This essentially sums up years worth of my ranting in three minutes.

27 Responses to This essentially sums up years worth of my ranting in three minutes.

  1. blueollie says:

    The first half of the rant is right on. The second half: bogus. People have a very romantic memory of the United States; it wasn’t so great for those of us with darker skins, etc.

  2. And to be fair, we spend more than anyone else on a military because we are effectively the world’s police.

    I would be fine with telling them to all go screw. France and Germany and the UK get to blow money on social bullshit because they spend almost nothing on a military. They couldn’t even effectively defend themselves long enough for us to show up and help them anymore.

    Not that France ever could, mind you, but you get my point.

    • Of course, the Russians aren’t really a threat to them anymore either. Boat sailed on telling the Europeans to go screw. We should have billed them for that service during the cold war.

      • I dunno… They haven’t been friendiest, most non-expansionist folks around the last few years…

        And it’s the US Navy and it’s ability to project power that has been the largest deterrent against rising piracy.

        Not that you haven’t done fine work in that regard yourself. :)

  3. jdgalt says:

    What made America great was freedom, including the freedom to keep your own money. The New Deal stole it from us.

    This bozo lies about half of what is good about America, and about *all* the credit and blame.

  4. senpai71 says:

    This is an Aaron Sorkin show, right? Right? ‘cos I’m not sure there’s anyone out there right now who would say this, Democrat or Republican (even without the swearing). Which is a shame…

  5. Eric Hale says:


    The number one reason for all the bad shit he points out is “our greatest strength”, i.e. “diversity”.

    We rank # 2 to Finland in math and science scores when you control for only white students

    I love the tough talk, but nobody takes the tough talk to the actual problem.

    • I have a hard time believing that.

      • The infant mortality rates are also horribly skewed, because we report different than other countries do – we count ALL births, regardless of when they occur in the pregnancy, while places like the UK don’t. As a result our infant mortality rates are WAY higher. When you control for such things, we rank WAY better – on par with the rest of the developed world.

      • blueollie says:

        Here is why you don’t believe that: it isn’t true:
        (8’th grade)

        “Given the disparate performances among students from various cultural backgrounds, it may be worth inquiring as to whether differences between the United States and other countries are due to the presence of a substantial minority population within the United States. To examine that question, we compare U.S. white students to all students in other countries. We do this not because we think this is the right comparison, but simply to consider the oft-expressed claim that education problems in the United States are confined to certain segments within the minority community.

        While the 42 percent math efficiency rate for U.S. white students is considerably higher than that of African American and Hispanic students, they are still surpassed by all students in 16 other countries. White students in the United States trail well behind all students in Korea, Japan, Finland, Germany, Belgium, and Canada.”

    • DDD says:

      You learn that at your White Power rally?

    • matthewsolin says:

      I have a feeling that we spend a lot on public education per student in this country as well..

      ..if you control for only white students.

  6. Nigel Declan says:

    Sadly, the clip was edited, removing Jeff Daniels’ hesitation to answer the question by attempting first to dodge it (“New York Jets”) and then simply copy the platitudes of the other two speakers. Yes, his recollection of the past omits many of the injustices of the Good Old Days, but it certainly either rings true or touches a nerve, depending upon one’s point of view.

  7. Masturbation makes this country great! Anyone that disagrees is just doing it wrong.

  8. Might be more likable if his rant were closer to the facts (e.g., US ranking in infant mortality; the 1950’s were great if you were a white male). Typical Sorkin.

  9. AlphaCentauri says:

    Yeah, the second half was lame. America had a great myth, because people let those great men they revered inform them instead of asking questions and informing themselves. Most people have no idea how the US came to control Hawaii, for instance, or how the Cherokee ended up in Oklahoma.

  10. Chris says:

    Alpha saith

    Most people have no idea how the US came to control Hawaii, for instance, or how the Cherokee ended up in Oklahoma.

    You stole them. Standard operating procedure during the period of manifest destiny. And there is no need to feel guilty about this: it happened before your great grandparents were born. You are responsible for the evil of this generation, not the previous ones.
    Personally, I would take the woman who said diversity apart, followed by the person who had freedom. As someone who has to travel as part of their job… the USA functions as a fascist state (Thank you very much, TSA for trampling all over those freedoms that hare held self evident) precisely because you are diverse, and you have idiotic lawyers who do not allow you to profile. You are not free. You are in chains made by regulators, quietly, that promised you safety and stole that which you thought for.

    • matthewsolin says:

      It is much easier to condone profiling when you wouldn’t be subject to that profiling.

      Speaking of self-evident freedoms, it is my understanding that all men are created equal. I take that to mean that even the ones born darker are equal, and should not be subject to searches more often because of that.

  11. Chris says:

    fought for not thought for

  12. you should hear his speech about how the news fails the American people from this weeks episode.

  13. Andrew L. Stone says:

    I agree with the first half of it. The second half is not so agreeable, but there is a point in place: Many, many people think of America as the Land of the free. And that is simple not true. May be it never was (Thank you Hollywood).

    What I however, do not understand is, how some comments try to make it racial issue. America was founded by traitors of any color. America is diversity. America should be more critical about such bigotry, so we could focus more on our economy and the wealth of our nation.

  14. Cephas Q. Atheos says:

    It’s fascinating to me, a passionate student of international politics, rationality, and truth, just how prickly Americans are (generally speaking, of course) when anyone, anywhere, pokes the phantasm of American superiority in the context of the rest of the world. Comments above confirm my fascination.

    Guys, you’re going to have to get used to the fact that the US is a joke in the eyes of every country in the world, and for ALL the reasons Sorkin wrote in the original video’s first half.

    Having said that, the US was REVERED in the 50s and 60s for ALL the reasons stated in the second half of the speech.

    You just don’t get to pick and choose which facts you want to apply to a given situation : just because you think they’re “wimpy liberal excuses” or “macho neo-con posing” doesn’t and can’t detract from the unassailable fact that they are the reality we (and you) must live in!

    I’d like to explain a couple of things to the posters who thought the video speech was unrealistic in any part, because boy do you ever have the bull by the horns! I do hope you will forgive any acerbity, this was not intentional, but the truth often hurts. And I really do apologise for the length of this post, but I wanted to make sure I covered the major bases.

    If you’re an enemy of the US (and that’s an ever-increasing fraction of the world, like it or not!), the US is a joke because your military budget could buy some countries outright, yet you consistently attack strawmen and try to protect private economic interests (can you spell ‘Halliburton’?), instead of building respect and infrastructure!

    Next to that, your international attempts to tie religion to every aspect of learning, politics, and international aid makes Americans pariahs and the butt of jokes in every country in the world, period. Your wars in the past two decades have made your military the biggest joke on the planet. All that money, all that hardware, all those kids’ lives, and you still can’t win against two of the poorest countries in the world? That’s what everyone who isn’t an American sees.

    The only positive thing your allies see coming out of the US these days is… Entertainment. New TV shows have more impact on the English-speaking fraction of the world than all your foreign policies and terrible mistakes with climate change, unconditional (I.e. non-religious) aid, and shockingly poor general knowledge of rationality, geography, mathematics, and pretty much any other useful science.

    I leave out physics, because somehow you’ve managed to maintain a vibrant, passionate, and leading-edge higher sciences program, though probably not for very much longer as Europe and Russia and the equatorial countries build better space programs and physics institutes, and your great universities rely more and more on international exchange students for new ideas.

    Your laws are a joke, riddled with religious twaddle and fundamentalist BS at nearly every level, while you maintain your lead as the most inappropriately litigious country the world’s ever seen. And unfortunately, that is now your greatest export.

    I love reading this law-based blog, because here I get to see passionate, reasoned explanations of why some strange things happen in your legal realm, and why they’re right or wrong. It’s a pity more Australians and Canadians and Belgians and Irish and German and Arabic and Icelandic and south Americans couldn’t also see this more humane, realistic face behind the caricature that the US has become. We need to know there are still rational, reasonable, hopeful, intelligent, worldly people still trying to make a difference over there. Because what WE see, as the important 85% of the planet, isn’t that at all.

    Maybe you guys who think that anyone having a go at what America’s become are Commies or bleeding hearts with no idea of what makes America unique, should play through that video again and walk 3 minutes in someone else’s shoes.

    This video should be shown, Clockwork-Orange-like if necessary, to every American schoolchild, every university student, and every adult American, every day for the next year. THAT would maybe make America great again.

  15. J DeVoy says:

    Daniels’ speech is just a boomer rant / projection about how they see themselves despite their perception being completely inapposite to reality. Hey, want to take a guess as to what generation was at the helm of the ship while pointing America and the world straight into hell’s toilet? I’ll tell you one thing, it wasn’t anyone under 30.

  16. The character ranting at the girl is tantamount to a fat older man ranting at the waitstaff for his being fat. it is self-indulgent punching down — an in America we used to be above that sort of thing, or at least we didn’t celebrate it so much.

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