No matter how “woke” you think you are, you are tolerating things right now that will make you cringe in 25 years. – Bill Maher

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. – inigo Montoya, “The Princess Bride”

While I disagree with some of the specific examples Bill Maher cited in the linked video above, I agree with his two main points. The first is that it is silly to judge people or actions out of the context of their time, and the second is that years from now we will be appalled at the things that are being done in our society today. I shudder to think that twenty-five years from now our society could possibly be more “woke” than it is today, mostly because I have to believe that we have reached peak silliness in the perceived intersectional injustices that are supposedly perpetrated by us normal Americans. When Starbucks can be accused of being racist simply because a store manager did not want to allow non-paying non-customers to squat in a store, thus keeping paying customers from using the space, then you know that the Left has truly crossed the Rubicon of Wokeness, and no one is safe.

Of course, the biggest problem is that real damage is being done right now, not only to our society, but to individuals who are caught up in all this intersectionality and wokeness.

When my son was going to college a few years ago, he filled out a survey and his college provided him with several other incoming freshmen to contact to see if they might be suitable roommates. He contacted one individual, but upon learning that this student was militantly homosexual, sexually active and expected his roommate to be OK with this, my son politely declined to room with this individual and selected another roommate. I wonder how long it will be until some student like my son is brought up on charges by the school for being “intolerant” of such a potential roommate – even though my son would have chosen not to room with a sexually active heterosexual as well – and perhaps being forced to live in this situation as a way to “expand his views” or some other such “woke” nonsense.

We are in the process of visiting schools with my daughter, and encountered a surprising trend among several “elite” colleges that we’ve visited. Gone are the days when dorms were segregated by male and female floors, or even wings, and the idea of male and female bathrooms has gone the way of the dodo. At several of these schools, males and females share the bathroom, including shower facilities. Apparently the showers are individual locked stalls, but that still means that my freshman daughter could step out of the shower in her robe, and be faced with a male senior who may only be wrapped in a towel shaving at the sink next to her. Now, given the #MeToo environment we are currently living in, I am fairly confident that any male in such a situation would be scrupulously careful not to give his female neighbors any pretext by which to accuse him of harassment, but that doesn’t really make the situation a good one. And if it were my son in this situation, I would tell him to shower at 2am and make sure there were no women in the bathroom to avoid just such a possibility. How is that possibly a good environment for either sex?

The only possible “solution” to this quandary at any of the non-Catholic schools we visited was the traditionally all-female dorm at one school. Of course, given the times we’re in, this has now been expanded to the all-female-and-gender-non-binary dorm. This means that my daughter could be sharing the bathroom with a man who claims to be a woman. I wonder if such a person would be nearly as scrupulous as the male in the co-ed bathroom about covering himself in the presence of my daughter. After all, if he’s a “woman” what’s the big deal? And I’m sure that my daughter – or your daughter – would be the one brought up on disciplinary charges for complaining about the situation.

It is my sincere hope that, when we look back on these times twenty-five years hence, our society is in a place where “wokeness” is the what-were-you-thinking absurdity. It has to be, because if it’s not, then that means that we’ve gone even further ‘round the bend and I can’t even imagine what that might be like.

by baldilocks

I’m a little confused by this development.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an updated statement on Friday urging consumers not to buy or consume romaine lettuce “unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region.”

“Based on new information, CDC is expanding its warning to consumers to cover all types of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region. This warning now includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, in addition to chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine.”

The new warning comes after investigators discovered that inmates from a correctional facility in Alaska became ill after reportedly eating lettuce “from whole heads of romaine lettuce” from the affected region, the CDC said.(…)

There have been 53 reported cases in 16 states. Of those infected with the E. coli strain, 31 people have been hospitalized. Although there are not reported deaths, five people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a kind of kidney failure.

I consider myself a bit of a green salad aficionado, since one of my Mom-mandated chores was to make the salad. The basic ingredients were tomatoes, green bell peppers, scallions and mushrooms. Optional ingredients: marinated artichoke hearts. (In my adulthood, I tend to improvise. Example: I prefer red onions.)

Oh yes, and there was always lettuce: red leaf, butter leaf and/or romaine. We turned up our noses up at iceberg.

My mom was and is a stickler for the preparation. Wash each leaf individually and thoroughly; tear the leaves into fork sized piece; absolutely no freaking spine.

See that first item? Wash the lettuce and every other fresh produce.

I can see pulling pre-prepared romaine salads off the shelf and foregoing the same from restaurants, but wouldn’t simply thoroughly washing the lettuce you buy yourself – perhaps using some produce washer — fix the problem or reduce the chance of there being one?

Help me out here.

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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A friend of mine has a new book out, here is a bit from the press release about it.

When Islamic terror strikes,liberals insist that it has nothing to do with Islam. Author Michael Isenberg disagrees. His new book,The Thread of Reason,shows why. Not only is the ideology of terror deeply rooted in Muslim thought,going back to medieval times, but its sources may be found in the writings of one of the most revered figures in Islam.

The Thread of Reason tells the story of the assassination of Nizam al-Mulk, who ruled the Seljuq Empire,wielding more power than the sultans he served—until the fall night in 1092 when a terrorist’s blade struck him down on the road to Baghdad.

Determined to learn who was behind the murder of his chief minister, the sultan turns to the two smartest people he knows: the leading scholar of science,Omar Khayyam, and the leading scholar of shari’ah(Islamic Law), Abu Hamid Ghazali.

“The assassination of Nizam al-Mulk happened in real life,” Isenberg says. “In my fiction book I solve the mystery of who was behind it.
“Khayyam and Ghazali were real people. Khayyamwas quite a character. He’s the only figure I came across in my research who played practical jokes. In the west he’s known for a collection of poems he wrote called the Rubaiyat—Sheldon

If you like historical fiction you’ll like his book. You can buy his book here.

Of course even a fictional account of Islam can get you into trouble with the SPLC of course that was until someone decided to stand up to their Anti-Muslim extremist scam

I lost count of how many times I’ve heard that the cause of all or our country’s problems is the fact that we have two parties that are at political extremes, leaving most of us, who are moderates that inhabit political middle, unrepresented.  The proposed solution to this is the formation of a political party that occupies the middle ground between both extremist parties.

It would seem, based on the heated arguments, the endless bickering, and the fact that nothing gets accomplished, that the two parties do operate at the extreme polar opposites of the political spectrum.  That is not true at all.  Only one party, the Democrat Party, has veered off into one of the political extremes.  The Democrats now inhabit the extreme left.  Don’t take my word for it.  Here is what Senator Bernie Sanders had to say about his political party in this video.  Rather than inhabit the extreme political right, the Republican Party now operates slightly less far to the left when compared to the Democrats.  If you don’t agree please explain to me the latest Omnibus spending bill, their push for amnesty, their failure to repeal ObamaCare, their watered down tax cuts, and their efforts to eradicate true conservatives from leadership roles.

Why are so many convinced that each party operates on an opposite end of the political spectrum?  Why are so many convinced that the policies of the political right are harmful and against everything this country was built on or stands for?  It is because of a phenomenon known as the Overton Window.  Here is how Wikipedia describes this phenomenon:

The Overton window is an approach to identifying which ideas define the domain of acceptability within a democracy’s possible governmental policies. Proponents of policies outside the window seek to persuade or educate the public in order to move and/or expand the window. Proponents of current policies, or similar ones, within the window seek to convince people that policies outside it should be deemed unacceptable.

The media, which is very left leaning, controls the narrative that forms the boundaries on either side of the window.  They focus on the political spectrum in reference to how the two political parties exist today leaving out how both parties have slowly moved toward the left.  What is left out by this narrowed window is how the two parties are now so far from the original position that was supposed to have been set in stone by the Constitution.  The media, academia, and the Democrats paint the ideals of the Founding Fathers along with those individuals as being outdated, deeply flawed, and racist.  They describe the Constitution and its principles using similar language.  The media also uses the deeply inaccurate political spectrum that equates Fascists, Nazis, and conservatives,

Unfortunately the Republican Party abandoned the Constitution and the principles of fiscal responsibility and limited government a long time ago.  Those in the party that still adhered to these principles are marginalized, ridiculed, and stripped of committee chairmanships.  The media paints these individuals as dangerous extremists while championing those with extreme liberal beliefs.

The Constitution, which was supposed to limit the size and scope of the federal government, was abandoned many decades ago by both parties.  The principles of federalism and limited government, which are enshrined in the Constitution, built this nation into the freest and most prosperous nation that ever existed.   Rather than a party that occupies a narrow niche between two parties on the political left, we need one that reclaims a constitutionally limited federal government and free market economics.  Can the Republican Party be reformed so it once again follows our founding principles, which are hallmarks of the true political right?  I now believe the Republican Party is irredeemable.

Instead of shifting the media defined Overton Window back to the right; we need to smash it entirely so everyone can view the political spectrum in its entirety.  This will be extremely difficult since the media is mostly controlled by liberals, along with social media.  Next we need set the record straight about our Constitution and founding principles.   Finally we need to start a new party that embraces these principles.  Once we do this we can solve all of our problems.

“Faith?” The Wizard’s laughter shook the sky as the horde behind him joined in. “My mages, warlocks and minions number in the hundreds, my swordsmen the thousands and you would face us alone with but faith?”

‘Yes” Replied the man standing alone between the city and the multitude. “All I have is faith…”
he began, and the horde, led by the wizard, roared in laughter

“…the size of a mustard seed.”

Suddenly even as the rest continued to cackle, the wizard’s laughter died abruptly in his throat and the man saw forming in the wizard’s eyes the beginning of wisdom.

Loves the world, except for all the people

Men at work Dr. Heckyll and Mr. Jive 1982

I think Ace has nailed it when it comes to starbucks.

25. That’ll be great for Starbucks’ business. Their yuppie douchebag clientele love the homeless in the abstract, but we’ll see how much they appreciate their coffee shops being jammed with them, close-up-like, occupying most tables and chairs.

26. I don’t even want to defend Starbucks; I want them to have the full taste of Social Justice Warrior progressivism. If this is the company’s ideology, then they should live that ideology to the full.

27. I have a feeling Starbucks is just claiming this policy until the Social Justice Warrior locusts find a new business to harass, and then, when they do move on, they’ll quietly shift the policy back to “Paying Customers Only,” but I think it would be a hoot if conservatives monitored them to make sure they’re sticking with this new, idiotic policy of letting anyone just sit and lounge without actually buying anything.

28. I think it would be funny if rightwing blogs made sure they were continuing this policy and made sure everyone knew they were backsliding when they do, inevitably, backslide into a non-insane position.

Starbucks has caught themselves between a rock and a hard place.  The gated community crowd that lives in neighborhood far removed from those they agitate for are unlikely to be anxious to share a coffee shop with the great unwashed as they mutter to themselves.  Nor will they be anxious to avail themselves of the facilities as the homeless gather.

Even better with thousands of locations around the nation  the first time a homeless person, particularly one of color is turned away from either a bathroom or a table they can be sure that even an Obamaphone video of such an act will be made viral by the first conservative who sees it, presuming of course a conservatives isn’t ready to shoot such a video themselves.

If I owned a Starbucks franchise, I’d sell now because one they make it policy to reject the “unconscious desire to keep vagrants and transients from just parking themselves in their shops all damn day.”  I suspect nobody will have any interest in buying.

by baldilocks

When depredation after depredation mandated promote and allowed by California’s government, this should barely register in the Sweepstakes of Surprise.

Trains along the popular Capitol Corridor are running later than before, and homeless camps are partly to blame.

Rail officials say more people have trespassed on train tracks in the last year, forcing engineers at times to hit the brakes to avoid a possible crash – and at times tragically unable to. That’s left trains loaded with commuters or freight grinding to a halt in the middle of nowhere.

Capitol Corridor board chair Lucas Frerichs said the issue is foremost about human safety. But, it’s also a business problem.

You think?

“Frankly, we have a business to run, a service to the public. If people can’t depend on the train being on time, they will choose other options,” he said. (…)

The problem has become significant enough that Kutrosky sent an email last week to passengers asking them to report any encampments or large piles of trash they notice along the tracks while on their train ride.

He said he and his crews have seen camps in secluded and wooded areas recently in Sacramento, West Sacramento and Davis in the capital region, and Suisun City, Hercules, Berkeley, Oakland and Fremont in the Bay Area.

Capitol Corridor officials did not provide crash numbers requested by The Bee, as of Friday. But a spokesman for the Union Pacific said three people were hit by trains between Sacramento and the Bay Area.

If a person is killed by a train, it may be held in place for two to three hours as coroners, police and track inspectors do post-mortem work, officials said. That creates a domino effect, slowing passenger and freight trains from Sacramento to San Jose.

The writer points out that hobos and trains have a long history. However, I wonder if California’s elected officials plan to give CA to the homeless and the illegal aliens. Actually, I don’t wonder.

On more nail in the coffin.

(Thanks to Breitbart California)

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:  Pat Austin

The Shadows on the Teche. Now owned by The National Trust.

SHREVEPORT – I was traveling last week and because of that (and in honor of Pete’s 30-year anniversary!) I didn’t post.  Where was I?

We went to New Iberia, Louisiana to attend the Books Along the Teche Literary Festival.  We were there with people from at least twelve other states in the nation including Colorado, Michigan, Iowa, and Rhode Island as well as from several other countries.  The three-day event was filled with a variety of activities, seminars, discussion panels, bus tours, swamp tours, dinners, dance lessons, film screenings, an art show, a performance theater, bourrée lessons, and an authors and artisans fair. The great southern writer Ernest Gaines was there and read from his latest book which was awesome. It wasn’t possible to do everything, but we tried.

I wrote about the festival on my own blog and there was so much I had to split it into two posts.

And that didn’t allow us much time to take advantage of the other great tourist attractions in the area like the Tabasco Factory tour (we did that), Jungle Gardens (did that), Jefferson Island, the Conrad Rice Mill tour, and branching out from that, the surrounding communities are filled with history and things to see, like St. Martinville, St. Francisville, Loreauville, etc.  And yes, New Orleans is not that far away, nor is Baton Rouge.  Those places are already well-known for their tourist attractions.

But New Iberia has stolen my heart.  We hear a lot in this part of the country (I’m in northwest Louisiana) about southern hospitality, but New Iberia takes it to a new level.  New Iberia isn’t known for being a tourist town in the way Natchitoches is, for example.  But it should be.

Why? There was one point in the evening on our last night there that I decided that if I ever lost faith in humanity, or got frustrated with life, I just need to come to New Iberia because there is such a true joie de vivre in everyone’s face it makes you happy just to be there. It’s in their daily interactions, in their lives, it restores your faith in people. Plus, it’s just beautiful country.

Bayou Teche runs 135-miles through the area; ancient live oaks hug the banks and are literally dripping with Spanish moss.  The land is often flat and you see sugar cane fields, crawfish farms, and flooded rice fields.  The air smells like salt blowing in from the Gulf and the sky turns a bruised purple in the evening when the sun begins to sink into the west. We danced under the stars to cajun fiddle players and zydeco bands; we ate alligator, catfish, boudin, maque choux, etoufee, gumbo, and shrimp. What’s not to love?

We didn’t know one soul when we arrived and when we left I felt like I have a whole new cadre of friends.  One couple we met told us that when we come back we are more than welcome to stay with them. “We have an extra bedroom!” she said.  And she meant it.

Everyone we talked to, from the shopkeepers, convenience store clerks, waitresses, residents, everyone, truly engages with you when they talk to you.  It’s not just, “Oh how are you doing, glad you’re here,” kind a thing and move on.  They look you in the eye, listen to you, ask questions, engage.  They remember.  And they dance, they laugh, they love, they share wide open.

In the end, the book festival was just lagniappe to the true treasures of New Iberia.

If you’re planning to hit the road this spring or summer, consider a trip to south Louisiana.  New Iberia is easy to get to; it’s just south of Lafayette.  I know I’ll be back many, many times.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.  Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25.

So the king ordered Daniel to be brought and cast into the lions’ den. To Daniel he said, “Your God, whom you serve so constantly, must save you.” -Dan 6:17

Just in the past few weeks, we’ve seen Harvard University defund and suspend the Harvard College Faith and Action fellowship, and we’ve seen Providence College – a supposedly Catholic College – fail to support a student who put up a bulletin board affirming Catholic teaching on marriage and the family. These are just two examples of liberals in academia focusing more on their political advocacy and less on their responsibilities to educate students and prepare them to be productive citizens. Of course, much of academia today is the product of the everybody-gets-a-trophy culture where self-esteem has been considered more important than actual accomplishment.

I have always believed that my children, who are college-aged, would be successful in the world precisely because they do not believe that they are owed anything. They have both worked extremely hard in school and other activities to achieve their successes, and have a deep appreciation for having earned the rewards that come with those successes. This in turn motivates them to continue working hard to achieve even more. I couldn’t be more proud of them.

I used to think that once they graduate and go out into the “real world” that these qualities would set them apart from their peers and make them extraordinarily valuable to potential employers. But that will only happen if employers are actually looking for the qualities that will make their employees productive and strong contributors to the success of the business. As much as I would love for my children to work at someplace like the next Google, I definitely do not want either of them to be the next James Damore. Unfortunately, unless college administrations keep expanding as they have been, there won’t be enough academia jobs for all the SJWs graduating currently, and they’ll wind up in industry (except for Women’s Studies majors, of course). That means that my kids are going to have to deal with these people even after they graduate.

Fortunately, my kids are smart enough to know how the game is played. While they are strong enough to stick to their beliefs, they are smart enough to know when they are fighting a losing battle. When you’re on a college campus, and some student is screaming at a professor about a Halloween costume, or demanding a no-whites-allowed Safe Space, it’s pretty easy to tell that a reasoned discussion is not possible and that the SJW screamer wouldn’t listen to reason anyway.

It saddens me that they have to do this. But then again, this is also the reason that I write anonymously. You play the hand that you’re dealt, and you try to get into a position where you can start to change the culture. It’s going to take some time, but I’m proud to have raised two children whom I know will continue the fight.

by baldilocks

When potential World War Three (or Four) antagonists collide:

The Center for Strategic and International Studies Friday released a report calling on officials to urgently pay attention to threats against US space systems and ground stations.

The report, Space Assessment 2018, reviews open-source information on the counterspace activities of other countries, especially China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, as well as examining the counterspace activities of some other countries and of some non-state actors.

China, the report notes is a “rising space power that is progressing steadily in the development and testing” of anti-satellite systems using weapons launched to intercept a satellite or attacking the target from orbit, as well as having advanced jamming, cyberattack, and other capabilities “that can threaten a variety of US space systems.”

Although Russian space systems have deteriorated since the fall of the Soviet Union, that country is now modernizing its space capabilities, according to the report, “and has revived or developed new counterspace weapons of nearly all types.”

North Korea and Iran are behind Russian and Chinese capabilities, the report says, but “each is making quick progress thanks to technology transfers from other countries and their own ballistic missile programs. “

Battle space. In case you weren’t worried enough.

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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