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May 27, 2015, 11:12:12 pm
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1  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Alleviating Rural Poverty Act of 2015 on: Today at 07:52:13 pm
Instead of yet another bill which gives funds to the regions, why can't this be a federally administered program? As long as there was some coordination with the appropriate local authorities, I don't think it would be too much of an issue.

For a number of reasons actually
1. Local knowledge
2. Maintenance of local roads is not a responsibility of ours, but would be impacted by increased traffic flows
 etc etc

But I think IF it is to be a Federally administered program (why it HAS to be... I'm not sure), then its scope must be smaller and more specifically targeted. Otherwise, you'll end up with de-markation fights and inevitably demands from the regions for things like maintenance of non-Federally owned infrastructure.

This still doesn't address what the fundamental intent of this Bill is.

My off the top of my head idea is - set parameters, distance to major settlement (ie 1500 people or more) subsidise local transportation companies to either extend existing routes or establish new ones. With reduced fares for those eligible for certain benefits?

The environmental angle is much harder to push here, because rural transport providers likely don't have the capacity to maintain green-tech vehicles at this time. Different parts, different maintenance routines, that requires training, and not the least the purchase of the vehicles. The way around it, could be to argue for increased green standards in areas of a particular density that makes investment in the time, vehicle and training worthwhile economically.

There's also an equity issue here, which is concerning, obviously rural poverty is a long-standing issue and increased connectivity to larger settlements is a big deal. But there are Atlasians who live in urban/suburban fringes who are cut off due to poor public transport options.
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Clinton lets loose southern drawl in South Carolina on: Today at 07:35:34 pm
Guess what... people, often without knowing shift their accent to suit their audience. Lord knows I do it... or have been told so.

If people are going to hyperventilate every... single... time... that Hillary opens her mouth, I really recommend investing in a paper bag company.
3  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Alleviating Rural Poverty Act of 2015 on: Today at 07:58:05 am
Absolutely - which is why I'm saying that that we need to be a lot more strategic here and focus more clearly on what issue we're actually focusing on. What will work in say, the NE, the South and ME won't be useful in vast areas of the MW and Pacific.
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: Today at 07:39:43 am
I wonder how many Liberals will vote for marriage equality and how many Labor against. I'd expect the Nationals to be near universally against.

I don't know that the Liberals have committed to holding a conscience vote, so you'd expect all of them to vote against it?

Abbott's been saying recently that if the party room wants a conscience vote he will grant one. I have a gut feeling he may allow it this time.

I think he knows the writing is on the wall on this one.
5  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Alleviating Rural Poverty Act of 2015 on: Today at 01:53:44 am
But again... while I'm generally supportive of this, we cannot get huffy on an issue so important. Hagrid actually makes some important points here, namely we need to clarify what the actual primary intent of this Bill is... I think we need to be very practical and strategic here. Atlasia has vast tracks of territory where public transport is just without any practical justification (this is not Europe we're talking about here). That's not ideal, but this this isn't about idealism. There are areas of rural Atlasia with reasonable enough population density that you make a decent case for limited subsidisation of public transport, in concert with the existing providers.

It seems like the Bill is trying to 'solve' too many issues at once, social isolation of the lower-income people, reducing emissions from existing transport rather than targeting one, with strong knock-on benefits. The reality is the emissions intensity in rural areas is nowhere near as key to the issue of emissions reduction than in urban areas, although increasing the focus on cleaner tech has my full support. The key to me, and this something I have personally worked on, is decreasing social isolation and increasing economic opportunities by connecting smaller population centres to larger ones with more going on.
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: May 26, 2015, 10:47:11 pm
Thank god the Labor party is putting equal rights to a conscience vote.  Otherwise, we would just end up ramming this policy down the throats of the public which supports gay marriage 2 to 1, at least.  Lol.

The most disappointing news out of the last week has been Shorten's agreement with the Coalition on not having any room for the people who are drowning in the ocean.  It's times like this where I feel really hopeless at the fact that whether the Labor or the Liberal party has control, this country continues to maintain brutal and dehumanising tactics to "discourage" illegal immigration.  On the plus side, this controversy brewing over the Abbott/Dutton proposal to let politicians strip Australians of their citizenship, rendering them stateless without due process, seems to be occurring not just outside of but also within the leadership, with Pyne, Brandis, Bishop, Andrews and Turnbull all on record as having problems.  When a policy is too fascist for Chris Pyne and George Brandis, you really have to wonder.

Yes, there are still some Libs who have issues with contraventions of international treaties and well, decency. Just because they're scumbags doesn't mean we have to act like it.
7  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Los Angeles on: May 26, 2015, 09:55:37 pm
Hate it. It's a transit point for me, that's it.
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: May 26, 2015, 05:39:30 am
This could get interesting.
9  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Office of Senator Polnut on: May 26, 2015, 05:34:15 am


the Next President and other issues

Senator Polnut tonight made the following statement.

I am supporting President Bore for another term. He has shown the exact qualities that led me to support him before his election, reasonableness, a calm nature and a desire to see pragmatic outcomes, not opportunities to grandstand and claim ideological purity.

But I am alarmed by a lack of competition, so I urge those who are interested to thrown their hat in the ring. Our democracy is only as strong as the competition it engenders. I fully support the President, but we need a true competition.

As my political career heads toward its end, I will be visiting areas that mean a lot to me, and I will be speaking about those issues about which I care the most. I've long been accused by the more drama-seeking among us of being a moderate for the sake of moderation. True, I don't believe in melodrama as a form of political discourse, but there are a number of issues where I believe we have fallen down and I will be talking about what I intend to do not just in my remaining time in the Senate, but once I have left.
10  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Senate resolution: Improve the Senate Rules (Final vote) on: May 26, 2015, 05:21:20 am
11  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: It's Only Dignified to Do...After All This Time Act on: May 25, 2015, 10:36:27 pm
12  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Justice System Reform Bill 2 2015 on: May 25, 2015, 10:35:54 pm
I don't support Senator TNF's proposal, I believe we don't need to be making the Government do everything itself, we can work in partnership with other sectors.

Public defenders are those people who are engaged by the state to defend those in criminal matters who are unable to provide such defense for themselves.
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How did you celebrate the holiday weekend? on: May 25, 2015, 07:30:06 pm
NOTA. Went to Fire Island, and partied.

Yes, I know from the options what this about. You never give up, do you Grumps? Stubborn cuss.

Skank Tongue

14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Should the U.S. join the Commonwealth of Nations? on: May 25, 2015, 12:58:16 am
No and not wanted.
15  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: So is bore going to run unopposed? on: May 24, 2015, 09:04:22 pm
I agree that there being no contest is a really really bad thing for Atlasia.
16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Where Does Bush's Support Go? on: May 24, 2015, 07:54:12 pm
Feeling most of his supporters would go to Walker, but most of his donors would go to Rubio.

Pretty much this.
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Eurovision Song Contest 2015 on: May 24, 2015, 07:53:12 pm
Jury Result
1 -  Sweden - 353
2 -  Latvia - 249
3 -  Russia - 234
4 -  Australia - 224
5 -  Belgium - 186
6 -  Italy - 171
7 -  Norway - 163
8 -  Israel - 77
9 -  Cyprus - 63
10 -  Georgia - 62
11 -  Estonia - 53
12 -  Montenegro - 44
13 -  Austria - 40
14 -  Azerbaijan - 40
15 -  Slovenia - 36
16 -  Lithuania - 31
17 -  Hungary - 29
18 -  Greece - 29
19 -  France - 24
20 -  Germany - 24
21 -  Romania - 21
22 -  Armenia - 15
23 -  United Kingdom - 12
24 -  Serbia - 12
25 -  Spain - 6
26 -  Albania - 4
27 -  Poland - 2

Yeah - that doesn't surprise me. A lot of people expected Australia to do much better with the juries than the popular votes. What's shocking is the position of Italy and Sweden, particularly Italy.
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would You Rather Live In Japan or Italy on: May 24, 2015, 07:49:30 pm
This is actually a tough choice for me. On the one hand, Italy has great food and a great climate. On the other hand, Japan is where anime and video games come(s) from. Went with Italy.

This alone should be reason to choose Italy. Anime is wrong and immoral.

lol. Care to elaborate?

Nah, anime is just sad.
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would You Rather Live In Japan or Italy on: May 24, 2015, 07:48:56 pm
Italy is more welcoming to foreigners and would be far easier to get acclimated to. Also, better food.

Japan definitely.

Your ethnic group isn't particularly loved in Japan.

I would pick Italy purely for being in Europe, but the one thing that makes me question it is my love of Japanese food.
20  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Let's Make HIV/AIDS History Act on: May 24, 2015, 07:20:44 pm
This is an issue I've been personally active with for many years and I'm glad it's back before the Senate.
21  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: It's Only Dignified to Do...After All This Time Act on: May 24, 2015, 07:19:52 pm
I don't really see a reason why we should ackonweledge this loonyism on the federal level. If the regions want to this, good for them, they shall if it pleases them. But this does not mean that we will need to rubber-stamp this on the federal level. How hard can it be to use names everyone understands?

Also did they seriously give Manitoba a name with a spelling error in it?

I've never supported this and I won't now.
22  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Justice System Reform Bill 2 2015 on: May 24, 2015, 07:19:04 pm
I'm comfortable with such a title change.
23  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Mideast Record-Courier Polls: Best Atlasian President (Since Dissolution) on: May 24, 2015, 03:13:25 am
Ah, three years ago here is like 50 in real politics.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you have voted for the Iraq War? on: May 23, 2015, 01:20:58 pm
Based on what I personally believed at the time... No. But it wasn't based on hyperbolic cheap-seats views about oil etc, but about the geopolitical balance of the region.
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Forum IRC Channel, Thread 2 on: May 23, 2015, 01:00:53 pm
Um... why does everyone seem to be banned?
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