blueollie

SOTU: bleah.

Workout notes: yesterday, yoga with Ms. V. and 6 miles of running (1:03:50), 2 of walking. Run: 11:20, 22:18, 32:50, 52:48 then just enough to get 6. Walk was outside. I was pleasantly surprised. Weight: 194.0
Today: weights; rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10..went well), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 150, decline: 8 x 160, military: 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 45, 10 x 40 standing, 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell rows, 10 x 110 machine row. Then came the walk: 5K in 46:15 (or so), 3.9 for 15 min (0-4), 1 mile at 5 (4.1, 4.2) then 1 mile going down 4-3-2-1

SOTU: Trump did give a shout out to the white clad women in Congress, and he did the usual bit of feel good stuff (who is against curing childhood cancer?) but much of it was like a Trump rally (USA USA!) border wall, “we’d probably be at war with North Korea if I weren’t elected”, warned of escalating the arms race, etc.

Here is one (of many) fact checks. No surprises here.

I did come away depressed. On policy, there is zero on the Republican side for me.

On tone, there isn’t much on the current Democratic side for me. You can’t expect to get results with sanctimonious finger wagging and you have to give people a reason to listen to you.

I really do not feel at home with the Democrats either ..though I see them as being “mostly right on policy” (e. g. higher marginal tax rates, stimulating the economy from the bottom, public investment, health care, etc.)

As far as the Democratic response: well, I am sure that the progressives loved it. But image matters. And yes, I really do not believe that an obese, gap toothed person is a good visual image…and the personal debt is very troubling to me…though perhaps I am behind the times.

February 6, 2019 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, running, social/political, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Which way will the Democrats go in 2020?

There appears to be two schools of thought here.

One is that the blue wave of 2018 was caused by the Democrats flipping “red” districts with, well, somewhat moderate candidates.

To that many liberals point to opinion polls on issues which show that typical liberal issues poll very well. And in the state where Sen. McCaskill lost, minimum wage (12 dollars) passed and right to work was repealed. But, many times, people like an idea (say, single payer healthcare) but they don’t like the extra taxes or rationing.

The other school of thought: the younger, liberal firebrands should take over. Interesting:

The future of the Democratic Party represented by Fairfax needs to become its present, immediately. It’s the generation that includes leaders like Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Interesting: Omar, Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez won in blue districts, and Gillum and Abrams lost their respective elections. Not a single person on this list defeated a Republican incumbent.

Workout notes: yesterday, 1 loop plus out and back on Moss/Bradley walk prior to yoga with Ms. Vickie. This morning: 7 mile ride (25:30 on Expresso, 7 laps) after weights: rotator cuff, pull ups: 15-15-10-10, bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 5 x 170, decline: 10 x 165, military 10 x 50 standing 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 40 standing, 3 sets of 10 x 50 one arm rows. plank, headstand, etc. then the bike ride.

February 5, 2019 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Our racist past (and Northam)

The discovery of Gov. Northam’s racist photo on his Medical School yearbook page (1984) (one man in black face, the other in a KKK costume) has lead to some intense discussion.

I will put something about my own past at the end of this post.

Of course, some leading Democratic contenders (Warren, Booker, Harris) have called on him to resign as did the Virginia Democratic Party. Pelosi hedged her bets:

Notice: “do the right thing” rather than simply “resign”, as many others have said directly. This way, she can say “I never asked him to resign”, as others have:

Now if seems strange that something that happened 35 years ago should cause so much anger now:

In short, African Americans are an essential part of the Democratic coalition. They are not a part of the Republican coalition; in fact, some of the baser appeals the Republicans make to those who resent public aid going to black people or resent black people questioning the impartiality of law enforcement.

Here are other interesting takes:

(links to threads)

And this comment:

Personally, I think that he will have to resign, though he hasn’t admitted it to himself as yet.

Now about my own past

Yes, I have done things that I am ashamed of, though blackface and KKK costumes aren’t part of that.

But I will talk about the atmosphere when I grew up. Yes, there was some racism on the Air Force Bases that I grew up on, BUT because the schools I went to were mixed race as were the teams I played on, I can honestly say that racism wasn’t a problem for me *at that time* in my life. But when I moved to Austin, Texas (not quite the silicon valley that it is now) and went to a lower middle class high school, the racism was very prevalent there. The n-word was tossed around on the playing field…and in the hallways. Kids tended to segregate…and yes, the black kids cut the lunch line and there were sometimes fights. Administration did NOTHING. It was a pretty sorry atmosphere even though the school was 55 percent Mexican American…many Latinos didn’t like blacks either.

So what about the Navy and the Naval Academy? Yes, there, the authorities gave us civil rights training, did the appropriate amount of finger wagging, but there was a more subtle undercurrent of racism there. It wasn’t “n-word” mostly, or at least all of the time….you see, that was too “uncouth”. It was more of the smugly told racist jokes that didn’t use the obvious n-words. And it was things like I am about to describe:

I had a friend and roommate (for a semester) who was from rural Alabama. He admitted that he didn’t like blacks (privately). But how others reacted to him: it was more like a “hey, what do you expect from a dumb white hick from Alabama..it is just how they are..” sort of thing with the rest of us (mostly white people). He WAS academically deficient ..a type of “rural white affirmative action” if you will..and couldn’t handle the academics, even though the rest of us tried to help him out.

I remember one time…we were at the dining table where they served us “family style”: pans of food were set on the table and passed around. It was ok to ask another table if you could have any left overs in the pan. One time a black guy with a stereotypical black accent asked if he could have some of that leftover fried chicken. We let him ..but immediately all of us turned to look at the Alabama guy because we KNEW that would set him off…and we were giggling and laughing…”you know that will set off that dumb hick!” sort of way.

One time I expressed a bit of disgust about his racial attitudes (to another friend) and was told “remember where he came from…did you see him in Chemistry, working with a black lab partner..they were getting along. People can change…”

Anyhow…there you have it. Racism, at that time, was pretty freely expressed in “private company.” That was true in certain circles in the Navy as well…and yes, even in the officer ranks (though I did not see it in the officer ranks in the Nuclear Navy). The time period I was talking about was from 1977-1985.

It was a different time, and things have improved..or so I would think, based on my own experience…though it could just be the company that I presently keep.

I do want to comment on one other thing:

Yes…having an honest conversation on race IS all but impossible due to people (mostly white liberals) being so eager to pounce with moral superiority. In fact, there are honestly held beliefs that, I think, CAN be challenged in an intellectually honest manner. I talked about that some here.

Workout notes: today, 6 mile run walk on the treadmill in 1:11
Yesterday 7 mile ride on an indoor bike, weights: usual PT, abs, planks, etc. pull ups: 10-10-10-10-5-10, (yes 55 total), 10 x 135, 3 x 185 bench, 10 x 135 incline, 8 x 165 decline, 10 x 50 standing military, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 40 standing, 3 sets of 10 x 50 one arm rows, then the planks/bike ride.

February 2, 2019 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, running, social/political, weight training | | Leave a comment

A few political thoughts

Democrats 2020: large field at the moment (potentially large)

We shall see.

DC MAGA boy incident. This is a reasonable take. Entitled brats? Maybe ..depends on your point of view. Monsters: no. Frankly, there are better things to worry about, though the right wingers may have found their “young activist.”

Now about speech: it is so free that it is often difficult to distinguish fake news from fantasy. Social media isn’t helping. And when one goes against one’s tribe..well, there is some internal pressure to just go along.

Note: Trump’s approval ratings have dropped a little; he appears to be hurt by the shutdown and some are waking up to the fact that he conned them. But if the Democrats appear to be *too* petty in their investigations, it could backfire. This is why loose cannons scare me.

Yes, Ronald Reagan had low numbers at this point in his presidency, but he had an economy that could recover; for Trump, the economy can only go..down.

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | Leave a comment

A new politics, tone and twilight zones…

I found this article which compares Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Donald Trump to be interesting: Yes, the personalities are different, but there are similarities:

1. Ignorance. Yes, POTUS should be held to a higher standard than a Freshman representative. But at times, she seems to be unconcerned that there is a lot that she doesn’t know or simply unaware that she doesn’t know.

2. Attacking those of your own party: both seem to be most comfortable doing this; in AOC’s case, she seems more interested in pushing blue district representatives to the left than flipping red ones. The issue here is that, in order to get something through Congress, one has to compromise and for those on the left, that means voting for something more centrist than you’d rather have.

3. Rabid followers on twitter.

4. Attitude. Trump: “I alone can fix it.” AOC:

I still think that this is a nice piece though someone on my Twitter feed objected to this:

I think it’s fair to say that, like Trump, she has no interest in apologizing or co-opting or persuading. She’s here to chew bubblegum and kick ass—and she’s all out of bubblegum.

Oh well.

Now will AOC be an internet flash in the pan or is she the future..or perhaps a useful decoy while others do the heavy lifting? Who knows…certainly not I.

Razors:

I don’t watch TV (much) and really don’t pay attention to commercials. Some conservative are up in arms about it (Ann Coulter has been tweeting stuff about it too).

Personally, this commercial makes me roll my eyes. It reminds me of the stupid training that we are forced to do: yeah, bullying, and harassment are bad (duh) but constant finger wagging is tiresome. It is kind of like religious nutters beating their Bibles over and over again. But it is hardly getting worked up over; it is merely another stupid, clumsy attempt to moralize.

Oh…when I do buy razors…I’ll get whatever is on sale. 🙂

Basketball:

It was looking good early; BU hit a free throw to take a 9-7 lead with 13:36 to go in the half. Bradley didn’t score again until there was 5 minutes left in the half to make it 22-11 …and BU was to trail 33-15 at the half. 6 points in 13:36…frankly BU was lucky to be down by 18: BU shot 15 percent for the first half.

The lead was to climb to 44-20 with 15:38 to go in the game; Drake then went into the “burn the clock mode” and coast to an easy 69-52 win. BU started to make some baskets but by then, the lead was too great to overcome by doing slightly better than trading baskets.

This has to be so frustrating for the team and coaches….hope they can get some confidence back. Take nothing away from Drake; they are a fine team which appears to have adjusted to losing their best player for the season (knee injury). But BU has enough talent to be more competitive than this, especially at home. The game was NOT as close as the 17 point final spread might suggest (and 17 points isn’t hardly close).

Workout notes: Yesterday; 3 miles on the track (25 laps of lane 1 in Markin 45:46) after light weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (11 sets of 5), dumbbell bench 10 x 70, incline 10 x 140, decline: 10 x 165, military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 45, plank, etc.

This morning: yoga with Ms. V. (and it DOES help), followed by 5 miles of treadmill running: gradual progression every .25 miles: 21:20 for 2, 39:40 for 4, walk for about .4, then jog to 52:50 for 5.

Weight: 193.0 but I was full (TMI), 191.8 prior to the run which is more realistic. I appear to be 192 plus/minus 2 lb. Can I lose 12 more pounds BEFORE I start training?

January 17, 2019 Posted by | basketball, Democrats, politics, politics/social, running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Trying to get it together ..

So what will the Democrats do in 2020? Oh sure, there is still the shutdown to deal with.

But the eventual nominee will have to navigate the respective..well, “power centers” in Democratic politics. And, as of right now, I am clueless as to who to back.

Political skill will be a huge consideration; agreeing with me on positions means little if one either loses the election or wins the election and can’t get their stuff past Congress.

Workout notes: I mentioned my run yesterday. Today: I decided to skip weights and walk instead; (5.1 miles at about a 16 minute pace..too damned slow). I had dry roads; snow is supposed to arrive late tonight and stay tomorrow. I hope I can make it to the Bradley game.

January 11, 2019 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, running, walking | Leave a comment

Motivation still low…

But I did walk another 10.4 miles in 2:53 in cold weather (20’s..but sunny) and I wore sweatpants and too many tops.

I did the W. Peoria course to B. park and did the out and back up Cornstalk hill (part of the 5 course), one loop plus one mini dog park loop then back home in the usual way. Just steady…16:30-16:40 pace; could not walk fast but..didn’t have the mind set. Right now my workouts are directionless and aimless. Weight: right at 191 (plus/minus 2 pounds or so)..too heavy for my age.

I don’t want to talk too much either, other than watching some liberals gush over Ocasio-Cortez shows how Sarah Palin was so popular. There is some romantic attraction toward the naive outsider who will walk in and SHAKE THINGS UP (even if they don’t know what the hell they are doing). You know…guts, balls, “get ‘er done”, Dirty Harry, etc.

Yeah, I know; she really isn’t any dumber than the icon who..well, said ketchup was a vegetable, thought that trees caused air pollution and claimed to have been there when concentration camp inmates were liberated.

But my goodness..so much attention paid to her and she hasn’t done a thing (other than win an election in a very blue district)

Oh well, I did claim that I was fascinated by this whole thing and I can’t help but follow.

December 31, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, walking | Leave a comment

I see why many liked Michele Bachmann, twitter and package deals

Yes, she hasn’t even been seated yet, but she has been attacked by the right wing and lionized by many on the left. Of course I am talking about the soon to be seated Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, NY-14) who became a sensation when she pulled off a huge upset in the Democratic primary, taking down a well funded, seemingly entrenched member of the Democratic establishment.

And for now, she is a bit of a sensation. And, well, she frequently gets facts wrong when she speaks in public. Here is a nice list. Here is another one.

She really strikes me as a bonehead, though some with high standards grade her on a curve:

Krugman is a bit harder on Republicans who say stupid things.

And yes, there are plenty of Republicans who say stupid things. And to my knowledge, AOC isn’t planning to bring a snowball onto the floor, nor will she claim that an island is in danger of tipping over if loads put on the island are unevenly distributed.

Members of Congress do not strike me as especially bright; in fact, in her book Living History, Hillary Clinton says that some that she talked to really didn’t know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid!

So, AOC seems to be in good company.

But here is why I can’t seem to just ignore her: she pops up on my feed all of the time and, well, I actually LIKE the direction of some of her big ideas: a “moon shot” level commitment to green energy, and her goal of universal health care (and her noting that, as of right now, health insurance companies are the true “death panels”).

And, to be fair, no one has won over the public with white papers and spreadsheets.

So, whatchagonnado???

She is a bit like Twitter I guess: there are several people I follow because either I find value in *most* of what they post, or find that they post a gem every so often (but mostly post duds). The rest is “scroll past” stuff.

Workout notes: 5 mile treadmill walk in 1:00:10. I weight 194 on my home scare before walking, but 189.2 on the gym scale prior to lunch? Oh well..probably variability in scales (gym scale is higher end) and in what is in my belly.

December 5, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, walking, WTF | Leave a comment

Pelosi wars.. ugh…

First things first: 58 minutes for 5 miles walking; my weight loss to just around 190 has helped. Dropping 10 more pounds would help even more.

And last night, Bradley basketball won 74-65 over a pesky Jackson State team that would not go away; every time Bradley got a double digit lead, JS hit some 3’s to get right back in it. Bradley’s big guys had good nights (20 and 15 points) and several players had double figures.

Politics: great, now that the Democrats have the House (still more seats to be determined; 7 appear to be up in the air right now), there appears to be a fight over who should be Speaker. Normally, the caucus votes and then the winner of the caucus moves forward to the whole House voting, at which case whoever gets the majority of votes wins. Evidently some want a change where someone needs 218 votes (out of 230-235 or so) to be advanced out of the caucus, a very high standard. That strikes me as nuts.

So we go to the arguments. Much of the anti-Pelosi sentiment appears to be “too old”, “old guard”, “grip on power”, “corporate”, “establishment”, etc. But the pushback, or at least MUCH of it is “sexism, misogyny”, etc. It is a battle between two “woke” factions. At times I wish I believed the trickle down economics bullshit so I could just be a Republican and be done with it.

About Pelosi: sure, the threading of the needle for the ACA was a historic feat; IMHO she’ll go down as one of the great Speakers for that feat. But is her time past? I do not know. Should we groom new leaders? Of course.
But do we need to change at the moment? Well, “would someone else be more effective”, to me, is the ONLY consideration (and yes, there is some debate as to what “more effective” means). No, she is NOT “owed” anything AND “change for the sake of change” is stupid.

We will see how it plays out, but the quality of the discussion is lacking.

November 15, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Democrats, politics, politics/social, social/political, walking | | Leave a comment

Liberal outrage, antics, etc.

Mississippi is having a run off between a Democrat and the Republican incumbent. And something has been made of one of her statements:

In a video posted on Twitter over the weekend, Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi is seen complimenting a supporter by saying, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”

Ok. Now, of course, a racial angle is being made of it but yes, for much of human history, public executions were a popular event, and still are in some parts of the world.

Now had Hyde-Smith been a high ranking official of a public business, she would probably get fired; collectively liberals have money to spend and the threat of economic boycotts carries some punch.
But this is an election in a southern Republican state and liberal outrage could well backfire; after all, much of current Republican appeal, at least to the non-well off, is “sticking it to the libs”.

I really think that much of our power for social issues rests with spending power; this is why many companies are more progressive than the law requires them to be.

Now about those elections: results are still trickling in and the Democrats DID so well. In terms of popular vote, this was an impressive result. In terms of number of seats gained, this isn’t what the Republicans had in their waves, but much of that was because the Democrats in Congress didn’t lose seats they way the Republicans did in 2006, 2008, 1992, etc. So there were fewer pick ups to be had.

And yes, we lost the “star elections”. But I was fully prepared for that and said so.

And yes, we have our kooks. And many liberals love our kooks.

Update: there is another interpretation to the last story I linked to. Oh, it is couched in the usual millennial “woke” bullshit but the thread makes a valid point: (follow the thread).

November 14, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment