Uniting with those you do not like: 2018 midterms

Ok, I have no political science credentials. But at least lately, it seems that we are in the following cycle: Republicans govern (or attempt to). Republicans crash the economy (or at least make things worse). People get disgusted. They vote the Democrats in. Things get better but a combination of Democratic infighting and the Democrats championing unpopular stuff gets them voted out of power and the Republicans take over again, only to run things into the ground, again.

I’ll talk about the Democrats championing unpopular causes at another time (but IMHO, this is a combination of the Ant and the Grasshopper and “Beggars can’t be choosers” in action)

But right now I will just say this: I find my fellow Democrats to be very annoying. For one, we are as prone to “argue by slogan” as anyone else. For example, take the current debate as to whether to keep Nancy Pelosi as the leader of the House Democrats.

As I see it, there are many pros and cons: she is a good fundraiser and she has had some great accomplishments (e. g. getting the ACA through the House). On the other hand, the House Democrats have steadily lost seats and many feel that her time is past. And it is clear that the GOP thinks that she is a good thing to run against in the red Congressional Districts that are closely contested.

You’d think that this is worthy of debate, right? Well, no..not for some:

You see: it is all misogyny. (eyeroll).

Never mind that many Democrats who don’t want Pelosi would be happy with another female. Now if you want to talk about ageism…maybe that could be PART of it.

But in the upcoming midterms, none of this really matters. If you oppose Trump, vote for the Democrat, period. Opposing Trump IS enough (and yes, one Jill Stein backing idiot tried to tell me it wasn’t enough).

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Taking the bait vs. fighting back

First, I found this amusing:

There are 6 I do not recognize. But still, #walkaway is some program that uses Russian bots to convince Trump supporters that Democrats are just leaving in droves.

But notice whose photo is NOT there? I think that there is a reason for that.

Now among the rank and file “internet” liberals there appears to be two schools of thought as to what to do socially. One is to try to make it toxic to be a Trump supporter in public. People claim that Maxine Waters said to do that, but she was clearly talking about *Trump officials*. No, I do not approve of that. But that was NOT a call to harass Trump supporters.

But yes, some liberals DO approve of restaurants turning away those with MAGA hats or even doing direct harassment.

I do not approve of that and.. frankly, I find it politically counter productive.

Seriously, some people think that screaming “oh, I just HAAAAATE YOU” is going to convince somebody, or at least change their vote?

And yes, Trump is just eating it up…trolling the hell out of us, mocking “me too” and even slurring Maxine Waters:

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I said it the other day, yes, she is a low IQ individual, Maxine Waters. I said it the other day. High — I mean, honestly, she’s somewhere in the mid-60s, I believe that.

Yes, these sorts of statements would get one fired from many types of jobs and many Trump supporters know that. But Trump can say them with impunity …so it must feel good to the MAGA crowd to watch the liberals writhe with outrage.

Guess what: they are enjoying this!

I think that our only recourse is political pragmatism; win as many down ticket elections as we can and win in 2020. And saying “if you voted for Trump you are a HORRIBLE human being and I just HATE you” isn’t a winning political message. At least, I don’t think it is.

Nevertheless, many will continue to “take the bait”.

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Something of a social/political change

You’ve probably heard about the “intolerant left”. That usually applies to people on college campuses, students, liberal arts professors and the like. But until relatively recently, the mainstream rank-and-file Democrats have wanted their lawmakers to reach compromises whereas the Republicans have stressed “our way or the highway”.

Well, a combination of Trump, The Turtle and noxious right wing media have lead to a change of attitude:

You know: if you keep reaching out only to get your hand bitten off (as Obama did) and to have the Republicans act so horribly, well, there are consequences.

And yes, there has always been an intolerant right wing…

(and no, I do not like it)

The results of this Pew Poll are interesting. Though there is certainly a correlation between belief in a type of deity and belonging to a religion, there ARE atheist Catholics and believing “none of the aboves” and “atheists who accept some sort of higher power”. A lot of belonging to a religion is ..well…social.

Workout notes

Kind of tired; last night: I went to the 5:30 core strength class instead of the 6:30 yoga class (Ms. V. put us through a good ab routine).

This morning: swim (low intensity): 500 free, 250 of fly drill/fly (fins), 250 of free/back, 250 of breast/free, 250 of side/free (last 50 side), 250 of 3g/free (fins) 250 pull then 100, 50 back, 50 free (strained in vain to keep up with Jason)

weight: 199.1 before, 197.5 after.

Then running: 2 miles of .25 froggy: 5.1-5.8, then 1 mile at 5.8 (10:20 pace), retreat to 5.1-5.4 (43:50 at 4 miles), last mile in 10:35 (54:25 for 5). No foot pain. Not that hard; not in the mood to push.

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, running, social/political, swimming | , , , , | Leave a comment

Winning will be tough for liberals …

I really don’t care much about award shows, but at the Grammy awards, Hillary Clinton made a cameo appearance (via video) and read a tiny bit from Fire and Fury and, well, poked fun at Trump’s lack of intellectualism (noted that other presidents and politicians have won Grammy awards for reading). Well, some liberals…actually took exception:

The whole premise was, of course, cooked up to give the show an excuse to display its TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome). It’s bad enough that there’s a gratuitous slur at Trump at the Grammys, one that had nothing to do with music, but when his opponent in the election reads about his predilection for McDonald’s burgers, well, it’s not only not funny, but it’s unseemly. And it surely won’t make middle America like the Democratic Party any better. Perhaps the advance word that the show would be politicized accounts in part for the huge drop in viewership compared to last year.

Now, yeah, I found it a bit unseemly too, but…really…SO. FUCKING. WHAT. Trump has never hesitated to sling insults at private citizens. And who gives a damn what Trump supporters would think? They are utterly unreachable; trying to talk to them would be like giving a science argument to a Bible beater. There is an outside chance that we can flip just enough of the “I didn’t like Trump but I absolutely LOATHED Hillary” voters.

But there you have it…liberals criticizing liberals for taking the low road (in a benign way). When have you seen Republicans do that to other Republicans?

Or..let some liberal make fun of Sarah Sanders or Kellyanne Conway in the “wrong way” and some SJW will ride in to attack you for your “misogyny”.

Even worse: our very mindset of taking up for the perceived underdog is not politically popular. Liberals vocally support: the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill, the Dreamers, rights for illegal aliens…the rights for ex felons to vote, rights for transgirls to shower with genetic girls, etc. And any semblance of a discussion will be met with “oh, you are just a bigot” or “that is just bigotry”, blah, blah, blah.

Oh well…..

And speaking of bleeding heart causes: some advocates are pushing for …pet food to be covered by food stamps!

Now ..hear me out..there are times when a pet can lead to increased emotional and mental health..and the pet might be cheaper than other therapies. So that being covered by services for the indigent might not be a bad idea..but I think that the funding ought to come from another pot (Medicaid? “Paws for the poor”(ok, I just made that up))

Sexual harassment: This is an interesting article about how, at times, the harassed may well have, on some level, “enjoyed” the harassment, which is still improper. This is in the context of a yoga class ..and let me be perfectly clear: this applies to NO ONE that I’ve ever taken yoga from.

Had the notorious “Yoga Sex Scandal” (as it was called by the New York Times) gone down six months ago, I might have jumped on the shock-and-horror bandwagon with nearly everyone else in the blogosphere. But as a new transplant to Santa Monica (a city I often refer to as 2nd chakra central), I was hardly surprised. At the very first class I took in L.A., a male teacher unexpectedly caressed—OK, more like groped— my ass in Downward Dog. There I was, minding my own ujjayi breath, when suddenly I felt a hand sliding over my spandex covered thigh.

At first I was shocked. He was supposed to be a professional, and here he was caressing my butt cheek in a public yoga class. But as he walked away, I felt my hips involuntarily sway back a little bit, almost as if silently asking for more. I felt a flutter in the pit of my stomach, my cheeks flushing red hot. My mind couldn’t believe the way my body was responding … had I actually enjoyed that?


But another part of me—and this is something I feel a bit embarrassed to admit—knew that I hadn’t spoken up because, well, because it felt good. Something in me had enjoyed the touch, relished in the intimacy of a tender caress. It had felt tantalizing, almost intoxicating to be the object of that teacher’s affection. I felt wanted, desired, and, counterintuitive as it may seem, it made me feel powerful.

Workout notes:

usual PT, pull ups (5 sets of 10..good), bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 8 x 175, incline: 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 10 x 50 dumbbell standing (ugly), 10 x 180 machine, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 each arm, 10 x 110 machine. 25 twist crunch (each side, 50 total), moving bridge (2 sets of 10), 10 yoga leg lifts, headstand, side plank, 2 minute plank (hover),

treadmill: (some heel pain, left first) warm up with 11:30 mile, then 8:46 mile (6.7, .8, .9 7.0 every .25 miles). 20:15 total.

The second mile wasn’t as horrible as I feared it would be.

January 30, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics/social, running, walking, yoga | | Leave a comment

DACA and popularity

Ok, the Democrats are negotiating a budget deal without conditions for DACA. Now some are decrying the “spineless Democrats” or not sticking up for what most Americans want (for DACA to be renewed; this old poll has it at 73 percent).

But what many people do not get is that “we want this” does not mean “we want this at any price”:

So shutting down the government in order to get our way on DACA is NOT worth it to even most supporters.

Now will we get a clean DACA bill? Personally, I think it is worth it to try even if POTUS vetoes it.

Workout notes pretty weather so I was planning on a decent treadmill run followed by a walk outside. Well, the run wore me out (10K in 1:10:21, 1:07:20 for the first 6 miles); I did “froggy” on the 1/2 mile from 0 to 4 miles then played with speed; quick walking break for .1 miles after 5. (56:20) But walking home..I had no desire to walk at even a deliberate pace. So I called it a day.

Dang, I am in sorry shape.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, running | Leave a comment

NOT “going along to get along”

One of the things I’ve found (I think that I have anyway) is that various “tribes” have dogma that they implicitly expect others to accept. This can make it difficult to fit in at times.

I’ll just describe some of the tensions I feel.

1. All of the “metoo” stuff: yes, of course, I believe that everyone has a right to work and live their lives free from sexual harassment. However I feel that much of the discussion is intellectually dishonest. For one, we DO have a human nature; our behaviors are not simply the result of socialization. Example: why doesn’t “abstinence only” sex education work?

So, any time you hear “ok, women should….” the feminists get enraged. I sincerely believe that the human mating ritual does have some roles that are genetically hardwired (women send out signals of interest; men respond to such signals that they think that they see) and that can lead to confusion: sometimes a woman’s simple friendliness is misinterpreted and some women DO have a “flirty manner” about them (if you are one of my female friends reading this: I am NOT talking about you; I’ve seen it in others though). So a friendly “be careful how you act” isn’t really a bad thing.

OF COURSE none of this absolves men from the responsibility of not harassing, and OF COURSE, even the most careful woman might get harassed. Men need to hear “keep it professional” in the work place and “don’t over assume her interest” in social setting.

2. Transgenderism: I was reading about a case in Chicago where a transgender girl, who still has male genitalia, wants to be able to openly use the girls locker room: “I want to be treated like any other girl”.

Ahem: you are NOT “Like any other girl”: you are a biological male who “identifies as a female”.

I cannot say “X is a Y” if I honestly do not believe that it is so; this sort of post-modernism is madness IMHO. Sure, I believe that the mind/body mismatch is genuine.

And in this case: my vote (at the poll) is that the privacy rights of the biological girls come first..otherwise why have separate locker rooms to begin with?

3. Women’s marches: my issue here isn’t the protests; protesting is as American as apple pie. And I too enjoy gathering with crowds of similarly-minded friends; it feels good to see that one isn’t alone. And yes, President Trump is an unmitigated disaster; he is well worth protesting.

Pussy hats: well, I might roll my eyes, but hey, I have no room to talk as I watch professional football where people wear much sillier things.

The issue for me is how people react to them: no, the numerically large marches do NOT point to some sort of wave that will sweep Trump from office. Yes, the Democrats had some victories, but those were based on local factors. In Alabama, Sen Jones DISTANCED himself from the national Democratic party; in this case black people showed up in unusually large numbers. White women still went for Moore by 68 percent. These marches, which some exceptions, are still largely an educated, somewhat affluent white women’s event (though I did know of a few black women who went).

Oh well, I just wanted to get that off of my chest. The good news is that no one will read this. 🙂

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, politics/social, social/political | 1 Comment

The D’s did reasonably well

I think it is important to remember that, aside from the possibility of filibustering, the D’s control NOTHING. So I agree with Paul Krugman:

And now Sen. Schumer has taken the wall funding off of the table.

And now we can either have a vote on DACA or call out Sen. McConnell as a liar who does not negotiate in good faith.

But: WE NEED TO WIN A CHAMBER in 2018. The gerrymandering ruling in Pennsylvania will help.

Personal: yin/yang. Last night I was the only one who showed up for yoga, so my teacher gave me a routine which was specific to me. My legs feel great; best they’ve felt in a while. BUT while I love the extra attention, if we can’t more people to class, it will fold.

Workout notes: I decided to go outside in mid 30’s weather (gray, damp pavement, but no rain) and walk deliberately for 10K. It went fine. Aside from one screeching walker (woman singing to her music as she walked…if you can call that “singing”) I had the park mostly to myself.

January 23, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, walking, yoga | Leave a comment

When the left parodies itself…

I read a Facebook post about a lawyer who worked pro-bono on LGTQ issues who was catching heat for wearing a pussy hat…you see it isn’t inclusive enough because….some women don’t have vaginas (ok? )

And sure enough, the person writing that post wasn’t kidding.

Oh my…and we wonder why we aren’t taken seriously.

And I saw this cartoon:

Ok, surely the cartoonist is exaggerating…right?

Uh, no…

The rape claim

The patriarchy and feminine independence claim

Sometimes I really think that our dogmatic lefties are just like the Bible Beaters who drink a different flavor of Kool-aid.

So back to the women’s marches: how big of a deal are they? Well, if they inspire people to help us out on 2018 and 2020, I suppose they are a good thing.

But I see a crucial difference between these and the Tea Party marches, BESIDES this crucial difference:

The Senate is set up to give small, rural states an advantage (Wyoming has the same number of Senators as California does). And gerrymandering means that liberals can be effectively fenced up.

So, a large women’s march, even in, say, Fayetteville, Arkansas (home of the University of Arkansas) isn’t going to worry anyone.

The women’s marches are a “mostly white”, mostly educated and blue women’s movement and comprise of a statistically small group of women. And even numerically massive gatherings in Los Angeles, Chicago, etc. mean…well, not much.

Women are indeed still split along economic and educational lines.

And Alabama: 63 percent of white women voted for Moore. It was black people, not white liberals, that saved the day.

January 22, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, social/political | , , , , | Leave a comment

“Well, I am mad”. So what?

Rant to follow:

So often I see people ranting about how angry they are about..well, this or that. And they are going to TAKE TO THE STREETS, demonstrate, march or whatever.

And…nothing changes because not enough of them show up to vote!

Today was the second “women’s march”. Yes, Trump openly taunted them:

Oh sure, he is taking credit for the economy that he inherited (his policies have had almost nothing to do with our current situation…check back in 2-3 years)

Sure, demonstrations have been PART OF a plan to shame/convince the country that it needed to change, but the successful demonstrations were coordinated with voting, legal challenges, economic pressure and the like.

In our area, there are reports that a local store took steps to prevent marchers (a small number) from parking in their lot and parked semis to discourage the marchers from going through their lot.
This store can probably get away with it; it is not popular with the sort of person that would wear a pussy hat.

But my point: to change behavior, you need to have something the other party wants, be it money or votes or whatever. Your being angry with them doesn’t change a thing.

And if you have no power over them, they don’t care. My guess is that this Republican’s approval in his district improved BECAUSE of his rudeness (and who he was rude too)

And voting…means voting for some imperfect candidates and making some compromises.

And turning your movement into something that is batshit crazy doesn’t help:

January 20, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, social/political | Leave a comment

Heaven Help Us!

Could you date (or stay married to) a Trump supporter?

And for the record: yes, I’ve dated Republicans. I have Republican women friends that I’d be sweet on, were I single. So, yes, there are some things that are non-starters for me (say, someone who was excessively religious, smoked, super sanctimonious) but people vote in certain ways for a variety of reasons.

Speaking of Trump: actually, I see the GOP “Tax Scam” to be conventional Republican politics. I don’t see it as “Trumpian”. If anything, I think that Trump probably makes the law less popular than it otherwise might be:

So how will Trump’s presidency end? While I think that the D’s have a good shot at retaking the House in 2018, the Senate is a long shot and, well, let’s just say that while I do not KNOW what will happen, I’d be very relieved if Trump doesn’t win reelection (I expect him to..though I have little confidence in this prediction).

Why do I expect Trump’s presidency to end after a SECOND term? A look at the “conventional wisdom” at the Democratic hopefuls makes me ill. I sure hope there is a Bill or Barack who is lurking beneath the radar.

Workout notes
Weights only. somewhat different order: pull ups: 5-5
bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 1 x 195, 1 x 205 (spotter touched the bar, but I think that I had it), 7 x 185
pull ups: 4 x 10 (strong)
military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 10 x 90 (each arm) machine
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 single arm, 10 x 60 dumbbell single arm
a bit of yoga (head stand too..was good)

I just didn’t feel like walking or running.

December 22, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics, weight training | | Leave a comment