Nine or so years ago I spent an afternoon at the Princeton Public Library watching two American-made Cuban propaganda films. One of the films was titled The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil.

At the time I wrote,

The film praises the virtues of Medieval agriculture as practiced in modern-day Cuba, including the return to the use of oxen, and how superior plowing a field with two oxen is, compared to using tractors. My late father, who was not Cuban, had a farm and if he got wind of that he would have turned in his grave.

After I posted that, a  historian friend joked that the agricultural practices I described date back to the Iron Age, if not earlier, so let’s not give the Middle Ages a bad name.

Fast-forward to yesterday’s article in The Former Newspaper™ (as Andrew Klavan calls the NYTimes), Cuba’s Surge in Tourism Keeps Food Off Residents’ Plates by Azam Ahmed:

Tourists are quite literally eating Cuba’s lunch. Thanks in part to the United States embargo, but also to poor planning by the island’s government, goods that Cubans have long relied on are going to well-heeled tourists and the hundreds of private restaurants that cater to them, leading to soaring prices and empty shelves.

Yes, foreigners and anyone else paying in dollars eat better than ordinary Cubans (be assure that the regime’s elite are not going hungry). As in healthcare, the dictatorship has an apartheid system against its own people.

Otherwise, like Rick in Casablanca, Mr. Ahmed was misinformed:

To this day, ordinary cubans are living in a regime where food rations are poorer than they were for slaves under the Spanish Empire.

Nine years ago I quoted IBD:  “The inescapable fact is that Castro has ruined the most industrialized Latin American country, and a food importer, and now the U.S. is Cuba’s food lifeline:

“Castro, whose ruined nation shipped $780 million worth of vegetables, sugar and agricultural exports to the U.S. in the 1950s, has turned his nation into a lunar wasteland over his 48-year dictatorship, its famous sugar industry now gone. Does Castro take responsibility? No. He blames global warming, not his disastrous decisions.

“But Cuba’s land lies in ruin not because of bad weather but because its massive propaganda-driven ‘great sugar harvests’ of the 1960s ruined the land in the name of making Castro’s arbitrary quota — and because no citizen can own or trade land for its most efficient use. Now, Cuba grows so little food it must import it from the very nation its leader denounces and undermines and blames.

“In fact, it’s Castro’s dirty secret: The U.S. is Cuba’s food lifeline. The U.S. sells $340 million in food a year to Cuba just so its ration books can be worth the paper they’re printed on.

“The U.S. is Cuba’s top trade partner, but Cuba ranks only 32nd on the U.S. list.”

In the first seven months of this 2015, U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba totaled $122 million, and like everything else in Cuba, you have to go through the Communist regime’s machinations (emphasis added),

All U.S. agricultural goods must be sold to one state-owned company, Alimport, and many Cuba observers generally believe the Castro regime uses it as a political lever. During much of the 2000s, Alimport purchased U.S. agricultural products from dozens of states with the hope of garnering support from the states’ respective lawmakers to repeal the embargo.All U.S. agricultural goods must be sold to one state-owned company, Alimport, and many Cuba observers generally believe the Castro regime uses it as a political lever. During much of the 2000s, Alimport purchased U.S. agricultural products from dozens of states with the hope of garnering support from the states’ respective lawmakers to repeal the embargo.

The purpose of this lobbying initiative pressuring Congress to end what remains of the embargo? To guarantee the survival of the Communist dictatorship.

“Cuba’s Surge in Tourism” is not what “Keeps Food Off Residents’ Plates;” what’s keeping food off residents’ plates is Communism.

faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

As we’ve noted many times here there are two ways media bias works.

The first, and most common is bias of comission where the MSM/left promotes stories or meme’s to attack the right, usually as wikileaks confirmed at the direct behest of the left.  A great example of this are the attacks and ridicule of Ben Carson on CNN.

Removing all pretense of substantive discussion, Don Lemon, Marc Lamont Hill and Peter Beinart began openly mocking the nomination of Dr. Carson for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The scope and severity of the exhibited ridicule was so over the top, fellow CNN panelist Brian Stelter was both visibly trying to hide his glee and simultaneously uncomfortable joining in amid the laughter and mockery.

If this was any other media panel mocking and ridiculing a black nominee for an Obama administration the calls of racist outrage against the network would be overwhelming. However, as customary within their hypocrisy, the pontificating left-wing ideologues cannot even fathom anyone taking exception.

Once again proving that if the left didn’t have double standards, they would have no standards at all.
But the greatest sin of the media is  the ability to define a story as not worthy of promotion as a national story, like this one:

Germany’s leading news programme has been slammed for failing to report the rape and murder of the 19-year-old daughter of an EU official by an Afghan ‘refugee’.

maria-ladenburgerThe Tagesschau show, produced by ARD, the world’s largest public broadcaster, claimed that the story was “too regional”. Others, however, blame political correctness and an establishment desire to silence criticism of mass migration.

Last week’s revelation that 19-year-old Maria Ladenburger – a medical student, migrant home volunteer, and daughter of a prominent European Union (EU) official – was attacked and killed by a recently-arrived 17-year-old migrant shocked the nation.

Despite having a budget of €6.5 billion (£5.5 billion) and 20,617 employees, the public broadcaster decided not to allocate resources to bringing the story to national attention.

ARD’s editor-in-chief, Kai Gniffke, played down the decision, arguing they “very rarely report on individual criminal cases”.

By deciding this news wasn’t fit to print, german media were basically protecting Angela Merkel and her supporters from the consequences of their open borders policy.

Merkel, who recently announced plans to run for a fourth term in September, has seen her popularity plunge in the last year in large part due to her staunch refusal to accept demands from her party’s right wing to limit migrants entering the country to 200,000 per year.

She did not comment on the slaying in Freiburg and has remained determined to keep Germany open to refugees.

That’s the real reason why the MSM hates Breitbart news and Trump’s twitter account.  Liberals like the Kellogg’s people want to delegitimize Breitbart because they dare report stories like this that don’t fit the MSM narrative:

Immigration advocacy groups are asking California Attorney General Kamala Harris to “block federal access” to the database containing names of gang members in the state.
The goal is to block access before President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in, thereby preventing his administration from seeing the names of individuals who could find themselves on a the deportation short list.Immigration advocacy groups are asking California Attorney General Kamala Harris to “block federal access” to the database containing names of gang members in the state. The goal is to block access before President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in, thereby preventing his administration from seeing the names of individuals who could find themselves on a the deportation short list.

Yeah because nothing would unite the rest of the country against the rule of California Liberals like protecting gang members here illegally from deportation.

And they really hate Trump and his tweeting because in 140 characters he can force a story like the Steinle murder onto the national stage that the MSM is determined to bury.


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This is the first of three guest posts I did for Ladd Ehlinger’s site back in late 2011.  I’m reprinting them here (With Ladd’s permission) because I think the election of Donald Trump is a significant event in the culture wars and these posts (and the follow ups that I intend to write) serve to explain what happened to our friends on the left who are still pulling out their hair over the events of November.  While Ladd’s old blog isn’t there you can find the original piece via the wayback machine.

“The trouble is you don’t want a man for a husband! You want a coward who will run out on his friends! Well, that’s not me, never was, and never will be. I don’t care how much I love you! And I do very much. I’m a soldi… I mean I’m a man first!”

gungadinposterEven a person with a casual knowledge of movies knows the number 1 movie of 1939, because “Gone with the Wind”is the highest grossing movie of all time. If you asked them what picture was number 2 that year, odds are they haven’t heard of RKO’s “Gunga Din”.

A 70 year old action picture is unlikely to generate a lot of interest from the denizens of the CGI-YouTube era and with the left practically owning film studios, a period piece depicting the British Empire suppressing a murderous cult in colonial India is not going to be high on the view lists of professors.

This is a shame because it’s a movie that deserves attention from viewers, not only for conservative themes, but on its technical merits, historical influence, strong cast and the story itself.

First, one can’t watch this movie without seeing shades of pictures from “Indiana Jones” to “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. When viewed by the unaware, the reaction is much like that of a teen who has watched “Family Guy”for years who sees the opening of “All in the Family” for the first time.

Second, consider the scale of the film. Over and over you see groups of hundreds of men in formation, both marching and on horseback with great sweeping views over spectacular landscapes. For people used to CGI it’s quite a change to see real people and real animals reacting in real ways. This is 1939. What we would call “computers” were two to six years in the future and where they would exist was the size of Cuba. If you wanted a shot of a group of men charging on horseback, you needed…a group of men charging on horseback, if you wanted an incredible background vista, you either had to have incredible background paintings, or actually shoot at a such a location. And a fall off a roof meant someone actually had to take that fall or you needed good modeling. For the modern filmmaker or student used to manipulating massive groups with a click of a mouse, the concept of having to control hundreds of men and animals for a shot is way above their pay grade.

Third, check out this cast: Douglas Fairbanks Jr.; a legendary name who, in a few short years after this film would match his on screen valor in actual combat. Victor McLaglen; a two time Oscar winner who had faced two heavyweight champions in the ring and fought in Iraq before he ever appeared in front of a camera, and Cary Grant, acknowledged as one of the greatest actors who ever lived. Talk about holding three aces in a hand.

Finally there is the story, and what a story: After a patrol and a village drops off the map a force is needed to repair the telegraph lines and investigate. Three sergeants freshly pulled from a brawl are assigned to lead the party which includes a regimental bhisti (water bearer) named Gunga Din. While the troops begin repairing the line at the village the sergeants start searching the village and come across some suspicious characters whose arrest is a prelude to an ambush.

After a running fight the sergeants get their surviving troops out and report. Their commanding officer recognizes a captured weapon as a sign of the murderous thuggee cult that the British had suppressed decades ago (funny how things like the thuggee cult, the slave trade, Caribbean piracy and Suttee were all suppressed only by the actions of those evil colonial Brits)

A new advance force is prepared sans Ballantine, (Fairbanks Jr.) who is due to marry and leave the army in six days. In a hilarious scene, Cutter (Grant) & MacChesney (McLaglen) manage to temporarily incapacitate his replacement forcing Ballantine into the expedition. When they reach the village and set camp, Cutter, after being locked up to prevent it, sets off to find a temple of gold that Din, (Sam Jaffe) who dreams of being the company bugler, has told him is nearby. Din and Cutter find the temple beyond a mountain pass which turns out to be the base of a thuggee army they are looking for led by the cult leader (well played by Eduardo Ciannelli). Cutter prepares to send Din back to get with the exit blocked deliberately gets himself captured to clear the way.

With the prospect of his friend in deadly danger, MacChesney sets off with Din after him. Ballantine, end of enlistment or not, insists on joining them over the entreaties of his fiance. (Joan Fontaine, the only cast member still alive). They blunder right into the Guru’s trap hoping to lure the regiment to an ambush in the pass.

The following passages contain major spoilers, if you don’t wish to know how the movie ends, skip the following two paragraphs.

The heroes manage by means of a ruse to grab the guru and find themselves in a Mexican standoff that persists until the guru, after a speech that could have been made by any of the heroes in the pictures, sacrifices himself in order to allow the attack to go forward. With their hostage gone the thuggees take the Brits, bayonetting both Din and Cutter in the process.

The thuggees ignore the wounded Cutter and Din and drag Ballantine & MacChesney to the edge of the parapet to watch the ambush of their regiment. As the guards concentrate on their impending victory, Din, still bleeding from his wounds with bugle in hand slowly climbs to the top of the temple dome and blows “stand to arms”. He is shot down but he manages it long enough for the regiment to deploy, avoiding the trap and allowing the army to rout the thuggees. Din is given a hero’s burial and posthumously made a regimental corporal listed “on the rolls of our honored dead.”

Through the entire picture manly virtue is celebrated: It’s celebrated when the survivors of the first battle, after an arduous trek bearing their wounded, form to march into the camp parade in good order. It’s celebrated as Din, with Cutter’s support, dreams of being a soldier instead of a water bearer. It’s celebrated when Cutter allows himself to be taken so Din can give warning. Ballantine refuses to leave his friend in the lurch even for the woman he loves. Cutter and MacChesney endure torture, Din gives his life to warn the regiment, and even the villain of the piece sacrifices himself in the hope of victory for his cause.

These manly values are not only conservative values, but are instinctive human values that since 9/11 the left has been unable to suppress. It certainly isn’t matched by the left protestors who cry oppression if they are evicted from other people’s property at little personal risk.

But what about colonial cultural inequality? I’m glad you asked, let’s look at the first battle scene again.

While the men are repairing the telegraph wires (and given water by Gunga Din) the sergeants search the village for clue to what happened. Ballantine finds a first a single man then a group he is trying to conceal. When they fail to convince him they are poor villagers who survived the raid, one tries to jump him. He finds himself in an outnumbered brawl. Cutter and MacChesney enter, and rather than drawing weapons join in the brawl till the men are subdued. Our politically correct friends might point to this one might question one European handling a group alone, but only if they didn’t pay attention to the larger British group they handled at the film’s start. When they fail to provide adequate answers, they prepare to take them back when the leader lets out a cry signaling a group of snipers on rooftops to fire and a wave of riders to pounce upon them.

The entire British force other than the sergeants consists of Indian troops, yet nowhere in the scene from the start to the end is there any sense that these troops are different than any other. They fight as a unit, throughout the running battle and retreat through and over the rooftops the town against overwhelming odds. The sergeants lead from the front, take the biggest risks and you will note are the last to make the jump that predated Redford and Newman’s by 30 years. Just before the last of them jumps, he checks on a fallen private soldier to see if he’s can be saved, and when the survivors march into camp, they march in together with heads held high.

There was a time when this message was the norm, and it’s not a coincidence that it was also the time of the greatest generation. When we ceded the culture wars we ceded our message, the message of Judeo Christian values, the message of a shared culture and belief in not only right and wrong but what makes a culture and a people thrive as our forefathers did. If we are unwilling to fight the culture wars by supporting our own cultural message, then we need to remember those who already did so effectively in years gone by.

Saw this at Instapundit and I must say it’s spot on.

In short, many religious Christians of a traditionalist bent believed that liberals not only reduce their deeply held beliefs to bigotry, but want to run them out of their jobs, close down their stores and undermine their institutions. When I first posted about this on Facebook, I wrote that I hope liberals really enjoyed running Brendan Eich out of his job and closing down the Sweet Cakes bakery, because it cost them the Supreme Court. I’ll add now that I hope Verrilli enjoyed putting the fear of government into the God-fearing because it cost his party the election.In short, many religious Christians of a traditionalist bent believed that liberals not only reduce their deeply held beliefs to bigotry, but want to run them out of their jobs, close down their stores and undermine their institutions. When I first posted about this on Facebook, I wrote that I hope liberals really enjoyed running Brendan Eich out of his job and closing down the Sweet Cakes bakery, because it cost them the Supreme Court. I’ll add now that I hope Verrilli enjoyed putting the fear of government into the God-fearing because it cost his party the election.

I said the very same thing in my endorsement of  Donald Trump before the GOP convention. (emphasis mine)

I know that there will be times that Donald Trump will disappointment me just as I expected Mitt Romney to disappoint me on social issues and John McCain to disappoint me on immigration and George W Bush who disappointed me on spending and the bank bailouts.

But while Trump will occasionally disappoint me (when he does I’ll call him on it) I am convinced he will neither persecute me nor strip me of my rights for holding my Conservative Catholic beliefs and acting on them.

I am very sorry to say I can not make that same statement about Hillary Clinton, and I’m even sorrier to see the day when I would say this about a presidential candidate.

This I believe is the real reason why so many of us couldn’t get the #nevertrump people,particularly religious ones.  A Hillary Clinton win would have meant persecution on a grand scale. Donald Trump’s Election has prevented this.

To me everything else (including the liberal angst) is gravy.

Media outlets across the country have been buzzing about “fake news” being a problem ever since the Democrats’ plethora of losses on election day. This problem didn’t pop up because of the election. It was rampant well before the first batch of candidates announced they were running in early 2015. In fact, it’s been around since the early days of the internet. The fact that it has such a prominent spotlight on it today is a bitter response by the left to point a finger at anyone other than Hillary Clinton and Democratic leaders.

That’s not to say that the problem isn’t real. As someone who reads every headline from over a hundred sources every day for my conservative news aggregator, I can verify that fake news has been an actual problem for a long time. It comes in different forms, the most prominent being the spinning of minor news into apocalyptic click-bait headline writing by sources desperate for advertising dollars, but the core problem is universal: the only way for smaller publishers to compete with bigger ones is to be very aggressive with their bullhorns and quite loose with the truth.

The biggest problem is that it works. Medium-sized sites like Salon and Conservative Tribune are building little empires from it. Bigger outlets like Buzzfeed and Breitbart are getting rich from it. While I’m personally not crazy about the technique, it’s effective and as a small-government Federalist I will defend their right to present their version of the news any way they wish. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a problem.

Our society has been conditioned to search for solutions whenever there’s a problem to be solved. That’s natural, but for whatever reason most have missed the obvious one. It shouldn’t require sites like Facebook or Google to censor news from this site or that one, though as private businesses it’s their prerogative to do so if they wish. There’s no need for people to publish blacklists to help “victims” avoid the embarrassment of sharing stories that aren’t completely true. It definitely doesn’t require the government to step in and decide what to consider fake news and what to consider real. That’s a form of censorship that would take us all down a very dark road.

The solution is simple. Just like we should let the business world work out its problems through free market capitalism, we should allow the media to work out its own problems with free speech journalism. Let the media police the media. Let the people make decisions based upon trust and research. Just as someone can choose whether or not to buy at Walmart or Target, they can also choose whether they want to read their news on the New York Times or Infowars.

Sites like Newsbusters and Media Matters work the “truth beat” for their respective ideologies. Newsbusters points out the flaws of mainstream media and leftist media propaganda. Media Matters highlights every conservative perspective and tries to spin it as evil. That’s free speech journalism. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

Instead of trying to find solutions to the fake news problem, the media needs to police itself and the people need to be discerning. Just as “caveat emptor” has been a call of prudence for consumers, perhaps “inspectoris discernerem” should be the rallying cry for news consumers to be more careful with what they read and share.

Non-disclosure agreements, or NDAs, have been around for decades. Politico just discovered them, now that Donald Trump is the President Elect, complete with a Grumpy Trump photo:

Trump transition team members sign non-disclosure agreements

Trump transition team members had to sign a code of ethics with a pretty significant lobbying ban, but they’ve also had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to make certain they keep all of their work confidential, according to a copy obtained by POLITICO.

The agreement legally bars transition staffers from disclosing info about major portions of the transition work, like policy briefings, personnel material, donor info, fundraising goals, budgets, contracts, or any draft research papers. It also demands that if anyone on the team suspects a colleague of leaking material, he or she must tell transition team leadership. And it gives the Trump team grounds to tell those who run afoul of the rules: “You’re fired.”

That’s usually the case when you don’t honor an NDA: you lose your job.

Politico asserts,

This practice of using a non-disclosure agreement dates back to the Trump campaign and even his businesses.

Well, heavens to Betsy!

Politico’s staff and writers may not be familiar with NDAs, but they are common practice in the private sector, and have been for years. There are jobs where I had to sign an NDA in order to apply, due to the sensitive nature of the job. To this day I still abide by those NDAs.

Politico’s unnamed “good government experts” bemoan

the way Trump’s prolific use of non-disclosure agreements in business and the campaign could hurt government transparency if the pattern continued. the way Trump’s prolific use of non-disclosure agreements in business and the campaign could hurt government transparency if the pattern continued.

even while they admit that (emphasis added),

the Trump transition’s application page indicates: “One should assume that all of the information provided during this process is ultimately subject to public disclosure, if requested under the Freedom of Information Act.”

No NDA is going to protect you from FOIA. No NDA places you above the law, either. You don’t need to have a law degree to know that.

However, it makes you wonder if Politico and their “good government experts” are displeased that they can not easily place one of their employees in Trump’s transition team.

The guys at Jezebel (look them up, I’m not linking) are frazzled and say “this is not what a democracy looks like. This is something far worse.”

I wonder where their outrage was while the Dems locked out the GOP when they passed Obamacare.

BONUS:
November 6, 2015: Clinton Signed NDA Laying OutCriminal Penalties for Mishandling of Classified Info, but in her case it was meaningless.

faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Does anyone for one moment believe that the same Fr. John Jenkins, who had no problem with Barack Obama, Joe Biden or Wenday Davis despite their direct opposition and active efforts against the teaching of the Catholic church, would have shown the slightest hesitation to invite Hillary Clinton her to speak at the 2017 commencement if she had been elected?

I’m old enough to remember when Notre Dame was a Catholic College.

california-republic-bonesby baldilocks

Incensed by Hillary Clinton’s second unsuccessful presidential bid, California secession advocates are riled up and ready to go.

Supporters of a plan for California to secede from the union took their first formal step Monday morning, submitting a proposed ballot measure to the state attorney general’s office in the hopes of a statewide vote as soon as 2018.

Marcus Ruiz Evans, the vice president and co-founder of Yes California, said his group had been planning to wait for a later election, but the presidential election of Donald Trump sped up the timeline.

“We’re doing it now because of all of the overwhelming attention,” Evans said.

The Yes California group has been around for more than two years, Evans said. It is based around California taxpayers paying more money to the federal government than the state receives in spending, that Californians are culturally different from the rest of the country, and that national media and organizations routinely criticize Californians for being out of step with the rest of the U.S.

The attorney general’s office will give the ballot measure a title and summary, and Evans said he hopes to begin collecting signatures to get it on the ballot in the spring. Qualifying ballot measures typically requires significant resources to pay signature gatherers, and Yes California doesn’t have major financial backing. But Evans said 13,000 people have volunteered to collect signatures.

“This is real,” Evans said. “We treat it seriously.”

California has been fundamentally—and purposefully–transformed.

The state which was formerly conservative enough to have four GOP governors in the last 50 years—one being Ronald W. Reagan–has been shaped and molded into the image of the Organized Left’s fevered dreams. It has been Cloward-Pivened.

Many factors have sped the process along, the overturning of voter-approved Proposition 187 by the courts back in the 1990s being a significant signpost. And when hardcore leftist Jerry Brown was elected as governor of California in 2011 long after his first terms in the same office (1975-1983), it was a sign that the process was nearing completion. California is now a one party state.

These secessionists don’t know what they are doing; no clue about what they will likely start.

I can guess at one outcome: violence and mass ethnic cleansing. Who will be cleansed: non-Hispanics and non-Muslims—except for the rich.

A California secession would create a human calamity the likes of which most of us soft Americans have never imagined or witnessed, much less been a part of. There will be a lot of running for and being driven by force to the new border. But the Organized Left has been trying to turn this beautiful state into its utopian fantasy for a long time. Maybe the secessionists do know what they are doing.

I will actively campaign and educate against it. Some might say that it can’t be stopped, but doing nothing is not an option.

And I say that secession would be be this state’s final blunder because, at that point, the California we knew will be gone.

UPDATE: California has become not-California a lot faster than I predicted. Look closely.

ca-assemblypinmisspelled
The new California State Assembly pin

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter.

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baldilocks

A car was defaced with slogans in South Philadelphia.
A car in South Philadelphia was defaced with racist slogans.

Two recent events in Philadelphia underline the hypocrisy of the attacks against Donald Trump as a racist.

Only two days after the election, a local news website carried this headline: “Racist and pro-Trump graffiti appears in South Philly following election.”

The article in philly.com described graffiti on cars: “One of the damaged cars was a white SUV that had ‘Trump Rules’ and ‘Black Bitch’ spray-painted across it in large black letters.”

Buried a month later was a story about the arrest of an African-American man from New Jersey who was an ex-boyfriend of one of the victims whose car had been painted with the slogans. What went unsaid was there were no indications that the man had anything whatsoever to do with Trump and his campaign. To make that obvious point, however, would fail to continue the meme of Trump and his followers’ racist tendencies.

Fast forward to an incident just around the corner from my home in Northwest Philadelphia. On Nov. 25, surveillance video captured two men spray painting “F— Trump,” causing an estimated $3,000 to $10,000 in damages.

Police identified assistant city solicitor Duncan Lloyd as one of the two perps. He appeared in the video as a wineglass-toting man clad in an ascot and blazer, who appeared to raise his cellphone to photograph his still-unidentified accomplice.

That’s right! The guy who helped to damage property in my neighborhood is a lawyer for the City of Philadelphia! One might think that he would be fired for his actions, but Philadelphia is a Democrat-controlled sanctuary city. The mayor, Jim Kenney, referred to Lloyd’s actions as “a dumb mistake.”

The city attorney gets to keep his job, and no charges have been filed against him. Just imagine what would happen to someone who painted “F— Obama” on the side of a building in Philly.

The Philadelphia Republican Party has called for Lloyd’s firing. Chairman Joe DeFelice issued a statement shortly after Lloyd was identified.

“If the image of an upper-middle class city attorney clad in a blazer and sipping wine while vandalizing an upscale grocery store with an anti-Trump message strikes you as perhaps the most bourgeois sight imaginable, that’s because it is. Nothing can better represent the hysterical pearl-clutching of the ‘progressive’ elite in response to this earth-shattering election when residents of Chestnut Hill and similar neighborhoods across the country discovered – gasp – that other people have a voice too. The assistant city solicitor in question had ostensibly taken the law into his own hands since a democratic election didn’t yield his preferred outcome.

“For somebody with extensive legal training to feel entitled to vandalize a newly opened supermarket strikes us at the Philadelphia Republican Party as an astonishing feat of idiocy. Did the extra glass of Shiraz give him some sort of delusional confidence that there are no cameras on Germantown Ave? The taxpayers should be entrusting exactly none of our faith into this man. He should be fired from our city’s law department immediately.”

Amen!

See the wine-toting guy at


————————————————————————————————————–Christopher Harper worked as a journalist for many years and teaches media law.

There is a lot to be said for this piece by Stacy McCain titled #LashEquality: @CoverGirl Promotes Transgender Agenda in Commercials. Its discussion of history, references to scripture, celebration of his ancient ancestors (Being of Sicilian ancestry from a family that lived next to a volcano (Mt. Etna) I can go back to the mid 1800’s but before that is a mystery, particularly since everyone from the vikings to the Spanish to the arabs conquered Sicily during the course of history) and his defense of normalcy which everyone seems to be terrified to articulating.

But there are two things in this piece that need highlighting and a clarification added to complete the picture being offered by him.

The first the opinion of the greatest generation of the rebellion of their children most of whom still foolishly think they were and are smarter then their parents who conquered two of the finest militaries in history yet had the Christian character, to with the entire world at their feet, not to enslave it

the “Greatest Generation” knew what price had been paid for our freedom. The troops who came home from that war then fathered the “Baby Boom.” When their children reached adolescence, however, many rebelled against America’s patriotic and religious heritage, and by the time I started high school in 1973, the so-called “Sexual Revolution” had been raging for nearly a decade. Grown-ups strongly disapproved of the whole “hippie” youth culture. Our parents and teachers, our coaches and preachers were in unanimous agreement about the need to suppress this social upheaval that had erupted, the cause of which they believed to be either (a) Communism or (b) Satan, insofar as Communism and Satan weren’t the same thing.

It is my opinion that my generation, the baby boomers are the worst generation in the history of this country and possibly the world and that we as a generation for the good of humanity can’t die off fast enough and take our self centered narcissism, self defined virtue and complete ignorance of the wisdom and experience of our parents and the giants who came before them with us.

Secondly it’s worth highlighting Stacy’s statement concerning his own youthful rebellion (emphasis mine)

In high school, I was just a teenager who wanted to be a cool dude, and among my hoodlum buddies, being a cool dude meant getting high and growing your hair long, because that’s what all the cool chicks were into. So I was as far-out as I could possibly get away with, and I got away with a lot more than I ever got caught with. Could I blame all this on “peer pressure”? Maybe, except that I was an active agent of evil, rather than a passive participant. My extensive adolescent experience in the ways of sin — and all the consequences of evil that I witnessed with my own eyes in the ensuing years — left me quite cynical toward the kind of enthusiasm James Charles expresses about the “amazing progressions with gay rights, gender inclusivity and self-expression.”

I can not emphasize the importance of this paragraph because it does two critical things.

  • It acknowledges acts of evil done and witnessed by him
  • Rather than making an excuse for said evil, he takes responsibility for it.

One could call it a great example of the Penitential Rite of the Catholic church

I confess to almighty God
And to you, my brothers and sisters,
That I have greatly sinned
In my thoughts and in my words,
In what I have done and in what I have
Failed to do,
Through my fault, through my fault,
Through my most grievous fault;
Therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
All the Angels and Saints,
And you, my brothers and sisters,
To pray for me to the Lord our God.

That self awareness is a gift from God that should be treasured by him and mimicked by others whenever possible.

Now having highlighted these two bits let’s turn to the part that needs clarification.

Stacy quotes one of his favorite passages from Deuteronomy 30.  As I am quoting Stacy’s piece I’ll stick with his protestant translation here rather than the one on the Vatican site I would normally use

See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live . .

He follows up with these two paragraphs near the end of his piece:

There are still quite a few Americans who believe in the Lord whose anger is kindled against those who turn away from him, and we have already tolerated enough “gender inclusivity and self-expression” that it’s a wonder God has not already destroyed us for this “amazing progression.”

America has had enough. Our ancestors did not establish this nation with the expectation that their descendants would squander their precious inheritance of God’s blessing. The men who died fighting to gain a foothold on that beach at Normandy did not give their lives so that America could sink into decadence, insanity and perversion.

And here lies the part that needs clarification here.  Stacy gives a lot of quotes from that good Old Testament but is missing some key ones from a slightly newer one.  Like Matthew

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house,  many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.

Matthew 9:9-13

And Mark

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through (the) eye of (a) needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.

Mark 10:23-27

And Luke

“Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”  But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

Luke 19:2-10

And John

Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more.”

John 8:3-11

Christianity is a religion of forgiveness and redemption and every single soul from James Charles to Bob Iger to  Stacy to mine and yours is of value to God.  That same merciful God who sacrificed his son for the forgiveness of sins will give each soul a lifetime to repent of their sins and be forgiven.  As Christ said to St Faustina:

Write: before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. 

Diary of St. Faustina

Stacy expresses surprise that God has not already destroyed us, But did not the Knights of Columbus offer a novena before the election for the country asking for God’s blessing and mercy that was prayed in churches all over the country?  Do not contemplative sisters and brothers pray unceasingly for the country the world and for the intentions of individuals?  Do not individuals like myself offer daily rosaries for the country asking since February for Justice Scalia and since April for Mother Angelica to join in these prayers for our land?  And do not relatives friends of those who have been deceived by the world and the culture pray continually for their salvation?  After all do you think it was just blind luck that Stacy himself, turned away from the admittedly evil path he once pursued?  And are not others even now evangelizing those who have fallen away?

The bottom line is there have been many times when the power of evil, and error and sin have seemed insurmountable, yet the faithful still exist, and thrive and the Holy Spirit still calls those who have rejected him.

“If you’re there, you have to help me.”

Those are the words that poet Sally Read said to an icon of Jesus in 2010. Read, a British poet and atheist, had stopped into a church in Santa Marinella, Italy. She felt burdened. Her young daughter was having health issues. Her husband Fabio was enduring some stress at work.

“There was this incredible experience where this presence almost came down, and my tears just stopped, just dried,” Read tells CNSNews.com. “I felt almost physically carried up. It was as if someone walked into the room. I knew this person. I knew that I was a Christian.”

Up to that point Read, now 46, had been an atheist. “I was brought up an atheist,” Read notes in her just-published memoir, “Night’s Bright Darkness: A Modern Conversion Story.” “At ten I could tell you that religion was the opiate of the masses; it was [driven] into me to never kneel before anyone or anything…As a young woman I could quote Christopher Hitchens and enough of the Bible to scoff at.”

As Pope Francis has said God never tires of forgiving us and as long as that potential is there the work of salvation will continue and we can and must aid it by our prayers.

Because even with this clarification Stacy point stands as evidenced by Christ words to Sister Faustina that followed his remark about the door of mercy.

He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice…

I pray to God that I and others will acquire and retain the wisdom to choose the door of mercy in our lifetimes.

I’ve been thinking what this blog really needs is a weekly cartoon feature.

The idea being a cartoon (either directly commissioned) or at the cartoonist’s whim with my approval to do a once a week cartoon maybe on Friday’s maybe on Monday’s. The idea would be to pay it as a writer with the option of allowing the cartoonist to offer signed copies of said cartoon to readers for a fee to augment the meager pay I can afford to offer.

If you are a person who is looking to break into political cartooning and am looking for a place to start give me a shout and let’s see if this is a good fit. magnificent

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – I suppose now is as good a time as any to start a prediction list of who might be on the receiving end of the coming Obama pardons.  As you may have heard, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has already tossed his name in the ring for a presidential pardon:

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the former American prisoner of war in Afghanistan who was freed in a 2014 swap for five Taliban detainees, has asked President Obama to pardon him before leaving the White House to President-elect Donald J. Trump, who has called the soldier “a no-good traitor who should have been executed.”

After the presidential election, Sergeant Bergdahl’s legal team submitted copies of a clemency application to the White House, the Justice Department and the Pentagon, according to White House and Justice Department officials.

Bergdahl’s desertion trial is scheduled for mid-April, an event he would certainly rather avoid – just like staying on duty during his tenure in Afghanistan.  Recall that Sgt. Bergdahl left his post in Afghanistan in 2009 leaving behind evidence that he was dissatisfied with American policy in Afghanistan. He was captured and held prisoner for five years until the Obama administration traded five high-level Taliban prisoners for him.

During Bergdahl’s captivity, at least six American lives were lost in the search for him. Despite the recent claim by the New York Times to report honestly, their article this weekend indicates that no lives were lost looking for Bergdahl, but the families of these six soldiers might beg to differ. Interviews with family members and fellow soldiers all confirm that finding Bergdahl was always part of their mission. Staff Sgt. Michael Murphrey was killed in September 2009 . His sister Krisa says: “Some say that he was not on a rescue mission, that he was on a humanitarian mission. And then some say that, sure it wasn’t a rescue mission, per se, but Bergdahl was always the secondary mission,” she told Reuters.

After Bergdahl walked off his post, his regiment searched diligently for him. Rather than rest between missions, they were searching for him. And some lost their lives because of it.

Now, Bergdahl’s legal team says he can’t get a fair trial under a Trump administration and so if no pardon comes, they will petition for dismissal of the case.

We can expect Bergdahl to be rehabilitated by our main stream media and it won’t surprise me one iota when the Obama pardon comes. All you have to do is remember this picture to see it coming.

bergdahl

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Fletcher Reede: Settle! – Settle, settle, settle !

Liar Liar 1997

I couldn’t believe me eyes when I read this headline :

San Francisco city officials to ask Kate Steinle’s family to dismiss lawsuit

And the first paragraph tells us that they aren’t alone.

The U.S. government and the City of San Francisco are asking Kate Steinle’s family to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit in a hearing on Friday.

There is one obvious question that comes to mind here, why?

Why on earth would the Steinle family consider even for a moment dropping their lawsuit when the actions of these entities were directly responsible for their daughter’s murder?

Why would they consider for a second letting these people off the hook when they know that only if there are consequences for their actions will things change.

Now I understand why the government would ask, after all they don’t want to be in court filing the motion to dismiss, that will look worse than this request does, but given the situation I can’t fathom why they would think for a second that this family will bail them out when in a few short months they will have an ally in the White House?

Now you might be wondering why the City of San Francisco and the federal government aren’t rushing to do their best Jim Carey impersonation

and get this behind them. The answer is they dare not for two reasons.

  1. If they settle that is a tact admission that there is something wrong will allowing illegal aliens to be sheltered by the city with penalty from the federal government, and our friends on the left dare not risk angering their base by advancing that meme.
  2. There are plenty of victims of crimes by illegal aliens, if they settle this case, then you will see a plethora of such cases nationwide and maybe even a class action by those who suffered financial losses as opposed to death or injury. Such cases will destroy the political viability of the defense of sanctuary cities and campuses.

So the best the government can do is beg the family to let them off the hook in the hope they are foolish enough to do so.

Pathetic.

Closing thought, I wonder what kind of pressure, if any, is being put on the family to play along?

usa-china

By John Ruberry

Building upon Peter Ingemi’s RH’s spectacular Trump’s China Call is a Deliberate Overreach from yesterday, it’s my turn to add my two yuan into the discusssion.

The media loves to dismiss Donald Trump as a showman–as if there was no showmanship with Barack Obama–but those under 45 first encountered our next president as a real estate developer, albeit a flashy one. Developers are many things, including, yes, deal makers, as well as a negotiators. In regards to that last one, when you are sitting across someone you are negotiating with, or as it usually turns out, haggling with, a strategy that has worked since the Babylonian era is to get the person sitting on the other side of the table from you off of his script and on to yours. One tactic is known as “getting-yourself-inside-their-heads.”

And that’s something that Trump may have accomplished by accepting a telephone call last week from the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, which has caused a kerfuffle. Because the United States recognizes communist China as the legitimate government off all of China, including Taiwan, a president hasn’t spoken to a Taiwanese leader since 1979. Of course we still have extensive trade relations with the island nation–oops, breakaway province–and we still sell Taiwan weapons. If they are ever fired in defense it would very likely be against the Chicomms.

Oh, Taiwan and China are major trading partners.

Trying to understand international relations is a descent into madness.

Trump made the re-negotiation of what he calls bad trade deals a central campaign promise. Of course those bad deals with China, if they really are awful, are good ones for the Chinese. If Hillary Clinton won last month’s presidential election China could look forward to at least four more years of crony socialism from the former secretary of state. Since then China has been bracing itself for a return to the bargaining table, preparing for difficult deal making with this New York capitalist.

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

But Trump, who was a very good baseball player when he was young, threw a curve ball at the Chinese.

He accepted a phone call.

He got inside their heads.

Trump knows what he’s doing.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Update (DTG): I’d like to take credit for the piece that John is referring to but that one was written by RH (NG36B) one of the newest additions to our magnificent 7 writers. I’m delighted to have both John & RH on the team

The latest word out of the ADL is a bad sign for the quest for Keith Ellison

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says it has new doubts about Keith Ellison as the next chairman of the Democratic National Party. In a press release published Thursday the ADL cited new information in the form of a 2010 speech in which Ellison said United States foreign policy was based on what was good or bad for Israel:

CNN being CNN is doing their best to spin in his defense.

Ellison, who said he was “saddened” by the ADL statement, added that he wanted to meet soon with Greenblatt “to discuss our shared beliefs and commitment to fairness and justice,” and said he was “committed to building a strong relationship with you.”
Ellison added that he thought the comments were being surfaced by unnamed “right-wing interests to drive a wedge between long-standing allies in the fight for equal rights.”
“My record proves my deep and long-lasting support for Israel, and I have always fought anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, and homophobia – the same values embodied by the Anti-Defamation League.”
And some Democrat donors are very unhappy

Haim Saban, a major Democratic Party funder, said Keith Ellison’s election as chairman of the Democratic National Committee would be a “disaster” for the relationship between Jews and the party, signaling a looming crisis between the party’s progressives and the centrist pro-Israel community.

The scathing broadside delivered Friday by the Israeli-American entertainment mogul, from the floor of the annual Saban Forum, an event he funds bringing together U.S. and Israeli leaders and influencers, underscores the degree to which Ellison’s campaign for DNC chief could erode relations between establishment Jewish groups and the party.Haim Saban, a major Democratic Party funder, said Keith Ellison’s election as chairman of the Democratic National Committee would be a “disaster” for the relationship between Jews and the party, signaling a looming crisis between the party’s progressives and the centrist pro-Israel community. 

Now you might think that with all of this stuff, Ellison’s hopes to become the head of the DNC might have dropped.
You’d think wrong.
First of all after the last election liberal Democrats have decided they need a face or candidate of color in order to motivate the black vote to turn out.   This means that Ellison has an edge that he is able to use.  (Let’s not forget the reports from the 2008 Democrat  caucus goers who were supposedly ready for Hillary wilted at the prospect of voting for her vs the potential 1st black nominee).
Second of all Ellison has embraced the most important tenet of Liberalism, the gospel of social justice

Ellison left Christianity in general & Catholicism in particular for Islam because of the various tenants of liberalism, social justice, inclusion, bridges not walls but notice what isn’t there C.S Lewis again.

Believe this, not because it’s true, but for some other reason.

It’s quite telling that in all the reason he gave for his conversion to Islam, “Because it’s true” wasn’t among them.

Now it may be that he actually believes the tenets of sharia law, but if he does he’s pretty quiet about it, at least to the press.

But the clincher remains the same thing that kept the MSM from reporting the Orlando killings as an authentic expression of Islam, the Tom Hagen math

Regardless of what you see on TV news and talk shows the reality is over the next 20 years the percentage of LGBT voters in the US Population will likely remain static.

During that same time period the number of Muslim Americans, both by immigration and birth is going to increase dramatically.

Right now the left has the Gays and the Transgenders and the Hollywood elites & media in which they are overrepresented and they figure that’s the best things to have, but in America Islam is a thing of the future.  In 20 years the children of Muslims now being raised on the tenets of Sharia law in America will be old enough to vote and Democrats going to make sure they get those votes when the time come, not now but 10-20 years from now.

And if that means more LGBT Americans have to live in fear during those two decades, well it’s small price to pay for power.

It’s not personal , it’s simply a ghastly math driven business

And that math is even more important when the right to slaughter your kids is practically a sacrament to the Democrat party.

So it doesn’t matter if Ellison is in the pocket of the nation of Islam or CAIR, it doesn’t matter what he said about Israel what matter is that nobody in the Democrat party or the press will be willing to risk being calling a racist or an islamophobe by trying to stop.

Then again given the antisemitic, anti Israel and anti-christian turn the left in the US has taken, and where the Democrats will be in 20 years, perhaps, regardless of the short terms cost the selection of congressman Ellison is entirely appropriate.

After all why shouldn’t the leader of the party of the left represent not the image they want to project, but what they actually are.


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trumpdevil
Cite.

by baldilocks

This morning I posted two statuses on my Facebook page that received a lot of reaction. The one I want to discuss is this one.

There are two types which are the opposing sides of the same coin: “Trump-worshippers” and “Trump AntiChristers[i].” The first group is much more vocal than the last one (coined by me), but they have the same MO. One group says that you will go to Hell if you didn’t vote for Donald Trump; the other says that you will go to Hell if you did. And both groups can take scripture and twist it into something unrecognizable to prove their respective conclusions.

Prophets[ii], all–according to them–and for such people, there is no middle ground.

Both types are rooted in denial of the sovereignty of God, to put it mildly. They invert this admonition.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

–Proverbs 3:5-6

This type of thinking is the result of an erosion of our civic education and the resultant erosion of the separation of powers. Because the executive and judicial branches have become so powerful and the legislative branch so craven, we accept that power imbalance without thinking it over too much or at all.

Thus, we unconsciously inculcate the presidency with God-like authority—an authority which it was never meant to have. Many think that the abdication of legislative powers started when Barack Obama became President, but that’s very wrong.

The erosion of biblical education has run parallel to that of civics. Trump worshippers have called Donald Trump the New Nebuchadnezzar or the New Cyrus—both biblical foreign kings who held ancient Judah in captivity after the dissolution of the United Kingdom of Israel and the first sacking of Jerusalem and the destruction of Solomon’s Temple.

Is Trump foreign? Is he a monarch? Has America been razed and all Americans been carried off into a foreign land? Has Washington, DC been sacked? Does America have a singular Temple/Church building? You get the point.

As for Trump AntiChristers, they say, because of his political flip-floppery and his moral flaws, that anyone who votes for him is damned by God—not just the worshippers. Anyone.

I recall one criteria for human beings to be eternally saved and two commandments from my Lord and Savior; none of them have anything to do with voting. And I don’t even believe that Christians who voted for Clinton will be damned. Corrected by listening to God, but not damned.

Do these people not recall what the Accuser of the Brethren is up to at this very minute?

So, it is that many are driven emotionally—driven by fear of things other than God–when presidential elections come around. They view their candidate as the savior from the last ruler, the like-minded as fellow believers, the opposing candidate(s) as the Devil, and skeptics/political opponents as unbelievers/heretics. Corresponding reactions follow.

It’s always about God. When He’s missing in the soul of anyone, that person will allow something or someone else to fill the void and they will call it “God.” And that goes also for many who say they are Christians.

RELATED: Trust the Lord with most your heart, and lean on your own understanding(For the satire-challenged, this lady is making one side of my same point–though our actions during the election were probably different. Our point: don’t act on fear of anyone other than God.)

[i] Trump “AntiChristers”: those who believe that anyone who voted for Donald Trump is a Trump worshipper, i.e. that they put Trump over God’s Word.

[ii] Moses was the only prophet who beat God’s people over the head—literally—with the Word of God. As a result, he broke it and some heads along with it.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks

trump_china
Trump’s recent phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen has sparked a not too surprising response from Beijing:

“We must point out, there’s is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory,” read a statement posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website Saturday afternoon.

Anyone who has been watching Chinese-American relationships in the past decade isn’t surprised by this.  To an American, Taiwan has been de-facto separated by China, and many people don’t understand why they don’t just give it up at this point.

trump_taiwan

The biggest problem with this thinking is that China has sold itself on the reunification with Taiwan.  It’s not just a lot of press, it’s written into their constitution:

Taiwan is part of the sacred territory of the People’s Republic of China. It is the lofty duty of the entire Chinese people, including our compatriots in Taiwan, to accomplish the great task of reunifying the motherland.

To put it into American perspective, it would be like giving Florida back to Spain, despite it being an American state for so long.

Although the phone call appears almost random, I’m guessing it’s not, and that it’s a deliberate overreach by Trump.  He knows that President Obama has too often gotten the snub by China.  China plays the long game, and doesn’t deliberately piss people off unless it feels it has the upper hand.  After watching the US fumble foreign policy with China and give them essentially what they want, China feels like it can push the US around to a certain extent.

Trump gets better deals negotiating from a position of power.  If he approached China in a normal manner, they would seize upon every diplomatic way they could to undermine his legitimacy as President.  So instead, he hits them between the eyes by pounding on a very sensitive diplomatic button.

I predict the following:

  • China will do something to show they still “control” Taiwan.  A military exercise, shoot off missiles, cyber attack…something like that.  Enough to get attention, but small enough to be diplomatically written off by the US if they want to.
  • This action will let China reassure its people, and plenty of people will advise Trump to just let it go.
  • Trump won’t, because he knows if he does, he starts off at a place of weakness.  So, he’ll do something out of the box that will scare the Chinese:
    • He could dismantle the alliance China has built up over the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.  If the US stops the UN from helping the bank, it would be a massive blow to Chinese pride.  Trump could selectively woo countries away from the bank and leave China holding a large bag of debt.
    • He could conduct a military exercise that would scare China.  A freedom of navigation drive-by would be too lame.  If President Trump practiced a maritime blockade of China, and deliberately built an alliance (think Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia, all of whom have reasons to hate China), it could rattle the Chinese.  They want to win in a short, sharp conflict, and know that a long, drawn out blockade could strangle them in the long run.
    • He could buy off Chinese overseas investment.  China has put considerable money in African and Asian countries to try and break out of the First Island Chain.  Trump is the master deal maker, and if he dismantled those deals one by one, it would damage the international image that China wants to portray.

Make no mistake, Trump is walking into the China-Taiwan situation deliberately, and it’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with to negotiate from a position of strength.


This post represents the views of the author and does not represent the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other organization’s viewpoints.


You should hit up Da Tip Jar, and check out my blog while you’re at it.

I had today all planned. Because of the season we’ve had lots of overtime which is good due to furnace repairs but it means this is the first “day” that is a period from Midnight to midnight on an individual day that I did not get home from work after 7 am or leave for work by 10 PM since Nov 5th.

I was even going to sleep in, I could miss mass for a day and put off needed confession till much later because I had no commitments and today I was going to just chill, I might not even bother with a post.

Then my friend Jim called, you might remember Jim from my election day post, he’s in rough shape and asked if I was going to daily mass so he might have a ride to the bank afterwards, which activated a basic rule.

Even when one knows of God existence it still remains quite easier to ignore and put off what is not visible than it is to ignore the plight of a flesh and blood person. It’s an advantage that is regularly used by the other side, but even at those times God is there. Furthermore God knows the right way to remind a person of it and put that choice of service or rebellion right in front of your face.

So I’m going to close here, get off my butt, rush and get dressed for the morning mass I was going to skip, grab confession before or after it and dash down to Jim’s who doesn’t realize that while it appears I am giving him a hand he in fact was giving me one instead.

A day of playing Sid Miers games can wait

The Dems thought that the 2016 presidential campaign was supposed to go like this:
The Republican candidate, civil, polite, meekly plays by the rules (i.e., plays the Dems’ game), is easily thrown off his (the Dems didn’t for a moment think Carly would win the primary) game. Just as it happened in 2008 and 2012.
Versus,
Hillary, unopposed, who landslides to a win, and is crowned.

When it became clear that, as Bill Whittle predicted four years ago, the winner of the primaries was someone from the popular culture, not from politics, the Dems – and several from the RNC – were miffed that Donald Trump was not playing by their rules.

Trump forged right ahead, tweeting right along, flying in his own plane, bringing aid to Louisiana flood victims, and looking mighty presidential at a press conference abroad, where he managed to make the president of Mexico like an amateur.

Oh-oh.

The Dems and several from the RNC, fully expected that Trump, an “overnight media sensation” at least when it came to politics, would, like Andy Griffith’s character Lonesome Rhodes in A Face in the Crowd (1957), have a cataclysmic public meltdown which would lose him the election.

The Dems expected it because they, as our self-appointed “betters” thought the people could not fail to admire Hillary. The Reps wanted Hillary to win as a weak candidate to be overwhelmed by a Republican-majority Congress (as if!).

What neither side recognized that the people were mad as hell and weren’t going to take it anymore, the sentiment yelled to the winds by Peter Finch’s Howard Beale in Network (1976).

Imagine the anger of an unemployed factory worker watching this,

Or the anger of a person being thrown into a basket of irredeemable deplorables, theological connotations and all.

The people weren’t going to take it anymore, and they voted.

Mind you, Trump is no Howard Beale. Trump has at least four decades of experience at three things:
1. Being in the public eye.
2. Playing his own game.
3. Getting things done.

Now that it’s clear Trump not playing by the Dems’ rules, the Dems are leaning back on their ad hominem ways,

Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, fumed: “Do you think I ran a campaign where white supremacists had a platform?”

“You did, Kellyanne. You did,” interjected Palmieri, who choked up at various points of the session.

“Do you think you could have just had a decent message for white, working-class voters?” Conway asked. “How about, it’s Hillary Clinton, she doesn’t connect with people? How about, they have nothing in common with her? How about, she doesn’t have an economic message?”

Joel Benenson, Clinton’s chief strategist, piled on: “There were dog whistles sent out to people. . . . Look at your rallies. He delivered it.”

The Dems’ Lonesome Rhodes are blowing dog whistles while Trump is at the Carrier plant getting things done.

faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

I’m watching CNN post trump Cincinnati. I do this because it continues to be very instructive in terms of what the media thinks and what they say and additionally a ton of fun watching them continue to react to Trump without a clue.

While agreeing that the Carrier win was big it was all about how Trump is divisive, Trump has to reach out, Trump can’t satisfy both coal and oil workers, how he has to stop hitting the press.

What dopes.

Trump has the house, Trump has the senate, and Trump has a platform that is large enough to completely bypass a MSM that openly worked against him, changing the equation forcing them to react to him and chase rather than setting the agenda.

Furthermore there is no prospect of the House going anywhere before 2022 at the earliest (since they would need to win state legislatures and redraw lines) and no prospect of them getting the senate back before 2020.
Given these facts I have this question:

Why on earth would Trump even consider reach out to his foes rather than embracing the voters who elected him?

As for me, I think Trump shouldn’t’ give any of these fools the time of day. At best he should say: This is where our boat is going, if you want to come aboard here if my hand.”

If they don’t take it, let them tread water where they are.


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Of all of Donald Trump’s cabinet decisions, Secretary of State has been the most contentious. All of the four or five remaining candidates have been attacked to some degree, including a barrage of attacks on Mitt Romney from within the Trump camp itself. All of the four or five candidates have long histories of political experience, though only John Bolton has extensive experience talking to foreign leaders (General David Petraeus interacted with foreign military leaders, but that’s not the same thing and partially irrelevant for Secretary of State).

Is it possible to hit the reset button? One of the best things about Donald Trump being President is that the old rules no longer apply. He can select someone outside of the DC inner circle and justify it. Secretary of State more than any other major cabinet decision can benefit from selecting an outsider. The co-author of The Art of the Deal should know this better than anyone. It’s easier to train a great negotiator on the nuances of foreign affairs than to train a politician in the skills of negotiating. After all, we’re the United States. We should be working towards making the best possible deals that benefit everyone, especially us.

All of the current considerations for Secretary of State come with major baggage while having minimal upsides. Romney has the most negotiating experience and has seen this put to great use during his careers in both public and private circles, but he’s scorned by a large chunk of the people who helped get Trump elected in the first place. Bolton is very old school, and while he’s known as a free-thinker, he’s also known to go off the rails from time to time. That’s a trait that Trump doesn’t need in his top diplomat. Petraeus made some horrendous decisions in his days in public life. He should not be rewarded with more responsibility just because he’s done with probation for releasing secret government information carelessly. Rudy Giuliani showed signs throughout the campaign of being well beyond his prime. He wasn’t sharp in many of his speeches and does not appear to be physically capable of the grueling travel schedule a Secretary of State requires. Bob Corker is a Democrat.

While any of these choices would be upgrades from John Kerry, they don’t quite enter the same arena as Alexander Haig, for example. In today’s geo-political maelstrom, we need an Alexander Haig.

Certainly there’s someone else within Trump’s vision who can meet all the criteria. The Secretary of State must be able to communicate the message and act in lieu of the President of the United States in foreign affairs. They need to be easily respected by foreign leaders. They need the negotiating skills that can prevent Iran Nuclear deals from even reaching a point of agreement until it’s clear that the benefits are not lopsided against us. Most importantly, they need to see the world from a perspective that aligns with the President’s vision. None of the current candidates cover all of these criteria well.

I’m not going to throw out names, though I have several in mind. If I had Trump’s ear, I would, but there’s no point in speculating for the sake of speculating. At this point, the best we can hope for is that the President-elect continues his search and is presented with better options than the four or five finalists being discussed today. They are all B-listers at best.

The three or four years you spend working towards a degree, is likely to be a tough. You will have your work cut out juggling coursework, a social life, and maintaining links with family and friends back home. Then there are the other things you need to do regularly, such as eat and sleep. No doubt you are wondering at this point in time whether you can even fit a hobby in, since there doesn’t appear to be much free space in your schedule!

No matter how little free time you have, it is worth making time for hobbies. Even if you are pushed to the limit studying for an online masters in computer science at New Jersey Institute of Technology, you should still make time for a hobby. Hobbies help us relax, improve our skills, and can even be helpful to our degree or career. Read on for some useful tips on which hobbies you should choose if you want to boost your degree studies, and career.

Build a Blog

If you have your eye on a career in tech, running a successful blog will give you serious bonus points. It’s incredibly easy to build a blog, with content management systems such as WordPress available to everyone and simple to use. And if you are working towards an online computer science masters, you can showcase your code writing skills and create an online project portfolio for potential clients.

Learn a Foreign Language

Becoming fluent in a second language is a valuable skill to have. We are living in an increasingly global world, with job opportunities available in a multitude of different countries. Just because you live in one country, it doesn’t mean you can’t take a job on the other side of the world when you graduate. Boost your employability in this regard by learning a second language. That way your resume will be more attractive to global corporations.

Develop Websites

Building websites is a fun hobby, but as well as being an interesting sideline, it can also give your career a helping hand. Employers love tech savvy applicants, so showing you can build a website and market yourself online puts you head and shoulders above someone who lacks these skills. It’s also good practice if you are studying a computer science or tech-related degree.

Excel in Sports

Playing sports is an excellent way of letting off steam and maintaining your health and fitness. Team sports in particular are useful, especially if you want your resume to stand out in a pile of hundreds. Employers like people who are team players. Colleges also like students who are happy to represent them in team sports. It’s a win-win situation.

Work Your Social Media Channels

Never underestimate the power of social media. People with thousands of Twitter followers, Facebook friends, or Instagram followers are serious influencers. Employers want people like you running their social media accounts, so you will be in demand.

Don’t keep quiet about your hobbies when you fill in a job application. It shows you are a well-rounded person, which employers like.

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Hot Dog Vender:Got no opinions Sir, they’re bad for business

Inherit the Wind 1960

One of the values of a being either company operating in a niche market, or serving primarily a niche market is that if you have strong political opinions consistent with said niche market you can release them in public secure in the knowledge that such a move will not hurt the bottom line.

Another type of company with this advantage is one that sells a unique product that can not be easily obtained elsewhere.  When that is the case the customer base, no matter how offended by a particular public opinion, particularly a business, will have no choice but to swallow it’s pride and continue to use said company.

Neither of these would be considered accurate description of the Kellogg’s’ corporation.

Kellogg, citing ‘values,’ joins growing list of companies that pledged to stop advertising in Breitbart News

From the story

The company cited concerns that Breitbart News, which has been described by many as portraying alt-right ideals, does not align with its values.Kellogg’s has announced that it will pull all advertising from the site. The company cited concerns that Breitbart News, which has been described by many as portraying alt-right ideals, does not align with its values.

Breitbart is not amused

Kellogg’s offered no examples of how Breitbart’s 45 million monthly readers fail to align with the breakfast maker’s values. Indeed, the move appears to be one more example of an out-of-touch corporation embracing false left-wing narratives used to cynically smear the hard working Americans that populate this nation’s heartland.

Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alexander Marlow encouraged the boycott of Kellogg’s products, describing their war against Breitbart News as bigoted and anti-American: “Breitbart News is the largest platform for pro-family content anywhere on the Internet. We are fearless advocates for traditional American values, perhaps most important among them is freedom of speech, or our motto ‘more voices, not less.’ For Kellogg’s, an American brand, to blacklist Breitbart News in order to placate left-wing totalitarians is a disgraceful act of cowardice. They insult our incredibly diverse staff and spit in the face of our 45,000,000 highly engaged, highly perceptive, highly loyal readers, many of whom are Kellogg’s customers. Boycotting Breitbart News for presenting mainstream American ideas is an act of discrimination and intense prejudice. If you serve Kellogg’s products to your family, you are serving up bigotry at your breakfast table.”

In response, Breitbart launched its #DumpKelloggs petition to encourage its vast readership and the followers of its #1 in the world political Facebook and Twitter pages to ban bigotry from the breakfast table by boycotting Kellogg’s products. 

Given the results of the election, the fact that the former Chair of Breitbart is now the strategic advisor for the Trump administration and that alternatives to the products offered by Kellogg’s made by other companies abound, this public statement, as opposed to something more generic like claiming they are simply decreasing advertising on political news sites post election, would seem to have been an ill advised PR move.   The trending #dumpkelloggs hashtag on twitter, the eruptions on facebook with the loss of 2% of the stock’s value would suggest this,  so I decided to try & find out what Kellogg’s had to say about it directly.

I called Kellogg’s Consumer affairs line at 1-800-962-1413. I had a very long wait before I spoke to a very busy young lady who informed me that the line was for product related inquiries and that she didn’t have a media contact number but she did have both a number for corporate 269-961-2000 and HR 1-877-694-7554 that she was kind enough to give me.

From there I called the Corporate number. The switchboard operator transferred me to the media relations department but before she did commented that while she had only fielded 2 calls on the subject her co-worker next to here was inundated with them with all but one call objecting to the move.

I reached the voice mail of the media contact leaving a message with both my phone number and email address seeking comment before this piece went live. As of this writing I have not been contacted by either method which means I didn’t get a chance to ask any questions concerning Kellogg’s statement on values. Here are some obvious ones they raise first about how the decision came to be:

Given that this was a very public move by a major corporation whose product is sold in practically every single town in every single state blue and red, what was the procedure that led to this decision?

Who made the initial suggestion for this move?

Was the company approached by an outside entity concerning Breitbart or was this raised internally?

How Much discussion went into making this decision?

How many people were involved in making this decision and when the decision was made was it reached unanimously?

Who drafted the initial statement and at how many levels was said statement approved before it was released to the media?

Those are all statements concerning “cause”, I also have a few on “effect”

as Kellogg’s considers the breitbart sites to be inconsistent with their values, or as Hillary Clinton would say “Deplorable”, do they consider the 46 million readers of Breitbart site equally “deplorable” or inconsistent with the values of Kellogg’s?

Given that the former CEO of Breitbart now has a high position, some would say the most trusted position in the incoming Trump administration does their statement also mean that Kellogg’s considers the values of the incoming Trump administration and the voters who elected them, including in the state of Michigan inconsistent with the values espoused by Kelloggs?

Given that Breitbart.com is inconsistent with the values of Kelloggs will Kelloggs decide that readers and supporters of the Breitbart site need not apply for the positions offered at the site & promoted on Twitter under the Kellogg’s jobs site and that current readers of the Breitbart site employed by Kelloggs should consider finding other work?

And finally one on the aftermath of all of this

Given the rise of the #dumpkelloggs hashtag, the apparent large volume of calls complain and the apparent conclusion by conservatives on social media that their business is no longer desired by Kellogg’s and the implications that has for both the stock price and the bottom line for the company, what affirmative steps, if any, is the company planning to assure these very upset customers that they are valued members of the Kellogg’s customer community or do they plan to wait it out?

If I get a response before I leave for my overnight job I’ll include it here or in an update if any shows up after the post goes up.

Exit Question:  Isn’t this either a class action or a “hostile work environment” case just waiting to erupt on Kellogg’s?

Update:  edited initial paragraph for clarity


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Fidel Castro, slave master to his fellow countrymen, is finally and officially dead.

The Organized Left’s Idea of a Great Leader has already been cremated. Last evening a memorial service, featuring a B-list of presidents and representatives of governments across several continents, eulogized the tyrant, and

From Wednesday, Mr. Castro’s ashes will be slowly taken east, tracing in reverse the route he and his bearded guerrillas took in late 1958 as they closed in on Havana and the seizure of power. On Sunday, his remains will be laid to rest in Santiago de Cuba, where Mr. Castro’s revolution began.

The inhabitants of the hell below are now compelled to show carefully orchestrated displays of public sorrow.

Castro’s ashes are at Granma Room of the Armed Forces Ministry building, where the public is not allowed. Instead, the crowds are directed to the José Martí Memorial, where they are to pay their respects to a portrait of Castro and a display of medals that may or may not have been his. (link in Spanish)

The Communist regime issued guidelines for the official mourning period:
1. Cubans are forbidden from saying “Good morning” (“Buenos días”) to each other.
2. No alcohol is allowed.
3. Nightlife, the lifeblood of tourism, is shut down.
4. No loud music.
5. The neighborhood watchmen, Comités de la Revolución, are keeping track of any violations to the above rules. They also keep track who shows up (or doesn’t) to sign the book of condolences at the 1,000 designated locations across the island prison after standing in line for hours under the hot sun.
6. Mourners are also compelled to sign a statement of commitment to the Revolución.

Not being allowed to display the most basic civility – “good morning” – to your fellow man is emblematic of Communism’s goal: crushing the human spirit.

But what else can you expect from a regime whose leader exsanguinated people to sell their blood before their execution?

faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

“You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.'”

2 Samuel 12:12

The left’s quest for a recount continues despite a lot of critique and laughter going on at them.

Additionally there is worry by dems about the effect of these recounts on how they’re perceived:

by waiting two weeks, we have undermined our credibility with the public and will be seen as sore losers,” Mollineau added. “And the last thing Democrats should be doing is giving the American people any reason to feel sympathy for Donald Trump.

The president has managed to troll them quite a bit both by hitting Clinton as a sore loser and by bringing up up people voting illegally. The later caused the MSM to attack him directly for it but given the MSM reputation for both accuracy and truthfulness that’s likely a plus.

But there is one thing that the President Elect can do that could turn Jill Stein’s Green Party fundraiser into a Democrat disaster.

If I was the Trump campaign I’d say: You want a recount? Fine, let’s assure the entire country that the election is on the up an up, lets add NY, and CA and NH and MH and Illinois.

I’m sure machine pols in NY, the folks using gang members turn out votes in Chicago the folks in Ca running up the Hillary’s popular vote score and the people who have bussed students to NH for years will be delighted to see scrutiny descend on them.

Let’s put everything on the table and see what’s there, I’ll bet it will be fun

by baldilocks

Miamians "mourn" the death of Castro. Palm Beach Post
Miami responds to the news of Castro’s death. Palm Beach Post

Below Florida, that is. Michael Totten documents his visit to Castro’s Cuba:

I had to lie to get into the country. Customs and immigration officials at Havana’s tiny, dreary José Martí International Airport would have evicted me had they known I was a journalist. But not even a total-surveillance police state can keep track of everything and everyone all the time, so I slipped through. It felt like a victory. Havana, the capital, is clean and safe, but there’s nothing to buy. It feels less natural and organic than any city I’ve ever visited. Initially, I found Havana pleasant, partly because I wasn’t supposed to be there and partly because I felt as though I had journeyed backward in time. But the city wasn’t pleasant for long, and it certainly isn’t pleasant for the people living there. It hasn’t been so for decades.

Outside its small tourist sector, the rest of the city looks as though it suffered a catastrophe on the scale of Hurricane Katrina or the Indonesian tsunami. Roofs have collapsed. Walls are splitting apart. Window glass is missing. Paint has long vanished. It’s eerily dark at night, almost entirely free of automobile traffic. I walked for miles through an enormous swath of destruction without seeing a single tourist. Most foreigners don’t know that this other Havana exists, though it makes up most of the city—tourist buses avoid it, as do taxis arriving from the airport. It is filled with people struggling to eke out a life in the ruins.

It’s one of those “read the whole thing” kind of essays and now I feel whiny for complaining about my landlords.

After I finished Michael’s superlative travelogue, I got down on my knees and thanked God for the United States of America. Descriptions of totalitarian feces holes, especially one so near, tend to remind this first-generation American of her blessings.

Also, don’t forget this.

One more thing: pray for the people in Tennessee.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks

When you think of higher education, you think of someone who is enlightened. That doesn’t mean someone looking through the world with tunnel vision so that everything but a narrow path to light is blocked off. Higher education leads students forward into a world where there are people of all races, all creeds, all nationalities, all ages and all political backgrounds. When studying for a higher education leadership degree, such as the one you can find here, you will learn how to be objective so that you can be a truly effective leader.

Personal Ideologies Have Infiltrated Our Classrooms for Far Too Long

Unfortunately, this is where so many universities have dropped the ball. For too long they have allowed professors to spout their own personal ideology which influences students to act and believe a certain way. Perhaps an online EDD program would be a better choice when it comes to seeking a doctorate in education because a student’s parameters of understanding will be defined by what they perceive to be true, not an articulation of what they have been taught in class.

What an Advanced Degree in Higher Education Should Be

As students studying in an online doctor of education in higher education leadership program, they should come out with tools to make them true leaders. Leaders don’t dictate what their teams should or shouldn’t do, but a truly great leader will empower their team to think for themselves. True, there is a core curriculum which must be studied but that doesn’t mean that students must think and act alike. It would be a boring world if this were the case. It would be a world of robots simply acting on command rather than through human responses based on how they, personally, feel about something.

What Higher Education Should Never Be – But Is!

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a student should never be a simple receptacle for knowledge a teacher deposits there. The student should be empowered to do his or her own critical thinking. Paulo Freire, a Brazilian educator, calls this ‘banking education.’ It’s like making a deposit in a bank where you can draw out assets as they are needed. Isn’t this much like what the United States is seeing in the early post-election days? Many professors with their left wing liberal politics have deposited fear and hate directed towards the right and now that a Democrat didn’t win, that hate is being withdrawn from the depository (student) and is now being circulated among the masses.

Approach from Front and Center – Never from the Right or the Left

This is what higher education should never be. Whether from the right or the left in a political, religious or sociological issue, a student in higher education should be encouraged to think and act for themselves. That is what higher education should be but usually isn’t. Higher education should never be about programming our students but rather offering them the critical thinking tools necessary for them to draw their own conclusion.

Your student isn’t a bank where you can deposit all of your biases to be drawn out at such times as to suit your purposes. Plant seeds yes, but let your students devise the fertilizer of their choosing. That’s higher education and anything less is doing them a grave injustice. Read this question on Quora.com and you will see that students, themselves, are tired of biased education. It’s time for a change.

screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-8-29-55-am

Amid talk of vouchers and charter schools, the Trump administration should consider significant tax breaks for homeschoolers.

The reasons for homeschooling vary. Some parents want to emphasize a religious education for their children. Others want to avoid the left-leaning indoctrination of public schools. Still others face inadequate or unsafe schools.

According to the National Home Education Research Institute, more than two million students in K-12 are schooled at home. One study found that more than 30 percent of these students are Black, Hispanic or Asian. Moreover, the students and their parents save taxpayers more than $20 billion a year based on an estimated cost of more than $11,000 a year per child for a public school education.

But homeschoolers receive no significant tax breaks for teaching their children.

Homeschools in most states cannot be run as a business or even as a non-profit as parents cannot charge their children for their education. Moreover, homeschoolers cannot deduct donations to their own school. Also, the IRS usually does not allow homeschooling to be considered a hobby, which could reap some limited tax benefits.

Here are some possibilities to make homeschooling more affordable:

–Allow tax breaks for tuition and books purchased from homeschooling businesses.

–Provide deductions for individuals who are the primary teacher.

–Give tax incentives for tutoring in specific subjects, such as math, science and technology.

–Provide a mechanism to receive a reduction in local property taxes, which often are paid to local schools, for individuals who homeschool.

“Open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children,” Donald Trump says. “Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition-the American way.”

That competition should include incentives and benefits for homeschoolers and their children to allow them to choose an option other than charters and vouchers.


Christopher Harper is a recovering journalist who worked for The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times and teaches media law.

edwards-money pj mediaFor years whenever conservatives referred to the Clinton Foundation as a money mill we were derided by both Clinton’s defenders and the press that assured us that regardless of the number of flights, five star hotels, expensive meals and booze that the Clinton Foundation covered for Bill, Hillary & Company, it was all about good works and that’s all there is too it.

That being the case I find this news from Australia rather odd:

AUSTRALIA has finally ceased pouring millions of dollars into accounts linked to Hillary Clinton’s charities.

What that can’t be right

The federal government confirmed to news.com.au it has not renewed any of its partnerships with the scandal-plagued Clinton Foundation, effectively ending 10 years of taxpayer-funded contributions worth more than $88 million.

But this doesn’t make any sense. We were assured that the Clinton Foundation was doing good works all over the world, are we to believe that the good works that Australia believed was worth an 88 Million dollar investment just ceased or that Australia has decided that their works are good enough any more?

Why anyone would think that the contributions from Australia over the last 10 years were all about currying favor with a Sitting Senator, Sitting Secretary of State, Democrat Nominee and expected president rather than helping others.

Anyone want to bet me a five spot that the Australians won’t be the last big donor to decide to without the greens that the Clinton cash Cow lived on for years?

Update: That didn’t take long:

As the Norwegian newspaper Hegnar points out, Norway is expected to slash their contributions to the Clinton Foundation by 87% now that Hillary has lost the presidency. After contributing roughly $5mm per year to the Clinton Foundation between 2007 – 2013, the Norwegian government decided to boost their donations to ~$15mm and ~$21mm in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Ironically, that boost in contributions corresponded with Hillary’s decision to run for President in 2016…but we’re sure it’s just a coincidence. That said, it is fairly interesting that, since Hillary’s loss, Norway has decided to scale back their contributions by 87% in 2017…hmmm.

I guess that’s better than Australia which went to zero but I’m wondering what Norway’s explanation is? Does the Clinton Foundation do 87% less good than it did before?

double-secret-gun-control

Saw this tweet from Sean Davis

Linking to this federalist article full of tweets calling for more gun control after an 18 year old Somali refugee named Abdul Razak Ali Artan, at Ohio State launched an attack that likely had nothing to do with Islam with a knife rather than a gun.

But that’s not enough, since Ohio State is already a gun free zone, we need something stronger, cue Dean Wormer

The time has come for Double secret gun free zones on campus‘nationwide! Only then will students at Ohio state be truly free from attacks that have nothing to do with Islam by refugees who have no violent intent.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT –  “It will be back to business as normal. Nobody cares.”  That statement from a woman who has worked in the French Quarter for six years is simply tragic.

“Nobody cares.”

Early Sunday morning, around 1:40 a.m., ten people were shot near the intersection of Bourbon and Iberville in the historic French Quarter. The gunfire sent tourists and locals running in panic. Some of the clubs closed their doors to keep out the violence. One of the reported shooters is dead and there are several arrests. It’s a tragedy all around but the sad thing is that this happens in NOLA more often than not – it’s only when it gets close to the tourist areas that you hear about it.

New Orleans is a beautiful, culturally diverse, fascinating city. Under the guidance of mayor Mitch Landrieu it has degenerated into a violent, lawless disaster. I hate to say it because I love New Orleans. It’s a city that gets in your blood and lures you back. The food, the music, the eclectic street vendors, and the people above all, are for the most part intoxicating.

Sadly, the policies of Mayor Landrieu are going to kill the tourist trade if something isn’t done. Landrieu is more focused on things of lesser importance than the blood in the streets, things like removing monuments, for example. Landrieu spent much of 2015 fighting against the four major Confederate monuments in the city. I’ve written about that issue here, here, and here on this blog. Once that issue was safely nestled into the lengthy court dockets and appeals process, Landrieu moved on to gun control laws.  A decision on the monuments is imminent from the U.S. Court of Appeals and tensions are already high.

In April 2016, Landrieu proposed a new series of gun control laws which was passed and signed into law in September. Most of the ordinances are already on the books so it was an exercise in redundancy at best. New Orleans had 165 murders in 2015, up from 150 in 2014. As of October 17, 2016, NOLA is on pace to meet or exceed that number with 134 murders.  Note that number does not include shootings that don’t end up as murder statistics, such as those nine non-fatal victims in this most recent shooting.

Last week a commander of the police department issued a warning to women not to travel alone after dark in the city due to a rising number of robberies and car jackings:

“I would suggest to any female, if they can prevent it, do not travel alone overnight,” said Second District Commander Shaun Ferguson. “If you absolutely have to, stay on the phone with someone and let them know where you’re going. Keep them abreast of your whereabouts.”

A female college student from Tulane was carjacked early Tuesday when another car struck hers from the rear. As she got out of the car, three men from the other vehicle got out and one of them pushed her to the ground. That man got into her car, while the other two jumped into their vehicle and fled.

The Confederate monuments are clearly not the problem; the problem lies in Landrieu’s failure to address the violence in the streets in any meaningful fashion. In recent protests at Lee Circle after Trump’s election, vandals were tagging the monument and other prominent buildings with paint, setting fires on the lawn at the circle, blocking traffic, and running rampant through the streets. Unconfirmed reports were that Landrieu told police to stand down and let them “peacefully protest.”

There is a small group of citizens who watch over the monuments in New Orleans. They patrol nightly to ensure that no vandalism is occurring and should someone tag one of the monuments, the group removes it quickly. Citizens are policing their own city because the mayor has ginned up such hate and divisiveness that it’s the only way to protect the history and culture of the city.

And the locals are worried: with Mardi Gras season just around the corner, how will the increased violence affect tourism? Will it be safe to go into massive crowds to attend parades?  The comments on news reports of the most recent shooting indicate people’s anxiety:

“And this is why we no longer stay in NOLA…..Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his city council need to concentrate on crime and not on tearing down history….We will be staying in Biloxi next weekend for the Saints game! So sad……”

“New Orleans is out of control. Our Mardi Gras is going to be a blood bath if things don’t change and I don’t see a change coming.”

New Orleans is stuck with Mitch Landrieu until 2018.

That’s almost 200 more lives in the balance.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

As a general rule there is never a bad time for a murderous dictator to meet his end, however the timing of Fidel Castro’s death, at a moment when most American leftists in media and academia are berating and bemoaning the election of Donald Trump is most fortuitous.

Castro’s death while all this insanity is going on provides a teachable moment for those who are returning to a classroom after thanksgiving.

So to all of those being told of the greatness of Fidel Castro by those who celebrated his rise to power and insisted that Cuba was a better place under him, while at the same time bemoaning the future of the United States under president elected Donald Trump by the professional leftists teaching them I pose the following question.

For decades the left has insisted that Fidel Castro was a hero who made his island a better place while insisting that claims of oppression were either false or overblown.

Yet despite this thousands of Cubans fled their Island, risking jail if caught and drowning if not in order to escape this supposed “paradise”. Even Cuban athletes representing the country had to be carefully watched when competing internationally because even the threats against their families on the island was not enough to guarantee that they would not defect to the west.

That is Cuba under the Castros.

Meanwhile before the election of Donald Trump celebrities from Al Sharpton to Lena Dunham, from Cher to Whoopi Goldberg and Amy Schumer vowed to leave the country if he was elected to escape the evils of what would be his despotic rule.

Not only did the various celebs all have sufficient wealth to allow them to leave the country without incident (unlike most of those who fled Castro) but under the laws of the United States they faced no fear of reprisal if they choose to go, no being stopped at the border, no imprisonment of families, not even a risky boat ride, the most dangerous part of leaving would be the risk of having to fly coach.

Yet when the time came, every single one of them decided to stay.

So my question to those attending a college where they are singing the praises of Fidel Castro while creating safe spaces and organizing marches to oppose Donald Trump is this?

If What you’ve been told about Trump vs Castro is true, why aren’t the Cubans staying and the celebrities fleeing? Wouldn’t that be the logical result?

Take all the time you need.


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Earlier today, top Trump adviser KellyAnne Conway continued her attacks on potential Secretary of State Mitt Romney, this time on the Sunday morning shows. She’s not alone with Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee voicing their opposition to Romney, who spent the majority of the campaign season attacking Trump.

It’s unprecedented for aides and allies of a President-elect to be so publicly opposed to someone their boss is considering for one of the most prized cabinet positions. The reason it’s never happened is because it’s downright strange. What in the world is happening?

Applying logic and deductive reasoning, I’ve found only three viable possibilities, with only one of them being not weird. Let’s take a look at the possibilities in no particular order:

It’s Mike Pence vs. Conway/Gingrich/Huckabee

VP-elect Pence has been vocal about his approval of Romney in the cabinet. Assuming that Trump respects his right hand man’s opinion, he may be pulling Trump in that direction with as much force as he can muster. Seeing the stalwart support from Pence, the opposition have expressed their perspectives and feel the only way to stop it is to build a groundswell in the news and among other vocal Trump supporters to pressure Trump into not picking him.

We can assume if Romney gets the nod that Pence has more pull than most of us realized. Then again, it could be pointing to a conspiracy theory about Trump keeping his enemies closer.

Trump’s Revenge

There has been no love lost between Trump and Romney over the last year, which is why it was shocking that they would meet in the first place. Could this be an elaborate ploy with one goal: public shaming of Romney? Trump is known to be very vindictive, but he’s also been known to be instantly forgiving. If this is the case, why would his aides and allies be attacking Romney in public?

Through public shaming, this scenario demands humiliation. That means an apology. If Romney apologizes and then does not get the job, we can pretty much bank on this being the scenario the whole time.

Trump’s Just Testing the Waters

This is the one that wouldn’t surprise anyone. If Trump really doesn’t know for sure who to pick and is trying to get a diverse range of opinions from fans, media, and anyone else with a thought on the matter, this is the way to do it. Whether or not he condones the actions of his outspoken advisers remains to be seen, but he hasn’t seemed to be holding anyone back.

If this is the case, it spells doom for Romney’s chances. Other than a handful of blogs and some private endorsements, there hasn’t exactly been a rallying force behind Romney.

Regardless of who Trump picks, this strange Romney affair has been fun to watch. Whether you love Trump or hate him (does anyone feel anything in between?), you have to admit that it’s already shaping up to be a very entertaining 4-8 years.


Thank you for reading this article. Be sure to hit DaTip Jar – Peter does great work. You can find me over at The New Americana or building the Federalist Party. Or, you can hit me up on Twitter.

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jonathan-strange-and-mr-norrellBy John Ruberry

It’s time to take a break from politics.

Many times while surfing on Netflix I came across a recommendation to watch the seven-part 2015 BBC One miniseries, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which is described as such: “In 1806 ambitious magician Norrell leads a revival of practical magic in England and ignites a fierce rivalry with bold young conjurer Strange.” If that sounds like a dopey show, well, that’s what I thought too. But I yielded to the luring and tuned in. I’m grateful that I did.

Magic in the alternative universe of Strange and Norrell is not smoke-and-mirrors and rabbits being pulled from hats, it’s a neglected scientific discipline that for unexplained reasons was abandoned in England in the early 16th century. But Gilbert Norrell (Eddie Marsan), a magician from York, becomes a national sensation when he brings to life the statues of  York Minster Cathedral and, in his only use of dark magic, brings back from death the future wife of a prominent member of parliament, Lady Pole (Alice Englert).

But just as in another alternative universe where humans can sell their soul to the devil, the dark side, in this case a mysterious being known as the Gentleman (Marc Warren), sabotages the transaction and establishes Norrell’s second rivalry.

Norrell offers his services to fight the French and their allies in the Napoleonic Wars, although only Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel) directly utilizes magic at the side of the Duke of Wellington (Ronan Vibert), who is initially skeptical of him. Included in the broad historical sweep of Strange and Norrell is the blind and mad King George III, and although not by name, the anti-industrial Luddites.

The rest of the cast is wonderful, particularly Ariyon Bakare as a mysterious butler and Vincent Franklin as the duplicitous promoter of Norrell and Strange. The special effects, with the exception of the ravens in the last two installments, are first rate.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is a welcome diversion from the usual, and it’s a particularly good series for binge-watching.

Besides Netflix, the mini-series is available on many on-demand systems and on DVD.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

As you likely know today is the First Sunday of Advent and the first Sunday of the liturgical year for Catholics which officially began yesterday with the Advent vigil mass.

But I suspect some of you might not know that the previous liturgical year didn’t end Friday, but on Saturday morning. The Daily mass celebrated Saturday Morning was the final mass of the Church’s year. It’s also the liturgical anniversary (vs the actual anniversary) of the death of my devout Aunt Lucy who died between the masses so I do my best to make sure I don’t miss it.

So yesterday after work I headed to my church and immediately noticed five unfamiliar faces. A group of nuns in white habits with black veils were at my church, first crowded into our divine mercy chapel and then sitting together at mass.

I didn’t recognize any of the nuns so when mass was over and one finished her prayers I greeted her and asked what order they were from. She told me they were Dominican Nuns of Saint Cecilia from Nashville Tennessee who teach school in Providence Rhode Island.  They were in the area for a hiking trip.

That they were devout was obvious but what jumped out at me the most, every single one of them looked young enough to be my daughter (I’m 53).

This was quite ironic because just a few months ago our parish celebrated the anniversary of the founding of our elementary school by the Sisters of the Presentation. About a dozen of those sisters turned up for the mass as invited guests and there were two things about them that were in stark contrast to the Dominican Sisters at the Saturday Mass.

  • Not a single one of them was in a nun’s habit.
  • Every single one of them was old enough to be my mother

Now I don’t question for one moment the devotion of those older nuns who did yeoman service for the school before they were replaced by lay teachers as they retired but I have yet to see a group of nuns that have abandoned the habit who are not dying out.  As they abandoned the habit, vocations abandoned them.

Meanwhile the sisters in Nashville which did not go down that path apparently has so many vocations that they can be spared to go all the way to New England to teach.  From their website:

The community has continued to experience God’s blessing of new vocations. This past summer, five young sisters professed perpetual vows, with 13 others making first profession. Twelve received the Dominican habit. With the entrance of 15 postulants in August, approximately 50 sisters are presently in the initial four years of formation. The Congregation now totals nearly 300 sisters, the largest number in its history. With this gift also comes the challenge of providing for the needs of a growing community.

It seems at least in the church the orthodox are winning the culture war.

Closing thought.  There is a very devout woman at our parish named Joan.  She has been active in the parish for decades (In fact she was my wife CCD teacher 35 years ago).  Joan is in her mid 80’s and not only makes mass daily but is involved in multiple parish activities on a regular basis.  I remember her being at that Anniversary Sunday mass months ago and mentioned at the time that she was indistinguishable from any of the nuns in attendance.

Yesterday I noticed Joan was in attendance at the mass with the Dominican Sisters.  Devout though she is nobody in attendance would have mistaken her for one of those nuns.

Update: Welcome readers of the Canon 212 blog. Have a peek around. My first short book on the faith. The Hail Mary as Explained to Protestants, is awaiting the Imprimatur from my local Bishop before I go to publish. If you would like to be notified when it is available fill out the form below and I’ll let you know when I have a release date. I am always accepting prayer requests as well, feel free to leave one even if you don’t want the book


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young-castroby baldilocks

Like a twisted version of Santa Claus, the late Fidel Castro had gifts of horror to dispense to the country over which he ruled.

  • He turned Cuba into a colony of the Soviet Union and nearly caused a nuclear holocaust.
  • He sponsored terrorism wherever he could and allied himself with many of the worst dictators on earth.
  • He was responsible for so many thousands of executions and disappearances in Cuba that a precise number is hard to reckon.
  • He brooked no dissent and built concentration camps and prisons at an unprecedented rate, filling them to capacity, incarcerating a higher percentage of his own people than most other modern dictators, including Stalin.
  • He condoned and encouraged torture and extrajudicial killings.
  • He forced nearly 20 percent of his people into exile, and prompted thousands to meet their deaths at sea, unseen and uncounted, while fleeing from him in crude vessels.
  • He claimed all property for himself and his henchmen, strangled food production and impoverished the vast majority of his people.
  • He outlawed private enterprise and labor unions, wiped out Cuba’s large middle class and turned Cubans into slaves of the state.
  • He persecuted gay people and tried to eradicate religion.

Many Leftist leaders have blown elegiac smoke up Raul Castro’s backside as they praise the great leadership of his dead brother. And I use the term “great leadership” without irony. We’ve seen them fawn over true dictators before and be silent when that type of leadership produces identical and inevitable outcomes. Every. Single. Time.

Fidel Castro was the epitome of a Great Leader, per the Left, because of the types of outcomes listed above, not despite them.

And even if you’re still giving the side-eye to the president-to-be—and, trust me, I am—get down on your knees and thank God that we dodged the bullet called Hillary Clinton–a true Leftist type of Great Leader.

(Thanks to Instapundit)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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baldilocks

 

 

There is a lot of celebrating over the death of Fidel Castro (along, ironically, with grief from the same folk who claim they are afraid of a dictatorship by Donald Trump).  It is one of the top stories in the news this weekend generating story after story all over the world with a lot of adjectives being thrown about but given that the Cuban Dictator was 90 years old and in poor health the most accurate one I can think of is “unsurprising”

Which is why I think Stacy McCain’s decision to follow up his post on Castro’s death with one on the July death of Qandeel Baloch titled‘Girl Power’ and Honor in Pakistan: The Unsurprising Death of Qandeel Baloch was perfect.

In the West, female celebrities engage in provocative behavior and men are accused of “misogyny” for criticizing them, but any woman in an Islamic nation who attempts to emulate such behavior risks consequences far more serious than sexist jokes. Qandeel Baloch had 43,000 Twitter followers and more than 700,000 on Facebook, the BBC reported, and used her social-media presence to spark outrage. In June, she posted selfies posing with an Islamic cleric, Mufti Abdul Qavi, and told Pakistan Today the conservative Muslim scholar was “hopelessly in love” with her. That publicity stunt may have led to her murder three weeks later

Now I readily confess that my first reaction to Stacy’s piece on the death of “Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian” was shock that

  • Pakistan had their own Kim Kardashian
  • Someone might want to BE Pakistan’s or any other country’s Kim Kardashian

But on a more serious note Stacy’s timing on this story, whether by chance or design could not be more perfect because while outrage and pity are the proper reaction to the murder of this young mother in her prime, shock is not.

I’ll go further, saying that not only was the the death of the sickly 90 year old Cuban despot less inevitable than the murder of a woman in her mid 20’s who publicly emulates Kim Kardashian in Pakistan but Fidel Castro outliving her, both by four months in linear time and 64 years in relative age is one of the least surprising things I’ve heard all day.

However our friends on the left daren’t either express shock and anger at Ms. Baloch’s murder nor publicly make that conclusion about the inevitability of said murder as it so vividly illustrates the lunacy of painting American Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular as repressive fundamentalists who are more of a danger to the health, freedom and well being of women than even non-radical Islam and believe me there is very little “radical” about Honor killing in Islam indeed.

Furthermore it’s not a hard guess to conclude that many more tears will be shed on the left over the death over this mass murder than were ever shed for the young Ms. Baloch whose only fault was over

So I will close here by complementing Stacy McCain on his thought provoking article which you should read in full and express the same hope for the souls of Mr. Castro and Ms Baloch that I and every believing Christian is required to have for every soul, that they sought the mercy of God in the end and obtained it.

openfloorplanLook at any listing for a modern house. I’m willing to bet that two things are present:

  1. An open floor plan, meaning that on the base level, one room opens into another.
  2. Almost all listings will have multiple pictures of the kitchen and almost no pictures of the garage.

kitchenThat’s a nice kitchen…but what about the smoking room?

The modern home listing is, frankly, very sexist.

Think about it. In almost every family I’ve seen, while both husband and wife cook, the wife organizes and runs the kitchen. If you don’t believe that, try (as a man) to reorganize your kitchen. Most women will have a serious issue with that. I know my wife did when I tried to clean up numerous drawers in our kitchen recently.

The open floor plan is terribly detrimental to men. For most men, if they get overwhelmed, they have to withdraw to a private space to gather their thoughts and de-stress. Try doing that in an open floor plan. Essentially, I’d have to lock myself in my bedroom, which I (like most) share with my wife.

Complicate this with the desire by many women to kick men’s hobbies out of the home and into the most undesirable rooms like the garage and basement. I see most guys hanging out in the garage because that is the only place they can store their hobby. Personally, I think garages are unheated storage for cars, not your quiet space.

garageAlthough if your garage looked like this and had an easy chair, it might not be so bad

The average guy today is probably told by his father that his house is his castle. He also probably doesn’t feel like that, at least in today’s world.

Layer on top of this:

  • That more men come from families broken by divorce, or in many cases a cohabitating couple that later splits, and lacks a good male role model
  • That society continues to change the bar for men, so it’s hard to define what is “good”

  • That all-male or predominantly-male institutions, including our veteran’s groups and church groups, are increasingly in decline

  • That our stagnant economy makes it hard to get a job, which is a critical expectation of men

  • and we shouldn’t be surprised that young men still commit suicide more often than women and have a lower life expectancy.

    We’ve setup a system that doesn’t inspire creation of good family men. It’s caused more than a few to go on strike, and single, angry, unemployed men don’t work well for any government (just ask Tunisia). The anger may have contributed to many men switching their votes to Trump this last election. It’s my hope that as the dust settles, we as a society take a serious look at what expectations we place on our young men.


    This post is the work of the author and does not represent any other organization’s views. And yes, rearranging things in your kitchen is a good way to stir up marital strife, so proceed with caution!


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    Leonard Hofstadter: Got any advice?
    Beverly Hofstadter: Yes. Buck up.
    Leonard Hofstadter: Excuse me – you’re a world-renowned expert in parenting and child development, and all you’ve got is “buck up”?
    Beverly Hofstadter: Sorry. Buck up, Sissy Pants.

    The Big Bang Theory The Skank Reflex Analysis 2011

    A few days ago we had a sponsored post called Technology Jobs with High Salaries, which talked about certain hi tech jobs that will get you a big paycheck.

    All of those jobs have one thing in common, the ability to handle stress and deal with real world problems in real time.

    This is apparently not a skill that $41,096 annually will buy you at Edgewood College

    The operations of Edgewood College were brought to a swift halt by a sticky note making fun of students traumatized by the election of Donald Trump.

    The sticky note — which read, “Suck it up p–—s!” followed by a winking smiley face — coincided with a campaign to encourage students to express their feelings about the election by posting the 3-by-3-inch adhesive placards on a table in a common area.The operations of Edgewood College were brought to a swift halt by a sticky note making fun of students traumatized by the election of Donald Trump. The sticky note — which read, “Suck it up p–—s!” followed by a winking smiley face — coincided with a campaign to encourage students to express their feelings about the election by posting the 3-by-3-inch adhesive placards on a table in a common area.

    That paragraph is bad enough but the reaction of the college administration was worse:

    According to the letter, the Post-it caused “[a] great deal of fear, sadness, and anger among students, faculty, and staff,” was “a targeted act of intimidation and cowardice,”According to the letter, the Post-it caused “[a] great deal of fear, sadness, and anger among students, faculty, and staff,” was “a targeted act of intimidation and cowardice,”

    Maybe it’s just me but if you’re part of  the faculty and staff of a college and you are intimidated by a post it not with a winking smiley face you have no business being in any position of authority or responsibility.

    And if you think that letter was bad their final reaction clinched it:

    According to Chambers, “the group determined that the message constituted a Hate Crime, based on guidelines from the Jeanne Clery Act and state law.”

    He adds the group acted according to college policy and reported the incident to the Madison, Wisconsin Police Department, which is currently investigating it as a “Hate Crime,” and that it is also being investigated through the college’s Student Conduct Process.According to Chambers, “the group determined that the message constituted a Hate Crime, based on guidelines from the Jeanne Clery Act and state law.”  He adds the group acted according to college policy and reported the incident to the Madison, Wisconsin Police Department, which is currently investigating it as a “Hate Crime,” and that it is also being investigated through the college’s Student Conduct Process.

    Seriously, you called the cops over a post it note? Seriously?!?

    Now the problem reaction to all of this is of course uncontrollable laughter

    Unless of course you are

    • A parent who is paying $40K plus annually for a school to teach them to be unprepared to deal with a post it note
    • A student at a job interview who has to convince a hiring manager that your Edgewood education qualifies you for a position.
    • A member of the alumni who has wondered what they’ve been spending the check you’ve sent them on
    • A Madison taxpayer who realizes their police are investigating post-it notes instead of dealing with actual crime.

    No hiring manager in his or her right mind would even consider hiring a person who has spent four years in an environment where people are trained to call the police over a post it note.

    My suggestion for parents of Edgewood college students.  If you want your son or daughter to learn how to function in the real world get them out of Edgewood and have them take a job at McDonalds.

    Sooner or later lawyers will figure out that colleges like this which fail to prepare students for life are class action suits waiting to happen, then the facades will start falling rapidly.

    Closing thought.   The unwillingness of the university to comment other than to acknowledge the letter as real tells me that these folks know that what they are doing is idiocy but as long as they work and dwell inside the bubble they are too afraid to say so.  How pathetic is that?


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    I had no idea who Colin Kaepernick is until quite recently. It turns out he’s the 49rs quarterback guy who started kneeling on one knee at the national anthem, a sign of protest that I, former Catholic schoolgirl, find incongruously reverential,

    Genuflection (or genuflexion), bending at least one knee to the ground, was from early times a gesture of deep respect for a superior. Genuflection (or genuflexion), bending at least one knee to the ground, was from early times a gesture of deep respect for a superior.

    So much for that.

    The quarterback apparently also {hearts} Fidel, unhesitantly repeating an old Castro propaganda point,

    “One thing that Fidel Castro did do is they have the highest literacy rate because they invest more in their education system than they do in their prison system, which we do not do here, even though we’re fully capable of doing that.”“One thing that Fidel Castro did do is they have the highest literacy rate because they invest more in their education system than they do in their prison system, which we do not do here, even though we’re fully capable of doing that.”

    Never mind the fact that the budget of the U.S. Dept. of Education alone (not including local school districts’ budgets) is almost the size of Cuba’s entire Gross Domestic Product; never mind that the Dept. of Ed.’s $77billion is greater than the prison system’s $39billion annual price to taxpayers; never mind that Cuba’s so-called “literacy rate” is based on numbers provided by the Communist regime that are not independently verified; Fidel Castro

    repeated incessantly that under him, Cubans are “the most cultured people in the world,” even the prostitutes, while redoing the excellent, definitive Don Quijote de la Mancha 4th Centenary edition by the Real Academia Española. Fidel had Hugo Chavez abridge it, remove the essay “Una novela para el siglo XXI” by long-time foe Mario Vargas Llosa, and replaced that essay with a short preface by José Saramago, a much friendlier Communist. The Communist regime can’t have “the most cultured people in the world” exposed to an essay which essence is that Don Quijote’s a free men’s novel.repeated incessantly that under him, Cubans are “the most cultured people in the world,” even the prostitutes, while redoing the excellent, definitive Don Quijote de la Mancha 4th Centenary edition by the Real Academia Española. Fidel had Hugo Chavez abridge it, remove the essay “Una novela para el siglo XXI” by long-time foe Mario Vargas Llosa, and replaced that essay with a short preface by José Saramago, a much friendlier Communist. The Communist regime can’t have “the most cultured people in the world” exposed to an essay which essence is that Don Quijote’s a free men’s novel.

    Look, we all know about celebrity displays of ignorance and stupidity, to the point that by now it’s rather apparent that ignorance and stupidity are job requirements to celebrity status.

    But by now, if ignorance were bliss, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick would likely be the happiest man in the world.
    faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.