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November 23, 2014, 01:57:51 pm
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: in other good news, GMO labeling loses in OR and CO on: November 21, 2014, 03:53:19 am
Bumping this because this is nonsense:

Everyone cheering this should be ashamed of their shilling for Monsanto. Disgusting.

Any decent human being should stop and think at least ten times before deciding to take the same position on any issue as Monsanto, probably the most evil corporation not directly involved in fossil fuels.

I've thought about my position more than ten times.  Have you thought about yours once?  Besides "it mildly inconveniences a company that I don't like," do you have any rational reason to support this?  It may mildly inconvenience Monsanto, but it also increases an irrational, common stigma against a technology with some very significant upsides.  If you're not going to dismount from your moral high-horse to analyze a policy realistically, at least be moralistic consistently.  The hardcore anti-GMO people have derailed projects like golden rice, and other projects that save lives.  Why aren't they abysmal in your book?

I don't see the problem with giving consumers information on what is in their food they eat, so I would have voted yes.

That's not quite what genetic engineering is.  It's not "in your food."  It's a production method that makes food chemically different, but not in a uniform way where identifying something as "genetically engineered" is helpful to the consumers.  It's not the same thing as natural hybridization, but that's the same deal.  If you're going to label every input, protection method and technique used in making food, no matter how unimportant, you're going to have a 20-page label that lists largely useless information.  Cherry-picking GMO status doesn't make sense.  It also feeds into the (baseless) perception a lot of Westerners have that genetic engineering is unsafe.  There are some reasonable concerns to discuss about our food supply, but this is a depressing bogeyman, especially for the New Age-y elements on the left.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How much do you like or dislike Oklahoma? on: November 21, 2014, 03:37:10 am
Never been there, but I've had a romantic image of it ever since reading John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath in middle school, which is only reinforced by songs like "Okie from Muskogee." When I was 11, the deadliest attack by domestic terrorists in history targeted the Federal Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City, flattening a school or day care. More recently it has given us the distinguished senior Senator from Massachusetts. You never know what to expect from Oklahoma.

...what part of the lyrics to "Okie from Muskogee" gives you an idealized view of Oklahoma?  Is it the part about holdin' hands and pitchin' woo? Tongue
3  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: favorite U.S. city tournament (round 3) on: November 20, 2014, 04:21:00 am
I'm just here to vote against Kent.
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: in other good news, GMO labeling loses in OR and CO on: November 08, 2014, 04:38:41 pm
Good.

My problem with the "why not inform consumers?" argument is that there are a ton of pieces of information available about the production of every consumer good.  We have to leave some of them up to supply-and-demand, because otherwise we'd have to have a giant booklet with every consumer good.  The reason GMOs are targeted for labeling is because there's this weird, purist paranoia about them.  We already have a huge proportion of the American population believing they're bad, and cherry-picking them for labeling is just going to increase that baseless fear.  What's the point of spending resources to play into baseless fears, to provide no usable consumer information?
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Washington '14: The Dullest Midterm That You Ever Did See on: October 19, 2014, 09:57:10 pm
Is there any good reason for voting for I-1351?

"To send a message."

...Which seems silly to me, since I don't think the legislature is lacking in signals that they need to fully fund education, and this has a bunch of additional strings attached that wouldn't help with that effort anyway.

Even the hardcore liberals I know are 50/50 on this.  It's amazing how well it's polling statewide  I've never seen a measure with such a huge gap between the politically educated and the voters who just read the Voters' Pamphlet.
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What is your walkscore? on: October 19, 2014, 09:49:19 pm
100.  Booyah!
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread (US Domestic) on: October 19, 2014, 06:03:58 am
I don't really see why people are treating the Texas Presbyterian cases like game-changers.  We know this version of Ebola well.  In West Africa, it infects an average of 1.5-2 people per case.  The fact that, in one instance, it's infected 2 people in America doesn't tell us that it's somehow more virulent than we expected, or that it's somehow immune to hazmat suits.  That's dumb.  It tells us two things:

1. Medical interventions that involve lots of healthcare workers having contact with a highly infectious patient are a bad idea.  (Leaving someone to die alone is obviously inhumane, but there's a middle-ground between that and repeated exposure by a ton of people.)

2. Some people will likely get sick accidentally and die, because even though it's not a highly contagious disease, it's a highly infectious one.  (But it's not a highly contagious disease, so we should stop freaking out about the U.S.)

Travel bans are going to be mostly pointless too, since direct flights from West Africa barely exist.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Did your mother keep or change her name when she got married? on: August 18, 2014, 01:14:27 pm
It's not like women don't have a choice in the matter.  And if most women agreed with you, perhaps the share of women keeping their maiden name after marriage wouldn't have declined from 23% in the 90's to just 8% now.

I think there are apples-and-oranges statistical sources on that -- one was, like, a survey of records, while the other was a pre-survey of brides.  Another source I'm finding says that a third of women married in their twenties now keep their names.
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Did your mother keep or change her name when she got married? on: August 16, 2014, 11:10:48 pm
Keep

No problem with this tradition, but it's more widespread than I'd expect considering it's basically pointless.
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is your town of residence aligned with you politically? on: August 14, 2014, 09:08:04 am
I guess, as >80% Democratic cities go, it's about as close as I'm going to come.
11  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Sexual Morality Poll on: August 14, 2014, 08:35:25 am
Having this as a "morality poll" is confusing to me.  I don't think any of these are intrinsically immoral.  I wouldn't call something "immoral" just because I think it's generally a bad idea with bad consequences, especially if it's as situational as several things listed here are.
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Washington '14: The Dullest Midterm That You Ever Did See on: August 11, 2014, 07:05:36 pm
We're better than this, guys.  Stop being disappointing adults and start discussing politics on the internets!
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Marijuana on: August 10, 2014, 06:20:16 pm
I HAVE INJECTED MOST OF THE POTS INTERVENOUSLY

BUT THEY SHOULD BE ILLIGAL
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Washington '14: The Dullest Midterm That You Ever Did See on: July 27, 2014, 03:03:02 am
lol

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20140724/NEWS01/140729487/State-Rep.-Hope-to-resign-over-out-of-state-voter-registration

Rep. Mike Hope (R-Snohomish) is resigning because he registered to vote (probably accidentally) in Ohio, where he's rumored to have his primary residence.

Oh jeeze.

In other State GOP shenanigans news...

http://crosscut.com/2014/07/16/elections/121037/pam-roach-and-challenger-sharing-party-and-distast/

Also, who else has gotten their ballot and sent it in?

I sent it in day one (Friday).  When a Metropolitan Parks District formation is the most interesting thing on the ballot, you know it's a dull year.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Washington '14: The Dullest Midterm That You Ever Did See on: July 24, 2014, 07:24:20 pm
lol

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20140724/NEWS01/140729487/State-Rep.-Hope-to-resign-over-out-of-state-voter-registration

Rep. Mike Hope (R-Snohomish) is resigning because he registered to vote (probably accidentally) in Ohio, where he's rumored to have his primary residence.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Let Me Be Clear: Barack Obama's War on Millenials, and One Woman's Case for Hope on: July 13, 2014, 07:51:33 am
http://townhall.com/columnists/katiekieffer/2012/03/26/gays_females_and_equals/page/full

Her writing is like a bullsh**tty, last-minute college freshman essay.  It's not that she seems stupid.  It's that her thesis, argument, and supporting details barely seem related, and she seems to intentionally avoid making her argument clear because it would reveal it as more simplistic/narrow.

also, I like how the first Google search suggest is "katie kiefer instagram" because god the internet is sad.  At least it isn't "katie kiefer feet"
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What fraction of your life have you been posting on Atlas? on: June 22, 2014, 12:42:25 pm
40%
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2012 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: What Cities/Towns did Obama win in Idaho? on: June 20, 2014, 06:35:10 am
I would be shocked if Obama lost Sun valley. A lot of famous people live there, because of the ski resort.

The Sun Valley precinct flipped to Romney this time.  It was the only one he won in Blaine County outside of a hardcore Republican rural area, though.  Hailey and Ketchum are both hardcore Dem.
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2012 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Why are Florida whites so Republican? on: June 20, 2014, 06:30:49 am
white men are the base of the Republican party and almost half of the Florida population are true Southerners...  I'm not sure I buy that only 33% voted for Obama though, simply because there is a large Jewish and gay population in South Florida and there are a lot of tourist workers in the Orlando area who are white and probably vote D.  Any time you are polling a subset of a state population the error rate will likely be higher because the sample size is so low. 

Good points, but aren't many of those Jewish voters in South Florida olds? I don't think they are as Democratic as younger Jews. Tongue

Actually, the evidence is pretty suggestive that younger Jews are more Republican (at least last I've checked) -- some of that may be shifts in religious preference, so it may not apply in Florida as much.  I also may be totally wrong in my memory.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Bacon King Institute of Comedy on: June 20, 2014, 05:18:49 am
Case race tomorrow evening. My great-grand big is supposedly recruiting alums to swing by, and I've got at least two members of the crew living in the House as well as some of the other actives and recent graduates that have indicated they'll be here. When I get back from work, however, I'm too lazy to try to organize this crap, so I'm kinda winging it. Oh well. If we even have three teams of three (not going the typical 2/24 route, but instead 3/30), I'll be happy.

what the *k does any of this mean

"A competition will be held tomorrow evening wherein teams of men will compete to see which team can drink an entire case of beer the fastest. My mentor's mentor's mentor in the fraternity is finding fraternity brothers who graduated with him to come, plus at least two people who are currently living in the fraternity house itself (plus other current and recently graduated fraternity brothers) will be attending. I'm too lazy to organize the event myself though. Even if only nine people show up I will consider it a success. If necessary we can have three teams of three men drinking from those cases of beer that come with thirty beers, as opposed to the traditional setup of teams of two drinking from cases of beer that come with twenty four beers."

If I thought my alum fund was going to fine academic work like this, I would be contributing instead of just adding them to catalogue mailing lists
21  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: The Onion has a new clickbait site, and of course it's genius on: June 20, 2014, 05:08:04 am
I can't wait for the inevitable compendium of people unironically sharing ClickHole articles
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you really care either way about circumcision? on: June 20, 2014, 05:04:44 am
I'm not really interested in talking about my emotional investment.  Politics rarely affects me emotionally.  If something is irrational, we should cut it out, even if we don't care emotionally.  And I think infant circumcision is pretty clearly irrational.

Here's why:

Like several people have pointed out in this thread, the AAP and American medical organizations are fairly anomalous on this issue.  There are a few studies (like the one Harry linked) that claim overwhelming benefits, but these are outliers, and as far as I can tell were mostly conducted by one dude (Dr. Brian Morris), who Google kind of suggests is a crazy person.  In terms of medical effect, circumcision is probably a marginal net-positive.

So, why doesn't it make sense?  Two things:

1. Medical benefit isn't the only consideration.  Penises also have sexual uses (GASP!).  The foreskin does have a sexual function, and possibly a role in sexual sensitivity.  Thus, I think there's a valid subjective preference here, and without an imminent, objective medical reason, it seems weird to pre-empt someone's choice over what they prefer.  After all, if you're uncircumcised and prefer being circumcised, you can always fix that; if you're circumcised and wish you weren't, you're effectively screwed.

2. It seems pretty clear that there's not an imminent, objective medical reason for infant circumcision.  Circumcision's benefits are, by almost any account, so marginal that it would require tons of circumcisions to prevent one medical problem.  There are so obviously many more effective uses for the same resources (money, time, medical resources) that would also not have the problems with pre-empting consent infant circumcision has.

I get that this argument is complicated.  I get that most people don't think through the decision to this level of detail.  I get that good people can overlook what I wrote above.

I just don't get how anyone could seriously think through this practice and see it as anything but something we're trying to rationalize (poorly).  I agree with BRTD to let the practice die out through education.  But I also think it's stupid to pretend like dumb practices aren't dumb just because good people do them, or because they're "not a big deal."

Seriously, this isn't high school.  We're grown-ass adults who can hold strong opinions without having our emotional lives center around them.
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: It's been 10 years since the Killers released "Hot Fuss" on: June 11, 2014, 05:12:46 am
I don't think it holds up nearly as well as Interpol or the Strokes when it comes to retro 2000s rock, but I liked the first half of Hot Fuss.  I thought pretty much everything after that was kind of a derivative mess, though, instead of a catchy derivative mess.  Mixed bag, lean not my favorite.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Washington '14: The Dullest Midterm That You Ever Did See on: June 11, 2014, 05:01:02 am
Hey, Micah!  Former North End Tacoma resident myself, born and raised.  I just moved out of the 27th last year (although I'm posting from there now).  Welcome to the forum.  A lot of 27th folks have asked me about your candidacy, so it's kind of a trip to see you here Smiley
25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: February 27, 2014, 04:11:33 pm
I think the ruling says that Kentucky (like Oregon) recognizes same-sex marriages from other jursidictions, not that same-sex marriage is legal there.

Not according to this.

I don't know why you interpret "legally recognized" to mean "issues same-sex marriages" instead of "recognizes out-of-state same-sex marriages."  If anything, "legally recognized" sounds more like the latter to me.  Plus, every source I've seen indicates this recognizes pre-existing marriages only.
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