April 9, 2009

Thursday 090409

Rest Day

CFEvolutionGymnastics-th.jpg

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CrossFit Evolution Gymnastics - video [wmv] [mov]


CrossFit Risk Retention Group



"Ten Principles for a Black Swan-proof World"
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Financial Times

Post thoughts to comments.

Posted by lauren at April 9, 2009 8:03 PM
Comments

Whew!! Rest Day!!

Comment #1 - Posted by: Brad/36yom/509/170lbs at April 8, 2009 8:24 PM

rest day....i'm ready for more!

Comment #2 - Posted by: Brian_ES at April 8, 2009 8:25 PM

I need the rest. I don't say it enough, so...

THANKS, COACH :)

Comment #3 - Posted by: Herm at April 8, 2009 8:25 PM

Yes please, thank you

Comment #4 - Posted by: Eric Gohl 22/5'10/162 at April 8, 2009 8:26 PM

Thanks, Coach :) I need the rest as well.

47/m/6"/209

Comment #5 - Posted by: Shadow at April 8, 2009 8:28 PM

Rest day?! I got up early and refreshed the page so I could go hit the gym.... perhaps its time for a strongman workout and a ruck march.

Comment #6 - Posted by: Candidate at April 8, 2009 8:28 PM

Have a great rest day...FRAT RULES!!!!

Comment #7 - Posted by: s'more at April 8, 2009 8:30 PM

That video makes me wanna make my own parallettes. Good day to make them seeing that their is no workout!

Comment #8 - Posted by: Brian_ES at April 8, 2009 8:33 PM

Can't really argue with a single point Taleb made in that article. He nailed it.

Econtalk.org has a great interview with Taleb:

http://www.econtalk.org/

MARCH 23, 2009
Taleb on the Financial Crisis
Nassim Taleb
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Nassim Taleb talks about the financial crisis, how we misunderstand rare events, the fragility of the banking system, the moral hazard of government bailouts, the unprecedented nature of really, really bad events, the contribution of human psychology to misinterpreting probability and the dangers of hubris. The conversation closes with a discussion of religion and probability.

Comment #9 - Posted by: Joe at April 8, 2009 8:39 PM

I was going to post a smart assed comment today...then while I was waiting for Thursday's post to come up, I read the Journal article titled, 'Crossfitters, Be Nice' by Mike Houghton.

As A Crossfitter, I sometimes think that I "know better", which can come across as arrogant and elitist. That's not the way we should treat others and it's detrimental to our cause, which is ultimately to advance human performance.

Check it out if you haven't already...and thanks Mike.

Comment #10 - Posted by: Playoff Beard at April 8, 2009 8:40 PM

To anyone who has registered to see the full article of ""Ten Principles for a Black Swan-proof World" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Financial Times", could they please repost it on the comments? Is that kosher? I didn't feel like registering just to see the 2nd-8th principles.

Comment #11 - Posted by: Herm at April 8, 2009 8:47 PM

Thank god. Just played 2 1/2 hours of basketball, and was still sore from the lunges and previous basketball days.

Need a break on the legs.

Though ofcourse I coulda gone for some pullups :)

Comment #12 - Posted by: Matt_Pru at April 8, 2009 8:47 PM

Just finished the 5k wod - 23:48. I think there are slugs that move faster!!! When i was *only* running by fastest was a hair over 20 min but I also couldnt even do a push-up, let alone lift anything overhead. So i will take it and be happy about it!!! I know it will only get BETTER!!! :) Happy rest day everyone!! Hugs to Herm,Pony,Eric, S'more,Bingo,PB&J(haha),FatTony&his sisters,Bird,Lisa,FitMom&Mom & Momof3

Comment #13 - Posted by: Cookie at April 8, 2009 9:01 PM

Cookie, if I point out that your "slug" time was 11 minutes faster than my "turtle" time, can I have a hug too??

:)

Comment #14 - Posted by: Cynthiaj in Sunnyvale, CA (46/F) at April 8, 2009 9:08 PM

#10 Herm -

Everyone who links through the crossfit webpage is going to get that warning. If you open a new browser window/tab and go to the FT web page directly and find it in the opinion section you should be able to sidestep the problem.


General Comments

An interesting article, but I'm curious; if nationalization of the banks is the best way to clear bad assets without allowing them to fail,as insinuated by the author, is it politically possible given the stigma associated with 'nationalization' and the spectre of 'socialism' within our economy? Alternatively, do is allowing the banking system to fail reasonable?

Comment #15 - Posted by: Chris German at April 8, 2009 9:21 PM

Cynthiaj- of course!!! BIG BIG hugs!!! Both of us bein over 40 and all, I guess we arent too bad for "old" ladies!!! lol ;)

Comment #16 - Posted by: Cookie at April 8, 2009 9:24 PM

I need to be working on THAT! =D Instead of running yesterday, I used the C2 machine and went 6.25 km instead of the 5 km rx'd for the run. It went well, 24:26, but I never realized how weak I would become 8 minutes into it! MAN was that a wake-up call! haha

Comment #17 - Posted by: Jimmy D at April 8, 2009 9:25 PM

Cookie: Big hugs right back at you and side hugs to your manly man Herm. Oh boy, looks like "PB&J" might stick. Thanks a lot Jakers ;-)

Happy rest day to all my peeps...3-2-1 sleep!

Comment #18 - Posted by: Playoff Beard at April 8, 2009 9:31 PM

Totally need the rest. Set a PB on yesterdays 5k @ 47:26. Mostly working on form. Thanks Coach! Woohoo.

Bottoms up!

Comment #19 - Posted by: Roni Gram at April 8, 2009 9:31 PM

Nice, im definately needed a rest day. Thank God, because my legs feel like the blood in them has been replaced with battery acid!

Comment #20 - Posted by: Willy T at April 8, 2009 9:47 PM

needin*

Comment #21 - Posted by: Willy T at April 8, 2009 9:48 PM

10 on the final dismount.

Good article. Whats broke needs to be fixxed.

Comment #22 - Posted by: nathan m/29/5'9"/165lbs at April 8, 2009 9:48 PM

great! The article "Crosfitters, be nice!" was worth a moment of reflection.

Comment #23 - Posted by: rrapid 43/5'10"/192 at April 8, 2009 10:42 PM

That video makes me want to play with rings more.

Comment #24 - Posted by: Justin McGinley at April 8, 2009 11:24 PM

No rest day for me

Deadlifts and muscle up progressions in the morning


and 5k in the afternoon I'll take an extra day over Easter.

Happy Easter everybody!

Comment #25 - Posted by: Tommy at April 9, 2009 12:25 AM

No rest day for me. I'll take an extra day over Easter

deadlifts and muscle up progressions in te morning. 5-5-5-5-5 got up to 105kg

and 5k this afternoon

Happy Easter everybody

Comment #26 - Posted by: Tommy at April 9, 2009 12:27 AM

right on Nassim! great article...

Comment #27 - Posted by: Benjamin Goodale at April 9, 2009 2:21 AM

Excellent video!
Great coaching is evident in it.

Comment #28 - Posted by: Frank at April 9, 2009 2:46 AM

M/49/5’8”/177

I’ve noticed that there seem to be lots of injured people posting; more than I think our community would like to admit. I say “our”, because I’ve been at this stuff for 2+ years, and love it, and have the same testimonial stories of fitness increases, and anyone who knows me knows I’m a die-hard proponent of the Crossfit concepts and mantras. But regarding the injuries, and discussions that crop up on the board, I also see responses like “Only the weak injure themselves”, or “Only the folks who don’t know what they’re doing injure themselves.”

But my observation is that I see lots of “Gonna have to pass on today’s WOD, I’m nursing a tender (or injured) ‘fill in the blank.’” And many of those posters are what I consider “regulars”.

And I would venture that if we went back through the posts forensically, we’d find that a disproportionately high number of issues involved shoulders. And that doesn’t surprise me; it’s the weakest of our joints, as joints go. No real ball-n-socket to stabilize the thing. It’s just kind of hanging there supported by bells-n-whistles, cartelage and rotator cuff muscles and a mish-mash of (seemingly) oddly placed bones. Works pretty darn well though when all is said and done.

Now, I know we don’t want to purposely injure ourselves exercising, but at some point we might feel compelled to push ourselves through the WOD even though we’ve felt that “tweak” or “twinge”. I think there’s a good question to be asked as to why one would risk the possibility that continuing the WOD, as Rx’d, would be worth it.

I think we should all have a good answer for our own personal self as to why we are working out, and working out in this manner. And personally, I think that answer should be able to stand the test of time, even decades of time. And your routine should subsequently reflect your answer. For instance, in the tweak WOD experience I mention, you should be able to say, “I’m going to continue this WOD, because it supports and is line with my long-term lifelong goal of “fill in the blank.”

I’d like to hear some reasons why we work out; what’s the end goal? No, not the easy answer, the fully-peeled back, stripped down answer. The one you will be able to give today, next year, and 25 and 50 and 75 years from now. My guess it will be enlightening.

Dave T.

Comment #29 - Posted by: Dave T. at April 9, 2009 3:19 AM

1. Who wants a Black Swan-proof world? Some outliers can be good, i.e. Google. I'd prefer "optimized" for the positive and "resistant" for the negative, respectively.

2. Taleb makes some great points, but practical application of plan is a bit sticky, as it essentially initiates a Catch-22. Point #3, don't let the blindfolded drive another bus after they've crashed the first one, is well-taken, and understood in the context of detached academia who speculate and opine without consequence in the real world. But then what is the point of academics? If such detached study is ignored or never allowed to take place, don't we then forfeit the vast bulk of higher learning achieved since the Enlightenment? Or do we just pay the price when their "study" only applies to real life in broad scope and only seldom manifests itself in real terms, but unfortunately on scales large enough to cause us to write about it? So we generally benefit from detached academic study of real life, but attempt to eschew it when it bites back at us? Interesting.

3. Except in rare circumstances, those in control will be very reluctant to relinquish power. A decentralized "Capitalism 2.0" sounds great, just like the internet is superior now in comparison to when DARPA/Al Gore ran it. But an economy literally translates into people's lives and livelihoods, and allowing it to break and resettle will require somebody firing all (or most) of those who over-controlled Capitalism 1.0. (They're not going to let go voluntarily.) So you need a head of government with 1) the character to watch it break and 2) the integrity to institute the rules of Capitalism 2.0 without usurping that power themselves.

Call me an empirical skeptic, but I don't see the human component necessary to make Taleb's plan happen.

Comment #30 - Posted by: Justin D. _ 29/M/6'/200 at April 9, 2009 3:24 AM

Here ya go Playoff Beard.

1. What is fragile should break early while it is still small. Nothing should ever become too big to fail. Evolution in economic life helps those with the maximum amount of hidden risks – and hence the most fragile – become the biggest.

2. No socialisation of losses and privatisation of gains. Whatever may need to be bailed out should be nationalised; whatever does not need a bail-out should be free, small and risk-bearing. We have managed to combine the worst of capitalism and socialism. In France in the 1980s, the socialists took over the banks. In the US in the 2000s, the banks took over the government. This is surreal.

3. People who were driving a school bus blindfolded (and crashed it) should never be given a new bus. The economics establishment (universities, regulators, central bankers, government officials, various organisations staffed with economists) lost its legitimacy with the failure of the system. It is irresponsible and foolish to put our trust in the ability of such experts to get us out of this mess. Instead, find the smart people whose hands are clean.

4. Do not let someone making an “incentive” bonus manage a nuclear plant – or your financial risks. Odds are he would cut every corner on safety to show “profits” while claiming to be “conservative”. Bonuses do not accommodate the hidden risks of blow-ups. It is the asymmetry of the bonus system that got us here. No incentives without disincentives: capitalism is about rewards and punishments, not just rewards.

5. Counter-balance complexity with simplicity. Complexity from globalisation and highly networked economic life needs to be countered by simplicity in financial products. The complex economy is already a form of leverage: the leverage of efficiency. Such systems survive thanks to slack and redundancy; adding debt produces wild and dangerous gyrations and leaves no room for error. Capitalism cannot avoid fads and bubbles: equity bubbles (as in 2000) have proved to be mild; debt bubbles are vicious.

6. Do not give children sticks of dynamite, even if they come with a warning . Complex derivatives need to be banned because nobody understands them and few are rational enough to know it. Citizens must be protected from themselves, from bankers selling them “hedging” products, and from gullible regulators who listen to economic theorists.

7. Only Ponzi schemes should depend on confidence. Governments should never need to “restore confidence”. Cascading rumours are a product of complex systems. Governments cannot stop the rumours. Simply, we need to be in a position to shrug off rumours, be robust in the face of them.

8. Do not give an addict more drugs if he has withdrawal pains. Using leverage to cure the problems of too much leverage is not homeopathy, it is denial. The debt crisis is not a temporary problem, it is a structural one. We need rehab.

9. Citizens should not depend on financial assets or fallible “expert” advice for their retirement. Economic life should be definancialised. We should learn not to use markets as storehouses of value: they do not harbour the certainties that normal citizens require. Citizens should experience anxiety about their own businesses (which they control), not their investments (which they do not control).

10. Make an omelette with the broken eggs. Finally, this crisis cannot be fixed with makeshift repairs, no more than a boat with a rotten hull can be fixed with ad-hoc patches. We need to rebuild the hull with new (stronger) materials; we will have to remake the system before it does so itself. Let us move voluntarily into Capitalism 2.0 by helping what needs to be broken break on its own, converting debt into equity, marginalising the economics and business school establishments, shutting down the “Nobel” in economics, banning leveraged buyouts, putting bankers where they belong, clawing back the bonuses of those who got us here, and teaching people to navigate a world with fewer certainties.

Then we will see an economic life closer to our biological environment: smaller companies, richer ecology, no leverage. A world in which entrepreneurs, not bankers, take the risks and companies are born and die every day without making the news.

In other words, a place more resistant to black swans.

The writer is a veteran trader, a distinguished professor at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute and the author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Comment #31 - Posted by: Daniel-san at April 9, 2009 3:39 AM

I work out like this because it is FUN, never boring, often humourous, usually hard, and brings me closer to true self-confidence every day. All those reasons make it sustainable to me. I have no problem stopping a tweak wod if I need to.
Thanks Dave T for the reality check.

Comment #32 - Posted by: julie parisien 5'8"/163/37 at April 9, 2009 4:30 AM

A system of capitalism presumes sound money, not fiat money manipulated by a central bank. Capitalism cherishes voluntary contracts and interest rates that are determined by savings, not credit creation by a central bank.
Ron Paul
Capitalism should not be condemned, since we haven't had capitalism.
Ron Paul

True, governments can reduce the rate of interest in the short run. They can issue additional paper money. They can open the way to credit expansion by the banks. They can thus create an artificial boom and the appearance of prosperity. But such a boom is bound to collapse soon or late and to bring about a depression
Ludwig von Mises
A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism: is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings.
Ludwig von Mises
Collectivism is a doctrine of war, intolerance, and persecution. If any of the collectivist creeds should succeed in its endeavors, all people but the great dictator would be deprived of their essential human quality. They would become mere soulless pawns in the hands of a monster.
Ludwig von Mises

Comment #33 - Posted by: jt at April 9, 2009 4:37 AM

5K - 24:12 If I just pushed a little bit harder I coulda been sub 24.

Comment #34 - Posted by: John-in-Jersey 34/6'0/190 at April 9, 2009 4:38 AM

Dave T: I'm gonna have to think about this a little before I post
Stephen M/25/5'9"/135

Comment #35 - Posted by: Stephen at April 9, 2009 4:43 AM

Hi, I new to CF.. I have gone through the FAQ. I was wondering would i loose benifits if i was to do CF Mon,Weds and Fri this would allow me to do my own sports tues and thurs.

Any views would be greatly accepted.

Comment #36 - Posted by: chris c at April 9, 2009 4:47 AM

http://vimeo.com/4070556

another attempt at the burpee mile!

Comment #37 - Posted by: Scott at April 9, 2009 4:49 AM

Cookie- that is a Great time! Now go pat yourself on the back :)
Are you running in the NYC marathon with Strong Lil Pony? If not, we should go cheer her on. If you are, I will cheer double for both of you! My marathon days are over for a spell but I can cheer really loud!

Have a good day everyone!
Erin

Comment #38 - Posted by: In8Girl at April 9, 2009 4:50 AM

#31 Julie,

I like the "I work out like this be/c it boosts my self confidence." But why, deep down, do we even workout? And if the answer is, "I work out to stay in shape," then I would keep peeling back the onion with "Yeah, but Why do you want to stay in shape?" And most likely, I could ask some form of a "But why?" question for several more iterations, and only when someone can't keep asking "why," do I think someone has gotten down to the core reason they work out. And then the WAY they workout should support WHY they work out.

Dave T.

Comment #39 - Posted by: Dave T. at April 9, 2009 4:53 AM

And since it is rest day I will go on to chatter...

so, on vacation and was headed for a walk and workout on the beach, and got caught in the pouring rain. Headed to the gym and just sat there. Too tired to work out today. Besides, I can't pick up anything with hands. I mean, I have tears ALL OVER them. My feet have blisters on top of them, and cannot wear flip flops or sandles without a box of bandaids. I have a HUGE bruise on my arm (1 arm snatch work), about 10 on legs (DL's) and 3 burns on my arm (cooking day at home/broiling some veggies). For a girl "taking it easy" on vacation, I look like a MESS. I laughed and said I was better off when I was working out HARD at the gym. Ha ha ha
Off to heal!
Erin

Comment #40 - Posted by: In8Girl at April 9, 2009 4:55 AM

Playoff Beard, that is a great article...you are right about sometimes we feel as though we "Know better".

I dont like to come off as one of those arrogant guys at the gym who goes there and tries to show he is better than everyone else. Instead while I am at the gym I am typically in one corner of it, consider its globo and the only place there is room, and work out as the peak of my fitness....

now, with that being said, when I move between exercises I might have a certain look on my face that conveys anger ;), arrogance and elitistness (my own word today), etc... These feelings are not directed towards anyone person in the gym but rather the WOD of the day; am I the only one who does this? lol

I believe this is one of those times where I can be considered extremely rude and come off over confident, cocky if you will, when in actuality my intentions are only to increase my own fitness...

So a long story with no point short lol, keeping ourselves in check is something we should always be doing no matter where we are or what we are doing, as stated in the article we are a community of individuals who have all earned our right to wear the crossfit badge and should embrace the diversity of others instead of scolding them because they don't conform to our standards.

#28 David T:
I like your question today, it requires critical thinking and reflection on why we subject ourselves to the WOD, now I wont be supplying you with a reason on why I do it just yet, I can say this:

There is no single exercise program, or in this case community, I have been part of that has contributed to the physical and psychological gains that Crossfit does. The gratifying feeling of completing a benchmark WOD such as Fran is unexplainable; it does not limit itself to just the physical requirements but the mental toughness and preparedness required in completing the WOD are light years ahead any training I received in college while competing on collegiate teams. Please do not misconstrued my intentions here as those workouts did challenged me, no question about it, but rather; they were more physically challenging then psychologically.

Crossfit allows both sides of the pendulum to be utilized and creates a harmonious balance. This results in greater gains on and off the field (so to speak) and can be transpired into every facet of my life. I am able to walk into any situation, in the board room or on the field and know that I have a leg up on the competition.

Where this does not explain why I am exactly participating in Xfitt, it does give a little idea on how I view the community and the WOD. Thanks Dave.

S'more, Jakers, Playoffbeard, Pony, Herm, Eric, Cookie, Fitmom and her mom, Rookie, all enjoy our rest day. I look forward to reading your responses, hope you all well and good look to those of you in the up coming weeks who are lucky enough to qualify or participate in the qualifiers. I m little jealous and envious of you all, just a little ;)

BIG HUGS TO EVERYONE!

Comment #41 - Posted by: onefastbird21 at April 9, 2009 5:19 AM

# 29 Justin_D

"is well-taken, and understood in the context of detached academia who speculate and opine without consequence in the real world."

I think Taleb's attack is more pointed at economists, as Taleb himself is an academic.

Also, while the "detached" model of the academic might be appropriate in the humanities, it is not in economics and finance.

There is a strong cross-over between academics and practitioners in finance, both practitioners in the private sector and the government.

One complaint I have heard lobbed a lot recently is that this makes the entire community inbred, which may be a legitimate concern. There are really very few outsiders in this world.


Briefly on Taleb's main points. I can agree with #1 to an extent, the rest go over the top. We could just outlaw all risk taking and then never have to deal with extreme events. I don't think that's the world we want though.

Comment #42 - Posted by: Karl Smith at April 9, 2009 5:27 AM

The article is surprisingly naive. Sure, they're all pretty ideas as to how to run the economy, unless you want growth. The hardest tradeoff that everyone, the Obama administration and its critics, is having to consider is security of the market versus growth of the economy.

"Do not let someone making an “incentive” bonus manage a nuclear plant – or your financial risks." Good luck finding a competent banker to do it pro bono. The best people go into banking for $$$, not to be upstanding and responsible.

"Only Ponzi schemes should depend on confidence. Governments should never need to “restore confidence”." Lack of consumer confidence is often the biggest problem with any economy, and the government is generally the only entity capable of manipulating it. Even now, people who still have their jobs and homes are cutting back on spending and investing just because they have no confidence in the economy. Whose job is it to restore that? Don't count on the media.

"Then we will see an economic life closer to our biological environment: smaller companies, richer ecology, no leverage." A great idea. Do you know how to maintain that? Freer capitalism trends toward big companies, so what regulations do you propose.

All of these are perfect precepts for the pollyanna economy, but fall short of the way the economy can actually work.

Comment #43 - Posted by: Richard at April 9, 2009 5:31 AM

Bike 10 min
Ran 1.5 miles in 12 min (7.5mph on treadmill)
yoga, 1 hour.

Comment #44 - Posted by: Joe Casale/M/35/165# at April 9, 2009 5:32 AM

My thoughts on the Black Swan article:
DEBT: This entire country has gotten far too much into debt. We have mortgaged our children’s future. Cut the spending now. The national savings rate is still miserably low as an individual and especially for the government. Let me say this one time. DEBT IS SLAVERY! These companies are not too big to fail. For too long THEY have made crappy junk for products. It is a never ending cycle. Think about it. We CONSUME(see below) junky product, we throw away junky product, then we need to get new product. What incentive is there for the manufacturers to make high quality items?

GREED: Why are we in this mess in the first place? You guessed it. Also ties in with the first one. People bought houses they could not afford with mortgages that were 'sub-prime'. Then someone had the bright idea to package these mortgages, sell them, and insure them. America as a culture has fostered an entitlement attitude. We must keep up with the Joneses right? In order to do that you have to be leveraged to the hilt, and spend way more than you earn. Time to get that behavior under control.

CONSUMERISM: We have been trained as a society to consume, consume, consume. We CAN NOT keep up this pace. That thinking is a product of the Industrial Revolution. Times need to change. How much of the planet do we have left? I don’t know. But by consuming less resources we can hope to preserve a better future for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.

I don't mean to be so negative but hopefully anyone reading will help to make this a better planet. There ARE good people out there.

Enjoy!

Comment #45 - Posted by: jimmyj at April 9, 2009 5:35 AM

Great video. I think it would be awesome if they could include the music titles and artists at the end of each video. There's always some great songs, but I can never figure out who they are

Comment #46 - Posted by: Gary at April 9, 2009 5:35 AM

Alright Dave T and other who are interested: I think this was an EXCELLENT question and very appropriate for everyone:
I workout to (not neccesarily in this order):
-Get bigger, stronger, faster
-Build a more functionally fit body for excelling in all areas of physical activity
-Boost my self-confidence
-Relieve stress
-Have energy and feel healthy
-Honor God with taking care of my body
-Keep my core and posterior chain strong to counteract my spondylolisthesis
-Have a good appetite
-Keep my mind sharp
-Counteract negative thoughts of getting fat and lazy that relate to my anorexic past
-recreation/fun which relates to being able to participate in sports with friends as well

That's all I can think of right now
Thoughts and comments are welcomed

Stephen/M/25/135/5'9"

Comment #47 - Posted by: Stephen at April 9, 2009 5:40 AM

Cookie that is awesome 5k run time!! Congrats
Strong Lil Pony I live in South Carolina I'm about 4 hours from Mrytle Beach I live in the middle of the state.

Comment #48 - Posted by: Momof3 at April 9, 2009 5:42 AM

Oh yea, to answer Dave T:

First off, awesome question. Really made me think.

At the core I stay fit to know I can protect the people that are close to me who I love and care about. By that, I mean, by staying physically, mentally and spiritually strong, I can better withstand the challenges that face my family -and other families, I’m sure- on a day to day basis.

With that being said, the preceeding being the core, the outer layers would be to feel better about myself, look good, and also to perform well at my job, that being in the military, for years to come!

Comment #49 - Posted by: jimmyj at April 9, 2009 5:55 AM

Jacintos morning crusher at the BlackBox NYC

5 rounds of;
250m row
5 BW deadlifts
10 65# thrusters
14:30..

5 min rest

followed by;
7 20lb med ball cleans
7 burpees
as many sets as possible for 10 minutes - 5 rounds

I was cooked.. my stamina is way off, making up for it with consistent trips to the black box for Jacintos 7am classes.

Comment #50 - Posted by: Puckett at April 9, 2009 6:00 AM

"The writer is a veteran trader, a distinguished professor at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute and the author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable"

The writer is also highly idealistic, has allowed himself to be fooled by the media with respect to the media furor over bonuses, assumes that the general public will be able to understand their own retirement finances(or will want to!), and believes that the government can protect us from our own financial stupidity when they can't even balance their own budget.

At the risk of being a target of my own critisism, the only constructive solution put forth in the entire article was the comment regarding returning risk taking decision power to entreprenuers rather than the investors in a given venture. People should refrain from making blanket comments about a situiation which amount to nothing more than grandstanding, when what is truly needed is SPECIFIC suggestions for solutions which can be evaluated for their merit rather than how they sound in the 5 seconds it takes for Katie couric to mangle them on the 7pm news.

I have to do some real work now.

Comment #51 - Posted by: Andrew at April 9, 2009 6:14 AM

I think it would be awesome if they could include the music titles and artists
Comment #45 - Posted by: Gary

The Presets "Are You The One"

good stuff.

They're an Australian band. They were also featured in that other youtube video of the aussie doing 54 pullups in a minute.

later,
b
m/32/5'8-1/2"/176

Comment #52 - Posted by: brian p at April 9, 2009 6:20 AM

lol! I just watched the whole video and they, in fact, do list the featured music.

btw, its Diplo with just one "p".

later,
b

Comment #53 - Posted by: brian p at April 9, 2009 6:26 AM

#35 Chris C

I would not attempt to only do cross fit a few days a week. I think that the WODs are methodically organized to complement each other and reduct risk on injury. But, I have little "offical" experience to make this assesment.

Comment #54 - Posted by: Joseph at April 9, 2009 6:33 AM

congrats, i just realized that operation phoenix has now raised $150,000

nice job CF community

Comment #55 - Posted by: Silvs at April 9, 2009 6:35 AM

M/35/195

Right knee was extremely sore after ending with the push jerks the other day-may have strained-can't even walk up stairs without being in pain-did not run 3 miles yesterday as I spent all evening walking up and down stairs in the block I work at a State Prison-

just curious if anyone else sufftered the same thing as I am if so, is it something that happens everytime you Push Jerk-

I spent most of the evening icing my knee-seemed to help relieve some pain-we will see what today brings

Comment #56 - Posted by: seans at April 9, 2009 6:37 AM

"What kind of society isn't structured on greed? The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of a system."
-- Milton Friedman

Comment #57 - Posted by: jt at April 9, 2009 6:41 AM

Dave T.
Thank you for asking the question. I read an article where some kids perished in a fire because no one had the will nor ability to attempt saving them. Adults stood around outside while some woman screamed for help looking to people who were just befuddled and watched the house burn with children and women inside.

I train in CrossFit because it teaches us to embrace our weaknesses and to overcome them. I am no Superman like the men and women in American service or the police, fire, or EMT's who train in CrossFit; I am just an every day man living an every day life, but when something out of the normal happens, I will have trained for it mentally and physically to lay it on the line to assist those weaker than myself.

CrossFit is hero training, in my opinion, and if I can take the smallest part of that training and apply it personally, I am a better person for it. I am not advocating unnecessary risk, but I am saying like every other good Boy Scout, "be prepared." CrossFit is the best foundation for being prepared, hands down, Pepsi Challenge always issued.

Comment #58 - Posted by: James Humphrey, Jr. at April 9, 2009 6:52 AM

Anatomy of a Rest Day

1. "I really needed this rest day" etc.

2. "Awesome video/picture" etc.

3. Insightful comments pertaining to article.

4. 1000-word post by Jeff Glassman that starts off with a perfunctory discussion of the article and ends with a lengthy discussion of his research that disproves the myth of AGW.

5. 2000-word post by Barry Cooper that starts off agreeing with whatever Jeff wrote, and ends with a meandering, unfocused diatribe against liberalism, political correctness, and President Obama.

6. Several brave souls point out glaring inconsistencies/inaccuracies in what Jeff and Barry wrote.

7. Jeff and Barry respond with a tag-team barrage of ad-hominem attacks on whoever took the bait, obfuscating the issue by working in myriad specious references to Marx, Gaussian distributions, the Platonic ideal, number theory, teleology, etc.

8. Other people point out the absurdity, irrelevance, and poor reasoning of Jeff and Barry's responses.

9. Jeff and Barry again respond with further ad hominem attacks and dismissal of those who question their infinite wisdom as "non-thinkers", "drones", etc.

10. Everyone else loses interest and stops posting.

11. Barry then posts a half-dozen more position papers, continuing to add to the thread for several days.


* * *

Now for my thoughts on the article.

Taleb has some good points, although I think a much more cogent and grounded critic of the status quo has been Harry Markopoulos. One of the things he has said, which has been echoed by my college buddies who work on the Street, is that this is less a failure of institutions and regulatory structures than it is a failure of people to uphold the rules that were already in place. The career incentive structure of regulatory agencies needs to be altered, especially in the case of the SEC. Many of the guys who join the SEC out of law school, particularly the s-- hot ones who went to Harvard/Yale/Stanford Law, do so in order to land a job at an I-bank 5 years down the road. That is a recipe for lackluster enforcement.

I have to say, I am concerned that the upshot of all of this will be a new set of generally unneccessary institutions and regulations that will severely hurt the economy in the long run, when a better solution would involve proactively enforcing what we already have on the books and adding new rules sparingly.

S/F

Dan

Comment #59 - Posted by: Daniel-san at April 9, 2009 6:52 AM

Here is a real man.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aj535O4ZJxM&feature=player_embedded

Comment #60 - Posted by: tackleberry at April 9, 2009 6:53 AM

#37 Erin - Thanks, chica :) No marathons for me! I did a few 1/2s pre-twins almost nine years ago, but that's it for me. Pesky children keep me too busy to train ;)- lol!
#47 - Momof3 - tks :) Big ((hugs))!

Comment #61 - Posted by: Cookie at April 9, 2009 6:58 AM

I work out like this because i have 2 years before i get my degree, go to OCS, then BUD/s... simple as that

Dennis

Comment #62 - Posted by: Dennis at April 9, 2009 7:07 AM

thank you rest day... thank you

Comment #63 - Posted by: thenine at April 9, 2009 7:12 AM

24/m/176

did the 5 k run today.

as rx'd on the treadmill 23:35

Comment #64 - Posted by: joe at April 9, 2009 7:15 AM

#58 Daniel-san

Well stated summary of rest day posts.

Comment #65 - Posted by: Ethan at April 9, 2009 7:24 AM

That is the perfect video today. My new Elite rings just showed up in the mail. Good times!

Comment #66 - Posted by: Jeff - Bucks County at April 9, 2009 7:30 AM

DaveT- wowie..I will be on the road driving to my sister's in VA in a bit, that is something good to think about. And I *get* the "ok, good start, but why that? OK, even better, but WHY?"

I think I already know the answer...right in my gut

I don't know if I will be able to share my answer, but thank you for prompting reflection :)

Comment #67 - Posted by: Strong Lil Pony! at April 9, 2009 7:34 AM

OK - I will also say that Taleb's #5 point regarding balancing complexity with simplicity makes some sense as well.

Though, to the extent he means that we should not have structured products, which I think he does, I think this goes to far. Is it a good idea for a pension fund to be buying CDO traunches, probably not. However, eliminating structured debt is not the answer.

#50 Andrew

I don't think Taleb is "fooled" by the media in anyway. More probable would be that the media is fooled by him. He has been promoting this stuff heavily at least since late 2007 and I think before then.

Comment #68 - Posted by: Karl Smith at April 9, 2009 7:41 AM

#58 Daniel-san,

Before you start throwing around accusations of "ad-hominem attacks" perhaps you best look in the mirror and toward your own post.

Comment #69 - Posted by: penty at April 9, 2009 7:47 AM

I disagree with two points of this article:

"Complex derivatives need to be banned because nobody understands them and few are rational enough to know it."
- Actually, a lot of people understand them - politicians are reporters don't, and thus they love to blame derivatives. The derivatives involved with this crisis are CDS, which are pretty simple - they pay when a company defaults.

"Citizens should not depend on financial assets or fallible “expert” advice for their retirement"
-When you save money, you have to put it somewhere. Holding cash is simply an investment in the dollar. Reinvesting all of your savings in your business is putting all your eggs in one basket. I'm sure the author understands the benefits of diversification, so I'm not sure why he included this point. Also, investments in financial assets provide capital to entrepreneurs and profitable businesses, which only helps the economy grow.

Comment #70 - Posted by: Neil at April 9, 2009 7:48 AM

I survived my first ever 5K!!

I am officially going to the cert in Charolette, NC June 13-14. Anyone else?

Comment #71 - Posted by: Amanda_Spann at April 9, 2009 7:48 AM

#66 Strong Lil Pony

And I *get* the "ok, good start, but why that? OK, even better, but WHY?"

Exactly, and I want to exercise in a way, and with a purpose in mind, that when someone comes up to me in the gym and asks "Why are you doing that exercise?", or "How come so many reps?", or "Why so little (or so much) weight?", I want to be able to respond, "Would you like the short answer, or long answer? The short answer is 'Because I know it helps me fulfill my life-long fitness goal.'" And I think that is very powerful.

Dave T.

Comment #72 - Posted by: Dave T. at April 9, 2009 8:04 AM

More from Jeffrey Glassman, Ph.D. on socialism please!

Comment #73 - Posted by: Alan G. at April 9, 2009 8:18 AM

Penty,

Guilty as charged on the ad hominem, but I don't think I'm the only one who's getting tired of the same routine every four days. Look at the rest day comments for the last two months and decide for yourself if my description is accurate.

Comment #74 - Posted by: Daniel-san at April 9, 2009 8:21 AM

Don't we train to successfully reproduce? When you keep drilling down our initial reactions, I mean. 'Look better, stay in shape, rescue my family, be strong' - this answer applies even to those who don't have or don't want kids. We're hard-wired to behave like this. It's why we brush our teeth too. Think about it.

Dan #58: naughty, naughty.

Comment #75 - Posted by: J1 at April 9, 2009 8:30 AM

#58 Daniel-san:

Yours is my favorite rest day post ever.

Well, the first part anyway.

Didn't read the part about your thoughts on the article. Borrrrrrring.

Comment #76 - Posted by: CL at April 9, 2009 8:35 AM

The answer to a good market is the free market. Stop hindering competition that is always a win/win situation for the businesses and the consumers. Businesses will fail... they MUST fail so that better business rises to the top. Propping them up through bailouts or nationalization just places the punishment of bad business on the american people.

Start punishing fraud again. Fractional reserve banking is the major source of the boom/bust cycle and it is basically nothing but lying about how much money you have. If you lie to get a larger loan or lower interest payment, it is fraud. If a bank lies about the amount of assets they have so that they can loan out more money it is fraud. Not so long in the past you at least had to have 10% of the money you were loaning out. Now... there is no reserve limit on banks. ALL OF THE MAJOR BANKS ARE INHERENTLY INSOLVENT. If a bank has 1:10 (10% reserve) asset to loan ratio then if everyone with savings in teh bank decided to take THEIR money out, only the first 10% of the people would get their money and the rest are SCREWED.

1. What is fragile...
What is fragile should exist until the free market, that is you and me... the people of america, votes with their wallet and allows them to collapse.

2. No socialisation of losses and privatisation of gains...
Nationalisation is a socialisation of the loss! You think nationalized businesses dont have risk? Any loss they suffer comes from tax payers money and not from the business itself. There is no incentive to improve!

3. People who were driving a school bus blindfolded...
I sure as hell wouldnt invest in a company that has known retards at the helm... would you? Perhaps the people that have their hands clean simply dont want to sully them by being involved.

4. Do not let someone making an “incentive” bonus manage a nuclear plant...
Any smart businessman knows that cutting corners that would induce risk is a bad "investment". Lawsuits and downtime tend to put serious dents in profitability.

5. Counter-balance complexity with simplicity...
I am not even sure what point he is trying to make here, but it smells like BS.

6. Do not give children sticks of dynamite, even if they come with a warning...
This right here infuriates me. Thanks for assuming that I am a dumbass and comparing me to a child. First off anyone dumb enough to throw money into something that they dont understand deserves to have that money taken from them. Second, there is a good lesson to be learned by getting screwed. Some people have to be burned before they learn caution. Due diligence = good investment.

7. Only Ponzi schemes should depend on confidence...
OK he isnt serious now. Confidence is a matter of opinion. If someone or a group of people express no confidence in something, its a damn good warning sign that maybe you should be taking a second look at it. Let ignore information... good idea. Being robust in the face of rumor simply means solid business principles. Due diligence again. A good dose of caution never hurt anyone.

8. Do not give an addict more drugs if he has withdrawal pains...
Agreed.

9. Citizens should not depend on financial assets or fallible “expert” advice for their retirement...
Making someone pay for someone elses retirement is theft. No, no one should rely on someone elses advice for their retirement. Figure it out yourself or suffer the consequences. The only thing that is certain is death. One should not expect there to be no uncertainty in their financial well being. The only way people would realistically not feel anxiety about investments is if they dont have any or simply dont care. Risk free investments are a fantasy, like free money.

10. I agree with the first part, but we should actually try capitalism before blaming it and trying to reinvent it. Dump this governmental/industrial complex for true capitalism. Pure capitalism is the most fair and ethical system devised. Opportunity is there for everyone and people can do what they want with their money for better or worse. The bottom line is self responsibility. People are allowed to truely succeed or fail miserably by their own choices.

This is the only way we will see his final goal/statement:
Then we will see an economic life closer to our biological environment: smaller companies, richer ecology, no leverage. A world in which entrepreneurs, not bankers, take the risks and companies are born and die every day without making the news.

Comment #77 - Posted by: Bryan at April 9, 2009 8:36 AM

What is up with the Hammer and Sickle Flag on the wall?

Comment #78 - Posted by: Justin A at April 9, 2009 8:57 AM

Help with a rings question

Does anyone know who far apart to hand the rings from my garage ceiling??

The instructions have everything but

Ty in advance

Comment #79 - Posted by: Jeff - Bucks County at April 9, 2009 8:59 AM

I mean "how far apart to hang the rings"

Comment #80 - Posted by: Jeff - Bucks County at April 9, 2009 9:00 AM

Dave T.

My answers are two-fold

1) so I still enjoy the benefits of healthy bloodflow with my spouse when I am in my 80's or later. Or in plain English.....sex when I'm old.

2) so when I am "old" I can still pick up my kids/grandkids/greatgrandkids put them over my head and ask them if they still want to get smart w/their old man.

Those are my 2 driving reasons. I work out. I get hurt sometimes. I hurt myself sometimes. But the whole point is looking ahead so when I die I don't have someone else wiping my derriere for me!

Cheers!

As far as the financial article, I didn't read it, but I know I want there to be hard times financially so I can really appreciate the good times. For the past 200 or so years Americans have been among the wealthiest people in the world..hands down. Ask some folks from any 3rd world country how their 401k is doing. They're just happy to have a meal or 2 every day.

Blessings!

Anybody else in the Offutt/Bellevue/Plattsmouth area give me a holler!
Dave

Comment #81 - Posted by: Dave at Offutt at April 9, 2009 9:06 AM

#79 Jeff - "how far apart to hang the rings"

Being a former gymnast, I hung mine 2 inches wider than the rings would be at the end of a muscle-up when you are in the starting position for a dip. And that ended up being a total of 2 inches wider than my at-rest shoulder width (measured at the outside your delts). Theoretically, you'd want them right over your shoulder socket, but then they would rub on your arms excessively, so mounting them a little wider than that helps.

It's worked well.

Dave T.

Comment #82 - Posted by: Dave T. at April 9, 2009 9:21 AM

#79

Measurements of the apparatus are published by the FIG in the Apparatus Norms brochure.

* Point of suspension 5.75 meters above floor
* Height of rings 2.75 meters (including about 20 cm landing mats)
* Distance between the rings 50 cm
* Inside Diameter of the rings 18 cm
* Total Diameter of the rings 23.6 cm (thickness 2.8 cm, 18 + 2.8 * 2 = 23.6)

Comment #83 - Posted by: jakers at April 9, 2009 9:26 AM

Dave T & Jakers THANK YOU!!

Have an excellent day!

Comment #84 - Posted by: Jeff - Bucks County at April 9, 2009 9:31 AM

THANK YOU FOR THE REST DAY! THANK YOU FOR THE REST DAY! THANK YOU FOR THE REST DAY! THANK YOU FOR THE REST DAY! THANK YOU FOR THE REST DAY!

Michael

Comment #85 - Posted by: Michael Whities at April 9, 2009 9:31 AM

#81 Jakers

* Point of suspension 5.75 meters above floor
* Height of rings 2.75 meters (including about 20 cm landing mats)
* Distance between the rings 50 cm

That'd be a mighty tall garage ceiling! :-)

(I think my suggestion will be more personalized and work better for the normal crossfit applications.)

Dave T.

Comment #86 - Posted by: Dave T. at April 9, 2009 9:34 AM

Jeff - I believe the official gymnastics answer is about 20".

From Wikipedia entry on gymnastics.

Point of suspension 5.75 meters above floor
Height of rings 2.75 meters (including about 20 cm landing mats)
Distance between the rings 50 cm [**divided by 2.54 = 19.68**]
Inside Diameter of the rings 18 cm
Total Diameter of the rings 23.6 cm (thickness 2.8 cm, 18 + 2.8 * 2 = 23.6)

Daniel-san - entirely gratuitous. You also failed to give credit to people like Marshall and Prole who do a pretty damn good job of defending their own positions and challenging the conservative ones. I would also point out this old aphorism - "The truest measure of a person's intelligence is the degree to which they agree with our own opinions." Would you find Barry's logic or Jeff Glassman's science so "faulty" if they were arguing your side? Let me guess, "no, no, of course not" - Barry and Jeff are just dumb and illogical, right?

Come on, man. You can do better than that. Your defense was weaker still.

Comment #87 - Posted by: Dale_Saran at April 9, 2009 9:35 AM

u think we'll get a "30 Muscle ups for time" again?

Comment #88 - Posted by: Ramsland in Iraq m/22/5'10/170 at April 9, 2009 9:48 AM

Why do I Crossfit?

I think someone on one of the facebook group threads said it best: "because there will come a time when my family, my country, or myself will require it." That's paraphrased, but the point is still there.

As for the posted article:

I think most of the problems with the government and financial institutions are the result of the attitude of the country as a whole: entitlement.

The Constitution guarantees that everyone has equal RIGHTS. That doesn't mean that everyone is equal.

The housing bubble was caused by the government deciding, "hey, everyone deserves a house, so let's put everyone in a house"

Everyone doesn't deserve a house, so they just lowered the standards to qualify for a loan.

The education system is in shambles because the government keeps on lowering the standards. Learning is hard and it takes work. Public schools shouldn't be a babysitting service to keep teenagers from joining gangs and doing drugs.

People say that because the US began as a republic/democracy that there were no longer any classes(nobility, etc).

What actually happened was that instead of a class system based on money and land, the US was supposed to be a class system based on merit.

Social classes still exist, but there aren't supposed to be any barriers to keep people from pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.

Instead of American society saying "there's nothing stopping the lowest beggar on the street from becoming one of the most successful people in the world" - the American dream. American society says "we're going to make everyone more average by punishing those who are too successful and encouraging those who aren't successful to stay that way."

Read a few chapters in Atlas Shrugged.

Lines need to be drawn. Decisions have to be made about what is good and what is bad. You have to be able to separate the baby from the bath water. If something isn't defined, then it means nothing.

The structure of the financial system isn't what's wrong. The people in the system are flawed. No character, no merit. A large percentage(I'd have to find the exact number) of our Congressional representatives are criminals. We're taking people of the lowest common denominator and giving them power over the entire country.

Yes, that rant went all over place and I have no data to offer.

Just my 0.02.

Comment #89 - Posted by: James Phillips at April 9, 2009 10:02 AM

Daniel-san,

Excellent post! Well said, sir.

Comment #90 - Posted by: Ian at April 9, 2009 10:10 AM

Why? For everyone it will be different,,for myself and the others in my category its for True competition! Every driven competitor wants to catch and surpass the best..so everytime I see a great number posted by a CF stud I have to shoot for that mark...and in CF there is always someone out there who is better than you! For me its PURE COMPETITION

Comment #91 - Posted by: Serpico at April 9, 2009 10:12 AM

Justin A - my background. Current Russian Federation flag is boring tri-color: white, blue & red.

So since I was born in USSR - I have a USSR flag in my gym :D

Comment #92 - Posted by: Leo S at April 9, 2009 10:20 AM

Dale Saran @85,

You have a point. I may have overstepped a bit.

In fact, I agree in principle with most of what Barry and Jeff have to say on most issues, such as global warming, economic policy, the welfare state, government regulation of markets, and states' rights. I also appreciate their consistent defense of the military in which I serve.

At no point did I ever accuse Barry and Jeff of being "dumb and illogical". Clearly they are both very intelligent and well-educated men. However, being intelligent and well-educated does not necessarily stop one from making statements such as:

"I am right. You are wrong. If you want to argue otherwise, argue otherwise. If can't, your continued participation serves only to provide further support for my contention, and to denigrate and deflate your own.

That's why leftists aren't supposed to post here. You people just embarass [sic] yourselves. You need to find a more congenial echo chamber, or weaker minds and spirits. That's your natural home."

(Barry Cooper, April 5, 2009)

And:

“In the “new era of responsibility”, we are to be but ants in an Obama colony.”

(Jeff Glassman, March 12, 2009)

Or how about:

“I am right, though, and you are wrong. I am sorry, but that's how the real world works. Some ideas have merit, and others don't. The way you tell the difference is you watch what happens when you implement one or the other.

(…)

The case is absolutely open and shut. If anyone doubts this, email me and I will send you a short essay on this topic I wrote, or suggest you read "Crisis of Abundance".

On all of these issues, I have studied the topics in great detail, and can go as deep as anyone might like. Obama is wrong. Completely wrong.”

(Barry Cooper, March 9, 2009)

I understand fully that rest days are all about the free exchange of ideas. Furthermore, nobody’s stopping me or anyone else from responding to Barry and Jeff’s extremely long-winded and unnecessarily combative posts. At the same time, I know I’m not the only CrossFitter who is frustrated by the predictable routine of the conversation turning into a playground squabble with big words. Trying to reason with these two is like arguing with your crazy uncle at Thanksgiving; it gets boring pretty fast. That, I strongly suspect, is why participation of anyone other than Barry and Jeff drops off precipitously by late afternoon on most rest days.

Anyway, please forgive me for trying to inject a little levity and irreverence into a situation with which I and many others have become increasingly fed up.

Respectfully,

Dan

Comment #93 - Posted by: Daniel-san at April 9, 2009 10:33 AM

great video! looks like everyone is having fun while getting fit!! nice place too!
great job, crossfit Evolution!! Thanks for sharing.

Comment #94 - Posted by: lisa cf Suffolk-spartanperformance at April 9, 2009 10:38 AM

Guys, I'd like to announce that I'm going to stop doing Crossfit and focus on activating my brown fat...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/08/AR2009040804290.html?hpid=topnews

Comment #95 - Posted by: James Phillips at April 9, 2009 10:41 AM

Comment #91 - Posted by: Daniel-san at April 9, 2009 10:33 AM

Although I'm not a prolific rest day poster, I have the same exact sentiments, Daniel-san. I would like to participate more, but it really just smells like, as you said, "a playground squabble with big words". I enjoy the rest day materials, but refrain from conjecture partly due to the "rest day ego measuring contest" and my admitted lack of knowledge.

Maybe I just need to read more relevant material?

Comment #96 - Posted by: Herm at April 9, 2009 10:53 AM

Missed the last two days so did both WOD's today!

Warm-up: 15 min bike

5km run: 25:48 (50 sec slower than last time, quads really hurt!)

Burgener Warm-up

Shoulder Press

1. 1 x 135
2. 1 x 135
3. 1 x 145
4. 1 x 155
5. 1 x 165

Push Press

1. 3 x 155
2. 3 x 155
3. 3 x 165
4. 3 x 175
5. 2 x 185

Push Jerk

1. 5 x 135
2. 5 x 135
3. 5 x 145
4. 5 x 155
5. 5 x 155

M/39/6'1"/249

Comment #97 - Posted by: Dean at April 9, 2009 11:08 AM

Friday has "Fran" written all over it.

Comment #98 - Posted by: Playoff Beard at April 9, 2009 11:24 AM

Yes please coach Fran! lol
I need somethin tough to burn off all the beer im gonna be drinkin tmrw night
my birthday means parrrrrrrttayyyyyyyyyyyy ha cant wait to see

Comment #99 - Posted by: Crossfit Noob at April 9, 2009 11:29 AM

48/male/6'/199/week 22 CF/week 2 Recon Ron

No rest day here either as I am taking Easter off...did my Recon Ron pullups, also did some ring dips and ring pushups.

My butt and legs are still sore from lunges...ouch.

Comment #100 - Posted by: michaelg at April 9, 2009 11:32 AM

I like some of the suggestions in the article but not others.

To start right into #1, nothing should ever be too big to fail... It is my observation that getting big is a basic aim inherent in a capitalistic society. Not to be pedantic, but it works like the game "monopoly", get out in front of all competitors and keep the lead. Keeping the lead can be accomplished Crossfit style by continually working on your weaknesses and improving across broad modal, etc. It can also be done by creating barriers to entry. Barriers to entry (my economics coursework still rattles around in my head) can be a patent (that was a rest day discussion months ago), a secret formula (Coke), gobbling up all the talent in the competitor's workforce, etc. It can also mean changing the laws in your favor(if you are the monopoly). There are plenty of other barriers to entry. Too numerous to list and can be discussed ad nauseum. I am focussing on contributing to elected officials re-election campaigns, and hiring lobbyists to push for legislation that ensures "barriers to entry." Another example might be rigging the bidding process in favor of the "monopoly competitor" (that's my new favorite oxymoron). It is in the monopoly's best interest to create and maintain these barriers to entry. I would find it illuminating for someone to explain how it is un-capitalistic to follow the principles so far. (No one has said it in this discussion, so I am asking for discussion, not picking a fight.)

There is also nothing currently illegal about contributing to political campaigns or paying lobbyists. I am talking very generally and it is still just my own perspective, so I could be very wrong in many instances specifically and I am not talking about aspects of being morally wrong or otherwise.

So, with all of that rambling pretext (all my own opinion), being "too big to fail" is working well for AIG. I am not implying that they are a monopoly (it could be argued depending on what aspect of their product line one wanted to discuss), but that they have the aims of a monopoly, and that anyone in a capitalistic system has the same aims. Get big, get rid of competitors, earn monopoly profits. (In my mind, I see a graph from an econ class with a big shaded profit section)

What the article doesn't directly address is how do we set the "system" up in such a way that firms cannot erect "unfair" barriers to entry that pervert capitalism (through legal means, etc). I do not accept socialization, nationalization, etc as the answer. That's a whole other horror show. It also implies that elected officials are above reproach.

LOL.

It is my own observation that in general, elected officials will follow capitalist tendencies personally. What they say is seldom how they act. (i.e. Give me a re-election contribution/free lunch and I'll say whatever you want, support whatever you want, couch what I say however I need to in order to cover our A's). I have not seen substantial evidence that elected officials/"the government" will do a better/unbiased job of running things (corporations/industries/etc) than letting free market forces select the best course. There are numerous examples of "free market forces" choosing the worst example too, but the tendency I have noticed is on a spectrum (good to bad), free market forces tend to deliver better results.

Ok, I am really rambling on now.

My point is I think the article was an attempt to answer the question:


How do we change things in order to continue to pursue capitalism and a free society?

Is the answer to ban lobbying on the part of corporations?

I doubt it. (Those guys would lobby themselves to get back in the business anyway. A bunch already weaseled past the current Presidential ban)

Is it an increasing amount of legal oversight?

I doubt it. (Do we really need more rules and complications?)

Is it letting the Govt take over?

I strenously disagree.

Is it voting the elected officials who are on the take (i.e. not working for our best interests, whoever "We" are) out of office?

That's the system we have now, but elected officials are really good at telling us that they are on "our side," so we keep voting them in. (they could work as lobbyists, they're so good at it.)

I don't know the answer. I figure it has to do with everyone being attentive and constantly trying to learn more about what's going on in order to make better decisions (where to spend your money, where to invest your money, who to elect, etc). Not to delve back into Economic theory, but this is the "perfect information" assumption that would drive rational/capitalist behavior. (yes, capitalism is rational. it is rational to act in your own best interest. There's more to capitalism that that, but rational behavior is a key component.) Not allowing all players access to "Perfect Information" is itself a kind of "Barrier to Entry."

There are some deep thinkers on this site that I would appreciate lending me some of their mental clarity (this is sincere and not a joke, as I have read how these discussions sometimes go). I figure that they've already thought through some of this stuff and could shine some light on my muddled thoughts. For all I know, this discussion came up years ago and I missed it.

thanks

MTB

Comment #101 - Posted by: MTB at April 9, 2009 11:34 AM

What??!!! Somebody said "fran" oh!!! The chill fran scares my loungs...there is NO TIME yo breath with fran

Comment #102 - Posted by: s'more at April 9, 2009 12:04 PM

Peanut Butter and s'more,

My vote is on "Linda".

Comment #103 - Posted by: Herm at April 9, 2009 12:06 PM

Totally off the WoD schedule

Still recovering from jacked up shoulder (assuming rotator cuff)

Threw together a random WoD today...

5 rnds 4 time (23:40):
30x GHD Situps
30x Back ext
10x each leg -- One-leg plyobox squats on a 12" box (working on pistols)

Comment #104 - Posted by: XAF at April 9, 2009 12:11 PM

#28 Dave T

-- just read to yours and thought it interesting. why do we workout, and to such extremes that we are injured all the time... and then claim superior fitness?

first: I never continue after the "tweak". I think its stupid. at the most ill continue the workout drastically scaled, more or less to stretch out. i never do understand why people on this site are so thrilled to have recently gotten injured, or ripped the skin off their hands. in my head it makes no sense to walk out of the gym into life, and are unable to accomplish a task because of an injury you got in the gym.

second: i work out for 3 reasons. chicks, health, general safety. im not a military guy, or police or anything like that so i dont need physical fitness to perform my job (not at all knocking those professions). i added general safety (not fighting) because i was recently able to stop a fight by overpowering a person.

Comment #105 - Posted by: dT at April 9, 2009 12:21 PM

Now That's scary Linda??? Wow that would be a nightmare...love it!!!

Comment #106 - Posted by: s'more at April 9, 2009 12:22 PM

Daniel-san

Great post, thanks for saying what I would bet lots of people are thinking...I used to post a few times, got into some of the discussions (arguments/internet shouting matches), and gave up after seeing how amateurish it was getting. Just got back from a deployment, so haven't checked this site in about a year and apparently nothing has changed, I guess.

Comment #107 - Posted by: zo 26/m/190/5'10 at April 9, 2009 12:42 PM

Did yesterdays wod since I'm behind.
5k ran in 34:46 not my best time but working with sore knees.

Comment #108 - Posted by: gale at April 9, 2009 12:42 PM

#73 and #92 Daniel-san, "Guilty as charged on the ad hominem, but I don't think I'm the only one who's getting tired of the same routine every four days. Look at the rest day comments for the last two months and decide for yourself if my description is accurate."

So their supposedly poor behavior is an excuse for your own? You are responsible for yourself and your action, no one else. I do like how you feel the need to think/speak for others unasked, ever think of public service?

Further, I'll do better than "two months" back; I've been here nearly every day and most certainly every rest day since at least May 2006. Now I don't post everyday or rest day because I learn more from reading what others have to say.

Daniel-san "#8: “Other people point out the absurdity, irrelevance, and poor reasoning of Jeff and Barry's responses."

"Daniel-san: "At no point did I ever accuse Barry and Jeff of being "dumb and illogical".

Your original #8 is directly calling Barry and Jeff "illogical and dumb". How else to take it? You either are back-pedaling or can't recall/scroll up to comments you made earlier in the day. No, you're busted and no amount of stammering is going to get you out of the enormous idiot hole you have dug for yourself on that point.

"That, I strongly suspect, is why participation of anyone other than Barry and Jeff drops off precipitously by late afternoon on most rest days."

Man, you really have no clue. Look at every day, except for the straight up posting of results on non-rest day all the "conversation" posting occurs pretty early in the day and wraps up by late afternoon. So do the math on a rest day where everything is conversation and no WOD results. Evidence of this is people posting questions late on the WOD days often re-ask early the next and getting an answer where they didn't the day before.

As for Barry and Jeff "attacking" other, adults posting opinions that are little better than a child's deserve to be treated as such if not more severely.

Comment #109 - Posted by: penty at April 9, 2009 12:54 PM

Hey Gang,

Just a quick update to let everyone know we have finalized the workouts for the Southwest Regional Qualifier at Hell’s Half Acre. These fair and varied WOD's are anyone's to win, so bring your "A" game and be ready for anything. Preparations are well under way to make certain that our athletes, our families, and our friends have a fun, well organized, and safe event.

Spectators - come one come all! No charge! Free parking! We will have vendors,

T-shirts, food, refreshments, and bathrooms for all! And more importantly a CrossFit spectacle!

Welcome to GSX and Hell's Half Acre!

tucker

Comment #110 - Posted by: Deavers at April 9, 2009 12:58 PM

Great article. Excellent points made.

And penty, you're way off base. Daniel-San pegs the situation accurately, and in very funny way. Thanks big D.

M

Comment #111 - Posted by: Matt S at April 9, 2009 1:20 PM

#58 - Best thing I've read today. One omission on your list:

People questioning the rationale of entertaining non-exercise related topics on what is clearly a fitness-focused-forum. (i.e. "enough with the political crap. I wanna to see WOD times!")

Comment #112 - Posted by: Brandon at April 9, 2009 1:25 PM

Chris German 4/5/09, #210,

Here’s a starter set of explicit freedom and rights, excluding taxes, eroded by regulations. I couched it in impersonal terms.

Individuals have lost the freedom to compete on a level playing field for jobs, promotions, and school admissions due to Affirmative Action.

Individuals have the lost the right to a good education due to poor teachers and an abysmal curriculum caused by government enabled unionization of the school system and lack of substantive qualifications for teachers.

Families have the lost any right they might have had to obtain prescriptions for certain drugs that are addictive or experimental due to FDA regulations.

Individuals have lost the right to obtain the best rate on home mortgages due to regulations requiring lenders to make 10% bad loans.

Individuals lost the prorated value of lifetime private medical benefits they were earning when Medicare was enacted.

Families’ right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for gays in marriage and adoption.

Families lost the freedom to choose a home serviced by the best schools when the government enacted forced busing.

Individuals lost the freedom to board airplanes without harassment and undue delays when the government enacted absurd, age and ethnically blind security rules.

Families lost a measure of freedom to live peacefully in their homes when the courts and law enforcement became revolving doors for criminals.

Comment #113 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at April 9, 2009 1:45 PM

Points 5 and 6 are silly but otherwise the article is not bad. It would be a lot more effective to
1. Get rid of the income tax and
2. Abolish the Federal Reserve (or at least allow competing currencies based on something)
pick up the book The Creature from Jekyll Island if you're interested.
BTW who wants black swans to go away? I'm a derivatives trader and that's how I made most of money last year.

Comment #114 - Posted by: adam at April 9, 2009 1:52 PM

Penty,

"Your original #8 is directly calling Barry and Jeff "illogical and dumb". How else to take it?"

How about you "take it" using my original words, not Dale's paraphrasing. Illogical is not the same thing as poorly reasoned, and dumb is not the same thing as absurd. For example, go back to 28 March when Jeff argues that the Democrats' voting record immediately after 9/11 means that they implicitly supported OIF. This is not totally illogical; there is some logic in this statement (OIF part of GWOT, Democrats supported GWOT at first) but it is also poorly reasoned and kind of absurd (most Democrats didn't support OIF).

If you're trying to hurt my feelings by mischaracterizing what I said and then telling me to stop stammering in an idiot hole, you might try another approach. For example, I have been known to shed a tear upon learning that chow is cancelled.

"I do like how you feel the need to think/speak for others unasked, ever think of public service?"

There's no shame on my DD-214. Thanks for paying your taxes, and also Golf Fox Yankee Sierra.

S/F

Dan

Comment #115 - Posted by: Daniel-san at April 9, 2009 1:55 PM

Comment #32 - Posted by: jt

JT, that was a smokin' post, thanks very much. Quotes will go directly into my list of the classics. Paul

Comment #116 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 074 205 45 yoa at April 9, 2009 2:00 PM

Dave T - ultimately, because it feels good. There's more net pleasure (in CFing) than pain. Thus, I continue the behavior. As to 'why' that's true, neither of us has time to go there! Paul

Comment #117 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 074 205 45 yoa at April 9, 2009 2:09 PM

Did FRAN today......5:49 PR

Yea I know that is slow, I am doing it though!

35m/5'11/205

Comment #118 - Posted by: Todd at April 9, 2009 2:21 PM

Daniel-san:

You are my favorite 'arguer' now. At least I can understand what you're saying, unlike Papa Glassman and Barry C.

I, too, appreciate y'all paying your taxes!

Your faithful public servant

Comment #119 - Posted by: CL at April 9, 2009 2:27 PM

Dave T
Word, great question. Seriously, I can't believe this came up. I did crossfit for about 9 months then went back to my old routine of splittin up body parts last summer (for bad reasons that no one wants to hear). But then I would add in crossfit workouts like Angie, and Fran because I missed them. Now ever since crossfit football Im pretty much a crossfitter again only with a few tweaks here and there. For some reason I cant seem to fall in line with the whole crossfit concept of randomization and the 3 days on 1 day off. But back to question which I will start with "why do I do crossfit work outs" because I was inspired by the 300 movie. Not gonna lie. Saw the 300 workout and I was like "yeah thats crazy". My roomates were into it and the one said his friend was a navy seal and he did his training at Gym Jones and it was a lot like crossfit. So he took me through a workout at the schools gym and I threw up three times. Three. I never threw up before without being sick in my life and I was a distance runner. So I cleaned up my mess and I asked him when the next workout was.

To truly answer your question though Dave, Im not really sure. I think comment #74 said it the best. We do it for the chicks.

Maybe you should ask why do some people not workout, why? Why?

# 46 Stephen a Spondylolisthesis Rex is a carnivorous dinosaur that lived in the Jurassic Period, correct?

#74 J1 Yeah I would say so. Good Comment

Comment #120 - Posted by: Raiden at April 9, 2009 2:34 PM

Jeff,

"Families’ right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for gays in marriage and adoption."

Explain to me how allowing a gay person or people the right to love and raise a child (or to marry for that matter) is destroying a family's rights to raise a child to be a good citizen?

How about the right of children to have parents that love them? Or to be raised by parents at all?

Comment #121 - Posted by: Guy Thompson at April 9, 2009 2:38 PM

#119 - AMEN!!!

Comment #122 - Posted by: Cookie at April 9, 2009 2:52 PM

No rest for me-I am totally off schedule. Today did 4-1-7-9 memorial WOD from Crossfit Pittsburgh. However modified it to accomadate my gimpy shoulder:

4 Power cleans 65#
1 Deadlift 175#
7 Burpees
9 GHD sit ups

9 rounds

17:39

Comment #123 - Posted by: Suzanne f/5'2"/ 108 at April 9, 2009 2:54 PM

Filthy Fifties
23:43 PR

Wish I had my training partner there to catch me:)

Comment #124 - Posted by: Julie Ditzend F31/118/5'0" at April 9, 2009 2:56 PM

Comment # 111,

"Families’ right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for gays in marriage and adoption."
*********************************************

You hit the nail on the head with that one Jeff! The traditional family is, and always will be, the best family for raising children to be good citizens and future soldiers. Why we tolerate perversity in America is beyond my intellectual reasoning skills.

Comment #125 - Posted by: Greg/M2 at April 9, 2009 3:13 PM

“Explain to me how allowing a gay person or people the right to love and raise a child (or to marry for that matter) is destroying a family's rights to raise a child to be a good citizen?

How about the right of children to have parents that love them? Or to be raised by parents at all?”

Comment #119 - Posted by: Guy Thompson at April 9, 2009 2:38 PM


As much as I dislike posting a complaint towards something stated by someone who has apparently been made the target du jour, I have to agree with Guy here. The decision of with whom to have a committed relationship is incredibly personal, and the government has no business in it at all; not by expressly sanctioning a union, or by expressly disallowing a union. I don't think that gay marriage or adoption erodes straight families' rights to rear children as they see fit, any more than vice versa, since the right to encourage in any direction ends at the use or threat of force, and government restrictions on marriage are enforced with, well, force. In other words, there never was any right to forbid it, so the long-held paradigm was kept in place by methods unworthy of a free society.

That being said, Jeff G., I agree with all the other points mentioned in your post at 4-9-09 1:45, and would add for Chris German's benefit that the taxation, and the resultant loss of property rights, he casually dismisses is erosion enough all by itself.

Comment #126 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 3:26 PM

Goat,

I hope this obvious, but just in case I want it to be clear that whether Jeff had posted it or if it had been someone else, I still would have posted my same response.

Comment #127 - Posted by: Guy Thompson at April 9, 2009 3:30 PM

Daniel-San, #58 is the funniest CF post ever, and #113 is in the top 10.

Penty, you got served.

Todd, #116. A 5:49 Fran is not slow. Keep up the good work. That is great.

Comment #128 - Posted by: Joe P at April 9, 2009 3:33 PM

I see what you mean, Guy, and I'm sorry. I didn't mean to imply that you were picking on Jeff. All I meant is that he's catching a lot a flack today, and I was sorry to add to it, but I thought the topic warranted it.

Comment #129 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 3:33 PM

Fair enough

Comment #130 - Posted by: Guy Thompson at April 9, 2009 3:37 PM

I am reading "The Black Swan" at the moment and I am astonished that the author of the book has now titled his FT article in a way which suggests he knows how we can proof against them. The whole point of his book seems to be that we simply cannot reliably predict the future because we constantly overestimate our understanding, ability to plan and by implication our inability to prevent events from occurring. Black swans are unlikely events, which are hugely important and drive human progress / regression and consistently blindside our narrow minds. So for his article title to talk of "proofing" is an extraordinarily contrary position to propose now, IMHO. That or I've misunderstood the book, or else he's being ironic and it's over my head.

Daniel-San......what beer do you drink?

Peace.

Comment #131 - Posted by: J1 at April 9, 2009 3:40 PM

Goat, I'm trying to remember my response to you yesterday that got flagged. It was truly innocuous, or so I thought.

Comment #132 - Posted by: Joe P at April 9, 2009 3:42 PM

#28 Dave T, here is what I commented on the presses WOD of 090409:
"Seeing comments on shoulder damage (I tore my right benching as a youth) and wanted to share I've worked the WODs with dumbbells and see great improvement forcing the right shoulder to work without compensation from the left in a barbell. Also the active core lectures from Kelly have helped with push jerks & overhead squats."
Obviously @56 I'm seasoned different than I was @24.
I got excited with Coach's diagram from ill to health to fit. I want to be fit ... healthy ... energetic ... challenged ... stressed in a good way. And, when necessary, better prepared to defend my family and nation. ne cede malis. stand fast.

Comment #133 - Posted by: michaelchasetx 56y/235#/76" at April 9, 2009 3:42 PM

4 rounds with minimal rest:
Deadlift 225 x 10
Clapping pushup x 10
Knees to elbows x 10

Dbell 1 arm squats (50, 80)

Comment #134 - Posted by: DNICE 33/M/175 at April 9, 2009 3:45 PM

Another thought I'd like to express is astonishment at the amount of support being shown for Daniel-San's post #58. It is nothing more, I repeat, nothing more than a personal attack against two people he apparently doesn't like. The fact that he's getting cheers for what he himself admits was "excessive" (I would say completely unwarranted, see below) speaks volumes about the intellectual rigor of those doing the cheering.

Jeff and Barry are both vigorous in their arguments, very much so. Have I seen them get down on a personal level with people? Yes. But allow me to make two observations, and then judge for yourselves. First, every single post they make is filled with assertions and verifiable information ABOUT THE TOPIC BEING DISCUSSED. There is plenty of meat there for someone who wants to argue points with them, but those cheering now rarely do. If they (Jeff and Barry) do attack someone's character, it isn't the bulk of the post. Second, rarely (dare I say never?) have I seen either one make one ad hominem statement to anybody who hadn't gone on the ad hominem attack first. I submit that anybody has the right to stike back when struck.

Comment #135 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 3:47 PM

Joe P @ 3:42

If you said that I was ugly, balding, poorly endowed, overly hairy, and had bad WOD times, they should have let it go through, because it's all true. I am, however, a sharp dresser.

Comment #136 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 3:50 PM

NO POLITICS

Comment #137 - Posted by: JD at April 9, 2009 3:55 PM

Well, Joe P, I just got flagged myself.

Comment #138 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 3:56 PM

Daniel-san #58, #92, #113,

Well written, accurate, and entertaining posts.

Comment #139 - Posted by: Chris J at April 9, 2009 4:01 PM

Goat #133. Try reading Monday's posts again.

Comment #140 - Posted by: Joe P at April 9, 2009 4:22 PM

Regarding the Daniel-san/Goat/Barry/JeffG rest day poster topic, sense of humor always prevails. Daniel-san, thank you for the comic relief. Those of you who are becoming defensive: thicker skin would be nice.

"Families’ right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for gays in marriage and adoption."

Comment #111 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at April 9, 2009 1:45 PM

I am saddened and embarrassed that you have this opinion, Jeff. :(

"why we work out; what’s the end goal? No, not the easy answer, the fully-peeled back, stripped down answer. The one you will be able to give today, next year, and 25 and 50 and 75 years from now. My guess it will be enlightening."

Comment #28 - Posted by: Dave T. at April 9, 2009 3:19 AM

Dave T, your question is enlightening in itself. I mulled it over for more than half a day now, and it always boils down to 2 words: cameraderie and challenge.

Comment #141 - Posted by: Herm at April 9, 2009 4:27 PM

M/51/215, Crossfitting almost 2 years
I Crossfit because;
Its fun
The WOD is posted, I don't have to make an exercise plan, Thanks Coach
The WOD can be done quickly
The WOD is a mental and physical challenge
I enjoy organized pain and suffering

Comment #142 - Posted by: Pete at April 9, 2009 4:47 PM

#28 David T:

Deceptively simple question. Nothing fancy for my answer. I do this because being stronger, faster, more agile etc. is better than being weaker, slower, less agile etc. I do this because, when X comes along, it's better to be able to do X than to not be able to do X. I do it for the results, for what I become when I do it, and that's why I started. But now I also do it just for the joy of doing it.

Comment #143 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 5:05 PM

Comment #44 - Posted by: jimmyj

What's the difference between greed and self interest?

Greed is easy to condemn, hard to define, and generally, pointless to discuss, unless you are a politician grubbing for the money and votes of others by spending money that does not belong to you (any one sensing any irony in said politician pontificating about greed?). Unless you can define it clearly and thus prove me wrong ...

Comment #144 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 44 yoa at April 9, 2009 5:05 PM

JoeP at 4:22

Barry and Jeff G. didn't post at all on Monday. Am I misunderstanding what I should be looking for?

Comment #145 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 5:08 PM

#134 Goat:

That was funny!

Comment #146 - Posted by: Playoff Beard at April 9, 2009 5:28 PM

But Herm- go further.... WHY the comraderie and competition? Those are good answers and part of my answers too, but keep asking WHY. Why is competition so important? Workin on more of my answer..

Comment #147 - Posted by: Strong Lil Pony! at April 9, 2009 5:33 PM

Pony, at that point, the answer gets too flowery and intangible for my liking, and I revert back to those 2 words. Going further makes my simple head hurt! :)

Comment #148 - Posted by: Herm at April 9, 2009 5:36 PM

"Daniel-san #58, #92, #113,

Well written, accurate, and entertaining posts."

I agree with Chris J. Right on the money, Dan!

Comment #149 - Posted by: Lewis Dunn at April 9, 2009 5:39 PM

Comment #58 - Posted by: Daniel-san

Dude, I've learned more from Barry and Jeff in the last two years than any other poster from this board. You may disagree with their opinions, not understand how or what they write, and wish they didn't interfere with your party, but I friggin' love those guys. They know a hell of a lot and will share the knowledge. Tip to the would be wise - learn from folks that know more and give the knowlege for free.

BTW - if you engage Barry or Jeff on their facts, or dialogue with them on their logic, specifically and courteously, with a genuine desire to understand the complex matters they've mastered, even if you disagree with their perspective, you'll see the same returned; genuine courtesy and engagement. If you meet them somewhere in person, you'll find they are both very kind gentlemen, and impressive in many respects, passionate and interesting. You'll find they work harder than most academics to understand and have a laser beam focus on truth seeking, and they use this forum to practice communication of what they are working on understanding.

If on the other hand you take the tack that most do, and attack their motives, avoid their facts, and engage on some other weak a$$ed buffoonery (and looking back at the last rest day, that’s all that was offered. Not a sole tried to engage Jeff on the merits of his paper), you won’t get much respect returned.

Lastly, to understand where Barry is coming from, you have to know a little about the French Revolution, and every other Leftist Revolution, not to mention the origin of the Nazis, and if you do, you would fear that sort of thing very greatly, and it would inform your reading of what Barry writes. He's as afraid of that outcome as much for your kids as for his own. If you think it's unlikely that such horror would come here - fine. If you think it’s a stretch to put Obama in the heavy weight Leftist category – fine. You should still be able to see that Barry is right to abhor what history teaches about what Leftist/Statists do when they gain power. No matter what, I guarantee you both share that abhorrence.

To your point:
"I am concerned that the upshot of all of this will be a new set of generally unneccessary institutions and regulations that will severely hurt the economy in the long run, when a better solution would involve proactively enforcing what we already have on the books and adding new rules sparingly."
--This isn't too far from what I would say, but you'll have a hard time convincing me that govt will be able to effectively regulate. It cannot even manage its own affairs, never holds itself accountable, and is not accountable to any greater force. How about you get the govt to get a clean audit within the DoD first, then you may be able to convince me that it has the requisite competence to regulate any other entity. Paul

Comment #150 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 44 yoa at April 9, 2009 5:46 PM

JoeP at 4:22

On the guess that you meant Sunday, not Monday, I went back and read all of Jeff's and Barry's posts from the last rest day, and I'm still not sure what you want me to see. Enlighten me, please.

Comment #151 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 5:53 PM

Playoff Beard @ 5:28 today

Why thank you. I have my moments.

Comment #152 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 5:55 PM

WOD:
Did my first real 5K today...
23:34
BLAH!

Comment #153 - Posted by: Jake at April 9, 2009 5:59 PM

Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 44 yoa
'What's the difference between greed and self interest?'

Not much I suppose. But would also say that both are not very noble traits to aspire to. Yes, I agree, greed IS hard to define, in the philosophical sense. Merriam-Webster defines greed as -"a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed."

Also, one should know when having enough, is truly enough. When you reach the point of having 'enough', you reach a zenith, then experience diminishing returns. After that you truly never enjoy the value of the 'enough' that you have.

Comment #154 - Posted by: jimmyj at April 9, 2009 6:04 PM

I just spent the entire day watching and reading CFJ articles.....literally, the entire day.

Comment #155 - Posted by: Vince S at April 9, 2009 6:09 PM

jimmyj @ 6:04

>>Also, one should know when having enough, is truly enough. When you reach the point of having 'enough', you reach a zenith, then experience diminishing returns. After that you truly never enjoy the value of the 'enough' that you have.

And for each of us, "enough" is different. How do you "regulate greed" when each person defines differently where enough ends and greed begins?

Comment #156 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 6:10 PM

#28 David:

Well, to start...I was dared. At the time I was still mindlessly trudging on a treadmill 1 hour a day and then going through the motions on various machines, not really seeing impressive results and having a general disdain for the gym. Then my friend showed me the website and a video of some guy doing Grace. I was floored. Not only did that guy blast out Grace, but he had a room of people cheering him on. He finished, and had a smile on his face. Then my friend said that anyone can do it. "I did it yesterday," he said.
"Screw that! There's no way I could do that!" I replied.
"I dare you." ...Those 3 words started it all for me. I'm not entirely sure why, but it ignited that kid inside of me. The kid that used to climb trees with ease. Swim ALL FLIPPIN' DAY in the summertime. The kid that would race his friends across the monkey bars, that would attempt to jump over, around, onto anything.

Maybe it was the way he said it, like a child daring his friend to ring a neighbor's doorbell and run. I suddenly had a DARE. I took his challenge, went to the gym the next day, made it 10 reps into Grace and nearly passed out. But I hadn't completed the dare yet! I made a promise to myself that I'd train until I could do that damned Grace all the way through. I took after the dare like any kid would, but then I started applying a workmanlike ethic to completing it.

Along the way I came to another realization. I wanted to be able to do the things I used to do as a kid. If I wanted to go play football, I could go play for a couple hours and not be completely gassed after 20 minutes. I wanted to be able to climb a tree with ease again. I wanted to be able to - and this has nothing to do w/ being a kid - be able to help myself and others in case of an emergency and be confident in my abilities.

Oh, and the workouts were crazy fun. and difficult. Every day became a dare. Fran? Hell, why not? My first Fran came up about a week into my new training. It took me 21 bloody minutes to finish and I was using the Gravitron for my pullups w/ ALL of the weight assisting me. It sucked something awful.
After that I decided to go slower, learn the movements so that I wouldn't hurt myself and so the workouts would be more enjoyable. But the DARE never left.

Someone else said it in a rest day post a while back, that CrossFit for them is like recess. We get to run, jump, push, pull, climb, flip! And it's fun!

The self-confidence and understanding that I'm capable of more than I think I am is addicting. The endorphin rush I get after completing Helen for a PR is immensely gratifying. And the camaraderie in my local affiliate is infectious. Oh, and the physical results ain't half bad either. ;)

Time to go, I think I just heard the bell ring.
3..2..1..recess!

Comment #157 - Posted by: d.dot at April 9, 2009 6:15 PM

Vince S @ 6:09

I did that once, soon after getting a journal subscription. Feel smarter? I did.

Comment #158 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 6:15 PM

Jeff,

I'm still waiting for a response. In case my original post got lost in all the other posts:

Jeff,

"Families’ right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for gays in marriage and adoption."

Explain to me how allowing a gay person or people the right to love and raise a child (or to marry for that matter) is destroying a family's rights to raise a child to be a good citizen?

How about the right of children to have parents that love them? Or to be raised by parents at all?

Comment #159 - Posted by: Guy Thompson at April 9, 2009 6:20 PM

#12 Cookie - No slug title for you! Try 37:00... but it's the best time of the four 5K's I've done in my life!

#40 onefastbird21 - Big hugs back at you!

#57 James Humphrey, Jr. - Well said ~

#139 Herm - BINGO! With all due respect, I hope Jeff Glassman reconsiders his opinion...it is disconcerting, at best.


Comment #160 - Posted by: Fit Mom's Mom at April 9, 2009 6:37 PM

... too many comments already to read them all...

Just some quick points:

1. Ideally yes, but as practice shows, big business will grow out of control until it holds as much of a monopoly (and by this I mean % market share) as it can feasibly get, at which point it feels free to stagnate and impend competition not through superior product, but through the stifling of competition forming a bubble of sorts where the people in control become increasingly incompetent... what do you do at that point? It's really easy to mask it, I mean heck, if you were put in control of a multi billion dollar car company or investment bank, you can't possibly be incompetent, can you?!?

2. Somewhat agree - not everything that doesn't need to be bailed out should be small. Remember, in most conditions big business runs more efficiently than small business, with small business being a leech off of its larger counterpart. It is not so surreal that in a capitalist society those that control the most money hold the most power. It is a sad reality.

3. You'd have to be crazy to disagree with the broad generalization at the front, but that's quite the laundry list of people that destroyed the economy! ... I suspect that it's just a list of the author's biggest pet peeves/groups of people that disagree with him most. Also, bankers aside, predominantly stereotypical liberals... This point is actually just well disguised ad-hom... for example to blame regulators for deregulation which started well above them is absurd. And do please show me the brilliant, non-crazy economics professor who thought that adjustable rate mortgage loans were sustainable...

4. ... and if my broker doesn't get an incentive bonus he doesn't actually give a crap about making me money. Trade offs, trade offs...

5. Things in life are never simple, and from experience, when people try to oversimplify complicated processes they are actually trying to put a veil over your eyes to blind you from the truth. Why fear complexity? Because Joe Farmer doesn't know how derivatives work? Free trade is relatively simple supply and demand compared to the complex risk analysis that goes into well informed financial decisions...

6. I personally know a few people that understand complex derivatives. Whose fault is it that the people making decisions for some banks didn't? And where do you draw the line as to how complicated is too complicated? This suggestion is ever so ridiculous... Don't understand the derivatives? Don't buy them! Noone's making you!

7. Agreed. Democracy survives, eats, breathes and sleeps criticism. Because when the criticism stops it and confidence starts, it becomes a dictatorship (see: Bush years).

8. Odd way of putting it, but yes, we need changes. If only the author was more specific...

9. Disagree - specialization makes America go round and capitalist societies happy. If you want to do everything yourself go live in a forest...

10. Agreed. I want to see private banks compete with a large stable government bank. It works in other capitalist countries. The government bank provides lower rates but more stable investments. Private banks provide higher rates, but less stable investments. That and ffs raise taxes on the top 1% (or at the very least do away with the loopholes...)... Bloomberg paying 15% taxes while his secretary pays 30% is a telltale sign that the tax system is broken.

Comment #161 - Posted by: Weakling at April 9, 2009 6:37 PM

I have a serious issue with one of Taleb's central assumptions in almost all of his writings. He assumes that there is such a thing as randomness. He assumes that even given unlimited data, not every event can be predicted. This cannot be the case.

Since every action will cause a reaction, given all of the data every reaction can be predicted.

An example of this is a coin flip. A coin toss is almost always thought to be a random event. It isn't. Given force applied, rotational velocity of the coin, height flipped from, resisting factors (wind speed, air pressure ect) and the elasticity of the landing suffice, the outcome of the flip can be predicted every time.

When this comes to financial markets the key is understanding how interconnected events effect each other. The first example that comes to mind is orange juice. If there is a late frost in Florida killing the orange harvest, the price of orange juice goes up. That one is obvious. The other thing that happens is since supply of oranges goes down, the growers of oranges from other parts of the world (eg. California) will see higher profits.

There are parts of the market that cannot be predicted with back testing alone, a good financial team will have a psychologist (of sorts) on staff to gauge the mood. For instance right now the S&P is acting in a far more volatile manner than the trailing average models of the index would predict. This is mostly due to psychological factors of the traders. This too can be understood given the right analysis.

That was a very long and meandering way of saying that Telab's 10 suggestions do not look at a wide enough scope of data.

Comment #162 - Posted by: Mike Morgan at April 9, 2009 6:38 PM

25/f/120

ran the 5k today

24:10 on treadmill

same as last time
lookin to break 24 next time!

Comment #163 - Posted by: monemon at April 9, 2009 6:44 PM

Dave T.

As much as I dearly love Coach and Lauren, I like your question better today.

Firstly, as far as injury goes (and with no malice intended whatsoever), have you ever competed in a sport? Played injured? For many of us, certainly most of us of advanced age, Crossfit is now our sport. Not only is it our avenue to health and fitness but it has also become the surrogate for our competitive juices. Man, when I think of the injuries that I ignored to stay on the field/court when I was younger. Heck, my Mom STILL hasn't forgiven my Dad for letting me play football after breaking my back in HS returning a punt. I think some of the "injuries" and "tweaks" are a result of the competitive nature of any athletic pursuit where you keep score.

But are there really more of these in CF than in other fitness pursuits? I don't think so, at least not when I compare what I read here to what I hear in my Globo and from the trainers there. People get tweaked all the time, and miss workouts due to physical maladies all the time. I think what we are witnessing here is simply a recording bias--we are simply more forthcoming and reliable in reporting our tweaks and injuries, and we have a forum in which to do so. If one were instead looking for it one would be more than equally impressed by how many here show more maturity and common sense in the face of potential injury and back off, as I did doing deadlifts today.

Why do I exercise? Why do I choose to do Crossfit? You know, that's even too big a topic for a Sunday Musings! The short answer would be that Crossfit is a part of my lifelong pursuit of the best version of the creature known as "bingo". The best possible version TODAY. I've been on this journey since teenhood. It is at the same time the ultimate expression of arrogance (I'm so good that I can get better) and humility (I'm not quite as good as I could be), and my pursuit of improvement through Crossfit just fits.

Is it the increased strength? Yes. Is it the increased endurance? Yes. Is it the decreased waist size, cholesterol, and %BW fat? Yes, yes, and yes! But it's also the trained response to stress, the blunting of the neuroendocrine response to a crisis that transfers from the willful and purposeful pursuit of stress and pain 3 days on, 1 day off. The transference of that effect from the gym to my daily life that allowed me to successfully exit a clusterfluk in the OR today with a good outcome, calmly and without any outward expression of the stress involved BETTER than I would have 3 years ago.

I do Crossfit because Crossfit is an effective vehicle in my pursuit of a better "bingo", and I will continue to do so until something better comes along.

Comment #164 - Posted by: bingo at April 9, 2009 6:56 PM

Paul #148,

A thoughtful post deserves a thoughtful response, or at least an attempt at such.

"BTW - if you engage Barry or Jeff on their facts, or dialogue with them on their logic, specifically and courteously, with a genuine desire to understand the complex matters they've mastered, even if you disagree with their perspective, you'll see the same returned; genuine courtesy and engagement."

I disagree. I think the record shows that both Jeff and Barry have on many occasions responded to factually grounded, well-thought-out criticism with the standard, "I'm right, you're wrong, go away" response.

I should acknowledge that I've learned a good amount from Jeff, especially when he stays in the physics lane. Much of the time I don't understand what he writes in the first place, but it makes me curious and a half-hour of wikipedia surfing later, I am a better-informed person. With all due respect to Barry, I haven't learned as much from him. I was a political economy major in college and am familiar with both the thinkers and the cases he usually cites; he tends to lose my interest when he goes down the "socialism is authoritarianism is totalitarianism" road.

I already copped to an ad hominem attack, but upon further reflection I'll say this: there's a big difference between attacking a person's character and poking fun at the shenanigans they pull every four days on an internet message board. I hope that everyone, espeically Barry and Jeff, understands that I have nothing but respect for them personally. Their written opinions, on the other hand, I consider fair game.

Finally:

"How about you get the govt to get a clean audit within the DoD first, then you may be able to convince me that it has the requisite competence to regulate any other entity."

You're preaching to the choir, brother.

S/F

Dan

Comment #165 - Posted by: Daniel-san at April 9, 2009 6:57 PM

Weakling at 6:37

1. For a company to gain monopoly-level market share without the use of force (sorry to be repetative, but I include government "regulation" in the term force) it has to outcompete it's competitors. Maybe it offers better product, cheaper product, more timely delivery, better service, whatever. So it gets monopolistic market share, competitor companies go under because they can't compete, and then it decides to jack up prices of lower quality or any of the other horrible things associated with monopoly. What then? That's when entrepreneurs and investors will start up competitors, and offer a better product at a better price. OR The monopolistic company can continue to offer a better product at a better price, and keep it's monopoly. Either way the comsumer wins.

6. That's why I didn't. Well, that, and I'm poor.

10. Do you mean Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City? I've not heard of this. Please expand.

Comment #166 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 7:04 PM

Daniel-san,

From #8 in post 73 and post 93, both of the comments I included are direct cut and paste of your words. Yes, you were addressing Dale but you still called Jeff and Barry “illogical and dumb” then go on to deny you did so. What do you think #8 of your original list means then? Calling a person or their point “absurdity, irrelevance, and poor reasoning” is saying “illogical and dumb”.

Absurdity means “Contrary to reason” i.e. illogical.
Irrelevance in context: ”dumb” to mention is it is unimportant.
Poor reasoning: again is stating a conclusion is illogical and/or dumb.

It isn’t an issue whether or not Barry and Jeff are guilty of such offenses at this point, which you seem to think I am talking about. I am stating you said something then proceed and apparently continue to deny it.

It’s unbelievable, and sad, that you would deny something you said even when it can be scrolled up or “ctrl-f”-ed and read, it’s either that you don’t even understand the definitions of the words you are using.

BTW by “public service” I didn’t the military I meant political office, the “bread and circus” bunch have taken over, they are absurd and it seems you would fit right in.

BTW, I never mind paying taxes for the military, IMO, it should be one the government’s biggest expenses.

Other than this post I’m pretty much through with this discussion with you, Daniel-san. You are by definition “absurd”, you make statements that are easily and provable false and continue to defend them even when such errors are pointed out (therefore you are not simply mistaken). It’s is pointless to have discussions with absurdist or post-modernists.

Comment #167 - Posted by: penty at April 9, 2009 7:08 PM

I don't know if I have the courage to share my reasons... but wow, what a long think I had. That sounds like Winnie the Pooh talking to Piglet :)

Comment #168 - Posted by: Strong Lil Pony! at April 9, 2009 7:08 PM

Why training this way??? For me is to show myself that i can do it that i can beat my handicap that i can match you people that i can get over my birth problem

You see Dave T you will not find ONE answer everyone have diferent motivatíon

Comment #169 - Posted by: s'more at April 9, 2009 7:09 PM

Strong Lil Pony @ 7:08 today

I love Winnie the Pooh.

Comment #170 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 7:15 PM

#111 Jeff

1. "Individuals have lost the freedom to compete on a level playing field for jobs, promotions, and school admissions due to Affirmative Action."

Agreed. That one should not be judged by the color of their skin but content of their character is not upheld by affirmative action.


2. "Individuals have the lost the right to a good education due to poor teachers and an abysmal curriculum caused by government enabled unionization of the school system and lack of substantive qualifications for teachers."

As a product of the public school system I feel I received a solid, worthwhile education that has allowed me significant opportunities. Many of my elementary and high school teachers sparked much of the interest I've carried into my profession. To say they were poor is an unfair generalization. There were bad teachers, but in my community they were dealt with effectively by the school board. The quality of a school is often a reflection of the effort a community is willing invest. As far as substantive qualifications are concerned, what do you propose as an effective measure that cannot be gamed, like a standardized test, and how will this improve quality? That public school teachers are forced to join the union is an egregious imposition upon freedom of choice. Teachers should be able to join a union if they desire, but also be able to negotiate contracts on their own.


3. "Families have the lost any right they might have had to obtain prescriptions for certain drugs that are addictive or experimental due to FDA regulations."

This was a bit unclear, but I think it may be split into two statements. If I'm wrong in this assessment, I apologize. First, individuals should have the right to acquire any drug, regardless of its addictive properties, so long as its prescribed by a physician. Second, individuals should have access to experimental drug treatment.

In response to the first portion, individuals have plenty of access to addictive prescription drugs or those that modify behavior: opiates, barbiturates, alkaloids, benzodiazepines, etc. Provided a therapeutic justification, I see no problem in access to these drugs. And given some of the massively addictive potential these drugs have, regulating dosage through prescription seems to be in the best interest of the patient and the healthcare system as a whole. But this should be done by the physician. As for recreational use, if people are willing to abuse a substance and pay the personal and economic consequences, that is their own choice and they should not be incarcerated. But if they harm another while under the influence I support harsh penalties.

As for the second portion, access to experimental treatment is a tough act to balance because of the broad variation in risk between experimental treatments. Should a patient with severe disease be allowed to seek experimental treatment? Yes, provided they are fully aware of the risk and waive rights to litigate against any informed risk. I'm not an attorney, but I imagine experimental treatment a breeding ground for litigation. This being said, the zeal with which people seek experimental treatment should be tempered with public health oversight given most people do not have enough background or objectivity to judge risk. Should a terminal patient have more access to experimental treatment than someone with a chronic, non-life-threatening disease? Yes.


4. "Individuals have lost the right to obtain the best rate on home mortgages due to regulations requiring lenders to make 10% bad loans."

I'm not familiar enough with this to make a worthwhile comment.


5. "Individuals lost the prorated value of lifetime private medical benefits they were earning when Medicare was enacted."

Again, I'm not familiar enough with this to comment.


6. "Families’ right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for gays in marriage and adoption."

I have yet to hear a rational argument for how homosexual marriage and parenting erodes a heterosexual relationship and parenting. There seems no causal connection between the two. In fact, preventing homosexual marriage and the legal benefits such a relationship provides is more an affront to personal freedom than allowing it. The freedom to choose one's partner is a rather basic liberty, in my opinion. If your concern is in raising children within intact families, would you advocate outlawing divorce? Dramatically high divorce rate is more a cause of broken homes than homosexuals with an adopted child living down the street. Regardless, how others create their families should have no impact upon how you wish to create yours.

7. "Families lost the freedom to choose a home serviced by the best schools when the government enacted forced busing."

I don't have children yet nor have I lived in a community with forced busing, so I cannot comment on this.


8. "Individuals lost the freedom to board airplanes without harassment and undue delays when the government enacted absurd, age and ethnically blind security rules."


Is terrorism a threat within the United States? Absolutely. But let's not forget most acts of terror within the US have been home grown. Anyone with a grudge can attempt to blow up an airplane (see Ted Kaczynski). That security check everyone thoroughly rather than focus on an ethnic group seems prudent. How is ethnic profiling not an infringement of personal freedom?


9. "Families lost a measure of freedom to live peacefully in their homes when the courts and law enforcement became revolving doors for criminals."

Our criminal system is partly in shambles because we incarcerate far too many people and have severely strained the system. Our rate of incarceration is comparable to China's. Other than getting people out of the community, jail time seems to do little to change criminality given nearly two-thirds of released prisoners are back in jail within three years. The revolving door is a consequence of over crowding combined with an inability to provide incentive or capacity for the conversion of behavior. If someone coming out of prison can't get a job, they're likely going to make ends meet by criminal means. The economist had an interesting article on this issue last week: http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13415267


#124 Goat

Taxation was explicitly excluded from my question given the predictability of response within the context of the thread.

This was too long, enough for now.

Comment #171 - Posted by: Chris German at April 9, 2009 7:24 PM

#160 Mike Morgan:"Since every action will cause a reaction, given all of the data every reaction can be predicted."

You are forgetting quantum mechanics involved in things like radioactive decay. They aren’t a matter of “given all the data” every reaction can be predicted. Yes, half-life is well understood but it is impossible to predict when a particular atom will decay.

Google: “finance market quantum mechanics business”

Comment #172 - Posted by: penty at April 9, 2009 7:27 PM

Comment #152 - Posted by: jimmyj

OK, I'll buy that, but do see anything in that definition that would justify one person, or a group of persons, imposing their sense of 'what is enough' on another, or several other, persons, via the coercive power of the state? Paul

Comment #173 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 44 yoa at April 9, 2009 8:02 PM

Why did I write:

>>My family’s right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for gays in marriage and adoption.

The societal rule that marriage is between one man and one woman is ancient, and only in the last few decades been undergoing change. The people of many states have voted to retain that rule. It may be the case that everywhere it has been put to a vote, the traditional meaning of marriage has prevailed. That vote has been ignored by courts and legislators to allow, so far, same sex marriages. The will of the people, for whatever reason, for good or for bad, to have a certain kind of society is being taken by government action. QED. That means the point is proved, whether to anyone’s liking or not. It’s a fact. If anyone personally doesn’t like it, they have a beef with society.

But there’s more.

For Guy #119 and Goat #124, the government indeed ought to provide protection for same-sex couples in committed relationships for reasons commonly cited. The material question is just one: whether those unions ought to be given the name marriage. Society had the freedom to create contracts or not, and to give different contracts different names, and it does. But again, that freedom is being steadily eroded by government action with respect to the unions of couples. The people are losingave the right to decide.

Guy asked about the right of children to have parents that love them. That is irrelevant, and a matter of good luck when it happens. That right is left to the States by the US Constitution. I would certainly oppose any law that required parents to show a requisite measure of love.

Guy also asked about the right to be raised by parents at all. This is another unexpressed right unaffected by who is entitled to the contract of marriage. Orphans happen. On the other hand, parents have certain duties to provide for and protect their children, and that is enforceable in law.

I would go even further. In particular, I would have the State of California sue the octuplets’ fertility doctor for lifetime child support.

Society’s notion of the marriage contract has good practical support for several physiological reasons. One is the recognition that, on average men and women are different and in a particular way that, combined, enrich and guide child development, and separated skew the child’s development. I like to attribute it all to testosterone, but I’m only an amateur endocrinologist. Women get scant testosterone so that they won’t kill their babies.

Men are externally oriented, and women internally oriented. Extended families most often coalesce around female to female links, and the males go out to the hunting and gathering once, and now jobs and contributions to the external society. Each sex has by physiology a role to play, duties to perform, and to be role models for both.

Men are critical, and women supportive, and the child, I contend, needs both influences. Society wants children, and wants them to learn by their parents examples how families resolve conflicts between the feminine side and the masculine side. I leave it to the reader to imagine the behavior a child learns form such an intact family, behavior in the family and in society.

The child brings home her report card with one A, five Bs and a C. The mother praises her and cuddles her for the A. The father shows grave disappointment and sends her to her room for the C.

And “wait ‘til your father gets home” might not be just learned.

These are just natural phenomenon on average, and of course never guaranteed in a particular union, and the roles can even be reversed. In matters of adoption, society should be strongly biased toward providing a male and a female influence for child rearing. In societal matters, we shape statistics, not individuals.

The gay rights movement is simplistic in assuming in black or white fashion that people are either gay or straight and that it is genetic. What they overlook is that people come with a wide range of libido, and for some their sexual proclivities and how and whether they act them out are shaped by society. During the formative years the parents will be role models for the children, and society has an interest in them developing in the manner provided by nature, best because it is the easiest and safest.

American society is in the throes of a sad situation with over 40% of children being born to a single mother, formerly out of wedlock. For most, this promises a lifetime of struggle for the mother and in spite of her best efforts, a handicap for her children. A large proportion of the males leave home and school to become feral -- criminals, gang members, and headed for prison. Society wants to promote old-fashioned marriage where the father, who is physiologically and emotionally best at sweat labor, supports and guides the family.

One more point, homosexuals named themselves gay. The first reason was to offset the hateful names used against them with a gentler, kinder label. The second reason was that their lifestyle was, by and large, quite miserable. A huge part of that was societal and external, and that has come a long way toward being reversed. But it was also internal societal and personal. It will forever be a distinct minority life style, separate from the community, and stigmatized for that. It is reproductively sterile and unsatisfying for that, and for the males, quite dangerous medically.

When expressing your view as to gay rights, you might want to give an honest answer to the question what you would wish for your children’s life style, all other things being equal: straight or gay.

I know, I know! “Just as long as he or she is healthy and loved”. Save it! That’s the canned and disingenuous answer. I would wager that the number of people who would wish for a straight life would far outweigh those who wish for a gay life, even among those who favor same sex marriages.

A major part of the gay rights movement is to preempt the word marriage, it being satisfied with nothing less, not even an equivalent. For this, it is a power play.

P.S.

For those of you who have expressed impatience with in depth answers, stick with your slogans. But this is not a sound-bite kind of issue.

Comment #174 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at April 9, 2009 8:15 PM

There have been a lot of great inputs! This might even warrant some more discussion on another rest day! But I'll throw in my two cents and show you why I work out;

Why I work out (my fitness vision statement)

My primary workout goal is to remain functionally active, capable and unintimidated, across broad time and modal domains and demands, relatively pain free, for as long as I might live. A secondary goal is to potentially increase how long I might live.

What’s req’d for primary goal accomplishment:
Remain relatively flexible
Be fall tolerant
Minimize chances of fall
Minimize bone-density loss
Not become overweight
Not cause work-out related injury
Minimize physical injury recovery time
Maximize the percentage of body parts that are “in shape”, i.e. that could withstand being subjected to a rigorous test and not fail

What’s req’d for secondary goal accomplishment:
Reduce stress
Have restful sleep
Increase self-confidence
Increase feeling of self-worth
Maintain optimum weight
consume healthily
Everything in moderation
Be happily married
Maintain a positive mental state
Stay mentally active and challenged
Be part of social community
Remain active


Additional reasons I’ve had (in past phases of life):
- Helped me (better) withstand the physical rigors of flying tactical jet aircraft.
- Provided an “insurance policy” to better cope in case I ever had to eject out of my jet (and potentially in hostile territory).

The reason I CrossFit to fulfill my vision is because I haven't found any other regime that can check off as many off my requirements....

(and the "being happily married" started with "chicks"....:-)

Dave T.

Comment #175 - Posted by: Dave T. at April 9, 2009 8:21 PM

I disagree with all sides as regards the marriage issue, sexual preference or choice or genetic whatever - when we allowed the regulation of a chosen human relationship, we threw marriage into the political stew, to be used as a political football, by those with power, against whomever it can be used against by all sides.

In all cases I can think of, government intervention led and leads to inintended negative eventualities that most typically serve to pervent the initial intent of the chosen intervention.

Easy solution - if one that will never happen - is to remove all divorce and marriage law, allow persons to choose legal arrangements to go with their 'marriage' or not, and stop pretending that govt intervention can 'help' children more than it hurts them.

With all of the people in the world who love children, I have every confidence that a non-coercive solution would emerge to the issues wrt to the health and wellbeing of children that our over-powered, heavy handed, well intentioned but incompetent govt systems currently fail to effectively address. There is no utopia but accepting the currently status of govt efforts is accepting too little for anyone that truly loves children.

Comment #169 - Posted by: Chris German
Chris, I look forward to reading your post in more detail, but would point out that the test of public schools isn't whether you got an education - the test would have to include information about how much the system is costing, how does it perform (performance = average measured improvement in qualities desired by the parents of children in all intelligence levels, including the 50% that are below average), and what are the associated injury rates, physical and psychological threats to the children, and responsiveness of the school to the demands of the parents (meaning, the school could not be used as a tool of one political side or the other, which is of course taking place today). I have a different beef that Jeff does with public schools, but still find them to be abhorrent in spite of the work done by many fine teachers struggling against a broken system.

My data point of one, equally insignificant testimony to the wretchedness of public schools is I was scared every day I was forced (by the coercive monopoly power of the state) to go to grade school. It made me tougher (if not that tough) but it was wrong. If I fought to defend myself from those who would hit me, I was struck by the principle. It was wrong. It was inexcusable bullying on many levels by the State - and I had it better than many. The entire concept of coercive govt monopoly schools is not, in my humble as ever opinion, defensible. Paul

Comment #176 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 44 yoa at April 9, 2009 8:23 PM

Comment #163 - Posted by: Daniel-san

DS, in that case, "it's all good," or you could substitute whatever the cool hip current way of saying 'nice talking to you' is. Paul

Comment #177 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 44 yoa at April 9, 2009 8:25 PM

Goat, Penty, had fun sitting back to watch you work today. Thanks, Paul

Comment #178 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at April 9, 2009 8:28 PM

#170 penty

You have given me a bunch of fun things to read, thanks.

With regard to the thought that it is impossible to predict when an atom will begin to decay, I'd be willing to bet that eventually someone will be find a way to predict when decay begins. Everything is impossible until we find a way to do it.

Comment #179 - Posted by: Mike Morgan at April 9, 2009 8:35 PM

#176 Apolloswabbie,

Thanks, that means a lot.

Comment #180 - Posted by: penty at April 9, 2009 8:43 PM

Jeff,

- So by your logic the following is true:
1) Women did not deserve the right to vote since the country didn't allow it
2) Black people didn't deserve the right to vote, eat at certain lunch counters, etc because the country didn't allow it

- "The gay rights movement is simplistic in assuming in black or white fashion that people are either gay or straight and that it is genetic. What they overlook is that people come with a wide range of libido, and for some their sexual proclivities and how and whether they act them out are shaped by society."

So, you're of the opinion that someone's sexual identity is influenced by their environment. So, basically, people who are gay could be straight if they were raised an environment that promotes heterosexuality. The only contention I can make here is that I have gay friends and that is completely false
Also you're saying you understand gay people better than gay people? That people that are gay don't understand who they are...seriously? What gives you the right to say that? Also, you forgot bisexuality (which is not gay), so yes, there is some gray area

- Regarding my comments about children being loved/having parents I was directing that at the portion of your comment on gay adoption, specifically. Given that, what are your thoughts now on - 'How about the right of children to have parents that love them? Or to be raised by parents at all?'

- "One more point, homosexuals named themselves gay. The first reason was to offset the hateful names used against them with a gentler, kinder label. The second reason was that their lifestyle was, by and large, quite miserable. A huge part of that was societal and external, and that has come a long way toward being reversed. But it was also internal societal and personal. It will forever be a distinct minority life style, separate from the community, and stigmatized for that. "

Could you please expand on "But it was also internal societal and personal." What exactly do you mean by that?

"It will forever be a distinct minority life style, separate from the community, and stigmatized for that."

It will only be separate from the community if gay people are excluded. I'm pretty sure I've seen gay people in my "straight" hangouts.

Gay people are only stigmatized by people who are unwilling to accept them. Or, to put it more plainly, treat like normal human beings.

- I don't care whether my child is straight or gay. Maybe you do, but I don't

- I reposted my questions to you 3 hrs after my original post, given the speed with which you answer certain posts, I don't think it unfair to repost 3 hrs later. Especially since I wanted to see your answer. I also didn't post slogans, I was just looking for an answer

Comment #181 - Posted by: Guy Thompson at April 9, 2009 8:56 PM

CFSB wk 6, FS, 5x85, 3x95, 3x105, 1x115, 1x 125, 1x135, 1x140F.

No metcon; I'm beat as heck. Resting for 4 days, and then CFT. Thanks again to Jeff and Bingo.

Comment #182 - Posted by: mas 52/M/150 at April 9, 2009 9:18 PM

#177 Mike Morgan :

"..I'd be willing to bet that eventually someone will be find a way to predict when decay begins."

Possible, yes. Eventual or even probable? Not guaranteed.

"Everything is impossible until we find a way to do it."

That's kind of a defining statement rather a refuting one. You're defining impossible = "undoable". It's like saying everyone is alive until they are dead, like that is really meaningful.

The entire set of even numbers is infinite but it is mathematicaly proven that there will never a prime number within that set. Impossible and has nothing to do with "doable".

Not trying to be adversarial here just love talking logic and physics.

Comment #183 - Posted by: penty at April 9, 2009 9:44 PM

M/37/148

@ work, CrossFit Endurance WOD
30:20 C2 X 8 rounds = 1319 meters, 98 cal, damper on 10

100 Pull-ups for time: 3:54 (PR)

Comment #184 - Posted by: Mad Max at April 9, 2009 10:08 PM

Jeff Glassman at 8:15 4-9-09

I can't tell if you and I are agreeing or disagreeing.

Apparently Apolloswabbie and I agree that government should not be involved with marriage in any way, shape, or form, even so much as a tax cut. (Better to cut spending, and cut taxes for everyone, yes?) I could certainly see how a couple, gay or straight, would find the idea of needing official permission to marry to be intrusive, to say the least.

Everything you say about society's tendency towards heterosexual relationships may well be true. Certainly it's the most common relationship around. It also may be the ideal for the rearing of children, although I've seen plenty of households with two horrible parents, man and woman. And it may also be true that almost no straight person would want his child to be gay, although I've known quite a few who found acceptance once the initial shock wore off (incidentally, I wouldn't much care which way my kids went. Call me hypocritical if you must, but it's the truth). Even assuming all of this is true, which I admit it may well be, none of this convinces me that states allowing gay marriage erodes the rights of a straight family to raise children as they see fit, and none of it justifies laws to prevent the union of gays.

Let's not fool ourselves here. The laws against gay marriage are not just about the word “marriage”. If they were, I'd roll my eyes and ignore the issue. They are aimed, along with sodomy laws, with harassing homosexuals to the point of either leaving, or pretending to be straight, and they work. Along with things such as co-habitation laws, common-law marriage, and so on, they are an attempt to apply personal morality to other peoples' lives through the laws and the jails of government.

My ideal solution is the same as Apolloswabbie's; get government out of marriage. My opinion is the same as his also; it won't happen. So when a state government allows gay marriage, it is another example of the boss telling people what they are allowed to do. But at least he's no longer telling them they can't do it. I'll take the small victories when I can't get the big ones.

Comment #185 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 10:09 PM

Apolloswabbie at 8:28 4-9-09

Thanks a lot. The feeling is mutual.

Comment #186 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 10:10 PM

#174 Apollo -

Good Points.

The question I initially posed to Jeff and Barry was to name discrete freedoms that politicians have taken away or otherwise maligned. Jeff's response, as I read it, implied that the ability for someone to receive a good education within the American public school system has been taken away by the forced unionization of teachers and keeping poor educators at their posts.

I'm not usually one to stand up for public education, but I do believe a worthwhile, beneficial and productive education can be had within the system.

I'm in total agreement that the public school system can be vastly improved and I understand your sentiment regarding bullying, forced attendence and psychologic damage. In all honesty, I was ridiculed throughout elementary and high school. I never faced any phsyical threat from other students or faculty, but was socially intimidated and somewhat of an outcast. The success I had in elementary and high school was academic, not social. But I feel the social element, while caustic, was just as worthwhile an education. In reality, many social aspects of the school system are recapitulated throughout society later in life. The cliques, the bullies, the gossip - it all happens in the 'adult' work places and social circles with more nuance and less overt aggression. I'm not sure these things can be avoided in any school setting, public or private. Do you then advocate home schooling? That's an enormous and often unrealistic burden to place upon the parents.

What everyone seems to want from the public school system is some measure of accountability. A metric that will show improvement in student learning and a maximum return for the public dollars invested. Unfortunately, when assessment tests are put in place and schools must compete for funding based on test scores, material taught in the classroom quickly turns to test preparedness, to the detriment of a broad education. If any test can be gamed, then how do we measure success?

No goverment program is going to dramatically improve public schools and no amount of money is going to solve their problems. Personally, I feel schools are often a reflection of a community's involvement, from the teachers to the parents to the taxpayers. Ultimately, if people are involved in getting kids to school, ensuring the teachers are doing their jobs and education is about teaching the process of thought within the context of a given subject, then public schools will be successful.

Please elaborate on "the coersive monopoly of the state" with regards to schooling, I'm not sure I follow all that you're getting at. Do you feel that an elementary education should not be required by the state? Obviously public schools have the market cornered on education. Do you have another model for how a basic education may be provided to the populace as a whole?

I, also, am a data point of one and subject to my own experience. My world views are rather fluid and definitely not 'right' for anyone other than myself.

All the best -

chris

Comment #187 - Posted by: Chris German at April 9, 2009 10:21 PM

Comment #174 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 44 yoa at April 9, 2009 8:23 PM

>>Chris, I look forward to reading your post in more detail, but would point out that the test of public schools isn't whether you got an education...


I would like to add to this, Chris, that your experience may be well above the norm. My memories of school contain several good teachers, but many more poor ones. Poor to the point where my parents would use a red pen on the letters sent home to correct the grammar and usage, and use them as a teaching tool. I'm extremely lucky to have the parents I did, or I might have been like many of my classmates, blandly repeating that the framers of the Constitution rebelled simply because they didn't want to pay taxes; that women are proven to be more intelligent than men, and therefore should run all companies and government; that the reason there are more blacks than whites on death row is because white, male judges are all racist, and so on. This is not fiction, this is not exaggeration, this was my public school "education", and I live in a very conservative area. I can only imagine what it's like in the public schools in New York, L.A., Chicago.

Also, thank Heaven for the good teachers I had, some of whom stepped way outside their assigned subject matter to teach what the other teachers left untaught. The best teacher I had was an Ag Science teacher, who taught one Hell of an Ag Science class, plus proper phone etiquette, public speaking, the rules of order, job interviews, essay writing, etc. He also did career counseling, helped with college admissions, ran summer classes, and fathered one of the prettiest girls at my school. What a guy!

Comment #188 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 10:25 PM

# 172 Jeff Glassman:

I am not going to use much energy responding to your evidence-free post, as it is mostly just a mish-mash of your outmoded, bigoted opinions however:

"Why did I write:

>>My family’s right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for gays in marriage and adoption.

The societal rule that marriage is between one man and one woman is ancient, and only in the last few decades been undergoing change. The people of many states have voted to retain that rule. It may be the case that everywhere it has been put to a vote, the traditional meaning of marriage has prevailed. That vote has been ignored by courts and legislators to allow, so far, same sex marriages. The will of the people, for whatever reason, for good or for bad, to have a certain kind of society is being taken by government action. QED. That means the point is proved, whether to anyone’s liking or not. It’s a fact. If anyone personally doesn’t like it, they have a beef with society. "

is ludicrous on so many levels: If you were not Coaches Father and therefore likely viewed as an authority on this site, I would not think once, let alone twice about responding.

Your right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is NOT being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for gays in marriage and adoption. There is no evidence whatsoever that granting rights to people to love each other as they see fit and legally recognize such unions has any negative effect on society in any way at all.

Since you are so incredibly vague, one can only assume this is a slipery slope argument, of the variety that states that if we allow gay marriage, the next thing you know a guy is going to marry his horse (to which I would reply, "who cares").

You are confusing "rights" and your outmoded moral framework. this is exactly the same as a Southerner in 1940 saying

"My family’s right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for blacks in marriage and adoption". It sounds like nonsense because it is, just as what you are saying is pure folderol.

Also you state:

"The societal rule that marriage is between one man and one woman is ancient, and only in the last few decades been undergoing change. The people of many states have voted to retain that rule."

This is simply foolish. I thought you were an educated man, however you seem to have absorbed this bit of non-fact into your psyche without bothering to delve into researching it or you would know that you are utterly, completely wrong. Marriages between one man and many women are common in history (for thousands of years), not to mention religiously sanctioned in the Bible and Koran among other places.

"It may be the case that everywhere it has been put to a vote, the traditional meaning of marriage has prevailed. That vote has been ignored by courts and legislators to allow, so far, same sex marriages. The will of the people, for whatever reason, for good or for bad, to have a certain kind of society is being taken by government action. QED. That means the point is proved, whether to anyone’s liking or not. It’s a fact. If anyone personally doesn’t like it, they have a beef with society."

No, I'm afraid that it is YOU who have a beef with society: the founding Fathers were deathly afraid of Mob Rule hence our non-direct, representative democracy. By your logic slavery, lynchings in the south, discrimination against women, etc, etc should have never been legislated against because the "people" were against it.

Your arguments are pure emotionalism couched in florid pseudo-academic language, and I find you utterly unconvincing.

Comment #189 - Posted by: Maximus @ CrossFit East Bay at April 9, 2009 10:55 PM

#172 Jeff -

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but your arguments against homosexuality and for the male-female monogamous, nuclear family appear to be rooted in perceived biologic relevance. From what I could gather, you feel sexual orientation is a broad range of libido pushed towards one pole or another within the context of a given society. This implies a conscious decision of sexuality that, quite frankly, the incidence of homosexuality would argue against. Plenty of homosexuals are raised in social settings that shun their orientation and by parents that denounce them outright. I am hard pressed to believe these individuals willingly chose their orientation given the emotional stress and destroyed relations that ensue.

From a biologic perspective, many species beyond humans engage in homosexual acts and pairing in a context separate from the assertion of dominance. Amongst the great apes, homosexuality readily occurs within both sexes of gorillas and bonobos. Both males and females have been observed to exclusively choose homosexual over heterosexual relations while heterosexual relations are possible. In birds, homosexual nestings and courting rituals have been observed as well as homosexual attempts at copulation. The argument that heterosexual relations are 'biologically correct' simply does not hold. If homosexuality, then, is a matter of choice then you must cede these other animal species have free will and consciously decided against the physiologic norm. Alternatively, some members within any given species are homosexual by nature. If so, is it fair and just to restrict the rights of these individuals to pair as they choose? Further, how is sexual discrimination merited while racial and ethnic discrimination is not?

If and when I do have children, the gender of their partner is their decision.

I agree with Goat and Apollo that the government simply should not be involved one way or another. Let each religion define marriage as it will.

And Maximus is apt to point out that while monogamous heterosexual marriage may be codified in Judeo-Christian religions and many western societies, it is certainly not the only accepted relation amongst societies world wide and throughout history.

All the best -

chris

Comment #190 - Posted by: Chris German at April 9, 2009 11:52 PM

Jeff Glassman #172

"Women get scant testosterone so that they won’t kill their babies."

Just....WOW! Could that appear on the next CF t-shirt, please?

I suddenly have a strong urge to turn off my laptop and go out and do something really useful. Thank you for the inspiration, brother.

Peace.

Comment #191 - Posted by: J1 at April 10, 2009 4:23 AM

'And for each of us, "enough" is different. How do you "regulate greed" when each person defines differently where enough ends and greed begins? '

Comment #154 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 9, 2009 6:10 PM


Personal responsibility.

Comment #192 - Posted by: jimmyj at April 10, 2009 4:43 AM

wow! intense Rest Day discussions going on.
this week, friday is my rest day so i did something fast and furious (ha!) today. WU w/ pvc deadlifts, 400 m jog, and weighted deadlifts (body weight) a few times. then...
21-15-9 of back squats (115#), pushups and 200 meter run. that got the bloodflow working.

great question Dave T! that'll take some consideration and core beliefs examination.

Comment #193 - Posted by: rickybobby at April 10, 2009 5:05 AM

Guy Thompson #179,

>>Also, you forgot bisexuality (which is not gay), so yes, there is some gray area

Exactly. The objective argument for sexually paired marriage is gray, not black and white.

Appolloswabbie # 174,

Your thinking was way outside the box. How far does it go? When you get rid of laws on marriage and divorce, do you plan to get rid of all contract law? Or is it jhust that marriage becomes the legally unenforceable contract?

Goat #182,

Thank you for being objective. It is quite rare in this hornet’s nest. You can’t tell whether we agree or disagree because I’ve not stated my opinion on the subject. Nothing I’ve said can be rightly interpreted as anti-gay (or homophobic), although it was anti-gay movement. First, I addressed the right of the people to define certain kinds of contracts, and included it in response to Chris German’s question about what freedoms are being eroded by government. Second, I gave some objective reasons for the people to have voted repeatedly against expanding what is today called marriage. I have no doubt other objective reasons exist, and Maximus #186 has given some buried in more hornet buzzing.

What do you mean by “initial shock”? Are you suggesting some kind of natural revulsion exists against homosexuality behavior? Isn’t that another reason to explain why people want the definition of marriage to remain unchanged?

Goat #185,

You might want to address something objective about the American public school system. Your experiences and your teachers, like all of ours, are subjective. As even Popper recognized, you can’t determine all crows are black by scoring all the black crows you’ve seen. What I would use is the scholastic ranking of Americans internationally, and that is decidedly poor and sinking. You might also look at the statewide ranking and how that has been completely reversed, comparing California and Louisiana, I believe.

For a bit of personal experience, I worked for about 20 years on the UCI Science Education Advisory Board, a group dedicated to raising the standards of K-12 education. We measured and tracked and taught. We made a little local headway, here and there, but overall it was a losing battle. I had trouble convincing the UCI professors that the core of the problem lay in the curriculum, even while the curricula were in decline. The state of US education in math and science is bottoming out. Key subjects are being dropped, and science is being compromised with environmentalism and creationism.

Maximus #186,

>> There is no evidence whatsoever that granting rights to people to love each other as they see fit and legally recognize such unions has any negative effect on society in any way at all.

Are you conscious of what you have written? I said nothing to contradict those rights and my little bit of analysis even supported legally recognized unions.

This is certainly a third rail issue, as seen by the irrational responses it triggered. People need to think rationally, and that must be taught. The first issue was whether the freedom of the people to define certain contracts had been eroded. I propose that it has, even if those contracts are lousy.

You use the phrase “religiously sanctioned”. Do you realize that that has two accepted and exactly opposite meanings?

Your remark,

>>outmoded moral framework

gets the prize. It is the slogan of the left, and highly destructive to society. It is anti-law and anti-religion. It is illogical, relying on social theory over experience. It is anti-experience.

Chris German #187,

Thanks, and thanks to Goat and Appolloswabbie for being rational, and hence worthy of engaging in dialog. You said,

>> This implies a conscious decision of sexuality that, quite frankly, the incidence of homosexuality would argue against.

I disagree. It implies a conscious decision of behavior. Sexuality is probably more nature than nurture, as the saying goes. Behavior is optional and is taught. It is sanctioned, both ways.

Also with regard to the behavior of animals, experiments with rats have shown homosexual activity proportional to crowding. Does this apply to the higher animals? So as not to touch the third rail of animal rights activists, too. I don’t intend a ranking of the rights of animals. I mean primates, especially. This suggests that evolution works to preserve the species by giving those individuals with non-reproductive tendencies a distraction in mate selection. That is, species survival favors the strong libido, heterosexual individuals.

>> If and when I do have children, the gender of their partner is their decision.

That wasn’t the question, either, was it? My question is what you prefer for your children, all other things being equal. A corollary of my question is, do you want grandchildren? Do want progeny and a full extended family? And if not, why not? Are you willing to sacrifice what you might have worked for in creating and raising your family in the name of some higher social calling? This is analogous to multiculturalism being touted to prevent assimilation.

>> If so, is it fair and just to restrict the rights of these individuals to pair as they choose?

Of course not. A lot of law is unfair. Pairing is not the question, and I said nothing against pairing. Stick to the subject.

>> And Maximus is apt to point out that while monogamous heterosexual marriage may be codified in Judeo-Christian religions and many western societies, it is certainly not the only accepted relation amongst societies world wide and throughout history.

Of course. My point was and is that that codification in many western societies, in particular in the US where the people have the freedom to do the codifying, is being eroded by government. Do you disagree?

The ultimate, underlying issue is simply whether the legal unions between same sex couples must be called marriage. The gay rights movement (movements are always against something, usually tradition and the people, or as Maximus would say, “outmoded morality”) apparently demands the word marriage, and rejects the concept of civil unions.

Comment #194 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at April 10, 2009 7:42 AM

Comment #191 - Posted by: jimmyj at April 10, 2009 4:43 AM

I agree that personal responsibility is how we each, individually, regulate our own greed. What I meant with my question is: how can I decide for you how much you need, and at what point your desires go from reasonable to greedy? I don't feel I should have that authority.

Comment #195 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 10, 2009 8:02 AM

Comment #193 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at April 10, 2009 7:42 AM

First I'd like to address what you said you Apolloswabbie about contract law. Indeed, with the current way marriage is handled in the U.S., the legal side of it is nothing more than a financial contract between two people. But does it have to be? Does marriage, no matter who is involved, require a legally enforceable contract? It seems to me that all it requires is a strong commitment between two people to live as one family. That being said, I still understand why gays fight against marriage laws. It's the same reason I argue against smoking laws. I don't smoke, but I won't have anybody telling me I can't.

You're welcome, for my objectivity, by the way. Yes, initial shock could come from a natural revulsion. (or it may just come from our natural response to anything which is different from us) If my (adult) daughter came and told me she wanted to be a prostitute, I would be revolted, too. I would argue with her, beg her, not to do it. But I have to admit it's her body and her right. Basically a contract between her and whoever. Nothing says I have to like it, and nothing gives me the right to legally forbid it.

My story about the school system was merely told to show that some have good stories and some have bad. Well, really we all have both, but most weigh heavy in one direction or another.

One day I intend to learn all I can about the state of education today in the U.S. Unfortunately there are only 24 hours in a day, and I spend too many of them working.

Comment #196 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 10, 2009 8:21 AM

Jeff,

Are you planning on answering any other questions I posed or do you think that

">>Also, you forgot bisexuality (which is not gay), so yes, there is some gray area

Exactly. The objective argument for sexually paired marriage is gray, not black and white. "

is all you need to say?

Additionally, bisexuality has nothing to do with the marriage argument. Bisexuality just means that maybe you will fall in love with someone of the same gender or the opposite gender and marry. So the same argument is there, it hasn't changed anything.

- "There is no evidence whatsoever that granting rights to people to love each other as they see fit and legally recognize such unions has any negative effect on society in any way at all.

Are you conscious of what you have written? I said nothing to contradict those rights and my little bit of analysis even supported legally recognized unions. "

Yes you did: ">>My family’s right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for gays in marriage and adoption."

And to say the above comment is not anti-gay is absurd

- ">>outmoded moral framework" gets the prize. It is the slogan of the left, and highly destructive to society. It is anti-law and anti-religion. It is illogical, relying on social theory over experience. It is anti-experience."

Which is basically "this is the way we've done it for years, why change?" So, should we repeal laws that freed slaves? Should we repeal laws that gave women the right to vote? If people didn't rally against things that were unjust, although accepted at the time, where would we be?

- "The gay rights movement ...apparently demands the word marriage, and rejects the concept of civil unions."

Why shouldn't they? Why should their legal consummation of love be considered anything less than marriage? Because they're gay they have to call it something else?

Comment #197 - Posted by: Guy Thompson at April 10, 2009 8:29 AM

Jeff:

It is truly unfortunate that you choose to comment on politics at all on the Crossfit mainsite. However, the ignorant drivel re: gay marriage / homosexuality / etc. that you just cannot keep to yourself takes it to another level.

This is not just a political comment. It's a universal backhand to an entire group of people who have done nothing to harm or oppress you. Bigotry has NO PLACE in Crossfit, or anywhere else for that matter.

But what truly infuriates me is your assessment of families in America. Tomorrow morning I am joining other local CF affiliates to help raise $$ for the families of recently slain Oakland police officers. The wives and children of these heroes lost a cornerstone of their family because of senseless acts. This event is also personal to me because I lost my father in a sudden accident. These are HUMAN tragedies, sentiments we should all be able to understand because of our capacity to understand things like family and loss, even when it concerns people we've never met. It makes not a damn bit of difference the race, gender, or sexual identity of the people involved.

You seem so concerned with how homosexuality is disrupting the American family, something which is quite literally impossible in ways Maximus has already articulated. If 'tradition,' presumably of the religious variety, is the basis for your argument, then you shouldn't have to be told that you have no business playing Judge.

Comment #198 - Posted by: Andrea (CFEB) at April 10, 2009 9:02 AM

Jeff,

My point has already been made for me, above, however you say you have not made anti-gay statements, and paint me as a emotionalistic "liberal" (I'm sure folks who know me are chuckling at the idea that I am part of the left).

You said:

">>My family’s right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for gays in marriage and adoption."

Your statement is bigoted. Your words are anti-gay, and a slap in the face of many people and many CrossFit athletes in particular. Your arguments are unclear and convoluted: perhaps you are backpedaling?

If you truly are not anti-gay, perhaps you should amend your statement, above or clarify how it could be other than discriminatory (not to mention coming up with some proof that allowing gay to marry and/or adopt has some negative effect on your family.

No I was not aware that "religiously sanctioned" had two opposite and contradictory meanings. I think in the context I used it it was fairly clear that I meant that, contrary to what you claim, there is not an ancient unbroken tradition of marriage being between one man and a woman.

You don't like the phrase "outmoded moral framework". I can live with that. Your views are archaic, and you are on the wrong side of history on this one. The analogies between what you are saying and previous argument for the oppression of other groups are far too numerous to enumerate, but slaves, Blacks, Chinese, and women would be a good start.


Comment #199 - Posted by: Maximus@CrossFitEastBay at April 10, 2009 9:31 AM

Guy #196,

You asked the questions, challenged me to answer them, I did, and now you challenge me again. Where are you getting lost?

When you tie what I wrote to women's and black's suffrage, or when Andrea #197 irrationally accuses me of bigotry, you are both way out on an emotional limb. These kinds of connections are impossible to discuss in a rational dialog. A response is really not appropriate.

Maybe you or Andrea could frame a comment or question on the right of the public to create and define contracts (just to keep your emotions out of it), and what the role of the government has been in it.

Or maybe you could discuss why the public has repeatedly voted for man-woman-only marriages?

Or how about discussing why the "universal backhand" turns down the public's offer of a civil union?

Just to review, these matters flow out of the motivation of the IPCC to control US power through CO2 restrictions. It is a meddlesome, overbearing, technically pointless, governmental interference in free enterprise, especially capitalism, the by-product of individual freedom. It is socialism at the peak of its activity. People have trouble accepting criticism of the IPCC's climate model unless they understand IPCC's motives. Chris German, for example, needed some objective examples of government interference with freedom.

P.S.

Now Maximus chimes in again presuming to know my position on gay marriages. He cannot see that I am only observing. For all he knows, I might consider my family's or the public's feelings indeed to be bigoted. So what? In that case, what I observe is that they've lost the freedom to be do things a bigot might do, and in your world, even to be bigots. What this boils down to is thought police, doesn't it? The point was the right lost. The argument is now an outcry about good or evil.

What you object to is the argument for what you consider bad. That is not the point.

The noise never ends; the empty cry of "bigot", "racist", "Nazi", "homophobe". You guys might just as well carry placards.

Comment #200 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at April 10, 2009 9:52 AM

Too much to process in the short amount of time I have at the moment.

First, the topic. I went horseback riding for the first time in 30 years while on vacation last week. I was a bit dismayed that they used English saddles which don't have a saddle horn (or whatever the proper name is for the thing rodeo riders hold on to). It felt awkward, and my balance felt very tenuous. Still, I figured I'd get over it, and I did. When we went up hills or down hills, or over uneven terrain, I adjusted myself, and became increasingly good at it to the point where I actually became very relaxed. I may just take up horseback riding as a means of decompressing.

Liberal (by which I mean non-socialist) political and economic systems are like this. If someone somewhere had been TELLING me how to adjust my body, sooner or later I would have fallen off. But the simple fact that I possess a functioning sense of balance, coupled with my strong desire NOT to fall off, was sufficient, and would have been sufficient on a ride of almost any length.

Practically, what does this mean? First and foremost, we need to punish failure. Any system which systematizes the opportunity to succeed, must NECESSARILY include the possibility of failure. Socialism, in precluding this possibility in the name of fairness, or compassion, generates complacency, moral decline, mental softness, and of course suboptimal economic conditions, even in conditions where residual cultural commitments to the work ethic linger, as in northern Europe.

Our system is in a state of necessary contraction (it did not fail) because countless banks were protected from failure by the Federal Government, most notably through the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs, which amounted to a "can't lose" insurance for ANY loans. As long as you could still sell them to the government (even though nominally independent for political reasons, they were understood by everyone as for all intents and purposes part of the government), you were good. This is how Washington came to own some 75% of the mortgages issued in this country. Ponder that fact. 75% of the mortgages issued in this country were backed--insured, protected--by the taxpayers.

It may or may not be that derivatives--basically, a complex form of Las Vegas style gambling--may need to be banned. I don't know, but it really doesn't seem to matter to me. If you make it so that if you invest money, and lose it, you fail, you FORCE people to think long and hard about what they are doing. You also force the investment banks into careful thought about what products they offer. If no one buys them, and they don't sell, this should be a very bad thing.

Given that 75% of the mortgage market was backed by Washington, any security based on them (the reasoning went) must be solid. If people remember the timeline, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were the first to fail. The echo in the securities market was a year later. If causes precede effects--as they tend to in the visible world--it seems clear to me that the connection between the two is clear: once people realized the extent of the bad mortgages being issued, they stopped buying securities based on them. This is not complex logic, unless one is trying to demonize Capitalism in general in pursuit of a People's Democracy (aka tyranny of the People by the Party).

Bottom line: local decisions based upon real world consequences will keep the rider on the horse, and the black swan at bay. This applies in the moral, political, and economic spheres.

With respect to the debate on homosexual marriages, my only comment is that States should be allowed to dictate their own morality, within the limits of the Bill of Rights. What seems so often to be lost, is that the very point of democracy is to enact laws that accord with your own moral views. The point of "freedom" is not to be able to do anything and everything you want to. It is to be able to enact laws to govern yourself that you can live with. The alternative is to have laws shoved down your throat (as, again, in the so-called "People's Democracies" like Cuba and Venezuela), which you cannot change, and which you must obey.

No one is talking about banning homosexuality again. It is a question of allowing a status titled in public law "marriage" between same sex couples. Personally, if Vermont wants to allow it, I'm fine with that. If California wants to ban it, I'm fine with that too. That's the point of self rule. The freedom to enact your own laws, to reiterate, is FOUNDATIONAL to democracy. To use the court system to overrule the expressed will of the people is tyranny. And anyone who wants to use the coercive power of the courts in such a way is a latent autocrat. There is no ambiguity about this. If you can't sell your ideas in the marketplace of thought, then your ideas are poor, or so manifestly contrary to the tenor of the community that you need to accept that you can't get everything you want, all the time. Quit the whining.

Dave T.,

I work out to reinforce my will. To practice doing difficult things that need to be done. Frankly, I don't care as much as I should about results. A strong will enables you to manage fear and live a more happy and productive life.

Comment #201 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at April 10, 2009 10:00 AM

Back on the subject of Taleb and the Black Swan, a very fine article is available on line from Eric Falkenstein. His background includes work in the Taleb’s field of trading default swaps, and great familiarity with Taleb’s trading theories. The article is a long and tough read, with a handful of distracting typos. But it’s quite interesting and flows well in certain segments, and is even quotable. It can be viewed at

http://falkenblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/review-of-talebs-black-swan.html

He finds no merit in Taleb’s trading ideas, and at one point categorizes him as a crank using Martin Gardner’s crank standards. I take a strong exception to at least one of Gardner’s standards, that requiring peer review, but I concur that Taleb is indeed a crank.

I’ve listened to Taleb’s conversations. I recommend a 2007 podcast with Russ Roberts. His accent is a bit of a problem, but I find that he doesn’t finish sentences, and jumps from topic to topic, seemingly just to work in esoteric words. Taleb’s writes in complete sentences, but he uses terms in strange, undefined, or unfamiliar ways.

Taleb’s 10 points are indecipherable, especially for lack of any objective reality. He’s rambling on apparently about, or certainly leading up to, the current economic crisis. He has ten principles which are supposed to avoid the Black Swan trap, but omits the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 that required 10% bad loans, or the Federal Regulations of 1995 that put teeth into it, laws still on the books. He doesn’t mention the segregation of mortgages into good and bad bonds, and their securitization with purchased AAA ratings and sold to Fannie and Freddie, where they were leveraged into derivatives, and again sold under cover of purchased AAA ratings. He doesn’t mention the salting of bad AAA bonds and derivatives into other derivatives. Taleb doesn’t mention the bursting of the ratings bubble when the three rating agencies precipitously downgrading their ratings, after threatening Congress that they would do so, and how that affected trust and confidence in all financial ratings. He has missed the objective reality of how the rating agencies, with the help of mortgage companies and under the purchased protection of Congress, caused the current world financial crisis.

And by the way, the Black Swan parable is a cute trademark for Taleb, but factually distorted. The story is about insufficient data, and for that it fits Falkenstein’s analysis about mistaken assumptions. The Black Swan story is about the Euro-centric view that all swans were white when a genus of black swans existed all along in Australia.

The Black Swan is not about a rare and unpredictable event, which is Taleb’s talisman. Taleb’s whole argument is about the probability of events, especially rare events, in a domain where probability, and of course probability distributions, have no meaning for lack of anything measurable. As Falkenstein points out, Taleb and Mandelbrot prattle on about the false application of the Gaussian probability distribution. The problem is the false application of any probability distribution at all.

The Black Swan actually fits Taleb because he relies on a mistaken assumption.

Comment #202 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at April 10, 2009 10:07 AM

I will add that banks sell money. They, like your corner grocer, provide a needed product. If we consider that they "buy" money, then sell it in a functioning system, then buying $10,000 and buying a cucumber is basically the same process.

Where things have come to differ from this basic model is that currently much of the money to "sell" is coming, ultimately, from either our children, or other countries. We are using the power and credit of the Federal Government to sell money we don't actually have. This is bad. We are delaying the inevitable, and Obama and the Democrats are just making this worse.

(Bush, btw, made things much worse, too, although the tax cuts did in fact "work" in the sense of increasing net per capita revenues (including the percentage paid by the "rich") considerably. He just spent too much money, like a Democrat.)

In a Ponzi scheme, recently exemplified well by Bernie Madoff, you put money in to something, then take out your money plus more, from money put in by subsequent "investors". As the thing expands, more and more people put money in, with more and more people taking money out. For those in early, things are good. You can do quite well, as no doubt many of Madoff's investors did.

But sooner or later, you have too many people to pay, too many mouths to feed, and the whole thing explodes.

Who is paying in to the Ponzi scheme over which Obama is currently presiding? Our children. And our children's children. We can borrow from the future to pay off the present. We can make things look rosy. We can stimulate the economy for now. We can make it look, two years from now, like Obama is something other than a complete idiot (or latent socialistic autocrat), and possibly the Democrats can even keep their strong majority (although history argues against this). But that doesn't make this thing smart.

Banks, at the end of the day, need to sell products which exist. They need Capital, not credit, and our Federal Government needs to get its ubiquitous fingers out of every last inch of our economic life.

With respect to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, I will mention again (as I have on past Rest Days) that the 75% of the mortgages they underwrote were bought, themselves, on borrowed money. Who did they borrow from? Our children, of course.

Blind leading the weak and stupid. This is our system as it exists today.

Comment #203 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at April 10, 2009 10:17 AM

Jeff,

- You say me making a comparison between gay rights and women's or blacks rights is way off base, yet you can say

"Just to review, these matters flow out of the motivation of the IPCC to control US power through CO2 restrictions. It is a meddlesome, overbearing, technically pointless, governmental interference in free enterprise, especially capitalism, the by-product of individual freedom. It is socialism at the peak of its activity. People have trouble accepting criticism of the IPCC's climate model unless they understand IPCC's motives. Chris German, for example, needed some objective examples of government interference with freedom."

What?
There is a clear comparison to be made between gay rights and civil rights. Can you explain to me how the comparison isn't there? You just dismiss it without offering any kind of evidence that connection isn't there. Not to mention that in both cases, the amendment were passed by the legislature and NOT a vote of the people. So that goes directly to your point of government making decisions for the masses.

- "When you tie what I wrote to women's and black's suffrage, or when Andrea #197 irrationally accuses me of bigotry, you are both way out on an emotional limb. These kinds of connections are impossible to discuss in a rational dialog. A response is really not appropriate."

How can an argument like this not rile some emotional response? You have yet to cite anything, beyond your own point of view, that provides support to your claim other than "it's worked for thousands of years".

- "A response it really not appropriate"? You talk about cop-outs for saying "I'll love my child no matter what sexual orientation they have" and yet you can state that you don't need to give a response because it might hurt somebody's feelings?

- And you didn't answer all my questions: 'Could you please expand on "But it was also internal societal and personal." What exactly do you mean by that?'

- How can you state

">>My family’s right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for gays in marriage and adoption."

and claim it is not bigoted? How about you go ask a gay person and see what they think? I've got a feeling they would agree with me and everyone else on here who has said that the statement is obviously anti-gay

- "Or maybe you could discuss why the public has repeatedly voted for man-woman-only marriages?"
1) Blinded by their religion
2) They grew up in a time when gay was considered bad and they still believe it
3) The 1) and 2) people have passed their beliefs to their children
4) I'm sure there are other reasons, but because I really don't understand that side of things, I can't comment further

- "Or how about discussing why the "universal backhand" turns down the public's offer of a civil union? "

Yes, the public's offer. In other words, 'Here is something that isn't quite what we have, so we can live it, so you should, too.'
I would assume gay people turn down civil unions because they would like to be considered on the same level as straight people when it comes to legal consummation of their relationship.

Comment #204 - Posted by: Guy Thompson at April 10, 2009 10:21 AM

Jeff,

I am sorry you feel I "irrationally" accuse you of bigotry; however, when one randomly states that -
"Families’ right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for gays in marriage and adoption" - 'bigoted' is the prominent characterization that comes to mind. However, I do apologize if I missed your 'tolerant' intentions.

On the subject of government intervention against the 'will' of the people, are you willing to admit that the people are prone to being wrong? That 'majority rules WITH minority rights' actually means something? The Supreme Court overturned anti-miscegenation laws (laws banning interracial marriage) at a time when the public was 70% in favor of them. Did the Court misserve the public in doing so?

Social change doesn't happen in this country because of the will of the people; it happens in spite of it. But funny, though, that those same people crying "government interference!" in the privacy of their own homes are the ones voting to implement it in others'.

Need an example of that kind of flagrant hypocrisy? Re-read your own quote I excerpted above.

Comment #205 - Posted by: Andrea (CFEB) at April 10, 2009 10:27 AM

An important post script to my comments on Taleb and Falkenstein:

The study of financials as outlined by these two writers appears to be entirely technical, and not involving fundamentals. No value is ever added. It’s all about betting. Technical trading is a zero sum game, except for the house which here and there takes a piece of the action. And Falkenstein talks about that, though in different terms.

When bizarre events, like Taleb’s Black Swans, occur, they affect prices. In that coordinate system, the events are indeed measurable and subject to probability distributions. That does not mean the underlying events are, however. A Madoff, S&P downgrading a whole industry, a discovered cancer cure, Congressional intervention, a change in accounting rules, … -- none of these things can be measured, put on a scale, and given a probability distribution. They are nonetheless, and contrary to Taleb, predictable – to insiders.

Comment #206 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at April 10, 2009 10:27 AM

Barry, you wrote that "[t]o use the court system to overrule the expressed will of the people is tyranny." What would happen if a state passed a law in blatant violation of the Constitution? Say, oh, I don't know, banning private ownership of firearms. Would this be a valid expression of democracy, such that those silly old men in their black dresses should sit down and shut up?

Comment #207 - Posted by: Nick 25/M/210 at April 10, 2009 10:31 AM

A general comment to all who wish to "debate", "argue", "discuss"...:

A thought on "Content in Style", or, why writing in particular styles automatically confers added meaning (content) to argument:

First, it should go without saying that words are vitally important here; in fact, the very basis of these activities. Second, it should also be self-evident that most words carry many emotional connotations, implicit suggestions and other such attached stigmas with them (this language is henceforth "rhetoric").

The consequences of rhetoric are two-fold: first, by using certain carefully-chosen words, I can push an identical situation to opposing conclusions - sometimes, where both conclusions are logical - through an act of interpretation. Should Jeff's position be summed up as "custodian of tradition and proven values" or "inhibitor of socially organic and essential progress"? There is technically no contradiction in the two, yet one carries positive and one negative connotations. These interpretation can be understood as our own internal perceptions of a situation. Being emotive creatures, it does not seem unreasonable to say that we are susceptible to this sort of influencing; so, if we truly wish to explore a subject and come to any sort of meaningful conclusion, we must try to keep our language as clinical, concise and unemotive as possible. By doing so, we can more easily:

(A) Respond critically - if someone has set out nothing but a short and concise series of logical steps, we can point out flaws in their reasoning more effectively.

(B) Understand - the foundations of any perspective (its basic presumptions [postulates]) should become clear, and thus we can remove ourselves from any particular perspective and have a meta-perspective whereby we can decide which perspective is best.

(C) Respond constructively - by having a meta-perspective, we can then choose and form new perspectives through discussion with one another and find the "truest" perspective, rather than (excuse the rhetoric) blindly thrashing at each other, our words as whips, trying to force the dreaded "other side" into submission - all so that we can rise from the arena, torn and stooping, and declare triumphantly: "They are wrong, so... I am right!"

This leads me onto the second consequence of our effective "abuse" of language via rhetoric. Notice how, if we are to be properly rational, "You are wrong" does not readily lead to "Therefore I am right" because you hold a different position. It is not illogical to say, both positions are wrong. In logic, the law of excluded middle works only for the propositions "A and not-A". But "leftism" is not "not-rightism"; "tyranny" is not "not-democracy"; "hate" is not "not-love". There are a plethora of other positions, some of which we are currently aware of, some of which we are not. Hence the importance of constructive discussion - to find the best position (perspective). It would appear we have utterly compartmentalised our thinking and have become interested in defending our own compartment, no matter whether it is the best possible perspective, rather than actively engaging each other in a way that would allow us to find the best perspective. A simpler way of putting it would be to say, we only engage in critical thinking and analysis, but not in finding new ideas and solutions.

So, after this:

- No ad hominem: not as "icing", "comic relief" etc. By necessity, the type of language used is rhetoric.

- State your position as clearly as possible. Foundational presumptions, followed by a logical chain of reasoning, then conclusions and corollaries.

- Engage in constructive thinking to fully explore a topic, rather than learning to defend just one position against critical thinking directed at a positions internal logic. IOW, think up new ideas.

Comment #208 - Posted by: Darije at April 10, 2009 10:32 AM

Nick,

That's the POINT of the Bill of Rights, which I mentioned in the post. The problem arises when the Court issues rulings which manifestly and blatantly rely on things which are NOT contained in the Constitution, e.g. the right to an abortion. Read the first 15 Amendments, and show me where the right to abortion is guaranteed. Roe v. Wade was farcical as law, and tyrannical as bench legislation. That single ruling upset our political landscape to an extent it will probably take 100 years to fully evaluate.

Darije,

In general, your post makes sense. The following, particularly, I agree with fully:

"State your position as clearly as possible. Foundational presumptions, followed by a logical chain of reasoning, then conclusions and corollaries."

What happens, in general, in these threads, is we get a topic posted which we are supposed to discuss. Some of us try to discuss it--in my case, typically I use it as a springboard for a critique of generalized tendencies in our political "body" with which I strenuously disagree--and get nowhere.

In order for there to a productive engagement, you have to not know in advance what the conclusion is. Even though I argue along substantially the same lines every time, anyone who would follow my thought over the last three years carefully would see an evolution in the direction of greater richness and complexity in my thought. This is missed by most, for the simple reason that my critics rarely actually engage with the content of my thought. They engage with the propriety of stating a position with clarity and firmness in the first place. They discuss me, and not the subject. Since they "know" in advance that clarity of vision is incompatible (in the leftist mindset) with moral cosmopolitanism and universal tolerance, the conclusion that I am wrong is inevitable before the first pixel appears on the shared screen of the participants.

I know you are an Edward de Bono fan, and will comment in that regard that I am actually certified as a Six Thinking Hats teacher. I've read that book, his book on Creative Thinking (I think with that title), Mechanism of Mind, Serious Thinking, "I am right you are wrong", and Practical Thinking.

He uses, as you may know, the Laffer curve as a metaphor for the utility of traditional debate. He views it as useful up until the point where emotions become engaged, at which point the utility drops off again. He does not reject the utility of debate, per se, merely its tendency to spin off into self defense and dogmatism.

What we see here, though, rarely rises to the level of debate. We see increasingly subtle forms of ad hominem, but rarely substantive engagement with the topic per se. We see people I call Leftists post slogans, then get huffy when asked to defend them in depth.

Me, I am a very serious student of the process of thinking and creativity, as well as a very interested amateur sociologist and psychologist. These threads, for me, are quite literally laboratories in which I can study the process of thinking, my own and that of others.

In sum, your point is well taken, but I would encourage you yourself to carefully analyze Rest Day threads using the criteria you have posted, and draw corresponding conclusions.

Comment #209 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at April 10, 2009 11:03 AM

Jeff, Re: Gay Marriage

May I start with the following:

"The ultimate, underlying issue is simply whether the legal unions between same sex couples must be called marriage. The gay rights movement [...] apparently demands the word marriage, and rejects the concept of civil unions."

for it possesses better clarity, comprehensiveness, relevance and conciseness than most of the rest you have written on the topic? I have no wish to engage as to whether certain statements (especially pertaining to "families' rights") are upstanding.

Your reply to the proposition is "No, for what we understand by marriage is the union of *a man and a woman*, and have decided that in votes. Why not accept legal equivalence in civil unions." Correct?

Implicit assumptions I can draw from this:

(1) People do not, or should not, care for the exact word/s used in describing a state of personal union, be it "marriage" or "civil union", so long as they are the practically the same.

- As I hope is abundantly clear, words do matter. "Civil union" is not the same in our minds as "marriage", but it would seem to me that it is in the minds of people that the gay rights movement wants change. They simply want people to accept that a gay partnership can be every bit as special, productive, loving, entwined and sacred as a straight partnership - as the word "marriage" conveys and "civil union" does not. Unless you can show me that, in fact, a gay partnership is somehow less worthy of these sentiments - by which I mean, not in your mind, not in anybody else's mind, not in the public mind, but when considering that the intrinsic worth of an interpersonal relationship lies in the minds of those people actually in the relationship - it would seem to be a faulty assumption: it is not ignoble to care that the worth of something is recognised for what it is, and this includes recognition through language as well as practical rights.

(2) Meaning is static, or, meanings should not change. Marriage meant "union of man and woman" and should remain so.

- Meaning most certainly is not static. Words come, words go, words change. What did Ground Zero usually mean prior to 9/11? Nor is there any imperative (logical or moral) to keep meanings the same across large stretches of time; indeed, pragmatism would suggest that we should let meanings change in accordance with changing environments and social norms - would you deny that these changes have not occurred? If change is permissible, why not let it occur?

(3) Meaning can be decided by vote.

- Would it seem right to say that meaning should be common across people, accepted by us and not forced upon us? But the very fact a meaning, effectively, is being voted on implies that the same words now has different meanings in different people's minds, i.e. it is not common (with as many as 41% of people in one of the eleven states which voted assuming the new meaning). By using the vote as a duct to decide meanings, you *force* people to accept a meaning: voting, in other words, contradicts the commonality of word-meanings, so cannot be used.

So, must gay marriage be called such? Well, it would seem that we should let the words run their course and see whether they are eventually accepted in the normal sense, rather than saying anything now.

Comment #210 - Posted by: Darije at April 10, 2009 11:25 AM

Andrea #204,

Thank you, too, for a little zephyr of rationality. Let's work on it.

First, my comment about families rights to encourage intact families was neither tolerant nor intolerant. It was a matter of fact. It was an example for Chris.

Yes, to most of your questions: people are indeed prone to being wrong. I endorse Madison’s idea of the tyranny of the majority. Indeed, minority rights trump majority rule. Anti-miscegenation laws were anathema, and best gone. They also serve as an example where the freedom of the people to write laws was reduced by the government. The Court I would guess did a local disservice to the districts where those laws existed but in favor of a larger populace. So it was also an example of majority rule trumping minority rights.

You say,

>> Social change doesn't happen in this country because of the will of the people; it happens in spite of it. But funny, though, that those same people crying "government interference!" in the privacy of their own homes are the ones voting to implement it in others'.

I agree. Also not all unpopular social change is automatically for the good, is it? Look what’s happening in London, Paris, and Brussels with their immigration problem and the attendant social unrest, including arson and murder and restrictions on the press. It is developing along our Southern border, too.

What in the world is hypocritical about a statement of fact? As you pointed out, the government denied the people the freedom to write anti-miscegenation laws. It is now in the process of denying the people the freedom to write marriage laws. Are these not facts? I cannot see what you find hypocritical in these parallel observations. Bigotry, tolerance, and goodness have nothing to do with those facts. If there is intolerance here it would be yours, Guy’s, and Maximus’s decided intolerance for facts and rational argument.

Comment #211 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at April 10, 2009 11:34 AM

Barry,

Just quickly... your words are well taken, thank you. To reply to your summary, my initial post is a possibly naive and vain attempt to try to get everyone -- everyone -- on this board to reach a higher level of discussion than they are currently at. Having stated these criteria enough (to my mind), I am now prepared to proceed to apply those criteria and draw some conclusions. Again, if I'm cynical and pessimistic, I may have been wrong to presume that by exposing my criteria, everyone else would be in a better position to not only understand those conclusions, but also reply to me and let me know in a more precise way where my own mistakes lie.

Comment #212 - Posted by: Darije at April 10, 2009 11:53 AM

It would seem to me that there are two sets of rights in place. The right of liberty should guarantee, in my view, the ability of gay people to be treated, from a legal perspective, the same as any other group of people.

The right of liberty should also guarantee the right of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and others to consider homosexuality morally wrong, and to refuse to allow the use of the word "marriage" with respect to the legal construct by which equality before the law is created for homosexuals.

The problem that I have, personally, with the Gay Rights movement is that they are working not for equality before the law--which is their Constitutional right, in my view--but for SOCIAL parity. There is nothing in our Constitution that is intended to prevent ANY form of bigotry or intolerance. If there were, I would file a lawsuit against prominent Leftists for their anti-Americanism, and chauvinism with respect to white Christians.

Rather, the only enforceable, coherent means by which conflicting moralities can be reconciled in civil society is with respect to the Law. Everyone should be equal in terms of their rights.

Everyone on both sides of this debate understands full well that the INTENT behind the use of the word "marriage" is the public sanction of homosexuality. Given that this is contrary to the morality taught to most Christians, this is a de facto ATTACK on Christianity. Self evidently, we saw many assaults on religion, and Christians in particular, following the Gay Marriage ban in California. This movement fully intends to do everything it can not to reform the law, but to reform society.

Since only bigots would expect Christians to abandon their faith and means of orienting their lives to accomodate a few shrieking radicals in the streets, logically moderates should understand that their end goal has been fully understood by all--it is not in the slightest covert--and should be abandoned in the interest of tolerance, and living in peace.

Bigotry: it's not just for "bigots".

Comment #213 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at April 10, 2009 11:55 AM

Apolloswabbie #175,

Your suggestion that removing all divorce and marriage law might be a solution for anything has been bothering me.

On the plus side, it would reduce violence in the courtroom where with some regularity a divorce attorney or judge is shot. It would also have the beneficial effect of reducing the income for divorce attorneys, a class top heavy with sleaze.

But in Apolloswabbie’s Utopia, the ex and the kids of the man walks, sells the house, takes the bank accounts, and provides nothing by way of support, have no recourse but charity. We couldn’t even require the sharia “I divorce thee”, chanted three times.

As bad as the divorce system might be, it is for the most part civility to prevent mayhem when the time comes to divide the junk or provide for dependents. This goes to the broader question of whether we want law to enforce contracts at all. Even in the abstract and as a minimalist with respect to government and attorneys, I would say yes.

Comment #214 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at April 10, 2009 12:18 PM

Jeff,

Thanks for the response. I would like to follow-up some of your statements.

You wrote:

“First, my comment about families rights to encourage intact families was neither tolerant nor intolerant. It was a matter of fact. It was an example for Chris.”

I guess that depends on your definition of what constitutes a ‘fact.’ It was certainly not objective, and in my opinion, not factual. It reeked of ‘Yes on 8’ propagandistic refrains I’ve had to listen to for months on end. I apologize if my patience in that department has worn thin.

I am glad we can agree re: majority rules / minority rights. However, while I find your closing intriguing (“The Court I would guess did a local disservice to the districts where those laws existed but in favor of a larger populace. So it was also an example of majority rule trumping minority rights”), I am not sure I can entirely agree, unless it’s invoked a la MLK’s “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Back to your statement of ‘fact,’ again, these kinds of facts are rhetorical and stipulative. I simply disagree with your inference. And again, I find it hypocritical when those who complain about government intrusion in their lives are willing to impose it on others under the guise of moral ‘tradition,’ the term itself nothing more than a rhetorical implication.

Simply put, moral/traditional/value-based/biblical ‘facts’ aren’t.

Comment #215 - Posted by: Andrea (CFEB) at April 10, 2009 12:53 PM

Barry @212,

"Everyone on both sides of this debate understands full well that the INTENT behind the use of the word "marriage" is the public sanction of homosexuality. Given that this is contrary to the morality taught to most Christians, this is a de facto ATTACK on Christianity."

Does our public sanction of interest rates, beer distributors, and the cattle industry constitute a "de facto ATTACK" on Islam, the CLDS, and Hinduism, respectively?

"Since only bigots would expect Christians to abandon their faith and means of orienting their lives to accomodate a few shrieking radicals in the streets, logically moderates should understand that their end goal has been fully understood by all--it is not in the slightest covert--and should be abandoned in the interest of tolerance, and living in peace."

Are you saying the government has a responsibility to refrain from passing any laws that might challenge the faith or life-orientation of Christians? This is a rather fascinating interpretation of our Constitution.

If gay marriage were legalized, nobody would force Christians to abandon their faith. Nobody would stop (people who call themselves) Christians from banning gays from their churches and dinner parties. Or, for that matter, from home-schooling their kids so their ears and eyes remain untainted by evil government propaganda.

"Rather, the only enforceable, coherent means by which conflicting moralities can be reconciled in civil society is with respect to the Law. Everyone should be equal in terms of their rights."

Um...are you not arguing that gay people should be denied the right to marry each other? Am I missing something here?


Comment #216 - Posted by: Daniel-san at April 10, 2009 1:37 PM

This site is awesome...Thanks for everything!

Comment #217 - Posted by: Jeff at April 10, 2009 1:38 PM

Daniel-san,

Considering this is already occurring without gay marriage being legal, you couldn't really be more wrong.

Everyone votes their morals\ethics. The problem with gay marriage movement, and liberals in general, is that they suffer from a belief in moral relativism in a hypocritical and illogical fashion. Admittedly moral relativism is irrational in and of itself so what’s an extra layer or two of absurdity among liberals?

Comment #218 - Posted by: penty at April 10, 2009 2:09 PM

penty,

Considering *what* is already occurring? Be more specific, please.

Also, please explain what is "hypocritical and illogical" about the pro-gay marriage movement.

"Moral relativism is irrational in and of itself"

How so? Thrasymachus's "might makes right" argument in Plato's Republic is the best defense of moral relativism I have ever read, and is a very, very rationally argued opinion. I completely disagree with the argument, but it demonstrates that moral relativism is not at all irrational. Immoral, yes (obviously). Irrational, no.

By the way, accusing proponents of gay marriage of being moral relativists demonstrates your egregious lack of rigor in analyzing this issue. They're not saying that gay marriage should be allowed because "who are we to judge". Rather, they're saying that gay marriage is the right thing to do and therefore we should do it. This is plainly NOT moral relativism.

Comment #219 - Posted by: Daniel-san at April 10, 2009 3:18 PM

Hey Dad,

I know you are retired and have nothing better to do than to write comments all day, but please, I'm trying to grow a business here. The main rule on the forums (http://www.board.crossfit.com/rules.php) is "NO POLITICS, RELIGION, OR SEXUALITY!", and I'd like that to apply to comments as well. Feel free to post your rants elsewhere.

Thanks,

your son

Comment #220 - Posted by: CrossfitOG at April 10, 2009 4:14 PM

Darije, phenomenal post at #207. Props. And #209 wasn't too shabby either.

On the gay marriage issue, my interpretation of Jeff's and Barry's main point seems to be that people who don't want same-sex unions to be recognised on the same level as heterosexual unions are being ignored and liberal legislatures (or judges?) are going ahead and legalising gay marriage anyway. They see this as a threat to rights. My thoughts:

1. I'm not quite sure how we got on to this but it's been interesting.

2. I'm not aware of any instance where this has actually occurred, so a factual basis for such an assertion (if I'm correct) would be appreciated. If it has, it lends some credence to that view. I would say that much of the surrounding rhetoric did come across as pretty incendiary and offensive, but others have eloquently commented on this already.

3. "A camel is a horse designed by a committee". Society is such an odd beast. If gay marriage is allowed, or not, certain people will be happy, others less so. I'm not sure that this particular instance is any different to other instances where a balancing of rights, in the light of changing social and moral attitudes, is somehow a great evil and to be avoided.

4. Pseudo-scientific statements used to back up a particular viewpoint on matters of morality, such as Jeff's references to women not getting so much testosterone from nature that they would kill their babies (post #173 - and a classic), need to be critically examined. Judges often proclaim with great certainty that particular matters are "obvious, apparent, beyond doubt, timeless, part of the natural order, self-evident, manifestly true" etc. when they're actually giving a personal opinion on something on which they know nothing more than anyone else. This arrogant extension of dominion into matters of morality is suspect. (Here, I'm agreeing with some points made by Barry above on judicial activism.) It does make me uneasy. But I'm not sure what alternative we might have, to allowing someone, somewhere, at some point, rule on these issues, against the backdrop of a constitutional framework. It does stop us bludgeoning ourselves to death arguing about it and move on with some certainty. In the end, the certainty brought by such decisions is an important function of the system.

Peace.

Comment #221 - Posted by: J1 at April 10, 2009 4:18 PM

Barry, Re: Comment #212

You say:

"It would seem to me that there are two sets of rights in place. The right of liberty should guarantee, in my view, the ability of gay people to be treated, from a legal perspective, the same as any other group of people.

The right of liberty should also guarantee the right of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and others to consider homosexuality morally wrong, >"

The right to liberty, as I understand it, gives people freedom from external coercion and force: a free man is he that in those things which by his strength and wit he is able to do is not hindered to do what he hath the will to do. The implication of that is that everybody has equal rights before the law.

Given this, you are right to say that the right to liberty grants "the ability of gay people to be treated, from a legal perspective, the same as any other group of people," as well as, "the right of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and others to consider homosexuality morally wrong."

It seems contradictory, however, to say that right to be free from interference by others grants people who view homosexuality as morally wrong the ability to impose that view on the constructs of the law -- that is, to parallel your speech, a "de facto ATTACK" on homosexuals: iow, an external group forcing their views onto others.

Surely it is interfering with someone's life if another tells them, "You can't use the word marriage for your legally-bound relationship, but must use civil union, because that's what I think is right."? Could those who debate abortion then not impose on the constructs of the law due to their beliefs the rule (somewhat exaggerated): "You can't use the words pro-choice laws to describe your propositions, but must use tiny-innocent-little-baby-murdering laws, because that's what I think is right" -- for the same legal construct?

You may wish to say that "but still, from a legal perspective, civil union and marriage grant the same rights, so why does it matter?" If they are, surely then they should have the same name? It seems absurd that the same rights should have separate constructs and different names. We have the right to freedom of speech; should it be split into "freedom of speech for whites" and "freedom of speech for blacks", etc., to account for giving the same rights to different groups of people?

Comment #222 - Posted by: Darije at April 11, 2009 5:15 AM

Hmm. It appears some text is missing. I wished to emphasise the part of your quote that ran thus *and to refuse to allow the use of the word "marriage" with respect to the legal construct by which equality before the law is created for homosexuals.*

Comment #223 - Posted by: Darije at April 11, 2009 5:17 AM

The point of the separation of Church and State is not to protect the State from the Church; it is to protect the Church from the State. Without exception, all of our founders had some form of religious committment, even if some were attenuated (e.g. Jefferson). Most were either Christians or Masons.

When the State makes laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion, IT is violating the First Amendment. It is only through the systematic "stupidification" of our schoolchildren over several generations, coupled with effective propaganda, and systematic training in intolerance with respect to "class criminals" (Whites, Jews, anyone with money, any Christian) that this simple and obvious fact has been inverted into the farce we see today.

I am a liberal. This means I am a Conservative. I believe that Churches should be allowed to practice their own morality, in public, and should not be denied that right.

Have to go, but here is a link that should be read: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/09/AR2009040904063.html

I'll be back.

Comment #224 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at April 11, 2009 7:43 AM

Comment #223 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at April 11, 2009 7:43 AM


My understanding was that influence in both directions is what was feared. Not only does the Church need protection from the State, but the State needs to remain uninfluenced by the separate moralities of each faith, in order to better protect the rights of individual citizens. The second protection has long been ignored, to a certain extent, and now the first is disappearing, as the article you posted shows.

Comment #225 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/186/6' at April 11, 2009 8:16 AM

Barry,

How is the State prohibiting the free exercise of religion? By banning school prayer and allowing gay marriage?

You are basically asserting, in this and previous posts, that Christians should enjoy a unique set of positive liberties in America. (I mean positive liberty as opposed to negative liberty; the concept is discussed by Isaiah Berlin in his essay "Two Concepts of Liberty" if you need a reference.)

You are also making a false dichotomy when you describe the practical origins of the First Amendment:

"The point of the separation of Church and State is not to protect the State from the Church; it is to protect the Church from the State."

As Goat said, it's a two-way street. People who came to this country to escape religious persecution were persecuted because of the influence of religion in the governments of the countries whence they emigrated.

FWIW, I agree that the people mentioned in that Post article were unfairly treated by the gov't. In the cases cited, the pendulum has definitely swung too far.

Comment #226 - Posted by: Daniel-san at April 11, 2009 9:39 AM

BTW, by "school prayer", I meant mandatory daily prayers conducted over the PA system, not the general principle of students praying at school.

Comment #227 - Posted by: Daniel-san at April 11, 2009 9:42 AM

Guy Thompson #203, who said,

>>You say me making a comparison between gay rights and women's or blacks rights is way off base, yet you can say

>>>>"Just to review, these matters flow out of the motivation of the IPCC to control US power through CO2 restrictions. It is a meddlesome, overbearing, technically pointless, governmental interference in free enterprise, especially capitalism, the by-product of individual freedom. It is socialism at the peak of its activity. People have trouble accepting criticism of the IPCC's climate model unless they understand IPCC's motives. Chris German, for example, needed some objective examples of government interference with freedom."

>>What? 
There is a clear comparison to be made between gay rights and civil rights. Can you explain to me how the comparison isn't there?

Your comment was way off base because I said nothing about either gay or civil rights. What I said was that the people’s freedom to define contracts, specifically marriage contracts, was being usurped by the government. I expressed no opinion whether that was right or wrong, but I did give some of the reasoning behind the people’s position, reasoning that never makes into the media or the political arena.

If you think the people should not have that right, I say, fine, but admit to the fact of it. Andrea almost did with respect to anti-miscegenation laws, but it was like pulling teeth to get her to that point. This was indeed the third rail, for it kicked off some of the most emotional and juvenile blathering (i.e., irrationality) ever to pass the spam filter. Maybe Goat and Apolloswabbie, maybe Barry, too (can’t remember exactly), were the only ones who could comment on the issue objectively.

I am not convinced by any argument presented here that marriage has not worked for thousands of years. For proof, though, I might have to go to some native cultures. But I am aware of not one example of approved same sex marriage, but I think marriage has gone on for thousands of years. You, not I, linked this to women’s and black’s suffrage. You even said it was a logical connection to the fact that people’s freedom to define marriage was being eroded. Your logic is disconnected, even bizarre. No analogy exists between the histories of suffrage and the marriage contract.

You have repeatedly asked for examples for my observation about internal societal and personal. I didn’t answer repeatedly because my statement was followed immediately by examples:

>>It will forever be a distinct minority life style, separate from the community, and stigmatized for that. It is reproductively sterile and unsatisfying for that, and for the males, quite dangerous medically.

I shouldn’t have to connect every pair of dots for you. Just read carefully first. When you finish a sentence, read on before reacting to it.

You and others insist that my statement, here correctly repeated,

>>Families’ right to a society that encourages intact families for raising children to be good citizens is being eroded by expanding rights the government is creating for gays in marriage and adoption.

is bigoted and anti-gay. You are woefully in error on several counts. The people have repeatedly, and I believe in every instance, voted against expanding their institution of marriage to include same-sex couples. The mere voting was an expression, a recognition, or a granting of the freedom or the right to define marriage. It was in the people's hands.

Most assuredly, some voted with the majority out of bigotry, pure and simple. But to some hypersensitive individuals who have commented here, everyone who voted that way is automatically a bigot. The majority who voted were all bigots. Therefore, the observation of their will and its frustration is bigoted. Bigot, bigot, bigot. This is name calling, and it is all balderdash.

It is also arrogant and hate-filled. The hatred is like that whipped up against Bush and everyone who ever spoke to him, marked by name-calling. The arrogance is that you who have made the accusation can decide what is bigotry or not, you can hurl about the accusation like the cry of “racist”, and that in the end it somehow makes a difference in legal rights. People are free to be bigots, or idiots, or drones in a movement. To claim otherwise is to impose thought control. It is the stuff of political correctness. As practiced in this thread, it is the reprehensible tactic of gagging the opposition. It is anti-rational.

Regardless of the emotional (irrational) insistence to the contrary, bigotry is not the only explanation for an individual to reject same-sex marriage. It might well be for religious reasons. It might be for tradition, or respect for ancestors, or community acceptance.

For some in the majority the reason was the appreciation that, for them, the preferred lifestyle for their children was a heterosexual marriage. For some, it was a desire for progeny. For some it was a desire for progeny even if that meant suppressing one’s homosexual preferences. For some it was all that plus a belief that not every instinct is to be acted upon, or acted upon in public. For some, it was all that plus a belief that libido is a continuous thing, not just black and white. For some then it was a belief that homosexuality is sometimes a matter of choice and the result of experimentation, especially where the libido is weak. For some it was the physiological reality of the differences between men and women, and the advantage of having one of each to raise children.

For some it was the fear of disease for their boys. It was fear of hepatitis, and now AIDS.

Some chose from Column A and from Column D.

For any of these reasons, the people seemed to be saying they want to encourage their children to enter into marriage as it is defined, and not as it would be defined by the government.

Only the first cause listed is bigotry. But the statement itself is neutral, neither pro or anti gay, nor pro or anti-heterosexual. It is an observation that not one poster here could muster the good sense to address. And for all the reasons the people might hold except the first, room remains in individuals to support, fully and with love, their children’s ultimate decision to adopt a gay lifestyle. And to be tolerant of and civil toward others who have chosen that style, and before you trigger again, one chooses his behavior if not his impulses.

I do rather doubt that anyone likes to have an in-your-face confrontation, however, on any subject. Yet that has been the tone here too often; shame on you all. Coach will teach you how to do a muscle-up; let me, with my friends, teach you how to think, first, and then to express yourselves logically and civilly. Welcome to CrossFit rest day.

Comment #228 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at April 11, 2009 12:36 PM

Ahhhhhh, now we find out it ain't so easy to be lawyer.

I've been a prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, plaintiff's divorce attorney (both his and her), defendant's divorce attorney (both male and female), my own divorce attorney, represented homosexuals (men and women) against the government, represented the government against homosexuals. A rich existence, I would say.

Let's start with something that only came on at the end - the recognition that marriage is a LEGAL term. Andrea and Maxim,us and the others who are awfully offended, you keep referring to Jeff's religious bigotry or "outmoded morality" or whatever, without recognizing the legal legitimacy to his claim. Now, here comes the anti-miscegenation analogy (I believe that's Loving v. Virginia by the way and that is right off the top of my head, somebody check me, I may be wrong, but I'm almost certain the state involved was Virginia).

Let me sidestep the analogy momentarily for what I think is a better one and then I'll explain why - when I was a flight school student, I moved from Pensacola, FL, after I completed primary up to Whiting Field Base Housing to be closer to work, save a few bucks, and get my daughter in a base school. But Whiting Base Housing is in Santa Rosa County and guess what? It's a dry county. NO DISTILLED SPIRITS CAN BE PURCHASED THEREIN. Now, you Baptists are likely cheering, and I am a rare drinker, but dammit, when I want a Jack and coke after a really tough day in the cockpit, it's a pain in my a$$ to have to drive all the way to P'Cola for hard liquor. I felt pretty damn aggrieved. But I didn't start claiming my Constitutional rights had been violated and citing the Amendment that repealed prohibition. I didn't try to get a court to overturn the Santa Rosa County law/ordinance. Because I did not view my "right to drink" as fundamental and Constitutional.

Now, before you fly off the handle or call me names for making this analogy, let me distill the argument for you - the real critical legal question is whether "marriage" can be called a fundamental Constitutional right AND, even then, can reasonable restrictions be placed upon it? Because the first Amendment is foundational, but to quote Holmes, you still can't yell "Fire" in a crowded theater. You can't libel or slander someone. All kinds of legal restrictions exist on our most cherished First Amendment rights.

So, depending upon how marriage is defined (Constitutional or not), and how fundamentally it's ranked, reasonable restrictions can still be placed upon it.

Case law is clear, beyond debate, that marriage is entirely a matter for the states. there is no federal divorce law. States have always been able to decide what marriage is or is not. And yes, we've been pretty clear that it's ONE man and woman for a LONG time - look up the Mormons in Utah trying to get statehood with multiple wives. Guess what? these united states made Utah give up their religious beliefs as a condition of statehood. there's a case about it that went to the Supreme Court. We've been down this road before.

Gay rights proponents frequently use the analogy to the plight of blacks to argue their case (by analogy) much as Andrea has done. The latent claim is that someone who opposes gay marriage is just like a white supremacist or racist. This is hyperbole and an attempt to silence reasonably opposing views.

The analogy fails because blacks in the 60's had every right to complain under our Constitution. The 13th and 14th Amendments were clearly passed with them in mind, but even the US Supreme Court went against them - See Dred Scott.

Gay marriage proponents have nowhere near the legal claim of blacks and minorities and their attempt to paint themselves as genetically bound, like Blacks, is a very dangerous slope (think Eugenics) and what Jeff said. parents already determine what gender their child will be - you think they wouldn't ensure their child was "straight" if the gene could be isolated? be careful what you theorize - in three generations, you may find that "gene" no longer exists.

I think it also fails to account for the diverse possibilities with sexuality, both environmental and genetic. I would warrant that a lot of guys in prison are not "gay". I know many Muslim cultures engage in "man love" while (in my experience) appearing to be rather decidedly heterosexual. How about the Greeks? And yet there are people we've all met who are, unequivocally, gay. It isn't a "lifestyle choice".

But given this wide divergence and our Constitutional history, is it really "bigoted" for a vast majority to say "marriage is one man and one woman" for a wide variety of reasons rooted in biology, as well as social preference?

So, let's stop the name-calling and let's talk the law. If you're going to ask a court to rule your way (and some have), don't be surprised at the backlash, the State constitutional Amendments, and the legal challenges because the States have always been the arbiters of what can be called "marriage". You want to go in the courts, you're stuck with the law, and that can be both common law, Constitution, and legislation. You get it all.

Daniel-san - wanted to send you an email separately. I thought you might be joking and I appreciated your response, but I think today's discussion proves your point to be "overstated". I come at this community with a belief in the goodness of the folks here because I've met so many in my travels around, including Jeff G., although not Barry - though we have corresponded separately from here. Most of the long-term folks here, no matter their political view, are genuinely good folks, on the left or right coast. So, I try not to disparage them personally or demonize them, no matter how ardent they may be in their views, simply because I disagree with them. And I don't try to belittle them by calling their positions or logic "absurd". I disagree with Prole sometimes, but find the intelligence behind the posts compelling, the opinions notwithstanding, and the humor welcome. IOW, I wouldn't have written your first post about Prole just for a chuckle at his/her expense. But we could all stand to laugh at ourselves from time to time.

I do it every time I look in the mirror.

S/F

Dale

Comment #229 - Posted by: Dale_Saran at April 11, 2009 12:53 PM

Barry Cooper #223,

The sanctions of the Revolutionary days for failing to publicly express conventional religiosity were severe. The smell of the witch burnings were still in the air, and some would rekindle them today.

The founders who wrote and defended (Madison, Hamilton, & Jay) Article VI (no religious test) and the First Amendment (anti-establishment) were putting their futures on the line. These were indeed brave men, but they had already sacrificed lives and property to get to the founding.

I found Madison’s writings and faith subject to interpretation.

We are certainly a religious people -- to be politically correct, Judeo-Christian, and soon to be Judeo-Christian-Muslim, I suppose. But the government is secular, and that is impossible for some to recognize. In that, I would include Hannity and Prager, for one of each of the first two. The secular government, as you suggest, is designed to guarantee freedom of religion. It is not a vessel to hold religious doctrine.

Some people can’t distinguish between religion and denomination. Our secular government is not just barred from adopting a denomination or a particular text. It is barred from expression of the existence of God or of gods, or the answering of prayers, or the existence of the soul, or life after death. These are all religious matters. We look the other way and wink when it comes to religious holidays.

This is why we can’t have prayers in public school affairs, but we can in private schools. The operative Constitutional word is public. This is another good reason for getting rid of public schools, eh?

Comment #230 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at April 11, 2009 1:02 PM

For my own purposes, I use two definitions of freedom. The freedom upon which our nation is based is the freedom to choose your own form of moral restraint/virtue. It is understood that any self governing people has to be composed of people who govern themselves. Public order begins with private order.

The freedom upon which Gay Rights activists base their often venemous attacks on Christians is the freedom to do WHATEVER THEY WANT. If someone, somewhere, finds some restraint odious, then it has to go. It's that simple.

The problem with this, is that once you reject principle based behavior--by which I mean values you believe apply universally and in all circumstances, and which on some level conduce to a sustainable social order--there is no longer any basis for comparing moralities, which is the point of our moral freedom. Rather, you have a monolithic entity--the Left--attacking and assaulting all forms of traditional virtue.

Logically, the only possible response to the moral uprooting that the full and total rejection of non-relative moralism brings about, is a fetishization of conformity, which we see daily on this site. If you are not in the club, if you don't have politically correct ideas, then you are the ENEMY, and although the venom may vary, the effort to overcome you through ANY MEANS NECESSARY is unrelenting.

Leftism, to me, is an effort slake thirst with saltwater. They want freedom. They want justice. But their failure is enshrined by means of the very methods they use. This is why they are always angry, and unable to compare views rationally, using facts.

With respect to school prayer, the education of our children was to be left to the States. You will note there are no comments whatever in the Constitution about education. Since everyone since Plato has understood education to be synonymous with social indoctrination, it was thought that the means by which the States brought up moral children ought not to be interfered with by the Federal Government.

Not all children like math. We teach it to them anyway. Not all children are Christian, or even religious. But exposing them to things like "Under God" at school does no harm. If individual States want to ban prayer, then I am fine with that. If they want to allow it, I am fine with that too.

But the use of the Supreme Court to prohibit the mention of God in the classroom, given that some 75% of our population claims some religious commitment, is to my mind a prima facie violation of the First Amendment.

Moreover, the end goal of this process is clear: the elimination of religion as a countervailing moral narrative to the coercive power of the State. EVERY Communist regime took great pains to eliminate the Church for that reason. Great atrocities were committed in the name of the "People".

These things are very clearly interlinked, and I think one link you have missed is the integral importance of religion as a means by which to delay and hopefully stop the efforts of the Party to take power and keep it for a thousand years.

That's all I have time for.

Comment #231 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at April 11, 2009 3:42 PM

"Our secular government is not just barred from adopting a denomination or a particular text. It is barred from expression of the existence of God or of gods, or the answering of prayers, or the existence of the soul, or life after death. These are all religious matters. We look the other way and wink when it comes to religious holidays."

The First Amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

An understanding of English history is, in my view, ESSENTIAL to putting in a proper context. For a very long time, it was illegal to be Jewish in England. You literally could not live there.

People were fined if they did not attend Church. They were burned as heretics if they questioned Church orthodoxy. Until the English Reformation, the Church was Catholic. You had to be Catholic, and you were vulnerable to death by combustion if you got too out of line.

With Henry VIII, you had to accept HIS version of things, and had to attend HIS Church. Bloody Mary got her name by trying to reverse this. And on it went.

The clear impression left, listening to this history, is that when the State controls religion, you have tyranny. The extent of State control of religious expression is the extent of the tyranny, on at least that parameter.

Likewise, there were Anglican bishops and notables who were able to use the power of the State to amass large fortunes. The most famous example was during the reign of Henry VIII, if memory serves, although I forgot his name. VAST fortunes were built up through patronage networks, much of it through overt or implied bribery.

With State control of ANY institution, you have potential monopolies. With monopolies come money.

In England, you had a sort of tandem operation of imposed religious conformity, coupled with political abuses by the Church of the opportunity that conformity provided.

Our nation was based upon religious plurality, taken as a whole. The Puritans, of course, HATED diversity. But they had their own community, and to a lesser extent, colony. But their mores were not those of Virginia plantation owners. Nor were they those of Roger Williams Rhode Island, or "the City of Brotherly Love" Philadelphia.

When all of these diverse colonies met to form our nation, they ALL understood that the POINT of a Federal government was to enable us to form a nation by means of which to pool resources in shared tasks--notably wars with other nations--and yet in the process to retain the unique and much valued character of each colony.

Thus, religion was neither to be imposed by a Federal Government seeking to usurp their freedom of worship, nor was any specific religious practice to be forbidden, as for example public prayer.

It is, to me, insufferably hypocritical to pretend that Christians are not to apply the values by which they live to ANY aspect of public life, but that people who are NOT motivated by religion are to be given free reign.

Can this do anything other than drive religion out of public life? What, in the name of God, is the difference in a democracy between the State, and the People? Are the People to be forbidden the freedom to speak in public of the very real values by which they live their lives?

The very notion that the State somehow can be separated from the people is awful to me. We rule ourselves. We do it by means of representatives, but there should be NOTHING that we can say publicly that we should not be able to say in a statehouse, or the floor of Congress.

The importance of the moral education of children is quite literally incalculable. ANY nation that fails in this task over a long period of time will fail as a nation. It is really that simple.

The specific failure which has been imposed on our children by the de jure separation of not just God, but all references to non-relativistic morality from the classroom, is that of having a shared sense of purpose and moral responsibility.

Regardless of how one may view this philosophically, pragmatically we are clearly decadent. We are not the nation we once were. Our educational standards have fallen to a level that is truly pathetic. Our critical thinking skills are gone, and our popular culture has developed an obsession with serial killers and zombies.

We are failing as a nation, and we are failing for the simple reason that common sense standards of decency have been expelled from the classroom, as have the religious ideals which have motivated EVERY nation that has endured for long.

The only experiments in widespread atheism have been the French Revolution, and the Communistic aftershocks. ALL of them have been characterized by the full and complete rejection of simple decency, and any rational standards of justice and liberty.

That history is not encouraging to me, particularly since all the current wave of assaults on religion are identical to those of the French Revolution and the Red Fascist regimes which tortured billions in the twentieth century, and some of which endure as dystopian horror museums to this very day.

Comment #232 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at April 11, 2009 5:25 PM

Daniel-san,

"Considering *what* is already occurring? Be more specific, please."

Seems part of my post didn't make it for whatever reason: "If gay marriage were legalized, nobody would force Christians to abandon their faith. Nobody would stop (people who call themselves) Christians from banning gays from their churches and dinner parties."

This is already occuring.

BTW, "Might makes right" is not moral relativism.

Comment #233 - Posted by: penty at April 11, 2009 8:53 PM

Post #230 -Barry Cooper
Well said.

I believe: Without a moral standard, there will be no morals. Jesus Christ is The moral standard of all time. To the extent that He is Lord of our life, we are good or evil.

Greg

Comment #234 - Posted by: Greg/M2 at April 11, 2009 10:43 PM

Penty,

"This is already occurring"

Then please find me an example of an American church being prosecuted for refusing to allow a gay man to enter and worship, and/or a private citizen being prosecuted for refusing to allow a gay man inside his residence. Are you saying that the very existence of gay marriage inherently forces Christians to abandon their faith?

"BTW, "Might makes right" is not moral relativism."

Yeah, no kidding. As a statement on its own, it's not. I was referring to a specific passage of Republic. In it, Thrasymachus says that throughout history, the parameters of "justice" have always been defined by those who are in power. Therefore, justice is a false concept created by man and not by nature, and therefore we cannot make normative judgments about the actions of other men; there is only what is and is not permitted by the society in which he lives. Penty, this is *precisely* moral relativism. (And by the way, this is still a very, very condensed version of the argument.)

Forgive me for assuming that you would actually take the time to try to understand what I was talking about, rather than just fire off a comeback based on the prima facie appearance of the way I paraphrased an argument (which was cited for those unfamiliar with it).

Dale, dude, you're right. My original post could have gotten the point across without the nasty adjectives. As previously stated, no disrespect was intended towards anyone, just wanted to send up the way that some people express their opinions on a semi-weekly basis. And you're also right about this discussion disproving my original hypothesis.

S/F

Dan

Comment #235 - Posted by: Daniel-san at April 12, 2009 9:29 AM

Dale Saran #228,

Thank you for the commentary, the lesson, and the support. I regret not including you at #227.

With regard to the gay gene, it cannot exist. People have spent good money is search of it, too. And published! Of course, homosexuality could be genetic, but it would have to be a mutation, and that is always a possibility. But it cannot be inherited, statistically speaking, until homosexuals figure out how to have offspring. Genes unused in inheritance and survival suffer self-extinction. The matter is analogous to the genetics of Down syndrome. We have an interesting problem here at the three-point intersection of political correctness, religion (because bits of evolution are involved), and math. This paragraph is sure to trigger more horror and hysteria, and those human attributes do not disappear in three, or any number, of generations.

Comment #236 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at April 12, 2009 10:51 AM

Barry Cooper #231,

You open with a quotation from me on religion and public schools, then provide an eloquent essay. I enjoyed the history lesson, and agreed with most everything you wrote, but not your conclusions, implied or specific.

We agree moral education is vital. But why do you think public school should teach morality? What is your historical precedence for that?

We send our children to basketball camp, music and dance classes, chess lessons, and to train under math tutors, and we don’t require morality lessons. We would insist on the teachers sticking to the curricula, and not teach junior to join movements or to be a victim.

And we would be quick to react if they taught atheism. I don’t see your distinction between secular and atheistic. If you don’t make that distinction, how do you expect grade school teachers to teach government? This may be a root cause of the problem. I don’t see how not mentioning God is denying Him. Nor how teaching comparative religions is an attack on any denomination. Nor how omitting the morality behind any piece of history is moral relativism or worse.

You note that our nation is in a moral decline. That suits my perspective, too, but I’m not sure that this has not always been the appearance since the invention of writing. But do you attribute this decline in morality to public schools? Did it start with public education?

Which do you think came first, morality or the Teachings? Which begat which? Did it start with scripture? Did you learn your morality in public school?

Do you want the same people who substituted environmentalism and AGW for science to teach morality? Do you want the same schools that dropped physics, chemistry, AE math, and the Reagan years from high school curricula to teach Bible classes? Whom do you trust?

If you subscribe to the theory that the US is built on the rights of minorities, what do you think of the rights of the government to teach a form of Christianity to non-Christians, or vice versa? What do you think of the rights of atheists?

Why don’t you want to rely on the family, on the option of private schools and home schooling, on churches, and on being good examples?

And suppose your view were to prevail. What texts would you prescribe? Catholic or Protestant? Old testament or New? Baptist or Methodist? Or are we going to institute a new, non-denominational, K-12 religion? Unitarian? Are we going to teach creationism, and if so where? In science, and as an alternative or a replacement for evolution? And what of sex education, and birth control? What do we say about baptisms? The Shroud of Turin? The origin of morality? Do we have holy books in the classroom? Do we teach the Bible is literal, or subject to interpretation? Which version of the Bible do we use? Are we going to purge the existing school texts and rewrite them? We might be able to clean up the science and history texts at the same time. Will there be examinations and grades on religion? Will we reward the right answers? Will prayer be mandatory? Will there be, at last, subject matter proficiency required of the teachers? Loyalty oaths? Will there be disciplinary measures for misbehavior, for doubting?

Political correctness isn’t bad enough. Now we’ll have to suffer religious correctness, too?

Comment #237 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at April 12, 2009 12:27 PM

Isn't the US Constitution exactly what the US Supreme Court says? Isn't that quite a fundamental point of the system? I'm far from an expert but to say that it is up to the individual States to say what marriage is, doesn't tally with how I thought it worked. Could a State decide that arranged marriages are ok for 14 year olds? Surely they decide what marriage is, only within the framework of the Constitution? So if what is happening in the US is that courts are upholding the right for gay people to marry, is this really something which should draw special ire?

Society's morals have changed on gay rights. Gay people suffered prejudice for a long time. Marriage is certainly a legal term, but it is also undeniably an important part of our social fabric. The law confers special recognition on relationships which get to use that nomenclature. Gay people want that civil recognition for succession rights and tax breaks but most importantly, from a non-legal perspective, they want to feel part of the society in which they live. They want their society to recognise the sanctity, committment and special nature of their unions. They're not fighting for destruction or to threaten the rights of others. They're simply fighting for inclusion. I get very uncomfortable with arguments "based on biology". We quickly end up with expressions of opinion - nothing wrong with that - but such expressions masquerading as science.

Finally, Jeff's original post at #112 was not expressed in nearly as subtle a manner as the subsequent arguments suggest. Inclusion of the words in that post "...to be good citzens" in particular still seems very odd. Bygones.

Peace.

Comment #238 - Posted by: J1 at April 12, 2009 2:10 PM

Jeff,

You have to differentiate the States from the State. Everything I believe about politics can be summarized as "the more local, the better". Hayek spoke of the importance of distributed knowledge in economics. I would add to this what might be termed "distributed morality".

In my own utopian vision, EVERY school district is free to vote on the content of its curricula. And yes, if they want to teach Creationism, they should be allowed to. Given that this is a minority view, the simple process of public negotiation ought to ensure that both the prevailing Darwinian derivatives and Intelligent Design are taught.

I went to school in Switzerland for a year. The Swiss cantonal system is actually a very good model for the sort of thing I believe in. They had religion classes in their public high school, which were elective. They had Catholic classes, and Protestant classes. I did not attend either, but my understanding was that they were taught Biblical theology, and the capacity to understand and express higher order theological ideas.

This, to me, is a good balance. You offer the option of religious (or moral, however this might be framed, and I would envision great diversity in this area) instruction, but don't require it.

And you push the whole thing away from Washington. You pull both the Supreme Court, and the Circuit Courts out of the loop. They get no say on what is or is not included in the State curricula. This sort of freedom is very explicitly what was understood to be guaranteed in the Constitution by the States in subordinating their independence to the Federal Government.

Our problem is that there is too much to be gained through control of the Federal Government. We swing wildly one way, then the other.

The topic of the day is the Black Swan. Not having read the book, my functional understanding of this, with respect to "preventing" them, is that it is the Perfect Storm. It is a random conglomeration of factors that add up suddenly to a large scale systemic disruption of what was previously a sound and balanced system.

To return to my analogy of the horse, I would not want anyone but the person on the horse to be figuring out how to stay on there. No one else knows better. This is a good analogy for distributed power, morality, and knowledge.

People need to be able to make adjustments as they see fit. Forcing the inclusion of religion against the will of the majority is no more or less destructive of liberty than denying it through judicial fiat.

With respect to gay marriage, then, my position is clear: let the States decide, and keep the Supreme Court and Circuit Courts out of it. If Vermont votes to allow the use of the word marriage, so be it. If California wants to forbid it, so be it.

All that the Federal Government owes gay people is the right to live their lives in peace, unmolested for being gay. To ask anything more is understandable, but in my view little more than whining. To ask Christians to condone a lifestyle their belief system tells them is morally wrong, and an abomination to God, is to ask them to reject a key element of their faith. It is precisely to subordinate the Church to the State in a manner which is patently unconstitutional and a de facto and de jure abrogation of their freedom.

With regard to how we get back on track, this is my daily obsession. I will have more to say in the future.

Comment #239 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at April 13, 2009 7:06 AM

45 minutes on elliptical
interval workout
level 12/17 strides 1
30/100

Comment #240 - Posted by: Gundy at April 23, 2009 3:53 PM
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