Bristol-Cruiser

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Bristol-Cruiser last won the day on January 22 2019

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About Bristol-Cruiser

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    Super Anarchist

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    Great Lakes
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    Sailing, writing (not about sailing), table tennis, grandmunchkins

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  1. Bristol-Cruiser

    New read of an old(ish) book

    From time-to-time I go back to read a book that impressed me when I first read it. Such is the case with That Used to Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back by Tom Friedman and Micheal Mandelbaum. There has been a lot of discussion in this forum about how and why the US has lost its mojo in recent years. This book was published in 2011 and did a good job of explaining what has happened. A decade later it is an even better read since the problems are that much greater. The authors postulate that the reason for the US's growth to world dominance in the last two centuries is its ability to respond effectively and quickly to changes in how the world works and in particular being able to respond during times of existential threats: Civil War, Depression/WWII, Cold War, being clear examples. Since the end of the Cold War the US has not done this well - coasting along at a time when the country was not being significantly challenged by outside forces. They point our that for earlier presidents, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Eisenhower, you can point out significant achievements that made the country better and set the scene for what followed. Since then, presidents of both stripes have not done really done much of lasting importance (Obama, being inspirational only goes so far) or are best known for harmful choices (Bush Jr with wars and Trump with chaos). More of the successful presidents they talk about were Republicans which is interesting. To the authors this is where the problem lies - lack of vision, lack of bravery to pursue a vision. The authors point out four key areas where leadership is needed. Note that these areas are often closely linked how to react to and take better advantage of globalization. dealing with the fundamental changes to society and the economy coming from the IT world reducing national debt and ongoing deficits tackling climate change and wasteful use of fossil fuels. It is easy to see that in all four of these things little if any progress has been made in the last decade and certainly in some areas (debt) the situation is much worse. The Dems have some grand schemes in mind - Green New Deal and Medicare for All, but with little explanation about it would be done or paid for. The Reps seem to only have one grand scheme, how to make the uber rich even richer,, so the signs are not good looking at the next decade. Also, China is much more of a threat now than it was in 2011. Perhaps having a near-peer rival with focus the attention of the US ruling classes to get the country's act together.
  2. Bristol-Cruiser

    The Enemy is China

    I think the big problem that China has with the One Child Policy is not the one you mention. The policy was brought in to naturally accelerate a totally normal process - demographic process. It worked in the sense that China passed through the stages of demographic transition that produce high population more quickly than they might have. The obvious comparator is India. In 1979 when the OCP was introduced, China's total fertility rate was a bit higher than India. Now China is at 1.6 and India at 2.3 (note that India's fertility rate has dropped greatly due to 'normal' demographic transition. The OCP was probably kept in place about 8 to 10 years too long but nothing can be done about that now. The problem that China faces is not shortage of labour because they formerly wasted what was then cheap labour and now they use their labour more efficiently and are getting big into automation, it is that they do not, as yet, have the social safety net to support an old population. Many countries in the West, Spain and Italy are good examples, have much older populations but they do have a variety of social and health supports. In the past, old people in China were supported by their families but there lots of younger people to support relatively few older people. Now and in the future that will not be the case. Note that on the graph the small number of people in age groups ranging from 0 to 60 are not direct products of the one child policy. Rather they are what happens when demographic transition happens. The OCP meant that there are fewer people to have kids. Demographic transition meant that in the next generation this smaller number had smaller families. You can generate population pyramids and get lots of good demographic data here. Thank you, US taxpayers. https://www.census.gov/data-tools/demo/idb/informationGateway.php
  3. Bristol-Cruiser

    The Enemy is China

    As if the United States has not played by its own rule set in the years since WWI. One thing that the US did was use its power to incorporate its rules into a variety of international institutions - the World Bank and Bretton Woods are good examples. That is how a superpower works - really no different than the British Empire, Roman Empire or the Ming Dynasty. As China's clout in the world increases it becomes more and more capable of imposing its rule set. Nothing new here. We really need to look longer term here. China is good at it, the West not so much.
  4. Bristol-Cruiser

    The Enemy is China

    You do understand the difference between a rival and an enemy - or do you see every rival as an enemy?
  5. Bristol-Cruiser

    Retirement Planning

    I think one thing is missing in this discussion is that cruising as an extended life style fundamentally makes no logical sense (but considerable sense in other respects of course). Hence it makes little sense to apply too much logic with respect to things like financial planning. Too many things just can get in the way - health as we have seen, financial reverses, unexpected boat costs (a simple one, you decide to go the Med (expensive) rather than saying in the Caribbean. In our case we were living on the boat in NYC with my wife working in a financial company and earning good money (that I spent on the boat) when she was laid off after the financial collapse and we off cruising 18 months sooner than expected. It worked out just fine and we never really went back to looking at the the planning spreadsheet again. Someone mentioned thinking about a boat in 38 to 45 foot range.That is a huge range and covers an enormous range of boats. The costs (purchase/upgrade/maintenance) could vary enormously. Cruising boats tend to be sold by the pound, not the foot. Best of luck to those facing health issues.
  6. Bristol-Cruiser

    Blagojevich

    So if you a wealthy, older white guy you can get a get out of jail card for your corruption. Could he be trying to set an example for later?
  7. Bristol-Cruiser

    Alibaba

    It is like Amazon and eBay on steroids. I have bought things few times and they have as advertised and good value.
  8. Bristol-Cruiser

    "2019-nCoV"

    Note that this graphic applies to SARS - note the decision diamond near the bottom. A different one, perhaps very similar, perhaps not, would apply to the new one. Not sure how much value there is in posting something like this that non-doctors would not be able to fully appreciate.
  9. Bristol-Cruiser

    Kelly finally lets it rip

    It could be Venezuela 2.0 with Trump playing the part of Maduro - an interesting wrinkle.
  10. Bristol-Cruiser

    International Dragon question

    But could the cockpit be made comfortable and the sail controls simplified? I don't mind making modifications to a boat with a sound hull and rig. Had a friend with a 6 metre years ago. As I remember, it sailed over on its ear in most conditions. Is a Dragon like that? The photos I have seen don't show it but the winds might have been lightish.
  11. Bristol-Cruiser

    International Dragon question

    To take a different tack. How would an older, modified Dragon do as a daysailer for one or two people. I would like a reasonably comfortable cockpit and simple sail controls. Considering doing something like this with a Dragon, Etchells, or Soling. A wooden one would be lovely but a lot of work. Probably a glass boat with wood accents.
  12. Bristol-Cruiser

    "Storm Jib" Best Practices

    On our Bristol we had a wire, removable inner stay that went to a strong point on deck. We could use this for either a staysail or storm jib. We had dyneema runners that went to the head of the inner stay and through a turning block to a secondary cockpit winch. For very long passages (more than a week) we would hook one up, not that we really needed it but why not use them since they are there. We never used the storm jib and only occasionally used the staysail but they were if we needed them. Also never used the trysail which had its own track on the mast. Our storm sails were quite old but in decent shape. They were white but since they never came out of the bag not really an issue. It is fun to work out all the details about how to setup these sails. BTW, I can't imagine trying to take the Genoa off in the conditions where you need the storm jib. That is just asking for trouble. If you don't test your furling line you can easily tie the furler drum off with a second one to a bow cleat.
  13. Bristol-Cruiser

    Moovie Review Threade

    Parasite has been re-released and is now in suburban theatres near Toronto. The earlier release was only downtown. I can see what it won the Oscar. It works at so many levels. Saw three other Best Picture nominees (The Irishman, Marriage Story, and The Two Popes) and they were all first rate but not as complex as Parasite. I would give it 4.5 (I can be hard to please).
  14. Bristol-Cruiser

    Democrat Corruption - $530k to Hookers for Jesus

    Would make more sense if the organization was called, 'Jesus for Hookers' wouldn't it? The current name could be misconstrued in a historical sense.
  15. Bristol-Cruiser

    2020 polls & endorsements

    Excellent ad. The 'We' vs 'Them' approach worked very well for Trump. Bernie is trying to start out with a bigger 'We' than just disaffected working class and lower middle class whites. During an extended election campaign it will be hard to dismiss him as a 'socialist'. People will hear his policies and like them.