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daynightindicator last won the day on December 17 2016

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About daynightindicator

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  1. FLEA those are very good points and FWIW we are very close on many concepts you spoke about - namely getting to the root cause of why certain societal groups don’t see positive results while others do. One thing I realized reading that is that at some point, my personal definition of privilege changed from having something I “shouldn’t” have to having something someone else “doesn’t” have. That made it seem less like a personal attack on me and instead made me more interested in learning about the other persons experience. Semantics maybe, but like you said words do matter. 100% agree with addressing poverty and income inequality - by finding good policies and incentives so we can grow the pie, rather than simply redistribution of existing slices.
  2. Agree that some people definitely use it to shame or score points...I try to avoid engaging with that stuff and I stay away from the fringe elements of both sides of the political spectrum because there’s pretty much no goodness to be had there. I think the numbers were indicating that there was something like a 6:1 chance that a black airman receives NJP as opposed to a white airman. Hopefully they investigate to see the details of why that is. For example, if you find that consistently, black airmen are punished more severely or at a higher rate for the exact same offense as white airmen, that indicates a major problem. I don’t remember hearing the stats on the promotion stuff, just that they found similar statistics indicating there may be a problem. Also, I think these issues are difficult to address because you can only get so far with policy. I’ve always believed that PRFs should go up to the board with no personal information whatsoever - just a randomly assigned number in place of all that admin stuff. However that would not address issues in stratification/OPR writing where commanders’ potential biases are captured.
  3. One thing I think a lot of people miss with the “privilege” argument is that it’s not (or shouldn’t be) intended to shame, punish, or otherwise degrade the group with that privilege. It’s more about just understanding what other groups have to deal with and how those experiences might shape their views and actions. If you think someone is using the privilege argument to shame you or cast themselves as a helpless victim, I would A) reconsider their argument carefully to see if it’s misinterpreted, and B) if that truly is their argument, disregard them because it’s not helpful. It took me a while to understand that, but I can now see that, as a white male, there are experiences and obstacles that I have never and will never face that a black man (or woman, or other minority group) has and will. Same goes for different gender, religion, etc. I’m talking about common experiences, not individual stories of adversity...obviously there are people of all backgrounds with incredibly diverse stories that don’t fit a trite narrative. This doesn’t mean that I can’t be proud of my accomplishments, or that I somehow didn’t earn what I have, or that I shouldn’t be in the position I’m in because I am white. However, understanding that some of my airmen have obstacles or experiences that are unique to their skin color, gender, etc. is enlightening and important, and through that understanding hopefully I can be a better leader for them. Examples are plentiful and talking to your airmen or other friends in minority groups can really open your eyes. I had a SrA in my squadron tell me he and his brother were refused the sale of a handgun by a white store owner who assumed they were going to use it for a crime, despite the fact that both were of legal age and active duty military with clean records. Another Airman in our wing spoke up about how differently he is treated at the mall when is in uniform vs. out of uniform. Plenty of other examples, and that’s just with one minority group. Also, systemic (not systematic) racism is evident in the USAF promotion system and criminal justice system. I don’t have the exact stats in front of me, but that point was made by several senior leaders in recent days, and is apparently bad enough to warrant an independent investigation. I’m glad to see military leaders trying to confront it head on. It’s going to be a difficult and uncomfortable thing to talk about but in the end it will make us stronger, or at the very least, help us know more about each other.
  4. Again, buying time could get us back to, and remain in, a containment phase. I’m not a huge fan of relying on non peer-reviewed articles written by non-experts on the webs but if that’s your jam, here is another Medium article describing how a broader strategy would play out after a hard-core mitigation phase. https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56 And here’s a published, peer-reviewed piece on how cities who cracked down hard and fast during the 1918 pandemic rebounded faster economically than those who resisted tough restrictions. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3561560
  5. I think the idea is to flatten the curve to buy time, which if used properly to build up testing and acute care capacity, allows you to move back into the “containment” phase where you can quickly identify new cases/clusters, and isolate before they cause exponential growth. Gradual reintroduction of social freedoms could be applied along with improved testing and treatment, to essentially play “whack-a-mole” as cases pop up until a vaccine is developed. The article (written by a mathematician, not an epidemiologist or virologist) only makes a passing reference to those changes, noting that they should be specified in modeling (which I would think they are if you look into the 1s and 0s of the inputs to the models). The main thesis (deferring spikes if social distancing is the only factor in the model) is valid but doesn’t acknowledge broader strategies.
  6. Installation commander may restrict travel to AD folks at their discretion. The home/work commute verbiage is actually the AFI definition of local area. My understanding (after working this at the unit level for the past week) is that leave travel of government civilians (GS employees) cannot be restricted, but *could* result in a situation where the individual is quarantined, and would not automatically be paid (individual could have to use personal leave/comp time, etc). Contractors get their guidance from their companies, but installation commander could always restrict their base access. Regular civilians (dependents, etc) are not subject to these rules but their actions could impact their sponsors (spouse travels to China, may result in quarantine for sponsor). I learned a lot this week about all this and this is my best understanding. Open for spears if anyone has other info. Crazy times indeed.
  7. 8/13 board members will be rated officers in the “large board” (Air Ops category) from the slides I saw today.
  8. Quick update - return to fly approved! Total time DNIF was about 5 weeks and included a PCS. Two awesome docs worked together and put in the waiver paperwork. Definitely helped that it was a “one-off” event, and was written up as such. Also, no cause was discovered which allowed the docs more leeway to use their judgement.
  9. Agree 100%. NATO is our bulwark. We need to defend the wall. Our disorganization in the international community is terrible but we need to get ready to defend our alliance.
  10. Shout out to Amy and NBKC for another seamless VA home loan. This is my third loan with her (two home loans and a refi, all VA) over ten years and the experience only gets better. All paperwork completed over the interwebs with the exception of the final documentation that required wet signatures/notary. From offer acceptance to closing was ~20 days. Rate was exceptional.
  11. In general, I would agree, but sometimes you don’t have the luxury of passing it off to someone else, especially if your leadership has decided the task is yours alone to complete. The most difficult cases I’ve had usually fell in one of two categories: 1) the request is made laterally to someone of equal rank/position, or 2) it’s made to an outside agency...sometimes a combination of the two. Both require people skills to get your desired outcome. Dale Carnegie’s “How to Make Friends and Influence People” is a great generic guide to both. Finding a way to “sell” your request as being mutually beneficial, or even just beneficial to the person you’re dealing with, is an art form, but yields great results. It’s amazing how far people will go to help you if they actually like you - even mediocre performers.
  12. Losing your cool as a leader is the fastest way to lose credibility with anyone. That goes double with civilian employees, many of which have double or triple the amount of time-served that you likely do, and will remain in their jobs long after you leave. This is the first job in which I’ve led civilians, and I learned quickly that when you are unhappy with their performance, you have to be honest, firm (does not mean yelling), and document everything. You should also personalize your approach to their personality type (and yours!). I look like an idiot when I yell or lose my temper, so I usually go with disappointed-dad, or with a poker-face/unemotional demeanor during those instances. That probably doesn’t apply as cleanly to the SES/flag level world, which I imagine is like a very boring version of Game of Thrones, but the concept of treating people with respect goes far. If you ever have to use your rank in anything more than a general introduction or email signature in order to get something done or get someone to listen to you, you’ve already failed.
  13. The wife and I are both WSOs on AD...15ish years for me on the MDS, about 10 for her. She is in excellent health, not on meds, etc. This weekend she experienced two syncopal episodes (loss of consciousness) while we were eating lunch. No alcohol involved, she had finished her food and all she was drinking was water. First time lasted 60-90 seconds, second time occurred while paramedics were checking BP and lasted less than 10 seconds. She had low BP (no surprise there) but at the ER all her labs came back normal. She's not pregnant (that was confirmed). No root cause established. Saw the flight doc today, more labs (NSTR) and she is now trying to get an appointment with a cardiologist but that will take a little while. Anyway, the flight doc says it could be a bit of work to get her returned to flight status. Does anyone know which regulation would apply to this and specifically, where waiver information might be found? Her DO recommended we familiarize ourselves with the terminology surrounding the waiver so she can use the right vocabulary with the cardiologist (who will be a civilian) and increase her chances of returning to fly. Fortunately, she is PCSing shortly to a non-flying gig (school) so there is some time to work this without it impacting an ops assignment. Thanks for any help or advice in advance. PMs welcome, but open responses are fine too, as they might help someone else in a similar situation.
  14. They are eating the cost. They’re on a fixed-price incentive contract (FPIF for the acq-type folks), meaning they pay all costs that go over on the initial contract, with a potential to receive additional gov money if they meet certain metrics for performance.
  15. I would suggest speaking with your new unit’s flight surgeon as they often have the inside track on the waiver process. I had a micro-discectomy about 10 years ago and have an indefinite waiver to allow me to continue to fly ejection seat aircraft, although I was already flying actively at the time of the surgery. What I’ve found is that once you can get through the door, there is almost nothing that can’t be waived if you’re persistent, patient, and find the right folks to advocate for you. Good luck! Your unit will certainly benefit from your background and experience.
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