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November 21, 2014, 07:23:10 pm
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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Office of the Attorney General on: Today at 01:41:37 pm



... sed lex


Welcome to the office of the Attorney General!
2  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: ZuWo for AG on: November 19, 2014, 07:20:27 am
Aye

Good luck with the wiki- Snowstalker left me a backlog I was unable to finish

The wiki is the Deputy Attorney General's task now, and rpryor has been doing an outstanding job on that front so far.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you ever been spanked, beaten or otherwise abused ... on: November 17, 2014, 11:16:02 am
No, but in my first three years in elementary school I had an old teacher from Germany who would occasionally throw tennis balls at misbehaving students. He always missed on purpose, though.
4  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: ZuWo for AG on: November 16, 2014, 05:44:44 am
Maybe they are worried a certain real life event will provide some inspiration as to how to "enforce" certain laws. Wink

I don't think our abortion laws are so ambiguous that I would be in a position to pursue a strict pro-life agenda as head of the Justice Department, even if I wanted to do that. As I made clear before, as a member of the cabinet I can solely work within the existing constitutional and legal framework, regardless of the political issue in question.
5  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: November 2014 Special At-large Senate Election on: November 16, 2014, 04:41:04 am
1. rpryor
2. Poirot
3. Cris
4. Bacon King
5. SWE
6  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: ZuWo for AG on: November 16, 2014, 02:26:07 am
While I understand that there might be objections to my opposition to abortion I am honestly not sure how this would impact my job as Attorney General. An Attorney General is not above the law and can only work within the framework set by the constitution and the laws passed by the Senate. 
7  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: ZuWo for AG on: November 14, 2014, 11:32:28 am
I would like to begin with a general question for my old friend Zuwo, and that is what are your priorities for the Justice Department should you be confirmed?

Thank you for your question, Senator.

In my entire time in Atlasia I have gotten the impression that the job of the Attorney General has mainly consisted of filing lawsuits against individual Atlasians or specific pieces of legislation at odds with the federal constitution. While this, for consitutional reasons of course, will also be a crucial part in my tenure as A.G., I am also planning to emphasize the second main aspect which this office entails, and that's my role as the head of the Justice Department.

Concretely, should the Senate confirm me for this position I will open an office thread in which I am going to post regular updates, stories and reports on issues concerning internal security. These posts will be based on real-life facts as well as events that are unique to Atlasia, and will ideally be made in cooperation with other members of the cabinet where it makes sense. It is my hope that some of these update posts will be an incentive for members of this body to introduce legislation dealing with the problems in question.
To highlight what this means I can give you a specific example. Indeed, in my first internal security report/story I might focus on Atlasian police unions and what their expectations and demands are, and how these can be met on the political level.

I'm looking forward to answer further questions on this or other issues. Smiley
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Votes and elections in Switzerland on: November 09, 2014, 06:25:16 am
Remark to "Thomas in NJ": And additionally, in referenda the support is generally declining during the campaigns.

Indeed, the "Save our Gold" initiative is a prime example of that. At first, initiatives with such appealing names sound attractive to many voters but as the issue gets debated more thoroughly, the no-campaigns usually manage to point out all the risks and downsides. Since the average Swiss is a careful person by nature, this typically results in a clear rejection of the vast majority of constitutional initiatives.

The "Save our Gold" initiative has three main goals: Firstly, the Swiss National Bank shall be required to increase its gold reserves to 20%. Also, the National Bank shall no longer be allowed to sell its gold. And finally, the gold reserves in their entirety should be stored in Switzerland. Currently, about 10% of the Swiss gold is stored in England and 20% in Canada. Interestingly, Ron Paul has expressed his tentative support for the Swiss proposal.
    

Do you personally support or oppose the proposal?

I'm undecided. I don't buy into that conspiracy theorist mindset that is unfortunately widespread among proponents of the proposal. Additionally, I'd prefer the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to remain politically independent so I'm wary of voting for burdening the central bank with further constitutional constraints.

On the other hand, gold only makes up about 8% of the assets of the SNB while the gold share in neighboring countries is a lot higher. The SNB has invested heavily in foreign currencies during the last years in order to prevent the Swiss franc from getting even stronger as this would be detrimental to the Swiss export and tourism industries. Thus, it is stuck with a very high share of foreign money, especially euros. Indeed, some analysts consider this a risky strategy in the long run.
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Scandal in the German Bundestag during November 9 commemoration on: November 09, 2014, 05:17:38 am
I listened to Gregor Gysi's speech later on during the debate and it immediately became clear to me that Biermann's outburst was not only justified but also necessary. Gysi delivered a very stiff, half-hearted and brief obligatory condemnation of the political system in the GDR but then spent the next few moments of his speech pointing out the perceived positive aspects of the GDR era before changing the topic altogether and talking about the unjust capitalist society of today. Considering that this wasn't a speech at a party conference of Die Linke but a debate to commemorate the Fall of the Wall, I thought that was disgraceful.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Should we make voting mandatory? on: November 07, 2014, 01:51:09 pm
No. Why shouldn't people have the right not to vote? That's a perfectly valid way of expressing your political views, or lack thereof.
11  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Office of President-Elect Lumine (Cabinet Choices - Minus SoIA/Interior) on: November 07, 2014, 04:47:36 am
I'd like to thank the President as well. I'm excited about the prospect of serving in Nyman for the first time. It's going to be a lot of work during the next four months!
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 US Gubernatorial Election Results on: November 06, 2014, 04:21:26 pm
According to CNN's "Election Center" only 80% of the total vote has been tallied in Vermont. Does anyone know if that's accurate? Is it guaranteed that Shumlin will end up having more votes than Milne?
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Votes and elections in Switzerland on: November 06, 2014, 03:36:32 pm
Remark to "Thomas in NJ": And additionally, in referenda the support is generally declining during the campaigns.

Indeed, the "Save our Gold" initiative is a prime example of that. At first, initiatives with such appealing names sound attractive to many voters but as the issue gets debated more thoroughly, the no-campaigns usually manage to point out all the risks and downsides. Since the average Swiss is a careful person by nature, this typically results in a clear rejection of the vast majority of constitutional initiatives.

The "Save our Gold" initiative has three main goals: Firstly, the Swiss National Bank shall be required to increase its gold reserves to 20%. Also, the National Bank shall no longer be allowed to sell its gold. And finally, the gold reserves in their entirety should be stored in Switzerland. Currently, about 10% of the Swiss gold is stored in England and 20% in Canada. Interestingly, Ron Paul has expressed his tentative support for the Swiss proposal.
    
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 2014 Post-Mortem: How did the Democrats screw this up so badly? on: November 06, 2014, 09:31:55 am
What's wrong is that we have two different electorates that are increasingly different from each other and the way our system is set up means that we have wild, embarrassing swings from pathetic ~40% turnout rates. The end result is a wildly unstable and schizophrenic government that doesn't represent the broader population, exacerbated by other issues such as voting rights restrictions, gerrymandering, the nature of the Senate, etc.

Is it guaranteed that the coalition of voters that propelled Obama to victory twice will come out in full force again in two years, though?

I followed this election exclusively on CNN and maybe they will be proven wrong, but at some point both Republican and Democratic pundits said it's conceivable that a sizable chunk of the voters that made the difference in 2008 and 2012 (i.e. young voters, minorities, women) are mainly loyal to Obama and not to the Democratic Party. The conclusion was that with someone else leading the Democratic ticket in 2016, many of them simply might not show up to vote.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Votes and elections in Switzerland on: November 02, 2014, 03:55:46 pm
The left-leaning Tagesanzeiger has published a (IMO) hilarous and brutal caricature of the birth-control-in-third-world-countries clause:



text on the left: "For free: 1 Swiss Cheese Fondue for each sterilization performed"

text on the right: "What's that?" - "Environmental protection by Ecopop"

http://files.newsnetz.ch/bildlegende/20708/2070255_pic_970x641.jpg
16  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Magnolia Tree Polls - Special At-Large Senate Election on: November 02, 2014, 03:36:06 pm
Maxwell or Cris, quite enthusiastically.
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XVIII: 15 Miles From Lunch on: November 02, 2014, 12:45:30 pm
Tipping 10% is not enough in the US? It seems I've learnt something today!
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Votes and elections in Switzerland on: November 02, 2014, 12:06:33 pm
I voted yes in the February immigration referendum but will vote against Ecopop; putting a 0,2% cap in our constitution seems way too rigid to me. Also, I'm not too keen on interfering in matters of family planning in other parts of the world.

I actually see where the left-wing critics of this idea are coming from whose caricature of this aspect of Ecopop basically boils down to "the Western world is responsible for the lion's share of the global carbon emissions so let's tell African parents 'hey, please don't have too many kids, overpopulation is bad for the environment'".
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Votes and elections in Switzerland on: November 02, 2014, 11:26:03 am
The Ecopop initiative was launched by political activists with a green-left background. The main left-wing parties oppose it, but its main representatives are environmentalists, and their main arguments are of an ecological nature.

Interestingly, the initiative pursues two seemingly very different goals. Firstly, it says that the population of Switzerland may only grow by 0,2% each year. To put this in perspective, net immigration to Switzerland was around 87,000 last year, which is a growth rate of more than 1%.
Secondly, the initiative seeks to mandate that a tenth of Switzerland's expenditures on foreign aid (around CHF 150 million) shall be spent on family planning and birth control measures in third-world countries on an annual basis.

Under normal circumstances one would expect such a proposal to be rejected by the voters at the ballot box. However, this is already the second federal referendum dealing with the issue of immigration this year and everybody's panicking after the SVP's mass-immigration initiative won the support of a (very narrow) majority of the voters back in February.

As was pointed out by Georg Ebner, right-wing voters will be crucial in determining the outcome of the initiative. The SVP formally opposes Ecopop for two main reasons - the 0,2% cap is considered too restrictive and the birth control measures in third-world countries are regarded as none of Switzerland's business. Nevertheless, many SVP members and supporters who are still unhappy about the high immigration rates and believe the federal government is not actively trying to implement the SVP mass-immigration initiative feel tempted to vote yes.

The left is also split on the issue to a certain degree because the proponents of Ecopop almost exclusively cite ecological reasons to support them - reducing immigration and propagating birth control in poor countries help reduce carbon emissions both in Switzerland and on a global level, they claim. But the latter point is also why the initiative is heavily criticized by many left-wing politicians; they accuse the Ecopop proponents of being 'eco-fascists' as they essentially promote eugenics in places like Africa. 

As you can see, it's an ugly campaign. I'm convinced that the initiative will be quite firmly rejected at the end of the day, though.
20  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Pacific Voting Booth: GM Independence Amendment on: November 02, 2014, 05:14:07 am
Aye
21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are you a young white male? on: November 02, 2014, 05:11:14 am
Yes, but apparently that's going to change in just five years.
22  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Petition to not allow replies in the Poll subforums on: November 02, 2014, 04:56:54 am
Yes, the majority of replies in these threads are annoying and of extremely poor quality. Most of these posts are clearly trollish but then there are some where you get the impression that the people who made them genuinely believe that discrediting unfavorable polls actually helps the candidates they Support in some way.

However, you will occasionally find useful posts there as well, for example when strange crosstabs are mentioned, so banning replies to polls altogether goes too far.
23  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of Governor Varavour on: November 01, 2014, 04:49:26 am
Governor, could you open a vote on the "GM Independence Amendment"? Thank you!
24  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: 2014 October Presidential elections, political winner on: October 30, 2014, 10:02:41 am
Due to the Federalist Party being basically defunct, a flawed TPP candidacy in the Northeast and a strong showing by Windjammer Labor is obviously the winner when it comes to the Senate election.
However, since this poll seems to be explicitly about the election for president there's no way Labor can be said to have won - but neither can the Federalists. Lumine didn't win because he is a Federalist, but because his candidacy appealed to many Atlasians all across the political spectrum. 
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Begich about Murkowski: "She didn't like the photo" on: October 28, 2014, 10:39:03 am
For the record I think Murkowski is on shaky ground when she complains about Begich using her picture. She's a senator and therefore there is nothing objectionable about the fact that photos of her are used in campaign ads.
I also don't think Begich's remark, which he apparently made in jest, is sexist. What I'm suggesting, however, is that similar comments by, say, Mitch McConnell would have provoked entirely different reactions. It's actually not too hard to spin such a remark in a way that says "patronizing male senator claims that a female officeholder's main concern is her looks in campaign ads", hence the potential sexism accusation.     
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