Shithole Countries


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Trad climber
Jan 13, 2018 - 09:37am PT
no natural resources...

Oh, really?

You didn't know that Somalia is very rich in natural resources?

That is WHY there is such a warlord mentality going on over there. And I have to wonder - who/what fuels those warlords?

We also do big trade with those "shithole" countries.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 13, 2018 - 09:45am PT
And if yer knott a correspondent for The Economist who gets to go to shithole countries
regularly here’s what yer missing:

Which are the world’s worst airports?

An informal survey of the most horrible places to be lost in transit

LIKE expensive watches that never break, the world’s best airports can be boring. You land, breeze through passport control and check into a hotel within minutes. The experience is pleasant, but not memorable. The worst airports have more character. To adapt Tolstoy, lovely airports are all alike, but every wretched airport is wretched in its own way.

Consider Juba. The airport in South Sudan’s capital is a sweltering tent next to a festering puddle. Planes are often late, so passengers must sweat for hours. The departure lounge has no toilets, no food and no queuing system. Lucky is the traveller who finds a chair that is only half-broken. Since dirty water and tropical diseases are common, so are upset stomachs. Tough luck. Travellers should have thought twice before eating salad.

Security is haphazard. Big important people’s flunkies carry their bags, which are ostentatiously passed round, not through, the scanner. Since the machine seldom works, little people are in effect upgraded to big important status by not having their bags scanned for guns and explosives, either.

South Sudan is at war, so many UN planes take off from Juba carrying aid workers and emergency supplies. Aggressive officials in sunglasses take pleasure in obstructing them. When your correspondent was booked on a UN flight, he was assured by the government that his papers were in order. Yet at the airport he was told to get a fourth permit, as well as the three pricey ones he had already obtained.

Predictably, he missed his plane.

Juba has three terminals, but only one is in use. After South Sudan became independent in 2011, the government planned to build an airy structure of glass, steel and concrete. Work started in 2012, but stopped when the bills were not paid. In 2016 the government decided to build a more modest terminal. But it, too, stands half-completed and empty, next to the tented camp that people actually have to use. Travellers are advised to bring a good, long book.

All are bored
Working out which is the world’s worst airport is not easy. The best rough-and-ready attempt is the Guide to Sleeping in Airports, a website that publishes an annual survey based on voluntary submissions from irate travellers. It ranks airports by qualities such as discomfort, poor service, bad food, cumbersome immigration procedures and how hard it is to grab forty winks while waiting for a connection.

Overall, Juba was rated worst in 2017. Since photographing any airport in South Sudan will get you arrested, the description of its “horrific smells and filth” is accompanied by an artist’s impression which makes the departure lounge look far nicer than it is.

The ranking is inevitably skewed by sampling bias. It misses truly awful places that hardly anyone visits, and over-emphasises less egregious ones that handle more people. Juba won its “worst in the world” ranking not only on demerit but also because so many foreign charity workers pass through and complain about it. Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia, comes second not because it is really the second-worst in the world but because it is swamped with haj pilgrims every year and cannot cope.

Because gripes spring from disappointment, expectations matter. Travellers in the rougher parts of the world applaud wildly when a plane lands without crashing; more pampered types are enraged if the Wi-Fi is slow. It was the mismatch between expectation and reality that doubtless propelled three Greek hubs (Crete, Santorini and Rhodes) into the Sleeping in Airports worst ten. Hordes of northern Europeans flew to Greece for a cheap holiday in 2017, where they encountered strikes, delays and other indignities to which they were unaccustomed. Many reached for their smartphones and complained.

To illuminate some of the gaps in existing rankings of bad airports, The Economist conducted an unscientific, anecdotal poll of its globe-trotting correspondents. It attracted more, and more passionate, responses than nearly any other internal survey we have done. Here are some of our reflections from the departure gates of hell.

Several airports in war zones are worse than Juba. Our Africa editor cites Bangui, in the Central African Republic: “The fence around it has been stolen, so when big jets come in to land the pilots keep their hands on the throttle so they can pull up if they see people trying to run across the runway (which lies between a refugee camp and the city, and so has lots of crossing traffic). On the plus side it has sandbagged bunkers on its roof and was designated the final fallback position by French forces during the civil war, so if you are in it you are about as safe as you can be.”

Although each awful airport is unique, four themes recur: danger, bullying by officials, theft and delay. Sometimes, all these reinforce each other. For example, it takes ages to get through Lubumbashi airport (in the Democratic Republic of Congo) because truculent security officials slow things down in the hope that passengers will give them “un cadeau” to hurry up. If you hand over $1, they let you board without your bags getting checked at all. Such transactions are often referred to as “bribes”, but are really a form of extortion with menaces. They make air travel in places like Congo slower, riskier, costlier and much more unpleasant.

Air travellers make tempting targets for thieves. They are rich enough to afford an air ticket, which in many places makes them rich indeed. They carry luggage, some of it valuable. They are often far from home and unfamiliar with local rules. Finally, airports are full of choke points through which travellers must pass if they are to board their planes, creating opportunities for crooked officials to fleece them.

The ones in Manila are especially creative. Some have been known to plant bullets in luggage so they can “find” them and demand bribes not to have the owners arrested. This scam is known in Tagalog as “laglag bala” (“drop bullet”).

In Johannesburg the pilfering is covert but rampant. Our correspondent grumbles: “Despite packing absolutely nothing of value in my checked bags they are regularly rifled through and were twice slashed open (they weren’t even locked). Once I found someone else’s sunglasses case in my bag; mislaid, perhaps, by luggage handlers in a looting frenzy.”

Some travellers are harassed by officials who seem to fear that, if they do not look busy, they will be replaced by machines, as many have been at modern airports. The magnificently uniformed functionary in Delhi who demands to see your papers—despite having just watched another functionary inspect them—falls into this category. Other officials harass travellers for the sheer fun of wielding power. Our former Cairo bureau chief writes, of Saudi immigration procedures: “The queues are subtly divided by nationality and caste. If you happen to be a Baloch labourer, your lot is to sit on the floor for hours, getting barked at and swatted by swagger-stick-wielding Saudi policemen. Anyone who falls asleep risks a thrashing.”

Rules change at borders, and some airport officials enforce them mindlessly. One correspondent recalls that in Santiago, Chile: “I once got detained for two hours for failing to declare an unopened, sealed bag of almonds. I then had to write a declaration expressing my contrition for bringing the nuts. When I failed to do so without cracking up I was threatened with arrest. The lady next to me was being interrogated for smuggling in a lone banana.”

The worst airports reflect the vices of the governments that regulate them. Pyongyang has a totalitarian vibe. A correspondent writes: “The plane played rousing music when we flew over the border into North Korea, and we were handed copies of the national newspaper and asked not to fold it, since it had a photo of Kim Jong Il on the front page.” The only consolation is that the airport has a chocolate-fondue fountain.

Venezuela’s half-Marxist, half-gangster, wholly incompetent government, which has prompted much of the middle class to emigrate, does not make the journey easy or pleasant. Our Bello columnist grumbles of Caracas: “Your hand baggage will be searched in detail twice (by the National Guard, who are drug smugglers who claim to be fighting drugs).” Our organised-crime correspondent also has miserable memories: “The departures board showed our flight as delayed up to the moment when it showed it as closed. I waited endless hours for the next flight in a fast-food restaurant, the only place with seats, and watched a mange-ridden dog licking out the polystyrene containers strewn on the floor.”

Poor countries have an excuse for poor airports. Rich countries do not, which is perhaps why travellers are particularly irked to find grottiness in, say, Brussels, the heart of the European Union and a noted centre of gastronomy. Our Charlemagne columnist writes of Charleroi, its second airport: “It is grim, grimy and cramped, and has atrocious food. The planes leave and land at ungodly hours. And the only real way into town is a coach that runs every 30 minutes and is frequently overbooked: more than once I’ve queued in the rain only to see it drive off as I reach the front.” Many correspondents moaned about Berlin, where a new, unfinished terminal is six years late. Another European airport that elicits howls is Luton, which claims, fancifully, to be close to London. An intern writes: “Going on holiday and returning to Luton is like having a wonderful dream and waking up to find yourself in a puddle under a railway bridge.”

Airports all around the world have to cope with growing crowds. The number of passengers has roughly doubled since 2005, to an estimated 4bn in 2017. Some have done so brilliantly, harnessing technology and smart design to usher more people swiftly through. Singapore, Seoul and Munich score highly on this measure.

American airports, by and large, do not. This is not simply because security has grown tighter since 2001—that is true everywhere. It is because security and immigration screening are far more hasslesome than they need to be. Border officials are rude, and there are too few of them. Surveys suggest that every year millions of tourists shun the world’s greatest country because getting in is so horrible. A “trusted traveller” programme speeds things up a bit, but only for a handful of passengers.

Idiotic bureaucracy abounds. Travellers from Europe to Latin America who change planes in the United States must pass through immigration control, thus running the risk of missing their connection. What is the point of asking people who do not wish to enter the United States why they wish to enter the United States? Transit passengers in Singapore or Nairobi do not have their time wasted like this.

Our overall judgment (readers are invited to visit our travel blog, Gulliver, to dispute it) is that, adjusted for national income per head, several busy American airports would be contenders for worst in the world. Washington Dulles has the worst-designed ground transport: travellers must enter and leave a mobile pod by the same door, so everyone crowds round in the hope of getting off first, thus blocking it. JFK is the main gateway to the world’s capital of consumerism, yet scarcely any retail therapy is available to treat travellers’ boredom. But Miami is surely worst of all. The queues at passport control take nearly as long to navigate as Leif Erikson took to cross the Atlantic in a longboat.

This article appeared in the International section of the print edition under the headline "The departure gates of hell"


Trad climber
Jan 13, 2018 - 09:49am PT
If Trump wants to address the Immigration Lottery, he really ought to address the "Selling Green Cards" issue as well. Money ISN'T everything, and those EB-5 cards can and DO come from dirty money wrought from arms and drug sales, human trafficking. Hell, a person could buy their greencard off selling hacked data, and I don't doubt they have, which means we, the average US citizen, has paid for these criminals to enter.

What is the vetting process as to where those EB-5 monies came from????? Because, I have the feeling, you might find out that they are often from shithole people.

My gd, I am getting a headache from the unbelievable intentional ignorance that is being fed to us and glommed up like it's delicious. How can people be THIS ignorant?

Social climber
The internet
Jan 13, 2018 - 09:50am PT
Is that language on the Statue of Liberty:
Written by France - another country getting taken over by immigrants from shithole countries.

Of course they are all human beings and very nice people - but there is also a hard economic reality to deal with - pull your weight or starve to death.

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Jan 13, 2018 - 09:55am PT
Written by France - another country getting taken over by immigrants from shithole countries.

So sorry...wrong answer(on many fronts):

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 13, 2018 - 09:56am PT
Written by France - another country getting taken over by immigrants from shithole countries.

maybe you want to look this up before you make such a statement. I provided the poem from which the language was taken in a post above, written by Emma Lazarus, an American poet.

her family had emigrated before the Revolutionary War...

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 13, 2018 - 10:22am PT
VIVE LES BANLIEUES! I dare any of you tough guys to walk through one of France’s
banlieues at night. They are no-go zones for the police so what do you think your chances
of getting through would be? And if you were foolish enough to park your car you better leave
the windows cracked and the doors unlocked or they will be done so for you within an hour.
To be fair, that will occur anywhere in Paris.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 13, 2018 - 10:31am PT
I lived in NYC, upper west side, in the 1970's...
the popular perception of inner city danger is somewhat overblown.

in the land of the blind
Jan 13, 2018 - 11:47am PT
It is not a matter of whether or not Haiti, El Salvador, and countries in Africa are “shitholes.”

The real twofold problem stems from the fact that the president of the United States said this, not just some d#@&%enozzle Manhattan real estate developer.

First, he wasn‘t really just talking about these countries, he was primarily referring to the people from these countries (hence his reference to people from Norway being more desirable) in a racist manner that showed a total lack of understanding of our country’s immigration history. It was an insult to all the people, past and present, your ancestors included, who have dreamed of coming to America to make a better life for themselves and their children.

Second, it again showed what a klutz and buffoon this worthless excuse for a president is when it comes to foreign policy and our standing on the world stage. Those “shithole” countries in Africa are the future. They are the emerging markets, many of them rich in natural and human resources that the U.S. and China are competing to develop or exploit.

Donald Trump is a racist.

No one thing in the list below proves that Trump is a racist, but taken as a whole, only the most craven Trumpie tool could deny this glaringly obvious fact.

But watch. Some DT salad-tosser will show himself for what he is by trying to cherrypick from the list and make excuses.

1973: The US Department of Justice — under the Nixon administration, out of all administrations — sued the Trump Management Corporation for violating the Fair Housing Act. Federal officials found evidence that Trump had refused to rent to black tenants and lied to black applicants about whether apartments were available, among other accusations. Trump said the federal government was trying to get him to rent to welfare recipients. In the aftermath, he signed an agreement in 1975 agreeing not to discriminate to renters of color without admitting to discriminating before.

1980s: Kip Brown, a former employee at Trump's Castle, accused another one of Trump's businesses of discrimination. "When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor," Brown said. "It was the eighties, I was a teenager, but I remember it: They put us all in the back."

1988: In a commencement speech at Lehigh University, Trump spent much of his speech accusing countries like Japan of "stripping the United States of economic dignity." This matches much of his current rhetoric on China.

1989: In a controversial case that’s been characterized as a modern-day lynching, four black teenagers and one Latino teenager — the "Central Park Five" — were accused of attacking and raping a jogger in New York City. Trump immediately took charge in the case, running an ad in local papers demanding, "BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!" The teens’ convictions were later vacated after they spent seven to 13 years in prison, and the city paid $41 million in a settlement to the teens. But Trump in October 2016 said he still believes they’re guilty, despite the DNA evidence to the contrary.

1991: A book by John O’Donnell, former president of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, quoted Trump’s criticism of a black accountant: "Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. … I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control." Trump at first denied the remarks, but later said in a 1997 Playboy interview that "the stuff O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true."

1992: The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino had to pay a $200,000 fine because it transferred black and women dealers off tables to accommodate a big-time gambler’s prejudices.

2000: In opposition to a casino proposed by the St. Regis Mohawk tribe, which he saw as a financial threat to his casinos in Atlantic City, Trump secretly ran a series of ads suggesting the tribe had a "record of criminal activity [that] is well documented."

2004: In season two of The Apprentice, Trump fired Kevin Allen, a black contestant, for being overeducated. "You're an unbelievably talented guy in terms of education, and you haven’t done anything," Trump said on the show. "At some point you have to say, ‘That’s enough.’"

2005: Trump publicly pitched what was essentially The Apprentice: White People vs. Black People. He said he "wasn't particularly happy" with the most recent season of his show, so he was considering "an idea that is fairly controversial — creating a team of successful African Americans versus a team of successful whites. Whether people like that idea or not, it is somewhat reflective of our very vicious world."

2010: In 2010, there was a huge national controversy over the "Ground Zero Mosque" — a proposal to build a Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan, near the site of the 9/11 attacks. Trump opposed the project, calling it "insensitive," and offered to buy out one of the investors in the project. On The Late Show With David Letterman, Trump argued, referring to Muslims, "Well, somebody’s blowing us up. Somebody’s blowing up buildings, and somebody’s doing lots of bad stuff."

2011: Trump played a big role in pushing false rumors that Obama — the country’s first black president — was not born in the US. He even sent investigators to Hawaii to look into Obama's birth certificate. Obama later released his birth certificate, calling Trump a "carnival barker." (The research has found a strong correlation between "birtherism," as this conspiracy theory is called, and racism.) Trump has reportedly continued pushing this conspiracy theory in private.

2011: While Trump suggested that Obama wasn’t born in the US, he also argued that maybe Obama wasn’t a good enough student to have gotten into Columbia or Harvard Law School, and demanded Obama release his university transcripts. Trump claimed, "I heard he was a terrible student. Terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?"

Trump launched his campaign in 2015 by calling Mexican immigrants "rapists" who are "bringing crime" and "bringing drugs" to the US. His campaign was largely built on building a wall to keep these immigrants out of the US.

As a candidate in 2015, Trump called for a ban on all Muslims coming into the US. His administration’s attempts at implementing a watered-down version of this policy have been contested in courts.

When asked at a 2016 Republican debate whether all 1.6 billion Muslims hate the US, Trump said, "I mean a lot of them. I mean a lot of them."

He argued in 2016 that Judge Gonzalo Curiel — who was overseeing the Trump University lawsuit — should recuse himself from the case because of his Mexican heritage and membership in a Latino lawyers association. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who endorsed Trump, later called such comments "the textbook definition of a racist comment."

Trump has been repeatedly slow to condemn white supremacists who endorse him, and he regularly retweeted messages from white supremacists and neo-Nazis during his presidential campaign.

He tweeted and later deleted an image that showed Hillary Clinton in front of a pile of money and by a Jewish Star of David that said, "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!" The tweet had some very obvious anti-Semitic imagery, but Trump insisted that the star was a sheriff’s badge, and said his campaign shouldn’t have deleted it.

Trump has repeatedly referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who has said she has Cherokee ancestors, as "Pocahontas."

At the 2016 Republican convention, Trump officially seized the mantle of the "law and order" candidate — an obvious dog whistle playing to white fears of black crime, even though crime in the US is historically low. His speeches, comments, and executive actions after he took office have continued this line of messaging.

In a pitch to black voters in 2016, Trump said, "You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?"

Trump stereotyped a black reporter at a press conference in February 2017. When April Ryan asked him if he plans to meet and work with the Congressional Black Caucus, he repeatedly asked her to set up the meeting — even as she insisted that she’s "just a reporter."

In the week after white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, Trump repeatedly said that "many sides" and "both sides" were to blame for the violence and chaos that ensued — suggesting that the white supremacist protesters were morally equivalent to counterprotesters that stood against racism. He also said that there were "some very fine people" among the white supremacists. All of this seemed like a dog whistle to white supremacists — and many of them took it as one, with white nationalist Richard Spencer praising Trump for "defending the truth."

Throughout 2017, Trump repeatedly attacked NFL players who, by kneeling or otherwise silently protesting during the national anthem, demonstrated against systemic racism in America.

Trump reportedly said in 2017 that people who came to the US from Haiti "all have AIDS," and he lamented that people who came to the US from Nigeria would never "go back to their huts" once they saw America. The White House denied that Trump ever made these comments.

Speaking about immigration in January 2018, Trump asked, in reference to Haiti and African countries, "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" He then suggested that the US should take more people from countries like Norway. The implication: Immigrants from predominantly white countries are good, while immigrants from predominantly black countries are bad.

Trump denied making the "shithole" comments about Haiti, but he did not deny making the comments about African countries. The White House, meanwhile, suggested that the comments, like Trump’s remarks about the NFL protests, will play well to his base. The only connection between Trump’s remarks about the NFL protests and his reported comments about immigration from Haiti and Africa is race.

Trad climber
West Slope of Powell Butte, Portland, Oregon, USA
Jan 13, 2018 - 12:05pm PT
My wife suggested that all US citizens publicly shun and have a cross country ignore Trump
Day in response to Trumps comments.

She said she was worried what Trump would do if he wasn’t watched.

I told her “Oh, we would have to have a designated driver.”


in the land of the blind
Jan 13, 2018 - 12:15pm PT
Yeah Trump has always been a narcissistic attention whore.

He gets off on everyone’s reaction to his offensive tweets.

If no one paid any attention to this form of public masturbation, he might start playing with his (bigger) nukie button.

Boulder climber
Jan 13, 2018 - 12:57pm PT
He's worried about immigrants from shithole Countries and Putin fiddles while America burns?

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jan 13, 2018 - 01:04pm PT
I lived in NYC, upper west side, in the 1970's...

So did I. Where were you? I was at 105th and West End, going to Manhattan School of Music at 116th and Broadway. Something tells me you were at Columbia?

I only had the wheels stolen off my car once, the day before I was to drive to CA.

The Banlieues to which Reilly refers are not like upper west side Manhattan.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Jan 13, 2018 - 02:03pm PT
I can't believe that even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that he was descended from unskilled immigrants from a shithole country.

Both sets of my grandparents were illiterate in their native language, and came through Ellis Island from a shithole country.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 13, 2018 - 02:13pm PT
100th St and Riverside Dr., I was at Columbia at the time.

I had a number of notable car issues, but the car at the time was a 1961 VW window van with CA ZOT580 license plate.

First experience with being double parked in, finding a nearby garage, "what do I do?," them: "drive on the sidewalk," me: "but what about the cops?," them: "how are you going to get out?" So I did, the pedestrians responded in the classic NYC manner, they didn't even notice.

Another was just the opposite of what everyone fears... having parked on Friday and leaving the car where it was, Monday finds me looking for my keys, which I cannot find in the tiny apartment. I get all my stuff together and walk down to the car, and the keys are right where I left them, in the ignition.

As far as theft, the only thing ever stolen out of the car was the grey plastic gear shift knob, the classic original one. At the time batteries would be stolen, and puzzled owners couldn't figure out why someone would want an old battery, until after getting the new one lifted. Recall that that VW operated on a 6V system.

Finally, parking in Manhattan being very tight, I had a primo spot, legal with no cars in front of me (at a light/crosswalk) on the southbound side of Riverside Dr. The next day I went to get my car, and couldn't find it... not unusual as you park so many different places on so many different days that who knows. I start walking down Riverside Dr. looking, notice a car stopped at the intersection of 96th and Riverside, a low point, and realize it is my van, someone got in it (no locks) took it out of gear and let it roll down the street, thus freeing the parking place. I don't know how long it sat there, but there were no tickets on it! A taxi driver agreed to push it to get it started.

Not so bad an experience for life in the big city.

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jan 13, 2018 - 05:33pm PT
My Grand Parents and their son, my father, would please Trump. They came over from Norway... My mom's parents from Sweden.


Occupied Territory
Jan 13, 2018 - 05:39pm PT
Not sure what people are so upset about. Seems as if he described this country pretty well.


A long way from where I started
Jan 13, 2018 - 05:54pm PT
Maybe Mr. Trump should take a walk around the streets of his home town.

I just returned from a couple of days in New York, and, as is the case every time I go there, I marvel at what a shithole it is. The photo below isn't mine (just grabbed off the internet), but it shows the everyday state of the streets in Manhattan.

Seattle, where I live with my Norwegian wife, is heaven by comparison, but we will soon be leaving your country. Not without some regret -- the US isn't coast-to-coast horrible -- but it ain't the center of the civilized universe either.

Shithole countries? Wait a minute...
Shithole countries? Wait a minute...
Credit: From the internet
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 13, 2018 - 05:58pm PT
For JoeM, some words...

First, the old vocabulary, First World and so on, is post-WWII and very out-of-date in its meaning. I do not subscribe to their usage in my personal messages, only to keep misunderstanding to a minumum...not my fault folks don't keep up with the current terms like "underdeveloped shitholes."

Second, you seem to have no ideas of your own. What's your beef? Got one?

Do you even lift?

Boulder climber
Jan 13, 2018 - 06:17pm PT
Jody- What's the matter bud? If you're trollin on this one something must be up....
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