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

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

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

Donald Trump: the poorest example set by a POTUS in my lifetime

No, I am not doing to debate the wisdom of a type of immigration policy, the wisdom (or even the philosophy) of a tax cut, a trade deal or an arms control deal.

I am strictly talking about setting a personal example.

I grew up as an only child and one of my weaknesses (one of many) is that I thought that I was somehow “special”. It was tough for me to learn that I was really just one of many; nothing was “all about me”.

Seriously? He lies repeatedly and brazenly and is shameless at trying to make everything about HIM. And yet..his popularity remains in the low 40 percent range.

(44 by Real Clear Politics, 41.7 by Five Thirty Eight)

It seems that Trump violated almost every personal value that we preach to our young…and yes his approval remains this high?

May 31, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social | | Leave a comment

Protests: what good can they do?

Protests have been on my mind lately. If you flip through my blog, you can see that I am a football fan (college and NFL). I go to several NFL games a year. And of course, this means that I am aware of the protests done by some NFL players.

(for a history of the National Anthem being played at professional sports contests, read this And yes, at Bradley sporting events, fans frequently bellow “home of the BRAVES” at the end…)

Note: up to 2009, teams were in the locker room in PRIME TIME games (they were on the field for other games). In college, it varies from school to school; at Illinois and Illinois State football games, the teams are in the locker room. At the one Iowa vs. Ohio State game, teams were on the field.

I remember last year, Trump people said that they would “boycott” NFL games. This year there are rumbles about those sympathetic to the NFL player protests boycotting games.

Personally, I will go, just as I did last year.

But as far as my view:

1. Why play the National Anthem anyway? I know; middle age and older white guys generally like the canned WWE style patriotism. And the military uses it as a backdrop for publicity. Still: what do touchdowns (or dunks, or home runs for that matter) have to do with patriotism?

2. As far as the protests themselves: I think they are perfect. For one, they do not destroy anything, harm anyone, they do not block the road, damage property, or even take away from the view of the game. So why do they get under the skin of some? My guess: it brings home that, yes, our country doesn’t treat all of its citizens equally, and some really don’t want to be reminded of that. Plus, many conservatives (not all) are very authoritarian (as are some lefties) and they can’t stomach anyone not acting the way that THEY think that they should act. It, well, “triggers” them. 🙂

Now of course, no one can force anyone to tune in or go to the game.

Other protests There were some teacher’s strikes in various states. They have gained concessions. In this case: the teachers had leverage, they had a gripe that many agreed with and they had some well defined goals.

This was just the opposite of the pussy hat marches. Yes, these were more widespread, but what was the goal? (that is, what would constitute “success”?) What leverage did they have?
It will be interesting; it is my opinion (subject to being changed) that perhaps these were more rallies to get potential allies fired up and to let other more silent but like minded people to realize that they weren’t alone? I doubt that they changed anyone’s mind though.

It will be interesting to see if there was any lasting tangible effect or not..or if it was just a “solidarity/lifting of the spirits” thing for those involved.

May 26, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Sadness of Twitter; joy of a game…

Staycation day 3: workout, Chiefs game, a lovely lunch and then yoga class tonight. Love it.

But first about Twitter: there was a tweet from a pundit that talked about Trump “sinking”.
He really isn’t:

I added the smoothed green line to show the general trend. Not much to see here; it dipped a little and rose a little; right now it is between 42-44 percent, depending on which poll aggregate you use.

The above is from Fivethirtyeight (they weight the polls differently, according to accuracy, partisan bias, etc.)

And yes, on the whole, Trump ranks lower than Obama at the same point in their respective administrations:

So, that is clear enough? Well, no…I added that Trump was inching up but “still low” and some Trump supporter attempted to correct me by relying on the Rasmussen poll; the “most accurate” he says (not so fast; though it did have the most accurate “last national poll prior to the election” if one disregards margin of error and disregards how scattered they were in the previous days prior to the election)

And he really “got me” when he gave me a screen shot of the Real Clear Politics aggregate of the various states…one which called the close states ….toss ups (and did give Wisconsin a “lean Clinton”).
Clearly he does not understand what “toss up” means..never mind knowing what “stochastic” means.

And so it goes with Twitter discussions: people who don’t know what they are talking about decide to “educate” you. So I just up and blocked him; I am not going to waste my time with such people, even if they aren’t as nasty as others.

But on the other side of things: you see things like “Trump is sinking”, “blue wave” (unlikely…MAYBE we eek out a win in one chamber), etc.

I think that, when it comes to politics, I’ll just refrain from engaging and focus on reading articles.

The joy of a game

The Peoria Chiefs once again jumped on the relief pitching of the Clinton Lumberkings and rallied from 5-1 down in the top of the 8’th to win 7-5. The Clinton starter kept the Chiefs at bay and allowed 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 6 in 5 innings. But they went to a reliever in the 6’th (evidently his number of pitches were up) and the first reliever did fine for 2 innings. But the second one came in at the bottom of the 8’th and it was batting practice for the Chiefs: they got 6 runs off 2 walks and 5 hits as the Chiefs batted around.

Once again, it was a kid’s matinee and once again, Vickie was fun company.

Second kids matinee game. Vickie is on the left.

A post shared by Ollie Nanyes (@ollienanyes) on

And I got photobombed by Homer, the Chiefs mascot.

The work
Yes, I walked the 2 miles to the game and got a ride back from Vickie.

Weights: rotator cuff, pt, 5 sets of 10 pull ups (good), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 155, decline: 8 x 170, military: 10 x 50 standing, 2 sets of 10 x 45 (note: I could not swing the 55’s into position in the seated, supported)
Hammer rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200.

usual abs, and yeah, the 2:30 plank sucked, as usual. It always does.

May 16, 2018 Posted by | baseball, Friends, politics, politics/social, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment