by baldilocks

I’m a prideful person. Because I recognize the insidious way that I’ve allowed pride to wreak havoc in my life, I talk about the effects of pride at lot.

It’s almost like the dry drunk who preaches against the evils of Demon Rum. I say almost because it’s easier for a recovering alcoholic to keep away from the booze than it is for pride junkies to keep pride out of our lives.

For everyone, pride is always lurking about, trying to disguise itself as something good and moral in order to have its way in a person’s life. Some people are more prone to it than others, as is so for every other sin/character flaw.

I noticed it flare up in me today—again. I try not to be arrogant about my intellectual abilities because I haven’t done that much with them and because they are gifts—talents—from God anyway. And what He gives, he can take away.

Cause of the flare up: people will treat me like I’m stupid, ignorant, and/or ill-informed until shown otherwise—and sometimes even afterward. I’d say that this has happened to me about twice a month since I first noticed it during my high school trigonometry class, where the teacher treating darker-skinned blacks as if we had just climbed down out of the trees. (Math has always been my favorite academic subject.)

Most of the time I ignore the “condescension.” (I hate that word.) But, occasionally, I’ll use it to make the person sorry that they underestimated me.

That last option is evidence of my pride.

It’s one of the beasts I wrestle down every day and, conversely, I try not to make others feel small either—especially when that stuff can come back and bite one on the butt.

Hill’s service is less useful that this.

Do you think that’s what will happen to CNN’s Marc Lamont Hill? I’ve been trying really hard not to wish it on him.

Lamont Hill said while he has “respect” for Harvey, he’s part of the “mediocre negroes being dragged in front of TV as a photo-op for Donald Trump’s exploitive campaign against black people.”

And about that phrasing—it’s an indicator of the same old thing I’ve been talking about for years: the patronage/serf mindset. Hill wants all observers to know that he is a better serf to his patron that the other serfs are to their patron—Hill is proud of his serfdom and of his service.

But the only way which he can think of to telegraph this notion is to demean the other serfs.

It’s just so much neuroses and lack of self-awareness. And it keeps happening over and over again with these leftish sorts.

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 on February 1, 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

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!

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by baldilocks

Don’t get it twisted; not a Godwin’s Law violation

Countless times, I’ve seen the assertion that Republicans don’t “care about” black people, starting well before Kanye West’s infamous opinion about George W. Bush in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It’s a notion that sits on very many questionable foundations. I’m not talking about the assertion that Republicans don’t care about black people, but the notion that they should, as if the caring is a good thing.

Conversely, it’s often expressly stated that Democrats do “care about” black people. But aside from what that care entails, why should any government entity care about me? I smell paternalism.

Now, unlike the Social Justice Warriors, I have nothing again paternalism in its proper context: God the Father, individual fatherhood, grandfathers, pastors, etc. Government and political parties, however, placed into that framework tend to ring all my tyranny bells. I mean, it isn’t as if government or leaders of government haven’t sought to insert themselves into the categories that I listed above, once or dozens of times.

In fact, in this country, government has indeed put itself in the place of individual fathers. And the generational results of this “care” have been catastrophic for black citizens, and, increasingly, for all Americans.

So, when a Democrat tells me that Republicans don’t “care,” about me, I feel a sense of relief which most of them can’t imagine. I don’t want Republicans—or Democrats—to care about me. I want them to do the jobs listed in the Constitution and I want them to stay out of the way as I try to care for myself.

But, as I’ve said before, the notion of government and political party as succor—as parent—is almost too ingrained into the psyches of all Americans and especially, black ones. The idea is so well indoctrinated into black American minds that anyone white who repudiates this notion is considered a racist and any black person, a race traitor.

We are interfering with the gravy train.

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 on February 1, 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

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!

baldilocks

The 21st century isn’t turning out so well for millenials.  They are making less than their parents did at their age.  Home ownership, one of the key markers of financial success, is down for their age group.  And, apparently, in general they are unhappier and more narcissistic.  It’s declined to the point you can now see how poorly you compare to other countries (although I can’t vouch for the data).

But hey, we got that going for us!

Why is this?  Most blame the recession.  But plenty of millenials have done well, despite a recession.

Me when I realized this while writing this article

My current job gives me some insight.  I work with junior Sailors on a daily basis, most in their early twenties.  As their commander, I get to interview them and get a peek into their lives.  I also keep copious notes, and as an engineer, I look for trends.

I see one big, ugly trend: most Millenials come from broken homes. 

Almost 85% of my Sailors come from divorced parents.  These are people from across America, from every state in the union.  I was astounded by this.  In many cases, at least one parent (mom or dad) is completely out of the picture.

These broken homes don’t produce broken people.  My Sailors are hard working Americans, and they arrive with a very deep love of their country and wanting to do right.  In many cases though, their broken home hinders them.

How I feel sometimes

I take for granted that my parents cared about my education and well being.  While they didn’t pay for college (thank you Uncle Sam!), they did set me up pretty well, and helped me cover emergencies until I got on my feet.  My parents taught me about debt and savings.  I didn’t have a credit card until I was in college, and even then, I paid it off every month (and still do!).

Many of my Sailors don’t have this.  Too often they go to boot camp with very little in their pocket.  Many arrive with little to no furniture.  Plenty come in with credit card debt.  Luckily, we have free classes on financial management, and most turn themselves around.  For the average person though, these free classes don’t exist.

Broken homes break down other assumptions.  Driver’s license?  How to dress for an interview?  How to speak without using obscenities?  How to shake hands properly?  Speaking in public?  These basic skills can’t be assumed anymore.  Anyone who has worked with millenials would agree.

Although I enjoy watching my Sailors grow and develop these skills, I worry that in other parts of society, these skills are not being developed.  Yes, we should continue to work on our economy, but perhaps we’ve forgotten what a big influence good family life is on success.


Obviously I’m in the Navy.  In case it’s not obvious, this post only represents my views.  It doesn’t represent the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.  But you’re smart, so you already knew that…

If you enjoyed this, check out my blog, and drop Da Tech Guy some money!

President Clinton coming aboard the USS INDEPENDENCE in April 1996.

A larger version of the picture above sits on the wall inside the intelligence portion of US Pacific Fleet’s headquarters in Hawaii.  One of my side tasks when I worked there was to find historical pictures to decorate our walls.  This picture drew a lot of heads, as most service members weren’t fond of Clinton’s time as President.

The picture reminds us of an important time in history.  China had already caused plenty of problems with Taiwan, and in 1995 they started the Third Taiwan Straits Crisis.  In response, President Clinton put two Carrier Battle Groups near the straits.  This caused a lot of shame to the Chinese, because their Navy was unable to do anything about it.

There was a marked shift after that moment.  Chinese military focus was almost solely on the Army, with the Navy as a mere sideshow.  This changed.  China began focusing on building a blue water Navy after 1996.  It’s taken them 20 years, and they certainly aren’t done, but now the People’s Liberation Army (Navy) has modern destroyers and submarines, and their navy now exceeds the size of all of our allies.

This week, China moved its only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, through the Taiwan Straits.  The carrier itself represents little threat to Taiwan, much less than the thousands of land-based missiles sitting on the other side of the straits.  But that’s not the point.  China is doing to us EXACTLY what we did to her in 1996.  The Liaoning transit was likely timed to minimize the chance of a United States response and maximize messaging to their people and President-elect Trump:

Whether it acknowledges it or not, the US is declining-otherwise Trump would not need to declare he wants to “make America great again”. And, like it or not, China is still rising, although its economy has slowed. The first Chinese aircraft carrier has become operational and a second one is in the works. 

Trump’s Presidency is going to be interesting indeed.


This post represents the views of the author and does not represent views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.


Check out NG36Bs blog here, and be sure to donate to Da Tip Jar!

by baldilocks

Click the links at the risk of your own emotional equilibrium.

In Saturday’s post, I said this:

[W]hat does Satan want ultimately? Answer: the death of humanity, but not just death. He wants our debasement, since he is envious of God’s love for us. Therefore, he will turn as many of us as he can into monsters. He does this on many levels: individual, familial, national, and ethnic; and he does it over time.

Lately, we’ve seen reports of mayhem in which people do unthinkable things to their children and to the children of other people. These ideas don’t just pop up in the minds of the perpetrators; a foundation is laid in the spirits of such people and a “house” is built on top of that foundation. From what I’ve read about it, these people were usually victims of severe child abuse themselves, but where did/do these things start? Who was the first to “decide” that the abuse of others—especially of children—was not or just okay, but pleasurable?

People decide all the time that they don’t believe in and/or need God, but I think that it takes more than that decision to lay the basis for evil in one’s soul. The Bible calls it “hardening of the heart”—an active turning to the other side. It seems that is usually involving occult practices and/or drugs.

If you looking into many of these cases, often the perpetrator is taking some psychotropic illegal substance—like heroin or meth. (The latest drug fad is synthetic marijuana.) And I bet if one looks far enough back into such a person’s lineage, one will find that a progenitor dabbled in the occult.

With God, all things are possible, but without Him anything is, including all the evil things we see in the news of late. Spiritual doors are being opened, entryways better left shut.

RELATED: Musings on Evil, Part One

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 on February 1, 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

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!

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by baldilocks

Two recent public atrocities have been on the minds of many observers this week: the Chicago torture of a disabled man–which the perpetrators streamed on Facebook and the latest jihad shooting at Ft. Lauderdale Airport during which five people were murdered. And tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the Christian-Newsom rape-torture-murder.

My purpose here isn’t to recount any of these crimes or to talking about the looming racial and/or religious warfare. It is to point out how mundane and commonplace these things seem to be. But, the reality is that none of these types of disgusting things are new.

The world over, perverse murders and mayhem are carried out almost unchecked and this has been so for millennia. And lest you think I’m talking about the Third World, you might want to review your pre-1945 European history. Everywhere in existence, there are people who will rape, disfigure, murder, etc. without the slightest twinge of conscience.

The difference here in the USA is that monsters think twice before they attack. It may seem as if there is a greater amount of American violent crime these days, but that’s only because we have direct access to the crime reports within seconds.

Here’s the thing about those who will still commit their acts despite the likelihood of legal consequences: they don’t care about the consequences; I doubt if they even think far enough into the future to care; such people are all appetite and always hungry. And I’d even venture that such people are proud of themselves—like the Facebook torturers.

It is a spiritual matter and, because of that, you cannot reason with these types.

Consider this: what does Satan want ultimately? Answer: the death of humanity, but not just death. He wants our debasement, since he is envious of God’s love for us. Therefore, he will turn as many of us as he can into monsters. He does this on many levels: individual, familial, national, and ethnic; and he does it over time.

Monsters don’t just spring up out of nowhere. They are made.

(To be continued…)

UPDATE: Musings on Evil, Part Two

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 on February 1, 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

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!

baldilocks


My wife is frustrated.

Over Christmas break, I watched her constantly working. Despite the holidays, she would get up at 5:30 in the morning and was working constantly until 8 pm. At that point, she collapsed onto the couch next to me, maybe making it through an episode of “The Man in the High Castle,” and then going up to bed right after.

After a few days of this, I saw an opportunity for us to just sit together and enjoy each other’s company. Her response was “I need to dust upstairs.” Now, I’m sure there are some dust bunnies hiding in the crevices, but overall our house is fairly clean, and certainly dusting wasn’t on the priority list. So I asked her to nix that. She looked stressed, which I didn’t get. I mean, I just STOPPED her from doing work so we could relax together. How is that not…relaxing?

My wife’s reply was telling. “If I’m not working, I feel lazy. But if I work all day, I’m exhausted and tired.”

A catch-22 if I ever saw one, exacerbated, I think, by social media.


Social media has done great things to connect people. One big problem is that it is only a snapshot in time. For every cute baby picture there are a thousand moments of baby’s crying, screaming, puking and otherwise doing things you DON’T post on Facebook.

Every parent of multiple children knows this. Every new parent that grew up with social media does not. We mistakenly view our friends social media as the truth and compare ourselves to this ideal constantly, despite knowing that not everything on the internet is true. It isn’t helping us one bit.

The other brutal truth is that work is not the same as having purpose. We continue to tell ourselves that if we just made enough money, or had a nicer house, or did a bit more to discipline our kids, or whatever, then we would be happy. And yet, we can spend our entire lives working hard and never get any happier, even if our income rises.

So we get stuck in a nasty loop. We’re told that our success is measured by having the perfect kids, perfect house, perfect job, etc. And yet, none of us do, and what’s worse, we see others that we think “have it all.” So we work harder, driving ourselves further into the negative reinforcement loop. Are we surprised that Facebook makes us sad?

This isn’t new, in fact, it’s as old as the Bible:

As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary [who] sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”

The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” – LUKE 10: 38-42

We can get purpose out of work, but that requires placing work as an offering to God, as a way to find meaning. We short circuit this when we use work to elevate ourselves over others. We get into a comparison war, even if it’s only in our heads, and we always wind up as the loser.

Martha vocalized her comparison war. Jesus reminded Martha that work is no substitute for purpose. We all likely need this reminder more often than not.

by baldilocks

Red Pill–sort of

Since making a public New Year’s Resolution to minimize my time on Facebook and Twitter in order to finish my second novel, Arlen’s Harem, by February 1st, I’ve had minimize my time online in general.

The result is that I don’t really know what’s going on in the news right now, and it feels kind of good–I’m old enough to recall when the news cycle was a couple of weeks, rather than a couple of minutes.

Generally, I take two days off per week from the Internet Race-to-Comment, anyway, and when I come back, I have to spend an hour or two getting back in the loop. Three days of separation from the news-cycle fix nearly puts a news junkie in Low Information Voter (LIV) territory. But now, I don’t wonder why LIVs often seem calmer and happier: they don’t know that the sky is falling and, sometimes, it better not to know. Ignorance, bliss, you know.

The commentary race often gets bloggers in trouble anyway—if one is the slightest bit concerned about accuracy and about being original. That last concern is why I don’t comment on some topics and events—I have nothing new to say about them.

Staying away from shorter communications also has a positive effect on my ability to build a narrative. When I composed the bulk of Tale of the Tigers, I spent much of my non-typing work on it spinning yarns in my mind and connecting them to other parts of the novel. A handy, pre-smartphone tool was an mp3 player in which I could speak my story ideas without writing them down or having to remember them. (I made the grievous mistake of thinking through a story without out writing it down or recording it once…and only once.)

I’ve been semi-newsfree since about the 31st. Obviously, I’m going to have to watch the news a bit in order to post here and at my own blog. But, it feels good to know that I can still spit out 300 or 30K words without being fed by the Matrix.

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 on February 1, 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

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!

baldilocks

by baldilocks

 

Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? And it should. Many famous people have died this year, some from old age, some from long-term conditions , some from freak accidents, and of course drug overdoses. Most heart-wrenching and thought-provoking were the deaths of mother-and-daughter superstars, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, within 24 hours of each other. But there were some non-famous deaths as well this year, including the mother of my Kenyan siblings, Jeniffer Dawa Ochieng (spelling correct).

The Truth is that most famous persons are famous for a reason. They accomplished something, if only to make a bunch of people laugh, cry, or tap their feet, making them a lot more useful than many. And many of the non-famous, like Jeniffer Ochieng, accomplished even greater things— being a loving wife, mother and grandmother, for example.

Another truth is that we all have to leave this existence; we all have to die. But what do we do in the interim? Live the best lives we can and count our blessing. For example, a friend who works for an airline gave me a ticket so that I was able to be with my American parents for Christmas. It was a great blessing indeed. (My American parents are in good health, but they aren’t getting any younger and neither am I.)

And after I returned to Los Angeles, I got thinking about my three parents, how happy I am to have hugged each of them this year, and what I can do to make them more proud of me. I found an answer.

In my tagline here at Da Tech Guy, I have been promising to finish my second novel, Arlen’s Harem—first in 2014, then in 2015, then this year. Well, I’ve decided to make a New Year’s Resolution to finish it not just next year, but on February 1st of next year. It’s what I’m going to do, hook or crook.

And if I die before I start my third novel, at least I can say to God that I stepped out in faith and invested the talents that He gave me.

What are you going to do in 2017?

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 will be done on February 1, 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

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!

baldilocks

If you haven’t watched “Man in the High Castle” and you’re an Amazon Prime member, put it on your weekend “To Do” list.  I’m only on the first season, but it’s an amazing dystopian view of an America that lost World War Two.  One of the most intriguing characters (to me anyway) is John Smith, a Nazi SS agent that is hunting down members of the American resistance movement.

Warning: Spoilers below from Episode 8 of Season 1.

In previous episodes, little things crop up indicating the Nazis continued their ethnic cleansing efforts.  One episode features ash raining down from the incinerators due to a weekly burning of the infirm and cripples.  Other Nazis make references to “cleansing” of all the Semites in Europe.

John Smith gets a nasty surprise in Episode 8. He travels to his son’s school to find out why the school nurse keeps pulling him out of sports.  The school doctor shocks him with news that his son has a form of muscular dystrophy.  As a degenerative disease, this means John will have to kill his son, since he would be crippled by the incurable disease.  It’s definitely hard to watch the doctor pass John vials and recommend that he “take care of this at home.”

Thankfully, we live in a better world, where we wouldn’t make such decisions…or do we?

Currently in Europe, 88% of pregnancies that screen for Down Syndrome are terminated.  Even though people with Trisomy-21 can do everything from hold teaching jobs to swim the English Channel, European families have decided these “infirm” aren’t worth living.

For fans of abortion, this kid isn’t worth fighting for

In America, abortions take on a more genocidal role for African Americans.  Only 13% of the population, African Americans account for about 35% of abortions in America.

Going by the latest CDC data, there were at least 664,435 abortions in 2013. That’s more lives lost than heart disease (see page 5), and that’s without accounting for the fact that not all states report abortion data to the CDC, which would only drive the abortion number higher.

We’ve managed to win the war against the Nazis only to allow part of their ideology to take over. As we sit on the cusp of a new year, perhaps we can find ways to use our medical advances to save lives instead of ending them.


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


Check out NG36Bs blog here, and be sure to donate to Da Tip Jar!