by baldilocks

The benefits of quitting smoking are manifold.  I seem to enjoy sunshine and fresh air—such as it is in Los Angeles—more than ever. I wake up and get started earlier and am happy about it—even with our seemingly dismal political future looming.  As soon as the sun is on the horizon, I want the windows up, the blinds open, and the coffee brewing.

Planning was never my strong suit, but I find that it is essential now, with the many things I want to do around my apartment, not to mention the things I need to do.

Order and reordering are now the names of the game. To those ends, and because I lost much of my furniture, I mean to build my own shelving and tables for my living room and kitchen. And, possibly, make my own decorations.

Am I detoxing? Most certainly.  I’d also say that I’m having what we generally call a midlife “crisis.” I guess it could manifest itself in much worse ways.

obsessive-compulsive-disorder-3
Not quite this OCD

Another thing: it’s difficult now to stay on Social Media, blogs, etc. because that requires sitting down. All I want to do is get up and get things done, even mundane tasks like cleaning my floors.

I said all of that to point to a free service about which a surprisingly small number of people seem to use: the free digital offerings—ebooks and audiobooks–held by our public libraries.  Yesterday, while putting together the Black and Decker Workmate I requested and received for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, I listened to The Princess Bride, and today, I will continue listening to The Romanovs. I downloaded the latter to my Android so I can listen to in tomorrow while on the way to church. So, tomorrow, I will sit down and listen…for a little while.

How did I do this? Through the Los Angeles Public Library, which uses Overdrive. I would guess that Overdrive is used by countless public libraries across the country and all one needs is a library card.

You do have one of those, don’t you?

So the next time you are clean, mopping, fixing, seeding, weeding, feeding, etc. while you are listening to The Divine Comedy or Raylan, be sure to think of me favorably. Thank you.

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.

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That’s how we used to deal with traitors…

So the new Snowden movie is out in theaters, and if you couldn’t already guess from the title, I won’t be seeing it. Snowden is a traitor, and the only thing he deserves is a quick stop on a short rope.

“But he’s a hero and exposed the eeeevil NSA!” So the media tells us anyway. Let’s break this down a bit.

First, the NSA isn’t evil. Contrary to what the media would have you believe, the NSA is full of hard working Americans who try and keep our country safe. The organization is constantly scrutinized by Congress. Their budget gets approved every year just like every other Department of Defense organization. They are even run by a military member, currently Admiral Michael Rogers.

The NSA’s job is to support combat operations. While the media running a nice article about supporting the troops is all well and good, the NSA is trying to keep people alive. Breaking our enemy’s networks, processing that information and disseminating it all around the world in a timely fashion is hard. It takes a lot of smart people to do this. It’s certainly harder than writing shallow articles for a failing news organization.

But, let’s say you’re working in the NSA and you find out someone is abusing their position of trust. You can’t just go to the police. Luckily for us, Congress and the Executive branch thought this out and put in place a whole bunch of programs:

  • You could contact the NSA’s Inspector General. They work to maintain the integrity of our system.
  • You can contact your Congressman directly.
  • If you’re in the military, you can communicate directly with your commanding officer.
  • You can contact the criminal investigative service in the Navy, Army or Air Force.

The best part about all of these paths is that every one has cleared personnel, so you don’t risk disclosing classified information.

In case you don’t even agree with that, realize too that Snowden put all our troops in harms way. The terrorists that read his information will likely change how they operate, making it harder for us to prevent them from hurting our troops. The millions we spent on gaining access is now for nothing…your tax dollars up in flames.

Snowden is a traitor hands down. Don’t waste your money at the box office.


This post solely represents the view of the author and does not represent the official views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, National Security Agency, or any other branch of the US government. It also doesn’t put our troops in harms way.


If you liked this and love America, you might like reading my thoughts on Fairness, and maybe even buy my Kids Book on the Navy.

Keep your eye clear, and hit ’em where they ain’t

Willie Keeler

Four Years and six months ago I was in NH for a NRO event along with a lot of other bloggers and reporters after all of us watched one of the GOP primary debates that was notable for George Stephanopoulos suddenly asking Mitt Romney a question about contraception that had everyone, including Romney scratching their heads. It had not been an issue in the campaign nor in the country or years and while Roman Catholics will tell you artificial contraception is a sin to my knowledge Mormons have no problem with it.

That night everyone was talking about how weird the question but a few days later things became clear as the entire media jumped on this as an important issue.

You see many things were going badly in the economy, in foreign affairs and the folly of Obamacare were just starting to become apparent, the Democrats needed a distraction to protect the president so they pivoted bringing out an issue that had been settled for years to change the submit and hit republicans at the same time.

It’s sort of like the tactic used against Ted Williams in the 40’s called the Williams Shift repositioning players completely to change the dynamic of his hitting.

tedwilliamsshift It the same tactic used against David Ortiz today in an attempt to make those hits come with a little more difficulty.

While both Williams and Ortiz had occasional failures against the shift, in the end their skill levels were/are so superior that the shift could not stop them from hitting through it and as both demonstrated regularly if the ball is off the wall or out of the park no amount of shifting is going to make any difference.

Alas for the GOP Mitt Romney was no Ted Williams or David Ortiz. Romney being Romney and the GOP being the GOP, they fell hook line and sinker for this nonsense hitting directly into the shift and giving the media exactly what they wanted. It was one of a series of foolish and timid moves that turned what should have been a very easy election for the GOP into the disaster that the next four years of Barack Obama became.

Fast forward to 2016. Hillary Clinton has had the worst week in the history of history, the attempt to portray health questions as a conspiracy theory have failed. Leak after leak makes her look bad. The polls have gone south, Trump has bested her in a televised forum and thanks to his new campaign team has not only avoided mistakes but gotten positive press and cultural coverage that even playing the David Duke card has not been able to counter and if that’s not bad enough ISIS continues to advance, the refugee crisis continues to fester and Obamacare exchanges are dropping like flies What does one do if you are the palace guard for Democrats mainstream media?

Why you play the “shift” card and trot out birtherism.

The fact that Barack Obama has barely four months in office and that it’s an issue that nobody cares about doesn’t matter. The media needs to change the subject so suddenly the entire press corps decides there is no bigger issue to settle and they will not stop asking about it until Trump satisfies them.

In other words the shift is on and they are daring Trump to hit it over or through them counting on the fact that despite his media skills he is not enough of a Ted Williams or David Ortiz to successfully hit through the shift.

But while it’s true that Donald Trump is no Williams or Ortiz, he’s also no Mitt Romney and his new campaign team of Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon and Kelly Conway are not the normal GOP consultants advising him to hit into the shift and take their chances.

Instead Trump announced a press conference to address the issue, the MSM rushed to cover it live (something that they have been a lot less enthusiastic to do since he became the nominee) ready to take his statement and pound him with question after question, furthermore as he was apparently “running late” they continued to promote the event to ensure the maximum viewership when he did make his statement…

…and then this happened

The media found themselves giving their audience 20 minutes of military heroes endorsing Trump on live TV before he finally came on Camera to say

“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it.”

Not only did Trump get the media to cover his endorsements but he got them to cover live his pronouncement that “birtherism” was a construct of the Hillary Clinton campaign. (a Statement spin not withstanding backed up by on CNN by a Clinton campaign manager but by a respected veteran journalist former McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief James Asher.

A story repeated on the McClatchy site yesterday

“During the 2008 Democratic primary, Sid Blumenthal visited the Washington Bureau of McClatchy Co.,” Asher said in an email Friday to McClatchy, noting that he was at the time the investigative editor and in charge of Africa coverage.

“During that meeting, Mr. Blumenthal and I met together in my office and he strongly urged me to investigate the exact place of President Obama’s birth, which he suggested was in Kenya. We assigned a reporter to go to Kenya, and that reporter determined that the allegation was false.

“At the time of Mr. Blumenthal’s conversation with me, there had been a few news articles published in various outlets reporting on rumors about Obama’s birthplace. While Mr. Blumenthal offered no concrete proof of Obama’s Kenyan birth, I felt that, as journalists, we had a responsibility to determine whether or not those rumors were true. They were not.”

Blumenthal, who worked in the White House with President Bill Clinton and later was employed by the Clinton Foundation, could not be reached Friday but said in an email to The Boston Globe, “This is false. Period.”

In other words the Trump campaign instead of hitting into the shift as he might have been inclined under the old management team, poked the ball into the empty left field for an easy double.

The fit this gave the entire MSM was epic which comes from a single miscalculation.

You don’t have to be a David Ortiz or a Ted Williams to beat the shift, you just have to be good enough to go the other way and hit the ball where they ain’t.

And Trump is.

Update: Don Surber adds a bit of Irony:

For a decade, the city wanted the grand post office turned into a hotel. Trump did it. Today was the opening of the hotel. That was the reason for the event — not to discuss birtherism, which was the Clinton Camp’s topic of the day.


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