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Old 06-08-2011, 12:28 AM   #841
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how do you think non-Americans react to this?
Qu'est-ce que les Green Acres?
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:37 AM   #842
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America is not inherently good, let alone great. No country is. No country ever will be.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:38 AM   #843
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how do you think non-Americans react to this?
It's simple. Non-Americans don't matter. Isn't that the basis to American Exceptionalism?
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:44 AM   #844
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It's simple. Non-Americans don't matter. Isn't that the basis to American Exceptionalism?
Exactly, and INDY has made that very clear over the years...
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:21 AM   #845
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American Exceptionalism:

1) Non-Americans don't matter (except for Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher)
2) Any man can get rich if he just tries hard enough (I swear, I'll make that 250K tax bracket someday or win the lotto tryin', that's why I vote Republican)
3) Bringing Manifest Destiny to your neck of the world, whether you like it or not

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Old 06-08-2011, 10:55 AM   #846
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Listening to y'all pontificate on American Exceptionalism is akin to listening to a Sarah Palin history lesson on the ride of Paul Revere.
You don't have to agree with the premise but do try and educate yourselves on the terms of the argument if you feel the need to comment on the subject.

In Defense of American Exceptionalism - Clifford D. May - National Review Online
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:58 AM   #847
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Listening to y'all pontificate on American Exceptionalism is akin to listening to a Sarah Palin history lesson on the ride of Paul Revere.
You don't have to agree with the premise but do try and educate yourselves on the terms of the argument if you feel the need to comment on the subject.

In Defense of American Exceptionalism - Clifford D. May - National Review Online


is Clifford D. May of the National Review really the best source for "education" on American Exceptionalism?
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:25 AM   #848
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CAPITALISM
God's way of determining who is smart, and who is poor.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:31 AM   #849
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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
Listening to y'all pontificate on American Exceptionalism is akin to listening to a Sarah Palin history lesson on the ride of Paul Revere.
You don't have to agree with the premise but do try and educate yourselves on the terms of the argument if you feel the need to comment on the subject.

In Defense of American Exceptionalism - Clifford D. May - National Review Online
His points seem to be:
1. It's composed of immigrants from everywhere.
2. Introduced modern democracy, modern human rights and freedoms.
3. America bears the burden of protecting other countries.
4. If America doesn't bear that burden, the terrorists win.
5. It's OK for conservatives to reference God because the one guy I'm using to summarize the entire left said something bad about Abraham Lincoln.

Is it fair to say that's his whole argument?
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:09 PM   #850
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I would say that democracy, not capitalism, is the exceptional aspect of American politics. The notion that every citizen has a voice in how they are governed was revolutionary over two hundred years ago, and is still today. We ourselves are still grappling with the ramifications.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:25 PM   #851
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well, representative democracy.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:20 PM   #852
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(CNN) -- Actor Tracy Morgan agreed to return to Nashville next week to apologize to people who heard his anti-gay rant during a recent stand-up comedy show, a pro-gay rights group said Monday.

Morgan released a written apology last Friday, but he followed up Monday morning with a phone call to the president and staff of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD.)

By the end of the call, Morgan had agreed to go back to Nashville with GLAAD staffers to deliver a face-to-face apology to people who were in the Ryman Auditorium and to work with the Tennessee Equality Project, GLAAD said.

"By not only apologizing, but sending a message of support for gay and transgender people, Tracy will help many realize that no one should be treated differently or subjected to violence," GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said.

Morgan is a star of the hit NBC sitcom "30 Rock" and a "Saturday Night Live" veteran.

Details of Morgan's anti-gay remarks, delivered during a June 3 show, emerged last week when an audience member posted them on a Facebook blog, which was picked up by Jezebel magazine.

The blog, titled "Why I No Longer 'Like' Tracy Morgan," said the comic said gays should "not be whining about something as insignificant as bullying."

"He mentioned that gay was something kids learn from the media and programming, and that bullied kids should just bust some ass and beat those other little f**kers that bully them, not whine about it," Kevin Rogers wrote.

Morgan said that if his own son told him he was gay, he would "pull out a knife and stab" him, Rogers wrote.

"The sad thing is that none of this rant was a joke," Rogers wrote. "His entire demeanor changed during that portion of the night. He was truly filled with some hate towards us."

GLAAD released a portion of the transcript of their call with Morgan Monday.

"I know how bad bullying can hurt," Morgan told GLAAD. "I was bullied when I was a kid. I'm sorry for what I said. I didn't mean it. I never want to use my comedy to hurt anyone."

Morgan said his family "knew what it was like to feel different."

"My brother was disabled and I lost my father to AIDS in 1987," he said. "My Dad wasn't gay, but I also learned about homophobia then because of how people treated people who were sick with that."

"Parents should support and love their kids no matter what," Morgan said. "Gay people deserve the same right to be happy in this country as everyone else. Our laws should support that. I hope that my fans -- gay, straight, whatever -- forgive and I hope my family forgives me for this."

Morgan will also deliver his new message in New York before his Nashville trip, GLAAD said. He will meet with gay, lesbian and transsexual teens "who were shunned or left homeless by their parents, as well as parents who lost their children to anti-LGBT hate crimes," GLAAD said.

He will also agreed to record a public service announcement for GLAAD's upcoming "Amplify Your Voice" campaign, the group said.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:33 PM   #853
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two good pieces of news:

Quote:
Gay judge's same-sex marriage ruling upheld

By LISA LEFF, Associated Press – 19 minutes ago

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday upheld a gay judge's ruling to strike down California's same-sex marriage ban.

Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware said former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker did not have to divulge whether he wanted to marry his own gay partner before he declared last year that voter-approved Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.

Lawyers for backers of the ban argued at a hearing Monday that Walker should have recused himself or disclosed his relationship because he and his partner stood to personally benefit from the verdict.

Walker publicly revealed after he retired in February that he is in a 10-year relationship with a man. Rumors that he was gay had circulated before and after he presided over the trial in early 2010.

Ware said the ruling by Walker, who did not attend Monday's hearing, raised important questions and called it the first case in which a judge's same-sex relationship had led to calls for disqualification.

He said there probably were similar struggles when race and gender were the issues.

Many legal scholars did not expect Ware to overturn Walker's decision. They said having a judge's impartiality questioned because he is gay is new territory, but efforts to get female judges thrown off gender discrimination cases or Hispanic judges removed from immigration cases have failed.

Theodore Boutrous Jr., part of the legal team representing the two gay couples who filed the lawsuit against Proposition 8, called Cooper's arguments frivolous, offensive and unfortunate. He said Walker was being targeted because he is gay.

The Associated Press: Gay judge's same-sex marriage ruling upheld

Quote:
NY lawmakers set to vote on legalizing gay marriage

By Dan Wiessner

ALBANY | Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:53pm EDT

ALBANY (Reuters) - New York could become the sixth state to allow same-sex marriage next week after Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a bill on Tuesday that he hopes will be approved by lawmakers.

Cuomo, a Democrat in his first year in office, had vowed to make same-sex marriage a priority during the final weeks of the legislative session. Lawmakers break on Monday for a lengthy recess.

The state-by-state battle over gay marriage has become one of the most contentious U.S. social issues ahead of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

"For too long, same-sex couples have been denied the freedom to marry, as well as hundreds of rights that other New Yorkers take for granted," Cuomo said in a statement.

Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage, and 10 states allow civil unions. The first legal same-sex marriages in the United States took place in Massachusetts in 2004.

New York's Democrat-dominated lower house Assembly has easily passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage several times in recent years. But the move was rejected the first time it was voted on by the then Democrat-led Senate in December 2009.

The Senate is now controlled by Republicans and currently only 30 of the 62 senators have publicly indicated support.

Senator Ruben Diaz, a Pentecostal minister, is the only Democrat out of the party's 30 senators who does not support same-sex marriage, while Senator Jim Alesi was the first Republican to announce his support for Cuomo's bill.

Alesi said his 2009 vote against gay marriage was "political" and "anguishing."

"If you live in America, and you expect equality and freedom for yourself, you have to extend it to others," he said after emerging from a closed-door meeting with Cuomo on Monday.

A recent Siena poll found 58 percent of New Yorkers support same-sex marriage.

"From the fight for women's suffrage to the struggle for civil rights, New Yorkers have been on the right side of history. But on the issue of marriage equality, our state has fallen behind," Cuomo said.

NY lawmakers set to vote on legalizing gay marriage | Reuters
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:45 PM   #854
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the Prop 8 people are pretty disgusting, they knew the Judge was gay going in, and did not challenge then, only after they did not like the ruling.
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:07 PM   #855
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Quote:
Adoptions by Gay Couples Rise, Despite Barriers
By SABRINA TAVERNISE

Growing numbers of gay couples across the country are adopting, according to census data, despite an uneven legal landscape that can leave their children without the rights and protections extended to children of heterosexual parents.

Same-sex couples are explicitly prohibited from adopting in only two states — Utah and Mississippi — but they face significant legal hurdles in about half of all other states, particularly because they cannot legally marry in those states.

Despite this legal patchwork, the percentage of same-sex parents with adopted children has risen sharply. About 19 percent of same-sex couples raising children reported having an adopted child in the house in 2009, up from just 8 percent in 2000, according to Gary Gates, a demographer at the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“The trend line is absolutely straight up,” said Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a nonprofit organization working to change adoption policy and practice. “It’s now a reality on the ground.”

That reality has been shaped by what advocates for gay families say are two distinct trends: the need for homes for children currently waiting for adoption — now about 115,000 in the United States — and the increased acceptance of gays and lesbians in American society.

The American family does not look the same as it did 30 years ago, they argue, and the law has just been slow to catch up.

Most of the legal obstacles facing gay couples intending to adopt stem from prohibitions on marriage, according to the Family Equality Council, an advocacy group for gay families. In most states, gay singles are permitted to adopt.

Though advocates for gay families can point to legal victories — court rulings in Florida last year and in Arkansas in April — they note that they are tempered by losses, such as in Arizona, which passed a law recently requiring social workers to give preference to married heterosexual couples.

“It’s two steps forward, one step back,” said Ellen Kahn, director of the Family Project at the Human Rights Campaign, a resource for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender families and the agencies that work with them.

But laws and politics aside, advocates say that more adoption agencies and social workers are seeing same-sex couples as a badly needed resource for children in government care.

“The reality is we really need foster and adoptive parents, and it doesn’t matter what the relationship is,” said Moira Weir, director of the job and family services department in Hamilton County, Ohio. “If they can provide a safe and loving home for a child, isn’t that what we want?”

The Obama administration has noted the bigger role that gays and lesbians can play in adoptions. The commissioner for the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Bryan Samuels, sent a memo to that effect to national child welfare agencies in April.

“The child welfare system has come to understand that placing a child in a gay or lesbian family is no greater risk than placing them in a heterosexual family,” Mr. Samuels said in an interview.

The numbers are small. Mr. Gates estimates that 65,000 adopted children live in homes in which the head of the household is gay, or about 4 percent of the adopted population.

Ms. Kahn, who trains adoption agencies to work with gay and lesbian prospective parents, said that the number of agencies she works with has more than doubled over the past five years to about 50.

She added that discrimination still remains and that in some conservative states, adoption agencies that serve gay families function like an “underground railroad.”

But adoptions are happening anyway, even in places where the law does not give both parents full rights. Matt and Ray Lees, a couple in Worthington, Ohio, said they were selected as parents for a 7-month-old, ahead of several heterosexual couples, in part because they had successfully adopted two older children.

Social workers conducted detailed background checks on both of them, but under Ohio law, they must be married to adopt jointly, so when the legal adoption process began, only one could participate. (Same-sex marriage is illegal in Ohio.)

The Leeses took turns. Ray adopted three — two who were originally from Haiti and a baby — and Matt is completing an adoption of five siblings whose drug-addicted mother could not care for them.

“When we first considered it, we thought, people are going to think we are crazy for having eight kids,” said Matt Lees, 39. But they did not want to split the siblings and after careful thought, decided to take them.

“It was the best way we could think of spending the next 20 years of our lives,” he said.

They bind their two legally distinct families together with custody agreements. They do not provide full parental rights, however, because like many states, Ohio does not allow second-parent adoptions by unmarried couples unless the first parent renounces his or her right to the child. They have to maintain two family health insurance policies.

Same-sex parents who adopt tend to be more affluent and educated than the larger population of same-sex parents, according to Mr. Gates.

Matt and Ray Lees both have college degrees and white-collar jobs at Nationwide, an insurance company based in Columbus.

It was hard for them as two fathers at first. Their eldest daughter, 6 at the time, cried and asked who would cook and do her hair. But those days are long past. And though the family is a curiosity in their neighborhood — two white men driving eight black children in a large Mercedes minivan — they are not alone. There are at least two other gay families raising adopted children nearby.

Adoption has not attracted the kind of attention nationally that gay marriage has. Advocates say they like it that way. The more it is in the public eye, the greater the chances conservative legislatures will try to block it, they add.

But conservative groups say the fight is weighted in favor of gay people because courts tend to side with them in rulings. Indeed, a court in Durham County, N.C., had been quietly approving second-parent adoptions that were not formally allowed by statute, until a State Supreme Court ruling stopped it in December.

And the expansion of civil union laws has caused some religious-based charities to stop or modify operations in cities and states where they have passed, including in Illinois this month, where several charities have temporarily suspended new parent applications.

Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy group, said the goal of advocates of adoption by same-sex couples was “to silence people like me.”

Mr. Pertman believes the trend of rising adoption is irreversible.

“The war has been won, but the battles are still being fought,” he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/14/us...gewanted=print


i have casual friends (gay male couple) in CT who were actively courted by an adoption agency because they have such a good track record with gay couples. they adopted an 8 year old -- and it's tough for older children to get adopted.

these kids have needs, and one of them is legal protection for their parents' relationship.
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