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Everything posted by malmsteenisgod

  1. I got it sorted out guys. Thanks for your help. I put another copy of windows 7 on a different flash drive and had no problems installing and no problems since. So as far I can tell there are no hardware issues. Maybe Windows just got corrupted somehow. I'm just glad it's working now.
  2. I just tried your suggestion and it didn't find any errors. So I decided to do a clean install of Windows. I backed everything up and just did a quick format of both drives using the Windows installation disc. Then when I tried to install Windows I get this error: Windows cannot copy files required for installation. Make sure all files required for installation are available, and restart the installation. Error code: 0x80070570. I tried installing Windows on both drives and the same thing happens. I ran the Windows memory diagnostic tool and it didn't detect any errors. I'm still looking for a solution but I'm all out of ideas. Edit: My Windows installation files could be corrupt, so I'll try to get a new one.
  3. Yea, I don't know what the issue could be, so although I don't really want to do a reinstall, I'm hoping that will solve the issue, so I'll probably try that later.
  4. Hi OCC, I might have a problem with a hard drive, but to clarify up front, I'm running a Patriot Wildfire 240GB SSD with a Windows 7-64 install, plus drivers, common programs, etc., and a Hitachi 1TB HDD for games, music, movies, etc. and both seem to be having some strange issues, so here's what's going on. World of Tanks (on my HDD) crashes on startup even after reinstalling Skype (also on HDD) can't start because of a "Disk I/O error." I tried to uninstall Skype but it failed to uninstall. Dropbox (also on HDD) is reporting an error and can't start. Uninstalled successfully. Saving any screenshot from MS paint or with the snipping tool is always corrupted, regardless of if I save it to my HDD, SSD, or a USB. Now suspecting I had a hard drive failure on my hands I did the following: ran the Hitachi drive check and it returned no errors I then ran the Windows disk check on both drives with no errors. suspecting it could be a RAM issue, I ran Memtest for 2-3 hours with no errors. tried to install World of Tanks on my SSD and it still failed to run So I accept the fact that maybe the disk check just can't find an error even though there is a problem. It's unlikely that my SSD is the culprit, but World of Tanks not running from either drive, and Windows utilities (MS paint and snipping tool) not being able to save files properly... that just seems strange. So what else could I do to isolate the problem? Thanks guys.
  5. I assume you're using cgminer, right? Can you post your config?
  6. No problem. Don't let the language difference in Japan concern you too much. I've managed to get around Korea for 8 months without speaking very much, and I was able to get around Japan for those 10 days just fine. Whenever I was lost and needed help I just looked for an older Japanese man in a business suit, because I knew he was most likely to be educated in English. Also look around online to see if Japan has an English help line that you can call. Korea has one here that's mostly for travelers, but I've used it when I needed help setting up bank accounts. Basically you can use that as a last resort. However, traveling to an English speaking country may be a better option for you since it won't be quite a culture shock and you'll actually be able to speak to people!
  7. I haven't been around here on OCC much lately, but I thought I'd chime in on this topic since I'm currently working in South Korea. I've been here for about 8 months now, and although it hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows, it has been an incredible experience that I do not regret the slightest. Coming here was a tough decision, because for at least a full year, I would be away from my home, my family, and my friends. But I'm still very young, I'm not married (forever alone) and I don't own a house, car, or have any other major expenses, except for student loans. So for me, it made perfect sense to go work abroad now, before I have many other responsibilities and obligations. I know you just bought a new Jeep, but it's still not quite a life-changing responsibility that should deter you from moving abroad. If Japan is your first choice, then I'd say study up on the culture before you go. Read as much as you can from other people who have lived there. I traveled to Japan this summer, and even going from Korea to Japan, I was a bit shocked by some minor cultural differences. Also, study as much of the language as you can before you go -- it will make a huge difference. At the very least, learn to read the language. From my experience in Japan, it's a lot less English friendly than Korea. Some of the smaller subway stations will have very little English, or none at all, and getting around can be a pain if you can't read it. Also, I've found that while many of the older business-professional Japanese speak English quite well, much of the younger generation do not. There has been a bit of a push for Japan to maintain its own culture in recent years, and one of the effects of that has been a decreasing amount of English education. But if you learn Japanese, people will be really impressed with you, and they'll see that you're actually interested in Japanese culture and language. So not only will these help you get through things in daily life, it will help you make new friends much faster, which brings me to my next point. Meet as many people as you can, make friends, and go out as much as possible. I'm quite an introvert myself, but having some friends in a foreign country will really help cope with being away from your home, and they can be invaluable if you ever have any troubles with transportation, banking, or any other issues where communication is critical. I can't tell you how many times I've ended up on a bus to nowhere because the ticket salesman misunderstood where I wanted to go, and then had to call a friend to help me find my way back. Having friends who are fluent in Japanese will be really important to you. Not only can you learn a lot from them, but they will certainly be interested in learning about you. As some have pointed out already, banking in a foreign country that doesn't use English can be frustrating as hell, but that's what your friends will be there for. Banking with a foreign bank won't be the end of the world. I use a Korean bank, and all of their ATMs and online banking have the option to use English, even though some things don't translate quite well. I send money to my US bank using my Korean banks overseas remittance, and this is where things get frustrating for me, because I'm hit with quite a bit of fees from my US bank and intermediaries. Medical care on the other hand shouldn't be a huge issue. Just make sure that you have health insurance. Not being covered in a foreign country is a scary thought. But thankfully for us English speakers, every medical doctor in the world studies English to some extent. I've had to go to the hospital, a few medical clinics, and even the dentist, and each time we were able to communicate just fine. I live in a small, dinky town of about 3000 people, but even showing my dentist which wisdom tooth is hurting and making a yanking motion is enough to get the message across. The quality of medical care here in East Asia is some of the best in the world, so unless you have any food allergies, or some pre-existing conditions that could potentially be a problem, then you should have nothing to worry about. Finally, just understand that you'll be in a foreign country for an extended period of time. Your whole life will change and you'll become a different person because of it. Whether your experience is amazing, or completely horrifying to the point where you're penniless and destitute on the other side of the world, you will be a better person with brand new experiences because of it. If there's really nothing you can think of that could hold you back from going, then by all means, do it. If you have any more specific questions on life abroad, feel free to PM me.
  8. No problem. I apologize to everyone in this thread if I've come across as condescending (which I know I do most of the time ) but I'm fairly enthusiastic about politics, even though it drives me insane most of the time. I can certainly sympathize with people that want to reduce spending, but I just don't see that as a feasible solution right now. Before this recession I was against a lot of the spending we were doing, and as soon as economic growth gets back to what we'd consider normal levels, I'll probably go back to being a deficit hawk, but many of the services that people want to cut would have serious economic consequences if we did it now.
  9. Your whole view is so narrow minded and uninformed. I can't even believe I'm going to bother responding to this. First of all, economic growth IS the problem. Spending money we don't have is what every country in the world does. That's how government spending works. You spend the money on INVESTMENTS to be paid back later. I don't know how many times I've explained that in this thread. Right now is actually the best time for the government to spend to repair our crumbling infrastructures while interest rates are low and to spur economic growth. We're not trying to wipe out the deficit in one month; that would have severe consequences. First off, the debt ceiling is always going to be constantly raised. The question is how much it should be raised, not whether or not it should be done. Second, the vast majority of US debt is owned by US investors. All foreign countries combined actually own less than a third of our debt. And the money to be lent from investors isn't just going to "run out," because they're still getting their money back. The US has never defaulted on a loan. These are people's jobs and lives we're talking about here -- not just some number on a piece of paper. "Sucks" is an understatement, especially when this whole thing is avoidable, and we can even get short term and long term economic growth out of it. It's not like countries are just buying up US bonds and neglecting their own countries. And again, Investors aren't running for the hills just because the US has a lot of debt. The US is still the safest country in the world to invest money in right now. Agreed. And those limits will go back to reasonable levels as the economy grows at a higher rate, which will cause employment to rise, tax revenues to increase from a broadened base, and welfare spending to drop off.
  10. I hope you're not serious... Nobody should really WANT to go over the cliff.
  11. Well Texas doesn't have a state income tax, but we do have a gross margins tax on businesses, which cuts into individual incomes. While the median income level in Texas may not be too bad compared to other southern states, if you compare it to some of the high-tax blue states it doesn't necessarily look too good either. You can see more of the issues of low taxation and low wages in Texas in my Texas secession rant last month. Upon doing even a bit of research into the awful statistics in nearly every social issue in Texas, it should be no wonder why I'm so liberal. But back to the issue, as I said many countries have used the VAT to raise revenues that go towards cutting low income taxes to offset the increase that poor consumers end up paying. Additionally, it has cut the end-result cost of consumer products. I just don't think Congress should completely take it off the table without putting in any time to debate it. As for the carbon tax, I still don't know why we don't have implementation of this in the US -- perhaps because we have so many climate skeptics. But this should be a non-issue at this point. Hell, I'd even support cap and trade if it was on the table, but conservative groups who used to support that won't even talk about it now. Taxing things that harm society should be a no-brainer. For the sake of argument, Wev, since we both seem to agree that the accumulation of capital at the top is a concern, what would you say about a maximum wage? I'm certainly not advocating for it (not yet anyways), and it sounds horribly communistic, but if the accumulation of wealth at the top continues to accelerate I think it may be something worth debating. The problem seems to be this -- we can't raise the minimum wage without harming small business owners, but the wealthiest companies have no incentives to increase their employees' wages because nobody is making this an issue. So the end result is that wealthy CEOs continue to pocket more and more each year. Would it be realistic to cap their incomes at something like $10 million? Any income they try to take over that could be taxed 100%, which will result in CEOs instead choosing to take the $10 million and use the remainder of the money to increase other employee wages or invest in other areas of their business.
  12. If you'd simply go back and reread my earlier posts (here and here), you'd find that our spending is up on welfare programs simply because of the economic downturn. The spending program will fix itself as the economy begins to recover and people get back to work, but you can't cut social programs now or it'd result in further recession, more unemployed, more people depending on social programs. That's quite the sob story, but again, the debt will reduce itself as the economy recovers. By the way, do you think it's perfectly ok to strangle me, my kids, grandkids and great grandkids by reducing education spending, healthcare spending, unemployment insurance spending, and more social programs that ALSO affect vulnerable folks immediately in the short term? But I digress; it's better to borrow to make investments in infrastructure now while interest rates are extremely low so that when the economy picks up and interest rates rise, we won't have to pay more to make these infrastructure improvements. In short, this "think of the children argument" is complete bull when investments are exactly what our children need. I get the feeling that this is all we'll agree on. But nobody says that $200,000 and $250,000 earners are "rich," that's just our top income bracket. Should there be another bracket for millionaires? Maybe, maybe not. The effective tax rate of someone making $250,000 is much closer to that of the previous tax bracket anyways, whereas a millionaire will certainly be closer to paying an effective tax rate of 35%. Yes well, if one removes the toilet paper roll from around his eye and gets a much larger, more objective view of the world (something most Texans fail to do), then it becomes apparent why VAT and carbon taxes should be considered. And again, the spending will reduce itself as the social safety net is used less and less when the economy picks up. But since you really failed to bring up any argument against the carbon tax and VAT, other than "big gubment bad," I'm going to just assume that you really don't have an argument against them. This is completely irrelevant. Personal budgets and government budgets can hardly be compared. Governments are responsible for numerous programs that affect millions of people -- education, national security, health, transportation, energy -- all of which are INVESTMENTS to gain money back in the future. My personal spending consists of my college debt and bonbons (or whatever unnecessary goods you want to include here). But if I wanted to prove a point, I could rack up substantial amounts of college loans and investors will still have confidence that I will pay them back because it's an INVESTMENT. As long as I don't default on these loans (and the US government has never defaulted on theirs) then investors have little reason to worry because I'm not just taking loans and burning the money, I'm putting it into my education so that I can get a better paying job.
  13. This thread has gotten a bit off track so I'm going to try to bring it back to the original discussion of taxes and spending. The point is that we're not trying to solve the entire debt crisis in a month, but we need to avoid the fiscal cliff if we want to avoid going back into a depression. The President's proposal of $1.6 trillion in revenue and $800 billion in spending cuts is far better than Boehner's counteroffer of $800 billion in revenue and $1.2 trillion in spending cuts to social programs, such as medicare, medicaid, SNAP, and Social Security. As I outlined in my previous posts on entitlement spending, there is a right time and a wrong time to use austerity, and during high unemployment, it's the wrong time. Tax rates will have to increases somewhere in order to reduce our deficit, but nobody wants it to be on themselves. We can argue all day about how increasing taxes will increase the size of government, but that doesn't mean that we can avoid paying the taxes to run the current size of our government. It was completely irresponsible of Bush to cut all levels of income tax and the capital gains tax while he was busy increasing the size of government and increasing spending. So if I were a policymaker and I wanted to look at realistic solutions to averting the fiscal cliff and solving our debt crisis, I'd take up the Republican's offer to cap deductions, but I wouldn't take it to such an extreme of $17000 as Romney's plan did. I would say $40000 to $50000 is a reasonable target. I'd raise the top 2% tax bracket back up to 39.6% as it was before the Bush tax cuts, but I'd also look at other revenue sources that have worked in other countries. A carbon tax is very popular in Europe and has been rather effective at reducing carbon emissions, raising revenue, and improving quality of life. A value-added tax is very popular worldwide, and while it is criticized for disproportionately affecting the poor, many countries have used the VAT to raise revenue and then cut other taxes on the poor to offset this. It has also proven to reduce consumer costs in Canada since it was implemented in 1991. A simple change like removing some of the corporate loopholes in international laws that allow that wealthiest corporations to avoid taxes would even allow us to cut the corporate tax rate to around 28% to increase growth. And if we really wanted to do the unspeakable in the US, we could implement a 0.5% financial transaction tax.
  14. I agree that a situation like that is complete and utter bull. People like that are ruining the system for the taxpayers who fund it and for those who legitimately need it. But the issue I have with stories like this, is that it's purely anecdotal evidence. Additionally, I see so many more people bringing these stories up since 2008, but hardly anyone ever mentioned it in 2000, or 1990, or 1980. The last person I recall to make an issue out of it was Reagan, with his "welfare queen" story, which was likely just hyperbole. But it existed back then and it probably continues to exist at about the same rate per capita today. But here's why it's so hard to go through with any kind of entitlement reform. So far, our Congressmen who are pushing this agenda are only considering the options of making it more difficult to qualify for welfare programs, which is only going to hurt those who really need it. We don't need entitlement reform. We need fraud investigation reform. Currently the fraud investigations are handled by the states, and clearly it's not working too well. We could create a federal agency to handle the investigations, but it will likely turn out the same way that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform and consumer protection agencies turned out -- that is, we just slapped some new signs on doors, called it a new agency, and then didn't give them enough funding to do their job. Even if we did create an agency and give them funding to operate, it could end up costing us more money than we save. But we really wouldn't know that until we knew how bad welfare fraud is, and right now we don't really have much of a clue. So for those of you who meet these people who tell you their stories about how they're stealing from welfare, record them in the act, and report it to the appropriate agency, whether it's the Inspector General, Dept of Social Services, or whoever handles it in your state. That's how you'll get results.
  15. Ok, well it seemed like you were placing that statement out there advocating your opinion. Ok, then the question that you should be asking them, is why are they doing this at the end of 2012 when the employer mandate doesn't go into effect until January 1st of 2014. Furthermore, I never said the ACA was perfect. Quite honestly I think it's a poor idea to put healthcare in the hands of employers, but I think it's an even poorer choice to not have a healthy workforce. In the longrun I think this will be better for our economy, although not as beneficial as a singlepayer system. This series of statements I have to completely disagree with. Are there some that milk the system? Yes. Is it a sizable portion? There's really no way to measure that. We all hear stories about the people who buy iphones while taking government funds for childcare, but I don't think they make up the majority, or even 5% for that matter. Some people seem to think that President Obama is the cause of the increase in welfare spending. But the fact is that President Obama has not changed anything about welfare requirements in his first term. The increase in welfare spending is simply because there are more people who qualify for it because they are unemployed, underemployed, or have taken lower paying jobs and cuts in work benefits. In fact, here are a few graphs I found with a quick google search that reflect this trend. So likewise, as the economy begins to recover and more people move back above the poverty line, so too will the welfare spending return to "normal" levels. So, no, I don't think there is a sizable portion of people who are taking an unethical advantage of their eligibility for federal assistance. I don't know if you have ever paid with food stamps, but it truly is a degrading and dehumanizing experience, and I don't know why anyone would willingly do that if they had another option. You don't "fix" a system by destroying it. The system is working, and any accusations of a sizable portion of people "milking the system" are nothing but speculation and unfounded statements. Nearly three million unemployed and 30 million in poverty currently rely on this system through no fault of their own. Should we really take that assistance away from them simply because a few are taking advantage of it? Tearing it down isn't going to do anything but cause illnesses to go untreated, people to go hungry, and homes to be foreclosed. It will save us a bit of spending in the short run, but as I've stated before, welfare spending is an investment in the well being of these people so that they can soon get back to work and begin to put more money into the economy and more money back to the government in taxes.
  16. By the way Ed, do you have a link regarding precincts with votes 20% higher than their voter roll? I haven't heard this and would like to see it.
  17. Ed, I am very familiar with the struggle that third party politicians face in this country. In 2008 I campaigned for a third party candidate and served as his presidential elector for the state of Texas in the unlikely event that he were to win this state. In fact, the debates used to be run by the League of Women Voters, but they opted out in 1988 because they didn't want to "perpetrate a fraud on the American voter". I've practically written a book on the influence of money on elections as a result of Citizens United v. FEC and Freespeechnow.org v. FEC. I'm sure we can all agree that the Ds and Rs are more partisan and corrupt now than ever. But that's not what this conversation is about. This conversation is about the US economy and the supposed "moochers" and "looters" that Wev felt the need to rant on in his opening post. If anything in this country is disgusting, it's that people will applaud a rich, smart businessman for using tax loopholes to legally save millions in taxes, but when the poor use the same legal policies to gain a couple hundred dollars to feed their families, they are known as "moochers", "looters", and "parasites."
  18. I agree that it has gotten to an unsustainable point, but I'm sure we disagree to the extent that it's unsustainable and the reasons that led to it being unsustainable. The way I see it, we're really not that bad off economically if we make a few minor changes in foreign policy and taxation. So far I have been somewhat satisfied regarding Obama's foreign policy and will be glad if the Bush tax cuts expire for the $250,000+ bracket. But I would also like to see the capital gains tax go back up to 20% (what it was under Bush). But whereas I suspect you are opposed to the healthcare overhaul, federal income taxes, etc., I am more for singlepayer healthcare, more progressive income tax, free post-secondary education (which coincidentally would only cost about $30 billion and create a much more educated populace), and clean energy investments. These are simple solutions to creating a competitive global economy that only a federal government is capable of. Edit: The point people seem to overlook, is that when the federal government spends money, whether it's on SNAP, Medicare, unemployment benefits, etc., it isn't just throwing money on a fire. These are investments to allow people to get back to work and pay back what they can in taxes. Does that mean I think that there isn't some abuse within the system? Of course not. I would surely advocate limiting what people can buy with SNAP to nutritional foods, and not just a bunch of crap. I would also advocate tighter restrictions on who qualifies for SNAP. But that doesn't mean I go around ridiculing people for having $250 in food stamps and claiming that they probably aren't even legal. The woman could have had ten legal US children at home who are sick and hungry for all I know, and it's not my place to tell people like her that she's a moocher for wanting what's best for her family.
  19. Well then since this topic has mostly been about the economy, please point to areas that states should have more power instead of just continuing with generalizations. Also note the addition I made to my previous post regarding this.
  20. No. You're quite clearly another Ron Paul fanatic who thinks that diluting powers to the states will magically create a better democracy with more individual voices being heard. But quite the contrary. It was the states who suppressed voting rights for women, blacks, the poor, and other minority groups. Consistently, the federal government has had to overturn oppressive behavior from states in areas of women's rights, civil rights, voting rights, environmental rights, and much more. Furthermore, states are just as easy, if not easier, to lobby than the federal government, leading to more power in the hands of corporate interests. Only federal anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws can counteract this. But if you dream of a kind of fascist society where you have even less of a voice than you do now, then keep on screaming for states' rights. Edit: But the point I was making with my last post is that there is a good reason that states aren't given much power over a national economy. Quite simply, the states are incapable of leveraging the kind of investments needed to create a competitive global economy.
  21. Lol the states? Yes because all the past presidents did exactly that -- they let the states handle things. /sarcasm
  22. The EU is hardly socialist. If anything, they're suffering right now from going to austerity. Spain and Greece both have unemployment numbers over 25%. The US would be in same boat if we went with austerity cuts.
  23. For some reason, people get the impression that Obama has somehow changed welfare requirements to make it easier for people to get a free paycheck. But he hasn't. They get the impression that people are lazier these days than "back in the good 'ol days." But they aren't. Welfare spending is up because the economy is down, and unemployment is up. It's called the social safety net and it's not free money that's just being thrown out to the poor. It's an investment so that these people who have been laid off through no fault of their own can scrape by a little longer until they can find work and pay back in taxes to help the next guy. False. Here's a spending graph. Obama took office in 2009, just AFTER the peak in spending from Bush's second term. You must be referring to total debt, which is spending minus taxes. So here's the measure of public debt as percentage of GDP. Again, notice the spike in 2008. So let's see where this increase in debt came from under the policies of the two administrations. *all numbers are in billions of dollars Bush's policies Bush tax cuts: -$1,812 Iraq and Afghanistan: -$853 Other Defense: -$616 Non-defense discretionary: -$608 Prescription Drug Bill: -$180 TARP and HERA: -$224 Other tax: -$480 Other entitlement changes: -$293 Total Cost of Bush's Policies: $5.1 Trillion Obama Policies American Reinvestment and Recovery Act: -$874 Two-year extension of Bush tax cuts: -$620 Other mandatory spending: -$324 Other Revenue: -$113 Automatic Spending Cuts: +$503 Defense: +$271 Health Care: +$123 Non-defense discretionary: +$51 Total Cost of Obama's Policies: $983 billion In fact, spending has decreased under Obama's first term. From Politifact,
  24. I found that odd too. But the Teamsters voted 2347 to 2043 in favor of the deal, so it was approved by a slim margin. But my understanding is that the Teamsters were offered a 25% share in the company's stock, whereas I don't think the baker's union was given that offer. I don't like the union's lack of communication with the company though. Given that Hostess has such a horrendous record of upper management, vulture capitalists, and "restructuring specialists" who have walked away from the company with millions, it's probably best that they go through with the bankruptcy. It's possible that someone else will buy the company, and they surely couldn't do any worse of a job than the past management.
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