by baldilocks

Self-education has its benefits; it’s generated by true desire for knowledge, unclouded by the bureaucracy of formal education and uses straight-forward language as its vehicle. Formal education has some good points as well: that degree looks good on your wall. (Calm down, all you PhDs, JDs, MDs, etc.; just yanking your chain. You know that it’s envy. Really.)

As it happens, I found out about one of the best products of self-education, Eric Hoffer, from one of the best that formal education has to offer, Thomas Sowell.

Hoffer

While reading The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements , I was struck by several of Hoffer’s observations. The narrative lays out all the ingredients necessary for the success of Mass Movements: the people, the pre-conditions, the attitudes and the actions/reactions. He makes no moral judgments on the phenomenon, but merely lists the pre-cursors for the main event —like listing the ingredients for a main course. Would that I could do better than Hoffer in explaining the mass movement phenomenon, but I can’t. So here are a few of the statements that had meaning for me.

A mass movement attracts and holds a following not because it can satisfy the desire for self-advancement [like many practical organizations], but because it can satisfy the passion for self-renunciation.

Potential converts:

  • The newly poor: “This class has a vivid memory of affluence and dominion and is not likely to reconcile itself to straitened conditions and political impotence.”

  • The bored: “Where people live autonomous lives and are not badly off, yet are without abilities or opportunities for creative work or useful action, there is no telling to what desperate and fantastic shifts they might resort in order to give meaning and purpose to their lives.”

  • The inordinately selfish: “The more selfish a person, the more poignant his disappointments. It is the inordinately selfish, therefore, who are likely to be the most persuasive champions of selflessness.”

“Self-sacrifice [leading to] united action are the primary engines of a mass movement and must be inculcated into its proponents,” says Hoffer. Sounds like basic training, yes, fellow military persons? A distinction is drawn, however, between armies and mass movements: one promises “salvation;” the other is mainly used to “preserve or expand an established order.”

On self-sacrifice:

  • To ripen a person for self-sacrifice he must stripped of his individual identity and distinctness.

  • The fully assimilated individual does not see himself and others as human beings.

Some of Star Trek’s writers must have been reading Hoffer before creating the Borg.

  • People who live full, worthwhile lives are not usually ready to die for their own interests nor for their country nor for a holy cause.

Here, Hoffer is right, but incompletely so.  Such people are often ready to die rather than live in a world in which others are ready to take their full, worthwhile lives and turn those lives into those of enslavement.

On hatred, the great unifying agent:

  • Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying agents.

  • Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.

  • Often, when we are wronged by one person, we turn our hatred on a wholly unrelated person or group.

Great and Lesser Satans everywhere, now you know what the jihad thing is about.

The book is fascinating. Read about leadership as a unifying agent in mass movements. It’s not what you might expect.

Uncluttered by high-sounding concepts using high-sounding words, the anatomy and function of mass movements are made plain. You know the types of people that Hoffer observed; at least you do if you’ve been paying attention.

baldilocksJuliette 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 new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

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by baldilocks

Originally posted on November 9, 2003 at my old blogbaldilocks

You know them, as do I. They are the people who have become so used to lying to get what they want, that they actually believe their own lies and think you’re the one that’s crazy for not believing them also. I know a few people like this. I was even married to one.

There are some people who put the cart in front of the horse; the conclusion is made first, then the premises are twisted to fit that conclusion.

Self-serving ideas are formed—to justify what they want–and these ideas become “fact” to them. Then, when those who have the horse-cart thing in the correct order try to show them that their cart is missing a wheel, has a hole in the bottom, or is made of rotting wood, they shut their ears and say “la-la-la-la-la.”

Or maybe a situation occurs; maybe an argument in which both you and that person participated.

When the person recounts the story, however, the pertinent facts are missing. Or, even if the facts do appear in the recount, they are so twisted that you don’t even recognize that it’s the same event. They are twisted, of course, in that person’s favor and to make you look like the bad guy.

Though you were there too, you find yourself wondering if maybe it was you who forgot what really happened. But only for a moment. Then you realize who or, rather, what you are dealing with.

You point out the “forgotten” facts to the person. Even if they still have a sliver of honesty left in them to acknowledge that they got the telling of the facts wrong, they will still make everything your fault.

“I did this because I know that you would have done the same thing!” This is said without giving an example of when you did the same thing.

“I did this because you did this.” The “this” will turn out to be something totally innocuous or even something that the two of you had agreed upon at the time. You throw up your hands.

They want whatever it is they want, the truth be damned. Their wants override any notions of honor, fidelity and morality.

You know what these people are called. Sociopaths.

I will admit to exhibiting some sociopathic behavior in my younger days. But, at some point, I realized that I was hurting people. At some point, I grew up; perhaps after bearing the brunt of others’ sociopathy. And it is a matter of growing up. After all, what are little babies but cute little bundled-up squalling psychopaths?

Beware of these people, these babies that have grown taller, but have never grown up. Some will merely become a blip in your rear-view mirror—if you’re fortunate. It’s the ones that won’t go away, the ones that have the power to affect change for the worst on a grand scale that are the problem. You have to keep an eye, or perhaps something more lethal, on these.

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 new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

________________________

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by baldilocks

With everything economic coming to a head for almost all, one is forced to become creative in finding methods of survival, leaving aside those methods which would prick the conscious of the Christian.baldilocks

I find myself in that situation and the great thing about being “hungry” is that it spurs creative thinking. It’s one of the ways in which we are made in our Creator’s image–imagination.

As has been listed in my signature since Peter blessedly invited me to begin this column, I have my already-published novel, Tale of the Tigers, and my two projects: the novel, Arlen’s Harem, and The Kenya Project. The latter must be put on hold, however, for a least a month, while I finish Arlen’s Harem. In addition, I must creatively use methods of immediate funding and, aside from the great blessing of this column—sent by God—there are two methods I plan to use, those that do not involve GoFundMe.com, but which produce immediate goods and services to a consumer.

The first involves Tale of the Tigers. As is often so for the books penned by non-famous authors, my novel is “self-published.” I put that term inside quotation marks because one does not do that alone, but with a print-on-demand business—a business in which one must pay for each lot of books.

I have no problem with the service, but when one is feeding self, clothing self, fueling one’s car and paying one’s utilities with individual book sales, it’s difficult to pay for the next lot. But, remember, “hunger” breeds creativity.

I have been selling many items—mostly books written by others—on eBay, and through that means, I discovered that I can sell my own book that way! I don’t have any dead-tree copies and eBay does not allow sales of digital documents, but I can sell copies via snail-mail CDs! So, that’s what I’m doing. (Both dead-tree and eBook versions are still available at Amazon, but if you buy them form me, I get the money right away instead of three months from now.)

The other method of surviving involves something I’ve observed over the last few years: there are many adults who don’t have a clue about things-Internet, things which we nerdim take for granted. Many people over 40 have laptops and smart-phones which serve as barely more than dust collectors. I run into people all the time who don’t know what a browser is, or how to download an attachment from their email, or who don’t know which attachment not to download. Therefore, I’m going to set up a basic computer and cell phone literacy class for adults in my neighborhood. (Any suggestions are welcome.)

So there. If you’re inclined to do so, please pray for my success, and buy the novel CD, if you haven’t already (see below). As soon as I get things a bit more solvent, I will make the CD available on both of my websites. And I will be selling them in meat space.

Oh, yes, and please point me to a service site or DIY link for labeling CDs. This is a professional operation!

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. That novel is available on CD in PDF form at eBay. Contact Juliette there at j_baldilocks.

 

 

 

 

by baldilocks

This week’s racial controversy involved Ebony Magazine senior editor Jamilah Lemieux  and RNC staffer Raffi Williams—son of Fox News commentator Juan Williams. When you’re reading the conversation, stop seeing red and try to see green.

#SMH @JamilahLemieux is harming the Ebony brand. Questioning “blackness” is something @EBONYMag has fought for yrs! pic.twitter.com/yhBOeIXGhl

— D.J. Jordan (@_DJ_Jordan) March 27, 2014

I’ve had this happen to me before; commented on some Twitter topic regarding black persons and been told by some self-appointed guardian of Twitter blackness—a member of the “Black Twitter Mob” (BTM)–to “stay out of black folks’ business.” I guess the photo of my sandaled and very dark foot, which serves as my Twitter avatar—not tbaldilockso mention my African surname–was not enough of a clue for another of these guardians.

One might wonder why this sort of thing occurred at all. Why would a senior editor of a venerated publication like Ebony behave in this manner? And, regardless of Mr. Williams’ race, if she really didn’t want to talk to white people, why would she be commenting on Twitter in the first place?

Why don’t these conversation segregationists create a “Black Folks Only” version of Twitter, and go spew there?

I’ll tell you why not; because they don’t have to. It’s easier and free to attract the like-minded via a Twitter-feud. (Conceiving an innovative means of communication, building it and attracting users/customers, however, is a much more difficult set of goals to meet. Plus, work is involved.)

Here’s how to further understand the financial reason as to why this happened. The first thing that needs to be observed about Ebony Magazine is this: it’s a corpse; its heyday was in the 60s and 70s. They were putting copies in the mail gratis during the last few years of my great-aunt’s life (she died in 2012 at age 91). They couldn’t even get her to buy the magazine, not even on past subscription or reputation. Therefore, its publisher and editors are attempting to re-animate it by any means necessary.

Therefore, this Lemieux person is attempting to attract BTM Internet bada**es to the magazine by doing the thing which the BTM will always applaud: attempt to intimidate white people.  A slap-down on a “white” guy or one of these dreaded, scary black Republicans—the same thing in their minds—might serve this purpose, and, at the same time, help to shed Ebony’s old-school, grandma and grandpa, Uplift-the-Race image.

And even though the publisher of Ebony responded to an open letter from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus with a real and classy apology, the tactic can be considered an initial success, since BTM sorts are still in a froth.

Only Ebony’s accountants can determine if the tactic has long-term success.

I predict that there will be none, however. Black Twitter Mob types don’t read anything longer than 140 characters.

(Thanks to Ace and to Twitchy)

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 new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

Update: (DTG):  Welcome Instapundit readers  I’d like to remind you that Juliette (Tue & Sat) is one of my Magnificent seven writers (now nine).  Yesterday we had John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit) and Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  Later today you’ll see Linda Szugyi (No one of any import) and tomorrow Tim Imholt joins Juliette.  Fausta of (Fausta Blog) writes Wed & Fri, AP Dillion (Lady Liberty1885) is  Thursday, Pastor George Kelly (Fri) & Steve Eggleston (Sat) completes our crew.

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barking dogby baldilocks

woof tickets

a slang phrase meaning a verbal threat, criticism, or insult used to intimidate an opponent. The phrase originates from woofing, meaning aimless talk, an onomatopoeic reference to the sound of dogs barking.

(It’s a sad day when Wikipedia has a better definition for a black slang phrase than does the Urban Dictionary.)

Victor Davis Hanson says aloud what many observers of everyday-life already knew:  in the run-up to a fist-fight, the one who talks the loudest and who talks the most feces is the one to fear the least. This is an over-arching aphorism in that it’s applicable to brewing bar fights as well as to brewing global conflicts—and to nearly every other type of tussle in between.

President Obama’s pivot has now joined his stable of deadlines, red lines, step-over lines, and “I don’t bluff” and “I’m not kidding” assertions. The problem with such rhetoric is not just that it is empty, but that it is predictably empty. If Obama cannot lead, can he at least keep quiet about it?

A Russia, China, North Korea, or Iran is not just unimpressed but encouraged, seeing such sermonizing as an assurance of nothing to follow. Obama’s threats are like a gambler’s involuntary tic, which astute poker players read always as a forewarning of a bluffed empty hand to follow.

He does this because that is what he thinks is expected of him: to talk. He thinks the presidency is about saying the proper set of words under a given set of circumstances. (Anything else is too much like work.)

Examples:

Racial issue involving black person? Make speeches implicitly blaming the other party, especially if the other party is white.

Crappy program promoted by the Obama administration or by the Democrat Party? Make speeches promoting the program and/or bribing an interest group into accepting said program.

And for the topic at hand, war not involving USA? Make “don’t make me come over there” speeches while shaking your finger at the “children” in this manner

…the president or his secretary of state lecture an aggressor about its unacceptable 19th-century behavior, the Third World about its homophobia, or the world about the dangers of climate change.

Vladimir Putin knows that the Obama Administration will do nothing and will continue to treat him like a little yappy dog as long as that latter keep running his mouth. (I would imagine that this gives Putin no joy. Guys like that prefer to match wits with an able foe, rather than a specially-abled[i]  one.)

Professor Hanson spells out the price we will pay for electing this simpleton of a leader: another war. But this time I fear it will be right in front of us, and I don’t mean on the device.

There will come a point in time for all Americans during which each of us will be unable to ignore the folly of sending Barack Hussein Obama to the White House—an illuminating moment.

 


[i]I’m sure that the specially-abled are indignant at the comparison.

baldilocksJuliette 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 new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

___________________________

by baldilocks

I’ve grown weary of methodically laying out the chains of occurrences, premises, conclusions and examples which have served as under-gird to my opinions.  Fact is, whether I make the effort or don’t make the effort, I get this sort of thing—this one from an old acquaintance via Facebook:

I object to you and almost everything you say. I think you are full of sh*t. That plain enough? I’m [here] to object to you and your invective, which I find personally offensive. At some point, people have to say, I object.

This guy kept insisting over and over again that he objected; I imagined him punctuating each objection with a foot stomp.

And, using the fact that he objects to me and everything I say, this “gentleman” came to the conclusion that I must be crazy and delusional.  Surely, that is the only reason that I could possibly be 180 degrees from him in all opinions.  Right?

The funniest thing, however, was that, in this man’s repeated exclamations of objection, there was never any specific direct object. (Linguists will groan at that pun.)  He never did pick out a topic about which he and I are in opposition and defend his viewpoint on that topic, even after I repeatedly invited him to do so.

It’s plain, [name redacted], but it’s still pretty generalized. There has to be a specific reason tha[t] you think that I am full of sh*t and you certainly should be able to take a specific issue and explain why I am wrong about it–in a sane and non-delusional, invective-free and sh*t-less manner, of course.

Come on. I know you can do it.

To which, I received this charming response:

I don’t have to defend it to you — or explain it — anymore than I expect you to do the same [sic]. You have an opinion — I think you’re full of sh*t. My opinion. I don’t really TRULY have to say anything else.

My nine-year-old niece would call such a response immature.  I wouldn’t, however.  It’s obvious that either the man is intellectually incapable of defending his opinions or he is too lazy to think his premises through to a conclusion and, afterward, articulate either.  Due to the puling, I vote the former.  Petulance in adults is usually a cover-up.

Then again, hasn’t our president repeatedly claimed that the time for talk is over? It almost is.

 

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 new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

___________________________

If you become one of the 55 3/4 subscribers @ at $20 a month are necessary to secure the cost of DaMagnificent Baldilocks miniSeven & my monthly mortgage on a permanent basis but do so at the $25 level you can receive one of several Exclusive Original Chris Muir high Res Graphics of the original members of DaTechGuy’s Magnificent Seven Gang  like the one on the right.

Please specify which of the eight hi res (including myself you wish to receive) Subscribe at $50 a month and receive all eight. Subscribe at $100 a month and get all 8 wanted posters high res graphics plug the high res version of all of us exclusively created for subscribers of DaTechGuy blog by Chris Muir himself!monthlyGrand Fedora : $100.00USD – monthlyBeanie : $2.00USD – weeklyCap : $10.00USD – monthlyHat : $20.00USD – monthlyFedora : $25.00USD –

by baldilocks

For an administration that’s quick to cry racism where black people are concerned, this one is certainly oblivious to stereotypes of other groups.

President Obama on Tuesday sought to assure legal immigrants that they can sign up for ObamaCare without worrying that “the immigration people” will come for family members who are in the country illegally.

In an interview with Univision Deportes, a Spanish-language sports radio show, Obama said immigration officials won’t have access to the personal information that consumers provide when signing up for healthcare on the new exchanges.

“Well, the main thing for people to know is that any information you get, you know, asked with respect to buying insurance, does not have anything to do with … the rules governing immigration,” Obama said. “And you know, you can qualify if you’re a legal resident, if you are … legally present in the United States. You know, if you have a family where some people are citizens or legally here, and others are not documented, the immigration people will never get that information.”

“You know, you will qualify, you know, regardless of what your family’s status is,” Obama said on Tuesday. “So, you know, people should not hold back just because they’re in a mixed-family status.”

The White House has said there are 10.2 million uninsured Hispanics eligible for ObamaCare in the country, and about 8.1 million are likely eligible for tax credits. Hispanics have the highest rate of uninsured of any ethnic group in the country.

More truthful President Obama:

“Come on, people with Spanish last names, just come on and register for Obamacare! I promise I won’t hurt ya. I won’t even toss out your illegal alien relatives. And, we all know of course, that all you people have at least one illegal alien relative.

Baldilocks mini

“Sorry for speaking English.”

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 new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

___________________________

If you become one of the 55 3/4 subscribers @ at $20 a month are necessary to secure the cost of DaMagnificent Seven & my monthly mortgage on a permanent basis but do so at the $25 level you can receive one of several Exclusive Original Chris Muir high Res Graphics of the original 

members of DaTechGuy’s Magnificent Seven Gang. like the one on the right

Please specify which of the eight hi res (including myself you wish to receive) Subscribe at $50 a month and receive all eight. Subscribe at $100 a month and get all 8 wanted posters high res graphics plug the high res version of all of us exclusively created for subscribers of DaTechGuy blog by Chris Muir himself!monthlyGrand Fedora : $100.00USD – monthlyBeanie : $2.00USD – weeklyCap : $10.00USD – monthlyHat : $20.00USD – monthlyFedora : $25.00USD –

 

by baldilocks

When Malaysia Flight 370 went missing and no wreckage could be found, most normal people had quickly figured SkyWorldthis out:

At a press conference today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed what many, including Slate, had already inferred about the fate of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: that it had not succumbed to an accident but instead been diverted as a result of “deliberate action by someone on the plane.”

It turns out that Flight 370 flew on for seven hours after contact was lost.

But, some observers are still failing to think outside the box of normalcy.

If the plane landed safely and the passengers weren’t killed, why haven’t we heard any ransom demands? The perps might be covering their tracks, or they might be letting the world media whip themselves into a frenzy.

Ransom demands? Really? That’s so August 2001.

For some set of persons to be bold enough to commandeer a triple-7 should not be so surprising. Isn’t that the very reason that our country has inflicted the TSA on airline passengers in the USA for the last twelve years?

I certainly hope that there are at least a few intelligence agency employees who have more imagination than Slate’s JeffWise.

Here’s what I think:

  • The pilot/co-pilot or both were in on the plan.
  • Many of the passengers were in on it.
  • They all landed safely.
  • Innocent passengers have probably been killed.
  • The perpetrators are planning some creative mayhem with their new triple 7—more creative than 9/11.
  • No one non-Muslim will like it when this plan comes together. This was merely the first phase.

I remember when voicing these kinds of suppositions would elicit labels like conspiracy-theorist and paranoid lunatic. But, then I remember being told that I was out of touch with reality when I called Barack H.Obama a socialist. That was in 2007.

Our new, abnormal world has been long in the making, but it’s still pretty easy for some to hold onto their normalcy bias. That won’t last much longer.

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 new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help 

Baldilocks mini

keep her blog alive!

___________________________

If you become one of the 55 3/4 subscribers @ at $20 a month are necessary to secure

 

 the cost of DaMagnificent Seven & my monthly mortgage on a permanent basis but do so at the $25 level
you can receive one of several Exclusive Original Chris Muir high Res Graphics of the original 

members of DaTechGuy’s Magnificent Seven Gang. like the one on the right

Please specify which of the eight hi res (including myself you wish to receive) Subscribe at $50 a month and receive all eight. Subscribe at $100 a month and get all 8 wanted posters high res graphics plug the high res version of all of us exclusively created for subscribers of DaTechGuy blog by Chris Muir himself!monthlyGrand Fedora : $100.00USD – monthlyBeanie : $2.00USD – weeklyCap : $10.00USD – monthlyHat : $20.00USD – monthlyFedora : $25.00USD – 

by baldilocks

Only soft-handed Marxists natter on about the “right” or “wrong side of history.” Countries like Poland, however, have been battered by real Marxism and proceed accordingly.

NATO allies will hold emergency talks on the crisis in Ukraine on Tuesday, for the second time in three days, following a request from Poland, the alliance said on Monday.

In calling the meeting, Poland, a neighbor of Ukraine, invoked a NATO rule allowing any ally to consult with the others if it feels its security, territorial integrity or independence are under threat, the so-called Article 4.

“The developments in and around Ukraine are seen to constitute a threat to neighboring Allied countries and having direct and serious implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area,” the alliance said in a statement.

Emphasis mine; Poland knows Russia well.

There’s the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, under which Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Stalin’s USSR agreed to split up Poland.[i]

There’s the Katyn Massacre. Originally attributed to the Nazis, it was actually perpetrated by the NKVD (Soviet Secret Police); the USSR admitted to the massacre in 1990.

And there’s the Warsaw Pact. Allegedly it was formed counter as counter to NATO and as a “Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance” between the USSR and eight other eastern European countries, including Poland. But, as is well-known,  it was de facto enslavement of those countries by Soviet masters.

But Poland doesn’t even have to look to the previous century find reasons to be suspicious of Russia and its goals.

Recall the scrapped agreement for the missile shield technology  for Poland and the Czech Republic. It had been promised by George W. Bush, opposed by Vladimir Putin, and, in the end, was reneged on by Barack H. Obama.  And recall that the turnabout was announced on September 18, 2009—the seventieth anniversary of the day on which Hitler and Stalin carried out their designs on Poland.

And let’s not forget what happened to the Polish leadership in 2010.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski and some of the country’s highest military and civilian leaders died on Saturday when the presidential plane crashed as it came in for a landing in thick fog in western Russia, killing 96, officials said.

(…)

Russian and Polish officials said there were no survivors on the 26-year-old Tupolev, which was taking the president, his wife and staff to events marking the 70th anniversary of the [Katyn] massacre of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police.

This grimly ironic accident is still being questioned.

Our leadership and many other observers may not be taking into account—or even be familiar with—the history of this abusive relationship, but it would be safe to bet that the Poles had it in mind when they decided to make their appeal to NATO.

This is not to say that the United States should intervene on behalf of Ukraine. Even if our mandate to do so were morally and politically clear-cut, in the wake of the hollowing out of this nation–militarily, economically, socially, and, most importantly, in the leadership sphere–we are simply not able to help Ukraine or any other nation.

But while the President of the United States continually provides negative examples of an observation made by King Solomon in Proverbs, Poland looks at Ukraine, scrutinizes its own history and soberly ponders reality. Please, God, let there be a few more sober realists in the USA!

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Lithuania invokes Article 4 as well.


[i] In his actions concerning Georgia and Ukraine, Russian president Vladimir Putin has borrowed a strategy from both Stalin and Hitler: both claimed that their attack on Poland was to protect ethnic Ukrainians, Belarusians and Germans in the country—a pretext, to be sure.

Putin used a similar justification, with respect to ethnic Russians living in the Republic of Georgia, for the Russo-Georgian War of 2008, which resulted in the “independence” of formerly Georgian provinces Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Both provinces “had been functioning for 15 years outside Georgian control, their de facto independence guaranteed by Russian peacekeeping troops.” Putin is using this same strategy at present as justification for Russia’s incursion into Ukraine–an old form of ethnic cleansing.

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 new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Why White People Should Care

Many persons believe that the history of black Americans is worthless—a belief which stems from three factors: 1) that much of widely-known African history and the history of Americans who are black consists of victimization: litany of failures, slavery, oppression, colonialism and perceived lack of innovation, 2) that some black Americans use the American history of slavery and oppression to induce white guilt, and 3) that some black Americans use the same as an excuse for personal failure.

But if it is important that we know the history of our country’s founding and the important political, military, religious and social movements which have shaped this nation’s character—this nation’s people–then the well-informed citizen cannot escape this category of that history; to attempt to do so would be to separate black Americans from the rest of our countrymen once again.

Example: There has been much ado in recent years about the hymn Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, colloquially known since the 1940s as the Negro National Anthem. Many who had not known of the song, its origin, its significance or its informal role among black Americans, have misinterpreted it as some sort of repudiation of whiteness and/or America-as-founded (a notion which has been exacerbated by actual repudiators of whiteness). But the merest bit of investigation into all of these areas and the deployment of some historical perspective reveal that  John  Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson  composed the song as an anthem to God and to a nation which contemporaneously excluded black Americans.

But like any other tool–books and banners, for example–songs can be used for good, neutral, and evil purposes. That fact is separate from the intrinsic good, neutrality or evil of the specified tool, but without necessary information—without history—the truth gets lost and the tool become a bludgeon, and that is what has happened to Lift.

At the beginning of former Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s annual State of the City address in 2008 (a prelude to the Democratic National Convention of that year), there was a major brouhaha regard the song when a singer named Rene Marie sang it in place of the Star-Spangled Banner, rather than in the usual order which the song is rendered—after The National Anthem.

At two separate blogs–Hot Air and Breitbart, I provided background on the song. The hosts were cordial and willing to receive new information. The commenters, however, were a different story.  I was attacked by some commenters at both sites, but I didn’t take the ignorance and blatant racial slurs personally from the Breitbart commenters since I rarely comment there, though I suspect that Andrew was turning in his grave.

But with the Hot Air commenters, however, the situation was very painful, since I was a regular commenter there and both Ed Morrissey and Allahpundit had occasionally featured posts from my old blog.  There were no racial slurs, but being called a liar by people who “know” me was shocking.

The most shocking thing about the two episodes, however, was that so few of the commenters had even heard of the song–a song which I can’t recall not knowing.

I’ve had a number of years to think about this and I’ve come to this conclusion: most of us—meaning most Americans–like to celebrate the good parts of our country’s history, but we often ignore the parts which might make us uncomfortable or cause us to reach uncomfortable conclusions about other Americans.

And most people don’t want to be guilt-tripped…especially for the actions of others. So it is that much of black American history is ignored by other Americans, especially white ones. But this type of knowledge gap has allowed the originally apolitical song to be used by all manner of political opportunists, all Leftist in nature.

Well, if you are afraid of being guilt-tripped, then I don’t know what to tell you, because anyone with a strong sense of self-discipline and strong attachment to truth can refuse inappropriate guilty feelings. And that same devotion to truth should make such people hungry for both the good and uncomplimentary history of a group people who are the most American of Americans.

“What would happen if there was a White History Month?”

This often-deployed rhetorical response to Black History Month always betrays a lack of historical perspective and an ability to be guilt-tripped. (If someone wanted to create a White History Month why should they care what anyone thinks?) I would applaud any individual who actually made an attempt to create such a cultural totem. Why?

Because, my fellow Americans who are white: your history is my history…and mine, yours. Let’s all act like it.

RELATED:

 Black History Lessons from the GOP

PREVIOUSLY:

Flip-Flopper: Why I’m Against Black History Month…and For It (Part 2)
Flip-Flopper: Why I’m Against Black History Month…and For It (Part 1)

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 new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!