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January 29, 2015, 03:22:37 pm
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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76  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Happy New Years! Your New Years Present Is Here! :D on: January 02, 2015, 03:40:50 pm
Well, at least he's hot.
77  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: Hagrid for SoIA on: January 01, 2015, 02:52:22 pm
Would you recommend abolishing the "independent" budget as established under the CSS seeing as how unlikely it is that the numbers will be crunched after three years of no progress?

Yes, although I recognize that it's up to the senate.

I have to say, as a former SoIA, I did appreciate when the senate would include in legislation one-off tasks for me to do. The thing is, they need to be relatively simple and need not recur at regular intervals. I can keep up as we go along, but expecting a Secretary of the Interior to dig so far back in time for incomplete projects is asking a lot. Perhaps if the senate does delegate specific tasks to the Department of the Interior, there can be an expiry date or something. Or not. Admittedly, I don't really have a solution to this one, but having incomplete tasks from 2010 certainly puts future holders of this office in an interesting predicament.
78  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Your plans for tonight on: January 01, 2015, 01:35:46 pm
I change my mind. It was awful. I feel like garbage. What a hangover this is. I will never drink again. Etc., etc.
79  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: New Year's Resolutions. on: January 01, 2015, 12:00:34 pm
25 more pounds. Getting into grad school and onto the supply list would also be a very nice thing. Especially if I end up having the option to go to a few different cities. It would maximize the chance of me being able to stay with my current boyfriend... and thinking about the alternative is hard. I don't wanna go back to the rough place I was in last summer. I'm so grateful for the way things have changed for me this last year. I hope 2015 can be just as good.
80  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Your plans for tonight on: January 01, 2015, 11:56:14 am
Went to Ottawa with my old roommates to party at the house of the girl I once thought I was in love with. Got drunk, played board games, spent the whole night thinking about someone else, and passed out. And threw up lots. I guess it was okay.

Happy New Year! Cheesy
81  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Post something you admire about the previous poster on: January 01, 2015, 11:45:20 am
He kind of came out of nowhere to establish himself as a quality poster worthy of respect from this forum's brightest minds. Good on him. Smiley
82  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Post something you admire about the previous poster on: December 31, 2014, 02:50:07 am
His movie proves that he has the creative spark that many people lack these days. It's a great thing.
83  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: 2014 Selfie Creepfest/Post a picture of yourself thread on: December 31, 2014, 02:38:27 am
Lookin' fine, gents.

Here's me during a recent expedition to the mall. Nice smiles are not one of my strengths. Either way, I'm down ~25 lbs since summer! Smiley

Wow, congrats!

Thanks! I'm hoping I can keep it off.
84  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone III - The Whinge Binge on: December 31, 2014, 02:37:41 am
Observation: if someone likes me, or if I am admitted into something, or otherwise thinks highly of something I've done, I question their judgement and my opinion of them usually dims considerably. Sort of like Groucho Marx when he mentioned that he wouldn't join any club that would let him in.

"I did well? He must be a lax grader."

"I was accepted? They must let everyone in."

"Oh, she doesn't dislike me? Well then, she is too blasť."

Also, I managed to give myself a haircut the other day.

I have the same problem. I'm trying to force myself out of it (or force it out of me), and you should too.

But I don't find it believable. I'm not that great, one might say a "loser" or a "dweeb", if you would. At the same time, why are so many people so unreliable and untrustworthy?

I sound terribly dramatic. I apologise.

Don't apologize. For me, my low self-esteem is mostly related to how I look and, in some cases, my poor work ethic. It sometimes makes it hard for me to have a boyfriend that I consider cute and hardworking. I need his reassurances that I'm still okay far more often than I should, and I thank my lucky stars that he doesn't seem to mind my occasional lack of confidence.

On another note, I'm applying for graduate programs in education, but I'm finding it extremely difficult and stressful to secure letters of recommendation. Taking this route was never my plan, so I didn't take time to build good relationships with my profs in undergrad. I have classes that I did really well in, but I feel weird contacting the instructors out of the blue. Ideally I would've been meeting with these people over the last couple months to build some sort of rapport, but this decision is recent and I didn't think to do it. What's more, one of the few profs who does know me has not even replied to my inquiry about a letter. It's a crappy feeling. Couple that with the fact that my marks were not fantastic (I always did well on papers but took the hit on participation marks and attendance), and I'm just not feeling good about myself.

And another note, I'm getting more and more nervous for May when me and Tommy graduate and have to confront "the future" head on. Bleh.
85  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: Hagrid for SoIA on: December 31, 2014, 02:25:50 am
Are you committed to the full implementation of the recently passed Collective Bargaining Modernization Act?

Well, I would not use the word "committed," because that makes it sound like I have some sort of personal affinity for the provisions in the law, which I do not. But yes, I will implement the legislation as passed by the senate.

Personally, I support the idea of having single national or international unions for specific sectors of employment. For example, I look to the IAFF and see a strong union that can provide valuable services and professional development to its members specifically because it brings fire fighters together from across Canada and the United States. It could not do what it does for the industry if fire fighters were represented by multiple disparate organizations.

On the other hand, I think industry-wide contracts and bargaining units are unrealistic and, in fact, will not be in the best interests of any party involved. Although some elected officials would like to pretend that all employers are the same, it's simply not the case, and no "employers' association" will be able to accurately represent the diverse conditions at different places of work. In that regard, the law does not, in my view, give employers a fair shake at negotiations. On the other side of the table, I have the feeling that a one-size-fits-all contract can never properly address the needs of specific workers at specific sites of employment. Part of what makes unions so important is that they are accessible and relevant to workers at a local level. Having local affiliates put their best representatives at the negotiating table ensures that the people fighting for workers' rights actually know the workers and their specific needs... not the needs that the people at the top of the national organization say are most important.

What's more, there's nothing in the legislation to clear up potential problems wherein one region may have one law on the books while another region has a completely contradictory one. What works in Kentucky may not work in California. Specifically for the IAFF, building codes are hugely important. The Imperial Dominion of the South uses the Consensus Codes and the rest use the National Building Code. What if something about these codes needed to make its way into a contract? We'd face some serious dilemmas. So local grassroots organizing matters a lot.

Plus, on another note, I would add that removing local negotiations eliminates the opportunity for some employers to offer competitive wages. If one company or one municipality or one school board is interested in attracting the best and the brightest in the field, they no longer have the authority to negotiate a better contract for their employees. Although I will admit that this occurrence is not common, the top-down approach introduced by the new legislation does come with its share of drawbacks. In many ways, I feel like the law attempts to solve an imaginary problem. And, frankly, I am disappointed that a number of senators did not verbalize these issues more forcefully.

I hope that answers your question.
86  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: 2014 Selfie Creepfest/Post a picture of yourself thread on: December 29, 2014, 09:59:27 pm
Lookin' fine, gents.

Here's me during a recent expedition to the mall. Nice smiles are not one of my strengths. Either way, I'm down ~25 lbs since summer! Smiley

87  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are you planning to stay awake until midnight to celebrate New Year's? on: December 29, 2014, 09:56:33 pm
Yep, and I'll be feckin' drunk as hell. Smiley
88  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Cassius for President - Don't you worry about that! on: December 29, 2014, 09:06:58 pm
I would like to hear your position on gay rights.
89  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: Hagrid for SoIA on: December 29, 2014, 01:58:58 pm
Thanks for your kind words.

In fact, I do not see my primary responsibility as making calculations and providing numbers. I will do it, provided it's for a project that I've actually been working with the regions or the senate on, but it's not the fun part of the job, and I won't take very kindly to people messaging me about an obscure number right out of the blue. Maybe that makes me a bad nominee. Tongue

To clarify, I'll give an example of a role I really liked having during my last stint in the cabinet. Under President DemPGH, anti-homelessness initiatives seemed to take centre-stage. The senate passed an umbrella bill that gave money to the regions, and I acted as the federal government's emissary to those regions. As a result, I think something like three or four regions actually passed homeless relief efforts of their own. When the governors brought these projects to my desk, I gave them the necessary funding. I loved that. So I see my primary job as being the link between the senate and the regions. What is more, I was okay with making financial calculations related to these projects because I already had my hand in the basket, so to speak. It worked out well for everyone.

I also think it's important for the Secretary of the Interior to work with the GM. At the beginning of my last term, Napoleon was the GM and was very good at issuing national and regional news stories. I used the powers of my office to try and deal with those current events. Sometimes I added deeper details to the stories. I think that type of relationship worked very smoothly. Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to work with the senate on those issues, but it's something I'd be open to doing this time around. If shyte goes down that requires more than executive action, I would love to draft an appropriate bill, find a sponsor in the senate, and work to get it passed.

So again, my main job is helping to make all arms of the government work together. When that happens, I think many people have a richer in-game experience.
90  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: Hagrid for SoIA on: December 29, 2014, 01:43:03 am
I want to thank the president for nominating me to fill this position.

Regarding the Comprehensive Social Security Reform Commission, the parent Act is a monster of a thing, and Atlasia has been operating smoothly without the calculations. I understand we're interested in passing an accurate, sound budget, so I will prioritize my work to that effect, but right now I do not consider finding these numbers to be a top priority. I'm here to help make the game work for people on the most basic level, so I'll only jump into the more tedious busy work if the president asks me to or if there's huge pressure from the senate. I also face a few other constraints here, in that I don't want to start a project that will extend far past my term and remain unfinished. In addition, the president is considering appointing a deputy Secretary of the Interior to deal with matters related to the Treasury. This is the type of task I would consider delegating to that person.
91  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is Jeb Bush smarter than George? on: December 28, 2014, 10:28:51 pm
Jeb Bush is much smarter than his brother. His brother is literally an idiot.

Aren't you, like, 12?

It's hard to say. Both have been successful in politics, and being articulate doesn't always have much to do with intelligence. So I'd err on the side of both men being quite smart.
92  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Has Obama handled ISIS better than Bush would have? on: December 28, 2014, 10:04:28 pm
ISIS is Bush's fault, he wanted to start the Iraq War and without that, there would be no ISIS.

This is just silly. If you wanted you could say it was Saddam's fault for empowering the Sunni thus creating resentment whenever the Shia inevitably took over. Or it was the British Empire's fault for creating Iraq in the first place after WWI.

You can push the post back as far as you want and find someone who "fault it is" that IS exists. You could probably even blame the Romans for some action or another that eventually led to the modern arrangement of things.

Educate yourself. The destabilization of Iraq opened up the country to all sorts of insurgents that have been able to operate because of the instability and ISIS cropped up after the war. Bush's action played a big role in Iraq's current state. But you are entitled to your opinion.

Okay, but Iraq under Saddam Hussein was no walk-in-the park either, and one could argue that the Arab Spring would've happened regardless, and with no Iraq War it would've reached that country's borders, creating even more instability than there was in the wake of Bush's nation-building efforts. So this isn't a game I'll play.
93  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: quicken on: December 28, 2014, 09:55:41 pm
My personal finances are not in order.

I know it's super irresponsible, but as long as I don't have formal employment income, I'm not worrying too much about what I'm spending. Why keep a spreadsheet when it's all going to be weighted on the expenditures side? For the most part, my money (the majority of which are from student loans) goes to rent, food, and utilities. If I need clothes, want to go out, our decide to buy a few other things, whatever. I don't splurge, and now is the time to be happy. I'll make up for it later, because this time of my life is hopefully preparing me for real employment. Bad philosophy? Sure. But for someone who deals with intermittent bouts of depression, I take the motto "be happy" pretty seriously.
94  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of condoms on: December 28, 2014, 06:23:52 pm
Massive HC. All contraceptives are horrible.

Sexual relations are only acceptable between a married man and woman and for the specific purpose of procreation. Condoms are never necessary in that context. All of the instances where a couple would need them are instances where they shouldn't even be engaging in sexual relations in the first place. If you are not ready to have a child or don't even want one, then you have no business engaging in sexual relations at all; because their entire purpose (or at least their only legitimate purpose) is to bring a child into the world. Condoms encourage sexual immorality.

We need a ban on contraception similar to the one the Republic of Ireland had from 1935 to 1980.

It appears you're an idiot too, then. Smiley
95  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: December 2014 At-Large Senate Election: Winner/Loser on: December 28, 2014, 03:53:05 am
Griffin, you seem to subscribe to the idea that the core constituency of the right is social conservatives. It's just not true. That way of thinking may work for the left where, in fact, most people do believe in all the same things and the tent can be smaller, but the thing is, the right doesn't have just one base. A winning right-wing candidate needs the so-cons, the libertarians, the ruthless free-market capitalists, the soft conservatives, the centrists, and a number of left-leaning moderates. That's hard to do, and frankly the only reason it's been able to happen is either because we've run unique candidates who have a personality cult around them (sorry Duke) or because Labor has made itself unelectable.

Now, in a way, I appreciate that Labor has done that, because it means the game is more competitive. They can pander to their most extreme elements and still have 50/50 odds to win. But let's not pretend the same strategy can translate to the right. Labor has a lot more wiggle room to flirt with that line of unelectability. I know Griffin thinks it's more admirable to "win with purpose," but you must understand that just winning for the right is a big enough challenge on its own. And because all of the groups I mentioned are vital to a winning right-wing candidacy, I strongly disagree that catering to the social conservatives will get the party anywhere. The right does that, and it loses all the moderates it worked hard to win over. Unfortunately for the people on the far right, they occupy a fringe position. They know it. If they want to win election to the senate or anything else, they need support from conservatives to their left. And the only way they're going to get it is if they support the larger agenda of the "Atlasian right." So that's what happens: Moderates represent the right and win, with the support of all the core groups they need, including so-cons. Social conservatives run for president and they lose, because the moderates are not as stuck for support and can afford to go shopping for other candidates; they'll always be safe.

And that's just the game.
96  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Air Asia plane loses contact with ATC on: December 28, 2014, 01:15:55 am
Are the communication systems of a plane something that could be hacked?
97  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of condoms on: December 27, 2014, 09:47:42 pm
HC (opposes contraception on an individual level)

Then you're individually an idiot.
98  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: was life boring before the internet? on: December 27, 2014, 09:46:55 pm
I doubt it. Plus, I'm bored with the internet now, partly because it's not ingrained in me to actually go out and do things. No internet would be refreshing.
99  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: December 2014 At-Large Senate Election: Winner/Loser on: December 27, 2014, 09:19:33 pm
Based on my understanding of Northeast politics, there's only one person who would have certainly ousted Bore, and that individual ended up voting for him. Matt, who is very popular personally, was actually one of the strongest challengers available.

Yes, except the right has more reason to trust bore than Matt at this point.
100  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: December 2014 At-Large Senate Election: Winner/Loser on: December 27, 2014, 12:36:12 pm
There was a time when I wanted to be president, but obviously that ship has sailed.

Re: my comments on the last page, I do want to clarify that my charged language was not directed to social conservatives in general, but to the two real nutbars who always had some issue I needed to dance around. One being Ben Kenobi, who is fortunately no longer with us.
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