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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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26  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Aaron Sorkin on: December 17, 2014, 03:04:06 pm
I can't decide whether West Wing at its best makes up for Newsroom.
27  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama: 37-yr old Surgeon General has "lifetime of experience" in public health on: December 17, 2014, 01:19:27 am
The NRA/Republican opposition to this was completely ludicrous. It would be like blocking a Secretary of Defense nominee because of their position on abortion. Who f'ing cares about their views on something that is completely irrelevant to the job?

The point of controversy regarding guns was that the nominee did not believe that it was irrelevant to his job.

Referring to gun violence as a health issue is not controversial / arguable, or is there more to this that I hadn't seen?

I think it was that he referred to "guns" rather than "gun violence" as being a health problem.
28  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Past Election What-ifs (US) / Re: Testing Waters for a Timeline: Would those maps be possible? on: December 17, 2014, 01:10:07 am




Former Governor Ronald Reagan/ Senator Richard Schweiker (R) 309 EVs 49.8%
Senator Mo Udall/ Senator Lloyd Bentsen (D) 229 EVs 48.1%
Senator Eugene McCarthy  (I) 0 EVs 1.5%
Roger MacBride / David Bergland (L) 0 EVs 0,6%

This is an alternative....

Udall is too liberal to win Oklahoma, particularly against a candidate of Reagan's ability. I'd have NJ as being at least as Republican as PA, even with Schweiker, and switch CT and IA.  Otherwise it looks good - though Udall taking TX is going to be tough.
29  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Medicaid Expansion in Tennessee on: December 16, 2014, 11:04:46 pm
Governor Haslam wants impoverished people to go out and buy private health insurance with a government subsidy. I suppose it's better than nothing but it's so obviously unrealistic. Many of these people have extremely poor literacy skills and none of them have the money for copays, deductables, etc. Just let them buy private health insurance. Sure Roll Eyes

Medicaid is better when it comes to co-pays and deductibles, but it is worse when it comes to access to care.
30  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Governors, The Protecting People from Explosives Amendment has passed the senate on: December 16, 2014, 10:28:19 pm

is this an anime reference?

Windjammer, an "arm" just means a weapon or armament.  When people talk about supplying rebels with "arms" they do not just mean guns.  The use of the term predates the introduction of guns.  And your amendment here says that the right to such arms "shall not be infringed."
31  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: David Koch: "I'm a social liberal" on: December 16, 2014, 10:05:15 pm
Also, from what I've read about the brothers' relationship, Charles is more of the evil genius figure, who hates anything that has to do with government, while David kinda just goes along.

why do you think there is an "evil genius figure" involved here?  They have a lot of money, and they give it to various interest groups.

Yes, that's clearly all they're doing. Not buying an entire political party and the politicians contained within. They're just like the blue collar worker contributing $20 to their local politician. Roll Eyes

That's the sort of absurdity I was talking about. The Kochs accounted for about 1% of all political spending in 2012. Yes, that's more influence than someone contributing $20. No, that doesn't mean they own half of American politics.
32  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama: 37-yr old Surgeon General has "lifetime of experience" in public health on: December 16, 2014, 09:53:54 pm
The NRA/Republican opposition to this was completely ludicrous. It would be like blocking a Secretary of Defense nominee because of their position on abortion. Who f'ing cares about their views on something that is completely irrelevant to the job?

The point of controversy regarding guns was that the nominee did not believe that it was irrelevant to his job.
33  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: Promoting Our Public Universities Act (Debating) on: December 16, 2014, 09:51:03 pm
amendment:
Quote
Promoting Our Public Universities Act
1. This law shall take effect on July 1, 2015.
2. This law will expire on July 1, 2017 if no action is taken by the regional legislature.
3. Mideast public universities may not impose a fee for college applications exceeding $50.
4. The Mideast Region shall subsidize the cost of 2 applications to public universities and accredited vocational schools based on the for applicants with an unweighted high school or community college grade point average of 2.5 or greater.
a) 2.0 - Subsidized application fee for one public institution
b) 3.0 - Subsidized application fee for two public institutions
c) 3.5 - Subsidized application fee for three public institutions
34  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would Bushie be better off if he went to a hipster church? on: December 16, 2014, 03:57:22 am
Erma Bushie is a straight white male. On the contrary he'd be called on to check his privilege.

How on earth would such a thing be relevant to his day-to-day life - even assuming that SJW discourse doesn't turn him off as it does for most people? 

I think instead he, like many of us Protestants, could use a dose of Catholic-inspired spiritual formation.
35  General Discussion / History / Re: The KKK was crucial to building GOP strength in the South on: December 16, 2014, 03:38:12 am
The rhetoric of prohibition was progressive to win support, bt the core support was from Calvinistic Protestantism in both the South and the North. Prohibition is more an indication of enduring Conservatism within the GOP as opposed to Progressivism. Perhaps that stems from the understanding of the word Progressivism. Everyone wanted to advance their society, but in their own image and that is the key thing. Aside from slavery, The Republicans were a Party that wanted to take away the Irish and German's whiskey and beer, force those of whom were Catholic amongst them to read the good King James Bible in their progressive schools built to "progress society", and prevent their relatives from joining them in America. It was more a way to impose their social views through the gov't on unwilling people, hardly a progressive approach as we would understand it.


To the extent that is the case it is because of the movements toward greater social autonomy that have associated their cause with the ideas and terminology of progress. The New Left did carry on in some sense earlier views of progress as involving expression in opposition to social control, but the politically dominant expression of Progressivism in the early 20th century tended toward a more actively reforming and remolding of society.  There's no reason to not identify efforts at social control as "progressive" movements, so long as we do not laden that term with a particular moral affirmation of our own values. 
Prohibition cannot be identified solely with Progressivism, and their were anti-Prohibition Progressives, particularly of German or Catholic extraction and those who allied with them. Yet it's hard to deny the strong and crucial links between Prohibition and other elements of Progressive movement such as first wave Feminism. 
36  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Upworthy vs. Buzzfeed on: December 16, 2014, 02:31:27 am
Buzzfeed.  If I am at a clickbait site, by definition I am in short-attention span mode, so I don't want to sit through some 8 minute video on the remote chance that it is anywhere near as interesting and world-changing as it claims to be.
37  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: Promoting Our Public Universities Act (Debating) on: December 16, 2014, 02:24:13 am
Why tie this to grade point average?
I'm guessing it was meant to be an encouragement for students to do better, and to save on costs. I don't think it's ideal either. Would anyone support tying the number of universities to family income instead, or in addition to GPA?

In addition to might be a good idea.

The cost of processing information on family income with this might be more expensive than its worth. I think though that those with lower scores might be just as in need of having multiple applications, given they stand a chance of not being accepted. If we do want to encourage students work and focus on those who have a good chance of being accepted into a school, then how about just doing 2 free applications for all those with a GPA of 2.5 or higher?
38  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Obama: 37-yr old Surgeon General has "lifetime of experience" in public health on: December 15, 2014, 10:10:20 pm
Quote
Murthy will “bring his lifetime of experience promoting public health to bear on priorities ranging from stopping new diseases to helping our kids grow up healthy and strong,” Obama said in a statement after the confirmation vote. “Vivek will also help us build on the progress we’ve made combating Ebola, both in our country and at its source.”

The NRA had made Murthy a top target of opposition over several of his comments in support of gun control laws. Democrats, nervous about angering the gun lobby ahead of the midterm elections, shelved the nomination for much of this year.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/vivek-murthy-confirmed-surgeon-general-113584.html#ixzz3M1csjVOZ

Vivek Murthy, the real life inspiration for TV's Doogie Howser M.D., was confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 51-43.
39  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: David Koch: "I'm a social liberal" on: December 15, 2014, 09:12:54 pm
^ I recommend you read Sons of Wichita.

Shua, why do you always defend the Kochs?

It's really more that I find the obsession so many have with them to tend toward an absurd and unhealthy narrative.
40  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: David Koch: "I'm a social liberal" on: December 15, 2014, 03:12:15 pm
Also, from what I've read about the brothers' relationship, Charles is more of the evil genius figure, who hates anything that has to do with government, while David kinda just goes along.

why do you think there is an "evil genius figure" involved here?  They have a lot of money, and they give it to various interest groups.

Because they're not his interest groups.

that should hardly explain the "genius" part.
41  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: David Koch: "I'm a social liberal" on: December 15, 2014, 02:50:42 pm
Also, from what I've read about the brothers' relationship, Charles is more of the evil genius figure, who hates anything that has to do with government, while David kinda just goes along.

why do you think there is an "evil genius figure" involved here?  They have a lot of money, and they give it to various interest groups.
42  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: "Holiday tree" on: December 14, 2014, 12:30:38 pm
Okay I don't really have any opinion on the actual subject of this thread but there are two assertions in Snowguy's post, other than the one that ingemann covered.

1. While it's more or less indisputably true that the word 'Easter' derives from the name of a pagan Anglo-Saxon goddess (even Bede admits this), Sumerian isn't even an Indo-European language, so the 'Ishtar' connection is almost certainly a false cognate. It's also worth noting that this is only true of a few of the Germanic languages--other languages have words for Easter related to Pesach.
2. That is most certainly not true of 'all' or even most patron saints. It's notably truer in some places (e.g. Ireland, where that was done to a significant chunk of the Druidic pantheon) than in others (e.g. the Mediterranean basin, which has from a very early date had more than enough legit Christian historical or semi-historical figures to go around.)

Ishtar/Astarte is actually Semitic. The Sumerian name is Inanna. Your point about the difficulty of finding a plausible etymological connection remains though.
43  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Democratic-Republican Party Convention, December 2014 on: December 14, 2014, 10:15:11 am
Ballot for Chairman
[X] Spiral
[ ] Write-In:

Ballot for Vice Chairman
[X] Write-In: Maxwell
44  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Why is Obama so unpopular? on: December 14, 2014, 10:04:18 am
May I suggest that Obama's "unpopularity" have to do with one thing:

He has been president in 6 years, people are just tired of him, like they are of most two terms presidents, when there are less than 2 years to the next presidental election. Right now he seems tired, impotent and rather powerless, he has gotten most of what he was elected to do through, he's just cleaning the last things up he promise, he's the past, dead man walking etc. People look forward to the next dynamic president, with a fresh new vision for America, everything Obama is not anymore.

Which is why I pointed out that Eisenhower, Reagan and Clinton were all popular late into their terms, showing unpopularity is not inevitable.

Barack Obama never got into the range of approval in the 60s. America has been much too polarized for that. There has also been a well-funded, loud campaign by the Koch syndicate to vilify anything and anything liberal so the Koch syndicate can have a plutocratic oligarchy with the inequality of a plantation order.

Well, except for the fact that he started there.
45  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of the "Cromnibus" bill? on: December 14, 2014, 09:35:40 am
It's got all sorts of random awful stuff in it, but that's true of every major spending bill. 
46  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Good news in the "Cromnibus": The End of the War on Medical Marijuana on: December 14, 2014, 09:26:52 am
Eh, this seems completely symbolic to me. Federal funds were never really being used for that purpose under Obama.

That's not really true.  This is significant.
47  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: When will a Democratic presidential candidate next win a majority of whites? on: December 13, 2014, 01:56:04 pm
They won't win a majority of Whites until they stop pandering to minorities so often.

Gross.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing.  It's simply the opposite of pandering to Whites.  There are enough racist Whites out there - and studies suggest they tend to be concentrated in the working class and in the South - who won't vote for a party associated with strictly minority interests.  Is that sad?  Yes, quite.  But it's the truth.

IceSpear: Exactly.  There are, sadly, a lot of racist people out there.  Additionally, on average, Whites tend to have higher incomes (associated, based on exit polls, with voting Republican).  When you combine those two, you get 55-60% of Whites voting Republican.

Pandering to minorities, if you want to call it that, is not the main reason they don't get a majority of whites - except in the sense that getting high numbers of the minority vote is what them to be competitive in spite of losing a majority of whites.  Democrats won't win a majority of whites unless they feel it is necessary to their existence and so change their party accordingly - just as Republicans won't become competitive among minorities until they change under the pain of demography.
48  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Voting in the earliest elections; results on: December 13, 2014, 01:19:03 am
The Smithsonian has a good page on this:
http://americanhistory.si.edu/vote/paperballots.html

note how ballots were basically a slate of candidates for a party.  voters could modify this straight-ticket voting by pasting the name of another candidate onto their ballot.

If you ever see the movie Copperhead, it has a great scene showing an unsecret ballot election.
49  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinions on the following issues on: December 13, 2014, 12:36:37 am
Abortion is a Women's Right strongly oppose
Gay Marriage support
Affirmative Action a silly term. vaguely oppose
Absolute Right to Gun Ownership not absolute
Capital Punishment oppose
Prayer in Schools whatever floats your boat
Make Taxes more Progressive depends on the tax
Privatize Social Security how?
Government playing a stronger role in Healthcare strongly opposed to stringent regulation, somewhat more amenable to government funding for coverage
School Vouchers cautiously support
Legalize Marijuana strongly support
Stimulus Better than Market Recovery ?
Expand Drilling drilling what? skeptical neutral
Prioritize Green Energy  support, though skeptical about what counts as "green"
Animal Rights support
Expand the power of Unions  depends on context, lean oppose
Pathway to citizenship for Illegal Immigrants support
Protectionism in trade generally oppose, sometimes strongly depending on context
Increase military spending oppose
50  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: Promoting Our Public Universities Act (Voting on Amendment) on: December 13, 2014, 12:10:41 am
Aye
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