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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1726  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: How many kids do you want? on: June 01, 2014, 05:34:07 pm
I will have 2 sons and 1 daughter.

Hmm...
1727  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bloomberg slams liberal "culture of censorship" in Ivy League on: May 30, 2014, 09:01:08 pm
I'm sympathetic to Bloomberg's broader message about the important of tolerance and diversity of thought, but he uses a couple of particularly weak examples to make this point.

The low share of donations from Ivy League professors that went to Romney's campaign says more about Mitt Romney and the Republic Party than it does about academia.

Also, this obsession with the idea that a speaker is entitled to give a commencement speech, regardless of what students and faculty think - and receive a six-figure fee for doing so, in many cases - is as baffling as it laughable. "Freedom of speech" applies no more to the kind of notable who would receive an invitation like that than it does to anyone who might protest that invitation.
1728  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Edward Snowden on: May 30, 2014, 04:36:34 pm
FF.

Arguments to the contrary either try to pathologize his behavior or claim that he's undermined all credibility by fleeing to China and Russia, but neither his motivation nor his choice of asylum seem especially relevant to what is at stake. There isn't much reason to object to what he has done other than the repugnant idea that breaking the law necessarily makes an action wrong.
1729  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: 2014 New York Gubernatorial Election on: May 30, 2014, 06:48:16 am
I plan to vote for Howie Hawkins, but out of these three I would choose Cuomo.
1730  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mass Shootings on: May 28, 2014, 07:05:30 pm
No, I honestly don't even seem to care anymore . But the media is great at highlighting negative things. Mass shootings and murders have gone down in the US for a consistent two decades.

Tragedies always show why we were right and everyone else has been wrong, no matter who "we" includes.
1731  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Discrepancies between population and electorate by state, 2012 on: May 28, 2014, 05:42:09 pm
Someone may have already did a comparison of this, but I thought I'd take a look at each state's discrepancy between its overall populations and electorates in 2012. This is total population and not VAP - not only would it have been more difficult to do under VAP or CVAP, but the spirit of what I wanted to illustrate here frankly should include children and undocumented residents.

In states where there was no exit polling for 2012, I used 2008 data and then projected using changes in population over that 4-year period. Several of the darkest states actually had percentage-point discrepancies greater than 15 (Hawaii was around 23% white, yet 44% of voters were white in 2012). It's rather interesting to see non-whites comprising a larger share of the electorate than they are of population in parts of Appalachia and the Rust Belt. Are non-whites declining as a share of younger residents or could higher unionization rates play a role in increased non-white turnout?

Ohio is only 3% Hispanic, but my guess is that age demographics within that group play some role in increasing the population/electorate discrepancy among whites (median age = 24.5, compared to 38.8 for the state as a whole).

1732  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Americans Moving Back Into Suburbs on: May 28, 2014, 05:31:20 pm
I read on the plane a fascinating article in The Economist about the improvement in many inner city areas of the UK, and deterioration of places further out, including rural areas. That is happening in New York, as the poor dependent on transfer payments move out of NYC to cheaper locales, where their transfer payment stipends buy more good and services. Vermont now has a massive heroin epidemic. Troy, New York, I am told, has become a real "pit," as it becomes a pit stop as it were for this kind of population moving in.

Do you think Vermont's problems are linked to poorer people moving in to the state? The dominant narrative for drug issues here and other places (like Cape Cod) is that people moving in have money, and it's the local population which struggles with boredom and limited opportunities. Troy has also been in bad straits for decades because of deindustrialization, and it's always been a temptation of upstaters to ascribe problems to the "others" from downstate, whether or not the data backs it up.

Don't know, but the anecdotal chat about the ups and downs of the towns along the Hudson follows the narrative that I described. For example, Catskill became known as Cracktown around 2000, per the commentary of the marble vendor with whom I was chatting (very intellectual and knowledgeable sounding), at which time he bought the building he has his store in, on the now very presentable main commercial street for 29K. I asked why? He said it was the transfer payment crowd moving in from NYC where they were priced out. Now they are slowly being priced out of Catskill, block by block. So where do they go? On to Troy said my broker, also unusually intellectual and informed for the breed. A lady on the plane from Vermont said the same thing as to that state, when I was chatting about the amazingly huge underclass in some of these upstate NY small towns and some rural area. Are they right? I don't know, and I don't have the data.

I think you'll find that people in rural parts of Upstate New York have an exaggerated perception of the problems in the region's cities. This holds particularly true for older people who formed their impression of these cities at a time when they were in the midst of several decades of double-digit percent decline in population. (And, in my experience, its the wealthier and more educated people, who have deliberately chosen to live in a rural setting rather than a metro area, who have the worst attitudes about urban life.) Their memories crystallized in another era and, aside from the occasional hospital visit, they might never venture back in to the nearest mid-sized city.

That said, they're correct insofar as Troy has struggled relative to other cities in the area. I wouldn't walk in most of its neighborhoods after dark. But it's not West Baltimore, and its downtown has enough decent restaurants to make it worth an occasional drive across the Hudson.
1733  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of NewYorkExpress on: May 28, 2014, 04:25:18 pm
CNN BREAKING NEWS



Good evening and thank you for joining us this evening, I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting live from the Situation Room.  Top story tonight; CNN is projecting that voters on the online forum US Election Atlas have overwhelmingly voted their disapproval of forum member NewYorkExpress, in a crushing vote of no confidence.

Opinion of NewYorkExpress:
Freedom Fighter    28.8%
Horrible Person      71.2%

It's funny because I read this in his voice.

I read all NYE posts in Wolf Blitzer's voice.
1734  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Sheryl Sandberg to be next college speaker axed at Harvard on: May 27, 2014, 07:12:13 am
They're just asking her to speak with the workers. I don't see any threats or demands. Why is that a problem?
1735  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Mad Men Season 7 Discussion Thread on: May 26, 2014, 09:05:56 am
Cutler's last-minute vote change was hilarious.

I've been enjoying Jim Cutler all season, and Joan's motivations are reasonable and believable at this point. I wish that the show could give her more time, but she hasn't been mishandled.
1736  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: In your opinion, which country produces the best cars? on: May 26, 2014, 09:01:17 am
Going to say Germany here in an absolute sense, but they're pretty damn expensive. Japanese cars are certainly best in a quality:affordability ratio sense.

I lean toward agreeing with this, although the German cars that I've been around have not been so reliable.
1737  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gunman near UCSB kills 6 people, injures 7 on: May 26, 2014, 12:04:10 am
His screed reads like the unedited manuscript of a third-rate adaptation of Notes from Underground set in the present day.
1738  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Governor 1 Percent on: May 25, 2014, 10:47:07 pm
I'm talking about corruption, not personal scandals. Spitzer is the best Governor that we've had in at least the past two decades.

Spitzer was a terrible governor whose reign was going downhill far before the scandal that took him down.  He made a lot of enemies in a short period of time, including members of his own party.  A plugged-in Democrat with party support probably survives the hooker scandal.  He had few friends.  He thought that he would bring the same borderline extortionate hardball tactics he used as Attorney General to the governor's office, which simply doesn't work when dealing with co-equal branches of the government.  Not many in Albany were sad to see him go.

Of course they weren't sad to see him go. They'd been making millions off of his predecessor (along with the Senate and Assembly leadership).

The only way to avoid making enemies in Albany is to be hopelessly corrupt. Joe Bruno could have survived ten hooker scandals.
1739  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Survey Atlasia: May Cabinet Approval Ratings on: May 25, 2014, 09:35:34 pm
We don't have an Attorney General and I have no idea where GAWorth came from. Yankee, are you drunk?
1740  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Survey Atlasia: April Regional Executive Approval Ratings on: May 25, 2014, 09:32:45 pm
Approve of Governor Dallasfan.
1741  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Survey Atlasia: May Presidential Approval Rating on: May 25, 2014, 08:46:51 pm
Approve. Duke has been at his best over the past couple of weeks, and having Cincinnatus around has helped a lot.
1742  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Survey Atlasia: May Regional Senator Approval Ratings on: May 25, 2014, 08:45:17 pm
Approve of Bore.
1743  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Governor 1 Percent on: May 25, 2014, 08:44:56 pm
There's plenty to dislike about Cuomo - especially as far as transportation is concerned - but you don't need to look any farther than the Joe Bruno retrial a couple of weeks ago to realize how much worse things can get in this state. By our standards any politician who isn't a modern-day George Washington Plunkitt is decent.

Even if Spitzer had sex with a hooker every night, he'd still be a better governor than Cuomo.

I'm talking about corruption, not personal scandals. Spitzer is the best Governor that we've had in at least the past two decades.
1744  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Survey Atlasia: May Senate Approval Ratings on: May 25, 2014, 08:40:49 pm
Slightly better than last month but still not very good. Disapprove.
1745  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Mad Men Season 7 Discussion Thread on: May 25, 2014, 08:08:09 pm
So, about that closing scene...
1746  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: NY-23: Republicans busted trying to split the vote with unwilling Greens on: May 25, 2014, 05:57:27 pm
Is Reed probably screwed? Ithaca should be coming out pretty strong in light of this.

His margin was in the low single digits in 2012 (against a Cornell graduate in his late twenties), but that was a bit of a surprise IIRC. Republicans have a sizable (for NY) registration and PVI advantage in the district.
1747  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rochester radio hosts go on transphobic tirade on: May 25, 2014, 05:45:22 pm
Isn't this kind of garbage the bread-and-butter of FM-radio morning talk shows? Any time I've been forced to listen to them they've consisted of nothing but scatological humor, making fun of people who are different, and advertisements.
1748  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Howard Dean: Republicans are "not American," should "stay away from our country" on: May 25, 2014, 05:37:03 pm
Whether Dean's complaints are legitimate or not, it's obnoxious and pigheaded to equate "American" with "good." I wish that Democrats wouldn't stoop to appealing to that ugly facet of our national identity.

I really doubt that facet is unique to American identity. It possibly might be muted a bit in Europe due to exceptionalism there not being as concentrated on national exceptionalism, but the idea that we are better than they seems to be a fairly constant part of the human condition with the only real differences in various times and places being how broad a group the pronoun "we" refers to.

Oh, sure, it's almost always a mistake to assume that something is unique, for good or for ill. And it'd be a particularly glaring contradiction to imply that we are exceptional in our exceptionalism.

Yet other developed countries show that it's possible to manage that impulse better than the United States does, and Americans are more often able to persist in it by virtue of our power, size, and geographic isolation.
1749  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Governor 1 Percent on: May 25, 2014, 05:27:01 pm
There's plenty to dislike about Cuomo - especially as far as transportation is concerned - but you don't need to look any farther than the Joe Bruno retrial a couple of weeks ago to realize how much worse things can get in this state. By our standards any politician who isn't a modern-day George Washington Plunkitt is decent.
1750  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Dumb gun owners go into Chipotle brandishing firearms, get banned on: May 25, 2014, 05:21:23 pm
Do people really pronounce it chee-po-tell?

In the Northeast, many do.
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