The 21st century isn’t turning out so well for millenials.  They are making less than their parents did at their age.  Home ownership, one of the key markers of financial success, is down for their age group.  And, apparently, in general they are unhappier and more narcissistic.  It’s declined to the point you can now see how poorly you compare to other countries (although I can’t vouch for the data).

But hey, we got that going for us!

Why is this?  Most blame the recession.  But plenty of millenials have done well, despite a recession.

Me when I realized this while writing this article

My current job gives me some insight.  I work with junior Sailors on a daily basis, most in their early twenties.  As their commander, I get to interview them and get a peek into their lives.  I also keep copious notes, and as an engineer, I look for trends.

I see one big, ugly trend: most Millenials come from broken homes. 

Almost 85% of my Sailors come from divorced parents.  These are people from across America, from every state in the union.  I was astounded by this.  In many cases, at least one parent (mom or dad) is completely out of the picture.

These broken homes don’t produce broken people.  My Sailors are hard working Americans, and they arrive with a very deep love of their country and wanting to do right.  In many cases though, their broken home hinders them.

How I feel sometimes

I take for granted that my parents cared about my education and well being.  While they didn’t pay for college (thank you Uncle Sam!), they did set me up pretty well, and helped me cover emergencies until I got on my feet.  My parents taught me about debt and savings.  I didn’t have a credit card until I was in college, and even then, I paid it off every month (and still do!).

Many of my Sailors don’t have this.  Too often they go to boot camp with very little in their pocket.  Many arrive with little to no furniture.  Plenty come in with credit card debt.  Luckily, we have free classes on financial management, and most turn themselves around.  For the average person though, these free classes don’t exist.

Broken homes break down other assumptions.  Driver’s license?  How to dress for an interview?  How to speak without using obscenities?  How to shake hands properly?  Speaking in public?  These basic skills can’t be assumed anymore.  Anyone who has worked with millenials would agree.

Although I enjoy watching my Sailors grow and develop these skills, I worry that in other parts of society, these skills are not being developed.  Yes, we should continue to work on our economy, but perhaps we’ve forgotten what a big influence good family life is on success.


Obviously I’m in the Navy.  In case it’s not obvious, this post only represents my views.  It doesn’t represent the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.  But you’re smart, so you already knew that…

If you enjoyed this, check out my blog, and drop Da Tech Guy some money!

Given the present kerfuffle over Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes anti-Trump philippic, this seems like the perfect time to … discuss an upcoming awards show. Namely, the Grammys. Specifically, a band receiving its first-ever Grammy nomination. Category? Best Rock Album. Band? Weezer.

Given conservatism’s pride taken in ignoring, save for mocking, most all things pop culture, many might be surprised Weezer is nominated for a Grammy. Or that it released an album last year eligible for a Grammy. Or that it still exists, given how it has been a while since anything by the band tore up the charts. It would benefit conservatism greatly if it would be more aware of such things so that it can intelligently engage the disaffected masses who do listen to new music. But that is a topic for another time; back to Weezer.

Weezer’s sophomore album Pinkerton, released in 1996, suffered the dreaded fate of being a critical modest success and commercial pretty much complete flop. Its opening track was doubtless jarring to listeners expecting more of the band’s debut album’s nerdy lyrical bent. Instead, it was a sardonic tongue in cheek humblebrag entitled “Tired of Sex” in which band leader and songwriter Rivers Cuomo lamented regularly – as in nightly – getting laid by different women when all he genuinely wanted was a real relationship. Given how Weezer had introduced itself as the house band for geeky guys who couldn’t score at Mustang Ranch with a wallet stuffed with hundreds, little wonder its fan base had a tough time relating to the tune no matter how unliterally it was presented.

The protagonist in Cuomo’s song is utterly tone deaf to his own farcical whining about how he wants something real while living the dream (that is actually a nightmare) of which so many others desperately dream. Regrettably, we see this same phenomena playing out in real life day after day. Where? Conservative new media.

Conservative new media (CNM for short) should be flying high and feeling really good about itself right now, what with ownership of the White House and both houses of Congress. The NeverTrumpets, their impotent rage over Ivanka’s dad presently filling out change of address forms redirecting all mail from Trump Tower to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue slowly morphing into smoldering butthurt, might disagree on the former. But social media noisemakers have no impact.

Which, actually, is the problem.

CNM talks a great game about being the antidote to CNN even as many of its individual members would cheerfully sacrifice body parts in order to appear on the network. The battle cries of “big tent,” “no litmus tests,” and “engage the culture” still occasionally reverberate through CNM’s echo chamber. But it rings hollow.

Look at the high flyers, the big names, the megatraffic sites. URLs change, but the song remains the same. The same tired faces, the same tired voices offering vapid expository masquerading as analysis, all aimed at keeping the faithful’s ears well tickled. There is no effort for outreach, no genuine attempt at promoting anyone or anything that would bring authentic culture change. Occasionally people bleat that they are trying to do so, yet they immediately wrap themselves inside the same cocoon. CNM has turned itself into Oakland minus the occasional downtown riot. There’s no there there.

Online political discussion can be edifying. It can also be used as an dopamine-drenched reality escape hatch. Who cares about the dishes piling up and the bills doing the same – I’m schooling some fool tool about the latest Supreme Court pick! Because, you know, doing so has so much influence on what’s going on in Washington. Oh, wait …

What is needed is messaging from the heart for the heart, mind, and soul. What is needed is promotion of genuine culture changers such as quality Christian rock artists addressing the world in the light of Christ’s love for all. What is needed is writers who embody the Scriptural admonishment to be in the world but not of it, being all things to all people so that some might be won to Christ. If this involves political discussion, so be it. But do not prohibit culture and Spirit. Christ, soul, rock and roll.

Rivers Cuomo was far more accurate then he likely envisioned when he sang “oh why can’t I be making love come true.” The world has enough politics. The world needs more Jesus. Let’s start talking Him up.

 

http://youtube.com/watch?v=hxTPGsKCykI?rel=0&w=450&h=253

by baldilocks

Click the links at the risk of your own emotional equilibrium.

In Saturday’s post, I said this:

[W]hat does Satan want ultimately? Answer: the death of humanity, but not just death. He wants our debasement, since he is envious of God’s love for us. Therefore, he will turn as many of us as he can into monsters. He does this on many levels: individual, familial, national, and ethnic; and he does it over time.

Lately, we’ve seen reports of mayhem in which people do unthinkable things to their children and to the children of other people. These ideas don’t just pop up in the minds of the perpetrators; a foundation is laid in the spirits of such people and a “house” is built on top of that foundation. From what I’ve read about it, these people were usually victims of severe child abuse themselves, but where did/do these things start? Who was the first to “decide” that the abuse of others—especially of children—was not or just okay, but pleasurable?

People decide all the time that they don’t believe in and/or need God, but I think that it takes more than that decision to lay the basis for evil in one’s soul. The Bible calls it “hardening of the heart”—an active turning to the other side. It seems that is usually involving occult practices and/or drugs.

If you looking into many of these cases, often the perpetrator is taking some psychotropic illegal substance—like heroin or meth. (The latest drug fad is synthetic marijuana.) And I bet if one looks far enough back into such a person’s lineage, one will find that a progenitor dabbled in the occult.

With God, all things are possible, but without Him anything is, including all the evil things we see in the news of late. Spiritual doors are being opened, entryways better left shut.

RELATED: Musings on Evil, Part One

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 on February 1, 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

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

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks

by baldilocks

Two recent public atrocities have been on the minds of many observers this week: the Chicago torture of a disabled man–which the perpetrators streamed on Facebook and the latest jihad shooting at Ft. Lauderdale Airport during which five people were murdered. And tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the Christian-Newsom rape-torture-murder.

My purpose here isn’t to recount any of these crimes or to talking about the looming racial and/or religious warfare. It is to point out how mundane and commonplace these things seem to be. But, the reality is that none of these types of disgusting things are new.

The world over, perverse murders and mayhem are carried out almost unchecked and this has been so for millennia. And lest you think I’m talking about the Third World, you might want to review your pre-1945 European history. Everywhere in existence, there are people who will rape, disfigure, murder, etc. without the slightest twinge of conscience.

The difference here in the USA is that monsters think twice before they attack. It may seem as if there is a greater amount of American violent crime these days, but that’s only because we have direct access to the crime reports within seconds.

Here’s the thing about those who will still commit their acts despite the likelihood of legal consequences: they don’t care about the consequences; I doubt if they even think far enough into the future to care; such people are all appetite and always hungry. And I’d even venture that such people are proud of themselves—like the Facebook torturers.

It is a spiritual matter and, because of that, you cannot reason with these types.

Consider this: what does Satan want ultimately? Answer: the death of humanity, but not just death. He wants our debasement, since he is envious of God’s love for us. Therefore, he will turn as many of us as he can into monsters. He does this on many levels: individual, familial, national, and ethnic; and he does it over time.

Monsters don’t just spring up out of nowhere. They are made.

(To be continued…)

UPDATE: Musings on Evil, Part Two

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 on February 1, 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

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

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-6-22-56-am

A student loan bailout is a dreadful idea–one that would cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

An estimated 5.3 million people are enrolled in repayment plans, with about $353 billion in outstanding student loans, according to the General Accounting Office. The GAO estimates that $215 billion, or only 61 percent of the debt, will be paid in full. Another $108 billion will be forgiven altogether, with the remaining $29 billion discharged because of death or disability.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump said he would make it even easier for students to let their payments slide. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/10/13/trump-just-laid-out-a-pretty-radical-student-debt-plan/

As a college professor for more than 20 years, I understand that student debt is a serious issue. But it doesn’t make sense to let borrowers off the hook. Students and their parents signed a contract for a loan to get money. If they borrowed money to buy a car or a house, they would have to repay the loan.

As Bloomberg columnist Noah Smith put it: “Students who take out loans don’t tend to follow the strict rational decision-making process that economists often blithely assume. In other words, they fail to calculate carefully whether it’s worth it to take out the loans, and they don’t have a good idea of what it will take to pay off the debt. Students who take out loans don’t tend to follow the strict rational decision-making process that economists often blithely assume. In other words, they fail to calculate carefully whether it’s worth it to take out the loans, and they don’t have a good idea of what it will take to pay off the debt….That mistake is increasingly being encouraged, aided and abetted by the U.S. government.”

Individuals have an option if they cannot pay their loans: bankruptcy. That’s a difficult lesson, but it may get people to think twice about meeting their commitments in the future.

It is also important to look at the underlying causes of student debt, such as the government regulations that create bloated administrative staffs.  Since I started in higher education in 1994, I have seen the expansion of administrative personnel to meet, in part, state and federal guidelines. For example, there were three administrative jobs at the first school I worked at. The second one had seven. My current school has more than 30 administrative staff members, including a dean, a senior associate dean, an associate dean, four assistant deans, a senior vice dean, a compliance officer and myriad other positions. Throughout the university, I have seen the addition of hundreds of people to fill administrative posts. It seems as though everyone has an assistant who also has an assistant.

Trump and his new secretary of education. Betsy DeVos, need to tighten the requirements to get loans and cut the federal regulations that result in colleges and universities expanding their administrative staff. Both of these actions would go a long way to reducing the cost of higher education and make students responsible for their financial decisions.


Christopher Harper worked as a journalist for more than 20 years. He teaches media law.

by baldilocks

After this happened yesterday, a few of my online friends messaged me to make sure that all was well with me. (Bless you.)

As a third night of protests over Donald Trump’s election swept through major cities, nearly 200 people were arrested by Los Angeles police in the downtown L.A.

About 150 people — a mix of adults and juveniles — were arrested near Cesar E. Chavez and Grand avenues by 3 a.m., Montgomery said.

Just after midnight, in a separate set of arrests, about 35 were taken into custody after failing to disperse in the area of Olive Street and Olympic Boulevard, Montgomery said.

“F— Trump” graffiti could be seen in various locations in the downtown area.

I messaged back to let them know that I was okay and, while the above locations are not far–in LA distance–from my apartment, it was very quiet. (Nothing good happens on the street between 12 and 3AM, but that’s a side point.)

There’s a reason for the peace; I live in Koreatown. You all remember the Korean-Americans of LA, right?

koreansla1992
1992 LA Riots

Actually, my neighborhood is very mixed racially, but many of the business signs are in Korean. Welcome to LA. Koreans make great neighbors.

I had thought about heading downtown to see what was going on today, but I should have gotten an earlier start.

Meanwhile, I’ve gained a bit of notoriety as a YouTube ranter. The topic? Leftists.

And I will probably write about this story since the human dynamics of it and that of the anti-Trump riots are related. (Careful. The story will inflame your emotions.)

Tomorrow, I must travel through downtown to get to church, so I’ll keep my camera at the ready for any rioters in the wild. And please don’t worry about my safety. I don’t.

OH YEAH AND: I got Instalanched for this post today.

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 will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks

moldy-orangeby baldilocks

Most civilians would be surprised to discovered how many liberals and even hard leftists there are in the military. Further, I’d guess that 30-40 percent of those who have served in military intelligence capacities are liberals or leftists. Be advised that I’m going by the political persuasions of my old Air Force intel friends and acquaintances with whom I’ve had contact on Facebook. The latter have long ago cursed me out, then blocked me or quietly unfriended me.

And those who remain connected with me—who are my true friends–are very quiet about the Clinton email scandal, and I understand why. They know beyond any equivocation that any one of us who would have committed even the tiniest fraction of Clinton’s crimes would have done time. We have all seen it actually happen.

Anyone who has been a part of the intelligence community knows that the method in which Hillary Clinton handled classified information during her tenure in one of the highest political offices in the land is criminal. Every member of the DOJ and FBI knows it as well, from Lynch and Comey on down.

I understand why my friends who are liberals would not want Donald Trump to ascend to the presidency. Believe me, I do. Heck, the events and revelations of the past few months are emblematic of the reason I decided to wait until Election Day to make my decision! My friends find themselves between the proverbial rock and hard place regarding next week’s final decision, assuming they haven’t voted already. It’s a place which many conservatives were deposited months ago. Welcome!

And here’s something I don’t see many people discussing: the reason that Clinton was allowed to set up a server in her home in the first place and pass classified information through it. That no one blew the whistle on that is much bigger than who we will have sitting in the Oval Office in January.

How many people knew about this server? What about the technicians? Was there anyone who understood the magnitude of what they were doing? Anyone who had taken an oath and who was willing to hang his/her body on that oath?

Apparently not.

Trump/Clinton…and Obama are/will be figureheads for a deeply rotten government which we give permission to speak for us and to handle our business.

And that is something which all of us—conservatives and liberals who believe in liberty and in the rule of law–need to file away in the back of our minds in order to prepare for the future.

RELATED: Two Weeks Left

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 will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks

 

220px-fort_calhoun_power_plant_1Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant, another victim of the anti-nuclear movement

This week, covered up by election coverage, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant closed down for good. Somewhere, a whole bunch of anti-nuclear activists are cheering. To replace Fort Calhoun, Omaha Power will instead use coal fired plants in Nebraska City, unless of course the future President Clinton shuts down coal, in which case Omaha will just not have enough power.

Fort Calhoun’s problems are just the surface of a growing threat to the future of nuclear energy in America. More nuclear plants are closing, and we aren’t building replacements. The soaring cost of nuclear regulation is piling on to what should be cheap power. The building of nuclear plants requires high level engineering work, something that normally brings in stable, long-term and high paying jobs.

But not anymore. I keep in touch with a headhunter that places nuclear-trained officers (like myself) into jobs after they leave the Navy. He sent a very depressing email to his distribution group, where he declared that he would no longer place officers in the commercial nuclear field:

The promise of cheap power via commercial nuclear was supposed to be its big advantage.  It was once even touted as “too cheap to meter!”  But it is economics that are now killing the industry.  Utilities are deciding it’s less expensive to close plants that are already operating than continue their operation.  Think about that:  it’s more economical to idle billions of dollars worth of existing infrastructure and spend the money to be build new generation facilities.  That’s crazy and a powerful indication of how uncompetitive commercial nuclear power has become.

We at -redacted- believe that strong professional successful Navy Officers should now avoid jobs and careers in commercial nuclear power and are suspending our relationships with our corporate clients in that sector.  If a career in commercial nuclear power is your focus, we will not be a good career transition resource for you.

Recent and future nuclear power plant closings and changes:

  • San Onofre in CA closing
  • Diablo Canyon in CA closing
  • Crystal River in FL closing
  • Vermont Yankee in VT closing
  • Pilgrim in MA closing
  • Kewaunee in WI closing
  • Harris in SC, 2 plants cancelled
  • Levy County in FL shifting from nuclear to natural gas
  • Comanche Peak in TX, 2 plants cancelled
  • Quad Cities in IL closing
  • Clinton in IA closing
  • Oyster Creek in NJ closing
  • And more are coming…

I have a former Naval Officer friend that worked at San Onofre who confirmed all this bad news. She has since left with her husband for a completely different career field.

pm2anuclearpowerplantModular nuclear plant? That’s so 1960’s

Meanwhile, China is rapidly building nuclear capacity, growing their engineering base in the process. Now they have designed a small reactor capable of providing 6 MW of power, enough to power a small island (South China Sea anyone?). Although the media is touting this as an accomplishment, it’s not. The Army built a number of small reactors, the Navy currently operates reactors on its submarines and aircraft carriers, and even the Air Force attempted to make nuclear powered aircraft. And this was back in the 60’s and 70’s. If we had continued investing in nuclear power, we could have closed our dirty coal plants and lowered electricity costs, perhaps enabling us to build the renewable energy sources for long-term electrical generation. Instead, we’re taking a second seat to China.


This post is the opinion of the author and does not reflect the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.


If you enjoyed this article, check out my blog and perhaps buy my kids book. And, instead of paying 5 dollars for a latte from Starbucks that they’ll use to fund Planned Parenthood, you should consider sending that to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar instead.

Lastly, please say a prayer for all the families of the engineers affected by Fort Calhoun’s shutdown. They now have to find new employment, and it’ll be hard on them for the next few years.

by baldilocks

Yikes!
Yikes!

While some of us gawk at the first of the October Surprises in Circus Circus 2016–aka the presidential election cycle–Immigration and Radicalization Theater continue.

House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) wants Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson to provide information about Nelash Mohamed Das, a citizen of Bangladesh and a lawful permanent resident of the United States arrested by the FBI and charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization by conspiring to murder a US military member in Prince George’s County, Maryland on behalf of ISIS.

Goodlatte told Johnson in a letter Thursday he wanted Das’s immigration and criminal history to determine if there were indicators of his radicalization that the Department of Justice should have been aware of prior to his arrest.

The FBI alleges that in late 2015 and early 2016, Das used social media to express his support for ISIS, including support for the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, France and San Bernardino, California.

“It is important for the committee to understand how Das became radicalized and to determine whether there were indicators of his radicalization that DHS should have been aware of prior to his arrest.”

I would love it if someone could explain this radicalization concept using layman terms, because, as it stands, I think it’s a phantom—one conjured to drive out the notion that Islam is a violent religion by nature…

…or to drive out the notion that “radicalization” really means that a given Muslim has begun to take his faith seriously.

(Thanks to Weasel Zippers)

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 will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks

deadelephant
RIP GOP

by baldilocks

Barring something (sort of) unforeseen, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. That one of them will be the Leader of the Free World in January is merely the tail end of an ideological splintering that has been going on since the end of Ronald Reagan’s second term.

And today, we have the President Reagan’s Vice President and successor driving my point home.

Former President George H.W. Bush is bucking his party’s presidential nominee and plans to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, according to a member of another famous political family, the Kennedys.

Bush, 92, had intended to stay silent on the White House race between Clinton and Donald Trump, a sign in and of itself of his distaste for the GOP nominee. But his preference for the wife of his own successor, President Bill Clinton, nonetheless became known to a wider audience thanks to Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, the former Maryland lieutenant governor and daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy.

The former president has chosen not to comment on the topic–at this point–and his spokesman tells the reporter in spokeshole-speak that it’s none of the public’s business how the elder President Bush plans to cast his vote. Bull Twinkies.

President GHW Bush would never have told Townsend—a Democrat, of course–what his plans are if he didn’t want that information in public. The man is 92-years-old and he doesn’t care anymore, as if he ever did. If the report is true, call it one more stab into the heart of the old GOP.

It’s almost dead, Jim.

Update (DTG): One more thing I’d like to add to Juliette’s piece.

All this stuff happens for a reason, this story came out at this time for three reasons

1. It was necessary to change the subject from the Terror attacks which hurt Hillary

2. It was necessary to get this out there so Lester Holt could ask Donald Trump about it before the 1st debate.

3. This is a blatant attempt to bait Donald Trump to attack President Bush allowing the MSM to feign moral outrage over his response and demand every GOP senate candidate, congressional leader and spokesman to denounce Donald Trump for attacking the 92 year old ex-president.

How obvious can you get?

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 will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks