Thursday, December 18, 2014

Offline until 2015.

See you on the other side.


12/19 - squats, back xt, side bends, leg xt

Fuck. Excuses. Squat. Press. Pull.: "Ali McWeeny’s left leg was amputated after a horrible boating accident. Doctors told her to find a new hobby. She ignored them, and began lifting 8 pound dumbbells in her hospital bed. The rest is history…"

"America, land of the..."

America, where we turn into pants-wetting milksops based on anonymous threats with little credibility.  Cowardly U.S. theaters refuse to show 'The Interview' after free speech threats - Boing Boing: "The Department of Homeland Security says the threat is not backed up by "credible intelligence," but the Sony Pictures breach and related matters are reportedly being investigated "not just as a criminal cyber matter but as a national security matter by the nation's law enforcement and intelligence agencies." Man, this never happened when "Team America" was released ten years ago. If it's North Korea behind the hacks, as many suspect, they sure have stepped up their game. Bear in mind, however, that it's entirely possible that the breach was an inside job."

"America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say 'You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the land of the free." - The American President

But I repeat myself.
 Comics are the best.

'For a friend.'  We've all been there.  No charges for Japanese man who dumped a quarter-ton of porn in a park - Boing Boing: "70 year old Hideaki Adachi said he was disposing of the porn for a sick friend, and he assumed that the park's population of homeless people (with whom he volunteers) would arrange for its disposal."

Japan Wins.  Japan's Beloved Christmas Cake Isn't About Christmas At All : The Salt : NPR: "...And so Japan embraced the trappings of a picture-perfect, American-style Christmas — including Santa Claus, an ornament-bedecked tree and a sugar-filled cake. As David Plath, a renowned Japan scholar, writes in a paper on the popularity of Christmas festivities in Japan, "Family Christmas gatherings do not center around dinner, as in the American ideal, but rather upon mutual partaking of a Christmas cake." So why cake? Well, sponge cake had been available in Japan since the 17th century, but several of the items needed to make this version of it — sugar, milk and butter — were rarities on the island nation, so the cake was a luxury reserved for the elite. After World War II, Japan's economy rebounded, the ingredients became more widely available, and Japan's newly formed middle class adopted this once-exclusive dessert as a symbol that it had finally made it. i Japanese Christmas cake: It's even in your smartphone, on the emoji keyboard. NPR And so, inspired by America, a wholly Japanese tradition was born. "The Christmas cake became a center of attention in the whole festival [of Christmas]," writes Konagaya.

...However, while the cake has become firmly entrenched in Japanese culture, Christmas itself hasn't — it's not a national holiday in Japan. In fact, it's celebrated more like Valentine's Day is in America, and it's often thought of as a day for romantic couples to share.  Says Ashkenazi: "This [cake] is part of a whole complex of things that the Japanese adopted from the West, modified to their own needs, and have completely different meaning and different implications for Japanese society than from whatever host society they borrowed it from.""

Japan Wins II:  Winning Harder.  Why Japan is Obsessed with Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian: "It’s Christmas Eve in Japan. Little boys and girls pull on their coats, the twinkle of anticipation in their eyes. Keeping the tradition alive, they will trek with their families to feast at … the popular American fast food chain KFC. Christmas isn’t a national holiday in Japan—only one percent of the Japanese population is estimated to be Christian—yet a bucket of “Christmas Chicken” (the next best thing to turkey—a meat you can’t find anywhere in Japan) is the go-to meal on the big day. And it’s all thanks to the insanely successful “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!) marketing campaign in 1974. When a group of foreigners couldn’t find turkey on Christmas day and opted for fried chicken instead, the company saw this as a prime commercial opportunity and launched its first Christmas meal that year: Chicken and wine for 834 2,920 yen($10)—pretty pricey for the mid-seventies. Today the christmas chicken dinner (which now boasts cake and champagne) goes for about 3,336 yen ($40). And the people come in droves. Many order their boxes of  ”finger lickin’” holiday cheer months in advance to avoid the lines—some as long as two hours."


12/18 - bench, pulldowns, seated row/pushups

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

"Slipping into madness..."

Sure, why not?  Judge convicted of planting meth on woman who reported him for harassment - Boing Boing: "Bryant Cochran was chief judge of Murray County Magistrate Court when a woman reported him for hitting on her while she entered his chambers to take out assault warrants following an attack on her. The judge later conspired to plant meth on the woman. He will be sentenced in February."

White People, Relax.  We're gonna be okay.  The Silly Panic Over a Minority White Nation Update - Hit & Run : "A couple of years ago, I went through the exercise of calculating the percentage of the current American population descended from folks who were not regarded as being "white" when they immigrated back in the 19th and early 20th centuries. What sort of folks? Why the Italians, the Jews, the Irish, the Slavs, and the Greeks, along with native-born African-Americans. In my article, "The Silly Panic Over a Minority White Nation," I pointed out: Shortly after the turn of the last century, many nativists feared that mass immigration was overwhelming the white “races” that had historically contributed the most to populating the nation...

 Instead of becoming worthless and good-for-nothing, the descendants of those immigrant hordes became, well, Americans."


Survey Finds Teen Pot Smoking Fell This Year Despite the Message Supposedly Sent by Legalization - Hit & Run : ""There has been more public dialogue about marijuana over the past year than any 12-month period in history," says Mason Tvert, communications director at the Marijuana Policy Project. "States around the country are making marijuana legal for adults, establishing medical marijuana programs, and decriminalizing marijuana possession, and the sky is not falling. The debate is not resulting in more marijuana use among young people, but it is resulting in more sensible marijuana laws.""


Happy Belated Birthday to the late, great Bill Hicks.  "The world is like a ride in an amusement park...."

Monday, December 15, 2014

Training - "The iron never lies."

12/16 - deadlifts, knee raises - stretch



Seems Legit.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse.  Unless you're tasked with enforcing the law.  Also, fuck you, apparently.  Supreme Court: It's OK for Cops to Guess Wrong About What the Law Is: "Here was the Court's trademark, cross-partisan detachment from ordinary American experience on full display. Surely the cops would never pull anyone over on bogus grounds, out of malice, and blame it a law that doesn't apply...  "One is left to wonder," Sotomayor wrote, "...why an innocent citizen should be made to shoulder the burden of being seized whenever the law may be susceptible to an interpretive question.""

Florida Cop Pulls Over Harvard Grad for Blasting "Fuck Tha Police" : "The cop told Baldelomar it's "illegal to play loud music within 25 feet of another person." The law student laughed that one off: "In 2012 the state supreme court struck down any law banning loud music," he says. "I knew that because it was a case I had actually studied in law school." Garzon grew angry, though, when Baldelomar told him that fact. He called over two other cops and then demanded proof of insurance. Baldelomar pulled up his info on his phone, but Garzon waived it off, saying, "It's got to be paper." (It doesn't. Florida changed the law a year ago.) Finally, Garzon tore off three tickets: one for the insurance, one for having an out-of-state license plate, and one for not wearing a seat belt. Baldelomar says he was wearing his seat belt the whole time and is still legally a resident of Massachusetts. When Baldelomar asked where his noise violation was, Garzon told him to take off and not to get "smart.""

Physicians: “Anal feeding” of prisoners is sexual assault, has no medical use - Boing Boing: "• “For all practical purposes, it’s never used. No one in the United States is hydrating anybody through their rectum. Nobody is feeding anybody through their rectum.” Thomas Burke, MD, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Attending Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital 

• “In over 30 years of gastroenterology practice I never used rectal hydration. Also, rectal feeding simply doesn't make physiologic sense. The colon cannot absorb even pureed food." Steven Field, MD, Clinical Asst. Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine 

• “Contrary to the CIA’s assertions, there is no clinical indication to use rectal rehydration and feeding over oral or intravenous administration of fluids and nutrients. This is a form of sexual assault masquerading as medical treatment. In the absence of medical necessity, it is clear that the only purpose behind this humiliating and invasive procedure is to inflict physical and mental pain.” Vincent Iacopino, MD, Senior Medical Advisor, Physicians for Human Rights"

World gone mad.  The Trouble with Teaching Rape Law: "One teacher I know was recently asked by a student not to use the word “violate” in class—as in “Does this conduct violate the law?”—because the word was triggering. Some students have even suggested that rape law should not be taught because of its potential to cause distress....

I first encountered this more than a year ago, when I showed “Capturing the Friedmans,” an acclaimed documentary about a criminal-sex-abuse investigation, to my law students. Some students complained that I should have given them a “trigger warning” beforehand; others suggested that I shouldn’t have shown the film at all. For at least some students, the classroom has become a potentially traumatic environment, and they have begun to anticipate the emotional injuries they could suffer or inflict in classroom conversation. They are also more inclined to insist that teachers protect them from causing or experiencing discomfort...

At Harvard, twenty-eight law professors, myself included, have publicly objected to a new sexual-harassment policy on the grounds that, in an effort to protect victims, the university now provides an unfair process for the accused. This unfairness hurts the cause of taking sexual violence and its redress seriously. Similarly, when Rolling Stone published an account of an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia without seeking out the accused, and likely got the story wrong, it arguably damaged the credibility of sexual-assault victims on that campus and elsewhere. These events are unfortunately of a piece with a growing rape exceptionalism, which allows fears of inflicting or re-inflicting trauma to justify foregoing usual procedures and practices of truth-seeking."

Macedonia helped CIA kidnap and torture a German they mistook for a terrorist - Boing Boing: "Macedonia kidnapped a German citizen called Khalid al-Masri and sent him to the CIA, mistaking him for a similarly named terror suspect; the CIA tortured him in Afghanistan and held him even after they realized they had the wrong name. When they finally released him, they dumped him by a roadside in Albania with $euro;14.5K and told him to remain silent. His lawsuit against the US government was dismissed on state secrecy grounds; eventually a European court ordered Macedonia to pay him a further €60K. The CIA officers involved in the kidnapping, torture and coverup were not disciplined by the CIA because the CIA Director believed "the scale tips decisively in favour of accepting mistakes that over-connect the dots against those that under-connect them." By the CIA's own reckoning, at least 25 others were kidnapped and tortured by the Agency due to mistaken identity."

Police union head loses it over an editorial cartoon - The Washington Post: "Last week, the Bucks County (Pa.) Courier Times ran an admittedly ham-handed editorial cartoon about police abuse. It depicted a line of children waiting to see Santa Claus, with one of them asking, “Keep us safe from the police.” Enter Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 President John McNesby. In a scathing letter yesterday . . . McNesby demanded an apology from the Bucks County Courier Times for the cartoon. “Surprisingly, you have at least one reader of that excuse for a newspaper you run,” McNesby wrote. “The one reader forwarded a copy of your disgraceful and highly offensive ‘cartoon.’ . . . “There is a special place in hell for you miserable parasites in the media who seek to exploit violence and hatred in order to sell advertisements.”

An apology might have been in order for the fact that the cartoon wasn’t particularly funny, original or poignant. But offending the sensibilities of law enforcement in the midst of a national uproar over the unnecessary killing of people by law enforcement isn’t something for which a newspaper should be apologizing. And it just gets worse from there...

Members of law enforcement should not be serving on a newspaper’s editorial board. The job of a newspaper is to hold law enforcement — and all government institutions — accountable. A newspaper should not consider itself to be on the “same side” as law enforcement. (No, that doesn’t mean journalists are on the “same side” as criminals, either.)

...McNesby has a history of lashing out at journalists. When Philadelphia Daily News reporters Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman broke an incredible story about a Philly PD rogue narcotics unit that was essentially robbing immigrant-owned bodegas, McNesby called a press conference in which he called drug-using police informants “one step above” reporters like Laker and Ruderman. Someone launched a Web site specifically to attack the reporters. The two women later won a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting. As for the original letter, keep in mind, this isn’t some angry rogue cop; it’s the guy local law enforcement chose to represent them. In fact, if I were to try to explain to someone like John McNesby why police are seen by a growing number of people as brutish, aloof and short-tempered, I’d probably start by showing him John McNesby’s letter."