blueollie

And I sour on “identity politics”

If you hang around enough liberals either in person or on the internet, you will find the following:

women’s issues activists perceive a society dominated by patriarchy, complete with “rape culture”, misogyny and ‘mansplainers”
civil rights activists: see racism everywhere and many will reject statistics on crime, etc.
And people in minority religious communities see discrimination against them and others being out to get them.

Now, of course, there ARE legitimate issues that government should deal with, no doubt there. ISSUES.
But too often it appears that the pitch is “you belong to group X ergo you should vote with us.
Now of course, not all members of group X agree with that.

But, the issue is, as I see if: if group X can be persuaded to vote as a bloc, so can group Y and group Y might be a lot bigger than group X.

Ann Coulter, yes, THAT one, warned of what might happen if whites voted as a bloc.

So, I just as soon see issues emphasized and, yes, some issues will appeal more to certain groups than others.

But I seriously doubt that we will win a bloc voting war.

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June 18, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | Leave a comment

Yelling F-Trump…

The twitter discussion here is..well, interesting.

It is “oh no, saying “F-Trump” won’t make our case more appealing! And no it won’t, but the person saying it is an entertainer. And yes, those cheering are those who would hate Trump anyway.

But look at some of the comments:

“we have to fight” (uh, yelling curse words isn’t exactly fighting)

“look at the ovation” (yeah, but within that group…)

“it feels good” (ok, I buy that one)…

Bottom line: yeah, some are going to be butthurt over this, but those will never be with us anyway.

IMHO, this means …well…nothing, either way.

Rant: Democrats will always have a tougher time of things. Reason: so many of our causes benefit (or are aimed at benefiting) people who do not vote:

refugees, legal and illegal immigrants, convicted criminals and public aid recipients (ok, some of the poor vote, but not in large numbers). Appeals to the heart are tough political sells; appeals to one’s own well being are political winners.

Oh yes, wait, you might say: “don’t lower middle class and poor white Republican voters benefit from liberal policies?” Sure…but many, I think, vote their aspirations and not their reality.
Example: you say D’s are for expanding Medicaid and raising the minimum wage. True, but who wants to BE on Medicaid or to be stuck in a minimum wage job for very long? Accepting that is your reality is pretty grim.

Think about it: which message has more appeal:

1. We are doing things to help the lower and lower middle classes and these will benefit YOU right now?

2. You are a winner..or would be one if only that stupid government would get out of the way and quit over taxing your hard earned salary and giving it to lazy poor people…”Them”.

Accepting “1” means accepting the reality that you are probably destined to stay where you are; “2” means that you have some hope of moving up.

workout notes easy 3 mile run in Bradley Park (heavy legged, just a bit) and a 1 mile walk.

Past: the one showing the 1:35 was from the 2000 Madison Half Marathon. The other one: was taken a few weeks earlier in Ottawa, Canada. I had done a 44 minute 10K on Saturday night and did the half marathon on Sunday morning just to see the course (the marathon was two loops; half was only one). I ran a 1:42. I tried to hold off the guy in black behind me but could not. He shook my hand and said “sir, you did very well FOR YOUR AGE”. I just said “thank you” and did not tell him about the 10K the night before.

And…let’s just say that I almost certainly won’t run 1:35 for Saturday’s 15K (about 4 miles shorter than a half marathon) and will be lucky to “run” 1:42. Sigh…

June 14, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, social/political | Leave a comment

North Korean Summit

Quick take (I still have to read the various articles)

1. I am glad that we are talking. The status quo sucked.
2. I did not like Trump’s ridiculous praise of a ruthless, utterly brutal dictator. Yes, I know; in WW2 we worked with Stalin to defeat the Axis. But I wish Trump would have been the type to have studied that; how to work with a brutal person without lavishing them with praise.

3. I wonder what we got out of it..I know that we agreed to not do the joint exercises with South Korea. I have to make up my mind about that, but this does mesh with Trump’s isolationist tendencies.

4. And Trump claiming that this means peace with North Korea and that they are going to be denuclearized: sorry..it is way too soon to be dancing in the end zone. It is a first step.

Yes, it is an important first step, but that it all that it was.

June 14, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, world events | | 1 Comment

Being sure and being exasperated

1. Most important issues are very complex, with many layers to them. And often there is no one optimal answer; often the choice is between “less evil” solutions. And there are many factors, some which are missed by some smart people who have thought long and hard about such issues.

Therefore I am surprised…(ok, disgusted) that so many, well, non-experts are so confident in their opinions on such subjects. Yes, I can see rejecting crackpot positions (creationism, anti-vaccination views) but many issues go well beyond “rejecting the crackpot”. And when the issues have any brush with politics, the zealots are the most likely to be uninformed.

2. I do have one advantage: while I tend to associate with liberals, I grew up on Air Force bases and spent some time in the Nuclear Navy. So I had the pleasure of having some brilliant, accomplished conservative friends, and I got to know at least a bit of their frame of reference, even if it is one I do not share.

3. But when I find myself getting exasperated by liberals…well, the conservatives I end up attempting to talk to online,…well, for the most part…tend to be downright awful. In their world: the political process gives slackers, deadbeats and losers too much say in things like tax policy, taxes are theft from the winners to give to the losers, white Christians are the most discriminated against group in the United States, Trump is a “man of the people” and the US is constantly being picked on by other lesser, green-with-envy countries. Black Lives Matter is just police hate and criminal coddling and statistical black underachievement in the economy is mostly the result of bad culture, sloth and bad attitude.

Oh, and science is “junk science” when you talk about climate change and evolution..but to believed when it backs up what they believe. (ok, liberals too, are pretty selective when it comes to accepting science)

And of course, we are a Christian nation, and while some other religious people (Jews) are tolerated, atheists are really heathens who are merely defiant about the One True God. Oh sure, Trump isn’t religious at all…but you know, he is the “broken vessel” in the way that King David was.

Anyhow, there is nothing for me in modern conservatism (Trumpism).

June 13, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, ranting, social/political | Leave a comment

Our fundamental disconnect

Look at the above photo. People like me see the Obama photo as positive (it is good to get along with the world) and the second one as negative. Trump people see the first photo as weakness; Obama being played by those Europeans and the second one as strength (finally standing up to them).

Now of course, some famous liberals rant. And they get ovations.

But famous conservatives do it too…and also get ovations.

And guess what? No one’s mind has gotten changed.

June 12, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

My pessimism for 2020

Ok, the midterms aren’t here yet. And yes, I’ve been wrong before. I thought that Clinton would win the primary in 2008 and the general in 2016 and I was actually worried about…Fred Thompson in 2008.

But I have thought about 2020 and do not feel good about it.

Here is one thing:

This is what Hayes is complaining about as “sexist”:

Soros, who said he wants to avoid dividing the party, also refused to pick favorites among the emerging crop of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders. But there is one prospective candidate he said he hopes does not get the nod: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

He blames Gillibrand for pushing the resignation of former senator Al Franken “whom I admire,” Soros said, “in order to improve her chances.”

Franken (Minn.) resigned in January after a number of women alleged that he touched them inappropriately. Gillibrand was a leading voice urging her fellow Democrat to quit.

Frankly, I think that Gillibrand would be a terrible candidate; I see her as too extreme:

Matt Damon gave an interview to ABC News last week in which he offered the following observation: “There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”

Crazy, right?

Minnie Driver, Damon’s co-star in “Good Will Hunting,” thought so. “There is no hierarchy of abuse — that if a woman is raped [it] is much worse than if a woman has a penis exposed to her that she didn’t want or ask for,” she told The Guardian. “You cannot tell those women that one is supposed to feel worse than the other.”

Kirsten Gillibrand agrees: “I think when we start having to talk about the differences between sexual assault and sexual harassment and unwanted groping, you are having the wrong conversation,” the Democratic senator from New York said at a news conference when asked about calling on Senator Al Franken to resign. “You need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is O.K. None of it is acceptable.”

(there was a time when she could distinguish the two, but never mind that)

It was as if we have learned nothing from 2016. There are degrees of bad behavior. Criticism of a female prospective candidate is not inherently sexist (some some types of criticism certainly are).

But I wonder: it appears that the country exist in (one in which rape, sexism, misogyny run rampant) is not the country that most exist in. Check out this Washington Post op-ed (and ask: would a headline of “Why can’t we hate: X” where X is a member of a religion, race, etc. would be acceptable). This article appears to be an attempt to confirm every extreme right wing stereotype about higher education.

Now this article is NOT from a Democratic operative but it is one that the Republicans will almost certainly use to tar us with. And it isn’t attractive to most people, though I suppose it will be cheered in some narrow circles.

Wagging one’s finger and screaming “shut up and listen” might feel good, and you’ll probably get away with it in UU Churches and in liberal arts departments. But it is no way to win an election.

And let’s face it, what sounds horrible to many of us is a selling point with many who voted for Trump.

So no, we aren’t going to win over the true believers, but perhaps we can appeal to some of the “I voted for Trump because I hated HRC” voters who are dismayed by his results.

Side note
This is an example of something that bothers me, but many Trump voters would see as a positive:

If respect from the rest of the world was important to you, you probably did not vote Trump.

June 11, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

The Republicans and Conservatives are shaking in their boots!

That’s right: a few vocal, noxious celebrities will lose their shows, others will be “destroyed by just one tweet”, “twitter will erupt” or “take down” or “will have none of it”, and there will be lots of “resist” hashtags! Oh yeah, some will put on pussy hats and march…well, wait..that insults women who don’t have pussies.

Bill Maher sums up much of my frustration.

Remember: “Don’t boo: vote”. (Yes, my friends vote).

June 9, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

Hot topics and hot weather (Trump, Me Too, Nazis…the real ones)

I was somewhat amused to see the Miss America pageant,…er..competition, drop the swimsuit and evening gown “competition”. I wondered “is that even a thing?” (about 5-6 million viewers watch). But then I heard the decision was, in part, related to “me too”? Yeah, I know…”women as sex objects”, etc. (I really saw Miss America as an old, outdated thing that only modern day “plastics” aspire to.

Then I recalled: bad sex is considered part of “me too” by some. Boorish, clueless behavior is considered part of “me too” by some.

Even the case where a subordinate comes on to the superior and the superior doesn’t reject is called “me too”.

Really?

Well, I suppose they can make their movement about anything they want. And as long as the movement was about sexual assault and sexual harassment (especially in the work place), you could count me in. No one should be forced to engage in sex acts against their will, and certainly, no one should have to tolerate sexual harassment to keep a job or get a promotion. What a nightmare that must be!

But, increasingly, “me too” appears to be becoming some sort of catch-all phrase to indicate something that some woman, somewhere, doesn’t like because they feel it contributes to sexism or misogyny (or what they think is “misogyny” anyway).

Good luck with that.

Note: I am not sure that this expansion of “me too” is going to help politically. I do know that in 2012, Obama got 42 percent of the white women vote and 55 percent of the women vote, and in 2016 Clinton got 43 percent of the white women vote (1 point higher, well within MOE) and 54 percent of the women vote (1 point lower, again within MOE). (per CNN exit polls, 2012 and 2016). Given the publicity that Trump had..well, evidently women, on the whole, did not see Trump’s behaviors and statements to be disqualifying. In fact, he was very open about his attitude from the get-go.

If we beat Trump in 2020, it won’t be because of “me too”, pussy hat marches, or other such things.

Now, of course, “me too” really isn’t purely political. But I do think that keeping it a bit more narrowly focused might help win allies (say, Republican women who don’t like sexual harassment either).

Back to Trump and the Republicans: I have to agree with this assessment. I do not know how the 2018 midterms will go (D’s are a slight favorite to take back the House..but barely more than a 50/50 favorite) but Trump is NOT in free fall. If anything, he may well get reelected.

I cannot tell you how much this distresses me. They are incompetent and proud of it! Administration officials boast that D-Day was part of our long relationship with Germany. Republican Congressmen cannot tell the difference between Nazi and US troops.

And still, Republican voters do not care. Sigh…

Workout notesIt was a bit warm and sticky outside and I wanted some turnover so I went to the (still warm but out of the sun) gym.
Treadmill: slow 10 minutes then 2.234 miles in 21:21 (9:33 pace, 6.1 for 10 minutes, then 6.2-6.6 every 2, 6.7 for 1:21). Then walk/jog to get to 43 minutes for 4, 56:40 for 5. Then a slow walk outside; it was enough today.

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

This and that…get ready for ugliness…

My math problem: what I thought was an easy fix yesterday wasn’t so easy. I am going to have to work at it a bit. I think.

Issues: a judge ruled that that Trump couldn’t block people on his personal twitter account (though he can mute them). Rough reason: this became a de-facto public free speech forum.

Illegal immigrant families: yes, some kids are being separated from the adults that they came in with (about 700) but the issue is more nuanced than those yelling bumper stickers make it out to be. For one: the adults aren’t always the parents of said kids.

Why old people tend to be conservative: though this wasn’t exactly true in 2016, in general, people who are better off financially tend to be conservative. And if you are better off, you tend to live longer. Hence those that live the longest tend to be conservative.

Speaking of conservative vs. liberal, the ruckus about the NFL and Trump, and the NBA teams not wanting to visit him lead me to research which sports attract, on the average, what type of fan. Surprising to me (at first, anyway) is that, among all of the sports I follow, college football attracts the most conservative fans. NBA attracts the most liberal (though I’d be a WNBA fan if I lived near a team).

Here is a chart from the source:

Upcoming midterms: this might be an ugly election cycle. The Republicans probably won’t run on their “tax cut success” and so will try to use dog-whistles (e. g. paint Democrats as MS-13 lovers, slam the black NFL players for kneeling..all hot-button, highly emotional issues to get their older white base to show up.

And so it goes with “identity politics”; if we try to get a group to vote as a block, they will try to get an even larger subgroup to vote as a block.

Workout notes: weights plus a 4.1 mile hilly walk (1:03 for the Cornstalk + course (hill, the long version) to and from Markin. This is a shorter course when one goes to and from Markin, but not by much. It felt good.

Weights: stomach bothered me a bit until I told myself to calm down. Then: pull ups (ok, 5 sets of 10), incline: 10 x 135, 4 x 155, decline: 6 x 175, military: 1 set of 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer. Usual abs, usual sucky plank (2:30).

Weight: 198 after.

June 6, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Attitudes and triggering the liberals…

So Trump pardoned Dinesh Dzouza (who violated campaign finance law). This might be a message to those caught in Mueller’s cross hairs, and yet another way to “trigger the libs”. Every time we foam at the mouth, he wins.

Trump is the troll in chief (11 minute MSNBC video; well worth watching).

The upshot: their goal is to draw our scorn, thereby making their base happy with them. And getting scorn from us is easier than, say, passing a bill and signing it into law.

And speaking of scorn: there is scorn for Kaepernick and Barr. But the actions (respectful protest vs. racist tweet) are very different and have different standards of decency. This is a well written article about that, and it is written by a conservative!

And seriously, the NFL protests are really the best kind: peaceful, non destructive and non-intrusive. But yet, many whites are outraged. There really is no protest that they’d approve of.

Speaking of football: I read this quote by Vince Lombardi in a book:

I want to say that it is becoming increasingly difficult to be tolerant of a society who has sympathy only for the misfit, only for the maladjusted, only for the criminal, and only for the loser.

Then paraphrased stuff was added. Well, the longer quote (with more context) is this:

None of us is born equal, in spite of everything they say about it – we are born only in certain inalienable rights. But we are born rather unequal. However, I want to say that the talented are no more responsible for their birthright than the underprivileged are and the measurement of each man should be what each does and I want to say that it is becoming increasingly difficult to be tolerant of a society who has sympathy only for the misfit, only for the maladjusted, only for the criminal, and only for the loser. I think we should have sympathy for them, certainly. I think we should help them, certainly. But I think it is also the time in this country to cheer for, to stand up for, to slap on the back the doer, the achiever, a man who recognizes a problem and does something about it, the winner.

It sounds different, doesn’t it?

More Politics The 2016 polls were reasonably accurate, by historical standards. It is just that many models didn’t emphasize how small Clinton’s lead was in key states.

June 2, 2018 Posted by | football, politics, politics/social, poll, social/political, statistics | | Leave a comment