The retreat of liberalism goes on

As communism seemingly disappeared from view at the end of the 1980s, in a sudden and unexpected blow-out, there was plenty of triumphalism around in the west.The most infamous was perhaps that of Francis Fukuyama, a US state department career man turned historian.He got his publishing break with a book called “The End of History and the Last Man”.The end of communism, he suggested, meant that man’s ideological evolution, the very stuff of history, was over. Western liberalism had won.Nothing seemed to appear on the horizon to challenge its by then unquestioned dominance.
Francis Fukuyama has continued to publish books on the history he thought had ended but his original thesis looks more and more messy the further away we get from the 1990s. Here we are in March 2018 and the retreat of liberalism is pretty much full-on.The authoritarian march of Putin and Xi is matched by their less consequential peers and puppets, men such as Erdogan in Turkey, Assad in Syria, Maduro in Venezuelas.Mea…

Looking Back: December & January & February

And before you know it, poof, a month has already gone by! And then, poof, another! I have been really slacking on posting, but I have been reading your updates when I get a chance; I am just not really commenting as much anymore. Here, in short form, is a summary of my past few months.

December quickie: In December I ran 164 miles to bring my 2017 total to 2,505 for the year, which got me to my 2,400 mile goal. I climbed 29,800 ft, which also bagged me my 450k climbing goal for the year.  I read 6 books, for a total of 94 books. My favorite for December was The Alice Network, which I talked about in my Best of 2017 book post. I traveled home for the holidays.

Running: In January I ran 204 miles and climbed 28,900 ft. In February I ran 210 miles and climbed 23,300 ft. This year I have lowered some of my goals a bit, as I have some more important things on the agenda, but I would still like to break the 2,000 mile / 400,000 ft climbing goal. I seem to be on track so far.

Lately a typical …

3 Ways Your Health Can Affect Your Money

5 Ways Your Health Can Affect Your Money
#1: How Sleep Affects Your FinancesRemember those all-nighters you used to pull in college before midterms?Science has an explanation for the wooziness you felt right before you crashed: Going without sleep for 24 or more hours makes a person perform as if they had a blood-alcohol level of 1%—.02% more than the legal limit for drunk driving.Most likely, all-nighters aren’tyour M.O. anymore, but if you’re consistently getting just four or five hours of sleep a night, your decision-making skills may not be as sharp as they could be. And that can have implications for your money.“Lack of sleep can cause us to make many poor decisions, all leading to negative financial consequences,” says Bob Gavlak, a CFP® with Strategic Wealth Partners in Seven Hills, Ohio. “It could be as simple as buying a magazine that you don’t need at the grocery, or as big as drastically overpaying for a new car.”: How Diet Affects Your Finances
Eating too many restaurant mea…

Amidst the turmoil, Trump can count major successes

From Dan Balz in the Washington Post today, this assessment of the credit side of President Trump's ledger makes for encouraging reading if you're a conservative, and should give you pause for thought if you're a liberal who thought that Trump's bizarre, maverick style might spell his doom:

"That’s not to say the president hasn’t had successes or made progress in changing the course of policy in the aftermath of the administration of President Barack Obama. He signed a huge tax cut. The economy is in good shape, unemployment is at a low level, and the stock market, despite some recent downs and ups, is well above what it was when he came into office. He has changed the enforcement of immigration laws, as he promised during the campaign. He has softened or reduced regulations on businesses. He has facilitated a conservative shift in the makeup of the federal judiciary. He has pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement and sought to shift U.S. trade p…

Is Skipping Breakfast Bad for Weight Loss?

Is skipping breakfast bad for weight loss? After all, we’ve been told for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s supposed to stoke your metabolism so that you burn more calories throughout the day. Without it, your stress hormones will skyrocket, your muscles will waste away, and you increase your risk for diabetes and heart disease. Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? Or will you do just as well without it? Selling You on BreakfastIf I was trying to sell you on the importance of breakfast, here’s how I’d go about it. First, I would mention the observational studies showing that people skipping breakfast tend to weigh more than those who don’t ] In a 2013 study, researchers found that participants who ate breakfast every day gained less weight than those who didn’t  They also reduced their risk of a spectrum of metabolic conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Next, I would tell you about the research that shows tapering down y…

Is 5×5 a Good Way to Put on Muscle?

he 5×5 Workout: What is it?The 5×5 workout is very simple: five sets of five reps for no more than a handful of compound movements, three times per week. Although there are numerous variations of the program, one of the most popular is Strong-lifts 5×5. With StrongLifts, you perform just five compound exercises each week: the dead-lift, squat, bench press, overhead press, and barbell row. There are two different workouts alternated throughout the week. In workout A, you do the squat, bench press, and barbell row. The lifts in workout B are the squat, overhead press, and dead-lift. Workout A: Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row Workout B: Squat, Overhead Press, Deadlift
For each exercise, you do 5 sets of 5 reps. The exception is the deadlift, which you do for 1 set of 5 reps. You take a day of rest between each training day. Week one looks like this: Monday: Workout A Squat 5×5 Bench Press 5×5 Barbell Row 5×5
Wednesday: Workout B Squat 5×5 Overhead Press 5×5 Deadlift 1×5
Friday: Workout A Squat 5×5 Benc…

The 3 Foods You Should Never, Ever Eat

1. Foods You Don’t LikeIf your current diet involves regularly eating food that you don’t like, you’re probably not going to be following that diet for very long. If a particular food doesn’t taste good, there’s no rule that says you have to eat it. Yes, it may very well have a number of nutritional benefits. But there are probably many other foods out there that provide the exact same benefits. There’s no need to keep eating a certain food you hate just because you’ve been told it’s “good” for you. Compliance and consistency matter a lot more than the specific foods you’re eating. 2. Foods That Take You Out of An Energy DeficitTo lose fat, you need an energy deficit. But some people find that eating certain “trigger foods” will set them off on a junk food binge that can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. If there is a packet of custard creams in my kitchen, the chances are very high that they won’t be here this time tomorrow. That’s because once the pack is open, I will eat the lot…