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US is an oligarchy, not a democracy (Page 2)
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Clinically Insane
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Apr 20, 2014, 07:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post

It was the 14th amendment after the Civil War which was the mechanism by which the Bill of Rights was applied to the states. It's only within (literally) the last five years the Second Amendment got that treatment.
Reconstruction in the South was never officially deemed at an end financially, a fact most people aren't aware of. The punitive aspects were repealed in 1877, but it's still "on the books" on a federal level.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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Apr 20, 2014, 07:15 PM
 
We're ultra-segregated here in Chicago, so each ethnic group ends up in its own enclave. Flags all over the place, signs in the appropriate non-English languages.

Off the top of my head we have solid Polish, Ukrainian, Swedish, German, Korean, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Italian, and Greek neighborhoods.

We even have a gay neighborhood for the people from Homoslovakia.
     
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Apr 20, 2014, 07:19 PM
 
Like... not kidding around.

     
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Apr 20, 2014, 07:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
You're trying to construct a difference.

The US is about 300 million, divided into states, which is what people identify with.

While Europe is about 300 million, divided into states, which is what people identify with.
Exactly! Each state in the USA is like a separate country of the EU, it was established that way for a reason. I'm sure you'd agree there's a cultural difference between Germany and Spain, correct? There's no less difference between western Pennsylvania and south Florida, it feels like an entirely different nation due to cultural diversity.
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Apr 20, 2014, 07:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Like... not kidding around.

That doesn't look like the Borg to me, 539,942 of 2,762,038. Go forth and laminate some ass!
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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Apr 20, 2014, 07:28 PM
 
I'd go so far as to say the difference you have between, say, San Francisco, and Baton Rouge, is way bigger than you get between cities in Europe.
     
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Apr 20, 2014, 07:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'd go so far as to say the difference you have between, say, San Francisco, and Baton Rouge, is way bigger than you get between cities in Europe.
Well, aside from "difference" being very subjective, and "Europe" not meaning the same to every person, I'd say by most measures, your statement is wrong.

Just take two cities like Oslo and Budapest.

You have major differences in language, currency, laws, customs, traditions etc...

It's NOTHING like San Fran and Baton Rouge.

-t
     
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Apr 20, 2014, 07:43 PM
 
I'd go further and say it's also a question of which of those differences actually count for something.

I'm mainly talking attitudes of the residents though.

If you do a poll about various political issues, the people from Oslo and Budapest will poll much closer to each other than the San Francisco and Baton Rouge.
     
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Apr 20, 2014, 07:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If you do a poll about various political issues, the people from Oslo and Budapest will poll much closer to each other than the San Francisco and Baton Rouge.
I'm not so sure about that.

Let's pick another example: Athens and Helsinki.

Do you really think those are closer than SF and BR ?

Methinks you are not aware of the diversity in Europe.

-t
     
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Apr 20, 2014, 08:07 PM
 
That's probably as far as you're going to get, and I think there's some correlation between that difference and the country falling apart at the seams. Would you have had the same spread 10 years ago?

I'll admit, if you cut out the countries in Europe with significant Mediterranean acreage (Spain, Italy, Greece), my argument is stronger, however they're all pretty much falling apart, too.

Maybe there's something in the water.
     
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Apr 20, 2014, 08:09 PM
 
Turtle, you aren't aware how... "unique" people in the bayou area can be. The show Swamp People doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. There are people who live within 10 miles of me who only go to "town" twice each year and still have outdoor plumbing, and Appalachia is considered more technologically advanced than that area of Louisiana.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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Apr 20, 2014, 08:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Turtle, you aren't aware how... "unique" people in the bayou area can be. The show Swamp People doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. There are people who live within 10 miles of me who only go to "town" twice each year and still have outdoor plumbing, and Appalachia is considered more technologically advanced than that area of Louisiana.
So what ?

There are Sinti and Roma living in tents or trailers all over Europe.
There are also plenty of bums living under bridges.

Is this supposed to be a freak show pissing contest ?

-t
     
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Apr 20, 2014, 08:28 PM
 
I think the bum living under the bridge has an unfair advantage when it comes to pissing contests.
     
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Apr 20, 2014, 08:30 PM
 
Touché

-t
     
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Apr 20, 2014, 08:30 PM
 
Therefore, I suggest you all snatch up as many as possible in the opening rounds of your fantasy freak show pissing contest league.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 12:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
I'm sure you'd agree there's a cultural difference between Germany and Spain, correct? There's no less difference between western Pennsylvania and south Florida, it feels like an entirely different nation due to cultural diversity.
The cultural differences between countries in Europe are far, far greater than those between US states. (Yes, I have traveled both extensively.)
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'll admit, if you cut out the countries in Europe with significant Mediterranean acreage (Spain, Italy, Greece), my argument is stronger, however they're all pretty much falling apart, too.
No, the argument is not stronger even if you leave out Mediterranean countries. Different cultures have been cultivated literally over millennia, and thinking that, say, Austrians and Swedes are about as far apart as people living in New York and Colorado is really naive.
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Apr 21, 2014, 12:54 AM
 
New York and Colorado are a far cry from NorCal and Louisiana.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 12:59 AM
 
As an aside, Greeks and Turks have been developing different cultures for even longer...

IT'S THE SAME GODDAMN FOOD! DOESN'T ANYBODY NOTICE THIS?
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 01:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The cultural differences between countries in Europe are far, far greater than those between US states. (Yes, I have traveled both extensively.)
I have too, they aren't.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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Apr 21, 2014, 01:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
So what ?

There are Sinti and Roma living in tents or trailers all over Europe.
There are also plenty of bums living under bridges.

Is this supposed to be a freak show pissing contest ?

-t
WTF? It's spread to you too?
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 02:10 AM
 
Also, I wasn't talking about these places having freaks, I'm sure they think a lot of things urbanites do are equally freakish. They're just different. I know of some very educated Mennonites nearby who aren't impressed with modern technology, and a few minutes on the internets is all it takes to verify many of their concerns.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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Apr 21, 2014, 02:17 AM
 
And one has to ask why the Amish and Mennonites felt the need to split Europe and come here.

So they could integrate?

They were off-put by Europe's welcoming disposition?
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 03:16 AM
 
I think part of the issue here is the... interesting things Europeans consider substantive differences.

Having different pictures on your pieces of paper should be low on your list.

Language and culture are inexorably linked, however this is countered to some extent when almost everyone is multilingual.

The type of difference I'm talking about is crossing the border and all the sudden oral sex has become illegal.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 03:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Still none of that addresses my point, did I say they have no government at all? Did I say it was ineffective or inferior? Yes, you indeed seem confused, or have a bug in your butt. None of the countries you referenced are as diverse, or as complex in their governmental structures, as the USA. If you ask an American where they're from, the vast majority of the time they'll tell you a state, if you ask a Frenchman or an Italian, they'll tell you their country, not "Lorraine", for example. Why? Because it's all tied to cultural identity, a part of that diversity I was talking about, and people in the US, more often than not, identify with their home states.
If you ask an American who is in Europe where he is from, he will reply America. If I (even with my dodgy French) ask a Frenchman where he is from, he will reply Lyon, or Marseille or Paris etc. Having the department that you are from on your license plate is VERY important. Ever join a French internet forum or seen French video players online? 99% of the time they will have their department as their persona.

There is a governmental project to reduce the regions in France. People are up in arms about it because they feel that they will lose their identity and won't be represented. Its the same in Europe Shaddim, albeit on a smaller scale. Less so in the UK, but then they have a Scottish Parliament and a Welsh Assembly as well as the Gov in Westminster.

And I disagree about identifying with their home state. You here more Americans say that they are a mix of Irish and Puerto-Rican (for example) than you hear people say they're a mix of Arizona and Alabama. Places like Florida have people (especially senior citizens) from all over the US. Fair enough once they stop being 'snow birds' they get treated differently but they still aren't Floridians.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 03:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
I have too, they aren't.
You look but you don't see.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 04:21 AM
 
Maybe this is cynical, but I see the nationalism exhibited towards the "widely differing cultures" of Europe as a somewhat desparate attempt to stave off the continental sized steamroller flattening out those things which used to be substantive differences.

OTOH, the seeming uniformity the United States has projected for most of the time post-WWII, is just that: a projection. The divisiveness you see in the US now isn't new, it was masked by the ascendency and eventual dominance of national television. The cost of operating a national television outlet left the gatekeeping duties on the hands of a few, very powerful players. These players needed a return on investment, if only to keep the thing afloat.

The result? National news. This odd amalgam meant to appeal to people in San Francisco as much as Baton Rouge. Push too hard in any one direction and you start losing numbers, or even worse, get the FCC on your case, who holds your license to print money.

People will eat this if it's all that's put on their plate, but the Internet torched the national model by giving people what they really want, and what they had before national television: their local flavor of batshit.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 04:35 AM
 
@mattyb

You've lost me with the self-identify thing.

An American in Europe identifies as an an American because they're in Europe. If you ask an American in America where they're from, do they answer "America"?

By the same token, it shouldn't be a surprise a French person in France isn't going to respond to the question "where are you from?" with the answer "France".
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 04:38 AM
 
A Parisan would answer that question by walking away.

ZING!
     
mattyb  (op)
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Apr 21, 2014, 04:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
@mattyb

You've lost me with the self-identify thing.

An American in Europe identifies as an an American because they're in Europe. If you ask an American in America where they're from, do they answer "America"?

By the same token, it shouldn't be a surprise a French person in France isn't going to respond to the question "where are you from?" with the answer "France".
This was in reply to what Shaddim wrote about people identifying with their state more than the US. I agree with what you've written. In my experience, it depends who is asking the question and where it is being asked. My nearly 14 years of life in France has led me to the conclusion that people in France identify themselves very strongly with their department (like a state). As the Eurocrats try to tighten their grip on people's affairs, this seems to be happening elsewhere - one only has to look at the resurgence of nearly dead languages (in France) like Catalan and Breton to try and ensure that people retain a regional identity. The same is true in Wales (where I spent a good few years of my life).
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 05:07 AM
 
The thing is, I'm not so sure the lack of self-identification translates into lack of actual identification.

I think a lot of Americans would rather pretend the country is far more monolithic than it actually is.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 05:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
You look but you don't see.
I see fine, Snidely, but you and others here have become so accustomed to bashing the USA, that anything positive or different said about it causes you to have a fit. Furthermore, if I leaned on your countries as much you've attempted to abuse mine, you'd think you were ill-used, but I'm expected to take it. Screw that, it's not happening anymore. While "America" has its issues there are some wonderful places to live in it, some of the finest on Earth.

"But we have wonderful places toooo!" When did I say you didn't?

Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
If you ask an American who is in Europe where he is from, he will reply America.
Not generally. Even when traveling I typically hear US citizens identify with their state, it's normal.

If I (even with my dodgy French) ask a Frenchman where he is from, he will reply Lyon, or Marseille or Paris etc.
Not outside your country, they don't.

There is a governmental project to reduce the regions in France. People are up in arms about it because they feel that they will lose their identity and won't be represented. Its the same in Europe Shaddim, albeit on a smaller scale. Less so in the UK, but then they have a Scottish Parliament and a Welsh Assembly as well as the Gov in Westminster.
That doesn't change anything I've said.

And I disagree about identifying with their home state. You here more Americans say that they are a mix of Irish and Puerto-Rican (for example) than you hear people say they're a mix of Arizona and Alabama. Places like Florida have people (especially senior citizens) from all over the US. Fair enough once they stop being 'snow birds' they get treated differently but they still aren't Floridians.
Only when talking with each other, when abroad that's not usually the case.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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Apr 21, 2014, 07:42 AM
 
If you ask a Frenchman in Germany where he's from, he'll tell you the city or the region.

I don't think an American has ever replied that he's from "America" when I asked him where he's from, because at that point, it was invariably obvious. I HAVE, however, been told countless times about being part-German or part-this-and-that, as if it had the slightest relevance to his cultural heritage, or somehow forged a connection between us.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 09:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
That's the meat of it, the Federal gov't is ruled by lawyers, which are generally rather wealthy, and when there's turmoil and conflict they become even more so.
You know, this sued to be a big pet peeve of mine. ****ing government infested by lawyers, a profession that doesn't get much respect in the modern era.

Then I watched the John Adams miniseries and I realized many of the people who were instrumental to drafting the constitution were a bunch of lawyers. And yes, they were wealthy. So as far as indictments of our current government go, lamenting they are rich or lawyers is stupid given the nation's roots.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 03:19 PM
 
And when exactly were we a democracy? When those lawyers declared black people as 3/4 human and women couldn't vote?

During Jim Crow?

Between the Civil Rights movement and 9/11?
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 03:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
If you ask a Frenchman in Germany where he's from, he'll tell you the city or the region.

I don't think an American has ever replied that he's from "America" when I asked him where he's from, because at that point, it was invariably obvious. I HAVE, however, been told countless times about being part-German or part-this-and-that, as if it had the slightest relevance to his cultural heritage, or somehow forged a connection between us.
Americans do do that, and I'll fully admit it's weird.

My only explanation is that idea has a lot of inertia and not enough people pointing out it's weird.

I'm Italian, Polish, and Lithuanian BTW, but my last name is about as German as they come. First name is biblical. What a ****in hot mess.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 03:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
And when exactly were we a democracy? When those lawyers declared black people as 3/4 human and women couldn't vote?

During Jim Crow?

Between the Civil Rights movement and 9/11?
Yes, during all those times, the United States was a democracy. People seem to think that "democracy" automatically means equal representation, minority representation, fairness and minority protection.

That all depends entirely upon how the democracy is set up and what rules it follows.

Just because certain groups are excluded from participation (and thus representation) does not mean the system is not a democracy.

Nor that "pure" democracy is even a good idea: it is vital, for example, to code minority protection into the system, even if that directly contradicts the "majority rule".
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 03:35 PM
 
I won't make a claim either way, but it is worth noting that we've enabled more direct democracy over the past 200 years with the enabling of blacks to vote, women to vote, lowering of the voting age, and direct election of senators. I'm not entirely clear if the mechanics of the Presidential election has changed, regarding awarding of electors.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 03:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Yes, during all those times
I know this... you know this...
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 03:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Incorrect, a quick jaunt to any major city, and most of the minor ones, you'll see entire communities of varying cultures. Around here we're largely Scots and Welsh, with some Irish and German descendants. The old Lutheran church down the road is one of the oldest in the SE USA. Knoxville, about 45 minutes away, has a large, thriving Greek community and enough Armenians to fill a small college basketball arena. Your misguided impression of assimilation isn't surprising, however, we get that a lot from Canadians.

It's not misguided, he is absolutely correct that the official national stance is that of a melting pot/assimilation. This is why other foreign citizenships need to be denounced at the citizenship oath ceremony. He didn't say this is how things actually play out culturally though, which is what you're talking about here.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 04:04 PM
 
I'm pretty sure that's not denouncing your previous citizenship, it's promising you aren't a foreign agent.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 04:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm pretty sure that's not denouncing your previous citizenship, it's promising you aren't a foreign agent.
It is denouncing your previous citizenship, I just went through the process.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of...(United_States)
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 04:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
It is denouncing your previous citizenship, I just went through the process.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of...(United_States)
United States nationality law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Although naturalizing citizens are required to undertake an oath renouncing previous allegiances, the oath has never been enforced to require the actual termination of original citizenship.[24]
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 04:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
It is denouncing your previous citizenship, I just went through the process.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of...(United_States)
renouncing previous allegiances != denouncing your previous citizenship

Dual citizenship has long been possible (allowable) for US citizens.

-t
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 04:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
It is denouncing your previous citizenship, I just went through the process.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of...(United_States)
I read the oath. It's just what turtle said. Citizenship and allegiance are different things.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 04:43 PM
 
What am I, chopped liver?
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 04:51 PM
 
This is a clear setup for a joke, but I'm too off my game today to take advantage.

I picked him because I repeated his statement close to verbatim.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 04:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I read the oath. It's just what turtle said. Citizenship and allegiance are different things.
newcitizen.us - Dual Citizenship

This is right, but it's sort of a weird technicality. You're supposed to state the oath, but a number of countries (like Canada) simply do not recognize this and allow you to keep your original citizenship. Not all countries work this way though, AFAIK, there are some countries where there is one-way-ticket status with.

That's on them, but I think this language gives them justification for this one-way-ticket sort of deal.

Either way, my point is that there is some official, symbolic, national, historical, often subtle expectation of "becoming Americanized". However, Shaddim is not wrong either that culturally, most people do not expect some sort of particular commitment towards adopting all-things-America.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 04:59 PM
 
Also, no one correcting besson's incorrect use of the term denounce when he meant renounce is killing me.
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 05:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Also, no one correcting besson's incorrect use of the term denounce when he meant renounce is killing me.
I'm not sure why it is killing you, but I've just looked up the difference so that I don't make this mistake again - hopefully!
     
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Apr 21, 2014, 05:05 PM
 
Denounce is actually closer to what happens than renounce.

It's not exactly right, but I felt odd correcting him into a term which is an even less accurate in regards to the subject.
     
 
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