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1  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Let's Stop Tricking the Newbies Act (Debating) on: Today at 09:32:33 am
Couldn't you have one newbie asking another newbie to move, they both being unaware of the laws on this?
2  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Vote No to the Electoral Reform Amendment on: Today at 09:26:10 am
One thing I don't think has been mentioned: the role of the RG in case of a deadlock in the commission could lead to the politicization of the role, at least in perception.
3  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: Fix the Constitution Act on: Today at 09:13:47 am
Two issues I see here:

"Commanding the militia" when this militia is not otherwise established or described in the Regional Constitution.

and

Exclusive authority over the voting booth, which would make it impossible to conduct an election if the governor was for whatever reason not available.  Also the region at one point iirc enacted conditions for a separate voting booth administrator in cases where there seemed to be a conflict of interest, and this would prohibit that.
4  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Strom Thurmond on: Today at 01:30:59 am
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Hillary Clinton Gives Speech at Kochtopus Venue on: Today at 01:15:58 am
the Koch brothers' neoliberal takeover of our politics knows no bounds!



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HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

Introduction by Beatrice Biira, Community Engagement Coordinator at Heifer International

Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady

http://www.davidhkochtheater.com/moreinfoWITW.html

6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: the 404 page on Hillary's website is the best thing ever on: Today at 12:36:10 am
Will the Republicans follow suit with their own photos of them standing next to Disney characters?
7  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Site idea on: Today at 12:34:49 am
A lot of those old threads are quite good.
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Will Obama recognize the Armenia genocide on April 24? on: Today at 12:32:30 am
There are some things I can let pass when it comes to presidential candidates saying one thing, and then doing otherwise when it comes to having to face the pressing complex demands of the office. This is one of them. It would be a good thing to do in itself, unfortunately the timing is never right for it, as we are constantly in need to cooperate with them and can't risk the damage. I'm more concerned with the President dealing with human rights abuses that are current, and in that case I think he could speak out a bit more.
9  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which two people are more similar? on: Today at 12:22:33 am
Lincoln and Bush, definitely: both saw themselves as playing a divinely inspired role in the expansion of freedom through military action, both extensively curtailed civil liberties in the name of national security (though Lincoln with more hesitation and legitimate reason). Both had a keen sense of self-deprecating humor, and both dealt with mental illness (Lincoln with depression and Bush with alcoholism).
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: To all of our Hillary fans on: Today at 12:02:42 am
ooh it's "limited edition"!  I bet it was personally screen printed by Haim Saban. 
11  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: Fix the Constitution Act on: April 24, 2015, 04:56:39 pm
What is the basis for the description of the governor's powers in article 1, section 3?  I'm just wondering if there are any changes there from current law.
12  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: No Heart of Stone Act on: April 24, 2015, 04:47:12 pm
What I see as the problem is this. We failed to separate the abortion discussion from the immigration portion. Laws should not cover multiple subjects in one bill when possible and this still fails that simple premise. I want to have an intelligent discussion over both issues but in order to do that, we need to seperate the two discussions into two different bills.

They should have been two separate bills the first time. The original was passed in a mad rush the last week of the assembly session back last fall. Unfortunately, passing both parts as separate bills is not politically feasible, so we're effectively stuck with either the entire bill or only the immigration parts.

I'd like to point out that even with these abortion restrictions, the Mideast's abortion laws are far, far looser than they were three years ago when abortion was banned with exceptions for rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.

We could quite easily take out the immigration parts and put it in a new bill, leaving the abortion part intact.
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you have voted for the Iraq War? on: April 24, 2015, 04:35:33 pm
Without hindsight, probably not.

With hindsight, maybe.

you would be more likely to vote for it with hindsight than without?
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Past Election What-ifs (US) / Re: 1948: No third-party candidates on: April 24, 2015, 04:19:31 pm
fairly straightforward Truman victory. 

Without Wallace, Truman gains New York, but Dewey keeps his other states (a few under 50% still thanks to Socialist and Prohibition candidates).

The Democrats win all Southern states, though Virginia is close, and in the Deep South some electors for the Democratic party are understood to be unpledged.



Truman/Barkley  53.2%  389
Dewey/Warren    45.7%   142
others                  1.1%
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you have voted for the Iraq War? on: April 24, 2015, 03:36:46 pm
Based on the information presented to the general public at the time?  No.    I'm a little less sure if I were a member of Congress exposed to some faulty secret intelligence, but probably no there also.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rep. Steve Knight to Protester: "I'll Drop Your Ass" on: April 24, 2015, 03:30:53 pm
He should run for Norfolk City Council.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gay marriage opponents' strategy uncertain in 2015 on: April 24, 2015, 03:15:53 pm
Normally if you have a ceremony officiated by a clergy a civil ceremony is not required.  What I am saying is that the state could make it so that clergy who oppose same sex marriage might have their civil authority removed by the state.  Under this they might still have the marriage ceremony, but they'd have to go to a judge and have it performed there as well.   Wouldn't be the end of the world from my perspective considering what we've seen already, but that's where I see this headed.

Except no one is going to do that?


Quote
The interpretation of the law seems to be changing to place less weight on freedoms such as religion and speech compared to nondiscrimination. I would have never thought, for example, that a person could be sued for not engaging in photography. That I would think would be a clear first amendment case, but the U.S. Supreme Court never even took it up when the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled the way it did. 

Yeah, I don't see the problem here. You can't abuse religious freedom as a trump card so you can violate others' secular rights.

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People have been so up in arms about generic RFRA laws because they think they might, counter to all precedent, allow for discrimination against gays.

Really pathetic that you have to outright lie about this now.

I and many others on this forum have explained to you several times that 1.) the Indiana law was not a "generic" RFRA, otherwise this would've been an issue in the late-1990s/early-2000s. The Indiana law specifically granted corporate personhood and extended the "religious freedom" defense to civil suits, in addition to the people who helped write the bill openly bragging that it will allow discrimination, and 2.) the reason it has no precedent is because this is the first time an RFRA law was passed with such provisions.

Why do you keep ignoring these arguments? This is the third time I've had to explain this to you. Do you not want to acknowledge them? Are you unable to mentally comprehend what I am saying?

Quote
But I can't be concerned about the much more substantial momentum in the direction of absolutizing anti-discrimination claims above all other concerns?
No, because discrimination is a pretty serious issue, and supporting it is not a legitimate "concern".

At some point I get tired of the raw hostility surrounding my beliefs on this on this site and have other things to do so I'm sorry I haven't adequately addressed all your points before. I recognize you think I am some sort of a bigot because I've been a consistent defender of freedom of conscience and religion on myriad issues as they relate to a wide variety of spiritual and humanistic traditions. That's fine if it makes you feel important or whatever.  So, can we dispense with the argumenta ad hominem?

By generic RFRA law I meant a RFRA law that does not go outside the framework of the Federal law to specify that it covers cases of discrimination.  The Federal RFRA law was written in response to Employment Division v Smith's removal of the substantial burden test in favor of letting laws stand if they were of general applicability regardless of burden.  The features of Indiana's RFRA laws were clarifications to make it function as a pre-Smith version of the First Amendment.  A constitutional right cannot be violated by the government, nor can it be violated by any person or nongovernmental org suing to enforce a law.  The fact that Hustler Magazine was a for-profit enterprise sued by a private individual Jerry Falwell did not mean that they were prevented from raising the First Amendment as a defense. 

As Prof. Douglas Laycock, influential in the drafting of the Federal RFRA,  explains:
Quote
On private parties, the federal RFRA was clearly intended to provide a possible defense (subject, as always, to the compelling interest test) when a religious organization or believer is sued, whether by a government or a private citizen. The statute specifically mentioned relief against a government, because of concerns about sovereign immunity (the rule that you usually can’t sue a state). And that created an ambiguity; did it mean only against a government? The drafting history is very clear about how this happened, and “only” is not what they said or what they meant.

Most states copied the federal language, and copied the ambiguity. And the New Mexico Supreme Court took advantage of that, and said no RFRA defense in a suit by a private citizen. So the Indiana bill addresses that ambiguity. If your church is feeding the homeless, and the neighbors don’t like it, it really doesn’t matter whether you get sued by the neighbors or sued by the city.

So Indiana's RFRA was not something different than what had been a respected interpretation of the Federal RFRA law, or expected under pre-Smith 1st Amendment law.  If religious freedom were to allow a Jim Crow against gays, they would be some evidence - such as  allowing the actual Jim Crow to continue back when the 1st Amendment was interpreted as having a stronger protection for religious freedom. But there is no precedent here to speak of. 

In the post you responded to here, I was explaining why we could expect that we haven't seen yet the full extent of erosion of religious liberty. I surmised a possible extension of this, which you assured us would never happened, even as you took a look at the reasons why I thought it might and declared them all positive developments you hoped would have no limit. Afleitch has posted in this thread a detailed explanation of why he believes discrimination against same-sex relationships by churches are unlike those against other religions, so it's not strange for me to think that someone would at least try to change the law in this area. If I can take you at your word that you believe anti-discrimination should always trump religious freedom, then there's no reason why you too wouldn't want to force clergy to marry a same-sex couple against their wishes.

What we have been seeing is an attempt by reproductive and gay rights groups to fundamentally alter the relation of religion to public life. There's no reason to think the effects will be limited to discrimination even broadly defined. The move is from the pluralism and freedom of conscience tradition that has its roots in this country in Roger Williams and William Penn, to a secular laicite coming out of the French Revolution.  The idea that religion needs to hurry back inside the walls of the church/synagogue/mosque/temple etc as soon as it offends certain sensibilities strikes against what so many religious groups have found valuable about America in the past.  The idea that as soon as you enter the marketplace you have a fundamental legal duty to please your customer regardless of your own values is a novel one - at least in a non-monopoly setting. The EEOC is currently representing a complaint brought by Muslim truck drivers fired for not wanting to deliver beer. Pretty soon it may be the Muslim truck drivers being fined by the government for harming the nation's beer drinkers.
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Winfield's signature on: April 24, 2015, 11:45:30 am
On the profile page Winfield's avatar is placed in such a way it looks like the guy pointing has a blue fez. Fez's are cool.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: vandals destroy michael brown memorial less than 24 hours after it is dedicated on: April 24, 2015, 11:27:45 am
Michael Brown is not to most sympathetic person for civil rights activists to stake a claim on. That doesn't make it ok to destroy a memorial.
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: WaPo/ABC Poll: 61% support SSM; 1st time more than 6 in 10 support on: April 24, 2015, 11:23:53 am
will be interesting to see what the next Gallup poll says; they have the most precise poll wording.

21  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: No Heart of Stone Act on: April 23, 2015, 09:08:55 pm
I will remove my renaming amendment for now, but I reserve my right to enter a more descriptive title for this legislation in future amendments.
22  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Mideast Right to Life Act on: April 23, 2015, 08:57:24 pm
I would have thought "this bill removes the right to life from being protected" made the reasons for my opposition fairly clear.
23  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Mideast Right to Life Act on: April 23, 2015, 06:46:59 pm
The inexplicably named "No Heart of Stone Act" amounts to little more than a repeal of all protections for the unborn throughout development.

This is blatantly false. The sole function of the MRLA was to surround abortion services in miles of bureaucratic red tape. Funny how the people who supposedly support a "small government" are all in favor of regulations when they suit their purposes.

As for the "inexplicable" name, I explained it thoroughly in the debate thread. I had to, as you have spent the last 24 hours arguing about the title of the bill instead of the bill itself. I am glad that you're finally explaining your objections to the proposal. It would have been better if you'd done so the first three times I asked, but "better late than never".

Yes, I am in favor of a few regulations when it comes to keeping children from being deliberately killed.  Crazy, huh?   The MRLA established protections both for the unborn and the immigrant, to further a consistent ethic of life. The NHOSA is not pro-immigrant or compassionate just because it intends to jetison the protections for the unborn. 

I'm starting to feel like a broken record here. What you just said is a standard, right-wing argument against abortion. There's nothing wrong from that, but it is far from incontrovertible fact. Furthermore, the MRLA did not actually prohibit abortions (that would be unconstitutional), it merely mandated a waiting period and a whole bunch of tests before one could have an abortion. That's not going to stop someone from having an abortion if they're set on it, but it does create needless obstacles to getting a procedure that is perfectly legal.

You're comment that you oppose children being "deliberately killed" is misleading because there is serious debate over when a fetus can be considered a living human being. No-one is talking about hunting down five-year-old kids and shooting them; we're merely debating a question that is as yet unanswered. While I do not agree with your definition, I respect your right to hold it. We can and should have an intelligent, level-headed debate on this issue, but fear-mongering and taking to the pulpit every time someone questions your beliefs is getting us nowhere.

Ultimately, what this comes down to is whether you're a pundit or a public servant. If it's the former, then feel free to make bombastic statements and argue about petty details. If you intend to continue representing the people of the Mideast, however, I ask that you set aside the vitriol and the distractions and do the job you were elected to do.

You sound like a broken record to me as well. You keep insisting that I "do the job I was elected to do" as though there is something inconsistent between being an elected representative and opposing bills one disagrees with.  The name of a bill is not a minor detail, it frames the debate and perception of a law. If it were a minor detail, you would not insist so strongly on a name that does not reflect the actual legal changes you seek to make.  It is not a minor detail that the MRLA already contains protections for illegal immigrants.  I find it ironic that you accuse me of "taking the pulpit" on this issue since your office first attacked me publicly before I opened this thread clarifying the record on what this bill really is and why it should be opposed. 
24  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Vote Aye: Atlasians for Electoral Reform on: April 23, 2015, 06:00:42 pm
I don't understand the claim that this will lead to a more competitive electoral system. If you have 7 candidates for 5 seats, at-large you have a competitive election. With districts you'd have 3 that are noncompetitive and 2 that might be competitive.
25  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Mideast Right to Life Act on: April 23, 2015, 05:01:42 pm
The inexplicably named "No Heart of Stone Act" amounts to little more than a repeal of all protections for the unborn throughout development.

This is blatantly false. The sole function of the MRLA was to surround abortion services in miles of bureaucratic red tape. Funny how the people who supposedly support a "small government" are all in favor of regulations when they suit their purposes.

As for the "inexplicable" name, I explained it thoroughly in the debate thread. I had to, as you have spent the last 24 hours arguing about the title of the bill instead of the bill itself. I am glad that you're finally explaining your objections to the proposal. It would have been better if you'd done so the first three times I asked, but "better late than never".

Yes, I am in favor of a few regulations when it comes to keeping children from being deliberately killed.  Crazy, huh?   The MRLA established protections both for the unborn and the immigrant, to further a consistent ethic of life. The NHOSA is not pro-immigrant or compassionate just because it intends to jetison the protections for the unborn. 
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