Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Expendables 2 - EX2 - to bring more of that 80's style action-y awesomeness.

Oh yes, it will.

"Police officer pepper-sprays seated, non-violent students at UC Davis." - #christwhatanasshole

Police officer pepper-sprays seated, non-violent students at UC Davis - Boing Boing: " see a police officer [Update: UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike] walk down a line of those young people seated quietly on the ground in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience, and spray them all with pepper spray at very close range. He is clearing a path for fellow officers to walk through and arrest more students, but it's as if he's dousing a row of bugs with insecticide..."
'via Blog this'

Friday, November 18, 2011

Some things used to be awesome.

"This is not how police are supposed to work" - #OWS 'Response Suddenly Causes Middle Class White People to See Law Enforcement In New Light.'

Occupy Wall Street Response Suddenly Causes Middle Class White People to See Law Enforcement In New Light - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine:
"...Harmless, if obnoxious people, are getting the crap kicked out of them by cops at Occupy protests across the country. In Berkeley, one officer beat a young female student in the stomach completely unprovoked. In Seattle, police sprayed an inch-thick stream of pepper spray into a crowd, hitting an 86-year-old woman and an expectant mother, among others, square in their faces. Journalists who have never covered protests before, much less spent time on a police beat, are getting clubbed, gassed, and cuffed alongside their unwashed and unruly story subjects.
The responses of police departments and Democrat-run municipalities is causing a much needed paradigm shift. The Occupy Wall Street movement is composed largely of people who have never before been cuffed to anything but a headboard, if that. Many of them are white, and some of them are probably urban gentrifiers, which means their previous attitudes toward police likely ranged from indifferent to fond. And now those same cops, who used to only screw with blacks and hispanics, are suddenly going after highly educated, well-bred, pale-faces, AKA "skinny intellectuals."
This is not how police are supposed to work seems to be the prevailing sentiment. Also: Some crimes are worse than others, and blocking a street is not one of the bad ones. Which crimes are worse, and why, is a great question for OWS supporters to consider. If getting pepper-sprayed and batoned for the minor crime of blocking traffic is absolutely outrageous, how much crazier is it to knock down someone's door in the middle of the night, shoot his pets, point a gun at his wife, and call child services all because he had some pot in his house..."
'via Blog this'

Did a lot of this setting up Linux on my computer...

The War on [Some] Drugs [Users] is still lying to you, you know...

Also, ruining lives, ignoring reality.  More at the link, of course.

Review Questions Warnings About Meth's Mental Effects - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine: "Doctors prescribe methamphetamine and similar stimulants to improve alertness, attention, and mental acuity. Yet anti-drug propaganda warns that meth, when consumed without a prescription, impairs thinking and ravages the brain, leading to irrational, disordered, self-destructive, and possibly violent behavior. Does a slip of paper from an M.D. magically transform the properties of this chemical? Or should the warnings about meth-related cognitive impairment be taken with a shaker full of salt?

The latter, suggests a new research review published by Neuropsychopharmacology..."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The paradox of how the USA thinks of itself.

America likes to think of itself this way...
Whereas reality more closely resembles this.
The disconnect, it causes problems.

"What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think..."

“...This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Matt Taibbi deftly and clearly explains #OWS - "People want to go someplace for at least five minutes where no one is trying to bleed you or sell you something. It may not be a real model for anything, but it's at least a place where people are free to dream of some other way for human beings to get along, beyond auctioned "democracy," tyrannical commerce and the bottom line."

A long-ish excerpt because there's a lot worth reading, and even more if you click through the link.

How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the OWS Protests | Politics News | Rolling Stone:
"...modern America has become a place so drearily confining and predictable that it chokes the life out of that built-in desire. Everything from our pop culture to our economy to our politics feels oppressive and unresponsive. We see 10 million commercials a day, and every day is the same life-killing chase for money, money and more money; the only thing that changes from minute to minute is that every tick of the clock brings with it another space-age vendor dreaming up some new way to try to sell you something or reach into your pocket. The relentless sameness of the two-party political system is beginning to feel like a Jacob's Ladder nightmare with no end; we're entering another turn on the four-year merry-go-round, and the thought of having to try to get excited about yet another minor quadrennial shift in the direction of one or the other pole of alienating corporate full-of-shitness is enough to make anyone want to smash his own hand flat with a hammer.

If you think of it this way, Occupy Wall Street takes on another meaning. There's no better symbol of the gloom and psychological repression of modern America than the banking system, a huge heartless machine that attaches itself to you at an early age, and from which there is no escape. You fail to receive a few past-due notices about a $19 payment you missed on that TV you bought at Circuit City, and next thing you know a collector has filed a judgment against you for $3,000 in fees and interest. Or maybe you wake up one morning and your car is gone, legally repossessed by Vulture Inc., the debt-buying firm that bought your loan on the Internet from Chase for two cents on the dollar. This is why people hate Wall Street. They hate it because the banks have made life for ordinary people a vicious tightrope act; you slip anywhere along the way, it's 10,000 feet down into a vat of razor blades that you can never climb out of.

That, to me, is what Occupy Wall Street is addressing. People don't know exactly what they want, but as one friend of mine put it, they know one thing: FUCK THIS SHIT! We want something different: a different life, with different values, or at least a chance at different values.

There was a lot of snickering in media circles, even by me, when I heard the protesters talking about how Liberty Square was offering a model for a new society, with free food and health care and so on. Obviously, a bunch of kids taking donations and giving away free food is not a long-term model for a new economic system.

But now, I get it. People want to go someplace for at least five minutes where no one is trying to bleed you or sell you something. It may not be a real model for anything, but it's at least a place where people are free to dream of some other way for human beings to get along, beyond auctioned "democracy," tyrannical commerce and the bottom line.

We're a nation that was built on a thousand different utopian ideas, from the Shakers to the Mormons to New Harmony, Indiana. It was possible, once, for communities to experiment with everything from free love to an end to private property. But nowadays even the palest federalism is swiftly crushed. If your state tries to place tariffs on companies doing business with some notorious human-rights-violator state – like Massachusetts did, when it sought to bar state contracts to firms doing business with Myanmar – the decision will be overturned by some distant global bureaucracy like the WTO. Even if 40 million Californians vote tomorrow to allow themselves to smoke a joint, the federal government will never permit it. And the economy is run almost entirely by an unaccountable oligarchy in Lower Manhattan that absolutely will not sanction any innovations in banking or debt forgiveness or anything else that might lessen its predatory influence.

And here's one more thing I was wrong about: I originally was very uncomfortable with the way the protesters were focusing on the NYPD as symbols of the system. After all, I thought, these are just working-class guys from the Bronx and Staten Island who have never seen the inside of a Wall Street investment firm, much less had anything to do with the corruption of our financial system.

But I was wrong. The police in their own way are symbols of the problem. All over the country, thousands of armed cops have been deployed to stand around and surveil and even assault the polite crowds of Occupy protesters. This deployment of law-enforcement resources already dwarfs the amount of money and manpower that the government "committed" to fighting crime and corruption during the financial crisis. One OWS protester steps in the wrong place, and she immediately has police roping her off like wayward cattle. But in the skyscrapers above the protests, anything goes.

This is a profound statement about who law enforcement works for in this country. What happened on Wall Street over the past decade was an unparalleled crime wave. Yet at most, maybe 1,500 federal agents were policing that beat – and that little group of financial cops barely made any cases at all. Yet when thousands of ordinary people hit the streets with the express purpose of obeying the law and demonstrating their patriotism through peaceful protest, the police response is immediate and massive. There have already been hundreds of arrests, which is hundreds more than we ever saw during the years when Wall Street bankers were stealing billions of dollars from retirees and mutual-fund holders and carpenters unions through the mass sales of fraudulent mortgage-backed securities..."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

John Lennon Speaks Wise.

'The IT Crowd' perfectly explains why most sports I like let you punch people in the face.

Otherwise it's just a lot of this, really.

Funny because true.

Also funny because I'm a severely damaged human being.
Also, when you think about it seriously for a sec, the whole situation of organizations sacrificing all for the perpetuation of said organization, including their own children, pretty much the very definition of evil.  Evil enough just in general, perpetuating it under the pretense of holy writ, a whole 'nother level of fuckedupedness...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Embassy Volleyball Tournament 2011.

This past weekend was the Embassy's Volleyball Tourney.  I was recruited for a team and thusly did  venture forth, to do battle.  [Above, from the t-shirt, on right a take-off of a political slogan from the recent election/old Liberian proverb.  My idea, actually.  On occasion, I do have them.]
But before I could venture forth, some doctoring was required...
A team practice the previous weekend left me with an array of hobbling blisters and sand burns.  Which didn't improve during the week.  Lesson learned = that 5 years barefooting on tatami in Japan + very specific calluses developed in MA training are somewhat useful, but there isn't a whole lotta crossover.
Disinfected, alcohol-ed, taped [duct tape fixes everything] and thusly girded for combat.
Men of action, clearly.
Referee-ing from on high, with power, authority and confidence.
Warm Up 101.
Deadly Powers of Concentration.  If only we could have harnessed that force for good.  Or, you know, victory.
My form, impeccable.  My style, omni-directional.
Games Aftermath.
The Team.
Sadly, we could only go 2-2, scoring 3rd place in the tourney.  But we got some free drink tickets out of it.  So that counts as a win in my book.

Cooking/Food Log.

Not a whole lotta cooking this week - big dishes [turkey chili/burgers] meant leftovers, plus social engagements and whatnot...
For the Mrs.

The healthy and the not-so-healthy for the week.  Not pictured, post-volleyball tournament beers, bloody marys and brunch food the next day.


Multiple foot blisters and lower extremity injuries conspired to take lower body workouts and damn near all conditioning/cardio off the table this last week - probably most of this week, as well.  [You don't realize how vital your feet are to damn near everything till you can't use them right.]  Stuck with upper body/higher volume/lower intensity/isolation work then...  

11/14 - chinups x100, dips x100 [as many sets as necessary.]
11/13 - rest/recovery/free/off
11/12 - volleyball
11/11 - flyes, dips, pullups, bw rows, hyperx
11/10 - chins, curls, ovrheadx, french press, bench dips, hammer curls, wrist curl, rv wrist curls
11/9 - wide grip pullups, bw rows, 1a db rows, hyperx, press, shrug, rear delt laterals
11/8 - off/injury recovery
11/7 - chins, dips, hyperx, grippers