Saturday, February 04, 2017

"If you aren’t intentionally programming yourself, the environment and other people are doing it for you."

The distinction we make between "mind" and "body" is only linguistic.

Your Body is Your Brain Too | Scott Adams' Blog: "In your old worldview, where the brain is its own user interface, you often found yourself feeling sad, grumpy, tired, angry, and other negative emotions. And you probably felt a bit helpless to stop it. Your brain was determining your mood – seemingly on its own – and the rest of your body simply responded to it like a puppet on a string. That’s the most common worldview, and I watch how debilitating it is to people. They go through life in continuous mental anguish, feeling helpless to do anything about it.

 Contrast that worldview...  that says your body is the user interface of your brain system. Give your body the right inputs and you can reprogram your brain. For example, you know from experience that being hungry can make you cranky. But unless you are conscious of that body-mind connection – and often we are not – it is easy to assume the brain is operating on its own to make you cranky...

I am sure you have noticed that your mental state is deeply influenced by diet, exercise, sleep, sex, stress, and lots more. And I’m sure you make some effort to do those things the right way when you can. But if you think those actions are influencing only how you feel, and not your actual thoughts, you don’t understand the basic nature of human beings. And this is the key takeaway: The source of your thoughts is your body, not your brain. When I am not feeling good, I don’t ask my brain to fix things on its own. I manipulate my environment until my thoughts change. That’s because I see my body as the user interface to my brain. I don’t let my brain think whatever it randomly wants to think. I constrain it to productive thoughts by manipulating my environment.

 For example, any time I feel tense, I go exercise as soon as I can. It’s good for my health in general, but I do it specifically to program my thoughts from negative to positive. I do the same with sleep, diet, sex, stress, and even my choices of entertainment. I don’t let negative inputs into my brain via my body (the user interface) and my brain responds by not producing negative thoughts. I take this concept so far that I will leave a room when the topic goes negative and I don’t want my user interface to send those impulses to my brain. I never apologize for doing this. I just say I don’t want this conversation in my brain and leave. The old me believed that my brain was special, and that it was going to think whatever it was going to think.

Unfortunately, what it usually thought all through my twenties and thirties was severely traumatic memories that put me in a state of continuous suicidal urges. Today my thoughts are almost entirely positive and optimistic. The difference is that I learned to crowd out the negative thoughts by manipulating my environment. I tune my body with a healthy lifestyle so it feels good, and that encourages positive thoughts. And I flood my mind with fascinating mental puzzles and challenges – usually work-related – so there is no space for negative thoughts. The brain likes to focus on one thing at a time. So I make sure it is focusing where I want it. I never let my mind wander to bad territory. When I feel it happening I either change what I am doing or I flood my brain with stronger thoughts that have more emotional firepower. My old traumatic memories are still in my brain, but I atrophied them to the point of being inert. They hold no power over me now.

...your body is the user interface. To convince yourself that my framework is valid, take an inventory of the people in your life who are unhappy. Ask some questions about what they are doing about their unhappiness. Rarely will the person say they are working on their body to fix their minds.  Now take an inventory of your more well-adjusted friends. Watch the degree to which they manipulate their bodies to manage their minds. Once you see the pattern, you will start to see it everywhere. I just changed your life. You won’t know how much until later."

" Whatever you’re afraid of, face it straight on. Move toward it, not away from it."

Tony Horton: "Some people seem to be born confident. They exude a certain power and grace. Others have to work harder for it. That was me! I won’t tell you that there’s any one way to build confidence, but I can tell you that I stopped hoping and wishing for it, and began to face my fears to build my confidence. 

Whatever you’re afraid of, face it straight on. Move toward it, not away from it. 

The more you do this, the more you can build your faith and conviction to build your confidence. This is how you learn to trust yourself. You will learn to see fear as the perfect tool to build your confidence. If you're afraid to fail, how do you expect to get better at something without taking action? It's important to know what steps to take. 

 So here are my top 5 tips on how you can start to Cultivate Confidence right now: 
 See the Good: life will always throw us lemons, rotten onions and sour grapes. This may sound cliche, but it's important that you see the good in every situation. Right down to what have you've learned from the "less than perfect" situation. 
Practice Presence: Fear and anxiety are future-based, presence stealers. The more you stay in the present moment, the less you will experience fear and the more confident you will feel. 
Be Grateful: Expressing gratitude for what you DO HAVE right now, will give you a boost, and help you to remember just how blessed you really are. STOP, close your eyes, and just breathe any time you can throughout the day. 
Question your thoughts and beliefs: Whenever you have negative or preconceived thoughts about yourself or others, question the benefits. Where are these thoughts coming from? How do they serve you in a long term positive way? Break down unproductive beliefs and create new ones with better, more positive thoughts about yourself, others, and your situation. 
Be Generous: Get out there and be of service. Give to those less fortunate. When you are kind and generous to others, you are often kinder and more generous to yourself. This philosophy will open you up to a lifetime of possibilities."

"Cut out Bullshit Foods... Cut out Bullshit Friends... Cut out Bullshit Thoughts."

"Cut Out Bullshit Food 
 The reason that I put this one first, is because it’s the easiest one to fix. That doesn’t mean it’ll be easy if you’re used to eating junk food, but out of all the types of bullshit, this one is the easiest to eliminate from your life. Bullshit food is basically anything that hinders your performance: Fast food Potato chips Cheese burgers Dairy (for most people, unless it’s raw milk) Candy Fast digesting carbs (bagels, donuts, white rice, white bread, etc.) If you consume foods like this, you are literally creating a ripple effect that will fuck your life over. If you have poor nutrition, your brain and body won’t have the adequate nutrients to function. 

You’ll be slow to learn, have less energy, and will be less motivated. In other words, your mind and body are being poisoned by bullshit food. This is why you must cut it out of your life. If you have any junk food in your house, throw it out right now, no fucking exceptions. No, don’t give me that “B-but I’m not fat!” It doesn’t matter. Even though you’ll be fat one day if you continue to eat junk food, you’re still poisoning your body. Your mind can’t function properly without: Healthy proteins (sardines, wild caught salmon, grass fed beef) Leafy greens (kale, spinach) Colorful veggies (broccoli, carrots, beets) Slow digesting carbs (beans, brown rice, quinoa) Quality fats (olive oil, coconut oil) If you are eating junk food you are poisoning your body. Stop it. It will be hard to eat healthy at first if you’re used to eating junk food, but within a month you’ll actually come to like it. You’ll feel amazing and won’t even want to eat junk food, because it’ll make you feel sluggish, both mentally and physically...

Cut Out Bullshit Friends 
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn 
Most people don’t even know that their friends are losers, especially if they come from a dysfunctional background. I had a couple of friends back in high school, and they were takers. All they would do is take, take, take. They only cared about themselves. They were selfish to the point of childlike narcissism, and didn’t respect me. I actually didn’t even realize it for a while, because that’s all I had known. But slowly, as I began reading more and more, educating myself, and improving my outlook, I started to see that they were users. So do you know what I did? I cut them out of my fucking life. This may sound cruel, or difficult to do, but let me ask you a question: are they helping you or hurting you? If they’re hurting you, then cut them out of your life...

They don’t stop pushing your boundaries You tell them that you don’t want to do something, and they don’t stop asking why (like a child) They’re always focusing on the negative They speak down on you or call you names frequently, even if they say they’re “just kidding” They manipulate you emotionally (always make you feel guilty, act like they’re a victim, etc.) Ask yourself: “Do they make me feel good about myself, or bad?” If they make you feel bad, lazy, or insecure, chances are you should cut them out of your life. Even if they’re family members. This can be very difficult for a lot of people to understand – I get that. It sounds very cruel to cut family members out of your life. But again, are they helping you or hurting you? If they’re hurting you, then it’s in your best interests to cut them out of your life...

Cut Out Bullshit Thoughts 
This is the hardest thing to do. If you came from a very negative upbringing like I did, it can often be very difficult to unwire your brain and train yourself to think positively. That’s okay – you can still do it (insert positive thought here). I did. Negative thoughts are perhaps the most insidious addiction on the planet, and they are literally the biggest determining factor in how successful you are. If you are negative, nobody will want to be around you. You’ll always bring peoples’ moods down, so you won’t have many friends. You probably won’t get promoted, because nobody in your workplace will like you. You’ll end up wasting tons of mental energy thinking negative thoughts, rather than just being positive. Now, the negative man may justify his thought patterns by claiming that he’s just being a “realist.” 

What I would say to this is that negativity and positivity actually have nothing to do with being realistic. Being realistic is viewing reality for what it is. Positivity and negativity, however, have to do with what you focus on. The positive man accepts reality for what it is, but chooses to focus on the bright side. He doesn’t bitch and moan, he just takes action and gets shit done. The negative man complains and whines, but never does anything about it. He’s just a talker, not a walker. Negativity is an excuse – it’s a childlike, pathetic habit to engage in. When someone is negative, all I can hear is: “I don’t fix my problems, I just complain about them.”"

" always-on, always-connected state had rendered me largely useless."

How I Got My Attention Back: "It felt like a cop-out—like I wasn’t allowed to escape the “real world” so easily. But the quieter my mind became, and the deeper I went into my own work, the more I realized how my always-on, always-connected state had rendered me largely useless. “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone,” wrote Blaise Pascal. Did any of us remember how to sit quietly, alone, without a phone in hand? I certainly didn’t. By the time the curtain closed on act one of our political tragedy, if there was action to be taken, I was in no state to take it. I had long since lost control of my attention...

Today, I could live on Twitter all day, everyday, convincing myself I was being productive. Or, at least inducing the chemicals in the mind that make me feel like I’m being productive. Read more news. Send more replies. Start more threads. Each incoming reply activating a corresponding dopamine pop. Largely pushing nothing in the world forward. Maybe I lost my attention because I’m weak, lonely, pathetic. Maybe everyone else has total control; they can resist all the information spun by algorithms—all the delicious dopamine hits in the form of red circles. Bing! Maybe it’s just me...

If I tell people I went offline for a month, it’s like telling them I set up camp on Mars. It hints of apostasy, paganism. Tribes seem to find pleasure in knowing all members suffer equally. But, really, is the situation so dire that we can’t wrangle a little more control? We’ve opted into this baffling baseline of infinite information suck, always-availability. Nobody held a gun to our head. We put our own mouths on the spigot every single day. But it’s so delicious. That spigot goo — buoyed by pull-to-refreshes and pings and wily dots. Giving up attention, so seductive...

There is a qualitative and quantitative difference between a day that begins with a little exercise, a book, meditation, a good meal, a thoughtful walk, and the start of a day that begins with a smartphone in bed."

"...the central problem has been that experts and policy makers have passed judgment before that good science was done. And once a judgment is codified as policy, it’s hard to repeal."

The Limits of Sugar Guidelines - The Atlantic: "While the evidence to date shows zero benefit from sugar and a clear signal of harm, there hasn’t been enough time to fund and conduct definitive trials. Meanwhile, governments naturally feel they can’t wait. Facing panic over the continued, relentless climb in obesity and diabetes rates with no solution in sight, they’ve gone ahead and passed sugar guidelines pinned to exact thresholds, of 10 percent or 5 percent of calories. This advice is clearly well-intentioned. Yet if, as the Annals paper concludes, experts are skirting scientific norms by passing guidelines based on weak evidence, the whole process of guideline-making is effectively watered down. And the need for reliable guidance is no abstract question; indeed, everything from our waistlines to whether we might eat eggs for breakfast depends upon it. As Americans well know, there have been many reversals in our guidelines in recent years—on dietary cholesterol, on total fat, on whether to eat breakfast to maintain a healthy weight. These were all official guidelines based on weak evidence that, when actually tested in clinical trials, were found to be unjustified. It turned out that people had been avoiding egg yolks, lobster, and fat, generally, to no avail, and that skipping breakfast altogether might actually be the best option for weight loss...

Instances of flip-flopping on nutritional advice not only erode the public trust, but make people think that the basic science itself is flawed—which, for the most part, it’s not. Instead, the central problem has been that experts and policy makers have passed judgment before that good science was done. And once a judgment is codified as policy, it’s hard to repeal. This was the case, for instance, with the low-fat diet, which although adopted as a U.S. guideline in 1980, wasn’t actually studied in trials for another decade-plus. This kind of mistake, at its very worst, is potentially deadly: Indeed, the low-fat advice, by shifting consumption to carbohydrates such as grains and sugar, is now regarded as a probable cause of the obesity and diabetes epidemics...

It makes sense to have a strong hunch that sugar is bad. Sugar has no nutritional value. It’s a direct shot of glucose to the blood stream and fructose to the liver. The historical evidence against it presented by Taubes in his book is compelling. Personally, I try hard to avoid it. But I also tend to avoid refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and cereals. Based on the existing data, I suspect that too much fructose from today’s highly sweetened fruit crops is bad, and that the 40-plus percent increase in our consumption of grains since 1970 have simply overloaded us in carbohydrates altogether."

Fat Head » From The News …: "Government officials, of course, are driven by a belief that no problem will ever be solved unless they by gosh DO SOMETHING!  It’s the old problem of when you’re holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Government’s hammer is regulation.  More government officials should heed the advice Lee Marvin’s first acting teacher gave him: don’t just do something, stand there."

Wait, what? "... a union's right to collect fees from employees who opt-out of the union."

How is that, in any way, shape or form, a "right"?  World gone mad.

What Trump’s Supreme Court pick means for the court - POLITICO: "Perhaps the most certain result of putting Gorsuch on the court is an eventual setback for public employee unions. Such unions avoided a likely defeat after Scalia's death last year when the court deadlocked, 4-4, in a case about fees for a large California teachers' union. The result signaled that if Scalia had still been on the court, a union's right to collect fees from employees who opt-out of the union would have been eliminated, dealing a potentially severe blow to the finances and political clout of the already-struggling labor movement...

The one view that made Gorsuch such a star with legal conservatives is his view that judges should do more to check the power of the modern regulatory state. That was an uncontroversial position on the right during the eight years of the Obama administration. What it means for the Trump administration is more complicated. As Trump's team moves to roll back climate change regulations, water pollution controls, pay and overtime regulations and similar measures put in place by Obama, the courts will be asked to rule on many of those moves. Gorsuch's rulings suggest he's inclined to take a rigorous look at agencies' actions in those areas and to make an independent determination of what the law requires, rather than deferring to agencies' expertise. "Congress isn't going to much of a job checking this president. Courts will do a better job of that because most judges take their jobs seriously," Winkler said. "Things like 'alternative facts' don't fly in a court of law. Conservative judges might not be that thrilled to help Donald Trump in his most extreme efforts.""

Fuck me, there it is.  When unions use non-member dues to finance political activities | Washington Examiner: "When the Supreme Court ruled in 1977 that government employee unions could collect a fee from nonmembers to cover the cost of collective bargaining, the justices noted that such fees could not be used to cover political activities. In that decision, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, the court affirmed a Michigan law that required teachers who didn't want to join a union to pay a so-called “agency fee” to the Detroit Federation of Teachers for the work it did representing everyone on the job."

"There's a reason why Kevin James is never going to be named Sexiest Man Alive, while David Beckham is."

Sex Appeal, Fitness, and Fat Shaming | T Nation: "Read anything related to body image and you might think that marketers have unfairly set the standard for "looking great naked." Have they? No. Is their idea of fitness really anything new? No. Have they warped our perspective of beauty? Nope. Have they changed what we think of as sexy? Not a bit. If you read any of today's weak-minded puff pieces on body image, you'd be led to believe that our standards for fitness are new. You'd also be led to believe that fat-shaming is new as well. You'd be wrong on both counts...

As a species, we haven't changed from a physiological perspective or biological perspective in, well, forever. But let's narrow this down, because beauty or sexiness can be defined very easily. Here's what defines them: Symmetry – both in the face and body. Health – appearance as a representation of vitality and wellness. Neither of these are really up for debate. You can argue them, but you'd be lying to yourself. And they're connected. We desire someone whose appearance represents good health because, from an evolutionary and biological standpoint, it would give our offspring the best chances in life. Attractiveness has been defined by science through symmetry, both in regards to the face and physique, and it has to do with someone appearing more worthy to mate with. 

As a species we're designed to do two things: survive and procreate. So we look for a partner that gives our offspring the best chance at survival. This has scientific ties to symmetry, and that symmetry is basically what makes people more or less attractive. Women with a hip-to-waist ratio of 0.7 are generally the most desirable to men. As should be expected, women with such proportions often have better health. From a facial perspective, symmetry is a representation of health. There's a reason why plastic surgeons (really good ones) can make someone more attractive. They fix their symmetry. From a physiological perspective, estrogen stops bone growth in a woman's lower face and chin, making the jaw small and short and making her eyes appear proportionally larger. More estrogen means better fertility, which is what we're naturally attracted to. No, we don't look at a woman and "see" her fertility, but we do recognize it through her appearance, whether you want to acknowledge it or not. For men, higher levels of testosterone shape the face with that strong jawline women love so much. This signals the same thing to her: a better mating partner. All of these characteristics indicate overall health quality, and healthier individuals are more attractive individuals. That's science. Not opinion...

Outside of plastic surgery, no one can fix their face if it's ugly. But you are in total control of your body. This is why the social push to make someone "beautiful at any size" is a farce. Sure, to an extent, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, people have different preferences, and the content of your character can make you more (or less) attractive. But, strictly speaking of appearance, most of us understand why certain men and women are considered sexy by the general population. Males often get started lifting to increase their chances of attracting females. Females keep fad diets and aerobic classes in business because they want to be slim and "toned." But the fact is, whether our goals change or not, we still want to attract a better mate by carving out a better physique or trying to create sex appeal through lifting and a healthy diet. But there's now a huge, politically-correct push for us to accept that people of all shapes and sizes are just as attractive as those who are physically fit. You can pretend to agree, but biologically, you probably reject this notion. You probably don't like even this topic because everyone is so easily offended now, but it doesn't change biology, history, evolution, or the facts. There's a reason why Kevin James is never going to be named Sexiest Man Alive, while David Beckham is...

The ancient Greeks were obsessed with physical fitness too. Wouldn't you expect the culture that invented the Olympics to be? In The Naked Olympics, Tony Perrottet writes, "Few cultures have been quite so shamelessly vain and superficial in their worship of physical perfection as the Greeks. Flabbiness and pale skin were subjects of derision, and vase paintings show fat boys being mocked by their peers." Basically, the Greeks liked their people jacked and tan. They revered a physically fit body while shaming and ridiculing those who were obese. Their obsession with exercise had a lot to do with warfare preparation, so you could make the claim that it was really all about that. However, all you have to do is take a look at the statues from that era to know that the Greeks admired and respected men and women that fit the mold of what we'd call muscular and lean, even today....  there's an overriding narrative now that as a society we should accept obesity as beautiful, sensual, and profoundly good-looking. But the reason we don't is because it's the physical manifestation of an unhealthy body, and an unhealthy body isn't an ideal mating partner. The "health at any size" mantra has taken hold, but from a medical standpoint, it's a complete lie. Obesity and optimal health cannot and do not go hand in hand...

Women with low-self esteem claim they love a dad bod. But that's because a dad bod doesn't make them feel embarrassed about how they look. It's relatable. But let's not kid ourselves here. A guy who's 220 ripped is going to be awfully intimidating to a female who funnels beer and hits up Waffle House at 3 AM on weekends. Mr. Jacked Body is the manifestation of discipline, work ethic, and dedication. She's the manifestation of Jager shots and McGriddles. No one wants to date someone whose body (and the effort it took to get it) makes them feel bad about themselves. People can make excuses all day, but that's what it's really about.

...upholding high standards for physique development isn't new. It's centuries old. It is and always has been something to be proud of. Finding unhealthy bodies unattractive isn't new either. But celebrating obesity actually IS new, and it's tragic."

Friday, February 03, 2017

Reading Sep 16 - Jan 17. "This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time."

"What you end up doing,” the mechanic says, "is you spend your life searching for a father and God.” "What you have to consider,” he says, "is the possibility that God doesn’t like you. Could be, God hates us. This is not the worst thing that can happen.”

Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story by Steve Kamb
Fight Club: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk
The House of Secrets by Brad Meltzer and Tod Goldberg 
Livia Lone by Barry Eisler
The Pussy by Delicious Tacos
No, They Can't: Why Government Fails-But Individuals Succeed by John Stossel
The Felix Castor Series - The Devil You Know, Vicious Circle, Dead Men's Boots, Thicker Than Water, and The Naming of the Beasts by Mike Carey

Fight Club 2 by Chuck Palahniuk, Cameron Stewart, and David Mack
Atomic Robo Volume 10: Atomic Robo and the Ring of Fire Paperback by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener 
Jacked by Eric Kripke
Think Tank Volume 4 by Matt Hawkins and Rahsan Ekedal 
Wolverine: Old Man Logan by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven

Training - "I'm the only one to blame and I'm the only one who can fix it."

2/3 - bench, chins, pushups, Power Half Hour Stretch, Defranco Simple Six
2/1 - deadlifts, abwheel, Power Half Hour Stretch
1/31 - Power Half Hour Stretch
1/29 - Power Half Hour Stretch
1/28 - Power Half Hour Stretch
1/27 - press, chins, dips, Power Half Hour Stretch
1/26 - Power Half Hour Stretch
1/25 - power cleans, squats, Power Half Hour Stretch
1/24 - Power Half Hour Stretch
1/23 - bench, chins, pushups, Power Half Hour Stretch, Defranco Simple Six
1/10 - deadlifts, situps, abwheel, backxt
1/9 - chins, COCT
1/8 - press, chins, dips
1/6 - power cleans, squats
1/4 - bench, chins, pushups
12/30 - deadlifts, situps, backxt, abwheel
12/28 - press, chins, dips, seated row, curls, pushdowns
12/26 - power cleans, squats
12/23 - deadlifts, bench, chins, pushups, situps, leg raises, curl, pushdowns
12/18 - press, chins, dips
12/16 - power cleans, squats
12/14 - bench, chins, pushups, seated row, pushdowns
12/12 - deadlifts
12/11 - #22pushups for #22KILL - Day 22
12/10 - #22pushups for #22KILL - Day 21
12/9 - press, chins, dips, curls, seated db press, #22pushups for #22KILL - Day 20
12/8 - #22pushups for #22KILL - Day 19
12/7 - power cleans, squats, #22pushups for #22KILL - Day 18
12/6 - #22pushups for #22KILL - Day 17
12/5 - #22pushups for #22KILL - Day 16
12/4 - #22pushups for #22KILL - Day 15
12/3 - #22pushups for #22KILL - Day 14
12//2 - bench, chins, pushups, row, #22pushups for #22KILL - Day 13, Power Half Hour Stretch
12/1 - #22pushups for #22KILL - Day 12, Power Half Hour Stretch

The Most Important Lesson From Lifting | T Nation: "Training teaches us that there's a direct, unmistakable causal relationship between hard work and reward. You work hard and good things happen. You don't work hard, and good things fail to happen. Much of life is "fuzzy" – sometimes you get lucky and experience rewards that you haven't really earned. But this will never happen in the gym because the weight doesn't give a flip about anything other than whether or not you actually lift it. And when you lift a weight that you've never lifted before, it's unmistakable proof that you're now better than you ever were before. These experiences teach us to value work ethic and give us the confidence to apply it outside the gym as well: in our careers, our relationships, and in our various interests in life. The gym is a laboratory for life. – Charles Staley"

The Most Important Lesson From Lifting | T Nation: "Dani Shugart – T Nation Editor Building muscle makes you better at life. It works that way for me at least. Your entire body becomes more proficient. It's phenomenal. Heavy things feel lighter, hard tasks feel easier, big meals get used instead of stored. Moving your own body around becomes a natural, simple thing. You don't even realize your own physical capability if you've had muscle for a long time and have been taking it for granted. But when you go from not lifting to lifting, your body turns into this unrecognizable machine."

The Most Important Lesson From Lifting | T Nation: "You become more authoritative. Not in a domineering way, but in a way that simply keeps you from being a doormat. The more you struggle under the iron and master it, the more you realize your own potential. And this can embolden people differently. You might gradually become more self-reliant in the gym, more forthright in daily interactions, or just more of a "go-getter" all around... as hokey as that sounds. You start thinking that bigger things are within your reach. One of the most stressful times of my life was when I was hired for a news job right after college. I felt stretched yet undervalued, and my paycheck would've been bigger flipping burgers. I had stopped lifting for a year or so when I took the position. But getting back under the iron gave me the impetus to look for better opportunities instead of living with this feeling of being stuck. It was scary to quit, but it was exhilarating to get back in the captain's chair and decide what to do with my life. It makes you socially competent. Building muscle makes you more self-assured. It's just easier to talk to strangers when you're somewhat jacked. Maybe that's because you become comfortable with yourself and you project that feeling outward. But the more comfortable you are around others, the more enjoyable the gym (and everything else) is. And if someone snubs you when you say hi, no biggie. You're still somewhat jacked. What are they gonna do? Sigh loudly? Roll their eyes? Snobby people are usually just insecure people. Bonus: When you focus on building strength and muscle, you attract people who are into the same stuff, and having like-minded friends is powerful. These connections can open doors, keep you motivated, and improve your health all around. – Dani Shugart"

The Most Important Lesson From Lifting | T Nation: "Chris Shugart – T Nation CCO It's all on you. Back in my fat boy days, I had a dozen excuses for being overweight. Most of them were directed outward: I was fat, I'd tell myself, because of things that were outside of my control. These were self-directed lies, of course, just flimsy rationalizations to make myself feel better. In short, I wasn't taking personal responsibility. I wasn't being self-reliant. I snapped out of it, thank God. I even wrote a little mantra that I repeated to myself every day: "The condition I'm in now is completely my fault. I caused this. I chose to slack off. I chose crappy foods. I'm the only one to blame and I'm the only one who can fix it." It worked. I dropped around 65 pounds of fat and eventually added over 30 pounds of muscle. There were missteps, mistakes, and long periods of stagnation along the way. But there were also life lessons – tough, heartless lessons that transcended the gym. Today, the pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps ideal has faded. Today, people are seeking out and adopting victim labels. And any victim label will do. Anything to shift blame outward. And once someone finds his flavor of victimhood, he not only adopts the label, he begins to define himself by it. He begins to wallow in that perceived victimhood. Why? Because it releases him from personal responsibility and self-reliance. Even our leaders have begun to preach this sermon of weakness, often to acquire political power. It's a simple plan: Convince people they're helpless and that you're the only one who can solve their problems. If the people buy it, you control them, gain power, and profit. But it's hard for me to imagine that a dedicated lifter would fall for it. He or she has learned too many things from the barbell. The barbell teaches you different lessons. The barbell holds the opportunities for getting stronger, changing your body, and building resolve. But (and this is the important bit) the barbell also doesn't give a shit about you. You pick it up and you get positive, life-changing results.... or you don't and you get nothing. The bar doesn't care one way or another. It looks you right in the face and says, "This is going to be hard and it's going to take a lot of work but the payoff is awesome. Take it or leave it." In today's society of entitled wankers and delicate snowflakes, it's a lesson many need to learn. Life is a barbell. The opportunities are right there. You just have to pick them up and start grinding. It's all on you. – Chris Shugart"

Diet Queens, Squats and Fat Kids – "The best way to lose fat is to not get fat in the first place. Don't be a Diet Queen - learn habits and have action-based goals. The greatest mistake beginners make is taking advice from other beginners on the internet. Beginner lifters need more consistency and frequency with less variety. This includes programming. In other words, quit program hopping."

Work In Progress:

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

'"Extraordinary rendition"—where harsh interrogations are outsourced to foreign countries on behalf of U.S. intelligence—has never gone away."

Will Trump Really Bring Back CIA 'Black Sites'? Even If He Wants To, He Might Not Need To - Hit & Run : "Eli Lake raises an interesting point in a column for Bloomberg: Trump doesn't need to re-instate the practice of secret CIA prisons in foreign countries because "extraordinary rendition"—where harsh interrogations are outsourced to foreign countries on behalf of U.S. intelligence—has never gone away. Lake writes that Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama all relied on extraordinary rendition to various degrees, and although Obama ended the CIA black sites and forbade torture, he still had prisoners interrogated in "third-world" prisons...

Those partnerships will likely be the reason that Trump, despite his bluster, will not revive the CIA's black sites program. He simply doesn't need to. In a narrow sense, this will be a victory for human rights and the rule of law. But given the history of America's third-world allies in the war on terror, that victory is pyrrhic."

"The press would be wiser to stop thinking of him as the outlier liar... and come to view him as a politician whose behavior is different only in degree, not in kind."

Put on Your Big-Boy Pants, Journos - POLITICO Magazine: "Rather than tying itself up in knots over the Trump obfuscations, the press would be wiser to stop thinking of him as the outlier liar and the worst enemy the press has ever known and come to view him as a politician whose behavior is different only in degree, not in kind. 

Consider the Obama presidency. As former Politicos Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen wrote in 2013 in a piece titled, “Obama, the Puppet Master,” he was “a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House.” Obama didn’t camouflage the news with tweets or with shameless posturing in front the CIA’s wall of martyrs as Trump did on Saturday, a move that caused former CIA Director John Brennan to growl in protest. 

Obama, VandeHei and Allen explained, took “old tricks for shaping coverage (staged leaks, friendly interviews) and put them on steroids using new ones (social media, content creation, precision targeting).” In doing so, “Media across the ideological spectrum [were] left scrambling for access.” I don’t recall anybody calling for a boycott of Barack Obama or his myrmidons for his media scheming and for tipping the “balance of power between the White House and press … unmistakably toward the government,” as the Politico past-masters put it. The press mostly carried on, threading the thicket of treacheries as best it could. Governments always have and will always impede the press from doing their job, and they will use any means necessary. “All governments lie,” as journalist I.F. Stone once wrote, “but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.” From my vantage, the Obama administration got Choom Gang stoned on their media pirouetting and the Trump administration seems to have come close to matching them in just a couple of days."

"Obama leaves a blueprint on how to suppress information and get away with it." "Despite some promising open data initiatives, the executive branch under Obama was, on the whole, more secretive than ever. Since 2009, press access to the White House has been notably restricted, whistleblower prosecutions have spiked, and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the federal government have reached an all-time high. In 2013, the Committee to Protect Journalists published a scathing report, written by former Washington Post editor Leonard Downie Jr., on the Obama administration's obsession with controlling media coverage and burnishing its image, drawing comparisons to the pathological tendencies of one of the White House's previous occupants. "The Obama administration's aggressive war on leaks, and its determined efforts to control information that the news media needs to hold the government accountable for its actions, are without equal since the Nixon administration and in direct conflict with President Obama's often-stated goal of making his administration the most transparent in American history," Downie said when the document was released. "Parenthetically, I'm old enough that I was one of the editors on the Watergate story, so I make that comparison with knowledge," he continued. But unlike Tricky Dick, who provided future presidents with a cautionary tale about how dirty tricks can come back to bite them, Obama leaves a blueprint on how to suppress information and get away with it."

'"Nowhere in this new FBI "news story" titled "Forfeiture as an Effective Law Enforcement Tool" will you find the words "Fourth Amendment, "Due Process," or "innocence."'

FBI Insists That When They Steal People's Stuff, They're Doing It for You - Hit & Run : "The FBI does want you to understand that while, yes, they do seize and keep billions of dollars in assets from citizens through a system that doesn't require them to prove a crime, they're doing it for the financial benefit of communities. Nowhere in this new FBI "news story" titled "Forfeiture as an Effective Law Enforcement Tool" will you find the words "Fourth Amendment, "Due Process," or "innocence." Instead it uses a single example of using forfeiture to snag drug dens in Rutland, Vermont, and returning them to the community. By "community" they mean the organization with a $1.25 million redevelopment grant and not the family that was forced out of one of the buildings and ended up living in a trailer. That's right—the FBI is using a case where families got bounced out of their homes as an example of the benefits of forfeiture. The FBI wants to convince us that this is what civil asset forfeiture looks like—that it is all for our benefit."

"Your heternormative relationship is exclusionary and prejudicial!" - SJWs in a nutshell.

“Should the government get to decide what’s a slur?”

CBLDF Joins Amicus Brief in Support of “The Band Who Must Not Be Named” | Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: "CBLDF has joined a basket of deplorable people and organizations on a Cato Institute-led amicus brief to the Supreme Court in Lee v. Tam, asking, “Should the government get to decide what’s a slur?” Among the deplorables who joined CBLDF on the brief are satirist P.J. O’Rourke; former ACLU president Nadine Strossen, Flying Dog Brewery (which once sued the state of Michigan over its attempt to stymie the sale of the brewery’s Raging Bitch IPA), and illustrator Ralph Steadman (who drew the label for Raging Bitch). When an activist Asian-American rock band decided to choose a name that both affirms their racial identity and reclaims a racist term as a way to challenge stereotypes — The Slants — they likely didn’t expect to end up in front of the Supreme Court. They anticipated some blowback, sure, but then the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) denied their trademark application. 

 The PTO determined that The Slants were in violation of portions of the Lanham Act, which denies registration to trademarks “which may disparage … persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols.” Band leader Simon Tam took the PTO to court, arguing that the band’s First Amendment rights were violated. A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit disagreed, but the full court reversed the earlier ruling in a 9-3 decision that struck down the disparagement clause in the Lanham Act as unconstitutional. 

The PTO appealed to the Supreme Court. Cato filed a brief in support of Tam, entitled “Brief of the Cato Institute and a Basket of Deplorable People and Organizations,” which David Post of The Washington Post called “an instant classic [that] is well worth reading — a nice illustration, among other things, that legal briefs can have serious doctrinal content while also being a hoot to read.”  

 Cato contends that a government entity should not determine what constitutes a racial slur. Further, the brief illustrates the ways in which the disparagement clause suppresses political speech, prevents the reclamation of terms from their pejorative use, and is so unconstitutionally vague that any trademark could be denied on the grounds that it offends some group or another."

Offensive Trademarks Are Free Speech - "In 2004 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office agreed to register Heeb as the name of a magazine covering Jewish culture. Four years later, the PTO refused to register Heeb as the name of a clothing line conceived by the magazine's publishers, because the term is "a highly disparaging reference to the Jewish people."

Such puzzling inconsistency is par for the course at the PTO, which since 1946 has been charged with blocking registration of trademarks that "may disparage...persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute." A case the Supreme Court will hear today could put an end to that vain, vague, and highly subjective enterprise, which sacrifices freedom of speech on the altar of political correctness. The case involves an Asian-American dance rock band called The Slants, a name that self-consciously repurposes a racial slur. In 2011 the band's founder, Simon Tam, tried to register the name but was rejected by a PTO examiner who deemed it disparaging to "persons of Asian descent." An administrative appeals board affirmed that decision, even while conceding that the band's name was "an attempt not to disparage, but rather to wrest 'ownership' of the term from those who might use it with the intent to disparage." The board said "the fact that applicant has good intentions underlying the use of the term does not obviate the fact that a substantial composite of the referenced group find the term objectionable."

In 2015 a federal appeals court agreed that Tam "may offend members of his community with his use of the mark" but noted that "the First Amendment protects even hurtful speech." The court ruled that the ban on registration of disparaging trademarks amounts to viewpoint-based speech regulation, which the Supreme Court has said is constitutional only if it is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest. The interest in this case—protecting the feelings of people who might be offended by an outré trademark—does not even qualify as legitimate, let alone compelling. The PTO maintains that it's not really regulating speech, since Tam is free to call his band whatever he wants. But denying him the trademark-protecting benefits of registration clearly imposes a burden on his speech, analogous to denying copyright registration for a book that bothers a bureaucrat."

"Rules for Subs."



"What choices will women make when the playing field is as level as social policy can make it? I’m afraid the answers will disappoint a lot of people. "

Do women really have it better in Sweden? - The Globe and Mail: "Sweden and the other Nordic nations always seem to lead the rankings of the world’s best countries for women. (Canada is lucky to crack the top 20.) So they’re an ideal laboratory for finding out what women really want. What choices will women make when the playing field is as level as social policy can make it? I’m afraid the answers will disappoint a lot of people. 

That includes Sheryl Sandberg, the famous author of Lean In, who wrote, “A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies, and men ran half our homes.” The trouble is that the world’s most liberated women aren’t leaning in – in fact, many are leaning back. They work fewer hours and make less money than men, just as Canadian women do. In fact, Swedish women are much more likely to have part-time jobs and far less likely to hold top managerial positions or be CEOs. On top of that, Scandinavian labour markets are the most gender-segregated in the developed world. 

Women do make up 25 per cent of Swedish corporate boards, but only because of quotas. The greatest concentration of senior managers, CEOs and other highly paid power women isn’t in Scandinavia. It’s here in North America, where working women’s lives are much tougher. It turns out that all these family-friendly policies have an unintended impact on the gender gap, as Kay Hymowitz and many others have noted. By making it easy for women to drop out of the work force and work shorter hours, they make it harder for women to progress in their careers. Swedish men have these options too, but they don’t take them. So women don’t advance as far as men. 

...only a small proportion of Nordic women choose to work as managers and professionals. Most choose lower-paid, highly gender-segregated work. As Alison Wolf has written in her excellent book The XX Factor, Scandinavian countries “hold the record for gender segregation because they have gone the furthest in outsourcing traditional female activities and turning unpaid home-based ‘caring’ into formal employment.” Despite vigorous efforts to stamp out gender stereotyping, most Swedish girls would still rather be daycare workers and nurses when they grow up. And boys would rather be welders and truck drivers. 

And that’s not all. To the extreme chagrin of social engineers throughout Scandinavia, mothers still take the bulk of parental leave. Most men take parental leave only when a certain part of it is designated for fathers only. Here’s an even more alarming possibility. What if people in the most developed countries are inclined to express greater gender differences, not less? 

Studies of people in more than 60 countries around the world have found that much of gendered behaviour is culturally universal – men in all cultures tend to be more assertive and less emotionally expressive, while women are more nurturing and co-operative. But according to one startling research report, the divergence between male and female personality traits is more marked in highly developed countries. The researchers believe the reason is that people in rich and educated societies are freer to be self-expressive. 

As writer Christina Hoff Sommers speculated a few months back in The Atlantic, “What if gender difference turns out to be a phenomenon not of oppression, but rather of social well-being?” I have no idea if this is correct, but it is extremely suggestive. It would, for example, account for the flowering of gay culture across the Western world. It would also explain why highly educated women – ones who have an infinite variety of choices – hardly ever choose to be mechanical engineers. So, then. Where do women have it better? That probably depends on how you define “better.” If you define it as “high female pay and occupational success,” you’d choose North America. If you define it as “achieving work-life balance, with broad social supports and plenty of time for family and personal development,” you’d probably choose Sweden. There is no one right answer, only different ones. As for how you get more women to lean in, I honestly don’t know. It’s hard to make them if they don’t want to."


Tin Foil Hats are awesome.

"Fake News."

"I'm really good at suffering.”

The Obstacle Course Race Superstar | Runner's World: "A self-described jack-of-all-trades athlete, Amelia Boone (the August 2015 Runner's World cover subject) came onto the obstacle course race (OCR) scene almost by accident when a coworker talked her into a Tough Mudder in 2011. In December that same year, she signed up for the World's Toughest Mudder, a 24-hour race, and placed second among women. She went on to win that race in 2012 and 2014 and was named The Spartan World Champion in 2013
OCRs got me hooked on running trails and mountains," she says. "I'm good at climbing and running steep inclines, and powering through altitude changes." Now a Reebok Spartan elite athlete, the Chicago-based corporate attorney, 31, recently added ultrarunning to her repertoire. "Before I started doing obstacle races, I ran to keep in shape," Boone says, "but it wasn’t something I was passionate about. But after my first Tough Mudder, I realized my endurance was strong enough to run long distances.""

Weekend Warriors: Obstacle-Course Racing's Unlikely Star: "Boone now has a schedule that starts at 4 a.m. each day with a run and a strength workout. She still does a lot of traditional CrossFit exercises, but skips heavy weights in favor of bodyweight moves. Though she's mostly stopped her illicit spear-throwing, she admits she's still terrifying the residents of downtown Chicago on some mornings with all-out sprints around the block and drills where she drags a weight behind her on the sidewalk. She's at work by 7:30 a.m. and, when she's there, she focuses solely on work. Those same co-workers who did the first Tough Mudder with her have seen her on TV and magazine covers, but they don't talk about it much. It's just something she does. "You do your work and you have this strange hobby on weekends outside of work," she says. It's only when she has to go into a meeting with people who don't already know her, covered with bruises and scars, that it comes up. She's out of the office 10 to 12 hours later, sometimes fits in a small evening workout, and then heads to bed to do it again. Her success in the sport goes well beyond her physical capabilities, though. She has the capacity to suffer, and to take things long past when it'd probably be smart to quit. Combine that with the ability to focus - to dedicate herself completely to the task at hand without thinking about anything beyond - and it creates the perfect combination for obstacle-course racing. That makes her sound extremely intense, which she is, and boring -- which she's not. She's also funny and laid-back and taking this all in with the attitude of someone who's on a crazy ride that might be over soon. She's not going to give up her love of ketchup and Pop-Tarts and wine, but she did cry when she had to skip the 2014 Spartan world championships to get knee surgery instead."

"Liberals Don't Really F**king Love Science."

Hit & Run : "Tierney correctly observes lots of leftwing partisans forget that science is applied skepticism and instead treat "science" as a collection of dogmas. What dogmas? "The Left's zeal to find new reasons to regulate has led to pseudoscientific scaremongering about "Frankenfoods," transfats, BPA in plastic, mobile phones, electronic cigarettes, power lines, fracking, and nuclear energy," summarizes Tierney. And let's not forget Rachel Carson's thoroughly debunked claim that exposure to trace amounts of synthetic chemicals is a major cause of cancer or the assertion the current average consumption of salt is a major cause of cardiovascular disease."

The Real War on Science | City Journal: "I’ve read the Left’s indictments, including Chris Mooney’s bestseller, The Republican War on Science. I finished it with the same question about this war that I had at the outset: Where are the casualties? Where are the scientists who lost their jobs or their funding? What vital research has been corrupted or suppressed? What scientific debate has been silenced? Yes, the book reveals that Republican creationists exist, but they don’t affect the biologists or anthropologists studying evolution. Yes, George W. Bush refused federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, but that hardly put a stop to it (and not much changed after Barack Obama reversed the policy). Mooney rails at scientists and politicians who oppose government policies favored by progressives like himself, but if you’re looking for serious damage to the enterprise of science, he offers only three examples. All three are in his first chapter, during Mooney’s brief acknowledgment that leftists “here and there” have been guilty of “science abuse.” First, there’s the Left’s opposition to genetically modified foods, which stifled research into what could have been a second Green Revolution to feed Africa. Second, there’s the campaign by animal-rights activists against medical researchers, whose work has already been hampered and would be devastated if the activists succeeded in banning animal experimentation. Third, there’s the resistance in academia to studying the genetic underpinnings of human behavior, which has cut off many social scientists from the recent revolutions in genetics and neuroscience. Each of these abuses is far more significant than anything done by conservatives, and there are plenty of others. The only successful war on science is the one waged by the Left."

...two huge threats to science are peculiar to the Left—and they’re getting worse. The first threat is confirmation bias, the well-documented tendency of people to seek out and accept information that confirms their beliefs and prejudices. In a classic study of peer review, 75 psychologists were asked to referee a paper about the mental health of left-wing student activists. Some referees saw a version of the paper showing that the student activists’ mental health was above normal; others saw different data, showing it to be below normal. Sure enough, the more liberal referees were more likely to recommend publishing the paper favorable to the left-wing activists. When the conclusion went the other way, they quickly found problems with its methodology. Scientists try to avoid confirmation bias by exposing their work to peer review by critics with different views, but it’s increasingly difficult for liberals to find such critics. Academics have traditionally leaned left politically, and many fields have essentially become monocultures, especially in the social sciences, where Democrats now outnumber Republicans by at least 8 to 1. (In sociology, where the ratio is 44 to 1, a student is much likelier to be taught by a Marxist than by a Republican.) The lopsided ratio has led to another well-documented phenomenon: people’s beliefs become more extreme when they’re surrounded by like-minded colleagues. They come to assume that their opinions are not only the norm but also the truth. Groupthink has become so routine that many scientists aren’t even aware of it. Social psychologists, who have extensively studied conscious and unconscious biases against out-groups, are quick to blame these biases for the underrepresentation of women or minorities in the business world and other institutions. But they’ve been mostly oblivious to their own diversity problem, which is vastly larger. Democrats outnumber Republicans at least 12 to 1 (perhaps 40 to 1) in social psychology, creating what Jonathan Haidt calls a “tribal-moral community” with its own “sacred values” about what’s worth studying and what’s taboo...

Conservatives have been variously pathologized as unethical, antisocial, and irrational simply because they don’t share beliefs that seem self-evident to liberals. For instance, one study explored ethical decision making by asking people whether they would formally support a female colleague’s complaint of sexual harassment. There was no way to know if the complaint was justified, but anyone who didn’t automatically side with the woman was put in the unethical category. Another study asked people whether they believed that “in the long run, hard work usually brings a better life”—and then classified a yes answer as a “rationalization of inequality.” Another study asked people if they agreed that “the Earth has plenty of natural resources if we just learn how to develop them”—a view held by many experts in resource economics, but the psychologists pathologized it as a “denial of environmental realities.”

...The Blank Slate dogma has perpetuated a liberal version of creationism: the belief that there has been no evolution in modern humans since they left their ancestral homeland in Africa some 50,000 years ago. Except for a few genetic changes in skin color and other superficial qualities, humans everywhere are supposedly alike because there hasn’t been enough time for significant differences to evolve in their brains and innate behavior. This belief was plausible when biologists assumed that evolution was a slow process, but the decoding of the human genome has disproved it, as Nicholas Wade (a former colleague of mine at the New York Times) reported in his 2015 book, A Troublesome Inheritance. “Human evolution has been recent, copious and regional,” writes Wade, noting that at least 8 percent of the human genome has changed since the departure from Africa. The new analysis has revealed five distinguishable races that evolved in response to regional conditions: Africans, East Asians, Caucasians, the natives of the Americas, and the peoples of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Yet social scientists go on denying the very existence of races. 

The American Anthropological Association declares race to be “a human invention” that is “about culture, not biology.” The American Sociological Association calls race a “social construct.” Even biologists and geneticists are afraid of the R-word. More than 100 of them sent a letter to the New York Times denouncing Wade’s book as inaccurate, yet they refused to provide any examples of his mistakes. They apparently hadn’t bothered to read the book because they accused Wade of linking racial variations to IQ scores—a link that his book specifically rejected. Some genetic differences are politically acceptable on the left, such as the biological basis for homosexuality, which was deemed plausible by 70 percent of sociologists in a recent survey. But that same survey found that only 43 percent accepted a biological explanation for male-female differences in spatial skills and communication. How could the rest of the sociologists deny the role of biology? It was no coincidence that these doubters espoused the most extreme left-wing political views and the strongest commitment to a feminist perspective. To dedicated leftists and feminists, it doesn’t matter how much evidence of sexual differences is produced by developmental psychologists, primatologists, neuroscientists, and other researchers. Any disparity between the sexes—or, at least, any disparity unfavorable to women—must be blamed on discrimination and other cultural factors...

Over and over, scientists yielded to the temptation to exaggerate their expertise and moral authority, sometimes for horrendous purposes. Drawing on research into genetics and animal breeding from scientists at Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, and other leading universities, the eugenics movement of the 1920s made plans for improving the human population. Professors taught eugenics to their students and worked with Croly and other progressives eager to breed a smarter society, including Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Margaret Sanger. Eventually, other scientists—notably, in England—exposed the shoddy research and assumptions of the eugenicists, but not before the involuntary sterilization or castration of more than 35,000 Americans. Even after Hitler used eugenics to justify killing millions, the Left didn’t lose its interest in controlling human breeding. Eugenicist thinking was revived by scientists convinced that the human species had exceeded the “carrying capacity” of its ecosystem. The most prominent was Paul Ehrlich, whose scientific specialty was the study of butterflies. Undeterred by his ignorance of agriculture and economics, he published confident predictions of imminent global famine in The Population Bomb (1968). Agricultural economists dismissed his ideas, but the press reverently quoted Ehrlich and other academics who claimed to have scientifically determined that the Earth was “overpopulated.” In the journal Science, ecologist Garrett Hardin argued that “freedom to breed will bring ruin to all.” Ehrlich, who, at one point, advocated supplying American helicopters and doctors to a proposed program of compulsory sterilization in India, joined with physicist John Holdren in arguing that the U.S. Constitution would permit population control, including limits on family size and forced abortions. Ehrlich and Holdren calmly analyzed the merits of various technologies, such as adding sterilants to public drinking water, and called for a “planetary regime” to control population and natural resources around the world...

Their ideas went nowhere in the United States, but they inspired one of the worst human rights violations of the twentieth century, in China: the one-child policy, resulting in coerced abortion and female infanticide. China struggles today with a dangerously small number of workers to support its aging population. The intellectual godfathers of this atrocity, had they been conservatives, surely would have been ostracized. But even after his predictions turned out to be wildly wrong, Ehrlich went on collecting honors...

For his part, Holdren has served for the past eight years as the science advisor to President Obama, a position from which he laments that Americans don’t take his warnings on climate change seriously. He doesn’t seem to realize that public skepticism has a lot to do with the dismal track record of himself and his fellow environmentalists. There’s always an apocalypse requiring the expansion of state power. The visions of global famine were followed by more failed predictions, such as an “age of scarcity” due to vanishing supplies of energy and natural resources and epidemics of cancer and infertility caused by synthetic chemicals. In a 1976 book, The Genesis Strategy, the climatologist Stephen Schneider advocated a new fourth branch of the federal government (with experts like himself serving 20-year terms) to deal with the imminent crisis of global cooling. He later switched to become a leader in the global-warming debate...

Environmental science has become so politicized that its myths endure even after they’ve been disproved. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring set off decades of chemophobia with its scary anecdotes and bad science, like her baseless claim that DDT was causing cancer in humans and her vision of a mass avian die-off (the bird population was actually increasing as she wrote). Yet Silent Spring is taught in high school and college courses as a model of science writing, with no mention of the increased death tolls from malaria in countries that restricted DDT, or of other problems—like the spread of dengue and the Zika virus—exacerbated by needless fears of insecticides. Similarly, the Left’s zeal to find new reasons to regulate has led to pseudoscientific scaremongering about “Frankenfoods,” transfats, BPA in plastic, mobile phones, electronic cigarettes, power lines, fracking, and nuclear energy. The health establishment spent decades advocating a low-salt diet for everyone (and pressuring the food industry to reduce salt) without any proof that it prolonged lives. When researchers finally got around to doing small clinical trials, they found that the low-salt diet did not prolong lives. If anything, it was associated with higher mortality. The worst debacle in health science involved dietary fat, which became an official public enemy in the 1970s, thanks to a few self-promoting scientists and politically savvy activists who allied with Democrats in Congress led by George McGovern and Henry Waxman. The supposed link between high-fat diets and heart disease was based on cherry-picked epidemiology, but the federal government endorsed it by publishing formal “dietary goals for the United States” and creating the now-infamous food pyramid that encouraged Americans to replace fat in their diets with carbohydrates. The public-health establishment devoted its efforts and funding to demonstrating the benefits of low-fat diets. But the low-fat diet repeatedly flunked clinical trials, and the government’s encouragement of carbohydrates probably contributed to rising rates of obesity and diabetes, as journalists Gary Taubes and Nina Teicholz have chronicled in their books...

The dietary-fat debate is a case study in scientific groupthink—and in the Left’s techniques for enforcing political orthodoxy. From the start, prominent nutrition researchers disputed fat’s link to heart disease and criticized Washington for running a dietary experiment on the entire population. But they were dismissed as outliers who’d been corrupted by corporate money. At one hearing, Senator McGovern rebutted the skeptics by citing a survey showing that low-fat diet recommendations were endorsed by 92 percent of “the world’s leading doctors.” Federal bureaucrats and activists smeared skeptics by leaking information to the press about their consulting work with the food industry. One skeptic, Robert Olson of Washington University, protested that during his career, he had received $250,000 from the food industry versus more than $10 million from federal agencies, including ones promoting low-fat diets. If he could be bought, he said, it would be more accurate to call him “a tool of government.” As usual, though, the liberal press focused only on corporate money. These same sneer-and-smear techniques predominate in the debate over climate change...

Pesident Obama promotes his green agenda by announcing that “the debate is settled,” and he denounces “climate deniers” by claiming that 97 percent of scientists believe that global warming is dangerous. His statements are false. While the greenhouse effect is undeniably real, and while most scientists agree that there has been a rise in global temperatures caused in some part by human emissions of carbon dioxide, no one knows how much more warming will occur this century or whether it will be dangerous. How could the science be settled when there have been dozens of computer models of how carbon dioxide affects the climate? And when most of the models overestimated how much warming should have occurred by now? 

These failed predictions, as well as recent research into the effects of water vapor on temperatures, have caused many scientists to lower their projections of future warming. Some “luke-warmists” suggest that future temperature increases will be relatively modest and prove to be a net benefit, at least in the short term. The long-term risks are certainly worth studying, but no matter whose predictions you trust, climate science provides no justification for Obama’s green agenda—or anyone else’s agenda. Even if it were somehow proved that high-end estimates for future global warming are accurate, that wouldn’t imply that Greens have the right practical solution for reducing carbon emissions—or that we even need to reduce those emissions. Policies for dealing with global warming vary according to political beliefs, economic assumptions, social priorities, and moral principles. Would regulating carbon dioxide stifle economic growth and give too much power to the state? Is it moral to impose sacrifices on poor people to keep temperatures a little cooler for their descendants, who will presumably be many times richer? Are there more important problems to address first? These aren’t questions with scientifically correct answers. Yet many climate researchers are passing off their political opinions as science, just as Obama does, and they’re even using that absurdly unscientific term “denier” as if they were priests guarding some eternal truth. 

Science advances by continually challenging and testing hypotheses, but the modern Left has become obsessed with silencing heretics. In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch last year, 20 climate scientists urged her to use federal racketeering laws to prosecute corporations and think tanks that have “deceived the American people about the risks of climate change.” Similar assaults on free speech are endorsed in the Democratic Party’s 2016 platform, which calls for prosecution of companies that make “misleading” statements about “the scientific reality of climate change.” A group of Democratic state attorneys general coordinated an assault on climate skeptics by subpoenaing records from fossil-fuel companies and free-market think tanks, supposedly as part of investigations to prosecute corporate fraud. Such prosecutions may go nowhere in court—they’re blatant violations of the First Amendment—but that’s not their purpose. By demanding a decade’s worth of e-mail and other records, the Democratic inquisitors and their scientist allies want to harass climate dissidents and intimidate their donors. Just as in the debate over dietary fat, these dissidents get smeared in the press as corporate shills—but once again, the money flows almost entirely the other way. "

"Absolute consistency is only required of people we don't like."

"People we've decided in advance we do like can basically get away with murder." - Via