blueollie

Toxic Trump takes his toll…

So, what is Trump about? Some claim he is mostly supported by the entitled “elite” (both elite by economic birth and achievement elite..those who have a achieved but still feel cheated of honors and station)

Some say he is mostly about white nationalism.

Others contend he is about male privilege and misogyny …after all, he insulted a FEMALE reporter and, lately, mocked Dr. Ford’s testimony.

He sure provokes outrage. But not all of the outrage is expressed coherently and, well, people aren’t always at their best emotionally and logically when they are angry. And, at times, I find myself being unsympathetic to Trump’s critics even though I think that Trump is an awful president and unfit for office.

He has a way in bringing out the worst in everyone, I think.

Workout notes: 4 mile treadmill run, 1 mile track walk.
run: 11 minute mile (5.2-5.5 froggy for 10 minutes), 10 minutes at 6.7 (almost 2 miles in 20 minutes), 28:36 for 3 miles, 29:27 for 3.1, walk/jog to 39:30 4 mile.

October 3, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Not caring what “the other side” thinks..

There are many things that struck me about the Kavanaugh debacle. One of them was his very partisan opening statement.

How in the world is this clown going to be an impartial justice? But..in this day and age…it does not matter.

I think that we live in a time when saying something like “well, could be be fair to “the other side”” is seen as being naive and weak. Yes, I do mean “both sides”, though it is my opinion that this toxic atmosphere really got started with New Gingrich and company. But now, liberals are on board as well….and frankly, at times, so am I.

Acknowledging that others aren’t inherently evil is akin to dropping your guard in a boxing match.

Oh, there are other things that bother me too.

The debate: we are seeing the Trump election all over again. The Republicans are rallying around a noxious, ill qualified (albeit with the correct “on paper credentials”), ill tempered, self pitying boorish candidate and the Democrats are doubling down on what didn’t work in 2016. No, this nomination is not going to cost the Republican the “women’s vote”.

Yes, the Democrats MIGHT win the House in the midterms (abut an 80 percent probability…which is NOT a “lock”) but the Senate..the house of Congress that is voting on the SCOTUS nomination, is likely to remain in Republican hands (70 percent). The Senate map is tough for the Democrats and, no…women in general are nothing like the women on a liberal arts department faculty.

This fiasco is turning me off to politics. I’ll still duly vote but…it isn’t with any enthusiasm at all.

September 29, 2018 Posted by | politics/social, social/political | Leave a comment

The politics of Kavanaugh

I do not know how this nomination will go..whether he will withdraw or if the vote gets delayed until after the midterms..and I know that he would be dead in the water IF the Democrats win the Senate (a longshot, but within the realm of realistic possibilities).

But what I can guess at is this:

1. If Kavanaugh were a Democratic nominee with this “alleged sexual assault” in his background, the Democrats would abandon him very quickly, even if there was no sort of “due process”. There is simply too much pressure to “believe the woman”, on the spot, from the Democrat base.

2. Were Kavanaugh some high profile corporate person or some entertainer who depended on corporate sponsorship, he’d be dead professionally. Again, there would be too much pressure on potential sponsors from those who have money to spend.

3. But neither 1 nor 2 is true; Kavanaugh will be voted on by Republicans from Republican states who would, more than likely, be PUNISHED rather than rewarded for a “no” vote.
Some Republicans point out that, sans proof, anyone can accuse anyone else, so the standard to derail a nomination should be higher than an accusation. And others simply have a larger “gray area” when it comes to sexual encounters.
And those who embrace this sort of sexual behavior just can’t understand how someone might see things differently.

Workout notes: easy 3 mile walk today. Yesterday: mini weights: pull ups 10-15-15, bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, decline: 6 x 170, military: 6 x 50 standing (bad), 10 x 45, row: 10 x 50 dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine, run: 2 miles in 18:30 (9:37/8:52 lane 2). PM: yoga with T.

September 19, 2018 Posted by | politics/social, running, social/political, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

A bit of politics and social issues.

I admit that I’ve been disengaged with political discussions on social media. I did jump into a discussion on Tucker Carlson’s twitter feed about “what is strong about diversity” (questioning a frequent liberal claim that “diversity is our strength”). I mentioned that societies that are isolated from others (e. g., no exchange of ideas with other groups) tend to stagnate.

That let to some spirited discussion. Yeah, I got a few “your an idiot” caliber remarks but most tried to make intellectual points..genuinely valid back and forth.

Sadly…at least ON THE INTERNET, liberal discussion often devolves into yelling “that’s racist”, “that’s misogynist”, “that’s a microagression” (in my case: for asking for clarification of the facts of the case).

It is all a contest to see who can be most “woke” or “pure”; virtue signaling, if you will.

It has gotten to the point to where if you hear “I want to understand your argument”, it is probably a conservative saying it.

On the other hand, it almost appears that the liberal game is to parse a statement so as to find what is offensive about it.

And if the facts/models do not fit your narrative …or if someone might be offended by what they THINK are the consequences of said facts…well, we can’t have that, can we?

(yes, I know that there are many, many conservatives who yell and do little else…who understand nothing and only accept what Breitbart and Fox tell them. But these I just block on the spot.)

It isn’t as if there is interesting stuff out there right now. For example, Nate Silver’s analysis of the upcoming midterm elections is interesting:

Social Issues: caricatures of famous people.

Jimmy Carter

Yes, even this:

Ok, what about lampooning behavior?

John McEnroe

And so we get complaints about this:

It appears to me that certain “woke” liberals have a rule that certain protected classes should be “off limits” from caricature and if you “go there” you are a xxist (racist, sexist, misogynistic, etc.) It is my opinion that the final caricature fits in with the others but, well, I know, there is a history of “Sambo” cartoons (still the subject of controversy in some places). And yes, lampooning (or attempting to lampoon) an entire collection of people for being what they are IS racist; lampooning an individual for their individual actions is not.

And yes, I find this to be very racist.

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

No Sarah Palins but…

No, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not the “Sarah Palin of the left”. Sarah Palin was a sitting governor (almost served a full term) and was the GOP nominee for VP in 2008.

Ocasio-Cortez won a PRIMARY election in a Congressional District that few have heard of until relatively recently. I am not going to say that she has deep policy knowledge; she doesn’t. I don’t know if she will grow into a seasoned politician or not. I do not know if she has the underlying humility to realize that she needs to learn more about many things. But for right now, she is someone to keep an eye on, nothing more.

From video that I’ve seen of her, she seems to have some political talent. What that will eventually translate to is anyone’s guess.

Georgia Governor This race is very tight; the two polls I’ve seen: one has a 2 point lead for Kemp and the other has a 2 point lead for Abrams. Real Clear Politics calls it a “toss up”.

This surprises me for a couple of reasons: 1. Georgia is a Republican state that even Obama couldn’t carry (though he did well) and, well, the optics do not look good to me:

1. She is deeply in personal debt.

2. Optics:

Ironically, this comes from Cheri Bustos’ Instagram site, and if anything, Bustos is the “fitness model” Congresswoman (see below if you are unfamiliar)

BUT…perhaps obesity and being in debt is what many people in Georgia can relate to? Yeah, I remember that Christ Christy is obese..(not in debt, at least to my knowledge) but the sad fact (I think) is that physical appearance matters more for females than males.

We shall see..perhaps I am seeing this through my own warped prism.

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

It isn’t all good but it isn’t all bad either

Steven Pinker is one of my favorite “public intellectuals”. He is a Harvard professor and was elected to the National Academy of Science. Here he is on Bill Maher. One of Pinker’s constant themes is that, *on the whole*, things are getting better for humans. That doesn’t mean that there are serious problems that we need to address.

And, of course, there are changes. I don’t like all of them. But some of those that I do not like are, well, necessary, and the reason I don’t like them is because my previous 58 years on this planet got me used to a different way.

Academia: some professors really ok with being viewed as an “easy to get an A from” professor. I am not one of those.

Some ideas are inherently difficult to learn and not everyone has the aptitude to learn them. And some ideas can be learned at different levels. I might discuss this more on my math blog as I start preparing for fall classes; I have my research paper written up and prepared to be proof read.

Workout notes: I spent last night at Dancing Dreams (an ABBA tribute band) concert and so slept in; I only walked 11 miles (15:30 ish pace) though it was warm:

77 F 64 percent at the start, 82 F, 55 percent humidity at the finish. I was 2:45 at then end of the 10.7 (with the goose loop) and 2:52 at the end of the 11.2

August 11, 2018 Posted by | education, politics/social, social/political, walking | Leave a comment

What I find offensive about Laura Ingraham’s “immigrant” statement and Trump’s NFL protest statements

Let me make this clear: if you don’t like me because of my race, I am ok with that. Your loss..and it isn’t as if I lack for friends.

If you prefer the atmosphere of one culture to another, be it classical (white) small town “Americana”, or suburbia (e. g. Morton) to something more diverse, fine. People are going to prefer some atmospheres to others. There is nothing wrong with that. Personally: I wish baseball and football had a bit less of this “canned, marketed faux-patriotism” as part of the entertainment (and I am growing tired of hearing “American Solider” played at baseball games; ironically one of the things I liked about the Far East Network Armed Forces radio station that I listened to in Japan is that they played a VARIETY of music; some C & W, some “soul”, some Jazz, some rock and roll)

But hey, it comes with the territory; no entertainment experience is tailor made for me, nor should it be.

So, let’s get to the Ingraham statement (video here)

“In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore,” Ingraham said on the cable network.

Ingraham added: “Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they’re changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don’t like,” she said. “From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed. Now, much of this is related to both illegal and in some cases legal immigration.”

“foisted upon the American people”….”None of us ever voted for”…

Who in the hell are you talking about? If you YOU don’t like the brown skinned immigrants, well, that is your right. What offends me is that she is conflating HER views and the views of her audience with the views of “the American people”. Ms. Ingraham: you are only one person, and your viewers, while American, do not represent even a plurality of Americans. Evidently, American institutions such as the military understand this. I am sorry that you do not.

Now to President Trump and his tweets:

It isn’t his call as far as to how to pay or not pay the players. And as far as “the fans”: NFL fans are not monolithic.

Yes, this is from an October 2014 game and this was in response to what happened in Ferguson. There were no National Anthem protests, but some Rams players did a “don’t shoot, hands up” gesture upon entering the field. And this banner wasn’t the only one; other fans took another banner around the concourse to…mostly cheers.

Of course, the old St. Louis Rams fans were a diverse lot but so are NFL fans in general. I have no problem with the fans debating the merits and appropriateness of the National Anthem protests (though frankly, I’d be in favor of doing away with the National Anthem at sporting events; there is nothing inherently patriotic about home runs, touchdowns or 3-point shots.)

What I find offensive is that people like Donald Trump and Jerry Jones appear to “think” that there is only one legitimate side to the issue at hand. They are completely wrong.

As to what I think, this is a nice summary of how I see it:

Workout notes: 3 mile walk after lifting: usual PT, pull ups (5 sets of 10..went well), bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, incline: 6 x 150, decline: 10 x 165, military: standing 10 x 50, 10 x 45, machine: 10 x 90 (new machine), rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 (dumbbell), 10 x 110. Abs, plank, etc.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | NFL, politics/social, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Uniting with those you do not like: 2018 midterms

Ok, I have no political science credentials. But at least lately, it seems that we are in the following cycle: Republicans govern (or attempt to). Republicans crash the economy (or at least make things worse). People get disgusted. They vote the Democrats in. Things get better but a combination of Democratic infighting and the Democrats championing unpopular stuff gets them voted out of power and the Republicans take over again, only to run things into the ground, again.

I’ll talk about the Democrats championing unpopular causes at another time (but IMHO, this is a combination of the Ant and the Grasshopper and “Beggars can’t be choosers” in action)

But right now I will just say this: I find my fellow Democrats to be very annoying. For one, we are as prone to “argue by slogan” as anyone else. For example, take the current debate as to whether to keep Nancy Pelosi as the leader of the House Democrats.

As I see it, there are many pros and cons: she is a good fundraiser and she has had some great accomplishments (e. g. getting the ACA through the House). On the other hand, the House Democrats have steadily lost seats and many feel that her time is past. And it is clear that the GOP thinks that she is a good thing to run against in the red Congressional Districts that are closely contested.

You’d think that this is worthy of debate, right? Well, no..not for some:

You see: it is all misogyny. (eyeroll).

Never mind that many Democrats who don’t want Pelosi would be happy with another female. Now if you want to talk about ageism…maybe that could be PART of it.

But in the upcoming midterms, none of this really matters. If you oppose Trump, vote for the Democrat, period. Opposing Trump IS enough (and yes, one Jill Stein backing idiot tried to tell me it wasn’t enough).

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Yes, many on the left wing deserve contempt. But that is not a reason to support Trump.

Let me make this clear: this is not one of those “white men are victims” posts. I honestly believe that racism’s primary effect is against “people of color”; in particular, black people. As Chris Rock says “none of you (white men) would trade places with me, and I am rich!”

Yes, issues of race, class and sex/gender in society should be discussed and honestly debated..and honesty does NOT mean “immediately accept what comes out of the mouth of a liberal”. Yes, some who think that they are arguing against racism or sexism or religious prejudice make stupid statements, get facts wrong, get on high horses and..some are walking, talking examples of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Having a moral or ethical goal does not make you neither informed, smart nor does it make your arguments correct.

I remember something that happened in a faculty gathering many years ago. One of our women’s studies professors was talking about moving and made a somewhat anti-male joke (something about an activity elevating their testosterone thereby giving them negative male traits) and I joked “oh, so you became more logical and accountable too?” That did not sit well with her..she tried to explain to me that, as a woman, her “invoking male stereotype joke” was, well..strength..sort of a truth to power thing. I responded something to the effect “save that bullshit for your impressionable undergraduates”.

I noticed later that the department sponsored some, well, I think, very ill conceived posters. I even complained about one of them to her. She was skeptical. So, to her credit she asked some students for their opinions..and she was shocked that the students saw them the way that they did. All her posters did was to alienate potential allies.

But she ASKED.

And yes, I’ve been wrong about how things would be taken; I do NOT claim a perfect track record. In fact, I’ve had my own bad ideas challenged and ..yes, changed by intellectual honest colleagues.

IMHO, we ALL have bad ideas from time to time.

But, as I said, that was years ago. These days, all too often, dumb and sometimes prejudicial behavior is tolerated if it comes from someone from a “victim class”. Here is an example of that.

And I think that this is on point:

In my opinion, this issue really reared its ugly head in 2016. The Republicans elected someone who ran, in part, on a platform to “oppose political correctness”..this was from the FIRST political debate of the 2016 election season (from August 2015)

Of course, this blew up in our faces (ok, one of many, many, many factors)

All too often I’ve heard those who voted the same way that I did respond with a cry of “that is racist”, “that is sexist”, “that is misogynistic”, “that is islamophobic”, etc. as if it were some sort of trump card that would end the argument in their favor. And surprise, surprise, the USA is not a liberal arts department; the voters are not humanities professors.

And so the Trump voters decided to give us the finger.

And hey, I get it. My “blocked list” consists mostly of stupid, sanctimonious liberals; I don’t like them any better than you do. And I get it: some safety net programs benefit at least a (statistically) few horribly irresponsible people, and yes, many of my friends (include some that I haven’t blocked) will go through hilarious gymnastics to avoid criticizing.

So to you who are disgusted by Trump’s arrogance and incompetence but loathe us liberals: yes, many of us are unpleasant people. I don’t want to associate with them either. But reelecting an incompetent is NOT the solution. By all means: make fun of me and my Prius. Avoid socializing with me. But please…if you want to back a conservative, back a competent one. But the current POTUS is doing damage to our country.

August 4, 2018 Posted by | Personal Issues, politics, politics/social, social/political | Leave a comment

Getting the formula right…

So, what to do? I did have 196 miles of running/walking for July, so perhaps it wasn’t an accident that I did 4 today.

weights: rotator cuff, 5 sets of 10 pull ups, bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 7 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, decline: 7 x 170, military: 10 x 50 standing (ugly), 10 x 45 standing (better..these are dumbbells, one 45 in each hand), 10 x 140 Hammer Machine, rows: 3 x (10 x 110) machine, 2:30 plank, headstand, side plank, shoulderstand/plow.

running: 21:50 run, .5 walk, 1.7 mile outside walk. The run felt GREAT …of course it was easy and short…

Fun: If you “get” this, you might be my kind of person.

Assumptions: everyone tells the truth, there is only “want/do not want” and only the three logicians count as “everyone”. What is subtle: the first two answers convey information: why?

2018 Midterms: I get the feeling that in every competitive district, the Republican will say that Ocasio-Cortez is the Democratic candidate’s “best friend”. You haven’t heard of her? Well, she won a primary against an establishment Democrat and aligned herself with Bernie Sanders, wants to abolish ICE (which didn’t exist prior to 2002…and I think that we had borders prior to then, but whatevers…)

As it sits, things are looking reasonably good for the House Democrats *at the moment* but things change, and the November elections are a political eternity away.

July 30, 2018 Posted by | politics/social, running, social/political, walking | | Leave a comment