by baldilocks

A little secret: I had to do community service for a misdemeanor. My crime: carrying a loaded weapon in public. (Hey, it’s California.) I plead guilty and, because it was a first offense, I received community service. Some might remember that I fractured my left wrist from a fall back in 2012. I had been doing community service when it happened.

During my community service – CALTRANs — most of the other offenders were black and Latino. They were there for things like major traffic violations which did not result in injury or accident – mostly first-time DUIs. Most were much younger than I was and I had little in common with most of them as far as our personal interests went.

However, one politically astute guy was there for fixing cars without a business license; his “crime” had caused him to awaken, he freely admitted. Still another guy – whose offense I don’t recall — and I discussed current events and religion a few times. Both men were very intelligent.

One day, as we performed our usually task, cleaning up the freeways, three groups formed: a black one, a Latino one, and a very small group who refused to go there. Of course, I was a part of that last group.

I walked up to the last guy I mentioned — part of the black group – and said, “What are we doing? Forming up according to race now? This isn’t prison.”

“It’s natural to do this.”

“It’s also natural to urinate and defecate where you stand, but our parents train us not to do that.”

He had nothing to say to that, but I noticed that he separated from the group and started working by himself.

I tell this story to point to the implications behind “natural behavior”: that it’s perceived as good and right. The Bible, of course, tells us otherwise for the most part. The natural man has no knowledge of God and feels more kinship with other human beings who look like him – starting with his immediate family and branching out to his ethnic tribe.

It’s natural. It’s also deadly to truth.  We’ve never completely gotten rid of ethnic tribalism and we watch as it crests once again in our “modern” era. However, those of us who think we are more enlightened and don’t see race should not think of ourselves as better than our carcass-worshiping acquaintances. Often, we create our own tribalism. It behooves us all to be wary of it.

Because when we lie to ourselves for too long, those lies begin to look just like the truth. Naturally.

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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When I purchased my first home, I intended to use a VA loan. I thought that the VA loan was one of those awesome military benefits, but my realtor talked me out of it, saying it would take too long. I thought it was odd at the time, but I went ahead and pursued a conventional loan.

Years later, I’m finally getting ready to close on a new construction house, and I chose to use my VA loan. Unfortunately, everything that realtor said about VA loans came true.

Continue reading “All those VA “Benefits””

Once we confirmed that Stacy’s scheduled TV appearance in Leominster was kaput he informed me that the college republicans that he had been in contact with wanted to have him visit the college for 5:30 or so.Stacy and I headed toward cambridge.

Rather than take the long drive into Harvard Square as my dad used did to take me Million Year Picnic back when I was thirteen in the days when Harvard Square was the western most stop on the Boston Subway  We headed to Alewife station parked on the the 4th floor grabbed our red line tickets and grabbed a seat on the subway heading to Harvard Station and the square and college that it led to.

When we emerged into the daylight and crossed over to the gate, we found ourselves smack in the middle of a protest

There was a circle of several hundred people who surrounded a few folks taking turns with a bullhorn denouncing dropping DACA. We had gotten there early for our meeting but late for the start of the protest so we checked out the signs and the crowd and campus police that looked on with the same half amused resignation as people at the most exclusive school in the world talked about oppression.

We watched for a while, saw the various signs (invariably anti trump) then left for our meeting location (missing the human chain and subsequent arrests).

We found the hall where we were supposed to meet and happily stumbled on a presentation by professor Robert George. of Princeton.

As Stacy went out to find the fellow we were looking for I sat in on his presentation. His talk concerning culture and the humanities was a great pleasure and his observation that in the end those Harvard Students in the room were not just the top 1% but the top .0001% of all time in human history was a fact that seems to be lost when students in higher education find themselves triggered.

At this point Stacy had met our guide President of the Harvard College Republicans Kent Haeffner

As one might guess Kent was an impressive young fellow and while he spoke of some of the oddities of the liberal atmosphere as illustrated by this Woman Studies syllabus as read by Stacy McCain

He vigorously defended Harvard as an institution both in terms of the educational environment but for it’s ability to inspire symbolized by one particular gate with the inscription as you come in “Enter to grow in wisdom” and as you pass out “Depart to serve better your country and your kind.”

after a rather pleasant lunch (mentioned by Stacy here) we returned to the quad for a long interview

The camera failed during the last question so Stacy repeated it

It turned out he had been on campus during the Black Mass business so I also interviewed him on the subject

He was also kind enough to show me the Chinese restaurant where in the end the black mass was held (I was liberal with the Holy water on the building area) and then showed me to St. Paul’s the catholic chapel where the Eucharist Procession and adoration had taken place.

By now his time was getting short so we escorted us back to the Mexican Restaurant where we had lunched so we could wait for the young lady who we would speak to next, a passer by was kind enough to take a shot for us.

A few minutes later we were joined by Emily Hall who was both an officer of the college republicans but a member of the Network of Enlightened Women. Kent left us in her capable hands.

Capable frankly is too weak an adjective for this young lady. She spoke of being a pro-life Catholic woman on campus and how, like Kent she had grown stronger in the crucible of education and pushback while demonstrating very publicly that the woman of Harvard University were not monolithic in their beliefs. She also sat for and interview with Stacy

And myself.

at this point is was getting pretty late so Stacy and I escorted her back toward her dorm talking more about the environment and her plans for the future on the way.

As we headed back to the car and drove home Stacy spoke to his wife concerning his impressions of Harvard and the fine young people we had met it was evident that whatever idiocy might take place on campus either via protest or within the Woman’s Studies department it was clear that he had been provided with ample proof that Harvard was more than capable of allowing a well grounded conservative with the courage of their convictions and a good work ethic to grow into an even stronger conservative ready to in the words of the gate serve better their country and their kind. and by the end of the day it was evident that the Kansas City Chiefs had not been the only folks to change a narrative in Massachusetts that day. These two tweets said it all.

If you told me that it was even slightly possible for Robert Stacy McCain to make that statement aloud one week ago I, like Wombat would not have believed it.

A gallery of photos follows my tip jar pitch:

Update:  Somehow 1st paragraph words were corrupted at posting fixed


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