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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/09/2021 in Posts

  1. 9 points
    We are really in a crappy place today. Justice Clarence Thomas is arguably in cahoots with his Qanon and conspiracy theory believing wife who participated in the January 6 insurrection. Both Kavanaugh and Coney-Barrett apparently lied to get their seats and, by any honest rational opinion, Gorsuch sits in a stolen seat. If you read this and think "sucks to be you libtard" or "it's about winning and we won" you are no patriot. You are no true American. You are a traitor to our fragile constitution.
  2. 9 points
    I just had my retirement request approved. Come Dec 1, I'll be joining the club!
  3. 9 points
    There are 2 speeds: Indicated airspeed and true airspeed. The speed that the jumper will feel in freefall is always indicated airspeed and for a jumper that falls at an indicated airspeed of 120 mph, he will fall at that same indicated airspeed regardless of altitude (except when going so high there is no air at all). If you could take an airspeed indicator with you in freefall, it would always register the same airspeed, indicated airspeed, regardless of altitude for a give body position. Your true airspeed will change with altitude and at 41,000' your true airspeed, with an indicated airspeed of 120 mph, would be about (depending on temperature) 245 mph. However, your body would only feel the indicated airspeed of 120 mph. Mike Mullins Oh yes I will. Mike
  4. 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?
  5. 8 points
    OK, Slick what's your fucking plan other than throwing "follies" around? Wait you just want to throw rocks at everyone else's shit. Go play with the other kids - the adults want to have a conversation.
  6. 8 points
    Response to the nipply one: Your first jump will be a recurrency. To make sure that you obey your jumpmasters, you'll be required to wear eye shades along with the face mask. The instructors will pull off the eye shades when they deploy you. With a frap hat, the options are endless. I'd go with the standard little blue face shield, and just let freefall blow it off. Then you can wait for it to land and re-use it again. Make sure you weight it appropriately -- you do want it to come back down on the airport, after all. There's a whole new sport of mask accuracy, with people building special accuracy masks, studying the wind currents in detail, and adjusting the mask weight based on the exit altitude and direction. Wendy P.
  7. 8 points
    Wow, you found the "Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency" document. When anti-vaxxers give themselves a fancy name and buy a URL with a '.org' domain they can post all types of bullshit and people looking to confirm their biases will eat it the fuck up! Here's a link to the original document: https://phmpt.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/5.3.6-postmarketing-experience.pdf These guys got a bit crafty trying to make it look like a legit Pfizer doc: the header has the research name of the vaccine, they're lawsuit-seekingly close to claiming that the whole thing was prepared by Pfizer on page 1, and they even put a file-path stamp on the side of the document...from that stamp, you can clearly see that it was in the 'approved' folder, so you know it is extra verified and totally good. Come on, Doctor! Put that big, multisyllabic brain of yours to use before you regurgitate this type of shit
  8. 7 points
    You have a common misconception that seems to be rooted in the right. The Constitution does not tell people what their rights are. The Constitution tells the government what rights they may take from people. For example, Article 1 Section 8 tells us that the Constitution can tax the people to provide for an armed forces and for the general welfare; that takes away the right to not pay taxes. If the Constitution does not describe what rights may be taken away, then those rights revert to the states or the people. In this case, women had the inherent right to an abortion, just as they have an inherent right to marry someone who is not their race, or get cosmetic surgery, or sue someone, or become pilots. None of those rights are called out in the Constitution, nor do they need to be States may on occasion try to take those rights away, The Supreme Court's primary job is to protect those rights. We are now entering a phase where the Supreme Court will begin removing those rights for people in pursuit of the politiical ideology of their benefactors. They have already removed the protection on a women's right for bodily autonomy. They have signaled that they will try to do something similar with other currently-protected rights, like the right of women to get birth control, and the right of black students to go to the same schools as white students. Other republicans have signaled that the right to marry someone outside your race will be reconsidered as well - and given the political connection between the SC and the republicans, it's fair to say that that right is at risk as well. The US has had a long tradition of increasing rights for all. We ended slavery. We affirmed that women have the right to vote. We said that blacks to attend the same schools as whites. We guaranteed the right for blacks to marry whites, for gay people to marry each other, and indeed for gay people to exist at all. We have now reversed this trend. And if you think that they are going to stop at abortion - or that they will never get to a right that you value - you haven't been paying attention.
  9. 7 points
    It's worth remembering that the only really consistent Trump policy was to cancel every program, treaty, policy, or law from the Obama administration, and replace it with nothing. He cancelled the CDC's collaboration with the Chinese to monitor for emerging viruses, with the result that we were unaware of the Covid outbreak for months. He ignored the national pandemic response plan that was developed after the H1N1 outbreak, and failed to develop any national plan of his own. He went so far as to tell states they had to order their own PPE, setting up a scenario where states had to bid against each other and drive up the price, then he seized shipments destined for blue states and sent them to states whose governors sucked up to him. It's true he did allow the government to fund fast-tracked vaccine development (though that was a "no-brainer") but then he failed to develop any sort of a plan to distribute the vaccines, and blocked the incoming Biden administration from getting the information they needed to develop their own plan. Apart from Covid, he cancelled the program for dealing with black lung disease, and replaced it with nothing. He withdrew the US from the WHO, leaving us with no mechanism for collaborating with other countries to deal with a world-wide pandemic. He withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and replaced it with nothing, with the result that Iran stopped abiding by the deal and is now closer to a nuclear weapon than the have ever been. I could go on and on and on. Hatred of Obama is not a substitute for a national policy on anything. Hundreds of thousands of people died as a result, and people will be worse off for a long time because of Trump's obsession with erasing Obama from history.
  10. 7 points
    Melania comforted the president by yelling him that when you're older it's harder to maintain an inserection
  11. 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"
  12. 7 points
    This trend - the dumbing down of discourse to the level of angry soccer fans - is something that was predicted years, even decades ago by authors like Al Gore, Mike Judge, Susan Jacoby and Carl Sagan. I'm sure you've seen Carl Sagan's quote from 1996: I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or my grandchildren's time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance." Replace that with "clutching our crystals and consulting our horoscopes" with "taking Ivermectin and reading Twitter" and you have today's level of public discourse. And 10 seconds? That's forever by today's standards. Today what people consider "substantive content" includes "Let's go Brandon" "Hunter's laptop" and "I did that!" Under a second.
  13. 7 points
    It's not like he banned K-Y Jelly, Mr.concerned about Biden's behind. Reaching around to a more topical area of concern did you notice, in your excitement, how masterfully Biden played Putin in the lead up to the Russian invasion? Instead of constantly thinking that guys nuts you might have noticed that when everyone else was buying Putins legerdemain Biden consistently stated that the Russians were in fact going to attack. By doing so he denied Putin his own Überfall auf den Sender Gleiwitz pretense and coalesced international opinion against Putin at the get go. So, in that sense he most definitely took Putin from behind.
  14. 7 points
    Let's be honest, for you it really won't matter what he says. Like most republicans you don't stand for anything anymore, all you know is you are against anything the Democrats do.
  15. 7 points
    She was tested for President and the results came back negative. Actually, the results were quite positive. More Americans voted for her than for her opponent.
  16. 7 points
    Hehe, this is so disingenuous that it's embarrassing for the reader. Trump throws our Kurd allies into a meat grinder and that's no problem. Biden abides by a shit show deal engineered by Trump, which included the release of thousands on enemy combatants, to end Bush's Afghanistan disaster and it's evidence of his incompetence on every level. Sinema and Manchin back stab him, along with every R Senator that used to be for voting rights equality and he couldn't get the deal done because he sucks. Trump and his team do worse than zero to assist the transition to a new administration, foment insurrection and further divide the nation by continuing the year long lie of a stolen election and, to the chagrin of any thinking person, that hobbling has nothing to do with any supposed hot messes. The list goes on and on. This isn't a meaningless schoolyard game of dodgeball; this is the fate of our nation. Some people need to wake up.
  17. 7 points
    I think this thread should be renamed to "old man yells at cloud".
  18. 7 points
    Have you been taking “false news spreading” lessons? I love the technique of sprinkling just enough true statements among the complete bullshit anecdotal based lies in this rambling unfocused post.
  19. 7 points
    McConnell is an evil turd, but he is not stupid. He is trying to force the Democrats to use the reconciliation process to pass the debt limit bill, which will burn a lot of clock and prevent the Democrats from passing their human infrastructure bill and also any voting protection legislation. Just as he did with Obama he doesn't want Biden to have any "wins", so Republicans will be able to portray Democrats as incompetent losers in the next election. Also Republicans are desperate to stymie any voting protection as they are very aware that voting suppression is their only path to power. It's just gravy that he can stick the Democrats with the bill for four years of fiscal irresponsibility under Trump. In the end McConnell and the Republican party only care about winning and power. They do not care at all about the damage they would do to the country, people, and the world. For them the end always justifies the means if the end is they win. Don
  20. 7 points
    My people (military intel types) made a mistake. Then this military leadership owned it when it was discovered and this administration is trying to make amends. When US forces were targeted in this and other countries over the previous four years, what was the plan? Oh yeah: "bomb the shit out of them." There was a lot of criticism for the administration "allowing" the attack on the airport checkpoint, and quite a lot of insistence that it not happen again during the evacuation. Information was gathered, and we made a bad call over the interpretation of it. How much criticism would be flowing had no action been taken and another attack had happened? Hindsight is 20/20. We recognize it was a bad interpretation of the available information. But we admit it and try to recover.
  21. 6 points
    I lost a friend yesterday; her health wasn’t great, but this was not expected. We last saw each other last summer, and chatted on FB periodically. I’m really glad that I knew her, and I’m totally going to miss her wry, sarcastic, irreverent, sense of humor. I’m also glad that I did take that side trip, and that I did take the time to check in periodically — there aren’t any “oh I wish,” just sadness at the loss of value in my life. Value your friends, and tell them about it. They’re worth it. Fly free, PL Wendy P.
  22. 6 points
    What is stupid is making health insurance a "perk" offered through the workplace, and sometimes only to management. In the civilized world health insurance is universal. One consequence of that is that businesses are not burdened with having to pay for insurance for any of their work force.
  23. 6 points
    I haven't posted or even lurked on these forums for a number of years, but I was inspired to share a quick note today. My name is Scott Miller. A couple of decades ago I started something called The Canopy School at Skydive DeLand, which became the Freedom of Flight Canopy School. Later, in collaboration with some awesome gentlemen from the PD Factory Team, that canopy school was transformed into Flight-1. I've been away from the skydiving world for a while, but I still stay in touch with some old skydiving friends and visit DeLand from time to time. I'm always impressed to see what Flight-1 has become thanks to all of the work that Ian, Shannon, and the rest of the crew have done. Back when I was teaching my canopy courses, students would always fill out a registration form at the start of the day. For all of these years, I've had all of those forms sitting in a couple of boxes in a closet. It always seemed worthwhile to keep them around, but yesterday I decided to run them through a scanner so I can finally get rid of the paper copies. Looking through all of those forms—almost 3,000 of them, from 8 years worth of canopy courses—brought back a lot of memories and emotions. It's hard to describe what it was like to look back at all of the DZs that I visited and to see some of the peoples' names on the forms. There was one feeling that percolated to the top, though. Above all else, I felt very, very grateful. I was, and still am, grateful for everyone who supported me and believed in what I was doing back then. I'm grateful for all of the jumpers who signed up and attended my courses. I'm grateful to the DZOs who invited me to come teach at their drop zones. I'm grateful for the local jumpers who did all of the planning, organizing, and coordinating to make the camps happen at their DZs. I'm grateful for the manifestors, managers, and everyone else who made all the moving parts fit together during the courses. I'm grateful for the pilots who flew extra passes at 5000' even though it's extra work, and who were willing to drop people way the hell upwind when we did the "long spot practice" jump at the end of the day. I'm grateful to Bob Hallett for supporting this whole project from the very beginning, and throughout. I'm grateful to all of the Relative Work School, Freedom of Flight School, and Flight-1 coaches with whom I had the honor of working and collaborating. I'm grateful to John LeBlanc for teaching me most of what I know about how canopies really, actually work. Gratitude is powerful. Taking a few moments to be grateful for someone or something—to think and feel a deep, genuine sense of gratitude—can bring so much joy into our lives and put things in a very different perspective. If I could go back in time, back to when I was a kid or even when I first started jumping, and pass myself a note, it would say, "be grateful for the people you have in your life and for the time that you have with them." That's why I'm here today. To share something that I'm very grateful for, and to pass you that note. Be grateful for what you have in your life. Be grateful for the people in your life and for the time that you have with them. Take some time every day to think about what you are grateful for: in skydiving, but also in other parts of your life. Practice a little gratitude every day, and watch it transform your life. Thank you for letting me share this with you today. BSBD Scott
  24. 6 points
    Would it? For real? Surely even among the minority of the population who are regular, active Republican voters there is no mandate for this absolute madness? Am I giving them too much credit or do you think it would just be a reflexive ‘oppose anything the Democrats like’ move? Though I was giving them too much credit on the abortion. I cannot believe the ‘No exceptions’ laws that are being enacted. How can anyone who claims to be ‘pro-life’ support a law which demands that a non-viable pregnancy be left to kill the mother? These sanctimonious hypocrites are fucking disgusting.
  25. 6 points
    It says a lot about the Constitution that 5 justices appointed by two presidents who LOST the popular vote can overturn 50 years of precedent, upheld in a multitude of cases by justices just as qualified as they are, all appointed by presidents who DID win the popular vote. I used to have respect for the Constitution but I now believe it is a seriously flawed document and a major contributor to the problems facing the USA.
  26. 6 points
    Anyone seeking Trump's endorsement needs to have their motives, character, integrity, and intelligence called into question.
  27. 6 points
  28. 6 points
    It's worth noting at this point that we see similar discussions on the incidents forum fairly often. Someone will do a low turn and break or kill themselves, and discussion will ensue. Fairly often (twice I can think of on the forum and twice in person) a conversation like this happens: JoeNewbie:"Why are you trying to analyze this to death? He was an idiot and he turned too low. He shouldn't have been on that canopy." JimOldTimer: "Well Joe you have a tiny canopy and you've had some issues. Maybe you should get some coaching to prevent something like this." JoeNewbie: "I am NOTHING like that guy! That's ridiculous! I am far more competent/skilled/experienced. You're nuts." Then a week/a month/a year later we read about how Joe broke himself (or killed himself) under that too-small canopy. One guy (this was someone I knew at my DZ) was like this. He kept downsizing until he could barely land his canopy, then he'd crow about how he was a good canopy pilot because he successfully jumped a dangerous canopy. Someone else would break their leg; wouldn't faze him. "Well he was an idiot." Someone else would die. "Well I'm not going to make such a stupid mistake." He got grounded at his home DZ for one sketchy landing too many. Then we made a trip to Eloy, and he showed up, telling us triumphantly "I'm not grounded HERE!" He started jumping. On one landing he landed too close to the mockup and took out Airspeed. Bryan Burke yelled at him, but that wasn't enough. On the last load of the day we were on jump run and we got a hold due to an injury on the field. No one had to even ask who it was. He ended up with an ambulance ride and a badly broken thumb. That still wasn't enough. I didn't see his final jump, but it put him in the hospital for months. Last I heard of him, they think he will walk again with lots of rehab. And now he becomes the example that the next jumper can point at and say "I am NOTHING like him! I'm far more competent." These forums are largely bullshit - people getting into stupid arguments over abortion, or how other rigs are deathtraps but THEIR rig is super, or what would happen if you towed the DZ with a tractor. But occasionally (and mostly in the Incidents forum) there's something that happens that you can learn from. Even if you are positive that you are nothing like that poor former skydiver. If there's anything good that might come from Billy's death, it's that - a chance to reflect on how something like this can happen, even to someone who believes themselves to be a safe and competent gun owner, and regularly explains that.
  29. 6 points
    Welcome aboard. I, for one, am willing to register all of my guns, pay a fee for any new or used guns I buy, give up guns that I never use and will likely never use again and and submit to a psychological exam (provided it wasn't administered by woodpeckers or grey digger squirrels) if by joining in it kept just one parent from learning that their nine year old was murdered by a bullied, mentally tortured, maniac at school that day. Maybe it would be pointless, maybe it would be wrong. But it's time to do something, to give up something, even if it's wrong.
  30. 6 points
    A few years back I was one who sided with the anti gun control folks. I don't know the answer but this has to stop.
  31. 6 points
    Yes. It's so easy to observe that it wasn't seen coming. It causes me to think that there is more behind everyone here on SC that I interact with than I can ever truly know. I need to think about that truth.
  32. 6 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.
  33. 6 points
    I have no problem with paying my taxes to support the nation. What I object to is that the ultra-wealthy have bought their way out of doing so.
  34. 6 points
    Nothing like as miserable as having your home bombed and having to sleep in the subway. People in the USA are fortunate in having no social/institutional memory of these things, unlike in Europe.
  35. 6 points
    A final note - the actual quote is "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." That's essential liberties vs a little temporary safety. The right to free speech is an essential liberty. The right to not wear a mask in a NICU (or in a OR, or in public during a pandemic) is not. The right to life is an essential liberty. The right to go to your favorite bar at any age (or during a pandemic) is not. The right to worship as you please is an essential liberty. Even the right to refuse a vaccination is an essential liberty. However, the right to refuse a vaccination - and then experience absolutely no consequences - is not.
  36. 6 points
    To Ken's and your point - we cannot drill our way to energy independence, but we can use this as a bridge towards weaning off the petro-tit. Today, my s/o goes looking at EV's and PHEVs and moves towards ridding herself of a massive gas-eating lift-kitted Tundra. That may not mean much to you, but for the country girl; it's a large step.
  37. 6 points
    My friend wanted to jump the container with Aya in. I thought it wouldn't be fair if he got hurt so I just sent it myself. Not a bad beginner's object too. First base jump, home made rig. Anybody else done this? I didn't make the soft links or pc however.
  38. 6 points
    Those are buzz words, not policy. Don't believe me, here are some simple questions you will not be able to answer: When were the borders secure? At what illegal immigration level and smuggling level would you consider the border secure? Energy independence or just not importing oil? What taxation rate is low? Where would income come from? Trickle down economics has constantly been shown to be ineffective. Low regulation is not what Republicans want. What they want is only to regulate other people. Republcians are very busy regulating what women can do with their bodies, regulating what gay children can and cannot do, including what their parents can and cannot do. Republicans are trying to ban books. Texas town passed a resolution to replace "hello" with "heaveno". You don't want low regulation, you want regulation on everything but white Christian men. Pro-police? January 6th shows that to be bullshit as well. Pro-immigration? What does that mean? More topless models on genius visas, followed by "chain migration"? Focus on the individual vs identity/group? So no need to honour the flag, or veterans? Taking a knee during the anthem no longer an issue? Those are all issues that relate to focusing on identity/group over individual. School choice? Do you mean that schools should be forced to teach that maybe god really did create earth, a Christian god of course? Like I said, buzz words. Republicans have nothing but buzz words.
  39. 6 points
    Old discussion for sure. I'm going to go with the possible two out and save the cutaway decision for later.
  40. 6 points
    Kind of like how the US military was used to clear out a park for a photo op? Wendy P.
  41. 6 points
    People have a long history of repackaging repugnant policies to make them more palatable, and even to fool the unwary into supporting those policies. Slavery was repackaged as "states rights". It's a lot easier to convince people that states should be free to enact policies they decide is in the best interests of their citizens, than it is to convince them to support slavery. So you create a couple of degrees of separation; now you're not talking about buying and selling people, you're talking about states being free from Washington bullying. Similarly, in the 1960s the California Realtor's Association found their practice of adding racial covenants to property deeds under attack from civil rights advocates (see this article for example). Realtors found that they could drive up property values by adding restrictions to deeds to make white-only developments and whole neighborhoods. It got to the point that in many communities there were literally no homes that non-whites were allowed to buy. This was supported by the courts; in one case the California Supreme Court ruled that a black family could not be blocked from buying a property, but they could not live on the property due to the covenants. When the Federal government moved to block racial covenants, the realtor's association responded by repackaging the issue as "freedom to do as you wished with your own property". Now they could talk about freedom and property rights, and leave segregation out of the conversation altogether. They pushed an amendment to the California constitution to protect the "right" to enforce racial covenants, which passed with over 60% of the vote pretty much because it was sold as a personal freedom issue not one of legally enforced segregation. Although the California amendment was later voided as in violation of Federal law, the many all-white communities established under the system remain almost entirely white to this day. The lesson was learned well by Regan as Governor, and persists strongly today in Republican Party tactics to fight efforts to combat Covid, poverty, voting rights, or anything else they decide to adopt as a wedge issue. Now we see censorship and efforts to "whitewash" (a perfect word to describe the effort) history repackaged as an effort to protect children from feeling badly about how various racial groups have been treated. Never mind that doing that robs students of any hope of being able to understand why the country has many of the problems that it has. If you can't talk about slavery or Jim Crow or the California Realtor's Association, how do you explain the vast differences in average wealth between white and black (or hispanic) families, or incarceration rates, or any of the other structural issues that fall along racial lines? All you are left with is that non-whites have less wealth, or are more likely to be incarcerated, because they are lazy, or stupid. I see evidence that the same repackaging is happening for religious issues. In the Supreme Court both Thomas and Alito have written about same sex marriage and abortion as being offensive to people with strongly held religious (IOW fundamentalist Christian) beliefs. They seem to be setting up a new constitutional right: the right to never be offended by other people "living in sin". "Freedom of religion", I fear, will soon be twisted to mean that no-one can do anything that might offend someone else's religious scruples. You don't have to pass laws that say everyone has to believe in fundamentalist Christianity, if you can pass laws that say that everyone has to behave just like fundamentalist Christians.
  42. 6 points
    I agree that that is one of the functions of the electoral college, but not the only one, at least at the start of the country. The 3/5ths compromise was put forward to address concerns of the southern colonies that they would be dominated by non-slave states because they would only count votes of white males, making their population much smaller than it actually was. For non-American readers, the 3/5ths compromise was an agreement to count slaves as 3/5ths of a person. Of course slaves still could not vote, so 3/5ths of nothing is still nothing. To go along with the 3/5ths arrangement, some mechanism had to be invented to turn that 3/5ths into presidential votes. The electoral college filled that role. Each state would be allocated some number of electoral college votes in proportion to their population, which in the case of slave-holding states was all the non-slave population plus 3/5ths of the total number of adult slaves. The electoral college allowed slave states to derive political power in proportion to the number of slaves, without actually allowing the slaves themselves any power. So I would say the electoral college had two functions: to keep power in the hands of the wealthy elite, and to allow southern slave owners to profit politically as well as financially from their slaves. Today the system may not favor slave owners, but it ensures that residents of some states have a disproportionally large voice in presidential elections, and other states have their voice diminished. For example, voters in Kansas have 3 electors, or about 1 for every 180,000 people. On the other hand, Texas has 1 elector for every 763,000 people. Are people who happen to live in Kansas really worth 4 times as much as people who happen to live in Texas? Texas has about the same population as Alaska, Colorado, North and South Dakota, Idaho, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah combined. Texas has 38 electoral votes, and all those states combined have 63. You could make similar comparisons if you substituted California for Texas. So much for one person/one vote! The electoral college serves no useful purpose, it was conceived in order to support evil and it is deeply undemocratic. It's past time for it to be abolished.
  43. 6 points
    Better question. Why does this only seem to happen to Icons, in France, at this specific loft? That would lead me to believe that someone needs to have their packing investigated.
  44. 6 points
    The buck stops here, if ya know what I mean. There is no deflection and no refusal to take responsibility concerning the voting numbers for the board of directors because there is nothing to deflect and no failure to take responsibility for. Turnout in USPA elections has always been low. I've noted before that there are some obvious reasons like new members that don't vote because they don't know our system or even what they are voting for, and life members who are still on the voter rolls but are disengaged, but there are also people who don't vote because they simply aren't concerned with it. These folks don't see anything wrong with the way things work. They get their magazine, processing times for licenses and ratings are fast, they have 3rd party liability coverage in case they break something or someone, and dozens of other things USPA does for them in the background. Fun jumpers (the largest segment of us) just want to show up, make some hops, drink some beer, and do it again next weekend. Our members aren't voting for representatives that make life-altering decisions on their behalf. They are voting for volunteers who work for the members doing at times some of the most mundane things imaginable. If the governance of USPA isn't important enough to a member to prompt them to vote, so be it. We will still represent them the best way we know how. That comes with the price of membership.
  45. 6 points
    Scott, it's not that people don't care about USPA. It's that they don't care to get involved in the politics or the governance process. That is a distinct difference. For the most part, skydivers just want to skydive and know that USPA is supporting them in real-world ways. Skydivers DO want USPA to handle licensing, ratings programs, safety & training issues, and the infinite number of things that can screw up an otherwise great day of skydiving. They want us to keep the government out of their way, keep the A-holes from taking them out with bulletproof attitudes, and lead the administration of the world's largest (by far) skydiving organization properly. As a regional director I get several calls each week from members with questions or issues that require action on the part of USPA. As president, I see DZO's with airport access problems, airspace use complications, airport tenant conflicts, unreasonable or impossible venue requirements, and a million other things that threaten our sport and our rights. Skydivers also want excellent customer service from USPA and they get it. Call headquarters some time. You will notice that your call is answered by a real live human being, not a voicemail system. That is by design. Ask a member who recently turned in a license or ratings application how long it took to process. Most applications these days are processed within a week, and some within a few days. I've had members routinely report getting applications for licenses, rating, and awards processed within 24 hours of submitting them. Try to get that kind of customer service anywhere else. The list goes on, but you get the point. Most members don't realize what USPA does for our members until they need something. Then they just want their problem solved so they can get back in the air. The truth is there are many reasons members don't vote that have nothing to do with "not caring" about USPA. A lot of members are newbies who wouldn't know who to vote for without performing a lot of research. Some are lifetime members who have no active interest in current affairs. And many (most?) members who don't vote choose to sit out the elections for one very simple reason - they don't see anything significant that needs changed. I used to get irritated at people with apathy toward USPA, but after 6 years of service on the board and a front row seat watching USPA serve members with problems that need our attention, I no longer do. The fact is the average member doesn't know the insane amount of work that goes on behind the scenes, but they DO care that we are there doing the work - even if they don't realize it until they have an issue that needs solved. They also want a nice place to pack and a fridge that keeps their beer cold. We leave those items to the DZO's.
  46. 6 points
    Airlifting 130,000 people out of the Kabul airport in two weeks was an impressive accomplishment despite the chaos. Trump made no plans at all to get anyone out, and his administration did everything in their power to obstruct anyone from getting out. The Biden administration starting telling US citizens in March to get out, but many did not try until after the Taliban had seized most of all of the country and made movement impossible. Some idiots even traveled from the US to Afghanistan in June and July, then bleated and whined when they could not get out. Many others traveled to Afghanistan without registering with the State Department. Yet somehow it is Biden's fault that he did not know every US citizen in Afghanistan, exactly where they were, and send in the Marines to forcefully extract them? Regarding the border, the US government has no authority to go into Mexico and use force to block people from coming to the border. People have a legal right to present themselves at the border and ask for asylum. It's not Biden's fault that Central America experienced two major hurricane in less than a year, destroying their agriculture, infrastructure, and the homes of hundreds of thousands of people. It is not Biden's fault that Haiti is a corrupt hell hole that is also prone to earthquakes. It is not Biden's fault that Trump withdrew every program to help those countries improve conditions so people would not feel they have to leave so they won't starve. US law allows people to ask for asylum. The Trump policy of blocking people from any meaningful opportunity to ask for asylum was illegal. The Trump policy of breaking up families to scare people away from asking was deeply immoral. I sometimes think some Republicans would be comfortable forcing families back into a burning building if they aren't the "right kind" of people. I don't say that sneaking across the border should be tolerated. I don't suggest that the Biden administration's response has been great. However it doesn't help that Trump decimated the human infrastructure needed to process asylum applicants. It's easy to be critical but if anyone cares to be fair they should be able to say how they would have responded to a huge surge of asylum seekers with fewer resources. As far as infrastructure is concerned, I think what we are seeing now with the Democrats is how things are supposed to work. People are debating ideas, working to convince their colleagues about the validity of their policies. In the end no one will get everything they want but what will survive will represent the things everyone agrees is a priority. The debate should include Republicans but they are incapable of weighing competing ideas in an honest debate. Perhaps this inability has something to do with them throwing out their brains and filling their heads with Trump's lies. They criticize actual debate because they only know how to abdicate to Dear Leader in all things. At any rate they are absent from the discussion, happy to only obstruct and criticize. They cannot lead, they only whine.
  47. 6 points
    Or maybe you’re just shit at stating your position clearly? Your penchant for superfluous elongation of discourse in order to facilitate the association of intelligence in the poster to the reader, provides no more than illusionary and self-delusionary camoflague for the lack of substance in your own posts.
  48. 6 points
  49. 5 points
    As many actually credentialed people do. How many would take actual medical advice from Dr. Oz. Between all the regular posters, I think we definitely have a sense of who has what background or expertise. I certainly am often interested in what some people have to say on certain subjects, even if they don't have peer reviewed research on the subject matter.
  50. 5 points
    I can follow that. The majority of the former POTUS's ramblings, OTOH, not so much.
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