Friday, June 24, 2016

Training.

6/24 - press, chins, tricep pushups, towel chins, pike pushups, tricep dips
6/21 - bench, chins, dips, seated row, bxt, incline pushups, stretch
6/20 - stretch




"Whether you think god is on your side or good is on your side..."

"...know that you have full moral sanction to do what you *feel* is just."


Thursday, June 23, 2016

"Dependency is slavery."

Lengthy, but well worth reading in full at the link.  How to Be a Man | The Art of Manliness: "Fast forward to today. The amount and availability of luxuries has increased many times over. But despite the passing of 2,000 years, modern men are essentially faced with the very same decision as their ancient brethren: How much should you indulge in the ease and comfort around you, and how much should you keep yourself apart and maintain your independence, mental sharpness, and physical toughness? Should you take the path of least resistance, or the hard way? 

...It will require you to be proactive. Instead of expending your energy complaining that today’s culture doesn’t value or encourage manliness, you will need to channel it into swimming against the tide, building yourself into a Nietzschean Superman, creating a familial tribe, and surrounding yourself with fellow men of honor. Though the task is not easy, I’d argue that because a man who lives the code now does so of his own freewill and accord, rather than because he is compelled by an outside force, this path has never been more satisfying and fulfilling...

I want to be able to look my wife and kids in the eye and say: “I’ll protect you and take care of you,” and mean it. I’d also want to surround myself with other good men, who were also good at being men — brothers with whom I could, as Cormac McCarthy puts it, “carry the fire” as we set out to re-build the world together. But isn’t it silly though to spend one’s life preparing for a contingency that may never come to pass? It would be if this way of life wasn’t simultaneously the most fulfilling. Even if society never unravels or blows up, the man who spends a lifetime cultivating the traits inherent to the code will have the confidence, resourcefulness, and mental fortitude to be ready for whatever comes. If his life never intersects with a great crisis, he’ll have the capacity to handle the smaller emergencies in his day-to-day life – from an unexpected death in the family to a tornado razing his house. He’ll also experience the satisfaction of keeping his body in peak condition and learning the kinds of skills that will allow him to handle any situation. There’s no need to over-analyze it: knowing survival and tactical skills is just plain cool and few things feel as good as being fit and strong...

When men do terrible things in our modern society – wreck the economy, thwart political compromise, commit violent crime – their masculinity is to blame. Yet when men do great things – make technological and scientific breakthroughs, jump from space, kill terrorists — their masculinity is seen as irrelevant to the accomplishment. In truth, both of these are sides of the very same coin: masculinity is simply raw energy. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed and can be used for either good or ill. Societies around the world for thousands of years understood this truth, and wisely constructed outlets to exercise and channel masculine energy towards the collective good. Today, such built-in outlets have largely vanished from the landscape. Competition, recess, and physical education have been stripped from schools; military service is not compulsory; strength-requiring labor, both in the workforce and at home, is no longer necessary; fighting over honor, outside a gym or ring, will get you hauled into court. Just as with all aspects of the traditional code of manhood, if you want to exercise your innate masculine energy, you’re going to have to purposefully and proactively find ways to do it yourself...

Mentally tough men are able to stay calm, cool, and collected when things in their life – big and small — go awry...  They follow the wise way of the Stoics. This aspect of the code of manhood has long been a target for feminists and cultural critics, who argue that suppressing the open expression of feelings stunts men’s emotional life and leads to psychological and social problems. I think this proposition comes from a well-intentioned place, but is ultimately misguided. What these social critics and talking heads fail to understand is that it’s not “manhood” that’s the problem, but an incomplete, utterly impoverished modern idea of manhood that’s at issue. The only thing young men today know about the injunction to “Be a man!” is that it represents some kind of hazy standard of tough guy machismo. We have not taught them the rich nuances that were part of the code for thousands of years. Our manly ancient forbearers understood that it’s quite possible to be stoic and cultivate a rich emotional life; the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Even Victorian men, famous for their advocacy of the “stiff upper lip,” weren’t shy about crying over sad poetry, writing highly sentimental letters to friends and lovers, and showing their male buddies a level of physical affection that would make us moderns uncomfortable. True manly Stoicism is not about suppressing one’s feelings entirely; it’s rather a matter of knowing when to turn on the toughness and when to turn it off. You don’t live like a rock every day, you just have access to that firm, steady energy, should you need it...

The highly sensitive man is something people like the idea of in the abstract, but recoil from when encountered in the flesh. People, whether they can admit it or not, want to know they can depend on men when things get hard; even in our “enlightened” culture, they still inwardly cringe at a man who falls to pieces in the face of frustration or adversity. In the midst of a familial crisis, women want their fathers and husbands to stand strong and be able to take action. While we don’t face many physical dangers today, when they do happen, it’s almost invariably left to the men to handle. While social commentators posit that deep down, men are crying out to, well, cry, I simply haven’t found that the majority of men fervently desire the freedom to disgorge their feelings at the drop of a hat. On the contrary, I think most men very much like to feel a little emotionally tough – it gives them a sense of pride and confidence...

Fighting and violence are at the very core of masculinity. Researchers theorize that nearly every part of uniquely male physiology — from our shoulders, to our height, to our faces and hands — evolved expressly for the purpose of man-to-man combat. Yet few male propensities have been as maligned. “We don’t want people to get hurt,” we say. “Male violence oppresses others.” “Violence is only for the weak.” Just like masculinity as a whole, violence itself is thought to be the problem, rather than how violence is used. When we think about male violence, we think about rape and domestic battery. We don’t think about all the violence that’s done on our behalf so we can live our safe, comfortable existence where we never have to see two men grapple for their lives. 

The outsourcing and distancing of ourselves from violence has led to the naive belief that it is possible and desirable to try to breed this trait out of men altogether. Instead of teaching young men: “You’ve got an amazing power and energy inside of you – a force that drove the Vikings and the Spartans and the Minutemen and the GIs,” we teach them: “You have something wrong with you, a dark, bad drive that hurts people. Deny it. Smother it. Exclaim that you’re not like other men and reject it altogether!” 

Nobody likes violence until they’re sitting on a plane that’s been hijacked by terrorists and it’s the men who hatch a plan to take it back and kill them. Nobody likes violence until someone breaks into their house, and a man gets up to confront the intruder. Nobody likes violence until their freedom is at stake and they need men to storm the beaches of Normandy and run a knife through the enemy’s kidneys. As a society we have this willfully self-deluded hope that we can smother men’s violent tendencies altogether because in our current society we don’t need men who can physically fight; and if we ever do, we’ll just cross our fingers that they’ll be able to instantly turn it back on again. Far better would it be if we acknowledged the innate energy of violence in men, and both reverenced its potential and cautioned against its misuse — encouraging its principled cultivation and teaching that it should be channeled towards good, moral ends – to protect the weaker, uphold our principles, and guard our way of life.

...those who have actual experience with violence – even simply within the controlled confines of a boxing ring – are most likely to say it should only be employed when absolutely necessary. They intimately understand the unromanticized reality of violence. They have been humbled by it. It is men who have only experienced violence vicariously through stylized video games and movies that are prone to unleash it in a destructive, narcissistic manner. You need not wait for society to see the wisdom in this (I wouldn’t hold your breath). The individual man has plenty of reason to cultivate his fighting spirit on his own...

Independence and autonomy have always been key parts of the ancient, universal code of manhood. Dependency is slavery. A man is able to stand on his own two feet and make his own choices. He is captain of the ship of his life and master of his agency..."

"But look, I talk about everything. My dick has been on TMZ, so what’s left?"

Anthony Bourdain Turns 60, An Exclusive Interview: "At the turn of the millennium, on the back-end of a career spent mostly dropping pre-poached Benedict eggs on half-toasted English muffins, recovering junkie Anthony Bourdain did something nobody could have guessed an obscure 44-year-old chef could do: He changed the voice of food. Kitchen Confidential is Bourdain’s confessional as chef at Les Halles in Manhattan; it piled the comfortable myths, the bullshit of restaurants in a burn barrel, sprayed them with accelerant, and tossed in a flaming rag. 

In Medium Raw (2010), the follow-up to Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain surfed the lip between insider and outside watcher, a perspective that let him write about the complexity of chefs—their motivations, fails, and gaping brilliance—in a way nobody did before...

Do you ever feel guilt for being a white male gatekeeping the food of other cultures? 
I’m aware of the sort of destructive aspects of what I do. I understand I’m altering the world by putting it on TV. I’m aware that I am fetishizing what is seen as a birthright to millions of people around the world. Do I feel guilty? I am who I am. I’m a white boy from New Jersey in the suburbs. I can live with that. I’m not conflicted about it. 

Eddie [Huang], he’s someone who grew up in that generation. The kids at school would make fun of his lunches. That’s something I really respond to: Guys like Eddie who find themselves in this weird place where no one wanted their food when they were a kid and now everyone wants it, the cultural appropriation issue. Even when Eddie is wrong—his article on Marcus* was as wrong as it could be, but it was a valuable, painful—unfair, but valuable—discussion, he always knows how to put his thumb in the wound: What is cultural appropriation, what is authentic? That’s interesting to me. We've all been having sex with each other and mashing up cultures for centuries...

Do you write as well as you’d like? 
No. When I’m writing, most of the writers I love I will not read. I will keep away from fissionable material. So no. I wish I could write like Don DeLillo, Nabokov, Martin Amis—I mean, if I read those guys when I’m writing I will just crawl under the bed and curl into a fetal ball and be blocked for a month. So no. But on the other hand, I can live with that. Clint Eastwood said a man should be aware of his limitations, and I’m aware of my limitations. Once I tell people something, it’s not the content that's embarrassing to me. If I write bad sentences, that's embarrassing to me. Bad sentences are mortifying. And there are plenty of examples. But look, I talk about everything. My dick has been on TMZ, so what’s left?"



"It will be more like Prohibition-era America, but with hidden rifles substituting for stockpiled hooch..."

What Will Gun Controllers Do When Americans Ignore an ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban? - Reason.com: "Prohibition was kneecapped by Americans' widespread refusal to stop producing, selling, and drinking booze. Millions of Americans smoked marijuana decades before majority sentiment creeped toward legalizing the stuff. Gays and lesbians not only surreptitiously lived and loved when they were targeted by the law—they also famously (and righteously) stomped cops who raided the Stonewall Inn, ultimately precipitating liberalization. And restrictions on exporting encryption were eased only after cryptographers illegally exported code—even printing it on T-shirts as an act of civil disobedience...

"The term assault weapon itself, of disputed origin, is a thorn in the side of gun enthusiasts, who point out that the differences between 'assault weapons' and other semi-automatics are largely cosmetic and don't increase the gun's lethality," explains Slate senior editor Rachael Larimore, in a piece taking the media to task for reporting and editorializing on guns without getting the facts straight. "Because these guns are really just ordinary rifles, it is hard for legislators to effectively regulate them without banning half the handguns in the country (those that are semiautomatic and/or have detachable magazines) and many hunting rifles as well," adds UCLA law professor and gun control advocate Adam Winkler, who has actually done his research...


In 1990, even before opposition had become so hardened, California experienced similar resistance to its original restrictions on "assault weapons." "As a one-year registration period draws toward an end on Dec. 31, only about 7,000 weapons of an estimated 300,000 in private hands in the state have been registered," The New York Times reported. When New Jersey went a step further and banned the sale and possession of "assault weapons," 947 people registered their rifles as sporting guns for target shooting, 888 rendered them inoperable, and four surrendered them to the police. That's out of an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 firearms affected by the law. The New York Times concluded, a bit drily, "More than a year after New Jersey imposed the toughest assault-weapons law in the country, the law is proving difficult if not impossible to enforce." 

But let's go with it. So, the government somehow defines "assault weapons" in a meaningful way and bans sales of new ones. How is that going to be effective given the millions of disfavored weapons already in circulation? That includes roughly 8 million AR-15-style rifles alone—out of somewhere north of 300 million firearms in general. It's not like they're going anywhere...

And their numbers will increase, even if commercial production and sales are outlawed. People have been 3D-printing AR-15 lower receivers (the parts legally classified as a firearm) for years. More durable receivers are CNC-milled by hobbyists from partially finished blanks as well as raw blocks of metal. These techniques were developed in anticipation of the laws now proposed, with the specific purpose of rendering them impotent. Molon labe, remember? 

So, a United States the morning after, or a year after, or a decade after a successful effort to ban "assault weapons" will not be the scene of the "domestic disarmament" favored by prominent communitarian sociology professor Amitai Etzioni. It will be more like Prohibition-era America, but with hidden rifles substituting for stockpiled hooch and 3D printers standing in for moonshiners' stills. And probably a bit more tense. Those defiant gun owners will also be included in the jury pools chosen to sit in judgement of unlucky violators scooped up by law enforcement. That situation will likely replicate the difficulty prosecutors had in getting convictions of Prohibition scofflaws in the 1920s and marijuana law resisters today...""

"He was defending his own rights, and that became defending freedom for everyone.”

Matthew McConaughey Bares His Soul: The Daily Beast: "As told by Free State of Jones, Knight was a fierce leader who believed that love is love, and also believed in using deadly force for a cause. In his time, both acts openly defied the laws and morals of the American government...

Knight’s journey, he notes, was an evolution that only began when he stood up for his individual rights, fed up by a Confederate Army that was exploiting the men and women of the South to fuel its war machine. “‘You can’t treat me like that,’ ‘You can’t take my mama’s mule,’ ‘You can’t make me fight for your rich man’s war,’ that turned into, ‘You can’t treat my neighbor like that.’ And that turned into, ‘You can’t treat anyone like that.’” “This man’s sense of his family became the sense of a family of man—mankind, womankind, all kind,” he continues. “But it started off as very selfish. You can’t treat me like that. You can’t take ten percent of what I own. He was defending his own rights, and that became defending freedom for everyone.”

Historical accounts suggest he snuck into the home of Confederate Major Amos McLemore, who had led efforts to hunt down deserters, and shot him dead, right in the back. The film depicts him as a noble but brutal leader who wasn’t afraid to kill his enemies to defend his community and its people. “He was not a ‘turn the other cheek’ New Testament guy,” McConaughey chuckled, offering the understatement of the century. “One of the things I noticed about him was if he saw something that was wrong or unjust, he really had no way to ignore it. It was not in his DNA to ignore it, damned be the consequences. He didn’t lose sleep over any decisions he made. That’s something I really admired about the guy.”

Portraying Knight and his righteous crusade had its great difficulties. Neither McConaughey nor his costars shy away from using the n-word, for example. “Personally, I think you put it out there in front of a light and let’s examine that, let’s examine what its historical meaning is, what its present meaning is,” he explained to Moviefone. “And understand how it hurts. It was a hard but beautiful scene that we did.”  The ugliness of slavery and the continued murder, disenfranchisement, and exploitation of African-Americans during Reconstruction, which comprises the film’s final act, are important truths to confront...

"Taking my children to set and saying, ‘This is a horrible thing, but it’s true. And you know what, the truth burns. But I’d rather us talk about some really ugly scars in our history that are still relevant today than you go play Call of Duty and shoot a bunch of people in a video game.’” “It happened. It’s real. So let’s sit here and go, ‘Yeah, guess what man, the world is not all clean and neat. We want to expect the best in everyone but we have to understand that we all have good and bad in us, and these are some times when we’ve made mistakes, there are some things where people were just wrong, and this is how we’ve improved and are still evolving. This is a situation that you will be handed and which will be more evolved when you get to it.’”"



Bias Response Team "...hung 700 posters warning students from using offensive terms, like “crazy,” “illegal immigrant,” and “hey guys.”"

FFS. University Investigates Professor For Encouraging Debate: "The University of Northern Colorado investigated a professor for encouraging debate in the classroom after a student complained. The university has a Bias Response Team, which dispatches a team of school employees to investigate topics of classroom discussion or other incidents (like bathroom graffiti) that may have been triggering or made someone feel excluded. One such investigation was prompted by a classroom discussion of an article published in The Atlantic entitled, “The Coddling of the American Mind,” which is about college students’ diminishing capacity to entertain more than one side of a debate due to the rise of “microaggressions” and “trigger warnings” on campuses...

UNC’s Bias Response Team has been pretty busy this year. Last year, the team hung nearly 700 posters around the campus warning students from using offensive terms, like “crazy,” “illegal immigrant,” and “hey guys.”"

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"...we all have different risk profiles when it comes to guns."

That's, at least, the most amusing take I've read on gun control.  Why Gun Control Can’t Be Solved in the USA | Scott Adams Blog: "On average, Democrats (that’s my team*) use guns for shooting the innocent. We call that crime. On average, Republicans use guns for sporting purposes and self-defense. If you don’t believe me, you can check the statistics on the Internet that don’t exist. At least I couldn’t find any that looked credible. 


But we do know that race and poverty are correlated. And we know that poverty and crime are correlated. And we know that race and political affiliation are correlated. Therefore, my team (Clinton) is more likely to use guns to shoot innocent people, whereas the other team (Trump) is more likely to use guns for sporting and defense. That’s a gross generalization. Obviously. Your town might be totally different.  So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. Psychologically, those are different risk profiles. And you can’t reconcile those interests, except on the margins...

Let’s all take a deep breath and shake off the mental discomfort I just induced in half of my readers. You can quibble with my unsupported assumptions about gun use, but keep in mind that my point is about psychology and about big group averages. If Republicans think they need guns to protect against Democrats, that’s their reality. And if Democrats believe guns make the world more dangerous for themselves, that is their reality. And they can both be right. Your risk profile is different from mine. So let’s stop acting as if there is something like “common sense” gun control to be had if we all act reasonably. That’s not an option in this case because we all have different risk profiles when it comes to guns. My gun probably makes me safer, but perhaps yours makes you less safe. You can’t reconcile those interests...

Fear always beats reason. So as long as Democrats are mostly using guns to shoot innocent people (intentionally or accidentally) and Republicans are mostly using guns for sport or self-defense, no compromise can be had."

"Join our cult and we'll save you today."

"It implies that women are too stupid to think outside the hive mind..."


"feminism is about equality"