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  1. 8 points
    An excellent example. By reframing the Civil War as a "war of northen aggression" having nothing to do with slavery, whites in the south could avoid any residual feelings of shame associated with the position they took on slavery. They could instead take pride in their ancestors who stood up to an evil north, rather than trying to reconcile their heritage of slavery with a more modern view of civil rights. We are seeing the same thing happen today with the attempted cancellation of both CRT and the 1619 project. These studies of history make many white people feel bad, because it reminds them that a significant part of this country came from the labor of slaves. This make them feel - not bad, exactly, but like they cannot be as proud of their history as they otherwise could be. "Make America Great Again" doesn't work if those halcyon days included slavery (or enforced segregation, or redlining, or any of the other structural racisms that the early and mid US incorporated.) So they try to ban it. They realize that banning history is something of a bad look, so they dress up the ban in flowery language and mix in a few "won't someone please think of the children" memes. We've seen these a lot lately - "why are teachers teaching our children to hate themselves?" CRT teaches kids "to be ashamed that they are white." One theoretically real child tearfully asked her far-right mother "Why am I hated so much?" - and then supposedly needed therapy to overcome all the damage that CRT did. (How fortunate that that child did it just in time for Marsha Blackburn's political campaign.) Others spend thousands of words trying to define CRT to mean something other than CRT. It's an "unremitting attack on Western institutions." It teaches that "America is systemically racist and must be dismantled." It was created by Karl Marx to destroy democracy. It is a "monstrous evil" that gives black people "the whip handle" over white people. (That last was from Pat Robertson; what a fascinating metaphor to use when one is advocating ignoring what slavery did to the country.) Underlying all this blather is a simple belief common amongst the right - that education can and should be curtailed because it makes some people feel uncomfortable or threatened. We have seen several examples right here on this forum. George Orwell once said that "he who controls the past controls the future." Conservatives are trying to take control of the past and alter it to something that works better for them. The question is - will we let them?
  2. 7 points
    I sent this to every member of the USPA Board on May 5, including Luke. (Luke was the only Board member to respond. The USPA Executive Director did respond.) The issue here is one of credibility for USPA, the Board and most importantly, the membership. The ability of the skydiving community to operate and conduct itself with little FAA involvement is key. If Luke does not resign, or the Board does not revoke or otherwise legally suspend his USPA membership, ratings and licenses, the FAA is going to assume we need more oversight. And, USPA will find it very difficult to impose enforcement action against any member without this issue rightly being used to stop that action. "May 5, 2022 To: Board of Directors, US Parachute Association 5401 Southpoint Centre Blvd. Fredricksburg, VA 22407 From: Ron Lee, Skydiving Innovations USPA Member # 34394 S&TA, PRO D-16357 Dear Board of Directors, I am an active skydiver, 40-year member of USPA and CEO of Skydiving Innovations, (www.skydivinginnovations.com), a San Diego-based professional aviation entertainment and event company founded in 1986. I am writing to you regarding the recent Red Bull/Hulu “Plane Swap” stunt that took place on April 24, 2022. I have no doubt I am not the first person to communicate with USPA and the Board of Directors regarding this event. While the event itself may not have been completely successful, it was unquestionably compelling, and no doubt was the result of endless engineering, development, and hard work. It was also, thanks to the decision by Board Member Luke Aikins to execute the stunt after receiving the FAA’s exemption denial, an undeniable middle finger to the FAA and USPA membership. (See further.) We all know that skydiving’s ability to exist, let alone thrive and conduct itself with little government oversight is thanks to the fact that the FAA can trust USPA and its members to operate according to the FARs and USPA BSRs: that we will abide by the regulations and police ourselves accordingly. If we do not like certain rules or regulations or feel they are unnecessary or onerous, we can lobby for change. What we do not do is simply ignore them for the sake of anything other than immediate safety – not a big streaming deal with a content provider or to further our relationship with our longtime product sponsor. (This is where I insist that no-one try to assert the nonsensical idea that this was a “STEM project. You don’t tell the FAA it is a STEM project then charge six bucks and change to watch the result of your STEM project on Hulu.) I have talked with many skydivers and pilots about this situation, and by a large majority they believe that Luke made make the decision to do the stunt without the FAA exemption knowing full well that the worst that could happen (from an FAA enforcement perspective) is that he (and fellow-stunt-pilot/cousin Andy Farrington) would lose their pilot’s certificates for a year. I do not know if that is what they were willing to accept in order to fulfill Luke’s commitments to Hulu, Red Bull and Honda. But I do know that when he published his admission of responsibility for not “sharing” the FAA’s exemption denial with his team, Luke was attempting to convince everyone that he did not share the exemption denial with even his cousin or the underwriters of his project. While I find that hard to believe, if it is true – it can only mean that he was certainly willing to risk the pilot certificate of his fellow pilot and close family member. That alone should bother everyone. If Luke did share the exemption denial with even one person involved in the project, then his mea culpa on Instagram was a blatant, very public lie. That is troubling as well. More importantly to USPA and its membership: Luke Aikins has damaged the bond of trust that exists between USPA and the FAA. He thumbed his nose at that critical relationship for the sake of his own personal and financial interests. Luke is not just a skydiver or USPA member. He is a very recognizable forward-facing Board member and representative for the interests of the skydiving community, including commercial skydiving entities. (Personally and professionally, I deal with the FAA on a very frequent basis. After 36 years of working with and cultivating a mutually trustworthy relationship with the FAA, no-one within or outside the USPA organization has the right to arbitrarily risk that trust, especially a Board member.) I know that many of you may be good friends with Luke Aikins, and this situation has made things difficult for everyone, especially Luke. However, you have a responsibility to the interests of the skydiving community and USPA’s efforts to protect and further enhance our sport. It is for this reason that I am calling for Luke Aikins to resign from the USPA board and vacate his position as a Regional Director. (He can run again, and will very likely be re-elected thanks to his very loyal following in his region.) If he does not resign voluntarily, he should be removed from the USPA board and his RD position at the earliest possible time. USPA (and Luke) must demonstrate to the FAA and membership that it will not allow anyone, even a highly accomplished and respected, extremely well-liked Board member to risk the critical trust USPA and its members share with the FAA. If you do not take meaningful action, or if you just give Luke Aikins a slap on the wrist you will be signaling to the FAA that further oversight or regulation may be required because even a Board member cannot be trusted to go by the rules. You will also be telling members that FAA regulations and BSRs can be ignored with little or no consequence, and that will open the door to legitimate challenges to USPA’s authority to exercise enforcement action against members when necessary. That is a can of worms no-one wants opened. Very respectfully, Ron Lee Skydiving Innovations"
  3. 5 points
    I don't think anyone should be forced to get a vaccine. MOST (not all) people on the left agree there. I do think that if you don't get vaccinated, or you don't want to wear a mask, there are things you won't be able to do. Go into a NICU or a hospital room, for example.
  4. 5 points
    As the husband of a nurse who had to work in an ICU keeping non vaccinated people alive I can say for sure that you are full of shit. Is that a PA? Too bad.
  5. 5 points
    How is it that everyone does not see this? The fact that Luke has not resigned already means that he’s putting it on the organization to take the action against him. He should do the right thing and just resign. NOW!!!
  6. 5 points
    That's obvious and simplistic. We who do this are all, generally, open to risk. But that's not what is the problem here. The problem is that an official of the United States Parachute Association whose family operates a large DZ asked the Federal Aviation Administration for a waiver from the Federal Aviation Regulations to perform the stunt and was denied in writing. He then ignored that denial and went ahead with the attempt over United States soil. That is bad for skydiving and skydivers in America by making us look like scofflaws at the highest levels of our organization. That's the problem.
  7. 5 points
    the religious right's numbers are decreasing every year, and they see it. They are like a wild animal backed into a corner..... it is hard to guess what bullshit they will try to pull as they desperately try to hang onto power..... Contraception is next. The leak of the draft states that there is no liberty nor privacy in the constitution and is using that as the basis for overturning Roe v Wade. sadly they still have a lot of power but until the nones, the atheists and agnostics stand up and speak out against the religious running the country, well, the religious will continue to run the country. We still have dozens and dozens of congress, Senators, and governors that believe the world is 6000 years old. That alone is a problem.
  8. 5 points
    Money buys a foreign abortion, with very tightly shut lips. The real crime in America is not to have enough money to flout whatever law you find inconvenient. Wendy P.
  9. 4 points
    You may have just uncovered why he doesn't read anything he posts!
  10. 4 points
    Let's also not pretend a pimple, or any other assemblage of inanimate cells, is a baby.
  11. 4 points
    We obviously like our ancient website. I personally think facebook groups and other online formats suck compared to a forum. Other obviously disagree, but that doesn't surprise me. They lend themselves to the type of interaction that fits well with most peoples gnat like attention spans. They are designed to push up the frequency and volume of communication for their advertisement revenue, so you get the same post and discussion 1000x without any of the depth.
  12. 4 points
    I do. Besides being happy with our strengthened NATO alliance and how he's handling the war in Ukraine I am totally thrilled that he is occupying the Oval Office and not Trump. Even if I were to concede he's made some domestic policy errors just knowing that it's mere incompetence not rank criminality as the root cause makes me happy.
  13. 4 points
    You’re free to go. I believe that inciting people to leave is bad form.
  14. 4 points
    Hi there. Bill Booth here. I'm finally getting around to writing an autobiography, and could use some help. If any of my former employees, customers, or friends have any stories or photographs they would like to share from the period 1970 -1985, I would love to hear or see them. This was a very important period in the development of our sport, and I want to get the facts right. Thanks. My email is: [email protected]
  15. 4 points
  16. 4 points
    Lol, do you not know what that makes you sound like? "Why good sir, you have not taken the time to personally reply to all 800 individual points in this list I copied and pasted from someone's blog? Then I declare victory!"
  17. 4 points
    I can't wrap my head around the right wing celebrating Musk's potential takeover of Twitter as a triumph of free speech and the 1st amendment, even though the 1st Amendment never applied to Twitter. As well as, celebrating a state government punishing a company for expressing an opinion, which to me is a clear violation of the 1st Amendment. Another example of the right really having no interest in the constitution or freedom or anything of that nature. All they care about is power for themselves and punishing those who are either not like them, or do not like them.
  18. 4 points
  19. 3 points
    BULLSHIT!!!!! It's 96.5% tops!
  20. 3 points
    It's really very sad that you would take this view for partisan reasons. The Buffalo shooter admits straight up that a lot of what he was writing and saying was for 'memes and shitposting' so really almost any part of it could be true or untrue, and it certainly contains deliberate attempts to feed the press a false narrative. The only thing we can really judge to be true is what is supported by his actions. Did he really specifically and intentionally kill a bunch of black people because he was anti-corporatist? No. Did he kill them because he didn't like conservatism? No. Did he kill them because the media is full of Jews? No, but that's edging closer. He killed a bunch of black people because he was a racist who was incenced by racist rhetoric with a strong focus on replacement theory. That's really the only bit of the manifesto we know is true. He was really, really into replacement theory which is not only a right wing talking point, it is very specifically a Republican talking point. It is pushed by Republican politicians and Republican media commentators to get people fired up against the Democrat party and their policies. Well, this guy was fired up.
  21. 3 points
    This mental fallacy is why the US will always be unable to solve this problem.
  22. 3 points
    I can’t believe I just did that Wendy P.
  23. 3 points
    Have you noticed that most people who make claims have some sort of verification? I have yet to see you do anything but make claims. Every one of them false. Back your claims up or shut the fuck up. Have a nice day
  24. 3 points
    well...you're not wrong there. Have you read your own posts?
  25. 3 points
    You are insinuating that the “organization” would take action in its own board members. I think you fail to get how this works and I think you fail to see the reason these people join the good ole boys club in the first place . I can promise you it’s not for YOU.
  26. 3 points
    Be careful Brent, I think he's a troll.
  27. 3 points
    That isn't cool Bill, you are selling him short on the resume. You forgot racist, rapist, con man, and failed business man.
  28. 3 points
    Hi Peter, Back in the 70's, RWS could not keep up with the production demands. So, they entered into an agreement with Guardian Parachute ( subsidiary of FXC Corp ) to build rigs for them. Three employees of Guardian stayed late at nite & built bogus rigs; these rigs were never entered into the production documents. They then sold the rigs out of their cars at various dz's in SoCal. When Guardian found out, all three were fired immediately. This was told to me back in 1978 by Chuck Embury, one of the three. Jerry Baumchen
  29. 3 points
    Someone's sock doesn't understand the US Constitution very well . . . .which is pretty much a prerequisite for any Trump supporter.
  30. 3 points
    I have the distinct misfortune of having the FOX News station on the TV screens closest to my desk (CNN is across the room). I'm watching all the criticism of the demonstrators at Alito's house (and other justices' homes), and the DOJ for not addressing these demonstrations. I do most certainly object to demonstrations crossing the line of civility -- from blocking the street to threatening or encouraging violence. My opinion is that the excessive behavior takes away from the legitimacy of the message (I encourage the demonstrations in a peaceful, respectful manner). However, where was the outcry from the FOX crowd for the past several decades as "demonstrators" harassed people as they sought healthcare (abortion providers), all the way to threatening, encouraging and perpetrating violence against the lawful conduct of healthcare? Yes, I know the answer -- this is just me shining a spotlight on the hypocrisy. [/rant]
  31. 3 points
    an abject failure of government and policy at the most fundamental level. 4% of the world's population and something like 16-20% of the deaths. America is swarming in culture wars and division over ideology, not data nor facts. we stopped being the greatest country in the world a long time ago. We can still fix it but people cannot agree on the most basic set of facts, which makes the first steps to fixing it pretty much impossible.
  32. 3 points
    Yup. Get used to it. The old joke that, as a student, I spent more time sitting on the picnic bench bitching about the weather than actually jumping contains 'more than just a bit' of truth. Depending on the culture of the DZ, wind & weather holds can be very educational. At the bigger DZ I jump at (lots of students) the instructors will gather up a group of students when jumping isn't happening, and sit and discuss/quiz all sorts of stuff. It's also a good time to get to know the rest of the community. The DZO there is a BIG promoter of the fun jumper community (cookouts, movie nights, competition events - The Hamm's Rigging Relays are hilarious - all that sort of stuff). Getting to know who folks are is a big step up for when you get your license. To echo and expand on what Wendy said (for when you get your license) - If the 'young hotshots' are still jumping and the 'crusty old guys' are sitting down, thing about it. Think hard about it. If the 'crusty old guys' are grabbing lawn chairs and cameras and heading out to the landing area, REALLY think about it. "Where are you guys going?" "We're gonna go watch the young'uns get some experience" If you sit it out today, you can always jump tomorrow. If you have to jump today, you may not jump again for a while. If ever. Last, but not least, BEWARE THE WEATHER HOLD!!! There are few things in this life more dangerous than a bored skydiver. A few years ago at SDC Summerfest, weather hold games included 'creeper bowling'. 2 person teams. One pushed, one rode the creeper at inflatable bowling pins. Standard bowling scoring. 5 frames for a game. Silly but fun. After it was all done, I heard Donavan (TI & airplane manager) remark: "Wow. Weather hold shenanigans and we didn't need an ambulance. I'm impressed".
  33. 3 points
    Over the edge - BASE Magazine I've tried putting together a new base magazine, with the intent of making it a more regular thing with news, tips and educational articles. Big thanks to all that helped with issue #1. Feedback and help with future issues is more than welcome :)
  34. 3 points
    I don't think that the location of manufacture creates quality issues. I know lots of Americans who think that 'Slovenia' is some kind of third world sweatshop (it's not--I've been there) and yet some of the world's best canopies are made there. Parapex is a huge operation, and is very good at following instructions. I think that 'check that the trunk line isn't twisted before sewing in the branch lines' just wasn't on the instruction sheet when that canopy was made. I'm not sure if it is now or not. The major issues with Asian manufacturing are about communication, not quality. You have to be incredibly explicit about every single step in the process, to make sure they follow your exact procedures. I've spent many hours writing up spec sheets and then had products made that found every single possible way to screw something up that I hadn't explicitly specified. We tend to have this weird view that you can just send things off to Asia and get them made for nothing. But there is actually quite a lot of work involved with setting up that supply chain and maintaining it. The back and forth prototyping on a new product, especially if you aren't physically flying to the factory, is insanely tedious.
  35. 3 points
    Well, according to Herodotus (who wrote what's generally considered to be the first history), it includes a study of cause and effect. Is there value in looking at the past via data that wasn't considered by previous historians? Ask the students during pre-Civil Rights South, when they were commonly taught about the War of Northern Aggression. Ask the students during the Communist era in the Soviet Union. Ask the students in North Korea (I have no idea what they study, but I'm sure it's a pretty single-focus view). There is always value in looking at history through different lenses, particularly as the study of history reveals power structures that might have colored what was recorded. That calls into doubt the completeness of the record. Even if you disagree with the premise, even if you think that slavery is a normal part of human social evolution, even if you think that the US was really founded by the Pilgrims, and that the stage wasn't set by all the Spaniards and others who came earlier, spreading horses and disease among other things, there's value in studying all that other stuff. Wendy P.
  36. 3 points
    Holy shit. That extra 10 minutes in the tunnel really sank in to grasp the meaning of a fluid environment. I get it now. Less about perfect body position and more reacting to the airflow with controlled movements. I still suck at flying but at least I can fly. Left 360s are fantastic. Right 360s are slow. Realized my body has a weird twist it wants to do naturally so I'll have to overcome that.
  37. 3 points
    What I find interesting is how badly the right screwed up with this one. They were clearly eager to cancel Roe v Wade, and Alito couldn't wait to get the decision written. It is also very likely that the decision was distributed to close republican supporters to garner support - but that they didn't want it revealed until right after the midterm election, so the anger of the voters over the decision would not have any effect. Now they are in a bind. This is evident from their rhetoric. They are furious with whoever leaked it, and are demanding investigations, punishments and concessions from the left. One GOPer said it was "an attempt to intimidate the justices" and "an assault on the Supreme Court." They must "use every investigative tool necessary" to find the leaker. They claim the left is using "scorched-earth tactics" - "this is just so outrageous." Democrats "are going to burn [the Supreme Court] down." What is completely missing, of course, is a single republican saying "well, shouldn't we find out if the leak is real?" They all know it's real because it had already been leaked to them, and they were planning their election strategies around that. So the image of them demanding to hold someone accountable for the leak - a leak they eagerly consumed - is pretty funny. So what to do now? They will follow their usual strategy of "fuck you" to the democrats, and will blame them for everything they can think of. But this time all the furor and hate Marjorie Taylor Greene will not be able to mask the underlying truth that the conservatives on the Supreme Court are about to take away a right that most women in the US want very much to protect. And the right has no defense against that truth.
  38. 3 points
    Alito has stated recently that it is an issue that needs to be legislated. Okay -- we need to have a massive overhaul of the US Congress so that the proposed legislation to codify the essence of Roe gets voted on and passed. Federal law would supersede any of these horrible state restrictions, and we could stop having this nonsense discussion. Edited to add: and when I say "overhaul," I mean everyone get out and vote for congressional candidates who would support bodily autonomy.
  39. 3 points
    Let's just hope the Democrats find some spine and learn how to dominate the news cycle and that translates into votes.
  40. 3 points
  41. 3 points
    Oh, I think everyone else gets it. If you’d like, I can explain Wendy P.
  42. 3 points
    Crops are limited by temperature (both high and low), soil moisture, day length, duration of the growing season, etc. For example, the upper limit for wheat is about 35 degrees C. Climate change will impact rainfall patterns as well as temperature, so some areas that are currently suitable for a particular crop will become unsuitable as new areas become suitable. It's not a given that the tradeoff will be balanced. Also even if northern areas warm their day length will not change. No matter how warm it gets, above the arctic circle you'll still have months where the sun doesn't get above the horizon and lots of very short days in the spring/fall resulting in a too-short growing season. I don't really understand the perspective that says that changing our energy economy is too much bother, and we will probably be OK for my lifetime, so we'll just carry on and hope people 100 years from now can work it out. If not, it's not my problem.
  43. 3 points
    x > y does not place an upper bound on x.
  44. 3 points
    I could get that tomorrow by taking a loan against my house, in about 20 minutes. The idea that you think that means corruption is laughable. It tells me you get all your material from right wing media, and repost it without ever learning about the underlying issues.
  45. 3 points
    Russia and the Russian people adore and respect strongmen. There is no core democratic belief that multi-racial and multi-cultural populations can be ruled by democracies. Many still rue for the days of Stalin. Perestroika was but a blip in Russian history. Thats not to say that there are not democratic believers in Russia. But they are few. Until Russia has a free, open, press and a transparent government. A majority of people who accept the cleansing of corruption benefits that free elections bring about. Russia will remain dangerous. As will China.
  46. 3 points
    Instead of calling it the “don’t say gay” law, it’d probably be more accurate to call it the “don’t teach my children that saying faggot is wrong” law. It’s also wrong to teach children that the n-word is bad, that might embarrass their racist parents, and racists’ feeling trump everyone else’s. Wendy P.
  47. 3 points
    Let's have a discussion of the Luke Aikins stunt, maybe even speculating on possible penalties Wendy P.
  48. 3 points
    That rug really ties the room together.
  49. 2 points
    IMO Finland and Sweden should be voted in and Turkey voted out. Sweden and Finland have given sanctuary to some Islamic members and groups that Turkey has issues with. Associated with the coup and the PKK. So Turkey is likely going to want accommodation for that. U.S. sanctions Turkey over purchase of Russian S-400 missile system
  50. 2 points
    She seems more than a little over the top about it.
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