Dividers to the right, please.

Greatest American of all time?

Who is it?
Permalink Pashmeh Kos 
June 30th, 2005
Abraham Lincoln
Permalink anon 
June 30th, 2005
Me
Permalink MarkTAW 
June 30th, 2005
Nicole Kidman
Permalink Jack of all 
June 30th, 2005
surely an utterly pointless question? any serious answer given would say more about the person giving it than the greatness of the american named.

but, FWIW, I agree with MarkTaw.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
June 30th, 2005
Castro
Permalink  
June 30th, 2005
I'm suprised no one mentio
Permalink Alex 
June 30th, 2005
Linda Lovelace, she epitomises America (i.e. she sucks).
Permalink  
June 30th, 2005
Nicole Kidman is from Australia. Dunno if she's an American Citizen now, though.
Permalink MarkTAW 
June 30th, 2005
No, no sign of Nichole jumping from Oz. Just so we know, what possible advantages would she accrue apart from say, the business benefits that drove Murdoch to Delaware with a new Chinese wife?
Permalink trollop 
June 30th, 2005
I liked Ike.
Permalink trollop 
June 30th, 2005
America is a great nation which sometimes falls short of its own aspirations. Great Americans are those who hold up a mirror so people can see where it is going wrong. So, for me, Martin Luther King.
Permalink WoodenTongue 
June 30th, 2005
Since Nicole Kidman was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, I would have to guess that she is an American who grew up in Aus.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000173/
Permalink sam 
June 30th, 2005
According to the bio, her parents were Aussie, living in the states at the time. She lived in the US until she was 3.
Permalink MarkTAW 
June 30th, 2005
George S. Patton.
Permalink Crazy Old Guy 
June 30th, 2005
Just to object, Ike. Patton was a capable general but Dwight D.Eisenhower knew and exhibited statesmanship and compassion, where Patton sukkkked.

I look forward to such again. It's not apparent anywhere now in the US or the UN, the UK or down home here in Oz but Ike had it.
Permalink trollop 
June 30th, 2005
Pauly Shore!
Permalink Mat Hall 
June 30th, 2005
George W. Bush

[g,d,r]
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
June 30th, 2005
To me, Teddy Roosevelt manages to sum up a lot of America in one person. Hard to believe that he died a mere 60 years old.
Permalink cubiclegrrl 
June 30th, 2005
If she was born on US soil, she's a "natural born US citizen", AFAIK.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
June 30th, 2005
No, if you're born abroad to American parents, they can register you as an American citizen. I forget where I learned this or why I know it, but I'm sure it's true. There's some statute of limitations (6 months or something), but it's possible.

Italy will also let you become a citizen if either of your parents were from Italy. They have a really good "return policy."
Permalink MarkTAW 
June 30th, 2005
I'm assuming Australia, and almost all nations have a similar policy about being born on foreign soil.
Permalink MarkTAW 
June 30th, 2005
You (sometimes) can choose.

For instance the UK had for a long time recognised children with a British father as being British as of right, but not the offshore-born children of British-born mothers. This changed suddenly IIRC as a result of EEC pressure but the previously precluded had to run in and get the extended privileges. Cost a bomb.

Means squat if either nation disallows dual citizenship.
Permalink trollop 
June 30th, 2005
Of course, it's Thomas Jefferson.
Permalink Godless Visigoth 
June 30th, 2005
Our oldest was born abroad. Basically, we filled out some paperwork and sent it to the consulate. It took 10 minutes to fill out, and about a month to get the certificate of birth abroad back.

Of course, we had help since I was in the Army at the time, but it is a relatively straight forward process to get a child's citizenship confirmed if one of the biological parents is a citizen.

As to the OP, ask me after all time is over. I'm hoping that the greatest American hasn't been born yet.
Permalink Steve Barbour 
June 30th, 2005
MLK
Teddy Roosevelt
Permalink Jared 
June 30th, 2005
>If she was born on US soil, she's a "natural born US citizen".
They changed that a few years ago. You're a natural born US citizen if one of your parents is one (I think you may get it if your parents have permanent legal residency). People believed that too many visitors/illegals were coming here while pregnant, giving birth, then using the citizenship of the newborn to obtain legal residency for the rest of the family.

There are quite a few people who were born to a military parent while their parent was stationed overseas, and the parents forgot/neglected to obtain citizenship documents for their newborn, or like in 2 cases I know of, felt that the child should want to be an American, not just *be* one. One of those women was deported from the US in her 40s, as she was born on a US base in Germany, her father felt she should make the decision to be an American when she grew up, but everyone forgot about that when her family moved stateside by the time she was 3 years old and had lived in the US for the next 40ish years. It made the news in Georgia in the late 90s. I worked with another woman who was constantly in fear that the same thing would happen to her (apparently they used to live in the same neighborhood in Atlanta).

So, there are a number of illegal aliens living here in the states who were born to US citizens abroad, and could have been US citizens if their parents weren't Grade A Idiots.
Permalink Peter 
June 30th, 2005
Here's an interesting juxtaposition:
Gen. Curtis LeMay and Helen Keller.

LeMay scared the shit out of the Soviets and helped defeat communism, while Keller showed that you can acheive greatness even with severe physical handicaps.
Permalink example 
June 30th, 2005
LeMay still scares the shit outta me. Purity of Essence.

Ben Franklin gets my vote.
Permalink hoser 
June 30th, 2005
Peter's stuff seems like crazy talk. If either of your parents are US citizens, you can be a US citizen. But I'm no immigration attorney so who knows.

Greatest American ever was obviously Nikolai Tesla, people.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
June 30th, 2005
I seem to remember that you can't have dual nationality with US citizenship.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
June 30th, 2005
Not true Simon. The guy in the office next to me just got dual citizenship with India and US. My Grandfather also has dual citizenship with Canada and the US.
Permalink Jared 
June 30th, 2005
The state department used to have a policy that if you were a US citizen and then became a citizen of another country, you must've intended to give up your US citizenship.

Several years ago a case went to the supreme court and the state dept. was forced to reverse that policy. Now, if you become a citizen of another country but don't specificly give up your US citizenship, you can have both.

I was born in the US, but we moved here (Vancouver) when I was 4. I only got around to getting Canadian citizenship a couple years ago.

The best web site for this subject:

http://www.richw.org/dualcit/
Permalink Ward 
June 30th, 2005
Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Came to be president in the middle of the Depression. Fought WW-II.

Implemented the policies in America that have resulted in 70 years without a major depression. Saved the free-market economy by putting sufficient controls on it (anti-monopoly, anti-trust, wage laws). Saved the banking system by regulation regarding cross-state banking. Created Social Security.

He was a man who tried to bring balance to America, between the robber baron capitalists and the labor they required to achieve their goals.
Permalink AllanL5 
June 30th, 2005
Or alternatively Eleanor Rooseveldt
Permalink Simon Lucy 
June 30th, 2005
Rich, yes, it does sound crazy. But, as usually, reality is not only stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we *can* imagine.

http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=3343

From the link:
"I was born in Germany in 1965, and adopted that same year by an American couple. My father spent 28 years in the military serving the United States. I have lived in the United States since I was 16 months old. My parents always wanted me to have the freedom to choose whether or not I wanted to be a U.S. citizen."

Mary Anne Gehris was one of the 2 women I referred to. I see that my memory of some of the circumstances over her situation were incorrect. She was adopted, not their own kid, and that the act of congress stopped her from being deported. A co-worker at that time (this was about 5-6 years ago), Leticia, was terrified that she too might be given the big INS-boot to the butt.
Permalink Peter 
June 30th, 2005
"and that the act of congress stopped her from being deported"

There's something just so "Why is my life so fucked up?" about that sentance.
Permalink MarkTAW 
June 30th, 2005
My personal list, no particular order:
1) Ben Franklin
2) Thomas Jefferson
3) Martin Luther King
4) Harriet Tubbman (sp?)
5) Franklin D. Roosevelt
Permalink QADude 
June 30th, 2005
"I made a mistake in 1988 by pulling a girls hair over a man, who is my son’s father."

What does that mean?
Permalink hoser 
June 30th, 2005
That sentance is a linguists wet dream.
Permalink MarkTAW 
June 30th, 2005
>If she was born on US soil, she's a "natural born US
> citizen".

>>They changed that a few years ago.

This is wrong. They did not change it. There have been occasionally attempts to change this, as the United States is one of the few contries to grant citizenship based on place of birth (jus soli). The practice remains.

The 14th amendment is fairly clear on the issue:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

However, there is a minority that believes the founders never intended this to apply to the children of illegal or undocumented immigrants.  It pops up mostly among conservative republicans in the house. Most recently, that I recall, Gary Miller of California and Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland have tried to raise this as an issue.
Permalink  
June 30th, 2005
"I made a mistake in 1988 by pulling a girls hair over a man, who is my son’s father."
She was involved in a fight with another woman. Public disturbance, bar fight, unlawful fighting, that sort of thing. She plead guilty to the crime (whatever it actually was).

>What does that mean?
It means that no jello or mud was involved.
Permalink Peter 
June 30th, 2005
Oh, that sentance is much less interesting if a girl uttered it.
Permalink MarkTAW 
June 30th, 2005
Man,

I thought wet T-shirts and cat fights in bars were guaranteed by the constitution.

That's what thet Coors feller told me.
Permalink hoser 
June 30th, 2005
Thomas Alva Edison
Permalink Miles Archer 
June 30th, 2005
>> "[FDR] was a man who tried to bring balance to America, between the robber baron capitalists and the labor they required to achieve their goals."

He was an idiot whose insane economic policies kept us in a depression for over a decade. (Over a fucking decade, you idiot!) Only WWII saved his socialist ass.
Permalink Godless Visigoth 
June 30th, 2005
Did I mention I was being sarcastic?
Permalink Jack of all 
June 30th, 2005
Natural born: Jefferson.

Imported and adopted: Ayn Rand.
Permalink Brad Wilson 
June 30th, 2005
Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington, Muhammad Ali, Elvis, M.Luther King, Malcolm X
Permalink lame 
June 30th, 2005
The Founding Fathers: yeah, most were privileged landowners and slaveholders, but if not for them, we wouldn't be having this discussion in the first place, etc. etc.

Lincoln, for preserving the Union, ending slavery was just a positive side effect

JFK, a Democrat even Republicans could like: he cut taxes and stood up to the Soviets (for the record, I'm an indie), also started the Peace Corps and who can blame him for banging Marilyn Monroe

MLK, for obvious reasons
Permalink Wisea** 
June 30th, 2005
If you like Malcolm X,
http://www.brothermalcolm.net/2003/mx_oxford/rm/006.rm
Info: http://www.pentaside.org/article/oxford-debate-1964.html

There's a video floating around somewhere, maybe on a bittorrent site.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
June 30th, 2005
Jenna Jameson.

I always swear to her trimmed pussy.
Permalink Joe Demacio 
July 1st, 2005
"Mary Anne Gehris was one of the 2 women [blah,blah,blah]"

I know a case like that. The guy was deported for shoplifting when he was a teenager. With the loss of his income, his American wife, and three American kids, have now been on welfare for the last ten years. Isn't that useful? I'm glad the Government did what was best for the People.
Permalink Steamrolla 
July 5th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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