Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Moral Relativism

Fantastic read over at Lew Rockwell's site on the moral relativism of the current administration.
This passage made me laugh:
Actually, according to my own patriotically correctly named and so indisputable reference book, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, a "throe" is "a severe pang or spasm of pain, as in childbirth," and the "throes" of a country in, say, revolution or economic collapse would also be brief spasms. Of course, just the other day, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, looking into his murky crystal ball, claimed that this "spasm" could last up to another 12 years. I suppose from now on we should all speak of that period from birth to death as the "throes of life." As it happens, the American people seem uncomfortable with our Vice President's latest definitional forays. (For more on defining "throes," I turn you over to the indefatigable Juan Cole.)
One other thing I consider moral relativism - we are 'fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here'. As if the innocent Iraqi civilians killed in the violence simply don't matter as much as Americans. Odd, coming from a claimed Born Again Christian, don't you think? Certainly someone who thinks an embryo has the same value as, oh, I do, would certianly see that the innocent Iraqis over there matter just as much as I do over here.

As usual, had anyone listened, we were telling you when you still had a chance to do something about it.

From the mouths of High School dropouts...

If some random high school dropout gave you his opinion on anti-psycotic drugs, how much weight would you give that opinion?

Then why does anyone care what Tom Cruise thinks?

At least the random dropout doesn't also think all of his bad thoughts are caused by the lost souls of aliens.

Lauer should have called him out. I also wonder about the hypocrisy of the anti drug stance of Scientologists, yet they don't seem to have a problem with smoking or drinking, do they?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Training: DE Bench

Training bench on National Bench Press Night. Never have there been more skinny guys in wife beaters benching.
Bench press
2x15 @ 45
1x8 @ 95
3x3 @ 135
8x3 @ 185, 3 grips
All Easy

close grip bench press

V grip pulldown
4x6 @ 200

Face pull
3x12 @ 90

Treadmill: 10 mins, .56 miles or something. Tried to run a little, and it sucked.

Workout Time: :59

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Dog Blogging

Lets try out this photo thing.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Training: DE Squat/Dead

Another good one. Started a band phase. Felt strong, and felt like I could just keep on going.
Box Squat
All sets with light bands
8 sets of 2 @ 225

Rack pull

HS shrug - standing
3pps x 15
4x8 @ 4pps

+lt band 3x10

Cable side benc (60) superset with pull down abs (150)

10 mins stretching

Workout time: 1:20

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Training: ME Bench

This is the first week of my get strong as funk training phase (technically Tuesday was, but that was such a terrible workout...) I'm also going to try to keep up the conditioning aspects of things.
Reverse Band Press (average band)

OH Press

Bent Row

Seated lateral raise

Seated Hammer curl

Treadmill: 26 mins, 1.39 miles, 5 degree incline, 263 cals

Workout time: 1:30

Things like this started a Revolution

200 years ago, a ruling like the one today by the SCOTUS on Eminent Domain would have fueled a revolution.

I'm absolutley sickened. The court just gave local governments the ability to take your land and give it to someone else (like, oh, I don't know, a contributor) if their use will bring in more tax revenue. I'm wondering what happens if it doesn't. Do they give it back? I think we all know the answer to that question.

The most frightening thing I've seen in ages:
Stevens said the proposal by the families that the court adopt a bright-line rule that economic development does not qualify as a public use is supported by neither precedent nor logic.

He said promoting economic development is a traditional and long-accepted government function.

Accepted by whom, Justice Stevens? Not anyone who made it through Econ 101.

The thing is, those on the left don't understand that this is the end result of all the nanny statism, the smoking bans in bars, the zoning ordinances, and frankly, the position that it is morally right to take one person's stuff and give it to another if we (the Government) think it's a better use. They get all upset about tax money going to McDonalds to sell Big Macs in Europe, but not at all about building some park somewhere - missing the point that that part that's wrong is the redistribution of wealth. Some of the things done with that redistribution will be good things, but it's not their place to decide that. The ends don't justify the means.

Well, here's some more means for the Government to abuse. I'm going to have to load the shotgun tonight, lest the City of Baltimore decide my house would bring in more revenue if owned by a developer. They'll have to kill me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I hate agreeing with the Left

But sometimes, they are just dead on.

I don't understand why the Downing Street memos aren't bigger news, and I don't understand how those supporting the invasion of a country that we know wasn't a threat, can continue to do so without even so much as questioning the overbearing power of government.

Of course, as I continue to opine, had Congress not given up the Constitutional role of warmonger, we might not be wondering:
Nothing new here? Think of it this way: had the contents of these memos been known before the war, how might they have affected the debate?

How many dead people do there need to be for us to take both the President and Congress to task?

Or are we really like the stereotypical Americans - we just like blowing stuff up and killing people.

Our Government at work

The Constitutional Amendment to allow Congress to ban burning the US flag makes yet another appearance.

The mentality of your representatives:
``This resolution goes against the ideals the flag represents,'' Michigan Democrat John Conyers said. ``By limiting the scope of the First Amendment's free speech protections we are setting a dangerous precedent.''

Cunningham said the measure ``doesn't take away First Amendment rights.''

``It says please don't desecrate the flag,'' he said.

Actually, that's not what it says. It says the First Amendment no longer applies to the US flag, and that will be just one of the many things that get banned as we continue to become subjects rather than citizens.

Just for those keeping score - this Congress thinks we should remove the checks and balances in the Constitution that keep the president from invading countries without, you know, a reason, and they think the Constitution should protect the US flag from desecration by hippies.

Comfortable with that?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Training: ME Squat/Dead

Terrible workout. I'm trying an experiment with a PSMF to see if I can handle the diet and train. I can't. I'll have to modify things, and bring the carbs back up. I was 229.5 pounds Monday morning, and 225.5 pounds this morning - I lost a bunch of water. Since I don't think this 'crash' method is going to work, I'll just have to gradually drop the extra poundage. I should probably keep up my Fitday log.
Manta Ray Low box squat

Good mornings
235x5 - had to stop here

Workout time: :20

Monday, June 20, 2005

Ways to make Republicans happy, for 600, Alex.

Joe Biden, running for President.

Can you imagine a Biden/Clinton showdown in the primary? The Republicans can run a primate and win this one. Of course, they've already pulled that trick off, haven't they.

Is F1 killing itself?

This weekend, at the US Grand Prix in Indianapolis, 14 cars boycotted the race because of tire issues. This is just the latest in a string of issues with F1 that is leading the world's top racing series into the CART/IRL abyss.

I'm a race fan. Not a crazy hooked on Speedvision 24/7 fan, but I'll pretty much watch anything with wheels race. I didn't even know the US GP was this weekend. I had no idea where it was on TV (if at all). Frankly, I think that's a much bigger issue wiht US racing fans.

How does something like this happen, though? How do you decide that tires are unsafe the weekend of a race? This isn't a new track. And the tire rules that didn't allow those teams to switch tires certainly don't make much sence.

It's no wonder they can't gain a US fan base, I guess. But I don't think it will be long before you see some of these ferrin divers in Cup cars.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Training: DE Squat/Dead

Finishing up 6 week conditioning phase - skipped a couple of workout days this week, feeling a little beat down. Pretty please with where I am. Next cycle will include bands on DE squats and a focus on heavier weights, while continuing to imrpove conditioing. I'm also going to have to drop some bodyfat.
Box Squat
6 sets of 2 @ 285

Rack pulls from knee

DB shrugs
2x5 @ 140

Pullthru ssw/ pull down abs
2x8 @ 150 (+light band on pull down abs)


Workout time: 1:05

This is what happens when you ignore the Constitution

Charles Rangel wants a Congressional hearing into the reasons for war. He rightly takes issue with the deception of the Administration with respect to the invasion of Iraq.

Of course, had the Congress he is a part of not given up their Constitutional authority to declare war to the President, maybe we could have had this discussion BEFORE the invasion.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Training: ME Bench

Things are coming along. You may notice a bit of a trend towards more barbell lifts, and more classic stuff (OH pressing, barbell rows). I'm transitioning from a conditioning phase to a get strong as hell phase, and I think you can't go wrong with the heavy basics.
Incline Close Grips
205x3 (pr)
Incline Bench press
135x5 - Yup, still hate these

OH press
3x3 @ 135

Bent row
3x6 @ 225

2x8 @ 200

Seated lateral raises
3x10 @ 20

Seated hammer curl
2x20 @ 20

2x12 @ 70

Workout time: 1 hour

The poor don't need artichokes

A fantastic post at The Agitator on obesity.

And the rediculous arguments by the healthists.

The Links I Wish I Hadn't Clicked On Department:

Brings you Carolina Dog Rapist.

Oh, and he molests little girls, too.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Training: ME Squat/Dead

Didn't hit the lift I wanted, but all in all, a good session.

455xmiss, miss

Good morning
3x5 @ 225

3x5 @ +90

HS shrug seated
3x8 @ 270

Hypers ss w/ incline situps
2x12 (+45)

Side bends

Treadmill: 30 minutes 1.65 mi, 235 cals.

workout time: 1:35

Friday, June 10, 2005

Once you enter the market...

You have to offer ALL the products?

That's the argument used by the state in this case. A Phamacist has the right to not carry contraceptives, but if they carry them, they must carry the 'Plan B' pill.

I guess someplace that sells Pepsi has to sell Coke, too?

I can't imagine the pharmacist losing this one, but who knows?


Instead of pushing to usurp more power for the federal government by stumping for renewal of the Patriot act, the President could instead focus on real threats to security - that the FBI failed to act prior to the 9/11/01 attacks.

Thursday, June 9, 2005

Training: DE Bench

Funny how things can quickly change. I felt great today, felt like I could just keep on going.

Bench press
8 sets of 3 @ 185

Close grips

Neut. grip pullups

Cable row
3x6 @ 200

Face pull
4x12 @ 150

Hammer curl
2x12 @ 25

Band cuff stuff

Treadmill - 30 mins 1.6 miles, 295 cals.

Bar blogging update:

549 down as of June 8. He's taken on more personality since the last time I visited, and he's including photos.

Flood insurance and Isabel

During Hurricane Isabel in the fall of 2003, my house was one of those damaged by flooding in Baltimore City. (My house was one of those shown on the news, because I was a block away from dry land, and a block away from the harbor.)

The claims process started out OK, but since turned into a nightmare. Both the contractor and the adjuster have tried to screw us. Apparently this is not uncommon. The only thing helping us is that both Jamie and I worked for an insurance company, and Jamie has a number of contractors she call call for advice.

The adjuster respponded quickly, and presented what appeared to be a fair estimate at the time. The Contractor also appeared to be a lifesaver.

Since then, the contractor has billed us for work that they didn't do. They also sent our bill to a collection agency when we were still disputing the amount. They also refused to send an itemised bill (I guess to ensure they could bill for the work not completed, who knows). The adjuster's estimate did not include profit and overhead, which is apparently not included if they think you are doing the work yourself (or not doing it at all). Of course, that's rediculous, since the cost of the repair is the cost of the repair by a contractor... if you choose to not have the work done or do it yourself, that doesn't change the value of the loss.

The best part, of course, is that I can't make a choice regarding flood coverage, because it's a government run program - so I have to keep sending my money to the same people who cant get it right.
Alfred W. Redmer Jr., the Maryland insurance commissioner, testified before Congress in April that one problem was that adjusters had calculated repair costs by using pricing data that did not reflect the true costs of building materials. He also said there was "a shortage of trained adjusters and a confusing and complicated bureaucracy that is difficult for the average consumer to navigate."

What a suprise, a confusing and complicated bureaucracy.

I think we are coming down the home stretch with it all, though... and I don't think we'll have to sue. It's just a good thing we are in a position where we didn't need the money right away.

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Training: DE Squat/Dead

Well, my 'conditioning' phase hasn't been particularly successful thus far, but it's an issue with execution. I haven't been doing the Parisi stuff, I've been a little lax in the walking/running. I still struggle to get through some workouts, although today was pretty good - I felt like I could have kept going, and I was pretty tired when I got to the gym and hadn't eaten much. I have done well improving flexibility and mobility.

Box Squat
8 sets of 2 @ 265, one minute or so between sets.

Rack pulls (from knee)
315x3 (grip)

DB Shrug

Po man GHR superset with bench situps
3 sets

10 mins stretching

Workout time: 1:10

I'm your fireman? Who listens to this? Why are they playing it in my gym. Why must my battery in my MP3 player die?

Jets fail to extort again.

Good for NY lawmakers, who turned down $300 million in state funding for a stadium ostensibly for the 2012 Olympics, but one that owuld also be used by the NY Jets. The Jets have been pushing for a publicly funded stadium for quite some time.

It's about time some lawmakers stood up and stopped this. If the team needs a stadium, let them build one. If it's that big a deal to get the olympics, let someone come up with the money for a stadium voluntarily, instead of forcing the public to pay for it.

Marijuana Ruling

Everyone everywhere in blogland is talking about the SCOTUS ruling. I have enjoyed pointing out to some on the Left that this ruling is exactly in line with their beliefs. Most of them don't even understand their own positions.

I don't have much to add to the fire, other than my complete disgust with the SCOTUS, especially the supposed Federalist, Scalia.

We need more Thomases on the bench. Everywhere.

For some good posts on the subject, read The Agitator

Friday, June 3, 2005

Training: ME Squat/Dead

Another 'quasi' ME day. I haven't squatted without a box for months, so I wanted to just get a feel for it, as well as get used to free squatting in equipment. Worked up to a really easy 405, but I screwed up my setup on 425 and just racked it. I think I need to work harder on stability, which means lots of work on the core. I also still need to work on conditioning.
Squat (all sets with briefs)

2x5 @ 155

+45 3x10

Lying leg raises

Calf raises
240 x 20, 15

10 mins stretching

Workout time: 1:10

Hello. I don't understand the concept of a private contractual agreement, and I want to make public policy.

Good old Howard Dean shows his ass in public. Again.

I still maintain the guy is just what the Democratic party needs. Unfortunately for them, he actually shows how remarkably stupid some of their positions are.

In his most recent public display of ignorance, he proclaims:
Dean sought to broaden the debate over Bush's proposal to restructure Social Security to include the issue of private pensions, citing Labor Department statistics estimating that private companies underfunded their pension plans by $450 billion last year.

He suggested that Bush is responsible for the failure of private industry to protect those pensions. "The president wants to take away our Social Security," he said, "and then he's going to take away the private pension plans, too? What does he think ordinary Americans live on after they get to be 65 years old?"

The only solution that Dean suggested is to make pensions portable, saying pension plans "ought not to be controlled by companies, they ought to be controlled by the people who those pensions belong to." Pension portability was not a major issue in the Democrats' 2004 presidential campaign

Certainly underfunding pension plans is a big deal. But it's a big deal in that it violates a contract between the employee (or retired employee) and employer. Further, the notion that the government will make pensions 'portable' will have one very simple, immediate response: Companies will stop offering pensions altogether.

I work for a corporation. I am eligible for a pension if I meet certain requirements with respect to my length of service and age. Simple. If I don't meet those requirements, I get no pension. I also know that the pension is a promise of future payments, and if the company were to go out of business, I'm probably not going to get my pension (one more way to motivate me to keep the company in business, eh?)

I'm not sure exactly how the President is trying to take away people's pensions, and I wish he would take away my social security. When I'm over 65, I'll determine what I live on, just like I do now. I don't want the government to do that for me.

In the same speech, we get this gem:
Speaking about election reform, he said it is unconscionable for voters to have to stand in lengthy lines at polling places given the demands of work and family. "Republicans," he said, "I guess can do that because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives."

I'm not really sure how Republicans are responsible for the long lines - I live in a hightly Democratic area, and I had to wait in line for over an hour in the last election. I don't complain because in many places, you get shot at while you are waiting to vote. But the honest living line is rich. I suppose Mr Dean never met Ted Kennedy.

Required reading

I had a moment today to peruse Cafe Hayek and read the fantastic series of posts on inequality.

This is certainly some required reading.

Libertarian blogging

This is an interesting subject to me - one of those things I've kind of wondered about. I don't see many Right or Left blogs (certainly, there are some). I always assumed it was me - I'm drawn to Libertarian ideas, so I'm just not seeing all the other bloggers.

Warren Meyer has an interesting take on the subject at coyote blog

Thursday, June 2, 2005

We aren't all that far away...

Indian Government bans smoking in films. They are also requiring a warning be shown over any scene where someone is smoking in films made before the ban.

As usual, the world nanny statists are pleased:
The WHO, which claims that when a cinematic heart-throb lights a cigarette his young fans are three times more likely to do the same, welcomed the ban as a sign that Delhi is taking the silver-screen health threat seriously.

"Portrayal of attractive people smoking has an influence on young people as some of them identify with those on the screens," said Harsaran Pandey, the WHO's spokeswoman for south-east Asia.

And a quote I think sums up the positions of Left/socialists who proclaim they are the defenders of 'freedom' everywhere:
The Indian government has insisted the regulations will not impinge upon artistic freedom - but film-makers disagree.

Ahhh, yes. We tell you what you can and cannot put in your films, but we are not at all infringing on your freedom to do whatever you want. Just make sure whatever you want is what WE want, because we know better.

Thing is - the US isn't far behind.