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Thread: Has America as a nation jumped the shark?

  1. #1
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Question Has America as a nation jumped the shark?

    "Jumping the shark" is a popular phrase around Hollywood. It refers to the old tv series Happy Days, when the previously cool character Arthur Fonzerelli, "The Fonz," resorts to water-skiing over a shark to prove his bravery. Although the series continued another seven years after that absurd episode, it never recovered.

    On the day after the over-hyped Super Bowl with it's macho ads and lousy halftime show and reminder of the Katrina disaster, America seems to be in the same place as Fonzie. These past few weeks have been filled with a combination of moments that make it seem our country will never return to its former glory. A few of them:

    --Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts took away the 6oth Democratic vote, dashing a filibuster-proof majority by winning the seat of Ted Kennedy, the icon who made a lifetime commitment to healthcare.

    --Healthcare reform is on life support, with a weak endorsement from the president.

    --Three top intelligence officers testified that it was "certain" our country would suffer an attempted terrorist attack in the next three to six months. Our intelligence is less effective than a google search and our security seems to be playing catch up with terrorists, depending on luck and citizen intervention.

    -- The bank/finance industry continues offering gargantuan bonuses to the very ones who led us into this Great Recession.

    -- The stock market has been dropping for four straight weeks and a double-dip recession seems imminent as Europe goes into economic crisis.

    -- Foreclosures remain up; unemployment hovers at 10 percent; small businesses continue closing at a high rate.

    -- With an upcoming deficit of 1.3 trillion dollars, Moody's investor service may reduce the US government's triple A rating in the next decade without a major cut back of the deficit or a faster than expected recovery.

    -- We remain in two wars, with no clear end in sight. Iraq has once again heated up with suicide bombers. Pakistan is tottering -with nuclear bombs at the ready -- and North Korea remains lethal and uncommunicative.

    -- We seem unable or unwilling to broker a peace between Israel and Palestine.

    -- The 24/7 media rarely digs beneath the headlines and focuses on sex and celebs du jour over meaningful reporting.

    -- In a recent Daily Kos poll, much of the Republican party wants to secede, believes Obama is not a citizen and that he should be impeached.

    -- The caliber of our leaders is astoundingly weak. Snarky Sarah ("palm points") Palin has not ruled out running for president in 2012 and has a steady fan base of maybe 20 percent of the Republican party. And the last two Democratic vice-presidential candidates are now reviled by their own party.

    -- Republican Senator Richard Shelby from Alabama has been able to hold up all the president's 70 current government appointees because of his pique about local pork.

    --The Republicans remain unwavering obstructionists; the Democrats, even with a broad Congressional majority and a still-popular president, remain spineless.

    -- The Supreme Court's surprising ruling that corporations can spend unlimited amounts on campaign financing assures that the spinelessness and debt to the corporate interests will not only continue, but increase.

    Like Fonzie, America is careening on waterskis, wearing a life preserver over a leather jacket, jumping over a shark. Hell (or "heck" as possible President Palin would say), make that a whole bunch of sharks.

    And seriously folks, the show may go on for years, the cast of characters may change, the plot lines may vary, but some of us are beginning to feel that our stable, safe, powerful Happy Days as a nation may be over.

    Lea Lane: Has America Finally Jumped the Shark?
    It does kinda seem that way from the outside...like everything is just spinning out of control
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  2. #2
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    Yes, I think it has. I've been thinking this for awhile now, actually.

    I mentioned to my kids one day that empires rise and fall and that the US might just be at the end of its preeminence and they freaked out. It just seems kind of logical to me, that nations and empires have an arc.

    Some nations do better than others at finding a good second act. Look at various European countries that are now relatively small. They have abandoned their imperial intentions and stopped warring on their neighbors and trying to colonize the rest of the world, as they had done for hundreds of years before. Yet they maintain a good standard of living, many are hubs of innovation. That doesn't seem so bad to me.

    We are a huge, unwieldy nation full of people who think that individual rights mean individual entitlement with no thought to others.

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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    It does kinda seem that way from the outside...like everything is just spinning out of control
    it seems that way from the inside too...
    Kill him.
    Kill her.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Yeah, but from the outside i can eat popcorn
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Has America jumped the shark? In some ways, yes. But I saw that when he elected an ex-drunk/cokehead as president, twice.

    I think we're at a fork in the road in not just American history, but world history, too. For America, the time of extreme global dominance is ending. Some people understand that and are willing to make changes & adapt to that fact, while others just want to coast on America's past glory and see no room for improvement. America's future will depend on which way of thinking ultimately wins out.

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Yes. Way back in 1973..been downhill ever since. Old news. We are in (and have been for some time now) in the post-shark-jumping era. The "American Century" ended in 1972..not sure when exactly the beginning was. I have a feeling the next country to 'have a century' will be China..may have started already.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Not until we add Ted McGinley as a special guest star.



    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


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    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    It might be spinning but Im not. Im just living day to day . Its all out of my control anyway. Going to remain positive. So I guess you could say Im just watching too
    My grace is sufficient for you, for my my strength is made perfect in weakness...I love you dad!
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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    Has America jumped the shark? In some ways, yes. But I saw that when he elected an ex-drunk/cokehead as president, twice.

    I think we're at a fork in the road in not just American history, but world history, too. For America, the time of extreme global dominance is ending. Some people understand that and are willing to make changes & adapt to that fact, while others just want to coast on America's past glory and see no room for improvement. America's future will depend on which way of thinking ultimately wins out.
    I should have just quoted this.
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    If China is going to be the next superpower, it will probably be a short-lived tenure -- authoritarian government, artificially low exchange rate, huge environmental issues that dwarf the United States', and a population rate that can't sustain the industrial growth it has been experiencing.

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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    Just the words China and Superpower in the same sentence make me shudder.

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    Not until we add Ted McGinley as a special guest star.
    LOL. But you gotta love Ted. What role could he play?

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    If China is going to be the next superpower, it will probably be a short-lived tenure -- authoritarian government, artificially low exchange rate, huge environmental issues that dwarf the United States', and a population rate that can't sustain the industrial growth it has been experiencing.
    Well..we went from no superpowers, to two superpowers, to one(now fading), now maybe the day of the 'superpower' is over? Might be better that way.

    And I bet India will undercut China economically sooner or later.
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    Gold Member nana51's Avatar
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    Hey, let's do like they do on T.V. to save it for one more season. Sex it up. We could have sex with Canada or even China woo hoo!

    It does feel like we are in decline. So many countries are ahead of us in so many things. America likes to think they are the most generous nation. bullshit. We donated an average of $.55 to Haiti, Canada over $3.00 a person. Our just sounds better because of the number of people donating. We sure don't rank as an ideal place to live. Our educational programs are awful, our health care (unless you are wealthy or a senator) is terrible and too expensive. We still have Hollywood. Oh wait, Canada is taking that away from us too. Oh well, nice run while it lasted.
    Oh, I offended you with my opinion? You should hear the ones I keep to myself.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nana51 View Post
    Hey, let's do like they do on T.V. to save it for one more season. Sex it up. We could have sex with Canada or even China woo hoo!

    It does feel like we are in decline. So many countries are ahead of us in so many things. America likes to think they are the most generous nation. bullshit. We donated an average of $.55 to Haiti, Canada over $3.00 a person. Our just sounds better because of the number of people donating.
    It's not all bad:

    Americans give record $295B to charity - USATODAY.com

    "Gaudiani said Americans give twice as much as the next most charitable country, according to a November 2006 comparison done by the Charities Aid Foundation. In philanthropic giving as a percentage of gross domestic product, the U.S. ranked first at 1.7%. No. 2 Britain gave 0.73%, while France, with a 0.14% rate, trailed such countries as South Africa, Singapore, Turkey and Germany."

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