blueollie

My Syria post

Ok, President Trump launched some cruise missiles at an airstrip from which the chemical weapons attack originated. Because the Russians were there, they were given advance notice. And, evidently, the airstrip/base remained operational:

And yes, the rubes cheered…hey, he did SOMETHING.

Oh, the options were not all that good.

And ISIS took advantage. Let’s face it: things are complicated. One has the so-called government which Russia, along with Shiite groups backs. The Rebels are mostly Sunni (backed by Sunni groups) and ISIS has a foothold as well. It is complicated.

In the US: the support really isn’t strictly along party lines; the Freedom Caucus is upset but the old guard seems ok. Given what the strike accomplished (basically…nothing…) and deterred (basically nothing…) well..

And how legal was it? Here are what some top legal minds say. And the politicians are split (here and here): we have the War Powers Act of 1973 (which specifies that the President is authorized to start limited military action IF several conditions are met and it is in our national interest (e. g. retaliate for a state sponsor murder, protect US citizens, etc) and there is the authorization of use of military force (used for the Iraq invasion) to generally fight terror.

But..it appears to me that the real criteria is for the President to say “it is in our national interest” and for Congress to not object and for it to be over quickly.

Who in the hell knows. I’d like to think that Trump was not that unethical, but his repeated, foolish tweets give me reason to doubt his personal stability. I wish that I had more confidence in him.
Yes, I can see other Presidents doing something *similar* (execution? targets? effectiveness?). So my questions are more about the President that ordered it than anything else; he just has no “benefit of the doubt” from me..the way that other presidents (of either party) had.

April 8, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, Uncategorized, world events | , | Leave a comment

CIAND 5K

Well, as you can see, my running performance has tanked; it seems as if I had a “rebirth” in late 2011 but that period is ending. OR…perhaps I am too heavy to run well right now?

Today: 27:46. Breezy, but in the 40’s…good running weather. 14 of 46 (no walkers), 11/23 males, 1/2 AG.

I warmed up about 1.5 miles or so and didn’t feel that bad. And I took it out and noted that Jerry got away from me; he finished right about 26 minutes…but looked a long way away from me. That is where I was last year.
We went around the rectangle (parking lot) and then onto the out and back along Perry. The field was small and spread out and the cutie I was tracking slowed ..from then on it was mostly solo though there was a guy in a yellow shirt that I just could not close on. I kept telling myself to “pick it up” but I really didn’t want to. Still, I was heaving when I got done, so it wasn’t as if I showed up and jogged. I simply am not running enough; none of those 8 milers and 10-12 milers I was doing last year. THAT plus the heavy body weight (10 pounds up) makes a difference.

But it was nice to connect with others including Bill and Mike (now in his 70’s)

Well, I certainly do not look fat..but I still have a “double support phase” to my running gait. I can’t seem to “lift” anymore.

Previous years:

2016 (25:59)
https://blueollie.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/cidaciand-5k-relearning-old-lessons/ (25:50)
2014 25:08 (new course)
2012 (old course) https://blueollie.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/cida-5k-run-and-other-inspirations/ 25:09 (rivertrail)

Later: I went and lifted…low energy:
rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (not easy, but got them all)
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 4 x 185
incline press: 10 x 135
military press (dumbbell standing) 7 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer machine

Took about 45 minutes to do…very low energy today.

April 8, 2017 Posted by | running, Uncategorized, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Woman in a man’s world talk

This was the speaker:

Brigadier General Tate-Nadeau is the first female general in te Illinois Army National Guard. She served a tour in Iraq as the Chief of Operations, Plans, and Public Information at Camp Lincoln and completed a three-year tour in Ramia, Istrael as liaison officer to the Israeli Home Front Command. She retired from the military in March 2017. Since active service, General Tate-Nadeau worked for FEMA and is now the executive director of the Emergency Management and Communications Office in Chicago. Sponsored by the Psychology Department, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and ICAC.

She spoke for about 45 minutes and took questions along the way. Here are some highlights..some are very interesting.

As far as the pros and cons: she regrets missing key moments with her kids and felt that, when talking to her Army peers, she had to “hide her feminine side” at times. But she was proud of her career, said that her husband and kids were very supportive.

One “pro” of the military: pay was by rank (and by job/duty); no difference between females and males.

She was sensitive to being seen as “the best female”..she wanted to compete to the best period. She also thought that, at times, senior officers took it easier on women (and other minorities) which harmed them later in their careers; they never learned how to meet the tougher expectations that would be expected of those in higher ranks. She was sensitive to the thought that she was promoted as a token, or had “slept her way to the top.”

In terms of combat positions and other jobs: she felt that females had to meet 100 percent of the qualifications, but the qualifications had to be relevant to the job.

An important observation she felt that changes to the culture had to come from within the culture itself. So she had to prove herself and conform to the current culture; that meant drawing some lines and never been seen as being ‘too female”. Once accepted, she could influence the culture. But those “on the outside” really aren’t taken seriously.

Learning to do small things such as develop a “physical posture of confidence” mattered.

In interactions with others: living apart from males meant that she sometimes missed informal or quickly called meetings, so she learned to be the one that called them. She also felt that she had to outwork her colleagues.

Regards to VP Pence’s remarks of not eating alone with a female She was aware that her reputation could be damaged by innuendo. So she never socialized “one on one” with males; she had a rule of 3 when it came to things like meals. She admitted that this sort of thing may have hurt her career; for example generals have aides who stay closely with them. In such a job, one learns much about how a senior officer operates and thinks; the logistics of quarters, not being able to be alone, etc. made it difficult to impossible for a male general to have a female aide.

As far as having it all She admitted that it was “impossible to have it all”. If you do one thing really, really well, you’ll do other things at most “average”.

It was a nice event and I am glad that I went.

April 6, 2017 Posted by | social/political, Uncategorized | , | 3 Comments

Administration of Incompetence: and the hard road back

I watched this train wreck: (from here)

This is just sad..and troubling. This administration seems to almost pride itself on incompetence.

The silver lining is that such incompetence might hinder its ability to enact bad legislation.

But, while Democrats are fired up, the way that Congress is set up is a massive wall to climb. Both in the House and Senate, rural areas are grossly overrepresented. So, liberal anger itself will not be enough. We will need some moderate and even traditionally conservative allies.

Workout notes: great weather (24 F, clear) but I was sluggish. 5 miles, slowly. It felt good after 1.4 miles.

February 14, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, social/political, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

From Friendship to Marriage: how important are shared political values?

I am getting ready to go to the gym in a bit. I caught this USA Today article:

Divisions between supporters of President Trump and Hillary Clinton have taken a toll on plenty of relationships, reports Reuters, but this might be the most extreme example.

Gayle McCormick, a 73-year-old retired prison guard in Washington state who describes herself as a “Democrat leaning toward socialist,” says she decided to end her marriage of 22 years after her husband announced at a lunch with friends last year that he was planning to vote for Trump. She says it was a “deal breaker.”

“I was in shock,” she told People magazine. “It was the breaking point. The Trump issue was the catalyst.”

McCormick says it “totally undid” her that her husband could agree with Trump on anything and though it was a tough decision, she went through with the divorce even though he didn’t end up voting for the Republican.

“When things are 51% good and 49% bad, you just stay,” she says. “I was tired and older and I didn’t want to argue and neither of us was going to change.”

So, I wondered about that.

In all honesty, it has been well over 20 years since I was on the “dating” market..and really…in terms of being available to anyone, make that close to 32 years. So it HAS been a while.

I do have friends of various kinds, including friends that I’ve I’ve been the house guest of (both sexes).

Dating Era During that time, yes, I dated some Republicans and did a number of things with them. It was the Reagan era and no, it didn’t go like this:

My criterion was roughly the same as it is now for friendship: “do I enjoy spending time with the person”?

Now, 30 years later, I still have friendship outings of various kinds (hikes, runs, ball games, shared meals) but here is the deal: some of my friends are very, very politically oriented. Others either just don’t care that much, OR it is something that they just do not discuss during an outing.

So I’d say that during casual dating, I’d conjecture that it might not matter that much.

On the other hand, for something more long term (as in: “hmmm, do I want to live with this person?”) we’d have to have some shared values, but that doesn’t mean a shared vote.

For example, there are secular, socially liberal, science accepting Republicans. Really. And in some cases, I am more compatible with them than some who voted the same way that I did. In one case, a female friend was a bit surprised to find out that I accepted capitalism; we just disagreed on the degree. We also both accepted safety nets; it was the degree on which we disagreed. We both accept public investment and agreed that a work ethic is important.

Then I have two other friends who are also non-believers, but for different reasons. One was raised in a religious tradition, but no longer believes because of the great evil that she sometimes sees in the world (e. g. Holocaust). The other: was not raised in a religion, and religion is just something she ever considered or thought about.

On the other hand, I was raised in a religious tradition, and my atheism is an intellectual conclusion for me (ok, it is a type of agnosticism …but that is for another post..rest assured that I am not trying to make up my mind about any deity that I am aware of; I’ve long since rejected those as being ideas unworthy of being seriously entertained.

So, I suppose that in many cases, I’d have more in common with a secular Republican than a believing Democrat.

Upshot: I am as tribal as anyone else. But my “tribe” crosses political party lines and includes values and personality traits: how curious are they? How sanctimonious are they? Are they introspective at all…examining their own beliefs about the world and themselves? Can they admit error?

February 12, 2017 Posted by | Friends, relationships, social/political, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Figuring it out (workout wise)

Yesterday: glorious day to run (by January in Illinois standards) and my 5.1 mile hilly course run was just sluggish, plodding (more so that usual); I had zip in the tank.

Today: weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), a few light squats, incline presses: 10 x 135, 6 x 160, 9 x 150, military presses: 3 sets of 10 with dumbbells: 2 with 50, 1 with 45.
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine.

abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunches, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, headstand (struggled to get in…calmed down..then did it easily. It is almost as if my “fear of losing my ability to do it” is hurting my ability to do it.

Note: elbow/forearm was better. Weight: 197.0 prior to lifting, 196.0 after.

Then an easy 5K walk (Bradley Park course).

And I have to make a choice: I like my upper body strength (relative to my current age); it is the best it has been in a decade. But this weight is just killing my running.

January 24, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Walk and marches…

The walk: 10.04 miles in 2:30:54. On one hand, this is much faster than the previous to times I did this same course (2:49, 2:41). On the other hand, this isn’t the 2:10-2:15 I used to do this course in.

housetogooseloopdam

I did see a few runners and walkers along the way; the weather was downright glorious by “January in Illinois) standards. And I saw the set up for the Peoria Women’s March and I saw the crowd gathering 45 minutes prior to the start. The location is about mile 3 and 7 of my route (which is out and back)

peoriaweomn1

peoriawomen2

January 21, 2017 Posted by | political/social, social/political, Uncategorized, walking | Leave a comment

Weather aches, hypocrisy and football

Paul Krugman noted that economic conditions are different (no longer zero interest rates..and companies are interested in borrowing and employment is up) and so we should look at deficits differently. Yes, public investment should be done, but not upper end tax breaks. OF COURSE, the right wing is calling him a hypocrite. And OF COURSE, they are wrong.

The idea that the best thing to do often depends on the situation is not a subtle concept. Why do conservatives have so much trouble with it?

Think of it this way: ask ANY football fan “what is the best play for a team to run” and they will tell you: “it depends on: down, distance, field conditions, time in the game, the score, the defense, the strengths and weaknesses of the respective teams, etc. Obviously, 3’rd and goal from the 1 with 1 minute to go in the game is different from 2’nd and 15 from your own 20 in the middle of the second quarter.

Of course, there are different philosophies; some teams are option teams, some are running teams, others are passing teams, and the play call also depends on the philosophy of the team (pass on 3’rd and 1 vs. run on 3’rd and 1). But the call is very situational. No one disputes that.

So why is this hard when it comes to economic policy?

Speaking of hypocrisy, why is hypocrisy bad? After all, if a coach has a good reputation for developing an athlete, I won’t call the coach a hypocrite for being a bad athlete and a workout slacker himself.

The article I linked to offers the following answer: those who say one thing and do another often use their moralizing to bring credit to themselves; a kind of PR. So when they don’t live up to their preaching, we get angry for them for putting up a false front. In the “out of shape coach” case, the coach is NOT billing himself as a good athlete when he coaches you. The moral scold who is themselves immoral IS billing themselves as a moral person, and that is where the resentment comes in.

Weather Yes, at one time, I bought into this “knee aches with weather changes” stuff. But more studies have been done…and I’ve come to understand I’ve run reasonably well during some very rainy days. It turns out there is no solid evidence that weather changes causes joint pain.
runtoremembercrop1

January 14, 2017 Posted by | economics, economy, science, social/political, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Yes, Trump is my President. Maybe some hope here?

Seriously. And I insist that my Presidents treat political opponents with respect (at least public respect), so this is unacceptable:

And I will be a vocal critic. He wants to be President of the United States? Then he has to represent all of us.

Now, there may be a little bit of hope here:

Even Trump has sent mixed signals, telling The New York Times soon after his election that infrastructure wouldn’t be “the core” of his first years in the White House. “We’re going for a lot of things, between taxes, between regulations, between health care replacement,” he said at the time. He added that infrastructure wasn’t a big part of his plan to create jobs, saying, “I think I am doing things that are more important than infrastructure.”

So if his package is going to get a big push, lawmakers expect that it will have to come from Trump himself. “I think it’s going to be driven by the administration,” Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) said Wednesday. “At some point they might come and consult with us about what that might look like.”

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), a Trump transition team member, indicated the same thing Tuesday.

DeFazio suggested Democrats may just bypass their GOP colleagues, saying: “We might have a dialogue with the Trump administration. I don’t think we’re going to have a dialogue with Republican leadership in the House. They’ve closed that door pretty well.”

This isn’t much, but who knows: perhaps the Democrats plus some moderate Republicans (if there are any left) might work with Trump on some sort of stimulus compromise?

And there is something else. Obstructing and “saying no” is pretty east. Coming up with good policy and getting it passed and signed into law is far more difficult Are THESE Republicans up to it? My guess: probably not. They are good at throwing tantrums; I am not sure they are good at anything else.

January 6, 2017 Posted by | economy, republicans, social/political, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Taking on conventional wisdom

More Trump: who are those Trump voters anyway? You can read what many of them said here. So, what can or should we do? Well one thing is that we need to concern ourselves with other countries (e. g. Russia) interfering with out elections; evidently they are doing that in Germany too. We should do something about people in large states being grossly underrepresented.

But what about now? Well, some say that we ought to stick with identity politics, even if it is politically unpopular. Personally, I can see the reason for such politics being unpopular. For example, this article talks about the pick for Labor Secretary being someone who, gasp, used sex to sell hamburgers. Sorry, but the days of claiming “that’s sexist” and shutting down the discussion are over.

Alas, political correctness isn’t only found on the left wing. You see some on the right wing too: here, some criticism is aimed at Paul Krugman for pointing out that the coal/manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back and that such regions will likely lose population, just like what happened in other countries.

December 9, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment