by baldilocks

It’s strange how mundane things can trigger memories. That happens to me here in my native Los Angeles whenever I drive on one of the connections between Interstate 5 and Interstate 110. The southbound 5 to southbound 110 transition is a little stretch of two lane highway which looks like it was carved into the hill next to it. Though it’s in the process of an upgrade, for decades it looked rickety enough to crumble with a good, trademark Southern California shaker.

But there it hangs, for at least as far back as I can recall. Trucks, buses, etc. have sat on it in traffic jams headed toward downtown LA – or to Dodger Stadium — for decades and probably are doing so as I type these words.

Many years ago, another vehicle had occasion to take this tiny stretch of highway: my great-uncle (1920-2000), great-aunt (1921-2012) and I would be on our way home from Lake Isabella and, when we hit that part, I knew we were close to home.

Among my mementos is an identical postcard.

My uncle had one of those pick-up trucks with a camper on the back; a nice one, big enough for three. (Do they still make those things?) We’d go over that road and, I, with a six-year-old’s a vivid imagination, would get the feeling that our truck was too big for the road and that we were going to fall off into some unknown abyss that waited for us. Fortunately, it takes about fifteen seconds–traffic willing—to run over this part of the freeway, so my morbid imaginings never had time to bloom into full-blown panic.

I used to get an inkling of that panic as I drove over the stretch, but now, the panic is gone and the sweet memories of a happy childhood remain. I’m very grateful for them.

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

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

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

by baldilocks

After this happened yesterday, a few of my online friends messaged me to make sure that all was well with me. (Bless you.)

As a third night of protests over Donald Trump’s election swept through major cities, nearly 200 people were arrested by Los Angeles police in the downtown L.A.

About 150 people — a mix of adults and juveniles — were arrested near Cesar E. Chavez and Grand avenues by 3 a.m., Montgomery said.

Just after midnight, in a separate set of arrests, about 35 were taken into custody after failing to disperse in the area of Olive Street and Olympic Boulevard, Montgomery said.

“F— Trump” graffiti could be seen in various locations in the downtown area.

I messaged back to let them know that I was okay and, while the above locations are not far–in LA distance–from my apartment, it was very quiet. (Nothing good happens on the street between 12 and 3AM, but that’s a side point.)

There’s a reason for the peace; I live in Koreatown. You all remember the Korean-Americans of LA, right?

koreansla1992
1992 LA Riots

Actually, my neighborhood is very mixed racially, but many of the business signs are in Korean. Welcome to LA. Koreans make great neighbors.

I had thought about heading downtown to see what was going on today, but I should have gotten an earlier start.

Meanwhile, I’ve gained a bit of notoriety as a YouTube ranter. The topic? Leftists.

And I will probably write about this story since the human dynamics of it and that of the anti-Trump riots are related. (Careful. The story will inflame your emotions.)

Tomorrow, I must travel through downtown to get to church, so I’ll keep my camera at the ready for any rioters in the wild. And please don’t worry about my safety. I don’t.

OH YEAH AND: I got Instalanched for this post today.

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.

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

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

addictions
From sciencenews.org

by baldilocks

So, this happened not far from where I live.

SKID ROW, LOS ANGELES (KABC) —

Paramedics rushed to Skid Row after 18 people appeared to have overdosed on a drug presumed to be spice, or synthetic marijuana, fire officials said.

The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the area of 5th and San Pedro streets at about 10:30 a.m.

Officials said 18 people were evaluated and 14 of those were taken to the hospital.

The victims were all suffering from similar symptoms, according to officials, which included altered mental status, combative behavior, and in some cases, seizures.

“We don’t have toxicological confirmation, but it’s presumably spice, which is a synthetic type of cannabis or marijuana. And of course, because it’s synthetic, nobody for sure knows what active ingredients are in there, the strength is variable,” Dr. Marc Eckstein, the Los Angeles Fire Department medical director and EMS bureau commander explained.

Before my homeless stint, I’d never heard of stuff like ‘spice’ and ‘tweaking.’ But 2015 was an education for me. I saw the effects of both—turning relatively normal people into the zombies of recent fiction, except that they weren’t cannibals…that I know of. And regular weed was everywhere. Since the latter is legal here in CA, there are “clinics” all around, and one of the hot topics of the homeless housing was where a customer could get the best high for the most reasonable price. Usually, I’d walk away from such conversations—not for any high-minded reasons, but because they bored me to tears.

Mere nicotine-addicts—like me–and those who would manage to sneak alcohol in were considered relatively straight-laced.

And that brings me to one of the reasons I wanted to stop smoking. It seems to me that all drug addictions bring illusory benefits but, in reality, have only drawbacks. Hard-core illegal drug addicts see these quickly, but we who partake in the legal substances are more likely to fool ourselves for many years, at least until that first stroke, heart attack, car accident, etc.

I’ve mused on my blessings from God many times; one of these is excellent physical health, in spite of battling nicotine addiction for many years. It’s a sin to take a blessing from God and throw it in the trash can, is it not?

Another thing: we are coming into some very perilous times, maybe the End Times. But even if things are not that apocalyptic, it seems that it’s best for each one of us to leave the extraneous habits behind. There is enough useless baggage on our backs already.

Fifteen days. I’m sort of addicted to CornNuts now.

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.

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

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

by baldilocks

Right, duty, whatever one wants to call it, I voted today in the California Primary Election. No Party Preference, crossover ballot—Republican. Who did I vote for? Ted Cruz. I figured that readers would want to know.

I first registered as a Republican immediately after the 2000 General Election in which I voted for a Republican picardelectionmemecandidate for president for the first time. This was after a decade-long exploration of the two major political parties and paying closer attention to current events than I had done before that period. Back then, I remained a registered as a Democrat on purpose until after I voted in order to send a tiny message to the party whose principles bore no resemblance to my own. Sixteen years later, the circumstances are similar: this was my first vote as an independent. We’ll see what happens next.


One of my real-life friends tells me that Hillary and Bill Clinton are in town, holding a rally a quick bus ride from my apartment, among other places in LA.

Hillary Clinton is holding multiple campaign events across Southern California on Monday, the eve of the California presidential primary.

Clinton attended a “Get out the Vote” rally at La Fachada Plaza Mexico in Lynwood. Then, she headed to Leimert Park Village Plaza for another rally, followed by an event at Long Beach Community College. The former secretary of state will then head to the Greek Theatre for a concert later in the evening.

The concert will feature singers Christina Aguilera, John Legend and Stevie Wonder.

Clinton has reached the number of delegates and superdelegates needed to win the Democratic nomination, according to an Associated Press survey of delegates.

I get my hair trimmed at a shop about two blocks from Leimert Park and was considering going for a clean-up cut today. Glad I found out about the Clinton event beforehand. Traffic makes me nuts—even when I’m not driving. So do Leftists.

Oh, have I mentioned that my hair is about an inch long? Not so baldilocks anymore. A lot grayer, though.

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.

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

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

By John Ruberry

“I’m not mad, I’m proud of you. You took your first pinch like a man and you learned two great things in your life. Look at me, never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.” Jimmy Conway to Henry Hill in GoodFellas.

Two weeks ago in this space I wrote about Rare Good News on Illinois Corruption. Former Chicago alderman Ambrosio Medrano received a 10 1/2 year sentence for participating in a kickback scheme. The day after that post, Medrano was sentenced to an additional 2 1/2 years for his role in a Los Angeles bribery scam, which brings his total to an unlucky 13 years in, as Elwood Blues called it in The Blues Brothers, “the joint.”

In the 1990s, Medrano served  2 1/2 years for accepting bribes

But the “rare good news” may not be as wonderful as it sounds.

31st Street Skyline
Dark clouds over Chicago

In his Chicago Sun-Times blog, Dan Mihalopoulos explained that Medrano, could have a received a lighter prison term if he agreed to be an informant. The crooked pol is 60–such a deal should have appealed to him. But Medrano is from Illinois–and from Chicago, where the political term ‘clout’ comes from.

“I couldn’t live with myself,” he told the Sun-Times in an exclusive interview when discussing assisting the feds. “Some people call it cooperating. Some people call it being a rat.”

Medrano refused to cooperate with federal authorities after he was caught the first time. All of this means Medrano is immoral instead of amoral. His has morals, only they are corroded.

“Look at me, never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.”

And the decent people of Illinois–we do have some here–have a lot of work to do.

Medrano’s latest convictions involve public health care networks. Does anyone believe that the crooked suppliers were the low-bidders for these contracts?

Corruption is expensive.

On Monday I marveled at the lack of coverage of the LA school sex abuse issue, well there is a bombshell:

Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy told parents Monday evening that the district is replacing the entire staff of Miramonte Elementary School in the wake of the arrests last week of two teachers on lewd conduct charges.

The unprecedented move is intended to build confidence among the many families who have lost faith in their neighborhood elementary school. More than a quarter of students did not show up for classes Monday.

Now you would think this would produce headlines and coverage all over the place. A sex scandal involving minors so bad that the entire staff of a school is replaced to restore confidence.

Yet I don’t see any TV coverage, I don’t see any Maureen Dowd columns, I don’t see anyone calling for a comprehensive examination of public schools and waving of statue of limitations for public school teachers. Until and unless the word “Priest” is involved for the story, as far as the MSM is concerned there IS no story.

I’ve said it before and say it again.

Media bias is not just about how things are reported but about what things people choose to report on.

The solution in LA by the way is clear, we must end Celibacy in the LA public school system and allow teachers to marry to nip this in the bud!

Update: The Washington Post has one story on it, lets see if there is follow up or TV coverage