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April 21, 2015, 09:41:01 am
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you know what country your grandparents were born in? on: April 20, 2015, 08:58:41 pm
Yes. Britain and, uh, er, ick- Italy.

Obviously I'm not serious about the Italy part. Tongue
2  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Are you an anthropocentric fundamentalist? on: April 20, 2015, 08:56:20 pm
No (Normal)
Obviously in general a human's life is more valuable than an animal's life, but that's not the question here.
The question is: is a human's life always more valuable than an animal's? The answer to that clearly no.
To give a somewhat silly example of why: Would you sacrifice your pet dog's life to save the life of, say, a serial killer?

Is that because of the intrinsic value of the dog or because of your feelings for the dog relative to that of the serial killer?
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Former Senator Larry Pressler (R/I-SD) now a Mormon. on: April 20, 2015, 08:53:07 pm
Clayton Christensen, eh? His daughter was the president of our college group here.

But this is something I imagine that best happens out of office. And with Reid retiring. I imagine it would have raised questions.
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 20, 2015, 06:25:16 pm
The migrants from Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, etc, should be sent back. There's no fundamental reason for them to have to flee to Europe. It's economic migration, i.e. immigration, not refugees. Syrian, Libyans, Eritreans and so forth are another story.

Great difference there between Ethiopia and Eritrea!

Only one of them is called "the North Korea of Africa"- while actually having less press freedom than North Korea.

Yes, the other one is, merely, Africa's Cambodia (but with a lot less democracy and no king).

That is a bit much. Or do you mean modern Cambodia? In that case it is a bit generous.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 20, 2015, 05:37:09 pm
The migrants from Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, etc, should be sent back. There's no fundamental reason for them to have to flee to Europe. It's economic migration, i.e. immigration, not refugees. Syrian, Libyans, Eritreans and so forth are another story.

Great difference there between Ethiopia and Eritrea!

Only one of them is called "the North Korea of Africa"- while actually having less press freedom than North Korea.
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 20, 2015, 05:28:30 pm
The migrants from Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, etc, should be sent back. There's no fundamental reason for them to have to flee to Europe. It's economic migration, i.e. immigration, not refugees. Syrian, Libyans, Eritreans and so forth are another story.
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Wisconsin's Shame: When the Left Repeatedly Violates Citizens' Rights on: April 20, 2015, 05:01:41 pm
It's printed in the National Review so it must be true false.

Fixed that for you, though still not correct.
8  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Are you an anthropocentric fundamentalist? on: April 20, 2015, 05:00:31 pm
Yes (normal)

I disagree with the idea that animals should have 'rights' in any real respect, especially since 'animal rights' as an ideology leads you in some very strange directions. Obviously I don't think people should be able to wantonly abuse animals or anything like that, but I think it's kind of absurd to argue that animals have any inherent value by virtue of being animals, nor do I think they're deserving of 'rights' that we currently allow only human beings.

I fully agree with TNF. Oh dear...
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 20, 2015, 04:22:51 pm
It's the 1880s again, I want to say, and just give up.
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are you a better mountain climber than the dear leader? on: April 20, 2015, 04:01:20 pm
Wasn't his dad "born" on the peak?
11  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Syngman Rhee on: April 19, 2015, 09:21:38 pm
Not very good. One might say he was South Vietnam calibre rather than South Korea calibre, but that might be too harsh.
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 19, 2015, 09:13:13 pm
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/general-election-2015-nigel-farage-is-on-course-to-lose-south-thanet-election-after-experts-predict-ukip-wipeout-10187516.html?cmpid=facebook-post

"Nigel Farage is on course to lose in South Thanet and Ukip faces wipeout, experts predict" followed by "Nigel Farage is on course to fail in his bid to become South Thanet’s first Ukip MP and the party is expected to lose half its seats in the upcoming general, experts have predicted."

Wipeout, to me at least, means losing all their seats. Anyway losing half their seats would still be UKIP's best ever General Election performance.

...doesn't UKIP have two seats?
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 19, 2015, 09:10:34 pm
Meanwhile another one capsized yesterday, with 700 (!?!) people on board. Apparently only 28 survivors have been found so far.
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Northern Cyprus Presidential Election - April 19, 2015 on: April 19, 2015, 02:31:36 pm
To what degree is Northern Cypriot politics a reflection of Turkish politics? Is the NUP an Islamist outfit like the AKP? Is the RTP a local version of the CHP?
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Finnish parliamentary election – April 19th 2015 on: April 19, 2015, 02:29:18 pm
We settled on Average Joe Finns (or Average Jukka Finns) in an earlier discussion of it.

That captures the spirit of the Finnish word, yes.

Ha, really? Well there you go. Hence why "True Finns" was not particularly popular, I can imagine.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 19, 2015, 02:26:01 pm
Another UKIP question.  Doesn't Cameron's promise to hold an EU in or out referendum during the next parliament's term amount to a giant move toward the very essence of what UKIP wants?  This being the case, does it make sense for UKIP to be running candidates in tory marginal seats where the main effect of its candidates might be to allow the victory of an anti-referendum labour candidate. UKIP could still run candidates everywhere else, and against every prominent pro-European Union MP, but stand aside in all marginal tory seats where there is a likely tory pro-referendum sitting MP or MP candidate.

This might work, yes. The crucial problem is that UKIP is not clever enough to pull off such a thing.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Finnish parliamentary election – April 19th 2015 on: April 19, 2015, 02:21:26 pm
It seems that Helsinki has the largest amount of uncounted votes.   That should work to the advantage of the Centre and against True Finns (should I still call them that ?)

They insist upon being called "the Finns Party" because "True" is one of several possible translations of the relevant word, while it carries a certain chauvinistic connotation that I suspect they were not really going for- I believe it could also be translated as "Ordinary Finns" which sounds rather different.
18  General Politics / Economics / Re: Is Social Security regressive? on: April 19, 2015, 01:26:19 pm
Well, again I don't know the particular percentages at present. And ultimately it would cover more than just pensions.

The problem is, however, that even though a person could do that and be well off, the fact is they usually will not. This will have to be kept on mind.

The fact is that in such a program will have fairly low returns due to its sheer size- it can't really go on to the market. Even with its dual function, actually, this may prove to be its Achilles' heel. Particular if it was barred from buying too many Treasurys. I'm not sure how the money could be invested, really- maybe some indirect passive index fund of sorts.

19  General Politics / Economics / Re: Is Social Security regressive? on: April 19, 2015, 12:44:56 pm
So you increase the contribution rate for this very middle class person from 6.2% to 20%? That's even more regressive. Especially since if the goal is $7,500 then someone making $150k actually would pay less as a percentage under this system.

You're misunderstanding two things.

1) Assuming the standard split, social security tax would be raised from 6.2% each to 10% each.
2) The payroll taxes of the rich would be used to top up the accounts of the poor. A chunk of Mr.$150k's payroll taxes would be deposited in the account of Mrs. $30k.

Yes on number 2. 20% was an arbitrary number, but whatever it was would include Medicare and certainly be higher that present contributions, at a level that would be sufficent for most (80%+ or so) people's retirements.

This overlooks, however, the crucial point that this is not intended to be a tax.
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Kirk: People drive faster through Black Neighborhoods on: April 19, 2015, 11:07:25 am
I don't get it. He was saying "let's help black communities". In no way did he suggest that "driving faster through black neighbourhoods" was a desirable or appalling state of affairs.
21  General Politics / Economics / Re: Is Social Security regressive? on: April 19, 2015, 11:00:02 am
It should be replaced with a fixed-percentage mandatory contribution, from both employees and employers, to an individual savings account, with predetermined target dollar levels of contributions, with some of the surplus being transferred to accounts of those whose contributions do not meet the target minimum. Ideally Medicare would also be rolled up into this system and eventually health insurance as well. The money would be used to buy infrastructure bonds and the like, aiming for a total annual return of 3-4%

So the idea is that $7,500 is the target amount, and if I have an income of $35,000 and the contribution is set at 20%, I would contribute $7,000. The $500 shortfall would be covered by transfers from accounts with large surpluses. This is mandatory, yes, but Social Security doesn't cover most retirement expenses and people have proven bad at saving for retirement. With individual accounts it would shift perceptions away from it being a tax. The inspiration for this scheme, of course, comes from Singapore's Central Provident Fund.
22  General Politics / Economics / Re: Fellow Libertarians, why do Democrats and Liberals Hate the Gold Standard? on: April 19, 2015, 10:48:28 am
That's the conventional answer, sure, but it's really just pushing the most challenging question back a step from "Why does this piece of paper have value?" to "Why does this piece of shiny metal have value?"

This is usually the point at which goldbugs start talking about how gold doesn't rust or something.

They wouldn't be wrong. I assume gold's value derives from its chemical properties and rareness- all the similar elements (silver, platinum, etc) are similarly high valued. Of course this doesn't mean we should have our economy dependent on the supply of it, but I don't think its hard to see why it is valued.
23  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Harvard JD or Yale JD on: April 19, 2015, 10:44:44 am
Yale (normal)
24  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of the estate tax on: April 19, 2015, 10:39:01 am
I have very mixed feelings about it.

Freedom Tax, as all inheritance should be abolished

So I couldn't even bequeath my kid a book or an old family heirloom after my death?
25  General Politics / Economics / Re: Fellow Libertarians, why do Democrats and Liberals Hate the Gold Standard? on: April 19, 2015, 10:34:08 am
Well, I suppose on the face of it, "a piece of paper whose value is derived from our gold reserves" is more intuitive than "a piece of paper that we all agree is worth some amount of money but has no intrinsic value". I could see the logic of a $10 bill making sense as it is worth $10 in gold and the illogic of an $10 bill being worth that because we say it is.

It's not particularly relevant nor does it actually mean the gold standard is reasonable, but I can see why it would make sense to people.
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