blueollie

President of sh***y people: Head Deplorable

Ok, we are getting used to this:

When the discussion turned to African nations, the people with knowledge of the conversation added, Mr. Trump asked why he would want “all these people from shithole countries,” adding that the United States should admit more people from places like Norway.

Remember, this is in a meeting with Senators and the like.

The problem: a sizable minority of people in this country probably approves of such remarks.

Sure, some countries are wealthier than others, some immigrants are better educated than others and some are smarter than others. And yes, it makes sense to have a mix of immigrants.

But this is NOT how I want my country to be represented. The President is supposed to be speaking for all of us and not just his precious “deplorables”.

Workout notes: weird. again my warm up (on the treadmill) was challenging; 1.5 miles in 19 minutes, 1 minute run, 1 walk.
Track (lane 2) 8:50 (4:26/4:24)
walk 5 more laps
3.1 mile course plus a bit more outside. (slow)

The 8:50 mile just about killed me…I am out of shape (yes, 1 week after blood donation)

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January 12, 2018 Posted by | political/social, republicans, social/political | | Leave a comment

Heaven Help Us!

Social
Could you date (or stay married to) a Trump supporter?

And for the record: yes, I’ve dated Republicans. I have Republican women friends that I’d be sweet on, were I single. So, yes, there are some things that are non-starters for me (say, someone who was excessively religious, smoked, super sanctimonious) but people vote in certain ways for a variety of reasons.

Speaking of Trump: actually, I see the GOP “Tax Scam” to be conventional Republican politics. I don’t see it as “Trumpian”. If anything, I think that Trump probably makes the law less popular than it otherwise might be:

So how will Trump’s presidency end? While I think that the D’s have a good shot at retaking the House in 2018, the Senate is a long shot and, well, let’s just say that while I do not KNOW what will happen, I’d be very relieved if Trump doesn’t win reelection (I expect him to..though I have little confidence in this prediction).

Why do I expect Trump’s presidency to end after a SECOND term? A look at the “conventional wisdom” at the Democratic hopefuls makes me ill. I sure hope there is a Bill or Barack who is lurking beneath the radar.

Workout notes
Weights only. somewhat different order: pull ups: 5-5
bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 1 x 195, 1 x 205 (spotter touched the bar, but I think that I had it), 7 x 185
pull ups: 4 x 10 (strong)
military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 10 x 90 (each arm) machine
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 single arm, 10 x 60 dumbbell single arm
a bit of yoga (head stand too..was good)

I just didn’t feel like walking or running.

December 22, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics, weight training | | Leave a comment

In some ways, (some) liberals ARE more out of touch than conservatives

I admit that I was disgusted to see some of the rank and file attacking Doug Jones after his hard fought win in Alabama. Good lord..did they expect a Bernie Sanders or some SJW type would in in that region?

And I am seeing some calls for protests IF, somehow, Trump manages to get Muller fired (by pressuring others to fire him). Someone posted that we might get hundreds of thousands (sounds good to me) but someone (who I respect) said this:

Oh my.

Well, for one, I wonder what percentage of Americans even know how Muller is and what he is doing…much less understand why it would be so unethical to force him to be fired.
For another: it is one thing for a comfortably affluent person (say, a college professor with full tenure) to be able to do that. But so many need that income and the benefits …who will be there for them if they get fired for missing work? It isn’t as if everyone has an extra 200-300K just laying around to tide them and their families through a period of unemployment.

At times, we latte liberals are clueless.

Oh now, what about that tax plan that just passed the House and will probably pass the Senate? Sure, it is as “elite friendly” as they come. But it is structured in such a way that the lower to middle classes will not see tax increases until :

Many of these cuts are not permanent. The GOP bill sunsets the individual income taxes changes at the end of 2025, while keeping corporate tax cuts in place. And it would adjust how inflation is calculated in the tax code, which would cause many taxpayers getting a cut now to get a hike after 2025.

What we will see is exploding deficits which lead to..you guessed it…cries of “we are too broke to fund Social Security, Medicare” and many other things.

So services will suffer. But you won’t see that right away and the effects will be subtle at first..repairs that don’t get done, more food poisoning outbreaks, dirtier air and water…and Republicans understand this.

They will just blame all of the lack of money for the public good on welfare mothers, many who are NOT pleasant people. And the Republicans know how to do this. They are better politicians.

And the Democrats have it harder. Let’s face it: few like poor, sick people. Sticking up for them in terms of policy is never going to be popular.

Workout notes: easy 5 mile jog along the river (1:05..slow, slow, slow); chilly but sunny..not bad for the middle of December.

December 19, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, republicans, republicans political/social, running, social/political | Leave a comment

When you lie and disregard genuine expertise

Want to see something truly pathetic? Watch a Trump judicial nominee be completely unable to answer basic questions on law:

(post article here)

His nomination was withdrawn…but how in the hell did he even make it that far to begin with?

This is unbelievable.

Lies take their toll too, even when one is lying for a greater goal. Here is a very interesting story on how the lie about trickle down economics first got started:

If anyone still believed that the Republican Party had become a party of economic populism, the tax bill that the party is set to pass in Congress will burst their bubble. This bill raises taxes on the poor and cuts taxes on the rich. Most of the American people disapprove.

Senate Republicans negotiated in secret at top speed, and then passed the bill at 1:50 a.m. on a Saturday, as if to minimize public scrutiny. The original American populists were the men and women of the Populist Party who demanded open government and income taxes on the rich; this tax bill is exactly the sort of thing that made them howl in outrage.

But the Republican tax strategy has roots in the American populist tradition, too. That strategy is to disregard experts and rile up the base with tax policy arguments that would not survive professional scrutiny.

Populists did this on behalf of the poor. But the man who first put this strategy to work for rich people was Andrew Mellon, the millionaire who became secretary of the Treasury after World War I. Poor veterans of the war were clamoring for expensive public benefits. Rich men wanted their income taxes rolled back.

Mellon squared the circle by inventing a supply-side argument: Cutting income tax rates would actually increase tax revenues. In particular, he said, cutting the top income tax rates would encourage rich people to pull their money out of tax shelters and invest in creating jobs. Or, as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said of the current Republican tax plan, cutting income taxes “will pay for itself with growth.”

Surf to the Washington Post article to read the rest; it is quite interesting.

Workout notesWeights, and a very interesting “one on one” yoga class with Ms. Vickie. It was interesting and fun; LOTS of adjustments.

Weights: usual pt, 5 sets of 10 pull ups (last one was 7-3 with narrow grip-regular grip), bench: 10 x 135, 7 x 185, 10 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, military (dumbbell) 15 x 55 seated, supported, 10 x 45, 10 x 45, rows: 10 x 55, 10 x 60, 10 x 60, goblet squats 10 x 60, 10 x 53 to the sill.

December 19, 2017 Posted by | economics, economy, political/social, politics, republicans, republicans politics, social/political, weight training, yoga | Leave a comment

Will Mueller be fired? My guess: no..but…

Here is a short video that explains why it might be tough for Trump to have Mueller fired (he cannot fire him directly) and IF he manages to get that done, why the investigations won’t stop.

This tweetstorm talks about ways Trump could get around current law (e. g. by appointing a new AG by executive order)

Long shot? I do see a lot of posturing. But I wonder if the current Republican political leadership understand that 45 would gladly throw any of them under the bus if it would make it easier on them.

Workout notes: easy 10 mile walk; almost 10.0 as measured by the mapping device. It was partly the first 4 miles of the W. Peoria course with a Cemetery loop and a second loop thrown in, then the 3 mile out and back on the hills in Bradley Park, one pit stop and a quick trip back via Maplewood. It was 2:45; leisurely pace.

December 17, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, social/political, walking | | Leave a comment

Graduation exercises done…various topics

Grading done, graduation exercises done. So, aside from some “less than pleasant” family obligations I should enjoy a pleasant month.

Topics:
Sexual Harassment We are seeing lots of accusations and resignations..and in one case, a female was the accused.

I hope that we haven’t arrived at a place where an accusation is sufficient to tank someone’s career.

Example: 20+ years ago, I had a faculty friend who liked me well enough to sit in on one of my classes. She talked about a bunch of stuff..and in a conversation she had mentioned that she felt weak from a religious fast. I replied “yes, you are looking a bit thin”.

Later she asked me to come into her office. I did..she asked “do you know why I want to talk to you?” I responded “I guess it is about the course”. She went on to tell me that my remark was sexual harassment. I was astonished. I said “I meant…” and she said “I KNOW what you meant..” ..Eventually I had enough. She tried to shake my hand but I refused..and I broke off all unnecessary contact with her. No, no charges were ever filed and no official complaint was ever made.

By the way, she is a respected scholar (by our standards) but her personality…not as well respected.

And..it turns out that she HAD suffered some genuine sexual harassment; she was asked out by a senior faculty member; when she declined he told her that the tenure decision, in part, depended on her being “collegial”. So, it isn’t as if she always “cried wolf”.

So sometimes, people can honestly interpret the same situation differently:

So people who think that the issue can be resolved by hashtags, “zero tolerance”, “non-negotiable demands” and the like are delusional; the situation is way more complicated than that.

Republican Tax Scam Yes, they did fix some of the hits to higher education, but it is still a big giveaway to the wealthiest and will probably explode the deficit…which will lead to them cutting Social Security, Medicare and safety net programs because “we are broke”.

Oh, it is a wildly unpopular bill and might cost many of them their seats in 2018..but will also lead to some cushy K-Street jobs and the like. So the unpopularity of the bill bothers them not at all.

Bradley Basketball We saw the men demolish Arkansas Little Rock 86-46 despite clearing the bench.

They won big at Chicago State, though Chicago State got blistered by Northwestern 96-31..trailed 55-8 at the half. Still, the team is winning.

The women lost big at Green Bay, but Green Bay is ranked no. 21 for a reason.

Workout notes: yesterday, routine weight session. Usual PT, 5 sets of 10 pull ups, bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 5 x 185, incline: 10 x 135. Military: dumbbell: 10 x 50, 10 x 45, machine: 10 x 80 (each arm), 3 sets of 10 x 110.

Today: easy 4.2 mile run prior to graduation exercises; clear and crisp.

December 17, 2017 Posted by | basketball, economy, education, political/social, politics, republicans, running, social/political, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

And my political despair gets even worse than a year ago…

When Trump won…I thought…well…things will go to “hell in a handbasket” and I was honestly afraid that we might have gotten into a nuclear war by now. And, oh, I expected this:

Let me be less gentle: there will be no significant public investment program, for two reasons.

First, Congressional Republicans have no interest in such a program. They’re hell-bent on depriving millions of health care and cutting taxes at the top; they aren’t even talking about public investment, and would probably drag their feet even if Trump came forward with a detailed plan and made it a priority.

But this then raises the obvious question: who really believes that this crew is going to come up with a serious plan? Trump has no policy shop, nor does he show any intention of creating one; he’s too busy tweeting about perceived insults from celebrities, and he’s creating a cabinet of people who know nothing about their responsibilities. Any substantive policy actions will be devised and turned into legislation by Congressional Republicans who, again, have zero interest in a public investment program.

So investors betting on a big infrastructure push are almost surely deluding themselves. We may see some conspicuous privatizations, especially if they come with naming opportunities: maybe putting in new light fixtures will let him rename Hoover Dam as Trump Dam? But little or no real investment is coming.

They failed on the Obamacare repeal and MIGHT fail on “tax reform” (tax cuts for the wealthy)..but might not.

But I expect Republican leadership to be greedy assholes. I expect the rank-and-file to see what they call “social decay” as the overriding issue; they’ll give the “tax cuts to the wealthy and cuts to services” a pass.

The liberal/Democrat response: total disaster.

Here is what someone I have deep respect for said today:

Wow…I am pretty close to that myself.

We liberals or Democrats appear to be some sort of loose confederation of constituencies, many of which do not like each other. That is ok in and of itself, but at least some in each constituency appears to want purity and strict adherence to its respective dogma.

We just saw “always believe the woman” in action in the Franken situation. We see unfavorable statistics dismissed “off the bat” as being racist by some. And this crap has spread among our rank and file.

Yep…any discussion that there might be genuine, statistical differences between the sexes is seen as heresy by some. (see Steven Pinker’s book: The Blank Slate)

And our long time Democratic leaders seem more interested in their own prestige than in being the best person to lead us forward.

Ah, I am rambling. Let’s just say that I was underwhelmed when people crowed about having large marches of women wearing “pussy hats”. Sure that made the women feel better, and I suppose that is a good thing. But then what? Tweeting “resist” hashtags?

I honestly don’t think that our side can see the difference between throwing a temper tantrum (of justified anger, to be sure) and resisting effectively.

Oh well, I am not doing that much, am I? And you know what? Gerrymandering has something to do with it; I really do not live in competitive districts.

I am so close to just being DONE. It really sucks when I have almost as much contempt for my own side as I do for the Republicans. Well…perhaps more as the Republicans show up to vote and we don’t.

Oh, I’ll vote ever election, like I always do.

Workout notes
Limited weights; PT, 3 sets of 10 pull ups, bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, incline: 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50 standing, 20 x 40, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell.
Tomorrow: nothing. Ok, maybe a light 2 mile walk to loosen up.

December 8, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, republicans, republicans politics, social/political | Leave a comment

Same old scam and they get away with it…

Ok, the Republicans take office. They get pressure from their big donors to cut taxes on the wealthy.

So they argue something like this: “hey, you are overtaxed…and paying for THIS”

YEAH, cut our taxes and make her act more responsibly! (pg version of what is really said)

And so we get: this. Oh, depending on what the House and Senate do..>IF they can come together (and they might not be able to} we get a plan that is a windfall to the wealthiest and cuts many important benefits used by the lower to middle classes.

Oh, and some of the rank and file might say “well, I’ve never seen a poor person offer someone a job”…it is almost as if the principle “demand matters” is lost on them. Businesses can’t stay open if few have money to patronize them. The whole exercise is ridiculous.

And we fall for it…every time.

Now there is the Al Franken thing. This reminds me a bit of the Sen. Packwood (a Republican) stuff. Now there are calls for him to resign..calls mostly from Democrats (but some from Republicans). What he is accused of: let’s investigate, and if he is guilty (in the informal sense), she should step down. But we’ve been rolled before.

But, oh no. As Oliver Willis likes to say, Democrats act as if there is some judge that will score a political action “fair or foul” and that somehow pressurign Franken to step down will make it easier to defeat Moore (and IMHO, Moore will win…it is Alabama, after all). And, of course, there is the “always believe the woman, 100 percent of the time” faction of liberals. Our hearts are in the right place, but we suck at politics.

Workout notes: yesterday, steady 4 mile walk. Yes, I’ve cut back, for now.

December 7, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics, social/political, walking | Leave a comment

Explaining Trump’s childish outburst…(which one?)

This really surprised me, but shouldn’t have:

Yes, I took a screen shot so it won’t disappear if he deletes it. But wow: I cannot imagine either President Obama or President Bush writing such a thing.
(and for the record: shoplifting was idiotic and immoral; I have zero sympathy for the basketball players)

He was complaining, in public, for not receiving his due of gratitude?

Now, I admit he could be playing some 3-d chess..trying to distract from other, more important matters as well as playing to his very emotional, non-intellectual base. But I really believe that isn’t the case; he really does get his feelings hurt easily.

It reminded me of this old Krugman article from 2014: it explains, in part why President Obama lost support from the very wealthy:

The example many are buzzing about right now is the billionaire investor Tom Perkins, a founding member of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Perkins lamented public criticism of the “one percent” — and compared such criticism to Nazi attacks on the Jews, suggesting that we are on the road to another Kristallnacht.

You may say that this is just one crazy guy and wonder why The Journal would publish such a thing. But Mr. Perkins isn’t that much of an outlier. He isn’t even the first finance titan to compare advocates of progressive taxation to Nazis. Back in 2010 Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group, declared that proposals to eliminate tax loopholes for hedge fund and private-equity managers were “like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.” […]

Krugman point out that Obama really did tax the rich. But there is more:

The example many are buzzing about right now is the billionaire investor Tom Perkins, a founding member of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Perkins lamented public criticism of the “one percent” — and compared such criticism to Nazi attacks on the Jews, suggesting that we are on the road to another Kristallnacht.

You may say that this is just one crazy guy and wonder why The Journal would publish such a thing. But Mr. Perkins isn’t that much of an outlier. He isn’t even the first finance titan to compare advocates of progressive taxation to Nazis. Back in 2010 Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group, declared that proposals to eliminate tax loopholes for hedge fund and private-equity managers were “like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.”

And hey, money has bought them everything else…but it can’t buy them adulation and that makes some of them furious. I think that Trump is an excellent example of that. He can’t make us love him, and he refuses to act and govern in a way that makes him lovable (though, I admit, his walk back of the reversal of the elephant products ban does sound promising…he called it a “horror show” and, OMG…I am inclined to agree.

November 20, 2017 Posted by | Barack Obama, political/social, politics/social, republicans, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Coming apart at the seams: allegations of sexual misconduct

I admit that between Facebook and Twitter..well, by the time I get the idea and time to write, something else has popped up!

Sexual harassment has been in the news. But interestingly enough, it appears that current sexual harassment training has made things…worse?

Sexual harassment courses aimed at preventing workplace discrimination can have the opposite effect, making men less capable of perceiving inappropriate behavior and more likely to blame victims, according to academic studies that cast doubt on traditional training programs.

One researcher who has questioned the effectiveness of harassment prevention classes is Lauren Edelman, a professor of law and sociology at the University of California Berkeley, the prestigious school that has been at the center of a series of high-profile faculty misconduct scandals in recent months.

“Sexual harassment training may, in fact, make it less likely that males will recognize situations that are harassing,” said Edelman, a faculty member in the renowned UC Berkeley law school, where Sujit Choudhry resigned as dean after he was found to have sexually harassed his executive assistant. “Sexual harassment training may provoke backlash in males.”

Studies testing the effects of harassment training are very limited, but some research has suggested counterintuitive and troubling consequences – that after men complete trainings, they may be more inclined to brush aside allegations and discount victims.

Some researchers believe trainings have no positive effects, tend to be more about legal cover than meaningful prevention or may even have unintended negative consequences – raising serious concerns about the way colleges and companies heavily focus on training as a solution to harassment.

This actually makes sense to me; many of these programs appear to be “check the box to reduce our liability” and, I wonder…how much of it comes from an outside speaker who just wags the finger and tells men that they are bad?

Tinkler has also studied how sexual harassment trainings can provoke backlash and how people who say they support harassment laws are resistant to the enforcement of those policies. Trainings can also reinforce men’s feelings that women are “emotional and duplicitous in the way that they both want sexual attention, but don’t want sexual harassment”, she explained.

Edelman, the UC Berkeley professor, said she suspects the backlash could stem from the “cartoonish, somewhat unrealistic” harassment examples that trainings often include – lessons that can make participants skeptical and resentful.

Yep. Now I know that situations differ from place to place..and sometimes signals can get crossed (friendliness be mistaken for being open to a sexual/romantic advance)

This is 40 minutes long, but Carol Tavris talks about campus sexual assault (a different thing, to be sure) and the ambiguity of communication:

Now here a type of thing that appears as if it would be effective (again, applied to college students):

You see: no finger wagging, no yelling at someone for what they didn’t do..but an affirmation of a positive attitude. Who could resent this? Well done.

And now we have the special Senate election in Alabama. Moore was accused of initiating sexual contact with a 14 year old…when he was a 3x year old lawyer.

And ..yes, the Republicans are, predictably, split:

And so I am hearing..from educated feminists, that women are going to take him down. Really? I’ve heard this before. And educated feminists don’t appear to speak to the non-educated women.

The race was listed as tied in a poll right after the allegations came out (with 86 percent of those polled having heard of them). Prior to that, the poll consensus was that Moore had a 8-9 point lead. Will this be enough….will this go the way of Clayton Williams vs. Ann Richards in Texas in 1990 where Williams JOKING about rape lead to his downfall in a very Republican state?

Workout notes; quick 5 mile walk yesterday (1:01:20..treadmill), 3 miles today after weights; usual PT, pull ups(5 sets of 10; switch grip on set 5) bench was 10 x 135, 6 x 185, incline: 7 x 150, military (dumbbell) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine.

pull ups: I find that doing them with my hands turned inward is now harder than a wide grip???

November 10, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment