October 4, 2005

Tuesday 051004

Rest Day


Enlarge image

Kurtis Bowler, Rainier CrossFit. Third Annual CrossFit Championship, CrossFit North

Inversion [video]

Chirstopher Hitchens Interview at Frontpagemag.com

Posted by lauren at October 4, 2005 7:08 PM

Great Pic. That looks HEAVY!!!

Comment #1 - Posted by: Sully at October 3, 2005 7:15 PM

KB...gettin' it.

Comment #2 - Posted by: grady mac at October 3, 2005 7:32 PM

Yow! My back hurts just looking at the photo.

Comment #3 - Posted by: John Elstad at October 3, 2005 7:35 PM

Get some Kurtis!

Comment #4 - Posted by: Matt G. at October 3, 2005 7:38 PM

Hitchens interview... I thought Crossfit was about fitness. Is this the first totally non fitness-related material to make its way on the front page? I'm not criticizing, just curious about the site and its purpose.

Comment #5 - Posted by: Mikael at October 3, 2005 7:52 PM

Kurtis, Looking LEAN AND MEAN! Athough, I know the latter is not true.

Comment #6 - Posted by: eva t. at October 3, 2005 8:28 PM

"Is this the first totally non fitness-related material to make its way on the front page?"

No. There have been many others. They may not share traits with the *physical* fitness of Crossfit, but they exhibit other "like" characteristics: strength, courage, perseverance, etc.

Comment #7 - Posted by: SethO at October 3, 2005 8:35 PM

>>"Is this the first totally non fitness-related material to make its way on the front page?"

No. There have been many others. They may not share traits with the *physical* fitness of Crossfit, but they exhibit other "like" characteristics: strength, courage, perseverance, etc.
Posted by SethO at October 3, 2005 08:35 PM <<

Wow, a serious onslaught of "pukie" came when I read that. I wouldn't equate the views of this article with everyone who likes Cross fit. Horowitz publisher of frontlinemag) has some not-so-crossfit-like characteristics like racism and bigotry.

I'll take my strength, courage, perseverance etc..without the bigoted neo-con propoganda please. Keep supporting our first responders, soldiers, sailors and airmen but not the idiots who espouse policies that put their lives in jeopardy.


Comment #8 - Posted by: gregev at October 3, 2005 8:54 PM

The political postings are actually a violation of the Crossfit messge board acceptable use policy, "
This forum is not your personal soap-box for advancing whatever personal agenda or vendetta you may be on."

Comment #9 - Posted by: Tim Johnson at October 3, 2005 9:28 PM

Way to go John, Shane, Brew, Dan and everyone else from back home. I wish I could have been there. Great pics on CF North site also. What happened to Mike Perry?

Comment #10 - Posted by: Jim_in_Oki at October 3, 2005 10:08 PM

Sheesh. Crossfit as an exercise regimen banks itself on being multi-element, all-inclusive, exploratory, and a thousand other things that articles like that don't represent. Improving my squat and respecting and encouraging the other folks on this site are my priorities- this stuff...ain't.

Sigh...Cool video though.

Comment #11 - Posted by: Kalen M. at October 3, 2005 10:09 PM

I try to keep in mind that this is not my site and I am just a guest here. The owners/administrators of this site are free post whatever links they want and I can choose to read them or not.

Comment #12 - Posted by: Brian Mc at October 3, 2005 10:16 PM

Man, what a perfect time for a rest day for me... I'm sure I'll have a hell of a sore arm and back from today's workout. Looks easy... but oh no way jose, it ain't a walk in the park.

Looking forward to Wednesday's workout!

(Sorry if I'm being annoying, but I registered last night, and still haven't received approval by a moderator. I did try to register the other day but keeping my name private. Was rejected, so I decided to bite the bullet and provide my name. Hopefully I'll get approval tomorrow, I'm anxious to start partcipating in the boards!)

Comment #13 - Posted by: ravenvii at October 3, 2005 10:18 PM

I'm with Kalen and Gregev! Christopher Hitchens - strength, courage, perseverence - oh dear, thats definitely a pukie of gut-wrenching proportions... Please keep this rubbish off the site, or at least include the name of the individual who was ignorant enough to want it on.

Comment #14 - Posted by: MikeMcl at October 4, 2005 3:09 AM

a poor choice of timing, to present an article with an antisemtic position. its the biblical jewish new year. i'd rather read about someone doing 150 pushups in their garage.

Comment #15 - Posted by: doug smith at October 4, 2005 4:34 AM

Just a suggestion, since many of you seem to have an issue with the link posted on the front page. If you don't like Christopher Hitchens or Front Page Magazine...don't click on the link. Based on your posts it sounds like some of you know at least something about one or the other (or both) of them and have already formed your opinions. Personally, I'm not familiar with either, but I'm not afraid to be exposed to new/different ideas. I can read it and form my own opinions (without trash-talking on the backend).

"Who was ignorant enough to want it on"...buddy, you don't know what an ass you're making of yourself.

Comment #16 - Posted by: Matt G. at October 4, 2005 5:10 AM

I gotta agree with Matt G. on this one. Though I don't share alot of the views espoused throughout the interview, I knew that it was my choice to continue reading it. If I would have found it offensive, simpley closing the window clears it up for me. True I'd much rather read an article on front squats (since I'm so weak on them still), but like Brian Mc stated, this isn't my site and the people who bring us so much great info have the right to post want they want.

On that note, I do feel that the rules put down for the forum should be followed for the articles and links posted on the front page.

Comment #17 - Posted by: Erik_b at October 4, 2005 5:35 AM

Great interview, although I am not a fan of the jingoistic ignorance that Front Page and Horowitz pass off as journalism.

Hitchens owned Horowitz badly in that second interview, lol.

Comment #18 - Posted by: Paul Martinez at October 4, 2005 5:59 AM

SL 21:54

Comment #19 - Posted by: David at October 4, 2005 6:22 AM

Why, on a day of physical rest, should we not discuss ideas? Why should we assume that the link was posted as a vehicle to influence us politically? Could it be that Coach posted a controversial link so that we may engage in the same honest, meticulous, but yet civil debate of non-fitness ideas as we do fitness ideas? Why is the discussion thus far not about the ideas presented in the article, but about the people writing and posting the links? If you don't like an idea, discuss the idea. Coach has led the way in exposing baseless studies in the fitness world. If something Mr. Hitchens wrote was bogus, expose it. But let's keep the debate substantial with facts and ideas, not personalities and agendas.

I hate politics.

Comment #20 - Posted by: Tony B. at October 4, 2005 6:39 AM

Now that Tony has grounded the discussion...

One thing I found interesting in the article (if you should choose to lend some creedence to it) was the idea that when you depart from a long-held position, your former compatriots often find it convienent to view you as a total crackpot. It's not isolated to the political arena (again, if you choose to believe Hitchens)...when you depart from an "accepted" fitness model (like bodybuilding) to something "radical" like CF...you tend to get a lot of heat from not only your former comrades but also the "power structure" of gym owners, trainers, etc.

Just my experience.

Comment #21 - Posted by: Matt G. at October 4, 2005 6:46 AM

"Bigoted neo-con propoganda"? Gregev can you back that with examples or is this just more "talking points"?

I don't think you have the facts or have made the investment of time and thought to support your rant.

I want examples of Horowitz' bigotry and racism. Those are serious charges and to level them only because you've heard others do so is morally repugnant.

Comment #22 - Posted by: Coach at October 4, 2005 7:08 AM

Nice comment Matt G.
FrontPage Magazine is the work of David Horowitz, who is a former Marxist radical. Raised as a communist by communist parents, a "Red Diaper baby." A leader of the Berkeley Free Speech movement. Editor of Ramparts magazine. I'm sure this means amost nothing to anyone under 50 years old, but what it means is that he was at the forefront of the radical left in the very turbulent era of the 60s when the left actually believed the communist revolution was at hand in the USA. He broke ranks with them around the mid 70s and has been an unapologetic gadfly to the left ever since. All his former "comrades", like Jane Fonda, hate his guts. Not always my cup of tea, but he loved the truth more than his ideology, so he switched sides. Same for Hitchens. I respect that.

Comment #23 - Posted by: Dan MacD at October 4, 2005 7:12 AM

Here's what has earned Horowitz' the racist/bigot epithet:

1. He was an icon of the 60's radical left and now says that he and his friends had suffered from egregious political, moral, social, and economic ignorance.
2. He calls affirmative action, which is racist, racist.
3. Stumped the country, on the college circuit, debating the idea of financial reparations for ancestors of American slaves.

That's all it took - abandon the left and then compellingly point to two bad ideas (immoral ones actually)

To silence men with brands of "racist" and "bigot" only because their ideas prick at thoughts weakly formed in your head is, quite naturally, wrong. When it is used to draw attention from men who stand for fairness and decency it becomes evil.

Comment #24 - Posted by: Coach at October 4, 2005 7:38 AM

Rest Day controversy --

I am pretty certain God doesn't write for Front Page Magazine.

Re: # 3 --- There was a price paid to the slaves freed in the civil war it was paid with the blood of the north's soldiers. All the talk of money dishonors those who paid with their lives.
Let the ancestors of the slaves pay money to the those families of the brave men who died trying to free them.

Comment #25 - Posted by: DaveZ at October 4, 2005 7:54 AM

even though much of the interview's subject matter pre-dates me, i actually read the article and thought it was interesting. here are a few quotes i found notable:

"The only real radicalism in our time will come as it always has - from people who insist on thinking for themselves and who reject party-mindedness."

"The “pre-emption” versus “prevention” debate may be a distinction without much difference. The important thing is to have it understood that the United States is absolutely serious. The jihadists have in the past bragged that America is too feeble and corrupt to fight. A lot is involved in disproving that delusion on their part."

"First - all jihads have always failed...Lesser jihads tend to consume themselves in quarrels over spoils or doctrines: an irrational view of the world will tell against you in the end, as is shown by the crazy and self-destructive tactics now being pursued by Islamists in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Turkey and elsewhere. They wish to be martyrs - we should be willing to help."...this one reminded me of what Pope John Paul II referred to as the 'Culture of Death'

"No combination of dictatorship and clericalism can possibly stand against the determined power of the United States. In other words, the eventual result is certain victory, military and political, however long the task may take. It can be useful to bear this in mind. The job of citizens is to make sure that this American power really is self-determined, and not left either to professionals or to amateurs. We are not watching for the outcome of this war: we are participants in it and had better comport ourselves as such."

"The Taliban and the Ba’ath and the Serbian Socialist Party will not regain power, however much violence they muster. These are facts. The combat as a whole will never be “over”, because it is part of a permanent struggle between reason and unreason, among other things. But to assert that rather minimal point is also to assert that the enemy cannot win. Given the proven nature of that enemy, I hope I need not say any more about what I think of its subconscious sympathizers, let alone its overt ones."

i didnt notice any racism or bigotry, only some reasonable arguments and a pretty amazing grasp of political history throughout the world of the past hundered years.

Comment #26 - Posted by: ediddy at October 4, 2005 8:29 AM

My "virtual lats" are sore from all that virtual shoveling.

Watched the CrossFit DVD "Try this at home", it was very motivating. Particularly Greg Amundson's Helen, Matt Mast's Elizabeth (impressive speed on the 225 DLs), and definitely David Leys' Fran . What is the current record for Fran anyway?

Comment #27 - Posted by: Tom Needham at October 4, 2005 8:49 AM

I take it as a lesson in living, observing and learning. Life experiences and an open mind equals change. With new information comes new decisions. I can only express gratitude for the opportunity to learn regardless of who may be teaching. It is my choice to accept or reject the lesson.

Comment #28 - Posted by: Skip at October 4, 2005 8:58 AM

2 questions about the picture of Kurtis:

1) Is he wearing a lifting belt?

2) Are those 25kg plates for a total of 170kg (375 lbs.)?

Comment #29 - Posted by: jimbutts at October 4, 2005 9:27 AM

I forgot which weapons of mass destruction did they find in Iraq ? There where no weapons of mass destruction, this administration lied to us.

What do Bush supporters have to say about the Hurricane reponse ? Bush lowered taxes for the rich and raised them for the poor, how does that help you and me? I don't understand if you attack Bush your unpatriotic , and your labelled as (weak) Left. Well i'm a Republican and I can not believe what the current White House is getting away with.

Comment #30 - Posted by: Chris Hunt at October 4, 2005 9:49 AM

Nice, reasoned, well written post.

You have no place here. (kidding, I kid. That's what I do; I kid. Get it?)

I just love how Coach posts a link to a politically/socially hot topic and one in which we all have an opinion; we just choose to keep it to ourselves. Now, we engage in just the slightest debate/conversation regarding said topic and people go ape s#!t because we're talking about a political issue and not the best way to perfect your thruster form.
I like seeing a little controversy, even if I'm not inclined to join in the debate. Not knowing enough about today's link, I'll choose to read and form my opinion and, if I want to, post my thoughts.
So, go Matt G!
Tell it diddy!
Remember the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
If you want something to cheer about, try this:
Today is my son's 4th birthday. He's a ballbuster of a kid who skateboards, takes his bike off jumps, does flips in the pool, plays any sport that uses a ball and some that don't. In otherwords, he's freakin' CrossFit in the flesh!

OK, I'm done. I'm going for a walk to mentally prepare myself for Chuck E. Cheese's (Vegas of th children) tonight.

Comment #31 - Posted by: Ron N. at October 4, 2005 9:50 AM

Ruck marched 6 miles with 45 pounds in humidity equal to El Salvador.

Comment #32 - Posted by: Gratefulhog at October 4, 2005 9:58 AM

David Horowitz has written plenty about race and racism to allow one to judge wheter he may be branded as a bigot as one defines it. He seeks out the charge, in my view, wanting to be inflammatory. That makes it more difficult to understand his "arguments", such as they are. His penchant for name-calling and his deployment of rhetoric usually dominate his writings or my readings of them. The only thing that dominates his writing more is David Horowitz; that's what most of them really seem to be about.

Comment #33 - Posted by: Rene' at October 4, 2005 10:10 AM

Hitchens was so 'Left' he turned 'Right'.

I got the impression that Frontpage was just begging for Hitchens to tell them the magic word that would convert all Leftists.

Anyone else notice the article is almost 2 years old? I wonder what would be said in a follow up interview.

Comment #34 - Posted by: J Jones at October 4, 2005 10:18 AM

Happy Birthday to the little CrossFit Monster. Bring him down to play at our playground soon.

Comment #35 - Posted by: Jeff at October 4, 2005 10:21 AM


Comment #36 - Posted by: Jeff at October 4, 2005 10:25 AM

Lauren, would it be totally unreasonable to label non fitness-related posts/links as such ?

For those ignorant folks like me who come to the site for the fitness content, do not know (nor care) who Hitchens is, and prefer training to looking in vain for fitness-related stuff behind a link?

It was my choice to click on the link indeed, but what choice did I have not knowing what to expect?

Also agree with previous comments that site admins posting political content while not allowing users to comment on them (acceptable use policy) does not strike me as particularly fair.

Comment #37 - Posted by: JefM at October 4, 2005 10:26 AM

Thanks for the honor. Sweet!

As I said over at BX, the son's name is Caden.
He's the coolest kid I know.

Comment #38 - Posted by: Ron N. at October 4, 2005 10:38 AM

Did someone mention New Orleans? Just for laughs, I'll jump on that. In my opinion...

If you're dense enough to live in what amounts to a bowl with the Gulf of Mexico on one side and Lake Pontchartrain on the other; a city that is recognized as one of the most corrupt and mis-managed places in the country; a town that is smack in the middle of "Hurricane Alley"...well, ahoy Darwin. Perhaps he'll swing by on the Beagle and pick you up off your roof.

The blame there, IMO, lies squarely on the shoulders of the residents and local authorities first. Then the state. Then FEMA.

W/respect to "raising" taxes on the poor...that's an interesting statement. I'd like to see the proof. I took a quick pass through the IRS website and dug up tax tables for 1040EZs from '02-'05. Each year a higher income level was able to stay in the 10% bracket. If I don't miss my guess that's not raising taxes on the poor, it's lowering them (someone check my thinking, I'm not going to be mistaken for an accountant anytime soon).

Comment #39 - Posted by: Matt G. at October 4, 2005 10:44 AM

Can someone help me out with this it keeps coming up. I cannot find the place where it says users are not allowed to post dissenting opinions. The best I can find is a requirement to be civil and suport your oppinion with facts.

Comment #40 - Posted by: Jeff at October 4, 2005 10:46 AM

Are your kettlebells unbreakable? Then I might bring him down.

Don't get me started on taxes. The government's reward to the working man for his success.

Comment #41 - Posted by: Ron N. at October 4, 2005 10:47 AM

I just don't understand why this kind of political stuff is posted on the site. In such a polarized country it's just asking for some pretty ugly and fruitless discussions, name calling, etc. I've seen it happen on other sites. Quite frankly I think Crossfit is much better off without it.

Comment #42 - Posted by: Mikael at October 4, 2005 10:52 AM

LMAO! I love it when the buttons get pushed! Some folks have some serious sand in their cracks....

Comment #43 - Posted by: Wounded Buff at October 4, 2005 10:58 AM

I just don't see anything wrong with two or more Crossfitters debating the wisdom of a particular idea in between chasing Pukie around the gym.

My favorite comments are the "I don't agree with (name of article here) but I comleted the WOD in (list a time I can only hope to match someday)."

As long as the punches are above the belt, I say we're strong of mind and body and we can take it.

Comment #44 - Posted by: Gus at October 4, 2005 11:00 AM


According to http://www.crossfitnorth.com/championship.htm, Kurtis Bowler lifted 182KG.

Looking at the pix on http://www.crossfitcommunity.com/gallery/album21 it appears a number of competitors used a belt for the DL portion of the championship.

Comment #45 - Posted by: tomw at October 4, 2005 11:04 AM

The Freemasons have a long held tradition of not discussing politics or religion when convened.

This tradition acknowledges and respects the often passionate differences that accompany these topics and places a higher value on harmony within the Fraternity.

Comment #46 - Posted by: Billy L. at October 4, 2005 11:14 AM

Re: New Orleans' residents referred to above--"dense enough"?

or poor enough not to be able to leave, even if you wanted to?

What about "tornado alley(s)", "earthquake alley(s)", the Southeastern seaboard? Desert southwest, which is running out of water?

or poor enough not to be able to heat your house this winter? Shouldn't you leave the cold belt?

And taxes? Plenty of opinions. What has provided the broad base of infrastructure that allows people to become richer in business? Earning wealth doesn't occur simply by one's own guts and smarts and hard work without laws and infrastructure.

A problem with political discussion on a primarily "fitness" site is that there is not the room, time, or sustained interest in political argumentation to reach much beyond soundbites, platitudes, and links. Single sentences have to carry the weight of thousands of words or argument and rebuttal, and they simply cannot do it.

Besides, real usefulness would seem to be having a goal, meaning actual policy prescriptions for real world action based on identifying the issues and deciding on the means to change them "for the better". At least the think tanks are doing that, whether that be Cato or Brookings. CrossFit is like a think tank in that way, for fitness, followed up by implementation and reassessment.

I was inferring from previous Rest Day "WOD" posts that included the equivalent of "discuss amongst yourselves" (wasn't there a "Post thoughts to comments" in there somewhere last month?) that the moderators were encouraging discussion of points, political or otherwise, made in the links they were posting. In this, I would include the license to link to opposing viewpoints.

I disagree with many of the political viewpoints (which is really what they are, in my view--Eject!Eject!Eject!? EGADS!) linked lately, but I understand the right to post whatever one wants to on one's own site.

Is it time to open a "Politics and other issues" topic on the Discussion Board to provide a valve for release? I, for one, would do as much as I could to avoid the temptation to post :) . All that, erm, "interesting" discussion on water resource issues, farm subsidies, school vouchers, and whether or not we were lied into the Iraq war awaits!

Comment #47 - Posted by: Rene' at October 4, 2005 11:50 AM

MattG...your post about new orleans had me LMAO!! everybody else...chill out and enjoy what Coach and Lauren so generously let us have access to

Comment #48 - Posted by: ChrisNelson at October 4, 2005 11:53 AM

How hilarious/pathetic that socio-political thought and debate in the US has come to this. No better than rabid fans of opposing football teams and twice as idiotic.

The Left and Right are just two sides of the same coin. Career politicians are all the same, existing to get elected and re-elected. The "political party" stuff is just the game they play to get the votes wherever they happen to be campaigning.

The US wasn't designed to be held hostage to two parties/special interest groups. Are citizens even capable of thinking beyond two choices? Would three or even more be too complex?

Interesting question posed in the article, why hasn't the left responded to the oppression of Islamic theocracy? Islamic fundamentalism runs even more counter to leftist ideology than Neo-conservatism ever could. Hmmm, so the left has some kind of agenda but hey, so does the right. I just reinforced my point from above.

Oh, the virtual shoveling stuff was an arse-kicker btw.

Comment #49 - Posted by: Rob M. at October 4, 2005 12:00 PM

I had the great pleasure on Saturday of keeping score for Kurtis and of seeing his lovely wife Laurie and their two beautiful children. Kurtis is a hugely committed individual: it shows in his progress and results. He turned in an inspiring performance then helped me get through that nasty chipper of a workout. Thank you Kurtis. And thank you Nick and Dave and Nancy and Thomas and the rest of the crew at CFN for putting on a great event.

What happened to Michael Perry? He went down hard—literally—when he turned an ankle during the hazardous one legged hop scotch down the length of a climbing rope event.

Regarding the Hitchens interview:

Hitchens is an unusually independent thinker. He is faithful to principle rather than to political fashion or party line and pays a personal cost for doing so. He makes clear his principles (opposition to totalitarianism and theocracy; support of pluralism) then makes a reasoned case for action (Saddam was a menace who needed to be removed; Jihad must be confronted rather accommodated). Whether or not you have *any* truck with Hitchens’ conclusions, spending time following his arguments will help you understand the soundness for your own position.

What does this have to do with fitness?

CrossFit is a community of independent thinkers. Nobody showed up on this site and started doing the workouts because it was popular or generally accepted. You had to make an initial step outside the comfortable mainstream—or maybe you were already out in the cold and roaming the landscape for ideas (mixed metaphor alert). You had to evaluate the idea of CrossFit without rejecting it out of hand, put it into action, then judge the outcome based on observed results (yours and others, but most importantly yours). To get the full benefit of the program you had to overcome considerable political pressure (e.g.: “overhead lifting is dangerous”; “low carb diets are a dangerous fad”; “squatting is bad for your knees”; “deadlifts are bad for your back”). There is no realm more politicized than diet and exercise.

CrossFit is an inherently political project that is part of a multi-decade battle against fitness orthodoxy. I’ve gotten to know Coach well enough to realize that the fitness philosophy—and the resulting program--is utterly inseparable from the political philosophy. The latter made possible the former and is what sustains it. What you are seeing on the Rest Day “political” links is a glimpse at the underlying philosophy. After a few more of these, we are collectively going to learn how to discuss some of the concepts—and their universal relevance—in a civil and productive manner. If the “politics” is too painful to bear, just remember that every fourth day on CrossFit.com is likely to be a day of ideas and you may wish to avoid that.

Regarding Coach and Lauren’s views on a given political matter: If you are going to speculate on them, your most productive approach will be to identify their principles rather than their affiliations. There have been some surprisingly lame all or nothing assertions. (Since you support action X, then you must also support action Y, because some of the principal supporters of X also back Y.)

Comment #50 - Posted by: Brian Mulvaney at October 4, 2005 12:18 PM

Kinda off of our "political" discussion here...but interesting anyway:

Comment #51 - Posted by: Matt G. at October 4, 2005 12:28 PM

Politics, religion, unions: Strong opinions and not worth the fight.

I mean come on as fanatical as some people get about Crossfit you know any kind of talk about the above 3 subjects are going to start a massive fiery debate.

Let's all step back and take a breath.

Now the important stuff.

My workout of the day.

I'm suffering from a partial right pec tear so I can't do 90% of the workouts posted in the last 2 weeks so I'm using my noggin a bit and focusing on improving my lower body explosiveness while increasing the strength and power of my posterior chain.

Did the Deadlift/HSPU workout yesterday in the AM and did some stone carries in the PM with my new 230 to 240 lb stone (can't get a good weight on it since it jacks up my scales.)

My warm up.

3 rds 10 reps on all exercises: Samson stretch, overhead squats, 55 lb dumbbell swings, v-ups with my arms across my chest since it hurts to use my right arm for momentum, and scorpion leg raises on a bench.

Today I did 21-15-9 back squats and deck squats after reading the Hierarchical Fiber Taxation thread on the forums.

All back squats were done without racking the weight, the deck squats are another story, I had to put the 45 down and get up off the floor in the first series since my momentum played out.

Back Squats:21 reps with 225, 15 reps 245, 9 reps 265

Deck squats:21 reps with 45lb plate, 15 reps 25lb plate, 9 reps 10 lb dumbbell.

Was going to do the last set of deck squats with no weight and jump but no weight deck squats are harder than the weighted ones.


Could have done 275 for the last set but I'm glad I didn't get too crazy.

Overhead squats even with just the broom handle have taken care of all my hip pain and I stay upright a ton more during my back squats.

Comment #52 - Posted by: Jim_Glover at October 4, 2005 12:33 PM

"I’ve gotten to know Coach well enough to realize that the fitness philosophy—and the resulting program--is utterly inseparable from the political philosophy."

I hope not.

Comment #53 - Posted by: Mikael at October 4, 2005 12:35 PM

Mikael: Why is that?

Also, how would you characterize the political philosophy and on what basis have you made that determination?

Comment #54 - Posted by: Brian Mulvaney at October 4, 2005 12:42 PM


Well to convince me you'd have to establish a convincing link between fitness as it is defined in the Crossfit journal and politics. For the moment I see no link. I also find it disturbing that general self-improvement be linked to a specific political agenda.

Comment #55 - Posted by: Mikael at October 4, 2005 12:45 PM

Bravo Mikael! That linkage needs to be explored and explained or debunked and refuted. Please stick around and be part of that debate. It's not all going to happen in today's WOD comments.

Please identify the specific political agenda you think is being linked to fitness.

Comment #56 - Posted by: Brian Mulvaney at October 4, 2005 12:52 PM

Its' not the link that reflects poorly on Crossfit, its the sad fact that when presented with some intresting off-topic content, this message board became distinctly average.

Had we discussed the merits or flaws of Hitch's points (Or the Cato Insititute's findings) we would have showed that we wern't just about elite Fitness, but that we also had diciplined minds.

Instead we showed the same rigid confirmation to party lines, ideology, and name calling: All standard message board fare. Sure, we were fairly polite (Most of us), but any Bicup Curling meat head can be polite.

We should be made of Sterner Stuff.

In this spirit (And as a pro-war Hitchens Fan), I'll comment that Hitch and other Iraqi War propents who used our seemingly warm reception in Iraq as justification of our presence should be taken to task when they now use the Iraqi Resistance as justification of our continued pressence.

I think they are more correct now than they were then, but we the obvious contradiction needs to be cleared up.

Comment #57 - Posted by: Sean at October 4, 2005 12:58 PM

The political agenda which is promoted by this site could be defined as being close enough to a neocon, or more generally a Republican agenda. I've been visiting this site for more than 6 months now and I'd sometimes see it lurking in the shadows, but today is the first time I see it so openly being put forward. Am I wrong? I could be...

Comment #58 - Posted by: Mikael at October 4, 2005 1:00 PM


Mental and physical self improvement spring from the same well of dissatisfaction,curiosity, discipline, work ethic, and love of an adventure. The impulse that leads us to train against orthodox strength/fitness practise, is the same impulse that drives us question and learn about politics, religion, physics and anything else under the sun. It is all part of the human condition my friend. Guess what - your diet matters too, and we'll argue about that as well.

Those of you who advocate never bringing up controversial subjects are advocating living in a pale state of fearfull conflict avoidance. You are also the ones who first turn to illogical and hostile name calling and personal attacks.

Have you never argued/discussed current events with your families at the dinner table?

Dave W

Comment #59 - Posted by: DaveW at October 4, 2005 1:19 PM

"I also find it disturbing that general self-improvement be linked to a specific political agenda."

Who's making those links besides yourself (and others early on in the Comments)? I don't ever remember reading anywhere on this site (and I've been through just about all of it) where Coach or anyone else officially tied to CF asserted that self-improvement was inexorably attached to one political philosophy or another.

I think we're meant to be looking at the thoughts, ideas, experiences, etc. being offered up WITHOUT immediately attaching political labels/motivations to them. How does that which is brought forth apply to our experiences/experiments in fitness and what can we learn from those ideas going forward.

Again, I viewed this morning's link as more of a commentary on what we see when we shift our thinking from established methods (bodybuilding) to new/radical methods (CF). We suddenly become outsiders...despite years of acceptance when we were "true to the group". Hitchens asserts that he was treated in much the same way by his former colleagues when he parted ways with them over political philosophy. Was there, on the surface, some political element? Yup. But was that what we were meant to focus on? I kind of doubt it.

I would caution people to be a little deeper than to simply look at the surface, dismissing any lessons that could be gleaned by further examination of a situation/idea from other angles or with an extra 30 seconds of honest consideration. Those who would remain firmly entrenched behind party lines are no better than the bodybuilder (whom we all laugh at) afraid to try something other than the exact thing he's done for the last 20 years. Expand your mind, not just your body.

Comment #60 - Posted by: Matt G. at October 4, 2005 1:21 PM

Let me jump back on to my soap box here (plyometrics!) , and address this link between fitness and politics.

Politics and the science of fitness both critical minds. The only area of expertise filled with more fallacy and misinformation than Politics is fitness. If you can cut through the chafe in one field you can do the other. Its a crossfit principle at work.

Not to pick on anyone, but let me say one last thing: In your quest for informed political opinion, let the phrase "Neocon" serve as a red-flag on par with "Spot Reduction" and "Toning".

Comment #61 - Posted by: sean at October 4, 2005 1:22 PM

Okay folks, the real reason I left the message board was because I was too busy reading this stuff, while scarfing popcorn, to post relevant and on-topic posts. If you don't like an article, don't read it. I know that's a wild principle but it works. Furthermore, if you don't like a website, make your own! It's easy. If you just need controversy then here you go:

1- I'm a cross-dresser.
2- I think kipping is crap.


Happy Birthday Ron's little monster. Good job Kurtis. Free beers at my place.


Comment #62 - Posted by: Dan Silver at October 4, 2005 1:22 PM

Sean: The quality of discourse on "off-topic" content will improve. Give it time. We are in the PVC pipe drill stage.

Mikael: the necon agenda lurking in the shadows... Wonderfully ominous language. You are now on the hook to explain in simple terms the neocon and/or Republican agenda that you think may have jumped out in the open on CrossFit.com What are some of the bullet points on the agenda? Let's put a spotlight on this shawdowy business.

Comment #63 - Posted by: Brian Mulvaney at October 4, 2005 1:26 PM

Sean wrote:
"Its' not the link that reflects poorly on Crossfit, its the sad fact that when presented with some intresting off-topic content, this message board became distinctly average."

I disagree that it is sad. Don't be sad yet! Give it some time. The links were posted without context and popped up seemingly out of the blue. (Unless you count many of the pictures that have been posted as context.)

Much of the discussion revolved around what is and is not "appropriate" to discuss here and that needs to be hashed out. Some people thought that none of it was appropriate while others thought that the ideas should be discussed even though or specifically because they are inflammatory (or presented, in the links, in an inflammatory way or possessing inflammatory baggage that cannot be ignored). Others agreed or disagreed with the ideas and said so.

Brian has now suggested that discussion of larger ideas than fitness will happen or can happen on rest days. Clarity from the moderators about what their goals and ideas are are always appreciated. Many hold their tongues out of respect for the site's founders, moderators, and community members.

Comment #64 - Posted by: Rene' at October 4, 2005 1:36 PM

Interesting that we wade in again to the political I wonder what the Cato Institute web supporters would think if the institute posted a link to a well articulated site that suggested that fitness machines were the right way to work out and that the non machine types were kidding themselves in their cute naiveté. Probably someone would say what the hell is the Cato institute doing supporting/pushing/suggesting/offering commentary about something which is not their expertise.

One gets a privileged platform because they have earned it, therefore people listen to them respectfully, when that platform becomes a pedestal for opinion not rooted in expertise it can be undermined. That is why I am posting today. Lets not kids ourselves, our actions have ramifications, if the site posts political links from its position of a privileged platform with a loyal audience, there are implications in the short term and long term. And if I can just digress for a second, to the people who seem to enjoy telling people not to post comments and just blindly follow whatever the ‘man’ says, I say garbage!

Yes the hard work of a few people make this site accessible and great, but it is great because of the people who populate it also, and the people who populate it do so because they are great in different ways. I am disgusted when I see some one post something that says something like, if you don’t like it, don’t read, don’t say anything. Just be thankful you are allowed to be on the site. Piss off I say, that is not what our countries are about. Any form of group membership is about dissent, doubt, thought and participation. If the administrator puts something on the site that is controversial, it invites discussion, the citizen is obligated to participate, otherwise she becomes a spectator watching world events unfold believing the authorities are working in their best interests just because it is under a banner or a flag.

Hitchens is a smart guy, but if you follow politics you know he has an agenda as does most people on the political circuit. My issue with him is that he is smart enough to make the clever people who want to believe in their position more certain. He is an enabler, a converter a comforter to the right. “Look a lefty says the left are now stupid!’ His positions, although well articulated encourage a sense of smugness while not really encouraging more introspection.

He is just another tool of the converters who use him to win support for their policies. One brief example, he states that jihads never succeed, and gives some very comforting (we must be the good guys) examples to back this up, however we do not discuss what it is we are involved in Iraq. No one is questioning the link between that and Iraq, the many levelled contextual discussion is lost because people are too busy orgasming at the fact that a former leftie is now a righty. Yee ha.

However, how bout a discussion about whether occupations have a history of winning, how bout a little research into imperial armies occupying foreign lands for well intentioned purposes. If you were to look at Vietnam, Indochina, and the French, numerous British examples and record what their administrative policy statements were at the time of their occupations you would be surprised at the similarities of the justifications. This may lead some to doubt for a second, if only a second about whether we are special, that this type of thing hasn’t happened before in the history of man (which is very typical of all the societies that blindly allowed their govts to wage imperial wars but not very informed)

Historical context is the enemy of ideology, people like Hitchens are the allies of the ideology they switched to. Because they are smart, they make sense, but they define the context of the discussion and the analysis does not investigate the context.

Another example, people are frequently heard to say “we cannot pull out of Iraq for it would be worse.” That may be true, I don’t know, but is it a self evident truism that cannot be doubted? What if doubting it were too scary, it might mean we lost guys for the wrong reasons, I am not sure many people even want to go down that road, so there is no doubt. The above statement presupposes, actually depends on the premise that the US can only win, that there is no possibility of losing because we won’t allow it (which presuppose control of the circumstances that determine victory, which is another discussion).

If one accepts for only a second that the US could lose it despite how much someone wants to win it, then the interesting discussion would surround whether losing it now is worse than losing it later. After only a few years of the Vietnam conflict causality numbers were not far of from where we are today, people were saying we can’t leave, well we did, years later, defeated, with 10s of thousands of more causalities. Some may believe a lack of conviction or ideology is too blame for that and so refuse to doubt again. that is a personal decision. I think what we need to analyze is whether those men died for freedom, or because people wouldn’t question their certainties, or doubt for a long enough time to wonder if, perhaps our first assertions were flawed.

Hey I am all for having this discussion here, like I say this is great group of people, if coach wants to post this stuff lets get it on, just don’t bully people into not saying anything or tell them to get onside or get out, that is not what this place is about and that attitude will destroy the goodness in this site. Sorry if this is long, but I get passionate when people tell the citizen participant to shut up and just go along with the plan, it takes courage to stand up in this forum and question coach, much more courage than blindly following along and nodding your head.

Bring on the discussion board on politics so the whole community can learn from one another, NOBODY had a monopoly on the truth here, and should it be claimed or asserted then membership will change and the group will be different, in a splintering world, I say we make an effort to buck the trend of sitting with only those who make us feel good and instead embrace that uncomfortableness of dissent, doubt and discussion, I suggest it will take that which is Crossfit in a far more interesting direction

Long live Crossfit!!

Comment #65 - Posted by: Phil Millar - Ontario at October 4, 2005 1:38 PM

There is a difference between political philosophy and politics, one of which involves sausage making. Be careful not to confuse the two.

I recommend not following the link and ignoring the thread, much like I do with all things nutrition related.

Comment #66 - Posted by: MikeY at October 4, 2005 1:41 PM

Phil, a brief sample from this morning:

"...a serious onslaught of "pukie" came when I read that."

"...characteristics like racism and bigotry."

"...bigoted neo-con propoganda..."

"...include the name of the individual who was ignorant enough to want it on." (Hysterical)

"...an article with an antisemtic position." (Also a laugh riot)

Phil, that's not even close to intelligent "dissent, doubt, thought and participation". I'm all for a discussion/debate, particularly if it's composed of reasoned thought and intelligent participation. But those who would dismiss an opposing viewpoint with buzzwords (neo-con, antisemitic) should, IMO, just stay the hell away. They're not actually contributing anything useful to the discussion. They're just using polarizing terms in what amounts to an effort to dismiss the argument without discussion.

Comment #67 - Posted by: Matt G. at October 4, 2005 1:51 PM

I think all this is great. This is America. This is what we are fighting for and will always fight for... wherever it needs to be fought for. Why? Because it's worth it.

And if you don't like the "extras" posted on the main site. Tough. Don't come back and when you face another Crossfitter, just stand there while they hand you your strap you just lost.

Cry me a river PEOPLE! Get over yourselves. Accept that some people think a certain way and some don't. Share your idea, but respect someone else's. Stop trying to prove them anything. Stop asking why so much and start asking "How?".

I'm out.

Comment #68 - Posted by: Tim at October 4, 2005 1:54 PM

Executed Saturday's WoD @ 27:00.
- C&J at 95lbs.
- 3 p/ups and 3 dips per each muscle-up.
- Additional HS practice.
- Additional L-sit practice.

Comment #69 - Posted by: Brand at October 4, 2005 2:10 PM

Anyone who ventures to infer a political agenda on the part of the hosts of this board is ignoring the diametric relationship between the bait posted. Cato Institute - small government, anti-expansionist libertarians; Hitch/Horowitz - incendiary "reformed" leftists, big spending, neo-con flip-floppers.

Work your mind like you venture to work your body, use a different part of it every day. And always remember, the reason the arguments on the web are so serious is because the issues are so small.

For anyone still interested, Horowitz may have been branded a racist (not by me, I’m just following up) for statements like "the Palestinians are a community of suicide bombers,". The original statement is here: http://www.frontpagemag.com/horowitzsnotepad/2002/hn01-11-02.htm, but the page has conveniently been taken down from the frontpage mag website. It is referenced here: http://www.antiwar.com/hacohen/h012402.html.

From a pure batshit loony perspective things like these are good to keep in mind:

Here Horowitz equates the motives of the antiwar movement with those of the 9-11 terrorists: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=18712. Scroll down near the end for: "That is the reason they are so dangerous. Like Mohammed Atta who did it for Allah, they will do it for a noble cause."

Here is his list of "Radical, Anti-American Leftists". A list which includes Tom Brokaw, Garrisin Keillor, and Roger Ebert in addition to the usual suspects like Mohammed Atta and friends: http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/summary.asp?object=Persons&category=

Finally, if you want to hear Hitchens get his gin soaked ass handed to him by his equally repugnant countryman George Galloway check this out: http://www.archive.org/download/grapple-in-the-big-apple/grapple-in-the-big-apple_64kb.mp3. More like a barefisted barfight between a pair of old chain smoking drunks than an informed debate, but fun none the less.

Comment #70 - Posted by: Michael Ledney at October 4, 2005 2:20 PM


You say "My issue with him is that he is smart enough to make the clever people who want to believe in their position more certain". You go on to explain that point well, but there is some question as to wether or not you could name a convincing War Advocate whom you don't view as enabler?

Victor David Hanson? Mark Steyn?

No doubt that any hawk you name is flawed in some other way, which butresses my point: If your opponents deem you an enabler first and foremost, you are likely doing something right (Like winning the argument, perhaps).

Great post, btw.

Comment #71 - Posted by: sean at October 4, 2005 2:23 PM

Wow...this got uglier since this morning. Might I suggest, as apparently one of the early posters,and apparently instigators of this fallout, that we all chill? My point this morning was that I didn't feel that article was up to our standards here- it did have a few points that I found provably valid, and others considerably less so. The author has swung from extreme, unworkable viewpoint, to another, and that just doesn't seem to fit how we roll, as a group, being focused on practicality, balance, and thoughtfulness. And I probably should have said something more along the lines of what I just did, than the somewhat more irritated earlier post. So, seeing as it was just a tiny link (which I read not knowing what it was-if it goes on that page, I usually figure it's worth reading) to a somewhat loose cannon with a handful of good and a handful of bag ideas, might'n we all just relax on this one?

Comment #72 - Posted by: Kalen M. at October 4, 2005 2:25 PM

Actually, upon a second read, I suppose he is a fair bit more reasonable than I first held. Maybe this was a fine link. More reasonable than ol' Cato in any case.

Comment #73 - Posted by: Kalen M. at October 4, 2005 2:37 PM

Ugly is as ugly does.

Thanks for the Social D. reference.
I need my pumps back for the party. The black ones.
I'll be over for the beers in a few.

Rest day?? Hardly.

Comment #74 - Posted by: Ron N. at October 4, 2005 2:47 PM

yeahh... so.... uh, whats the next WOD gonna be?

Comment #75 - Posted by: Sandy S at October 4, 2005 2:54 PM

You guys are missing out on the most important post on this thread.


Pay attention to me!

Tell how great my workout is or better yet tell me I'm pretty.


Good job Brand.

Dan you dirty dog now I want a beer.

I gotta agree on the kipping thing to a degree.

I love it but I did some serious damage to my right bicep tendon by doing entirely too many kipping pull ups my first 2 weeks back on the Crossfit crack.

Comment #76 - Posted by: Jim Glover at October 4, 2005 3:07 PM

I had my rest day with a shot of vodka.

2x5+5 1.5pd 1h cleans
2x5+5 1.5pd military press
3x5+5 1pd windmill
32+32 1pd snatches
1min 1pd leg passes

(can you tell I finally got RKC dvd?)

Comment #77 - Posted by: brendan melville at October 4, 2005 3:14 PM

I believe the Glassmans owe us some simple explanation for why they are putting up the political links, and why they choose the links they do. We all understand why they choose particular fitness links. But the political links often seem to contradict one another, and where there is confusion there is room for suspicion among those who do not know the Glassmans personally.

Do the Glassmans a) agree with the links. b) find the links thought provoking? c) simply want to provoke a free-ranging debate? d) will there be a link included soon of a right winger who has turned lefty?

The implication (by Matt G. and Brian Mulvaney)that 'all shall be revealed' is just a little too Wizard of Oz for me. Those of us who have not had the pleasure of meeting the Glassmans need a little bit more to go on than mysterious disjointed shreds of information and hints that it is all part of some deep philosphy we uninitiated are somehow not ready to understand.

I respect the Glassman's fitness expertise enough that I will patiently wait for their explanation. At least for a little while.

(By the way, I don't know if Hitchens is a ractist, but in the frontpage interview he accused liberals who criticize neo-cons of 'anti-semitism.' I find that accusation offensive. Do the Glassmans? Do Matt and Brian?

Comment #78 - Posted by: rocky at October 4, 2005 3:18 PM

"Mikael: the necon agenda lurking in the shadows... Wonderfully ominous language. You are now on the hook to explain in simple terms the neocon and/or Republican agenda that you think may have jumped out in the open on CrossFit.com What are some of the bullet points on the agenda? Let's put a spotlight on this shawdowy business."

Well, as I said I may be wrong, this is just my perception. But when I see moral clarity of the kind that uses words such as "good" and "evil" with frequency, and a decidedly pro-war in Iraq stance... I assume I am dealing with neocons.
Sorry about the shadow image that seems to have hit a nerve with you, it wasn't meant to judge anything, just to say that the political agenda was there all the time but not "out in the open" as it is now. Poor communication on my part, sorry.

Comment #79 - Posted by: Mikael at October 4, 2005 3:40 PM

Did "Cindy on the Rings"

13 sets.

Ring pullups are HARD, yo?!

Comment #80 - Posted by: Sandy S at October 4, 2005 3:41 PM

All that shoveling had me pretty sore, so did some active recovery:

1 mile run: 8:35 (first run in 2 months--finaly go the OK from the Dr)
0.5 mile walk
5 pullups
Monkey bars down and back, about 10 rungs each way--used the 1 hand on the bar method, going from bar to bar, not both hands on 1 bar--make sense?
5 skin the cats
5 handstands
Total time: 20:27

Comment #81 - Posted by: Seb at October 4, 2005 3:41 PM

I would welcome Cato’s finding for the superiority of machines like I do their findings on Iraq – I’d ask, “How’d they get this one wrong?” That being said I wish they would do a study of fitness regimens. I’m not sure what a “well articulated defense of machines” means but then again….

I wonder why it is that you’d have me worry about Hitchins’ “agenda”. Can’t we examine what he said instead of divining his inner workings? What’s an agenda? Kids on the playground counter arguments with “so that’s what you think”. Charging “agenda” seems just as hard to counter and just as informing. “He is smart enough to make clever people who want to believe in their position more certain.” But not wrong? “He is an enabler, a converter a comforter to the right”, is that like “convincing” but of things I don't like/understand? I’m struck by the lack of argument.

You say, “people like Hitchens are the allies of the ideology they switched to. Because they are smart, they make sense, but they define the context of the discussion and the analysis, not investigate the context”. (minor punc fix mine) Wow, Phil! It doesn’t sound like you necessarily think Hitchins’ is wrong just too clever. If Hitchins’ side were to concede your psychological profile of him would you then be willing to concede the substance of his remarks.

Paul, I’m with you on the arts/manners/politics section on the message board. But, we’d have to talk with Lynne Pitts about that. The no-politics on the message board side was her call. She’ rules that domain. What is demanded of both sides is civility. (We are not so monolithic as you may presume.)

What won’t escape derision, prodding, ridicule, condemnation, jest, and laughter from either the front side or the message board are deconstructionist rants, bad syllogisms, style over substance, unsupported claims (including false and malicious claims of racism. Rene –I know you’re not making the shameful argument that goes, “well he may not be a racist but he deserves the label anyway. We can always define bigot to include him. He’s got an agenda! One I don’t like”).

Mikael, the “neocon” charges put a smile on my face. We had a barrage of posters here recently from a Neo-Nazi group under domestic terror scrutiny. CrossFit LEO’s familiar/involved with the group’s murderous acts and CrossFit’s principals were all privately contacted. What wan’t hate, the only part we could make sense of, was the charge of “neocon”. “jew neocon” and “neocon jew” to be precise. They’d apparently seen the same things lurking in the shadows as did you. They spoke up sooner though. If your greatest fear is neocons then you are going to find Nazi friends quickly. They seem to live in fear of neocons.

My agenda? Rational, civil discourse.

I would argue that Iraq has gone very well - that it is a much improved place and only because of our intervention. It is, as of today, a tremendous victory for justice, democracy, civilization, and the rule of law. Now someone should ask me for evidence for this conclusion. (It amazes me that anyone could/would refute the improvements to Iraq, but that’s why we have discourse.)

Comment #82 - Posted by: Coach at October 4, 2005 3:44 PM

Keep your lousy fitness-oriented comments to yourself Sandy! (J/K).

I tied my nemesis Adrian on Cindy the other day, but I set up his rings 50'' apart instead of centimeters. Slowed him down quite a bit, that. Not sure which muscles he was working at that point, considering that the tree branch was only about 9 feet high to begin with. Probably his flactoid.

Comment #83 - Posted by: sean at October 4, 2005 3:45 PM

"Who's making those links besides yourself (and others early on in the Comments)? I don't ever remember reading anywhere on this site (and I've been through just about all of it) where Coach or anyone else officially tied to CF asserted that self-improvement was inexorably attached to one political philosophy or another."

Matt, it was Brian Mulvaney who originally said that "fitness philosophy is utterly inseparable from political philosophy". I don't believe it myself (yet).

Comment #84 - Posted by: Mikael at October 4, 2005 3:50 PM

Coach: I don't fear neocons. Why should I? What if I told you I'm a neocon myself.

Comment #85 - Posted by: Mikael at October 4, 2005 3:53 PM

Mikael (and others),

For a little context, do a search for 'libertarian coach'. The first hit leads you to a discussion from 2003 that started out as a question about meat-eating leading to hemorrhoids, but digresses from there. Turns out politics has been lurking around this site for a long time. go figure...

Comment #86 - Posted by: jimbutts at October 4, 2005 3:53 PM

Coach wrote:
"Rene –I know you’re not making the shameful argument that goes, “well he may not be a racist but he deserves the label anyway. We can always define bigot to include him. He’s got an agenda! One I don’t like”)."

I had written:
"David Horowitz has written plenty about race and racism to allow one to judge wheter he may be branded as a bigot as one defines it."

You're right; I wasn't making that argument. I meant that what I have read from him (a while ago now) led me to classify him as a bigot. Others have said it is not so. That makes me say, well, a "bigot" as I understand that to mean, which might be wrong, and how I interpreted his writing that I've read, which could easily be wrong. So I was leaving it open that the definition of a "bigot" is different for different people and also that I may have inferred something from his writings that I would need to go back now to make sure was really there. My definition could be wrong, and it could also be that I took what I read out of context unfairly.

Did I want to hash out what that definition is? Not really, not right now. Neither did I want to go through his writings again and try to find those nuggets of "proof". Maybe that makes me intellectually lazy. But I do not trust what he says or argues any more and don't want to take the time to see if he should regain that trust (triage, limited time, and all that).

Sorry for the confusion. I wasn't being explicit and tried to have a short phrase carry too much water for me. I probably should have kept my mouth shut because I didn't read the linked interview.

Comment #87 - Posted by: Rene' at October 4, 2005 4:29 PM


Brian writing that "fitness philosophy is utterly inseparable from political philosophy" does NOT tie fitness philosophy to any specific political ideology, does it?

Thank you.

As for fitness philosophy and political philosophy being inseparable, let's start with the actual definition of philosophy:

phi·los·o·phy (fĭ-lŏs'ə-fē)
n., pl. -phies.
1) Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline.
2) Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.
3) A system of thought based on or involving such inquiry: the philosophy of Hume.
4) The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs.
5) The disciplines presented in university curriculums of science and the liberal arts, except medicine, law, and theology.
6) The discipline comprising logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology.
7) A set of ideas or beliefs relating to a particular field or activity; an underlying theory: an original philosophy of advertising.
8) A system of values by which one lives: has an unusual philosophy of life.

As I see it, Fitness and Politics (in this case) are tied together simply via the concept of philosophy. Both can be approached in a philosophical manner.

Comment #88 - Posted by: Matt G. at October 4, 2005 4:33 PM

PS--I should add that I like to think I understand the difference between message and messenger, or the messenger's baggage, and that attacking or accepting one shouldn't mean the same for the other. Gotta keep that mind open!

Comment #89 - Posted by: Rene' at October 4, 2005 4:35 PM

MattG, okay point taken you can pretty much talk about anything with philosophy... In that case everything is "inseparable".

As far as political philosophy/a specific political ideology you made this confusion yourself when you wrote

"I don't ever remember reading anywhere on this site (and I've been through just about all of it) where Coach or anyone else officially tied to CF asserted that self-improvement was inexorably attached to one political philosophy or another. "

You should have used "political ideology". Unless by saying "one political philosophy or another" you meant "political ideology".

It was unclear from the beginning, thanks for clearing it up in your last post.

And by the way, from checking the message boards and more specifically the link suggested by jimbutts it DOES become clear that Coach links the pursuit of fitness with a libertarian ideology.

Comment #90 - Posted by: Mikael at October 4, 2005 4:44 PM

Mikael...yes, when I wrote "one political philosophy or another" I did mean "political ideology", though it would have been much more clear if I had in fact simply used that term. My apologies.

Comment #91 - Posted by: Matt G. at October 4, 2005 4:50 PM

Rocky: I'm not seeing the accusation in the Hitchens piece (liberals who criticize neo-cons are anti-semitic) that I should be offended by. I only see a reference to some of his critics on the web and in blogs being overtly anti-semitic. Please cite the passage you are referring to.

Comment #92 - Posted by: Brian Mulvaney at October 4, 2005 5:10 PM

Whew! My first complete WOD as Rx'd!! :)

Comment #93 - Posted by: TimW at October 4, 2005 5:28 PM

I asked my son (4 years old today) what he thought of Hitchens.
He said, "Daddy, you're silly!"
The he kicked me in the nuts.

and I cried. . .

like Nancy Kerrigan.

Comment #94 - Posted by: Ron N. at October 4, 2005 5:37 PM

Controversy? You want controversy

Ford is better than Chevy.
9mm is better then .45
Miller Lite tastes Great or it's less filling.
Kettlebells are the only tools you need for Crossfit
Spot reduction works
Slarty Bartfaster was a poseur

Comment #95 - Posted by: TimW at October 4, 2005 5:49 PM

Jim Glover- I'll bite. What's a deck squat? By the way, the beers are on ice and rapidly decreasing in volume.

Ron- Story of my life.


Comment #96 - Posted by: Dan Silver at October 4, 2005 6:10 PM

Group Moffett's WOD:

Step-ups for 5 minutes
25 situps
step-ups for 4 minutes
25 situps
step-ups for 3 minutes
25 situps
one legged step-ups for 2 minutes (1 min each leg)
25 situps
one legged step-ups for 1 minute (30 sec each leg
25 situps

Comment #97 - Posted by: Adrian D at October 4, 2005 6:20 PM

Card PT this morning:

Spades: Squat Thrusts
Hearts: Chinups
Clubs: 95-lb HSC
Diamonds: 55-lb DB snatch

All exercises done for the number of reps on the card. Face cards only count for 10 (I was lazy)

2 Jokers are 50 swiss-ball situps each (we don't have a GHD).

Took about 40 minutes

Comment #98 - Posted by: davidjwood at October 4, 2005 6:28 PM

If a person's belief system produces in that person an intolerance towards other people/belief systems such that normal friendships and relationships with people of the other group/groups are impossible or even difficult.... I would have to say that person's belief system is lacking. If a link to a site that you don't personally like/agree with offends you to the extent that you would avoid a site you love.... Well, I've got say, I just find that the height of comedy! Say no more!!!!!!!!!

Did the WOD from a couple of days ago today, destroyed me!

Substituted P-ups and Dips for Muscle ups at 3-3 to 1

I had wuss like tendencies today and in deference to Pukie I did the C and J's with #95.

For a world record time of..... 32:40! It was a slow painful death...

Comment #99 - Posted by: Van at October 4, 2005 6:31 PM

Deck (Rock Up) Squat - Begin by sitting back and down, as if sitting in a chair. When you reach the bottom of the squat, roll back by touching your bottom to the mat and continuing back until your shoulders are on the mat. This is like the beginning of a back somersault. From this point, reverse the momentum by kicking your feet out and rolling back up into the initial standing position. To assist you in getting back up on your feet, push your hands forcefully out in front of you as you are standing. Also project your focus to a point 100 feet in front of you.
(From http://www.powerathletesmag.com/pages/pistols.htm)

I got it from a guy who said he got it from a kettlebell workout.

Me likey.

Comment #100 - Posted by: Jim Glover at October 4, 2005 7:38 PM

Dan S. - Please post pics....

...of your kipping.


Comment #101 - Posted by: Laurar at October 4, 2005 7:45 PM


That same exercise is called Thunder Rolls on this boxing website.


Comment #102 - Posted by: Zeekie at October 4, 2005 7:48 PM

I think this is the first time ever in my life that I have been excited to find out what tomorrow's workout is going to be. :)

Comment #103 - Posted by: Corinne at October 4, 2005 7:52 PM

Coach, I thank you for responding with an explanation of your 'agenda' (for lack of a better word). I don't know about anyone else, but for me it helps a great deal when you explain why you're providing a link and what you like or don't like about it, rather than just letting us guess. And, in the future, simply saying, "hey, I don't agree with everything on this website but here's some thought-provoking stuff to chew on during your rest day" is good enough for me.

And, hey: very sorry to hear about the neo-nazi harassment. Obviously no one deserves that. As a regular visitor of the site, I'm having a really hard time imagining what their point could have been ... but expecting nazis to make coherent points is probably a waste of time.

Of course, does it need to be said that not every one who criticizes neo-cons is a friend to neo-nazis? I hope you don't feel that way, coach.

I guess I still wish that you'd find a way to segregate the politics from the physical fitness. Failing to do so sends the subtle, unspoken message that those who disagree with your politics are not welcome. Maybe that is a stupid assumption, but obviously several people have begun to feel that way.

Whatever Christopher Hitchens' virtues or faults, he obviously has served to divide "lefties" and "neocons" which is silly, especially when the one common thread in today's posts is that many of us hold positions that span several labels and find them meaningless.

A respectful note from Coach saying that he respects all crossfitters regardless of politics would help .. but maybe you don't feel that way, coach.

But, yes, coach, I'd love to know why you think the occupation of Iraq is a success.

Brian, I must apologize for skimming Hitchens too quickly: he was attributing anti-semitism to some of those on both the 'isolationist right' as well as 'peaceniks' who 'taunt' him for being a neo-con. His charge of anti-semitism was not as general as I had assumed on first reading. So I'd say there is nothing to feel offended by. And I applaud you for taking the time to check.

Comment #104 - Posted by: rocky at October 4, 2005 7:56 PM

Dan S., always a pleasure to see you post.

Thought I would drop in for a casual glance at the comments at the end of the day. What a mistake.

You people posting long winded, multi-paragraph comments, and those of you posting numerous times in one day.......



Comment #105 - Posted by: steven stackpole at October 4, 2005 8:06 PM

so i gave this some more thought and came up with several comparisons between Hitchen's positions as presented in the interview and CrossFit:

Hitchens - describes himself as a radicalist coupled with (what appears to be) an indifference to party affiliation
CF - specializes in not specializing, always blurring distinctions and continually pushing the boundaries of fitness

Hitchens - political views are motivated by fundamental principles: pluralism, anti-totalitarianism, and anti-theocracy
CF - specific workouts are guided generally by fundamental principles: variation, intensity, functionality

Hitchens - seems to believe in democracy as ideal form of government for its emphasis on the people (each and every citizen) wherein power lies
CF - user driven, decentralized fitness program where responsibility is taken rather than given and thus naturally distributed among its many users

Hitchens - focused specifically on the issue portion of political issues (vice partisanship, gaining power for himself or others through politics, etc)
CF - focused specifically on fitness (vice making money, aesthetics, etc)

again, my understanding of Hitchens is based solely on my reading of the interview so feel free to point out any misunderstandings or to add any other similarities (or differences!) between Hitchens and CF.

Comment #106 - Posted by: ediddy at October 4, 2005 8:14 PM

BTW, Ron, your last post absolutely killed me. im a big fan of America's Funniest Home Videos, so i had a hilarious mental image as i read it...although, in my expert opinion, crotch shots are more typically received from either baseball bats (including wiffle bats) or balls (all varieties but especially hard ones).

and now i will take Strongman Stackpole's advice.

Comment #107 - Posted by: ediddy at October 4, 2005 8:22 PM

Not that this has anything on the conversation, but watching that video just reminded me how much I need to go to a seminar or cert. Can't wait to read what all the talk is about.

Comment #108 - Posted by: DJ at October 4, 2005 8:26 PM

I am starting a Dan Silver fan club. Signed photos of kipping will be offered for sale. Just pop me an email any time!

Comment #109 - Posted by: beth at October 4, 2005 8:38 PM

The underlying politics of some people involved with running the site are obvious to any paying a modicum of attention: the repeated pictures of police and military and the talk of functionality in the face of combat and so forth tell the tale. And what of it? If this does not fit your view of the world then I would suggest, to borrow a phrase from another group, you take what you like and leave the rest.

As for Hitchens I will say generally what I have been saying for a couple of years to my lefty friends who have ex-communicated a once beloved figure: Hitchens has been remarkably consistent in his position and the Front Page article and his other work in the last couple of years do no represent a right-ward lurch, but are part of his enduring anti-fascism. He takes his cue from Orwell, who has perhaps the only intellectual of the time to chart a course that was both anti-Stalinist and anti-imperialist. Orwell’s contemporaries were mainly either apologist Tories or fellow-traveling Marxists. He also takes inspiration from Robert Conquest who is worth a read for anyone interested, but who primarily argues that Utopian schemes (Marxist and Fascist, sadly he gives a pass to free market Utopianism), are the cause of a great deal of human misery.

The main issue Hitchens implicitly raises is whether democracy can be exported and whether it should be exported at the front of a tank column. It’s an interesting question and one that has large implications for us and for the world.

Side note to Michael Ledney. Why is Hitchens’s fondness for drink such an issue for those who don’t like him? He’s not employed to operate heavy machinery after all. It’s really undignified as an argument. And you might want to check your score card on the Galloway debate...I think you got the count wrong.

Since it’s a rest day and the topic was rolling I thought I would jump on my soapbox for a few paragraphs.

On a Crossfit note, I have been going to Petranek fitness for the last couple of months, and I encourage anyone who visits LA to get down there. It’s a great place with a great group of people. Crossfit seems to draw those sorts of folks to it for some reason.

Comment #110 - Posted by: dan.o at October 4, 2005 9:55 PM

I have better photos of Dan.
In dresses.

It actually came from a South Park episode and my real life adventures with my son. Good thing he is the last in the line.

Good advice. I'm out.

Comment #111 - Posted by: Ron N. at October 4, 2005 9:55 PM

Almost didn't want to post... but had to in order to thank you all for your "spirited discourse". The serious input combined with the occasional Ron N and Dan S stuff is almost always worth the read.

Thanks Coach.

Comment #112 - Posted by: Steve HB at October 4, 2005 10:04 PM

WOD - read all that!

Time: Better spent doing work...

(Too much polarity, not enough clarity!)

Up-coming week: Whiskey, tobacco and solitude.

Time: 2 take it easy.

Comment #113 - Posted by: C_Mel at October 5, 2005 6:11 AM

As an interesting study of iconoclastic thinking, another example of someone who "switched sides" and been generally vilified for it by his former colleagues:


Don't be put off by the rest of what Amazon flogs on the same page.

Comment #114 - Posted by: davidjwood at October 6, 2005 3:57 AM

Keep to the exercise talk, coach; why introduce controversial politics into something non-political?

You like this bloody, messy occupation in Iraq?!?!?!?!?!
Must be a Texas oilman.

Comment #115 - Posted by: jackie at October 6, 2005 8:08 AM


My commitment to efficient and effective training methods has cost me jobs, brought legal battles (amazing story), cost me friends, and generally offered (until this site was launched) enormous hardship - financial and personal. The things said about me and CrossFit, about my programming and clients have been painfully dishonest, generally cruel, and always steeped in ignorance. I’ve been thrown out of more commercial gyms for providing efficacious and safe programming than most of you will visit in a lifetime. If there is a non-political side to fitness I can’t find it. I would have to have kept my eyes closed, my mouth shut, and my ethics on ice to have lived apolitically in my industry. Most have. I couldn’t. I can’t.

“You like this bloody, messy occupation in Iraq?!?!?!?!” you asked. Yes, is the answer, I do. I’m proud of it. Saddam and crew held Iraq for 8,000 days and during their reign executed an estimated 600,000 innocent civilians! A fledgling and delicate democracy has replaced a tyrannical, lawless, and savage strongman. How hard is that?

I would love to hear why we should not be in Iraq. Well meaning twits chanting in unison, “Bush lied; millions died!” which, while apparently fun for the chanters, doesn’t carry much sway with me. (I’m generally unmoved by the intellectual force of rhyme.)

CrossFit is the kind of place where civility, honesty, camaraderie, and intellectual interactions are nourished and welcome. That’s where the fitness program came from. If you’ve not heard other than pop-media characterizations of conservatives you may possibly be knocked back on your heels a bit. If you’ve historically found comfort and personal redemption in shouting epithets of “racist” or “enemy of the poor” haphazardly you’ll find the wrong and the hazard of it here.

Finally, for the record, I am not a Texas oilman, and were I one, I’d find no shame in it.

Comment #116 - Posted by: Coach at October 6, 2005 1:38 PM

wow! amazing! the selectiveness of the memory

remember Rumsfeld hugging Saddam? Or Cheney's "We believe Saddam has reconstituted nuclear weapons"? Or Hitchens': "They will welcome us with sweets and hugs"?

The war was based on shameless propaganda, distortions and manipulations. And did I mention that we broke international law that we helped set up in the 30ies?

As a result, the USA credibility in the world is close to zero; Iraq has become a breeding ground for international terrorism; we have killed tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis (to liberate them, heh); we have spent hundreds of billions of $ and - lest you forget, Coach - young people in the prime of their lives - have died.

For what? The only ones who profited from the war are Halliburton and Iran. Yes my friends: who won the war in Iraq? Iran!

The incompetence and venality of this administration is beyond belief. And to see good people support it - makes me sad.

Comment #117 - Posted by: kai at October 6, 2005 3:22 PM


You wrote:
I would love to hear why we should not be in Iraq.

Okay, here's why:

The Bush administration sold this war to Congress and the American people by claiming that it was a matter of national security: a necessary battle in the war against Islamic terrorism. They claimed that Iraq was an immediate threat, because Hussein either possessed weapons of mass destruction or was close to aquiring them. The truth is that Saddam had no such weapons and was not anywhere close to producing or procuring such weapons, and Bush and his advisors had no good evidence that he was. Nor was Saddam a major supporter of Al-Qaeda. Money and moral support for our most dangerous enemies came (and continue to come) largely from Saudi Arabia, homeland of bin Laden and of a majority of the Sept. 11 hijackers. Much further support was provided by the Taliban, which aided and abetted and sheltered our enemies. Invading Afganistan to root out the threat there made sense. Putting real pressure on our "ally" Saudi Arabia to crack down on support for terrorism among it's citizens would make sense. Invading Iraq did not. Iraq did not present a threat to the US thru possesion of WMD; it certainly didn’t present a conventional military threat; and there was no evidence that Saddam was a major supporter of the current wave of terrorist attacks against us.

There is no doubt that Saddam was a vicious tyrant. But a crusade to free the Iraqi people was never the primary justification offered for this war – until it became clear to all that the WMD’s didn’t exist, that is. The US is not, nor do we have the wherewithal to be, in the business of overthrowing every brutal dictator out there. As it is we’re stretched thin militarily and economically trying to keep a lid on Iraq. If Bush cared so much about human rights abuses, why not take action to stop the genocide in the Sudan, to take just one example? It’s acceptable to tolerate Castro’s regime in Cuba for all these decades (and to tolerate Saddam himself for what, 25 years or so), but all of a sudden it’s urgent to commit our military to free the Iraqis? Sorry, that doesn’t wash.

Let’s look further at the results of what you characterize as a “success”. Thousands of Americans are dead, and thousands more have suffered permanent, life-altering injuries. We have spent billions of dollars. We are committed to a long-term occupation, which costs more American lives on a weekly, almost daily, basis. It is not clear whether a democratic Iraqi government will ever be able to sustain itself. By launching a pre-emptive war against a nation that had committed no act of war against us, we have fostered even greater hatred of the US in the Arab world, and given much rhetorical ammunition to those who would characterize us as imperialist oppressors. To be very clear about this, I don’t see our government in that light (much as I disagree with Bush’s policies), but that has no effect on how we’re likely to be perceived by the average Arab. How about the Iraqi point of view? Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died, thousands more have been maimed, uncounted thousands have lost husbands, sons, wives and daughters. Oridinary Iraqi citizens today live under the occupation of a foreign army, and they are under constant threat from the insurgents, whether as a result of being targeted or smply of being caught in the cross-fire between US and insurgent forces. Those who are attempting to sustain a democratic government are utterly incapable of policing their country without continued massive US military presence. This is the state of affairs that you describe as an “improvement”.

Meanwhile, the US is no safer as a result of this war, and may even be in greater danger.

That’s why we shouldn’t be there.

Comment #118 - Posted by: Chris Farnsworth at October 6, 2005 3:47 PM


With regard to the rationale for our involvement in Iraq you are characterizing through DNC talking points and campaign slogans what can be readily verified by public document.

The first is Public Law 105-338, October 31, 1998, “The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998”, passed by a majority of Democrats and Republicans in both Houses and signed by President Clinton.

The second is Public Law 107-40, September 18, 2001, “Authorization of the Use of Force”, passed by a majority of Democrats and Republicans in both Houses and signed by President Bush.

The third is House Joint Resolution 114, October 16, 2002, Joint Resolution to authorize the use of United States Forces against Iraq, passed by a majority of Democrats and Republicans in both Houses and signed by President Bush.

Here is what even a cursory reading of these documents reveals:

That a majority of Democrats and Republicans in both the House and the Senate, and both Presidents Clinton and Bush believed that:

1. Iraq had WMD
2. Iraq had used WMD.
3. Iraq was supporting terror and terrorist groups.
4. Iraq was a threat to the stability of the Middle-East.
5. Iraq was a threat to the world.
6. Iraq was regularly committing atrocities against innocent civilians.
7. Iraq was in constant violation of its accepted obligation to allow inspection of its WMD facilities.
8. It was official U.S. policy to remove Saddam Hussein from power (for 1-7 long before Bush became president).

On Hussein and WMD: We know he had them. We know he used them. Inspectors saw them. He signed agreements to get rid of them. He systematically denied fulfilling the terms of those agreements. We get over there and can’t find them (not yet) and you, Chris, conclude he never had them, and that Bush lied about their existence to begin with.

Reading the three documents carefully and then rereading your missive leads me to conclude that you are sloganeering against Bush in distinct contradiction to fact and historical record.

As for the current state of affairs in Iraq, how much of your third paragraph could have been said of the Nazi regime at the end of WWII? Wow, all of it!

Why must a nascent democracy be stable to be worthy of praise? What about the slaughter of the 600,000 innocents?

Comment #119 - Posted by: Coach at October 7, 2005 10:50 AM

OK. this is my last post on the subject. i apologize for jumping in like that but perhaps my post will be useful in some way.

It is not true that "majority of Democrats and Republicans in both the House and the Senate" believed that Iraq had WMDs.

They were BULLIED into believing by Bush people who waved the 911 flag. If you want to get re-elected, can you afford to APPEAR non-patriotic? You can't.

Re: propaganda: do you know how many Amerricans believe today that Saddam had links to Al Qaida? 80%! The truth, of course, is that we have destroyed one of the worst enemies of Al Qaida AND created a new breeding ground for international terrorism.

Now how about the claim we went in to "liberate" Iraqis? This claim is of course preposterous - the US had supported Pinochet, Mobutu, Reza Pahlavi, Noriega, Duvalier ...and let us not forget the Saudis...The US had been best buddies with Saddam too. Where do you think Saddam got his bioweapons?

"The CDC and a biological-sample company, the American Type Culture Collection, sent strains of all the germs Iraq used to make weapons, including anthrax, the bacteria that make botulinum toxin, and the germs that cause gas gangrene, the records show. Iraq also got samples of other deadly pathogens, including West Nile virus. American-exported materials were identical to microorganisms destroyed by United Nations inspectors after the Gulf War. In 1985–90, the U.S. Commerce Department licensed $1.5 billion in sales to Iraq of American technology with potential military uses.

Now look at this:


Saddam had been using chemical weapons DAILY against the Iranians and against Kurdish civilians with tacit support of the Reagan admin. This does not deter Rummy to go to Bagadad to talk to the genocidal regime and:...."Later, Rumsfeld was assured by the U.S. interests section that Iraq's leadership had been "extremely pleased" with the visit, and that "Tariq Aziz had gone out of his way to praise Rumsfeld as a person".

heh. Talk about principles!

In short: Cheney, Libby, Bush - they all dodged the draft and now these people are sending, on false pretenses, poor and lower middle class Americans to fight a war in which thousands of young men and women are killed and maimed. So much for a health paradigm (how many rich kids went to Iraq?). Jefferson is turning in his grave!

Comment #120 - Posted by: kai at October 7, 2005 12:22 PM

"It is not true that "majority of Democrats and Republicans in both the House and the Senate" believed that Iraq had WMDs. They were BULLIED into believing by Bush people who waved the 911 flag. If you want to get re-elected, can you afford to APPEAR non-patriotic? You can't."

sorry, brother...thats a copout. furthermore, that line of thinking can be applied to any politician who now says that he was bullied...'youre just saying you were bullied because the war in Iraq is less popular.' its an opportunistic and sophist stance. what counts is the final vote, and there the majority ruled in favor.

your other comments are either a)unsubstantiated, b)striking only in hindsight, or c)paralyzing (as in weve done bad things, therefore, everything we do will forever be bad, therefore, we must never do anything).

Comment #121 - Posted by: ediddy at October 7, 2005 1:13 PM

Thank you Jim G.!

Comment #122 - Posted by: Brand at October 7, 2005 1:18 PM


First, regarding “DNC talking points and campaign slogans”: you’ll notice that I have avoided applying such labels to you and your arguments – I haven’t characterized you as a “neocon”, or assumed that you are regurgitating the Republican party line, for example. Since you know nothing about my political affiliations or lack thereof, or about my opinions on other issues, I ask that you show me the same consideration, refrain from throwing around labels, and stick to the issue at hand. For the record, I don’t oppose Bush’s decision to invade Iraq because he’s a Republican: I oppose it because I think he was wrong. I agreed with the invasion of Afganistan; I disagree on Iraq.

The Iraq Liberation Act which you cite authorizes funds to support a democratic opposition to Saddam by providing broadcasting and military supplies and training. Nowhere is there the statement or even the implication that a preemptive war would be justified.

The “Authorization of the Use of Force” which you cite gives Bush the authority to take military action against those responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks. There is no mention of Iraq. This document provides no evidence to support your statements regarding Iraq or US policy towards Iraq. Not even by implication, since the Sept. 11 attack was committed by a group composed mainly of Saudis, masterminded by a Saudi, and financed largely with Saudi money, with much assistance provided by the Taliban. Had Iraq actually been involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, this document would have authorized the use of force there, no doubt about it.

This brings us to the Joint Resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. This document at least provides some support for your position. Unfortunately, the fact that a statement appears in a Congressional resolution doesn’t make that statement true. Bush and his advisors claimed that Iraq was continuing to “to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability” etc. The problem was that they had only the flimsiest of evidence for this. As far as I know, they had no evidence that Iraq possessed significant chemical or bioweapons capability at that time, although if you know of such evidence I’d like to see it. The idea that Iraq was working on nuclear weapons was based mostly on the interpretation of one or two analysts who believed that a large quantitiy of metal tubes obtained by Iraq were intended for use in constructing centrifuges that might then be used to produce fissionable materials. Most of the experts who were consulted on this stated that the tubes were unsuitable for that use and were most likely intended for use in short-range missile systems, but of course that’s not the way Bush presented the matter to Congress.

So the documents you cite show the following: back in ’98, Clinton and many members of Congress believed that an appropriate response to Saddam’s undeniably brutal regime was to allocate $100 million, give or take, to provide material support to groups opposed to Saddam. They clearly did not believe that an invasion of Iraq was called for. In 2001, immediately after Sept. 11, Bush and Congress believed that the President should be authorized to use force to hunt down those who had attacked us. No one suggested that those attacks had been perpetrated by Iraq. In 2002, after being told – incorrectly, based on all currently available evidence – that Iraq had WMD’s, possibly including or soon to include nukes, Congress understandably authorized the use of force against Iraq. I notice you haven’t denied that it was the supposed WMD threat that made the difference here. Your statements about Saddam’s slaughter of innocent people, use of chemical weapons against the Kurds and Iranians, and support for terrorism are of course true, but no President and no Congressional majority had ever before thought that this made it necessary or advisable to invade Iraq. There are a lot of brutal, repressive regimes out there, but the great majority of past Presidents (both Republican and Democratic) and past Congressional majorities (whichever party was in control) have felt that something like the ’98 resolution was a more rational level of response. Even if you believe that the US should have waged other preemptive wars to stamp out both Hussein and other vicious despots, I think it’s safe to say that most Americans disagree. Retroactive attempts to justify this war based on what an evil bastard Saddam was don’t change the fact that at the time it was the national security issue that was paramount.

Now for your analogy with Nazi Germany. First of all, such references to the Third Reich are almost always a rhetorical trick – an attempt to elicit a presumably automatic emotional response, despite the fact that the issue at hand has nothing to do with WWII. However, since you brought it up….Hitler’s Germany and Tojo’s Japan represented a deadly threat to the US and every other western democracy. That’s why the huge loss of life necessary to stop them was justified. These nations had both the will and the military strength to conquer the planet, had they played their cards right and had they not been so strongly opposed. Saddam had no such capability. He couldn’t conquer Iran, much less Western Europe. The difference in the magnitude of the threat is so great as to be ludicrous.

Oh, and to go back to an earlier statement of yours, I didn’t say that Iraq “never had” WMD. Obviously, as noted above, I’m aware of Saddam’s use of chemical weapons in the past, as well as the surprisingly advanced nuclear program that was discovered after the Gulf War. What’s at issue is whether he had WMD capability in 2002. The evidence says no.

You wrote: “Why must a nascent democracy be stable to be worthy of praise?”. This is a red herring. I said nothing about what was or wasn’t praiseworthy in regard to the current Iraqi government. The question is whether the invasion was justified.

You wrote: “What about the slaughter of the 600,00 innocents”. What about the tens of thousands of American and Iraqi war casualties? What about all the butchery elsewhere in the world, for example in various parts of Africa? Why do you believe that we were justified in expending so many American lives in Iraq, but not elsewhere? If you believe we should try to overthrow every vicious despot on the planet, where do you propose that we get the troops and the money to do it? How long do you think our country would survive such an effort?

Comment #123 - Posted by: Chris Farnsworth at October 7, 2005 4:28 PM

Brand we aim to please.

At least I'm drinking beer this morning.

1554 from the New Belgium Brewing Company.

Good stuff.

Comment #124 - Posted by: Jim Glover at October 9, 2005 9:07 AM


First of all, I am sorry if my characterizations of your arguments offended you. That is not my intent. I’ll try to be more sensitive.

In reading your argument for why we should not be in Iraq I was at once reminded of the oft repeated “What did the President know and when did he know it?” question in the muckraking spirit of Watergate. I’m much more interested in exploring the geopolitical realities of our being in Iraq vis-à-vis, what is for me the larger, more important issue, of the GWOT, supporting freedom, and eliminating crimes against humanity. I would characterize our disagreement as your being process oriented with an eye to proving Bush acted improperly where as I’m outcome oriented and claim little perfectly certain knowledge of what Bush knew and when he knew it, and furthermore don’t think it germane to our debate - “Should we be in Iraq?”

Iraq had WMD’s (inspectors saw them), used them, admitted having them, and then persistently and systematically denied the international community the opportunity to inspect known weapons production facilities. They seem to have been moved, destroyed, used, or hidden – at any rate we cannot, yet, find them. It seems to be your contention that Bush knew they weren’t there, a claim I find untenable. The logic and evidence required to believe they were there still on 9/12 and on the eve of our invasion did not require Bush presenting any additional evidence. I never paid attention to the post 9/11 arguments that Saddam had WMD’s – Clinton convinced me. If Saddam committed suicide-by–international-cop, by faking possession of weapons he’d already ditched/used/buried/ or had otherwise hidden, oh well. Good riddance.

You state that Saddam was not a “major supporter of Al-Qaeda”. I don’t know what constitutes being a “major supporter”, but the evidence for committed and extensive cooperation between Al-Qaeda and Iraq on terror and WMD’s is compelling, well documented, and was known by both the Clinton and Bush administrations well before 9/11. Stephen F. Hayes’ research/article for the Weekly Standard and his recent book “The Connection” on the Al-Qaeda/Iraq nexus leads Hayes to conclude “there can no longer be any serious argument about whether Saddam Hussein’s Iraq worked with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda to plot against Americans.” I invite everyone to read Hayes’ article in The Weekly Standard and determine for themselves if Saddam was a major supporter of Al-Qaeda or not. http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/378fmxyz.asp?pg=1

Your reasons for us not being in Iraq include worries about how we’re perceived by Iraqis and Arabs in general. You state that our liberation of Iraq has “fostered even greater hatred of the U.S. in the Arab world, and given rhetorical ammunition to those who would characterize us as imperialist oppressors.” I’d contrast your fears with this, again from Stephen F. Hayes, in the October 3, 2005 issue of The Weekly Standard on the subject of King Abdullah of Jordan’s ground breaking and public denunciations last week of radical-Islam’s hatred, violence, and terror:

“Before the Iraq war, we were warned repeatedly that removing Saddam Hussein's regime would… set the so-called Arab street afire, and that moderate, America-friendly governments in the Middle East would go to great lengths to distance themselves from the United States. A war in Iraq, skeptical experts predicted, would destabilize the region and have little effect other than to empower extremists. Even now, as terrorists continue to explode car bombs with alarming frequency, Iraqi constitutional negotiators work to hammer out political arrangements that would have been unthinkable five years ago. Elsewhere, we have seen the codification of women's rights in Kuwait; local voting in Saudi Arabia; and successful elections in Afghanistan and Lebanon. In Egypt, voting this month was marred by corruption. But opposition parties spoke with unprecedented freedom against Hosni Mubarak and his National Democratic party and could protest the outcome of the election with relative impunity. Mubarak, who scoffed at calls for liberalization as recently as last fall, dramatically changed his tone after January's elections in Iraq.” http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Protected/Articles/000/000/006/115skijl.asp?pg=1

(I would add the relative cessation of the wholesale slaughter of innocent civilians in Iraq and Libya’s surrendering of its WMD programs and materials to international authorities.)

I’d also recommend adherents of the “quagmire” view of post invasion Iraq to take a look at the “Good News from Iraq” blog by Chrenkoff for a refreshing view of modern Iraq not offered by pop media: http://www.chrenkoff.blogspot.com/

Our liberation of Iraq has changed the globe. We’ve cut off the edges of the great bloc of terrorist nations and diced what was left into three pieces. No longer can terrorists move freely throughout the region to muster forces, train, relax, and launch attacks. Instead, they have an irresistible magnet to get killed by ready and willing armed forces instead of soft targets of Western women, children, and old men.

More importantly, and something Bush just can’t proclaim, we have a permanent, friendly territory from which to exert force against the remaining terrorist states of Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. We no longer have to put our hugely valuable aircraft carriers in harms way, nor get France’s permission to overfly their little country. We have a few decades of mop up in front of us.

Map of Terrorist States before U.S. Invasion of Iraq: http://www.crossfit.com/cf-photos/map-of-terroriststate-before-usinvasionof-iraq.tif

Map of Terrorist States after U.S. Invasion of Iraq: http://www.crossfit.com/cf-photos/map-of-terroriststate-after-usinvasionof-iraq.tif

That’s why we should be in Iraq.

Comment #125 - Posted by: Coach at October 9, 2005 1:25 PM

I hadn't visited Crossfit for a bit, been busy. Come back to find it posting overtly political pieces. Yea, I like Hitchens. Sometimes. I do like and agree with his strict secularism and atheism. I hate theism with a passion. I don't agree with his backing of Bush and the Iraq situation. And I think Horowitz, Limbaugh, Meese, and some of the others whose names appear on that Frontline page to be somewhere between lying crooks and lunatics. BUT the point I keep wondering and want to make here -- is ANY of this relevant and properly considered here on Crossfit? WTF? For the first time, I find myself repulsed and bothered by this site. This is NOT good. Bad move, people. Yes, it's your site, you can post whatever you want. I can stop visiting it, and tell others who I might have otherwise recommended it to avoid it.

Comment #126 - Posted by: Brian Ozinga at October 10, 2005 1:15 PM
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