Saturday, December 26, 2015

"...the more that "bad" people existed, resisted, and won, the greater was "the margin of freedom" for all of us."

Why I Got Fired From Teaching American History | Thaddeus Russell: "I showed them that during the American Revolution drunkards, laggards, prostitutes, and pirates pioneered many of the freedoms and pleasures we now cherish -- including non-marital sex, interracial socializing, dancing, shopping, divorce, and the weekend -- and that the Founding Fathers, in the name of democracy, opposed them. I argued not only that many white Americans envied slaves but also that they did so for good reason, since slave culture offered many liberating alternatives to the highly repressive, work-obsessed, anti-sex culture of the early United States. I demonstrated that prostitutes, not feminists, won virtually all the freedoms that were denied to women but are now taken for granted. By tracing the path of immigrants from arrival as "primitives" to assimilation as "civilized" citizens, I explained that white people lost their rhythm by becoming good Americans.  I presented evidence that without organized crime, we might not have jazz, Hollywood, Las Vegas, legal alcohol, birth control, or gay rights, since only gangsters were willing to support those projects when respectable America shunned them. 

This was not the standard left-liberal perspective my students had heard, and it certainly wasn't a conservative one, either. It was informed by an unlikely mix of influences, including the hippies and other cultural radicals I had encountered in my early life, black and gay cultures that showed me a way out of the self-imposed limitations of being white and straight, and libertarians who caused me to question the commitment to freedom among the left that I had been born into and which employed me as a professor. I gave my students a history that was structured around the oldest issue in political philosophy but which professional historians often neglect - the conflict between the individual and community, or what Freud called the eternal struggle between civilization and its discontents. 

College students are normally taught a history that is the story of struggles between capitalists and workers, whites and blacks, men and women. But history is also driven by clashes between those interested in preserving social order and those more interested in pursuing their own desires -- the "respectable" versus the "degenerate," the moral versus the immoral, "good citizens" versus the "bad." I wanted to show that the more that "bad" people existed, resisted, and won, the greater was what I called "the margin of freedom" for all of us. 

My students were most troubled by the evidence that the "good" enemies of "bad" freedoms were not just traditional icons like presidents and business leaders, but that many of the most revered abolitionists, progressives, and leaders of the feminist, labor, civil rights, and gay rights movements worked to suppress the cultures of working-class women, immigrants, African Americans, and the flamboyant gays who brought homosexuality out of the closet. I had developed these ideas largely on my own, in my study and in classrooms, knowing all the while that I was engaged in an Oedipal struggle to overthrow the generation of historians who came of age during the 1960s and 1970s, controlled academic history, and had trained me. They were so eager to make the masses into heroes that they did not see that it was precisely the non-heroic and unseemly characteristics of ordinary folks that changed American culture for the better."

"Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew..."

"It’s the same when love comes to an end, or the marriage fails and people say they knew it was a mistake, that everybody said it would never work. That she was old enough to know better. But anything worth doing is worth doing badly. Like being there by that summer ocean on the other side of the island while love was fading out of her, the stars burning so extravagantly those nights that anyone could tell you they would never last. Every morning she was asleep in my bed like a visitation, the gentleness in her like antelope standing in the dawn mist. Each afternoon I watched her coming back through the hot stony field after swimming, the sea light behind her and the huge sky on the other side of that. Listened to her while we ate lunch. How can they say the marriage failed? Like the people who came back from Provence (when it was Provence) and said it was pretty but the food was greasy. I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell, but just coming to the end of his triumph."

"That guy was up there before we got here."

"Of all the psychological problems you have - and they are myriad - not being able to pronounce Yevgeny Kafelnikov is not one of them."

“Kafelnikov”/“Shane” · Sports Night · TV Review Sports Night: “Kafelnikov”/“Shane” · TV Club · The A.V. Club: "It does make sense that someone so consciously intent on being the good guy in every situation has some underlying issues that drives this behavior. Playing the white knight is a form of begging to be liked. People who really, really need to be liked, Dr. Freud tells us, derive this insecurity from experiences in childhood where anxiety over obtaining the parental love was not assuaged or resolved. Dan’s particular neurosis happens to manifest in ways mostly benign and sometimes benevolent to the people around him. But that doesn’t mean his single-minded pursuit of the high ground is altogether healthy."

Thursday, December 24, 2015

It's true.

Or a beach side cottage.  I'll take either.  I'm flexible.


12/24 - stretch, squats, bench, chins, pushups, knee raise, speed bag
12/22 - stretch

Robert Braunstein: 70 Years Old and Kicking Your Ass - "Robert is 70 years old and still lifting weights most young men are still dreaming about.  Below are some public posts I found by Robert, talking about some of his lifting philosophies and advice for all lifters, regardless of age.  When an older lifter, who’s been in the game for this long, talks we all should listen.   Read below and you’ll learn something. 

On Sunday Dec. 13th I broke my USA Powerlifting records Masters 4, (70 years old) 120 kilo class (264 lbs) RAW. I weighted in at 251.  My total was more than 1100. Squat 410, bench 315, deadlift 405. I only do the 5/3/1 program, limit assistance exercises to two; only exercises that aid my lifts. I do not take protein, or creatine, as it is a waste of money. I eat lots of eggs, fruit, greens, and limit my sweets. Friday night is hamburger night. (only med. rare) I am now pursuing world records. I spend no more than 45 min. in the gym ———- 

Lots of questions, now the info: I do not do drugs. I do not supplement. At 70 creatine, and protein powder are expensive toilet bowl products. What I do is stick to my routine. I concentrate on form. There are days when your lifts suck, and days when they don’t. Stick to your routine. There is no magic template. You must find which assistance exercises work for you. Take in consideration your arm, torso, and leg lengths. Film yourself, and ask knowledgeable people about what they observe. For those guys who are waiting for a big total to compete, don’t wait. The meet is an experience. Observe, and absorb. Learn when to warm up, when to stretch etc. Learn to breath, and relax. Do not become a “show off”. I have a Masters degree, but it doesn’t help me in the weight room. I am a combat vet, and that’s not helping me lift weights. Being humble, and lifting the weights, breathing, hand, head, eye, and foot placement helps you. Yes I lost strength as I aged, but I am still strong. The secret is in your heart, and mind. Get your ass in gear, and lift...

My advise for young lifters. Do not spend money on protein powder, creatine, or the like. Drink whole milk. Drink chocolate milk, post-workout. Stick to the basics: squat, dead lift, bench, military press, and learn to do cleans. Get a routine where you do not wear your self out with assistance exercises. Lift heavy. If you want a big chest, arms, legs, and back – squat heavy...

There is no magic. When I started my mentor did not let me put weight on the bar for 2 weeks. That being said learn the correct form; breathing, eye, hand ,head, and foot placement. Most of all after you learn do not become a gym asshole. Teach someone else. ———- If you think your tough. If you think your training is hard. Think again. Every Tues. from 9 AM to 4 PM I sit with my wife at the cancer center, and watch my wife, and other people go through various treatments. We have 2 more treatments to go. She never says a word. When I lift weights, run, or box I don’t think my work outs are tough. This disease does not discriminate. Stay tough friends."

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Snake Plissken is my spirit animal.

"It’s not war on terror, it’s war on the inexplicable. It holds that anything that you, personally, don’t understand is probably cause for police investigation."

Woman calls police to report overheard sexually...: " Brown Deer Police Chief Kass drily opined that perhaps the caller was “taking see something, say something a little too far?” But of course, that’s the entire basis of “see something, say something.” It’s not war on terror, it’s war on the inexplicable. It holds that anything that you, personally, don’t understand is probably cause for police investigation. It’s why Texas has waged war on brown kids withelectronics that aren’t immediately identifiable. It’s why we divert airplanes where someone unfamiliar with orthodox Judiasm spots a couple of hassids dovening (“bearded foreign-looking men chanting in an Arabic-sounding language”). The New York City MTA buses periodically sport giant ads trumpeting the thousands of “see something, say something” calls that alert New Yorkers have phoned in. They don’t note that between zero and one of these tips (depending on how you count) related to terrorism, meaning that the whole program is one giant false-positive-generating machine."

Men. Women. Stuff.

 Is the United States a Patriarchy or a Matriarchy?... | Scott Adams Blog: "Definitions: Patriarchy: Men have the most power in society Matriarchy: Women have the most power in society We all agree that women had a bad deal throughout history. We also agree that modern men do not experience anything similar to the types of problems women have experienced through history. It’s not a competition about history. And if it were, men would lose. Let’s agree on that. We also stipulate the obvious, that no two situations are alike. Your situation will not resemble the average. Nor will mine. So while anecdotes are useful for explaining ideas, they are not reasons, and they are not data. If I say the sky is blue, assume everyone understands there might be at least one cloud up there. It’s still basically blue-looking...

To keep things simple, I will focus on one area today: Political power
Claim: Women have the most political power in the United States because more women than men vote. Preliminary Verdict: True.  In the 2008 presidential election, according to CNN, 70 million women voted compared to only 61 million men. That’s enough of a difference to say women could control decisions in the United States if they collectively decided to do so, according to the rules of our Constitution. In upcoming posts I will discuss gender differences in economics, job opportunities, family dynamics, and other power-related topics. But for today let’s focus on political power. Do you agree that women have enough of a majority to control political outcomes? Remember, the past doesn’t count. Everyone agrees that the past was a patriarchy. We’re focusing on today."

2006 Self Made Man: Norah Vincent chooses Female Privilege over Male Privilege - YouTube

UPDATE: Kindergarten teacher denies Legos to boys in name of 'gender equity' | Washington Examiner: "A kindergarten teacher in Bainbridge Island, Wash., actively denies her male students the opportunity to play with Lego blocks in order to encourage her female students to play with them. Karen Keller bars the boys in her class from playing with the colorful blocks, even going so far as to lie to them about their opportunity to play. "I always tell the boys, 'You're going to have a turn' — and I'm like, 'Yeah, when hell freezes over' in my head," Keller told the Bainbridge Island Review. "I tell them, 'You'll have a turn' because I don't want them to feel bad."

...Keller does this because she saw the boys in her class gravitating toward the blocks during their "free choice" play time while the girls flocked to dolls and crayons. Keller's solution was to deny the blocks to the boys, who wanted to play with them, in order to encourage the girls to play with them. The Review article offers no indications about how Keller gets the girls to play with something of which they have no interest. Keller had originally tried to entice the girls by providing pink and purple Legos, "But it wasn't enough." So she requested a grant from her school to purchase Lego Education Community Starter Kits for three classrooms at the Captain Johnston Blakely Elementary school, where she has taught for seven years. She requested the grant without telling the school she would be denying boys access to the toys."

Diary: Gender Studies | delicioustacos: "...what’s the point. I’m a machine for paying taxes. Someone used to clean your house. Cook your meals. Bear your children. Take care of them. Sleep with you. Sleep with nobody else but you. Hand you a drink when you walked in the house. All you had to do was what you do now. Get up. Go to work. Make money. All you have to do now is: all that. Plus what someone once did for you. What you get is: half what you got before. Someone used to need you. Listen to you. Now you don’t make enough money. You don’t wash the dishes enough. Work used to be eight hours. Now fourteen. She works fourteen hours too. And proud of it. Someone used to put your kids’ drawings on the refrigerator. Now she emails you Slate articles saying even in this day and age men do 40% less housework. Wash a fucking dish you god damn barbarian. 45 minutes between your drive home and dreams of your boss’s lizard eyes. 45 minutes; how come the dishes aren’t done... A woman was a house scrubbing ham baking slave, sure. That’s bad. Now we’re both slaves providing data driven solutions to Millennial brand engagement in the CPG space. Slaves to establishing ownership of the trans teen bullying issue for Johnson and Johnson’s Clean and Clear brand flammable industrial solvent for children’s faces. Twice as many people work. Shit just got twice as expensive. No house. No vacation. 14 hours selling shit to unhappy people who sell shit to stupid people. Whatever."

PsycNET - Display Record: "Women have evolved to seek an older mate, however, research has shown negative opinions toward these relationships if the age-gap is significant. The most popular opinion is that women who date men that are 10 years or more their senior have an unhealthy relationship with their father. We investigated women-younger partners in age-gapped heterosexual romantic relationships to see if they differ in attachment styles when compared with women in similar-age relationships. We predicted that women in age-gap relationships will be predominantly securely attached, because it is evolutionary beneficial for women to seek older mates, and that there will be no significant difference in attachment styles between women in age-gap versus similar-age relationships. The common belief that the women who choose much older partners because of having “daddy issues” was unfounded in this study. There was no significant difference in attachment styles between the 2 groups, and 74% of the women in age-gap relationships were securely attached. Results are consistent with the limited literature on age-gap relationships regarding attachment style and relationship satisfaction. This study adds to the growing body of literature on attachment style and offers insight into the less-explored age-gap relationship dynamic."

8 Takeaways from Neil Strauss's The Truth book | Average Married Dad: "Helen Fisher (biological/sexual anthropologist) makes an appearance. She describes the three brain systems for mating – 1) For Sex 2) for Romantic Love and 3) for Deep Attachment. After the initial intensity of the relationship wears off, romance and sex drives often swing towards other people, while attachments stays with the primary person. Romance/sex ebbing can be prevented by by the following – 1) novel and exciting things together (dopamine, romance rush), 2) make love regularly (oxytocin, sex bond), and 3) cut yourselves off from cheating opportunities. The sum of this is something I’ve said regularly – make sure you and your partner are continually thrilling enough to keep all three drives running smoothly."

It all comes back to your youth: "Love and Marriage – if you came from a family with two devoted and loving parents, your view of love and marriage is probably one where being married should be “easy” and is a very positive relationship with happy thoughts.  Alternatively, if you grew up in a home of divorce, you’re going to have a lot of thoughts that marriage is not always structurally sound (which may make you nervous or defensive or any number of negative behaviors), perhaps think that it’s ok to divorce, and are probably more guarded about opening up, even to those you love and trust.  Divorce especially shapes youth thoughts and behaviors and I highly recommend the book The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study which paints a picture of how divorce negatively impacts the lives of adults (they did multiple interviews and visits with children of divorce then followed up throughout their life through adulthood). Behavior – as a boy, if you grew up surrounded by male role models (uncles, grandparents, your father) having a lot of male time together doing manly things (hunting, camping, working on cars) you’re going to have a different view of masculine behavior than if you grow up in a feminized environment where teachers and your mom were the primary life teachers.

This is likely a big reason why men today, including me, really struggle with taking control in a relationship, in dealing with conflict, and putting men’s needs above women’s. Sex – if you grew up, like I did, in a very sexually progressive household with liberal parents and family values your views are going to be very different than if you grew up in a household where you were told sex was bad or dirty.  It could be the difference between having a married sex life with open communication and exciting expression of that love, or having a sex life only in missionary with the lights off and a sheet between you. Health – if  you grew up in a household focused on sports and eating to support athletic goals, you’re going to have a different view than those who grew up with take out, fast food and watching sitcoms as the norm.

...these beliefs and behaviors become ingrained within us, even if we know in our logical minds that they’re not right.  They impact either positive or negatively how we act towards others, toward ourselves. Oftentimes we don’t really consciously realize how others who had different experiences see things.  Holly grew up in a house of divorce and I oftentimes forget that her views on affection, love, marriage, siblings and really her whole perspective on life is different than mine.  We sometimes have communication issues and agree-to-disagree moments because of these differences.  I think that if we, as individuals, put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and really, truly tried to see things from their perspective (on any discussion point), we’d have a lot less fighting and strife in this world. I have my own behaviors which need improvement, and this is sort of what this blog is trying to chronicle and to remind myself of.  To take those behaviors which I rationally know to be weak, and to pick them up, examine them, find out why they are the way they are, and to change the way I feel about them.  To take these behaviors down to their foundation, and rebuild them to be something better.  To be a better man, better father, better husband, better lover.  To love more, to have less negative thoughts and self doubt, to tap into that world energy and use that to simply be … “better.”

We don’t have to believe what we were fed as children; as adolescents   We don’t have to hide behind a bottle to dampen the hurt.  We don’t have to blow up at our loved ones because our ego won’t admit we’re wrong.  We don’t have to think sex is bad or dirty because religion or strict parents made you think so when you were 12.  We don’t have to be “nice” to get people to like us.  We don’t have to eat like shit just because it’s cheap and easy.  We can change who we are, what we think, and come out the other side as different people than who we were at 15, at 20, at 30, after our kids were born.  To come out the other side full of life’s energy, full of love, full of the adventuresome spirit once again.  To reconnect again, to start again, to be born again.  Change that vantage point and let go of the past for a better tomorrow.  Let go of the baggage that’s holding you back at work, in your marriage, in the bedroom, with your kids.  Find the power to restructure what you need to, and find the love. ..Man. ..Dude… Bro… find the love and let go of youthful beliefs."

MyReality — If I were to give a TED Talk...this would be it...: "Masculine and feminine personalities should not be confused with male and female genders. A woman can be highly masculine in personality just as a man can be highly feminine in personality (and certainly they wouldn’t always be gay either). Some examples of highly masculine qualities are the lust for power and control, competitiveness, a desire for mastery and leadership, and a desire to be worshiped and admired. They also tend to be thinkers; logical and analytical by nature.. On the other end of the spectrum a feminine personality would tend to operate almost entirely on emotion; how things make them 'feel’ or what they 'believe’ almost always trumping what they 'think’. Feminine goes way beyond the obvious topics of sexuality and personalities are collaborative, nurturing, gentle, caretakers and comforters and helpers.  When you put two people together; one at each end of the spectrum, they 'fit together about as well as any two people are going to fit. The feminine almost falls into place beneath the masculine in a very natural way. And both are extremely content in their roles. And THIS is exactly the point where most vanilla people raise their weapons and attack the... dynamic.

After all, the feminists would argue, how can you say that it is a 'good thing’ for women, who are arguably the predominantly 'feminine’ group, to be subservient to a man (the predominantly 'masculine’ group? Isn’t the goal a model of equals, where man and woman stand side by side in a 'fair’ manner? Here is what I have to say about that. That model will feel comfortable for some men and women. Men and women who tend not to be highly 'masculine’ or highly 'feminine’ but who portray a more balanced personality, in fact DO fit better with partners who are also more neutral and have very good 'relationships of equals’. But here is where it gets tricky. Sometimes we 'think’ that we are more neutral than we are, mainly because we have been conditioned our entire lives to believe that it is better, as a woman, to NOT be too feminine.

Similarly, the 'metrosexualization’ of men and the feminist movement itself has caused many men to deny the true depth of their masculine traits and qualities. One of the hardest concepts I personally had to overcome... was, in fact, extremely feminine in my natural state of being. 'How could that be?’

'Impossible’ I would say. After all I am a very direct, outspoken, driven, competitive, reasonably successful leader in the finance industry. I lead teams and am in an analytical field of black and white. I wasn’t even the primary parent to my children. Doesn’t that all just prove that I am, in fact LESS feminine than most women?   Its taken me months, years even, of challenging self-analysis...  but I finally understand the truth. I, like many others, molded myself in the image of the model that I was taught was 'better’, would lead me to greater success and self-reliance, and, well, happiness.

And I did a fairly competent job at 'faking’ it. But in reality, when I peeled it all away, I was not actually living as I naturally exist. The very first time that it really, sank in to me about just how hard I had fought to create a more ideal 'masculine’ persona of myself, one that would be admired and respected in our Western world, was not that long ago actually. A friend suggested I find out my Myers-Briggs Indicator Assessment ('MBTI’) “type’, a test designed to help people uncover their personality qualities. I had the HARDEST time completing the test; in fact I was so stressed that several times I was reduced to tears. I took the test over three times, because I never felt like I had been completely clear on what my real answer was. EVERY SINGLE TIME I took the test my results were different. And it suddenly dawned on me why. Somehow, over the years, I had actually blurred the lines between the personality I took on every day and who I actually was underneath all of that social conditioning. After a great deal more time I have been re-discovering that who I really am is a person who’s character traits are in fact HIGHLY feminine. I was the last person to have ever believed that that was true."

Clever girls, stupid boys? - BBC News: "Clever girls, stupid boys. That's become something of a modern educational orthodoxy, as girls across the developed world are more likely to get top exam grades and university places. The gap is so great that the UK's university admissions authority has warned that being male could soon be seen as a new form of social disadvantage. In the UK, the gender gap between men and women entering university has never been wider. In a remarkable statistic from the Ucas admissions service, the gap is more than 50% in a quarter of parliamentary constituencies. And no doubt this disparity will play out over future generations. But hold that bandwagon there. Because a global study from the OECD, based on more than 60 countries, has thrown up some very interesting challenges to generalisations about girls always doing better than boys. Teacher bias First of all, it suggests that school systems give greater rewards to girls rather than boys, even when pupils are of similar ability. Teachers are more likely to "mark up" girls' work, says the study. It suggests that this leniency in marking is an unacknowledged reward for girls being more school-friendly...

The OECD has examined why girls' academic success does not translate into an economic advantage in work. It found that career choices explain why women in developed countries are on average earning 15% less than men. The OECD's Andreas Schleicher called for schools to raise girls' confidence. The study from the economic think-tank, using data from international Pisa tests in more than 60 countries in 2012, asks why girls' increasing success in education has not been followed by similar advantages in the labour market. Career benefits Mr Schleicher, the OECD's education director, argues that it is not "about men and women doing similar work for different pay, but about men and women pursuing different careers". "

"Have we reached an age of gender equality?" - HIGHLIGHTS


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"I'm saying I think they died quickly though..."

This looks pretty excellent.

1 vs 111.

Or 121 in the most recent numbers.  List of countries by intentional homicide rate

"The USA has, by far, the highest per capita gun ownership in the world. Progressives will tell you that this is what makes America the Murder Capitol of Planet Earth. But we're not..."

"Mansplaining Manspreading."

Biomechanics & anatomy > ridiculous political agendas.

"Unless you have a habit of undermining your own beliefs and of being curious, you won't look into those things more deeply."

"The underlying mission of the show is to promote skepticism, free inquiry, questioning your own beliefs..."

Monday, December 21, 2015


12/21 - stretch, press, deadlifts, dips, back xt, sauna
12/19 - stretch

 Losing A Lung, Gaining Fitness: "After having most of one lung removed, Judith Dicker defied the odds by getting fit. Then she went the extra mile and became a national-level physique competitor!"

December 8th: My Story to Weight Loss, Health and Confidence |: "Enrolling into a new high school helped me immensely, for I could start a clean slate. By this time my love for health and fitness was incredibly strong. I enjoyed eating healthy, working out and researching clean recipes and fitness role models/programs, including Blogilates, Tone it Up, Kayla Itsines, Christine Bullock, Jillian Michaels and more. They all ignited me to become fitter and find a level of strength and to see a girl in the mirror I never would have imagined. I gave up the boring treadmill and learned about cool exercises such as Pilates, HIIT, kickboxing and hot yoga. More pounds peeled off and everyone started to see it. There are still photos of myself after my weight loss that shock me because I look so different. To add some flexibility into all of our lives, my family even started to implement new healthy foods, lifestyle changes and habits such as cooking with healthier staples (the top five being olive oil, brown rice, seasonal vegetables, fruit, and 65%+ dark chocolate), walking more often, sleeping enough, etc. It made me so happy to see that I was influencing my loved ones. Family reunions became my beauty pageants. Everyone was in shock and told me how beautiful I looked and asked me how I did it. (Funny enough, these were the same relatives that also commented on how chubbier I was becoming–all in Vietnamese, of course, so that I wouldn’t be able to understand.)  Every extra rep and nutritious swap was dedicated to my classmates, relatives, basically everyone who doubted me. The feeling of proving others wrong, including those who spread rumors or dismissed me, and the way the weight of feeling worthless was lifted off my shoulders was the best sensation in the world."
December 8th: My Story to Weight Loss, Health and Confidence |: "I can’t imagine where I’d be if my father didn’t suggest that I reflect on my health, diet and activity level. Out of everyone in my family, he was really the only one who knew how horrible I felt about myself and how I would always cry myself to sleep. I made the treadmill my best friend and immediately lost five pounds. Weight training and learning about clean eating (because abs are made in the kitchen!) shed the last inches of body fat and boosted my confidence up to a level where I could visit the gym without feeling judged."