U.S. Americans and The Iraq

Miss Teen South Carolina Lauren Caitlin Upton pulled up an unexpected brain teaser at the Miss Teen USA pageant when she was asked the question :

Q : Recent polls have shown that a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on the world map. Why do you think this is?

HUH !? say it again ? The startling thing about this episode is one has to write down her statements to be able to decipher some sense of logic and direction . I thought for the moment my brain was infected by a Trojan horse virus.. until I saw one of the YouTube poster’s comments was a transcript of her entire answer. Nope it’s not me, not my brains pal!

Here’s what she said :

A: I personally believe that US Americans are unable to do so because uh… some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and uh… and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and the Iraq and everywhere like such as and I believe that they should, our education over here in the US should help the US should help South Africa and should uh help Iraq and the asian countries ( DING DING ) so we will be able to build up our future….for..

Not sure of the exact time alloted for the answer period but that was 1 minute of chatter and wordplay that registered not a single bit of meaningful information in my brain, save for a fitting appendage to the lexicon of Bushism . If George Bush invented new words such as misunderestimate, misjudgemental and strategery- well, here’s a new one for the list he might like – U.S. Americans.


Muli-millionaire luxury hotelier Leona Helmsley, known for her aversion to paying taxes which resulted in her indictment for tax evasion in the 80’s recently died at age 87. She left the bulk of her cash, some 12 million in trust fund to her pet dog name Trouble. Two of her grandchildren got zilch, nada and other relatives got significantly less than what the dog got. The dog will also have the privilege to be buried alongside Leona in her mausoleum. 12 mil is sure lot of money for a lifetime supply of Purina and frisbees for Trouble πŸ™‚ I wonder if Trouble is also insured and who might be his beneficiary?


I read this little write up in a magazine lately :

A friend of mine bought a new fridge for his house. Top get rid of his old fridge, he put in his front yard and hung an sign on it saying ” free to go home. You want it, you take it”

For 3 days the fridge sat there with even one person looking twice at it. He eventually decided that people were too untrusting of this deal – it looked too good to be true. So he changed the sign to read : Fridge for sale $50″ The next day someone stole it.

I’m one person who shrugs off too good to be true looking deals without hesitation. Maybe I’m wrong by sticking to percentages all the time. Maybe there are sweet deals out there to be had. Maybe there are people who still mean what they say. Maybe it’s not all about business all the time. Maybe I need to be prepared to waste my time and bother to ask. Who knows.


35 Responses

  1. Too bad Miss S.Carolina is a real looker, a blonde exemplary beauty. If she had the brain, she’d be on top ten in any Miss Universe contest.

    I wonder if the slang about being ‘blonde and dumb’ has ome truthfulness in it. I often ghear it on American TV or books…

  2. don’t tell me she won the pageant. U.S. Americans? kse may latin americans, so may US americans din. hehe

    swerte ng aso na yun ha. tama ba yun? siguro kse yung aso pinapansin siya. taposmga relatives nya, pinapansin lang sya pag may kailangan.

    re the ref. i’ve read that somewhere na din. tayo kse, may tendency tyo na pahirapan ang sarili. so khet libre na or something’s really good to be true… we’re waiting for the punchline. or iniisip natin na there’s a catch.. we can’t accept na we deserve it or something πŸ™‚

  3. And she still manage to get 3rd? lol.
    You’re right, her answer is gibberish.

    lucky dog. πŸ™‚

  4. Major Tom – the blonde jokes aren’t real LOL πŸ™‚ It is just a light hearted parody of the fact that beauty and brains don’t necessarily go together hehe πŸ™‚ She does look hot πŸ™‚

  5. Tin- I know someone’s gonna throw in the Latin American bit to the fire but nope, Americans are referred to as the people of the United States πŸ™‚ It’s really funny but I haven’t heard of the term US Americans before until I read this news article hehe πŸ™‚

    It’s ironic to think that some people fell more loved by animals than humans, even family ! I thought Trouble got waay too much. A steady supply of Purina, vet care, daily walk and freesbie games every now and then is really all that Trouble would ever desire in life πŸ™‚

    As for too good to be true, I am always suspicious that behind an amazing offer always lies a catch hehe πŸ™‚ Kaya meron tayong punchline – ” OK, so what the catch?” to avoid beating around the bush and wasting time πŸ™‚

  6. Ipanema – my first impression was she had a Melanie Marquez moment … but on second thought, she did even worse ! At least with Melanie, we understood what she was trying to say hehe πŸ™‚

  7. Well, Miss S. Carolina proves once again: who needs brains if you have beauty? hehe. I’m sure she’s been getting a pass all her life so I don’t really sympathize with her. πŸ˜‰

    “Too good to be true” is true most of the time. Although, there are times when things are too good AND true. I guess the trick is figuring out when those times are.

  8. ON THE MISS TEEN USA PAGEANT: And she’s supposed to be American, right? LOL. My former Ukrainian students can speak better English than her. LOL. (“US Americans”?)But I guess, it’s due to stage fright. These beauty contestants are so much pressured to give sensible answers to contest questions.

    ON THE NOW-RICH DOG: His name, Trouble, is really apt. LOL. He spells trouble in the family clan.

    ON THE FREE FRIDGE: I think it’s the human psyche — if it’s free, there must be a catch somewhere.

  9. Jayred – understandable. Stage fright is definitely one big reason ! But she looked like she was spontaneous, except that we couldn’t make out was she was trying to say πŸ™‚

    We ocassionaly see ads on paper that sounds too good to be true except that when drive down to check it out, there’s always a catch πŸ™‚ It could be a real time waster – if you know what I mean 😦

  10. Wil – that’s very true – who really needs brains if you have beauty πŸ™‚ I too think she’s just fine despite the boo-boo . I don’t think it will diminish her looks hehe πŸ™‚

  11. Check this out (from her Facebook page), her response to all the mean-girls attacking her lack of brain cells hehe:

    “ok to all the jealous girls out here,this is for you: i am not stupid that question that i got at miss teen usa was not the easiest question and with ten million people watching me LIVE, i was nervous yeah like you wouldn’t be so to you girls out there, get a life and stop being so mean i did not even have time to think about it. i am smart, not a dumb blonde like you think…kthanks”

    oh well…poor her. I know public speaking can be scary but then again with all the training these girls go through, surely their confidence level is already, you know, high.

    But really? some US Americans *snicker* can’t locate their country in the world map? Hmmmm…that’s funny. I mean I’m a Philippines Filipino and I know where the US is as well as Africa and Iraq hehe

    I remember Rob and Amber from The Amazing Race. They lost because they don’t know the spelling of the Philippines. If they got it right, they could have stayed on the game till the end. Sometimes I don’t get it. I mean why are we Philippines Filipinos know the spellings of other countries like Tajikistan (okay I’m not sure if this is a country…just like the sound of it) or Nicaragua and these first world people don’t? Maybe they lack books? whatdyathink big bro?

  12. pahabol..read this from a blog:

    “You have to ask what’s done more damage to the nation’s image: Upton’s bad answer, or the pageant’s flawed question, which has erroneously convinced millions across the globe that Americans don’t know their own country?”

    Apparently the survey conducted showed this:

    “In 2006, the National Geographic Society interviewed 510 young Americans — people aged 18 to 24 — about geography. Interviewers handed people a blank map of the world and asked them to identify various countries. “Nearly all (94 percent) young Americans can find the United States on the world map, and Canada (92 percent) and Mexico (88 percent) are nearly as familiar,” the survey found. (Read the full PDF here.) “Wide majorities can find bordering bodies of water including the Pacific Ocean (79 percent) and the Gulf of Mexico (75 percent).”

    As per the result of the survey, turns out most Americans can find America on the map.

  13. Vernsky – I know when I was in grade 5 I almost memorized the capital cities of all the countries in the world πŸ™‚

    Ordinary folks in this part of the world – Americans and Canadians for that matter aren’t too keen on knowing about other countries in my opinion. They think is country is great and has everything they need and there’s no compulsion to know about other countries. When they become more prosperous later on in their lives that’s when the urge to travel outside their country and knowing the world happens so to speak.

    I think the question is very valid. What happened was Miss Teen South Carolina’s answer revealed that her knowledge of geography isn’t great either when she called her countrymen U.S. Americans and Iraq – the Iraq !

    And her answer ..some people out there in our nation don’t have maps.. LOL πŸ™‚ This isn’t about posessing maps – it’s about knowledge of geography πŸ™‚ Oh well -she’s still a teen and good looking lass at that and she’ll make up for it later on. I’m sure guys who go after her wouldn’t care if she knows diddly-squat about geography haha πŸ™‚

  14. RE: Vern’s posts

    lol @ Ms. Teen South Carolina. Why, the more she opens her mouth, the dumber she becomes.


    On the other hand, I think my post: “Not Everyone is entitled to their opinion”, a study that says 38% of the US population can’t even answer properly some of the issues mentioned is probably true.

    Why, even their own country can’t be pointed out, much more issues?

    Are there too much rubbish there? What are they learning? What do they do during their free time?

    * I love quizzes on capital cities.:)

  15. Ipanema – I’d be surprised if they get better results if they survey other countries πŸ™‚

    Here in Canada a TV station does a random sampling of how literate Canadians are by quizzing pedestrians at a busy downtown corner. One question I remember was – what is the capital of the province of New Brunswick ? Most people got it wrong ! Pretty pathetic because it was multiple choice hehe πŸ™‚

    I knew the answer because I had to know a lot about the country to pass to pass the citizenship interview many years ago ! On one hand, folks who are born here couldn’t care less about knowing the country πŸ™‚

  16. That’s the reason why I never watch beauty pageants. Stupid questions. Stupid answers. Enuff said… πŸ˜€

    So the Queen of Mean has finally kicked the bucket. Even on her death bed she’s still showing her mean streak by leaving out her own family out of her will…

    That’s so typical of first world citizens, always suspicious of anything that’s free. Here, that old refrigerator would have been snapped up in an instant, hehe… πŸ˜€

  17. Sngl – ugh …. looks like you’ve practically given up on looking at
    beautiful women… That’s not a good sign BRO.. hehe πŸ™‚ The Queen of Mean is mean indeed…and it’s easy to figure out. After all, she left most of her money to a dog named Trouble πŸ™‚

  18. Miss S. Carolina:
    He,he… nice speech!

    “I wonder if Trouble is also insured and who might be his beneficiary?” BW, you don’t have bad ideas, do you?

    Fridge: Make sense. I am not surprised.

  19. Sidney – yes, and she looks great too πŸ™‚ I guess Trouble’s lawyers and financial advisors are making sure that his inherited $12M trust fund is kept healthy and making everybody busy hehe πŸ™‚

  20. She’s blond and blonds are supposed to be stupid. That’s what them Americans say.

  21. “I’m one person who shrugs off too good to be true looking deals without hesitation.”

    – think of pyramiding schemes… ;p

  22. Daniel Ted – I suppose Miss Teen South Carolina is affirming the blond phenomenon you’re talking about hehe πŸ™‚

  23. Jeff – the pyramid scheme is definitely one of them. Here we see ads for $99.00 a month deals for slightly used cars only to find out that this is for 6 months along with a hefty down payment πŸ™‚

  24. Hahaha! That was so funny. I saw that on Jay Leno and Jay had to explain carefully that they did not doctor the tape. πŸ™‚

  25. ha ha ha. typical of our very own melanie marquez ha.

    “please do not judge my brother because he is not a book.” and the usual joke i heard during high school, japanese navy ng hapon.

    sa isang noontime show, sabi ng host sa isang contestant na teacher applying for a teaching job in the U.S., ‘pinoy teachers are in demmand in the U.S…. so what are you going to teach?”

    the lady answered, without batting an eyelashes, “of course I will teach in english.”

    Perhaps she is referring to pure americans, not like Filipino Americans or chinese americans. lol

  26. To this very day, I am puzzled as to how on earth George W. Bush ever made it through Yale. Seriously.

    The Queen of Mean – Miss Leona Helmsley was lucky enough to have married the NY real estate tycoon and widower Helmsley. But I wonder how come with all the riches she inherited from her late husband, that was all she had to leave to her dogs. I would expect it to be in the hundreds of millions since they also own the Empire State Building, I think. But nonetheless, the Helmsley portfolio include some of the finest NY city real estate gems.

  27. Oh.Poor girl, her brains went to south africa to middle east whereas the question is in the US. Kinda got mixed up there too.

    LOL on the fridge. hehe

  28. Toe – I love to see that Jay Leno episode man . I’m sure it was hilarious πŸ™‚ There’s two talk show comedians I would love to see taking on this incident – Jay Leno and Jon Stewart. It would be a riot hehe πŸ™‚

  29. Eric – George W sure doesn’t represent his alma mater very well hehe πŸ™‚ It’s also mind boggling how he got to win a second term. Results show that he got most of his votes from rural America, from folks who identify with his rugged, seemingly down to earth, unpretentious demeanor.

    Helmsley’s assets are reported to be worth close to the billions. She’s typical of the rich people who don’t leave everything to their kids. They don’t want to give their children a free ride and demand that they work their butts off too like them if they want to succeed 😦

  30. That’s just ridiculous. She was just mean until death. Look at how Warren Buffet had done it with his three children.

  31. Eric – true..the super-rich are truly an enigmatic bunch and have been known to will their riches to philantropic causes more than their children who they normally train as heirs to their businesses. Leona Helmsley has topped the list of those leaving the most money to an animal more than the children πŸ™‚ She did live up to her reputation until her last day πŸ™‚

  32. “looks like you’ve practically given up on looking at beautiful women” – On the contrary, I still do. I may be older bro, but I’m not blind… hahaha. πŸ˜€

  33. Sngl – swell bro πŸ™‚ that’s what I wanted to hear !

  34. Miss Teen South Carolina answered that question badly, but she’s still got her looks to fall back on…

  35. […] own records. She took a stab at Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader show and looked like a clone of Miss Teen South Carolina who called her countrymen ” U.S. Americans”. Looks like both girls have an utter […]

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