March 24, 2007

Saturday 070324

Rest Day


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Site for CrossFit Games

Medicine ball cleans - video [wmv] [mov]

The Ethic of the Peddler Class, by Frank Chodorov, Ludwig von Mises Institute

Post thoughts to comments.

Posted by lauren at March 24, 2007 6:55 PM

Great video! Using MB Cleans are great for teaching people the shrug, scoop, and catch. Once they have mastered these, the transition to barbell and DB's are much easier. Thanks for all the inspiring and instructional videos, Coach!

Comment #1 - Posted by: barry weidner at March 23, 2007 8:12 PM

I AM hooked on a feeling! Great video and I can't wait to give it a go next week when my Dynamax ball comes in. Oooh Rah!

Comment #2 - Posted by: Garth Reed at March 23, 2007 8:21 PM

"That's what governments are for....get in a man's way."
-- Capt. Malcom Reynolds

I love the article. I started by business as a peddler...selling my wares out of my truck, then movign to my garage/Internet, then getting a larger storage unit instead of the garage. I won't get a store because it ties one to a locating. I can have the best of both worlds.

As to the peddler's income being taxed before he coudl get it, an underground peddler would just do everytrhing under the table.

Comment #3 - Posted by: TimW at March 23, 2007 8:23 PM

Two things have truly destroyed small business. Both in my mind stem from others' inability to take responsibility for their actions.

Taxes and Lawsuits

Income taxes ruin investment capital potential earned from successfully serving your fellow man in order to support the Welfare State.

Lawsuits based off lack of personal responsibility create an environment where entrepreneurs would prefer not to take risk.

I can't help but believe it is the onset of Political Correctness that is the ramp for both getting to the point where they are so detrimental to what vaulted America into the lead of the pack.

Comment #4 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at March 23, 2007 8:29 PM

Well, I work only 1/2 days, about 6 or so days a week...and the cool thing is I get to determine which 12 hours of the day it is. :)

And then to see it all snatched away so that some low-lifes can sit around watching Maury, or because some tobacco farmer needs a subsidy, or because some NFL team owner blackmails the locals into building a stadium or he'll leave...well, you can imagine how I feel.

Every day, I understand our Founding Fathers more and more.

Comment #5 - Posted by: TimW at March 23, 2007 8:40 PM

I'm with you 100%, CCTJoey. Lawsuits are the same thing as welfare. It all comes from a victim/entitlement mentality. I slipped on the ice because you didn't shovel well enough. I burned myself because McDonalds made the coffee too hot. The government owes me money because I lost my job. No personal responsibility at all.

I'm interested to hear about how the PC movement might contribute to that mentality. My first response is that you are probably on to something but I can't quite place how.

Another thought provoking and well written article. Thanks Coach!

Comment #6 - Posted by: JPW at March 23, 2007 10:13 PM


The first chapter gives a good and brief overview of Political Correctness as an ideology and its history. While I do not agree with ALL of its assessments as to how to fight PC, I do concur with the author's view of its dangers. The connection to Freud is more than coincidental.

Political Correctness = Cultural Marxism = Loss of Liberty

The far left can not bring about Utopia without changing the "Rules" for how were are allowed to think and communicate. Since they failed every where they had a serious opportunity to do it through revolution, subversion is the next route.

You are supposed to feel guilty and want to pay higher taxes, take corporate profits and chant for the redistribution of other's wealth through the force of the "Government" to make life better for your comrades.

If you don't feel guilty then you are labeled.

Comment #7 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at March 23, 2007 10:47 PM

Because of Political Correctness, Crap like this is tolerated by the left "Anti-War" types...

yet, dodgeball is banned in PE classes all across the country.

Comment #8 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at March 23, 2007 10:59 PM

Income tax predates political correctness.

Paying 30% of our income to finance irrational wars and welfare for those unwilling to work is nonsensical. Both sides of the spectrum are guilty of wasting our earnings.

I used to believe that lawsuits were a dodge against personal responsibility, but tell me this -- if the Glassmans sue Mark Twight for misrepresenting their works as his own creation, is that a dodge? Especially when it is done in an effort to promote the wellbeing of members of the armed forces who may be requested to follow one training routine or another?

In many cases, lawsuits have brought down the corrupt who obtained their power through deceit and by taking advantage of others (Enron, MCI); were there no legal remedy for these sorts of schemes, the market would likely cease to support novel enterprises which create new segments.

Best of all, of course, is the entrepreneur who can grow his own business from the grassroots up, without needing the threat of lawsuits to keep him honest. It seems like the Glassmans have pulled this off, yet even they may have use for legal recourse. In exchange for a (theoretical) monopoly on the use of force, citizens have the right to expect enforcement of reasonable laws and respectable jurisprudence from that government.

Sadly, even with the checks and balances put in place by the Founding Fathers ("people should not fear the government; rather, the government should fear the people"), there are occasions when class-action lawsuits and criminal prosecution of white-collar crimes really are necessary.

Suing McDonalds for serving their coffee hot is not the same as taking a large company to task for poisoning the water supply. Frivolous people file frivolous lawsuits, but that does not make the system itself frivolous.

Comment #9 - Posted by: Tim T at March 23, 2007 11:25 PM

If anyone can send a copy of the actual document of today's rest today to me at, I'll be very grateful. DoD computer system not fully cooperative of late.

Every step I take today I'm grateful for good workouts and glad it's rest day.


Comment #10 - Posted by: apolloswabbie at March 23, 2007 11:42 PM

I am confused. Judging from some of some of these comments I thought I must have had the wrong definition of "political correctness." Well I looked it up and, nope! It still means "non-offensive to racial, cultural, or other identity groups." How ANYONE see this as an ideology or in ANYWAY way analogous to Marxism is beyond me. That video is actually quite offensive and by the very definition not PC.

Comment #11 - Posted by: Allen at March 24, 2007 12:08 AM

An interesting story, that one about the peddler, but what does it teach? Does it have general application? It does have some things to teach us: work hard, take care of yourself and those you love. But it is only a story. It isolates the peddler from much of his context, and his significance as a moral example (and that of his contemporary analogue: the small business-owner) is very much dependent on that context.

The peddler did not build and does today not sustain the US economy. The peddler of the late 19thC (our writer was born in 1887) is not analogous to the small-business person of today. In a few short sentences our writer goes from the peddler carrying a pack on his back in the hinterland to the “department stores, the merchandise marts, that dot the American landscape today” and assures us that this is the story of most of the department stores that “dot the American landscape today.” Even if that is the case (of course it isn’t – professionals beget professionals and many business owners inherit businesses), could the author’s allegory credibly find its counterpart today? If it could, for how many? And what are my individual concerns as a citizen of a community, regarding all those people who can’t repeat such feats of boot-strapping? For every Chodorov Sr., how many failed, or were hobbled before they could try? What was the life expectancy of the lower east side 1887-1900? What opportunity was there for peddlers who were unmarried women? African-Americans? Native Americans? Did those imbued with the stalwart and morally unassailable protestant work ethic notice those who had been (previously) enslaved/dispossessed and denied the franchise? Did Chodorov?

I believe the following statement quoted from the author is historically false:

“Indeed, it is the story [the story of the peddler] in broad outline of many of the industries that make up the American economy, from steel to automobile; some pioneer, beginning in a small way, exercised industry and thrift and plowed back his savings into his business to serve the needs of the community.”

I don’t pretend to be able to prove its falsity here and now. (I don’t think that should discount my assertion as unreasonable. Recall that our author offered no evidence but simply told the story/anecdote of a determined and industrious peddler. There are also many stories of determined, hard-working and moral people who do not succeed.) His story strikes a chord with many people and to differing degrees. Perhaps his father is a hero (we know nothing of the man beside his success at business) and should be respected. I assume that the Glassman’s (I apologize to Lauren if she kept her father’s name) have had business success and I applaud them for that. They provide the market with a product it wants to consume. Good for them. Let them get rich, or affluent, or upper-middle class or...even happy.

This brings me to my next point. The Glassmans (and the Henry Ford as it turned out) would not have had the economic success they’ve had if there were not so many people who had the economic security to afford their services/products (teachers, students, police officers, fire-fighters, military personnel, auto-workers, municipal workers, etc etc). Our author left me with the impression that somehow the “middle-class” of today is artificially bloated; that in a past age - when things stood more uprightly - there were fewer of us in the middle class and that we expected less (not just of our government but of our own material/leisurely well-being). Could as many of us have afforded Cross-Fit in 1900? Or a personal automobile? Or more than one pair of shoes per year? I don’t think so. In an age when only the most industrious peddlers made a middle class income (able to afford Cross-Fit/automobile/home-ownership), there was less disposable income to go into things like personal training and there were far fewer people who could have possibly been concerned with met/con workouts, or kipping etc. The point is that expanding the middle-class and raising the bottom class has a great deal of economic utility for even the independent business-person infused with the most salutary aspects of the protestant work ethic that would allow them to take advantage of the disposable income of others. There is also a great deal of political utility in having a large, healthy and educated middle class with disposable income: it can act as a counterweight to the wealthiest and most influential elites (supported by and supporting either of the two mainstream parties). These elites can, if left unchecked, form an aristocracy or plutocracy.

Most of us want people to work hard, provide for their own and contribute to society. There is incredible waste in the creation and administration of government programs. There are many people who abuse the ‘system’, but what would be the consequences if there were no system? I understand feeling resentment at seeing others squander the fruits of your labour through a combination of their own desires for security and their unwillingness to try to secure it themselves. But I don’t understand how we can fail to acknowledge that our own best protestant-ethic-infused labour is only as fruitful as it is because of our immense social inheritance for which we laboured not at all. How can we further fail to acknowledge that the way that social inheritance is distributed at birth and through childhood is vastly different and has nothing at all to do with how hard we work. So we acknowledge the contingency of these things and the utility of contributing/paying up (or paying back if you will) and we do it (but we rightfully hate paying for waste and fraud).

Comment #12 - Posted by: chb at March 24, 2007 12:09 AM

In receipt of the article - thanks Brian.

Comment #13 - Posted by: apolloswabbie at March 24, 2007 12:35 AM

Another great article!

I consider myself a peddler and a very proud one indeed. One whom will never have a government contract!

And I still look down on Government's just kinda fun to do isn't about you?

Comment #14 - Posted by: Matt Hunt at March 24, 2007 1:31 AM

Great article. Thanks Coach.

Whoever said the power to tax is the power to destroy was right.

Political Correctness, as I understand it, is an outgrowth of multiculturalism, which itself is a product of anti-american socialist theory. In that theory, all cultures are equally valid so that we should not judge our society or culture as better in any way than any other society or culture, and that it is insulting for us to criticize them. A white man may not criticize an underclass black culture that glorifies pimps and drug dealers, and so on. A corrollary argument often heard from these types is that America is as bad or worse than its enemies. Thus America with it's freedoms is no better than, e.g., Cuba under Castro or Zimbabwe under Mugabe, and we get Bush as Hitler comparisons.

Comment #15 - Posted by: Dan MacD at March 24, 2007 2:36 AM

Ah, the good old days! Plus ca change..., eh? Gubmint handouts are a paradox that help many while creating the moral hazard of dependency. How should we deal with the public square? The tragedy of the commons is an old and wide debate and one we will still be having for a long time.

The price of housing has gone from 10% of our income to as much as 50% of our income in just the past 50 years, dual income families are not just the norm but required for a decent middle class living, kids grow up in day care and gubmint skrools, etc, etc, etc.

How much of those trends are related to subsidies in one form or another? Are they inherently bad?

Comment #16 - Posted by: Schmidty at March 24, 2007 5:39 AM

A few thoughts on small business

My grandfather owned a small economy grocery store back in the 1950s and 1960s. What caused his store to close in the late 1960s was when the Weis Market built a store in the same town. He could not compete with their prices. It is difficult for the small business person to compete against large cooperations. Years ago (1983) I wrote a paper for a business class at college titled "10 Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail". Not only did I gather information from articles but I interviewed several business men to get the inside scope. None of which mentioned high taxes or lawsuits being a reason for failure.

If I were to write the paper today, here are some of the reasons, in no particular order, as to why small businesses fail in American.

1) Difficulty getting good workers. I work for a cooperation, my wife works for a cooperation, my brother-in-law did work for a cooperation (layed off). Both my sister-in-laws worked for a cooperation. My brother worked for a cooperation (now works for the State). My dad worked for a cooperation which started as a small business that sold to a cooperation. Most people want the ability to move up through a company. Many small businesses in this country are owned by an individual or a family. There is no room, or very little room, for someone eager to grow.
2) Outsourcing. This one is in reference to the IT profession which I will discuss in detail later. I think there are some things going on in this area that many of you may be surprised that are not being reported to the public. Most small IT companys have to sell out to a cooperation or merge with another in order to compete by sending part of their workforce overseas or south of the boarder.
3) Pricing. Almost all small specialty stores hate to see a WalMart or a Home Depot / Lowes comes to their town. The small business cannot compete on price or selection for that matter. In fact there have been small towns that have tried to prevent WalMarts from building in their towns knowing it will destroy the small businesses there.

I have to go to a birthday party now but I will write more later.

Comment #17 - Posted by: Andy W. at March 24, 2007 5:42 AM

Great article Coach.

Multiculturalism makes sense to a point, even the ancient Greeks talked about it. One difference between us and the Greeks, however, was that they didn't lose their national (or polis) identity by recognizing that people do things differently or value different things. Their concept of barbarian was one of simply someone who did not follow their customs or didn't speak their language. As a matter of course, Greeks thought that most other cultures were generally inferior to their own as they weren't as free. Why do I bring this up? I think there's an important lesson to be learned about political correctness and multiculturalism. Even though you can recognize and respect other cultures, it does not mean that you have to apologize for your own.

And #5 Tim W: The Founding Fathers were a smart bunch and when we tinker with their system (ala late 19th cent. popular movement) it is something to be worried about. I say bring back the appointed Senators. Is there a de-populist movement somewhere?

Comment #18 - Posted by: Daniel P at March 24, 2007 6:02 AM

The video is great, I definitely have to add some of those into my next workout to practice.

Thanks for the article. It's hard to believe that it was written over 40 years ago with so many applicable points to today.

But the thing that I love the most is the stunningly, breathtakingly, beautiful picture. Seeing the guys in a line running through the hills is inpiring to say the least.

Thank You!


Comment #19 - Posted by: jknl at March 24, 2007 6:12 AM

Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged. Read it. The motto that I memorized when I was 22 years old...

"I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of antoher man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

What I do (like deploy to Iraq or give money to everyone who asks) is because I feel like it. Not because I am compelled. Compel me, and I'll be selecting option B instead.

Well, Halliburton just selected option B: Move corporate headquarters from Houston, Texas to Dubai, UAE. No more congress, no more taxes, no more Sarbanes-Oxley...

Magic 8 Ball says Halliburton won't be the first or last big American company to give up the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave for the promise of less restraints. Just how bad has it become when one of our biggies decides that life in the Arab world is more attractive?? And, yes, I do realize they're an oil company and the geographical location of oil. But, please do think of this post when the next big company moves headquarters to Dubai...

And then, think about Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. What would happen if the world's producers quit. What would the takers have left to loot? How long till the world ground to a cave man like halt?

The philosophy is called "Objectivism". It's worth checking out.

Comment #20 - Posted by: Spider Chick at March 24, 2007 6:40 AM

Matthunt #13

"And I still look down on Government's just kinda fun to do isn't about you?"

Just so we're clear -- military members are government employees.

And CCT Joey, (#4) like it or not, it's the income tax that pays military salaries and buys military equipment. It's not the type of tax that really matters, it is the overall amount that burdens the economy. There are significant issues regarding distribution of the tax burden, of course, but the cost of government will be the same nevertheless.

Railing about the income tax as if it is the source of all evil ignores the fact that the money would have to come from somewhere. Senator Russell Long once described "tax reform" as "Don't tax you, don't tax me. Tax that fellow behind the tree." If we went back to relying on import duties to pay the cost of government, either the cost of imports would skyrocket, or we would have to cut government expenses drastically. I suspect that those cuts would not be limited to civil positions, either. The income tax originated to fund military expenditures during the Civil War. It was very unpopular and arguably unconstitutional. It was dumped after the war and didn't make its way back until World War I (with a constitutional amendment to back it). The reality is that today we couldn't afford to have a military without the income tax, so what is your solution? (Let's reserve to another time the insidious effects of deficit spending to finance a war or anything else.)

Comment #21 - Posted by: Porkchop at March 24, 2007 6:45 AM

Two words for the people in that video...Cleared Hot!

Tim T, you are certainly right that lawsuits are necessary to allow people to address legitimate complaints in a lawful and orderly way eliminating the need to "settle things on the street" which is a might-makes-right, third world/lawless way to address grievances. The problem is that our culture has evolved to the point where juries and judges don't think "was the defendant negligent?" they think "does the plaintiff deserve money for their woes?" Two very different questions.

Political Correctness in America may have started out with good intentions, but look what it has evolved into. There are all kinds of words you cannot say now that never carried negative intent. My favorite is that "gay" used to mean happy until the homosexual community embraced it. Now its considered a slight. Why is describing someone as "black" offensive where "African-American" is ok? The ironic thing is that most of the minority people I know don't care as long as you don't get into words that have always carried ill intent. Thanks for the link CCTJoey. That is interesting indeed.

I attribute the growth in price of housing to people's sense of entitlement growing faster than their sense of fiscal reality. Prices are set by supply and demand after all so if people didn't buy, prices would go down until they did. People seem to think that they should live better than their parents at a younger age. They get a job out of college and buy a mcmansion and since they can't afford it, they finance it. Do you need 2500 sq ft for a "decent middle class living?" If so than that is new. Do you need a new car every three years? If people scaled back their lifestyles and stopped trying to keep up with the Joneses they would find that a one income family is quite doable without a ton of debt and without government subsidy.

The connection between these three things, frivolous lawsuits, PC movement, and rise in housing prices, is that they all demonstrate a sense of entitlement, either money or freedom from ideas that you don't like.

Comment #22 - Posted by: JPW at March 24, 2007 6:52 AM

Hi all,
Does anyone know what happened to the video of Josh Everett doing those straight-arm pull-ups into a MU postion? I would like show my children the video...

Comment #23 - Posted by: Jonathan Jensen at March 24, 2007 7:16 AM

I know this is off subject, but where are those guys running in the picture?

Comment #24 - Posted by: James Humphrey at March 24, 2007 7:48 AM

# 21,
That picture was taken in Aromas,CA. at the site of the CrossFit Games, and the run will be a feature event. You don't want to miss it.

Comment #25 - Posted by: Ronnieb at March 24, 2007 8:07 AM

I hate taxes, but see them as the price we pay for living in the best country in the world. Should our elected officials spend my money more wisely? YES! But this conversation would only lead to us debating the war we're involved in...

Lawsuits, when abused, are dangerous and wasteful. But it is also true that the courts are the final (only?) refuge for the little guy. Believe it or not, some people are wronged and have nowhere else to turn.

Comment #26 - Posted by: bret kleefuss at March 24, 2007 8:30 AM

For those of you who can't afford the Concept 2 Rower, I would suggest the Wynne R 80 Pro Rowing machine. It is super sturdy, functional, folds to store, has adjustable tension, electronic monitor, and in my opinion is equivalent to the Concept 2 at half the price. I waited for months checking Ebay every day for a Concept 2 at a reasonable price, but it didn't happen. Check for the best prices for the Wynne on the Internet.

Comment #27 - Posted by: Kewayatin at March 24, 2007 8:42 AM


Thanks for the great rest day article. The Tax issue rubs so many of us wrong because of the unrestraint of the spenders. Telling me to anti up for defense of our nation is one thing, supporting farmer subsidies, union payoffs, boondoggle projects and Katrina welfare is entirely another. The moral relativism between these two spending priorities is at the heart of our national problem. More persoanl responsiblity allows for less government spending. The Welfare reform act amazingly re-defined what many "non-workers" could do as soon as the spigot got turned off. For every hardship case that Democrats trot out as reasons we need our safety net, I can find at least 1 example of someone in the same or worse situation that has accomplished amazing successes in life. The only thing that excercise proves is the old addage, "IF you think you can or think you can't, either way, you'll probably be right".

Comment #28 - Posted by: Bill Cattley at March 24, 2007 8:43 AM

There was some talk about lawsuits earlier, and I'd like to try and defend the 'mcdonalds case'. The issue at stake wasn't merely that the coffee was hot, but that it was kept so extremely, unbelievably, wicked hot (high 100s F) so that it would have a longer shelf life and McDs would have to make less of it. Keeping coffee at a temperature that would give third degree burns to anyone unlucky (or irresponsible) enough to spill it on themselves is a harmful business practice, and McDs should have been smacked with a huge penalty. What if hydrogenated oils, or hi-f corn syrup (both of which also increase shelf life of foods) caused instant blindness if they came in contact with the eyes? Even though the idea of someone rubbing peanut butter or coke in his eyes would suggest some stupid behavior (or just maybe an accident), judges would certainly prohibit the practice of using those products. Hot coffee is better than cold, but not when the official business practice of a coffee vendor is to heat coffee to unsafe levels, tens of degrees hotter than other vendors do. The law hardly even rounds up to perfect, and tort law may perhaps be worse than other areas, but foolishly absolving McDs of blame in this case is silly (and perhaps more harmful to small businesses than tort law).

Comment #29 - Posted by: Cuba at March 24, 2007 8:49 AM

I think the sort of opposition he wants to draw needs to be moderated by one's inclusion within a larger group of family and ethnic and national identity. That relationship will at times be dependent, and at times giving. That ebb and flows gives it life.

This peddler, he may have borrowed money from his uncle in hard times, or eaten at the local church or synagogue. If he got sick, he stayed with his grandparents until he got better. He did his job--he made his own way to the best of his ability--but I don't think anybody REALLY does anything small or great alone.

We all exist within webs we destroy or trivialize at our own peril. The banks and government and insurance companies can meet our physical needs reasonably well, but they are not "family", and never should be thought of that way. Family owes you something, just like you owe your family something. You should only owe the government what you want from it. If you want National defense, you owe military service. If you want the government to build roads, you owe taxes.

One of the great tragedies of the Welfare State is that is has acted as a fiscal enabler in the destruction of the nuclear family. We don't need our family like we used to, because we have Uncle Sam. Women can get pregnant irresponsibly, and get paid for it.

I'm just kind of talking aloud. Don't have any solutions at the moment, but stating problems clearly--or more clearly--is always a decent place to start.

Comment #30 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at March 24, 2007 9:44 AM

{press: 55#'sx30, 88#'sx20, 121#'sx10 SW/RDL: 132#'sx30, 242#'sx20, 330#'sx10 (w/straps); then, pull-up: bdw.x12, +46#'sx8, +80#'sx5}.
Comment: people doing >100#'s have bear strength...

Comment #31 - Posted by: Jonathan Jensen at March 24, 2007 9:46 AM

The city residents recently voted to do away with property tax and my city is scrambling for funding for my job...I just may be laid off in the coming year. The citizens have the right to vote for decreased fire protection. I know my position is paid for by the people and I view my responsibility to serve the people in the area I help protect as a privilege...although many of my coworkers feel differently. I'm also a 25 year old female with two degrees and other fire education, which makes me still very hirable. My boyfriend is 35, and there are age limits in hiring that make gainful employment in another fire department pretty hard to come by although he's in excellent physical condition.
I'm a union employee, but am disgusted by some of uppity non-serving attitudes the union promotes. Firefighters however are usually pretty testosterone-driven confident people who think they're right - how else are they going to make emergency decisions and trust themselves to do the most right thing?

Comment #32 - Posted by: Firefighter Joy Beth M. at March 24, 2007 9:47 AM

Clean & Jerks would suck on the side of that hill;)

Comment #33 - Posted by: Pierre Auge at March 24, 2007 10:25 AM

Coach or anyone else,

I'm nursing a groin (or adducter strain). Do you have any good work around the injury routines, that will allow me to get a cross fit intensity workout without further damaging the strain?


Comment #34 - Posted by: Bill M at March 24, 2007 10:28 AM

Tim T and Porkchop...

I realize not all lawsuits are bad. My point is that many people make a great living trying to find reasons to bring lawsuits and not just lawyers. I did not realize that I had to spell out "frivolous" to this audience. I will be sure to dumb it down

Political Correctness has led us astray from the belief that one is innocent until proven guilty. The plaintiff should always be looked at with the critical eye first! He should be forced to explain himself as to why public resources are being or should be used to harass another citizen.

The Duke Lacrosse fiasco is a perfect example of political correctness run amok. Where will those boys go to get their reputations back.

The federal income tax used as a tool of wealth redistribution coincides quite nicely with the on set of what would become known as political correctness. There are other ways to generate money other that income taxes. Income taxes are being abused because the government can monitor each law abiding citizen. The Government then decides who pays what based off of criteria designed by the party in office at the time. Unfortunately it is the law-abiding citizen who takes it on the chin.

A sales tax is a far fairer system and does not beat up on the business man before he has a chance to invest in his own life.

So yes military are government employees. However, we are not allowed to strike, unionize, and refusal to work resorts in actual punishments far harsher than faced on the outside. When you couple that with that we take an oath and live under a code...the term "Government Employee" fails to cover the job description.

The fight against ever increasing tax burdens is one worth the vigilance. Without citizen tax-payer groups monitoring the politicians who use taxes to facilitate power, this great country would have already fallen into a "Social Democracy" or even worse.

Government is not the the end it is (normally)just average people with above average ambitions using the powers of the "policing" to ensure citizen's wealth is redistributed in a manner that gets them re-elected.

The first two things I look for in a politician(one that will be able to raise taxes) are...

1. He/she is not a lawyer by trade. If they are then I look very deeply into what they did as a lawyer.

2. Has the person ever been responsible for making a payroll. I have no patience for a person who has wanted to be a politician since they were a child. Such people can not be trusted with the producer's rewards for serving their fellow man.

Those are not the "be all-end all"...I can imagine a case where I might vote for a former Service Member or LEO type, but that has not been the case yetif they have never been on the producing end capitalism market.

Comment #35 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at March 24, 2007 10:41 AM

The article is a well-written lament for a lost ideal in America, one that my great grandparents had and practiced when they arrived here in the early 20th century. The rise of a welfare state may seem progressive, but definitely has contributed to the Great Pussification of America.

Some of what Chodorov says is reminiscent of Ayn Rand and her Objectivism, and I have to agree that income tax does sap one's ambition. However, we do need taxes. Perhaps Rand's idea of corporate taxes on all contracts above a certain worth to guarantee the right to enforce them and sue in a court of law is one worth considering. Paying for justice might sound strange, but if it was required to keep both sides of a business deal honest, the parties to the contract would pay.

Or else we could do like they do in many other countries: institute a VAT. Unlike sales tax, it would be added prior to the purchase, so we wouldn't notice it at the register. Overall prices would seem higher, but there would be more money available to pay for things in the first place, and we would only be taxed a lot if we bought a lot, rather than just turn it all over beforehand to those who don't pay because they don't work and sit around waiting for check day.

PC has certainly damaged us. There is a difference between, on the one hand, being civil to one another and not calling people names, and on the other to systematically altering the English language to suit one or another interest group. Before long, we won't be able to understand each other -- moreso even than now.

Lastly, that video of the anarchists (link in #8 by CCTJOEY) is a reminder that there are some seriously deluded, spoiled, self-centered, and most likely bored nutjobs out there who needed to be spanked more when they were growing up.

Comment #36 - Posted by: Chris M at March 24, 2007 10:59 AM


I would be careful saying that lawsuits stem from the victim/entitlement mentality. I admit that many seem like they do, but considering how many lawsuits are filed in this country each year and how few go to trial, I think there is more to it than simple greed.

Looking at your own example:

"I slipped on the ice because you didn't shovel well enough"

Lets say you are walking by my property one winter day and you slip, fall, and break your leg. It hurts. Alot. Not only that but you can't work at the construction site for 6 months because you need to let the leg heal and do PT. You have a house, a wife, kids, and you are all in the habit of eating.

Who is going to pay for it?

Someone has to be held accountable for what happened. And thats where the lawsuit comes in. Assuming we don't settle, the trial will determine whether I was at fault. If I had an obligation to shovel the snow and I didn't, and because of that you fell and broke your leg, I would be held responsible. I think that makes sense don't you? It certainly seems fair to me. People need to act reasonably and should be held accountable if they do not. A reasonable person should realize that if they do not shovel the snow in front of their property someone may slip and hurt themselves.

I think that there are people who try and buck the system everywhere you go, but that doesn't mean the system itself should be discarded.

Comment #37 - Posted by: Stefan_b at March 24, 2007 11:08 AM

"considering how many lawsuits are filed in this country each year and how few go to trial, I think there is more to it than simple greed."

I would just point out that many suits do not go to trial because they are settled for cash outside of court, which is often exactly what the plaintiff hopes for -- to scare the defendant into paying them off without anyone going to much trouble. I've personally seen it happen often and have many examples I could share. Granted, some suits have merit, but in this litigious society, lawsuits are sometimes seen as a type of lottery where if you're lucky enough in your unlickiness, you can strike it big. Then it won't matter if you're out of work for six months, as in your example, because you will never have to work again.

Comment #38 - Posted by: Chris M at March 24, 2007 11:22 AM

#32, when I worked with insurance claims years ago if someone didn't shovel they wouldn't get sued, natural conditions, if they tried to do the right thing and clear the sidewalk but left a couple slick spots they were fair game to be sued, didn't do a good enough job.

Here's a link to the bleak future of one of our fine government programs

Comment #39 - Posted by: dan colson at March 24, 2007 11:23 AM

Stefan_B #32

Spoken like an attorney! Somone is responsible...but is it the homeowner or the person who fell?

If it's my property, what obligation, if any, do I have to shovel snow other than for my own convenience? You come onto my property, you take risks...including slipping on ice. That I, as a homeowner, need be held accountable because you came onto my property (whether invited or not) is laughable.

This is the same as a business prohibiting the carry of firearms by citizens. Sure, Arizona law allows businesses to post "no guns" signs and I can be asked to leave if I carry inside, or else face trespassing charges.

Let's say, however, that I leave my gun in my car, shop at that business, then someone robs it and I get injured. Do I have recourse against the business owner for disarming me? Or was it a risk I assumed by willingly shopping there?

This is the same as your slip-on-the-ice scenario. You willingly came onto my property (either as a guest, a solicitor ringing my doorbell or a n'er-do-well intent on some crime.

ChrisM #31

Those are not Anarchists, even though they may label themselves as such...because calling themselves Communists is bad press.

Anarchy is the lack of government, and not to be confused with chaos. Malfunctioning stop lights at a 4-way intersection is anarchy. Chaos is when everyone tries to go at once.

I've had the opportunity to chat with "anarchists" during the whole Bush-Gore thing back in 2000. To a person, they were ALL for government intervention in enforcing laws/rules they believed should be enforced (like all employees sharing ownership of a employer/employee relationship).

Private contractual agreements were an anathema to them. They didn't want private ownership of firearms, because that would/could empower the little-people...only government and its agents should be armed, and evne then, not all of the cops, etc., should have guns.

Very scary.

Comment #40 - Posted by: TimW at March 24, 2007 11:49 AM


I certainly cannot deny that many people view a negligence lawsuit as a get rich scheme. However, chances are if they are getting such a high damage award there is some aspect of the accident which allows for it ie: Death, dismemberment, lasting diability, severe pain etc.

If one of the parties decided to settle there was more than likely something that made him do it. Either he was actually at fault, or it would cost him substantially more to litigate the isue than just pay out now. As disgusting as that seems that is a valid decision sometimes. On the same token I know some banks will litigate a $1000 checking issue even thoguh it will cost $5000 to deal with, solely because the bank does not want to promote the image that they will roll over and pay.

You responded to my example by saying it would not matter if the construction worker was out for six months because he would never have to work again. I am not sure how accurate that is. For a broken leg requireing six months of recovery and PT the damage award could be high. Depending on the lawyering and the jury it could be suprisingly high. It certainly would not be high enough to be a get out of work free card.

Of all the personal injury actions out there, we hear of only a very few. That's because most are decided fairly.

On another note, we are a litigious society because we are a complex society. Think of all the ways people can interact. We need rules for how we are going to live and conduct business with each other. The more complex our lives get, the more rules we need.

Of course we could always settle our differences "out of court and in the street" but I think we dealt with that yesterday.

Comment #41 - Posted by: Stefan_b at March 24, 2007 12:16 PM

#30, Bill M.-

I'm in the same situation you are... I pulled my left groin muscle about a week ago. I immediately followed it with ice/heat and a day or two of rest. I can still feel a slight strain, but I've been able to work around it. I've found that deadlifts, standing presses, pushups, pull ups, dips, glute/ham work, situps, and the C2 have not hurt or made the situation worse. The only exercises I'm putting on hold are squats- overhead, front, back, etc. It's taking time, but it feels better. Good luck.


Comment #42 - Posted by: Dan Ensing at March 24, 2007 12:40 PM

Shoulder Press
145 X 3
145 X 3
145 X 3
150 X 3
145 X 3

"Nasty Girls"
12 something. A bit off my game.

Comment #43 - Posted by: Jeff at March 24, 2007 12:53 PM

#19/Porkchop: check out for a well thought out tax; the book by the same name is also worth the bucks. Massive benefits to growth by collecting the same amount of tax in a far simpler way. At the same time, the fairtax (I like everything about it except the name) removes the ability of the legislators to pimp tax breaks for votes and/or cash. I think it would also do a lot to squelch the present means of class warfare via taxation propaganda.

Lots 'o kinetics around Camp Cupcake today. When the Bradleys/Strikers start pumping the 25mm, you know someone's taking a hell of a beating. It's a strange thing - was sitting on a palace veranda smoking a stogie with a man who was a groomsman at my wedding 8 years ago, first time for a visit we've been able to make in the three weeks since he arrived. We're hearing the pounding the Joe's giving to someone out there. Must have been a fair amount of death. Not a thing we could have done but listen and hope Joe's giving more than he's getting. Joe usually does. "Joe likes to fight."

The phone was tied up in the office tonight so I picked up my cell phone and spoke with the kids and J outside, in the cool of the evening. Helos only drowned out the call three or four times. The strangeness of it after being here 11 months is not diminished.

On a lighter note, the Aussie's get the "mojo" award for this week. A couple Aussie's were running Lost Lake this week, and a stray round bounced off the asphault, and tagged the now famous "Iron Nuts Aussie" right in the chimes and upper thigh. His buddy helped him up, got him to the med unit. He was intact. Then, immediately, Buddy called all their friends, who proceeded without delay to the med unit to get their photos made with ole' Iron Nuts himself, the soon to be legendary man who took a shot from Al Qaeda right where it counts and came up smiling.

If you can, I say tip a beer to Joe and Ole' Iron Nuts today.

OBTW - this is extremely cool.

"US Touts Three Iraq Busts
Says "Hard Evidence" links Khazalis to Karbala Raids
Posted 19 hr. 26 min. ago
The US has claimed three successes in its efforts to quell Iraq's militant activities.

The recent arrest of Qais Khazali, a former aide to Muqtada al-Sadr, and of his brother Laith Khazali, and several of their associates has yielded proof of their involvement in an attack on a government installation in Karbala in January, ABC news reports.

"Senior US military sources" have said that hard evidence was recovered from the site of the Khazalis' arrests, including ID cards of some of the killed US soldiers, according to the news agency.

US officials also say that Coalition forces found evidence linking the men to Iran, and to a weapons smuggling operation that included the transport of armor-piercing EFPs into Iraq.

The January attack in Karbala was noteworthy for its brazenness, as assailants disguised as US soldiers siezed and later killed five US soldiers."

I have extracted all that I can from this day, time to let her go. Aswab

Comment #44 - Posted by: apolloswabbie at March 24, 2007 1:22 PM

I usually don't post too many comments on the rest days, as I am not as cerebral as many others. This is way off subject, but maybe someone can help me out. On the subject of anarchist, from the few that I have met, most of them NEED the government for protection. Scrawny dudes wearing dark clothes, don't spend alot of time doing anything physical. Probably put up weaker numbers than Mark Twight. If anarchy comes, those are the guys I'm looking to beat up and take all there loot. I'm not a violent guy, just planning ahead, thats all.
ps Spider Chick, can I have some money? The wife and kids are going to Disney, that place is expensive!

Comment #45 - Posted by: Robert@Combat Outpost at March 24, 2007 1:40 PM

#33 Stefan_b

I'm not advocating discarding the system. I just think they need to tighten it up a little. If it was cold and I take my hose out and hose down the sidewalk and someone slips then yes I am responsible and should pay. If it snows and I work until 04 and don't wake up until noon then I should not be responsible for the slippery sidewalk.

A reasonable person would see that there is snow and ice on the sidewalk and walk carefully or not at all in that spot. If a reasonable person slips, he/she(PC induced habit example) should curse their own stupidity not the landowner.

I think a lot of people settle because they don't want to deal with it not because they think the suit has merit. If you settle you can go about your life. A known payment now is better to them than an unknown payment/court costs later.

ASwab are you at the water palace? Just curious.

Comment #46 - Posted by: JPW at March 24, 2007 2:12 PM

I'm new to Crossfit and just had a few questions.
I looked for a while, but could not find the answers.
1st. What is the Crossfit warm-up?
2nd. How long do you rest between reps for the weighted pull-ups and the push-press workouts?
I live in Buena Vista and work for the Fire Dept. in Avon, CO.
The closest Crossfit is in Denver. bummer!
Thanks for the motivation!

Comment #47 - Posted by: CP at March 24, 2007 2:25 PM

CP, the warm up is there if you look for it under FAQ. 2nd: As long as you need. Typically 2-5 minutes should do.

Comment #48 - Posted by: Firefighter9 at March 24, 2007 2:35 PM

Great article for rest day today. I strongly encourage all of you to give whatever you can to help Michael Yon (the ultimate "Peddler") continue what he does. Just read his recent dispatches and make your own decision. Consider it payment for the complimentary workouts you receive here.

Michael has changed my perspective on this war as well as life in general.

Jim Glinn

Comment #49 - Posted by: Jim Glinn at March 24, 2007 2:50 PM

There is a game called "Stereotype" You pick a group of people: Irish, Poles, Welsh, Doctors, Plumbers, Texans, etc., any group what-so-ever (muslims have been popular as a group to pick lately). And then pick a vice you don't like: lie, cheat, steal, fat, smell, etc what-so-ever. Then you and your fellow game-players sit around and enumerate why every person in the group you've chosen has the vile attribute you've chosen. It's impressive how the players can convince themselves the stereotypes are valid.

I feel strongly when an article makes generalizations as today's article does, to be convincing, it must be Hard-nosed, Literal, Precise and Accurate. For example what is a measure of "peddlership?" Number of patents filed/year? Number of people self emplyed? I don't know, but I feel the author should present DATA which shows that as the Income Tax has increased the amount of "peddlership" has decreased.

Fulfilling the requirement to be Hard-nose, literal, precise and accurate, is boring and tedious. It is needed to be convincing.

Comment #50 - Posted by: Ken_Davis at March 24, 2007 3:22 PM

i've owned my own business for 8 years now. my father owned his own business for 28 years-only to be squashed by the superpower wal mart-who enjoys immense tax breaks from the govt. by not only being so big, but the breaks allow it to be even bigger. i don't mind paying taxes. i just wish i had more say where they went! if small businesses attained the same breaks that large corporations do, they wouldn't be so big, and small business wouldn't be an endangered species.

i also work in the agricultural field. a few years ago, farmers in washington state were paid $500/acre to not farm potatoes. some of these farms were over 10,000 acres. do the math. the next year they were whining about the low market price of potatoes they were harvesting!

our govt. was created to provide safety and manage a country through representatives of its peers. it wasn't created to help business, take care of others, provide retirement benefits to its citizens, enforce (and betray, depending on the political and economic environment) environmental issues, etc.

when is the last time any of us felt we were well represented in the house, senate, or presidency? how about a political career coach?

Comment #51 - Posted by: mtvet at March 24, 2007 3:46 PM

Saturday at Brand X
"Four Corners"
At one corner of the building a station for box jumps was set up. The other corners in order were Squats, Push ups and Burpees. Complete the number of reps required to comlplete one lap.

Big Dawgs:
20 reps
15 reps
10 reps
5 reps

To start a new lap you had to complete:
Big Dawgs:
2 Rope climbs
1=>5=>1 Hypoxic Kettlebell swings

1 Rope climbs
15 Kettlebell swings

1 Beginner rope climb
10 Kettlebell swings

How many laps can you complete in 25 minutes.

Comment #52 - Posted by: Laurar at March 24, 2007 3:51 PM

#43, "new to crossfit" - too many questions that are too easy to answer on your own! warmup is in the FAQ. rest time is in numerous posts, just check archives...

and "live in X, gym in Y.. bummer!"
make your own gym. check the equipment/supplier links on the main site to equip yourself.

I live in my house, my gym is attached. (my wife calls it the garage)

then check all the "friends of CF" and affiliates for info. My short list:
Mikes gym
hatch dome

Comment #53 - Posted by: Duncan at March 24, 2007 4:43 PM

question: what is the hopper style WOD in the crossfit games competition?

Comment #54 - Posted by: Carter at March 24, 2007 5:34 PM

Check out our previous flyer:

Comment #55 - Posted by: Tony B. at March 24, 2007 5:52 PM

I have been doing crossfit for almost 2 months. My times and weights for the WOD get posted, but my comments and questions have been posted once. My comments never belittle or offend and my questions are real. Why am I being shut out??

Since I doubt this will get posted, I commented in the blog at the end of the article for today. In the unlikely event that this does make it to the comments page, I have included my comments about the article.

As a farmer with a BS and MS in mechanical engineering, whose father was a farmer and engineer with a BS in mechanical engineering, whose father was a farmer with two BS degrees: mechanical engineering and agricultural science, whose father was a farmer, etc., I found this statement to be blatantly false for my family and most other farming families. -

"It never occurred to this middle class man that society owed him a living, or that he might apply to the government for help in the solution of his problems. The farmer is a particular class in point; the present day agriculturist, who must be included in our present day middle class in terms of income, holds it quite proper to demand of government, that is, the rest of society, a regularized subsidy, even a subsidy for not producing; the farmer of the early part of the century would hardly have thought of that."

In 1962 farm subsidies were few. What subsidies there were went to areas of the country where severe weather had ruined farms. The subsidy was not a wage, it was a small grant, or more commonly, a loan from the government. The money was to provide stimulus to the economies. If the farmer has no money, he buys no machinery or crop supplies. Without money, the farmer cannot afford to grow another crop to start again. The lack of spending by the farmer hurts other industries: banks, steel mills, fuel refiners, grocers, textile, etc.

Currently, family run farms cannot support a family. Every active farmer I know works a full time job and runs the farm from dusk to dawn, weekends and holidays. Equipment costs (if you thought your car broke down often, try farm machinery) are higher than buying a new home! While trying to get ahead, American farmers have become skilled in maximum production - To the point where we produce so much, that the price of wheat per bushel (approx. $2.00) is the same as it was during WWII!
- 1 bushel of wheat makes about 150 loaves of bread.

There are inactive farmers, given their increasing age, low return, and increasing operating costs, who take government subsidies. And why should they not? The government pays the farmers not to farm, hoping a decrease in productivity will increase the return to farmers. Unfortunately, the same government buys large quantities of food stuffs from other countries at such low prices, that the farm subsidies have no effect on the market.

How can you blame the farmer? In a good year, affter operating costs, say a farmer profits $50,000. In a bad year, the same farmer loses $20-40,000. Through this cycle, the farmer breaks even every 8 years. That means there is no money for investment, savings, new machinery, or anything else. The farmer is not in the middle class, the farmer is poor.

Many people see farmers in new trucks or tractors every few years and think that the farmers are rich. What can be purchased, is owned by the bank and the reason for the new purchases are 1. the old equipment broke down for the final time, and 2. tax write-offs.

Tax write-offs are so valuable to a farmer. At a time when property taxes increase yearly, but the land produces the same income each year, there is no other way to save on paying out more and more on taxes.

A blanket statement that farmers are, "... a particular class in point; the present day agriculturist, who must be included in our present day middle class in terms of income, holds it quite proper to demand of government, that is, the rest of society, a regularized subsidy, even a subsidy for not producing," is entirely wrong. If such a statement was made about women, blacks, illegal immigrants or any other minority, there would have been a national out-cry.

Comment #56 - Posted by: Mark at March 24, 2007 6:01 PM

Ran in the Race for Autism (

Results: FEMALE 40-44 12 352 2504 LAURAR 41 30:59.1 9:48

Comment #57 - Posted by: Laurar at March 24, 2007 6:19 PM

TimW, BRAVO. Where are you in AZ? I work in Mesa.

Comment #58 - Posted by: FireSmac at March 24, 2007 6:40 PM

Did yesterday's workout today.
My goal was to do at least one unassisted strict pull-up. My husband was helping me. So there I am hanging from the bar, totally straight body, and he said, "Ok, go!" (pause) "Go ahead" I couldn't move at all! But with slightly bent elbows, I could do it!
I also did 5 strict pull-ups with my palms facing me. (I call them underhanded)

Comment #59 - Posted by: Valerie S. at March 24, 2007 6:49 PM

FireSmac, I am in Glendale. Run my biz out of my house and a UPS Store. The URL can be deduced from my email address. :)

Comment #60 - Posted by: TimW at March 24, 2007 7:26 PM

#52 Mark, go read the FAQ to see why posts get held. Nobody is persecuting you.

Comment #61 - Posted by: Lynne Pitts at March 24, 2007 8:08 PM

Mark I suggest you get ahold of the people that push political correctness at our most liberal universities and get "farmers" added to the list of people we are not allowed to criticize.

Comment #62 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at March 24, 2007 9:20 PM

It's so great to find I'm not alone in my libertarian principles. I live in Hollywood where the idea of socially engineering equality has always been the rage. If you want to get in shape nobody can do it for you. Why can't Washington or the big government fanatics apply the same principle to everything else? I would recommend going to CATO.ORG which is a libertarian think tank. They continue to explore and give voice to the philosophy that made this country the envy of the world. Thank you cross fit for making the world a better place (and keeping me humble)

Comment #63 - Posted by: bryan callen at March 24, 2007 11:54 PM


Thoughtful post. It would seem that farmers are another victim of government intervention. There's a quote from Charles Murray's great work, Losing Ground, regarding social welfare programs: "It's not how much we've spent (that is of concern), it's what we've bought." In other words, we can afford the spending, to date, but we are suffering mightily from what that spending has done to the populations that we wished to help. We have bought and paid for a helpless, unproductive, and suffering permanent underclass that is victimized primarily by the mis-incentives created by government interventions.

The single most significant lesson in economics of the last 70 years is that governments are a miserable means to organize an economy. The Fed's efforts to 'assist' farmers has, just based on your description, done more harm than good, in that it has established a condition that requires repeated and greater government intervention each successive year. That is the observable pattern in government intervention of all sorts. Admittedly, we likely see the same thing in foreign policy in general and Iraq in particular; however, government is the only options for action on foreign policy, whereas there are numerous options to most of the arenas in which government asserts its coercive power.

One might think the government's intentions were good in the 60s when this “help the farmers” reinforcing loop was initiated - and granted there's no way to fully address such a complex topic in a message board post - but therein lies the crux of 'well intentioned' government. It is easy to spend the money of others for a good cause. Presently, we have no basis for a system to evaluate what is an acceptable reason to take money from one man and give it to another. Before FDR, such a thing was consistently judged unconstitutional; after all, if the government’s job is to protect the individual right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, how could taking money from one citizen to give it to another be justified? Since then, we’ve been boiled – this hardly even occurs to us any longer as an issue. We just assume that’s what governments should do.

The top was removed from that can of worms by FDR's supreme court manipulations in the 30s, but when he finally received the Court's blessings to take money from some to give it to others, he did not replace the previous prohibition against such action with a rational framework to guide the process of deciding what justifies taking money from free citizens and giving it to others. What we have as a result is a slew of 'good ideas' for how free men's money will be spent by politicians to ensure re-election “by doing good things.”

In other words, the formula now for deciding how much money to take and whom to give it to is some politician’s calculus, like:
- I will take a small amount from millions will allow me to bestow a large benefit to a very few (farm subsidies, tariffs);
- I will take a massive amount from future earners, to give to present earners (social security, medicare, medicade, college ‘grants’ etc.
- I will take a lot from everyone both now and in the present to satisfy the cravings of the uneducated for additional government intervention now.

This situation is beyond perverse, especially when it is observably common for the ‘well intentioned’ result to become the basis to justify additional government intervention.

As the social welfare idea folds, it is shifting so that we are not just stealing from free men to give to others, we are stealing from our children to give to ourselves. It's not class warfare, its generational warfare. Strangely, the morality of non-child rearing persons being forced to pay taxes to support schools for parents who can't/won't pay for schools for their own children, is now switching so that parents are raising the generation who's efforts will be taken to fund the retirements and health care of those who are childless. The massive, negative unintended consequences of our experiment in government direction of economic activity flow in bizarre patterns, and yet, the masses don’t question the underlying assumption that it is just fine to take one man’s product and give it to another.

The ultimate perversion of ‘good intentions’ of the welfare process (whether it is money to farmers or otherwise) is that it was started with the notion “We have to do this good thing because we can afford to.” The Comptroller General is now saying that by 2040 or so, based on present projections (and understanding those are far from perfect), we’ll have enough money to pay for payments on the national debt, social welfare programs, and nothing else. Despite that, no politician can get elected by promising to deal with that problem. Talk about addictions, we just added drugs to the list of things we fund by taking money from one group to give it to another. To make sure we make the addiction worse, the lemmings are demanding 'universal' health care as they rush towards the cliff. Where’s the crowd that’s concerned about sustainability when you need them.

I'm off to punish myself with Nasty Girls. I'm hoping to avoid earning any "Ironanything" monikers for the next 11 days.


Comment #64 - Posted by: apolloswabbie at March 25, 2007 1:21 AM

Robert, Post #45...


You bet you can have some money! Email me, send me your APO, and I'll send you a deployment goodie box, complete with some US currency in it. CrossFit mail call!!

Where are you? Iraq? A Stan? Having any fun? Outpost huh? Funny, but sometimes the FOB wire is so thin that there's hardly any difference when you go outside...

Stay safe. I'm going to try to get through to your .mil.

-Spider Chick (the humbled Major who learned from a Captain to never let a homeless guy go hungry. And living at an outpost is a special kind of homeless...)

Comment #65 - Posted by: Spider Chick at March 25, 2007 5:54 AM

CCT Joey,

I'm generally familiar with They and others have espoused a national sales tax or a European-style national value added tax ("VAT") for quite some time. There are a couple problems with that in the United States, though.

First of all, it would require a constitutional amendment to levy either tax, because they would violate the apportionment clause. U.S. Const. Art. I, sec. 2. I suppose one could argue that they would be "general excise taxes," U.S. Const. Art. I, sec. 7, but that would be a hard sell, since excise taxes have traditionally been aimed at specific goods or services.

Second, in order to qualify for any income-based rebate, there would still have to be income reporting, so the privacy concerns would remain.

Comment #66 - Posted by: Porkchop at March 25, 2007 6:52 AM

Porkchop #66 wrote:
"Second, in order to qualify for any income-based rebate, there would still have to be income reporting, so the privacy concerns would remain."

That is a solid point.

My only colliery to that would be that with a rebate system it would be up to the individual to furnish information to the government and only when one was eligible.

Since it is the nature of government NOT to want to give out without the incentive of being able to buy votes.

Currently it is imperative that the government be able to track earners in order to get its' share of the loot.

In this case I think that the chances of individuals looking out for themselves will reap far greater response than a large organization trying to be responsible for themselves.

After all, for the individual it is at best a rebate and at worst the government will leave him alone. This appears to be a WIN-WIN situation for all involved accept politicians and IRS employees.

Comment #67 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at March 25, 2007 9:10 AM

Some random thoughts on a couple of social programs.

Social Security: In the next 20 years or so I would like to see the age to collect full social security be raised to 70 and partial to 67 for the simple reason the life expectency is approx. 79 and today's 60 is more like 45 if you go back about 50 - 60 years ago. However, what I find sad is that cooperate America will offer early retired as young as age 50. Private companies treat people over 50 as a liability instead of asset. Even if a person over 50 is willing to accept lower wages to work, hiring managers cannot seem to comprehend that someone over 50 or over 60 is really not that old. Perhaps cooperate America needs to change their mindset.

Medicaid: In 2005, our company, which authored the current Pennsylvania State Medicaid system known as PROMISe, was asked to change the copay amounts by increasing them. By increasing copays, this would hopefully deter lower income families from misusuing the system by seeing the doctor for every little ache or sniffle. Guess who the opposition to the increased copays were? Not the lower income person, but the medical community. The doctors, dentists, pharmacists did not want to see a decrease in the amount of revenue. Since the medical community has money and influence over our lawmakers the new copays were disputed for quite some time. Seems as though not only the poor but the well to do want to stick it to the working class.

Comment #68 - Posted by: Andy W. at March 25, 2007 9:10 AM

I really enjoyed the article posted today. But it is a bit laced with generalizations and false assumptions, just as Mark, #56 pointed out.

To complicate matters, a couple years back I visited an Olive Farmer in Chico and talked with him about his business for many hours. His biggest concern was imported olives from South American countires sold at below market rates. Olive farming is a complex business, compared to many other fruits and vegetables because olives must be fermented for several weeks in order to rid them of their naturally bitter flavor. Any hiccup in the process could diminish the yield. Market price changes during fermentation could also wipe out the year's investment.

Why was he frustrated with foreign imports? Because imports of olives (and other fruits and vegatables) have grown rapidly in the past 10 years as a result of US (and UN) investments into developing nations in the form of no-interest, often forgivable loans to farmers. He showed me brochures from one very large Costa Rican olive grower showing acres of state of the art harvesting and fermentation equipment and facilities. The Chico olive farmer said that the cost to own and operate the equipment and facilities could not be supported at the current cost per bushel, yet that very company was selling premium quality olives at incredibly low prices. How? Lower labor costs and interest-free loans.

What a strange paradox. The noble efforts of the US and UN to empower developing countries comes at the expense of our own farmers. Is there a solution? Subsidies help, certainly, but the situation is very complex.

As a nation, I believe we need to keep our farmers in business and always ready to produce in case of national security or natural disaster. But to do that might require subsidization - something that the farmers I know dislike and grudgingly accept. But, accepting subsidies does has not changed the ethic of the individuals. All of the farmers I know are eager to carry on the trade of their parents and grandparents and are reluctant to ask for aid. Unfortunately the dynamic, global economy clashes with the need for self-reliance and security often at the expense of the honest, working man.

This is one small example of the complexity of the business of farming. So, I think Mr. Chodorov's assumption about the modern farmer (albeit in 1962) was an improper generalization.

Comment #69 - Posted by: CraigH at March 25, 2007 9:56 AM

CCTJoey #35 wrote

"He/she is not a lawyer by trade. If they are then I look very deeply into what they did as a lawyer".

I agree with this and to add to this list I would perfer a person not be a former CEO. These people seem to live in another reality. If they are a CEO, just as Joey said, look deep into what they accomplished. The ones who fail over and over again or who "cook the books" or lay off half the work force to make their number or who screw over the common worker's paycheck by making sure upper management recieves their rightful bonus need not apply. These people are pathetic and weak.

Comment #70 - Posted by: Andy W. at March 25, 2007 10:09 AM

Kalani Ng
200 lbs

Ran a 5k on kaneohe marine base today, "surf n turf" ran through a golf course and down the beach and the sand was soft, it was great! A little disappointed with the time (26:50)way to long but there's a 10k coming up and a tri coming up in may!

1 cor 9:27

Comment #71 - Posted by: Kalani Ng at March 25, 2007 11:25 AM

Andy, check our Murray's "In Our Hands." Unlike SS, it's affordable, would fix all of the social welfare programs, and would do as good or better a job than what the present programs are supposed to do. It would end 'involuntary' poverty. Best of all, we can actually pay for it.

BTW - Corporate America, if it's doing what you say, isn't the only one. The continentals are looking at old folks like a liability also - because by virtue of their social programs, they are in fact a liability. And they are being treated that to some degree by some of their own families.

I don't share your CEO predjudice. There're no perfect populations, but there are many nations who would love to have the benefits we get from those guys' compulsive drive to succeed and make their companies successful. A few give the rest a bad name, but pure envy drives quite a lot of the CEO carping; that and using them as part of the whole anti-capitalist agenda.

Given the present rate of unemployment, it's hard to take your concerns about layed off older workers at face value. However, if you wanted to improve the employability of any worker, the fairtax and 'in our hands' would be a powerful start.

Concur with the "constitutional amendment" for the 'fairtax.' I would require it anyway so that we could make ending the income tax part of starting the fair tax. The requirement for CA is just one of the reasons it'll never happen, regrettably, and we'll just keep 'paying the wages of sin' through the current, highly uncompetitive income tax system.

Comment #72 - Posted by: apolloswabbie at March 25, 2007 1:02 PM

#64 Apolloswabbie

this is, by far, one of the best posts I've ever read on this subject. With your permission, I wouldn't mind being able to keep a copy of it to use in other forums...either with or without attribution as you desire.

Comment #73 - Posted by: TimW at March 25, 2007 1:55 PM

This was a great post! I'm all about the last statement in the article about liberty and freedom from restraint. But the brave new world we live in will never return to that standard of personal responsibility.

apolloswabbie - you seem to be a learn-ed dude. Where'd you get your learned-ing? Also, just want to say, more government control isn't the answer to rampant government power, so I'd say "no" to the fairtax. The real answer is already in front of you. The question is, "who is liable for the (unlawfully apportioned) income tax?"

Comment #74 - Posted by: Stretch at March 26, 2007 1:13 PM

great video...

Comment #75 - Posted by: hammy at April 9, 2007 5:40 PM

Betty (on 28 Apr)



Comment #76 - Posted by: RecOnifer at April 30, 2007 2:10 AM
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