Kanapou (Hawaii) in 2012. Cite.

by baldilocks

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

— Genesis 1:28 (KJV)

Thinking about skipping the fish course after reading this. Forever.

Environmentalists expressed concern in October 2016 after a team of researchers from The Ocean Cleanup Foundation surveyed the vortex of trash piling up between California and Hawaii, spotting chunks of plastic glued together measuring more than a yard.

“[It’s a] ticking time bomb because the big stuff will crumble down to micro-plastics over the next few decades if we don’t act,” Boyan Slat, founder of Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit that helps remove pollution from the world’s oceans, told Newser at the time.

The size of the trash pile has nearly doubled in size since then, containing at least 79,000 tons of plastic — “a figure four to sixteen times higher than previously reported,” Scientific Reports said.

Researchers gathered 1.2 million samples during a multi-vessel expedition in October 2017, exactly one year after their previous test.

They used large nets to scoop the debris and took several aerial images to examine the extent of the GPGP.

Large items such as bottles, ropes, plastic bags and buoys were the most common objects spotted in the pile. Fishing nets had an overwhelming presence, accounting for nearly half of the weight of debris picked up by research vessels.

Los Angeles and other municipalities may have had a point when they decided to “ban” plastic grocery bags. They’re not actually banned; one just has to pay for them, now. Reusable bags are now ubiquitous, if the doorknobs in my apartment are an indication, but I do use plastic bags as liners for my trash can. I’m rethinking this.

But what about bottled water? I do recycle every empty container, but what happens to them after that?

And though most Americans are consistent recyclers – optimistically speaking – what about citizens of other countries, the one to the south of us, for example?

For years, we have been inundated with propaganda about the alleged calamity of Global Warming/Climate Change – whatever it’s been called this decade – as if individuals or governments possessed the ability to do something about the weather.

Then, come to find out that an ocean containing a continent-sized trash heap is a true problem that human beings can fix, or, at least, try not to make worse. I’m not usually a collectivist, but this is a problem that all of humanity owns.

I look forward to our betters making a global issue out of this. For once, I would listen.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Yesterday was my first time volunteering for Junior Achievement, a school program designed to teach kids about setting themselves up for economic success. My coordinator was more than happy to give me the more difficult crowd of 24 7th graders. Luckily, we were at a Catholic school, so the kids were pretty well behaved.

As a cryptologist, I often get asked to talk about social media and technology, so it was no surprise that the topics came up. I didn’t know what to expect 12 year olds to know, and quite a few things surprised me.
Continue reading “Talk to your middle schooler”

by baldilocks

Sitting in for Fausta.

A frequent response from black liberals/leftists to black conservatives and our advocacy for conservative principles is that whites laugh are at us because of this. Seems silly, yes? And, whether it’s true or not, I used to be nonplussed at this assertion. Why should I care one way or another?

The interesting part about “whites laughing at us” notion is that it points the subconscious belief of liberals/leftists that black people are incapable of inductive reasoning and can only mimic white persons of any political persuasion and only do so for their entertainment – and money. This is why it never occurs to many black liberals/leftists that their conservative counterparts have reasoned their way to a different conclusion. So they attempt to play on our egos.

When people laugh derisively at something you say – and tell you that this is what they are doing – they do it with the assumption that this type of laughter will wound you in some way. But what happens if this has no effect on you?

Thinking through the obvious, ridicule is given its power only by the target. On the Internet, if someone throws some scorn my way, I choose my feelings and my response. For a long time, I’ve realized that derision does almost nothing to my feelings – I was often the target of bullies as a child and, therefore, have developed a certain immunity to it. The small effect it does have on my feelings is that it will fill me with glee. Ridicule mongers are invariably illogical, and I can usually expose it without breaking too much of a sweat. I might have a small sadistic streak. Pray for me.

Human beings instinctively hate being laughed at, being the butt of ridicule. This is a subtle form of pride.

How to become immune to it: become dedicated to the truth over all else, especially if it is an uncomfortable truth. Allowing wounded pride to subordinate truth is one of the gravest dangers to one’s soul.

You can always laugh back, since there is joy in sticking to the Truth. And you will laugh last.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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by baldilocks

Considering the high Organized Left infiltration level of colleges and universities, you’d think that most of them would be fighting each other for the honor of giving David Hogg – Gun Control’s freshest activist face – a place to refine his SJW propaganda game. So, this is surprising.

Recently, David Hogg tweeted that yet another college has rejected his application. One of the schools – University of California San Diego – flat out rejected him, while the other – University of Central Florida – deferred him.

Perhaps if David had spent more time going to school and actually learning about the policies he loudly and ignorantly condemns instead of attention whoring in the national media, these schools would actually consider taking him. (…)

Perhaps if David actually showed a bit of maturity instead of asking “what if our politicians weren’t the b*tch of the NRA?” in a national ad like a punk who can’t show just a little bit of respect to adults – people who are part of the legislative branch of this country, and who can’t keep himself from cursing in the national media, he would actually get into college.

Perhaps if David was just a little more professional and a little less hysterical, colleges would line up to take him.

But no, David apparently thought that his “activism” would be enough.

He apparently thought that going to school, taking exams, learning, and putting in some effort to show the colleges to which he applied that he is a hardworking, balanced, mature individual wasn’t necessary as long as he continued to walk that path littered with the bodies of his classmates and stood on their corpses to gain national attention.

Ouch.

He apparently thought that as long as he continued to exploit the [Parkland School Shooting] tragedy and the national attention, hard work just wasn’t necessary.

Who knew that the Organized Left had quality standards for its mouthpiece trainees?

But I’m sure that some school will accept young Master Hogg. I predict that this fictitious school won’t give him a scholarship, however; not if the admissions office is run by fiscally smart persons. Make him and/or his parents pay for his education. A huge college loan debt would be quite sobering for the Hogg family and do them some good.

Hopefully.

(Thanks to The Other McCain)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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by baldilocks

Spelling intentional.

Many times, I find myself insufficiently interested enough in the headlines of the day or even the hidden stories requiring discovery to write about them. That makes for what is sometimes called writer’s block. But that’s not what it really is. In reality, it is the failure to pick up the pen and begin to write or the failure to open a blank word-processing document and start pushing buttons.

Yes, I’m having one of those days today, but you’re seeing the results of one of tried-and-true methods of executing a sensible missive.

I get this way because, for a while, I’ve had a low-level sense that we should be concentrating on more than the outrages of the day, even those that imperil our republic. And, yes, I realize that this sense comes through in many of my posts.

But, as is so with every human being, some event in my personal life has had the effect of cold water on my thinking. The thing which will usually do this to an individual is death and that is true of me. It was someone I used to be very close to and we never mended our breach. The good thing is that, over the years, I prayed for him frequently.

Since the revelation, I’ve been thinking of the concept of eternal life and I’ve concluded that most people, even Christians, only give lip-service to the concept until someone we love dies – especially if that person dies young. Or maybe I’m the one who was just giving it lip-service. (I’ve had loved ones pass away before, but they were of great age.)

Anyway, my grief has altered what I think is important — or, perhaps, it has amplified what I already knew. Where we are headed in the next portion of life (aka the afterlife), how we treat others in this portion of life are higher up there now. Fired FBI dude McCabe losing his pension, for example, not so high.

Here’s how I would label this altered state: the latest way that God has blessed me. Hopeful, readers will not wait for God to bless them in like manner.

But His grace is sufficient for me.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, from Wikimedia

My wife got me started watching the PBS series about Queen Victoria. Being a history nut, it was fun to look up the historical facts after and see what was true and what was “made for TV.” In season one, the series was actually pretty decent, capturing a lot of the challenges the young queen faced for her country.

But later seasons weren’t so good, and my biggest problem was the insertion of unhistorical gay characters. Lord Drummond and Lord Alfred are shown, multiple times throughout the series, as having a behind the scenes homosexual relationship. Doing some research, it’s highly unlikely that any of this happened, given that British society didn’t condone it, and that Lord Alfred married and had 14 children later in life.

Continue reading “Unhistorical sexual relationships”

Cannot vouch for the modernity of the map. I’ll put a new one up if this one is outdated.

by baldilocks

Sitting in for Fausta.

I’ve been putting off commentary on this.

White South African farmers will be removed from their land after a landslide vote in parliament.

The country’s constitution is now likely to be amended to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation, following a motion brought by radical Marxist opposition leader Julius Malema.

It passed by 241 votes for to 83 against after a vote on Tuesday, and the policy was a key factor in new president Cyril Ramaphosa’s platform after he took over from Jacob Zuma in February.

Mr Malema said the time for ‘reconciliation is over’. ‘Now is the time for justice,’ News24 reported.

As a teenager, I read James Michener’s The Covenant. It’s Michener’s usual fare, a historical novel, this one based on South Africa and the history which led to the country’s existence. Just a few minutes ago, I downloaded an audiobook version from the LA Public Library.

Since I have the luxury of time to refresh my reading on this country, I’ll save any in-depth commentary on this specific situation for another post. But I don’t have to do a refresher course on human nature.

I’ve seen the non-South African opinion sides forming among my friend and, yes, with some notable exceptions, those opinions are formed along the color line. Both white and black South Africans have legitimate grievances. Here’s the thing, once all grievances are addressed, even unto death, where does it end? Spoiler: it doesn’t end.

Regarding a potential tribal war here in the US, I said this six years ago.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob reserves vengeance to Himself, and instructs Jewish and Christian believers to forego it. But even if one does not believe in Him, it’s easy to see the chaos which is nearly always brought about by the unending cycle of human vengeance. You murder/enslave/oppress mine, then I take vengeance and murder/enslave/oppress yours. Then you take vengeance and murder/enslave/oppress more of mine. Then I …

Funny how every single proponent of vengeance manages to forget this over and over.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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by baldilocks

Sitting in for Fausta.

A friend sent me this LA Times link from 2016.

Escalating their battle to stamp out an unprecedented spread of street encampments, city officials have begun seizing tiny houses from homeless people in South Los Angeles.

Elvis Summers, who built and donated the structures, removed seven of the gaily painted wooden houses — which come with solar-powered lights and American flags — on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of a scheduled city sweep.

Summers, an L.A. resident who says he was once homeless, had placed them within encampments on overpasses along the 110 Freeway, for homeless people to use instead of tents.

But three structures impounded earlier this month remain in a city storage lot, a Bureau of Sanitation spokeswoman said, and the city notified occupants they would be “discarded.” (…)

Councilman Curren Price, who represents the neighborhood, said the houses pose serious health and safety risks.

“I’m getting complaints from constituents who have to walk in to the streets to avoid them,” Price said.

Authorities destroyed needles, drug setups and a gun seized from one or more of the houses and tents during an earlier cleanup.

I don’t know what the ultimate solution to this problem should be. I do know, from my own experience in homelessness – I was never on the street — is that many people who are on-the-street are there because they are alcoholics and/or addicts who are unwilling to go without their given substance. This precludes them living in structures provided by LA County for the homeless. The County offers free detox as well. But a potential customer must want to be free.

Thing is, isn’t it better for all concerned for an on-the-street homeless person to live in a solid structure rather than in a tent or a makeshift tarp shack?

It seems to me that Elvis Summers understands his limitations. He cannot solve such a huge problem but can only improve the situation in small steps using his own personal skills. Would that we all thought like that.

And leave it to government to hinder it.

I’m going to search for a more up-to-date report on this and I may update.

(Thanks to Jason Minks.)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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by baldilocks

National Geographic is doing a series called The Race Issue. Yes, I know; I’m tired of it, too.

In NG’s case, however, they contrast their old coverage of non-white people groups with their coverage in the enlightened age – if you’ll pardon the pun. I have read only the following part of the series and haven’t decided if I’m going to read the other parts.

We asked John Edwin Mason to help with this examination. Mason is well positioned for the task: He’s a University of Virginia professor specializing in the history of photography and the history of Africa, a frequent crossroads of our storytelling. He dived into our archives.

What Mason found in short was that until the 1970s National Geographic all but ignored people of color who lived in the United States, rarely acknowledging them beyond laborers or domestic workers. Meanwhile it pictured “natives” elsewhere as exotics, famously and frequently unclothed, happy hunters,

There are about a gazillion Baldilockses in Africa.

noble savages—every type of cliché.

Unlike magazines such as Life, Mason said, National Geographic did little to push its readers beyond the stereotypes ingrained in white American culture.

“Americans got ideas about the world from Tarzan movies and crude racist caricatures,” he said. “Segregation was the way it was. National Geographic wasn’t teaching as much as reinforcing messages they already received and doing so in a magazine that had tremendous authority. National Geographic comes into existence at the height of colonialism, and the world was divided into the colonizers and the colonized. That was a color line, and National Geographic was reflecting that view of the world.”

All of this is true. I had a subscription to NG when I was a teenager in the 1970s — a black teenager of closer African heritage than are most black Americans.

And you know what? I’m over it.

You’ve changed your ways, National Geographic. (Thanks for the maps, by the way.) But is it necessary to ruin your reputation by becoming National Groveling?

Let’s confront today’s shameful use of racism as a political strategy and prove we are better than this.

Now I see. National Geographic is better than today’s political strategy and its Race Series its offering on the altar of please-don’t-hurt-us.

How about this? I forgive you. Now please skip the Virtue Signaling. It’s as abhorrent as pictures of the naked African ladies who were probably my relatives.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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by baldilocks

One Ring to rule them all.

With Louis Farrakhan’s well-known anti-Semitism, hatred of whites, and alliance with the Women’s March and the Congressional Black Caucus being in the news, I am reminded of something startling that I talked about back in 2012.

When I was on my way to church this morning, I saw something very interesting near my house.

The “Church” of Scientology has been building centers in and around South Central Los Angeles and in Inglewood — something that had previously been unheard of. Today, being Fathers’ Day, I guess there was some big event at the center near me.  But guess which organization was celebrating the day with them? The Nation of Islam.  FOI, bean pies, and white “garments” (similar to burkas) all over the place!

Did a little research when I got home.  There isn’t much to go on, but one website reports that, back in 2009, Louis Farrakhan said that there was some sort of “marriage” between the two organizations.  Marriage, eh? One wonders who will get to be on top in the end.

(I recall getting a funny look when one of the FOI tried to give me an unsuccessful hard-sell on a bean pie. Yes, I recall that they are delicious, but I can’t in good conscience give my money to that organization.)

A “marriage?” Between those two? Bizarre doesn’t begin to describe it.

I don’t live in that house anymore and, therefore haven’t had an up-close view of the evolution of this relationship. So, let’s see what’s out there. Continue reading “These are Some Really Strange Bedfellows”