WE’RE NUMBER ONE, BUT AT WHAT?
U.S.A.! U.S.A.! We’re number ONE! We’re the BEST!
You’ve heard it all your life. You hear it at ball games. You hear it at every political rally, regardless of which party is telling you how great they are. Hell, we got an overdose of it during the 4th of July celebrations.
So now that there has been a “second” summit with Kim Jong-Un, described by him as “disappointing” (other translations say “depressing” and personally, I call them “futile and stupid” — and by Pompeo as “Not so bad” leaving the rest of us wondering “What summit? Was there a summit?” I have to again ask the question: What are we best at? Leaving out sports like football and baseball … what else?
Better health care? Better crime levels unless by “better” you also mean “more of them”? Where is America’s “sweet spot?” Good question, don’t you think?
But let’s get real for a second. Are we really number one? Are we the best country in the world? If so, at what?
Recently UNICEF released a “Child Well-Being in Rich Countries” study. They ranked 29 developed countries according to the well-being of their children on a number of factors. Where did the greatest nation in the world rank? Number one, right? Nope.
The US ranks #26. To be more specific we rank:
#26 for “Material Well-Being”.
#25 for “Health and Safety”.
#26 for “Infant Mortality Rates”.
#26 for “Low Birthweight”.
#22 for “Immunization Rates.
#27 for “Preschool Enrollment rates”.
#25 for “Participation in Further Education”.
#16 for “Overweight”.
#29 for “Teen-Pregnancy rates”.
#12 for “Being Bullied”.
It goes on. Were we #1 for anything? Yes. We were # for “Alcohol,” meaning we have the top rank for the absence of drunkenness. But considering our current government, can you blame the rest of the world for drinking more?
Another round for the world!
Republicans love to say that the U.S. has the greatest healthcare system in the world. The Commonwealth Fund ranks us #11 out of the 11 most developed nations. The World Health Organization ranks the U.S. #37 out of all the countries in the world. Just below Costa Rica and just above Slovenia.
But you know what we are best at? Putting people in jail.
From Wikipedia: “In October 2013, the incarceration rate of the United States of America was the highest in the world, at 716 per 100,000 of the national population. While the United States represents 4.4% of the world’s population, it houses around 22 percent of the world’s prisoners.”
Take that North Korea! Take that all you Third World Dictators! We’re number one! Lock us up! Lock us up! Oh wait, we’re already doing that.
We’re number one!!
You know what else we’re good at?
Ripping children, toddlers, and babies from their mothers and fathers because they had the nerve to travel thousands of miles from their home countries seeking asylum because their lives are in danger. We’re number one at ignoring their screams as their parents get dragged away, having no idea why this is happening.
MCALLEN, TX – JUNE 12: A two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
We’re number one at putting them in overcrowded cages.
We’re number one in putting them in outdoor tent cities where the daytime temperatures reach 100 degrees.
We’re number one at telling a parent who is in custody that his or child is “taking a bath,” only to find the child has been taken to some unknown facility 1000 miles away.
How do I know this? Because I can’t think of any other country doing this! I did a Google search. There was a country that did this and it didn’t end well for the country — or the children.
It’s pretty much common consensus that our internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War 2 was the lowest point in our history — discounting slavery, of course. That would be lower.
This horrific excuse for an administration says they are just enforcing the law. Except there is no law that says you have to rip a baby from his mother while she’s breastfeeding!
Our Chump-in-Chief says: “It’s the Democrat’s fault!”
Wow, I didn’t see that coming.
The Director of Homeland Security says there is no policy of separating children from their parents and they’re not doing it.
I watched her say it on TV next to another screen showing kids being separated from parents and being put in detention camps.
The California top court ordered the Trump administration to get those families back together by the end of this month — July 27th. Anyone giving odds on this really happening?
The administration has basically admitted that they are doing this as a bargaining chip for getting that stupid fucking wall. Ponder that for a second.
One man was so distraught over losing his kid he hung himself while in detention. Pity about that. Give Trump his wall and maybe this can all go away. If there is a devil, he’s sitting in hell going WTF? Dudes, dial it back a bit! This is over the top for anyone with half a conscience.
There’s a difference between patriotism and nationalism.
A nationalist says “My Country, right or wrong. Love it or leave it.” They think our country is like a sports team you support no matter how badly they are doing.
A patriot says “I love our country but when our government is doing something wrong, we point it out and you are obliged to fix it. We’re not perfect. We can do better.”
My country right or wrong? Here’s the full quote.
Our country is not a sports team. We love to say that we are a nation of laws. Great. But shouldn’t we also be a nation of human beings? A nation of compassionate people with some modicum of decency?
We’re a nation of immigrants.
We all came from somewhere else. Except for Native Americans. If you want to get really technical, even they walked here from a land bridge from Russia around 50,000 years ago, so they’re immigrants too.
One of the most important icons of this country is the Statue of Liberty. The plaque on it has the famous words “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
It should be changed now to “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. We’ll rip your kids away from you and huddle them into overcrowded detention centers.”
Something to think about as the end of the month approaches and the big day of the reunification of immigrant children and their parents is on the schedule.
I’ve made a point of trying to find some sliver of humor in any of the blogs I write. I have to admit I got nothing on this one. I even teared up a few times while I wrote it. So I’ll try to end with a joke.
How many Trump administration people does it take to screw in a light bulb? Answer? 20,010. One to change the bulb, three to blame the bulbs failure on the Democrats, three to blame it on Hilary and Obama, three to say the bulb didn’t need to be changed in the first place, and 20,000 ICE employees to commit horrific acts of child abuse.
Oh well, at least I tried.