Many angry women do not respond positively to “woke rhetoric”?

Ok, right now I am mixing some conjectures of mine (and I’d welcome facts that either reinforce or shoot down my conjecture).

This is based on my personal relations with women, many (NOT all) who oppose Trump and cannot stand him. Some have told me that they do not identify as being feminist; that feminist rhetoric does not “speak to them”.

I think that I get this. So much of feminist rhetoric, or at least what gets publicized, speaks of “rape culture”, “patriarchy” and the inherent misogyny of our society. And any statistical difference between men and women (say, males being more likely to be interested in mathematics or engineering) is viewed as being, well, due to sexism or misogyny. Much of this attitude is discussed in Pinker’s book The Blank Slate. And yes, Steven Pinker was elected to the National Academy of Science.

The interesting thing is that some of these women ..many(?) actually believe Dr. Ford over Kavanaugh. They have no tolerance for sexual harassment nor sexual assault.

So what is going on? Maybe, just maybe, they share my attitude: sexual harassment is the fault of the person doing the harassment and those in authority who tolerate it. Maybe some males are serial harassers.
And yes, some are disgusted by the Kavanaugh confirmation STILL think that Al Franken should not have resigned (I am one of them).

Politically speaking, I think that the Franken resignation hurts us: it shows a party that is controlled by those with a hair trigger, and I don’t see how that makes us Democrats attractive to anyone but the most “woke” people, who really do not comprise a large percentage of the voting bloc.

And the woke feminists do not even come close to speaking for all women...not even all white women. And responses such as “those who don’t go along with us have internalized patriarchy” isn’t going to win anyone over.

Moving forward:

I think that this is spot on: screaming at Senators in public places isn’t going to do a thing; I doubt very seriously if it will bring any new votes.

Wait..what about the Tea Party in 2010 and those townhalls? I crunched the numbers:

52 Democrat incumbents lost their seats. Half of those were held by Democrats in districts which voted: Bush, Bush and McCain. And

I’ve listed the CD’s along with the Presidential winner in 2008, 2004, and 2000. The last number is the number of times that a Republican president won that district (data from here)

So: 26 of these losses came from districts in which 2008, 2004 and 2000 by the Republican presidential candidate.
14 of these had the Republican president win 2 out of the 3 times
6 of these had the Republican president winning once
6 had elected the Democrat every time.

Or, put another way, 40 of the 52 Democratic incumbents who lost represented “red” or “reddish” districts.
This does not include the currently undecided seats nor those in which the sitting Democrat didn’t run for reelection and the seat switched hands.

Now, how many Republicans hold Democratic voting Congressional Districts?

That is the asymmetry of the situation, as I see it.

Now as far as how it will go: it is unclear as to how the House races will go. Will you see a lot of Democrats in deep blue CD’s and see Republicans barely winning in red CD’s?

October 7, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, republicans | | Leave a comment

Kavanaugh fiasco and the fissures in our country

Oh, did this fight over Kavanaugh open up a can of worms.

For one, the discussion of “ok, exactly how do you treat the testimony/stories of the alleged victims? The answer really can’t be put on a bumper sticker. And no, it isn’t as simple as “few allegations are false”…for many reasons.

And what was going on in THIS case? No, it isn’t always as simple as “one of them is lying” or “one of them got it wrong.”.

And as to who you believe or who you trust more or who you trust more to be accurate depends on many prior assumptions.
Liberals tend to see this as “yet another case of a powerful man getting away with it” whereas conservatives see this as yet another case of liberals besmirching a fine man for political gain.

And, the Republicans used the latter feeling, along with a discomfort with the “me too” movement to further political support. And given the make up of the Senate, the did not need as much total support as liberals would have needed.

Republicans aren’t going to be intimidated by “vote ’em out”, etc. Now about those midterms, here is the 538 forecast (Wang has the House as 50/50, Senate favoring the Republicans).

House forecast

Senate forecast

Senate composition

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

Seeing it their way….

The Kavanaugh hearings has reopened some of the scars in our social fabric. Of course, I am hearing the old “how awful he is” stuff (and I tend to agree that he lacks the demeanor and temperament to be on the SCOTUS, and I deeply resent Sen. McConnell bellowing on about the politics of obstruction, when, in fact, he wrote the book on it).

But I think it is useful to remember that the set up the Senate gives vastly disproportionate power to smaller, mostly more conservative states and, on the average, conservatives have a different view.

Yes, even conservative women have a different view of the proceedings; many see them as deeply unfair to Kavanaugh. And, many see Ford as having political motivation…as either lying or exaggerating in order to help defeat the nomination. Hence they do not see Trump’s mocking of her testimony as mocking a victim, but rather the mocking of a dishonest political opponent who tried to pull a fast one on them. You see, to them, Trump had the “guts” to stand up to the feminist activists and tell them “forget about it…we see through you.”

And, to be honest, I think that there ARE problems with the #metoo movement, some of which are outlined here (and respectfully discussed; this isn’t some hateful hit piece).

The country is not monolithic and the people that we do not regularly associate with probably think differently than us.

Workout notesweights only; no yoga.

usual rotator cuff, back, plank (sucked) and headstand afterward.

pull ups: 5-5-5, 15, 10, 10, incline: 10 x 135, 6 x 150, decline: 6 x 170, military: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, 10 x 90 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. It was “quick and dirty”.

October 4, 2018 Posted by | political/social, republicans, social/political, weight training | 1 Comment

Kavanaugh and I am starting to dislike EVERYONE

I did not watch the hearings and I’ve read only a little about the allegations. Based on what I’ve seen (which, I admit, isn’t much) I’d say that a “no” vote is warranted (if, for no other reason, being less than candid during interviews).

But I admit that my emotional reaction to him is more about what he represents to me (of course, I do not know him personally, and my impressions might be either incorrect or incomplete).

His demeanor (wearing his emotions on his sleeve; lack of civility, open anger, apparent sense of entitlement, self pity) really stirs up contempt in me; he reminds me a bit of some of the worst people that I went to college with. Note: I understand that this hearing is about his fitness for the job, and my disgust at him is independent of whether he did any of the alleged things or not. THAT, is a different issue. This hearing is supposed to be finding the truth.

And so…some of the negative reaction to this, well, circus angers me as well.

This hearing is supposed to be finding the truth about the fitness of this individual, which includes, of course, finding the truth about the allegations of what HE supposedly did (or did not do). This hearing really isn’t about other victims of sexual assault and what happened to these unfortunate individuals; the question here is if Kavanaugh is guilty of these things.

And, as far as reaction to his behavior and testimony: yeah, *I* am disgusted and yes, both of my Senators will be “no” votes (if it comes to a vote).

But as far as to the other Republican Senators: they only have to worry about the reaction of their own constituents (e. g. Wyoming and Idaho Senators do not care about my thoughts). And, it is my guess that conservatives/Republicans are seeing it very differently.

Will this change anyone’s mind? Frankly, I seriously doubt it..not a large number of people’s minds anyway.

Yes, read that first sentence. I actually AGREE with that, 100 percent. Kavanaugh represents the divide over Trump in our country.

So…does this mean I am aboard the SJW train? Nope. Identity politics disgusts me (though I am down with equal rights and, no those are NOT the same thing)

An example: get a load of this. The Ohio State football team is travelling to Penn State to play them in a big game…in what Penn State calls “white out” conditions (every fan wears white). They put out a meme exhorting their team to SILENCE the “white noise”. And that was attacked by the “woke crowd” guessed it…being “insensitive to sexual assault victims”.

That is beyond ridiculous; yes, I am growing very tired of professional victims trying to find offense in everything. So I can “understand” wanting to oppose them.

But electing unqualified con-artists to the Presidency of the United States or appointing self-pitying, emotionally immature brats to the Supreme Court of the United States is not the answer.

September 28, 2018 Posted by | political/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Lying while remaining factual: yes, they fall for it!

From time to time, I like to entertain myself by telling clever lies. Here are a couple:

“Playing basketball makes you tall; just look at how tall they players are!”

“Hospitals should be banned; after all, statistically speaking, those outside of hospitals are much healthier than hospital inpatients!”

I teased my wife: “even if you correct for sex and age, those who train with a personal trainer in the gym are not as strong as those who train without one.”

My wife remarked that “those who took Building Steam (the program to train newbie runners) finished the 4 mile race slower than runners who didn’t use that program.” (I have not checked this, but it is highly likely that it is true).

But you often see this in politics. Get a load at what Trump is posting:

And there are (at least) three types of reactions that disgust me.

1. People who know what they are doing but post this anyway because they know many people will “buy it”.

2. People who see it and believe that this really is evidence that Trump is doing better.

3. People who are skeptical but assume that, well, the numbers must be wrong (they aren’t). Ok, this disgusts me a bit less than 1 or 2.

Now Dear Reader, there is no need for me to explain it to you, but in the event that you want to explain it to others: here are graphs of the Dow Jones index, GDP and the jobs graphs. They all show what happened: President Obama inherited a recession and it took a bit of time to dig out of it whereas Trump inherited an economy that was on the upswing.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | economy, political/social, social/political | , | 1 Comment

Random thoughts (all over the map)

I am nearing the end of summer break and am going over the diagrams for a paper that I’ll be submitting in 3 week’s time. This means: finishing research, starting on my next project, preparing for class, taking a look at search committee stuff, etc.

Though I have been paying attention to politics, I find much of the discussion to be depressing.

On one hand, the Republicans have gotten their people, including those conservatives that do not like Trump, to trust only conservative media sources (e. g., Fox News). So many really believe, say, that Trump is doing better than any past POTUS over the past 40 years (in terms of GDP growth) ..and this is based on, well, one strong quarter of growth being extrapolated. Of course, the growth might well have been due to businesses preparing for the trade wars and a one-time bump.

But try getting them to even read a graph, much less accept that it is a true one.

But being “sure” is not limited to “their team.” I know that issues are complicated and have many facets to them. Nevertheless, so many, including those who vote the way that I do, are just so “SURE” of things.
When one wants to “speak the truth” one has to actually KNOW “the truth” and few are experts on ANYTHING much less experts on everything.

I just find it astonishing that I have so many doubts about things that I’ve thought hard about, and so many others appear to have no doubts at all.

Sports: I still am in “baseball” mode but I just made my annual purchase of football magazines. I’ll be coming up with predictions soon and, of course, I plan to make a few games. I have season tickets for Illinois but hope to make a few Illinois State games, and perhaps a couple of Bears and 3-4 Colts games.

I did read about Texas football getting ready to make a 175 million dollar renovation to their football stadium. Yes, no tuition funds or tax payer funds will be used..and yes, the University of Texas has that kind of fund raising power. This means that, well…the kind of win/loss records we have seen over the past 5 years is unacceptable: 8-5, 6-7, 5-7, 5-7, 7-6 = 31-32. Contrast that with, say, Iowa: 8-5, 7-6, 12-2, 8-5, 8-5 = 43-23.

But doesn’t Texas have more money, a bigger stadium, bigger following and bigger drawing power than Iowa? Well, it might just be that the money might actually be counter productive at times. After all, big donors EXPECT to have some say in the program right? But said donors don’t necessarily know all that much about football. Big money can be a two edged sword.

Well, more on football later.

And there is still quite a bit of baseball to play and, who knows..perhaps some Cornbelter playoff ball too?

Workout notes: weights then 5 miles of walking.

weights: 15-15-10-10 pull ups, incline: 10 x 135, 6 x 150, decline: 6 x 170, military (standing dumbbell) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, Hammer machine: 10 x 140, rows: dumbbell: 2 sets of 10 x 50, 10 x 110 machine. Then the walk: 5K on the track 1 easy (13:36, 13:01, 12:15 (38:52), 40:41 for 25 laps.The faster miles were 1 on, 1 off, but the last 2 laps of mile 3 were done hard. Then 2 more outside.

Later: yoga, got 2:15 of plank before class. Did abs; this was one of Vickie’s harder routines.

August 9, 2018 Posted by | baseball, college football, economy, NFL, political/social, politics, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

One reason (among many) that I think that Trump will win in 2020

Yes, I know; the Democrats might well pick up seats in Congress in 2018..and maybe, just maybe, win back a chamber. It is POSSIBLE.

But, historically, incumbent Presidents have been tough to beat. Bush I lost in 1992, and Carter lost in 1980, and Ford (who wasn’t elected to begin with) in 1976. And Hoover lost in 1932. But the winners: Roosevelt (3 times), Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush II, Obama; that is 11 election wins for the incumbent, 4 losses since 1932.

And yes, I see nothing hopeful among those potential Democrats being talked about.

And just who will vote for Trump and why? The “money” Republicans are getting tax cuts, deregulation and Supreme Court picks.

The rank and file? Well, evidence is that Trump, well, “punches hippies”; that is, attacks those that social conservatives hate.

And oh my goodness, many that the Democrats stick up for are not likable, at all.

Workout notes treadmill run: 4 miles in 39:40. Warm up (21:50 for 2 miles); basically 20 minutes starting at 5.2 mph and speeding up every 2:30 in the second 10 minutes, then the final 19:40 at 6.7 mph (17:51 for 2 miles), 1 mile walk.

Weight: 194.6, the lightest pre-workout weight I’ve been in over a year. It is gradually coming off.

July 24, 2018 Posted by | political/social, running, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

There has to be a balance somewhere: Trump and Republicans

Trump has stayed steady at about 42 percent to 43 percent and at 88 percent among Republicans.

Reason: my guess is that many Republicans wanted the tax cuts, deregulation, high stock market prices and “good” Supreme Court picks. And rhetoric and tweets aside, Trump has delivered on those.

Oh, there is a substantial amount of white nationalism too and I believe the Democrats playing the X card (where X means race, sex, gender, sexual preference, etc.) is a fool’s errand for us.

I think that, too many times, we think “hey, we are morally right ergo we will WIN” and, well, it just doesn’t work that way.

I honestly don’t see the way out other than to turn out the vote in record numbers…so large that we overcome the inherent bias against us… a structural bias that favors rural conservatives.

2020? We’ll see how 2018 goes first. But I see nothing in the “list of 2020” candidates that gives me any hope at all.

July 16, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, social/political | Leave a comment

Older Democrats: “We need new blood! But OMG, NOT THAT!”

I really do not know what to make of it. I remember laughing at the Tea Party in 2009…but not laughing so much in 2010..and in 2016. So obviously, I do not know what is going on, though I do know that older white people do get out and vote.

I’ve seen many Democrats my age and older call for new blood in the Democratic party and sure enough, we see an upset in NY-14 (new demographics: 49 percent Hispanic). I see Democrats cheer her on! But her platform

And here is where the debate happens: “THE GOP WILL CLOBBER US WITH OPEN BORDERS”!!! But then again, the GOP is going to find something to lie about anyway, so why worry about that?

“This will turn off swing voters” vs. “Maybe this will get us new voters..people who never voted before”.

And you know, I have no idea…if ANY of this really matters. I read the book Political Animals by Rick Shenkman which argues (convincingly, IMHO) that people end up voting for one candidate or another for the silliest of reasons; the actual platform really doesn’t matter that much.

My conjecture (ok, wild guess based on, well nothing): those who even know what “abolish ICE” means already has their minds made up. (or at least sort-of know what it means; ICE was created in 2002 as a response to 9/11)

It is mostly about getting Democrats to show up…good luck with that.

July 2, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

And this was just one day…

Interesting primary result in NY-14: a Bernie type unseated an establishment (but liberal) Democrat in the primary. NY-14 is heavily blue, so she should win the general. There isn’t much danger of a Christine O’Donnell effect here, I think.

Of course, the Republican reaction to this was sane..

Yes, the rank and file Trump supporter really believe this. Oh well…

And the RNC has released a new attack ad:

Yes, Bernie Sanders is quoted (about public programs like health care), Nancy Pelosi (about child separation policy) (uprisings and, of course, Maxine Waters. But as for the rest: entertainers. The burned limousine: owned by a Muslim immigrant and was torched by idiotic protesters at the Trump inauguration.

We could easily find a video of Trump alone making genuinely outrageous statements. But this shows how they will run….it will be against the horrible liberals.

This lack of civility might well work for them; it is a bit trickier for us. Here is what some research shows.

Facts: might matter to a few swing voters but it won’t win us any converts. Yes, research appears to show that regions with illegal immigrants have less crime (per capita) than other regions.

North Korea did NOT “denuclearize”; in fact, it is updating its testing facilities.

And now…we are going to have a new SCOTUS opening. The only way to moderate this is to get a couple of Republican defectors, which will not happen.

And THIS is why: POTUS matters (even if he/she isn’t everything you want). This is why red state Democrats in the Senate matter, even if they are more conservative than you’d like, and even if they don’t support your pet positions.

Workout notes: weights, easy 2 mile walk. Usual PT, pull ups (10-10-10-(5-5)-(5-5)) good, incline: 10 x 135, 4 x 155, decline: 7 x 170, military: 10 x 50, 10 x 45 standing dumbbell, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. Usual abs (hate planks), etc.

I remember the old days: cotton shorts and rust stained white t-shirts or sweatshirts. Now: high tech clothes, smart phones and those “shaker” bottles for whatever it is that the young people drink.

I do note that my upper body strength: is roughly what it was in 10’th grade, though I can do more pull ups now. I remember running a 5:58 mile on a dirt track at that age (at 220 lbs!) and there is no way I could do that..or even get to 1200 meters in that amount of time. Some things decay faster than others.

June 27, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics/social, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment