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AH Run-downs, summaries and general gubbins

Walpurgisnacht

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The “Petro-Axis”: A Threat To The Climate?

The majority of the world's states have signed up to the Osaka Protocol's stipulations, and have entirely phased out usage of fossil fuels. There remains a small minority of nations with oil-dependent economies, often talked about as quaint relics, that are increasingly networking with each other to stay afloat in a hostile world. While this may seem an esoteric issue, the Kahn Foundation have marked a "petro-axis" similar to the one we're seeing develop now as one of the Top 5 Global Threats each year for the past 10 years, as their combined economic and political power could lead to climatic backsliding. Here's what you need to know:

The United Arab Emirates has the dubious distinction of being the only petro-axis power with a pre-existing sphere of influence, having cut alliances with other oil-rich Arab states such as Kuwait, Qatar, and Cyrenaica. Despite this, they're increasingly aware of their own geopolitical isolation and shaky position. President Reynoso's recent base closures have been seen by many as a final culmination of the Gore Administration's colder policy towards what once were traditional allies. The collapse of OPEC after Nigeria's signup to the Vienna Agreement broke their main global economic bargaining chip, and the Bioplastics Revolution of the late Twenties killed it. Internally, the situation is declining, with social services funded by oil money breaking down, and an increasingly restive population of 'guest workers'. Sheik Muhammed bin Khalifa needs the oil age to continue to preserve his rule, and his nation's aggressive rhetoric is born of this desperation. Without petroleum, the UAE cannot exist. What else can it do?

Contrastingly, the
People’s Republic of Venezuela's motivations are theoretically ideological. According to Caracas, the various environmental treaties, from Osaka to Vienna to last year's Bloemfontein, are at their core American plots to remove any threats to their global dominance. As Russian gas and Chinese coal were restricted in favour of American-made renewable collectors, so fell their ambitions, and Venezuela will not make the same mistake. While this narrative ignores the fact that energy independence is far easier if electricity can be collected directly from the sky and sun, rather than tethered to geology, it is nonetheless compelling. Plenty of anti-Western despots have been happy to pay for Venezuela's "solidarity oil" in the past, but in a post-Bloemfontein era, fewer are willing to risk military intervention over it. While relatively stable internally compared to their fellows, the post-Chavez state has always relied on waving the sabre the Yankee boogeyman, and they'd certainly be happy to join an alliance...

Historically, the
Union of Western Provinces has been one of the more connected petrostates. The United States was quick to mollify its new northern neighbour after the 2008 independence referendum, and later the Visegrad Alliance looked to the UWP as a fellow example of "illiberal democracy". This has led many to hope that it might reform, that the tender embrace of the international community might pull it away from oil. This is misguided. The UWP's national identity is tied to its tar sands far more than for any other of these states. It was disagreement over the use of its oil that first kindled Albertan separatism, it was Tobin's imposition of the Osaka Protocol which swung the referendum, and to this day the petroleum-burning pick-up truck is the second set of limbs for the ideal Western macho man. The UWP could easily survive a move away from oil (the Canadian prairie's grain is nearly as valuable per gallon), it simply can't conceive of what it would look like without it.

Scotland is very much the odd one out of the petro-axis. The only full democracy (the only democracy period, if you believe claims of voter suppression by the UWP's dominant Wildrose Party), Scotland is also the first of the petrostates to face the inevitable end of any mono-resource economy--running out. Most estimate that the North Sea's reserves will be depleted by the end of the decade, and with no opportunities for reserve expansion bar war with Norway, Scottish politics is increasingly dominated by the oil question. The two main parties have long agreed on a pro-oil consensus, the Nationals enjoying the independence it gives the nation, and the SLP in hock to the refinery workers' unions. In the face of this, the once-moribund Scottish Greens have risen, sweeping the most recent Holyrood election and forcing a grand coalition. The problem, of course, is that economic dependence can't be easily voted away. Many pro-oil vested interests are weighing up the idea of using Scotland's industrial base to refine the oil of others, and throwing their lot in with the rest of the petro-axis, rather than let Scotland collapse...

--The Economist: NewsBites, August 14th 2033​
 

AnActualFam

Well-known member
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Somewhere at Sea
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I am bored and have college on my mind, enjoy this bit of insanity.
Political Science 2185: The Second New Deal and the Seventh Party System
Spring 2035

Instructor: xxxxxx
Tuesday/Thursday: 2:20-3:35
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 3:00-5:00

Course Description
The destruction of the Sixth Party System in the fires of the Great Recession was the most impactful moment in the political history of the United States. Afterward came the Second Progressive Era, or the Second New Deal, which finished much of what FDR started and beyond. This class will look at the legacy of John Edwards and Jesse Jackson Jr. while also looking at how the Sixth Party System fell apart with the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. We will be also looking at how right-wing reactions helped paved the way for Rod Dreher to be president. This main point, however, is for students to understand how these coalitions came to be and the ever-changing shape of American politics even under these coalitions.

Learning Outcomes
-To Analyze primary and secondary sources and being able to synthesize information and arguments from both
-To answer key questions on the Seventh Party System such as Why did it start, Why did it last for so long, and Who are the key players in the system.
-To identify concepts and themes that are persistent throughout the course, such as the role that the government has on everyday affairs, the social safety net, civil rights, labor rights, and environmental protection
-To discuss the historiographical perspective on the Seventh Party System and identify the constantly changing priorities throughout the years in both who is telling the story and why are they telling it.

Grading
1 Attendance and Participation 20%
2 First Paper 25%
3 Second Paper 25%
4 Final Paper 30%

Attendance and Participation

This will be worth 20% of your grade and will have two components to it. One will be to show up to class, answer questions in class, and responding to prompts on the discussion board. These prompts will be questions asking about details from the reading, and these should be about 1-2 paragraphs long. You only need to do one per week before either Tuesday’s class or Thursday’s class.

Papers
Throughout the class, you will need to write three papers on the different big questions we will answer in this course. These papers will let me know that you understand the material, can use primary and secondary sources well and can make a clear, concise argument in your favor. Each paper will use primary and secondary sources that are already on the discussion board, as we already use them in class, so there is no required outside reading or sources for any of these papers. Each paper will have the standard format of 12-point Times New Roman, with 1-inch margins and using the Chicago Style for citations.

Paper One- Discuss how the Seventh Party System formed during the late 2000s and early 2010s and why the Second New Deal Coalition crystalized during the 10s and 20s, be sure to mention key constituencies and political trends that defined these two decades.

Paper Two- Discuss how criticism of the establishment and government evolved throughout the Seventh Party System. Pay attention, especially, to criticism coming from the groups on the fringes and analyze if their criticisms had any staying power. Primarily focus on groups such as the various far-left communist groups, far-right groups such as the Constitution Party, and demagogues such as Rod Dreher.

Final Paper- Discuss the ever-evolving nature of the Seventh Party System, and how the various presidents from George W. Bush to Alan Grayson impacted its development. Argue for how each specific president impacted the party system and explain which one helped in its development the most.

Readings

There are no required books needed for this course. All of the assigned readings will be scanned and put on the discussion board for all to see. If there is an issue in scanning any of these readings, I will let you know and link to another source to read the same material, such as JSTOR.

Schedule:
Week 1
Tues, 1/14: Lecture 1- Introduction and the Second Gilded Age
Thurs. 1/16: Lecture 2- Reading Lips: The Failures of Bush

Week 2
Tues, 1/21: Lecture 3- A New Way: The Rise of Bill Clinton
Thurs. 1/23: Lecture 4- Two Steps Backward: The Republican Revolution of 1994

Week 3
Tues, 1/28: Lecture 5- Government Gridlock: Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton
Thurs, 1/30: Lecture 6- What “is” is: The Impeachment of Bill Clinton

Week 4
Tues, 2/4: Lecture 7- The Second Squire: The Rise of John Edwards
Thurs, 2/6: Lecture 8- Crime of the Century?: Bush v. Gore

Week 5
Tues, 2/11: Lecture 9- George W. Bush: The Peak of the Second Gilded Age
Thurs, 2/13: Lecture 10- Apocalypse: The War on Terror
Paper One Due at 11:59 PM on 2/14

Week 6
Tues, 2/18: Lecture 11- The Almost President: John Kerry and the 2004 elections
Thurs, 2/20: Lecture 12- Things Fall Apart: The Second Term of George W. Bush

Week 7
Tues, 2/25: Lecture 13- The Great Recession: The Death Knell for the Second Gilded Age
Thurs, 2/27: Lecture 14- 2008: Edwards Triumphant

Week 8
Tues, 3/4: Lecture 15- The Second New Deal
Thurs, 3/6: Lecture 16- The Constitutional Path: The “Second Bill of Rights” and the Rise of the Constitution Party

Week 9
Tues, 3/11: Lecture 17- Destruction of a Myth?: The Edwards Presidency 20 Years Later
Thurs, 3/13: Lecture 18- Steely Knives: The Republicans in the Age of Edwards

Week 10
Tues, 3/18: Lecture 19- The Father’s Dream Realized: The Election of Jesse Jackson Jr.
Thurs, 3/20: Lecture 20- Keeping Steady: The Jackson Jr. Years
Paper Two Due at 11:59 PM on 3/21

Week 11
Tues, 3/25: Lecture 21- Collapse: The Edwards Affair and the Republican Revolution of 2022
Thurs, 3/27: Lecture 22- The Benedict Option: The Rise and Election of Rod Dreher

Week 12
Tues, 4/1: Lecture 23- Same Places, New Faces: The Dreher Administration
Thurs, 4/3: Lecture 24- United States v. United States: Dreher and the Supreme Court

Week 13
Tues, 4/8: Lecture 25- 2028: The Breaking of the Seventh Party System?
Thurs, 4/10: Lecture 26- True Fury: Dreher’s Second Term

Week 14
Tues, 4/15: Lecture 27- The Final Fall: The 2032 Presidential Primaries and Elections
Thurs, 4/17: Lecture 28- The End of This History: Alan Grayson and the Legacy of the Second Progressive Era
Final Paper Due at 11:59 PM on 5/2
 

Bolt451

BOOK IT, TONY!
Location
Sandford, Gloucestershire
Pronouns
She/Her
A list based on this, because I couldn't quite iron out the details
and with apologies to @Sideways

Party Rundown 23rd August 2020.
SisterSideways is on holiday so you lazy sods are only getting parties with MPs in the Commons or seats in the Senate. Fuck you, that’s why

Her Majesty's Government: I will say one thing at least COVID has given the Grand Coalition purpose rather than 2 years of good old fashioned hate fucking.
Labour: The papers are calling Cooper's expulsion of left wing MPs "Night of the Long Knives" huh? Well that's awkward given the circumstances.
Liberal-One Nation Union: Actually on the rise as some eurosceptics see the Union as more favourable than outright conspiracies. Have gained 15 MPs since March. Still a while off carrying out a coup on No. 10 though


Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition
Radical
: Corbyn crossing the floor to the Rads (well, after he was kicked out) and a solid dozen MPs abandoning the increasingly conspiracist PP for the Union mean Tamsin Ormond gets to face up against Cooper regularly. First LGBT leader of the opposition(1) and first non-cis party leader but not first LGBT+ party leader (2) (3, see end of list)). Doing very well on the backs of UBI and protection for renters


Other opposition:
People's: Okay while Fox isn't specifically a Covid denier he most definitely downplays it and his everpresent twitter downplays the need for masks and vaccines. Meanwhile his back benches are chock-a-block full of actual conspiracy theorists and more than one is in the shadow cabinet they aren't the shadow Health Minister


Alliance of Regions: Simon Hughes really took the wind out of their sails by granting Devo-Max, to Scotland and Wales huh? People just aren’t as bothered about full Independence
Plaid Cymru: Actually overtaken the SNP in seats as they bleed to the Salmondites. but...​
SNP: Sturgeon still heads up the AoR nationally though​
Yorkshire: The White Roses are screaming blue murder still about the lack of Devo Max for​
English Party: Gained an MP due to a PP defection, they’ve graduated from my “The Rest” section. Still the awkward right wing member of the AoR gang.​

DUP: Anyone see that transphobic blog that listed Arlene Foster alongside Tamsin Ormond as “Great Female party leaders”. I don’t know who is more offended by being compared to each other (but I know who SHOULD BE)
Sinn Fein: pretty sure theyve resorted to voodoo dolls of the DUP leadership ahead of next year’s election in Stormont
Alliance: Apparently Naomi Long brings biscuits for the Deputy Prime Minister whenever she visits AND Hobhouse keeps it in a biscuit tin with Shirley Williams’ face on it. Adorable
UUP: Are probably supplying the ingredients for the DUP Voodoo dolls at this point
SDLP: No news on whether Colum Eastwood brings biscuits for the Prime Minister
Scottish Independence Party: You can’t make me write about Alex Salmond Lena, you just can’t!
Ecology: The Rads have finally given up giving a fuck about the name their bitter ex keeps using. They only have 2 Mps and a single Lord-Senator anyway so fuck ‘em
Worker's: Fuck George Galloway, there's your list.



(1) Nick Boles is leader of the One Nation Party but wasn’t leader of the opposition for the Union, that was Simon Hughes… moving on
(2) Lets reel them off shall we, Ruth Davidson (Technically, Scottish Conservatives) Nick Boles (One Nation) Adam Price (Plaid Cmyru) Patrick Harvie (Scottish Greens, later co-Convenor of the Radicals)
(3) While Co-leader of the rads, Ormond is their designate for PMQs (and indeed going into number 10, like Shirley Williams with the Alliance in 84) I feel a little sorry for Patrick Harvie though. Either way we’d get an LGBT+ LoTO
 
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Time Enough

"Enthusiastic Cis Male Partner"
Pronouns
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P.S. in the above universe. @Time Enough . Brian Gould was Labour Leader in the late 80s/early 90s. Just for you.
CD670C70-89E1-4DC3-BF63-83B3D0E7CCB5.jpeg
Also rather amusing, given that Gould was actually rather against PR/MMP/AV (though he did support Devolution and did believe that Britain would be better if essentially it has a smattering of GLC type councils and assemblies around the country).
 

Bolt451

BOOK IT, TONY!
Location
Sandford, Gloucestershire
Pronouns
She/Her
Also rather amusing, given that Gould was actually rather against PR/MMP/AV (though he did support Devolution and did believe that Britain would be better if essentially it has a smattering of GLC type councils and assemblies around the country).
Unfortunately the 80s and early 90s are not good for Labour. Its only the Lib Dems and SDP's bitter shitstorm that gets Beckett into no.10
 

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
Link to part I

Governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 2561

Regional Governments in The Principality of Wales


Greater Cardiff

Government

Socialist Party of Wales
- Ancestral Party of Government in most of the area, they probably held on due to the fact that the vast Cardiff Bay Barrage was of significant importance to pre-date the formation of the National Union, while the Valleys proved unsuitable for the sort of large-scale settlement that has come to typify the Ogmore-Ely or Chepstow areas. Currently considering the prospect of introducing Special Constituencies for the Court of the Land in the more rugged uplands of the Valleys, which would be a first outside the Special Districts.

supported by

Liberal - The main reason for the current interest in the Special Constituencies. Their Current Leader Dafydd ap Thomas Newth has attracted some attention, both for being first-language Cymreag and his somewhat eccentric views on whether the Court of the Air can actually be said to meaningfully exist. Some rumblings from the MCAs about whether he should be asked to move on, but he's currently considered vital in keeping on...

Cymry People's Party - Affiliate with the Coalition on the national level (somewhat fractiously, the Punjabi, Gujarati and Carib-Creole groups in particular view them as exclusionary to other minority groups) but operate as a separate body in the Welsh governments. Had a bit of a wave year last time though several scandals involving community leaders and allegations of misappropriated funds mean they're currently sliding back rapidly.

Opposition

Refugee Alliance- Glamorgan Front -
Run the Boroughs of Bridgend and Chepstow outright, as well as being the largest in South Glamorgan. Tend to be the most anti-Cymreag, probably as this is one of the largest areas where refugees from the Great Floods of the East End ended up being relocated to. Not to mention the main Welsh casualties- Llandudno, Port Talbot, Eastern Newport- were rather Anglophone in nature in and of themselves. Have been campaigning to rename the devolved government to 'Glamorganshire' for a while.

Conservative - Largely made up of the sort of people who usually make up the Farmer's League wing of the Ecologists in other areas, they're largely isolated to South Glamorgan and Monmouth. Tend to deny they're just the unofficial local branch of the Ecologists but the decline of the national party is making this increasingly hard.

Ecologist- Greater Cardiff is probably their weakest area in the country, largely thanks to the extremely High Profile, expensive and slow-moving 30-year failure of the Newport Barrage. While they did manage to prevent any significant deaths from the eventual flooding of East Newport, the National Union's failure here significantly tarnished their reputation across the area.

Odds and Sods

Co-Operators -
Smaller than elsewhere because the Socialists remain stronger here. Their lack of desire to coalition with either the Refugee Alliance or the Socialists means they've absorbed a lot of the 'none-of-the-above' vote, which could be awkward given they're widely considered to be likely in a position to hold the balance of power after the next election.

Newport Resident's Association- Not sure whether they hate the failure of the Barrage or the annexation of St. Julian's to the Borough of Chepstow as the bigger insult to the city. Needless to say they make politics in the Borough of Newport and Pontypool quite complicated. Are absolutely correct that the mouldering ruins of the Newport Barrage extending half-way into the swollen mouth of the River Usk are an eyesore, but their preferred suggestion of 'actually building it properly' and reclaiming the lost lands isn't seen as appealing by anyone else. Not to mention the diplomatic difficulties of reclaiming part of the Open Seas.

Independents- Actually comprise about a fifth of all elected representatives across the area. Non-partisan politics is hanging on better on the lower levels but still fading fast. Broken up into about 7different groups based on local geography or particular interests.

Canine All-Party Representation Group - Not actually a political party, they're a local group of Dogs who have become known for their efforts to increase their representation in the area. Notably think talk of constituencies for the Court of the Land is premature when there are only 2 Canine MCAs, a handful on the Boroughs and a few dozen Parish Councillors.
 

Bolt451

BOOK IT, TONY!
Location
Sandford, Gloucestershire
Pronouns
She/Her
I wasn't sure wether to make them a unified party or an alliance. They're a mix of the left wing bits of the Greens, the Labour left, the Worker's Party (a left wing party in the 90s) Pirates etc
@Sideways workers have had a bit of a green element to them since Derek Wall joined them when the Greens joined the Tories in govt. But in the 25 years the main Greens have moved left

That's my handwave anyway.
 

Mumby

Always mysterious!
Published by SLP
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Municipal Commune of Bourne
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Early Unification

For citizens of the modern world, the idea of a disunited humanity is one from the history books. Everyone is familiar with the modern Fraternal Republic, and most people are aware of the Human Empire that presaged it - though perhaps only as a boogeyman associated with the International Revolution. Few however are aware that the Empire was only the Second Human Empire.

This is a controversial concept that is only now gaining ground outside the academic circles in which it is discussed. The reason for this is simple. It is contentious that this First Human Empire even existed. The naysayers contend that the proposed entity discussed never aspired to universality, and that the combination of ideas upon which the theory is founded is simultaneously anachronistic and reliant on contemporary bigotries. But proponents of the First Empire point to the parallels with the Second Empire. Virtually nobody outside the most hidebound Tories deny that the Human Empire existed. But in it's own time, it never referred to itself as such. There was no 'capital of humankind' around which the rest of the world revolved, at least not officially. It is that last clause which is most important. 'At least not officially'. On paper, the Human Empire never existed outside of revolutionary agitprop and the thinktanks of the most warped Imperial ideologues. In reality nobody can deny that for over a century, the planet knelt before a metropole, in a global regime enforced by military adventures and economic domination.

And so we return to the First Human Empire. It too, existed outside the realm of officialdom. It too enforced its rule over the vast majority of humankind with blood and treasure. It too reaped the benefits of increased unification and universalism, and the framework of it's networks of domination would be inherited and put to work building the Second Human Empire. Put in those terms, it becomes more difficult to deny it's existence.

The dates for the foundation and end of the First Empire are also contentious. Some put the date of it's foundation as the Congress of Vienna, in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, others further back to the Treaty of Westphalia that ended the Thirty Years War and others later to the Treaty of Berlin that divided the African subcontinent. And when it comes to the end, some advocate for the outbreak of European conflict in 1914, some for the later conflagration in 1939. And some contend that the First Empire never truly ended, that it simply shifted it's centre of gravity westwards into what would become the Second Empire.

Some would say such variability on the dates bookending the Empire's existence refutes that it ever existed in a meaningful sense. But consider the dates associated with the Second Empire. There are a few everybody agrees on. We all agree that that the Empire fell to the International Revolution on October 7th 2096. This is a fact regurgitated at every lower school on the planet. But when was the Empire founded. That's a date far less likely to be dug into at lower school - it's not even examined in any great detail until history subject specialisms at upper school or even higher educational institutions. And then you get a wide array of dates. The one most often suggested is 2026, the limited atomic conflict that ended multipolar politics and ensured the dominance of the Washington Consensus for most of the next century. But then some suggest that the Second Empire was founded as early as 1945, with the Bretton Woods conference, or 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. On the other end of the scale, some say the Second Empire did not come into its own until well after 2026, and that to truly match the scale of universality that the Empire represented we should look to the Elevator Projects of the 2040s.
 
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Time Enough

"Enthusiastic Cis Male Partner"
Pronouns
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And so we return to the First Human Empire. It too, existed outside the realm of officialdom. It too enforced its rule over the vast majority of humankind with blood and treasure. It too reaped the benefits of increased unification and universalism, and the framework of it's networks of domination would be inherited and put to work building the Second Human Empire. Put in those terms, it becomes more difficult to deny it's existence.

The dates for the foundation and end of the First Empire are also contentious. Some put the date of it's foundation as the Congress of Vienna, in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, others further back to the Treaty of Westphalia that ended the Thirty Years War and others later to the Treaty of Berlin that divided the African subcontinent. And when it comes to the end, some advocate for the outbreak of European conflict in 1914, some for the later conflagration in 1939. And some contend that the First Empire never truly ended, that it simply shifted it's centre of gravity westwards into what would become the Second Empire.
Sadly the Second Human Empire was created from the idea of Jan Smuts Holism.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Pokemon League Structure

Everyone knows you need to win at least eight badges to qualify. Except when you don't.

Historically, Pokemon tournaments were either "professional" - wandering ronin competing in cities to rank up - or "amateur", done by gentlemen at elite schools. The merging of the two systems into the single Indigo League to secure more broadcast cash meant you could either win badges or gain rank in 'the school system' to qualify for the annual Indigo Plateau Conference. After a few years, however, it was clear the Pokemon Gym path made for better competitors and, starting with Pokemon Tech, the schooling system was replaced by a 'hothouse' for wealthier youths to learn how to be expert trainers from the finest academics, the best gym equipment, and everything else needed to win them lucrative tournament cash, jobs in certain businesses etc.

The reason for eight badges was traditional: it forced a trainer to travel wildly. As modern transport systems became ubiquitous, the Indigo League picked areas at random and mandated that a trainer needed a badge from four of them to keep you travelling across Kanto. Within a few decades, this led to a problem: statistically, Pokemon Tech graduates will win only 1 out of 5 matches with an eight-badger, but only 1 in 2 trainers making it to the Plateau were eight-badgers. A tournament full of posh kids having less impressive matches against each other before losing anyway didn't make for very fun viewing (or gambling). It also was in danger of depressing the number of people becoming trainers.

Three ways around this were found:

a) Deals with the neighbouring Johto League that allowed their trainers to compete with less Kanto badges, giving the tournaments more 'exotic' imports

b) The Pokemon League Admissions Exam, a course for people who couldn't travel to Gyms to earn a qualification to enter the conference. These trainers had a very low success rate but people would tune in to watch a hometown hero fight some posh boy. (It also was a big source of revenue for the Indigo League, getting hordes of dreamers paying to enter, and a big source of gambling revenue if you could get your boy to enter and rig some fights)

c) Allowing more Gyms, so it would be easier for trainers to get the other four they needed. This would lead to trainers who, by old standards, were less skilled getting in, but it also led to some trainers winning more than eight badges and having greater experience

As numbers of qualifiers exploded, the Indigo League reworked the structure: now you had four themed obstacle course rounds, effecting which Pokemon you could use and how you use them to reduce blunt force successes. Then you'd get just sixteen trainers in the Final Rounds (where blunt force wins!).

This would all have some big consequences though: lots and lots of Pokemon Trainers, and lots and lots of Gyms, Pokemon Centres etc, which meant lots and lots of bored people and money and people needing money. One result, the Indigo League brought in other tournaments. The Stadium Cups are the most prominent, requiring Pokemon of specific types, weights, experience levels, or even trainers (the Exam Cup only has people from the PLAE, the Pride Cup for LGBT+ trainers etc) to keep people focused when the Conference isn't on. This require fewer badges for entry.

And the other big result was the 'indie leagues'. These are the titchy regional ones in the shadow of Indigo, requiring less badges for their smaller conferences. The Indigo League enforces its position by making it law that indie Leagues can only use officially sanctioned gym badges, but other than sending inspectors around they don't touch it. The 'indie leagues' - Central Cities League, Ninja Storm League, Saffron City League, Extreme Combat League etc - number in their dozens, ranging from fly-by-nights in pubs and sports halls to a few digital TV channel shows. You'll find a mix of promising trainers preparing for the Indigo Conference, PLAE graduates staying local, veteran trainers with older Pokemon keeping their hand in, desperate losers who have nothing else, gambling syndicate men, people who gave up on the League early but like having a go, and a few naive chumps who got very easy badges.

You'll see quite a few of those chumps because a large number of Gyms sprung up to get all the MONEY!!!! making it around Kanto. Too many were deliberately easy-to-beat McGyms running as money mills. In some places, potential Gyms had wars over who would be the local one. The League was willing to tolerate this until the "Gym Wars" got too public and until the chumps started arriving at Stadium Cups and, in some cases, the early rounds of the Conference. A harsh crackdown has been done.

Informally, there are 'levels':

* Indigo Plateau, for the big boys

* "Second Division", the term for the biggest indies where you can have a respectable career

* "Territorial", the likes of Ninja Storm League

And then there's "Dark League", the underground system of unsanctioned badges, less rules, Team Rocket financing etc. If you're caught in one of these, the Indigo League gives you a lifetime ban. Still, you can make more money than the "territorials" and sometimes even Second Division, if you're careful. Here's where you'll find a lot of trainers in masks and fake names doing brutal fights for cash, and also the desperate once-famous icons who are desperate to pay their debts off.
 

Wolfram

a single, distant, very loud, yeehaw
Location
the Velvet Coffin, Texas
Pronouns
he/him


The defining question of the last decade of Grand Forks politics has been - should Grand Forks join Vesperia, or should it remain within the United States system, whether as an associated state or incorporated into the Constitution? Before 2023, however, this question was hardly reflected within the election returns; members of the State Assembly were elected or not chiefly due to local factors like religion, ethnicity, and unionization.

The turning point came in December 2021, when Speaker Jeffrey Parker (Gov't-Grand Forks Manchester) sent the first official delegation to Montréal to discuss the legal process of joining confederation. This was followed by Resolution 22A, in which the Assembly resolved to appoint a commission to begin the process of officially joining Vesperia; soon after, the date was officially set for January 1, 2025.

This forced a response from the opposition. Christian Values, the political wing of the Apostolic movement, opposed unification because it would require Grand Forks to repeal laws declaring Christianity the state faith, as well as end capital punishment and criminal penalties for sodomy; the Cooperatives and Socialist Workers opposed the fact that unification would likely undermine the state system of price controls and subsidies on wheat and fuel, as well as state ownership of banking, rail, and the post; and People Power opposed the likely end of Sioux legal autonomy and border rights. All four parties, as well as several independents who opposed the government for other reasons, came out against unification, or at least against the ongoing unification process.

The 2023 election returned a one-seat minority for the government. But while Parker announced his resignation, his successor Lyell Robertson (Gov't-Avalon) is likely to be able to negotiate a compromise, likely including a referendum on confederation and a postponement of the official date to 2026 or 2027. For one thing, the Government made substantial gains, especially in the rural north, complicating the narrative that Grand Forkers rejected the notion of confederation wholesale; for another, many urban opposition MPs, particularly in the Socialist Workers - Popular Front Party, could likely be convinced that a liberalized criminal code and more protections for cultural minorities are worth a slightly less generous welfare state, especially if the exceptions to trade union restrictions negotiated for oilfield workers can be extended to more categories of worker...
 

lerk

Well-known member
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Fifteenth Global War on Terror Thread

December 22nd, 2003

I will be going to my family’s place during the winter break, let’s see if all of the tales of airport security after 9/11 are true…

News on the ongoing Arab revolutions goes into its appropriate thread

Anti-Terrorism Coalition

United States: An idea was proposed in Congress two weeks back calling for the construction of railways in Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of a public works project that would supposedly give young men something to do instead of terrorism. A bold proposal to be sure but when you realize that the railways would mainly be used to connect the ATC bases, operated by American companies, and that there is nothing written at all about the governments of the two countries, it sounds a bit like colonialism now

NATO: Recent reports have indicated that there is growing pressure on NATO states from America to increase their involvement in actual combat against insurgents in the region. This doesn’t really correspond to claims of “Mission Accomplished” that we’ve been hearing, nevertheless I can’t really confirm this.

Soviet Union: Condemned the attempted assassination of President Massoud very quickly only after the first reports came out. If it had succeeded, would’ve lead to the pro-Soviet Vice President Dostum taking control. Not saying anything more on this, after all, they are our new allies, they were hit too…

Warsaw Pact: Went on to the “Red” side of the internet to see what was up, and aside from fluff stories being passed around about West and East German troops drinking beer together and an Afghan tribesman believing a Romanian soldier to be an actual Roman, apparently many within the Warsaw Pact believe that the Soviets are using them as cannon fodder. “Where are the Soviets we saw in Sarejevo?”, asks one Serb.

Afghanistan: Massoud has handed over Mullah Dadullah to the Iranians, apparently in an attempt to get Shia support. For whatever reason this was easier than just apologizing to them for the numerous massacres carried out by Jamiat-e-Islami in the early 1990s, but I suppose not condemning your war criminal friends is what you have to do in order to build a nation.

Pakistan: Literally every major political figure in Pakistan (including the ones who helped the ATC during the war against Khorasan) have said that they will not give up Pakistan’s nukes without first a referendum in Kashmir

India: India, however, has said that they never will hold a referendum in Kashmir and that the Pakistanis can pound sand if they want, and also they want Pakistan to give up its nukes. With this level of obstinance you think that they were also hit on 9/11…

The Terrorists

Al-Qaeda: Feel like if we really want to find Bin Laden we just need to find the intermediary who sends his videos to al-Jazeera.

Jabhat: Our pundit betters along with a few do-gooders here have informed us that if we refer to it as “Jabhat al-Khorasan” (or by its English name “Khorasan Front” or shudders “The Islamic Emirate of Khorasan”) we are normalizing the word Khorasan and thus being terrorist propagandists and should be sent to federal prison for the rest of our lives. Not wanting to get into an argument I’ve decided to acquiesce. Anyway throughout the past week they have only managed to kill 11 Afghan troops, 5 Pakistani troops, a Shia cleric in Herat, a police constable in Karachi, and nobody from the US, USSR, or their allies. Very underwhelming

Islamic State of Somalia: Only relegated to a few towns near the border near Puntland but apparently has published a map which shows its claims, that being the entire Horn of Africa instead of just greater Somalia with a black standard overlayed on it just a year ago

Jamaat at-Tawhid wal Jihad: The Jihadi Arabs who chose to stay in their own countries and make an emirate there have said that they view the Arab Autumn as an “opportunity” and refused to elaborate, though maybe we don't need an explanation


Jonathan said:
it sounds a bit like colonialism now
Would that really be the worst thing in the world?
Al.Paulson@AOL.com said:
though maybe we don't need one
Maybe this is what they mean...

nytimes.com/2003/12/10/world/alqaeda-zarqawi-war-shiites-apostates-saudi
Arthropod said:
to al-Jazeera
I don't know if you hang out there but the people over at the Arab Autumn thread seem to believe that al-Jazeera is like Samizdat but in the Arab world
Quintessential said:
Would that really be the worst thing in the world?
I see we have someone else who reads New York Times op-eds.
Arthropod said:
I see we have someone else who reads New York Times op-eds
The whole paper has just gone to shit in the past few years. Fukuyama has declared the end of the Cold War whereas Friedman believes that Gromov is carrying on the spirit of 1956, 1968, and 1989. The former is stupid the latter is just utterly insulting and repulsive to those who were killed during the massacres in 1989 (Gromov was one of the top generals at the time)
MartinM said:
The whole paper has just gone to shit in the past few years. Fukuyama has declared the end of the Cold War
He may not be entirely wrong on this, even the communist parties in the West are now saying that the best way to advance Marxism nowadays is to go up to your local recruiting station

But yes I agree with your other points, we really have gone a long way from Bush threatening Pavlov and Milosevic just two days before the beginning of the Sarajevo Offensive on an aircraft carrier in the Adriatic
Londinium said:
But yes I agree with your other points, we really have gone a long way from Bush threatening Pavlov and Milosevic just two days before the beginning of the Sarajevo Offensive on an aircraft carrier in the Adriatic
Viktor Orban was once in London to meet with Kinnock and keep the spirit of '56 alive, now he's just in London
Guest 553 said:
nytimes.com/2003/12/10/world/alqaeda-zarqawi-war-shiites-apostates-saudi
There is a "Shit Islam"? L. O. L.
Al.Paulson@AOL.com said:
There is a "Shit Islam"? L. O. L.
MODS! We have a troll!
Londinium said:
We really need to get rid of the guest system at some point.
 

Wolfram

a single, distant, very loud, yeehaw
Location
the Velvet Coffin, Texas
Pronouns
he/him
Post-1968 Canadian party system (notes from lecture, Prof. Michael Ignatieff, invited to speak at Lincoln University, Mexico City):
  • 'Laurentian Consensus'
    • Liberals - largest party, usually party of government
      • Ideology defined by Pierre Trudeau (PM 1968-1991)
        • Foreign policy: anti-American
          • Openness to Soviet Union, Cuba, China
          • Brought Canada into the European Community 2002
          • "Arms' length" treatment of American exiles
        • Economic policy: generally inflationary
          • Coalition gov'ts use PC finance ministers to do austerity without having to shoulder the blame
          • Corporatist treatment of unions - support them for electoral reasons, but want to avoid politically dangerous strife and ensure wage restraint for exports
        • Social policy: permissiveness without radicalism
          • Support bilingualism but no unique status for Quebec
    • Progressive Conservatives
      • Right wing of 'Laurentian Consensus', primarily suburban/exurban
      • Represents moderate/secular conservatives opposed to American regime
      • Has considered fusion with Liberals, but Liberals want to be able to quietly support austerity without losing ground to SDPC/NDP/Greens
  • Left
    • NDP
      • Rural center-left, very weak outside Prairie provinces/rural BC
        • Strong provincial operations bankroll a weak national party
      • Opposition to Liberal energy policy, both wrt oil prices and more recently environmental
        • Some want Canada to join OPEC
      • Undercurrent of anti-French/anti-minority sentiment wrt direction of equalization payments
        • Support for federalism has allowed some unexpected gains in Quebec, however
        • Supports a more expansive welfare state but wants provinces to run it with their own money
    • SDPC
      • Party of labor unions and campus left
      • Opposed to Liberal 'pet unions', wage restraint policy
      • Some tendencies towards pro-Soviet policy
    • Greens
      • Environmental but otherwise big tent
        • Some have argued for cuts to welfare spending to make up for lost tax revenue from oil industry
        • Popular in Maritimes
    • North American Solidarity Alliance
      • Almost exclusively supported by American expellees/their descendants
      • Strongly anti-American
        • Divide between Gibson wing (liberal, anti-war, 'make a new America here') and Bootlegger wing (American nationalist, pro-military spending, pro-revolution, deeply enmeshed with smuggling inc. drugs and weapons and with resistance movements)
  • Right
    • Social Credit
      • Formerly believed in 'right-wing Marxist' heterodox economics
        • Supportive of social spending, some protectionism
      • 'Soft' pro-American wing of Canadian politics
        • Opposed to ECOM on protectionist/isolationist grounds
        • Strongly anti-communist
        • Opposed to taking in American refugees/economic migrants, strongly opposed to granting them citizenship
      • Much stronger in past decade
        • Fall of Oliver North has dampened anti-American regime sentiment
          • But McMahon becoming much less popular
        • Findlay's replacement with McCrimmon helped reduce Liberals' numbers in civilian rural communities...
          • Then McCrimmon's replacement with Charest weakened Liberals among military and young voters
        • NDP anti-environmentalism viewed as 'insincere' after 2012 coalition
        • SoCreds have been able to move right on social issues to pick up CVP voters
        • Supreme Court banned Sovereign Québec Party and West Canada First in 2014; Social Credit has been main beneficiary
        • '68 Generation' aging out of politics, anti-Americanism not a strong motivating issue for incoming voters
    • Christian Values Party
      • Evangelicals
      • Anti-American but also anti-Laurentian due to abortion, LGBT issues
 
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