September 2010

23 Sep 2010

People are upset about the economy. They’re grasping for alternatives to the current political class. Someone recently noted that the great danger of the Tea Party is that it feels like a revolution to its members, but it doesn’t address any of the issues that really matter.

This is true. It is fun to watch incumbents squirm and then lose, but if the “new people” are just going to repeal Obamacare, maintain tax rates, and cut discretionary spending to the level of a few years ago, well, then they’re using a teaspoon to shovel snow during a blizzard. It’s nothing but a start. Drastic problems need drastic solutions. The public isn’t there yet, no matter how much we hear the word “revolution” this fall.

I now call myself a libertarian for lack of a better word. I’m not wholly comfortable with that term. Like other terms (“conservative”), it has its baggage. There are a lot of competing understandings of the word. But that’s true in the conservative world, too.

However, let’s summarize the solutions to the massive spending that threatens a complete economic collapse in this country. First, entitlement spending (Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, etc.) must be phased out. The money has already been squandered and we have seen the devastation welfare has caused. Second, government control of the money supply that enables overspending and boom/bust cycles needs to end (eliminate the Fed, repeal legal tender laws, end the moral hazards such as the FDIC). Third, the U.S. needs to end its military presence in over 100 countries. Don’t we all know the course of empire? Fourth, the Federal Register needs to be thrown into a bonfire. An economist noted that federal regulations alone cost $1.2T a year. That’s over 30% more than the government collected in income tax revenues last year. Fifth, public education needs to end. Why do people to see something sinister in countries with their red-scarved children, and yet they imagine that our government schools do not advance the state’s agenda? Public schools– and I include universities, of course– are government indoctrination centers.

Reread that last paragraph. Do conservative Republicans advance that kind of agenda? No. Libertarians like Ron Paul do.

13 Sep 2010

Of all the workouts I do, if I had to keep one it’d be the yoga. I’ve found nothing better to improve strength, flexibility, posture, and especially balance. It’s not fun to do, but you feel great afterward. It’s good for your back. It complements weight training and aerobics.

Until I did P90X, I thought that yoga was for Hindus and New Age goofballs. Indeed, if you look into yoga it won’t be long until you start hearing about organic yoga apparel, and, worse, “spirituality” (always a red-flag). However, yoga is slowly getting shorn of its pagan roots. Although P90X Yoga does have a little of secularized “ohm” stuff at the beginning and end (which I faithfully skip), the rest of it is simply a tough workout. I watch TV while I’m doing it, just as I do while lifting weights. Jillian Michaels, for one, has a power yoga DVD that has no “spiritual” component. Just the moves: stretching, postures, and using your own body weight. People tell me that fitness clubs now offer “just moves” yoga classes, too. Yoga moves are being used in physical therapy. Yoga stretches at the beginning of aerobic workouts.

Yoga is going mainstream. The deceivers and goofballs are still out there, though, so discernment is necessary. If you’re doing yoga to empty your mind and find inner tranquility, or if you’re after anything more than a good workout and stretch, then you’re on shaky ground at best. I’d avoid yoga that has any “spiritual” component whatsoever. Proceed with caution. Just the moves, ma’m.

One last concern: Do you lose your man card? Maybe, but I don’t find it particularly effeminate.