Interesting to me: campus free speech again, Illinois river flooding, geese, etc.

I am not 100 percent recovered from my recent illness and my heel is not ready for hard training either, though 4.2 miles with Ms. Vickie (“quick hike” pace) felt good.

The Illinois river has receded but one can see clearly that the goose loop was partially underwater; note the navigation buoy washed up on the grass.

Try to blow up this photo: the white goose in this photo actually has a “Canadian” neck.

And Ms. Vickie clowning a bit.

I had to fight off temptation to do more miles on my own; that is a good sign. But I am still slightly fatigued and almost fell asleep during the play Bonnie and Clyde. Well…it was community theater with many family members in the audience. The Bonnie character wasn’t the traditional Bonnie but has a wonderful singing voice (the play is a musical).

Issues: campus free speech, AGAIN. I am interested because I am a college professor. And this tweet thread that I’ve linked to does a good job at explaining that college is not making students more resistant to free speech than other students their age, that the number of incidents has to be viewed in context (there are many colleges and universities) and that the critics of some of the reported actions aren’t themselves the best advocates for free speech.

Now that being said, I will still criticize actions that I don’t care for, even if said actions aren’t of epidemic proportions, may not be representative of students on the whole, and may not be the fault of their education.

And yeah, I suppose that one easy way to raise my hackles is to intimate that somehow, you are qualified to censor (by direct policy of shouting down) what I want to hear. You aren’t. That applies to SJWs and religious nutters alike.


March 12, 2018 Posted by | political/social, social/political, walking | , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t look now, but Trump is…winning. Seriously.

When Trump got elected, there were several things that worried me. One of them was NOT that he’d govern like a typical Republican. Yes, I don’t like Republicans but we’ve lived through them before; I was worried that this loose cannon would get us in a nuclear war and/or crash our economy.

Neither has happened.

Oh, I still don’t like him; I do not like his deportment, his rude tweets, his attacking private citizens (verbally) and his lack of intellectual curiosity.

But as far as his actual actions go, what I’ve not liked about him is exactly what I would not have liked about, say, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, etc.

So, IF, IF, you think that we ought to cut taxes on the wealthy, appoint right wing judges and cut safety net programs…if you thought that the previous 8 years was a nightmare where someone who didn’t have traditional American values held the presidency…where moochers and slackers voted themselves more money by electing a president who gives out free stuff…

Well, you probably are pretty happy with Trump, even if you wish he had a more conservative deportment and would tweet less.

And that Trump tells those nattering, finger wagging social justice warriors to “buzz off” is a little extra bonus, right? (ok, the SJWs often annoy me too, even if we have broad agreement on policy).

And this is reflected in his approval ratings (about 42 percent..up from the high 30’s).

I am not saying that his party won’t lose seats in the 2018; they may well do so. It is even POSSIBLE (unlikely?) that the Democrats pick up a chamber of Congress. But typically, the President’s party lose seats during the first round of midterms.

In my opinion, he’ll be reelected. You have no idea at how much that I hope that I am wrong. But that is what the current situation tells me.

February 23, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, republicans, social/political | | Leave a comment

If this surprises you, you are delusional

Hmm, let’s see: kids survive a mass shooting that kills several of their class mates.
So some of them speak out.

And you expected the gun nuts and conservatives to do..what exactly?

The best you could hope for is that most might say “ok, let them grieve and vent..they have reason to”. But to expect for these kids to not get critiqued and attacked…is beyond delusional.

Yes, they are kids with immature intellects; almost all of us were that way at that time in our lives (myself included). And yes, they have no clue as to the meat grinder they are stepping into when they go public in this day and age.

And, well, the attention span…

And, in my opinion, there is this: there is the “cosmic justice fallacy” which makes people think “I am in the right therefore I will win”.

Yes, I agree with the kids, but winning will be difficult.

If you have nothing they want, they have no reason to listen to you. And really: we have the ballot box and we have economic power. So unless we punish the miscreants with our votes and use our economic power to influence corporate America, we will lose on this issue..again. But we are winning on many other social justice issues.


I did enjoy the Peoria Democrats dinner: we had Cheri Bustos, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth there. Quite the contingent!

We sat with Clyde Gulley and his wife.

Gerry Hall got these photos:

February 20, 2018 Posted by | Peoria/local, political/social, politics, social/political | , | Leave a comment

I’ll take “bad ideas for 500″…

No, this isn’t a “Bad Idea Jeans” commercial. But I’ve hears some terrible ideas floating around out there.

Guns and gun control

One is the old “well, if killers don’t have access to guns, they’ll kill with something else” argument. Yes, I know; a fertilizer and diesel fuel bomb was used in Oklahoma City, and people have deliberately driven cars on the sidewalk and into crowds.

But, such items have other uses and yes, there is regulation on them. I am not claiming that reinstating the assault weapons ban will make mass shootings go to zero; almost nothing will do that. But it will reduce the frequency; it will make mass killing harder to do.

Analogy: drunk driving laws have not reduced drunk driving to zero. But they HAVE made things better.

That is also the counter argument to “well, criminals don’t obey laws”. True..but we have laws anyway, right?

Next, you have this “Arm the teachers” stuff:

This is about the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. For one thing: having aptitude to be good with a gun in an emergency situation is very different than having the aptitude to be a good teacher (regardless of level). Then one would have to train and retrain …for a skill that one is very unlikely to ever have to use. Then there is the idea of storing a gun around kids to begin with… Nope.

And I will say this: I am NOT going to bring a gun to class. Period.

Note: I am not against the “mental and emotional health” attack on the problem; I am against leaving it at that. Guns themselves are still a major problem.

And please, spare me all of that “god” bullshit. In countries and in states, religiosity correlates positively with social pathology.

Russians and our elections Ok, 13 Russian nationals have been indicted for interfering in our election. In a nutshell, they posed as US activists and did things like promote Jill Stein (and yes, Bernie Sanders) and Donald Trump; they made anti-Clinton ads and the like.

One would think that Americans would take offense at a hostile power trying to influence our election.

But many Trump supporters …don’t.

One of them seemed to imply that they were against “the political process” than enabled, well, those who are not shining stars in capitalism have influence in an election; sort a “the winners of society should make the decisions”. Never mind that many of the wealthy and powerful *inherited* their positions and wealth to begin with.

Such ideas have been tried before and they’ve never turned out well.

Anyhow, this is what we are up against; remember that some really believe that the most successful in business have some inherent right to govern. I doubt if the GOP politicians will say that in public, but you’d better believe that the donor class believes this.

February 17, 2018 Posted by | 2016, political/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

Ok, we have ANOTHER mass shooting at school …and nothing will change.

Oh, I’ve read this before. Yes, we’ll hear “we need to bring GOD back” (nonsense). I am seeing the calls for “armed teachers” (uh, no: the personality and skill set to be a good teacher doesn’t coincide with being a well trained, competent armed guard). I wrote about this 6 years ago.

And yes, our kids are far more likely to die in car accidents, more likely to die of suicide and more likely to die in an ordinary shooting than one of the well known mass shootings.

And yes, shootings are going DOWN, not up (per capita) though suicides (gun related) have gone up.

This video is pretty good (7 minutes) and it talks about how the problems are different (suicide, gang violence, mass shootings)

February 15, 2018 Posted by | political/social, social/political | | 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

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

President of sh***y people: Head Deplorable

Ok, we are getting used to this:

When the discussion turned to African nations, the people with knowledge of the conversation added, Mr. Trump asked why he would want “all these people from shithole countries,” adding that the United States should admit more people from places like Norway.

Remember, this is in a meeting with Senators and the like.

The problem: a sizable minority of people in this country probably approves of such remarks.

Sure, some countries are wealthier than others, some immigrants are better educated than others and some are smarter than others. And yes, it makes sense to have a mix of immigrants.

But this is NOT how I want my country to be represented. The President is supposed to be speaking for all of us and not just his precious “deplorables”.

Workout notes: weird. again my warm up (on the treadmill) was challenging; 1.5 miles in 19 minutes, 1 minute run, 1 walk.
Track (lane 2) 8:50 (4:26/4:24)
walk 5 more laps
3.1 mile course plus a bit more outside. (slow)

The 8:50 mile just about killed me…I am out of shape (yes, 1 week after blood donation)

January 12, 2018 Posted by | political/social, republicans, social/political | | Leave a comment