This is your child’s mind on public education.

by baldilocks

Filling in for Fausta. She will return in the second week of August.

Writer Sarah Hoyt expounds on education – and miseducation – in a great series of essays, Teach Your Children Well.

From the first essay:

My son in third grade was assigned to do an essay on “My best friend.” He proudly showed me a paragraph. And I hit the roof.

The sentences – as far as I could tell through the horrible spelling – were ungrammatical and incoherent. There was no thought progression, nothing the reader could follow. It was as though he thought if he included “my best friend” in every sentence it would work, even if it was “my best friend is rocket fire.” It read like absurdist poetry. And it was maybe all of 300 words.

I thought, “He’s ill. He’s having a bad day.” So we went into his book bag (my son hates the very concept of lockers. Still does) and looked at his graded essays. They were all As.  They were all horrible. The teacher routinely gushed about his writing in parent-teacher conferences. I later had reason to realize that the fact he could write at all, with words and everything, as his younger brother would say, was amazing to his teachers.

Which didn’t make any of this better. Further inquiry elicited information that they weren’t actually teaching spelling or grammar or any of that stuff because it was better if the students picked it up “organically” because it encouraged “self-expression.”

Of course, what it mostly encouraged was incoherence.

So I dug out my books on “English for Foreign Learners.” I figured by then it was what my poor child had become. I started assigning him grammar exercises and spelling lists (they actually introduced these in fourth grade, probably because of parent rebellion. They were mostly puerile words the kids should have known). When he got home from school, there was work to do.  He got published professionally at thirteen. And he can write with verve, fluency, and coherence, as can his brother.

Hoyt’s children are blessed to have a mother who cares about true literacy, but it seems to me that people like her, even non-writers, existed in greater abundance 30 or more years ago than they do now. (I was taught to read, write, and compute — before Kindergarten — by my first custodial parents, my great-aunt and great-uncle: a beautician and a city employee, respectively. Both had high school diplomas earned during the heyday of segregated public schools.)

The reasons for the dearth should be obvious: the maleducation of American children began at least two generations ago. Today, many of those who are parents and grandparents are unable to grasp the importance of true literacy, much less pass it on to their progeny. But those who are able need to pay attention to the chaos being intentionally inserted into the minds of their children. If you don’t plant your form of order into those minds, government schools will plant their form. We’ve seen these weeds all around us for decades.

Read the entire series.

And read Peter’s 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.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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by baldilocks

Filling in for the illustrious Fausta, who will return next week.

Today, President Trump announced that the US military will revert to its former policy of barring transsexuals from entering the military. As we recall, it was Former President Obama who changed the long-standing ban on transsexual military service.

As I posted this morning, there are hundreds of medical conditions – physical and mental – which prevent service in the US military.

One of my civilian friends asked whether this means that transsexuals who are already serving honorably will be involuntarily separated from the service. Good question. Most of us who have served know that entry standards and service standards are similar but separate.

So let’s find out what’s what.

Fox News featured the president’s tweets on the topic and it is here where the ambiguity lies…no pun intended.

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Okay, his statements are not that ambiguous. I fully understand the entry policy, but does this mean that the transsexuals already serving will be mandatorily retired? Sounds like a precarious policy. Notice that I don’t call it “unfair.” My service taught me two overarching lessons: that life is inherently unfair and that feces happens. But I do think that those who are serving without incident — medical or otherwise — have earned the privilege of continuing to serve. But it isn’t my call.

If the DOD speculates that the service by transsexuals brings with it too much potential readiness- and money-costing drama and not enough benefit to war-fighting capability, then trans persons will likely be medically-retired.

Let the crying continue.

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

Yesterday at Hot Air, John Sexton posted a piece about a radio station’s cancellation of an appearance by public atheist Richard Dawkins. The station’s reason? They say they don’t support “hurtful/abusive speech” and are unwilling to give it a platform. Hurtful/abusive speech, in this case, is code for speech critical of Islam, which Dawkins has been offering of late.

His response to the cancellation:

I am known as a frequent critic of Christianity and have never been de-platformed for that. Why do you give Islam a free pass? Why is it fine to criticise Christianity but not Islam?

I think we all know the answer to Dawkins’ rhetorical questions but this is a much more complicated situation than mere fear on the part of the broadcasters in question.

Sexton and others have referred to the radio station—KPFA—as a ‘Berkeley station.’ But that isn’t quite an accurate description of the station’s foundational aspects. Yes, it has always been located in Berkeley, but it isn’t a stand-alone station. It’s part of the Pacifica Foundation created in 1949 by pacifist Lewis Hill and is part of the foundation’s radio network.

Stations included in the network are KPFA, KPFB in San Francisco, KPFK in Los Angeles, WPFW in Washington D.C., WBAI in New York City, and KPFT in Houston. There are also dozens of affiliate and affiliate translator stations.

In short, Pacifica’s KPFA is the flagship of a fairly old progressive institution.

(Personal note: in the nineties, when I was a community college student, one of my professors advised us to listen to KPFK in order to hone our critical thinking skills. I took that advice and listened for years afterward. The professor’s advice was very useful, but probably not in the way that he intended. Listening to KPFK helped me discover that I was not a Leftist.)

Pacifica’s stations bill themselves as independently-operated by local broadcasters and as listener-sponsored. Both are true, but that last part is only half-true. These stations receive grants from sources like the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, George Soros’ Open Society Institute and…the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. From the latter’s website:

CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.

CPB is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting and the largest single source of funding for public radio, television, and related online and mobile services.

CPB’s mission is to ensure universal access to non-commercial, high-quality content and telecommunications services. It does so by distributing more than 70% of its funding to nearly 1,500 locally owned public radio and television stations.

Emphasis mine.

(From what I recall of KPFK’s fund drives, the size of the grants depend on the size of the haul each station takes in during its fund drives.)

In other words, Pacifica stations are funded by voluntary donations from supporters, big-time left-leaning, one worlder foundations, and involuntary “donations” from American taxpayers – none of which has prevented the overarching Pacifica Foundation from having financial and personnel drama throughout its existence, but there you go.

Back to the Dawkins controversy: it’s clear why his appearance was cancelled. Oh, sure, Pacifica is afraid of getting blown up, but it’s more than that. Islam is the new Darling of the Left;  all the old flames: blacks, Spanish-speakers, women, homosexuals…and atheists…have been kicked to the curb and the new Darling must be protected at all costs.

And, to, once again, step out on the predict-the-future limb, the Organized Left is preparing for the day when Christ’s earthly Church here in America will be under the type of persecution similar to that of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East.

The Organized Left is merely picking a side, once again.

And, kudos to Dawkins for his lack of hypocrisy and for his bravery.

(Thanks to Ace of Spades HQ)

FORGOT TO ADD THIS:  Here’s a very interesting link about the life of Lewis Hill and the upbringing of his baby, Pacifica.

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!

UPDATE DTG: This story dovetales perfectly with a series of posts of mine from which concludes The common thread of the left is the destruction of Judeo Christian culture, standards belief and If you start from that position it all makes perfect sense.

Update 2: Instalance Thanks Glenn, well done Juliette


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by baldilocks

I get bashed occasionally for being a conspiracy theorist, though it occurs to me that this is what prosecutors are. Is conspiracy theorizing without a license a crime?

Anyway, as I read the following, a long-term personal conspiracy theory came to the fore.

…Senate Republicans, while performing very admirably in replacing Justice Scalia with Justice Gorsuch, have had their pockets picked with the courts of appeals.

Federal courts of appeals decide over 60,000 cases a year while the Supreme Court decides only 80.  We could have a Supreme Court of nine Justices Gorsuch and still lose 59,020 cases a year.  That is a pretty bad situation for Republicans in the judiciary.  Moreover, the current imbalance has occurred almost entirely because of the bad-faith dealing of Sen. Chuck Schumer, who has outwitted Republicans at every turn. (…)

President Obama was elected in 2008, and he also appointed two Supreme Court justices.  He appointed 55 judges to the federal Courts of Appeals and 268 to the federal District Courts.  Senate Republicans filibustered some of Obama’s judicial nominees, and as a result the Democrats, who controlled the Senate in 2013 abolished the filibuster of lower court judges and of executive branch nominees.  Obama proceeded to appoint very ideological left wing judges to the Courts of Appeals where they were ineffectually opposed by the Republican Souter-O’Connor-Kennedy judges who Senate Democrats had “allowed” to get 60 votes during the George W. Bush presidency.

The author of this op-ed terms this state of affairs as “outrageous” and “theft.” Outrageous it may be, but theft? If someone gives you an item, you haven’t stolen it.

I’m of the opinion – the conspiracy theory, if you will — that almost all politicians above dog-catcher are tainted in some manner and vote according to the measure of unseen influencers who hold something over their heads. Party matters not.

More than once, people have asked me to run for office. The first time I was asked — by a local friend who I trust — I almost took the bait. But the more I observed about the political behavior of both party’s adherents on all levels, the louder my internal warning bells clanged. “Don’t connect to the matrix,” said you-know-Who.

Conservatives haves referred to the GOP as the Stupid Party, but I don’t think most of them are stupid. They do believe that most of us are, however. That’s why many of them pretend to believe what conservatives believe, but do what they want after winning office. “What they want” often being nothing.

Maybe they’re right.

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!

President Trump swore into office six months ago, and his foreign policy has been interesting to watch, since he:

  • Started with solid Secretarys of State and Defense
  • Didn’t have an immediate 9/11 event to respond to
  • Has had a chance to travel and negotiate high level deals

The past six months have shown he has a fairly regular negotiating style:

  • He walks into every deal saying “I’m going to change this deal”
  • He makes an initial offer
  • He changes the deal in some way, although it might be more symbolic than actual

So how has he done so far?
Continue reading “Challenging the status quo: Trump’s Foreign Policy”

by baldilocks

A real environmental crisis: it’s Raining Needles. Alternate title: Why I Stopped Wearing Flip-flops in Public.

They hide in weeds along hiking trails and in playground grass. They wash into rivers and float downstream to land on beaches. They pepper baseball dugouts, sidewalks and streets. Syringes left by drug users amid the heroin crisis are turning up everywhere.

In Portland, Maine, officials have collected more than 700 needles so far this year, putting them on track to handily exceed the nearly 900 gathered in all of 2016. In March alone, San Francisco collected more than 13,000 syringes, compared with only about 2,900 in the same month in 2016.

People, often children, risk getting stuck by discarded needles, raising the prospect they could contract blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis or HIV or be exposed to remnants of heroin or other drugs.

(…)

Needles turn up in places like parks, baseball diamonds, trails and beaches — isolated spots where drug users can gather and attract little attention, and often the same spots used by the public for recreation. The needles are tossed out of carelessness or the fear of being prosecuted for possessing them.

One child was poked by a needle left on the grounds of a Utah elementary school. Another youngster stepped on one while playing on a beach in New Hampshire.

Even if adults or children don’t get sick, they still must endure an unsettling battery of tests to make sure they didn’t catch anything. The girl who put a syringe in her mouth was not poked but had to be tested for hepatitis B and C, her mother said.

Some community advocates are trying to sweep up the pollution.

Rocky Morrison leads a cleanup effort along the Merrimack River, which winds through the old milling city of Lowell, and has recovered hundreds of needles in abandoned homeless camps that dot the banks, as well as in piles of debris that collect in floating booms he recently started setting.

In truth, this is merely a physical manifestation of the inner crises of all too many. These people want to escape from reality, become trapped by their escape route, then become heedless of all things — except for the next time they get a ride along the escape route. There are many means of being set free from this trap. One of them is death. In the meantime, more escape, more death and more discarded needles.

The most sinister spiritual component to heroin and many other drugs does not inhabit the users, however, but the providers. Even if all drugs were to become legal tomorrow, that would not change.

The question is this: what can be done for those who are caught up in this web? I think most solutions of the earthly variety are already available. These people need the Great Healer. Their inner environment needs to be made clean.

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, a friend of mine posted this Facebook exchange.

(I edited the names because I’m not interested in getting any of these people trolled – even the one who deserves it.)

Maneesh, as many may have surmised, is an American of Indian descent.

Sadly, this kind of response is common to those of us Americans with brown faces and non-European surnames. Ask me how I know.

Well, I’m glad you asked.

Actress Lupita Nyong’o–another famous member of the Luo tribe of Kenya. She’s not a Muslim.

Got it mostly when I tried to tell conservatives that the Luos of Kenya–my tribe and Obama’s alleged tribe–were 90% Christian and that the tribe was not an Arab tribe, nor a “slaver tribe” of all the rest of the tribes in the region; that was the prevalent Bravo Sierra.  Also, I received the Muslim-apologist treatment when I tried to tell people that Kenya’s 2008 Civil Conflict was not some sort of epic battle between Christianity and Islam, but a mundane tribal war. These notions have been the Fake News of nearly a decade.

Funny, none of the people who pontificated as Kenya experts back then give a rat’s furry backside about the country now.

I’ve had a long time to ponder the negative reactions of the very few of my fellow Americans to my name and my heritage. Most of it is fear of Islam. Justifiable, but people need to get a grip and stop pushing away fellow Americans who are allies and whose “funny names” are not an indication of their religious allegiance.

And here’s a notion that I don’t think I’ve ever put on screen. An online acquaintance who, quite correctly thinks that accusations of racism are overblown, wondered a few years ago which, if any, aspects of American slavery still affect Americans who are black in this century. I didn’t get the chance to answer then, but I’ll answer now: most black Americans have surnames of European origin. It’s so nearly universal that we don’t notice it anymore, not even me. Therefore, when some black chick named Ochieng pops up, it’s a curiosity and, sometimes it instills unconscious fear in those who are already afraid. Think this through.

All I know is that the Spirits of fear, violence, and tribalism are on the upswing in our country. I, however,  think it’s up to those of us who refuse to let those spirits master us to speak up, to understand, and, most of all, to pray without ceasing to the Lord of Hosts.

(Thanks to Christine)

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!

So I’m a Millenial. Well, or a Xennial (or maybe an Oregon Trailer!) since I’m a bit older, or maybe something else. But in this crazy world, I can identify as a Millenial, so that should be good enough for you, and you’ll just have to accept me as I am.

I work with lots of younger Millenials. I like them, and I think most of the Millenial criticism has more to do with coming from broken families. But I’m seeing a few trends that seem to be unique to this upcoming generation. More importantly, I worry that these are holding people back when they have to work with older people.

Continue reading “How Millenials hurt themselves socially”

by baldilocks

In the midst of reading and researching the topic of latest media-Trump frenzy — Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and young Trump’s revelation of the entire email chain in regard to the meeting — I ran across this from the Army Times.

Serious wounds to a soldier and a Navy SEAL who searched for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl can be used at the sentencing phase of his upcoming trial, a judge ruled Friday, giving prosecutors significant leverage to pursue stiff punishment against the soldier.

The judge, Col. Jeffery Nance, ruled that the service members wouldn’t have wound up in the firefights that left them wounded if they hadn’t been searching for Bergdahl, so their injuries would be relevant to his sentencing if he’s convicted of misbehavior before the enemy at trial in October.

The charge, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, alleges that Bergdahl endangered fellow service members by walking off his remote post and triggering search missions across Afghanistan. Bergdahl also is charged with desertion, punishable by up to five years. (…)

Scores of military members searched for Bergdahl, who was captured within hours and would be held captive by the Taliban and its allies for five years.

The former Navy SEAL, retired Senior Chief Petty Officer James Hatch, suffered a career-ending leg wound when he was sprayed with AK-47 fire while chasing enemy fighters on a July 2009 search mission. He testified he nearly bled to death and has endured 18 surgeries since then.

On a separate search mission that month, U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. First Class Mark Allen was shot in the head, suffering a traumatic brain injury that left him in a wheel chair and unable to communicate.

This is in addition to those who did not survive the search.

This morning, I read about another Army soldier. This one has pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Of course, disloyal military personnel are nothing new. What is new is that people are making a fetish of disloyalty.

Bowe Bergdahl

I’ve seen Bergdahl and Chelsea (nee Bradley) Manning referred to as ‘heroes’ more than once. I’m glad to see that this inversion of truth hasn’t completely overrun the UCMJ.

Several years ago, I wrote a piece on the nature of treachery. Little did I realize back then how pervasive a spirit treachery would become.

The strictest sentence that Bergdahl can receive is life in prison. I predict that, after the verdict and the sentencing — whatever it is – he’ll be out in five. The spirit will have consumed its target by then.

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

I’m old enough to remember when, upon learning of the existence of Black Liberation Theology, Jeremiah Wright, his most famous acolyte—former President Barack Obama—and of many other blacks who carry no love for America or for white people, white persons on the Right who had actively participated in the Civil Rights Movement expressed regret for doing so. My response: really? Silly me. I thought that they did it for the honor of our country.

I swear, it was like all of them received a Dear John letter.

I am reminded of this phenomenon by the ADL’s response to Linda Sarsour – the latest progeny of Leftism and Islamism.

Sarsour’s ride on the media wonder-wheel continues—thanks in part to Jewish individuals and organizations who embrace the idea that haters like Sarsour can’t actually hate them. Recently, the “homegirl in a hijab,” as a fawning New York Times profile described her, delivered the commencement address at the City University of New York’s School of Public Health. It was a strange choice on the part of CUNY, not least because Sarsour has zero professional experience in the field. Prior to the event, critics, many of them Jewish, called upon CUNY to rescind its invitation in light of Sarsour’s rhetoric and associations. A group of progressive Jews released an open letter in defense of Sarsour. “In this time, when so many marginalized communities in our country are targeted on the streets and from the highest offices of government” the letter solemnly declared, “we are committed to bridging communal boundaries and standing in solidarity with one another.”

Also coming to Sarsour’s defense was the Anti-Defamation League, which presumably stands against the defamation of women, Jews, and the Jewish state. “Despite our deep opposition to Sarsour’s views on Israel,” its head Jonathan Greenblatt said, before offering the following non sequitur, “we believe that she has a First Amendment right to offer those views.”

So the ADL would give its scarier adversaries what the latter say they want so that those adversaries will become friend—so that these people will “love them.” Did these people not attend grammar school?

Everyone who did–whether the bully and the bullied–knows that you can’t make the bully loved you, you can only make it worth her while to leave you alone…by any means necessary.

They ought to read their grandparent’s letters and books. But I’m guessing that it has been a while for that.

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!