by baldilocks

Social Media is great for putting out both information and disinformation (aka Bravo Sierra) at the speed of light. I wonder what the mixture ratio is for this story.

A Texas woman was drawn into an intense racial debate on Hobby Lobby’s public Facebook page after she took offense to the company selling cotton stems.

In what appears to be a now deleted Facebook post, Daniell Rider, of Killeen, claims the store’s cotton stalks were “WRONG on SO many levels.”

“There is nothing decorative about raw cotton… A commodity which was gained at the expense of African-American slaves. A little sensitivity goes a long way,” Rider wrote on Facebook, according to CBS 7.

Rider’s comment, and photo of the cotton, inspired thousands of comments on other Hobby Lobby Facebook posts, many of which were from people defending the store.

(…)

Hobby Lobby is still selling the cotton stems on its website, where they have been marked down from 29.99 to $15.

This sort of thing piques my paranoia, in that it makes me suspect that there are groups out there who are dedicated to stirring up racial animosities by putting forth faux racial outrage – outrage which is so ridiculous that observers will begin to despair for racial conciliation. (Side note: the notion that racial conciliation is needed for the great majority of Americans is also suspect.)

And, believe it or not, my paranoia is the optimistic option.

The cynical one is that people come up with this type of nonsense on their own.

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 one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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

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by baldilocks

It’s another one of those times when I just start typing and see where it leads. Rest assured that you will not get the first draft.

At any given waking moment, there are dozens of things I’m pondering simultaneously. Here’s one of the contemporaneous things: Hillary Clinton’s new book, entitled What Happened, which purports to outline the reasons she lost to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

Others are ridiculing bad (ghost-)writing and worse blame-shifting on Clinton’s part, but what I want to know is this: what no-imagination-having one-dimensional thinker came up with the title? And is it “What Happened” with a period or What Happened” with a question mark?

Even calling it “WTF Happened,” or “Stuff Happens” would have demonstrated a bit of sparkle and a sense of humor. But, I think that such a demonstration is probably too much to ask. Even if the publisher wanted to give the title some zip, Herself would have never allowed it. The blandness of the book’s title reflects the personality of the protagonist, it seems.

I heard – but am not interested in confirming — that Amazon is deleting all the one-star reviews on Mrs. Clinton’s latest demonstration of her tendency to blame others when things go wrong. Too bad. One-star review swarms can be quite entertaining as long as most people realize that it’s political trolling and not serious reviewing.

It just occurred to me that these “after-action reports” by presidential campaign losers are a form of political trolling, as well. A “you-all-stink” note from the candidate. Pathetic, isn’t it? Almost makes me feel sorry for the woman. Thing is, if she were president, I think we would already be nuked by now. Thank God for all favors, regardless of size.

Love the Bond villainess look.

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 one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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!

by baldilocks

Consider this excerpt a preamble to a question.

There’s no question that Irma was and continues to be destructive. But there’s also no question that it was not nearly the storm it was predicted by all the experts to be.

Last week, there was talk of massive destruction across [Florida], with damage estimates ranging up to $200 billion. Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levin called it “a nuclear hurricane.” Storm tracks last week showed Irma remaining a Category 4 hurricane for a significant portion of its trek across Florida. When Irma shifted to the west as it approached, it was described as the “worst-case scenario” for the state.

However, when Irma made landfall in the U.S., it’s strength quickly diminished and the actual damages

to Florida in dollar terms will likely be 75% lower than predicted.

While those dire forecasts were being made, environmentalists and politicians were busy pinning the blame on global warming.

It was the same after Hurricane Harvey caused massive flooding in Houston. It’s the case whenever there is an adverse weather event. If there’s a drought, it’s because of “climate change.” If there’s flooding, climate change. Wild fires, climate change. Blizzards? Climate change.

So will environmentalists credit climate change for Irma’s unexpected turn for the better?

During the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey and as Irma was making its way through the Caribbean, this bit of Facebook logic was making the rounds.

So, here’s my question: if Donald Trump or some unseen actor can produce hurricanes and other types of weather phenomena at will, what’s all the climate change fuss about?

Yes, I’m joking. (Can’t be too careful these days.)

On a serious note, much of the Caribbean was devastated by Irma. Pray for them and take action, if you’re inclined to do so.

FURTHER SERIOUSNESS: The task set before Houstonians.

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 one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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!

by baldilocks

A little secret: I had to do community service for a misdemeanor. My crime: carrying a loaded weapon in public. (Hey, it’s California.) I plead guilty and, because it was a first offense, I received community service. Some might remember that I fractured my left wrist from a fall back in 2012. I had been doing community service when it happened.

During my community service – CALTRANs — most of the other offenders were black and Latino. They were there for things like major traffic violations which did not result in injury or accident – mostly first-time DUIs. Most were much younger than I was and I had little in common with most of them as far as our personal interests went.

However, one politically astute guy was there for fixing cars without a business license; his “crime” had caused him to awaken, he freely admitted. Still another guy – whose offense I don’t recall — and I discussed current events and religion a few times. Both men were very intelligent.

One day, as we performed our usually task, cleaning up the freeways, three groups formed: a black one, a Latino one, and a very small group who refused to go there. Of course, I was a part of that last group.

I walked up to the last guy I mentioned — part of the black group – and said, “What are we doing? Forming up according to race now? This isn’t prison.”

“It’s natural to do this.”

“It’s also natural to urinate and defecate where you stand, but our parents train us not to do that.”

He had nothing to say to that, but I noticed that he separated from the group and started working by himself.

I tell this story to point to the implications behind “natural behavior”: that it’s perceived as good and right. The Bible, of course, tells us otherwise for the most part. The natural man has no knowledge of God and feels more kinship with other human beings who look like him – starting with his immediate family and branching out to his ethnic tribe.

It’s natural. It’s also deadly to truth.  We’ve never completely gotten rid of ethnic tribalism and we watch as it crests once again in our “modern” era. However, those of us who think we are more enlightened and don’t see race should not think of ourselves as better than our carcass-worshiping acquaintances. Often, we create our own tribalism. It behooves us all to be wary of it.

Because when we lie to ourselves for too long, those lies begin to look just like the truth. Naturally.

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 one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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!

by baldilocks

Gaddafi and Hussein are dead.

It’s said that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un doesn’t want to give up his nukes because of what happened to Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.

After the US invaded Iraq, which resulted in the deposition and execution of Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi gave up his country’s nukes, only to be abandoned by the succeeding US administration – which resulted in Qaddafi’s deposition and execution. If the reports about Kim’s reasoning are true, it’s cogent piece of reasoning.

I’m Old Enough To Remember WhenTM Gaddafi publicly gave up his clandestine nuclear program and Syria’s Bashar Assad promised to pull his troops out of Lebanon, both saying, in effect: “I am not Saddam Hussein.”

As we know, the premise for the invasion of Iraq was that Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), refused to give them up, and refused to allow UN inspection of those weapons. Following the invasion, however, no WMD materials were found in Iraq and the “Bush Lied” meme was born.

(Aside: for years that was the cudgel that Democrats – some of whom had access to the same domestic and foreign intelligence reports that George W. Bush’s intel advisers did and many of whom voted for intervention in Iraq — used to criticize Bush. These Democrat critics included former Senators Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, along with current Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, all of whom voted “yea” for the Iraq Resolution.)

Bashar Assad

In the intervening years, various sources in-the-know have reported that Hussein sent his WMD materials to Syria. If this is true, then it was little skin off Assad’s nose to promise to pull back his troops; he had other many other plans brewing, thanks to Hussein, and at least one other source.

Then, in 2007, the Israelis bombed Syria, targeting what they said was a nuclear reactor under construction.

A video taken inside a secret Syrian facility last summer convinced the Israeli government and the Bush administration that North Korea was helping to construct a reactor similar to one that produces plutonium for North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, according to senior U.S. officials who said it would be shared with lawmakers today.

The officials said the video of the remote site, code-named Al Kibar by the Syrians, shows North Koreans inside. It played a pivotal role in Israel’s decision to bomb the facility late at night last Sept. 6, a move that was publicly denounced by Damascus but not by Washington.

Sources familiar with the video say it also shows that the Syrian reactor core’s design is the same as that of the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon, including a virtually identical configuration and number of holes for fuel rods. It shows “remarkable resemblances inside and out to Yongbyon,” a U.S. intelligence official said. A nuclear weapons specialist called the video “very, very damning.”

Emphasis mine.

The Syrian government expressed outrage about getting bombed by the “Zionist Entity,” of course, and even used the “Bush Lied” rhetoric, but did little else about it. In 2011, the IAEA concurred with Israel’s claim about the facility.

It turns out that the nuclear connections between Syria and North Korea go back to about 1997. If you’re going read at least one of the links, read this one.

So maybe it’s true that Kim doesn’t want to end up like Gaddafi or Hussein — or even Assad — and is using the only leverage he has to stay in power.

This business will get out of control and we will be lucky to live through it.

There is also an Iran connection – naturally – and the Syrian Civil war, and the Russian involvement … but this post is long enough. I just wanted to point to the items, incidents, and connections that nearly every public commentator seems to have forgotten and/or discounted.

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 one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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!

by baldilocks

As a few people may have noticed, I’ve been going back over posts from my old blog, which I started in 2003. One of the things which has hindered me in deciding what to write about is that, often, I feel like I’m repeating myself. But a long-time fan turned that notion around for me by reminding me that repetition is the vehicle of learning.

The following, from 2004,  is apropos of nothing popular in Social Media right now. Who knows when that will change? It could be seconds after you read it.


A guest asked the following questions about Islam, and the Koran.

juliette i’m not that familiar with the qu’ran. could you give me a citation for your reference?

could you also tell me if this type of activity is a constant over the history of the region? if we go back to 1905 for example, would we see someone lynched then?

finally, could you tell me how lynching and mass terrorism against african americans was able to continue for a full 100 years, without reference to the judeo-christian ethic?

Are Muslims following the tenets of their religion or ignoring same?

Let’s turn it around. During the heyday of white American terrorism of black Americans in the South, were white American Christians following the tenets of Jesus the Christ or ignoring them? If the latter was true, it isn’t too hard to figure it out how it could be so: the same way that present-day Christians ignore the tenets of their religion. You may be familiar with some of the “lesser” ways: lying, cheating, stealing, committing adultery, dishonoring one’s parents, etc. Or even worse, twisting the tenets of their religion to suit their own purposes.

This last sort of behavior shouldn’t have to be explained to anyone who steps out of his/her door in the morning. And failure to live up to one’s professed standards or twisting those standards to self-serving purposes isn’t a failing unique to those who are religious.

It took men of the Christian and Jewish faiths — black men, white men and others — to shame the bulk of white Americans into living up to the spiritual and secular ideals they professed to revere and cherish, whether it was “love thy neighbor as thyself” or the idea spawned from that, “all Men are created equal.”

Back to your first question: does it matter whether jihad started 35 years ago or three years ago? Here’s my point: there is nothing in Islamic doctrine that can be used to shame the Islamists to stop using terror in the attempt to achieve their aims. No Dr. Malik Shakir will come out of the Mosque holding up Muhammad as the “Prince of Peace” who commanded believers to turn the other cheek or take the two-by-four out of his own eye first. Why not? This is why:

“Slay the infidels wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush. (Koran 9:5)

Fight against those who believe not in Allah, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth [Islam], until they are subdued. (Surat At-Taubah 9:29)

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. Allah is an enemy to unbelievers. (Koran 2: 98)

Again, Muslims who terrorize, lynch, burn, and enslave are merely living up to their credo, not ignoring or going against it. That’s why (besides fear of other Muslims) you haven’t seen any Muslims in large numbers publicly repudiating terror. (There are one billion Muslims, right?)

As a wise person said, when someone tells you that they want to kill you, believe them.

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 one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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

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Alfonso Bedoya in The Treasure of Sierra Madre

by baldilocks

Evergreen  and multipurpose commentary from Harold S. Geneen, former President, CEO and Chairman of ITT, in 1984. The year of the quote is serendipitous.

Time after time in those early ITT management meetings, I would question a man about his facts, Where did he get them? (Usually from some other man.) How did he know they were correct? Were they facts? So I wrote a memo about ‘unshakeable facts.’

Yesterday, we put in a long hard-driving meeting mostly seeking the facts on which easy management decisions could be then made. I think the most important conclusion to be drawn is simple. There is no word in the English language that more strongly conveys the intent of incontrovertibility, i.e. ‘final and reliable reality’ than the word ‘fact.’

However, no word is more honored by its breach in actual usage. For example, there are and we saw yesterday:

‘Apparent facts’

‘Assumed facts’

‘Reported Facts’

‘Hoped-for facts’

‘Facts’ so labeled and accepted as facts – i.e. ‘accepted facts’ – and many others of similar derivation.

In most cases these were not facts at all.

In many cases of daily life this point may not be too important, but in the area of management momentum and decision, is all-important. Whole trains of events and decision of an entire management can be put in motion in the wrong direction – with inevitable loss of money, time and morale – by one ‘unfactual fact’ accepted by or submitted by YOU – however unintentional.

The highest art of professional management requires the literal ability to ‘smell’ a ‘real fact’ from all others -and moreover to have the temerity, intellectual curiosity, guts and/or plain impoliteness, if necessary to be sure that what you do have is indeed what we will call an ‘unshakeable fact.’

So . . . start now IS IT A FACT? but more important, IS IT AN UNSHAKEABLE FACT?

No matter what you think, try ‘shaking it’ to be sure.

Send this message down the line.

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 one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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!

by baldilocks

What have Republicans/conservatives done for black Americans? I hear that question constantly when I disclose that I am a conservative.

Implied in the question is that a political party must “do something” for blacks. Not merely the usual “something” that a government entity does for all of its constituents, e.g. provide utilities, regulate commerce, etc., but something special.

That word ‘special’ has taken on a new meaning in recent years and I think that it applies to the special items that liberals/leftists believe that the government should provide for the ‘special’ people, the “congenitally retarded” folk.

Yes, we are a ‘special’ people–with ‘special’ needs– and require special handling: special education and special employment. You can’t expect black people to live up to the standards of ‘normal’ people. Like paraplegics or the blind or the deaf or those with Down syndrome, singular accommodations must be made for the great handicap of being born with black skin. To liberals/leftists, black people are a crippled class that can never be made whole just as long as they can never be made not-black. What’s this notion called?

Racism.

And if anyone tries to treat us as full, competent adults, the liberals/leftists will scream in righteous anger and protest about the unfairness of it all. And if some of us “handicapped” verbally express the desire to be treated like fully competent adults and act in a way that demonstrates that desire, we are deemed as traitors by those who share the same racial makeup, but who buy into the ‘handicap’ philosophy.

Yes, we are “traitors,” because if some of us refuse to take advantage of the special needs offered and succeed anyway, the vast majority of America will begin to think that we don’t really require the “handicap slot.”

The vast majority of Americans will begin to think that we’re not really inferior after all.

And we can’t have that, can we?

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 one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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!

by baldilocks

Around the time of 9/11, during one of my many sojourns into higher education, I was in a CAD program–which I regret not finishing. One of the required courses was Algebra and I did well, out of 100 achieving a 96 average — math being one of my favorite subjects.  And, most heartening, in an admittedly chauvinistic way, the only other person who did better than I did in the subject was also a black woman. (We were the only women there of any coating.)

By no means were the men in that class either stupid or ungifted. However, they were uniformly very young—at least they seemed so to my then forty-year-old self.  One of the things that they marveled at about me was that I could do simple arithmetic in my head.  When one of them asked me how this came to be, I explained that I was born well before the advent of the calculator and was taught at home to memorize multiplication tables.  Another of the young men made some joke about my age and a slide rule and, though I laughed, I realized how archaic that device had become. Following on the realization that I hadn’t seen one since the early 1980s, I was impressed that the guy even knew of the tool.

Being around so many innately very intelligent young people who had been—as far as I could see then—short-changed by the very same type of technology that they were learning to manipulate to make a living, made me a little sad. However, now I know that those men—and that young lady who kicked my behind in Algebra–are the blessed ones. They had the desire to know — something that is all too rare.

I still plan to return for my B.S. in mathematics.

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 one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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!

Hitler’s Benz

by baldilocks

File this under “things I wish I had said.” A Facebook friend who wishes to remain anonymous has a few suggestions for those who wish to uproot racism and anything that racists have produced.

Just remember, folks, Daimler-Mercedes-Benz built German war machines and Mercedes-Benz designed and built Hitler’s car. Certainly hope you’re not sporting one of those racist deathmobiles as a sign of your affluence.

*****

If you’re black, I certainly hope you don’t work for or own a Volkswagen.

How soon we forget.

The colossal extent of slave labour used by modern-day German blue-chip companies to get rich during the Third Reich has been laid bare by the nation’s top business magazine.

WirtschaftsWoche has published a league table illustrating the Nazi past of top German firms like Bosch, Mercedes, Deutsche Bank, VW and many others, which involved the use of almost 300,000 slaves.

The league table follows revelations earlier that Audi, which was known as Auto Union during the Nazi period, was a big exploiter of concentration camp supplied slave labor, using 20,000 concentration camp inmates in its factories.

Many of the companies listed by WirtschaftsWoche have already had internal reckonings with their Nazi past.

In 2011, the dynasty behind the BMW luxury car marker admitted, after decades of silence, to using slave labour, taking over Jewish firms and doing business with the highest echelons of the Nazi party during World War Two.

Gabriele Quandt, whose grandfather Guenther employed an estimated 50,000 forced labourers in his arms factories, producing ammunition, rifles, artillery and U-boat batteries, said it was ‘wrong’ for the family to ignore this chapter of its history.

But BMW were not the only German firm to profit from the sudden influx of slave labour.

Slave labor. I know a a number of SJWs who drive Benzes and BMWs; and even more drive the People’s Car aka Volkswagen.

But if some want to purge the USA of anything with racist origins, I’d say that they should start with themselves.

Benzes and Beamers are too expensive to maintain, but I’ll take a VW off your hands.

Just trying to help.

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 one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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!