Black Panthers…… different than the KKK.

Why even try  and deny it? How come this is the second time they have posted, publicly, a bounty on a white man “dead or alive?”. And what kind of narrow minded, bigoted, racist, ignorant mental gymnastics do you have to perform to justify it?

If someone kills him and tries to collect how are they not complicit in a conspiracy to kill someone? Are we supposed to allow this because we are white, so we should just turn our backs to the double standard? Is the guilt we are supposed to feel for something that our relatives may or may not have done, to someone who may or may not even have been in the country at the time? Fat chance.

To the Black Panthers, I say you are a racist bunch of militant bigots. You have absolutely no interest in equality or fairness. You want special treatment, and a free pass to be thugs. Why don’t you address the black elephant in the room? Why don’t you focus your energies on stopping black on black violence in your communities? Addressing poverty? Low graduation rates? Teen pregnancy? Gangs? Drugs? Noooooooo. Can’t do that can you??

Easier to sit around and blame the white man for your problems isn’t it? Lazy bastards. Maybe you should take that ten grand and buy a clue. If you want equality, you have to earn it. Equality means attempting to belong to a society i order to reap the benefits. We give you a head start in America by saying you get that as a birth right. You are the one’s who fucked it up from there. But rather than act like a man and admit your mistakes, you stamp your feet and threaten violence.

Like a vast majority of white people have absolutely no issues with blacks. Of course we can’t admit that can we? Then you wouldn’t be important. The black community wouldn’t “need ” you to protect them….oh the horror.

How about I start a group of angry white men, you offer a bounty on the life of every black man who kills a white man? Oh, wait we already have one of those….so what’s the difference between the black panthers and the KKK?

It’s like a racist chess-set. Maybe I should invent that. The white side could have grand wizards for bishops, Paula Dean could be the queen, David Duke the king and little seedy looking clansman as pawns.

On the other side, Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson as bishops, Spike Lee would be a rook, And Malik Zulu Shabazz could be the king. For pawns? Some of our local gang bangers, just to give it some local flavor. It sounds like I am making a joke and I am. At the expense of those race-baiting ass-clowns the Black Panthers. I call you hypocrites and cowards

Im am done. The more I go on the angrier it makes me.


The End of an Era

Tonight, Boot Camp came to a sweaty conclusion. After the kettlebell swings, stick jumps, sit-ups, jumping jacks, dips and dumbbell thrusters I am finished. I am satisfied with my progress. I feel I have gotten a little stronger, but my biggest gains I feel are in my metabolic conditioning.

My barbell fundamentals and gymnastics fundamentals are complete as well. Like my previous Crossfit experience, I have the same weaknesses: pull-ups, toes to bar, ring dips and double unders. I also have some problem with the front rack position, which will affect my thrusters, front squats, etc. But that is a flexibility problem and I am working on some stretching exercises that should cure that. I know what I need to work on and I am going to attack the pull-up issue first. Short term goals, long term progress.

I will be starting Crossfit (again) on Sunday morning. The box has started with one Sunday morning class…….so for now this will be my church. A little nervous but very excited to get back into it. Back to being sore every day…….but I am going to pace myself and ease in until I get my technique and efficiency down. Then let the weight come naturally. 


Don’t Look the Other Way

I recently read an Opinion piece on CNN.CoImagem by Julian Zeilizer about the Democratic Party looking the other way on the NSA spying revelation. This issue has made me consider a point of fact that I consider central to the failure of our two-party political system.  I am not a big fan of the dichotomy of our present political system. Democrats on one side, republicans on the other and most of America split down the center blindly following our parallel paths. I have no love for this system and this is a classic example of why.

Our system is designed around winning, specifically around your side winning. It doesn’t matter that you don’t like all the players on the team. It doesn’t matter that you may not like the stance they have on all of the issues. It’s only about your team. No matter what! That means you either ignore those parts of their political dogma that you do not agree with, or you perform some mental gymnastics and compromise your beliefs in order to support “your team”.  Who doesn’t love a winner right? I mean c’mon, maybe your guy/gal isn’t always perfect on every issue but they need you. So bend your morals and vote the party line.

The current system breeds this. You mean to tell me that all republicans feel exactly like all those fundamentalist Christian republicans do about abortion? If you are a black, southern democrat you now have more n common with most of your local KKK members than I do (only in the fact that I am white I would hastily add).  How many liberals want to claim deceased democratic governor George Wallace? How many hawkish Conservatives who probably have a picture of Reagan somewhere in their house remember “History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap”? So if we don’t see eye to eye on everything then why sell your soul so completely? How can you ever claim to be intellectual and do that?

It is the heart of this CNN piece. The latest NSA spying scandal………and why we haven’t heard a peep out of Democrats. And why such staunch defenders of our liberties during the Bush years, such as Diane Feinstein, actually defend the program under Obama. We saw the same thing during the Bush years. Right after 9/11 when the Patriot Act came out, how many Republicans opposed it? Almost none. Wow, silence from the smaller government crowd as Bush created an entire new department in the Federal government. Shockingly quiet as we started really spying on ourselves in the name of safety. But why? Why do we follow this stupid hypocritical cycle of decrying what the opposite side does, then cheering when our guy does it? Isn’t it just as wrong?

Yes it is. But we look the other way when it’s our guy. We compromise our integrity so that our side will win. The article opines that many Democrats aren’t challenging Obama on this issue, because they are hesitant to not support a leader who is with them on many domestic policies. So think about that for a minute. We know it’s wrong. If the other guy did it we surely wouldn’t give him a pass. But we want something else so we compromise (our morals, our ideals, and our integrity) in order to get something else.

That is what is wrong with us. We should never compromise our ideals. Not any of them. Not ever. Not for some gain in a different area. Not for security, not for safety, and never for a promise. Compromise is what got us where we are now. Billions in debt, housing bubbles, bailouts, wars, terrorism on our own soil, these are all direct results of compromise. It shouldn’t matter who is spying on you, wrong is wrong for any reason. Remember, the person you are giving a pass to, isn’t always going to be in charge.  We should be even harder on our own people for not living up to the ideals that they sold us on.  Shame on us all for doing it. Compromising your morals and your integrity is a slippery slope into evil. And if compromise is what politics has become then I say politics, and politicians are evil.

I say we are evil for allowing it to happen. There should be stalemates, filibusters and gridlock. That means the system is working.  It means we are standing up for what we believe. Not compromising, or rather selling our souls a piece at a time, so we might get something that we want later. Think about that the next time someone tells you to vote the party line.


Stage two and pre-workout jitters

So I finished my second barbell fundamentals class. There is a sense of pride in knowing you learned from someone who placed fairly well in the Northeast Regionals this year, Jennifer McNabney. The coaching for the second class was every bit as good as the first session with Jeff Rice. Both competent, professional, and encouraging. Again we were promised that we would not be allowed to go beyond our abilities once we enter the Crossfit pool with the rest of the sharks. Which is a good thing. Because I remember from my last box, right after on-ramp we tried to do too much too soon. Say hello to injury and discouragement.

I did remember a lot of the lifting movements, but I still kept an open mind enough to left myself be coached through them. I learned a thing or two about my form that’s for sure.I will also admit smiling inside when we did a 45 pound clean and jerk, knowing that I am capable of much more. My Grace time may be nine-something, but I did it at 135. I am going to hold myself back in weight for a while and just focus on technique. Whenever I would do oly lifts in a WOD, I had the feeling I was wasting way too much energy due to faulty technique. If I can become more efficient, I know I am strong enough to move a lot of weight in a short amount of time. It only requires patience….the way of the warrior.Open your mind and focus on the technique first, the rest will follow.

I did notice a reoccurring theme at boot camp. I get pre-workout jitters. I have no idea why. Its just mild apprehension, but it is interesting. I wonder if everyone gets it? That feeling of doubt that you won’t do good enough, that some exercises will be harder than you anticipated, maybe there is something programmed in that you really don’t want to do. But you end up killing it anyway. And next time, I show up all motivated ready to conquer the world, and there is that feeling again.

You have to force yourself push through the self-doubt, the apprehension, and not let it become an excuse to perform poorly. I will be damned if I will let myself get in m own way.

There is only forward…..

Happy Independence Day

Every July 4th, we take some time to spend with our families. We enjoy fireworks, cook-outs, swimming pools, and did I mention fireworks? Yes, twice because I am guy and I could sit there for hours like a child, watching things explode.Yup, simple creature. But let’s talk about whats really important. Why does the fourth of July really mean so much for us?

It’s not just because for some of us it’s a day off from work. It’s not just time spent with family. It’s is not entirely about the birth of our country. We all have reasons why we celebrate today. Put those aside for a minute and look at what we are told about the American Revolutionary War. Everyone learns at least in passing about Concord, Bunker Hill and Valley Forge. We revel in the hard fought glory that our ancestors earned at great cost and with their lives. Sure we have to remember all of that. But there is so much more that we have to be proud of.

How about the fact that thirteen independent colonies stood together and said that an attack against one is an attack against all. Think of all of the great men, some with doubt gnawing at their souls, gathered together to draft a statement declaring our independence treasonous enough to have them all hanged. These are great things worthy of more than just a passing examination in a grade-school history class. How many people know that at Valley Forge General Washington had surgeons use the then controversial tactic of vaccination to save his army from smallpox? Who can tell you the name of the Irish marksman who served under Daniel Morgan that killed British General Fraser and caused the British offensive top fall apart during the Battle of Bemis Heights. Who can tell you about the politics involved in keeping the colonies and the army together? Who can speak to the division between citizens who were loyalists and those who wanted independence.

There is so much to now about the events before and after this day that led to the birth of our nation. But let’s keep it simple. A long time ago, a group of people were not happy with their circumstances.  They were tired of being subjects, unfairly treated ones at that. They felt that their blood, sweat and sacrifice to carve out a life here should count for something. They dared to dream of a place where no one would be their lord. Where no one would tell them how to live. These sometimes outnumbered and almost always outgunned amateurs showed the world how great they could be. They were the very spirit of the underdog. And they pulled it off through perseverance, sacrifice, honor  and at times sheer guts.

Who does not admire that? So for at least today put everything else aside and just be an American. Forget politics, philosophy and all that other stuff that divides us. Today just be an American. And be proud to be living in a country born upon the backs and lives of those whom wanted something more for themselves and their children.

Now go get your hot dog on……and don’t forget those fireworks.

Crushed by it…

As a follow up to last nights post when i said that I “crushed it” at boot camp….i now feel like it has frushed me.
I have no doubt i will be stronger for it. My soreness is my reward for hard work. It tells me I oudhed beyond. Its a humbling confirmation.
I hope i can achieve this state again.

Crushing It

The last few Boot camp classes, I have really hit it hard. Maybe compared to some I wasn’t the fastest or strongest. Maybe I was, but I was too busy to notice. For some reason I have just been able to get into the zone. My conditioning is getting stronger and all of my numbers are eeking upwards. I make sure to meticulously track how many of each exercise I do through each round, and compare them to the weeks before.

I am proud to say, I am crushing it. Working consistently, pushing hard through each round. My focus and discipline is getting sharper. Results. Small each week, but when you stack them up, over time it can show significant progress.

I also started the CrossFit fundamentals classes on top of that. I did my first barbell class (one of two) the other day. I did a similar program at my last box. But this coach was a lot better. You can tell he has been teaching/coaching this for a while. I learned a lot. I also learned that even after we complete fundamentals, they closely monitor your progress in the first few months, just to make sure you are getting it right with the lifts and not jumping ahead to too much weight too fast. I really respect that. Last place it was “on ramp is done, welcome to the WOD.135 Power cleans…I’ll be over here on my iPhone if you need anything”.

I think I have found good coaches.In any sport, when you are new good coaches mean the difference between getting someone to excel and love what they do, or just get by until they get frustrated or hurt.

I am sore, but happy. Happy with my progress. Happy with my decision. Even my eating paleo has been staying on track fairly well. I have started doing a twice weekly weigh in. Just to see whats going on. Its amazing how much your body can burn off after a workout and at night while you are sleeping. I know a good portion of it is water weight and you will hydrate it back in the morning, but it is still fascinating.

More progress updates to come.