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645 weeks ago @ Cranach: The Blog of V... - Environmentalists'... · 0 replies · +1 points

Part of this is a functional acknowledgment that science doesn't agree with global warming. "Climate change" is a half-way home (IMO) for those moving away from global warming statements. I don't doubt it will take another 10-20 years for the "global warming" phrase to mostly disappear, and maybe longer for the "climate change" phrase to go away, but they will eventually.

Hopefully this will be part of a move toward a more respectable stance against the pollution of the world.

646 weeks ago @ Cranach: The Blog of V... - Bono's confession... · 0 replies · +1 points

One thing about Bono's swearing that might be familiar to Lutherans is what Luther said about going out and purposefully sinning to remove a hold of guilt which could hold us back from fellowship with God.

Bono knows he's a sinner and has plenty of proof of it every day (like we all do), and his not worrying about trying to scrub his life of every tiny "bad thing" might be something along the lines of what Luther was intending.

Just an off-the-cuff thought.

646 weeks ago @ Cranach: The Blog of V... - Bono's confession... · 8 replies · +1 points

Frank, you're setting up a false tie there equating "follow the moral law more and more every year" and "look more like Christ every year". (something Barb wasn't doing, BTW)

Becoming more and more like Christ would wind up with a better following of the moral law, obviously, but the better following of the moral law isn't evidence of being more like Christ. We are indeed transformed continually into the image of Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit, but that transformation isn't always displayed through a reduction in the acting out of a particular sin.

Equating the two is a nonsensical thing in this regard. If that nonsense what you're pointing out, then cool.

646 weeks ago @ Cranach: The Blog of V... - A flu by any other name · 0 replies · +1 points

Stadler, the H1N1 moniker is more of a "type" of virus, not a specific virus strain. H1N1 types of viri have been around for a long time, referred to as an H1N1 virus. Whenever we talk about a specific strain of that type of virus, we need to add on a more specific name.

This one started in pigs and was in the excrement and other waste which was flushed out to where it got into the local water supply and started infecting people. Swine Flu works pretty well since it was a virus that existed in pigs and was then transmitted to people.

Vilsack and Napolitano are doing public relations work for the pork industry, trying to make sure people don't stop eating pork just because of a confluence of names.

646 weeks ago @ Cranach: The Blog of V... - Pestilence · 0 replies · +2 points

Bruce, normal flu bugs kill more people than this one has - just killing people isn't an issue. Normal flu bugs mutate too.

The "scary" part is that it is a nasty strain of the virus. It's maybe a tenth as scary as it seems to be portrayed in most of the news I've read.

Editor looking for a catchy piece for the news:
"Politics - we already have five political stories. Something else.
"Wars, bombings, fighting - ho hum.
"Hey, there hasn't been a health scare for a few months, and it even has an animal name attached to it like the bird flue stuff - that'll catch us some ratings!"

646 weeks ago @ Cranach: The Blog of V... - Pestilence · 0 replies · +1 points

Sheesh. People are reacting like this is going to be a giant pandemic. As it is now, it's a nasty bug, but it's nowhere near the levels it needs to be for panic levels.

Unfortunately, it is a nasty bug which is killing people with lousy medical care available in densely populated areas. It is most certainly a worse-than-normal sickness, but not even close to pandemic levels.

(Yes, I know there have been some statements by medical professionals saying "pandemic" but there are people who like grabbing 5 seconds of fame in every profession.)

647 weeks ago @ Cranach: The Blog of V... - Credit card reform · 0 replies · +1 points

Before we start jumping on Veith too hard for going over to the dark side, there are some ethical ramifications to changing a contract even if the changing is legal.

Credit card contracts are specifically stated to be changeable by the credit card company in respect to rates and credit limits, so it's not a legal issue if they change rates even on perfectly reliable customers. When they have a really high rate of bankruptcies that are costing them billions of dollars they will try to make it back by charging the responsible people a higher rate.

Since when is this new? I pay for other people's mistakes all the time. I pay for my own too, and there are times when other people have paid for my mistakes. It's the way the world works and it's not limited to credit cards.

So, while it is perfectly legal for them to be doing what they're doing (at the moment anyway), it is generally considered unfair and unethical to make people pay for mistakes that were not their own, so raising the credit limit is probably an unethical act.

However, it's one of those types of unethical acts that happen all the time all over the world quite regularly. I think it's something we all just have to live with because so far all the solutions to stop the unfair or unethical acts have far larger issues than that which they are trying to fix.

Sure, we could pass laws to stop the unfair (maybe even unethical) acts of the credit card companies which make people pay for other's mistakes, but the havok and consequences of those laws (at least as formulated so far) would have a far MORE unfair and unethical effect than the credit card companies' actions.

648 weeks ago @ Cranach: The Blog of V... - Pirate tale · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm thinking that would give away the game to the pirates - having ships diverting from standard shipping patterns. The whole goal is to have the ships be indistinguishable from standard freighters which follow direct paths, straight through the waters along shipping lines.

Having a ship loiter in an area, jump from one shipping line to another, or repeatedly cruise through an area would be a dead giveaway after the first couple surprises since the pirates would be particularly watching for things like that.

I think it would work great for the first couple times, but countering the decoy strategy isn't prohibitively difficult for the pirates and I suspect they would work around it pretty quickly.

648 weeks ago @ Cranach: The Blog of V... - Pirate tale · 0 replies · +1 points

ROTFLOL! I hadn't heard that one! Excellent! I'll have to mention that one to a couple friends.

648 weeks ago @ Cranach: The Blog of V... - Pirate tale · 2 replies · +1 points

Way back when, I wasn't saying that weapons weren't a possible solution, I was saying they aren't one that will be used. They're still wildly unlikely and probably won't be used. In spite of all that, I think they are the "easiest" solution to stop piracy there, but that "easiest" is still phenomenally difficult.

Just based on monetary costs, the sufficient arming and training of freighters combined with the remaining risk of damage to the ships FAR exceeds the monetary costs of the hijackings.

Kyle, many thousands of ships go through there and the number of ships stopped is only 0.01% of the total ships going through that area. You'd have to spend months with those 6 ships deployed to draw out even one attack. The shipping companies don't want anything to trigger the pirates into being more aggressive, so they would scream, too.