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April 27, 2015, 01:38:06 pm
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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Municipal Level Maps on: April 26, 2015, 09:06:57 pm
I know next to nothing about GIS.  I've thought about taking classes, though.

I guess the question I'm really trying to ask is how you were able to convert that map to PNG.

It's not that difficult to learn how to use the free MapWindowGIS to make maps.  I don't think it requires classes.  I can give a detailed tutorial, if you wish.

You can convert a shapefile into an image file using MapWindow GIS by adding the .shp file as a layer, then selecting Edit from the top menu and Export>Map from the drop-down menu.  My older version won't save as a .png, but will save as a .jpeg or .bmp file.  Or you can download the free QGIS, open the .shp file as a vector layer, then select Project from the top menu and Save as Image from the drop-down menu.  In both instances, you might have to change the shape color to white by right-clicking on the layer name, and changing the color options in the drop-down menus.

I'm sure there are other ways to convert a .shp file into a .png file - as I said before, just Google "shp to png".
2  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Municipal Level Maps on: April 26, 2015, 04:35:51 pm
Thanks. Smiley   Can you convert shapefile to SVG or PNG, and if so, how?

Why would you want to? It is much easier to auto-color a shapefile than to individually color in shapes by hand, if you know what you're doing. But if you really wanted to convert a shapefile to png, I suppose you could always use a screen printing tool to save what is on the screen as a png file.  I'd have to check MapWindows GIS to see if there is a direct shapefile to png converter built in.  I'm sure there are some stand alone programs that do it, too.  Just Google "shp to png".
3  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Northeast Voting Booth: Presidential Pardon and Electoral Reform Amendments on: April 24, 2015, 11:23:37 pm
Presidential Pardon Amendment

Electoral Reform Amendment
4  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Vote Aye: Atlasians for Electoral Reform on: April 24, 2015, 07:28:51 pm
As I said to Griffin in the other thread, at large elections artificially lower the number of candidates. For instance in my own party we only run two for at large because if we run anymore we risk splitting the vote and losing a seat. But we have a larger pool of possible senate candidates we would run if there were districts. We would try and get clyde or new canadaland or any number of others. At least some of them would want to run. The same is also true of other parties.

So you're basically admitting that the new system will lead to more Labor Senators.  How convenient!
5  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Do you support the "Electoral Reform Amendment"? on: April 23, 2015, 03:32:13 pm
No.  I am opposed to Labor's newest attempt to stamp out minor parties and dominate the game.  At least minor parties have a chance at winning At Large seats. They won't after the amendment, as Labor and perhaps TPP conspire to gerrymander seats to keep and sustain their majority.
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / NY with 26 CDs in 2020 on: April 20, 2015, 08:05:05 am
Returning to the Exurb: Rural Counties Are Fastest Growing

According to an analysis by the Brookings Institute via Pew, exurban counties are fastest growing again, reversing the trend set after the Great Recession.  People are moving to the far-flung exurbs at the expense of urban areas.  While this wasn't true of the New York City area in my analysis, it appears to be true elsewhere.
7  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Northeast Voting Booth: Fairness in Cabinet Obligations Amendment on: April 19, 2015, 12:43:18 am
8  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: April 2015 At-large Senate Election on: April 17, 2015, 06:19:12 pm

[  ] Blair2015 of Massachusetts
Labor Party

[2] Cris of Kansas
Civic Renewal

[  ] Lief of Vermont
Labor Party

[3] North Carolina Yankee of North Carolina
Federalist Party

[1] Poirot of Quebec

[  ] Polnut of Massachusetts
The People's Party

[  ] Write-in:______________________________

[  ] None of the above
9  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Northeast Voting Booth: April Assembly Elections on: April 17, 2015, 06:17:06 pm
Official Ballot

Northeast Assembly
Five people will be elected to the Assembly.

[6] Clyde1998 (Labor - Massachusetts)
[5] Dr. Cynic (Labor - Pennsylvania)
[4] Castro2012 (The People's Party - Connecticut)
[3] Pikachu (The People's Party - New Jersey)
[2] Altsomn Jósef Stmarken (Federalist - Maine)
[1] Dkrolga (Civic Renewal - Massachusetts)
[ ] Write-in:____________
[ ] None of the Above
[ ] Abstain
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: GOP Primary Atlas Poll, April 2015 (GOP Primary voters only) on: April 16, 2015, 09:24:48 pm
Impatient aren't you? Smiley Rubio then. Wonder who voted for Cruz. That would be the hardcore "fringe" as it were around here - must be fraudulent Dem votes, like maybe Eraserhead's. Tongue

Believe it or not, not every Republican on this forum is some kind of libertarian or moderate hero.  There are social conservatives and Tea Partiers here.  The social conservatives and Tea Partiers might not post much on controversial issues because it makes little sense to pick fights, but we do exist.

Of the three declared candidates, Cruz is closest to what many social conservatives and Tea Partiers view as sharing their values.  Rand Paul is too soft on foreign policy.  Rubio is too soft on immigration.
11  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Northeast Voting Booth: The 21st Amendment on: April 15, 2015, 05:59:55 pm
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Christie fails to report income, avoids $152k in taxes on: April 14, 2015, 09:07:26 pm
That is correct, but the article should have used the verb "evade" rather than "avoid." Apparently if you don't have receipts to document your expenses, then whatever expense allowance you are paid by the state becomes wage income. Christie didn't have the receipts, either because he incurred no expenses (in which event what he did is flat out illegal), or if he did, does not have the receipts. If he can find or secure from vendors the receipts, than his tax problem to that extent is correctable.

I don't see how a CPA could have signed his tax return, assuming one did. If he told the CPA he had receipts, but lied to the CPA, then he is in real trouble, maybe criminal trouble.

Anyway, he's done. Even if, to be extremely generous and give him the benefit of the doubt, in a situation that looks really bad, he was just negligent, a guy who is negligent is not good POTUS material, obviously.

Christie's office now denies the article's tax treatment, claiming that the expense account is not required to be included in Christie's income.  Christie's office claims that any yearly excess was returned to the state, despite the claims made in the article.  

Also, just because no receipts were required to be provided to the legislature doesn't mean that no receipts were kept or that the Governor's office didn't have an official policy requiring receipts from its employees.

You'd think that if the expense account were to be included in income, the state would have been required to include it on Christie's W-2, no?  If they didn't, it's hard to see how the IRS could come after Christie criminally, receipts or no receipts.
13  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Honolulu on: April 12, 2015, 07:04:49 pm
I don't know why Census uses the Urban Honolulu CCP as default for the population of Honolulu, instead of the City and County of Honolulu's population.  I do know that in Hawaii, like in19 other states, Census carves unincorporated areas of counties into Census County Divisions (CCDs) for statistical purposes, instead of using Minor Civil Divisions (MCDs).  But California and Florida are also two states where CCDs are used, so, in theory, Census could have carved the city and county of San Francisco into CCDs if it really wanted to.

Jacksonville, Florida isn't coterminous with Duval County for Census' purposes.  Four municipalities in Duval County (Baldwin, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Jacksonville Beach) retained their muncipal governments, and, although their residents get to vote in Jacksonville's local elections, Census does not treat the 40,000 or so residents of those towns as living in the city of Jacksonville.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Tennessee on verge of banning phones, cameras at polling places on: April 11, 2015, 03:01:33 pm
This is nothing new.  Photographing inside the polling place is already illegal in many states.

Not having a ban on photography in the voting both itself could lead to voter intimidation, either due to others taking a picture of those who voted, possibly including their secret ballot, or through bosses or union officials requiring voters to photograph their ballots to show they voted the "correct" way.  So there is a basis for banning photography in the voting booth.
15  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Attention governors: The 21st Amendment on: April 07, 2015, 05:14:00 pm
What is the reason for this amendment?
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Kansas passes law banning food stamp receipients from pools, movie theaters on: April 07, 2015, 02:16:26 pm
I can't believe Republicans are okay with the bank account freezing aspect. The government taking control of your money and demanding how it be spent is hardly a libertarian concept.

It's almost as if poor people just completely don't matter to them.

What bank account freezing aspect? As someone else said, most government benefits these days are on their own EBT card, linked to that account.  Banning welfare benefits from being used at strip clubs or theme parks is as simple as blocking card use there.  Similarly, blocking the purchase of tobacco or whatever with welfare benefits can easily be done electronically.  Nothing is stopping a welfare recipient from using money in a personal bank account to go to a strip club or buy cigarettes, or auditing that personal account.
17  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: San Antonio's lack of suburbs on: April 05, 2015, 10:44:56 pm
San Antonio is almost smack dab in the middle of Bexar County, and has annexed a lot of the land in the county as the population has grown outwards from the core.  Growth is just now spreading beyond county lines, with Comal County (New Braunfels) being the 10th fastest-growing county with a population over 10,000 last year.  The area in between San Antonio and Austin is known as the Texas Hill Country, which also might limit development somewhat.  But with growth from Austin moving south into Hays County (the 6th fastest-growing county last year) and San Antonio sprawling northwestward into Comal County, it's only a matter of time until the I-35 corridor between the two cities becomes more like the I-95 corridor in the Northeast, with suburbs sprawling from Austin to San Antonio.

The north side of San Antonio has traditionally been richer and more Anglo than the south side, while much of Austin's growth traditionally has sprawled northward into Williamson County.
18  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Can anyone explain the pattern in this map? on: April 03, 2015, 03:42:13 pm
Two other states that have an outside shot at flipping if growth rates in their second non-capital cities ramp up a bit are Wyoming (Casper) and West Virginia (Huntington). 

Casper has been growing faster than Cheyenne from 2010-2013, but a lot of that growth is likely due to oil and gas exploration.  So unless oil prices rebound, I doubt it will happen.

As for West Virginia, Charleston has been shrinking while Huntington is stagnant or slowly growing, and their populations are already close.  All it woukd take is a point or two difference in relative growth rates over the rest of the decade for Huntington to pass Charleston.  Huntington is at least a college town, so it could happen.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Check out this local dumb redneck lose his mind about Muslims on: April 03, 2015, 01:32:26 am
What would be the right forum? It is a politically charged incident, so I would definitely belongs somewhere. Off Topic Board is mostly sports threads.
Off Topic or Religion or wherever the mods place threads about when a random non-politico says controversial stuff about religion.  Some random dude saying something controversial jumping to conclusions about a Muslim student group and ISIS isn't really about politics.
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Check out this local dumb redneck lose his mind about Muslims on: April 03, 2015, 01:23:24 am
The guy is not even an elected official and doesn't represent anyone but himself.  What does this have to do with General Politics-U.S. General Discussion?  I think it's in the wrong forum.
21  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Can anyone explain the pattern in this map? on: April 03, 2015, 12:24:41 am
Yes, Vermont and South Carolina were mistakes. In Vermont's case I realized shortly later that Burlington wasn't the capital, but in the case of SC I was aware of where the capital was, I just assumed Charleston was the largest city, which was not true.

But yes that's it.

Columbia is the capital of South Carolina, not Charleston.  It is also the state's largest city.  So it is colored correctly.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Pence signed it: Add Indiana to the list of states with "religious freedom" laws on: April 03, 2015, 12:08:14 am
Most likely, swastika cakes are not a service that any bakeries (Jewish or otherwise) offer to anybody. The issue here is a minority getting the same service already offered to everybody else.  Are you being this obtuse on purpose?

Some bakeries will put whatever you want on a cake, no questions asked.  Why shouldn't gays or Jewish bakers be held to the same standards?  The issue is forcing someone to do something they find offensive, ratifying, under penalty of law, something they don't believe in.  

And when a gay bakery, who writes messages on cakes, (rightfully) refuses to put a pro-tradtional marriage message on a cake, why isn't that issue a minority - religious people who think gay marriage is a sin - getting the same service already offered to everybody else, too?  Are some minority groups more special than others?
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Pence signed it: Add Indiana to the list of states with "religious freedom" laws on: April 03, 2015, 12:00:02 am
No one is compelled to do anything, but if you go into a certain business, there are rules you must follow.  Not being discriminatory is one of them (or well in this case should be).  If you want to be discriminatory in your personal life have at it.  If you can't put your hate aside to not be discriminatory in business, well no one is forcing you or compelling you to go into the business.

The notion that you have to check your religious beliefs at the door when you go into business is so pre-Hobby Lobby.  And if a gay baker can't just put his "hate" aside and not discriminate against religious people wanting a pro-traditional marriage cake, well, no one is forcing or compelling him to go into business, right?  Should black restaurants be forced to cater the next Klan rally, too?
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Pence signed it: Add Indiana to the list of states with "religious freedom" laws on: April 02, 2015, 11:49:10 pm
Again, we seem to be relitigating the Civil Rights Act of 1964. No one is insisting "anyone," this is about vendors who provide services to couples that are not religious in nature outside of people's tortured rationales.

We are not relitigating the Civil Rights Act.  We are relitigating Hobby Lobby, which held that closely held businesses are just as entitled to freedom of religion as individuals under the federal version of RFRA.  Whether the thing that the government is forcing a business to do is religious in nature is irrelevant.  Providing birth control in itself isn't religious in nature.  But forcing someone who believes birth control is a sin to buy birth control for its workers violates the federal RFRA statute.  Indiana is just creating a state version of the same statute, updated to reflect Hobby Lobby - a federal law which was signed into law by Democratic President Clinton, that evil "conservative" bigot.

Should gay bakeries be required to create cakes with messages supporting marriage as only being between a man and a woman?  Should Jewish bakers be required to create swastika cakes for their neo-nazi clients?  Of course not, because that's offensive to them.  Well, gay marriage is just as offensive to some religious people.  Why should they be coerced under penalty of law to support your "progressive" secular beliefs when you're not compelled under penalty of law to support their religious beliefs?  After all, you're just a "vendor" providing services.
25  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: Northeast Assembly Thread II on: April 01, 2015, 11:27:25 pm
Nominations are closed. Members have 24 hours to vote for a Speaker (until 9:03, April 2)

[ ] dkrol

If only one person is nominated, there is no need for a vote.  That person is automatically named Speaker.
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