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October 24, 2014, 10:32:39 pm
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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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101  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Sgt. Where's My Car?' Act (Voting) on: October 11, 2014, 06:51:29 pm
(2) Isn't the problem here one of poor contract design rather than inadequate regulations?

Last I checked the military was a gov't agency and thus we possessed the ability to regulate the operations of such, including the design of the contract, no?

Of course, but I'm not sure that it's a good idea. By focusing on the details of a specific contract that has gone poorly, we might be overlooking a broader and more serious problem with how the military develops contracts.
102  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Motion to expel Senator Deus from the Senate (Voting) on: October 11, 2014, 06:46:49 pm
Abstain
103  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Amendment to Official Senate Rules and Procedures (Debating) on: October 11, 2014, 06:46:06 pm
I thought the text had a standalone cloture rule, am I wrong about that?

There is a cloture rule. Suspending it would be nonsensical, though, so I don't think that it's necessary to mention it as an exception.

Quote
5. At any time after the first 72 hours of debate, any Senator may motion for cloture. Upon the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senate, the Senate shall end debate and the Speaker slot shall open a vote on the legislation.[/quot]e
104  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Amendment to Official Senate Rules and Procedures (Debating) on: October 11, 2014, 06:42:52 pm
I have another comment. In my original draft, if you introduce a bill and you don't already have one on the floor, that bill would take priority over any bill sponsored by a Senator who does.

I notice that's been weakened so that a Senator's bills don't lose priority until he or she has four bills on the floor. I don't think this is strict enough. I would prefer to allow as much diversity in sponsorship as possible. This would encourage broader involvement among Senators, who would be more likely to have at least one sponsored bill on the floor, and deeper engagement from sponsors who would be less likely to divide their attention across several bills under their sponsorship simultaneously.

What does everyone else think?
105  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Amendment to Official Senate Rules and Procedures (Debating) on: October 11, 2014, 06:30:46 pm
It would be my preference to avoid procedure until an amendment was solid as you well know Nix, but my present limitations demand for the next twelve days at least that I offer them when I can. Once this two and ahalf month nightmare ends, I can regain my flexibility.

No problem at all, Yankee. I'm grateful for your commitment to this project, and I can write an alternative for you and everyone else to review if you're pressed for time or internet access.

Note that I don't object to mentioning the numbers. It might be useful to include them. I just want to avoid writing something that only makes sense after you've scrolled through the rules several times.

3.4 Clogging
3.6 Don't remember why I included this one. Tongue
4.3 Continued debate (otherwise it is redundant to have a cloture procedure.
8  - Expulsion

I don't think we need to worry about 4.3 or 3.6. Strictly speaking, we don't need a separate provision for cloture - the procedure is, essentially, identical to that for suspending the rules - but I think that it's useful to have one.

I'm fine with allowing an exception for expulsion (Article VIII), as long as everyone realizes that it doesn't really protect anyone. If two-thirds of the Senate is willing to expel another Senator for political reasons, why would they hesitate to amend the rules that bar them from doing so? The same applies to an exception for the "clogging" rule. I won't fight it, but I don't think that including an exception achieves anything.

That said, here's my suggestion:

Quote from: Alternative to Yankee's amendment
Quote from: Amendment Offered
Article IX: Rule Disputes

1. The Senate may elect to suspend any section of these rules at any time with the consent of two-thirds of sitting Senators.[/b].

2. The Speaker may unilaterally suspend any section of these rules at any time, unless another Senator objects. If a Senator objects, suspending the rules shall require the consent of two-thirds of sitting Senators.

3. Neither the Senate nor the Speaker may suspend Article VIII (expulsion rules) or Article III, Section IV (rules on moving legislation to the Senate floor).
106  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of "once a year" Native American activists on: October 11, 2014, 01:46:13 pm
Worst Sopranos episode ever.
107  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Amendment to Official Senate Rules and Procedures (Debating) on: October 11, 2014, 11:11:30 am
Thanks, TNF. The amendment is unfriendly until we've discussed it further. At a minimum, it must include descriptions for each cross-reference.

Moreover, I'm not sure that it's productive to exclude any sections from the two-thirds rule, as the Senate can amend the rules at any time. If a majority wants to get around a rules provision and the constitution does not prevent them from doing so, that majority might just change the rules.
108  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: LGBT Equality in Schooling Act (Debating) on: October 11, 2014, 08:09:13 am
That makes sense. It's hardly obvious that "Hifly's Law" was unconstitutional.

That said, my initial instinct is that this bill would be:

Quote from: Article I, Section 6 - Powers denied to the Senate
No Law requiring any action to be taken or to be not taken by a Region shall be passed, except to preserve the rights of the Senate or of the People enumerated under the Constitution.

However, there's also this, which could be taken to allow virtually unfettered federal control over schools (not that I would support that... federal attempts at enacting education policy have gone poorly in the past):

Quote from: Article I, Section 5 - Powers of the Senate
15. To promote the distribution of Knowledge of Science and useful Arts, by assisting and fostering persons seeking to be educated, to provide education, or to produce educational materials.
109  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is This Acceptable Behavior? on: October 11, 2014, 07:54:41 am
Is that you or the liquor talking, Mr. Lahey?
110  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The People's Party October Convention - Platform discussion-Convention extended on: October 11, 2014, 07:45:14 am
First of all, I want to publicly commend oakvale for his work on this document. This is one of the most thorough, readable, and well thought-out platforms that Atlasia has ever seen, and it will be a credit to this entire party if we choose to adopt it.

Now on to the discussion.

I would remove the final sentence from this paragraph, concerning taxation and economic justice:

Quote
Furthermore, a truly fair and progressive tax structure must not be used as a tool to persecute or attack those fortunate enough to achieve wealth and success in our economy. Such policies turn citizen against citizen, breed discord and unrest, and weaken our nation. We believe that Atlasia must be a society for all the people, not for select interest groups. To this end, it is The People's Party's belief that an income tax should not exceed more than 50% of an individual's income.

The correct answer to questions about the best top marginal income tax rate ought to be that it depends on many factors. Are we fighting a war? Are we in a recession? What tax rate raises sufficient revenue to fund vital programs? What does the Lorenz Curve look like, and how is it changing? How do other taxes, deductions, and tax credits interact with the income tax? How prosperous is our economy? The list goes on. The optimal level of taxation might be 30%, or it might be 70%, depending our answers.

I think that it's enough to establish that we oppose confiscatory tax rates, and leave it to the economists to establish what that rate is at any particular time.
111  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: LGBT Equality in Schooling Act (Debating) on: October 11, 2014, 07:23:57 am
I have serious concerns about the constitutionality of this bill. At a minimum, we should bring the regional executives into this conversation.

By the way, I object to JCL's amendment. Which, I should add, undercuts his supposed commitment to regional autonomy. How disappointing.

This was in response to the whole hiflygate thing. If we think that that act was unconstitutional, as many people do, then I think we're justified in doing this

If Hifly's bill were unconstitutional, then would this not be redundant?
112  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Sgt. Where's My Car?' Act (Voting) on: October 10, 2014, 10:06:02 pm
The company who has the contract in real life at least is falling further and further behind, largely because I think they lack the capability to handle the increased demands for vehicles to be transported.

A legislative mandate is necessary in my view because the existing criteria and structure of the contract were not satisfactory to ensure contractor could meet demand.

(1) If the original contractor cannot meet the military's current level of need, then why not renegotiate the contract to allow another firm to take responsibility for whatever portion of the work the original contractor is unable to handle?

(2) Isn't the problem here one of poor contract design rather than inadequate regulations?
113  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Police Militarization and Civil Rights Act (Debating) on: October 10, 2014, 09:52:16 pm
How much funding does the federal government provide to local police departments?
114  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Ending Financial Havens for Islamic State (Debating) on: October 10, 2014, 09:44:05 pm
Nay
115  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Amendment to Official Senate Rules and Procedures (Debating) on: October 10, 2014, 09:41:02 pm
I am introducing two amendments:

First, to leave the length of amendment votes as it is, resolving a mistake that I made in my original draft:

Quote from: Amendment to Article IV, Section 10
10. The Speaker shall allow 36 hours for objections to an amendment following its introduction. If no objections are filed, the amendment shall pass. If any objections are filed, a vote shall be held. This vote shall last until a majority of sitting Senators have voted to either approve of reject the amendment or until 5 3 days, i.e. 120 72 hours, have elapsed. No Senator may change his or her vote once the voting period has concluded.

Second, to resolve grammatical errors in Article III, Section 6, I propose replacing its text with the following:

Quote from: Amendment to Article III, Section 6
6. Legislation shall no longer count toward the eight-thread limit when it is no longer on the Senate floor. Senate Legislation is no longer on the Senate floor under any of the following conditions:

    (a) For bills - When the bill is forwarded to the President for action or rejected by a majority of voting Senators
    (b) For resolutions - When the resolution is approved or rejected by a majority of voting Senators
    (c) For Constitutional amendments - When the amendment is (1) approved by at least two-thirds of the Senators and the Speaker has posted a thread notifying the regional executives of that approval or (2) rejected by more than one-third of Senators after a vote is called
    (d) For all legislation - When the legislation has been tabled
116  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Amendment to Official Senate Rules and Procedures (Debating) on: October 10, 2014, 09:32:08 pm
We need to be careful with the cross-references. For the sake of the reader, they should be used only in concert with explanatory description.

Yankee, what rules do the sections that you reference in this amendment include?
117  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policy Status Act (Debating) on: October 10, 2014, 09:29:09 pm
I guess you are all misinterpreting the point of the bill. (Is my English this bad? Tongue)
I do not want to reinstate Senate committees with that bill, my intention was to create a thread where a group of people (I though of a Senate committee, but every group of informed Atlasians would do) assembles a "curriculum" of our current policy status on every major field. I thought of a committee as the nearest way, but as a said, every group of Atlasians would do.
I guess all points here ever made were made for the sake of committees, but I would rather have discussion over the principal intention over the bill.
Thank you, I'll leave you to Senate business then again.

How would you feel about doing this by executive order?
118  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Pacific Voting Booth: October 2014 Elections to the Legislative Council on: October 10, 2014, 09:11:52 pm
[1] Spamage
[2] WI: TheRileyKeaton
[3] WI: sbane
[4] WI: AverroŽs Nix
119  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: A Speech on: October 10, 2014, 07:05:01 pm
The GM isn't supposed to do more than supplement everything else that happens here. Atlasia has never been a simulation game.
120  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: SirNick for Game Moderator (Voting) on: October 09, 2014, 09:59:00 pm
I only swore in this morning, and I wasn't about to vote against your confirmation without explaining why. There's ample time remaining for you to assuage my doubts, if you're so inclined.
121  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: SirNick for Game Moderator (Voting) on: October 09, 2014, 08:33:31 pm
This will probably upset some people, but I must cast a reluctant NAY.

President DemPGH's summary dismissal of Sirnick was wrong. We should not remove a Game Moderator simply because we dislike the story that he is telling. That is his job, and doing it well almost necessarily involves upsetting everyone.

However, I remain concerned about Sirnick's ability to serve without letting partisan and personal resentments get in the way. His behavior since his defeat in the June presidential election has been erratic and frequently cruel. If we want to restore the legitimacy of the Game Moderator, this is unacceptable.

More importantly, I do not support activist GMing. The GM ought to be respected, but, by the same token, the GM should not seek to bend officeholders to his will. Nor should his reports read like something out of the Old Testament. I cannot support a nominee who promises "dystopian timelines" and who believes that "there shouldn't be a game" if we don't have a GM.

That's just not how I see Atlasia. What Sirnick calls "passing words with no effect" is, in fact, what the Fantasy Elections and Fantasy Government boards are all about. The GM supplements this by providing context, but he should not dominate the game. This isn't an interactive timeline.
122  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XVII: I Ate The Strawberry (The REAL, AUTHENTIC Update) on: October 09, 2014, 07:58:03 pm
Most importantly, dealing with mental illness does not take away from your value as a human being. Too many posts here - most of them Bushie's - imply otherwise.
123  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Anti-Smoking Ads on: October 09, 2014, 07:55:34 pm
Sticking it to the man?  Hardly.  Not the man (besides, I'm a lower-middle class... the man would enjoy watching me inhale cancer), just the "the point of life is to extend it as long as possible" crowd that typically gets sexually excited by anti-smoking ads.

I'm not sure where you're getting that idea; anti-smoking arguments have just as much to do with quality of life and health care costs.

Cigarette smokers obviously believe that 50 years with a cig is better quality than 60 years without. 

Given a steep enough discount rate, almost any form of indulgence is justified. That people choose to smoke despite its proven costs only tells us that they either (A) lack information or (B) don't care much about the future. There is no guarantee that they will be satisfied with their decision in five, ten, or twenty years.
124  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Amendment to Official Senate Rules and Procedures (Debating) on: October 09, 2014, 09:57:38 am
I'll do whatever works for you, TNF. Cosponsor might be best as I worry that this will still be on the floor when I leave at the end of this session.
125  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Regulatory Overhaul and Review Act (Debating) on: October 09, 2014, 09:51:37 am
Nay

If this is unsuccessful I will probably just introduce a bunch of deregulation bills and we'll discuss all of them separately.

This is a good idea.
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