Vocapedia > English
America, USA > Iconic words > America, American, jeep, cowboy...
The Speech that Made Obama
President Video THNKR
30 August 2012
a one-term senator from
Illinois took the stage
to deliver the keynote speech
the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
By the time Barack Obama had
Democrats across the country
they had seen the future of their party.
United States > from confederation to nation
Why America Is Just Okay
NYT 1 July 2019
Why America Is Just Okay
Video NYT Opinion
The New York Times 1 July 2019
America is the greatest country on earth.
It’s a phrase, a slogan, a dogma for patriots.
And as we stare down
the barrel of an upcoming election,
we’re prepared to hear this refrain echo.
In the video Op-Ed above,
we argue that the myth of America
as the greatest nation on earth is at best outdated
and at worst, wildly inaccurate.
Comparing the United States of America on global indicators
reveals we have fallen well behind Europe
— and share more in common with “developing countries”
than we’d like to admit.
NYT - July 1, 2019
USA > BBC > Letter from America by Alistair Cooke
Americana > folk songs
Americana > The Saturday Evening Post
Walter Elias Disney / Walt Disney
UK / USA
God bless America
G 4 August 2017
The Guardian 4 August 2017
American UK / USA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEoVHfqxHio - Guardian - 4 August 2017
hyphenated American > German-Americans
I am an American
the American idea
native American > Navajo / Navajo nation
a nation of immigrants
America’s Red States
the land of the free
a / the land of opportunity
US Supreme Court
“equal justice under law”
E Pluribus Unum
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFPwDe22CoY - 30 August 2012
I'm a Black Cowboy. This is My
Story. The New York Times
5 August 2020
I'm a Black Cowboy.
This is My Story. Video
Op-Docs The New York Times
5 August 2020
Cowboys are among
the most iconic figures of the American West.
mythologized as strong, independent people
who live and die by
their own terms on the frontier.
And in movies, the
people who play them are mostly white.
But as with many
elements of Americana,
the idea of who
cowboys are is actually whitewashed
— scholars estimate
that in the pioneer era,
one in four cowboys
Quintard Taylor writes about how before then,
"were part of the
expansion of the livestock industry
into colonial South
herding skills down through the generations
and steadily across
the Gulf Coast states to Texas."
In Dillon Hayes's
"All I Have to Offer You Is Me,"
we meet Larry
who comes from a
long line of cowboys. Growing up in Texas,
Callies dreamed of
becoming like Charley Pride,
African-American inductee in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
As with the cowboy,
there’s an assumption of who makes up country music,
despite its diverse
The breakthrough of
artists like Lil Nas X, Jimmie Allen and Kane Brown
attention to the contributions of black artists to the genre.
shows what we lose
when we don’t
acknowledge the full breadth of history.
video - NYT - August 5, 2020
The Wild Wild West
is an American Western espionage
and science fiction television series
that ran on the CBS television network
for four seasons
from September 17, 1965 to April 11, 1969.
- Jan. 13, 2021
American West / the West
April 28, 2021
the American South
the Jim Crow South
in the Jim Crow South
1944 > in the Jim Crow era of the South
during the Jim Crow
era of racial segregation in the US >
The Negro Motorist
Green Book, published 1936-1964
story.php?storyId=12819237 - August 15,
Jim Crow laws
Jim Crow was the name
of the racial caste
which operated primarily,
but not exclusively
in southern and border states,
was more than a series
It was a way of life.
Under Jim Crow,
were relegated to the status
of second class citizens.
Jim Crow represented
the legitimization of
Many Christian ministers and theologians
that whites were the Chosen people,
blacks were cursed to be servants,
and God supported racial segregation.
at every educational level,
buttressed the belief that blacks
were innately intellectually
and culturally inferior to whites.
on the great danger of integration:
the mongrelization of the white race.
Newspaper and magazine writers
routinely referred to blacks
as niggers, coons, and darkies;
and worse, their articles reinforced
Even children's games
portrayed blacks as
(see "From Hostility to Reverence:
100 Years of African-American Imagery
All major societal institutions
the oppression of blacks.
The Lost Cause of the Confederacy
/ The Lost Cause
Ku Klux Klan KKK
New Black Panther Party
“In God is our trust”
national motto > "In God We Trust,"
watch?v=F34Vlqtv0lQ - The Obama White House - 20 Oct. 2016
characters, personifications > USA > Uncle Sam
Pledge of Allegiance
`I pledge allegiance
to the Flag of the United
States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God, indivisible,
liberty and justice for all.'
The words are familiar.
Many, if not most,
say The Pledge of Allegiance
But most Americans
probably don't know
the history of those words,
and the changes
they've gone through over time.
that the words "under God"
weren't added until 1954.
The Pledge is introduced
to celebrate Columbus's
discovery of America.
It is written by magazine editor
and Christian Socialist, Francis Bellamy
reads: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation indivisible
with Liberty and Justice for all."
As immigration debates
heat up in the United States,
The National Flag Conference,
sponsored by the American Legion
and the Daughters
of the American Revolution,
changes "my Flag"
to "the flag
of the United States of America."
recognizes the pledge
and includes it
in the federal Flag Code.
the official stance of pledge takers
to the right hand over the heart
— the previous stance,
one hand extended from the body,
was too reminiscent of the Nazi salute.
Congress adds the words
"under God" to the pledge.
The Knights of Columbus
lobbied for the change.
Texans or Texians,
according to some sources,
for independence from Mexico
the small Texas army had captured
the important crossroads town
of San Antonio de
and seized the garrison
known as the Alamo.
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
recaptured the town
on March 6, 1836,
after a thirteen-day siege;
the Mexican army suffered
an estimated 600 casualties.
Of the official list
of 189 Texan defenders,
all were killed.
Historians continue to debate
the number of defenders
The defense of the Alamo
for those who fought for Texas.
James (Jim) Bowie,
and William Barret Travis
were among those remembered
by the "Remember the Alamo"
reported to be yelled
at the victory at San Jacinto.
June 09, 2021
March 23, 2021
On Donald Trump’s Immigration Ban
JAN. 31, 2017
Liberty - October 28, 1886
USA > late 19th /
century > Immigration > Ellis Island
Corpus of news articles
English language > America, USA > Iconic
America, American, jeep, cowboy...
Is Costing the U.S.
on Social Issues
APRIL 28, 2015
The New York Times
Thirty-five years ago, the United States ranked 13th among the 34
industrialized nations that are today in the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development in terms of life expectancy for newborn girls. These
days, it ranks 29th.
In 1980, the infant mortality rate in the United States was about the same as in
Germany. Today, American babies die at almost twice the rate of German babies.
“On nearly all indicators of mortality, survival and life expectancy, the United
States ranks at or near the bottom among high-income countries,” says a report
on the nation’s health by the National Research Council and the Institute of
What’s most shocking about these statistics is not how unhealthy they show
Americans to be, compared with citizens of countries that spend much less on
health care and have much less sophisticated medical technology. What is most
perplexing is how stunningly fast the United States has lost ground.
The blame for the precipitous fall does not rest primarily on the nation’s
doctors and hospitals.
The United States has the highest teenage birthrate in the developed world —
about seven times the rate in France, according to the O.E.C.D. More than one
out of every four children lives with one parent, the largest percentage by far
among industrialized nations. And more than a fifth live in poverty, sixth from
the bottom among O.E.C.D. nations.
Among adults, seven out of every 1,000 are in prison, more than five times the
rate of incarceration in most other rich democracies and more than three times
the rate for the United States four decades ago.
The point is: The United States doesn’t have a narrow health care problem. We’ve
simply handed our troubles to the medical industry to fix. In many ways, the
American health care system is the most advanced in the world. But whiz-bang
medical technology just cannot fix what ails us.
As economists from the University of Chicago, M.I.T. and the University of
Southern California put it in a recent research paper, much of America’s infant
mortality deficit is driven by “excess inequality.”
American babies born to white, college-educated, married women survive as often
as those born to advantaged women in Europe. It’s the babies born to nonwhite,
nonmarried, nonprosperous women who die so young.
Three or four decades ago, the United States was the most prosperous country on
earth. It had the mightiest military and the most advanced technologies known to
humanity. Today, it’s still the richest, strongest and most inventive. But when
it comes to the health, well-being and shared prosperity of its people, the
United States has fallen far behind.
Pick almost any measure of social health and cohesion over the last four decades
or so, and you will find that the United States took a wrong turn along the way.
How did we get here? How do we exit?
As the presidential campaign draws the political debate to our national
priorities, these questions must take center stage. As candidates argue over the
budget deficit and the national debt, debate what to do about income inequality,
address the problem of mass incarceration or refight the battles over the
Affordable Care Act and the minimum wage, they should be forced to address how
their policy wish list adds up to an answer.
Looking at how the United States compares with other nations is illuminating. As
I noted in last week’s column, over the last four decades or so, the labor
market lost much of its power to deliver income gains to working families in
many developed nations.
But blaming globalization and technological progress for the stagnation of the
middle class and the precipitous decline in our collective health is too easy.
Jobs were lost and wages got stuck in many developed countries.
What set the United States apart — what made the damage inflicted upon American
society so intense — was the nature of its response. Government support for
Americans in the bottom half turned out to be too meager to hold society
The conservative narrative of America’s social downfall, articulated by the
likes of Charles Murray from the American Enterprise Institute, posits that a
large welfare state, built from the time of the New Deal in the 1930s through
the era of the Great Society in the 1960s, sapped Americans’ industriousness and
undermined their moral fiber.
A more compelling explanation is that when globalization struck at the jobs on
which 20th-century America had built its middle class, the United States
discovered that it did not, in fact, have much of a welfare state to speak of.
The threadbare safety net tore under the strain.
Call it a failure of solidarity. American institutions, built from hostility
toward collective solutions, couldn’t hold society together when the economic
underpinning of full employment at a decent wage gave in.
The question is, Is there a solution to fit these ideological preferences? The
standard prescriptions, typically shared by liberals and conservatives, start
with education, building the skills needed to harness the opportunities of a
high-tech, fast-changing labor market that has little use for those who end
their education after high school.
Ensuring everybody has a college degree might not stanch the flow of riches to
the very pinnacle of society. But it could deliver a powerful boost to the
incomes and the well-being of struggling families in the bottom half.
And yet the prescription — embedded in the social reality that is contemporary
America — falls short. In contemporary America, education is widening inequity,
not closing it. College enrollment rates have stagnated for lower-income
Americans. Sean Reardon from Stanford University notes that the achievement gap
between rich and poor children seems to have been steadily expanding for the
last 50 years.
On the left, there are calls to build the kind of generous social insurance
programs, which despite growing budget constraints remain largely intact among
many European social democracies. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of
Massachusetts, for example, is calling for an expansion of Social Security, paid
for by lifting the cap on payroll taxes so the rich pay the same share of their
income to support the system as everybody else.
That may be desirable, though at the moment, our greatest problems are not about
the elderly. And at least for the foreseeable future, it remains a political
nonstarter in a nation congenitally mistrustful of government. Just in time to
kick off the presidential campaign, Republicans in the House and Senate were
working on a budget that would gut Obamacare — most likely increasing the pool
of the nation’s uninsured — and slash funding for programs for Americans of low
and moderate income.
Yet despite the grim prognosis, there is hope. The challenge America faces is
not simply a matter of equity. The bloated incarceration rates and rock-bottom
life expectancy, the unraveling families and the stagnant college graduation
rates amount to an existential threat to the nation’s future.
That is, perhaps, the best reason for hope. The silver lining in these dismal,
if abstract, statistics, is that they portend such a dysfunctional future that
our broken political system might finally be forced to come together to prevent
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @portereduardo
A version of this article appears in print on April 29, 2015,
on page B1 of the
New York edition with the headline:
Income Inequality Is Costing the Nation on
Income Inequality Is Costing the U.S. on Social Issues,
28 APRIL 2015,
Related > Anglonautes >
characters, personifications > USA > Uncle Sam
language > describing things, facts, ideas, places, countries, people
USA > segregation > 19th-20th century > Jim Crow era / laws
USA > segregation > 19th-20th century > Jim Crow era > Blackface
race relations, racism, civil rights, apartheid
immigration > USA
Related > Anglonautes > History
USA > late 19th
- early 20th
Immigration > Ellis Island