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Everything posted by Stoker

  1. While inflation might eat away at retirement benefits somewhat (i.e. I wouldn't be shocked if in times of crisis you see COLAs set a point lower than inflation to save money), Congress has shown itself to be incredibly responsive to groups like military retirees, social security pensioners, etc. Because these groups live in every single district and have a huge financial incentive to lobby their reps, the reps have a huge incentive to keep them happy. No Congressman wants to see his opponent next election with an ad that says he made retirees live on the street.
  2. Agreed. “We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations.” As far as the economic troubles of the Taliban go, it's not just a question of paying the bills. You don't have cities of four million people in a country where subsistence agriculture is the primary occupation. Famine by the end of next year absent the Taliban making a deal to continue food aid... Which may not be a bad thing from the Taliban's perspective, since Kabul's population is likely to be the one least friendly to them.
  3. Just because it's no one's fault doesn't mean no one is responsible. If you lose a war, maybe we don't want you in charge of fighting the next one.
  4. No, ARTs are explicitly denied Tricare. You get the standard range of options available to Federal civilian employees. The retirement is the federal pension. The base calculation is off your highest three years of civil service. Get 1% (1.1% if you retire later) of that amount for each year of creditable service. So if your high three average is $100k and you have ten years of service, your pension is $10k a year. You pay 4.4% of your paycheck for this. You need five years of creditable service to get anything, and that can include military time if you pay a few thousand bucks to "buy it back."
  5. I've heard of a guy who was one week from his TDART start date when the rug was pulled out from under him. Don't worry, the Air Force has solved the pilot shortage. /s
  6. Every business is going to try and realize cost savings from teleconferencing in lieu of business travel... Until the first time they lose. $5 million contract to the company that sent their executives out in person for a couple grand.
  7. Repaired, at a significant premium over buying a like-new, refurbished Beech 400.
  8. You also don't jump directly to hyperinflation. People forget that the main instances of hyperinflation were ones of government intentionally destroying their currency (Weimar Germany) or countries with no real economy left to underlay the currency (Zimbabwe, Venezuela). A decade or two of 15% inflation would go a long way towards debt reduction (at least, for that not on short term treasuries).
  9. TDART involves earning a fair amount of pay on the mil side as well, as opposed to a single income stream for pure mil. Maybe it involves working more hours, maybe not... Depends on how hard you were working as an O-2. They floated the idea of a contract (really, a promise) to do TDART for five years if you got picked up for UPT, but that lasted about five minutes before they realized they couldn't legally enforce it.
  10. It's not just straight GS, it's an OPM special rate table that adds maybe 25% or so to the base + locality pay. Also, you can always quit... There is no contract besides annoying your boss for making them do the paperwork for you to then leave soon. If your goal is airlines and you can afford the paycut, go to a regional and get 5x the flight time you'll get on the mil side. But if not, TDART ain't bad.
  11. I'm mystified at how Textron hasn't managed to lobby to sell a couple years' production of a random not-in-demand business jet as a T-1 replacement / jobs program.
  12. Realistically, if they're not buying enough T-7s to even fully replace the T-38, and the T-38 is falling apart, how does retiring the T-1 with no replacement not dramatically reduce the throughput at UPT? The T-1 was only ever about increasing capacity as the -38 fleet couldn't handle the numbers required... What's changed?
  13. Isn't this, like, a textbook example of Soviet, er, Russian intelligence agencies using Kompromat to discredit those who oppose them?
  14. I assume if you went RC-26 you'd track T-1s in UPT. If that's the case I think you'd have an incredibly uphill battle to ever make it to a fighter.
  15. MEPS won't process you if you're overweight. I weighed in 1 lb over and had to come back a week later (where I weighed in 8 or 9 lbs under). Quite frustrating since I was traveling a fair distance on my own dime to go to MEPS.
  16. Except that a split ticket with a Democrat for VP and Republican for President is just a Republican ticket, and vice versa. Especially if the person on the presidential line is reasonably healthy. Tons of VPs have thought they were going to influence policy, and besides Cheney I can't think of any who actually have. A viable VP candidate joining a split ticket is basically taking all their future political ambitions and flushing them down the toilet.
  17. Sanctions only work when they're taking something away. Iran has been sanctioned for so long that the elites have figured out how to stay comfortable and in control even with a crappy economy. China would be hurt far more by sanctions, simply because they actually have something to lose (we'd lose just as much, though, so not really a good play).
  18. There's 3 or 4 million Americans turning 18 every year. Any plan for a modern draft is going to end with innumerable stories of draftees spending months or years wasted doing absolutely nothing (which to be fair, sounds like the military). If there were actual productive projects for all of these new adults, we'd be paying them to do it already.
  19. That's very interesting. I guess it just goes to show that we are inclined to believe people who look and act the part (see: Elizabeth Holmes).
  20. The pilot in this incident had 7300 hours in this particular B-17. I think he was likely the most experienced B-17 pilot, ever.
  21. Abdominal fat is highly correlated to health problems later on, and the PT test is first and foremost a healthcare cost management device. If you can run a mile and half in a reasonable time, and have a waist less than 40 inches, you will on average cost the government far less in healthcare. That's it. Push-ups and sit-ups were explicitly added to satisfy people who wanted a "military" test.
  22. When I failed depth perception at MEPS, I had to go get the full eye workup at a nearby base med group before going for my FC1. If I recall correctly, the FC1 and the eye test are technically different screenings... maybe you can get it arranged to go to a nearby base and do the eye work there?
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