Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks to God, 2018 version

I first wrote a version of this blog post 12 years ago, in 2006. The situation has gotten worse, not better.

George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789 to set aside “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God.”

This should surprise no one, really; the act of giving thanks requires someone to give thanks to.

Unfortunately, some of the un-educated lightweights running our school systems are dedicated to burying the truth above. Some teachers cannot even mention the word Thanksgiving because ‘the pilgrims offended the Indians’ and ‘Thanksgiving was never intended to be thanks to God.'”

Look, it’s just historical fact, it isn’t pushing anybody to convert. Learn to distinguish between two unlike things. It’s useful sometimes, especially for an education professional.

The article from which I pulled the above quote, "Taking the 'Thanks' out of Thanksgiving", goes on to make a larger point:
We have allowed ourselves to become controlled by our fears. Rather than risk offending someone, we would sooner toss our rich history and traditions on the pyre of political correctness. But such an approach is destined for failure. Indeed, even if you breathe, you are sure to offend someone. What is the result? We gain nothing. We water down and suck the life out of what once gave meaning and direction to our lives. In the end, our children will be the ones who lose out, left with little clue as to where they came from or where they may be going in life.

We have also lost our sense of reverence. Too many Americans have little, if any, gratitude for the liberty and material comforts we enjoy—both of which were made possible through great sacrifice. Heedless of our many blessings, as a nation, we are tempting fate.
My job as a parent, because schools are unwilling to do it, is to fight this anti-American trend that obscures our true history and origins. I educate my kids on the powerful role religion played in guiding the Founding Fathers and the resulting documents that have guided us well for 200+ years, and how the freedoms we enjoy today are unique in the history of mankind, and were earned by the blood of some of our best young people on various battlefields throughout the world.

Because all of the above is true, and even more importantly, we do ourselves a disservice when we ignore it, or pay homage to others instead.

Does that mean I think we are a perfect nation? Of course not. There are lots of things I’d like to see changed; but just because we aren’t perfect does not imply we aren’t pretty damn good.

We provide the freedoms necessary to any person born in this country, or who legally emigrates here, to do just about anything they like, limited only by their desires and capacities.

For most people, that’s all they really want. But most areas of the world are ruled by corrupt thugs and criminals, who have no interest in providing anything approaching a useful economy or the rule of law or the right to own private property to their subjects.

The very least we can do, to honor both those who died to protect us from those horrors, and those who designed the documents that protect us from those horrors, is to frankly and honestly assess their contributions throughout history.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The best exercise is anything you'll keep doing, year after year

Article says: Weight lifting better for heart health than running

The key quote from the article's 2nd paragraph is "... static activities such as weight lifting or press-ups have a greater effect than an equivalent amount of dynamic exercise such as running, walking or cycling.'

Equivalent amount. So sure, if you can do pushups for 40 minutes, go for it. I'll walk or ride the bike, I think. And I'll do pushups at other times, to serve other goals besides maintenance and mental clarity and stress relief, as part of a mostly well-rounded program that works for me.

Running is definitely overdone by lots of people. Overuse injuries and weakening of certain muscle groups (quads, etc.) are obvious downsides. But people who love running -- I used to be one -- are usually addicted to it for the endorphins, and consequences be damned. They could choose other things to do that would benefit their health in ways we can see, but from their perspective, this works for them and in fact most runners love it and would never, ever give it up until they are forced to.

Walking and biking are different, I think. Far easier on the joints. More fun and enjoyable. Easier and therefore more likely folks will keep doing them. Big emotional and mental benefits. Great sleep at night. Something you can do into old age. Good thinking time. People should do both of them as much as possible, whatever other exercise they may be doing, especially as they age.

The point here is that maintenance exercise serves different goals than HIIT and an hour of calisthentics and deadlifts, and those goals are still worthwhile, either as part of a larger more ambitious program, or by themselves. Anything is better than nothing.

Over the years I have found that the best approach to exercise is to find something you will keep doing because it works for you. Doing several things is better, of course, but even doing one thing is better than sitting on the couch. Everything after that is details.

via Maggies Farm

Saturday, November 17, 2018

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

Hank Williams Jr - All in Alabama

A good song in its own right, but listen to the words - this is a true story of how he nearly died falling off a mountainside in Montana, during a difficult time in his life when he was already struggling in his career, doing things he didn't really want to do anyway, like singing his famous dad's music.

During his recovery he realized who his friends were, and how important his family was, and how important it was to be true to your roots, and that he'd better start living his own life right now and quit living the life others had chosen for him.

My favorite verse:

I've done a whole lot of searchin'
A whole lot of hurtin'
Before I finally found
My road in life
You gotta say things you wanna say
Go on and do things your own way
You can climb any old mountain
Once you make up your mind