Economic Cycles

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Archive for April 2011

First Real Test – Lookout

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I learned this morning during physical therapy that I’m making some big strides in my recovery. I think I surprised Lee with how far I’ve come since our first session about a month ago. Let’s just say that when he met me I was “one stage above rigor mortis.” Since then, my pelvis has straightened out quite a bit, my muscles have loosened up, and I’m more flexible than I’ve ever been. Therefore, I got the okay to really give a go on the bike after our session ended. He suggested I ride for two hours and give it some gas up Lookout to test my knee. It was a little frightening to think about pushing hard for the first time in over a month, but I was really curious. Besides, we need some sort of indication of where I stand at this point. Am I just marginally better than before? Or am I way ahead of schedule? There’s no way to know without testing my limits.

With that in mind, I headed out to Lookout to ride some zone 3.

A couple thoughts. Man does my position feel strange now that I’m tons more flexible. I feel so loose on the bike. I also feel like I want to be a bit more stretched out. I’m hoping in the coming month or two I can get re-fit by George to take advantage of my new found looseness and range of motion. I also noticed, having not ridden much at all in close to 5 weeks, that I have no lungs anymore. I am severely winded from any sort of sustained marginal effort. It’s quite pathetic. And finally, I noticed that I CAN RIDE 2 HOURS WITH NO PAIN! Hells yeah.

Lee said that if my ride went well this morning that we could probably enter “phase 2” next week. I’m not sure what that entails, but it sure sounds like progress! I’m excited to continue progressing in my recovery and come back stronger than ever.

Written by jlongo12

April 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Posted in cycling

Separate School and State

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Sometimes critical thinking about a certain institution is muddied or difficult because the institution is so ingrained in our culture. The institution enjoys massive support by elites and the common man. I imagine contemplating a world without slavery in the 19th century would be a good example of this. At the time, virtually every country on the planet had slavery and a well-functioning, well-oiled slave trade in place. Slavery enjoyed both the practical arguments of the day and many moral ones. The abolitionists who called for the end of slavery were largely mocked and portrayed as impractical – or worse – as insane. It was nigh impossible for the average person to imagine a world without the incredibly immoral institution of slavery.

I believe this is how many view a debate about the public school system today. The real reasons behind the start of the public school system have been forgotten. What exists now is a highly benevolent narrative about poor people needing a good education and of course, education’s large positive externalities. Whatever moral and practical reasons people may give to justify public education, they don’t address how schools collect money, how they administer education, nor do they address the incentives the institution produces (exogenous effects) and suffers from (endogenous effects). At best we kind of all agree on public schooling’s awful outcomes. Further, the idea that education in general is the same idea as the specific institution of public education as it exists today is pervasive – and flat wrong. It is in blurring those two distinct concepts that leads people to vilify those who criticize the public school system as wanting to end education in general.

No. Ending public education doesn’t end education any more than ending public transportation would end transportation.

This is why a good analogy can be such a great thought experiment. This classic “grocery school” analogy was written by Don Boudreux, the former Chair of the George Mason University Economics Department. The analogy is crucial to thinking clearly about the public school system because it addresses the specific institution of public schooling – not education in general.

***Addendum*** This story does a good job in refuting the idea that we have public school to educate poor children. And this particular incident comes on the heels of the recent story about the poor woman convicted of a felony for registering her two daughters to a relative’s address so that they could go to a better school than the poverty stricken one they were forced to go to.

Written by jlongo12

April 25, 2011 at 11:37 am

Posted in libertarianism

Breakdown of Federal Personal Income Taxes

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A picture is worth a thousand words. And a few bucks in taxes.

From the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Written by jlongo12

April 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Ruling Class Priorities

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As illuminated by the great Glenn Greenwald, “how can any politicians be taken seriously when they claim that Terrorism is some sort of grave threat meriting multiple wars and civil liberties abridgments — homegrown Terrorism and sleeper cells and all that — while they simultaneously demand that scarce FBI and DOJ resources be devoted to adult porn and online poker?

Exactly.

To believe that the corporate warfare state is needed to protect us from terrorism – the same terrorism that poses less danger to us than our own police – is laughable. Proving the point is our DOJ and FBI cases against porn and online gambling. When right wing do-gooders get together with nanny-state leftists, the result is a horrible concoction of authoritarianism that should make any free person cringe.

Written by jlongo12

April 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Posted in libertarianism

Test Spin Success

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Today I was finally able to get out there and give my knee a test spin. It was the first time I had ridden in 3 full weeks. I was forced to stay off the bike completely after I started experiencing pain sooner and sooner on rides. It got to the point where I couldn’t train for 20 minutes without my knee flaring up. Devolving like that over the course of a couple weeks was enough for me to throw my hands up and say, “Fine. I’ll stop.” Now, after 3 solid weeks off and lots of chiropractic care, stretching, PT work, ice, and lying around, I was ready to give it a go again with a test spin. The plan was to spin high cadence, low force for 60 minutes. And that I did.

I ended up doing 63 minutes of pain free spinning today. Granted, that doesn’t really prove much. I still can’t go out and train yet. But it’s a step in the right direction and shows some progress. And frankly, it felt good just to throw some spandex on and rock our team colors. I think I’ll head out tomorrow for another 45 minutes to an hour and see what happens.

Part 2 – Sunday: I went out again today for another 60 minutes of spinning. Thankfully, I experienced exactly no pain at all. Just to be on the safe side however, I iced my knee when I got home. So I guess that proves that I can do 60 minutes of light spinning… TWO DAYS IN A ROW! Wow. That’s almost like training right??

Written by jlongo12

April 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Posted in cycling

My Guest Post for CopBlock.org

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My friends Pete Eyre and Ademo Freeman from CopBlock.org asked me to write a guest post for their site. The topic in question begged a response from myself – an avid, competitive cyclist and big time cheerleader of riding bikes. They asked me to write a little something on the growing amount of cyclist – cop incidents we’ve been seeing. Much of the rise in reports could be attributed to a growing popularity in riding a bike. Let’s be honest, can we get through an entire day now without seeing “be green” type advertisements and PSA’s? Additionally, we’ve got cameras on virtually everything we carry on our person nowadays. If a cop or aggressive driver starts harassing a bike rider, there’s bound to be someone in proximity to film it. Regardless of the reason, there’s no denying the rise in reported incidents involving bike riders and cops the past several years.

That being said, here is my guest post for CopBlock.org titled, “Public Ownership Means Chaos.”

Written by jlongo12

April 14, 2011 at 8:22 am

Posted in cycling, libertarianism

Epic Paris-Roubaix Video

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Slow-mo black and white footage with epic music in the background makes for a fantastic video showcasing the “Hell of the North.”

Written by jlongo12

April 12, 2011 at 6:31 am

Posted in cycling