by baldilocks

This morning, the Holy Spirit was moving. Sometimes, when Christians say this, it is assumed that some great, magical, explosive miracle happened. I suppose that was the case this morning, but the miracle manifested itself in several arguments about the Word of God and how to interpret it.

There’s one piece of misinterpreted scripture that turns up often, like the proverbial bad penny and it did so this morning: the notion that Christians should be the keepers of their brethren. It’s based on the following:

9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

–Genesis 4:9

We see who the speakers are. The Lord, of course, knows the location of Cain’s brother, Abel—murdered at Cain’s hand. I suspect that God was giving Cain a chance to confess. But, instead of coming clean, Cain offers a sarcastic response.

If one reads further, one finds that God never answers Cain’s question.

But even up until this very day, people want to take a murderer’s unrepentant disrespect to his merciful Maker and turn it into a Biblical commandment–but only when it means that a given Christian should allow the hand of another person or the hand of government to dip into the Christian’s wallet. That is no coincidence.

And don’t forget this about the word translated as keeper in the King James Version of the Bible: it has connotations of animal-keeper or jailer. That is not an accident either.

Sometimes, those who mean to do you ill tell the truth about 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 tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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Well It’s a week later and there have been more developments in the WBC.

Cinderella is a pumpkin again…

Israel who shocked the world by winning their first 4 games of the world baseball classic (which made seven straight wins if you count the qualifier rounds finally turned into a pumpkin as the Dutch avenged their earlier defeat by thumping them 12-2 in an 8 inning mercy game while Japan finished them off with a 8-3 win. It was still an impressive run for the team who will finish no worse than 7th overall (6th if Puerto Rico beats Venezuela) whose world ranking is sure to rise and their trip to the 2nd round automatically qualifies them for 2021.

Cuba falls apart.

The vaunted Cuban team was outscored 23-7 losing all three of their 2nd round games including a 14-1 mercy defeat against Australia in a game that could have forced a 2nd round playoff. While it’s always a good thing to see a communist government embarrassed it’s kind of sad to see a country that has produced so many fine players humbled in this way. However like Israel they did make the 2nd round so they will be back in 2021 but will they have the talent to get back to their previous level? That remains to be seen.

Venezuela pines for Italy.

Team Venezuela had an odd path to the second round going 2-4 in round one with two wins against Italy while being beaten by Puerto Rico and Mexico, however without Italy to kick around round to has been a disaster with loses to the US and the Dominican Republic. Puerto Rico’s win against the US knocked them out so today’s game is just for pride but the question remains can Omar Visquel’s injury plagued team edge out one of the favorites to go to the finals in their last game.

The Japan Dutch repeat

Four years ago Japan and the Dutch made it to Baseball’s final four and were beaten by Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, both teams earned a 2nd chance to change that result. Japan going a perfect 3-0 against their 2nd round foes and the Dutch crushing the Cubans to guarantee their trip to America. Last time around the Dutch fell to the Dominicans this time they will draw Puerto Rico which is likely to be no easier, however the Dutch team looks even better than last time so it will be no pushover for the runner ups for 2013. Meanwhile Japan will have to wait for the result of the US vs DR game later tonight to see who they will face and nobody should count out the 2 time champions.

Puerto Rico stands alone

The only real question for the PR squad that has gone undefeated in the classic is do they rest their stars in a meaningless game vs Venezuela? They have played excellent defense and offense and their pitching has done the job against some tough teams (although they almost blew it vs the US yesterday). The real question will be how they deal with the young and cocky Dutch who are no pushover in the semi final and do they hold back their best starter for the final against either Japan, the DR or the US? I’m glad I don’t have to make that call.

The last big game. US vs Dominican Republic

The Dominicans and the US face an elimination game tonight at 10 PM the winner will take on Japan in the final four the loser will go Home. The US finds themselves in this spot thanks to a digging a big hole in game one vs PR and their failure to get the tying run home in the 9th while the DR gave up fewer runs but couldn’t produce offense against the PR team (although in my mind an interesting strike zone cost them dearly as well). The DR will need to get by the US and Japan for another crack at the Puerto Rico squad (presuming they get by the Dutch) meanwhile the US is looking to return to the final four that they last made in 2009.

There are no easy games left for any of these teams but the odds on favorite would be for a DR vs PR rematch and one has to give the defending champs the edge there but it wouldn’t surprise me to see any of the final five teams walk away with the crown and in one respect both Puerto Rico and Japan have one disadvantage. There is no sport harder to keep up a winning streak in (even the 62 Mets won 40 games) Japan has one six straight to win it all they’ll need to win 8 while Puerto Rico will be in the same spot unless their meaningless game to Venezuela.

Either way from today through Wednesday the WBC will be the spot for the best baseball of the spring.

I received an email notification that a Department of Defense Civilian Reduction in Force (RIF) was coming.  I almost deleted the email.  RIFs are nothing new, and they typically go like this:

  • Some older employees use it as a chance to retire early
  • Most employees that have been around greater than 2 years continue to stay
  • Young employees or ones with extensively documented issues get let go

The problem is that RIFs consider tenure status and veteran status over performance.  This makes it extremely hard to fire someone.  The performance portion has to be absolutely horrendous, and most employees are smart enough to do the bare minimum so that as a supervisor, you struggle to find anything negative to document.

Even when there are problems, they take forever to solve.  Out in Bahrain, I had a civilian employee that regularly sent angry emails to our entire command, in many cases including the Admiral.  But her previous boss had written glowing performance reviews, so when the command wanted to fire her, she had a case against them.  Her new boss (who I had gone to school with) painfully documented her performance issues and outbursts for a year.  During her performance review, she received such a low score that the HR office called us and asked if we had made a mistake.  She lost a $10K bonus and was removed a few weeks later.

Had she been a Google or Amazon employee, I doubt she would have lasted 4 weeks.

So imagine my surprise when I read these paragraphs:

In order to comply with the law, the department has reprioritized the “order of retention” as implemented by Office of Personnel Management in government-wide regulations, by placing performance as the primary retention factor.  This is a substantial change for DoD from existing, government-wide provisions.  The current, government-wide RIF retention factors are:  tenure, veteran’s preference, length of service, and performance, in descending order.

Under the new procedures, employees shall be ranked on a retention register based on periods of assessed performance, followed by the retention factors of:  performance rating of record, tenure group, performance average score, veteran’s preference, and DoD Service Computation Date- RIF (DoD SCD-RIF).

Performance?  That could be a game changer.  The memo gives you an idea of how they will score people, but just the fact that we’re going to use performance as the driving metric is a huge step in the right direction.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy or any other government agency. 

Except the actual memo…that’s totally real DoD policy.  No fake news here.

Feel free to check out my blog.  And…hit up Da Tip Jar, because you KNOW the NY Post was never going to tell you about civilian RIFs.

During all that time the theory had been failed to be proven wrong so it could have temporarily have been taken as right but it can never be proven right because tomorrow’s experiment may succeed in proving what you thought was right wrong, so we can never be proved right we can only be sure we’re wrong.

Richard Feynman 1964

Back in my youth one of the more interesting comics that Marvel put out was titled “What If” which provided alternate stories outside of the established Marvel timeline by changing one component of a story (What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four, What if Conan walked the earth today, what if Conan was stranded in the 20th century which was an alternate ending the previous what if alternative event etc…) and postulating a different ending.

When dealing with the MSM however the game is different because rather than postulating on imaginary events we can play with real ones, for example.

What if this video instead of showing Democrats for months stating as fact, that Donald Trump paid no income taxes

Consisted of Republicans making a factual claim about Barack Obama that was conclusively proved false?

Given what we’ve seen in the past our media and press would be not only confronting every single member of the GOP that made this claim, not only asking them why they should be trusted in the present, but further asking other members of the GOP to denounce them.

Or let’s play What IF this tweet from rapper Bow Wow:

“Ayo @realDonaldTrump shut your punk a– up talking s–t about my uncle @SnoopDogg before we pimp your wife and make her work for us.”

and this tweet from the NYT making light of it

Had been about Michelle Obama?

Well as Hollywood in toto tells us we already saw how when a rodeo clown made fun of Barack Obama CNN considered it national news pols were made to condemn him and he was banned for life from the circuit. I suspect that if Mr. Bow Wow was a country singer whose primary audience consisted of Obama opponents pressure would be put on the GOP to condemn him in public, venues would be protested that had him and the journalist who made light of it would not have the public editor of the “paper of record” condemning such a reporter and demanding his resignation for being a misogynist rather than claiming:

After talking to the writer and the Culture editor, Danielle Mattoon, I came away convinced that Deb’s intentions were innocent, that he was not trying to align himself with the off-color sentiments of a rapper, but merely trying to pull off a pun.

The problem is, not everyone is “in” on the joke. Conservatives may use such tweets — or retweets — to further their case that the “liberal media” will do and say anything. More significantly, mainstream readers who hear of or see the tweet out of context might easily take offense. It’s a lose, lose.

…that the main problem with the tweet would be it would be misunderstood or used by their ideological enemies against them.

So in the tradition of Richard Feynman explanation on the scientific method starting with a guess and measuring it against the evidence

I propose the following theory:

The level of Outrage or interest of the media and their allies on the left concerning any insult or prevarication concerning a person or thing will routinely be equal to the inverse of the degree of the political distance between said media / leftists and the target of said insult or prevarication at the time it is made.

Now in fairness we have years of evidence to support this theory at this time but our media friends can at any time provide evidence that this theory is wrong by simply being consistent in their outrage based not on the source or target, but on what is actually said and done.

They just choose not to.


Update 8-18-17:  For those just finding this post thanks to Instapundit’s tweets check out my post for 8-19 with the corollary to this theory.  There isn’t as much money in just reporting and telling the truth as we see it. But if you’d like to help us pay our writers, support independent journalism and reporting (such as my planned coverage of Saturday’s events in Boston) please consider hitting DaTipjar below to help meet our weekly goal ($380 short right now)




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