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  1. I picked up the phone, and my father said "turn on CNN. Were those the guys I was talking to last week?" "That's them." My father never jumped, but he enjoyed coming to the dropzone, talking to people while he took pictures, and he rode right seat in Papa Victor to take photos of groups exiting. Flying back from Perris he said that he understood the appeal of the sport, and that I had great friends. As an aside, a week later I was on the way to altitude on 9HW when Steve Woods made reference to seat belt use and Mike said "you'll never get skydivers to wear seat belts." "Turn around." Everyone was belted. After Tommy Piras bounced AADs became de rigueur, and after PV you didn't see jumpers without seat belts on takeoff. The tuition was dear, but the lessons seem to have been learned. BSBD, Winsor
  2. I just stumbled across the video of Joe's memorial dive and I'm floored. I had not seen Joe for 20 some odd years, but spent a lot of time with him in the '90s, in various States and a couple of countries. This sucks.
  3. Any beer that requires a lime to be palatable is unworthy of consideration.
  4. For those who missed it, the Plague of Justinian that started in 541 CE had the effect of initiating the Dark Ages. Justinian had managed to turn the Mediterranean back into a Roman lake just before yersinia pestis cropped up. When the dust settled, the surviving population consisted of those who didn't get out much so there wasn't much left of the empire. After the virulent biological pathogen had done its thing, virulent communicable mental illnesses took over. The sickest cults held sway and vied for turf, with the Cult of the Magic Jewish Zombie duking it out with the Cult of the Illiterate Pervert Psychopath, and these particular mental illnesses are still endemic. The medical ramifications of the Wuhan Corona Virus, severe though they may be, are quite limited by comparison to the paradigm shift they herald. The problem is not the pin, it's the bubble. Every economy in the world is based on Fiat Currency, which is dependent upon turnover for survival. Shut down trade and economies implode. In the US of A, for example, the Government is in debt to the tune of some $220,000 for every taxpayer - with nothing to show for it (unless you can sell aircraft carriers on eBay). The rest of the world is pretty much as bad off; if any of the major powers tries to survive on its 'savings' it's screwed. FWIW, what's unfolding now will make the Plague of Justinian look like the 'good old days' that we remember fondly. Enjoy yourself - it's later than you think. In the words of Glenn Frey or Don Henley, "I could be wrong but I'm not." BSBD, Winsor
  5. To understand religion one should study epidemiology. Some mental malware is more virulent than others, and some is downright weaponized. The whole idea that existence as we appear to know it is the result of some entity that is orders of magnitude more massive and complex than what we perceive, yet is completely undetectable, is patent nonsense. That which is submitted without evidence may be dismissed without evidence. I find Islam is a prime example of religion as a form of psychosis. The Cult of the Illiterate Pervert Psychopath could hardly be a more transparent mechanism for the exercise of power. Christianity, the Cult of the Magic Jewish Zombie, is not much (if any) better - it is an example of Truth by Committee at its finest. A dispassionate review of its history reveals it to be as bad as it gets without imploding. Mormon and Scientology are definitive, verifiable bullshit, yet they have an amazing number of adherents. The fact that it is all tripe is irrelevant. That religion meets any general criteria for mental illness is hardly a theory. It is a demonstrable fact. BSBD, Winsor
  6. Religion is easily defined as a communicable form of mental illness. Some variants are more benign than others, though it is generally the more virulent that propagate most effectively. Weaponized viruses rule. As far as the difference between atheism and agnosticism, think smurfs. Agnostics are polite enough to say that maybe there really are smurfs somewhere, while atheists come out and say that you must be joking. The 'logic' by which people support Scientology or Islam or any other compendium of patent nonsense is rarely more than a study in applied fallacy. As far as the warm fuzzy feeling that religion gives, the Onion has it nailed: Coming to the idea of 'morality,' the moral standards of religion have been behind much of the most truly evil behavior in human history. The religious texts I have on hand mandate genocide, slavery and a host of other things that I personally find deplorable. YMMV. If it is only the instructions of a mythical construct by which you would live you life in an honest and ethical manner, there is something wrong with you. BSBd, Winsor
  7. In all fairness, since default is inevitable it is a wonderful thing that we have a chief executive that has made a career of going bankrupt and somehow still living high on the hog. Unfortunately, I suspect that the American People will be among those who get stiffed when the US of A files Chapter 11 (or 7, as did the USSR). It won't be boring.
  8. It turns out that the deficit doesn't matter. I had been subject to the delusion that every single time this approach had been taken historically, the results had been the same - economic disaster. Silly me.
  9. Climate change is a symptom, not the disease:
  10. Since my only exposure to his work is via Wikipedia, it's hard to say. That he does not appear to be on board with political correctness is OK with me. I have known rather a few people who lived as the other sex, which is fine. When people claim to BE the other sex,and insist that their choice be universally accepted, that's where I call bullshit. If I was to self identify as Chihuahua Apache or Mandingo, I would not expect much of a buy in. The whole lesbian trapped in a man's body is part of a comedy routine, and I reserve the right to treat it as a joke (even though I know people who have undergone the transition on that basis). Thus, I am sure that my standpoint would differ with Jordan's on many points, I applaud his resistance to the SJWs. BSBD, Winsor
  11. One of the problems we have is the tendency to talk past each other. As you are aware, there are various types of definition - lexical, stipulative, precising, technical, legal, medical and so forth - so two people can use a word and mean entirely different things. 'Diversity' as presented in every Government-approved course I have endured makes a big deal out of group membership. The Julliard audition does not. There are skill sets that are peculiar to those from a particular background, where they can do things blindfolded that I could not if my life depended on it. Thus, the Mongolian example I gave referred to a level of excellence that would pass a double-blind evaluation. The principle of 'E Plurbus Unum' or 'from many one' is fine by me. Celebrating how we come together? Great. Celebrating our differences? Not so good. There are only two kinds of people on this earth - us and them. Whether you are one of us or them is largely up to you. BSBD, Winsor
  12. Not hardly. If I had a job description where Mongolian ladies were vastly superior to all other applicants, I'd hire the Mongolians without a second thought. 'Diversity' as most programs would have it, would voice anguish that somehow other ethnic groups were underrepresented. I am wildly indifferent to the ethnicity, sexual preferences or other parameters that get so much press, so long as it does not impact the work. I am with Dr. King in that the content of character is what matters, period. BSBD, Winsor