An obvious pairing of concepts.

by baldilocks

I think we already knew this. How else to you think those ads are able to show you what you’ve just been shopping for?

While the public has been focused on the ongoing Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, Google has largely avoided public scrutiny about its data collection practices despite having the ability to collect far more personal data about consumers across a variety of touchpoints. There have been efforts to document individual practices by Google such as their efforts to circumvent controls on Safari.  More recently, an investigation by the Associated Press revealed that Google continues to track location data even after a consumer has turned off the setting.  While these research efforts have been important to the public policy dialogue, no research exists which looks at the breadth and depth of data collected by Google.

In “Google Data Collection,” Douglas C. Schmidt, Professor of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University, catalogs how much data Google is collecting about consumers and their most personal habits across all of its products and how that data is being tied together.

Listed are the key findings of the 55-page report (linked above) that one can download.

And people wonder why I sometimes leave my phone at home.

Even when I do that, however, I know that there are cameras everywhere here in Los Angeles and that it has been so for at least a decade. And I bet that they aren’t all government cameras.

We are surrounded by eyeballs, but I don’t fear it. That’s isn’t to say that something bad couldn’t happen due to the basic disappearance of privacy. It is to say that it doesn’t pay to be afraid of the intrusiveness.

Fear creates clouded thinking. It interferes with the clarity that is essential to finding a solution to this problem.

I am very far from ready to toss my devices in the trash, but I don’t want them in every aspect of my life either.

There is middle ground and it can be found. I’m sure of it.

In the meantime, however, watch your digital steps.

RELATED: Lock Your Doors

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

Among the alleged missteps that President Trump made — note the word alleged — during his trip to the United Kingdom, one of them brings up a memory I have about Trump’s predecessor.

Donald Trump sparks fury posing arrogantly in an armchair used by heroic wartime leader Winston Churchill.

Critics slammed Trump for a string of diplomatic blunders and said he wasn’t fit to sit there. (…)

Labour’s Stephen Doughty said: “An image of Donald Trump sitting in Churchill’s seat will stick in the throats of many Brits who would consider Trump not only to be one of the worst presidents in US history but also not even worthy of a comparison with our wartime leader who rescued our nation in its darkest hour.”

“Given Trump’s appalling actions and rhetoric, he doesn’t even deserve to look at a statue of Churchill let alone sit in his seat.”

The outrage is interesting, since I don’t recall any commentary from members of the UK Parliament when then President Barack Obama removed a bust of Churchill from the Oval Office.

There are many stories about how the bust what treated during President Obama’s terms. First, the story was that the bust was handed back to the Brits. Here, however, the former president says it was placed in the White House Residence — the Treaty Room. That’s more plausible for reasons I will give in a bit.

Back when there was quite a bit of outrage on this side of the pond from the right about Obama’s treatment of the bust, I postulated that he disliked Churchill because of the former prime minister’s role in putting down Kenya’s Mau-Mau Rebellion back when Kenya was a British colony called British East Africa.

The former president and I are both half-Kenyan Luo and since he is inclined to hold grudges especially of the racial variety, I figured out that this was why he hated Churchill. If you ask me, President Obama hates all the Brits. He wasn’t shy about showing his contempt for any of them, from the Queen on down.

But it was only 2009 and we were just beginning to get to know Barack Obama.

In the wake of the bust incident, few in the British press were talking about how the former president was endangering relations between the USA and the UK or about how gauche it was to treat a gift between nations in the manner specified.

Then, last year, it was reported that newly inaugurated President Trump returned the bust to the Oval Office.

So we see that, to the British press, it’s insulting for one president to sit in Winston Churchill’s chair but when another president gives a bust of Churchill an unceremonious heave-ho, it’s no big deal.

This hypocrisy on the part of the British press is certainly no surprise — we see it all the time with our press — but it needed to be pointed out. And what does it mean?

Nothing complicated. President Obama tried to destroy the USA; President Trump is trying to save it. One might also say the same things about both presidents with respect to the West in general.

The British press was and is merely signaling which side it’s on.

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

There was a time – during the Old West period, at least according to the movies — when interrupting a meal would result in lead poisoning for the interrupter. I’m glad those days are over, but as with all good things, there are side effects.

My parents didn’t answer the phone during the dinner hour and, even now, I won’t call anyone between seven and eight-thirty in the evening unless they request it. But it appears that attitude is an anachronism.

The fact that the state frowns on summary execution of the rude plus the general decline in old-school manners has had a cumulative effect.

When Barack Obama was President, we saw “Black Brunch” activists protest the “whiteness” of New York City brunch crowds by hover over the tables of the latter.

Now that Donald Trump is President, we have members of his administration being harassed and tossed out of restaurants, including the latest one, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.

And, for tomorrow, Independence Day, this is planned:

In Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina, social justice activists are telling their followers to boycott the Fourth of July this year, not to buy hot dogs or fireworks, and even to crash other people’s cookouts. They say they refuse to celebrate until America addresses what they see as endemic racism; one referred to the current climate as “Trump terror.”

Durham minister and activist Paul Scott, who has reiterated his call to boycott the Fourth for weeks, said, “I hope it’s going to start a chain reaction.” (…)

Scott was echoed in Raleigh at a meeting of social justice advocates by community activist Diana Powell, who opined, “This is something that everybody can participate in.” Before the meeting, Powell stated on Facebook Live, “We want to know what your address is — because we’re gonna be crashing cookouts that day.”

Emphasis mine.

Unfortunately, I’m too far away – 3000 miles – to trail these geniuses to see what the response will be when they crash NC ritual grillings of meat. People take their barbecue celebrations seriously, especially on July 4th. I could use some schadenfreude-borne entertainment.

Seriously though, who thinks that people like these North Carolina activists are biting off more than they will be able chew — no pun intended?

There’s something completely uncivilized about interrupting a meal for any non-emergency reason, much less to harass strangers about their politics. It feels like an invasion of one’s being, which is probable why it was punished so harshly in the Wild West.

If this sort of thing expands, as it appears to be doing, someone is going to revert to the ways of the Old West. And I’m under no illusion that these activists thought up the cookout invasion plan themselves. Whoever put them up to it  is counting on some escalation of violence.

My advice: leave people alone when they’re eating. Or just leave people alone, period.

But we all know that the Left wouldn’t be the Left, if they weren’t constantly veering into a lane not their own.

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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Sow the wind …

by baldilocks

#MeToo

What is the relationship between complete disarmament of the entire American populace, open borders, and opposition to the so-call Muslim ban?

Mexico is a nightmare of a nation-state, totally controlled by the demonic drug and human-trafficking cartels. The operational activities of these cartels rivals those of ISIS. Mexico’s murder rate is number two in the world. And 99% of all Mexican crimes go unadjudicated and uninvestigated. Our sieve-like southern border has allowed all of this to spill into this country, but there is still some control.

As I’ve point out before, the cartels are probably salivating at the “business” opportunities which a disarmed America would offer.

Open borders plus disarmed America equals the end of a free America and sets the stage for a true strongman who promise to protect the remnant of a terrified populace ravaged by savage murders, rapes, robberies, etc. Gangs of these animals roaming the countryside, armed to the teeth and scoffing at the enforcers who would presume to disarm them.

As my friend, Dave Perkins, points out, “The pattern is historical.”

Then there is the violence and harassment against Republican and conservative officials, including:

  • Attempted murder of several Republican congressmen, including the critically-injured Rep. Steven Scalise.
  • Senator Rand Paul severely injured by his neighbor.
  • DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen run out of a DC restaurant.
  • Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General, run out of Tampa movie theater.
  • White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and family asked to leave a Virginia restaurant, and, after the family choose another restaurant, the management follows them to that place to harass them further.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) openly exhorts others to harass Trump cabinet members with implications of violence.

“You think we’re rallying now? You ain’t seen nothing yet,” Waters vowed at a Los Angeles rally on Saturday. “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

Apparently, some were listening to Rep. Waters. Just today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, were harassed by a mob in front of their home.

Waters set the stage for harassment and violence not only against Trump administration cabinet members and staff, but also against the normal, every-day citizen whose attitude might need adjustment. The mob will always expand its choice of targets.

Even Nancy Pelosi realizes this and told Waters to STFU. Good luck with that, Madame Minority Leader.

Then, there is also the fact that, today, the Supreme Court upheld the so-called Muslim ban list– actually a list of countries who have no process of identifying its citizens. Most of the countries with majority Muslim populations are not on the banned list and two of the countries on the list – Venezuela and North Korea – are not majority Muslim. But those who remain outraged by the ban don’t care about this because holding onto the lie and repeating the lie that the ban discriminates against Muslims is a necessity.

“A necessity for what,” I hear you ask. And here comes the answer to the first question.

All of these Democrat, leftist (BIRM) advocacies are intended to wear out the American public with chaos. Leftists want us to be overrun by criminals and terrorists and to have no defense against them. They want chaos and what produces chaos better than violence, death and fear of death? Sure, they pretend that it’s heartless to keep out citizens of failed states like Mexico or Somalia, but, in reality, they want America to become the failed state.

But their daddy issues will remain.

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

Don’t call it a comeback

The latest in political delineation news is that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was refused service at Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. Sanders merely reported it and said that she and her family complied and left.

And this is fair. As Peter pointed out, restaurants and other businesses claim that they have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. But we all know that this not the truth. Pizza parlors and bakeries have been legally driven out of business for refusing to do business with potential customers for various reasons, mostly involving Christianity and same-sex marriage.

Recall what I said about this a few years back while commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. Bottom line: I don’t think segregation of any type should be outlawed for privately owned businesses; nor should integration be forced.

This applies to race, but a business owner should also be able to refuse to serve those whose politics, person or breath he/she doesn’t like. I suspect that Sanders thinks this way, too.

And, of course, private citizens are already pranking the place: calling in reservations and not showing up. Silliness.

More silliness: the resultant Yelp review battles.

Some are blaming this on Sanders for even mentioning the incident; for “targeting” the business.

Please. The employee who turned Sanders away targeted the business herself, not to mention targeting other unaffiliated Red Hen restaurants whose owners are now having to disavow Red Hen Lexington. Did the RHL employee expect one of the most visible women in the country to keep the snub to herself?

So it is that Democrats are bringing back their old friend, restaurant segregation.

Are these the new old rules?

However, this is actually how freedom is supposed to work: a business owner is free to refuse service to anyone – including conservatives, women, blacks, homosexuals, and Trump employees — and, after discovering a business’s preference, the rest of us are free to steer clear of that business. Or to give it our money. Or open up a competing business across the street with different rules of service.

And now that we are once again reminded that some business owners do not want the business of conservatives/Republicans in general and Trump supporters/employees in particular, each one of us should decide to act accordingly.

They’re free to choose. So are you.

And to remember.

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

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

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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Don’t ask me, Bill. These are your people.

by baldilocks

Shakespeare wept

And in other news regarding the downfall of the UK

Schools are removing analogue clocks from examination halls because teenagers are unable to tell the time, a head teachers’ union has said.

Teachers are now installing digital devices after pupils sitting their GCSE and A-level exams complained that they were struggling to read the correct time on an analogue clock.

Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said youngsters have become accustomed to using digital devices.

“They are used to seeing a digital representation of time on their phone, on their computer. Nearly everything they’ve got is digital so youngsters are just exposed to time being given digitally everywhere.”

Mr Trobe, a former headmaster, said that teachers want their students to feel as relaxed as possible during exams. Having a traditional clock in the room could be a cause of unnecessary stress, he added.

He said that schools are trying to make everything as “as easy and straightforward as possible” for pupils during their exams.

“You don’t want them to put their hand up to ask how much time is left,” he said.

“Schools will inevitably be doing their best to make young children feel as relaxed as the can be. There is actually a big advantage in using digital clocks in exam rooms because it is much less easy to mistake a time on a digital clock when you are working against time.”

Emphasis mine.

Additionally, British schoolchildren are having trouble holding writing implements, aka pens and pencils – a result of over dependence on iPads and whatnot.

In fairness, I can bet that many Americans younger than 40 are also unable to read a face clock. Both here and in the UK, there’s a singular reason for this: the previous generation of parents failed to teach this formerly mundane skill.

One envisions a dismal future headline if digital toilet paper is in the invention hopper.

Besides, the murder of Alfie Evans at hands of the UK government has already indicated what time it is. But it’s certain that many can’t determine that either, which is just how that government wants it.

Hunters like their prey to be relaxed. And the US is far from immune from this sport.

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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