The United States is a unique country. It’s home to a wide variety of beautiful nature sites, some of the world's most amazing athletes, a melting pot of cultures, friendly citizens, and plenty of tourist destinations. With 50 states and 14 territories, the US is certainly vast. And while the nation itself has so much to offer, it can be easy to live there and feel like you’re in somewhat of a bubble. So sometimes, it might be a good idea to hear outside opinions from people who live in other parts of the world. One curious Reddit user, Swansonite456, recently posed the question, “What are Americans not ready to hear?” And thousands of people sounded off in the replies. From comments on politics to confusion about why bathroom stalls are never completely closed, we’ve gathered some of the most clever and fitting responses down below, as well as an interview with Swansonite456 about what sparked this conversation in the first place.

Be sure to upvote the replies that particularly resonate with you, and especially if you’re an American panda, let us know in the comments if you find any of these replies to be painfully true. Then if you’re interested in checking out a Bored Panda article celebrating all of the things the US excels at, you can find that right here.

#1

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers Canadian here- you guys have amazing landscapes, culture and food. Your folks are usually very kind and welcoming. But the quality of life you guys have makes me really sad. The minimum wage is brutal, like 7 dollars, while ours is 15, so much poverty there. And paying for healthcare, people going into debt just for getting sick?

Also- the way you treat your women is horrifying. I know you guys have criticized Middle Eastern countries for women wearing Hijabs and having little rights, but look in a mirror. Restricting access to family planning and abortion services, making women pay for the necessity of going to a hospital to deliver babies? No paid maternity leave/ only 6 weeks, like what is that? That’s nowhere near enough. Like why??

Gun ownership issues, school shootings, healthcare and student debt bankruptcy, abortion restriction, poverty level minimum wage- these shouldn’t be political issues- these are human rights that you guys aren’t ready to accept- and to your own detriment.

Obviously there’s a lot of nuance here, and Canada isn’t perfect either. We have our own demons to deal with here, and are in the midst of a major movement on recognizing Indigenous reconciliation/ owning up to our history of oppression. Both countries have major structural issues- I just think the US has a lot more going on.

Dramatic_Ad4276 , Gian Cescon Report

We reached out to Swansonite456 on Reddit to hear what inspired them to start this conversation in the first place and if they are American or a curious observer. "I am Hispanic American, and the reason I asked this question is because I wondered what Americans and other nationalities think of us," they shared. "Since sometimes on TV and through the media we take a poke at other people's cultures with stereotypes."

We also asked if they thought these responses apply solely to the United States, or if they could relate to other countries as well. "I think some of the political answers apply to the United States," they told Bored Panda.

I was also curious if they thought that the United States was not ready to hear those answers or if it was more of the US government that wouldn't be ready. "I think the government isn't ready to hear those answers and neither are Americans due to the fact that America seems so divided right now," they shared.

#2

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers Profit-based healthcare is wrong on so many levels.

Clunk234 , Online Marketing Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A universal healthcare system would be CHEAPER than what the USA currently has and will benefit EVERYONE.

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We also asked Swansonite456 if any of the responses to their questions particularly resonated with them. "My favorite one is the [C word] because that’s hilarious, since it’s like a way to say pal," they noted. It is true that in the UK and Australia that word is used much more casually than in the United States, where I would recommend that no one ever say it in a public place (or ever!).

Overall, they don't have a negative view about Americans, though. "All and all Americans aren’t that bad, it's just the politics," they told Bored Panda. "Plus, I feel like we are a little self-centered." They also noted that the work life balance, maternity leave, and healthcare are much better in many other countries, but again, that's not the average person's fault.

#3

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers Religion has no place in politics, hence “separation of church and state.”

Dathomire , Noah Holm Report

As an American myself, I have to say that there were many things I never questioned about the United States until I started living in other countries. The restroom stalls not extending all the way to the floor and having wide gaps, for example. It’s something I was used to, so I did not realize that most other countries figure out a way around that until someone else pointed it out to me. And while we’re on the topic of bathrooms, I had seen very few that actually indicate from the outside whether it is locked or unlocked before moving to Europe. Those are pretty brilliant as well.

When it come to this list of “things Americans aren’t ready to hear”, these might all be things you have, in fact, heard before. However, they are just some food for thought about things my fellow American pandas might never have realized or questioned before, or things that don’t necessarily need to be that way. You have every right to disagree with these responses, but please be respectful in the comments. We love our American pandas, and we know they don't all believe in these ideas or support things like not having paid maternity leave. As you'll see, some of the responses on this list should be more directed towards the American government than the American people. 

#4

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers America is only capitalist for poor people. Rich people live in a socialist state, where they constantly get bailouts, subsidies and debt forgiveness.

overpaid_bum , Hunters Race Report

James016
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The UK is not much different especially given the chancellors recent budget statement

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#5

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers You don't need automatic firearms as a civilian in daily situations, and the 2nd Amendment was written when Americans feared British invasion, and when guns had to be reloaded after every single bullet shot, clearly not applicable today. Countries with stricter gun control have drastically less shootings than the U.S.

xmainland , Rux Centea Report

Bernd Herbert
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And adding to that: It is totally normal to change laws and constitutions because of changes in societies and moral values

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#6

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers Your tipping culture is a scam. Tipping should not be a burden obligation of your customers.

JSKDA , Dan Smedley Report

Cecily Holland
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It should be optional. Otherwise the prices are false advertising

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One thing that Americans are often mocked for is not understanding Celsius and the metric system. And I will admit, especially if we plan to travel at all or conduct any international business, we certainly should know these systems. So many people around the world make an effort to learn English to communicate with people from other countries, so the least we can do is learn what someone is talking about when they say, “It’s about 2 kilometers away from here,” or “It’s so hot! It’s 32 degrees!”

So let’s start with the metric system: why doesn’t the United States use it? Well, it all comes down to where it came from. The metric system was an extremely innovative system developed in France in 1790 to help streamline commerce, decrease fraud and clear up any confusion that came from not having one standard system of measurement. And while the French system was intended to be something all countries around the world could adopt, the United States decided not to adopt the metric system because when it was created, it was based on a portion of French land. Since then, it has become too much of a hassle for Americans to begin switching over. So at this point, the US might not ever transition to the metric system. I will point out that we do learn it in school, but as with anything, if you don’t use it frequently, it’s very easy to become unfamiliar with the system. 

#7

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers You're about this close to not being a democracy anymore. You should be paying attention.

Slide-Impressive , cottonbro Report

DC
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

PLEASE, do this. Please do something about it - the democracies of this world need to unite, and to remain what they are, need some weight and power. We can not spare us of needing the US on our side of this fence, along with Europe and parts of Asia, Australia ... we need to team up the states that provide the most rights and wealth among their population!

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#8

You’re really not the greatest country on earth.

The rest of us consider you more of that crazy, violent uncle we have to put up with because our other two crazy, violent uncles are just slightly worse.

SaltRevolutionary917 Report

#9

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers You need more than two political parties for democracy to work.

Minecraftfinn , Aditya Joshi Report

Now, when it comes to why Americans usually don’t understand Celsius temperatures, let me first note that there was a time where much of the world used Fahrenheit. It was developed in 1686 by German scientist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, who was inducted into the British Royal Society in 1724. As Britain conquered many parts of the globe during the 18th and 19th centuries, Fahrenheit became the standard in many places. It didn’t last for long though, as in 1742, Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius created, you guessed it, the Celsius system. This was integrated into the metric system around 1790, allowing it to spread quickly across the globe. Over time, virtually every British colony transitioned to using the metric system and Celsius, but clearly, the United States did not get the message.  

#10

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers Working 80 hours a week isn’t something to brag about.

blzac33 , Annie Spratt Report

Abhinc
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Being exploited is definitely not a flex. Other developed countries protect workers. For example here in France full time is 35h a week (5th shortest work week worldwide). On average a French employee works 500h less every year than an American employee. But our productivity is 25% higher than average among OECD countries. Oh and we retire at 62 and still get paid for life. And let's not even talk about livable minimum wage (€10.57 per hour, raised every year according to calculations by the statistics and economic studies institute), paid vacation days (5weeks pr year in total), paid sick days and maternity leaves ... The US is the only developed country that doesn't provide these basic rights. Unionize !! You deserve much better and can't accept being treated like that anymore. Going through hell in silence doesn't make you a good citizen but a brainwashed and indoctrinated victim of a f****d up system

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#11

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers You shouldn’t have to give birth then go back to work a week later.

NalaBenjamin , Kelly Sikkema Report

Babsevs
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How on earth could you possibly?? I am so very grateful for our maternity leave....I was very ill with both my girls and required surgeries. No way I could have physically or mentally functioned to the standard required to do my job a week after birth

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#12

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers Your cheese is an abomination.

SinisterPigeon , Krista Report

The United States actually became very close to transitioning to the metric system, as in 1975, Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act. But the flaw in this act was that it made metrication voluntary, rather than compulsory, so the general public was not on board with this change. "Motorists rebelled at the idea of highway signs in kilometers, weather watchers blanched at the notion of reading a forecast in Celsius, and consumers balked at the prospect of buying poultry by the kilogram," Jason Zengerle writes in Mother Jones.

#13

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers You’re not a role model country anymore.

Jasper_Beardly_ , Rich Martello Report

JanduSkaMat
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i think it was role model until people had a chance to travel and www. Now everyone can see the 'American dream' Gun violance, violance generaly speaking, no health care, dumb people thanks to bad education, homeless people in tents EVERYWHERE because apartment of the size of can costs humungous money. Poor USA. They are like third world country to us Europeans

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#14

Your entire society today is based on fear-mongering, propaganda, and politicians giving you an enemy to unite against even when they aren’t actually an enemy. The exact same way the Nazis came to power.

KingBreaker4 Report

Elliot Fowler
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What's scary is that so many democracies are having troubles because bad leaders are being elected mainly by replicating the methods used in america

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#15

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers College shouldn't drain your entire savings account.

ChipConsumer44 , Bucerius Law School Report

Edgar
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And it's not the only way to find a job and make a career.

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By 1982, President Reagan completely scrapped the Metric Board, virtually ensuring that the US would never switch over to using the metric system or Celsius. And while it has been seen as too expensive and too much effort to switch over now, it really would make more sense in the long run. American education could teach only one system of measurement and temperature, and companies would no longer have to produce two separate products: one for American markets and one for international markets. Plus, we would all sound a lot smarter when talking to our international friends if we knew exactly what 2 meters or 14 degrees Celsius meant… 

#16

Pledging allegiance to your flag every morning is really strange. We had that in Europe ~80 years ago. It didn't end up well for anyone :D

muttli Report

AxleMunshine001
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In Europe that kind of stuff only happened in fascist countries

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#17

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers México is not in sepia lightning.

TheoTiMa , krische Report

#18

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers Nobody else in the world gives a damn about American football.

uawithsprachgefuhl , Johann Schwarz Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It should be named American Handegg. It is not football.

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Another topic that many people who are not from the United States mentioned is the idea of a work life balance. This concept is foreign to many Americans, as we are often told to equate our worth as a human to our productivity. We are used to not having help from the government, in terms of paid maternity/paternity leave, paid holidays, and paid and/or unlimited sick days. But it really does not have to be that way. In Canada, for example, new mothers are given a minimum of 16 weeks of maternity leave paid, with an optional 35 weeks paid leave. In Sweden, mothers are given a minimum of 12 paid weeks of maternity leave, and in the United Kingdom, new mothers are given 39 paid weeks off. It just seems like if the United States really cared about its citizens, it would not try to make their lives harder by providing 0 paid weeks of maternity leave.   

#19

Instead of protesting for mask mandate or Trump failing an election, they should protest for basic human rights like food quality, free Healthcare, children protection in schools and employment rights

LadyInRoses Report

#20

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers You’d all be thinner if your cities were designed to be walkable

This is why you lose weight when you go to Italy despite eating nothing but pasta n pizza, because you’re walking everywhere

Odd-Detail1136 , Robert Bye Report

Abhinc
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not only that !! Walkable cities and great public transportation systems are very good for business and the environment too. A study showed that for every ten million dollars of transit investment made, business sales increase by thirty million dollars. Public transit use results in a reduction of 865,000,000 hours of travel time, a figure which would be many times higher if cities in the US had the high quality transit service and lower dependence on cars that many European urban centers have. Currently in America, public transit use results in a reduction of 450,000,000 gallons of gas being burned which, would be substantially higher if European urban planning principles were applied. Commuters are more productive. And each family that gets rid of one car and relies on public transit saves over $10,000 per year.

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#21

They don't really know what terms like liberal/socialist/fascist mean

ReanCloom Report

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Similar to how the United States does not provide paid weeks off for new parents, it has no legal requirements for providing paid holidays either. Now, if you work a full-time job, you might have benefits like paid time off, but it probably is not very many days. On average, American workers are provided about 10 paid vacation days per year, or two weeks of work. However, those days are typically accumulated over time. So until an employee has worked at their job for 12 full months, they will not actually have 10 days yet. To put that into perspective, workers in Sweden are entitled to 25 full days of vacation per year, regardless of the type of work they do. I'm sure the American government has heard that one, but maybe they should start listening to how they can implement a similar system to allow their workers some much deserved time off.

#22

You are not Irish, or Italian or Dutch. You have an American birth certificate and passport. Stop it

rimarshall99 Report

StrangeTrout
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Couldn't agree more. I sat next to an American on a flight home and she was banging on about being Irish but she had never been to Ireland and didn't have the first clue about it but insisted on "knowing" more than I did. Gave up the discussion after being told that she had given money to the IRA to 'evict you English from my homeland'. She claimed to have hailed from Cork.

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#23

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers You let food companies put in whatever c**p preservatives they want and make up weight with artificial sweeteners instead of real ingredients. That's the big threat to your life, not secret communists.

Poorly-Drawn-Beagle , Denny Müller Report

Abhinc
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The FDA is a total joke !! More than 1500 preservatives, dyes, artificial aromas and so on can be found in the food in the US but are banned in the EU. Bread in the US contains 6 times more sugar than in the EU and couldn't even legally be called bread here. A soda in the US contains on average 30% more sugar than the same one in the EU ... Overprocessed food with way less nutrients ... One more precise example ? Mountain dew and many other sodas contain Brominated Vegetable Oil in the US. It is banned in over 100 countries worldwide. Its main ingredient is Bromine. Long term exposure to Bromine has been found by many studies to cause neurologic side effects and cardiotoxicity, skin irritation and burns, long-term lung problems, kidney or brain damage. It impacts the thyroid gland and causes hormonal issues. It increases the risk for delivering preterm babies and birth defects, slows neural and cognitive development, loss of muscle control, ... But who cares right !?

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#24

The way you add tax to everything at the till is mental. Just tell me what it costs on the fricking label!

Sufficient_Vanilla18 Report

Little Wonder
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I went to Best Buy and the total on the screen read, in huge letters, $19.97 so I gave the guy $20 and he just looked at me. Turns out it was $21 with tax, but that was in teeeeny letters. Here, we add the tax to the shelf price. If it says $1 on the shelf, it's $1 at the till.

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While it might be easy to comment on all of the issues the United States faces as an outsider, it’s important to remember that most of the citizens are aware of these problems. According to a 2021 report from the Pew Research Center, the top issues Americans note to be big problems in the nation are the affordability of healthcare, the federal budget deficit, violent crime, illegal immigration, gun violence, the pandemic, racism, economic inequality, unemployment, climate change, and the quality of public K-12 schools. You may not personally agree that all of those issues are comparable, but it’s just a reminder that Americans know what is happening. They don’t enjoy paying exorbitant hospital bills or fearing that their children will be subjected to a school shooting. Unfortunately, it can be a long and arduous process trying to change the systems.  

#25

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers It is really easy to use metric system, and it's not bite. It is inconvenient to measure something with body parts.

InsanYy , Pixabay Report

James016
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If they really don't want to go metric they can use fruit. For example: bananas

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#26

They act like they have so much freedom when so many facets of basic human needs there are so exclusive that it’s oppressive.

Kir-ius Report

#27

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers I heard someone say that the way we look at Florida is the same way the rest of the world looks at us.

EaterOfTheEther , Done By Alex Report

Whether you believe that the United States is the best country in the world or you would never want to visit, we hope this list has been some interesting food for thought for you. Keep upvoting the posts you resonate with, and then let us know how you feel about this topic in the comments. And then if you want to check out another Bored Panda article featuring the things the United States does particularly well, you can find that story right here.

#28

The United States (not America, that's a Continent) is not the world police and should stop getting involved in other countries businesses.

SovereignBAAL Report

StrangeTrout
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Here here! Their oil does not belong to you!

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#29

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers Yes, you *do* have an accent.

If you think you don't because you "read words exactly as they're written, without any kind of regional flair", you're mistaken about that. There's no such thing.

Speaking without an accent would be like typing without a font. An accent is just a method of pronouncing a language - everyone has one!

flameylamey , Jessica Da Rosa Report

Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Speaking without an accent would be like typing without a font" Perfect example! I hope I remember to use it when I need to!

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#30

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers Your portion sizes should be smaller.

Ky0t0_gh0uL , Eiliv Aceron Report

Bernd Herbert
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The mindset needs to change as well. Don't go to a restaurant expecting to take home leftovers.

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#31

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers That the entire world excels at making bathroom stalls that you can’t see between. Not sure why the US stall manufacturers can’t figure out how to close those massive gaps…

rebyiddel , Yellowstone National Park Report

JuniorCJ82
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They know perfectly well how, they just don't want to. That would require putting actual effort into their jobs and who wants to do that?

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#32

The loudest voice in the room usually has the least to say

Rminora Report

#33

The US has third world country level safety and crime issues in most of its big cities.

kimnacho Report

#34

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers After several trips to the US, my colleagues there couldn't accept how poor they were, and 10 min in any city makes it obvious.

Huge individual debt, minimal savings and no time for themselves. That is not the standard in the developed world. Even when our taxes are high we have to time to rest and basic life essential services covered. Free/low cost education even allows us to break the class divide if we want it enough.

Sure there are millionaires and billionaires in the US but chance's are neither you nor your family will get anywhere close because you don't have the opportunity to improve without going into decades of financial debt.

RentonBrax , Karolina Grabowska Report

#35

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers You’re the foreigner in 192 countries

Edit: UN recognises 195 countries (missed out Palestine and the Holy See). Could go up to 198 depending on your sources. Choose which ever one you want

Yo9yh , Dynamic Wang Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What you mean you don't take dollars it is the best currency in the world!

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#36

All I know on this is, being Irish, I've met a lot of American tourists when they're holidaying here. To those tourists I say, no one has ever been impressed by or cares about your lineage.

crumumbooty Report

Little Wonder
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I find it fascinating, the US way of being really proud of where you're "from" even if your 7th generation. My great grandparents were German and Scottish and I have no "pride" or affinity about that.

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#37

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers Obesity in the U.S is a major health issue and needs to be addressed.

ItsMyView , Ketut Subiyanto Report

AppletreeChild
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

and by that we don't mean to body-shame... there is healthy and clearly unhealthy bodyweight...

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#38

It's kinda terrifying how you guys treat all your soldiers like superheroes. I was listening to a random podcast and the host was reading some fan mail out loud. When the fan mentioned that he was a soldier, the host automatically said "Thank you for your service" and then continued reading as of nothing happened. It was genuinely scary.

LongFeesh Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

GIs are heroes until they are injured..... then you will find them with their medals sitting on the street, begging....

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#39

“What Are Americans Not Ready To Hear?”: 40 People Share Honest Answers That America is a continent and not their country.

Mediocre_Track_2030 , Andrew Stutesman Report

OmBoyGanesh
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is purely semantic. The United States of America shortened to America, ergo American , which no one on earth will confuse with Canada or Mexico.

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#40

Beer and Fried food are causing more problems than hippies and pot ever did.

BakedCali4Ya Report

Jack Holt
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well, with the mainstream beers on offer being so pissweak, at least they're well hydrated.

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