Saturday, May 14, 2016

Free Speech + Beer. Win-Win.

Flying Dog Brewery Wins First Amendment Battle, Uses Proceeds to Promote Free Speech - Hit & Run : "...Maryland's Flying Dog Brewery won in its battle with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, after the agency tried to ban the sale of Flying Dog's delicious, Belgian-style IPA because of the brew's name: Raging Bitch. The liquor commission also objected to the beer label's artwork, designed by Ralph Steadman, best known for illustrating Hunter S. Thompson's books and articles.  

Flying Dog sued the commission in 2009, but the case didn't come to a close until last year, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit sided with the brewery, saying Michigan officials could be held liable for violating the brewery's First Amendment rights, and Flying Dog could pursue damages for lost sales during the ban. 

Now, Flying Dog has announced that it will use the damages received in that case to found the "1st Amendment Society," a non-profit dedicated to awareness-raising and advocacy around free-speech issues and organizing events that promote "the arts, journalism and civil liberties." 

"We don’t like ... arbitrary authoritarianism,” Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso said in a lengthy Brightest Young Things profile about his company last August. "The market should decide. If they don’t like our beer or our names, they can choose not to buy it." 

He added: "We do believe that freedom of speech is the last defense against tyranny." In announcing the 1st Amendment Society's launch, Caruso said that the First Amendment "affects (and makes possible) all aspects of our lives, yet is consistently being threatened by the same democratic body that established it. It’s imperative that we continue this fight beyond the courtroom.""

Friday, May 13, 2016

Nick Fury Gets It.

"...when an unintended target is killed, that's called an Enemy Killed in Action. So no matter who is killed, the government always wins."

"The inserts on the Orwellian language of drone strikes were particularly good. Did you know the military laments the difficulty of killing far-away people as "the tyranny of distance"? It takes a special sensibility to refer to obstacles to killing people as a form of "tyranny," but those are your tax dollars at work. Also, when an intended target is killed, that's called a "jackpot," but when an unintended target is killed, that's called an "EKIA," or Enemy Killed in Action. So no matter who is killed, the government always wins. It's both amusing and dispiriting to consider that the people behind this "heads I win, tails you lose" nomenclature also probably roll their eyes at the notion of children getting a "participant" ribbon just for entering a competition, with no need to actually win anything."

"When you're used to privilege, equality feels like oppression."

"The country is, on the whole, in the best shape it’s ever been in... Objectively, the glass looks significantly more than half full."

When Did Optimism Become Uncool? - The New York Times: "...most American social indicators have been positive at least for years, in many cases for decades. The country is, on the whole, in the best shape it’s ever been in. So what explains all the bad vibes? Social media and cable news, which highlight scare stories and overstate anger, bear part of the blame...

The Republican Party’s strange insistence on disparaging the United States doesn’t help, either. But the core reason for the disconnect between the nation’s pretty-good condition and the gloomy conventional wisdom is that optimism itself has stopped being respectable. Pessimism is now the mainstream, with optimists viewed as Pollyannas. If you don’t think everything is awful, you don’t understand the situation! 

Objectively, the glass looks significantly more than half full. Job growth has been strong for five years, with unemployment now below where it was for most of the 1990s, a period some extol as the “good old days.” The American economy is No. 1 by a huge margin, larger than Nos. 2 and 3 (China and Japan) combined. Americans are seven times as productive, per capita, as Chinese citizens. The dollar is the currency the world craves — which means other countries perceive America’s long-term prospects as very good. 

Pollution, discrimination, crime and most diseases are in an extended decline; living standards, longevity and education levels continue to rise. The American military is not only the world’s strongest, it is the strongest ever. The United States leads the world in science and engineering, in business innovation, in every aspect of creativity, including the arts. Terrorism is a serious concern, but in the last 15 years, even taking into account Sept. 11, an American is five times more likely to be hit by lightning than to be killed by a terrorist. 

Is the middle class in dire straits, as Mr. Sanders contends? Yes, inflation-adjusted middle-class household income peaked in 1998 and has dropped slightly since. But during the same period, federal income taxes on the middle class went down, while benefits went up. Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institution has shown that when lower taxes and higher benefits are factored in, middle-class buying power has risen 36 percent in the current generation. 

Is American manufacturing in free fall, as Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump assert? Figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis show industrial output a tad below an all-time record level, while nearly double the output of the Reagan presidency, another supposed golden age. It’s just that advancing technology allows more manufacturing with fewer workers — a change unrelated to foreign competition. Manufacturing jobs described by Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders as “lost” to China cannot be found there, or anywhere. 

...the lack of progressive optimism is so keenly felt. In recent decades, progressives drank too deeply of instant-doomsday claims. If their predictions had come true, today petroleum would be exhausted, huge numbers of major animal species would be extinct, crop failures would be causing mass starvation, developing-world poverty would be getting worse instead of declining fast. (In 1990, 37 percent of humanity lived in what the World Bank defines as extreme poverty; today it’s 10 percent.)

The lack of optimism in contemporary liberal and centrist thinking opens the door to Trump-style demagogy, since if the country really is going to hell, we do indeed need walls. And because optimism has lost its standing in American public opinion, past reforms — among them environmental protection, anti-discrimination initiatives, income security for seniors, auto and aviation safety, interconnected global economics, improved policing and yes, Obamacare — don’t get credit for the good they have accomplished...

Recently Warren Buffett said that because of the “negative drumbeat” of politics, “many Americans now believe their children will not live as well as they themselves do. That view is dead wrong: The babies being born in America today are the luckiest crop in history.” This was not Nebraska folk wisdom; rather, it’s sophisticated analysis. The optimistic view is that it’s still morning in America, and if we fix what’s wrong, the best is yet to come. Such can-do, better-future thinking needs to make an appearance in the 2016 presidential campaign."

"The posters advertise Milo Yiannopoulos’s upcoming visit... “Make American Gay Again,” reads one. “Social Justice is Cancer,” says another.

The Office of Inclusive Excellence Sounds Like a Cult - Hit & Run : "The University of California-Irvine’s vice provost for academic equity, diversity and inclusion wants everyone on campus to know that he is very distressed about the appearance of some politically incorrect posters on campus. Safe spaces are available, he says. The posters advertise Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos’s upcoming visit to campus. “Make American Gay Again,” reads one. “Social Justice is Cancer,” says another. 

Yiannopoulos’s speaking series, which has generated similar controversies at a host of other campuses, is called “The Dangerous Faggot Tour.” (Yiannopoulos is openly gay.) Yiannopoulos’s shtick involves deliberate provocation...  But Vice Provost Douglas Haynes, who heads the Office of Inclusive Excellence, branded these expressions “forms of bias,” (a serious allegation at a college campus) and reminded students that “bigotry has no place on campus.” His email is worth reading in full...
"Two things. First, Haynes’ eager repetition of meaningless buzzwords—Inclusive excellence! Collective sense of community! Ideological re-programming!—is both humorous and a little creepy, when one considers that his goal is to eliminate controversial expression from campus. Second, I might have expected the Office of Inclusive Excellence to support, well, inclusion: inclusion for pro-LGBT activists, inclusion for people like Yiannopolous who have a different opinion on the issues, inclusion for everybody. In UC-Irvine’s usage, inclusion appears to mean conformity (the better for “fortifying our collective sense of community,” I guess.) I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: look, college administrators, 1984 was supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual."

"If I want to inject heroin in to my double bacon cheeseburger... you better mind your own fucking business." #TotallyLegit

A Voter’s Guide to Where the Political Parties Stand on Everything from Abortion to Guns | Playboy"We made this helpful guide to help you understand the platforms of the Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and the Green Party,"

"History doesn't repeat, but it does rhyme."


5/13 - situps, squats, speedbag, stretch
5/12 - bench, db row, pushdowns, facepulls, curls, stretch
5/11 - stretch

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


5/10 - deadlifts, situps, speed bag, stretch
5/9 - press, chins, pushdowns, face pulls, curls, speed bag, stretch

"PC Lie: Body love is crucial. You should praise yourself every time you look in the mirror. 
Do this instead: Love effort, love achievement, and stop being so self absorbed. 

"Body love" is a term used mainly by people who fixate on their bodies, feel like crap about their bodies, and then broadcast to the world the exact opposite. They want you to believe that THEY believe every dimple and crevice of their flesh is attractive, so they've created a movement to make it socially acceptable to shove their belly rolls in our faces...

But talking about how much you love your body means you're probably trying to convince yourself of something you really don't believe. The problem isn't a lack of self-love; it's a lack of effort, action, progress, and achievement... and overwhelming self-obsession. "Body love" is code for this self-obsession. It's forced narcissism, which is now encouraged and applauded these days...

The Alternative to Pretend Body Love: Achievement 
Need a self-esteem boost? Do something worthy of esteem. Do work. Choose something hard, uncomfortable, and outside your current skill set. Put yourself in a situation where you have to suck for a while because it's that difficult...

PC Lie: Never judge other people under any circumstances.
Do this instead: Judge certain people for certain behaviors.

We're all doing it anyway. You're judging me for this article right now. And while most people won't admit this, judging others is a form of self improvement. When we see people doing things, we judge it as positive or negative, and may then either avoid or emulate those behaviors. Ever see someone order an extra large bucket of popcorn soaked in melted butter at the movie theater? Ever see someone go to town at a buffet who clearly shouldn't be going to a buffet at all? Or how about that friend who keeps up with the Kardashians but can't make it to the gym? You probably don't want their results, so judging them motivates you to make different choices. And if that idea makes you feel like a prick, then realize that you're judging their priorities, attitudes, and behaviors – things within their power to change – not circumstances they were born with...

PC Lie: Focus on strength, not looks.
Do this instead: Train for any damn thing you want...

PC Lie: Never compare yourself to others.
Do this instead: Compare yourself to some people sometimes.

Needing to know how you stack up is normal. It's called "competition" and if it didn't exist, then sports as a whole wouldn't exist. And lucrative jobs. And dating. And relationships. And pretty much life as we know it. Going up against others to determine who's better at something is one way of finding out how you stack up. Being judged on a stage is one way of finding out how you stack up. Seeing who can bench, squat, deadlift, and press more weight is one way of finding out how you stack up. Don't pretend you're not comparing yourself to people all the time. You wouldn't have searched the internet to find out how much other lifters can bench or deadlift if you weren't using them as a measuring stick to see how you're doing. Humans are competitive. Which means we're never going to stop comparing ourselves to others. And there are productive ways to channel it if you're not wanting to pay judges to see how you stack up officially...

You can respect the work of other people without trashing yourself. If you see a lifter who's stronger, more skilled, or more jacked than you, use them as a role model or recruit them as a teacher. Making a comparison doesn't mean wallowing in jealousy. If you're unable to avoid that, go hide in your safe space and cry."

"... if you’re using food to self-medicate, what exactly are you trying to medicate?"

How to Stop Using Food Like a Drug | Mark's Daily Apple: "Even if we glean some benefit from something (e.g., an energy boost from coffee or a drop in cortisol from a piece of chocolate), do we also experience a downside? And does our habit keep us from addressing the real lifestyle or emotional roots that are causing our discomfort? Are we relying on caffeine because we refuse to take responsibility for our poor sleep habits? Are we using sugar or any other kind of food to distract ourselves from circumstances we feel afraid or powerless to deal with? In other words, are we using food as a stand-in for better lifestyle choices and/or honest psychological inventory?

Today, we’ve become our own saboteurs. We’ve known for years that sugary and processed foods (those that strategically combine sugar, salt and certain fats into a triple crown disaster) are intentionally designed to override our inherent satiation signals and hyper-trip our reward systems. 

Unfortunately, our own body composition can work against us—leading us deeper into a cul-de-sac of poor eating choices and behaviors. Leptin is one key hormonal player in our satiety signaling. When we’re obese, we lose leptin sensitivity, and we’re drawn to eat despite being functionally full. This is where we get into trouble and the gate is open to food dependence—a phenomenon that looks strikingly similar to chemical drug dependence in neurological scans...

Routine influences our desires. If we’ve done something again and again, we come to expect it. That little insistent voice inside us feels darn well entitled...  
Acknowledge the crummy ruts for what they are, and come up with something new (and healthier) to put in their place.  Identify what you’re feeling when you start raiding the cupboards or the candy machine. What’s really lacking when you pop the top off a soda? What are you trying to avoid when you’re reaching for that bag of chips? Research shows that emotional awareness impacts our food choices. So when you start to fixate on the thought of a food or a lot of food, pay attention to what’s going on in your body, mind and environment...

You may find patterns in those psychological triggers. Maybe they’re the ones you’d anticipate, or maybe they surprise you. Who, what, and where tend to be associated with these triggers? This doesn’t mean you can blame your unhealthy behaviors around food on someone or something else. But it begs the question: if you’re using food to self-medicate, what exactly are you trying to medicate? Sometimes our poor lifestyle choices are a half-conscious response to stressful or otherwise unfavorable life circumstances...

Use routine to your advantage 
Some people find it helpful to eat the same thing each day for a meal or two. Research shows habituation through exposure to less food variety can encourage people to eat less...

Eat mindfully 
Eating for a “hit” of some kind means we come at food for an immediate feel-good outcome. Mindfulness reminds us the real action (and enjoyment) is in the process. How we eat can very well influence what we eat. Consciously choose what you will eat, and bring your attention fully to the food—its preparation, its presentation and your enjoyment of it...

Pursue other means of feeling good 
When’s the last time you did something that elicited real euphoria? How long has it been since your last vacation or weekend road trip, your last massage, your last afternoon with your best friend? Do you take substantive breaks in your day to sit in the sun or walk in the moonlight? How often do you listen (or make) live music or dance or have sex or make a fool of yourself just for the fun of it? Would you be good company... or do you bore yourself these days? When we routinely keep ourselves on too short a leash—forgoing the thrill of unplanned/planned adventures, taking for granted or never leaving meaningful time for our closest relationships, neglecting to practice hobbies, visit the places or read the books we love—we’ll settle for that cheap substitute of a food craving."

Not a single one.

"We attack the Mayor with hummus."


"You once made a deal with time..."

ZEN PENCILS » 194. LANG LEAV: Your life: "Lang Leav is the best-selling author of three poetry collections: Love & Misadventure, Lullabies (winner of the 2014 Goodreads Choice award for poetry) and Memories."

Welcome to the future.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

#TeamCap All Day.

The Russos Tackle the Paradoxical Issue at the Center of "Captain America: Civil War" | Comic Book Resources: "If you break "Captain America: Civil War" down to its base storyline, it becomes a question of government control vs. individual freedom -- which is why, according to directors Joe and Anthony Russo, there's no real right answer to Captain America and Iron Man's conflict. "What we tried to do with the movie is we tried to represent both sides of the issue and make sure that both Cap and Tony had very emotional reasons for doing what they were doing and sound reasons for doing what they were doing," Joe Russo explained to The Hollywood Reporter. 

"Because they're complicated issues. They're not issues you can really answer. We wanted people to walk out of the theater arguing with each other about who was right. I tend to say if you support big government and governmental control but you also think that accountability is extremely important, you might side with [Iron Man] in this movie. He's all about accountability in the film. If you support individual freedom and you prioritize that over everything else then you might side with Cap in the movie. The movie doesn't attempt to answer these questions, it attempts to pose them."

""I think the most difficult thing about it is that it's a paradox at the center of our society and at the center of our political life," added Anthony Russo. "Yes, we do need government, and we need government to have control of people or else other people are vulnerable. At the same time we want the freedom to be individuals and do what we want and say what we want and go where we want. There's always an eternal war between those two needs, and it just depends on what your specific experiences are at any given moment, which pushes you one way or the other." "

Similarities Abound. #SundayFunday