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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone VI: What Is and What Should Never Be on: June 10, 2018, 11:11:28 pm
On the flip side, I spent most of yesterday assembling a desk from... IKEA.

Fellow Elizabeth IKEA customer?
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone VI: What Is and What Should Never Be on: June 10, 2018, 11:10:37 pm
So I'm going to be traveling to China on Tuesday, where I'm going to be participating in a study abroad/internship program in Shanghai. I'm so excited to meet new people and places, improve my Chinese language skills, and gain experience in the Chinese startup environment. I even started a blog about it; if you're interested in following said blog (or just want to see my face), PM me in the next few days and I'll send you the link.

That said, since I'm going to be in China I'll be taking a break from Atlas for the rest of the summer. Everybody needs to take a break from time to time. (Sun and Moon fans, don't worry - I'll probably keep working on it away from Atlas, so expect a big post dump in September.)
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Sun and Moon - The Presidential Election of 2040 on: June 07, 2018, 10:41:03 pm
I'm surprised the PRC is still surviving by 2040, or that iPhones still exist Tongue

Then check out Chapter 4, which is literally all about the PRC. Wink

Also, considering that 2040 is a little more than two decades away from 2018 (2040 is closer to 2018 than 1990 is), I'd be surprised if the PRC or iPhones don't exist by then.

So is the Democratic Party of 2040 anti-communist and anti-PRC? I love that Castro did a Taiwanese wet-foot-dry-foot!!

Yes, and the Republicans are the pro-PRC party (on average; there's plenty of in-party variation regarding foreign policy). The Democrats are the naturally pro-human rights, pro-protectionism, and pro-national security party in 2040. (TD alluded to the last part in Between Two Majorities, where the Democrats take up the mantle of the national security party from the Republicans during the Realignment.) Remember that a large part of the post-Realignment Dem coalition are working class people who hate China for taking America's jobs and prestige.

Meanwhile the Republicans, as the pro-free trade and pro-globalization party, are naturally pro-PRC due to economic reasons (a flip from the 1990s-2010s status quo, where they're the more anti-PRC party due to cultural reasons). For example, one of the Republican Party's biggest supporters, both in 2018 and 2040, are farmers. Guess which is a big market for American agriculture? China.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Sun and Moon - The Presidential Election of 2040 on: June 07, 2018, 10:33:47 pm
Bonus: June 12, 2038 issue of TIME Magazine, featuring Chou Tzuyu:

5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Sun and Moon - The Presidential Election of 2040 on: June 07, 2018, 08:46:59 pm
February 19, 2040 - Beverly Hills, California, United States

“President Crystal Sun has arrived in Taipei, marking the last day of her visit in the People’s Republic of China-”

Chou Tzuyu turned off the television and laid down on her fancy couch. The leather finish was not the least bit comforting, as its cold surface stuck to her cheek. Stupid president, she thought, stupid politicians everywhere.

Her eyeballs scanned the entertainment room, from the gold trim of the curtains to black void that was the 80-inch television hanging on the wall. The place was ringed by surround-sound speakers that immersed yourself in whatever show or movie you were watching. The whole system was the closest you could come to actually being in the show, short of virtual reality, though she also had a VR system on the other side of her house.

It was all that a girl could want for, yet Tzuyu didn’t want any of it. Sure, she was just one more acting gig from being a billionaire, and she had another house like this out in Arizona with a golf course and everything, but material possessions were nothing compared to what really made life worthwhile. Family. Friends. Identity.

Her career started all the way back in 2015, when she debuted as part of the nine-member K-pop band Twice. People said that it was gonna make it big, and it did. Their first single, Like Ooh-Aah, was released that year, and within a month it hit a hundred million views on YouTube. Every song they released was like this. Work hard, release a single, and travel Korea and the world to tour with the bestest friends you’ve made in your life. Every day was Christmas, it seemed.

2016 rolled around, and everything shattered. Forget Brexit and Trump, that year was defined by her mistake of holding a Taiwanese flag on set. Some internet trolls got a hold of the pic and spread it across the Internet. Rage predictably ensued from Chinese netizens who bullied her by the thousands, her group was dropped from Chinese networks all over, and she was forced to make a humiliating apology to everyone, affirming what used to be the One China policy.

Tzuyu took out her iPhone from her pocket and unrolled it, staring at the screen as she lied on her sofa, letting her legs dangle in the air as she rolled onto her back. “Show me the flag pic, Hani,” she said to her phone, referring to the nickname that she gave it. Hani duly responded by showing the pic on its screen, knowing exactly what Tzuyu was talking about.

Every time she saw that picture, a wave of emotion floods over her. None of them were good. Anger. Spite. Those kinds of emotions. But she kept it anyways. It reminded her of what she stood for. In her heart, she was Taiwanese, and she was not going to let the world make her forget.

After those tumultuous months, things calmed down. People soon forgot about that incident as they moved onto the next celebrity scandal. Twice kept on rising in popularity and they soon had millions of adoring fans from around the world, listening to hits like Just Like TT, Signal, and What is Love? It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows; the K-pop industry was harsh and cruel, and practicing and touring all the time did a number on her health. But it was a great time, compared to what has happened since. She developed close bonds with the other eight members of Twice as they pursued their passions of music and dance.

But all good things had to end. In a few short years, the Crisis happened and the group took a nosedive in popularity as they lost a third of their members.

When Twice disbanded in 2027, Tzuyu returned to Taiwan, where she focused on her solo career. She continued working hard in the media industry, singing, acting and modeling all the time while becoming an international figure in her own right. At the same time, she took her family’s investments in food and medicine and created a business empire that spanned everything from coffee shops to plastic surgery.

However, at the same time the old demons came crawling back. The People’s Republic of China was taking advantage of the Crisis and ramped up its big squeeze on Taiwan. It wasn’t coincidence that the Taiwanese economy continued to suffer from stagflation, as the mainland, the United States, and even Korea and Japan experienced remarkable recoveries from the Crisis.

Conditions on the island deteriorated over the years. Filling up your car became an exercise in patience as Taiwan began experiencing fuel shortages. Unemployed young men, at least those who didn’t escape the island, formed roving street gangs, committing crimes out of desperation and boredom. Everybody in the Legislative Yuan knew they had to do something, but Taiwanese politicians were more known for literally getting into fights than figuring stuff out.

It was only a matter of time when the inevitable happened. A referendum was held in 2035, and by the narrowest of margins Taiwan voted in favor of Reunification over the status quo. Tzuyu even still remembered the numbers - 51.2 percent over 48.8, with 79 percent turnout. To this day, she remains convinced that it was a rigged referendum, but with a margin this close who was going to believe her? And who even believes Beijing’s promise of “One China, Two Systems?” Anyone with a pair of eyes could see what’s happening to Hong Kong and know what Reunification will entail to her homeland.

By the time Reunification happened, Tzuyu had already been active in Taiwanese politics, advocating for the increasingly-impossible option of Taiwanese independence. She knew that a formal declaration of independence would have provoked a military response from the mainland. The referendum was the final death knell, making Taiwanese independence look as ludicrous as an independent California.

She also knew that once Reunification happened, her life was in danger. At any moment CCP goons could come to her house and send her for prison for “destabilizing Chinese society” or “economic crimes” or some other BS like that. She was grateful that the Castro Administration let any Taiwanese refugee automatically gain American citizenship the moment they stepped foot on US soil, just like it did for Cuban refugees back during the Cold War. With that opportunity, she brought her family over to America and started her life anew, settling in this glitzy part of Los Angeles.

Of course, with her luck, President Joaquin Castro got landslided the following year by the pro-China Crystal Sun. One of the first things Sun did as president was rescinding the executive order that let Tzuyu in. Now millions of her fellow men, women and children were trapped under Communist rule, while politicians in Beijing and Washington ignore them and pop champagne.

As soon as she arrived in California, the world-famous actress was approached with multiple acting gigs in Hollywood; it paid to keep her appearance up even as she approached her forties. In the short time she lived in America, she had a lead role in the Oscar-winning production of Neuromancer, as well as stunt roles in the two Transformers movies she did. She also kept growing her business, now headquartered in LA, expanding into fields like technology and biological augmentation. She even had some augmentation done on herself, ostensibly to market her business and help with her stunt roles. Hopefully, from this exile, she could free her homeland from the grip of the Communist totalitarians in Beijing.

Bored, Tzuyu rolled Hani up and put the phone back in her pocket. She got off her sofa and walked into her kitchen, passing by the pool room and wine closet, neither of which she used often. As she got in, she clapped her hands, automatically opening her fridge. From it, she got out some bread and jelly. Hopefully making a sandwich for herself would get politics off her mind. Not that anything did. Politics was an inseparable part of her life - always has been, and always will be.

She took a long walk from her fridge, which was located at one end of her kitchen island, to the other side of that island. Conveniently, she had a bunch of plates already lying around there. She grabbed one and, carefully avoiding spilling any jelly onto her white quartz countertop, spread some on one piece of bread. She then put a second piece and put the sandwich into her mouth.

As Tzuyu ate her sandwich and got jelly onto on her right hand, she got Hani back out and unrolled her with her left. She once again opened the photo app, this time scrolling until she had old pictures from her Twice days back on display.

Twice members Tzuyu, Mina, Momo, and Sana

She sighed as she looked at herself with her bandmates. She would give anything in the world, whether it was her augmentations or her fame or her wealth, if she could spend one more day with them. She wished that she could binge watch Harry Potter movies with Mina, or go perfume shopping with Sana, or dance to Eminem with Momo. But thanks to the Crisis, that was impossible.

If the flag picture stoked anger, these pictures brought a deep sadness. Everyone was happy and smiling in these pictures, but after more than two decades of facing this world Tzuyu had become a bitter woman. She felt something in her eyes. Tears. She didn’t cry often, but right now all she wanted to do was to fall on the floor and roll around in a puddle of own tears. Instead, she let a single tear fall, first on her cheek and then to the floor, where it made a faint but painfully audible *plunk* sound.

But that was the past. With her clean hand, she wiped her cheek and grabbed Hani to close the Photos app. A few moments of nervous swiping and waiting, and then it was clear - she was in the Underweb, the only place where she could communicate with her contacts without fear of interception.

“Hello?” she messaged, “is this Case?” She did so in English, even though she and Case both knew Mandarin. Hopefully it will make the Chi-Comms care less about their little chat.

“Yes Molly, this is Case,” the man on the other side responded, addressing Tzuyu by the fake name they gave her. She knew Case was also a fake name; like hers, it was taken from Neuromancer. She wished she knew what Case’s real name was; such was life when dealing with secret organizations.

“I heard you got a new recruit,” she messaged back.

“That is…” The guy on the other side took a few long seconds to type out the last word. “True.”

“Good,” she messaged back. “We’ll need as many people as we can get.”

“That is also true.” Another few seconds passed. “By the way heard your friend Steve is running for Senate.”

“Of course he is!” she wrote back. She got to know Steve Aoki from collabs he did with Twice back in the day. She had looked up to him as a mentor from day one, and it was exciting that he was running for peace, justice, and righteousness. In a world filled with the corrupt and evil, maybe he will be different.

“Back to your concerns,” Tzuyu added, “Need any more funds?”

“Nah we’re good.”



That was good. The less she had to dip into her Swiss bank accounts so they could build their fancy computers and power armor, the better. But even when she did, she didn’t mind all that much. Sure, sending money to a designated terrorist organization was illegal - this conversation was illegal - but what is legal and what is right are two different things. And she knew that what she was doing was right.

End of Chapter 5
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Sun and Moon - The Presidential Election of 2040 on: June 07, 2018, 04:10:19 pm
“Only Sun can go to China” - How the Sino-American Dialogue has played out

by Kahi Ahn; first published in South China Morning Post
February 19, 2040

Pres. Crystal Sun playing with kids at Yongchang Primary School

Since her arrival at Beijing on Chinese New Years, US president Crystal Sun and Chinese president Richard Xie have engaged in five days of discussions over the most important bilateral relation in human history. The scope of their discussion was wide-ranging, ranging from the Internet to trade deals to the future of Africa, technology, and the very meaning of being human.

The scope of Sun’s travels in China was also vast. After her initial three days in Beijing, Sun traveled to Shanghai, becoming one of the millions of commuters and tourists who travel between the two cities every day. (Due to security reasons, instead of going on China’s famed high-speed rail system, she traveled via Air Force One.) At China’s commercial and financial hub - the Shanghai Stock Exchange is the world’s largest by market capitalization - she met with many of China’s business leaders, such as former Alibaba CEO Jack Ma and celebrity venture capitalist Andi Li.

After Shanghai, Sun traveled to a radically different city in Kunming, the capital of China’s rural Yunnan Province. Despite its relative isolation and underdevelopment, the region has seen massive changes both before and since the Crisis, as the Chinese government had poured billions over the years in modernization efforts. Today, it is not uncommon there to see drones carrying supplies to traditional open-air markets, or for locals to use smartphones and smart glasses to harvest crops and mushrooms.

In Kunming, Sun visited the Yongchang Primary School, one of the thousands of schools around the world to receive a Global Scholar School grant. The GSS program, which is operated jointly by UNICEF and UNESCO, was championed by Sun during her first speech to the UN in 2037 and allows schools in underprivileged communities to teach English, Spanish (both of which are taught at Yongchang), and any other of the six official UN languages. During her visit, Sun was praised by the China Friendship Foundation for Peace & Development for “displaying a model of Sino-American relations that the world can emulate for peace and prosperity.”

Challenges Remain

However, not everything was smooth sailing. One of the biggest issues brought up during the Dialogue was the Great Firewall, China’s sophisticated online censorship system. The Great Firewall was substantially relaxed in recent years, even before Sun’s presidency, and today millions of Chinese people use previously-blocked websites like VirtualEarth, Google, YouTube, and Facebook. This liberalization was fashioned as part of the overall dismantling of trade barriers that was part of the Sunshine Policy; while China was letting in Google and Facebook, the US removed its longstanding embargos on Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE.

However, while the social media giants have gotten a big break, not everyone is so lucky. Pornography sites remain completely censored by the Great Firewall. So are many Western news sites such as the New York Times and The Economist, which remain blocked as the Chinese Communist Party retains control over Chinese media. And while most American websites can operate in China, they don’t do so freely; politically sensitive content posted by Chinese netizens, even on American-owned platforms, are usually censored by sophisticated AI algorithms built into the Great Firewall.

Africa is another issue that has led to tensions. Both China and the United States, along with regional actors like the East African Community, train and fund a confusing variety of rebel groups in the Eastern Congo. While discussions towards a final peace deal were entertained, the truth is that one that can accommodate every one of the hundreds of groups there is nigh impossible, especially as the two superpowers jealously guard their spheres of influence in the resource-rich region.

One of the central themes of the Dialogue was technology, particularly AI. As both China and the US crank out sophisticated AI systems for war and peace, international regulation appears more and more paramount. One of the issues discussed was the possibility of virtual humans, AI systems with human-level intelligence that demand equal rights as their biological counterparts. While the goal of human-level AI has remained elusive, many experts say that humanity has never been closer to creating one. There was also discussions about the infamous Neo-Rationalist Buddhists, the transhumanist religious movement that the Chinese government has designated as a terrorist group.

An issue that hasn’t been brought up due to Chinese reluctance, but important nonetheless given recent protests, is been the issue of AI ethnic profiling. AI systems have been used extensively in the African Wars by rival ethnic groups to target each other, and China has been accused by human rights organizations of using AI racial profiling to target Uyghurs and Tibetans.

Going Forward

The final stop for Sun during the Dialogue will be Taipei, Taiwan. It has been a mere five years since the reunification of Mainland China and Taiwan, which before 2035 has had a de facto independent government of its own. In that time, Xie and other Communist Party officials have visited Taiwan to promote the benefits of reunification. Soon, Sun will be making her own trip to the island, which still retains a high level of autonomy from Beijing, to discuss the future of US-Taiwan relations.

This final stop encapsulates the challenges of the Sino-American relationship. Even during the Crisis and post-Crisis years, China and America needed each other, and the Sunshine Policy has been a reflection of that reality. However, it is inevitable that two superpowers with vastly different interests and government philosophies clash on the world stage. Only time will tell if Sun’s continued Dialogues will fail, or if they blossom into a relationship that the world can indeed emulate.
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Sun and Moon - The Presidential Election of 2040 on: June 07, 2018, 03:24:04 pm
February 18 - Nevada Primary Results

Gov. Glass at a campaign event in Las Vegas

American Samoa
Northern Mariana Islands
Americans Abroad
US Virgin Islands

State Results

Gov. Amber Glass - 49%, 18 delegates (35 total)
Sen. Pete Buttigieg - 25%, 9 delegates (26 total)
Gov. Jon Ossoff - 18%, 7 delegates (20 total)
Sen. Tulsi Gabbard - 8%, 0 delegates (4 total)
Sen. Tim Ryan - 0%, 0 delegates (0 total)

Nevada Total: 34 delegates

2500 total delegates
1251 delegates needed to win

Governor Amber Glass has scored another victory in the Nevada primaries, as she scored almost half of the vote there. She was followed by Pete Buttigieg, who earned second place thanks to support in northern Nevada (Glass focused her efforts in the Las Vegas metro). Meanwhile, Jon Ossoff made a respectable third place, with enough votes enough to get him over the 15 percent threshold. Tulsi Gabbard was not so lucky; hoping that she could capitalize on her better than expected showing in New Hampshire, she instead landed in fourth place by a wide margin and won zero delegates; it was better than what the pessimists expected, but it looks like it was not enough for her campaign.
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Sun and Moon - The Presidential Election of 2040 on: June 07, 2018, 03:03:27 pm
February 7 - New Hampshire Primary Results

Sen. Gabbard campaigning in Manchester

American Samoa
Northern Mariana Islands
Americans Abroad
US Virgin Islands

State Results

Gov. Amber Glass - 36%, 8 delegates (17 total)
Sen. Pete Buttigieg - 25%, 6 delegates (17 total)
Gov. Jon Ossoff - 23%, 5 delegates (13 total)
Sen. Tulsi Gabbard - 16%, 4 delegates (4 total)
Sen. Tim Ryan - 0%, 0 delegates (0 total)

New Hampshire Total: 22 delegates

2500 total delegates
1251 delegates needed to win

The first primary of the 2040 election season ended up full of surprises. While Amber Glass won the primary, as was expected, Tim Ryan’s dropping out has led to Jon Ossoff and Pete Buttigieg winning more delegates than expected, as they both passed the 15 percent threshold.

The most shocking news was Tulsi Gabbard’s overperformance. The Hawaiian senator had also passed the 15 percent threshold, thanks to high turnout among college students there who mainly voted for her and Glass. It wasn’t a total surprise, as Gabbard had campaigned heavily in the state. She often made as many as ten speeches per day at different locations, and it paid off. Now the question is if she could keep her momentum in other states, where she did not do such intensive campaigning.
9  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Sun and Moon - The Presidential Election of 2040 on: June 06, 2018, 11:00:35 pm
BTS slays at Super Bowl - A story of grit, success and the Asian Invasion

By Amanda Choi in New York Magazine
February 5, 2040

As the Baltimore Ravens won their third Vince Lombardi trophy against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl LXXIV, BTS scored their own victory during the Halftime Show. Playing a medley of three decades’ worth of music, from 2010s classics like DNA to 2030s bops like Speak and Hamilton, their music nearly got drowned out by fan chanting and applause. Half the audience only seemed to come for BTS; if the Beatles were bigger than Jesus, then BTS was bigger than football. The K-pop group made what would ordinarily be a reunion concert into a moment in history.

BTS, also known as Bangtan Boys and known in Korean as Bangtan Sonyeondan, the seven-member group was founded in 2013 under the Big Hit Entertainment label. They started out moderately successful with their debut album 2 Cool 4 Skool, and had many performances in Korea and Japan. Their singles and albums sold thousands of copies and their YouTube music videos began to rack up views, but it wasn’t special compared to the big groups of the time.

By the time BTS was finding its footing, K-pop and K-drama - collectively known as the Korean Wave - was already popular, especially in Asia. The Korean Wave, also known as the Hallyu Wave, is usually said to have begun in the 1990s, when the first K-pop bands formed. As Korean pop culture grew in popularity, the South Korean government seized the opportunity to actively promote Korean soft power globally, entering a space dominated by cultural power players like the US, Britain, and Japan. Soon K-dramas were airing in China and Japan, and K-pop became a global phenomenon. By the 2000s and 2010s, groups like Girls’ Generation, 2NE1, Shinee, EXO and Super Junior had become household names across the world.

However, the effects of the Korean Wave was not felt evenly across the world. In Asia, particularly in Japan, Taiwan and China, K-pop had a large influence. Promoting in Japan was a common phenomenon for many K-pop groups - some promoted in Japan more than in Korea, given the former’s larger market - and Korean merchandise and culture was common across Asia. However, in the West, K-pop remained a niche genre. Many Americans, especially Asian-Americans, did listen to K-pop, but no K-pop star (save Psy) had successfully made it into the mainstream.

A lot of K-pop groups tried to break into the American market, and before BTS they had all failed. Many explanations were given. Some said Americans don’t want to listen to non-English music. Others cited anti-Asian racism, especially racism directed against Asian men. Who, according to proponents of such theories, wanted to listen to effeminate, unsexy Asian men who spoke a language nobody could understand? Better to stick to the familiarity of black and white artists.

BTS, as it turned out, proved them wrong. By 2017 they had become the first group to successfully break into the American market. Part of it was good timing; the boy band One Direction had disbanded a few years back, and millions of fans searched for another group to follow. BTS served that niche quite well. Like the Beatles a half-century before, they attracted millions of fangirls who listened to their music and followed their lives religiously. They began collaborating with famous artists like Steve Aoki, topped numerous charts, and were even congratulated by then-South Korean president Moon Jae-in for their unique contributions to music. Their biggest break came in 2019 with their first Super Bowl Halftime performance, firmly establishing themselves into America’s fabric of music.

Then came the Crisis. The Crisis led to a near-collapse of the Korean music industry,. Many Korean artists either died or quit music after being drafted into the Korean military, while nobody wanted to spend money on albums when they barely had enough to buy food. Big Hit Entertainment itself nearly went bankrupt as the members of BTS served in the Korean Army, as required under South Korean law. Remarkably, despite their service, BTS ended up as one of the few boy bands where all members survived the Crisis. After everyone finished their service by 2029, they reunited and restarted their passion of making music.

Though the Crisis is usually seen as a tragedy for K-pop, it can also be seen as an opportunity. During the Crisis, millions of Koreans and Japanese left their homelands for greener pastures, and many of them found themselves in America, where many of them were favored under the then-recent Brown-Graham immigration bill. As they migrated and formed new communities in their adopted countries, they brought their pop culture with them. That, along with the rise of China as the world’s superpower, cemented Asian pop culture’s dominant position in the global landscape.

Today, you can find Korean culture everywhere in America. You can see the faces of K-pop singers plastered on Times Square ads, or you can buy a t-shirt that says “Saranghaeyo” at a Buc-ee’s in Abilene, Texas. At times, this “Asian Invasion” seems overwhelming, just like the “British Invasion” of the Beatles era. If anything, however, it is not an invasion; it is a homecoming. K-pop, after all, is inspired by American beats; BTS merely took the idea of the British and American boy bands and took it to the next level. It was no surprise, then, that BTS performed at Facebook Stadium during this most American of events.

And perform they did. Tonight, BTS will leave a stellar performance that will be remembered for years. They were the stars of the night, and they have shone brightly, as bright as the future of K-pop in America and around the world.
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Sun and Moon - The Presidential Election of 2040 on: June 05, 2018, 09:44:50 pm
Anyways, does anyone want to volunteer to make a writeup on the Super Bowl LXXIV game? PM me if you wish to. I'll make the writeup on the halftime show.

EDIT: Wow nobody responded yet? I guess I should've made it clear that I want a writeup completed soon so I can get onto 2040 New Hampshire and Nevada, and close this chapter before next week. (In-universe, Super Bowl happens Sunday, Feb. 5; New Hampshire primaries are on Tuesday, Feb. 7).
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: CPRM, Pt. 2: AL, CA, IA, MS, MT, NJ, NM & SD - June 5 on: June 05, 2018, 08:21:45 pm
I am a proud McCormick voter, in that I saw the name of someone not named Bob Menendez on the Senate ballot and immediately selected it Smiley

UPDATE: I have just been informed that almost-projected primary loser Lisa McCormick won my voting precinct by exactly one vote. I would like to thank the Academy for the tremendous honors I accept tonight Tongue

How did you get your precinct result?
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: CPRM, Pt. 2: AL, CA, IA, MS, MT, NJ, NM & SD - June 5 on: June 05, 2018, 07:57:01 pm
I am a proud McCormick voter, in that I saw the name of someone not named Bob Menendez on the Senate ballot and immediately selected it Smiley

And I thought I was hip by writing in Steve Aoki today.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Sen. Merkley: Barred from migrant processing center, attacked by White House on: June 05, 2018, 07:20:59 pm
I saw the part about Merkley being rebuffed already, and that's bad enough, but the White House going out of their way to shame him? Are they trying to be hated?
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Sun and Moon - The Presidential Election of 2040 on: June 05, 2018, 04:40:34 pm
I just realized something. You said there was the Wyoming rule in 2036. You said said Trump wins two terms, both with him losing the popular vote. Is him losing the popular vote twice and winning the electoral college twice the way that the Wyoming rule was placed in?

The Wyoming/Vermont rule was implemented in a big Realignment-era effort to make voting easier for everyone. Same with the simplification of the DNC's primary rules (including removing superdelegates). Not everything got overhauled, though - for one thing, the Electoral College is still around and kicking.
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Favorite of the four most populous U.S. cities on: June 04, 2018, 09:58:36 pm
16  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of people who say "I'm not political" on: June 04, 2018, 09:53:37 pm
You may not be political, but your landlord and boss surely are.
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Favorite American Car on: June 04, 2018, 09:50:08 pm
Two years ago I'd say Tesla, but considering that their very existence in the next few years is questionable (plus their numerous safety violations) I'd say none of them.

I just don't like American cars compared to German or (especially) Japanese makes.
18  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What would it take for you to move to another country? on: June 04, 2018, 09:45:30 pm
China's corrupt, authoritarian government is a big turnoff for me. It's not the only issue I have with the country, but a big one nonetheless. I'm not sure how a politically active person with my set of beliefs is supposed to fit in there.

There's always Taiwan Tongue
Hong Kong is great, too! (but weird, politically)

And for the really elite among us there's always Macau.

(Which brings up the interesting observation that nobody has mentioned "tax evasion" and the like as reasons yet.)

The US is one of the few countries that exercises the immoral practice of worldwide taxation on its subjects (i.e. US persons as defined by the IRS), so this is largely impossible to do legally. It is also illegal to renounce US citizenship for tax purposes, and renunciation of citizenship typically results in a quasi-lifetime ban from the US.

Atlas has plenty of shady people on here, so I wouldn't be all that surprised if someone mentioned it.
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What would it take for you to move to another country? on: June 04, 2018, 09:43:24 pm
China is out since I'm not learning Chinese anytime soon, but I like how no one has mentioned that yet in this thread.

I did?

Every young white American should spend at least six months to a year in East Asia (preferably Greater China) doing anything but teaching English or some "save the world" kind of bullsh**t. (real expat job/secondment, foreign service, international internship, academic program, etc.) Everyone I know who's done it is a far more developed individual than those who have not. I say white because anyone who is not white will have a miserable time due to the extreme levels of racism in those countries.

Totally agree with your first part (though I'd say even teaching English can bring a positive experience, at least if the program is reputable enough), but I think your second part is BS. Yes there is "extreme levels of racism" in those countries, but:

- You totally neglect Asian-Americans, and plenty of Asian-Americans go back to be with their Asian-Asian bretheren without any issue.
- Plenty of black and Hispanic people go to East Asia for vacation or business and enjoy it there. Even many who do experience racism say it is outweighed by the positive experiences and growth they had. Of course, plenty don't, but ultimately experiences are so variable that it's hard to generalize, let alone say "hurr durr don't go there for dear life."
- You make it seem that every Asian person is a racist monster, all 4.4 billion of them. There are racist monsters, but there are also those who are anti-racist and even have friends who are minorities.
- Racism in East Asia is of a fundamentally different nature than American racism. It's ignorance-based, and it's not shaped by hundreds of years of history of interactions between whites and blacks. I can't say that it's easier to deal with than American racism, but it's something to consider.
- If a person of color is truly worried about racism, there are ways to mitigate it, such as going to international school. Many study abroad programs also have diversity offices that are equipped to help students who face discrimination.

Conclusion: Is East Asia super racist? Likely yes. Should it deter someone from going there, making new friends, exploring new cultures and improving themselves? Absolutely not.
20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Sun and Moon - The Presidential Election of 2040 on: June 03, 2018, 11:38:57 pm
“Steve is a passionate person. Passionate about music and about social justice. Endorsed.” Swedish-American artist Avicii wrote in a tweet. Aoki had recently collaborated with Avicii on his “No More” series of concerts campaigning against illegal human experimentation.


Avicii lives in this timeline. And there will be more people like him.

(Love your signature quote btw)
21  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Which country is more socialist: China or Sweden? on: June 03, 2018, 10:51:42 pm
China is more fiscally socialist, Sweden is more socially socialist.

What do you mean "socially socialist?" Is that just a synonym for "socially liberal?"

Or are you just making fun of the saying?
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: AMA about transportation. on: June 03, 2018, 10:49:44 pm
Best and worst transportation infrastructure systems (cities) in America?
Based on public transport I have to give the nod to DC as the best. The system has good coverage, doesn't seem all that prone to delays, seems clean, and has never given me any problems on bus or subway. Honorable mention to NYC, if the MTA wasn't so prone to delays every day it could've gotten the top spot. Based on roads, I have to say Memphis. Despite a large population and pitiful relative public transport it seemingly has very low traffic.

Huh, DC is good? I keep hearing that the DC Metro is one of the worst in the country. Are you referring to the non-subway aspects?

And going off of that question, which city has the best transportation infrastructure worldwide?
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Most Centrist Republicans and Democrats on Atlas on: June 03, 2018, 10:46:10 pm
Admiral President (he calls himself socially liberal though I don't think he actually is)

I don't think I've ever expressed any socially conservative beliefs here (aside from opposing a repeal of the 2nd Amendment). Even when I was a Trumpet I was openly pro-choice and socially liberal.

I remember that you opposed Black Lives Matter when you were a Trumpet, and for me supporting BLM (or at minimum its goals) is a litmus test for being socially liberal.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you rather live in San Francisco or Los Angeles? on: June 03, 2018, 10:41:58 pm
Los Angeles

I wonder why...

As for the OP's question, it reminds me of this video comparing NorCal and SoCal Asians. Culture aside, I'd have to pick San Francisco since I'm a CS major; SF also has better public transportation. Of course, thanks to the nutty housing prices I'd probably have to live in one of the surrounding suburbs in the Bay Area, but it's not like LA is known for cheap housing either.
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Sun and Moon - The Presidential Election of 2040 on: June 03, 2018, 10:01:08 pm
The Senators of California.

Senior Senator: Robert Garcia (R-CA)

Robert Garcia was elected Senator in 2034 and is the first Republican Senator from California since 1992, which was almost half a century ago. However, Garica only became a Republican in 2030, marking the second time he has switched parties; he was originally a Republican until 2007, when he switched to the Democratic Party. Born in Lima, Peru, he was elected Mayor of Long Beach in 2014, the first Latino and the first openly gay person to be elected to the position. He then represented California's 44th district from 2022 (when he was elected in the Democratic wave that year) to 2032, switching parties in the meantime to adapt to the growing conservatism of his district.

Junior Senator: Bao Nguyen (D-CA)

Nguyen was elected Senator in 2036, after a divisive general election battle with Oakland mayor Chris Compton. Both Nguyen and Compton benefited from a Republican lockout during the jungle primary; a ton of Republicans were inspired to run thanks to Crystal Sun's candidacy that year, so even though the Republicans received the majority of votes it was Nguyen and Compton who made it to the runoff.

Before, Nguyen, who was born in Thailand to Vietnamese refugees, served as the mayor of Garden Grove, California from 2014 to 2016. He then represented California's 46th district from 2020 to 2030, before finally being defeated during the 2030 Republican wave. However, between 2030 and 2036 he was involved in various philanthropic and activist initiatives across California, ensuring his popularity and name recognition in the state.

Like Garica, Nguyen is also openly gay, making California currently the only state to have both its Senators be openly gay. California is also one of the few states to have two foreign-born Senators (New York is another example; senior Senator Trevor Noah is South African-born, while junior Senator Yves Rosenberg was born in Israel.)
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