The US Election, My New Martial Arts Zone, and a Study on Psychedelics – Weekly Blog #3

The US Election 

It looks as if Joe Biden will win the US election, becoming the 46th President of the United States. 

Biden certainly wasn’t my favourite of the Democrat nominees. I thought Andrew Yang, Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard would all have made better presidents. However, I think Biden’s a good person, an experienced diplomat, and genuinely cares for the American people. I’m looking forward to a capable old man sitting in the Oval Office, instead of a reality TV star. It’s also great to see a female Vice President of colour alongside him. 

The Trump presidency was entertaining, but politics shouldn’t be entertainment. It should be a boring, somewhat predictable process with the aim of keeping things running as smoothly as possible. Trump turned the White House into a theatre. His show included outrageous attacks on people he didn’t like , a campaign against the free press, and often more fictitious than factual claims of how the country was running. His rhetoric is undoubtedly compelling and oftentimes funny, but in the end extremely damaging.

As fun as it was to watch, I’m glad it’s over. When you have a person like Trump in a position of such power and consequence, it’s a laugh until a crisis like COVID happens. Trump’s response to the Coronavirus has caused the deaths of 235,000 Americans so far – more than WW1 and Vietnam combined. The human cost of Trump as the Commander in Chief has been significant. 

Trump’s presidency wasn’t all bad, though. I agreed with him pulling troops out of the Middle East. Hopefully the US will stop trying to police the world and start focusing on their own problems, but we’ll see. Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement shocked the rest of the world into taking responsibility for climate change instead of leaving it all to the US. And the fact that Israel is now signing peace agreements with Arab nations has to be viewed as a good thing. 

We all focus too much on our Heads of State. We imagine the President sitting at a big desk, ordering airstrikes and enacting policies. Whereas it’s the bin men, nurses and teachers – the fabric of society – that keep the nation going. Not much changes when a new leader is elected.

Having said that, the Head of State is a symbol. A symbol of the beliefs and values of the citizens of a country, and Joe Biden symbolises a better future than Donald Trump. His message of unity and fairness will (hopefully) heal the US and allow us to get back to issues urgently needing to be addressed: climate change, drug laws, and how to deal with AI. 

My New Martial Arts Zone

To go from the macro to the micro, I’ve spent a few days this week upgrading my Martial Arts zone. I have a heavy bag attached to a tree, with some kettlebells and a pull-up bar. I’m levelling off the ground to cover with mats. 

The top of a stone was peaking out of the ground just under the bag, so I set to work removing it. What looked like a 10 minute job took more than 10 hours of digging and winching, but “Frank the Tank” is now above ground and will make for a great stool to recover on in-between rounds. 

The zone isn’t quite finished yet, but should be over the weekend. You can look forward to a striking clinic on my Instagram story once it’s done. 

An Exciting New Study Published this Week

Johns Hopkins University (#12 ranked uni in the world) published a study into the effects of psilocybin (psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms) on moderate to severe depression. 

The study found:

  • “Four weeks post-treatment, 54% of participants were considered in remission – meaning they no longer qualified as depressed.”
  • The magnitude of the effect was about four times larger than clinical trials have shown for traditional antidepressants on the market. 
  • 67% of participants showed a 71% reduction in symptoms of depression at a four week follow-up. 

Psychedelics shouldn’t be illegal. They aren’t dangerous. And they could prove to be a powerful weapon in the fight against mental health disorders. It’s time we legalise these substances so that we can utilise their medicinal properties.

And finally, a quote to think about over the weekend

“The way we act determines how we feel far more often than the way we feel determines how we act.” – Seth Godin 

Thank you for reading this far. I’ve been really enjoying writing Ross Blog again, and have had such a positive response from so many of you. I greatly appreciate it.

I’m still figuring out the best way to deliver value to you all, so please give me your feedback on how I can improve. 

I love you all, and have a great weekend. 

Ross 

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