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Old 05-27-2012, 10:15 PM   #51
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

Couple of anecdotal thoughts after a few beers, mostly after reading the thread. Seems there's a lot of "it's nice to live here" which I think is only one variable and we're self-selected here for middle class or wealthy people. So my comments are borne out of a generalized reaction to what I'm reading here:

- I've been traveling a lot the past few years for work. Europe, specifically, but all over Europe. And I'd say America's bottom is much worse than Europe's. Had a friend in London who took me to Brixton, which is ostensibly one of the 'harder' neighborhoods in London (I can't vouch if it's the worst or lowest-class part of London). And yeah it was what you would call working-class and weathered, and I don't have crime statistics at my disposal, but Brixton was far far better and safer than say parts of Detroit. I've been to some rough parts of New Orleans and Los Angeles, and yeah, I'd say America has some places of urban decay unparallelled in western Europe. I've been to Christianshavn in Copenhagen (another ostensibly 'seedy' and working-class area of Copenhagen) and some suburbs in Paris that were supposed to be ****ty and again, America's urban "bottom" seems way worse. I also spent some decent time in West Virginia, and again, I'd be surprised to learn that say Japan or western Europe have areas as depressed and ****ed up as some parts of Appalachia. In sum: America's poor might have it worse than the rest of the developed worlds. I'd welcome the opinion of Brits who have spent some time here, but imo, like there's some places in Detroit I would not stop at red lights at night and neighborhoods that are just complete blighted and abandoned, and I don't think I've seen the equivalent in London but I'm not going to pretend I'm a native Brit who intimately knows the absolute worst places either. But like if you put me behind the Veil of Ignorance and told me I was going to live my life in the bottom 10% of society, I'd probably not pick the US if I had other choices in the rest of the developed world.

- yes, middle or upper class people in the US generally have it about as well as anyone imo.

- having said that, none of us are likely direct victims of America's imperial adventures and escapades. I'm not saying all of the political chaos and economic deprivation in Central and South America, southeast Asia, Africa and ldo the Middle East lie directly at the feet of the US, but we're not exactly blameless either, and so any moral calculation of America's standing might want to factor in an obviously complicated relationship with the rest of the planet.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:59 AM   #52
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by DblBarrelJ View Post
You know, I just got a ****ing steak, from a 4 star steakhouse delivered to my door by this nice young man employed by a company called thefastfooddude.com.
According to the site, they don't deliver OTP (won't even go to N Druid, bastards), and Ruth's Chris is not on the list. Are you using some kind of special cop privilege?
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:05 AM   #53
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

They have that hear in china DBJ.

And anybody with a highschool education in this country wouldnt call it the best country on the planet. Or even top 100.

Yet day after day i get into debates with cab drivers, arguing that

1. mao was not the greatest man who ever lived
2. taiwan is not china
3. Americans don't bully other countries (lol pot calling kettle black (see phillipines))
4. Every single CPC member is a corrupt doosh.

They all tell me 5000 years of history and 13 billion people are why china is the best country on the planet. Who cares that they have no education, healthcare or rights?
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:26 AM   #54
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

You aren't even allowed to play poker for money on the internet.. But yeah, free country yada yada
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:51 AM   #55
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

A lot of good points have been brought up, but how are we ignoring the 9000 pound gorilla in the room?

http://www.alternet.org/rights/47815/
Quote:
According to the new BJS report, "Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners, 2004," 12.7 percent of state inmates and 12.4 percent of federal inmates incarcerated for drug violations are serving time for marijuana offenses. Combining these percentages with separate U.S. Department of Justice statistics on the total number of state and federal drug prisoners suggests that there are now about 33,655 state inmates and 10,785 federal inmates behind bars for marijuana offenses. The report failed to include estimates on the percentage of inmates incarcerated in county and/or local jails for pot-related offenses.

Multiplying these totals by U.S. DOJ prison expenditure data reveals that taxpayers are spending more than $1 billion annually to imprison pot offenders.
http://www.november.org/razorwire/rzold/12/1201.html
Quote:
America imprisons over a million nonviolent offenders

Nonviolent prisoners increasing faster than violent prisoners

Washington, DC - Coming just a week after the Justice Department announced that 1.8 million Americans were behind bars, a new report by the Justice Policy Institute has found that, for the first time, over one million nonviolent offenders were incarcerated in America in 1998.

"Prisons are built and mandatory sentencing laws passed on the specter of Willie Horton," stated Vincent Schiraldi, the Institute's Director; "But increasingly, those prisons are filled with the 'gang that couldn't shoot straight'."

Entitled America's One Million Nonviolent Prisoners, the JPI analysis of recent United States Justice Department data showed that over the past 20 years, the nonviolent prisoner population has increased at a rate much faster than the violent prisoner population, and that 77% of the people entering prisons and jails were sentenced for nonviolent offenses. Since 1978, the number of violent prisoners entering America's prisons doubled, the number of nonviolent prisoners tripled, and the number of persons imprisoned for drug offenses increased eight-fold.


But, yeah, hurray for open carry.

One good thing going for us--we have the freedom to act in political dissent. Unfortunately, that right is being attacked as well.

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/08/u_s_...ned_at_border/
Quote:
One of the more extreme government abuses of the post-9/11 era targets U.S. citizens re-entering their own country, and it has received far too little attention. With no oversight or legal framework whatsoever, the Department of Homeland Security routinely singles out individuals who are suspected of no crimes, detains them and questions them at the airport, often for hours, when they return to the U.S. after an international trip, and then copies and even seizes their electronic devices (laptops, cameras, cellphones) and other papers (notebooks, journals, credit card receipts), forever storing their contents in government files. No search warrant is needed for any of this. No oversight exists. And there are no apparent constraints on what the U.S. Government can do with regard to whom it decides to target or why.

*snip*
A 2011 FOIA request from the ACLU revealed that just in the 18-month period beginning October 1, 2008, more than 6,600 people — roughly half of whom were American citizens — were subjected to electronic device searches at the border by DHS, all without a search warrant. Typifying the target of these invasive searches is Pascal Abidor, a 26-year-old dual French-American citizen and an Islamic Studies Ph.D. student who was traveling from Montreal to New York on an Amtrak train in 2011 when he was stopped at the border, questioned by DHS agents, handcuffed, taken off the train and kept in a holding cell for several hours before being released without charges; those DHS agents seized his laptop and returned it 11 days later when, the ACLU explains, “there was evidence that many of his personal files, including research, photos and chats with his girlfriend, had been searched.” That’s just one case of thousands, all without any oversight, transparency, legal checks, or any demonstration of wrongdoing.

* * * * *

But the case of Laura Poitras, an Oscar-and Emmy-nominated filmmaker and intrepid journalist, is perhaps the most extreme. In 2004 and 2005, Poitras spent many months in Iraq filming a documentary that, as The New York Times put it in its review, “exposed the emotional toll of occupation on Iraqis and American soldiers alike.” The film, “My Country, My Country,” focused on a Sunni physician and 2005 candidate for the Iraqi Congress as he did things like protest the imprisonment of a 9-year-old boy by the U.S. military. At the time Poitras made this film, Iraqi Sunnis formed the core of the anti-American insurgency and she spent substantial time filming and reporting on the epicenter of that resistance. Poitras’ film was released in 2006 and nominated for the 2007 Academy Award for Best Documentary.
*snip*
But Poitras’ work has been hampered, and continues to be hampered, by the constant harassment, invasive searches, and intimidation tactics to which she is routinely subjected whenever she re-enters her own country. Since the 2006 release of “My Country, My Country,” Poitras has left and re-entered the U.S. roughly 40 times. Virtually every time during that six-year-period that she has returned to the U.S., her plane has been met by DHS agents who stand at the airplane door or tarmac and inspect the passports of every de-planing passenger until they find her (on the handful of occasions where they did not meet her at the plane, agents were called when she arrived at immigration). Each time, they detain her, and then interrogate her at length about where she went and with whom she met or spoke. They have exhibited a particular interest in finding out for whom she works.
Look, the United States has some great things going for it. But we really need to reexamine where we are going as a country. Both parties get an F grade on these extremely important issues.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:23 AM   #56
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by vixticator View Post
Don't know. Of all countries with >80M peeps (top 16) I gotta think USA#1 is probably right. Germany & Japan could be but I'm willing to risk it. I don't think you can compare places with less than 10M to places with 300M+ (for no real reason just a hunch). I assume living in Monaco or some **** is the nuts but that hardly counts.
No, but you can compare them to states. People like to make a big deal about how various countries beat the U.S. on some metrics such as GDP per capita, but when you compare U.S. states with countries, the top 5 are all U.S.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:26 AM   #57
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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America. **** Yeah!
So lick my butt, and suck on my balls!
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:00 AM   #58
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

Plus, comparing avg income of the entire US to that of a country like luxembourg is dumb because rich euros move to luxembourg for tax reasons AND people who grew up in luxembourg are relatively likely to be descendents of wealthy aristocrats or similar.
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:02 AM   #59
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by DblBarrelJ View Post
There's a Wal-Mart in Denver CO that I can walk into, buy a Mossberg shotgun, 100 shotgun shells, a bottle of Jack Daniels, go out in the parking lot, fire out some insurance paid $1k/oz street value Dro, fire up a podcast of anti govt speeches, listen to it loudly while smoking out my truck, go home, drink some JD, and shoot at some squirrels in a residential area. GOD BLESS AMERICA!! AMERICA, **** YEA!!!!
If you buy a beer you have to put it into a brown paper bag though, and numerous other freedom inhibiting ******ed laws relating to alcohol.
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:36 AM   #60
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Hardly much of a problem, except for the profs who want cheap labor. There's no shortage of homegrown science grad students.
USA science is run by the foreginers. Nothing wrong with that tho.
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:55 AM   #61
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

As an outsider I think America is becoming more and more right wing oriented and some of the laws you people have are already on the line of fascism. Still a lot of things in America are much better than in the rest of the world and if you could change few things in your system , then USA would trully be #1 by far.
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:37 AM   #62
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

As much as I will complain about stuff related to America, I have to say I think its an awesome place to live. Whether I'm more happy living here than I would be in Germany or New Zealand, I don't really have any idea, I'm sure everywhere has major pluses and negatives. Although for the sake of the people who aren't as fortunate as me, I would like to see America do a couple things more similar to a place like Germany.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:09 AM   #63
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

I think America is the only developed country in which you are more likely to be killed by a stranger than someone you know.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:23 AM   #64
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by O.A.F.K.1.1 View Post
I think America is the only developed country in which you are more likely to be killed by a stranger than someone you know.
cite? I have a hard time believing this is true
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:27 AM   #65
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

re: the OP, I've often entertained the idea of moving to Europe, as I feel it is much more in line with my social views. However, it seems like the economic opportunity there is bad and getting worse, so I'll stick to the USA.

And +1 to the argument that it's not really fair to compare a 300 million person behemoth to a country with like 2-20 million people. Something tells me California, New England, and NY/Virginia would all be pretty boss countries.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:44 AM   #66
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

Excellent topic.

Being "exceptional" is one of those qualities that mean a whole lot more if others use it to describe you. In other words, you don't get to loudly and shamelessly trumpet it about yourself and have that become truth - it doesn't work that way.

Whenever I hear someone claiming American exceptionalism (or the exceptionalism of any other country for that matter) I think their chances of being a stone-cold moron are pretty exceptional too.

Being proud of your own country is one thing; claiming an innate superiority over other humans is quite another.

Try to get people to explain how their country is exceptional - it's quite illuminating. What does it mean to be exceptional?

Does it mean that the rules that you insist must apply to others somehow don't apply to you?

Exceptional, how?

The following seems a pretty starting point / framework to determine a country's "exceptional" status:

Freedom? (kind of hard thanks to the long list of erosions to liberty e.g. indefinite military detention courtesy of Mr. Hope and Change)
Best healthcare? Nope.
Highest income per capita? Nope.
Education / literacy rates? Nope.
Quality of life? Nope.
The most compassionate society? What about the world's highest incarceration rates?
Literacy rates? Nope

The idea of America nobly and selflessly fighting for democracy and human rights around the world - past and present - might be sustainable in some parts of the States but the victims of bombings, invasions, overthrow of democracies and support for dictators, torture, murderous sanctions etc throughout the world - think Iraq, Vietnam, Latin America, Africa etc - likely have other opinions on the matter.

As Chomsky points out, the idea of exceptionalism is universal to empires throughout history - the Japanese were bringing an "earthly paradise" to the Chinese during the Rape of Nanking; the French were on a "civilising mission" while committing genocide in Africa etc etc.

I know I am coming across as a little harsh, but the idea of "exceptionalism" is truely dangerous and needs to be kept firmly in check.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:45 AM   #67
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

I found this.It shows how American states compare with other countries by GDP or population. It's from 2009

http://www.economist.com/blogs/daily...ates_countries
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:50 AM   #68
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
According to the site, they don't deliver OTP (won't even go to N Druid, bastards), and Ruth's Chris is not on the list. Are you using some kind of special cop privilege?
Not exactly, I toss these guys a lot of good business, and by good business I mean execs who order from them the night before at the hotel, they're pleased, so next day they order the entire meetings lunch through them.

And they'll come OTP, you just gotta be willing to pay extra. For the right price they'll also go anywhere.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:57 AM   #69
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by Paul McSwizzle View Post
re: the OP, I've often entertained the idea of moving to Europe, as I feel it is much more in line with my social views. However, it seems like the economic opportunity there is bad and getting worse, so I'll stick to the USA.

And +1 to the argument that it's not really fair to compare a 300 million person behemoth to a country with like 2-20 million people. Something tells me California, New England, and NY/Virginia would all be pretty boss countries.
I love living in the south, but God help us if we were our own country (granted based on the flags people fly, a lot of folks still think the "War of Northern Aggression" is still going on...).
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:11 AM   #70
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by einbert View Post
A lot of good points have been brought up, but how are we ignoring the 9000 pound gorilla in the room?

http://www.alternet.org/rights/47815/


http://www.november.org/razorwire/rzold/12/1201.html




But, yeah, hurray for open carry.

One good thing going for us--we have the freedom to act in political dissent. Unfortunately, that right is being attacked as well.

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/08/u_s_...ned_at_border/


Look, the United States has some great things going for it. But we really need to reexamine where we are going as a country. Both parties get an F grade on these extremely important issues.
I think this has some relevance to your feelings:

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Old 05-28-2012, 10:18 AM   #71
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

This right-wing Second Amendment thumping is really scary. The cops and the military industrial complex obviously have a lot more guns than any organized group of pissed off Americans. DBJ, you seem like a smart guy, but you have admitted to trolling people in other threads (the gun rights thread) and I can't help but think this is the same thing.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:33 AM   #72
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by O.A.F.K.1.1 View Post
I think America is the only developed country in which you are more likely to be killed by a stranger than someone you know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul McSwizzle View Post
cite? I have a hard time believing this is true
Yea seems I am not correct for USA as a whole. Maybe it was true for Louisiana were I spent my exchange year due to gun crime.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:35 AM   #73
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by PokerIMO View Post
Excellent topic.

Being "exceptional" is one of those qualities that mean a whole lot more if others use it to describe you. In other words, you don't get to loudly and shamelessly trumpet it about yourself and have that become truth - it doesn't work that way.

Whenever I hear someone claiming American exceptionalism (or the exceptionalism of any other country for that matter) I think their chances of being a stone-cold moron are pretty exceptional too.

Being proud of your own country is one thing; claiming an innate superiority over other humans is quite another.

Try to get people to explain how their country is exceptional - it's quite illuminating. What does it mean to be exceptional?

Does it mean that the rules that you insist must apply to others somehow don't apply to you?

Exceptional, how?

The following seems a pretty starting point / framework to determine a country's "exceptional" status:

Freedom? (kind of hard thanks to the long list of erosions to liberty e.g. indefinite military detention courtesy of Mr. Hope and Change)
Best healthcare? Nope.
Highest income per capita? Nope.
Education / literacy rates? Nope.
Quality of life? Nope.
The most compassionate society? What about the world's highest incarceration rates?
Literacy rates? Nope

The idea of America nobly and selflessly fighting for democracy and human rights around the world - past and present - might be sustainable in some parts of the States but the victims of bombings, invasions, overthrow of democracies and support for dictators, torture, murderous sanctions etc throughout the world - think Iraq, Vietnam, Latin America, Africa etc - likely have other opinions on the matter.

As Chomsky points out, the idea of exceptionalism is universal to empires throughout history - the Japanese were bringing an "earthly paradise" to the Chinese during the Rape of Nanking; the French were on a "civilising mission" while committing genocide in Africa etc etc.

I know I am coming across as a little harsh, but the idea of "exceptionalism" is truely dangerous and needs to be kept firmly in check.
So well put.
Also add the fact the country is so divided Republicans/Democrats.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:36 AM   #74
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by einbert View Post
This right-wing Second Amendment thumping is really scary. The cops and the military industrial complex obviously have a lot more guns than any organized group of pissed off Americans. DBJ, you seem like a smart guy, but you have admitted to trolling people in other threads (the gun rights thread) and I can't help but think this is the same thing.
Semi.

I mean in all seriousness, I don't think violence would be required to end the war on drugs, I believe it could be ended peacefully.

However, that being said, I do believe in the original intent of the 2nd Amendment, which is defense from tyrannical government, not to go hunt deer.

Also, last stats I heard, there's like 300M operational guns in the hands of private citizens out there. That's ~1 per citizen, evenly spaced out. In the current state of possession, 50% of US males own a gun.

Last edited by DblBarrelJ; 05-28-2012 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:11 AM   #75
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by DblBarrelJ View Post
You know, I just got a ****ing steak, from a 4 star steakhouse delivered to my door by this nice young man employed by a company called thefastfooddude.com.

Basically the way this service works is you pay these guys to bring you fast food.

That's how it started. How much more American can it get than paying a 3rd party source to go to McDonalds and buy you a Big Mac and bring it to your door because it's midnight and you're drunk/stoned?

Now it's grown, you can get steak/sushi/seafood, along with all your fast food favorites.

Delivered to your door, by college kids. Though soon to be delivered to your door by people holding Masters degrees while making barely above min wage.

That, my friends, is why I love America.

Now excuse me while I enjoy my Ruth's Chris Filet Minion, cooked to a perfect Medium Rare, with a wonderful baked potato in front of my 72" 3DTV as I enjoy the best of NASCAR in HD. Then I'm going to do a few shots of JD, and smoke my finely cultivated reefer.

Enjoy your fascism guys. I'm drinking in FreedomLand tonight.
fyp


go 'merica!

b
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