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Everything posted by DougH

  1. On Friday I hang out with my Friends. Some of them aren't of the same ethnicity, sexual orientation, or political mindset. I have plenty of criteria for selecting friends but the amount of melanin, the language their parents spoke in their house growing up, and what they like to do in bed and to whom isn't criteria that I care about. As was already pointed out who you hang out with has more to do with where you live, and certain races/ethnicities have to face systemic barriers to where they live. But maybe you are referring to "like-minded" racists, bigots, and American Taliban type folks? Those birds do seem to flock together, big flocks of shit birds.
  2. DougH


    I wake up everyday and thank Cthulhu that Westerly primary occupation is posting nonsense on, instead of something involving public health, medical research, or anything science based that goes beyond the level of a 5th grade baking soda volcano. The AstraZeneca news out of South Africa is definitely interesting, and concerning. It shows just how much complexity is involved. South Africa has halted their early phase rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but their decision is pretty nuanced. A trial of 2,000 individuals showed that it wasn't effective at reducing mild to moderate disease from the SA variant in younger individuals. I believe the trial participants were in their 30's. I believe that it still reduced severe disease and death, and it is hard to extrapolate to the higher risk population. Since the initial phase was going to health care workers, who are younger and lower risk, you really need to consider whether you give them a vaccine that shows poor protection of mild to moderate disease. There are limited doses, there are ethical constraints about giving someone a treatment shown to be ineffective for their primary risk, and then there the optics and social impacts of people getting a vaccine and then getting sick. If they were at the stage of vaccinating seniors they may have made a different choice.
  3. NJ had a somewhat controversial judicial decision that municipalities were required to use their zoning regulations to promote affordable housing. At the time some municipalities had zoning regulations that actively prevented low-income affordable housing projects from being built. It was called the Mount Laurel doctrine, I was familiar with it because my mother was a Real-estate agent for a developer. Towns found a way around it. They sold and purchased qualifying affordable housing projects, just like cap and trade and carbon credits. Rather than get a mix of residents some of these towns paid other municipalities for their excess affordable housing starts, and they often paid large sums to keep their demographics static. We are absolutely segregated by economics and where we live, and most people are very comfortable with the status quo. We just bought a house this summer in a rural farming/commuter bedroom town. It is largely white and affluent. The lack of diversity was actually one of the main negatives that I considered, but the large wooded lot and cul-de-sac was a huge draw. I plan on getting my son involved in activities as he gets older that will introduce him to a more diverse peer group, because I think it is really important. I also hope we can travel to different countries. I think it is also important that understands how different his life experience is than others.
  4. We had multiple years of lack luster growth following the Great Recession. Many economist have blamed that on the push for austerity measures in the US and Globally. I would classify ten years of shitty growth because people pushed politics instead of sound economic policy long term harm. At the time I was on board with it too. Borrowing is at an all time low for the US government, more harm is had from doing nothing. It would be like failing to apply a tourniquet because you are going to have to pay down the road to replace the item in your trauma kit.
  5. Absolutely agreed, but even if we had completely elastic unlimited supply of high quality health care it still would still result in a unnecessary loss of life. But as you correctly pointed out we don't have unlimited health care, and it will cause instances where people are denied care because there is no room.
  6. Even if we had unlimited health care resources it would still be exceptionally stupid to ignore precautions before we can get a good number folks vaccinated. Herd immunity through lax prevention measures and actual infections is a good way to play mutation bingo. We have been pretty lucky that the variants that have come about have only been more infectious without much additional increase virulence, though I am hearing that the UK strain may be more virulent but I haven't looked beyond the sound bite. Every new infection is a potential chance for the virus to mutate into something much more more deadly Play stupid games win stupid prizes. Would really suck to have it mutate into something that starts killing significantly more people, and it isn't out of the realm of possibilities.
  7. That means it will be disposable income, and hopefully it will get spent. That is the whole concept of stimulus. If I get an additional $1,400 it is going to go towards some deferred improvements at my home, which will get a few dollars into a contractor's pockets. Also, almost everyone, employed and unemployed have face higher cost of living because of this pandemic. As far as your understanding of the unemployment rate, that isn't even close to being correct. A 15% unemployment rate doesn't mean 85% of people are working. The measure doesn't count those that have stopped looking for work and have left the labor pool.
  8. It was a shit sandwich either way. States were flying by the seat of their pants, especially given the limited guidance from the Fed. We were just starting to figure all of this out. They were faced with capacity constraints at the hospitals, and I don't think at that time it was known just how stratified the risk curve was based on age and comorbidities. From a triage sense I could understand sending nursing home patients back to nursing homes if you thought that you were going to run out of hospital capacity causing more able-bodied "treatable" individuals to die because there were no icu beds available. I think it was a failure to plan, and a failure of imagination. It is probably too simple to call it gross negligence, it was probably more of a case of trying to do the least amount of overall harm to the society. I am glad I didn't have to make those calls myself.
  9. I agree, it is about time. This was a crime against humanity, and the damage it caused will be borne by some of our most disadvantaged citizens for the rest of their life. Young children carry the scars of lead poisoning for life.
  10. 100% They forcibly entered one of the most sensitive areas of our National government. They could have been armed, some were, they could have had explosives, I believe some were also discovered in the area. This was an attack on the seat of our government, it should have been responded to no differently that if it was a group of jihadists, or foreign combatants. They should have been met with automatic weapons fire, and the firing should have continued until there ceased to be a threat, either because they were all on the ground or because they retreated from the building.
  11. To bad they all didn't get to meet Reagan. I don't understand how they weren't fired on. Once they breached the building they should have been considered dangerous enemy combatants and they should have been given the room temperature challenge.
  12. I am surprised he hasn't announced his run in 2024 yet. But he is still claiming he won the current election, so he will probably wait until the day after he gets dragged out of the Whitehouse on inauguration day. It would be a dumbass move to declare early, and true to form would be against the recommendations of many advisors. I read a piece recently that he has much better flexibility in fundraising if he is only exploring a run versus declaring a run. The restrictions and reporting gets much more onerous once he is an actual candidate. He would probably make it to the ticket because of our terrible primary system. I might switch my party affiliation back from Libertarian to vote against him in a primary. Too bad we couldn't get a bunch of moderate voters to switch their party affiliation as well, or just show up to vote in the primaries in general, to vote against him in large numbers.
  13. Very interesting and informative, thank you for the share. Thoughtful interviewing and straight forward answers, that is rather refreshing.
  14. DougH


    I honestly think people that callous, and selfish, with such a complete lack of concern for other human beings shouldn't be sharing our air. They are going to go on and breed the next generation of terrible selfish humans, it is a real shame. "She recalled one conversation from that wedding, before she left the reception. “I have children,” she told a bridesmaid. “What if my children die?” The bridesmaid responded, “I understand, but this is her wedding day.” Speechless.
  15. I haven't hit the boogie circuit in a few years, but I will remember Mark from many of the awesome trips I made when I was a newer jumper. He was welcoming, fun, an all around great guy. He was also one hell of a pilot, and he did a great job getting us to altitude. Blue skies.
  16. DougH

    THE Vaccine

    You won't let this go will you? You can shout it from the roof tops in every thread but it doesn't change the fact that your position on this is asinine.
  17. Again you are comparing college graduate to college graduate. You shouldn't extol the virtues of data when you are using the statistics wrong. Roughly 30% of the US population has 4-year degrees. Minorities have an even lower percentage of college degrees against their peer group, something like 10 or 11% for Latinos and 17% for African Americans. Student debt may overwhelmingly affect poorer and minorities due to multiple circumstances, but that isn't consistent with how degrees and education debt is distributed.
  18. I was a from a upper middle class family. I had some help from my parents early on, but I personally funded the majority of my cost of earning my degree. I didn't qualify for grants, subsidized loans, or any type of direct government assistance. So what bucket do I fall in to? I would argue that a big part of the problem was government intervention in the first place. It wasn't the small percentage of wealthy students that caused this inflation, and if they were already lucky enough to walk away fully debt free then their families were paying full price already. You are missing the boat when you compare between college students. This isn't lower income/wealth student versus higher parental income/wealth student. It is college educated versus non-college educated, who will disproportionately be stuck footing the budgetary expenditure of outright student loan forgiveness.
  19. What I suggested further above is closer to fair. No outright forgiveness, peg repayment amounts to some measure of annual income and maybe net worth, and maybe consider forgiveness of the remainder at the age SS would kick in. There should be a general benefit to the economy by freeing up spending for some of the lower earning highly burdened college borrowers. No one gets an entirely free ride, it is less regressive, and it sticks the taxpayer with the bill further down the road. Many of the loans would just get repaid in full by the borrowers if they are higher income earners, which would result in less being paid by non college educated taxpayers.
  20. There is a different moral hazard when you compare defaulting on a loan to a business entity, versus paying off an individuals debt with collective taxpayer funds. One stiffs a business that was a willing party to the transaction, the other burdens an individual that had nothing to do with the loan, and didn't benefit from it in any way. I say change the laws that protect student loan debt from bankruptcy. Make the schools guarantee the loans through some mechanism so they have skin in the game. I bet that curtails costs and results in more thoughtful lending practices.
  21. I tend to agree with you on these points. Forgiving these loans outright is simply subsidizing inflated tuition, and sticking tax payers with the bill. It is regressive since the majority of tax payers don't even have college degrees or the higher earning potential that a degree generally allows one to achieve. It doesn't solve the problem of inflated tuition, underselling the trades to our youth, etc. Something income based that set payments as a percentage of your disposable income would be a little bit better. There should be no immediate loan forgiveness, peg the payments to income and have them continue until retirement age. It still leaves a sour taste in my mouth, being a responsible borrower who paid off my loans in full over the last 13 years, and it should leave a sour taste in the mouth of non college graduates, but at least it isn't a instant freebie.
  22. I voted electronically before it went down. Was this just a site outage, or was their functionality that needed to be fixed. Just wondering if I should worry that my vote wasn't counted.
  23. I blew my ankle up on a tandem work jump. Weird winds that day and I got some lift and then sink off a thermal on final, we landed hard despite a flare to my toes. I let my legs take as much of the impact as possible, and my left ankle "stuck" as we continued forward. The result was an unharmed student, and a dislocated left ankle with a bimalleolar fracture. It looked like my fibula was hit with a sledge hammer, and I had several surgeries to include external fixation, then internal fixation with one plate w/ 6 screws, and another 2 screws on the opposite side. It was 3 months before I was weight bearing, and almost 9 months before I was jumping. Do as much as you can to maintain mobility in the ankle, and do as much PT as you can get coverage for. Don't rush back to jumping, and also work on your balance and proprioception. I am probably 95% 5 years later. I do have less mobility in that ankle, and it does get cranky sometimes, but most days I barely noticed that it happened. Best advise I can give would be to get a knee crutch if you have any extended period of time before getting weight bearing. Google iWalk 2.0. It will make your mobility 10000x better and it will help will help you fend off some atrophy in the upper leg. Worth every single penny.
  24. I struggle with this subject, and I have a lot of conflicting viewpoints. I think that the government and higher education institutions are largely to blame for the huge increase in the cost of a college degree relative to inflation. Where is the pound of flesh from these universities and colleges that enriched themselves and their staff offering degrees with low return on investment that came with ever increasing tuition bills. What about the lending industry that was protected by the fact that student loans aren't dischargeable. I also think that the US society at large has responsibility for this blind promotion of college. There are a lot of dumbass boomer and gen x parents out there that pushed their kids to go on a college path with zero plan, backed up by their kids high school guidance counselors. These kids were following the plan laid out for them, and were stuck paying grossly inflated tuition that others used to make a tidy profit from. From a personal responsibility stand-point it does chap my ass. I have paid off all of my college debt, almost 50k, that I incurred earning my BS in accounting. Do I get a rebate? I think any forgiveness plan needs to be paired with a complete overhaul of the system in general because right now it is nothing short of another tax payer funded ponzi scheme.
  25. DougH


    Sorry just couldn't help myself.