Civility, Political Correctness, etc.

I was going to focus on an issue but I want to express my disgust at the bombs sent to the Clintons, the Obamas, and others. To me, this is similar to the deadlier incident where an unhinged lunatic shot some Republican members of Congress.

Yes, Trump’s rhetoric disgusts me. But the shooter was not a Trump supporter. I continue to believe the idiots who do these sort of things are unhinged outliers and have little to do with the rank and file American of any political persuasion.

Being offended:

The Fort Worth Telegram apologized for running this cartoon.

Ok, I chuckled when I saw this. Why? I thought about it. Yes, I do have genuine sympathy for the discrimination that various groups suffer. But..this cartoons a non-black who passed herself off as black, a white lady playing up some (genuine) Native American heritage (yes, I have German heritage in my background, but you couldn’t tell it by looking, and no one identifies me as German).

And damn times it appears that some who really do not belong to some genuinely oppressed group pretend to..and some make ridiculous demands (e. g. opposing the “vagina monologues because “not all women have vaginas”, etc.)

Yes, I know that transgenderism is genuine and not “playing girlie”.

But I suppose on another level, the cartoon did get me to think a bit. And I do find this “quest to be outraged” to be tiring.

But there are voices of reason out there.

Is PC-ness helping Trump?
No doubt that Trump is a demagogue..and his trying to stoke fears over a “immigrant caravan” that is still more that 1000 miles away is absurd.

But ….well, Trump’s approval has inched UPWARD throughout 2018.

Trump vs. Obama, via

Workout notes: 5 mile run on the treadmill. I had stomach trouble and had to stop after 3 (32:32) but got back on for 2 more (18:22; 9:39/8:43) and it felt fine.

October 25, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Toxic Trump takes his toll…

So, what is Trump about? Some claim he is mostly supported by the entitled “elite” (both elite by economic birth and achievement elite..those who have a achieved but still feel cheated of honors and station)

Some say he is mostly about white nationalism.

Others contend he is about male privilege and misogyny …after all, he insulted a FEMALE reporter and, lately, mocked Dr. Ford’s testimony.

He sure provokes outrage. But not all of the outrage is expressed coherently and, well, people aren’t always at their best emotionally and logically when they are angry. And, at times, I find myself being unsympathetic to Trump’s critics even though I think that Trump is an awful president and unfit for office.

He has a way in bringing out the worst in everyone, I think.

Workout notes: 4 mile treadmill run, 1 mile track walk.
run: 11 minute mile (5.2-5.5 froggy for 10 minutes), 10 minutes at 6.7 (almost 2 miles in 20 minutes), 28:36 for 3 miles, 29:27 for 3.1, walk/jog to 39:30 4 mile.

October 3, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, Uncategorized | | 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

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

Taking the bait vs. fighting back

First, I found this amusing:

There are 6 I do not recognize. But still, #walkaway is some program that uses Russian bots to convince Trump supporters that Democrats are just leaving in droves.

But notice whose photo is NOT there? I think that there is a reason for that.

Now among the rank and file “internet” liberals there appears to be two schools of thought as to what to do socially. One is to try to make it toxic to be a Trump supporter in public. People claim that Maxine Waters said to do that, but she was clearly talking about *Trump officials*. No, I do not approve of that. But that was NOT a call to harass Trump supporters.

But yes, some liberals DO approve of restaurants turning away those with MAGA hats or even doing direct harassment.

I do not approve of that and.. frankly, I find it politically counter productive.

Seriously, some people think that screaming “oh, I just HAAAAATE YOU” is going to convince somebody, or at least change their vote?

And yes, Trump is just eating it up…trolling the hell out of us, mocking “me too” and even slurring Maxine Waters:

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I said it the other day, yes, she is a low IQ individual, Maxine Waters. I said it the other day. High — I mean, honestly, she’s somewhere in the mid-60s, I believe that.

Yes, these sorts of statements would get one fired from many types of jobs and many Trump supporters know that. But Trump can say them with impunity …so it must feel good to the MAGA crowd to watch the liberals writhe with outrage.

Guess what: they are enjoying this!

I think that our only recourse is political pragmatism; win as many down ticket elections as we can and win in 2020. And saying “if you voted for Trump you are a HORRIBLE human being and I just HATE you” isn’t a winning political message. At least, I don’t think it is.

Nevertheless, many will continue to “take the bait”.

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

Gerrymandering (my “lesson learned”) and the power of simply not caring what others think

I remember when I was gerrymandered into IL-17 from IL-18. At first, I was happy. I got to vote in the D-primary and was “yippee, I finally get a Democrat to represent me”.

But ..well, IL-18 became even more right wing; prior it was home to moderate Republicans like George Michael and Ray LaHood. And they actually appeared to listen.

I am not saying that Cheri Bustos doesn’t listen; she does. But my input really makes little difference as she is going to vote the way I’d like, oh, 90-95 percent of the time. And there is little danger of her losing her seat; there is really nothing for me to do, save enjoy much of her Instagram feed.

At times, it resembles the feed of a fitness model. 🙂

And other races…safe seats all the way around, except for things like City Council.

Not caring If you asked me which politician I dislike the most, it would not be Trump. Trump, IMHO, is a skilled con artist and basically an outlet for the dark underside of our country. Every advanced country has people like him and shame on us, as a country, for falling for it.

The politician I dislike the most is Mitch McConnell. He is smart, skilled, and utterly amoral. That is a very deadly combination. And people’s opinion of him matters not at all.

But…well, seeing this did gladden my heart just a bit. This was very gentle, First Amendment stuff, and a politician who can’t handle this sort of gentle heckling should retire.

And yes, I say that to Democratic politicians as well, even when the hecklers are ill informed, ignorant and downright stupid (as hecklers often are).

If you can’t stomach listening to an ignorant, stupid person pontificate, don’t go into politics.

June 28, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, ranting, republicans | | Leave a comment

Asymmetric political warfare: being smart.

Hey, we have to FIGHT…and some liberals are cheering the “shame Trump officials in public” rhetoric coming from our loose cannons:

But…will it “work” as in…will this lead to victory at the polls in 2018 and 2020?

Analogy: just swinging doesn’t always work.

But yes, we ARE having that debate.

Now, of course, I do not know what will happen, not for sure. But here is a thread based on research:

The take away: taking this “shame them…be as uncivil to them as to us” approach will probably not work for us. Right wingers really aren’t as united by policy as it might appear; what holds them together is tribalism…”white nationalism” if you will. So they might actually like some of our policy ideas (e. g. single payer) but are prone to overlooking that with “these evil liberals are trying to destroy your way of life by bringing all of these funny looking people into OUR COUNTRY” arguments rants.

For all of their cries of “identity politics”, they are “identity politics on steroids”.

Yes, they are shameless hypocrites.

On the other hand, we are really more about policy. Playing the “shun and shame game” won’t win us voters, won’t help us win independents and will not be effective at getting our voters to the polls.

So, for me, it is about WINNING not about “giving them what they deserve”.

Yes, the issues are serious. But how are those “hound ’em in public” going to change anything?

No one is asking you to socialize with these people. But what I am saying is that maybe, just maybe, we can chip away a few business owners who were hurt by Trump’s visa and tariff policies.

To me, victory is more important than righteously expressed anger, and I’ve yet to read anything convincing about how righteous anger helps winning.

As President Obama said: “don’t boo. Vote.”

June 26, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, social/political | | Leave a comment

Political umpires and lying

I admit that I am getting frustrated. Yes, there are serious issues facing us, but I’ve managed to get into discussions about public officials getting served in places of business.

The arguments devolve into “hey, these are serious times and we need to FIGHT them with all we have” or “hey, this isn’t like the cake episode because of …”

My perspective: I really don’t feel badly for the government officials; they are wealthy and can always go to a more expensive place. I do wonder if this is helping us in the long run; my guess is that it isn’t. I was hoping that some of the problems with things like visas and tariffs would depress turnout but this sort of running off at the mouth might well fire them up.

This is a massive political gift to the GOP, IMHO.

Oh, again, you can make arguments as to why such actions are morally justified, but there is no referee ruling on the justness of our actions. There are only results at the polls.

And frankly, we are are almost always outgunned there, and not just because the set up of the Senate and House gerrymandering gives conservatives an outrageous amount of over representation.

Think of the competing messages:

1. You are great and would be AHEAD if government wasn’t giving your hard earned tax dollars to lazy moochers and losers.

2. Ok, frankly, you’ll probably end up in the same economic class you started in. So here are some programs that will make your very average life better (stronger Social Security, better funding for Medicaid and Medicare, higher minimum wage (who in the hell wants a minimum wage job?))…

And think of who we stand up for: illegal immigrants, refugees, bottom tier workers, convicted criminals (making sure that convicted felons have the right to vote), drug law violators, single moms, transgenders who want to use the “other” locker rooms, etc. None of these things are political winners, though some might check a box saying “ok, I am ok with that”…these are not issues that the public would go to the mat for.

Our road is a tough one.

Aside note Our immigrant, refugee, asylum seeker debate: remember that we are having a First World caliber debate. This is what happens elsewhere:

From this isolated frontier post deep in the sands of the Sahara, the expelled migrants can be seen coming over the horizon by the hundreds. They look like specks in the distance, trudging miserably across some of the world’s most unforgiving terrain in the blistering sun.

They are the ones who made it out alive.

Here in the desert, Algeria has abandoned more than 13,000 people in the past 14 months, including pregnant women and children, stranding them without food or water and forcing them to walk, sometimes at gunpoint, under temperatures of up to 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit).

In Niger, where the majority head, the lucky ones limp across a desolate 15-kilometer (9-mile) no man’s land to Assamaka, less a town than a collection of unsteady buildings sinking into drifts of sand. Others, disoriented and dehydrated, wander for days before a U.N. rescue squad can find them. Untold numbers perish along the way; nearly all the more than two dozen survivors interviewed by The Associated Press told of people in their groups who simply could not go on and vanished into the Sahara.

“Women were lying dead, men….. Other people got missing in the desert because they didn’t know the way,” said Janet Kamara, who was pregnant at the time. “Everybody was just on their own.”

Her body still aches from the dead baby she gave birth to during the trek and left behind in the Sahara, buried in a shallow grave in the molten sand. Blood streaked her legs for days afterward, and weeks later, her ankles are still swollen. Now in Arlit, Niger, she is reeling from the time she spent in what she calls “the wilderness,” sleeping in the sand.

Workout notesweights plus a 2 mile walk.

Weights: usual pt, pull ups (good: 2 sets of 15, 2 of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, incline: 7 x 150, decline: 6 x 170, military: 1 set of 10 x 50, 2 sets of 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110, usual abs, plank sucked again (2:30), easy walk.

June 25, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Our fundamental disconnect

Look at the above photo. People like me see the Obama photo as positive (it is good to get along with the world) and the second one as negative. Trump people see the first photo as weakness; Obama being played by those Europeans and the second one as strength (finally standing up to them).

Now of course, some famous liberals rant. And they get ovations.

But famous conservatives do it too…and also get ovations.

And guess what? No one’s mind has gotten changed.

June 12, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

My pessimism for 2020

Ok, the midterms aren’t here yet. And yes, I’ve been wrong before. I thought that Clinton would win the primary in 2008 and the general in 2016 and I was actually worried about…Fred Thompson in 2008.

But I have thought about 2020 and do not feel good about it.

Here is one thing:

This is what Hayes is complaining about as “sexist”:

Soros, who said he wants to avoid dividing the party, also refused to pick favorites among the emerging crop of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders. But there is one prospective candidate he said he hopes does not get the nod: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

He blames Gillibrand for pushing the resignation of former senator Al Franken “whom I admire,” Soros said, “in order to improve her chances.”

Franken (Minn.) resigned in January after a number of women alleged that he touched them inappropriately. Gillibrand was a leading voice urging her fellow Democrat to quit.

Frankly, I think that Gillibrand would be a terrible candidate; I see her as too extreme:

Matt Damon gave an interview to ABC News last week in which he offered the following observation: “There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”

Crazy, right?

Minnie Driver, Damon’s co-star in “Good Will Hunting,” thought so. “There is no hierarchy of abuse — that if a woman is raped [it] is much worse than if a woman has a penis exposed to her that she didn’t want or ask for,” she told The Guardian. “You cannot tell those women that one is supposed to feel worse than the other.”

Kirsten Gillibrand agrees: “I think when we start having to talk about the differences between sexual assault and sexual harassment and unwanted groping, you are having the wrong conversation,” the Democratic senator from New York said at a news conference when asked about calling on Senator Al Franken to resign. “You need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is O.K. None of it is acceptable.”

(there was a time when she could distinguish the two, but never mind that)

It was as if we have learned nothing from 2016. There are degrees of bad behavior. Criticism of a female prospective candidate is not inherently sexist (some some types of criticism certainly are).

But I wonder: it appears that the country exist in (one in which rape, sexism, misogyny run rampant) is not the country that most exist in. Check out this Washington Post op-ed (and ask: would a headline of “Why can’t we hate: X” where X is a member of a religion, race, etc. would be acceptable). This article appears to be an attempt to confirm every extreme right wing stereotype about higher education.

Now this article is NOT from a Democratic operative but it is one that the Republicans will almost certainly use to tar us with. And it isn’t attractive to most people, though I suppose it will be cheered in some narrow circles.

Wagging one’s finger and screaming “shut up and listen” might feel good, and you’ll probably get away with it in UU Churches and in liberal arts departments. But it is no way to win an election.

And let’s face it, what sounds horrible to many of us is a selling point with many who voted for Trump.

So no, we aren’t going to win over the true believers, but perhaps we can appeal to some of the “I voted for Trump because I hated HRC” voters who are dismayed by his results.

Side note
This is an example of something that bothers me, but many Trump voters would see as a positive:

If respect from the rest of the world was important to you, you probably did not vote Trump.

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