american deceptionalism


15 Ways The United States Is The Best (At Being The Worst) 

We hear it all the time, from every corner of the political sphere: There’s no other country on the planet quite like the United States of America. Such pronouncements are typically of the rah-rah variety, and it’s indisputably true that this country is exceptional in a large number of ways.

But that is not always necessarily a good thing.

(To see all fifteen, click the title. Credit: Huffington Post) 


More than 1,500 Afghans blocked the highway between Kabul and Kandahar in Seed Abad, Wardak province, Afghanistan, Saturday, May 26, 2012. The protesters demanded a stop to military night operations. 

A NATO airstrike killed eight members of a family on May 27, including children, according to Afghan officials who claim that such attacks damage the civilian population’s trust in international troops who have been fighting in the country for more than a decade.

I love how many Americans don’t even realize that slavery is perfectly legal in the United States. 

Let me repeat that, the United States never abolished slavery. For those perhaps a little in disbelief, it’s right here in the Constitution:

The 13th Amendment posted:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Angola prison operates a plantation for which it uses slave labor. There has never in history been a time when the labor performed on that plantation wasn’t by slaves.

In 2008 Human Rights Watch revised upward to 2,502 our estimate of the number of persons in the United States sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for crimes committed when they were under age 18. We also verified that there are no juvenile offenders serving this sentence anywhere else in the world.

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank, reprises all the familiar findings about how the working class can’t keep up these days. But it also contains some important findings related to economic mobility–the ability to improve your own socioeconomic standing–which is something that anybody worried about the fragile state of the middle class ought to be paying attention to. The availability of opportunity and the belief in self-improvement are core tenets of the American Dream, and Americans have long found ways to get ahead, no matter what the aggregate data say.

Except, perhaps, for now. The EPI report includes data showing that more Americans are staying stuck in the socioeconomic stratum they’re born into, which means fewer people are moving up and those at the top are staying put. This might not be much of a problem if incomes were rising substantially at every level, and overall living standards were improving. But that’s not what’s happening.

Instead, people are remaining stuck in socioeconomic brackets at the same time that median income is falling. That’s why living standards are gradually deteriorating. The EPI report also isolates when this started to happen. Early baby boomers–those now aged between 58 and 67–were the last generation to enjoy higher living standards than the one that came before. For those younger than 58, upward mobility has slowed dramatically.

This matters because economic mobility has typically been the antidote to a higher level of income inequality in America than in other developed nations. In other words, Americans have typically tolerated bigger gaps because the rich, the poor, and everybody in between believed that hard work and innovation can rapidly springboard them into a higher income bracket.

That was probably true for many years following the Great Depression, but these days, the odds of an ambitious young bootstrapper rising from humble origins are better in many other countries than they are in the United States. The EPI researchers cite data from other economists showing that the United States, for instance, only ranks 13th out of 17 developed nations by one measure of economic mobility. Young Americans enjoy better economic mobility than their counterparts in Slovenia, Chile, Italy and the U.K. But young workers have a better chance of moving up in 12 other countries, including supposedly socialist states like Sweden and Denmark, along with France, Spain, Germany, Australia and Canada.


The American Dream Is Alive and Well — Just Not in America

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Extremely Graphic, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan peeing on dead enemy soldiers.  Some sick fucks right here, make me ashamed to be an American.

[D]emocracy is impossible in a capitalist system. Capitalism is the realm of injustice and a tyranny of the richest against the poorest. Rousseau said, ‘Between the powerful and the weak all freedom is oppressed. Only the rule of law sets you free.’ That’s why the only way to save the world is through socialism, a democratic socialism… [Democracy is not just turning up to vote every five or four years], it’s much more than that, it’s a way of life, it’s giving power to the people … it is not the government of the rich over the people, which is what’s happening in almost all the so-called democratic Western capitalist countries.
—  Hugo Chávez, June 2010

I don’t know what these lazy unemployed assholes’ problem is, but the furniture store that’s going out of business pays like 9 bucks an hour to dance in a statue of liberty costume on the nearby corners waving a sign about it. “Can’t find any jobs” my ass.

Back in MY day, we would take that job, and we would dance and wave with every ounce of our being, and we’d work really hard and someday we’d be promoted to the president of our statue of liberty costume!

—  Shut the fuck up baby boomers
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Another guy with a camera fed up with checkpoints

Checkpoints are unconstitutional and when challenged, they will often let you go on your way. Being white as hell doesn’t hurt either, I’m sure. 


It’s all about perspective.

Mugabe says Gaddafi's death as tragic as U.S. envoy's

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said on Wednesday the death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was as tragic as that of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, as he delivered a scathing critique of U.S., U.N. and NATO actions.

Speaking firmly, if occasionally stumbling over words, the 88-year-old president accused the United States of “rushing to suck oil from Iraq” when it invaded the country in 2003 on the erroneous grounds that it possessed weapons of mass destruction.

He said the U.N. Security Council had allowed itself to be “abused” last year by authorizing “all necessary measures” - diplomatic code for military intervention - to protect civilians in Libya in a NATO operation that eventually toppled Gaddafi’s government and led to his death at the hands of rebels.

Speaking with deliberate irony, Mugabe opened an address to the U.N. General Assembly by praising as “most glowing and most moving” a speech by U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday in which he rued Stevens’ death.

Stevens and three other Americans were killed during what Washington has called a “terrorist” attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi on September 11. The assault forced the evacuation of U.S. personnel from the eastern city that was the hub for the Libyan rebel movement.

“I am sure we were all moved, we all agree, that it was a tragic death indeed and we condemn it,” said Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980 and is among Africa’s longest-serving leaders.

“As we in spirit join the United States in condemning that death, shall the United States also join us in condemning that barbaric death of the head of state of Libya - Gaddafi? It was a loss, a great loss, to Africa, a tragic loss to Africa.”


The Zimbabwean accused the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the 28-member Western security alliance whose air strikes helped Libyan rebels defeat Gaddafi’s forces, of acting under false pretenses.

“The mission was strictly to protect civilians, but it turned out that there was a hunt, a brutal hunt, of Gaddafi and his family,” Mugabe said. “In a very dishonest manner we saw … Chapter 7 being used now as a weapon to rout a whole family.”

Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter allows the U.N. Security Council to authorize actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention.

“Bombs were … thrown about in a callous manner and quite a good many civilians died. Was that the protection that they had sought under Chapter 7 of the Charter?

"So the death of Gaddafi must be seen in the same tragic manner as the death of Chris Stevens. We condemn both of them.”

Mugabe, a long-standing critic of the West, is himself widely criticized for turning what was once one of Africa’s strongest economies into a basket case and has been accused of hanging on to power through vote-rigging.

Other speakers at the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday - notably Bolivia’s leftist president, Evo Morales, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - also criticized the United States for what they see as economic and political bullying.

A U.S. official had no immediate comment on Mugabe’s remarks.


Anti-Islam film triggers outrage in the Middle East

A provocative film about the Prophet Mohammad has triggered a violent reaction from the Muslim World, and an American diplomat has been killed in an attack on the embassy in Libya. So what was the point of making the movie and who is behind it? There is also the question of the bigger picture and Gareth Porter, a historian and investigative journalist, joins RT’s Meghan Lopez to discuss what these protests mean for the geo-political situation and for the US.

"Families of soldiers killed in action despair that many of their fellow citizens have neither the time nor the patience to grapple with the complexities of the conflict or to appreciate the sacrifice of the soldiers fighting it."

Fucking AHAHAHAHAHAHA as if military families aren’t blindly patriotic and understand the intricacies of a war half a world away, that we’re currently losing, and that was started under false pretenses. I’m not related to a soldier so I guess I’ll just never understand. Bish plz

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I saw a sticker on a truck (no shit right?) that said OCCUPY A DESK.

Uhh, half the reason there’s a movement at all is because a lot of people can’t get jobs.

The people who do shit like this know there are no jobs. They’re reveling in just world fallacy-informed smugness to distract themselves from the fact that their lives are shit. They will know what time it is soon enough.