20 June 2010 (am)

Workout notes I was just going to “grab bag” it; maybe walk a little, swim, lift. But when I got to the East Peoria trail and started strolling at 15 mpm I thought “I am enjoying this…why not” so I just kept it up. So total: 2:25 for 10 easy miles (1:14 out, 1:11 back) and it warmed up to 80 F, 67 percent humidity by the time I finished.

The knee hurt a little but not enough to detract from my enjoyment; and I saw a small garden snake on the path. It curled up in defense when I passed by it. My posture was better; the downside is that more people greet me when my head is up, and frankly I go to the trail to zone out. I prefer the coolness of the Chicago paths.

My technique was much better than yesterday; basically my “not trying to keep my knees straight” walking is really what counts for running (sans impact) and my slower, straighter (but realistically still not legal) walking is my current walking.

Sports Humor: this is a sight that I’ll never see during a race if I look over my shoulder, unless it is a multi loop course and I am getting lapped. 🙂


I love the Rat character. 🙂

This isn’t much of a “sale”, is it?

Mind Here is an interesting example at how people can miss details when they are focused on something else. This is why.

Perspective: yes, kids sometimes choke on hotdogs but it is still safe for them. After all, the kids are in far more danger when they take a car ride.

Superstition Ok, you have a massive oil spill doing lots of damage. So what do you do? Seek divine intervention?

While cleanup crews and technical teams continue efforts to stop crude gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana lawmakers are proposing a different approach: prayer.

State senators designated Sunday as a day for citizens to ask for God’s help dealing with the oil disaster.

“Thus far efforts made by mortals to try to solve the crisis have been to no avail,” state Sen. Robert Adley said in a statement released after last week’s unanimous vote for the day of prayer. “It is clearly time for a miracle for us.”

The resolution names Sunday as a statewide day of prayer in Louisiana and calls on people of all religions throughout the Gulf Coast “to pray for an end to this environmental emergency, sparing us all from the destruction of both culture and livelihood.”

They don’t seem to be talking about prayer in the sense of “ok, let me center myself and see how I can help”. They seem to be asking for the suspension of the laws of nature on their behalf. That is nothing more than superstition, period.

More on the spill
Here is Senator Whitehouse’s floor speech. Notice how he takes regulators to task and points out how some of the regulations were “cut and paste” from other regions.

Speaking of regulators, this opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal talks about “regulatory capture”; this is the situation in which the regulators get so close to the industry that they are supposed to be regulating, they stop being hard on the industry and start tyring to make things easier on them rather than protecting the public:

The reason why those who see economic regulations as akin to tyranny often win policy debates is because they have a fiery argument with visceral appeal. Those who try to sell the virtues of the supervisory state tend to favor the passive voice. They don’t do fire. They do law review.

The situation ought to be the reverse today. We have just come through the most wrenching financial disaster in decades, brought about in no small part by either the absence of federal regulation or the amazing indifference of the regulators.

This is the moment for a ringing reclamation of the regulatory project. President Barack Obama is clearly the sort of man who could do it. But in a white paper his administration released on the subject last week, the bureaucratic mindset prevails.

The report uses bland, impersonal explanations for the current crisis. Regulatory agencies were ill-designed, we are told. Their jurisdictions overlapped. They had blind spots. They had been obsolete for years.

All of which is true enough.

What the report leaves largely unaddressed, however, is the political problem.

It was not merely structural problems that led certain regulators to nap through the crisis. The people who filled regulatory jobs in the past administration were asleep at the switch because they were supposed to be. It was as though they had been hired for their extraordinary powers of drowsiness.

The reason for that is simple: There are powerful institutions that don’t like being regulated. Regulation sometimes cuts into their profits and interferes with their business. So they have used the political process to sabotage, redirect, defund, undo or hijack the regulatory state since the regulatory state was first invented.

Surf to the link to read some more background.

International. Yes, we are still “accidentally” killing civilians. I can’t even imagine how furious I’d be if this were happening in my society to my friends and neighbors.

Civil liberties Yes, it really is against the law to film the police in some states (including mine!)

Fox News: another outrageous lie to fire up the yokels:

FOX accuses Obama of giving land back to Mexico Hotlist
by Dante Atkins
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Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 02:00:05 PM PDT

I was about to say that you can’t make this stuff up. But if you’re Fox News, you can make up absolutely anything that you like. Check out this glaring headline from the Website The Fox Nation:

So what is the real story?

I’ll let Media Matters take it from here. Ari Rabin-Havt, Vice-President for Research and Communications, sent a letter to Fox News demanding a correction of the record:

Dear Mr. Clemente:

I am writing to you to demand that you correct a glaring error made both on Fox News and on Fox’s website The Fox Nation.

The Fox Nation used the preposterous headline “Obama Gives Back Major Strip of AZ to Mexico” to trumpet a report about a closure of land in a national wildlife refuge in Arizona. During that America Live report, guest host Shannon Bream stated: “A massive stretch of Arizona now off limits to Americans. Critics say the administration is, in effect, giving a major strip of the Southwest back to Mexico.”

But according to Bonnie Swarbrick, who is the public information officer for the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona, the “massive stretch” of land is about five miles square, it’s been closed since 2006, and it obviously hasn’t been given back to Mexico.

Swarbrick told Media Matters that the area in the refuge bordering Mexico was “closed in 2006 during the construction of a vehicle barrier.” Work on the vehicle barrier progressed into the construction of a 12-foot fence along the part of the refuge that borders Mexico, which is about seven miles long. The area has been kept closed “to allow the Border Patrol to do their work,” she said. Swarbrick added that the small strip of land that is closed makes up “less than 0.03 percent” of the refuge and said that the rest of the reserve is still open to the public.

So let’s recap. In 2006, the Bush Administration closed off a five-square-mile stretch of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge to the public to allow the Border Patrol to improve security. Owing to mission creep of sorts, this section stayed closed. And how does Fox interpret this? That President Obama is giving vast stretches of land back to Mexico.

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Barack Obama, civil liberties, cop, economy, environment, Fox News Lies Again, humor, mind, nature, neuroscience, Peoria, Peoria/local, Personal Issues, politics, politics/social, quackery, racewalking, religion, running, science, social/political, sports, statistics, superstition, time trial/ race, training, walking | Leave a comment