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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Next Australian Federal Election - 2015/2016 on: July 01, 2015, 11:25:42 pm
The fact that the Government is actively trying to pour cold water on the SSM cross-party Bill and with Eric Abetz saying some of the stupidest things I've heard from this Government yet... Makes me think they don't want to have a timeline for this as early as August. While I don't think minds are made up, I'm more sure that they absolutely want the option to pull the trigger sometime during the winter break (that ends on 10 August).

Remember, Australia is heading into weird times when it comes to the electoral calendar. In reality, the only periods when an election can be held without interfering with the sacred cows of footy finals is between now and late August and from mid-October until very very early December (but in reality late November) - December elections get close to Christmas holidays and people get angry. 
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Tennessee Hardware Store puts up "no gays allowed" sign on: July 01, 2015, 10:10:42 pm
Freedom of association is a two way street. People are free to boycott this store, and I am sure the public outrage and typical hysterical reaction of the media will be more than enough to take down this sign.

Are you being serious?
Partly. I don't want to see the Civil Rights Act repealed, though in an ideal world, people should be free to discriminate in their personal lives if they choose to live life like an ass-wipe. CNN will talk about this story for a week, people will shame the owner, and the sign will come down. It's a pretty simple chain of events.

You could also legalize punching your customers in the face under the same theory. 

As for freedom of association, that's not under threat here.  This person opened a store that caters to anyone who walks by.  So, he chose to associate with anyone who walks by, aka the general public.   Running a store is not "your personal life" at all.  It's public. 
I walk by the local country club a lot. But I can't golf there whenever I want. The owners of the country club "associate with the general public." What is the difference? They both are private, for profit establishments and should be allowed to cater to whomever they want.

A country club is a private club.  A hardware store is not a private club. 
And why can't this idiot in TN operate his business as a private club? Who gets to decide what is private and what isn't?

Indeed - Sanchez is dead wrong here. A private institution like a country club or even a university, makes clear there are qualifications for access and inclusion. A store, whilst being privately owned, still has no expectation of denying access based on any qualifier.

The store is being actively discriminatory and is now throwing up "muh religins freedumz" to get the usual suspects to back him.

Freedom of association is a two way street. People are free to boycott this store, and I am sure the public outrage and typical hysterical reaction of the media will be more than enough to take down this sign.

Are you being serious?
Partly. I don't want to see the Civil Rights Act repealed, though in an ideal world, people should be free to discriminate in their personal lives if they choose to live life like an ass-wipe. CNN will talk about this story for a week, people will shame the owner, and the sign will come down. It's a pretty simple chain of events.

You could also legalize punching your customers in the face under the same theory. 

As for freedom of association, that's not under threat here.  This person opened a store that caters to anyone who walks by.  So, he chose to associate with anyone who walks by, aka the general public.   Running a store is not "your personal life" at all.  It's public. 
I walk by the local country club a lot. But I can't golf there whenever I want. The owners of the country club "associate with the general public." What is the difference? They both are private, for profit establishments and should be allowed to cater to whomever they want.

The country club owner is clear from the beginning that the business does not intend to serve 100% of the public, and defines clear requirements for membership that can be met regardless of sexuality.

The Hardware store owner serves everyone for x years, then suddenly adopts a new requirement for service that certain people cannot meet because of how they were born, as a clear overreaction to a court action that he disagreed with yet had absolutely nothing to do with his business. If he had been asked to come to a wedding and perform a service, or if he had been asked to make something that had an explicit "gay" theme, that's one thing and I think there are legitimate issues of religious freedom to address there. But that's not what is happening here.
Have you ever seen a sign at McDonalds saying "we reserve the right to refuse service?" They have a choice to refuse service for whatever reason. When they do refuse service, it happens after the customer enters the store expecting service.

Sure, the point of those signs are to prevent unruly customers from remaining in the establishment after being asked to leave, but the point is they exist to give the owner options. And in this situation, the owner is using those options.

Of course, this isn't an issue of religious freedom. Its an issue of economic freedom. People have the right to be assholes. And people don't have the right to not get their feelings hurt.

 I try to avoid McDonalds - as you pointed out, the right to refuse service is based almost entirely on mitigating liability. A bar has a right, as well as a responsibility, to refuse service to the already intoxicated. A restaurant has the right to refuse you service if it feels you are a threat to the comfort of fellow customers.  A cab has the right to refuse to pick you up etc etc. But this is overt discrimination towards a particular group, even before entering a store. If the sign said "no blacks" or "no Jews", I mean, you're at least consistent in the mindlessness of your ideology, but if the owner said, as the owner of several lunch counters in the South said, that integration was an affront to his religious beliefs, would the same knee-jerks be defending him?
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Tennessee Hardware Store puts up "no gays allowed" sign on: July 01, 2015, 06:25:05 pm
Are people under the impression that gays are a protected class under the 1964 Civil Rights Act? They are not. You can legally turn the gays away all day long if you choose to do so. Also, the racial segregation that existed in the lunch counters of the 1950s existed because of local and state laws. Stores would have been breaking the law not to segregate their facilities. The free market had no role to play. How businesses would have acted without those laws is mere speculation.

Of course, it's not about whether they legally can turn customers away, considering you have marriage equality nation-wide but still have a majority of stares where you can still be fired for being thought of as gay... But whether it's "right"
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Tennessee Hardware Store puts up "no gays allowed" sign on: July 01, 2015, 06:12:23 pm
Indeed - Sanchez is dead wrong here. A private institution like a country club or even a university, makes clear there are qualifications for access and inclusion. A store, whilst being privately owned, still has no expectation of denying access based on any qualifier.

The store is being actively discriminatory and is now throwing up "muh religins freedumz" to get the usual suspects to back him.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Will Obama be remembered in the top 10 of Presidents? on: July 01, 2015, 12:15:42 am
I love Christian persecution complex. Their right to discriminate (or using their code words "conscience") is liberty, but those views being pilloried in a liberal secular democracy is intolerable discrimination...
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: June 30, 2015, 11:03:58 pm
This might not be the best place to ask this, but does the repeal of a law in Australia only need a simple majority like in the UK?

Yes. A majority repeals a law. No Parliament can bind another etc etc
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Next Australian Federal Election - 2015/2016 on: June 30, 2015, 10:21:48 pm
Abbott won't care about the re-distributions. But he will care about the Senate, it's the only thing in my mind that might get him to hold off. But he's a politician, if he thinks he can win, he will give it a crack, for a number of reasons- his Federation White Paper process is DEAD, the economy is still stagnant and Shorten will appear at the Royal Commission on Unions as early as next month. They're going to want to bury/extend the situation for the failures and capitalize of Shorten's weaknesses. I don't think they want Parliament to return in August, but that's based on nothing but gut.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Next Australian Federal Election - 2015/2016 on: June 29, 2015, 07:21:41 pm
Is there any chance this will end in a hung parliament? And, if so, how are the Greens doing? ALP will need them if they are going to have a victory.

Put it this way, I think a Coalition majority is more likely than an ALP one.
9  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: PPP found a way to poll all 16 candidates on: June 29, 2015, 07:19:29 pm
YAY! GO TRUMP! Hope the establishment is listening - out of touch with  conservative voters

You do know what his actual positions on your pet social issues are, don't you?
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Next Australian Federal Election - 2015/2016 on: June 29, 2015, 05:54:30 pm
They more realistic than last time. The ALP is stronger in WA, QLD and VIC is much stronger and consistently so.
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The polls getting it wrong - post notable examples on: June 28, 2015, 11:54:02 pm
Pretty much every recent election here has had a sh**t load of late movement towards the Liberals.

It's the rule of the past 20 years or so, the Libs gain about 4% during the campaign, usually from the undecideds/swingers, who don't get included in most polling numbers. Which is part of the reason why Abbott is known to have said to colleagues, "if we get to 48-52, we can win"
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Next Australian Federal Election - 2015/2016 on: June 27, 2015, 07:10:20 pm
Yes, I'm starting to think Shorten is becoming a drag on the party's chances. How would Albanese or Plibersek do as leader?

Pilbersek would prevent the party from going even further right, I guess; ditto for Albanese. However, I don't think there has been any public polling on the two.

Um ... the ALP has not shifted to the right since Shorten and Plibersek has actually kind of gone down in my estimations, she might not be a natural 'performer', but whenever I've seen her, she's been kind of unimpressive. I do think Shorten has a stronger policy brain than both Plib and Albo - his mistake was not capitalising on the Government's weaknesses and in essence, create a Government in exile. Just ready and waiting ... But they've gone the old route. But, let's be honest here, we have been spoilt by how bad Abbott had been.
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: June 24, 2015, 10:25:54 pm
The Killing Season is actually brilliant, hard to watch but so good.

So compelling ... Rudd looks like the smug **** he is.

The series actually rehabilitated his reputation somewhat I think. Although Gillard continues to come off as a far better individual than Rudd, it's quite clear he was the wronged party (by FAR) in the 2010 coup.

Episode 1 made Rudd look good, Episode 2 made him look distracted and Episode 3 made him look bitter and twisted and incapable of accepting ANY blame for his mistakes.
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: June 24, 2015, 09:03:55 pm
The Killing Season is actually brilliant, hard to watch but so good.

So compelling ... Rudd looks like the smug **** he is.
15  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: --- Emergency Alert System --- Nationwide --- (Event Nullified) on: June 24, 2015, 03:01:17 am
I support the GM's existence. I mean some already think we live in a bubble, but this would only confirm it and allow our worst excesses to run amok. I think unfortunately for Kal, despite many months of good work, he clearly became bored. Part of it was due to some not taking him updates into consideration in their work, as a senator, I must take my share of responsibility for that. But at the same time, when updates become more unrealistic and more extreme, it becomes harder and harder to reconcile what you're doing and the what, for a time, appeared a never-ending torrent of bloodshed and D-R-A-M-A.

I think Kal's decision to resign was the right one, only because, as a game, you shouldn't stay in a position you're clearly resenting and finding a waste of time and energy. I personally think if you cannot generate interest or excitement for this without resorting to stunts and the aforementioned D-R-A-M-A, then you need to reconsider why you're here, this is especially true for bored newbies. Your mettle will be tested far more by how you manage the boring times, not how you make times exciting.
16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Clinton 2016 campaign: Georgia is a "Tier Two" state on: June 24, 2015, 01:48:00 am
With 0% of the vote in, we are ready to project that Jeb Bush is the winner in the state of Georgia....

If Hillary wins Georgia, she will also win all Obama states including CO plus NC. It will not come anywhere close to being important in terms of actually being a state that is crucial to a Hillary victory.

I don't think that's the point. It's that the Clinton campaign considers it a state that COULD come into play realistically. I think that's a pretty reasonable position. No one is saying that GA will be crucial to her winning the election, but it would be indicative of the state of the race nation-wide, if the campaign starts pumping money into GA.
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: NBC/WSJ: Clinton opens up 60 point lead on: June 23, 2015, 11:43:10 pm
Wow, a national sample of 200 Democratic voters, with a MoE of 7% !

That's really telling us something about the state of the race ...

Exactly, Hillary doesn't have a 60 point lead.

Yes, closer to 45 points.
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who would be weakest against Clinton? on: June 23, 2015, 08:50:48 pm
I think for so-called front-runners ... they're all pretty damn weak.
19  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Office of Senator Polnut on: June 23, 2015, 08:00:40 pm

PRESS RELEASE


Protecting Vulnerable Infrastructure


Senator Polnut tonight made the following statement.

I am very happy to see a majority of senators support the common-sense Protecting Vulnerable Infrastructure Bill 2015. I presented this to the Senate to address some cold-hard realities about the situation we face from a changing climate.

There are measures we can take to prevent future instability, but there are already changes taking place that we cannot avoid and we must adapt and guard against. This is both the Federal Government looking after its own infrastructure, as well as going into partnership with the regions to enable them to put suitable processes in place.

20  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Criminal Justice (Reform) Act on: June 23, 2015, 06:57:21 pm
NAY
21  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: International Biodiversity Conservation Aid Act on: June 23, 2015, 06:41:33 pm
AYE
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: June 23, 2015, 02:11:42 am
What union would a professional or creative type join? Or a diplomat? Or just anyone not in a sector that has a union?

The rule, in general, is ... if there's a union you could join, you need to join it before joining the party.
23  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Bore/Nix for President on: June 22, 2015, 08:20:04 pm
I was proud to vote for you a second time.
24  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: National Parks Act of 2015 on: June 22, 2015, 07:02:29 pm
I support the amendment.
25  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Justice System Reform Bill 2 2015 on: June 22, 2015, 07:00:03 pm
Quote
LegalAid Creation Act

1. This bill, hereby creates a federal scheme operated by the Department of Justice that will provide LegalAid for vulnerable groups in society (outlined below). These groups have been identified as lacking the resources, or access to legal representation which is necessary for equal opportunities.

2. $6 billion will hereby be appropriated from the Federal Budget to fund a comprehensive legalAid pilot scheme which will provide both support to law firms, and direct support to individuals to allow them to afford legal representation.

2b. 500 million of the $10 billion mentioned above will be given to inner city law firms that provide pro-bono services, and voluntary work to help disproportionately affected groups. The maximum amount that any one firm can receive is $50,000. For firms to qualify for this funding they must

2c. Have the equivalent of a 0.25 FTE (full time equivalent) workload dedicated towards public defense cases over a period of 12 months.

2b. Firms must register with relevant regional and Federal agencies.

2c.Take at least one Graduate where possible per year, mentioned below.

2d. The level of funding, whilst remaining capped will be dependent on several factors such as population demographics, a firms ethical and legal history, its involvement in local community and any other mitigating factors

3. $4 Billion were from the scheme will be put towards the LegalAid scheme where low income individuals can receive financial compensation to pay for legal representation. This money will be directly paid to legal practices, who will then be compelled under law to provide legal representation to said individual

3b. the individual must be able to prove that they have a household income of less than $25,000 a year.

3c. any household that receives between $25,000 and $35,000 can receive partial funding where 50% of legal fees can be paid for by the LegalAid scheme.

3d. all law firms must sign and confirm this funding to ensure that the individual is turning up to scheduled meetings and court dates.

3e. Likewise all law firms that are operating under the LegalAid scheme must submit accounts, court records and further evidence where necessary to the Department of Justice, who can validate that the money has been used to provide legal assistance to said families.





[/quote]

I'm comfortable with this.
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