blueollie

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

Welcome aboard: liberals vs. conservatives

This :

A new study suggests that the words you use may depend on whether the club secretary’s name is Emily (“a stereotypically White name,” as the study says) or Lakisha (“a stereotypically Black name”). If you’re a white liberal writing to Emily, you might use words like “melancholy” or “euphoric” to describe the mood of the book, whereas you might trade these terms out for the simpler “sad” or “happy” if you’re corresponding with Lakisha.

But if you’re a white conservative, your diction won’t depend on the presumed race of your interlocutor.

This racial and political disparity is among the discoveries made by a pair of social psychologists in a paper forthcoming in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Psychological Association. Cydney Dupree, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, and Susan Fiske, a professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton, documented what they call a “competence downshift” exhibited by white liberals in interactions with racial minorities, and with black people in particular.

[…]

White liberals may unwittingly draw on negative stereotypes, dumbing themselves down in a likely well-meaning, ‘folksy,’ but ultimately patronizing, attempt to connect with the outgroup,” argues the paper, titled “Self-Presentation in Interracial Settings: The Competence Downshift by White Liberals.”

The findings could provide a new arrow in the quiver of those who decry identity politics practiced by liberals, and yet the paper hardly applauds conservatives for their approach, reasoning that they are simply “less motivated to affiliate with racial minorities.” In other words, the paper states, white conservatives “would not bother.”

“It’s somewhat counterintuitive,” said Dupree, who is the lead author and whose research was supported by the National Science Foundation as well as by Princeton’s Joint Degree Program in Social Policy. “The idea that people who are most well intentioned toward racial minorities, the people actually showing up and wanting to forge these connections, they’re the ones who seem to be drawing on stereotypes to do so.”

And so…this article is based on a study; what follows is my interpretation of my (limited) experience.

When one welcomes someone news into a group, what happens if this person is different is some way than others in the group? It appears to me that liberals tend to want to change the norms of the group so as to be more welcoming.

Example: if your workplace was mostly male and you now bring in females, you’ll have to take into account differences (e. g. women get pregnant. Or, in the military, often black people got exempt from daily shaving requirements due to the tendency of short black facial hair to curl in to the skin, thereby causing skin condition.

But the potential problem is that one, in an effort to be too welcoming, one might end up diluting the purpose of the group or even lowering standards…or possibly implying..albeit unintentionally, that the person from a new group isn’t up to the challenge. You see that some in academia.

As an undergraduate, I was expected to just scrape by…which is ironic since I often helped others with their math homework.

On the other hand, conservatives are more likely to say “welcome aboard…now get cracking.”

Making excuses for someone in advance may well degrade that person’s confidence.

Workout notes: weights, then a walk (2 miles). Weights: pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 7 x 170, decline: 8 x 165. military: 15 x 55 seated, supported, 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 85 barbell. rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm, plank, side plank, headstand.

December 1, 2018 Posted by | political/social, social/political, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

2018 midterms and letdowns…

I wrote this on October 30. It aged well.

Yes, Beto’s Texas campaign paid dividends for some in House races, and yes, the Democrats did pull off some upsets in House races and flipped some statehouses. Not every result is in, but we have at least 220 House seats and will realistically pick up 7-10 more.

But some have mentioned that there is sadness, and it isn’t about the “genuine political stars” going down in flames.

Gin and Tacos wrote a post “I know why you’re sad.” And no, that isn’t it for me.

For me, almost every election, I end up voting for people that, well, I’ve worked for much of my life to AVOID being like them. Some of it is serious (e. g. the corrupt Senator from New Jersey), some absurd ( the unqualified but mega-rich governor elect of Illinois) and some of it petty (obese and in debt) Yes, I voted for one of these (though not in the primary) and would have voted for the others, had I lived in those respective states.

I suppose the dirty secret is that I really don’t like many that I’ve made political alliances with. At times, it appears that some who vote the same way that I do celebrate underachievement. Many can be just as sanctimonious as any religious nutter.

But, ultimately..I’ll let a Brit describe how I felt:

Note: I do not pretend it is any better on the other side. And yes, when I complain how the Senate gives way too much power to small states (small in population), I have no desire to listen to someone with a business degree from Bo Diddly Tech “splain” to me that “We are a Republic, not a Democracy”.

Workout notes: glorious but slow 10K run through Bradley park; leaves, hills, morning sunshine.

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics/social, running, social/political | | Leave a comment

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” for..you 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