American Exceptionalism Exposed - The Hard To Swallow Truths

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posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 12:27 AM
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American Exceptionalism Exposed - The Hard To Swallow Truths



Opening Thoughts



This OP began life as a passing response to a post in one of my previously authored threads. The comment that I was responding to was a run of the mill The United States is the most free and greatest nation in the world statement. Although I am a very, very proud American it has become something of second nature habit to reply to these comments by doing a Google search or two so that I might shine a bit of reality upon the subject...

That I might show that the fact of the matter is that, these days, America is not only not the greatest at much of anything - we're almost not the most free.

Believe me when I say that I find no joy in the above sentence. In fact what I do find in it is great pain and shame because America should be the most free and greatest nation on the planet. We have the potential to be able to honestly claim these things. We have the foundations upon which to build such a nation. But we have failed to correctly use them. We have failed to live up to that potential.

It all reminds me of a real life analog that I am currently living through in my personal life. I am a middle aged man who is closer to old age than he is to youth at this point. At forty-seven years of age I am daily reminded that there are things I once enjoyed doing that, these days, leave me in so much discomfort that the joy of them is diminished. As it happens I have children and nephews who are in the very heart of their youth and they share many of my passions. Sadly, some of these activities - skateboarding for example - leaves me preferring to watch, from the sidelines as the youngsters take center stage. Later in the day, however, I find myself regaling the kids with the stories of that one time that I.... and Back in the day I used to be able to get unreal air and then catch the coping in a grind on my way back into the bowl...

Glory days and their tales.

That is what I see when I read comments about the greatness of America lately... That is exactly it. Stories of what was being told to avoid facing the truth that things have changed and that the world has moved on.

Some people find great joy in bashing the United States. I do not count myself among them. The fact of the matter is that for a nation that is a spry two hundred thirty seven years old? This nation has done miraculous and amazing things! Two nations, The United States and France were leading the way into a new world with new, previously unfathomable possibilities... and amazing things became of it. Entire forums filled with uncountable debates could be devoted to each specific argument I might make in praise of the United States - but I think that history will look kindly upon this nation.We've stumbled, sure... But we've also done so much good. Sadly we tend to fail and succeed, as a nation, in ways that end up effecting the entire world. It is my belief that, when all is tallied, the good will outweigh the negative - at least as the scorecard stands today. I think much of the America bashing we see is born of a lack of knowledge of history, a bit of jealousy, or just a desire to be one of the cool kids who likes to throw punches at the easy targets... and the biggest nations are always the easiest to criticize.

There are aspects of this nation I am willing to defend blindly. The young men and women who serve to defend our freedoms? I will not ever speak a negative word about them or their service. That is not to say I agree with how they are utilized by the government of this country - that is an entirely separate issue in my opinion. But as for the people who put on the uniform, swear the oath, and risk all for the sake of others? God bless them all for their selflessness and sacrifice.

The people of this nation as well. We're as disparate as we can possibly be - the most intense melting pot in the history of humanity ( Rome may have been similar ). To mix so many different people together? The creation is nothing short of beautiful. It's jazz music. It's syncopation. It's dynamic and exciting. It is the recipe for excellence and innovation. The citizens of this nation are second to none.

Oh, and before anyone brings up the genocide of the First Peoples... I am half Native American and I could them and their accomplishments in my sense of pride of this nation. When it is all said and done they will fight to protect this land even if there are scars and even open wounds still left to heal... they are proud of this land as well - if not in a different way.

A great country? Yes! A place where we are free? Absolutely! But the greatest or the most free?

No.

Let Us Stop Waving That Flag and Do Some Fact Checking



This may come as a shock to many... but America does not rank number one in any single category of "freedom" that I can find. Not one.

Overall freedom?

We're number seven - according to The Fraser Institutes World Freedom Index 2013:



Economic freedom?

Heritage.org places the United States at number ten - in the "mostly free" category:



Freedom of the press?

Worldaudit.org has the United States in a three way tie for a tenth place ranking ( Note they also rate us in fifteenth place as a Democracy ):



How about human rights?

The United States made the list of "Top 100 Offenders" the Guardian UK's Human rights index with a mean score below such nations as Cuba, Cambodia, Egypt, Mexico, Rwanda... and well you begin to get the idea. Amnesty International sums it up pretty well and it is worth a read. So is this one from The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner For Human Rights



Wait! I know! Best quality of living!

Darn... Number seven here as well. The irony... We only scored this high because we have a lot of toilets.



Safest nation????

Didn't make the top ten on this list - nor this one - nor this one either...

Life expectancy???

Crap - We are thirty-third

Infant mortality rates?


edit on 8/24/13 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 12:27 AM
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Internet freedom is a shoe-in. Right? Wrong - and this was before the revelations about PRISM and the Snowden leaks.



I know! I'll throw in a ringer! WE'VE GOT THE BEST BASEBALLERS!!!!


The 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC) was an international professional baseball competition, held from March 2, to March 19, 2013. This was the third iteration of the WBC, following the two previous tournaments, held in 2006 and 2009.

Unlike the two previous WBCs, which consisted of the same sixteen countries, only the twelve countries that won at least one game in the 2009 WBC were guaranteed a berth in the main tournament. The automatic qualifiers were Australia, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, South Korea, the United States, and Venezuela.

Japan entered as the defending champions. The four finalists were the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Japan, and the Netherlands. The Dominican Republic team went undefeated (a WBC first) en route to the title, finishing with a 3–0 victory over Puerto Rico. Robinson Canó was named the Most Valuable Player of the Classic.


Damn it....

We are doing pretty well in the "Percent of population living below medium income" category:



Wait I did finally find a NUMBER ONE!!! As with some statistics, it's a few years out of date... but it is a sign of hope. Apparently the US is number one in Individual per capita income!!!!



To be honest I am not terribly excited about this one because the average, as you can see, is $28,600 - and we all know that the ever increasing upper class in the US is making far, far more than that and skewing that number in ways that makes my soul hurt... One billionaire to offset every four or five hundred thousand people working retail or fast food and making far less. Very sad.

Closing Thoughts



I honestly could have sat here all night long thinking of things to Google and then doing screen captures of troubling graphs and charts.We imprison more of our citizens than any other nation. We spy on our citizens as much or more than even the most repressive regimes in the world and in history. We've got mind numbing violent crime and property crime rates. We've got one of the most wealth disparate economies in the western world. We have high death rates from avoidable causes. We have high incidences of avoidable diseases... the lists just keep popping to mind as fast as my fingers can type.

It is a shame and a tragedy.

There are those who are going to read this post and have a visceral and instinctive reaction to say things like "If you don't like it, then leave!" or "It's people like YOU who destroyed this great nation!". To them I can only say you are entirely missing the point. It is not my desire to bash America at all. In fact my desire and motive is exactly opposite of that. When I find myself seeing troubling statistics, like the ones above, I am filled with a deep desire to FIX these things! To change them! Knowing that we've fallen from grace - and from the top of the heap lights a fire under my ass like nothing else. I want, more than anything, for the natural blessings of this nation to matter for something more than just a new iPhone version every six months and a predictable four comic book based Hollywood mega movies every single summer. With what we have to work with - we could lead the entire world into a level of enlightenment and prosperity that could dwarf every dream any of us, or those who came before us, ever dared to dream. The sort of world only fiction writers and romantics have been able to envision...

We could make such a world if we could just get motivated and put aside our childish and archaic ideas.

Not too terribly long ago a news story made the rounds, and still gets quoted today. It said that the generation being born right now will be the first generation in American history to be worse off than their parents were... that the steady progression of betterment had finally ended and a backslide had begun.

It does not have to be that way. It simply doesn't. We can dig ourselves out of this mess and set this ship to right.

The question is... Do we have the resolve and desire to do so? Can we step outside of our own addiction to gratification and ego long enough to make it happen?

In our past we might have defined a patriot as a person who loved their country more than life itself. I offer that this is no longer enough. The fact of the matter is that we love money and our "stuff" more than we love America or ourselves. Is it time to redefine what it means to be a patriot? Is it time we all stood up and said that matters most of all is keeping the tree of freedom alive and not simply seeking to eat of its fruits?

Is it time for us to cast aside paradigm and conditioning and find a new label... New age patriots to fight a new age war against a new age oppressor?

I think it is. I think it's time for us, Americans, to live up to the destiny and responsibility that was bestowed upon us by right of birth... and to make that birthright matter again.

Thanks for your time ATS.



edit on 8/24/13 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 12:46 AM
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Smarter than Canadians?


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posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 01:00 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Heff, another fine thread that makes you think.


Because we have seen America at its finer times. Unfortunately, as we grow old, and contemplate how our Country has ever made the steps from great to so-so, we become like this guy.





Statistics? Meh. I really think this is still a great country. Its the greatest in my eyes. I'm bias though. I'm an American. When I look at how bad this Country has become, I get the sobering reminder of Haitians trying to cross a vast stretch of ocean, bypassing the likes of Cuba. Risking almost certain death to get here. WHY?

Why are those in South America risking their lives to cross into this Country? Why are Chinese risking their lives to get smuggled in? There is a reason brother. Because even with all the ills this country has, the infighting, the polarization. It is still the greatest Country. At least to me.

Thanks for listening to the rant. I might be off topic within your thread, but thanks for posting it, and letting me get it off my chest.


Peace.



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 01:05 AM
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Solid thread post. Agree on all fronts. Not sure how it went so wrong so fast. I've watched our rights, freedoms, pride disappearing before my eyes. A young country with such promise. Sadly, most aren't aware of the spiral we're in. Too busy playing with their gadgets to look up. Yet, I am not sure what to do about it, if there were anything I could do as one person.



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 01:14 AM
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You guys are not even the most obese nation anymore:
gawker.com...

Cost of healthcare you're still number 1 tho:

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States spent more on health care per capita ($8,608), and more on health care as percentage of its GDP (17.9%), than any other nation in 2011. The Commonwealth Fund ranked the United States last in the quality of health care among similar countries, and notes U.S. care costs the most.

en.wikipedia.org...

Land of the FREE? Highest incarceration rate:
en.wikipedia.org...

This is a category I think you guys will take in the next few years tho:
en.wikipedia.org...

I could go on...
edit on 24-8-2013 by cartenz because: formatting


EDIT: I will...

Highest rate of mental illness:
www.sciencedaily.com...
edit on 24-8-2013 by cartenz because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 01:16 AM
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I want to see these "freedom" index numbers after PRISM is taken into consideration. Those indices must take into consideration if the government has spy programs of unprecedented magnitude to spy on its citizens... dont they?
edit on 8/24/2013 by CaticusMaximus because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 01:19 AM
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reply to post by cartenz
 


Im sure you could go on.........



But regardless on how bad it is, or where we stand with the rest of the World there are places that are even worse. We just need to right the ship. Cause.........

If this Country goes down, there's going to be a hell of a lot more going down with it, sad to say. I really dont think many are fully aware of how intertwined the United States is with the rest of the World. MHO


Peace



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 01:20 AM
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Blahhh blahh blahhh.
America is dead.
The America I was taught about in school never existed.
The Bankers own this country because they own every Congressman and Senator we have.
If not all of them then at least enough to achieve their end game.

It's OVER JOHNNY!!!

The Dream is OVER!
The American dream was always just that.
Funny how NLP works isn't it?

Time to wake the F up and come to terms with the fact that it was all just a dream, albeit a very nice one.
Now then, here we are, in our rooms, sitting bolt up in our beds, wiping away the cold sweat, breathing heavy, heart pounding.

Get up, look out the _

Guess what's out there?

A Police State that is going to control every god damned thing you can possibly say or do, maybe even think.
....and guess what?
THAT'S THE WAY MOST PEOPLE WANT IT!!!!!

It was sold to us as safety.
and the one thing people want even more than American Idol and Big Macs, and Wal-Mart is......SAFETY!!!

Well, you got it.
Aren't we all glad that we're so F ing safe now?!?!?

I know I am.

Safety is the new freedom.

You can't have 'em both princess.
You gotta pick one.
and the people have spoken.

SAFETY IT IS!!!!
Safety for everyone!!!

America?
Pffft.

nope.
Not Anymore.

In name only.
It is OVER!!!!

Love Murrrca all you want,
it isn't going to do you or anyone else one damn bit of good.
The Bankers own your ass now.
Call this country Zippidy Freakin' Doo Dahh, for all I care.
Call it whatever you want to.

In the end,
your ass is owned bought and paid for by a very wealthy and powerful banking cartel
And you as well as everyone else in this # hole of a country are slaves at best.

GO MURRRCA!!!!



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 01:36 AM
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reply to post by GeneralChaos
 


Just out of curiosity... Did you read the OP or is this more of a "Those 14 Red Bulls really gave me wings" kind of thing?

I only ask because a read through the OP kind of shows that there's no "Team 'Murica" cheerleading going on. In fact it's a rather scathing indictment of the illusion of American exceptionalism and a somewhat stark demonstration of the current mediocrity and apathy of this nation... along with a somewhat hopeful message that it can be fixed.

It is sad that you feel seeking to better the situation and right the wrongs is, for whatever reason, pointless or not worth the effort.



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 01:48 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Is it time we all stood up and said that matters most of all is keeping the tree of freedom alive and not simply seeking to eat of its fruits?

Is it time for us to cast aside paradigm and conditioning and find a new label... New age patriots to fight a new age war against a new age oppressor?

I think it is. I think it's time for us, Americans, to live up to the destiny and responsibility that was bestowed upon us by right of birth... and to make that birthright matter again.


An emotive call to action is often impressive, yet more often than not - futile.

So what do you propose that your fellow citizens do to reclaim the perceived freedom of the past??... to keep the tree of freedom alive??



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 01:56 AM
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Grows most GMO food:

Around two thirds of that growth occurred in developing nations, which in 2011 held around half of the total land used to grow genetically modified crops. Among these nations, Brazil led the way with 30.3 million hectares of maize, soybeans, and cotton. The United States maintained the overall lead, with 69 million hectares devoted to eight different crops.


www.technologyreview.com...



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 01:57 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Yes, read the whole thing all of the way through.
It was definitely not a "Go TEAM" kind of thread.
But there is still a hint of not wanting to come to terms with exactly what we are dealing with here.

That, and I just know the "GO MURRCA" crowd will be here in short order to tell you and everyone else who even entertains these notions you put forth exactly what we can do.

ahemm,

"IFFN YEEEUW DON LIKE IT, (spits chaw in ground)
DEN GEET OUT"!!!!

You put forth a solid case but, you fall short in still thinking there is ANYTHING that can be done short of a full scale and very bloody revolution. Which, ironically enough, will only feed into the plans of our masters that much more.

What we have here isn't an American problem.
What we are dealing with is a spiritual problem.
The problem with that is, according to mainstream science, there is no such thing as spirit in the first place.
They are only just now catching up to the idea of extra dimensions.

No my friend,
you, along with the rest of us, are wholly and totally owned, bought and paid for by a very sinister, dark, malevolent, and power hungry force which would rather destroy you and every living organism on this planet, right down to the last single celled organism, rather than lose one ounce of the control that he/it has.

Politicians aren't your enemy.
The Government isn't your enemy.
The President isn't the enemy.
Rich and Powerful bankers aren't even the real enemy

The Enemy to America is the enemy to humanity
You would do well to learn his/its name.

Please allow me to introduce him.

Your enemy is none other than Lucifer his own damned self.
And he is going to destroy this entire planet and take your ass with it.

The only hope any of us has is to pray.
I don't know to whom as I am not much of a religious person believe it or not.
But, you'd better put it out there and fast.
You and every other damned soul on this planet because this much I am sure of,
if we don't ask for help, none will arrive.

This is beyond sending a letter to your local congressman at this stage of the game.

You had better send a prayer instead.



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 02:00 AM
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Originally posted by Perhaps

An emotive call to action is often impressive, yet more often than not - futile.

So what do you propose that your fellow citizens do to reclaim the perceived freedom of the past??... to keep the tree of freedom alive??


In my humble opinion there are several things we could do to start the fires burning more brightly again.

1) Make an advanced education affordable once again. The for profit University system is failing us horribly and education is the key to success - today, tomorrow and individually and culturally. Education is the engine of prosperity.

2) Ban lobbying - outright.

3) Impose cumulative term limits on those who choose politics as a career. Service should not be the means to becoming wealthy.

4) Reinvigorate innovation through more ( or better purposed ) grants for research and the sciences.

5) Find ways to remind people that community is basically extended family. Create a culture with a bit less personal ego and a bit more compassion / interest in others.

6) Create a common sense set of laws that effectively regulate business practices and protect employees while also rewarding domestic production and innovations.

7) Have a reality based quorum and dialogue about what "minimum wage" means and what it should be. We are currently engaged in a service industry model that is doomed to fail because corporations aren't paying their employees enough enable them to be effective participants in the economic process. The equilibrium of economics in this country is totally out of whack right now and it's precariously close to toppling over.

8) Find common purpose. The space race is one example, the post 9/11 world is another ( though less positive ) of times when America managed to get focused and made things happen.

Just some off the top of my head ideas.



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 02:00 AM
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I'm sorry that I saw this so late at night, I'm a little fuzzy.

You'll notice that our serious competition is from the Nordic countries. We are trying to do some things that they are not. Our country is far more diverse and has accepted far more people without valuable skills, money, or guaranteed support here. We are no longer a melting pot, we have broken into groups with conflicting goals.

Some of our people belong to sub-groups with an entirely different set of values. It has been said that if you take illegal immigrants and Black youth out of our homicide figures, the rate would be on par with anything in Europe.

This creation of a mosaic of many different people and beliefs, while it has many advantages, requires society to make adjustments for a smooth running and prosperous country.

In short, considering the additional challenges the US is facing, I think we're doing quite well. (Although I wish Obama wouldn't drag down our freedom numbers as he is doing, and the drone attacks can't be helping either.)



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 02:03 AM
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Originally posted by GeneralChaos


Your enemy is none other than Lucifer his own damned self.
And he is going to destroy this entire planet and take your ass with it.





hmmm..........




posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 02:03 AM
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Highest generator of nuclear energy:

With 104 operating reactors, the United States produces more electricity with nuclear power than any of the 30 countries with that capability. In fact, it generates about the same amount of nuclear energy as the next largest producers, France and Japan, combined.

www.forbes.com...

Which would also mean highest in nuclear waste I would imagine???



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 02:10 AM
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School Shootings!

There have been 31 school shootings since Columbine. School shootings in every other country in the world COMBINED since that time is 14.

www.policymic.com...



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 02:17 AM
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reply to post by cartenz
 


You forgot about how bad Hershey bars, The Hollywood sign, Hot Dogs and Baseball are.......

Jeez....




posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 02:23 AM
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Originally posted by sonnny1
reply to post by cartenz
 


You forgot about how bad Hershey bars, The Hollywood sign, Hot Dogs and Baseball are.......

Jeez....



Heff covered Baseball didnt he?

Enjoy those Hershey bars:
www.dailymail.co.uk...






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