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 least so long as they remain a loony anti-democracy xenophobic cult. 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.

Another semester in the books…

And tonight, I’ll celebrate with some Chiefs baseball.

I worked out this morning; it was a leisurely weight workout. Back is feeling much better though it is far from healed.

Shoulder: have the “did I sleep on it wrong” ache..slight, but given my propensity for trouble, I’ll be careful.

Workout: every PT exercise, save the side plank ones.

pull ups: 5 sets of 10, 6 chins, 5 wide.

Push ups: 30-30-30-10, with 2 of them inclined (easy), 1 declined, then 10 regular

Swiss bar bench: 3 sets of 10 x 134 (feet elevated)

Curls: 3 sets of 10 x 50

rows (brought those back, being careful with posture) 10 x 24, 2 sets of 10 x 40 each arm on my old bench for balance, with belt

light deadlifts: low handle, 10 x 134, 10 x 184. These felt great. No post workout left leg soreness.

Marathon and beyond list

Note: most links are broken.

And…this is probably my final list; body can’t take it anymore. Total is 62.

Maryland Marathon: 3:33

San Antonio Marathon 3:48

East Lyme Marathon (CT) 4:24

1998 (2)
Quad Cities Marathon 3:55 (hot: 207 out of over 1000)
Chicago Marathon 3:46

Quad Cities Marathon 3:45

2000 (2)
Lake Okoboji (IA) 4:25
Indianapolis Marathon 3:38

Lake Geneva Marathon 3:40

2002 (4) (13 total)
San Diego Marathon 3:57 (run)
Fairfield (IA) 50K 6:22 (walk)
Quad Cities Marathon 4:44 (walk)
Rocket City Marathon 4:04 (run)
(injured going in; had to run/walk)

2003 (5) (18 total)
McNaughton 50K (run) 7:04
Ice Age 50K 7:18 (walk)
Park City Marathon (UT) 5:17 (walk)

Judy Birthday 50K (walk; informal-Fat ass type)
Quivering Quads (MO) 50K 8:11 (walk)

2004 (7) (25 total)
McNaughton 50 mile 12:46 (walk)
Cornbelt (IA) 24 hour (101 miles), walk
Wandleweekend (NED) 24 hour (88 miles) walk

Fairfield 50K 7:16 (walk)
Quad Cities Marathon 5:13 (walk)
Chicago Ultra 50K 6:20 (walk)

Ultracentric (TX) 24 hour 81 miles (walk)

2005 (8) (33 total)
McNabb (IL) FatAss 50K 6:25 (run, sort of)
Chicago Ultra 50K (spring) 6:42 (walk)
McNaughton 100 34:16 (walk)
Andy Payne Marathon (OK) 5:25 (walk)
Lean Horse 100 (SD), 29:34 (walk)

Quad Cities Marathon 5:34 (walk)
Chicago Ultra 50K 6:29 (walk)
Ultracentric 24 hour 70 (walk)

2006 (5) (38 total)
McNabb (IL) FatAss 50K 6:37 (run, sort of)
Houston Ultra 24 hour 76 mile (walk)
Stigma 8 hour 27 mile (trail) (walk)
McNaughton (100 DNF), got to mile 50 then 20 more.
Ice Age 50K 7:36 (walk)
FANS 24 hour 83 miles (walk)

2007 (4) (42 total)
FANS 24 hour 66 mile (walk) (couldn’t train until 5-6 weeks prior)
FX 12 hour 34 mile (walk)
Farmdale 33 miles 9:27 (walk)
Ultracentric 24 hour 58 mile (walk)

2008 (3) (45 total)
McNaughton 50 mile (staged; 31:37 walk)
Andy Payne Marathon 6:16 (walk)
FANS 24 hour 47 miles (walk)

2009 (5) (50 total)
McNaughton 100 miler (47:45; staged, walk)
(brutal conditions; the drop out rate was astounding: 74 started the 100 and 27 finished; 47 started the 150 and 27 made it to 100 (including the 12 who finished all 150); in total 54 out of 121 starters made it to 100 miles and I was one of these)
Rockford Marathon 5:14 (walk)
FANS 24 hour 66 miles (walk)
Mulshoe 44 (DNF, ran out of time at mile 29) walk
Quad Cities Marathon 5:28 (walk)
McNot-aGain 30 mile 8:55 (walk)
(fought through injuries for these last two; almost no training was possible)

2010 (51)
McNotagain 30 mile 9:52 (knee surgery 3.5 months prior)

2011 (52)
Fans 24 hour: 54.5 miles

2012 (53)
We Walk Lake Wobegone marathon 6:58:58

2013 (54)
River City Marathon (run/walk) 5:44:55

2014 (55)
McNotAgain 30 9:54

2015 3 for the year (58 )
FANS 24 hour 59.9 miles

PNC River City Marathon (walk) 5:49:23

McNotAgain 30 (walk) 11:03

2016 2 for the year, (60 and counting)

FANS 24 hour walk 38 miles (35.9 in 10:40)

PNC marathon (run/walk) 5:52

2017: 2 DNF, one 50K
36 Hours of Jack Monkey Flunker 50K 8:42.

2018: Quad Cities Marathon (walk) 6:14:11.

2019: Quad Cities Marathon (walk) 6:42:02


Ok this morning wasn’t that bad; better than average WRT pain. And yeah, I got booster 2 on Friday and might be slightly less sharp.

What is fraudulent: I wore a marathon t-shirt and then wondered: “who in the hell am I kidding?” Ok, I’ve finished marathons..a lot of them..and 50K, 50 mile, 24 hour races and yes, 4 100 mile races.…I have to quit before 2 miles to avoid irritating my nerve root too much. That’s pathetic.

The issue is that I am not quite used to paying attention to my posture, and now I am forced to.

Swimming: 1800 yards, though 900 of those were something other than crawl.

3 x 100 free, 100 side

2 x 100 drills (no fins)

4 x 25 drill, 25 free (focus: swim downhill)

200 in 3:32 (progress) then 4:30 later:

100 in 1:44, 100 in 1:46 (on the 2:30)

50 in 49, 1:30 later, 50 in 49

100 side

100 pull

100 breast

Total 900 crawl, 100 pull, 400 side, 100 breast, 300 drill

Slight shoulder ache; didn’t do rotator cuff before.

Outside for a LOT of PT; did many things; 45 minutes worth

Walk: so-so; I’d say 1.2 was symptom free, 1.6 was pain free; I was ready to quit at 1.75.

Oh noes! She is MAD…

Oh great…someone thinks say “I’m MAD” is going to get them what they think is just. Yes, both sides do it.

And no, I don’t value the opinion of a rolling coal imbecile or of some ranting red faced MAGA…and they don’t care if a bunch of feminists are angry (when aren’t they?)

And that is the kind of thing that has let me to mostly check out of politics; I have no desire to march with a bunch of society’s rejects..possibly harming the message.

I will participate in this though.

Yeah, Democrats can be embarrassing at times, and Republican counter attacks are very effective:

If you didn’t get the last jab: you have trans activists crying that “Men can get pregnant too..that is, biological females who identify as males.”

We are so screwed.

COVID and Roe

COVID: I have not spoken about this for some time. Clearly cases are going up again and yes, hospitalizations, while still low, are trending up.

I am starting to see an uptick in mask use (indoors) and I’ll stick with mine for a good long while. Second booster: depending on what happens, I’ll try to delay that until fall, when I’ll be back in the classroom and (maybe) going to football games (the maybe is that I don’t know the future status of my back)

Roe a leaked document, confirmed to be authentic, says that the SCOTUS is likely to either overturn it or at least weaken it a great deal.

And OF COURSE you knew the reaction:
MEN: STFU. WE are ANGRY. And there will be gatherings, marches, protests angry speeches and …it won’t matter. (and of course, the usual “what about meeee…” coming from the “men get abortions too…” crowd. (transmen with the biology of genetic women)

Of course, things are rarely that simple: men are 50-42 in favor of “pro life” and women are 52-43 in favor of “pro choice”; the difference is not as great as some might think.

No, I am not going to protest or march: those things do NOTHING. What I will do is participate in get out the vote activities …because what we need most is a law from Congress, and to get that, we need our people in Congress to begin with. THAT might do some good.

Sigh..this will be difficult. All too many times, Democrats give exactly the wrong message. They think “these laws hurt people in demographic X” is somehow going to persuade people on the fence.

Reality: “the poor” are ..just not popular. No one wants to be poor and the idea that many of us are just an unfortunate incident away from being like them is too unpalatable to contemplate. Hence, the poor are instead resented.

So championing them will never pay off at the ballot box.

Democrats …just have no idea on how to market…none at all. We are awful at it.

Savoring doing what you can do

Ok, here is what is going on with me (summarized): I’ve always had problems with my lumbar spine (lower back; L5-S1); I first remember injuring it in high school, a couple of times, and once as an undergraduate. I had formal physical therapy for it in 1978, 2006, 2012 and now in 2021-2022 (and that is what I can remember).

I’ve finally reached the point where PT and behavior modification isn’t enough. What made this one sneaky is that my lower back never hurt directly; the pain was almost exclusively in my left glute and I had tingles down the leg; that lead me to continue to do counter productive things like “low handle deadlifts’ where, with heavier weights, my back did round a bit. I kept the arch in my bench press.

When I walked…I’d get to the point of pirformis tightness (and yes, that WAS /IS an issue), stretch, and move on.

It never hurt (or rarely did) during the lift itself, but I felt a left leg ache doing my McKenzie press ups afterward.

So..with running gone (lack of spacing in my right knee..I felt the pain radiate to the top of my shin), swimming limited (have to respect my right rotator cuff) and now impinged nerve, I am facing restrictions for the first time in my life.

I thought about posting stuff from the days of yore (marathons, faster (for me) runs, trail ultras, 5K open water swims, “heavy” (for me) deadlifts but non of that matters..a bit.

What matters is what I can do NOW and what I’ll be able to do after whatever invasive treatment (operation? injections?) I’ll get.

My adjustments:

  1. Lumbar specific PT (with the usual rotator cuff and glute PT as well)
  2. Walking to the point of symptoms/super light pain and second walk
  3. Modification of lifting: feet off the ground bench presses, switching to light “high incline” presses for the shoulder and doing a “belt squat” type movement with the trap bar and much lighter weights, keeping the lumbar out of it. Bench mark: a movement that causes even slight pain or pain after the fact has to be changed.

One mystery solved

The “prostate” problem: all tests back normal..too much coffee.

Oh, the dram queen (me)

Funny, how my life isn’t a lot of dramatic events but mostly a bunch of mundane adjustments and slogging.

Last PT for a while: glute is ok ..left leg just feels heavy and weak. But…

And it is day 1 of no naproxen. Hmmm..

Workout notes: I still did some PT on my own and some experimentation

Pull ups: 10, 15, 10, 10, 5, 6, 5 (did some wide, chins…note at 207 lb…better than expected)

push ups: 40 sissy, “walk 10” (55) with band (5 minutes), 10 deficit

bench press: 10 x 134, 10 x 147, 9 x 152

curls: 3 sets of 10

high incline 3 sets of 10 x 103

deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184 (low), 10 x 224 4 inch, focus on glutes and quads

note: this took close to 2 hours as I did stretch AND, no post soreness on the press ups.


Highlight: Bradley’s Baseball home season opened. I went to the game and stayed for 4:28 of it, before I gave up at the end of 10. Iowa won in the 11’th; the game drug on due to the pitchers throwing a LOT of pitches for each batter, the Iowa manager switching pitchers frequently, and a couple of reviews.

Yes, it was cold. Oh; Iowa ended up winning 9-8.

It was 49 F and there was a wind, so much of the crowd left in the 7’th or so.

Ironically, Bradley probably blew the game in the 2’nd where they scored 5 runs, 4 on this grand slam:

It that sounds strange, the Braves actually loaded the bases AFTER the grand slam, but stranded all 3. Still the 6-3 lead..then 6-4 held for a long time; but then Iowa took the lead in the top of the 9’th. The Braves tied it in the 9’th (great small ball from both teams) and again in the 10’th.

And that was a bit of a shame; the excessive time took away from a game filled with action, steals, bunts, and a home run. The actual action: there was a LOT of it ..very entertaining.

Iowa even scored a run on a squeeze bunt.

Workout notes the butt has been in a bit of a funk; sometimes good, sometimes painful. At the game I did some stand up stretching (at the back of the stands)

Yesterday: the side was ok; I got all of my pull ups: 8 sets of 5, one of 10, then two more sets of 5, including, 4 sets of 5 wide, 1 set of chins.

Full PT; push ups: 35, 30 sissy, 25 feet elevated, then 10 deficit. Down stairs: I added some hip thrusts in addition to two light sets of deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184.

I suppose my glute was ok..sort of.

Today: slept in until 6; did some light bike (5 minutes); PT before work, then over lunch: full PT (lots of it, really) then 30 more bike minutes.

Weird: forward bends and the “stenosis” exercises seem to help, even though I don’t really have it; McKenzie press ups and open books really help too.

I’ve said this before: it seems when I skimp on yoga I feel it. I suppose that is an every day workout.

On not wallowing

Yeah, this latest “oblique/rib” injury has gotten me down a bit for a couple of reasons:

  1. I was really enjoying my progress with trap bar deadlifts. Now that has been stopped cold.
  2. The discomfort makes it easy for me to lean forward…and set off my back/pirformis.

But as for 1: that is a harsh lesson. Yes, doing heavy high handle reps DID make me stronger …a lot stronger (up to 5 sets of 3 with 295 low handle). But, while it is an 8 inch handle which my glute and back could handle, it stressed other parts of me, and a 62 year old has to remember that. It was too much for my body. 10 x 300 even high handle is hard on the body.

So, the good news is that today IS better, though it did affect my workout.

Effect: doing regular pull ups was very uncomfortable. But wide grip was ok…and so


Pull ups: several singles, then 6 sets of 5 wide grip (ok..mild tug)

push ups: 2 sets of 30 sissy, 2 sets of 30 feet elevated (went well)

bench press (feet on a arch): 10 x 134, 10 x 145, 10 x 150 (mild tug)

curls: 4 sets of 10 painless
high incline bench: painless: 3 sets of 10 x 103

And the work day: roughly the same as it has been recently, so far.
I just have to focus on what I CAN do and not overdo that.

Self pity is unwarranted and counter productive and won’t bring me even an inch closer to healing..if healing is in the cards for me.

Here is the rep that made me realize I was injured (234)