Resentment

I am going to have to make my PT routine more efficient. But the quickest I can do it is about 35 minutes..IF I am super efficient. 40-45 is more typical and frankly, I resent doing it. But..If I want to swim and walk..that is what I must do.

And yes, I know that someone with invasive cancer would gladly trade “problems” with me. It is just that I am mentally weak and prone to whining.

Today: round 1 of PT, stretching, 1 mile walk, round 2 of PT, more stretching, 1 mile walk, round 3 of PT (shoulders) Then downstairs:

deadlifts: low: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 225 (for real this time..last time it was only 220, which FELT different) 10 x 270 8 inch.

belt squats: 10 x 50, 10 x 72, 12 x 94 (depth was lacking; last time my load pin was hooked in an unusual way which kept it higher up.

I think that I can mix it up; one day do split walks, next day do it all at once. Second walk was the faster of the two.

Note: doing “bird dog” showed me that afterward, my left leg was “heavy”; I am losing nerve signal there. I need to do some open book prior to walking.

The Long Game: revenge of the Turtle.

Yes, that is the name of his book, which I reviewed.

Yes, McConnell failed in his attempt to limit President Obama to one term. Utterly. But he is riding high now.

And why do I harp on this? Well, I think this observation is spot on:

And that is how The Turtle did it. He fought dirty. He had an alliance with someone he could not stand. And he got his judges.

And there is so much here..so much that seems unfair and is totally frustrating.

The reality is that the Electoral College and the Senate is wildly skewed to the low population states. We can’t change that without an amendment to the Constitution which requires clearing a very high hurdle:

So given that isn’t going to happen, we need to win more Congressional races, especially in the Senate. And given how the states are, that means electing more red state Democrats..more Ben Nelsons and Joe Manchins.

But what do you see: cries of “primary them!.”

We hear “the Democrats need to take off the gloves.” Well…in my opinion, we are “nice” because not being nice …”offends other Democrats.”

Hell, when we even attempt to speak on an issue, the woke language police is right there to attempt to police our statements.

And the ACLU’s messaging was a complete disaster.

Really???? We can’t even say “abortion is a women’s rights issue?”

Yes, some biological females who transition to male can and do get pregnant but good lord, not everything is about the sensibilities of a tiny percentage of the population.

And of course, there is the idea that conservatives are more regular voters than liberals; liberals are prone to sitting out if they don’t get what they want (e. g. student loan forgiveness, or whatever).

So, where to go from here?

Well, we’ll get the usual “I am leaving the country” (psst: other countries won’t take you unless you have something to offer them..and IMHO most who say this are total losers)

Pussy hat marches? Yeah, that’ll teach them.
Hash tags? Sure…they are trembling.

Pack the court? How? You need the votes. We don’t have them. And remember you are the one who won’t vote for a D unless they are a Bernie or AOC.

Eliminate the filibuster! How? We don’t have the votes. Senate is 50/50 and dependent on a D from a Trump +39 state.

Oh…”they have pissed off the wrong generation.” Sure.

Today’s liberals are mostly product of higher education. Screaming, writing manifestos, occupying the college chancellor’s office might get attention..on a college campus. Off campus is very, very different.

You are MAD? No one cares..people only care to the degree that you have something to either offer or withhold from them. And too many of the loudest voices have zilch that anyone else wants.

If there is any hope at all, take a look at this:

In 2021, it was women 52-43 pro choice, men 50-45 pro life.

2022: women are now 61-33 pro choice, men 48-47 pro choice.

It appears to matter more. Silver lining, or wishful thinking on my part?

And there is economic power. Some of us have money to spend, and maybe let corporations know that we’ll favor businesses in good states over those in regressive ones? I see no other card to play.

Jan 6 hearings

I’ve been watching some of the testimony of the hearings. You can find everything here.

Much of it is damming.

But this very person:

Bottom line: this might make Trump more unpopular with those in the mushy middle, and it might hurt Trump’s chances of winning the nomination again. But..it isn’t going to flip a hard core Republican.

Yes, I am worried about President Biden. I like him but he has clearly lost a couple of steps (though he had steps to lose to begin with). But..our political bench is so bare.

Oh..maybe you disagree, but I honestly think that we have a big problem:

Our candidates come from mostly elite universities where the social justice jargon is common (“Latinx”, “BIPOC”, “cis-gender”.. lots of different new pronouns ), all made up by academic “activists” or researchers.

It is one thing to use lingo in one’s academic work or at an academic; yes, I say things like “let X be a compact 3-manifold without boundary and let Y be a topological embedding of S^1” but I’d never speak that way in public.

People who want to be good at politics need to learn how to communicate with the public! They have to say stuff and have the public WANT to listen.

And our instincts are just terrible. For one: if we see a “community” that we consider marginalized, we’ll bend over backwards, often to the point of absurdity to placate them.

And too often, our candidates appear to run on issues that poll well, instead of running on, well, attitude.

Example: yes, raising the minimum wage polls well. And you ask: “Yeah, we should.”

But a candidate that runs on the message: “we will raise the minimum wage and be more generous to poor people” isn’t going to win on that.

After all, who wants to make minimum wage? Who wants to be poor? Sure, we might want to help out, but IMHO, “help the poor” isn’t a winning slogan.

People aspire to do things. They want success. YES, WE CAN: uplifitng. Hand UP, not hand out: yes. No surprise those were the slogans from our most successful Democratic Presidential candidates.

Enjoying the math talks

Yes, this has some meaning to me; will explore further.

I also had a meeting with the surgeon. Bottom line: probably premature to consider spinal fusion right now. Reason: it would probably fix the problem but could lead to further problems in the future. First two conditions apply to me.

I have spondylolisthesis due to a pars defect.

Workout notes: I still worked out; full PT plus strength.

Pull ups 4 sets of 5, set of 10, 6 sets of 5: 2 wide, 2 mixed grip, 2 chin grip Worked to prevent “hunch-back.”

Pushups: 30 incline, 30 decline, 20 deficit, 20 regular

Swiss bar bench: 10 x 134, 10 x 145

dead: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, high: 10 x 260 (slightly sloppy on the final rep; I cannot do these when fatigued)

high incline: 3 sets of 10 x 93

rows: 3 sets of 10 each arm; super light weight

curls: 3 sets of 10

Day before

PT (most of it) followed by a 2 mile walk where I was uncomfortable at 1.5 miles.

I felt calf tingles slightly early; still at mile 1 I decided to keep going.

Then I swam;

400 of 50 side, 5o stroke (back, breast)

1000 in 19:50 (9:56/9:54) Note: Bob F pushed himself when I was in the water; slowed afterward.

100 back, 50 side

Then to a conference.

Unhelpful Pedantry in discourse

Disclaimer: I teach math (and occasionally do math) for a living. I understand the necessity of precise language in certain situations. When it comes to, say, a mathematical theorem, meeting the hypothesis matters!

But when it comes to discussing the issues of the day, being inappropriately pedantic gets in the way.

One big example is the issue of “assault guns” in the hands of civilians. Sometimes, hard core 2’nd Amendment supporters chide liberal gun control advocates for “not knowing what an assault weapon is” or even claiming that “assault weapon” is a meaningless term.

Let’s be clear: though most who have a strong opinion on this issue is NOT a firearms expert, what is meant here is a weapon that

  1. Fires a military grade round at a military grade muzzle velocity
  2. Has a magazine that can hold multiple rounds
  3. Can fire multiple shots very quickly (not automatically) without jamming
  4. Is semiautomatic (self loading, though the trigger has to be pressed for each shot)

And yes, I know; the better known weapons (AR-15, AK-47) are examples of this kind of weapon, but are far from the only kinds out there.

They gun people know these things; one survivalist put it this way: (paraphrasing as I lost track of the book): if you have supplies like food and water, others might try to take them from you. What do you defend yourself with? Using a sporting rifle against well armed intruders is just noisy suicide.
(not my thoughts, but I cannot find the reference)

Well, the rifle that you’d want in such extreme conditions (that you can legally obtain sans a lot of extra hoops to jump through) is what we’d call an “assault rifle.”

People like me do not believe that civilians should have possession of weapons which are military caliber weapons without the automatic setting. These are for killing people effectively (or causing horrific wounds).

Jerry Coyne’s blog has a nice post on this topic.

Note: this issue is one where we have to start from where we are (our country has a LOT of these type of weapons) and we are very divided. I don’t see how a ban could work. And if you think that we have any prayer of repealing the Second Amendment, you are delusional :

Sure..we can’t even get 50 Senate votes…LOL.

I hesitate to point out that it isn’t just the conservatives that are guilty of this.

Think of Critical Race Theory and K-12 education. Technically, CRT is really a law school caliber theory to help lawyers and judges apply the law more fairly. So, no, you aren’t getting CRT in grade school.

But that is NOT what is meant when parents complain about CRT.

As Yascha Mounk writes:

The idea that critical race theory is an academic concept that is taught only at colleges or law schools might be technically accurate, but the reality on the ground is a good deal more complicated. Few middle or high schoolers are poring over academic articles written by Richard Delgado or Kimberlé Crenshaw. But across the nation, many teachers have, over the past years, begun to adopt a pedagogical program that owes its inspiration to ideas that are very fashionable on the academic left, and that go well beyond telling students about America’s copious historical sins.

In some elementary and middle schools, students are now being asked to place themselves on a scale of privilege based on such attributes as their skin color. History lessons in some high schools teach that racism is not just a persistent reality but the defining feature of America. And some school systems have even embraced ideas that spread pernicious prejudices about nonwhite people, as when a presentation to principals of New York City public schools denounced virtues such as “perfectionism” or the “worship of the written word” as elements of “white-supremacy culture.”

And parents ARE concerned and have a right to be. In my own state, a school received attention because it decided to stop “giving 0’s in the gradebook” for work not turned in because they felt that such a standard is unfair to minority students. (Note: the article I linked to has a very misleading headline: there are NOT race based standards; the standard would apply to all students in said school).

I am old enough to remember the segregation/integration wars, and I remember one argument that segregationists used was that integration would lead to an erosion of standards.

I am NOT saying that the liberal wokes are the same as the racists; they are NOT. But some of their policy prescriptions sure reminds me of stuff the racists used to say (disclaimer: I am Latino and I am sensitive to accusations that whatever success I have had was due to my meeting a lower standard).

My point: dismissing the concerns of parents by saying “LOL..your kid isn’t learning CRT” is to miss the point. It hurts dialogue and..on a political level, hurts Democrats.

Bonus topic

Yes, I’ve frequently been more critical of Democrats than Republicans for the following reason: I’ve voted Democrats for years. The current Republicans are the party of COVID denial..the party of taking deworm medicine for COVID..the party of climate change denial..the party of eroding voting rights. I want nothing to do with modern Republicans; there are no Romney/Bush/Rockerfeller/McCain types that I’d consider voting for (at the national level)

They are the party of this type of insanity:

So, I want Democrats to win, even if I can’t stand some of the social stuff they do. But my goodness, too many Democrats campaign as if they are trying to win over NPR listeners, college professors and Unitarians.

Some thoughts on this topic: Bill Maher asks Democrats to dial back on appealing to our extreme factions:

More along these line…

Satirical Accounts: why I like them

I admit that I enjoy certain types of satire accounts.

My favorite is an academic one; one that openly lampoons the absurd aspects of higher education:

She has 121.2 K followers. Her posts are often met with “you MUST be at our university”; her posts are just so on point.

I like Titania McGrath who makes fun of excessive wokeness: (this thread is hilarious)

“She” has 710.8 K followers.

Here is one that lampoons conservatives of a certain type:

Walter has 142 K followers.

And there is a way followers react to his post: we copy his diction and themes …and for the offended liberal that doesn’t get the joke but reacts with umbrage: we call that “being Waltered.”

Then there is 3yearletterman:

Hey plays the part of an ignorant person who peaked in high school and boasts about mundane things (“I have a 4 figure checking account” “so many youth football championship rings that I cannot turn door handles”)

But the best part: he spouts absolutely ridiculous gibberish…and sometimes even a genuine celebrity will play along! (e. g. Jim Palmer, former Oriole pitching great).

But the best part is when some clueless, sanctimonious scold will come in to tell us what a bunch of idiots we are…that is when we pounce with “bet you don’t have a reserved table at Beef O’Brady’s” etc. (these are things that “Coach” routinely brags about)

Sometimes, they eventually get the joke. But it is hilarious when they don’t; it is kind of fun to watch the sanctimonious know-it-alls work themselves into a froth over what should have been obvious to see.

He has 301K followers. And he has been quoted by Newsweek! (who eventually realized their error)

Summary and some Chiefs baseball

Today: lot of PT, weights, walk then a ball game.

The workout:

pull ups: 5 sets of 10, 6 and 5

push ups: 30, 30 (sissy, elevated), 20, 10 (messed up the count)

presses: 3 sets of high incline with 88

curls: 3 sets of 10

single arm rows: careful with 40 lb dumbbell: 3 sets of 10

deadlifts: all low: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224

Kind of wondered; maybe oh so slight residual soreness in the left leg/glute?

Then a 1.29 mile walk. it was ok; felt it in the last .2

Walking:

1.73 , 2, 1.62, 2, 1.29 for 8.64 It is getting somewhat better.

Later: watched the Chiefs lose 6-3…kind of gory. Last two five game series: only 1 win.

Took my buddy Tracy today; very pleasant weather.

Workout videos

Blocking and social media

In what is now an unusual move for me: I blocked someone on Facebook. Normally, I just unfollow and put on my restricted list (so they don’t see “friends only” post). Ok, I tend to do that with people that were once active in my life that I now find annoying.

The issue: I was trying to explain to people that, yes, loans carry interest and that if your payment doesn’t cover the interest accrued during the period, the amount owed goes up.

Someone tried to argue that banks get “virtually free” loans from the Fed (true..to cover the reserve requirement, though they get even lower rates from other banks). And of course, administrative costs and risk costs must be covered as well.

But, this was one of those “why can’t you get that” remarks coming from a rather “dull but unaware of it” type person; someone I had no prior relationship with. So, “boom”, went the block. (on Twitter: I mute; I don’t mind their ranting into the Ether; I just don’t want to engage)

Yes, I have a double standard If I have a relationship with the person, especially one that goes back several years, AND if I like said person, I give a lot more leeway.

If that person has special knowledge that I can gain from I might put up with more.

But having dull people think that I am an idiot…I get enough of that at my job from some of the worst students. I am paid for that; I am not paid for social media.

And yes, like the old song; sometimes the one you love doesn’t love you back (as friends). Yes, there are a few that I like better than like me..I can deal with that. And yes, I give them more leeway too.

And, much to no one’s surprise, most I have blocked tend to be left wing. It is easy to see why (that is who I tend to associate with)

Are liberals interested in winning elections or winning in policy?

A few things struck me. One was the protests outside of SCOTUS justices homes. If you read the opinion article I linked to, you’ll find a common theme: their expecting ruling is so awful they deserve this.

There have been marches, other protests and slogans such as “My Body, My Choice.” Such slogans really do not convince..even if I agree with them.

This is a bit of a digression but here goes: the anti-choice people see abortion as the murder of a baby. To them, it is the same (so they say) as if you took a 1 month newborn and just killed it. And this is why “oh, so you don’t care about the baby after it is born” responses fail to convince. One can believe that murdering a 1 month old baby is murder but still believe that it is up to the PARENTS to care for that baby; that is not inconsistent.

Dakwins argues that the counter would be to challenge the assumption that a fetus is the same as a kid; of course it isn’t. After all, in a fire, would you prioritize saving a new born or some frozen embryos? Easy choice.

But that was a digression…

And the other main point is that many liberals really don’t care about how “the other side sees it.”

And that leads to the second:

To this I say “Me too.” No, there is no danger of me moving to the Republicans..at least so long as they remain a loony anti-democracy xenophobic cult.

But..read the responses to the above tweet. Smith is accused of being a conservative, not sufficiently caring about problems that affect him, etc.

This response I got might be telling:

Note: I was NOT the person who was put off by “pussy hats”; Smith was. I saw the hats as …”eye roll” material but merely shrugged…”that event was not for me” though I did think that stunt opened them up to even more ridicule and made them the butt of jokes..

But Twitter threads can be hard to follow, so I don’t blame her for that. The part I am interested in is the “we. don’t. fucking. want. you.”

That is telling.

There was a time when I saw things like the massive BLM protests which disregarded COVID protocols (and yeah, outdoors later proved to be ok) and were *sometimes* accompanied by riots, looting and violence, and I seriously believe that they contributed to the dismal showing by Democrats in the 2020 elections. The “defund the police” movement was especially bad. The country rejected Trump but didn’t want Democrats either.

And further still…well, with abortion, the “pro-choice caucus” is passing out approved language sheets

I really wonder if they actually tested said language changes on voters. This sure reminds me of the sorts of decisions “activist” faculty make..and I know most don’t test first.

So…I’ve wondered “why do these “activists” care so little about persuasion?” Yes, the hard core right wingers cannot be changed, but there are some far less committed people who observe the exchanges…and often we do NOT have a good look.

Then it struck me:

many liberals really aren’t about winning political battles or even winning policy changes. They are more about being an affinity group and getting praise from those in their own bubble.

So, the more outraged you are, the louder you scream, the more outlandish antics you engage in…the more credibility you have with your peers.

And if you lose at the ballot box, why it was because of the rest of the country of Homer Simpson’s are too crude, too immoral, too bigoted and not “intellectual” enough to appreciate you and “your side”.

I swear..they appear to see losing as a badge of honor and purity.

How this affects me I’ll tell you this: I am starting to think about candidates to succeed Cheri Bustos in the IL-17 district; right now, the race is rated as a toss-up. I won’t look at positions too closely; I’ll see “political skill and the ability to win the general” as the most important thing, by far.