by baldilocks

Remember that old warning that came from your parents if you said a bad word?

“If you say that again, I’ll wash your mouth out with soap.” Of course, my various parental units never had occasion to give me that warning because I was Miss Goodie Two Shoes, baby. Now might be a different story.

Anyway, some kids are preemptively putting soap in their mouths and swallowing it; not because they feel guilty for using four-letter words; not because they feel dirty inside.

But, just because.

Spring cleaning may be several months away, but laundry detergent is making big headlines this week as a dangerous stunt called the “Tide Pod Challenge” is going viral on YouTube and other social media platforms.

The challenge is for participants –- primarily teens and young adults, in the videos making the rounds –- to put the pods into their mouths, sometimes even chew them, and then post videos of what happens. Some of these individuals experience foaming at the mouth and severe coughing spells after consuming a pod.

It’s more than just a strange behavior, it’s potentially deadly. Here are some facts about the craze to help

friends and family protect teens from the hazardous experiment.

What are Tide pods?

Tide pods, the brand’s version of the popular laundry detergent pods, are small packets of detergent designed to dissolve while washing clothes. Each pod contains pre-measured, concentrated detergent levels.

The outside wrapping of a tide pod is made of polyvinylalcohol (PVA), a water soluble plastic compound. For the same reason that this packet dissolves in the machine washing laundry [sic], it can also dissolve in a person’s mouth — leading to the immediate release and absorption of the contents.

Even if the stuff couldn’t kill you, who would want to put soap in their mouths? The whole reason that the old-school fake threat was so useful was that soap tastes horrible.

But, as a friend pointed out, we old people did crazy things when we were kids. My “crazy” usually involved biking/rolling skating down a steep incline. Helmets and knee-pads never crossed our minds or those of our parents.

In short, old-school crazy usually involved fun.

But I guess You Tube fame is the new fun.

May they all remove themselves from my lawn with prejudice. As a matter of fact, I don’t even want them on my street. That much stupidity is probably more contagious than this year’s flu.

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

Tom Mboya

When the students of the Mboya Airlift were hand-picked to come to America, it was for a specific purpose: to educate demonstrably gifted Kenyan and Tanzanian students in the Western tradition and to send them home to be the leaders and information venders of their countries—preparation for independence from the European colonial powers. One of these students was my biological father, journalist Philip Ochieng.

That was in the late fifties to early sixties and most of the students did return home. The Airlift was a privately funded endeavor by the likes of the Ford Foundation, the Kennedy Foundation, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harry Belafonte. I’m sure that there have been other experiments like it.

The recent tempest regarding President Trump’s alleged description of Haiti and African countries as s**tholes got me thinking again about this vehicle for my presence on earth and the concept of it. I believe it was an attempt to create an elite in the two countries – a rulership. If the intent was to lift these countries up close to the economic and social level of the freer Western nations, I’d say that it failed. But I doubt that this was the intent of the two foundations involved — though Mr. Belafonte, Mr. Robinson, and Dr. King, undoubtedly had nothing but the best of intentions.

A nation cannot be transformed through its leaders alone. But it can be manipulated by indoctrinating leaders and planting them.

In 1965, the US Congress passed a new immigration law and LBJ signed it. Suddenly, there was a flood of immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean and other non-European nations. Here came the Third World’s go-getters and risk-takers: the rest of the gifted students. And they’re still coming.

Meanwhile, back home, their friends and relatives remained mostly resigned to the old ways: kleptocracies, tribal wars, criminal cartels, monstrous pollution, deadly disease, etc.

I’ve seen a lot of outrage about the remarks from Haiti immigrants and immigrants from African countries. Some African leaders are calling for President Trump to apologize. Typical floor-showing.

But I’ve seen only one immigrant — a Nigerian — talk about going back home and making a difference there. Good luck, bro.

Most of the immigrants from the Third World thrive here and do not return to their countries of origin because it’s a lot easier and more profitable to stay here, have their children born as Americans, and raise them in relative safety and prosperity. And who can blame them? I certainly don’t.

But let’s stop pretending that they left some idyllic Trump-less places of beauty and peace. They left places that were dirty, stinky, dangerous and which have leaders who are blatantly corrupt.

A.K.A. …

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!

Every year, more than a few people make the New Year’s resolution to lose weight. Gyms get crowded, diets get started…and then by about now, people start falling away. Work comes back in force, kid’s activities start again, and life gets busy…and resolutions get discarded.

Maybe you just quit, or maybe you’re thinking of quitting. A few years ago, I was in your shoes. I weighed 225 pounds, and the Navy was taping me (measuring my waist and neck) to see if I was within body fat standards. I was always near the line, only a percentage point away from failing. Now I am 185 pounds, well within Navy regulations. On top of feeling better, my blood pressure and cholesterol is at very healthy levels.

So if you’re still up for losing weight, here’s what I recommend:

Continue reading “Keep that new year resolution”

by baldilocks

From the Associated Press:

Seeking a bipartisan compromise to avoid a government shutdown, President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that an immigration deal could be reached in two phases — first by addressing young immigrants and border security with what he called a “bill of love,” then by making comprehensive changes that have long eluded Congress.

Trump presided over a lengthy meeting with Republican and Democratic lawmakers seeking a solution for hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the U.S. as children and living here illegally. Trump last year ended the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shielded more than 700,000 people from deportation and gave them the right to work legally. He gave Congress until March to find a fix.

Back in 2007, when George W. Bush, along with congressional Republicans and Democrats alike were pushing a bill called Comprehensive Immigration Reform, I wrote this, reproduced below. I sometimes like to engage in what Thomas Sowell calls Thinking Beyond Stage One.

Read the rest of the AP link before you read this post. My musings are only tangential to the border wall topic and not related to the actions of President Trump and/or the lawmakers on DACA. Continue reading “Border Wall Mind Games”

Cite.

by baldilocks

A few people are still talking about slave markets of Libya. (Allow me to say something nice about CNN.) Some seem to think they just sprang up only since the ouster of Gaddafi, but they’ve been around for a long time and black Africans are the primary product. Again. And the African migration to Europe — along with Libya’s anarchy — has made the trade much more lucrative.

We all know that Arab Muslims have been buying and selling black Africans for centuries, right? Scratch that. I know that some of us don’t or won’t acknowledge this.

It reminded me of something I wrote in 2003. A slightly edited excerpt:

I know many black people who are Muslim converts. The standard rationale goes along these lines: they want to shake off the “chains” of the American slave master, starting with the name(s) and the religion. Thus, a black Christian man named Joseph Green becomes a black Muslim man named Malik Muhammad, eschews pork, makes his wife, Anita, become Ayesha; makes her cover herself from head to toe, begins to pray five times a day, etc. Hallelujah! (Oh wait. Malik can’t say that anymore.) The chains of the (long-dead) slave master are broken!

But because Joseph/Malik hasn’t opened a book and done his homework, he doesn’t know that Arab Muslims were/are the biggest slavers of black Africans in history, bar none. Because Joseph/Malik doesn’t pay attention to what is going on around him in the world, he doesn’t know that Muslims are still brutally enslaving black Sudanese Christians and animists.

And even if Joseph/Malik does know these things, he doesn’t care. All he cares about is shaking off the trappings of the hated white man, never considering that the white men who enslaved his forebears are long dead (as are Joseph/Malik’s forebears). Deep down in Joseph/Malik’s psyche, he thinks that he is taking revenge for his forefathers; he thinks that his repudiation of all things Judeo-Christian is a way of getting back at the slave masters and their progeny.

So when Muslims rape, pillage and torture the black Sudanese, when Muslims blow up and dismember black Kenyans and Tanzanians in Nairobi, Mombasa and Dar-es-Salaam, when Muslims gun down respectable black (and white and other) Americans in Maryland and Virginia, Joseph/Malik ignores it or refuses to see it.

Joseph/Malik must ignore the fact that he has wrested himself from the hands of dead slave masters and put himself into the hands of living, breathing ones.

In other words, Joseph/Malik is a fool.

The Arabic word for slave is ab (abid). It’s also the word for Negro.

Human vengeance leads to error and building one’s life around error leads to enslavement. I would almost say that one is fortunate if that bondage is “only” physical, because mental and spiritual chains are much more difficult to break.

(Thanks to Robert Townsend)

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!

“Nobody gets removed for adultery! You’re charges won’t stand.”

These words were spoken by a (now former) Sailor when I officially delivered charges. He had been trouble since almost his first day showing up at the command. Besides going through a messy divorce for his shotgun wedding, having a kid and then not paying child support, causing my first safety stand down in years when he shorted out an UPS battery…all these and more, this guy was just problems. After numerous verbal and written counselings, being put on report just wasn’t getting the message across, so I administratively separated him on three different charges, one of which was a self-admitted adultery.

Or in his case, a quick separation…

If you ask most military members, they’ll tell you the same thing he did: that nobody gets removed for adultery. And they are wrong, if only because I removed a Sailor for it. Adultery is still illegal in the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

But that statement speaks to something else…that somehow, because we disagree with a law, and because it’s socially acceptable to partake in such actions, that somehow that justifies doing those things, and thus we shouldn’t enforce that rule.

Continue reading “Laws don’t work that way”

by baldilocks

[Uhura walks away and Bones walks up to Spock]

McCoy: You guys break up? What’d you do?

Spock: A typically reductive inquiry, Doctor.

 McCoy: You know, Spock, if an Earth girl says, uh, “it’s me, not you,” it’s definitely you.

— Star Trek: Beyond

I know you fellas hate the Friend Zone, but most guys I’ve relegated to that purgatorial habitation got there through their own misbehavior. They got demoted and if they wanted to remain in my life, they got friend-zoned. Their problem, not mine.

One guy, however, got Friend-Zoned immediately. He was nice, not bad-looking, polite, gainfully employed. But he did this one thing that drove me nuts. He would not respond pertinently to anything I said that was meaningful to me nor about topics where our opinions differed. It felt like he was sifting out the parts of me that were objectionable to him and only allowing himself to see those things which were agreeable to him.

But he was a gentleman. I don’t think we even held hands.

Simply put, I need to be listened to and I think most people – men and women – need this. Within limits. Limits.

I was reminded of this poor fellow when I read this: Feminist First Dates.

If you happen to find yourself on a first date with an intersectional feminist, expect to be taxed with such questions as:

Do you believe that Black Lives Matter? [Correct answer: Yes.]

How do you work to dismantle sexism and misogyny in your life? [You’d better have some specific examples on hand.]

What are your thoughts on sex work? [Ponder the contention that “being pro–sex worker [i.e., prostitute] is a necessary pillar of dismantling the patriarchy.”]

Do you think capitalism is exploitative? [There is obviously only one answer to this.]

And so on. For our money, however, the more pressing question any serious “intersectional feminist” embarking on this inquisitorial program should ask is, “Will I ever have a second date?

Whew boy. And people say I’m hard to get along with. I wouldn’t even Friend-Zone a guy who asked me this crap. Restraining Order Zone, maybe.

I know what most guys would do under such conditions. Running away as fast you can is an acceptable solution.

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

My old boss, Roger L. Simon, delves into the first issue that came to my mind when I read that the Iranian people were protesting against the mullahs: the last time it happened. That was in 2009.

Back in those pre-9/11 days when I identified as a liberal, the one thing I was sure drew all my then cohort together was opposition to fascism, whether secular or religious.

Boy, was I wrong and never was that more clear than in 2009 when the Green Movement demonstrators were marching through the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities, demanding freedom from the mullahs. The whole world was watching, as we used to say in the sixties, only their cause was purer than ours was then. The horrifying theocrats who ran the “Islamic Republic” regularly raped women in prison before they killed them, hanged homosexuals in the streets and tortured just about everyone else who didn’t comply with the edicts of their Islamo-fascist regime.

The students and others marching in the streets to overthrow these tyrants desperately wanted America’s help, specifically the support of our “oh-so-liberal-progressive” president. they shouted, “Obama, Obama, are you with us or are you with them?”

Obama was silent.

I can’t think of a moment I was more disgusted by the acts (inaction actually) of an American president. What did he stand for? What did we stand for?

Well, who knows? What we do know is he wanted to deal with Iran his way — whether to get the glory for himself or for other even less attractive reasons we will never know. He was secretly communicating with Ahmadinejad and Khamenei even before he took office, hinting at accommodation.

“Without preconditions,” as I recall from Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign website. His way, indeed.

Well, we all know about the former president’s Iran Deal. But what of the latest revelation of the previous administration allowing Hezbollah drug cartels free rein to move snowy mountains into the United States?

Iran, Iran, Iran. Senator Obama, then afterward, President Obama, seem intent on pleasing and appeasing the mullahcracy of that nation at any costs — like a courtship.

It’s almost as if they have some hidden hold over him. Or maybe I’m just a racist.

UPDATE: More evidence of … something … from the Times of Israel. Wow.

US intelligence agencies have given Israel the green light to assassinate the senior Iranian responsible for coordinating military activity on behalf of the Islamic Republic in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida.

For the past 20 years or so, Qassem Soleimani has commanded the Quds Force — the branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards responsible for military and clandestine operations outside of the Islamic Republic.  (…)

Three years ago, Israel came close to assassinating Soleimani near Damascus, al-Jarida quoted unnamed source as saying, but the Americans [meaning President Obama] tipped off the Iranians against the background of intense disagreement between Washington and Jerusalem.

(Thanks to Instapundit)

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!

There’s a lot going on for the Navy right now. We’re promised a substantial increase in ships, we’ve got a new strategy that calls out our near-peer adversaries, and we’re finally taking a hard look at how badly we run people into the ground.

But if you hit up Google News for some Navy news, you get a story criticizing the Secretary of the Navy for wearing a gun.

Continue reading “Can we get back to killing bad guys?”

by baldilocks

At the New York Post, Jay Cost talks about why he’s considering giving up watching the NFL; mostly about officiating and “freak” injuries.

It’s not that much of an interesting read, but it made me think about the time that I almost became one of those women.

12-year- old me to my dad: “I hate football.”

Dad: “How can you hate something you know nothing about?”

Long before I met the man who became my dad when he married my mom, Dad was a tall — 6’4″ — lanky  teenager who played football and basketball in high school and in college. He says he was better at basketball, but that he enjoyed playing football more.

Later, like almost everyone else’s dad, he’d be in front of the TV on Sundays. This was before he became a Christian and, after that, a pastor.

By the time Dad asked me that fateful question, I was beginning to parrot what I’d heard adult females say, even though I don’t remember if Mom ever gave her opinion on the game. I do know that she wasn’t watching it.

My parents had spotty success with getting me to do what they wanted using threats or shame, but they could almost always manipulate me with logic. So, when Dad asked me The Question, I was forced to conclude that he was right: that I could not come to a valid conclusion about the quality of football because I didn’t know jack about it.

To remedy this, Dad suggested that I join him in front of the TV each Sunday for one season, while he explained the goal, strategies, rules, tactics, etc. of the game, and then, afterward, make an informed opinion about the game.

By the end of that season and for many years afterward, I was a big fan of football and the NFL. Then something happened; something long before Colin Kaepernick first knelt during a rendering of the National Anthem.

I got tired of football players and their off-the-field antics. I think Rae Carruth was the death knell – in more ways than one. Kaepernick was the cremation.

Something that has always been an aversion to me is ingratitude for the blessings which God bestows, whatever the nature of that blessing: intellect, physical gifts, earthly opportunities, etc. I’ve only been able to articulate this aversion in recent years, but it has always been there as nebulous, un-evaluated disgust. And, as the character quality of NFL players seemed to descend, my interest in being entertained by them varied directly. (The same thing happened with the NBA; I stopped watching them even earlier.)

The future LA Stadium in the Rams’ and Chargers’ dreams

But now that I’ve evaluated that disgust, I do wonder how long the NFL will last, considering that I’m far from alone

in turning my back on the NFL, if all the empty stadiums and the losses incurred by ESPN, etc. are indications. Here in LA, we have two football teams that can barely sell its dirt-cheap tickets.

Back to Dad. As I said, he long ago readjusted his Sunday priorities – and so did I. It’s for the best.

One wonders what an NFL-less America would look like.

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!