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Iceland tops list of peaceful nations, U.S. 97th
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analogue SPRINKLES
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May 21, 2008, 03:42 PM
 
"The "Global Peace Index," compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, ranked the United States 97th out of 140 countries according to how peaceful they were domestically and how they interacted with the outside world.

The United States slipped from 96th last year, but was still ahead of foe Iran which ranked 105th. It, however, lagged Belarus, Cuba, South Korea, Chile, Libya and others which were listed as more peaceful."

Guess that's why you guys need all those guns you are so fond of and all that tight security in the "land of the free". Even I was surprised the US was only 9 listings above Iran.

The Raw Story | Iceland tops list of peaceful nations, U.S. 97th
     
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May 21, 2008, 03:46 PM
 
Well, a large part of that ranking is based on foreign policy (ie. war), not just on domestic issues.

Anyways, our Canada didn't make the top 10.

The Group of Eight major economic powers were a mixed bag. Japan ranked fifth, Canada 11th, Germany 14th, Italy 28th, France 36th and Britain 49th. Russia was near the bottom at 131st, the only one in the group below the United States.
     
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May 21, 2008, 04:06 PM
 
You know, we have a vocal minority that yells about gun rights, but most of us don't pack a gun. Or even own one.

And like Eug said, I'm sure our war involvement has a lot to do with our rank.
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May 21, 2008, 04:11 PM
 
I've been to Iceland! Its proper good!
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May 21, 2008, 04:20 PM
 
Sounds like we've got a list of 96 more countries to invade now!

Let's get cracking now, these countries aren't going to invade themselves....
     
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May 21, 2008, 04:35 PM
 
The world ain't gonna police itself. Whatever nations that are doing the policing will always rank low on a "peaceful nation" list.
     
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May 21, 2008, 07:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
The world ain't gonna police itself. Whatever nations that are doing the policing will always rank low on a "peaceful nation" list.
Yeah but they always pick on the weak and powerless countries.
     
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May 21, 2008, 07:15 PM
 
You saying Granada wasn't tough and powerful?
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May 21, 2008, 07:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atomic Rooster View Post
Yeah but they always pick on the weak and powerless countries.
I was against the war on Iraq, but I don't see how you can argue that any recent US war was "picking on the weak and powerless." We're actually picking on strong-arming dictatorships and anti-US terrorists for the most part.
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May 21, 2008, 09:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I was against the war on Iraq, but I don't see how you can argue that any recent US war was "picking on the weak and powerless." We're actually picking on strong-arming dictatorships and anti-US terrorists for the most part.
Bush thought the Iraqis were gonna kiss the Yankee's feet. I guess you forgot that part eh? Now it's gone from a stable secular dictatorship to Islamic anarchy soon to an Islamic republic.

Great job world police.

Let's see now, how bout Belarus or North Korea or Burma. Forget the sub-Saharan countries (they're black). I say China next, right? Pick on the big bullies.
     
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May 21, 2008, 10:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atomic Rooster View Post
Bush thought the Iraqis were gonna kiss the Yankee's feet. I guess you forgot that part eh? Now it's gone from a stable secular dictatorship to Islamic anarchy soon to an Islamic republic.

Great job world police.
As I already said, it was an unwise decision. But being unskillful is not the same thing as "picking on the weak and powerless."

Originally Posted by Atomic Rooster View Post
Let's see now, how bout Belarus or North Korea or Burma. Forget the sub-Saharan countries (they're black). I say China next, right? Pick on the big bullies.
Uh…I think it's obvious why that would be pretty freakin' unwise as well.

Actually, I would like to see the US do some policing in the sub-Saharan countries. All of the charity efforts being directed at the region right now are practically wasted because it's like a black hole down there.
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May 21, 2008, 10:46 PM
 
is Canada still a country, even?
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May 21, 2008, 11:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I was against the war on Iraq, but I don't see how you can argue that any recent US war was "picking on the weak and powerless." We're actually picking on strong-arming dictatorships and anti-US terrorists for the most part.
The argument that we are "picking on the weak and powerless" is because we don't attack the countries that actually have WMDs (North Korea) or are actually trying to develop them (Iran).
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May 21, 2008, 11:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by RAILhead View Post
is Canada still a country, even?
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May 21, 2008, 11:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atomic Rooster View Post
Now it's gone from a stable secular dictatorship to Islamic anarchy soon to an Islamic republic.

Great job world police.
That also describes Iran. In that case we did the opposite of take action. We sat by and let it become a theocracy. If not for that little oversight there would never have been such a foothold for Islamic fundamentalism to take root in.

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May 22, 2008, 12:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by from linked article
Small, stable and democratic countries were found to be the most peaceful in the index, with 16 of the top 20 coming from western or central European democracies.
No sh!t. If you are small and weak, what else are you gonna do ? Pick fights ?

Actually, yes, but only if you are retarded or think Allah is with you.

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May 22, 2008, 12:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by tie View Post
The argument that we are "picking on the weak and powerless" is because we don't attack the countries that actually have WMDs (North Korea) or are actually trying to develop them (Iran).
First of all, this basically seems to boil down to "We aren't getting into fights where we'll likely lose and could quite possibly end with somebody blowing up the world." Of all America's flaws, I don't really think that's one of them. That's actually pretty smart.

Secondly, Iran isn't that much stronger than Iraq was. It's just that a) Ahmadinejad is playing it smarter than Saddam did, and b) our leaders kind of learned something from Iraq. I still wouldn't say it's indicative of "picking on the weak" to go after Iraq but not Iran.
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May 22, 2008, 12:10 AM
 
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May 22, 2008, 12:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
First of all, this basically seems to boil down to "We aren't getting into fights where we'll likely lose and could quite possibly end with somebody blowing up the world." Of all America's flaws, I don't really think that's one of them. That's actually pretty smart.

Secondly, Iran isn't that much stronger than Iraq was. It's just that a) Ahmadinejad is playing it smarter than Saddam did, and b) our leaders kind of learned something from Iraq. I still wouldn't say it's indicative of "picking on the weak" to go after Iraq but not Iran.
I suspect that the only reason we're not in NK or Iran is that our troops are too tied up in Afghanistan and Iraq. The draft would have to be reinstated for us to gather the manpower required for a presence anywhere else.
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May 22, 2008, 12:20 AM
 
It's true that we don't really have the military capability, but I think even if we got out of Afghanistan and Iraq right now, we would not be going to war against Korea or Iran. Congress would not support it, and nobody really has any driving interest to try and make it happen. (Like I said, Ahmadinejad is an antisemitic nut, but he hasn't actively tried to piss off the world quite the way Saddam did. Saddam was a longstanding enemy we'd fought before.)
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May 22, 2008, 12:25 AM
 
Perhaps, perhaps not. I wouldn't put it past Bush to try if we had the power to.

It sure looked like his administration was sounding the war drums for Iran late last year.
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May 22, 2008, 12:31 AM
 
Yes, unfortunately many Republicans at the moment seem to subscribe to a "Speak loudly and hope people believe you have a big stick" theory of diplomacy. I still never thought it was going to happen with Iran, though. Bush's blustering about Iran was like a bored waitress talking about what she's going to do when she's a rich and famous actress.
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May 22, 2008, 12:34 AM
 
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May 22, 2008, 12:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Atomic Rooster View Post
No child left behind. I guess that didn't work reverend?
Are you the one that always thinks I'm a preacher for some reason?
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May 22, 2008, 12:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
First of all, this basically seems to boil down to "We aren't getting into fights where we'll likely lose and could quite possibly end with somebody blowing up the world." Of all America's flaws, I don't really think that's one of them. That's actually pretty smart.

Secondly, Iran isn't that much stronger than Iraq was. It's just that a) Ahmadinejad is playing it smarter than Saddam did, and b) our leaders kind of learned something from Iraq. I still wouldn't say it's indicative of "picking on the weak" to go after Iraq but not Iran.
Sorry, I didn't mean that it was a flaw. I agree that attacking Iran or North Korea would be just as stupid as attacking Iraq. Criticizing the US because we "pick on the little guys" has never made sense to me, since the implied alternative (pick on the big guys) is so much worse. In fact, our military is most effective picking on the smallest guys, e.g., Kosovo. We could have about 200 Kosovos for the cost of one Iraq.
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May 22, 2008, 10:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by RAILhead View Post
is Canada still a country, even?
ha ha, a shining example of why you are #96
     
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May 22, 2008, 10:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I was against the war on Iraq, but I don't see how you can argue that any recent US war was "picking on the weak and powerless." We're actually picking on strong-arming dictatorships and anti-US terrorists for the most part.
LOL. So, the US invaded Iraq because they 'thought it might have WMDs'? Why didn't they invade North Korea, who actually DID, and threatened to use them? It's pretty obvious - they US won't push anyone who could actually push back. It's fine to beat up weaker countries, but not anyone with the ability to respond.
     
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May 22, 2008, 11:11 AM
 
It's easy being peaceful when you're a tiny, island nation in the North Atlantic that has its own renewal energy.
     
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May 22, 2008, 11:20 AM
 
It would be pretty easy to be peaceful if the US were a large nation in the North Atlantic with it's own renewable energy...
     
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May 22, 2008, 12:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
LOL. So, the US invaded Iraq because they 'thought it might have WMDs'? Why didn't they invade North Korea, who actually DID, and threatened to use them? It's pretty obvious - they US won't push anyone who could actually push back. It's fine to beat up weaker countries, but not anyone with the ability to respond.
Because only a moron would attack a guy who not only has an automatic weapon, but is just crazy enough to use it on a crowd of school children when it becomes obvious he can't win.

Better to deal with guys like that in other ways, and then work to ensure that other guys like that can't get their hands on the big guns in the first place.
     
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May 22, 2008, 12:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by paul w View Post
It's easy being peaceful when you're a tiny, island nation in the North Atlantic that has its own renewal energy.
So what's the excuse for the other 95 in front of the US?
     
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May 22, 2008, 12:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Because only a moron would attack a guy who not only has an automatic weapon, but is just crazy enough to use it on a crowd of school children when it becomes obvious he can't win.

Better to deal with guys like that in other ways, and then work to ensure that other guys like that can't get their hands on the big guns in the first place.
Whatever happened to "guns don't kill people, people kill people"?
     
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May 22, 2008, 12:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Whatever happened to "guns don't kill people, people kill people"?
That has nothing to do with the situation at hand?
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May 22, 2008, 12:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Whatever happened to "guns don't kill people, people kill people"?
Nothing. I would have no problem with a well-trained and disciplined person possessing an automatic weapon. Crazy people with no compunction when it comes to killing others shouldn't be allowed to have anything that could be used to hurt others.
     
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May 22, 2008, 12:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Because only a moron would attack a guy who not only has an automatic weapon, but is just crazy enough to use it on a crowd of school children when it becomes obvious he can't win.

Better to deal with guys like that in other ways, and then work to ensure that other guys like that can't get their hands on the big guns in the first place.
So the reason to attack Iraq was that the did not have WMDs. I agree, it is not sensible to bully people who can push back, but I also think it's not a good idea to bully weaker states either.
     
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May 22, 2008, 12:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
So the reason to attack Iraq was that the did not have WMDs. I agree, it is not sensible to bully people who can push back, but I also think it's not a good idea to bully weaker states either.
If Iraq had in face had either a nascent nuclear/biological/chemical weapons program, or was very close to having such a thing it would have made sense to invade and been ruled by an unstable and unpredictable leader, it would have made sense to invade. Fortunately, neither of those things was true. Unfortunately, we invaded anyway.

I agree that it's not a good idea to bully weaker states. But sometimes it's necessary and justified to use force against them (as with Afghanistan), and in those instances it's not bullying.
     
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May 22, 2008, 12:58 PM
 
Global Peace Index 2008 - Global Peace Index



This list is laughable! Clearly, it's based on some very subjective definition of what "peace" actually is.

When you realize the methods used, the conclusions are even more laughable:

* Level of distrust in other citizens
* Number of displaced people as a percentage of the population
* Political instability
* Level of disrespect for human rights (Political Terror Scale)
* Potential for terrorist acts
* Number of homicides per 100,000 people
* Level of violent crime
* Likelihood of violent demonstrations
* Number of jailed population per 100,000 people
* Number of internal security officers and police per 100,000 people

Half of that stuff is virtually unquantifiable, and little to do with any true measure of "peace". For instance, number of jailed per 100,000 people? How is that classified as a measure of peace, whether you consider the number a good thing, or not? Is it a measure of peace to have MORE people jailed per 100,000, or less? If the ranking was based on fewer per 100,000, do people believe it'd really be more peaceful if we just let more people out of jail, and had fewer police officers per 100,000 people? How exactly do you measure such things on some "peace" index?

And I'm really curious how one classifies "Likelihood of violent demonstrations". So is it better to live in a dictatorship without even the possibility of violent demonstrations (because you'll be shot for demonstrating period) or a country with a higher likelihood of violent demonstrations because you actually are free enough to demonstrate in the first place? Gee- based on some of these rankings, it must be the former.


Then theres:

* Military expenditure as a percentage of GDP
* Number of armed services personnel per 100,000 people
* Volume of transfers (imports) of major conventional weapons per 100,000 people
* Volume of transfers (exports) of major conventional weapons per 100,000 people
* UN Deployments 2007-08 (percentage of total armed forces)
* Non-UN Deployments 2007-08 (percentage of total armed forces)
* Aggregate number of heavy weapons per 100,000 people
* Ease of access to small arms and light weapons
* Military capability/sophistication

Any measure of military strength and military sophistication can go either way- there is no comparison to North Korea's possession or use of any of the above, vs. say Israel. There's simply no comparing most of these things. Access to small arms and light weapons could easily go both ways as a measure of "peace", as has been proven time and time again. I fail to believe this survey took that into account, with such laughable rankings- IE, Israel less peaceful than most of its surly neighbors that are responsible for it's lack of peace in the first place.


This is another of those lists for people who's worldview is overly simplistic, and who don't question silly lists of incomparable things.
( Last edited by CRASH HARDDRIVE; May 22, 2008 at 01:28 PM. )
     
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May 22, 2008, 01:02 PM
 
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analogue SPRINKLES  (op)
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May 22, 2008, 01:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post


This list is laughable! Clearly, it's based on some very subjective definition of what "peace" actually is.
So what should have they measured it by to give gains to the US's place? Evangelist Christians and celebrity gossip? I'm sure the US would be #1 then.
     
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May 22, 2008, 01:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
So what should have they measured it by to give gains to the US's place? Evangelist Christians and celebrity gossip? I'm sure the US would be #1 then.
Most people in most countries don't sit around worried all that much about how high their nation ranks on someone's highly subjective and ridculously questionable list.

But certainly, if there was any measure done of national insecurity and need for silly little lists in order to feel good about yourself, I've little doubt Canada would rank #1.
     
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May 22, 2008, 02:09 PM
 
Crash: you can debate the precise placement on that list, but we definitely do poorly with a number of items on that list. We have a very high murder rate per capita, high overall crime rates particularly in certain urban environments, and our military industrial complex is heavily involved around the world. As per the latter, you can argue whether or not they are doing good and that military involvement may be a necessary evil for the role of the United States in the world, but it is hard to say that military involvement and peace are related.
     
analogue SPRINKLES  (op)
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May 22, 2008, 03:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Most people in most countries don't sit around worried all that much about how high their nation ranks on someone's highly subjective and ridculously questionable list.
I guess that is a good enough reason as any as to why the US is doing so poorly right now. Money worth squat, everyone hates there own presedent, multiple wars, housing crash, resession, high gas prices.

So you just go right ahead and keep not caring as I am sure it will make things even better.
     
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May 22, 2008, 03:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
So what's the excuse for the other 95 in front of the US?
I'm not defending the USA's rather bellicose ways, I'm simply saying we have little to learn from Iceland in the peace department. The list is kind of pointless.
     
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May 22, 2008, 03:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by paul w View Post
I'm not defending the USA's rather bellicose ways, I'm simply saying we have little to learn from Iceland in the peace department. The list is kind of pointless.
And nothing to learn from the other 95 either then eh?
     
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May 22, 2008, 06:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
That also describes Iran. In that case we did the opposite of take action. We sat by and let it become a theocracy. If not for that little oversight there would never have been such a foothold for Islamic fundamentalism to take root in.
Actually we didn't "sit by and let it become a theocracy". US foreign policy actively contributed to the development of the situation. In 1953/54 the US and Britain overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran. Why? Because the Irananian Parliament nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. So the CIA installed the Shah of Iran .... a secular dictator who would play ball with the US and Britain. He brutally oppressed the Iranian people. Thousands were jailed, tortured, and/or killed by his secret police. Yet the US backed him to the fullest because he kept the cheap oil flowing. Until 1979 and the Iranian revolution that overthrew the Shah led by Ayatollah Khomeini. And Iran has been an Islamic Republic, hostile to the US, ever since. And we wonder why?

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May 22, 2008, 06:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
And nothing to learn from the other 95 either then eh?
I have one thing to learn from Canadia: blacks-only schools will make it even more peaceful

-t
     
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May 22, 2008, 06:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Crash: you can debate the precise placement on that list, but we definitely do poorly with a number of items on that list. We have a very high murder rate per capita, high overall crime rates particularly in certain urban environments,
It's silly to pretend all these things are related, and can be ranked together in some mish-mosh on a goofy list. The US ranks #24 for murder-per capita. Murder is a very rare crime- most people not themselves invovled in a seedy lifestyle are not all that concerned with the constant threat of being murdered- therefore it's a dumb indicator of a nation's "peace" for most people.

Our overall crime rates are lower than a lot of the world. Canada (for example) ranks poorer for rates of rape, car theft, manslaughter, total crime victims, perception of safety, and is fairly equal to the US in most other crimes like burglary, arson, assault, etc.


it is hard to say that military involvement and peace are related.
Exactly why it's silly to then include it as a factor on some silly chart of a nation's "peacefulness".
     
CRASH HARDDRIVE
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May 22, 2008, 06:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
I guess that is a good enough reason as any as to why the US is doing so poorly right now. Money worth squat, everyone hates there own presedent, multiple wars, housing crash, resession, high gas prices.

So you just go right ahead and keep not caring as I am sure it will make things even better.

Ahh I see, the classic global indicators of "peace": hating "there own presedent", "resessions". People that actually want to buy a house sure hate that prices have fallen- boo hoo. How unpeaceful. And gee, you even threw in high gas prices because you heard somewhere they were teh high in the US.

If peace is measured by high gas prices, we'd be one of the most peaceful nations in the world- our "high" prices are still very low by the standards of Europe, and your own insecure country. But then, you'd actually have to ditch your kindergarten-level worldview to realize any of that.

But by all means, keep grasping at straws. Maybe you'll convince yourself that you actually like your own country that you need little lists to feel good about for some reason.
     
besson3c
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May 22, 2008, 06:44 PM
 
How are the numbers derived on the NationMaster site? I'm not disputing them, but is this public information or something? How is this info gathered?
     
besson3c
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May 22, 2008, 06:46 PM
 
Damn Crash, a little overbearing and confrontational, no?
     
 
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