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

Kavanaugh and I am starting to dislike EVERYONE

I did not watch the hearings and I’ve read only a little about the allegations. Based on what I’ve seen (which, I admit, isn’t much) I’d say that a “no” vote is warranted (if, for no other reason, being less than candid during interviews).

But I admit that my emotional reaction to him is more about what he represents to me (of course, I do not know him personally, and my impressions might be either incorrect or incomplete).

His demeanor (wearing his emotions on his sleeve; lack of civility, open anger, apparent sense of entitlement, self pity) really stirs up contempt in me; he reminds me a bit of some of the worst people that I went to college with. Note: I understand that this hearing is about his fitness for the job, and my disgust at him is independent of whether he did any of the alleged things or not. THAT, is a different issue. This hearing is supposed to be finding the truth.

And so…some of the negative reaction to this, well, circus angers me as well.

This hearing is supposed to be finding the truth about the fitness of this individual, which includes, of course, finding the truth about the allegations of what HE supposedly did (or did not do). This hearing really isn’t about other victims of sexual assault and what happened to these unfortunate individuals; the question here is if Kavanaugh is guilty of these things.

And, as far as reaction to his behavior and testimony: yeah, *I* am disgusted and yes, both of my Senators will be “no” votes (if it comes to a vote).

But as far as to the other Republican Senators: they only have to worry about the reaction of their own constituents (e. g. Wyoming and Idaho Senators do not care about my thoughts). And, it is my guess that conservatives/Republicans are seeing it very differently.

Will this change anyone’s mind? Frankly, I seriously doubt it..not a large number of people’s minds anyway.

Yes, read that first sentence. I actually AGREE with that, 100 percent. Kavanaugh represents the divide over Trump in our country.

So…does this mean I am aboard the SJW train? Nope. Identity politics disgusts me (though I am down with equal rights and, no those are NOT the same thing)

An example: get a load of this. The Ohio State football team is travelling to Penn State to play them in a big game…in what Penn State calls “white out” conditions (every fan wears white). They put out a meme exhorting their team to SILENCE the “white noise”. And that was attacked by the “woke crowd” guessed it…being “insensitive to sexual assault victims”.

That is beyond ridiculous; yes, I am growing very tired of professional victims trying to find offense in everything. So I can “understand” wanting to oppose them.

But electing unqualified con-artists to the Presidency of the United States or appointing self-pitying, emotionally immature brats to the Supreme Court of the United States is not the answer.

September 28, 2018 Posted by | political/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Melania Trump and “shaming”, etc.

Workout: waited too late; left at 8:15. 8.1 mile cornstalk classic. 75/90 at the star, 80/79 at the finish. 45:20/46:10. Ugh. Survived. But the cute grannies waved at me..and even gave me applause.

In all honesty, the hills felt slightly easier.

Oh noes, liberals are *shaming* Melania Trump because the New York Post published some nude photos of her.

I’ve frequently poked fun at the right wing religious extremists. The analogue on the left is the “social justice warriors”. The latter were wagging their fingers at those who were lampooning Melania Trump for her nude photos; those who did this were said to be “slut shaming” misogynists. I read that “Melania did nothing to deserve this”.

Personally, I think that she is nothing more than a trophy wife of a very rich man; it isn’t as if she had chosen to marry a bus driver or a school teacher.

And it is without apology that I claim that a Princeton/Harvard educated attorney is better FLOTUS material than a nude/erotic model.

But hey, perhaps we can do something with this “shaming stuff.”

Ok, here goes: by doing that photo spread, Melania was “body shaming” ordinary women and “poverty shaming” men that cannot afford to support such a high maintenance woman. And yes, pornography itself is misogynistic.

Then again…well, axiom one for these people is that women are NEVER at fault, for anything…it is always the fault of patriarchy. 🙂

Ok, ok, I “get it”; the idea is that this exposes the extreme hypocrisy of the right wing. And, yeah, it isn’t an issue I am going to make a big deal of.

August 2, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running | | Leave a comment

Trump part N (with N large)

I admit to being fascinated by Donald Trump and his rise. I really never expected that he’d make it this far; I really didn’t believe that he was interested.

Some intellectual conservatives have a real problem with him. He has no governing experience, nor knowledge of policy details; people are really voting on a personality that they like, and that is about it. And his crudeness, which would have been viewed as being “unpresidential” at one time, is actually seen as an asset.

And yes, Trump does bring out the worst in the opposition:

Getting the Chicago news, though, gives me a strongly pro-Trump feeling. These left-wing demonstrators tried to shut down an American presidential candidate’s speech during the campaign — and they succeeded, through an implicit threat of violence. People who support Trump drove hours to hear him talk, and they were denied their constitutional rights by left-wing hotheads who believe that they are so righteous that they don’t have to observe basic civility. You come to a Trump rally and you start flipping people off? You should not be surprised if you get a sock in the face.

What happened tonight in Chicago is why we need Trump, as obnoxious as he is, to keep going. I am not a Trump supporter, and I reject much of his rhetoric. But he has a right to give a speech, even an obnoxious speech, without it being interrupted by demonstrators. All of us do. Trump is revealing how impossible it is to have a normal democracy with the activist left, who think their crying need for “safe spaces” gives them the right to silence their opponents.

No. This political correctness needs to be opposed, and it needs to be opposed with force. I don’t know why the police couldn’t handle this situation, but they had better be on it in the future, because many Americans will not stand for this. What those protesters have done tonight is create a lot more Trump voters out of people who are sick and tired of privileged leftists using thug tactics to silence their opponents.

And it genuinely disgusts me that so many of my current (and former) “lefty” friends approve of this.

One more point though: right wing political correctness is no good either. I do NOT see Donald Trump and his supporters as being champions of free all.

June 1, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Blank slate thinking: telling us what we should be attracted to


I am often amused at what I am told that I am *supposed* to be attracted to or impressed by.

As for the saying, I’ll quote this article:

Feel free to stop reading this if your career is going great, you’re thrilled with your life, and you’re happy with your relationships. Enjoy the rest of your day, friend, this article is not for you. You’re doing a great job, we’re all proud of you. So you don’t feel like you wasted your click, here’s a picture of Lenny Kravitz wearing a gigantic scarf.

For the rest of you, I want you to try something: Name five impressive things about yourself. Write them down or just shout them out loud to the room. But here’s the catch — you’re not allowed to list anything you are (i.e., I’m a nice guy, I’m honest), but instead can only list things that you do (i.e., I just won a national chess tournament, I make the best chili in Massachusetts). If you found that difficult, well, this is for you, and you are going to fucking hate hearing it. My only defense is that this is what I wish somebody had said to me around 1995 or so. […]

If you want to know why society seems to shun you, or why you seem to get no respect, it’s because society is full of people who need things. They need houses built, they need food to eat, they need entertainment, they need fulfilling sexual relationships. You arrived at the scene of that emergency, holding your pocket knife, by virtue of your birth — the moment you came into the world, you became part of a system designed purely to see to people’s needs.

The rest of the article, IMHO, is pretty good. It is an extended opinion piece without data, but appears to explain what I’ve seen in my life. Think about it:

When I got my knees operated on, I didn’t much care if my surgeon was a nice person. I wanted to know if he had a high probability of doing the surgery correctly. The last time I flew, I cared only if the pilot and crew could properly fly the plane, and if the engineers designed the plane properly, built the plane properly, and if the mechanics maintained the plane properly.

When I watch a football game, I want my team’s kicker to make that field goal (and, of course, for the center to make a good snap, the line to block, etc) ; I didn’t much care if he forgot to send a card to his girlfriend.

And so, THAT is what people are impressed by. I think that there IS a “human nature” (at least statistically speaking) and someone telling me what I should be impressed by isn’t going to make much of a difference.

Now, of course, there are personality traits that make someone more pleasant to be around, and human companionship IS an essential need. And professional credentials and accomplishments are NOT guarantees of that person being a worthy social companion. But again, I don’t need anyone to tell me on what I *should* enjoy in another person; I KNOW what I enjoy in another person. Of course, getting advice on how to be a better friend might help me keep those friends that I enjoy, but that is a different matter.

And that leads me to the second half of the above photo. Though there are some cultural factors involved (such as fashion, displays of wealth such as “bound feed“, elongated necks), most of us know what we find attractive. Yes, there is some variation between people. And yes, what we like changes with time; I know that if I were dating again, the collection of women I would consider dating would include a wide variety of body types (slender to obese); how I feel when I am with them is what would matter to me. I know that a lot of people might actually say this, but here is why I say this: when I am on a “friendship outing” with a female, there is the “do people think that we are a couple” reaction. And I’ve been just fine with that reaction when I’ve been with a variety of women, ranging from petite to obese. Of course, I DO NOT want anyone thinking that I am being unfaithful to my spouse; I am merely responding to how people who don’t know me might react.

But as to what I find physically attractive: I know what I like and I don’t need to be told WHAT I *should* find attractive.

May 13, 2016 Posted by | social/political | , , | Leave a comment