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09:20 AM on 08/24/2009
Bill, very well said. Sorry seems to be the hardest word for the righteous right.
10:35 AM on 08/24/2009
I was just listening to the Elton John song. Great song, and quite apropos in its way.

It's sad.
So sad.
It's a sad sad situation
And it's getting more and more absurd

It's sad.
So sad.
Why can't we talk it over?

Oh, it seems to me
That "sorry" seems to be the hardest word....
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AnotherTry
Tell me again why we can't be equal?
07:58 AM on 08/24/2009
Barack Obama was America's collective apology to the world. Too bad I voted for Cynthia McKinney.
08:58 AM on 08/24/2009
The Republican party today does not know the word humility and has no clue without it you can never be honest.

Yes America should apologize for there mistakes and show they are humble and human and make mistakes and someone big ones. This would bring trust in Countries where there was none or very little and also set a tone for the rest of the world leaders.

We are a torn America one part is on a spiritual path to care and help humanity and the other bent on wars destruction and arrogance and hate.

One side has race and culture issues the other is growing and evolving to understand other cultures and love for diversity in humanity.

One side cries when they see the needy , poor and sick and reaches out and one side walks over them with distain.

This is what Republicans are leading there followers to do because they are setting the example for there self hating and loathing agendas.

Every American in the name of humanity as the right to be treated in sickness and have to die because of insurance companies greed and bottom line.

THERE IS NO BOTTOM LINE WHEN IT COMES TO THOSE WHO ARE POOR, SICK, HELPLESS

we are the bottom line for our brothers and sister and will cry tears of joy when others wake up
07:54 AM on 08/24/2009
This post was right on. Apologies from this country are far and few between. I think we would rather throw statues,memorials, and tax free land at our past wrongs instead of truly apologizing for them. It makes Republicans uncomfortable that there is a president who is willing to publicly acknowledge the mistakes that our country has made, and that we are not perfect.
09:41 AM on 08/24/2009
Astute observation. You're absolutely right. Statues, memorials, and "reservations," but we have to admit, it's better than nothing. Still, how much trouble and grief we might have saved ourselves if we had offered apologies in some or all of those instances? Thankfully we have someone in office who can use the "apology option" before resorting to other more severe ones.

Thank you, Mr. President.
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10:09 AM on 08/24/2009
Of course there's no harm in apologizing for wrongdoing. But apologies don't change anything. Virtue lies in not doing things we have to apologize for - on a societal level as well as on a personal one. "I'm sorry" might be two very important words, but they are still just words.
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KillgoreTrout43
Be a thinker
10:56 AM on 08/24/2009
The capacity to apologize shows an open mind and self realization. These are two human virtues, and signs of intelligence and humility. Unfortunately those on the right think humility is something to be ashamed of.
01:06 PM on 08/24/2009
To own up to a mistake, realize it, learn from it can prevent other mistakes in the future. 1 specific mistake can bring overall enlightment that will help in avoiding many other different mistakes in the future. The goal is to learn and then yes minimize having to apologize in the future. There are virtues you have to learn just from experience (sometimes it's messing up), you aren't born with them.
02:15 AM on 08/24/2009
Right on Bill; sorry but you description is so on target even if it depressing. But to the people that truly believe in America's exceptionalism, do you truly believe that other nations are not better than you? then you should travel more, see how others live, how happy they are, how others are more efficient in what they do (the FRENCH DO in 30 h a week what America do in 40! . The Nordics are very happy with their social structure (read: very).

America you should nor apologize if you do not want to, but as I read most of the people responding to this post, some answer were very dishonest, why is it that in America, when people have no the intellectual honesty to argue with fundamental, they respond with analogies from the bible? remember "Freedom Fries"? what a joke.

Black Swan blindness: the underestimation of the role of the Black Swan, and occasional overestimation of a specific one. Karl Rove Fit here

Fallacy of silent evidence: Looking at history, we do not see the full story,
only the rosier parts of the process. Mitt Romney Fit here

Narrative fallacy: our need to fit a story or pattern to a series of connected
or disconnected facts. The statistical application is data mining. Sarah Palin Fit here

Travel more America!
spmcintyre
Chance favors the prepared mind.
06:44 AM on 08/24/2009
Travel more? I say travel less. Read more about the history of this country and what the principles of its founders were. Not what followed, but what the dream of America once was. Since then, people have tried to mold, and reinterpret what the founding documents mean. Trying to reforge the core principles that were written at the beginning of our young countries history. I say, yes things have been done abroad that were not in the best interests of the core principles, but, those things were performed by people, who should shoulder the blame as much or more then the whole of the country. What of the much longer list of atrocities performed by all the so called civilized nations of the world? Atrocities have been the norm of human civilization, since the begining of recorded history, they continue to this day, some much, much worse then anything we in the US could possibly imagine. Even if this nation should perish from this earth, this will not reduce or eliminate atrocities. I say if this country should perish, then there will be more.
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forty8r
Gerrman Freethinker
08:00 PM on 08/24/2009
Hey the rest of the industrialized world is in the 21st century. Our Founding Fathers lived in the 18th century.
spmcintyre
Chance favors the prepared mind.
12:08 AM on 08/24/2009
Are you saying we as Americans should dumb our selves down, so that the rest of the world does not feel bad? Are you saying that we have to lower ourselves to make them feel better about who they choose to be? Are we by nature arrogant as a nation because our way of life gives us more freedom than theirs? For that, we should never apologize. If our ancestors thought that the ways of the old world was the best way of life, then why did they leave, and fight for their independence and create a system of government that allowed us to be so free? If they wanted to build a duplicate of Europe, or Asia, of Africa, why did they come here? Why not just stay there, or better yet, if you want to live in a duplicate of those old places, go there instead of trying to turn the US into what once was?
01:53 AM on 08/24/2009
Wow! spmcintrye, that's some "analysis" of this. I'm still trying to figure out your point. The best I could come up with is a bumper sticker slogan: "America, love it or leave it." Now I'm trying to figure out what that has to do with apologizing for the atrocities committed by this country.
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04:46 AM on 08/24/2009
"Are you saying we as Americans should dumb our selves down, so that the rest of the world does not feel bad?"

Do you actually believe that we are smarter than the rest of the world?
That, Sparky, is PROOF POSITIVE that at least YOU are not the sharpest tool in the shed.

"Are we by nature arrogant as a nation because our way of life gives us more freedom than theirs? For that, we should never apologize."

Do you actually believe that we have more freedom than every other country in the world?
We are actually the "global poster child" of a nation deluded by the notion of personal freedom, all the while unwittingly and voluntarily being abused as profit fodder by the Corporate Power Structure.
We are slaves (with no more freedom than medieval serfs) who have been convinced otherwise.
07:44 AM on 08/24/2009
Nice.
11:15 AM on 08/24/2009
Absolutely right on!
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Chernynkaya
11:23 PM on 08/23/2009
We are a young country in more than years. An immature country with about 20% who think apologizing is a sign of weakness. These are the same insecure paranoids who need to strap a kalishnikov near their c.rotch
to go to the supermarket, and who can't stop cheering USA! USA! WE'RE #1!

It would be pathetic if it wasn't so annoying - in the same way a bratty 8 year old with a cowboy outfit is at a family dinner.

Oh, and lest we forget: They want their country back- WAAAAH!
08:57 PM on 08/23/2009
What's wrong with saying our country is perfect, that it can do no wrong? Because it aint and it has. We have the Constitution and a system of checks and balances precisely because we are imperfect and will do wrong on occasion.

So what exactly are Romney, Rove, Palin et al. getting at? They're under the impression that the "countless" enemies of America will use any "weakness" to destroy us. Any sign of giving in, of compromise, of apology, and they'll take us down. We gotta be preemptive, unilateral, uncompromising, unapologetic, always. Of course, our enemies are not countless, not that efficient to use any so-called weakness of ours to their advantage, and we don't need to be "perfect"--and, as you so rightly say, apologies are a sign of strength, without question.

We cannot be perfect, but this is not the reality Romney, Rove, Palin, et al. would ascribe to. To do so would negate their political reason for being, thus they seek to perpetuate a false reality where America can't even apologize for an obvious wrong. To George W. Bush: "What mistakes have you made Mr. President?" His response was to take the utterly preposterous and laughable position that he hadn't made any, or hadn't any worth mentioning. Monty Python couldn't have put it better.

Here's hoping America never has to go through another George W. Bush-like presidency. Maybe we'll get it together, but with the three blind mice lurking, it's not looking promising.
10:53 PM on 08/23/2009
Yep, we sure have made mistakes; lets see....Freddy mac & Fanny mae were wrong, being bullish on health care reform is wrong, when the majority have clearly shown they don't want it, trying to take away our constitutional right to have weapons is wrong, And attempting to remove God from our country is the worse wrong, just to name a few, so if you want to apologize for those things, then we accept your apology, and will work with you to make those things right, but if you want us to agree to apologize to a terrorist country for defending America, whom THEY attacked, then you're out of your cotton picking mind, boy! Get some sense and some pride in your country before trying to sound like an intellectual without any smarts. No one that I've heard has claimed America is perfect, but until the perfect one comes along, it's the best, and that oh so polite Canadian who disagrees, can keep his/her pride in Canada, and so can any other country, and we will continue to believe America is the best. Its the privilege of everyone to feel their country is the best, and America is no exception, and will NOT apologize for feeling that way.
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Chernynkaya
11:07 PM on 08/23/2009
You, star3, are just one more reason we have for apologizing.
11:58 PM on 08/23/2009
"Get some sense and some pride in your country before trying to sound like an intellectual without any smarts."
You've got that one down pretty good, star3! ;-)
08:54 PM on 08/23/2009
Great article bill, i hope you become a vegetarian soon to halt climate change.
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jafsie
Fighting for the rights of the already-born
08:43 PM on 08/23/2009
Last week, in northern Ontario, I ran into a Texan at a golf course. We compared the weather in Ontario and Texas, and then the conversation moved on to the topics of health insurance reform, Canadian health care, U.S. homeland security, cross-border American handguns, etc., etc.
At some point, predictably, he stated, "America is the greatest country in the world."
I suggested gently that, while everyone else in the world realizes Americans believe that statement, Americans should be aware that we don't necessarily agree with it.

How delightful that the U.S. finally has a President who is!

Hooray for Bill Maher -- "I was so shocked I nearly dropped the Bible I was using to help me masturbate into my gun." -- funniest line EVER!
09:05 PM on 08/23/2009
Talk about the ugly American. You'd think people journeying outside the country would be more tactful. Sheesh!

And that line was OUTRAGEOUS. What a great line. I wanted to say something about it in my initial commentary, but simply didn't have room. Also what Romney would say if someone asked him to apologize. Great stuff.

Thank you, Mr. Maher! Please don't stop.
09:36 PM on 08/23/2009
I liked everything EXCEPT that line about the Bible. Come on! Are you guys wanting to run off all Christians, even the ones who are trying to think rationally? That line was totally unnecessary and very offensive! I'm getting the message that some people just automatically write off all Christians. I do agree with everything else in the article, but I could never share that with anyone I know.
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tangelan
You will not cast aspersions on my asparagus.
10:26 PM on 08/23/2009
It's all those folks who claim to be Christians but act the total opposite. They're ruining it for the rest of you. Sorry.
12:37 AM on 08/24/2009
You actually do not know Bill Maher. He does not believe in god, so there fore he would not own a Bible and probably not a gun either. It was a badjoke.
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08:37 PM on 08/23/2009
I'd bet the farm that a couple of simple apologies would vastly improve our relations with Latin America.
08:15 PM on 08/23/2009
The problem with many Conservatives is that they are smug and arrogant in their self-righteousness.

Several other countries can claim the exceptional title.'Exceptionalism' means nothing when a country looses its moral superiority. Admittance of error is not weakness, but an evidence of moral strength.

This is a great piece by Bill Maher, because it accurately captures, using a perverse figure, how loathsome and delusional self-righteousness is.In the Bible, over and over again, God sent His message to His rebellious backsliding people, using shocking figures and situations to shake them from sinful complacency. Without fear of being seen as sacrilegious; it is my view, that God, guided Bill Maher's hand in writing this piece.

I hope many Conservatives read this piece and be shaken from their delusional state. I hope they follow this up with repentance. Who knows, the sight of a truly repented Conservative may make even Liberals marvel, and stand screaming from their housetops to the rest of the world , "America is truly exceptional".
08:13 PM on 08/23/2009
Bill Mahar is right on-as he almost always is. Why is it that an apology is seen as a sign of weakness? Especially after the last eight years, since we have a lot to apologize for.
07:41 PM on 08/23/2009
We as a country have done some terrible things. Our greatness is in admitting it and being big enough to right our wrongs. That is what we're all about: striving for an ever greater America than what we are.
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LaurieAnn
Generation Jones INFJ
08:19 PM on 08/23/2009
Yes.
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WilliamTheV
I drank what? -Socrates
08:23 PM on 08/23/2009
kudos to you my friend
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BN2112
My micro-bio does not meet standards
07:27 PM on 08/23/2009
Another good one Bill! One thing that I'd add--conservatives claim we're such a Christian nation. Isn't repentance a bedrock of Christianity? Just another rightwing Christian disconnect.
11:19 PM on 08/23/2009
Being christian doesn't mean being weak or stupid or runing in a corner to hide when we are attacked; christians, especially, need to know when to stand up for what is right, and when to defend themselves and their country. God doesn't expect us to be whimps, and we don't let him down in that area. King David from the Bible certainly was not a whimp by any means, and was not a bit opposed to often using devious means to obtain his goals, yet, God loved David, because HE something in him that was worth loving; not to imply that God, always approved of David's decisions, but He did love him and even chose to have His son, Jesus born into the house of David. David repented for his wrong choices, eventually, and yes, that is what everyone should do, but we, also, need to know under what circumstances we should apologize, and when we don't need to, and to recognize the difference.
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Talmageb
Shameless liberal
09:53 AM on 08/24/2009
It saddens me to read your post. Because I know you. I have relatives who are just like you. You watch fox news and listen to Rush Limbaugh. You attend the largest church in your town or city probably baptist but maybe a different denomination. You say then when you mean than. You misspell the word running. You are under-educated. Whatever education you have received was administered poorly by apathetic teachers and preachers. You quote a book of parables from 3000 years ago to defend your position of a non apologetic american ideal. You are so ravenously republican that you cannot see that these shysters and charlatans have been taking advantage of you for your whole life. You believe their lies so easily. Fannie Mae is the problem. Gun rights are the issue. It's high taxes that are killing us. You are stupid. You are wrong. Unfortunately, well intentioned, honest, and analytical people are always outnumbered by idiots like you. I just hope you choose to take advantage of Obama's education reformation and take a class or something. Maybe Gov101 or CollegeWriting111. Thanks....and sorry. Sorry that you have been so denied a basic education by your community and government. I weep for you.
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KillgoreTrout43
Be a thinker
11:15 AM on 08/24/2009
Defending one's home and country is not actually part of Christ's teachings. It is common sense. Who is running in a corner to hide?? You seem to know what God wants. How is this possible? Did he tell you what he wants?
05:24 PM on 08/23/2009
Interesting thought: When was the last time a representative from another country, much less their top elected leader, came and apologized in America? Just wondering....
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06:01 PM on 08/23/2009
For what? When was the last time a foreign nation did something to the US that they had to apologize for?
11:26 PM on 08/23/2009
AustinTX, you have got to be kiddin! Where have you been for the past century, or at least, for part of it? Read your history books, then come back and ask that question again. Gheesh---some people's kids, give them a book, teach them to read, and this is what you get.
06:32 PM on 08/23/2009
may 30, 2009. the link is below.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=7717227&page=1

when was the last time you bothered checking your facts before spewing idiocies? just wondering....
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MJHammonds
Yes, I DO expect you to back it up with evidence
07:31 PM on 08/23/2009
Missed that story first time around, thanks for the link!