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October 10, 2015, 07:31:26 am
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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  Forum Community / Mock Parliment / Re: Conservative Party Convention, October 2015 on: October 09, 2015, 09:01:59 pm
I will now allow 24 hours for objections before declaring myself elected without contest.

I will also begin voting procedure on eliminating the position of Vice Chair.
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: House Leadership Megathread: it's House of Cards but without the monologues on: October 09, 2015, 08:55:51 pm
If the HFC truly refuses any compromise, what would happen?
3  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Austria's far-right leader aims to conquer Vienna's 'red bastion' on: October 09, 2015, 08:52:00 pm
Even if there's a high level of defection, the amount of people switching from SPO to FPO will be dwarfed by the number of incoming Muslims voting for SPO.

Well, not in this election at least. And if it really gets to that many I don't see why-- if not in Austria, then in countries with more fragmented multiparty systems-- they wouldn't just form a Muslim Party, or something similar to one in all but name.
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Day 29: Burkina Faso on: October 09, 2015, 08:50:54 pm
'He who feeds you, controls you.' --Thomas Sankara

Ugh, beat me to it. Sad

Seriously though, Sankara was probably one of the better African rulers of his time (not that that's saying much...).

Would have almost certainly ended up like Nkrumah-- that is to say, rather badly.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Day 31: Cambodia on: October 09, 2015, 08:49:55 pm
I also see you are putting Burma under M. For shame!

The Cambodian People's Party is fairly pro-Viet Nam and played an instrumental rule during the liberation from the Khmer Rouge. It's one of those authoritarian post-Communist parties that is more corrupt than red and labels everyone who opposes it fronts or apologists for the Khmer Rouge. They claim their tactions are to educate the populace and prevent the rise of another Khmer Rouge... basically 'vote for us or else Pol Pot comes back'. It works well for Cambodians to lived through the era but less so on the younger people who didn't.

Funny enough, their main opposition (The Cambodian National Rescue Party) has quite a few Khmer Rouge apologists/deniers and mixes in anti-Vietnamese slogans with their criticism of the government. Please ignore their English wikipedia article as it is woefully incomplete and doesn't show how horrible these guys are.

You are tarring the opposition by association, and overly so. Opposition to Vietnamese influence does not equal apologism for the Khmer Rouge, despite what Hun Sen might want you to think.
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Day 32: Cameroon on: October 09, 2015, 05:43:49 pm
Well those two things, and Chantal Biya's hair.
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should New York City ban Columbus Day? on: October 09, 2015, 08:02:25 am
I imagine they won't because Bill DeBlasio is a great man and wouldn't do something so ignorant.

>Bill DeBlasido
>Good Man

Pick one.

De Blasio is near indisputably the best Mayor in America and one of the best politicians as a whole in this nation with a beautiful family and a record beyond compare. He has all the proper values I look for in a politician. Quite possibly the best Mayor since LaGuardia? Perhaps even better because Fiorello has better and worse stuff.

What? No. No one believes this. He is at best a mediocrity.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Bacon King Memorial Good Post Gallery on: October 09, 2015, 07:05:57 am
After conducting some initial research into the basis of rights, I've concluded that animals cannot have rights and that this is a category error. Using Rawls' "original position", I'd claim that there can be no basis for animal rights because humans cannot be born as animals; there's no intuition that allows for a defense of animal rights rooted in practical reason that's removed from contingent concerns or utilitarian logic, which can't properly be the basis for rights. In my view, Rawls' addition to Kantian logic allows for a full defense of rights for the disabled that does not locate rights in autonomy alone but rather the potential for autonomy: rights are considered on the basis of a position where individuals cannot know whether they will be born disabled or not. This logic is quite sensible: the disabled should be protected by rights, not because they're capable of autonomous decision-making beings, but rather because there's some sort of abstract consensus that this is a virtuous decision, guided by the intuition that any one of us could have been born disabled or become disabled given different contingencies.

In short: there's no basis for applying deontological ethics to animals because there's no manner of applying "pure reason" to determine principles or rules for treating animals. This is the case because deontological ethics are rooted in some idea about being able to independently appraise the value of some act on the basis or rubric of a "de-situated self". We cannot imagine or abstract or reason through what it would be like to be an animal; there's no intuition we can access for that.

Why does this matter? I'd argue that rights must be considered through the lens of deontology, a utilitarian defense of rights is contradictory and supposes that rights are useful instruments or conventions, which defeats the logic of rights as overriding principles designed to govern communities.  The case for animal rights has to be seen in some form of utilitarian logic. Animals are "sentient" beings and therefore must be taken into consideration when measuring utility. That's all well and good but utility can't be a basis for the overriding guiding principles that rights are intended to be.

I'll take this a step further and critique the very attempt to apply utilitarian logic to animals: how can we ever attempt to measure the "utils" of an animal's life? What kind of scale can be applied to animals? Are chickens worth more than frogs? Are dogs worth more than pigs? Does the quick execution of some farm animal create less disutility than the entire process of factory-farming? I'd argue that even the logic of utilitarianism can't be reconciled with a concern for animal welfare: there's no way to measure or assess the value of pain inflicted on sentient beings because we can't survey an animal or understand an animal; we probably lack that intuition and we certainly anthropomorphize animals when we engage in this process.

Note: I'm not attempting to throw the kitchen sink at animal rights. I'm pretty committed to the practical use of reason to determine rights in a manner that isn't based on the contingencies of everyday life. I just can't comprehend how animal rights makes any sense. I do think that concern for animal welfare makes sense; there's some sort of value to human beings when we apply our altruistic sensibilities to the natural world, I think that it promotes some sort of virtue. Obviously, there are still prudential reasons to place strict restrictions on industrial farming: it's bad for human beings when poop lagoons pollute streams and methane is released into the atmosphere. Again, I'd separate this concern from concern for animal welfare. It's certainly not sufficient to justify a duty for vegetarianism or whatever.
9  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Has pop culture reached a perpetual now? on: October 08, 2015, 09:41:06 pm
Give it a few years. Cultural "decades" usually tend to actually run from the middle of one decade to the middle of the next.

I'm reminded of this Buzzfeed article: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rubenguevara/run-hillary-run

Which is a pretty big epic fail even by Buzzfeed standards (Vladimir Putin was TIME's Man of the Year in 2007! That could never happen today!)

Being Person of the Year is not necessarily an honour. Hitler was once Man of the Year. I believe Bin Laden was also seriously considered in 2001 but the editors realised this point would be missed by too many people.
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Were opebo and jmfcst actually pretty similar? on: October 08, 2015, 09:38:11 pm
Never met opebo. Why was he banned?

Apparently because he was too popular and got too much attention. Yes that's what some mods have said on AAD.

Wow. I've read through his posts before he was banned a few times, and they don't seem to contain anything egregious. We should bring him back.

Wow - Darthebearnc Biggest FF award for the year of our Lord, 2015!

While that remains the reason for his banning, many posters called for his banning for allegedly having his fun with underage prostitutes overseas which would be problematic.

It always strikes me as odd how most of you view many people as far too underage that I view as far too overage.


Do you not see my point?

your point? did you forget to log out of your darthebearnc account? Grin

11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Day 31: Cambodia on: October 08, 2015, 09:34:59 pm
Hun Sen has actually ruled more or less continously since 1985, meaning he's gone from Communist leader to leader of His Majesty's Government.

Speaking of His Majesty, Sihanouk was a truly unusual character-- politically speaking, at least. He took the throne, abdicated to become PM, became King again but called himself "Head of State", all while promoting an ideology of so-called "Buddhist Socialism". Indeed there even existed a group called the "Royal Socialist Youth". Unsurprisingly he was firmly in the Eastern Bloc, which eventually led to his downfall-- although apparently the coup leader, Lon Nol, had to be coerced into staging the coup at gun point by Sisowath Monivong (a prince who supposedly harbored ambitions to the throne himself).

At this point Sihanouk lent his support to... the Khmer Rouge, who exploited his endorsement to gain currency with the largely royalist peasantry. If this was not enough, when they first took power, the Khmer Rouge actually restored him as head of state, even if he was quickly sidelined. Sihanouk, dividing his time between Beijing and... Pyongyang, would continue to ally with the Khmer Rouge well into the 1980s.

He was, of course, restored in a strictly ceremonial capacity and eventually abdicated in favor of the least controversial of his children, who curiously enough, being a former ballet instructor who as per his father "loves women as his sisters", is perhaps as openly gay as a monarch in that part of the world could be. His other children were politicians, one of whom, Ranariddh, was the Prime Minister ousted by Hun Sen in 1998.

The French really make a right mess of things wherever they go, don't they?
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary to oppose TPP on: October 08, 2015, 09:17:12 pm
Intellectual cowardice.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Kevin McCarthy DROPS OUT, the House GOP in absolute chaos on: October 08, 2015, 12:11:07 pm
A politician spoke the truth-- and all hell broke loose!
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Kevin McCarthy DROPS OUT, the House GOP in absolute chaos on: October 08, 2015, 11:44:29 am
Who will it be, then? McMorris Rogers?
15  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Spanish General Election on: October 08, 2015, 06:56:17 am
Most likely the PP, but maybe Cs depending on where I lived (say, Catalonia or the Basque Country, where the PP is likely to poll below Cs).

"Izquierda" is such an interesting word, though-- it bears no resemblance to the words for "left" in other Romance languages, and it just looks intriguing. Does it have a Basque etymology? It would explain the "z".
16  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Petition to Recall Midwest Governor BMotley on: October 08, 2015, 01:19:27 am
You're presumably about to abolish the region anyway so why bother, really? Just let it stagnate until it's removed.
There should be a backup plan in case the ConCon fails. I don't want ConCon to fail to do anything and the Midwest be stuck where it is at. The People deserve better.

Yes. Hence why I've proposed the merger. A merged Pacific and Midwest (which I've always found a strange name, I'll add) would have 44 residents-- the same as the Northeast, the most populous region. There would be a critical mass for participation. There's no point in waiting for the ConCon-- which, let's face it, will almost certainly last for two or three months at the minimum-- to effect a merger when we can have results now. I'll draft the necessary changes to the regional constitutions by the end of the week and I hope we can get this to a vote by the end of the month.
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: I Wanna Get Into Fallout on: October 08, 2015, 01:10:10 am
My kids love 'em, but I've only ever played the new smart phone game...it's not bad.

...you have kids?
18  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Politicus on: October 08, 2015, 01:09:42 am
Politicus, this is beneath you. Far beneath you. There are certain people I'd expect this from, but you weren't one of them.

Also, perhaps people are just that much better looking across the ěresund, but I struggle how you could call the person you posted-- or if you were looking at someone else-- "ugly". It's not just childish, it's absurd.

Seriously... what is this? It's bad enough that the toxic elements on this site have been given a venue to simply ferment and become more potent, without everyone else apparently reacting by acting like five-year old children. I've never understood why people have a problem with Gustaf, but even you do, this is just ridiculous.
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of politicus on: October 08, 2015, 12:36:29 am
A person, as Xahar not wrongly observed, with several deeply unpleasant characteristics and a handful of personally objectionable views, but whose insight and frequently incredibly comprehensive contributions-- particularly in regards to the politics of overlooked and the downright obscure parts of the world-- are without equal on this board and, formal academics aside, far surpass that of any person I know.

Disagree with her all you want-- I certainly do, all the time-- but she is without a doubt one of the pillars on which this forum stands. Even the AAD clique agrees that International Politics and Elections are the best parts of this forum, and her contributions in those areas are simply impossible to discount.

20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Blaxican? on: October 08, 2015, 12:27:00 am
You mean ChairmanSanchez? Mixed feelings.
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Let's Play 'Guess the Country from their exports' on: October 08, 2015, 12:25:46 am
I'm actually going to guess that it's your country-- Ireland, that is-- if only because there are a few pharmaceutical and medical device companies with their local headquarters in my town and I know that they have a considerable presence in Ireland (which I learnt, interestingly enough, when I was soliciting local companies for donations to my Eagle Scout project).

I wish I had seen the first one-- I could have guessed that off the bat.

EDIT: Looks like I've already been beat to it...
22  General Discussion / History / Re: Louis XIV. 300 years dead on: October 07, 2015, 04:00:11 pm
Good riddance to one of the worst rulers France ever had.

I don't know, if one of your formative experiences was fleeing the Palais Royal dressed as a commoner along with your mother and the effeminate Italian guy who ran your government while rebels sacked Paris, you might also get ideas about moving your capital to a hunting lodge outside of town (so next time Paris revolts you're not locked in with the mob) and forcing the nobles to spend their time there to keep an eye on them. Also running your government yourself so you don't need to rely on effeminate Italian clergymen in the future.

The Fronde, especially coming on the tail of the French Wars of Religion, was a pretty huge sign that France as it had been run simply did not work.

What's wrong with effeminate Italian clergymen? They certainly did a better job running the country than Louis XIV.

In what way? They certainly did not keep it peaceful.
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary to oppose TPP on: October 07, 2015, 03:35:49 pm
...what? Is she a protectionist now?
24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Rand Paul: Why are we still in Afghanistan? on: October 06, 2015, 05:32:36 pm
We're not. At least not in the conventional sense.
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Europe-Middle East-Africa Refugee Crisis General Thread on: October 06, 2015, 05:26:19 pm
Recently the asylum seekers in Oulu, Northern Finland, organised a protest where they demanded better food at their accomodation. The protest was led by an Iraqi man who said that the food (the same food eaten by Finnish school children) they were given was suited only for dog-food. This man, as we find out, was a Lieutenant in the Iraqi Army before he left for Europe. What hope does Iraq have of defeating ISIS when even their officers are deserting in order to go to Europe? (Furthermore, what kind of gourmet dinners are they serving in the Iraqi Army?)

I can't see how any country could consider desertion as valid reason for granting asylum. If such a decision were made, how could any country punish its own deserters after that?

This does not help their case, no.
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