Donald Trump: much more politically savvy that many think.

I still remember Scott Adams (the creator of the comic strip Dilbert) writing about Donald Trump having a “clown genius”. I highly recommend reading that article.

I really think that people are underestimating Mr. Trump’s political skill too.

I am on his mailing list and I just got a “campaign update” from him. I’ve reproduced it at the end of this post.
Frankly, it was better written and more effective than most of the BS that I get from candidates that I intend to vote for! It just gives a few snapshots and a brief summary of the events of the campaign.

He has a twitter account and frequently retweets messages from supporters, thus giving the supporters a chance to play a “brief moment of fame lottery”.

Now as far as his policies? Well, let’s just say that he is usually in a “hey, I am a successful rich guy, so I’ll hire “great people” to figure it all out” mode.

Now he has said some things that outrage many people who vote the way that I do. For example, at a recent campaign event, a vocal “Black Lives Matter” protester wasn’t just taken out of the area by security (and I think that is a reasonable thing to do; no one is entitled to a captive audience), but the protester was physically roughed up. When asked about it, Mr. Trump’s campaign said that it didn’t “condone” such behavior but Mr. Trump himself said “maybe he should have been”.

But you know what? I have contempt for those who try to disrupt campaign rallies and the like: how does THIS make you feel?

No, she wasn’t roughed up and the BLM protester shouldn’t have been roughed up either. But Mr. Trump’s answer plays well with many who are exasperated by these self-righteous, noisy, obnoxious “activists”.

Mr. Trump retweeted some of the most ridiculous (satirical troll?) memes I’ve ever seen:


(for those uncomfortable with numbers: these “statistics” are gibberish and signify nothing)

Mr. Trump also told a whopper about Arab Americans in New Jersey openly celebrating the 9/11 attacks.

But who in the heck really fact-checks their own candidate? The more important thing is that the candidate makes the followers feel welcome and that the candidate appears to share the resentments that their followers share.

I really believe it is a mistake to underestimate this man; I wonder if the Republican establishment does.

Trump’s newsletter to follow:








November 23, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Syria, blasphemy laws and talking to others

The situation in Syria is horribly complicated. This is an attempt at a summary:

Now the refugees that enter our country will have some adjusting to do. We have unusually strong “free speech” laws here; “blasphemy” is perfectly legal here:

And customs vary from place to place, which can lead to major misunderstandings.

Our politicians aren’t helping the matter; right now it is “pander season”.

And talking to those who are on the “opposite side” of the liberal/conservative divide can be difficult. What is hard: if a conservative asks me about something, I can explain WHY I think the way that I do. But my explanation will not be very convincing as I am putting these things into MY values, which my conservative friend does not share.

So, if my goal is to persuade (even if just a bit), I need to take into account what my friend values, and put my ideas in those terms.

Example: on the refugee stuff, I would acknowledge that the other Gulf States aren’t doing their part, but also acknowledge American tradition, and point out that the last thing in the world that ISIS wants is for others to find out how much better it is to live under freedom instead of under an oppressive theocracy. I’d play to “American exceptionalism”, “liberty”, “exporting American values” and “winning the war on terror”.

And yes, the refugees have to assimilate to the ideas of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, if they haven’t already done so (some probably have).

November 18, 2015 Posted by | politics/social, republicans, social/political | | Leave a comment

Yes, I’ve got butt-hurt

Workout notes: weights, treadmill run, 1 mile cool down walk.
Weights: 5 sets of 10 pull ups (4 then 1), rotator cuff
bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 7 x 170
incline: 10 x 135
military: 2 sets of 12 x 50 dumbbell seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 each arm (dumbbell), 10 x 110 machine

Run: treadmill (save the legs) 10:50 mile 1, then .5-.5-.5 at 6.7,6.8, 6.9 .25 7, .25 7.1 then .2 7.1. 17:23 2 mile. Then 1 mile on the track.

And this is where the butt-hurt comes in: Saturday’s “disaster at Mc-Not-Again” left me with a very sore butt (gluteal muscles). The reality is that I didn’t “do my homework” on the very steep hills. The Bradley Park road hills, while challenging, are no substitute.

Oh yes, there are other types of butt-hurt and this is discussed in this 32 minute video:



No, I did not go as there was a Bradley Basketball game last night. But Trump drew 10K. And he is taking shots at Sen. Rubio:


November 10, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Republican primary elections and the mortality of white males in the US

This is Paul Krugman’s take on a new study that shows that the mortality among middle age white males is on the rise in the United States:

This new paper by Angus Deaton and Anne Case on mortality among middle-aged whites has been getting a lot of attention, and rightly so. As a number of people have pointed out, the closest parallel to America’s rising death rates — driven by poisonings, suicide, and chronic liver diseases — is the collapse in Russian life expectancy after the fall of Communism. (No, we’re not doing as badly as that, but still.) What the data look like is a society gripped by despair, with a surge of unhealthy behaviors and an epidemic of drugs, very much including alcohol.

This picture goes along with declining labor force participation and other indicators of social unraveling. Something terrible is happening to white American society. And it’s a uniquely American phenomenon; you don’t see anything like it in Europe, which means that it’s not about a demoralizing welfare state or any of the other myths so popular in our political discourse.

There’s a lot to be said, or at any rate suggested, about the politics of this disaster. But I’ll come back to that some other time. For now, the thing to understand, to say it again, is that something terrible is happening to our country — and it’s not about Those People, it’s about the white majority.

Note: the rise in mortality is caused by the rise in mortality in the lower educated, lower economic level white males. Note: this table is about CHANGE in mortality rates, not mortality rates.


This reminded me of some of the predictions that the social scientist William Julius Wilson made in his book When Work Disappears. He predicted that some of the social problems that afflict the poorer African American community would start showing up in the lower economic class white communities.

This is an interesting article about the Republican primary. Many Republican districts allocate delegates by vote share in their respective districts. So in “blue” districts (where there are fewer Republicans), the vote of a Republican in a primary election carries extra impact (on a “per voter basis”), and that might give the more moderate Republican candidates a nationwide advantage, at least in Presidential elections. In short, being more extreme helps in Republican districts (hence what we see in the House) but hurts in the Presidential primary.

November 5, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Megyn Kelly mocking Republican debate demands…

OMG, this is hilarious.

Note: Donald Trump is going to Springfield, IL next Monday. I might have to take a road trip!

November 3, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics | , | Leave a comment

Obama, Putin, Republicans and Gohmert

President Obama landed a body blow to the current crop of Republican presidential candidates:

And no, being asked about your tax plan numbers not adding up is not an unfair debate question.

Louie Gohmert: he said that support to “impeach President Obama” was not widespread. The way to read this: remember the district that he represents (in East Texas) is a bit like this:


His constituents live in a bubble where they KNOW that “everyone” (save a few miscreants) wants President Obama to be impeached.

November 3, 2015 Posted by | Barack Obama, politics, politics/social | | Leave a comment

The GOP front-runners


October 29, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

chilling out

Workout notes: swim, weights, yoga.
Swim: 500 free, 1000 of: 50 drill (fins), 150 free (hard). Then 3 x 50 free (47-48 each), 50 back. 100 free in 1:41, 50 side, 2 x 25 fly (fins)
The swim felt fine.

Weights: pull ups (4 sets of 10), rotator cuff
Bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 7 x 170
10 pull ups (to get to 5 sets of 10)
military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 (machine)

Yoga: sun salutes, leg lifts, abs, head stand, plow, shoulder stand.

Note: there was some young woman running at what appeared to be a fast pace on the treadmill She was running at 7:13 mpm on the treadmill, and 7:2x on the track.
Yes, that is way faster than I can do now, but even at 40 I ran some half marathons at roughly that pace, though I didn’t look as good as she did.

I’ll admit it; the demise in my physical abilities is bothering me. But my choice: accept it, or quit doing sports. And I won’t do the latter.

Republican Debate Who knows. The establishment candidates are doing so poorly right now. But we are still 2 months (plus) away from the first primary election.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | politics/social, swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment

Ugh…that course

Workout notes rainy 8 mile run/walk on the Cornstalk 8 course. I did the “walk the hills” to practice conserving energy. It was slow (13 mpm order, given all the stupid stops to tie the shoes, pull up the shorts, blah, blah, blah) but I finished feeling like I had done nothing, and that is the point. At least for now.

Marathon POSTURE!!!

This was about 2:06 into this video.

Well, I used to be a sort-of-fast walker…no longer.

Football This was taken from the Illinois student section:


Note: this was the “best crowd of the year” and there was an announced 45,000, which seems about right. At this game, students got free tickets.

Politics Primary polling has been volatile; wide swings between polls. I do know that in the betting lines, Sec. Clinton’s odds have improved to better than even money. The Republicans are a mess at the presidential level.


How will 2016 go? My guess: Democrats win the presidency and the Republicans keep Congress. Why?

This theory leads to at least a few major conclusions about American politics. The one Abramowitz and Webster emphasize is that it gives Republicans an enduring advantage in congressional elections. Republicans have long had a geographical advantage in both House and Senate elections because their voters are more spread out than Democratic voters. In the past, Democratic candidate could compete by distancing themselves from the national party and making the election about local issues. But as the country grows more partisan, that’s becoming harder, and the result is that Republicans are likely to be dominant at the congressional level for some time.

Jonathan Chait, meanwhile, pulls some good news for Democrats out of the data. Just as Republicans have a natural advantage at the congressional level, Chait believes Democrats have a natural advantage at the presidential level, where the voters skew younger and less white. And if fear of a Republican president means the Obama coalition persists after Obama, then it’s going to be a long time before Republicans win back the White House.

So, at these “internet candidate forums” I always ask “how will you work with a possibly hostile Congress?” No answer…ever.

October 27, 2015 Posted by | 2016, hillary clinton, marathons, politics, politics/social, running | , | Leave a comment

The Evil Dr. Ben Ghazi

Workout notes: sort of low energy today.
weights: rotator cuff, some yoga after which included 2 sets of yoga leg lifts and some vertical crunches. Abs are weak.
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (decent)
incline: 10 x 135, 6 x 150, 8 x 140 (1-2 reps off)
military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell (standing)
rows: machine, 3 sets of 10 x 110

run: 10:58 warm up on the treadmill. Track: started to run a “tempoish” 2 miles..realized I had zip in the tank in the first 4 laps, relaxed to a 10:25 mile.
Ran another 10:2x mile on the treadmill prior to doing some yoga (included leg lifts, abs)

Marathon when one accounts for age, this was very similar to the marathons/50K that I walked from 2003-2005 and again in 2009. No, it wasn’t among my best 2-3 performances but it was with the “decent” performances.

Benghazi and Hillary Clinton So the Republicans…well, not sure what they did. But it was not productive at all. At times, they remind me of a high school student council. I am sick to death of those idiots. Evidently, even John Boehner was too.

October 23, 2015 Posted by | hillary clinton, politics, politics/social, running, weight training | | Leave a comment


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