Saturday, May 23, 2009
"...it becomes pretty obvious that we are dealing with a bunch of degenerate losers, people of lower than average intelligence with substance abuse issues and long rap sheets and other issues related to their mental stability. Probably not very nice people, but definitely not supervillains.Hit & Run > Government Foils Government Plot - Reason Magazine:
...I’m glad these guys are behind bars, but I find it really hard to believe that any of this would have taken place without the prodding of the informant. There is no chance in hell that a coke addict, a schizo with bottles of urine in his house, and a low-life knuckle-dragger like Cromitie would have managed to get surface to air missiles without the aid and assistance of the FBI. Hell, even getting a handgun was a difficult task for these guys, and any 15 year old in any city in America can get a gun in an hour or two."
"Such stings are not unusual. The equally "aspirational" Liberty City 6 scheme of 2006, for example, would not have congealed -- to the extent that it congealed at all -- without the government's helpful informants. In the days before 9/11, agents provocateurs infiltrated militia groups; back in the '60s, they invaded the New Left. I doubt such entrapment makes anyone safer. But it does make people scared."
"Retired Catholic archbishop says he was unaware of the fact that it’s illegal to have sex with children. No, really. He actually said that. "‘We did not know that child abuse was a crime,’ says retired Catholic archbishop:
"...Said Rembert G Weakland:
We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature.
Weakland, who retired in 2002 after it became known that he paid $450,000 in 1998 to a man who had accused him of date rape years earlier, said he initially:
Accepted naively the common view that it was not necessary to worry about the effects on the youngsters: either they would not remember or they would ‘grow out of it’.
Weakland’s critics allege that, when he was Archbishop of Milwaukee, he had tried to cover up some of the widespread abuse that had taken place in the diocese – in particular by overseeing an evaluation in 1993 of Father Lawrence Murphy, one of those prosecuted for abuse.
A 2003 report on the sexual abuse of minors by clergy in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee revealed that allegations of sexual assaults on minors had been made against 58 ordained men, who were under the direct supervision of the Archbishop of Milwaukee."
Obama promises to suspend Habeas Corpus - Boing Boing:
"...in Obama's national security speech yesterday, he proposes to replace Guantanamo-style detention without trial with his own detention without trial, a system he calls "Indefinite Preventative Detention" through which people who are believed to be likely to commit a crime at some point in the future can be locked up forever without charge, trial, jury or appeal.
...So, can you explain to me how 'holding indefinitely...' those 'who cannot be prosecuted yet who pose a clear danger to the American people' constitutes anything but suspending habeas corpus?
It's putting people in jail, indefinitely, without proving that they've committed a crime.
...As to what should be done with people who've "expressed a desire to kill Americans," this isn't actually a crime in most countries. There are plenty of Americans who've expressed a "clear desire to kill" various foreigners. Should they be "indefinitely detained" if they fall into foreign custody? Remember that a lot of Gitmo detainees were not captured in battle, but rather turned in by corrupt warlords in exchange for cash bounties. The entire case against some of them consists of hearsay from random thugs."
Friday, May 22, 2009
NEPA - 32m walk
Motivation - T-Nation.com | Change Your World:
"If you can change your body, you can change anything. Many naysayers like to look at those of us leading the Testosterone lifestyle and call it narcissism, or refer to those that take care of their bodies as 'shallow.' If they only knew the depth, the power, and the life changing effects of this amazing process.
Back when I was getting my psychology degree, one of the big arguments was about when core personality develops. Many psychologists believed that personality is set in stone by the age of five. I think there's some truth to that, at least for the genetic or biogenic influences of personality development.
But those that have been through a physique transformation may argue with the environmental aspects of the argument. We've seen changes. Big ones. And if environment affects personality, what happens when the environment radically changes?
That's what happens when you lose a lot of fat. You never realized how differently the world treats you when you're overweight. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's a different planet when you're lean and have some muscle.
Fat people are automatically assumed to be lazy and stupid. And in many cases, they are. They're either weak, dumb, or a combination of both. Thing is, sometimes smart, strong people get fat. Once they lose it, their eyes are opened.
...This is not a shallow endeavor. This is foundational life enhancement and personal growth. It is, without a doubt, a form of enlightenment.
I've lived in both worlds. And that's why I'm so passionate about every aspect of physique transformation.
...See the other side.
Change your world."
Via Hit & Run > The Science News Cycle - Reason Magazine
"...what is really weird is that they seem to have just given up any pretense that Bush was anything other than an empty suit. Between Dick’s multiple pronouncements, his really odd response on MTP in which he said “I guess the President had been briefed,” and stunts like this speech today, Cheney is basically telling you who the HMFIC for the last eight years was, and he wasn’t a legacy frat boy from Connecticut."
Thursday, May 21, 2009
"Crazy man on subway: Now that its almost the weekend, it is once again time for me to share my knowledge. Now, how many people here have seen the Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones feature film Men in Black?
75-year-old British man: Oh, this will be wonderful. Very scientific.
Via Dedroidify: Robert Anton Wilson talks about John von Neumann and maybe logic
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
"Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we're not as rational as we think when we make decisions."
"I think it is important to look at what is going on from the perspective of the people being bombed. What would happen if, over the course of the last three years, Soviet drones based in Mexico had killed up to 700 American civilians while allegedly taking out fourteen terrorists? How terrorized would the American public be? What would the media do? Look what happened with swine flu and the DC Sniper. After 9/11, liberals like Jonathon Alter were discussing the merits of torture. Can you imagine the rhetoric coming from Glenn Beck? Sean Hannity? The National Review? Even better, you and I would probably agree with them. How would we feel about less savory elements in our society who were discussing a patriot jihad to strike back at Soviet interests everywhere in the world? How many nuclear missiles would have been launched at Moscow?
And yet, every day, this is what is happening in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and not only are we not really acknowledging what we are doing and what the long term implications of this policy might be, but we are instead patting ourselves on the back for our successes. This is madness."
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
"When it comes to justifying the use of force, there is a crucial difference between health risks imposed by others (such as bioterrorists or TB carriers) and health risks that people voluntarily assume (by smoking or overeating, for example). In the former case, even those who believe that government should be limited to protecting individual rights can see a strong argument for intervention; in the latter case, intervention can be justified only on paternalistic or collectivist grounds. Frieden either does not recognize or does not care about this distinction...
For contemporary public health officials, it's all about the numbers. The aim is to minimize total morbidity and mortality, whatever their cause. This calculus leaves no room for freedom of choice."
"It is all quite a step up from the square knot.
The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.
“This is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl,” said A. J. Lowenthal, a sheriff’s deputy here in Imperial County, whose life clock, he says, is set around the Explorers events he helps run. “It fits right in with the honor and bravery of the Boy Scouts.”
The training, which leaders say is not intended to be applied outside the simulated Explorer setting, can involve chasing down illegal border crossers as well as more dangerous situations that include facing down terrorists and taking out “active shooters,” like those who bring gunfire and death to college campuses. In a simulation here of a raid on a marijuana field, several Explorers were instructed on how to quiet an obstreperous lookout.
“Put him on his face and put a knee in his back,” a Border Patrol agent explained. “I guarantee that he’ll shut up.” "
"Passenger to Asian girl carrying strange bag: Is that a didgeridoo in your bag?
Asian girl: Excuse me?
Passenger: Is that a didgeridoo in you bag?
Asian girl: Oh no, it's my sword.
--Elevator, 39th St
Overheard by: Baby Dinosaur"
The Agitator » Blog Archive » Onward, Christian Soldiers:
"I guess by now it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that the top brass in the Bush administration would have seen the post-9/11 fight against terrorism as a holy war. But GQ has obtained copies of the cover sheets to the intelligence reports Donald Rumsfeld was sending to President Bush during the Iraq War, and the unabashed (and creepily amateurish) blend of Bible verses, Christian imagery, and war imagery is pretty damned disturbing."
Also here Donald Rumsfeld's Strangeloveian Defense Briefing Art - Boing Boing and here Gawker - Donald Rumsfeld's Judgment-Happy, Scary, Biblical Defense Briefing Art - Donald Rumsfeld
Hit & Run > Tarheel State Joins Smoking-Ban Bandwagon - Reason Magazine:
"N.C. Gov. Bev Purdue says she will sign into law a bill the state House of Representatives passed Wednesday that bans smoking in bars and restaurants in the state.
The House approved by a 62-56 vote a version of the smoking ban that had been passed by the N.C. Senate. The measure will make it illegal for restaurant and bar owners to allow smoking in their establishments.
...North Carolina has long been the top tobacco-producing state in the country."
Monday, May 18, 2009
Okay, the Mrs left out in the beginning of March and I became a sad, backsliding mf'er. After about a month of that I was about ready to get back to it, but knew I had multiple social events coming up. Normally not feeling beholden to such things, but here in Japan these types of social occasions are fairly significant, and I both dig them and want to maintain decent working relationships for my last 14 months. But after checking those boxes and eating and drinking everything not nailed down, by the beginning of May I'd gained back about 8lbs or so - nothing but fat, I'm sure - from around January/February.
Given the last strict regime I gave a shot at - P90X - I had good results but crapped out mentally after about 2 months of the three month program. So I was looking for something not quite as long and settled on the T-Nation Velocity Diet. Four weeks uber-strict, every meal and wkout laid out, with an only slightly less strict two week transition. Total for six weeks. Even I should be able to swing that. So I saved up a couple bucks and ordered up some supplements and protein powders, as the program is fairly supplement intensive.
In short, 5-6 feedings of specific foods/supplements per day [a lot of protein shakes], specific weight training 3x per week, NEPA [non-exercise physical activity 5-6x per week], and one day a week of a bodyweight circuit training.
May 11th was my kickoff day and I didn't miss a trick for the first 6 days. Day 7 was kind of a clusterfuck, and no one's fault but my own. Stayed up too late the night before, finishing reading a book... up at 6AM the next day and out all day at my school's sports festival. Yawning and sucking wind by the time I got home at 5PM, I took a nap, and when I got up sucked down a bunch of caffeine and coffe with the intention of knocking out my bodyweight circuit and sucking down my last protein shake. No joy. The spirit was willing, the flesh was weak. So... big suckage, that was.
Otherwise, the week looked like this -
NEPA [M-Sat] Walks of 35,40,38,35,33,39m, respectively.
Weights, MWF - of course, as I planned on starting on Mon the 11th, the prior Thurs/Fri I ended up screwing up my lower back playing with kids [fending off 4 Jr High school Judo lads isn't as easy as it once was] and digging post holes for the school's sports day. As such, the "squats" I did on Monday were more like 1/2 or 1/4 squats as my back decided to scream at me whenever I tried to descend.
M - DB Squats, Chins, DB Bench, Ab Wheel Rollouts
W - Step Up, DB Bent over Row, DB Push Press, DB Curl, Rv Crunch
F - DB DL, Atlas PU, Asst Neutral Grip Pullups, Hand Walkouts
T-Nation.com | 7 Rules for Building Your Body:
"3. Diet When You Need It
Going on a diet has gotten a bad rap. That's probably because there have been some horrendous diets over the years...
"You shouldn't diet. You should make lifestyle changes," they say.
Here's the way I look at it. When you get the body you want, you should then follow a sound nutritional plan to maintain your leanness... But losing a lot of fat quickly demands an approach to eating that can't be maintained throughout your life.
A diet is what you go on when you need to make significant body composition changes in a short amount of time."
Scrubs - I thought this was the series finale, and it would have been a fitting one, but apparently it'll be back for Season 9 with Braff and Chalke in about half the episodes. Still, it was a good ep. "The truth is you should consider yourself lucky if you even occasionally get to make someone, anyone, feel a little better - after that it's all about the people you let into your life..."
30 Rock - Sadly, having seen both the movie and live show of Mamma Mia, I totally got that aspect of one of the episodes. Funny. Alan Alda as Jack's dad is clever. "I've been trying to steal my dead neighbor's identity because sometimes it feels like too much and maybe Daddy just needs to get in the car and drive..." - "Since Guiliani left it's gotten harder to harvest hobo organs..." - "Science was my most favorite subject, especially the Old Testament" - "I have the entire liberal media establishment at my disposal, the same manipulation machine that got people to vote for Barack Obama and got all those people to donate money after Rainstorm Katrina." - "...suburban 7th graders have more sexual experience than you." - "My Mary J. Blige foundation is celebrating its 10th year of searching for the Loch Ness Monster" - Alan Alda making the M*A*S*H series finale joke, "A guy crying about a chicken and a baby? I thought this was a comedy show?"
"We sure had quite a year." -Liz
"What are you talking about? It's May." -Jack
Castle - "She's not naked. She's holding a gun... strategically."
Parks and Recreation - Really hit its stride these last two episodes. Good stuff. "I'd go to a banquet honoring those Somali pirates if they served bacon wrapped shrimp" - "I have no idea why Ann is upset with me, but I do know that she's too nice to yell at me in front of all these people, so I am not leaving this bar" - "I really, really like when you serve me food."
SNL - I gave up on SNL earlier this year because it was just too generic. Not bad, but not great. But I checked out the Justin Timberlake ep, and it was dead on funny. Timberlake is actually really good. The bit where he played his own great-grandfather had me rolling. Plus, Leonard Nimoy came on Weekend Update and said "dickheads." So I checked out this weekends Will Ferrell/season finale, and it too was damn funny. Jeopardy, always a winner. And Tom Hanks was so funny, it reminds you he started out as a standup. - "I'm gonna waterboard Asian Pete Rose when I get back to Heaven."
Smallville - stopped watching this [again] this year, except for one or two eps [which were pretty cool - the LSH and Zatanna eps] but thought I'd check out the season finale. Glimmers of goodness, but overall still kind of the suck. I've never gotten why they make Kent on the show such a whiny emo. Distastefully so. The bait and switch they pulled with Olsen was cleverly done though.
Deadliest Warrior - total martial arts/military, weapons porn. And the trash talk is pathetic [moreso for being clearly scripted at times.] Some of the folks they've got representing their arts/orgs are of the geek/dweeb "Well, if they did that, then I'd just do this" variety. Insufferably dumb. And the whole idea of putting the stats into a computer program to settle the conflicts raises all sorts of questions about the program itself. Not to mention, it's rarely ever the weapon, it's the warrior. But with all those caveats and that being said, this show is addictively fascinating. I blew through six eps in a day. The background+weapons demos+strategy stuff is awesome. The Yakuza V Mafia and Spetznatz V Green Berets eps were particularly good.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
"Guy: Maybe we get a whiteboard so you list out that day's issues before we get on the subway.
Girl: I'm done talking.
Guy: We weren't talking: you were making statements of what I do wrong.