blueollie

Many angry women do not respond positively to “woke rhetoric”?

Ok, right now I am mixing some conjectures of mine (and I’d welcome facts that either reinforce or shoot down my conjecture).

This is based on my personal relations with women, many (NOT all) who oppose Trump and cannot stand him. Some have told me that they do not identify as being feminist; that feminist rhetoric does not “speak to them”.

I think that I get this. So much of feminist rhetoric, or at least what gets publicized, speaks of “rape culture”, “patriarchy” and the inherent misogyny of our society. And any statistical difference between men and women (say, males being more likely to be interested in mathematics or engineering) is viewed as being, well, due to sexism or misogyny. Much of this attitude is discussed in Pinker’s book The Blank Slate. And yes, Steven Pinker was elected to the National Academy of Science.

The interesting thing is that some of these women ..many(?) actually believe Dr. Ford over Kavanaugh. They have no tolerance for sexual harassment nor sexual assault.

So what is going on? Maybe, just maybe, they share my attitude: sexual harassment is the fault of the person doing the harassment and those in authority who tolerate it. Maybe some males are serial harassers.
And yes, some are disgusted by the Kavanaugh confirmation STILL think that Al Franken should not have resigned (I am one of them).

Politically speaking, I think that the Franken resignation hurts us: it shows a party that is controlled by those with a hair trigger, and I don’t see how that makes us Democrats attractive to anyone but the most “woke” people, who really do not comprise a large percentage of the voting bloc.

And the woke feminists do not even come close to speaking for all women...not even all white women. And responses such as “those who don’t go along with us have internalized patriarchy” isn’t going to win anyone over.

Moving forward:

I think that this is spot on: screaming at Senators in public places isn’t going to do a thing; I doubt very seriously if it will bring any new votes.

Wait..what about the Tea Party in 2010 and those townhalls? I crunched the numbers:

52 Democrat incumbents lost their seats. Half of those were held by Democrats in districts which voted: Bush, Bush and McCain. And

I’ve listed the CD’s along with the Presidential winner in 2008, 2004, and 2000. The last number is the number of times that a Republican president won that district (data from here)

So: 26 of these losses came from districts in which 2008, 2004 and 2000 by the Republican presidential candidate.
14 of these had the Republican president win 2 out of the 3 times
6 of these had the Republican president winning once
6 had elected the Democrat every time.

Or, put another way, 40 of the 52 Democratic incumbents who lost represented “red” or “reddish” districts.
This does not include the currently undecided seats nor those in which the sitting Democrat didn’t run for reelection and the seat switched hands.

Now, how many Republicans hold Democratic voting Congressional Districts?

That is the asymmetry of the situation, as I see it.

Now as far as how it will go: it is unclear as to how the House races will go. Will you see a lot of Democrats in deep blue CD’s and see Republicans barely winning in red CD’s?

October 7, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, republicans | | Leave a comment

Kavanaugh fiasco and the fissures in our country

Oh, did this fight over Kavanaugh open up a can of worms.

For one, the discussion of “ok, exactly how do you treat the testimony/stories of the alleged victims? The answer really can’t be put on a bumper sticker. And no, it isn’t as simple as “few allegations are false”…for many reasons.

And what was going on in THIS case? No, it isn’t always as simple as “one of them is lying” or “one of them got it wrong.”.

And as to who you believe or who you trust more or who you trust more to be accurate depends on many prior assumptions.
Liberals tend to see this as “yet another case of a powerful man getting away with it” whereas conservatives see this as yet another case of liberals besmirching a fine man for political gain.

And, the Republicans used the latter feeling, along with a discomfort with the “me too” movement to further political support. And given the make up of the Senate, the did not need as much total support as liberals would have needed.

Republicans aren’t going to be intimidated by “vote ’em out”, etc. Now about those midterms, here is the 538 forecast (Wang has the House as 50/50, Senate favoring the Republicans).

House forecast

Senate forecast

Senate composition

October 6, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, republicans, republicans political/social, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

No Sarah Palins but…

No, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not the “Sarah Palin of the left”. Sarah Palin was a sitting governor (almost served a full term) and was the GOP nominee for VP in 2008.

Ocasio-Cortez won a PRIMARY election in a Congressional District that few have heard of until relatively recently. I am not going to say that she has deep policy knowledge; she doesn’t. I don’t know if she will grow into a seasoned politician or not. I do not know if she has the underlying humility to realize that she needs to learn more about many things. But for right now, she is someone to keep an eye on, nothing more.

From video that I’ve seen of her, she seems to have some political talent. What that will eventually translate to is anyone’s guess.

Georgia Governor This race is very tight; the two polls I’ve seen: one has a 2 point lead for Kemp and the other has a 2 point lead for Abrams. Real Clear Politics calls it a “toss up”.

This surprises me for a couple of reasons: 1. Georgia is a Republican state that even Obama couldn’t carry (though he did well) and, well, the optics do not look good to me:

1. She is deeply in personal debt.

2. Optics:

Ironically, this comes from Cheri Bustos’ Instagram site, and if anything, Bustos is the “fitness model” Congresswoman (see below if you are unfamiliar)

BUT…perhaps obesity and being in debt is what many people in Georgia can relate to? Yeah, I remember that Christ Christy is obese..(not in debt, at least to my knowledge) but the sad fact (I think) is that physical appearance matters more for females than males.

We shall see..perhaps I am seeing this through my own warped prism.

August 14, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Uniting with those you do not like: 2018 midterms

Ok, I have no political science credentials. But at least lately, it seems that we are in the following cycle: Republicans govern (or attempt to). Republicans crash the economy (or at least make things worse). People get disgusted. They vote the Democrats in. Things get better but a combination of Democratic infighting and the Democrats championing unpopular stuff gets them voted out of power and the Republicans take over again, only to run things into the ground, again.

I’ll talk about the Democrats championing unpopular causes at another time (but IMHO, this is a combination of the Ant and the Grasshopper and “Beggars can’t be choosers” in action)

But right now I will just say this: I find my fellow Democrats to be very annoying. For one, we are as prone to “argue by slogan” as anyone else. For example, take the current debate as to whether to keep Nancy Pelosi as the leader of the House Democrats.

As I see it, there are many pros and cons: she is a good fundraiser and she has had some great accomplishments (e. g. getting the ACA through the House). On the other hand, the House Democrats have steadily lost seats and many feel that her time is past. And it is clear that the GOP thinks that she is a good thing to run against in the red Congressional Districts that are closely contested.

You’d think that this is worthy of debate, right? Well, no..not for some:

You see: it is all misogyny. (eyeroll).

Never mind that many Democrats who don’t want Pelosi would be happy with another female. Now if you want to talk about ageism…maybe that could be PART of it.

But in the upcoming midterms, none of this really matters. If you oppose Trump, vote for the Democrat, period. Opposing Trump IS enough (and yes, one Jill Stein backing idiot tried to tell me it wasn’t enough).

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Getting the formula right…

So, what to do? I did have 196 miles of running/walking for July, so perhaps it wasn’t an accident that I did 4 today.

weights: rotator cuff, 5 sets of 10 pull ups, bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 7 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, decline: 7 x 170, military: 10 x 50 standing (ugly), 10 x 45 standing (better..these are dumbbells, one 45 in each hand), 10 x 140 Hammer Machine, rows: 3 x (10 x 110) machine, 2:30 plank, headstand, side plank, shoulderstand/plow.

running: 21:50 run, .5 walk, 1.7 mile outside walk. The run felt GREAT …of course it was easy and short…

Fun: If you “get” this, you might be my kind of person.

Assumptions: everyone tells the truth, there is only “want/do not want” and only the three logicians count as “everyone”. What is subtle: the first two answers convey information: why?

2018 Midterms: I get the feeling that in every competitive district, the Republican will say that Ocasio-Cortez is the Democratic candidate’s “best friend”. You haven’t heard of her? Well, she won a primary against an establishment Democrat and aligned herself with Bernie Sanders, wants to abolish ICE (which didn’t exist prior to 2002…and I think that we had borders prior to then, but whatevers…)

As it sits, things are looking reasonably good for the House Democrats *at the moment* but things change, and the November elections are a political eternity away.

July 30, 2018 Posted by | politics/social, running, social/political, walking | | Leave a comment

One reason (among many) that I think that Trump will win in 2020

Yes, I know; the Democrats might well pick up seats in Congress in 2018..and maybe, just maybe, win back a chamber. It is POSSIBLE.

But, historically, incumbent Presidents have been tough to beat. Bush I lost in 1992, and Carter lost in 1980, and Ford (who wasn’t elected to begin with) in 1976. And Hoover lost in 1932. But the winners: Roosevelt (3 times), Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush II, Obama; that is 11 election wins for the incumbent, 4 losses since 1932.

And yes, I see nothing hopeful among those potential Democrats being talked about.

And just who will vote for Trump and why? The “money” Republicans are getting tax cuts, deregulation and Supreme Court picks.

The rank and file? Well, evidence is that Trump, well, “punches hippies”; that is, attacks those that social conservatives hate.

And oh my goodness, many that the Democrats stick up for are not likable, at all.

Workout notes treadmill run: 4 miles in 39:40. Warm up (21:50 for 2 miles); basically 20 minutes starting at 5.2 mph and speeding up every 2:30 in the second 10 minutes, then the final 19:40 at 6.7 mph (17:51 for 2 miles), 1 mile walk.

Weight: 194.6, the lightest pre-workout weight I’ve been in over a year. It is gradually coming off.

July 24, 2018 Posted by | political/social, running, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Older Democrats: “We need new blood! But OMG, NOT THAT!”

I really do not know what to make of it. I remember laughing at the Tea Party in 2009…but not laughing so much in 2010..and in 2016. So obviously, I do not know what is going on, though I do know that older white people do get out and vote.

I’ve seen many Democrats my age and older call for new blood in the Democratic party and sure enough, we see an upset in NY-14 (new demographics: 49 percent Hispanic). I see Democrats cheer her on! But her platform

And here is where the debate happens: “THE GOP WILL CLOBBER US WITH OPEN BORDERS”!!! But then again, the GOP is going to find something to lie about anyway, so why worry about that?

“This will turn off swing voters” vs. “Maybe this will get us new voters..people who never voted before”.

And you know, I have no idea…if ANY of this really matters. I read the book Political Animals by Rick Shenkman which argues (convincingly, IMHO) that people end up voting for one candidate or another for the silliest of reasons; the actual platform really doesn’t matter that much.

My conjecture (ok, wild guess based on, well nothing): those who even know what “abolish ICE” means already has their minds made up. (or at least sort-of know what it means; ICE was created in 2002 as a response to 9/11)

It is mostly about getting Democrats to show up…good luck with that.

July 2, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

This and that…get ready for ugliness…

My math problem: what I thought was an easy fix yesterday wasn’t so easy. I am going to have to work at it a bit. I think.

Issues: a judge ruled that that Trump couldn’t block people on his personal twitter account (though he can mute them). Rough reason: this became a de-facto public free speech forum.

Illegal immigrant families: yes, some kids are being separated from the adults that they came in with (about 700) but the issue is more nuanced than those yelling bumper stickers make it out to be. For one: the adults aren’t always the parents of said kids.

Why old people tend to be conservative: though this wasn’t exactly true in 2016, in general, people who are better off financially tend to be conservative. And if you are better off, you tend to live longer. Hence those that live the longest tend to be conservative.

Speaking of conservative vs. liberal, the ruckus about the NFL and Trump, and the NBA teams not wanting to visit him lead me to research which sports attract, on the average, what type of fan. Surprising to me (at first, anyway) is that, among all of the sports I follow, college football attracts the most conservative fans. NBA attracts the most liberal (though I’d be a WNBA fan if I lived near a team).

Here is a chart from the source:

Upcoming midterms: this might be an ugly election cycle. The Republicans probably won’t run on their “tax cut success” and so will try to use dog-whistles (e. g. paint Democrats as MS-13 lovers, slam the black NFL players for kneeling..all hot-button, highly emotional issues to get their older white base to show up.

And so it goes with “identity politics”; if we try to get a group to vote as a block, they will try to get an even larger subgroup to vote as a block.

Workout notes: weights plus a 4.1 mile hilly walk (1:03 for the Cornstalk + course (hill, the long version) to and from Markin. This is a shorter course when one goes to and from Markin, but not by much. It felt good.

Weights: stomach bothered me a bit until I told myself to calm down. Then: pull ups (ok, 5 sets of 10), incline: 10 x 135, 4 x 155, decline: 6 x 175, military: 1 set of 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer. Usual abs, usual sucky plank (2:30).

Weight: 198 after.

June 6, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Blue wave? Maybe…maybe not.

Last glance: the generic congressional ballot has the Democrats with a 4 point advantage. That translates into a “who knows” who will win the House ins 2018. The reason: House gerrymandering plus the natural tendency for D’s to in their districts in massive 90-10 blowouts vs. R’s winning, say, 70-30 gives the R’s an advantage.

Other trends: the tendency for the incumbent party to lose seats and recent special election results favor the D’s so maybe, just maybe, the D’s have a slight advantage. However, the D’s are entirely capable of overplaying their hands.

No, I do not want to see the Democrats running on “let’s attempt to impeach Trump”. That is a major political gift to the right wing..a way to fire up possibly discouraged Republicans and get them to the polls.

I think it is important to remember that the R’s live in a different universe than we do. In some cases, we do not agree on what constitutes a “fact”. In other cases, we can view the same thing but react very differently. Example: I see this as wrong (women being hassled by ICE for speaking Spanish) but this is the sort of action that brings nods of approval from Trump supporters (read the comments on this video when it is posted by, say the Washington Post or New York Times🙂

Campus free speech: nice discussion here. As far as the slur/slogans: you see that on social media..quite a bit actually.

And this is one reason I do not get involved in non-technical arguments between students; they need to work things out for themselves. Technical: sure, if a student says something like “all continuous functions are differentiable” I might ask “what about the absolute value function” to get them on the right track. But that is technical.

May 22, 2018 Posted by | political/social, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Dark Web, Democrat advantages, Republican bubbles, etc.

Oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, education tends to make people MORE partisan. I suppose that part of the reason is that we become better at advocating for our positions and learning how to counter “their” arguments. Now for me: I need at least a grudging acceptance of science though, yes, there is some liberal BS that gets passed around as fact and that grates on me.

Those who call it out are, of course, criticized (which is fine) but sometimes, there are those who try to “deplatform them” at events; try to drown out their talks. What the idiots who do this don’t seem to get is that it makes people angry (those who are there to hear the speaker)..and doesn’t strengthen their position at all. And some of these people (serious thinkers) have been lumped together with genuine crackpots in a recent article about the so-called Dark Web.

And there lies the trouble: the “taboo” stuff is mostly bunkum but some of it is not; it would be helpful to have genuine experts weigh in without being shouted down by the virtue signaling peanut gallery.

Now what about 2018 and 2020? In liberal bubbles, you’d swear that there was a “blue wave” coming. But the evidence is mixed. Yes, the incumbent party usually loses seats AND the special elections, to date, have been very bad for Republicans. But Trump’s approval has been creeping up into the low to mid 40’s and the generic ballot doesn’t show much of an advantage for the Democrats any longer.

Yeah, many Democratic women won primary elections, but mostly in districts where the Democrats have no chance in 2018.

The Republican base is too brainwashed to be able to admit that the FBI has genuine evidence on Trump. So you can forget things like impeachment or removal.

So what will happen in the 2018 midterms? I do not know; there are conflicting indicators. Betting markets: Republicans 2-1 favorites to hold the Senate (at least 50-50); Democrats 2-1 for the House.

May 11, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, republicans, social/political | , | Leave a comment