Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mike Eades Hits another Homerun


This post, once you get past the luggage review, is dense with information. First, how to think about observational studies v. an intervention study (crib notes - use one to form hypotheses, use the other to test them. The former is useless in establishing causality, the later is necessary to establish causality).

Second, he summarizes what we all need to know about fat cells and children.

Third, he touches on the fact that exercise has not been shown to be an effective tool for weight loss. He concisely summarizes the info on this topic and then comments on two recent studies confirming this opinion.

Lastly, he gets into fiber. I like his perspective: "Fiber - who needs it?" I don't.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Debt Tsunami


One way to look at just how much debt we've taken on. Astonishing. And it is repeated at the State, City, County level as well (googling 'the death spiral' always gets some interesting budgetary results). Apparently, there's a real appeal to spending other people's money for the purpose of getting oneself re-elected.

"The death spiral" is a term to describe what will happen to the federal budget if there's not a miraculous and unlikely reversal in the current debt trend. First, as the debt becomes more and more obviously unsustainable and therefore riskier for those that lend to the govt, the treasury will be required to pay more interest to attract investors in US Govt bonds. That will drive an increase in the amount of the budget that is spent on debt payments. That will contribute to, accellerate, the inability to pay for obligations (the largest of which is currently Medicaid - as of two years ago, Medicaid's obligations exceeded all other entitlements), and reinforce the cycle making rates higher, budget more precarious, and so on, until we cannot continue to find those who will lend.

My favorite part of the linked article is how they just roll social security in with the other 'spending' programs - weren't they supposed to just hold our own money for us and give it back to us when we needed it later in life? That's not spending ... that's investing, right? Except the politicians already spent our money - to get themselves re-elected presumably - and now they're going to generate new taxes so they can pay back the loan they took ... from us .... for our own benefit ... WTF?

Does Ahmadinejad Matter?


I've never thought the Iranian President mattered much, in the grand scheme of Iranian government, but this is a more detailed examination of the topic.

Patton - Assasinated?

Interesting idea -


Friday, June 26, 2009

Intrusive Leadership, A Life 'Saved'

Perhaps the better term is a 'life enhanced' or 'magnified' or 'accelerated' ... It's a great tale of leadership, what the Navy would term "intrusive leadership." There's plenty of character and transformation sprinkled in.

From a friend who would like to remain anonymous:
"I hardly deserve designation as a "Crossfitter". Three years ago I was about 50 pounds overweight and had become physically lazy. I was on the path to the extreme obesity that characterizes my extended family. A dear friend who is a personal trainer and member of my church told me he would not watch me "dig my grave with my spoon." Thus started three years of free training with him twice a week in his little private gym. His stuff is CF-like, but is very much his own. He's been in the biz for about twenty years, training everyone from the very elderly to athletes.

My intro to CF came shortly thereafter through another friend at church who is a federal LEO who I started training with for fun and extra accountability. That led to a tight friendship with these guys and a few others who surfaced as fitness psychos. So I have a very eclectic training routine. I have an appointment to work out with SOMEBODY four days a week!

The personal trainer's influence and insistence saved my life. He was not only the catalyst, he refused to let me quit for TWO YEARS. He made me keep a food journal, and once scheduled a meeting in my office to talk to me about junk food he saw on my shelves. Thanks to his diligence, fitness is now a passion of my own, though he still won't let me stop hitting his gym twice a week. And he still won't take money. I've finally settled into providing the bottled water, but it humbles and honors me when he comes to the gym at 6 a.m. to train me even when he sometimes knows that no other paying clients will be there. He's just that committed to my well being and our friendship. I'm a blessed man.

If you're still reading all this, thanks. I have a debt of gratitude to repay.

And precisely for that reason, I'm committed to being truthful and honoring those to whom honor is due."

My friend, I humbly salute your reclamation of your life and I'm sure you've realized by now how that process has magnified your own influence over your flock.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Alexis de Toqueville - He Knows Liberty

I culled these from a section linked below - all fascinating, considering their origin from a non-American who took a tour to understand the USA in 1835 or so. Many of these observations are as cogent today. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

* The man who asks of freedom anything other than itself is born to be a slave.
* It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights- the 'right' to education, the 'right' to health care, the 'right' to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery- hay and a barn for human cattle.
* Life is to entered upon with courage.
* The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.
* Variant: The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
* "The will of the nation" is one of those expressions which have been most profusely abused by the wily and the despotic of every age.
* There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.
* There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult- to begin a war and to end it.
* Trade is the natural enemy of all violent passions. Trade loves moderation, delights in compromise, and is most careful to avoid anger. It is patient, supple, and insinuating, only resorting to extreme measures in cases of absolute necessity. Trade makes men independent of one another and gives them a high idea of their personal importance: it leads them to want to manage their own affairs and teaches them to succeed therein. Hence it makes them inclined to liberty but disinclined to revolution.
* What is the most important for democracy is not that great fortunes should not exist, but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands. In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a class.
* A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.
* Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. *Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
* I have come across men of letters who have written history without taking part in public affairs, and politicians who have concerned themselves with producing events without thinking about them. I have observed that the first are always inclined to find general causes whereas the second, living in the midst of disconnected daily facts, are prone to imagine that everything is attributable to particular incidents, and that the wires they pull are the same as those that move the world. It is to be presumed that both are equally deceived.
* I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it.
* And if anyone asks me what I think the chief cause of the extraordinary prosperity and growing power of this nation (the USA), I should answer that it is due to the superiority of their women.
* In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end.
* In countries where associations are free, secret societies are unknown. In America there are factions, but no conspiracies.
* In order to enjoy the inestimable benefits that the liberty of the press ensures, it is necessary to submit to the inevitable evils it creates.
* No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country.
* http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Alexis_de_Tocqueville

CrossFit - Thank You

My CrossFit autobiography was published today in the CrossFit Journal - journal.crossfit.com - Forty Years in the Fitness Wilderness - and the Editor, Daniel Freedman, did a fantastic job helping me pare down the original morass of ideas, experiences and observations into something that I think is "Journal worthy." Thanks Daniel, and Mike (Warkentin).

So much was pared that I knew I wouldn't have time to say thanks in the article to the folks who have made my time in the "land of Cindy and Murph" (thanks to whomever at the CFJ came up with that line - I love it) so rich - aside from the sweat, pain and humility Cindy and Murph bring - so, in no order at all, thanks to Barry, Joey, David P, Jakers, Buck, John F, Mike B, Nicole, Dave C, Freddy C, Carrie, Brian M, Mary Conover, Bingo, Karen, Dale, Dr. Glassman, Jeff and Mikki, Cyndi, Nichole, Debbie, Jay, Chris, MAS, Mark Maz, Mary R, Chuck, Jenni, Pat, and Jon - and the 100s of other folks that have made CrossFit the transformation force it has become. I've forgotten some names while sitting here - hopefully I've been able to communicate my gratitude to all of you at some point after my escape from the Fitness Wilderness.

I thank Greg and Lauren so often it bores even me, can't even guess how bored of that they are (and it still seems inadequate), but I thought of a way to put thankfulness into practice while listening to Greg speak (and watching the impact on the crowd) at the Ramona cert last weekend. I think the best I may be able to do is to learn to be the best trainer I can be. Greg and Lauren's creation is giving a new lease on abundant life to so many people, and the basis of that is giving us functional human movement. This is a challenging task, given all of the maladaptation we experience from a life lived in chairs. Being able to pass that gift along, by working to develop our the coaching craft, might be the most potent way we can give back. Even if there's a better way to give back to Greg and Lauren, I don't think they'd feel slighted if we all pursued 'coaching as 'thank you'.

If there's any bigger thank yous that I could owe, it's a continuous thanks to Mom and Dad for their example of living a good life and to Janet, who's gone much farther than supporting my CrossFit adventure, she's joined me. She's even invited me to coach her, it would be an effort to give me a better compliment than that.

I believe it is self evident that if fitness were left to the government, CrossFit would never have been known. I don't know of any simpler or more elegant lessons for those in favor of liberty.

CrossFit - thank you. Paul

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Liberty or Notliberty - Seems Like "No Brainer"

We can organize an economy based on cooperation - in other words, based on liberty - or we can organize it based on coercion - State run. I would think that the default for anyone who can conceive of liberty, would be to think first of liberty as the means of organization.

That so many do not think first of liberty, that so many default to State coercion, is a testament to the mis-education of the many. I have been wondering of late whether it is in the interest of the State to properly educate its Citizenry. I think it may not be so.