Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2005:January:26 Wednesday <Tuesday, Thursday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2005/1/26 [Transportation/Car/RoadHogs, Transportation/Car/Hybrid] UID:35899 Activity:high
1/26    Dear hybrid car experts, can you please tell me what is wrong
        with the design of Honda Accord hybrid? I expected it to have
        great mileage. I mean, that's what people expect right?
        At 255HP and 37MPG, it is roughly 100 more HP and 3MPG more
        than the other Accords. However, I suspect that most Accord
        owners buy Accords not because of HP/speed, but because
        it's economical and has great mileage. At $12,000 over
        the standard Accord price, it's hardly economical (heck I can
        buy other nice cars for $35,000), and at only 3MPG more than
        the old Accords, I have to say, Honda sucks. Why couldn't
        they have come up with something that has EQUAL HP (160HP)
        but much better mileage? Idiots.        -Disapponted Honda Fan
        \_ 255hp?  wow, that will beat the pants off my buddies lancer!
           -r1c3 b0y
        \_ hybrids are good for city driving and would show great
           benefits for high power "get up and go" drivers as compared
           to their regular high output engine.  this makes a lot of
           sense to use it for cushy cars and SUVs that are driven
           poorly from a fuel-efficiency perspective.  hybrids do not
           help w/ long distance cruising where regular engines yield
           reasonable highway MPG ratings.
           \_ To further illustrate this point, the Toyota Prius has better
              city gas mileage than highway.
        \_ prius has 110 hp
        \_ Hybrid engines are new. The current breed only gives about 10%
           milage boost, the new ones coming out in a year or two will give
           around a 25% boost compared to gas only engines.
        \_ I'm thinking of buying the Accord Hybrid exactly because it has
           slightly better gas mileage AND better HP.  Remember, this is the
           top of the line Accord, and is marketed as such.  If you want fuel
           efficiency, get the hybrid Civic.
                \_ Uh, you realize that for $35000, you can get a much
                   nicer car with better name recognition than say, HONDA.
                   I mean, Hondas are reliable and all, but styling is oh
                   so boring (not exactly a chick getting car).
                   \_ Where did you come up with $35k?  MSRP is only $30k.
                      And thats only $3k more than the non-hybrid V6.
                      What other car are you comparing this to?
                        \_ the dealer has a $2K mark up, plus shipping, tax
                           and goodies
                           \_ You have those other fees regardless of what
                              car you look at.  Even +$2k, thats only $5k more.
                   \_ YOU NEED INTEGRA HAAA
                   \_ My penis is large enough, so that I don't need to
                      overcompensate by buying an oversized SUV or sports
                      car "for the chicks".
                   \_ People buy Honda for reliability, and relatively better
                      styling and performance than Toyota.  I'm still waiting
                      to hear what car you'd prefer at $32k.
                      \_ Nissan 350z w/ Performance package -- !pp
2005/1/26 [Health/Men, Computer/Domains] UID:35900 Activity:nil
1/26  Wheee!  -John
2005/1/26 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35901 Activity:very high
1/26    Democrats illustrate once again they are dumbasses by falling into
        obvious Republican trap.
        (1) Republican figure makes comments about how social security payments
            may be tied to race and sex, without elaborating
        (2) Less than 48 hours later, official e-mail petition circulates
            Democratic Party mailing lists, condemning proposed tie.  70,000
            sign petition over two days.
        (3) Dubya tells the world blacks are being fucked by the current
            social security system because they die on average 9 years earlier
            than whites, and the funds are generally not inherited once the
            parents die.
        \_ At least one Democrat saw it as obvious bullshit, deleted the
           email, and got pissed off.
        \_ Dubya tells world that blacks die, on average, 9 years earlier, and
           Dems fail to call him on the fact that this stat is due to more
           blacks living in poverty, dying in violence, and reaping the
           whirlwind of years of backsliding on the gains made in Civil Rights
           in the 60s.
           \_ The (alleged) reason doesn't change the fact.
              \_ Can you also claim "blacks put in less"?  Not that I am
                 advocating looking at the fairness issue in these terms.
              \_ However, better facts should trump worse facts.  Blacks do
                 not die 9 years earlier than whites.  Apparently neither
                 Dubya nor the pps understand how life expectancy works.
                 \_ This article says that black men have a greater than
                    9 year shorter life expectancy. Maybe you should
                    elaborate, because this article seems to contradict you.
                    \_ Average life expectancy is pretty useless for discussion
                       of SS benefits.  The correct measure (that the framers
                       had in mind) is expectancy after 65.  They predicted
                       that it would increase, and were off slightly on the
                       high side.  There is no damn crisis.
                       \_ Why is it expectancy after 65?  If you die before 65
                          you've paid into the system and don't get anything
                          back.  Besides, if Congress changes the retirment
                          age, 65 is irrelevant.
                          \_ The difference in full life expectancy comes from
                             higher infant and young mortality rates.  If you're
                             going to compare benefits, you have to compare
                             apples to apples.  In comparing how benefits are
                             dispersed, it's dishonest to say "because more
                             kids died in your demographic, you're going to
                             receive lower benefits."
                             \_ So a better stat would be of people who
                                survived to working age, not those who survive
                                to 65.  And my guess is that general mortality
                                is closer to that than the paper cited (though
                                I can't read anything more than the abstract).
                                \_ My guess is your guess is wrong.  The reason
                                   this is still not apples to apples is that
                                   SS is a societal contract.  You pay into it
                                   until you draw benefits.  Until you start
                                   drawing benefits, it doesn't matter whether
                                   you get anything back.  If you want to live
                                   here, you pay.  If you don't want to pay,
                                   go somewhere else.
                                   \_ So your disagreement is philisophical.
                                      So is mine.  You should own what you
                                \_ And your guess would be wrong.  Consider
                          where the life expectancy
                                   of blacks and whites generally converge as
                                   they get older.
                                   \_ So when you start paying into SS (age
                                      15-20) is closer to birth than age 65.
                                      So you're wrong.
                    \_ "Sixty-five-year-old black men had a lower total life
                       expectancy (11.4 years) and active life expectancy
                       (10 years) than white men (total life expectancy,
                       12.6 years; active life expectancy, 11.2 years),
                       although the differences were reduced after we
                       controlled for education."  The difference between
                       65-year old black and white male life expectancy (both
                       total and active) is 1.2 years.  The article goes on
                       to say that the difference for women is 0.
                    \_ pwnd!
2005/1/26 [Politics/Foreign/Asia/China] UID:35902 Activity:high
1/26    Boston Terrorists a Hoax: (Reuters)
        In other news, you can win an iPod if you send email to with the subject "I Will Kill You."
        \_ they did say (at the same time the photos were being splashed
           and freepers forums were in pandemonium) that the tip was
           completely uncorroborated
           \_ That was just an escape clause to disavow any responsibility.
              How about shouting fire in a crowded theatre and add that it is
              uncorroborated?  Even after 9/11, the fed is not supposed to
              announce false rumor or slander using government priviledge and
              prestige, and it hasn't until now.  It was always the press who
              went to the fed to ask for details of some actions taken, but
              this time the fed went to the press time and again to promote
              a tall tale.  One has to be very naive not to conclude this is
              deliberate at some level of the government.  How many "anonymous
              tips" as far fetched as this got daily joint press announcement
              by the US attorney office and fbi?  They are more vigilant at
              checking out all the rumors, they are raising alert level without
              specifying terror threats, but it is extraordinary to turn a 6th
              grade joke into a worldwide man hunt.  A lot people (including
              those outside US as this was a BIG news everywhere) now mentally
              associate China/Chinese with terrorism on account of that news
              alone.  The revelation that this was a hoax was published much
              less extensively, with no fanfare.  Many of those who did notice
              it, from Safire to washtime to freeper to libertypost would just
              complain that Chinese have an easy way around the justcie system,
              and they have Wen Hoo Lee, the army chaplain, the LA businesswoma
              and now the "nuclear oxide" as "proof."  Intended or not, this
              is the consequence, and somewhere some people are celebrating.
              \_ Who?  You're saying this is a government conspiracy to make
                 Chinese people look bad?
                 \_ Isn't the motd full of idiots that hates Chinese?
                    \_ You make it sound as though motd needs an excuse to
                       hate you.
              \_ Be grateful for Bin Ladin, if it weren't for him,
                 Bush might be invading China right now. Without a public
                 enemy, how can he fuck with all those budget surpluses?
        \_ Awwwwwwwwww.
2005/1/26 [Academia/Berkeley/CSUA, Industry/Jobs] UID:35903 Activity:kinda low
1/26    ResComp is Hiring! Up to $19/hour for student staff.
        /csua/pub/jobs/rescomp - erikk
        \_ Drink the koolaid!!!
2005/1/26 [Reference/Religion] UID:35904 Activity:kinda low
1/26    Rolling Stone is going to put up the New Bible ad. TOLD YOU SO.
        \_ But what does The Free Republic have to say about it?
2005/1/26 [Computer/SW] UID:35905 Activity:nil
1/26    Anybody know if you can get dsniff to run on a tcpdump file?
2005/1/26 [Recreation/Celebrity/ParisHilton] UID:35906 Activity:high
1/26    I just learned thet is NOT free republic.  color me shocked.
        \_ I used to read that site every day back when the NHL existed
        \_ Did you know that Walmart and Walgreens are not owned by the same
           \_ Both are owned by Walt Disney, you moron.
           \_ Both are places where Paris Hilton would go to buy some walls.
2005/1/26 [Computer/SW/SpamAssassin, Computer/Companies/Google] UID:35907 Activity:nil
1/26    Has anyone else had problems with Gmail not recieving mail?  I've had
        one person get a delivery failure message and another person say they
        sent mail, got no failure notice, and I never recieved it.  Is this a
        common problem of am I just corresponding with dinks who can't figure
        out how to send email?
        \_ I had problems when I bounced mail from another account to my gmail.
           I never received any failure notice, but didn't receive the mail
           either.  Forwarding worked.  Funny thing was that after trying the
           bounce multiple times and fail, I forward, and all of a sudden, the
           forwarded mail shows up in gmail along with all of the bounced
           mails.  That was about a month ago.  Bouce seems to work for me now.
        \_ No, but gmail filters spam very aggressively, so I get lots of
           false positives. Search through your spam folder first.
           \_ Neither showed up in spam (I've gotten no spam yet), they just
              never got there.
2005/1/26 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35908 Activity:very high
1/26    Not only the below, but conservatives have a handy dandy calculator
        to tell you how much you're losing under the current Soc Sec system:
        It says if I'm a 30-year-old male earning $8K/year now and put all
        my social security money into 3% government bonds, I'd get $970/month
        from private accounts, compared to $935/month in the old system!
        \_ And your tax burden over your lifetime goes up how much to pay for
           the transition to privitization?
           \_ Why does the transition have to cost anything at all? We
              are running a surplus. Just take the money currently in the
              plan and invest it differently. It doesn't have to be
              'privatized' just invested better.
              \_ To do what you suggest would take changing a huge number of
                 laws and market regulations.  Investing it "better" means
                 increasing risk.  It's social SECURITY.  It's design is
                 predicated upon SECURE investment.  As long as this country
                 exists, it is guaranteed.  Anything less throws that out
                 the window.
                 \_ If the fund falls short you borrow. Imagine it being
                    secured like the FDIC.
                    \_ Imagine a prolonged tanking of the stock market,
                       with a self-propagating cycle of borrowing more,
                       other countries moving out of the dollar, higher
                       interest rates, and people going underwater on
                       their mortgages
                       \_ SS is not designed to protect against doomsday
                          scenarios. Imagine that the dollar goes into
                          a tailspin and your SS money is still worth the
                          same in dollars, or imagine frightful inflation.
                          SS as currently concocted won't protect against these.
                          \_ At least we would all be in the same boat
                 \_ Is investing it 100% in T-bills more or less risky than
                    the current regime?
        \_ This from the same guys who endorsed Chalabi and said we'd be
           welcomed with open arms?
        \_ And if you fall off a ladder and break your neck at 30, you will be
           penniless and broke and without any safety net, just the way the
           Republicans want you to be.
        \_ It says I'm losing $9,000 per month.
           \_ More than that for me, but more importantly it's a $1 million
              difference. That's a lot of money. Fuck SS.
              \_ You're not paying into SS for your retirement.  You're paying
                 for it so your parents and grandparents and uncles don't end
                 up eating dog food and shivvering in the dark with no medical
                 Before SS, people saved for their retirement, but a LOT of old
                 people lived longer than they expected, or had some fiancial
                 hardship and flat-out didn't have enough money.  It was a
                 humane response to a humanitarian problem.  If we convert to
                 private accounts, setting aside for a moment how we pay for
                 that... we will still end up with a lot of old people living
                 in abject poverty because either they didn't save enough or
                 they got swindled.  We CSUAers like to think we're pretty
                 smart, but how many people will invest money in dodgy fly
                 by nights, penny-stocks and junk bonds?  When these people are
                 70 and broke will we still have social security to take care
                 of them?  Or will we just say 'ownership society'?
                 \_ Privatizing social security will have a hugely positive,
                    liberating effect on the economy! -troll
                 \_ Just invest the money in the index. I shouldn't be
                    forced to pay for your uncle and grandma. If I want to
                    pay for my own (or not) that's my business.
                    \_ I with more pro-privitization people had your kind of
                       courage to just come right out and say they want to let
                       old people starve.
                       \_ Old people worked their whole lives and should
                          have something to show for it other than my
                          money. Maybe if they weren't paying so much in
                          SS taxes they would have some money left for
                          themselves. Alternately, maybe if their money
                          had been invested smarter when they were younger
                          they'd have more money now. The argument is that
                          you can take SS as it exists now and make it a
                          lot better just by changing what it invests in.
                          No costs at all and everyone benefits.
                    \_ Then go buy an island and form your own nation.
                    \_ Index fund?  If the stock market tanks, you're fucked.
                       \_ Yes, this is why I don't invest in my 401k. I am
                          very fearful of the stock market going into a
                          decades-long tailspin.
            \_ If you are paying that much into SS, you can afford to fund
               your own $1M retirement fund, like I am doing. SS is there
               as a safety net, not to fund your lifetestyle of luxury.
               \_ So I should give away $1 million opportunity cost just
                  because I can save $1 million more? Huh?
                  \_ The $1M "opportunity cost" is just a figment of your
                     imagination. The taxes you pay are the cost for living
                     in a stable and sane society. Don't like paying taxes?
                     Simple, move to a country where there aren't any.
                     I am pretty sure the Congo does not require any
                     Social Security taxes.
        \_ It does a fair job of comparing your benefits under the two systems.
           It fails to acknowledge that we're currently under a 'PAYGO' system
           and all the pain converting to personal accounts will cause.  It
           makes it look like the SocSec system is ripping off everyone when
           a big part of the problem is that under the current system everyone
           is paying for their ancestor's retirements.
           \_ i.e. ripping off everyone
2005/1/26 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35909 Activity:very high
1/26    Social Security is a system where our parents and ancestors rip us
        off, so that when we get old, we can rip off our children as well.
        \_ Hey, this is exactly how deficit spending works!  Er wait, it
           can't be bad if Reagan did it..
        \_ Don't forget the non-SS federal and state income tax!!11!
        \_ The first generation got something for nothing. We will have
           paid into the system.
        \_ This has been how traditional societies work -- children supporting
           retired parents, except that it wasn't enforced by law and wan't
           done by the govt's.
           \_ and didn't involve income redistribution. - troll
           \_ Right.  Except now it's the working less wealthy supporting
              the retired wealthy.  Here in reality land, seniors (defined
              as 65+) are the *wealthiest* Americans, and they have been
              getting richer faster than anyone else.  Me, I see lots of
              seniors touring around in new Mercedes and BMWs and going on
              expensive vacations.
     tbl 2.
              \_ SS was started as a response to a real problem, many elderly
                 who could not afford to retire and were living in real
                 \_ And rural electrification started when the rural was not
                    electrified.  What's your point?
                 \_ I would suggest that SS payments be tied to net worth,
                    but it would be too easy for seniors to circumvent by
                    giving stuff away. Obviously a wealthy person doesn't
                    need SS at all. On the other hand, they were forced to
                    pay into it so...
                    \_ Yeah, they paid into it, but THEY LET THEIR OWN
                       BADLY INVEST THE MONEY.  They didn't rein in their
                       reps, so they effectivly allowed their SS money
                       to be stolen.  As it is, it's effectively welfare
                       but given to old people regardless of whether
                       they're rich or not.  Face it, you old bastards,
                       you let Congress steal your money, you should not
                       steal it back from poor people to make yourself richer.
                       \_ uh... talk about blaming the victims.  Dumbass.
                       \_ Are you sure it was "badly" invested? Mostly, it
                          seems to have been invested in tax cuts for the
                          wealthy, which has probably made the economy
                          grow faster, increasing the tax base. I think
                          it was pretty well spent, actually.
                          \_ Yes, any time the economy expands, it wuz tax
                             cuts.  Any time the economy stagnates, it wuz
                             9/11, the hurricanes, and the tsunami, and not
                             enough tax cuts.  Hoozah!!
                             -Small-govt footsholdier
                             \_ You fool!  You're supposed to blame
              \_ The retired wealthy might complain if you stop giving them
                 social security checks.
                 \_ Shoot them if they complain.
2005/1/26 [Academia/Berkeley/CSUA/Motd] UID:35910 Activity:low
1/26    Holy fucking shit, the commuter train derailing in LA sounds just
        like the first episode of 24!! shit we'll be lucky if we see the
        sun tomorrow!!
        \_ what's 24? I don't watch TV or listen to pop music
                \_ the number of hours in a day.
        \_ Did you catch the details?  10 dead so far, 100 injured, 5 in
           critical.  Accident caused by a suicidal man parking his car on the
                                                                    \_ SUV
           tracks.  He then jumped out at the last minute.  To start off the
           snarky comments I'll say maybe his suicidal tendencies were
           justified afterall.
           \_ you know I thought this was terrorist related, but nevermind. To
              you conservatives who think the war's making the world a better
              place (ie. emarkp), maybe we should look into the mirror before
              we start killing other people who have nothing to do with
              \_ You didn't use motdedit and overwrote my post.  You're a
                 \_ it's possible to NOT use motdedit and avoid overwriting
                    posts.  dumbshit.
                    \_ I'll even claim the converse.  It is impossible to use
                       motdedit and not overwrite posts, so long as not
                       everyone is using motdedit.
                       \_ Not to put too fine a point on it, but FUCK MOTDEDIT!
                          IN THE EAR!
                       \_ Motdedit uses diff to try to merge conflicting edits.
                          If you use ME and sone non-ME user edits at the same
                          time, it will usually merge fine, and if it has a
                          problem it will let you try a manual merge.
                       \_ Wrong.  It might put your addition out of order, but
                          it won't overwrite it.
                          \_ Because motdedit is perfect and has no bugs!!
                             \_ And manual editors NEVER overwrite other
                                peoples changes!
                                \_ I'll give you a gentle hint: it's not a
                                   technology problem.
              \_ False dichotomy AND strawman.  Nice work. -emarkp
           \_ Death penalty won't do justice to that man (not that he'll
              get it.)  He deserves to be tortured first.
                \_ Fortunately for you, the current administration can
                   accomodate your wishes.
2005/1/26 [Reference/Tax, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35911 Activity:very high
1/26    I don't think everyone understands this yet, so I'll make sure.
        You know the 6.2% social security tax you pay every year (and
        the matching 6.2% paid by your employer)?  All of it goes directly
        to people receiving social security checks today.  It does not in
        go into any "private account" for you.  Instead, the government
        tracks how much money you make over your life.  Once you hit 67, you
        start getting social security checks.  The size of each check
        will be somewhat proportional to how much you made over your life.
        But this number is very progressive -- that is, people who made
        a lot of money get a much smaller proportion of how much they
        made, compared to people who made a small amount of money during
        their life.
        Once again, the current generation pays money directly to the
        old generation.
        What happens when you have "private accounts"?  Well, everyone gets
        a private account now.  You are paying yourself, not other people.
        However, the old people today still need their social security
        checks.  So who pays for it?  The government!  It takes out huge
        loans to pay money to old people, since all the young people are now
        saving for themselves instead of paying old people.
        Now, it's not a 100% transition to private accounts.  At the
        beginning, it will be a 1/3 transition.  So 4.2% tax goes to
        the old system (paying old people), and 2% goes to yourself (your
        private account).
        \_ Where did you get 6.2?  I pay 7.65% (as does my employer).
           \_ Medicare is 1.45%.  6.2% is social security tax.
        \_ But where does the government money come from?  Taxes.  Collected
           the same way the money would be collected under the current system.
           Right?  Am I missing something?
           \_ I don't understand your question.
           \_ You are missing someting.  If an individual goes the PRA route,
              they will stop paying SS taxes and in stead pay a (regulated)
              amount into their PRA.  The government is now missing the payroll
              taxes for this person but still has to pay for current SS
              beneficiaries.  To make up this missing money the government must
              either raise taxes or run a (larger) defecit.  The person who got
              a PRA is paying X-dollars less in taxes but being forced to
              invest X-dollars into their PRA.
              You will see your payroll tax be replaced with a enforced PRA
              contribution.  That money must be made up with new taxes or a
              defecit (future taxes).
        \_ While you're contemplating this, please also ask yourself the
           following questions.. Is an average American capable of making
           reasonably good investment decisions for his/her private account? If
           \_ You presume that there will be a choice.
           not, then do you think you would trust the government to do that for
           you? What about mutual funds? Where is the guarantee that whatever
           gains you get from the higher stock market returns will not be
           skimmed by those firms as administrative fees? What will happen to
           the financial markets around the world as trillions of dollars from
           the private accounts will start being poured into them? What will
           happen to the world economy and the US economy in particular if the
           US government tries to borrow trillions of dollars that are
           necessary to implement the transition? Have you seen a country that
           has successfully privitized their social security system?
           \_ Solution is simple.  Holders of the PRA are only allowed to
              invest in T-bills.  The rate of return is still better.
              \_ The problem is that with financial industry lobbying you know
                 that regulation won't last for long.  If you think they'll let
                 themselves miss out on this avalance of financial-services
                 business you'd be deluded.  What about people (like me) who
                 think that with our current-account defecit T-bills are not
                 a terribly safe investment?
                 \_ You investing in T-bills is likely as safe as the SSA
                    investing in T-bills for you.  Would limiting investments
                    to T-bills resolve the pp's concern for the lack of
                    security for PRA funds?  I am trying to figure out if the
                    sensitivity is over the security of the investment or
                    something else.
                    \_ It may be as safe an investment, but it destroys the
                       system.  Is that where your sensitivity is?  Do you
                       want the system gone?
        \_ We all understand this. SS does not need to be privatized, but
           it needs the ability to invest better. Imagine if that massive
           surplus has been invested in something other than navel lint.
           \_ Why?  What's wrong with treasuries?
        \_ can I just opt out of the whole system?  Where's my freedom to do
           that?   Don't send me checks, don't make me pay into it...
           \_ It's part of living here.  Don't like it? Move somewhere else.
           \_ The social contract is that you get to live in a country where
              old people get medical care and don't starve to death living on
              the streets.  In return, you must pay payroll taxes.
           \_ The law allows that if you become Amish.
           \_ Why do I have to pay for freeways even though I don't have
              a car? Why do I have to pay for the police even though
              I don't commit crimes?
        \_ And why is there an income cap for SS tax?
           \_ Do you mean, why is it that if I make $200K/year, I only pay
              6.2% of $90K?
             \_ Exactly.  Why make any income exempt?
                \_ I think it's because they want social security to be
                   progressive, but not THAT progressive.  In fact, one of
                   the remedies toward fixing social security is to raise the
                   the amount taxable, while keeping the maximum social
                   security check amounts lower in proportion or the same.
                   \_ SS is regressive, at least when taxed.
                      \_ The payout is much more progressive, outweighing
                         what you put in.
2005/1/26 [Reference/Tax] UID:35912 Activity:moderate
1/26    When did SS get renamed "payroll tax"?
        \_ When someone figured out a way to talk about killing it without
           becoming automatically unelectable. Taxes are bad, see, so getting
           rid of "payroll taxes" sounds like a good thing instead of "robbing
           Social Security," which is what it is.
        \_ fyi, payroll tax includes the social security contribution,
           Medicare, maybe disability and unemployment too.  but yeah,
           SS is the biggest part.
        \_ Why is working for a living taxed more than passive income?
           That seems counter-intuitive.
           \_ We all hates inheritance taxes.  Except Bill. -rich bastard
           \_ Because the rich own more senators than you do.
2005/1/26-27 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35913 Activity:high
1/26    How does SS in the US compare with other countries, like Japan,
        Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, etc?
        \_ What you have as IRAs and other voluntary contributions is
           mandatory in a lot of other countries.  Example:  We pay a base
           equivalent to SS (in .ch) and a second amount derived from the 1st
           into a privately run (but still mandatory, with interest rates set
           by the govt) account.  There is much less flexibility for other,
           voluntary contributions (including tax benefits.)  Similar in
           Germany, etc.  The difference?  We'll be fucked much later than the
           US, but it'll happen (European & Japanese populations are getting
           much older and will rely on massive immigration to sustain us in
           our dotage.)  Also, when it does, the gefuckt-ness will be more
           widespread, due to the fact that the US appears to have a greater
           percentage of the population saving into private retirement funds
           as opposed to being taught to rely on a government "bank".  Many
           Europeans, at least, are only now coming around to the fact that
           their retirement pensions are illusive--made all the more bitter by
           the fact that the tax rate in EU countries is criminally high (this
           is a _bit_ better in .ch as our taxes are lower.)  So essentially,
           same problem, different format.  -John
           \_ In Japan at least, another major problem is corruption: in a
              recent scandal, it turned out that the people running the
              pension accounts were living large on loans they'd approved
              for themselves from the pension money. --erikred
           \_ The Chilean experience has not been so good:
     (nytimes blahblahfoo:biteme)
        \_ How about China? I don't think SS exists, they just shift the
           problem to the family. So in essense, they don't have any problem.
           \_ I read somewhere that China has a huge pension liability problem.
           \_ "Death solves all problems; No man, no problem." -- Stalin
              \_ Go fuck yourself.
              \_ Somehow this reminds me of Bush...
                \_ your liberal brain has been classified as-- small.
                \_ The death of one Iraqi is a tragedy. The death of
                   100,000 is a statistic.
                   \_ Wow, your big brain tells you only 1 Iraqi died?
                      Really, you need to go fuck yourself.
                      \_ You are living proof that anti-war people can
                         be just as arrogant and clueless as the Cons
                         on the motd. For this, I salute you! -motdtl
                         \_ What about the millions of Native
                            Americans you killed huh? What smart ass
                            comment you have to say about that? How
                            the fuck did that happen under democracy?
                            "We come in peace", ha. Oh I get it, you
                            can kill, but no one else is supposed to.
                            Just like you can have nuclear weapons,
                            and shit loads of them, and ready to use
                            them on the first sign of trouble (bunker
                            busting nukes?), but no one else should
                            have them. Talk about double standards. I
                            will shut up when you apply the same set
                            of rules and regulations you scream at
                            others (I bet if the current
                            administration is running WW II, they
                            would've claimed German troops are
                            terrorists and don't deserve the Geneva
                            \_ different standards for white people
                            Convention). A real test of any man, any
                            nation, is how you stick to your
                            principles you claim to be so great when
                            you are the one under fire. It's always
                            easy to stand on the side lines and say,
                            oh look, you violated human rights! Hmmm,
                            I wonder why the Whitehouse PR machine has
                            stopped accusing other nation of HR
                            violations... -pissed off at double standards
                            \_ You really have me howling with laughter
                               here. I want you to know that someone
                               appreciates your work. Please look up the
                               famous Stalin quote "The death of one man
                               is a tragedy. The death of millions is a
                               statistic," and think for a second about how
                               my deliberate referencing of this quote
                               could not possibly be an effort to make
                               George Bush look better. Unless I was
                               a big Stalinist. Which I am not. I almost
                               didn't add that last sentence, but your utter
                               inability to see historical references
                               right in front of your face forced me to make
                               it 100% clear what I meant. -motdtl
                                \_ No shit, I can't believe no one caught on
                                   and it quickly devolved into politically
                                   correct BS.  Ok, I can believe the second
                                   part.  The original quote was to show
                                   that the Chinese have means at their
                                   disposal to deal with internal problems
                                   which we do not [yet] have.
        \_ First time I read this I thought SS meant the German secret police.
           \_ me too.  I was trying to figure out the American SS
2005/1/26 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35914 Activity:high
1/26    Question for those who say:  "We don't need private accounts.  We just
        need to invest social security funds better!"
        Currently, the annual surplus from social security funds is invested in
        government bonds.  How should social security funds be invested
        \_ Inclone and Enron stocks were really high at one time! If they
           can just time it right, SS would be saved!!!
        \_ I think the government plans on putting it all on "red" at
           \_ I wanna go to GWB's dice game!
2005/1/26 [Reference/Tax, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35915 Activity:moderate
1/26    Question:
        Currently we have a surplus of social security funds every year
        (i.e., more taken in from social security taxes than disbursed).
        I do know that the federal government spends the surplus, and leaves
        an IOU to the social security trust fund.
        The trust fund will start collecting on those IOUs around 2019, when
        social security taxes will not be enough to cover disbursements.
        Does the IOU make any money, and if so, how much?
        \_ The surplus is used to buy government bonds, which pay (not great)
           interest.  When the surplus needs to be spent, the bonds will be
           redeemed (government pays money into the SS system from general
           revenues) or the bonds will be sold on the market.  These have
           basically the same net effect.
           \_ What this is getting at is that at some point the government
              is going to borrow to cover the system. This is a given. I
              don't know why everyone is up-in-arms over the costs of PRAs
              when SS is going to go bankrupt at some point without reform.
              If you object to privatization then what is the solution when
              SS eventually goes bankrupt? Wouldn't it be better to try
              to fix it now? It will cost more now, but save more in the
              long run.
              \_ "at some point" is when?
              \_ Basically, all of Krugman's articles argue that private
                 accounts will be significantly worse than a long-term SS fix.
              \_ I think we SHOULD pay now to fix the system, but that means
                 either raising taxes or not letting people excuse themselves
                 from payroll taxes just because they have a PRA.
                 What's being proposed is just running up the debt now
                 in stead of later.  I think it's an especially bad idea to
                 run up a big debt when we already are running a huge deficit.
              \_ What makes you think we will borrow? Why not just raise taxes?
                 The current surplus is being handed to the wealthy in
                 the form of a tax cut. Eventually, they will have to pay
                 it back. They are doing everything they can to blow smoke
                 in your face and avoid admitting to the responsibility though.
                 up your ass and avoid admitting to the responsibility though.
        \_ Let's have a hard number.  3% annually?
2005/1/26 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35916 Activity:very high
1/26    Riddle me this: Congress jumpstarted SS, and then contributors got
        out what they put in, plus interest. How does this turn into "our
        grandparents are robbing us"?
        \_ It is because the payout is based on wage increase and not on
           inflation. So someone retired today that is collecting SS is
           getting paid based on todays wages. The other way to do it is
           to base it on inflation. That is bad though because you are
           then expecting retires today to live off of 1940 wages. An
           example is that the average SS receipent today gets about
           1200/month. If SS was based on inflation the payout would be
           around 300/month. That is not enough...
        \_ I think the argument is, the SS system is a progressive one, and
           we can't opt out.  Old folks are currently the ones getting SS
           money.  Therefore, old folks are robbing us.
           Kind of lame logic, but that's what some sodans think.
           \_ No, the logic is that the old folks are taking out more than what
              they put in plus interest.  Therefore we're just keeping them
              afloat, with really nothing set aside for ourselves.  So, in
              essence, by the time we're old, there'll be nothing left.
              \_ How does this jibe with the notion that if there weren't
                 a baby boom hump, social security would be fine?
                 \_ jibe, maybe?
                    \_ oops, learn something every day!
        \_ corrupted into a giant ponzi scheme
           \_ ... how does this jibe with the notion that if there weren't
              a baby boom hump, social security would be fine?
             \_ look, it's a combination of things, like baby boom and the
                increase of medical technology that allowed the boomers to
                live 10-15 years longer than expected. Personally I don't
                see the point of extending lives of 70-80 yr old people
                so that they can live another 10 miserable years, but then
                I digress
                \_ The actuaries who helped devise SS prepared for extended
                   lifespans.  They actually predicted the increase would be
                   larger than it has been.  The ass-talkers are out in force.
                   \_ Did they account for a baby boom bump?
                      \_ No, but there have been adjustments in the last few
                         decades to work on it, and the most conservative
                         estimates put the date of needing to reduce benefits
                         at 2042.
                         \_ 2042 is the year the SSA estimates that the
                            cumulative surplus (after the IOUs/bonds are
                            redeemed) will be drawn to zero, while
                            simultaneously needing to pay more to old folks
                            than we take in social security taxes.
                            This is assuming nothing is done.
                            \_ And the CBO estimates that will not happen\
                               until 2052. Even at that point, SS will be
                               able to meet 75% of its payments on its own.
                               The worst thing that could happen would be
                               that benefits would be cut by 1/4.
                \_ So, SS wasn't devised as a ponzi scheme when it was
                   created, but the system has a solvency problem with the
                   unexpected baby-boom generation and increased longevity?
                \_ The point in extending lives may become clearer once you
                   reach 70-80, as in, Q: "who would want to live to be 80"
                   A: "someone who is 79"
2005/1/26-27 [Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:35917 Activity:moderate
1/26    Why do you guys like to post politics on motd? What does motd have
        that, discussions, groups,
        Air America forums, etc don't have? I'm just trying to understand
        the motivations, thanks.
        \_ There's one person (it's all it takes) who keeps posting
           \_ Don't be rediculous.  There must be a dozen or more people in
              this forum that post political stuff.
           this shit up here. We've asked him/her a number of times
           on what the motivation was, response was some irrational
           belief that they're making a difference, etc. etc. The one
           poster puts up the most provactive unfounded bullshit and you
           get the avalanche effect. I think a number of people have
           started just screening and deleting this shit already.
           Anyway, it was really bad after the election, I think some
           guy was posting threats to kill the president, etc., stuff
           that would no doubt have gotten us into hot water. -williamc
           \_ You're part of the problem, Mr. Deport-Liberals-to-Canada.
           \_ What makes you think it is only one person?
        \_ When you're a nutjob, it's better to not have to sign your
           posts.  Trolls from nutjobs stop working once people realize
           who they're dealing with.  -tom
           \_ Soda has a pretty busy nutjob contingent--sometimes I'm
              \_ Surprised?  Impressed?  Enraged?  Aroused?  What?!?  The
                 suspese is killin' me here!!            -mice
                 \_ My mission is to make yourself interesting.  If I _told_
                    you what I am, it wouldn't be very suspeseful, would it?
                    \_ NOOOOO!  HOW CAN THIS BEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!1!  WHY THIS
                       ALWAYS HAPPEN TO MEEEEEEEE????!?!!?
              by how many simultaneous freeper troll threads they can keep
              going.  -John
        \_ Much higher signal to noise ratio.
        \_ As above, but also you get rational people from both sides.
        \_ The format of the motd suits itself to political trolls. It's
           anonymous, and the threads are compact with replies following a
           natural tree-like structure. Certain online forum software can
           achieve a similar effect, but most of them don't, and often
           crack down on political trolls. Political trolls should really
           have their own motd file but that would defeat the purpose...
           trolls need a large lake in which to cast.
2005/1/26 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton] UID:35918 Activity:nil
1/26    Reading all of the SS threads there seems to be a real
        misunderstanding about the SS "surplus".  There is no
        "surplus" - the money has been spent.  So when it is
        said Clinton balanced the budget that is false.  So when
        government officials like to pretend they have bought
        Treasury bonds and are "receiving" interest this
        statement is absurd.  They money will have to come
        from somewhere, either taxes or the printing of more
        money.  It is equivalent to you making a loan to
        yourself and paying yourself interest.
        \_ You really have drunk the Republican kool-aide haven't you?
           \_ I have known this long before I was a conservative.
              Really, how exactly is the SS administration going to
              redeem these bonds?
              \_ Uh, how does the government pay all of its bills?
                 And you line about Clinton is simply a bad lie.
                 \_ was the budget balanced without SS receipts - yes
                    or no?
                    \_ Answer my question and I will answer yours.
                       \_ sorry I really should say Gingrich didn't
                          balance the budget.  Either way, its clear
                          by your cryptic responses  you have no idea
                       \_ I'm not any of the above posters, but the
                          answer to your question is, I believe, the
                          gov't pays its bills by taxing and by
                          borrowing, but ultimately by taxing.
                          what you are talking about;
                          this is not worth my time.
                          \_ Yes, it is obvious that you will not convince
                             me by parroting republican propaganda. Inform
                             yourself a bit about economics before embarassing
                             yourself again.
                             \_ gosh I guess that Econ BA was worthless...
                                \_ So do you believe that there is no
                                   money in the bank because it was
                                   "all spent"? If your bank told you
                                   that the money you deposited with them
                                   had already been lent out to other
                                   people and "already spent" would you
                                   just take that as an answer? Where
                                   did you get your Economics degree from,
2005/1/26-27 [Politics/Domestic/California, Recreation/Travel/LasVegas] UID:35919 Activity:nil
1/26  (yahoo news)
        First, Phillip-Morris is sued, then McD is sued, and now...
        casino is sued...
        \_ We Americans like to blame others for our bad decisions.  That's why
           there are so many wacky warning labels in our daily lives.
2005/1/26-27 [Uncategorized] UID:35921 Activity:nil
1/26    That was most intense and signal-laden political debate I've seen
        on the motd. Glad to know we're not all just a bunch of troglodytes.
2005/1/26 [Computer/SW/Unix] UID:35922 Activity:high
1/26    We know there are approximately 364.25 days in a year. Our ancestors
        didn't know better and had to keep adjusting the # of days in a month
        just to keep in sync, and now we have this unintuitive way of
        counting number of days in a month, the leap year, etc and it's
        somewhat of a hastle to teach children and to program it into the
        computers. Suppose you were to design a completely new calender, one
        that fewer rules and exceptions to remember, one that can be scaled
        to the next few million years to account for earth's precession, and
        one that perhaps could be extended to other planets. How would you
        design and partition your calendar? It's an open question, there are
        no right/wrong answers.
        \_ If you're interested in time and clocks and calendars, I highly
           recommend the books "longitude" and "splitting the second".
        \_ I'm sure the perfect system would involve centons, centars,
           sectons, sectars, and yahren.
        \_ Everything the same except the last, "partial day" is irregular and
           ignored once per year. Well, I guess we could try to fix the months.
           There needs to be 13 months of 28 days. The 13th month will be
           inserted as sexember, before september, and July/August renamed
           \_ our society is heavily based on weeks (Sun/Sat) and quarters
              (esp in the financial field). I'm not so sure that changing
              the week system is a good idea. So as a compromise, I'd
              probably get rid of the months and just keep the weeks, so that
              we'd say that we're week 1-week 52. I'd keep the last day of
              week 52 as a "flexible day" to account for earth's precession,
              kind of like what the Romans did. This idea is simple and
              most importantly, it is backward compatible.
              \_ Wut? I kept 7 day weeks. Sure the 13 months don't divide
                 evenly by 4 but so what. Seasons don't fit neatly on the
                 ends of months as it is. In my system the flexible day
                 falls outside any week (worldwide party day! replaces
                 Jan 1st hangover.)
                 \_ sure it work but how do you get superstitious people to
                    adapt to it?
                    \_ We have the 13th days of months, why not 13th month?
                       13/13/2013 would be a fun day! Man I really want this
                       system now. I never thought about this before.
        \_ Make sure you define which year.  365.24218967d = 1 mean tropical
           365.2425 days = the average year length in Gregorian calendar
         \_ Make everything multiples of 10 (or 8).  100 seconds in a
            minute.  100 minutes in an hour and 10 minutes in a day.
            Obviously, this implies redefining minutes and seconds.
        \_ Here's another idea, 364 = 2*2*13*7, so...
           How about having 26 days in a month with 14 months (364 days).
           Each week will have 13 days.
2005/1/26 [Finance/Banking] UID:35923 Activity:high
1/26    Oh, bummer, Mr. "It's Already Been Spent" deleted our argument.
        I wanted to ask him if the excuse "It's Already Been Spent"
        was valid to use when asked to repay any debt. I have some
        T-Bills that are due in 2012. Should the US government just
        shrug its shoulders and say "Sorry buddy, it's already been
        \_ you seem to misunderstand the distinction between making
           the loan to yourself and to someone else.  Money does not
           just magically appear.  Either you raise taxes or your
           create inflation.
           \_ So it is not possible for one division of Ford Motor
              Company to lend money to another?
              \_ What you are talking about is similar to what
                 Tyco, Enron, etc. did during the late '90s.
                 One division of Ford makes another a loan who
                 spends that money.  Ford Motor now reports this
                 internal loan on its balance sheet as interest
                 generating asset.  Do you see the problem?
                 Only in the lala land of the Democrats and
                 RINOs can you loan yourself money, spend it,
                 pay yourself interest on the loan, and not
                 only have incurred a net loss but gained!!
                 One more time, the notes owned by SS are
                 effectively one of two things, higher taxes
                 or inflation.
2005/1/26 [Uncategorized] UID:35924 Activity:nil
1/26    Mr. Twig South Park torrent site doesn't let me download the
        .torrent files anymore. Got suggestions?
2005/1/26 [Uncategorized] UID:35925 Activity:nil
1/26  This URL is almost self explanatory: it's Kirk
        yelling "khaaaaan!", with graphics.  worksafe, but it has sound.
        \_ no description, to be deleted in the next 5 min...
2019/02/21 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2005:January:26 Wednesday <Tuesday, Thursday>