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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: April 2016 Federal Election on: April 24, 2016, 07:21:21 pm
1 Truman
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: IN-Sen: Sen Mike Lee (R-UT) endorses Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) for Senate on: April 24, 2016, 07:41:55 am

Young is a squish and towed the Boehner/establishment line. Stutzman is the states best representative in the house currently. Why do you call him more extreme? Because the Senate Conservatives (Lee Paul, likely Cruz etc) are rallying to him.

Because the Senate Conservatives (Lee Paul, likely Cruz etc) are rallying to him.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Since joining the Atlas Forum, have you moved more leftward or rightward? on: April 24, 2016, 07:28:34 am
The first thing to say is that the premise of this thread, which runs through a lot of atlas analysis, is rather mad. So called social issues are not discrete from economic ones and even the ones that are more or less accepted as part of the canon have little in common logically. There's no contradiction between being against abortion and being for increased immigration or against gay marriage but in favour of the death penalty. The same goes for economic issues. I sometimes think that the reason is it taken so seriously is due to atlas's (very largely a humanities site, putting political 'science' in it's appropriate sphere) bizzare science envy, whereby anything with a number attached (even better, a number with decimals!) is unimpeachably correct.

And this, I think, is a problem, because it leads to even very intelligent posters coming out with silly comments and thus ruins serious debate:

Moving 'right' on social issues sort of suggests you've decided it's 'your way or the high way' with respect to whole groups of people. That's really disturbing.

Does it? Does it really?

What about wanting to keep sunday trading hours? Sure that's my way or the high way for one group of people (shopworkers who want extra shifts, shoppers who want more shopping) but it's the exact opposite of it for another (shopworkers who want to have a rest day, their families, those who would be pressured to work if it were a normal day).

What about being against assisted suicide? Sure that's my way or the high way for one group of people (those suffering dreadful illnesses) but it's the exact opposite, or so the argument goes, for another (those who would feel pressured into killing themselves because they think they're a burden)

What about wanting to build more prisons? Sure that's my way or the high way for one group of people (prisoners, their families), but it's the exact opposite for another (the victims, their families).

And so on, and so on.

You don't have to agree with the right on this issues (I don't on most of them) to think that saying it's just motivated by cheap authoritarianism and hatred of out groups is a slur. Sometimes, maybe, but not always. Perhaps on certain issues, like the ones you mentioned, gay marriage and immigration, it's even a majority. But even there it's never always. In fact, as I've suggested you could use the same slur against the left and it would be just as much of a half-truth. Questions of liberty are invariably questions of balancing one groups freedoms against anothers, for both left and right, and I don't think it serves any purpose to pretend that there is, or at least is most of the time, a gaping chasm between the two camps in terms of motivations.
4  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: Misc. Articles (Amendment, Supremacy, Officeholding, etc.) on: April 19, 2016, 07:01:23 pm
1 A
2 D
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The three branches of Atlas on: April 15, 2016, 07:13:51 am
IRC (normal)
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Parliament election - 2016 on: April 15, 2016, 07:06:03 am
The election doesn't feel very 'electiony'. Oh and Edinburgh's schools are falling down.

I think that's the natural result of an election where the party that is in power with a huge majority will win with a similarly huge majority. And you've got the EU referendum sucking up any UK wide coverage.

Also my primary school (built in 2005) is one of the most seriously affected schools. That said its by no means just the PFI schools which are atrocious. Liberton High School (built sometime in the 60s IIRC) is probably the most notorious as a wall actually fell down in the girls changing room killing an S1, with a similar incident involving a pupil being seriously injured falling down the lift shaft. It's largely a case of wrecks replacing wrecks (My own secondary which is new but pre PFI seems fine but it's early days) As is often the case though, pretty much anything built after the war was a shoddy job. Maybe it's time to fire everyone involved and replace them with Victorians.
7  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: Bill of Rights on: April 11, 2016, 08:44:05 am
Abstain
8  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Christians... why do you identify as Christian? on: April 06, 2016, 01:52:09 pm
I came to belief in God, to put it pretentiously, through philosophy, not through ethics. I'm not convinced this is a particularly good thing, and I think that this type of belief is, like the  old joke about Mathematician's answers "completely true and utterly useless". It doesn't, in an of itself, really motivate you to change anything and it certainly doesn't prove any particular religion.

Simply put, the hypothesis of God as the Ground of all Being, the uncaused cause, is, to my mind, far and away the most logical, rational, intellectually appealing, way of looking at the universe. Nevertheless, the idea that has been drummed into me repeatedly throughout my course, that you can prove anything if you make the right assumptions and choose the correct definitions has stayed with me. I recognise that if you make different assumptions you can just as easily show that God does not exist. I happen to think those assumptions are less parsimonious, I don't think they comport as well with the world around us, but there is no way of arguing that logical. Every philosophical argument comes down to a set of first principles at which debate must stop. You pay your money and you make your choice.

The reasons I think that the God idea has better first principles are long and boring, but just to give you a flavour, they concern the question of existence (Why there is something rather than nothing), the consistency of scientific laws (why they exist in the first place), the elegance and beauty of mathematics and the ability of the human mind to understand the universe, albeit dimly, through a glass.

As mentioned above though, this gets you no further to Christianity than the idea that 4 is greater than 2 gets you to 2+2=4. So why do I make that leap?

In one sense the answer is obvious, because I'm born to Christian parents in a (nominally) Christian country. Therefore, at the very least I'm more familiar with Christianity than other religions. This is true, but kind of trivial. Greater knowledge of Christianity is just as likely to lead to rejection as it is to acceptance. Ultimately there are two main steps that took me to where I am today.

The first was, again, a sort of intellectual exercise. Christianity, more than most religions, stands and falls with a historical event, if the body of Jesus was discovered tomorrow than we may as well all go home. Anyway I'm not going to claim that I'm even a dilettante in the history of the New Testament era, but I did discover that the consensus among historians is that Jesus definitely existed and was crucified. The documentation is too limited to show anything else and it certainly can't prove the resurrection, but it can't disprove it either. Similarily, regarding the doctrines of the Church I found that I did not have to accept the things I could not accept (Universalism and homosexuality). Obviously in both cases the church has largely to almost unanimously been against them but I think it' (although particularly universalism was fairly common among the church fathers, gregory of nyssa, for example) possible to be a christian and affirm those things coherently without becoming the type of liberal christian who may as well not believe at all. When it comes to things that a Christian must affirm I've found gradually that they're things that I can intellectually accept, or at least not feel I have to reject. For instance with the trinity, while I can not comprehend it I'm willing to accept it.  If you're able to get around the fact that there are the same number of fractions as there are prime numbers the idea of 3 in 1 is no longer quite so hard.

Admittedly at the moment I've just sketched out that I could say the creed without contradiction, not given any reasons why I do say it without contradiction, which is where the second step comes in. I take the view that reasons for Christianity are like hardcore pornography they are known in being seen, they are not obvious to define. And I have spent, over the last few years, many hours with a group of nuns who by their lives and by their service have given a more convincing demonstration of the central truths of the Gospel than any apologetics. Similarly reading the gospels I've found Jesus to be an utterly captivating figure, who I am unable to see as anything other than Lord and God. This may not satisfy hardcore rationalists (As a maths student I've always been something of an incorrigible mystic) but I am OK with that. Ultimately, once I've convinced myself that the necessary groundwork has been laid, I side with Stepan Trofimovich from Dostoevsky's Demons, after The Sermon on the Mount was read to him "Enough, enough, my child, enough........You can't think that that is not enough!".
9  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: Bill of Rights (Principle Vote) on: April 04, 2016, 10:17:10 am
Scattered thoughts:

1. There's no need to use the archaic wording of the US constitution.

2. Surely we can all agree that the SECRET RIGHTS clause is fundamentally pointless and there's no reason to include it.

3. Whatever our position on guns, like, I think, with capital punishment or abortion or anything like that, we should recognise that this is a game for debating political issues without any real world consequences, so we should try and have as many things to argue about as possible. Arbitrarily closing something off for debate (which, given how hard it is to change the constitution, this does) is a bad idea. And if we must have a clause allowing people to carry guns surely we can improve of the truly atrocious and utterly ambiguous wording of the Founding Fathers.
10  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: Bill of Rights on: April 04, 2016, 10:11:12 am
OFFICIAL BALLOT
Principle Vote on the Bill of Rights

1. "All persons born or naturalized in the Republic of Atlasia, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the Republic of Atlasia and of the Region in which they reside, and shall in all cases be afforded equal protection under the law."
[ X] AYE     [   ] NAY     [   ] Abstain

2. "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, nor of the press, nor withholding the freedom to peaceably assemble and to petition for the redress of grievances."
[X] AYE     [   ] NAY     [   ] Abstain

3. "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, nor obstructing the freedom of worship "
[ X] AYE     [   ] NAY     [   ] Abstain

4. "The right of citizens of the Republic of Atlasia to vote shall not be denied, except in regards to persons whose account is fewer than 168 hours old, or in consequence of failing to meet such requirements for activity as may be established by law."
[X] AYE     [   ] NAY     [   ] Abstain

5. "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law."
[X] AYE     [   ] NAY     [   ] Abstain

6. "Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crimes of which the accused has been duly convicted, shall exist within the Republic of Atlasia, nor in any place under its jurisdiction."
[X] AYE     [   ] NAY     [   ] Abstain

7. "A well-regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free people, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be withheld."
NAY

8. "No citizen shall be subjected to warrantless search or seizure of the persons, homes, records, or possessions, and no warrants shall be issued without probable cause, supported by oath of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
[X] AYE     [   ] NAY     [   ] Abstain

9. "No person accused of crimes under the laws of this Republic, or of the several Regions, shall be compelled to bear witness against himself, nor subjected to excessive bail, nor cruel or unusual punishment."
[X] AYE     [   ] NAY     [   ] Abstain

10. "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of their peers in the Region wherein the crime shall have been committed, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have a compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel in his defense."
[X] AYE     [   ] NAY     [   ] Abstain

11. "No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the armed forces."
[X] AYE     [   ] NAY     [   ] Abstain

12. "In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the Republic of Atlasia."
[X]AYE     [   ] NAY     [   ] Abstain

13. "The enumeration of certain rights in this Constitution shall not be construed as to deny or disparage those natural rights and liberties herein unlisted."
[] AYE     [  X ] NAY     [   ] Abstain

11  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: The Judicial Branch (Supreme Court) FINAL VOTE on: March 30, 2016, 04:53:46 pm
Aye
12  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: The Judicial Branch (Supreme Court) Principle Vote on: March 22, 2016, 01:54:36 pm
Plan A [1]
Plan B [2]
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion: Corbyn vs the Pigdiddler on: March 19, 2016, 06:25:02 pm
Very cool interactive map showing, down to an individual level, where Scotland's population is:

http://maps.gisforthought.com/scotland_population/
14  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: The Judicial Branch (Supreme Court) Principle Vote on: March 10, 2016, 08:55:46 pm

[3] Plan "A"
[1] Plan "B"
[2] Plan "C"
[4] Status Quo
[   ] Abstain
15  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: The Judicial Branch (Supreme Court) Principle Vote on: March 07, 2016, 06:41:39 pm
Yeah, I'm happy with Kingpoleon's proposal. Although maybe I'd just leave the chief justice to the president without a regional veto.

Anyway I think to some extent gridlock can be seen as a feature and not a bug. Elections happen often enough that they won't last for that long and a gridlock would also give a campaign issue for a multitude of elections.

16  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: The Judicial Branch (Supreme Court) Principle Vote on: March 06, 2016, 01:47:11 pm
I haven't officially proposed anything, for the record.

Regarding Truman's proposal, it depends on how it works because there are multiple options. How about the Governor proposing with the regional legislature confirming, but granting both the senate and the President the right to veto? Or vice versa.
17  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: The Judicial Branch (Supreme Court) Principle Vote on: March 03, 2016, 08:28:14 pm
Well the thing is the Supreme Court pretty much has veto power over everything. In terms of power it can nuke both federal and regional governments whenever it wants. At the moment, speaking in terms of balance of powers (which I would rather not, because I'm not convinced that's an atlasia problem, I think it's a real life problem which is read into atlasia) the federal government controls this most powerful of offices and could nuke the region if it wanted. My proposal would lend some balance to proceedings.
18  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: The Judicial Branch (Supreme Court) Principle Vote on: February 29, 2016, 04:32:12 pm
[X] Fixed

Why not have each region choose an associate justice who also doubles up as their head judge, and the president and the senate and president choose the chief justice and 1 associate justice.  Not only would you give more influence to regional legislatures and governors, you'd have a 5 seat supreme court leading to more interesting decisions, more possibility of dissents, and you'd have one less judge overall, so still a reduction in offices.
19  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Northeast Voting Booth: February 2016 Election on: February 21, 2016, 07:09:57 pm

Official Ballot
Northeast Governor
[X] Blair2015 (Labor - NY)
[ ] Write-in: ________________

Northeast Representative
Five People will be elected to the Assembly
[2] cxs018 (Independent - MA)
[4] RGN08 (Federalist - NY)
[6] pikachu (Labor - NJ)
[5] NHI (Federalist - NH)
[3] Kingpoleon (Independent - NJ)
[1] Write-in: LongLiveRock

Amendment to the Northeast Constitution regarding Canadian Provinces
[] Aye
[X] Nay
20  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: February 2016 Federal Election on: February 21, 2016, 07:00:37 pm

1. Adam Griffin/Duke
2. Winfield/Poirot
3. Cris/Leinad

Northeast Senate
1. Pikachu
21  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: The Executive Branch (President, Vice President, etc.) on: February 19, 2016, 09:58:48 am
Aye
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is President Obama an atheist? on: February 06, 2016, 09:31:31 am
None of us can make windows into men's soul so only he can truly know. But there is a general tendency among certain people to assume that all christians are either firebreathing literalists or don't really believe it, and that's unfair and rather silly. There are far more sincere christians who don't hold, say, the views of Rfayette than do. And after reading his eulogy for Clementa Pinckney, I do find it difficult to believe that Obama is lying about the whole christian thing, because that speech is a very christian work.
23  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: The Executive Branch (President, Vice President, etc.) on: February 03, 2016, 05:10:30 pm


OFFICIAL BALLOT
Principle Vote on Presidential Powers

The President shall have the power...

1.  To grant reprieves and pardon individuals of crimes past and present.*
[ X  ] AYE    [   ] NAY    [   ] Abstain

*NOTE: We will discuss possible restrictions on this power at a later date.

2.  To introduce legislation into the queue of the Senate.
[   ] AYE    [ X  ] NAY    [   ] Abstain

3.  (Pick one)
      [   ] To appoint the cabinet
      [ X  ] To appoint the cabinet with the advice and consent of the Senate
      [   ] NOTA

4. To appoint the justices of the Supreme Court with the advice and consent of the Senate
[ X  ] AYE    [   ] NAY    [   ] Abstain

5. To establish executive departments as necessary
[ X  ] AYE    [   ] NAY    [   ] Abstain

6. To veto acts of legislation passed by Congress
[ X  ] AYE    [   ] NAY    [   ] Abstain

7. To exercise a line-item veto over the budget
[   ] AYE    [ X  ] NAY    [   ] Abstain

8. To appoint the vice president in the event that the office falls vacant
[ X  ] AYE    [   ] NAY    [   ] Abstain

9. To command the armed forces of the Republic of Atlasia
[ X  ] AYE    [   ] NAY    [   ] Abstain

10. To make treaties with the advise and consent of the Senate
[ X  ] AYE    [   ] NAY    [   ] Abstain
24  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: The Executive Branch (President, Vice President, etc.) PRINCIPLE VOTE on: January 28, 2016, 04:20:52 pm

Question 1: How long should each presidential term last?
[3] Two (2) Months
[1] Four (4) Months
[2] Six (6) Months

Question 2a: Should there be a limit on the number of terms a person may serve as president?
[3] Yes
[2] Yes, but the limit should only apply to consecutive terms
[1] No

Question 2b: If Question 2a passes, what is the maximum number of terms a person should be able to serve as president?
[3] One (1) term
[2] Two (2) terms
[1] Three (3) terms
25  Forum Community / Mock Parliment / Re: Motion to adjourn sine die on: January 20, 2016, 09:41:59 am
Aye
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