Bill Clinton calls Obamacare ‘crazy system,’ just as people who understand basic economics said since 2010

bill_clinton-abc-screenshot

A really weird thing happened in Flint, Michigan on Monday: Bill Clinton criticized The [not so] Affordable Act just as Republicans have since 2010.

This blog said years ago that anyone who understood basic economics could predict exactly what would happen with the passage of Obamacare — and now the former president is on the campaign trail for his wife sounding like your friendly neighborhood blogger.

Here is what he said:

You’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world.”

I worked for three different organizations since The [not so] Affordable Care Act was signed into law, and the cost of insurance plans spiked at all of them. Early on, I was trying to live inside the Beltway on less than $40,000 a year while trying to pay off students loans from USC and American University. (Try making that work with a morning commute into the city while paying rent.)

“The people that are getting killed in this deal are small business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies,” Mr. Clinton added at one point.

Indeed! I and millions of other hard-working Americans knew the feeling all too well. And, yes Mr. Clinton, I was working well over 60 hours per week at the time.

The funny thing is, the next step will be to call for a total takeover of the health care system by the federal government. Republicans claimed that Obamacare was a Trojan Horse for socialized health care, and they were called conspiracy theorists. But that is exactly what is happening.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 13:

It looks like 2017 will be ObamaCare’s worst year yet. The three major insurers, along with many smaller plans, are largely exiting the health-insurance exchanges, leaving more than half of U.S. counties with only one or two health-plan choices, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Nearly 36% of ObamaCare regions may have only one participating insurance carrier offering plans for 2017, according to health-care analytics firm Avalere Health. Data from analysts at Barclays and Credit Suisse project that health-insurance premiums are expected to rise at least 24% in 2017.

To rescue President Obama’s health-care law, Hillary Clinton has proposed resurrecting the “public option.” This failed idea—a government-run health-care plan to compete with private insurers—can’t save ObamaCare. But introducing it across the country would move the U.S. much closer to the single-payer system progressives have always longed for. …

In 2011 Vermont tried to use this waiver process to introduce a public option, only to abandon it three years later when it became clear that the scheme would yield skyrocketing taxes on small businesses.

If you think health care is expensive now, then just wait until it’s “free.” And if you don’t think that will happen, then simply take a step into the the Douglas Ernst Blog Time Machine and consider the following: There will always be men like Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber on call for the next Democrat president.

Mr. Gruber told an audience at the University of Pennsylvania in November 2014:

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. So it’s written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said healthy people are going to pay in — it made explicit the healthy pay in and the and sick people get money — it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

Yep. That actually happened — and it’s only a matter of time before the next “Gruber” gives it a shot with socialized health care.

Democrats like Jonathan Gruber need people to be stupid to get signature pieces of legislation passed. They want people to be stupid. Consider that as you walk into the voting booth in November, and then again when your Democrat neighbor bashes charter schools.

Related:

‘Hope and Change’ sticker shock hits America: ‘I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it’

Harvard professors who championed Obamacare now livid over rising health care costs

Harry Reid acts as if the Internet doesn’t exist: ‘All’ Obamacare horror stories are untrue

Listen to Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber and then think about Obama’s call for Net Neutrality

Will Ferrell goes soulless ghoul route, plans Reagan ‘dementia’ romp

Will Ferrell

Political pundits often wonder why the United States seems to be falling apart at the seams. There are many reasons for the slow-motion implosion, but one of them relates a cultural celebration of men and women whose principal appeal among fans is that they have no shame.

When a famous individual with no shame becomes a partisan political hack, one might say a dark spark occurs within them and you get what appears to be a soulless ghoul. There is no low that a ghoul will not go to destroy his political enemies, even if the result is a pyrrhic victory.

Will Ferrell’s decision to shop around a dementia romp about former President Ronald Reagan is an excellent example of America’s cultural hatchet men.

Variety reported Wednesday:

“Having already famously portrayed former President George W. Bush in various comedy sketches, Will Ferrell is now setting his sights on another former commander in chief.

Sources tell Variety Ferrell is attached to star as President Ronald Reagan in the Black List script “Reagan.”

Penned by Mike Rosolio, the story begins at the start of the ex-president’s second term when he falls into dementia and an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the commander in chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.

The script was so popular following its announcement on the Black List, an annual catalog of the top unproduced scripts in Hollywood, that a live read was recently done in March starring Lena Dunham and John Cho.”

Only to a sick soul does Alzheimer’s disease become an opportunity for knee-slapping good times at the local movie theater. Imagine the “fun” Mr. Ferrell could have if he found out Ronald Reagan was molested as a child or that a close friend of his died of cancer…

If you ever wondered why it seems increasingly harder for people to disagree without being disagreeable, then look no further than the anointed purveyors of cool within the entertainment industry — the Will Ferrells and Lena Dunhams of the world love to lather themselves up in the politics of personal destruction and then fling it around with drive and purpose. They claim to love America, but the reality is quite different. They lust for a world that is as sick and twisted as whatever it is inside them that makes dementia a launching pad for political attacks.

Update, Friday, April 29: It looks like the backlash finally got to Mr. Ferrell. He has now backed out of the project.

Proactive healing: Recovery requires hard work and a humble mind

Sciatic nerves NIH

Regular readers of this blog know that while I am a writer, I also enjoy physical exercise. What they do not know is that for the past year I have dealt with chronic back pain, which left me inactive for the first time in my life. Now that I have almost completely alleviated the pain, I think sharing the lessons I learned from the experience may be applicable to anyone in need of healing — physical, mental, or spiritual.

Roughly one year ago my back seized up and I found myself on a hardwood floor after 10,000 volts of electricity seemingly ran through my body. It took about 45 minutes to crawl towards my bedroom about 15 feet away. I was covered with sweat after pulling myself into bed (where I spent the next four days). Afterward, the pain lingered throughout my lower back and butt, but I had no idea where it came from.

“Is my old back injury from the Army acting up? Did pushing my wife’s car out of the snow damage something? Did I somehow hurt my back dead-lifting with improper form?” I thought.

Then, I went to work trying to figure out the best way to heal.

  • I stopped lifting weights and opted to exclusively run and swim — no success.
  • I exercised muscles around the affected area, hoping they would compensate for the weak point and give it time to heal — no success.
  • I tried only doing upper-body work — no success.
  • I tried anti-inflammatory pills — no success (unless I wanted to live on anti-inflammatories for the rest of my life and destroy my kidneys).
  • I tried osteopathic manipulative treatment — no success (my hips and back were out of whack within 24 hours after each treatment).
  • I tried a complete secession of physical activity — no success.

For a man who has spent his entire life being physically active, this sort of repeated failure was, in many ways, demoralizing.

“What if I have been completely wrong about the underlying cause of my pain this entire time?” I thought.What if the problem is something I would have never expected? If so, what could that be?”

I finally concluded my pain could be caused by the hours upon hours I sit in a chair each day, even though I have always made time for exercise when I am not working.

The possible solution turned out to be something I have avoided for years: Yoga.

Sciatica yoga

I looked up many videos on yoga for sciatic nerve pain and began stretching religiously twice a day.

At first, no success. I had almost zero flexibility and the stretches were somewhat painful. I kept at it.

Then, pain that was once dispersed throughout my lower body localized around my sacrum.

Then, I could get out of bed in the morning without pain, even if my back “wasn’t quite right.” My flexibility had dramatically increased.

Then, one day, I felt good enough to do a little dance in front of my wife — and my back said, “Nope! Not ready for dancing.”

This week, for the first time in one year, I exercised every single day and managed to work in dead-lifts with no problem.

The moral of the story is this: Healing often requires hard work. It also may require you to admit that all of your preconceived ideas of where your pain is coming from are wrong. On top of everything else, the healing process itself may demand you willingly endure more pain.

Time does not heal all wounds. Pills do not always work, and smart people often cause themselves a lot of pain by refusing to admit that they do not have all the answers.

The last thing I wanted to do over the past month is to admit that regular yoga was what I needed to heal my back pain and counter the many hours I sit in a chair for work. Luckily, I put my ego aside and listened to yoga instructors like Jen Hilman.

I was wrong. If you are in some kind of pain, then I implore you to be open to the idea that you too may be wrong about a lot of things. The decision may put you on the road to recovery faster than you think.

Crossfit trainers get Obamacare comeuppance: Panniculus-afflicted bureaucrats hungry for regulation

Crossfit TwitterYears ago I helped manage a gym in Washington, D.C. A friend of mine introduced me to Crossfit well before it had a national cult-like following, which meant a couple years of odd looks from bystanders at the local track. Being conservative in the nation’s capital truly made us a rare breed. Regardless, the point is this: We told anyone in D.C. who would listen that Obamacare would bring unintended consequences. We (and millions of other Americans with an understanding of basic economics and human nature) were ignored, and now Crossfit trainers are feeling the pain.

The Washington Post reported August 23:

New regulations, being written by and for the nation’s capital city, will create a registry of all personal trainers in the District only. But they are expected to become a model that winners and losers in the fight believe will be replicated elsewhere.

The credit — or blame — for the newfound urgency can be traced in part to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. A variety of workplace wellness programs and preventive health-care initiatives called for in the law could soon translate into rivers of billable hours for those with credentials to keep American waistlines in check. …

An obscure group of D.C. regulators — the Board of Physical Therapy — is preparing to release rules that could send a shock wave through the American fitness industry. Fearing the outcome, some of the loudest voices in the field have decided to go on the offensive. They are calling the process into question and urging city lawmakers to pull back or even halt the effort with threats of drawn-out legal battles. …

Under a bill passed unanimously last year by the D.C. Council and signed into law by the mayor, the District’s Board of Physical Therapy was tasked with writing the new regulations. The board plans to release its rules next month, seek public comment and then publish them as law. And the heat is on: The District is behind in the process ordered in the legislation. By a strict reading of the law, no personal trainer is operating legally in the nation’s capital because the deadline to register has passed.

The uncertainty over the coming rules is weighing heavily on many who make their living in the industry, especially through CrossFit, which has thrived in a heretofore unregulated space.

The Post adds that “lawyers and lobbyists are engaged in a no-holds-barred fight to shape the nation’s first-ever rules over who has the right to tell someone else how to exercise.”

Doesn’t that sort of say it all? The industry has survived for decades perfectly fine without panniculus-sporting bureaucrats policing the fitness landscape. Now, suddenly, a board of physical therapists is writing rules that will have far-reaching effects. Ask your Magic 8 Ball what the chances are that the new regulations will heavily benefit physical therapists who are hampered by the success of Crossfit. My guess is that the answer will come back “Ha! Ask me a real question. That’s too easy.”

The fact of the matter is that the internet exists. It helps millions of Americans every single day make sound business decisions. As Crossfit continues to grow and thrive, the industry will continue refining the process of separating the wheat from the chaff. But to D.C. regulators that isn’t good enough.

The Post continued:

“We all have heard anecdotal reports of injuries, sexual misconduct and misrepresentation of titles by persons claiming to be competent in that area,” [Senora Simpson, chairwoman of the D.C. board and a physical therapist] testified before a D.C. Council committee. She called the lack of any registration or licensure of personal trainers “a nationwide failure.”

Ms. Simpson’s anecdotal evidence doesn’t means squat (pun intended). Crossfit would not have a rabid (and growing) following if such anecdotal evidence was even worth mentioning. The real reason for D.C. regulators to get involved in the industry is easy: control.

Here is another way to think about it for those who enjoy video games: Do you remember that giant hand, Wallmaster, from the Zelda games that would grab Link? That is the government. It must control every aspect of your life. The clawing hands of bureaucrats never cramp, and they’re always itching to grab something new. In this case, Crossfit is the victim.

Zelda WallmasterNote to liberal Crossfit fanatics: Blogs like this tried to tell you about the crushing weight of the government regulation. You blew off the warnings, and now it doesn’t matter how strong you are — the dead weight of Obamacare isn’t coming off your chest without a lot of help. Think about that in 2016 and beyond.

Scientists, U.S. government: Did we say eggs were bad for you — for decades? Oops! Sorry.

EggsYears ago this blog covered the U.S. government’s decision to change the food pyramid. When it turned out that the guidelines federal bureaucrats were putting out for years on what constituted a “healthy” diet were indeed a recipe for obesity, they quietly made the change and whispered in our ears, “Shhhhh. This old food pyramid never happened.” Now they’re doing the same thing as it pertains to cholesterol.

The Washington Post reported Feb. 10:

The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings about its consumption. …

The finding follows an evolution of thinking among many nutritionists who now believe that, for healthy adults, eating foods high in cholesterol may not significantly affect the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease.

The greater danger in this regard, these experts believe, lies not in products such as eggs, shrimp or lobster, which are high in cholesterol, but in too many servings of foods heavy with saturated fats, such as fatty meats, whole milk, and butter. …

Adding to the complexity, the way people process cholesterol differs. Scientists say some people — about 25 percent — appear to be more vulnerable to cholesterol-rich diets.

“It’s turned out to be more complicated than anyone could have known,” said Lawrence Rudel, a professor at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

People turn to personal trainers because each person is different. How your body responds to an exercise program may be very different than mine. For similar reasons, we should question the masterminds crafting laws on how much sugar, salt, fat, etc. we should eat. I’m sensitive to spicy foods, but my wife could probably down a bucket of hot peppers and not worry about it. The point is that too many people have blind faith in what nameless, faceless bureaucrats tell them instead of doing their own research and then trusting common sense to guide their decision-making.

Remember the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax (SWEET Act) submitted to Congress by Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)? For those who don’t remember, she literally wants to tax every teaspoon of sugar you consume. Why? Because she thinks she knows what’s best for you. The same goes for former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and a whole host of others.

Growing up in the 80s, I remember teachers telling me that eggs were “bad,” and that if I ate them I should try and just eat the whites. When I told my grandmother (who lived to be 98-years-old), she just laughed and told me to eat my eggs and not worry about it. My grandmother did not know more about food science than the nutritionists working for the federal government, but I’m inclined to believe that she did have more common sense.

Today, there are a whole host of issues where questioning “settled science” is met with the reply, “Are you anti-science?” Well, no. I’m anti-stupidity, and it is stupid to laugh at the men and women who acknowledge years before their so-called intellectual masters that some issues are “more complicated than anyone could have known.”

There are millions of Americans who have made science their religion, even as they mock the spiritual faith of their friends and neighbors.

Do your research. Be diligent. Take responsibility for your own life, and don’t apologize when what you determine is best suited for your health and wellness conflicts with conventional wisdom. You’ll be glad you did.

Pelosi proves she thinks just like Jonathan Gruber by saying she doesn’t know of him

Nancy Pelosi Jonathan Gruber ObamacareIt seems like every day there is a new Jonathan Gruber quote proving the utter contempt that the architects of The Affordable Care Act hold for voters. The other day he was grinning as he talked about the “stupidity” of Americans, and now his comments from the Honors Colloquium 2012 at the University of Rhode Island are making the rounds: “It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.” It’s all very telling, but not as telling as Nancy Pelosi proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that she thinks just like him.

On Thursday, Ms. Pelosi denied she knew of Mr. Gruber.

“I don’t know who he is. He didn’t help write our bill. And, so, with all due respect to your question, you have a person who wasn’t writing our bill commenting on what was going on when we were writing the bill.” — Nancy Pelosi on Jonathan Gruber, Nov. 13, 2014.

The Washington Post, however, points out that in 2009 she most certainly knew of Mr. Gruber and his work.

“Our bill brings down rates. I don’t know if you have seen Jonathan Gruber of MIT’s analysis of what the comparison is to the status quo versus what will happen in our bill for those who seek insurance within the exchange. Our bill takes down those cuts, even from now, and much less preventing the upward spiral.” — Nancy Pelosi on Jonathan Gruber, Nov 5, 2009.

Ms. Pelosi thinks you are stupid. There is no other explanation for someone who acts as if the Internet does not exist. Only a woman with little to no respect for the American public would tell a blatant lie on camera in 2014 when she knows — she must know — that the power of the Internet will expose her shortly thereafter.

Her chutzpah knows no bounds. She even touts Mr. Gruber’s work on her own website:

Pelosi GruberAs I said before, these are the people who want more control of the Internet in their hands. These are the people who will make sure “Net Neutrality” provides a “free” and “fair” Internet. The same woman who obviously thinks her lies disappear down Orwellian Memory Holes wants to control the Internet like a public utility.

Wake up, Millennials. “Hope and Change” was never about “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” It was about you being the ones that shameless liars were waiting for.

They admit behind closed doors that they think you are stupid. They admit behind closed doors that they seek to exploit your “lack of economic understanding.” And they will continue to lie and deceive until you send them home and deny them of the power and influence they so desperately crave.

Rep. DeLauro: I think poor people are stupid, so let’s tax every teaspoon of sugar purchased

Rosa DeLauro AP

It takes some serious gall for a legislator to turn to British taxes from 1764 for inspiration, but that’s what Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), did when she introduced the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax (SWEET Act). The Democrat’s goal: tax every teaspoon of sugar, high fructose corn syrup or caloric sweetener that you buy. The tax would start at one cent per teaspoon of sugar and increase as future masterminds in Washington, D.C. see fit.

Here’s what she had to say regarding the SWEET Act:

“Added sugar is pervasive and almost inescapable at the supermarket. And of course, many times it is the sugary foods and drinks that are the easiest for the families living on the edge of poverty to afford. When a 2 liter cola is 99 cents and blueberries are over $3.00, something has gone very wrong. As [the movie] “Fed Up” shows, this is not just the free market at work. All too often sugary foods or drinks with high fructose are cheaper as a direct result of government polices. It is long past time that we pass and support policies that work to our better health instead,” (Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.).

With that in mind, I’m working on legislation right now to tax sugar-sweetened drinks, like sodas, in a way that reflects the serious damage they are doing to our health. I hope to introduce legislation in a matter of weeks.”

How does one woman cram so much idiocy into so few words? First off, comparing the economics of blueberries to the economics of soda is just plain weird. It makes just as much sense as saying “When a box of Dunkin Donuts ‘Munchkins’ is $4.99 and a basket of cherries is $9.99, something is wrong.” Apparently the congresswoman has never taken Econ 101. The only thing “wrong” is that there is not a single area of your life — not one — that a woman like Ms. DeLauro believes is off limits to the federal government. If Ms. DeLauro doesn’t like subsidies and tariffs artificially warping sugar prices, then she should focus on getting rid of them — but she doesn’t. Why? The answer is simple: control.

Ms. DeLauro feels as though she should have some amount of say in every teaspoon of sugar you consume, so she goes about creating laws that will allow her that luxury. Those laws must be overseen by men and women who think like her, so a tax is put in place to fund studies, government agencies and bureaucratic overseers. If by some strange chance that tax should happen to curb sugar consumption and cause a budget shortfall for food-policing efforts, then some other group or tax bracket would be called upon to pick up the tab (e.g., “the rich”).

There is something sick and insidious about the individual who perpetually finds new ways to encroach upon the lives of those who just want to be left alone. Such politicians justify their self-described acts of “kindness” without ever stopping to think about how much evil has been inflicted upon the world under the banner of kindness. In a different time and a different place Americans would run Ms. DeLauro out of town, but these days Americans are so used to having individual liberties stripped away by political parasites that they hardly stir from their Netflix or XBox-inspired stupor. Worst of all may be that by allowing legislation like the Affordable Care Act to pass, citizens can expect a litany of new laws in the same vein as the SWEET Act.

Let us, for a moment, go back to the time U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson asked pro-Obamacare attorneys in Florida the following question: “If [lawmakers and regulators] decided everybody needs to eat broccoli because broccoli makes us healthy, could they mandate that everybody has to eat broccoli each week?” His question was completely dodged, but honest people know exactly what he was getting at: laws are being enacted under the presumption that there is no limit to the power granted to the federal government. If you deny this, simply listen to what politicians like Rosa DeLauro say and examine the rules and regulations they tirelessly try to impose upon you.

The Declaration of Independence states:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

People like to joke that Americans are violent people. That is not true — at least as it pertains to individuals who cherish the nation’s founding. Americans would rather suffer endless violations of their civil liberties, doled out like Chinese water torture by 535 members of Congress and the regulatory agencies of the Executive Branch, than to resort to violence. Americans are patient, but there comes a time for everyone when patience runs out. When one sugar tax too many has been passed, Americans will put an end to the long train of abuses of freedom and individual liberty inflicted upon them over the course of many, many years.

Feminist ‘clump of cells’ who works at Burger King forgets that we’re ‘all the same inside’

Created Equal abortion debate

Burger King recently started a limited-market promotion of the Proud Whopper, which included the underlying message “We’re all the same inside.” It was supposed to be a show of support for San Francisco’s gay community, but it could also serve as Burger King’s stealth pro-life campaign. Since Burger King employee Victoria Duran of Columbus, Ohio seems to think that the unborn are just a “clump of cells,” the Proud Burger message can teach her that we’re all just bigger “clumps of cells.”

Ms. Duran is composed of many more cells than an unborn child, but no one is advocating that we kill her. It seems odd that she would a.) discriminate against someone with less cells than she, and b.) resort to assault and battery on the streets of Columbus because other clumps of cells are exercising their First Amendment rights.

Abortion debate created equal

 

Created Equal films captured it all on tape.

As Hotair’s Ed Morrisey observes, “It’s amusing in one respect to see someone so passionately engaged in exposing her ignorance of human biology while attempting to lecture someone else about it, as well as her ignorance on basic American civics.”

As humorous as it is, it’s also rather frightening. While Ms. Duran ultimately has little power to strip social conservatives of their rights, there are plenty of “Durans” out there who would love to see that happen. Sometimes they expose themselves (literally) in places like Argentina when they assault Catholic men, or sometimes such bigotry rears its head when guys like Marvel Comics writer Dan Slott tells Hobby Lobby and its Christian supporters they should go to “Christ-land.”

Let us revisit Ms. Duran’s actual speech. While it is hardly eloquent, the intellectual DNA is similar among “clumps of cells” who categorize themselves as liberal.

“This is absolute lying there, fucking dipship. That is not what a fetus looks like, okay? It’s a clump of cells at twelve weeks. It does not look like that. It’s a clump of mother fucking cells. No hands are shown at that time. You so white privilege racist fucking male that doesn’t stand for women’s rights. Get the fuck out of her, fucking dipshit. And get that camera out of my face, either. Fuckwit! … Fuck you. Fuckwit. You are fucking white male privilege assholes. What you are is a racist motherfucker as well. How dare you fucking do this kind of shit, asshole. … You fucking sexist misogynist motherfuckers. That is all you are! You don’t give a shit about women! You don’t give a shit about life! All you are is a bunch of assholes. All you are a bunch … No uterus, no right to talk about it! Understand me, motherfucker? … Your signs deserve to get fucked up!

The thought police are out in full force. Race? Class? Gender? It’s all there. “Privileged…white…males” only have free speech until that speech upsets women like Ms. Duran. Then it’s gone. Regardless, it seems odd that Ms. Duran would accuse a young man from Created Equal of being racist, when it is women like Ms. Duran that have arguably cheered on black genocide via abortion for decades.

What if science told us that certain DNA sequences are likely to result in a gay or lesbian child? Would Ms. Duran support abortion then? Does she support forced abortions in China? Burger King’s motto used to be “Your way, right away,” but in Ms. Duran’s world it’s “My way, right away. Understand me, punk?”

We used to live by the old saying: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Today, a bunch of totalitarian thug wannabes don’t even give the phrase lip service — they just get in your face, destroy your property and threaten you with violence.

At the end of the day, it is not the Victoria Durans of the world who are the most dangerous to society as a whole. Instead, we must primarily concern ourselves with influential individuals sowing seeds of hate into the fertile minds of the young. Her consciousness is filled with weeds, but it is the farmer who planted them there that we should be concerned about.

And with that, I will leave you with this: Even The Burger King Kids Club was once just a “clump of cartoon cells.”

P680/0112

Update:

Just in case there are any Ms. Durans who want to take part in the comments section, I have some hard science for you.

Five weeks after conception, the embryo first begins to assume features of human appearance. The face is recognizable, with the formation of discernible eyes, nose, and ears. Limbs emerge from protruding buds; digits, cartilage, and muscles develop. The cerebral hemispheres begin to fill the brain area, and the optic stalk becomes apparent. Nerve connections are established between the retina and the brain. The digestive tract rotates from its prior tubular structure, and the liver starts to produce blood cells and bile. Two tubes emerge from the pharynx to become bronchi, and the lungs have lobes and bronchioles. The heart is beating at 5 weeks and is almost completely developed by 8 weeks after conception. The diaphragm begins to divide the heart and lungs from the abdominal cavity. The kidneys approach their final form at this time. The urogenital and rectal passages separate, and germ cells migrate toward the genital ridges for future transformation into ovaries or testes. Differentiation of internal ducts begins, with persistence of either müllerian or wolffian ducts. Virilization of external genitalia occurs in male embryos. The embryo increases from about 6 to 33 mm in length and increases 50 times in weight.

Structurally, the fetus has become straighter, and the tubular neural canal along which the spinal cord develops becomes filled with nerve cells. Ears remain low on the sides of the head. Teeth are forming, and the two bony plates of the palate fuse in the midline. Disruptions during the latter part of the embryonic period lead to various forms of cleft lip and palate. By 10 weeks after the last menstrual period, all major organ systems have become established and integrated,” (Gabbe Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 6th Ed. Copyright 2012 Saunders/Elsevier. Chapter 8: Drugs and Environmental Agents in Pregnancy and Lactation: Embryology, Tetratology, Epidemiology).

Update II:

It looks like I wasn’t too far off with my observation about the intellectual DNA of Ms. Durnan. From the Tumblr account “Pro-choice or No Voice” comes this gem: “I always look at these ‘pro-choicer assaults pro-lifer’ videos hoping to see some smug little shit get socked in the face…”

You have it first hand from the source, folks. That’s the “tolerance” of Ms. Duran’s worldview.

Pro Choice Tumblr

At 70, bodybuilder Sam ‘Sonny’ Bryant, Jr. stays young with the right mindset

Sam Sonny Bryant Jr

Sam “Sonny” Bryant Jr. is 70 years old and he looks better than men half his age. That’s because he realizes the importance the mind plays in every aspect of life. Whether you succeed or fail, age gracefully or become “old” at 50, how you think about the things you think about plays a crucial role. It sounds like common sense, but most people never realize the sheer power their thoughts possess. Our thoughts, very much like wind or rain or the natural elements acting on a rock face, can bend reality with applied pressure and time.

Here is what Mr. Bryant Jr. told the Augusta Chronicle:

People ask me when I’m going to retire. I say “never.” I say “most people die retired than they do on the job working.” I love to work. I love to work out. …

I’m 70 years old if that means anything. I’ve been doing this for 27 years. I started out when I was 44. I was in a bad marriage. And so to relieve  stress I went to the gym. …

I didn’t know anything about working out, nothing about lifting weights — nothing. But I went there and stayed and stayed. Eleven months later a guy told me “Sonny, you ought to go to a contest and complete.” I said “you think so?” He said, “Yeah. You look like you’re ready.” So I went to Columbus, Ga. It was my first contest. … I won third in the novice and forth in the masters, and I was just like a crack addict. I was hooked. I had two trophies — never won anything before — and I couldn’t wait to get back to the gym and start body building. I was just working out before. …

People have the misconception that age makes you old, but I realized that it’s a state of mind that makes you old. Age is just a number. In a year most people — the majority of people — give a reason not to do anything, you know? I hear a lot of people telling me to wait until I get their age, and then I tell them how old I am and then it’s kind of embarrassing. I tell them to make a point — that the inactivity and the thought process is what makes them old. … Your subconscious mind reads your conscious mind. If  you start thinking you’re old, subconsciously your conscious mind is going to grab hold of that.  Then you’re body is going feel that it’s old. Then you’re going to start acting old, feeling old — and you’re old. …

Honestly, I never feel like I aged since I started body building at 44. I don’t feel no different. I just want people to recognize me for what I am and what I’m doing and realize that it can be done. They could do it. I just want to be some kind of model for them, for people to see … I’ve seen a lot of young guys “older” than me because their lifestyle — that’s what they chose to do. Go home, sit around watching TV all weekend…sit around doing nothing. I can’t do that. I can not sit in the house that long.

Sam Bryant Jr. demonstrates quite nicely that “a rolling stone gathers no moss,” but it’s his understanding of how our thoughts can directly impact our reality that is truly impressive. The saying goes that whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right. It’s true.

Sonny Bryant weightlifter

Mr. Bryant’s philosophy has implications that extend far beyond the world of weightlifting. He essentially says that we make a conscious decision about how we view age, and then the reality in our mind manifests itself into the physical world. Another wise man touched on this debate, and his name was Ben Franklin. You may have heard of him.

“There are two sorts of people in the world, who with equal degrees of health and wealth and the other comforts of life, become the one happy, the other unhappy. Those who are to be happy fix their attention on the pleasant parts of the conversation, and enjoy all with cheerfulness. Those who are to be unhappy think and speak only of the contraries. Hence they are continually discontented themselves, and by their remarks sour the pleasures of society, offend personally many people, and make themselves disagreeable. If these people will not change this bad habit, and condescend to be pleased with what is pleasing, it is good for others to avoid an acquaintance with them, which is always disagreeable, and sometimes very inconvenient, particularly when one finds one’s self entangled in their quarrels.” — Benjamin Franklin

Every day you can consciously decide to look at the bright side of things, or to focus on faults. Every day gives you the opportunity to choose to be a positive or negative person. Every day you can either be the light or the darkness in the world around you. What do you choose? I choose to cast my lot with Sam “Sonny” Bryant Jr.

Related: Schwarzenegger’s ‘Six Rules for Success’: Sage advice for all Americans

Related: CT Fletcher is correct: Over-training is a myth

Elliott Hulse’s great advice for older men in the weight room: Stop trying to slay dragons that don’t exist

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I was talking to an old friend the other day and she asked if I was still doing “crazy weightlifting challenges.” The answer: No. Not really. The conversation got me thinking of just how much my mentality has changed over the years in regards to exercise, the goals I set for myself and how I treat my body. As I close in on 35, my approach to the weight room is not what it once was. For older men who plan on staying active I highly suggest checking out Elliott from the YouTube Strength Camp videos. He puts it perfectly: Stop trying to slay dragons that no longer exist.

From Elliott’s “The Truth about Muscle Building for Older Guys”:

When you’re young and you’re in full warrior mode and you’ve got that sword in your hand and you’re slaying dragons — as you should be — look, if you haven’t slayed your dragons at this point, you’re 40 years old and you haven’t slain the right dragons yet, you’re going to live your life in a constant state of sympathetic overload, stressed out trying to slay dragons that don’t exist.

The only dragons left are the dragons inside us at that point. … What are you going to do? What do you have to prove anymore? There comes a point where if you haven’t proved yourself to yourself — because that’s all that really matters — (young guys, write that one down) the only one you have to prove yourself to is yourself. But I get it. You have to prove yourself to daddy and the world. Okay. I did it. I understand. But you need to get to a point where you’re done proving yourself.

You [need to get to a point where you] can just relax and breath. Just take your time. Enjoy life. You’ve got to become a lot more Yin in your behaviors and attitudes. That place of low stress, high integrity about of the choices you make about your nutrition and the rest that you give your body will … preserve the foundation of vitality that was there when you were young … that allows you to do that you to do a select amount of physical activity that you deem important to you and your self development.

Don’t do things you feel you “have to” do. You don’t have to gain 50 pounds of muscle when you’re 40. Again, you have nothing to prove. And if you still have something to prove at that point then you’ve got deeper issues than building muscle. Engage in things that you enjoy that will support your health.

Yo Elliott

Boom. Amazing advice. And it doesn’t just apply to the weight room. Living and working in the nation’s capital, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met over the years who are searching for dragons that no longer exist. They drive themselves crazy trying to prove themselves to their mom, their dad, their brothers and sisters, fellow industry professionals and God knows who else when the only one you ever need to prove yourself to is you.

Elliott continues:

“What kind of story are you telling yourself? [T]he most resourceful stories that I tell myself and that I see in the older men that I train tell themselves is: ‘I’m not necessarily getting older and that means I lack vitality. What’s happening is that I’m becoming more sensitive and my body requires requires that much more attention to detail.’ This is what begins happening: When you’re young you can beat the fuck out of yourself. You can eat whatever you want to eat. You can be nasty. You can stay up all night … [When you’re older] you have to make better choices. You can’t eat double-cheeseburgers dipped in gravy after you’re hungover and play football the next day. …

… Structural integrity means more to me than squatting 1,000 pounds. … Structural integrity should be a word that you brand into your brain. … Consider what that means. Consider what it means when [I say] ‘instantaneous access of rotation of all joints.” That basically means that you’ve got balance throughout all of your joints, namely those around your hips and shoulders. You’ve got to stretch.

Forced to pick between brute strength and flexibility, I’d pick flexibility every time.

Look at your friends and family and loved ones who allow themselves to go into a state of disrepair well before it has to be that way. When you lose the ability to squat down and pick up those keys that fell off the dresser … when your can no longer reach that high shelf to grab a good book … when you can no longer bend and twist with those sheers to trim the bushes on a perfect summer afternoon, you lose independence. As humans, we are addicted to freedom and when we lose it — when we really begin to lose it — our spirit starts to yearn for greener pastures.

I wasn’t sure what to make of Elliott when I first ran across his videos, but over time he’s grown on me. He’s got a wealth of information at his disposal and he dispenses it to anyone who wants to listen — for free. He’s always positive and he gives it to his audience straight. If you want to build a better you, Elliott’s videos are worth your time.