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 Well, when I stopped doing it — in 1994 — my security clearance and access to information was revoked.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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Same old story.

by baldilocks

Since yesterday, the latest in Donald Trump news is that former White House aide and Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault-Newman is about to publish a book — title: Unhinged — a tell-all on the Trump Administration. One of her accusations is that Donald Trump repeatedly used the n-word on the Apprentice set and that there is celluloid proof of it. Her stories have been inconsistent.

There’s so much sordidness coming off this story that I can smell it from here and I have no desire to recap the ping-pong ball revelations that pop up every few minutes.

This story does, however, have me thinking about a couple of concepts whose time has long past.

Loyalty. Allegiance.

Outside of our military, there are very few who give these concepts, these virtues any consideration at all, much less try to incorporate them into dealings with others. I said this ten years ago.

People who have been called into military service or volunteer for it seem to have a more visceral understanding of what disloyalty indicates — whether life and limb are at stake or not. (…)

Outside of the spiritual consequences [of betrayal], why are oath-breakers so hated? Because when you act decisively in any endeavor, you’re expecting those who promise to assist [you] to do just that.

“I’ve got your back.” That expression isn’t slang. It’s a short form of saying that you’re protecting another’s blind side—the back side; the “six”—of an ally, whether it’s a subordinate, a superior or an equal. Your liege (related to the word ‘allegiance’) is depending on you to indeed protect that back side; and when, instead, you turn around and stab him in that side, you become a thing to be despised by friend and foe alike. Or at least that’s how it used to be.

Because, after all, who could trust a person who would do such a thing? Everyone keeps their literal or figurative front side to such a person for quite some time; she “bears watching.” Earthly redemption can only sometimes be had and that’s after many deeds of repentance and the passage of time.

But breaking a trust seems to be no big deal anymore.

And that is what galls me about this Omarosa situation — yes, even more that the allegation of the usage of the n-word. Donald Trump has given this woman a job, not once, but twice. And, she does this?

I guess I shouldn’t be shocked, but it’s more than shocking. It’s like watching a drunken woman curse out a room full of dinner guests and then barf all over the food on the dinner table. You just want to turn away and get out the door.

On Twitter, I’ve speculated that Manigault-Newman might be playing a role for the president; that she’s keeping media eyes focused on her, and off the Administration. If that turns out to be so, both she and the president should win Oscars.

But I’m beginning to doubt that. Occam’s Razor.

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

China in Africa.

Chinese corporations are all over Africa.  In June 2017 a McKinsey & Company report estimated that there are more than 10,000 Chinese-owned firms operating in Africa.

What are Chinese corporations doing in Africa? That’s a highly controversial issue.

The reason Chinese corporations are in Africa is simple; to exploit the people and take their resources. It’s the same thing European colonists did during mercantile times, except worse. The Chinese corporations are trying to turn Africa into another Chinese continent. They are squeezing Africa for everything it is worth.

This is the view several African politicians have. The Zambian politician Michael Sata was one of them. At least he was before being elected President of Zambia in 2011. He wrote a paper presented to Harvard University in 2007 that said “European colonial exploitation in comparison to Chinese exploitation appears benign, because even though the commercial exploitation was just as bad, the colonial agents also invested in social and economic infrastructure services Chinese investment, on the other hand, is focused on taking out of Africa as much as can be taken out, without any regard to the welfare of the local people.” (quoted in Scott D. Taylor’s “The Nature of Chinese Capital in Africa, Current History, May 2018, p. 197)

This is something on which I need to do a great deal more research.

I plan on asking my bio father — Philip Ochieng — about this. He edited the rather well-known book How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney. He and I think differently about a great many things, so that should be an interesting conversation or three.

Consider this post a place-holder and, possibly, a Part One.

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

And now for something completely different.

Monika Glennon has lived in Huntsville, Alabama, for the last 12 years. Other than a strong Polish accent, she fits a certain stereotype of the All-American life. She’s blonde. Her husband is a veteran Marine. Her two children, a boy and a girl, joined the military as adults. She sells houses—she’s a real estate agent at Re/Max—helping others realize their own American dream.

But in September 2015, she was suddenly plunged into an American nightmare. She got a call at 6 a.m. one morning from a colleague at Re/Max telling her something terrible had been posted about her on the Re/Max Facebook page. Glennon thought at first she meant that a client had left her a bad review, but it turned out to be much worse than that.

It was a link to a story about Glennon on She’s A Homewrecker, a site that exists for the sole purpose of shaming the alleged “other woman.” The author of the Homewrecker post claimed that she and her husband had used Glennon as their realtor and that everything was going great until one evening when she walked in on Glennon having sex with her husband on the floor of a home the couple had been scheduled to see. The unnamed woman went into graphic detail about the sex act and claimed she’d taken photos that she used to get everything from her husband in a divorce. The only photo she posted though was Glennon’s professional headshot, taken from her bio page on Re/Max’s site.

Glennon’s clients and, most importantly, her husband were contacted about this through Facebook’s messaging system.

The allegations were totally false. The perpetrators did it because they didn’t like something that Glennon wrote in a random comment section. The comment was innocuous, but the perpetrator decided that Glennon was anti-Semitic. That line of justification is important.

I’ve been thinking about this story all morning — not with fear that something like this might happen to me, but pondering the notion that anyone with fairly decent story-telling skills could plot a similar type vengeance on anyone.

What, other than a conscience, is there to stop an individual — or an organization — from doing this?

About justification: once someone “reasons” it out in what passes for his mind that the target is “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobic,” or any of the other categories of Untouchable, conscience is no longer a factor.

The perp decides that you deserve to have stories made up about you and to have your reputation/livelihood/marriage ruined.

That’s what was so riveting to me about this story.

95,000 persons shared the story before Gannon was able to uncover the person who tried to ruin her.

And the perp did this over a misunderstood comment and the hurt feelings engendered from that misunderstanding.

How evil.

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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One of them anyway …

by baldilocks

Well I guess I understand why the DHS is doing this, but

Federal air marshals have begun following ordinary US citizens not suspected of a crime or on any terrorist watch list and collecting extensive information about their movements and behavior under a new domestic surveillance program that is drawing criticism from within the agency.

The previously undisclosed program, called “Quiet Skies,” specifically targets travelers who “are not under investigation by any agency and are not in the Terrorist Screening Data Base,” according to a Transportation Security Administration bulletin in March.

The internal bulletin describes the program’s goal as thwarting threats to commercial aircraft “posed by unknown or partially known terrorists,” and gives the agency broad discretion over which air travelers to focus on and how closely they are tracked.

It is a time-consuming and costly assignment, they say, which saps their ability to do more vital law enforcement work.

TSA officials, in a written statement to the Globe, broadly defended the agency’s efforts to deter potential acts of terror. But the agency declined to discuss whether Quiet Skies has intercepted any threats, or even to confirm that the program exists.

I’m guessing ‘no’ and ‘yes.’

Between this, and the TSA activities — x-rays and groping … er … pat-downs — I’ll pass on flying when I can. I have a choice with my upcoming trip and I choose the ground, along with a relative bit of freedom.

From those who don’t know what I’m talking about, go here. And, yes, one Peter Ingemi is on my list of persons to visit.

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.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

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by baldilocks

Anatomy of mass psychosis.

For the past two years, a particular power group has sought to explain away its loss of power – or rather, its loss of the Presidency, as it still holds a predominance of institutional power – by creation of a myth. Mainstream media is known for its herd behavior, and in this case the editors, commentators, journalists have talked themselves into a story that initially they themselves could hardly take seriously.

Donald Trump was elected by Russia? (…)

The Russians could do nothing to build support for Trump, and there is not a hint of evidence that they tried. They might have done something to harm Hillary, because there was so much there: the private server emails, the Clinton foundation, the murder of Moammer Gaddafi, the call for a no-fly zone in Syria … they didn’t have to invent it. It was there. So was the hanky panky at the Democratic National Committee, on which the Clintonite accusations focus, perhaps to cause everyone to forget much worse things. (…)

[A]fter two years of fakery, to send the establishment into a frenzy of accusations of “treason” when Trump does what he said he would do while campaigning, try to normalize relations with Russia.

Emphasis mine.

‘The writer — Diana Johnstone — goes much further and it’s worth the read.

As most readers of this blog and of baldilocks blog know, I voted for Donald Trump while holding my nose after being very critical of candidate Trump and suspicious of his motives for running. However, the president has not given me any reason to regret that decision, though I’m not in agreement with everything he has done while in office.

I understand legitimate, reasoned, and researched criticism of any president. For the most part, however, that’s not what we are seeing from his critics. We are seeing insanity.

It’s fascinating to watch as the Organized Left and perennial Never-Trumpers flip out over things like

  • The president being nice to Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki Summit. The word treason was tossed about as if the tossers had conjured a new definition of the word. Did they expect President Trump to call a rap battle during the press conference?
  • The president referring to the savage, demonic Legion called MS-13 as ‘animals.’
  • Yesterday’s reason for throwing a collective fit: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announces that security clearances for former high-ranking Obama Administration officials will be revoked — as if that isn’t standard procedure for worker bees who are no longer in the position where a security clearance is required. Former CIA director John Brennan is at the head of the list of people who will lose their clearances, as well he should be.

Read the whole thing.

Johnstone refers to this prevailing mindset as dementia, but that implies a certain innocence. Victor Davis Hanson’s indictment contains nothing of the sort.

You’ll want to read that one, too.

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

The New Rules In Effect

Jazz Shaw at Hot Air notices some interesting things about a Washington Post editorial.

In 2002, the United States and Canada secured [an] arrangement, known as a “safe third country” agreement. It has worked because Canada is, in fact, a safe third country: Migrants who apply for asylum there are secure, and their cases are fairly adjudicated.

By contrast, Mexico is patently unsuitable as a place of refuge for most migrants, especially those from Central America, who suffer exploitation, violence and sexual assault almost routinely as they make their way north. In a recent report, Doctors Without Borders noted that two-thirds of Guatemalan, Salvadoran and Honduran migrants in Mexico have reported being victims of violence; almost a third of migrant women there had been sexually assaulted. Twelve of the world’s 50 most violent cities are in Mexico. Forcing refugees to seek sanctuary in Mexico would thrust tens of thousands of them into a country with weak law enforcement, a flimsy judicial system, an anemic asylum process and predatory criminal gangs.

(Emphasis belongs to Jazz.)

I think we are all Old Enough To Remember When shouts of RACIST issued forth from the perpetual outrage when it was alleged by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) that President Trump referred to African countries — many of which suffer from the same maladies as Mexico — as sh*tholes.

That epithet perfectly describes these countries … and Mexico.

But we know, of course, that it’s okay to list the various forms of lawlessness — rape, murder, corruption, etc. — that reign in these countries and even okay to call them sh*tholes as long as you are not a Republican and, especially, are not named Donald Trump.

Thinking about old tag lines that could not be used in 2018.

Meanwhile The Run for the BorderTM wages on. Because who wants to live in Hell when Heaven is so close? You’ll even go through a worse Hell to get there.

Someone, however, ought to tell the refugees and illegal aliens about how we Americans reached our present point in history so that, maybe, some might consider making changes in their own lands. Lot of guns are involved, though.

Meanwhile, Wall, please.

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

Okay, maybe Spock didn’t really say that about Social Justice.

Stuff Spock Said.

Am I reading this correctly?

On Tuesday, 7 of the 13 members of Washington’s city council sponsored a bill to jettison the wage hike for tipped workers that 56% of D.C. voters had approved by a ballot initiative less than a month before.

Under Initiative 77, the workers would see their minimum wage climb from the current $3.89 an hour to $15 an hour by 2026, erasing the difference between tipped and nontipped workers. (…)

But the D.C. council members came to understand what economists — and D.C. restaurant workers themselves — already know. Sharp increases in the minimum wage will cost lost hours, lost jobs and lost income. (The unemployment rate is over 9% in D.C.’s poorer wards.) (…)

Democrats woke? Not quite.

The writer points out that the D.C. City Council has yet to figure out that the universal minimum-wage trade-off applies to nontipped workers also. That law is still in effect.

This wage mandate, just like the one the council is trying to repeal, will also end up hurting the very people it’s supposed to help.

I’m just shocked that a largely Democrat body with a nearly exclusively Democrat constituency is doing this. What could be driving even a bare majority of that council to vote to repeal one of the staples of “equality?”

Oh wait … it’s in D.C. — where the movers and shakers lunch, booze and schmooze. Minimum wage for waiters and waitresses would result in fewer wait staff, slower service, and, undoubtedly, crappier service as well. Can’t have that.

Mystery solved.

RELATED: The $15 Minimum Wage Is Wreaking Havoc On New York City Dining

Of all affected businesses, restaurants are at the greatest risk of losing their ability to operate under the strain of crushing financial demands. They run at the highest day-to-day operational costs of any business, partly because they must employ more people to run efficiently. In cities like New York, Washington DC, and San Francisco, even a restaurant that has great visibility and lots of traffic cannot keep up with erratic rent increases and minimum wage doubling.

When the minimum wage for tipped workers was much lower, employees sourced most of their income from guest gratuities, so restaurants were able to staff more people and provided ample training to create a highly skilled team. The skills employees gained through training and experience then increased their value to bargain for future, better-paying jobs.

It’s as if Leftist politicians don’t want working stiffs to improve their financial position in society and, through mass financial stagnation, the average worker might begin to believe that capitalism doesn’t work and socialism might be a better way.

Nah, that can’t be it.

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

Among the alleged missteps that President Trump made — note the word alleged — during his trip to the United Kingdom, one of them brings up a memory I have about Trump’s predecessor.

Donald Trump sparks fury posing arrogantly in an armchair used by heroic wartime leader Winston Churchill.

Critics slammed Trump for a string of diplomatic blunders and said he wasn’t fit to sit there. (…)

Labour’s Stephen Doughty said: “An image of Donald Trump sitting in Churchill’s seat will stick in the throats of many Brits who would consider Trump not only to be one of the worst presidents in US history but also not even worthy of a comparison with our wartime leader who rescued our nation in its darkest hour.”

“Given Trump’s appalling actions and rhetoric, he doesn’t even deserve to look at a statue of Churchill let alone sit in his seat.”

The outrage is interesting, since I don’t recall any commentary from members of the UK Parliament when then President Barack Obama removed a bust of Churchill from the Oval Office.

There are many stories about how the bust what treated during President Obama’s terms. First, the story was that the bust was handed back to the Brits. Here, however, the former president says it was placed in the White House Residence — the Treaty Room. That’s more plausible for reasons I will give in a bit.

Back when there was quite a bit of outrage on this side of the pond from the right about Obama’s treatment of the bust, I postulated that he disliked Churchill because of the former prime minister’s role in putting down Kenya’s Mau-Mau Rebellion back when Kenya was a British colony called British East Africa.

The former president and I are both half-Kenyan Luo and since he is inclined to hold grudges especially of the racial variety, I figured out that this was why he hated Churchill. If you ask me, President Obama hates all the Brits. He wasn’t shy about showing his contempt for any of them, from the Queen on down.

But it was only 2009 and we were just beginning to get to know Barack Obama.

In the wake of the bust incident, few in the British press were talking about how the former president was endangering relations between the USA and the UK or about how gauche it was to treat a gift between nations in the manner specified.

Then, last year, it was reported that newly inaugurated President Trump returned the bust to the Oval Office.

So we see that, to the British press, it’s insulting for one president to sit in Winston Churchill’s chair but when another president gives a bust of Churchill an unceremonious heave-ho, it’s no big deal.

This hypocrisy on the part of the British press is certainly no surprise — we see it all the time with our press — but it needed to be pointed out. And what does it mean?

Nothing complicated. President Obama tried to destroy the USA; President Trump is trying to save it. One might also say the same things about both presidents with respect to the West in general.

The British press was and is merely signaling which side it’s on.

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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Cite.

by baldilocks

It’s tough to write much today especially since I don’t feel like talking about Brett Kavanaugh — President Trump’s SCOTUS pick — or the Left’s nationwide and 20-month long temper tantrum over losing the 2016 presidential election.

What I feel like talking about is escaping — yes, from California, if only temporarily.

In September and October, I have a couple of invitations to Middle America in a pair of states I’ve never been. Both invites are reunions; one is a USAF meeting and the other is a blogger meetup. I haven’t done either in years and had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed both types of gatherings. Meetings of the minds and booze.

Also, I’ve longed to visit a memorial dedicated to a departed friend — more than a friend — and asked God for that chance. As it happens, the memorial is in the same state as one of the reunions.

But I can’t ignore the fact that I sense being drawn away from my home state. It feels temporary, like I’m simply planning a vacation from my beloved People’s Republic of the Formerly Golden State. At least that’s what it feels like right now. 

I’ve never planned a vacation before. Because I always had the resources at hand in the past, there was little need for much planning. This one will be different in that the resources, meaning money, have to be marshaled.

I mentioned the plan on my Facebook page and now I have about 12 places to visit before I get to the intended destination. Most of those places are in Texas.

Additionally, I plan on documenting this trip online — as I did with my Kenya trip — but now with a little bit of experience under my belt. Plus I’ll be the captain of this voyage. Did I mention that I’m driving?

I will keep everyone posted about my plans and about any campaigns I wage for this endeavor.

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.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

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