'Murica

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Grammatron
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Re: 'Murica

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Witness wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:33 am
Indeed, and commendable. Yet I can't escape the impression that a significant part of your political class, because of "deeply held beliefs" *, constantly tries to reintroduce Christianity into the legislative realm.
Constantly? That's quite a claim. Relative to what?
One could summarize it as "Murica is a Christian nation". (Contrary to what the Elder Gods™, uh… I mean The Founding Fathers© explicitly wrote.)
Or a nation where representatives are a reflection of the electorate. These people are not Kings, or Dukes, or Lords; they are elected by the population who agrees with them. Then we have system of checks and balances to make sure the all laws are followed. That the system is not perfect but that's not a condemnation of the whole system.
The rules are also so lax that tax-exempt preying on the weak-minded is a juicy business. ("gOD told me I need a second private jet.")
Scams don't need religion so I don't get your point.
And have you come to some conclusion about the ACLU paper?
Their claims have no base.
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Re: 'Murica

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Grammatron wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:20 pm Constantly? That's quite a claim. Relative to what?
From Merriam-Webster:
Definition of constantly

1 : without variation, deviation, or change : always
2 : with regular occurrence : incessantly
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/constantly

There's nothing "relative" in that.

Grammatron wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:20 pm Or a nation where representatives are a reflection of the electorate. These people are not Kings, or Dukes, or Lords; they are elected by the population who agrees with them. Then we have system of checks and balances to make sure the all laws are followed. That the system is not perfect but that's not a condemnation of the whole system.
Sure. Remains that a sizable fraction of your lawmakers & electorate would love to have biblical laws implemented for realz. (Or, more precisely, these laws they agree with – forgetting the inconvenient ones like, e. g., stoning, witches, &c. So Christianity as they see it, very convenient.)

Grammatron wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:20 pm Scams don't need religion so I don't get your point.
I'll presume that you don't argue "others do it too so it's OK." But allow me to give a sour laugh seeing the fat mega-church priests enrich themselves tax-free (i. e. with the IRS' benediction) while some of your citizens go hungry or just barely scratch together a living.
It's a free choice of the people, of course, but I fail to see the difference with, say, psychics, quacks and various feel-good coaches and "life improvers". Who pay taxes.

Grammatron wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:20 pm Their claims have no base.
Thanks. Perhaps I'll wade through the papers but not now.


As for my "constantly" claim, I'll open a "Cockroaches" thread and we'll see. :mrgreen:
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Re: 'Murica

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Witness wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:05 am
Grammatron wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:20 pm Constantly? That's quite a claim. Relative to what?
From Merriam-Webster:
Definition of constantly

1 : without variation, deviation, or change : always
2 : with regular occurrence : incessantly
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/constantly

There's nothing "relative" in that.
Fair enough! Luckily it's not a regular occurrence, so you've convinced me it's not constant.
Grammatron wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:20 pm Sure. Remains that a sizable fraction of your lawmakers & electorate would love to have biblical laws implemented for realz. (Or, more precisely, these laws they agree with – forgetting the inconvenient ones like, e. g., stoning, witches, &c. So Christianity as they see it, very convenient.)
Fortunately we have a strong foundation that tries to keep that in check. One of the reason we don't have blasphemy laws.
Grammatron wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:20 pm Scams don't need religion so I don't get your point.
I'll presume that you don't argue "others do it too so it's OK."
No. I mean if you get rid of religion the scam will just get a new label. Someone will always be willing to sell you a Secret To Happiness (TM).
But allow me to give a sour laugh seeing the fat mega-church priests enrich themselves tax-free (i. e. with the IRS' benediction) while some of your citizens go hungry or just barely scratch together a living.
It's a free choice of the people, of course, but I fail to see the difference with, say, psychics, quacks and various feel-good coaches and "life improvers". Who pay taxes.
Yeah it's fucked up but people are free to decide how to spend their funds. I'd rather err on the side of individual liberty.
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Re: 'Murica

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Grammatron wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:57 am No. I mean if you get rid of religion the scam will just get a new label. Someone will always be willing to sell you a Secret To Happiness (TM).
Of course. But. Religion(s) is(are) mainstream – for now – so their proponents don't just get laughed out of the room. Cue prayers at school, at city hall meetings, various blessings of stuff, "thoughts and prayers" as vacuous boilerplate response, "In gOD we trust", &c. I just think all forms of woo should be strictly private.

Grammatron wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:57 am Yeah it's fucked up but people are free to decide how to spend their funds. I'd rather err on the side of individual liberty.
I agree, in principle. Yet I presume you are not, despite "individual liberty", against driving licenses and red lights, some checks to keep loonies away from guns, some rules/regulations/laws to protect the gullible from the worst scams, children from abusive or negligent parents… The question then becomes "where to draw the line?" (Or one could say that liberty is a fickle concept.)

Religion too often seems to get a free pass. There's no rational reason for that save that it's 1. customary and 2. a wonderful control tool.

The only answer I see is education, but good luck with what's in the works right now.
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Re: 'Murica

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Re: 'Murica

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Witness wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:20 pm
Grammatron wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:57 am No. I mean if you get rid of religion the scam will just get a new label. Someone will always be willing to sell you a Secret To Happiness (TM).
Of course. But. Religion(s) is(are) mainstream – for now – so their proponents don't just get laughed out of the room. Cue prayers at school, at city hall meetings, various blessings of stuff, "thoughts and prayers" as vacuous boilerplate response, "In gOD we trust", &c. I just think all forms of woo should be strictly private.
Sounds like you want to tell people how to practice their religion.
Grammatron wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:57 am Yeah it's fucked up but people are free to decide how to spend their funds. I'd rather err on the side of individual liberty.
I agree, in principle. Yet I presume you are not, despite "individual liberty", against driving licenses and red lights, some checks to keep loonies away from guns, some rules/regulations/laws to protect the gullible from the worst scams, children from abusive or negligent parents…
Those are all oranges to the apple of donating your own money to a Church, Eco Fund, Animal Shelter, etc..
The question then becomes "where to draw the line?" (Or one could say that liberty is a fickle concept.)
Individual liberty.
Religion too often seems to get a free pass. There's no rational reason for that save that it's 1. customary and 2. a wonderful control tool.
What's too often? This conversation started because ACLU is launching a campaign to challenge multiple laws in several states.
The only answer I see is education, but good luck with what's in the works right now.
What does that mean?
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Re: 'Murica

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Grammatron wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:38 pm Sounds like you want to tell people how to practice their religion.
Can't put it more clearly than what I wrote: I just think all forms of woo should be strictly private.

And as private citizens in a democracy they are of course free to petition, lobby, donate, pray for Trump to win, walk on their knees, &c.

Image

Grammatron wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:38 pm Those are all oranges to the apple of donating your own money to a Church, Eco Fund, Animal Shelter, etc..
I was just pointing to the fact that "individual liberty" is not freedom to do anything you want.

And that, in the US (or at least parts & periods of them) Christianity (as interpreted locally) has a special status it shouldn't have. In my opinion, at least.

Grammatron wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:38 pm Individual liberty.
Ditto.

Grammatron wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:38 pm What's too often? This conversation started because ACLU is launching a campaign to challenge multiple laws in several states.
As I said, special status. The hardliners would like to drag things back to the 19th c. when the poor (and the "abnormals", "sinners", &c. – in the ideology of the time) knew their place, i. e. kept quiet and politely said "thank you" when gifted some scraps. I just hope that ship has sailed.

And I don't care much about the ACLU. Did I derail the thread?

As we're at it, what do you think of this:

Image

Grammatron wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:38 pm What does that mean?
Education kills once killed superstition(s).

But I was pointing to the neo-superstitions now taught from higher ed down – see our SJW thread.
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Re: 'Murica

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Creationism can be taught as science in Arkansas classrooms, lawmakers say

A bill to allow Christian beliefs to be taught in Arkansas classrooms easily passed the state House Wednesday. House Bill 1701 now heads to the Senate side for a vote.

The bill will allow kindergarten through 12th grade teachers to teach students about the Christian theory of creationism, which claims that a divine being conjured the universe and all things in it in six days. The bill specifies that creationism can be taught not only in religion and philosophy classes, but “as a theory of how the Earth came to exist.”

As with so many pieces of legislation churning out of the Arkansas Capitol this session, if HB 1701 passes, a quick court challenge on this blatant mixing of church and state is all but inevitable. The United States Supreme Court already considered this issue in 1987 and ruled in no uncertain terms that teaching creationism in public school classrooms is unconstitutional. But blatant unconstitutionality hasn’t dissuaded Arkansas lawmakers so far this session. One Senate bill that passed recently, for example, declared all federal gun laws null and void within our state’s borders, in clear opposition to the Supremacy Clause that says federal laws take precedence over state laws.

Rep. Mary Bentley (R-Perryville), sponsor of House Bill 1701 “TO ALLOW CREATIONISM AS A THEORY OF HOW THE EARTH CAME TO EXIST TO BE TAUGHT IN KINDERGARTEN THROUGH GRADE TWELVE CLASSES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND OPEN–ENROLLMENT PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS,” said she put forth the bill at the request of science teachers in her district.

“There are phenomena in our nature that evolution cannot explain,” Bentley said. She emphasized that science teachers may teach creationism under this bill, but they don’t have to.
https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2021 ... makers-say

Cockroaches always crawl back. :mrgreen:


In other Murican news:
BREAKING NEWS! FFRF lawsuit ends religious test to register to vote in Alabama

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has attained a huge constitutional victory for secular voters in Alabama.

FFRF sued the Alabama secretary of state last October on behalf of four Alabama citizens who encountered and objected to a religious test to register to vote.

Now that the state of Alabama has amended all its voter registration forms to allow citizens to opt out of the religious oath, both online and in printed forms, the national state/church watchdog is voluntarily dismissing its federal lawsuit challenging the uniquely Alabamian mandatory religious voter registration oath.

“The Alabama secretary of state excludes Alabama citizens from being able to vote if they are unable to swear a religious oath,” stated the suit. “The secretary of state’s official policy is to hinder the registration of voters who are unable to swear ‘so help me God.’ This policy violates the rights of the plaintiffs and others under the First and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution.”

As part of a settlement, the secretary of state has amended all of the voter registration forms to allow voters to avoid swearing a religious oath. The new “mail in” form provides a check box that says, “OPTIONAL: Because of a sincerely held belief, I decline to include the final four words of the oath above.”

Shortly after the suit was filed, the secretary of state began implementing other changes. In November, the office adopted a new administrative rule that allows voters to strike out “so help me God” and provided guidance to county registrars (who add voters to the rolls) saying that voters could cross out the language.

The lead plaintiff, Randall Cragun, an atheist, had sought to register to vote in Alabama since November 2019. However, voters submitting this registration form in Alabama had to sign the voter declaration, beginning “I solemnly swear or affirm” and concluding with “so help me God.” The director of elections informed Cragun: “There is no legal mechanism to register to vote in AL without signing the oath as it is stated.”
https://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/ite ... in-alabama




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Re: 'Murica

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Can somebody sum up US healthcare for me? I'm puzzled.

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Re: 'Murica

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Witness wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:29 am Can somebody sum up US healthcare for me? I'm puzzled.
Best in the world.
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Re: 'Murica

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Witness wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:48 am
Grammatron wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:38 pm Sounds like you want to tell people how to practice their religion.
Can't put it more clearly than what I wrote: I just think all forms of woo should be strictly private.
That's the matter at hand. The people wanted to woo in private but government told them no.
Grammatron wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:38 pm Those are all oranges to the apple of donating your own money to a Church, Eco Fund, Animal Shelter, etc..
I was just pointing to the fact that "individual liberty" is not freedom to do anything you want.
Never suggested it was.

Grammatron wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:38 pm What's too often? This conversation started because ACLU is launching a campaign to challenge multiple laws in several states.
As I said, special status. The hardliners would like to drag things back to the 19th c. when the poor (and the "abnormals", "sinners", &c. – in the ideology of the time) knew their place, i. e. kept quiet and politely said "thank you" when gifted some scraps. I just hope that ship has sailed.
What the "hardliners" want is irrelevant since we are discussing what government is doing in preventing people to practice their "woo" in private.

As we're at it, what do you think of this:
I don't.
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Re: 'Murica

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Grammatron wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:08 pm
Witness wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:29 am Can somebody sum up US healthcare for me? I'm puzzled.
Best in the world.
For the portion of the population that can afford it.
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
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Re: 'Murica

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gnome wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:17 pm
Grammatron wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:08 pm
Witness wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:29 am Can somebody sum up US healthcare for me? I'm puzzled.
Best in the world.
For the portion of the population that can afford it.
You get healthcare before the bill.
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Re: 'Murica

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And for some, the bill bankrupts them. What the fuck are you on Grammy? You're nominally a level headed person.
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Re: 'Murica

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sparks wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:29 pm And for some, the bill bankrupts them. What the fuck are you on Grammy? You're nominally a level headed person.
I would prefer bankruptcy to death.
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Re: 'Murica

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In other countries they manage to not put people through that choice--you can pick neither.

And in many cases here--you do not get healthcare that is needed. All you are guaranteed for no money out of pocket is emergency stabilizing care. That is not all the healthcare someone needs.
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
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Re: 'Murica

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So here is how I see it--the quality of healthcare that this country is capable of is top tier.
This is not available to most.
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
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Re: 'Murica

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gnome wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:52 pm In other countries they manage to not put people through that choice--you can pick neither.
They don't get the same quality of care. The same way people in a rural area will not get the same quality of critical care that a person in a city may.
And in many cases here--you do not get healthcare that is needed. All you are guaranteed for no money out of pocket is emergency stabilizing care. That is not all the healthcare someone needs.
More than likely you will find someone needing daily medical for the rest of their life or extensive physical therapy being the reason for financial burdens.

At any rate, we don't need to replay this healthcare debate. I think the biggest knock, and there are many, on the American medical system is that it makes it expensive and at times prohibitive to practice preventive medicine. We probably mostly agree that there needs to be some serious change and the insurance system is an absurd mess. But the quality of medical care is the best in the world.
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Re: 'Murica

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Grammatron wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:03 pm
sparks wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:29 pm And for some, the bill bankrupts them. What the fuck are you on Grammy? You're nominally a level headed person.
I would prefer bankruptcy to death.
I'm happy you can make so fine a distinction.
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Re: 'Murica

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sparks wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:23 pm
Grammatron wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:03 pm
sparks wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:29 pm And for some, the bill bankrupts them. What the fuck are you on Grammy? You're nominally a level headed person.
I would prefer bankruptcy to death.
I'm happy you can make so fine a distinction.
In some parts of the world you don't get either choice.
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Re: 'Murica

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Nonsense. Even those with no money to lose can always off themselves.
You can lead them to knowledge, but you can't make them think.
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Re: 'Murica

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sparks wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:27 pm Nonsense. Even those with no money to lose can always off themselves.
That's not true either.
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Disagree. Any joker on the planet is capable of offing themselves. Provided they're determined to do so.
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Re: 'Murica

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Grammatron wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:36 am They don't get the same quality of care. The same way people in a rural area will not get the same quality of critical care that a person in a city may.
I would rather have reliable access to the second best care than to "have" the best care in the world but I can't afford to use it.
At any rate, we don't need to replay this healthcare debate. I think the biggest knock, and there are many, on the American medical system is that it makes it expensive and at times prohibitive to practice preventive medicine. We probably mostly agree that there needs to be some serious change and the insurance system is an absurd mess. But the quality of medical care is the best in the world.
I think that we do agree on many of these issues.
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
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Re: 'Murica

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I am curious ... with Obamacare, who is not insured? Other than those that choose to not have insurance I mean?
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Re: 'Murica

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ed wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:37 pm I am curious ... with Obamacare, who is not insured? Other than those that choose to not have insurance I mean?
Having insurance does not mean the cost will be affordable.
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Re: 'Murica

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Grammatron wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:16 pm That's the matter at hand. The people wanted to woo in private but government told them no.
"In private"? How could anybody prohibit that?
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
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Grammatron wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:16 pm What the "hardliners" want is irrelevant since we are discussing what government is doing in preventing people to practice their "woo" in private.
I don't think so: your religious right-wingers constantly try to reintroduce Jeebus into the State. That doesn't mean that the ACLU's move is perfect.

Grammatron wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:16 pm I don't.
Weird answer to "what do you think of this?"

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Re: 'Murica

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Witness wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:36 am
Grammatron wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:16 pm That's the matter at hand. The people wanted to woo in private but government told them no.
"In private"? How could anybody prohibit that?
With force mostly.
Matthew 6:6
If only it was so easy.
Witness wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:36 am
Grammatron wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:16 pm What the "hardliners" want is irrelevant since we are discussing what government is doing in preventing people to practice their "woo" in private.
I don't think so: your religious right-wingers constantly try to reintroduce Jeebus into the State. That doesn't mean that the ACLU's move is perfect.
And the religious right-wingers are wrong when they try to do it.
Witness wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:36 am
Grammatron wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:16 pm I don't.
Weird answer to "what do you think of this?"

I don't think about out of context pictures. If you want to ask me a question please do so.
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Re: 'Murica

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Grammatron wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:31 pm
ed wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:37 pm I am curious ... with Obamacare, who is not insured? Other than those that choose to not have insurance I mean?
Having insurance does not mean the cost will be affordable.
Despite the fact the government spends a hefty 14.3% of its GDP on healthcare according to OECD figures, the US doesn’t score particularly highly for either the quality or value of care. It ranked in 59th place on the Legatum Prosperity Index for health, while access to care is unequal. According to a recent study one-third of US adults went without the recommended care due to the cost, which, combined with the fact that to receive care you typically need to be part of a medical insurance scheme, is reflected by the low direct out-of-pocket spending by citizens of just under 11% in 2017. In 2019 research found that 66.5% of bankruptcies in America were caused by healthcare, either through high costs or time out of work.
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Re: 'Murica

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For the record, Japan was top, followed by several Scandinavian countries.
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