Trump Speech: fantasy

Workout notes: yesterday, 2 extra walking miles (to check out my smart phone map feature) and to see what my “just walking” pace is like. It is about 17 minutes per mile. Then 5K more this morning (15-ish mpm) after lifting weights.

lifting: rotator cuff, pull ups: 5 sets of 10
squats: 2 weightless sets of 10, 10 x 45, then 4 sets of 5 goblet squats: 25, 35, 50, 50
The “tug” in my right inner leg was barely noticeable, at times.

bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 10 x 170 incline press: 10 x 135
military: dumbbells, 7 x 50 standing (sloppy), 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing.
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (dumbbell) each arm
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch 10 yoga leg lifts
headstand (so-so)

Trump’s Speech and the election.
In a nutshell, you need to be SCARED and to understand that Trump is the ONLY ONE who can fix it.

Yes, better infrastructure (which I do want), less crime, a quick win of the war against ISIS and other terrorist organization, all the while cutting taxes and building that huge wall between US and Mexico. He is going to do ALL of that, VERY QUICKLY (though it took him 73 minutes to tell us that). How? Just trust him; just believe.

Red State Update gave more or less the same speech in 2008, but in a much briefer period of time:

Oh by the way, the world is NOT falling apart, crime is actually down overall (though up in some locations); you can read the rest of the fact checks here.

As far as how the race is going: this is a great resource. Upshot has its own model, and it links to many other models and betting markets. The map hasn’t changed much from the 2012 map.

You’ll read a lot about “Hillary’s support is sinking”. The reality is that “no incumbent in the race” elections tend to be close. As I told a friend:

In my lifetime, there have been 5 “no incumbent” elections. The popular vote margins (in percent) have been:
0.17 (1960 Kennedy vs. Nixon)
0.7 (1968 Nixon vs. Humphrey)
7.72 (1988 Bush I vs. Dukakis )
-0.51 (2000 Bush II vs. Gore, Gore won the popular vote)
7.27 (2008 Obama vs. McCain)
So if there is a poll or two that shows Hillary with a double digit lead…it is probably an outlier. So don’t be surprised to read “Hillary sinking in the polls”; that usually means that there was a favorable outlier followed by a more realistic result. Expect, for statistical reasons, to see a few polls here and there that show Trump leading. A typical margin of error is 3 to 4 points and that is the MOE for the SUPPORT of a candidate, not for the difference. Example (two way example) if she really leads 52-48, Hillary’s support in a single given poll will vary between 48 to 56 percent 95 percent of the time, so one can expect to see her trailing by 4 points in some polls and winning by 12 in others.

July 22, 2016 Posted by | politics/social, poll, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

RNC convention thoughts, real Americans and all that…

I watched some of the Republican Convention last night. It was a circus. And I died of laughter watching Ted Cruz get booed.

No, the election odds haven’t changed much; Hillary Clinton is still between a 1/3 to 5/11 favorite in the betting lines.

What I found interesting was this statement by Michael Moore:

I don’t see much evidence of that in the polls:


Yes, Mr. Moore is right that what we are hearing in the RNC convention IS “music to the ears” of a certain type of American which some call a “real American”. But “real Americans” are an increasingly small percentage of those who vote; estimates this to be around 20 percent of the electorate. Trump is getting absolutely blistered in other demographic groups and is even trailing about white college educated voters (Romney won this group).

An interesting aside: I was a bit surprised to learn that about 70 percent of Americans over 25 do not have a bachelors degree. That surprised me. But that is MY being in a bubble; most of my “in real life” friends have advanced degrees or advanced professional credentials.

Aside about “political correctness”: when I hear political correctness, I think of “denying facts or data because they make you uncomfortable”; e. g., denying science because it conflicts with your religion, denying the health risks of obesity because of some concern about “fat-phobia”; denying that there are IQ differences (on the average) between demographic groups (e. g. Asians, on the average, score higher than those of Mexican decent).

I agree that PC-ness should be pushed back against. But that in no way justifies bombarding someone with racial slurs and the like, as happened here.

July 21, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Political attacks and negative campaigning: why I feel it is necessary

Workout notes: weights plus an untimed 5.1 mile walk (75 F, sticky).
rotator cuff, pull ups 15-15-10-10, incline press: 10 x 135, 7 x 150, 10 x 140 (empty gym; played it safe), military: 7 x 50 dumbbell standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, machine: 10 x 200
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell. Abs: 2 sets of: 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts. Headstand (ok).

Squats: 10 x 0, 10 x 45, 5 x 75 (ok,), 5 x 95 (slight strain, right inner thigh). 5 x 35 goblet, 5 x 25 goblet (protect the thigh)

Weight: 189 after weights (gym), 189.5 home (after walking)

Post I saw some comments about the back and forth in campaign tweets and about negative campaign ads.

Here is why I feel negative campaigning is necessary:

1. It is easy to make unrealistic promises (LOWER taxes but better roads and schools).
2. Candidates embellish their record by exaggerating their successes and omitting their failures.

They have to be called out on such things.

However, not all attacks are equal. I had one facebook friend try to say “both sides” when comparing Trump’s attacks on Warren and visa versa.

Here is a Trump attack:


That is name calling and a slur. He also intimated that Sen. Warren lied about her heritage to her advantage.

Here are attacks by Sen. Warren, which call him out on what he does (demeanor, failed businesses, scams) Note the links to articles about “Trump University”.

Those two are not the same things.

Think of it this way: if I were, say, campaigning for a research mathematician post and called myself a “great, productive mathematician”, saying:

“He is a Frito-Bandito who wouldn’t have made it to grad school without affirmative action” would be a classless attack.

Saying “ok, where are his NSF grants? Where are his elite journal articles? Where are his invited addresses and presentations? Why didn’t MSRI, IAS, or the R-1 programs want him? He plays too much on Facebook” would be perfectly acceptable attacks as they attack my record and behavior.

July 20, 2016 Posted by | politics/social, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Melania Trump’s speech and false college record claims: what it means…

No, the country, on the whole, really doesn’t care about Melania Trump’s speech writing abilities or whether she graduate college or not.

But it does speak to how unprofessional the Trump campaign is.

Remember: Trump is running as a “successful businessman” who will “get things done”.

And his campaign, which HE is responsible for, appears to be an unprofessional train wreck. And THAT is relevant.

July 19, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , | Leave a comment

Day one of the RNC and my Facebook wall gets snippy…

And I mean snippy. My wall is set so that the public can see and comment and, well, a client of someone saw a comment on my wall and threatened to take their business elsewhere.

My thoughts: I’ve had heated discussions with people..only to do yoga with them and go cycling with them too.

It is politics. And my friends include professors (from very different fields), mathematicians, scientists, engineers of various kinds, lawyers, medical doctors, truck drivers, airline pilots, homeless, blue collar workers, corporate executives, homemakers, athletes (real ones, not like me). They come from traditional families, broken families, military families (with lots of moving). They’ve experienced diseases, family violence, strife, family rifts, and good marriages as well. They included religious people, outspoken atheists and those who don’t care one way or the other. They include people who have made the Olympic trials, won boxing matches (and fought for the world title), 100 mile foot races, some even slower than I am (really!) and others who don’t like to play any sort of sport or even work out.

And yes, I have Democrats, Republicans, liberals who are disgusted by the Democrats, and conservatives who are disgusted by the Republicans. And yes, we have the “know-it-alls” who just know that THEY have the insights that the main stream media won’t tell you, but THEY have figured out…

I have people I’ve known for 40 years or more, some I’ve never met in person, some who I know “in person” and keep up with on the internet, and others who I met on the internet and attempted to have a IRL friendship with, with varying results (some good, some not-so-good).

Upshot: lots of passion, lots of different backgrounds, lots of opposing viewpoints AND different “base assumptions”. And while I welcome opposing points of view when they are well presented and backed up with demonstrable facts, well, that isn’t what I always get.:-)

And it pains me when I see two people that I like fighting each other.

Now about the news Frankly I don’t care about the “Pat Buchanan” type politics that I am seeing; that has been standard Republican stuff for some time now. But I was amused by this:

This lead to some funny memes:



And it turns out that the Trump campaign lied (or got it wrong) about Melania Trump graduating from college.

Let’s see: the Republicans are applauding someone who is a college dropout, a nude model and whose English, while pretty good for a second language, is imperfect…and who plagiarizes the speech of someone that they absolutely hate?

Well, perhaps it is unfair to compare her to an American born, Princeton educated attorney.:-)

But hey, I pledge to be as gracious to her as conservatives were to Michelle Obama!

Yes, I know, this is an Eastwood yells at an empty chair distraction, but it doesn’t speak well of the Trump campaign.

As far as where the election sits, it is estimated that Clinton has between a 61.3 percent ( and a 76 percent chance(New York Times Upshot) of winning. The bookies have it between 7/20 and 5/11 (British bookies)

According to Benchmark Politics, the two “within reason” extremes are these:



My opinion (based on, well, not much) is that the 2016 map will look a LOT like the 2012 map with perhaps a couple of states changed (maybe Arizona to Clinton, Ohio to Trump?) But Trump will have to win almost all of the toss ups to have any chance, and that is a bad position to be in.

July 19, 2016 Posted by | 2016, politics, politics/social, social/political | , , | 2 Comments

About those general election polls…

Yes, there has been some tightening in the polls. I’ve seen a few maps; 538 shows:


The betting lines show slightly lessened odds for Sec. Clinton:


Clinton was at 4/11 and now she is at 2/5 (the larger the fraction, the worse the odds).

Nate Silver gives a lengthy explanation of why the recent batch of polling changed the model a bit. But while Clinton’s support took a bit of a hit, Trump’s support really didn’t get a bump up.

And so, with the caveats that past Presidential elections are small in number, I’ll just say this: here are the elections in my lifetime. I voted in the last 9 of these. I’ve listed the percentage difference (popular vote) between the winner and the loser:

year difference
1960 0.17
1964 22.58
1968 0.7
1972 23.15
1976 2.06
1980 9.74
1984 18.21
1988 7.72
1992 5.56
1996 8.51
2000 -0.51
2004 2.46
2008 7.27
2012 3.86

Three elections were decided by LESS than 1 percent of the vote, 3 between 1 and 5 percent, 5 between 5-10 percent, and 3 were 10 percent or more (landslides)

But if you look at the “no incumbent in the race” elections, the differences were 0.17, 0.7, 7.72, -0.51 and 7.27 percent.

That is, modern Presidential elections tend to be close, especially when no incumbent is in the race. And so, if the polls really are random, you would not expect one candidate to consistently poll higher than the other. In fact, the margin of error for the support of a given candidate is typically 3-4 points, which translates to a 6-8 percent margin in a two way poll. So even if Hillary Clinton is “really” head by 7 points nationally, you’d expect to see a few polls showing Trump to be slightly ahead. If her lead was really, say, 3 points, you’d expect to see a few polls showing Trump in the lead.

So, while this election is competitive (for now), expect to see a few polls showing Trump head.

July 14, 2016 Posted by | politics/social, poll | , , | Leave a comment

29 June 2016: this and that..uneasiness

Workout notes: weights then a lovely 4 mile walk (Cornstalk classic)
weights: rotator cuff
squats: 6 sets of 6: 2 sets weightless, 2 sets 45, 2 sets 65. Yes, I am weak but for now, I am trying to work on getting down here. This is almost “assisted stretching” right now.

pull ups: 15-15-10-10
incline press: 10 x 135, 6 x 155, 10 x 145
military press: 8 x 50 dumbbell standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 7 x 95 standing (barbell)
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 60 each arm, 1 set of 10 x 110.

Personal stuff: errands; thought about a math idea. It is weird, but sometimes I don’t want to write the idea down because, well, I want to hold on to the (probable) illusion that I have a valid new idea. But whatever I have, whether it solves that big problem or not, can be a fun construction and it will give me something to play with.

I admit to being a bit antsy.

Election: Nate Silver has come out with his first analysis.


It looks a lot like my map, and looks a lot like the 2008 map, with Arizona swapped with Indiana. But it is so early. And yes, Dukakis was ahead by about this amount in 1988 (at about this time), though Bush (the first one) was the betting favorite. Right now, Clinton is the favorite in the markets as well.


Can you guess which presidential candidate these people support? (answer)

It wasn’t hard, was it? What got me to thinking about this: I was looking at some “Brexit” photos and I could more or less tell who was on what side, even though all of the photos that I saw were of white British people. In general, those who “looked like” Democrats were the “remain” and those who “looked like” Republicans were the “exit”. It is weird, isn’t it?

June 29, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political, Uncategorized, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Emotions and political decisions

Ah, the appeals to nostalgia….you are seeing a lot of this from the Trump campaign. Evidently such appeals worked in the Brexit campaign; too many of us pine for “good old days” that, well, never actually existed. Oh sure, I liked the way that my body worked when I was in my 20’s, but there is so much more that is good in this day and age. And I won’t even get into the other things, such as our country electing a black president and probably getting ready to elect a woman too. And my gay friends and neighbors now enjoy far more rights, including the right to marriage. Things ARE better now, though it is easy to cherry pick the good from the days gone by.

And I think that expectations are higher now. I wonder how many eyebrows would have been raised by this official Red Cross “Pool Safety” poster?

Of course, appeals to emotion still work and these will be heavily used by the Trump campaign.

It sure as heck worked for the Sanders campaign (at least to a degree); some of my Hillary supporting friends saw the need to “go underground”. I joined such a group too, though I was a bit more noisy in my intolerance of nonsense coming from Sanders supporters.


You are hearing garbage about “Sanders is about to flip California” when, in fact, he still trails by about 420,000 votes with just under 600,000 total votes (including Republican votes) to be counted. It is about to the point where Sanders would have to win close to ALL of the remaining votes to catch up all of the way…in fact, we may well be past that point.

But try getting the third degree Bern Victims to understand that.

June 28, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Leaving, Staying and photos

Workout notesMarkin scale weight: 189 after the workout. I concluded the workout with an easy 2 mile walk.
Weights: rotator cuff
squats: 2 sets of 10 weightless, 4 sets of 5-6 with weights (45 and 65…I am not kidding) (*)
pull ups: 15-15-10-10
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 190, 4 x 185, 9 x 170 (no spotter anywhere near so I didn’t risk extra reps)
military press: 2 sets of 7 x 95 standing, 2 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
head stand, 2 sets of (24 crunch, 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts)

Posts I frequently hear: if X gets elected, I am leaving the country. Well, that is probably not going to happen. But I wonder: why would any other country want you? I think that if someone wants to find somewhere else to go, one has to actually have things that the new host country would want.

Brexit This was very emotional for many:



More photos here. Scroll down and click on the photo gallery.

Some cartoons:

Pearls Before Swine

Pearls Before Swine


June 27, 2016 Posted by | political humor, politics, politics/social, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

When I see the appeal of Trump, I know that I am upset with someone


I know that a candidate is toxic when I find myself finding him appealing when I get upset or angry with someone or with a group of people (Bern Victims, Social Justice Warriors, scolds, etc).

But no…he isn’t qualified, he doesn’t know what he is doing and would be bad for all of us. So no worries.:-)

June 26, 2016 Posted by | politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment


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