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Re: American's GeoPolitical knowledge WAS: OT: Can Americans Compete ?

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Hmm,  I'm not sure if I can get the nail on the head but tell me if I'm
close...

> -Paul Ransom wrote:
> The most Northerly (and nearest Westerly - 30 miles) 
> neighbour to the US is
> an old ally ... Russia.

Both Canada and Russia claim that their borders extend to the North
Pole, so I guess it's really a tie...

> Since the current "troubles", in British parlance, seem to be about
oil ...
> Which country or region provides the most oil/gas (or energy products,
in current terminology) to the US?

Besides ourselves, I think we import the most oil from Venezuela (sp?
I'm not even spell checking.)  Nigeria is second.  (and I'm assuming
you're talking about crude oil and it's products not NATURAL gas.)

> What percentage of US consumption is provided from Saudi oil/gas
fields?

Around 15%, IIRC.  Definitely not over 25%.

> With which country or region does the US have the largest annual
bi-lateral trade?

Our neighbor to the Great White North, Canada; by far...

> How much does the Chinese government hold in US treasury certificates 
>(1 or 2 significant digits is adequate)?

Close to half a trillion, IIRC.  Japan holds close to 1 Trillion.  We
owe ourselves (via Social Security) about 3 or 4 Trillion.

> Japan's Toyota recently made the spot as number 3 in the Big 3 auto
makers
> ...
> From which country or region does the US import the largest number of
> vehicles.

Canada, see above.  Are you talking fully assembled vehicles or car
parts?
> Which company did Toyota displace?

Hmm.. I wonder if DaimlerChrysler was still considered one of the Big 3
since it is no longer and American car company and hence not eligible?

> Recently, 3 people were arrested related to an illegal cross border
tunnel
> with one portal in the US. Authorities were stunned by the effort that
had
> been expended and the complexity of the project. They suggested that
the
> tunnel would be used to move massive amounts of drugs, people and
facilitate
> other harm ...
> In which state was one of the portals?

Don't know this one but I'm going to guess Canada.  Foolish if they dug
a tunnel, I know several backwoods roads in the Pacific Northwest that
they could have used.  But then again, maybe they wanted the drugs in
the Northeast.

> How many of the identified 9/11 hijackers entered the US via 
> land routes?

About 2/3, again IIRC.  They entered through Canada into the Northeast
US.  All of them spent a significant amount of time in the US previous
to 9/11.  There was a big confab outside the US about a couple of weeks
before 9/11.  I don't know if ALL of the hijackers were in attendence or
if any waited in the US for the final rendezvous.  If any waited, I have
no idea if they enter via land, air or sea.  Does it really matter?
They were here for a long time.  So digging a tunnel made more sense
than two transcontinental trips.

> Bonus question: How many of the 9/11 hijackers are known to 
> have received training or support in Iraq?

This is an easy one.  NONE.  Iraq didn't train Al-Qaeda terrorists,
Hamas maybe, but definitely not Al-Qaeda.  

To answer your implied question.  We didn't invade Iraq because of
Al-Qaeda.

> 
> I was going to add one about the global capacity of oceanic container
> traffic as it relates to US-China trade and the effect of 
> increasing that
> global capacity, or why ICANN is becoming a US based security 
> threat to
> other countries, including friends. But I thought these might be too
> esoteric.

Yes...  At some level of knowledge, it is unrealistic to think that ANY
general populace will correctly answer the question.

For example, how many "states" are there in Afghanistan or Iraq?  Do you
really have to know within +/- 5 to have a good general understanding of
either of those two situations?  I don't think so.  It's useful if you
are on the ground there but relatively unimportant trivia outside.


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