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April 25, 2015, 02:48:09 pm
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26  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Vote Aye: Atlasians for Electoral Reform on: April 23, 2015, 06:00:42 pm
I don't understand the claim that this will lead to a more competitive electoral system. If you have 7 candidates for 5 seats, at-large you have a competitive election. With districts you'd have 3 that are noncompetitive and 2 that might be competitive.
27  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Mideast Right to Life Act on: April 23, 2015, 05:01:42 pm
The inexplicably named "No Heart of Stone Act" amounts to little more than a repeal of all protections for the unborn throughout development.

This is blatantly false. The sole function of the MRLA was to surround abortion services in miles of bureaucratic red tape. Funny how the people who supposedly support a "small government" are all in favor of regulations when they suit their purposes.

As for the "inexplicable" name, I explained it thoroughly in the debate thread. I had to, as you have spent the last 24 hours arguing about the title of the bill instead of the bill itself. I am glad that you're finally explaining your objections to the proposal. It would have been better if you'd done so the first three times I asked, but "better late than never".

Yes, I am in favor of a few regulations when it comes to keeping children from being deliberately killed.  Crazy, huh?   The MRLA established protections both for the unborn and the immigrant, to further a consistent ethic of life. The NHOSA is not pro-immigrant or compassionate just because it intends to jetison the protections for the unborn. 
28  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Senate Confirms Lynch as AG on: April 23, 2015, 04:47:30 pm
Good news. Unlike Holder, she has a record that shows she can be trusted to fairly enforce the law. Hope she starts by going through Holder's list of existing cases and purging some.

That is not what her record shows at all.
29  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / The Mideast Right to Life Act on: April 23, 2015, 04:41:13 pm
There is currently an attack on the Mideast Right to Life Act in the Mideast Assembly in the form of the "No Heart of Stone Act."  It has been claimed that the "No Heart of Stone Act" would provide emergency care and legal protection for illegal immigrants. The truth is that this is already provided by the Right to Life Act.  The inexplicably named "No Heart of Stone Act" amounts to little more than a repeal of all protections for the unborn throughout development. Mideasterners should not fall for the lies being made against this bill's opponents.  Having a heart for the child in the womb does not mean that we have a "heart of stone."

-assemblyperson shua
30  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Ron Johnson: Students Graduating Late because "College is Fun" on: April 23, 2015, 04:04:49 pm
Johnson is playing a risky game, but I can see his plan. He has very little interest in attracting crossover votes - I doubt we'll see many Clinton-Johnson ballots - but will throw himself completely with the GOP ticket with red meat for the base, and hopes that he can be dragged by Walker (or whoever'is coattails)

Is that study true? Does it really take five to six years to complete a four year degree?

Yeah, I think it is.  Part of it is people aren't taking a full course load but are working instead.  Another is that some degrees have cumbersome requirements and so it's hard to get into and schedule the classes you need to complete them.  Other reasons too, college being fun just one of them.
31  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: No Heart of Stone Act on: April 23, 2015, 01:50:58 pm
Why can't section three apply to all illegals? Why is it only children?

Illegal immigration is, by definition, a crime. A 14-year-old who comes to Atlasia in violation of the laws of our Republic probably did not make the decision to do so, so detaining him or her for breaking immigration law is stupid. A 35-year-old, on the other hand, most likely came here of their own volition. There's certainly an argument for extending this to adults, but I feel like that's more of a federal prerogative since what that would amount to is changing the penalty for knowingly committing a federal crime. It's a fine distinction, but I think the source of intent in these cases (present in the adult, probably not in the child) is crucial seeing as the Mideast does not have the authority to override federal laws.

We don't have the authority to override federal laws, but neither do we need to lock people up. We can leave that to the federal government if they so choose.
32  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of 'Safe Space' policies on: April 23, 2015, 01:46:37 pm
Some students deal with trauma that might need some special care so I'd want to be careful about discounting this completely. The problem comes in the context of a college environment where it is considered normal and healthy for a student to experience viewpoints they don't like as a form of aggression.
33  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Voter turnout (%VAP) swing maps on: April 23, 2015, 01:50:45 am
1976 %VAP = 53.5 (-1.7)

34  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you rather live... on: April 23, 2015, 01:42:32 am
70s New York is the setting for lots of good movies.   
35  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: How many other states could McGovern have won? on: April 23, 2015, 01:39:27 am
Rhode Island has voted the same as Hawaii since the latter's first vote in 1960. (They have, ever since, carried Republican only with the 49-state re-elections of a 1972 Richard Nixon and a 1984 Ronald Reagan.) So, if we're thinking of Nixon not re-elected with 49 but closer to 40 states, the takeaways, in addition to Rhode Island would have started with Hawaii as well. And I would guess Minnesota. (I haven't look at state percentage margins, from that election, in quite a while.)

Hawaii didn't shine to McGovern at all for some reason. Maybe they felt out there in the middle of the Pacific that Nixon's foreign policy was keeping them secure.

MN was the closest loss for McGovern, followed by RI and then SD.  If he managed to cut the vote gap in half by winning about 43% of the vote, he could get something like:
 
36  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: The Onion has a new clickbait site, and of course it's genius on: April 23, 2015, 12:56:37 am

that one was genius.
37  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Rand Paul: McCain and Graham are whitehouse 'lapdogs' on foreign policy on: April 23, 2015, 12:52:33 am
That's ridiculous. Who's following who?  McCain and Graham are the dogs that bark relentlessly until you take them out for a walkr.
38  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Hammurabi on: April 22, 2015, 11:50:32 pm
Well, if you don't count the Bible, he's society's first lawgiver... FF
Urukagina would like a word with you.
39  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: No Heart of Stone Act on: April 22, 2015, 11:42:34 pm
Saying that your position is "pro-life" implies that your opponents are "pro-death", just as saying your position is "pro-capitalism" implies that your opponents are "pro-socialism". I understand that you did not invent the term "Right to Life", but saying that this bill should be called the "No Right to Life Act" clearly suggests that those who support it have a disregard for human lives. What is being debated here is the definition of life, not whether those who are alive have a right to stay that way.

I will say this one more time: do you have an argument for why this law should not be passed? So far, all you've contributed to this debate is a string of politically-loaded "gotcha" lines that do nothing to either build a consensus on this topic or explain your reasons for opposing this bill. I would ask that you stop wasting everyone's time with trivial objections and actually do the job you were elected to do.



When I object to the name of a bill it's trivial, but when you object it's not?   
40  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: No Heart of Stone Act on: April 22, 2015, 10:44:32 pm
I oppose Shua's amendment, and all other attempts to play petty politics with this bill.

The main point of this bill is to repeal the Right to Life Act.  The bill's title should reflect this.

The phrase "Right to Life" is a political jingle, not an actual statement about policy. When a politician says they are "pro-life", they are not being informative: they are attempting to end the discussion by implying their their opponents are "pro-death". I understand that you and other conservatives will likely oppose the substance of this bill, but please do so by making a logical, fact-based argument for your position, not resorting to cheap political tricks.

Is "No Heart of Stone" an actual statement about policy?

"No Heart of Stone" implies that, while the Mideast government does not condone illegal immigration and supports measures to ensure that immigration laws are followed, this position does not prevent us from treating illegal immigrants with dignity. In this sense, we are asserting that our Region does not have a "heart of stone": despite our belief in the rule of law, we remain a compassionate Region and will help people who need our help. As such, the title of this bill is a specific statement about the attitude of the Mideast government towards a particular issue, not a broad generalization that confuses the termination of a pregnancy with genocide or being "anti-life". The crux of the difference is that saying that Mideasterners have "No Right to Life", as you proposed, implies that my colleagues and I want to arbitrarily kill people, while saying that Mideasterners have "No Heart of Stone" sums up the motivations behind Sections 2 and 3 of this bill.

In any case, your amendment has nothing to do with the substance of this bill, and is little more than a brazen attempt to paint me and my colleagues as killers. As I said previously, if you have a rational, fact-based argument for why the MRLA should be preserved, please say it; but do not waste the time of the people of the Mideast proposing frivolous amendments that get us nowhere.

I didn't say you were killers, that is a ridiculous accusation.  I am saying this bill removes the right to life from being protected. Meanwhile you are the one implying that those who oppose this bill have a heart of stone.
41  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Why did Carter do so well in the plains? on: April 22, 2015, 10:13:58 pm
South Dakota and Nebraska are very different cases. The last presidential election SD was more Democratic than the nation was Dukakis. The last time for Nebraska, Wilson was running on "He kept us out of war."
42  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: No Heart of Stone Act on: April 22, 2015, 09:45:10 pm
I oppose Shua's amendment, and all other attempts to play petty politics with this bill.

The main point of this bill is to repeal the Right to Life Act.  The bill's title should reflect this.

The phrase "Right to Life" is a political jingle, not an actual statement about policy. When a politician says they are "pro-life", they are not being informative: they are attempting to end the discussion by implying their their opponents are "pro-death". I understand that you and other conservatives will likely oppose the substance of this bill, but please do so by making a logical, fact-based argument for your position, not resorting to cheap political tricks.

Is "No Heart of Stone" an actual statement about policy?
43  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gay marriage opponents' strategy uncertain in 2015 on: April 22, 2015, 08:58:51 pm
Normally if you have a ceremony officiated by a clergy a civil ceremony is not required.  What I am saying is that the state could make it so that clergy who oppose same sex marriage might have their civil authority removed by the state.  Under this they might still have the marriage ceremony, but they'd have to go to a judge and have it performed there as well.   Wouldn't be the end of the world from my perspective considering what we've seen already, but that's where I see this headed.

The interpretation of the law seems to be changing to place less weight on freedoms such as religion and speech compared to nondiscrimination.  I would have never thought, for example, that a person could be sued for not engaging in photography. That I would think would be a clear first amendment case, but the U.S. Supreme Court never even took it up when the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled the way it did. 

People have been so up in arms about generic RFRA laws because they think they might, counter to all precedent, allow for discrimination against gays.  But I can't be concerned about the much more substantial momentum in the direction of absolutizing anti-discrimination claims above all other concerns?
44  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Republican Congressmen demonstrate their respect for exsiting gun laws on: April 22, 2015, 08:20:43 pm
must have mistaken the AR-15 for one of the rifles Dianne Feinstein likes to show off.
45  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Conservative Justices side with big government... on: April 22, 2015, 07:46:09 pm
So the conservatives essentially said that it's OK for the government to intentionally deceive and mislead its citizens in order to avoid being held accountable.
Nice.

They said that Congress wrote the law in such a way that that is the case, yes. 

It's an interesting comparison with the King v Burwell case. Here the Administration was arguing for the strict textual approach the conservative justices agreed with; in King v Burwell the Administration argued the opposite way.
46  General Politics / Economics / Re: People: Market liberalism's achilles heel? on: April 22, 2015, 07:18:17 pm
It doesn't make sense to claim that markets are inerrant. I'm not really sure what that would mean.  What markets do is they provide options to people.  Sometimes the options available are not satisfactory.  But in a free market there is at least the opportunity for a satisfactory option to be developed, though the actions of other firms in the industry can make this more or less likely. 

The fallibility of people does play a major role in the market.  It plays a major role also in any sort of economic planning - and in that case, the knowledge required for any decision would need be explicit and concentrated in a single governmental body that is supposed to know what the entire population needs and wants at any given time, and would have a much lower likelihood of being subject to corrective pressures. 
47  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream on: April 22, 2015, 06:47:30 pm
would be a good name for one of those bands you like
48  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Voter turnout (%VAP) swing maps on: April 22, 2015, 06:12:33 pm
Great example of the Southernization of American politics. 

What we are seeing in the maps I've posted so far represent 1) a general decline in voter participation and 2) the expansion of the franchise in the South.  In 1972, the South declines even greater than the rest of the nation due to the unsuitability of McGovern to most white Democrats there. This is reversed some in 1976. The effect is a relative narrowing of the difference in %VAP between the low-voting South and the high-voting North, which was huge up until the last third of the twentieth century.
49  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gay marriage opponents' strategy uncertain in 2015 on: April 22, 2015, 05:43:04 pm
The key thing now will be to see if there will be any exemptions allowed in society to a genderless definition of marriage. Will clergy who refuse to perform same-sex marriages be able to keep their ability to solemnize vows in the eyes of the state? I could see that changing in the next couple years.

I don't see the issue. Clergy are not employees of the state, and churches/places of worship are not places of public accommodation.  I don't think anyone's seriously saying that  pastors who are against gay marriage should be required to perform them  anyway. What supporters of gay marriage are asking is that the state recognizes same-sex marriages and affords them equal rights and protections under the law.

Religious beliefs are a private matter (not "private' in the colloquial sense, but in the legal/constitutional sense) , and a particular religious belief (e. g. opposing homosexuality) should never be a basis for legally codified discrimination.   Same-sex marriage is a public issue, since it concerns  state discrimination that has been legally codified. That is what I wish more opponents of gay marriage would understand.

Catholic Charities could be barred from being involved with adoptions in Massachusetts because they did not want to facilitate adoptions to gay couples.  That it was a church-based organization did not matter because adoptions were overseen by the state. Wouldn't marriages be similar in this regard?  We've seen the definition of what counts as private shrink dramatically.   "Public accommodation" originally had to do with accommodations in the basic sense of one's needs to food and shelter. It has come to mean all manner of optional services and clubs.  Gay marriage is not only being insisted upon with regard to the state. If there is an exception with regard to clergy, it is a notable exception that would buck the trend.
50  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: No Heart of Stone Act on: April 22, 2015, 04:29:25 pm
I oppose Shua's amendment, and all other attempts to play petty politics with this bill.

The main point of this bill is to repeal the Right to Life Act.  The bill's title should reflect this.
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