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.

Happy Marriage 101: Don’t raise your voice, yell at your spouse

I was eating lunch with my wife a few days ago when she said that in hindsight she is thankful for a rule I established early on in our relationship. I told her many years ago that I would never raise my voice with her, but that I would expect the same treatment in return. I said I was willing to end the relationship if she could not abide by the rule.

This seems like a common sense condition, but it does not take long to realize that many people do not follow it — even in public. In fact, some people claim that yelling adds “passion” to a relationship. I would argue that screaming at a spouse and calling the ordeal an aphrodisiac is a form of denial; it is dysfunction masquerading as love.

When a person raises his or her voice in an argument, it is a sign of desperation. It indicates a loss of control. The couple immediately enters an emotional realm that is conducive to mental and physical violence, which is why it is exponentially embarrassing if the man is the one who raised his voice first.

Yelling at someone does not add legitimacy to an argument, but for some reason many individuals think increased decibel-levels magically perform such a function.

Raising your voice does denote anger, but a healthier way of conveying that feeling is to simply say, “I am angry.” If you say what you mean and mean what you say with your spouse on a regular basis, then that statement alone will be treated with the seriousness it deserves.

As was already mentioned, a man should never yell at his significant other. The vast majority of men are physically stronger than the women in their life, so ending a disagreement by introducing the specter of violence — even if the man has never physically harmed his wife — is  cowardly, wrong, and ipso facto detrimental to the long-term health of the relationship.

“Anybody can become angry,” Aristotle wrote. “That is easy. But to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not … easy.”

Anger is a natural feeling, and in general there is nothing wrong with feeling anger. The key is to channel that anger in healthy ways. If you struggle with this task, then I suggest checking out the book “Overcoming Sinful Anger,” by Rev. T.G. Morrow. It is a short book, but one filled with advice that will leave you happier and healthier if you take his words to heart.

RELATED: Ten tips for a stable relationship

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.

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

Smaug copy

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.

Take a few minutes to read Joan Marans Dim’s ‘A Decade of Goodbye’ — it’s worth it

It’s hard to really live until we come to terms with death. Many people spend their entire life running from it, but one way or another the conversation will be had. If you had five minutes left to live, who would you call and what would you say to them?

Because none of us know whether we have fives minutes or five days or fifty years left on our clock, it’s a good idea to regularly treat our loved ones as if we knew our passing was close at hand.

If you’re not someone who has seriously thought about death, reading Joan Marans Dim’s ‘A Decade of Goodbye,’ will likely prompt you to do so.

Here is just an excerpt from ‘A Decade of Goodbye,’ but I suggest reading the entire piece.

He has never let me tend to his most personal needs, but today he willingly sits on the corner of our bed as I help him disrobe. His entire body is jaundiced. I soap a sponge, gather towels and wash him. The moment is intimate, a rarity for us. I massage his back, chest, arms and legs with moisturizer.

“That feels so good,” he murmurs.

Joan Didion never had such a moment, I think.

I dress him, and he asks for his walker. But I am not finished. I want to comb his hair. In 52 years of marriage, I have never combed his hair.

“O.K.,” he says. And smiles.

I am meticulous in this act of grooming. Then I step back and study him.

“You look handsome,” I say, and mean it.

Beautiful. It’s hard to read such passages without trying to fast forward life in your own mind to try and see how your own final moments will play out with family, friends and loved ones.

As I read ‘A Decade of Goodbye’ I couldn’t help but think of Pearl Jam’s newest single, Sirens: “It’s a fragile thing, this life we live.”

The cup is full, so stop pouring. The same advice goes for your bowl of Coco Roos.

Dog food cereal bags

Years ago American families were quite large. While we can discuss the many different factors for that reversal, the bottom line is that we’re not having kids at a rate that is conducive to the long-term health of the nation.

A recent report by the Department of Health and Human Services bears this out.

The number of births declined 1 percent in 2011 to 3,953,590. The general fertility rate also declined 1 percent, to 63.2 per 1,000 women 15 to 44 years.

The teenage birth rate fell 8 percent to 31.3 per 1,000. Birth rates declined for women in their twenties, were unchanged for women 30 – 34 years and rose for women aged 35 to 44 years.

The total fertility rate (estimated number of births over a woman’s lifetime) declined 2 percent to 1,894 per 1,000 women.

The odd thing is, while the birth rate continues to decline our obesity rates seem to be getting worse. It’s so bad, in fact, that the AMA recently decided to categorize obesity as a diseaseeven though it’s not.

The reason? In short, they’ve taken the “Umm, let’s do ‘something’ approach.”

The American Medical Assn. voted Tuesday to declare obesity a disease, a move that effectively defines 78 million American adults and 12 million children as having a medical condition requiring treatment.

The nation’s leading physicians organization took the vote after debating whether the action would do more to help affected patients get useful treatment or would further stigmatize a condition with many causes and few easy fixes. …

Recently I was in Wal-Mart with my wife and I became fascinated by jumbo-sized bags of cereal. They reminded me of the dog food bags I used to stock as a college student working Target’s overnight shift. While I’ve been aware for years of the jars of mayonnaise that would last me a decade or the bags of rice better suited for restaurant owners, I still couldn’t help but stop and stare.

As a conservative, the question “What American family with one or two children needs to buy giant bags of  ‘Coco Roos’ every week?” is simple: “It’s none of my business.”

Indeed, from a freedom and liberty perspective it is none of my business. Buying in bulk is cheaper and there are thousands of other reasons why a family might feed their children like they feed the family pet. However, I still can’t help but think the only people who would need to regularly buy such quantities of cereal would be those who consume unhealthy amounts of it and women like GloZell.

GloZell bathtub cereal challenge

The 9th Verse of Lao Tzu’s “Tao Te Ching” tells us:

To keep on filling
is not as good as stopping.
Overfilled, the cupped hands drip,
better to stop pouring.

Sharpen a blade too much
and its edge will soon be lost.
Fill your house with jade and gold
and it brings insecurity.
Puff yourself with honor and pride
and no one can save you from a fall.

Retire when the work is done;
this is the way of heaven.

America has always been about bigger, better, faster — and that’s great — but at one time it was also about prudence and common sense. Somewhere along the way we seemed to abandon the principles that kept everything in balance, and it is reflected in our national debt, our waistlines and our mental health.

We are fat and we are falling. That combination is recipe for disaster.

When the cup is full, stop pouring. The same advice goes for your bowl of Coco Roos.

CDC on salt: We were wrong (i.e., Michael Bloomberg and his friends are thugs)

Remember the old food pyramid? The one that encouraged all Americans to eat a diet heavy in carbohydrates? I do. The federal government got it ass backwards, and then guys like NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg went nuts trying to control the will of entire city populations. Now the CDC gives us another example why we should not take general consensus among scientists as a green light to start regulating the food you eat, down to the number of grams of salt you consume each day. It turns out that your body needs salt — something sane people, who don’t live to become government bureaucrats, have known for quite some time.

From preventdisease.com

A recent report commissioned by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed the health benefits of reducing salt intake and the take-home message is that salt, in the quantities consumed by most Americans, is no longer considered a substantial health hazard. What the CDC study reported explicitly is that there is no benefit, and may be a danger, from reducing our salt intake below 1 tsp per day. What was absent about the report was is the difference between healthy mineral salts and iodized table salt.

It may be that we’re better off with more salt than less, up to 2 or even 3 tsp per day. How did it happen that such standard medical advice drifted astray, then went un-corrected for so long?

This review by the National Academies Institute of Medicine (IOM), commissioned by CDC, considered dozens of studies, from cross-cultural (less reliable) to prospective, randomized with control (most reliable). Most studies showed no relationship between salt intake and any health outcome. Some seemed to indicate that more salt had a beneficial effect.

Hotair’s Mary Katherine Ham nails it:

As with so many bad public health ideas, the idea of cutting salt found its national footing thanks to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose primary public service as head of the largest city in America has been to ban and discourage as many delicious foods as possible. In 2009, Bloomberg started the National Salt Reduction Initiative, led by the New York City health department in an effort to push major food companies into “voluntary” lower-sodium standards. The goal was to reduce sodium intake by 25 percent.

There was push-back on the initiative from the scientific community here and there, but that didn’t stop Bloomberg’s strong-arming quest. …

Bloomberg, in concert with the American Heart Association and other alarmists, got more than 20 food companies to cut their sodium in February.

The federal government, its scientists and the media might as well just consolidate and work under a new name: “The Fear Factory.” Every day researchers find new ways to get you paranoid. Some new food gives you cancer while a previous item thought to be dangerous is taken off the list.

Newsflash: On a long enough timeline we will all get cancer. Instead of freaking out about it or trying to control the behavior of hundreds of millions of free Americans, a better option is to live a healthy lifestyle, find a way to exude love and kindness wherever you go, use common sense and ultimately come to terms with death.

And if you don’t? Then you can continue to let guys like Brian Williams scare you about prostate cancer, which might (or might not) happen if you take supplements daily. “Someone get Michael Bloomberg on the phone, pronto! We need to curb the amount of omega-3 fatty acids people can buy.”

The talking heads are now worried about fish oil, which means politicians will seek to control its use. Ten years from now they'll conclude otherwise, but the regulations will stay in place. Do you really want to live you life in fear? Turn off your television and get out more.
The talking heads are now worried about fish oil, which means politicians will seek to control its use. Ten years from now they’ll conclude otherwise, but the regulations will stay in place. Do you really want to live your life in fear? Turn off your television and get out with your loved ones more often.

I would argue that living in anger and fear is much more likely to give you weird health problems than fish oil. If you watch television daily you’re exposed to programming geared towards pitting you against your fellow man. Watch the “news” too much, and it’s a good bet you’re irrationally living in fear over any number of things, from sodium consumption to what your neighbor will think of you if you don’t buy the newest cell phone on the market. Turn off the television more frequently. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you.

Hungry high school kids learn early: Big government needs a diet

If you ever asked yourself why you’re fat, then you should have also asked yourself if the federal government drones have ever instructed you to make decisions that were bad for your health. Why? Because they have.

It turns out that there are a lot of high school kids who aren’t happy with how the new USDA guidelines are impacting the way they eat at school. Shockingly, when the government got more involved in their school programs the main thing it accomplished was a higher price for everyone involved and a product that no one really liked all that much.

In Wisconsin, high school athletes are complaining about not getting enough to eat each day, due to the skimpy new school lunch menu mandated by the United States Department of Agriculture and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The story … on that subject is unfortunately not unique. Students across the country are complaining about the new school lunch regulations. …

Some are throwing away their vegetables while others are adapting to the rules by becoming industrious. In New Bedford, Massachusetts, students have created a black market — for chocolate syrup. The kiddie capitalists are smuggling in bottles of it and selling it by the squeeze, according to SouthCoastToday.com.

Nancy Carvalho, director of food services for New Bedford Public Schools, was quoted as saying that hummus and black bean salads have been tough sells in elementary cafeterias.

The sad thing is, if these kids are getting a public school education that was anything like mine, they’ve probably already been primed to root for President Obama on election day. Hopefully, this experience will change their, umm, “gut” instinct moving forward.

Take a look at two food charts, the classic “food pyramid” that I grew up with on the right, and the newer version the USDA has put out on the left.

On the left we have an “improved” food pyramid put out by the federal government. On the right we have an older version, which is interesting because there’s a good chance if you tried to follow it over the years you now have some extra weight around your midsection.

For years, the federal government told us that the foundation of our diet should be a carbohydrate-heavy mix of grains. The masterminds in Washington, DC had it ass-backwards! A healthy diet should actually have whole grains and starches at the top of the pyramid, and one good reason for that is because carbohydrates affect your blood sugar. Eat too many of the wrong carbohydrates, and you’re just begging for insulin and weight issues down the line. The modern “food plate” and “food pyramid” still has it somewhat wrong, and yet Michelle Obama and her ideological allies have the nerve to get on television and lecture the rest of us about and obesity epidemic. The federal government has repeatedly instilled perverse incentives in the population under the guise of improving health, and then used the predictable consequences ( ‘predictable’ to free-thinking people) as a pretext to write more regulations.

We don’t have an obesity epidemic — we have a stupidity epidemic. We have individuals who would rather abdicate important decisions about their health to complete strangers in the nation’s capital than to bear down and take control of their own personal wellness.

When I was a kid, the federal government scared people into thinking that eggs were bad because they could increase cholesterol. So eggs were out, but meanwhile citizens weren’t educated about foods with a high-glycemic index. Eggs were “bad,” but no on said a peep about foods that were high in trans-fatty acids until much later down the line. The truth is, eggs aren’t bad for you if — just like anything else — you’re smart about how many you eat. And the truth is, it doesn’t matter how many studies the USDA puts out, it’s ultimately up to the individual to take control over not only what they put in their body, but what they want to put into their body.

Proper nutrition begins at home, and if an increasing number of children aren’t getting healthy meals where they’re need most, then perhaps that’s where public policy makers should look for answers. Mandating that kids who eat school lunch get black beans and hummus (I’d like to see much more chicken, turkey and other proteins provided) does nothing for a kid whose house is stocked with Oreo cookies, potato chips and leftover Pizza Hut from the night before. The current food pyramid actually looks like it’s trying to encourage vegetarianism; when done incorrectly that puts the body into “starvation mode,” making the body store fat! But I digress.

For those who are interested in health and nutrition, I highly suggest the documentary Fat Head. It was made on a low budget in response to Morgan Spurlock’s Super-Size Me, and while it’s obvious that the director will never win an Oscar, the content is pretty sound. It’s an eye opener, not just about how misleading Spurlock is as a filmmaker, but also the role the federal government plays in impacting your dietary health.

Keep protesting the new regulations, kids. Just don’t forget this lesson when you step onto your first college campus. These days, the ones who are supposed to “questions authority” dutifully take orders.

The Runner King


Alone together on a Sunday morning, the track and the runner form a unique relationship, one where they are simultaneously king and subject. At that moment the track exists for him. As the sun rises and the dew glistens in the grass he determines what the workout will be. Will it be a long slow run that he’s done countless times before? Will he run sprints? Or, will he glide along at a brisk pace that leaves him pleasantly winded — the kind of breathing that really lets him know he’s alive without overly taxing his body.

Any king worth his salt will always find ways to humble himself. He needs to know that there are forces out there that can bring him to his knees. He needs to know that life is temporary, and that one day he will die. The humbled man allows respect to flow through his veins, which often carries with it things like kindness and discipline, foresight and a sense of purpose.

And so, knowing this, the Runner King will often submit himself to a workout that leaves every ounce of his body screaming for mercy. The lessons he learns by testing his limits are taught to him by the track, thereby establishing it as his master. It would be easier to “jog” around the course, smile with and pride think about how much “better” he is than those still sleeping in, tucked in all snug in their beds — dreaming of doing. But the Runner King knows the he is not better than anyone else, and he reminds himself of this by running faster and faster and faster, until the burn in his bones and his heart and his lungs melts his smug sense of superiority away. Then, when it’s gone, in its place is a little diamond of thought: You came from dust, and to dust you will return.

Upon leaving, the Runner King is thankful. He is thankful for the track. He is thankful for his health. He is thankful he is alive. He is tired, but he is invigorated. And most of all, he is inspired to share the lessons he’s learned with his friends, his enemies, and the ones he loves.

Related: Why we run