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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Oklahoma approves exciting new method of killing inmates on: April 18, 2015, 09:42:03 pm
I'm sorry, but "preferred method of execution" are not words that I think should ever be put together.
2  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Affirmative Consent in Post-Secondary Education Act of 2015 (Voting on amendment on: April 18, 2015, 07:55:56 pm
Well, it was a suggestion, not an amendment. But since people seem okay with it, I'll go ahead and put it through as an amendment.
3  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Southern Voting Booth - April 2015 Governor Election on: April 18, 2015, 07:13:52 pm
Southern Governor:

[1] Flo
[2] DeadPrez
4  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Office of Senator HagridOfTheDeep—Flo for Governor! on: April 16, 2015, 10:50:29 pm
Thank you so much, Senator. Your support is deeply appreciated Smiley

No problem. Best of luck!

And Yankee, your concerns are noted. But part of the reason why I ran against you was because it was becoming clear to almost everyone that you needed a break. I mean, no one’s saying it, but it’s the truth. You just went off on me for four paragraphs because I suggested you were propping up Deadprez. The thing is… so what? It’s politics. You gotta let them roll off your back. I realize it’s not my job to tell someone when to take a break, but if you’re elected again I hope for your own sake you’ll be a little less… intense. Everything’s okay!

Anyway, good luck to you as well.
5  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Affirmative Consent in Post-Secondary Education Act of 2015 (Voting on amendment on: April 16, 2015, 09:18:03 pm
Okay, let's try to tackle the problem area another way. I've changed the ongoing consent part. Could it be considered agreeable?

Quote from: More Suggested Language
Affirmative Consent in Post-Secondary Education Act of 2015

Section 1 - Introductory Matter
1. In order to receive federal financial assistance from July 1, 2015, a post-secondary educational institution (hereafter referred to as the "institution") must adopt a policy concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, as defined in relevant regional and federal statute involving a student, both on and off campus, in person and online.
2. The Secretary of Internal Affairs is hereby directed to develop a similar agreement with the regional governments regarding regional financial assistance to post-secondary institutions.

Section 2 - The Policy
1. The said policy shall consist of the following:
    (1) The promotion of an affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by both parties to sexual activity. “Affirmative consent” means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not necessarily mean consent, nor does silence. Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. A sexual act can become an assault if consent is revoked by any party during any point in the activity and that activity continues. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.
    (2) A disciplinary process for assault allegations that disqualifies the following situations as reasonable defenses for having not acquired affirmative consent prior to engaging in sexual activities:
        (A) The accused’s belief in affirmative consent arose from the intoxication or recklessness of the accused.
        (B) The accused did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the accused at the time, to ascertain whether the complainant affirmatively consented.
   (3) A policy that, in the evaluation of complaints in the disciplinary process, it shall not be a valid excuse that the accused believed that the complainant affirmatively consented to the sexual activity if the accused knew or reasonably should have known that the complainant was unable to consent to the sexual activity under any of the following circumstances:
        (A) The complainant was asleep or unconscious.
        (B) The complainant was incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication, so that the complainant could not understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual activity.
        (C) The complainant was unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition.

Section 3 - Establishing Policies Dealing With Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking
1. In order to receive federal funds for student financial assistance, the institution shall adopt detailed and victim-centered policies and protocols regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking involving a student that comport with best practices and current professional standards. At a minimum, the policies and protocols shall cover all of the following:
    (1) A policy statement on how the institution will provide appropriate protections for the privacy of individuals involved, including confidentiality.
    (2) Initial response by the institution’s personnel to a report of an incident, including requirements specific to assisting the victim, providing information in writing about the importance of preserving evidence, and the identification and location of witnesses.
    (3) Response to stranger and nonstranger sexual assault.
    (4) The preliminary victim interview, including the development of a victim interview protocol, and a comprehensive followup victim interview, as appropriate.
    (5) Contacting and interviewing the accused.
    (6) Seeking the identification and location of witnesses.
    (7) Providing written notification to the victim about the availability of, and contact information for, on- and off-campus resources and services, and coordination with law enforcement, as appropriate.
    (8 ) Participation of victim advocates and other supporting people.
    (9) Investigating allegations that alcohol or drugs were involved in the incident.
    (10) Providing that an individual who participates as a complainant or witness in an investigation of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking will not be subject to disciplinary sanctions for a violation of the institution’s student conduct policy at or near the time of the incident, unless the institution determines that the violation was egregious, including, but not limited to, an action that places the health or safety of any other person at risk or involves plagiarism, cheating, or academic dishonesty.
    (11) The role of the institutional staff supervision.
    (12) A comprehensive, trauma-informed training program for campus officials involved in investigating and adjudicating sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking cases.
    (13) Procedures for confidential reporting by victims and third parties.

Section 4 - Establishing Memoranda of Understanding With Partner Organizations
1. In order to receive federal funds for student financial assistance, the institution shall, to the extent feasible, enter into memoranda of understanding, agreements, or collaborative partnerships with existing on-campus and community-based organizations, including rape crisis centers, to refer students for assistance or make services available to students, including counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, and legal assistance, and including resources for the accused.

Section 5 - Establishing Comprehensive Prevention and Outreach Programs Addressing Sexual Violence
1. In order to receive federal funds for student financial assistance, the institution shall implement comprehensive prevention and outreach programs addressing sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
2. A comprehensive prevention program shall include a range of prevention strategies, including, but not limited to, empowerment programming for victim prevention, awareness raising campaigns, primary prevention, bystander intervention, and risk reduction. Outreach programs shall be provided to make students aware of the institution’s policy on sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
3. At a minimum, an outreach program shall include a process for contacting and informing the student body, campus organizations, athletic programs, and student groups about the institution’s overall sexual assault policy, the practical implications of an affirmative consent standard, and the rights and responsibilities of students under the policy.
4. Outreach programming shall be included as part of every incoming student’s orientation.
6  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Office of Senator HagridOfTheDeep—Report on Vote History Published! on: April 16, 2015, 08:39:13 pm


Senator HagridOfTheDeep and Governor Flo campaign together before this
weekend's regional election. The race is expected to be a close one.

Tallahassee, FL—

This region has never had it easy; over my time here, we have seen our fair share of challenges, from unemployment to inactivity. Through it all, we have always managed to come out on top because of the hard work of our people and the steady guidance of dedicated public officials. Governor Flo is one of those officials.
Since taking office, the progress Flo has made is undeniable. His commitment to the region has coloured every step he’s taken as our chief executive, and I am proud to see lively debate in legislature once more. That debate is also a testament to the dedicated individuals who’ve chosen to serve the South, and my hat goes off to them. But at the centre of it all has been a governor who, above everything, cares. He is one of the most active politicians in Atlasia, yes—but more than that, he does good work.

As an educator myself, I am especially proud of the legislative efforts Governor Flo has made to train effective teachers for the South, in the South. The Neighborhood Teacher Act, passed unanimously, offers our best performing high school seniors support to continue their education so that they might one day pass on their knowledge to the next generation of Southerners. This bill happened because of Flo’s good intentions, unbridled convictions, and strong work ethic.

In other areas, too, Flo has made real, positive change for the people of the South. He has increased accountability and transparency around how the government spends your tax dollars, and he is currently committed to opening a regional health care exchange pursuant to the recently-passed federal reform. Our governor is a man of the people and his tenure has seen overwhelming support from across the spectrum.

I am here today because this man, our great Governor Flo, is running for re-election and needs your help. I enthusiastically endorse his campaign, and I hope you will too. The election kicks off in a few hours. Please give him your vote!

When it comes down to it, Flo’s record speaks for itself, and to change course now just doesn’t make sense. The Federalist establishment thinks they need this one—or perhaps even deserve it. But to you, I posit this: We have a governor who is doing all the right things; why validate the game of shadow puppets that Yankee’s playing by supporting his chosen candidate? I would like to see the Federalist Party re-surge the right way, with strong contenders and honest victories. Unfortunately, right now I see a candidate being fed lines and a sad smear campaign.

My request is simple: Keep calm and carry on. The distractions don’t matter because we have our victor. Governor Flo has proven his dedication to the South; it’s time we show our gratitude. Debate is lively, his record is good, and his vision is strong. Let’s give Flo the win.

7  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: South Gubernatorial Debate Commentary Thread. on: April 16, 2015, 08:07:00 pm
This is not a game of Dungeons and Dragons, Windjammer. Roll Eyes
8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Thread. on: April 16, 2015, 02:06:40 pm
I thought it was just incredible.

That opening shot of the trashed star destroyer... <3
9  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: How will Rubio distance himself from Dubya? on: April 16, 2015, 07:44:28 am
People don't care anymore. It's been eight years. Distancing himself from the Tea Party fringes and libertarianism will be far more critical.
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Why is Hillary's campaign logo so bad? on: April 15, 2015, 09:10:49 pm
I hated it at first too, but I think it's so different and really plays into the way they're trying to make Hillary seem fresh and modern.
11  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Vote to cloture the debates) on: April 15, 2015, 06:40:56 pm
I do what I think is best for the country, yes.
12  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Vote to cloture the debates) on: April 15, 2015, 05:12:07 pm
Poor Griffin. Sad

My intentions haven't exactly been secret. You want it clear? I'll make it clear: I believe in our law enforcement officials. I would like the final version of the bill to be as friendly to them as possible. If we're going to open the can of worms where we're regulating the beliefs cops hold in their personal lives or exposing them to dangerous situations by limiting the selection of tools at their disposal (see Section 4, Clause 1C), I'm not okay with it. That's what this amendment does. I prefer Polnut's. Since I see where things are going, I'd rather stop with what we've got. Whether Senator Polnut's version of the bill fails or passes, I can rest easy knowing that these people will have our respect and support, not our evil eye. I don't know whether I'd support Polnut's version if it reaches a final vote; I do know I'd have a ton of trouble supporting Senator Blair's.

There you go. Read it and weep. And then grow up.
13  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Vote to cloture the debates) on: April 15, 2015, 04:25:19 pm

14  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Agricultural Policy Act of 2015 (Debating) on: April 15, 2015, 01:33:34 pm
2. I'm not entirely convinced about the agricultural tourism thing  but I'm willing to go with it if that's what the senate want.

If you have Mendeley I can send you about 30 different articles, as well as my own paper... Tongue

15  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Debating) on: April 15, 2015, 01:31:48 pm
I object to the amendment.

Mostly just because it's a complete re-write. There's some stuff in there I like and other stuff I don't, but I believe all big changes like these should go through a vote.
16  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: South Gubernatorial Debate Commentary Thread. on: April 15, 2015, 10:41:00 am
I could have done more as SoIA to push for action from the regions as well. I decided to prioritize the Pacific Stimulus and other initiatives because, frankly, they were easier to decode. I thought it would be better to line the regions up behind simpler tasks first... and it mostly worked. Once I saw that the model was good, the plan was to try and get something done with the health care exchanges. Unfortunately, right when I was ready to transition to more complex issues, the administration started falling apart and it became an embarrassment to serve. Maybe the health care exchanges were a victim of me not staying in, but I don't regret leaving.

The point is, though, no one actually cares about the response to the health care reform. It was without a doubt an enormous accomplishment, but it's also a little difficult for people to get behind because it takes serious effort to actually understand and figure out. Inaction is a shortfall on the part of many of us here, but I don't think it's worth crucifying anyone over. How many people PMed Flo to urge him to do something about this issue?
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Well, they finally shut us down. on: April 15, 2015, 08:16:40 am
I never even read it, but what is so blasphemous about someone posting hilariously sad updates about their life on the "Forum Community" board? Usually I give the benefit of the doubt, but does someone wanna fill me in? I'm not seeing it...
18  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Agricultural Policy Act of 2015 (Debating) on: April 15, 2015, 08:13:31 am
I just don't know too much about it. Didn't really feel comfortable adding or removing anything from the text with regards to that.
19  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Affirmative Consent in Post-Secondary Education Act of 2015 (Voting on amendment on: April 14, 2015, 05:11:15 pm
But since we're just asking in that particular section that universities promote consent, how is that a problem?

I would be okay with removing our involvement in the disciplinary process entirely as well, just so it's more of a "soft" kind of push.
20  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Agricultural Policy Act of 2015 (Debating) on: April 14, 2015, 03:26:05 pm
Yes, they do. As long as the SoIA is willing to be in contact with the regional executives about it. It was actually very successful for me when I was in your cabinet, because it got all the regions talking about the issue too (at the time, it was homelessness). I think one region did not submit a plan, but even if one doesn't, we can assume that the funds would eventually make their way to the regions via some sort of non-playable action.

I also chose to keep the plans with the regions because many of the initiatives require collaboration with municipalities. The regions are better able to carry that out.
21  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Affirmative Consent in Post-Secondary Education Act - Political Tracker Polls on: April 14, 2015, 11:49:19 am
I obviously don't think this is a problem that post-secondary institutions should have to deal with on their own, and fortunately the legislation in question doesn't do that. That being said, these are places where assault does have a greater incidence rate than elsewhere, and I do believe these institutions should take some responsibility in trying to combat it. If a person commits an assault on, at the very least, the property of the institution, the school should have the right to decide whether that is conduct they will allow among their students. If pressuring these institutions to take meaningful steps toward addressing the problem can help turn things around, I don't think it's something we should take off the table.

What's at issue, for me, is how to define consent and how deep the government should thrust itself into the bedrooms of private citizens. One thing the bill would do is regulate exactly how universities should judge and discipline individuals accused of rape. I'm thinking that's something we should probably remove. We should emphasize support, resources, and education instead, which I'm glad to see the bill already does to some extent.

Either way, I'm very confident we can actually find something that works. We all want to reduce sexual violence. We will pass a bill that aims to do that without causing additional problems elsewhere.
22  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Debating) on: April 14, 2015, 11:40:01 am
Perhaps these are all wishy-washy suggestions that deviate so much from the original bill because the entire spirit of the original bill was an unfortunate insult to public heroes.

Just maybe.

To be totally frank, I don't think we should pass anything. But this version is much better than what we were working with before. And I was happy to play even a small part in getting the original version off the table.
23  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Affirmative Consent in Post-Secondary Education Act of 2015 (Voting on amendment on: April 14, 2015, 11:36:05 am
I really think that the 'consent must be ongoing' language is going to open up a major can of worms that might result in problems once it gets to the implementation stage, fwiw.

I agree. In something related to issues as delicate as this, language REALLY matters. Herein lies the problem, as far as I can see, with what Senator Hagrid is proposing. It does recognise that some situations are ambiguous (or perceived as such), however, recognising it introduces elements subjectivity into the Bill.

How can it not be subjective, though? Consent should be ongoing throughout a sexual activity. So I guess the only solution is to define consent.
24  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Agricultural Policy Act of 2015 (Voting on amendment) on: April 14, 2015, 11:33:31 am
Well, I don't know where others are going with this bill, but I thought I'd put my stamp on it.

The big changes come in Section 4. I don't think funding research and development is worthwhile here. If agribusiness thinks going in the direction of vertical and indoor farming is feasible, corporations will be more than happy to fund the research themselves. That's why I've changed Section 4 to more broadly encompass "alternative farming." Since I believe most of these projects are more appropriately dealt with at the regional level, I've modeled the provisions of this section to leave things more open for the regions. Hopefully they will craft specific bills themselves and present them to the SoIA for approval, as happened last summer with homelessness bills when I was in that role (it actually worked very well and was a fun way to bring the regions and the federal government together).

As for the meat of what I'm proposing, I've shifted the focus on urban agriculture away from economics and more towards getting food to people who have barriers to access. I've also included a piece on agritourism. I've done a lot of research on agritourim in my academic life, and as long as agritourism does not completely displace agriculture itself (i.e., as long as it happens on working farms), it's a real boon for farmers as well as their larger rural communities. Visits to tourist farms can also encourage people, when they return home to the city, to buy local produce and think more about the food they eat. In all, there are a host of benefits. I hope the senate will strongly consider supporting each of these proposals.

Quote from: Amendment Offered
Agricultural Policy Act of 2015

Section 1: Farming Cooperative Agencies
1. The Department of Internal Affairs shall, upon the passage of this legislation, allocate $TBD 50 million to support individual groups of working or family farmers in organising or maintaining Farming Cooperative Agencies (hereafter FCAs) that shall aid farmers in various tasks of the farming work, including the sale of agricultural products. Said FCAs shall be run individually by the respective farmers, but may receive fundings from the national, regional or local governments.
2. To supervise the work of and aid the individual FCAs, the Atlasian Agricultural Authority (hereafter AAA) shall be established as a subsidiary arm of the Department of Internal Affairs. Further fields of work for the AAA shall be listed below. 

Section 2: Recognition of Working Farmers' Right to Organize
Working farmers (i.e. family or individual farmers) shall henceforth be recognized as having the right to organize unions and bargain collectively with food distributors and food processors. All extant labor legislation shall henceforth be interpreted as being applied to working farmers.

Section 3: Agricultural Training and Development Program
The AAA shall establish an Agricultural Training and Development Program (hereafter ATDP) for the express purpose of providing up-to-date information for farmers about proper growing methods, techniques, and technologies available to them. The program shall also offer information and training on diversification options like agritourism for farmers whose existing operations may be struggling. This program shall sponsor classes (directed by local FCAs, if those desire such programs), shall maintain a public website with accessible information on the aforementioned subjects, and shall work with local educational institutions to promote agricultural education in schools.

Section 4: Urban Farming and Research and Development Projects Promoting Alternative Agriculture
1. The AAA shall establish a pilot program, working in conjunction with city governments interested in participating in said program, to utilize building rooftops and other vacant areas within cities for the purpose of agricultural production.
2. In addition, $TBD shall be allotted for research and development on the feasibility of utilizing vertical and indoor farming, as well as for the development of lab-grown meat and other agricultural products.

1. The AAA (and, by extension, the Department of Internal Affairs), shall make available to the regions a total of $200 million for cooperative initiatives with municipal and county level governments related to urban agriculture. Qualifying initiatives might include programs that utilize building rooftops and other vacant areas within cities for the purposes of commercial agricultural production, community gardens, farmers' markets, or other schemes that can be demonstrated as combating the problem of urban food deserts.
2. The AAA shall make available to the regions a total of $200 million for programs supporting the growth of agritourism at independent farms. Agritourism options include, but are not limited to, on-site accommodations, farm tours, petting zoos, participatory farming, food service, shops, museums, hay rides, and corn mazes. Qualifying programs must ensure that funds are not provided to operations whose profits from agritourism amount to greater than 50% of their total gross profits annually.

Section 5: Implementation
Unless otherwise stated herein, this legislation shall take effect upon its passage.
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Can a mod please direct our gay porn-spamming troll to PAPOY? on: April 14, 2015, 11:00:29 am
I missed the porn?
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