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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: The Truth We Won't Admit: Drinking Is Healthy on: September 01, 2014, 06:09:46 pm
Those with a history of alcoholism in their genetic line should not drink - period. Life is a series of having to make these little judgments - and hopefully it is data based decision-making. But thank heavens, a majority of us are not cursed with that genetic predisposition, so thus, the article.
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Making what is "bad" not bad? on: September 01, 2014, 05:02:40 pm
What in God's name do you have against hoodies? They're qute utilitarian, something every American should appreciate. Shaming people for wearing them because someone happened to get shot while in them is downright absurd, and I recommend getting a quick checkup at the nearest mental institution.

FTR, I wear a hoodie all the time when there is a bit of chill in the air.

3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XVI: Sidejackin' it in the Train Room. on: September 01, 2014, 04:54:50 pm
Only got a Double Whopper With Cheese! I know he's trolling us...

That was my impression. Jeff is parodying himself. Smiley
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gay teen attacked by family (VIDEO) on: September 01, 2014, 04:40:30 pm
The real thing that is sad is folks who trawl the Bible, with all of its inconsistencies, to affix a Godly veneer to their own prejudices fashioned from the fruits of their culling. And when whenever that veneer gets in the way of what they really want to do, they tend not to hesitate to go to an "interior decorator" to secure a new veneer, for their new agenda. Color me cynical. Most folks (well at least a majority) are just unable to separate their own prejudices, subjective preferences, etc., from what is empirically based.  They want it all. In short, my guess, is that a person's personal theology tends often to be a function of reverse engineering - with the theology fitting their preferred world view, rather than visa versa.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / The Truth We Won't Admit: Drinking Is Healthy on: September 01, 2014, 03:48:50 pm
Well, I "knew" from the grapevine about having a glass or two of red wine a day with food being asalubrious habit, but here we have something a bit more empirical that imbibing up to a point is not good for the solvency of the social security system - at least if not behind the wheel at the time, I should hasten to add.
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Making what is "bad" not bad? on: August 27, 2014, 07:05:30 am
Congrats Naso for hosting well an interesting thread. Keep up the good work!  Smiley
7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How would you like to be buried? on: August 26, 2014, 05:07:49 am
Like my daddy - cremated, and my ashes tossed into the sea.
8  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Pacific Voting Booth: The Bicameral Birthing Amendment on: August 26, 2014, 05:03:11 am
Nay
9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: What is a WASP? on: August 25, 2014, 06:53:31 pm
This forum uses it in a bizarre way I'd never seen before...  I always thought of it as exactly what it stands for:
White (obvious enough)
Anglo Saxon (English/German/Northern European with fair features)
Protestant (mainline denomination, not evangelical).
I've heard that definition a lot, but
1. In which way are Germans and Northern Europeans Anglo Saxons?
2. Isn't Anglo Saxon almost redundant in this case, because how many White Protestants are there historically that are not British, German, Dutch or Northern European? (Huguenots? Hussites? Valdesi? Sobozinians?)

Anglo Saxon is but one Teutonic tribe (granted, the English more or less are a meld of Anglo Saxon and Norman (another Teutonic tribe). But a definition of WASP that is co-extensive with Protestants with Teutonic genetics, is perhaps pretty accurate (except perhaps for the Celt Protestant Scots and Welsh). Of most import vis a vis the US, is the issue is whether Scots-Irish are considered WASP. There are millions and millions of them, and they were the Celtic Scots colonists imported from Scotland into N. Ireland by William of Orange (thus they called themselves "Orangemen"), to help "pacify" Ireland. The Scots Irish have a rather distinctive cultural style and heritage, light years apart from the flinty Bible toting highly educated relative speaking, New England Yankees - the former being just perfect for the frontier, which is why they were favored as immigrants in the first half of the 19th century.
10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Rank Northeastern and Midwestern metros from most liberal to most conservative on: August 25, 2014, 04:37:49 pm
Are those numbers from 2008 or 2012? I feel like Toledo being so high is an artifact of Obama's incredible performance in NW Ohio in 2008.

It appears that most of the Toledo metro area trended Dem in 2012.

11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: August 25, 2014, 04:17:02 pm
I just came across this entry (from 2011), in the blog that started this thread.

Some History of the Weighted Vote

I haven't come across the specifics of how the weights are calculated in Hudson.  My assumption was that the President should have a voting strength based on 1/10 of the city's population, and each alderman 1/2 of the population of his ward.  This would give a total represented population of 1.1 times the actual population, with the president representing 0.1/1.1 or 1/11 of the total - the same as he would if there were equal population districts with no weighting.

In the 2000s plan, there was one instance where the two aldermen from a single ward had voting weights that differed by one.  Aldermen have different voting weights, depending on whether the vote is a simple majority; 2/3 supermajority; or 3/4 supermajority.  That the weight of a member varies slightly on the type of vote is likely to be viewed with incredulity.  That two members have different weights also would be treated skeptically.  In the 2000s, one alderman had one additional vote on a 2/3 vote (the alderman with the greater popular vote when elected, received the bonus vote).

There was an alternative to the current plan that would have applied a similar split, but would be used on simple majority votes.  There were some small adjustments to other voting weights.  These weights were said to produce results slightly more comparable to population. I think the votes opposed to the current plan were based on a preference for the alternative.

I then searched the blog for "weighted" and came across some interesting entries.

Forty Years of Weighted Votes

Note the pictures.  These demonstrate that a picture is worth a 1000 words

"where the "old Hudson" folks, who grew up there still control matters in Hudson, but perhaps for not much longer, holding the power and most of the very much sought after government jobs.

Or alternatively, that the Appalachians do extend through New York.

The State of the Weighted Vote

Eureka!

This entry has a link to Lee Papayanopoulos's study of voting weights.

He cites a number of court cases from around 1970 upholding weighted voting schemes in several New York counties.

I think that the blogger might not understand the term 'egality' which is the number of wards where the two alderman have the same weight.  An egality of 5, means the weights are identical for all 5 wards.

The Papanopoulos study has different ward populations than we have assumed:

Ward 1  770  v 828
Ward 2  1,281 v 1204
Ward 3  1,142 v 1142
Ward 4   725 v 744
Ward 5   2,485 v 2,485

He says: "Populations based on the decennial census, adjusted to exclude institutional inmates and to reconcile overlapping election districts."

These would require a change in the block splits:

Front Street block: Ward 1:2  131:234 v 73:292
Great Northern block: Ward 2:4  51:238 v 32:257

If we use Ward 2: 6 buildings x 8 units + 2 buildings x 12 units = 72 units; and Ward 1: 5 buildings x 8 units = 40.

365 x 72/(72 + 40) = 234.6

The block split was reversed.   Someone from Ward 2 should sue.

The flip seems to be the census numbers, not the numbers used for voting weights, if I follow your mathematics. Can you walk through this more carefully for me?

It does seem that the weighted voting system is legal, since the variations between population and voting power are far less than the 10% variance max that NY courts allow. I don't know where that 46% voting power number came from for the 5th ward that was bandied about.
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is this post racially insensitive? on: August 25, 2014, 07:04:12 am
Since they know each other and get along, not really. Sure, it could have been more "diplomatically" phrased.
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: 2014 Selfie Creepfest/Post a picture of yourself thread on: August 24, 2014, 10:04:41 am
14  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: August 2014 Federal Election - At-Large Senate on: August 23, 2014, 08:02:11 am
[1] Bacon King
[8] Mechaman
[9] JohannesCalvinusLibertas
[11] Dr. Cynic
[2] Polnut
[4] Lumine
[6] Poirot
[10] GAworth
[3] Clarence
[5] Deus
[7] Alfred Jones
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Democrats who voted against aca in 2010 but still lost the seat. Why? on: August 23, 2014, 07:43:50 am
As Joe alluded, the main reason is that those CD's tend to have a Pub hue. The ACA was but one issue, with other partisan issues also in play, and even if the incumbent tended to vote the Pub line on most controversial issues, they still can be tarred and feathered with having voted to make Pelosi Speaker of the House. The US political system in Congress has evolved to the point that it looks more now like how a Parliamentary system works, with pretty strict party discipline, and rebels tending to have short half lives.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should Colorado have to pay for neighboring state's marijuana prohibition? on: August 22, 2014, 05:03:51 pm
The problem is many of these sheriff's departments are defining "probably cause" as "has a Colorado license plate". Considering how easy it is to transport marijuana and not get caught, I doubt the increased arrests are all solely due to the greater supply. That's basically why the whole bit about the sheriff's departments not making the laws doesn't really hold up. For comparison Pennsylvania gun laws are far more lax than in New Jersey or New York, but that doesn't mean police in those states constantly pull over and search Pennsylvania cars and assume all are carrying guns.

I take your point, but that dog just isn't going to hunt in court.

No but driving "erratically" or "looked like he wasn't wearing a seatbelt" will. It's not probable cause to search the car though. Can saying they smelt marijuana constitute probable cause to search the car?

Sure, if it is believed by the trier of fact that such smell was extant in the air.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should Colorado have to pay for neighboring state's marijuana prohibition? on: August 22, 2014, 06:44:21 am
The problem is many of these sheriff's departments are defining "probably cause" as "has a Colorado license plate". Considering how easy it is to transport marijuana and not get caught, I doubt the increased arrests are all solely due to the greater supply. That's basically why the whole bit about the sheriff's departments not making the laws doesn't really hold up. For comparison Pennsylvania gun laws are far more lax than in New Jersey or New York, but that doesn't mean police in those states constantly pull over and search Pennsylvania cars and assume all are carrying guns.

I take your point, but that dog just isn't going to hunt in court.
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Senatorial Election Polls / Re: NH: WMUR/Granite State Poll: Brown closing in? on: August 21, 2014, 06:23:41 pm
Have the Dems sent a money dump to NH recently? If not, it will be interesting to see if they do now. That will tell the tale of how real this is. What is real, is that the Dems are in increasingly bad shape this cycle when it comes to the Senate overall. That is what happens when the news seems near unremittingly bad, week after week.
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Oxford School of Absurdity, Ignorance, and Bad Posts IV on: August 21, 2014, 05:21:25 pm
This thread, vis a vis Tweed, has gone, terribly, terribly wrong. I hope and trust it will be corrected soon. Stating that someone else is a "sociopath" is a very serious matter. It had better be backed up with solid proof. One might look up what "sociopath" means in the interim. Thank you.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Meetup 2014 on: August 21, 2014, 04:43:33 pm
So far, I have one signup.  Anyone else?

I with partner Dan will be in Virginia on Aug 30, driving back on Aug 31. I am visiting Mathews County, where the Dunn clan commenced in the New World in the 18th century, to see what I can find, and visiting Williamsburg right across the river, where I can be a bit player in the scenes there, which I enjoy because I am a drama queen. Tongue
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Family values Republican state rep. arrested for raping his wife on: August 21, 2014, 03:34:22 pm
I don't really follow much of the above very well, but suffice it to say, I personally would have no problem with the idea that I can agree in advance while sentient to give consent to my spouse to have sex with me while demented assuming medical science supports the idea that it will not be doing affirmative harm to me while in the demented state. It is similar to the notion really that I can execute a living will, stating I want to be offed in I descend into a vegetative state (to the extent otherwise legally permissible).  

Maybe I would too, but two gay men's opinions does not make it right.

I'll try to be clearer. The first big problem I have is the comparison with a living will. Then you can argue that, because we allow that kind of legal solution for ending one's life, we can allow that solution for everything with lower stakes than ending one's life. But I disagree, because signing away my life and signing away my ability to consent involve two different rights.

Signing away my life affirms a right to the body (not a lawyer, but this should correspond to something legal). Signing away my ability to consent does not affirm any right to the body. Instead, it involves a right of surrendering my body to someone who wants to use me. I doubt many people believe this right exists, and would be outraged if someone used it to justify assault or rape.

Of course you can oppose that interpretation and say that oversight exists, through medical instruments that can test whether the incompetent person is in pain. But you cannot say the only reason we have to refuse consent is when we are in pain. We can refuse consent when we expect that having sex will lead to negative consequences. I believe we cannot come to agreement about how these expectations ought to be measured, so this oversight is ineffective.


That is all fine, but the weight you put on the horrors of signing away one's consent to sex in this context, such that one simply should not have the right to do that, even with one's spouse, is way in excess of mine. It does not bother me at all, actually. Frankly, once I am demented, the least I can do is still offer some pleasure to someone. Of course, in my case, if I know I am going the demented route, I will commit suicide, thus mooting the issue, but I digress.  Anyway, the weight you put on the giving up of consent in this case, to me (and I don't mean this personally), is nanny statism gone wild. If I were a juror, and a case like this came up for rape, involving one's demented spouse, with a document giving advance consent while the spouse were sentient, I would take great pleasure in engaging in jury nullification, and be pleased to brag about it, and tell the prosecutor to his face that he was an ahole.

Have a good one, Foucaulf.  Smiley
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should Colorado have to pay for neighboring state's marijuana prohibition? on: August 21, 2014, 03:21:57 pm
Option 3. Anyway, what the sheriff's want, is not what they will get. F them.

You know, in many places the cops don't enforce the pot laws. Why? It is a matter of priorities. Here in Hudson, you won't get arrested unless you have pot on you when arrested for something else, or smoke dope in public. It may be that the sheriffs involved really don't have enough to do, so they are left handing out tickets and looking for pot. Just how they arrest many folks with pot also escapes me, inasmuch as you need probable cause to stop a car, and then you need probable cause to search it as well. That should not happen much unless you are smoking pot in the car.

Writing this, I realize their rap does not hang together at all. They are, well, not to put too fine a point on it, blowing smoke. It's probably time to cull their ranks is my little policy suggestion.
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Family values Republican state rep. arrested for raping his wife on: August 21, 2014, 06:56:24 am
Responding to this quote instead of the other one:
Suppose as a hypothetical:

1. Someone executes something akin to a living will, providing that in the event they become demented, they wish their spouse to still have sex with them if, as a condition precedent,  by the preponderance of the evidence, medical science supports the idea that in their situation at the time, sex will do them no harm, and/or still provide them with physical pleasure, and

2. Medical science in fact so supports meeting such condition precedent.

What is the reasoning for the jump from 1) to 2)? I can see very good reason for bioethicists to oppose any such reasoning which would allow for the acceptability of 1).

Specifically, there's a bizarre reductionist logic in 1). In arguing that conditions in 1) is sufficient to show allowance of consent, you're reducing reasons for consent to the fulfillment of pleasure and a special relation with the other agent. In this form people can accuse you of sexism more directly. One reason why we believe continuous consent is necessary is that we do not want to restrict the possible reasons, some unknown to the other party, that women and humans ought to be treated.

In other words, do you really think women say "no" mostly because they're not satisfied by sex? What about a sense of security and expectations about how this changes the special relationship she thinks she has with someone else? And, bare in mind, those reasons go through the heads of more than just those above the age of consent...

I don't really follow much of the above very well, but suffice it to say, I personally would have no problem with the idea that I can agree in advance while sentient to give consent to my spouse to have sex with me while demented assuming medical science supports the idea that it will not be doing affirmative harm to me while in the demented state. It is similar to the notion really that I can execute a living will, stating I want to be offed in I descend into a vegetative state (to the extent otherwise legally permissible). 
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Opinion of the media? on: August 19, 2014, 03:56:49 pm
Putting aside blogs and whatnot, the press is but a shadow of its former self - less talented reporters, less coverage, almost no investigative journalism, lots of low brow sensationalist pablum for the masses. What we have is a lot more coverage (except for newspapers, which are largely dead and bankrupt, just printing AP stories), with a lot less content that is worth a damn. So my opinion of "the media" assuming it has a meaning similar to the press, is that it totally sucks. Thank you.
25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Family values Republican state rep. arrested for raping his wife on: August 19, 2014, 07:07:05 am
Suppose as a hypothetical:

1. Someone executes something akin to a living will, providing that in the event they become demented, they wish their spouse to still have sex with them if, as a condition precedent,  by the preponderance of the evidence, medical science supports the idea that in their situation at the time, sex will do them no harm, and/or still provide them with physical pleasure, and

2. Medical science in fact so supports meeting such condition precedent.

In short, I see the arguments on both sides here, and don't find this to be a Manichean proposition.
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