by baldilocks

Every now and then I wonder how differently my life might have gone had I made different choices.

For instance, I wonder how deeply I might be involved in the so-called Deep State had I remained a part of the intelligence community. But that’s one decision I have no regrets about. When I exited active duty USAF in 1994, I came home to Los Angeles to be near my great-aunt and great-uncle who were then in their 70s. My uncle was gone six years later and my aunt would follow twelve years after that. The two raised me for the first part of my childhood, so, of course, I am grateful to have been close by when they passed.

Other forks? I love children and I sometimes wish I’d had at least one, but, other than my miscarriage, I can’t really call it a regret. And here’s an odd thing: I don’t think I’m good wife material—something about which my ex-husband would agree. I’m the first-born and was a de facto only child for nine years; I’m ornery and often oblivious.

Since the divorce in 1992, there have been a couple of close remarriage calls, but no cigar. And, the only regret I have about that is that I married at all. I like men; I just haven’t found one that I want around all the time. I’ve certainly been “in love,” but I think that, for me, much of that has been hallucination on my part. Vain imagination.

Relating that to having children, I’m old-school: I believe in being married before having children. Let’s be real here: the main reason that I did get married was because I wanted children.

So, with my beliefs and idiosyncrasies in mind, it’s likely that I would have never given birth even if I had made different decisions. I’m at peace with that.

More roads taken. Just today, I met up with two old friends I’d met through blogging. Wonderful people. These and dozens of other good, fun and kind-hearted people I would have never known had I not begun baldilocks.

I could go on but Yogi Berra’s simple, funny, accidental wisdom holds true: when you come to a fork in the road, take 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 one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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USS FITZGERALD after collision, as shown in Japanese media

A forward deployed, global Navy is going to have problems. Ships are expensive, and occasionally they will go “bump” in the night, like the USS FITZGERALD did recently. While we can hold ship CO’s responsible and fire them when they screw up (and we do), the Navy’s dangerous business means that we’re going to occasionally take damage.

We take more damage during war. Looking back to World War 2, CDR Salamander (another blogger) wrote a great article at USNI about carrier losses during the war. Japan obviously lost 100% of their carriers, with 2/3rds of those in the first year. But the US and Britain suffered as well, losing over half of their carriers by the end of the war. That means that with our current inventory of carriers, we could expect to lose 5 carriers in a war with China or Russia, with 3 in the first year of the conflict.

Each carrier has about 5,000 people on it, so just carrier losses account for 25,000 Sailors. To put that in perspective, that is about half of our Vietnam era casualties, and 5 time the number of people we’ve lost in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. And this reality is not an “if,” but a “when,” if we go to war with China or Russia (both of which seem eager to do so).

But the sheer volume of losses isn’t the point of this article. We won World War 2 in the Pacific because we could replace those losses quickly. Carl Vinson, a Georgia Representative, saw our aging fleet and built it up inside the limits of existing naval treaties, at a time when the nation could have cared less about the Navy. His efforts ensured that the Navy had warships on par with the Japanese, and when they lost these ships, they could be replaced, something that Japan was never able to do. Carl Vinson created a “tough” Navy, one that could take a punch.

Secretary Mattis called out Congress recently for not doing their job of passing budgets. We can design the best ships, but the reality is that a major war is going to deplete them. We’re becoming increasingly vulnerable at sea, and we don’t have a good plan to get healthy soon.

We need a new Carl Vinson in Congress, now more than ever.


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. Please take a moment to keep the Sailors of the USS FITZGERALD in your prayers.

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Half-Faced Man: You will be destroyed.
Clara: Destroy me, then. And if you don’t, then I’m not going to believe a single threat you make from now on. Of course, if I’m dead, then I can’t tell you where the other one went then. You need to keep this place down here a secret, don’t you? Never start with your final sanction. You’ve got nowhere to go but backwards.

Doctor Who Deep Breath 2014

If there has been one consistent over the last few weeks it’s been the drumbeat from the MSM that if Donald Trump dares even consider firing Robert Muller and end the independent counsel investigation the resulting backlash with end his presidency.

That’s balderdash.

It’s not only balderdash, it’s one of the most ridiculous bluffs in the history of Washington.

The problem with the argument is that it’s totally dependent on the idea that the people who currently support the president will decide to abandon him, but that isn’t going to play and a great reason why this isn’t going to play was illustrated by the last questions that Jake Tapper, one of the harshest critics of the president asked to congressman Adam Schiff:

Jake Tapper: President Trump tweeted, among many tweets today, he’s been very prolific on Twitter today. Quote: You are witnessing the single greatest witch hunt, all caps, in American political history, led by some very bad and conflicted people. 

Let’s just talk about the witch hunt part of that. Is there any evidence of obstruction of justice or collusion with the Russians that you have seen? 

Congressman Adam Schiff: Well, you know, let me take the obstruction issue first. I think what James Comey testified to a week ago, if accurate, is very well evidence of an effort to impede or obstruct the investigation. If he was fired as a way of changing the course of that investigation, that seems to me evidence of obstruction. Now, whether it’s sufficient evidence is another story. 

Similarly, I believe there is evidence of potential collusion that we need to get to the bottom of. Again, there is a profound question of whether we will be able to corroborate, get sufficient evidence, and of course, sufficient evidence for what. 

Jake Tapper:  You think there is evidence of potential collusion? 

Congressman Adam Schiff:  There is, I believe, evidence, yes. 

Jake Tapper:  Is this the circumstantial evidence you referred to several weeks ago or something new? 

Congressman Adam Schiff:  It isn’t something new, but we continue to investigate and I think continue to learn new things. Again, we are much closer to the beginning of this investigation than the end. So, I don’t want to overstate what we know at this point. But we have, I think, very good reason to conduct our investigation in a thorough way. I think there’s ample reason why the FBI began their investigation last July. And there’s ample reason for them to continue it to this day. 

I don’t think that’s something the FBI does — open an investigation of a presidential campaign, without a reason. I don’t think they do it on a hunch or mere speculation. So, I think there is a factual basis for that investigation, and ours, that we need to get to the bottom of. 

Note the answer to Tapper’s final question, with the very same evidence or lack thereof suddenly Adam Schiff is suddenly crying “obstruction” while at the same time keeping the weasel words “I believe”, “it seems to me” what does that say?

It says they have nothing, have never had anything  and the plan is basically is to keep investigating until they can trump up something, against someone, ANYONE, most likely a perjury trap.

But more importantly Trump voters know and understand what is going on, so the firing of Mr. Mueller will have absolutely no effect on them.

“But DaTechGuy”, you say, “What about the media backlash?  What about the backlash from official Washington?  What about the backlash from Hollywood?  What about the backlash from newspapers?”

Think about that argument for a second.

That argument is saying that if Donald Trump dares to fire the independent counsel the people who hate him and have spent seven months attacking him as an unfit criminal who should be driven from office, will …continue to attack him as an unfit criminal who should be driven from office as opposed to…attacking him as an unfit criminal who should be driven from office.

In other words the media and the left will act exactly the same no matter what President Trump does.

So if that is true what on earth is his incentive for him to hold back?

It could be that he might hold off a few weeks, to allow the leaks and the apparent conflicts in the investigation to allow the independent counsel and his gang the maximum loss of credibility, it might even be that he decides to let the investigation continue on the grounds figuring it hurts them more than it hurts him.

But if it was my decision I’d drop that bomb and do so on the 23rd of this month.  Give them a Friday to have to shift their conversation for the weekend shows and let them stew.

The fact is Donald Trump has the power, it’s time he uses it.

Update:  for some reason repeated a sentence fragment, removed.