Wednesday, May 22, 2013


5/22 - superset chins/dips x12/10/8/6/4, 2/4/4x6, 1/2/3/4, 8/6/4/2 - superset pike press/bw row 2x10/6/2x10/4 - superset band laterals/curls x25/20/25/2x15 - band concentration curls x20/15/25/15/25 - grip COCT x10/9/6/5/4

These guys are awesome/inspiring/incredibly fit.  The couple that trains together...

Today's Internets - "The trouble is, you think you have time." - Jack Kornfield

With Government Abuses, The Problem is the Power, Not the Person - Hit & Run : "'s important to remember that the problem lies in the existence of the power that's being abused, not just in the individuals doing the abusing.

...The magic phrase "national security" is often invoked to justify these transgressions — often in transparently convenient ways (Attorney General Holder claimed the AP had put "lives at risk" with the story that sparked the scrutiny, even though John Brennan had said there was no such risk.) But intrusive surveillance is increasingly wielded in routine criminal investigations with no appeal to a supposedly higher purpose that trumps constitutional protections.

...It's a joy watching government officials dodge questions, insist on blissful ignorance of the world's evils and invoke their right against self-incrimination. Such great theater. But, at the end of the day, disposing of those officials without doing anything else just clears the way for a new crop of power-abusers and useful drones effectively identical to the last batch, though with a slightly different list of targets for mistreatment. We should get rid of the abusers sure, if only to remind the next batch that there can be consequences. But it's much more important to get rid of the agencies and powers that are inevitably abused, year after year, so that we don't have to act surprised, yet again, that we can't trust government officials to use power with restraint."

"An assistant to Egil Krogh, a member of Nixon’s administration imprisoned in the Watergate scandal, explained, “If we hyped the drug problem into a national crisis, we knew that Congress would give us anything we asked for.” (Epstein, p. 140)"

"Heavyweight Josh Barnett has been a man without a home since the fall of Strikeforce. He picked up his last win in the promotion's final event against unkown big man Nandor Guelmino. Following that fight and the transfer of much of Strikeforce's roster to the UFC, there's been a lot of speculation about where he'd fight next. After early negotiations with the UFC went awry, no news had developed regarding where Barnett would fight next. However, MMA Junkie broke the news Tuesday night that Barnett had re-signed with UFC in a multi-fight deal..."

"Swaziland's Civil Aviation Authority has threatened to fine witches who fly their broomsticks higher than 150 meters. An official with the agency said broomsticks are covered by the same law that bans kites and toy helicopters from flying too high."

Cant Stop the Signal.
"So the question for today is: Will 3D printing do for physical objects what the Internet has done for communications? To wit: What will happen to patents and trademarks? Will this lead to a vast decentralization (right down to home-workshop level) of manufacturing of everything from toasters to automobiles? How will governments and mega-corps fight against the technology (as you know they will)? Will there be a huge burst of creativity as high-tech “tinkerers” get their hands on ever-more-affordable printers and open-source plans? Will innovators get screwed over by opportunists? Will there be greater prosperity as the price of thousands of objects drops? Or higher prices and political repression? What products will be most changed? Where will we be with this five years from now? Ten? Twenty-five?"

"I do not smirk.  But if I did, this would be a good opportunity."

Labels lie.  Eat real food.
"Amazingly products with wheat flour etc. as their main ingredient are labeled “low carb”. And when they’re analyzed it turns out they contain between 4 and 8 times more carbs than the label claims. For example, one product didn’t contain 7 grams of carbs as listed on the label, it was really 53 grams."

Man of Steel beginning to look rather kick-ass.

"In speech after speech, administration officials cite their authority, ostensibly granted by Congress, to target “associated forces” of al-Qaida worldwide. It’s a way to ensure the drones hover, monitor and eventually strike al-Qaida’s permutations nearly as quickly as they pop up. Only a few problems: that term never appears in the foundational piece of legislation authorizing the war on terrorism, known as the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force or AUMF. And in any event, it’s an ambiguous term...

All his aspirations to date for closing Guantanamo involve moving such detainees to U.S. prisons where their detention would continue. Lawyers argue that calling this indefinite detention is inappropriate. The detention will last, they say, until the war on terrorism ends, much like how prisoners of war are detained without charge until hostilities cease. They’re right, but it’s an academic distinction: the administration cannot conceive of what an end to hostilities looks like. Administration lawyers are even launching a trial balloon to say they have power to detain individuals even after hostilities with al-Qaida end...

To date, the Obama administration hasn’t talked about rolling back any of the emergency powers it enjoys. Those powers, and the rebalance of liberty and security they represent, have already outlived Osama bin Laden. The basic inertial forces of American politics position them to outlive al-Qaida. Just two years ago, cabinet officials talked about being ten or 20 kills away from strategically defeating al-Qaida. Now senior Pentagon aides talk about a war that will last ten to 20 years. 

“Enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war,” Obama said in his second inaugural address. Rhetoric like that is cheap, and arguably cynical, considering Obama’s geographic expansion of the war on terror. If Obama wants his speech tomorrow to surpass empty rhetoric, he can at least acknowledge that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war powers, either."

"Three aspects of an ingestible substance that can be considered harmful are (1) its potential to debilitate, (2) its effects on one’s health, and (3) its potential to kill via an overdose. 

(1) Like the stimulants, caffeine and cocaine, heroin is not a debilitating drug. That is, moderate usage does not interfere with one’s functioning, e.g. driving ability. This is in contrast to alcohol, in which one’s performance is directly hampered. Extreme usage can interfere just like with caffeine and cocaine, e.g. too much of a stimulant can make it difficult to focus and even cause hallucinations. However, even heroin addicts can moderate their usage so that they can work unimpaired and avoid withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, heroin addicts can and do have successful professional lives in such diverse fields as surgery and law enforcement.

(2) Long-term heroin addiction is relatively harmless to one’s health. Like caffeine addicts who “need” their coffee in the morning, the side-effects are minimal. Heroin’s long-term side-effects can include constipation and impotency. This is in contrast to alcohol and tobacco which destroy the liver and the lungs respectively. 

(3) Like caffeine, it is difficult to fatally overdose on heroin by itself. (It is easy to overdose when using heroin and alcohol in combination.) The popular image of a dead heroin user with the needle still in his or her arm is misleading. A fatal heroin overdose is usually a long process that takes over an hour and it can be countered within minutes by an antidote. This antidote is Narcan. It is so tightly regulated that strict limits on its usage have caused overdose deaths even when paramedics were present. Narcan is not dangerous or addictive which leads one to believe the government wants heroin users to die...

Lastly, heroin withdrawal – unlike alcohol withdrawal – is never fatal."

"A tenet of the drug war is that “hard” drugs are so pleasurable that once tried, most people cannot resist them. This fiction is propagated by the media which showcases in the words of Dr. Stanton Peele, “extremely self-dramatizing addicts,” while ignoring the vast invisible majority of recreational drug users – the unaddicted.  The truth is that illegal drugs’ addiction rates are not nearly as high as they are popularly portrayed. As can be seen below, of the millions of Americans who have experienced the highs of crack, heroin, and methamphetamine only a small percentage have used them in the past month. Even if the ludicrous position is taken that every person who has partaken in the past month is an addict, the addictive power of these substances is clearly overblown."

From Jack Kornfield’s "Buddha’s Little Instruction Book" actually.  But still.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


5/21 - assisted Amosov squat 2x50, Hindu squats 2x50, glute bridge 2x50, prisoner squats 2x25, hip thrust 2x25, 1LDL 2x25, air squats x25, cossack squat x30, assisted pistols x16, neck bridge 2x20

5/20 - superset chins & dips x10/8/6/4/2, 6/5/4/3/2/1, 8/6/4/2, 8/7/6/4/4 - superset bw row/band press 6x10, 5x8

5/18 & 19 - P90X2 D90 & 91 - Rest
That finishes up this round of P90X2.  Overall, great program.  The balance, core and skill work was pretty brutal/difficult for me, I was still spazzing and tripping all over myself as much at the end of the 90 days as in the beginning.  Felt like it anyways.  No drastic body comp changes, due in the main to the sheer volume of beer and assorted junk food I've consumed over the last 3 months.  Monday to Friday was generally pretty good, but I tended to blow it out on the weekends.  Weighed in and did a waist measurement on Friday, and my markers were 5lbs lighter and a half inch off the waist.  But between Friday AM and Monday AM, scale weight went up 10lbs [and now, as of Monday evening, has gone back down 3lbs.  Scales are tricksy, don't really mean a lot all the time, but are good for tracking general tendencies...]  And on Friday tested my general strength markers [pullups, dips, pushups] and all my numbers improved:
2/11  -  pullups 17, dips 20, pushups 41
5/17 - pullups 20, dips 29, pushups 55
Worth noting I hit 23 pullups about 3.5 weeks ago.  Chalk up the 3 rep loss to general fatigue, having done the yoga routine earlier in the day, and I began celebrating finishing 90 days with beer before realizing I wanted to check my benchmarks.  So there's that.
Overall, slightly lighter, leaner and stronger after 90 days, despite going off the rails nutritionally a bunch.
I'll take it.

Today's Internets - "Always remember: that which does not kill you makes you stronger. Until it does eventually kill you." - Warren Ellis

"(262): Did I really drink that whole bottle of Jack Daniels last night? 
(505): Heroically."

"(202): She thinks I'm afraid I'm gonna get caught in one of my lies and some of the girls I'm fucking will find out about each other. But it would be a relief to offload a few from the old crop and work in a few newbies into the rotation. The organization could use some new blood."

Good note - Warren Ellis' Notebook
"useful social note: combo-punching real people in the face still doesn’t make them turn into a shower of gold coins"

You're doing it completely wrong, North Carolina.
"Count the overwrought responses to this incident. Enloe High School in Raleigh, N.C., called police out due to what appears to be a water balloon fight (overwrought response number one). Police arrested seven of the students (overwrought response number two) and threw a teen apparently not involved at all to the ground, necessitating medical treatment (overwrought response number three)."

"Lying to people makes them your master, by lying I might as well have declared I was subordinate to them as I was afraid of showing the truth..."

"The nightclubs in the city's Amemura area, known as "little America" on account of its trendy vintage shops that stock large amounts of US clothing, started being targeted by the authorities recently. Under laws known as Fueiho, which govern "adult entertainment" (and date back to the 1940s), any establishment which allows its customers to dance must obtain a licence. For years the authorities turned a blind eye, but three years ago they began raiding establishments which did not have the licences. These licences come with a few requirements: the club must close by either midnight or 1am (in other words, just as things are getting going) and have 66 sq m of unobstructed floor space in the main room. Anyone who has been to Japan knows that the vast majority of bars and clubs simply don't have that amount of room for a dancefloor because space is at such a premium, especially in the country's big cities...

The same moral panic that led to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Actin the UK started to envelope Japan in 2010. But instead of legislation that took clubbing from the unregulated, illegal rave scene and helped plonk it into the mainstream, the Japanese authorities seem intent on using the outmoded Fueiho regulations to kill off bars and clubs where dance music is played altogether. Yet the moral panic that has overcome the authorities seems to only stretch so far. They have failed to see the hypocrisy in effectively banning the act of dancing in Osaka's nightclubs – partly because of issues of taste – while still allowing Amemura's lap dancing clubs to operate a few hundred metres down the road..."

You may enjoy this post-ironically, as intended, or in the original manner.

Dug the music, too.

Well played.
"J. Peter Zegarra, a California doctor, has been publicaly reprimanded by the state's medical board after he told a patient to practice oral sex on her husband. The patient had expressed concerns her gag reflex would interfere with an upper-gastrointestinal endoscopy, according to CBS affiliate KOVR.  The patient, an unidentified woman, complained that the Sacramento-based colo-rectal surgeon told her to practice oral sex on her husband "twice a week" prior to the procedure as a way of allaying the reflex."

"Our culture has accepted and perpetuated powerful and pervasive negative assumptions about aging. Many of which are false...

“What you believe is the most powerful predictor of what you will achieve.” What if you are an older gym rat, one who’s never been to the Masters Nationals or wasn’t quite lucky enough to have a friend who helped guide you to bodybuilding success in your later years? You might believe, just as the first judge I talked with did, that meaningful muscle-building progress is not possible because of your age. If that is what you believe, then that is how you will train—tentatively and with a kind of fatalism, certain that your best days are behind you...

Even if you are a young bodybuilder, you may still have fallen prey to a negative assumption. Let’s say that somewhere along the line in the pursuit of your sport you accepted the label of “hardgainer.” From then on your training likely suffered as much from the belief in that label as from any actual genetic disadvantage. As far as muscle hypertrophy and aging are concerned, I have yet to see a scientific study that has placed a definitive age limit on the human body’s ability to generate muscle. In addition, I, and many others, have seen considerable muscle growth well into our 60s. So don’t fall victim to poisoned perceptions. Train with passion and perseverance, and find out for yourself what your own potential might be—at any age."

"THREE SCANDALS — shifting explanations about the attacks in Benghazi, the targeting of conservative political groups by the Internal Revenue Service, and the administration’s secret inquiry into the Associated Press — dominated politics last week. All self-inflicted wounds, they threaten to upend Barack Obama’s second-term agenda as the inevitable investigations, denials, revelations, and resignations divert attention from everything else. But the real story here is less about misdeeds than it is about power. Consider how these three scandals mesh with other stories of the day: Escalating drone strikes, bullying investigations of targets such as cyber-genius Aaron Swartz, the shelter-in-place commands in the aftermath of the Marathon bombings, the rush to a never-ending surveillance state, and the like. The impression one gets is of government at all levels consolidating power unto itself and of a government that is ever more willing to use that power. It makes for scary stuff, stuff that has the potential to reset our politics...

We’ve comforted ourselves in all of this with the belief that, while government might potentially have all of this power, it would rarely use it or that, when it did, its use would be well-intentioned and circumscribed. Plus we had rules and systems to stop any abuse: The Bill of Rights, the due process clause, oversight by the media and courts, the two-party system, and strong procedural requirements. What the Benghazi-IRS-AP scandals suggest — and what victims of drone strikes and people such as Aaron Swartz might testify — is that these protections are inadequate. Rules can be bent or ignored, people are venal, and in the pursuit of what government officials think are good ends, any means become acceptable. Power, as the saying goes, corrupts, and absolute power — and surely, we’re getting close to that point, aren’t we? — corrupts absolutely."

Cant Stop the Signal.
"When high tech gunsmith group Defense Distributed test-fired the world’s first fully 3D-printed firearm earlier this month, some critics dismissed the demonstration as expensive and impractical, arguing it could only be done with a high-end industrial 3D printer and that the plastic weapon wouldn’t last more than a single shot. Now a couple of hobbyists have proven them wrong on both counts. One evening late last week, a Wisconsin engineer who calls himself “Joe” test-fired a new version of that handgun printed on a $1,725 Lulzbot A0-101 consumer-grade 3D printer, far cheaper than the one used by Defense Distributed. Joe, who asked that I not reveal his full name, loaded the weapon with .380 caliber rounds and fired it nine times, using a string to pull its trigger for safety. The weapon survived all nine shots over the course of an evening..."

The War on [Some] Drugs [Users] is made up of nothing but propaganda and lies.  
You know that, right?  
Science trumps politics.
"Researchers asked drug-harm experts to rank these illegal and legal drugs on various measures of harm both to the user and to others in society. These measures include damage to health, drug dependency, economic costs and crime. The researchers claim that the rankings are stable because they are based on so many different measures and would require significant discoveries about these drugs to affect the rankings. Note that alcohol (despite being legal more often than the other drugs) is by far the most harmful; not only is it the most damaging to societies, it is also the fourth most dangerous for the user. Most of the drugs were rated significantly less harmful than alcohol, with most of the harm befalling the user. The authors explain that one of the limitation of this study is that drug harms are functions of their availability and legal status in the UK, and so other cultures' control systems could yield different rankings."
"Drug harms in the UK: a multi-criteria decision analysis", by David Nutt, Leslie King and Lawrence Phillips, on behalf of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs. The Lancet."

Oh look, more lies.
"The wonderful Retro Report (which revisits popular news stories of the years gone by and follows up on their claims) has posted a great, 10-minute documentary on "crack babies," concluding that the promised crack baby epidemic of kids with gross deformities who couldn't attend regular school never materialized. The documentary says that the entire phenomenon was extrapolated from a single, preliminary study, and that most of the "crack baby" effects were actually the result of low birth weight."

Timeline Photos:
"It will hurt. You will think about giving up several times before seeing results. You will be tempted by cravings. Some of your friends will judge you. Some people will call you obsessed. You will eventually wake up in the morning and feel lazy to train. You will sometimes lack motivation. There will be pain. A lot of pain. Your mind will try to trick you. But you gotta remember, everything you need to overcome all of the above is inside you. It's a lonely journey and only you are able to fight for yourself. There are no opponents but your mind. There will be a time when you will have to choose between being a warrior or a loser. It's your choice. #staystrong"

Of course.

Of course.
"There have been at least 45 (and up to 92) drone strikes in Yemen since 2002 according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, all but one occurring since President Obama took office in 2009."

Of course.  In the immortal words of George Carlin, "They don't give a fuck about you."
"In 2010, The New York Times uncovered systemic abuse within units meant to help wounded Army soldiers transition through months-and-years-long treatment and rehabilitation. Today, The Colorado Springs Gazette has a profile about one of the soldiers who stood up for Warrior Transition Units back then. The abuses exposed by the Times weren't fixed and Jerrald Jensen ended up becoming a victim himself. After questioning the mistreatment in the system, he was nearly given a less-than-honorable discharge, which would have cost him long-term Veteran's benefits — a pattern that the Gazette has found happening over and over among the most-vulnerable wounded Army men and women who need the most care in order to rehabilitate from their service injuries. The treatment described here is disgusting, all the more so when you compare it to Jensen's service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Exposing this kind of crap is why journalism exists."

"It is now well known that the Obama justice department has prosecuted more government leakers under the 1917 Espionage Act than all prior administrations combined - in fact, double the number of all such prior prosecutions. But as last week's controversy over the DOJ's pursuit of the phone records of AP reporters illustrated, this obsessive fixation in defense of secrecy also targets, and severely damages, journalists specifically and the newsgathering process in general...

New revelations emerged yesterday in the Washington Post that are perhaps the most extreme yet when it comes to the DOJ's attacks on press freedoms. It involves the prosecution of State Department adviser Stephen Kim, a naturalized citizen from South Korea who was indicted in 2009 for allegedly telling Fox News' chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen, that US intelligence believed North Korea would respond to additional UN sanctions with more nuclear tests - something Rosen then reported. Kim did not obtain unauthorized access to classified information, nor steal documents, nor sell secrets, nor pass them to an enemy of the US. Instead, the DOJ alleges that he merely communicated this innocuous information to a journalist - something done every day in Washington - and, for that, this arms expert and long-time government employee faces more than a decade in prison for "espionage"."

"Perhaps the most chilling aspect of the U.S. Department of Justice "investigation" of Fox News chief correspondent James Rosen isn't the intrusive tracking of his movements and contacts — although that's disturbing enough — but the basis for the criminal charges he may ultimately face. At its heart, the allegation that Rosen broke the law "at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator” is based on nothing more than meeting with and asking questions of government adviser Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, who told him the non-shocking information that North Korea could very well respond to United Nations sanctions with more nuclear tests. That's right. Meeting an official and asking questions, which is what journalists do, is interpreted as criminal conspiracy. Taken with the already brewing scandal over the snooping of Associated Press phone records, we're looking at a full-fledged assault on the free press..."

"The idea that the national security apparatus must be in a constant state of emergency has become routine in the United States. Even for rather routine things like what we used to call "trade embargo." So routine, that even though this particular national emergency was put in place before the Syrian Civil War, it is being used nevertheless to deal with said war. You'll also notice the national emergency is being determined as a necessity because the Syrian Civil War is "an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States." Unusual. Extraordinary. One has to wonder what the government would call an actual land-based invasion of say, Delaware for instance...

The paranoid state of constant emergency has become the norm in the America's new national security state. Always hyper-ready...always in a state of matter where and what happens no matter how many thousands of miles from our shores. If Syria meddles in Lebanese politics, that is a national security emergency for the United States. A threat to all we hold dear, including civilization itself. If Iran farts in our general direction, that too could be considered a threat to the American Way of Life."

An excellent documentary.
"The Power of Nightmares, subtitled The Rise of the Politics of Fear, is a BBC documentary film series, written and produced by Adam Curtis. Its three one-hour parts consist mostly of a montage of archive footage with Curtis's narration. The series was first broadcast in the United Kingdom in late 2004 and has subsequently been broadcast in multiple countries and shown in several film festivals, including the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. The films compare the rise of the Neo-Conservative movement in the United States and the radical Islamist movement, making comparisons on their origins and claiming similarities between the two. More controversially, it argues that the threat of radical Islamism as a massive, sinister organised force of destruction, specifically in the form of al-Qaeda, is a myth perpetrated by politicians in many countries—and particularly American Neo-Conservatives—in an attempt to unite and inspire their people following the failure of earlier, more utopian ideologies..."

"Cooperation: Humanity’s Norm Humans cooperate. This has been true as far back as we can see and it remains true. Left to their own devices, most people tend to get along. One of the great proofs of this – and one that I’ve never seen presented – is the fact of ancient trade. Like smuggling, long-distance trade is also mostly absent from the history books. Some references do exist, of course, but grossly out of proportion to trade’s importance. Humans always trade – at all periods of history and with every reachable group. People trade without ceasing, reaching out to distant peoples who look different, speak differently, live differently and worship different deities. And they have done this since long before the dawn of history...

Cooperative trading began thousands of years before there were states, treaties, or any other such institutions to “protect property rights.” For as long as humans were humans, they gathered up valuable goods, figured out how to transport them, and took off to find far-off strangers to trade with. On the other end, strangers were welcomed. They were not routinely robbed (though that did sometimes occur). The people on the far end took their goods, asked about other goods that could be obtained, and made deals to exchange their surplus goods in return. Soon enough, young men were making the trek in reverse. Trade flourished and life on both ends improved..."

As soon as power is attained, principles are discarded. 
"The Whiskey Rebellion, or Whiskey Insurrection, was a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791, during the presidency of George Washington. Farmers who used their leftover grain and corn in the form of whiskey as a medium of exchange were forced to pay a new tax. The tax was a part of treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton's program to increase central government power, in particular to fund his policy of assuming the war debt of those states which had failed to pay. The farmers who resisted, many war veterans, contended that they were fighting for the principles of the American Revolution, in particular against taxation without local representation, while the Federal government maintained the taxes were the legal expression of the taxation powers of Congress."

Are you a liberal imperialist? - by Stephen M. Walt | Stephen M. Walt
"Are you a liberal imperialist? Liberal imperialists are like kinder, gentler neoconservatives: Like neocons, they believe it's America's responsibility to right political and humanitarian wrongs around the world, and they're comfortable with the idea of the United States deciding who will run countries such as Libya, Syria, or Afghanistan. Unlike neocons, liberal imperialists embrace and support international institutions (like the United Nations), and they are driven more by concern for human rights than they are by blind nationalism or protecting the U.S.-Israel special relationship. Still, like the neocons, liberal imperialists are eager proponents for using American hard power, even in situations where it might easily do more harm than good.

...while I often sympathize with their intentions, I'm tempted to send all liberal imperialists a sampler cross-stitched with: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." At a minimum, that warning might help them be just a bit more skeptical about the wisdom of their advice. But I'm lousy at needlepoint, so instead today I offer my "10 Warning Signs that You Are a Liberal Imperialist."

#1: You frequently find yourself advocating that the United States send troops, drones, weapons, Special Forces, or combat air patrols to some country that you have never visited, whose language(s) you don't speak, and that you never paid much attention to until bad things started happening there.

#2: You tend to argue that the United States is morally obligated to "do something" rather than just stay out of nasty internecine quarrels in faraway lands. In the global classroom that is our digitized current world, you believe that being a bystander -- even thousands of miles away -- is as bad as being the bully. So you hardly ever find yourself saying that "we should sit this one out."

#3: You think globally and speak, um, globally. You are quick to condemn human rights violations by other governments, but American abuses (e.g., torture, rendition, targeted assassinations, Guantánamo, etc.) and those of America's allies get a pass. You worry privately (and correctly) that aiming your critique homeward might get in the way of a future job.

#4: You are a strong proponent of international law, except when it gets in the way of Doing the Right Thing. Then you emphasize its limitations and explain why the United States doesn't need to be bound by it in this case.

#5: You belong to the respectful chorus of those who publicly praise the service of anyone in the U.S. military, but you would probably discourage your own progeny from pursuing a military career.

#6. Even if you don't know very much about military history, logistics, or modern military operations, you are still convinced that military power can achieve complex political objectives at relatively low cost.

#7: To your credit, you have powerful sympathies for anyone opposing a tyrant. Unfortunately, you tend not to ask whether rebels, exiles, and other anti-regime forces are trying to enlist your support by telling you what they think you want to hear. (Two words: Ahmed Chalabi.)

#8. You are convinced that the desire for freedom is hard-wired into human DNA and that Western-style liberal democracy is the only legitimate form of government. Accordingly, you believe that democracy can triumph anywhere -- even in deeply divided societies that have never been democratic before -- if outsiders provide enough help.

#9. You respect the arguments of those who are skeptical about intervening, but you secretly believe that they don't really care about saving human lives.

#10. You believe that if the United States does not try to stop a humanitarian outrage, its credibility as an ally will collapse and its moral authority as a defender of human rights will be tarnished, even if there are no vital strategic interests at stake.

If you are exhibiting some or all of these warning signs, you have two choices. Option #1: You can stick to your guns (literally) and proudly own up to your interventionist proclivities. Option #2: You can admit that you've been swept along by the interventionist tide and seek help."

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Today's Internets - Warren Ellis Speaks Clever, Wise, Drunk.

"I bet that with a just little biohacking, heroin could go from scary drug to low-carb superfood in no time"

"keeping mealtimes interesting for a teenage daughter: waving a machete while intoning “THE EMBACONING COMMENCES”"

"it seems this bottle of dark mead makes me mighty like Mind Viking and yet easily confused like… easily confused thing"

"I bring joy to the world. I am filled with mirth and sunlight. Also, I am Batman."

"“CRUSH THEM LIKE MONKEY” may be the worst piece of advice I’ve ever given to another writer. Or the best. One of the two."

 "Rules for my new readers: you have to commit a crime & tell the arresting officer I made you do it. Helps me sell books."

Interesting.  While a fit physique is a goodness [not to mention a sign of self-control, passion, persistence, discipline, self respect, focus, etc...] when saying whether or not a woman is attractive, my first cue is/I've always been a "face" guy.  Apparently, that's a thing/I am not a beautiful and unique snowflake.

"Men who are looking for short-term companionship are more interested in a woman's body than those looking for a long-term relationship, who focus on a woman's face, researchers have found. 

A woman's body provides cues about her state of fertility while her face gives insight into her long-term reproductive value, according to previous research. So the new findings from the study by researchers at the University of Texas, US, suggest that men seeking a short-term relationship have psychological adaptations to look for partners who are fertile and can produce offspring. But isn't the finding obvious? 

Explains Jaime Confer, one of the authors of the study, "That's the reaction we have most frequently received in response to our findings. People think it makes intuitive sense once they hear the pattern of our results. I suspect though that people would have generally predicted a priori that men would prioritise a woman's body, relative to her face, in both short- and long-term mating contexts..."

"If a man is presented with a choice between a butterface (ugly face, hot body, everything “but her face”) and a myspace angle (cute face, ugly body), his decision will depend in part on whether he’s down for a short-term fling or if he’s seeking a long-term lover. The reason for this is not hard to figure out upon reflection: the prime directive is to survive and reproduce, and that means, for men, getting seed into womb (or wombs, as the opportunity may present). A man with pump and dumps on his mind will shift focus to girls with highly fertile bodies, placing less emphasis on their faces. His divining rod will target women with 0.7 WHRs, 17-23 BMIs, fruitfully ripening in the age range of 22-29. Since he’s not planning on investing much time or energy in his little red curvette, he doesn’t sweat the worry of romantically gazing into the limpid eyes of a plain jane year after year.

A man who is more K-selected... feels a cosmic pull toward hitching himself to a woman for the long term so that his few kids have a shot to thrive in a resource-restricted environment. It’s the quality over quantity strategy. To this man, a woman’s facial prettiness matters, a lot. He’s gotta look at her and provide for her for a long time, and he won’t be much inspired to do either if her face isn’t intoxicating. The body is still important (fat chicks left out in cold again, news at 11), but now the contours of her face have become a crucial determinant of her acceptability as a mate...

This is the theory. In practice, such choices rarely come up, because there is a strong correlation between a woman’s facial prettiness and her body attractiveness. When a rift between body and face does occur in the same woman, it is typically a butterface. Homely-faced women with slender boffable bodies are more common than pretty-faced women with unappealing bodies. Fat chicks stir the needle a little toward myspace anglers, but just a little, because it doesn’t take much weight gain until a girl’s face begins to display the deformity that is evident in her body...

Another point worth making is that men, regardless of their mating strategies, will only choose between butterfaces and myspace anglers when they HAVE to choose. Most men, given a free choice, will choose women who are blessed with both. Plotting cads and plodding dads will both choose the woman who has it all, face and body (and yeah, personality too...)"

"So we’ve all been there, guys and gals. You’re standing there at the bar, and all of the sudden a member of the opposite sex walks in that you have never met. Immediately you turn to your group of friends, and what do you do? Only the most completely superficial thing known to mankind: reduce that person’s aggregate self-worth to a number between 1-10. Now we all know the inherent problems with the traditional 1-10 rating system. Sure it’s simple, but how do you come up with one number to describe the intricate differences between various people? Surely not all 7′s or 8′s or 9′s are created equal. While some people utilize the decimal system to help with this problem, it just isn’t enough. Now let me introduce you to the area code system.

Okay, here is how it works. Every human being on the planet can be adequately described using a three-digit number (i.e. area code). The first digit denotes the rating of how attractive the face is (0-9). The second digit describes whether you would sleep with that person or not (0=no, 1=yes). And finally, the third digit describes how attractive the person’s body is (0-9). It’s a discrete and yet simple way to judge others in public without actually meeting them..."

"I take a bipartisan approach to Washington, DC’s political scandals and find myself savoring them all, regardless of the party that is in control of the White House. Any sane person would conclude that all administrations and bureaucracies essentially are corrupt given that they thrive on the exertion of power of other people. We know about the corrupting influence of power, and DC has become like ancient Rome that way. It’s a magnet for those seeking favor, money, or a big title administering some pointless program...

I visited DC last week and was astounded at the booming economy, the endless new construction, the astronomical prices, and garish displays of wealth everywhere -- not to mention the haughty attitudes of every pissant assistant to the whatever. That’s what Other People’s Money buys you. When Ronald Reagan talked about the Shining City on the Hill he was speaking metaphorically about America, but the new shining city is DC -- funded on the backs of all those Americans who blithely vote for people who promise to solve their problems...

That’s the main lesson from this latest mess: the federal government is an untamable beast. These superficial scandals are nothing compared to the things we will never learn -- i.e., the way the CIA conducts its business overseas. Still, there are so many things to savor as President Obama circles the drain. Obama has always exuded an intellectual arrogance. Yet if he’s so smart, why would his Justice Department target reporters? The national media has fawned over the president, but the quickest way to end that love affair is to go after their personal records...

Government is about power and force. Many people charged with power over others will abuse it. That’s human nature. Unfortunately, the nation’s founding ideals -- limited, accountable government, with separated powers and checks and balances -- have been fading away. Government is so big that even the president and the attorney general claim they have no idea what their departments are doing. I almost believe them."

"In response to reading that Farrah Abraham was pretending she got pregnant by James Deen while filming her professional pornographic movie that she tried to lie and say was a leaked sex tape, swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen tweeted this: 
farrah abraham now thinks she is pregnant from her sex tape. in other news you’re a whore and everyone hates you whoops not other news sorry
Surprisingly considering the subject matter that they themselves make fun of, this set off the Slut-Shaming Alarm™ over at Jezebel where Tracie Egan Morrissey proceeded to ironically call Chrissy Teigen a slut herself and a stupid swimsuit model for having the audacity to shame a woman’s sexual expression that any sane person would recognize had the right to be shamed to Holy Fucktown and back. In fact, after Jezebel’s slam-piece, Chrissy went on to write a well-written post on her blog attacking the double standards of the terms “man-whore” and “slut” while also pointing out that Farrah is still a giant lying whore. Sometimes a spade is just a spade that tries to squirt its way back on to reality television. Which hasn’t deterred Jezebel because as of this morning, humor police officer Lindy West called Chrissy a “slut-shamey prude monster.” Haha! Modern feminism, you so cray."

"(301): A drawer in my room has nothing but a large feather quill, a wine glass, and a 15" Bowie knife. If you could put my life in a drawer I think that would be it."

"(312): So that 100 days of sobriety thing I told you about last week? Lasted all of 4 days. Fuck it, life's too short"

"Prince Johnson, a former warlord best known for videotaping himself as he ordered the torture of Liberia's ex-president, announced that he is quitting the political party he founded. For years since the end of Liberia's civil war, Johnson has tried to erase his violent past, first becoming a pastor and later running for office. He was already a senator when he founded the National Democratic Union Party to run for president in the 2011 election. On Friday, he told The Associated Press he was leaving the party because the party's executives "do not have regard for me as the standard-bearer, founder and financier." In 1990, Johnson's rebel group kidnapped then-President Samuel Doe. In the hours before Doe's execution, Johnson videotaped himself sipping beer, while his men cut off Doe's ears."

The comments here cracked me up/dropped some truth bombs - What If Men Stopped Chasing Much-Younger Women? - Hugo Schwyzer - The Atlantic:
[The premise]
What seems harmless and natural, however, is neither. A culture in which older men value younger women more than their own female peers does damage to everyone.

[From the comments]
You sound as silly a social conservative trying to argue that gay marriage will destroy America. I wonder if you realize that.


Also, why do I want to be challenged in a relationship? The world is challenging enough. When I come home from a hard day's work, the last thing I need is to have more crap flung at me at home. What I want from my wife is support and that's what I aim to provide her as well. The whole idea that men need to be challenged and pushed and prodded to change has to be the outright daftest idea of the contemporary feminist cannon. No wonder so many people are clinically depressed.


You can't seem to discern the difference between having a partner who challenges you to be your best self, and someone throwing "throwing crap" at you. In other words, you are proving the author's point exactly.


I agree. I always challenge my overweight girlfriend to lose weight to be her best self and our relationship is much healthier because of it. Unfortunately, a lot of people think that I'm giving her crap.


While I appreciate the good fat shaming work you're doing (not sarcasm), many men want a supportive partner, not a ball buster. Inspiration bests challenge.


When will we see..."What If Women Stopped Chasing Much Wealthier, Higher Status Men?" Male mate preference bad/unfair, female mate preference obvious and fair!"