by baldilocks

It’s strange how mundane things can trigger memories. That happens to me here in my native Los Angeles whenever I drive on one of the connections between Interstate 5 and Interstate 110. The southbound 5 to southbound 110 transition is a little stretch of two lane highway which looks like it was carved into the hill next to it. Though it’s in the process of an upgrade, for decades it looked rickety enough to crumble with a good, trademark Southern California shaker.

But there it hangs, for at least as far back as I can recall. Trucks, buses, etc. have sat on it in traffic jams headed toward downtown LA – or to Dodger Stadium — for decades and probably are doing so as I type these words.

Many years ago, another vehicle had occasion to take this tiny stretch of highway: my great-uncle (1920-2000), great-aunt (1921-2012) and I would be on our way home from Lake Isabella and, when we hit that part, I knew we were close to home.

Among my mementos is an identical postcard.

My uncle had one of those pick-up trucks with a camper on the back; a nice one, big enough for three. (Do they still make those things?) We’d go over that road and, I, with a six-year-old’s a vivid imagination, would get the feeling that our truck was too big for the road and that we were going to fall off into some unknown abyss that waited for us. Fortunately, it takes about fifteen seconds–traffic willing—to run over this part of the freeway, so my morbid imaginings never had time to bloom into full-blown panic.

I used to get an inkling of that panic as I drove over the stretch, but now, the panic is gone and the sweet memories of a happy childhood remain. I’m very grateful for them.

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

Today’s funded disruption of peace happened in Charlottesville, VA.  At least one death has occurred – a driver intentionally plowed a vehicle into a large group of pedestrians.

People want to know how I “feel” about it, or at least they claim to want to know that.

From what I can see, I’m supposed to publicly condemn one of the participatory groups in this deadly farce, whether it’s the White Nationalists, ANTIFA, or BLM.

I have written more than once about the latter two, and one can logically assume that I do not subscribe to the ideology of the former. So, when people ask me what I think about all this, I am suspicious, as if they are giving me an opportunity to flash the sign of which gang I belong to. To attack or not to attack? Crips or Bloods?

People have even become angry with me today because I haven’t been all-Charlottesville all-the-time since the crack of dawn. I’ve been resisting putting forth another opinion piece or railing against violence or lamenting the dead because:

  • I despise virtue-signaling, shame-mongering, and poorly targeted poo-flinging, and, most importantly,
  • Most protests and riots are intentionally seeded – with death and destruction being features rather than bugs.

The funders of multi-act plays like this, like Baltimore, and like Ferguson hope that most of us are busy hounding each other over meaningless ideological purity tests, defending individual honor, and pointing fingers. That makes hiding sensitive actions easier. What kind of actions? I don’t know, but I prefer to wait and watch.

And I am not a member of your gang.

UPDATE: Two more dead.

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!

The ad I’m now seeing off I-95 in Connecticut, found on this blog

For anyone who has to travel on I-95 in the western portion of Connecticut, you know there is always traffic, and often it is at a standstill. Well placed ads on the side of the freeway make sense there, and I started to see black and white ads (like the one above) rabidly promoting veganism as a way to prevent animal cruelty.

Normally I don’t care much about veganism or other fad diets in general, but what I’m starting to notice is that a lot of really smart people my age (the Xenials if you will) are pushing veganism in various forms for their families. They think it’s healthier, gets back to our “agrarian roots,” and that if we only just stopped killing animals and eating processed food, world peace would rain down like manna from heaven.

OK, I made the manna part up, but it’s not far off the vegan ideal. Continue reading “Angry Vegans and Light Beer”

by baldilocks

I had to be very careful with my search terms when looking for this image.

For the second part of this series, consider the uproar surrounding Dana Loesch’s NRA-produced video challenge to the New York Times, where she says this:

“We the people” have had it. We’ve had it with your narratives, your propaganda, your fake news. We’ve had it with your constant protection of your democrat overlords, your refusal to acknowledge any truth that upsets the fragile construct that you believe is real life. And we’ve had it with your pretentious, tone-deaf assertion that you are in any way truth or fact-based journalism.

Consider this the shot across your proverbial bow. We are going to fisk the The New York Times and find out just what “deep and rich” means to this old gray hag, this untrustworthy, dishonest rag that has subsisted on the welfare of mediocrity for one, two, three, more decades. We’re going to laser-focus on your so-called “honest pursuit of truth.”

In short, we’re coming for you.

Emphasis mine, for an important reason.

As Amy Alkon points out, ‘fisk’ is an old-school conservative blog term. For all you grammarians out there, it’s verb and it can be transitive or intransitive.

Here’s a simple definition and a short etymology. See also: Robert Fisk.

To criticize and refute (a published article or argument), especially in point-by-point or line-by-line fashion on a blog.

Many who are unaware of the coinage inserted their own word into the breach (no pun intended): fist, a word which has had its own recent redefinition, a sexual one from another insular subculture–gay men.

So it was that this particular Cat 5 storm was set in motion, where people are aghast that someone would want to “fist” the New York Times. CNN’s Mark Herling has even dropped a dime on Loesch — presumably to the FBI –for “threatening Americans and institutions.” I’ll leave off from any jokes about rebuttals.

As an effective spokeswoman for gun rights and for the NRA, Loesch is a perennial target for those who would see those rights infringed and is adept at pushing back. But the most telling parts of this latest storm need to be spelled out.

  • That some online critics pretend that they’ve never heard of the verb “to fisk,”
  • That other online critics actually have never heard of it, and
  • That members of both sets of critics are quick to jump to sexual innuendo-type conclusions, projecting their own deviant mindset onto others, notably in this case, a heterosexual, married woman. All weapons are fair in the destruction of an enemy’s reputation — except guns, of course.

The most important factor, however, is that MSM entities like the New York Time are being called out by Loesch and by many others … our host, for example.

The MSM goal is to drown out that message in all the fisk/fist outrage and that goal has been reached.

Or has it?

Part Three’s topic: Googlegate. Maybe. By Saturday — my next day to post — it’s a safe bet that there will be a more current Social Media Hurricane.

Part One is here.

Attention: See Da Tech Guy’s pinned post!

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.

by baldilocks

The infamous Katrina. Cite.

Every day there’s a new online outrage. This probably started eons ago — Internet time scale — but since the onset of the Social Media Age a little more than ten years ago, outrage has become its own reward. Watching it is a guilty pleasure – voyeuristic, one might say – but when one is other-directed, it’s essential to pull one’s self away from it for a specified period of time. For some, that specified period is forever. (As I recall, the late and much-lamented Steven Den Beste opted out of the pre-Social Media blog game after his fame as an essayist had nearly reached legendary status. There was a huge amount of poo-flinging even back then. I know.)

Don’t worry, I’m not considering this, though I have many times in the past. I like Social Media but I also think it’s detrimental for those who never learned long-term, pattern-based thinking. But for those who feed on emotionalism, especially outrage…

Social Media can be compared to a tropical storm which is capable of ramping ramp up to a Category 5 hurricane within seconds. To state the obvious, Cat 5 hurricanes can leave massive physical destruction of lives and property in their wake.

What lies in the wake of Social Media storms? Too often, truth is the casualty. Seemingly insignificant nuances of a story – on which knowledge of the truth often hinges – can get left out in the rush to weigh in … and to condemn an “evil-doer,” especially if that “evil-doer” is the “wrong” color or of the “wrong” political party.

And, sometimes, for the necessity of the maintaining the storm’s power, nuances big and small are ignored or discounted on purpose.

Reason: because destruction is the goal.

I’ve intentionally left out examples here, because as I began to compare this phenomenon to a hurricane, I felt that each specific example would require its own post. I’m sure that someone else has already undertaken this task, but I want to give it the Baldilocks Treatment. Look for Part Two on Tuesday.

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.

Attention: See Da Tech Guy’s pinned post!

No, not the NFL draft…that one where we take people and put them in the military.  Well, most people anyway…

Dennis Laich seems to think bringing back the draft is a great idea, as he is quoted  saying so here in this Military Times article.  He argues that it will be cheaper (due to making pay cheaper), close the civil-military gap, and bring in talent from Ivy League and other places.  I’m in the military and live it every day, and I personally think the draft (and the current Selective Service) should go away completely.

Continue reading “You can keep your draft”

Kindling, pretty much.

by baldilocks

Last day filling in for Fausta.

Still waiting for Former President Obama, actors Danny Glover and Sean Penn or director Oliver Stone to comment on the downfall of Venezuela. Breath not being held.

Venezuela’s currency, the bolivar, is disintegrating at an incredible pace under the country’s political and economic crisis that has left citizens broke, desperate and in many cases, homicidal. The depreciation accelerated this week, after a disputed vote electing an all-powerful “Constituent Assembly” filled with allies of President Nicolas Maduro, which the opposition and dozens of countries have called illegitimate.

Just two days ago, on August 2, we reported that one dollar would buy 14,100 bolivars, up from 11,280 the day before.

The next day, the bolivar slumped nearly 15 percent on the black market, to 17,000 to one US dollar. Today, it has crashed again, tumbling 16% to 20,142, and down almost 40% in just the past three days.

(…)

A kilo (two pounds) of rice, for instance, cost 17,000 bolivares. The crisis biting into Venezuela since 2014 came from a slide in the global prices for oil [sic]– exports of which account for 96 percent of its revenues.

The government has sought to monopolize dollars in the country through strict currency controls that have been in place for the past 14 years. Access to them have become restricted for the private sector, with the consequence that food, medicines and basic items — all imported — have become scarce.

According to the International Monetary Fund, inflation in Venezuela is expected to soar above 700 percent this year. In June, Maduro tried to clamp down on the black market trade in dollars through auctions of greenbacks at the weekly fixed rate, known as Dicom. There is also another official rate, of 10 bolivars per dollar, reserved for food and medicine imports.

“Things are going up in price faster than salaries,” noted Zabala, who spends 10 percent of his income on diabetes treatment, when he can.

Meanwhile, Maduro who earlier this week was branded a “dictator” by the US State Department, has vowed that a new constitution the Constituent Assembly is tasked with writing will wean Venezuela off its oil dependency and restart industry, which is operating at only 30 percent of capacity. But Maduro, who links the “black dollar” with an “economic war” allegedly waged by the opposition in collaboration with the US, has not given details on what would be implemented. Instead, on Thursday Maduro promised that “speculators” setting their prices in line with “the terrorist criminal dollar in Miami” would go to jail.

(…)

Venezuela has to make major debt payments, with a $3.4 billion dollar-denominated payment for state oil company PDVSA looming in October. It is increasingly unclear if the company will make the payment.

But, remember folks: this isn’t the result of socialism, because true socialism has never really been tried yet!

(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! —->>>>>

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And as I’ve said before if you can’t spare the cash we will be happy to accept your prayers.

by baldilocks

Filling in for Fausta.

When we last talked about public atheist Richard Dawkins, he was being ‘de-platformed’ by Pacifica Radio’s KPFA.

In contrast, Dawkins spoke last week at the International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression in London, where he received a standing ovation and an award.

This conference’s purpose is

[to] discuss censorship and blasphemy laws, freedom of and from religion, apostasy, the limits of religion’s role in society, LGBT and women’s rights, atheism, secular values and more.

Speakers from countries or the Diaspora as diverse as Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Ireland, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, UK, Ukraine, US and Yemen will gather in London to defend freedom of conscience and expression and argue that freedoms are not western but universal.

It’s innocuous internationalism and atheism, with one significant difference: these people support and offer a platform for ex-Muslims.

When ex-Muslim Bonya Ahmed reached out her hand to accept an award in London on Sunday, it was missing her thumb.

Islamists hacked it off in Bangladesh, 2015.

(…)

The ceremony that recognised this brave woman had to be held in a secret location because London is no longer safe for ex-Muslims, atheists or even secular Muslim believers who dare to say that Islam should not be implemented as a system of laws.

Let that sink in: these people had to gather in an undisclosed location.. Not in Bangladesh, but in Britain.

The next time you hear or read about American atheists whining about eyeball oppression from the sight of crosses and Ten Commandment monuments, point out the state of things in the UK. I know I will.

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

:::until they get into office:::

The Democrat Party’s latest strategy sits poorly with some of its loyal backers.

The Democratic party is facing a revolt from the left after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman said the party would back pro-life candidates in 2018.

The DCCC chairman, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, told The Hill that there will not be “a litmus test” for candidates on the subject of abortion. Lujan’s comments come as Democrats attempt to rebuild a broken party that has hemorrhaged elected offices on both the state and national level.

(…)

“I’m afraid I’ll be withholding support for the DCCC if this is true,” said former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, whose name was briefly floated this year as a candidate for DNC chair.

“What better strategy than to betray their base and reaffirm that women’s basic rights are negotiable and disposable,” said prominent liberal columnist Jill Filipovic.

“Reducing the rights of those with child-bearing capacity to a mere matter of opinion is utterly unconscionable,” declared New Republic writer Rachel Cote. She added: “The Democratic Party is in fact saying that there’s ‘no litmus test’ regarding their colleagues’ support of basic bodily autonomy. Terrible.”

Saying that the Democrat Party had taken the lead on abortion advocacy is a Captain Obvious assertion, but individual Democrats are far less homogenous in their opinions and beliefs about abortion. And now, after a long record of losing elections, with the 2016 election being the straw, the Party wants to win again.

And such is the nature of politicians and political parties regardless of affiliation: say what you need to say — even repudiate your most revered sacrament – then, when you win, drop the mask.

One more thing: I’ll bet that the usual suspects hollering about the DCCC’s pragmatism are merely playing their assigned roles; they won’t withhold any support, at least not where it counts: funding. They’re supposed to cry out in public protest about this. After enough pro-life Democrats and some Republicans are lured back into the fold, the professional Democrats will tighten their rhetoric right back up.

No, I don’t trust any of them. Why do you ask?

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!

I still miss the great Cox and Forkum.

by baldilocks

Sometimes it’s necessary to remind people of how long I’ve been paying attention to politics/world events and that said events do not just occur out of the blue.

The following is from thirteen years ago, edited and altered because my commentary was originally directed at then-presidential candidate John Kerry, because some links are dead, and because some information needed links..

This weekend, it was reported that North Korea detonated *something* near the its border with China last week that allegedly produced a smoke plume in the shape of your basic mushroom. (

(…)

Two Democrat presidents [Carter and Clinton] tried to appease the North Koreans in 1994 by bribing them into halting their nuclear aspirations. Well, the money got transferred and spent, the oil got used, the food got eaten—presumably by very few average North Koreans–but the cessation didn’t happen. The North Korean government may not be too up on feeding its “constituents” or developing its economy, but they certainly know a couple of marks when they see them.

These are the results of negotiating with a basket-case states with nuclear capability; terrorists, by another other name. As is so with Islamist terror, President Bush must also clean up after the botched policies offered in this area by leaders of the Democrat Party.

We see that Former President Obama’s gift to the mullahs of Iran had precedent. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

This past week, North Korea launched yet another ‘intercontinental ballistic’ missile that landed in the Sea of Japan. Again.

I’m wondering how many missiles have been launched by Kim Jong Un, his father and his grandfather before him, since the Carter-Clinton Agreement in 1994.

It’s a safe bet that there will be more.

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!