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[BEST REPEAL DRAFT] Affordable Transgender Hormone Therapy

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Sciongrad
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Postby Sciongrad » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:46 pm

Cowardly Pacifists wrote:Although empowered to enforce the rules, the GenSec does not have the authority to unilaterally amend them or distort their plain language. GenSec members also may not stretch the meaning of the rules to reach a desired result if doing so requires disregarding the plain text of the rule. Put differently, the interpretations of a GenSec member are not entitled to any greater weight, simply because they are a GenSec member, when those interpretations require ignoring or modifying parts of the written rule. This maxim is an essential feature of ensuring that gameplay within the GA is fair: the rules as written apply to us all.


A couple of notes before I delve into this. First, I want to clarify that GenSec has the authority to interpret and revise the rules as it sees fit, yet this authority is without exception exercised in collaboration with the community. This authority has two implications that are relevant here. First, we are under absolutely no obligation to take a purely "textualist" or "originalist" approach to any rule, and you will notice if you read through the case law that GenSec's interpretation of the Honest Mistake rule has evolved to address community needs as we understand them. And second, our interpretations, simply as a matter of fact, are the ones that count. That is not because we have special insight into the rules but because it is simply the necessary consequence of creating a body whose role it is to definitively answer legal questions. Though I stressed that we are not judges in my previous post, it is useful to analogize us to judges at least in this limited sense: The judge has more weight in determining the rules than ordinary citizens. We are not under any obligation to defer to the majority opinion on a given rule, and in fact, it is our obligation to apply the rules according to how we interpret them. Of course we take into consideration first and foremost the text of the rule, as well as the community's expectations and the way in which the rule has historically been interpreted, but it is simply a misinterpretation of our role to claim that "the interpretations of a GenSec member are not entitled to greater weight..."

That being said, it is not immediately obvious, despite your insistence, that your interpretation of the rule is the plainest interpretation for reasons I will explain shortly.

Some features here are worth pointing out. First, the core principle of the rule is that "repeals should address the contents of the resolution it's targeting." This suggests that Honest Mistake violations will generally be found where, rather than addressing a resolution's content, a repeal author instead "just state[s] the reverse of the arguments given in the resolution." A good example of this can be found in other proposals to repeal the target resolution in this case which, rather than address the contents of what the resolution does, instead quibble over whether the "facts" laid out regarding the transgendered experience are true. Another example based on this part of the rule, in this context, would be a repeal that does not address what the resolution does about the right to transgender hormone therapy but, instead, argues that transgender people are bad and undeserving of protection. While such an argument might provide a "reason" for repeal, it would fail to "address the contents of the resolution" and therefore violate the rule.

Your interpretation of the Honest Mistake rule in this component of your argument depends on a mistaken assumption about the core principle of the rule. It is true that the core principle is to ensure engagement with the target resolution, but only in the limited sense that the rest of the rule descends from that principle. But that is not an argument against an interpretation of the Honest Mistake rule that enforces a strict test of factual accuracy. You treat your identification of the rule’s underlying principle as an insight that bolsters your argument, but really it is trivial — no one denies that the Honest Mistake rule fundamentally requires engagement with the target resolution. Where you are mistaken is in assuming that somehow this interpretation suggests that the Honest Mistake rule should not prioritize strict factual accuracy whereas many on GenSec would argue that the strict factual accuracy test is actually parasitic on the very principle you mention here. In other words, it does not make sense to say "the real focus of the rule is on ensuring the repeal engages with the target resolution, not on whether the claims are strictly accurate," because the latter complain is perfectly compatible with the principle that the repeal engages with the target resolution.

Second, the rule expressly permits several repeal tactics and explicitly states they "do not constitute an honest mistake." Those tactics expressly approved include: embellishment (dictionary def: a decorative detail or feature added to something to make it more attractive), exaggeration (dictionary def: a statement that represents something as better or worse than it really is); deceptive/weaselly words (no dictionary def available here but the common understanding would be intentionally ambiguous or even misleading words; for instance, saying "many people believe" to hide the fact that the actual number is few, or "wasted tons of money" when in fact the money involved is small in value but extremely heavy for some reason).

This is true, but it is not immediately obvious that the Honest Mistake rule permits the type of deception you are talking about here. We have chosen to interpret the rule generally as permitting exaggeration and embellishment only to the extent that they do not mischaracterize the original resolution. It is a misinterpretation of a resolution, and therefore an Honest Mistake violation, to suggest that a resolution does something that it does not in fact do or that relies on an unreasonable or bad faith interpretation to be true. You merely take for granted that because the rule permits embellishment and exaggeration that it must permit some type of mischaracterization, but this is not a rule that one can simply interpret according to the black letter law. What constitutes permissible deception and impermissible deception depends on standards that the rule itself does not contain explicitly. Despite your protests that your interpretation relies solely on the text, it makes implicit value claims about what constitutes mischaracterization — value claims that you have not defended in their own right. GenSec, generally speaking, has established a strict test for mischaracterization that we have substantiated based on what we perceive to be the community goals and purpose of the rule.

Rest assured that I will address the substantive rather than theoretical aspects of your argument shortly, because I believe, like SL and BA, that this proposal violates the Honest Mistake rule. But I do not have two hours to engage with this all at once, so for now I will leave you with this response to your interpretation of the rule.
Last edited by Sciongrad on Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:59 pm

Meddlesome Goblins wrote:
A stunty green form darts about the chamber shadows; beady yellow eyes peering out.
As the room lights darken a goblin wearing fine clothes (for a goblin) emerges into full view; a repeal draft, in his hand:


Repeal "Affordable Transgender Hormone Therapy"

*~*~*~*~*

Noting that Affordable Transgender Hormone Therapy (GAR #467) was duly passed into law by the "Yes" vote of a majority of World Assembly nations;

Further noting that GAR #467 has been in effect for some time, allowing Member Nations to fully experience the fruits of the law;

Recognizing that, having been duly passed and enacted by Member States, at least some of the positive effects of GAR #467 will remain even if the law is repealed;

Reaffirming the many facts about the experience of transgender and gender non-binary people eloquently set forth in GAR #467;

Agreeing that it is appropriate for "all member-states to legalize hormone therapy for all consenting individuals;"

HOWEVER

1. Recalling that GAR #467 requires "all member-states to have an affordable, easy-to-access way for its transgender population to access hormone therapy;"

(a) Convinced that such a mandate goes beyond GAR #467's purpose in recognizing a civil right by unduly imposing substantial socialized care obligations on member states and their populations;

(b) Confused by the repetitive obligation to provide an "easy-to-access way" to "access" hormone therapy; and

(c) Concerned that the ambiguous wording of this requirement has caused some nations to believe that they must actually provide hormone therapy, while other nations believe that providing a "way... to access" the therapy (such as through mandatory deportation to a more sympathetic country) is acceptable;

2. Recalling that GAR #467 forbids "any member-state from denying a transgender person access to hormone therapy as a punishment or as part of a punishment for a crime;" (emphasis added)

(a) Noting at once that while there is nothing inherently criminal about being transgendered or gender non-binary, people in those groups commit crimes just like people in any other group;

(b) Recognizing that many member nations have criminal justice systems that impose financial fines and incarceration as a consequence of criminal misdeeds;

(c) Further recognizing that the imposition of a fine or imprisonment may result in a person effectively being denied access to hormone therapy, either because they are physically unable to receive that treatment, or unable to afford it after being fined, or both;

(d) Aware that some individuals being punished for a crime may be too dangerous and unstable for a physician to safely administer hormone therapy;

(e) Believing that forbidding the denial of hormone therapy treatment "as a punishment" would have been appropriate, but by adding needless additional language GAR #467 overreaches and effectively prohibits many lawful and acceptable criminal justice practices simply because "as a part of" those punishments, a person would be denied "access" to hormone therapy;

3. Seeing these flaws in GAR #467, and recognizing that less-ambiguous and more-reasonable regulations are possible, the General Assembly hereby:

REPEALS GAR #467, "Affordable Transgender Hormone Therapy."

Don't use tab tags, use the list tags instead. If you want to find out how to do that, check the passed resolutions thread for examples. Don't post in it.

Given that there seems to be a majority in favour of reading far too much into the claims you make in this proposal, you should dial them down and move towards claims along the lines of (1) "arguably, the only effective means in the short run for member nations to ensure access and affordability would be to shoulder extremely burdensome costs" and include the arguably part, (2) ignoring the penal section altogether ... though if it really is an issue as SL claims, then it was duplicatory in the first place, or instead, (3) arguing that member nations should be able to do what the penal section prohibits.

I won't support this proposal if it comes to vote, but good luck.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sierra Lyricalia
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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:54 pm

Cowardly Pacifists wrote:
The Honest Mistake Rule wrote:Honest Mistake: Repeals should address the contents of the resolution it's targeting, and not just state the reverse of the arguments given in the resolution. Embellishment, exaggeration, deceptive/weaselly-words do not constitute an 'honest mistake'. An 'honest mistake' is factual inaccuracies, misrepresentation, or content that doesn't address the resolution

Sierra Lyricalia wrote:The resolution does not say anything about socialized care. It does not require hormones to be free to the patient by means of taxpayer assumption of the entire cost of production/acquisition and distribution, only that the cost be reasonable to patients. Honest Mistake.

The GenSec member argues that this first point in the repeal proposal is an Honest Mistake violation. The repeal identifies with particularly a direct quote from the target resolution, which includes a mandate that member states have an "affordable, easy-to-access way" to access a form of medical therapy. The repeal argues that from the language about "affordable" and "easy" access to care, as well as placing those obligations on governments rather than private actors, there is a reasonable inference that some amount of care would be socialized. The repeal (possibly) exaggerates or embellishes that inference by characterizing any socialization of those costs as "undue" or "substantial" obligations. That sort of exaggerating the potential negative effects is totally permissible under the plain language of the Honest Mistake rule.

In his response, the resolution's author did not disagree that the resolution imposes care obligations but pointed out that criticism of this limited obligation is misguided given that other resolutions on the books already mandate socialized care on a broader level. That is a fine and reasoned position to take against the merits of the repeal argument, if the premise is accepted that the additional costs imposed by the target would not be "undue" or "substantial" because member states already have an obligation to provide socialized care. But it properly recognizes that some sort of socialized care obligation is a reasonable consequence to infer from the plain text of the resolution.

The GenSec member responds that this is nonetheless a violation because "The resolution does not say anything about socialized care." But, as discussed above, it does say something about socialized care, at least implicitly, by imposing on governments a duty to provide "affordable" means of treatment. It is not unreasonable for a repeal to grab on to that sort of language and argue that the law should be repealed because, at its heart, "affordable transgender hormone therapy" reasonably implies socializing health care costs. Indeed, the GenSec member seemingly acknowledges the reasonableness of that interpretation by granting that the resolution does require member states to act so that "the cost be reasonable to patients."

It is worth mentioning that the GenSec member also embellishes the repeal language to make it easier to dismiss. The GenSec member points out that the target resolution does not require treatment "be free to the patient by means of taxpayer assumption of the entire cost of production/acquisition and distribution." Perhaps had the repeal accused the target resolution of that, it would indeed be an unfair mischaracterization of the target. Surely, the target resolution does not require free care or taxpayer assumption of "the entire cost" of the care. But, of course, that's not what the repeal accuses the target resolution of; not even close. The repeal quotes the target language and points out that a reasonable inference from that language is that the law imposes some socialized care obligations, which the repeal characterizes simply as "undue" and "substantial." Those are qualifiers that, at worst, are weasel words - they don't have any precise meaning but express generally an undesirable result. The fact that the GenSec member would not personally agree with that inference - perhaps because the GenSec member believes only a requirement of free, fully-taxpayer funded care would be "undue" and "substantial" - is a matter for the proposal's merits, not its legality.
Since a nation with a fully-privatized health care system would be capable of imposing simple price controls for the hormones involved in the required therapy, without actually subsidizing anything (that is, leaving the cost of care to be absorbed by the rest of the pool of insurees, or by price increases elsewhere - see the US Affordable Care Act, in which entire swaths of people were suddenly permitted to purchase health insurance, with their costs of care substantially compensated by drastic price increases on the cost of current customers' care), it is entirely possible for there to be no socialization of costs, let alone a substantial one. While in many cases member governments may well find it simplest or most expedient to cover the cost of HRT themselves, this is in no way a given, nor can it be assumed from the language of the target. GAR #97 "Quality in Health Services" explicitly permits nations to run a fully privatized healthcare system (minus, presumably, a small amount of publicly funded care for the purpose of providing "assistance only to those who cannot afford to pay for their own care"). The number of people requiring hormone replacement therapy is, assuming both RL statistics and many vocal nations' self-proclaimed scarcity of transgender people, nowhere near enough to assume a "substantial" increase in publicly funded healthcare. Therefore, while you might disagree with my argument, the fatal flaws you claim to have found in it simply do not exist. It is factually untrue that the target resolution requires "substantial" socialization of healthcare funding. The repeal argument is therefore an Honest Mistake.


Sierra Lyricalia wrote: It's not a reasonable or good faith interpretation for a country to "comply" via deportation. "Some countries will flout this resolution entirely and do the opposite of what it clearly requires" is not a valid repeal argument. Honest Mistake.

This concern was recognized as a legitimate interpretation of what the law requires by the resolution's author. So it's unclear where the GenSec member came up with their conclusion that it would not be a reasonable or good faith interpretation of the law or would mean doing "the opposite of what it clearly requires."

The target resolution, by its plain language as quoted in the repeal, requires only "affordable" and "easy-to-access" access to the therapy and nothing more. The text of the target is quoted in full in the repeal; there is no effort to mislead about what the law actually says. The repeal then embellishes the possible consequences of reading the law literally as its written, and exaggerates how nations might comply if applying the law strictly to its letter. That sort of argument is expressly allowed for repeals by the Honest Mistake rule. The fact that a GenSec member would not accept such an interpretation themselves is a merits issue to be argued at vote, not a legality issue.

Notably, the repeal does not suggest that the law requires member nations to deport their people and acknowledges that a reasonable interpretation would be to provide hormone therapy in the home state. But where the resolution is drafted to compel "access" rather than actual provision, it is a legitimate repeal argument to embellish what it means to merely require "access" out to its extremes in the hopes of convincing some nations that the law could have been better drafted. Whether member nations would be wise to accept that argument is, again, a matter for the voters to decide and not for the GenSec to decide.
The notion that mandatory deportations are a more cost effective way to supply a nation's transgender population with "easy... access" to hormone therapy than simply providing it buggers belief. Notwithstanding the author's inexplicable agreement with this bizarre allegation, had the resolution explicitly accounted for such a strategy within its text, the relevant clause would have been laughed out of the debate thread. Another look at real life might be instructive here; where a nation wishes to reduce the incidence of sex trafficking, it generally does not do so by deporting the victims to other countries where it believes law enforcement to be more effective, and no UN official clamoring for such reductions would consider that a valid strategy for achieving the goal. For those reasons and from a simple reading of GA resolutions, good faith compliance cannot be claimed where deportation is the primary method of achieving it. As I stated earlier, "some nations won't comply with this" is not a valid repeal argument; and no nation serious about actually complying would consider that strategy. The conclusion of Honest Mistake is therefore warranted.


Sierra Lyricalia wrote: Obviously, as medical patients, the prison system has an obligation to provide these people their necessary medications. You wouldn't make the claim that a diabetic serial killer is "unable" to receive insulin while imprisoned. Same principle. Honest Mistake.

This is an obvious misapplication of the Honest Mistake rule. The repeal sets forth the exact language of the target, emphasizes particular parts, and provides an argument for why that language may be problematic. The GenSec member acknowledges that the repeal correctly describes what is required by the law, then makes a merits argument disagreeing with the conclusion that the law's effects justify a repeal. The member then inexplicably concludes that this part of the repeal is an Honest Mistake violation, presumably because at this point the member is committed to finding every part of the proposed repeal in violation of that rule.

To reiterate, the repeal points out that the law, by its terms, prohibits denying access to hormone therapy as part of a punishment by quoting the full text of that provision and highlighting relevant parts for the reader. The repeal further points out that many legitimate criminal penalties restrict access to activities otherwise enjoyed and argues the member nations have been made to limit their punishment options unreasonably so that the punishments don't result in a denial of access to hormone therapy. Is that vile? Perhaps, but it's definitely responsive to what the law does. And the GenSec member agrees that the law does this, yet still finds an Honest Mistake violation.

It may be abhorrent to suggest that a law should be repealed because it affects criminal penalties in a way that might impact a person's ability to access certain medical treatments. But lets not forget that the target resolution is what makes this particular therapy a medical treatment by law in the first place. The members of this assembly might think it's a good thing that the resolution outlaws certain fines and punishments when those fines and punishments would effectively deny a person access to hormone therapy. Others may feel that, by prohibiting punishments which unintentionally work to deny access to hormone therapy, the WA has too aggressively limited national criminal justice systems. Again, this is a merits question, not a legality one.

I cannot stress enough that, here, there has been a conflation of a legality problem with a GenSec member's own merits judgement. This is a substantial problem. Nothing in that section of the repeal argument, even if repugnant and vile, mischaracterizes the target resolution or accuses it of doing anything other than what it's plain text says. The repeal argues that the target should go because requires limits on criminal punishment authority. The GenSec member recognized this, but because they accepted the target resolution's position that hormone therapy should be treated like all other medical therapies and disagreed that penological interests could ever outweigh that, the GenSec member contrived a legality problem.

We speak sometimes of bias without reflecting on what it means. This is what it means. The GenSec member, though acting with the purest intentions, contrived a legality violation because he had formed the opinion that the target resolution did something good. I think the GenSec member is a good player and a sound thinker, but this is what bias in favor of a target resolution looks like.

The remainder of the legality opinion from the GenSec member regarding the other substantive parts of the repeal came down to "See above." That argument literally does nothing to establish a valid legality objection but does further evidence the GenSec member's predisposition to find every part of the proposed resolution an Honest Mistake violation, with or without reasoned or particularized argument. It deserves no further response.
I disagree that I "acknowledge[d] that the repeal correctly describes what is required by the law." Indeed, the example I gave, of diabetic prisoners (of which there are some 80,000 in the RL United States), who in real life are administered insulin even in prison, should make crystal clear that your characterization of the alleged flaws or difficulties in the law is bunk. Even in prison, diabetic prisoners are held to be entitled to proper care of their condition, including blood sugar management (most effectively accomplished with regular insulin injections). Many real life prisons accomplish this without serious difficulty, even if enforcement can be lacking sometimes. By the same token, transgender prisoners do not impose such a substantial burden on prison facilities that incarceration is simply impossible to accomplish while remaining in the bounds of the target law. I emphatically deny that "member nations have been made to limit their punishment options unreasonably."

As for fines, if criminal fines aren't held to violate GAR #344 by making it hard or impossible for disadvantaged persons to buy food and shelter, then they certainly don't magically violate this resolution by far outweighing the cost of HRT. The existence of one thing over here does not spontaneously cause this other thing over there to become impossible to navigate. If a criminal fine many times the convict's monthly or annual income is imposed, the cost of HRT is simply one more small item to figure in the cost of any payment plan or resulting penalty of labor or incarceration, along with the other basic necessities of life.

At no point have member states' options for criminal punishment been seriously constrained. The repeal thus misconstrues the proposal's effects badly enough to merit the conclusion of Honest Mistake.



I consider that accusing me of bias, and of confusing a normative argument for a legal one, is entirely without merit. The fact that you disagree with my thought process does not render it magically invalid.
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:43 pm

How do you guarantee access if you impose price controls? Price ceilings cause shortages.

The section on 'do it elsewhere' seems to be very strange indeed: CP isn't claiming that people will not comply, he is arguing that in compliance, nations may outsource the service. The first thing that comes to mind is that if one requires access to high-quality oncology, the Central African Republic is probably better suited sending people to Europe than doing it in house.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:39 am

Imperium Anglorum wrote:How do you guarantee access if you impose price controls? Price ceilings cause shortages.
How do you guarantee access to health insurance to people who are absolutely certain to require more care than their premiums can ever pay off? There are more ways to spread costs around than simple government subsidization. You almost certainly know more about possible strategies here than I do.

Suffice to say that even if HRT is some hideously expensive treatment because the bodies of people from Omicron Convenience IV are too delicate to use hypodermic needles, injection guns, skin patches, inhalers, or suppository pills - and therefore extremely costly ionic hair absorption machines must be used - the resolution still does not require a "substantial" socialization of the cost of care.

The section on 'do it elsewhere' seems to be very strange indeed: CP isn't claiming that people will not comply, he is arguing that in compliance, nations may outsource the service. The first thing that comes to mind is that if one requires access to high-quality oncology, the Central African Republic is probably better suited sending people to Europe than doing it in house.

Indeed, sending people abroad to receive better treatment than their home country can provide is a reasonable response. It's also a completely different thing from "mandatory deportation," which is the term the proposed repeal used. I believe I addressed this difference quite adequately in my previous post.

Edit: clarified one term
Last edited by Sierra Lyricalia on Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:03 am

Sierra Lyricalia wrote:How do you guarantee access to health insurance to people who are absolutely certain to require more care than their premiums can ever pay off? There are more ways to spread costs around than simple government subsidization. You almost certainly know more about possible strategies here than I do.

Suffice to say that even if HRT is some hideously expensive treatment because the bodies of people from Omicron Convenience IV are too delicate to use hypodermic needles, injection guns, skin patches, inhalers, or suppository pills - and therefore extremely costly ionic hair absorption machines must be used - the resolution still does not require a "substantial" socialization of the cost of care.

At a thirty-thousand foot level, there are three approaches: (1) fuck the poor, (2) ration the shit out of it, and (3) have someone else pay for it. The last one is really a government thing because the former two are removed by the provisions of the target resolution. Charity isn't going to fill the third one to the degree that would be necessary and insurance companies aren't going to purposefully lose money providing the services for free.

Even if we assume a generous cross-subsidy, the phrase "socialised medicine" or whatever is commonly-used enough in (primarily American) political discourse to refer to policies which have strong internal or external cross-subsidisation. Bernie Sanders, and before that Obama (somehow...), isn't a socialist because he does not advocate the public ownership of the means of production. But people call him one and it is generally understood, at least in the US, that a "socialist" policy is of the type he is describing.

Sierra Lyricalia wrote:
The section on 'do it elsewhere' seems to be very strange indeed: CP isn't claiming that people will not comply, he is arguing that in compliance, nations may outsource the service. The first thing that comes to mind is that if one requires access to high-quality oncology, the Central African Republic is probably better suited sending people to Europe than doing it in house.

Indeed, sending people abroad to receive better treatment than their home country can provide is a reasonable response. It's also a completely different thing from "mandatory deportation," which is the term the proposed repeal used. I believe I addressed this difference quite adequately in my previous post.

"You have access. We will require you to leave the country and get your access someplace else, though we will pay for it" sounds quite a lot like mandatory deportation. If we want to quibble about the meaning of the word "deportation" insofar as it is applied to foreigners and not persons with the right to abode, then the author could change the word to "expatriation" and lose very little of the intended meaning.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Morover » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:19 am

All OOC:

The response I issued to this was purely IC from the point of view of somebody who doesn't care about legality.

Furthermore, however, he did not agree that mandatory deportations would fall under "affordable and easy-to-access." He thinks that, if done correctly, there is certainly a way to send people to another country would fall under good-faith compliance. What he did not mention, however, as he would have no way to know the costs behind such transportation, is that in most cases it would be more cost-efficient to simply subsidize hormone therapy itself. Of course, these things aren't for him to decide either way. If a citizen who was asked to go to another country to receive hormone therapy believed that to be non-compliant, there are channels for that citizen to pursue a lawsuit in international courts. Ultimately, it's up to the World Assembly as a whole how that is enforced.

So, while he thinks it has been the best attempt at a repeal yet, he doesn't (and this is similar to my real-world belief) believe this to be a repeal that calls enough into question to repeal it. Some seriously compelling stuff would have to be presented here, and frankly, I'm just not seeing it.

Beyond even just the quality of the repeal, I'd have to concur with the GenSec opinions presented here. I don't think that this could be considered legal in its present form. While I wasn't looking too much into it initially (which, honestly, was a result of it being well-written and from an obviously experienced author under an alt) and didn't mention it, the points made are compelling enough for me to agree with GenSec.

And, as I've said before, I will only support a repeal if I believe (from an IC and OOC view, which do overlap rather often) that the repeal makes significant points that point out a fundamental flaw or loophole in the target resolution's text, and provide a replacement that will have the same effect as the initial resolution, while patching these flaws or loopholes.

Imperium Anglorum wrote:"You have access. We will require you to leave the country and get your access someplace else, though we will pay for it" sounds quite a lot like mandatory deportation. If we want to quibble about the meaning of the word "deportation" insofar as it is applied to foreigners and not persons with the right to abode, then the author could change the word to "expatriation" and lose very little of the intended meaning.

I'd argue that so long as the nation which the individual is being sent to is within a reasonable distance to come and go relatively freely and to prevent undue burden or stress, it would definitely fall under compliance.

Perhaps a more reasonable interpretation is that it is legal to send an individual to another country to receive a certain supply of hormone therapy supplements, with them returning to their home country afterward. Of course, this would almost certainly be less cost-efficient than simply importing the hormone therapy itself.

Not that any of this should be necessary, anyways. I still stand by the fact (in my limited knowledge of economic theory) that a natural market would arise around it. There would certainly be a market for hormone therapy in nations more resistant to being compliant with this resolution. Being one of the providers to these multitudes of countries (which is probably in the thousands, if we're going by the amount of nations who voted against) could prove to be immensely beneficial. With some basic laws enacted to keep the costs low, I see no reason why these corporations wouldn't pop up.

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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:44 am

Morover wrote:Perhaps a more reasonable interpretation is that it is legal to send an individual to another country to receive a certain supply of hormone therapy supplements, with them returning to their home country afterward. Of course, this would almost certainly be less cost-efficient than simply importing the hormone therapy itself.

Not that any of this should be necessary, anyways. I still stand by the fact (in my limited knowledge of economic theory) that a natural market would arise around it. There would certainly be a market for hormone therapy in nations more resistant to being compliant with this resolution. Being one of the providers to these multitudes of countries (which is probably in the thousands, if we're going by the amount of nations who voted against) could prove to be immensely beneficial. With some basic laws enacted to keep the costs low, I see no reason why these corporations wouldn't pop up.

If you mean to invoke rational inevitability (that something is rational or reasonable is ipso facto how all nations would act), it's been disavowed.

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Postby Artsotska » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:31 am

Meddlesome Goblins wrote:A stunty green form darts about the chamber shadows; beady yellow eyes peering out.
As the room lights darken a goblin wearing fine clothes (for a goblin) emerges into full view; a repeal draft, in his hand:


Repeal "Affordable Transgender Hormone Therapy"

*~*~*~*~*

Noting that Affordable Transgender Hormone Therapy (GAR #467) was duly passed into law by the "Yes" vote of a majority of World Assembly nations;

Further noting that GAR #467 has been in effect for some time, allowing Member Nations to fully experience the fruits of the law;

Recognizing that, having been duly passed and enacted by Member States, at least some of the positive effects of GAR #467 will remain even if the law is repealed;
Explain how because it is a little vague

Reaffirming the many facts about the experience of transgender and gender non-binary people eloquently set forth in GAR #467;

Agreeing that it is appropriate for "all member-states to legalize hormone therapy for all consenting individuals;"

HOWEVER

1. Recalling that GAR #467 requires "all member-states to have an affordable, easy-to-access way for its transgender population to access hormone therapy;"

(a) Convinced that such a mandate goes beyond GAR #467's purpose in recognizing a civil right by unduly imposing substantial socialized care obligations on member states and their populations;

(b) Confused by the repetitive obligation to provide an "easy-to-access way" to "access" hormone therapy; andExplain why.

(c) Concerned that the ambiguous wording of this requirement has caused some nations to believe that they must actually provide hormone therapy, while other nations believe that providing a "way... to access" the therapy (such as through mandatory deportation to a more sympathetic country) is acceptable;

2. Recalling that GAR #467 forbids "any member-state from denying a transgender person access to hormone therapy as a punishment or as part of a punishment for a crime;" (emphasis added)

(a) Noting at once that while there is nothing inherently criminal about being transgendered or gender non-binary, people in those groups commit crimes just like people in any other group;

(b) Recognizing that many member nations have criminal justice systems that impose financial fines and incarceration as a consequence of criminal misdeeds;

(c) Further recognizing that the imposition of a fine or imprisonment may result in a person effectively being denied access to hormone therapy, either because they are physically unable to receive that treatment, or unable to afford it after being fined, or both;

(d) Aware that some individuals being punished for a crime may be too dangerous and unstable for a physician to safely administer hormone therapy;

(e) Believing that forbidding the denial of hormone therapy treatment "as a punishment" would have been appropriate, but by adding needless additional language GAR #467 overreaches and effectively prohibits many lawful and acceptable criminal justice practices simply because "as a part of" those punishments, a person would be denied "access" to hormone therapy;

3. Seeing these flaws in GAR #467, and recognizing that less-ambiguous and more-reasonable regulations are possible, the General Assembly hereby:

REPEALS GAR #467, "Affordable Transgender Hormone Therapy."

I will say this is probably a very supportable repeal, but also a resolution at the same time. I support.
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Postby Marxist Germany » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:21 am

Imperium Anglorum wrote:Because this has been a matter of debate before, to the possible replier, riddle me this one: How do you frame the metagaming rule in character? How about Real life reference?

OOC:Metagaming would be mentioning things that don't exist within the IC world, RL references would be quite similar.
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:00 pm

I'm a bit beset on all sides here so you'll have to bear with me while I respond to various different points from various authors all talking about related but different things.

Sciongrad wrote:*snip*

You make some troublesomely broad claims to power here. I don't really see any source of this broad claimed authority to interpret rules as you "see fit." I see authority in your GenSec rules for "making changes to the General Assembly Rules for Proposals" by "draft[ing] the wording of the new or altered rule" with the requirement of a public comment period and, ultimately, approval by moderation. Those provisions suggest adequate checks and balances to ensure enjoyable gameplay. I appreciate your invitation to debate the merits of various theories of constitutional interpretion and I may take you up on them at another time. But whatever your philosophy, the GenSec authority cannot possibly give you leave to interpret rules in a way that ignores or modifies their plain text simply because you see fit.

I really don't doubt your good faith (or that of SL, I feel I should mention) in your desire to do good for this community. But to the extent that you're claiming such broad power to dictate what is and is not worthy of a vote, you should consider how doing so might work a disservice to this forum. Authors should be allowed to rely on the plain wording of the rule and not worry that, while the rule expressly permits "embellishment," "exaggeration" and deceptive or weaselly words, the Imperial GenSec will nonetheless stifle their work because, in their subjective opinion, the author did those things too much.

The Honest Mistake rule, by its terms, requires that repeals address the "content" of the target. But so long as criticisms are addressed to that content, repeal authors are permitted to embellish, exaggerate, or even deceive about the possible consequences. That is the heart and soul of the rule. It is not meant to deprive a vote on exaggerated or deceptive claims about the law's effects; those issues should be for the voters to decide. It is meant as a minimal threshold to ensure that repeal authors base their arguments (even exaggerated and deceptive ones) on what is written in the resolution. Identifying the target resolution's content, by quoting it, and then making even exaggerated and deceptive claims about what that content means, is permissible under the rule. That is what this repeal does - there is no misstatement of what the target says and it is quoted directly. The goblins certainly made exaggerated and dubious claims about what the resolution's words could imply. They're meddlesome goblins, I imagine that's what meddlesome goblins would do. If submitted, the WA members should have the right to sort through that for themselves in deciding how to cast their vote.

I want to close this response by mentioning something about "strict factual accuracy." First, whatever that concept has been held to mean, it plainly makes no appearance in the text of the Honest Mistake rule. It also is not "perfectly compatible" with the rule because it directly conflicts with the plain text allowing for exaggeration and deception. Exaggeration, by definition, means representing something to be worse or better than it really is; it is incompatible with "strict factual accuracy." To the extent GenSec has a policy interest in deriving some sort of factual accuracy principle from the Honest Mistake rule, any such rule should be limited strictly to misrepresentations about the words of the resolution and not extend to its possible implications, even if the GenSec members personally believe that those implications are highly dubious. That is, a repeal should not be allowed to misquote a target, but the repeal certainly should be allowed to exaggerate the effects of the target. Then the voters decide whether a case has truly been made for repeal.

I'll wait for your substantive analysis of the repeal before going into great detail, but I think what I've done here should be legal. I've not misquoted the target at all or even truncated it: I'll stated exactly what the resolution says about limitations on criminal punishment and required access to care. I've made arguments based on what is written, albeit deceptive, misleading, and certainly exaggerated arguments. Whether member nations choose to accept that those consequences actually or reasonably flow from the quoted material is a matter for them to decide at vote. GenSec should not get to decide for them under the guise of this rule that expressly allows such arguments.

My next reply, when I have time, will be to SL's wonderful elaboration of their application of the Honest Mistake Rule, which I still believe conflates a rule violation with a disagreement about the merits of the repeal argument.
Last edited by Cowardly Pacifists on Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Araraukar » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:38 pm

OOC: Why does everyone ignore the fact that hormone medications already need to exist for cisgender people for various hormone deficiencies as part of normal healthcare, and that claiming it's impossible to provide the same to transgender individuals is just... stupid.
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:30 pm

This? This is why we say make a Challenge Thread. Loki's nutsack, is this ever not what I want to be doing now, so I'm not touching the bleeding rules until August.

Cowardly Pacifists wrote:You make some troublesomely broad claims to power here. I don't really see any source of this broad claimed authority to interpret rules as you "see fit." I see authority in your GenSec rules for "making changes to the General Assembly Rules for Proposals" by "draft[ing] the wording of the new or altered rule" with the requirement of a public comment period and, ultimately, approval by moderation.

Moderation has granted us a great deal of leeway on this topic.

But whatever your philosophy, the GenSec authority cannot possibly give you leave to interpret rules in a way that ignores or modifies their plain text simply because you see fit.

Technically? Yeah. It does. Now, we don't abuse our power (certainly not to our minds) and try to take a careful approach in line with the text, but we interpret the ruleset in a way that keeps the game accessible, flexible, and functional.
I really don't doubt your good faith (or that of SL, I feel I should mention) in your desire to do good for this community. But to the extent that you're claiming such broad power to dictate what is and is not worthy of a vote, you should consider how doing so might work a disservice to this forum. Authors should be allowed to rely on the plain wording of the rule and not worry that, while the rule expressly permits "embellishment," "exaggeration" and deceptive or weaselly words, the Imperial GenSec will nonetheless stifle their work because, in their subjective opinion, the author did those things too much.

Confusion about specifics on the rules is exactly why GenSec likes to pop into threads and make an explanation. Which you took issue with.
Last edited by Separatist Peoples on Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:03 pm

I noticed this while responding to SL and stopped what I was doing.

Separatist Peoples wrote:This? This is why we say make a Challenge Thread. Loki's nutsack, is this ever not what I want to be doing now, so I'm not touching the bleeding rules until August.

To be fair, according to your rules the person making the challenge is supposed to make the thread, or the GenSec if they challenge something sua sponte. When I started protesting SL's legality opinion, I was told by GenSec members that I had a duty to respond to the charges. Nothing in the rules suggests I should have to create a challenge thread to respond to other people's challenges. If anyone disregarded GenSec advice to make a Challenge Thread, it was a member of the GenSec.

Separatist Peoples wrote:
But whatever your philosophy, the GenSec authority cannot possibly give you leave to interpret rules in a way that ignores or modifies their plain text simply because you see fit.

Technically? Yeah. It does.

I'll stop playing right now if the GenSec members believe they're not bound by the rules and can ignore and modify them as they see fit. I'm not going to play a game under those circumstances.

Edit: Also, I didn't take issue with a GenSec member popping in to clear up "confusion" about what the rules require. There was no confusion expressed by anybody and I had established a dialogue with the target's author about the merits of the repeal argument before a GenSec member decided to implicate the rule and create confusion about whether this is legal.
Last edited by Cowardly Pacifists on Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Sciongrad » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:15 pm

Cowardly Pacifists wrote:You make some troublesomely broad claims to power here. I don't really see any source of this broad claimed authority to interpret rules as you "see fit." I see authority in your GenSec rules for "making changes to the General Assembly Rules for Proposals" by "draft[ing] the wording of the new or altered rule" with the requirement of a public comment period and, ultimately, approval by moderation. Those provisions suggest adequate checks and balances to ensure enjoyable gameplay. I appreciate your invitation to debate the merits of various theories of constitutional interpretion and I may take you up on them at another time. But whatever your philosophy, the GenSec authority cannot possibly give you leave to interpret rules in a way that ignores or modifies their plain text simply because you see fit.

Simply as a matter of fact, we have the authority to rewrite the rules. It seems like you think that my previous statement was my interpretation of GenSec's ability to interpret the rules, but it was not — we do have the power to rewrite the rules. My reason for bringing this up though was not to say that we're right simply because we can interpret the rules however we like — all GenSec members engage with members of the community, both as players and in our capacity as site staff, to get a sense of the community's needs and the direction the game is moving. I mention GenSec's authority to interpret and reinterpret rules because you seem to be operating under the assumption that we have no authority to reshape the rules to fit community needs. We do have that authority. That is not the same as ignoring the text of the rules, which we do not do and which we are certainly not doing here. Rather, our interpretations of the rules, while foregrounding the text, also incorporate community needs, the spirit of the rules and the evolving purpose of the rules in the game.

The Honest Mistake rule, by its terms, requires that repeals address the "content" of the target. But so long as criticisms are addressed to that content, repeal authors are permitted to embellish, exaggerate, or even deceive about the possible consequences. That is the heart and soul of the rule.
It is not meant to deprive a vote on exaggerated or deceptive claims about the law's effects; those issues should be for the voters to decide. It is meant as a minimal threshold to ensure that repeal authors base their arguments (even exaggerated and deceptive ones) on what is written in the resolution.

Like I mentioned earlier, you are making implicit, unsubstantiated value claims about the purpose of the rule yet treating them as objective facts. You never grappled with my earlier point, which is that the line between mischaracterization, which the rule prohibits, and embellishment and exaggeration, which it permits, is not obvious. Absent clear instructions in the rule, we must make that determination based on something else, like the purpose of the rule, the effects of different interpretations of the rule on the community and gameplay, etc. You cannot defend your interpretation by merely referencing the language that permits embellishment and exaggeration or use that language to show that your interpretation of mischaracterization is obvious or plainer — that's literally begging the question. You need to explain why you think the rule's "heart and soul" is just requiring engagement with the target, rather than preventing mischaracterization that might confuse voters.

It also is not "perfectly compatible" with the rule because it directly conflicts with the plain text allowing for exaggeration and deception. Exaggeration, by definition, means representing something to be worse or better than it really is; it is incompatible with "strict factual accuracy."

This just doesn't follow. Something can be strictly factually accurate, in the sense that the claims it makes are all verifiably true among states acting reasonably and in good faith, and also embellished or exaggerated. If I say about my 6'0" friend, "listen, my friend is really tall, one of the tallest people I've met," that may be factually true — my friend is tall and it's very possible she's among the tallest people I know — yet I'm clearly exaggerating or embellishing. This is a particularly strange hill to die on for you, because after defending your interpretation of the rule almost entirely on the basis of the language of the rule, you seem to have ignored that the rule explicitly prohibits factual inaccuracies.

To the extent GenSec has a policy interest in deriving some sort of factual accuracy principle from the Honest Mistake rule, any such rule should be limited strictly to misrepresentations about the words of the resolution and not extend to its possible implications, even if the GenSec members personally believe that those implications are highly dubious. That is, a repeal should not be allowed to misquote a target, but the repeal certainly should be allowed to exaggerate the effects of the target. Then the voters decide whether a case has truly been made for repeal.

This is a reasonable interpretation of the rule that a reasonable person could defend, but it is, like most of your claims about the Honest Mistake rule in this thread, a normative claim about the rule that you must defend. You just take for granted that the rule permits claims that are highly dubious. The whole contention here is that GenSec's general opinion is that it does not, and we have provided arguments in this thread and in our case law as to why.
Last edited by Sciongrad on Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:51 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:25 pm

Sciongrad wrote:
The Honest Mistake rule, by its terms, requires that repeals address the "content" of the target. But so long as criticisms are addressed to that content, repeal authors are permitted to embellish, exaggerate, or even deceive about the possible consequences. That is the heart and soul of the rule.
It is not meant to deprive a vote on exaggerated or deceptive claims about the law's effects; those issues should be for the voters to decide. It is meant as a minimal threshold to ensure that repeal authors base their arguments (even exaggerated and deceptive ones) on what is written in the resolution.

Like I mentioned earlier, you are making implicit, unsubstantiated value claims about the purpose of the rule yet treating them as objective facts. You never grappled with my earlier point, which is that the line between mischaracterization, which the rule prohibits, and embellishment and exaggeration, which it permits, is not obvious. Absent clear instructions in the rule, we must make that determination based on something else, like the purpose of the rule, the effects of different interpretations of the rule on the community and gameplay, etc. You cannot defend your interpretation by merely referencing the language that permits embellishment and exaggeration or use that language to show that your interpretation of mischaracterization is obvious or plainer — that's literally begging the question. You need to explain why you think the rule's "heart and soul" is just requiring engagement with the target, rather than preventing mischaracterization that might confuse voters.

(I guess this belies the perhaps joking claim that Scion and I are puppets of each other, as this is one of the areas we disagree.) I would imagine that a rule named "Honest Mistake" would not be called honest mistake if it was referring to non-engagement. It would be called "Mischaracterisation" or something of that sort. I agree that there is interpretive space on whether or not the HM rule permits exaggeration, embellishment, etc. But in the same way that going with engagement-only ignores the mischaracterisation part, going Ironclad HM™ ignores what the rule also textually permits. Current GenSec interpretation of the HM rule would be apt if the rule said "no faksies", but it doesn't.

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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:20 am

Because of lack of time to play, I did not do a particularly good job checking this for spelling and grammar errors. Please don't judge me for those, if you spot them.

I am still in the process of responding to Scion about the proper test for applying the Honest Mistake Rule. For those who have been following, the ultimate test I am working toward is one in which the GenSec recognizes a distinction between a resolution's content and its implications. Factual misrepresentation and mischaracterization of content is disallowed under the rule, but repeals that correctly characterize a resolution's content are allowed to make exaggerations, embellishments, and even deceptions in an effort to convince voters that the implications of that content are bad and that the law should therefore be repealed. In its supervisory role, the GenSec should be disallowing misrepresentations about a resolution's content (i.e. what the words of the target resolution say) but leaving exaggerations or deceptions about the implications of the target to the democratic process for voters to decide.

For who knew Truth put to the worst in a free and open contest?

I do also want to briefly explain my bias challenge. As I've mentioned before, I like SL and think they are a good player with solid intentions for the community. On one level, I am making a bias challenge simply for demonstrative purposes; I'm not sure how many you guys actually get and I want to show how such a challenge could be made under the current GenSec rules when a GenSec member decides to be the party that initiates a legality challenge.

The other level has to do with the appearance of procedural fairness. For those who like history, you should look into the case of Dr. Bonham. In 1610, the Royal College of Physicians held a charter from the king to regulate the practice of medicine, which included the authority to punish those who practiced medicine without a license issued by them. The College strictly controlled the number of licenses available; only 24 "fellows" could hold a license at a given time. Bonham, a Cambridge and Oxford educated physician, was denied a license. He began practicing medicine in London anyway. The College threatened Bonham with fines to get him to stop, without success. Ultimately the College sent men to seize Bonham and bring him before a tribunal of the College, where members of the College accused him of violating their rules. The College then convicted Bonham of the charges they had brought, and imprisoned him for practicing medicine without a license.

The case was ultimately appealed all the way to then Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke, a now legendary jurist. Coke famously repudiated the College, concluding that the power to act both as a party to a case and as its judge "provided for an absurdity," and concluding: "One cannot be Judge and attorney for any of the parties."

Where a GenSec member has been the principal who brought a challenge, they should not be permitted to join their fellows in its adjudication. Their bias is implicit; they have a personal interest in defending their own position that the proposal is illegal which prevents them from competently serving also as an ultimate judge who decides the matter.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sierra Lyricalia wrote:Since a nation with a fully-privatized health care system would be capable of imposing simple price controls for the hormones involved in the required therapy, without actually subsidizing anything (that is, leaving the cost of care to be absorbed by the rest of the pool of insurees, or by price increases elsewhere - see the US Affordable Care Act, in which entire swaths of people were suddenly permitted to purchase health insurance, with their costs of care substantially compensated by drastic price increases on the cost of current customers' care), it is entirely possible for there to be no socialization of costs, let alone a substantial one. While in many cases member governments may well find it simplest or most expedient to cover the cost of HRT themselves, this is in no way a given, nor can it be assumed from the language of the target. GAR #97 "Quality in Health Services" explicitly permits nations to run a fully privatized healthcare system (minus, presumably, a small amount of publicly funded care for the purpose of providing "assistance only to those who cannot afford to pay for their own care"). The number of people requiring hormone replacement therapy is, assuming both RL statistics and many vocal nations' self-proclaimed scarcity of transgender people, nowhere near enough to assume a "substantial" increase in publicly funded healthcare. Therefore, while you might disagree with my argument, the fatal flaws you claim to have found in it simply do not exist. It is factually untrue that the target resolution requires "substantial" socialization of healthcare funding. The repeal argument is therefore an Honest Mistake.

The target resolution has a clause, which is quoted in full within the repeal immediately preceding this argument, requiring that member nations have an affordable, easy-to-access way for people to access hormone therapy. At least to that extent, there can be no doubt that the repeal addresses the content of the target and does not mischaracterize or provide false information about the target resolution's test. The repeal then embellishes and exagerates the implications of that content. That should be permissible under the plain text of the Honest Mistake Rule. The repeal writer should not be limited to arguments which GenSec members accept as the most likely or most reasonable interpretation of the law. It should be sufficient that the repeal arguments are plausible (and I mean minimally; as in within the realm of possibility) under the text of the target.

I agree that reasonable nations may not think that the law's implications include "substantial" or "undue" socialized care costs, but that is a matter for the voters to decide, not the GenSec. It should be sufficient, for the purposes of legality, that the implications are rationally possible. A general provision about government providing access to care is a fertile ground for exaggerations and embellishments, even deceptions, about negative implications to providing access. You acknowledge that socialization is a possible and even likely implication of the target's language requiring "access" to care when you say: "in many cases member governments may well find it simplest or most expedient to cover the cost of HRT themselves." Without going further into the merits - which again, I believe is for the voters to decide - repeal authors should be allowed by GenSec to argue that the "simplest or most expedient" implications of the act nonetheless impose a substantial and undue hardship on member nations. Member nations themselves may fairly weigh that argument, GenSec should not do it for them, and the danger of the law's text being mischaracterized is absent when, as here, the repeal quotes its language truly.
I would point out in passing that cost controls may also be properly viewed as a form of socialism, which can be broadly understood to be a category of policies and actions whereby private interests are subjugated to provide a public benefit. While it is easy to understand something as socialism where it literally involves taking money from some people (by taxation, for instance) and placing it in the pocket of others (by subsidizing their care), imposing cost controls is no less socialism merely because it is accomplished by different means. In this context, cost control means burdening the private ownership rights of the people with the property (the holders of the hormones used in the therapy) by restricting the price it would command on the free market, so as to broaden public commercial access to the property. Doing so to a degree where everyone who wants access to the hormones can get it would, at least plausibly, be a substantial burden. Members may disagree about whether it's undue; again, that's for the merits not its legality.


Sierra Lyricalia wrote:The notion that mandatory deportations are a more cost effective way to supply a nation's transgender population with "easy... access" to hormone therapy than simply providing it buggers belief. Notwithstanding the author's inexplicable agreement with this bizarre allegation, had the resolution explicitly accounted for such a strategy within its text, the relevant clause would have been laughed out of the debate thread. Another look at real life might be instructive here; where a nation wishes to reduce the incidence of sex trafficking, it generally does not do so by deporting the victims to other countries where it believes law enforcement to be more effective, and no UN official clamoring for such reductions would consider that a valid strategy for achieving the goal. For those reasons and from a simple reading of GA resolutions, good faith compliance cannot be claimed where deportation is the primary method of achieving it. As I stated earlier, "some nations won't comply with this" is not a valid repeal argument; and no nation serious about actually complying would consider that strategy. The conclusion of Honest Mistake is therefore warranted.

I'll state this once more: the repeal does not suggest that the text of the law requires deportation. In fact, the clause accused of illegality here says EXPLICITLY that the law can be complied with in ways that do not involve deportation. The repeal says:

"Concerned that the ambiguous wording of this requirement has caused some nations to believe that they must actually provide hormone therapy, while other nations believe that providing a "way... to access" the therapy (such as through mandatory deportation to a more sympathetic country) is acceptable."

The fact that a GenSec member does not believe that method would be the "most cost effective" is a merits argument, not a legal one, because government action to enable people to obtain care elsewhere is a plausible (see: possible) way to comply with the target's plain text calling merely for "access."

I cannot stress enough that I quoted the target resolution in the repeal pecisely to comply with the requirement that I avoid mischaracterizing what the target actually says. The principle argument made in this clause of the repeal is that the target's requirement to provide "access" can be interpreted in many ways, and that some nations will interpret it to require actually providing the care while others will seek ways to provide access that don't involve actually providing care within their nation. The repeal does embellish that argument by providing an example: some nations might provide "access" only to a means to seek the treatment in a county where care is actually provided.

I am willing to concede here, that the phrase "mandatory deportation" is highly charged and deceptive. The phrase has a whole host of connotations likely to influence individuals given the RL events of our time. In context with the remainder of the clause, however, it is clear that the repeal is not suggesting nations must permanently remove people from their borders. Rather, in context, mandatory deportation to a more sympathetic country to receive access to treatment is merely an emotionally-charged way to say that a nation might give folks seeking HRT a single option (one definition of mandatory is that it is "the only option lawfully available") which is for government-assisted removal to a place where HRT is better available. While SUPER charged and offensive (suggesting with a wink and a nod that transgendered individuals might be permanently expelled by their government because of who they are) it refers to something possible under a purely textual interpretation of the target's access requirement.

Presumably there would have been less controversy over that clause had I written that primative member nations, lacking an internal supply of these hormones, might provide "access" to the therapy by arranging a free government-funded oxcart ride to a neighboring nation where the treatment is plentiful. The fact that I've decided to argue the point more aggressively - using exaggeration, embellishment, and deceptive words - should not render it illegal where it is properly address to the content of the resolution and speaks to ways nations could abuse the minimal requirement for treatment "access."

This is not an argument that nations will not comply with the law. It is an argument that the mandate to merely provide access is too loose to be effective. I should be able to argue that point using the exaggeration, embellishment, and deceptive tactics allowed by the plain text of the Honest Mistake Rule.

Sierra Lyricalia wrote:I disagree that I "acknowledge[d] that the repeal correctly describes what is required by the law." Indeed, the example I gave, of diabetic prisoners (of which there are some 80,000 in the RL United States), who in real life are administered insulin even in prison, should make crystal clear that your characterization of the alleged flaws or difficulties in the law is bunk. Even in prison, diabetic prisoners are held to be entitled to proper care of their condition, including blood sugar management (most effectively accomplished with regular insulin injections). Many real life prisons accomplish this without serious difficulty, even if enforcement can be lacking sometimes. By the same token, transgender prisoners do not impose such a substantial burden on prison facilities that incarceration is simply impossible to accomplish while remaining in the bounds of the target law. I emphatically deny that "member nations have been made to limit their punishment options unreasonably."

As for fines, if criminal fines aren't held to violate GAR #344 by making it hard or impossible for disadvantaged persons to buy food and shelter, then they certainly don't magically violate this resolution by far outweighing the cost of HRT. The existence of one thing over here does not spontaneously cause this other thing over there to become impossible to navigate. If a criminal fine many times the convict's monthly or annual income is imposed, the cost of HRT is simply one more small item to figure in the cost of any payment plan or resulting penalty of labor or incarceration, along with the other basic necessities of life.

At no point have member states' options for criminal punishment been seriously constrained. The repeal thus misconstrues the proposal's effects badly enough to merit the conclusion of Honest Mistake.

When I say that you acknowledged that the repeal correctly states what is required by the law, I mean that, at least as to this issue, we both agree that the aim of one of the provisions of the target resolution is to impose a restriction on national criminal justice systems, and that the repeal is making an argument about the reasonableness of those restrictions.

We obviously disagree about the degree of the impact, a merits issue. The repeal argues that the target's restriction on punishments which directly or indirectly prevent access to HRT is an impermissible burden because an implication of that restriction is that fines and imprisonment conditions would have to be tailored in some way to ensure that they don't infringe on the right to access. Your response is that any such tailoring is totally reasonable because member nations are likely already doing so for other things like diabetes medication. Putting aside whether that comparison is apt (diabetes medication, unlike HRT, can be safely administered without the assistance of a physician).

This is a dispute about merits. The repeal correctly recites what the law does: it places certain restrictions on criminal penalties so that they don't prevent access to HRT. The repeal argues that those are undue and provides concrete examples of common punishments (fines and imprisonment) which would have to be tailored in response to this act. The fact that a GenSec member believes those changes would be de minimis and not grounds for repeal does not reveal a mistatement or mischaracterization of what the target does.

Fines and conditions of imprisonment may prevent a person from accessing HRT, even if, as you argue, it's not a problem meriting repeal because any constraint on fines and incarceration would be minimal and reasonable. While you make very good responses to the merits of this repeal argument there is no mischaracterization or lying about the content of the resolution. It's an embellishment and exaggeration of the target's impact on criminal punishments; an argument that whatever restrictions on criminal punishment were put in place by the target by its express terms are too onerous. You clearly believe these claims are exaggerated and that the law's impact on criminal punishment is insubstantial and acceptable. Those are points about the merits, not legality.

Morover wrote:*snip*

I just generally want to concur that the author of the target in no way endorsed any of the repeal arguments as good reasons to actually repeal it. With respect to the "deportation" language, the author didn't express an opinion that it correctly characterized what his law does. Rather, the author simply recognized that "access" to care does not equate to "provision" of care, and that members may possibly comply with the law by sending folks abroad. The author further express his belief that doing so might actually be an appropriate way to comply with the law in some cases where access via foreign country is made easy and reasonable (i.e. poor countries without a supply of the drugs but with access to a nearby neighbor who does sending folks on an affordable day trip to receive treatment). I apologize if anyone thought I was suggesting the author agreed with the merits of the repeal argument; he plainly does not.
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Araraukar
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Araraukar » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:48 am

Cowardly Pacifists wrote:*snip*

OOC: If you stopped lying in your repeal, you wouldn't be having these issues. Call it embellishment or misdirection or whatever you want, it's still lying.
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:28 am

Araraukar wrote:
Cowardly Pacifists wrote:*snip*

OOC: If you stopped lying in your repeal, you wouldn't be having these issues. Call it embellishment or misdirection or whatever you want, it's still lying.

I won't endorse that characterization. I've plainly set out what the target resolution actually says and provided my own interpretation of the law's implications. I've used the tools of exaggeration, embellishment, and deception which is plainly allowed by the plain text of the rules. Voters are NOT being misled about the content of the law because I'm quoting it exactly for them. It should be up to individual nations to decide at vote whether to accept the inferences I've drawn or to reject them, but that decision should not be made for them where the rules permit me to argue in this way.

If the GenSec, within the framework of community comment and moderation approval contained in their rules, wish to modify the Honest Mistake Rule to eliminate the express permission to exaggerate, embellish, and even deceive, they should do so. Otherwise repeal writers ought to be allowed to rely on the rules setting forth what they may do and it should be for the voters to separate what arguments merit repeal (if any) from those that do not.

Edited multiple times for spelling and grammar (and probably still didn't catch them all).
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:03 pm

Araraukar wrote:
Cowardly Pacifists wrote:*snip*

OOC: If you stopped lying in your repeal, you wouldn't be having these issues. Call it embellishment or misdirection or whatever you want, it's still lying.

What a thought ending cliche.

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Postby United States of Americanas » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:07 pm

Ffs quit it with the attempts to repeal affordable transgender care because NOT ONE OF THEM will get a yes vote from me. GOOD DAY TO YOU SIR. *slams door*
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Postby Kenmoria » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:12 pm

Cowardly Pacifists wrote:
Araraukar wrote:OOC: If you stopped lying in your repeal, you wouldn't be having these issues. Call it embellishment or misdirection or whatever you want, it's still lying.

I won't endorse that characterization. I've plainly set out what the target resolution actually says and provided my own interpretation of the law's implications. I've used the tools of exaggeration, embellishment, and deception which is plainly allowed by the plain text of the rules. Voters are NOT being misled about the content of the law because I'm quoting it exactly for them. It should be up to individual nations to decide at vote whether to accept the inferences I've drawn or to reject them, but that decision should not be made for them where the rules permit me to argue in this way.

If the GenSec, within the framework of community comment and moderation approval contained in their rules, wish to modify the Honest Mistake Rule to eliminate the express permission to exaggerate, embellish, and even deceive, they should do so. Otherwise repeal writers ought to be allowed to rely on the rules setting forth what they may do and it should be for the voters to separate what arguments merit repeal (if any) from those that do not.

Edited multiple times for spelling and grammar (and probably still didn't catch them all).

(OOC: The current decisions and thoughts of Gensec appear to be against you, insofar as the opinions of those that have posted here are concerned. For that reason, it seems that the current interpretation of the ruleset is at odds with your legislation text. Therefore, you have two options to make your repeal legal.

Firstly, you could challenge the interpretation of the honest mistake and try to make your proposal legal by altering what the delineator of illegality is. This is what you are doing currently and, based on the responses in this thread, does not appear to be working. The other option for ensuring the legality of this proposal would be to simply change your clauses such that they fit with the current interpretation of the rules. To me, the latter seems far easier.)
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:26 pm

Kenmoria wrote:(OOC: The current decisions and thoughts of Gensec appear to be against you, insofar as the opinions of those that have posted here are concerned. For that reason, it seems that the current interpretation of the ruleset is at odds with your legislation text. Therefore, you have two options to make your repeal legal.

Firstly, you could challenge the interpretation of the honest mistake and try to make your proposal legal by altering what the delineator of illegality is. This is what you are doing currently and, based on the responses in this thread, does not appear to be working. The other option for ensuring the legality of this proposal would be to simply change your clauses such that they fit with the current interpretation of the rules. To me, the latter seems far easier.)

I completely agree with you. I have to press the legality argument first because I think the player base is being told by the rules that they can pursue certain tactics on repeal. Being told the rule is one thing and then having your creative license clipped despite following the langauge of the rule is a problem for gameplay that I would like to remedy one way or the other; either by having GenSec recognize the rights of repeal writers to do the things permitted by the rule or by having them change the rule explicitly so that authors are not led to believe they can do things which GenSec ultimately will not permit them to do.

I agree with you that, so far, I'm not having much success. I'm not sure if this is a communication problem on my end or what, but I'm going to at least give it my best shot.

I agree the latter would be easier in some respects, and I can always do that second. But it would involve self censure and restricting my own creative license in a way that I don't think I should have to do based on what the GA rule actually says. For now I'm having fun (the ultimate point of the game, right?) and I feel like the crusade is righteous (defending deception maybe not; but defending the creative license contained in the plain text of the rule definitely so). If/when that changes, I could try re-writing but would I really want to in a world where the arguments I want to have people vote on have been summarily excluded from consideration?
Last edited by Cowardly Pacifists on Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:50 pm

Brief response to Scion.
Sciongrad wrote:[about GenSec rulemaking authority]

I agree that you have power to re-write the rules. It's plain and set forth clearly in the written Rules and Procedures of the GA Secretariat. As I noted before, that authority is subject to notice and comment, followed by mod approval. My point is that if the GenSec wants to remove the license of repeal writers to exaggerate, embellish, and deceive found in the plain language of the Honest Mistake Rule, it needs to do so by changing the written rule. Otherwise folks playing the game will think the rules allow something which in practice will not be allowed on an ad hoc basis.

Sciongrad wrote:Like I mentioned earlier, you are making implicit, unsubstantiated value claims about the purpose of the rule yet treating them as objective facts. You never grappled with my earlier point, which is that the line between mischaracterization, which the rule prohibits, and embellishment and exaggeration, which it permits, is not obvious. Absent clear instructions in the rule, we must make that determination based on something else, like the purpose of the rule, the effects of different interpretations of the rule on the community and gameplay, etc. You cannot defend your interpretation by merely referencing the language that permits embellishment and exaggeration or use that language to show that your interpretation of mischaracterization is obvious or plainer — that's literally begging the question. You need to explain why you think the rule's "heart and soul" is just requiring engagement with the target, rather than preventing mischaracterization that might confuse voters.

I disagree that my argument to now has been question begging. The argument is that because the text of the law itself allows for exaggerations and deceptive conduct there is at least a reasonable inference, if not a direct logical implication, that the rule could not require repeals be strictly factually accurate.

In any case, if I didn't grapple with the "factual inaccuracies" and "mischaracterization" language in the rule to your satisfaction before, I'll try to do so now.

Sciongrad wrote:
It also is not "perfectly compatible" with the rule because it directly conflicts with the plain text allowing for exaggeration and deception. Exaggeration, by definition, means representing something to be worse or better than it really is; it is incompatible with "strict factual accuracy."

This just doesn't follow. Something can be strictly factually accurate, in the sense that the claims it makes are all verifiably true among states acting reasonably and in good faith, and also embellished or exaggerated. If I say about my 6'0" friend, "listen, my friend is really tall, one of the tallest people I've met," that may be factually true — my friend is tall and it's very possible she's among the tallest people I know — yet I'm clearly exaggerating or embellishing. This is a particularly strange hill to die on for you, because after defending your interpretation of the rule almost entirely on the basis of the language of the rule, you seem to have ignored that the rule explicitly prohibits factual inaccuracies.

You're right that, possibly, an opinion statement like "my friend is really tall" could be verifiable. "One of the tallest people I know" is certainly verifiable given the proper data set. But another exaggeration would be to say, "Listen, my friend is really tall; he's as tall as a house!" That may an exaggeration, and but it might even be factually accurate depending on what house I'm referring to and how tall this person really is, but obviously it seems unlikely to be strictly true and more likely to be an exaggeration.

The problem we have in determining what is strictly factually accurate in Nationstates is that what is likely and/or possible is largely a matter for player imaginations. For most stated facts in resolutions, there isn't a data set available within the context of the game from which GenSec could evaluate the claim for objective truth. Any decision on those matters would ultimately devolve into a subjective assessment by GenSec members.

It is of course true that the Honest Mistake Rules state: "An 'honest mistake' is factual inaccuracies, misrepresentation, or content that doesn't address the resolution." The question I suppose is how to reconcile that language with the language immediately before it permitting exageration, embellishment, and deception. The rule as applied by GenSec is that the later modifies the former and basically calls for GenSec members to determine, on an ad hoc basis, between when a repeal permissibly exaggerates, embellishes, and deceives verses when it crosses some ephemeral line into the realm of prohibited mischaracterization and factual inaccuracy. The obvious problem with that viewpoint is that it requires GenSec to look for verifiable truth in a context where that is not really possible, because so much of the WA and Nationstates is a text-based role playing game subject to the imaginations of its players. There is another way to conceptualize the rule that does not call on GenSec to do ad hoc "factual balancing" within an imaginary world. That is, to view the embellishment and deception language permitting conduct with respect to a resolution's implications, and to view the "factual inaccuracies" language as directed purely at the resolution's written text and content. With that in mind:

The interpretive rule GenSec should adopt is to look for factual inaccuracies, mischaracterizations and the like strictly in the text of the target resolution and not beyond the text into the law's implications.

For example, if a resolution text says: "All people must be allowed to own a dog," it would be factually inaccurate for a repeal to claim: "The law prohibits owning a dog." That claim is subject to objective verification: it can be determined to be true or not simply by reference to the text of the target. It does not require GenSec members to go beyond the target's text and determine what implications the law has.

On the other hand if the repeal claimed "The law requires permitting dog ownership, which represents an unacceptable risk to public health as all dogs have fleas capable of spreading disease." The GenSec should not pass on whether or not that implication of the law's mandate is strictly factually accurate. There are several reasons for this. For one thing, the GenSec is not in a position to know to what extent the claim is true, an exaggeration, or an outright deception, because there simply isn't a data set available within the context of the game with which to make an objective determination about that. Any determination would be subjective, dependent on the imaginations and prior-accepted premises of the GenSec members.

Moreover, there is a principled reason to adopt such restrain. The WA side of the game is at a fundamental level about member nations establishing by a semi-democratic process (WA delegate weighting notwithstanding) the resolutions and repeals which they will and will not vote to enact. By going beyond a facial check of whether the repeal makes inaccurate statements about the content of a target's text, and instead making conclusions about whether certain implications are "reasonable," GenSec is inappropriately assuming for itself the right of member nations to vote on such matters and determine them for themselves. Going back to the example, member nations should be allowed to decide by vote whether a law requiring that dog ownership be legal is problematic because of (exaggerated) claims about the health risks of permitting dog ownership.

Finally, the rule interpreted this way would simplify the test under the Honest Mistake Rule, leading to fewer non-meritorious claims of violating the rule. An Honest Mistake violation based on a "misrepresentation" or "factual accuracy" issue would be found only where the repeal makes a factually incorrect statement about the plain text of the target resolution and would result in fewer, time-consuming calls for the GenSec to wade into disputes about the merits of differing interpretations of a resolution which would be more properly resolved by the WA's democratic voting process.
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Araraukar
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Araraukar » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:43 pm

OOC: If this is a legality discussion thread instead of a repeal thread, please change the thread title and OP to reflect the fact.

Also, not trying to lie in repeals also "would result in fewer, time-consuming calls for the GenSec to wade into disputes about the merits of differing interpretations of a resolution which would be more properly resolved by the WA's democratic voting process". :roll:

Why have you chosen this particular hill to die on?
Last edited by Araraukar on Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Giovenith wrote:And sorry hun, if you were looking for a forum site where nobody argued, you've come to wrong one.
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