I turned 57 today. And for a reason that will be clear below, I thought I’d write something personal to commemorate the date.
I usually lose weight in the summer. I exercise more and I eat better. Then comes the fall and I put most of it back on. And then a little bit more. Not a good trend. There are some ups and downs. I’ll eat salads for a few days or limit my desert intake for a while. But the trend is unmistakeable. It’s hard to know exactly where I might end up, but “bigger” is a good guess. I’m not grotesquely overweight. Just a bit heavy around the middle as I notice some men are of my age. I am just thin enough to pretend that I am “normal.” But that doesn’t really matter and the trend isn’t good.
This year, I lost about 10 pounds over the summer and within a few weeks, I put them back on. So for the first time in my life, I decided to start going to the gym. I once was a serious runner but that was 30 years ago. I’ve tried walking but there’s something about DC weather that has stopped my recent attempts to get more active outside. So off to the gym. I thought two or three trips a week would make a difference. And being more fit is a big plus. I’d enjoy those summer hikes even more if I were in better shape.
Then a friend sent me a book–Younger Next Year–saying it would change my life. It has a bit of Art Devany to it–there’s an air of science about it because it claims to based on our evolutionary past. It’s written in a breathless tone that occasionally sickens me in a book like this but it also had a certain charm. For some reason it got to me. The main theme is that once your turn 50 or so, your body starts to decay and decay quickly but that serious exercise and strength training can slow down the trend dramatically. The authors advocate 6 days a week at the gym. SIX DAYS! They say it’s like a job. You show up and do your job. They have various ideas about what kind of exercise but the main point is 45 minutes of cardio, and two of the six days should involve lifting weights.
SIX DAYS! It seemed ridiculous. And it’s really not me. Exercise as a passion has never appealed to me. But I tried it. And I like it. I’ve done it for almost three weeks now. Read a few other books to figure out what to do (including some tricks from Art Devany).
I ride a stationary bike for four days and lift weights for other two. I’ve never lifted weights before. I’m frightfully weak. But I actually enjoy it.
I’m back to my end-of-summer weight simply by exercising more and cutting out junk from my diet (one of their other pieces of advice.) I’ve also reduced portion size a bit and I find myself not missing the food I once ate. I have more energy. I feel great.
Can I keep it up? Will I want to? This post is my way of encouraging myself. I’d like to write again a year from now and be able to say I stayed on the path. It will be awkward to admit failure. So this post is my way of tying myself to the mast. The bonds are loose. But it’s a start.
Arnold Kling explains that “applying macroeconomic models to questions of fiscal policy is the equivalent of using pre-Copernican astronomy to launch a satellite.“ Yep. A model’s Rococo complexity ought not be mistaken for that model’s usefulness.
Also in The American, Steve Conover explains that “In the seven years from 2001-2007 (inclusive), not only did the middle class get at least its fair share of overall income growth, the income gap between the rich and the middle class actually got smaller.”
… is from page 258 of Tom Bethell’s excellent 1998 book The Noblest Triumph:
Property is a system of punishments, in additions to rewards.
Of course, under crony capitalism with its bailouts and subsidies, property of thissort is compromised. And being so compromised, property no longer serves one of its most useful functions: directing the use of scarce resources onto socially beneficial – and off of socially harmful – avenues.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 20, 11 (05:49 pm)
With all this frantic argument in Canberra over the desperate need to stop boat people with whatever means possible - an argument dominating so many front pages - it’s time for a little perspective.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 20, 11 (05:42 pm)
Tony Abbott must be the prime minister, to judge by how often Julia Gillard is forced to damn him and his wicked deeds, the cause of so many of our ills.
Take Gillard’s interview on ABC radio this morning (transcript below):
19 mentions of “Tony Abbott” or “Mr Abbott”
17 mentions of Abbott in third person (he/his/him)
36 mentions in all of Abbott and his badness
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 20, 11 (05:21 pm)
COALITION MPs have attacked a controversial TV satire on Julia Gillard as demeaning and suggested ABC funding should be reviewed.
Outraged opposition MPs debated the merits of At Home With Julia in a party room meeting today, with Nationals MP John Forrest urging the return of tasteful comedy shows such as the 1970s series Are You Being Served.
Mr Forrest told colleagues the satirical take on Ms Gillard’s private life demeaned the office of prime minister, after learning tomorrow’s episode features on-air prime minister Amanda Bishop and actor Phil Lloyd, playing Tim Mathieson, naked on her office floor under an Australian flag…
Liberal MP Teresa Gambaro also expressed disgust with At Home with Julia, suggesting to the party room that the national broadcaster’s funding should be reviewed.
Reader Alan RM Jones wonders why Labor is so silent - and from where the ABC scriptwriters got the idea. Was it from Bob Hawke’s 80th birthday party?:
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 20, 11 (07:04 am)
Compare The Times’ map with the satellite evidence. If global warming is so obvious, why so many preposterous exaggerations?
(The atlas’s) glossy publicity sheets begin with the contention that “for the first time, the new edition of the (atlas) has had to erase 15% of Greenland’s once permanent ice cover - turning an area the size of the United Kingdom and Ireland ‘green’ and ice-free.
“This is concrete evidence of how climate change is altering the face of the planet forever - and doing so at an alarming and accelerating rate.”
The Scott Polar group, which includes director Julian Dowdeswell, says the claim of a 15% loss in just 12 years is wrong....
“Recent satellite images of Greenland make it clear that there are in fact still numerous glaciers and permanent ice cover where the new Times Atlas shows ice-free conditions and the emergence of new lands,” they say in a letter that has been sent to the Times.
“We do not know why this error has occurred, but it is regrettable that the claimed drastic reduction in the extent of ice in Greenland has created headline news around the world.
“There is to our knowledge no support for this claim in the published scientific literature.”
It’s the deceptions, exaggerations, abuse and apocalyptic scenarios that most discredit the global warming faith.
This is a particularly astonishing example.
Three years ago, The Monthly penned a flattering profile of Deputy Greens leader Christine Milne, adding the obligatory global warming scare:
Milne is delayed, which gives me a moment to enjoy the view from her office. It’s a big glassed-in semicircle that looks down the Derwent River towards the Great Southern Ocean, where ice is melting at a more accelerated rate than was predicted even five years ago.... If
nothing is done over the next two decades, then a rise in sea levels might well see these harbour waters lapping at the doors of the coffee shops - and at the very entrance to Parliament House.
Milne liked the scare so much that she’s borrowed it - and amped it up - for her latest begging letter:
(Thanks to reader Roy.)
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 20, 11 (06:49 am)
In Victoria for decades, the northern black-backed magpie race has been pushing south towards Melbourne, previously the unassailable territory of the white-backed bird that is the sacred image on the Collingwood logo.
Now the really bad news. Ecology Professor Jane Hughes of Brisbane’s Griffith University, who has been studying the birds for about 20 years, believes she has uncovered a reason. She said the research, which has not yet been published, found the black-backed birds are better camouflaged.
By contrast, the the white backs sitting on a nest are, shall we say, sitting ducks, vulnerable to being knocked off.
What is their nemesis?
‘’Raptors,’’ she claims. ‘’Birds such as hawks.’’
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 20, 11 (06:35 am)
The Labor Government can’t pretend it wasn’t told the blinding truth:
THE head of Australia’s nuclear safeguard authority advised former prime minister Kevin Rudd that no scheme to limit carbon emissions would succeed without the building of nuclear power stations, according to leaked United States diplomatic cables.
A report on a 2008 meeting between American and Australian officials - released by WikiLeaks - records John Carlson, then director-general of Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office, as also saying he doubted there would be any shift in the Labor Party’s opposition to nuclear power....
‘’Carlson stated flatly that there was no way to get to a workable cap-and-trade system without nuclear energy, a point he had made directly to prime minister Rudd,’’ the cable says.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 20, 11 (06:21 am)
If Muslims want to reassure Australians that their faith fits in well with Australian culture, it would help if their chief spokesman fitted in so well himself that he at least spoke English after nearly 20 years here:
ISLAMIC religious law, or sharia, is often vilified but is really about freedom and tolerance, Australia’s new grand mufti says.
Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, elected in weekend voting by imams and sheiks, also said sharia corresponded with Australian laws.
“The sharia law also calls for freedom, justice, right of speech and this is something we are very fortunate to have,” Dr Mohamed told journalists in Sydney yesterday, speaking through an interpreter.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 20, 11 (06:12 am)
I’m sure the Gillard Government, so competent in every way, understands Alcoa’s business better than it does itself:
US aluminium giant Alcoa has warned that Victoria’s two aluminium smelters face a “significant threat” because of the soaring Australian dollar, high input costs and the carbon tax, raising fears of further job losses in the crisis-hit manufacturing industry…
Alcoa employs about 1200 people at the smelters and is also Victoria’s biggest exporter.
While Alcoa will receive assistance under a $9.2 billion carbon tax package for manufacturers, the company estimates it faces extra costs of more than $40 million yearly because the smelters use extraordinarily large amounts of emissions-intensive brown-coal electricity. “It is correct to say that the combination of the above situation, adverse foreign exchange and high input costs are a significant threat to the future viability,” the company has told a parliamentary committee…
Last night, the office of Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said that it was important to take into account all of the government’s assistance for its carbon tax, including support for the electricity generation sector and the package for manufacturers.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 20, 11 (06:04 am)
The smart people around Obama aren’t blind to what the voters see for themselves:
A new book about Barack Obama, whose Pulitzer-prize winning author received extensive co-operation from the White House, portrays the American president as indecisive, out of his depth and facing insubordination from advisers.
“Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President” by Ron Suskind, to be published tomorrow, could not have come at a worse time for Mr Obama. ...
Larry Summers, a former top economic adviser is quoted as telling Peter Orszag, then Mr Obama’s budget director, at a dinner in Washington’s Bombay Club: “We’re home alone. There’s no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes.” Mr Summers was US Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton.
Mr Orszag is quoted as telling the author: “Larry just didn’t think the president knew what he was deciding.”
Anita Dunn, a former Obama communications director, is quoted as saying that “looking back, this place would be in court for a hostile workplace ... Because it actually fits all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace for women."…
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 20, 11 (05:50 am)
Niki Savva sums it up well - both politics and principle say Tony Abbott must block the Gillard Government’s latest boat people scheme:
IF Tony Abbott truly believes that Julia Gillard’s Malaysia Solution will not work as a deterrent, that it is morally questionable, that human rights are not guaranteed and that proposed amendments to the Migration Act to enshrine offshore processing on Nauru are unnecessary, then he has no choice but to vigorously oppose any legislation that gives life to the live-people trade.
He could vote for the government’s amendments only if he were convinced - and he is not - that it was the only way to guarantee offshore processing as the key deterrent mechanism he would require as prime minister to stop the boats.
Abbott’s critics claim he would be a hypocrite if he voted against the amendments. In fact, he would be a hypocrite if he voted for them. Any one of the issues he has nominated is ample justification, this time at least, to just say no.
It’s hard to believe how desperate, craven and hypocritical the Gillard Government has been in trying to fix its Malaysian deal - now rejected definitively by Abbott:
Labor MPs were visibly deflated and there is likely to be another outburst by the Left faction in caucus today after Ms Gillard amended her offer to Mr Abbott in a last-ditch attempt to gain his support.
The government needs to override the August 31 High Court decision which ruled unlawful the Malaysia plan which would have swapped 800 asylum seekers for 4000 extra refugees.
A draft amendment to the Migration Act, presented to Mr Abbott on Friday, removed from the act all reference to the human rights protections that were to be guaranteed to people returned to a third country…
The opposition refused to accept the changes and there was an outcry from the Left over the removal of the guaranteed protections.
When Mr Abbott met Ms Gillard in her office yesterday, she presented him with an amended proposal. The public interest test became a more broad ‘’national interest’’ test but some human rights guarantees were inserted.
These were that the third country had to process the refugee claims of those sent there, and that the third country could not send those people back to their homeland if they faced persecution or death.
But the proposed amendments stipulated these conditions were not legally binding so the opposition refused them, too.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 20, 11 (05:43 am)
Exactly how low does Labor need to go before it decides it had better do something different?
LABOR’s primary vote has sunk to a record low of 26 per cent and Tony Abbott continues to lead as preferred prime minister…
Based on preference flows from the last election the Coalition now has a two-party-preferred lead over the ALP of 58 per cent to 42 per cent, which would wipe out the Gillard government if an election were held now.