Today the United States is the only industrialized English-speaking country that does not grant same-sex partners immigration preferences. Legalizing same-sex marriages in the United States would eliminate the immigration hurdle facing binational same-sex couples, but there are other mechanisms through which this goal could be achieved. Indeed, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK now all recognize the immigration rights of same-sex couples and some allow gay marriage too.
When I went to Australia last year I was amazed by what people told me they thought about America. The younger people dreamed of going to Los Angeles or New York, imaging them as places filled with excitement and glamour. The older people thought of America as the world's cop and the biggest bully there ever was. They felt that America was like Rome in the days before it fell, full of criminals, festering in garbage. Most people I have met think of America as being number 1, yet I don't really know what the contest was. What is the history of America? The original settlers slaughtered the Indians, enslaved the Africans and plundered the continent. We loudly criticize other countries for their human rights violations while just 30 years ago our police allowed German Shepherds to attack unarmed protesters. The politically active might set up a different set of identity. They might be gay first, vegetarian second, Texan third, and cabinet-maker fourth. This method of defining ourselves and what we believe to be right is exclusionary, since by definition there can never be a tie among these priorities. When we align ourselves within any group, it is impossible for the will of the group to accurately and thoroughly speak for us. It is this desire, perhaps related to childhood desires for acceptance, perhaps an unconscious desire to be removed from the difficult tasks of decision-making, that allows us to give up that part of ourselves to the herd. Herding never affords us the safety that we imagine, more safety is to be had in solidarity than herding. My rights end where your nose begins, but my responsibilities extend much further. There is a great satisfaction that comes from living well, from treating others as you would treat yourself, and if you are unkind to yourself, than treat others better. Agree to disagree, but attempt to understand. Empathy is more important than sympathy, I can't hate you unless I understand you, and if I understand you I can't hate you. Simple words to live by.
It's all your fault! Always flush down the toilet used condoms. Literally!
There were an average 40,000 project-tied foreign workers in Germany in 1994, down from 60,000 in 1992 because of scandals that involved German contractors using project-tied agreements as backdoor guest worker programs.
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