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10 Ways California and Iraq Are Similar

by Amy Zidell

08.15.03

I heard a news commentator a couple days ago comment in regards to the not fully stable electrical system in Iraq, "They'll have to figure out how to deal with the electricity situation." I thought right away that as a Californian, I could offer some tips on dealing with a less than sparkling power system - now residents of New York, Ohio, Michigan and others across the country and Canada can as well.

Daily coping strategies for possible power outages include things like: not getting in elevators in buildings where you can't take the stairs, avoiding appointments in really tall buildings, using caution at street lights, keeping your gas tank filled (gas pumps don't work without electricity), keeping flashlights, extra batteries, and bottled water on hand, keeping your cell phone fully charged, and a propane/gas barbecue in the yard can't hurt either (for use outside only). Due to California's propensity to rattle from time to time, it's reasonable to expect most Californians are prepared on some level with many items around the house that are also useful in power outages. Iraqis in anticipation of recent events, are probably as much as they can be, also somewhat prepared for disasters across their region.

It occurred to me at this point that there are other similarities between California and Iraq. See what I mean.

10 Ways California and Iraq are similar:

1. How Big Is It?:
How many times has the phrase, "A country about the size of California," been repeated during our activities there? A lot. I've not been that certain what the implication is. Does this mean it's relatively big or small? Keep in mind I attended state schools in California so you'll understand if my geography is a little under par. In any case, it's obvious that Iraq and California are similarly sized.

2. High gas prices:
Apparently, even when oil derricks dot the local landscape, the bubbly goo is still very pricy in both places.

3. Sunny weather:
California and Iraq both enjoy sunny weather, sometimes too sunny.

4. Lots of Shooting:
Shootings are a common occurrence in both locations.

5. Questionable Water Supply:
Though it may be from different reasons, both Californians and Iraqis take a certain risk drinking their tap water.

6. Women in Politics:
Women that have never been part of the political landscape in both California and Iraq are now getting involved. Though in the example of Marey Carey, porn star for governor, she is less covered than her Iraqi counterparts.

7. Trendsetters:
California is often touted as the birthplace of countless trends whether culture, business, fashion, or otherwise. Iraq happens to be the geographic host to the Garden of Eden.

8. Sieve-like Borders:
Both California and Iraq have had difficulty securing their borders with neighboring countries.

9. Ill-conceived Subway / Underground Railway System in Major City:
Baghdad's underground railway system - used to hide weapons. Los Angeles's Subway... why does L.A. have a subway? Note earlier earthquake reference.

10. Republican Leadership Spearheading the Ousting of Unpopular Rulers:
Following the leadership of those who happen to be Republican, the people are clearing out bad rulers and leading the way to better government in both places. (Feel free to write but no, I'm not suggesting that Gray Davis is an evil tyrant.)


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