Another Method of Turning Your Money into Theirs

See the source imageby baldilocks

Last week we heard that Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Obama Administration’s first Attorney General Eric Holder were thinking about jumping into the 2020 presidential race on the Democratic Party side.

This week it’s Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick who’s thinking about giving it a shot. A member of the Boston Globe’s editorial staff seems less than enthusiastic about the prospect.

I’m old enough to remember when Patrick said he wasn’t running. It was way, way back in the sepia-toned days of November 2018. Let me tell you, youngsters, those were interesting times. Men were men and women were women and Hollywood was churning out classics like “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” which was tops at the box office. (…)

Ah, the good old days. So much has changed! The culture of cruelty that surrounded our elections, which Patrick decried when he decided not to run, is mercifully behind us now — ah, hang on, getting something in my earpiece again . . . uh oh. Oh no.

Of course, the writer can’t resist taking a shot at President Trump.

You want to know who has bad options? Republicans. They’re choosing among a semicoherent, obviously corrupt Twitter addict who will soon be impeached, a couple of vanity candidates, and Bill Weld.

At any rate, something that we all should keep in mind as we watch the presidential candidates from both parties come and go is that these candidacies, however long or short they may be, are, basically methods of getting money. They are like temporary side gigs for crooked politicians, if you’ll pardon the redundancy.

If they were bloggers, they’d be more honest and ask you to hit their tip-jar.

Remember Robert “Beto” O’Rourke? Of course, you do and he is a perfect example of this practice.

During the weeks before the end of his presidential candidacy, O’Rourke was running around the country iterating and reiterating via Social Media about his plans for mandatory “buy backs” of all the AR-15s from every owner in the country. And every time he talked about it, he became more and more incoherent and illogical, while causing gun owners seethe and stock up on more ammunition.

It seemed crazy, did it not? Well, it wasn’t at all.

Beto was polling at 0% or near that for most of his campaign and he knew that his quest would have to end. But before that end he needing to rake in as much money as possible. To that purpose, bullhorning his overt gun-grabbing plans was meant to entice as many dollars as possible from those who would kill to see the country entirely disarmed – pun intended. I bet it worked.

Most presidential candidacies are created simply to vacuum in the bucks for a set time and launder it. That’s why most of these new candidates are joining the 2020 circus.

Everyone needs a piggy bank, you know.

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.

Follow Juliette on FacebookTwitterMeWePatreon and Social Quodverum.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar !

Or hit Juliette’s!

Lessons from Watergate

By Christopher Harper

As a young reporter, I covered part of the Watergate story, including the offices of Howard Baker, the ranking Republican on the Senate Select Committee that investigated President Nixon and his administration.

What I remember most of all was the bipartisan nature and transparency of the hearings in the Senate and the later those in the House—a stark difference to what’s happening now.

On February 7, 1973, the U.S. Senate voted 77-to-0 to approve a resolution to establish the select committee to investigate Watergate, with Democrat Sam Ervin named chairman the next day.

The hearings held by the Senate committee were broadcast from May 17 to August 7, 1973. The three major networks of the time agreed to take turns covering the hearings live. An estimated 85 percent of Americans with television sets tuned in to at least one portion of the hearings.

Baker and Ervin, both Southern lawyers, shared the spotlight, with little pretense of partisan politics. Baker became well known for his question of Nixon aides: What did he (Nixon) know, and when did he know it?

As established under the Constitution, the House needed to consider the issues for impeachment. Here, too, the representatives put aside most partisan antics.

On February 6, 1974, the House voted 410-4 to authorize the Judiciary Committee to launch an impeachment inquiry against the president. During the debate over this measure, Chairman Peter Rodino, a Democrat said, “Whatever the result, whatever we learn or conclude, let us now proceed with such care and decency and thoroughness and honor that the vast majority of the American people, and their children after them, will say: This was the right course. There was no other way.” House Republican leader John Rhodes said that Rodino’s vow was “good with me.”

Nevertheless, the House committee was not as transparent as the Senate investigation.

The House Judiciary Committee opened its formal impeachment hearings against the President on May 9, 1974. The first twenty minutes were televised on the major U.S. networks, after which the committee switched to closed sessions for the next two months. Altogether, there were only seven days of public hearings.

When the committee finally voted on articles of impeachment, the tallies included bipartisan support, with roughly one-third of the Republicans and all of the Democrats supporting the three articles that were passed.

Furthermore, a group of prominent GOP legislators convinced Nixon he should resign.

At almost every step of Watergate, Democrats and GOP may have disagreed. Ultimately, however, they sought the truth in a bipartisan and relatively transparent way.

That’s an important lesson the Democrats should consider.

The Wall and its lessons

By Christopher Harper

From the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the Cold War shaped most baby boomers.

Like me, almost every boomer spent some time under classroom desks in a rather idiotic drill during and after the Cuban missile crisis. Somehow being under a desk would save us!

The Vietnam War also was a reaction to the Cold War—an attempt to stop the spread of Communism in Southeast Asia. Obviously, it didn’t work.

I had the opportunity to spend time behind the Iron Curtain both before and after the fall of Communism.

What struck me most about Soviet domination before 1989 was how difficult the lives of people in Eastern Europe were under Communism.

It was difficult to find food, proper medicine, and hope.

I recall twisting my ankle in Poland. I struggled into the hospital and noticed how the shelves were empty, and the equipment was aging. The doctor told me the ankle wasn’t broken, and he didn’t have much to help me with the pain. Fortunately, a nurse found an elastic bandage to help me hobble around for the next few days.

In Bulgaria, the hotel offered lobster on the menu. One of my colleagues decided to order some. The waitress didn’t speak much English, so she came out with a shellfish that was encrusted in ice because it was caught years ago. The message, however, was clear. Perhaps my friend should order something else.

For years, my wife and I had wanted to visit what was then called Czechoslovakia. Because I was a journalist, I was unable to get a visa even though I only wanted to be a tourist. The government did not allow American journalists to visit for any reason. Fortunately, we were able to visit the Czech Republic after the end of the Soviet empire.

Although Eastern Europe has had its share of difficulties after the end of communism, the streets are brighter, the hopes are higher, and the freedoms are greater.

The lesson that every American should take away from the fall of the wall is how much better life is in Eastern Europe. All you have to do is look at the economies of Poland, Hungary, and other countries that lived behind the wall and under the boot of Soviet oppression.

Moreover, it’s critical to realize that socialist doctrines, such as government control of essential industries, never worked in the Soviet Union and its empire and won’t help the United States in the years ahead.

Fall of Berlin Wall anniversary offers lessons for misguided millennials

Blogger next to Berlin Wall slab at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in 2018

By John Ruberry

Saturday was the thirtieth anniversary of one of the most profound events of the 20th century, the fall of the Berlin Wall. What began as a bureaucratic slip became a people power moment as oppressed East Germans stormed the wall checkpoints and with the help of West Berliners, literally began hacking away on what Winston Churchill called “the wall of shame.”

It was also a wall of failure. The smartest and most gifted people of communist East Germany were more likely to seek freedom and prosperity in the West. The brain drain threatened the stability of East Germany, so after receiving permission from his fellow dictator, the USSR’s Nikita Krushchev, Walter Ulbricht ordered construction of the wall in the summer of 1961.

Just a few days ago Dennis Prager explained on his show that there is a difference between a dictatorship and a totalitarian state. Augosto Pinochet’s Chile was a brutal nation in the 1970s, but if you didn’t like it, you could leave Chile. Not so in the USSR, until its final days, where my wife was born, or in the absurdly-named German Democratic Republic. East Germans who tried to escape to West Berlin would have to conquer not just the wall, but also beds of nails, attack dogs, and barbed wire, as well as avoid sharpshooters in watch towers. The number of people killed attempting to escape in the 28-year existence of the wall is disputed–about 200 is a common estimate.

Of growing up in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, Mrs. Marathon Pundit told me this morning when I was discussing this post, “We were slaves, really.”

Meanwhile, a YouGov poll released last week shows that over one-third of millennials approve of communism, which betrays the failure of our schools and universities that seem much more interested promoting the 56 genders and waving their fingers at guys like me over “white privilege.” Oh, the founders of the communist movement, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were white dudes. As were the earliest communists in power, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Leon Trotsky. All five of them came from middle class or wealthy backgrounds. They had white privilege.

OK, millennials!

The lessons of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the evils of Nazism obviously should never be forgotten. But what is overlooked by schools and society are the murderous regimes of Stalin (20 million killed, maybe more), Mao Zedong (65 million killed, maybe more). and Cambodia’s Pol Pot (1.5 million killed and perhaps more, roughly 20 percent of that nation’s population).

Another 30th anniversary involving a repressive communist regime passed this summer–the Tianammen Square protests in China that ended in the slaughter of pro-democracy activists. For 24 straight weeks there have been pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong. The more things change…

Ulbricht and his successors’ East Germany didn’t have the high death count, but it excelled in mental torture. Its KGB was the Ministry of State Security, commonly known as the Stasi, whose goal was to “know everything about everyone.” Two movies are essential viewing for millennials–actually for everyone–to learn more about East Germany. Both of them are available on Netflix, Karl Marx City, a documentary, and The Lives of Others, an Academy Award winner for Best International Feature Film. Fittingly, The Lives of Others is set in the year 1984.

Apologists for communism regularly point out that the reason these Marxist regimes failed is that the wrong people were in charge and “real communism” has never been tried. It is they who are wrong. People in power, for the most part, have one thing in common. They want even more power.

There are exceptions of course. King George III asked an American what George Washington would do now that he had defeated the British Empire. When told that the general would return to his farm, the king replied, “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.”

Is that lesson being taught in many American schools? I doubt it.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The Flood and the Shield

by baldilocks

A short history on the Edifice of Lies in our midst, built by perverts, mountebanks, bandits and/or their enablers — also known as the Mainstream Media.

For decades, ABC and other media outlets have hidden the truth about the serial abuse of women and young girls by the powerful Clintons, Weinstein, and Epstein.  The cover-up was to protect the Clintons from scrutiny as they sought to elect and re-elect Bill and to put the corrupt Hillary in the White House in 2016.  All these people pretending to be journalists didn’t care about all the women who were physically and mentally abused.

Now, with the “Me Too movement,” we are told they really care, but only some of the time.  How many women and young girls have been abused by powerful men while the media looked the other way — as long as they supported the Clintons and wanted Democrats in power?

The media do not want any investigation into the massive corruption and collusion by the Obama administration and other Democrats in 2016 as they sought to take out Trump and elect the corrupt Hillary.  Instead of media outlets wanting the public to learn the truth, they seek to impeach Trump for investigating the criminal activity.

The media absolutely hide the truth about the massive kickbacks by foreign entities and others to the Clintons and Bidens as they pretend no one is above the law.

The media know that Trump gave aid to Ukraine with nothing in return and Obama/Biden withheld aid and gave a loan to Ukraine only after they demanded and got a prosecutor fired, but they say Biden/Obama did nothing wrong and Trump should be impeached.

There’s more in the op-ed, but as good as it is, it barely scratches the surface. And it should make you wonder how many successful cover-ups there are – the things which we think are true, but are not — waiting to be exposed.

The thing which should give us all pause, however, is the shaping of narratives: how MSM stories are often twisted, mixing truth and lies. This is their most toxic practice.

In 2017, I called this flood of fallaciousness the Kingdom of Lies and posited that it is a parody of the Kingdom of God/Heaven.

There is only one defense against being overwhelmed by the flood of lies. But you have to take up the Shield of Faith willingly if you want to be protected.

It’s very easy and very hard.

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.

Follow Juliette on FacebookTwitterMeWePatreon and Social Quodverum.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar !

Or hit Juliette’s!

Ask a Vet about their story

I will be forever amazed how well our country treats veterans. Anytime I’ve traveled in uniform, it becomes hard to pay for a meal. This is especially true if I’m driving in the middle of the country where there aren’t a lot of military bases. This Veterans Day will doubtlessly be no different, and I’ll get reminded again that this is a country full of great people that care.

Over this past week I had a chance to interact with some of the older veterans from WW2 and Korea. Those veterans are disappearing at an alarming rate, and it won’t be long until they are gone. After that, we’ll eventually have nobody that lived through the Cold War. That time is coming faster than we think.

These veterans have stories that bring these conflicts to life. One WW2 veteran told me about the large number of plane accidents near his hometown. It reminded me that while we increased production of everything from ships to planes, it doesn’t mean it was the greatest quality. We cranked out Liberty ships in less than a month, but more than a few brittle fractured in half due to cold weather and poor welding. Planes and other weapon systems had similar issues. There are a lot of training aircraft on the bottom of Lake Michigan due to equipment failures.

The Liberty ship S.S. Schenectady, which, in 1943, failed before leaving the shipyard. (Reprinted with permission of Earl R. Parker, Brittle Behavior of Engineering Structures, National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1957.) From: https://metallurgyandmaterials.wordpress.com/2015/12/25/liberty-ship-failures/

I would encourage every non-veteran reading this to not just thank a veteran this weekend for their service, but ask them if they have 5 minutes to share a story. Our veterans can become increasingly isolated in their own little groups, and after a while your sea stories get old in the same groups of people. Having even a brief chance to hear about something they did will help bring the conflicts alive. You won’t read these stories in a book. History books capture facts and numbers well, but history is made by real people who are far too complex to capture on paper. This Veterans Day gives us a golden opportunity to remember that and carry on these stories in our minds before they are lost.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Baseball and Game-Playing

Boston Red Sox 2018 World Series Championship ring that I’m sure Peter likes seeing again.

by baldilocks

Yesterday, a goodly portion of the Washington Nationals visited the White House in celebration of their victory in the 2019 World Series and at least two of the players were pummeled on Twitter for openly being fans of President Trump. I’m sure the two players will console themselves with that beautiful ring they get to wear.

In contrast, there were several players who skipped the White House visit. I didn’t notice much talk about them. But, of course it was their choice to make.

It’s a safe bet, however, that the latter received a digital pat on the back from the usual suspects. We know that it’s a safe bet because we have some comparative information

[R]etired Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady turned down Obama’s invitation to come to the White House and were met with strong criticism from media.

Thomas’s decision not to visit the White House in 2012 was widely criticized. U.S. News & World Report writer Susan Milligan headlined a story on the incident that said his decision was not brave, “it was just rude.” ESPN writer Joe McDonald wrote that Thomas chose to put himself above the team through his decision not to attend.

“When the president of the United States invites you and all your teammates to the White House to honor your Stanley Cup championship, you go and represent the team,” McDonald wrote.

Emphasis mine.

Hahahahahahaha!

Of course, we know that this only applies when the president is a Democrat and it double applied in the lone case in which the president was of African descent.

And then there is a whole other category of rules for Orange Man Bad.

If I were a team owner, I’d make it mandatory (in the contract) for all players and coaches to attend a White House gathering in the wake of a championship victory – unless there’s a life or death emergency — regardless of who the president is. That or get fined/traded.

But I guess that’s why I’m just a broke blogger.

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.

Follow Juliette on FacebookTwitterMeWePatreon and Social Quodverum.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar !

Or hit Juliette’s!

Forty years later: the media and the Iran hostage crisis

Forty years ago this week, I traveled to Iran to cover the takeover of the U.S. embassy, an event that embarrassed the United States and the administration of Jimmy Carter.

What isn’t debated on this anniversary is how badly I and the rest of the news media reported what happened.

First, the hostage-takers weren’t “students,” the moniker that still sticks today. A.J. Caschetta, a lecturer at the Rochester Institute of Technology, provides some interesting background.

For example, author Tim Wells interviewed most of the hostages for his oral history, 444 Days: The Hostages Remember (1985). Few called their captors “students,” using various terms: Iraniansradicalsmilitantsterroristsgoonsguardsknuckleheads, turkeys, and assholes.

One of the key leaders of the hostage-takers was Hossein Sheikholeslam, who convened press conferences for the legions of international journalists that flocked to Tehran. But he hadn’t been a student since the early 1970s when he attended the University of California at Berkeley. His proficiency in English also made him suitable to interrogate the hostages. Sheikholeslam “may have been trained in interrogation techniques,” wrote William Daugherty, one of only four CIA officers stationed at the embassy on November 4.

Another ringleader, Mohammad Hashemi, wasn’t a student. He spent his time with friends forming a group called “Muslim Students Following the Imam’s Line,” which gave orders to those who showed up to protest outside the U.S. embassy. They wore laminated photos of Khomeini around their necks and pinned to their jackets.

The hostage-takers “strictly allied with Khomeini and the new mullah establishment,” according to Mark Bowden in Guests of the Ayatollah (2006). As Bowden puts it, they “were all committed to a formal Islamic state and were allied, some of them by family, with the clerical power structure around Khomeini.”

Second, the news media didn’t understand how big the story would become. The foreign editor of Newsweek, where I worked, told me the takeover wouldn’t last more than a day or so. It went on for 444 days!

Newsweek didn’t put the story on the cover until three weeks after the takeover occurred and then only as a part of an overall analysis of the burning of the U.S. embassy in Libya, the Russian influence in the Afghanistan government, and Islamists taking over Mecca.

The U.S. television networks were so unprepared that only one ABC News radio reporter had a valid visa to get into Iran. As a result, ABC had exclusive coverage for several days, laying the groundwork for “America Held Hostage” and then Nightline.

Third, many journalists thought the religious government of Iran had to be better than the Shah. How wrong we were!

I will now say an act of contrition. I hope other reporters do the same. 

Joe Walsh absolutely should not be taken seriously as a presidential candidate

By John Ruberry

While Da Tech Guy was technical hiatus, former Illinois Republican congressman Joe Walsh announced his presidential run, which is why I’m only now weighing in.

I’ve had mixed feelings over the years on Walsh, who was part of the GOP Tea Party wave in 2010 but was essentially gerrymandered out of office by Illinois Democratic Party boss Michael Madigan. His triumph, without any Illinois Republican Party financial support over Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean was a shocker, many people viewed his chances of winning as dismal because of a then-ongoing child support dispute with his ex-wife and a lawsuit, since settled, from his onetime campaign manager over fees he said were owed to him.

The only positive thing I heard during that 2010 race about Walsh was from my wife. She was thoroughly impressed by a speech he gave at a Tea Party event where I live, Morton Grove, Illinois. She predicted, “He’s going to win.”

Always listen to your spouse.

During his single term in Congress, for the most part I supported Walsh. I met him at a different Tea Party event and I was impressed that he was familiar with my blog, Marathon Pundit, and what I wrote about him. Still, I always thought he was a bit nutty. But that goes for many politicians of course.

Walsh seemingly found his place in 2013 after when Chicago conservative talk radio station WIND-AM hired him for its coveted afternoon drive-time slot. Early on his show was enjoyable and informative–regularly trashing President Obama on just about everything, including the economy. Salem Radio Network picked up his show for national distribution in 2017, while he was a third-tier talker, his future was still bright.

Then something snapped within Joe. If you are familiar with the 1970s movie, Network, like the mentally unbalanced TV anchorman Howard Beale, Walsh changed. Beale went from decrying big government and big business every night to preaching that the latter wasn’t really bad after all. Then Beale’s ratings dropped. As for Walsh, who was never completely on the Trump Train, earlier this year he began to sprinkle his program with bits of criticism of Trump–which quickly became a flood. I tuned out and so did many of my friends. How many others bailed? I dunno. WIND-AM stopped subscribing to Nielsen in 2016. I listen to other radio shows besides right-wing talkers, it’s a good idea to see what the other side is up to. But like Beale’s later performances, I felt I was being preached at by Walsh, not spoken to. Not fun. So on my way home from work I’d connect my iPod and listen to Mark Levin’s podcasts instead.

Since his announcement, Walsh has been struggling to get noticed, just as the other Republican challengers again Trump have. Those other candidates are another nut-job, former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, and former Massachusetts governor William Weld, the vice presidential candidate in 2016 on the Libertarian ticket.

Presumably because last week President Trump made his first appearance in Chicago since his election–not surprisingly he trashed the city–Fox 32 Chicago’s Mike Flannery interviewed him this weekend on his Flannery Fired Up program. Playing devil’s advocate, Flannery mentioned the “booming economy” and Friday’s strong jobs report, Walsh countered on the economy, “It was booming under Obama.” Which one is true, Joe? What you said this weekend about Obama, or your unilateral condemnations of Obama as president, including of course on the economy?

No one should take Walsh seriously as a presidential candidate.

And then there is this Tweet.

And then this one:

But we will still be hearing from Walsh every now and then; the mainstream media, which mocked him for years, fell in love with Walsh after he announced his campaign against Trump, I mean that he is running for president. With the anti-Trump media it’s all about hating the president.

Oh, I did say Walsh was “a bit nutty,” right?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Milo Counts

by baldilocks

The notorious Milo Yiannopoulos reviews Joker. I didn’t have plans to see the movie, and I’m still not sure if I will, but this excellently written piece definitely pushes me into the ‘probably’ category.

I have read a few dozen reviews of Joker by now. Not a single one is written as intelligently as the movie is, which is the opposite of how film coverage normally goes. At most publications, reviewing Joker has been farmed out to the junior women on staff. Perhaps the men are too overawed and incapacitated by it, like the rest of us, to dissemble.

More likely, their editors are up to something. I’ve been watching verified imbeciles sperg out about it for weeks. It hasn’t been an ordinary kind of sperg-out. When they hate something, but are not afraid of it, they go to war: You see op-eds, tweet storms, endless invective. But when our social justice overlords are truly, madly, uncontrollably terrified by something, they pretend to be bored by it. They affect indifference. Except, they do it in perfect unison—which is how you can tell it’s a lie.

Like masculinity itself, Joker is equal parts beautiful and terrifying. It is a warning about the consequences of a godless world of runaway capitalism and easy mood fixes. It is a movie about a society that has become corrupt and degenerate and turned in on itself, saturated with sex, pornography and prescription drugs. Young men have become completely dissociated from their own lives, and from any sense of worth. It is a society that many of us would recognize.

(…)

Symbologists will tell you that clowns point to the sacred, as fools and jesters point to the truth—obliquely, but with great force. Arthur Fleck is what happens when the disaffected male fails to find that higher calling and instead wallows in the destructive power of manhood, wrenching apart institutions and power structures for the sheer hell of it. But this is the future our rulers chose, by elevating the destructive forces of gender and race studies at the expense of beauty and truth. Joker is set at the exact time in history that these parasitic disciplines were taking over the academy and the sexual degeneracy of Foucault become normative for educated elites.

Read the whole thing.

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.

Follow Juliette on FacebookTwitterMeWePatreon and Social Quodverum.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar !

Or hit Juliette’s!