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Everything posted by Backintothesky

  1. +1 It seems to be a very American cultural thing to pigeon hole people politically. Your either republican or NO. The average person is a mixture.
  2. Good read, thanks for posting. I had an old-school friend kill himself a few years ago, we'd lost touch but apparently he'd been on tour in Iraq with the reserves and he was involved in drone ops. It's easy to think that perhaps these men (and women) are distanced from what they see because of a computer screen, but when you are responsible for someone's death and can see it happen close up (regardless of whether its through a screen or face to face) it clearly has an effect on most health, empathetic human beings. Long but Good read about one of the first drone operators.
  3. It's NOTHING to do with the number of guns floating around in the world. It has EVERYTHING to do with the fact that a kid was walking around with a very realistic looking toy gun. In a country like the UK with very high gun control (compared to the US) if armed police believe you are carrying a weapon and you act in a manner that they believe is threatening, they will shoot you. Google "Mark Duggan" - a UK man shot dead by UK armed police because they had intelligence that he was carry a weapon. When they went to stop his vehicle, according to the police's version of events, he reached down in the vehicle as if to grab something and then moved upwards in a manner consistant with someone bringing a weapon to bear on a target. So they shot him. The moral of this story is not gun control, but to not walk around in a public place with a firearm (or toy firearm) exposed. And when armed police point their weapons at you, do exactly as they say and don't make any sudden movements that could be construed as threatening. At the end of the day, if they don't know if the weapon is real or not then why should they wait to see if it is if that person makes threatening gestures with it? No rational human being would allow themselves to be shot first. To me, there is no such thing as a toy gun, and I don't feel I stole any part of my kids' childhood by making them treat toy guns like the real thing. Like my granddaughter, my kids grew up shooting at an early age. One is a "pistol packing momma". I like this sentiment. All guns are capable of being used to kill. Even the ones that can't shoot. You wouldn't intuitively think you could kill yourself with a plastic toy gun, but you would be wrong. This kid proved that. Like Masterrig said though, when you allow guns to proliferate so much you have to expect cops to shoot first, and never ask questions. If there were only a million guns floating around instead of 300 million I could see a better case for the cops waiting another 3 seconds to see if it was an actual weapon or not. Me? I think the parents are 100% at fault here. 300 million guns "floating around"? Ok, lets start with Chicago first. It is more dangerous than a tour in Afghanistan these days, and until these "floaters" around the country are removed from the criminals and insane, the killing will go on. "If there were only a million guns floating around...." Nope, there are more than a million law abiding gun owners in this country. That is my point. Since there are 300 million guns floating around, and apparently Chicago is more dangerous than Afghanistan, cops shoot first, and don't worry about questions. Solution, don't have an environment like that, and cops might not have to react the way they did.
  4. Can't seem to post in the "Scam" sub forum, but here it is.
  5. Love that film!! "There are many people I wished would have died before my mom."
  6. I empty my balls around 400' on just about every flight. Totally took that thread title a different way.
  7. Yep, in their situation it would have been a "choice" (not that they had time to make it) as to how they wished to die. Impact in plane, impact the tail or, if they missed the tail, impact at line stretch... Fixed it for you. It's still an odds game. Sadly, the odds didn't pan out for those in that 1 example. The odds still massively favour staying with the plane at 120ft, especially in an Otter with one good engine. Buckling up, keeping your helmet on, adopting a brace position and staying still all load those odds further in your favour. Hell, at that altitude how the hell do you know exactly how high you are - the needle on your alti would only indicate a fart over zero anyway.
  8. Hollywood does take some pretty big liberties with realities though. I can sympathise with him. Who can remember Hogan from Cocktail's "BASE" jump in Along Came Polly. The film makers forgot leg-straps on the rig for fucks sake....or perhaps that was his character being an even bigger insurance liability
  9. Forgive my ignorance but what's the actual average cost of this whole thing per month then (for the average person) - 200/300 per month, more? I'm far from a socialist/lefty but I do think we are so lucky in Europe to have a, relatively, socially funded healthcare program. You pay your taxes you get healthcare, or hell you get healthcare even if you haven't paid taxes for the most part. Sounds like you guys are getting fucked in the ass
  10. I love hearing stories like that. It's great when people don't take their differences too seriously. But, replying to the OP - I think that if a couple have completely opposing life philosophies then I think coupling your life together would be a mistake. Nothing stopping you being friends, but can you imagine an extreme leftist having kids with a die-hard free market advocate? It would be a nightmare for all involved. Every couple has it's differences, but when it comes to life philosophy there needs to be at least some closeness in point of view even if you don't agree on certain points. In fact I wouldn't even see how a couple would get together if they had such opposing life philosophies - barring pure physical attraction I'm a fairly liberal, atheist, lesbian. I've worked 8-10 hours a day for almost 5 years with a conservative, born again Christian, straight guy. We get along grandly and I consider him one of the best friends I've ever had. We go out after work for beers a bunch. We look out for each other, share advice, laugh a ton, and respect each other and we really don't have any investment like a relationship. It's workable.
  11. Thus "random". A random accident of birth and culture. You are more likely to be a Christian if you were born and raised to a Christian family in America's bible belt. How many Christians have actually studies other religious texts? How many Muslims have studied other religious texts? You are right it is a completely emotional decision. Which blows my mind even more. Monotheistic religion will tell you that the fate of your soul hangs in the balance. Get it wrong and you face an eternity of torture (let's not even get started on that!). That to me would be the most important decision any person could make. Certainly not one you would take with blind faith/an emotional decision. But how many religious people take the time to go through all of the religions out there and make SUPER CERTAIN that they aren't making the wrong choice by cultural/experiential bias? Very few. In the case of that chap who converted to Christianity, I think it's pretty clear to see that had his care been administered by a Buddhist, an atheist, a humanist or any other person he probably wouldn't have converted to Christianity. Actually, it's not random at all. Your religion will most likely be the religion of your parents. Faith is learnt. I think religion is taught and learned. Faith is a variable based on experience, usually emotional experience referring to spiritual faith. Sunday night I watched a video of a Lebanese Muslim who was taught the Koran by his mother daily and raised to be a martyr for Allah. He later was given military training and sent to the U.S. to participate in cultural jihad. He was in an automobile accident requiring a prolonged recovery. His care just happened to be administered by Christians. He was overwhelmed by their unconditional love. He sought the truth from Allah and received nothing. Again in prayer he sought the truth from Christ and received his answer. He instantly converted to Christianity. Spiritual answers are not logical and rational but none the less real. A side thought, how many Muslims are actively involved in cultural jihad here in America?
  12. +1 I find it shocking how those who have religious belief simply cannot see that their "choice" of religion is completely random. If "faith" is the answer for why people believe then how on earth do they distinguish between all the tens of thousands of religions there have been, are and will be? They can't. I have no problem with people living their lives like that. But when they hassle me about me lack of religious belief and expect to try and convert me to their religion then platitudes don't cut it. There is no logical proof of a God and more importantly there is no way of working out which "God" it is. But religious people tend to point to their book and say "it says its true in here". Well it says that in virtually every religious book in the world. How do you choose? I believe in cause and effect, yes. That's not religion. I think your boiling down of religion is far too simplified. If religion stopped at, "we came from somewhere," then people wouldn't be killing each other over it. Religion (at least Abrahamaic ones) divide people into us and them, believers and infidels, good and evil. No, it means that I don't believe that we were designed by a higher power, and need to live our lives according to His will. That's it. You're hung up on this notion of something from nothing, but that's really not the root of it all. Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, sent from heaven to take on the sins of humanity, and only though Him can you enter into heaven? No? How can you take such an absolutist position without proof? How can you know for sure that isn't the truth? What about Vishnu? Or Odin? Or Allah? How can you take such an absolutist position that they are not the one true God? Your beliefs (what ever they are) leave no room for interpretation either, you just don't seem to see it. Logic is all I have. Just because you don't follow the logic doesn't mean it isn't there. I think you misunderstand atheism. I don't wake up in the morning and think, "Today I'm going to hate God and religious people. Nothing anyone says can convince me otherwise." There's no active hate like the KKK. Frankly, I'd drop the hate group thing, it's pretty offensive. Atheist are as sure of their position as religious people are of theirs. Why is one extreme and not the other? Since religion is man's creation, you can't separate the two like that. Really? I think most religious people would disagree. They seem to know quite well what God is like, and how he expects us to behave. Yes. Yes. Same way you're concluded there are no unicorns. I agree.
  13. Sorry I haven't had/noticed that feeling in skydiving, most people don't. Tandem jumps do have some differences from solo jumps, so it's possible you won't (for example tandem jumps involve a stomach drop feeling when you deploy as you release the drogue in order to deploy the main, dropping you faster for a second or two. Its called the trapdoor effect). Either way, if you enjoy the rest of the experience, it will probably something you will grow to love or at the very least not really notice. When you are doing a tandem, you have nothing to occupy your mind and body, whilst jumping solo/fun jumping you will be focusing on exiting stable and (if doing relative work/freeflying/other disciplines) other tasks in your skydive. This could explain why most of us don't ever feel that dropping feeling you do, because we are hyper focused on other things.
  14. What evidence is there to support that a ban on guns would achieve less gun violence? And if there was indeed less gun violence, what do you believe would be the effect (or non-effect) on other forms of violence? Could there be circumstances where being an idealist is a bad thing? A kind of "road to hell paved with good intentions" kind of deal?
  15. Obviously that's the extreme position I'm talking about In all seriousness, it is clear that guns (amongst many other things) kill a lot of people worldwide. So, if you are being serious on here, what do you hope to achieve with a total gun ban and what makes you think it is achievable?
  16. I think this is the main problem. My girlfriend says all the time that "extreme" viewpoints, regardless of their motive, are almost always bad. The more I think about it, the more I agree with her. The "ban every gun in the world" anti-gun lobby are just as wrong and dangerous as the "no limits" pro-gun lobby. Both can lead to people dying unnecessarily. There's even someone in here who suggested the death penalty for anyone who has a gun! Extreme viewpoints are almost never based on actual reality, but on utopian ideals. Reality is more nuanced than "all guns are bad" and "more guns are good". Unfortunately the world's media/politicians tends to be very good at whipping up polarising opinions, none more so than the American.
  17. When you hear these incidents on the news (only a small portion of actual incidents) every other day it is regular and, given the subject matter, depressing. No it isn't. HTH
  18. I've have lived in 2 societies (UK and France) where guns are illegal for self defence. In both of these societies guns are available for purchase for sporting purposes - including AR-15s and other "assault rifles". The UK banned hand guns for sport because of a single shooting incident in Scotland. In France handguns are still legal. In both countries, like everywhere, you are allowed to meet lethal force with lethal force but good luck using your gun to do that as it has to be locked up in your house with ammunition stored in seperate areas of your dwelling. And, as I've said you cannot carry a gun, knife, cosh, baton, spray or anything to defend yourself in either country. Gun crime continues with illegal bought handguns, many young black boys are killed by other black boys in london, nottingham, manchester and other cities around the UK. They use guns, and if they can't get hold of guns they use kitchen knifes. In London's Notting Hill carnival myself and friends have witnessed 2 stabbings in one day. Where I used to work, in Victoria (London) a young school boy aged 15 was chased into the metro station by a gang of about 10-20 other school children brandishing samurai swords and kitchen knifes. They proceeded to brutally hack him to death in the middle of the evening rush hour in front of hundreds of commuters. All of whom could do nothing to intervene against an armed group. This is depressingly regular shit. In Woolwich, London, just a few months ago a young soldier was run over and decapitated by 2 men in broad daylight. Again, all civilians could do was watch in horror. By the team police turned up and shot the pair the young soldier was lying dead on the floor. In France just last week, the son of a jewelry store owner was shot dead by armed robbers after he attempted to resist their robbery. He was unarmed. Just a few days later another jewelry store managed to thwart an armed robbery because he, unlike the other store, actually exercised his right to own a firearm for self-defence (those whose job puts them in harms way in France can apply for the licence). He shot dead his attacker. In Marseille, France, barely a week goes by without more stories of people being killed with AK-47s. These firearms are legal in France in semi-automatic. But the ones used for the murders are fully-automatic and are brought illegally. Both the UK and France have (contrary to worldwide belief) HUGE gun-ownership. Nearly every house where I live in France has at least 2-3 firearms: usually semi-auto shotguns and high powered, high capacity hunting rifles. Yet the majority of killings are done with illegally obtained weapons or, where people where unable to get hold of firearms, blades. You talk a lot about banning guns and how it will solve everything. My experience leads me to disagree.
  19. I for one don't equate self-defence with death or firearms. Every human being has the legal right to resist attack using proportionate force in virtually every country I can think of that has a legal system. That may involve firearms or not.
  20. Fucking hell. We really are the most fucked up species to have ever existed on this planet.
  21. "How long you been doing this?" "Couple of weeks" Woo!" Hahaha
  22. Fair enough, I can see your point of view. There I gotta disagree... I've always been straight up about what I'm doing and the hazards involved. It's really only fair to them - and if something should happen to me, I don't want friends & family saying "That dumbshit thought it was SAFE" It's a risk, and it's a risk that I understand fully and choose to take - again, I feel the reward I receive is worth it. I think I 'ease their burden' more by being truthful, by letting them know I appreciate the concern and that I do everything possible to mitigate the risk involved. To 'downplay' any part of that is to take away from both who I am, and what the sport IS ~ what it means to me. After careful consideration I decided to stop motorcycle riding & BASE ~ my wife stopped flying competitive aerobatics and performing her airshow act when we adopted our 3 kids...we'd both lost too many friends doing those things and it didn't seem right to keep playing those odds when others needed us around. I kept Skydiving because I need that & if done conservatively I believe the risk to be minimal...I've been in the sport 38 years and have never been injured - I stay safe because I want to do it again next time. Like Jeb WILL get injured - thanks but no thanks. The video in question wasn't meant to be a PR move to gain mainstream interest in that sport, it was IMO an honest characterization of what it is, who does it & where it may lead. I think we need MORE of that, too many people out there watch youtube vids of proximity flying etc. and think they're on the fast track to rockin' a wingsuit two weeks after their tandem. There are people in both sports these days that have no business being there, but we've 'sugar coated' it so much they don't have a clue as to the sour taste that is also served up at times with the sweet coating one sees first. No...I like the story, I like what it says and the way it says it. It's kinda like when Paul Harvey use to say ~ ...and now, for the REST of the story.
  23. I think from our point of view, it's good to see the reality of it. For the record I think that what they were talking about in terms of the danger and the real chance of not surviving very long was spot on from the little I know about BASE. Certainly Jeb Corliss knows what he is talking about. What gave me the "bitter" aftertaste was that this documentary, along with the Bridge to Nowhere documentary, is available to the general public. The general public already have a wildly exaggerated idea of the danger of skydiving, BASE and such sports. I've heard shit like "1 in 10 skydives ends in fatality" Like the lady in 20 seconds of joy, we have friends and family around us that worry excessively about our safety because of our chosen sports - why pile on more worry with documentaries like this. I would never want my family or friends to see shit like this, they already worry as it is. We as a group whether we are skydivers, base jumpers or whatever should always try to open our eyes to the real dangers of these sports - we should never sugarcoat reality for ourselves. BUT, for our friends and family, I think a little bit of sugarcoating and white lying is necessary to lessen their emotional burden. Is it really necessary to have Jeb Corliss explain that BASE jumpers will get seriously hurt, watch close friends die and quite possibly die themselves; to the general public? Is it really necessary to have the general public be able to watch BASE jumpers go in and see their bodies lying in the woods impaled on a piece of tree like we saw in Bridge to Nowhere? Or watch them talk to the film-maker and then die on camera 5 minutes later? Non BASE jumpers friends and family will jump to the same conclusions about skydiving cos "they both involve jumping off things with a parachute". Unnecessary drama for the general public, but most certainly "need-to-watch" stuff for anyone looking to get into BASE.
  24. I was paying attention, thanks for the patronising command though I think it does. This whole "I can't stop, where will this end, am I normal, I have a pathological urge to push the limits", Jeb Corliss's whole "look how extreme I am" attitude (don't get me wrong, he knows what he is talking about). It's just the vibe it gives off. I'll watch it again, perhaps I'm completely off-base (no pun intended) here, but just from my subjective point of view it didn't show things in a good light. No-one has to agree with me, there's no objective standard here. It's interesting to hear other's point of view.
  25. Yep, I watched the whole thing. That's okay, you don't have to agree. Not stirring up shit, just my opinion.