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Comment: Re:I always thought it funny (Score 1) 755

by hierofalcon (#48709865) Attached to: Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

Sadly, television shows like Star Trek with their transporters and Stargate Atlantis with the wraith beaming technology have been around for years promoting the ability of aliens to cause people to disappear.

At least initially, this is likely to be promoted by the non-Christian governments that are left (either fully intact or mostly intact) as the most plausible explanation for what happened to Christians during the rapture (if that is your reference).

Only after the advent of more of the tribulation will it become obvious what happened to anyone who cares to look. The angel proclaiming the Gospel message to everyone left and warning them against following the anti-Christ will help.

Even then, most will reject the clear fulfillment of the prophecy uttered some 2,000+ years previously.

Comment: Re:I always thought it funny (Score 1) 755

by hierofalcon (#48705727) Attached to: Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God
  • It is unlikely that a journalist would be around to witness the miracle, much less record it for posterity. Not to say it couldn't happen, but the chances are low. That isn't meant to denigrate the religious status of journalists - just chances are that given the limited number of journalists and miracles - both being at the same place and the same time would be expected to be a rare event.
  • For it to be widely broadcast, it would have to get past local editors and the chain of command both up and down multiple news organizations. I'm not of the opinion that God is in control of many of those chains of command, so I suspect that it would be suppressed. Not a blatant "We don't do religious stuff". Just a "That really isn't as important a news item as this... broadcast this instead." Or "You weren't there when it happened so it could be made up. Let's not damage our sterling reputation with our audience just in case it was faked." subtle sort of dismissal.
  • News is served to a public that is increasingly against religion. It is less likely to be published for that reason as well.
  • Many places where miracles are occurring are in more remote parts of the world where there just isn't as much reporting going on. As touched on elsewhere in the responses, people in developed countries are largely relying on science and medicine because it is available. Those in remote parts don't have that option so they have to rely on miracles. To be clear - I'm not a fan of people saying they got a miracle if they've been under a doctor's care (chemo, aspirin and other things mentioned). It is useful when doctors have diagnosed a problem and a healing occurs before treatment has started. I know of two events of this nature that occurred locally - one at our church and one at another. But they aren't scientifically repeatable things, so the skeptics dismiss them.
  • Finally, the Christians themselves aren't very interested in spreading the word. You'd think they would be, but in reality, nobody wants to be bothered or questioned or made to stand out for their faith much anymore. So those who are likely to witness miracles don't bother. They're tired of dealing with the skeptics and adopt an attitude of "If the miracles of the Bible didn't convince them of God's existence, why bother telling about this one." They figure that the miracles will be posted on the net by the organizations (and they are) so if somebody wants to look, they can. Why go the extra step and get involved yourself if its just going to lead to grief? Nobody wants to be persecuted.

Comment: I always thought it funny (Score 1, Insightful) 755

by hierofalcon (#48701957) Attached to: Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

Miracles still occur. It's just that too many skeptics are busy taking pictures, flying places and getting their news from secular TV's talking heads to notice.

All you have to do is do a search for miracles on one of the major Christian denominational websites. I just did one on the Assemblies of God website. You'll get many references to modern day miracles. Since you weren't present at any of them, you'll still have to take these modern day accounts on faith, just like the historical accounts in the Bible, but they haven't stopped occurring - and they have modern day witnesses of them who you could talk with if you were really interested.

Comment: Re:freedom 2 b a moron (Score 1) 1051

by hierofalcon (#48596867) Attached to: Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

I am pro vaccination. My point is that relegating non vaccinated kids to home school will not help the "herd" as kids interact outside of school.

The only solution I can see is to provide better information to parents who don't want to vaccinate their kids on the details of the diseases they prevent so they have better information.

Comment: Re:freedom 2 b a moron (Score 2) 1051

by hierofalcon (#48584183) Attached to: Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

I suspect you will find few private schools or day cares that don't have similar vaccination requirements.

Still, outright bans on attending school without vaccinations should not be the rule. The "herd" effect works there, just as well as anywhere else. If you have a high enough percentage who are vaccinated, you're probably OK. It's not like just restricting someone from attending public school is going to fix the problem with non-vaccinated kids. Those who are home-schooled or who might possibly attend private schools where there are reduced vaccination requirements will still interact with other kids - whether in stores, movie theaters, sports events or teams, concerts, dances, or just around the neighborhood.

My dad had polio before the vaccine was available, so I'm very much pro vaccination for anything possible. The problem is that in the United States, the effects of most of these diseases that we vaccinate against are out of the memory of the collective. Perhaps each new parent who wishes to forgo vaccination without a sound medical reason should be required by their child's doctor to watch a historical video showing the effects of these diseases in the past to help them understand just what is at stake so they are fully informed of the risks.

The school systems should also listen to the doctors. Our child's doctor recommends all vaccinations, but his preference was to wait until a later age for the chickenpox vaccine as its long term protection was still not clear. The school system required an earlier vaccination - so it won. I'm not sure that they had any medical reason for their policy. I would expect it was just - it's available - make them have it (school district bureaucracy being what it is). Only time will tell which was right.

Comment: Re:Forever and Ever? (Score 1) 187

by hierofalcon (#48363609) Attached to: I expect to be conventionally alive ...

Evidence for the supernatural is present, both in historical records and events witnessed by those who are looking for evidence today. If you choose to believe neither the recorded history nor to seek out current events that might illuminate truth, I'm sorry for you. At the youth convention last week, one of the kids at the church was healed of a knee problem that had been plaguing her for years. No more abnormal movement and clicking when squatting down and now able to run without problems.

God exists. His promises can be depended upon. In the end, He will administer His justice. Forever is a long time.

Comment: Re:Three things you can tax, and consumption is ba (Score 1) 839

by hierofalcon (#48161335) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Of all your bullet points, the only one that has any hint of truth is "The wealthy can call up government officials and get stuff done, the poor can't."

Everything else is - well - I just don't know what to call it. The poor don't benefit from transportation? Where do you think the things they buy come from? Very few poor have enough space to grow or raise their own food, just to state an obvious problem with that. The poor don't care if their house burns down? Wow. I just don't know what to say to that. The poor don't benefit from police? The rich hire their own private security. It is the non-rich that receive almost all the benefit from the police.

I care very much about right and wrong, thank you. Fair means that everyone has the same chance to do well. I do agree with you there. My proposal doesn't affect that at all either. All it does is guarantee that if you do the work and do well, you get to keep the fruits of your labor. Everybody does. Those just starting, and those who are well established. Believe me - those just starting will see far more benefit to that than somebody who has inherited billions. I don't expect to inherit much, if anything, from my parents. When I invest money that I have earned, and been taxed on, it would be really nice to not have another chunk of it confiscated. If I worked hard, went to college, didn't spend tons of money on wine, women, and song, then why should I have to continue to pay more taxes when money I have earned is put to work and makes more? Things like that are just as unfair as the entitlement social system you espouse.

I haven't talked about the government outlays much at all. I'm not saying that we should not help the poor. I'm not saying we should shred their safety nets and send them to poor houses. I am saying that governments at all levels are spending more than they are taking in and that needs to be balanced and at a much lower level. Whether social or military or other spending is reduced to make that possible is a completely separate discussion and doesn't impact how the government collects its revenue at all.

I also care very much about the future of the country, and firmly fear that the future is dire for my children with the rampant spending and entitlements that are being doled out. It is rapidly reaching the point where the percentage of people who vote and are beholden to the government will cross 50% (if not there already) and they'll be able to vote in people who will promise them more and more till we all go up in flames. The spending has to be reduced some way. This may not be the best way, but unless you can show me a better way to put the brakes to it with some of your favored tax plans, I'll stick with mine.

There isn't enough money scattered among all the rich of the world to cover the cost of the federal government for much of a year's operation - even if you take it all. There is no fairness to saying it is ok to confiscate one person's money over another person. That is simply wrong. The concept that the rich benefit more than the poor from government is wrong on its face. There may not be 100% equality, but it is far from being skewed to the extent you think it is.

Comment: Re:Three things you can tax, and consumption is ba (Score 1) 839

by hierofalcon (#48161015) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Yes, I have. The numbers are large, but only under the assumption that nothing changes - that life in government goes on as usual. Since my family is bigger than 4, it would be particularly bad for me. My point is that the only way to change usual is to actually go to something like this.

Everything being bandied about where the politicians can carve out exceptions for the favored or pick consumptive rates based on how it would affect them will fail. I firmly believe that at every level of government, the spending would be reduced and reduced quickly and dramatically. That may mean that park and museum entrance fees would go up. It might mean that we give less money away to allies. It might really mean that we stop being the world's policemen (at least on our dime). None of these things would be particularly bad in my opinion. There would definitely be costs for service where there weren't before, but I happen to approve of people who use services being the ones paying for them.

Reducing prices (via eliminating corporate and sales taxes) would also mean that you'd have more money to work with.

I do agree that the transition would be huge. But ultimately, it would work. If government didn't change, there'd be a revolution much the same as when we broke off from England. Whether that is coming anyway is anybody's guess.

Comment: Three things you can tax, and consumption is bad (Score 2) 839

by hierofalcon (#48160479) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

You forgot a simple head tax. One head tax based on your place of residence (or split among localities if you have more than one residence over the tax period based on time spent at each). There'd be one of these for city, county, state, and federal paid once a year. Pay one each quarter so they aren't all due at once. No other taxes other than severance taxes and perhaps excise taxes. No vehicle license taxes, no boat taxes, no property taxes, no sales taxes. Nothing else. No corporate income taxes. They really don't matter anyway as far as the corporation is concerned. They're charged off in the price of the products sold or the company goes broke. Every company in the food chain marks the taxes of the lower company in the food chain up to achieve a desired profit margin so they're especially bad. Just make sure that the taxes they no longer have to pay are taken out of the pricing structure as the taxed round of goods are sold. Apply the head tax without any age limit and make parents responsible for their kids taxes till they get to voting age.

Adjust each rate once a year to cover the expected budget for next year and how you did the year before and in some cases to try to reduce the existing debt to saner levels over some predetermined time period. Takes care of eliminating a lot of law, a lot of law breakers, and a lot of law enforcers in one fell swoop. No more grey transactions. No more figuring out ways to hide money. No real good way to cheat (although there might have to be a way to track the homeless or people living in motels or hotels or RV or campsites while working - still easier than the shelves of IRS regulations we have now.) Apply it to everyone permanently in the country (legally or illegally). It's foreigner friendly since foreign tourists wouldn't have to pay sales taxes.

Everything else is just hand waving and hoping. Until everyone - and I mean everyone - is paying for the government and its services, so they will have some incentive to actually elect good people to office who won't run the (fill in the blank for the level of government) into the ground by spending more than they are taking in and will reign in their over use of government services, we're doomed.

The more social engineering that people try to do to this basic premise, the worse off we all as a whole get. If you don't believe it, just look at the US real time debt clock. The founding fathers had it right.

Is it tough on big families? Yes it is. Is it tough on the poor? Yes it is. But it is absolutely fair. And for the record - I feel neither poor nor rich, but I do have a big family, and I'd still support it.

Comment: Is this really an important fact? (Score 1) 144

The Slashdot hated coal mining industry and oil industries (and a few other mineral concerns) contribute a lot to the budget. We do better than most due to that. A lot of kids take the IB route at one of the high schools in Casper (which also offers several AP courses). It's tough to do both IB diploma and AP. There aren't enough hours in the day for IB and much of anything else.

The small population does factor in greatly though. Only the larger cities (large being relative) have enough students to be able to provide a very wide range of AP and IB high school classes. A lot of kids make use of a BOCES program to take college courses during high school. The credits earned count in both high school and college. It's a good deal for some of the smaller towns and as long as you get a decent grade the cost is free to the student. Some of the advanced kids may not get to take an AP exam, but they may graduate high school with the equivalent college credits already under their belt due to that.

Comment: Why do people care so much? (Score 1) 774

by hierofalcon (#48092229) Attached to: Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

Well, it's pretty simple. init had quirks - just like any other software. But they were well known.

I wouldn't care about the switch if everything worked in a systemd environment. Unfortunately, they haven't gotten all the possible software relationships figured out for what depends on what, and since it tries to start everything it can as fast as it thinks it can, system services don't start properly in some cases. It is hard to patch things so they work right since when the next systemd update comes out it rewrites the service policies, so if they didn't agree with your environment, you get to patch again. At times there have been enough changes under the hood that old patches don't work right. My approach was to move all the service start-ups to rc.local with appropriate sleeps or pings to attempt to ensure hardware a particular system relies on is running. Ugly and imperfect and probably prone to blow up in my face eventually, but my start up times are back down to a reliable 30 to 40 seconds instead of minutes - with the emphasis on reliable. Just reused the old init script numbering order to set up the service start order in rc.local and voila - it works. Can't tell you how many service network restarts systemd was trying on a couple of boxes before it finally could get started, but it was more than one. AARGH.

I'm sure in several years systemd will be as reliable as init was. Or they can add their own network stack and I/O handlers after they get the latest useless console functionality working and jettison the kernel. But the real gripe I have is they're worrying about things like the console before getting what they have working as rock solid as init was. Same gripe with Network Manager. It's great for a laptop with wireless or wired only. But the trunk and VLAN handling was an afterthought. It's gotten better, but that all should have been working BEFORE shipping the first test release to the users.

There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923