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October 30, 2014, 11:55:41 pm
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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Japan General Discussion on: Today at 03:31:09 pm
IIRC New Party Daichi drop the "True Democrats" part of there name.

You're right. Edited to reflect that.

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That being said, nice list. It'll probably change next week, but it's great you made it.

Thanks! Depending on interest, these posts will probably end up being a fortnightly or monthly series.
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Tom Menino (Mayor of Boston 1993-2014) Close to Death on: Today at 03:25:32 pm
RIP, FF.
3  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Boys playing on girl sport teams on: Today at 12:47:53 pm
Most high school sports should divide by weight instead of gender.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Senatorial Election Polls / Re: MA-Suffolk: Markey up 15 on: Today at 10:40:17 am
#MarkeyUnder50 #DemsInDisarray
5  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: The Presidents As People Part II on: October 29, 2014, 09:22:52 pm
Only 1 other McKinley voter? The whole reason he was shot was because he was too nice!
He was shot because he was seen by Revolutionary Anarchist Leon Czolgosz as a symbol of oppression. What did him being "too nice" have to do with anything?

Czolgosz had nothing against McKinley as a person. Seriously, they were greeting each other at a fair when the bullet was fired.

I don't think you understand how assassinations work.
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Describe Your County on: October 29, 2014, 06:30:04 pm
Almost every part of Franklin County is strongly Democratic, it having undergone the same political transformation in the late twentieth century as the rest of Western Massachusetts and Vermont.

The swing towards Democrats in this region is fascinating. Crazy to look at past election results (of both states) compared to now. I've seen that it was due to the in migration of liberals from New York? And does the extreme conservative nature of the Republicans play into that as well?

Yes and yes. First a more left-wing population base started migrating in from New York and Boston, then the original population base became more left-wing as well both because of social influence from their new neighbors and from how far right the Republicans moved.

I was always under the impression that, while a lot of NY/Boston folks started vacationing in western MA/VT, the absolute number of people that moved there were actually pretty small, certainly too small to move the partisan needle like it's been moved.  Though the growth of that tourism certainly plays a part as well in terms of changing the attitudes and incentives of the locals.

The number of transplants since the sixties and seventies could, overall, be characterized as moderate, in that it's neither as large as people who like to credit the region's political transformation solely to their presence present it as nor as small as people who like to credit the region's political transformation solely to entirely local changes or the parties changing their platforms present it as. The idea that people moving from New York and Boston did and to an extent still do provide a left-leaning activist base but that the actual shift in voting patterns occurred primarily because of changing local attitudes in part engendered by increased tourism strikes me as closest to what's really happened in this part of the country over the past half-century. (Of course, once the politics of the area did change, it became even more attractive as a relocation or vacation destination for a lot of people.)

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I wonder if conservatives moving away to other parts of the country plays a part as well?

That's certainly possible, but I'm less aware of it if so. If it happened or is happening, it's not talked about as much.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Who will win in Maine? on: October 29, 2014, 04:56:18 pm
Cutler's semi concession makes me think Michaud is ahead now, although there are some worrying signs here.
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Japan General Discussion on: October 29, 2014, 04:51:41 pm
I thought I'd do a complete list of all parties represented in the lower house, their rough numbers of seats, and their general ideologies. Descriptions of parties that existed two years ago will be generally based on those that I gave in the 'Japan 2012' thread back then, but may differ in wording.

Party standings in the lower house (ruling party in bold, coalition partner in italics):

Liberal Democratic Party (big-tent conservative, with factions ranging from traditionalist to neoliberal to historical-revisionist to what could almost be considered Right-Hegelian; has been in power for all but six of the past sixty years): 293
Democratic Party of Japan ('Third Way', big-tent, essentially governed as generic (and incompetent) 'reformists' while in power from 2009 to 2012): 55
Japan Innovation Party (Nationalist, neoconservative, populist, would be unambiguously far-right had it not absorbed a more moderate party in recent months): 41
Kōmeitō (Nichiren Buddhist, religious conservatives in the Japanese context, center-right, dovish whereas the LDP is generally hawkish): 31
Party for Future Generations (unambiguously far-right, split from the Innovation Party over the latter's absorption of the more moderate party): 19
Your Party (neoliberal and generically reformist): 9
Japanese Communist Party ('Eurocommunist' except it's not Europe): 8
People's Life Party (Ozawa Ichirō appreciation life): 7
Social Democratic Party ('Third Way' and more committedly so than the DPJ): 3
New Party Daichi (was a ragtag bunch of misfits except now there's only one misfit left): 1

Speaker and Vice-Speaker: 2
Independents: 11

The government now has a notional majority of 326-154 out of 480, counting the Speaker and Vice-Speaker since Japan to the best of my knowledge uses Speaker Denison's rule.

The notional majority was 327-153 after the last general election.
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Japan General Discussion on: October 29, 2014, 04:26:11 pm
A chapter of the Izokukai, a powerful conservative interest group representing the families of the Japanese dead of World War II, now supports removing Class A war criminals from Yasukuni, or at least in some way 'separating' them from the other souls enshrined there.

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The bereaved families’ association has long been seen as generally supportive of the shrine. However, some families have objected to having their loved ones’ souls enshrined with those of the leaders who sent them to their deaths in a suicidal war.

If the 14 are removed, the Fukuoka chapter “hopes that the emperor and empress, as well as the prime minister and all other Japanese nationals, will be able to pay their respects at Yasukuni without reserve,” the resolution said.

(The title of the New York Times article might give the false impression that the Izokukai as a whole has embraced this proposition; it is in fact just the Fukuoka chapter.)
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: GOP attempting to purge 1 in 7 black voters from voter rolls on: October 29, 2014, 03:49:03 pm
Nor, I submit, do you have to be a revolutionary socialist to understand that deadweight loss may in many instances be an acceptable price to pay for living in a society.


You're not making a legitimate argument. If the cost is acceptable, the economic gains will outweigh the economic losses, and opportunity cost will be minimized. What you're arguing is that you reserve the right to substitute basic mechanisms of economic accountability with your own conscience and limited-understanding.

Yes, that's called morality.

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The result is free-enterprise that is powerful enough to make people filthy rich, and a government that is dumb enough to make people destitute.

That's a result, not the only possible result.

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The Enlightenment was a rebuke of monarchy. Monarchy is the manifestation of individualism run amok. To classify the Enlightenment as an individualistic conceit is to misunderstand everything about it.

'Individualism run amok' is an extremely odd characterization of medieval and Renaissance social systems.

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Sovereign individuals leads naturally to democracy. Protecting the democratic process is not an immoral attack on the individual. The contrary, in fact.

You've contradicted yourself within the same paragraph.
11  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Another Battle of Polar Opposites: The guys before the icons on: October 29, 2014, 03:46:01 pm
When is "Truman vs. 41" coming up?

What an incisive and insightful question, Plutarch.
12  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Describe Your County on: October 29, 2014, 03:41:10 pm
Almost every part of Franklin County is strongly Democratic, it having undergone the same political transformation in the late twentieth century as the rest of Western Massachusetts and Vermont.

The swing towards Democrats in this region is fascinating. Crazy to look at past election results (of both states) compared to now. I've seen that it was due to the in migration of liberals from New York? And does the extreme conservative nature of the Republicans play into that as well?

Yes and yes. First a more left-wing population base started migrating in from New York and Boston, then the original population base became more left-wing as well both because of social influence from their new neighbors and from how far right the Republicans moved.
13  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should the views of the Founding Fathers matter in modern political policy? on: October 29, 2014, 02:41:43 pm
Only to the extent that the views of other past political philosophers matter. I voted no, because that's something less than treating them as demigods.


Well yes. Understanding the views of the American Enlightenment is good for a greater understanding of political philosophy throughout history, but I'm referring more to the "the founders opposed X, therefore we must vote against X" line of thought common on the American right.

Which is why I voted no.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: GOP attempting to purge 1 in 7 black voters from voter rolls on: October 29, 2014, 02:39:39 pm
Nor, I submit, do you have to be a revolutionary socialist to understand that deadweight loss may in many instances be an acceptable price to pay for living in a society.

One of the chief conceits of Enlightenment thought was the idea that a person should or at least could be more or less fully described and understood without reference to other people or social relationships. Developments in sociology and psychology since that time have discredited that idea. (This isn't a falsely 'progressive' view of history, as I think this was recognized in some form or another at various points in the past and in various other societies as well.) An individual does not, as it turns out, really exist in the fullest sense without reference to others, and individual property does not really exist except with reference to collective social and resource-allocation dynamics. Individual rights are important in the sense and to the extent that the feelings of personal well-being and mutual respect that they engender have salutary effects on everybody, not just on the one person exercising a right at any given time.

That being the case, it would be immoral for most forms of government not to engage in taxation, since it remains the easiest way to correct for morally repugnant allocation of resources.
15  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should the views of the Founding Fathers matter in modern political policy? on: October 29, 2014, 02:11:32 pm
Only to the extent that the views of other past political philosophers matter. I voted no, because that's something less than treating them as demigods.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: GOP attempting to purge 1 in 7 black voters from voter rolls on: October 29, 2014, 02:02:15 pm
muh immaculate supernatural founding fathers

Well, of course that's how AggregateDemand actually thinks, but, much as with his homophobia, I'm perversely interested to see what his on-paper excuse is.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: GOP attempting to purge 1 in 7 black voters from voter rolls on: October 29, 2014, 01:43:00 pm
But what is the political philosophy of and derived from the social and material conditions of the so-called Enlightenment to us now?
18  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Would you rather live in a left-wing theocracy or a Randian Objectist society? on: October 29, 2014, 01:28:21 pm
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 House Election Polls / Re: NY-18: Global Strategy Group (R) - Hayworth (R) 42; Maloney (D) 42; Smith (I) 3 on: October 29, 2014, 12:42:22 pm
Good. Hayworth is one of my least favorite people in the world.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Upworthy vs. marxists.org on: October 29, 2014, 01:08:42 am
marxists.org is a devoted, specialized resource website with all sorts of fascinating primary-source material on one of the most consequential ideologies in modern history. I have it not only bookmarked, but in my bookmarks toolbar, right between biblegateway.com and jisho.org. Upworthy is vapid drivel. This isn't a contest.

I assume there's better content on it than the unreadable crap Snowstalker keeps linking to then?

Much better. Even within the context of his ideology his taste is awful.
21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Upworthy vs. marxists.org on: October 29, 2014, 12:44:00 am
marxists.org is a devoted, specialized resource website with all sorts of fascinating primary-source material on one of the most consequential ideologies in modern history. I have it not only bookmarked, but in my bookmarks toolbar, right between biblegateway.com and jisho.org. Upworthy is vapid drivel. This isn't a contest.
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Give a title to the previous poster's autobiography on: October 28, 2014, 09:45:12 pm
The 'The Atlas: Questions and Answers about this site' Board My Destination
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of BRTD on: October 28, 2014, 09:15:15 pm
His skills at election analysis and polling are superb. The rest is sh**t equally frustrating and hilarious.  FF.
24  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Ronald Reagan vs. Richard Nixon on: October 28, 2014, 04:48:58 pm
UGH, Reagan. I feel unclean.
25  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Battle of the polar opposites: FDR vs. RWR on: October 28, 2014, 04:15:11 pm
To say FDR curbstomps Reagan is an understatement.
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