Maria and Christian
The latest pair in my “interviews with immigrants” series is now up.

First I spoke to Alvin, he is in his mid 20’s and comes from El Salvador

Of the immigrants who I’ve interviewed story was slightly different. The rest of his family was already here but he choose to remain home until the violence became so bad it was a question of life and death.

Two weeks later I interviewed Maria from the Dominican Republic. She was iffy about her english so christian from Puerto Rico agreed to translate (and took that nice picture). Since he has only been here a year and the culture of Puerto Rico is different I included him in the interview as well even though technically he is not an immigrant because Puerto Rico is an American territory.

It worth noting that both Maria and Alvin had college educations where they lived but have been willing to work lesser jobs as they go back to school and learn english, it’s also worth noting that as I alluded to in my July 4th post while Maria wasn’t in the same immediate danger, it was the safety of America that brought her here.

A pair of notes, the delay in posting these interivews were mainly due to Pintastic 2018 coverage , I hope to conduct an interview with a young lady from the Cape Verde Islands this week and am in negociations to speak to another from Australia. My goal is to get 30 different countries before I start repeating countries but it’s likely that I won’t reach that number before that happens.

You’ll note that other than Phillipe from Haiti, who is very interested in politics, I don’t ask much along those lines. That’s because I’m more interested in getting the where’s and why’s about coming here and their impression of America as a country and Americans as a people. Those are the data points I’m trying to fill and educate myself on.


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by baldilocks

I’m going to tell you a secret about this.

Black female leaders and allies expressed their “deep disappointment“ with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for their “recent failure to protect“ Rep. Maxine Waters “from unwarranted attacks from the Trump administration and others in the GOP.”

Maxine Waters

We write to share our profound indignation and deep disappointment over your recent failure to protect Congresswoman Waters from unwarranted attacks from the Trump Administration and others in the GOP,” the women wrote in a letter sent Tuesday. “That failure was further compounded by your decision to unfairly deride her as being ‘uncivil‘ and ‘un-American.‘”

“In doing so, we believe this mischaracterizes her call to action for peaceful democratic assembly and the exercise of her constitutional rights to free speech in support of defenseless immigrant children and their families,” the letter continued.

Waters (D-Calif.) last month urged opponents of President Donald Trump to protest members of his Cabinet wherever they encounter them. Pelosi and Schumer have distanced themselves from the comments, with the House Minority Leader asking to conduct elections in a way that “achieves unity.”

Here’s the letter.

And here’s the secret: Pelosi and Hoyer will do nothing about this.

Though they may give lip service to doing something, they will ignore the letter. The House Democrat leadership knows that Waters is hurting the Democrat Party, and the party is life to them.

The House Democrat leadership could not care less about what the party’s black vassals have to say. Pelosi and Hoyer care about winning elections. And besides, where else  these black female “leaders” and allies going to go?

Just as was so when members of the Congressional Black Caucus complained in public about then President Obama, so shall it be now. “Sit down and shut up. We know what’s best for the party. You are the foot soldiers, not the generals.”

By the way, this is emblematic of why many Democrats – black and white – are so antagonistic towards black conservatives and Republicans; they think we serf for the opposing patron.

Don’t forget what I said about this phenomenon.

[S]ince the CRA, most black Americans have given their allegiance to the Democrat Party and, because of the mindset [that whoever provides the most things—whoever is the most generous patron to black people–is a friend to black people], they have certain expectations of white Americans—those expected of a patron.

From that notion comes this one: many black liberals believe that black conservatives give their allegiance to the Republican Party for the exact same reason, and that they are, therefore, sell-outs.

The black “leadership” can write all the letters it wants, but we all know that they will shut up and march when told. They have no other choice.

And the Democrat Party will abandon Maxine Waters when she becomes more of a liability than an asset. I suspect that point in time is approaching quickly.

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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USS VIRGINIA (CGN-38), By Camera Operator: PH2 D. KNEISLER (ID:DN-SC-88-06640 / Service Depicted: Navy) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
You can’t stop hearing about the Chinese Navy and their advances in technology. Did you know they have an aircraft carrier?

There is a “considerable chance” the number of aircraft-carrying ships available in the Chinese navy will be seven instead of four by 2025 because of a “lower profile defense program” that has already taken shape, a new report indicates.

Or what about a super cool railgun, apparently better than the U.S. Navy’s?

While the United States spent years dithering over the future of its much-hyped electromagnetic railgun project, China ate its lunch. The Chinese navy plans to field its own secretive version of the electromagnetic railgun on naval vessels as early as 2025, according to a U.S. intelligence assessment first reported by CNBC.

Or the latest Chinese anti-ship missiles?

China unveiled its Type 055 naval destroyer on June 28, the latest step in its decade and a half of military buildup. The new Chinese destroyer outcompetes U.S. destroyers and cruisers, highlighting a major failure in U.S. Navy planning that stretches back to the 1990s. Given the 055’s long-range supersonic YJ-18 and YJ-12 over the horizon (OTH) anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs), the Chinese destroyer currently outcompetes U.S. Arleigh Burke class destroyers and bigger Ticonderoga class cruisers.

Man, it’s like so…1971.

Continue reading “China’s Navy is a flashback to the 70’s”

As always we closed Pintastic NE with a final interview with the founder, head man and provider of 20 count them 20 Pinball machines for people to play for free Gabriel D’Annunzio

Gabriel’s efforts bring the first of my ten thoughts about Pintastic into focus. The amount of work he puts in to bring this show together is incredible, he and the volunteers give up a lot of time to make a ton of people happy and they are succeeding.

Even if you ignore the effort of running the show proper the amount of effort to physically bring 20 pinball machines to and from this location is a herculean task. Pinball machines are not light, even the least expensive of his machines could sell for several thousand dollars and most amazingly he does this in the expectation that said machines will get more wear and tear in those 3 to four days than they might the entire year. I try to treat the machines I’m playing there with kid gloves because they aren’t mine.

The Southern New Hampshire Pinball Club, facebook page here was there in force with over a dozen games. For a $30 monthly membership you get a key to go in and play as much as you like 24/7. For $10 you can get a day pass. They run regular tournaments and have some creative ideas (including Pinball Ninja warrior which we played at Pintastic) Their space was in the old VIP room from last year and it was constantly full.

One of the things I mentioned in my interview with Gabe was the family friendliness of the event, the number of parents and kids, particularly on Sunday was huge. Sights like this were very common.

You can’t grow a hobby without youth and this is a great sign.

Speaking of youth Jersey Jack mentioned something during his seminar worth repeating here. He was giving a tour of the factor and the games and showing how they worked etc and noticed one thing in particular. None of the kids were looking at their cell phones with their head bent down. In 2018 that’s really something!.

While we had downpours the first day of Pintastic the heat that replaced it was MUCH worse, particularly for those hauling multiple games home as Gabriel does. We gave a hand to some folks form Rhode Island who had seven games to put on a UHaul and the Heat was unbearable. I can’t imagine how they got all that stuff on and off the truck without the good folks at Pintastic there to help back home.

The Sturbridge Host Hotel is a perfect place for Pintastic, they have a small private beach on a lake/pond two indoor pools and a small pub and a fancier restaurant right there and best of all the price is right. My only fear is that in a few years Pintastic will grow too big for the venue which would be a real shame as they’ve been excellent hosts. There is also a McDonalds, Burgerking and CVS in practically the same parking lot along with a seafood restaurant so there are plenty of lunch options

One of the newest fads nationwide have been barcades, bars with acrades built in including Pinball. Combined with Pizza joints that include pinball arcades like the one in Bethesda I vised at CPAC and the one in Kansas I hit while out west they are a growing trend and a great one to boot.

For a guy who has lost most of his Doctor Who Mojo I confess I spent a lot of time on the Doctor Who pinball machine which was one of the most popular games in the place

I’m still surprised that we haven’t seen a new one since the series revival but it would be hard to improve on the old one which, with the exception of the backglass art) is an excellent design with some fun voice work from Sylvester McCoy

Finally one of the best parts of Pintastic NE was to get away from the political back and forth. There were plenty of Bernie bumper stickers in the parking lots but I also met someone in a “Deplorable” t-shirt and one head of the college republicans there too. At Pintastic it’s all about the pinball which unites us, there’s plenty of time to argue about the other stuff the other 51 weeks of the year.

“I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law….Roe v. Wade is a constitutional right that is well established.”

Thus spake Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), according to a CNN report.

But which Roe v. Wade decision does Sen. Collins stand by? There’s the imaginary Roe, which dictates that unregulated abortion be available throughout pregnancy. Then there’s the actual Roe, which permits states to leave abortion unregulated but also permits many laws protecting the lives and safety of mother and preborn child.

Where does Sen. Collins stand on First Amendment protections for peaceful pro-life witnesses outside abortion facilities? After all, McCullen v. Coakley is “established decision, established law.” Or does she consider peaceful pro-life witness to be an attack on abortion rights?

How about restrictions on public funding of abortion and abortion counseling? The Supreme Court OK’d such restrictions decades ago. Abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU Reproductive Rights Project use terms like “gag rule” to describe efforts to keep abortion providers out of taxpayers’ wallets. In the Senator’s view, do restrictions on public funding amount to “hostility” to Roe v. Wade?

Parental notification for minors’ abortions, reflection periods before abortion, informed consent laws, restrictions on mid- and late-term abortion, protections for children who survive attempted abortion: certain forms of these laws have been found consistent with Roe. Then again, PP and ACLU consider such measures attacks on abortion rights.

The pro-Roe Senator Collins could vote with a clear conscience for a jurist who supports the abortion regulations that have been approved by the Supreme Court since Roe. Such a nominee would not be hostile to the actual Roe decision, even if that nominee displeased PP and the ACLU.

Maybe one day there will be less deference to a precedent that’s inconsistent with human dignity. For now, though, we’re left with wondering what Senator Collins means by “hostility.”

Ellen writes about the life issues at Leaven for the Loaf. 

Now’s the time to celebrate the First Amendment and support independent journalism by hitting DaTipJar. Thank you!

Last Saturday night my son and I were having dinner at the Cracker Barrel in Sturbridge and had some time to kill before our order came up.  Rather than play one of the peg games they had for sale I came up with a new game, the “Cracker Barrel Trigger a Woke liberal College Student”

You see Cracker Barrel is a restaurant filled with Americana.  The decor has been unaffected by the current  explosion of being “wokeness” and every item on the wall was invented before the term “microagression” existed.

The game can be played with two but can be played with larger parties, the rules are very simple.

Starting with the first player you point out an item of decor that would trigger a liberal, a flag, a gun a photo, an old ad and play continues to the right until a person can not name one.  If a choice isn’t obvious then that person, in the voice of a triggered woke liberal, has to explain why they would be triggered.

In a game with more than two players, the player who can’t name the item is out and play continues until there is a single player left who share of the tip is covered by the rest.

If you’re going to have to deal with woke liberals why not have fun with it?

The phrase I borrowed for the title of this article is featured in the libertarian science fiction masterpiece, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” by Robert Heinlein.  It represents one of the fundamental truths of the universe, one that socialists and big government types routinely ignore, often with disastrous results.  We the people have been conditioned to ignore this fundamental truth by the news media, our educational institutions, and our elected officials for the past many decades.

“Nothing is free” is a less colorful way of stating this fundamental truth.  Someone somewhere has to pay for everything.  Our politicians have become so very adept at hiding how we are paying for everything that they promise us is free.  So many people blindly accept these phony assurances that what they are getting from the government is free.  For far too many, this is their primary reason for voting for Democrats.

Would candidates for office be anywhere as successful if they told the truth?  “Go to college and force your neighbors to pay for it through higher taxes” just doesn’t have the same mass appeal but it is far more truthful.  Unfortunately few Republicans have the ability to counter false Democrat claims in such a clever manner.  That’s something they need to work on.  Too many in the Republican establishment think the only way to beat their opponents is to join them in this political bribery.

Far too many operate under the delusion that forcing those “evil rich” people to pay for everything has no overall costs to society.  If most of the profits of a corporation are confiscated, what is left to hire more workers, or build new factories, or even keep existing factories running?   How many would want to go through all of the pain suffering and misery it takes to start a business if they knew most of the profits they would earn are going to be confiscated and given to others?  Soaking the rich will only result in far fewer rich people, and far more people dependent on the government handouts, that the rich are supposed to pay for.  Republicans need to do a better job communicating how a free market benefits everyone, resulting in a greatly reduced need for government handouts, if not eliminating them entirely.

Printing money to pay for everything the federal government wants to do and all of the entitlements seems like it generates no costs to the citizens of this country.  That is far from the case.  Printing more money only decreases the purchasing power of the existing money.  More money is needed to buy everything.  The money people earn is worth less.  Printing money only causes inflation.  Do you think this practice would cause outrage if everyone knew that the dollar of today is worth only three percent of what the dollar was worth in 1913, when the Federal Reserve came into existence and began printing money?

Voters need to be informed that out of control debt have enormous costs associated with it.  Most are unaware that our 21 trillion dollar debt has a staggering cost just to finance it.  All of that borrowing result in higher interests rates for individuals and inflation.  We are approaching a debt to GDP ratio that always results in disaster, yet few in the Republican party are sounding the alarm, and too many in the party have joined forces with the Democrats to keep up the out of control spending..

The Republican Party needs to once again become the party of the free market, a constitutionally limited government, and fiscal responsibility.  They desperately need to learn how to effectively communicate the benefits of those ideals to everyone in a creative manner.

With Pintastic NE 2018 over I wanted to get some stray videos from the Q & A seminars posted that you might have missed unless you viewed the entire playlist

First from Jersey Jack’s:

Availability of parts for “Retired” games

Given the playload of home based games that’s a question that will be an issue in a few years.

A question on remote pinball

While you can compare scores I imagine it would require additional camera work to transmit our opponent games as a live stream onto your system and would of course require your system to be connected to the net.

One on various pinball game ideas that are out there

The creative process for deciding what games to make

Unlicenced games (that is games that don’t require paying the owner of a product (like Dialed in) vs ones that do (The Hobbit)

and Nostalgia games

I’d like to see a Travels of St. Paul game, I think the letters of Paul combined with his travels in acts is built for pinball and would have a ready made audience.

Code updates

And you can’t talk code updates without talking auto updates too

Many people outside the hobby don’t realize that there are roms and chips involved in pinball. They still think of the machines as purely mechanical without coding involved.

Can new game prices come down?

I don’t think you can have a cheap game drive the hobby but it has to be inexpensive enough to sell which leads to the next question concerning games too expensive to make

That’s an important point, while you can’t go too cheap if you are paying as much for a pinball machines as a new car then it becomes a hobby only for the very rich and thus not feasible for mass production.

The was a great question about low scoring threshholds

And let’s finish Jack’s section with why he made it as a manufacturer of Pinball Machines while others have not.

While Jersey Jack is a maker of new Pinball machines Todd Tuckey is a fixer of old ones, Jack ribbed him during his seminar

But Todd’s seminar was all about the restoring and repairing of an old machine, many of them 30 years old or older, so the questions that came were about the hardware side

Removing particular parts..

The lamp board

they types of iron used to heat pins

Those pins being the pins of the circuit boards that all games except the pure mechanical ones have.

He also told a story about what a lightning strike can do to games even when they’re off

His own livestream that he shot at Pintastic is below

I asked each of them a question at their seminars, I asked Todd about the cost of the repair that he showed us on camera

And I asked Jack about the making of PG games

Todd is more of a showman and Jack but the bottom line is both are builders and doers and the hobby and the country are both better for having them.

I’ve always known how to count

Tip O’Neil

For the last week we have heard the breathless declarations the Donald Trump will not be able to get a judge who opposes Roe v Wade because Lisa Murkowski of Alaska or Susan Collins of Maine will vote against any such nominee.

Millions of pixels have been dedicated to this proposition as the media breathlessly declare that any such judge will have a hard if not impossible path to the Supreme Court.

While I hate to disappoint all of you folks on the left but Doug Matacoins not withstanding  it is Collins and Murkowski who are in the box, not Trump.

Even when the President didn’t have a supreme court nominee coming up or democrats calling for the public harassment of conservatives or Democrat Socialists publicly proclaiming communism, which murdered 100+ million in the 20th century, as a good thing the numbers looked bad for the Democrats in the senate due to the sheer number of Democrats running for re-election, particularly from Red States.

In a bad scenario it was likely the GOP would pick up at only one seat, with a strong economy, low unemployment and success against ISIS and Democrats making fools of themselves a pick up of 3 seats is a real possibility.

The media and twitter may not be talking about this but you had better believe that Collins and Murkowski both know how to count real and understand the moment the GOP has a majority that doesn’t depend on their vote to get a justice confirmed they will have as much say in who Trump nominates as Chuck Schumer, namely none.

So I suspect that they will make loud noises and say all the right things to the media who will be putting immense pressure on them but in the end when the votes are counted Trump will get both his nominee and unless they can manage a Fishbait Miller scenario will likely have their vote as well.

If Trump chooses Judge Amy Coney Barrett, (which is who I think he will) Watch them claim as a driving force for their vote for her the chance to create, for the first time in the court’s history actual parity between the number of men and women on it.

You heard it here first

Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it. 

(Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 26 April 1777 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/)

Make good use of it, indeed. I hope this has been a joyous Independence Day for you!

 

Ellen writes about the life issues at Leaven for the Loaf. 

Now’s the time to celebrate the First Amendment and support independent journalism by hitting DaTipJar. Thank you!