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April 25, 2015, 01:34:31 am
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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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26  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: UK General Election, 2015 on: April 13, 2015, 10:27:18 am
Once upon a time the Lib Dems used to win these sort of polls. Good times.

27  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Well, your opinion of Hillary's video? on: April 12, 2015, 02:47:16 pm
I felt adequately pandered to.
28  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Should Hillary have had plastic surgery again before jumping in the race? on: April 12, 2015, 08:20:46 am
No. For in other reason than it would look waaaaay more obvious. Since she not planning on running from her gender this time, it would send a terrible message to women that she running, just as soon as she's been freshened up for public display.

And honestly, the same people who would freak about about her appearance would just be doing the same thing if it was obvious she got a facelift. The conservative radio talking heads are going to mock her either way.
29  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: I'm kind of disgusted with you people right now on: April 12, 2015, 05:24:55 am
I've done my best to avoid anything even tangentially Update-related, so I'm sort of surprised this kind of thing happened at all.
30  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Hillary Clinton on: April 10, 2015, 08:12:09 pm
She will have my unenthusiastic support in the general election, and that's really as far as I've thought about her lately.
31  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Your Bottom 10 Presidents List on: April 09, 2015, 03:31:57 pm
As much as I agree with Nix on 95% of things, his hatred of everything Clintonian is bizarrely devoid of any sense of proportion and/or perspective.  I really don't get it.

I mean, sure, if you want to be "serious" about Clinton the guy probably wasn't a person with a very high moral standard for himself, to put it mildly. But I find it hard to argue that he was a worst President, even by personal standards like that, than GWB. Let alone in practice.
32  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Your Bottom 10 Presidents List on: April 09, 2015, 03:23:20 pm
The unapologetic criminals (Nixon, Clinton); the dithering defenders of slave power (Pierce, Buchanan, Fillmore, Tyler); the Strangelovian reprobates who brought us to the brink of a nuclear holocaust (Kennedy, Reagan); Andrew Johnson, an irredeemable, reptilian, white supremacist lush who never should have been allowed to take office in the first place; and Andrew Jackson, the genocidal, hyper-masculine savage.

I can understand and even respect a certain distaste and dislike of Clinton, but to consider him lower than GWB...
33  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should Holocaust denial be a criminal offense? on: April 08, 2015, 11:02:32 pm
I have no love for those activist types for the most part at all, but I think assuming they would set up reeducation camps is a skosh over the top.
34  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should Holocaust denial be a criminal offense? on: April 08, 2015, 10:46:24 pm
The entire purpose of free speech is to protect people who you disagree with...

It seems like literally none of our leftist European posters understand this concept.

One of the things that has sadly left me feeling a bit estranged from the Left over the last year is realizing exactly how many people of that political persuasion are just as comfortable throwing away the rights of people they just don't like as much as the Right can be.

A free, liberal democracy only works when you protect the rights of the contemptible as well as the noble. If you open the door to censoring things based on your tastes you legitimize that tactic against yourself down the road. And there is no real defense when you deem arbitrary bulls**t subjective tastes fair game as a justification.
35  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should Armenian Genocide denial be a criminal offense? on: April 08, 2015, 03:59:58 pm
I think I agree with Train on this one.
36  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should Holocaust denial be a criminal offense? on: April 08, 2015, 02:14:42 pm
But they were necessary for the de-Nazification process Germany went through after WWII.  Take a look at Japan for a counterexample, where they didn't have that same sort of national reckoning, and where their attitude towards their history is... shall we say, less healthy and less honest.

It really depends on the context.  In general, it's best to keep free speech protections as wide as possible, but there are cases where exceptions are necessary.

Sure, I have no issue with the exception based on that context, though I would question how much a relic of de-Nazification process has relevance in 2015 even if it was the right move back then.
37  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should Holocaust denial be a criminal offense? on: April 08, 2015, 01:39:26 pm
No, it should be treated with ridicule and contempt, but not as a criminal matter.

^ And the thing is, it very much is treated this way among 99% of people, which makes the argument that it should be against the law moot. The only reason some form of speech should be against the law is if it's causing real demonstrable harm and is so widespread that it can't be contained through informal means.

You don't ban everything you dislike even if it is absurd and contemptible. Not just because of some idealistic liberal principles, but because you usually don't even need to. Not having holocaust denial against the law in this country hasn't led to widespread belief that it's not real in the same way that not banning KKK rallies didn't stop them from disintegrating and becoming completely irrelevant and powerless. In fact, it would be more likely in the case of holocaust denial that it would have the opposite effect.
38  General Politics / Political Essays & Deliberation / Columbia Journalism Review deconstruction of Rolling Stone UVA story. on: April 07, 2015, 11:26:19 pm
If there are any aspiring journalists here on Atlas, this should be required reading.
39  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Kansas passes law banning food stamp receipients from pools, movie theaters on: April 07, 2015, 10:28:03 am
Evil. All there is to say.
40  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What do you Value More? on: April 06, 2015, 04:58:57 pm
The individual.

But these abstract questions have very little to do with the desirability of a given policy.
41  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What will be the "big" Social Issues in 2050? on: April 04, 2015, 07:42:52 pm
I have no clue. It is entirely possible that low birthrates among secular liberals will allow a revival of religious conservatism in the coming decades. I think a lot of you are prematurely declaring victory.

I think as the current state of things proves, we'll have angry moralistic dogma either way.
42  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: The last movie you've seen thread 2014 and 2015 on: April 03, 2015, 06:16:05 pm
I watched Good Neighbors last night. It's okay, and while certain parts of it are clever, the movie is unfortunately not nearly as clever as it thinks that it is. I didn't hate it, which goes for just about everything I watch with Jay Baruchel in it, but it could've been better.
43  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: March 31, 2015, 03:25:36 pm
Labour, though not particularly enthusiastically.
44  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Theodore Roosevelt on: March 31, 2015, 03:24:02 pm
My opinion remains unchanged.
45  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What makes you Identify with the Party you do? on: March 31, 2015, 04:37:37 am
The Republican Party as it is now and has been for a couple decades is completely and utterly insane. Like, every once in awhile I have to step back and remind myself how crazy it is that this is a party where Ben Carson can be a leading candidate in a primary. Where someone like Sarah Palin can get millions of votes for Vice President. Where thinking Moses is basically an honorary founding father is completely normal, believing we should allow guns in bars is sane public policy, and one of the party's most prominent Senators can waltz onto the Senate floor with a snowball as proof that global warming is a hoax.

I can't think of literally any issue in American politics right now where the Republicans offer a sane and reasonable alternative. Their positions on womens rights are terrible. On gay rights they're terrible. On police brutality, they're terrible. On healthcare, the environment, drugs, taxes, welfare, campaign finance, torture, trade, guns, wages, uniformly terrible, if not downright childish and occasionally evil. When it comes to foreign affairs they routinely expose themselves as cocksure incompetents who don't even maintain coherent positions, across the board. It also goes without saying that I grew up during the time of a President (Bush) that probably deserves some sort of medal for handling just about anything he ever tried tackling awfully. In fact, I may as well just repost an old quote of mine instead of retreading the same ground:

6. George W. Bush.
*Bush deserves the last spot on here for being the most directly damaging Presidents on this list, as well as having the unbelievable skill of being able to f**k up damn near everything he attempted or did.

9/11? He ignored all reports and threats of terrorism before it happened. Bin Laden? Couldn't get him. (Thanks Obama!) Tax cuts? Were so wasteful and unstimulative that he did them twice. Medicare Part D is one of the most incredible stories of legislative clusterf**kery that you could ever read, and was a total mess to boot. The PATRIOT Act. No Child Left Behind? Plenty, actually. Afghanistan? Mismanaged. Iraq? A lie from the very beginning. All told, his middle eastern excursions will cost us trillions of dollars that we could've used for anything else. His first veto? Killing a stem cell research bill.

Illegal wiretapping. Torture. Rendition. Sold his plan to privatize Social Security to the public so hilariously badly that it was abandoned within weeks. Completely lied about his promise to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban. Riddled mining and oil drilling regulations with loopholes for his industry friends and raised a middle finger to every environmental cause he came across. Neutered FEMA due to a lack of any interest in qualified governing, and New Orleans paid the price. Wanted to appoint Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, for Christ's sake. Vetoed a children's health insurance program expansion bill that was fully paid for. Ruined America's image abroad and made us the laughing stock of the first world. This is just the stuff off the top of my head.

In addition to all of that, his term ended with the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, the damage of which will be felt for generations. Everyone who acts like we can't treat Bush like a terrible President because he's too recent and we're biased? Screw you. George W. Bush is one of the worst Presidents in the history of the United States. End of story.

What makes all of that worse is that, in the ensuing years of such complete and utter demonstrable failure a party traditionally retreats into the minority for a few cycles, moderating and maturing, emerging as an alternative after the governing party grows stale and tired. The exact opposite happened here, for some bizarre reason. They've only become more bats**t.

Over the last year, for unrelated reasons, I've grown to despise hackish thinking in general. I don't like partisans. I generally think you should try to listen to everyone, regardless of who they are, regardless of background, regardless of other crazy s**t they've done, to try and come to a greater understanding. But there really is nothing, anything at all that I can think of, that is well-reasoned and has a basis in reality from the Republican Party that I can support. And this is so astonishing to me that every once in awhile I feel like I'm being too unfair, that there must be something that they have over the Democrats, or just have a decent idea about in general, because for that to not be the case in any way whatsoever is so logically unlikely. But they really are that incompetent, from top to bottom, at this point in time.
46  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Interests other than politics on: March 31, 2015, 12:56:55 am
In terms of regular hobbies that I have a great deal of interest in, not just something I do from time to time (like "reading," which, duh) I've had a big interest in video games since I was little. I hope I always do.
47  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Trevor Noah to host Daily Show on: March 30, 2015, 03:05:39 pm
This just strikes me as one of those "we have no idea who to give it to so we more or less chose someone at random" decisions.

Like Eraserhead I don't see the show lasting for very long after Stewart leaves.
48  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Do you consider yourself "tolerant"? on: March 30, 2015, 03:00:19 pm
I find myself in 100% agreement with King.

He's one of the best posters here, so this should be no surprise.
49  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Phone/tablet OS's on: March 28, 2015, 02:08:29 pm
I have Amazon's phone which is technically Android, though a proprietary version of it. I wasn't much of an OS nitpicker until I had a Windows phone and loathed it.
50  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Libel Laws on: March 28, 2015, 02:03:30 pm
British libel laws are trash, but that's mainly because they exist to serve the rich and lawyered. They don't for example, help innocent poor people being attacked by media empires and their hired goons; but they will help secretive organisations of quacks clamp down on dissent.

But is there really much of a way to make it work any differently, in practice? The rich and lawyered are likely to always exist, and always be able to take advantage of those laws more than the less privileged.
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