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Only 71% Americans can locate Pacific Ocean on a map
Forbes ^ | May 12, 2003 Issue | Paul Recer

Posted on 04/30/2003 6:37:27 AM PDT by yankeedame

Survey Says

A National Geographic study released [in November] found that only about one in seven Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 could find Iraq [on a map]. Although 58% knew that the Taliban and al Qaeda were based in Afghanistan, only 17% could find that country.

The survey asked 56 geographic and current events questions of young people in nine countries.

Americans got an average of 23 correct answers. Mexico ranked last with an average score of 21. Topping the scoring was Sweden, with an average of 40, followed by Germany and Italy, each with 38.

Other findings: When asked to find 10 specific states on a map of the U.S., only California and Texas could be located by a large majority. Only 51% could find New York.

On a world map, Americans could find on average only 7 of 16 countries in the quiz. Only 89% of the Americans surveyed could find their own country.

Only 71% of the surveyed Americans could locate the Pacific Ocean.

--Paul Recer, Associated Press

(And, while we're on the subject this from USA Today/Forbes)

"No idea in politics has hurt children more than the false and misleading idea that the quality of education is determined by how much we spend.

"More than 35 years after Congress passed the first Elementary and Secondary Education Act, public school spending per pupil has more than doubled--even when adjusted for inflation--from $3,331 in 1965-1966 to $8,194 in 2000-2001.

" In fact, the federal government has spent more than $321 billion on education programs since 1965. Every year, spending on K-12 education by all levels of government exceeds $400 billion.

"Yet, citizens must ask, what have we gotten for all this? Fewer than a third of fourth-graders can read proficiently.

"No, the problem isn't--and never has been--money alone. This is just the most tired of all excuses. If there is no account-ability, or schools use unproven fads for instruction, it doesn't matter how much money is thrown at a problem; it will be wasted."

--Rod Paige, Secretary of Education


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: education; geography; geographyeducation
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To: yankeedame
The other 29% could not find themselves in a chair.
51 posted on 04/30/2003 7:19:30 AM PDT by Dionysius
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To: AmericanInTokyo
I know Japan is slipping, too

More crap on the pile: Mothra is on the wing, and she's five miles from giving Kyoto a large helping of "better luck next life."

52 posted on 04/30/2003 7:19:46 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: mewzilla
The probably came up through the public school system.

I wonder if any of them ever asks "Why didn't I learn this in school?"
53 posted on 04/30/2003 7:19:59 AM PDT by ladylib
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To: So Cal Rocket
Wouldn't you love to see the poll data broken down into 3 segments:

Yes: 1)DemocRAT'S kids.
2)Republican's kids.
3)Libertarian kids.

54 posted on 04/30/2003 7:20:10 AM PDT by Lysander (My army can kill your army)
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To: yankeedame
ROD PAIGE FOR PRESIDENT
55 posted on 04/30/2003 7:21:06 AM PDT by JohnnyZ (I crack me up!)
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To: yankeedame
Wow, Forbes is on the ball with this one. We were all over this months ago...

Take the National Geographic Global Literacy Survey!
11/21/2002 12:33 AM CST with 112 comments

Young Canadians barely know geography, National Geographic survey says
11/20/2002 10:28 PM CST with 4 comments

Young Americans flunk geography, according to National Geographic quiz survey
11/20/2002 1:50 PM CST with 61 comments

56 posted on 04/30/2003 7:23:37 AM PDT by T. P. Pole
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To: yankeedame
Look how many years it took for Balboa to find it.

I always wondered why history credited him for the discovery of the Pacific Ocean when there were plenty of people on the Pacific islands and in Central and South America who went fishing in it every day.

I guess Balboa was a liberal and therefore the media of that time had to give him the credit. It's like the 'balanced budget'...the media contends that Clinton invented it (after vetoing it twice).

57 posted on 04/30/2003 7:25:13 AM PDT by capt. norm
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To: Dionysius
he other 29% could not find themselves in a chair.

It's a good thing the kids are too stupid to understand percentages, they might be momentarily insulted by your statement before confusing themselves about what's going on.

58 posted on 04/30/2003 7:26:06 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: TankerKC
I just don’t believe that.

Really? Of my four grown nephews, I'd guess you might find one who could find it and I wouldn't doubt that it would be entirely by a "lucky" guess. Seriously.

59 posted on 04/30/2003 7:26:44 AM PDT by FourPeas
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To: Alberta's Child
The wrong building? Care to clarify?

Assuming that a single mistake in targeting is attributable to the general level of geographical education in the US (a hilariously improbable stretch), are you suggesting that a Swede or a Frenchman could have done better?

60 posted on 04/30/2003 7:28:25 AM PDT by wideawake (Support our troops and their Commander-in-Chief)
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To: PA Engineer
19 of 20. Missed the religion one. Poorly designed test, most distractors weren't on the same continent as the correct answer.
61 posted on 04/30/2003 7:29:39 AM PDT by j_tull (My words but a whisper, your deafness a SHOUT!)
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To: FourPeas
I don't know, maybe I'm giving folks too much credit.
62 posted on 04/30/2003 7:35:07 AM PDT by TankerKC (If we blame our parents, will our kids blame us?)
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To: wideawake
Americans are biased toward practicality, always have been and always will be.

You make some interesting points, but I believe that having a point of world reference that geography provides, gives a much richer understanding of current and historical events. This isn't simply beneficial to the "meritocracy" as you put it; it's vital to the masses as well. It's not just this meritocracy that votes, it's the masses too.

We cannot argue for a strong defense, if we don't know where we're defending against. We cannot debate whether or not a trade agreement is beneficial or not, if we don't have a general idea of the countries involved. And, we cannot determine whether or not it's worth sending troops halfway around the world to battle terrorism, if we don't have an idea of where they're going and the conditions they'll be fighting in.

These are just some of the reasons for the "practicality" of general geographic knowledge. The majority of Americans are not using geography to innovate, but they should have an awareness if they want to participate in the political and economic process.

63 posted on 04/30/2003 7:36:42 AM PDT by Lou L
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To: yankeedame
and who says the Publik skewls aren't working!
64 posted on 04/30/2003 7:37:19 AM PDT by arly
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To: Alberta's Child
ARNE GOES GEOGRAPHYING:

Northenmost town in Alberta: Fort McMurray

Birthplace of NHL Sutter brothers: Lethbridge

Common Penalty Infractions By Sutters: Fighting, Roughing, Boarding, Spearing, Slashing, High Sticking, Charging, Cross Checking, Unsportsmalike Conduct, Intent to Injure Game Major, Gross Misconduct, Game Misconduct

Alberta's Major Shared Resource: Janet Jones

65 posted on 04/30/2003 7:38:31 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: arly
I hates to be the spelting policed but:

Two K's in Publik

66 posted on 04/30/2003 7:41:20 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: mewzilla
"What do you do about the adults who don't know jack?"

Employ them as janitors.

67 posted on 04/30/2003 7:46:21 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Wheat is Murder! (Tilling slaughters worms.....))
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To: j_tull
Same result here.

I really have trouble believing that more Mexicans knew the population of the US than people in the US do.

68 posted on 04/30/2003 7:47:43 AM PDT by TankerKC (If we blame our parents, will our kids blame us?)
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To: Brad Cloven
Employ them as janitors.

...or Geography teachers.

69 posted on 04/30/2003 7:48:26 AM PDT by TankerKC (If we blame our parents, will our kids blame us?)
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To: Alberta's Child
Correction: Birthplace of Sutters - Viking, Alberta

Sutter Marketing Tag Line: "Six brothers, one brain."

Historic Location Proving Earliest Hominid and Neanderthal Life: Stu Hart's Gym, Calgary

70 posted on 04/30/2003 7:49:43 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: tcostell
The public school teacher should be our heroes. The are terribly underpaid. Why this country doesn't believe in investing in the child is beyond me. We don't want to pay to send them to daycare, we don't want to pay to have them taught properly. What are our children to us? Dogs, that we brush aside because they take too much of our time? Blaming the teacher first is a sure sign of not taking responsibility as a parent to make sure your child get's his/her homework done and studies properly, IMHO. :)
71 posted on 04/30/2003 7:51:06 AM PDT by Laurie S
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To: AmericanInTokyo
...I had to explain to one of our office assistants, using a flashlight and an orange and darkening the room, that the world was in fact ROUND!

Silly. There is no flashlight involved in the cycle of day and night. It's all done with computer animation from Hollywood.

72 posted on 04/30/2003 7:51:20 AM PDT by TankerKC (If we blame our parents, will our kids blame us?)
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To: yankeedame
May 12, 2003 Issue | Paul Recer


Posted on 04/30/2003 6:37 AM PDT by yankeedame
The dates are interesting,a look into the future past. I saw the results of this same study months ago.
73 posted on 04/30/2003 7:52:56 AM PDT by familyofman
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To: ArneFufkin
Your hockey knowledge is very good, but your geography leaves a lot to be desired. : )

The Sutter brothers were born in the small farming town of Viking, Alberta. All of them played junior hockey for the Lethbridge Broncos of the WHL, though.

The northernmost town in Alberta is probably Fort Fitzgerald -- up north of Lake Athabasca near Wood Buffalo National Park. Fort McMurray may be the northernmost CITY in the province.

Alberta's Major Shared Resource: Janet Jones

LOL.

74 posted on 04/30/2003 7:56:07 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: Laurie S
Heroic teachers are our heroes. Crappy teachers should play craps.

Don't make us break down your work year, please.

75 posted on 04/30/2003 7:57:19 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: TankerKC
I just don't believe that.

"Is the Earth flat or round? I don't remember." A serious question from a girl who attended my high school.

76 posted on 04/30/2003 7:58:23 AM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: ArneFufkin
Best Quote About Americans Ever Heard in the Province of Alberta (from a wise old rancher out near Water Valley):

"I never understood the Jim Crow era in the U.S. Why would you treat certain people like that? . . . It's not as if they were Injuns."

77 posted on 04/30/2003 8:00:15 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: Laurie S
Why this country doesn't believe in investing in the child is beyond me.

Paying teacher more = investing in the child? Wrong!

We don't want to pay to send them to daycare, we don't want to pay to have them taught properly. ...SNIP...Blaming the teacher first is a sure sign of not taking responsibility as a parent to make sure your child gets his/her homework done and studies properly, IMHO. :)

So, which is it? Do we (I assume you mean the government) pay to send our kids to daycare, or do we take responsibility as parents. You can’t have it both ways.

Are you a teacher? I'm just curious.

78 posted on 04/30/2003 8:02:33 AM PDT by TankerKC (If we blame our parents, will our kids blame us?)
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To: j_tull
19 of 20, and also missed the religion one. The placement of the distractors adds even more to the tragedy of our outcomes based education system.
79 posted on 04/30/2003 8:02:39 AM PDT by PA Engineer
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To: Alberta's Child
The northernmost town in Alberta is probably Fort Fitzgerald

How could I forget the Twin Cities of Fort Fitzgerald, Alberta and Uranium City, Saskatchawan? I apologize to all the Albertarianites and Saskatchawantonians.

80 posted on 04/30/2003 8:03:14 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: ArneFufkin
Second-Best Quote About Americans Ever Heard in the Province of Alberta (from the same wise old rancher out near Water Valley):

"What the hell ya doin' takin' a trip up to Banff and Lake Louise? No self-respectin' Albertan goes there anymore -- yer more likely to hear some Neezer language up there than English!"

(Note: "Neezer" was a term used by said rancher to describe all things Oriental in nature -- Chinese Japanese, Taiwanese, etc.)

81 posted on 04/30/2003 8:03:30 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: Kerberos
....trying giving them $21 dollars when the bill comes to $10.59 and see what happens.

I had this exact thing happen to me the other day. The idiot running the cash register asked me if I was giving her a tip.

82 posted on 04/30/2003 8:04:35 AM PDT by wbill
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To: Laurie S
The average pay for a teacher K through 12 in my town is $84,000 per year, and the school system is one point above failing. how much do you propose we pay them?

At present my school system costs $20,000 per student per year, and they do an awful job.

It's not about the pay. The teachers are incompetent, and their union is working to prevent the education of children. Respectfully, you are entitled to your opinion, but I wish you would get a little more information before you tell us what it is.

Vouchers are the only answer, and the teachers unions will do anything to prevent them, no matter how many children will suffer.

83 posted on 04/30/2003 8:07:58 AM PDT by tcostell
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To: tcostell
{The teachers are incompetent, and their union is working to prevent the education of children.}

The NEA doesn't care about the education of the children. The NEA just wants to brainwash the next generation into becoming mindless Democratic voters.
84 posted on 04/30/2003 8:12:20 AM PDT by Kuksool
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To: Alberta's Child
AC, I had a mad blast a couple of years ago at the Golden Nugget in Vegas partying with 5 or 6 fugitives from lawful instituionalization in Calgary. What a blast ... couple of us still keep in touch. I make fun of their country, they agree ... LOL. We broke down the 80s Calgary Flames in detail and you know what? Jim Peplinski was really a handsome and dashing rogue.

These guys owned and operated a large "coring and cutting" operation outside Calgary.

It was fun. I apologized to them for America's patronizing and dismissive attitude and they apologized for Loverboy.

85 posted on 04/30/2003 8:13:08 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: ArneFufkin
Best Albertan Response to an Idiotic Canadian Court Ruling:

When a Canadian court ruled that a former doctor serving a long sentence in the Bowden correctional facility for sexual abuse of his patients had a "right" to see his children, his ex-wife was forced to bring the young girls (both younger than 8) to the prison for a visit. The visit was postponed after a scene at the prison gate during which a band of ranchers from the Red Deer area surrounded the vehicle carrying prison officials, the ex-wife, and the two young girls into the facility. The scene ended peacefully when cooler heads prevailed -- the ex-wife pointed out that overturning the vehicle with all those people inside (including the two girls) was not a good way to deal with an idiotic court ruling.

The postponement of the visit became a permanent cancellation the following day when the imprisoned doctor (visibly bruised and battered, by eyewitness accounts) filed a motion in court asking to have his request vacated.

86 posted on 04/30/2003 8:14:01 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: TankerKC
"So, which is it? Do we (I assume you mean the government) pay to send our kids to daycare, or do we take responsibility as parents. You can’t have it both ways. "

I don't know if you heard this or not, but many families have a mother and father who both work outside the home. so, they have to take the kids to daycare where they will be tended to by low paid workers. When I mentioned responsibility as parents I meant that they should get involved with the kids' lives more and not brush them off when the kids have homework to do. When they get home from work they should look in the kid's bookbag and also talk to the kid to find out how school went and if there's anything they are having problems with. Talk to your kids, people. Stop blaming the teachers because you don't take the time to get involved in your kids' life.

"Are you a teacher? I'm just curious. "

No, I'm not. But my aunt is a teacher. It's not a job just anyone could do. You have to be patient and love kids enough to get involved and try to make a difference. Unfortunately, many parents want teachers to be the care giver and do all the dirty work that the parents don't want to deal with. Lazy parents = lazy, uneducated kids
87 posted on 04/30/2003 8:15:21 AM PDT by Laurie S
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To: yankeedame
Only 71% of the surveyed Americans [between the ages of 18 and 24] could locate the Pacific Ocean.

But thanks to public school "priorities," 99% of them can locate the "G-spots" of the human body.

88 posted on 04/30/2003 8:16:39 AM PDT by F16Fighter (Democrats -- The Party of Stalin and Chiraq)
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To: Laurie S
The public school teacher should be our heroes.

You should be ashamed of yourself for a quote like this. Public school teachers are shamelessly pillaging the public with the help of their union, and a political system designed to maintain the status quo and keep them fed at the public trough, in spite of more than adequate evidence that they are incapable of providing the services that they have been hired for.

They continue to fail, year after year, and all that happens is they get more money, taken from the taxpayers at gunpoint, to waste.

They don't care how many children's lives it ruins, there will be no accountability in the public school system, and there will be no competition for the taxpayer dollar.

The union's position is that we can pry their monopoly control of education from their cold dead hands.

If you teach at a public school you should hang your head in shame.

89 posted on 04/30/2003 8:17:30 AM PDT by tcostell
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To: yankeedame
And they can cancel out your vote!!!!
90 posted on 04/30/2003 8:18:43 AM PDT by ZULU
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To: Laurie S
You have to be patient and love kids enough to get involved and try to make a difference.

Typical Clinton era doublespeak.

If you get brain surgery who do you want to perform it .. someone who is good at being a surgeon or someone who "really cares" about surgery?

91 posted on 04/30/2003 8:20:06 AM PDT by tcostell
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To: Laurie S
So who should pay the daycare workers more? The parents?

I assume that you follow your own advice and help with your kids homework every evening, just like I do, right?

92 posted on 04/30/2003 8:21:35 AM PDT by TankerKC (If we blame our parents, will our kids blame us?)
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To: ArneFufkin
Best Call Ever Heard on a Talk Radio Show Alberta:

This award goes to the guy who called up during an on-air debate on the death penalty in Canada. Notorious child-killer Clifford Olson was given a "mandatory" parole hearing even though there was no chance in hell he was ever going to be released, and the radio host asked the callers if they thought the mandatory hearings for people like Olson should be eliminated because they forced the victims' families to re-appear in court every few years to re-testify about the devastation that they had gone through.

After a few people gave opinions on either side of the issue, one caller (who may have sounded an awful lot like a wise old rancher from Water Valley) suggested that not only should Olson be given his mandatory parole hearings -- he should be paroled as soon as possible.

"Why the hell do you want this guy released?" asked the incredulous radio host.

"Because I want to kill the bastard -- but I can't do it while he's in prison."

93 posted on 04/30/2003 8:21:45 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: Kerberos
Or worse yet, trying giving them $21 dollars when the bill comes to $10.59 and see what happens.

...a penny, a nickel, a dime, a quarter and a tenner..

waz the dillie-yo...?

94 posted on 04/30/2003 8:22:32 AM PDT by martin gibson
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To: yankeedame
58% knew that the Taliban and al Qaeda were based in Afghanistan

I wonder if they test was multiple choice or fill in the blank? My guess is the former; if it were the latter, the % would be far lower.

Americans got an average of 23 correct answers. Mexico ranked last with an average score of 21.

And since America is slowly becoming Mexico, this does not bode well for our future.

95 posted on 04/30/2003 8:27:45 AM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Alberta's Child
It was really a great meeting, we did copious shots of God knows what Red Deer fire water, we laughed too much actually, it wasn't THAT funny ... and it dawned on me after chatting them up: these guys are multi-millionaires! They core and cut rock for custom landscaping projects in the U.S of A.

I probed with my trademark focus "Rocks, huh?"

96 posted on 04/30/2003 8:27:52 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: ArneFufkin
Best Law Enforcement Response in Alberta:

This award goes to the immigration officials at Calgary Airport who detained a couple of American leftist freaks who were traveling to Calgary to take part in demonstrations against the meeting of the World Petroleum Congress in 2000. Turns out these two guys had been arrested and convicted for violent conduct at a demonstration in Quebec some time ago, and part of their sentence was that they were never to set foot in Canada again.

To ensure that these characters would not be disruptive in Calgary, they were shackled to a radiator in the offices of the immigration authority for the duration of the four-day event.

97 posted on 04/30/2003 8:28:06 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: mewzilla
How accurate can they be if they're asking people, for example, about foreign policy when these same folks can find their own country on a map? That's why public opinion polls don't do much for me. Look at what they're polling...

Exactly. How many of these people taking to the streets to protest our invasion of Iraq could even locate Iraq on a map. What's worse is that many of them would think that knowing where it is has no bearing on the discussion. A lack of historical perspective and current knowledge of the region, and of the adjacent regions, pretty much negates anyone's claim to have something to contribute to the discussion.

I wouldn't walk into an operating room and start giving medical tips to a surgeon, but that's exactly what a lot of these polls amount to. Finding large numbers of people with baseless opinions about important issues, and trying the 'quantity is quality' approach to alter the debate.

98 posted on 04/30/2003 8:34:35 AM PDT by Steel Wolf (Like water in a bucket.... calm but deadly...)
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To: ArneFufkin
There's nothing so enlightening as showing up at a meeting of high-rolling real estate developers from Toronto and Vancouver who are giving a presentation to affected property owners adjacent to their proposed shopping center on the edge of Calgary.

Note to self: Notice the condescending way they stroll in here in their Armani suits and deal with these local farmers, ranchers, etc.

Note to self: That one smelly old guy over there with the faded jeans and dirt under his fingernails really looks out of place here.

Call to friend who is in the real estate loop in Calgary: "Who was that old guy at the meeting this morning?"

Response (with a chuckle): "He's a retired banker who now ranches on 20 sections of land (that's 20 square miles, folks) around Calgary. He's worth more than all of those people in that room combined, plus the clothing they were wearing, plus the companies they work for. Probably worth more than the passenger jets they flew in here on, too. I think he uses Armani suits to wash his cattle."

99 posted on 04/30/2003 8:38:43 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: mewzilla
Just more proof of why polls are a joke.

I'd love to see polls correlating knowledge of various kinds with political and moral views. I bet it would be very revealing.

100 posted on 04/30/2003 8:39:47 AM PDT by edsheppa
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