blueollie

Running on fumes…

Physically, I feel reasonably good. But mentally; well we are nearing the end of the semester and I am bringing together the end of Calculus III and topology…and I botched a calculation in Calculus III. I did send out some corrected notes; I got the “right answer” but for the wrong reason.

Swim: 500 easy, 5 x ( 50 front kick with fins, 200 free); timed was 3:38. then 50 kick with fins (body position), 4 x 50 on the 1:10 (52; did long on the out, harder on the back). 200 fly/back with fins.
It was ok.

Issues

Basketball
It is very hard to be successful; practices can be downright brutal and a good coach will drive his/her players past where they think that they are capable of going. Hence I am genuinely perplexed here: did this coach cross the line, or did she end up with “soft” players here?

The four players who quit the Wichita State women’s basketball team after the season have met with a university official who reports to president John Bardo to discuss their issues with coach Jody Adams.

Faculty athletic representative Julie Scherz is leading the inquiry and is charged to talk to current and past players, coaches and administrators, said Lou Heldman, WSU vice president of strategic communications. Michaela Dapprich, Moriah Dapprich, Alie Decker and Kayla White met with Scherz recently after leaving the team.

“Dr. Bardo took this seriously from the first report of it,” Heldman said. “He is very conscious of the standards of what universities owe to student-athletes, and really, to all students. He asked Dr. Scherz to look into this.”

Scherz and Bardo have had at least one conversation and plan another soon, Heldman said. Assistant athletic director for media relations Larry Rankin directed media inquiries to Heldman.

The players, according to a source with knowledge of the conversations and communications with Scherz and athletic department officials, described an atmosphere of anger, isolation and personal insults that caused the players to quit. The issues came to a head recently during offseason training when players ran more than an hour of “suicide” drills as punishment, several sources said.

But her teams played well on the court; evidently they weren’t showing up to games with dead legs. So it isn’t as if they were being overtrained or playing “tight”.

Politics

2016. I admit that I am not that interested in the Presidential race, at least in terms of getting involved. I might write a campaign check or two. I’ll vote both in the primary and in the general. But I don’t have the excitement I had in 1992, 2008, nor the grim determination I had in 2004 and 2012, nor will I get any joy in watching the nerds be right (again) and the pundits go down in flames (2012). This is sort of like 2000 for me when I had, at best, a passing interest (yes, I voted, for VP Gore but I (mistakenly) believed that George W. Bush was “not that bad”. Really. I was fooled by campaign statements such as this one:

My goodness, was I wrong.

Well, the 2016 race is heating up. Sure Mitt Romney is not running…but this…well, it doesn’t include Scott Walker or Carly Fiorina but..let’s just that that this makes Mitt Romney look good by comparison:

And on the other side: Hillary Clinton is running.

Now, there are Democrats who are in the “anyone but Hillary” bandwagon. I am not one of those. No, I am not strongly pro-Clinton either, but she did serve in the US Senate and performed ably as Secretary of State and has stature in the world. So I think that she is a worthy candidate and I don’t see another Democrat who is.

Her 2008 campaign was a disaster though; she had the lead and blew it by being overconfident and not planning ahead. I hope that she has learned her lesson.

But she is a Clinton and well…. here comes two articles that focus mostly on President Clinton’s charity fund.

Yes, charity. It turns out that Bill Clinton is good at raising money and some give to his charity in hopes of getting in Hillary’s good graces, and yes, Bill gets a hefty speaking fee. And yes, the New York Times has LONG story about how a Russian company bought a Canadian uranium mining company and..some of its officials gave to Bill’s charity as well.

I read these two articles which seem to drive home the fact that:

1. Bill gets a lot of money for a speech (if he wants it) and
2. Bill’s charity has a lot of donors, some of which hope to get in the good favors of the Clintons.

I really don’t see any more than that; I don’t see where it is claimed that Secretary Clinton did X because some donor gave Y. Well, let’s just say if that claim is there, I missed it...as did others:

“Political opponents” would have argued this had Ms. Rodham Clinton spent her pre-candidate career working with the Poor Clares. That’s why someone’s political opponents are generally found in opposition to them. That’s also why the Post formalized its relationship with a ratfker in the first place.

It looks as though the CGI, and the speaking fees, are going to be this cycle’s Whitewater, which brings us to the application of Clinton Rule No. 3 — if you have blown enough smoke, you then can claim that there is a “climate” of fire. Exhibit A here are the #inevitablehotpolitixtakez from Ron (Leadership!) Fournier, former Karl Rove life coach.

Gennifer Flowers. Cattle futures. The White House travel office. Rose Law Firm files. The Lincoln Bedroom. Monica Lewinsky. And now, the Clinton Foundation. What ties these stories together is the predictable, paint-by-numbers response from the Bill and Hillary Clinton political operation.
Actually, what ties five of the seven examples cited there together is the fact that they are absolute bullshit. (And the Gennifer Flowers business is more than a quarter-bullshit itself. Have we all forgotten that Ms. Flowers wrote about having had assignations with Bill Clinton in a Little Rock hotel that hadn’t been built yet?) Don’t take my word for it. Take Kenneth Starr’s. On November 19,1998, he appeared before the House Judiciary Committee and admitted that everything he’d investigated save the affair with Monica Lewinsky came to nothing. Barney Frank had a little fun with him.

Mr. Frank criticized Mr. Starr for failing to exonerate the President on Filegate and Travelgate in September when he sent Congress the 445-page impeachment referral related to Mr. Clinton’s affair with Monica S. Lewinsky. ”In other words,” he told Mr. Starr, ”you don’t have anything to say unless you have something bad to say.”
To single out the Clintons for having wealthy friends who might want favors later, especially in the political context brought to us by the destruction of campaign finance regulations, is a particularly laughable application of the Clinton Rules which, like the Voting Rights Act and McCain-Feingold, have been rendered irrelevant by Citizens United and its unholy progeny. I already hate this campaign, and maybe that’s the whole point. When pundits talk about “not wanting to go through” the whole Clinton sturm und drang, this, I suspect, is what they’re talking about. It is the job of oppo-researchers and ratfkers to exhaust the country’s patience through the techniques of scandalization. It is the job of the other candidates to try and take advantage of that. It is not the job of journalism to play along, or to despair of the effects on “us” of their own creations

Yep.

Yes, you can look at my 2007-2008 posts during the bruising Clinton-Obama campaign. I never hesitated to call out the Clintons when I thought they were trying to pull the political wool over the eyes of the primary and caucus voters.

But the above stuff (the attacks on the Clinton foundation stuff) is malarkey.

One thing to remember about Bill: one of the reasons he is a good fundraiser is that he believes in his causes and he had never been personally greedy. He isn’t above political pandering or stating things in a way that makes you think you are hearing one thing but he is saying another. He has faults.

But he is NOT greedy and never has been.

Let the games begin…:-)

April 25, 2015 Posted by | 2016, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social, swimming | , | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton’s “I’m running for President” announcement ad

Now I admit that this makes me shake my head; then again, this ad isn’t aimed at me.

One thing for sure: I am sure as heck not going to vote for Jeb Bush.

April 12, 2015 Posted by | 2016, economy, hillary clinton | , | Leave a comment

Ok, Democrats: what about the 2016 Presidential election

Ok, it was February 10, 2007 when then Senator Barack Obama announced that he was running for President. I was there in Springfield.

It is about a month later than that and, to my knowledge, no serious Democrat has yet to make the official announcement though, of course, most of the buzz has been about Hillary Clinton.

So, IF YOU USUALLY VOTE DEMOCRAT (no Republicans, Greens, etc.), what do you think?

March 8, 2015 Posted by | 2016, Democrats, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social | | 1 Comment

Obama and Iraq

It looks as if the media is playing up the difference of opinion between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on Iraq.

Basically, Secretary Clinton wanted more proactivity and President Obama was more conservative; personally I agree with the President. President Obama points out that much of what is going on with Iraq is a political problem that force isn’t going to solve.

August 11, 2014 Posted by | Barack Obama, hillary clinton, Middle East, world events | , , | Leave a comment

Fox News interviews Hillary Clinton: 30 minutes well spent.

If you haven’t watched it yet, you can here (4 shorter videos).

Secretary Clinton handled it very easily and comfortably though she got some tough questions.

June 21, 2014 Posted by | hillary clinton, politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton, Drums, swimming and I got to quit screwing around!

Oh lovely. One of our new snowflake neighbors (across the street) is a drummer. Ok, he isn’t that loud and he doesn’t play late at night. But our stupid neighborhood is designed with massive sound channels; for example, if someone is on their porch having a regular conversation, you can hear it in our upstairs bedroom.

Workout notes
weights (leisurely pace)
pull ups: 15-15-10-10 (improvement) with hip hikes and Achilles exercises
incline press: 10 x 135, 4 x 155, 5 x 150, 10 x 140 (hard) with rotator cuff
military press: 10 x 85, 1 x 195, 7 x 85, 7 x 85 (barbell) with rotator cuff; failed with dumbbell 50’s
pull downs (low): 3 sets of 10 x 110
rows: 3 sets of 10 machine

Swim: 1000 free
4 sets of 250: (4 x 50 drill/swim fins, 50 free), (4 x 50 drill/swim fins, 50 free), (4 x 50 fist, 50 free) (4 x 25 side, 25 free, 50 free)
200 of fly/back.

Political posts:
This is more for the mainstream/conservative readers: there is a big fight among liberals over Secretary Hillary Clinton. Many liberals love her; others simply despise her. No, we aren’t talking about the stupid made-up stuff (e. g. the out of context “what difference does it make” quote; she was right on point when she said that as she was talking about the immediate reaction to the Benghazi consulate attack).

In a nutshell: many who like her focus on her intelligence, her grasp of the issues and solid performance as a Senator and Secretary of State. Those who don’t like her focus on her tendency to appear to try to have it both ways and her being pro corporate and her voting for the Iraq war and being slow to admit that she was wrong.

Personally, after a long time, I’ve decided that:

1. She is smart. It turns out that she has decent policy instincts too; after all the health care plan that got passed did have the mandate that she called for (and that Obama initially opposed) and she predicted that the Republicans would do everything they could to obstruct Obama from day one. Remember she ran as “the fighter”; Obama ran as the “let’s get along” candidate. Well, there is simply no getting along with a shark (the current Republicans) and HRC understood that.

2. She also is not a good politician; her 2008 primary campaign was a disaster and her “dead broke” comment was a major gaffe.

3. She is very ambitious…to the point where she throws low blows during a political campaign. Some see that as evidence of her fighting spirit (her fans) and her detractors see that as unchecked, unprincipled ambition.

I think that she would do fine as a President; I am less confident that she can run a good campaign and get elected. Fortunately, the Republicans are managing to try to “out nut-job” each other in the House and Senate races and that helps our 2016 Presidential prospects immensely.

If that sounds paradoxical: remember that Republicans are grossly over-represented in Congress on a per-capita basis. Hence, the type of campaigning that appeals to the emotional “Obama is a Muslim who hates our country and global warming is a hoax! Jesus controls the climate!” type voter might help win these relatively sparsely conservative Congressional Districts but doesn’t help in a general election which gives more equal representation to our population.

For the record: if she runs and if she wins the Democratic nomination, I’ll vote for her and give her campaign money. Basically, my (small) checkbook comes out when/if she ices the nomination and again when the primary is over.

And I’ll buy a Clinton t-shirt just to anger the mouth breathing knuckle draggers on the right that simply despise her. :-)

I anticipate sitting out the 2016 primary however, UNLESS there are Democrats on the downticket ballot OR if the Republicans still have a nutter in the Presidential campaign; in the latter case I’ll troll and vote Republican again (in the primary) and vote for the nuttiest one standing.

June 18, 2014 Posted by | hillary clinton, politics, politics/social, republicans, swimming, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Dumb Anti-Hillary Clinton PAC ad

stophillarypac

Uh, if Hillary Clinton runs for President and “the American People don’t want her”, then, well…..uh….they won’t vote for her?

(duh)

Here is a more accurate translation: “WE” (those in the PAC) don’t want Hillary Clinton but we are afraid that she might get more votes!”

This is what irks me: people see their own opinions and the opinions of those they hang around as “the opinion of the American people”, and yes, liberals do this too.

Note: there are some left leaning Democrats who don’t want her either; the fear is that she’ll appease the Republicans as much as President Obama does.

My main worry about her is her campaign skills; she really ran a horrible 2008 primary campaign. We need someone who will win the general election.

October 13, 2013 Posted by | hillary clinton, Political Ad, politics, politics/social | | Leave a comment

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

Snarky responses to things…and something useful

Not all mathematics professors are as useless as I am. Note that Andrew Hicks (Drexel University) created a side mirror (for an auto) which gives a wider view without the usual distortion that the “round mirrors” have:
mathprofmirror

Now for the snark (and fun):

Proof that God exists!

The Great Frog God (whose existence has been proven) now looks forward to your worship, adoration and money. Mostly money. :-)

(hat tip: Jerry Coyne)

Benghazi Attack Hearing
Colbert is annoyed that the Republicans looked so bad.

dontmesswithhillary

Inauguration
clintchairspeech

Tyrants
No, neither President Obama nor President Bush are/were tyrants.

notatyrant

Snark with Spandex

When I took my psychology course, I learned that some ads could be “too sexy” to be effective: that is, subjects remembered the sexy stuff but not the product. Could this be a case of that?

whatproduct

Well, if the product (what product? :-) ) was aimed at both men and women, this ad is probably wasted on the heterosexual males. But the heterosexual females might relate without being distracted, though I wonder what “183 percent less” means.

Someone thought that I’d like this. Hey, I am always willing to lend a hand.

helpherup

No, this won’t get me into adventure racing; I’d probably end up torching my knees. :-)

January 25, 2013 Posted by | big butts, hillary clinton, human sexuality, mathematics, physics, political humor, politics, religion, republicans politics, science, spandex, world events | , | Leave a comment

Fact Checking, hominoid feet, mandates and anti-science…conservatives…er people…

Workout notes
Yoga with Ms. Vickie (uninspiring workout; I just wasn’t into it) followed by 1:08 worth of running. 21 minute warm up, 3.24 miles around the goose loop, 13 minute wind assisted run back. Call it 6.5 miles (easy). It was slightly chillier than it had been recently and somewhat windy; still great weather by “March in Illinois” standards.

Speaking of weather: so can we expect a hot “April/May” period followed by a brutally hot summer? Well, if past data is any indication….not really. The short: in the past, “warm March” does not correlate with “warm April” though this year might really be different.

Humor (I love the “butt” remark)

Posts
I’ve been following the Trayvon Martin killing some. Yes, I am astonished that Zimmerman has not been arrested as yet and his story makes no sense to me. BUT, some of the “arrest Zimmerman” crowd are saying things that make no sense at all. Here is such a case: listen to what Melissa Harris-Perry said on MSNBC.

[…]If trayvon martin had thrown a punch, you’re talking about a citizen unarmed throwing a punch at an armed man who was following him. Why wouldn’t stand your ground protect trayvon martin ? Why does have the right to impede on him, which the evidence is clearly beginning to look like it’s not. What’s most distressing is we have to explain why it is problematic for an armed adult to kill an unarmed child.

Emphasis mine. Note: evidently the transcript is generated automatically; Ms. Perry speaks more eloquently than this.
I have no problem with anything she said, except for the last sentence.

Come on, Ms. Perry: had Mr. Martin really been attacking you, I don’t see it as problematic at all why you might shoot him. He was a 17 year old boy, and I can assure you that I was far stronger and more dangerous (physically) when I was 17 than I am now. Just check out the football recruits for a NCAA team some time. That statement is stupid.

Still, I think that this kid was being hassled while minding his own business and that Mr. Zimmerman needs to be arrested (and yes, there is a lot I don’t know, so my opinion is, by definition, not an informed one).

Science
Human evolution
There is new information available about a hominoid that lived about the same time as Lucy, though this one spent time in trees.

Conservatives and Science Yes, it is easy to show that conservatives are more likely to reject evolution and climate science than liberals, and that holds true if one corrects for education level.

But liberals are more likely to embrace nonsense and woo (e. g. homeopathy). I see it this way: conservatives tend to make type II errors (fail to reject a false null hypothesis) whereas liberals tend to make type I errors (reject a true null hypothesis).

Try an experiment: walk into a Unitarian church and see if anyone embraces creationism or denies climate change. Then look at their “adult education” programs; you are likely to find talks on subjects like Reiki, dousing, and the like.

Fact Checking
I have mixed feelings about sites like Fact Check.org or Politfact. Their written analysis is usually pretty good; I do use that. But their “grading” scheme is bogus (example: is Paul Ryan proposing to “end Medicare as we know it”? I say “yes” and someone else might say “no”; to me, the yes/no part is opinion. What isn’t opinion is that Mr. Ryan proposes replacing the current Medicare system with a private insurance backed system; whether one calls this an “overhaul of the current system” or “ending the current system and replacing it with another system” is really a matter of semantics.
Anyway, I found this article about “Fact Check” sites (in the United States) to be very good. Upshot: the analysis of the news is important; unfortunately people all-too-often used “fact check” to label someone a “liar” or “truth teller”. Yes, Paul Krugman has a point about Politifact, but I still think that their analysis is pretty good.

Speaking of health care: it sure looks as if the health care mandate will be struck down. But will some of the law be allowed to stand?

NOTE The health care plan that Barack Obama campaigned on did NOT have a mandate; Hillary Clinton’s plan did. Mr. Obama thought that if the insurance was a good enough deal, people would want to buy it and there would be enough business to offset the costs of “free riders” (who would get hit with big penalties if they got sick..)

March 29, 2012 Posted by | Barack Obama, environment, evolution, health care, hillary clinton, media, politics, racism, science, SCOTUS, social/political, yoga | Leave a comment

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