I find little in rankings of this kind that reflect my values and those of many people that I know, be they American or otherwise. And that is because these studies generally place a premium on things that, while important to those committed to a progressive agenda, are of little importance to most people.
America-bashing is now all the rage. Making its first bold modern-day appearance under President Obama, it has become a cause célèbre with the election of President Trump. Indeed, a hatred for Donald Trump and the "deplorables" he represents is what fuels it.
In July 2012 I was speaking at a youth retreat in the mountains of Tennessee when I received a call from CNN.
If you think the Super Bowl is just a big football game featuring large, sweaty men, repeatedly colliding into one another, consider this: last year's game drew 111.9 million viewers, making it the third most watched event in U.S. television history.
In light of last week's presidential debate in St. Louis and Hillary Clinton's assertion that "millions" would be "fact-checking" the many statements made by the candidates who would lead this country, I decided to join the legions of fact-checkers and here's what I discovered:
I was looking over my notes beforehand in Starbucks trying to think of concrete examples when I saw a poster in the storefront encouraging people to apply for employment with the franchise.
We will then be told that this is not representative of "true" Islam (it is, as you know, "a religion of peace") and when the logic and rationality of this assertion is contrasted with the facts, those doing the questioning will be denounced as bigots or, to use the epithet currently in vogue, "Islamophobes."
Mankind has searched for a great many things in the firm conviction that they could be found: the Northwest Passage; a cure for HIV/AIDS; and a way to safely send a man to the moon and back again. Sometimes that conviction—faith, really—was misguided (El Dorado and perpetual motion); sometimes it was not (Troy and heliocentricity).