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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

Dahamma Re:Stopping a billionaire's car (323 comments)

It's Finland that is indeed known for that and as a Finn, I don't consider it crazy at all - especially if you know how it works

If you are doing 180mph in a 60mph (sorry, I'm American - that's like 300 in a 100 kph ;) I totally agree with you, in fact put them in jail as that would be a much more effective deterrent than money. But if you are doing 45kph in a 35kph you should not be paying a 6 figure (in any currency) fine no matter your income, that's just idiotic.

4 days ago
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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

Dahamma Re:Automation (323 comments)

Do you not think that the database would have those particular license plates listed so that no tickets would be issued?

No, of course they wouldn't. The whole point is that it's an off the record system, endorsed by the union and not the government. Once it's on the record there is a paper trail and instead of silly slashdot conspiracies you get federal indictments.

4 days ago
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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

Dahamma Re:Stopping a billionaire's car (323 comments)

How can the ticket depend on income? How do they know how much you're making? Do they look at your tax return? What if you're a tourist from America or somewhere? They don't file tax returns with the Swedish government, so how do they know how much to charge?

Actually, as is usual on the Internet, there is some truth and some bullshit in that post.

The sensational examples were a Swedish billionaire speeding in Finland (Sweden does not actually have this crazy fine), and if you are a billionaire, yes, people know how much you are worth. The other example was another billionaire driving *185 mph* on a speed controlled road in Switzerland, which pretty much anywhere in the Western world will get you imprisoned, at which point they are fairly free to make even a rich person miserable until he pays up.

4 days ago
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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

Dahamma Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (323 comments)

You're right though, I have no numbers to back up my theory, but... ...FFS, cut the 90 year old Pearl Harbor veteran some slack, 'eh?

If you are a 90 year old Pearl Harbor veteran, you are a goddamn hero, no one denies that. But if you are still driving, FFS, get OFF THE ROAD before you ruin it an kill someone.

4 days ago
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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

Dahamma Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (323 comments)

Yeah, but in AZ probably 1/3 of the plates are "disabled parking" and the drivers generally make up for the speeding by driving at half the speed limit.

4 days ago
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How a 'Seismic Cloak' Could Slow Down an Earthquake

Dahamma Re:Interesting .... (101 comments)

California's 'Next Big One' may have nothing to do with the San Andreas fault.

Any "big one" in California will have something to do with the San Andreas fault. We pretty much shrug off at 5+ quakes, those are just minor annoyances caused by offshoots of the San Andreas ;) When we talk "big one" we're talking 7+, and whether it's directly caused by the San Andreas or another related fault, the energy for that is almost definitely coming from the movements of the Pacific and North American plates...

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

Dahamma Re:Recently? (669 comments)

I've also been enjoying Assassin's Creed 4 on the PS4 (more games need sea shanties).

IMO the land-based part of the game is pretty repetitive at this point, and the Abstergo sub-plot (super-plot?) is as usual pretty bizarre.

But I think I could just sail around the Caribbean listening to the crash of waves and singing of sea shanties for hours. And the ship combat/boarding mechanics are near perfect - it's what you always wished you could have seen in Sid Meyer's Pirates.

about 2 months ago
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US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality

Dahamma Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (535 comments)

The deduction is the same, but since the value of the deduction to you is the taxes you save, you get progressively more money back the higher your tax bracket you're in. That is, low income people benefit almost nothing from the mortgage interest deduction.

That's absurd. The only reason a low income person would not benefit from a mortgage interest deduction (other than that they don't have a mortgage, which is not your argument above) is if they don't pay taxes. Even if they pay 15%, then it's still a dollar-for-dollar deduction on their income, saving them 15%. You basically argue that the percentages matter instead of the absolutes, and then turn around and argue the opposite.

To say the poor pay a share of people's mortgages because of progressive taxes is also absurd. If someone pays $3000 in taxes they are not "paying the mortgage" of someone who paid $50,000 in taxes instead of a pre-deduction of $55,000. And (as I *already* mentioned) you also have to take into account phaseouts *and* AMT, which both effectively negate many deductions as income goes up - ie. in effect the POINT is to offset the effect you just described, and I guarantee you it does that. If you don't understand how either of those work you should go read up on them, but claiming *I* am "financially illiterate" is a joke...

The fact that I oppose it even though I receive it is what we have been discussing; yes: fiscal conservatives frequently argue against government programs that they receive benefits under.

Aka, you are a hypocrite. Which was obvious.

You are welcome to pay more. I paid over $100k in taxes last year and significant amounts to several charities. Pretty sure I paid for MANY more benefits for others than I have ever received - and I'm ok with that because I am fortunate enough to be financially comfortable (partly made possible by the services the government provides) and feel it's a moral duty to help others in dire straits when you are able. And honestly I'm all for increasing the higher brackets and more specifically restoring the capital gains tax to its previous levels - 15% cap gains for investments that the poor can't afford to make but often comprise most of the wealthy's income makes the mortgage interest deduction look like PEANUTS.

Directed deductions and credits to encourage specific behaviors (whether it's home buying, health care, solar credits, electric cars, tuition/student loans) are nothing new, and (at least in individual income taxes) are NOT the reason for the deficit. The reason is that the top tax brackets have been paying historically low rates, so people making serious money (ie. who could give a shit about a mortgage deduction because mortgages are for middle class schlumps) are paying 15-30% (given cap gains, etc) instead of 50-70% of their million+ dollar incomes. Why do you think we had a record year for the stock market but the government is still in debt?

So yeah, I pay a lot of taxes, donate a lot more, and encourage a tax increase that will make me pay even more. I am so greedy and love taking handouts, right. What does that make you? (besides a hypocrite)

In addition, it doesn't matter for the purposes of this discussion whether my reasons (or the reasons of other fiscal conservatives) for opposing the mortgage interest deductions are valid or not. The fact that I oppose it even though I receive it is what we have been discussing

*We*? I don't know how your AC flamebait of a post qualifies as being part of the "the discussion" in the first place, but the first post I made - which was near the top of this thread - was "please give examples". The rest of the thread has more or less been one guy stating the same thing without examples, and one other person providing a couple bad examples.

about 2 months ago
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Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory To Win At 'Jeopardy'

Dahamma Re:He's winning b/c he gets the right answers (412 comments)

And a time lag is the difference between "directly paying" and "indirectly paying". And speaking of time lag, I and a large fraction of the population now spend almost no time on advertisements due to DVRs. One of the big problems with network TV is they really have little idea how much their commercials are reaching customers as it's now so hard to measure. Also makes it very indirect/questionable. And if you really want to get obscure, many game shows don't directly pay prizes themselves, anyway. They pay insurance and the insurance company pays prizes (especially shows with huge variation like Who Wants to be a Millionaire). Like a point to a pointer to a pointer indirect!

Ok, this thread has officially become silly, I think we all generally know how advertising-based network TV works anyway :)

about 2 months ago
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US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality

Dahamma Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (535 comments)

Check out Jacob Lund Fisker of Early Retirement Extreme. He lives on about $7k/year

Except apparently he's a PhD who was making $40k+ while he was saving his money, which is modest but WAY above minimum wage. A combination of intelligence, help, luck, and good health means he was able to save enough to use that as a base for investments.

That's kind of the POINT of the widening wealth gap and lack of mobility. He grew up in a wealthy socialist democratic county with everything provided to him for free (health care, higher education, etc). He moved to the US, had no debt and made a modest but reasonable salary. He did not start out disadvantaged in the US and unable to afford all of the things that helped him get to where he was. It's a HELL of a lot easier to save money when you are born and raised with all of those privileges.

And that doesn't even go into health insurance. Apparently he pays for a minimal plan with a huge deductible, but has never had to use it. One bit of bad luck that ended him (or his wife) in the hospital and the high deductibles and co-pay (and lifetime max of current plans like that before the ACA) and he could be out $50-100k, and there goes all of his hard work. And since medical expenses are now largely responsible for over half of all personal bankruptcies, it's a real issue.

about 2 months ago
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US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality

Dahamma Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (535 comments)

What that means is that other people pay for part of your mortgage, and the more income you earn, the more they pay you.

No, that's just not remotely true. And if couldn't be true be unless the government actually taxed people *more* because of it, and that has not happened - tax rates are at some of the lowest they have been in many decades.

And even if they did, it also makes no sense, really. Since I'm in a high tax bracket, raising taxes means I would be taxed *more* so I would pay more on the incremental income (and AMT would reduce the saving of any deductions further anyway, of course) instead of less. That's how progressive taxes work! And the base mortgage deduction is the same in absolute terms regardless of income - you don't get *more* deduction if you make more money, so it gets incrementally *smaller* compared to your income. For someone who argues so much about taxes you don't seem to know how they work very well.

and ignore all the costs and negative effects associated with it

So, for like the 4th time, can you provide ANY concrete examples? Because the above attempt was kind of a disaster. I'm sure there *are* some disadvantages, too, just haven't heard any real ones yet. (If I wanted to put words in your mouth I'm sure I could come up with some, heh).

about 2 months ago
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Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory To Win At 'Jeopardy'

Dahamma Re:He's winning b/c he gets the right answers (412 comments)

If no one watched the show but ABC decided to keep airing it anyway, the prize money would still be paid. That's definitely not in a rather *direct* way. Very indirect, really.

about 2 months ago
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US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality

Dahamma Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (535 comments)

In Arizona and Florida (your primary examples) the Republican voters

Stop lying and stop putting words in my mouth. I have not given Arizona or Florida as examples of anything in this discussion.

I think you replied to a comment I made to someone *else* who was providing examples (you didn't provide *any*, very true!) In fact you didn't in your latest comment, either, just used ad-hominem and restated the same thing instead of providing examples.

Well, even if it's anecdotal, I know several people (including *myself*) who were encouraged to purchase a home due to mortgage deductions. You of course can argue there are problems with them, as well (and I'd agree), but you can't argue that they don't encourage any home buying. When you speak in absolutes it just takes one counter example to be wrong...

Anyway, this isn't even a real argument or debate. Those involve facts to back up statements and I haven't seen any yet. Oh well.

about 2 months ago
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US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality

Dahamma Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (535 comments)

Don't think I'm conflating anything. Your position is the Republican Way. Nothing surprising there. Calling yourself a "Conservative Independent" is just a copout, sorry.

about 2 months ago
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US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality

Dahamma Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (535 comments)

You need a good dose of reality and look at some statistics. Republicans pull in nearly 50% of the vote; millionaires are a small percentage of the population.

And yet they didn't MAKE those decisions. They were made by a few people in political office. In Arizona and Florida (your primary examples) the Republican voters are mostly retirees who somehow think the Social Security benefits they live on don't come from the government. They may not care who else gets benefits, but try to take them away and see how fast they turn on those who want to reduce their months payments.

We oppose them because they are overall, a bad deal for everybody.

So, at least another poster has tried to post specific examples, but you haven't yet... how SPECIFICALLY is encouraging home purchases and proactive health care a bad deal for *everybody*? Vagaries do no good here.

about 2 months ago
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US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality

Dahamma Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (535 comments)

About 4.7% of hourly workers, or roughly 3% of all workers work at minimum wage. Many of those are people who receive tips or other compensation, so they actually make far more than minimum wage in reality.

Not factually accurate. Jobs based on tips have a minimum wage of $2.13 an hour. So who knows if they even make it to the "regular" minimum. Did you not actually know that, or were you intentionally distorting that information in your point?

From personal experience I can tell you that it is quite possible.

Well, not only is that totally inapplicable to others' situations, the current minimum wage is actually 30% behind what it was in the 1960's in today's dollars - it has not remotely kept up with expenses.

about 2 months ago
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Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory To Win At 'Jeopardy'

Dahamma Re:He's winning b/c he gets the right answers (412 comments)

And that's the big issue. Because guess who pays his prize money? The people watching it on TV!

Actually, no, not really. No one pays directly to get ABC, they make their money through advertisers. Obviously if no one watches it the advertisers will eventually catch on and the show won't be able to support itself, but the people watching it definitely don't pay the prize money in any sense.

about 2 months ago
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Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory To Win At 'Jeopardy'

Dahamma Re:He doesn't have to know the answer (412 comments)

It's more about disorientation than knowledge - recall is not instant. If you get people along a line of thought it helps them remember related facts. Basically, he's changing the subject constantly and not caring if he can come up with the answer quickly, because if he finds the Daily Double he gets to pause for a bit before answering it without competition.

about 2 months ago
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Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory To Win At 'Jeopardy'

Dahamma Re:He doesn't have to know the answer (412 comments)

Wrong again. The Daily Double is revealed when you pick the question, not when you buzz in for the answer, so your statement "he's also quickly buzzing for questions that he knows he can't answer, just to deprive someone else from being able to answer them" doesn't make sense.

about 2 months ago
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US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality

Dahamma Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (535 comments)

Republicans and the wealthy are greedy and don't want to have their money taken away to help the poor

Oh, ok, not "politicians", but "administrators". Huge difference. So then, the "Republican state administrators" (who also obviously had jobs and didn't need the aid themselves) turned down all of this potential aid for the poor in their state (even though it was Federal money), but after initially pretending to turn down corporate subsidies, changed their mind. How again does this refute the above quote (the original OP's complaint of straw man arguments) in any way?

Anyway, Republicans turning down aid for the poor is not hard to find examples of, I'll give you that. Proving that Medicaid and food stamps hurt people more than they help is really the key to the point. Are their disadvantages? Sure. Are struggling mothers and kids better off with a "tough love" no health care or supplemental food because of those disadvantages? Give me a BREAK.

about 2 months ago

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