Cite.

by baldilocks

It’s tough to write much today especially since I don’t feel like talking about Brett Kavanaugh — President Trump’s SCOTUS pick — or the Left’s nationwide and 20-month long temper tantrum over losing the 2016 presidential election.

What I feel like talking about is escaping — yes, from California, if only temporarily.

In September and October, I have a couple of invitations to Middle America in a pair of states I’ve never been. Both invites are reunions; one is a USAF meeting and the other is a blogger meetup. I haven’t done either in years and had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed both types of gatherings. Meetings of the minds and booze.

Also, I’ve longed to visit a memorial dedicated to a departed friend — more than a friend — and asked God for that chance. As it happens, the memorial is in the same state as one of the reunions.

But I can’t ignore the fact that I sense being drawn away from my home state. It feels temporary, like I’m simply planning a vacation from my beloved People’s Republic of the Formerly Golden State. At least that’s what it feels like right now. 

I’ve never planned a vacation before. Because I always had the resources at hand in the past, there was little need for much planning. This one will be different in that the resources, meaning money, have to be marshaled.

I mentioned the plan on my Facebook page and now I have about 12 places to visit before I get to the intended destination. Most of those places are in Texas.

Additionally, I plan on documenting this trip online — as I did with my Kenya trip — but now with a little bit of experience under my belt. Plus I’ll be the captain of this voyage. Did I mention that I’m driving?

I will keep everyone posted about my plans and about any campaigns I wage for this endeavor.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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The embattled reporter at The New York Times who had an intimate relationship with a top Senate staffer was one of my students.

After a quick rise through the ranks of journalism, Ali Watkins was demoted last week for having the affair.

I didn’t know her well, but she struck me as energetic and intelligent, with perhaps a bit too much snarkiness. She appeared to be a reporter with a promising career ahead of her.

What she did was wrong. You don’t have sex with a potential source. Ever. [Note: She denies that the Senate staffer was a source.]

But hypocrisy oozed from the coverage of the affair, particularly when you take a look at other prominent journalists who may have slept their way to the top.

Judith Miller, a prominent member of DaTimes until she got fired for making stuff up, often quoted her live-in lover, the late Les Aspin, who served as Bill Clinton’s secretary of defense. Miller’s affaris were so widely known that one colleague referred to her bedsheets as her notebook.

But there’s a lot more.

Matt Cooper, who worked in high-level positions at several news organizations, married Mandy Grunwald, a longtime media adviser to the Clintons.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international reporter, began dating James Rubin, assistant secretary of state for public affairs, in 1997. They got married the next year.

Andrea Mitchell, NBC News’ foreign affairs reporter, dated Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan for 12 years before they got married.

Here in Philadelphia, news anchor Renee Chenault is married to Chaka Fattah, a longtime congressman who was convicted of corruption in 2016.

Each reporter should have been at least reprimanded or perhaps faced more serious consequences for these relationships. Also, the audience should have been told repeatedly about these conflicts of interest. Neither happened.

I doubt that any of these people have a note in their personnel files about these inappropriate relationships.

What’s also disturbing about the Watkins’ case is that several employers knew about her ethical breech, but no one told her to stop it.

That doesn’t in any way mitigate what she did. In my view, she should have been fired long before she got to DaTimes.

Nevertheless, after numerous problems from Brian Williams to Rolling Stone, this recent ethical breech underlines how morally challenged journalism is.

There is one aspect of the “Trump Baby” balloon business that the British government in general and Mayor Kahn in particular is missing and/or ignoring.

One of the things about a foreign leaders ANY foreign leaders, is there is invariably a group of people who are angry with them.

Maybe they are oppressive at home, maybe they are blocking British businesses maybe an individual citizen was mistreated, maybe they have the wrong position on X Y or Z, whatever the reason in a population of nearly 70 million people it likely isn’t hard to find 1,000 to 10,000 people who strongly object to any given leader at any given time.

And now those thousand to ten thousand people will see the Trump Baby balloon flying during his state visit and then demand something similar when the leader they dislike comes, moreover just as Trump’s enemies in England and the US are happy to fund this insult there will always be enemies of any given leader at home or abroad who will be more than happy to provide the funding to do the same and when they are denied the lawsuits will be interesting.

Now I’m sure that the government that is holding Tommy Robinson for daring to report on a story is not likely to be moved by demands that they be consistent on freedom of speech but it will be an embarrassment and will prove once again that Donald Trump has the uncanny knack of causing bad people pretending to be honest and honorable to show their true colors for all the world to see.

The irony of course is with an economy the envy of the world, a military that is piling up successes and his enemies at home making fools of themselves, while Trump might tweet about the balloon baby (to his advantage of course) he doesn’t really give a damn about it.  But it will be interesting to see what happens when a foreign leader who might actually give a damn about this kind of insult comes to Britain and faces it.

There is still time for Britain to avoid this nonsense but I doubt anyone in Her Majesty’s  government left with the fortitude, insight or the inclination to do so.

Update:  Piers Morgan to Mayor Kahn:

Morgan asked the mayor if he would have endorsed a giant black baby blimp of Barack Obama in protest during his presidency, or an image depicting Mr Khan as a pig despite that being offensive to Muslims.

Mr Khan said: ‘If it’s peaceful and if it’s safe. Look, I can’t be the censor. It’s not for me to decide what’s in good taste or bad taste.’  

If you believe that, then millions of Nigerian email spammers are dying to make your acquaintance.