Republicans and the Poor

Workout notes; weight then an easy, untimed 5K walk (Bradley Park via Parkside)
pull ups; 5 sets of 10 (went well)
incline: 10 x 135, 2 sets of 7 x 150
rotator cuff
super set: military press (dumbbells), pull downs (usual machine), rows
military: 2 sets of 12 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
rows: 2 sets of dumbbell rows (each arm) 10 x 50, 1 set of 10 x 110 machine.

This Kathleen Parker article is pretty good; it really slams some of the GOP presidential candidate buffoonery. Just read. President Obama is looking good by contrast.

Poverty: yes, growing up poor can adversely affect one’s IQ, even later in life. This is yet another reason that things like SNAP (especially for kids) is a good investment.

July 31, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

One of Hillary Clinton’s strengths …

I looked at this clip from the bruising 2008 Democratic Primary. Yes, I was a strong Obama backer and I am glad that I voted for him. But this little speech by then Sen. Clinton stuck with me:

At 40 seconds, she gets on then Sen. Obama for being naive about the nature of the opposition. Here she was talking about “special interests” but she could have been talking about the Republicans. Obama had campaigned on the idea that if you met them half way and went with the better Republican ideas, they’d go along. In fact, when the opposition said that their main goal was to make him a “one term President”, they weren’t kidding.

These bastards had zero interest in actual governing. And Hillary Clinton understands that.

But at the time, I felt that the country had to try.

Later, at roughly 2 minutes into the video, she talks about the health care plan and Obama’s plan NOT having a mandate, whereas hers did. At the time, I said that I was indifferent as to which plans as both were better than what we had. But I thought that we’d get whatever we could negotiate with the Republicans. It turns out that the negotiations were with the “blue dogs” in the Senate. But the final plan did have a mandate.

I think that Hillary Clinton can do a bit of “I told you so” during the 2016 campaign while not alienating the Democrats.

July 30, 2015 Posted by | 2016, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social | , | Leave a comment

Good for Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs Arkansas passed a “gay rights ordinance” and of course, some of the right wing churches howled. The Daily Show did a segment that was worth watching.

But let this sink in: a small town in Arkansas passed a gay rights ordinance BY POPULAR BALLOT. The people voted it in. That really makes me feel good.

July 30, 2015 Posted by | social/political | , , | Leave a comment

The Friend Zone and Football….yes, football, for me.

Workout notes: pretty day..and I had a painfully slow 10K recovery effort run. I got it in and enjoyed the day; that is about it. I had no “flight phase” to my gait, at all; it was more of a shuffle really. No stopwatch; I really didn’t want to know how slow it was; my guess it was a 11:45 mpm pace or thereabouts.

Afterward, I did some yard work; cutting, and cutting down the jungle that grows in our back yard, seemingly every 2 weeks or so. Warm weather plus a lot of rain, plus the very fertile Illinois soil = “jungle”.

The Friend Zone
Someone posted a “Friend Zone” meme on my wall and I had to chuckle.


No, it wasn’t this one. If you haven’t heard about it: it is the situation when there are two people; one wants a romantic relationship and the other is willing to be a friend (in some cases, with “benefits”, i. e. sex or sexual conduct) but not enter into a romantic relationship. Some feminists complain that this is a type of misogyny in that women are expected to give sex when the guy wants it, but I don’t see it that way. I see it as a result of the human courtship ritual, and the fact that “there is no guarantee that the one you love is going to love you”, as the Main Ingredient sang about in Everybody Plays the Fool:

That song makes me smile and wince at the same time.

And yes, there is this darker side of human nature in which the person who isn’t interested in the romantic relationship does small things to keep the attraction alive (taking advantage of “hope springs eternal”) because the ENJOY the fact that someone is attracted to them. I know that this sometimes happens because women have told me that they’ve done this, though I don’t know how often it happens. I suppose it is natural to like being wanted by someone. And on the flip side, I KNOW that some men will string a woman along because they like the sex that they are getting, though they have no interest in a relationship, at all. They have said as much.

This post isn’t really about any of this though (even if this “ha ha ha, you didn’t want a nice guy then and now you want one?” reply, which made me chuckle a bit, which is a tongue in cheek reply to this “ok, we are now ready for you Mr. Nice Guy” article).

No, my post is about my being friend zoned by FOOTBALL.

Here is what I mean: I grew up loving football. I followed it on TV (when I was in the US) and on the newspapers. Even prior to my 8’th grade season, I TRAINED for it in the off season, lifting weights and running wind sprints. This got me one year of JV and one year of varsity while in Japan (Air Force High School), and one year of JV and one year as a reserve (played enough to letter) on the varsity at Travis High School in Austin, TX.

I never got within an astronomical unit of being a college player (any division); I simply didn’t have the genetics ..I had no fast twitch muscle fiber, at all.

Example: at 215-220 lbs, I could run a 5:54 mile but…a 5.8 40 on a GOOD day. The coaches even taunted me with cries of “old grandpa” when I tried to sprint. I was just so f***ing slow. In the weight room, I was one who could do, say, 4-5 reps with a weight on the bench press, but be unable to do ONE rep with a weight that was only 15 pounds heavier. That is a classic sign of having slow-twitch muscle fiber, which sucks for football.

Oh, how I was disgusted that the guys who did nothing at all ended up with bodies like Godzilla and attention from the coaches and scouts.

Ironically, I can now see that I actually got more than a fair shake from my genes; but at the time, the ability to make an A in calculus without studying at all was lost on me. I really believed it was merely a matter of paying attention in class. The fact that I was accepted by Yale, Rice and two service academies was a bit lost on me too; I figured that others simply had not put forth effort in their college applications. No, I wasn’t a genius; I was merely a “Commended Student” and not a National Merit Scholar, but I had enough ability to get the appropriate degrees and credentials to earn a middle class living. I didn’t see that at that time.

But alas, football still calls me, though at my age, I realize that I’ll be in the stands, cheering my favorite teams on and wondering what it would have been like had I had the talent to make one of those teams.

And yes, I am a fan of live football; I just love being at the stadium on game day (or court, or baseball diamond).

July 30, 2015 Posted by | running, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

Perceptions, getting caught in traps and urban renewal

I think it is clear that, on the average, we tend to hang around those who are a bit like us. Hence it is easy for the wealthier (or merely comfortable) among us to get a false sense of what things are like for most people.

And here is an example of that: a person becomes disabled in a crash..and the only way to qualify for Medicare treatment and facilities is…for the family to remain poor. This is one problem with means-tested programs; if your income level is in the “wrong” area and you don’t have the right types of insurance, it can be devastating to a family.

I’ve also seen cases in which a couple in which one person was more elderly than the other have to get divorced; nursing home care can be outrageously expensive and if one person’s assets get exhausted, they go after the other person’s assets (house, everything).

Urban renewal: politically, this puts a lot of liberals in a concentrated area. Hence, urban congressional districts are often won by massive margins; the rural ones are won by Republicans with lesser margins. Gerrymandering makes this effect worse.

Bottom line: we can have situations in which the Democrats in Congress get many more votes than the Republicans, and yet the Republicans come away with a large majority. But the numbers hold up in Presidential elections.

July 30, 2015 Posted by | economy, politics, politics/social, social/political | | 2 Comments

Why I have turned into such a head case (sports)

Workout notes: got an early start; lifted then ran on the track/treadmill.

Lifting: pull ups (4 sets of 10; went really well), with rotator cuff recoveries.
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 3 x 185, 7 x 170
pull ups: another set of 10
super set of military, row, pull downs:
military: 2 sets of 10 x 45 dumbbell, standing, 1 set of 12 x 40 dumbbell, standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 (machine)
pull down: 3 sets of 10 x 150 (two different machines).

As I neared the end of my weight routine, I almost dreaded my planned run. I think that I know why.

What I did: 11 minute treadmill mile
2 miles (middle lane, track) 17:51 (8:57/8:53, some slow down on the last 800 m)
10:45 treadmill run.

Then 10 minutes on the bike to cool down and make my knees feel good.

Yes, my first half mile was 4:34

What is going on (re: head case): well, it is no secret that I am slowing down; this spring saw my worst 5K running performances since the fall of 2011. Part of it might well be my shift to marathon walk training (which IS going reasonably well, so it seems). But part of it is that I am 4 years older.

And, well, it appears as if I am approaching the “9 minute miles becoming reasonably difficult” stage; that is one landmark that I’d never thought that I’d reach. My current 9 minute mile is what my old 7 minute mile used to be. That doesn’t feel good, at least emotionally.

But, at the gym, there was an old retired physics professor who is approaching 80 and…yes, I remember when he was as I am now. He is still working out, doing things right. And…well…that is a preview for me (IF I am LUCKY) so I may as well enjoy doing what I can do.

So, before I run, I find myself saying “let me be accepting of what I can do today”; when I do that I am more relaxed and I run better.

Head case: politics The Fox News Republican debate: there is a JV and a varsity debate, with the “top 10” being invited to the latter.

July 29, 2015 Posted by | 2016, running, weight training | | 2 Comments

Obama’s “Third Term” remark: supporters, detractors and media miss the point!

I admit that flinched a bit when I saw this article being passed around:


And of course:

supporters: “I’d vote for him again; he is doing well”. (disclaimer: this was me at first, until I watched the remarks for myself)
detractors: “what an arrogant SOB, ….”

But for the context:

As he wrapped up what may be his final trip to Africa while in office, Mr. Obama took aim at some of the continent’s gerontocracy and called on long-entrenched leaders to step down, declaring that “nobody should be president for life.” But it led to an off-the-cuff riff about his own improved political standing and his future.

“I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” Mr. Obama said, departing from his prepared text in a speech at the African Union. “I think if I ran, I could win.”

“There’s a lot that I’d like to do to keep America moving,” he added. “But the law is the law,” he said, “and no person is above the law, not even the president.”

The comments reflect a bitter issue in Africa: the attempts by some leaders to hold onto power well beyond their terms expire. Just this month, the president of Burundi pushed through with elections that gave him a third term in office, throwing his nation into upheaval in a move widely regarded as violating the country’s constitution and a peace agreement that ended a devastating civil war.

The part in bold text is the point of this speech! Really! Watch for yourself:

People, supporters and detractors alike, are missing the point, and much of this stems from the headlines in the media.

Of course, this is typical. President Obama can’t run for a third term. But Secretary Clinton is running, and expect to hear “What difference does it make” (on Benghazi) again and again.

So a bit of context will be helpful:

Johnson: But, Madame Secretary, do you disagree with me that a simple phone call to those evacuees to determine what happened wouldn’t have ascertained immediately that there was no protest? That was a piece of information that could have been easily, easily obtained?

Clinton: But, Senator, again—

Johnson: Within hours, if not days?

Clinton: Senator, you know, when you’re in these positions, the last thing you want to do is interfere with any other process going on, number one—

Johnson: I realize that’s a good excuse.

Clinton: Well, no, it’s the fact. Number two, I would recommend highly you read both what the ARB said about it and the classified ARB because, even today, there are questions being raised. Now, we have no doubt they were terrorists, they were militants, they attacked us, they killed our people. But what was going on and why they were doing what they were doing is still unknown —

Johnson: No, again, we were misled that there were supposedly protests and that something sprang out of that — an assault sprang out of that — and that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact, and the American people could have known that within days and they didn’t know that.

Clinton: With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this, but the fact is that people were trying in real time to get to the best information. The IC has a process, I understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out. But you know, to be clear, it is, from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime.

Johnson: OK. Thank you, Madame Secretary.

So you see, she made this statement in the context of “at that time, we had other concerns”. The important fact, at that time, was that there was an attack and that we had to find a way to get help; the cause of the attack was something to deal with AFTER the initial emergency was over.

But don’t expect her detractors to admit that, even though it is as clear as day. Remember: politics “makes us stupid”; we seek isolated quips and factoids that confirm what we already think that we “know”.

And yes, “both sides” do this:

President Bush ignited a Democratic inferno of criticism on Monday by suggesting the war on terrorism could not be won, forcing his aides to scramble to defend his remarks just as he had hoped to bask in convention accolades.

On the campaign trail in New Hampshire, Mr. Bush sought to emphasize the economy, but his comments on terrorism dominated national attention.

In an interview on NBC-TV’s “Today” show, Mr. Bush vowed to stay the course in the war on terror, saying perseverance in the battle would make the world safer for future generations. But he suggested an all-out victory against terrorism might not be possible.

The sad thing is that President Bush was correct and said pretty much what then Senator Kerry said:

President George W Bush launched another offensive against Senator John Kerry’s credentials as commander-in-chief yesterday for saying he wanted to get to a point at which terrorism was merely a “nuisance”.
Mr Bush’s campaign staff seized on remarks Mr Kerry made to the New York Times magazine to accuse him of gravely underestimating the terrorist threat.
Asked what it would it take for Americans to feel safe again, the Democratic candidate drew on his experiences as a prosecutor in the 1970s to give a far less stark view of the threat than Mr Bush.
‘We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance,” he said.
“I know we’re never going to end prostitution. We’re never going to end illegal gambling.
“But we’re going to reduce it, organised crime, to a level where it isn’t on the rise. It isn’t threatening people’s lives every day.”
Bush supporters saw the remarks as a gift as the president rams home his message that Mr Kerry is not tough enough to lead the fight against terrorism.

Don’t you love it: each side attacked the other side for saying…well, pretty much the same thing. 🙂

Campaign season. Expect it.

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Barack Obama, politics, politics/social | , , , | Leave a comment

Warm walk..but better this time

It was humid: 79 F, 82 percent at the start, 85 F, 69 percent at the end. But I walked my Cornstalk 8.1 plus 2 more (extra double back from Main/Parkside down to lower Bradley Park and one non-cornstalk loop) in 2:15:48 (roughly 10.1-10.2 miles); my 8.1 segment was 1:48:42 (54:57/53:54), 2 miler was 27:06 and the finishing 1.03 was 12:39. My knees: probably not 100 percent legal, but they were not terrible either.

Weight: 188.5 prior (after really drinking a lot), 182.0 after. That is about right for me; 2 hours of moderate aerobic activity sweats off about 6.5 pounds. Hard activity: 9 pounds (as I did at Steamboat).

July 28, 2015 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

Can you spot it? (fun)


Click the photo for the solution if you give up. It is fun.

July 28, 2015 Posted by | humor | , , | Leave a comment

The ridiculous and the serious

Remember the “catcall video”? Well the woman who did it was only paid 200 dollars for it…and now she is angry and so is suing. Evidently she thinks that walking around in painted on jeans is worth 500K. 🙂

FAIL Straight pride. Yes, there was a “straight pride” rally. ONE person showed up.

I don’t know the full story here, but evidently some people in pick up trucks with confederate flags went past a kid’s birthday party and yelled racial slurs. What came before that is in dispute; those in the trucks said that those in the party threw rocks at them…and in the process of swerving, one truck got a flat tire and they had to stop.

The more serious
Mike Huckabee jumped the shark with his “Israel to the doors of the oven” comment (re: Iran deal)

So, is he toast, or will he surge in the Republican polls the way that Donald Trump did?

July 28, 2015 Posted by | huckabee | , , | Leave a comment