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Everything posted by nsplayr

  1. Reminds me of this quote from a book I'm reading right now: "I call it the democratization of discomfort. There were whole swaths of people uncomfortable all of the time. Now we're democratizing it. Now more people across different races and religions feel uncomfortable." - Jennifer Richeson, in Why We're Polarized by Ezra Klein, p. 125.
  2. No quibbles about keeping your manned flying logbooks fresh, but like I said before, I think the future is bright. I can easily envision a national airspace that has plenty of cargo aircraft flying as RPAs. Auto takeoff, fly an op mission with an e mission loaded, auto land, all monitored by RPA pilots or mission managers or whatever you wanna call it back in Memphis or Louisville. We’re in the baby steps phase where they’re doing some larger quad copters for local delivery, but we all know that much of the automation for airliner-sized RPAs already exists and I think cargo in particular will cut pilots (and associated life support necessities) from being on board their aircraft when they feel they can do safely and within the regulatory environment. I’m also very optimistic on the outlook for public safety agencies to use larger RPA-class aircraft for law enforcement and disaster response as that technology gets cheaper, easier to operate, and more acceptable to the FAA.
  3. Damn, sucks to lose guys like this. Him him 🥃
  4. In that case, by your own words, unfortunately you and I are not able to be fellows, friends, etc., and that sucks. I don't agree to that deal. I'll regularly talk politics with people and my friend group is split fairly evenly between more conservative military types and more liberal neighbors and college friends. Amongst all of them, I've honestly never talked with someone, let alone a fellow servicemember, who was crouched so defensively in his or her own position that they would say things like what you wrote above. Some of the guys & gals in my current unit are among the most die-hard right-wing Trump supporters I think likely exist, but there is always common ground, there are many shared beliefs and values, and we are friends. I refuse to believe that any honestly-felt differences on politics or policy or even values are so great as to put us in the situation you describe. Even though I'm not religious per se, I've pledged allegiance to the idea that our nation would be, "One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all," and I'm having a hard time squaring your above statements with that same pledge I'm sure you also said many times. Not trying to attack you with any of this, but real talk, I'm genuinely sad about what you're saying here and the mindset that led you to say what you did. I'm telling you all this out of respect too, because to say nothing would be to abandon you to the very division and discord you seem to not only accept, but even promote. My view is that we cannot be separate if we want to remain equal. We need people to do the hard work of finding common ground now more than at any previous time in my lifetime and I want to be able to look myself in the mirror and know that I'm trying my best to heal rather than divide. I hope you will reconsider.
  5. The protesters come from "shitholes," are "a violent & illegal mob," study "x-grievance programs in college," are "the enemy" and "deserve to be dropped." Cool cool, sorry to have engaged, I see that your mind is well made up. Honestly it makes me sad and disappointed that you just casually talk about your fellow citizens or just fellow human beings like that. This isn't war, where sometimes you need to dehumanize and "other-ize" in order to kill the enemy; this is America. What I'm arguing for re: this couple and your lionizing of them is that de-escalation of the situation and demonstrating responsible gun ownership would have been a better path. These folks are not heroic for branshing loaded firearms at people on the street walking by their house, with fingers often on the triggers and while also occasionally barrel-checking each other's backs. That's reckless behavior that I know you wouldn't tolerate in a combat zone, let alone what should be the expectation while on your front lawn in Anytown, USA.
  6. I'm confused here @Clark Griswold. I think you're lionizing a pair of barefoot homeowners coming out on to their porch and brandishing loaded weapons at people as they marched by their house during a protest of the Mayor who lived down the block? And with very poor trigger and barrel discipline I might add, I'm glad that they didn't accidentally shoot each other nor any of the protesters frankly. By all means, defend yourself if you are being physically assaulted and call the cops and/or intervene at your own risk if someone is damaging your property, but you can't just walk out of your house and point loaded weapons and people out on the street. This is not what responsible gun ownership looks like nor what responsible home ownership looks like, and I say that as both a gun owner and a homeowner. Standard disclosure so my conservative friends don't have an aneurysm: the Seattle anarchists/CHAZ/CHOP/whatever are f*cking stupid, looting is dumb, and I prefer a peaceful, orderly situation in my city as much as any of y'all do. But those two knuckleheads in the post above are also not helping the situation at all.
  7. If there was a specific intel report that said, "Putin is paying extremists to kill US troops in Afghanistan," would you not have wanted President Obama or President Bush to make a statement denouncing it and take some kind of action to push back on Russian aggression? This really isn't a case of "orange man bad" and wanting him to do something different...I want par for the course. We're not going to invade Moscow over it but I expect there so be something done no matter who's in the seat. I fully supported killing Awlaki and it's unfortunate that his son was there but his son wasn't the target. I do agree that assassinating a high-ranking official of a sovereign country that we're not at war with is a bad precedent, although as @FLEA points out it's one we've violated many times before. Even if Soleimani was bad, and he was very bad, it's just fundamentally different than an AQ or ISIS leader.
  8. I'll at least speak for me and say that I thought at the time that killing Soleimani in the manner in which we did was extremely dangerous and could have very easily sparked a larger conflict with Iran. Hell, I think that's what people like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo explicitly wanted! Even the folks that presented his assassination as an option felt that it was extreme and very unlikely to be selected...lesson learned, be careful what COAs you present to the Boss when trying to bracket the decision you'd like him/her to make! Knowing now that Iran's response would be quite docile, I'm glad Soleimani's dead; he was a very malign actor that no one outside of Iran & their allies was a fan of. Would piss on his grave if given the opportunity. So good job to the Admin I guess 🤷‍♂️ I feel like they pulled a Will Ferrell in the debate in Old School, i.e. totally unprepared, no plan, no way to mitigate downsides of a loss, etc., but I mean a W is a W even if I'm still not a fan of the "process" used to achieve this outcome. To your main point @Danger41, if the Russians were offering bounties to extremists on U.S. service members and anyone in the Admin knew about it, and we've yet to officially say anything or complain or sanction or anything...that's a serious lack of leadership and a betrayal of what it means when each of us puts our lives on the line for this country IMHO. That being said, it seems like there are still details that need to come out and I'd like to give the benefit of the doubt and let the Admin issue some kind of statement on the story one way or the other.
  9. Does anyone else still get jacked up flight pay? I recently-ish entered the $1K-a-month tier and yet without fail every month I now get 4x LESs. 1st of the month, normal pay with $325 flight pay, then about a week later another $175 in flight pay. Rinse and repeat for mid-month. I don't understand how this is not something easily rectified but then again it appears that every USAF finance system still runs on MS-DOS so who knows.
  10. I did the long commute & flew to my unit for a couple of years. They paid lodging at a local hotel when I'd come in for drill, so that was covered. The first couple of times I'd just rent a car but trying to bomb in late Friday night made that kinda non-viable. I eventually bought a beater car, drove it there once (11 hours), and just left it parked on base. Would get an Uber from the airport when I landed, pick up my car, and hit the hotel. Not the best lifestyle, hope your time doing it is short!
  11. As a very happy former CSO (first half of career) and current RPA pilot (second half of career), I wouldn't totally discount other ops/flying AFSCs because I've personally had a great time in both of mine, BUT...it seems like you just really want to be a manned pilot. In that case, go for your dream and don't let anyone tell you "no" until your last appeal is exhausted. I was told I wouldn't be able to commission due to some medical issues and that flying was completely out of the question by the chief of flight medicine at Andrews my senior year of ROTC. Well the joke's on you Doc, because I commissioned 2 months later, flew manned airplanes as a CSO, did 8 combat deployments, and now am a pilot on a second platform. BL: Don't give up and oh yea also go Guard! I learned that second lesson a bit late.
  12. ^^ this. I mean, if y’all aren’t using tarps while you lift, what in the hell are you even doing??
  13. Yea, that mostly. Don’t want to accidentally get any ladies pregnant who happen to be downwind from my lifting musk 💪🇺🇸 Also helps keep out the rain/dust/etc. somewhat. Inspired by a similar outdoor gym I used while deployed.
  14. Haha, thanks for the vote of confidence. I hear ya on everything you're saying above and I can absolutely see how fresh 18Xers would feel that way. I did a bunch of flying deployments as a CSO and I'm a Major and in the Guard, so I guess I'm just at the stage of my life where if people don't think RPAs are cool I'm good with just internally telling them to EABOD and move on. Plus our entire wing is now RPA/Cyber/Intel so we're actually the "cool kids" on base relatively speaking lol. Totally different sight picture as a 1Lt at Creech/Cannon with zero deployments and other manned pilots/leadership shitting on you. I don't have a lot of great answers to the issues you raised other than my recommendations of how I'd do training differently. I think even the bare minimum of some manned civilian flying during the pipeline helps gives guys confidence that, like you said, you could strap on a -172 for the weekend and go barnstorming around our great nation at a cool 85kts. That's not nothing. If you, as part of training, had guys with real FAA PPLs and Instrument ratings and a couple dozen hours of flying cross-country, in the WX, etc., that confidence boost I think would be meaningful. It would be great if the AF put more emphasis on the role that RPA is playing in fighting the current fight, which allows for a bit of recapitalization and re-training time for the peer fight that is now the #1 focus. My belief is that the next-gen RPAs will have a big role in that peer fight as well as in CONUS civilian aviation (cargo namely) and that young 18Xers should have high hopes for what the future holds given their skill set.
  15. Glad I never sold my equipment even after 3 moves. Since The Rona hit, my House of Gainz has remained open for business. I do miss the SCIF gym at the squadron though...nothing like getting a quick workout in while I’m on shift. Supposedly that’s opening back up soon 🤷‍♂️ Carport + tarps + horse stall mats + rogue bar + Wright Equipment bumper plates + adjustable squat rack and bench from Amazon + various smaller pieces. I also have a C2 rower that I keep inside...one day I’ll build out the carport into a real garage so I can row out there too. Only thing missing is a pull-up bar, but I’m finally installing one this week in the rafters after Rogue got the one I wanted back in stock. BL: after about 9 years of slowly buying things, I can do almost every workout I’d care to do without leaving home. #winning
  16. I never understood the purpose of RIQ in the first place. Either, A) tell the FAA to pound sand re: instrument rating to fly CONUS because guess what, I can't use instruments in an airplane that doesn't have them installed even if I wanted to! or B) send everyone to a PPL & Instrument rating puppymill. The latter option would take what, maybe 1-2 months and cost around < $20K? Issue studs iPads pre-loaded with study materials, have them take the written exams ahead of time, press. Mo pilots mo faster, and real instrument-rated ones rather than the BS hand-waive we get now from RND. Make the RND phase < 2 months, RFC-only with some additional appropriate Air Force hazing / "how we fly in the AF" regs study. Do a handful of flights on the MQ-9ish sims like they do now, ship off to IQT. Make me a king for a day and that's what we'd do. And I disagree strongly about RPA Pilots not thinking of themselves as pilots. You're flying a multi-million dollar, fighter-jet-sized aircraft in domestic and international controlled airspace, at times 500' seperated in a stack with other manned and unmanned assets and your primary job is to deliver weapons that kill people under tight restrictions. Time/fuel/EPs/airspace/weapons, etc. are all your daily concerns. Not sure how folks feel like they're not "real pilots." I came from a non-pilot manned flying background though so maybe I don't feel the same as pure 18Xers do.
  17. I hear that man...have never paid for a uniform other than some random blues pieces and some sewing. Have been in 13 years and I still don’t own mess dress...I borrowed it from a buddy for the two times I’ve needed to wear it 🇺🇸
  18. Awesome...good enough justification for me! I'm also in the Guard at our own base with no Active Duty for miles and miles, so it's a low-thread environment for E-9 harassment. Our Ops Group Chief is a Chief in the best sense of the word. Now if we could only get the Massif ones issued...because paying out of pocket > $600 for a uniform is a little rough. I'm a spoiled flyer, I'm conditioned by years of getting my comfy green jammies for $Free.99
  19. Is the Massif 2-piece OCP flight suit authorized AF-wide along with the AC2CYACTUWTF? I know only the latter is likely issued, but is the former authorized? Have been issued the more common second one and the fit, pockets, Velcro, etc. drive me nuts. Have seen other folks wearing the Massif and it looks much better. https://www.massif.com/2piece-flightsuit-jkt-mulcm-mil.html
  20. I have to laugh man because you spelled King James' name wrong while calling someone else ignorant 😁 The fact that we're debating stuff like, "Is feminism bad?" and, "Is racism a problem in this country?" shows me just how much work there is left to be done. I keep things real simple definitionally. To me, feminism is treating people equally regardless of their gender and racism is treating people differently because of their race. I am for the first one and against the second one; pretty god damned simple. I realize there are entire PhD-granting academic fields and reams of literature further discussing and defining and parsing out these topics in great detail (i.e. I'm not "willfully ignorant" like whoever "Labron James" is), but for the purposes of daily life and talking to folks of all stripes, I think the simple definitions work just fine. It's also pretty clear to me that despite most people personally professing to treat women and women equally and people of all races the same, that the proof is in the pudding. If you're unsure or skeptical of whether women and/or people of other races are treated differently than you and you are a white man, I'd encourage you to ask around. Not to say that people can't or don't have different opinions; clearly many of y'all do.
  21. I mean something like 83% of the US population lives in urbanized areas so 🤷‍♂️ not sure how evil they are. One can quibble with the definitions, but that's what the Census Bureau uses at least. You're right that what I described is more ethnic diversity...almost everyone I interact with on a regular basis is an American. What do you define as multiculturalism then and why is it bad in your view? And I mean if you're just going to shit on me and my methods of debating the issues, why even reply to me and bring up points for debate? You do you homie, but if you're not arguing in good faith then I feel even better about a decision not to engage further. I'll show myself out for now, cheers 🍺
  22. Without getting into it too much, I live in the urban core of a mid-sized city (urbanization), my kids go to a racially and demographically-representative public school (multiculturalism), and my wife is paid the same as any other person doing her job regardless of gender (general equality). Life is good! If you'd like to live differently feel free. On your other points, we seem to come from a place with quite different values and assumptions about life and I'm not sure a detailed explanation of where I'm coming from is going to move the needle for you. I guess we can try to find some common understanding elsewhere. One quick, genuine question: why have folks on the right started using the phrase, "the Democrat Party?" From what I can tell it started with Pres. Trump, but IDK...it's just not correct and I'm not sure if it's just a subtle way to own the libs or what. Just curious!
  23. Are you saying all of these are problems? As defined by...whom exactly? As great as our Constitution is and many of our founders were, many also found it to be within the concept of human nature that the black race was rightly subjugated to the needs of the white race. Just saying that calling something "human nature" does not make it right and who gets to decide what is "human nature" and what is an aberration makes all the difference. I'll ask you: is same-sex attraction "human nature?" Is interracial marriage? The idea that the government, or businesses, or other humans are getting out of the "incentivizing other's behavior" game anytime soon is foolish and irrelevant; it's not going to happen.
  24. Sure...but unless y'all start Stan-ing Tammy Duckworth too, I'm gonna lean heavily on the fact that Gabbard is hot being the differentiator.
  25. Nah thinking more like the Thunderhead from the Scythe series. Even The Federation in Star Trek would be great. Lots of examples of post-scarcity societies in sci-fi.
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