by baldilocks

Originally posted February 17, 2007. Slight edited.

The reason I think that the majority of bloggers begin their endeavors is a very simple one: most of us want to transmit ideas without interruption. That certainly was one of my reasons for starting a blog. Conversely, those of us who allow comments realize that feedback allows uninterrupted transmission of ideas for our readers as well. This simple exchange of ideas is called communication. And, unfortunately, the art of face-to-face communication is nearly a lost one–listening and responding to what one has heard, rather than listening one’s own inner conversation with self about the person speaking and/or ideas being expressed. People don’t want to do the most important part of communication–active listening–nor do they want to make it easier for the other person to do so.

Think about the last time you tried to have a conversation about important things–especially one in which the other participant didn’t agree with you. Several impediments to the transmission of and response to the verbally-expressed ideas likely occurred, coming from both parties. Continue reading “The Art of Communication”

by baldilocksbaldilocks

I’m back. Originally posted February 17, 2004.

Self-education has its benefits; it’s generated by true desire for knowledge, unclouded by the bureaucracy of formal education, uses straight-forward language as its vehicle. Formal education has some good points as well: that degree looks good on your wall. (Calm down, all you PhDs, JDs, MDs, etc.; just yanking your chain. You know that it’s envy. Really.)

As it happens, I found out about one of the best products of self-education, Eric Hoffer, from one of the best that formal education has to offer, Thomas Sowell.

While reading The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (Perennial Classics), I was struck by several of Hoffer’s observations. The narrative lays out all the ingredients necessary for the success of Mass Movements: the people, the pre-conditions, the attitudes and the actions/reactions. He makes no moral judgments on the phenomenon, but merely lists the pre-cursors for the main event —like listing the ingredients for a main course. Would that I could do better than Mr. Hoffer in explaining the mass movement phenomenon, but I can’t. So here are a few of the statements that had meaning for me.

“A mass movement attracts and holds a following not because it can satisfy the desire for self-advancement [like many practical organizations], but because it can satisfy the passion for self-renunciation.”

Potential converts:

The newly poor: “This class has a vivid memory of affluence and dominion and is not likely to reconcile itself to straitened conditions and political impotence.”

The bored: “Where people live autonomous lives and are not badly off, yet are without abilities or opportunities for creative work or useful action, there is no telling to what desperate and fantastic shifts they might resort in order to give meaning and purpose to their lives.”

The inordinately selfish: “The more selfish a person, the more poignant his disappointments. It is the inordinately selfish, therefore, who are likely to be the most persuasive champions of selflessness.”

Self-sacrifice [leading to] united action are the primary engines of a mass movement and must be inculcated into its proponents, says Mr. Hoffer. Sounds like basic training, yes, fellow military persons? (A distinction is drawn, however, between armies and mass movements: one promises “salvation;” the other is mainly used to “preserve or expand an established order.”)

On self-sacrifice:

“To ripen a person for self-sacrifice he must stripped of his individual identity and distinctness.” “The fully assimilated individual does not see himself and others as human beings.” Some of Star Trek’s writers must have been reading Hoffer before creating the Borg.

“People who live full, worthwhile lives are not usually ready to die for their own interests nor for their country nor for a holy cause.” Here, Mr. Hoffer is right, but incompletely so. Such people are often ready to die rather that live in a world in which others are ready to take their full, worthwhile lives and turn them into that of a slave.

On hatred, the great unifying agent:

“Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying agents.”
“Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.”
“Often, when we are wronged by one person, we turn our hatred on a wholly unrelated person or group.” Great and Lesser Satans everywhere, now you know what the jihad thing is about.

The book is fascinating. (Read about leadership as a unifying agent in mass movements. It’s not what you might expect.) Uncluttered by high-sounding concepts using high-sounding words, the anatomy and function of mass movements are made plain. You know the people that Mr. Hoffer observed; at least you do if you’ve been paying attention. You might have caught yourself exhibiting these characteristics a time or two—for good or ill.

Check this one out. And the next summer [sic], when the naked protesters upstate start uglying up the countryside and you ask yourself “why,” Mr. Hoffer will have provided you will some plausible answers.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects: A Roof Over My Head, my Storage Facility, my new novel, this blog, and my Internet–to keep them going and to the COFFEE fund to keep me going!


by baldilocksBaldilocks mini

There’s the FCC (secret) Net Neutrality proposed regulation and there’s the BATFE ban on AR-15 ammunition. There are plenty of places to go to in order to read about these two tactics. And that’s what they truly are—tactics. We know, of course, about the straw and the camel’s back. Well, the Obama administration has been trying to snap that poor beast’s spine ever since it declined to prosecute the New Black Panther Party for blatantly violating the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The violation happened on Election Day 2008 and was recorded.

Repeatedly, I’ve said that the Justice Department’s decline to prosecute in this case was a Declaration of War. Against whom? Again:

I submit that the Obama Administration, representing black Americans and no others, declared a tribal war against white Americans when Attorney General Eric Holder refused to prosecute members of the New Black Panther Party after the latter’s blatant violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Department of Justice’s inaction sent a message mirroring that of the US Supreme Court Dred Scott decision (1857): that the white man has no rights which the black man is bound to respect.

The decline happen less than a month after President Obama’s first inauguration and every violation of the US Constitution and the founding principles which has been perpetrated since then is intended to send that identical message. But even that was just a tactic. there’s more to it than that; an elaborate trap is being set and, with the overt attack on communications and on firearms, this administration thinks that it may have achieved the new Fort Sumpter—because that’s what pulloutchairyou do when you are trying to provoke an enemy to violence. You attack his supply and communication lines.

This administration keeps pulling out the chair of Revolution, but the People—still too comfortable and complacent–won’t sit down.  If they do, that’s when the strategy begins to show its face.

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 in 2015. Follow her on Twitter.

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

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

by baldilocksbaldilocks

Do you know what this is about? Sure, you do.

Between 2010 and 2013, the Obama administration imported almost 300,000 new immigrants from Muslim nations — more immigrants than the U.S. let in from Central America and Mexico combined over that period.

(…)

If just a fraction of the 300,000 new Muslim immigrants already here follow in the footsteps of the Franco-Algerian brothers who recently terrorized Paris, we could be facing chronic terror in our cities.

The main homeland threat from groups like IS comes through our immigration system. If they also use our loose policies as a vehicle for jihad and Islamization, we will face the same crisis as Eurabia.
(…)

At current immigration rates, and barring a much-needed moratorium, our Muslim population will more than double over the next 15 years, hitting about 6.2 million in 2030, according to a recent Pew Research Center study — “in large part because of immigration and higher-than-average fertility among Muslims.” [Ed.: And abortions on the part of non-Muslim Americans.]

In case after case, the US government has been inviting the American people to sit down at the Revolution table and “water” Thomas Jefferson’s proverbial Tree of Liberty, but the American people—still just a bit too comfortable—refuse to sit down.

Applying the observations of author Peter Hammond, this government seeks to push the Muslim population of the United States towards a general tipping point, and I think that it’s this one.

When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris , we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam , with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam.

The government is importing its own revolutionaries. That’s what this is about.

Everyone needs to stop biting their tongues about the crap banquet that the US Government, headed by the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner, is serving to the people. Your offspring are watching.

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 in 2015. Follow her on Twitter.

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

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

by baldilocksdiploma

At a party, I once got into a conversation about the physical appearance of Jesus the Christ.

There’s a reason that one should not get into religious or political conversations in mixed or unknown company and it isn’t because such conversation inevitably end up in arguments. Argument, itself, is neutral; it’s how people argue that is almost always the problem. First of all, people argue with their egos. Most people don’t have an active awareness of the following: they view difference of and dissent from their personal opinion as insult and assault. And since both religion and politics cover how and individual views life, when you disagree with a person in these areas, unless both parties are very mentally, intellectually, and/or spiritually disciplined, you’re bound to get into a loud hair-raising verbal tussle.

Except for the volume, this particular argument had all of these characteristics. (How I could tell: afterward, my opponent was obviously angry at me and had little to do with me for the rest of the gathering.) But, there was something more about it, something indicative of a contemporaneous argument being had in the political corner of the Internet.

Here is the passage that was under discussion, where John the Revelator begins to describe his vision of Jesus.

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

–Revelation 1:14-15 (KJV)

The person in question claimed that, because verse 14 says that His hair was “like wool,” it meant that Jesus was black. But, I claimed that, because John was using wool as a measuring tool to describe the color of Jesus’ hair and not the texture of it, that the passage has no bearing on Jesus’ race. I even pointed to verse 15, which does allude to race/ethic group, though not conclusively. But this people would have none of it and refused to see the plain logic in was John was saying. (In short: his hair is white.)

But that wasn’t the frightening part. This is: this person was a public school administrator and had been a public school teacher for many years. A tiny bit of simple reasoning was too hard for her.

The argument ended at an impasse when I internally heeded these words from Jesus.

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Matthew 7:6 (KJV)

Not saying that the person was a swine, but you get the idea.

I wish this had been an isolated case, but we all know that it isn’t. Dumb has become pestilential…and hereditary.

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 in 2015. Follow her on Twitter.

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

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

by baldilocks

I’ve been mostly unplugged this week.

Most know about my housing situation. I’m staying in temporary housing in Southern California and it has been, mostly, a blessing.

First there is the fact that I have housing at all. First, let’s just say that I’m a middle-class girl and a bit of a BAP. I’ve never had to wonder where I was going to live or from where my next meal was coming until this past year. When it became obvious that, if I made the choice to stay in California, that I’d be homeless, I asked God for the following: that I’d have a clean, safe place to sleep, wash myself and sundries. I knew that I was going to have to rough it a bit, but sleeping outside…I only want to have to do that by choice. If God sees fit for me to have to do that, I would ask Him to prepare me for it, and, let’s just say that I’m not ready!

I said all that–some repeats–to say something about my fellow residents. Before, I had a tendency to think of “the Homeless” as some vast, mostly unwashed entity, who couldn’t get it together. That perception has changed and it has nothing to do with my homelessness. The change of mind is a result of talking to the people around me and being reminded of Jesus’ second commandment.

We public Internet people have a tendency to think of a vast portion of Americans as Low Information Voters. But, a goodly portion of my fellow “inmates” know more than most about what is happening to our country. Oh sure, there are a number who rather be getting high or drinking, but I’d say that they are the minority here. The majority–no doubt as a result of their misfortunes–have a good handle on the direction in which our country is going. They may not follow the news as diligently as we do, but they can tell which way the wind is blowing.THIEF

In that, they are more fortunate–more blessed–than most of their countrymen. For all too many of the latter, disaster will come like a thief in the night.

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 in 2015. Follow her on Twitter.

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

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

by baldilocksApproved-Stamp

Because Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) is a potential candidate for president in 2016, he is being subject to the “treatment” by the Leftist-controlled media and, as a result, the fact that he does not have a college degree is up for discussion.

What gets me about the whole controversy is how degrees have become the seal of approval for a person’s knowledge level while, at the same time, the quality of most degrees have greatly diminished. And let’s not even get started on the following abilities as they relate to college degrees–at least the baccalaureate: analysis, interpretation, discernment, communication, etc. I’m sure that there are still some degree programs which teach people how to sift information and weed out falsehoods, but, outside of those who are the product of STEM programs, it isn’t apparent that these abilities take hold.

Governor Walker’s situation demonstrates another problem with how college degrees are perceived. He has a proven track record of ability in his state and, of course, prior to his present office. Therefore, he can be judged on those concrete abilities.

Here’s the problem: even some who agree with the governor politically and who admire the job that he has done in his state will vote against him because of that absence. And that’s a huge problem—not necessarily for him but for many of us. Many cannot or will not come to conclusions about a topic or a person by using concrete factors that matter.

Too many of us still care more about what some giver of paper says that you can do than about what you’ve already shown that you can do.

Even after what has happened in the last seven years, we still have a hard time believing our lying eyes.

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 in 2015. Follow her on Twitter.

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

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

jackintheboxby baldilocks

Here’s what the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner is up to this time.

Obama’s War Authorization Limits Ground Forces

by Josh Rogin

I like how this Rogin guy/Bloomberg uses the verb “limits” as if it means something.

Almost six months after the president began using force against the Islamic State advance in Iraq and then in Syria, the White House is ready to ask Congress for formal permission to continue the effort. Until now, the administration has maintained it has enough authority to wage war through the 2001 AUMF on al-Qaeda, the 2002 AUMF regarding Iraq and Article II of the Constitution. But under pressure from Capitol Hill, the White House has now completed the text of a new authorization and could send it to lawmakers as early as Wednesday.

[…]

The president’s AUMF for the fight against Islamic State would restrict the use of ground troops through a prohibition on “enduring offensive ground operations,” but provide several exemptions. First, all existing ground troops, including the 3,000 U.S. military personnel now on the ground in Iraq, would be explicitly excluded from the restrictions. After that, the president would be allowed to deploy new military personnel in several specific roles: advisers, special operations forces, Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to assist U.S. air strikes and Combat Search and Rescue personnel.

The new AUMF would repeal the 2002 AUMF (Iraq; repealed for reasons which will become apparent), but not the 2001 AUMF (al Qaeda).

And here’s the kicker:

There are no geographic limitations, so the administration would be free to expand the war to other countries.

So does this mean that any amount of ground/other troops can go wherever the president directs in the name of engaging ISIS?

Our president is (further) laying the groundwork for World War. Joe Biden was right. Kinda.

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 in 2015. Follow her on Twitter.

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

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

by baldilocks

The military victims of the jihad attack at Fort Hood will finally receive their Purple Heart medals, as a result ofpurpleheart-vi

[a] decision by Army Secretary John McHugh [which] follows a change in the medals’ eligibility criteria mandated by Congress, according to the Army announcement. It also comes after a years-long battle by the victims and their families in the aftermath of what was the worst shooting rampage on a U.S. military installation.

Thirteen people [sic; one of the soldiers was pregnant] were killed and more than 30 wounded in the November 2009 attack by former Maj. Nidal Hasan.

Hasan was convicted in August 2013 of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder.dof-medal

Civilian victims are now eligible for the PHM counterpart, the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom, an award forged by Donald Rumsfeld in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

This is, of course, good news. However this decision bids a few question. Before I ask those questions, let’s remember the original purpose of the Purple Heart medal: to recognize the physical sacrifice(s) of those who engage/are attacked by the enemy.

Excerpts from Wikipedia:

  1. Dated February 23, 1984, Executive Order 12464, authorized award of the Purple Heart as a result of terrorist attacks, or while serving as part of a peacekeeping force, subsequent to March 28, 1973.
  2. Public Law 99-145 authorized the award for wounds received as a result offriendly fire.
  3. The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after April 5, 1917, has been wounded or killed. Specific examples of services which warrant the Purple Heart include any action against an enemy of the United States; any action with an opposing armed force of a foreign country in which the Armed Forces of the United States are or have been engaged; while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party; as a result of an act of any such enemy of opposing armed forces; or as the result of an act of any hostile foreign force.
  4. After 28 March 1973, as a result of an international terrorist attack against the United States or a foreign nation friendly to the United States, recognized as such an attack by the Secretary of the Army, or jointly by the Secretaries of the separate armed services concerned if persons from more than one service are wounded in the attack.
  5. The Purple Heart is not awarded for non-combat injuries.

The changed eligibility criteria in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act is described as follows.

Congress redefined what should be considered an attack by a “foreign terrorist organization,” according to the Army. The legislation states that an event should now be considered an attack by such an organization if the perpetrator “was in communication with the foreign terrorist organization before the attack,” and “the attack was inspired or motivated by the foreign terrorist organization.”

It isn’t surprising, however, that the lawyers who represent most of the families of the victims have harsh words for the bureaucracy which kept the medal criteria from being changed for so long. Remember the phrase “workplace violence?”

Now here are my questions.

  1. Does the president have to sign this change?
  2. If so, has he?
  3. If he hasn’t, do you think he will find a way to get out of it?
  4. If he already has, what will it mean toward his policy toward “radical” Islam?
  5. Will he get back up on his high horse about terrorist attacks workplace violence terrorist attacks in the name of religion?

I’ll wager that the answer to number five is ‘yes.’

*Title change.

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 in 2015. Follow her on Twitter.

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

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

by baldilocks

ISIS has executed Jordanian pilot Muath Al-Kassasbeh and they didn’t use their usual method (WARNING: Graphic Photos and Illustrations).

The POW pilot is […] soaked with petrol and set on fire while professionaly filming [sic] his slow suffering as a sacrificial offering to Allah and with no remorse to the screaming and melting of a human being. This is not something we suggest you watch, but ask: how can the world stand idly by while we see this and still think that Islam is a peace loving religion?

This happened on January 3rd, well before the Jordanian government threatened to hang all of its ISIS prisoners, should its pilot be harmed. But after the pilot was shown in captivity naked from the waist down, it was evident that he was being set apart for particular brutality. Being set afire was the Grand Finale.

I don’t plan to watch the video and it’s not because of the horror contained in it, but because of the horror it is intended to impart. That may seem confusing, but if one thinks about the purpose of the beheading videos and, now, this type of video—to instill grief, revulsion, and, most importantly, fear—one can opt out and that’s what I choose to do. For now.

Jordan has vowed vengeance, of course.

Jordan will execute failed suicide bomber Sajida Al-Rishawi “within hours”, as revenge for the ISIS killing of hostage pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh, a security official told AFP. Earlier, Jordan offered to swap the two prisoners.

“The revenge will be as big as the calamity that has hit Jordan,” army spokesman Colonel Mamdouh al Ameri said in a televised statement as cited by Reuters, after a video surface of the pilot being burned alive. A government spokesman promised a “strong, earth-shaking and decisive” response to the execution.

Question: are we seeing the kindling of an even hotter fire? Walid Shoebat thinks so, a reversion to Ottoman Empire practices. I learned a new Arabic word by reading his site: Khazouk.

Stay prayed up!

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 in 2015. Follow her on Twitter.

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

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