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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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15201  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Does the United States need a moat? on: May 10, 2011, 09:10:18 pm
In his speech today about immigration reform, Obama asserted that he had addressed the call for more border security before tackling immigration reform. He then said: "But even though we've answered these concerns, I suspect there will be those who will try to move the goal posts one more time... Maybe they'll say we need a moat. Or alligators in the moat."

I think he was trying for humor, but who knows, maybe some people here will think it is a serious policy option to be considered.
15202  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Did Obama deliberately time his birth certificate release with killing Osama? on: May 10, 2011, 03:56:05 pm
That's an interesting hypothesis. Yes, it seems possible that he released his birth certificate just shortly before Osama bin Laden was killed in order to highlight that he's a real American and a tough leader.
On the other hand, there was no guarantee that the secret mission to execute Osama would turn out successfully. If the mission had failed, releasing his birth certificate wouldn't have had any positive impact at all.

If the mission had become another Operation Eagle Claw, there was a good chance that no matter what Obama did, he would have been guaranteed being a one term President.  The timing of the birth certificate release was certainly fortuitous, but since Donald Troupee was succeeding in dominating the news cycle with the birther nonsense, its release was certainly justifiable on those grounds as well.  Still, it does make a good conspiracy theory.  If you want to make it even better, have the Trumpster start becoming a birther mouthpiece precisely so Obama could release the birth certificate precisely when he did.
15203  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: Signatories of the Declaration of Independence Survivor ROUND 39 on: May 10, 2011, 12:09:40 pm
Eliminate:
5 - Benjamin Franklin

Keep:
2 - George Ross
1 - John Morton
15204  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Don't have to obey no stinking laws? on: May 09, 2011, 05:21:49 pm
The illegal aliens were charged with fraud, but are alleging that they have carte blanche to violate laws, and are not subject our laws.

If the crime they were charged with was not directly related to their illegal immigration, had a penalty greater than simple deportation, or had occurred after they had received their U-visa, I could see your point.   (While the link you gave doesn't specify when they gave fake SSNs, they would have had no need to once they had a U-visa.)  In any case, a U-visa is not a permanent visa, but lasts at most 4 years while the case for which their testimony is required is being prosecuted.  They must continue to cooperate with the prosecutor, and the U-visa is revoked if they don't.

Tell me CARL, do oppose prosecutors making any sort of plea bargain or selectively dropping charges in exchange for testimony concerning other crimes?  Because that is exactly what the U-visa program is.
15205  General Politics / Economics / Re: The results of Obamanomics on: May 09, 2011, 05:03:15 pm
If you are interested in data, rather than spin, you can see the data at:

http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet

Actually, I can't see the data at that link, nor can you.   That's a temporary URL that the BLS server gives for the dataset requested.  That's why I gave the link to the page where you can make the request.
15206  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Don't have to obey no stinking laws? on: May 09, 2011, 03:49:45 pm
Fans of Dumas (pere) may recall the cachet of the ‘carte blanche,’ which entitled the bearer to immunity from the law.

Well, illegal aliens have their modern day, American, version of that document, known as a “U’ visa.

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2010/mar/09/cases-highlight-competing-interests-in/

Once again CARL, you show how you consider illegal immigration to be worse than any other crime  The whole point of the U-visa is to keep illegal immigrants who are the victims of crime here so that they can testify against those who committed the crime.  Only people paranoid about illegal immigration think it is better to let criminals go free because we deported the witnesses against them solely because they were in the country illegally.
15207  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories Survivor on: May 08, 2011, 09:15:29 pm
Eliminate:
7 - Islas Malvinas
2 - Akrotiri and Dhekelia

Keep:
5 - Isle of Man

Immunize:
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
15208  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Michael Ignatieff on: May 08, 2011, 09:09:13 pm
FF for saving Canada from the prospect of having any more bland Liberal governments. Wink
15209  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson at the Constitutional Convention on: May 08, 2011, 09:20:48 am
Wouldn't an integral Bill of Rights have likely contained all 12 of Madison's originals, rather than the 10 that passed?  So, them plus the 27th plus the failed proposed one on the size of Congressional districts?

Article the First and the XXVIIth Amendment were included in Madison's proposal because like the Bill of Rights, one or more of the State conventions that ratified the Constitution had recommended them.  His proposal was therefore not something that originated from him ab initio, but a cobbling together of the various proposals made by State conventions.  Without a Bill of Rights to be attached to, I'm doubtful that the First Congress would have sent them to the States.
15210  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Constitutionality Questions on: May 08, 2011, 09:09:14 am
So, people born in US territories are eligible.  (Puerto Ricans, for example)  Would this have applied to someone born in the Philippines prior to 1948?

No.  nor 1946, when they obtained independence, nor 1935, when they attained a Commonwealth status more like what the Northern Marianas or the other parts of the old Trust Terrirtory have today than what Puerto Rico has.

Puerto Rico is incorporated territory that is considered part of the United States, the Philippines were unincorporated territory that was considered to be owned by the United States, but not part of the United States.  The only populated unincorporated territory of the United States today is American Samoa and people born there are not US citizens unless one of their parents is.
15211  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: "Athens Mulls Plans for New Currency: Greece Considers Exit from Euro Zone" on: May 07, 2011, 06:43:48 pm
Also, and bear in mind I'm not a financial expert, but wouldn't that mean Greece can say bye-bye to its Eurozone support?

And if Germany and the other reasonably well-off Eurozone countries cut back on that support anyway?  At present, it makes sense for all sides to work on keeping the PIGS in the Eurozone, but that won't necessarily hold true forever.  Making plans on how to bail on the Euro are prudent preparations, even if never carried out.  The interesting question is whether Greece would go back to the old drachma at the peg used to convert to the euro, or simply go with an overnight conversion of all bank accounts and loans at a rate of 1 old euro = 1 new drachma.  Probably depends on whether the Greek government stored the old currency withdrawn from circulation or had it recycled.  One would be simpler while the other could be done more quickly and with less advance notice.
15212  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson at the Constitutional Convention on: May 07, 2011, 02:34:34 pm
Doubt if there would be any significant differences if Adams had been there.  The constitution as adopted was largely in line with Adams' views on constitutions.  If Jefferson had been there, there might have been more of a push to include a Bill of Rights in the version of the Constitution sent to the States, but it is doubtful that inclusion or rejection would have affected ratification or the proposing of a Bill of Rights if it had not been in the ratified constitution.  The only real effect of an integral Bill of Rights would likely be that the XXVIIth amendment would never have been sent to the States to be finally adopted in 1992, some 203 years after being sent to the States.
15213  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: "Athens Mulls Plans for New Currency: Greece Considers Exit from Euro Zone" on: May 06, 2011, 07:07:41 pm
Junger just talked to the media after a EU meeting at Brussels and called the whole Greece-leaving-the-Eurozone idea an idiotic one.
Trust me folks, it's never going to happen for a million different reasons.

Which Junger?

In any case, Greece leaving the Euro is a lot more problematic for the remaining Eurozone countries than it is Greece, so it's no wonder a Brusselscrat would be opposed to the idea.  (Not that leaving the Euro would be the wise thing for Greece to do long term, but they might not be able to keep together the political will needed to do so.)  It's why by using the threat to leave judiciously, Greece might be able to extract concessions despite its weak economic condition.  Of course, if they do overuse it, they risk being shown the exit from the Euro once the Euro is back on a stronger footing than it currently is.
15214  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: "Athens Mulls Plans for New Currency: Greece Considers Exit from Euro Zone" on: May 06, 2011, 05:25:57 pm
For a country to abandon Euro it is as feasible as a US state seceding.
There is no legal provision for something like that to happen.

I doubt that the other Eurozone members will go to war to force Greece to remain in the Euro.

The thing is, at this point does Greece really have anything to gain by staying in the Euro?  Certainly if I were in the Greek government, I'd be studying the option and be ready to use threat to leave the Euro to extract concessions from other Eurozone members.
15215  General Politics / Economics / Re: The results of Obamanomics on: May 06, 2011, 01:26:27 pm
As it was, with the March jobs report, since the April jobs report contains positive news, once again CARL will be quiet about it.

Incidentally, the WSJ had a nice little article today about how manufacturing jobs have been seeing slow but steady growth in both 2010 and 2011 after having a steady decline during the 2000s.  I'd give a link to the article, but the WSJ has a paywall.

But here's a link to the BLS website so you can look at the raw numbers yourself:
http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cesbtab1.htm
15216  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: PRC demands Nobel Prize apology from Norway on: May 05, 2011, 08:07:29 pm
If you want a US case which would be even remotely similar to Liu Xiaobao, imagine if you will that in an alternate universe, the 1862 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Clement Vallandigham for his efforts to restore peace in North America.  (Yes, I know there was no such prize in 1862.)
15217  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: PRC demands Nobel Prize apology from Norway on: May 05, 2011, 05:18:26 pm
And of course, Manning would never get the prize, if only because of political reasons. Damaging the PRC is very certainly something that the Committee intended to do, damaging the US is very clearly something that it wouldn't dare do.

The Nobel Committee has not been shy about thumbing its nose at US governments.  Arguably, five of the last fourteen have been about that.  (1997, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2009)

I suspect that they will try to find somebody relevant to the Arab Spring suitable to award the 2011 prize to, but unless they pull a Time X of the Year thing, and award it to the Arab democracy movement in general, it'll be hard to do.  Maybe Gene Sharp but that would be a stretch.
15218  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Don't have to obey no stinking laws? on: May 05, 2011, 04:26:10 pm
CARL, you forgot to rant that the two articles called them immigrants.
15219  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Modify the rules for signature on: May 04, 2011, 07:33:35 pm
I've been saying basically the same thing for years, nobody cares. 

Ditto me up on that one.

I've downloaded an adblocker, and all I do is right-click on a sig to make it vanish.


Same here, but my bugaboo is not pixel size, but file size.  Since we have a gallery it probably would not be a major problem to as a first step, limit signature images to the ones in the gallery.  If nothing else, it would make adding sig images a little more inconvenient.
15220  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Canadian Election Results Thread on: May 04, 2011, 06:18:43 pm
Hmm. Maybe it's time for northern Ontario secession discussions again. Tongue We can be called "Better Ontario", or "The Non-Sheep Ontario".

Just go with the name of another Great Lake, Superior (or its Ojibwe name, Gichigami).
15221  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Osama bin Laden dead (Official) on: May 04, 2011, 04:53:13 pm
so, the phrase "tyranny of terrorism" is a misnomer? 

It is a metaphor, under which terror itself is the tyrant, not any particular terrorist.  I may be wrong, but I doubt Rumsfeld (the apparent originator of that particular phrase) ever called Osama a tyrant or dictator.
if terrorism is a tyrant, and terrorism is just an extension of a terrorist, then doesn't it follow that the terrorists themselves are projecting their own form of tyranny?  or should I have just used the word "bully"?  (not arguing, just trying to learn some vocab)

It would be more direct, and there was nothing in your previous usage of the term to suggest that you were trying to be metaphorical.  The phrase "tyranny of terrorism" rolls off the tongue, which is likely why others have copied Rumsfeld's turn of phrase.  (The man really should have been a speechwriter rather than a Secretary of Defense.  He does have a flair for words.)
15222  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Osama bin Laden dead (Official) on: May 04, 2011, 11:58:40 am
Jmf, just because the guy used a synonym is no reason to dismiss his criticism. Since Osama has never been a sovereign or held political power, he was never a tyrant, dictator, autocrat, despot, etc.

so, the phrase "tyranny of terrorism" is a misnomer? 

It is a metaphor, under which terror itself is the tyrant, not any particular terrorist.  I may be wrong, but I doubt Rumsfeld (the apparent originator of that particular phrase) ever called Osama a tyrant or dictator.
15223  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Osama bin Laden dead (Official) on: May 03, 2011, 09:59:50 pm
Hacks for what? They merely have a different opinion than you.
saying we have lost because we celebrate the death of and victory over enemies of freedom is a completely backward idea that belittles the harm done by these tyrants.

Jmcfst, please stop referring to Osama as a 'dictator'. The guy was a terrorist, that's something different. Some cynical part of me is thinking you're conciously calling him a dictator to imply that he was in any way a leading figure in the Muslim community. We both know intellectual dishonesty is far from being a no-go for you.

you might be quoting the wrong post, if not the wrong person

Jmf, just because the guy used a synonym is no reason to dismiss his criticism. Since Osama has never been a sovereign or held political power, he was never a tyrant, dictator, autocrat, despot, etc.
15224  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Canadian Election Results Thread on: May 03, 2011, 09:43:38 pm
cot /kɒt/
caught /kɔt/

The two are very similar vowels, and in those dialects where there is no longer a distinct difference in vowel length between the two words, I suspect the merger is inevitable.  But the way I pronounce them, they are quite distinct words.
15225  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Canada 2011 Official Thread on: May 03, 2011, 09:26:22 pm
The next four years are going to be interesting for the Greens.  I think their best hope for growth during that time is by picking off blue Liberals who can't stand either the Tories or the NDP.  Probably not a successful hope unless the Liberals fall apart and utterly collapse.
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