I always wonder if the people who spout this nonsense think that there's some sort of timer or fine print on a marriage. "I now pronounce you man and wife... unless you fail to produce a child within five years at which point your marriage will be considered null and void."
Yes, nobody's going to fight to redefine marriage. Just like nobody fought 50 years ago to ensure that a couple of mixed race could marry. Because "marriage" is defined as the union of a white, land-owning man and a white, barefoot and pregnant woman and it will always remain that way.
On an unrelated matter, would someone please pass the mop, I seemed to have dripped sarcasm all over the place.
As soon as gays and lesbians can have children without scientific intervention, they can get married, until then, they can be lovers/friends/partners, but not married - that is reserved by definition for couples that can, under normal circumstances, conceive children for the survival of the human race.
No offense, but this is one of the flimsiest arguments against gay marriage. My wife's widowed grandmother is in her late 80's. She's DEFINITELY past her child bearing years. Suppose she met some nice elderly man and they decided to get married. Should that be illegal because that marriage is not going to produce kids? What about couples who know in advance that one or both can't have kids? What if a couple discovers this after they wed? Is their marriage null and void if they don't produce kids within a certain number of years? What about couples who decide not to have kids?
I fail to see how a gay couple employing "scientific intervention" to have kids is any different from a heterosexual couple who employs similar methods to have children. For that matter, what if a gay couple adopts? How would that be different from a hetereosexual couple adopting because they couldn't have kids of their own?
All religions have this built into their mantra some place or another.
Setting aside that some religions might be ok with gay marriage (or that "all religions" likely was meant to read as "all flavors of Christianity"), what does this matter? Since when do we set laws purely on the basis of "these religions say do X so we need to make that the law"? Should we now teach creationism in science class and have students in public school pray to Jesus because most religions (in those areas) say so?
nothing the state does gives a true marriage
Ah, the "only religious marriage is real marriage" argument. So if a couple goes to the justice of the peace, signs a marriage license (NOTE: not a "civil union marriage") and gets married, they aren't "really" married? Do all religions get to perform real marriages or is it only select ones? Is my Jewish marriage ok or do I need to go to an approved church, and proclaim devotion to Jesus before I can be really married? What about my Wiccan friends? Are they really just fooling themselves that they are married?
Just because something the majority does offends a minority, doesn't mean the minority gets to offend the majority.
Actually, the minority has the same rights to offend the majority as vice versa. To declare otherwise would be to say that the majority has more free speech rights than the minority. (I realize this can be the case in practice, but it shouldn't be and those are instances of injustice, not of rights being properly respected.)
The First Amendment says: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Note that, although it says "Congress", this has been interpreted to apply to state governments as well. In addition, note that it doesn't say "abridging the freedome of speech of the majority" or "prohibiting the free exercise of the majority." It applies to everyone. So if a government puts a religious monument out, they must be prepared to put a similar one out for any other religion that wants one. Yes, even Satanists and no the size of the group doesn't matter. In a similar manner, if a government somehow succeeded in mandating the teaching Christian creationism in science class, they'd open the door to teaching Wiccan creationism, Buddist creationism, Satanist creationism, etc as well.
You do not have the right "Not to be offended"
On this we agree. Of course, by this I mean that the Christians don't have the right to say "We're fine with the 10 Commandments there, but want to block some Satanist monument because it offends our religion."
Everyone knows the Time Lords are one of the first races of the galaxy.
I would say an overtly Christian message is more like:
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
-- Luke 6:27
Now that is a message which I have never seen on a courthouse wall in the US, though I think the country would be a better place if it were common...
So to express a minority opinion (practicing Christian here), I think the Right Thing from a Christian point of view is to let the Satanists put up their monument and invite them over for a picnic.
Terrorism the single most over-hyped thing I can remember hearing about in my lifetime.
That's the point of terrorism -- to be over-hyped, and to scare people.
Our media and politicians have created an environment where even bombs that never explode are effective at scaring people. So while we're trying to wake people up, let's give a shout out to Washington and remind our leaders not to freak out the next time some idiot tries to hurt people and fails.
Why would you limit your people to doing boring, repetitive tasks when they are capable of so much more?
I would say that in a lot of cases, the people are not capable of so much more. If they were capable of more, they would be going those other jobs already, because they pay more, and are more interesting. Most people don't have the skills, any many people would be completely unable to grasp the skills, even if you gave them the opportunity, either because they have absolutely no drive, or because they actually lack cognition skills.
Maybe we can make this work for us:
Hey, NSA. All that spam online? Those are coded messages from terrorists. So fill your databases with them, wipe them from all other areas of the Internet (to prevent the terrorists from communicating) and Keep America Safe!
Being able to program these things should be easy to everyone and the fact that it STILL isn't shows the ineptitude of the computer science world
Programming a computer to do simple things IS easy. You want a program to add up a list of numbers, or compute the value of pi, and I can show you how to do that in a handful of lines of code.
The trouble is, people want programs that do complicated things like manage a large company's payroll system or model a 3D fantasy world. Even things that sound pretty simple, like managing your calendar appointments, become surprisingly complicated when you try to specify the requirements in detail.
What I believe is that while there are appropriate tools to for every job, there is no tool or language that makes inherent complexity go away or that makes thorny design problems easy. Neither is there such a thing -- in software or in the physical world -- as a tool that is ultimately powerful and flexible, and requires no skill or knowledge to use.
I do agree that computers are unnecessarily hard to use, but I disagree with you as to to cause. It's not the language and the process of writing and (usually) compiling code; it's the set of large concepts and abstractions one must master in order to do that effectively, and the mixed success with which OS, language, and application developers communicate those concepts and abstractions to their respective end users.
There is a documentary about this, which I saw on Netflix (I don't remember if it was streaming or DVD) called "Top Secret Rosies." I knew about that history from my physics and math background, but my wife was amazed to hear it. Anyway, the film is worth watching.
I've never seen a successful business that tolerated middle management just sitting on a process rather than improving it.
I wholeheartedly agree with that. And I don't think every process change needs to be justified by a 100-page report filed in triplicate. I do maintain that the changes to a system need to be approved by someone who understands the system thoroughly, and can explain how the proposed change won't do net harm. Very often, suggested "improvements" come from someone with a very narrow perspective and will be beneficial only from that perspective.
So, to answer your question about who has the burden of demonstrating a change has acceptable risks and costs: that burden should fall on someone with a broad and deep knowledge of the system. Someone competent. Inexperienced people can have good ideas, but those should still be subject to approval until that inexperienced person develops a record of competency (and thereby ceases to be inexperienced).
One must always seek opportunities to clean up, sort, and optimize their assigned task. Not just come to work and do the same crap every day.
Again, I agree. There is a very large difference between improving one's own way of doing things, and trying to improve someone else's way of doing things. The latter requires persuasion, diplomacy, and reasoning -- the things that "creative" people take pride in lacking.
I miss gaming, I used to be really into it (see my sig, I ran what it's linking to every December on my Quake site) but the game companies themselves ran me off with their DRM, always have to be connected, can't resell, and all the rest of their stupid bullshit.
So now I guess I should thank Epic and all the rest for sucking so much, That's one place the NSA won't be spying on me!
I keep thinking of the movie Brazil.
As I understand it, on a normal day (stormy days are different) the sun will heat the air closest to the ground causing it to rise and mix with the colder air above it which will create wind, thus the strongest winds should coincide with the daily temperature peak which should be sometime in the afternoon. Because the ground tends to cool off quickly after the sun goes down, the air also cools and less of it rises, and thus there is less mixing and the wind will normally be weaker at night.
In coastal areas, there will also normally be a temperature differential between the air over land and over water which will drive some wind on warm days (and potentially cold days too, I guess), amplifying the effect you would get in landlocked areas.
I'm not sure if this daily variance is sufficient to drive a noticeable trend in wind-power generation, but it could be.