baldilocks

My attitude, pretty much.

Events are turning me into a radical skeptic. I no longer believe what I read, unless what I am reading is an empirically verifiable account of the past. I no longer have confidence in polls, because it has become impossible to separate the signal from the noise. What I have heard from the media and political class over the last several years has been so spectacularly proven wrong by events, again and again, that I sometimes wonder why I continue to read two newspapers a day before spending time following journalists on Twitter. Habit, I guess. A sense of professional obligation, I suppose. Maybe boredom.

The fact is that almost the entirety of what one reads in the paper or on the web is speculation. The writer isn’t telling you what happened, he is offering an interpretation of what happened, or offering a projection of the future. The best scenario is that these theories are novel, compelling, informed, and based on reporting and research. But that is rarely the case. More often the interpretations of current events, and prophesies of future ones, are merely the products of groupthink or dogma or emotions or wish-casting, memos to friends written by 27-year-olds who, in the words of Ben Rhodes, “literally know nothing.” There was a time when newspapers printed astrology columns. They no longer need to. The pseudoscience is on the front page.

And, the worst thing about this state of affairs is that much of the public cannot tell the difference between reporting and opinion/speculation. That’s no accident.

As I said at my blog last month, what we are seeing isn’t new and it’s a manifestation of the spirit of lies. The target: the souls of all humankind.

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!

Millenials seem to leak like a cheap diaper. Manning, Winner, Snowden are only the latest in  a line of people that think it’s OK to send whatever information they want to the press. I recently received a personal-for message (sometimes called a P4) expressing dismay at people who were leaking information about the investigation into the USS FITZGERALD collision. While looking for answers as to why someone would do this, I stumbled on this quote:

“In 2016, Gallup found adults under 29 least likely to say they were “extremely proud” to be American, with just over a third agreeing. If managers in the national security industry think they can count on patriotism to dissuade potential leakers, they are mistaken.”
Continue reading “Stopping the leakers with mandatory service?”

by baldilocks

Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna:

Early Wednesday morning a man with a high-powered rifle attacked Republican members of Congress at a baseball diamond in Alexandria, Virginia. The shooter, a man from Indiana named James T. Hodgkinson, was eventually shot dead by police officers, but not until he had wounded Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and three other people, including two of the officers who took him out.

Prior to his rampage in Alexandria, Mr. Hodgkinson had been a devoted supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders (IN-VT), a self-described democratic socialist who ran in last year’s presidential campaign. Mr. Hodgkinson, like his admired candidate, was a staunch progressive. He was a bitter opponent of Donald Trump, and posted messages on Facebook to the effect that the president needed to be “destroyed”.

At some point James Hodgkinson decided to cross the line between peaceful protest and violent insurrection. By dying in furtherance of his political goals, Mr. Hodgkinson set himself up to be the John Brown of what many people — on both Left and Right — see as the coming civil war in America. (…)

[21st-century Progressives] see their cause, with all its intricate sub-causes, as the equivalent of a mid-19th century movement that strove to abolish slavery. For them, any resistance to open borders and unlimited Third-World immigration is the moral equivalent of slaveholding.

When any cause is that morally righteous, only a tiny step is required for it to move beyond a non-violent stance to an ideology that sanctions violence for the sake of the cause.

As of this writing, only the Antifas and their ilk champion violence in the name of the Progressive cause. Armed insurrection has not gone mainstream — YET.

Were Wednesday’s semi-automatic rounds in Alexandria the first volley of the coming civil war?

Richard Fernandez at The Belmont Club:

A civilization at a decision point is almost by definition walking the razor’s edge between two futures.  One future may lead to a catastrophe whose survivors must begin again from scratch. (…)

The poisonous atmosphere in today’s politics illustrates how bitterly established interests will fight to protect their “gains”.  They will literally kill to preserve an agenda.  For example GOP House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot and seriously wounded by someone “distraught” over the recent Republican electoral victory.  “The man suspected of opening fire on Republican members of the congressional baseball team early Wednesday morning was distraught over the election of President Trump and traveled to Washington in recent weeks to protest, his brother said on Wednesday.”

The shooting comes after months of increasing political hostility which include but is not limited to, pitched battles between activists at universities, the forcible eviction of speakers from campuses in the name of safe spaces, veiled calls by “comedians” for political violence and general name calling and incivility. The Hill reports that lawmakers are now receiving anonymous threats from voices which accuse them of betraying a political ideal. (…)

Expect more, not less of this.

Kathy Griffin emboldened at least one entity: the University of Alaska.

The University of Alaska at Anchorage is displaying a painting of a nude Chris Evans, the actor who stars as Marvel’s Captain America, holding aloft the severed head of President Donald Trump, as a young ’60s-era Hillary Clinton clings to his leg.

Assistant professor Thomas Chung created the painting, KTTU-TV reported, and he says that he “spent days just weeping” after Trump was elected president. The assistant professor describes himself as a social artist who normally doesn’t deal in politics, but Trump’s election “bled into that.”

“Helmet of Salvation”

Pun intended, I’m sure.

Beheadings seem to be all the rage among the Organized Left—another pun intended. To me, this grisly form of protest is a spiritual issue more than anything else. Is it a stretch to say that this is also the reason that the Organized Left is soft on the Jihad? The two entities certainly have a common enemy. And it’s not us, not ultimately. It’s Christ. The Devil wants his servants to take heads before his gets crushed.

Wear your armor at all times.

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

Every now and then I wonder how differently my life might have gone had I made different choices.

For instance, I wonder how deeply I might be involved in the so-called Deep State had I remained a part of the intelligence community. But that’s one decision I have no regrets about. When I exited active duty USAF in 1994, I came home to Los Angeles to be near my great-aunt and great-uncle who were then in their 70s. My uncle was gone six years later and my aunt would follow twelve years after that. The two raised me for the first part of my childhood, so, of course, I am grateful to have been close by when they passed.

Other forks? I love children and I sometimes wish I’d had at least one, but, other than my miscarriage, I can’t really call it a regret. And here’s an odd thing: I don’t think I’m good wife material—something about which my ex-husband would agree. I’m the first-born and was a de facto only child for nine years; I’m ornery and often oblivious.

Since the divorce in 1992, there have been a couple of close remarriage calls, but no cigar. And, the only regret I have about that is that I married at all. I like men; I just haven’t found one that I want around all the time. I’ve certainly been “in love,” but I think that, for me, much of that has been hallucination on my part. Vain imagination.

Relating that to having children, I’m old-school: I believe in being married before having children. Let’s be real here: the main reason that I did get married was because I wanted children.

So, with my beliefs and idiosyncrasies in mind, it’s likely that I would have never given birth even if I had made different decisions. I’m at peace with that.

More roads taken. Just today, I met up with two old friends I’d met through blogging. Wonderful people. These and dozens of other good, fun and kind-hearted people I would have never known had I not begun baldilocks.

I could go on but Yogi Berra’s simple, funny, accidental wisdom holds true: when you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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!

USS FITZGERALD after collision, as shown in Japanese media

A forward deployed, global Navy is going to have problems. Ships are expensive, and occasionally they will go “bump” in the night, like the USS FITZGERALD did recently. While we can hold ship CO’s responsible and fire them when they screw up (and we do), the Navy’s dangerous business means that we’re going to occasionally take damage.

We take more damage during war. Looking back to World War 2, CDR Salamander (another blogger) wrote a great article at USNI about carrier losses during the war. Japan obviously lost 100% of their carriers, with 2/3rds of those in the first year. But the US and Britain suffered as well, losing over half of their carriers by the end of the war. That means that with our current inventory of carriers, we could expect to lose 5 carriers in a war with China or Russia, with 3 in the first year of the conflict.

Each carrier has about 5,000 people on it, so just carrier losses account for 25,000 Sailors. To put that in perspective, that is about half of our Vietnam era casualties, and 5 time the number of people we’ve lost in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. And this reality is not an “if,” but a “when,” if we go to war with China or Russia (both of which seem eager to do so).

But the sheer volume of losses isn’t the point of this article. We won World War 2 in the Pacific because we could replace those losses quickly. Carl Vinson, a Georgia Representative, saw our aging fleet and built it up inside the limits of existing naval treaties, at a time when the nation could have cared less about the Navy. His efforts ensured that the Navy had warships on par with the Japanese, and when they lost these ships, they could be replaced, something that Japan was never able to do. Carl Vinson created a “tough” Navy, one that could take a punch.

Secretary Mattis called out Congress recently for not doing their job of passing budgets. We can design the best ships, but the reality is that a major war is going to deplete them. We’re becoming increasingly vulnerable at sea, and we don’t have a good plan to get healthy soon.

We need a new Carl Vinson in Congress, now more than ever.


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. Please take a moment to keep the Sailors of the USS FITZGERALD in your prayers.

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by baldilocks

The 50th anniversary of Loving vs. Virginia is coming up. Yes, the link is from the New York Times, but it’s worth a read.

Monday will be 50 years since the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Loving vs. Virginia, the landmark case that wiped laws banning interracial marriage off the books in Virginia and 15 other states. Thus did Mildred Loving, both black and Native American, and her husband, Richard, who was white, make civil rights history. (…)

The Lovings were arrested in July 1958, when the local sheriff burst into their bedroom in the middle of the night, demanding to know what they were doing together. They had married in the District of Columbia, but their union was illegal in Virginia. A county judge offered a deal: They could avoid prison if they promised to leave Virginia and not return for 25 years.

They moved to Washington, but a longing for home upended the agreement. Mildred, missing her family, wrote a letter to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. He referred the matter to the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the constitutionality of Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law. Yet the Lovings — Richard died in 1975, and Mildred in 2008 — were reluctant civil rights icons.

“It was thrown in my lap,” Mrs. Loving told a Times reporter in 1992. “What choice did I have?”

Indeed. Love is what it is. Hard to imagine going to prison for such a thing, but I’m glad I was born when I was born.

If I knew who did this, I’d cite it. Such brilliance should be credited.

My own family is multiracial, multiethnic, and multinational. It’s difficult to imagine having it any other way. Of course, America has always been all those things, but now, of course, we’re far less hypocritical about it.

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

You’ll want your choice of non-alcoholic beverage while reading this.

Philosophy can be a bit like a computer getting creakier. It starts well, dealing with significant and serious issues that matter to anyone. Yet, in time, it can get bloated and bogged down and slow. Philosophy begins to care less about philosophical questions than about philosophers’ questions, which then consume increasing amounts of intellectual attention. The problem with philosophers’ questions is not that they are impenetrable to outsiders — although they often are, like any internal game — but that whatever the answers turn out to be, assuming there are any, they do not matter, because nobody besides philosophers could care about the questions in the first place.

This is an old problem. In the sixteenth century, the French scholar and doctor François Rabelais satirized scholastic philosophy in his Gargantua and Pantagruel. In a catalogue of 139 invented book titles that he attributes to the library of the Abbey of St. Victor, he lists such titles as “The Niddy-noddy of the Satchel-loaded Seekers, by Friar Blindfastatis” and “The Raver and idle Talker in cases of Conscience.”

Centuries later, we seem to be back to the same problem. This is how philosophy speaks today: “The Failure of Class: Postcapitalist narrative and textual precapitalist theory” and “Deconstructing Lyotard: Cultural narrative and premodern dedeconstructivism.” Or: “As Lewis taught us in a classic series of articles, trope theories Gettierise zombie arguments” and “While the contextualist disagrees, we still hold that supposed mind/body ‘problems’ cannot generate an unacceptably Russellian picture of the world.”

Do not try to understand these lines. I produced the first two using a “Postmodernism Generator,” and the second two using an “Analytic Philosophy Generator.” They sound like real examples of contemporary scholasticism — philosophy talking about itself to itself in its own jargon. Such scholasticism is the ultimate freezing of the system, the equivalent of a Windows computer’s “blue screen of death”: so many resources are devoted to internal issues that no external input can be processed anymore, and the system stops working. The world may be undergoing a revolution, Rome may be burning, but the philosophical discourse remains detached, meaningless, and utterly oblivious. Time for an upgrade.

Read the whole thing. Flip on your brain’s comprehension and application switches first. It’s amazing that all too many of us need to be reminded to do these things. I think that’s a summation of this essay.

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!

If you missed it, read part one here.

Your child is learning to act like an adult. So make them do so.

When we lived in Hawaii, I quickly became addicted to Japanese Ramen. Not the crappy 15 cent stuff you ate in college because you were poor (I cooked mine in a coffee pot, so I got my daily dosage of caffeine and salt at the same time!), but the hand made noodles, slow cooked broth and sauteed vegetables that characterize really good Ramen.

Real Ramen looks like this…
Continue reading “Child raising for the Millenial, part 2”

by baldilocks

From Reuters:

Venezuelan activists are increasingly posting details of locations and lifestyles of leftist officials and their families, depicting them as thriving off corruption while the population struggles to eat in a devastating economic crisis.

The social media blitzes, targeting officials and their business partners, relatives and even lovers, are another weapon in a wave of huge protests against President Nicolas Maduro’s government that began in April. Protesters are seeking early presidential elections, freedom for jailed activists, and humanitarian aid to alleviate chronic food and medicine shortages.

One Twitter account published photos purportedly showing the wife of Vice President Tareck El Aissami enjoying champagne and lounging on a pristine beach with her sisters. In another case, an alleged lover of a powerful Socialist Party official is shown on trips to the Middle East.

Venezuela’s opposition accuses officials of profiting from currency controls and a decade-long oil boom to fill their pockets. The opposition-led congress estimates that at least $11 billion have “disappeared” from state-run oil company PDVSA .

Monica Showalter:

Reuters doesn’t mention it, but this is the outcome of socialism, and not just a one-off event but the usual and inevitable outcome of socialism, which always leads to a protected class[.]

Daniel Ortega got caught shopping on Fifth Avenue buying $3,000 worth of designerluxury sunglasses. Romania first lady Elena Ceaucescu was caught with diamonds on the soles of her shoes. The Castros own billions in assets in Spain, Italy, Argentina, China. Two years ago, the late [Hugo Chavez’s] daughter, Maria Gabriela, was reported to be Venezuela’s richest woman with $4.2 billion in assets. (…)

As a blogger and writer under different venues, I have been reporting this stuff for years. The flashing dollar bill parties of the Chavistas. The Caribbean luxury vacations of the Chavistas. The Miami condo-buying. The trips to Disneyland. The Miami shopping trips. The dollar-bill flashing parties. The Chavista luxury yachts. The social whirl and real estate. These stories extend all the way back to 2004. Yet they never got all that much traction.

As I’ve opined before, most people cannot see the connection between cause and effect, but just to be on the safe side, the MSM would prefer to not only keep silent on information which would spur that connection—on this topic, especially–but also to use active means to distract attention away from the potential connection. Makes you wonder if even certain failed comedians are merely carrying out their orders. If true, the drastic methods indicate that the MSM may be scared.

The future nomenklatura must protect its interests, however. I don’t know if I want to see them become more desperate.

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!

This is a real thing…Check out Shirts By Sarah

I am a child raising badass.

Seriously, I must be. Anytime I take my kids out in public, I get the “How do you manage it?” question. Typically this comes from some young Millenial couple that is deathly afraid of having children. Society tells them that having kids is horrible and will end their life as they know it. Yet here I am, in front of them enjoying my time with my kids.

Since I am indebted to society to pass on my badass knowledge about raising kids, my wife and I came up with our top five rules about raising kids. You get them for free, so you don’t have to pay for multiple copies of the “What to expect…”, but if you find these useful, drop Da Tech Guy a couple bucks.

Continue reading “Child raising for the millenial”