blueollie

Green New Deals and all that

Yes, I back some sort of “Green New Deal” which means a massive effort to achieve energy independence, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions. Yes, right now, the Democrats have only the House and without a victor in 2020 (Senate and Executive) and either a filibuster proof majority OR without getting rid of the obstructionist dinosaurs, a GND will remain a dream.

And of course, on policy, it should be made by scientists, engineers, public planners, economists and yes, politicians who know how to cut deals at several levels. IMHO, nuclear will have to be included (new generation stuff)

What is out now is a mere outline of a plan.

As for the other stuff: no, it isn’t “intersectionality” but:

And no, this isn’t going to get passed between now and 2020. But it is something to platform on, especially in the primary.

February 11, 2019 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

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

Bad arguments for a correct conclusion

One of the things I’ve seen that makes me cringe: someone making an absolutely awful argument for..well, some policy that I want to see enacted or against something that..well, that I oppose.

One example: the owner of Starbucks is thinking about running for President as an independent who is both socially liberal and economically conservative (e. g. low taxes on the wealthy).

Yes, I respect his business accomplishments. But I’ve seen this time and time again: someone who is brilliant (and I am sure that he is) really hasn’t put their brain power to the issues of the day; running a government is very, very different than running a business. For one thing: debt is very different for a government than for a private entity (also here), and governments pay down the debt by growing the economy so that the debt is a smaller and smaller part of the GDP.

But if one spends all their time at work..how much time is there left over for doing hard thinking about other issues? Often I’ve found very successful people to be very uninformed on issues that do not involve their field.

And, let’s face it: businesses ought to be run like businesses…other things shouldn’t be run like businesses.

So, I oppose his candidacy. But..some of the opposition to his candidacy is of: “his “qualifications is that he is a white male.” as if THAT is what made him successful. Sigh…if being a white male were enough, there would be millions of ultra successful people. 🙂

Cartoons: There was a time when wealthy people felt an obligation to society:

Yes, ironically, someone posted a clip to show that this meant that “Keynesians are stupid” but..not really…I think it shows the opposite. A higher marginal tax rate encourages the wealthy to keep working rather than take it easy and make more investments. And stimulation at the bottom of the economy ensures that demand remains high… the “long hours for little pay” is what trickle down has given us now…

Snow: more of it today; BU did a great job of keeping the walkways clear.

Workout notes: 5 more treadmill miles (walking: 1:02:20)

February 1, 2019 Posted by | economics, economy, Peoria/local, political/social, politics, social/political, walking | 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

Behind the times, scroll past phrases, etc.

Someone on Twitter posted this:

So I responded: “yes, my life HAS improved” (in many ways anyway); in my case I got a promotion, got some raises and had a reduction in expense (daughter graduated from college, debt free) and yes, my retirement account went up in value.

And I got some angry responses. I must be in denial as “only the richest benefited” (nope: here is how the tax cuts worked; we had a modest reduction)

Yes, my retirement account is stock based. And yes, it is up…from a January 2017 baseline.

(stocks were overvalued at the peak; I didn’t pay attention to that).

And some people just couldn’t accept my answer. And some thought “well, you must be a Trump supporter who doesn’t care about others.”

Uh, I can say that I didn’t vote Trump in 2016 and that, well, I’ll vote for the D nominee in 2020, even if it is a rubber chicken.

But it is a mistake to think that *everyone* but the ultra rich are suffering; it is possible to have improvements in one’s financial life that are independent of Trump policies.

And it is no longer the case that “rich vote R, poor vote D”. That was mostly true at one time..but not so much anymore. Via CNN:

By income it was pretty much “even-Steven”.

Our country and the world, on the whole, HAS changed and what was once broadly true when I was an undergraduate is no longer true.

Scroll past phrases
There are some phrases that..when I see them, I almost automatically “scroll past”. One is “toxic masculinity.”
Yes, I saw that horrible video of an elderly Native American being taunted by some very unpleasant “MAGA” hat wearing brats. But someone tried to make the case that this was an example of “toxic masculinity” in action.

Oh boy. Yes, sometimes groups of people act worse in a group than they would individually. But that can be true of women as well (think: “mean girls”).

Yes, women can act in hideous ways too, though there isn’t always symmetry. Statistically, men and women ARE different, but both are fully capable of evil.

Workout notes: getting ready to go do partner yoga.

Yesterday: shoveling (road to alley) part II; this time it was fluffy stuff (easier than the wetter, heavier, deeper stuff on Friday). But it tired me out enough to limit myself to 5 “mostly walking” miles on the treadmill (perhaps jogged 1/2 of a mile total..much of the walking was at 13:40 or so) 1:10:30 for 5 miles total (last mile at 15:30).

January 20, 2019 Posted by | economy, political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political, walking, whining | | 1 Comment

Old man yelling at a could edition

Yeah, I find myself doing that. And when I pine for the “good old days” it is mostly because I want to have my current paycheck and position with a 30 year old body. It doesn’t quite work that way. 🙂

I remember joking that now that I have enough money to comfortably travel to South Africa to do the Comrades Marathon (56 mile race) I am now too slow to meet the cut-offs. No worries though; I’ve finished other long races and had a blast.

Still, the current “show how you’ve aged” challenge amuses me.

And yes, some smart ass friend of mine sent me this:

That cracked me up. It happens, even if you are diligent. And I suppose there is some attitude as well; I know that I almost never push for that last rep as I don’t want to risk injury.

Politics/Social, etc.

I admit that I mostly use Twitter to follow a few that I know (or would like to know) and to read articles. The personal opinions: it appears to be mostly venting, ranting and sloganeering.

“The Republicans suck. They need to be voted out of office. Who is with me?” Huh? Do you live in multiple districts/states? I suppose it can make sense to donate to someone out of your district IF your own district is non-competitive.

“I like candidate X because they will rock the boat!” Yeah…our current POTUS was elected for that reason. How is it working out?

It is kind of amusing to me that some appear to think that the intensity of their feelings will somehow affect a political outcome. I sincerely believe that politicians respond to those who can actually do something for them.

It is almost paradoxical: on one hand, non-well connected individuals have very little power, on their own. The can have power in a larger group..but this means making a compromise of belief of some sort and not getting everything (or even most) of what they want.

Workout notes: Monday: weights and a 3.1 mile run on the treadmill. Run: 10:50 mile (froggy), 19:28 at mile 2 (6.7-7.1 for the second 10 minutes), then walk then jog to 30:18 for 3 miles, 31:12 for 5K.
the weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (4 sets of 10, 2 of 5), bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 6 x 170, decline: 9 x 165, military: 7 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 45 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (each arm)
plank, headstand, etc.

Today: yoga with Ms. V, 4 mile run on the Riverplex track (7.5 laps to the mile; did 32 laps or 4.267 in 42:54; walked 8 more laps. 11:46, 10:47, 10:19, 9:58. It was slippery outside. Weight: 193.4 Monday, 191.4 this morning. Still stuck in the low 190’s; need to cut back some more, I guess.

January 16, 2019 Posted by | political/social, running, social/political, weight training | , | Leave a comment

No excuses but…

I’ve been feeling weird lately…like I am on the verge of getting a cold but never quite getting one.
Health: 189.6 yesterday; 192.3 today (slightly different scales..slightly different times of day..call it 191?) and my workouts haven’t been as awful as one might guess:
Tuesday: about a 10K run (6.3) in 1:13 and it was ok; today: weights plus a 1 mile run (11 min), 3 mile walk (just couldn’t get into the run).

weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), incline: 10 x 135, 4 x 155, decline: 7 x 165, military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated (supported), 10 x 45 standing; rows: 2 sets of 10 x 110 machine, 10 x 60 dumbbell. plank, head stand, etc.

Then came the run and walk.

Issues: I find myself about to write about something…then I morph into just not caring enough to. I might write a bit on my math blog.

So there is some fluff:

Of course, lefties attacked her, and of course, she just ate it up. We are soooo easy to troll. Yes, there are some principled feminists who really do go by “it is always wrong to body shame/slut shame etc.” (personally: I think that if you put yourself out there, expect to be critiqued…and critiqued harshly)

Now it appears to me that, at least with a certain group of people, the worse a person is, the more of a curve they are given. Example: if a 300 lb. woman put up a bikini shot, she’d be praised for her courage, told that it is great that “she loves herself just as she is”, etc.

It is funny.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez I am fascinated by her. Yes, odds are, she will be just a flash in the pan ..you could say that about *every* rising star and be correct; only a few become long time, national players. And someone like her ruffles feathers because, well, they aren’t going to “take it” from that tired, old establishment. But on the other hand, she will be prone to making rookie mistakes …and part of her package is not listening to the old guard that might give her useful warnings.

Her latest: being ridiculed for “taking a break.” Now had she just done something that she enjoyed and had someone take photos, no one would have said anything (politicians routinely golf, run, hike, walk, catch ball games, shows, etc.)

Welcome to the microscope. 🙂

And for those who follow this sort of thing: there is some fighting between the old Sanders and old Clinton wings of the Democratic party..it is a real zoo.

More politics: More and more, it appears the the Republican voters are the rural whites sans college degrees. Sure, there are still wealthy ones too. And votes by income: mostly, “even-Steven”, even in the 2016 election.

December 19, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, running, walking, weight training | 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