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BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?

Naemanson 01 Jan 06 - 07:15 PM
GUEST 01 Jan 06 - 07:24 PM
Naemanson 01 Jan 06 - 07:32 PM
Kaleea 01 Jan 06 - 07:35 PM
Rapparee 01 Jan 06 - 07:37 PM
Bobert 01 Jan 06 - 08:04 PM
Amos 01 Jan 06 - 08:12 PM
michaelr 01 Jan 06 - 08:14 PM
jimmyt 01 Jan 06 - 08:20 PM
Peace 01 Jan 06 - 08:25 PM
Bill D 01 Jan 06 - 08:55 PM
GUEST,AR282 01 Jan 06 - 09:04 PM
Naemanson 01 Jan 06 - 09:42 PM
Ron Davies 01 Jan 06 - 09:53 PM
Ron Davies 01 Jan 06 - 09:55 PM
Once Famous 01 Jan 06 - 10:15 PM
GUEST,Jacques Le Vendreau 01 Jan 06 - 10:30 PM
Once Famous 01 Jan 06 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,Jose 01 Jan 06 - 11:06 PM
number 6 01 Jan 06 - 11:10 PM
Peace 01 Jan 06 - 11:14 PM
freda underhill 01 Jan 06 - 11:14 PM
GUEST,GUEST Robert 01 Jan 06 - 11:34 PM
Ebbie 01 Jan 06 - 11:39 PM
dianavan 02 Jan 06 - 12:08 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 02 Jan 06 - 12:11 AM
GUEST,Basil 02 Jan 06 - 12:17 AM
GUEST,AR282 02 Jan 06 - 12:30 AM
number 6 02 Jan 06 - 12:58 AM
Peace 02 Jan 06 - 12:59 AM
dianavan 02 Jan 06 - 01:03 AM
number 6 02 Jan 06 - 01:12 AM
Peace 02 Jan 06 - 01:16 AM
number 6 02 Jan 06 - 01:21 AM
number 6 02 Jan 06 - 01:29 AM
Ebbie 02 Jan 06 - 01:43 AM
Peace 02 Jan 06 - 02:11 AM
Terry K 02 Jan 06 - 03:20 AM
kendall 02 Jan 06 - 08:20 AM
number 6 02 Jan 06 - 08:28 AM
freda underhill 02 Jan 06 - 08:29 AM
number 6 02 Jan 06 - 08:42 AM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Jan 06 - 08:57 AM
Ebbie 02 Jan 06 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,AR282 02 Jan 06 - 01:11 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jan 06 - 01:59 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 02 Jan 06 - 04:32 PM
Once Famous 02 Jan 06 - 04:37 PM
robomatic 02 Jan 06 - 04:40 PM
frogprince 02 Jan 06 - 05:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Jan 06 - 05:44 PM
Once Famous 02 Jan 06 - 05:59 PM
Peace 02 Jan 06 - 06:05 PM
Naemanson 02 Jan 06 - 08:20 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jan 06 - 08:32 PM
Ron Davies 02 Jan 06 - 11:45 PM
Terry K 03 Jan 06 - 03:32 AM
alanabit 03 Jan 06 - 04:26 AM
Naemanson 03 Jan 06 - 07:42 AM
kendall 03 Jan 06 - 08:09 AM
kendall 03 Jan 06 - 08:15 AM
GUEST,rat 03 Jan 06 - 08:15 AM
Grab 03 Jan 06 - 08:56 AM
Bobert 03 Jan 06 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,The Clothes, etc. 03 Jan 06 - 01:55 PM
bobad 03 Jan 06 - 04:05 PM
michaelr 03 Jan 06 - 06:52 PM
Naemanson 03 Jan 06 - 07:32 PM
robomatic 03 Jan 06 - 07:35 PM
Ebbie 03 Jan 06 - 07:40 PM
Big Al Whittle 03 Jan 06 - 07:47 PM
jaze 03 Jan 06 - 08:01 PM
Big Mick 03 Jan 06 - 08:42 PM
GUEST 03 Jan 06 - 08:48 PM
Naemanson 03 Jan 06 - 09:20 PM
jimmyt 03 Jan 06 - 09:35 PM
michaelr 03 Jan 06 - 09:46 PM
nager 03 Jan 06 - 09:52 PM
jimmyt 03 Jan 06 - 10:22 PM
michaelr 04 Jan 06 - 12:02 AM
michaelr 04 Jan 06 - 12:08 AM
Terry K 04 Jan 06 - 01:33 AM
Big Mick 04 Jan 06 - 08:27 AM
nager 04 Jan 06 - 04:02 PM
michaelr 04 Jan 06 - 07:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jan 06 - 07:35 PM
Bobert 04 Jan 06 - 07:56 PM
jaze 04 Jan 06 - 08:16 PM
GUEST 05 Jan 06 - 01:05 PM
beardedbruce 05 Jan 06 - 03:24 PM
Madeleine 05 Jan 06 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Guest 05 Jan 06 - 08:55 PM
Terry K 06 Jan 06 - 04:09 AM
Ron Davies 06 Jan 06 - 06:07 AM

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Subject: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Naemanson
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 07:15 PM

I recently spent three months traveling in Asia, Europe, and the USA. I visited Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Tokyo, Kurashiki, and Nasushiobara, in Japan. I stopped in Newark, Boston, Washington, DC, and Portland, Maine, in the USA. I visited Bath, York, Whitby, London, Lancaster, Loughborough, Salisbury, Durham, and many smaller villages and towns in England.

I rode on planes, trains and in automobiles in those places. I saw the sights and shopped in the stores. I talked with as many people as I could, listened to many stories. I saw dirty cities and clean ones. I was treated well in some places and with contempt in others. I was ignored in some stores and eagerly helped in others. Some people gave me wrong information when I needed help and others worked diligently to make sure I had what I needed to get where I was going. I saw efficiency and I saw systems that didn't work at all.

In all that time I only felt my person safety was threatened in one of the above countries.

They say that travel broadens the mind. I have to agree. I once believed the party line, that the USA was the greatest nation on the earth. Now I have to ask what is it that makes people say that? Is the power of our military? Is it the fact that we waste more resources? Is it our history of pursuing freedom?

The reason I ask is that of all the places that I went the most inefficient, rudest, least amenable to travelers was the USA. The trains were not only late but there was no effort made to ensure people knew what was happening with them. The airports treated travelers like herds of animals, pushing them here and there with no regard for their individual respect. The shop keepers and clerks made no effort to make sure their customers were satisfied or even helped. And it was in the USA that I felt in danger of my and my wife's safety.

Is our country really the greatest or is that just a lie we tell each other?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 07:24 PM

Deep thought, but then again as a UK resident I feel the same way about this country, I think a lot of it is down to perception.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Naemanson
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 07:32 PM

I'm thinking of something I've been calling social entropy.

In the UK the trains didn't run on time. This isn't news to you, I assume. But there were people to tell you when the train would arrive and on which platform. In Marlborough a BR employee took us to the other side of the tracks by a special route so we wouldn't have to haul our luggage over several flights of stairs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Kaleea
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 07:35 PM

Each country has it's own qualities of greatness. I know that whenever I have met someone from a different country, I love to hear all about life, & Music & all the other Arts there.
I can get all riled up fussin' about the yahoos up on crapitol hill & forget to ponder all the wonderfull blessings I have each day of my life because I happened to be born to a guy & gal who lived in my home country--the good ol' USA. I suppose that folks all over the planet could say that they sometimes forget to count their blessings, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 07:37 PM

I think that every nation feels that way. I felt endangered in Knock, Ireland and on the border of the French Basque country, outside Bayonne. And I wasn't calm and peaceful in either Edinbrough or Dundee. I very certainly did not feel safe in Korea, but that was because I was in the Army at the time.

Strolling around in the French Quarter of N'awlins one night my mother-in-law left the bright lights. Fortunately she turned around before she got very deeply into the darkness!

Right after one of the race riots in Chicago back in the '60s a friend and I lost our way to the Outer Drive and ended up on an unlighted cul-de-sac. We asked a bunch of black guys how to get back to the Drive; they told us, we did. No sweat -- but we felt more endangered on the Outer Drive than in the Inner City.

Every large city -- and many small ones -- has a section where the cops travel in pairs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 08:04 PM

Define "greatest"...


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 08:12 PM

Well, Brett, your fine words give pause for reflection. There was a time, perhaps when business was less ruthless, integrity a little more important, and service more of a watchword. I think a sort of "MBA Corrosion" has replaced a lot of these values, where profit is the only criterion and customers are merely a piece on a board.

But I think this country has a great deal to recommend it, has done a lot of good in the world, and is capable of self-regenerated renewal. It is unfortunate that at the moment we have given too much control to the Dark Side, and we are paying that price.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: michaelr
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 08:14 PM

Of course it's bullshit. That arrogance is one of the most odious aspects of the American self-image. Not that other nations' citizens aren't guilty of the same thing, but when it's the most powerful in the world, that attitude does inordinately more damage. Especially since it continues to be used to excuse American actions around the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: jimmyt
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 08:20 PM

Naemanson, I think you are making a very large statement on a fairly small sample size. I can tell you that on a trip to Europe last year, I felt like all of the
effeciency and charm and manners and general everything wonderful were in France, and ENgland and Italy and Switzerland. When we left Atlanta the shop keepers were rude and indifferent and when we returned they were downright mean and I felt ashamed that this was the first image of the US our foreign visitors received.

2 Months ago, we returned to many of the same places, encountered rudeness, indifference and ineffeciency in all of those previously "wonderful" locations, and then returned to Atlanta to a bunch of folks that were the kindest, most helpful and generally made me proud to be an American folks you could imagine.

So all in all, I think it is a wash. I know nice people everywhere, and jerks seem to know no national borders. I think it is important to keep a perspective that sample size is significant in these kinds of occasions. Oh, by the way, how many times do you travel to a country, encounter one complete jerk waiter in a resturant and it seems to flavor your entire trip? I think we tend to concentrate on the negative and ignore the positives also.

Just my opinion. Having met you and your lovely wife at Getaway, I can't imagine anyone not being polite and nice to you both, but that is just the way it goes sometimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Peace
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 08:25 PM

"Let me sum up, Gentlemen. Man is a slave neither of his race nor his language, nor of his religion, nor of the course of rivers nor of the direction taken by mountain chains. A large aggregate of men, healthy in mind and warm of heart, creates the kind of moral conscience which we call a nation. So long as this moral consciousness gives proof of its strength by the sacrifices which demand the abdication of the individual to the advantage of the community, it is legitimate and has the right to exist. If doubts arise regarding its frontiers, consult the populations in the areas under dispute. They undoubtedly have the right to a say in the matter. This recommendation will bring a smile to the lips of the transcendants of politics, these infallible beings who spend their lives deceiving themselves and who, from the height of their superior principles, take pity upon our mundane concerns. "Consult the populations, for heaven's sake! How naive! A fine example of those wretched French ideas which claim to replace diplomacy and war by childishly simple methods." Wait a while, Gentlemen; let the reign of the transcendants pass; bear the scorn of the powerful with patience. It may be that, after many fruitless gropings, people will revert to our more modest empirical solutions. The best way of being right in the future is, in certain periods, to know how to resign oneself to being out of fashion."

From here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 08:55 PM

well, this ol' USA is a BIG place...so durn big that you can find the best AND the worst here...and often in the same town! If it had been settled in the same way the Old World was, it would no doubt have been 4-5..or more countries, and then we could compare "New England" with "Heartland" and with "Dixie" etc...

The very size and location of this complex place make it a target for analysis, and inevitably, for criticism...(you don't hear many comments about Lichtenstein or Finland)...it simply doesn't lend itself to easy generaliztions, positive OR negative.

You can find 'almost' anything you want here...except a wide choice of political parties to RUN the durn place!


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 09:04 PM

I did a lot of traveling during my military years. Went all over the Caribbean, South and Central America, Europe, The Philippines, Japan, and even Greenland. The U.S. is no different, no better, than anyplace else and often one hell of a lot less interesting.

I was even in the Middle East for about a year. Yet the only place anyone ever pulled a gun on me and made get on the floor and empty my wallet was right here in my hometown of Detroit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Naemanson
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 09:42 PM

Thanks, my friends, you've given me much to think about.

One of the events that sparked this thread was a conversation with friends yesterday on "customer service" in the stores here in Guam. Two of the participants in the conversation were from Japan where customer service is of prime importance. The hotels, restaurants, and shops here in Guam do not do a good job of servicing their customers. A majority of their customers are from Japan. Thus the repeat business is estimated at only 20%. They could do a lot better. Repeat customers tend to spend more than first time customers according to one of my friends.

I remember, as a general rule, that poor service and poor treatment of any kind happened in the cities (except in Japan). Once you get out of the crowded areas you get better treatment assuming the locals are not afraid of you, i.e., bigoted or prejudicial.

As for my sample size I am using the big trip only as a point of reference. It seems to me that the trend has been downward for most of my life.

Of course, it is also true that your treatment depends on individuals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 09:53 PM

I think you're onto something Naemanson--and the reason you're right, especially about the safety issue, is the much greater disparity of wealth in the US. In the US there are a lot of people on the bottom of the economic pile--many more than elsewhere--look for example at the difference in pay between a CEO and the lowest -paid employee in a company in the US--and compare to the same relationship outside the US. There have in fact been articles about this in the Wall St Journal.

Main problem is there are so many at the very bottom of the economic pile in the US--who feel that their lives are worthless--so by extension, so is yours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 09:55 PM

And, as you know, the current leadership, if anything, is making the situation worse, not better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Once Famous
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 10:15 PM

The answer to the question is Yes.

I am extremely greatful that I live here and raise my children here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: GUEST,Jacques Le Vendreau
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 10:30 PM

France is the greatest nation. There is no doubt about it. We have the best cuisine, the most beautiful monuments and women, the finest taste, and the most glorious history and art. We laugh at the pitiable attempts of other cultures to equal us. All this will become clear to Martin le Gibson when I arrive on his doorstep on January 10th to save him from his mad Rambo dementia. He will be made into a new man, one who is sophisticated, urbane, liberal, and tolerant. He will come to realize that without the good offices of the French Navy and the Marquis de Lafayette in the 1770's you Americans would all now be speaking English!


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Once Famous
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 10:33 PM

France does have the best riots.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: GUEST,Jose
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 11:06 PM

Yes, I walk barefoot through cactus for three days with no water to get to this great country filled with oppertunity.

Thank you Senor


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: number 6
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 11:10 PM

"France does have the best riots."

Good one MG .... they have also got it down to a fine craft in torching cars!

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Peace
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 11:14 PM

"We have the best cuisine, the most beautiful monuments and women, the finest taste, and the most glorious history and art. We laugh at the pitiable attempts of other cultures to equal us."

J le V: You also piss in the streets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: freda underhill
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 11:14 PM

When my youngest daughter was 14, she travelled to Japan (cultural excusion) with her school.

It was interesting to see her view of Australia change, after having travelled in japan for 3 weeks. She was more critical of Australia, and saw things in Japan that were much better.

In her late teens she went out with an African American man. He preferred living in Australia than in America, he encountered far less racism here. However, i think he did not understand that some Australians reserved their racism for the indigenous people here - for whatever reason, he did not experience it.

For me the Australia I grew up in is a wonderful country, however the current government has spent a lot of time destroying some of the things that made us great.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: GUEST,GUEST Robert
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 11:34 PM

We in the USA tend to think of "propaganda" as untrue data spread by totalitarian regimes to deceive their own citizens. But this country has a propaganda of sorts in all of the "freedom' and "best nation on earth" crowing that we've all grown up with. For instance, much ado is made about our government of, by and for the people, but if we look at reality that certainly isn't always the case, to say the least. "The best government money can buy" is probably closer to the truth.

It's interesting to me that my email pal in Finland seems to have the benefit of more comprehensive and less-biased news and media coverage than I. And while I continually complain about taxes and the shrinking American middle class, she seldom writes similar concerns, even though general tax rates are much higher in Finland. Perhaps it's that in Finland people get something in return from the government for their tax contributions (medical coverage and college tuition subsidies for instance), whereas here the average working person gets zilch.

We (for the time-being at least) may still have more material wealth, gadgets, and (for some of us) bigger houses, but I think more and more people are forgetting how to enjoy life. Maybe that is one reason why customer service and courtesy are on the decline. "Work harder and longer, consume, buy-buy, and pay more bills are the messages we're constantly bombarded with, and are what the government seems to expect. It seems to be an ever more sterile and joyless way of life.

Perhaps a month's vacation rather than 2 weeks (if you're fortunate), a shorter actual workweek, universal medical care, and a fresher diet - as enjoyed by many if not most Europeans - are better trade-offs than our so-called American abundance and may result in less stress and more smiles per capita?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 11:39 PM

"...look for example at the difference in pay between a CEO and the lowest -paid employee in a company in the US--and compare to the same relationship outside the US." Ron Davies

Ron, I read an astonishing comparison the other day: It said that in 2003 if one equated the top American CEOs' salaries to the Washington Monument (555 feet tall) and set the average American wage next to it, the wage would be 16 inches tall.

Doesn't seem credible but that's what it said. 419 to one


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: dianavan
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 12:08 AM

The USA is the greatest nation if you only read U.S. textbooks, magazines and newspapers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 12:11 AM

The USA is a great nation if you have the money to pay your way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: GUEST,Basil
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 12:17 AM

The US publishes its country reports on other countries every year.   Last year China published a similar report on the US!

Human Rights Record of the US in 2004


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 12:30 AM

>>It's interesting to me that my email pal in Finland seems to have the benefit of more comprehensive and less-biased news and media coverage than I. And while I continually complain about taxes and the shrinking American middle class, she seldom writes similar concerns, even though general tax rates are much higher in Finland. Perhaps it's that in Finland people get something in return from the government for their tax contributions (medical coverage and college tuition subsidies for instance), whereas here the average working person gets zilch.<<

I have also read that Finland spends more per person on the arts than any nation in the world--about $96. Americans spend about $6 per person and still complain that it's too high--it's the lowest of any industrialized nation and lower than many war-torn nations. We're talking about culture, science, literature, art, music, philosophy--all those wonderful things that make the soul stir and achieve greatness. In America, all we want is entertainment and, dammit, we shouldn't have to pay 6 hard-earned bucks for it. We are putting ourselves in a little bubble of disjointed information, pop culture and entertainment geared to immediate gratification and calling it our arts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: number 6
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 12:58 AM

Actually I think Estonia is the greatest nation. Latvia at a close second. Highly educated people.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Peace
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 12:59 AM

Andorra is a shoe-in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: dianavan
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 01:03 AM

Basil - That is a very good link. It shows that although the U.S. thinks quite highly of themselves, the rest of the world has a slightly different perspective.

I really like the part about prisons and the statistics that, without a doubt, prove that the 'land of the free', just aint what it used to be.

Its about time the citizens of the U.S. took a good luck at their place among nations and decide if they can continue to coast on a reputation that was built by the blood, sweat and tears of honest, hard-working people. Most of the world sees only a nation of ignorant and arrogant consumers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: number 6
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 01:12 AM

"It shows that although the U.S. thinks quite highly of themselves, the rest of the world has a slightly different perspective."

dianavan ... i think most people were very aware of this before this link.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Peace
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 01:16 AM

IMO, any American who doesn't think the USA is the greatest country in the world must live with a great sadness. I am amazed to see the US--a place I held in such high regard--debased at the hands of that crap in Washington. If you do nothing else this coming year, pay close attention to the 2006 elections. There is where you can effect psoitive change.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: number 6
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 01:21 AM

I'm with ya there on this Peace ... I still hold Americans in high regards ... there politics has 'run amuck' is way out of hand and scares the hell out of me ... But one thing we must remember ... If the US goes down, in reality we all do (those of us who live and enjoy the free world).

Looking forward to the 2006 elections.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: number 6
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 01:29 AM

Outside of their politics (The U.S.) I hear criticism of their consumerism, their materialism ... but those of us who live in the 'western world' are right there behind them when it comes to that ... I'm mean, look at us now ... sitting at home on our puters, hooked to high speed internet connction ... in our nice homes, cars, TV's, collection of musical instruments, holidays away from home, going to the malls for our shopping ... we all participate, ... The U.S. is just at the front of the line and we are following.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 01:43 AM

One thing I have always loved about the USA is that we have always wanted to make it a progressively better country, that we recognized its flaws but recognized also its potential for greatness. Given the heartwrenching disillusionment I have felt in recent years I'm no longer sure of how we feel. Certainly the Reagan years cultivated a fertile field of human weakness.

America the Beautiful - 1913/ Katharine Lee Bates

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law


O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self the country loved
And mercy more than life.
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!


O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain.
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea.

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee.

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice, for man's avail
Men lavished precious life.
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Peace
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 02:11 AM

"Given the heartwrenching disillusionment I have felt in recent years I'm no longer sure of how we feel."

Ebbie, that is too true. I wish it were otherwise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Terry K
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 03:20 AM

I don't believe many people who have travelled much would think the USA the greatest nation. I don't visit the USA very often because it is not one of my main destinations of choice, though I find that I have visited 14 of the States over the years (Vermont, California and some others in between).

The two main downsides I have found are an overriding blandness (particularly in the cuisine!) and an almost constant feeling of being threatened. I can't think of any other country where I have felt the same threat (unless it was Libya in the bad old days when the "secret" police tracked me for 10 days).

On the upside, I have usually enjoyed my visits and will no doubt be back, but I'm not in any particular hurry.

cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: kendall
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 08:20 AM

"Great" is relative like everything else.

Just don't knock Edinburgh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: number 6
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 08:28 AM

So True Kendall!

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: freda underhill
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 08:29 AM

Thousands of Chinese came to Australia as migrants in the 80s. So many of them expressed complete shock at coming here and discovering that standards of living were better here than in China, and that they had much more privacy and personal freedom. They had grown up believing that China was the most advanced country in the world, and many suffered not just severe culture shock but an accompanying crisis of beliefs when they came here.

Nationalism is another form of elitism, it encourages a false view of superiority, based on false advertising & propaganda.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: number 6
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 08:42 AM

"Nationalism is another form of elitism"

... it's also very, very dangerous.

Good point to raise in this thread freda !

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 08:57 AM

Is the USA actually a nation in the first place, any more than the European Union?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 10:53 AM

Interesting question, McGrath. I think that perhaps the US's greatest strength is the mix of thought and expectation and experience and vitality it derives from its varied 'blood'. That mix may also be one of its greatest weaknesses.

Even its mainstream 'cuisine'. We have a wonderful heritage from many nations but we 'anglicise' it so that it's not too great a shock to mainstream palates. Thus we have 'Tex Mex' Mexican food, we have 'American Chinese' food, and so on down the line.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 01:11 PM

I remember back before Bush's reelection that I went into various online forums to get a feel for how things sat with people election-wise. One place I stopped was some Metal forum--it's defunct now. The place had divided itself into an interesting polariziation:

Pro-Bush/American v. Anti-Bush/European

There were NO Europeans on that board that could stand Bush. Not one. Of the Americans, 2 or 3 sided with the Euros. The rest were not only pro-Bush but it was godawful horrible the way this one American metal guy--claimed he was married with two kids--just went off on this 16-year-old Belgian kid who merely stated that Bush is overwhelmingly despised in Europe. He was ranting like, "We're the ones fighting for freedom and Iraq should be grateful and we don't need you so don't come crawling to us the next time you need someone to pull your asses out of the fire. We don't give a fuck what you think and we don't give a fuck what happens to you. We're looking out for us and fuck you if you don't like it!!" And he's saying this as Bush was desperately wooing European govts to help him in Iraq so that he wouldn't have to start the draft.

It's like Europeans should be grateful that Bush dragged them into this over complete bullshit. We're trying to force democracy on Iraq when we don't really understand or agree with it ourselves. We're going to give Iraq complete freedom to determine their fate and when they decide of their own free will that they hate our guts, we'll just have to go back there and give them a good ass-kicking and remind them who they owe for their freedom. God bless America.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 01:59 PM

Of course the USA is the greatest country in the world, and we're all very grateful to you for living there - somebody's got to. I bet parts of it are lovely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 04:32 PM

As a UK citizen, I learned most of what I know of America from third parties, and formed the opinion that this was a very special country for a number of very good reasons.

America IS the greatest country on earth, if you are talking about the "America" envisioned by it's founders. The idea of a nation based on equal opportunity for all it's inhabitants, with inalienable rights enshrined in the form of a written constitution which has the force of law, has never been bettered in human history.

The fact that the reality falls short of the idea does not detract from the idea itself. As long as there is an intention to adhere to the dream of the founders, that America survives.

The American dream has, IMHO, been subverted by men who over the years, have come to regard financial success as the only criterion by which the worth of a man may be established.

Nevertheless the dream is still in the background, waiting for good men to decide that it needs reviving, and therefore America is still a great country, though going through a very bad patch.

The time WILL come (soon, God willing) when the people will take over the maintenance of that dream, dismiss those who have corrupted it, and restore the greatness of the country created by the signatories of the constitution.

Then America will be able to teach the world about democracy, not by force, but by example.

The worth of a man equates to what he puts into his community, not what he gets out of it, and the worth of a country likewise.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Once Famous
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 04:37 PM

England is on the verge of losing it's own culture. Let's hope America doesn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: robomatic
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 04:40 PM

I think the notion is hackneyed. A great deal of our 'greatness' comes from our sense of current imperfection coupled with our confidence in a future that is better for the next generation.

Therefore, some of our greatest attributes come from our bitching, our challenge to authority, and our refusal to be bullied, cajoled, humored, or bamboozled into thinking we 'are' the greatest.

Just as with the issue of the flag. It is our sense of what the flag stands for and our willingness to stand up for those ideals that makes the flag in any way great. The minute we have to legislate its greatness it has diminished in value.

Similarly, the minute we all genuflect to our own 'greatness' we have lost it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: frogprince
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 05:36 PM

Define "greatest"...
Actually, most of the posters here have shown their awareness of how basic that is to the question. Certainly at the moment we are the single most powerful nation on earth. The richest man in the world, and a huge share of the other richest people, live here. We have the skyscrapers of Manhatten, the Grand Canyon and the canyonlands of Utah, some redwood forests we haven't cut down yet, and Preservation Hall is still intact in New Orleans.
And we have a proverty rate, down to the level of our infant mortality rate among the poor, that stands out among the "developed" nations: Largely because we have lost sight of major parts of the definition of greatness that we started out with.
The greater the degree to which we concern ourselves with who we are greater than, the greater the degree to which we have "blown it".


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 05:44 PM

"It's own culture" would presumably mean the natuve culture of the people who were there before the Europeans arrived?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Once Famous
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 05:59 PM

What are you, on drugs, McGrath? England's tolerance is causing it to lose it's own current culture. Now can you see I am holding two fingers up?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Peace
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 06:05 PM

Winston Churchill used to do that. It stood for 'Victory'. It was also a convenient place to keep his cigar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Naemanson
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 08:20 PM

I think I am angry at the hypocrisy. Our leaders do not know what it means to be poor. They don't know what it means to live from paycheck to paycheck. They do everything they can to line their own pockets at the expense of their fellow citizens. The streets are filthy and full of homeless people who survive because of the charity of churches and those few who see the need to care for them.

These same leaders stand at the podium giving speeches patting themselves on the back for leading the greatest nation on the planet. They have no concept of history or reality.

And it extends to many different zones of life. Our infrastructure is falling apart but we do nothing about it. Our oil based economy is threatened but we do nothing more than try to find more oil fields. We face the potential of a flu pandemic and the response is to cut funding for other health programs to fund the preparations. There is an overwhelming sense that the leadership at all levels thinks that all is well. That they are blind to the reality around them. If they could be persuaded to step out of the limousine and speak to the common folk that wander ragged through the streets then they might get the idea that Iraq is not as much of a threat as ignorance and poverty.

I am fed up with our own version of the aristocracy. There might even be parallels with the last years of France before the revolution. Yet they are so happy with their own version of what lies below their feet they cannot see the mob gathering. "Let them eat cake." was supposedly Marie Antoinette's reply when told the poor were starving. Isn't that what our leadership is saying to people now? Do they understand that people who cannot afford bread will not be able to eat cake?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 08:32 PM

It was me. I lost the culture. I know I put it somewhere. Its with the car keys somewhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 11:45 PM

Interesting that when cuts in the budget have to be made--do the Bush tax cuts, which disproportionately benefit the rich get considered?

Not likely--it's Medicaid--which benefits the poor--which is on the chopping block.

That's the sort of thing that has to change before the US can make a claim to the mostly meaningless title of "greatest nation".


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Terry K
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 03:32 AM

Martin, one tiny flaw in your last post is the assumption that England is tolerant. Generally speaking, the ordinary man is not at all tolerant. And in the same way that governments never understand anything about how the ordinary people live, they don't understand their intolerance either.

With all due respect, to me the tragedy of change in Britain (and possibly many other places in the world too) is that it is inevitably becoming more and more like the USA.

A sign of how far we have moved away from what we perceive as the archetypal "English culture" is that my son was at a nightclub in St Albans last week where some trouble broke out and two gunshots were fired. Gun culture didn't start here, it's brought in or copied from elsewhere, and no matter what the gun apologists say, it's not something I welcome.

cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: alanabit
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 04:26 AM

I want the country I live in to be led by people who are respected, if not actually liked by most of the population. I want all the citizens to have access to health care, education and work. I want most people to grow up in stable families. I want the leaders to manage the resources without destroying the land for future generations. I want to have laws, which most people respect, because they feel that they represent the values of most of the citizens. That, in turn, means there will be little coercion necesary to enforce them.
I think that is the path to stability and personal liberty. No country is all the way there, but I believe that Sweden and Switzerland are a bit closer than either Britain or the US.
As for "greatness", I wonder if it is any comfort to you to know your country is "great" if you grow up with your father absent, you live in a slum and you can't make a living at one job.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Naemanson
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 07:42 AM

When you get right down to it there are pleasant people and unpleasant people. Some people will go out of their way to help you and others will turn their backs or worse. It isn't a blanket reaction to be found in any location.

Still, in talking about service in the USA we are getting away from the central point I was asking about. Can we continue calling ourselves the greatest nation if our cities are dirty and running with crime, the police are not given the funding (i.e., equipment & training) they need, the schools are also underfunded, we cannot handle a major disaster like Huricane Katrina, there is no health care for a huge number of our people, and the leadership acts as though all is well and we are the best? It isn't enough to be rich. It isn't enough to have the largest military. If you want to grandstand you have to be ready to put your money where your mouth is. Otherwise you become the laughingstock.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: kendall
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 08:09 AM

Right on, Brett


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: kendall
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 08:15 AM

Revionist historians tell us that she didn't say that, it was part of justifying what they did to her.

The other thing is, in those days, "cake" was the residue of cooking that formed and stuck to the fireplace and chimmney. That had to be not typical French cuisine, more like English... (running for cover)


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: GUEST,rat
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 08:15 AM

Good points:

England

Music (best in world)
Beer (warm and fantastic)
TV (though declining)
Martin Gibson doesn't live here (self explanatory)
Countryside (refreshes the soul without killing you)
Sense of Humour (We have one, I have travelled and no other country has one apart from the scots and irish)
Martin Gibson doesn't live here (self explanatory)
History (Bloody interesting - sometimes more bloody than interesting)
Martin Gibson doesn't live here (self explanatory)


USA in alphabetical order

Seaworld - that is all


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Grab
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 08:56 AM

It's quite simple really. America is in the same position as Victorian Britain.

1) America has highly-educated people at work in industries which are leading the world; but there are many people left behind due to social circumstances.

2) "Family values" are top of the public agenda; but there is huge hypocrisy in the difference to private actions, with a large industry existing in drugs, porn, prostitution, gambling, etc.

3) It has massive natural wealth in mineral reserves, oil, gas, coal and forests; but private companies are busy depleting these and polluting their environment. These same private companies are also doing the same abroad where possible.

4) It claims to be the world's policeman; but it's carried out wars of aggression and occupation against other countries on a unilateral basis, whilst disregarding the actions of repressive regimes who are considered allies, and war criminals frequently escape unpunished.

5) It has the world's most powerful military; but it's been spanked badly several times by people with less sophisticated weaponry who really *care* about their countries.

6) It is the world's richest nation; but many of its citizens are in absolute poverty, and its wealth is concentrated in a small minority, most of whom have not had to work to earn that money but have inherited it from their aristocratic parents.

7) The national attitude is that anything is possible for citizens of the country; but this often leads to the presumption that *their* citizens are somehow better than people from anywhere else, simply by virtue of their country and culture.

If Americans could see this pattern, maybe they'd learn from history. What did Britain get out of the Victorian period? Mainly it was trade links with previous colonies, a decent transport infrastructure, a perennial problem in Ireland, overspending on defense, and an attitude problem. But sadly history is repeating itself.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 08:56 AM

Right on Naemanson and Ron...

Over the last month the Bushites have slashed $50B plus from programs that help our poorest citizens while giving another $90B to our most wealthy...

Might of fact, on January 1st, every person in America eanring $1M a year got $100,000, copliments of the Bushites...

Like I asked, define "great'???

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: GUEST,The Clothes, etc.
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 01:55 PM

The true greatness of a nation can be measured by the way it treats its poorest, weakest, and most vulnerable members.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: bobad
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 04:05 PM

Viz. NOLA


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: michaelr
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 06:52 PM

Naemanson and Grab make good analogies: we're seeing the US Empire in decline, a lot like France before the revolution ("Off with their heads!") or Victorian England. Or perhaps Rome before the barbarian hordes took it apart.

The poor are in misery, and the "leaders" in denial.

When did that whole "greatest nation" hype start, anyway? 1776? 1865? 1918? 1945? It's always been bullshit.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Naemanson
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 07:32 PM

Actually, Michael, I think there was a time when we actually could be considered a great nation. We were never perfect but then who is?

Whatever the reason, we jumped into WWII and made a major difference. And after the war our Marshall Plan helped rebuild the destruction left behind.

We jumped into WWI eventually and made a difference, stopping the Kaiser and reshaping Europe.

We built the Panama Canal and opened it to the ships of the world, at least, those of our allies.

We led the nations of the world in revolutions against autocratic power and pushed the idea of popular democracies into the world stage.

All of this is just a sample of what the USA did. It is juxtaposed with the bad things the USA did. But did our bad eclipse our good? I'm not sure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: robomatic
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 07:35 PM

Let's not get overly down on ourselves. Getting down on ourselves is one of our better characteristics, but let's not go too far. I think the US is certainly a great nation, but I think it is foolish to even pose the question as to great-'est'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 07:40 PM

The US likes to deal in superlatives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 07:47 PM

Go on, you feel you're the greatest. Say it and don'r feel guilty about it. I should if I were you. If you don't feel that, nobody else is going to feel it for you.

of course there are bits and pieces you would like to change. I don't think my country is fundamentally flawed in the way Martin is saying, but theres lots of stuff I would change if I could.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: jaze
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 08:01 PM

It could be...and it should be. As someone said above we need to lead by example not by force. I've often thought the US needs an elderly respected man as president who will scold and I mean scold the American people for their selfishness and wastefulness. Someone to help people realize what is really important. Sadly, it seems leaders such as this are few and far between and usually only show up in times of great strife such as WWII. but we can still hope.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 08:42 PM

michaelr, can I assume that you also thought that the actions of England and Great Britain, during the times that they were "colonizing" the world, laying claim to being the civilizing force, and were the most powerful military power out there, were bullshit as well?

The ugly American certainly has validity. This overriding sense of moral superiority by others does not. I am fearful for my country, yet I have faith in the American people to change its course. I might be a fool, but I believe in the wisdom of the citizenry. But I sure do tire of the wait............

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 08:48 PM

It used to be great, at one shining moment or two it actually was. What is upsetting now is watching helpless as it is being turned into a shadow of its former self by a sorry no account ruling elite.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Naemanson
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 09:20 PM

It's good of Mick to join in. He can talk of the impact the American ideal has had on the workers of the world. How about it Mick. That's your field of expertise, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: jimmyt
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 09:35 PM

Let me step forward and say I think it is a great nation. I also think Canada is, as well as Great Britain ( you folks actually have the guts to put Great in your name!) I also think there are lots of other great nations.

I travel a lot and have been to most of Europe and although I enjoy being there on holiday, I always feel good to come home. It is my home. As I am sure most people enjoy being in their home countries for one reason or another.

Is it the greatest nation? Well, I think that is a very difficult premise to prove and would be for any other country also. I am not really clear on why people are interested in putting down their home nation, whatever it is. It is a bit like your family, regardless of their curiousities and idiosyncracies and flaws, they are still your family, and most people will support and protect them against outside forces.

Is it a perfect nation? Absolutely not. Can I think of one that I feel is a better one? Well...no, I cannot. Sure we may be a bit over-the-top compared to some of our European friends, and probably more consumer oriented than some and more "in a hurry" and not as cultured in some ways but by and large, we are good people. Somehow it seems that any other people can conduct themselves in any manner they wish and it simply gets chalked up to "It's just their culture," I rarely hear anyone step forward to say that about Americans.

All this talk about crime, well I have never been in any situation in America that I thought I feared for my safety or my families any more than one night in the westend of London when the Football hooligans were out in force and drunk. Or another time when my elderly mother-in-law was surrounded by a group of traveller teenagers in Stow on the Wold in the Cotswolds bent on stealing her purse. I hesitate to bring this up at all because to me there are isolated incidents and I have never equated them with my safety in general in that nation or area.

I would think people are generally proud of thier country and would want others to view it in a positive way. I have never encountered people in my travels that have not said how pretty their village is or how wonderful the food is or how great the art is or the music is, etc. It is only human nature to be proud of your home. Or at least to me, that makes sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: michaelr
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 09:46 PM

Mick -- yes, you may safely assume that I regard the self-glorification of empire of any stripe as bullshit. Extremes of Nationalism and Patriotism are what have brought the world to its present sorry state. My suspicion is that it's too deeply rooted in human nature (read: reptilian brain) to change.

Nationalism/Patriotism is the mistaken notion that the accident of the geopolitical location of one's birth has higher meaning than membership of the human race and citizenship of Planet Earth.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: nager
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 09:52 PM

The USA is a such a wonderful place and there is so much to see and do there that you have absolutely no need to travel overseas as tourists...


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: jimmyt
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 10:22 PM

I agree Nager that you have no need to travel overseas as tourists. I do it because I am interested and curoius of others'cultures, foods, art, archetecture and well, darn it, there is just a lot of neat stuff to see and do in other countries. I have travelled to most of the US and although I still have lots to see and do here, there is a certain charm of foreign lands.

MIchaelR I agree that EXTREME nationalism is the source of much of the world's problems, A cannot but believe that moderate pride in your homeland is not a bad characteristic. I guess the key is to control your nationalism and patriotism. I hope you didn't get too flooded out in Calif, Michael. I read that Napa has gotten slammed with flooding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: michaelr
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 12:02 AM

Hey jimmyt, thanks for your concern. The town of Napa got hit pretty hard. Closer to us, so did the Russian River area. Mostly just property damage by mud; I haven't heard of any injuries or deaths. I'm not in a flood zone myself, thanks be.

And I agree, a moderate pride in one's homeland is not a bad thing. I was born in Germany, where they've had to walk on eggshells where that's concerned. In the US, on the other hand, moderation is a hard-to-find commodity.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: michaelr
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 12:08 AM

Naemanson -- "a great Nation" (which can be said about lots of countries) is a far cry from "the greatest Nation" (which should never be said BY any about itself).

Sure, this country has done lots of good things, and lots of bad. I can't claim to be able to step back far enough to see the whole balance. But then, that's not the question your thread title asked.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Terry K
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 01:33 AM

"The USA is a such a wonderful place and there is so much to see and do there that you have absolutely no need to travel overseas as tourists... "

I'd be mortified if I thought that the USA was the only place I was ever going to go to. Maybe this explains why (apparently) only 7% of Americans have passports?

Or do the three dots at the end of the post mean that you are having a pop - admit it, nager, you're English really aren't you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Big Mick
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:27 AM

well said, michaelr.

Brett, the impact of the US policies on the poorer workers of the world lies in its betraying the truth of what it had found. The Unions of the United States, as well as those of Europe, found the key to prosperity. By creating organizations and laws that allowed workers to share in the prosperity they created, a huge marketplace was created. The largest demographic, the workers, became the middle class. A lifestyle was created that a great deal of the world is still trying to emulate. The right move would have been to expand on this idea and spread it to other nations in the developing world. But the monied interests decided that instead of creating an ever expanding marketplace built on the idea that workers being able to buy the fruit of their labors, instead we would feed the existing markets on the backs of the poorer and more desperate workers of the world. And, sad to say, organized labor in the industrial nations of the world went to sleep. They became institutions instead of movements. They failed to reach out in solidarity with ALL workers of the world, preferring to stay at home and try to conserve what they had. Now, a new marketplace is emerging in China. Business interests have sold out any committment to the old industrial nations and its workers. Unions are scrambling to try and do something but they are a day late and a dollar short. We are saddled with unfair trade agreements that only serve to widen the gap between the richest and the poorest. Some workers in the developing world benefit, but most are just taken advantage of. And the rich keep getting richer.

Where is it all heading? Steadily towards strife, sad to say. I believe we are headed to a time when the majority will take things into its own hands. At some point the workers will rebel against the status quo. I hope it doesn't happen, but increasingly it looks like this is the way things will turn out in the years to come.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: nager
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 04:02 PM

Actually Australian ...
It appears the German immigrant influence is still strong in the US ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: michaelr
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 07:07 PM

Care to explain that, nager?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 07:35 PM

The worry, for nations as well as individuals, is when they take "could do better" as an insult rather than as a compliment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 07:56 PM

Jaze,

We have the elderly staesman who is non too shy to scold us 'cept he don't get the midrophone too much these days... His name is....

....Jimmy Carter

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: jaze
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:16 PM

That's exactly who I was thinking of, Bobert. But the Jimmy Carter of today, not the 70's.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 01:05 PM

Well, I think Americans do tend to have more "stuff" even if they can't afford healthcare. Generally houses are bigger, cars are bigger and more people have them, and Americans own more gadgets that most people in other countries. See this article that appeared in MSN news
Poverty With a Color TV

I was brought up being told that "America is the Greatest Country". There was a great deal of upward mobility during those times - 50's and 60's. Many people were able to achieve the dream of owning a house and car, the economy was doing well. Come to think of it that idea was really emphazised by my parents and in school.   It wasn't, of course, such a great country for everybody, but many people who had been "poor" were able to join the ranks of the middle class.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 03:24 PM

"Is it a perfect nation? Absolutely not. Can I think of one that I feel is a better one? Well...no, I cannot."



Is there any more to be said?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Madeleine
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 05:37 PM

hey,

if great britain wants us back, go for it. then everyone will be mad.

i'm ashamed of our exploitation of less prosperous countries and their workers and outraged by our insinuation into every single conflict on the planet, whether it involves us or not. preferably not. our worst offence is against our own disenfranchised; that being the elderly, handicapped and unemployable. and with all our capital.

i have to advertise for chapel hill, nc. there's more authors, scholars, artists, musicians and interesting, tolerant people than anywhere ive been. when i tell someone from another city where i live, they ask me if i know any communists. never met one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 08:55 PM

The USA is a great country.
It is just the majority of people who live there that are the problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Terry K
Date: 06 Jan 06 - 04:09 AM

GUEST, guest I think you're getting mixed up with France


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really the greatest Nation?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Jan 06 - 06:07 AM

Guest GUEST--

If you think the majority of people in the US support Bush and his uncounted crackpot "policies", you're way off base.


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Mudcat time: 6 August 3:51 PM EDT

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