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Author Topic: Challenge  (Read 3407 times)

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Offline LyriaTopic starter

Challenge
« on: July 01, 2006, 11:47:24 AM »
I've refrained from getting involved in the political debates here because I tend to feel very passionately about my country. I recognize its faults, and realize we need reform in many areas, but also see the wonderful and beautiful things about the United States, the people, and our generous nature. And even our government has its redeeming qualities. But my post here isn't about me defending America, so I am going to refrain.

My post here is to find out the level of open minded thinking here on E. Are any of you critics willing to admit to one thing that is favorable about the United States? Are you willing to step outside of your comfort zone and your box and actually try to look at a different side of things? Are you willing to find one statistic, or one policy, or one event in history that shows the better side of the USA? And don't say you aren't able, because nothing is black or white, good or evi, 100% of the timel.

My challenge is for you to be willing to step outside of your stance and sincerely post one good thing about the United States.


And please, can we not turn this into a debate. Just make a post meeting the challenge, or don't.

Offline Swedish Steel

Re: Challenge
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2006, 12:46:51 PM »
The nerd in me yells: "Hell yeah!" Amercia has done much for the geeks and nerds, you gave us Star Wars, Star Trek and all sorts of wonderfull comic books. My life would be less rich if it weren't for those and alot of other things that warms the heart of a geek. :)

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Challenge
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2006, 02:07:22 PM »
Not just one thing. I most often fall into the 'euro-peacenik-socialist' camp, but i see a lot of good about US.
Most of the time, things that are criticized about America also tend to have a good side.

Powerful military. People might not always agree with how the military is used, but US wasn't always 'imperialistic'. I have completely different opinions on invading Afganistan and invading Iraq, for example. Also, the Soviets were not a paper threat back in their time.

Pop-culture. Regardless how much people will anger at the commercial and shallow stuff in mass-media, world would be much sadder without hollywood cinema, pop music and all the other entertainment bussines.

Science. In some fields US has the lead and there's no reason to get angry about it. Space flight, computers, internet, probably quite a lot of other stuff.

About politics, i never hated Americans. I have a bad opinion on the current goverment in US, but on other hand, i have an equally bad and for similar reasons opinion on my own goverment.
There's enough of good people in America i care for and that's important. Since i wish them all the best, i wish all the problems to go and that's it.

edit:And being a republican is also not an 'evil' thing on it's own. I just thought that certain republican ideals are clearly opposed to what the Bush goverment is doing and for what it is criticized.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2006, 02:10:34 PM by Celestial Goblin »

Offline kylie

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2006, 04:24:31 PM »
Science can be handy,  I agree. 

The "rationality" of the applications is sometimes questionable, but that's another matter.

I'd say something more original, but the Goblin there swiped so many.  (Are copyrights good?)  Heh.




Offline RubySlippers

Re: Challenge
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2006, 06:30:22 PM »
1. Great Food: We invented the Twinkie for cying out loud and tend to take the best cuisine in the world and adapt it to American cookery.

2. Our economy at the raw level is the most powerful and vibrant in the world.

3. Walmart- we sport the largest retailer in the world.

4. We saved the worlds collective asses in WWII and defeated Japan with the atomic bomb- then helped rebuild everyone even Japan. Uber-neat if you ask me.

5. Movies you people over there can have your FILMS but if you want things blowing up, sex laced and just plain fun ENTERTAINMENT at the theater you have to come to the United States.

6. Paris Hilton ok she is a ditze but we do have lots of beautiful and sexy women of all shapes, colors and flavors (men too I guess).

Offline tcost

Re: Challenge
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2006, 12:06:11 AM »
I may be a raving liberal, but by God, I am a passionate patriot.† We are meant to be the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, and when we don't live up to those things is what stirs me up.

With the arguable exception of the Dutch, we were the first country in the world to be formed the way that we did, and to stand for something in the world community (yes, predating the French and their revolution).† The American Revolution was not the end of History (nor has anything else been) but it did usher in a new phase, and for the most part our foreign policy has reflected that, though there has always been an important element of vital interest embodied in it as well.

And yes, our popular culture is very important, vitally so.† Different songs or movies embody different parts of the spirit of western culture, but American pop culture -- most of all Hollywood, but also Detroit, Nashville, Manhattan and other forces -- has been the leading force behind the expression of, and the expansion of, the western spirit for decades at least.† And its very success is, in the most important analysis, what scares many less vibrant cultures which fear for their own values and their dearly-held traditions and ways of life, and with good reason.

How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm now that they've seen Paris?† But of course as central as Paris is to western culture, it has been eclipsed by that of the United States.

Over the course of American history, we have made real progress and solved real problems.† It took a civil war to free the slaves, but it happened.† Women earned the right to vote, first in Wyoming, and then it spread all over the land.† Yes, the Germans had social security first, but we adopted it too, as well as Medicare, and one day we will have universal health care (though we will be one of the last countries in the world to do so).† I'm old enough to remember this country before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and take my word for it -- it made an enormous difference.

Joseph Califano, who served in Lyndon Johnson's cabinet, wrote that soon after becoming President, Johnson swore that if there was nothing else he did while in office, he would wipe out the use of the word "nigger," and for most practical purposes he did, even if so much else of what he did was wrong.†

My grandmother was ashamed of her Irish heritage, and faced terrible discrimination because of it.† Now, who even thinks about whether or not someone might have Irish blood?† We have actually defeated some evils.

Remeber the phrase, the Arsenal of Democracy?† We fullfilled that purpose in the Second World War.† America has for good or for ill often been the world's policeman ever since.† When you're the biggest kid on the block and some brute starts bullying one of the little kids, it's partly your fault if he gets hurt and you haven't lifted a finger to help the little guy.

We started the League of Nations, though stupidly we failed to join it.† We founded the United Nations too, and for most of its history we funded it.

I could go on and on, but I hope that I've made my point?†

Yes, we need to support our troops (and we treat our veterans badly, one thing we don't do right), but remaining silent when they need someone to speak up in their defense is not supporting them.† Yes, I love our flag, but one of the most important things that it stands for is the right to burn it.† Yes, I am one of the most ardent adherents of American culture in all its forms that you will ever know, but I welcome immigrants and encourage their arrival -- and I do remember that there was a time when strangers were welcome here.† Music would play, they tell me the air was sweet and clear...

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands.† One nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Edited to add:  In two days we will celebrate the Fourth of July.  Frequently you can get the chance to see the great movie 1776 on that day.  There's a much more eloquent argument than any I can ever make about what this country was created to stand for, while being bluntspoken about its faults as well.  I don't believe that there has ever been a more powerfully antiwar film (it came out during the Vietnam war), but I don't think that there has ever been a more powerfully prowar film either, not even Casablanca.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2006, 12:35:06 AM by tcost »

Offline Zakharra

Re: Challenge
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2006, 08:38:28 AM »
 Nicely done tcost.  ;D

Offline Purple

Re: Challenge
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2006, 09:33:59 AM »
I could go on and on and on forever.  I am a staunch patriot and extremely conservative in many, many ways.  But a few of the most important things about the USA have not yet been mentioned, and I'm incredibly glad that I get to.  :)

The People--the Citizens  :)
The Preamble
The Constitution
The Bill of Rights
Helping countries and peoples less fortunate than we are.
Freedom
The Right and Responsibility to Vote
Our System of Checks and Balances
Our Veterans.  Of every war.
Our History.
Our Cultures.
Independence Day

I'm sure I can think of much more later, I'm very tired right now.  To all of us U.S. citizens here:  God Bless American and have a safe and wonderful Independence Day!  :) :) :)

Offline MadPanda

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2006, 10:28:33 AM »
Here're a few.

Bugs Bunny (and all his kin)

Mickey Mouse (and the rest of Disney's empire, good and ill)

Comic books (We've been surpassed by the French and the Japanese, thanks to one Doctor Wertham and his little crusade in 1954, but by damn we invented the things!)

Rock and roll!  Jazz!  Blues!

Blue jeans.

Irreverently funny tee shirts and bumper stickers.

Hamburgers.  Hot dogs.  Ice cream cones.

An independent judiciary.  Rule of law.  Equality before the eyes of the law regardless of class, race, and social status.  A legal system open to citizens...even for stupid reasons.

The willingness to let anyone join in the fun (after seven years and a citizenship class).

The strength as a people to tolerate dissenting viewpoints, even when we don't like the results (strained these days, but still there).

Freedom of conscience.


Now wilya quit assuming we have nothing positive to say just 'cause we don't jingo to the beat of your favorite drummer?  :P

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Challenge
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2006, 02:34:32 PM »
The best thing about the US, aside from me of course?

Despite all the problems of the country, and its sometimes schizophrenic actions and seeming gradual slide into extrimist politics, the US still does much good by helping countries feed their people, sending food, money, medicines and so forth to needy nations. During the cold war while reagan was calling the Soviet Union an Evil Empire, we sent thousands of tons of food stuffs to the Soviet Union during the terrible famine in that country.

We send food to North Korea which would rather spend money on its military than to try and feed its own people.

We aren't perfect, we do screw up and make bad choices, we did it for many years during the cold war, and even today; but we do try and better ourselves and at the same time, the world around us. Give us time, we'll get it right eventually. ;)

Offline Sugarman (hal)

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2006, 03:11:40 PM »
In the USA people can stand up together and make positive changes.

I have, because of my age, and life long physical condition, have witnessed many good changes. Changes that have spread from here out into the world.

One change I directly participated in was the "Disabled Rights Movement" of the mid-seventies through the eighties. It was a struggle to bring possibilities to those of us that, because of being physically challenged, were placed on the sidelines of the game of life. The struggle was one of mostly mind. Ours, to realize our right to participate, and the able bodied to realize that the cost was wealth the result. Wonderful possibilities now exist for the young disabled kids now, that never were when I was a disabled kid.

And it happened in America.

 

Offline Moondazed

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2006, 11:24:16 PM »
I find myself wondering why it is that the critics have to go all fluffy bunny/white light but the fluffy bunny/white lighters don't have to do the same and admit some of the faults of those they deify. 

Just my 2 cents, I strive for balance *grin*

Offline Sugarman (hal)

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2006, 11:43:00 PM »
I find myself wondering why it is that the critics have to go all fluffy bunny/white light but the fluffy bunny/white lighters don't have to do the same and admit some of the faults of those they deify.†

Just my 2 cents, I strive for balance *grin*
agree hun.
If I thought the USA was all perfect and angle good. I would have never participated in any of the wonderful social  chances to make it better for millions of us.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2006, 11:04:39 AM by halspeedyrp »

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2006, 09:34:15 AM »
Baseball.

Food. Some great food has come from America.

Our willingness to spread aid around the world, no matter how misguided it is at times.

Freedom of Religion (which is not freedom from Religion).

Our willingness to welcome anyone here who comes in the right way.

The Bill of Rights.

Freedom of Expression.


Offline Purple

Re: Challenge
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2006, 09:51:41 AM »
National Acrobat, I love you.  :)

Baseball :)
Freedom of Religion not from

I can't believe I didn't put those two in my post...  but, now I'm off to cry because my wonderful team lost yet again :(

Offline Sugarman (hal)

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2006, 11:03:03 AM »
Baseball.

Food. Some great food has come from America.

Our willingness to spread aid around the world, no matter how misguided it is at times.

Freedom of Religion (which is not freedom from Religion).

Our willingness to welcome anyone here who comes in the right way.

The Bill of Rights.

Freedom of Expression.



Being atheist.... yes freedom not to be forced to believe in a religion ;D
« Last Edit: July 04, 2006, 11:05:38 AM by halspeedyrp »

Offline MadPanda

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2006, 01:40:49 PM »
Damn right!  Like I said: freedom of conscience.  ;D

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2006, 04:02:46 PM »
Right. Freedom to do as you please. I don't follow a mainstream religion myself, but I don't expect Americans to change their beliefs or to give me any 'special' priveledges more than the Constitution allows. Freedom of Religion is great, but it also doesn't mean that Religion in American life will or should go away.

 

Offline Moondazed

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2006, 04:06:47 PM »
Religion in american life is one thing... but it does NOT belong in american government.

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2006, 04:17:33 PM »
Moondazed, you have provided me an opportunity to fork a thread...

Offline Sugarman (hal)

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2006, 04:18:00 PM »
Right. Freedom to do as you please. I don't follow a mainstream religion myself, but I don't expect Americans to change their beliefs or to give me any 'special' priveledges more than the Constitution allows. Freedom of Religion is great, but it also doesn't mean that Religion in American life will or should go away.

 

Not much chance of that... 95% of American's "claim" they believe in God. †;D God fearing people are more likely to try to get others to believe in their way thinking then non-belivers. It's called "evangelizing," and most good Christian's do it at some level.

Offline Moondazed

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2006, 04:20:12 PM »
Moondazed, you have provided me an opportunity to fork a thread...

I can hardly wait! :)

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2006, 04:22:09 PM »
Not much chance of that... 95% of American's "claim" they believe in God.  ;D God fearing people are more likely to try to get others to believe in their way thinking then non-belivers. It's called "evangelizing," and most good Christian's do it at some level.

Actually, the last Census dropped it to 67% of Americans believe in God, and 33% Believe in a different system or nothing at all. It's changing dramatically in this country, and I expect by the 2010 Census those numbers will be much different again, with the second percentage being higher than it is now.

Offline Sugarman (hal)

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2006, 04:27:50 PM »
Actually, the last Census dropped it to 67% of Americans believe in God, and 33% Believe in a different system or nothing at all. It's changing dramatically in this country, and I expect by the 2010 Census those numbers will be much different again, with the second percentage being higher than it is now.

is there a link to that figure?
I get mine from what Christians tell me.

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: Challenge
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2006, 04:28:33 PM »
I used to have it, and I knew you'd ask that, so I'm trying to locate it again.