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60976  General Discussion / History / Re: Best post-WW2 Secretary of State? on: February 21, 2006, 11:31:00 pm
How is overthrowing democratically elected governments and replacing them with fascist dictatorships fighting the Cold War?
60977  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Prostitution penalties on: February 21, 2006, 11:29:39 pm
should be legal.
60978  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What's the last movie you've seen? on: February 21, 2006, 02:35:41 pm
Theater: Aeon Flux
in general: Dead Poets Society, just an hour ago in class.
60979  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bush adminstration gives U.A.E a large amount of control over 6 US ports on: February 21, 2006, 02:24:16 pm
Senate Democrats have sponsored a bill that would block this and prevent any foreign company from handling security at US ports and airports.

So which party is stronger on national security again?
60980  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: 2-to-1 on: February 21, 2006, 02:08:02 pm
The answer is #3. I only have about 2 gigs.

As for the other two:

#1 - In high school I was somewhat apolitical and just turned against Gore when I heard about Lieberman on the ticket. I hated Lieberman for his video game nonsense. Not too long afterwords I found out Bush was 100000x worse, turned hard against him, and got exactly what I expected after he was appointed. This is part of what turned me hard left.

#2 - Yes, I do like some, but not the overly sappy ones. I only like romantic comedies if the comedy is much higher than the romance. I liked Garden State, Riding In Cars With Boys, 10 Things I Hate About You, 40 Days 40 Nights and some more. However I will never watch anything like The Notebook or anything starring Hugh Grant (except Nine Months, which was actually pretty funny)
60981  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bush adminstration gives U.A.E a large amount of control over 6 US ports on: February 21, 2006, 01:49:14 pm
This national security bullsh**t is an excuse people use simply because the company is based out of an Arab country.  A modern, progressive one at that.

I have to disagree with the "modern, progressive" label. As jfern pointed out, there's a 6,6 Freedom House rating. The country is basically a collection of absolute monarchies.

Plus as you can see, it's one of the countries that still has the death penalty for homosexuality: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/16/Laws_on_homosexuality.PNG
60982  General Politics / Individual Politics / Would you rather live in Albania or Moldova? on: February 21, 2006, 01:45:09 pm
Two crappiest countries in Europe. Vote.
60983  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Atlasians United for a Parliamentary System on: February 21, 2006, 01:41:45 pm
OK, first see disclaimer above.

One reason why having a monarchy *here* is such a disgusting and disturbing idea, is because none of you appear to understand what monarchs in the U.K or Scadinavia et al actually do (ie; f*** all)

Presumably that would be the case here, they would only do ceremonial duties such as swearing in new office holders, at least under one suggestion.

.
.. any monarchy that we would get here would presumably have powers. And that is morally wrong.

If you're talking about a real monarchy yes. But I don't see why it'd be so here, with the monarch not hereditary.

Secondly, a monarch is not democratically elected or even appointed; they are born into it. We obviously can't replicate that here. Monarchs also claim "divine right" (if not to rule, well not anymore, but to at least reign). No comment is needed for *that*... and Monarchs cannot be removed by the democratic process.

This is not neccesarily true even in the real world. "Elective monarchy" is not an oxymoron. For example in Cambodia some sort of royal commission votes on the monarch, choosing one from all qualified candidates of royal blood. That would be similar to the suggestion here if we just pretend every active Atlasian is of royal blood. It is also possible in many countries for Parliament to remove the monarch or at least strip them of their duties and appoint a regent in place (I think this happened in Belgium when the king refused to sign a bill loosening the abortion laws even though that was considered just a formality, Parliament then declared him unable to rule, appointed the PM regent, the PM signed the bill, and they reinstated the king the next day.)

The very worst idea is to make the GM (whoever that might be at the time) into a King or Queen. I'm sorry, but I don't want to see some tyrannical monster like Louis XIV or Charles I here. This is the 21st century for God's sake...

This wouldn't give the GM any more power than they currently have. It's just one suggested way to fill the Head of State position in a Parliamentary system.

Beacuse that's how any country with a parliamentary system that isn't a monarchy operates.

And? There's no need for it.

Since the PM is not Head of State in a Parliamentary system, someone is needed to fill the Head of State position. If it's not a monarch, then a President is. The President usually though has only ceremonial duties like a constitutional monarch, sometimes they're given very limited powers (like in Portugal, the President can dissolve Parliament once during his term, he can also refer bills to the Supreme Court if he thinks they are unconstitutional to be ruled on, etc. in a country like Israel though the President does nothing but perform ceremonial duties). There are also countries like France and Russia where the President is actually more powerful than the PM, but these are more US-type systems where the PM is basically just like the Speaker of the House.

If we're going to have a completely powerless head of state, I'd support the Israel model, a President is elected by the Senate for a set term, they have no real power and may only serve one term. I'd prefer the Portugal model though, the President can refer bills to the Supreme Court and dissolve Parliament. This also would involve a directly elected President.
60984  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Atlasians United for a Parliamentary System on: February 21, 2006, 11:55:22 am
Wait, why would we have both a PM and a president?

Beacuse that's how any country with a parliamentary system that isn't a monarchy operates.

I'll reply to Al later, but let me say I'm not really advocating a monarchy, just throwing out possible ideas. If we were to switch, I'd prefer a not completely powerless President, but where the PM was real Head of Government (Portugal being a model)
60985  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: John Kerry and the Iranian Connection on: February 21, 2006, 12:19:15 am
This is a picture of John Kerry with Susan Akbarpour. Susan Akbarpour is an intermediary between Rafsanjani the former Iranian President

She's hot.
60986  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: 5 posters with the best/worst tastes in music on: February 20, 2006, 11:58:32 pm
You don't see jfern on the top list or dazzleman on the bottom, do you? Also note that the top list contains only 2 Democrats, one who is quite moderate.
60987  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of BRTD on: February 20, 2006, 11:47:52 pm
Best Freedom Fighter on this forum, if I don't say so myself. Wink
60988  Forum Community / Forum Community / 5 posters with the best/worst tastes in music on: February 20, 2006, 11:41:48 pm
Best:

1-Nation
2-Bono
3-opebo
4-AndrewBerger
5-don't know, probably patrick1

Worst:

1-anyone who listens to rap
2-anyone who listens to country
3-Richius
4-Everett
5-MasterJedi
60989  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: John Ashcroft on: February 20, 2006, 11:36:56 pm
I will always base my vote on the premise that the president has the right to nominate those with whom he is ideologically and politically in agreement, as long as he or she is qualified for the position that they are being nominated for.

As for this poll, I don't know enough about Ashcroft's particular qualifications to make a judgment call either way.

So you would vote to confirm opebo as Ambassador to Thailand?

He isn't qualified for anything -the answer is self-evident. 

He's certainly qualified for that. The guy is a total expert on Thailand.
60990  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: John Ashcroft on: February 20, 2006, 11:33:36 pm
I will always base my vote on the premise that the president has the right to nominate those with whom he is ideologically and politically in agreement, as long as he or she is qualified for the position that they are being nominated for.

As for this poll, I don't know enough about Ashcroft's particular qualifications to make a judgment call either way.

So you would vote to confirm opebo as Ambassador to Thailand?
60991  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: U.S. presidential election, 1984 on: February 20, 2006, 11:02:34 pm
the deficit spending of the '80s ... basically led to the demise of the USSR,

Balderdash.  That is one of those oft repeated bits of propaganda that people have come to accept as true, with little evidence.

Do you have any evidence otherwise?

Of course not.  It is the responsibility of the propagandists making the claim to make a case for it.  I'm not going to attempt to prove a negative. 



The cause of the demise of the Soviet Union can be summed in two words: Mikhail Gorbachev.
60992  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: 2-to-1 on: February 20, 2006, 10:51:32 pm
For soulty I'll guess #3

Here's mine:

1) I once, very briefly, wanted Bush to beat Gore.

2) I have kind of a soft spot for chick flicks.

3) I have more than 5 gigs of porn on my hard drive.
60993  General Discussion / History / Re: Best post-WW2 Secretary of State? on: February 20, 2006, 10:38:51 pm
Dulles, he knew how to take care of the Communists using the CIA. His invention of the CIA covert operation was genious in fighting against Socialist states that were the puppets of Uncle Joe and Nikita.

Overthrowing democratically elected non-communist governments to replace them with fascist dictatorship is a great policy?


Why are you complaining about Vance? You should be thankful for him, without his and Carter's bungling the Hostage Crisis in 1979-80 Carter would have been re-elected, and we never would have had your heroic warrior God Reagan. Now thats an alternate history I'd pay to live in Tongue

Really?  Under that alternative history, you may very well have ended up in a communist re-education camp.  I wouldn't wish too hard for it.

So you really honestly believe if Carter was reelected the United States would today be a commnist country under Soviet rule?

The real problem with Kissinger was most of the people he targeted were not even communists (like Allende)
60994  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Solution to all the worlds problems on: February 20, 2006, 10:31:58 pm
To live in a place where you do not have to have to horrible burden of car ownership is such a feeling of freedom.

This is one thing I could not agree more with. I hate cars. I actually got into a discussion with this with my mom last week when she suggested I save up my tax returns to buy a car later. I told her once I graduate I'm never driving except when I'm leaving the city I live in. I actually already have a "no driving" policy in Minneapolis. I only drive to get there and to leave. If I'm shopping at my downtown indie stores, I park somewhere and walk to every one. If I'm hitting the red light district, I park in a public parking ramp and walk everywhere. Going to other places I'll get a ride from my aunt or friends, or take the bus. The only situation in Minneapolis where I'll drive from one part of the city to another is if I'm going to a music show there and want to hit up other places before or after. I can not wait till I actually live there and am free from the horrendous burden of a vehicle (while getting around in Mankato without a vehicle is possible, it's also rather expensive, really only suitable if you live in the dorms, and not possible working at the place I do)
60995  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Atlasians United for a Parliamentary System on: February 20, 2006, 10:19:28 pm
Simply letting the GM also being monarch would be the best way to handle this actually. It's better than having a completely powerless position, since only ceremonial duties don't work well on a forum. Plus constitutional monarchs typically do what the GM theoretically does in making announcements on national policy, etc. even though they obviously aren't able to set it.
60996  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Day 28: Burma on: February 20, 2006, 09:53:28 pm
Burma? you're living in the past, dude. It's called Myanmar now.

We're going by the CIA World Factbook listings, which still has it down as Burma.

I think Daniel is corect too, that the US still recognizes it as Burma. There is also no ambassador there and US policy is basically not to cooperate with the regime at all, there are heavy sanctions imposed too. Too bad the surrounding countries refuse to do the same. Of course this didn't stop the Bush campaign from making campaign gear there. More reason to hate Bush.
60997  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which of the two preceding members is more homophobic? on: February 20, 2006, 09:50:27 pm
Colin
60998  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Atlasians United for a Parliamentary System on: February 20, 2006, 09:48:59 pm
I'd only support this under these conditions:

-The Senate is enlarged.
-PR is not used. It's the best system for real countries with huge parliaments, but it won't work here. STV is possible though.
-FPTP is not used. At least have a run-off. FPTP would result in the current problems tenfold, not to mention it just sucks.
60999  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Solution to all the worlds problems on: February 20, 2006, 09:40:33 pm
Comparing European cities/suburbs to American ones is pretty pointless though,

Well no, not really. There are certain differences, but the process of suburbanisation in America and the U.K have been very similer, with one major exception (ie; state planned suburbanisation through the construction of New Towns and so on, with the deliberate objective of getting people out of the inner cities).

Well it is in the case of London. I can't think of any American city set up like London is. It also is true in the cases of Paris (the suburbs there certainly aren't where the wealthy yuppies live) or Lisbon (at least based on the way it votes)

Quote
European cities have existed for centuries longer and typically have developed differently.

Not at all; most of the big industrial cities in Europe grew up around the same time as the industrial cities did in America. Philadelphia is clearly an older city than Bradford (which was a little village until the 19th century and which only got city status in the 1890's) and is in many ways older than a lot of industrial cities and large towns over here.
The ages of Pittsburgh and Sheffield *as major urban centres* are freakishly similer.

Not true in all cases, but certainly true in the cities everyone can recognize.

Quote
The McMansion sprawling hell suburbs we have are just ugly and awful, and incredibly boring.

You don't think we have sprawl as well?

Well like I said above, it's not limited to the suburbs as here. Paris is the most obvious example here. And the other example I used is Lisbon, Bono lives in an apartment in a very urban heavily Socialist suburb, while Lisbon proper actually seems to vote rather conservative (although admittedly the other major cities in Portugal aren't quite the same) and apparentely is full of sprawl and suburban areas.

Quote
To provide people a place to live outside the city is stupid,

Why?

Because it'd be easier to just live where you work.

Quote
the city is where everything interesting is,

But it's also seen as unsafe, as cramped, as polluted... etc, etc.

Seen as that often yes, but most are nowhere near as bad as you hear the dazzleman types whine about.

Quote
why go there just to work?

Because you can't really have your own house in the central part of a city.

My aunt does.

Quote
Plus the only people I know who work in Minneapolis live in Minneapolis, my relatives who live in the suburbs all work there.

A lot of people work in suburbs here as well. But still over 300k people are in the CBD of our largest city in the day than at night. Commuting from a commuter-suburb into the CBD is especially common with people who have jobs in finance o/c.

But it also sound as if most of these people also live in "London", it's just that the actual proper of London is so small in residential terms. I'm sure many of the people I know in Minneapolis work in commerce districts where very few people actually live, but they still live in Minneapolis proper.


Besides, you can't have suburbs without a city, because the suburbs are fundamentally part of the city... hell commuter villages are fundamentally part of the city as well...

True, but you can have a city which is basically just suburban which often has no real actual seperate suburbs (I'm thinking of Bismarck here, ugh). Plus you can very well have a city without suburbs, I doubt Addis Abba or Guatemala City are surrounded by hideous sprawl.
61000  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Opinion of FDR on: February 20, 2006, 03:02:39 pm
Should get some interesting replies...

Freedom Fighter
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