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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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76  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 07:40:51 pm
Chairman is gendered, yes. I have never in any setting seen a woman referred to as a chairman, always a "chair."

I have seen a few instances. Arundhati Bhattacharya Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of India, Catherine Marron was Chairman of the Board Trustees of the New York Public Library, and Roberts Rules' instructs that a woman chair of a body be referred to as "Madam Chairman".

The main question here is whether "man" can be a gender neutral term.
77  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Good Post Gallery II on: July 16, 2014, 07:21:44 pm
Whether or not Lincoln invaded the South to end slavery misses the point entirely.  The real motives behind secession were evident and secession was inevitable from Lincoln's election.  Tariffs couldn't have been an issue for the South considering the backers of the Tariff of 1857 were primarily from Southern and agricultural states.
Probably because the Tariff of 1857 was a major tariff reduction. Lincoln campaigned heavily on his support for the Morrill Tariff of 1861, at that time still in Congress, which dramatically raised the average tariff rate from about 15% to about 37%, and was also supported strongly by Northern manufacturing interests. In the words of the Republican steel magnate Henry Carey, "Without out it [the protective tariff], Mr. Lincoln's administration will be dead before the the day of inauguration."

Quote
Slavery was the dominating issue during the 1860 campaign and it was one the last three presidents had to deal with almost exclusively (obviously I'm being slightly hyperbolic here).
Hyperbolic is an understatement. Sorry, but that's just plain wrong and no historian will tell you any different. Tariffs, Federal land policy, corporate subsidies, internal improvement projects, and territorial expansions were all major issues. Just to be clear, I'm not denying that Southern politicians were racist slavery supporters. I'm simply arguing that Lincoln's intent in invading the South was not the abolition of slavery, but rather the enforcement of tariff laws.

Quote
 
Whether Lincoln's ultimate goal was to preserve the Union or abolish slavery has no bearing on why the Civil War actually happened.  That much is proven by copious records of speeches, writings, formal declarations, and CSA state constitutions that have already been posted a thousand times on this site.  And no, the majority of Southerners did not own slaves, but that doesn't take away the fact that white supremacy was the key element that inspired revolt and that a number of Southerners (and some Northerners) were petrified at the very idea of living in black-majority states unless slavery was law.  Anything else is just a red herring.

In short, if slavery weren't an issue, the country probably wouldn't have broken into civil war, tariffs and other irrelevant crap be damned.
Tariffs were most certainly not irrelevant. Like in almost all American wars of conquest, powerful monied interests were a driving force behind the invasion. Following the first wave of seceding States, many Northern newspapers and merchants called for peaceful coexistence, citing the threat that war would pose to trade between the North and Lower South. They quickly changed their tune when the Confederate Constitution was fully drafted in March 1861. It contained a clause forbidding the imposition of import tariffs, which would have forced the Union to lower tariff rates in order to compete with tariff-free Confederate ports. This prospect alarmed Northern manufacturing interests, and despite the multitude of Northern editorials advocating allowing the Lower South to secede, few if any of that nature can be found after March 1861. Powerful businessmen began writing letters to Lincoln extolling the necessity of preserving the Union, and most if not all Northern newspapers that had previously supported the Lower South's right of secession (such as the New York Times) quickly reversed their position.

That, combined with fact that Lincoln threatened invasion over the tariff issue specifically, should be proof enough that tariffs were hardly irrelevant. 

On top of all that, you've still yet to offer any evidence for your position: That Lincoln invaded the South with the intent of abolishing slavery. You need to at least do that much before you can attack my position as nonsense.

Quote
At this point I'd like to politely escort our distinguished history scholars to a site with people more captivated to persons of their caliber.
Nice one bro.

I'll amend what I said before in that the tariff was reason for further Southern irritation, but it was still peripheral to the dominating issue of slavery.  Incidentally, the Morrill Tariff passed the Senate after seven states seceded which turned control of the Senate over to Republicans.  Secession is what allowed that tariff to pass.  It's also worth mentioning that northern political interests were not uniform in supporting the tariff (the Chamber of Commerce of New York petitioned the Senate not to adopt the tariff) and the issue was far more complex than "north versus south."  Even so, secession was not the only solution available to the tariff's opponents, especially since the tariff hadn't even been in effect yet, even though it makes for hell of a cover-up to Confederate sympathizers.

And, once again, Lincoln's own intentions for war has nothing to do with my point and I never tried to argue that he sought war for the purpose of abolishing slavery.  Lincoln's top priority was preserving the Union.  That doesn't mean the primal motive behind Southern rebellion wasn't slavery and that tensions would have been just as severe absent the slavery issue.

If you still insist on placing literally everything else above the slavery issue, you're wagering on faith.

I will leave you with this.

Quote from: Alexander Stephens, "Cornerstone Speech"
Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—sub-ordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.
78  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: July 16, 2014, 06:44:00 pm
You know that I am far, far from being a Zionist, but this is absurd. These four children died because Hamas decided they would launch scores of rockets into Israel. The Israelis were right to retialiate. If Mexico decided to randomly launch rockets at America, I'd want to bomb the hell out of the border towns. These four children died because of Hamas.

That being said, why is Hamas launching rockets to begin with? That is a fair question, but the actions of Hamas are not justified by their cause.

What does that mean? People talk about "anti-Zionism" a fair amount but do they really think that the Israelis should just pack their bags and leave the country? I've asked this before, but do you really believe Israel should not exist because this is Palestinian land? How is that any different from what the Israelis (besides the 1300-year-odd difference between their "presence") did in claiming the land for themselves?

In hindsight, I think the Middle East would have been off if Israel was not established in the Holy Land, but now that they are established, they shouldn't be forced out. They have every right to fight for their land, and I commend them for doing it.

But isn't that... Zionism? Had Mandatory Palestine become just another Arab Republic (Would it have, though?- all the British colonies in the Middle East were monarchies at independence) we wouldn't have all these issues surrounding Israel per se, yes. But I imagine any sort of Arab Republic/Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine would move very quickly to prohibit further immigration and at least attempt expelling Jews (or "recent settlers" as I'd imagine it'd be put) not long after. And of course there is the matter of what happens to the European Jews, who are not particularly inclined to remain where they are after what happened to them...
79  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: r/civilwar on: July 16, 2014, 06:11:53 pm
I think most people would support their state if it seceded for whatever reason. I don't endorse Florida leaving the Union and would vote "no" in a referendum on the subject for a variety of reasons, but if the "yes" campaign wins out and we do secede in this hypothetical situation, I'm going to be a citizen of the Republic of Florida.

This is also silly. I feel no particular feeling towards New Jersey and would leave the state if it were to secede. I might act differently if New York City were to secede but I'm certainly not becoming a citizen of the "Republic of New York" or anything like that. I mean this is decidedly un-patriotic, it's not expected from a conservative.

I have no ill will towards the Union and I hope it never, ever comes apart again. But we are the United States of America-a collection of fifty states with a variety of customs, traditions, and histories that are unique. We root for our local sports teams. Why should we not root for our state first and foremost?

Why should I feel any attachment to my state? Being born in Mobile as compared to New York would not have made all that much difference when compared to if I had been born in, say, Accra. And who says we all root for local teams? The silliness of that comparison aside (at least in terms of acting as if they are similar), it's untrue.

Actually defend it.

From whom? Child refugees? Central American job-seekers? I agree illegal immigration is not a good thing, which is uncontroversial, but the idea that undocumented immigrants pose some active menace to society from which we must defend ourselves is well, offensive.
80  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: July 16, 2014, 05:55:56 pm
You know that I am far, far from being a Zionist, but this is absurd. These four children died because Hamas decided they would launch scores of rockets into Israel. The Israelis were right to retialiate. If Mexico decided to randomly launch rockets at America, I'd want to bomb the hell out of the border towns. These four children died because of Hamas.

That being said, why is Hamas launching rockets to begin with? That is a fair question, but the actions of Hamas are not justified by their cause.

What does that mean? People talk about "anti-Zionism" a fair amount but do they really think that the Israelis should just pack their bags and leave the country? I've asked this before, but do you really believe Israel should not exist because this is Palestinian land? How is that any different from what the Israelis (besides the 1300-year-odd difference between their "presence") did in claiming the land for themselves?
81  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: r/civilwar on: July 16, 2014, 05:45:23 pm
I think most people would support their state if it seceded for whatever reason. I don't endorse Florida leaving the Union and would vote "no" in a referendum on the subject for a variety of reasons, but if the "yes" campaign wins out and we do secede in this hypothetical situation, I'm going to be a citizen of the Republic of Florida.

This is also silly. I feel no particular feeling towards New Jersey and would leave the state if it were to secede. I might act differently if New York City were to secede but I'm certainly not becoming a citizen of the "Republic of New York" or anything like that. I mean this is decidedly un-patriotic, it's not expected from a conservative.
82  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: r/civilwar on: July 16, 2014, 05:40:23 pm
The thread name is not funny.
83  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: July 16, 2014, 05:34:00 pm
Please do not post that idiot's comics here. We're above that.

"That idiot?" I'm surprised you (people?) even know of him, he's hardly a "big" name. But you're quite wrong here, I've been following the comic for around a decade at this point I find him to be right on target with most things; not always, but most of the time. Then again, what you consider to be sensibility I imagine most others would call "utter madness", and vice versa.

I makes a pointed effort to avoid forming opinions on Israel-Palestine issues, if only because people get so emotionally invested in them to a level where I can't possibly keep up. Something like 30% of the population of my school, and 50% of the women's college across the street are Jews (and I'm not counting the Jewish college just north of here, either), and Palestine's been a cause celebre amongst the left since George Habash, and they are crawling all over this place, so they might as well be a lot of Palestinians here. And I have no desire to get into that mess. But I have a question or two, because I feel too ignorant at the moment.

1. It isn't entirely clear who started bombing whom. The Times makes it look like Israel started it as a response to the killing of the teenagers, when the BBC states flatly "Hamas claimed responsibility for firing rockets for the first time in 20 months" to which the Israelis responded with their campaign.

2. Israel is bombing Gaza as to cripple Hamas' ability to bomb them. But why is Hamas bombing Israel, anyway? What exactly is Hamas trying to hit? Or is Hamas really just firing randomly? Because they've apparently been hitting themselves a lot, so you would think they have a goal if they're going to mount such a costly campaign.

3. It is known/claimed that Hamas is storing its weapons in civilian areas and instructing people to disregard Israeli warnings that they are going to conduct strikes- apparently even the Israelis can even call people on their cell phones! You begin to get the idea Hamas doesn't really care that much about the lives of Gazans. Is this not true, then what is Israel trying to hit?

4. This is somewhat unrelated but I'll ask anyway- how does Israel justify building all these settlements in the West Bank? I understand why they would exist- there wasn't really any entity that could claim to be a sovereign Palestine until the Oslo Accords- but how can they still build new ones if they acknowledge that they areas they are being built in are Palestinian?

5. Israeli Arabs? How/why do they exist? How did they get citizenship in the first place as opposed to other Palestinians?
84  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: You are all missing the point of "Ask" threads. on: July 16, 2014, 04:36:09 pm
The encounter between the ironic and the irony-free is a recurring Atlas train wreck.

Yes. See: Imagen if Atlas Forum Modarn In The Past

You see a lot of people don't "get" the humor they are supposed to be "getting" in those so they just assume it's about spelling incorrectly. They can be a bit impenetrable if they aren't absurdist enough, and I'm not sure I even see the appeal of the botched spelling. You have to admit the IRC gang's taste can be out of step with most other people sometimes (see: the hate for Doctor Who).
85  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Petition to ban TX Conservative Dem on: July 16, 2014, 04:26:00 pm
Why are we having a debate on this?

X Antonio V

We're not. Calm down.
86  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should Private School (k-12) be Abolished in the United States? on: July 16, 2014, 04:24:43 pm
Yes, because then people will start to care about improving public schools instead of just yelling "VOUCHERS!" and running away from the problem.
As opposed to yelling "MOAR FUNDING" even though the quality of education has continually declined as the Federal government has poured more money into the system?

This is an important point.
87  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Paul Krugman: "The Affordable Care Act is working" on: July 16, 2014, 04:23:14 pm
Gotta love the completely factless "rebuttals" by our resident idiots.

Healthcare insurance is virtually unchanged since ACA. Democrats chose to continue the failed status quo, with a few tweaks to make it less bitter.

Sharpest coverage increase ever = "virtually unchanged".

OK... Roll Eyes

It's clear he is speaking about the quality of healthcare. It's probably too soon for there to be much change, much less discernible change, so I think he's technically correct.
88  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 04:18:08 pm
But only starship officers, am I correct? Wink

(I am going to assume that in Star Trek women can be called "Mister" and "Sir", or something like that.)
89  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XV: Stuck Inside of Tulsa with the Oklahoma City Blues Again on: July 16, 2014, 04:15:11 pm
What are you talking about Duke?  Things are great so far.   I do have to cling to God no matter what.  I have nothing against this at all,  but in my class there are 9 blacks and 4 whites.  African Americans are quite prevalent in that part of Tulsa.  I don't mind it at all,  but it is an interesting fact in white Oklahoma.

Something, or more properly something else is wrong here. It's a strange juxtaposition, admittedly involving phrases he didn't come up with ("cling to God"), that, even if unintentional, is probably indicative of something unpleasant.

Yeah it's weird that he juxtaposes an infamous Obama phrase (reclaiming "clinging" as a positive description of his relationship with religion in the process? or maybe just using it ironically) with completely unrelated seemingly benign observations about the multitude of black folk at his work.

I mean, the mention of the race of his co-workers was a complete non-sequitur, and his breakdown of their demographic composition made it look even odder. (To be fair, had he said "there are are lot of black people at my job" or "most people at work are black", I imagine I would have looked at that even worse.) But the initial caveat of "I have nothing against this at all, but..." makes it seem that it the "clinging to God" thing was the proper response.

I mean, I don't know whether or not it would seem stranger if he had posted the black part on its own or posted what he did, but it was completely unprompted.
90  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 04:00:52 pm
Are there female firefighters?  I never heard of such a thing.

But, I think the easiest default is to use things like firefighter or mail carrier, if there's a good non-gendered word.  If there's a good gendered word like sculptress, executrix or chairman that has a nice ring to it, go with that.  For the female chairman, I think we're just stuck with awkward, bad sounding words.  Chairlady, chairwoman, chair, chairperson, all sound terrible.  

But that doesn't really answer the question here-- is "chairman" gendered? If it isn't, then alternate gender-neutral or gender-specific terms become a matter of preference rather than necessity.

But I do agree that while it's entirely subjective, I'm not going to be raising hackles or asking questions about perfectly fine words like "firefighters" or "police officers". It's inelegant words like "alderperson" or "chairwoman" that make me wonder "are we supposed to be doing this?" in the first place.

To be fair the usage of certain gendered nouns is completely arbitrary. What logical reason is there for us to use words like stewardess, actress, or waitress but not doctress, professoress, or poetess, all of which are actual words? So we are trying to determine logic in an already illogical system. Already I wonder how linguists are able to stay sane.

As for the example of "congressman" (which seems pretty inelegant as-is), I suppose the distinction is made in terms of concurrent number. I mean, there would be only be the Chairman of X at a given time but there are hundreds of members of Congress at any given time. While it might be technically correct, if we are to consider "-man" gender-neutral (but always, also?), to refer to a mixed group of members of Congress of as "these fine Congressmen", it seems strange.

Of course, this could be avoided simply by calling them "Representatives", but it raises an interesting question. Is it appropriate, for example, to have a "Conference of Chairmen of Foreign Affairs Committees of Parliaments of the European Union". Or should it be a conference of Chairpeople, even if it is correct to call a woman "chairman".

Or can they only be firefighters or mailpersons?
Firefighters exist, and some of them are women.  Mailpersons do not exist.  The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has long preferred the usage of "letter carrier" over mailman or postman.  Some letter carriers are also women.

Well, I've never actually used or even heard the term "letter carrier" in daily speech, I've always referred to the person who brings the mail as a "mailman", this despite for several years, the person who did that was a woman- I, and everyone else in the family, referred to her as "the mailman". Now that I think of it, "letter carrier" is a rather unpleasant and and de-personalising term.
91  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 02:51:41 pm
Women can be anything that they want to be.

The question is about linguistics, not gender roles, but I think this is still the right answer: Call any given woman in one of these types of positions what she'd prefer to be called, if she expresses a preference.

I mean if a woman calls herself a "poetess" then I suppose I would go along but I'm speaking in general terms. And we are trying to get to of the essence of the word- practice would follow convention, that is, a woman might elect to call herself a "chairperson" because she believe the word "chairman" to be gendered- but would that be correct?
92  General Politics / Political Debate / Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 02:37:20 pm
Or can they only be firefighters or mailpersons?

More seriously, I'm asking about gender-neutral pronouns. I've always thought the idea of the suffix "-man" being considered gendered to be a bit of an imposition. I mean, "mankind" is very clearly in reference to all people, not just men. So I'm of the opinion that women can be chairmen. Because chairperson... well it's all a bit silly. Because, you know, some men are women.

Tongue

Seriously, though, it almost seems a forced sexism. This is a good quote:

Quote
I’m going to be thinking about man, and his part in the world, fairly frequently in these pages, and I want to make it quite clear, right away, that I Madeleine, sex: f, wife and mother, am just as much MAN as is Hugh, sex: m, husband and father, and that I’m not about to abdicate my full share in mankind. One of the most pusillanimous things we of the female sex have done throughout the centuries is to have allowed the male sex to assume that mankind is masculine.

There's some good thoughts on this page as well.

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/mankind-humankind-and-gender/

I'm not a linguist, and this all seems very dangerous (as if it were a black hole), but I guess I have feelings on it. I suppose this is what happens when you find that the Wikipedia page for "Chairman of the Federal Reserve" has become the inelegant "Chair of the Federal Reserve".
93  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: GM Political Independence Amendment on: July 16, 2014, 02:14:09 pm
So Art. VII, § 2, Cl. 6 would now read:

Quote
6. The President shall appoint choose a Game Moderator with the advice and consent of two-thirds of those members duly elected and sworn to the Senate and the advice thereof.
a. The Game Moderator is responsible for providing the Senate and Atlasia with the necessary information to conduct debate and create legislation. The GM, at his discretion, shall provide information on wars, natural disasters, foreign events, and basic economic information including unemployment and inflation.
b. The Game Moderator may at any time be dismissed by the President.
c. The Game Moderator may, in the case of gross mismanagement, negligence, or abuse of authority at any time be removed by the Senate by a two thirds vote, without presidential approval.

Some of it is pedantism- changing "appoint" to "choose" and removing the "at any time"- to reflect the independence of the post and the gravity of a removal. I'm not sure about the "Gross" part.
94  General Politics / International General Discussion / The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: July 16, 2014, 01:48:06 pm
I am making this thread for two reasons.

1) Dead0man is just running rampant over the other one.

2) Because this happens so often why bother making a new one every time? See below:



http://www.jjmccullough.com/index.php/2010/06/04/generic-israel-comic/
95  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ask Xahar on: July 16, 2014, 01:33:52 pm
What is your opinion of modern democratic party and its future? Is there any candidate you'd find palatable for 2016?

sawx talks a lot about the Party of Macklemore, and I think that's a legitimate concern. To the extent that the party is willing to ignore actual social issues for cultural concerns, it is a problem and needs to be stopped. That said, Republicans won't be occupying the left any time soon, so the Democrats will have to remain the part of the left whether they want to or not.

This is actually an interesting point and I'm glad people are observing it. As for the Republicans, that might be true, but it doesn't mean they won't try.

Well I have a question, too- what was being on the football team like? I still can't wrap my head around that. Not in a bad way, no, but I just can't see it.
96  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: You are all missing the point of "Ask" threads. on: July 16, 2014, 01:27:09 pm
There are already too many people trying to be funny with them, the people who are serious about them are merely piling on. For that reason, they'd best go on Individual Politics.
97  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Ask Oakvale on: July 16, 2014, 01:23:14 pm

I think it'd probably be worse. Our best writers all wrote in English, despite what the gabbling gombeen mafia will insist, and our literary (and otherwise) impact on the rest of the world - and the impact of the rest of the world on our culture - would have been massively diminished without the English language. Just personally I think it's a disastrous language that should be taken off life support as soon as possible - the unbearable smug attitude of the gaelgoir stormtroopers who act as if they're somehow more Irish than those who don't speak their dead language doesn't exactly help my opinion of the 'movement'.

I wonder, what's it like having a national language but electing not to speak it? In the broader, societal sense, not just you. I imagine there aren't many countries in a similar situation- a non-dead ethnic language of the majority group. I imagine the Irish speakers must be sincerely confounded as to why everyone else isn't speaking it, and I can see how that would be annoying.
98  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Petition to ban TX Conservative Dem on: July 16, 2014, 01:19:52 pm
Well, now that you mention it, I think I now support banning TX Conservative Dem, but only because of the death threats.

Yes, terrible a poster he is notwithstanding, he hasn't done anything "else" ban-worthy. I think.
99  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 37 Percent Of Mississippi GOPers Would Back Confederates In Civil War on: July 16, 2014, 01:14:55 pm
RINOs.

The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitors, up with the stars;
While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!


EDIT: Also the video was apparently made by a "Henok Gugsa". Abeshas know what it's about. Smiley
100  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Petition to ban TX Conservative Dem on: July 16, 2014, 12:40:07 pm
But regardless, TXCD is hilarious. I will not sign.
Hell no. Why so people always want to ban the funniest posters?

Stop. This is not "I don't like this poster". This is "making death threats to multiple people". If you think this is funny there is something wrong with you. (Besides the one about Gass, that made me chuckle) And he's black? For a black person (outside of a gang member I guess) and think of shooting positively is a sign of certain mental derangement.

x Simfan

BTW, we'd still have Clinton1996. He'd still be our only non-banned normal black poster. Because I'll admit I'm not your normal black person and this guy certainly isn't.

Oh, did you find his wife's FB profile pic as well?  I just did, so yeah, my mistake.

Ha. Also very funny.
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