Back at it…in Peoria

First my workout: I didn’t dare weigh myself; though I ate 3 meals a day and ate within my foodplan, I didn’t eat the usual fruit and yogurt stuff I usually eat. So I felt as if I gained 30 pounds over the weekend.

2 mile jog outside (neighborhood)
2 miles on the track: 5 x 400 with 200 walk/jog, 200 run
runs: 1:54-1:52-1:54 (9:12)-1:52-1:53-55 (19:13)
rests: 1:43-1:47-1:47-1:47-1:44

quick breakfast, then 6 mile walk in Bradley Park: modified cornstalk 4.2 (lots of cars at the theater), lower 1.2 loop, lower .6 loop, then extra (Past Markin to Bradley Ave.)

total: 4 run 6 walk. I did have two “soft” knee spikes in my left knee (not the one with the 2010 surgery). This is looking as if …oh 3-6 years I’ll probably have to have this knee done as well.

Mano Singham: discusses a different kind of migrant worker. This is the older 60+ person who lives out of a RV and drives to seasonal jobs; they can’t afford to retire. I hope that isn’t me, of course. But if I CAN do this and don’t HAVE to….who knows?

But yeah, I imagine this is no fun for those who are trapped in this manner.

you might be hearing about one really low poll number for President Obama (37 percent). In fact, most of them have him in the low to mid 40′s. Personally, I am glad that we don’t have a President that is rushing to get us into new wars.

Still, the Senate: ugh…we’d be lucky to hold it to 50-50. The 95 percent confidence interval for Republican seats looks like 47-55 with perhaps 51 being the most likely outcome.

Right now, the polls for us in Georgia and Kentucky are probably fool’s gold.

Note: I was more confident about the 2012 Presidential election because we had a LOT more polls.

Locally: To the surprise of no one, Tea Party IL-17 candidate Bobby Schilling has the support of our “let’s send the police after someone who hasn’t broken the law Mayor Ardis”. I am shocked. I wonder what dirty tricks Mr. Schilling has up his sleeve this time?

July 21, 2014 Posted by | 2012 election, 2014 midterm, Aaron Schock, political/social, politics, republicans, running, social/political, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Get your “I miss President Bush t-shirt for 27 dollars…”

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 3.20.27 PM

No, 27 dollars isn’t much of a political contribution.

It should be NOTHING for a Republican.

Yet…we have Republicans…complaining about the price?

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 3.20.52 PM

Brother, if 27 dollars is a steep political contribution for you, you have no business being a modern Republican!!!!

July 16, 2014 Posted by | political/social, republican party, republicans, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Talking past each other

The House sometimes meets to discuss poverty issues. So, this time, the House committee got testimony from a genuine “working poor” person (someone who works but still gets public aid).

Some are touting how well she did; you can see excerpts here.

But this won’t change the mind of a conservative; in fact, it reinforces what they already think.

If you are wondering how:

1. She calls herself “smart and intellectual” (it is in the clip).

2. She says that she needs public aid but “considers herself to be independent” because “she works as hard as anyone in the room” (and is employed for 12 hours a week.).

Oh boy.

This isn’t going to change anyone’s mind, at all.

July 14, 2014 Posted by | political/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

Knowing what you are talking about: not always important (to some)

Workout notes pleasant 4 mile walk (Cornstalk classic) without the stop watch.

then swimming: 4 x 250 (5:30, then on the 5)
5 x (25 dril fins, 25 swim)
5 x (alt 25 fist/25 free) on the 2 (1:50-55)
4 x 25 fly, 25 back (fins)

Pretty basic; weight prior to swimming was 178, after 176 (doctor’s scale in the gym; perhaps 1-2 pounds light)

I had dreams of my marathon while walking; that is always good. Tomorrow’s 5K race (running) will be ugly; the key will be to remain in touch with what I can do TOMORROW, and not what I think that I should be able to do.

Knowing what you are talking about
Many of us are yukking over this:

My conjecture: he meant to say that he was told by his “science sources” that the surface temperature on Mars is warming just as the temperature on Earth is and NOT that the temperature on Mars is the same as the temperature on Earth. Now this claim: well, let us just say that it is rather hard to get a global temperature on Mars to begin with, much less track a trend. But what is clear is that the earth’s GLOBAL temperature change has nothing to do with a difference in solar output:

Raymond Bradley of UMass, who has studied historical records of solar activity imprinted by radioisotopes in tree rings and ice cores, says that regional rainfall seems to be more affected than temperature. “If there is indeed a solar effect on climate, it is manifested by changes in general circulation rather than in a direct temperature signal.” This fits in with the conclusion of the IPCC and previous NRC reports that solar variability is NOT the cause of global warming over the last 50 years.

But I digress. I doubt if this ….strange statement on his part will harm his reputation among his own constituents.

Never will this:

If you think: “gee, Rep. Gohmert is an idiot”, well, his views probably accurately represent his constituent’s views, and that is really what counts.

That people at the National Academy of Science finds these sort of views to be ridiculous is of no consequence. People want to see their own views represented and perhaps better articulated.

So, being outrageously unprepared and wrong doesn’t really harm the credibility of these public figures: (note: the middle video was made PRIOR to the 2012 election actually being held:

Hence, people like Karl Rove get away with fleecing rich but gullible Republicans. Again, this was NOT hindsight; this was posted several days prior to the election. These people really are clowns who don’t know what they are talking about.

But, because they say things that their base finds comforting, they can continue to earn a nice living….

July 11, 2014 Posted by | political/social, science, social/political, swimming, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Our analogue to the “Repeal Obamacare” bills

The Senate is crafting a “Hobby Lobby decision” bill:

Congressional Democrats unveiled legislation Wednesday that would override the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case by requiring most employers to provide federally-required contraception and other health services even if they have religious objections.

The legislation, being introduced by Democrats in both the Senate and the House, would require all employers to abide by the contraception mandate included in the Affordable Care Act — even if they claim to have religious objections.

The bill is being “fast tracked” in that it didn’t go to committee first.

I am not sure what the purpose is; it is all but certain to be filibustered by the Republicans and even if it weren’t and somehow passed the Senate, it is DOA in the House.

I suppose this could be a fundraising tactic and perhaps a way to win women’s votes in the tight toss up Senate races (Kentucky and Georgia).

Via Realclearpolitics:

Screen shot 2014-07-10 at 8.57.05 AM

This might be of use in fundraising too.

July 10, 2014 Posted by | political/social, politics | | Leave a comment

Beware of that “satisfying” feeling of self righteousness….

While running through Bradley Park, I noticed that there was a fat dog walking alongside a car that was driving slowly on a park road. As I passed them I noticed a fat woman driving…and I thought “great: she is too fat and lazy to actually walk the dog”. But I reminded myself to STFU and MYOB and that I didn’t know the details of the situation; I didn’t even know if it was her dog (e. g. one time while running, a loose dog kept me company thereby getting me dirty looks; I had no idea whose dog it was)

That reminded me of a couple of things on the internet.

Here is the first, via Daily Kos:


This struck me as strange; what high government official would refuse a Presidential handshake? I looked it up and sure enough: President Obama was flying to Texas and notified Gov. Perry that he would be in Austin and would meet him at the airport if he desired. The Governor said “no thanks, but I’d love to meet with you for a longer period of time to discuss the immigration issue. The President accepted:

“I appreciate the offer to greet you at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, but a quick handshake on the tarmac will not allow for a thoughtful discussion regarding the humanitarian and national security crises enveloping the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas,” Perry wrote, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal. “I would instead offer to meet with you at any time during your visit to Texas for a substantive meeting to discuss this critical issue.”

Perry’s refusal to greet the President upon his arrival may preclude the sort of awkward tarmac tiff Obama experienced with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) in 2012, although the Texas governor apparently has subtler ways of getting his point across. Perry slipped a letter requesting more border security to a White House adviser when he met the President in 2010 at an Austin airport, according to the Journal.

Obama is slated to visit Dallas and Austin on Wednesday for a pair of Democratic fundraisers. White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett replied to Perry by inviting the governor to a round table discussion on border issues that Obama plans to attend in Dallas, according to the Austin American-Statesman. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday during a press briefing that Perry had agreed to attend the meeting.

Here is the second:


This one struck me as strange too; I decided to look at this further. I knew that there are some kooks in state legislatures that file some strange bills; this could be one of them. Sure enough:

A Massachusetts state senator has filed a bill that could prohibit a divorcing parent from having sex in their own home.

Senator Richard J. Ross, a Wrentham Republican, filed by request Bill 787 which would pertain to the divorcing parent still living in the family home. It states:

In divorce, separation, or 209A proceedings involving children and a marital home, the party remaining in the home shall not conduct a dating or sexual relationship within the home until a divorce is final and all financial and custody issues are resolved, unless the express permission is granted by the courts.

The bill was referred to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, according to the website.

Ok, women aren’t mentioned but rather “the party remaining in the home” which is often the female. Ok….I thought it was hilarious and posted it.
But a friend of mine who is familiar with Massachusetts told me that this was a “file by request” bill. What this means: in Massachusetts, any citizen can request that their state legislator file a bill on their behalf. The legislator can either file it with support or file it “by request” meaning that they don’t necessarily support the bill; this was case of the latter.

You can read more about this aspect of Massachusetts law here:

Massachusetts offers citizens the “right of free petition” — the power to propose their own legislation. A citizen’s proposal must be filed in conjunction with a representative or senator.

Sometimes a legislator will support the legislation and sponsor it along with the constituent. Other times, a legislator might disagree with the bill but will file it anyway as a courtesy.

In those cases, the bill is listed as being filed “by request” — indicating that he or she is doing so at the request of the constituent and does not necessarily support it, said House Clerk Steve James.

Nangle said he would take this route if a bill seemed outlandish or crazy. He said it is his duty is to file bills for constituents, even if he does not support them.

“You are the voice of that individual, at that time,” Nangle said.

Legislators have many reasons to file bills by request. Nangle said he wanted to give Sean credit for researching the issue, and encourage constituent participation.

Moral: beware of something that sounds outrageous and makes you feel self righteous. :-)

Unfortunately, Daily Kos is too often like this; people fly off of the handle without really knowing what they are talking about.

July 9, 2014 Posted by | political/social, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

Politics: the silly and the serious

I admit to (all too often) engaging in political pie fights.

Morons will do something like this and, at times, my friends (or I) will do something like this.

This has even affected my diction. I find myself seeing things like:



and saying “PATRIOT” as a type of slur. Even some of my virtual friends do this.

But none of that is serious.

What is serious is this:
(via Paul Krugman)

You might wonder why monetary theory gets treated like evolution or climate change. Isn’t the question of how to manage the money supply a technical issue, not a matter of theological doctrine?

Well, it turns out that money is indeed a kind of theological issue. Many on the right are hostile to any kind of government activism, seeing it as the thin edge of the wedge — if you concede that the Fed can sometimes help the economy by creating “fiat money,” the next thing you know liberals will confiscate your wealth and give it to the 47 percent. Also, let’s not forget that quite a few influential conservatives, including Mr. Ryan, draw their inspiration from Ayn Rand novels in which the gold standard takes on essentially sacred status.

And if you look at the internal dynamics of the Republican Party, it’s obvious that the currency-debasement, return-to-gold faction has been gaining strength even as its predictions keep failing.

Can anything reverse this descent into dogma? A few conservative intellectuals have been trying to persuade their movement to embrace monetary activism, but they’re ever more marginalized. And that’s just what Mr. Nyhan’s article would lead us to expect. When faith — including faith-based economics — meets evidence, evidence doesn’t stand a chance.

Krugman says:

The problem, in other words, isn’t ignorance; it’s wishful thinking. Confronted with a conflict between evidence and what they want to believe for political and/or religious reasons, many people reject the evidence. And knowing more about the issues widens the divide, because the well informed have a clearer view of which evidence they need to reject to sustain their belief system.

In other words, don’t expect the educated conservatives to learn ANYTHING from being wrong.

July 8, 2014 Posted by | political/social, politics, republicans | | Leave a comment

One thing that puzzles me…..issues

There are many issues that are worthy of discussion.

But here is what I find curious: many of these issues are complicated and understanding them requires brining a whole lot of knowledge together. Many are multisided and …IMHO, if there is an optimal solution it isn’t obvious. At least, it isn’t obvious to me. I KNOW that there is much I don’t know about many of these issues.

And yet: so many people seem so sure that they KNOW the optimal thing to do…and many of these people haven’t exactly achieved excellence in their own careers.

No, this is NOT a partisan rant; this is one thing that appears to not be partisan at all.

July 8, 2014 Posted by | political/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

July 6 Politics

Well, I’ve been reading about how Americans view President Obama as being terrible. You probably won’t see news on the recent uptick in approval ratings though this rates as a “meh” when you look at the trendlines that Presidents have had historically:

Screen shot 2014-07-06 at 4.52.55 PM

(from here)

Love him or hate him: the worst ever: he isn’t.

I admit that back in 2012, I really thought that the country would learn something from failing to trust basic facts and statistics:

and here but I guess not. SFBs who trust “their gut” over science and math aren’t going to change. And this will cripple the next Republican Presidential nominee like it did the last one:

July 6, 2014 Posted by | Barack Obama, political/social, politics, republicans, republicans politics, social/political | | Leave a comment

Political Quips

Well, the economy added jobs again: 288K. Unemployment fell to 6.1 percent as well.

Still, we could do better if we had some infrastructure investment.

It appears that it has finally sunk in that the Republicans will not work with the President, AT ALL. So, he’ll do what he is able to do via executive actions. Sure, even our stupid little hometown hick paper editorial board doesn’t like it (though they blame Congress as well), but this isn’t a “both sides” type of thing.

What I think has happened: Republicans are over represented in Congress, and Republicans in Congress are out to please their bat-sh*t crazy base.

Example: a conservative webpage made this comment:



See that? The conservatives are saying that American freedom bothers the Muslims or that they are bothered by not having Sharia Law.

In fact, if you follow the link to the Asian Times article you see:

Nearly a year after the events of 9/11, the Attorney General announced the introduction of the National Security Exit-Entry Registration System (NSEERS). The “special registration” program applied to men aged 16 to 45 who were predominantly from Arab/Muslim countries residing in the United States on temporary visas. The men were required to report to Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) offices for multi-phase registration that included fingerprinting, photographing, and questioning. It has been found that this program failed in two very distinct ways. Firstly, the department failed to put out clear information regarding the requirements of the program, which led to many unnecessary deportations. Secondly, the program reportedly used harsh detention methods on participants. It is clear that this program resulted in mistreatment and rights violations. While this program is no longer active, the U.S. Patriot Act and the CLEAR Act have both been reauthorized and are used by law enforcement.

The national media very rightly noted that the results of these policies devastate the relationship between the Muslim community and the U.S. Government. Civil liberties groups had already declared that the U.S. Patriot Act and the CLEAR Act negatively impact the civil liberties of Muslim minority groups, particularly Arab minorities and Muslim immigrants. Muslim organizations maintain that these governmental programs and policies create feelings of anxiety, ostracism, and isolation that detach Muslims from the American mainstream. In addition, the government’s use of racial profiling encouraged media and organizational stereotyping.

Racial profiling was once widespread in the New York area.

Now, to widespread attacks, arson, killings and other harassments against the Muslims living in the United States not forgetting the most recently (June 2014) dropped surveillance program carried out by the New York City police department that severely harassed the Muslims in the area.

Anti-mosque incidents have escalated in recent years. In 2012 summer, a mosque in Joplin, Missouri, burned to the ground. In 2011, a man was arrested with explosives outside the Islamic Center in Dearborn, Michigan. An arson fire seriously damaged a mosque in Wichita, Kansas, in May 2011. And incidents of mosque vandalism have become more common.

Hate groups have been on the rise, too; one of the most horrific hate crimes was the murder of Shaima Alawadi, a young mother who had received anonymous notes calling her a terrorist.

In other words, the use of “free” is intended as irony; they are complaining of profiling, discrimination, campaigns to stop the building of mosques, etc.

If the conservative base is so stupid that they can’t even understand a short newspaper article, or if they are so sure of themselves that they can’t be bothered to read the article that they linked to, is it any wonder that it is impossible to get along with such people?

July 3, 2014 Posted by | economics, economy, political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans | | Leave a comment


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