by baldilocks

In honor of Pushkin’s birthday, June 6.alexander_sergeyevich_pushkin

It is one of the ironies of life and history that Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (Russian: Алекса́ндр Серге́евич Пу́шкин)—a Russian man partially of African descent–is considered the founder of Russian literature. It is as though the influence of Other was meant to be added to a society which has demonstrated well-documented xenophobia and antipathy toward non- Russians.


Pushkin pioneered the use of vernacular speech in his poems and plays, creating a style of storytelling—mixing drama, romance, and satire— associated with Russian literature ever since and greatly influencing later Russian writers. He also wrote historical fiction. His The Captain’s Daughter provides insight into Russia during the reign of Catherine the Great.

Born in Moscow, Russia, Pushkin published his first poem at the age of fifteen, and was widely recognized by the literary establishment by the time of his graduation from the Imperial Lyceum in Tsarskoye Selo. Pushkin gradually became committed to social reform and emerged as a spokesman for literary radicals; in the early 1820s he clashed with the government, which sent him into exile in southern Russia. While under the strict surveillance of government censors and unable to travel or publish at will, he wrote his most famous play, the drama Boris Godunov, but could not publish it until years later. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was published serially from 1825 to 1832.

In other words, Pushkin penned his works in a manner that the normal, every-day Russian could understand and, by doing so, shaped the Russian language in his own image thereafter. Two and a half centuries before him, William Shakespeare played an identical role for the English language. Continue reading “Sons of Russia and of Africa”

by baldilocks

It’s a fascinating thing to watch a significant section of the Fundamental Transformation takes place. That section is the United States Armed Force. All the rage—and I do mean rage—right now is the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.  Bergdahl was allegedly being held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan. His “release” was reciprocated in that five Taliban leaders, who had been detainees at Guantanamo, were released to the authorities in Qatar. But there’s something about Bowe.

“We were at OP Mest, Paktika Province, Afghanistan. It was a small outpost where B Co 1-501st INF (Airbone) ran operations out of, just an Infantry platoon and ANA counterparts there. The place was an Afghan graveyard. Bergdahl had been acting a little strange, telling people he wanted to “walk the earth” and kept a little journal talking about how he was meant for better things. No one thought anything about it. He was a little “out there”. Next morning he’s gone. We search everywhere, and can’t find him. He left his weapon, his kit, and other sensitive items. He only took some water, a compass and a knife. We find some afghan kids shortly after who saw an american walking north asking about where the taliban are. We get hits on our voice intercepter that Taliban has him, and we were close. We come to realize that the kid deserted his post, snuck out of camp and sought out Taliban… to join them. We were in a defensive position at OP Mest, where your focus is to keep people out. He knew where the blind spots were to slip out and that’s what he did. It was supposed to be a 4-day mission but turned into several months of active searching. Everyone was spun up to find this guy. News outlets all over the country were putting out false information. It was hard to see, especially when we knew the truth about what happened and we lost good men trying to find him. PFC Matthew Michael Martinek, Staff Sgt. Kurt Robert Curtiss, SSG Clayton Bowen, PFC Morris Walker, SSG Michael Murphrey, 2LT Darryn Andrews, were all KIA from our unit who died looking for Bergdahl. Many others from various units were wounded or killed while actively looking for Bergdahl. Fighting Increased. IEDs and enemy ambushes increased. The Taliban knew that we were looking for him in high numbers and our movements were predictable. Because of Bergdahl, more men were out in danger, and more attacks on friendly camps and positions were conducted while we were out looking for him. His actions impacted the region more than anyone wants to admit. There is also no way to know what he told the Taliban: Our movements, locations, tactics, weak points on vehicles and other things for the enemy to exploit are just a few possibilities. The Government knows full well that he deserted. It looks bad and is a good propaganda piece for the Taliban. They refuse to acknowledge it.

(The interesting content excuses the lack of paragraph breaks.)

Did the administration make another mistake? Consider the following about the military and its veterans:

  • The scrapping of the Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell policy
  • The VA scandal
  • The designation of returning veterans as prospective terrorists
  • The resignation of top generals
  • The firing of top generals on charges that seem…well…made up.

Regardless of one’s opinion on any of these topics, it cannot be denied that the combination of these things have and will Fundamentally Transform the general character of the U.S. military, and subsequently, the nation it defends. As promised. Sleep well.

UPDATE: The mother of 2LT Darryn Andrews:

“It gets really hurtful when I think, this guy was worth my son’s life? My son who was patriotic? Who was a true soldier? Who defended his country with his life?” (…) “That guy was worth that? I don’t think so.”

“I bet you anything there were soldiers killed or wounded capturing those five guys[.]” (…)“So what does that do for their sacrifice? They sacrificed for nothing, because they turned right around and let them go.”2ltDarrynAndrews

baldilocksJuliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Here’s a four-year-old analysis in which my friend, Gerard Vanderleun, uses a now-familiar photograph–one of President Obama and his maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham—as a symbol of the president himself.

What are ordinary Americans to make of this strange man-child who has, through sloth and design in the media, sloth and inattention among the body politic, and cupidity, corruption and chicanery within his dark political machine, risen to dominate the landscape? What are ordinary Americans to make of this most un-American of all our erstwhile leaders; a man profoundly ungrounded in the American earth?


In the meantime, there will be an ever increasing addition of possible answers and pondering added to the already towering tsunami of non-information available on the subject of Obama. It is by now a commonplace that never has so little been known about so pivotal a figure in our history. In this case partial ignorance leads not to bliss but rather an opera buffa that is sung in the key of existential distress and portends a finale that is not “a comedy tonight,” but a Roman Tragedy replete with fire and blood.obamagrandfather-thumb

Viewers of the photograph can fill in the gaps surrounding the moment captured by the camera, says Gerard. But whatever fills those spaces is merely fantasy conjured by the viewer. In the same way, the American people have been forced to fill in the many, wide and deep gaps, which still exist in the public knowledge of the life of Obama himself.

Gerard posits that this dearth of information is no accident. But you knew that.

Go and read the musings on these Grand Canyons from a vastly better writer than your humble servant. Spoiler: remember what the Operative said about himself at the end of the 2005 movie Serenity? It is the same for this operative.

baldilocksJuliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Remember Valerie Plame and the outcry which accompanied the “outing” of her name and profession? I do. But now

11 years after former CIA operative Valerie Plame was deliberately exposed by the Bush administration as the US officials tried to apply pressure on her husband [Joseph Wilson], an American diplomat criticizing the US invasion to Iraq; the Obama Administration’s press service unwittingly put the real name of the CIA’s top spy in Afghanistan on the ‘pool report’ distributed to over 6,000 journalists.

(Emphasis, mine; spin, theirs.)

So Plame was “outed” as she trekked through the wilds of Virginia, but this fellow’s identity was revealed while he served in Afghanistan.

I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby went to jail for the fact that Richard Armitage mentioned Plame’s name in public, even Wilson.Plamethough her name and her employer were well-known and the notion that she was a deep-cover operative was laughable. (In case, you thought misread, Libby went to jail for that actions of someone else.) One wonders if Libby—or Armitage–apologized to Plame for imperiling her missions as she traversed that dangerous territory between Langley, Starbucks, Whole Foods and her home.

By the way,  didn’t a CIA station in Afghanistan get blown up by a jihadi in 2010?

And didn’t SEAL Team 6 suffer a helicopter “accident” in Afghanistan after it was disclosed by the Vice President of the United States that this same team executed the raid on Osama bin Laden?

Just wondering.

Also being wondered about: whether someone in this administration be held responsible for putting the Afghanistan operative’s life in real danger.

Okay, I’m not really wondering about that.

Unwittingly? Unwittingly, my backside. This administration’s dummy act has worn thin. Outside of Joseph Biden and a few others, that act is a cover for a more sinister and more deadly mindset.

American efforts in Afghanistan have long been sabotaged. It’s time to come home.

baldilocksJuliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

baldilocksOriginally posted at Ace of Spades HQ on August 26, 2013, so excuse anything which seems or is dated. Re-edited. And, do me a favor: please check out the links.

A few weekends back [sic], I made my way from my home in South Central Los Angeles to Albuquerque–where my parents and the vast majority of my family reside–for the wedding of my oldest nephew. During the twelve-hour drive, I contemplated the personalities of my nephew, his brother, his sisters, his male and female first-, second-, and third-cousins and his male cousins by marriage. All–18 to 26–are great young people.

Something that remains perennially in the news is the rate of unemployment for black teens, just over 40%. But here’s a thing about my family: my five nephews and my six first- and second-male cousins are all employed! (My nieces are all under sixteen and my three female cousins are over thirty. An additional male cousin–married, degreed and employed–is over thirty as well.) How could that be?

Well here’s one thing: only one of them lives in a blue state. So much for the alleged racism of Republicans. But their states of residence–New Mexico*, Texas, and Oklahoma–aren’t the only factors; the others are more personal.

  • All are high school graduates.
  • Three are attending two-year colleges, two attend a four-year university, one attends a technical college, and two are four-year university graduates.
  • All are literate, well-mannered and well-spoken They don’t even speak patois to their friends.
  • None have criminal or misdemeanor records.
  • All are prompt and know how to dress for employment. None have adopted the saggy-pants style.
  • Only one has a child and he is in his mid-twenties.

So what is this about? Only four of the young men have been raised by political conservatives. Two are illegitimate. Several are children of divorce–like me. All of them, however, have been raised by actual conservatives. So it is that they would not shame their families by failing to be responsible men.

My oldest nephew–the one who just married–is probably the most taciturn of the group. But he’s not so shy that he was unable to woo, win, and marry a smart, accomplished, and very beautiful young woman to be his wife. And here’s something about the two, my nephew, and my niece-in-law: both of their sets of parents are married to each other. And one thing about my nephew’s parents–my sister and my brother-in-law: both of their parents are still married to each other. (My mom and stepdad have been married for 42 years and my brother-in-law’s parents have been married for over 60 years.) And each generation consists of hard workers who have always wanted more for their children than what they had. This is what is known as a pattern.

But illegitimacy need not be a factor in producing children of poor character. Several months ago, I posited that illegitimacy by itself isn’t what has caused the breakdown of the black family and the consequent breakdown of black moral character. The cause? Government subsidy of illegitimacy. When a child, especially a boy, grows up without a father, he will often run wild if there is no other male authority to which he is answerable–an uncle or grandfather, for example. But when children grow up in communities in which there are no male authority figures, when they grow up in communities in which there are few to no married couples, a people run wild.

The widespread (over 70%) illegitimacy among black Americans can be likened to the biblical fall in the Garden of Eden. Satan talked Eve into eating the fruit that God had forbidden and she talked Adam into eating it. This original sin will destroy most of humankind. The government talked black women into having babies without benefit of marriage and this phenomenon has nearly destroyed black Americans. Yet another pattern.

But just as there is redemption to be had in the heavenly realm, there is a way for black Americans to keep themselves from been destroyed here on earth.

Recently, CNN’s Don Lemon–no political conservative, to be sure–was called a “turncoat mofo” for agreeing with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that black people need to clean up their act with respect to being ‘good citizens’–a phrase used because that is what I was exhorted to be when I was growing up in the much-maligned 1960s.

Mr. Lemon’s seemingly simple prescription is powerful.

You want to break the cycle of poverty? Stop telling kids they’re acting white because they go to school or they speak proper English. A high school dropout makes on average $19,000 a year, a high school graduate makes $28,000 a year, a college graduate makes $51,000 a year. Over the course of a career, a college grad will make nearly $1 million more than a high school graduate. That’s a lot of money.

And number one, and probably the most important, just because you can have a baby, it doesn’t mean you should. Especially without planning for one or getting married first. More than 72 percent of children in the African-American community are born out of wedlock. That means absent fathers. And the studies show that lack of a male role model is an express train right to prison and the cycle continues.

And there was this on Twitter:

For his trouble, Lemon was excoriated–which included being labeled a “turncoat mofo” by MSNBC’s Goldie Taylor.

“Turncoat mofo?” No. The turncoats are those who urge other black Americans to keep doing the same things over and over again while, each time, expecting a different result. The turncoats are those who exhort black Americans to keep riding that express train to poverty, illiteracy, prison and ruin. Like the feral teens that are a plague on our society, pattern-recognition is foreign to those who screech ‘turncoat mofo’ to a man who imparts the tried-and-true wisdom that black Americans used to impart to their progeny.

* * *

I have been called a conspiracy theorist–not to mention the equivalent of a ‘turncoat mofo’– a number of times. However, if most political and social conservatives can acknowledge that there are forces consisting of more than a single individual which conspire to destroy America-as-founded and the ideals on which she was founded, then it is plausible that such forces have used and are using strategies—by definition, long-term plans–to achieve their aims. It is for this reason—and for the vision of my lying eyes—that I put forth the following ‘conspiracy theory.’

For many decades, black Americans hoped and prayed to be considered equal to other Americans under the law–federal, state, and local. Well that goal has been achieved. It has been long past time for black Americans, as a whole, to do their part. What happened there? It’s this: too large a number of us have become prey to those who have always wanted to keep us down, keep us enslaved, and, ultimately, destroy us.

I submit that the Organized Left and the Democrat Party—now one and the same–have long been trying to rid our country of her black citizens. That goal is now almost reached. Think about it: blacks are vastly outnumbered by whites, Hispanics, and others. And blacks have been purposefully splintered in this way: we have been duped into nearly destroying the one earthly and seemingly unshakable foundation we had. That foundation is known as the family.

The feral teens we see today are the fruit of the splintering; they are angry and they know not why. They never learned fatherly discipline–and the compromised education system never bothered to inculcate in them the desire to think through their existential situation or any other situation. Often the only “men” in their lives are other mindlessly angry little boys wearing the bodies of men. Multiply this by millions.

So now, they are beating and killing innocents of all races out of boredom or avarice or whatever excuse they want to give. But the real problem is mindless and pointless anger, stemming from the lack of proper parenting by both mother and father.

But here’s the thing. Non-black people are already tired of their loved ones being raped, shot, beaten, etc. for merely walking around, for the crimes of others or simply for not being black.

And when some set of white or other non-black persons begin to retaliate; it will go badly for the splintered minority—both the guilty and the innocent–for numerical reasons alone. As a result, the Leftist-infiltrated government will come in and “save” however many black people are left, but goal will be reached: black people will be almost exterminated in the USA and whites and other non-blacks will be the slaves.

That’s been the plan all along…to kill all of us and to enslave all of you.

I am grateful to God that the young men in my family are fine, upstanding citizens. But I tremble for my peopleAmericans–as I watch the fruit of the rotten and satanic tree called Leftism poison us all, one way or another.

That’s why I pray to Lord who provided us with the Lamb who took away all of our sins. It’s our only hope, and I submit that it always has been.

*Yes I know. NM isn’s all that red. But, to this Californian, red is relative. One can open-carry in NM.

(Thanks to Monty and Ace)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!


by baldilocks

Whether it’s the Emancipation Proclamation or the desegregation of the Armed Forces or Brown v. Board of Education or the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, the federal government has seemed to be on the side of the black American as his constitutional rights were being suppressed by state or local governments. (Conveniently forgotten are Dred Scott v. Sanford and Plessy v. Ferguson, the latter of which was reverse by Brown.) Because of this history, even many black Americans who do not personally rely on the federal government still view the fed as our friend.

What needs to be spelled-out, however, is what the federal government actually did in the above-mentioned areas: it removed legal obstacles to the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of Americans who are black.  And, that is what it was supposed to do.

However, the Civil Rights Act went too far in the opposite direction. It made discrimination in government services–the word “public” is used– illegal, which was a good thing. However, it also made it illegal for private businesses to discriminate. Telling private business owners to whom they must sell goods and services is merely the flip-side of Jim Crow.

Recall that Jim Crow laws mandated that all public and private businesses provide separate accommodations for race. That meant that even if a private business owner wanted to provide integrated and equal goods and services, he/she was forbidden to do so by law.

In light of this, it should not be a surprise that Christian business owners are being forced to provide goods and services to same-sex couples, under pain of prosecution. And, if the fed is allowed to mandate selling, it can mandate buying.

The present problem is this: the federal government began overstepping its bounds during the Great Depression and did so most infamously in the late sixties via the Great Society programs.  Doing more that getting local racists out of the way, the federal government sought to and succeeded in making itself the supplier of life, liberty and, putatively, the happiness of many Americans.  (Try telling a senior of any race that Social Security has sent the country into financial ruin. You’ll get an earful about her “rights” and about “her” money.)  And by doing so, the fed set a precedent for today’s myriad methods of overreach into the lives of all citizens.  It is the Honey Trap which was set for us all. LBJ produced the Great Society; Obamacare is the Great Invasion.

What’s needed, in order to change this perception, is obvious: education–not a new education but the old one, one which contains objective explanations of the role of government.

Simply put, the role of the American government is to remove obstacles to liberty of the People–even when that obstacle is American government itself.  Supplying all of one’s needs is not government’s role.  That’s God’s purview.

But what to do about a government that won’t get out of our lives?

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published ibaldilocks2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!


by baldilocks

The Obamas seem to like all the trappings of wealth and power: the SUV limos, the ability to clog city traffic for miles; the private jets, the ability to travel at will and at where; the designers hankering to be employed , the magazine covers.obama-and-wife

I’ve known people like this all my life.  Such persons will bash those richer than they. However, if these same persons ever become rich, they will not be shy about displaying evidence of their wealth, meant for the consumption of your eyeballs—nor will they be shy about looking down on you for having less money.  It’s a mini-drama played out in traffic all the time here in Southern California and, undoubtedly, all over.  My great-aunt called it ‘floor-showing.’

And, that’s what I think the Obamas have been doing since the inauguration, but there’s more to the charade than that: it’s a sort of “in your face” attitude to struggling America. From the Obamas, with spite.

They are saying this to us:

“We’ll take your country down; we’ll hollow out every institution you hold dear; we’ll shame you before other nations;

“We’ll spend every last cent in your treasury, and then some; we’ll make worthless that which is left;

“We’ll spy on you—on the street, on the phone, on the Internet, even in your bedroom;

“We’ll pay all your local and state law enforcement agencies to militarize themselves and to strike fear in you; you’ll never know what they are going to do, nor when;

“We’ll do all of those things and more.

“And while we’re doing it, we’re going to have a great time spending your money—eating, drinking, golfing, taking selfies, and being merry, for…

“Tomorrow, you die. And you deserve to die.”

It isn’t as if they’ve been keeping it a secret.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published ibaldilocks2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

rand_paul-618x400by baldilocks

Recently, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has been intimating that the GOP should drop the topic of voter ID legislation. This position seems to have been influenced by his speech at Howard University—a historically black university—and by his meeting with a group of black pastors. In short, in these two meetings, it seems that some sets of self-appointed black “leaders” and spokesbodies have informed him and his party should lay off the advocacy so as not to appear racist, especially racist against blacks.

And, today, Senator Paul seems to be saying “let’s not drop it, but let’s keep it on the down-low.”

It’s really tough to listen to politicians “debate” issues like voter ID as if a solid foundation for debate actually exists. It’s equally tough to watch as reasonably sane politicians like Senator Paul kowtow to the bought and paid-for Leftist shills as they tell him what the Organized Left—their masters–want.

The Organized Left wants anyone and everyone—citizen or not—to be able to vote and to do so as many times as desired. That ability makes voter fraud easier and voter ID laws prevent these frauds. And, since there is no above-board reason to oppose voter ID, one has to be fabricated. Racism charges always work.

The idea that there are large groups of black Americans running around with no form of identification is so incredibly ridiculous—not to mention insulting—that it seems equally ridiculous even to explain it.

However, the beauty of this particular fraud is two-fold. Common sense will tell most observers that this notion is the most blatant of lies, and, therefore, many proponents of voter ID see no need to spell out why it’s a lie. Secondly, we Americans have been inundated for so long with the idea that black Americans are helpless babies that some of us who don’t know that many poor black persons may begin to believe the lie.

Why won’t some prominent politician have the stones to call the foundation undergirding opposition to voter ID what it actually is? It’s Bravo Sierra.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published ibaldilocks2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Any discussion of the following subject reminds me that, in order to have even a chance of being in the ballpark of a correct conclusion, it’s necessary to be able to analyze information properly, rather than simply to gather it.  The will and ability to do this has become essential—not just to “win” an argument, but for personal and national survival.

After I posted Discover the Networks’The Muslim Brotherhood’s Strategic Goal for North America” on my Facebook page, one of my friends pointed out that Christianity has a violent history as well. My response:

In order for an individual to examine the tenets of any faith, that person must look at the foundational work establishing that faith. Before the Bible was made available to the everyday Christian, the Church leadership–meaning the Roman Catholic Church clergy–dispensed doctrine and interpreted in whatever manner they saw fit.

After Johannes Gutenberg’s invention, the Bible was mass-produced, making it available to all who could read it–and, most importantly, translated from Latin in other European languages.  It is no accident that Christianity was radically transformed and Reformed after that.

A similar reform—or reversion– is happening to Islam with respect to its doctrines and, subsequently, its adherents.

One of the Founders of these two religions commanded his followers to love God with all one’s heart, soul, strength and mind and to love one’s neighbor as self; the other commanded his followers to convert non-believers at the point of the sword or make them pay the unbelievers’ tax.

As each set of followers have become more and more familiar with the foundational doctrines of their respective religious beliefs, each has begun to behave more in accordance with those doctrines: one set has become less totalitarian almost to the point of zero and the other, more aggressive and violent.

The Bible and the Koran are objective documents with historical contexts readily available in this information age.  It is up to the individual to make himself/herself familiar enough with both–if desired–in order to come to a cogent conclusions about each.

Naturally, my friend mentioned the genocides committed in the name of Jesus. Of course, the crimes of the prior millennium’s Church are well-known and acknowledged:

Christian missionaries of Europe fell into error and sin back when they were bent on converting the natives of all lands–not by the act of  leading others to Christ, but by making Christianity about something other than Christ, His Sacrifice, Resurrection and the purpose of the foregoing.  The European missionaries bound up Christ in themselves and their own ethnicity.

Christians have used Christ to justify all kinds of sin—much easier to do when it was illegal for non-clergy to read the Bible. However, these crimes do not take anything away from the quality of the Gospel; they only speak to the quality the imperfect human beings proclaiming it.  Again, were such missionaries following the Bible or ignoring the inconvenient parts when they trampled non-Christian cultures? And was the Islamic group Boko Haram following the Koran or ignoring it when the group abducted hundreds of non-Muslim girls from a Nigerian school?

A little thinking-through of things won’t hurt. On the contrary, it might save our lives.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published ibaldilocks2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Ten years ago, after Monica Lewinsky responded publicly to former President William Clinton’s characterization of their affair, I wrote her an open letter. Excerpt:

1)      Go to graduate school. Become a nurse, or a scientist, or an architect. Do NOT become a lawyer, a journalist or a politician. Do NOT go into show business, unless you’re going to be a producer or part of the crew.

2)      Immerse yourself in your Jewish heritage/religion. Or some other religion.

3)      Get involved in some little-publicized charity work.

4)      Stay out of the public eye as much as possible. Change your name, if you see fit. But whatever happens, refuse to give any interviews on anything regarding former President Clinton and the scandal created by the two of you.

Why should you do these things? By immersing yourself in, taking care of, building or studying something for you, you can carve out a new reputation for yourself, instead of being constantly saddled with the old one. Accomplish something. Make a difference, a positive one.

I don’t know whether she knows that this letter exists, but it seems that she took much of my advice. Turning down multi-million dollar offers–presumably, to tell her story–she moved to London and earned a Master’s degree in psychology at the London School of Economics. And, she kept silent about her part in the indiscretion—until now.Lewinsky

Unfortunately and predictably, many employers were unable to see past her infamous past. But Lewinsky takes responsibility for her choices and seems much more mindful of the consequences of her actions in her mature years—as all thinking persons become.. Additionally, she is conscious of the fact that she may further suffer for her new openness about the topic.

I’ve decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past. (What this will cost me, I will soon find out.)

As opposed to the last time Lewinsky spoke out, her timing is right. I hope she expounds on the professional and personal costs that she has paid for a singular reason: other young women need to read these things. To stand voluntarily as a warning to others is an admirable thing to do. And, as was so the last time she spoke out, I wish Ms. Lewinsky all the best.

(Thanks to Legal Insurrection)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in baldilocks2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!