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March 27, 2015, 10:45:02 am
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Voting on amendment) on: March 26, 2015, 02:47:29 pm
TNF, you ought to just withdraw this bill. By the time the softcocks are done with it, it'll be named "The Strongly Worded But Useless Admonishment of Police Bad (Sort Of? I Mean We're Defending It) Behavior Act".

Except this bill is not just about dealing with bad behaviour among our police forces. It's about punishing every Atlasian police officer just because they're cops.
2  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Electoral Reform Amendment (Debating) on: March 26, 2015, 10:53:18 am
I don't really care too much either way, but I agree that getting the whole senate involved could turn into a distraction, especially when it's not really necessary.
3  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Voting on amendment) on: March 26, 2015, 10:52:17 am
Well, I tend to think it's more bullsh**t to gallivant around the senate and call the people who risk their lives keeping our communities safe "pigs," but that's just me.
4  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: IDS 2: Stop PMing Me Act on: March 26, 2015, 12:14:08 am
I would also oblige if asked to stop. Like I said, I'd be more inclined to exhibit respectfulness if there wasn't an "or else!" attached. Regulating and policing good character just isn't the job of the government.
5  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: IDS 2: Stop PMing Me Act on: March 25, 2015, 09:59:08 pm
Well, I'll still PM people. If someone doesn't want a message, they can ask me to stop. Interestingly enough, I can't recall anyone actually asking me to.

At least you're being honest about your lack of respect for and commitment to upholding your region's laws Roll Eyes

At least you'd be able to be prosecuted if you follow through with your promise to break the law if this gets passed.

Well, I would hope my region wouldn't pass something like this in the first place. It's a bill that's been tried and repealed. It's a bill that arguably curtails free speech. It's a bill that asks members of a forum to disregard one of the most important, fundamental, and natural tools of forumgoing. It's a bill that permits members of a voluntary game to opt out of a necessary element of said game. I just don't see how it makes sense. Getting PMs here and there around election time might be a bit annoying, but in my experience it's an annoyance that lasts around 10 seconds per message and then you shake it off and move on with your life.

I know my tone was not exactly helpful, but I'm just a little surprised that this idea is on the table. We're going to make campaigning an indictable offense in an election game? What about new players who take it upon themselves to launch a great campaign but accidentally PM someone on the list because they didn't realize how things worked? We're going to crowd them out of the game? What about a seasoned player and valuable contributor who accidentally let a PM slip through to the wrong person thanks to some brain fart? They can't play anymore? Ignorance as a defense is usually pretty unconvincing because most forbidden practices are obvious, but this one really isn't. Like I said: It's a game that's pretty much centred on campaigning. If someone doesn't like the messages, a simple "you know, can you please stop berating me" would be easier than and just as effective as a list anyway.
6  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Postal Service Community Financial Lending Act of 2015 (Voting on amendment) on: March 25, 2015, 09:14:50 pm
Griffin:

The purpose of this legislation is to provide small loans to people who can't easily access banks. I see no reason why I should root against that. If interest is being charged just like it would be charged anywhere else, people who already happily do business with other financial institutions aren't going to have any reason to switch over to USPS. Yes, people in rural areas might find it more convenient to bank at a post office, but these places aren't going to be giving out mortgages or significant LOCs. These small loans (maybe we specify that the loans can't exceed $1,000) won't be a big burden, opening and maintaining accounts doesn't really cost anything, and interest payments and loan repayment should keep the upfront capital (the amount I suggested) relatively freed up. We don't need to spend a fortune here.

Then again, your vision for this program is not what I believe most of us bargained for. The post office is the post office. Small loans and account services for people who really need them are one thing, but if we're voting to turn USPS into a "formidable public banking institution" as you indicate, I'll have to rethink my support. The government shouldn't be a full-service truck stop for city folk who are unsatisfied with the plethora of solid banking options they have just around the corner. It should give small loans to people who can't currently access them; that's it. The point, as I understood it, was not to create a mega two-tiered financial system that the fringe left could circle-jerk over.

And the willingness of others in this chamber to bring down the amount of your proposed appropriations leaves me hopeful that at least a few people will agree with me.


Windjammer:

As someone who has been in the position of receiving requests for estimates, I think maybe it's better not to bother the GM unless we think it's super-necessary. But that's just me.
7  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Postal Service Community Financial Lending Act of 2015 (Voting on amendment) on: March 25, 2015, 08:10:32 pm
Most people will not be flocking to the post office to get a loan, I'm sure... Roll Eyes

And once the system makes money off of interest payments and the like, there will be more there to spend. Financial institutions exist to earn profit... I hope our system here would be able to eventually pay for itself as well...
8  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Voting on amendment) on: March 25, 2015, 08:06:00 pm
Aye
9  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: IDS 2: Stop PMing Me Act on: March 25, 2015, 08:03:47 pm
Well, I'll still PM people. If someone doesn't want a message, they can ask me to stop. Interestingly enough, I can't recall anyone actually asking me to.
10  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Combating Boko Haram (Final Vote) on: March 24, 2015, 08:34:18 pm
Aye
11  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: The Official Constitution Act (Final vote) on: March 24, 2015, 08:31:39 pm
Abstain
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Worst Relationships between Heads of Friendly or Allied Countries on: March 24, 2015, 11:22:09 am
Seems like Trudeau and his ego couldn't get along with anyone...
13  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Postal Service Community Financial Lending Act of 2015 (Voting on amendment) on: March 24, 2015, 11:00:58 am
All right. In the meantime, then, what are some numbers we can agree on?

$50 million for training and $75 million for services, including a new public outreach component (it's no use making these changes if no one knows about them)?
14  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: The Set It and Leave it Alone Minimum Wage Act of 2015 (Voting on Amendment) on: March 24, 2015, 10:57:32 am
Aye

We can give it a bit of time. Wink
15  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Postal Service Community Financial Lending Act of 2015 (Voting on amendment) on: March 23, 2015, 05:55:23 pm
Nay
16  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Reintroducing the 21st Amendment (Voting on amendment) on: March 23, 2015, 05:53:34 pm
Aye
17  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Postal Service Community Financial Lending Act of 2015 on: March 23, 2015, 11:31:35 am
I object.

This should not be a half billion dollar bill. I appreciate the answers I received earlier and I do believe this a service that could be offered (though I'm slightly uncomfortable with the fact that it fundamentally changes what the postal service is), but I don't think we need to be pouring so much money into this thing. Couldn't half of these new jobs be mechanized?
18  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Reintroducing the 21st Amendment (Debating) on: March 23, 2015, 11:28:32 am
Sounds good.

I don't really like these impeachments though, because oftentimes the law goes unfollowed. Not to single myself out, but at the end of my last tenure I was just tired of everything and sort of disappeared for a bit. I know it was long enough for the impeachment proceedings, but they didn't kick in because no one cared or noticed. Griffin has done a better job at, ahem, politicizing absences, but... I don't think this procedure works.

Couldn't we just make being absent an "impeachable offense," and if folks decide to go through with impeachment proceedings then that's what they do?
19  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Agricultural Policy Act of 2015 (Debating) on: March 23, 2015, 11:23:47 am
Food distributors and food processors are not employers, so I don't understand why collective bargaining is necessary. Individual farms can bargain with buyers however they see fit, and enter into a contract they like. If they don't like it, they can sell their products somewhere else. If they can't find something better, well... that's what the market has priced their products at. Organizing doesn't seem to me like it would achieve much either because then it would remove the power of individual farmers to be competitive and innovate (assuming each member would be required to charge the same amount for the same products).

I'm afraid I just don't see the point, other than "unions!!1111" This isn't what agriculture is in Atlasia, and I don't think it's what it should be, either.
20  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Voting on amendment) on: March 23, 2015, 11:16:25 am
Aye

Most of these are common-sense changes, and I will likely introduce an amendment to further neuter the bill in due course.

Let's go through the senator's amendment point by point, just because I think it will shed light on how uncontroversial most of these changes should be.

The first change concerns the make-up of an oversight committee. The sponsor wanted to ban anyone related to a police officer from serving on these committees, but the fact is, we want these committees to resemble the makeup of the general civilian population. Like it or not, many people have family ties to police officers. Our communities value police officers. Having someone who might look at law enforcement in a more favourable light than someone else is going to happen no matter what; it's the nature of having diverse voices on the panel. I don't think people should be cut out of the loop just because of who happens to be in their family.

The second change has to do with the powers of the PORCs. The sponsor wants the PORCs (panels of civilians) to control the hiring and firing of officers. These civilians may not have any idea how a police force operates or what is sometimes necessary to be successful in this line of work, and, let's face it, they are easily influenced by sensationalized media stories. Frankly, I think the amendment's override is too weak, but regardless, I see it as necessary (I think it's interesting that the sponsor seems to want to make it easier to fire cops despite strongly supporting unions in most other circumstances).

Having a requirement that lethal force be authorized by the committee beforehand is asinine, so I'm glad that's out.

The proposal on officer pay is an interesting one, and I think setting arbitrary caps weakens the collective bargaining rights of workers. Cops are not being paid too much; everyone else is being paid too little. The solution is not to bring people down. As an aside, this same section stipulates that police officers must live within the communities they serve. As someone who has close ties with Mississauga's Fire and Emergency Services in Ontario, I can say that it is extremely difficult to find people in the local area willing to do these kinds of jobs. People come from all over the GTA and Southern Ontario to work in Mississauga, and it's not a problem because these are good people doing honourable work.

As for the section that bans unmarked police cars... well, I'm not sure I understand. It's the job of law enforcement to enforce laws. The expectation is that the citizenry will be abiding by a region's laws regardless of whether police officers are or aren't in the vicinity. Unmarked cars are one way to keep the population safe.

Entrapment is one that I'm iffy on, but if a person commits a crime, it's a crime as long as it's got the mens rea (?) and actus reus (?) components, right? Whether there was some form of "entrapment" or not is kind of beside the point.

Anyway, that's where I stand. Bills that target women and men who put their lives on the line to save people aren't ones I'm fond of.
21  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Postal Service Community Financial Lending Act of 2015 on: March 21, 2015, 12:41:55 pm
Sorry, hehe. Tongue
22  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: The Set It and Leave it Alone Minimum Wage Act of 2015 (Voting on Amendment) on: March 21, 2015, 12:40:55 pm
Aye

It's important.
23  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: The Official Constitution Act on: March 21, 2015, 12:39:17 pm
Then why doesn't the AG just do his job and update it? Why do we need a new bill? I mean, I think it would obviously be great to have an updated constitution readily available as well, but... I guess I'm a little confused.
24  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Voting on amendment) on: March 21, 2015, 12:38:00 pm
Aye
25  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Agricultural Policy Act of 2015 (Debating) on: March 21, 2015, 12:34:48 pm
If farmers want to start a cooperative on their own, let them. I don't see why we have to push them to it and create the framework ourselves.

I think the suggested changes would be good.

While we're talking about farming, I'm also a big fan of agritourism if it's done properly. It's a good way to connect the people working at sites of production with the people living at sites of consumption. It can also open markets for local food (and the diversification is great for farmers). The Pacific Stimulus I authored last summer included a farm tourism piece, but I think it could find a home here as well for something more permanent.
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