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October 31, 2014, 12:58:41 pm
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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26  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: October 2014 Presidential Debate on: October 17, 2014, 11:08:24 am
Should the Mideast Right to Life Act be struck down as unconstitutional?

Probably not, because I don't actually think the law itself really trips anything up. It doesn't necessarily create any extraordinary barriers to getting an abortion for the vast majority of women, and it's not an outright ban, merely a restriction, which we've had on the federal level. It's a poor act, but there doesn't seem to be much of a rationale for striking it down on that basis.

Should the right to an abortion be protected or restricted nationwide, or left to the regions?

There should be a firm federal baseline for abortion access, at the very least, yes. As alluded to above by anyone who looks at the Wiki article, I support restricting abortion access in the super-late-term, but I absolutely think there should be protections that women don't have to go through bulls**t questionnaires or counseling or anything else that could be used as a roadblock to getting an abortion, and should have protected access to at least a greater level than the Mideast bill.
27  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Doug Butzier, Libertarian Senate candidate in Iowa, killed in plane crash on: October 17, 2014, 10:06:26 am
RIP. Sad
28  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Do you support a travel ban for Western Africa countries... on: October 17, 2014, 12:17:58 am
A brief travel ban to get a hold on the situation (and actually getting our s**t together on travel restrictions placed on people traveling within the country too, so you don't have nurses with Ebola traveling around the f**king country in commercial airliners) is reasonable, and this case, not all that economically damaging to do so.

The fact that this has turned into a political issue seems stupid. I'm not sitting here freaking out about Ebola, but considering the severity of the disease and the resources we need to get in place still, this does not strike me as something that should be as controversial as it is.
29  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Lima, Ohio: A portrait of not getting by in the Rust Belt on: October 17, 2014, 12:10:05 am
Rather misleading title, since the article itself talks very little about the Tea Party, but has some very sad profiles of small town Ohioans and the bleak, underpaid lives they live.

Very heartbreaking, and very accurate.

And compared to many of the other small towns throughout the state, Lima has it good.
30  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What are you listening to right now? II on: October 16, 2014, 07:19:30 pm
Complètement fou - Yelle
31  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: October 2014 Presidential Debate on: October 16, 2014, 08:48:17 am
Do you believe that any regional laws, either on the books or under serious consideration, are unconstitutional? If you do, will you direct your Attorney General to challenge those laws?

Nothing new immediately spring to mind, however I do believe in ensuring that regions neither A) Attempt to force federal departments to do their bidding for weird, random reasons, and of course B) Protecting the rights of all citizens from regional discrimination of any sort.

The "Keep Them Fearful Act" for instance, seems like a preposterous thing to support even aside from how it tries to compel the Department of Internal Affairs to do anything on the regional government's behalf, and would not be something I support, and any law that does anything like it, I would direct the AG to file suit over.

Examples like the recent "Promotion of Marriage in Education Act" proposed (but thankfully vetoed) in the Mideast is another example of the sort of thing I believe would be unconstitutional. The recently passed into law "Mideast Right to Life Act" is also something I believe that should probably be struck down; if it's not outright unconstitutional we should have basic protections for abortion rights at the federal level to trump such laws.
32  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Cris Survey - Midwest Senate. on: October 15, 2014, 09:38:05 pm
TNF is good people.
33  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: October 2014 Presidential Debate on: October 15, 2014, 09:37:32 pm
I concur with Poirot; pre-emptive action would absolutely be off the table. That is simply not worth the risk.

My response would be no different than most. You contact NATO. You contact allies. You contact the UN. You contact Russia. You rally allies in a unified warning to Putin that any such action would result in serious consequences; economic and potentially armed force. Anything more specific is impossible without actual details of the situation, so I won't concoct some sort of play-by-play. It goes without saying that, as NATO allies, we are obligated to defend them, and I do my best not to back down from obligations.
34  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Flash Poll: Ganonsyoni Compromise on: October 14, 2014, 11:57:40 pm
Absolutely not.

I understand Cranberry's intention, but I oppose the compromise, it sets a terrible precedent.

I kind of don't, to be honest.
35  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The White House's Public Office - President Cranberry - Ganonsyoni Solution! on: October 14, 2014, 11:56:46 pm
This is, as has been stated, insane.
36  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: October 2014 Presidential Debate on: October 13, 2014, 08:19:15 pm
How did you select your running mate?

My criteria for who I run with has always been, first and foremost, "can I trust them?" and can I speak freely with them as a friend. I want a partner in work, and a friend in private. Antonio is someone who has a history of being hard-working and diligent, of being open-minded and very frank, and someone I can openly talk to without fear of being negatively judged.

Purple State and Duke were similar people to me. People who I could trust to work, and people I could come to at night and vent at, and they would react compassionately and sympathetically. This leads to a very healthy partnership, where communication is frequent, and honest, and our work reflects that attitude. I have very little doubt in my mind that Antonio will live up to that expectation just as well.

What functions will he serve in your administration?

The same as any other Vice President, really. Antonio would fulfill all of his constitutional duties and participate in the legislative process and work as a liaison to political organizations, similarly to how Duke often did.

Crucially, though, Antonio is very mindful about not over-stepping his boundaries as a potential VP. The VP is not meant to be firmly in control of things in the Senate or elsewhere; he is meant as a junior partner in the Executive and will be just that, frankly.

For a long time I've been sort of sick of Vice Presidents being chosen as political footballs. The VP has so little "official" responsibilities that they're often chosen as token entities, picked for what get maximum political benefit, and then does very little in office, only serving as a way to bolster the President political power. Antonio isn't that. He wasn't picked to curry favor with disparate political groups or be a rubber stamp vote when needed. He has a mind of his own and will be free to make legislative decisions through his own devices merely with my advisement, not my order.
37  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gamergate on: October 12, 2014, 11:03:02 pm
It's silly, it looks like one of those Middle Ages wars nobody had a clue why they fought or fought because the other side allied with their nemesis.

This is more or less accurate.
38  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gamergate on: October 12, 2014, 10:35:21 pm
Although having read the Gawker article and timeline on it now, it does seem there's more to it than just the one person posting really sick tweets highlighted in the link. Ugh.

It's been going on for so long at this point with so many different motivations and "sides" now involved in it all that trying to explain what's happened up to this point in any condensed form does the entire controversy a disservice. It has been a nightmare to follow in general.
39  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gamergate on: October 12, 2014, 10:27:43 pm
Man do I hate nerds.

Hate does not resolve hate.
40  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: October 2014 Presidential Debate on: October 12, 2014, 06:34:24 pm
Thanks for agreeing to carry out this debate, Nix.

What caused the Crisis of 2014?

Frustration with DemPGH's term, probably. It was mutual, I suspect. Things had grown quiet, somewhat dysfunctional, very passive aggressive; it was the sort of thing that was bound to just explode at some point.

The actions carried out were largely reprehensible but it's understandable how we arrived at that point. A President that seemed to loathe his responsibilities, didn't communicate with his cabinet, made trolly appointments, a public that desperately wanted to move on, and a GM that was immediately ignored. It's a recipe for disaster.

Has it changed your thoughts about the state of Atlasia? How should we move on?

Has it changed my opinion of this place? Not really. Atlasia's been in rough patches before, and we've always come out of them somehow. The tug of war between different powers and interests can be very destructive for the game, as we've seen in the past week or two.

I was already feeling that the environment in Atlasia at the moment is incredibly toxic. It's not a surprise that things like this happen when there is no mutual respect and people are being hostile toward each other on a constant basis. We seem to forget sometimes that the people behind these accounts aren't evil monsters and if people tried to build common ground with a more diplomatic attitude we could get a lot more accomplished than we have in the last month. A little less gossiping and a little more direct communication would go a long way to resolving the current mood.

If we want to move forward, the people who are likeminded about how to reform the game need to work together to refine those proposals, instead of bickering over dumb personal issues. There are tons of people in this game who are on the same page like 85% of the time, so why the f**k can't these people just agree to talk and work together to advance the proposals they completely agree on? A lot of the general consternation would vanish if we simply got the game back on a functioning track again.

Moving forward we should respect the GM's independence and authority (within reason, I suppose) so these stories can be resolved appropriately. Trying to throw a wrench in the system only results in everything coming to a screeching halt. The last couple weeks have only reinforced my belief that the game can only function well with a GM that provides context and consequence to the actions carried out around here that we can react to. Without that it's complete anarchy. In general I think the most recent controversy was a case of individuals creating the crisis rather than something from the mechanics of the game itself.

I'm not sure that prosecuting people is the right way forward, though.
41  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Bore for Northeast (Statement on whatever the hell has happened) on: October 09, 2014, 06:24:39 pm
For whatever it is worth, I endorse you in your election efforts. It is clear you are a hard-working sort.
42  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Democratic-Republican Party Convention, October 2014 on: October 09, 2014, 06:23:31 pm
I similarly am under no illusion that I could get this party's endorsement, but if nothing else I hope to impress on you all that I have a very strong desire for honest, open cooperation with all sorts. I've been on the Right, and I've been on the Left, and have formed friendships on all sides. People should be free to express even unpopular sentiments and be given sincere consideration and still be treated as an equal working partner. I stand very strongly for this.

With me, what you see is what you get, and so I suppose your mileage may vary. Nevertheless, I hope for your honest consideration when election day comes. I do not support nationalization, I do not wish to crush business under the weight of social obligations that belong elsewhere, and I do not believe in prying in people's personal lives unless to prevent harm. These and other values are things I believe we share.

I'll leave you all to your business, as I dislike buttering people up and this often comes back to bite me, but if any of you would like to chat, I'll always enjoy doing so. I will give you all the time and respect I can muster, and I hope you can all believe that I will not say one thing to your faces, and another behind your back whenever I get a little tipsy or whatever. Your opinions mean as much to me as anyone else's.

Thanks and take care.
43  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Poirot / shua Presidential campaign on: October 09, 2014, 05:21:39 pm
Best of luck to you and Shua. You probably have as much chance of winning as Antonio and I do, anyway. Tongue
44  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: What's wrong with secession? on: October 09, 2014, 05:20:32 pm
If a region wants to secede, and they hold a referendum wherein a majority of the population votes to secede, then they should be free to do so.

As for a state changing allegiances, from a game-perspective, this is simply not a box you want to open. The nature of Atlasia is such that one or two people alone could change a states' allegiances under such a system. You'd just have a constant game of musical chairs and people in charge of making the game actually work would get nothing but a headache. It's why we have regional consent for boundary changes.

Unfortunately that's not true. The Plebisicite Clause Removal Amendment only passed two regions, so the constitution still reads: A State by plebiscite shall be able to veto its transfer from one Region to another.

You misunderstand me, I wasn't arguing against the way things are structured right now, merely against a theoretical system where a state could decide if it wanted to switch regions purely based on its own inhabitants. My point was that such a system would be a terrific headache, and we have things in place now to prevent that from happening because many states only have a one, two, or three citizens and those shifts could, in theory, happen constantly.
45  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: On Recent Events and the Future of Atlasia on: October 09, 2014, 05:14:15 pm
So if you'd oppose any fundamental game reform, particularly if it entailed major changes at the structural level of the game?  I guess if that's the case, we might as well make sure we mean the same thing when we use terms.  When you refer to and have referred to as "game reform," are you referring to what you described as "minor mechanical tweaks" rather than fundamental changes to the way the game works?

I feel like you don't read half the posts you respond to. The idea that you would accuse me, of all people, of opposing fundamental game reform changes, is baffling. Have you read anything I write around here?

I support major changes if they are well-thought out, good for the long-term health of the game without just being a flash in the pan, and make the game we have now more enjoyable without turning it into something wholly different. This is why I support things like re-editing down the Constitution, BK's regular legislative reboots, changing election systems, and giving more powers to people who wish to make use of them, and not things like random crises or breaking the game into five separate pieces, ideas that are not particularly well-considered, especially in the long-term.
46  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: What's wrong with secession? on: October 09, 2014, 05:02:59 pm
If a region wants to secede, and they hold a referendum wherein a majority of the population votes to secede, then they should be free to do so.

As for a state changing allegiances, from a game-perspective, this is simply not a box you want to open. The nature of Atlasia is such that one or two people alone could change a states' allegiances under such a system. You'd just have a constant game of musical chairs and people in charge of making the game actually work would get nothing but a headache. It's why we have regional consent for boundary changes.
47  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: On Recent Events and the Future of Atlasia on: October 09, 2014, 04:59:41 pm
The argument here just seems dumb. It highlights a reasonable problem to talk about (the lack of day-to-day events un-elected people can participate in, the stodgy bureaucracy) but the solution is basically just "Let's have random crippling crises all the time! One week we can have a coup, next week we can have a civil war, the week after that we can have a devestating earthquake where we lose a chunk of California..." and this is not sustainable, if even at all desirable. There's a discussion to be had here, but if "let's have constant, rotating forms of chaos!" is present in this discussion there's not much of a logical argument that can be had against that.

I'm not saying it has to be rotating forms of chaos (although I don't think I'm alone in considering that a *potentially* viable alternative worth exploring).  I'm asking in good faith to hear your alternative solution.  If you want to say "I don't think your idea is sustainable because a,b,c, and d, but here's what we should do instead...," I am all ears.  In other words, if you think what I'm advocating is a bad idea, fine (although I'd appreciate it if you'd at least explain why, even if they seems self-evident to you), but I'd ask that you offer some sort of alternative.  I don't think that's an unreasonable request.

There is no real response to this. What you want is fundamentally different from what this game provides. It would be like a person joining the Model U.N. and then wondering where all the hot action was. The game is always in need of mechanical tweaks but apart from offering the avenues for change for those who wish to make use of them (official options for secession, for instance) Atlasia is what it is.

I disagree with your fundamental premise. The game prior to the recent insanity was in better shape than it has been in a long time. Don't confuse political crises (the failed Presidency of DemPGH and some of the internal conflicts within the larger establishment parties) with mechanical issues.

It is a shame that two people can agree on so many things, so often, yet bitterly oppose each other for things picked up third-hand.
48  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Amendment to the Fair De-Registration Rights Act (Debating) on: October 09, 2014, 04:55:23 pm
Just to gauge support, would people be more amenable to scrapping deregistration entirely?

I've never understood the argument against de-registration. It just strikes me as some weird paternalistic "we need to protect people from themselves!" position. The current system doesn't forcibly remove people from the game against their will. The power has been used sparingly and it's a conscious decision that person is making for themselves. You would just be taking away an option.
49  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: What's wrong with secession? on: October 09, 2014, 04:45:28 pm
The activity of most regional legislatures in comparison to the national legislature, even when fully staffed, is usually anemic. If you got rid of the federal government you'd free up about a dozen (ostensibly) active offices. That's not enough to make five different countries bustling and the logistics involved in managing five different countries with absolutely any basis in reality (GM-like positions, separate supreme courts with more than just one person on staff) would completely burn people out and stretch active people even further than we have now.

So what do you propose we do instead?

Nothing. If a region wants to secede then obviously they should be free to vote on doing so, but I am not one to hop on flavor of the week ideas, and I've seen plenty.
50  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: On Recent Events and the Future of Atlasia on: October 09, 2014, 04:39:04 pm
The argument here just seems dumb. It highlights a reasonable problem to talk about (the lack of day-to-day events un-elected people can participate in, the stodgy bureaucracy) but the solution is basically just "Let's have random crippling crises all the time! One week we can have a coup, next week we can have a civil war, the week after that we can have a devestating earthquake where we lose a chunk of California..." and this is not sustainable, if even at all desirable. There's a discussion to be had here, but if "let's have constant, rotating forms of chaos!" is present in this discussion there's not much of a logical argument that can be had against that.
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