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1726  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Senator Gass3268 Announcement on: November 01, 2013, 09:52:14 am
My own life has made me increasingly aware of how the crush of the school-work routine goes. Thanks for everything, Gass.
1727  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Acting NE Gov. Dr. Cynic's Office: Here's What's Going Down on: November 01, 2013, 09:50:09 am
Good luck, Cynic! We need more Laborite regional executives.
1728  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: ***City Convention Vote*** Labor Party Fall 2013 Convention! on: November 01, 2013, 09:48:46 am
Iqaluit, Nunavut [1]
Detroit, Michigan [2]
Windsor, Ontario [3]
1729  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Senate Bill: An Actual End to Imperialism Act (Final Vote) on: October 31, 2013, 07:29:07 pm
If this reached my desk - which it won't - I would eliminate or re-work Section 2 while leaving Section 1 and Section 3 intact. Bore's amendment improves the bill, but I believe that we should establish our own legal framework for when direct military aid is appropriate and when it isn't rather than delegating that responsibility to the UN.
1730  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The official Halloween 2013 thread on: October 31, 2013, 06:22:05 pm
That's the curve of the pumpkin you're seeing. Western NY looks better in three dimensions, I promise. Tongue
1731  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The official Halloween 2013 thread on: October 31, 2013, 06:11:25 pm
Guess which one I carved:

1732  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should there be a maximum age limit for driving? on: October 31, 2013, 05:56:31 pm
Forget an age threshold, everyone who drives should be required to take some kind of test every few years to retain a license.
1733  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: SENATE BILL: The National Mandate for Jessica's Law Act (Debating) on: October 31, 2013, 05:48:57 pm
Oh, you're so clever.
1734  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: SENATE BILL: The National Mandate for Jessica's Law Act (Debating) on: October 31, 2013, 05:17:21 pm
No one has been a louder critic of the Mideast wing of the Federalist party than I, but comparing ZuWo, JCL, and Oldiesfreak to Nazis is childish and disgraceful.

I'm sorry to distract further from the substance of this debate, but this needs to be said.
1735  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Farewell address on: October 31, 2013, 12:43:02 pm
Today is my last full day as President of Atlasia. Tomorrow at noon EST, President-elect Duke and his Vice President, Matt, will swear in for their first four-month term in office.

I have been President for four months. Some people have asked why I did not seek a second term, as several of my predecessors have. To that, I say: Four months is long enough for most Presidents, and it was long enough for me. Moreover, it was long enough for Atlasia.

I first ran for office twenty months ago, in February of 2012, in the immediate aftermath of the dissolution of the JCP and the RPP. I was a confused, idealistic, pragmatic newbie taking part in a tradition established many years prior. Yet simultaneously, I entered an Atlasia that seemed less certain of its future than ever before. Many of the game's titans had lost interest, receded into the background, or just left. They had left us coping with boring elections, a lack of competitiveness, lackluster candidates, and a general lack of interest.

Over the past year and a half, we've left those moments behind. Two strong parties and a handful of active participants have pushed the game to new limits, with more participants, more diversity, and a higher level of interest and activity in virtually every in-game institution than we experienced a year ago.

Consider the changes we've seen. High turnout elections. Increased activity in the Senate, in the Cabinet, in the Supreme Court, and in the regions. Prior to DemPGH's appointment in March, the Office of the Attorney General hadn't been functioning for nearly a year. Prior to Superique's appointment in July, the Department of Internal Affairs hadn't functioned... ever. After dissolution, the Federal Statute page fell nearly a year behind. Today, the Attorney General updates it within a few days of each law's passage.

Our discussions about fundamental reforms to the game are not a matter of this being a particularly difficult time for Atlasia. Instead, they are a consequence of higher expectations and increased scrutiny. At one point in 2012, the Pacific Region failed to hold several consecutive regional elections. During the same period, the Midwest's government was almost non-existent. We wouldn't tolerate that today. While a regional executive might occasionally forget to open a voting booth on a federal amendment, a federal official will almost always notice within a week or two. Believe it or not, that's progress.

As President, I have always done what I genuinely believe is right, and I have have always acted according to my convictions. I am not surprised that some people have interpreted my actions as overzealous, personal, and partisan. Plenty of my decisions have been difficult, controversial, and contrary to what public opinion would dictate. Those are the decisions that we expect a President to make.

Nevertheless, I reject the narrative that we must temper our ambitions simply because we live in an era of bitter division. Our disagreements are real and material, but they are not impossible to resolve. Our discussions are heated, but they need not be unproductive.

I came into office with high hopes for Atlasia's future, and I leave it with even higher hopes for Atlasia's future. It has been an honor to serve you all. I leave you with my thanks for supporting me in my successes, and my apologies for the occasions when I have fallen short.

Good luck.
1736  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: I think I found the worst place in America. on: October 31, 2013, 11:55:06 am
No. Centralia, PA and Niagara Falls, NY are far worse, just to name a couple. When you live in a country that contains places as neglected as this:



...you can't be surprised that so many people aspire to live in places like Southlake, TX

More importantly, and as Muon and others have pointed out, places like this aren't unusual. (The lack of any sense of place is in part what makes them so horrible.) Every mid-sized metropolis in the country has at least one neighborhood that looks like this, and even small cities probably have a couple of isolated cul-de-sacs jammed full of McMansions.

After a couple of decades we can revisit these neighborhoods and make a fair comparison. You can't judge a place accurately until the sheen of newness has worn off.
1737  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: SENATE BILL: The National Mandate for Jessica's Law Act (Debating) on: October 31, 2013, 11:37:03 am
As someone who discussed an early draft of this bill with Senator Tmth in private, I encourage the Senate to hear him out. I share Senator Sbane's concerns, and in fact the bill that Tmth introduced has already been modified to address some of my earl comments about privacy and retributive justice. Let's give him the chance to explain what this legislation aims to achieve.
1738  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should the Washington Redskins change their name? on: October 31, 2013, 11:25:26 am
Obviously. Charles Krauthammer (!) explained this pretty well a couple of weeks ago:

Quote
When I was growing up, I thought “gyp” was simply a synonym for “cheat,” and used it accordingly. It was only when I was an adult that I learned that gyp was short for gypsy. At which point, I stopped using it.

Not because I took a poll of Roma to find out if they were offended. If some mysterious disease had carried away every gypsy on the planet, and there were none left to offend, I still wouldn’t use it.

Why? Simple decency. I wouldn’t want to use a word that defines a people — living or dead, offended or not — in a most demeaning way. It’s a question not of who or how many had their feelings hurt, but of whether you want to associate yourself with a word that, for whatever historical reason having nothing to do with you, carries inherently derogatory connotations.
1739  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: New York City Council raises age to buy cigarettes to 21 on: October 31, 2013, 11:14:35 am
I'm ambivalent toward raising the purchase age, but overall I think the city's focus on reducing smoking rates is fantastic. People who whine about the nanny state are missing the point that these policies are prolonging and improving thousands of lives and reducing healthcare costs by millions of dollars. (Not to mention that in a dense urban setting, secondhand smoke is a bigger quality of life issue because city-dwellers spend more of their time in crowded public spaces.)
1740  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: opinion of torie. on: October 31, 2013, 06:31:46 am
I do find him an exceedingly transparent moderator. I guess that draws ire because it reveals how much "scurrying to the mod cave" is done. Again, that's not inherently bad.

I agree with this.

Anyway, Torie has been one of my favorite posters for a long time. I don't enjoy or agree with his obsession with moralizing work, but it would be pretty difficult to argue that he doesn't treat the people around him, including most of us on the forum, with extraordinary kindness.
1741  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: which group is a bigger embarrassment to the forum on: October 31, 2013, 06:26:53 am

This. Bushie and opebo really aren't all that different.
1742  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Mideast Voting Booth: The End to Absurd Loopholes Amendment on: October 31, 2013, 06:18:12 am
Aye
1743  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: *** City Nominations and New By-laws!*** Labor Party Fall 2013 Convention! on: October 30, 2013, 09:23:59 pm
I nominate Iqaluit, Nunavut.



1744  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Senate Office of NC Yankee (Press Conference: READ THIS DAMN THREAD!!! >:() on: October 30, 2013, 07:55:52 am
Also, if I determine you have hindered this process at some point, involvement may or may not be optional.

Uh-oh...
1745  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: SENATE BILL: Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 2013 (On the President's Desk) on: October 29, 2013, 10:00:32 pm
Why have section 1 subsection 9 and section 2 subsection 7 been scored out?

It doesn't make sense to mandate that certain revenue sources must fund specific programs. If we want more treatment centers and rehabilitation programs for drug addicts, we should debate the appropriate amount of funding on its own terms.
1746  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: The White House: ΑverroŽs/DemPGH on: October 29, 2013, 08:04:28 pm
Quote from: Executive Order #025
I award a posthumous Order of the Star of Atlasia Silver Star to Simfan34.
1747  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Comedy Goldmine on: October 29, 2013, 06:22:47 pm
Shut down religious schools? Hitler shut down a lot of Jewish institutions. What are you really trying to say?
1748  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: SENATE BILL: Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 2013 (On the President's Desk) on: October 29, 2013, 11:45:07 am
I submit the following redraft to the Senate. While I believe that the reforms that we achieved in the Prison Reform Act make decriminalization of hard drugs a lower priority than IRL, I would be willing to sign an amended bill that included decriminalization provisions. (You should probably ask Duke where he stands before proceeding.)

Quote from: Final Text
'Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 2013'
Section 1: Soft Drug Legalization

1. The possession, transportation, sale, and consumption of psilocybin muhrooms, dimethylytyptamine (DMT), lsysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), MDMA, and mescaline and the plants or chemicals needed for their processing, shall be legal throughout the Republic of Atlasia.

2. The commercial selling of the substances mentioned in Subsection 1 shall be limited to persons over the age of eighteen.

3. Persons engaged in recreational use of the substances mentioned in Subsection 1 shall be allowed to do so only within the privacy of their own homes and/or specially licensed establishments. Licensed establishments is here defined as any establishment granted a license by regional, state, or local governments to allow the use of the substances mentioned in Subsection 1.

4. The use of the substances mentioned in Subsection 1 for medical purposes shall not be interfered with. Medicinal use of the aforementioned substances shall be regulated by the Atlasian Department of Internal Affairs. All monetary costs incurred by patients involving the use of the aforementioned substances, and medicial cannabis, shall be understood as being covered by the Atlasian National Health Program.

5. All persons currently serving time in prison for the possession, transportation, sale, or consumption of the substances mentioned in Subsection 1, who have not committed any other crime, are hereby granted amnesty.

6.  All persons currently serving time in prison for the possession, transportation, sale, or consumption of the substances mentioned in Subsection 1, in addition to having committed other crimes, hereby are granted the reduction of the component of their sentence involving the possession, transportation, sale, or consumption of substances mentioned in subsection 1.

7. The sale of substances mentioned in Subsection 1 shall be taxed at the following rates:
   
   Psilocybin Mushrooms         $1.00/gram
   Dimethylytyptamine (DMT)      $0.10/milligram
   Lsysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)   $0.10/tab
   MDMA               $1.00/gram
   Mescaline            $0.10/milligram

8. The commercial selling of products including any of the substances mentioned in Subsection 1 shall be subject to an additional 10% excise tax.

9. 25% of revenue raised directly from the taxes of products containing substances mentioned in Subsection 1 shall be directed to the construction and funding of treatment centers for drug addicts.


Section 2: Use of Legal Substances

1. The Regional Legal Drinking Age Act is hereby repealed.

2. Alcoholic beverage sales shall be limited on the basis of age. The commercial sale of beer, wine and liquors shall be limited to those aged eighteen and older.

3. The legal blood alcohol content level for all drivers shall be reduced from 0.08% to 0.05% effective January 1, 2014.

4. Tobacco and cannabis sales shall be limited on the basis of age. The commercial sale of tobacco and cannabis shall be allowed for those over the age of eighteen.

5. The advertising of all drugs, medicial or recreational, is prohibited effective January 1, 2014.

6. No employer may discriminate against potential hires or existing employees on the basis of marijuana use outside of work.

7. Effective January 1, 2014, 25% of all revenues resulting from the taxation of tobacco, cannabis, and alcohol sales will be diverted to rehabilitation programs for drug addicts.


Section 3: Regulation of Hard Drug Use

1. The possession, transportation, and consumption of heroin, morphine, methadone, opium, amphetamine, ketamine, PCP, and methamphetamine and the substances, plants, or chemicals needed for their processing, shall be legal throughout the Republic of Atlasia.

2. The sale of substances mentioned in Subsection 1 of Section 3 shall be limited on the basis of age. Commercial sales shall be limited to persons aged eighteen and older.

3. The Safe Injection Center Trial Program shall be expanded and made permanent. Safe Injection Centers shall be constructed in the 35 largest cities in Atlasia, with the number of locations in each city proportional to city population. For every 100,000 residents, one Safe Injection Center shall be established.

4. Persons engaged in recreational use of the substances mentioned in Subsection 1 shall be allowed to do so only within the privacy of their own homes and/or specially licensed establishments. Licensed establishments is here defined as any establishment granted a license by regional, state, or local governments to allow the use of the substances mentioned in Subsection 5.

5. The use of the substances mentioned in Subsections 1 for medical purposes shall not be interfered with. Medicinal use of the aforementioned substances shall be regulated by the Atlasian Department of Internal Affairs. All monetary costs incurred by patients involving the use of the aforementioned substances shall be understood as being covered by the Atlasian National Health Program.

6. All persons currently serving time in prison for the possession, transportation, sale, or consumption of the substances mentioned in Subsection 1, who have not committed any other crime, are hereby transferred to rehabilitation centers to fully deal with the scope of their addiction.

7. All persons currently serving time in prison for the possession, transportation, sale, or consumption of the substances mentioned in Subsection 1, in addition to having committed other crimes, hereby are granted the reduction of the component of their sentence involving the possession, transportation, sale, or consumption of substances mentioned in subsection 1.

8. The sale of substances mentioned in Subsection 1 shall have a 30% excise tax applied to them.

9. 50% of revenue raised directly from the taxes of products containing substances mentioned in Subsection 1 shall be directed to the construction and funding of treatment centers for drug addicts.

10. Funding for drug education and prevention programs shall be doubled at the beginning of the next fiscal year.
1749  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Obama Approval Ratings on: October 29, 2013, 10:39:48 am
Disapprove. Whether he could be doing anything differently or not, I'm unwilling to set my standards that low.
1750  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should Homeschooling Be Banned? on: October 28, 2013, 10:28:44 pm
Yes, public education should be universal.

One of my econ professors pulled their daughter out of public school to homeschool her because she wasn't being challenged enough. Should they have been banned from doing so?

Leaving aside the fact that the typical parent who complains about his or her child not being "challenged" enough doesn't know what he or she is talking about, I see no compelling justification for allowing it.
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