blueollie

Obama’s moderation and racism insurance

Tongue in cheek: “racism insurance”

Policy: Paul Krugman points out that President Obama has been trying to get moderate policies past the Republican party’s hard right wing:

I actually agree with a lot of what David Brooks says today. But — you know there has to be a “but” — so does a guy named Barack Obama. Which brings me to one of the enduringly weird aspects of our current pundit discourse: constant calls for a moderate, sensible path that supposedly lies between the extremes of the two parties, but is in fact exactly what Obama has been proposing.

So, David says that

The federal government should borrow money at current interest rates to build infrastructure, including better bus networks so workers can get to distant jobs. The fact that the federal government has not passed major infrastructure legislation is mind-boggling, considering how much support there is from both parties.

Well, the Obama administration would love to spend more on infrastructure; the problem is that a major spending bill has no chance of passing the House. And that’s not a problem of “both parties” — it’s the GOP blocking it.

[...]

It’s an amazing thing: Obama is essentially what we used to call a liberal Republican, who faces implacable opposition from a very hard right. But Obama’s moderation is hidden in plain sight, apparently invisible to the commentariat.

No kidding.

October 25, 2014 Posted by | economics, political/social, politics, racism, republicans | , , | Leave a comment

in St. Louis: Rams vs. 49’ers tonight and…

Workout notes
Weights: pull ups (5 sets of 10) with hip hikes and Achilles
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 170, 4 x 170,
incline press: 10 x 135 (rotator cuff)
military presses: could not even begin with 50s, so did 3 sets of 10 x 40 standing.
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer, 1 set of 10 x 65 dumbbell (each arm)
pull downs: 3 sets of (7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low)

Then I ran 3 on the treadmill: 10:33 mile 1, 27:58 for mile 3 (6.7, 6.8, 7.0, 7.1), 28:51 for 5K

I did some up down/down dog and some “weightless squat to the bench”

Science
We are having a cool, wet fall. The rest of the globe has had a hot 6 months.

Protests
I haven’t seen protests here though I might; there were some at a recent Cardinal game. My wife joked that she’d side with the protesters, but I wouldn’t.

Was there police conduct in Ferguson? It sure LOOKS that way; even if the young man had scuffled with the cop earlier, if he is surrendering, the cop can’t shoot him.

But I can’t lionize the shooting victim. Where it appears that he didn’t deserve to be executed, he was still far from someone that I could relate to; he acted like a bully and acted very stupidly when first confronted by the police.

When it comes to profiling by police, I can much better relate to this guy.

But, ultimately, while I sympathize with neither the protesters or the counter protesters, I agree that the police should serve ALL its citizens and not merely those with education and money. And at times, it appears that the police are there not so much to protect all citizens but rather protect one segment of society from another segment of society, and I can understand people getting sick of that. But if one lives in a high crime area, one is more likely to be viewed with suspicion even if one is law-abiding, though the aforementioned link shows that “doing the right things” doesn’t give you immunity from police mistreatment.

October 13, 2014 Posted by | racism, running, social/political, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Cardinal fans trade barbs with Ferguson protestors

You can read about this here as well as see a video. Note: evidently, this was a place where Cardinal fans were taking a smoking break.

You can see some “lowlights” of this incident; I’ll mention this:

At about 10:25 a small blonde lady starts yelling at the protesters: “We’re the ones who gave all y’all the freedoms that you have!”

“We”???? Uh, yes, there are some white people who have done some amazingly wonderful things; I doubt that this woman is one of them.

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

Climate change, creationism, jobs, and race

Talk about a sticky situation. A white lesbian couple paid a sperm bank for sperm from a white male…and ended up with sperm from a black male. Now they have a half-black daughter…and they are suing.

Oh sure, one can say that they entered a business transaction and didn’t get what they paid for. But what effect will this have on the kid? Ah, they’ll probably blame it on the racism of others. ;-)

Jobs report

248K new jobs last month; the good is that this is better than losing jobs. The bad: the new jobs aren’t paying well.

Science
The Aral Sea was once the 4’th largest lake in the world. By 2000 it had shrunk a great deal, and now it is almost gone.

aral_arg_1964234.0

aral_sea_2000_vs_2012.0

Reasons: many; one of them is irrigation. One consequence is that nearby areas no longer have the lake to moderate the extremes; so it is hotter in the summer and colder in the winter.

Creationism: Why Evolution is True has an interesting take on a non-Sequitur cartoon.

October 4, 2014 Posted by | creationism, economy, politics, politics/social, racism, science, Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Some interesting science stuff: elephants, washers, exploding stars, sea mushrooms

The remnants of a relatively young star are still seen expanding. What is of special interest is that we are seeing some of the light directly and other parts of the light after it has been reflected off of dust…and due to the longer path, the reflected light from the same event is reaching us later than the direct light!

Bulletin of concerned scientists: wonder if the US should consider calling for a testing ban on “hypersonic” missiles (slower than the ICBMs but fast enough to react quickly). The article is worth reading if only to learn about the technology.

Job discrimination: an applicant changed his first name from Jose to Joe…and ended up getting call backs that he didn’t get earlier.

Life sciences After almost 30 years, scientists were able to place a type of sea mushroom (not quite a fungus, not quite a fish) into a place on the tree of life.

Elephants: we really shouldn’t hunt these creatures; they are too smart and can take pleasure in play:

Technology and vibrations: watch the consequences of an unbalanced load and subsequent vibrations:

September 4, 2014 Posted by | astronomy, evolution, racism, science, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

Tawny Frogmouth, charter schools and race in America

Science

tawny-frogmouths

Do you see the birds in the above photo? See the larger photo at Jerry Coyne’s website; this is an example of evolution leading to excellent animal camouflage.

Education Though current conservatives tend to be a fan of charter schools (which are often “top-down” managed), originally charter schools were a liberal idea to give teachers more say in schools; they were supposed to be an educational laboratory to try out new ideas.

Race This is a very balanced editorial about race relations and the Ferguson shooting aftermath by Nicholas Kristoff. This is a nice companion piece to Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s Time Magazine editorial. Neither editorial is a shallow “whitey sucks” screed but rather an honest, balanced look at the situation.

September 2, 2014 Posted by | nature, racism, science, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Is there racial bias on who the police shoot? Data is…inconclusive….

Seriously. There isn’t much data out there and what little actual data there is:

Whether or not racial bias is a significant factor in police homicides is very much an open question.

Studies have long concluded that police killings are more common in cities with more violent crime and larger minority populations, yet some researchers have found no positive association between race and killings. Others, however, have concluded that fewer black suspects were killed in cities with black mayors, and, in one city, that blacks made up a greater share of police homicide victims than of arrests overall.

But all those studies used the government’s imperfect data and measured only homicides, excluding the greater number of shootings in which suspects survived. A more comprehensive analysis exists: Dr. Klinger and Dr. Rosenfeld, among others, examined all 230 instances over 10 years in which officers of the St. Louis police fired their weapons (the city’s police, in contrast to the police in Ferguson involved in Mr. Brown’s shooting).

Their conclusions, presented last November at the American Society of Criminology’s annual meeting, were striking. Officers hit their targets in about half of the 230 incidents; in about one-sixth, suspects died. Of the 360 suspects whose race could be identified — some fled before being seen clearly — more than 90 percent were African-American.

But most interesting, perhaps, was the race of the officers who fired their weapons. About two-thirds were white, and one-third black — effectively identical to the racial composition of the St. Louis Police Department as a whole. In this study, at least, firing at a black suspect was an equal-opportunity decision.

In laboratory experiments, meanwhile, subjects who see pictures or videos of threatening activity, and then punch “shoot” or “don’t shoot” buttons befitting their evaluations of the threat, consistently “shoot” black suspects more often than white ones.

But a different experiment last year at Washington State University in Spokane suggested that the opposite might be true: In realistic simulations of confrontations, subjects armed with laser-firing pistols acted in ways that left black suspects less likely to be shot at — not more.

The experiment’s 102 subjects, a mixture of police officers, combat veterans and civilians, were run through a random sample of 60 scenarios drawn from actual police encounters. The scenarios, using white, black and Hispanic actors, were projected in life-size high-definition video on laboratory screens.

I hasten to point out that this talks about SHOOTING and NOT arresting, profiling, searching etc. On those issues, we do have some data.

August 31, 2014 Posted by | racism, social/political | | Leave a comment

Jon Stewart on Ferguson….and Fox’s response

You are tired of hearing about “racism”? Well, some of us are tried of the racism to begin with.

This is one of his best episodes, ever.

Yes, she shooting victim was not a virtuous citizen. But there is enough to suggest that she was shot while he wasn’t a threat and there is overwhelming evidence that black males are not treated fairly by law enforcement (on the whole).

August 27, 2014 Posted by | racism, ranting, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Racial profiling is real and ugly…

It isn’t a surprise that those with darker skins view police very differently than those with lighter skins; not only are they (we?) profiled, but are often not given the benefit of the doubt.

And those who do NOT experience this as “day to day” reality just can’t “get it”.

I’ve been profiled once (in my case, it was me, AND my car, AND my Texas plates in Illinois) but it happens far more frequently to black men.

It just isn’t right and I can see why it is infuriating to them.

In my case: I’ve been treated well by city police and the state trooper who profiled me..at least seemed apologetic when he realized that I was moving to Illinois rather than running drugs. :-)

August 25, 2014 Posted by | racism, social/political | | Leave a comment

Photo bombing a White Power demonstrator

photobomingkkk

I almost cried with laughter…

August 24, 2014 Posted by | political humor, political/social, racism | , | Leave a comment

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