blueollie

Gap in my proposed proof…

I’ve been thinking hard about a result and finally found a gap in my proposed proof….what I’ve done so far is correct, but it does not “finish the job”. I think that I can take it home though. The extra complexity means that it will be a better result, I think. But I must be careful.

Yes, I’ve been following the political circus that comes with electing an inexperienced amateur as POTUS. Goodness.

Workout notes from yesterday:

weights plus an easy 4 mile walk in the morning; Ms. Vickie’s exercise class with Jennifer in the evening.
Morning: the walk wasn’t much; just a park course.
weights: rotator cuff, hip hikes, 5 sets of 10 pull ups, incline presses: 10 x 135, 5 x 160 (slight hip movement on the final rep), 7 x 150 (good hips), military: 15 x 55 seated, supported (dumbbell), 10 x 45 standing, 20 x 40 standing, Hammer machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200.

I also did some rope skips: exhausting. I need to do more of these. I managed 10 with out a miss, then 20. I’d like to work up to a set of 100, but that will take time. I am totally spastic right now.

July 20, 2017 Posted by | politics, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

My ‘Merica Post…

Yeah, yesterday was 4’th of July, which is Independence Day.

I wondered: what makes the United States different? Yes, I know, most countries (all?) have some sort of identity; what is ours?

Two things come to mind.

When I was in the Navy, we made port calls. And before we visited a port in a foreign country, we got a briefing on the customs and on the culture of where we were visiting.

When we visited Italy, we were told this: when you visit a small shop, if the owner is having a conversation, they aren’t going to stop it to wait on you. Remember that the shop was probably the family shop, and that is all they are ever going to be; they aren’t worried about expanding, moving up, defeating the competition, etc. So just be patient.

And that goes to the lesson many Americans grow up with: The American Dream to “make it big” (I was going to be a professional athlete, you see).

One other: when I visited the Anne Frank House, they had a theater where they would show some situation and ask “what is more important, Factor X or Factor Y (e. g. they would show a newspaper article about a recent controversy). The Americans were all over FREEDOM OF SPEECH ahead of the other factors (say, protection from discrimination)…as was I.

Of course, at this time in our history, we are pretty divided, as this Horsey cartoon shows:

So, where does this divide come from? Well, for one, our history is complicated. Our past citizens DID take risks..they had guts. But they also did terrible things too:

So, what do we focus on?

And as far as the American Dream, well, where some do make it big, our social/economic mobility isn’t what we would like to think it is. And I think this is where the division comes from.

Some liberals push for a higher minimum wage (and too high of a minimum wage can cause problems) and for health care for the poor. That is great, but…newsflash: people do not want to be poor, and no one dreams of being stuck in poverty, even though..for many, that IS where they are going to be.

So measures that favor the poor…while they are effective, really aren’t that popular (until they are actually implemented and have been in place for a while)

So what wins out: dreaming (you are going to be rich one day), or practical reality (that you won’t be)?

What I did on the 4’th of July:

In the morning, I took Tracy to Galva to run a 5K (and did poorly: 30:05) and in the evening, baseball!

The Chiefs beat the Snappers and won 5-1 behind some good pitching, spectacular fielding (they robbed the Snappers of at least 3 hits) and 2 home runs.

I sat behind the 3’rd base dugout (visitor’s dugout at Chiefs games; home dugout at Bradley games)

there was a brief rain delay.

But it turned out to be a fun day:

And a decent crowd.

Other 4’th of July images

From a local parade (I did not see it)

And what is more “Merican” than yoga pants?

Workout notes
weights and a 5K walk (42:45, from intervals)

rotator cuff, hip hikes toe raises, pull ups (2 sets of 5-5-5, 2 sets of 10), goblet squats 50-75 (up very 5, sets of 5), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 160, 7 x 150 (good hips on last set, so so on second set), military: 15 x 55 dumbbell, seated, supported, 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 90 lifemachine, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55 (each arm), 10 x 110 machine, 2 sets of moving bridge, 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts, headstand (good).

July 5, 2017 Posted by | baseball, Friends, politics, politics/social, social/political, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Political People: why do you use social media?

I am asking: “why do you engage in political discussion on Twitter or Facebook?

Is it to vent?

Is it to try to change the mind of a political opponent?

Is it to persuade the undecided?

Is it to try to get moral support from similar people?

Is it to excite your fellow political allies (get inspired to give money, go to a protest/rally, do walk routes, etc.)

Is it to educate yourself and/or put out information?

I am curious. I know that I’ve lost friends (ok, no great loss, but still…) because I misread what they were about. And yeah, I understand that not every post is an invitation for discussion.

And yes, I understand that discussions can be non-productive, especially when the other person assumes that they know more than they do, or that they’ve thought of some aspect that you haven’t (when you have, a loooong time ago) or when they are just spouting off cliches and bumper stickers under the guise of argument.

July 3, 2017 Posted by | Friends, politics, politics/social, social/political | 1 Comment

Are you angry? So what?

I keep seeing this as a theme: Trump says something stupid and Mitch McConnell tries to get a vote on a truly dreadful bill, and people get ANGRY. But so what?

I think that Trump speaks very clearly here:

Yes, on occasion, a Lindsey Graham might stroke his chin and say he is “troubled”…but ultimately he votes for the Trump policy in question.

Yes, there are protests ..

But that isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. How much power do these people have? And those who might feel compassion for them are already NOT voting for members of Congress that back this dreadful “wealthcare bill” (yes, the ACA has problems, but an upper end tax cut won’t fix them).

This strikes me as a situation similar to that of airline customer service. Yes, the airlines don’t care because, well, they don’t have to. Each airline has more or less a monopoly on certain routes, so if you are going to fly…well, you basically HAVE to fly them. (this is one reason I want high speed rail…for competition )

So what are we to do? I really don’t know, but here are my “off the cuff” ideas:

In the short term, how do we pressure the Republicans when we basically have zero leverage (Trump supporters won’t change their minds and Big Money is indifferent to the rest of us)

1. Target the most vulnerable Republicans (as we are doing in the Senate); the ones who will need votes beyond the Republican base.
2. Pressure big business. If we find some billionaire threatening to withhold campaign funds unless the Republicans fall into line, find their biggest investments and boycott them. Our money, put together collectively, does have some clout.

In the long term, we need to win back at least one chamber of Congress and win the 2020 Presidential election.

And even here, I’ve seen two different paths discussed.

1. Seek to win back that small percentage of Trump voters who voted for Obama in 2012. Though there aren’t that many of them, there were just enough of them to tip the scales in 2016.

See this thread:

or

2. Forget about them and focus about exciting our own people and getting them to show up.

Now how do we excite the base? Here is where the “Bernie” vs. “Hillary” war continues to rage.

July 3, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans, social/political | | Leave a comment

Why Trump gets away with it: hatred of liberals.

Yes, once again, Trump was tweeting stupid, disgusting things.

And yes, Sarah Sanders Huckabee defended Trump doing so.

Now, yes, Mitch McConnell might have enjoyed the cover to try to get to “an agreement on principle” to a still toxic health care…er…”wealthcare” deal.

But yes, Trump’s conduct is disgusting, and even many conservatives agree. Trump does this all of the time. But they defend it because:

Yep…he is their son-of-a-bitch. And they despise us and everything we stand for.

The elite Republicans (Ryan, McConnell, Graham, McCain, Priebus, Pence) all stand to gain something; here is a nice list as to what each might gain.

And so it goes.

June 29, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, republicans | | 2 Comments

They don’t even try to hide it

Yes, the vote on the toxic Senate version of “Trumpcare” has been delayed. Of course, this bill fixes NONE of the problems with the ACA but instead cuts taxes on the wealthy. I am not sure how cutting Medicaid (on a percapita basis) and giving the wealthy a tax cut on investment income is supposed to be good for anyone except those who need it the least.

And yes, Big Money is pissed; they don’t even try to hide their contempt for the rest of us. But have the Republicans become so terrible that even they have to take a step back?

I honestly don’t know.

Right now, the Republicans say (with varying degrees of exaggeration) that the ACA needs improving. I agree with that. But their solution: kick people off of Medicaid and give tax cuts to the rich? Oh my goodness…

Can’t Mitch McConnell, for once in his life, say “no” to Big Money?

Workout notes: weights plus an easy 2 mile walk.

weights: rotator cuff, hip hikes, toe raises, pull ups (5 sets of 10, went well), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 160, 7 x 150, military: 15 x 55 seated, supported (dumbbells), 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 90 (each arm) machine, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55 each arm, 10 x 110 machine.

Of note: when I was doing my 15 x 55 while seated, I noticed the pressure I put on my seat. I had 110 extra pounds..and that is more or less how it used to feel to sit when I was at my fattest.

June 28, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Go ahead and pass the AHCA/BHCA…..

Ok, I’ll come clean. I am 7 years away from qualifying for Medicare, have great employer insurance (which was good even before the ACA), have some money in the bank, a job that is about as secure as they come, and expenses are about to drop quite a bit (daughter out of college, which is completely paid for).

I am pretty much on my own as far as genetic relatives (young adult daughter and wife..that’s about it).

So go right ahead, cut Medicaid by 800 billion dollars to fund a tax cut on investment income for those making 200K (250k for families) a year…that’s right, a tax on INVESTMENT INCOME. Go right ahead.

Now some of you might not ever need Medicaid. But guess what. Many (most?) have that indigent family member, sometimes a moocher, who depends on Medicaid..and maybe needs a Medicaid nursing home.

Guess where that relative moves to? That’s right: he/she moves in with YOU. Job that requires lots of time? Uh, not anymore. Retirement savings? Bye bye! Vacation or recreational spending? ROTFLMAO!!!!

Oh, business owner: you need customers. Now more people at the bottom end won’t have money to patronize your business. Sure, maybe they’ll sell a few more yachts, but remember tax cuts at the bottom stimulate the economy much more than tax cuts at the top.

So go right ahead and cheer Trump and the Republicans as they do this.

Hey, if it pisses off liberals and sticks it to the “lazy, entitled, shiftless” poor, there must be something good about it, right?

June 25, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

Did Trump outsmart Obama?

I read this article about how the Obama administration handled the Russian meddling in our election issue. Here is the Washington Post article on the subject.

The upshot: Obama found out, told the Russians to “cut it out”, they didn’t and the Obama administration responded weakly. Reason: remember Trump babbling about the “election being rigged” and the threats that he might not accept the results if he lost?

That put Obama between a rock and a hard place. If he went public, the Republicans would accuse him of “rigging the election” for Hillary; remember that one of the things that the Russians did was to spread false stories. But if he responded weakly…well, you see what happened.

So, he figured that Clinton would win anyway..and she didn’t (sort of).

Now Trump is crowing.

Now, in public, Trump denied that Russia was behind the hacking. But what if he knew that Russia was behind it (or even actively colluded, though we don’t have solid evidence of that as yet) and he judged that Obama’s sense of fairness (not wanting to appear to tip the election toward Clinton, which could have backfired) would make Obama respond weakly?

It could be that we got played.

June 25, 2017 Posted by | 2016, politics, republicans | , , | Leave a comment

Democrats: offer a “yea” vote on AHCA if they remove the tax cuts

Let’s be blunt: the AHCA (aka “Turtlecare”, “Cheetocare”) is nothing more than a repeal of the high end tax hikes on the well-to-do. Period. The rest is to make reconciliation work.

So, let the Democrats in the Senate offer to back the Senate version if The Turtle takes out those tax cuts.

Play chicken with ’em.

Note: I hate The Turtle (aka Sen. McConnell) but he is a sharp politician; evidently he set it up so that wavering Republican Senators can get political cover by suggesting small (but inconsequential) amendments.

June 22, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics | , , | Leave a comment

Democratic infighting…

Yes, though we are still smarting the close losses (yes, the 4 special elections were from “safe Republican” districts), one thing that we cannot lose sight of is that “the candidate matters”. People might yell that “a Berniebro would have won” or “this policy” or “that policy” might have one. I am NOT saying that “messaging isn’t important”; it is. But the candidate matters, and politics requires skill, just like other professions. Some people are naturally better at it. And the campaign itself matters.

And when the election is in a “safe Republican” district, often a strong, naturally talented candidate is NOT recruited (who wants to do a fool’s errand?) and IF it turns out that it is a competitive race, well, that is an opportunity lost. This may have happened in Georgia-6, which WAS a tough race for a Democrat.

But of course, Democrats are fighting among themselves.

One issue: should we continue to back Nancy Pelosi to be the Democratic House leader? My thoughts: yes, her feat of getting the ACA passed, IMHO, made her an all time great Speaker of the House. That was quite a feat.

But is her time past? Aside from being good at fundraising, she really hasn’t accomplished that much as the Democratic leader. I think we could argue that it is a time for a change.

BUT, this puts back into the “Bernie vs. Hillary” territory.

There is a large contingent of women who see misogyny everywhere; having anything resembling a rational discussion with some of the more strident members is impossible. Any push-back on their ideas or pointing out an (apparent) flaw will be called “mansplaining”.

I found it is just best to avoid them completely.

Anyway, these types see any movement to get Pelosi to step aside as a type of misogyny. That is not where I am coming from; I am fine with the next House leader being female; in fact, when I say “we need new blood”, I fully expect that this new blood will heavily consist of women and men of color.

Example: though she is a Senator, Sen. Harris might be part of the wave of the future.

But as far as leadership of the House Democrats: our own Cheri Bustos might be a candidate. She might lack the national stature AT THIS TIME, but that can change.

But yeah, there we are in our party: white vs. black, women vs. men, the “middle to upper middle class” vs. the poor. And there are the regional issues: what works in San Francisco and in Vermont might not play in Central Illinois. We have to be flexible and understand that whoever emerges as our candidate in 2020 will NOT be everything everyone wants.

Now who? I like Sen. Warren, but she really lacks that “show-biz” part that I think a national candidate needs to excite people. She is tough, smart, and knows the issues inside and out. But I see her as lacking “charisma from the podium”; that is something that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have.

I think that Sen. Booker has it; I wonder if Sen. Harris has it (maybe?). We shall see.

June 22, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, social/political | Leave a comment