by baldilocks

grayfro
Not my hair

Originally composed on June, 27, 2010

I’ve been having my hair cut/head shaved every two weeks for about twenty years now.  However, every so often I decide to let my hair grow just for grins.  Three weeks ago, I made that decision yet again and I have a very tiny TWA.  (Short-and-curly has a different connotation to me than it does to most other people.)  This time, however, something was different.

Yesterday, I was hand-washing dishes in my great-aunt’s kitchen.  The house is old-school, almost eighty years in existence.  (We’ve even had to add electrical outlets because it was built when electricity was as new and rickety as iPhones are now [contemporaneous]).  Anyway, over the sink is a medicine chest with a mirror, along with a light which shines down on the head of whomever is standing at the sink.  As I washed dishes, I happened to look at my new growth of hair and guess what!

There is a whole frickin’ lot of salt in my used-to-be unadulterated pepper.

See you tomorrow, my beloved barber.

*****

2014: In the last three months, I’ve allowed my hair to grow again—not so baldilocks anymore. It’s an inch long. When I composed the original post, I wasn’t completely honest. I was under a lot of stress at that time and wasn’t taking care of my rather fragile hair properly. So it was breaking off, and I began shaving my head again.

Well, I’m under a lot of stress again, but, this time, I’m treating my hair and the rest of my body well and they are responding, but, Holy Toledo! My hair is a full-on salt-and-pepper team. (Some of you all are used to this, but my 72-year-old mom didn’t start going gray until the last five years.) But, I’m going to let it grow this time.

So, should I dye it?

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015.

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

Or contribute to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>baldilocks

 

UNASUR, the Union of South American Nations, is holding its summit this week in Ecuador. The envoys or the heads of state of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Guayana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela are in attendance.

Latin American countries, particularly the socialist countries, hold summits frequently throughout the year, so this is not unique. What’s making this particular one interesting is this: the possibility of an agreement on cooperation between Russia and UNASUR:

[Russian Ambassador to Ecuador Yan] Burlyai also noted that the Russian delegation will convey a message from President Vladimir Putin to Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa.

Burlyai explained that Russia’s interests coincide with UNASUR’s in the development of a politically and economically multipolar world, and that Russian engineering, technical knowhow, and equipment may be useful for regional development projects in areas such as railway construction and energy generation facilities. He noted that “for many decades,” South America was “mainly oriented at Western countries in economic cooperation…Now it is quite useful for them to have the alternative [of using] Russian companies such as Russian Railways, Gazprom and Rosneft.” Russia, on the other hand, stands to benefit from increased economic and trade cooperation with the 12-nation bloc, with its combined population of 400 million people and a $4 trillion economy. Latin America has already assisted Russia in its efforts toward trade diversification following the introduction of sanctions and countersanctions over the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The UNASUR summit, with the participation of Russian Foreign Ministry officials, follows Putin’s annual State of the Nation address to the country’s Federal Assembly on Thursday, where he stressed the importance of Russia’s increasing economic cooperation with Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

“Russian Railways, Gazprom and Rosneft,” along with long-range bombers conducting regular patrol missions from the Arctic Ocean to the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico and military bases in Nicaragua (not a member of UNASUR), that is.

In the short term, Putin avoids sanctions. In the longer term, is the sky the limit, now that the Obama administration declared dead the Monroe Doctrine?

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

by baldilocks

No one should feel guilty about any crime they didn’t personally commit, but whenever I read a post and a thread like this one (from 2008) regarding white guilt, I wonder whether such people are equally as fervent about distancing themselves from the laudable actions and baldilockslegacies of our Founding Fathers–or that of the World War Two Generation–as they are about disassociating themselves from the country’s distant slave-holding past and not-so-distant oppressive past (45 years ago).

If our good history is relevant to who we, as Americans, are today, then so is our bad history and there’s nothing wrong with thinking about and acknowledging the truth about both. Our foundation is composed of both. However, it does not, or rather, it need not follow that blame be cast or guilt be felt as a result of admitting the truth. Think first; feel second, if at all.

Just saying.

Not being perfect, America and Americans have not and do not always reach the bar which we had set for us in the late eighteenth century. However, we should feel grateful to God–not guilty–that our Founding Fathers gave us such a high bar to reach for in the first place. When we fall short we get up and try again. That’s our heritage and to have all too many parts of the country wallow in both guilt and blame is quickly giving rise to a lot of bitterness and pointless anger—not to mention grief.

Feel blessed, and not guilty or vengeful. Both areas are God’s provinces.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015.

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

Or contribute to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>

by baldilocks

Rawlins: And what are you? So full of hate you want to go out and fight everybody! Because you’ve been whipped and chased by hounds. Well that might not be living, but it sure as hell ain’t dying. And dying’s been what these white boys have been doing for going on three years now! Dying by the thousands! Dying for *you*, fool! I know, ’cause I dug the graves. And all this time I keep askin’ myself, when, O Lord, when it’s gonna be our time? Gonna come a time when we all gonna hafta ante up. Ante up and kick in like men. LIKE MEN!

Glory, 1989

Glory–a fictionalization of the Union Army’s all-black 54th Massachusetts Regiment, lead by a white officer, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw–is one of my favorite movies for a lot of reasons, but, in particular, the last three sentences of the above monologue by Rawlins (played by Morgan Freeman) have stayed with me.

The spirit of that movie–that history–was evoked this week in Ferguson, MO by another set of men.

A group of black Ferguson residents armed with high-powered rifles stood outside a white-owned business in the city during recent riots, protecting it from rioters that looted and burned other businesses.

After a grand jury returned no indictment against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown, protesters took to the streets and the demonstrations quickly turned into rioting. Several buildings were set ablaze, but a group of heavily armed black men stood outside a Conoco gas station.

One of the residents, a 6-foot-8 man named Derrick Johnson, held an AR-15 assault [sic] rifle as he stood in a pickup truck near that store’s entrance. Three other black Ferguson residents joined Johnson in front of the store, each of them armed with pistols.

2013-09-15 17.41.07
Robert Gould Shaw and his men…and another Presence–no, not the horse

Like men. Not like black men, or like white men–or like puling infants in the bodies of men–but men.

Sure, they liked the owner–who had given them employment over the years, but so what? (Side note: lately I’ve been saying to all who won’t cover their ears that free persons create their own jobs.) One good turn is often reciprocated by a stab in the back. It has happened to me more than once.

But that’s not what happened in this case.

Do either of these sets of men owe anything to the other for doing right? I say no. Any other attitude smacks of patronage.

Doing what’s right is often its own reward and, sometimes, there is only one Observer. And the ripples are seemingly invisible. But they exist.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015.

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

 

Or contribute to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>

 baldilocks

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States:

“If you look at the history of immigration in this country, each successive wave there have been periods where the folks who were already here have said, ‘Well I don’t want those folks,'” he said. “Even though the only people who have the right to say that are some Native Americans.”

Video here (around 10:05)

Let’s look at this:

The only people who have the right to say that
The Constitution says (emphasis added),

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Indeed, all Americans have the inalienable right to free speech.

inalienable

adjective
1.
not alienable; not transferable to another or capable of being repudiated:

are some Native Americans
“Some”?

And who would be the one determining which Native Americans have the right to?

This is the kind of rhetoric we get from a president whose idea of governing is to bypass Congress.

And I use the word rhetoric advisedly,

(in classical oratory) the art of influencing the thought and conduct of an audience.

While the speech could not be thought of as classical oratory, you could say that the statement “Even though the only people who have the right to say that are some Native Americans,” qualifies as a classic.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics at Fausta’s Blog.

Thanksgiving Day is my favorite holiday of the year. As my friend Perla puts it, it’s a holiday everyone celebrates, no matter their religion. I would add to that, it is a holiday one can celebrate in ways small – alone, when circumstances demand, or big – in public or in private.

I also like Thanksgiving Day for its Americanness: The most prosperous, and I may add, blessed, nation in the history of mankind came up with a day of gratitude, closely connected to the nation’s origins.

Indeed, we have much to thank for; the debate on immigration shows that millions of people from around the world see and want to partake in our blessings. But let’s leave that debate aside for now.

My most favorite quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American,

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.

Here’s what this sentence means to me:

  • I awoke this morning: I am conscious, in this new day
  • with devout thanksgiving: And I give thanks to God, the Creator who blesses us every day
  • for my friends,: For every person who honors me with their friendship, empathy, and support, including my family
  • the old: Friends I have had for a lifetime, or for many years, and also for friends young and old
  • and the new.: Because friendship is a garden that blooms throughout our lives, blessing us daily.

——————————————-
Apple pie is my favorite Thanksgiving Day dessert. Here’s my recipe:

IMG_0152Apple and pecan pie:
The day before: marinade 1/2 cup of raisins in a glass dish and add enough bourbon to cover the raisins. Cover the dish and set aside overnight (no need to refrigerate).

The day you’re serving the pie:
Heat oven to 400F.

In a very large bowl, mix:
8 large apples, peeled and cored, and cut into large (1/4″ thick) pieces
(You might want to caramelize the apples slightly, by sautéing in butter and a dash of freshly-grated nutmeg)
the raisins marinated in bourbon
1 tbs cinnamon sprinkled lightly as you add the apples
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup pecan pieces. You can also use chopped walnuts.
Mix all ingredients until well coated.

Line a deep pie dish with one Pillsbury pie crust (or you can make your own crust).

Pour the apples, raisins and pecans into the pie plate. Cut 1/4 lb (one bar) of refrigerated butter into chunks and dot the apples with the butter. Please use butter. Cover the apples with the other pie crust, seal the edges and perforate the top with a fork.

If you prefer your pie with no raisins or pecans, omit them and don’t add vanilla extract.

Bake at 400F for 45 minutes.

Serve warm with Vermont cheddar cheese, or with Edy’s No Sugar Added vanilla ice cream. I prefer the cheddar.

Note: While I add no sugar, if you use sweet apples the pie will be sweet. Bear that in mind if you must watch your blood sugars.
Additionally, this is not a low calorie dessert.

——————————————-

A happy Thanksgiving Day to all!

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog. She thanks Pete for the opportunity to blog here.

Manson
Charles Manson, a failure when it came to ginning up racial war

by baldilocks

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

(‭Matthew‬ ‭24‬:‭3-8‬ KJV; emphasis mine)

Many readers of the Bible think of the political definition of the word nation–nation-state–when the word comes up, and forget or never learned that ‘nation’ also refers to ethnic groups and tribes. It also refers to what we think of as racial groups. Strong’s Concordance confirms this.

We all know that there would be no riots and that few black Americans would give a rat’s about the Ferguson shooting if Michael Brown had not been black or if Darren Wilson were black.

So we can conclude that the uproar about the decision of the Grand Jury has no relation to right and wrong, or to actual justice. It’s about tribalism– “my tribe, right or wrong.”

Social “justice” is the issue here–a primary tenet of Leftism. Leftism’s primary root is division.

Back in the Bible day, before the redemptive action of Christ, it went like this: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; the sins of the father are visited upon the son, down to ten generations. In other words, you always had to pay for your actions and so did your children. And this is the law to which those black people who are still angry about American slavery want to subscribe–even some of those who say they are Christians.

So when we–any of us–subscribe to tribalism, here’s what we are doing, basically: we are denying the Redemption of Christ, and we are becoming a part of His prophecy in Matthew 24, a prophecy which is not meant for Christians (my opinion).

Those who do this and who are up front about not being Christians are more honest…and they will have less to answer for when they have a face-to-face with God.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015.

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

Or contribute to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>

Baldilocks mini

 

by baldilocks

Die Mauer
Die Mauer

I wrote the following in 2007, back when then-President George W. Bush and the Republican Party were considering blanket amnesty for illegal aliens. It seems so quaint now to think that there would have ever been a real security fence built along what used to be our southern border. And in the wake of President Obama’s Thursday speech where he said openly that he intends to grant amnesty to [insert number here] million illegal aliens via Executive Order, it’s interesting to look back and see that neither he nor his party is alone in the desire to sell out the American people.

He and the Democrats are merely less polite about it. And my conclusion seems not so tin-foil hattish anymore.

Previously, I made an analogy using the already-mandated but yet-to-be built wall on the southern US border to the unlamented Berlin Wall, saying that such a US border wall should have “the ease and efficiency of surveillance which the architects of the Berlin Wall would have envied.” However, I hope that no one would read it and make the erroneous assumption that the two barriers would have the same purpose.

It seems that Jeff Jacoby, however, would have readers believe that the builders of the two had/have identical intent and, for this reason, that President Reagan–were he alive and whole–would be an advocate of the Illegal Immigration Compromise (my coinage).

Twenty years ago this week in Berlin, President Reagan uttered his memorable challenge: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Conservatives who extol Reagan’s legacy might ask themselves what he would have thought of the idea that our response to hard-working risk-takers so eager for a piece of the American Dream that they endanger life and limb to come here should be a Berlin-style wall of our own.

(Emphasis mine.)

But for the analogy to make sense, a US border fence’s main purpose would be to keep US citizens from escaping to a freer country, not the other way around. (To be fair, I suggested here—borrowing the idea from Victor Davis Hanson [God comfort him]–that a secondary purpose of a border fence would be somewhat similar to that of the Berlin Wall; that it would make it more difficult for Mexican nationals living in the US to travel back to their country of origin, and thus, be one of the prongs which could force them to at least try to assimilate to their new home’s culture and society.)

Here’s another area in which the analogy breaks down. The Federal Republic of Germany’s (then known as West Germany) pre-1989 policy towards its Soviet-controlled brethren to the East was always geared toward reunification (Articles 23 and 146 in West Germany’s Grundgesetz; roughly translated as ‘Constitution.’*)–especially after the 1960-1961 Soviet construction of the Berlin Wall between French, UK and USA-controlled West Berlin and Soviet-controlled East Berlin. Therefore, any escapees from the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and from East Berlin specifically were treated as West German citizens. Additionally, West Germany’s legendary Chancellor Willy Brandt (previously mayor of West Berlin during the construction of the Berlin Wall and, subsequent to that, West Germany’s foreign minister) was the architect of Ostpolitik–a policy to normalize diplomatic, economic and cultural relations with the Soviet Union, Poland and, most importantly, East Germany—something which was very controversial at time, to understate things. However, today the policy is viewed as another important step in the path toward the subsequentpolitical reunion of the two countries.

With that history in mind, Jeff Jacoby’s idea that Ronald Reagan would view the intent of a proposed US border fence on either or both borders the same as the intent of the Berlin Wall makes plausible the idea that our betters have a plan similar to that of the rather tin-foil hattish North American Union—a political union between Canada, the USA and Mexico. Is that what he is suggesting is being prevented? Probably not; though I’ve been wrong before.

*A more accurate translation: ‘Basic Law.’ IIRC, my German language teachers said that the difference between a Grundgesetz and a Verfassung (Constitution) was that the latter could only exist in a country that was whole. However, the Grundgesetz remains in force today.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015.

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

Or contribute to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>baldilocks

I did not watch Pres. Obama’s speech for a number of reasons, the main one being that I simply could not stand it. Instead, I read the transcript.

Leave it to the lawyers and experts on the Constitution to duke it out, but, no matter how you cut it, this was a flagrant violation of the separation of powers, and he knew it (video at the link):

For years, he has called such action illegal; in fact, “The Kelly File” found 25 instances in which Obama said so on camera.

Mickey Kaus posits that 

If Obama’s executive action is as broad as described, the Supreme Court will strike it down.

And sooner than we expect, by using a system-balancing rationale.

But that’s in the future.

Let’s look at last night’s speech, a low point for the putative greatest orator evah, who, while making up his rules, claims that

We expect people who live in this country to play by the rules.

First, there’s the racism, as Pete pointed out:

Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law?

Immediately followed by,

Or are we a nation that gives them a chance to make amends, take responsibility, and give their kids a better future?

Because the man who said, “You didn’t build that” cannot conceive that the #Fruitpickers and #Bedmakers can actually better themselves through education, perseverance and hard work in a business-friendly economic environment (which certainly government regulation and taxation – two of Obama’s preferred tools – hinder). To Obama, the #Fruitpickers and #Bedmakers are not (as he had said earlier in the same speech) “able to remake ourselves as [they] choose;” it’s their kids who must be given a better future.

But Obama was on a roll,

Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms, or are we a nation that values families and works together to keep them together?

Of course, said by a man who support late-term abortion, one must conclude that liberals are irony-poor people.

Then there’s Scripture!

Scripture tells us, we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger.

Scott Johnson had something to say about that,

I will concede, however, that the Torah portion was brilliant. The White House functionaries love it so much that they highlight it in their post on the speech. Go down, Barry!

Obama has come down from the mountain as the lawgiver with his immigration commandments, but he left out the part about not bearing false witness. It’s not part of his immigration package.

Anyway, Obama is obviously more Pharaoh than Moses. Obama’s immigration commandments have no higher authority than his own say-so. He’s Pharaoh a la Yul Brynner in the classic 1956 movie, issuing edicts with the force of law: “So let it be written. So let it be done.”

No nadir is complete without a pull at the heartstrings, so, of course, there was a story about some girl who,

When she started school, she didn’t speak any English. She caught up to other kids by reading newspapers and watching PBS.

Allow my snark to flow: OF COURSE the kid learned American English from Sesame Street, and the Queen’s English from Thomas the Tank Engine and Downton Abbey! She must have even picked up a Scottish brogue from Donald and Douglas!

Again, the fact that parents may have actively participated in their child’s literacy while they themselves were learning English – as thousands, if not millions, of immigrant families have – is a concept that does not enter in Obama’s Life of Julia, Amnesty Applicant story.

And reading newspapers? Really? Don’t public schools have books at taxpayers’ expense anymore?

Twitchy caught what a real-life legal immigrant had to say, and she didn’t hold back:

Read the rest of her tweets here.

Parting question:
Now that he bypassed Congress for amnesty, and there’s that deal with Iran coming up, will Obama end the embargo with Cuba before year’s end?

UPDATE:
Picked by PowerLine. Thank you!

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

by baldilocksimage

By now, those of us who pay attention to such things know about the feminist-created furor whipped up about Dr. Matt Taylor and his Space Chicks shirt–that last being a Hawaiian-style celebration of pulcritude and firearms.

Some of the pushback opinions rightly center on feminist hypocrisy and the questionable priorities of those who would harp on the sartorial choices of a man as he celebrates one of the most monumental of goals: landing an object on a comet hundreds of millions of miles away from Earth.

But I think that the outrage about the man’s shirt speaks to something more basic in feminists, a factor which they sublimate–either accidentally or on purpose. It’s a factor which nearly all women consider and there is a counterpart in most men.

What do most men do to attract women? They work and they do so to show that they can provide–for themselves and, ultimately–for a prospective female mate.

In parallel, what do most women do to attract men? They make themselves look good. Usually that involves appearing as young as possible. (Sometimes past possible, but that’s another topic.)

A man who cannot provide for himself or his family is deemed less than masculine–less than a man. And, of course, a woman who is less physically pleasing to the eye is deemed less feminine, and therefore less-preferred in the mating sweepstakes.

All of that points to procreation. You know this. I know this. Anyone who doesn’t have his/her head in the clouds–or other lower, darker locales–knows this.

Feminists know this too. Subconsciously. But they can’t admit it or even acknowledge it to themselves. All of that egregious Bravo Sierra about the shirt discouraging women from entering STEM careers serves to cover something even more ridiculous.

Feminists are jealous of buxom blonde, scantily-clad cartoon women.

As I have been saying all over the Internet, if the shirt had been plastered with naked Lena Dunham clones, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. Or at least I wouldn’t. Illustrated vamps make feminists feel inadequate as women. Consider that next time you try to reason with these creatures.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015.

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

Or contribute to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>

 Baldilocks mini