If Only she wore a “Little Drag Queen” shirt to school instead

Our schools remain incapable of teaching math, or history or proper English but if there is one thing they excel at it’s deciding that some things are beyond the pale. Apparently in Laconia NH this shirt is of them:

That the shirt that the autistic granddaughter of one of the founders of the NH blog Granite Grok was made to cover up at school. Her parents (both vets) were not told and found out when they picked her up.

You would think that this insanity would not hit the “Live Free or Die” state but remember that Massachusetts is just across the border and many who helped turn my state into an unlivable place migrated north but didn’t leave the values that prompted their escape behind

Unfortunately for the people in charge at the Woodland Heights school the Grandfather of this kids is one of the founders of the NH political blog Granite Grok and Skip is not amused:

So I’m confused – what part of this dress code is being violated?  I am having difficulty in understanding how “Happy and Free” is a political statement (my best guess as to why Ms. Lindsey Packer (or the Principal, Eric Johnson at (603) 524-8733, x3002) – to me, that’s more of showing gratitude for this country and for all those that sacrificed some or all – including her military veterans parents?

Skip has questioned and interviewed and covered people and issues on the local, state and federal level and knows what questions to ask

“Ensuring success with every student, every day, in every way” – Or ostracizing them – either one. Thanks, third-grade teacher, Ms. Lindsey Packer. Oh, and Superintendent Steve Tucker (603.524.5710, x1001)? You, who just failed upward?

Sidenote: imagine, a Gilford Curriculum Director that failed to establish baseline and milestone metrics in order to be able to evaluate success or failure of new and expensive “packages of learning” for our students and couldn’t even grasp the concept when I raised it during Budget reviews?

Yeah, you.  THIS is your school system.  You’re in charge – whatchagonna do?

And now he is angry

You know, I just got through writing about politics changing the culture to change the politics. We’ve covered incidents like “can’t wear that shirt” in the past many many times by some educational dufus with a bee up their butt, an ideological nitwit, or just plain stupidity that is trying to read something into something else that doesn’t exist.  Now, it has come to MY home and MY family.  And I am pissed!

There’s an old saying about not messing with those who buy their ink by the barrel, but perhaps it should be extended to those who not only use pixels by the billions but have the ability to get their message out nationally. That is likely why the school superintendent gave him a ring to assure him that the shirt is fine and she can wear it anytime.

Skip ended the update with the words Ongoing, and will be updated…. Rest assured I’ll be keeping an eye on the story.

The unsuitable 90 Day Fiances

Why settle for a totally unsuitable romantic partner who lives here in the USA, when you can quit your job, travel thousands of miles to a miserable-yet-exotic location where you don’t speak the language, and spend your life savings on an alien you met through the internet ?

That is the premise of the 90 Day Fiance TV franchise on the TLC cable channel.

The 90 days refer to the K-1 visa
“If your fiancé(e) marries you within 90 days of being admitted to the United States as a K-1 nonimmigrant, he or she may apply for lawful permanent resident status in the United States (a Green Card).”

The franchise has several series: The original 90 Day Fiancé (now on its sixth season), 90DF: Before the 90 Days (three seasons), 90DFHappily Ever After (four seasons), 90DF: What Now? (three seasons), and 90DF: The Other Way (one season).

There’s also Pillow Talk, where 90DF alumni comment on 90DF: Before the 90 Days in bed while consuming a lot of snacks. The funniest are black American brothers Tarik and Dean, and married couple David and Annie (he’s American, she’s from the Philippines).

I came across the 90DF: Before the 90 Days one day when I was fighting a cold, and quickly became hooked. It’s a soap opera without the fancy clothes.

There are cougars Darcey, Rebecca, and Angela. Rebecca and Angela are grandmothers. Darcey can’t seem to stop crying (maybe because her clothes are two sizes too small), and Angela can’t stop verbally abusing her Nigerian boyfriend (who is 20 years younger, wants a baby, quit his job to become a kept man at her request, and is a Trump fan). Darcey’s boyfriend Tom is English but they detoured to Albania (miserable location); Tom is a crackerjack salsa dancer, which made her cry because she can’t dance. Darcey and her identical twin sister wear matching outfits, as do Rebecca and her boyfriend. Angela hasn’t matched outfits … yet. Rebecca’s Arab boyfriend, who took her money to buy her a ring, just rode off on an ATV into the Sahara desert when she told him she’s still married to her third husband. 

The guys are not faring much better: religious Ben’s sweating bullets over negotiating the bride price for his Kenyan girl, ultrametrosexual Tim can’t summon the energy to make love to his beautiful Colombian girlfriend, and Caesar’s spent US$40,000+ on his Ukrainian catfish (look up the word if you never heard of it) who sounds like Peggy from the Discover card ads. Through it all, Tim exfoliates and moisturizes daily.

These are all grownups who ought to know better. The one that has her parents worried is nineteen year old Avery, who six months ago converted to Islam, and went with her mom to Lebanon where she married Syrian Omar four days after first meeting him in person. Two million Syrians are camping in Turkey seeking shelter from the war but Avery insists that she’ll move to Syria if Omar is denied a visa. You can hear the audience saying, “if she were my daughter … “

If it sounds complicated, it is!

Get some popcorn in the microwave, watch the fiances and you’ll be hooked soon after.

Fausta Wertz is enjoying her retirement from blogging about more serious matters.


Imagine if South African PM Pieter Botha invested in the NBA in 1979

After watching the NBA in general the last week and LeBron James in particular this week there must be a bunch of elderly South African exiles kicking themselves today. If only they had known!

Just think, if back in 1979 or the early 80’s South Africa PM Pieter Botha had the foreknowledge of today he could have invested a big chunk of South Africa’s not unsubstantial wealth in the NBA. What a difference it would have made!

Imagine Magic Johnson or Doctor J or Michael Jordan out there saying how misunderstood South Africa is. Ponder Celtics big three of Bird, Parish and McHale insisting that we have no business butting in. Picture Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman James Worthy, Patrick Ewing and the lot having no comment and finally Sir Charles statement on china rephrased defending his fellow players not getting into the issue of Apartheid in South Africa because of finances.

And why stop at South Africa? Think of all the other oppressive regimes in the past 100 years, if they only knew that a stake in an American sports league might have made the difference for them. The Central Powers might have won World War 1. Saddam might still be feeding people into wood chippers, the Soviet Union might not have fallen (the idea of funding US colleges turned out to operate too slow to save them), Idi Amin kids would be ruling Uganda, Hitler might still control most of Europe and completed his final solution.

And of course if baseball crazy Japan had thought of this in 1940 this entire China kerfuffle wouldn’t exist because Japan, thanks presumably to the support of US Ballplayers they had paid, wouldn’t have felt the need to hit Pearl Harbor. Instead they would still be ruling China with an iron fist.

All of these things could have been if they had only thought of investing in a US sports league the way China has the NBA.

Of course it’s just possible that today we are dealing with lesser sons of greater fathers who would not have sold themselves, but there just might be some elderly Japanese vet in a nursing home who fought in China in 1940 watching all this unfold on TV & thinking to himself. “It would have been worth a shot”

Life is Not Fair

Hot News Flash
by baldilocks

Lebron James and Hunter Biden are rich and I am not.

And I have a raging case of writer’s block so go read this.

When Houston Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey tweeted, “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” Communist China called a foul. Down came the tweet and Chinese state television axed two NBA exhibition games. NBA boss Adam Silver promptly announced, “We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.” Silver also barred NBA players then in China from speaking to the media.

For observers far and wide, particularly in embattled Hong Kong, it was a clear exhibition of China’s totalitarianism and a clear case of the NBA cowardly caving to China’s Communist dictatorship.

In the political, entertainment, and even the sports commentariat, many made that charge, but Golden State Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr said he had no comment on the “really bizarre international story,” and “a lot of us don’t know what to make of it.” It was a strange response for someone with firsthand knowledge of oppression and violence.

An NBA champion as a player and coach, Steve Kerr is the son of Malcolm Kerr, whose parents Stanley and Elsa arrived in the Middle East in 1919 to join relief efforts that followed the Armenian genocide. As Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee recalled, in the early 1980s Malcolm Kerr left UCLA to become president of the American University of Beirut, “despite increasing political instability within the region.” Then, in 1984, Malcolm Kerr “was shot to death by terrorists outside his office.”

As a writer for ESPN noted, “two Islamic terrorists ambushed Malcolm outside his university office and shot him in the back of the head for the crime of being an American.” When the Islamic terrorists gunned down his father, Steve was only 18 and a freshman at the University of Arizona. Kerr wept through a moment of silence for his father prior to tipoff against archrival Arizona State.

Four years later, as Kerr and his teammates warmed up before a game with that same school, a group of 10-15 people began chanting “PLO! PLO!” The group also chanted, “Your father’s history” and “Why don’t you join the Marines and go back to Beirut?” As Kerr told Tracy Dodds of the Los Angeles Times, it was “pretty disgusting. It’s hard to believe that people would do that.”

Lots of previously unbelievable things are happening these days.

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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Fake news and me

One of my daughter’s colleagues recently asked me if I worked as a journalist.

“No,” I replied. “Neither am I a mass murderer.”

It wasn’t exactly like Peter denying Christ three times. But I am no longer proud of the job I did for more than 20 years and have taught students to do for nearly 25 years.

Although I have had a variety of difficulties with the mainstream media in recent years, I hadn’t jumped completely on the fake news bandwagon until the Ukrainian phone call and impeachment. The media in American have become so shrill–a partisan press without a purpose other than to attack Trump. That doesn’t apply to all reporters and editors, but I think it applies to a significant number, particularly among the media elite.

As a result, journalism has fallen on hard times in the eyes of the public. It’s been a long time since journalists have been held in high esteem, but many people looked to the news media to provide some insight into the issues of the day.

Every morning, I start my day by reading several websites, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. I’ll usually check CNN and Fox News and may listen to the radio talk shows for 30 minutes or so.

I don’t read many opinion pieces because I find the analysis wanting, particularly from DaTimes and DaPost. It seems like all they want to do launch a new screed against Donald Trump.

Over the past decade or so, I have been advocating a change in how news organizations go about their business. The old standards of fairness, balance, objectivity, and a few others have been long gone from what I see.

In my view, the tenets should emphasize accuracy, transparency, and professionalism.

Transparency is one that sticks in the craw of most journalists. I want their political views, campaign contributions, past history of advocacy, and even tax records available to readers and viewers—much of which reporters and editors ask of politicians.

Michael Schudson, the noted analyst of journalism, wrote recently in The Columbia Journalism Review, that the issues transcend the current battle between the press and Trump.

“[T]he old days of ritually objective news reporting (he said/she said) are not gone but have been reduced in importance from the 1970s on, as mainstream outlets have increasingly emphasized analysis in news coverage—not quite so much ‘who, what, when, where’ as ‘why.’ There has been a profound cultural shift in journalism during this period. The limitations of straitjacketed objectivity came to be understood and journalism began to embrace the necessity of interpretation, as both quantitative studies and journalists’ recollections attest,” Schudson wrote.

“News organizations should have to explain themselves—to communicate the difference between the news department and the editorial page (more than a quarter of Americans do not understand the distinction); to show how they gather their news; to clarify why they sometimes cannot divulge their sources,” he added.

I hope journalists will listen to Schudson because I have failed in my mission to convince my former and current colleagues.

Whatever the case, I am no longer proud to call myself a journalist. I don’t think I am alone.

The Only Question that Matters in Election 2020

After watching this video I have the following question for the left that insists that Trump is beyond the pale and must be replaced.

What assurance do we have that things worse than this…

…will be faced by Conservatives in general and Trump supporters in particular if you are granted power?

Report from Louisiana: An Edwards/Rispone Runoff

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – It was a wild night in Louisiana Saturday night.  LSU defeated Florida in Death Valley and John Bel Edwards and Eddie Rispone will face off in five weeks for the runoff election for Louisiana governor.

Edwards finished the night with 46% of the vote while the Republican vote was split between Rispone and Ralph Abraham. Rispone captured 27% and Abraham 23%.  Other contenders in the gubernatorial race were mere blips.

Friday, President Trump visited Lake Charles, LA to lend support for the Republican candidates. He did not endorse either Rispone or Abraham until after the returns came in last night; now he has endorsed Rispone.   Trump, of course, takes credit for getting Rispone into the runoff, and he may well have contributed. Lines to get inside to see Trump in Lake Charles were staggeringly long and people began camping out far in advance of the event.

Most pundits across the state do not see an Edwards re-election as a done deal:

In either scenario, Edwards will have a much tougher time scooping up support from Republican voters than he did in his first election. Edwards’ Conservative-leaning stances that attracted Republicans during his first election could seem more moderate when compared to Rispone’s. Edwards also can’t count on the same wave of support from Republican voters who had become fatigued with their party as they had with Edwards’ predecessor, former Governor Bobby Jindal.

He’s also almost certain to face critiques from Republican officials who held onto seats in Statewide offices after the primary, including one of his harshest critics Jeff Landry. And, he can expect to fight off attacks from the major Republican competitor who failed to beat Rispone to secure the runoff, Ralph Abraham.

Rispone often compares himself to Trump as a self-made businessman:

The grandson of Sicilian immigrants, Rispone grew up with six people in a one-bathroom house near the plants in blue-collar north Baton Rouge. He and a brother, Jerry, built ISC Constructors to a firm with revenue of $364 million last year.

Though much more soft-spoken and polite than Trump, Rispone upended the Louisiana Republican establishment by running as an outsider willing to blow up the traditional politics and historical governing structure to get things done.

Late Saturday night, Ralph Abraham conceded and endorsed Rispone.

The run off election is November 16.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Planation (LSU Press). Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

Key Phrase: “Friendly Room”

We’re already talked a bit about how Beto O’Rourke’s admission in front of TV camera concerning taxing churches has confirmed what we’ve all known for years concerning the left. Now comes the left with the “Beto as Strawman” argument claiming that he’s a nobody, a non-entity who doesn’t really matter:

Given his low and static polling, it’s hard to tell what, exactly, Beto O’Rourke hopes to accomplish by staying in the presidential race. But while his actual goal seems a bit elusive, he is increasingly playing a very specific role: the human straw man, the embodiment of every seemingly irrational conservative fear about what the left really wants.

That’s Jordan Weissman arguing in Slate that O’Rourke’s positions aren’t actually positions of the left and all he is doing his stoking conservative fears. This is only part of his attack on Robert Francis O’Rourke

This is not the first time O’Rourke—a politician, it should be noted, without a constituency: no district, almost no support in the polls—has promised to make conservatives’ worst nightmares come true. After adopting gun control as a marquee issue following the mass shooting in El Paso earlier this year, O’Rourke promised a mandatory gun buyback program for assault weapons, memorably telling a moderator, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” Not long after, Trump and Republicans blamed his comments for making it harder to get a gun control deal done in Congress. (Yes, that’s a bit rich coming from the GOP, but I’ll come back to that).

These are not the only far-left positions Beto has staked out recently. He’s strongly 
pro reparations, for instance. But his comments about churches and guns are especially remarkable, in that he’s essentially adopting unpopular stances that Democratic politicians have spent years claiming are unfair caricatures of their actual beliefs. He is turning himself into a walking straw man, the non-fringe guy Republicans can reliably point to when they want to say: “See, the libs really do want to take your guns and shut down your churches.”

emphasis mine

There are two problems with this man’s point. The 1st is highlighted by the emphasized text. It’s rather comical to see this argument given that it was the same lefty media created him out of the whole cloth, extolling Mr. O’Rourke, promoting him as “Beto” as a counter to Ted Cruz authentic ethnicity and put him up and the sign that Texas is finally turning their way. They drew millions of dollars from liberal activists all over the country in his failed effort for senate seat and then floated him as a potential presidential candidate before they knew that the Democrat field would become large enough to field a shirts vs skins Basketball game with benches for both teams.

But it’s the second point that really give the lie to the entire piece and it comes from four simple words in the 1st sentence of the piece following the embedded video (again emphasis mine):

O’Rourke’s comments drew a warm round of applause in the friendly room, and riled conservatives, who have spent years worrying that Democrats might try to do such a thing.

That’s the key line, the room was full of Democrat activists, the people who give the money, who put the pressure on candidates and decide who can choose to make hell for any candidate who doesn’t toe the line.

  • Did those activists boo or cat call that line making it clear that this is not what Democrat believe?
  • Did they rush to defend the black church which had for so many years been the place, despite existing tax laws where Democrats openly campaigned organized and raised money?
  • Did they defend conservative Muslims who have increasingly become an important part of the Democrat coalition?
  • And most important of all did any Democrat candidate rush to clearly state that this is completely contrary to what the Democrat party in general or they in particular believe?

The answer to all of these questions is not just no but HELL NO and the reason for this is the same as why when Joe Biden they didn’t do any of these things when Joe Biden went all in on gay marriage in 2012 because he knew that this is what the people who matter in the party believe..

Beto is playing a similar gambit. He understands that the people who matter in the party along with the college students taught by their minions in school are already at this place. He furthermore is in a can’t lose proposition for him. At worst by forcing the issue he raises his profile and lasts longer int he primaries ensuring him face time for a while. At best he’s getting some chits in for next time around and assuring himself of good speaking fees for the next four years.

There are many descriptions that can be made of these moves that are apt, but “Strawman” is not one of them, in fact “Strawman” is best used to describe those on the left who are trying to pretend that Beto’s opinions are an outlier rather than someone saying aloud what everyone knows.

Update: added link and image plus this Atlantic link via Instapundit which touches on a cost that the left, in my opinion, simply doesn’t care about.

Review: Season 5 of Peaky Blinders

By John Ruberry

Earlier this month Season 5 of Peaky Blinders arrived on Netflix. If you haven’t heard of the BBC show, it centers on a Gypsy organized crime gang from Birmingham, England.

The Peaky Blinders are named for the razor blades the actual hoodlums,-they were an 1890s gang–wore in their flat caps.

The television Peaky Blinders, who usually refer to themselves as the Shelby Company, Ltd., are led by Thomas “Tommy” Shelby (Cillian Murphy), a World War I veteran. The first season takes place in 1919, Season 5 begins in the auspicious year of 1929.

Tommy, at the end of Season 4, is elected to Parliament as a member of the Labour Party.

A new season of course brings a new primary villain, this time it’s Sir Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin), a minor member of the British nobility who also sits in the House of Commons. If you are American, it’s likely that you’ve never heard of Mosley, but he’s one of the most notorious figures of 20th century Great Britain. He didn’t go as far as Benedict Arnold did during the American Revolution, but had the Nazis defeated Britain in World War II, it’s probable that Mosley would have been prime minister—with Edward VIII restored to the throne. A 2005 poll of British historians determined that Mosley was the Worst Briton of the 20th century. Jack the Ripper took the title for the 19th. Mosley not surprisingly was a virulent anti-Semite.

Sir Oswald pursues Tommy as an ally while Winston Churchill (Neil Maskew) does the same. Maskew is the third actor to portray Churchill in this series. What’s up with that?

The Black Tuesday Wall Street Crash puts pressure on the rest of the Blinders, particularly Michael Gray (Finn Cole), who in the first episode of the season awakens from a stupor in Detroit to learn that the Shelby Company money he invested in America has evaporated. He wants a bigger say in the family business, as does his American wife (Anya Taylor-Joy). The family matriarch, Polly Gray (Helen McCrory), Michael’s mother, continues to struggle to keep the family from tearing itself apart, and their battles now directly effect her lover, Aberama Gold (Aidan Gillen). Tommy’s older brother, Arthur, continues to battle his “animal inside me.” While Tommy and Mosley, politically speaking, court each other, the Peaky Blinders face a new foe, the Billy Boys, a Scottish Protestant gang, who joyously sing their fight song, which is based on the melody of “Marching Through Georgia.” The Billy Boys hate Gypsies and Catholics–the Shelbys are both.

Peaky Blinders has always played loose with history. Lighten up, though, it’s fiction!

On the other hand…

As 1929 winds down, Mosely announces the formation of a new political party, the British Union of Fascists. But after leaving Labour, the real Mosley first formed another new party, called, well, the New Party. After that came his fascist party. I bring this up because in his introductory speech as leader of the BUF, Mosley, complaining about Indian competition forcing the closing of British textile mills, sounds a bit like Donald Trump, with a dash of UK Independence Party founder Nigel Farage thrown in. I’m not a fan of historical parallels with the present, particularly when it comes to individuals. And I get it, many people believe in “Orange Man Bad.” But sheesh, can TV scriptwriters give us a break from that for once?

I see Season 5, quality wise, as a step back for Peaky Blinders, but better than the Russian sinkhole two seasons back. But a Season 6 apparently is in the works, and maybe even a seventh. And perhaps we will see a couple of other men portray Churchill. The 1930s offers many plotlines as the world marches again to war. Still, even a below-par Peaky Blinders is worth your time.

Peaky Blinders is rated MA. It contains graphic violence, drug use, and overt sexual activity.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

9% vs 72% or why I don’t fear the MSM

Over at Nerdrotic they have a video about the reviews of the new extremely woke Batwoman.

Now the 9% fan reviews which during the video shoot actually dropped to 8% is very telling when compared to the critics who loved it.

Now of course the professional critics live in a bubble world where if you do not use the right pronouns they are out because it’s not hard to find someone to type something for money so the line that has to be followed will be, but real people in the real world don’t have that problem so the end result with be a show with bad ratings and either very targeted ad revenue or a dumping ground for compensation spots.

I suspect that despite this it will get a second season because like Doctor Who which has taken a year off, it will be considered “too woke to fail” or to be allowed to be seen as failing.

And that brings us to the whole “impeachment” business.

It’s already been noted that we are seeing skewed polling with samples designed to produce the “evidence” to justify the desired meme but unfortunately for the media they have not quite caught on to the fact that their access to the general public is no longer exclusive and that no amount of astroturf in town halls are going to convince real people to doubt the evidence of their own eyes, a fact that some of them have figured out:

The problem is, that room is not representative of the majority of America. Yes, attitudes towards LGBTQ people have improved remarkably in recent years. But just as in 2016, the general election could very well come down to a handful of moderate districts in swing states, places where nonbinary driver’s licenses and teaching gender identity in schools (both of which candidates endorsed last night) are going to resonate a hell of a lot less than Donald Trump screaming about his record on jobs.


It’s a real problem: To garner media attention and win the primary, the candidates need to be beyond progressive on all the issues. But to win the general, they’re going to need to be a little more moderate—or at least talk less about identity and more about the issues that affect everyone in America: things like jobs, healthcare, taxes, infrastructure, and retirement.

emphasis mine

And consider that wasn’t written by someone like me, it was written by someone who actually believes in all this crap but understands that it can’t be sold to people who live outside of their bubble, not that people outside of the bubble are actually watching CNN, but she understands that these town halls are ready made Trump ads made to order.

We’re seeing the same thing with impeachment, you don’t have to skew pols when the numbers actually are going your way and no matter how many time the MSM and even now Drudge claims that impeachment “furor grows” the reality, even in a place like the woke Massachusetts I live it, nobody is talking about it outside of the media, the various activists and the like

That’s why I’m not greatly worried about what is coming, because I understand that the future belongs to those who show up and that while I’m not big on Dawinism as a whole I AM big on the idea of natural selection and Mark Steyn’s maxim that the future belongs to those who show up. Yeah woke la la lands like Massachusetts are going to get a lot worse before they get better but as a state we are marginalizing ourselves to the point where in the scheme of things we increasingly don’t matter. This is due to one basic thing about reality

Reality doesn’t care how woke you are, reality is and despite all attempts to warp it, reality in the end, whether we are talking about always asserts itself.