We will always talk past one another

Interesting. I see things like this:

Or read articles like this one (about conflating affordable health care with personal responsibility)

Or even articles like this one (saying that our growing economic inequality is making us more and more like a 3’rd world country).

And often, my conservative friends and I agree on the facts. Seriously. The issues are:

1. Ok, who is to blame for this? Yes, that is an important question (*) thought that might sound strange.

2. Ok, what is the best way forward toward resolving this problem?

It appears to me that, in general, conservatives assign more agency to the individual. For example: are people behaving responsibly, or are they, say, just going around and making women pregnant without having any means of supporting a kid? Yes, that DOES happen:

Among low-income, unwed parents, having children with more than one partner is now the norm. One long-running study found that in nearly 60 percent of the unwed couples who had a baby, at least one parent already had a child with another partner.

Note: this article is from a “bleeding heart” perspective; it goes on to attempt to absolve such “fathers” of their behavior.

Poor health? It is undeniably true that, at least statistically speaking, much of our poor health comes from terrible habits (overeating smoking, etc.).

So, our conservative friends tend to trace many of our social problems to defects in human behavior rather than as something that society bears direct responsibility for.

And you know what? I don’t see our conservative friends as being completely wrong or as being crazy.

Why do I remain a liberal? For one, there is evidence that demand side economics works (stimulation at the bottom of the economy indeed trickles up) and well planned public aid at the bottom of the economy can reduce the chances of ending up on it later in life.

Another reason is that, statistically speaking, pathological social behavior tends to follow poverty rather than be the cause of it. Some evidence for this theory: look at what has happened within some previously non-poor groups.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that I think that people don’t have agency or bear some personal responsibility. I still exercise and carry out my professional duties, and my degrees were not handed to me. I worked for them (while enjoying, yes, taxpayer funded subsidies which I want others to have access to as well).

But those born in harsh socio-economic circumstances have a much, much smaller margin of error and effort only goes so far.

Think of it this way: I could probably improve my running my losing, say, 30 lbs. and running more and running harder. But there is NOTHING I could do to become competitive. My effort can move the needle, but only so much.

And it is my opinion that those born into the bottom can only escape with an enormous amount of effort, and those who do are probably those with an almost an outlier amount of talent.
Of course, it happens, but right now, it is my opinion that it is, for structural reasons, an event whose probably is too low to be considered “fair and just”.

Sure, some who have no excuse fail anyway. There will always some of these. And given a level playing field, some will always do a whole lot better than others. I accept that.
But I don’t see the playing field as being level.

(*) if you disagree that “blame” is not important, ask yourself this: two people need a new liver to be able to live. One is a typical person who got an unfortunate disease. Another is someone who suffered internal injuries while they were attempting a robbery. Who gets priority?

workout notes: weights then an easy 3 mile walk outside (too pretty not to)
rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 8 x 170 (empty gym, no spotters..had to stay conservative), incline: 10 x 135, military: 20 x 50 dumbbell, seated, supported, 2 sets of 10 x 45 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer machine.
Abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts, 10 moving bridges. Headstand (relatively easy today).
And goblet squats (between upper body stuff): 5 x (25, 25, 45, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70). These ARE getting easier.


May 15, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Photos, a longish walk and baseball outings…

I walked a slightly modified version of the above: Bigelow to Forest Hill Drive directly, rather than the side diversion down Knoxville. The course measured 14.09 and it took me 3:24:31 to walk it (14:32 mpm). This was my best over the past couple of years or so, though I was routinely walking this in 2:57-3:00 in 2003-2005, and 3:16-3:19 as of 2012-2014. Yeah, I’ve slowed. But it is an improvement from recent performances; the goblet squats have helped my walking. I went out reasonably well; I was about 2:26 at mile 10. It was cool and warmed just a bit into a very reasonable “70s”.

Upshot: breaking 6 hours in a cool weather walking marathon, while tough, is realistic. But the days of a 12 minute walking pace for a full marathon are probably over.

Yesterday saw a ball game and graduation:

Graduation featured a delay when the sound mixing system went out.

The ball game: The Chiefs lost to the South Bend Cubs 4-0; most of the damage was done in the first inning (2 runs); they got 1 run in the second and an insurance home run in the 9’th. The Chiefs matched South Bend with 8 hits, but Peoria’s hits tended to be “single with 2 outs”. Tracy joined us.

This was a crowded day as it was billed as the minor league (“low A”) version of the Cardinals vs. Cubs rivalry, the major league version was also being played at this time. THAT attracted many Cubs fans.

May 15, 2017 Posted by | baseball, walking | | Leave a comment