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November 18, 2009


"Rod Dreher has one of the smarter reactions"

I always cringe when I see a statement like that. "Smartness" is a self evident characteristic. If you have to go out of your way to point it out, there's probably a reason why.

While the state of AK does treat it as a tax, I'm not sure a market price based payout for oil extracted from land on which the state owns the mineral rights is a tax in the conventional sense (it's evidently not levied on oil extracted from private or federal land). If you need a basis for objection to the practice, I'd be more inclined to argue that it amounts to the alteration of the terms of an existing contract at the whim of the government.

On the topic of Palin and her book, I just saw some snippets of O'Reilly's interview with her, and I am disgusted to the point of nausea with dishonest, stagy garbage that passes for news and opinion.

No national politician writes his own speeches, much less his own books, but every single talking head on the idiot box discusses "their" words as if they actually came up with them. Even the most adversarial interviewer would never dream of questioning a politician about the use of a ghostwriter. They know what side their bread is buttered on, and for all their squabbles, our political and media rulers stand shoulder to shoulder on protecting their own privileges.

@HalfSigma, you said...

"But transfer payments such as this are certainly not traditionally considered to be libertarian or free market."

Not TRADITIONALLY Libertarian or Free Market? What do you mean "traditionally". It's not libertarian or free market at all (by definition of what "libertarian" and "free market" mean).

Yes, it is not uncommon for people to call things "libertarian" or to call things a "free market" when they are not. But that doesn't change the definitions of those words.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, and you are purposefully using the misuse of those words. And if so, I apologize.

"Of course, it should be pointed out that Palin would never be smart enough to think of a brilliant policy like the inheritance dividend by herself. Or even smart enough to come up with the oil dividends."

Oh, golly, so she would only implement the right policies, not originate them. Woe onto her constituents!

What good is a supposed high IQ President when his mental energy is directed toward harming this country. Methinks a 120 IQ president who loves America would likely do less harm than a 130-140 IQ one who doesn't.

Your comment about Mitt reminds me that I have a Half Sigma trifecta:

Buddy of mine just got laid off from his job as an attorney. He's a Mormon from Utah, and a total Krugman loving SWPL liberal.

Yeah, I know. How can a Mormon be a SWPL? Beats me. But he's even got the stylish eyeglasses and everything. Loves the New York Times. Voted for Obama. He's got it all going.

I guess he's like Mitt in that he's a smart Mormon. ;)

He's actually considering moving back to Utah to move in with mom and dad. Ugh.

[HS: I bet he doesn't wear the underwear.]

This "inheritance dividend" sounds like a lead balloon. China is already making noises about our yawning deficits and falling dollar; how do you think the Chinese and other buyers of our debt would take to us spending an extra $1 trillion+ per year (conservative back of the envelope arithmetic: $10k x 100 million working age adults) to pay Americans for not working? Incidentally, it's not an original idea: Nixon proposed something similar, I believe.

Also, I'm not sure what your issue with Mormons is. Does their theology make sense from a rational perspective? No, but no religion's does -- that's why another word for religion is "faith". Plenty of smart people are believers -- not because they don't understand that their beliefs aren't rational but in spite of that. I spent some time working with Mormons out west, and from what I've seen of them I'd say this country could use a lot more of them, whatever kind of underwear they wear. Mormons FTW.

Im just ticked that the AP sent 11 bloodhounds to fact-check Palin's book, but nary a one to vet J'Obama's*. It blatant biased, and they should be called on it. I'd love to see one of them fired for it. The liberal bias in the media creates a lot of active conservatives because such rank dishonesty annoys honest people.

*J'Obama.......I like referring to him as "J'Obama" so people have to spell "job" to spell his name..................since we have roughly double-digit unemployment and 8 million employed illegals. I'd like to see something like that stick to his teflon-smooth-talkin'-teleprompter-quoting-persona, but unfortunately he'll probably never even have to address his continuation of job-(for real Americans)-destroying policies.

I didn't know what HalfSigma was talking about re Mormon underwear, so I googled it.


Pretty funny.

I've talked to quite a few Mormons and they generally seem a bit nutty. Good people, but they have that glossy-eyed, brainwashed look about them. Like Jehovah's Witnesses.

If they'd bring polygamy back it would be a cooler religion.

[HS: "they have that glossy-eyed, brainwashed look about them." YES!!! I've noticed this among the more religious Mormons.]

[HS: I bet he doesn't wear the underwear.]

What the obsession with other peoples' underwear. I cant imagine making fun of someone wearing a yarmulke.

"How can a Mormon be a SWPL?"

Well, I know a lot of Mormons who love marathons. My track coach in high school was Mormon.

Jews often have issues with Mormons because LDS is kind of a parody/tribute to Judaism. A bunch of gentiles decided that they were God's chosen people, adopted some ridiculous dietary restrictions to exclude outsiders, created a history of exile and persecution, were led to a promised land by a charismatic prophet, built a temple, etc. etc. It's not hard to see why Jews might see Mormons as annoying posers. Mormons are to Jews what Aerosmith is to the Rolling Stones.

[HS: Most Jews don't even know anything about Mormonism. But I got a real laugh when Mormon said that I was "gentile." I had to show him a dictionary to prove what the word really means outside of the Mormon church.]

Dave makes a good point. That Mormonism originated not that long ago allows us to read recent history and see how crazy its leader was, and how stupid people had to have been to follow and begin the movement. But now that it is established, we can focus on a more important topic - does it tend to produce good people. "Good" here meaning society-enhancing, crime-avoiding, right-side bell curve living, people. Regardless of how crazy the religious beliefs and practices are (for every magical Mormon underwear there's an orthodox jew dietary law), it's how that religion affects the greater world outside itself that matters.
Scientology has an even crazier origin, and appears to attract narcissists. It should be mocked.

"YES!!! I've noticed this among the more religious Mormons."

Can't say I have.

"created a history of exile and persecution"

Didn't that part of their story actually happen?

An inheritance dividend, aka a citizen's dividend, doesn't pay people for not working. That is, you don't get any less if you work, no matter how much you make. The typical proposal is something like this:
Eliminate all transfer payments/social services that the government presently provides (food stamps, welfare, unemployment, social security, etc)
Give every person who is a citizen over 18 and not in jail $10k/year doled out in electronic payments on a monthly basis with no strings attached. Some such proposals require the purchase of a catastrophic insurance policy with 3k of that 10k per year.
Such a system would be a lot more efficient than our present one (in terms of getting the dollars spent to the beneficiaries) and could probably be run with at most two dozen people. It would thus destroy almost all of the existing social service empires that the government has built.

If you wanted a higher standard of living than 10k/year would give you, you'd have to work.
Because Bill Gates and the guys on skid row both would get the same amount, there is no disincentive at the margin to work. You'd probably also want to eliminate the minimum wage while you were at it. Also, there'd be no disincentive to get and stay married.

"I've talked to quite a few Mormons and they generally seem a bit nutty. Good people, but they have that glossy-eyed, brainwashed look about them. Like Jehovah's Witnesses."

I used to work with an Ex-Mormon (now a sort of non-denominational Christian) and his opinion that they do all these things to rise in rank in the church. The farther you go up, the more access to the church money you have. So there is a practical side to it to, not just nuttiness.

""created a history of exile and persecution"

Didn't that part of their story actually happen?"

Yes, it did. I didn't mean make up a history, I meant managed to actually get themselves persecuted and exiled (from Missouri), becoming even more like Jews. And to this day Mormons still believe Jesus will found his heavenly kingdom on Earth for believers in Missouri when he comes back, much like Jews believed, traditionally, that the Messiah would lead them back to Israel.

I had to show him a dictionary to prove what the word really means outside of the Mormon church

Get a new dictionary. Gentile means "heathen."

I'm always puzzled by the complaint (usually from Obamababbling libtards) that Palin taxed the oil companies who extract and market Alaska's oil resources and gave the money to the people. What would they have the oil companies do? Pump the oil out of the ground and leave Alaskans empty handed?

I think I found a kindred spirit in you in terms of encouraging republicans to pick candidates with better resumes.

Good luck pushing the message.

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