Friday, July 15, 2016

"The Money Cult: ...on how American Christianity came to see profit as a sign from God."

New at Reason: Donald Trump, Joel Osteen, and the Evangelical "Money Cult" - Hit & Run : ""The market is becoming a mystical object of worship," says Chris Lehmann, editor in chief of left-wing "little magazine" The Baffler and the author of the new book The Money Cult: Capitalism, Christianity, and the Unmaking of the American Dream. "The market is becoming sanctified."  Which, he argues, helps to explain the rise of Donald Trump, who has no qualifications to run for president other than his vast (and exaggerated) riches. Evangelical Christians, Lehmann notes, are supporting Trump despite the billionaire's questionable religiosity and lack of charitable donations. From poor and dispossessed millennialists to wealthy celebrity preachers such as Aimee McPherson and mega-pastor Joel Osteen, The Money Cult charts changes in the American economy and Protestant theology that led to what became known as "the prosperity gospel," or a sense that worldly success was a sign of spiritual salvation. Lehmann sat down with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie to discuss his brilliantly written and wide-ranging work on how American Christianity came to see profit as a sign from God, whether progressives and libertarians can effectively join together on issues such as foreign policy, drug policy, and criminal-justice reform, and how he's working to shake up left-wing orthodoxies at The Baffler."

"Can we find some common ground? Can we have a truthful discussion here?"

Well-meaning propaganda is still propaganda.

"The purpose of this video is not to justify nor condemn any of the deaths that occurred..."

"“Perceived” should send chills down your spine."

Cat-Calling is (Now) a Crime: "Due process presupposes objective standards under the rule of law. Under the UK’s new law, objectively is replaced by subjectively. If someone feels you are biased against them, then you are guilty. For those of you who are concerned about free speech, well be more concerned. The UK law censors free speech: “Unwanted physical or verbal contact or engagement is defined as exactly that and so can cover wolf-whistling and other similar types of contact.” Whatever your opinion of cat-calling (it’s ineffective game and signals low status), it certainly shouldn’t be a crime."

You know who really doesn't like women?

Women.  Half of misogynistic tweets sent by women, study finds | Technology | The Guardian: "“Looking at this data set of thousands of pieces of misogynistic abuse, and looking at the people the perpetrators of this abuse were following, gave us a good indication of who they were,” he said. “The algorithm suggested 50% were women, and a cursory look at who they were following – Beyoncรฉ, One Direction and Justin Bieber – indicated they were ordinary women and girls, not a cabal of angry white men following rightwing activists."

Being fat "reduces attention, working memory, executive function, inhibitory control and increases the risk of developing early onset dementia."

There's nothing good about being fat/I have felt stupider this past year.

Does fat affect your brain? Study finds obese have less grey and white matter in key areas | National Post: "A tiny but provocative Canadian-led study suggests overweight and obese people have significantly less grey and white matter in key brain regions, offering what the researchers believe is a “biologically plausible explanation” for why heavier people tend to have reduced cognitive functioning, greater impulsivity and “altered reward processing.” The study is based on sophisticated brain images of 32 otherwise healthy adult volunteers recruited from two Baltimore neighbourhoods, and the researchers did not test their subjects’ mental acuity or performance. However, the findings appear to fit with mounting evidence linking higher body mass with poorer impulse control and other “cognitive deficits” that may undercut a person’s efforts to lose weight. “It has been suggested that body composition itself might somehow affect the neural systems that underlie cognition, motivation, self-control and salience processing, which would in turn affect one’s ability to make better lifestyle choices,” the researchers write, for example, “forgoing immediate and/or highly salient rewards for the sake of longer-term health and wellness goals.” Other researchers have linked obesity to accelerated, age-related brain shrinkage and early-onset dementia."

Frontiers | Effects of Body Mass Index and Body Fat Percent on Default Mode, Executive Control, and Salience Network Structure and Function | Neuroenergetics, Nutrition and Brain Health: "Negative associations between obesity, physical health, and life expectancy are common knowledge, but more recent studies have also shown that, on average, being overweight: (1) reduces attention, working memory, executive function, and inhibitory control among otherwise healthy participants, and (2) increases the risk of developing early onset dementia. The current experiment employed advanced neuroimaging techniques and two different body composition measures to establish possible mechanisms for obesity-related cognitive, behavioral, and neural differences among healthy adults. The neural systems that showed consistent associations with body composition (i.e., across multiple functional and structural neuroimaging modalities) offer a biologically plausible mechanism for reduced cognitive performance and self-control among overweight individuals. In particular, our results indicate that higher BMI and BFP are associated with increased functional connectivity, decreased regional gray and white matter volumes, and decreased white matter microstructure throughout regions and networks known to subserve cognitive, salience, and reward processing functions. Therefore, interpreted in the context of previous research, these findings suggest that changes in body composition may be cyclically (causally) related to alterations in brain structure and function that could decrease self-control and promote further unhealthy behavior."

"What's important to me at this point in my life?" - RAW

"Making really sure that I've forgiven all, anybody that's ever hurt me, or seemed to be an enemy..."


7/15 - press, chins, pushdowns, cable curls, speed bag, foam roll/stretch
7/11 - bench, chins, backxt, speed bag


Daisy Ridley crushing it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016



I laughed super-hard.  Probably because I am not a good person.

Paul Mooney + Jim Jefferies FTW.

I miss The Green Room.

"Like if I was going to be raped, I'd want Bobby over Paul."

The best part is when Joe Rogan is talking about getting high and communicating with dolphins, and all Tommy Chong is doing is smiling and nodding.

Milo - "A walking contradiction of modern identity politics."

"The Left doesn't like it very much when people who they thought they'd had sorted turns out to be a bit more complex."

"At what point is free speech & the First Amendment more valuable than not hurting someone's feelings?"

"Freedoms either apply to everyone or no one."

"Shark habits are the ultimate in “Do This.” For anything that can be done swiftly, DO IT NOW. One bite."

Dan John: Shark Habits - On Target Publications: "In 1977, at our first team meeting with the Utah State University track and field team, Coach Ralph Maughan outlined a few things that continue to shape my life.  At the time, he was addressing state and national champions and one Olympian... “Make yourself a slave to good habits.” 

...Most people are blind to their habits. I was talking with my friend, Cameron, and she noted on a recent international trip she was surprised how often she had music on at home. She woke up to music, dressed to music, drove to music and worked to music. On this trip, she had no music. In the hotel, she couldn’t just flip the switch or tune to her favorite stations. The lack of noise is what caught her attention. She was so used to having the background noise, she never noticed until there was quiet! Most people have habits. Lots of them. The television is on during meals, the radio is playing in the car and the route to most places is so ingrained we don’t even notice these as habits. Add a construction reroute and the whole day might take on a new meaning. Reaching for a snack: habit. Mindlessly staying up for another lousy comedy: habit. Surfing the web endlessly: habit. Checking social media at a restaurant: habit. The bulk of your life is habit."