Let’s take a look at the competence and morality of some of our past presidents.

Jimmy Carter was the epitome of incompetence. As a young reporter for Newsweek, I was assigned almost weekly to the “Jimmy f***-up stories.” They were many and varied, particularly his economic program that lead to double-digit inflation, double-digit interest rates and double-digit increases in the price of gasoline.

The Iran crisis demonstrated his ineptitude and held the entire country hostage for 444 days.

Lyndon Johnson was the worst president in my lifetime—a president whose policies still hold an iron grip on many American cities.

In domestic policy, Johnson shackled many through the War on Poverty. Just think how many people remain tied to the government trough by these ill-conceived programs. Moreover, we have LBJ to thank for the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which created the poor system Trump faces today. The Voting Rights Act may have had noble intentions, but it has lead to the inability to ask voters for identification during elections.

Then there’s Vietnam. LBJ managed to mismanage the war so badly that the United States had its tail between its legs for nearly two decades until the First Gulf War in 1990-91.

JFK brought his tarts into the White House, but Bill Clinton had sex in the Oval Office. I have to thank Clinton, however, because his reckless acts made me rethink my political orientation.

For many years, I embraced the liberal policies backed by baby boomers like me. I even voted for George McGovern in 1972! As a journalist and an academic, I had to go along and get along with the liberal point of view. Otherwise, I would have been shamed for my stances and lost my job. In fact, I did lose one academic job because of my conservative views.

Simply put, I could not bide the disgrace that Clinton brought to the office. If someone had such little regard for the presidency, I could not support him or his party, which supported him through impeachment.

It started me down a path of evaluating my political views. I found that I was a conservative on both economic and social policies.

Sure, Nixon had Watergate; Reagan had Iran-Contra, and Bush 43 failed to clean up Iraq. But Nixon brought China into the international fold, Reagan crushed the Soviet Union, and Bush 43 brought us together for a while after 9/11. Ironically, Bush 41, who brought victory during the First Gulf War, may have been the best president during my lifetime despite his read-my-lips gaffe.

For those who criticize the Trump administration and for those who have forgotten their history, I hope this trip down memory lane might be a useful review.

Certainly, President Trump has made mistakes. But my shorthand response to critics of Trump goes like this: unemployment and debt are down; stocks are up; and Neil Gorsuch is on the bench, with more to come. To me, that’s an awfully good start!

The_Peacemakers_1868
(L,R) Generals Sherman and Grant, President Lincoln, and Admiral Porter. Linked attribution.

by baldilocks

Originally posted on December 10, 2009.

While hanging out yesterday at Ace’s yesterday [sic; December 9, 2009] as he was flogging racists, I happened to mention that many if not most black Americans view the federal government as beneficial and friendly.  Some other commenters were surprised and I was surprised at their surprise, because it isn’t difficult to figure out why this is.  Whether it’s the Emancipation or the desegregation of the Armed Forces or Brown v. Board or the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, the federal government for the most part had seemed to be on the side of the black American as his constitutional rights were being oppressed by state or local governments.

What needs to be spelled, however is what the federal government did in the above-mentioned areas: it legally removed obstacles to the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of Americans who are black.  And that is what it was supposed to do.

The present problem in my unlearned opinion is this: the federal government began overstepping its bounds during the Great Depression and did so most infamously in the late sixties via the Great Society programs.  Doing more that getting local racists out of the way, the federal government sought to and succeeded in making itself the suppliers of life, liberty and, putatively, the happiness of many black Americans.  (Try telling a senior of any race that Social Security is sending the country to financial ruin. You’ll get an earful about her “rights”.)

And even many black Americans who do not rely on the federal government still view the fed as our friend because of that history.

What’s needed in order to change this perception is obvious: education–not a new education but the old one, one which contains an objective explanation of the role of government.

Simply put, the role of the American government is to remove obstacles to liberty of the People–even when that obstacle is American government itself.  Supplying all of one’s needs is not government’s role.  That’s God’s purview.

We all remember President Obama’s statement containing the assertion that one of the flaws of the US Constitution was that is only contained a  list of “negative rights,” meaning negative government “rights.”  The idea that a Harvard-trained lawyer thinks that the government has rights or that there was no list of positive responsibilities assigned to government was mockable.  (Hey, you voted for him.)

But what the statement betrayed was a widespread misconception present in those of us who aren’t lawyers of any variety of a friendly fed whose role is to insert itself between God and man’s liberty and to redistribute wealth (aka stealing).  The notion that the founders “forgot” to address this is hilarious.

So when the Democrats came to full power [in 2009], they began to build on the foundation that Democrat Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson laid.  The good news?  Between Socialized Medicine, Cap and Trade, TARP, etc., the federal government’s active role in overstepping its bounds–in crippling America–is opening the eyes of Americans of all races.  The bad news: there may not be an America left when the federal locusts finish.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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If you are a regular reader at DaTechGuyBlog You might be surprised to see a 3rd piece on the Hugo Awards, Sad Puppies controversy in two days here. I suspect most of my readers have never heard of the Hugo award, are unfamiliar with the books that are nominated and would conclude with upon examination that Hugo Award winners are:

simply the favorite of the subset of readers who happened to buy memberships to any given year’s World Science Fiction Convention.

But if they want to understand why the entire Sad Puppies business should be of interest to them, let me give them a historical political parallel, Lyndon Johnson and the Little Congress.

Created to provide a forum for public-speaking experience and increased knowledge of parliamentary procedures for congressional staff, the Little Congress modeled itself after the House of Representatives

While over the years it had become primarily a social club a young secretary to Texas congressman Kleberg decided to turn it into a tool for his own purposes.

On April 27th 1933 Lyndon Bains Johnson was elected to the speakership of the little congress securing his election through ahem interesting means and quickly transformed the organization as a power base, promoting himself to media, to senior members of congress building a political machine whereby one did not advance unless they were a Johnson man and opposition to him resulted in retaliation.

For two years people put up with this until a 20 year old James Coleman when discovering that the only way he could advance was “knuckling under” to Johnson decided to fight back and discovered that there were plenty of people who were not happy at what the organization had become. As Robert A Caro put it in his book The Years of Lyndon Johnson the Path to Power: “Rounding up support for his attempt to defeat Johnson proved unexpectedly easy.” and while Johnson was running a surrogate for speaker (as the office was term limited) the outcry was directed against him:

Pointing to Johnson, who was sitting silently in a corner Croslin shouted: “That’s the man we’re going to defeat. He’s been boss too long, we’re not going to be bossed!”

Lo and behold when the ballots were counted (this time in the open checked against membership lists) LBJ found himself and his machine defeated and just as quickly as the organization had been politicised it went back to being what it was before the Johnson years.

This is exactly what has happened with the Hugo awards. For years it was simply a group of science fiction fans who were voting for their favorite books and the like until the Social Justice warriors saw it as a means to advance their agenda: Consider this from Larry Corriea:

For years authors have complained about the biased state of the Hugos, the politicking, and the games you needed to play in order to be considered. Most of the grumbling was in private, behind closed doors, and there wasn’t a green room at any con in the country where you couldn’t find authors complaining about the sorry state of things.

But nobody did anything.

Then some cliques started manipulating this small, easily manipulated system. When 40 or 80 nominations was all it took to sway the most prestigious award in the industry, a few whisper campaigns and calling in favors was all it took to secure a spot. Again, many honest WorldCon fans were offended by this behavior.
But nobody did anything.

As time went on, it got increasingly absurd and political. Some once beloved and award winning authors were shunned for their politics, never to be seen at the Hugos again. Editors and companies related to those shunned authors discovered that they too were shunned by relation, regardless of their politics. Campaigns became more public, with “award pimpage” becoming the norm. And the long time SMOFs who took pride in this award were offended.
But nobody did anything.

Well the Sad Puppies Crowd finally got sick of it and decided to do something about it and now the people who used the Awards as their own little fiefdom are outraged.

Why does this matter?  Well Andrew Breitbart said over and over that culture is upstream of politics and if you want to defeat these people you need to win the culture wars.

You may not want to fight the culture war but the other side’s culture warriors still want to fight you.  I’ll give Larry the last word:

You want to know why we’re here now, loud, annoying you, upsetting your apple cart? Read those articles. Look at the bylines by culture warriors who all share the same set of politics. You say that you don’t like how we made the awards political. Newsflash, they have been for a long time, only you wouldn’t know it because my side didn’t bother to take the field. Now we’re here, taking ground they think they own, and those culture warriors don’t give a shit about you, the authors you love, the books you read, or the future of your culture. They think they own you like they own every other group, and they’ll lie, slander, threaten, coerce, defame, sabotage, and hate anyone who stands up to them.

No More.

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by baldilocks

I’m deep into research and Breitbart provides one of the keys/tracks/clues via The Truth about LBJ and MLK–a piece which is tangential to the release of the movie Selma.

The truth is that Lyndon Baines Johnson was a life-long segregationist who resisted numerous attempts to eliminate the poll tax and literacy tests during his twenty-three year career in the House and Senate. He blocked every major and minor piece of meaningful civil rights legislation as the leader of the Southern block in the US Senate, and as its powerful Majority Leader.

It was Lyndon Johnson who neutered the 1957 Civil Rights Act with a poison pill amendment that required violators of the Act be tried before state (all-white), not federal juries. Many contemporary liberals including Joseph Rauh, the president of Americans for Democratic Action, and A. Philip Randolph, a vice president of the AFL-CIO, called the bill worthless, and “worse than no bill at all.”Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._and_Lyndon_Johnson_2

As Vice President, Lyndon Johnson orchestrated southern congressional opposition to JFK’s civil rights agenda and repeatedly warned JFK to go slow on the civil rights, voting rights, and open housing legislation that Kennedy had promised in his 1960 campaign.

LBJ, it seems, was reserving these initiatives for himself. He repeatedly cautioned President Kennedy to wait “until the time is right.” On Capitol Hill, Johnson simultaneously lobbied his “establishment” friends to stall that same legislation.

Johnson would do an about-face on civil rights immediately upon becoming president, apparently now that the “time was right.” He did so to begin the creation of a grand legacy for himself through the passage of the same legislation that he had previously impeded, and to fend-off a challenge from Robert F. Kennedy at the 1964 Democratic convention.

His maneuvering also gave him currency in the left wing of his party so that he could escalate the Vietnam War unimpeded, having won its support.  He had also promised his longtime supporters in the defense contracting business, as well as the Pentagon, that after he was reelected “you’ll get your war.”

What am I researching? I’m trying to find an easy to understand method of how we got to where we are–intellectually speaking–with respect to education and racial enmity. As I’m doing so, an interesting thing is happening: I’m having my assumptions challenged, including the assumption that I know this part of history.

Traveling…

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015. Follow her on Twitter.

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

imageby baldilocks

No, not that Fisherman. The other one.

The power to tax is the power to destroy.

–Daniel Webster, et al.

The 36th president of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, is infamous for many things.

Most domestically notable are two programs: the Great Society and Medicare. Both programs can arguably be viewed as bait to Americans. Bait for what? Luring the poor into government dependence, luring the elderly into the same, and luring the descendants of all into catastrophic debt. This debt applies both individually and nationally.

However, I was fascinated to discover that these programs were not LBJ’s first forays into hooking groups into government control. At The Federalist, Leslie Loftis notes that his first target was the church.

When the federal tax code was written, that the government couldn’t tax churches was assumed. For one, at the beginning of the union, only the federal government was prohibited from establishing a religion. The state governments could and did establish churches. They didn’t tax churches, but collected taxes for the church. This stopped after the Civil War and the ratification and subsequent case law of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporated the federal proscription against an established religion to the individual states.

[snip]

Essentially, churches have complied with the exemption requirements of the tax code rather than asserting the right to be free from taxation.

[snip]

To punish and prevent political opponents [including churches] from speaking out against him, [in 1954] then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson, who was in a contentious re-election campaign, pushed through an amendment to the tax code which prohibits “political activity” by 501(c)(3) entities. It is called the Johnson Amendment. Since the prohibition passed, it has only been lightly—and selectively—enforced.

Loftis points to bi-partisan examples of this selective enforcement, but notes that

[m]ost churches, however, tend to err on the side of caution lest the IRS decide to prosecute, either on a whim or as part of a larger political intimidation program much like the one they have run in the past few years against conservative secular organizations.

In other words, due to LBJ’s little trap, most churches yield to fear and/or love of money.

Oh and Loftis also notes that the IRS is the process of composing new guidelines for political activity by tax-exempt religious organizations and churches at the the legal behest of the Freedom From Religion Foundation(!) Aren’t all we Jesus freaks, Bible-thumpers and bitter-clingers looking forward to the passage of such regulations so that we can find out what’s in them?

Back to LBJ. We have had several problematic presidents and the current one seems like the biggest one. But he and his ideological siblings who sit in political office at all levels of government–like Houston Mayor Annise Parker–can look to the politicians of the past and thank them for laying the foundations of tyranny by luring an intentionally under-educated populace into assenting to it.

Politicians like LBJ: Dixiecrat, Reenslaver of black Americans, and Persecutor of the Church.

Quite a legacy, don’t you think?

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, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2017.

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—->>>>Posted with Blogsy

by baldilocks

As the opposite is so for many of us in America, citizens reared in other countries have little understanding of politics, history, and culture(s) in the USA.  I am in a special place in that my biological father is Kenyan and my siblings from the Old Country have trouble understanding the political opposition to Barack Obama—especially mine. To them, he is of our tribe and our brother who should have our support no matter what.  

Therefore, I am in the process of composing a series of posts meant to help the Kenyan part of my family understand that opposition. I may post them here, but for this particular post, I want to expand on an idea/observation which stems from an encounter I had this morning and, later, try to relate it to the upcoming posts. Call it a preamble.

After waking this morning, I got up, washed my face, brushed my teeth, threw on some clothes, and, without breakfast or coffee, went to get my hair cut (shaved). Black barbershops have a justifiable reputation for being places where real talk occurs and, sometimes, where shouting and anger occur.  Being un-caffeinated, I was in no mood to get into any conversation; much less, a political one with a bunch of liberals, but my barber alerted the room that I was a Republican. So the game was afoot.

Many wonder why black conservatives refuse to talk to black liberals about conservatism. It’s simply this: they won’t STFU long enough to let you complete an idea.  In addition, having to, once again, listen to able-bodied, able-minded, working, responsible, black adults go on about what the “white man” owes “us,” made me want to scream, though I restrained myself.

Being out-numbered 3-1, being talked over multiple times, being insulted more than once, not being allowed to answer proffered questions, and having my actual answers ignored, at some point–out of frustration–I let the “conversation” go. However, I was able to put forth a couple of ideas which I had not completely articulated in the past. One follows in a longer form than I was able to get out earlier today.

Black people—not just those who are American—view white people in the same manner that anti-theists view God. Anti-theists are different from atheists. Even though the former deny God’s existence with their mouths and keyboards, they believe in Him…and they hate Him. Many black people have a similar view of white people: they view all of you as their hated masters–yes, still, in 2014—but their masters, nonetheless. Moreover, as our masters, it is your duty to feed, clothe, and house us; and to give us anything else we ask of you.

As history shows, before the Civil Rights Era, most black Americans were Republicans; now, because of well-crafted strategy implemented by LBJ, et al., most are Democrats. That strategy is based on the real slavery mindset: that whoever provides the most things—whoever is the most generous patron to black people–is a friend to black people.  LBJ knew this; therefore, he strove to transform his party’s image into that of the good and generous patron.

Patron:  5 :  a master in ancient times who freed his slave but retained some rights over him

Even though the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 respectively disallowed patronage and de facto serfdom, the mindset remains embedded in the progeny of the “former” slaves/serfs . Thus, since the CRA, most black Americans have given their allegiance to the Democrat Party and, because of the mindset, they have certain expectations of white Americans—those expected of a patron.

From that notion comes this one: many black liberals believe that black conservatives give their allegiance to the Republican Party for the exact same reason, and that they are, therefore, sell-outs. (Note that, to black liberals, even politics always involves some imagined sale of black persons.) They are unable to view white persons outside of the master/patron/domination paradigm and cannot envision any relationship between black persons and white persons outside of that perspective. Somebody has to be on top. And, in light of our past[i] and our indoctrinated and unacknowledged feelings of inferiority, most black liberals believe it will be you, my white friends.

Most black conservatives have freed themselves from this mindset, but, like all long-term indoctrination, it remains insidious.

Therefore, I conclude this: until the majority of black people get white people out of their heads and begin view you as equals, the shouts of racism will continue, as will the shout-down of the truly emancipated. Freedom begins inside.


[i] The history of enslavement of black Africans begins well before the European and American involvement therein.

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!

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