blueollie

Liberals attack Doug Jones…it was bound to happen

Oh JFC…our morons can’t help themselves. A Democrat squeaks through a red state and now liberals are already on his case for not getting with a MoveOn style agenda.

What in the hell did they expect would be competitive in Alabama? Argh!!!

Cluelessness is indeed bipartisan.

Advertisements

December 17, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics | Leave a comment

Will Mueller be fired? My guess: no..but…

Here is a short video that explains why it might be tough for Trump to have Mueller fired (he cannot fire him directly) and IF he manages to get that done, why the investigations won’t stop.

This tweetstorm talks about ways Trump could get around current law (e. g. by appointing a new AG by executive order)

Long shot? I do see a lot of posturing. But I wonder if the current Republican political leadership understand that 45 would gladly throw any of them under the bus if it would make it easier on them.

Workout notes: easy 10 mile walk; almost 10.0 as measured by the mapping device. It was partly the first 4 miles of the W. Peoria course with a Cemetery loop and a second loop thrown in, then the 3 mile out and back on the hills in Bradley Park, one pit stop and a quick trip back via Maplewood. It was 2:45; leisurely pace.

December 17, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, social/political, walking | | Leave a comment

Graduation exercises done…various topics

Grading done, graduation exercises done. So, aside from some “less than pleasant” family obligations I should enjoy a pleasant month.

Topics:
Sexual Harassment We are seeing lots of accusations and resignations..and in one case, a female was the accused.

I hope that we haven’t arrived at a place where an accusation is sufficient to tank someone’s career.

Example: 20+ years ago, I had a faculty friend who liked me well enough to sit in on one of my classes. She talked about a bunch of stuff..and in a conversation she had mentioned that she felt weak from a religious fast. I replied “yes, you are looking a bit thin”.

Later she asked me to come into her office. I did..she asked “do you know why I want to talk to you?” I responded “I guess it is about the course”. She went on to tell me that my remark was sexual harassment. I was astonished. I said “I meant…” and she said “I KNOW what you meant..” ..Eventually I had enough. She tried to shake my hand but I refused..and I broke off all unnecessary contact with her. No, no charges were ever filed and no official complaint was ever made.

By the way, she is a respected scholar (by our standards) but her personality…not as well respected.

And..it turns out that she HAD suffered some genuine sexual harassment; she was asked out by a senior faculty member; when she declined he told her that the tenure decision, in part, depended on her being “collegial”. So, it isn’t as if she always “cried wolf”.

So sometimes, people can honestly interpret the same situation differently:

So people who think that the issue can be resolved by hashtags, “zero tolerance”, “non-negotiable demands” and the like are delusional; the situation is way more complicated than that.

Republican Tax Scam Yes, they did fix some of the hits to higher education, but it is still a big giveaway to the wealthiest and will probably explode the deficit…which will lead to them cutting Social Security, Medicare and safety net programs because “we are broke”.

Oh, it is a wildly unpopular bill and might cost many of them their seats in 2018..but will also lead to some cushy K-Street jobs and the like. So the unpopularity of the bill bothers them not at all.

Bradley Basketball We saw the men demolish Arkansas Little Rock 86-46 despite clearing the bench.

They won big at Chicago State, though Chicago State got blistered by Northwestern 96-31..trailed 55-8 at the half. Still, the team is winning.

The women lost big at Green Bay, but Green Bay is ranked no. 21 for a reason.

Workout notes: yesterday, routine weight session. Usual PT, 5 sets of 10 pull ups, bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 5 x 185, incline: 10 x 135. Military: dumbbell: 10 x 50, 10 x 45, machine: 10 x 80 (each arm), 3 sets of 10 x 110.

Today: easy 4.2 mile run prior to graduation exercises; clear and crisp.

December 17, 2017 Posted by | basketball, economy, education, political/social, politics, republicans, running, social/political, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Trump trolls and Warren (and others bite)

Ok, Trump acts like, well, Trump:

And…well, many women HAD to make this a sexual innuendo (the “would do anything for them”) though this phrase is often used to describe power hungry male politicians, crooked football coaches..even driven athletes. And yes, other liberal WOMEN have told me that they don’t see this as an inherent sexual innuendo (though many that I like and respect do).

So how do national Democratic politicians respond? Senator Elizabeth Warren:

Oh dear.. SLUT SHAMING????..it is 2016 over again, and once again, Democrats are doubling down on what FAILED in 2016. They are going to paint Democrats as wildly out of touch kooks that try to make everything about misogyny, sexual harassment, etc. This really doesn’t sit well in the context of the Al Franken flap, where…even Republicans are making more sense than many mainstream Democrats.

I am so despondent right now. The Republicans have dreadful, simply dreadful policies. But the Democrats seem to insist on running as if the nation were a liberal arts college, which it isn’t.

At least the Alabama election between Jones and Moore is close, at the time being. Jones has a genuine chance as of this writing.

Workout notes: morning: I went to the treadmill; ran 10 minutes at 5.1, 10 more at 5.2, some at 5.3 (23:00 for 2 miles) then did 7 at 6.7, rest at 6.8 to get to 3.1 in 33:03. Walked to 46:40 for 4 miles.

noon: hike at Forest Park Nature center; 3.5 outer loop. It has been to long since I’ve been there.
Photos part I: https://www.instagram.com/p/BcnMviflBdy/
Photos part II: https://www.instagram.com/p/BcnM5Mpla3e/

December 13, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, hiking, political/social, politics, running | | Leave a comment

And my political despair gets even worse than a year ago…

When Trump won…I thought…well…things will go to “hell in a handbasket” and I was honestly afraid that we might have gotten into a nuclear war by now. And, oh, I expected this:

Let me be less gentle: there will be no significant public investment program, for two reasons.

First, Congressional Republicans have no interest in such a program. They’re hell-bent on depriving millions of health care and cutting taxes at the top; they aren’t even talking about public investment, and would probably drag their feet even if Trump came forward with a detailed plan and made it a priority.

But this then raises the obvious question: who really believes that this crew is going to come up with a serious plan? Trump has no policy shop, nor does he show any intention of creating one; he’s too busy tweeting about perceived insults from celebrities, and he’s creating a cabinet of people who know nothing about their responsibilities. Any substantive policy actions will be devised and turned into legislation by Congressional Republicans who, again, have zero interest in a public investment program.

So investors betting on a big infrastructure push are almost surely deluding themselves. We may see some conspicuous privatizations, especially if they come with naming opportunities: maybe putting in new light fixtures will let him rename Hoover Dam as Trump Dam? But little or no real investment is coming.

They failed on the Obamacare repeal and MIGHT fail on “tax reform” (tax cuts for the wealthy)..but might not.

But I expect Republican leadership to be greedy assholes. I expect the rank-and-file to see what they call “social decay” as the overriding issue; they’ll give the “tax cuts to the wealthy and cuts to services” a pass.

The liberal/Democrat response: total disaster.

Here is what someone I have deep respect for said today:

Wow…I am pretty close to that myself.

We liberals or Democrats appear to be some sort of loose confederation of constituencies, many of which do not like each other. That is ok in and of itself, but at least some in each constituency appears to want purity and strict adherence to its respective dogma.

We just saw “always believe the woman” in action in the Franken situation. We see unfavorable statistics dismissed “off the bat” as being racist by some. And this crap has spread among our rank and file.

Yep…any discussion that there might be genuine, statistical differences between the sexes is seen as heresy by some. (see Steven Pinker’s book: The Blank Slate)

And our long time Democratic leaders seem more interested in their own prestige than in being the best person to lead us forward.

Ah, I am rambling. Let’s just say that I was underwhelmed when people crowed about having large marches of women wearing “pussy hats”. Sure that made the women feel better, and I suppose that is a good thing. But then what? Tweeting “resist” hashtags?

I honestly don’t think that our side can see the difference between throwing a temper tantrum (of justified anger, to be sure) and resisting effectively.

Oh well, I am not doing that much, am I? And you know what? Gerrymandering has something to do with it; I really do not live in competitive districts.

I am so close to just being DONE. It really sucks when I have almost as much contempt for my own side as I do for the Republicans. Well…perhaps more as the Republicans show up to vote and we don’t.

Oh, I’ll vote ever election, like I always do.

Workout notes
Limited weights; PT, 3 sets of 10 pull ups, bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, incline: 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50 standing, 20 x 40, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell.
Tomorrow: nothing. Ok, maybe a light 2 mile walk to loosen up.

December 8, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, republicans, republicans politics, social/political | Leave a comment

Same old scam and they get away with it…

Ok, the Republicans take office. They get pressure from their big donors to cut taxes on the wealthy.

So they argue something like this: “hey, you are overtaxed…and paying for THIS”

YEAH, cut our taxes and make her act more responsibly! (pg version of what is really said)

And so we get: this. Oh, depending on what the House and Senate do..>IF they can come together (and they might not be able to} we get a plan that is a windfall to the wealthiest and cuts many important benefits used by the lower to middle classes.

Oh, and some of the rank and file might say “well, I’ve never seen a poor person offer someone a job”…it is almost as if the principle “demand matters” is lost on them. Businesses can’t stay open if few have money to patronize them. The whole exercise is ridiculous.

And we fall for it…every time.

Now there is the Al Franken thing. This reminds me a bit of the Sen. Packwood (a Republican) stuff. Now there are calls for him to resign..calls mostly from Democrats (but some from Republicans). What he is accused of: let’s investigate, and if he is guilty (in the informal sense), she should step down. But we’ve been rolled before.

But, oh no. As Oliver Willis likes to say, Democrats act as if there is some judge that will score a political action “fair or foul” and that somehow pressurign Franken to step down will make it easier to defeat Moore (and IMHO, Moore will win…it is Alabama, after all). And, of course, there is the “always believe the woman, 100 percent of the time” faction of liberals. Our hearts are in the right place, but we suck at politics.

Workout notes: yesterday, steady 4 mile walk. Yes, I’ve cut back, for now.

December 7, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics, social/political, walking | Leave a comment

“Believe the woman”: to the degree that you believe any human

I’ve been hearing about all of those allegations of sexual misconduct by celebrity men.
Now, for sure, some were made up for political gain and some (e. g. the Al Franken “sloppy hug” allegations) I find, well, questionable.

Yes, and I’ve said this before, people sometimes lie and sometimes people interpret facts differently and have divergent, but honestly believed memories:

But as far as the allegations

Hmmm, ok, the Franken “boob grope on the other side of the flak jacket” photo looks bad but come on, the other stuff is basically hugs that may have brushed a butt (yes, that has happened to me..in both directions)? That compares to a 37 year old hitting on 14 year old girl?

That being said: Yes, I have friends that have told me about their pasts. I believe them, but it is because I see them as trustworthy human beings, and not just because they are women.

Workout notes weights this morning (pull ups, 5 sets of 10, went well, incline: 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 6 x 150, fixed hips, military: 10 x 50 standing (thick handles), 10 x 50 regular handles, 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine, track run: 10:42/9:19 for 20:01, then yoga with T in the evening.

November 30, 2017 Posted by | political/social, running, social/political, weight training | | Leave a comment

More about sexual harassment, accusations and all that.

White Nationalism That is a harsh charge, but some careful parsing of election data showed that Trump’s support really didn’t come from those with economic anxiety but rather from those who missed “the way things were”. The conclusion:

Nevertheless, a majority of white voters backed a candidate who assured them that they will never have to share this country with people of color as equals. That is the reality that all Americans will have to deal with, and one that most of the country has yet to confront.

Yet at its core, white nationalism has and always will be a hustle, a con, a fraud that cannot deliver the broad-based prosperity it promises, not even to most white people. Perhaps the most persuasive argument against Trumpist nationalism is not one its opponents can make in a way that his supporters will believe. But the failure of Trump’s promises to white America may yet show that both the fruit and the tree are poison.

Now I hasten to point out that a society does need some shared “values” to get along (e. g. loud music in a neighborhood at night…I don’t like it be it country and western, rap, rock, or even classical) But just think about the people blowing a gasket because some NFL players kneel during the National Anthem? Who are those players hurting?

Tax Plan Orin Hatch doesn’t take kindly to being questioned. But his tax plan DOES harm..well, people who started where he did and favors the wealthy. How would he have done had his law scholarship been considered taxable income? There are times when I think that being comfortable with hypocrisy is a prerequisite for being a conservative.

Sexual Harassment: Sexism is a part of that, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar wrote another nice column about a male “jock” subculture. It is very thoughtful, IMHO. It concludes:

HBO’s True Detective got to the heart of the problem when Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) is asked why she carries so many knives and she explains, “Could you do this job if everyone you encounter could physically overpower you? … The fundamental difference between the sexes is that one of them can kill the other with their bare hands.” Nature may have created a physical imbalance, but society’s job is to not allow those with advantages — physical, financial or political — to exploit others.

Craziness: there is a poll about how Republicans and Democrats react to “accusations” of sexual harassment:

Yes, I am with the Republicans here. Accusations are one thing; credible evidence is something else altogether. And there are degrees: say, a drunken butt slap vs. an adult preying on 14 year olds. So, yes, if my candidate had been accused, I would still CONSIDER voting for them (that is how the question is phrased). Of course, when I mentioned that, some SJW “dumbsplained” me. They rarely disappoint.

But, there ARE voices of reason out there, I am happy to say.

Workout notes: yesterday, standard weights (PT, pull ups (5 sets of 10, went well), bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 10 x 170 (good), incline: 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50 standing (thick dumbbells), 2 sets of 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine. Today: “quicker” 10K walk outside. Went ok.

November 22, 2017 Posted by | political/social, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Explaining Trump’s childish outburst…(which one?)

This really surprised me, but shouldn’t have:

Yes, I took a screen shot so it won’t disappear if he deletes it. But wow: I cannot imagine either President Obama or President Bush writing such a thing.
(and for the record: shoplifting was idiotic and immoral; I have zero sympathy for the basketball players)

He was complaining, in public, for not receiving his due of gratitude?

Now, I admit he could be playing some 3-d chess..trying to distract from other, more important matters as well as playing to his very emotional, non-intellectual base. But I really believe that isn’t the case; he really does get his feelings hurt easily.

It reminded me of this old Krugman article from 2014: it explains, in part why President Obama lost support from the very wealthy:

The example many are buzzing about right now is the billionaire investor Tom Perkins, a founding member of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Perkins lamented public criticism of the “one percent” — and compared such criticism to Nazi attacks on the Jews, suggesting that we are on the road to another Kristallnacht.

You may say that this is just one crazy guy and wonder why The Journal would publish such a thing. But Mr. Perkins isn’t that much of an outlier. He isn’t even the first finance titan to compare advocates of progressive taxation to Nazis. Back in 2010 Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group, declared that proposals to eliminate tax loopholes for hedge fund and private-equity managers were “like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.” […]

Krugman point out that Obama really did tax the rich. But there is more:

The example many are buzzing about right now is the billionaire investor Tom Perkins, a founding member of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Perkins lamented public criticism of the “one percent” — and compared such criticism to Nazi attacks on the Jews, suggesting that we are on the road to another Kristallnacht.

You may say that this is just one crazy guy and wonder why The Journal would publish such a thing. But Mr. Perkins isn’t that much of an outlier. He isn’t even the first finance titan to compare advocates of progressive taxation to Nazis. Back in 2010 Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group, declared that proposals to eliminate tax loopholes for hedge fund and private-equity managers were “like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.”

And hey, money has bought them everything else…but it can’t buy them adulation and that makes some of them furious. I think that Trump is an excellent example of that. He can’t make us love him, and he refuses to act and govern in a way that makes him lovable (though, I admit, his walk back of the reversal of the elephant products ban does sound promising…he called it a “horror show” and, OMG…I am inclined to agree.

November 20, 2017 Posted by | Barack Obama, political/social, politics/social, republicans, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Coming apart at the seams: allegations of sexual misconduct

I admit that between Facebook and Twitter..well, by the time I get the idea and time to write, something else has popped up!

Sexual harassment has been in the news. But interestingly enough, it appears that current sexual harassment training has made things…worse?

Sexual harassment courses aimed at preventing workplace discrimination can have the opposite effect, making men less capable of perceiving inappropriate behavior and more likely to blame victims, according to academic studies that cast doubt on traditional training programs.

One researcher who has questioned the effectiveness of harassment prevention classes is Lauren Edelman, a professor of law and sociology at the University of California Berkeley, the prestigious school that has been at the center of a series of high-profile faculty misconduct scandals in recent months.

“Sexual harassment training may, in fact, make it less likely that males will recognize situations that are harassing,” said Edelman, a faculty member in the renowned UC Berkeley law school, where Sujit Choudhry resigned as dean after he was found to have sexually harassed his executive assistant. “Sexual harassment training may provoke backlash in males.”

Studies testing the effects of harassment training are very limited, but some research has suggested counterintuitive and troubling consequences – that after men complete trainings, they may be more inclined to brush aside allegations and discount victims.

Some researchers believe trainings have no positive effects, tend to be more about legal cover than meaningful prevention or may even have unintended negative consequences – raising serious concerns about the way colleges and companies heavily focus on training as a solution to harassment.

This actually makes sense to me; many of these programs appear to be “check the box to reduce our liability” and, I wonder…how much of it comes from an outside speaker who just wags the finger and tells men that they are bad?

Tinkler has also studied how sexual harassment trainings can provoke backlash and how people who say they support harassment laws are resistant to the enforcement of those policies. Trainings can also reinforce men’s feelings that women are “emotional and duplicitous in the way that they both want sexual attention, but don’t want sexual harassment”, she explained.

Edelman, the UC Berkeley professor, said she suspects the backlash could stem from the “cartoonish, somewhat unrealistic” harassment examples that trainings often include – lessons that can make participants skeptical and resentful.

Yep. Now I know that situations differ from place to place..and sometimes signals can get crossed (friendliness be mistaken for being open to a sexual/romantic advance)

This is 40 minutes long, but Carol Tavris talks about campus sexual assault (a different thing, to be sure) and the ambiguity of communication:

Now here a type of thing that appears as if it would be effective (again, applied to college students):

You see: no finger wagging, no yelling at someone for what they didn’t do..but an affirmation of a positive attitude. Who could resent this? Well done.

And now we have the special Senate election in Alabama. Moore was accused of initiating sexual contact with a 14 year old…when he was a 3x year old lawyer.

And ..yes, the Republicans are, predictably, split:

And so I am hearing..from educated feminists, that women are going to take him down. Really? I’ve heard this before. And educated feminists don’t appear to speak to the non-educated women.

The race was listed as tied in a poll right after the allegations came out (with 86 percent of those polled having heard of them). Prior to that, the poll consensus was that Moore had a 8-9 point lead. Will this be enough….will this go the way of Clayton Williams vs. Ann Richards in Texas in 1990 where Williams JOKING about rape lead to his downfall in a very Republican state?

Workout notes; quick 5 mile walk yesterday (1:01:20..treadmill), 3 miles today after weights; usual PT, pull ups(5 sets of 10; switch grip on set 5) bench was 10 x 135, 6 x 185, incline: 7 x 150, military (dumbbell) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine.

pull ups: I find that doing them with my hands turned inward is now harder than a wide grip???

November 10, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment