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  1. Not at all. The entire point of an airline career is to work little and get paid a lot...it isn't about the passion or enjoyment of flying. An airline career gives you both the time and finances to enjoy life outside of work, rather than simply cramming your families, hobbies, and other passions into the little crevasses around that supermajority chunk of your time and emotional energy that a military career demands. Manage that money correctly, and you'll be able to retire early and *really* do whatever it is you would do if you had financial freedom (like fly cool shit for fun!)
    13 points
  2. If COVID19 were a grave threat to all and the vaccine worked well, you wouldn’t have to mandate it…
    10 points
  3. I agree with almost everything you said prior to this point in your response. But, as feedback, I think arguments like the ones I quoted above reach too far. They debase the rest of your valid points, my brain turns off, and I have a hard time getting on board with your other reasonable points. The big picture reason is that these points are not based in evidence; they are based in a comparison to the democratic party/liberals or anecdotal feelings. I know the liberals suck. But just because liberals suck doesn't mean that conservative are doing anything correctly. If your point is that both have issues, then I'm fully on board - I just didn't get that through your argument. - Data shows that global warming models have actually been very accurate. Yes, you can cherry pick one off studies that were wrong. But large aggregate studies commissioned by places such as the IPCC have done a very good job of predicting the changes that have actually occurred over the last 50 years. https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-how-well-have-climate-models-projected-global-warming Why do conservatives argue global warming is not a threat? Because I have never seen any data that actually supports their viewpoint. It's all feelings reminiscent of the folks who said COVID would clear up in Apr 2020 when the weather got warmer. The facts are that the climate is warming, weather events are increasing, and local weather is going to shift significantly. I have absolutely no faith in the ability for national or global capitalistic society to peacefully and effectively rotate where agrarian lands are in the world, so I think that we are in for a bad time. The refusal to engage on the global warming issue from the republican party makes no sense to me. - Data shows that republicans support nuclear power ~2:1 whereas dems oppose it as a whole. This is a huge issue with the democratic party. But why then do republican controlled governments never produce meaningful legislation, infrastructure, or change? - Feeling about the president are purely anecdotal. Joe Biden may very well be senile and fragile; in fact, many liberals I know wouldn't argue with that. But it just rings really hollow when conservatives chose not to criticize Trump as a narcissistic, absolutely uncharismatic bully who had similar guffaws when he was in power. And they still don't, in many cases. I don't understand it. I think conservatives would do well to gain support if they would denounce the previous administration's flaws more resolutely. But you probably can't, as it would split party support. Catch-22, I guess, but doesn't make it better. As a bipartisan measure, I would support age limits for office. - Data shows that inflation is not a single party issue. The only reason the economy didn't collapse during the pandemic in the Trump admin was quantitative easing. $3T in 2 months. Fucking criminal, but maybe it was worth it so that his voters could say that republican policies = "good economy." A huge contributor to current inflation. Inferring that the dems are the root cause behind inflation is dishonest. Biden has put in about $1.2T in the last 9 months, so I'm not saying the democrats are not contributing to the problem. Plus, it all started with Bush with $2T right at the end of his presidency, so does blame for starting these false economies lie there? It would be helpful if we could recognize that both sides, conservative and liberal, contribute to this problem when they use things like QE. https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/bst_recenttrends.htm I think what it really comes down to is what I've said all along: It's hard to have meaningful discourse in a two party system where you have to pledge allegiance to one side. I don't think anyone can reasonably support all the views of one of the parties without compromising some personal values or beliefs. That leads to people unfairly judging other folks based on just a few of their beliefs. This, in turn, only reinforces tribalism which leads to us resorting to emotional arguments.
    9 points
  4. Thanks for the analysis. Interesting to get another take. I think what you're missing-- no, missing isn't fair because you got a taste of it from your nurse friend-- what you underestimate is the scale. This wasn't just people having an opinion and disagreeing with you. Or calling you an idiot. This was a coordinated campaign to suppress "wrongthink" by the media-political class. - the efficacy of masks - COVID not being high-risk for healthy adults under 50 - the Wuhan lab-leak theory - the (potential) efficacy of ivermectin and remdesivir - the president of the United States - the (now inescapably true) Hunter Biden story The social media platforms literally declared certain speech verboten. Yeah, they are private companies, but they did it to the cheering of elected Democrats. Now there are hearings where elected Democrats are *outraged* that they aren't blocking more. Democrats, the once-champions of free speech, are now openly (and sometimes violently) against free speech, unless of course you agree with them. And guys like you, without intending to, have fallen right into the trap of well-it-must-be-true-if-the-trumpeters-hate-it. And yes, conservatives have fallen into this trap many times as well. But the pandemic has been overwhelmingly slanted in one direction, with only one side arguing for the *clear* violation of personal liberties while actively misrepresenting the evidence and proudly suppressing opposing (and scientifically supported) views. What's the quote? First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. Everyone seems to have forgotten the ideals behind the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, because they live fat, dumb, and happy little lives free from the horrors of the previous 300,000 years of human existence. Turns out The Matrix was right, and humans can't handle a system where they are (overwhelmingly) free from struggle and misery, so they must create it from nothing. And in our profound lack of persecution we have forgotten what persecution feels like, making us much too comfortable with persecuting those who don't please our delicate sentiments. Of course, the celebrities who have found themselves "cancelled" have become remarkably supportive of free-speech and civil discourse after a career of tarring and feathering conservatives as backwoods, inbred, hateful, racists/sexists/homophobes. Now we have graduated to compelled action *of your children.* The vaccine technology that didn't exist until last year for a disease that primarily kills people hanging on to life by a thread is going to be mandatory for 5 year olds? And you're a domestic terror threat if you go yell at your local school board. You know, like the Boston marathon bombers or Timothy McVeigh. And all this is after being told that the concepts of male and female are actually super complicated and how dare you say otherwise. And actually if you're white you are *necessarily* racist. Under 20 unarmed black men killed by the police represents the greatest threat in America (to say nothing of the 6000/year young black men killed in gang violence). Protests where businesses and literal government buildings are burned to the ground *aren't* riots. The completely wrong predictions of 30 years of global warming models should be ignored because global warming is the single greatest threat to humanity (behind the 20 unarmed black men killed by the police), but don't you dare support nuclear power, which would eliminate carbon emissions entirely from power-generation. And Joe Biden definitely isn't going senile, even though you can look up any video of him from 10 or 20 years ago. And yeah, he definitely got hurt falling in the shower (which is the most old-man shit in the world to do) because he was... wrestling his dog. In the shower. And Hunter Biden, not an artist, but selling paintings for $500k, not a Ukrainian energy executive, but on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, not a Chinese lawyer or lobbyist, but representing a Chinese company, yeah that's all totally kosher but OMG did you see how corrupt the Trump family was? I mean Jared Kushner only negotiated the most meaningful peace agreements in the middle east in decades, and none of the Trump kids were caught doing drugs with (underage?) prostitutes or illegally possessing firearms and throwing them in dumpsters... Oh yeah and that totally fabricated golden showers blackmail tape (literally paid for by the Clinton campaign), and the FBI agents who knowingly lied to the FISA courts, and the House Intelligence Committee representatives and ex-Obama administration pundits who *swore* on TV that there was evidence proving Trump was a Russian catspaw? Oops. Don't forget the border. No crisis there at all. No way the incredible, record-setting surge in illegal crossings had anything to do with the Biden Administration immediately undoing the Trump-era policies and openly advocating for a path to citizenship for any and all illegals. Don't worry about that because there's no inflation! In fact, government deficit spending will actually help *reduce* inflation. What's another 5 trillion? You want to know why your seemingly intelligent conservative friends are losing their minds? Look around.
    9 points
  5. I have officially come full circle based on data. I not sure if I still support current vaccination efforts. All of this data I found - wasn’t given to me by a biased news source. 1) COVID spread is unimpeded by vaccination within months. Numerous studies show that: You’ll see that for those age 40-80+, vaccinated folks actually were MORE likely to have the virus. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1022238/Vaccine_surveillance_report_-_week_39.pdf Source: UK health surveillance. You can look at last week or the next week as well. This is not cherry picked - the data shows the same numbers multiple weeks in a row. Check out the other weeks, you’ll see similar data. 2nd Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02689-y 2) The rate of hospitalization and death is similar to that of the flu. No shit. And I used to make fun of everyone who said that. COVID hospitalizations: COVID Deaths Source: same as above CDC data on flu hospitalizations/mortality per 100k (couldn’t crop it well on mobile): Source: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2017-2018.htm So for an average person age 18-49, your risk of hospitalization for COVID is somewhere in the realm of 15-20 per 100000. For 2017-18 flu, the hospitalization rate for that age group was nearly twice as high at 36 per 100000. For death of those 18-49, its maybe twice as bad for Covid, around 2 per 100k, whereas flu was only 0.8. I am starting to lose any motivation to continue vaccination efforts whatsoever for those that are not at risk. It doesn’t and won’t provide herd immunity. And people without risk factors that are normal ages don’t need it. The counterpoint will be that it’s for the old. Well, first of all, that counterpoint is already invalid because getting the COVID vaccine as a 40 year old male does literally nothing to protect the old as it has been demonstrated to have virtually no effect on transmission after a few months. So a mandate for those under 50 I think still makes 0 sense. But let’s look at it for those 50+. Hospitalization rate for COVID for those 50+ is on the order of 80-100 per 100000. For 17-18 flu for those over 50 it was on the order of 500+ per 100000. Wtf. For deaths, COVID is on the order of 80 per 100000. Flu was slightly lower, maybe 50 per 100000. But they are way closer than initially thought. BL: COVID actually has turned into nothing more than a bad flu. And a bad flu that is actually easier on children than the actual bad flu. It’s not even a hyperbole. And we’re discussing additional mandatory boosters for healthy folks age 0-30. Just wanted to say that the data has changed my mind, significantly. It’s actually almost maddening.
    9 points
  6. In my opinion, it extended much further down than just the top level GO/FO leadership. Long but interesting anecdotal story. When I was a young staff officer I was assigned to be my command's GSOS lead (Global Special Operations Synchronization, it's how SOCOM is supposed to prioritize where it puts SOF, feeds into the GFM process). BLUF is its a multi-phase process with a lot of data collection/processing and in person PPTs to a board. During my second year doing doing this, SOJTF-A J35 was presenting their Campaign Plan for the conference (presented to a board of 6 O-6s from SOCOM), SOJTF-A team was made up of an O-6 and several O-5s and civilians. The SOJTF-A team VTCs in and has this very bright, optimistic "this is the year we turn it all around, X years to stem the tide, XX years to seize the initiative, we're gonna take it to them with this new strategy, etc, etc, etc). I think they even used the word "defeat" in some of their presentation. The O-6 board receives the presentation, asks a few minor questions, then says great job, go get'em, we really appreciate you", or something to that effect and starts to move on. That would've been the end of it except for 1 O-5 Army Strategist (extremely intelligent guy who was about as cynical as they come) in the audience. He stands up in this room full of 50 people with god knows how many others in VTC land and politely asks what's different about this year compared to all the other years in the Stan (this conference was in early 2018). When SOJTF-A says they don't understand his question, he expands by saying what they've presented looks remarkably similar to his 2005 experience, which also mirrored the time he was there in 2009, while not differing all that much from the strategic plan in 2011, seemed shockingly similar to his deployment in 2013, and he didn't see all that much change from 2015-2017. He then asked how on god's green earth they were going to seriously degrade or possibly defeat the enemy with a fraction of the resources previously available and an ANA that wasn't that much more capable and suffering a record high number of casualties. The crazy/really eye opening moment to this whole thing was that the SOJTF-A guys just sat there dumbstruck, like they couldn't believe anyone wouldn't believe in or would dare question their plan. They literally had no answer. I seriously think several of them honestly believed the nonsense they were presenting. The O-6 board quietly ruffled through their notes or stared at their hands. The O-5 strategist shook his head and sat down. Will always be one those random moments in my career I'll never forget and the moment I knew we could've been in the Stan for another 20 years and it wouldn't have changed the ultimate outcome one bit.
    8 points
  7. I don't have the patience to go through every problem with the point you think you're making with this, but just one thing... When you're trying to leverage something to make yourself sound official on this topic, probably don't make it the abstract from a 2006 study that itself used data from studies conducted in the 1990s. You know, because that was a time when if you got the sniffles a couple days after your diphtheria vaccination, you first had to be enough of a pussy to book an appointment with your medical provider over it, and then they had to give enough fucks to fill out the reporting documentation and submit it on your behalf after you left the office. Whereas today anybody can submit a report in two minutes while they're on the shitter.
    8 points
  8. Soooo, the Chinese flu literally almost killed me earlier this summer. I didn't think I was especially at risk as, although I'm in my late 50s, I wasn't overweight, didn't have any known complicating factors, etc., etc. Was not vaccinated because A) I remember the anthrax fiasco from before and B) wanted a fully approved FDA vaccine in place before getting the shot(s). Although I retired last year, I actually started work again as a GS again because I was bored and a buddy asked me to apply. Was only in the saddle for a month when I got sick after going TDY. Two weeks of hospitalization included two periods of the question on whether I would continue to breathe or not. Turns out that the pneumonia I had 25 years ago doesn't go away, it just nurses its' drink in the corner of my lungs until the friendly Chinese hooker named Covid shows up and wants to party and things got out of control... I never understood the part when terminally ill patients just give up - we are trained in the "will to survive" thing at SERE and as part of being alive. Now I do. I have never been that utterly exhausted/tired/just wanted it to stop and hope to never again. I was fine if the light turned out permanently. 13L/min of O2. Essentially pressure breathing in order for enough oxygen to get in me to keep me alive. I recount the melodrama above because after I got out of the hospital, ol' Joe decides he's king and says I got to get vaccinated. Even though the vaccine doesn't prevent the virus, has noted/documented side-effects, and, this is the important part, I ALREADY HAD THE VIRUS AND RECOVERED. My body is swimming in antibodies. My lung specialist says not to get said vaccine for at least a year as I am likely to have a severe reaction and my lungs, already now f'd because of this, wouldn't take kindly to another CCP orgy. But that's not good enough. So I thoroughly enjoyed quitting. F' the Man. Fortunately, I'm in a position to do so. Please note that nothing written has been put out by the President so legal challenges are difficult, although some are underway. Federal departments, like DoD, have put out their own directives. Those also are under challenges. But the sneaky part is Biden having corporate America do his bidding without said Presidential direction. Get a jab or lose your job. Seems a bit Stalinist-like to me. Not to mention, the President does not have that power under our system of government. No law has been passed. Yet many people are happy, even eager to comply. Want the vaccine? Great, go get it. Don't want it? Don't especially since the virus shrugs off the vaccine anyway. It's all fun and games until the President and the bureaucracy decide what the limits of your freedom are. Without you getting a say so. Comply or else. For your own good, of course. It's great to be the one deciding, ain't it?
    7 points
  9. no no no our prestigious generals knew EXACTLY what the ANA was capable of. but instead of "integrity first" they pushed bull shit rosy assessments for decades and touted "breakthrough" progress. the goal was always just over the next hill and almost within reach. No one had the backbone or balls at the flag level to call the spade a spade.
    7 points
  10. The decision to impose a mandate should be a very carefully considered one, and IMO you really only have grounds for a mandate if you can answer "yes" to the following questions: 1. Does the disease in question pose a grave threat? 2. Does the vaccine do an extremely good job of protecting people and preventing transmission? 3. Is the vaccine safe? So far those answers seem to be: 1. Only for very specific demographics 2. Yes and no 3. Probably These are very shaky grounds for a mandate especially considering the second widespread variant of this disease we encountered was able to take most of our vaccination assumptions and throw them in the dumpster. But as usual, Democrats want to jump to telling people what to do. It is their default state--using government coercion to solve perceived problems. But they always fail to take human nature into the equation. When you censor something it'll just make it more popular. When you say everyone has to do something, some people are going to not do it just because fuck you. And I love that. Do I still think it's a bad risk calculation not to get the vaccine? Yes. But we really really really need to figure out as a society a way to have the emotional maturity to hold two thoughts in our brains at the same time: -Getting the vaccine is a good idea -Trying to Force it on people is a very bad idea
    6 points
  11. Keep an eye-- 47th FS A-10s are making their way to Randolph today, and Vance tomorrow. A few of us will be around to show off the Hog and tell some lies about things we've done over the last decade to 1/4 century. On the official note, and the reason this didn't go straight to the Squadron Bar forum, a handful of us FTU IPs were invited to take a roadshow of UPT by MGEN Wills. One of our IPs is heavily involved in some online forums, and his continued commentary (always constructive... mostly) generated the all-expenses paid trip to see what all this hullabaloo is all about first-hand. We've got questions from our perspective as the next in-line to the UPT/IFF product, and we'd be happy to talk and see what's happening out there. Even if it is for a short turnaround at each base. So keep an eye, and fight's on. Attack! Zero
    5 points
  12. I dunno. I looked at data and it didn’t align with my previous beliefs. When I looked into it more, it seemed like some of those beliefs may be incorrect. So now I’m adjusting my beliefs to fit reality. I still believe some past beliefs were justified. I think there was evidence that the vaccine was effective from a transmission standpoint against non-Delta COVID. And initial evidence of mortality/hospitalization pointed to COVID being worse than it has been recently (1-2% mortality estimates). I am aware that some of those sources could have been biased. But even looking through that lens, I think I still support vaccination in the Dec-Apr timeframe. What really did it for me, though, was when I was talking to one of my buddies. He is very pro vax, in the medical field as a nurse. We have often talked about anti-vax misinformation. I was pointing out some studies that said that herd immunity may be impossible with delta. And his response was not to actually engage with my points. It was to call me a conspiracy theorist idiot. It was absurd. It probably is similar to experiences you guys have had. Maybe even reminded you of experiences you’ve had talking to me on this forum lol. I hope not, because that attitude that you have to comply with the mainstream viewpoint or you are labeled an idiot is absolutely maddening. I don’t know. I will say the Conservative branch of politics usually does themselves a disservice. They don’t usually present reputable studies. They don’t usually present data in a coherent manner. They rely too much on anecdotal evidence. I think they would have a much better time convincing moderates if they would try to craft more intellectual and less emotionally charged arguments. But, again, that’s coming from months of bias, so I’m probably missing something. I am looking at many statistics presented from “liberal” perspectives with much more scrutiny.
    5 points
  13. It's not red-pilled. He just took the effort to look at the data (which has pointed towards his conclusions for over a year now) rather than trust the cherry-picked misrepresentations pushed by a large swath of the media and political class. Neg usually has insightful posts. I'm more interested in his analysis as to *why* his conclusions based on easily-accessed data aren't shared by the politicians and authority figures pushing for mandates. I'm also wondering how many liberal-minded people will make the connection between misrepresentation of COVID-19 statistics and the misrepresentation of "racial equity" statistics.
    5 points
  14. I'm baffled. How, after 20 years of doing the training, organizing, and equipping for them, did we not know their capabilities? The cynic in me believes we knew their capabilities, and each level of leadership painted an unrealistic picture to show "progress" while they were in charge.
    5 points
  15. Not to derail this thread further, but the current proposal to have the IRS track all inflow and outflow of every American’s bank account is a perfect example of this. Every person in this country, Democrat/Republican/Independent, rich/poor, etc… should be wildly upset at this giant overreach of government power and violation of the 4th Amendment. Particularly because it’s impact will be mostly felt by poor to middle class Americans that do not have the financial resources to track and record every single expenditure they make, both business and personal. Yet not a peep from the left becuase it’s from “their team”. Note: Yes, there are also examples of overt tribalism from the right too, but this is an example happening right this very second. It would be a perfect issue to unify people over against absolutely asinine government policy, but instead it will become another us vs them.
    4 points
  16. On global warming you are simply incorrect. The models from the late 90s and early 2000s all had to be massively revised to fit the data, and the data itself had to be revised to fit the temperature record. Far too much to go into here, but suffice it to say that a model is not measured by how well it matches the past, but by how well it predicts the future. The ipcc has only recently gotten to some predictions that are remotely feasible, and those predictions have been revised downward so much that the once catastrophic threat of global warming is now largely going to be a matter of human migration. So in other words, no change from the last 300,000 years. But that's not really the point anyways, the point is that if you are going to portray CO2 based climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity, then being against nuclear power is an impossible to reconcile position. And as you said, the Democrats have been 100% against nuclear. It took a while for me to realize why, but it's the anti-human strain of environmentalism that has taken over the cause. That's also another conversation, right now we're just going to stick with the gas-lighting inconsistencies. As I said, this problem is not limited to liberals. I have been rather vocal about criticizing Trump's many character flaws. And it drives me nuts when conservatives defend him as a family man, or somehow a good person. He's not. But in the same breath, anybody arguing that his administration's policies were somehow equal to his character is simply being disingenuous. And even today I have yet to find a liberal who decries Trump as the most dangerous president in US history who can list off any meaningful policy positions that were outside of the standard conservative worldview. On inflation, I never made an argument that the liberals caused it. These are usual political discussions. The point is the outright denial that it exists. Or that, now that we admit it exists, that it's somehow a good thing. Your last paragraph is spot on. The average voter simply doesn't have the bandwidth to give a shit about issues that aren't affecting their daily life. Somehow the political class figured out a way to turn politics into team sports, so instead of voting for the two or three issues that affect you and your family directly during that specific election, now the voters will actively vote against their interests in order to support the team. This is why we see the same states vote the same way every election now, when 40 years ago presidents would routinely win the vast majority of the electoral college. It's troubling, and I don't have a great answer. But people like you need to spend more time talking to liberals just like people like me need to spend more time talking to conservatives. And convincing them to talk to each other more. There was a great balance with all of this in the past, because politicians have always tried to divide us, but social media changed everything, making it possible to isolate yourself from opposing views and thus caricature the opposition in ways that were never feasible.
    4 points
  17. @Negatory I think people (like us two for example) actually agree on a lot of things, and we don’t agree on some things, and that’s OK/does not make one person a fill-in-the blank-name-calling. Positive discussion, collaboration, learning, growth, etc. can still occur if we (the “royal we”) simply acknowledge the italicized part. How do we help people release their death grip on identity/tribal politics and realize/live the italicized point above? One would think it’s simple, but it definitely is not. I don’t know how to move stalemates forward in my local community when people are so entrenched in their camp/completely unwilling to even hear the words above, let alone acknowledge their utility. It’s frustrating and continues the divide of “us vs them.”
    4 points
  18. Kinda fun finding out how many people are simply concerned with the authority to control others in a society, isn't it? Compliance is the only discernable goal.
    4 points
  19. The number of military age males that we evacuated was more than sufficient to defend Kabul, but they never tried. They should have fought, but they ran like cowards. We owe them nothing, and shouldn’t have evacuated anyone. I cannot understand any US military member who thinks we “owe” them safety. They should always have known that fighting for their own country and winning was the only option.
    4 points
  20. Still a U-2 guy, still the best job in the world. We’re always looking for kickass Bros that want to work hard and do cool things, so give us a call.
    4 points
  21. It is not surprising in the least that we deluded ourselves regarding the ANA's capabilities. The modern US military is driven by shoe clerks with slide shows and the most important thing in the world is that the slides are green. Generals' and Colonels' next promotions depend on slides being green, not honesty or lethality. We are just as delusional about our own capabilities, if not more so.
    3 points
  22. While I probably wouldn't enjoy being "ambushed" at my home, I don't know if I'd sprint (scurry or waddle) down the street into my house if I was completely innocent either.
    3 points
  23. Any chance the A-10 community is interested in hiring a slightly overweight guy in his 50s, with a receding hairline and bad breath? My "friend" would be interested.
    3 points
  24. Correcting errors I made. My data comparison on COVID vs the Flu was bad. I presented COVID case rates / 100k over a 4 week period (the UK study) compared to case rates / 100k over a 52 week period (CDC flu season data). That means, if you actually want to make an apples to apples comparison of the two, you have to multiply the infection/hospitalization/death rate of the 4 week study by 52/4 or 14. Turns out when you do that, for kids <18, yeah, COVID = the flu. But for populations older than 18, COVID actually is an order of magnitude worse. Here's a good source for cumulative hospitalization rate for COVID. Check out any 1 year timeline (I pulled from 7 Mar 20 to March 6 21): https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/covidnet/covid19_3.html 0-4: ~45/100k 5-17: ~28/100k 18-49: ~275/100k 50-64: ~690/100k 65+: ~1500/100k Again, the CDC data on 17-18 flu: Still not as different as some sources have led you to believe. For hospitalizations, flu is actually worse for ages 0-4 and 5-17. But COVID is significantly worse in the 18-64 year group, ~3-5 times worse. Strangely, COVID is only about 50% worse for the 65+ age group. Also, I couldn't find a really clean source to present death rates. But rough looks show that those do seem to be significantly higher for COVID than the flu (on the order of 10 times higher for 18-65+). Don't want to present that without having a good source, so I'll just defer that discussion. With that being said, combined evidence that transmission is significantly less impacted by vaccination than originally thought, I still wouldn't push for children to get mandatory vaccinations. And I still am leaning towards not making vaccines mandatory for anyone. I stand by my belief that herd immunity is a dumb myth. Still haven't seen anything convincing me that transmission is affected enough to warrant mandates. And recent masking studies point to masks only being between 10-20% effective. We should stop wearing those now. Sorry for bad data.
    3 points
  25. I had always wanted to try my hand in something where I was organizing/running a group or organization. After a lot of networking, I accepted an offer to run an aviation non-profit (basically, a club of jet owners) as their Executive Director. I could write a small book on the experience, but I resigned after 18 months and went back to the airlines... from which I had been absent for 15 years. Glad I worked in the ED job, otherwise I'd have always wondered if I should have done it. With the experience behind me, I know now that I have a much better quality of life where I am.
    3 points
  26. I wouldn’t recommend following your feelings and emotions when instrument flying.
    3 points
  27. Fair. But there were 80,000 weapons and millions of rounds of ammo sitting in a pile at HKIA that thousands of afghans ran by on their way to jump onto a C17. And the Taliban attack was about 600 on the first day. 10,000+ fighting age men threw down their weapons and ran in terror from 600 Taliban. And asked us to protect them. This is clean cut. This was a cowardly thing and they deserve to lose. And we shouldn’t save them. And US mil who are staying awake at night working ways to save these guys are way off the reservation.
    3 points
  28. Yep—I understood your original comment. Our culture has become one where the majority of Americans want to not hold people responsible for their bad decisions, their lack of effort and willing to fight for what they believe in, etc. This culture shift has also affected the military, hence why so many members don’t blame Afghans for their country’s failures and likewise believe it’s the job of the USA to make their lives better. Not surprised at all.
    3 points
  29. Agreed with the first part. I'm vaccinated and against mandates, so obviously I agree that the truth is in the middle. I'm sympathetic to the individuals who fell for the right wing conspiracy theories regarding COVID vaccines for the same reason I was sympathetic to the individuals who fell for the left wing conspiracy theories regarding policing and minorities in the US. A simple reality is most americans, even many highly educated ones, do not have the skills required to sift through data that is intentionally misrepresented to them by seemingly authoritative sources. Well I can understand your position regarding other people being vaccinated, and I certainly agree that the vaccines have some effect on transmission, I believe the threshold for a mandate is very high, and the vaccines do not meet that. Pre-delta you could at least make a solid case, but the rates of transmission amongst the vaccinated in the Delta environment are no longer reduced enough to justify a mandate in my opinion. All it's going to do is slow down the inevitable, and looking at the numbers, not by much. Unfortunately a lot of the studies that show efficacy against Delta transmission are measuring a few months after vaccination, subsequently the efficacy against transmission drops quite dramatically. The vaccines do, however, continue to stave off severe hospitalization or death, but that brings us right back to "if you're worried, get the vaccine." Much like the flu, and unlike measles, there isn't going to be herd immunity granted by widespread vaccination to the Covid-19. It's a bummer, but there are many bummers in life. A small nitpic, but being on a plane for 9 hours is one of the safest places you can be. I don't believe there are many documented cases of spread from air traffic. Bleed air and whatnot. A big nitpic, unless your kid has a very severe underlying condition that you just left out of your post, being worried about him or her getting covid would only make sense if you already kept them in a protective bubble 24/7. It is simply a statistical reality that covid does not represent a threat to children. Is one of the most heavily supported conclusions, bar none. And it is example number one of the fear mongering you reference to the beginning of your post. In fact, it's a fairly easy way to immediately suss out whether someone talking about the virus is intentionally full of shit or not. Anyone advocating for the mandatory vaccination of children, using the safety of children as justification, either has no idea what they are talking about or know exactly what they are lying about. On a more interesting and philosophical level, we now have a great case study in *why* mandates are bad. It kind of goes to the entire argument supporting Liberty in general. Some of us, atheist or otherwise unconcerned with a higher power, support systems of Liberty because at the end of the day they just work better. A bunch of people on the left are going to spend the next few years figuring out what they did wrong and how to craft a better mandate, but instead they should be asking themselves why they thought mandates were the best way to get it done in the first place. Clearly they aren't, but I think to admit that only very specific, and very few policies can be successfully turned into a mandate would undermine their entire long range goal of widespread "social progress," which will most certainly require many, many mandates. Thanks for the honest reply.
    3 points
  30. The point is that it completely disrupts the very obvious narrative being pushed that "covid can get anyone." It's bullshit. A couple kids and a couple healthy people under the age of 40 die and their deaths are used as some sort of representation of why everybody is supposed to be terrified of this disease. That's the lie. Some people, maybe you, simply can't accept the fact that others just don't care about covid. There's a vaccine, if you want to protect yourself, if you're fat, if you're old, if you have cancer, if there's any reason why you're at a higher risk, get it. So what the fuck else is there left to care about? What exactly is the point of these articles? So and so died, this 14 year old got sick, these 30-year-olds thought they were fine and then they got covid and died, what is the point? The point is to scare people into getting the vaccine. With misrepresented statistics. The point is to say *actually you're wrong, this disease is incredibly dangerous to you if you're young and healthy, and here's a bunch of examples of how risky this whole thing is*. It's using fear to motivate a desired action. Because the truth doesn't support the mandate. I don't know anybody that is happy that fat people or old people are dying from this disease, but the conversation isn't about covid, it's about compelled behavior, vaccine mandates. So it's relevant if they had comorbidities because their death is no longer an obvious justification for government compulsion.
    3 points
  31. Very sad to hear this. Had the opportunity to meet him a few times, truly a gentleman. His book A Soldier's Way is a superb read and story of how dedication and hard work and can off in this country. He was a consummate public servant who likely could have been the first African American President had he decided to run, his wife was against it and he stated he never felt that calling. His detractors will obviously point to his "Case for War "presented to the UN. Years later he accepted fault and wished he had trusted his instincts calling the events a great failure of intelligence. In addition to his autobiography I highly recommend It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership where he lays out 13 rules common sense rule for life. I need to do a better job using these in my life. RIP General Powell. 1. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning. There’s a silver lining in every cloud, you just have to find it. That’s not always as easy as it sounds. Things might look bad today, but if you’ve put in the effort, tomorrow will be a brighter day. It’s a state of mind; believe it and you will make it happen. 2. Get mad, then get over it. There’s always going to be days when events—or people—push you to the edge. When you do lose your temper, don’t lose control at the same time. People always remember the leader with a bad temper, and never in a good way. 3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it. People who think that their way is the only way tend to experience a lot of disappointment. Things aren’t always going to go your way, that’s just a fact of life. Be humble enough to accept that fact. 4. It can be done! Just about anything can be accomplished if you set your mind to it, have the necessary resources, and the time to get it done. Don’t succumb to the skeptics; listen to what they have to say and consider their perspective but stay focused and positive. 5. Be careful what you choose. Don’t rush into a bad decision. Take the time to consider your options, weigh the relevant facts, and make reasoned assumptions. Once you pull the trigger, there are no do-overs. So make it count. 6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision. Powell was fond of connecting good leadership to good instincts. Be a leader who hones judgement and instinct. Take the time to shape your mental models. Learn how to read a situation for yourself. Become the decision-maker your people need you to be. 7. You can’t make someone else’s choices. Never allow someone else to make your decisions for you. Ultimately, you’re responsible for your own decisions. Don’t duck that responsibility and don’t succumb to external pressures. Make your own decisions and live with them. 8. Check small things. Success is built on a lot of seemingly minor details. Having a feel for those “little things” is essential. In a 2012 interview, David Lee Roth shared the story of how Van Halen used brown M&Ms as an indicator of whether large concert venues paid attention to the minor details critical to a major performance. Leaders must have ways to check the little things without getting lost in them. 9. Share credit. Success relies on the effort of the entire team, not just the leader. Recognition motivates people in ways that are immeasurable. Don’t be a glory hog. Share credit where credit is due and allow your people to stand in the spotlight. It ain’t about you. It’s about them. 10. Remain calm. Be kind. Keep calm and carry on. Kill ‘em with kindness. When chaos reigns, a calm head and a kind word go a long way. When everyone is under incredible stress, be the leader people want to follow, not the leader people want to avoid. 11. Have a vision. Be demanding. Followers need to things from leaders—a purpose and a firm set of standards. When you see leaders fail, it is almost always for one of those two things. They either lead their followers in a flailing pursuit of nothing, or they don’t set and enforce an example for their people. 12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers. Fear can be a powerful motivator, but it can also paralyze a leader at the worst possible time. Learn to understand your fears and channel them in ways that you control rather than allowing them to control you. Think clearly, think rationally, and make decisions that aren’t rooted in emotion. 13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. Optimism is infectious. Maintaining a positive attitude and an air of confidence is as important for you as it is for those around you. People will feed off your optimism. Believe in your purpose, believe in yourself, and believe in your people. And they’ll believe in you.
    3 points
  32. I thought a lot about your question last night and to be honest I don't have a good answer or even know if there is one. I've said it before but I personally felt that Milley and McKenzie should've resigned for the way the Afghan withdrawal was conducted. That isn't really an answer to your question though, because they just happened to be the guys in charge when everything came crashing down; tough to blame them for at least 18+ years of official fallacies we (both State and DoD) were telling ourselves and the American public about how the war in Afghanistan was going. My thoughts in no particular order. 1. Part of this is cultural, both in our military and in our political leadership. We (in the officer ranks) all should bear some responsibility for this. On the military side, we rarely (almost never) want to or will actually say "no". It's in our DNA that if we're given a task or mission, we'll figure out a way to get it done. And nobody gets promoted for saying they can't accomplish something (see the Navy's destroyer mishaps as the latest example of severe consequences of this mentality). We've grown and groomed our leadership this way. Almost no one from the top generals/SESs down to probably the at least the FGO level wanted to admit that things weren't going well and that the goal of an independent, democratic Afghanistan free from most Taliban/VEO interference (if that was the goal) wasn't attainable (at least not in any reasonable timeframe). 2. We (talking the royal we, USA at large) tend to have a belief that the US is capable of accomplishing anything if we set our minds to it. And in the late 90s-early 2000s we were still coming off of the rapid, smashing success of Desert Storm. The American public was willing to keep things going so long as the casualties were relatively low and they didn't have to personally pay anything for it. Our public is also as separated from the military as it's ever been and our political class hasn't voted for "military action since the AUMF back in '01. A lot of us also mistakenly hold the belief that everyone in the world wants our version of democracy. 3. "Sometimes you have to let things fail". Don't know how many times I've heard senior leaders say this one in my career but I've rarely seen it actually utilized. I get that "failure" with something as large as the entire Afghan campaign is orders of magnitude different than some new process at the squadron level but it feeds back to point #1. Nobody in our senior leadership wanted to be the guys holding the bag when things ended in the Stan. They would have rather kept the war going indefinitely than admit our ever shifting goals were unattainable. Honesty was less acceptable than the static quo because no one could admit that we were going to fail. 4. Tactical success vs. Operational/Strategic failure. This one goes without saying. If our Operational/Strategic goals were unattainable from the get go, 20 years of killing people and spending money was never going to translate into a win. To answer your original question about who to hold accountable, I honestly think it's probably the bulk of the DoD and State leadership chain for the last 18 years (from at least O-6s all the way to the top, maybe lower). I don't believe the US military was able to be honest with either itself or our civilian leadership about the war. I understand that's probably not a popular opinion. I know a lot of vets were having trouble (a lot probably still are) processing what happened two months ago. The bulk of the rhetoric/messaging has been aimed at us doing our duty, no more attacks on the homeland, etc. That's all well and good, and probably appropriate for the time, but we lost, and I think we need to figure out how to avoid these sort of mistakes/failures going forward. I don't think anyone is going to get fired over this, so to your question over accountability, it'll probably be hashed out in the history books versus public hearings, resignations, some GO/FO or retired GO/FO actually saying "I'm responsible". Not a very satisfying answer I'm afraid.
    2 points
  33. The satisfaction of leaving on my terms. I already formally retired last year and am drawing a retirement check for a 12 year GS career. Although I liked the folks I was working with, including management, which is a rarity, doing government work was just not for me anymore.
    2 points
  34. I think it's been said here before, but this certainly illustrates the point. We weren't in Afghanistan 20 years. We were in Afghanistan one year, repeated 20 times.
    2 points
  35. This is not an intelligence failure...if our leaders thought they'd be good, they were delusional. I left there thinking, the ANA would be lucky to last a few weeks after we left. Anyone who thought otherwise was lying themselves.
    2 points
  36. So If you disagree with someone enough, it's now okay to go to their house and fuck with them on their personal time? Is this not exactly the logic the left uses?
    2 points
  37. To track down someones home address and confront them by surprise while they're walking, and film them without permission? Yes, that is professionally inappropriate. It's wrong when protesters accost republicans in DC restaurants and this is wrong too. Respect for public and private life boundaries should exist for people you agree and disagree with. Here's a crazy idea. Go to the Pfizer offices and get a statement from the company. I'm sure they have an attentive and very well staffed PR department.
    2 points
  38. Weird, it's almost like people don't enjoy being ambushed by the press at their home.
    2 points
  39. It was a statement; it’s up to you if it’s a suggestion. Honestly, I wasn’t trying to start a conversation with you. I’m sure all of your senses are spot on all the time…so no worries. ~Bendy Sent from my iPad using Baseops Network mobile app
    2 points
  40. https://www.muhealth.org/our-stories/scary-reports-deaths-following-covid-19-vaccination-arent-what-they-seem All that says is that many people died after receiving the vaccine, not necessarily because of the vaccine… need a lot more information to learn something from those numbers. It would be nice if we had the no kidding number of deaths from the vaccine, but it’s probably hard to directly link deaths.
    2 points
  41. This is literally why some people think the earth is flat. The only good part is our period of history isn’t the only one with stupid people. Turns out they’re everywhere, all the time. ~Bendy Sent from my iPad using Baseops Network mobile app
    2 points
  42. Maybe Trump was on to something with the sanctions? It wasn't exactly an even playing field with China. I'm all for free trade but more-so if all players play ball. The more industry and manufacturing that moves back to America the better.
    2 points
  43. Deaths would be near zero if media and our government (sponsored by Big Pharma) didn't suppress things like zelenko protocol or other methods. But there is no money in that so here we are... our immune system is turned into a subscription service.
    2 points
  44. 2 points
  45. Lesson #1 in the ATP ground school should be - Avoid Marriage at all costs. Lesson #2 in the ATP ground school should be - Understanding the beauties of the Prenup (if you failed Lesson #1).
    2 points
  46. I disagree. If that were true someone would have at least put up a fight for Kabul. When I was an advisor I could never wrap my mind around the guys who would abscond: we send them out of country for training and they just leave. But when they leave they left their families. They were a culture of men who were OK leaving their families behind. There was something fundamentally wrong with them. They lost and they deserved to. We’re the idiots who couldn’t see that obvious truth. Nor could we see that the Taliban, despite being assholes, had the fortitude to take everything we threw at them. The Taliban would see their friends blown in half yet wake up to fight the next day. Our GIROA allies tossed their guns down and fled. Loser culture.
    2 points
  47. This is about the smartest thing 99.69% of us can do; invest conservatively in a few ETFs/funds and just keep plugging away at building it up. A financial advisor is helpful, too, if you find one you trust. Just be wary of them trying to push anything too hard or crazy; some are not fiduciaries bound to your best interests and are paid commissions to sell you specific products that might not be what you need. "Time IN the market is better than timING the market," and most of us would be better of following George Carlin's advice ("It's a big club and you ain't in it") over thinking we can beat the market with some "only we see it" investment. Sure, every once in awhile, you hear of someone hitting it out of the park, but those voices are always pushed to the front and much louder than the thousands and thousands of folks that bet big on the next big XXXXX and lost their asses. People don't talk nearly as loudly about their failures as they do their successes.
    2 points
  48. It's not about how much you make -- it's about how much you spend. My best friend was one of the top five earners at SWA for three years in a row, never divorced, and is in debt up to his neck. He says he'll never take the shot, but I got money on the table that says he will.
    2 points
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