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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  General Politics / Economics / Re: Would a Georgian Land Value Tax harm conservation? on: Today at 09:39:14 pm
If we are talking about an isolated and unproductive property, the land itself would not be worth much in the first place, and the market value would decrease depending on the extent of the tax burden. If the tax on the land were high enough, the land would be completely worthless either way.

Moreover, there are all kinds of factors other than property taxes that limit the extent of development.

trying to wrap my head around what you are saying here: It could be influential in terms of encouraging development if it were not isolated, correct?  Or maybe in a desirable location for other reasons?   

You raise another issue I hadn't considered: If a large tax burden makes the land so undesirable as to be worthless, wouldn't that mean you could never have this as a major source of revenue?  It seems to suggest a sort of paradox where as soon as the value of a place increases it decreases simultaneously due to the higher tax burden.  Would people keep seeking out less valued, more isolated locations in order to avoid the tax burden and prevent any concentration of value?

I realize there are other factors that limit the extent of development, I'm asking whether there would be an effect, and how large it might be, if you had a tax large enough to replace other revenue sources, as has been proposed.
2  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: shua's pitch for the House on: Today at 08:52:03 pm
thanks for the kind comments folks Smiley
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should Hillary renominate Garland on: Today at 05:43:40 pm
If Hillary won, why wouldn't the Senate just confirm Garland before she takes office?

They would have just spend a whole year saying the president shouldn't get to choose the Supreme Court member in his final year in office.
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should Hillary renominate Garland on: Today at 05:03:20 pm
voted yes, because we need a Jewish majority on the supreme court

I didn't know he was a Jewy Garland!
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of "nice guy, FF :)" reasoning on: Today at 04:54:09 pm
Honestly, I'm rather flattered that you think about me so much.

I'm thinking more of a truly vile and utterly disgusting sh!tposter called TNF we once had.

Did people say he was a "nice guy"?  Wasn't my impression of him for the most part, though he could be once in a while.  Generally I think people liked him because he was interesting.
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Past Election What-ifs (US) / Re: 1980: Bush versus Kennedy on: Today at 04:46:44 pm

George HW Bush (TX) / Rep. Phil Crane (IL)      425  54% 
Sen. Ted Kennedy (MA) / Sen. Don Riegle (MI)  113  44%
7  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Public Consultation and Legislation Submissions on: Today at 02:36:20 pm
The Earth-friendly Packaging Act

1. In order to lead the way to a cleaner and healthier future for all life in our nation, and to demonstrate the use of more environmentally sustainable alternatives, the Federal Government of Atlasia commits to phase out its use of polystyrene foam packaging materials by one year from the passage of this act.  These materials will be replaced by materials which do not create debris ingestible by wildlife and which are not otherwise harmful to waterways or to the health of animals or humans.

2. Departments may reuse polystyrene foam for internal or interdepartmental use but will not purchase new polystyrene materials.  Departments will make efforts to provide for recycling of polystyrene and other plastics.

3. Food services which operate in federal buildings, or in national parks or other federal designated protected areas, shall not use polystyrene foam in consumer food packaging.  Additionally, a goal shall be set of using 95% recyclable or reusable and 75% biodegradable packaging by one year from the passage of this act.

4. This act shall not prohibit the use of polystyrene foam in architectural or medical applications, or applications determined of unavoidable necessity, or the acquiring of polystyrene foam for these purposes; however, the development and use of more environmentally friendly materials will be strongly encouraged in all applications wherever possible.

Freedom to Pharm Act

No insurer may require the use of a mail-order program in order to cover a prescription drug, nor require use of any particular pharmacy or pharmacy retail chain.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you have indyrep-itis? on: Today at 02:29:45 pm
I hope not. That sounds awful.
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Daughter of Sen. Manchin raises EpiPen price 400% on: Today at 02:26:13 pm
Is the epipen a monopoly product?  Shouldn't you be able to have a generic version by now?

Among the usual advice for lower your prescription drug costs is to seek out a generic alternative. But because of the patent on the EpiPen delivery device, a true generic doesn't exist. Patients are instead buying abroad where the EpiPen is cheaper, and resorting to other devices that deliver epinephrine, including DIY syringes.


That's weird.  Apparently it was invented by an engineer at Survival Technology way back in the 1970s.

I wonder how long Congress will keep having to haul in corporate execs and such before them before they realize they need to enact some meaningful patent reform.
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Daughter of Sen. Manchin raises EpiPen price 400% on: Today at 10:53:09 am
Is the epipen a monopoly product?  Shouldn't you be able to have a generic version by now?
11  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Opinion on 'burkini' ban? on: Today at 09:43:32 am
We can all agree that modern Sweden is less patriarchal than Saudi Arabia. The point of the concept isn't to lump 99.9% of societies that ever existed in the history of humanity together. Rather, it's to bring attention to a series of specific attitudes that exist in all those society and to their root cause.

The relevant question is whether all these diverse societies have the same root cause for not being a feminist utopia.
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: insult the previous poster ....badly on: Today at 09:36:31 am
Woah, settle down, that's kinda harsh.

You didn't see LA huh?  Typical lazy Frenchie, not even bothering to see places.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Poster boys for white privilege lie and denigrate Brazil on: Today at 09:20:21 am
Here’s more:


As new details of the encounter continue to emerge, legal experts in Rio say the security guards’ actions merit an investigation, claiming they might have broken Brazilian law by threatening the swimmers with guns as they demanded payment.

The crime experts point to arbitrary exercise of personal force, or vigilante justice.

USA TODAY Sports submitted written questions to the Rio police about the extent of the damage caused by the athletes and whether the security guards would be investigated. A police spokesperson confirmed by phone the receipt of the email but had not responded to questions.

Rio state judge João Batista Damasceno compared the incident to a landlord collecting rent from a tenant — with a gun in his hand. Even if the money is owed, force cannot be used, he said.

I was wondering about that, and why it hadn't been discussed more.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Minneapolis to vote on $15/hour minimum wage on: Today at 09:18:51 am
Is Minneapolis really expensive?

Not really. My apartment is $595/month. Most cost of living indexes 0ut it at about a 110, with 100 being the national average.

This seems like a very bad idea then.  I'd rather people without a stellar resume have a $10/hr job, than no job.

Automation may grow the economy, yes. But people like having jobs, even if we had something like a basic income (which we don't). A lot of the low wage jobs can't be automated in any case though. They'll just go to people that are less "low risk," and some places will just shut their doors if they don't have big enough profit margins to cover a huge increase in labor costs. 
15  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Racist Moderators on: Today at 02:44:00 am
Ag's point, for those of you who don't get it, is that "white" is a pretty arbitrary category whose definition can change pretty radically depending on both when and where you live.

On a different note, trying to explain the significance that nationality had in the Soviet Union (or even that "Jew" was generally seen as an ethnic rather than religious category) to Americans is always a weirdly difficult task, and I have no idea why ag resorted to using Soviet nationality to make his point when there're a million much better examples of his point closer to home that wouldn't require explanations of Soviet ID cards that Americans aren't generally familiar with.

I think beyond that he likes to use racial categories as stand-ins for positions in the social hierarchy. So that rather than referencing an ethnic or racial group white simply designates "privileged oppressors" or something along those lines. There was an equally angry debate when he used Jewish in a similar way a while back.

There are whole corners of the internet that use "Jews" as stand-ins for privileged oppressors.
16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Clinton address in Reno to focus on Trump's ties to Alt-Right/White Nationalism on: Today at 02:26:19 am
The problem with the alt-right is their nihilism and their stupid memes. Otherwise, they're just fine.

Something tells me you own a copy of Mein Kampf.
Is that bad?

only two kinds of books.  books to agree with and books for burning.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Minneapolis to vote on $15/hour minimum wage on: Today at 12:19:10 am
Is Minneapolis really expensive?
18  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: 1026 - The Freedom to Drink Act on: Today at 12:15:22 am
We need to be careful here since the 1984 bill didn't prohibit drinking or purchase for those under 21, but rather tied it to highway funding for the states so that they would be pushed into doing that.  So what we could do is to threaten to take away some of the regional highway funding - which is what the 1984 bill did.  Or, since I think we do not have a 21st amendment repealing prohibition, we could set a national minimum age.  I don't believe we can directly prohibit the regions from having a higher minimum age for purchasing alcohol - that seems like a pretty blatant violation of federalism.

This bill as written does not reflect the current legal reality of the situation. So what do we want to try to do? Repeal the 1984 and set just a drinking age for those areas under federal jurisdiction and leave the regions to do what they want?   Put forward a single minimum age for the whole country?  Or, modify the 1984 bill to a different age?  (I honestly don't get the idea that we would take away highway funding for a region having a drinking age of 24. What is the logic of that?  ) Or, come up with an entirely new policy?
19  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: SB 2016-017: End Abuse of Civil Forfeiture Act (Debating) on: August 23, 2016, 11:53:56 pm
federal overreach


I asked to fix this in the House thread:

In addition, the vast majority of civil forfeiture is conducted at the state level, and general law enforcement is not within the constitutional jurisdiction of the federal government, meaning this bill would have little effect, even if passed.

True, so we can pass a bill reforming civil forfeiture at the federal level, and the regions can follow our lead.

but for some reason, it wasn't amended by anyone.

I didn't recognize that as asking for an amendment. I was just assuming that as it was a federal bill concerning criminal justice, this bill would be interpreted as something that  applied to federal criminal justice policy.
20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: SC-The Feldman Group (D): Tied in 4-way, Trump +2 in Head to Head on: August 23, 2016, 11:36:33 pm
The Feldman Group is a very reputable firm.

21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: has either Trump or Hillary commented on Yemen? on: August 23, 2016, 09:47:06 pm
Is there something new going on in Yemen? I've hardly heard about it since the Arab Spring when its president was nearly killed.

The US is supporting the Saudis in their 'anti-terror' war there.
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: insult the previous poster ....badly on: August 23, 2016, 09:44:15 pm
I don't think you realize how this works, Kingpoleon.  What kind of name is that anyway?  Napoleon wasn't even a king, he was an emporer.
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / has either Trump or Hillary commented on Yemen? on: August 23, 2016, 08:01:32 pm
I realize it's probably too much to ask for a major party candidate to comment on US complicity in a Syria-level humanitarian catastrophe, but I just thought I'd check.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone IV - Hungover on: August 23, 2016, 07:54:57 pm
I tried to sign up for the Friends of the Library at the university down the street, so I could borrow book. But they said they required a water or utility bill. But, I don't get those, since this is included in my rent.  I can only guess they do it this way as an underhanded way to discriminate against non-homeowners.   that sh**t.

Would they accept a copy of your lease?

No, apparently it's a strict policy, though supposedly it's for proof of address. I asked if I could use my voter registration card and they said that wouldn't work.
25  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Do you support open borders? on: August 23, 2016, 07:13:03 pm
The thing with borders is that I still find them hard to really justify morally. It's hard to justify a global regime that keeps people mired in poverty for essentially selfish means (that it could effect the living stabdards of somebody in my position). Especially when the rich and global companies have long passed the point of caring about national borders (aside from when they exploit them for financial gain) I think it's naive to think we should treat them as these immutable sacrosanct institutions.

I think that this is one of those issues that really boils down to how one views human nature. If, on the one hand, you believe that people's only real interest in this world is economic, and that every other expression of human existence is transient or superficial, then there's no reason that every nation wouldn't throw in its lot with every other nation, all dedicated to the economic uplift of all. On the other hand, if you believe that economic advancement is just one in a bundle of aims that communities strive after, then it follows that members of one community ought to be allowed to deny membership to people(s) whose aims might diverge from theirs.

There is however the important issue that communities and nation-states do not always coincide. There are in fact communities that predate the borders that divide them up.
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