blueollie

Photo/Cartoon Saturday

hillaryandbarack

Ironically, from this angle, this could be Barbara and me, though both of us are slightly wider than Secretary Clinton and President Obama respectively.

Yes, I am hearing “Hillary 2016” and I have mixed feelings. Yes, if I were appointing the next President, I’d probably pick her. But she ran a horrible 2008 primary campaign; she managed to squander a huge lead in the polls and in money and her husband did her no favors. My worry is that she’d get out-campaigned in the general election.

vsphagel

I find this interesting. There is a group of people that Paul Krugman calls “The Very Serious People”. To be one of these you need to:
1. go along with the conventional wisdom and
2. be completely wrong most of the time and
3. claim that the “smart people” would have also been wrong.

Think: Iraq (WMD?), the economy, the election (“razor tight”, they kept saying even though the nerds and hippies were right….AGAIN).

rsreachouttolatinos

Yep…keep it up Republicans. 🙂

imade9onthislist

I made 9 on this list. Talk about misusing the apostrophe! I admit that I still don’t understand what “fullutent” is….”falutin”, or someone who is…gassy? 🙂

aguyisaguy

Even stone guys are…guys. 🙂

February 2, 2013 Posted by | 2008 Election, Barack Obama, big butts, bikinis, hillary clinton, human sexuality, political humor, politics, politics/social, religion, republicans | , , , | Leave a comment

Never again will I sign up for a spring marathon….

justsnow

Why? Because it means…..long runs (or walks) during the winter! Yes, this winter has not been bad as far as snowfall goes….so far. It has been wet but not that bad in terms of snow.

But we did have a few days (3, I think) in which it was either snowy or icy during my long run day. One day I did the treadmill and indoor track. One day I just toughed it out for a slow-slow-slow 10 miles.

Today I ran on a snow covered bike path; 49:50 to the 4 mile turn around, 48:50 back, and 39 minutes for the final 3 miles to make 11 in 2:17…and yes that was “running” (9-1 run/walk for most of it). Though the 12-13 minute pace annoyed me, it is very much in line with what I did in days past (2-3 minutes per mile slower on snow than my usual long run pace).

Then I went home and changed shoes and did 3 more on the treadmill: 30:13 (10:46/9:46/9:41). It took me a while to shake off the “auto-shuffle-pace” that my body had adapted to.

Well, there is no worry about my joining up with this group (Running Times “best marathon runners in the US and in the world”)

February 2, 2013 Posted by | marathons, running | , | Leave a comment

Drones, religious vandalism

Illinois
No, we haven’t had much snow, mostly because temperatures in January caused it to rain instead. But yes, January has been wet.

Ok, many people don’t like that President Obama has increased the drone attacks; Bill Moyers (a well intentioned individual) is one of his critics.

Yes, any time one attacks a terrorist, one has to be careful of who is around. But the way I see it, ultimately, if we are operating in an area that doesn’t have bona-fide, functioning law enforcement we have the following options:

1. Leave the terrorist alone, allowing him (or her) to kill again.
2. Attack with conventional ground forces; that means a firefight and probably lots of deaths, including civilian deaths.
3. Attack with an air strike; lots of deaths including civilian deaths.
4. Use the drones; I haven’t seen evidence that they kill at a higher rate that 2 and 3.

So, what is the solution?

Irony
If you think that the “Muslim world” is reasonable: much of it isn’t. One aspect (among many): some of the more radical Muslims are destroying ancient artifacts:

They have destroyed the iconic Buddhas of Bamiyan, smashed down the fabled “end of the world” gate in the ancient city of Timbuktu and even called for the destruction of Egypt’s ancient pyramids and the Sphinx.
Extreme Islamist movements across the world have developed a reputation for the destruction of historic artifacts, monuments and buildings.
This week, officials confirmed that up to 2,000 manuscripts at Mali’s Ahmed Baba Institute had been destroyed or looted during a 10-month occupation of Timbuktu by Islamist fighters. Some experts have compared the texts to the Dead Sea Scrolls.
To many in the West, such actions are simply wanton vandalism. However, experts say the thinking behind it is actually part of a wider tradition of rooting out idol-worship and superstition found in Christianity and Judaism as well as Islam.

Watch for the irony:

Usama Hasan — an Islamist for about 20 years, who now works to counter extremism at the U.K.’s Quilliam Foundation — said most Muslims had “a kind of tolerant attitude” and a “live-and-let-live” approach toward such things.
“Mainstream Muslim thinking tends to tolerate these historic artifacts,” he said. “Even if they don’t agree with the superstitions, they don’t want to provoke the community and don’t see it as a big deal.”
But Hasan said he understood the mindset of those condemned as cultural vandals “very well” as he “used to subscribe to it.”

Superstitions? Pot, meet Kettle!!!! 🙂

Economy
Yes, Paul Krugman repeats himself a lot, because, well, the Very Serious People keep bringing up the same issues.

And, despite what the Very Serious People say, President Obama has NOT been a big spender:

Mostly a note to myself. Not long ago, the usual suspects were going on and on about how government spending had soared under Obama, pointing to spending as a share of GDP. Some of us tried to point out that this bump represented two temporary factors: 1. GDP was depressed thanks to the crisis, so the spending share was correspondingly elevated 2. Emergency aid programs, notably unemployment benefits, were up because of the crisis. The implication of this argument was that the government spending share would decline as the economy recovered.

Conservatives were, of course, having none of it — Obama was permanently enlarging the government to European size. So, how’s it going?

In the figure below the blue line shows government spending at all levels as a share of GDP; the red line shows the share of potential GDP — what we’d be producing at normal employment — as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office; it’s lower than the first line because the economy is still operating well below capacity.

020213krugman1-blog480

February 2, 2013 Posted by | economy, Illinois, Peoria/local, politics, religion, republicans | , , | Leave a comment