The DOD’s Position on your Beerbelly


Image result for beer belly cartoon                                                                                                     Image result for nuclear bomb explosion

Gut Bomb Indeed!

There’s trouble Jim!

Our plush lovable beer holsters are a threat to national security.

By the year 2040, 100% of the federal budget will be on Medicare and Medicaid.

Sick people are a liability, which is why the DOD has put a sick nation on par with nuclear war.

According to Chris Kresser, an author and health researcher, the DOD has in fact named health care as an existential threat.

That’s truly wild.

While I do think it reasonable to make conservative guesses, on the potential future outcomes of trends, based on solid data and interpretative frameworks (I’m real fun at parties!); I’m generally cautious about taking predictions completely on board, no matter the source.

Despite the click-baitiness of Kresser’s claims* they’re probably not far off target.

What makes me say this is the data that we already have.

Kresser threw down some hard facts on his recent appearance, on a popular podcast known as The Joe Rogan Experience.

One in two American’s has a chronic disease. That’s either you or the guy next to you.

One of the most common chronic diseases is diabetes.

1/3 of Americans are either pre-diabetic or diabetic. Diabetes-like all chronic diseases is expensive, with treatment costs adding up to 630, 000 dollars over an average lifespan – 45 years at an average of $14k/yr.

Add that to our other well known financial woes and a truly cataclysmic outcome doesn’t seem unlikely.

Catastrophist I am not. I am cataclysm averse. I don’t think they happen that often. I know they don’t happen as often as people who stand to profit, from the various doomsday cottage industries, would like you to believe.

But catastrophes do occur. Floods, hurricanes, stock market crashes, wars, such things aren’t uncommon. And when one such thing gets sufficiently out of hand, then it approaches the parameters of cataclysm.

‘1/3 of Americans’ is getting parametrically awkward.

I call this the calculus of: Oh shit.

So what’s to be done?

Fixing the federal budget is beyond the scope of this article.

The answer to this looming disaster is simple. It is far simpler than becoming vigilant and educated citizens.

It is the doctrine of personal responsibility. Ok, doctrine doesn’t sound simple. I promise I’m not a libertarian...So…. how about eat less pasta, play more Tennis. Or just good ol’ ‘Put down that cheeseburger.’

While it’s simple it’s not necessarily easy. One of Kresser’s more plausible tidbits was informing us that food companies paid scientists, to exploit our penchant for the yummies to create hyper-addictive foods.

Fortunately, it seems that the more good choices you make the easier it is to make good choices. Knowing that your Cheetos are engineered to make you buy Cheetos will probably help along the rocky path to healthier living.

One aspect of Kresser’s recent appearance that I especially appreciated was his focus on the psychology of change.

Preaching of the virtues of vigor and promising the Valhalla of washboard abs isn’t really helpful. And despite Milo Yinappolis’s claims to the contrary, ‘shaming’ didn’t work terribly well when I tried the tactic on my heavier brethren.

Kresser skipped these standard pitches and instead focused on laying out methods for working with your biology to build better habits. Stuff like the potato hack. (To get more on this I recommend you visit his website and listen to JRE #1037.)

Kresser stressed the need to take people on a case by case basis since each person’s body responds to various techniques differently. Joe Rogan hammered this point home by pointing out how Robb Wolf’s wife was healthier despite the couple living and eating almost exactly the same.

There is, of course, a bit more than dietary changes and commitments to exercise needed to resolve today’s grim health issues. What we need to do is undergo a paradigm shift in how we approach our health.

The impression I have is that despite all the organic brick-a-brac and Yoga, we’re still functioning under the idea that we’re eventually ‘just going to get sick.’ That the first thing to do when this happens is to go to the doctor and get some pills, the sooner the better.

You should, of course, go to the doctor if you’re feeling sick but you have to understand that the doctor isn’t there to ‘fix you.’ You should understand that you don’t want the doctor to fix you. Just like you don’t want the mechanic to fix your car. The doctor should be there to help you when accidents happen or when certain specialized maintenance should be done. The doctor is not a magical backup.

I really don’t mean to be patronizing. I know this is simple stuff and most people know it. But as Rogan and Kresser pointed out knowing something and putting it into practice are two different ballgames.

There are various cultural assumptions and lifestyle habits that lead us to a somewhat mystical notion of modern medicine.

We must remember that modern medicine is a specific science for solving specific problems. We must understand that ‘repair’ is not the same thing as ‘maintenance.’

Putting that knowledge into practice means educating yourself on the limits of medical intervention and its true role: a method to get you back to ‘LIVING’ healthily rather than ‘MAKING’ you healthy.

What you’ll find if you listen to the podcast will have you buying potatoes and signing up for the gym post haste.

* These may well be true but my lackadaisical Googling has yielded several think tank studies which will just have to wait.

– This article was brought to you by Big Potato. They’re not paying. Simply threatening me with vague warnings about being careful where my chips fall, something about the Knights Tuber, and Spudtaneous Combustion. Therefore I’m scared and need a drink so visit my Patreon.

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TAP # 8 – Procrastinating Writer – Stray Thoughts on Craftsmanship

Partially just a way to say that it’s ok to be dorky and amateurish. And partially the introduction of another concept. I’ve done various versions of the idea that: ‘learning music and math is good for everyone — because it builds discipline.’ This one came out ‘OK’ enough to upload. Though I really hope to improve on it in the future. I know it’s not anything new but I feel it’s a truth worth repeating. Thinking of seguing this into what is ‘best’ for songwriting material. Feedback is appreciated. Thanks for stopping by.

TAP # 7 – Time Management in a Post Industrial Economy +

I give a brief description of an idealized day for an indie sorta guy or gal. I also discuss the need for a stronger emphasis on craftsmanship in arts as a vehicle for economy and SANITY. Thanks for stopping by.


More articles and stories coming in the next week.

Smell The Bacon

Image result for francis bacon
Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)

For Miss Birdie my very own Eliza…

Has everything been said?

A lot of people presented with a blank page are familiar with this question.

The answer is of course no.

But, let’s for just a moment imagine that the answer is yes. There is nothing new under the sun, all is vanity, and the Simpsons have in fact already done it, twice.

Well, writers would be out of a job wouldn’t they? In fact most professions that rise above agriculture and maintenance would be rendered moot. In short art, philosophy, and a good deal of science would simply die.

Well…Would they? I think not. And I think that’s a beautiful thing. Perhaps even the most beautiful and profound thing about existence.

Allow me to explain.

There is an art all its own in worthy repetition.

It’s an art that’s more recognizable in that trite mantra, “Say it in your own words.”

At its heart it is about comprehension and appreciation. Therein lies its beauty. Therein the solution to Solomon’s eternal ennui.

That solution being the very one the Ecclesiast presented. The solution being finding contentment in that which is. Not that which should be or which could be. Those twin gods of the novelty obsessed. (What devilry novelty is! Teasing and ever tormenting with promises never fulfilled.)

What is the end of mankind but to perceive and enjoy that which is? One needs no faith to appreciate this. It is a truth whose digestion is easy for skeptic and cleric alike.

The fact is, that which is, recurs. Not in exact facsimile but the general patterns are there, with enough fidelity to brand as recurrence.

So recur the things that must be said. Yet their flavor changes. Because those who say it are new. They are new parts assembled from the old, and in reciprocal fashion, these assemble old parts from the new. What a thing it is!

So there is no such thing as a bold new frontier. For what is a frontier, but a thing so ancient, as to be untouched by the novel foot called man?

Yes there is but one art. One sacred art. The art of cultivation. The tending of an eternal garden whose fruits, trees, and flowers blossom of their own accord.

This is the art of Eden.

It sings “I am continuance and I am not to be defined. I am to be enjoyed. To be loved.”

What manifold blossoms what manifold ways! You can sing, you can write, you can etch. You can love and you can direct.

When one is sated on such fruits why should she reach for the forbidden thing called ‘Define.’

Perhaps it was God’s end to make mankind because Godhood is over-rated. Perhaps there is a Hell and it is called Completeness. What Good would a Good Lord be if He doomed His creatures to such a Fate from the outset?

The art of worthy repetition occurred to me today when I came across a rendering of the thoughts of Francis Bacon.

The thing occurred as I am rereading the springboard for my current project, E.O. Wilson’s Consilience, The Unity of Knowledge.

‘Look at that!’ I said. That is precisely what I’ve been meaning to say and it was said so well four hundred years ago! What business have I prattling on? Dejection creeped upon me.

Till I realized: If I’ve just had my thoughts echoed from a distance of four centuries… why not become an echo?

Because it is a worthy thing that I wish to Magnify…

The Father of Induction saw fit to say that the mind,

“is not like a wax tablet. On a tablet you cannot write the new till you rub out the old; on the mind you cannot rub out the old except by writing in the new.”

What an altogether compact and lovely way to say everything that I have said above!

Yet, Bacon said much more that I have wished to say, and will echo here today.

He saw the importance of psychology. Saw it as being of utmost use for effective science and creativity. Even though the word had not been codified, he understood the value for getting a grasp on the mechanisms of mind. This is precisely what I have been stressing, and meaning to stress better, by positing that the first and foremost of lenses is perception itself. One that must be polished and studied with more caution than any other science.

Sir Francis Bacon also cautioned of the ‘idols of the mind.’ My, what a way to warn against those perils which have so vexed me to espy ahead, behind, and all around. What a fitting term is ‘idol’ for this idolatry! For taking living truths and turning them into wooden follies.

  • The first is the idol of the tribe. That thing that superimposes an artificial, constricting order, where there is a natural ‘chaos.’

  • The second is the idol of the cave, which is subjectivity. Personal prejudice falsely enshrined as objectivity.

  • The third is the idol of the marketplace, or of a marketers ability to sell a fantasy, through persuasion.

  • The fourth idol, and the one that I believe to be most dangerous of all today, is the idol of the theater! It is the most dangerous because the manufacturing of consent, and every other thing, is today done largely through entertainment; whether consciously or unconsciously. Our attitudes and beliefs, are molded by engaging all our senses in films, television and radio programs, and much else in the world of multimedia. We must be therefore sharply on guard, for what follies we may have unwittingly taken on board. For in such a world, such harboring of error, is exceedingly easy and common. Broad is the way, BROADWAY, to destruction indeed!

I am very glad to have stumbled upon Wilson’s book. An event that is now three years old. I am very glad that I have had the good sense to remember the book, to use it as a springboard, and most of all to give it a second reading. Yes, the repetition was as sweet as the first taste.

I am very glad that Wilson has done the indispensable work of making thick and hoary volumes accessible. I am glad that he has echoed ‘The Ionian Enchantment.’

I am glad to have heard that echo of Bacon, echoed by Wilson, and to echo it in turn.

This is how we must garden.

For truly, we are all but gardeners, upon the terraces of an eternal Eden.

Wake up and smell the Bacon!

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