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Everything posted by jazzdude

  1. I'm guessing this was when the AF said we couldn't be trusted to score PFTs and hired contractors to score. Only test I nearly failed because the contractor wanted locked elbows between each rep. To the OP, it might be worth checking to see if you're benefits actually transferred and that the ADSC is valid to begin with. There was a policy change in 2018 that said you couldn't transfer anymore once you hit 16 years of service. Since you're retirement eligible, the timing you transferred the benefit is important. Worst case is you serve out the ADSC only to find the VA denies your transfer eligibility on the back end...
  2. The number used to be something like 65% take rate target. Haven't been anywhere near that for several years
  3. I'd imagine it was a lot more manpower/personnel intensive. And the ability to compile and synthesize information was probably more limited, which affects the quality of decisions made by commanders.
  4. Could we fight a war without PowerPoint and email? Only half joking...
  5. Data point of 1: when I went to NAMI to do my initial flight physical with the Navy as an AF student pilot at Whiting Field, I was told by the flight doc "Unfortunately, your career as a naval aviator ends here because you don't meet Navy vision standards. Fortunately for you, you're in the AF and they already approved your vision waiver. Have fun flying." At the time navy standard was ~20/40 vision with no waivers, vs AF's ~20/70 with waivers available.
  6. Agree with just about everything you said, except for car tax. Fairly certain you owe tax on the car sales as a capital gain, unless you sold it for a loss. The $600 transaction monitoring is ridiculous. But it's cheaper to go after the poor/middle class since they probably don't have access to a good lawyer to defend themselves. (But it's there a net gain for the government? Are the funds recovered by IRS enough to offset the cost of the monitoring/legal costs to pursue small violations?) Don't forget that carrying large sums of cash is also considered suspicious, and what constitutes a "large sum" is whatever the police (or TSA if flying) feels like that day. And that threshold seems to go down if you're not a white male who's dressed well, because then it's "possible drug money" and at risk for being seized
  7. Agree on teachers unions becoming too political. And yes, cancelling gifted programs in k-12 is a disservice to kids that are ahead of the curve. People learn at different speeds, and holding back students hurts their development as well as further academic or career pursuits (particularly if those careers require formal education). Also, maybe "advanced" or "accelerated" is a better word than "gifted" to describe these classes. Less talked about is advancing students for social reasons; good for social reasons, but for subjects like math and science where all the coursework builds on understanding of previous concepts, it can cause students to be overwhelmed and fail with no real ability to catch up (unless provided outside help). There probably needs to be a slow kids class to ensure those concepts are learned, so they can build on the knowledge. There's also generally time for students who are behind to catch up on math and science by the time they graduate high school. The equity argument is dumb. People excel at different things, or have different interests, and can learn at different rates; everyone is not the same. At the same time, how students get placed in advanced classes (or catch up classes) should be monitored for bias (both for and against); placements should be based on student performance, and not on race, ethnicity, sex, etc.
  8. While I used to take this line, we can't leave it up to the market-there's a lag between demand and supply. From a national security standpoint, it makes sense for the government to invest in talent, especially in STEM, to create a pool of talent for industry to draw on. This helps keep the US at the forefront of technology and innovation, which helps us both economically and in equipping our warfighters with equipment and technologies that give them an unfair advantage when they go to fight for our country. K-12 is an important investment in our country's future, especially in minority populations for the reason you state. But that takes money, especially if you want better teachers. But that alone won't fix it, it takes support from the families and embracing academic success as a good thing (rather than labeling kids who want to do well in academics as nerds...). So while money is probably needed, throwing only money at the problem won't work.
  9. I agree that easy government loans contribute to the student debt problem, particularly since it's not tied to a degree program. Easy money also probably also contributed to the rapid rise in the cost of college, an unintended effect of trying to increase access. A way to shape or workforce is to provide incentives, for example, only providing loans for certain courses of study (like engineering or hard sciences). Or changing proportions of degree programs that are eligible for government loans (more loans for technical degrees than for soft degrees). Though it's admittedly hard to determine how many of each degree to fund via loans. (Is business or poly sci a soft degree not worth finding via government loans?)
  10. It's straight supply and demand. If you want engineers, you have to attract them, whether it's based on mission, location, or compensation, or a combination of the three. And there are many large companies competing for the same talent, on the software side places like Amazon/Google/Facebook/etc. Just like any other limited resource, the scarcer it gets the more it costs. And it's not like the US is producing less engineers with bachelor's degrees than in the past, just that there's more competition for them. Or you have people with engineering degrees exiting the field to go do something else (like fly military jets...) Plus, I'd wager that many software development jobs don't actually require a comp sci degree, and that a lot of coding can be successfully be done by someone who's self taught. The trouble is it's hard to measure/gauge the abilities of someone that doesn't have a formal degree. I know when I interned at a major defense contractor that most of the work I did don't really have anything to do with my (EE) degree, outside of a few classes where we happened to use C and Java. But there's no vocational equivalent for software development, and unless you're needing to develop better methods of sorting data, a comp sci degree is probably overkill. Plus there's a lot of other drags on business. Look at USERRA protections-great for manning the reserves (and I think we can all agree good for the country as a whole), and protecting a traditional reservist's primary civilian job helps ensure participation with their unit. But it's a cost that the business has to bear. Oh, and not hiring someone because of their reservist status is also illegal. You point out going to Berkeley and getting a soft degree; it's a free country, individuals can study whatever they want (though some degrees have better returns on investment with less risk than others). And most engineering programs are competitive, with more applicants than seats available, so the pool of applicants is still strong. Yes, it would be great for our country to produce more engineers, but the incentives aren't there for colleges to rapidly expand their engineering programs, and the federal government can't really mandate colleges produce more engineers. And any federal incentives would cost money aka tax revenue, so that's got to come from somewhere. Also, reaching kids in k-12 to encourage studying math and science is important, as well as teaching those subjects in k-12. Because if that educational background isn't built then, it limits the pool of students qualified to begin technical field of study. So investment in primary/secondary education is important, and funded through tax revenue (though at the local/state level). And students generally are only as good as their teachers.
  11. And there are many more who just don't make it, or just get by, but their stories aren't ones that books get written about. Those aren't excuses, just obstacles that need to be overcome. Sometimes they can be overcome by hard work alone, sometimes it requires some fortunate timing and a little luck to overcome those obstacles. And no one likes to talk about what happens when risks are realized, it's much easier to celebrate taking a chance and winning. But you are right in that our country offers great opportunity, and probably the most economic mobility. At the same time, businesses need to work harder too. If they have staffing shortfalls, stop complaining and do the work to invest in recruiting and retaining talent. If people don't want to do the job you have open, you're probably not paying enough to deal with the job. And if you can't afford to pay what the workers are demanding, well, your business model probably has flawed assumptions and you're on the path to failure.
  12. Yes, hard work is important, and having a good work ethic can open some doors. But luck and timing are important as well and often ignored, and good luck and good timing are often attributed to just working hard and being rewarded for that hard work. But there's also a lot of other factors at play, which may limit the opportunities a person can take depending on their tolerance for risk(aka how lucky do they feel). Wages haven't kept up with increases productivity. Minimum wage hasn't kept up with inflation. Another problem is a generation has been sold on college debt: having a college degree, any degree, would open doors to better pay and jobs. That might have been true when degrees were rare, but now the market is flooded with degrees and lessened their value. (This is why college for all would fail, and why I don't agree with calls to make college "free" for everyone. Plus most of the information can be learned for free online out with library resources, so it's not a access to knowledge problem) Unfortunately for the individual, they become saddled with debt they can't discharge via bankruptcy, and can drive getting stuck in a bad job because they can't afford to take a pay cut to transition to a better field of work or to restart in a new trade. That debt and need to meet basic necessities may mean they also don't have the means to save for their future goals, whether it's retirement, a house, etc. Also related is that healthcare is tired to jobs in the US, so medical needs may cause someone to remain in a job because they can't risk losing medical coverage. On the flip side, lots of jobs now want to see a 4 year degree in their applicants, even when it has no bearing on the job itself. This perpetuates the notion that you "need" a 4 year degree. For example, registered nurses. You can become an RN with a 2 year degree. Except most "good" nursing jobs want a 4 year degree in nursing (BSN). However, there's is nothing a BSN can do that an RN can't do, they hold the same professional certification as RN. You could argue they want the soft skills associated with a bachelors degree, but you'd be wrong, they ignore other degrees in hiring. There's also lots of assumptions built into our way of life, such as transportation. Housing is cheaper the further you get from desirable areas (and one of the reasons why we have suburban sprawl). This includes places of work, and generally drives people to require transportation to/from work. In a large city with a decent public transportation system, a person could get by without a car (which saves on several costs, including insurance, gas, and parking). But in smaller cities and towns, cars become more important, because they buy you time. A 15 minute commute by car could be an hour via public transportation, if it exists. Shortening the commute to something walkable/bikeable isn't usually feasible (ref. housing costs near desirable locations), so that's typically out. This could drive other hidden costs, like increased child care costs due to the extra time needed to commute to work. None of these are easy problems to solve. But "work harder" is a gross oversimplification of the problem. (I think it's about as bad as telling AF pilots they should be happy in their job and don't need a bonus, and shouldn't complain about the ops tempo because it's what they signed up to do).
  13. I'll add that it's not just hard work. Just like in an AF career, luck and timing are also important, if not more so, and can significantly change your outcome in life.
  14. Access to space and the responsibilities of satellite owners. With the advent of commercial spaceflight, how to manage and deconflict orbits, and who should manage the orbits. Big sky, little satellite theory probably won't hold much longer, as it is getting much cheaper to put satellites on orbit.
  15. You might be thinking of chicken pox/varicella vaccine. If you had chicken pox as a kid, they do a test to check for antibodies, which if you do then exempts you from that vaccine. I also got the smallpox vaccine in 2010 as an AMC guy.
  16. I'm not getting offended on someone else's behalf. I've had those kinds of slurs thrown at me based on my ethnicity (including the one that sparked this whole thread derailment), so yeah, I'd say that it makes this a personal issue that I've had to deal with. China is a threat to our national interests, I don't think anyone here is debating that point. But you can't seem to understand that an ethnic slur targeted at China the country also applies to people of chinese ethnicity in other countries, or how it's also used as a racial slur for East Asians in general. Or how that attitude and rhetoric seeps into how asian-americans are treated in our own country. Incidentally, first time gun ownership among Asian Americans has risen significantly during the pandemic. Oh, and Uyghurs are considered by some definitions as Asian too (in fact, US considers then to be a subset of the Chinese ethnicity), so China can't be racist towards that minority. That's watering down the meaning of racism, "wOrDs HaVe MeAnInG". It's still wrong, and the international community shouldn't tolerate China's actions towards that minority, but we've collectively sold our soul to China over the past few decades in order to access cheap manufacturing. Then again, according to the UN, racism includes discrimination based on race, ethnicity, color, and national origin, so racist is the correct term.
  17. Politics has unfortunately just become divide and conquer, rather than working towards the overall common good for the nation. It's become more about "owning the libs" and the like. But that's just a consequence of our two party system, especially once people starting weaving their political affiliation as part of their personal identity. COVID has exacerbated this divide. The far right insist that COVID isn't real, or at worst just a cold. The far left views the science on COVID response as final and fully understood problem that can be solved with a return to prepandemic life with 100% vaccination. But in either case, if you're not toeing the party line, you're viewed as part of the problem. Somewhere along the way we lost the notion that as a country we're all Americans, and that we're all looking to live a life we find happy and fulfilling. (As an aside since the topic of race came up in this thread, when people ask what I am/what's my background, telling them "I'm an American" never suffices in the US, despite me being born here and being raised within the cultural norms/values of America and not those of my ethnic background. "Yeah, but where are you really from?...”)
  18. Because when assholes throw that slur in your face, they actually don't care if you're Chinese or not, being Asian is close enough to them, and besides, they all look the same anyways. There's a considerable overlap of racists and bigots.
  19. There's a difference between chinese ethnicity and the PRC. Throw all the spears you want at China the country and their government which is driving the threat our nation. But realize that there AMERICANS who also of chinese or other Asian ethnicities that suffer when those kinds of slurs are thrown around. Or are you okay if our government rounds up American citizens of Chinese ethnicity and throw them in internment camps like we did to Japanese Americans in WW2? (Also, why weren't German Americans thrown in camps as well? Two theater war and all)
  20. And also an ethnicity. Though since there seems to be a lot of "well, technically...", Han Chinese is an ethnicity
  21. Fine, he's not a racist by your definition, but a bigoted ass. Just as bad on my book. The "not technically a racist" argument is garbage and misses the point that you shouldn't tolerate denegrating people solely for what they look like. Diversity training is being forced on us because there's a perception that we couldn't provide protections for federally protected categories, including race, ethnicity, sex, national origin, etc, on our own in the military, so now it gets Congressional attention. Plus, if a person is trying to denegrate you got how you look, they don't really care if they used the "right" slur, the intent is to denegrate you and make you feel like crap. But you're right, nothing protects us from being offended or made to feel uncomfortable. Until it's been brought into work, in which case there are legal protections, especially in government service. "But BO.net is basically bar banter.". Yeah, but those opinions don't magically change in the office. Maybe better hidden, but still there, and can be hard to prove that people get screwed over. As officers and leaders within the military, we need to ensure this crap isn't tolerated in our ranks so we can ensure we present the best fighting force we can, and not allowing personal prejudices on protected categories influence the meritocracy we strive for in the military. We shouldn't tolerate people who degenerating others based on their race/ethnicity/national origin/sex/etc within our ranks, both on or off duty. Edit-Spelling/autocorrect
  22. This attitude drives why we have to waste time with diversity training, and why there's a push to do more diversity training across the force. Either way, it's unacceptable behavior, especially for what I'd assume it's from an officer in our military. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/racism "4. racial or ethnic prejudice or intolerance." Oxford dictionary "Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized." I'll grant you that some dictionaries (Merriam Webster) only refer to race and not ethnicity in their definition. Though the meaning of words do shift, and some dictionaries are slow to capture how words are now being used. Or we could call him a bigot if you refuse to believe the meaning of words change over time. Then again, a lot of anti-Chinese sentiment does get placed on Asians in general. And having been on the receiving end of those kind of slurs, including the one being debated, I can assure that it often is used as a racial slur and not just as an ethnic slur.
  23. Fine. Chinese isn't a race, but it is an ethnicity. So it's not a racist slur, but an ethnic slur. Not really any better in my book.
  24. I don't drink, so it wouldn't bother me. But I have plenty of family and friends who drink responsibly, and think it's worth covering as it's common enough of a vice. Plus it's hard for insurance companies to measure "too much" alcohol consumption, especially compared to something like tobacco use.
  25. Let's deny medical treatment for alcohol related incidents-it's their choice to partake, so why should I have to pay for their drunken stupidity...
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