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Author Topic: Same-sex marriage foes sue lawmakers
Open Mike Night
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Same-sex marriage foes sue lawmakers

quote:
Lawyers from a group opposing gay marriage filed a $5 million federal lawsuit against 109 state lawmakers yesterday accusing them of violating the US Constitution when they refused to decide whether to put a ban on gay marriage on the 2008 ballot.
quote:
VoteOnMarriage.org also requests a monetary judgment against the legislators that would force them to pay damages in the amount of $500,000, the cost of the campaign to get signatures, and at least $5 million in punitive damages, said Glen Lavy, a lawyer for the group.

The Legislature, however, still has one more day to vote on the ballot initiative, Jan. 2. If they vote on the measure then, Mineau said, his group's lawsuit will be dismissed as moot

quote:
John Reinstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, called the suit "frivolous" and said the Supreme Court ruled 50 years ago that state lawmakers are immune to such lawsuits. "The flavor of the suit is really found in the claim that they want monetary damages," said Reinstein. "What they want is not input into the process; they want control over the outcome."


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Soft Hyphen
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Fix link please.
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Richard W
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Your link goes to the Soapbox Derby forum, by the way...

"Refused to decide"? Does that mean they're going to decide later? Otherwise, surely it's a decision not to put the question on the ballot.

Does the proposed ban exist? I don't see how it can be "unconstitutional" not to put this question on a ballot. Surely if it is, then you could use the same argument for any question you care to name.

These questions might be answered in the article of course...

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Open Mike Night
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Whoops - fixed link

I was trying to create a mobius thread.

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Richard W
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quote:
On Nov. 9, when the Legislature met in joint session as Constitutional Convention lawmakers voted, 109 to 87, to recess before taking a vote on whether to put the proposed amendment on the ballot.
What, so all they said is that they won't vote on it until the new session? And they're being sued for not voting immediately? What possible difference could the delay make? It's not like it would go on the ballot until 2008 anyway.
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Canuckistan
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quote:
But Lavy said the lawsuit was necessary to get the lawmakers to vote. "This is not about money," Lavy said. "This is about citizen initiatives and the Legislature ignoring the initiatives they don't like."
Uh huh. Because, as we all know, unless something is affirmed, it's being ignored.

Rejection is a form of ignoring, after all.

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Dactingyl
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My knowledge of American politics is pretty much limited to this board, however, FWIW I think this sums it up quite well

quote:
"The flavor of the suit is really found in the claim that they want monetary damages," said Reinstein. "What they want is not input into the process; they want control over the outcome."
.

Ultimately, it stikes me that the purpose of this lawsuit isn't to force the lawmakers to vote but rather a shot across the bow declaring "Look how much money/power we have to make your lives difficult if you dont' do what we want".

Maybe I'm stating the obvious, maybe I'm completely off target....

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Canuckistan
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quote:
Originally posted by Dactgyl:
Ultimately, it stikes me that the purpose of this lawsuit isn't to force the lawmakers to vote but rather a shot across the bow declaring "Look how much money/power we have to make your lives difficult if you dont' do what we want".

Maybe I'm stating the obvious, maybe I'm completely off target....

No, I think you've got it exactly. It's not that the system didn't work; it just didn't give them the result they wanted.

Personally, I hope this suit gets tossed and the group gets hit with a massive fine for wasting the court's time.

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Sharpened Steel
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
quote:
Originally posted by Dactgyl:
Ultimately, it stikes me that the purpose of this lawsuit isn't to force the lawmakers to vote but rather a shot across the bow declaring "Look how much money/power we have to make your lives difficult if you dont' do what we want".

Maybe I'm stating the obvious, maybe I'm completely off target....

No, I think you've got it exactly. It's not that the system didn't work; it just didn't give them the result they wanted.

Personally, I hope this suit gets tossed and the group gets hit with a massive fine for wasting the court's time.

I also think that this is the reason.

And I think that it is highly likely that the court will through it out. In order to recieve monetary repartions, you have to prove that the action caused you damage that needs repairing. "We didn't like the outcome because we don't want same-sex marriage" is not evidence of damage.

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1958Fury
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
quote:
On Nov. 9, when the Legislature met in joint session as Constitutional Convention lawmakers voted, 109 to 87, to recess before taking a vote on whether to put the proposed amendment on the ballot.
What, so all they said is that they won't vote on it until the new session? And they're being sued for not voting immediately? What possible difference could the delay make? It's not like it would go on the ballot until 2008 anyway.
My thought - and I don't have many -

Society is gradually become more accepting of people's differences. What was once considered taboo is now commonplace, and 20 years from now, we might not have any trouble getting this country to recoginize same-sex marriages.

So knowing there's a time limit involved, this "VoteOneMarriage" group is feeling rushed - they want to take EVERY step towards a constitutional amendment ASAP, before this country gets any smarter.

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zman977
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This should not only be thrown out of court the judge should laugh at them as he's tossing it. I agree a hefty fine is in order for this group for this one.

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Sly Dog
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I don't think that is the point at all. This group followed the legal process to put an issue on the agenda at the constitutional convention. But it is such a hot potato issue that the convention was afraid to let it be debated. They adjourned before any business could be brought to the floor, thereby letting it die a parlamentary death. The petitioners believe this action violates the constitution. It cannot be brought up at the next session because the current legislature is dissolved and a new one seated in January. Thus the legislature that was petitioned won't exist any longer.

I see a certain dark humor in that. I've lived in Mass and believe it is the most politically corrupt State in the Nation. What makes me laugh is that the people who brought forward the petition helped vote these corrupt politicians into office and then thought they would get a fair hearing! Put a crook in office and then expect he won't steal from you? But then I don't live in Mass any longer so I don't have a dog in this fight.

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Lgreywolf
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quote:
Originally posted by 1958Fury:
(snip)
So knowing there's a time limit involved, this "VoteOneMarriage" group is feeling rushed - they want to take EVERY step towards a constitutional amendment ASAP, before this country gets any smarter. [/QB]

I think you've got something there. For every day that passes that the sky has not fallen, the sun continues to rise and Massachusetts is not wiped from the face of the earth, is another day to get used to and further accept gay marriage. I seem to recall that when the decision was first handed down Gov. Romney wanted to actually halt all gay marriages until it was voted on as a ballot measure, probably because by the time it does get voted on gay marriage will be much more mundane and not so divisive. Not to mention that all those couples who got married in the intervening years would all of a sudden become "not married", which is an excellent weapon in the arsenal of the pro-gay marriage crowd.


(Please forgive if this post is somewhat disjointed; posting during luch I tend to hurry a bit.)

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Daniceguy
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quote:
Originally posted by Sly Dog:
I've lived in Mass and believe it is the most politically corrupt State in the Nation.

Generally, when people make such statements in this forum, they are asked to provide evidence to back them up.

So..... got any?

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Jordashe
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The Big Dig?

Just guessing.

Their issue is not with the legislation. Forget a lawsuit, just vote them out of office.

In another way, it'd make a great comedy to see them attempt to persuade that gay marriage not being outlawed in their state caused them damage.
"I had to lie awake at night with a shotgun under the bed, just in case a gay couple moved in and I needed to protect my family from their monogamous love!"

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Daniceguy
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In the face of mounting SKEPTICISM (cough...Big Dig...cough) concerning the integrity of Massachussans, I present the following EVIDENCE!

The Corporate Crime Reporter's report on Public Corruption in the United States has Massachusetts firmly in the middle (#26) with regard to public corruption. AHEAD of, ahem, Virginia. This is a per-capita figure based on federal convictions of state officials for corruption over a 9-year span.

Meanwhile, the Better Government Association, located in Chicago of all places, rates Massachusetts near the top (15th of 50) in terms of laws designed to combat government corruption in its Integrity Index , ahead of Virginia (again) and, ahem ahem, New Hampshire.

I hope you all appreciate the amount of valuable company time I have wasted in my painstaking research of this topic. [Roll Eyes]

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"Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes!"

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1958Fury
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quote:
Originally posted by Daniceguy:
In the face of mounting SKEPTICISM (cough...Big Dig...cough) concerning the integrity of Massachussans, I present the following EVIDENCE!

Yes, but how can we trust your links, knowing you come from the most politically corrupt state in the nation? [Wink]

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Sly Dog
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quote:
Originally posted by Daniceguy:
quote:
Originally posted by Sly Dog:
I've lived in Mass and believe it is the most politically corrupt State in the Nation.

Generally, when people make such statements in this forum, they are asked to provide evidence to back them up.

So..... got any?

Which are you are asking for, evidence that I believe something or that I lived in Mass?

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Daniceguy
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quote:
Originally posted by Sly Dog:
quote:
Originally posted by Daniceguy:
quote:
Originally posted by Sly Dog:
I've lived in Mass and believe it is the most politically corrupt State in the Nation.

Generally, when people make such statements in this forum, they are asked to provide evidence to back them up.

So..... got any?

Which are you are asking for, evidence that I believe something or that I lived in Mass?
What do you think? I believe you lived in Mass., but if you're going to make such a bold statement as "the most politically corrupt state in the nation", you should probably go on more than just a gut feeling.

Were you badly treated by a Massachusetts bureaucrat? I can certainly believe THAT. However, overall I don't think Mass. is any more or less corrupt than any other state.

For objective evidence, check out my previous post. Massachusetts seems to be in the middle of the pack when it comes to corruption.

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"Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes!"

"No it isn't."

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Sly Dog
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Actually I said I *BELIEVE* is is the most politically corrupt. That makes it a statement of opinion, not fact. Had I made it as a statement of fact then I would feel obligated to support it. And while I am confident that I could readily provide numerous cites of corruption in Massachusetts politics, I doubt any number would be satisfactory to you. Therefore please allow me to remove the superlative from my statement of opinion and simply state that I believe Massaschussets is politically corrupt. Better??

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Daniceguy
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Prefacing opinions with "I believe" does not absolve you of responsibility to back up what you are saying. You cannot get away with slandering a person (or a whole state) simply by beginning your statement "I believe...so-and-so is a communist agent, child molester and diehard Yankees fan".

Plus, half the fun of arguing on this board is coming up with a more obscure and hard-to-find reference than the person who disagrees with you.

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"Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes!"

"No it isn't."

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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
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Corruption is an objectively provable concept, therefore, one does not get to play the 'belief' card. "Well, it's what I believe" only applies to unprovables like the existence of God or subjectives like the yumminess of mushrooms.

Nonny

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Kahuna Burger
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quote:
Originally posted by Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop:
Corruption is an objectively provable concept, therefore, one does not get to play the 'belief' card. "Well, it's what I believe" only applies to unprovables like the existence of God or subjectives like the yumminess of mushrooms.

Nonny

I "believe" that you are correct. [Wink] As they say "We are all entitled to our own opinions, but we aren't all entitled to our own facts."
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Sly Dog
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by Daniceguy:
Prefacing opinions with "I believe" does not absolve you of responsibility to back up what you are saying. You cannot get away with slandering a person (or a whole state) simply by beginning your statement "I believe...so-and-so is a communist agent, child molester and diehard Yankees fan".

Plus, half the fun of arguing on this board is coming up with a more obscure and hard-to-find reference than the person who disagrees with you.

I believe I am starting to like you! James Finneran. Billy Bulger. Mike Ducakis. The Big Dig. Turnpike Toll Collectors. Ted Kennedy. John Kerry. Cotton Mather. Samuel Adams. Lord Amherst. Saint Tipp. James Michael Curley. Good Public Servants all who never took a penny for themselves or used their office to influence the electorate? But then, as I said, no matter the length of the list I might provide, it would not suffice, particularly in the light of your own unadmitted prejudice?

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ThistleSoftware
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Can you provide any evidence that Massachussets is more corrupt than any other state?

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Grumpy
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quote:
"This is about citizen initiatives and the Legislature ignoring the initiatives they don't like."
I don't see how that argument will find any support in the US Constitution, which says zilch about citizen initiatives. Indeed, some argue that the Guarantee Clause, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government," ought to forbid states from sharing any legislative power with citizens.
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Sly Dog
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop:
Corruption is an objectively provable concept, therefore, one does not get to play the 'belief' card. "Well, it's what I believe" only applies to unprovables like the existence of God or subjectives like the yumminess of mushrooms.

Nonny

No it isn't. Corruption is culturally subjective.
Corruption, as an objectively provable concept, is in the eye of the beholder. That it can be "proven" depends upon a definition accepted by some majority in a position of power. Was Idi Ammin Corrupt? Depends on where you stood on the pecking order in Uganda, right?

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Canuckistan
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quote:
Originally posted by Sly Dog:
Actually I said I *BELIEVE* is is the most politically corrupt. That makes it a statement of opinion, not fact. Had I made it as a statement of fact then I would feel obligated to support it. And while I am confident that I could readily provide numerous cites of corruption in Massachusetts politics, I doubt any number would be satisfactory to you. Therefore please allow me to remove the superlative from my statement of opinion and simply state that I believe Massaschussets is politically corrupt. Better??

Actually, I *BELIEVE* you're just making things up. That makes it a statement of opinion, not fact. Had I made it as a statement of fact then I would feel obligated to support it. And while I am confident that I could readily provide numerous cites of you making things up, I doubt any number would be satisfactory to you. Therefore please allow me to remove the superlative from my statement of opinion and simply state that I believe you are making things up. Better??

(See how this works in reverse? [Razz] )

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Daniceguy
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quote:
Originally posted by Sly Dog:
quote:
Originally posted by Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop:
Corruption is an objectively provable concept, therefore, one does not get to play the 'belief' card. "Well, it's what I believe" only applies to unprovables like the existence of God or subjectives like the yumminess of mushrooms.

Nonny

No it isn't. Corruption is culturally subjective.
Corruption, as an objectively provable concept, is in the eye of the beholder. That it can be "proven" depends upon a definition accepted by some majority in a position of power. Was Idi Ammin Corrupt? Depends on where you stood on the pecking order in Uganda, right?

You start with an interesting point - I can see how a certain level of political corruption can be culturally relative - but then you use Uganda under Amin as your example? There's a difference between bloody dictatorship and political corruption!

In the United States, however, I agree with Nonny that we have an objectively provable concept of "political corruption". That's exactly what I provided in my previous post - links to objective criteria for judging relative levels of political corruption between the 50 states.

And do you have evidence that Mike Dukakis, John Kerry and Mass. Pike toll collectors are among your legion of "corrupt" officials? Being a poor politician or a civil servant performing an unpopular job doesn't necessarily make one corrupt.

And - hey - nothing here is intended as a personal attack. I know I felt that way when I first started posting, but then I realized that the vast majority of posters on this board are highly intelligent people who are unafraid to challenge what they see as mis-statements of fact. Now I don't take things so personally.

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"Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes!"

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Four Kitties
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quote:
Originally posted by Sly Dog:
James Finneran. Billy Bulger. Mike Ducakis. The Big Dig. Turnpike Toll Collectors. Ted Kennedy. John Kerry. Cotton Mather. Samuel Adams. Lord Amherst. Saint Tipp. James Michael Curley. Good Public Servants all who never took a penny for themselves or used their office to influence the electorate?

I, personally, would like to see any evidence whatsoever that Dukakis (which is how he spells it, you should do the same) is or was any kind of corrupt. Incompetent at times? Sure. Overwhelmed? Absolutely. But corrupt? You're going to have to prove that one. Your "belief" isn't enough. Ditto the toll collectors on the Pike: how, precisely, do they use their "offices" to influence the electorate? Do tell; I'm dying to know.

Four Kitties

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Four Kitties
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
quote:
On Nov. 9, when the Legislature met in joint session as Constitutional Convention lawmakers voted, 109 to 87, to recess before taking a vote on whether to put the proposed amendment on the ballot.
What, so all they said is that they won't vote on it until the new session? And they're being sued for not voting immediately? What possible difference could the delay make? It's not like it would go on the ballot until 2008 anyway.
The delay is critical, due to how the initiative petition process for a constitutional amendment works in the Commonwealth.

Anyone who wants to change the constitution by initiative petition must gather some required number of signatures of registered voters. Once the signatures are submitted and then validated, the state legislature must pass a measure to place the amendment on the ballot in the two consecutive legislative sessions immediately follwing its submission. If it passes both times, it will then be placed on the ballot the following year.

If they don't vote to put it on the ballot before the end of this legislative session (January 2), the bigoted NFBSKers esteemed petitioners will have to start all over again gathering signatures.

Sorry for the civics lesson, but you asked!

Four Kitties

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

Posts: 13275 | From: Kindergarten World, Massachusetts | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by Daniceguy:
I hope you all appreciate the amount of valuable company time I have wasted in my painstaking research of this topic. [Roll Eyes]

Indeed, I very much do! It's nice to actually have an answer cited, something concrete to point to.

I notice that California ranked right in the middle, and so I feel comfortable taking the list as factual. My ox was only half-gored!

Silas

Posts: 16801 | From: San Diego, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Daniceguy:
You cannot get away with slandering a person (or a whole state) simply by beginning your statement "I believe...so-and-so is a communist agent, child molester and diehard Yankees fan".

Which is worst?

NFBSKing Yankees!

Four Kitties

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

Posts: 13275 | From: Kindergarten World, Massachusetts | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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