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1  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Civic Renewal - A New Party for a New Center-Right! on: March 02, 2015, 10:08:14 am
Feb 2015: Civic Renewal forms
Mar 2015: Civic Renewal merges with Heavy Party to form Heavy Renewal

I'm glad this party got you so excited. Perhaps I should join!
2  General Politics / International General Discussion / Islamic Extremists hack to death Bangladeshi-American writer on: March 02, 2015, 09:55:24 am
Quote
In his writings, author Avijit Roy yearned for reason and humanism guided by science.

He had no place for religious dogma, including from Islam, the main religion of his native Bangladesh.

Extremists resented him for openly and regularly criticizing religion in his blog. They threatened to kill him if he came home from the United States to visit.


http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/28/asia/bangladeshi-american-blogger-dead/
3  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: 2015 Cricket World Cup on: February 28, 2015, 01:34:16 am
Yeah that was intense.
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: 2015 Cricket World Cup on: February 24, 2015, 12:56:58 pm
So glad I was wrong about the South Africa game.

So who do you guys think is the stronger group? I say it's pool A because of Australia and of course New Zealand. After India and Ireland, they are definitely my favorites.
5  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Atlasia v. Ogis/Tyrion on: February 22, 2015, 02:56:27 pm
I, Sbane, do solemnly swear that I will well and truly try the matter in issue between the parties, and give a true verdict according to the law and evidence, so help me Dave.
6  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: February 2015 Presidential and Regional Senate Elections on: February 22, 2015, 12:43:43 am
President
1) Maxwell/Dallasfan65

Senator
1) Cranberry
7  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: 2015 Cricket World Cup on: February 21, 2015, 09:49:39 am
Yeah, India vs South Africa should be great, although the result may be all too predictable. Now if it were a knockout match, considering South Africa's history in them, that would be a different story. Tongue
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! Doctor refuses to care for lesbian couple's 6-day-old baby on: February 21, 2015, 09:45:54 am
What action would the doctor have to take here which would violate their conscience? All she had to do was treat that baby like any other baby and she would have done her job properly. How does that in any way affect her faith?
Unlike say a pharmacist, or even a anesthesiologist, a primary care physician, if they are going to be good at their job, ought to establish some degree of rapport with their patients and those who their parents or guardians.  The doctor in this case felt she wouldn't be, and that another doctor would be more likely to.  Is this case that dissimilar to doctors who refuse to see some patients because they don't accept some medical advice, such as vaccinations?

So should doctors who are uncomfortable around black people be allowed to not see them? Or should they act like professionals and do their job?
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! Doctor refuses to care for lesbian couple's 6-day-old baby on: February 21, 2015, 07:56:17 am
It's ridiculous.  I don't eat animals, but in my capacity at work I prepare and sell meat products.  If I just suddenly refused to keep doing that, even always finding another person to do it, I would get fired.  For once, I'd deserve it.  It is incumbent upon me to go and find a job where I would no longer have to do that.

And if that doctor's other clients decide to fire her, that's perfectly fine.  I fully support the use of private boycotts and sanctions where people feel it is appropriate.

Yes, because that was so incredibly successful in the defeat of Jim Crow and housing segregation outside of the Montgomery buses.

Simple math says you can deny service to 5%, 10%, 15% of the population with the support or non-interference of the majority and do just fine. Sucks to be in that minority, but it isn't usually white libertarian men who face total inability to buy a good or service, so we'll keep having these discussions until the end of time

If the couple were denied access to medical service for their child, you'd be raising a valid point, as I've already agreed earlier.  But that isn't what happened.  They weren't even delayed in having their child looked at that day.  Granted, they were upset, angry, and dismayed.  I would be too in their shoes.  But as the Declaration of Independence points out, happiness isn't a right, only the pursuit of happiness.

Neither is there a right to be a doctor. Society can make rules that prohibit this sort of behavior. A doctor's license is a privilege, not a right. Do you disagree?

But then we're back to society forcing moral norms on a minority. Already we have forum posters arguing that doctors who won't perform abortions should lose their license, effectively barring a lot of Catholics and Evangelicals from the profession. In Canada, many law societies are refusing to recognize law degrees from faith oriented schools because of their stances on same sex marriage. Instead of the 1920's with "No Jews Allowed" such thinking gives the 2020's with "No Fundies Allowed".

While I find the doctor's action to be distasteful and poor theology, the couple found a doctor who will better serve them and the doctor doesn't have to violate their conscience. As shua noted this is just part of living in a pluralistic society, and we don't need to fix every injustice with punitive law.



That is a slippery slope argument you are making here. Performing abortions vs caring for a baby are two different issues and should be argued separately.

What action would the doctor have to take here which would violate their conscience? All she had to do was treat that baby like any other baby and she would have done her job properly. How does that in any way affect her faith?
10  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Poor democracy (India) vs. Wealthier dictatorship (China)? on: February 21, 2015, 07:32:48 am
It seems to be an underlying premise for the question that India would be wealthier if it had an authoritarian government and China would be less successful if it was a democracy, both highly questionable assumptions, which makes the whole question pointless.

While I don't know whether China would be less wealthy if it were a democracy, I think India would have at the least had better infrastructure if it was a dictatorship. The Chinese government doesn't have to care about NIMBYs when they are planning a project. They don't have to reroute roads around temples and mosques. Obviously the fact that the people in India have more of a say is not a bad thing, but it does have consequences.

Having a sh*tload of "infrastructures" that cause pollution, the displacement of thousands of people, the destruction of natural landscapes or important monuments or otherwise reduce the actual quality of life of people in order to benefit large corporations isn't necessarily a good thing.

I don't think the poor who would gain opportunities from this development would agree with your assessment. And I'm talking about people in extreme poverty. In addition, due to the lack of resources, these people are forced to use inefficient means to warm themselves up during the winter, causing a haze over northern India that rivals China. So it's not as if they aren't causing a bunch of pollution to begin with.
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! Doctor refuses to care for lesbian couple's 6-day-old baby on: February 21, 2015, 07:02:51 am
It's ridiculous.  I don't eat animals, but in my capacity at work I prepare and sell meat products.  If I just suddenly refused to keep doing that, even always finding another person to do it, I would get fired.  For once, I'd deserve it.  It is incumbent upon me to go and find a job where I would no longer have to do that.

And if that doctor's other clients decide to fire her, that's perfectly fine.  I fully support the use of private boycotts and sanctions where people feel it is appropriate.

Yes, because that was so incredibly successful in the defeat of Jim Crow and housing segregation outside of the Montgomery buses.

Simple math says you can deny service to 5%, 10%, 15% of the population with the support or non-interference of the majority and do just fine. Sucks to be in that minority, but it isn't usually white libertarian men who face total inability to buy a good or service, so we'll keep having these discussions until the end of time

If the couple were denied access to medical service for their child, you'd be raising a valid point, as I've already agreed earlier.  But that isn't what happened.  They weren't even delayed in having their child looked at that day.  Granted, they were upset, angry, and dismayed.  I would be too in their shoes.  But as the Declaration of Independence points out, happiness isn't a right, only the pursuit of happiness.

Neither is there a right to be a doctor. Society can make rules that prohibit this sort of behavior. A doctor's license is a privilege, not a right. Do you disagree?
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Poor democracy (India) vs. Wealthier dictatorship (China)? on: February 21, 2015, 06:54:29 am
It seems to be an underlying premise for the question that India would be wealthier if it had an authoritarian government and China would be less successful if it was a democracy, both highly questionable assumptions, which makes the whole question pointless.

While I don't know whether China would be less wealthy if it were a democracy, I think India would have at the least had better infrastructure if it was a dictatorship. The Chinese government doesn't have to care about NIMBYs when they are planning a project. They don't have to reroute roads around temples and mosques. Obviously the fact that the people in India have more of a say is not a bad thing, but it does have consequences.
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Poor democracy (India) vs. Wealthier dictatorship (China)? on: February 20, 2015, 07:37:13 pm
False dichotomy.

No one is saying it isn't. Lame cop out answer.

And you still think the question is meaningful? lol.

So if someone asks you if you'd rather have x-ray vision or fly, do you yell "neither of those is possible!"

The correct analogy is more like 'would you rather go to war with Iran and have a strong America or negotiate with Iran and be a cheese eating surrender monkey?' It's a leading question that implies a dichotomy which is false.

What is false about it? I think the description of India as a poor democracy and China as a wealthier dictatorship is fairly accurate, no?

There are, uh, some other differences between India and China besides those two.

Quote
As for the question, the answer is wherever I would be richer. If my standard of living was the same in both places, I would obviously choose the democracy. Otherwise I would go with the dictatorship, which is actually not that bad as long as you keep your mouth shut and do your job. Democracy is great, but it still sucks to be a poor.

Tell that to the parents of an only child who died in a car accident, who couldn't have another child because of government policy, and are now too old to. All the wealth in the world is meaningless if one has nothing to live for.

No one said there weren't more differences or similarities. The basic description of those countries would be accurate in the way the OP stated it. Very simplistic, sure, but accurate.

And sure, there are issues with China (or dictatorships in general) which are not that pleasant. That is why I would choose a poor democracy over a wealthier dictatorship if I wasn't a poor person in that poor country.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! Doctor refuses to care for lesbian couple's 6-day-old baby on: February 20, 2015, 06:53:13 pm
I know this is going to sound very libertarian of me, but it's not as if this doctor refused to provide emergency care.  She even made arrangements so that the baby would still be seen by a doctor at the appointed time.  The idea that people who choose to provide services should have no ability to decide who to serve is a rather illiberal one. It was a bigoted and stupid decision on her part, but unless it rises to the point of preventing people from having any access to a needed service, I don't think government should be interfering in this particular form of idiocy.

Someone who has chosen to go into a profession, not forced into one, should not have the choice of picking and choosing who they will serve, especially due to intrinsic characteristics of the individual such as race, gender and sexual orientation. And if the doctor's excuse is that she doesn't approve of their "lifestyle", her license should be taken away because obviously this individual is not open to change when new information is presented. That is the sort of practitioner who will ignore the data that is coming out today and keep practicing like they did when they got out of med school.

What new information about this is so incontrovertible it should lead to someone's license to practice being taken away?

I wouldn't want that sort of person to be my doctor is what I mean.

As for taking the doctor's license away, practically speaking she should be told not to do it again and be given a second chance. She cannot repeat this sort of behavior. If she cannot be a professional and serve people who she may have a difference with, maybe she shouldn't be in that profession.
15  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Poor democracy (India) vs. Wealthier dictatorship (China)? on: February 20, 2015, 10:33:52 am
False dichotomy.

No one is saying it isn't. Lame cop out answer.

And you still think the question is meaningful? lol.

So if someone asks you if you'd rather have x-ray vision or fly, do you yell "neither of those is possible!"

The correct analogy is more like 'would you rather go to war with Iran and have a strong America or negotiate with Iran and be a cheese eating surrender monkey?' It's a leading question that implies a dichotomy which is false.

What is false about it? I think the description of India as a poor democracy and China as a wealthier dictatorship is fairly accurate, no?

As for the question, the answer is wherever I would be richer. If my standard of living was the same in both places, I would obviously choose the democracy. Otherwise I would go with the dictatorship, which is actually not that bad as long as you keep your mouth shut and do your job. Democracy is great, but it still sucks to be a poor.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! Doctor refuses to care for lesbian couple's 6-day-old baby on: February 20, 2015, 10:16:25 am
As the parents in the story point out, the patient was the infant.  I fail to see how giving an infant a wellness exam should offend a physician's moral conscience. 

It's a logical extension of the argument that selling flowers to a couple who may use those flowers in a same-sex wedding is forcing heresy upon the seller.

No one is forcing you to sell flowers or become a doctor. However, if you want to engage in providing these services, you must provide it to the entire population without discrimination, especially in regards to intrinsic characteristics. This may not be as big of a deal when it comes to selling flowers, but it absolutely is when it comes to the provision of health care. Those who are defending this doctor are being extremely irresponsible.

Theoretical libertarian ramblings about FREEDOM are cute, but they are not applicable in the real world, especially in the healthcare setting.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! Doctor refuses to care for lesbian couple's 6-day-old baby on: February 20, 2015, 08:45:53 am
And most importantly of all, no one has a right to be a doctor. If you want to be a doctor you need to treat all your patients fairly and equally. Those are the rules. If you are not capable of doing that, find another job. It is highly disturbing that some in this thread would be fine with these sorts of people being doctors.
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! Doctor refuses to care for lesbian couple's 6-day-old baby on: February 20, 2015, 08:36:56 am
I know this is going to sound very libertarian of me, but it's not as if this doctor refused to provide emergency care.  She even made arrangements so that the baby would still be seen by a doctor at the appointed time.  The idea that people who choose to provide services should have no ability to decide who to serve is a rather illiberal one. It was a bigoted and stupid decision on her part, but unless it rises to the point of preventing people from having any access to a needed service, I don't think government should be interfering in this particular form of idiocy.

Someone who has chosen to go into a profession, not forced into one, should not have the choice of picking and choosing who they will serve, especially due to intrinsic characteristics of the individual such as race, gender and sexual orientation. And if the doctor's excuse is that she doesn't approve of their "lifestyle", her license should be taken away because obviously this individual is not open to change when new information is presented. That is the sort of practitioner who will ignore the data that is coming out today and keep practicing like they did when they got out of med school.
19  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Atlasia v. Ogis/Tyrion on: February 16, 2015, 10:58:41 pm
I would be willing to serve as well.
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Feb 7th Delhi Assembly elections on: February 14, 2015, 12:48:16 am
Whoa! So all the polls were showing the AAP and the BJP in a close race, and even if at the end it maybe seemed AAP was pulling away, no one expected a 67-3 blowout. So what happened?

Non-BJP vote consolidated behind AAP. BJP vote share stayed about the same as last time.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Feb 7th Delhi Assembly elections on: February 13, 2015, 10:34:26 pm
The main danger, of course, is that BJP reacts to this by provoking communal violence in order to cause Hindu consolidation against the minorities: it may well be their best (politically) bet at this point.

Ag, you seem to understand Indian politics and yet you ignore your own wisdom when making posts about religious riots. It is just irrational behavior on your part. You made the correct point that when the election becomes about the BJP or secular forces vs non-secular forces, the secular side will win every single time. So what incentive does the BJP have to create that paradigm themselves?  The BJP has all the incentive in the world to keep their opposition divided among multiple parties. That will not happen if they start religious riots and try to divide India.

Also, the sort of consolidation of the non-BJP vote you saw in Delhi will likely not occur in rural India where caste politics is still king. So all the BJP has to do is make sure they keep their base (which they can do without riots) and get enough of the secular middle class vote in order to win. Remember, the lower class vote will likely swing against the incumbents.

Furthermore, AAP and Kejriwal are much greater threats to the BJP than Congress. As this election shows, people are still tired of Congress and Kejriwal represents one of the only viable choices to defeat Modi in 2019. The issue for AAP is gaining support in the rest of India, not just Delhi. Divisive riots would only be a catalyst for that.

I do understand Indian politics. Lower castes distrust BJP: until, that is, it is Hindu vs. Muslim. There were no riots before this election: and the rural districts of Delhi fell to AAP. As far as good RSS men are concerned, this was preventable.

And yet you yourself mentioned that when it is secular vs non-secular, the secular side always wins. Most people who would support a party instigating a religious riot against Muslims are already supporting the BJP. Sure, the BJP might be able to hold on to some lower caste votes they might have lost otherwise if it is Hindu vs Muslim at the polls. On the other hand, they will consolidate the rest of the electorate against them.

The BJP did about as well as it could in 2014 and the NDA coalition still only got 39% of the vote. If the 61% of Indians who didn't vote for the NDA consolidate, they will lose the next election. I can't speak for the RSS, who probably think under any circumstance killing muslims is fine, but looking at it from purely a political strategy standpoint, it would be incredibly stupid for the BJP to incite religious riots. And whether you like it or not, the last election proved how savvy the BJP campaign was. There weren't a bunch of hicks from the middle of nowhere running the BJP campaign, it was a modern campaign the likes of which India had never seen before. I doubt they would make such a grave miscalculation.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Feb 7th Delhi Assembly elections on: February 13, 2015, 05:48:39 am
The main danger, of course, is that BJP reacts to this by provoking communal violence in order to cause Hindu consolidation against the minorities: it may well be their best (politically) bet at this point.

Ag, you seem to understand Indian politics and yet you ignore your own wisdom when making posts about religious riots. It is just irrational behavior on your part. You made the correct point that when the election becomes about the BJP or secular forces vs non-secular forces, the secular side will win every single time. So what incentive does the BJP have to create that paradigm themselves?  The BJP has all the incentive in the world to keep their opposition divided among multiple parties. That will not happen if they start religious riots and try to divide India.

Also, the sort of consolidation of the non-BJP vote you saw in Delhi will likely not occur in rural India where caste politics is still king. So all the BJP has to do is make sure they keep their base (which they can do without riots) and get enough of the secular middle class vote in order to win. Remember, the lower class vote will likely swing against the incumbents.

Furthermore, AAP and Kejriwal are much greater threats to the BJP than Congress. As this election shows, people are still tired of Congress and Kejriwal represents one of the only viable choices to defeat Modi in 2019. The issue for AAP is gaining support in the rest of India, not just Delhi. Divisive riots would only be a catalyst for that.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Feb 7th Delhi Assembly elections on: February 12, 2015, 10:18:23 pm
AAP is just fine as long as it doesn't stand in the way of economic reform. In fact, I hope they lead that movement. I am cautiously optimistic. At the very least they won't be corrupt.
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Atheist man opens fire on Muslim students at UNC Chapel Hill on: February 11, 2015, 01:04:29 pm
Weird that Bill Maher hasn't denounced this yet...

I for one think every "moderate" atheist should have to denounce this.
25  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Will Mesa, Arizona become one of the great American cities? on: February 01, 2015, 02:05:44 pm
What city is Irvine a satellite of?

Anaheim, it seems like, considering Santa Ana is checking in at 97%. Orange County is certainly a hub in it's own right, but I would argue Irvine is the epicenter of that, not Anaheim and certainly not Santa Ana.
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