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Comment Re:You Americans. (Score 1) 922

As for the importance of our respective footballs, is the championship game of your football season essentially a national holiday?

Essentially, yes. It is an event that even if you are uninterested in the event itself, you often find yourself at a watching party (many go just to watch the advertisements during breaks). In some areas, local churches either close for the afternoon/evening or arrange for public viewing licenses to serve the community. Restaurants that might not normally be considered sports bars suddenly have televisions and local electronics stores tend to make adjustments to their returns policies for large tv sets at this time of year. The winning team usually gets a parade in its own city (a more official holiday).

Comment Re:*Hint* (Score 2) 195

I think that stating that humans are unequivocally responsible for current climate change is a bit far reaching. We should be promoting healthy stewardship of resources (including the air we breath) for everyone. At the same time, we should be walking around with our eyes open to the presence of significant environmental change over time (from the warm spell under the Romans to the little Ice Age to today, we have significant change going on).

It might be related to human activity and it might not be related to human activity (maybe it's smokestacks and smelting but it might be equally caused by solar activity and methane depletion in the oceans)--but we should be responsible with our resources regardless. I for one am glad to have grey whales make a come back in the Atlantic. At the same time, I think we need to be careful where we put our people if we are going to continue to have severe weather, excessive flooding, etc.

Comment Re:The summary is !wrong (Score 1) 239

And yet, the EU wouldn't want to do that anyway because a company like Saab (jet engines, not cars) should be able to hide behind the relevant EU governments' state departments when the US wants something from them--the government should be there to protect its people (even when "people" refers to a corporation based within a nation's borders). Just like tariffs, governments are going to try and avoid an escalation that will cause their companies (which pay taxes to keep the government around) to lose out.

Comment Re:The summary is !wrong (Score 1) 239

Except that at the end of the day, MS will take its $219 Billion market cap and its rather large political influence in the US and hide behind the US State Dep't. (which, despite the antagonism from the anti-MS, pro-EU guy above, is precisely what any company should do when it is confronted by a situation putting the laws which govern it in conflict with the laws of another entity in which it desires to do business, whether that is a US-based company or one based in Europe or Fiji or wherever).

Comment Re:PROFILED (Score 1) 582

An analogy can only express so many aspects of its original, but I might be able to tie this in to the current one... If the child were to go over to a friend's house out the front door (again without permission), knowing the rule about torches and staying inside, went into the other kids' garage because that kid's parents were not even home (Christianity claims that other gods are either created beings resisting the true God--demons--or not real in any fashion), and then took out the torch in said garage, his death would be (1) tragic, and (2) on some level his fault for leaving the house without permission.

The analogy does break down at the following points, (1) the Christian understanding is that God knows everything. (2) There is, among most Christians, an understanding of "an age of accountability" (varying by child) which would determine when the child, as it were, could be entrusted with staying out of the garage or not leaving the house, etc. To make the analogy somewhat more accurate, it would be as if the child were suddenly an 18-year old honors student in particle physics and mechanics, and knew everything there was to know about the torch... and ran towards it anyway. God steps in front of the torch but the fully cognizant individual can choose to try and sidestep God and hit the torch anyway, reject that the torch is really that bad, believe that the torch is a means of salvation in itself or that God is not who He says He is... Again, the analogy can only cover so much.

Comment The summary is !wrong (Score 1) 239

This is not an issue of the US government wanting information and needing a shill to send it to them. It is simply a matter of Microsoft, as a U.S.-based corporation having to turn over information on all its dealings with extra-nationals at the U.S. government's request. Euro privacy law would prohibit some of that and since Microsoft makes use of European systems, this falls under Euro privacy law. It is a horrible mess but the U.S. law will trump the EU law because...

Microsoft is a U.S. company. Would your solution help smooth things over for Microsoft? Yes. Is it necessary? No. Safe harbor, as noted in the article, lets MS transfer everything to the U.S. anyway (meaning the data is now on U.S. servers subject... only to U.S. law). If MS gets sued, one of their in-house counsel will waltz over to the EU and say, "hi, we're subject to U.S. law first... didn't you guys see that in the terms of service and eula? Oh, and ... the data is also in the U.S." If the EU bothers MS over it, there will be several amicus curiae from virtually every other company based in the US and likely the US gov't as well. ... if it even gets that far (and it won't).

Comment Re:PROFILED (Score 2) 582

On the contrary, Christians are called to live changed lives. The impact of failing to do so on the community and on the individual is huge. The claim is not that Christians are not to do good actions (we are), but rather that no amount of good action can make a person "good" - the world has too many problems to ever stop. The standard is not lower but higher (even though the price has already been paid).

Comment Re:PROFILED (Score 1) 582

If after taking the flame for my child (having received the punishment, as it were), my child were then to jump past me to touch the flame anyway, despite warnings against it as I stand there with a burned hand, there would be a natural consequence... I would also agree that there are unfortunately a number of sects that are entirely focused on rule-following. This is not, however, what is traditionally considered normative Christianity.

Comment Re:Occam's Razor (Score 1) 257

You have neglected a far more likely scenario. In the 23rd century, a satellite comes down on earth and starts broadcasting a message specifically for North Atlantic Gray Whales being a distinguished satellite and not wanting to deal with the riff-raff in the Pacific despite their common cultural and linguistic heritage. Finding no response from them, the satellite boosts the power to its communicator, not having a built in... a "woops they must all be dead or deaf" switch, to avoid killing them via atmospheric turmoil if in fact they were still alive.

From there, humans, also affected by the issue, took a conveniently stolen cloakable warship back in time by surviving the crushing nature of a singularity and traveled back in time to 1986 / *1586* and stole one out of the ocean using a conveniently developed waterproof hold... made out of steel-glass / *pig iron* (what?, it was developed in the early 18th century... convenient accident?--no way!).

On a related note, html tags are generally what I use when typing stuff on this site... why no strike-through?

Comment Re:Were they panicking in 18th century as well? (Score 1) 257

Interesting. So, if the gray whale used to exist in both the Pacific and the North Atlantic, we should not be concerned so much about global warming as how well we are managing in the midst of what is surely a natural process (whether or not we are speeding it up or slowing it down or doing nothing). Why? If gray whales are native to both... they had to have access to both at one point or another via a water route or Klingon Birds of Prey or something (and if wikipedia is to be trusted here, by the time the gray whales existed, we already had most of our current continental structure intact).

Comment Re:PROFILED (Score 3, Informative) 582

As a Christian, I would agree that we are unfortunately hypocrites in the sense that we do not live up to a model of perfection that we claim is the standard--and I include myself in that. We are imperfect. Our claim is that because of that imperfection, Christ took our punishment on himself. We don't instantly become perfect after this, though we are called to look for ways to change thereafter. This quickly brings up the issue of justice (how could one man be killed on behalf of others?)--but Christianity affirms that the guy that made the rules took on the punishment. It would be kind of like if I were working with a friend with a torch and my child came out running under our legs towards the pretty light after having been told to remain inside. I would be responsible for the rule, for the scenario behind the rule, etc. Breaking the rule could cost him big (life, use of a limb... sight, at the least, a trip to the hospital for burns). If the timing were such that either he took the fall or I did, it would be an easy decision--I would step between my child and the flame... even if it caused fatal damage. Christianity claims that this is what God did for man through Jesus.

Comment Re:Nothing to worry about, move along (Score 2) 417

I am a bit curious as to whether or not this would even have made the news in a year that didn't have a Japan-style nuclear accident. As near as I can tell ... (and please note I am reading this in light humor)

(1) The river is flooding a bit

(2) The material used to keep the flood away from dangerous radioactive goo (tm) has partially failed

(3) No one is in the least concerned about the river flooding enough to actually get at the dangerous radioactive goo

(4) The news needed something to report on that might cause public concern and attention to their channel

(5) Stating that there was no concern about the river getting at the radioactive goo will immediately cause some people to be concerned that the river might get at the radioactive goo

(6) If the river somehow magically got at the radioactive goo, the river would become somewhat radioactive but though a lot of problems might result for local waterlife, it would all wash out in the end. ;)

Comment Re:Culture notes (Score 1) 186

Exactly--and there are even some things that probably couldn't be translated into another language at all at one point or another in a given language's evolution. Consider that "snow" as a concept to a Tahitian islander in the mid-1700s probably would have been complete nonsense as would "ice"... water is always wet... and what does "frozen" even mean?

If not for the colder parts of our planet, our understanding of chemistry might have lagged for thousands of years.

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