower to reliably keep up; we have no clear information on whether the danger has passed, and if it hasn't, which cities will be affected, what the exact nature of the violence or the police response will be, etc.) Essentially, what little concrete information we could plausibly offer to what few travellers there are - stay away from violent situations, do what the police say - is Captain Obvious. Weigh that against the prospect of multiple pages being littered with quickly outdated warningbox cruft and I think the negatives clearly outweigh the positives. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:02, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
There are still travelers—much fewer than usual, but still some. Our job is to serve them. That's why we have warningboxes and cautionboxes on dozens of articles explaining the COVID-19 situation in different countries.
Concrete advice includes to stay away from demonstrations and to find out whether the city you're in has established a curfew. More or less the same kind of advice we've put in other warningboxes during civil unrest in other countries.
Frankly, if this were happening in another country, I doubt there would be much debate about whether to add a warningbox. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:12, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I think it's worth mentioning, and I don't care whether it's mentioned here and/or in the specific cities. I also agree with Granger that if something with a similar level of disruption were happening in, say, any South American country, we wouldn't be over-thinking this. Just mark your calendar to remove it in a few days, as most such protests are likely to end within a few days. Also, I think it might be worth mentioning this event briefly but permanently in Minneapolis#Understand or Minneapolis#Stay safe. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:38, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
User:廣九直通車, you are invited to join this discussion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:34, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) This has nothing to do with the particular country where the events are taking place, and everything to do with the fact that there's no precedent for adding warningboxes to Wikivoyage articles regarding situations that aren't likely to continue to exist long-term, in the United States or anywhere else (let alone situations that aren't clearly still ongoing). In the example you brought up of COVID, the warningboxes are appropriate because it's known that the pandemic will last at least a few months more, if not a year or two, and we know enough about the science behind the virus to be able to give specific examples of what people should and shouldn't do. (It's also noteworthy that the COVID-related warning box on the top of the United States of America article has had to be updated more or less continuously since we first put it up, which makes me wonder how much important and travel-relevant information we may not be catching. And that's a situation that's not developing as quickly as the riots; where you usually have at least a few days' advance notice before new government restrictions or the like go into effect.) Similarly, where we've discussed civil unrest in warningboxes in the past, it's been in situations where we've had good reason to believe the aftereffects would last weeks or months. But in this situation, not only do we not know what's going to happen in the future, but we can't even make a good guess. There's a broad spectrum of things that might happen next, and no particular point on that spectrum that represents a significantly more likely outcome than the others. In that situation, all we can offer is vague advice that generally falls under Captain Obvious. "Stay away from demonstrations" certainly does; even when they're not violent or not obviously about to become violent, I'd say. As for curfews, as I understand it, most cities that imposed them did so for last night only; in cases where that's not true, we could add warningboxes on a city-by-city basis but then are we going to remember to remove them when this is all over with? Or will some future visitor to the site happen upon an article about some American city that hasn't been edited in three years and be led to believe the city is still under curfew? It's easy to lose sight of considerations like that when we're facing shocking and upsetting situations like we did last night, but that doesn't mean they're not still important. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:42, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
As we don't know what cities will be affected tomorrow, I think putting the warning in this article only would be a good compromise. Then it will get updated along with the corona info. I think there will be little harm in that. Then we have done more or less what we can, other than spamming all city articles to be on the safe side (warning post facto is less useful, and we don't have the manpower to anticipate riots in specific cities). --LPfi (talk) 17:14, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
We could leave out the link to Chinese info – we probably have more reliable info from our own sources. --LPfi (talk) 17:15, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
Support LPfi's sensible approach.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:24, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I support LPfi's suggestion too. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:44, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I continue to think this is all unnecessary, but I suppose I'd be okay with LPfi's comprominse; unlike the individual city articles, United States of America sees consistent enough editor attention that the information would likely be removed when appropriate. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:47, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
Especially when the protests spread through almost the whole America in several days.
Of course there should be a warning box in the USA & Minneapolis articles at a minimum. It should mention continued police violence, not just rioting. Granger & WhatAmIDoing are right; when there is major civil unrest in any other country we put in a warning & we should do so here. Pashley (talk) 19:17, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I support LPfi's suggestion. The dog2 (talk) 19:23, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I agree, too. This is a scary situation, it's happening all over the country, and it encompasses small as well as big cities. And it's essential to focus on violence from the police and National Guard (though of course not to the exclusion of rioters), as they have more arms than demonstrators and have attacked and in some instances shot at people just for videorecording them on cellphones. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:30, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
Very scary. Despite what your president says, the world is not laughing at you now. We're crying for you. Stay safe. Ground Zero (talk) 00:35, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
I appreciate the sympathy. I added specific language about the dangers of videotaping the police or National Guard, specifically mentioning that people have been shot and assaulted just for doing that. I think that's very important to mention unambiguously because travelers like to take videos and photos. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:37, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
I don't know how true this is, but there are rumors that the looting and violence are committed by people who have infiltrated the protests and not the actual protesters. The daytime protests are by black people and are peaceful, and it is at night that these infiltraters start the violence, and apparently, some of these infiltraters are white supremacists intent on starting a race war. The dog2 (talk) 01:24, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Likely true but not travel-relevant. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:35, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Support LPfi and Pashley's suggestion, as per WV:Fair, such warnings should be completely described from different aspects.廣九直通車 (talk) 04:22, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
I support having a warning in the USA article, and maybe in the worst affected cities as well; rioting has been going on for several days in many cities and it's easy to delete the warnings when the riots end. Over the last years we've also added warnings for other major protests like the ones in Chile and the French yellow vest protests. --Ypsilon (talk) 19:07, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Just to make an update that, it seems that vehicular attacks (such as the police cars in New York City, and the tanker in Minneapolis) against protests are being increasingly common. I suspect they may also be included, as vehicular attacks can hurt innocent bystanders near protests.廣九直通車 (talk) 00:50, 3 June 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm not sure how or whether to cover this, but the protests have spread beyond the US to the entire Western world. There have been protests in Montreal, London, Berlin, Auckland and Copenhagen just to name a few. The dog2 (talk) 21:31, 1 June 2020 (UTC)

Not just the Western world. But there's no reason for us to add warning boxes for those other protests unless they lead to violence that creates a danger to travellers. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:40, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be best to recommend all travelers avoid urban centre areas. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 01:22, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
Given events in the intervening period, I've come around to basically agreeing with the warningbox on the United States of America page, but I also would continue to caution against getting so swept up in the emotional element of this (and believe me, I understand how hard that is to do, especially for our U.S. editor base; those emotions may have colored some of my earlier comments on the matter) that we lose sight of what Wikivoyage's scope is. The operative question for Wikivoyage purposes is a yes-or-no one: are the demonstrations dangerous to travellers or are they not. The demonstrations in the U.S. which are violent or at least potentially so obviously fall into the "yes, dangerous" category, so our message to travellers in the warningboxes is to steer clear. Questions such as whether vehicular attacks are a common thing at protests, or whether outside agents provocateur are behind the violence, fall outside our scope. As for the demonstrations outside the U.S., the same question applies. Without knowing for sure, I would venture to guess that most of those have been peaceful and nonviolent, in which case there's no need for a warningbox. If not, then put one in. I also continue to be opposed to placing warningboxes on individual city articles given that basically every major city in the country is seeing violent demonstrations on some level. That includes Minneapolis; despite the fact that it's the city where the demonstrations began, it's no longer seeing any more or less violence than other cities. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:30, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
I think the ones in Paris and Montreal have seen some violence. In Paris, they are also tied to a local case of police brutality resulting in the death of a black man. The dog2 (talk) 05:42, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
I would at least wait a few days before adding warningboxes to every city, just like what was done in the US article. We don't need warning boxes for 1 or 2 days of protests, but a week of protests and riots that are ongoing makes sense. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:15, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
Don't even try going into detail. We do not have the manpower to keep that up-to-date & the inevitable arguments over some of the details would be a huge waste of time. Just give a brief overview & link to other governments' warnings. As for the cities, a link to the main warning (in the USA article) should be enough. Pashley (talk) 01:21, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, Pashley, I agree completely. The red box with “WARNING” in all caps is more important than an hours long debate over details, many which will not become clear until after the riots and protests or even perhaps after this administration. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 01:28, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

What about curfews? They of course affect travellers (by restricting their night-time travelling). As there are different curfew policies for each city, perhaps a brief note of time period of curfew can be added on the articles of each cities. Any comment?廣九直通車 (talk) 12:48, 7 June 2020 (UTC)

I think curfews are changing too quickly for us to give useful information about them on a city-by-city basis. The warningbox in this article mentions that some cities have established curfews; the reader will have to find up-to-date sources to figure out the situation in the city they're in. —Granger (talk · contribs) 13:22, 7 June 2020 (UTC)

Relations with China[edit]

Given the current political climate, I wonder if this should be added to the list of topics to avoid in the Respect section. I'd like to get insights from some average American here as to how sensitive this actually is (without degenerating into political debates of course, and with a focus on stuff relevant for travellers). After all, Tom Cotton has proposed legislation to ban Chinese citizens from studying science and engineering at American universities, and there is even talk of expelling all Chinese PhD students from America over the Hong Kong issue. The dog2 (talk) 20:06, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

Well, wouldn't such legislation have to be passed by the Democratic Party-controlled House of Representatives? I think this may be more relevant in six months to a year than it is now, though thanks for mentioning this idea. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:15, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
The latter could in theory be implemented with an executive order from Trump, and I know of Chinese PhD students in America who are very concerned about this right now. The dog2 (talk) 20:18, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
True. Perhaps then it could go in the "Learn" section of the article? (An executive order would likely be blocked by a judge, but it's of course possible to have a Republican-controlled House and Senate in 2021). --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:28, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
In that case, it should go in Studying in the United States, because we don't want this article to include Absolutely Everything There is to Know About the United States, and thus become quite useless for most readers. Ground Zero (talk) 20:51, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
Agreed. That seems to be the best place for that information. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:53, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
I think that would be in "Get In" should it come to pass given that it's a visa restriction, and the judge can't block it because the president has broad powers to implement executive orders of "national security" reasons, as seen in the case of the Muslim ban. But anyway, should there be something in the "Respect" section telling visitors not to discuss US-China relations with locals? The dog2 (talk) 20:56, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
But it hasn't come to pass, it's all just speculation, and we should focus on building a travel guide instead of political speculation. We dont6 have to guess about what might happen. If it happens, we adjust the text then. Until then, it's a waste of time arguing about it. Ground Zero (talk) 21:18, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
No, there shouldn't. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:10, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

This executive order has been signed targeting Chinese graduate students. Could someone please distill out the important details, because I think it affected certain classes of travellers and hence, should be covered in some form. Unfortunately, I'm not lawyer so I'm not familiar with some of the legal jargon. The dog2 (talk) 05:05, 11 June 2020 (UTC)

I agree with Granger's edit comment and the other commenters above that this belongs in the Studying in the United States. It directly relates to that article's theme/topic. Here on the country article, it is an extreme niche of people who this affects and just clutters the article more as trivia. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:27, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

Mainland Chinese air carriers effectively blocked from US...[edit]

Swept in from the pub

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page:Department_of_Transportation_Order_2020-6-1_(Notification_and_Order_Disapproving_Schedules).pdf/1

ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 19:59, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

The full document is at wikisource:Department of Transportation Order 2020-6-1, which suggests that this is due to restrictions on US carriers flying to China. So travellers may have to go via a third country if this not resolved, in the next two weeks, before it takes effect. AlasdairW (talk) 20:39, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
This is an indirect result of the COVID-19 pandemic and air travel decreasing dramatically. American travellers are already mostly banned from entering China, and travellers coming from China are already mostly banned from flying direct to the US (again due to the COVID-19 pandemic). And in general flight itineraries all over the world are a mess lately. So while a sad moment geopolitically, from a traveller's perspective right now this is of little importance beyond the warnings and cautions that are already covered in our articles. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:04, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
Let's see how this shakes out long term. I can imagine ugly tit for tats... Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:37, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
Let's hope things can be resolved. It always sucks when politics gets in the way of travel. The dog2 (talk) 18:59, 6 June 2020 (UTC)
Agreed. Fortunately, the ban has been cancelled: [3]. Both governments are continuing to set limits on flights, though (as are many governments around the world right now). —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:17, 6 June 2020 (UTC)

Group-organising sites[edit]

I previously added a link to Meetup.com as a way to meet people who speak a particular foreign language. To set the record straight, I am not affiliated with them in any way, and I merely added them because I have used them before, and they are one of the better known sites. I have no objection to adding links to other reputable sites, but I think we should have some links so people will know where to go to find these groups should they be interested. The dog2 (talk) 02:19, 6 July 2020 (UTC)

I understand the reasoning behind removing the link, but I think the end result can handily be described as allowing strict adherence to the letter of policy to get in the way of our prime directive that the traveller comes first. At some point, we have to abandon false equivalencies and make peace with the unfortunate reality that - especially in the realm of online services - oftentimes the market in a particular sector is effectively monopolized by one single company, and while a few hardy niche competitors may continue to claim some inconsequential level of cult loyalty, realistically speaking you're wasting your time going anywhere else to do what you're trying to do. And as far as I can tell, Meetup is in the same class as Google, Amazon, and other such colossal Internet market-cornerers when it comes to that. That being the case, I say it's far preferable to straightforwardly direct our readers where they need to go even if it might appear that we're promoting a particular corporate entity, than to be cagey and sacrifice the completeness of the information we provide for the sake of meticulous nonpartisanship. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:45, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
You could always take the BBC approach: after name-dropping a commercial entity in a way that the letter-writers might construe as not impartial, follow it up with "other group-hosting sites are available."--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 06:52, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps a way to write it is that Meetup.com is the most widely used, but there are also other sites available. The dog2 (talk) 15:06, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
That would work. Either way, I support including the link to Meetup, per The dog2's reasoning and because Meetup is by far the most popular site for this service. Ttcf. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:03, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
Is Meetup really that dominant? Even over other sites with groups and event listings like Facebook? Powers (talk) 23:22, 7 July 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Facebook is generally used more to create events where you invite people you know. Meetup.com is specifically for creating groups that members of the public with the relevant interest can join. So if let's say you're a Russian tourist making a trip to New York, and you want to find a group of Russian speakers, Meetup.com is the best option for that. And quite often, these groups will welcome you since in the aforementioned case, the Russian tourist can help Americans improve their Russian-language skills, and the Americans in the group can also help the Russian tourist to improve his English. The dog2 (talk) 22:50, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

News media[edit]

While I understand that section of the article currently lists a number of news sources, RealClear is a major news organization providing opinion writing of its own along with useful statistics. It's known for its political coverage but also manages several other websites. Perhaps it should be mentioned along with the Washington Post? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:08, 6 July 2020 (UTC)

I would say no, it's not nearly as well known as the others. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:41, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
RealClearPolitics? I think several other online political sites are better known, and none of them need to be mentioned. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:00, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
They also have some other websites, such as RealClearWorld, RealClearInvestigations, etc. but I can see both sides of the issue and understand the reasons for not including it. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 19:08, 6 July 2020 (UTC)

WeChat and TikTok[edit]

Trump just signed an executive order banning the Chinese apps WeChat and TikTok. And with both Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi supporting the ban, it's probably not going to go away anytime soon. Is there anything that we should cover regarding this? The dog2 (talk) 03:46, 7 August 2020 (UTC)

As best as anyone can guess, what is meant by "banning WeChat and TikTok" is that it would no longer be possible to download the apps from a U.S.-based IP address. Presumably, that would mean anyone who had already downloaded the app in their home country could continue using it while visiting the U.S. Additionally, the situation with TikTok is complicated by the fact that Microsoft is currently in talks to purchase the app from the Chinese company that currently owns it; Trump's ban, which is set to begin in 45 days, would only go into effect if the sale doesn't go through. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:36, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
The courts may or may not wish to have a say in that. However, given some of the "horror stories" some hears about border admission (e.g. "If you are unwilling to surrender your facebook password you are denied admission") there might possibly be an effect of this. Not to editorialize, but precisely this vagueness of what is actually prohibited is one of the tools of oppressive regimes. Hobbitschuster (talk) 08:44, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
If we get a report of people being hassled at the border for having TikTok or WeChat, we should add a note about it. I don't see how not being allowed to download a particular app while in the US is something that should be covered in the country article. Wikivoyage is a travel guide, not a newspaper. We shouldn't try to be Wikinews. Also, since you can get around it by using a VPN, it's not a real restriction on travellers. Ground Zero (talk) 10:03, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
Based on news reports so far, it seems the scope of the order remains unclear, so I'd say we should wait to get a better sense of how it will be enforced. If it becomes impossible to use WeChat in the US without a VPN, that is something we should mention in the article, just as we mention similar restrictions in the China article. Also, if it becomes impossible for US citizens to spend money using WeChat in China, that should be mentioned in the China article. Right now I think all we can do is wait for more information. —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:12, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
It's not clear yet, but what could happen is that it would become illegal to install WeChat or TikTok on a phone with Android or iOS given that Google and Apple are both American companies, and the order prohibits American companies from dealing with ByteDance or Tencent. So what is likely is that they will be taken off the Apple Store and Google Play Store worldwide to comply with the order. The dog2 (talk) 14:50, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
I am not an American company, so a prohibition for them to deal with ByteDance does not concern me. I would have to get the app from elsewhere, but I suppose Chinese phones would be set up to facilitate that and, regardless, I could probably get the app in a Chinese phone shop. Unless installing, using or importing the software in/into USA becomes illegal, it really is not our problem, other than that we might have to tell how to install it in the China article. --LPfi (talk) 15:47, 8 August 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It's not just companies. All entities under U.S. jurisdiction are prohibited form dealing with them, so it will probably mean that it will be illegal for U.S. citizens to use TikTok or WeChat. There's a chance that it will be loosely enforced though, given that the Chinese generally don't go after people for using VPNs to access Facebook and YouTube. The dog2 (talk) 15:59, 8 August 2020 (UTC)

It seems to me we don't yet know enough to say anything concrete about how this will affect travellers. I suggest we return to the issue when more information is available. —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:24, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
Looks like the guidelines are out now. You won't be able to download or update the apps in the United States, but you won't be arrested for having them on your phone when you are overseas. And likewise, the app store and Google play store can continue to carry those apps outside the U.S. The dog2 (talk) 13:52, 18 September 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the update. Based on this article it looks like users will still be able to use WeChat in the United States (for communication, but not for payments), and U.S. citizens will still be able to use the app as usual in China. Apparently the same is true of TikTok. So I don't think we need to make any updates right now. Let me know if I'm misinterpreting anything. —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:38, 18 September 2020 (UTC)
We should continue keeping an eye on this issue nonetheless. The U.S. Commerce Department has stated that, in addition to their removal from U.S. based app stores, WeChat and TikTok "will [be] saddle[d]... with technical restrictions that could seriously limit their functionality in the U.S." beginning November 12th (somewhat more specifically, this will involve "prohibit[ing them] from getting technical services from vendors"). What exactly this implies is unclear, but it seems to be something more than just the removal of the ability to process financial transactions through the apps. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:17, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

"accused"[edit]

article says that excessive force by cops/counterprotestors is "accused" even though it has literally been caught on camera and extensively reported on? someone please help YaNaTebeNikogdaNeZhenyus (talk) 02:49, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

The sentence in dispute is "Both police and armed vigilantes have been accused of excessive indiscriminate force." I think we could avoid this discussion by deleting the sentence altogether. The advice provided, "Stay away from demonstrations and think twice about videotaping police officers or National Guard troops, as they have shot or assaulted some people, including members of the press while live on air, for doing so." is more useful. We should remove the bit about the press as our audience is travelers, not journalists. And they were TV journos, not "members of the press".
The warning also says, "Several cities have established curfews." Are there any still in effect, or should we remove this? Ground Zero (talk) 02:58, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
The status quo ante minus the final sentence, please. The fact that officers have used force against protestors and vice versa has indeed been caught on camera and is indisputable, but whether that force was "excessive" is a matter of opinion, ergo something Wikivoyage should not comment on. The information about the curfews can indeed be removed as none of those that resulted from the George Floyd protests remain in effect (AFAIK, and even if I'm wrong, they're certainly not widespread enough to merit mention this far up the breadcrumb hierarchy; the odd curfew or two that may remain in effect would be better discussed in the individual city articles). I don't see any of the other issues Ground Zero mentioned as being especially important. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:22, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
Due to fascists often using footage from demonstrations to dox antifa or attack them later, antifa usually doesn't take kindly to being recorded or filmed, either.
As to the excessive force, Wikivoyage is not in the business of giving equal weight to cranks and fascists. Do we "both sides" the Belarus protests? The armed thugs of the regimes have beaten, shot, tear gassed, raped and murdered far too much for the word "excessive" to be under any honest serious dispute. Hobbitschuster (talk) 10:12, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
Antifa are terrorists (they undeniably use violence and intimidation to promote their political agenda), so it seems more than a little disingenuous for you to pretend "fascists" are clashing with "righteous people". There is nothing noble about Antifa. They don't like being filmed, because it exposes them as the terrorists they are, so "excessive force" used against them most certainly is a relative and disputable claim. I'd say the fact that we still pretend these are "protests" is very generous towards them already. At this point, we should drop "protest" (it stopped being about George Floyd quite some time ago) and start calling it "unrest" or "civil unrest". ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:36, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

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.


Let me remind youse, we have standing policy about this, dudes. Ibaman (talk) 12:27, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

@ChubbyWimbus: are you, as it were, anti-antifa? That would make you, by process of elimination, "fa", would it not? Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:42, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

Please take this political discussion to some other website. —Granger (talk · contribs) 18:54, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
Being opposed to fascism isn't "politics", it's human decency. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:03, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
@Hobbitschuster: I will not get into the politics as requested. I do feel that I have the right to address the accusation that I am a "fascist", which is disgusting and out-of-line, but most of all just stupid. You are conflating the word "anti-fascist" with a political movement. It's extremely simple-minded. The two are not equivalents at all. Political movements entail a lot more than just their name or slogan. Do people who oppose "Make America Great Again" hate America or want it to be a NOT great place? Based on your logic, the answer is yes. Most people however, can see that criticism or opposition to this slogan comes from a number of associated ideas, goals, figures, etc. that they do not like or agree with. You cannot take it at face value. Are the Proud Boys just "proud boys"? Again, your logic suggests yes. In fact, you seem like a Proud Boy for calling me a fascist with your cute "process of elimination". Not everyone who disagrees with you or a political group or agenda is a "fascist". Your logic is lacking and you sound demented. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 10:10, 8 October 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Everybody who opposes fascism is some manner of "antifa". Whether that entails the willingness to answer fascist violence with violence is a different conversation. Most of what "antifa" do is actually rather boring "research" work, digging into the connections between various fascist organizations, their leadership and exposing them. Stuff that should be done by police or intelligence agencies, but alas, it is well documented that they are more likely to recruit fascists than combat them. The fact that you didn't call Gavin McInness's gang of street thugs fascist is telling... As for your personal attacks on my character, I won't dignify them with a response. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:27, 8 October 2020 (UTC)

No, everybody who opposes fascism in some manner is anti-fascist, but they are not necessarily Antifa. You can be anti-fascist without considering yourself part of Antifa. Most of society is anti-fascist but NOT affiliated with Antifa in any way. Many people are anti-fascist and oppose Antifa. Antifa as an organization/movement does more than clerical work, so without getting into the politics of it all, suffice it to say that their methods and tactics, definitions of who is "fascist", etc. are not all inherent in the basic meaning of the term "anti-fascist"; they are determined within/by the movement, which means there will be anti-fascist people left outside of their movement (and that's most people in the world, unless you actually believe the world is 99% fascists, which given your responses, perhaps you do). If people don't want to call themselves Antifa or associate themselves with the group, telling them if they're anti-fascist that they ARE Antifa whether they like it or not is pointless. My mention of the Proud Boys was supposed to be a simple way to highlight the absurdity of your logic, but given that you seem to be developing your own conspiracy theory that it's "telling", I think it's fair to assume you're more interested in making this personal and branding me as a straw-man "enemy" to try and build yourself up than you are in honest discussion, so it's best just to drop it. No groups are given specific mention in the proposed version anyway, so at this point it's also out of scope. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:21, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
It's safe to say that the rest of us have had enough of this argument, which stopped being relevant to Wikivoyage about three days ago. By all means exchange emails and continue it off-site, but any further points made here are not welcome and will be deleted by me.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:32, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
Are you "both sides"ing a discussion where one side hems and haws about fascism and the other expresses clear opposition to fascism? I thought you were better than that. There is indeed something here that doesn't belong on wv - or anywhere else for that matter - and that is making excuses for fascism. Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:57, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
No, we're just satisfied with the form of words in the article now and want an end to off-topic political arguments, regardless of what we think about their content. I hope that's acceptable to you. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:15, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
@ThunderingTyphoons!:@Ikan Kekek: Thank you. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:56, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

Proposal[edit]

This is why I think we should try to avoid political language. We end up spending time on politics rather than on travel. I am going to propose an update using wording from Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), a non-partisan project that collects data on political violence and protest events around the world.

Current version: Protests against racism and police brutality continue in cities across the country. Some of them have turned violent: buildings have been burned down and multiple people have been shot, some killed. Both police and armed vigilantes have been accused of excessive indiscriminate force. Stay away from demonstrations and think twice about videotaping police officers or National Guard troops, as they have shot or assaulted some people, including members of the press while live on air, for doing so. Several cities have established curfews.
Proposed version: The United States is at heightened risk of political violence and instability going into the general election on 3 Nov 2020. Violent hate crimes are on the rise. Since May 2020, there has been a massive wave of protests against police brutality towards Black people across the country. They have occasionally turned violent. Stay away from demonstrations.

These are, for the most part, not my words, but the words of ACLED. I hesitate to make this proposal as I don't want to get into an endless round of wordsmithing, but this warning does need an update. Everyone has opinions about what is going on in the U.S., but this isn't a good forum for arguing about them. Let's go with what a recognized external authority says. Ground Zero (talk) 12:43, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

Looks fine to me. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:08, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
The use of "massive" with "occasionally" is a bit jarring. It doesn't read well. If we are going to continue to call the unrest "George Floyd protests", I think we should at least include that these "protests" have been ongoing since May. Regardless of the politics of the situation, when I think of "protests", I think of relatively short-lived things (often just a day or two). A "protest" today doesn't seem important for a traveler planning a trip that is a month away, but 5 months of unrest would make one month away seem much more worrisome for a trip. We should at least inform the travelers of the timeline so they know this is more than just a flash-in-the-pan thing. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:29, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
I've added the start date, and split "massive" from "occasionally". The proposal doesn't mention George Floyd as the protests and unrest are about a wider range of issues. Floyd was the spark, but not the fuel. Ground Zero (talk) 13:54, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
I think it reads better now. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 14:03, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
I would omit the mention of mass shootings, which are rare and seem irrelevant to this warning. (They are also a long-term concern, already covered in "Stay safe".) The rest looks fine to me. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:57, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
Okay. Ground Zero (talk) 18:17, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

I like the mention of the upcoming election and not to open a whole different can of worms, but as many observers from different sides have predicted that violence might result from certain election outcomes, should we advise against travel to the U.S. during the election period specifically? This is not uncommon for the national travel advisories regarding countries which have a history of disputed election results and political violence. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:41, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

Subjectively, I would recommend for people to seriously consider waiting until at least late January, to see how things shake out. However, it's impossible to actually know what will happen. So I think the most we could do is suggest that violence may occur during the election and any transition period, so people might want to consider not coming in early November and following news reports to determine when to come following that. But that's all a bit speculative. Do we indeed usually post such prospective advisories? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:05, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
Usually we post advisories based on what different countries' foreign affairs agencies advise (UK FCO, Australian Dept of Foreign Affairs, Global Affairs Canada). I'm not aware of any government advising against travelling during the US election period. I do not support posting our own advisory on such speculation. Ground Zero (talk) 20:10, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
Right, and understood. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:54, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
I've made this update. If anyone wants further changes, they can start a new discussion. Ground Zero (talk) 00:25, 8 October 2020 (UTC)

Homelessness and Protests[edit]

AndreCarrotflower did a hard revert of all edits since October 24 explicitly without judgment as to their merit. I had edited the coverage on unhoused people which imho in the now restored version unfairly stigmatizes them and implicitly links them to crime (and not the kind of "crime" that doesn't actually hurt anybody). Especially with rampantly rising unhoused populations throughout the U.S. we should write a more factual and compassionate bit as I attempted to do and we should give it a separate headline unrelated to crime. I furthermore added a paragraph on protests which imho should be mentioned in the "stay safe" section as protests particularly in 2020 have turned violent and bystanders have gotten hurt. We sometimes even put warningboxes atop articles when a country experiences similar protests. Also reverted were a number of relatively lateral wording changes which we can separately discuss. Please give your input below. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:55, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

Probably best to tackle each subject on its own merits in a separate discussion.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:13, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

Homelessness[edit]

In the "Homelessness" section of the immediately pre-revert version of the article, I can't see much travel guide content. All I would retain from that is the record-high levels of homelessness and what to do if you feel harassed. Even the latter probably varies from place to place and person to person, as it does in Europe. The rest is either self-evident (local government or charities run initiatives that will welcome your cash; many homeless people have complex health problems) or irrelevant to travellers (homeless people tend to distrust the police; lots of homeless people are veterans).--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:21, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

I feel like the "harassing homeless person" is to some extent a function of the disdain people have towards the unhoused. If you treat people like crap, they might react accordingly. As for homeless people distrusting police (with good reason) that might explain behavior like fleeing from cops, which one might misconstrue as somehow "evidence" that they are dangerous, because only a "dangerous" person would do such a thing. In truth the U.S. spends absurd sums on criminalizing the unhoused (and petty bullshit like throwing away their stuff) and very little on helping them. If we inform our readers on how to volunteer in a Cambodian orphanage, I think we should mention how one can help those the capitalist system in the U.S. deems unworthy of existence and spits out like half-chewed bones... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:29, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
I agree with what you write but haven't changed my assessment with regard to this article. If someone knows of a brilliant initiative in e.g. Chicago, where travellers can volunteer their time or money to help the homeless, they should go write about it over there.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:37, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
While I agree with Hobbitschuster's analysis of the U.S.'s policy failure with respect to homelessness, I think we are better off avoiding political commentary in our travel guide since we don't require references to reliable sources. Engaging in political commentary will lead us down the path of spending a lot of time arguing over political issues, and drain our focus away from travel content. Dealing with homeless people and understanding why they are homeless is not going to be an important issue for most travellers. And this article is already very long, so let's focus on the stuff that will be more important to travellers. Those looking for a deeper dive into political issues can refer to the Wikipedia article linked from this article. Ground Zero (talk) 20:03, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
The U.S. certainly has a lot of issues, but Wikivoyage is not the place to write a political analysis. This is a nonpartisan travel guide, so let's focus on how these issues affect travellers. For instance, I think it's fine to mention at as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in homelessness, which is certainly something visitors will notice. However, going into the details about U.S. policy failures is beyond the scope of a travel guide. The dog2 (talk) 20:57, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
To build on The dog2's point ("I think it's fine to mention at as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in homelessness") - to what degree is that also true in the world outside the United States? If it is, then it's Captain Obvious and need not be mentioned here. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:10, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
We don't need to preach, but I'm uncomfortable with this kind of language: "It's general practice to avoid eye contact with homeless people and choosing not to give is generally not looked down upon." I think we should simply leave it to readers to choose whether or not to give directly to homeless people and also suggest that if they'd rather give to organizations that serve them, there are generally soup kitchens and other public and private agencies that serve poor and homeless individuals and families throughout the U.S. We can leave it at that, but seeming to advise people to avoid eye contact with homeless people is a bit much. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:51, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I agree with Ikan Kekek on this. We can direct people who want to help the homeless to various charities. In any case, volunteer work is legal on a tourist visa, so if a tourist wants to volunteer at a homeless shelter, there's no reason why we should stop them. The dog2 (talk) 23:55, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

I don't think we should take up space in the country article for one of the world's biggest tourist destinations to give people advice on giving to charities or volunteering in homeless shelters. Is this a big issue for travellers to the USA? Aren't they really going to the USA to see Disneyworld, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon? Lets keep the focus on travel. Ground Zero (talk) 01:34, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
I agree that there's no reason to go into specifics. I'm fine with this language: Urban areas tend to have homeless people who may aggressively ask for money. If you feel harassed, say "No" firmly and walk away. I just don't want us to encourage people to avoid eye contact with homeless people or seem to be taking a position on whether to give them money or not. Since it looks like the words that bothered me are no longer in the article, I have no further objection. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:56, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
Keep it short & link to Begging. Pashley (talk) 00:49, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

Post a bond to visit?[edit]

New Trump rule may require some African tourists to pay up to $15,000 in bonds Pashley (talk) 00:47, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

If so, that'll be out the window on January 20, but besides, with record numbers of COVID cases, why would anyone want to travel from Africa to the U.S. today? Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:58, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
The US has a much bigger population than any African country, so naturally, just by numbers, the US will have more COVID cases. The number of cases per capita is what's important. For all its weaknesses, the U.S. still has better healthcare infrastructure than most developing countries, and even when compared to other developed countries, it has the most advanced medical treatments in the world - if you can afford them that is. At the moment, it looks like only China, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand have successfully contained the spread of the virus. The dog2 (talk) 04:16, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) And, interestingly, for all of Trump's anti-science rhetoric and exhortations on Twitter for people to rise up in defiance of lockdowns, it turns out the U.S. actually falls near the middle of the pack among major industrialized countries when it comes to observance of social distancing measures such as avoidance of crowded public places, use of face masks and other PPE, etc., while the European countries we spoke of earlier as having taken the correct approach are now seeing cases spike even more rapidly than in the U.S., and are dealing with far more widespread anti-lockdown protests than we're seeing in the U.S. It's understandable to be displeased with Trump's bungling of the pandemic response, but let's avoid the urge toward unnecessary or politically motivated self-flagellation (yeah, we elected Trump, but we also didn't reelect him!) and keep things in perspective, if not for ourselves then for our readers. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:33, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Africa is generally considered to have much lower per capita incidence of COVID than the U.S., although there is little testing there, to my knowledge. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:14, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Africa also has significantly fewer at-risk people with an average life expectancy of just 61.2 across all of sub-Saharan Africa compared to a 78.9 average US life expectancy (according to our own Wikipedia), so Covid may not affect the majority of people enough for them to even warrant getting tested even if they contract it. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:50, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Yes indeed. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:12, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
{{Yo|
The USA currently ranks #12 in the world in per capita number of COVID cases (41,808 per one million), just a little over 4% of the US population according to https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries. . Ottawahitech (talk) 21:53, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
Also, as far as countries that have successfully contained COVID, I believe Singapore is the most impressive. See: https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-singapore-explainer-idUSKBN2680TF . Cheers, Ottawahitech (talk) 22:01, 30 November 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Singapore has the world's lowest case fatality rate, but in terms of containing the spread, there was a major oversight in the foreign worker dormitories, which led to a massive outbreak there. And Singapore is a small country too, which make things easier to manage than much larger countries like China or Australia. But yes, as of now, it looks like COVID-19 has been successfully contained in Singapore, and there are only a handful of cases a day. Anyway, here's an interesting article about how China successfully contained COVID-19. And it dissents from the mainstream Western view that they were only able to do it because of authoritarianism. The dog2 (talk) 06:05, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

Get in Covid box[edit]

Inaccurate information in the covid box. It says: The Canadian and Mexican borders are closed to non-essential travel.

Canadians are NOT prohibited from traveling to the USA as long as they fly. Not sure if Americans can fly into Canada (for non-essential travel). Land borders are closed for travel back and forth, unless "essential". Not sure who determines what essential is. Source: word of mouth and personal experience. Cheers, Ottawahitech (talk) 21:38, 30 November 2020 (UTC)