The Trump Administration’s Brazen Lie about attendance

Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer:

That is a blatant lie.

Here is a time stamp photo from a good perspective (11:49 am for the Trump photo)


Here are side by side photos from the “behind the President’s perspective; note the red arrow:


“Perspective” plays a role here; it is easier to judge how far back the crowd goes from overhead than from the podium…but when one looks at the podium perspective side by side, once can see the difference.

Yes, there are plenty of ways to spin this: Obama is more popular in Washington DC, it was a landmark inauguration, weather..even the snarky spin that Trump supporters had jobs and had to work.

But this clear visual evidence, plus things like ridership statistics show that the 2009 inauguration was far better attended.

Yes, yes, there are far more important issues that who had higher attendance. But this is an “easy to debunk” example of blatant lying by Trump; this is simply outrageous. This administration has zero credibility.

I’ve never seen another US president behave this way…in my lifetime.

No wonder there were mass protests today; here is a nice collection of aerial photos from many different cities.

January 22, 2017 Posted by | politics/social, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Women’s marches and reality

There is no denying that there are very large women’s marches all over the country; I’ve seen video of the massive crowds in Washington DC, Chicago, Denver, St. Louis, etc.

That IS great. Even my US Representative (Cheri Bustos) is in Chicago.

But there is also this:



White women voted for Trump by a tidy margin. And…well, let’s just say that I am reasonably sure that at least some of my female friends (as in: “do something with friends”) did too. I won’t say which ones, and I know for sure that many certainly did not.

But the reality is that, at least among white women, these women:


are more numerous than those marching.

January 21, 2017 Posted by | political/social, social/political | Leave a comment

Walk and marches…

The walk: 10.04 miles in 2:30:54. On one hand, this is much faster than the previous to times I did this same course (2:49, 2:41). On the other hand, this isn’t the 2:10-2:15 I used to do this course in.


I did see a few runners and walkers along the way; the weather was downright glorious by “January in Illinois) standards. And I saw the set up for the Peoria Women’s March and I saw the crowd gathering 45 minutes prior to the start. The location is about mile 3 and 7 of my route (which is out and back)



January 21, 2017 Posted by | political/social, social/political, Uncategorized, walking | Leave a comment

Passing of Power from the Intellectual to “Common Cents” (*)

(*) yes, “Common Cents” is intentional

Wow. Well, one thing you can say about the inauguration is that there weren’t that many on hand to witness it.


Yes. the “Trump” photo was taken at 11:49 am.



Ok, one might say “the size of the crowds” does not matter that much. As far as the “Trump supporters are working” canard:

I like people who have winner jobs that give paid vacation. Losers can’t afford to go! Sad!

Protests? There were some of the useless idiots who smashed stuff; they always show up. The vast majority of protests were peaceful; even Washington D. C. officials admitted as such.

And there is the tiny fact that the official Trump inauguration hats were not made in the US? 🙂 Get used to President Trump saying one thing, and doing another.

So, what about the vast majority of those who showed up at the Trump event? It is basically what one would expect: outwardly polite, vanilla types.


Oh boy.

So, what about policy?

Well, one could argue that President Trump’s speech was more against President Bush than President Obama.

Yes, President Trump will not have a “honeymoon” but hey what does one expect, given how deliberately divisive he as been since winning the election?

I think the idea is to watch his actions more than to listen to his words. Here are some things to look at.

It is going to be a wild ride; I hope that too much damage doesn’t get done in the process.

January 21, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

America gets exposed

Today, I exposed myself, athletically speaking.
There is a treadmill workout I do that I call “The Froggy”: I start at a very easy warm up pace (incline at 0.5) and then increase the speed by 0.1 mph every 3 minutes. If I can start at 5.2 mph and do this for an hour, I’d done a “Full Froggy” and I know that I am ready to race. If I can last 54 minutes (90 percent) I know that I am getting into shape.

Today: I lasted 33 minutes before I took a brief walking break; then I ran enough to get to 5 miles in 54 minutes and 6 in 1:04:20. In other words, I am not close to being in race shape; I was “exposed”.

This happens to sports teams too. I remember back in 2011, the Illinois football team won their first 6 games in a row and then took on an Ohio State team that had lost some games.
But Illinois had some narrow wins against some overrated teams and wider wins against mediocre teams. Ohio State won the game 17-7 and Illinois went on to lose their next 5 games in a row; they were exposed.

Well, today, the US of A was exposed. Yes, this is the same country that elected Barack Obama, but that was really a testimony to Obama’s political skill; it really wasn’t about the nation being able to recognize his intelligence, knowledge and accomplishments.

Cold hard reality: this accurately represents a large swath of our country:

So please spare me “the greatest country the world has ever known” bullshit.

January 20, 2017 Posted by | running, social/political | | Leave a comment

One last time…while it still gives me joy…

I’ve always loved this piece. Today, I still do.

January 20, 2017 Posted by | politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

The War on Competence

Our university basketball team is struggling; it is in the second year of a “top to bottom” rebuilding project. And of course, every fan has an opinion as to what the coach should be doing.
But how many are capable of doing a credible job of coaching college basketball?

Sure, that is harmless; part of being a fan is discussing “your team”.

At the professional level, there is, on occasion, a time when an owner becomes involved in the actual running of the team; Jerry Jones is probably one of the best known examples of that. Sure, Mr. Jones did play for the University of Arkansas. But when the owner interferes with the coach, well, it usually doesn’t go well.

Again, that is sports.

But tomorrow, this country will inaugurate a rank amateur into the Presidency, and some of his picks are just abysmal. This is a 180 degree turn from the previous administration, where competency was valued above all else.

But our incoming President, well, reflects his supporters. Let’s just say that I’ve never, ever had so little confidence in an incoming president.

And I’ve never been more ashamed of my country and of 62 million of my fellow citizens. Yes, our country committed some serious sins. But this is just downright embarrassing, and sadly, embarrassment might be the least of our troubles. This is indeed an ominous time in our history.

The party in power is the party of crass ignorance and vulgarity, and the incoming President represents these people well.


I will miss President Obama dearly. A comparison of the approval ratings of the previous 2 term presidents can be found here.


January 20, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social | | Leave a comment

Start of the semester: friendship, workout and basketball

Ok, I’ll focus on fun stuff for this post. Yesterday was the first day of the semester. While I’ll be crazy busy with teaching, I have three interesting courses (Calculus III, differential equations, second half of probability and statistics.) These are time intensive but feature interesting material.

My wife is away for a work trip. So I had the evening to myself and took Vickie (my yoga/exercise class teacher) to the Illinois State vs. Bradley basketball game. She is an Illinois State graduate.

But the game started at 8 pm so I had a chance to take the 5:30-6:30 exercise class, (core body/pilates type stuff) which Mamma T ably led. It didn’t break my heart to be lined up next to the very lovely Jennifer.


Friendship, sweating and fun…can’t beat it.

Then it was off to the Bradley Basketball game. Yes, Illinois State came in with an RPI of 27; Bradley’s was 212. Illinois State soundly defeated two teams (Wichita State, Loyola) who had dominated Bradley.
So what happened was no surprise; late in the first half ISU galloped out to a 36-11 lead and cruised to an easy 69-49 win…the game was more lopsided than the 20 point spread might indicate.

I think that ISU can win a game or two in the NCAA tournament.

But it was fun to spend time with Vickie and the visiting ISU fans.

She is saying “Go Birds”…


Us together


High energy prior to the game: 7700 plus (though the place holds 11000) The schools are only 45 miles apart, so many fans were visiting ISU fans.


And the reality:


Still, Bradley has equaled its conference win total from last year, and I STILL expect to see 3-4 more wins in the conference. Bradley HAS made progress; we just aren’t ready for such a strong team.

Workout notes:

yesterday: Cornstalk hill 4 mile walk. PM: the exercise class I talked about. 🙂

Today: early am: weights. later am (after my 9-10 class): 4 mile walk; same as yesterday

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (4 sets of 10, then 1 more)
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 190, 8 x 175
incline press: 10 x 150
military press: 10 x 50 standing, 20 x 50 seated, supported (left elbow/forearm pain late), 10 x 110 machine with rotated grip
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm
headstand: rough…had trouble getting into it, fell over once, and the second time, never got steady.

January 19, 2017 Posted by | basketball, Friends, spandex, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

First Class Eve

Ok, time to get to bed as classes start tomorrow.

I’ve had some interesting political discussion today and…ok, watched a lot of short videos about some of the “100 greatest NFL players” and focused on the linemen, especially the offensive linemen.

Workout notes: 5.1 mile Corntalk course; jogged to the start of the dogpark hill, and then ran the uphills hard; walked, then jogged to the next uphill. I did that workout on December 31’st. Felt good.

Time to get it..lots of admin stuff to do.

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Personal Issues, running | Leave a comment

Tired and cranky…

I sometimes get snippy when I am lost in thought (even not-so-profound thoughts) and today I got snippy. I also felt tired, so today was “weights only”:

rotator cuff
pullups, 4 sets of 10 then one more set of 10 after bench presses. So-so.
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 190, 8 x 175 (left shoulder convinced me to stop)
inline press: 10 x 150
military: 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 10 x 210 (machine), 10 x 85 standing barbell (left forearm/elbow soreness)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 on the Hammer machine.
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunches, 10 yoga leg lifts
headstand (better than I thought it would go)

It was enough.

Politics If you enjoy watching liberals eating their own, witness the attacks on Sen. Booker over his not voting for a largely symbolic amendment to the Senate reconciliation bill. And that is life as a liberal (or at least to the left of the center of US politics).

When I think about it, I am really a “closet Republican” who:

1. Thinks that education is a good thing
2. Accepts science, *even* when it conflicts with my intuition (that is, the findings of science that are considered “established” by the scientific community)
3. Is an atheist
4. Accepts civil rights, gay rights, reproductive rights
5. Believes that some groups (e. g. African Americans) have an uneven playing field and thinks that society should help address that
6. Accepts that Keynesian economics works better than “supply side” economics
7. Believes that good safety nets are not only compassionate, but also stimulate the economy at the bottom. Yes, this will end up helping a small percentage of slackers, moochers and morons.
8. Thinks that we, as a country, ought to make an effort to get along with the rest of the world.
9. Believes that regulation can be a good thing (so long as it isn’t overdone).
10. Believes in public investment.

January 16, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, social/political | Leave a comment