by baldilocks

A Feces List, if you will.

While the FBI and the various tentacles of the Intelligence Community fall under hard scrutiny for their actions during the 2016 presidential election, another security agency reaches out to get a piece of that sweet Big Brother action. Again.

Pay attention to the reminder of how the Terror Watch List works.

The Department of Homeland Security intends to list and track hundreds of thousands of news outlets, journalists, bloggers, and “influencers” in traditional and new media alike. Its plan is to analyze targets’ “sentiment,” monitor “any and all” coverage of select news stories, and possibly share data with “federal, state, local, tribal, and private partners.” (…)

DHS is surely aware media services are available, which raises the question of why it did not elect to use one. If the aim here, as Houlton claims, is “nothing more than the standard practice of monitoring” the news, why not use the standard programs to do it?

The distinction seems to be twofold. First, the DHS database is noticeably personal. It is not content with assessing the general mood on a given news story, or even the editorial stance of an entire outlet. No, the database will list individuals — “journalists, editors, correspondents, social media influencers, bloggers etc.” — including not only their contact information, employment, and beat, but “any other information that could be relevant.” Any other information. Is it so surprising this plan is anxiety-provoking for those of us who could conceivably be listed?

The second distinction is this is a government list — DHS evidently wants a proprietary database, not the rent-a-list services it could obtain more quickly and cheaply — and government lists do not have a stellar reputation. The terrorist watchlist is exemplary on this point, and reviewing its record of abuse and incompetence takes us nowhere tinfoil territory.

Officially known as the Terrorist Screening Database, the watchlist includes the no-fly list and 10 other lists and screening programs in the Departments of Justice, Defense, Treasury, and Homeland Security. It is a sprawling data monster best known for its failures, and it has exploded from fewer than 50,000 entries at the close of the Bush administration to more than 1.8 million people today. Almost 40 percent of those listed have no demonstrable ties to terrorism, and 99 percent of the names suggested for the list are accepted. Evidence as flimsy as a suspicious social media post is enough for inclusion. The removal process is slow, confusing, and secretive.

The writer of this piece reminds us that the Terrorist Watchlist has been used as a means of gun control.

They never stop trying.

President Trump’s words of contempt for the mainstream media are well documented, as the writer points out, but he/she doesn’t mention that former President Obama did more than talk critically of the press; he actually authorized DOJ surveillance of Fox News reporter James Rosen and 20 Associated Press reporters.

Watching as all our federal intelligence, security, and investigative agencies show us who they really are, it’s tempting to shut down all digital communications and go hermit. I, however, think that this would be an admission of defeat; one which would embolden them. And they’re bold enough already, are they not?

Let them listen, read, make their lists, and check them twice. I’m a retired GI; they already know who I am, and I spent eight years being a little afraid of critiquing President Obama because of my ties to him. I’m done with that.

And, while President Obama is “gone,” those who would surveil innocent Americans for exercising freedom of the press long preceded him and will keep trying to get in our business for whatever reason and no matter who is president. Each of us “influencers” has to decide whether we are up for potential of personal invasion — or worse.

Because lists like this always have an unspoken purpose.

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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by baldilocks

And how rare is that?

Many people cited a lone reason to vote for the presidential candidate that was Donald Trump: to keep Hillary Clinton out of the Oval Office. As it turned out, that was the sole reason that I voted for him. But there were other very good reasons.

Like this one.

Of course, we remember that the president nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme court early last year to take

It’s fun to imagine Scalia giggling after facing a Higher Court.

the place of Antonin Scalia – who died in 2016. Justice Gorsuch was confirmed by the US Senate and took the oath of office last April. Conservatives seem to be pleased with his decisions so far.

But, according to the piece, the Left is afraid that all of its signature issues will be overruled by the high court – especially if President Trump gets to nominate another potential SCJ.

Republicans are working with Trump to make a record-breaking number of appointments to federal courts. These new, mostly young, white men will be in a position to rule on legislation that could change America for years.

But the most contentious appointment would be a second nomination to the highest court in the land. The supreme court has over decades delivered landmark decisions on issues from abortion to affirmative action and same-sex marriage. The potential for Trump to install another justice on the nine-seat bench, some legal experts argue, could have profound consequences on issues ranging from women’s reproductive health to LGBT rights.

With speculation mounting over the possible retirement of supreme court justice Anthony Kennedy, Trump could have a lasting impact on reshaping America’s most important court.

Honestly, I think that the worst thing that advocates of LGBT rights (translation: same-sex marriage), abortion, etc. would have to worry about is that most such issues would revert to the state legislatures where they belong. That’s why the tenth amendment exists.

But it’s always good to keep the Left afraid. Just keep your eyes open.

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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by baldilocks

Almost as if it isn’t an accident

I saw this yesterday. Dean Obeidallah is a radio host and CNN contributor.

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For the record. Captain Presson was the recipient of many decorations, including the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts.

I almost feel sorry for Obeidallah. One has to be incredibly stupid to step into that gaping hole.

Obeidallah apologized – with some Trump bashing thrown in for good measure, of course. But we all know that this guy’s ideological forebears would have called the man a NAZI even if they did know that he was wearing the uniform of the US military. That’s what actually happened 48 years ago – and even 13 years ago.

John Kerry’s 1971 testimony before Congress, anyone?

The words of Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) in 2005, anyone?

I don’t even like to think about all the foul words and drawings directed toward GIs during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

It’s just not good publicity to denigrate the memory of a dead GI on Memorial Day weekend. At least not this year.

But I suspect that the tide will turn again and it won’t be long.

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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by baldilocks

From Allahpundit at Hot Air:

Matthew Charles was convicted of drug and weapons charges in the mid-90s. He already had a record by the point so the feds argued that he was a “career offender.” He got 35 years — but was set free after 21 thanks to the Obama administration’s new guidelines for offenses involving crack, which were punished

Matthew Charles

at the time with far more draconian sentences than those for cocaine. In those 21 years in prison he found God and, by all accounts, became a new man.

From Nashville Public Radio:

Since his release in 2016, Charles has held a steady job. He volunteers every Saturday, has reconnected with his family, and started a serious relationship. But really, his rehabilitation started years prior.

In prison, he took college classes and correspondence courses, he taught a GED program and got certified as a law clerk. With his training, he helped other incarcerated men understand the judicial system long after their public defenders moved on to the next case.

Charles kept the secrets of those who were illiterate so they wouldn’t face ridicule or harassment — he read them letters from the court and drafted filings for them in the library. He organized bible studies and counseled newcomers. Two decades in federal institutions — from maximum to low security — without a single disciplinary infraction.

AP again:

The federal government appealed his early release, arguing that Charles didn’t get his stiff 35-year sentence because he had sold crack. He got it because he was a career offender. And the new Obama guidelines said nothing about reducing sentences for people like that.

An appellate court, reviewing the record, agreed with the feds. The new sentencing guidelines didn’t apply in his case. (…)

And so Charles, despite having been released by the federal government and lived as a free man for years, will have to go back to prison and serve another decade to atone for their error. “

Justice? I agree with AP; President Trump should commute this man’s sentence and, perhaps, keep him on a list of potential pardons.

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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by baldilocks

I’m old enough to remember when I was called delusional by an alleged conservative for pointing this out. That happened in 2008.

But I’m certain that Don Surber was pointing it out back then also. Here he is in a well-earned I-told-you-so:

Barack Obama is a communist. Mild compared to Castro or Mao, but nevertheless a believer in state control of everything.

Electing a communist president was easy, although it took more than seven decades. While the steps were many — Stalin’s Soviet Union collapsed before achieving his goal — the major ones are obvious in hindsight.

The quest began after Stalin stole America’s nuclear bomb secrets. Roy Cohn prosecuted Stalin’s spies. We hanged them.

Stalin got revenge. He placed a big fat target on Cohn, who went to Washington to help Senator Joseph McCarthy ferret communists out of the Army and State Department.

Many people confuse this with the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, which examined communism in Hollywood. Much ridiculed in the press (even conservatives mocked HUAC) look at Hollywood today and try to deny that communism lives on in America’s entertainment industry.

The elitists ripped McCarthy, called his quest for the truth a witch hunt, and made his name synonymous with the type of investigative fishing expedition Bobby Mueller has engaged in.

The net result was you no longer could call anyone a communist in America. Not even an actual communist. We call them liberal, progressive, socialist, and even Marxist, but never in polite society may we call them communists.

The downfall of McCarthy protected the communists in our federal government. We put one — John Brennan — as head of our CIA.

Indeed we did. I and many of my oldest and closest friends are also old enough to remember when open allegiance to communism was a huge disqualifier for any intelligence service position, much less DCI.

Don features Leftism’s takeover of most American churches and begins with my “favorite” trap: the (Lyndon Baines)

“Yeah, churches, Ah fooled yew, too!”

Johnson Amendment of 1950 – the political and, more importantly, the spiritual lure used to silence churches, at least the ones prone to engaging in wrong-think aka the undiluted Word of God.

What gets me sometimes is the failure of smart, capable and trained people to see the century-long pattern of infiltration, culminating with the election of hardcore Leftist Barack H. Obama. His rise was the result of the Organized Left’s patient effort to turn this country into the crown jewel of communist achievement. The Great Battle Won. But the Organized Left began the celebration too soon and got cocky. And now we are seeing the after-action reports that they couldn’t keep hidden. But they never did try to hide. Not really.

Many of us never did want to see. Still don’t.

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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by baldilocks

After previously denying it, James Clapper admitted that the FBI “might have been” spying on the Trump campaign.

Real Clear Politics:

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN’s Don Lemon Thursday night that the president’s claim that the Obama administration spied on his campaign is “hyperbole” but if it is true, it is a “good thing.”

“They [the Obama admin’s FBI] may have had someone who was talking to them in the campaign, but, you know, the focus here… is not on the campaign, per se, but what the Russians were doing,” Clapper said.

But if there was an intelligence agent “observing” the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russia, “that’s a good thing because the Russians posed a threat to the very basis of our political system.”

If true? He doesn’t know? Yeah, okay. Clapper was Obama’s DNI.

Yesterday, Sharyl Attkisson pointed out that the corruption in our intelligence agencies long precedes the existence of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

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These intelligence shenanigans aren’t new to anyone who has read Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA.

It has been a number of years since I read it, and, at 702 pages, the hardback version definitely qualifies as a tome. However, I read it, courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library, very rapidly due to great and building amazement. And by amazement, I mean horror.  This entity of the government, allegedly dedicated to our security, is and has always been a failure. Or at least that’s what I thought at the time.

Now that I have become more cynical and more paranoid, it seems to me that the agency, the OSS(the CIA’s World War II incarnation) and all the other investigative arms of the government — including the longer-standing FBI — have been very successful at doing what they were created to do.

The CIA and all of the other intelligence agencies exist to Keep the Gates. Gathering them all under the DNI banner made that easier, or so it seemed.

But their gates aren’t the same gates as our gates. That is certain.

What a waste.

RELATED: The CIA’s Long List of Failures

UPDATE: Confirmed: John Brennan Colluded With Foreign Spies to Defeat Trump

An article in the Guardian last week provides more confirmation that [President Obama’s Director of Central Intelligence] John Brennan was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election — Hillary’s.

Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy. He used their phony intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people.(…)

The Guardian story is written in a style designed to flatter its sources (they are cast as high-minded whistleblowers), but the upshot of it is devastating for them, nonetheless, and explains why all the criminal leaks against Trump first originated in the British press. According to the story, Brennan got his anti-Trump tips primarily from British spies but also Estonian spies and others. The story confirms that the seed of the espionage into Trump was planted by Estonia. The BBC’s Paul Wood reported last year that the intelligence agency of an unnamed Baltic State had tipped Brennan off in April 2016 to a conversation purporting to show that the Kremlin was funneling cash into the Trump campaign.

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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by baldilocks

Or her.

Some entertainment to look forward to; and when I say entertainment, I mean war.

The White House anticipates a Democratic House will vote to impeach President Trump – but that his opponents won’t be able to muster the 67 Senate votes needed to throw him out of office.

Trump advisors in and outside the White House have begun speculating about scenarios months before voters even go to the polls for November elections that will be critical to what comes next for the Trump presidency.

If Democrats do take control of the chamber – which would fit traditional off-year patterns even as their edge in generic polls has narrowed in recent weeks – a far greater level of oversight and scrutiny is a certainty.

Impeachment also could follow, even as House leaders urge caution in speaking about it.

‘If we lose the House, it’s a given that they’ll try to get a vote to impeach,’ an outside Trump advisor told the Washington Examiner.

White House advisors expect impeachment to prevail in the House, according to the report.

Although a Democratic House could use its majority to vote to impeach Trump, essentially charging him with a high crime or misdemeanor, his fate would be determined by the Senate, where essentially a trial would occur.

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi warned fellow lawmakers against their push for impeachment now, saying it could hurt the party’s chances of taking over.

I don’t think we should be talking about impeachment. I’ve been very clear right from the start,’ Pelosi told reporters last month.

Ms. Pelosi demonstrates a dim vestige of cunning, but we call all figure out what will happen if the Democrats regain the House, the Senate or both.

I thought about asking the rhetorical question: which high crime and/or misdemeanor? But then I remembered what Donald Trump’s true crime is in the eyes of the Organized Left: keeping Hillary R. Clinton from becoming President of the United States.

Certain quarters will never forgive DJT for that and that alone. They will continue to look for reasons — reasonable or not — to make him pay. Sad.

And dangerous.

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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by baldilocks

One might say that Starbucks is defecating on its own market share, but I hate going for the easy poop joke. Yes, I’m lying.

Seriously, it’s sad to watch as a thriving business dies, even when it Deserves to Die.TM Even when it is committing suicide.

Monica Showalter:

The ever well meaning Starbucks chairman, Howie Schultz, more terrified of bad publicity and claims of racism than anything in the world, has just announced a rather customer-unfriendly policy of opening Starbucks bathrooms (as well as table space) to all comers, including people who won’t spring for a $4 cup of coffee.  Speaking to the Atlantic Council, according to the Washington Post, Schultz said:

“We don’t want to become a public bathroom, but we’re going to make the right decision a hundred percent of the time and give people the key,” Schultz said, “because we don’t want anyone at Starbucks to feel as if we are not giving access to you to the bathroom because you are less than.” (…)

For those of us who do buy Starbucks coffee, we know what this policy change means: an open invitation to the homeless to bring in hepatitis, trash, used syringes, solicitations for spare change, and all the other detritus of their uncured condition to Starbucks bathrooms.  The fact that Starbucks will be the only business with such a policy means that all of the homeless will concentrate in these outlets.  Rival store-owners and social service agencies will actually direct the homeless to Starbucks outlets for the free services.  Large groups will congregate, and tents will go up.

I have been guilty of using Starbucks’ free WiFi to check my email, but one usually doesn’t have to enter the business for that. Now I suspect that it will be difficult and unappealing to even get that close to any Starbucks.

But Monica thinks Schultz has a plan.

“One wonders if what Howie is really saying is that he intends to close outlets – in places where the homeless are concentrated.  Is it that? It’s already well known that a Starbucks outlet’s presence correlates with rising real estate values.  Perhaps Schultz means to concentrate that trend and will now keep his establishments in only rich areas with no social service outlets that draw the homeless.  Maybe he knows something about a coming housing bust and its effect on real estate values.

If he’s going to do that, I bet wasn’t the original plan, but the fix after the disaster. And it’s a good plan, though I doubt that Schultz conjured it.

There’s a Starbucks within walking distance in my blue/white-collar multi-ethnic LA neighborhood . But Dunkin Donuts is closer, has WiFi, coffee, tastier doughnuts than Starbucks (duh), no homeless hanging out and seems to have a smarter CEO — or at least a less white- and rich-guilt plagued one.

And, before I walk to DDs, I use the bathroom facilities in my apartment. I know the janitorial crew for that one.

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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by baldilocks

I can’t be the only one who noticed this.

This is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg when he testified in front of Congress about user data privacy some weeks back.

And this is former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Schneiderman recently resigned from his office because:

 [Four women with whom he has had romantic relationships or encounters] accuse Schneiderman of having subjected them to nonconsensual physical violence. All have been reluctant to speak out, fearing reprisal. But two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, have talked to The New Yorker on the record, because they feel that doing so could protect other women. They allege that he repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent. Manning Barish and Selvaratnam categorize the abuse he inflicted on them as “assault.” They did not report their allegations to the police at the time, but both say that they eventually sought medical attention after having been slapped hard across the ear and face, and also choked.

Look at their eyes.

Now, I’m not up on the latest in high-end drugs, so, maybe someone who is can help me figure out what these guys are on, if anything.

Or maybe those trillion-yard stares are evidence a different kind of pharmakeia (definition 3).

There are lots of conspiracy theorists out there who believe that the financial, political and entertainment “elite” subscribe to a spirituality other than that of the Holy Spirit in exchange for money, power and/or fame, and that could be so. After all, God gives His children gifts and the Devil lives ever to parody God. (I’m one of those far-out conspiracy theorists who suspects that 99.9% of politicians above your local dog-catcher is bought by some entity. And maybe only half the dog-catchers are clean.)

I don’t know. But I do know that I would not want to see eyes like that looking back at me – especially not from my pillow or my mirror.

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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by baldilocks

This is a cropped version of a July 14, 2004 post from my old blog. I general feel like I’m repeating myself all the time so I figured that one more time won’t hurt. Edited. And, apparently, a lot of people didn’t get this memo.

What have Republicans/conservatives done for black Americans? I hear that question constantly when I disclose that I am a conservative Republican. Often I will provide the usual facts that seem to be missing from the historical lexicon these days: freed the slaves, were 90%+ in the majority in the votes for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. However, something about the question sets steel to my nerves and I’ve been meaning to articulate the reasons for it here for some time now.

Implied in the question is that a political party must “do something” for blacks. Not merely the usual “something” that a government entity does for all of its constituents, e.g. provide utilities, regulate commerce, etc., but something special.

That word ‘special’ has taken on a new meaning in recent years and I think that it applies to the special items that liberals/leftists believe that the government should provide for the ‘special’ people, the “congenitally retarded” folk.

Yes, we ‘special’ people — with ‘special’ needs — require special handling: special education and special employment. You can’t expect black people to live up to the standards of ‘normal’ people. Like paraplegics or the blind or the deaf or those afflicted with Down’s syndrome, singular accommodations must be made for the great handicap of being born with black skin. To liberals/leftists, black people are a crippled class that can never be made whole just as long as they can never be made not-black. What’s this notion called?

And if anyone tries to treat us as full, competent adults, the liberals/leftists will scream in righteous anger and protest about the unfairness of it all. And if some of us ‘handicapped’ verbally express the desire to be treated like full, competent adults and act in a manner that demonstrates that desire, we are deemed as traitors by those who share the same racial makeup, but buy into the ‘handicap’ philosophy. Yes, we are “traitors,” because if some of us refuse to take advantage of the special needs offered and succeed anyway, the majority of Americans will begin to think that we don’t really require the “handicap slot.”

The majority of Americans will begin to think that we’re not really inferior after all. (Optimistically speaking, I believe that the majority thinks this anyway.)

“You do not own, and you are not the arbiters of, African-American authenticity,” said [Rod] Paige [to NAACP leaders], who rose from segregated Mississippi to become President Bush’s education chief.

This idea of our race-wide ‘handicap’ is so ingrained in the mindsets of some, however, that it has morphed into the very existence of black identity: a black person who believes that black Americans need extra help to succeed is “authentically black.” Conversely, one who doesn’t buy it “isn’t really black” and is, therefore, a traitor to black identity.

In short, blacks who believe in their own inferiority are the real deal and those who don’t, aren’t. How’s that for twisted dogma?

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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