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Men are Inherently Brutal?

This is my response to this NY Times editorial. Among the more extreme I’ve seen.

This is a ridiculous over-generalization. Extremely few men have been exposed, yet this article is about all men. Who says we are not confronting our nature? You mention years and years of such discussion. You live in Canada, which has an “explicitly female” foreign policy. Do male forces drive culture or not?

The ideologies of men are irrelevant? Then how is a discussion to occur?

Sex is every bit about power than pleasure? How do you know that? What about procreation, which is the reason we have a sex drive? Is there a role for that?

Please don’t ignore the aggressiveness of women. Women display aggression as do men. We are all human.

This piece is hatred by a man towards men. This is not the way to make progress. Calling men monsters is not a step forward. I am a man, but I am no monster, I can assure you. There are certainly women who are more monstrous than I. I for one do not want to see the end of sexual attraction. And just think about what you implying regarding homosexuality between males. It’s hate on hate and power versus power. Ugly to contemplate. Many gay men would object I think.

I do not accept that male mechanisms of desire (the erection?) are inherently brutal. This is wacko stuff.


A New Era

Here are comments I wrote after reading Bannon’s views as published by Buzzfeed. These are the comments I left on Bannon’s web site:

This is an important article. It shows how deeply humanitarian Bannon is, and reveals why the left will have problems with him. Basically, he unabashedly believes in Judeo Christian values and in traditional values such as marriage. The left will want a more “relative” take on values and morals.

He also believes in the working and middle class. Decent people who are willing to work hard and want to feel they are not falling farther and farther behind because of it.

Bannon has more understanding of crony capitalism than I ever will. He was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs.

But I see issues. Bannon+Trump is: the visionary of a movement to create a more humanitarian capitalism, and the billionaire who embodies crony capitalism in many ways, or used to (big donor to Hillary and Democrats, etc.). The question is whether Trump has embraced Bannon’s vision, because it’s not Trump’s history.

There is also a question of realism. Is a humanitarian capitalism really possible? It might be that Bannon believes that if capitalism is less “cronyistic”, it will be more humane. That’s not at all clear to me. Yes, our capitalism has crony aspects, but is the cronyism really central to the plight of the working class? Will a “pure capitalism” really help the working and middle classes?

This remains to be seen. It is a central tension in the Trump/Bannon era, a tension that is now being played out.


Life is Hard

My thoughts after the US election, 2016, are: life is hard. Rich or poor, beautiful or plain, it’s hard to find a sense of fulfillment and purpose that makes you feel at peace with the world. We are constructed to survive in the wild. We are not built to be happy. It’s important to remember this message from science. It explains a lot.

Don’t expect to be happy, although you might well be. Happiness comes with hard work and a sense of humility. Happiness is not our “right”, but an accidental outcome that, if we are lucky, we will experience it. We are not here to be happy. We are here for entirely different reasons.

My Diet Advice

In response to this article:

Don’t smoothies have tons of sugar also? I agree that cutting back sugar and carbs for breakfast is the way to go. The best way to lose weight is to deny your body sugar and carbs for long periods at a time (I mean large fractions of a day). That changes your body chemistry so that it starts burning fat, rather than making you feel hungry when the blood sugar drops a little.
I do full protein breakfast four times a week, and carbs like granola the other three times. The full protein breakfast is: omelette with “egg beaters” or similar (cholesterol free product), and chopped up veggies in the omelette (I use onions and Japapenos) and turkey sausage. That’s it. No toast, no juice, etc.
The extreme point of view on this is Vinnie Tortorich. He likes to use real eggs and pork sausage. He thinks eating cholesterol is not a problem. I’m not there yet. Also, he would not do the granola thing at all.
I don’t think you need to be as extreme as Vinnie. Just make sure that carbs are real low (close to zero!) for about 12 hours every day, or perhaps do this for several days a week. You’ll find your body will become fat-burning. You’ll burn fat and also be less hungry.
I hope this helps.

My Thoughts on US Soccer

Following US loss in the 3rd place game of the Copa America Centenario 2016:

I listened to Cowherd and Whitlock on FS1, and I completely agree with Whitlock. It’s the players. Stop blaming the coach. US players don’t have the same drive or commitment as international. We all let them off the hook because the money is not the same as in other US sports. There is only one way to win at the highest level: insane commitment and insane sacrifice. US players know that 4th is great for us. It’s not our main sport. To reach 4th in this kind of tournament is impressive, given where soccer is in our national consciousness. Maybe we’re all OK with that. Klinsmann is right. US will not play at the highest level until the players commit everything to get there. For little reward, compared to other countries. We’re afraid that if we ask more of the players, they’ll bolt and we’ll have nothing. Maybe that’s true. Until we match the level of commitment seen in other countries, we’ll continue to over-perform relative to the sport’s stature in the US, but under-perform globally.


Simple Statement Regarding Capitalism Versus Socialism

[In response to a Facebook debate…]

I try to stay out of FB politics, but I’ve been thinking about two aspects that are pervasive in this sort of debate: 1) The vast range of human talent and motivation; and 2) The inherent narcissism of human beings. Whatever system you believe in, it has to manage these two aspects. If you ignore one or the other, or weight one too highly at the expense of the other, you have trouble, no matter what political or economic system that you favor.

What People Do

Good people, that is…

People are good at something. People love to show their skill. This is a positive “I can contribute something” attitude. Contributing also keeps them integrated with the tribe. What they are good at must be seen to be important. So they sell it. Get excited about the thing you are good at. It’s important. Don’t you see how important it is?

That’s what people do.