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Hootie: No woman member by Masters
ESPN/AP ^ | Nov. 11, 2002 | AP

Posted on 11/11/2002 3:39:20 PM PST by jern

Monday, November 11, 2002
Defiant Johnson says Masters will go on no matter what



AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Defiant as ever, Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson declared that The Masters will be played next year, no matter what, and there is no chance a woman will be a member of the golf club by then.

SportsNation
Should Augusta National have to admit a female member?
Yes
No

''We will prevail because we're right,'' the 71-year-old Johnson said.

His comments were the first on the subject since he fueled the debate over the all-male membership at Augusta National by criticizing Martha Burk and the National Council of Women's Organizations for trying to coerce change.

The club has never had a female member in its 69-year history, and Johnson didn't sound as if he was in any hurry to change that.

''We have no timetable on the woman member,'' he said in a Nov. 4 interview with The Associated Press. ''Our club has enjoyed a camaraderie and a closeness that's served us well for so long, that it makes it difficult for us to consider change.

Q&A with Hootie ...
Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson sat down with the Associated Press to talk about the debate surrounding his club's all-male membership. Check out the entire interview here.

''A woman may be a member of this club one day, but that is out in the future.''

A green jacket was draped over Johnson's broad shoulders during the hour-long interview in his office, whose walls bear a photo of him and former chairman Clifford Roberts and an original portrait of Bobby Jones painted by President Eisenhower.

The hint of a smile played above his square jaw as he spoke. He hardly resembled someone who felt threatened, even at ''the point of a bayonet.''

That's the phrase he used on July 9 in a terse, three-page statement in response to Burk's letter urging the club to admit women -- a phrase that has become a slogan of his resolve.

Johnson said Augusta National might some day admit a woman, but he wouldn't be forced into it.

He was equally adamant on this day, offering the kind of assurances usually reserved for death, taxes and whether Tiger Woods has the game to contend for a fourth Masters title.

''There will always be a Masters,'' Johnson said.

“ This woman portrays us as being discriminatory and being bigots. And we're not. We're a private club. And private organizations are good. The Boy Scouts. The Girl Scouts. Junior League. Sororities. Fraternities. Are these immoral? ”
— Hootie Johnson

He was unyielding in his stance that Augusta National would not cave in to the demands of Burk or anyone else who dares to challenge the constitutional rights of a private club to associate with whomever it wants.

''This woman portrays us as being discriminatory and being bigots. And we're not,'' Johnson said. ''We're a private club. And private organizations are good. The Boy Scouts. The Girl Scouts. Junior League. Sororities. Fraternities. Are these immoral?

''See, we are in good company as a single-gender organization.''

He sees no connection between racial and gender discrimination.

''Do you know of any constitutional lawyer that's ever said they were the same? Do you know any civil rights activists that said it was the same? It's not relevant,'' he said. ''Nobody accepts them as being the same.''

Augusta National opened in 1933, the vision of Roberts, a Wall Street investment banker, and Bobby Jones, the greatest amateur ever.

Who is Hootie?
Name: William ''Hootie'' Johnson

Age: 71

Residence: Columbia, S.C.

Family: Wife (Pierrine), four daughters

Position: Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club

Business: Retired as chairman of the executive committee for Bank of America.

Masters history: Attended his first Masters as a 4-year-old in 1935, the year Gene Sarazen won with his famous double-eagle on the 15th hole. Invited to join the club in 1968. Became vice president in 1975. Elected the fifth chairman in 1998.

Changes: Revamped Masters qualifications, eliminating PGA Tour victory category to get a stronger field. Eliminated lifetime exemption policy for past champions. Ordered changes to 13 of 18 holes.

Notable: Helped to integrate higher education in South Carolina in 1968.

Quotable: ''There may well come a day when women will be invited to join our membership, but that timetable will be ours, and not at the point of a bayonet.''

Check out a complete profile of Johnson here.

The Masters was created in 1934 and has evolved into the most famous of golf's four major championships, the only one played on the same course.

Johnson, a retired banker, was 4 when he attended his first Masters in 1935. He was invited to join Augusta National in 1968, and was elected chairman 30 years later.

He is said to have worked behind the scenes to get the first black admitted to the club in 1990, shortly after the all-white membership controversy at Shoal Creek in Alabama.

Augusta National allows women to play its golf course without restrictions. Women played more than 1,000 rounds last year, and Johnson invited the University of South Carolina women's golf team as his guest.

So, what's wrong with having one as a member?

''We just don't choose to do that at this time,'' he said.

Johnson said Burk's letter hasn't had any effect on the club's decision to invite a woman to join.

Still, the chairman clearly is annoyed by Burk's campaign. He never mentioned her by name, three times referring to her only as ''this woman'' or ''that woman.''

Asked if he had any regrets about his response to Burk -- three sentences vs. three pages to the media -- Johnson smiled: ''I seldom have any regrets. I don't look back much.''

Then he turned serious and added: ''I regret that she threatened us. And I regret that she threatened our sponsors.''

Johnson dismissed the only TV sponsors of The Masters -- Citigroup, Coca-Cola and IBM -- after Burk challenged them to live up to their own policies against sex discrimination.

That will make next year's Masters, which already gets the highest ratings among golf tournaments, the first commercial-free sporting event on network TV.

Can The Masters survive financially without sponsors for more than one year?

''We could go indefinitely,'' Johnson said. ''But I don't think we'll have to. We'll have our sponsors back. I just believe that we're right on this issue, and that they'll be comfortable in sponsoring The Masters Tournament.''

If some view this controversy as having the potential to mar the crown jewel of golf, Johnson certainly doesn't.

''The majority of Americans are with us on this issue,'' he said, leaning back in his leather chair. ''I want you to know that.''

How can he be so sure?

''I just know it,'' Johnson said. ''I know it by the response I get here.''

He reached for a letter and newspaper clipping on the coffee table, a poll from the Lancaster (Pa.) Intelligencer Journal, that asked readers to call in their vote on whether Augusta should admit women. Of 624 callers, 90 percent said no.

On his desk were four files, each one bulging with letters he said supported Augusta National and its rights as a private club.

Johnson said he has read and responded to each one.

''I don't think we've been damaged,'' he said.

The only time Johnson's voice was tinged with agitation was when he wondered why his club should be penalized ''for presenting something that's good for the game of golf?''

''Something that 150 million watch around the world? Something that's a harbinger of spring? Something that is respected worldwide? We're going to be penalized for that?''

Burk has challenged several high-profile members of Augusta National to own up to their public stand against discrimination.

Lloyd Ward, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee and one of only a half-dozen black members at Augusta, said he would work for change from inside the club. American Express chairman Kenneth Chenault, another black member, also said he believed there should be female members.

That violates a cardinal rule at Augusta. The club traditionally speaks with one voice -- Johnson's.

''I'm not going to talk about members,'' he said, cutting off a question about comments from executives like Ward and Chenault. ''We'll handle that internally.''

Johnson did not appear to be concerned, nor did he think the debate would steal headlines from Woods going after a record third straight Masters title.

Meantime, Augusta National carries on behind the tall gates that seclude Magnolia Lane and its stately clubhouse from the rest of the world.

Several members played in a cool drizzle on this day, some of them taking along caddies dressed in the club's traditional white coveralls.

Among the items for sale in the Augusta National pro shop was a navy blue cap with ''2003 Masters'' stitched in white. Merchandise with a message.

Apply Online Today! (Ad Served by Bluestreak)

 More from ESPN...
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Hootie Johnson: More than meets the eye
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Woods' position in Augusta membership debate a 'no-win'
Tiger Woods doesn't understand ...

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Without taking sides or ...

Burk to target other PGA sponsors in Masters fight
The group spearheading the ...

AmEx CEO supports women membership at Augusta
Kenneth I. Chenault, the ...

Push for women at Augusta gets big lift from USOC chief
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The right stuff? Is Darla Moore on Augusta's short list?
Darla Moore may just be the ...

Lopez doesn't mind Augusta's men-only policy
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TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Georgia
KEYWORDS: augustanational; hootiejohnson; marthaburke; masters
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1 posted on 11/11/2002 3:39:21 PM PST by jern
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To: jern
Its private...if they don't want women in their club thats their perogative...tough apples...I sure hope they don't cave in on their principals to placiate the insatiable thirst of political correctness...

They only will be crucified agiain because they don't have a triple amputee, blind, african-american female drug adict as a member....

This nonsense must stop...

2 posted on 11/11/2002 3:44:33 PM PST by antaresequity
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To: jern
FREEP THE POLL!!!! THE FEMO-NAZIS ARE AHEAD 87% TO 13%!
3 posted on 11/11/2002 3:46:06 PM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion
read the poll again :)
4 posted on 11/11/2002 3:49:29 PM PST by jern
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To: jern
Don't back down Hootie!!!
5 posted on 11/11/2002 3:53:55 PM PST by Deb
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To: antaresequity
Gee......, do you think Shannon Faulkner wants to join.
6 posted on 11/11/2002 3:54:00 PM PST by E.Allen
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To: jern
You can rest assured these trolls with their armpit muff will "demonstrate" at the Masters.

I, for one, am looking forward to seeing one of these with a five-iron shoved up her...er, wrapped around her neck.


7 posted on 11/11/2002 3:57:22 PM PST by Fintan
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To: jern

8 posted on 11/11/2002 3:57:28 PM PST by antaresequity
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To: jern
Notable: Helped to integrate higher education in South Carolina in 1968.

Yea, he must be some kind of bigot.

9 posted on 11/11/2002 4:00:15 PM PST by Sonny M
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To: jern
I say Augusta National should admit a woman member when Hillary's alma mater, Wellesley, admits a male student.
10 posted on 11/11/2002 4:07:19 PM PST by governsleastgovernsbest
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To: E.Allen
do you think Shannon Faulkner wants to join

I don't think they make golf pants that large.

11 posted on 11/11/2002 4:15:55 PM PST by Paul Atreides
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
I say that they can keep their club men only and just stuff the revenue of the national golf circuit....

I want them to stand by their principles and not let a woman become a member.....

and then also accept the inevitable ....that Augusta National will lose sponsership and heavy pressure will be put upon any golfer of note that goes there.....

this could have been done gracefully but no....

I can readily see Woods being pressured to not play .....his fortune is his marketability.....he won't give that up....and the rest of the crowd will follow him....

12 posted on 11/11/2002 4:17:02 PM PST by cherry
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To: cherry
I can readily see Woods being pressured to not play,/I>

Get your vision checked.

13 posted on 11/11/2002 4:21:35 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion
bumped and freeped. Margin now running 8-1 for us..
14 posted on 11/11/2002 4:21:38 PM PST by ewing
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To: cherry
Woods will never decline Augusta, no matter how bad the press gets.
15 posted on 11/11/2002 4:22:31 PM PST by ewing
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To: jern
What a jerk.
16 posted on 11/11/2002 4:23:55 PM PST by Man of the Right
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To: jern
Women will eventually be in this club. There are lots of clubs and organizations for women only, or for blacks only, but almost none for men only, or whites only. Those few organizations remaining for men only, and for whites only will eventually all disappear.
17 posted on 11/11/2002 4:27:19 PM PST by waterstraat
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To: jern
Among the items for sale in the Augusta National pro shop was a navy blue cap with ''2003 Masters'' stitched in white. Merchandise with a message.

So you can only use black thread for stitching, otherwise your hat is racist?
Funny how the writer puts this at the end so it's the last thing you read.

18 posted on 11/11/2002 4:35:26 PM PST by husky ed
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To: cherry
The Masters is a whale of a lot bigger than Tiger Woods. I don't see how the feminists can work their will on the Masters except through sheer intimidation, and that isn't working.
19 posted on 11/11/2002 4:35:58 PM PST by KellyAdmirer
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To: waterstraat
I'm going to start using women's restrooms and if I get arrested, hopefully I'll have a good enough lawyer to use some anti-discrimination ruling in my favor or something.
20 posted on 11/11/2002 4:43:42 PM PST by xrp
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To: jern
Who Hootie shoud admit as the Female Member:


21 posted on 11/11/2002 5:00:41 PM PST by Timesink
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To: cherry
The Masters is a major. It is also a private invitational tournament. Tiger wants to win majors. Therefore, Tiger will play The Masters. You might get him to boycott the Quad Cities Open or even the Volvo Masters but not Augusta.

There may be those who fall prey to the pressures of the women's movement and boycott The Masters. They will only do it once because they will never again receive an invitation.

22 posted on 11/11/2002 5:04:32 PM PST by JonH
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To: jern
Love Hootie.
................Darlin'
23 posted on 11/11/2002 5:10:50 PM PST by Darlin'
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To: jern
Hmm ... If a female member were admitted, would the next step be to rename the tournament "The Mistresses"?
24 posted on 11/11/2002 5:14:27 PM PST by JennysCool
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To: jern
I demand That N.O.W. elect Hootie President of their organization.
25 posted on 11/11/2002 5:15:54 PM PST by Doctor Raoul
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To: xrp
FOFLOL.
26 posted on 11/11/2002 5:16:01 PM PST by Darlin'
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To: jern
Good for Hootie. This fight is about freedom, freedom of association.
27 posted on 11/11/2002 6:29:06 PM PST by Ol' Sparky
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To: ewing
Woods will never decline Augusta, no matter how bad the press gets

Woods and evey player on the tour.

28 posted on 11/11/2002 7:12:42 PM PST by X-FID
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To: Man of the Right
What a jerk.

Who's a jerk? Hootie for standing up for a private club's interest? This is an assualt on free association by some dumbass liberal b*tch, I hope they hold the line.

29 posted on 11/11/2002 7:20:40 PM PST by X-FID
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To: jern
Any thought about last week's Republican victory in Georgia being due to an "Augusta backlash"?
30 posted on 11/11/2002 7:28:44 PM PST by Cowboy Bob
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To: Man of the Right
Please expand on your statement
31 posted on 11/11/2002 7:38:54 PM PST by mfreddy
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To: jern
I think Tiger needs to just shut the hell up on this one. Augusta National is a private club, meaning they can admit whomever they see fit (or unfit).

The gays learned about private clubs the hard way when they tried to stick pedophiles in tents with boys.

32 posted on 11/11/2002 7:47:34 PM PST by nonliberal
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To: jern
'I'm not going to talk about members,'' he said, cutting off a question about comments from executives like Ward and Chenault. ''We'll handle that internally.''

I'm guessing these two already have their lockers cleared and their stuff in boxes on a FedEx flight back to palookaville.

I suppose we should ask Martha Burk of the National Council of Women's Organizations why she has no men on her steering committee?

I suppose the time is right for a scratch male golfer to apply to qualify for membership to play the LPGA.

I suppose it's time for men to room at the YWCA.

It's probably time for men to start applying for membership in the local chapters of the General Federation of Woman's Clubs.

Feel free to add others....
33 posted on 11/11/2002 8:46:07 PM PST by stylin19a
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To: cherry
I can readily see Woods being pressured to not play .....his fortune is his marketability.....he won't give that up....and the rest of the crowd will follow him....

His marketability? To who? The avid female golfers? His market is made up of men.

34 posted on 11/11/2002 11:12:05 PM PST by snodog
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To: jern
Prohibiting a woman from playing is the same thing as prohibiting a black or an Asian or an Indian or a Brit... It is a horrible evil that is forced upon women! Just like Taliban hates women, these guys hate women, too. A bunch of latent homos.
35 posted on 11/12/2002 2:21:25 AM PST by buffyt
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To: antaresequity
Nice to see you put women in such a fine group.... sigh.... I don't think we are THAT bad!
36 posted on 11/12/2002 2:22:44 AM PST by buffyt
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To: nonliberal
I don't think having a woman playing golf is equal to pedophiles with young boys in tents -- this will NOT happen just because women play golf. Duh....
37 posted on 11/12/2002 2:25:01 AM PST by buffyt
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To: buffyt
Prohibiting a woman from playing is the same thing as prohibiting a black or an Asian or an Indian or a Brit... It is a horrible evil that is forced upon women!

They allow women to play the course, they aren't allowed to gain membership. So What?

Those women (the protesters) would be the first ones to scream if a dreaded MAN requested membership to one of their sanctuaries. As a woman, I'm disgusted by them.

3 little words: GET A LIFE

38 posted on 11/12/2002 2:37:37 AM PST by PosterQue
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To: nonliberal
Tiger has tried to keep quiet, but every sanctimonious liberal sportswriter or broadcaster (meaning 99% of them) has tried to make him the spokesperson for all of the "oppressed" in the world. Lately, he has let his golf do the talking, much to the chagrin of the thought police.
39 posted on 11/12/2002 6:22:41 AM PST by JacksonCalhoun
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To: buffyt
I dont put anybody in groups....what are you talking about...?
40 posted on 11/12/2002 6:24:43 AM PST by antaresequity
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To: jern
Will someone with an online account to the Wall Street Journal please post the opinion piece by Mr. Johnson that appeared in today's print edition. He makes a good case for himself.
41 posted on 11/12/2002 8:17:02 AM PST by WaveThatFlag
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To: WaveThatFlag
Whoops, my bad. Here it is:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/787320/posts
42 posted on 11/12/2002 8:18:13 AM PST by WaveThatFlag
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To: X-FID
Gotta disagree.

Foremost, the Augusta National is not a place to play golf. Drawing an analogy with the Boy Scouts is a joke. Heck, there are hundreds of fine courses within a half-day's drive. The purposes of the Augusta National are to exclude people and to do high-level business. That's why the rich and powerful try so hard to get in. Years ago, I worked for a Fortune 500 company founded in Augusta. Our CEO, a White male Protestant Southerner, was blackballed despite sponsorships from Herman Talmadge, Strom Thurmond and Bobby McNair, the Governor of South Carolina, all members.

The question whether women are first-class citizens was settled by Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is not a left-right issue for anyone under 80: it's a law enforcement issue. The old coot quoted is going to lose massively. The Club relies on television and corporate sponsorships to keep the dollars rolling in.

Ever been excluded for reasons that had nothing to do with your ability, skills, or training? It's not pleasant. In 2002, 51 percent of the population isn't going to be excluded from deal-making because of their plumbing. That's the reality and the law.

As a conservative, I believe in following the law.























43 posted on 11/12/2002 10:56:02 AM PST by Man of the Right
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To: X-FID
Gotta disagree.

Foremost, the Augusta National is not a place to play golf. Drawing an analogy with the Boy Scouts is a joke. Heck, there are hundreds of fine courses within a half-day's drive. The purposes of the Augusta National are to exclude people and to do high-level business. That's why the rich and powerful try so hard to get in. Years ago, I worked for a Fortune 500 company founded in Augusta. Our CEO, a White male Protestant Southerner, was blackballed despite sponsorships from Herman Talmadge, Strom Thurmond and Bobby McNair, the Governor of South Carolina, all members.

The question whether women are first-class citizens was settled by Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is not a left-right issue for anyone under 80: it's a law enforcement issue. The old coot quoted is going to lose massively. The Club relies on television and corporate sponsorships to keep the dollars rolling in.

Ever been excluded for reasons that had nothing to do with your ability, skills, or training? It's not pleasant. In 2002, 51 percent of the population isn't going to be excluded from deal-making because of their plumbing. That's the reality and the law.

As a conservative, I believe in following the law.























44 posted on 11/12/2002 10:58:10 AM PST by Man of the Right
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To: jern
Gentlemen
Only
Ladies
Forbidden

I think that's what it means!

45 posted on 11/12/2002 11:03:50 AM PST by rockfish59
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To: Man of the Right
If Agusta is breaking the law then why has there not been a lawsuit filed?
46 posted on 11/12/2002 11:09:07 AM PST by Lost Highway
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To: Man of the Right
The question whether women are first-class citizens was settled by Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is not a left-right issue for anyone under 80: it's a law enforcement issue.

Oh, good grief! The question of Freedom of Association is long established common law, despite the bastardization of the legal system by special interest attorneys, authoritarians and socialists.

The old coot quoted is going to lose massively. The Club relies on television and corporate sponsorships to keep the dollars rolling in.

LOL!!! You've got to be kidding me.

Ever been excluded for reasons that had nothing to do with your ability, skills, or training?

Sure, we all have in one way or another.

It's not pleasant.

Pleasantness is a perception. Most normal people don't give a rat's ass if a group of people want their own special club. Most normal people do not want to be part of a group that doesn't want them there in the first place.

In 2002, 51 percent of the population isn't going to be excluded from deal-making because of their plumbing.

From "deal making"? Oh, Lordy. I missed the "right to use other's private property to make deals" as a natural right.

That's the reality and the law.

No its not - you are way off base. If it was the "reality of the law" then the busy-body NOW hags would have sued already.

47 posted on 11/12/2002 11:10:38 AM PST by FreeTally
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To: Lost Highway
If Agusta is breaking the law then why has there not been a lawsuit filed?

LOL!! You beat me to it by amout a minute.

This is the silliest assertion I have ever seen. Even Martha and her hags do not claim Augusta is breaking the law. LOL!!!

48 posted on 11/12/2002 11:12:02 AM PST by FreeTally
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To: Man of the Right
Ever been excluded for reasons that had nothing to do with your ability, skills, or training?

As a matter of fact I am excluded from Augusta right now. I'll try to make it through the day without breaking down in tears at the pain of it all!!!!

49 posted on 11/12/2002 11:13:43 AM PST by Lost Highway
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To: FreeTally
Sheesh, are we going to have to put up with this crap for 5 more months.....UGH. As John Lennon said, "Let it be".
50 posted on 11/12/2002 11:20:19 AM PST by 1Old Pro
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