Big Media Want You Scared

by baldilocks

I’m okay. No pestilence; nor am I aware of any family member or friend who has it. I do keep a very long prayer list consisting of names, however.

I just want to point out something.

Yesterday, there was this.

CBS News has picked up the story of the woman who claims her hospital gave her no protection to take care of COVID-19 patients.

But CBS News apparently didn’t check the story because, as they say, it was too good to check.

Imaris Vera, part-time nurse and part-time Instagram model, claims she quit her job at a Chicago area hospital – still unnamed – because the hospital didn’t provide nurses with proper equipment around COVID-19 patients.

All we’ve heard is howls from governors and CDC officials for us not to take away gear from first responders. Save the PPE and the N-95 masks for the pros. So at first blush, the story looked like it might be true.

Then it started crumbling.

And, today, there was this.

President Donald Trump reportedly owns a stake in a company that produces hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug he has repeatedly touted as a coronavirus treatment even though his experts say there’s no strong evidence it works.

Trump “has a small personal financial interest” in Sanofi, the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine, The New York Times reported Monday.

In addition, Sanofi’s largest shareholders include a mutual fund company run by major Republican donor Ken Fisher, the paper said. Trump’s three family trusts, as of last year, each had investments in a mutual fund whose largest holding was Sanofi, according to the Times.

Mike Cernovich presented the financial documents and figured out that President Trump’s stake in Sanofi is worth no more than $435. And, considering that Sanofi hasn’t owned the patent for Panequil (hydroxychloroquine’s brand name) since 1995, there are likely dozens of generic versions of the drug, since it is used to treat several conditions: rheumatoid arthritis, malaria, lupus, etc.

But we know what media’s intended implication is: that President Trump is pushing hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the Wuhan virus in order to enrich himself.

Besides both  being distortions of reality by Big Media entities, these two vignettes are small parts of an overarching goal: to keep fear and hopelessness stoked in the collective psyche of the American public.

It’s like this. If the public believes that the president is just in it for himself and there is in actuality no pharmaceutical cure, they will be willing to accept a more radical cure — like changing presidents.

Big Media will keep trying. And that’s why the president’s daily Wuhan virus press briefings are so important.

And it’s why several Big Media entities hate these briefings and refuse to cover them.

Keep an eye on all of them, especially now that most of you have the time to do 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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Adventures in Tyranny

Crises and actors

by baldilocks

Don Surber:

The biggest fear for Democrats today are chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. Democrat governors in Michigan and Nevada have banned their use to fight COVID-19, not because the drugs may harm people but because the drugs may work.

The party’s flying monkeys in the press are casting shade on this possible cure.

Politico reported, “President Donald Trump’s all-out push to advance unproven corona virus treatments is deepening a divide between the White House and career health officials, who are being pulled away from other potential projects to address the president’s hunch that decades-old malaria medicines can be corona virus cures.

“The White House directed health officials to set up a project to track if the antimalarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine show promise — a dayslong effort that distracted from urgent tasks like trials of other medicines thought to have more potential against the virus. Food and Drug Administration officials also reversed a nearly six-year ban on a troubled Indian manufacturer in a bid to secure the drugs, and top advisers to Trump have encouraged other agencies to locate as much of the product as possible. The White House is also pressuring Medicare officials to pay for unproven treatments being given to desperate patients during a pandemic.”

The headline read, “Trump’s push for risky malaria drugs disrupts corona virus response.”

The risk the Democrats fear is success.

Emphasis mine.

Hard to believe, is it not? But then, if someone had told you three months ago that, by the end of March, we’d all be in our homes, banned from going to work, school, church, etc., and afraid to touch anything, much less each other, you would have labelled the prognosticator as nuts.

And could it be that a drug which has been around for centuries and used to treat malaria and many other conditions is the answer?

Don is right, but it isn’t only success of Donald Trump that they fear. Remember: “never let a crisis go to waste?” In my opinion, they are seeing how much that citizens will put up with from government.

Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. — Gov. Ralph Northam [D] held a press conference Tuesday morning where he recommended limiting gatherings to 10 people or less, in accordance with President Donald Trump’s most recent coronavirus guidelines.

By Tuesday night, Northam had sent out the 10-person limit as an executive order.

Churches, too.

California:

LOS ANGELES – In a sit-down interview with FOX 11, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva declared gun stores as nonessential businesses that will be forced to close.

Sheriff Villanueva also said he’s adding 1,300 deputies to patrol, that he’s released 1,700 nonviolent inmates from county jails, and criticized how local politicians have handled the messaging behind the numerous stay-at-home orders

Rescinded … for now.

Illinois:

The mayor of Champaign, Illinois, gave herself the power to ban the sale of guns and alcohol after declaring a citywide emergency to address the coronavirus.

Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen signed the executive order on Thursday declaring a state of emergency for the city. That executive order, which is in line with municipal code, comes with extraordinary powers for the mayor to enact over a short period of time as the city combats the spread of the coronavirus.

New Jersey:

Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has ordered all collision repairers and other businesses with personal protective equipment to submit an inventory to the state by 5 p.m. Friday.

“Any business or non-hospital health care facility, including but not limited to dental facilities, construction facilities, research facilities, office-based healthcare or veterinary practices, and institutions of higher learning, in possession of PPE, ventilators, respirators, or anesthesia machines that are not required for the provision of critical health care services should undertake an inventory of such supplies and send that information to the State by no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 2020,” Murphy ordered Monday.

There are many other examples, but, simply, a potential cure will halt the experimentation of various levels of authoritarianism. This is the other fear of the Democrats.

But, if you ask me, the experiment has already shown “successful” results.

And dashing hopes for a cure is an attempt to soften the ground for more. If the people believe that there will be no cure, we are more likely to let government have its way with us.

Pun intended.

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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Keeping It Clean

by baldilocks

The place in which I live at present is the first one in my entire life where I have no on-site access to a washer and a dryer. Even when I lived in homeless housing, there were laundry facilities. (Bad part: you had to keep a close eye on your clothes; I lost a beloved pair of jeans to thieves during my blessedly short stint.)

As a result and beginning in 2015, I have perfected the fine art of handwashing my clothes. When I moved here, I had almost no money for weeks afterward, but I had soap, water and the need for clean clothes. So, I adapted and overcame.

Later on, I bought a small scrub bin and whenever I had a little extra money, I’d head over to the laundromat, but that has become a rarer occasion for three reasons: 1) I almost never have any extra money, 2) I discover that my clothes are cleaner when I handwash them, and 3) I have been grossed out more than once by the detergent and fabric softener containers on the machines.

 The reason I’m bringing it up is because various municipalities – including Los Angeles – deem laundromats as essential facilities which must be kept open and I don’t dispute that. What I find ironic, however is this: laundromats seem like a good place for the spread of icky things like the coronavirus.

All I’m saying is that those of you who don’t have machines at home might consider hand-washing your own clothes. Tip: use borax and white vinegar for odor issues. Vinegar also gets rid of mold and mildew – though I can’t find any evidence that has any effect on viruses — and it won’t bleach out colors.

And you don’t have to get near any strangers who are giving you the side-eye in return.

Hand-washing clothes takes time and some extra work, but time is something we all have a little be more of, so there’s that.

By the way, a year or so ago, one of my fans bought me the following. Comes in handy.

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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The Silence of LA

Don’t be afraid

by baldilocks

When it’s over, it will be great.

I will miss the quietness, however.

My residential street runs parallel to a nearby busy boulevard and it makes a great short-cut to avoid heavy traffic

But there are no speedbumps on my street and, as a result, drivers fly down it on their way to and from work. There are lots of near misses, if the amount of horn-honking is any indication.  And I’m not a little surprised that there hasn’t been any trading of lead-encased propellants in the five years that I’ve lived here. This is Los Angeles, after all.

However, other than the speeders, my very racially integrated neighborhood is quite peaceful and the near shutdown of the city due to COVID-19 has given it surrealism. It’s almost like living in the country.

No one is in a rush to go to work because so few are even allowed to go. The schools and colleges are shut down.

It’s certain, however, that much work and education is being conducted via digital means and when the shutdown ends, it will be interesting to see how these things will be transformed by the revelation that more stuff gets done when employees and students stay home.

Back to my nearly traffic-free street: I mentioned on Twitter that I had prayed for a long time that drivers would stop speeding down my street and in the last few days it has happened! Of course, I didn’t pray that it would come from a citywide quarantine, but I do know that God is a multitasker. Also, it is far from the first time that He has answered a prayer of mine in a way that I didn’t expect.

The moral of the story is obvious: be careful what you pray for.

However, I will continue to pray for the physical, financial, and spiritual healing of our country. And I’ll wager that it will shock the world in how it comes to pass.

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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Biden Punches Down — Again

by baldilocks

Just a reminder: I don’t give a bleep about manners.

However, I’m usually cordial because that’s my personality and because cordiality is more effective for communication most of the time.

But when those other times happen, I don’t hesitate to engage — with glee even and almost never with anger. (On my own blog, I’ll use the occasional obscenity, but Peter frowns upon unedited bleepers and this is his living room, not mine.)

So, when 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden told a Michigan autoworker that he was “full of sh*t” or that he was a “horse’s a**,” it didn’t offend my sensibilities in the least; I’m not one of these “thou shalt not be rude” Christians. My Lord and Savior was rude a few times when He was down here and He even hurled a epithet or two …

… but not at those who would presume to follow Him.

While I was pointing and laughing at Biden today, one of my Twitter followers thought I was condemning him for “bad words.” Leaving aside that I don’t have the power or authority to condemn anyone in any manner, if I were the Big Bad, I’d condemn Biden for being aggressive with someone who has much less power and authority that he does; for “punching down” — definition #5. (For the record, Biden was pretending to be a gun-rights champion and got all offended when the autoworker wasn’t buying it.)

There’s a lot of speculation that Biden is showing symptoms of dementia. Maybe, but who could tell? Biden has long had only a nodding acquaintance with the truth and has more than once been aggressive and insulting toward ordinary people among his own constituency who critically question him.

It’s one thing to insult your political opponent — your equal — but it’s a whole other thing to insult those you want to lead.

Will Biden steal the nomination from beat Bernie? That seems to be the direction in which we’re heading. Assuming that happens, we can look forward to some horizontal punching between the former vice president and President Trump. Biden’s cognitive state may be in question, but even if he’s merely the same old Biden who just pulls stuff out of his backside, the president is bound to make him angry — on purpose no doubt.

Lying dog-faced pony soldiers should go long on popcorn, as should everyone else.

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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A Basic Compare and Contrast

The letter of the day is I

by baldilocks

It turns out that you can compare apples to oranges.

On Monday, Iran’s Ministry of Health released new data concerning the coronavirus. It said that 66 people have died from the virus while 1501 have been infected. But given the Health Ministry’s propensity for lying, the figure for those dead and infected is likely much greater.

The rampant spread of coronavirus in Iran was a problem largely the result of the Islamic Republic’s own making. In early February, Iranian officials were aware of a potential problem in the city of Qom, where a shrine holy to Shia Muslims served as a breeding ground for the transmission of the virus. Yet authorities took no action to quarantine the city or even warn residents to take safety precautions. The shrine still remains open to visitors and video has recently emerged showing people licking the shrine.

By the time health officials began taking action, it was a case of too little too late. Iran’s Deputy Health Minister, Iraj Harirchi, downplayed claims made a city lawmaker that deaths from COVID-19 had reached 50 and said that he would resign from his post if that assertion was accurate. A day later, Harirchi became a victim of COVID-19 and was under quarantine but not before he was observed coughing on those adjacent to him during the previous day’s press briefing. Several other Iranian diplomats and parliamentarians have since been infected, and at least two have died including a senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran’s bumbling and incompetence in dealing with the health crisis can be attributed to the Islamic Republic’s unwillingness to acknowledge weakness and vulnerability.

(…)

Iran’s handling of the crisis stands in marked contrast to how its arch nemesis Israel is addressing the issue. While Iranian officials are spewing little else but propaganda, the Israelis are at the forefront of inventing cures and treatments for the coronavirus.

The Migal Research Institute, an Israeli company based in Galilee has announced that they are on the cusp of developing a coronavirus vaccine. The company had been developing a vaccine for coronavirus in chickens and recognized that they could tweak their vaccine to combat coronavirus in humans. According to Migal’s CEO, David Zigdon, a vaccine for humans could be ready in a few months.

In addition to vaccinations, the ability to rapidly test for the presence of coronavirus is critical. To that end, researchers at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University have developed technologies that drastically reduce the time needed to analyze saliva samples for the presence of COVID-19. This technology reduces the time to analyze a sample from an hour to approximately 15 minutes.

There are more interesting details, but back to the fruit …

Both are good; similar but different. Neither is better than the other.

However, when the apple releases its seeds to fall to the ground, it preserves its progeny and bears more apples. And when the orange withholds its seed, it and all its seed rot away.

Choices matter.

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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They Tell No Tales

Not suspicious at all

by baldilocks

A mystery has taken hold of me.

Phil Haney was a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security – an agency that investigated him nine times and found nothing untoward. And this very same agency scrubbed its own records that Haney had been using to investigate Islamist terror networks in the United States.

Vaguely, I remember his name from my early days of blogging. He’s back in the news again; unfortunately for being dead.

From Carmine Sabia:

A man who had already exposed President Obama once and was about to do it again has been found shot to death in California.

Police originally labeled the death a suicide but now say that the initial reports were “misinformation” and the case is still open.

Haney blew the whistle on the Obama Administration for, he said, asking him to scrub the records of potential radical Islamists that the Department of Homeland Security was investigating prior to Obama’s election.

Last Friday he was found dead in his car less than three miles from his home from a single gunshot wound to the head, police said.

The initial reported said Haney “appeared to have suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound” and “a firearm was located next to Haney and his vehicle,” Fox News reported.

A new press release from the Amador County Sheriff’s Office now says that the death was not a suicide and that the investigation is “active and ongoing.”

“On February 22, 2020 the Amador County Sheriff’s Office released initial details regarding Philip Haney being found deceased in our jurisdiction. Mr. Haney was located in a park and ride open area immediately adjacent to State Highway 16 near State Highway 124. Highway 16 is a busy state highway and used as a main travel route to and from Sacramento. The location is less than 3 miles from where he was living.

According to other reports I’ve read, Haney was a committed, active Christian. A widower, he was planning to remarry this year. Not exactly a prime candidate for suicide; I guess that’s why that angle was dropped.

I’m reading his book See Something, Say Nothing, published in 2016. It is an indictment of the Obama Administration as lackeys of global jihad and I’m look forward to reading about the San Bernardino and Orlando Islamist attacks, which could have been prevented, according to Haney.

Seems that a lot of highly placed people might benefit greatly by sending Mr. Haney into the next world.

I’m also planning to read Haney’s essay Green Tide Rising; suffice it to say that it’s not about climate change.

I’m a nobody, so it should be easy to explore this without becoming dead myself. But we’ll see.

By the way, I’m “reading” the book via Audible. It seems that dead-tree versions of it are unavailable — at least on Amazon.

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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Why Donald Trump Courts Black Americans

Setting the captives free

by baldilocks

A guy I follow on Twitter pointed out something that has been in the back of my mind ever since 2016 when Donald Trump asked black Americans what we had to lose by supporting him in his presidential bid.

Over 90% of black voters voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, but so what? Black people are only 13% of the US population.

(By the way, over 92 million eligible voters did not vote in the 2016 presidential election! I bet that number will be smaller this year.)

The point is that Donald Trump did not need black voters to win in 2016 and does not need us this year. So why does he help and support black Americans? Why does he want us on the Trump Train?

There was a lot of predictable race-baiting last week when President Trump pardoned Bernard Kerik, Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. and granted clemency to Rod Blagojevich. All three are white men and as their stories on were all the talk on Twitter, Chelsea Handler said this.

When people have a caricature formed in their minds, they are unable to see solid reality right in front of their faces. Social Media exacerbates this phenomenon because people want to be part of that which seems popular. Conversely, people hate to be contradicted and hate being wrong – although both happen all the time.  I remember the first time someone tried to explicitly shame me for predicting something that didn’t pan out.

“I was wrong.”
“YOU WERE WRONG! Aren’t you ashamed?”
“Why should I be ashamed of being wrong? I’m not God; therefore, I make mistakes.”

Yes, it really happened like that.

Anyway, the reality is that President Trump pardoned and granted clemency to many others. And many of these others are black.

Here’s a sample.

Angela Stanton-King

When best-selling author and BET reality TV star Angela Stanton-King received word on Tuesday that President Trump had just granted her a full pardon, she was literally overcome.

“I just started hyperventilating right at the airport,” she told Newsmax. “I was just crying like a baby. People thought someone had died.” (…)

For Stanton-King, the pardon represented another amazing chapter in her life’s extraordinary  journey. After surviving a troubled childhood involving abuse, she got caught up in a stolen vehicle ring, and received a prison sentence. She was released in 2005.

“When I was released from prison 15 years ago,” she told Newsmax in an exclusive interview, “I was given a $25 check and a bus ticket and told to start my life over.

“I came home to four children, and I came home to two tombstones,” she said. “My mother was in one and my grandmother was in the other. (…)

Stanton-King defied the odds. She went on to write a best-selling book about her journey, Life of a Real Housewife. The book launched her career as a publishing entrepreneur, and that led to a big role in a BET reality TV show. She also founded the American King Foundation, a nonprofit focused on criminal-justice reform and reuniting families that have been separated by mass incarceration.

In the comments to Handler’s Tweet, many others point to the error in her implication, but it’s a safe bet that she will block it all out and pretend that it didn’t happen all the way up to the next time she decides to point the racism finger at the president or at conservatives in general. She is what she is. Like-minded politicos and media professionals will do the same.

President Trump knows this, but he still keeps reaching out to fellow Americans who are black. Why? I think I have an answer.

What do all of these newly-freed former prisoners – white, black, brown, etc. – have in common besides being mostly non-violent offenders? It’s this: they all hit bottom and are determined to climb back up; they are intent on becoming better people than the persons they were. More often than not, someone saw their efforts and gave them a hand up.

They are all looking to improve themselves the right way.

That’s a very American trait which President Trump appreciates. If you ask me, he doesn’t care whether or not any of these people vote for him – many of them probably won’t be able to anyway.

What he is doing: using his power and authority to make it easier for the repentant to keep walking in the right direction instead of reverting to their old selves and old lives.

He’s inviting all of them – great and small — to be a part of the American Dream, their birthright. He’s inviting them to rebuild their lives and do their small part in making America great again.

Black, white, brown, red, yellow, they already lost the most precious thing they had to lose: freedom. Now they have it back and the president is just trying to help them hold onto it.

Do I think that the percentage of black American voters who vote for Donald Trump in 2020 will be larger than in 2016? Probably, but not by much.

Then again, I could be wrong.

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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The Case for Getting Rid of the CIA and the FBI

by baldilocks

This morning, I shared this very long piece by Angelo Codevilla, who outlines what close observers have figured out for themselves.

What, then, is CIA good for?

Its founding myth combines a historical falsehood with reference to technical circumstances that have not existed for at least a generation. (…)

The truth that analysis of Intelligence must include a multiplicity of sources, and that a central repository of information is needed for that, was always the strongest argument for the existence of some sort of central facility where “all source analysis” could be done. But, since at least the 1980s, computers have made it possible and imperative for all analysts, regardless of their location, to access everything securely. Nowadays, ironically, CIA’s insistence on managing the access and distribution of information is the biggest barrier to universal, all-source Intelligence analysis.

Today, CIA is good for confidential meetings with the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC News, etc., through which it joins—if it does not lead—campaigns to shape domestic American opinion.

What is the FBI good for?

Once upon a time, FBI foreign counterintelligence officers were cops first. Like all good cops, they knew the difference between the people on whose behalf they worked, and those who threaten them. They had graduated from places like Fordham, a Catholic, blue-collar university in the Bronx. Like T.V.’s Sergeant Joe Friday, they wore white shirts and said yes, sir, yes, ma’am. Unlike CIA case officers, FBI officers mixed with the kinds of people they investigated, and often went undercover themselves. The FBI jailed Capone and dismantled the Mafia. Because it used to take counterintelligence seriously, it was able to neutralize Soviet subversion in the USA. The old joke was that, in any meeting of the U.S. Communist Party or of its front groups, a majority of attendees were FBI agents. The only U.S. Intelligence penetration of the Kremlin was the FBI’s recruitment of a U.S. labor activist whom high-level Soviets trusted.

In the late 1970s, that began to change. Director William Webster (1978-87) refused to back up the officers who had infiltrated and surveilled the New Left’s collaboration with the Soviets against America in the Vietnam War. Webster also introduced contemporary political correctness into the FBI. Asked by the Senate Intelligence Committee why his FBI had neither infiltrated nor disrupted the Jim Jones cult that resulted in the deaths of 900 Americans in Jonestown, Guyana, he answered that he would no more have interfered with that religion than with the Catholic Church. Not incidentally, the Jim Jones cult was associated with the Democratic party.

Thus FBI officers became standard bureaucrats who learned to operate on the assumption that all Americans were equally likely as not to be proper targets of investigation. They replaced the distinctions by which they had previously operated with the classic bureaucratic imperative: look out for yourselves by making sure to please the powerful.

Take a cup of coffee or tea and read the whole thing. And I should point out that I’m old enough to remember when it was considered paranoid and crazy to believe that the intelligence agencies were domestic enemies of the American people.

Their concerted efforts against Donald Trump, however, have turned out to be a vast miscalculation.

Do I think that these agencies could be scrapped? Yes, but one might liken it to surgical removal of an aggressive cancer: expensive and painful, the body will need time to recover, and the surgeons will have to monitor the patient for new growth.

It can be fixed but it will never be over.

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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Buttigieg and the Military Service Check Box

by baldilocks

From last month at the Wall Street Journal (subscription required):

When Mayor Pete Buttigieg talks about his military service, his opponents fall silent, the media fall in love, and his political prospects soar. Veterans roll their eyes.

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Mr. Buttigieg Sunday if President Trump “deserves some credit” for the strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani. “No,” the candidate replied, “not until we know whether this was a good decision and how this decision was made.” He questioned whether “it was the right strategic move” and said his own judgment “is informed by the experience of having been on one of those planes headed into a war zone.”

But Mr. Buttigieg’s stint in the Navy isn’t as impressive as he makes it out to be. His 2019 memoir is called “Shortest Way Home,” an apt description of his military service. He entered the military through a little-used shortcut: direct commission in the reserves. The usual route to an officer’s commission includes four years at Annapolis or another military academy or months of intense training at Officer Candidate School. ROTC programs send prospective officers to far-flung summer training programs and require military drills during the academic year. Mr. Buttigieg skipped all that—no obstacle courses, no weapons training, no evaluation of his ability or willingness to lead. Paperwork, a health exam and a background check were all it took to make him a naval officer.

Wow.

Combat veterans have grumbled for decades about the direct-commission route. The politically connected and other luminaries who receive immediate commissions are disparaged as “pomeranian princes.” Former Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus became a Naval Reserve officer in 2018 at age 46. Hunter Biden, son of the former vice president, accepted a direct commission but was discharged after one month of service for failing a drug test.

I’ve never understood the need to overestimate the importance of one’s military service or to pretend to understand aspects of it outside of one’s field and be accepted as an expert simply for having served. However, I guess that’s due to the fact that I’m not a politician. (And even though I had four AFSCs during my career, I can’t even tell you that much anymore for two reasons: a great deal of it is classified and I have brain-dumped a lot of information. My hard-drive has its limitations.)

But this guy didn’t even have to go to Officer Training School! Now, I’m told that the military will occasionally use this form of commissioning to fill essential billets which are difficult; physicians and lawyers, for example. But why would the Navy need a paper-pusher wearing O-3 bars?

Answer: to credential this particular person for his planned future as a politician. No need for any real hardship — like being awakened at Oh-Dark-Thirty for exercise. He’s in; he spends some time in Afghanistan behind the wire; and then he’s back to the states with a check mark inside of the military service box.

I don’t see the point in bothering with this sort of thing anymore especially since our last two presidents have had no military service. But, if they must, I’m sure that there are thousands of worthy Democrats who at least have Basic Training/OTS under their belts. Why this one?

I’d give Buttigieg this: at least he didn’t get booted for being a crackhead.

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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