Media On Anarchists: They’re Like Donald Trump and ISIS Rolled Into One(?)

January 12, 2018



Part One

Anarchism is in the news once again. As usual, it is being drastically misrepresented.
A good example is an article by The American Conservative, which actually compares historical anarchists with ISIS. Predictably, it starts by claiming that, “Today, revolutionary anarchists seem archaic, almost quaint. But for around 50 years, from the 1880s to the 1930s, anarchists carried out terror …”

Well, you can surely see where they are going, or attempting to go. One could simply note that ISIS are very much in favor of authority, and that this instantly makes comparisons somewhat shaky.  Add in just how terrible ISIS is and, well, there is now even less of a comparison.  Unfortunately, despite the powerful research capabilities of the internet, few will study the issue any further than what’s said in their article. But what does it say? One implication is that all anarchists were terrorists, and that…

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Aluminum Foil and Other Food Fears

June 30, 2016

In my last article I discussed the Paleo diet, why I am considering it, assessed a few pros and cons (overwhelmingly pros), and I even linked to Paleo cookbooks.  Now, just a few minutes ago, I saw an article on my Facebook wall about how aluminum foil might be able to leech into your food if you use it in the oven.  The article says low level exposure is not a problem, but exposing it to heat for extended periods of time while wrapping your food might be.

Frankly, this is a bit of a bummer for me.  It seems damn near every cooking technique — if not every food — potentially poses some sort of health risk .  This is yet another example.  At the same time, I’m not exactly shaking in my boots, just like I’m not going to sing high praises about the aforementioned Paleo diet — even if I try it and like it.  In fact, I might only dabble in this diet or that.

Still, I wonder how this news might impact outdoor barbecues which, at least from what I’ve seen, very often make use of aluminum foil.  I was originally mystified by the apparent anti-bread movement when going gluten free became a big thing, and now I wonder how far this particular ball will roll.  I’ve also read that any food that is partly burnt can increase one’s cancer risk.  This means not only meats (which vegans would stress) but also vegetables (and potato chips).

There’s also a longstanding theory that boiled food  loses some potency of its vitamins.  That may not be entirely true, but it sounds good, right?  Or should I say it sounds bad?  Either way, I do suggest looking into all of these issues, finding out what sounds the most plausible and behaving in whatever way you feel comfortable.  It’s your body.  You can throw caution to the wind, exercise caution occasionally, or just freak out about every little possible health risk you read about.  Me, I’m probably somewhere in the middle, and you’re welcome to join me.

What The Heck Is Paleo Dieting?

June 30, 2016

If you’re anything like me, you eat all kinds of foods, for better or worse.  Still, as I am in my mid-30s,  I’ve reached that point where the “for worse” part is felt a little easier.  I have a gut (or a “paunch,” to use a slightly classier term).  Increasingly, I don’t have nearly the energy level I would like.  This is all despite the fact that I get exercise fairly often.  I don’t even have a vehicle and rarely take cabs or public transportation, so I walk pretty often.

So what’s the problem?  According to advocates of the paleolithic or “paleo” diet, the problem isn’t just that I’m naturally getting old, fat, lazy, etc.  No, the problem is that I’m too centered on a modern diet.  The specific culprits they cite?  Dairy products, grain-based foods, legumes, extra sugar, and processed foods in general.  In their place, paleo diet advocates stress the importance of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs, and lean meats.  The kicker is, I like all of those things they emphasize  already!  Why don’t I emphasize them more in my diet?

Like anything, the paleo diet has its critics.  For example, it’s debated whether the food intake of cavemen is relevant to the modern world, and it’s argued that their digestive systems had to have been different.   But I wonder more if the diet of the modern world is relevant to me.  I hardly think eating those things would have me literally revert to some caveman self.  In fact, I assume I’d end up feeling more modern in some aspects, because I’d probably have more energy to possibly go out and see the world rather than sit around eating potato chips and watching it on a screen.

Now, I don’t want to sound like an utter Ted Kaczynski-style primitivist (I am using a laptop right now, after all), but modern technology and corporate food practices probably haven’t been 100% good for our food.  And if it’s not 100% good for our food, it’s not 100% good for us, obviously.  As the saying goes, we are what we eat.  If we want to improve ourselves it only makes sense to consider possible improvements to our diets.

Given how decent the paleolithic food selections sound, I pretty much don’t even care if it’s a “fad diet,” or whatever dismissive language one might use for it.  I would consider just about any corporate food to be more fad diet than that.  I mean, what is the average candy bar?  The cappuccino that I bought yesterday?  A frozen pizza?  A can of pop (or “soda” if you’re not from the Midwest)?  These all might taste good at times, but they sound more fad-like than vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds,  etc.  In short, I truly and honestly can’t find that much wrong with this diet suggestion.  I’ve even tried to.  In fact, even  if I were a vegetarian, I could certainly modify my diet to still reflect key aspects of the paleo thing.  And maybe it needn’t be an all or nothing thing, you know?  Maybe I could eat well 27 days of the month and dabble in junk food on the rest.

More generally, I find the idea of any diet solution to be interesting.  Is my problem really junk food or the fact that I eat too much of it?  Metabolism is surely another aspect.  If I had a different metabolic rate, I would have a different girth.  If I’d cut down on the sweets even marginally I might feel the difference.  If I pursued this paleo dieting thing, maybe I’d finally lose that flab that’s been annoying me for years.  And, of course, this isn’t just about looks, but about health.  Long story short, I eat too much nonsense right now.

If you’re interested in the pale diet, you can always check out this collection of paleo cookbooks.

generic observation on culture and behavior

January 8, 2016

Culture is undeniably shaped by events,
and culture undeniably shapes events.
The idea that there is a “right way” or “wrong way” to act
certainly impacts our personal decisions.
Be aware of this phenomenon in your everyday dealings.
We all slip up and do things we regret.  Be aware of that, too.


August 17, 2015

First supply me with reason, reason supplies me with doubt.
I always return from within my mind, to ponder that I ever got out —


May 22, 2015

Bwa ha ha ha!
Check out the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System,”
which is “a system of two aerostats, or tethered airships, that float 10,000 feet in the air. The helium filled aerostats, each nearly as long as a football field, carry powerful radars that can protect a territory roughly the size of Texas from airborne threats.”
Thank you, Raytheon! People weren’t scared of constant government surveillance enough, so now we get to fear it Hindenburg-style.
I also love how its listed in their “products” section.
Bwa ha ha ha!

A bit of historical trivia on the Big Bang

April 29, 2015

Irony time: The Big Bang theory was first proposed by a Belgian priest, astronomer and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Leuven.

But wait! Don’t some religious folks deny the Big Bang because they consider it anti-God? Also, don’t some atheists claim that religious people are almost inherently against scientific advancement?

The lesson to me is simple: Stop trying to impose agendas so much on history just to simplify things so you can cram them into some convenient narrative. Look at the facts, don’t lose sight of them, and draw conclusions from there.

Keep on clicking

April 6, 2015

You can’t stop reading this trash,
or looking at the various cameras Click!
Everything rushes by, only faster now,
and people keep wanting what they are not allowed,
just to make the sewer and the fire blend.
Keep on clicking.

nothing as it seems to be

February 18, 2015

As set forth, nothing as it seems to be
Your propitiation swings like a machete.

New Year’s Resolution

January 5, 2015

Though it seems so worthless, you imagine all you want done,
and consider all who won’t do it for you.
It’s time to cut the extra loop
and let those laced to you now go free.

At the molecular level,
you hate yourself
and all you can and cannot see.
But some things you have to move away from,
just to make some elbow room,
so let those laced to you now go free.