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Old 01-21-2007   #1
Livingston's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 679

Talking with a 60 year old coworker yesterday, he said, "America is still the number one country in the world". I ask him in what form of measurement. I mentioned education, health care and a recent article on infant mortality I'd read. He could think of no good responses.

Automobiles: Still making more cars than anyone, but about to be bumped out in gross numbers by the same company that is making the highest quality cars.

GDP per Capita: 3rd

Health Care: 37th

Infant mortality: 42nd

Education: Average (also found an article that gave us a number 1 with an index of 99.9... an index rating also shared by 20 other countries)

Murder: 24th out of 62

Can't even acheive "Most Militaristic": 3rd

"Patriot Missile": 5-10% accurate

"Patriot Act": go and Google "enabling act" and look for similarities.

Is our country now just that drunk pretentious rich kid?... and anology that fits too well looking at who we elected.
Please consider me unpatriotic... something Republicans have accused anyone who opposed the Bush addministration. Since when is an unrealistic view of things a good thing?

Sorry for the rant, stuck in Ames Iowa for 2 weeks.

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Old 01-21-2007   #2
Join Date: Nov 2003
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I can give you some reason’s that 60-year-old feels this is the best country on earth.
It’s the world’s oldest democracy. In its 230 year existence, it has never had a dictator or a monarch.
It is impossible to tell whether a person is “American” or not by the color of their skin or their place of worship.
We are the largest monetary contributor to the U.N. (I thought you would like that one.)
The U.S. is the leader in information technology allowing more people to access more resources than ever before in the history of the world.
Livingston can use that technology to say he isn’t patriotic without worrying the government is going to take him away. In fact, if Livingston wanted, he could claim to be a communist, a Nazi, or a member of NAMBLA without worrying that the government will lock him up.
The Dictator Hugo Chavez can give a speech in New York calling the President of the United States “The Devil,” and even he doesn’t have to worry about being arrested! Instead he can travel to a New York City church and continue to preach his anti-American sermons while being protected by the NYPD.
Those examples of this country’s virtues are more intriguing than a list of nation rankings.

As for the 60-year-old specifically, of whom you expressed your intellectual superiority, I would say he is happy to live in a country where he can live in relative peace. Where his children and grandchildren can live in relative safety, and where they will never be victims of starvation, political oppression, or ethnic persecution.

If you insist on blinding yourself to everything great about the U.S. to make it easier to malign the U.S., it is your prerogative. But if you want to have a legitimate discussion about this country’s shortcomings (of which there are plenty), you must use better arguments than, “I’m not a patriot,” or “We’re not first on a list.” I would expect more cognitive discussions from The Daily Show.

Sorry to hear you're stuck in Ames.

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Old 01-21-2007   #3
BastrdSonOfElvis's Avatar
Thought-criminal, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 989
Stuck in Iowa? Dude. I just found out I'm likely to be stuck in Iraq and stuck in the military for four more months that the planned on 12. Every day is exactly the same. Every day feels like it's a week long. Weeks feel like months and the four months I've been here feel like a couple years.

Which brings me to a category in which we are presently #1 in the world: The stubborn inability to admit when we are dead wrong and bring our boys home.
I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot. -Jack Handy
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Old 01-21-2007   #4
Livingston's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2004
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By Republican's standards, yep, unpatriotic.
1) 230 years and the document defining it has been trampled.
We don't have a dictator?

2) UN: We've been delinquent on payments for years and only pay a percentage.

3) IT: It is only used for porn and online poker. Of which I participate in both, so you are more correct than you knew.

4) Hugo: Just waiting for his plane to crash. We've assasinated his kind many times. Read "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins.

5) No superiority. We have a great banter back and forth and learn a lot from each other.

I'd say the opposite of blinding. I'm asking questions, reading, digging. Just wondering why people people stick their heads in the sand.

With all that being said, I really hope the government spends some more time going after those gays.

Fuk Ames.
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Old 01-21-2007   #5
Join Date: Nov 2003
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By YOUR standards you said you were not a patriot. YOUR WORDS.

1. Trampled? Or do you mean changed? What do you really mean? I’m not going to bother to respond to your opinion when it is actually the words of Albert Arnold Gore. But thank you for the partisan reading material.

2. Your article from 1999 is interesting, but the U.S. is still the top monetary contributor to the U.N.

3. I don’t consider this website to be either porn or poker, and considering the fact that you site two websites in your last post that have nothing to do with porn or poker; you have negated your own argument.

4. Read a book…that’s your argument. I am glad you read books. Good for you. But I didn’t ask for a book list. This is no argument; it’s a hubristic cop-out, plus, your assertion that an impending assassination of Chavez proves nothing. Come on Livingston you seem more intelligent than that.

5. Okay, my bad, I admit I don’t know anything about your work banter.

I hope people pull their heads out of the sand as well. Having a more rounded perspective of this country, its virtues, and its failures is much more productive than the partisan rhetoric of Al Gore, George Bush, FOX News, or CNN combined.

Yeah, go get those gays. Who needs a bunch of rich, well dressed guys running around? I think the bible says: Thou shall not be trendy, nor enamored by the body of another trendy man.
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Old 01-21-2007   #6
Livingston's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
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Dude, do with the information what you want. You really aren't bringing anything to the table to counter anything I'm bringing up. Try attacking the message instead of the messenger. Perhaps I'm not the best with words, just trying to put forth a perspective.
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Old 01-21-2007   #7
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Sorry man. No offense intended.
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Old 01-22-2007   #8
Pueblo, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 5
We are #1 Baby!!!!

To put our country in an international context, it may be more relevant to compare total military expenditures (rather than per capita):

#1: USA 276 billion+
#2: China about 56 billion

Also, in terms of oil consumption, cleary taking #1:

#1: USA 20.7 million barrels/day (We are 2% of the world's population and we are consuming 25% of all oil used in the world)
#2: China 6.9 million barrels/day

If you want to find the truth, follow the money. Unfortunately, one possible conclusion from the above data is that Ameicans are addicted to cheap oil, are using way, way more than their share, and are willing to spend over 4 times more than any other country on their military to defend their way of life, their "right" to consume, and by God their "right" to nation-build (to ensure a future where they may dominate consumption of resources).
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Old 01-22-2007   #9
Denver, Colorado
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Understanding what it is that we are defending or criticizing when talking about patriotism is very important. Is it the "love of one's country"? Or, the love of one's government?

Separation of the two is very important!

I don't question that the people of America are incredible(for the most part). I do, however, question the small minority of rich white elite men who are in control of the gov't. Is it unpatriotic to question gov't and it's policies? If we are to think that it is patriotic to support our government -without any questions- then we are well on our way to living in a totalitarian state.

There is nothing wrong with loving your country. However, there are all kinds of problems when you love your country so much that you fool yourself into believing that it is superior to all others... that is simply arrogance, conceit and egotism at its best - something we need a lot less of in this world.

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Old 01-22-2007   #10
rockinRio's Avatar
Thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
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Posts: 231
Until we have the 37.5 hour work week (and 25 paid holidays a year) like Norway and Belgium (mmm beer). We are NOT the best country in the world.

Can I get an AMEN!

International Work Weeks:

Americans are working more:

You ARE a soul, you HAVE a body.

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