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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With the news that Eddie Munster Paul RINO Ryan will be vacating his role as Speaker of the House, the job is going to be open to anyone who wants to run for it – literally anyone, as Marco Rubio confirmed to TMZ this week. Click HERE for the cute video. TMZ asked Senator Rubio if even Kanye West could run for the position, which Rubio answered affirmatively. It’s true, even YOU can run if you want to! All you have to do is meet a few requirements, and then get the votes from Congress, and there you are as Speaker of the House!

As long as you are an American Citizen and over the age of 25, you are eligible, apparently, and then you just have to win the roll call vote at the beginning of the next session of Congress. Of course the position typically goes to another swamp creature who is already has a seat in the House of Congress, but it doesn’t have to.

I personally would like to see the next Speaker not be another squishy Republican swamp thing who eagerly does the bidding of the left (see Cryin’ John Boehner for an example of that) or a #NeverTrump lump (Eddie Munster Paul RINO Ryan). I’d like to see a Speaker who will proudly stand WITH My President Trump to help see the agenda of putting America, her people, and her interests FIRST rather than compromising our safety, security, and freedoms to appease hostiles and foreigners. Does such a person really and truly exist in the House of Representatives? I sure hope so, but if we can’t find a good ‘un there, then I have a few suggestions from outside the already seated (and no, not Kanye):

Mr. Pinko from the iOTWReport blog would be a great speaker, if he were willing to shed his anonymity; he has a delightful New York accent, and calls it as he sees it, just like My Donald, and more importantly, he is fully on board with the MAGA agenda. If you are not familiar with this great man, then you can become so by checking out his radio show on Spreaker and Blog Talk Radio, The U.S. and Eh? Show, co-hosted by Mike Nordstrom (who is in Canada). One more thing, Mr. Pinko is funny, and I think we could all use some laughs.

Clint Eastwood would be nice to see up there, scaring the bejesus out of the lefties, and don’t tell me he is too old, because Nancy Pelosi and a LOT of crazy fossils like her are still “working” in Congress.

Ted Nugent, just to watch people’s heads explode over it!

Really, just give me someone who doesn’t think that invading the United States is an “act of love” or that a fanatical cult whose manifesto explicitly demands that its members murder or enslave the rest of us is a “religion of peace”, and I would be open to what they have to say.

Who would you like to see as the next Speaker? Would YOU want the job?

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

When I was a young engineer, I had just started at a new company and, as part of my orientation, we attended a presentation by the company CEO, who was a wonderful motivational speaker. His talk was about “Negative Target Fixation,” in which he related the story of amateur pilots who, sometime have to do an emergency landing in a wide-open field with a single tree in it, and while they’re thinking “don’t hit the tree,” wind up hitting the tree. The very act of focusing on what you don’t want to happen can prevent you from accomplishing your goal. I was taking notes throughout the talk and, to my horror, realized that I had actually written down “avoid Negative Target Fixation.” Of course, by framing it in that way, I had made “Negative Target Fixation” the metaphorical tree in my own “wide-open field.” I’ve tried to be cognizant of this irony over the years since then.

One might say that “Negative Target Fixation” is what cost Hillary the 2016 election. It’s become almost a cliché that political candidates can’t just say what they’re against, they have to say what they’re for. However, with all the talk of the midterm “Blue Wave,” the Republicans find themselves in an interesting situation, mostly because when they claim to be “for” something, no one believes them anymore.

I will freely admit that I was anti-Trump in 2016 right up until he won the nomination. Once that happened, my electoral “wide-open field” was one in which Hillary was not president, so I voted for Trum. For the midterm, the Left is completely focused on the Negative Target of allowing Trump to continue to govern. Even though there is no hard evidence that the president did anything illegal, the “impeachment” mantra persists if the Democrats take over the House, even though there is absolutely no possibility of conviction in the Senate. I keep hoping that enough voters will recognize the tree in the middle of this electoral field and that the Republicans will be able to give them a positive message for which to vote. I can’t say I’m optimistic that either side will rise to the occasion.

by baldilocks

Interesting promo.

People often tell themselves that they will start their new diet, new exercise regime, or their new life, tomorrow. Either they are too stressed with stuff today, or need one last day to relax before permanently making the change. Then tomorrow comes, and the cycle repeats.

He’s not wrong.

Not being connected enough with your future self means that you cannot work towards acquiring what is necessary to reach your potential. Everything we aim to become comes with some costs. Failure to understand the current costs of your ideal future is robbing yourself of future freedom.

When people are asked to think about their future selves, they almost always say who they will be tomorrow is better than who they are today. They think they will be richer, happier, more successful, and more productive as life goes on. People rarely think that some terrible life event, or a gradual decline is likely to occur, even if they are not taking steps to improve themselves.

The piece is mostly about how to put financial self-improvement into action.

It got me to thinking. What if a person did everything suggested in the article and met each planned goal in the time allotted to him/her on this earth?

That person would still have to leave the earth. And assuming that there’s no afterlife, the only good reason to reach financial goals is to live well for a few years then leave something for the children.

I suppose I shouldn’t look for metaphysical musings in what is, essentially, a financial planning promotional piece. But when I read the title addressing the “enslavement” of one’s future self, I couldn’t help but think of that other future self – the one which will still exist in Heaven or in outer darkness when this ‘self’ appears to be gone.

And it seems to me that planning for that future self is not only more important, but indispensable.

Because that’s the only thing you will take with you when you leave here.

(Thanks to Zero Hedge)

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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From http://www.thinkhero.com/2010/02/26/star-wars-propaganda-artwork-pics/

One of my side jobs is helping nearby Navy commands understand Operational Security (OPSEC), a term used to describe protecting unclassified information from the enemy, which they might use to get some sort of military advantage.  Given the speed and connected nature of today’s world, it is significantly harder for the military, and especially military spouses, to keep information protected.

A few nights ago, I was asked to talk to a command’s family readiness group.  This command’s schedule had been leaked from at least a few spouses and Sailors, and the captain was having a tough time getting people to understand the seriousness of these leaks.  So I gave my normal presentation, walking through how OPSEC issues had killed ISIS members, destroyed Army helicopters, and are increasingly used to target service members.  It gets a bit scary, because it’s not hard to show how Facebook, Twitter and other apps sell data to anyone, making it increasingly hard to argue that they aren’t evil in some way.

Even Hakim agrees with me

I took questions at the end, and for once, I was surprised.

Continue reading “You’re worth a story”

Warning: triggering.

by baldilocks

This weekend at my blog, I was griping about having known about and having publicized the strange alliance between Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam and the “Church” of Scientology only to have National Review talk about and get all the huzzahs. I mean, what is the purpose of Peter’s brainchild The Magnificent Seven? To offer a source of independent journalism, is it not? All I did to find out about this alliance was to walk out my front door in South Central Los Angeles in 2012 and drive down the street, but I was there and interacted, however briefly, with one of the members of the NOI.

But I can’t blame National Review or Bethany Mandel, the author of the Farrakhan-Scientology piece. She just found the information, did a little research and published.  That’s what all we online babblers do.

NR, however, has a huge audience and Da Tech Guy Blog does not., nor does my blog. We put the information out there, then we hope that readers like it, respond to it, and then share the information with those who are receptive to the information and even some who are not.

And we hope that you appreciate our efforts enough to put your money next to your appreciation. That’s what the Left does – the organized variety or the mere foot soldiers, as I pointed out at my blog.

Therefore, I’d like you readers who are able to do this one thing: hit Peter’s Tip Jar. Right sidebar at the top is the location. Yes, of course it’s partially for me and for all the others who Peter has gathered here. But I hear tell that readers, especially conservatives, are tired of the Leftist spin that the Big Media and even the Medium Media offers.

Look at all the work that Peter has done in the last few weeks. That’s the kind of thing normal news readers say they appreciate. Let’s find out if it’s true.

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.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

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Update DTG: In case you are on a device where you can’t see the sidebar Juliette refers to here are the links


If you’d like to continue to support independent journalism, help defray the $140 a month extra I’ll need for my new hosting site please consider hitting DaTipJar here.



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Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

Huddie Ledbetter in Shreveport, Louisiana

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT —  Just over a year ago I noted that the slippery slope was real with regard to the movement to remove historical monuments and place names once the Confederate monuments started falling at the whim of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.  Landrieu, you may recall, after a conversation with musician Wynton Marsalis whose great-uncle hated the Lee Monument, decided to take four monuments down.

About that same time, the radical group “Take ‘Em Down NOLA” released their target list for street names, buildings, monuments, hospitals, schools, etc., that are now offensive and must change which included New Orleans Touro Hospital and Tulane University.  Not content with the removal of four prominent monuments, the group is still protesting in NOLA.  Now they want the statue of New Orleans founder, Bienville, to come down and the iconic Andrew Jackson statue in Jackson Square which commemorates his victory at the 1812 Battle of New Orleans.

The lesson here is that these groups will never, ever be satisfied and there is no clear end to what they want to erase.  There’s no end plan.

Now, the craziness has spread all the way to California where in Arcata they are planning to take down a monument to President William McKinley for “directing the slaughter of Native peoples…”.  And it continues:

Other states are joining the movement. The city of Kalamazoo, Mich., said last month it would take down a park monument of a Native American in a headdress kneeling before a westward-facing pioneer. In Alcalde, N.M., and El Paso, statues of the conquistador Juan de Oñate have become subjects of renewed debate.

In Baltimore, a city councilman has vowed to replace a smashed Columbus monument with something that better reflects “current-day values.”

Where in the world does this end?

Let’s just take down all our monuments, statues, busts, everything, and start over.  Because surely we’ll all agree on what’s necessary, right?  We will all be of the same mind in who to honor in granite.

Here in Shreveport, Louisiana, we have a bronze statue of Captain Henry Miller Shreve on the riverfront; he is honored for breaking up the great log jam in the Red River and opening it back up to navigation by 1839.  But, Shreve never actually lived in Shreveport, so let’s pull him down!  Let’s put up a monument to someone who actually lived here!  (insert sarcasm).

Is that too trivial a reason to remove a monument?  Says who?  Who gets to make the rules?

In downtown Shreveport we have a bronze statue of musician Huddie Ledbetter standing on the curb in front of the library.  Why don’t we remove that one too, while we’re at it?  After all, he was imprisoned multiple times for violent offenses!  Pull him down!

I really don’t want this to happen – I love Leadbelly’s music.

The point is, at some point we have to return to reason and set aside our offended sensibilities.  What happened to all of those “Coexist” bumper stickers?  When did we stop believing that?  The message was that we need to learn to live together in peace.  I guess that’s not a priority any longer?

We can sift through all of our collective history as a nation and as people and there is no doubt we will find many things that offend us.  Our leaders, generals, presidents, all those we have memorialized in bronze, granite, acrylic, oil, marble, and in print, were not perfect people and sometimes they made poor choices in both their public and private lives but the point is that they brought us where we are today.  They were a product of their time and we can not judge them by today’s sensibilities.

By destroying these monuments or by hiding them, we learn nothing except that those who whine loudest win.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.  Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and on Twitter @paustin110.

by baldilocks

Love is in the air.

Mass murderer Nikolas Cruz is getting stacks of fan mail and love letters sent to the Broward County jail, along with hundreds of dollars in contributions to his commissary account.

Teenage girls, women and even older men are writing to the Parkland school shooter and sending photographs — some suggestive — tucked inside cute greeting cards and attached to notebook paper with offers of friendship and encouragement. Groupies also are joining Facebook communities to talk about how to help the killer.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel obtained copies of some of the letters showing that Cruz, who had few friends in the outside world, is now being showered with attention. (…)

A teenager wrote on March 15: “I’m 18-years-old. I’m a senior in high school. When I saw your picture on the television, something attracted me to you.” (…)

A woman from Chicago enclosed nine suggestive photos, including a shot of cleavage, another in a skimpy bikini eating a Popsicle and a tight shot of her backside as she bent over. Another girl sent photos with Hello Kitty Snapchat filters. (…)

This sort of thing is certainly not unprecedented. Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and, more recently, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – one of the perpetrators of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing – are examples of mass murders/serial killers who attracted throngs of women.

It shouldn’t even be surprising. The Devil has tons of fans; why wouldn’t his servants also attract those who find excitement in evil?

Moving away from these extremes, so-called normal women find “bad boys” attractive, too. Such men may not be killers or law-breakers of any kind, but they are perceived as rule-breakers and that edginess is exciting – for a while. Men are also attracted by “crazy women.” (My streak of deviousness tells me many such women are some of the sanest among us.)

This sort of attraction is symbolic of a certain absence within an individual; a skewed sense of that which is good, faithful and true. For the warped mind, such things are boring.

Many of us are a little or a lot warped in this way. The key to defeating this kind of thinking is, of course, sticking close to the God of the Bible. Through this, we can get a clear view of the faults in ourselves and we can ask God to help us remove these faults.

I understand this for a good reason. I’ve had to give over to God my own warped view of what a loving man-woman relationship should be. I was never into Bad Boys, but there were other issues.  Sometimes, it necessary to have a seat and stay sitting down for an extended period. So it is that I have remained single for some time.

And that’s the key: recognize the problem, remove oneself from it, and ask the Professional Fixer of Things for help.

As for the wannabe lovers of serial killers, however, the fist step — recognition — can’t happen when one’s eyes are closed.

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

SHREVEPORT – In a rare partnership and an attempt to revitalize “local journalism,” the New York Times and NOLA/The Times Picayune have partnered to produce a series of excellent articles on the vanishing Louisiana coastline.  This is a subject near and dear to my heart; here in Louisiana we have been talking about the fragile coastline for decades and most of the time it seems that solutions are simply hopeless.

When talking about Louisiana’s endangered coastline, the issue quickly becomes so politically charged it is difficult to get to the straight facts and to make progress.  Through the years we have blamed both big oil, farming, civilization, hurricanes, and global warming.  The finger-pointing right now seems to be the rising sea levels due to glacial melting.

Whatever the cause, the fact is that the coastline is vanishing so fast that we may not be able to save it.

The coastline is “…like disintegrating lace…”

That’s how the series authors describe what’s left of the land and marsh that make up Louisiana’s southern parishes.

In this series we are introduced to various communities and people in south Louisiana who are watching not only their land but also their homes, their culture and their way of life disappear.

It’s heartbreaking and it doesn’t appear there are any clear answers.  No amount of money thrown at this problem will be able to solve it.

The authors point fingers at a number of culprits: rising sea levels due to climate change, a series of destructive storms, oil companies who built and widened canals but never repaired them when they left, the construction of levees to control the Mississippi which stopped natural land formation from spring floods, and even plagues of insects and rodents who destroy vegetation.

This article about the community of Jean Lafitte, located just south of New Orleans, chronicles the efforts of the long time mayor, Timmy Kerner, who has adopted the strategy of improving his community to the point that it would be more economically feasible to save it from erosion than to let it go:

His strategy was to secure so much public investment for Jean Lafitte that it would eventually become too valuable to abandon. In a decade, he had built a 1,300-seat auditorium, a library, a wetlands museum, a civic center and a baseball park. Jean Lafitte did not have a stoplight, but it had a senior center, a medical clinic, an art gallery, a boxing club, a nature trail and a visitor center where animatronic puppets acted out the story of its privateer namesake.

Some of the facilities had been used sparingly, and many at the grand opening questioned whether the seafood pavilion would be much different. To the mayor that was largely beside the point. What mattered was that the structure existed, that its poured concrete and steel beams made Lafitte that much more permanent. “Do we lose that investment, or do we protect it?” Kerner asked…

The authors, Kevin Sack and John Schwartz, point out that a fourth of our wetlands are already gone and in fifty years 2,000 square miles could also go.  In human terms:

The Gulf Restoration Network, a nonprofit conservation group, calculates that there are 358,000 people and 116,000 houses in Louisiana census tracts that would be swamped in the surge of a catastrophic hurricane by 2062. The Geological Survey predicts that in 200 years the state’s wetlands could be gone altogether.

As Sack and Schwartz report it, the community of Jean Lafitte and everything else south of that New Orleans levee has basically been abandoned to the elements, “left to the tides,”  with the Corps of Engineers advocating relocation of the people.  But that’s not to say that nobody is trying to solve the problem. There are lots of committees, levee boards, ecologists, politicians, environmentalists, and other experts working to find and agree on solutions.  And then there is the ever present problem of funding.

There are so many factors at play in this issue.

After you read about the community of Jean Lafitte, be sure you read this article about the Leeville community on Bayou Lafourche and the cemeteries that are washing out to sea.  It’s heartbreaking:

As Talbot explores the shore line, he finds a stone beneath the water, Thursday, August 24, 2017, and traces his fingers deeper into the mud for an inscription. “There’s definitely something here,” he says. After several serious tugs the stone pivots enough to break the surface, then fully erect, covered in a thick, brown sludge. Water streaks paths down the face of the stone. A moment of awe envelopes him. Talbot splashes handfuls of bayou water against the stone and slowly history is resurrected. “FRANCOIS GUILBEAU – Decedee 24 Janvier 1901 – age de 99 ans.” Over time, the Lefort Cemetery in Leeville, Louisiana has born the brunt of the worst that man and nature can bestow upon a coastal environment.

While there are plenty of problems in Louisiana and we’ve long been known for our notorious politicians and various aspects of corruption, (and tell me where, please, will you NOT find that?) this is one issue on which we should all be united.  Whether you believe in global warming or climate change or not, whether you believe this land loss is due to greedy oil companies and their negligence, or whether you believe it’s just a natural course of events, this just can’t be allowed to happen.

There are few places more beautiful in my mind than south Louisiana. The swamps, the bayous, the people and their way of life, is unlike anywhere else.  It is unique.

There has got to be a way to restore and preserve our coastline and our state.

The photography and the writing in this series is top notch and should be required reading. If you have a good source or recommendation for further reading on this, please share with me in the comments!

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