Here's what I know/feel about America (note the harsh generalization):
0) It's all about money. Supranational companies like to rape the nature and wipe out people who stand in their way (Shell in Nigeria, Chiquita about everywhere to mention few).
1) USA as a country likes to play cowboys and indians (or rosvo ja poliisi as we call it in Finland) with some other countries (Vietnam, Cuba, etc.). I also tend to feel that it's not about that freedom & democracy what's it about; It's all about money and police-stations (oil pipes and strategic positions in Afghanistan, military bases in Saudi-arabia and god knows what in South-America).
2) What I've read (see the quote in the Guantanamo-thread as an example), I have a feeling that while Americans are the most patriotic people I've heard about, they seem to have some sort of gene that blocks them accepting critique towards their country. They also tend to be rather conservative while they don't like things like abortion (speaking of freedom), nature (Bush) and like to inject all kinds of leathal fluids in to the blood vessels of criminals.
3) What I've heard about senior high school is something that really raises a question mark. I know few dudes who have been as an exchange student in USA (and friends whose friends have been there). While a normal school day in Finland doesn't include police, students with crossbows (or guns - this one is from media, not from a friend of mine), people pointing and laughing when somebody comes to a school with a bicycle or oath of allegiance for Stars and Stripes (or White Rectangles and a Blue Cross). However, we do decline students taking notes to exams (with some exceptions like math formulas) where (somewhere) in USA they can write notes to a piece of paper and take it with them to an exam. And when we write an essay, it's usually more than one or two sentences; full points usually require 1.5-2 A4s. And I have a feeling that our system (which obviously has it's own stupidities) gives a better result.
4) While not ever being near America, I got the feeling that they could use all that money better than putting it on something like nuclear weapons, Star Wars (not the movie, silly), Star Wars II or what ever was that what Bush junior was doing, that extra 18 billion dollars for army and small things like Nasa.
> I'm getting very ........ed off at the ammrican critism here
Take it as constructive criticism: as it's said in Tao-te Ching:
Sincere words are not fine; fine words are not sincere.