Sunday morning begins with the left all a shutter over Donald Trump revealing that the absolute moral authority™ that the left conferred on him over his civil rights record 50 years ago has expired.

It’s a very Breitbartian response to the congressman who was never called to account for making false claims at the passage of Obamacare despite a $100K bounty for video or audio to support his claims of racism.

The media/left loud outrage was predictable as was Allahpundit’s willingness to join in this panic but in the end it changes nothing and all that the fuss will do is demonstrate Democrat importance.

As Batman said to the Joker in the original Dark Knight #3. “you’re playing the old game, today I’m taking no prisoners.

We’ve also heard a lot about how horrible it is that he said this with  Martin Luther King Day coming, but the fact is many of the left rejected King in life considering him an uncle tom and only embraced him after death when he was of use.  Furthermore given the  black community’s rush to re-segregate schools and dorms in the name of “diversity” and the Democrats embrace of it that they invoke King at all is frankly obscene.

If MLK was alive today he’d be ostracized in the same way as Clarence Thomas

For several weeks in the media we have seen story after story about GOP fears over the repeal of Obamacare and the press reporting that they are having 2nd thoughts.

Alas for the left that narrative has gone the way of the dodo

On a largely party line vote, the GOP controlled House passed a budget which will allow the party to repeal Obamacare using reconciliation, a process reserved for budget related items which cannot be filibustered in the Senate. The budget bill passed 227-198, with all Democrats and 9 Republicans voting against it.

That amounts to under 4% of the GOP defecting and largely because they (rightly) object to the level of spending. In the highly unlikely event that the same level defect from the senate, say a Rand Paul in protest to the spending, that will easily leave 50 votes to finish off Obamacare and don’t be surprised if a few democrats running for re-election in red states join in.

So I guess we can classify those stories as “fake news”.

For all those journalists still getting the vapors over Trump’s attack, here is an example of the actual mistreatment of journalists:

Hamas blocked journalists from filming a major protest against power cuts in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, detaining an Associated Press journalist at gunpoint and badly beating an Agence France-Presse photographer who refused to relinquish his camera.

The journalists sought to cover a demonstration against chronic electricity shortages in Gaza, which the AP described as “one of the largest unauthorized protests in the territory since the Islamic militant group took power a decade ago.”

Oddly the MSM doesn’t find this all that newsworthy, likely because Hamas opposes Trump.

Speaking of fake news lets also talks more fake hate crimes

Ann Doss Helms reports another fake hate crime in the Charlotte Observer. A kindergarten teacher was alleged to have committed the fake hate crime against a Muslim student. CAIR promoted the fake hate crime in its patented style, alleging a two-month reign of terror against the boy. The fake hate crime duly made the national news. Then came the investigation:

Police found no evidence to confirm a November report that a teacher bullied and assaulted a Muslim kindergartener at David Cox Road Elementary, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools reported Friday.

Principal Celeste Spears-Ellis notified parents that the accused teacher has returned to the classroom after the District Attorney’s Office found “no evidence of an assault other than the complainant’s report” and no grounds for criminal charges.

As a general rule if you have to fake hate crimes to make news odds are they aren’t happening.  And may I say that this bit (and the next) shows that Powerline has become a must read website

We’ve heard a lot about fake news let’s talk fake charities:

The Clinton Global Initiative has informed the New York Department of Labor that it intends to lay off its 22 employees on April 15, 2017. The reason given is “Discontinuation of the Clinton Global Initiative.” Here, via the The Great American Movement, is a link to the notice on the NY DOL web site.

It’s must be tough for a family of influence peddlers when they have no more influence to peddle.

It seems to me that this evaluation is correct:

THIS ISN’T A PROTEST, IT’S A CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY: Inauguration Protesters Plan To Destroy Property And Disrupt Balls.

I think these people have decided the way to power and influence in the Democrat party is to destroy, I think they’ll look great in a DC jail and if Sessions decides to go after this stuff using RICO and start suing the folks funding these guys it could get interesting

I’ve been playing a lot of Civilization 6. It seems to me a radical departure from the previous versions. I really feel that I’m playing a different game rather than an update, not necessarily a better or worse one, but a different one. The real change is that I’ve been working in a two laptop system where one is dedicated to the game and the other to this work.

I’m an old comic book guy and at Christmas I picked up a bunch of stuff out of my kids folder for them along with six issues of Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Staki that I never cancelled. You would think after 20 years the quality might drop just a little, but it hasn’t. Along with Groo I’ll still pick them up and enjoy them.

Finally Yesterday Atlanta made mincemeat out of Seattle 36-20 and were celebrated as a powerhouse  while the Patriots pretty much treated the Texans the same in a 34-16 win and were greeted with stories about what is going wrong with them.  That’s how good the Pats are.

Incidentally The NFL should think it’s lucky stars for Tom Brady and the Patriots, the story of his suspension and their quest for Superbowl 5 along with the rise of the Cowboys, Atlanta and Aaron Rogers Packers have overshadowed the idiocy of Kaepernick et/al, but the real NFL news was San Diego telling the chargers to pound sand when asking for a new stadium. I think taxpayers are catching on to the scam.

At the beginning of every semester, I receive several letters of accommodation for students with disabilities. Usually, the letters describe learning rather than physical disabilities.

Unfortunately, the Americans with Disabilities Act, a noble gesture to eliminate discrimination and physical barriers, has increasingly become a means for college students to game the academic system for better grades.

One of the disabilities covered by many universities is attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. An estimated 5 to 8 percent of all college students receive disability status from this difficult-to-diagnose disease. Moreover, 25 percent of all university students receiving disability status claim to suffer from ADHD.

I’m not saying that ADHD does not exist. All medical organizations say it does. But it is often misdiagnosed and abused.

Here’s what two researchers wrote in 2012: “Malingering to obtain an ADHD diagnosis may be especially pertinent to college students. Students may deliberately over-report ADHD symptoms to procure academic accommodations or feign ADHD to obtain a prescription for stimulant medication, which many students believe will enhance their academic performance.” For more information, see

The accommodations include more time for tests, excused absences, note-takers, alternative grading rubrics and a host of other items that basically make a class easier for the student.

All of this costs money—higher tuition, taxes and health insurance. For example, the test for ADHD is not based on lab results but on a psychological evaluation, which can cost more than $2,000, with individual counseling sessions at $100 to $150 an hour.

The administration for such students has grown astronomically at universities. I recently inquired about an accommodation for a student and was told there were simply too many students to evaluate each class. Therefore, I received a form letter for a student that had virtually nothing to do with the course I teach. Moreover, no one had counseled the student about whether journalism was a good subject to study for someone who had difficulty meeting deadlines and taking notes.

It’s time to follow the intent of the law rather than to allow these unintended consequences to continue. Colleges and universities should make “reasonable accommodations” to allow students to participate in courses, programs and activities. Reasonable accommodations–not extraordinary ones–are what the law prescribes.

Christopher Harper, a longtime journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law. Read more at



At Pintastic NE 2016 There were some big names in Pinball one of them is Jersey Jack of Jersey Jack Pinball

That’s Dr. Rick Lewis of the silverball Pinball Museum with him.

This is his Wizard of Oz game in play

and here are the guts

The Charity Project Pinball that places machines in children’s hospital around the nation returned

And there were plenty of individual players like Howie

and Mike

But it wasn’t just individual players, there was also associations like the Southern New Hampshire Pinball Club.

If I had a few extra bucks and more time I’d have joined on the spot

And there were plenty of parents and children there which is why Maggie the Clown, Lee Lee and Jane were there

But in end the real stars are the volunteers and organizers who brought plenty of their own machines for people to play for hours on end at their own expense, helped keep them running and full of credits for all three days and then after many days that ended at 3 AM had to get up early on Sunday to pack up their machines to take home.

So give a bow to Gabe who goes through so much for all of us to have a great time.

I spent Friday and Saturday at Pintastic New England 2016 This weekend I attended Pintastic New England at the Sturbridge host hotel in Sturbridge on route 20 just a little ways from Old Sturbridge Village.

This years edition like last years had a plethora of games, vendors and fun for all who showed up.

I’ll be putting up interviews during the course of the week but for now feel free to check out these photos from Friday and Saturday and remember life is more that politics.

Shut-Upby baldilocks

This is why my novel is self-published and why my next two (three?) books will be self-published as well.

From sci-fi author Nick Cole, via his fellow sci-fi scribe John C. Wright:

Banned by the Publisher

Or, Thank God for Jeff Bezos

I launched a book this week and I went Indie with it. Indie means I released it on Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing. I had to.

My Publisher, HarperVoyager, refused to publish it because of some of the ideas I wrote about in it.

In other words, they were attempting to effectively ban a book because they felt the ideas and concepts I was writing about were dangerous and more importantly, not in keeping with their philosophical ideals. They felt my ideas weren’t socially acceptable and were “guaranteed to lose fifty percent of my audience” as related back to me by my agent. But more importantly… they were “deeply offended.”

A little backstory. A few years back I wrote a novel called Soda Pop Soldier. It was the last obligated novel under my first contract. The novel was a critical hit (Starred Review in Publisher’s Weekly) and it resonated with my post-apocalyptic readership from my breakout Amazon best seller, The Old Man and the Wasteland, and it picked up a new audience in the cyberpunk and gamer crowd. The novel is about a future dystopia where people play video games for a living. It’s basically Call of Duty meets Ready Player One and a lot of people really enjoyed it. When it came time to write another book for Harper Collins I was encouraged by my editor to dip once more into the Dystopian Gamer milieu and tell another story inside the Soda Pop Soldier universe. We agreed on a prequel that told the story of how that future became the way it is in Soda Pop Soldier.

And that involved talking about Artificial Intelligence because in the dystopian gaming future, the planet had almost been destroyed by a robot revolution sourced by Artificial Intelligence.

And here’s where things went horribly wrong, according to my editor at Harper Collins. While casting about for a “why” for self-aware Thinking Machines to revolt from their human progenitors, I developed a reason for them to do such.

Link added in text. Read on and find out what Harper Collins fears. Hint: intelligence.

Side note: in Tale of the Tigers, my first publisher didn’t like a line of dialogue I put in the mouth of one of my characters, but he had no choice; I was paying to be published. The conversation’s topic? Islam.

I’m hoping that my trip to Kenya lays the foundation for one of my future books, as well. Click to assist.

UPDATE: Larry Correia’s take on the situation is longer and far more entertaining than mine.

Kenya Trip Wishlist at Amazon.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects JOB: HER TRIP TO KENYA! Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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One of m1776y favorite things for many years were the games of the Avalon Hill company.

From Civilization (the game where you need to give up a day’s sleep to play, but it’s worth it) to Age of Renaissance, to 1830 (a Railroad game), Source of the Nile and dozens of others I exercised my mind in playing these board games for years.  Even after the coming of the PC my weekly gaming group often played AH games and still on occasion sneaks one in.

The appeal of these games was always two fold for me, the recreation of history in games like Third Reich to Wooden Ships and Iron Men and the challenge of pitting strategy against an opponent.

The most challenging player I ever faced was and remains one of my oldest friends, a man named David Sowerbutts.

Dave is hands down the most skillful player I know.  He is not only sharp of mind but has the uncanny ability in a multi player setting to convince a player to take a course of action that will always improve their prospect allowing them to finish 2nd place is a 5 or 6 player field while at the same time securing first place for him.

There was one particular game we played many years ago however that has stuck in my mind for decades.

The game was 1776 a re-creation of the American revolution.  the 16″ x 44″ game board covered from Georgia to Canada  Tactical cards that added individual battle tactics to a grand strategic game.  Seasonal and supply effects and the problems of raising and maintaining 1776_mapboth tory and patriot militias.

We were playing the campaign game.  I was the British and he was playing the Americans and from the look of things everything was going great.  His Rebel militias were being routed in the Carolinas.  My Canadian armies swept down toward Albany.     I was able to drive the rebels out of  Philadelphia and New York and neither the French nor the Continental Navy were able to stand up to me.

However while in my head I was reversing the mistakes of General Howe, Cornwallis , Clinton and Burgoyne and showing LaFayette & DeGrasse  just who owned America Dave was , as always, thinking practically.

We had both read the rules but instead of roleplaying he was remembering that in the campaign game, the British Victory Conditions REQUIRED that they hold Boston at the end.  It didn’t matter if I held very strategic town from Savannah to Ticonderoga nor if you couldn’t find a continental regular anywhere else on the map, as long as Boston was in rebel hands the game was his.

So knowing those conditions he played accordingly. Whenever the Continental army received reinforcement He quietly funnelled a small portion to Boston while sending the rest of his troops to be beaten.

He feinted north, parried South and thrust in the middle colonies and offered up one undersized, unsupplied army after another for destruction to my great delight all the time not paying much mind to the permanent supply depot, fort and spare artillery that over the course of the first 48 turns were being placed on the fortified hills of Dorchester heights.

It wasn’t until late in the game that I realized that while I was having a great time reconquering the rest of the 13 Colonies lot Dave was ready to win the game.  I forced marched every man I could spare north toward Boston but by then it was too late. His supply depot meant he could use smaller screening forces outside the city to delay me and his fortifications proved too strong to take in the time allotted. I was out of time and options, and the game was lost.

That’s the lesson that the various GOP candidates need to get through their heads in election 2016.

While the primary purpose of a war game is fun (and to be far for the first 48 turn of the game above I had a great time) the primary purpose of a primary campaign is to actually be elected.

And contrary to media reports the GOP primary is not won by the number of stories a candidate gets this summer or the number of dollars in a superpac or even the reaction of the newspapers.  The nominee is decided by getting the required number of delegates either by the end of the primary season or at the end of the convention.

While every GOP candidate needs to be visible in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada a smart GOP candidate will be doing several other things as well:

1.  Making sure they are on every possible ballot from California to Michigan including any delegate rich states near the end of the primary season so that no matter who is leading by the time that particular primary comes up, they are an alternative to that person.

2.  Visiting states in the middle and end of the primary pack.  These states are usually ignored till it’s too late and a visit now before the other candidates give them attention will be remembered.

3.  Playing as nice as possible with their 16 opponents so that their supporters have no reason to reject you if their candidate leaves the race.

4.  If the MSM conventional wisdom says “your campaign is done unless you do X or win in Y” ignore them.

Over the last two decades it’s been a rare thing when the eventual winner of the primary season was not clear by Super Tuesday, given the number of candidates, their ideological, and the amount of Superpac money in the war chests of several of them (not to mention Donald Trump’s personal fortune, we must assume the old rules are out the window.

If you don’t believe me ask yourself this question.  If anyone told you a year ago that the Iowa / Ames Straw poll would be cancelled because the GOP field would skip it for an event put on by a blog, what would you have said?

A Candidate who has a long-term plan, ignoring conventional wisdom and concentrating on something other than playing for the “big splash” will still be in the running in the end.  The candidate who doesn’t won’t have a shot at the 30% of the electorate who will have seen their favorite candidate eliminated by that time.


It’s that simple.

I speak to Matthew Bowman of the Catholic Geeks at the Catholic Marketing Trade Show

The Catholic Geeks web site is here, their facebook page is here, their twitter page is here.

Pintastic 1 010Friday my youngest and I headed to Sturbridge with my wife but while she went on the hunt for quilting shops in the area we attended day one of Pintastic New England the first big Pinball event/convention in the area that I’ve ever seen.

My family arrived at the location in Sturbridge host hotel about a half hour before the event was to officially begin, our passes gave us early access to the rooms but as our hotel rooms were ready we decided to get settled first and then check out the pinball rooms later as we would have all day to do so.

Pintastic considered of two major rooms the first a free play room where players were able to play games brought by various pinball aficionados from around the area to play for free. Some of these games were for sale and others where just for show. I talked to one such gentleman on day one

The primary room was a large vendor area where you could talk to people who made their living restoring Pinball machines like Atlantic Pinball

People who designed various types of Pinball machines like Multimorphic

And people who made devices to support pinball machines like Pinnovators.

Of course in addition to these and other vendors (who mostly allowed people to play their machines for free) there were the tournament machines

This is the area where as part of a special admission package (or a fee of $20) you could enter a cash tournament to compare your pinball skills to those assembled here.

TherePintastic 1 020 was also a video game area with a tournament but the real star was the hundreds of pinball machines sitting there for the playing. At $17 for an all day pass (over 12 hours) you get your monies worth and then some.

The event continues through saturday so if you are reading this early enough consider heading down to Pintastic NE at the Sturbridge host hotel on route 20.

I suspect you’ll have a great time if you do.

I’ll be posting some individual interviews from some of the folks here later in the day and week.

Some of you might be wondering why I bother with stuff like this with so many other serious things out there, but frankly that’s why I think we NEED to bother with stuff like this.

If all we worry about is the serious parts of life we won’t have any time to enjoy it.


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You’ve heard about my love of the card game, bridge. Now I’ll share a bit about what it is.


To play, you need two pairs of people. Each pair is considered a “partnership” – that is, a team unto themselves. A deck of cards is shuffled, and each player gets 13 cards.


The goal of the game is for your partnership to take as many tricks as you can each time the cards are dealt. First, however, you go through a process called “bidding.” What is bidding?


Every partnership has a language where they communicate with bids descriptions of their cards. You language is called your “system” – an agreement as to what each of the bids means. Some people have very simple systems. Some have systems where they need literally hundreds of pages to document all their agreements and meanings!


Once the bidding is completed, one pair or the other “wins” the contract. That is, they have promised to take a certain number of tricks on that hand. That pair tries to achieve that goal – or do even better. The other side (now known as “the defense”) does their best to take as many tricks as they can – and perhaps foil the offensive side from reaching their goal.


This occurs hand after hand, until the game completes.


There are a number of forms of the game. You can play with four people anywhere you like; this is generally referred to as “contract bridge.” You can play what is called “duplicate bridge”. In this form, you have multiple people who play the same hands throughout a session. This form of bridge takes away much more of the “luck” as to whether you get good or bad cards. Since everyone has the same cards, you compare what each pair does to the other, rather than only one result. You also can have team games. In this format, your pair joins with another pair to form a team. Your team plays another team – and, let the best team win!


Bridge is not an easy game to learn – yet it is not extremely difficult. That being said, it is absolutely fascinating, and to learn to play at a high level can take time and effort. Best of all, however, it is so deep and complex, you can spend a lifetime learning and being intrigued.


I know that I have!


Peg Kaplan