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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1726  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Game of Thrones on: May 07, 2014, 11:03:24 am
I wasn't a fan of D&D's handling of her time in Qarth. But they've improved on Martin's work since then, barring some implausible siege mechanics that I find easy enough to ignore. (I'm charitably assuming that the scene that concluded season two was deliberately ironic.) I'm confident that over the next couple of seasons they'll make the necessary changes to her story that no editor dared to suggest when the books were written.
1727  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: "You have a red dot on your forehead," said a child. Then a man shot his nephew. on: May 07, 2014, 09:11:30 am
Going full Oldiesfreak with that argument, eh?
1728  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Is libertarianism opposed to democracy? on: May 07, 2014, 09:07:22 am
A few libertarians may not support such things, but most of them do.  We also don't think Somalia is a libertarian paradise. 

I know.  Shocking.

As far as I'm aware there's no consensus in support of universally provided education in libertarian circles. (It's not as if I have no idea what libertarians discuss; I've been a regular reader of Reason in the past and I still keep up with some libertarian writers.)

Nor have I said anything about all self-identified libertarians. I realize that there is plenty of diversity within that group. Otherwise my response would have been a simple yes or no. Are you arguing that opposition to universally available education is a fringe position even among libertarians?
1729  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Is libertarianism opposed to democracy? on: May 07, 2014, 08:41:04 am
Anyone who doesn't support a decent system of universal public education with a mandatory civics component doesn't really support the democratic process.

I think that's an uncharitable interpretation of libertarianism.

Is it?
1730  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Would Obama -> Hillary be the first left -> right succession in the same Party? on: May 07, 2014, 07:49:30 am
How are Hillary's views functionally different from Obama's at this point?
1731  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Who's a better poster? on: May 07, 2014, 07:42:58 am
I have no idea who either one of them are.
1732  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Is libertarianism opposed to democracy? on: May 07, 2014, 07:40:44 am
Anyone who doesn't support a decent system of universal public education with a mandatory civics component doesn't really support the democratic process.
1733  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: "You have a red dot on your forehead," said a child. Then a man shot his nephew. on: May 07, 2014, 07:30:59 am
Is there ANY other political debate where one side is so overwhelmingly ignorant of the thing being debated as this one. 

Evolution
Vaccines
Global warming
Fluoridation
GMOs
The gas tax
the balanced budget amendment
Foreign aid
Medicare Advantage
The gold standard
Benghazi!!!!1!
Nuclear energy
"Chemicals"
Alcohol
Poverty
"Hip hop culture"
Censorship in school and public libraries
Marijuana
Kevin Bacon
1734  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: WV Sen. Jay Rockefeller hates cigarette smokers and people who dislike Obama on: May 07, 2014, 07:22:49 am
He "hates" cigarette smokers so much that he supports a tax that saves thousands of their lives and millions of dollars in medical expenses and lost work?
1735  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Martin O'Malley bombs on reddit has one of worst AMA's in history on: May 07, 2014, 01:49:10 am
I knew that O'Malley could come across as tin-eared, and I realize that Reddit is a difficult audience for most politicians, but this was a really bad performance. If Tim Pawlenty had done an AMA four years ago, it would have looked like this.
1736  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Amherst scores triumph over "male white privilege", bans fraternities on: May 07, 2014, 12:58:33 am
Simfan, you should read the book that you made a thread about...

The Douthat one? I will after exams. I'm not saying frats are the greatest thing under the sun, but what I am saying is that this sort of rhetoric they're using to crack down on them is inane.

I think what Paying for the Party makes clear is that the problems that we most closely tie to fraternities are just as wrapped up in the entire undergraduate experience at most American colleges.

One of the most prominent arguments found in Paying for the Party is that colleges are responsible for the existence of the entire Greek system. The dorm system, the structure of events all form a Greek-dominated system perpetuated by Greek-alum administrators that transforms otherwise staid state schools into dens of inequity.

I agree, but I wouldn't expect eliminating Greek life in itself to make much of a difference on most campuses. It's only one form in which this kind of privilege-entrenching networking takes place, and there's no reason to expect that some other form wouldn't displace it in the absence of broader changes.
1737  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Amherst scores triumph over "male white privilege", bans fraternities on: May 07, 2014, 12:41:02 am
Simfan, you should read the book that you made a thread about...

The Douthat one? I will after exams. I'm not saying frats are the greatest thing under the sun, but what I am saying is that this sort of rhetoric they're using to crack down on them is inane.

I think what Paying for the Party makes clear is that the problems that we most closely tie to fraternities are just as wrapped up in the entire undergraduate experience at most American colleges.
1738  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Amherst scores triumph over "male white privilege", bans fraternities on: May 07, 2014, 12:07:32 am
As much as I'd like to cheer, Nathan's description of this kind of reform as "cosmetic" seems spot on.

On reflection, I think that Linus van Pelt's post from one of the other ongoing discussions of college has relevance here:

The American undergraduate experience in general strikes me as pretty weird. The combination of: huge stratification and differentiation among colleges, a widespread custom among middle class students of leaving one's home region and living in on-campus dorms, and alcohol laws that prevent students from drinking in a normal legal setting, raises lots of issues that aren't really replicated anywhere else. I'm not sorry I didn't have to live in the culture that this creates.

The drinking age probably gets overemphasized at the expense of the other factors that he mentions.

1739  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Lumine Poll - June 2014 Presidential Election on: May 06, 2014, 11:45:42 pm
If he runs, Governor DemPGH will have my vote. There's no other plausible candidate who has maintained a better record or who shows as much promise.
1740  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The People's White House: Duke Administration (GM Appointment) on: May 06, 2014, 07:35:10 pm
That seems sensible to me. So long as the GM's responsibilities are kept up, obviously, but I know that you're capable of meeting them.

However, no resignation is necessary in either case. Assuming a new office implies that you have vacated your previous one.
1741  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The People's White House: Duke Administration (GM Appointment) on: May 06, 2014, 06:24:55 pm
The GM isn't a member of the Cabinet.

But is barred from being a member of the cabinet.  I blame myself for this Tongue

Yes, that redundant line in the Constitution is an oddity. A bit like saying "all planets, excluding Pluto" or something like that.
1742  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The People's White House: Duke Administration (GM Appointment) on: May 06, 2014, 06:11:15 pm
The GM isn't a member of the Cabinet.
1743  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: May 06, 2014, 05:44:05 pm
Please don't do your grad school at the same place as your undergrad school.

Why not?

Teaching attendents already said then prospective employers prefers when the people they hire were exposed to two different schools (the mentality/focus is often different from one school to another).

To some extent this depends on the field. It may not hold as true for a professional program like veterinary school. There are barely more than two dozen programs in the entire country, so I would expect the admissions process to be idiosyncratic.
1744  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Are Stewart and Colbert responsible for young people being heavily democratic? on: May 06, 2014, 12:28:28 pm
Demographics, social change, and the Bush administration have less to do with how young people identify politically than two late night comedy shows on cable tv?

Also, what Lief said.
1745  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of Muhammad on: May 06, 2014, 09:06:35 am
As unusual as it may be, I think I actually side with Dead0 and BRTD on this. The right to blasphemy is a fundamental conquest of our secular societies, and is only kept alive by exerting it actively. People with religious beliefs (whether it be Christians, Muslims or whatever) should simply learn not to be offended by the actions of those who do not share their beliefs.

Kal's offended reaction to dead0man's completely vanilla post certainly is amusing. (I know he said that he was merely noting that it is offensive to other people, but I'm going to assume that he wouldn't call anyone an "asshat" if he were not offended).
1746  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Why I, a moderate, find the democratic talking point on walmart irrational on: May 06, 2014, 07:31:11 am
While you can argue over how responsive employers will be, raising the minimum wage will cause job losses. That doesn't mean that it's not worth the trade-off between those lost jobs and improving the well-being of every remaining minimum wage worker.

Second, if an employer pays so little that its employees are eligible for large amounts of government assistance - Medicaid, TANF, school lunches, and EITC, just to name a few - it's questionable whether the social value of most existing minimum wage jobs is positive. (And that's even before we consider any other negative consequences of working, e.g. workplace injuries.) Anti-poverty programs might be functioning as a massive government subsidy to employers that enables them to pay workers less than it costs to keep them and their families alive and healthy enough to work.

The labor market operates within a regulatory framework. Guess what? That makes it no different from any other market. Markets don't exist without a regulatory framework. Maybe more regulation is better, or maybe less is better. But it's a difference of degree, not principle.
1747  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: SENATE BILL: Dear Japan: Stop Killing Dolphins Act of 2014 (Debating) on: May 06, 2014, 12:08:12 am
I would like to suggest an amendment. Would a Senator be willing to sponsor this on my behalf?

Quote
The Dear Japan: Stop Killing Dolphins Act of 2014

1. The Senate calls for partial environmental sanctions against Japan until such time as they have banned the sale and consumption of dolphin meat and made dolphins a protected species within their waters.

2. The Senate calls for partial environmental sanctions against Indonesia until such time as they have banned the sale and consumption of monkey brains and made monkeys a protected species.
1748  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of Muhammad on: May 05, 2014, 11:40:49 pm
Unless you had a skill that they valued, Genghis Khan's followers would not have hesitated to kill you whether you praised him or not.
1749  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Anybody support gun ownership in the abstract but hate gun owners? on: May 05, 2014, 11:33:41 pm
I dislike gun culture and wish that our gun laws were far more restrictive, but I don't mind people who own guns. That includes me - I own several that were passed along to me from my parents, although I don't have any use for them.
1750  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Political Matrix: Question #25 on: May 05, 2014, 11:27:32 pm
The moral and economic arguments in favor of immigration have always seemed pretty compelling to me.
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