Secretary Mattis recently released a memo directing commanders to make better use of the military justice system, likely in response to the plummeting number of court martial cases across all services. For the non-military person, this might sound absurd: why are we unhappy when we have less crime among the ranks? A bit of explanation is required.

Continue reading “Secretary Mattis, the UCMJ, and the power of the ISIC”

Street artist Sabo (WS)

by baldilocks

At the Weekly Standard, Matt Labash interviews Sabo, “America’s Preeminent Right-Wing Street Artist.”

In this most liberal of cities (where even unaffiliated voters outnumber registered Republicans) and out of these modest digs, Sabo runs a one-man torture emporium. His victims include everyone from lefty politicians and Big Tech overlords to smug celebrities who never cease to subject us to the hot blasts of their virtue-signaling.

When inspiration strikes, Sabo might hijack a billboard, as he did last year with one advertising the film The Greatest Showman. It featured the actress Zendaya on a trapeze, and Sabo added a smirking Al Franken behind her with his lechy come-hither hands outstretched. Or he might crank out cheeky T-shirts with the letters “DOU” next to a picture of Che’s face.

The fashionable hypocrisy of the left drives Sabo bonkers, which explains the “F— Tibet” sign in his living room. It’s not that he doesn’t feel for the Dalai Lama’s oppressed people. But he’ll see some L.A. fashionista in a Mao shirt hauling a Free Tibet tote bag, “And I’m like, ‘You realize the reason Tibet needs to be freed is because of the f—ing Communists?’ These are the idiots I have to deal with.” No Third Way-ist, Sabo calls leftism a “mental disorder.” But whatever his stunt, he has been earning national headlines of late. Not too shabby for a lone street artist with a surly streak and a copy of Photoshop.

It’s a great read, but you might want to skip it if you have PC eyeballs. Sabo has had a tough life and is no polished pundit. Thank God for that last part.

And, yes, that most liberal of cities that Labash mentions is my Los Angeles. I haven’t been able to see any of Sabo’s work up close because I’m always a day late and a dollar short when Sabo presents his work on, say, the outside of a bus stop shelter on Hollywood Blvd. The work is quickly removed by the city.

A few months back, Sabo was banned from Twitter due to his witty and in-your-face offerings, so that should tell you how good and how on target he is.

This one — of Ted Cruz — is my favorite. Sabo created it for Cruz’s 2014 senate campaign and the senator received it well.

Here’s a link to Sabo’s website. I’m going to check and see if he gives his LA fans a head’s-up before he strikes again.

(Thanks to Evil Blogger Lady)

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

A repost

Here’s something many don’t know about me: I am a big fan of natural cures. It’s recent development–last five years–and it was born of my aversion to prescription medications, of a theory that God has provided all the things in nature needed to maintain good health, and of the desire to save money.

Admittedly, I  appear to have inherited good health from my parents, and, therefore, have this luxury.

When I lived in homeless housing, I was one of the few persons who took no prescribed medications. (That has changed; my doctor prescribed Vitamin D, of which dark-skinned persons are often deficient.) Most residents took BP meds at minimum. I was one of the even fewer who didn’t self-medicate.

I’ve had good results from natural cures for the most part: lavender oil for insect bite relief and apple

cider vinegar for blood pressure regulation, pain relief and weight loss. And, though none of my blood relatives has diabetes, my doctor said that my bloodwork indicated than I am as far away from being diabetic as one can get! DNA plus ACV, I bet.

But here’s one you need to watch out for: eating garlic on an empty stomach.

Many studies show that eating garlic on an empty stomach makes it a powerful natural antibiotic. It’s more effective when you eat it before breakfast because bacteria is exposed and can’t defend themselves, thus succumbing to its power.

Oh, it helps all the other things listed which are applicable to me, but it also does this one thing.

It makes it feel as though an xenomorph is about to burst forth from my small intestine.

So, unless you’re trying to ward off an infection, eat something first. Fair warning.

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

From the Daily Wire:

Illegal immigrants are opting out of government welfare programs out of fear of Trump Administration crackdowns coming done the pike, reported POLITICO on Monday.

Due to a proposed Trump Administration rule to deny legal status to illegals on welfare, both legal and illegal immigrants have been inundating health care providers with calls demanding they be dropped from federal assistance programs like WIC. “Agencies in at least 18 states say they’ve seen drops of up to 20 percent in enrollment, and they attribute the change largely to fears about the immigration policy,” says the report. (…)

There were some 7.4 million women and children enrolled in WIC when President Donald Trump first took office; that number declined to roughly 6.8 million in May. The drop-off in WIC enrollment is also being attributed to a bolstered economy and a decline in immigrant birth rates.

Voluntary removal from these types of government programs suggests that the former recipients already had additional and alternative resources.

That further shows that there will always be a segment of people who will take advantage of any system if the system allows it. Here in California, a majority of voters agreed that illegal aliens should not have access to government services, but one of the courts nullified this outcome. In hindsight, that nullification was the beginning of California’s descent into Leftist Utopia that presents itself before us.

Some have suggested that the savings resulting from the voluntary removal might also help fund the building of the southern border wall — funded by Mexico, or, at least, by Mexicans.

Another promise in process of being kept?

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

Today was one of those days when I didn’t know what I was going to write about until the last second. Then, “out of the blue,” God gave me something.

My deadline is always 400PM PST and I was a little panicky in my search for a topic, though the boss is very lenient about the deadline. Okay, he’s a lot lenient.

Nevertheless, I don’t like to take advantage of Peter’s easy-going nature.

Right in mid-search, someone knocks on my door. I’ll spare you my inner monologue in response. I get up to look through my door’s peephole and it’s my upstairs neighbor, Melinda — a very nice lady who never knocks on my door.

“Can you help me?” And before she tells me what she needs help with, I make my deadline excuse.

“Okay, she says, good-naturedly. She’s so nice about it that I feel bad.

“What do you need?”

“Can you help me take my groceries upstairs?”

That I could do. So, I come out into the foyer of the building and there are her two bags on the floor. I pick them up and they’re heavy, but not unsupportable. So, Melinda goes up the stairs in front of me carrying two bags also.

Melinda is a few years older than I am, but she is also more overweight than I am and can barely navigate the short one-flight stairway carrying two bags. But I had no problem whatsoever getting my two up the stairs. I just turned 57.

So, the points of this blurb is this: always help your neighbors, be thankful for your health and, most importantly, that God provides in mysterious ways if you let Him.

Thanks, God.

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 DonkeyHotey (Donald Trump Is Not Going to Sue Pope Francis) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
President Trump and Pope Francis are about as far apart on the spectrum as you can get. Both men lead large organizations and have tried to implement big change. Most importantly, both are renegotiating deals. Let’s compare those results.

Pope Francis has been working to reunite a breakaway faction, called SSPX, most of his time in office. He has also been working to restore relationship with China and begin appointing bishops there. President Trump declared his intent to renegotiate trade deals, specifically with the European Union, Mexico and Canada.

These negotiations are tough. Both sides were fairly entrenched. Yet today we are reading about President Trumps successes and (not reading) Pope Francis’ failures. Why is that?

Continue reading “A tale of two negotiators”

by baldilocks

Andrew Klavan:

One of my theories about the classic gangster television series The Sopranos is that creator David Chase recognized an important truth about the structure of TV storytelling. In normal stories, a protagonist is placed in a situation that uniquely challenges his character so that in traveling through the arc of the story he is transformed in comic or tragic ways. But in a TV series, the hero’s character is never really transformed — because otherwise the series would end — and he is doomed to repeat the same actions over and over without surcease. In short, he is in Hell, like the sinners in Dante’s Inferno who must repeat the same actions forever. Or like Tony Soprano.

Nowadays, watching the news, and reading social media, I feel a bit like Tony Soprano myself. A story breaks — a prominent person dies or there’s a mass shooting, for instance — and the exact same reactions appear on news media discussion panels and social media as the last time such a story occurred. Then these reactions fade away as we grow weary of hearing about the event. Then a similar event occurs and we all become embroiled in the exact same conversation. We never learn. We never change. We just do it again and again and again.

Examples used: the death of Senator John McCain and the Jacksonville shooting, naturally.

We get a few minutes of thoughts and prayers[.] Then the screaming starts over the Second Amendment. The nation’s media can’t even give the families of the dead one lousy day to grieve in peace before they are at each other’s throats.

Then the screaming fades. The news and social media move on. Until the next time, when it all starts again.

Andrew gets to his point and it’s a very good point, but the above preamble leads to mine.

It illustrates why I want to get off my backside and go visit my country and my countrymen. I’m tired of the social media treadmill, but not tired of the connection. So, I figured that it was time to do something that I hadn’t tried before. Personally, I think we could all benefit from some movement. Take that any way you wish.

Four more days and I’m on the road. If you want to help out, go here.

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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An obvious pairing of concepts.

by baldilocks

I think we already knew this. How else to you think those ads are able to show you what you’ve just been shopping for?

While the public has been focused on the ongoing Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, Google has largely avoided public scrutiny about its data collection practices despite having the ability to collect far more personal data about consumers across a variety of touchpoints. There have been efforts to document individual practices by Google such as their efforts to circumvent controls on Safari.  More recently, an investigation by the Associated Press revealed that Google continues to track location data even after a consumer has turned off the setting.  While these research efforts have been important to the public policy dialogue, no research exists which looks at the breadth and depth of data collected by Google.

In “Google Data Collection,” Douglas C. Schmidt, Professor of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University, catalogs how much data Google is collecting about consumers and their most personal habits across all of its products and how that data is being tied together.

Listed are the key findings of the 55-page report (linked above) that one can download.

And people wonder why I sometimes leave my phone at home.

Even when I do that, however, I know that there are cameras everywhere here in Los Angeles and that it has been so for at least a decade. And I bet that they aren’t all government cameras.

We are surrounded by eyeballs, but I don’t fear it. That’s isn’t to say that something bad couldn’t happen due to the basic disappearance of privacy. It is to say that it doesn’t pay to be afraid of the intrusiveness.

Fear creates clouded thinking. It interferes with the clarity that is essential to finding a solution to this problem.

I am very far from ready to toss my devices in the trash, but I don’t want them in every aspect of my life either.

There is middle ground and it can be found. I’m sure of it.

In the meantime, however, watch your digital steps.

RELATED: Lock Your Doors

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

I plan on coming back to California after my upcoming Odyssey, but it’s easy to understand why this is happening.

Richer Americans are moving to the coasts while poorer families are relocating to the Rust Belt as part of a national gentrification trend that is dividing the haves and have-nots geographically, according to a new study.

The phenomenon is called ‘income sorting’ by a researcher at BuildZoom.com, and it means that the people who move to more expensive metropolises like New York and Los Angeles are increasingly wealthy, while those who are moving into more depressed inland cities are making less money than those who are leaving them behind.

‘What we are seeing happening is the population being separated into the haves and the have-nots,’ study author Issi Romem said. ‘The haves are increasingly being concentrated in the expensive coastal cities.’

The study uses San Francisco as an example, but costs are only part of the problem there, as we know.

The problem is exacerbated by high housing costs in coastal cities, where demand is high, supply is low and ‘homebuyers and renters in these metros compete with each other over a smaller housing stock, bidding up prices, and pushing out those who are the least financially able,’ the study said.

The result is that lower income people are then deterred from moving to those cities, further exacerbating the problem and creating a never-ending cycle of rising prices for the wealthy who are left behind. Eventually these cities could become unaffordable for all but the wealthiest Americans.

The reason I stayed here after losing my house in 2014 is the same reason I’m coming back after my trip: to be close to my church. And God has provided for me.

But I can’t blame anyone else for quitting CA and all the other socialist utopias around the nation. The Rust Belt is here.

And, personally, I think that many of the rich will wake up and leave, too. Or be trapped in the gilded cages.

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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Like the pigs they are.

by baldilocks

Normally, I try to offer something that few other bloggers are talking about, but not this time.

I remain fascinated by the very existence of John Brennan, former director of the CIA, and his sense of entitlement to this country’s national security secrets. Even more riveting that his predecessors and peers obviously share this attitude.

You all do remember what I used to do for a living, right? Well, when I stopped doing it — in 1994 — my security clearance and access to information was revoked. Naturally.

And the same has been so for countless others who were granted access to classified information due to their jobs, but left their job positions for whatever reason.

But we were just worker bees. The recent screaming fit thrown by Brennan after President Trump revoked his access exposed that there are two sets of rules in the intelligence community: one for the lords and another for us serfs.

I suppose that I shouldn’t be shocked by it — especially after Hillary Clinton skated away from legal consequences for doing something that would have put me in jail — but I am.

The great thing about it all, however, is that President Trump’s

actions exposed this elite layer in the intelligence community to the world. When he announced his intent to yank Brennan’s clearance, Brennan and friends responded like Pavlov’s Dogs.

The list of former senior intelligence

The infamous James Clapper.

officials who signed the letter includes James Clapper, a former Director of National Intelligence, and seven CIA Directors including Robert Gates, William Webster, George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and David Petraeus.

There is more than one person on this list who I wouldn’t trust to walk my dog.

“As former senior intelligence officials, we feel compelled to respond in the wake of the ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions by the White House regarding the removal of John Brennan’s security clearances,” they wrote.

“We know John to be an enormously talented, capable, and patriotic individual who devoted his adult life to the service of this nation,” the letter continued.

“Insinuations and allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Brennan while in office are baseless,” it added.

Some of the officials who signed the letter noted that they may not side with Brennan’s comments or choose to go public with any comments, but “We all agree that the president’s action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances – and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech.

Emphasis mine. As if Brennan will need a security clearance to throw his next tantrum.

I don’t think that these IC elite puppets get that they and their ilk have been outed to the world, but I get it. And the great thing about it is that they did it to themselves by falling in line behind a POS like Brennan. I guess I expected them to be more circumspect about their privilege, being spooks and all.

Brennan must have something on all of them …

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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