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Comment Matt Taibi (Score 1) 260

Anyone following Matt Taibi's career can clearly tell you that he is a Russian-trained spy. He may have been born in the US, but he was clearly recruited during his 10-year sting as a reporter for an English-language newspaper in Moscow. His argument style is most reminiscent of the old-Soviet propaganda. And he consistently sides with Russia and blames the US in any conflict between the two countries. I, personally, have also seen him use a direct translation of the Russian phrase "neither fish nor meat" instead of the English idiom "neither fish not fowl". Which is entirely unexpected from a professional English-language writer. The only explanation I have for his whole persona is massive training received based on literature used to directly train Russian spies in English or directly in Russian.

Comment Re: Finally, the gloves will come off! (Score 1) 1044

the government investigates marriage claims for immigration purposes. Even overseas ones, making a federal-state issue moot.

Not quite. The fact that it has to take it case-by-case basis already makes it the rule of men rather than a rule of law. The federal government has to address the issue of what is and what is a marriage in immigration cases. Which makes it the federal government's domain to define what can or cannot be considered a marriage. An opinion that it should be done without a law in-place is a pro-anarchy view.

Comment Re: Finally, the gloves will come off! (Score 1) 1044

Disestablishment was meant to keep the state from compelling religion on people, not the other way around, and the state maintains its forms of compulsion. Thats why jury duty can still be compelled. Military conscription.

I was under impression that Quakers were exempt from military conscription.

Comment Re: Finally, the gloves will come off! (Score 1) 1044

Only in the sense that you are choosing to be engaged in business where you will be expected to follow the state's laws, rather than rise in revolution, or stop baking cakes. Or even just stop baking custom cakes.

No, not only. It's the subtle difference between putting your creative energies into bettering the occasion rather than enabling the occasion. Having had this discussion has allowed me to actually think my position through a bit more and I actually now think that the court's decision is squarely at odds with disestablishment clause. But the civil rights are guaranteed through bills and, to the best of my knowledge, have not been tested as to whether they take precedence over the right of religious expression. This isn't about the right to reasonable accomodation, mind you. Not having that one bakery be the one which bakes the cake does not prevent the marriage from taking place. It's about the right to a special accommodation.

Comment few consider another possibility (Score 1) 505

What if the underground economy is actually burgeoning? We've long equated (or nearly equated) unlawful behavior with unethical behavior, but in most countries around the world where business is heavily regulated, such notions don't exist. Sure there is a strong propaganda to maintain such belief, but what if it's actually crumbling? What if the underground economy is not just selling drugs, gambling, prostitution anymore? What's if it's now manufacturing? Even if we were to discount the driving of business underground due to regulation, there is also a pressure for regular businesses to go underground to avoid litigation risks (which are, by far, the single most damaging risks any business can suffer)?

Comment how to lie with statistics (Score 1) 505

Unemployment is at lowest since 2007 (mention the number). Labor force participation decreased to 62.7 (mention a different number). Labor force participation is lowest in 40 years (don't mention this number because it makes the unemployment rate meaningless). That's labor force participation percentage -- not absolute number. So you it's not effected by retirements due to aging population. It's the number of people of working age not looking for work and not attending school or job training.

Comment Re: Finally, the gloves will come off! (Score 1) 1044

And churches have already had to deal with issues like childcare, rummage sales, and even leasing out their parking lots. Not to mention their public spaces. Only allow members of your church to get married? Ok. Start letting non-members do it, uh-oh. Start charging money for it? Oh-my.

Yes, and not allowing any degree of selectivity forces them to lose their counseling capacity. As I am sure you know, "it's fun to stay at the YMCA" doesn't refer to it being a place to marvel in gospel.

Comment Re: Finally, the gloves will come off! (Score 1) 1044

This is like all the people who claimed that marriage was somehow belonging to religion

Side note, but no, I don't think that can be the case. I don't even think marriage can be decided on state-by-state basis. So there should be a federal statute on age limits, too. Not because it's the right or wrong, but because immigration is clearly within the domain of the federal government and immigration is inseparably entangled with marriage. Israel tried to put marriage in the religion-only domain (and has no civil marriage) and the only result is that any couple which doesn't pass a muster of one of the religions' norms for marriage has to marry outside the country. So not having a fully federally-regulated marriage is actually quite cumbersome on our system as well.

Comment Re: Finally, the gloves will come off! (Score 1) 1044

And I'm not convinced that baking and preparing a cake or weaving flowers indicates endorsement. Sanctification of the ceremony? Ok, that is. Cake? Flowers? No.

There in lies the rub. This is really the reason why you reject the argument. Providing custom service requires a degree (however little it may be) of creativity. The vendor, at the time of performing the creative work, has to put their mind into how to better that one specific occasion. And that amounts to a tacit endorsement of the occasion. If such endorsement goes against their religious beliefs, then the court is forcing them to put their creative efforts into something which, in their mind, goes against the behavior prescribed by a higher power. They are literally being asked to chose between law and [Gg]od. And that's precisely the type of situation which the disestablishment was meant to address.

Comment Very true: can already see it happening (Score 1) 321

In South America, glaciers are disappearing so fast that people are running out of water, and moving to other places, regardless of boundaries.

Even internally you can see the migration occurring in North America, regardless of boundaries, or oceans.

Now if only these land-hoarding NIMBYs would stop their futile attempts to resist growth, and decommission the empty states and counties, we'd be fine.

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