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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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751  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Reparations on: October 27, 2013, 12:06:37 pm

Acknowledge the fundamental injustice of the enslavement of those of African ancestry prior to the Civil War. (Agree)

Apologize on behalf of the people of the United States for the enslavement of those of African ancestry prior to the Civil War. (Agree)

Provide a public education fund to inform our country about slavery. (Disagree)

Financially provide $20,000 of reparations for direct descendants of slaves within the next two years. (Strongly Disagree)

Set an example of the United States as honoring human rights. (Strongly Agree)

Slavery is already discussed in public education curricula so far as I'm aware; reparation payments generations removed from the severest injustices sought to be rectified provides us an example of how liberal welfare policies draw attention to social statuses by extending preferential treatment to one group while harming others - generating some degree of resentment and making it harder to maintain solidarity; and all Americans should receive a tax-free, basic livable income. The U.S. should be exemplary in honoring human rights but, in my opinion, is not doing so very well these days relative to what it could be doing.

Other Agendas:

Prohibit sexual identity discrimination at schools. (Strongly Agree)
No need to add sexual orientation to hate crimes. (Disagree)
Leave gay marriage up to the states. (Strongly Disagree)
Don't make the Patriot Act Permanent. (Strongly Agree)
Protect Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. (Strongly Disagree)
Continue and advocate affirmative action programs in colleges, but not the workforce. (Disagree)
Recognize and celebrate the historical anniversary of ending slavery. (Disagree)
Constitutional Amendment for equal women's rights. (Disagree)
Constitutional Amendment banning flag desecration. (Strongly Disagree)
Enforce against wage discrimination based on gender. (Agree)
Honor 100th anniversary of NAACP. (Disagree)
Allow for gay adoptions. (Strongly Agree)
Support principles embodied in equal rights amendment. (Strongly Agree)
Loosen restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Strongly Disagree)
Provide special funding for minority and women owned businesses. (Disagree)
Keep Rosa Parks stamp. (Indifferent)

I am on the fence when it comes to whether "hate crimes" should be aggressively pursued, consider gender identity pertinent to the ongoing movement to achieve better civil rights; I consider the Pledge of Allegiance a horrible ritual, care more about civil liberties than whether the U.S. is attacked by terrorists, think affirmative action is okay on the whole but not exactly the best policy for us in the long run, and I do not believe the state should intervene in the economy to give money - whether available to anyone or a particular group - for starting up businesses. The stamp matter is trivial to me, honestly, and in regards to the NAACP I fell like we already have too many Congressionally rubber-stamped holiday and recognition ideas for recognizing and/or pandering to various segments of the population as it is. Flag desecration is completely fine, though a bit distasteful, and I don't want constitutional amendments; I want a new constitution altogether.
752  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Why the backlash against Theodore Roosevelt & Woodrow Wilson in recent years? on: October 27, 2013, 11:41:18 am
Unless you were an anti-war supporter

In that case your constitutionally guaranteed rights were destroyed and you were probably thrown in jail.

This extended to anarchists, communists, socialists, and anyone who otherwise did not like the established form of government, or expressed criticism of state policy during wartime. Wilson gives FDR a run for his money when it comes to being the most authoritarian U.S. president of the 20th century.
753  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Creepy signs the radiation from Fukushima is contaminating the West Coast on: October 26, 2013, 09:25:54 am
. . . Spiders can be quite helpful and won't usually harm humans. Wasps, on the other hand...

My opinion of Republitarian seems to go up nearly every time I read one of his posts. Grin
754  General Politics / Economics / Re: Opinion of Switzerland's "minimum income" proposal on: October 25, 2013, 11:42:49 pm
I understand what they're proposing, but it's going to put them very far in debt. If our country provided everyone with a livable income, then it would no longer be a livable income because inflation would skyrocket. It's not literally the same as minimum wage, but it's the same concept which would kill our dollar and cause prices to go up. Now a country like Switzerland might be able to get away with such a thing. I'm not sure. Basically, the idea is the exact opposite of my economic philosophy. This isn't to say we should end programs of benefit such as social security, Medicare, unemployment benefits, and even some entitlements such as food stamps and WIC. Just giving people money is another story.

I suppose it depends on how one implements it. I don't think it necessitates an increase to the debt or even more printing of money, however, if implemented wisely in concert with reforms to other policies. The liberal welfare regime the U.S. already has is very unattractive to me for several reasons, though I suppose to be fair there are much worse ways to go.
755  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: How long is your commute? on: October 25, 2013, 09:25:19 pm
The commute to work is 3.2 miles for me. The average travel times - counting traffic and stop lights - are about 70 minutes on foot, 50 minutes by bus, 20 minutes if cycling (preferred), and 8 minutes carpooling.
756  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What State's Residents Are You Most Similar To? on: October 25, 2013, 09:08:25 pm
My results were:

E(xtraversion): 0th
A(greeableness): 96th
C(onscientiousness): 2nd
N(euroticism): 97th
O(penness): 84th

I have lived in MN and MT.

757  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Battle of the East Asian Countries: Round 2 on: October 25, 2013, 08:45:34 pm
Mongolia, Japan, and the PRC
758  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What is your overall PM Score? on: October 25, 2013, 08:42:52 pm
759  General Politics / Economics / Re: Opinion of Switzerland's "minimum income" proposal on: October 25, 2013, 08:31:40 pm
Details matter. Generally speaking, yes.

This, basically. In a country the size of Switzerland I suppose one could get away with a uniform level of basic income delivered but in the U.S. things would need to be a bit more complicated for it to work well.

Most in the private sector wouldn't like this. Minimal income proposals actually hurt the economy because the more money a company has to pay an employee, the less they have for further employment.

I think you are confusing this with the minimum wage. A basic minimum income is basically a government check one gets regardless of whether they are poor. Income from work would be in addition to this sum from the state. Businesses would not be paying workers more than they already do.
760  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: YourMorals.org on: October 24, 2013, 07:27:09 pm

1. ". . . reliance on and endorsement of five psychological foundations of morality that seem to be found across cultures."

2. ". . . the degree to which you value each of ten domains that Schwartz has found across many cultures [power/status, achievement/success, hedonism/pleasure, stimulation/challenge, self-direction/independence, universalism/welfare, benevolence/kindness, tradition, conformity, security/harmony]"

3. ". . . the extent to which participants view various kinds of statements . . . as true, false, or as opinions."

4. ". . . how central a role religion plays in your life"

5. ". . . measure of people's beliefs about the six most commonly endorsed principles of distributive justice: distribution based on what will lead to the greatest good for the world as a whole (utilitarianism), market-based distribution (libertarianism), equal distribution (egalitarianism), merit based distribution (equity), distribution according to people's personal needs (no more and no less), and distribution that at the very least satisfies each person's basic needs."
761  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Creepy signs the radiation from Fukushima is contaminating the West Coast on: October 24, 2013, 06:55:04 pm
I'm not sure if this is just incidental, but:


Weird stuff going on with orcas too.

I don't know really, but pollutants tend to get more dangerously concentrated in predators up the food-chain (which may in turn be why sea lions and polar bears are effected, if the radiation is in fact what is harming them?). Even without consuming prey with radioactive materials in them I think orcas are already considered hazardous material if they wash up on shore.

This thread makes me wonder how the release of radioactive material from Fukushima will end up comparing to the long-standing Cold War practice of the Soviets disposing of nuclear waste and at times even entire reactor cores off the Arctic coasts of Novaya Zemliya. The radiation from those waters eventually contaminated much of the North Pacific, getting into things like salmon. Over the long run I don't really know how much of this radioactive material it takes for it to actually have a meaningful health impact on life thousands of miles away.

Either way, I'm curious to better understand the subject.
762  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Obamacare on: October 23, 2013, 07:08:51 pm
Horrible policy if one looks at the big picture, but otherwise mostly a FP shift in policy compared to what there was before. I am still a bit on the fence here trying to decide whether France or Germany has the better alternative to alter somewhat and then implement.
763  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: 2016 D Primary: Hillary vs. Schweitzer on: October 23, 2013, 07:02:12 pm
Hillary. Lol Schweitzer, he has probably forced Baucus to retire and then, he doesn't seek this seat.

I certainly hope he retires - among other things Baucus saw to it that no left-of-centre options were seriously explored in Congress during the healthcare debate.
764  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Comparing 2013 TEA Party to the 1923 Ku Klux Klan on: October 23, 2013, 06:56:18 pm
765  General Discussion / History / Re: A map for every year on: October 23, 2013, 06:32:21 pm
Now if only there was a way to download it!
766  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Reasons for your political views on: October 22, 2013, 11:37:15 pm
My political convictions are built on the following assumptions:

1. Happiness is our goal, which is why we seek capital, which is why we need morals, which is why we need politics.

2. People are selfish and have limited mental capabilities; they are inescapably biased and imperfectly rational.

3. People can better pursue happiness if everybody considers everyone else deserving of care and respect.

4. Knowledge is a construct of the mind - a best guess of sorts; very few things can truly be known.

5. Decisions tend to get made intuitively, and the mind is quite good at coming up with rationalizations afterwards.

6. We thus cannot arrive at one objectively perfect set of policies; we need to decide on what policies to settle for.

7. Pursuits of political gain, influence over morality, control of capital, and happiness are like a game.

8. For it not to suck for a lot of people, it needs to have rules intended for excellent gameplay.

9. The integrity of the institutions and processes governing policy are far more important than what the policies are.

10. The social contract gives the system legitimacy; game rules grant rights in exchange for responsibilities imposed.

11. Constitutional republicanism, representative democracy, and liberalism let us settle our disputes peacefully.

12. Individualism, cultural and moral pluralism, and a condition of eternal revolution via elections also helps out.

13. Entrenched hierarchies of privilege lead to oppressive class strata; corruption will limit access to happiness.

14. Power mustn't be centralized or competitive arenas of the game get twisted for the benefit of just an elite few.

15. Authoritarianism, corporatism, capitalism, and imperialism are thus incompatible with my ideal for an excellent society.

16. Nepotism, clientelism, patrimonialism, markets captured by one or a few groups or actors, etc. are also threats.

17. These perils are countered with transparency, competition, free-flowing information, and fine educations for all.

18. Folks hurt each other and can fail in pursuits of happiness; we all deserve opportunities for satisfaction with life.

19. In the long run, good environmental stewardship is a must, or future generations may be deprived of happiness.

20. Human beings are not exceptional; our principles and values should apply universally to all life forms.

21. Political gridlock is generally better for the People than efficient oppression by a small band of privileged folk.

22. Yet the masses lack sufficient resources to competently self-govern; a division of labour is needed even in politics.

23. Markets with low barriers to entry and competing providers are usually more capable than bureaucratic hegemons.

24. But the state itself must be meticulously well-planned; its purpose transcends those of other business endeavors.

25. Morality comes from genes and experience; fundamental shifts in policy should reflect changes to the People's values.

There are perhaps many other things I could list here but this certainly seems like a good start at least. Some of them seem a bit repetitive, by the way. Sorry for that. I'm still thinking it through! This is a very heady thread compared to most of 'em I see on this forum.
767  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: I Side With on: October 22, 2013, 06:48:26 pm
Likewise, as True Federalist said. The results may also be skewed somewhat by the questions never touching on the issues where I am most radical (cooperativization, workplace democracy, global federalism, animal rights, new constitution, etc.).

768  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Battle of the East Asian Countries: Round 1 on: October 22, 2013, 06:26:21 pm
Mongolia <3
769  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Question about Obamacare on: October 22, 2013, 06:11:47 pm
Right. If you make less than 133% of FPL and your state doesn't expand Medicaid, you get nothing.  *facepalm*

Expect this to be a major issue in every governor election in the next few years.

I certainly hope so! I found out this morning the cheapest bronze plan I can get is from the MT Health Cooperative for $169 per month. It works out to being a $2.07 cut from every $9.21 I get per hour, gross, in wages. It's especially upsetting to me because I will still have to shoulder a 40% copay and would have the premium cut by a whopping 82% by government subsidies if I were to make just $2,500 more each year. If I can stop being underemployed soon it won't be a serious problem but otherwise this will deal a pretty fierce blow to my disposable income.
770  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Dick Cheney defends tea party. on: October 22, 2013, 10:27:46 am
He was rightfully limited to two terms as VP which is in accordance with the constitution. I'm not sure your exact campaign financing rules but I'm sure Cheney thinks there should be no boundaries. I'd like to see a cap of $200,000,000 for the White House and lower levels for the House and Senate. Also a ban on corporate and union donations. Cheney didn't seem to think spending mattered when he was in office but that's politics for you. Right now Cheney thinks spending is too high and I happen to agree with him and all is good. This isn't because Cheney is the one saying such a thing but because it's true. You seem to agree with half of what the right is saying just not on the means to get there.

I would prefer a one-term limit on all elected positions at the federal level, with terms for those offices also being lengthened somewhat to balance it out. In regards to campaign finance, I am fine with people and organizations contributing to the parties and issue-related campaigns, but support a ban on all individual and group contributions to candidates (i.e. the state provides all the resources a candidate is allowed to use in that election cycle). Candidates should not get to dump their personal fortunes into it either. The current system creates un-level fields of competition, leading to a loss of integrity for elections and diminished legitimacy for their results.
771  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Name the first five posters on: October 22, 2013, 10:07:04 am
772  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should the US intervene in Syria... on: October 22, 2013, 09:54:19 am
The "rebels" are Islamic terrorists, their killing Christians in the street.

Feel free to believe they are all Islamist extremists, but that is not my understanding of the conflict.

America CANNOT get involved in this, we simply have no dog in this fight.

That is a realist line of thought. From my perspective, human beings should be empowered to enjoy happy, fulfilling lives reasonably devoid of injustices, violence, and oppression regardless of which tribal flag flies over their people's territory. The peoples of each country should accordingly be empowered to arrange for living conditions as conducive to that goal as possible. In the context of this civil war, Assad's authoritarian regime is an impediment to the Good Life, as are factions that would install new authoritarian regimes. There is a ripe opportunity here to usher in a brighter future for Syrians - for forces of good to defeat those of relative evil on this battlefield, if you will.

There are too many countries in need of liberation right now for us to tend to them all, and I am not an imperialist so intervening before help is called for seems inappropriate to me under most circumstances, but I am currently under the impression that a majority of Syrians either want the anti-Assad forces to win or do not care who wins so long as it ends the war - the latter more often siding with the Assad regime perhaps only because it seems more likely to quickly restore order and stability. The diehard loyalists do not represent Syrian society as a whole, nor does the current government. It must be crushed and replaced with one that is more representative of the Syrian people, responsive to their needs, and accountable to them without any need for future violence.
773  General Politics / Economics / Re: The truth about minimum wage. on: October 22, 2013, 09:22:31 am
You have to adjust for inflation or the dollar amounts are useless for comparison over such long stretches of time. A dollar of income today has much less buying power than it used to.
774  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Question about Obamacare on: October 22, 2013, 09:16:36 am
*--People who make less than 250% of FPL, if they buy insurance on the exchange, get their copays and deductibles subsidized by the government in addition to their premiums.

In some states. Mine does not allow subsidies for people making less than 100% of the FPL.
775  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: BART Strike: Who do you stand with? on: October 21, 2013, 09:59:27 pm
For whatever it's worth, Sbane is being very sensible here, guys.
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