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  Number of Regions/Regional Governments (DEBATE CLOSED)
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Author Topic: Number of Regions/Regional Governments (DEBATE CLOSED)  (Read 39508 times)
Senator Cris
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« Reply #125 on: October 13, 2015, 07:51:56 am »

Again: please not overlap your amendments!

I'd like to remember that there are a lot of amendments:
- NeverAgain's amendment;
- Oakvale's amendment;
- Leinad's amendment;
- Clyde's amendment.

Considered that NeverAgain has not responded to my questions, I'll go ahead with his amendment.
I URGE ALL OTHER DELEGATES TO WITHDRAW THEIR AMENDMENTS.

Now, let's go to NeverAgain's amendment. Various people objected. A 48-hours vote is now open.

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Senator Cris
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« Reply #126 on: October 13, 2015, 08:11:47 am »

We can't stop one month to debate about secession rights with an amendment, then a counter amendment, then another counter amendment that strikes what approved early and then another that strikes the previous amendment. It's not the right way to act.
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Clyde1998
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« Reply #127 on: October 13, 2015, 09:55:46 am »

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Abstain - I don't believe that the President or the Senate should be able to veto the results of a democratic vote; however I believe that secession should be possible - should the voters in a region vote for it.
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SUSAN CRUSHBONE
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« Reply #128 on: October 13, 2015, 10:00:54 am »
« Edited: October 13, 2015, 01:09:03 pm by low-energy loser evergreen »

abstain

aye - certainly not a good amendment, but i'd rather have this than let ct's stay.
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Fmr. Pres. Duke
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« Reply #129 on: October 13, 2015, 10:14:24 am »

Nay

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rpryor03
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« Reply #130 on: October 13, 2015, 10:22:17 am »

Nay
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bore
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« Reply #131 on: October 13, 2015, 10:41:24 am »

This type of insanely over prescriptive detail is a large part of what's wrong with the constitution at the moment.

If we must have something about secession in the constitution (and I don't see why we should) it should be something along the lines of "No region may secede from this union except when the majority of it's citizens have expressed a clear and sustained desire to do so"
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
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« Reply #132 on: October 13, 2015, 11:05:04 am »

NAY!

I commend Never Again for trying to stake out the middle ground, but as PiT said, trying to regulate secession is a useless endeavor. We either need to outlaw secession (as we have already done) or go to a confederation system and scrap federalism entirely.

And seriously, guys, do we really need five amendments outlining secession protocol? This is hardly the biggest issue facing us, yet for a week now the Convention has been paralyzed by what promises to be an endless debate. As Winfield said, it's time to move on. If we can't do that, I would recommend voting on the remaining secession amendments all at once (STV style) so that we can settle this issue once and for all.

I'd love to hear what Classic and those who back his amendment have to say about America's independence,
I would refer you to a line in the Declaration of Independence that supporters of the right secession seem to have forgotten about:

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In 1776, the 13 American Colonies had been deprived of their right to self-government, forced to comply with laws passed without their consent, placed under the rule of an occupying army, and attacked by their own king's soldiers. Even then, their right to secede from the British Empire was not protected by law: they had to fight for it.

Essentially, this is my view of the secession question:

1. Separation is allowable when, and only when, the rights of the seceders (life, liberty, property, self-government) have been infringed on by the national government. Even then, the people in question should seek to remedy the situation within the existing structure of government (as did the citizens of the 13 Colonies) before seeking independence.
2. If the national government is deliberately violating Constitutional protections of the rights of the people, it will probably not be inclined to obey the part of the Constitution allowing secession.
3. Thus, the only time a Constitutional right to secession would be respected is when it is not needed, making this passage worthless.

In short, are there times when it is necessary to rebel against governmental authority? Yes. In those times, however, legal rights are virtually meaningless. The only government that will respect a Constitutional right to secession is an honest government, and if the government is honest, there is no need to secede.

I can hear the proponents of secession in the gallery now, crying out that banning secession violates their right to self-determination. This simply is not so. The Right to Self Determination, as expressed in the U.N. Charter, was devised to express support for oppressed peoples and nationalities trying to overthrow despotic regimes. There is a big difference between the people of Ireland separating from Britain, which had established control over them without their consent, and the people of the Northeast, who entered into this Union willingly, separating from Atlasia because they are bored.

I'd like to examine an argument often used by the proponents of secession: the idea of the Constitution as a contract between sovereign states (or Regions). If this is indeed so, then the Union is indeed inseparable, for one party cannot declare a contract void without the consent of the other parties. If I enter into a contract with Leinad, wherein I agree to help him govern the South and he agrees to help me represent my constituents in the Senate, I cannot decide to void that contract without his consent. Doing so would undermine the very premise of the agreement and would irreparable harm my reputation in the eyes of all who know me.

Governments draw strength and prestige from their perpetuity. If we insert a clause into our Constitution saying, in effect "The national government is in charge, until it isn't," who will believe that Atlasia is any longer one of the world's great powers? Who will believe that we have the internal unity and the outward strength to take a leading role in world affairs, or indeed to be believed at all? The proponents of secession say it will repair our international reputation, but I see no reason why the Beijing or the Kremlin would be inclined to respect us if we declare that the national government may be dissolved at any time by the whim of 51% of one-third (or fifth) of the country.

Lastly, from a more practical standpoint, cleaving this Union in half (particularly if one of the halves is the Northeast) will effectively kill Atlasia. We do not have the necessary interest at this time to sustain simultaneously two national governments. In the event of secession, one of the resulting countries will almost certainly collapse within a short time of the separation (would anyone argue that the nation could survive right now without the Northeast?), therefore killing the only potential lasting change independence would bring: diplomatic relations.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #133 on: October 13, 2015, 12:21:22 pm »

Nay

Sorry man, Sad I will detail my reasons for the vote when I get off work.
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tmthforu94
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« Reply #134 on: October 13, 2015, 12:26:32 pm »

Aye, only because it is a step in the right direction. Still not ideal, though.
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Lincoln Republican
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« Reply #135 on: October 13, 2015, 12:31:25 pm »

Nay.

I have stated reasons previously.

We have spent enough time on this issue.

As far as I'm concerned, this issue has already been settled, and secession has been banned in the new constitution.
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MyRescueKittehRocks
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« Reply #136 on: October 13, 2015, 12:34:29 pm »

Abstain. Leinad's amendment is the middle ground. I don't oppose the amendment in question but the president/senate shouldn't have veto power on this subject.
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Grand Inquisitor Lumine
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« Reply #137 on: October 13, 2015, 12:52:43 pm »

Hear hear on Truman's well put arguments against seccession.

And Nay on the amendment.
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Associate Justice PiT
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« Reply #138 on: October 13, 2015, 01:54:47 pm »

     I would entertain a middle-ground amendment, but not this one.

     Nay.
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tmthforu94
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« Reply #139 on: October 13, 2015, 01:56:33 pm »

I oppose NeverAgain's amendment as well, for the same reason that Tmth opposed it. BUT, I think it's the best idea so far.

Therefore, Mr. Presiding Officer, I'd like to propose this amendment (presumably to be voted on after NeverAgain's):

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I'd also be willing to add an emergency clause--perhaps that the federal government (however we decide to set that up) can overturn this with, say, a four-fifths majority of the senate. Or maybe a different safeguard--perhaps the governor has to approve it, or it can be overturned if one senator from each region agrees. And then I'd be willing to add a counter to that--if it passes the referendum by, say, a three-fourths vote, it will go through anyway.

Of course, these numbers are just placeholders. The point is that the right to self-determination isn't infringed, but it needs to be by more than a 50%+1 margin. It's all about checks and balances, people.
Just to clarify on this amendment, would this be a national vote or a regional vote?
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Classic Conservative
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« Reply #140 on: October 13, 2015, 02:16:27 pm »

Nay
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MadmanMotley
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« Reply #141 on: October 13, 2015, 09:03:02 pm »

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Aye, a step in the right direction.
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Leinad
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« Reply #142 on: October 13, 2015, 09:34:34 pm »

Abstain, for the same reasons that JCL articulated.

Just to clarify on this amendment, would this be a national vote or a regional vote?

Regional. I don't see why other regions should have a say, but specifically not an equal say.

I would refer you to a line in the Declaration of Independence that supporters of the right secession seem to have forgotten about:

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Sure, but Classic Conservative's amendment says nothing about that.

Again, and this is applicable as a response to what Senator Truman said and a reminder to everyone, this is NOT just about the current Northeastern independence movement. Truman and others seemingly think it is, but it isn't. I encourage everyone to vote on this generically, don't vote for unquestioned federal control over the regions just because you don't like the NNP, their specific cause, or one of their members.

What is the source of government power? The people. It's only with their consent that the power is legitimate. I still have no clue where the right of the federal government to rule over them without any challenge comes from (hint: nowhere), and while I understand the concept that it's a relationship that the regions voluntarily entered, I don't see anywhere that the individual people in question entered into that agreement. And rights are given to individuals, governments (both regional and federal) are only there to safeguard those rights--so it's more than simply a question of regional powers, but one of rights and the very nature of government.
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tmthforu94
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« Reply #143 on: October 13, 2015, 09:41:38 pm »

Honestly, I'm going to come out and say that I don't think three-fifths of the vote in a region is enough to grant independence. I think the option should be there, but three-fifths is far too low for such an important issue. I would say 2/3s at least, maybe even 3/4s.
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Associate Justice PiT
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« Reply #144 on: October 13, 2015, 09:54:31 pm »

Abstain, for the same reasons that JCL articulated.

Just to clarify on this amendment, would this be a national vote or a regional vote?

Regional. I don't see why other regions should have a say, but specifically not an equal say.

I would refer you to a line in the Declaration of Independence that supporters of the right secession seem to have forgotten about:

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Sure, but Classic Conservative's amendment says nothing about that.

Again, and this is applicable as a response to what Senator Truman said and a reminder to everyone, this is NOT just about the current Northeastern independence movement. Truman and others seemingly think it is, but it isn't. I encourage everyone to vote on this generically, don't vote for unquestioned federal control over the regions just because you don't like the NNP, their specific cause, or one of their members.

What is the source of government power? The people. It's only with their consent that the power is legitimate. I still have no clue where the right of the federal government to rule over them without any challenge comes from (hint: nowhere), and while I understand the concept that it's a relationship that the regions voluntarily entered, I don't see anywhere that the individual people in question entered into that agreement. And rights are given to individuals, governments (both regional and federal) are only there to safeguard those rights--so it's more than simply a question of regional powers, but one of rights and the very nature of government.

     In a representative Republic, the government is constituted to represent the people. If the people in a certain region of that Republic do not want to be represented by that government, then it undermines the basis of the nation's government.

     Pragmatically though, as I was saying before, people who really want to secede will go ahead and do so anyway. Unconditionally refusing to entertain their concerns because of some platitudes about patriotism and "preserving the union" only invites needless violence and death.
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Clark Kent
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« Reply #145 on: October 13, 2015, 10:19:42 pm »

Nay

I completely oppose any and all attempts to make secession any easier.


As for JCL's concern, Atlasian/American independence was not really secession, as the Thirteen Colonies were just that, colonies, and not actually an integral part of Britain itself. It's a different situation where different rules apply. In general, I am always opposed to secession.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
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« Reply #146 on: October 13, 2015, 11:28:01 pm »

Again, and this is applicable as a response to what Senator Truman said and a reminder to everyone, this is NOT just about the current Northeastern independence movement. Truman and others seemingly think it is, but it isn't. I encourage everyone to vote on this generically, don't vote for unquestioned federal control over the regions just because you don't like the NNP, their specific cause, or one of their members.

What is the source of government power? The people. It's only with their consent that the power is legitimate. I still have no clue where the right of the federal government to rule over them without any challenge comes from (hint: nowhere), and while I understand the concept that it's a relationship that the regions voluntarily entered, I don't see anywhere that the individual people in question entered into that agreement. And rights are given to individuals, governments (both regional and federal) are only there to safeguard those rights--so it's more than simply a question of regional powers, but one of rights and the very nature of government.

I'd be surprised if a majority of the people opposing a right to secession are doing so based solely on the Northeast question - I know I'm not. As I'm sure you know from reading my earlier post, secession will upend the balance of power between the national government and the Regions and more than likely lead to the demise of Atlasia itself. Sooner or later, the national legislature is going to pass a law that a majority of citizens in one Region do not like: if that majority can declare itself out of the Union on a dime, we have a situation where the national government will be paralyzed by threats of separation. Furthermore, separation once accomplished will almost certainly kill at least one if not both of the emergent countries. Is there anyone who thinks we have enough active players in the game right now to sustain two independent powers?

Consider the political situation of our predecessor, the United States, in the 1850s. Virtually nothing was accomplished during that decade in regards to the slavery question (except for poorly-concieved "compromises" that made the situation worse) because, every time an anti-slavery Congressman would propose a solution, the pro-slavery faction would threaten to secede. We've seen this again and again over the course of human history: every political union that allows member states to secede has seen its national authorities rendered powerless. If you want to return to the Articles of Confederation, fine: legalize secession and vest all powers in the hands of the Regions. But if you want a federal system - and I suspect the majority of delegates do - you have to understand that secession just doesn't work.

You bring up a very important point though, Leinad, and that is that government derives its authority from the people. You are correct in saying that most Atlasians active today were not present at the formation of this Republic; all, however, have given their consent to the Union of these Regions by living here and abiding by the laws of our nation. To say that the Union does not bind us because we did not personally cast the vote to form it is to argue that laws against murder, slavery, arson, and treason do not bind us because our ancestors, and not we, penned the words that outlaw those practices.

Furthermore, I think you missed the central point of my earlier post. This Republic, and the union that came before it, is founded on the belief that all citizens, regardless of the conditions of their birth, has the right to live under a just, democratic government. When governments are unjust - when they violate the rights of the people, destabilize democratic institutions, and vest power in the hands of the few - then the people have the right to tear down that government and build a new one. What the fathers of our brand of democracy did not believe is that the people should have the right to overthrow just governments. Why? Because to rebel against the authority of a democratic government is a serious proposition, especially when it is the minority who rebel that does so. In doing so, the challengers are refusing to abide by the democratic determination of the people to abide by certain laws or follow certain leaders. If a Region can secede because it does not like the outcome of an election, what is the point of having elections? If a Region can secede because it does not like a particular law, what is the point of having laws? In both cases, a minority of the citizenry is refusing to abide by the democratic determination of the people. Not only does this destroy the idea of a federal union, it threatens the central tenant of our Republic: that we will submit our views to the democratic process.

Are there times when it may be necessary to oppose the government, even by force, even when a majority of citizens supports it? Yes. But those times are limited to when the government is actually infringing on the rights of the people, and in such cases it is unlikely that the ruling authorities will respect a Constitutional right to secession. In short, the only time in which such a right would mean anything at all is when secession is not permissible under the laws of Nature.

[TL;DR: Our democracy can survive only as long as the people agree to abide by the result of the democratic process. As such, citizens must respect the supremacy of the federal government, so long as that government does not take away their rights. If the government violates the rights of the people, then secession is permissible; however, in such an event, it is unlikely that said government would respect a Constitutional right to secession. As long as the government is just and continues to respect our natural liberties, there is no need for secession: in fact, seceding actually threatens the democratic process by giving the minority the right to nullify the will of the majority.]
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MyRescueKittehRocks
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« Reply #147 on: October 14, 2015, 12:06:09 am »

Nay

I completely oppose any and all attempts to make secession any easier.


As for JCL's concern, Atlasian/American independence was not really secession, as the Thirteen Colonies were just that, colonies, and not actually an integral part of Britain itself. It's a different situation where different rules apply. In general, I am always opposed to secession.

That's not how the British parliament thought. Even though they denied the colonists the right of being represented in their own body. Thus was a cause for revolution.
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Leinad
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« Reply #148 on: October 14, 2015, 04:25:13 am »

I'd be surprised if a majority of the people opposing a right to secession are doing so based solely on the Northeast question - I know I'm not.

Hmmm...from reading you (who multiple times in your prior post brought up the Northeast seemingly as the main example of secession), Duke (who generalized secession as "letting regions leave whenever they get angry"), Winfield (who generalized ideas in favor of secession in at least some cases as "giving unquestioned authority to a group of malcontents"), and others--it seems like many are either talking about the secession in the context of the Northeast, or other very similar cases with little perceived justification.

Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but the two most prominent examples I hear from the anti-secession-in-apparently-every-case-imaginable side are the Northeast and the Confederacy, which is obviously cherry-picking unpopular examples to make the point look better.

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No, probably not, but I'm not sure it's as sensational as you put it. There's always a chance that the new dynamic would boost activity enough to allow both nations to be sustainable--not to mention, in case of failing, the probably good chance of the union merging again for mutual survival.

In general, I agree it would be more likely to hurt than help (although I see the arguments on both sides). But I'm not sure if that warrants the position of giving the federal government absolute, unchallengeable control over the regions, as the amendment that just narrowly passed explicitly does.

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Which is why we should have a high threshold and make it a tricky process--so that it's never done on a whim if it ever is done. Again you invoke slavery to make your position look better, but the point is more general than that: if the federal government does something bad enough to provoke at least 60% or 67% of the people in an area to want to leave, maybe those people have a point?

Again, opposing the Classic Conservative amendment does not equal supporting Evergreen's withdrawn amendment. I'm against allowing a 50%+1 majority, I'd much rather make it a steeper hurdle to jump than that, where it isn't done just because people are "bored" or whatever.

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There's a difference: things such as violence/theft/fraud/destruction of property/etc. are direct, objective tramplings of other people's rights. They violate the Non-Aggression Principle, if you'll allow such blatant libertarianism. These are more obvious laws that protect our unalienable rights, while the laws placing the federal government in charge of people do no such thing.

Despite the fact I think your comparison is erroneous, I completely get what you're saying--that these are laws they implicitly agreed upon when registering. Then again, I'm not sure if implicit agreement is enough to qualify as consent of the governed.

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Sure, I understand that secession is many times not warranted. But I would argue that what's warranted or not isn't the point--consent of the governed is still valid even if the governed want to do something that doesn't necessarily make sense to people. In other words, people don't need to be violently oppressed to have the right to self-determination.

(And I'd also argue that the central tenant of our Republic is not that we will submit our views to the democratic process, but rather that we all have unalienable rights that mustn't be trampled on--and it's the government's job to make sure people don't trample on those rights, and punish those that do, and nothing much else. But I suppose that's where modern liberalism has drastically diverged from classical liberalism.)

     In a representative Republic, the government is constituted to represent the people. If the people in a certain region of that Republic do not want to be represented by that government, then it undermines the basis of the nation's government.

     Pragmatically though, as I was saying before, people who really want to secede will go ahead and do so anyway. Unconditionally refusing to entertain their concerns because of some platitudes about patriotism and "preserving the union" only invites needless violence and death.

Completely agreed. Especially the first paragraph (which is basically what I said but phrased better Tongue).

Honestly, I'm going to come out and say that I don't think three-fifths of the vote in a region is enough to grant independence. I think the option should be there, but three-fifths is far too low for such an important issue. I would say 2/3s at least, maybe even 3/4s.

Sure, you might be right. Would you rather there to be a backup plan/fail-safe as I described when I introduced the amendment, which itself might could be overturned by 3/4ths or something, or perhaps simply a higher threshold?
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Marokai Backbeat
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« Reply #149 on: October 14, 2015, 05:27:23 am »

Aye, precisely on evergreen's reasoning.
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