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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
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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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