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3026  General Discussion / History / Re: Surreal moments in political history on: June 28, 2015, 01:52:16 pm
Santa Anna's whole career was pretty bizarre. How does anyone serve as President on 11 non-consecutive occasions?

In that vein, the political career of Norodom Sihanouk surely counts. Twice King, thrice President, and ten times Prime Minister (if Wikipedia is anything to go by), not to mention inveterate ally of the Eastern Bloc and even the Khmer Rouge (!), who spent much of his final retirement dividing his time between houses in Beijing and Pyongyang (!!!).

But one probably cannot beat Emperor Bokassa I in terms of pure surreality.
3027  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Name the next three U.S. Presidents on: June 28, 2015, 01:45:58 pm
Hillary Clinton (2021-2025)
Michael Bennet (2025-2029)
George P Bush (2029-2037)

Is that an Obama third-term, a vacant office, or did record of Hillary's first term get lost in her other email account?

Haha, it got lost in the tubes.
3028  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: How soon will Houston pass Chicago? on: June 28, 2015, 01:42:03 pm
What is wrong with you? Chicago shall always be the Second City.

Not at least since some time in the 1980s...

Population has nothing to do with it.
3029  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of the new Lady Gaga ? on: June 28, 2015, 01:40:30 pm
I thought by 'the new Lady Gaga' you meant her new music or her new public image or something, you know, relevant.
3030  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Protests in Armenia on: June 28, 2015, 01:21:48 pm
Thankfully Armenia does not share a border with Russia. At least for now.
It's just Georgia, we've* already shown we don't care about them once.  Would it really surprise anybody if Putin uses Armenian issues as an excuse to invade?

Putin, "they would not let me roll the 58th through Tbilisi, what choice did I have?"

*to be clear to ag, "we" means the west in general, not me and the mouse I keep in my pocket.

All the necessary troops are already in Armenia. There are huge Russian bases there.

Well, bollocks. So the Armenians will have to watch out for the "polite people".
3031  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Protests in Armenia on: June 28, 2015, 09:57:37 am
Thankfully Armenia does not share a border with Russia. At least for now.
3032  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should churches that don't perform gay marriages lose their tax-exempt status? on: June 28, 2015, 09:46:19 am
Interestingly, if you made churches pay property taxes it would be the Evangelical-type suburban megachurch model that would most easily acclimate, not the smaller, older churches (predominately Catholic or mainline) that were built 100+ years ago in the middle of cities that would survive. Pretty much every church would need to be a suburban (or rural) type of place if that happened.

Oh blimey, didn't think of that. Of course, I am on record as stating that there is no literally no point in religion in *ugh* modern buildings. Why people insist on building new churches I'll never understand.

Perhaps some sort of eyesore tax on the modernist dens?

I would strongly support this... and not just for churches!
3033  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: All GOP candidates were against the King v. Burwell decision on: June 28, 2015, 09:40:52 am
If Christie or Perry had been the only one to be relieved that millions of people get to keep their insurance, ya know, the same millions of people who have votes they need in the primaries and the general election, they could have shot up into the Top Tier.

But I guess neither of them are really in it to win it...

Would any of those millions have supported them for it, though?

Assuming that's a serious question, yes. The idea that people getting Obamacare subsidies are a bunch of minorities/Democrats/non-voting moochers is a fantasy invented by Fox News to whip up their gullible audience.

At the very least, voters are not going to vote for someone campaigning on taking their health insurance away from them, even if they won't automatically vote for Republicans who promise to keep it intact.

I was thinking the people getting the subsidies were the gullible audience- they oppose Obamacare despite benefiting from it. Hence I'm challenged to imagine Republican primary voters reward a candidate for taking such a stance.
3034  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Al Gore: "Too Early" to pick Hillary on: June 28, 2015, 09:36:48 am
It's never too early to pick Hillary!

Sincerely,
Hillary '08 supporter

Also, Al Gore is looking old.

He looks like he has aged 30 years since the 2000 election.

Well, he was elected President by the American voters.

And looking at him, you'd think he served in office.
3035  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: NYT: Sanders raised at least 8 Mio. $ in the 2nd quarter on: June 28, 2015, 09:28:19 am
Newsflash: it won't be enough.

Why would 50 Mio. $ not be enough ?

IA, NH, SC and NV are all small states with a low advertising cost.

And if he performs well in these states, he might get a surge in donations in time for the Super Tuesday.

He's picking up all the low hanging fruit and he's going to be overwhelmed by Hillary's billions. Give it up.

That remains to be seen ...

And even if she raises a billion, it won't help her get girls (or in her case, white male voters).

She already has girls. And who needs male white voters? This is a Democratic primary.
3036  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Cruz to propose amendment to subject SCOTUS justices to election after 8 years on: June 27, 2015, 11:40:23 pm
That's not what the founders intended.

Indeed it is not.

Three things. First, judicial elections are terrible things, and this proposal is correspondingly terrible. Second, one can almost certainly say that the Founders never anticipated a level of partisanship anywhere close to what we have today. Third, if they had, I imagine they would have made judicial appointments even more difficult than they are, which is what I think would be a rather good idea; if I were to propose an amendment it would be to require a supermajority for Supreme Court nominees.
3037  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Sri Lankan parliamentary election - 17 August 2015 on: June 27, 2015, 07:09:38 pm
Quote
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has dissolved parliament, paving the way for an early general election.

"The president signed a gazette notification dissolving parliament with effect from midnight today," government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said.

The general election was not scheduled for another 10 months.

Mr Sirisena defeated incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa in presidential elections held in January.

The president's decision to dissolve parliament came shortly after a spokesman for the United National Party (UNP) said it had formally requested him to do so.

The UNP was the main party behind Mr Sirisena's presidential bid and its leader, Ranil Wickremesingha, is the country's prime minister.

Sri Lankan law dictates that elections be held between 52 and 66 days after the dissolution.

Government sources told the BBC that the election will be held on 17 August.

Sirisena, despite his surprise victory in the presidential election, has been largely unable to implement his agenda of reforms due to the fact that his party lacks a majority in Parliament. As a result he's had to govern in a "national government" with the SLFP, the party of his defeated predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa.
3038  General Politics / Economics / Re: Ventura: Eliminate Income Tax and Replace it with 15% National Sales Tax on: June 27, 2015, 06:33:19 pm
Who says that rich people don't spend all of their money? The idea is that they will buy lots of stuff, such as their 50 sports cars and 3 yachts, and therefore pay more in taxes. It would be preferable to have the sales tax be bracketed in terms of inherent value/necessity, but how would one go about determining that?

yeah all those rich people living paycheck to paycheck

What he said was harebrained (and similar to the defense of trick-down economics I gave when I was in the sixth grade, only sillier, given this context), but believe it or not, that is actually not unheard of:

Quote
Five hundred thousand dollars — the amount President Obama wants to set as the top pay for banking executives whose firms accept government bailout money — seems like a lot, and it is a lot. To many people in many places, it is a princely sum to live on. But in the neighborhoods of New York City and its suburban enclaves where successful bankers live, half a million a year can go very fast.

“As hard as it is to believe, bankers who are living on the Upper East Side making $2 or $3 million a year have set up a life for themselves in which they are also at zero at the end of the year with credit cards and mortgage bills that are inescapable,” said Holly Peterson, the author of an Upper East Side novel of manners, “The Manny,” and the daughter of Peter G. Peterson, a founder of the equity firm the Blackstone Group. “Five hundred thousand dollars means taking their kids out of private school and selling their home in a fire sale.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/fashion/08halfmill.html

Of course, this is neither here nor there, but just making an aside.
3039  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Al Realpolitik Institute of Sulfur Mining & Extraction on: June 27, 2015, 06:23:52 pm
Doesn't matter, they all deserve to be shot.

Spoken like a true facist

cause of death: fourth-degree sick burns

Eh, while I'd usually excuse the misspelling, it took me a while before my mind saw "fascist" rather than "racist", and that left me scratching my head.
3040  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How has Atlas Forum destroyed your life? on: June 27, 2015, 05:49:58 pm
I've been looser in keeping the forum separate from my "real life" than is probably advisable.

EDIT: Okay, so I'll post this anyway, after cutting it down. I've also come to think of the Atlas as a place that I can reliably go to if I ever want to feel like I am stupid. The thing stopping me from seriously questioning how much I really know is probably the fact that I've held my own academically, tangible proof.

Maybe you are really just all smarter than the people I go to school with-- certainly there are many people here, not that much older than I am, whose knowledge, in its breadth and depth, seems to far outstrip that of almost anyone I know-- Xahar, Foucaulf, Al, Gully, the Mikado, Averroes, and Maddy come to mind, to name just a few--not to mention my own. Perhaps it is because I am far more careful as to what political views I choose to share in public than I am here- this is the internet, after all. Then again, if I were to apply such a level of self-censorship on the Atlas, I'd probably be demonised as a "moderate hero" all the same.

So TL;DR, the Atlas has destroyed my life by making me feel stupider than I would otherwise. Also if you think that I actually am stupid feel free to say so because if true I'm probably an insufferable twat in “real life” and don't even know it
3041  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Opinion of Alexis Tsipras on: June 27, 2015, 04:15:15 pm
It is curious that Antonio is now defending the Greek government position more than an actual Greek. And Lyndon is hardly someone who's tolerated the characterization of "lazy profligate Greeks" people make.
3042  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: FF takes down SC Confederate flag on her own on: June 27, 2015, 04:04:17 pm
Yes, unfortunately too many people (particularly in the North) grew up associating the CSA battle flag with rebellion and not slavery for which the rebellion was fought. They also associate rebellion with patriotism (perhaps because the country began with a rebellion), so one gets the illogical position of attaching US patriotism to the very emblem that fought against the US.

This problem can partly--or quite plausibly primarily--be attributed to the failure of Reconstruction and the view of the war that was allowed to predominate in the postbellum period; that of a war between brothers or states, or even of a "Civil War" of two factions equally loyal to the nation's founding principles (the CSA, after all, did put George Washington on its seal) vying for supremacy, rather than a "War of Secession" (as it is known abroad), or even a "rebellion" (which what contemporary Unionists called it).

Lincoln's desire for a peace with "malice toward none and with charity for all" was noble enough, but the South--and many in the North--left Reconstruction with the view that the war was, as you said, a patriotic and justifiable act rather than one of treason. That is unsurprising- the penalties imposed upon those who engaged in treason and rebellion were woefully short of the level needed to ensure genuine compliance with the constitutional order and associated values, to say nothing of the usual penalties imposed on insurrectionists elsewhere. Their leaders never had to confess, much less face trial.

In short, Southerners were never made to think of themselves as the guilty party in the conflict, but instead that their "Lost Cause" had been a noble one, that the terms of Reconstruction were stringent rather than lenient, and that their worldview and idea of "American values" remained equally if not more valid as those of the Union. (And, in time, that their war, in fact, had nothing to do with slavery at all!) Therefore, to them, their rebellion did not in any way represent a rejection of American values or patriotism, and so neither did its flag. This, of course, is wrong--but no one ever bothered to drive that point home.

To be fair, however, the justification of state authority against insurrection is always going to require a degree of cognitive dissonance in a country that is founded in the rejection of state authority by insurrection. Of course, one might avoid such problems by rejecting the initial insurrectionist rejection as illegitimate, but I am aware that shall always be very much a minority viewpoint. Wink

she can call herself what she wants. I call her a vandal and a professional agitator.

The removal of a symbol of treason is a patriotic act that strengthens the rule of law, rather than a contravention of it.
3043  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / FF takes down SC Confederate flag on her own on: June 27, 2015, 12:08:34 pm
Well, she's a self-described "freedom fighter" at least:



Quote
A black woman has climbed the flagpole in the grounds of the South Carolina State House and removed its controversial Confederate flag.

Bree Newsome climbed the 30ft (9m) steel pole just after dawn on Saturday despite police telling her to come down, Associated Press reported.

Ms Newsome and a man were later arrested and the flag returned.

There have been calls for it to be removed since nine people were killed in a racist attack in Charleston.

Shooting suspect Dylann Roof had been pictured with the Civil War era saltire - seen by some as a symbol of slavery and racism - on a number of occasions.

[...]

Ms Newsome describes herself on Twitter as a filmmaker, singer, songwriter and freedom fighter.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33297625
3044  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Opinion of Alexis Tsipras on: June 27, 2015, 12:01:55 pm

Quote
Mr Varoufakis said Greece had asked for an extension of "a few days, a couple of weeks", whereas Mr Dijsselbloem said an extension of one month had been requested.

Which one was it?

Will say the video of people withdrawing money makes the Greeks look rather stoic, pardon the pun. Maybe it's denial or bravado, but the people they interviewed seem to be consciously resisting panic.
3045  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: All GOP candidates were against the King v. Burwell decision on: June 27, 2015, 11:59:13 am
If Christie or Perry had been the only one to be relieved that millions of people get to keep their insurance, ya know, the same millions of people who have votes they need in the primaries and the general election, they could have shot up into the Top Tier.

But I guess neither of them are really in it to win it...

Would any of those millions have supported them for it, though?
3046  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek Referendum on IMF/Troika deal on: June 27, 2015, 11:55:48 am
The Eurogroup has just announced that GREXIT will happen Tuesday night.

They are now debating about how to secure the rest of the Eurozone while Greece has already left the talks.

I don't see this anywhere.

Maybe the government can make the payment if they start raiding banks' holdings in de-facto levies.
3047  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Breaking: Supreme Court rules SSM a legal right on: June 27, 2015, 09:36:23 am
What is "3)"?
3048  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gay Marraige will be legal in 50 years on: June 27, 2015, 08:22:36 am
The dangers of comfortable complacency. Sad

Instead of being an elderly curmudgeon by the time its time has come, one may instead be a young iconoclastic bigot who must self-censor to survive. Alas, the time has not aged Tweeds's claim- which sounded like it was made optimistically- all too well.
3049  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 19 reactions that will bring a tear to your eye on: June 27, 2015, 08:12:08 am

Did we really need BRTD making a thead just so he could post a link from f[inks]ing Upworthy?
3050  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Opinion of Alexis Tsipras on: June 27, 2015, 08:01:45 am
Don't be dramatic.

...

It would be ideal if there was a feasible way for the Eurozone to depose these lunatics and appoint some kind of technocratic government

Democracy is such a pain in the arse sometimes. It's so much easier to get things done in a dictatorship, isn't it?

I've been saying this since time immemorial and yet whenever I do people act like I've said something terrible...

You know, this whole thing started because a batch of people who shouldn't have had loans asked for them and the banks decided to lend them money anyway.

And if they denied loans to Greece?

If they'd denied them back in the 1980s, we wouldn't be in this mess. In fact, a lot of the mess in the developing world is due to loans being given during the Cold War to military juntas so they could buy weapons... and it became so impossible for them to pay back as well as preventing governments from looking after their people properly, a lot of it (after pressure for campaign groups) was forgiven. Look up the Jubilee 2000 campaign to see what I mean.

At least in the African context, that's usually not what actually did it. That honor usually went to hare brained protectionist import substitution industrialization schemes.
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