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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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12201  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: House elections? on: November 16, 2006, 04:26:54 pm
This would be cool, but a lot of work. Of course, it wouldn't be quite as continuous as the results we have currently, because the political boundaries getting redrawn. But still, I agree it would be informative.

The map style would be hard to see with regard to areas like New York and Los Angeles. This can simply be ignored like CNN does. I can envision a sort of thing which they do in road maps where certain areas are "magnified" out of the main map. That would be a lot of work.

Still, I would certainly rather have this than not. It's better than looking at only the CNN.com stuff for 2004 and 2006.
12202  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Anyone who still believes Fox News is "fair and balanced"? on: November 16, 2006, 02:40:02 pm
Note Alcon, Tim Groseclose is a conservative and his research design is flawed.

Ultimately, there will always be claims of media bias not necessarily because each side thinks the media is biased against them but because it is in one's interest to claim media bias even if one does not think the media is biased against you. After all, all political positioning is relative, and it is always in one's best interest to tilt source perceptions toward one's favor.
12203  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Banning the Daisy Red Ryder on: November 16, 2006, 02:24:15 am
There was an engineer, a physicist, and and a mathematician on a train in Scotland. The train goes by a field with a black sheep in it.

Engineer: "Wow, Scotland has lots of black sheep"
Physicist: "Actually, we only know that there is at least one black sheep in Scotland"
Mathematician: "No, all we we know is that one side of something that looks vaguely sheep like is colored black in Scotland"

Philosopher: "All I know is that I am thinking of black sheep in my mind, and I am thinking of making conversation with an engineer, physicist, and mathematician"

12204  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Banning the Daisy Red Ryder on: November 16, 2006, 02:16:42 am
Guns are a horrible thing and should be minimized as much as possible.
12205  General Politics / International General Discussion / Pakistan Moves Toward Altering Rape Law on: November 16, 2006, 01:11:04 am
Published: November 16, 2006

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 15 — After months of delay, the Pakistani government on Wednesday finally pushed legislation through the lower house of Parliament to amend rape laws that human rights advocates say have led to punishment for thousands of innocent victims.

The passage of the legislation, which has been opposed by Islamist parties, is seen as a litmus test for President Pervez Musharraf’s commitment to steering the country toward moderation and enlightenment. Because of the pressure by the Islamic groups, though, the measure passed on Wednesday still contains provisions that concern human rights groups.

To become law, the bill must be approved by the Senate, which is expected, and by General Musharraf. Months of wrangling and political opposition cast doubts on whether the government would succeed in passing the changes to the current law, the Hudood ordinance, under which women who report rape can end up being prosecuted for adultery. The law was enacted in 1979 by a former military dictator, Gen. Muhammad Zia al-Haq, to appease Islamists who contended that he was secularizing the country.

Late Wednesday, General Musharraf made an appearance on state-run television and congratulated the nation on the passage of the measure, the Women’s Protection bill, saying, “This process of empowerment, protection of women will continue.”

Under the Hudood ordinance, rape is included in matters covered under Islamic law, like marriage and divorce. A woman who reports that she has been raped must produce four male witnesses to prove it. If she fails to do so, she can be prosecuted for adultery. Thousands of women have been punished under the law, often on the flimsiest evidence. That risk has kept many women from trying to bring their attackers to justice.

The legislation passed Wednesday gives judges the discretion to try rape cases in a criminal rather than an Islamic court. The new legislation allows forensic and circumstantial evidence to be used as a basis for convictions, as with other crimes...
12206  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Yankee Republicans on last legs on: November 15, 2006, 11:59:58 pm
Don't be so hard on Massachusetts, guys. It's a northeastern state in a time where a lot of the economic growth is happening in other places.

The reason why Massachusetts is so expensive to live is because the economy is so good. A lot of people who work in Boston make a lot of money.

Good point, yes the state's income is higher than average of course. I was referring to waltermitty's comment about losing population. Your reply there was right on target.
12207  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Yankee Republicans on last legs on: November 15, 2006, 11:44:21 pm
Don't be so hard on Massachusetts, guys. It's a northeastern state in a time where a lot of the economic growth is happening in other places. We don't exactly have the NYSE up here either. Compared to other Northeastern cities Boston has done very well.

Scoonie is right, and an educated population is good, of course. Places like New Hampshire can probably get boring after a while. Metropolitan areas are more exciting and more diverse, and I prefer them.
12208  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Murtha or Hoyer? on: November 15, 2006, 11:32:08 pm
12209  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Senate Committee Chairmanships announced on: November 15, 2006, 11:26:35 pm
Don't be so hard on DWTL guys, he has a simplistic way of expressing himself, and I dont understand why he holds the views he does, but he sees certain things through a different kind of frame that's valid in its own way.

Dividing up the committee chairs between the parties makes no sense for the majority. Why would they elect a leader that promies to do that? It only decreases opportunity within the caucus. Also one reason why positions like NRCC/DCCC chair come from inside the caucus- another opportunity for advancement.
12210  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / 2 Top Census Officials Forced out by GOP Over Politics on: November 15, 2006, 12:30:24 pm
Top 2 Census Officials Resign
Departures Could Delay Preparations for Count in 2010

The two highest-ranking officials in the U.S. Census Bureau quit yesterday, putting management of the agency in flux as preparations for the next census enter a critical phase.

The departures of Census Bureau chief C. Louis Kincannon, a statistician appointed by President Bush to lead the agency in 2002, and Hermann Habermann, a career statistician who runs the census operation, could complicate a revision of the counting process in 2010 -- to produce a detailed picture of the U.S. population every year, rather than once a decade.


One person with knowledge of the situation suggested that the two officials -- especially Habermann, a career employee -- were targeted by Republicans who would want to install an official who could better protect against Democratic congressional efforts to reinvigorate adjustment efforts -- a move some think could favor Democrats.

"I think there persists among congressional Republicans a concern about that, but if they look at the facts they will see that's not a likely thing," Kincannon said.


The Census Bureau has also repeatedly run into budget problems on the Hill.

Kincannon said the agency had $50 million trimmed from its 2007 budget request of $878 million. The budget is not final, but without the money, "We can wind up limited in our ability to achieve the automation required to carry out the census in 2010 at lower cost."


Some members of Congress weren't so sure. "Changing management at a time like this is very dangerous," said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (N.Y.), a member of the Government Reform Committee and former ranking Democrat on the census subcommittee, said in a statement. "It's disturbing that two world-class statisticians who have worked for years to make sure we will have an accurate count in 2010 left on the same day so soon before the beginning of the census.

"At this point, without knowing who's taking over, it fair to say that the accuracy of the 2010 census is absolutely in jeopardy."
12211  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Prefered opposition on: November 15, 2006, 11:19:01 am
Depends on my utility function. Assuming no risk aversion,

U1 = utility of good president
U2 = utility of acceptable opposing president
U3 = utility of bad president

P1 = probability of my candidate winning (high probability scenario)
P2 = probability of my candidate winning (even scenario)

[U1*P1+U3*(1-P1)] - [U1*P2+U2*(1-P2)]
> 0, I prefer scenario 1.
= 0, I am indifferent.
Otherwise, I prefer scenario 2. With risk aversion, one would simply replace the components of the difference with their certainty equivalents in utility.
12212  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The uhh...(new) pose a question to a poster thread... on: November 15, 2006, 09:53:20 am
Ehrlich's campaign tactics make my blood run cold. I am so glad he lost now. About the only thing I am glad out of his administration is that he seems to have helped keep the inter-county connector alive, at least as an idea. Martin O'Malley will be a good Governor, he has a bright future.

Steele, for someone supposedly running a maverick campaign was short on big ideas, and his grasp on the issues seemed shallow. I have nothing against him personally, I hope he succeeds in lobbying or at the RNC or whatever he decides to do now. He just would have been a horrible, horrible fit as US Senator, and I dont think he would have enjoyed it as much as campaigning.
12213  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The uhh...(new) pose a question to a poster thread... on: November 15, 2006, 09:16:14 am
You're not a 'Demohack' in my book, thefactor, and that was a very thoughtful and relevant response. Smiley

I certainly understand the reasons for why she was defeated in 2002, and she would never have performed as well as she did if it was purely about partisanship.  Still, it was a shame to have lost her.

Agreed. Smiley I like both her and Van Hollen.

Strangely, Maryland Republican congressmen and women with perhap the exception of Bob "sample Democratic ballot" Ehrlich tend to be wonderful. Gilchrest and Bartlett are both independent-minded "citizen legislators" who have remarkable achievements. It will be unfortunate when they retire as well.
12214  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The uhh...(new) pose a question to a poster thread... on: November 15, 2006, 08:51:15 am
I don't think you identify me as a "Demohack" Joe, but I'm a pretty partisan Dem and this is an interesting question.

Connie Morella is if anything slightly to the left of me. I would certainly vote for her for President. But in the 2002 congressional elections I would probably vote for Van Hollen if I could go back.

The issue is not just what Connie's positions were but where she stood relative to the House that we had back then. The 2002 House was far to the right of us in MD-08, there was almost nothing the voters in the 8th district could do about it.

It's not that we were to the left of Connie, it's that we wanted to push the House harder in Connie's direction. And the way to maximize our impact was to elect a Democrat. It was really that simple. Of course, many still supported Morella for her long constituent service and name in the district, and combined with a minority of genuinely conservative voters she was able to narrowly survive. But most of those in this district who voted her out didn't do so because of her politics but as a way to more forcefully express opposition at the national level. In many ways it was both the most and the least we could do.

But Morella was an excellent representative, no doubt about it. When you take out the rest of the House of Representatives from the equation, I'd support her; and as I said I'd vote for her (and many other Republicans which I would have opposed for Congress) for President.
12215  Forum Community / Forum Community / Caught in the Web on: November 15, 2006, 01:15:05 am
Caught in the Web
More People Say Heavy Internet Use Is Disrupting Their Lives, and Medical Experts Are Paying Attention

A few months ago, it wasn't unusual for 47-year-old Carla Toebe to spend 15 hours per day online. She'd wake up early, turn on her laptop and chat on Internet dating sites and instant-messaging programs -- leaving her bed for only brief intervals. Her household bills piled up, along with the dishes and dirty laundry, but it took near-constant complaints from her four daughters before she realized she had a problem.

"I was starting to feel like my whole world was falling apart -- kind of slipping into a depression," said the Richland, Wash., resident. "I knew that if I didn't get off of the dating sites, I would just keep going," detaching herself further from the outside world.

Toebe's conclusion: She felt like she was "addicted" to the Internet. She's not alone.

Concern about excessive Internet use -- variously termed problematic Internet use, Internet addiction, pathological Internet use, compulsive Internet use and computer addiction in some quarters, and vigorously dismissed as a fad illness in others -- isn't new. As far back as 1995, articles in medical journals and the establishment of a Pennsylvania treatment center for overusers generated interest in the subject. There's still no consensus on how much time online constitutes too much or whether addiction is possible.

But as reliance on the Web grows -- Internet users average about 3 1/2 hours online each day, according to a 2005 survey by Stanford University researchers -- there are signs that the question is getting more serious attention: Last month, a study published in CNS Spectrums, an international neuropsychiatric medicine journal, claimed to be the first large-scale look at excessive Internet use. The American Psychiatric Association may consider listing Internet addiction in the next edition of its diagnostic manual. And scores of online discussion boards have popped up on which people discuss negative experiences tied to too much time on the Web.

There's no question that there are people who are seriously in trouble because of the fact that they're overdoing their Internet involvement," said Ivan K. Goldberg, a psychiatrist in private practice in New York. Goldberg calls the problem a disorder rather than a true addiction, which Merriam-Webster's medical dictionary defines as a "compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance."
12216  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: a question on libertarianism on: November 13, 2006, 03:47:23 pm
a separate philosophy of its own which in left-right terms is just about in the middle in theory, but often a little closer to the right in practice (depending on the context of course).

But I have never met anyone who wants to maximize freedom for all of humanity (i.e., a single world government which does nothing but provide police/security). At most, even the most ardent liberatarians' love of freedom is subservient to their nationalism.
12217  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: Skeletons in their Closet! on: November 13, 2006, 03:21:54 pm
I never heard the Hillary "killing a woman" story. What were the circumstances?

I think we should all let this "Hillary killed someone" thing go.  Nobody pressed charges, and there was absolutely NO evidence that Hillary ever held a grude against her.  Until you can actually prove that it was Hillary's fingerprints on the chainsaw, then you don't really have a case.

You know what pisses me off the most?

When conservative sites like Drudge or RedState talk about this case they NEVER mention the fact that the glove which was found in Hillarys back yard DID NOT FIT.
12218  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is Bolton finished? on: November 13, 2006, 10:10:21 am

No, why should he?  Many democrats have come out and revised their opinion of him based upon his performance.

Yes, his amazing performance in getting Iran and NK to give up their nuclear programs. We are in a much better position now than a year ago, yeah Roll Eyes

Right, because only the US can get the rest of the world to behave by giving them anything and everything they want in the hopes that they will actually follow through with their promises.  Roll Eyes

Right, because this comment is a brilliant excuse for Bolton's failures and right on point. Roll Eyes
12219  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is Bolton finished? on: November 13, 2006, 09:16:59 am

No, why should he?  Many democrats have come out and revised their opinion of him based upon his performance.

Yes, his amazing performance in getting Iran and NK to give up their nuclear programs. We are in a much better position now than a year ago, yeah Roll Eyes
12220  Forum Community / Forum Community / Hospitals want faster heart attack care on: November 13, 2006, 08:46:38 am
1 hour, 32 minutes ago
CHICAGO - Hundreds of hospitals around the country are joining the most ambitious project ever undertaken to give faster emergency room care to people suffering major heart attacks.

Fewer than one-third of such patients now get their blocked arteries reopened within 90 minutes of arrival, as guidelines recommend. The risk of dying goes up 42 percent if care is delayed even half an hour longer.

"There's a very, very large opportunity here to improve patient care," said Dr. John Brush, a Norfolk, Va., heart specialist who helped the American College of Cardiology design the new project, which is to be launched Monday at an        American Heart Association conference in Chicago.

Jim Kern, 47, of Norfolk, experienced both extremes. When he had his first heart attack on Aug. 22, he endured excruciating pain while filling out mundane paperwork and waiting as triage nurses changed shifts. It took nearly four hours to get proper care.

When he had a second attack on Oct. 30 — after the hospital adopted new rapid-care measures — doctors "were there within 15 minutes of the time I hit the door and were already starting to do the prep," Kern said. "The attention and everything I was given was a difference of day and night."
12221  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Skeletons in their Closet! on: November 13, 2006, 07:35:15 am
Which skeletons does the following possible candidates have in their closet? Which little known facts about them could possibly surface and generate a scandal?

Bill Frist
Newt Gingrich
Rudy Giuliani
Chuck Hagel
Mike Huckabee
John McCain
Mitt Romney
Tommy Thompson
Jeb Bush
Bill Owens
Mike Pence

Tom Vilsack
Joe Biden
Evan Bayh
Wesley Clark
Hillary Clinton
John Edwards
John Kerry
Barack Obama
Al Gore
Bill Richardson

12222  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: who is the craziest person you voted for this election? on: November 13, 2006, 07:23:37 am
Someone from a really low level race probably.
12223  General Politics / International General Discussion / Insurgent activity spikes in Afghanistan on: November 13, 2006, 06:37:51 am
By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer
23 minutes ago

KABUL, Afghanistan - Insurgent activity in        Afghanistan has risen fourfold this year, and militants now launch more than 600 attacks a month, a rising wave of violence that has resulted in 3,700 deaths in 2006, a bleak new report released Sunday found.

On Monday, a provincal police chief said U.S. and Afghan forces have arrested a senior al-Qaida member in southeastern Afghanistan, a provincial police chief.

The troops detained six people — four Afghans, an Arab and a Pakistani — on Thursday in the city of Khost, said Mohammad Ayub, the provincial police chief. He said the detainees are under the custody of U.S. forces.

Pakistan's The News daily reported on Monday that one of the detainees was Abu Nasir al-Qahtani, one of four Arab al-Qaida operatives who escaped from the U.S. prison in Bagram in July 2005.

Meanwhile, in the volatile border area near Pakistan, more than 20 Taliban militants — and possibly as many as 60 — were killed during several days of clashes, officials said Sunday.

The new report said insurgents were launching more than 600 attacks a month as of the end of September, up from 300 a month at the end of March this year. The violence has killed more than 3,700 people this year, it said.

Afghanistan saw about 130 insurgent attacks a month last year, said the report by the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board, a body of Afghan and international officials charged with overseeing the implementation of the Afghanistan Compact, a five-year reconstruction and development blueprint signed in February.

The violence "threatens to reverse some of the gains made in the recent past, with development activities being especially hard hit in several areas, resulting in partial or total withdrawal of international agencies in a number of the worst-affected provinces."

The report said that the rising drug trade in Afghanistan is fueling the insurgency in four volatile southern provinces. The slow pace of development is contributing to popular disaffection and ineffective implementation of the drug fight, it said.
12224  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: If Phil Crane had pulled through in 2004... on: November 13, 2006, 06:04:47 am
No, he would have survived. This was the year of the "Rust Belt Democrat".

The DCCC, however, would have blown some insane amount of money on the race.
12225  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of the preceding Atlasian's congressman/woman-elect on: November 13, 2006, 12:13:49 am
Seems like a fantastic individual, who I started paying attention to early after seeing him in a debate, and hope he will make a solid congressman.

next: Chris Van Hollen
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