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United States of America
In the early times, people wishing to escape from being ruled over in Great Britain (and other places) emigrated to a new land West of the Atlantic Ocean. Initially the settlements were run as colonies and it was imagined that somehow the colonies would continue to obey those who ruled the old UK. However, in consideration of the freedom which people had already got accustomed to in the New World, and the idea that somehow the rulers of Britain expected to be able to charge taxes on the colonies, led to a difference of opinion! The predictable result, rebellion and then secession by Declaration of Independence, resulted in a new set of countries (the States), which were united as a federation (United States).
The United States of America is considered a country, and has been much more successful than The USSR (Soviet Union) as a country. The success is not by luck or by might, but by it being run with more evolutionarily-advantageous philosophies, most notably laisez-faire capitalism, rather than communism/socialism which doesn't work so well. Freedom is an important principle which is held in high regard in the USA, and there's even a statue to it, the Statue of Liberty. (There should really be even more freedom than there currently is, so let's give a link to the Libertarian ideas here too!). The USA is known for The American Dream, which includes (among other things) the idea that anyone can Get Rich. Although the idea isn't exclusive to the United States, (Britain has been a successful capitalist country for longer), the USA is especially notable for The American Dream, because people can set up a business and become rich and reach a higher social standing regardless of initial social class. You don't have to be born into the nobility; if you want to build a castle, all you need is enough cash.
The Dollar is the currency in the USA, and it says some good things on it such as "Liberty", but unfortunately the dollar looks very shaky and unreliable by saying "In God We Trust". That suggests the currency to be based on fiction and fantasy, and to be inherently likely to fail. What would be far better would be if it said "This is worth 371.25 grains of real Silver" and if it was backed-up by real value in a vault. In fact, even if it said "In GOLD We Trust" it would be better. Unfortunately it's no longer based on gold, or silver, but on prayer and wishful thinking. In such things, many of us no longer trust.
The United States is a "representative democracy", which has the usual problems with it not being quite what it says on the can (see democracy). So, over time a variety of leaderships both good and bad, have been in power. You could say the same thing about Germany in the 20th Century. At the time of writing this page (2009), the United States is recovering from a BAD PATCH, including unnecessary wars, overbearing laws, and nearly busting the economy. Fortunately that era is now over, and we hope for better times to come!
(During the "bad patch", which was characterised by the famous catchphrase "miserable failure", things had got so bad that it was no longer considered safe to transit the USA, and the world looked on in horror at the futile wars, instigation of a concentration camp, mistreatment (torture) of prisoners of war, prohibitionism, climate change denial, and various other horrors. However, these things are in the past, and hopefully will never be repeated. Also, it's worth remembering: It's not the American people who are to blame; it's bad governments. The folk are no more to blame than modern-day German people are to blame for what happened in Nazi Germany in the 1940s, nor British people are to blame for some of the awful politicians that have misruled the UK in the later part of the 20th Century).
With the USA recovering, and reverting back to being a Land of the Free, again, hopefully, now may be a good time to promote some good business. Zyra's website was originally Zyra.org.uk and has now colonised Zyra.net (remember it's .NET as in InterNET and isn't associated with COMmunism!). Although Zyra's website has always tried to be international (Internet = International Net), there were typical regional prejudice assumptions imposed by some parochial companies, and that's got in the way before. Still, there were some early successes in promotion of companies in the United States, for example The New York Times, Boat US, USA Today, Grand Canyon Tour Company, etc. Also, even though Zyra's website was originally .org.uk , there were some notable places in the United States featured within Zyra.org.uk, for example New York, Boston Massachusetts, the Grand Canyon, and there were some Categories including American Football Teams and Real Estate USA. It's important to understand that anyone with a website, regardless of where in the world they happen to live, can write about places and companies that are in entirely different places. What matters from an affiliate merchant perspective is where the VISITORS are. People in the Contiguous United States were looking at the eVineyard page (when it was live), and ordering wine to be delivered to their home addresses, and it didn't matter where the affiliate was physically located. This is because the Internet is truly global.
After a few years, some of the Affiliate Marketing Companies started to suss this, and began to adapt. LinkShare and Commission Junction set up offices in the UK and coped with different modes of business. Affiliate Future set up Affiliate Future America, and Webgains opened up to the United States as well as some of the countries in Europe. There were also some merchants who set up an affiliate program in the USA and another in the UK, so you see STA Travel USA, Kodak USA, Shirt City USA, MDS Battery USA, and Hotel Chocolat USA, and such pages then cross-link with their counterpart in the other region. Having said that, the default option at Zyra's site is where the merchant is global, (Zyra's site is global!), and then people will find the page regardless of where they live, and order things for worldwide distribution.
So, what happens when a company is US-specific, or has "USA" in the title? Easy! They get a Stars and Stripes flag and a note to say that their product is, for example "only available in the Contiguous USA". Such commentary is practical because this is a website with real content, and there's more free speech here than on sites that are just hype, splat advertising, and unexplained links. You see variants of the in-situ flag notion in Diamonds USA, Dremu USA (EMU oil), Lush USA, and Jubilee Bank and US Bank. However, in absence of obvious clues, you can assume that the merchant is global. (The exception is gambling, where the United States has (or had) a funny policy, trying to ban online gambling. Such a prohibitionist stance would be expected of autocratic dictatorships and socialist/religious fundamentalist regimes, but for a place that claims to be Land of the Free?? Well, in the wider FREE WORLD, people are naturally allowed to spend their own money how they chose, and if they are rash enough to gamble, then it's up to them!).
The United States has an unusual immigration policy, which may be of interest if you would like to move there. There's the famous Green Card Lottery which gives people a chance to migrate the USA if they win.
One of the problems of the United States of America is that there appears to be a Secret Government that rules and is unelected. As well as the almost-democratically elected government, there is a hidden, and somewhat sinister, power which does all manner of dirty tricks. President Barack Obama is obviously innocent of knowledge of the things going on undercover. For example, he gave a speech in which he was clearly unaware that the Detroit Incident where onboard a plane some joker from Nigeria was duped into setting off a few firecrackers in his pants, was yet another case of government agents fooling people into being stoolpigeons to mislead public opinion.
A few issues of this site ago I said "There are going to be some new categories at Zyra.NET, in the same sort of way as the US Real Estate and the Insurance USA pages. The new categories will be added, like Car Accessories USA, and Jewelry USA, and there might yet be a Categories USA page. In the meantime, the main Categories page can be assumed to be global". Well now there ARE such categories! There's a North American Categories (Americats) page.
Another good thing about the United States that's best not forgot: It was the first country to have people leaping about on Luna, I mean The Moon! That happened a while back (1969), but there's a whole generation of people who were so inspired by the Apollo Moon Landings that they really thought the future was going to happen quite soon. I believe this has cheered up the world and resulted in a new optimism which has probably boosted productivity more than the cost of the space program. Now although there are some continuing space exploration projects, the early NASA stuff is really astonishing. There's no point in pretending it was faked up, because that's what THEY (the secret government) want you to think.
Update 2010: A government is judged by the world on how well (or how badly) it treats dissidents. In an age where Burma has released Aung San Suu Kyi, it is extremely embarrassing for the United States that the US Secret System has persecuted and martyred Julian Assange (of Wikileaks) for being a practitioner of Freedom of Speech.
Update 2011: The United States against freedom in the world yet again, with the evil SOPA law which is an attempt to get rid of the Internet, in effect. It won't work, though, as people around the world will campaign against it and move their choices out of the States. Ultimately the Internet may have to rearrange to cut out the USA. It certainly won't have any effect on piracy, but then, that was just a ruse to get it in.
Picture of the Statue of Liberty, and an American bald eagle, acquired by Creative Commons via such pages http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bald_eagle and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Liberty and in the case of the orthographic projection map by Ssolbergj at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:United_States_(orthographic_projection).svg . . See, no stupid getty images nonsense here!