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America is Great, Regardless of What HBO Would Have You Believe

A response to the new HBO series 'The Newsroom' explaining why America's no longer the greatest country.

Actor Jeff Daniels recites some compelling lines in a video that has captured a lot of attention, and has been viewed and agreed with by an incredible amount of people.

He rips into a protracted, VERY real and disturbing list of weaknesses of the climate of our current culture by stating that AMERICA is NOT great.

With indignant passion he rattles off, as if from the top of his head, a list of other nations that enjoy freedom such as Canada, Japan, and the UK.  France, Italy Australia Spain, Belgium, Germany, Mr. Daniels goes on to say that there are about 207 sovereign states & 180 of them have freedom.

He goes on, as if to prove that America is so great by pointing to our flaws such as, WE ARE, he claims,

7th in literacy,

27th and math,

22nd science,

49th in life expectancy,

178th in Infant mortality

Of course these are very real and very big problems …

He cites other difficulties and then claims that America only leads the world in only three categories

1) number of incarcerated citizens per capita

2) adults that believe in Angels are real

3) and defense spending

Here you can watch this yourself – it really is extremely well done – and Jeff comes off as quite brilliant:

Editor's note: The video contains profanity. Do not watch if you are offended by strong language.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16K6m3Ua2nw

Lord, after hearing such horrible news –

I, too, was left feeling like perhaps we are NOT all that GREAT

But then I got to thinking about Tiger Woods…

Thank GOD for Tiger

Did you know he is winning AGAIN???

Let me talk golf for a sec... Look at these stats – these are Tiger Woods stats as of 7/17/2012:

  1. GIR Pct. - Fairway Bunker -127th
  2. Sand Save Percentage - 98th   
  3. Eagles (Holes per) - 57th
  4. Driving Accuracy Percentage - 46th
  5. Driving Distance - 39th (38 other PGA golfers are actually out driving him)
  6. Birdie Average - 26th
  7. Strokes Gained - Putting - 22nd           
  8. Par Breakers - 22nd

Looking at this so far ... this looks pretty bleak… I’d say by looking at just a few of these – this is NOT a GREAT golfer.

But hold on just few more...More statistics that when taken by themselves point to a LESS than GREAT GOLFER…

  9. Greens in Regulation Percentage - 11th            

10.  All-Around Ranking - 10th

11.  Total Driving - 5th

So while none of these on their own may convince you of any single players GREATNESS, if you put them all together and what do you come up with?

12.  Scoring Average 1st

13.  FedEx Cup Regular Season Points - 1st

14.  Money Leaders         $4,220,398      1st

He is the LEADING overall golfer in the PGA as of this morning, 7/19/2012.

Tiger Woods, for all his failings, is still (currently) the GREATEST golfer on the Planet. He's won 3 tournaments this year, making him 1st in money earnings at just over $4 mill this year and closing in on $100 mill lifetime...crazy to be sure.

OK, by now you've already leaped ahead and are many mental miles ahead of me & have this figured out ... but let me say it for the record anyway...

Sure America has a lot of problems...

Sure Crime and Punishment are huge issues

Obviously we're not just talking about sand traps & fairways here...

And education - wow...we need to “train up our children in the way that they should go” (a little Bible four you)

And the Poor - man, both politics & religion get this wrong...

So yeah... we have got problems. Yes, there are areas we really need to work on. It’d sure help if we could work on them together.

But to somehow settle back on the notion that "America is NOT GREAT".

REALLY???  I really take issue with that...

The actor asserting that...or the writer that is directing the words that the actor's restating, would NOT want to be making movies or shows anywhere but HERE...

Are other countries free? Well, yes...but does that make them greater than America?

Well?

There are 127 other golfers that hit their little white golf balls out of a bunker better than Woods... but that does NOT make them better golfers.

C'mon... that really tee's me off...

We are not at our best when we demoralize the masses by painting an abysmal picture of brokenness.

“Give me your tired your poor”-  (looks a bit like the church I pastor) - of course I can point to the trouble that brings.

But if we can get them to see the combined result of all that we are...

I tell you, I'd rather live in America than any other country on the planet!

God has blessed America & as a result America is GREAT.

If you are so blessed to find yourself living in America you are a great part of THE greatest nation in the WORLD...

As for FAITH … or Angels…

I'm not near as bothered by the occasional "f-bomb" as I am when he refers sarcastically to the notion that we have “more adults (per-capita) that believe angels are real...”

This is one of the leading reasons - if they were right - in their assertion that we are no longer the greatest nation in the world …is the constant attack on faith.

I'd dare say that there were more believers (per-capita) in America during the time, back in the day, when it is apparently agreed on that America "was great" - than there are today. All these people that wanna tear down faith, are missing the single greatest inspiration to greatness that there is: FAITH.

When people, or a nation, or a community begin to sink into the misery of disbelief that despair can become a pretty sad motivator…or…e-motivator…

It’s faith - but it's more than FAITH. It's faith in GOD...it's faith that I can know the GOD that created me...and when one becomes acquainted (through FAITH) with the GOD of the Bible.

They can start to believe that THEY CAN do anything. It'll give them cause to "stand up for something."

It would be comical if it weren't so sad - to listen to someone try to display their intellect by demeaning something that we are all so desperately in need of...

So all in all, very interesting little piece of video – not sure what the writers at HBO are trying to do with it…

But for the record – by any reasonable count - AMERICA is STILL the GREATEST nation on the planet.

Keep the faith... better yet... help me build it....

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Lyle Ruble July 23, 2012 at 04:22 PM
@Keith Best....We did not defeat those great threats alone. Between Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the U.S. was Nazism brought to heel. I agree that we carried much of the weight to defeat Japan. Communism defeated itself and radical Islam still presents a threat. We have to acknowledge that we are amongst others and that it is not just us and all others. For those of you who are Christians, remember your book promises a one world government that will last 1000 years. I don't think it ever mentioned that it would be the United States as the greatest of all others. One world, one government.
Bren July 23, 2012 at 07:16 PM
I believe we are the greatest nation on earth, despite the fact that we are bleeding out resources because of profiteering. That same profiteering keeps us technologically and socially behind a number of industrialized countries. At some point the American people will stop re/electing special interest puppets and embrace true campaign finance reform. Obviously that's a simplistic strategy, but it would go a long way toward reeling legislators' focus back from self-interest and back to the jobs we are expecting them to do.
James R Hoffa July 23, 2012 at 08:51 PM
@Bren - Consumers caused the "bleeding" that you speak of - not profiteering. You know, people such as yourself that buy, drive, and maintain foreign vehicles assembled in right-to-work-for-less states! BTW - I'm still waiting for the citations you promised. Or an admission should be forthcoming if you had dignity.
Jay Sykes July 23, 2012 at 09:23 PM
@Bren... How you define profiteering? Some examples?
Bren July 23, 2012 at 09:25 PM
I believe that marketing items of poor quality, or that require the use of unsustainable fuel, or making verbal explanations that don't match contractual facts to get agreements signed, getting kickbacks for getting homebuyers to take mortgage loans for higher interest rates, etc., are due to profiteering. It's been going on a long, long time. I'll provide the citations when the small crisis currently going on is over and I have a few minutes. Fortunately, my dignity does not actually rely upon your approbation! ; )
Bren July 23, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Jay, sorry, I posted before seeing your comment. Offshoring jobs to save on labor costs, hiring illegal immigrants to avoid paying family-sustaining wages, are more examples. All these greedy little acts are adding up. The spikes in the economic growth of India, China, etc., are due to our lifeblood. Apple was exposed last year for contracting with FoxConn, a Taiwanese firm with factories around Asia. iPods and iPads are assembled in China. $ .31/hour, workers living with strangers in dorms, 24-32 hour workshifts, and nets around the buildings to catch workers who try to commit suicide from stress and overwork. Zbigniew Brzezinski has written about the need for humanitarian globalization, or what he terms "capitalism with a human face." I absolutely agree.
Jay Sykes July 23, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Now I'm confused, how does what you just posted about fit with your earlier '....despite the fact that we are bleeding out resources because of profiteering. That same profiteering keeps us technologically and socially behind a number of industrialized countries'
Michael Fretchel July 24, 2012 at 12:49 AM
That is so well said ,thank you. Maybe if more people in our country as well as all others went about their lives holding on to the ideals you so succinctly stated we might have the "America" that we see our selves to live in.
K July 24, 2012 at 02:10 AM
inspirational..... Spent many years learning to fear the world. Working hard and having fun turning that around
$$andSense July 24, 2012 at 02:13 AM
"Privately held companies have options when concessions to unions get too costly. Primarily, they can move all or part of their operations to another state/country. Since public entities service their customers where there are, they do not have the option to move. The Milwaukee police can't do their job in Mexico" Uh Saul, they could do their job from Mexico if outsourcing advocates like you had their way and privitized all public services. One naive individual. You are part of the reason why the US is dying economically. I can't until you are eliminated by your employer because your Mandarin wasn't up to speed. But your buddy/girlfriend Doofa has no issue with private sector unions. So, mandated union labor on state projects, like interstates and state highways, driving the cost of construction up is OK with you twits? You just love spending don't you? Does the Davis-Bacon act mean anything to you wannabe conservatives? Saul-Doofa ticket. Vote ignorance and more taxes.
K July 24, 2012 at 02:19 AM
I still think that how great it is to live in America depends on many variables. Race,(yeah, the race card!) income level and education. Its becoming quickly i might add. land of no opportunity. I know a few who are returning to Mexico for better jobs! And college education uncurs Serious lifelong debt. many arent able to ever find work in their field. These are but a few examples. there are many more i could go on. while this doesnt give us worst nation status, something must be done to stop the death of the middle class! i believe thats where much of the frustration comes from. This is by no means An American problem. THe WORLD is currently at crisis point and heading for financial disaster. FAST!
K July 24, 2012 at 02:21 AM
saying that the liberal left hates what makes this country great is painting with a broad brush ???
K July 24, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Iraq?????? looked pretty conquered to me.
Keith Schmitz July 24, 2012 at 02:23 AM
What the hell did Mr. Rogers say? I could read it all but I'm afraid that would be 30 minutes I won't get back. Aaron Sorken is right. Ever since we've sold out to Reaganomics this country has slid down the tubes. The rich has sold us to foreign interests. It's Animal Farm -- two legs good, four legs bad. No amount of fantasizing will change things. Fixing the problems will. It's time we wise up and stop worshipping he status quo.
AWD July 24, 2012 at 02:32 AM
I have a bad feeling that America will eventually experience a devastating race war. What will the Progressives think when large sections of America’s large cities crack like an egg and burn to a cinder because the federal government can no longer afford to hand out large EBT payments? To steal part of a line from the new Batman movie "a storm is coming, every responsible citizen had better batten down the hatches because when it does hit it will make post Katrina New Orleans look like a picnic". What is making black Americans so dangerous these days is the fact that they have nothing left to lose.
$$andSense July 24, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Likely does. My wife's associate's that treat individuals with "mental health" issues tell her that those that leave their prescribed meds hear all kind of voices. Good to know that you recognize your names. Obama is offering you all kinds of health assistance and you are biting his ankles? Shame on you two!
Steve Rogers July 24, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Thanks Michael & K... we're gonna have a much better chance at sharing the goodness of America - if we remember... or realize that there is still (ALOT) of goodness here... I for one ... am still glad to live HERE in the GREAT U.S. of A...
Steve Rogers July 24, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Jennifer, your right - He was answering a question ... and powerfully so... and assuming that all of his negative points are true... & I'm pretty much believing they are... these are areas that we not only need to address and fix... but we, AS the GREATEST nation in the WORLD, are in a better position to help the rest of the WORLD improve & fix their problems as well - & the amazing thing that is so often overlooked is that we DO help other nations ... true we're not the only ones... but, we'd do well to remember WHO we are - so that when it comes time to help... we still have the faith in our selves and our nation in order to do so.. thanks again... and your right ... there is a reason why more are STILL trying to GET in than get OUT... slr
Steve Rogers July 24, 2012 at 04:34 AM
that seems a tad jaded Jane... some of us feel that GOD has called us to tell EVERYONE that they are HIS Chosen - which leads to the understanding that GRACE is so much more powerful of a message than TOLERANCE - Tolerance just looks the other way ... Grace embraces and loves Tolerance temporally tolerates Grace just keeps on going ... it's kinda like, the energizer bunny on steroids... I do hope you have seen/or been touched by real grace... slr
Steve Rogers July 24, 2012 at 04:43 AM
that's not the Jesus of the Bible... I agree with most of what you are saying about religion ... I speak out against religion almost every Sunday ... it is sad that our history brings up images of what you call "redemptive violence" & to know that so many have been hurt and REALLY - REALLY damaged by "religion" but that is hardly what it is SUPPOSED to be about ... funny how we were talking about a great nation and now we are talking about a broken church... seems to me the days back in the Great Days that the actor was talking about were days when people were free to pray in schools... church was an active part of the American Life ... hmm ... is there a possible connection there?
Steve Rogers July 24, 2012 at 04:48 AM
c'mon K... Greg is making an awesome point here... seems pretty clear that we did NOT add it to the American empire... I'm not sure we should've left when we did... but we have left that country - we did NOT add Japan to our empire... there have been empires as well as emperors .. but this is NOT what America does... it is NOT who she is... thanks Greg - love that .... really - really well said... slr
Steve Rogers July 24, 2012 at 04:52 AM
did you know that America still leads the world in Medical Advances every year... I personally know people that are naturalized citizens of our GREAT neighbors to the north ... Canada... that when they or their family has SERIOUS illness... they come to America for treatment ... their reasons for doing so are to numerous to mention ... but #1 is the QUALITY of treatment ... Canada is a GREAT nation ... but I'd much rather live and work and raise my family here ...
Steve Rogers July 24, 2012 at 04:55 AM
very interesting Lyle, a lil' cynical - but, I love it... thanks... very interesting ...
Steve Rogers July 24, 2012 at 04:56 AM
hey, we aren't technologically behind anyone ... may I remind you it was an AMERICAN that invented the iPAD... HA!
Bren July 24, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Jay, innovations are held back until everyone buys the current version, then the new gadget is brought in (think Apple). R&D is expensive.
Jay Sykes July 24, 2012 at 12:41 PM
@Bren... A profiteer is 'one who makes what is considered an unreasonable profit especially on the sale of essential goods during times of emergency'. An iphone or ipad is not an essential good. The products are widely available. Numerous other 'substitute goods', for Apple products, are widely available for purchase, at similar or lower price points. Unless you have some other working definition of 'Profiteer', I don't see how Apple, being the market leader, releasing their product upgrades on a cycle that they feel is appropriate(generally at a one year interval), in a market with significant competition, could be considered a profiteer.
Lyle Ruble July 24, 2012 at 02:44 PM
@Pastor Rogers....As a people we can take satisfaction in our technological accomplishments, both past and present. However, I don't think that we have much to be proud of in a vast array of other metrics. Your entire statement could be characterized as nothing more than an exercise in ethnocentrism. Where precisely do we measure up on social justice issues, the meeting of the needs of the least of us, our equal application of the law, our mindless obsession with wealth and power and the fascination with the famous and the infamous? These are the important measures of a civilized society. Clearly we have a conflict of base values that discount humanity and elevates achievement and power. Our state of being reminds me of the old example; "Sure he drinks, beats his wife and kids, but he is a hard worker!" An analysis reveals that all uncivilized behavior can be forgiven as long as he attends to the higher value of the Protestant Work Ethic. Is this not a faulty value system? Our dealings with other nations requires us to have the strongest military the world has ever seen and we back up our self Interests with an aircraft carrier battle group showing up on someone's shores. Where is the morality in that? We are no better than the Roman Empire and we saw what happened with that ancient society. They destroyed themselves from within through corruption and exploitation. Instead of banging the drum of U.S. superiority, it is time for you to address our failed values.
Jane July 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Most people are neither fully good nor fully bad. Similarly, America has much to be proud of, but it also can and should do much better. Denial of our faults leads to complacency, arrogance and intolerance. Both individuals and nations need to shine a bright light on their "shadow side" in order to understand and to improve themselves.
Steve Rogers July 24, 2012 at 11:31 PM
I fully agree - we do, nationally as well as individually, need to examine, OWN & work to fix any and every weakness and or mistakes... the Bliss of ignorance will only last for a season ... ignorance comes with a price as well it should ... No one here is suggesting that America is perfect - but I'm not willing to, nor should I, agree with the idea that she is NOT GREAT... lets explore SOLUTIONS instead of beating people (or nations) up with how "un-great" they are ... (I just made up that word... that of course might cause one to think I'm pretty "un-great" myself - ha! )
Steve Rogers July 24, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Lyle said... "Sure he drinks, beats his wife and kids, but he is a hard worker!" great comment ... REALLY BIG broad strokes ... but interesting ... I see America though as building individual rights and Valuing HUMANITY - not as one that discounts humanity ... We rather cherish humans rights ... that's one of the reasons why our "incarceration" rates are so high ... we actually arrest men that beat up on women and children ... When men abuse children - the blood of our nation boils - as well it should ... and being a hard worker or a person of clout or position and for crying out loud, certainly not religion, should NEVER interfere with justice ... we obviously have areas of weakness - don't give up on America Lyle, it is STILL a GREAT country ... let's work together to make it even greater...

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