Thursday, March 03, 2016

Training - "There's nothing wrong with being frustrated with lack of progress..."

3/3 - stretch, squats, box jumps, leg press, sldl, hanging knee raise
3/2 - foam roll, stretch
3/1 - shadowbox

7 Truths About Strength Training | T Nation: "It's the average days that result in the paydays. The stronger you get, the longer you do this, the harder it becomes. There is no linear progress in training, at least not through the vast majority of it. And once you get to a certain point, it becomes harder and harder to make progress. Dave Tate once said that the average life of a "fitness enthusiast" is around three years, then they move on to something new. That's okay, we all have a few hobbies we didn't stick with. Just check your basement or closet. But perhaps not so coincidentally, three years is also about the time things get really hard with lifting weights and the physical changes and strength gains really slow down. There's nothing wrong with being frustrated with lack of progress. But if you remain positive in your mission, the big breakthrough will come. I've been working with this one guy for years. He of course made great progress in the beginning. Now, he has a lot of average workouts and he's learned that a lot of average days end up resulting in a few amazing weeks where he hits huge PR's and smashes boundaries. That period, of course, is then followed by a whole lot of very average days. It's the average days that result in the paydays. Because the longer you do this thing, the more average days you have, along with some very bad days. You have to learn to keep the faith and persevere. As Joey Waters once told me, "The longer I'm stuck, the bigger the payoff.""

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

"Gluten's a vague term... Calories, that's a gluten. Fat, that's a gluten... Gluten means bad shit man, and I'm not eating it."

"...the reality is that corruption and criminality flourish in secret, and that government corruption and criminality does far more damage to national security than any whistleblower ever could."

 "Author and former CIA officer Barry Eisler spoke at the Association of Former Intelligence Officers opposite ex-CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden on Monday."  

Freedom of the Press Foundation:  "I’ll start by talking about whistleblowing, and in particular about Edward Snowden. I’m confident there’s a range of opinion in this room about the merits of what Snowden did. A divergence of opinion about acts so consequential isn’t just inevitable; in a democracy, it’s desirable...  But regardless of how our views might differ, there are a couple of items I think the media has distorted—distortions that make honest debate more difficult. And those distortions are part of what I’d like to talk to you about today...

You might have come across a phrase involving Snowden—in fact, this phrase isn’t easy to avoid if you favor establishment pundits like David Brooks and Fred Kaplan and Josh Marshall—to the effect that Snowden violated his “oath of secrecy.” Even former CIA director David Petraeus has claimed—awkwardly, in retrospect—there is such an oath...  All of us in this room know there is no “oath of secrecy”—that the notion of such an “oath” is the product either of ignorance or propaganda. There is a secrecy agreement—what here in Silicon Valley we typically call a nondisclosure agreement, or NDA. But to inflate the status of such an agreement to the level of an “oath,” akin to, say, the president’s oath of office, is false and misleading...

And worse, the false and misleading notion of an “oath” of secrecy obscures the existence of an actual oath—the oath we in this room have all taken, and continue to adhere to: the oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Edward Snowden signed a secrecy agreement. He also swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. You might not think he got the balance right—that, despite the subsequent rulings of several federal courts, the programs Snowden revealed were not in fact unconstitutional. Or that a secrecy agreement should always trump an oath to protect the Constitution. Or that Snowden went about protecting the Constitution in the wrong way. We should have those conversations. They’re important. But what we shouldn’t do is to suggest, implicitly or otherwise, that an obligation to protect secrecy exists in a vacuum. We shouldn’t pretend that the oath to protect and defend the Constitution is unimportant, or worse, that it doesn’t even exist...

Now, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if at least some people here are wondering, “Well, Barry, that’s fine, but what if everyone did what Snowden did? What if every top-secret cleared federal employee took it upon herself or himself to declassify whatever she or he deemed to be in the public interest?” It’s in interesting question. But I think it’s a misleading one. Here’s why.  First, because the question is essentially a fantasy. Whistleblowers are in fact incredibly rare. The government has been so draconian in its application against whistleblowers of the 1917 Espionage Act that the demonstrated risks and costs of whistleblowing deter almost everyone. So the reality is that only people of the most exceptional conscience, courage, and conviction have ever become whistleblowers, and only a handful ever will. 

To try to frame the question as some version of, “Well, what if there were in fact innumerable whistleblowers?” is therefore akin to discussing angels dancing on pinheads—not an exercise in which intelligence professionals would ordinarily engage. Interestingly, the tendency to focus on the fantasy of what might happen rather than on the reality of what is happening is not unique to discussions of whistleblowing. It is also prominent in discussions of torture, where torture proponents try to frame the issue around a hypothetical that has never happened and will never happen—the ticking time bomb, where the government has captured a terrorist we know has planted a bomb, who we know can disarm the bomb, and who we know will tell us under duress where the bomb is and how to disarm it. And this fantasy then obscures the reality of the actual costs of torture—erosion of our adherence to our own laws and values; wild goose chases; alienation of indigenous populations and a drying up of potential walk-in sources of intelligence; and a propaganda bonanza for our enemies...

So: what reality does the “What if everyone were a whistleblower” fantasy obscure? Three things: First, the reality is that the government classifies far too much information, frequently in violation of applicable laws governing what information may and may not be classified. We knew this long before Edward Snowden; we know it even more now. A little secrecy is necessary to protect democracy. Too much secrecy begins to strangle it. So rather than focusing on the fantasy problem of what might happen if more secrets were revealed, shouldn’t we be focusing on the real problem of what is happening because too many secrets are being created? Why do we blame whistleblowers for revealing things we might believe should be secret, while giving the government a pass on classifying things that shouldn’t be secret? Why would we want to obscure the many harms caused by over-classification, including demonstrably horrendous decision-making like the Bay of Pigs invasion, nonexistent missile gaps, and the Gulf of Tonkin basis for our war in Vietnam?

Second, the reality is that if we really are worried about the unauthorized disclosure of secrets, we should be prosecuting the thousands of officials who incessantly leak secrets favorable to the government. Instead, secrecy is enforced selectively, with the government prosecuting the few leaks it doesn’t like while smiling benignly on the thousands it does. In this regard, a Martian might find it strange that the Espionage Act has been deployed, say, against former CIA employee John Kiriakou, and not against former CIA director David Petraeus, whose misdeeds regarding classified information were at least equally noteworthy. Or against former CIA employee Jeffrey Sterling, but not against Hillary Clinton, who stored classified information on an unsecured personal email server. Or against any of the numerous government officials who leak supportive details about America’s drone assassination program, even as the CIA resists in court Freedom of Information Act demands about the most basic aspects of when, where, how, and whom the US government believes it can kill with drones. There are countless other examples of this apparent double standard, and our Martian might conclude that the only difference between the people prosecuted for leaking secrets and the ones who aren’t is that the latter class is more powerful, or leaks in a fashion the government likes. It would be hard to argue that the reality of such a one-sided and hypocritical enforcement of secrecy rules—or of any law—could be healthy for a democracy...

Third, the reality is that corruption and criminality flourish in secret, and that government corruption and criminality does far more damage to national security than any whistleblower ever could. One of the things we learned from Snowden’s revelations is that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was lying in his Senate testimony about whether the NSA collects data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans. Even Clapper himself subsequently acknowledged that his testimony was “untruthful.” When a whistleblower reveals that the head of American intelligence is lying in his testimony to a Senate oversight committee—a federal crime akin to perjury—I think as citizens we ought to focus more on how national security is being damaged by the lying than on how it might be damaged by the whistleblowing that exposes those lies. But instead, in response to every whistleblower revelation ever, the government’s scripted response is to claim “grave” or “irreversible” damage to our national security, or “blood on the hands” of the whistleblower and the media that then reports on the whistleblowing, only to have those claims subsequently revealed to be alarmism at best...

So to distort facts, to overlook inconvenient facts, and to focus on fantasy hypotheticals while ignoring actual costs are dangerous habits for intelligence professionals. Indeed, I would argue that these habits are a form of propaganda, which we should understand to be abhorrent in part because propaganda is the opposite of intelligence...

There are so many related examples of propaganda creeping into intelligence I think are worth discussing: the notion that Dianne Feinstein was being unacceptably emotional when she reacted to Americans torturing prisoners (or, as it’s more commonly known, “conducting EITs on detainees”)—while we view the wars we launched in Afghanistan and Iraq immediately following 9/11 the products only of pure logic, reason, and dispassion; that former CIA director James Woolsey, in calling for Snowden to be “hanged by the neck until he’s dead, rather than merely electrocuted” is perhaps himself just slightly in the grip of ungovernable and undesirable emotions; that a failure to deploy killer sky robots or otherwise go to war is identical to “inaction,” as General Hayden suggested in a recent New York Times op-ed; that the mission patches released by organizations like the National Reconnaissance Office, depicting creatures like demons, raptors, the Grim Reaper, and a giant, angry octopus strangling, eating, and/or assaulting the earth, are perhaps telling us something we ought to heed about the collective id of what we refer to in our friendly, benevolent way as the “intelligence community.”"

Next level customer service.

Design Flaws.

Doesn't hurt to ask.

Irrespective of the disappointing end of the latest season.

"In other words, the TSA wastes time on nonsense because otherwise it would end up wasting time on nonsense."

TSA Says These Shoes Are Made for Blocking - Hit & Run : "TSA screeners at the Baltimore/Washington International Airport forced a traveler to abandon her "gun-themed" shoes and bracelets last Saturday...  

TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein, who called attention to the de facto confiscation on Twitter, clearly thinks it shows the agency's employees are on the ball, keen to enforce its ban on "realistic replicas of firearms" in carry-on bags. "Friendly reminder from @TSA: Realistic replica firearms and ammunition are not permitted past TSA checkpoints," Farbstein tweeted. These shoes and bracelets hardly seem to qualify as realistic replicas, assuming the rationale for the ban is preventing hijackers from using fake guns to take control of an airplane. 

But according to the TSA's blog, the problem is that items resembling weapons "can cause significant delays" because TSA experts "must respond to resolve the alarm." In other words, the TSA wastes time on nonsense because otherwise it would end up wasting time on nonsense...

TSA screeners do occasionally come across actual firearms—an average of seven a day last year, up from two a day in 2005. Yet last year CNN reported that "airport screeners failed to detect explosives and weapons in nearly every test that an undercover team conducted at dozens of airports." They missed the test items 95 percent of the time."

"The player on the other side is hidden from us." - Huxley

"You mean terrorists want to kill innocents, while you Americans are merely willing to kill innocents."

"Me: I guess it just comes down to that terrorists want to kill innocent people. But America doesn’t. When we kill innocent people, we call it “collateral damage.” Do you know that phrase? 

Martian: We do, but our translators have struggled with it. For a long time, we failed to understand why a people who are ordinarily so plain-spoken would devise such a vague phrase. Then we realized, you Americans find such a phrase preferable to something like, “the burning to death of innocent human beings, the blowing into tiny scraps of meat and bone ordinary people just trying to live their lives, the ripping asunder of the limbs of children, the blinding and mutilation of baby humans—” 

Me: Right, I get it. But, yes, it’s not like we want those things to happen. When we do them, they’re tragic accidents. That’s the difference. 

Martian: This is interesting. You mean terrorists want to kill innocents, while you Americans are merely willing to kill innocents."

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

"The Constitution did not envision a national government of general jurisdiction..."

"Our society needs candor & Freedom of Speech... Intellectual comfort is not a right."

"I'd like to make a brief return visit to the that playground of guilty white liberals - Political Correctness." - George Carlin

"It presents itself as 'fairness' yet attempts to restrict and control peoples' language with strict codes and rigid rules... I'm not sure if silencing people or forcing them to alter their speech is the best method for solving problems that go much deeper than speech."

"Don't vote for anyone who says, 'I'll fight for you!'"

"Mediocrity or even laziness is now pushed to the forefront... so that everyone can feel good about themselves."

Laughing/crying tears of joy.  So beautiful.   LIFT-RUN-BANG: Fuck your body positivity voice, and fuck your millennial heroes: "People keep saying shit like "who cares?" or that "this is not a big deal." On the surface, I'd agree.  But the fact is, we've been heading down this road for quite some time and it has a far reaching impact than people want to really acknowledge. And what road is that I'm speaking of? The one where the minority essentially shames the majority into acceptance of mediocrity, scorns discipline, hates winners (participation trophies anyone?), and believes that equality is some kind of utopia that everyone must be forced to live in..."

LIFT-RUN-BANG: Fuck your body positivity voice, and fuck your millennial heroes: "Let's actually call this Sports Illustrated shit for what it really is. Attention. It worked too, didn't it?  I mean, here I sit writing about this bullshit. Either people lined up to support an overweight chick as a cover model, or people scorned them for the exact same reason.  There wasn't much room for middle ground here.  So let's get past the fact that this was some kind of real support movement for fatties.  This was all about publicity...

It's also a massive setback in regards to the on going problem of obesity we're facing in this country.  One that continues to gain traction with phrases like "fat shaming" and such and the pushing of plus sized women onto to us ("STOP!  I CAN'T BREATHE!") as something we MUST ACCEPT, is sexy. 

It's not.  I don't.  Sorry not sorry. 

Mind you, despite the fact that I'm using words like "fattie" in this article, I don't support fat shaming. Yes I get that thus far, this whole piece reads....feels down deep in your gender neutral soul, like fat shaming from hell.  But me pointing out that someone is obese, or overweight, is just stating the obvious.  If I make an observation that a blue Prius is blue, I'm doing nothing more than making a factual statement.  If I say that only smug fucks who think they are making a difference in the environment drive a Prius, well that's an opinion.  Mostly based in fact, but it's still an opinion. 

I'm not shaming anyone, regardless of how offended you are right now. I do have a point in all of this, which will take a long time to get to, because I can't condense my writing to save my fucking life, and this is my god damn blog, so I don't have to. Where was I? Oh yeah.  Fatties. However, I do not endorse "health at any size" or support obesity acceptance.  But I've blogged about that in the past and SHOWED MEDICAL STUDIES THAT HEALTH AT ANY SIZE IS A GOD DAMN MYTH!!!  So before you claim it's possible, or that you're fat and healthy, it's a lie. Stop.  I mean, on the SURFACE, you should know this is a lie. "Health at any size." ANY size.  See, when you use absolutes like that, it's going to be false. Health at any size.  That means you can be healthy at 55 pounds as an adult of normal height, or healthy at 900 pounds as an adult of normal height. "You're being extreme, Paul!" HEALTH AT ANY FUCKING SIZE!  It's become the tribal chant for those who have no investment in obesity control.  So I'm taking it for what it is.  And what it is, is wrong..."
You Can’t Be Obese and Healthy in the Long Run, Study Says - Health News and Views - "“Healthy obesity is something that’s a phase rather than something that’s enduring over time,” Bell said. “It’s important to have a long-term view of healthy obesity, and to bear in mind the long-term tendencies. As long as obesity persists, health tends to decline. It does seem to be a high-risk state.”
The obesity paradox springs from research involving people who are overweight but do not suffer from obesity-related problems such as high blood pressure, bad cholesterol and elevated blood sugar...  No one can say how the obesity paradox works, but some have speculated that people with extra weight might have extra energy stores they can draw upon if they become acutely ill, Freeman said. To test this theory, University College London researchers tracked the health of 2,521 men and women between the ages of 39 and 62...
But over time, this group began to develop risk factors for chronic disease. After 10 years about 40 percent had become unhealthy obese, and by the 20-year mark 51 percent had fallen into the unhealthy category, the study found. Healthy non-obese people also slipped into poor health over time, but at a slower rate. After two decades, 22 percent had become unhealthy but were still trim, and about 10 percent more had become either healthy or unhealthy obese. Only 11 percent of the people who started out as healthy obese lost weight and become healthy and non-obese, the researchers found.
This study suggests that obese people will eventually develop risk factors such as high blood sugar and bad cholesterol that lead to chronic illness and death, Bell and Freeman said. “The longer one is obese, the more likely they are to induce damage,” Freeman said. “I have very seldom seen people who are obese for the long-term not have a condition that requires treatment.” Bell said these findings make the case that people who are obese should try to lose weight, even if they currently don’t have any risk factors. “All types of obesity warrant treatment, even those which appear to be healthy, because they carry a high risk of future decline,” he said. The findings are published Jan. 5 in a letter in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology."
LIFT-RUN-BANG: Fuck your body positivity voice, and fuck your millennial heroes: "But listen, let's get to my real issue here. I'm not going to support the furtherment of mediocrity or endorsing a complete lack of discipline in regards to someone's health when I'm opposed to those very things (if you hang in here long enough I'll contradict myself on that stance in just a bit) and this the path we're headed down.  As a country. Yes, we fucking are. 

How in the hell do we get to a place where for decades past, what we celebrated were people who went above and beyond to accomplish incredible things, that may have seemed borderline impossible, to celebrating that of putting an overweight chick in a swimsuit on a magazine cover and acting as if she's brave because of it? So I'm going to BOLD this next part, because this is my MAIN point in all of this. This isn't about fat shaming.  This is about the representation of something we used to stand against.  

Which was that we applauded people who were exceptional, instead of applauding the norm, or average.  We applauded the near unattainable by those who dared to risk everything to achieve it.  Not the "I woke up like this" bullshit. A few years ago, a woman who got into incredible shape after having a few kids, blogged or wrote about how she trained really hard, and dieted really hard after the birth of her children, to get back into shape as quickly as possible. 

Instead of admiring the level of discipline and effort that went into her caring about how she looked and felt, she was ridiculed by women all over the net who were too god damn lazy to do anything but stay fat as fuck post pregnancy and lean on it as an excuse. The contrast here is striking. People who go above and beyond, to accomplish something worth admiring are shamed due to the obscene degree of insecurity by those who lack the effort, willpower, and courage to follow suit...

Hard work and effort is now frowned upon.  Mediocrity or even laziness is now pushed to the forefront and shoved in our faces that we need to be accepting of it so that everyone can feel good about themselves. Well fuck your feelings.  And fuck your body positivity voice. 

Truly, the lazy excuse makers are winning the social war of what is to be accepted, and what is not.  And what cannot be accepted is anyone who dare go above and beyond what the lazy are capable of, and receive accolades for it...

We have watered down the words "brave" and "courageous" so much that we're at a point where women get called brave for posting pics of themselves out of shape.  It used to be reserved for medal of honor winners, firefighters, or anyone who put their lives at risk for the sake of others with no personal gain involved. I saw some shitty article a while back about fitness women who put up pics of themselves "out of shape" and read a comment in regards to it "I see nothing but strong women."  They were called brave for doing so. You posted a pic of you out of shape.  Clearly, the pinnacle of bravery...

Christ, you can't write "I like vanilla ice cream" somewhere on the net without someone calling you a piece of shit for it.  The net has made it so that every picture, opinion, article, video, etc has open season on it for criticism across the board.  Since that's the case, we sort of need to reevaluate the fact that we've let the words "bravery" and "courage" get dumbed down to include overweight people in swimsuits making millions of dollars for having some pictures taken of them. 

I'm speaking from experience here.  As a guy who was too fat for too long, and in retrospect became far too lazy and undisciplined, I worked my fucking nuts off to get into single digit bodyfat now.  There was nothing difficult about eating 20 doughnuts and pounds and pounds of candy every weekend for years on end.  It took virtually no effort at all.  Level of effort was literally fucking ZERO.  It was fun.  Courage and bravery not required. 

What took effort, hard work, discipline, and willpower? Losing all of that god damn fat and training harder than I had in the last decade.  And I'm not saying I need accolades for it.  I had a huge wake up call over a year ago about my blood work and the first thing I thought was "I don't want to die young, and leave my kids grieving because their father was an undisciplined, lazy fuck." And I had been.  There.  That's ME owning it.  My own lack of discipline, and my own lack of effort.  And guess what?  It caught up to me...

We keep devolving into the acceptance of mediocrity as a "great standard".  And we keep creating these paradigms and situations so that people who don't want to work really hard to achieve something exceptional, can be exceptional at being really average. "You're the best mediocre person of this bunch!  Well done!""

Monday, February 29, 2016

Reading - Winter '15/16 - "When I cannot find contentment in myself, it is useless to seek it elsewhere."

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition by Robert B. Cialdini
Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo Adventure by Greg Rucka
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Limitless: A Novel by Alan Glynn
In The Steps Of Bruce Lee: JKD Without Limits by Burton Richardson
COAN: The Man, The Myth, The Method: The Life, Times & Training of The Greatest Powerlifter of All-Time by Marty Gallagher
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki
The Choice by Og Mandino
EAT-FAT ∆ GET-FIT Essentials: Low Carb Wellness Made Easy by Ted Neckowicz
The Purposeful Primitive by Marty Gallagher

The Tithe Volume 1 by Matt Hawkins and Rahsan Ekedal
Empire: Uprising Volume 1 by Mark Waid and Barry Kitson
Uber Volume 4 & 5  by Kieron Gillen and Caanan White
Challengers of the Unknown Must Die! by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale
Lazarus Volume 4: Poison Paperback by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark
Grayson Vol. 1: Agents Of Spyral & Vol. 2: We All Die at Dawn  by Tom King, Tim Seeley & Mikel Janin 


Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Reciprocity, Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Scarcity, Authority

The Choice 
"What must be shall be; and that which is a necessity to him that struggles is little more than choice to him that is willing." - Seneca

"So many of us spend our lives searching for happiness. Like children hunting for Easter eggs, we dash hither and yon hoping to discover some mystical bluebird. Life would be so different, we sigh, if only we were happy. And so, one hurries home to be happy and another flees home to be happy. One is getting married to be happy and another is getting divorced to be happy. One takes expensive cruises to be happy and another labors overtime to be happy. Endless search.  Wasted years.  Madness...  I choose a better way to live!  Henceforth, my pursuit of happiness has ended. How blind I have been! Now I know that happiness hides not in that new house, that new career, that new friend. And it is never for sale. When I cannot find contentment in myself, it is useless to seek it elsewhere. Whenever I depend on things outside myself to supply me with joy I am doomed to disappointment. Happiness, I see now, has nothing to do with getting. It consists of being satisfied with what I've got and what I haven't got.  Few things are necessary to make the wise man happy while no amount of material wealth would satisfy a fool. I am not a fool. I have drawn a circle around me. Whenever I reach across it I will be giving, not taking. My needs are few. So long as I have something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for, I shall be happy. Now I know that the only source of happiness is within me, and I will begin to share it."

"So many of us think ourselves into smallness, into inferiority, by thinking downward. We are held back by too much caution. We are timid about venturing. We are not bold enough. And so we die before we reach middle age, although we will not be lowered into the ground until we pass three score and ten. What happened to the grand dreams of our youth? Suicide. Struck down by our caution, our lack of faith in ourselves and our abilities. Opportunities? There are many. But always there was risk. Do we dare? We vacillate. Time hurries by. Opportunity gone. We anguish. The years roll on. Finally, we convince ourselves that it’s too late and settle for cheap imitations of life. We envy the achievers. How lucky they are. I choose a better way to live! Henceforth, I will take every risk and embrace every opportunity that may provide a better life for me and my family. I no longer believe that a rolling stone gathers no moss. Better to be in motion, even if the energy is wasted, than buried forever in a shady plot. That will come soon enough. I will despise myself later if I look back on my life and realize that I had the talent and the ability to do great things but could not find the courage to try. I know what I can do, and I know how little I have done. I have frittered away my opportunities like children at the seashore who fill their hands with sand and then let the grains all fall through their open fists. It is not too late for me. I can still fill my hands. I can still shape a future of success and happiness. I am capable of great wonders, and now I know that my achievements will never rise higher than my faith in myself. I have new faith. I was made in the image of God. I was not created to fail. Defeat? Possible. Quit? Never again!"

Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo Adventure 
“Thing about the galaxy, there’s as many versions of the truth as there are stars. Got an old friend who’s fond of saying that truth is greatly dependent on your point of view. Truth ain’t the same as fact, kid. You believe what you want to believe."

COAN: The Man, The Myth, The Method
"Art? Culture? In the face of the iron facts of biology such things are ridiculous, the exponents of such things only the more ridiculous." - Jack London

"We are all subject to the same biological facts-of-life. As it relates to weight training, this is both a blessing and a curse."

To succeed in powerlifting you need to be methodical. This is a learned mental trait. If you have a lazy mind-set, you will have lackadaisical training sessions yielding lame results. The second variety of mind power is the ability to psyche yourself up for an all-out effort. This is a learned mental attitude that improves with repeated practice.

Killing Rommel
In my experience, valor in action counts for far less than simply performing one’s commonplace task without cocking it up. This is by no means as simple as it sounds.

The role of the officer, in my experience, is nothing grander than to stand sentinel over himself and his men, towards the end of keeping them from forgetting who they are and what their objective is, how to get there, and what equipment they’re supposed to have when they arrive. Oh, and getting back. That’s the tricky part.

Nothing relieves Irish despair. The Irishman’s complaint lies not with his circumstances, which might be rendered brilliant by labour or luck, but with the injust of existence itself. Death! How could a benevolent Deity gift us with life, only to set such a cruel term upon it? Irish despair knows no remedy. Money doesn’t help. Love fades; fame is fleeting. The only cures are booze and sentiment. That’s why the Irish are such noble drunks and glorious poets. No one sings like the Irish or mourns like them.

You've been taught as an officer never to pretend to know something you don't.   Now I'll give you a corollary: never try to make up for one mistake by committing a greater one.

With this, I understand the perverse logic of war and the true tragedy of armed conflict. The enemy against whom we fight are human beings like ourselves, individuals with whom each of us might have been friends except for the deranged fictions of nation, doctrine, race and religion, and whom now we must murder (as they seek to murder us) in the name of those very same fictions. And yet, knowing all this and understanding it, still, in some depraved and ineluctable way, we and they must live it out to the bloody finish.

Why should data cluster in predictable patterns? Why should there be a structure to the financial markets?’ I paused, waiting for someone to say something, but when no one did I went on, ‘because the markets are the product of human activity, and humans follow trends – it’s that simple.’ Kevin had gone pale by this stage. ‘And of course the trends are usually the same … one, aversion to risk, and two, follow the herd.’   

Because any time I’d thought of her over the past ten years, the person I’d automatically visualized had been the thin shiny Melissa of circa 1988, the one with long black hair and prominent cheekbones...  But the Melissa of those days, apparently, had unravelled in time and space and was a ghost now. I was never going to see her again, never going to bump into her in the street. She’d been supplanted by the Melissa I hadn’t kept up with, the one who’d gotten married again and had kids, who’d worked for Iroquois magazine, the one who’d allowed her teeming, tumultuous brain to be damaged, and permanently so, by some untried, untested and previously unknown pharmaceutical product...

The Purposeful Primitive
Hugh would tell us when we complained of tiredness to fire down more calories. “Eat your way through sticking points!” He’d say. If the poundage was feeling heavy on Saturday weighing 216, push your bodyweight to 220 by Wednesday and make those weights seem light. This was a man-killer approach: train till you begin hallucinating, eat tons of food, drink four quarts or more of milk daily then rest until the 2nd weekly slaughter fest. This approach worked wonders for aggressive young men intent on becoming massively muscled competitive powerlifters.

If you scrape away all the different rationale and reasons people engage in fitness-related activities, the bottom line is that they want to modify their physique, change their body from what it is into what they want it to be. Being dissatisfied with their physical status quo, they will rearrange their lives and devote time, money and effort towards triggering transformation.

People who successfully transform physically transform psychologically.

Ori Hofmekler says, “Life in paradise should be rugged!” We are primordially programmed for struggle yet we seek to avoid struggle at all cost. Struggle is the precursor to true transformation: without struggle there is no transformation.

Basic barbell and dumbbell exercises done with incredible intensity then backed up with lots of calories result in the construction of new muscle. If you are selective about the ample calories you eat, if you practice periodic cardiovascular exercise, stored body fat is mobilized and oxidized. If eating and training are perfectly attuned to one another, synergy takes hold and results are dramatically accelerated.

True physical renovation requires that we seek the path of maximum resistance, both figuratively and literally.

Physical transformation is all about struggle and effort.

Most trainees are genuinely unaware of the sheer physical effort required to trigger tangible results. No one has ever taken them aside and said, “Look—unless you really extend yourself—I mean REALLY extend yourself—unless you press the effort accelerator to the floorboard, unless you take it to the limit and beyond, consistently and repeatedly—nothing of any real physical significance is going to occur. Capacity is a Shifting Target If you train with the requisite effort, you can’t go very long. If you can, you’re not going hard enough. Going through the motions, i.e., using the same poundage in the same exercises for the same number of sets and same number of repetitions, week after week, doing the same things in the same ways, is going to net zero results. Only by pushing the body past current capacity, only through dogged struggle, only by attempting to equal or exceed your previous best, will anything of muscular significance occur.

The human body does not favorably reconfigure itself in response to ease and sameness. The body only grows new muscle and becomes stronger when pushed into new territory. Those who go through the motions (staying within their comfort zone) can train for a long time. Those who train intensely enough to trigger hypertrophy have between 30 and 75 minutes before the sheer intensity of the effort causes them to run out of energy. Super hard and super heavy training drains physical energy and also drains psychic energy. Only the trained, experienced individual, a member of the athletic elite, can train hard longer than an hour.

When you have a larger frame of physiological and psychological reference, you come to understand that by striving, by continually and unrelentingly pushing yourself in order to keep apace with your betters, you improve—or you break down, physically or psychologically. A good training partner has a responsibility to himself and to his partners. You are required to show up on time at the designated training venue, ready, willing and able to blast the living dog-shit out of some muscle, lift or body part.

Better To Use a Lousy System with Great Intensity Than A Sophisticated System Halfheartedly

Easier is not better in resistance training.

Initially, beneficial changes are legislated through willpower. However, all acts of willpower must cease at some point. Eventually you want genuine enthusiasm to take over from willpower. When enthusiasm powers the psychological process, chances of success radically improve. Willpower is a finite mental propellant. Once you burn through your quota, it takes a long time to restock. Enthusiasm is infinite. It replenishes itself.

Human nature loves to repeat pleasurable experience and if hard, intense, endorphin-releasing training is perceived as pleasurable, the Mind will seek to repeat this pleasurable experience. The more you train the better the gains, the better the gains the more you train…round and round it goes.

Disciplined eating is a psychological horse of a different color. It is far more difficult to become enthused about legislated eating. No endorphin-releasing pleasures, no training partners, no mathematical sense of accomplishment…eating requires the modification of conditioning and overcoming habit force. In our approach, proper nutrition is arrived at through the principle of creeping incrementalism. Tiny steps are taken, nutritionally speaking, using a wide range of foods and the end result is that the individual morphs detrimental eating habits into beneficial habits—new habits replace old ones—some through sheer trickery.

In the world of eating Taste is King. To pretend taste doesn’t matter or that it can be overcome through suppression or by some massive act of willpower is naïve, simplistic and doomed to failure.

Look for ways to make exercise fun. Certain physical activities are genuinely fun, but you need to make an effort to find them. Weight training can be quite enjoyable, particularly when planning is used. Half our brain is rational and logical and quite masculine while the other half of the brain is intuitive and spontaneous, artistic and feminine. A wonderful physical feeling descends and envelops the trainee after a properly aggressive progressive resistance workout. A state of physical well-being is brought on by the pure physical effort exerted.

Baby workouts, going through the motions, are insufficient to release endorphins and insufficient to trigger muscular hypertrophy.

The Mind can be our most powerful ally in our effort to reconfigure our physiques. Have the rational side of the brain design a plan of attack and let the intuitive side take over during the actual workout.

Concentration increases in direct proportion to the decease of internal chatter.

Can you take athletic efforts seriously enough to make changes in how you conduct yourself during the workout? Once you are able to develop real focus and concentration, performance skyrockets. Improved results equate to more muscle mass and less body fat.

We cannot gorge for years (or decades) on artificial, processed, highly refined foods containing noxious elements, without consequence. If fed a continual diet of food garbage, over time we destroy ourselves...

As long as we view dieting as an odious task of self-denial, a repugnant and extended exercise in stressful willpower, we will never turn the corner. Tangible results generate genuine enthusiasm for the process. When exercise becomes enjoyable and dieting becomes effortless, enthusiasm has supplanted willpower. Enthusiasm is an infinite mental propellant and can propel the process indefinitely.

Training - "...aging doesn't have to be given the victory."

2/29 - press, chins, dips, curls, speedbag, stretch
2/28 - shadowbox, stretch, COC gripwork
2/26 - shadowbox

It's Not the Years, It's the Miles: Training After 50 | Breaking Muscle: "Aging is inevitable. Every calendar year, your age will increase by a factor of one, and you can look that up if you don’t believe me. But, aging doesn’t have to be given the victory. With a little thinking and some reasonable training, you can keep the side mirror and bumper on for a long time."

"They claim that they have been emotionally traumatized by different opinions."

"They are infantilized by safe space and trigger warning culture - the idea that interrogating a new idea - coming into contact with a school of thought or a person that doesn't conform to your prejudices is somehow problematic.  That it gives rise to trauma.  This evening there is a safe space at Michigan University to protect the safety and emotional well being of students from this dangerous faggot and a lesbian with the wrong opinions.  That is insane."

Full debate.

Cap is always thoughtful and polite.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


I think this is satire, but in the politically correct world of the internets and academia 2016, how can you tell?

See also the oft-repeated trope "White people can't experience racism."  Which is an actual arguments that is made.

Which only makes sense when you redefine terms in order to serve a political agenda.