September 8, 2009

Tuesday 090908

Rest Day


Enlarge image

Eric, CrossFit Oshawa

"Rowing Lesson Part 4: Putting it into Practice with Chris Wilson" by CrossFit Again Faster, CrossFit Journal Preview - video [wmv] [mov]

"Why Craigslist Is Such a Mess" by Gary Wolf - Wired

Post thoughts to comments.

Posted by lauren at September 8, 2009 6:36 PM

I'm a fan of that cat!

Comment #1 - Posted by: michigan at September 7, 2009 6:49 PM

that's a good kitty right there. elizabeth today as rx'd (squat cleans) 6:31 pr.

Comment #2 - Posted by: ken c at September 7, 2009 6:52 PM

Here, kitty kitty kitty...there you go, precious...what a nice kit--OUCH! OMG LOOK AT THE CLAWS ON THIS THING GET IT OFF OF ME FOR GOD'S SAKE CALL THE AMBULANCE

Comment #3 - Posted by: J.T. at September 7, 2009 7:12 PM

Awesome pic!

Comment #4 - Posted by: Katie at September 7, 2009 7:13 PM

I give that cat 2 years to be the most dangerous thing in that Crossfit gym.

Comment #5 - Posted by: FoxJr. at September 7, 2009 7:14 PM

I tought I saw a Puddy Cat

Comment #6 - Posted by: steve b at September 7, 2009 7:15 PM

Is that a Bengal cat? SUPER cute. I bet it could whip my ass on climbing that rope. Maybe I need to grow some claws. . .

Comment #7 - Posted by: Samantha at September 7, 2009 7:21 PM

Stupid question. Is there a standard setting for the C2 rower..i.e. 3 or 5 or 8? I usually just hop on and use whatever it is on as long as its above 5 or 6 but thought I should ask.

Comment #8 - Posted by: frankthetank at September 7, 2009 7:21 PM

Tell the captain the boat's not safe, we're drowning...turns out he's the one making waves....

Comment #9 - Posted by: Peter at September 7, 2009 7:22 PM

#8 see the link below:

Comment #10 - Posted by: Barndillo at September 7, 2009 7:27 PM

that's no cat. is that a bobcat? check out the size of the claws!!

Comment #11 - Posted by: leo at September 7, 2009 7:28 PM

I don't remember Eric being there when I visited CF Oshawa back in June (thanks Kevin and Cam!!). Is that thing part Jaguar?

Comment #12 - Posted by: gaucoin at September 7, 2009 7:34 PM

What is that thing? It does not look like a house cat. It also does not look safe.

Comment #13 - Posted by: BullFrog at September 7, 2009 7:37 PM

meeeooow rrrawwwwrrrrr lol cute cat that one

Comment #14 - Posted by: Sot at September 7, 2009 7:56 PM

That cat is officially my computers desktop image. Way too adorable for its own good.

Comment #15 - Posted by: Corey at September 7, 2009 8:03 PM

If that's a cougar, it will never be safe as long as Eric G is around. He hunts cougars like Coach Burg hunts for the perfect snatch. That kitty better sleep with one eye open...

Strong Lil' Pony, where the heck are you sister? My spidey senses detect a disturbance in the force. Don't make me send Barry Cooper, cause you are the droids he's looking for.

Your PB 80's song of the day: When in Rome, The Promise. Play it and play it loud.

Man hugs and bad English to all my FRAT brothers and sisters! s'more, Carlox and Nelson, hope you guys are training hard. Rookie, my mate from down under, I know you're always hitting it with all you've got. I'm proud of you.

To the FRAT Paleo crew, keep it clean and keep it real. Love you all, looking forward to Friday!

Comment #16 - Posted by: Playoff Beard at September 7, 2009 8:03 PM

That is the cutest kitty ever!

Too bad they just took down the rope at my gym—lawyers said to : (

Comment #17 - Posted by: sharon Miller at September 7, 2009 8:04 PM

fascinating post, thanks coach. I think its great that Newark has created a true public space for the internet, with the warts and all. Its kind of inspiring to hear about someone eschewing business models and doing their own thing. In the end, the lack of interface serves to heighten and make more memorable the personal interface that follows. Each great electronics purchase I've made has a story that goes with it. I especially recall the crazy old cyclist who sold me an amplifier. We spent a good hour testing the thing out on his speakers, cranking the speakers to an ear deafening maximum while he was going through loopy explanations about acoustic waves. Its nice to have something online thats as rough around the edges and unrefined as our own oddly beautiful public spaces.

Comment #18 - Posted by: aether_tron at September 7, 2009 8:11 PM

PB- I LOVE YOU MAN. And the rest of the FRAT, who know the significance of BC looking for me- remember No Way Out/ Kevin Costner and the Metro?

I've had a hell of a week. A family member with a terminal illness asked to be taken off life support. Saturday evening I watched him take his last breath. It was sad, beautiful and peaceful. Goat was there to comfort me - I am forever grateful.

Thanks to my friends. I'm back!

Comment #19 - Posted by: Strong Lil Pony! at September 7, 2009 8:16 PM

sharon Miller - where is your gym? I'd love to get a rope for cheap - slightly used doesn't bother me.

Comment #20 - Posted by: KSW at September 7, 2009 8:22 PM

lol steve b you did you did thaw a puddy cat
that little kitty is now my new desktop pic at work

Comment #21 - Posted by: Sot at September 7, 2009 8:25 PM

RE Comment #16

PB, it's trivia time: What recent (read: during the last decade) popular movie played that song you mentioned by When in Rome (awesome's in the running on my iPod list as the consummate '80s song!) during the credits?

Comment #22 - Posted by: J.T. at September 7, 2009 8:43 PM


Sorry to hear that, hang in.

Comment #23 - Posted by: John-in-Jersey 34/6'0/190 at September 7, 2009 8:44 PM

Playoff Beard,

I haven't been posting for a while, have you been doing the 80's song of the day for long? I love the premise. I love all music, especially stuff I'm not familiar with, which isn't much. Here's a few, enjoy.

Silverchair - Straight Lines
Kiss - I Love it Loud
The Cadillacs - Speedo
Thompson Twins - Hold me now


Comment #24 - Posted by: John-in-Jersey 34/6'0/190 at September 7, 2009 8:56 PM

My guess is a mountain lion cub. Definitely no house cat. But why is it there?

Comment #25 - Posted by: Sophia at September 7, 2009 9:00 PM

Read the Wired piece last week. Interesting, much to be learned from it.

Comment #26 - Posted by: Robb Wolf at September 7, 2009 9:29 PM

You had me until Thompson Twins - really??

loved the craigslist story and the idea of using Haikus to deter spammers and objectionable posters. How about crossfit haikus?

pushing myself hard
the WOD really makes my day
but yet I puke

Comment #27 - Posted by: cutsnake at September 7, 2009 9:49 PM

awesome photo ... thank you for the rest day. i'm off to the pool to get some laps in!

Comment #28 - Posted by: Phoenix at September 7, 2009 9:56 PM


I've been looking for that perfect snatch since about 13.

Also could someone snatch that cat and put in a box.

Oh the innuendo. 10,000 quantaloo's to the first person who can identify the quote.


You are the best kind of people. I'm glad I know you.

Comment #29 - Posted by: jakers at September 7, 2009 10:34 PM

Coach is like the savvy, articulate version of Newark. I wonder which he enjoys more, programming the WODs or selecting rest day pieces?

Comment #30 - Posted by: Lee Prince at September 7, 2009 10:40 PM

It's from "The Outsiders"

Comment #31 - Posted by: Lee Prince at September 7, 2009 10:41 PM

that's a baby cougar. GO COUGS!!

Comment #32 - Posted by: thauf at September 7, 2009 11:04 PM

Crossfit cougar!!!

Comment #33 - Posted by: Garnell at September 7, 2009 11:42 PM

Wow, I did a quick google of baby cougar and that kitty definitely looks like one. Those things can jump up 20 foot cliffs like nothing when fully grown. Absolutely horrible pet to have. You would have to keep it caged to contain it, which is a horrible life for a cougar. And it could potentially be incredibly dangerous as they routinely take down larger animals than humans in the wild.

Comment #34 - Posted by: DerekC at September 7, 2009 11:54 PM

Squat - 365 lbs
deadlift - 405 lbs (PR)
shoulder press - 165 lbs

I've been doing crossfit for about 6 weeks and love it. the shoulder presses today were tough for me as i have never focused on the shoulder press as a core lift. any tips or recommended WOD's to help my shoulder press?

Comment #35 - Posted by: Air Force A1C at September 8, 2009 12:32 AM

Huge props for the non-political thought provoking article.

Comment #36 - Posted by: B2 at September 8, 2009 1:58 AM

Why did u go there #36 now it will be forced in some how. Everyone enjoy the rest day I know I will.

Comment #37 - Posted by: brad 21/6'/165 at September 8, 2009 2:12 AM


They are some incredible figures you posted there!

Comment #38 - Posted by: Barndillo at September 8, 2009 3:34 AM

this dang workout routine is a joke, right?

Comment #39 - Posted by: Weedaholic at September 8, 2009 3:43 AM

occecat? serval?

whatever that baby claw beast is, it's gorgeous. more information, pretty please!

and, Bingo, if you're reading this: Quit it & go back to eyeballing BC, s'il vous plait.

Comment #40 - Posted by: Spider Chick at September 8, 2009 3:57 AM

Pixie-bob is my guess. Domestic cat bred to look like a bobcat.

Comment #41 - Posted by: Stretch at September 8, 2009 4:30 AM

ran 2.5 miles:21:30

Comment #42 - Posted by: stick at September 8, 2009 4:39 AM

Hey all,

Eric is a baby cougar about 4 months old. One of our members works at a local zoo so we have had a few animals come by our place.

We got a bunch of really cool pics. If you would like to see more please shoot me an email and I would be happy to send them out.

Enjoy the rest day!

Comment #43 - Posted by: cass - CF Oshawa at September 8, 2009 5:02 AM

Hey baby cougar Eric! 10 L-sit rope climbs for time. GO!

Comment #44 - Posted by: runningStrong at September 8, 2009 5:29 AM

Made up a WOD from 2008 games:

5 rounds of:
5 deadlifts 275#
10 burpees

1) 0:43
2) 1:05
3) 1:20
4) 1:13
5) 1:23

Total: 5:45

Comment #45 - Posted by: Arthur M/34/5'11"/175 at September 8, 2009 5:33 AM


missing a syllable on your last line...

Comment #46 - Posted by: billy at September 8, 2009 6:25 AM

I don't get it.

I WAS wondering last night why they didn't use shotguns or burp guns on the Jedi.

And why their Kenjutsu was so bad.

Many days I'm not sure how I get my shoes tied, and something productive done. Believe it or not, though, I do, even though all indications might appear to the contrary.

Comment #47 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at September 8, 2009 6:39 AM

As far as the cat, if you're going to keep it, make sure you keep small children away from it. I know someone who had one, and it nearly killed someones child. He had to tackle it, as it was making its approach. I would suspect dogs and smaller cats would also not be safe.

Comment #48 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at September 8, 2009 6:42 AM

#47 lol
Thanks billy
It was originally 'vomit' but changed to crossfit terminology and failed to ammend accordingly.

Comment #49 - Posted by: cutsnake at September 8, 2009 7:20 AM

Been crossfitting for 9 months and looking for crossfit cycling training akin to the Crossfit Endurance program. Struggling to convert Crossfit Endurance to understandable cycling workouts. Any tips on websites to consult?

Comment #50 - Posted by: CFK at September 8, 2009 7:38 AM

RE Comment #22 - Posted by: J.T.

Do the chickens have talons?

Comment #51 - Posted by: MJ at September 8, 2009 8:12 AM

Is that cat a wild animal or a domestic kitten?

Comment #52 - Posted by: Joanna at September 8, 2009 8:30 AM

RE Comment #52:

Do they have what? I don't understand a word you just said (sipping from a drinking glass full of raw eggs)

Comment #53 - Posted by: J.T. at September 8, 2009 8:54 AM

Whose mountain lion/puma/cougar kitten is that??? How'd you get it??? It takes some doing (permits) to have one in captivity, especially if it's not housed in a zoo. Do you do wildlife/environmental ed? Do you run a wildlife rehab/rescue facility?

Comment #54 - Posted by: mike at September 8, 2009 9:37 AM

#55 Mike, #53 Joanna, #49 Barry

Eric is a baby cougar from a local zoo. He is not a domestic cat nor a wild animal. He is owned by a local zoo and his trainer is a member at our local affiliate. He is not dangerous (yet)and his keeper was with him at all times. Barry I can assure you that cat is safe, I personally picked him up and held him.

Comment #55 - Posted by: cass - CF Oshawa at September 8, 2009 9:54 AM



Front Squats
145 x 5
165 x 5
180 x 5 PR

High Rep Back Squats
145 x 15 x 1

1/2 "Angie"

Per Spiderchick, back to BC (which, BTW, I stayed up reading last night, thank you very much...)

Comment #56 - Posted by: bingo at September 8, 2009 10:11 AM

did a modified fran today since im new to crossfit.

45# barbell thrusters and 1/2 BW (70lbs) gravitron pullups
21-15-9 completed in 9:20

unbroken thrusters, pullups broken by 10s and 5s mostly

Comment #57 - Posted by: Brandi 19/140/69" at September 8, 2009 10:11 AM

I had to save that photo - it was irresistible-y adorable!

Comment #58 - Posted by: Mona Lisa Moon at September 8, 2009 10:14 AM

RE Comment #16

PB, it's trivia time: What recent (read: during the last decade) popular movie played that song you mentioned by When in Rome (awesome's in the running on my iPod list as the consummate '80s song!) during the credits?
Comment #22 - Posted by: J.T. at September 7, 2009 8:43 PM

Napoleon Dynamite?

Comment #59 - Posted by: Playoff Beard at September 8, 2009 10:19 AM

#38 newbie

??? The world record raw deadlift is 939 lbs. So unless you just pulled a world record by over 500 lbs. I'm not quite sure about that 1500lbs.

Comment #60 - Posted by: Mike at September 8, 2009 10:21 AM

There are no zoos in the Brunswick, Maine area, but we've had several POLAR BEARS working out at CrossFit 321. I'm pretty sure there are pictures. Meanwhile, those things can get dangerous.

Comment #61 - Posted by: WeemsFit at September 8, 2009 10:28 AM

RE to Comments #60, #54, and #52:

Yipperoo! I'm a huge fan of 80's music and, believe it or not, the first time I heard that song was while watching ND for the first time. A movie that I watched recently had a really kickin' remake of "Kids in America" during the credits...and was it not "Scream" or "The Faculty" that played an updated (and rather platable) remake of "From a Whisper to a Scream" during the credits? I guess we know where to listen for cool re-do's...the movie credits!

Comment #62 - Posted by: J.T. at September 8, 2009 10:44 AM

missed all weekend. gonna do Saturday and Sunday today. should be fun, wish me luck!

Comment #63 - Posted by: Josh Sr. at September 8, 2009 10:46 AM

Just finished the 2 Weight WODs that I missed this weekend.

C&J 175-175-185-185-195-205-215

CF Total = 1025 PR
SQ 365
SP 185 (PR)
DL 475 (PR)

Comment #64 - Posted by: Gabriel Wright at September 8, 2009 10:48 AM

Hey guys, I have been following the WOD for awhile now, after completing a dissapointing 9 weeks on p90x .. and I am hoping to see the results. I'm in the Army, and alot of the guys in my unit have been following these workouts religiously for awhile now and seem to be in great shape. Any tips/tricks to help boost the fat burn, and I've also noticed a lack or arms on these workouts, biceps, triceps, etc? Any input?

Comment #65 - Posted by: Zmac at September 8, 2009 11:08 AM

CFSBII wk 3, metcon

AMRAP 20 min. 5 ring-dips, 10 double-unders, 15 situps

15 rds.

At Hotel Malarrimo, Guerrero Negro, Baja.

Congrats on the PR Bingo.

Comment #66 - Posted by: mas 52/M/150 at September 8, 2009 11:10 AM

Is that a wildcat??

Comment #67 - Posted by: Maximus@CF East Bay at September 8, 2009 11:12 AM


Welcome to the good side of working out without isolating specific muscles

Comment #68 - Posted by: mikeyb at September 8, 2009 12:00 PM


Also look at the Crossfit Warm up, lots of pull up and dips.

First post here, I have been doing cross-fit since mid July.
Yesterday was my first time with CFT and today I feel completly washed. Is it normal that a dozen 1 RM lift kills you more than a very solid metcon like the one we had on Sunday

Comment #69 - Posted by: PBarr at September 8, 2009 12:52 PM

I love that pic!

Comment #70 - Posted by: lindsay at September 8, 2009 1:10 PM

wow just got to Sunday's workout, only 4 rnds complete. that was horrible, in a good way. For those that made all 6, nice work!

Comment #71 - Posted by: craig at September 8, 2009 2:01 PM

Yes, I get that there aren't muscle groups targeted, and trust me these workouts have been smoking me big time, I just wanted to know if yall added in abs or anything now and again since I have to be able to do situps for our PT test as well? I just dont want to over train.

Comment #72 - Posted by: Zmac at September 8, 2009 2:33 PM

could not take a rest day, so did the filthy 50 in a great time of 23:55, feeling goooooood

M 45

Comment #73 - Posted by: jim at September 8, 2009 2:36 PM

and I couldn't take the rest day either .. so I decided to go for a nice 5K instead.

19:00:10 .. PR!!


Comment #74 - Posted by: Zmac at September 8, 2009 2:48 PM

AMRAP 20 minutes:
3 handstand pushups
5 deadlifts (225)
7 pullups

12 rounds + 4

Yay for kipping handstand pushups

Comment #75 - Posted by: BJS - M/6'0/180 at September 8, 2009 3:09 PM

Are the feet on that cat normal? they look huge!

Comment #76 - Posted by: mr_pete at September 8, 2009 3:14 PM

felt frisky today... Soooo
five rounds for time of:
115 lb clean and jerk, ten reps
run 400m around burning hot track
25 push ups
finished in 23:47

Comment #77 - Posted by: snix M 33 5'11 178 lbs at September 8, 2009 3:16 PM

Cass you better watch out. Them Cougars turn aggressive once they turn 45.

Comment #78 - Posted by: Asim at September 8, 2009 3:24 PM

10x hang power snatch
run 50 yards
10x pullup
back-pedal 50 yards

AMRAP 15 min

pr: 5 complete rounds

Comment #79 - Posted by: nate/26/6'/185 at September 8, 2009 3:39 PM

Nice rest day post. Craigslist is great. Yesterday I created an ad to give away a 1980-ish Commodore 64 computer. Within 30 minutes it had been picked up and taken away by a nearby retro-geek. Compare that to Facebook, which would have wanted to own the photo and sell both my contact info and the buyer's to online advertisers. Thank you, Mr. Newmark, for not feeling the need to "monetize" every transaction.

Comment #80 - Posted by: Joe P at September 8, 2009 4:12 PM

RE to Comment #59:

Yipperoo, PB! I'm a huge fan of '80s music and, believe it or not, the first time I heard "The Promise" was when I watched ND. Occasionally, movie credits are a cool place to catch tunes...lately, I've heard awesome remakes of "Kids in America" and "From a Whisper to a Scream" by NOT ejecting the DVD immediately after the final scene. When remakes of '80s classics began to surface, I was a staunch adversary of this trend, but admittedly, some of them are pretty darn good...and have earned a place on my iPod playlist (such sacrilege!) :^)

Comment #81 - Posted by: J.T. at September 8, 2009 4:53 PM

Got my first Muscle up today!!!

I have to say thank you to Chuck and Crystal for the tips last weekend. It finally all came
together for me. Also have to say thanks to Brice for the motivation!

Comment #82 - Posted by: Mike J at September 8, 2009 5:26 PM

#78 J.T.

Whoo-hoo! What did I win???

Me too, I've got tons of 80's music in the old iPod. I can't believe it's been so long already, time sure flies doesn't it?

Wow, I sound just like my old man...sigh :-)

Comment #83 - Posted by: Playoff Beard at September 8, 2009 5:31 PM

Am I going to have to be the one to point out the similarities between CrossFit and Craigslist?

Please discuss.

Comment #84 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at September 8, 2009 5:48 PM

I'm a cougar and proud of it. LOL. Love that pic and article.

Comment #85 - Posted by: Jenn from CO f/39/5'8" at September 8, 2009 8:08 PM

22 / M / 5'9" / 135lb

As many rounds as possible in 20 mins of
95lb thruster x5
95lb hang power clean x7
95lb sdhp x10

Scaled to 65lbs

5 rounds + 5 + 7 + 2

Comment #86 - Posted by: BC at September 8, 2009 9:42 PM

4 Rounds of:
30 x 6 kg wall ball
15 back extensions/15 full sit ups
30 pull ups

19:53 ouch.

Comment #87 - Posted by: 42elysium at September 9, 2009 5:55 AM

Re: #81 similarities between Craigslist & Crossfit.

Forgive me for saying the obvious, but I see both sites eschewing pirate business practices (decisions to make money to the detriment of others). Both sites focus on helping people and let the money find them. Both provide useable free information. Both have become overwhelming in their areas of expertise.

Comment #88 - Posted by: michaelchasetx m/56y/137#/76" at September 9, 2009 7:54 AM

4 rounds
5 towel pull ups
5 pull ups
5 shoulder press 95#
10 squats 95#
10 straight leg deadlify 95#

3 rounds
10 back extensions
10 crunches

took it relatively easy, 56 mile bike yesterday

Comment #89 - Posted by: DNICE/M/34/175 at September 9, 2009 8:32 AM

Goat- yoo hoo, where are you? CF's Rest Day needs you! Put down the tools, stop working on your house and do something unproductive with your time.

Comment #90 - Posted by: Strong Lil Pony! at September 9, 2009 6:02 PM

It's only unproductive if nobody takes anything away from what I say. Come to think of it, that probably means it's unproductive.

Either way the house needs to get done. I must break free of my shackles. Would you mind filling in for me on the rest days?

Comment #91 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/185/5'-11" at September 9, 2009 6:49 PM

That's what I meant by unproductive- no one listens to you, they think you are "too entrenched" in your mindset. Plus, when you tell people to find the start button for their brain, well... :)

Well, if Saturday's article has to do with: Yoga, holistic medicine, belly dancing or 80s BritPop, I can handle it. Otherwise you Libertarians are on your own.

I may have to take those tools away myself :)

Comment #92 - Posted by: Strong Lil Pony! at September 9, 2009 7:14 PM

Look, you don't have to argue like I do, and you don't have to know what you are talking about. Just state your opinion, get pissed when someone disagrees, and make personal attacks against them without ever addressing what they are saying. That's how rest day discussions work, silly.

Comment #93 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/185/5'-11" at September 9, 2009 7:21 PM

Hah, my comment got deleted for doing exactly what Goat said. I suppose sarcasm is a lost art.

Comment #94 - Posted by: Nick at September 9, 2009 8:50 PM

That rope's gonna get owned when the cat is done counting to 3.

Comment #95 - Posted by: Tio at September 9, 2009 8:54 PM

My two cents:

Reading the story, one is struck by the almost accidental nature of the success of Craigslist. There was no business plan. There were no MBA's. They did not do any of the thing business supposedly need to do to survive, like constantly innovate, increase the number of profit centers, and charge what the market will bear.

This guy just found something he liked--he almost reminds me of Chauncey from "Being There" (I like to type)--and kept at it; not out of any large plan, but just because the work was there to be done, and he didn't mind it. It sounds like he must have enjoyed it, or he wouldn't have done it.

Manifestly, the personalities of "Craig", and Coach Glassman are quite different, but it seems to me the progression has been about the same. He was doing something he liked--personal training. He had no grand plans, no 10 year visions, or anything like that.

As I understand the story, someone--I think it was Brian Mulvaney--talked him into putting his daily WOD's onto a website. They go back farther, I think, but here is the first one that can be linked to:

There are no comments.

Year by year, Cert. by cert., this thing has grown into a monster. It is managed by a very small number of people, who are not Harvard MBA's recruited to maximize profits, but rather people who have been with Coach all along, that he likes, and that are passionate about what we do.

Self evidently, Coach could write some books, or publish a video series, or make the WOD's subscriber only, or this that and the other.

But he doesn't. The money is good, things are working, so why screw with it?

One of the things that I think some Ayn Rand readers miss (and please forgive me, as I know there are a lot of you) is that there is a difference between a commitment to quality/excellence, and a commitment to personal aggrandizement.

It is interesting to me that the closest thing to a Harvard MBA who hit Craiglist--the woman ran things for a bit, then split to make her strike of California dot com gold--wound up a failure, at least in that venture.

There is something beautiful about Capitalism, that is often lost. There is something beautiful about a little shop that you own, that you run the way you want, that makes ENOUGH money for you and yours, and that becomes a part of your identitiy in a good, foundational way.

One could even, I think, argue that our current "mega-capitalism" is to what is possible what most actual religious practice is to what is possible. We can do so much better.

And it is usually the same people who want to jettison both religion and capitalism, in favor of ideas which have failed everywhere they have been tried.

What they miss is that the choice is not between the status quo and "revolution", but rather between using your heart, and being dead to life.

Comment #96 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at September 10, 2009 5:40 AM

Hey Barry, Wonderful interpretation I totally agree! I really enjoyed your conclusion.

Comment #97 - Posted by: aether_tron at September 10, 2009 3:06 PM

I agree, Barry. There is a sort of elegance in the simplicity of owning a business that produces "enough", eh? A virtue, somewhat noble. How many times have we read about the entrepreneur who cashed out, only to be set adrift on the flow of his riches, all purpose and achievement left behind.

How pure the capitalism that is at work when the owner is free to do the next right thing for the right person at the right time...

Comment #98 - Posted by: bingo at September 10, 2009 3:12 PM


I really do think that capitalism and genuine political liberalism are the best means yet developed for allowing "the people"--who do exist, just not in socialist schemes--to develop meaningful goodness, and genuinely nurturing communities.

I think, too, of Hitler's mentor, Napoleon (he actually preferred to just be called "Bonaparte") when he commented that England was a "nation of shopkeepers". To me, that was a compliment. Very much the economic version of Voltaire's "minding your own garden", which may be the best we can do in this life. Certainly, that is the Taoist in me speaking.


You are using a lot of big words, but can we agree that if the State is the problem, then less entanglement from the State--less overall involvement in ALL sectors--would be an obvious improvement?

I'm guessing your answer is no, but I'm curious to hear your logic. We have discussed the problems of last year at length here, and I'm quite comfortable with my grasp of the topic.

Comment #99 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at September 10, 2009 4:36 PM

Barry #100

Don't think your going to get any logic from Alice as she knows not of what she speaks. She is merely quoting Noam Chomsky.

Comment #100 - Posted by: wolffo at September 10, 2009 6:18 PM


I don't want to read too much into your comment on "mega capitalism", but I wonder if you might include (in addition to the State) share-holder-capitalists as undermining shop-keeper-partnership capitalism?

I think the golden goose (or at least a portion of it) is greed, or more benignly, ambition. I don't think you can ever ask a producer to produce "enough". I think Mandeville and Hume and Smith had this mostly right, and that what Machiavelli might have called vainglorious capitalism (had he lived another 400 years) is actually productive, so long as (and this is key)laws and institutions exist that can counter the juggernaught of capital accumulation. Capital accumulation is not just an economic danger, it is a political one. Whether it is the State (USSR) or a business entity (Banana Republic) or a combination (petrol-state, Raj) the danger is real. There is a political element to capital (this isn't Marxism, this is common sense) and where capital flows so does political power, and where political power flows so does tyranny on the one hand, and liberty on the other.

I'm not suggesting an unprincipled mixed-economy-welfare-statism in opposition to principled libertarianism.

The principle is balance. It is counterweight, it is the principle animating the US Constitution. How the balance is set is messy, imprecise, the product of avarice and corruption, and in a state of 300 million people its pretensions to legitimacy may be the result of lethargy and fear more than democratic committment and responsiveness, or it may not, it may be absolutely legitimate (it's hard to tell when you are just a Prole). What we argue about (and our respective countries) vote on (most of us anyway), is where to set the balance for a period of time.

Incidentally, in my version of Candide, Voltaire has Candide use the plural possessive "our": "let us cultivate our garden."

Comment #101 - Posted by: Prole at September 10, 2009 7:46 PM

Hah! Well played, wolffo. I thought that piece seemed oddly non-responsive.

Also, Barry, you ask us to agree - without further debate - to something that requires a lot of proof, discussion, and examination of individual circumstances. If the state is the problem, removing it is an improvement; the same goes for clowns with red noses. Your statement doesn't do much to forward the discussion. On the other hand, I do agree that capitalism - within certain bounds, some of which Chomsky's statement actually points out - along with political liberalism are the best tools yet developed to advance the cause of humanity as a whole.

Comment #102 - Posted by: Nick at September 10, 2009 9:17 PM

I liked the Chomsky piece actually and agreed with it.

I'm not at all sure what "principled libertarianism" would look like. Do we have "principled anything" right now? I've been around the houses about this whole issue on here before. Essentially, leaving everything as unregulated as possible, so that people can "do what they like" doesn't to my mind end up with a fair and just society. We're not starting from scratch with this. There are rules already about ownership of all assets on the planet. I read a piece the other day about a Lord who owns a farm of 25,000 acres in the UK. 25,000 acres! Probably a feudal gift to a long dead relative who fought in a battle. Everything is tied up already. We're not living in a savannah with plenty to hunt and fish. We're living in a HIGHLY regulated society, by virtue of the system of private property ownership we all seem to think is the greatest way of proceeding.

I think some other cultures (native North American Indian cultures for example) didn't believe possession of lands possible. Now there was a mindset and an environment where a libertarian attitude could maybe be given free reign. But let's take a kid born into poverty in a slum or even an inner-city in North America and tell that kid that "libertarianism" is a great concept. Tell it to the famine victim in Sudan. Everyone having the right to open their own store? Make their own way? Hard work will pay off? Let the markets decide? It's just nonsense to me. "Socialism" seems like a dirty word around here, but some sort of taxation and redistribution is precisely what is required to balance the massive injustices that arise every day because of asset allocation - because of the imbalances created through our system of private property rights. And remember that private property rights are enforced by the state with police, judiciary, prisons and even armies.

My grandfather used to say that there is a difference between making a living and making money. To him, there was honour in the former and the latter would ultimately lead to unhappiness. I think he was right.

Back to Craigslist. It seems to be many things. I don't use it and have never visited it. But it doesn't seem from the piece to be particularly good at moving with the times or offering a particularly good platform. It works in spite of its shortcomings. So is it an example of how the market sometimes doesn't work? Is it not in fact an example of someone holding back what might otherwise happen - lots of smaller and better sites - simply because they have first mover advantage? Is that yet another example of the type of concentration and perpetuation of power that "free markets" inherently produce?


Comment #103 - Posted by: J1 at September 11, 2009 1:23 AM


I think we can agree on that. Yes, there is a dynamic balance, and it is imprecise. It is precisely this imprecision that makes certain sorts of minds want to tinker with it, to make it "scientific". This is what Hayek calls "Constructivism", and which he deconstructs quite well in his many books, perhaps most notably "Fatal Conceit".

Quite clearly, excessive accumulations of power in any quarter are troubling, and anyone who says that billionaires cannot influence our political process for purely personal ends is silly.

At the same time, even in that system you have multiplicities of interests. The interests of GE and of Exxon do not dovetail. They are in conflict, to some extent, just as, on a much smaller scale, the opinions of individuals in our system are in conflict. I want a new bridge, say, and you want after-school snacks or something. We have to negotiate.

The reason Statism, to me, is more worrying than the corruption of our process by corporations is that it makes the laws, and can weed out, through police power, all competing agendas. In the most direct way, this can be done simply by killing or jailing everyone who disagrees with you. In a more subtle way, it can be done by manipulating the media and educational system such that alternative viewpoints are simply shut out of the discussion, then ignored in the process of law-making, as appears to be happening now.

As far as the ghettoes, the simple fact is that most first generation immigrants wind up in one. They put 3 generations under one small roof, everyone works 2 jobs, and makes sure the kids get straight A's. In a generation or two they've moved up. There is a conveyor belt. No one stays poor, because there are simply too many opportunities for those who are willing to work.

The argument made that those unwilling to make these sacrifices--which by the way my parents and grandparents did--should be put on an elevator are silly. Clearly, we don't want people starving in the streets. At the same time, to encourage dependence is to encourage poverty, and manifestly that is what has happened.

Now, most of the poor people in this country live in trailers in the country, but nobody is trying to use them for political capital, and for their part they aren't trying to vote themselves new lives, as far as I can tell (I might well be wrong about that, but it doesn't affect my argument).

For people willing to work, our system works. That's why the lines to get here are so long. I guess my question, then, is why people who are not willing to work should expect results incommensurate with their efforts?

All of our grandparents put their time in. Why shouldn't everyone else?

Finally, on Alice: that is pathetic simply quoting things you don't understand. Chomsky's whole program revolves around dancing at the margins of people's understanding. His task is to make you think he's said something profound, link it with an actionable agenda, and condition you over time not to ask questions.

He's a propagandist, plain and simple.

Comment #104 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at September 11, 2009 5:16 AM


I'll give you "our", provided the members of the group could share a chili dinner at local community center.

Comment #105 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at September 11, 2009 3:40 PM
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