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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: Northeast Assembly Legislation Introduction Thread on: September 30, 2014, 11:23:00 pm
Quote
From Each According to His Ability, To Each According to His Need Act

This act may be cited as the FEAHAEAHN Act.

Section 1:

1. The Northeast hereby creates a tax subsidy for 3D Printing technology.
2. Northeastern taxpayers who have purchased 3D Printers shall be eligible for a 50% tax rebate on the purchase of said 3D Printer.
3. This section shall go into effect on the November-February 2015 Budget.

Section 2:

1. The Northeast appropriates $50 million dollars toward further research and development into 3D Printing technology, for each successive budget.
2. $6 million dollars of the aforementioned $50 million dollars shall be appropriated under Health Research and Training, in the Health Services section of the budget.
3. The remaining $44 million dollars shall be appropriated under Economic Development.
4. This section shall go into effect on the November-February 2015 Budget.
2  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: NE1: Deez Girls Ain't Loyal Act (At Final Vote) on: September 30, 2014, 11:19:46 pm
Aye
3  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: NE2: 2 Month Term Act (Debating) on: September 30, 2014, 10:27:39 pm
I guess this is just an opinion thing.

I'm not sold on this - I like the idea of the office of Governor having more prestige with a four month term. Otherwise it just seems as if he's a Representative with a veto pen instead of a vote.

I don't really see the case for that; he'd have all the powers that the Governor currently has, but simply have to face election more. If say we had a Governor who won four terms in a row under the proposed system, it might even be more prestigious than a Governor who won two terms in a row under the current system, if that makes sense.

That would make the poster more prestigious, not the office itself.

As it stands the powers of Governor are fairly limited and I think giving him as long of a term as the Representatives would just dilute the office further.
4  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: NE2: 2 Month Term Act (Debating) on: September 30, 2014, 06:41:16 pm
I guess this is just an opinion thing.

I'm not sold on this - I like the idea of the office of Governor having more prestige with a four month term. Otherwise it just seems as if he's a Representative with a veto pen instead of a vote.
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: September 30, 2014, 12:06:17 am
Conference: 1988

It was a Tuesday evening in the Drunken Dutchman. Thad was in the midst of a swig of beer, as Ericson Snell continued on with his diatribe. "Defense officials have been obstinate throughout the whole process, but I know I'm on to something," he said. The door swung open as Thad was in the midst of putting his bottle down, and Ralph Stevenson rushed toward Thad's table, with a newspaper clasped in his hand. "Ralph! I am glad to have your company. So what's the news?" asked Thad. Ralph helped himself to a seat and began reading aloud from the paper.

"Gingrich and Areus are favored to win the state. Republicans in both congressional districts lead Democrats on a generic ballot. While Senator O'Connor is considered relatively popular, our poll shows that former Governor Brennan would be within striking distance." As if on cue, a bead of sweat ran down Thad's temple. "How likely is it that Brennan will go about this?" he asked. "There's been no formal declaration, but insider buzz indicates that it's very likely. You could have a challenge on your hands, Thad," said Ralph.

Two years ago Thad had been working on Ralph's behalf to oust a two-term incumbent, William Hathaway. Now it was Thad who was on the defensive, and asking Ralph for advice. "What do you think ought to be done about this?" asked Thad. "You haven't had much of a presence in the state other than the occasional visit. You're still revered in Washington County, but you're slipping in other parts of the state. Even just a few stops would be helpful," said Ralph.

"I don't think it needs to be constrained to that," said Ericson Snell. "Maine's hard to travel. The War in Iran is very unpopular there, and if there's one issue that plays to Thad's strengths, it's this. I doubt that his fiibuster has run dry in the memories of his constituents, but it assuredly has in Congress." Ralph was non-plussed. "What are you alluding to?" he asked. "Simply put, the War in Iran has been an issue that most have pushed to the backburner since last year's compromise. Between political considerations and the fact that there's been a campaign going on, it's been something nobody's wanted to engage in.

The commission has made their recommendations, which have been summarily ignored by the Bentsen administration. However, it's still as unpopular as ever and leading the charge on this issue could put Brennan on the defensive, and complicate Bentsen's primary bid, to boot," said Ericson. Thad nodded. "To be frank, I have not been putting my best foot forward as Senator these days," he said. It was somewhat true - Thad had not done much on the floor of the Senate since his filibuster, which was over a year ago.

"I think part of this is due to the fact that I have been stumping for Areus Ho'kee. That's not to absolve me of my dereliction, but I would like to take note of it," he continued. "Actually, campaigning for Ho'kee has been one of the most active things you've done. It goes a bit beyond that; amongst local circles in Maine, a narrative has begun that you're more comfortable ensconced in the DC bubble than amongst the people of Maine," said Ralph.

Ralph's remarks were like a moon ushering in a tidal wave of guilt upon the beachheads of Thad's heart. It was true that he'd spent more time sipping free wine in ritzy D.C. bars than giving due diligence to those he had campaigned to represent. "There's some truth to what you say. However, I lack the wherewithal to travel amongst the whole state on a regular basis; even campaigning for Ho'kee was troublesome," said Thad. "Well, that's part of the problem - your current residence is technically the Stevenson Brewery in Portland," replied Ralph.

"Jesus Christ, really?" asked Ericson Snell, with distaste. "Yes. It was actually part of Thad's charm in his past two elections. However, it's proven hindersome since he's gotten elected to Congress," said Ralph. Snell creased his face in his hand before responding. "Well, given the salary of a United States Senator, there are always investment opportunities. But let's get focused on tackling the Iran issue for now."
6  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: NE1: Deez Girls Ain't Loyal Act (Debating) on: September 28, 2014, 08:11:58 pm
I guess this one's pretty straightforward.

We've made much progress as a nation with regard to marriage. I'm not talking about Atlasia's legalization of gay marriage or our own recognition of polygamy or incest, but rather, the modern and progressive advent of no-fault divorce laws.

However, outdated laws do not always catch up with the times, regardless of enforcement. For instance:

Quote from: Tim Murphy
According to title 16, chapter 9, section 9 of the Georgia code of criminal conduct, "A married person commits the offense of adultery when he voluntarily has sexual intercourse with a person other than his spouse and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as for a misdemeanor." At least Georgia adulterers are in good company; adultery is a criminal offense in 23 states, with punishments ranging from a $10 fine in Maryland to life imprisonment in Michigan (at least according to one judge). It's also prohibited by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
citation

Also, a map in the above link shows that adultery is a criminal offense in New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.

I think adultery is justifiable cause for divorce, but obviously there shouldn't be any extra penalties associated with it.

Here's New Hampshire's current statute:

Quote from: Jolie Lee
The New Hampshire Legislature is voting on a law Thursday that would repeal its anti-adultery law. Currently, adultery is a Class B misdemeanor and punishable by a fine up to $1,200 in the state.
citation

Here's the Massachusetts statue:

Quote from: Finn and Eaton
A married person who has sexual intercourse with a person not his spouse or an unmarried person who has sexual intercourse with a married person shall be guilty of adultery and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than three years or in jail for not more than two years or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.
citation

All of this is a bit out of proportion, IMO, and not up to date with our consensus of an equitable criminal justice system.
7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XVII: I Ate The Strawberry (The REAL, AUTHENTIC Update) on: September 28, 2014, 02:26:25 pm
Who is more thickheaded: Bushie, or the people that have written literally hundreds of posts (some of which are very verbose) giving him advice they already know he'll never take?

Quote from: Bacon King

probably bushie
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: I wrote and directed my own movie. on: September 26, 2014, 11:07:52 pm
9  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: NE2: Criminal Justice Modernization Act (At Final Vote) on: September 26, 2014, 07:23:18 pm
Aye
10  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: NE2: Criminal Justice Modernization Act (Debating) on: September 26, 2014, 06:00:54 pm
I'm fine with reducing penalties on this; I'm not a fan of jail time for misdemeanors and minor felonies, especially concerning issues like selling alcohol to minors.

I think $300 is a small fine thought; could we raise it something higher? $1000 maybe?

I'll go for that.
11  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / ProgressiveRealist vs Peter Pettigrew on: September 26, 2014, 03:36:41 pm
ProgressiveRealist vs Peter Pettigrew
12  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: NE2: Criminal Justice Modernization Act (Debating) on: September 25, 2014, 08:33:57 pm
OK.

My buddy TNF has since written me that Section 1 might not be necessary, given that the Sweet Sixteen Act makes sixteen the legal age of majority. I'm not sure that there'd be any harm in redundancy - at the time I conceived this idea, the drinking age was eighteen.

Regardless of the reduction in age, I think it's important that we discuss reforming the penalties. Assuming that these laws haven't previously been reformed, here's the status:

Quote from: criminaldefenselaywer.com
Providing or supplying alcohol to a minor is typically punished as a misdemeanor offense. However, the crime may also be considered a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the state in which it occurs. The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony offense typically rests on whether anyone was seriously injured or killed as a result of the illegal supplying of alcohol. Felony offenses can also result when a person has committed repeated offenses.

    Jail. Jail sentences for misdemeanor convictions of supplying alcohol to a minor can be as long as a year in a local jail, though shorter sentences of 60 days or less are more common. Felony convictions result in prison sentences of at least a year, and possibly five years or more.

    Fines. Like jail sentences, fines for supplying alcohol to a minor differ depending on the severity of the crime and the state in which you live, though fines can be steep for either. A misdemeanor conviction for supplying alcohol to an underage person can result in a fines up to $5,000, though fines of $500 to $1,000 are more common. Felony fines tend to be much higher and can exceed $50,000.
citation

My concern is that the level of enforcement is relative to how outraged a pissed off parent or overzealous judge is. Given how the law enforced, my concern is that this is inherently regressive (perhaps less so due to the Roscoe Conkling Equity Before Law Act.) However, I think we need to liberalize the penalties a bit.

Here's the Massachusetts statute:

Quote
A person over 21 years of age may not buy alcohol for a person under 21 years of age, unless their relationship is that of parent and child or husband and wife, and even in those situations liquor must be bought at a package liquor store, not a restaurant or tavern. Violation of this section may result in a fine of $2,000, imprisonment up to 6 months, or both. M.G.L.c.138, Sec. 34.
citation

That doesn't seem very constructive to me.
13  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: NE1: Budget Sanity Amendment (At Final Vote) on: September 25, 2014, 08:32:55 pm
Nay
14  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / hifly15 vs Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on: September 24, 2014, 04:36:43 pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7gszAo2CXs
15  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / Windjammer vs Dewey Decimal System on: September 24, 2014, 02:42:22 pm
Windjammer vs Dewey Decimal System
16  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: NE2: Sanity in Seizures Act (At Final Vote) on: September 23, 2014, 02:32:39 pm
Aye
17  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Post Dissolution Elections: February 2014 on: September 21, 2014, 09:11:14 pm
Hurricane Spiral
18  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: NE2: Sanity in Seizures Act (Debating) on: September 20, 2014, 10:07:50 pm
OK. So here's the deal.

I only have a rudimentary understanding of these sorts of proceedings, but basically, police departments get the proceeds of seized assets from suspected criminals. Why is this is so bad? Well,

Quote from: Boston Globe
A thriving subculture of road officers on the network now competes to see who can seize the most cash and contraband, describing their exploits in the network’s chat rooms. Some police advocate highway interdiction as a way of raising revenue for cash-strapped municipalities.

‘‘All of our home towns are sitting on a tax-liberating gold mine,’’ Deputy Ron Hain of Kane County, Ill., wrote in a self-published book under a pseudonym. Hain is a marketing specialist for Desert Snow, a leading interdiction training firm based in Guthrie, Okla., whose founders also created Black Asphalt.

Hain’s book calls for ‘‘turning our police forces into present-day Robin Hoods.’’
citation

The gambit is set: police are using this as a way for quick and easy money. Some might argue that the people were in fact guilty, or that they ought to contest these seizures. However:

Quote from: Boston Globe
The Post found that there have been 61,998 cash seizures made on highways and elsewhere since 9/11 without search warrants or indictments through the Equitable Sharing Program, totaling more than $2.5 billion.

State and local authorities kept more than $1.7 billion of that while Justice, Homeland Security, and other federal agencies received $800 million. Half of the seizures were below $8,800.

Only a sixth of the seizures were legally challenged, in part because of the costs of legal action against the government. But in 41 percent of cases — 4,455 — where there was a challenge, the government agreed to return money. The appeals process took more than a year in 40 percent of those cases and often required owners of the cash to sign agreements not to sue police over the seizures.

It's evident that this is an onerous process to go through, and one that might not result in justice for the aggrieved party.

As for why I argue for establishing a limit on the proceeds that police departments can receive:

Quote from: Reason.com
This cruel surprise was engineered by Vincent Kelley, a forfeiture specialist at the Drug Enforcement Administration who read about the Motel Caswell in a news report and found that the property, which the Caswells own free and clear, had an assessed value of $1.3 million. So Kelley approached the Tewksbury Police Department with an “equitable sharing” deal: The feds would seize the property and sell it, and the cops would get up to 80 percent of the proceeds.

Under Massachusetts law, by contrast, police would have received only half the loot, and forfeiture may have been harder. State law says a seized property has to be used not just to “facilitate” a drug crime but “in and for the business of unlawfully manufacturing, dispensing, or distributing controlled substances,” which suggests a stronger connection.
citation

I won't paraphrase the whole story in the article. However, it seems obvious that entitling police departments to the fruits of asset seizures creates a perverse incentive to enforce the law gratuitously.

Want to fund police departments? Here's how: appropriate money. But the status quo is arbitrary, regressive, and an affront to justice.
19  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / IceSpear vs Hulk Hogan Entrance Video on: September 20, 2014, 09:10:31 pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU8bRMuKBrE
20  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / BushOklahoma vs Super Size Me on: September 19, 2014, 05:26:50 pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Size_Me
21  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / ProgressiveRealist vs Ditto on: September 18, 2014, 09:45:46 pm
22  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: NE1: Stop Weekly Special Elections Act (At Final Vote) on: September 18, 2014, 06:52:53 pm
Aye
23  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / windjammer vs AntiCMOS on: September 17, 2014, 05:25:56 pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AntiCMOS
24  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: NE1: Stop Weekly Special Elections Act (Debating) on: September 16, 2014, 06:33:00 pm
Quote
Stop Weekly Special Elections Act

1. The Vacancy Mitigation Act is hereby repealed.

2. The Vacancy Filling Act is hereby repealed.

3. Vacancies for Northeast Representatives shall hereby be filled by gubernatorial appointment for the remainder of the Assembly session the vacancy falls in.

Does this clear up any doubts?

FTR, I'm proposing it as an amendment.

I'll take that - we can always do the special elections thing later.
25  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Spiral for Mideast Assembly on: September 15, 2014, 10:40:16 pm
Endorsed! Make Italo-Disco the Regional Genre. Grin
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