America’s Greatest Enemy is Not a Physical One

But I repeat myself

by baldilocks

David Solway

Writing the book forced me to undertake relentless scrutiny of the values and beliefs I’d accepted as gospel and to realize that I had thoughtlessly succumbed to an all-encompassing lie fostered by the media, the academy, and the political left. Intellectually speaking, I had thought I was pole-vaulting; instead, I was doing the limbo. Almost every statement I’d read about American treachery, Israeli apartheid, the “religion of peace,” feminist grievance, global warming, right-wing extremism, the ironhanded Patriarchy, oppression of minorities, and the rest was an outright lie and functioned as aspects of what Quentin Skinner in From Humanism to Hobbes called “the potentially ruinous impact of rhetorical redescription,” that is, reframing something that is not the case as emphatically and undeniably the case. (…)

I finally began to understand that what I’d taken for history was nothing but ideology and what I’d thought was truth was an order-of-magnitude lie. And that my political and cultural preceptors were, to a man and a woman, professional liars.

Everything I’ve learned since I began paying attention has only served to confirm my conviction that we are living in unique times, an era in which lies come so thick and fast it seems like one is dodging bullets. It makes no difference where we turn, the lie is there. And we have credulously absorbed it as indisputable fact.

We Christians are familiar—some only passingly familiar–with Jesus’ assertion that the Devil is the Father of Lies. That is, he is the progenitor of everything that is false. Let’s stipulate that and go further: he is the architect and builder of Lies.

God is building His kingdom, and so the Adversary is building his.

This adversary does deal in simple falsehoods, but those aren’t his most lethal weapons. He is an imitator of his enemy, God, and therefore, his deceptions are high, wide, deep, broad, complex — and, long-term.

These types of deceptions are four-dimensional at the very least; they are his weapons of mass destruction.

I’ve pointed this out before.

Solway again.

Nearly all the political news we get is Fake News, disseminated by a media conglomerate that constitutes the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party in the U.S. and the Liberal Party in my own country. The media are proof positive that the political and cultural left has completed its long march through the institutions.

I kept reading to see if Solway came to the same conclusion that I did.

Pay-dirt:

We need to recognize that these “kings” have built a world of lies so massive and infusorial that we have been unwittingly conscripted into its dominion. We must somehow expose this bogus world and return to the real one, we must be wakeful rather than woke, though I’m afraid the struggle may now be Sisyphean. (…)

As M. Scott Peck reminds us in People of the Lie, “the only power that Satan has is through human belief in its [Satan’s] lies,” a belief consistent with lack of empathy, the failure of introspection and the inability to distrust oneself. This leads to the further question of whether evil lives in the human spirit or is a factor in the objective world. As Peck remarks, “Perhaps it will forever be impossible to totally discern exactly where the human Shadow leaves off and the Prince of Darkness begins.”

You’ll want to read Solway’s entire essay … and the late M. Scott Peck’s People of the Lie.

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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Russia’s next move: Belarus and Tajikistan

The media is laser-locked on the non-war with Iran and impeachment. In typical Russian fashion, Russia has been able to fly under the radar and stay out of the news. But the recent resignation of the government showed that its not quiet in Russia.

Putin continues to make moves to solidify his power in Russia. We already knew that. Putin’s larger goal is to recreate the USSR. He wants the Russian empire to extend again from the Pacific to Lithuania, the Arctic to Kazakhstan. While he’s made moves, successfully, in Ukraine, its come at a cost. The Russian economy shrank considerably, suffering under pretty severe sanctions, sparking protests in Moscow. Putin isn’t stupid, so his next moves will come in Belarus and Tajikistan, and they’ll look vastly different.

Yup, that’s a nasty drop. From Wikipedia.

Belarus has always been close to Russia, and as the next door neighbor to NATO, gives Russia a way to intimidate the nearby countries of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. But Belarus has been happy with its independence. It’s ethnically different from Russia, has its own currency, and is relying more on European Union support. A Ukraine-style invasion isn’t likely.

Instead, expect to see Putin setup Belarus as a failed state and use legal agreements to bring them into the fold. Putin has tried to get Belarus to rejoin Russia, using a 1999 Union Treaty to start discussions, but this hasn’t worked. But Putin has more levers, especially economic ones. Since most of Belarus’ oil and gas comes from Russia, Russia will no longer give Belarus a discount, worth about 10 billion dollars a year, unless it walks down the path of Belarus/Russia unification, including a single currency and unified government. President Trump’s warning about Russia using oil as an economic weapon will likely get played out in Belarus in 2020.

Turkmenistan is different. Bordering Russia and Afghanistan, it is landlocked except for a coastline on the Caspian Sea. With large natural gas reserves, Turkmenistan needs export routes, and has been pursuing a pipeline under the Caspian Sea. More importantly, much of its oil and gas is purchased by Russia or China, making it vulnerable to Russian economic measures.

Putin will likely pursue a different path with Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan’s border with Afghanistan remains dangerous, and an IS affiliate known as the Islamic State in Khorasan is continuing to cause problems. Russia has kindly offered military assistance, giving it a legal way to move military forces into the country. Over time, this will give Russia more influence in the region, especially as the United States removes troops from Afghanistan.

Putin will likely first pull economic levers to get Turkmenistan back into the Commonwealth of Independent States, a treaty that Turkmenistan hasn’t ratified yet. Then, expect there to be multiple “terrorism” problems that require Russian assistance. Over time, this will turn Turkmenistan into a larger version of Belarus, with an eventual goal of unification.

It’s not all hopeless. The US can use its export of petroleum to wean these countries off of Russian oil dependence. Cheap, safe nuclear power could be exported to eliminate the need to burn oil or gas for electricity. Media, hospital care and technology, all areas that the US and Europe are leading on, could make these regions profit and want to more align with democratic ideals. It’ll require us to care about an area of the world that most people can’t find on a map, but if we do, it could stunt Russia’s world domination desires.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

California is Still Paradise Compared to These Places

Originally posted on July 9, 2018 at baldilocks blog.

Ten years from now? I plan to be gone.

by baldilocks

On July 4th [2018], a woman was arrested for climbing the Statue of Liberty. Her name is Therese Patricia Okoumou. Why did she climb the Statue on Independence Day? To protest Trump in particular, white “supremacy” in general, and call for the abolition of the ICE.

Therese Patricia Okoumou, 44, was arrested on Wednesday after she climbed the statue’s pedestal and began a three-hour standoff with police that led to the evacuation of the landmark on the Fourth of July holiday, celebrating U.S. Independence. (…) 

An activist group called Rise and Resist said on Facebook that Okoumou was part of a protest at the base of the statue against immigration policy.

The protesters unfurled a banner that read “Abolish ICE,” the acronym for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Created in 2003, the agency has become a focus of criticism over U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy of “zero tolerance” for illegal immigration.

That chick is an immigrant from Congo, of all places.

This Congo?

This demon-possessed Congo?

She wants ICE abolished, eh? ICE is what’s keeping her savage countrymen out of here.

The evil in that country didn’t just start a couple of years ago. But Okoumou has been in the USA for 24 years, so, perhaps she has forgotten. Maybe she should have her memory refreshed.

*****

Back in 1974 when Congo was called Zaire, and after the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali returned from his triumphant heavyweight championship bout in Kinshasa against George Foreman, aka the Rumble in the Jungle, Ali was asked what he thought of Africa.

Ali responded thus: “Thank God my granddaddy got on that boat!” Of course Ali was referring to the slave ships and this was a typical slice of honesty from The Greatest.

****

There’s a deleted scene from the movie Tears of the Sun – a movie about a bloody civil war in Nigeria – during which a Nigerian tells a black American SEAL team member that he looks Nigerian and that, were it not for the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the SEAL would have been born and raised in Nigeria “with us.” The SEAL has no response to this and it’s easy to see why the scene was deleted because the only logical response is, “thank God for slavery.” Hollywood writers aren’t brave. Then, last week, there was reality in Nigeria.

In what the Christian Association of Nigeria is calling a “pure genocide,” 238 more Christians were killed and churches desecrated by Muslims last week in the west African nation. This brings the death toll of Christians to more than 6,000 since the start of 2018.

According to a joint statement by the Christian Association, an umbrella group of various Christian denominations, “There is no doubt that the sole purpose of these attacks is aimed at ethnic cleansing, land grabbing and forceful ejection of the Christian natives from their ancestral land and heritage.” 

The statement condemned the recent attacks, “where over 200 persons were brutally killed and our churches destroyed without any intervention from security agencies in spite of several distress calls made to them.”

The statement adds that the majority of those 6,000 Christians massacred this year were “mostly children, women and the aged… What is happening in … Nigeria is pure genocide and must be stopped immediately.”

And, today, Haiti.

The Haitian government suspended a fuel price hike Saturday after widespread violence broke out across the capital and in the northern city of Cap-Haitien.

Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant had originally said the country needed to raise prices to balance the budget and gave no indication he would back down.

But his administration bowed to pressure after demonstrators took to the streets in protest.

A journalist from The Associated Press reported seeing several hundred people on Saturday attack a Best Western Premiere hotel in Petion-Ville, one of the capital’s wealthiest neighborhoods. Guests were forced to remain inside as rocks were hurled through windows around 10 a.m. local time.

Security manned the building, but rioters shattered the main entrance before moving to another hotel. 

*****

[Six] years ago, I speculated that Africans and those of black African descent, who are not followers of Jesus the Christ might be under a 4,000-year-old curse. And yesterday, the essay got a lot of new publicity, along with some criticism, because whaah slavery and because other people have done a lot of bad things over the centuries. Well, hey, they are subject to curses too, but not in the same ones we are.

And, as I said in 2014, how can we tell the difference between cursed and not-cursed in when it comes to places like Congo, Nigeria and Haiti? I’m just glad I live here — yes, even in California — and not in those places.

Safe … for now.

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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Trump and the Nile

By Christopher Harper

Against the backdrop of continuing tension in the Middle East, the United States is playing a peacekeeping role in a dispute among Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia.

You won’t read about the Trump administration’s mediation in the mainstream press because it doesn’t fit the meme of a war-mongering president.

So here goes. The three countries agreed to meet this week in Washington to tackle problems over a dam project on the Nile River that may greatly affect water resources in Egypt and Sudan.

The differences among the three countries date back to May 2011 when Ethiopia started building a dam, which is known as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

The $5 billion hydroelectric dam would exist on the Blue Nile near the Ethiopia-Sudan border. The reservoir would hold up to 67 billion cubic meters of water and take at least seven years to fill, which would decrease the river’s flow for at least that period by 25 percent. For Ethiopia, the dam would aid water needs and economic development, as it is set to supply the country with more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity. But it could be devastating for Egypt, which relies on the river for irrigation, fishing, and transport.

The river is so vital that Egyptian officials have made it clear that military action may occur if Ethiopia doesn’t come to an agreement.

In 2015, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, which agreed that the downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, would not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam. In October 2019, however, Egypt blamed Ethiopia for hindering a final agreement. Under the earlier declaration, the three countries would seek mediation if they could not reach an accord.

Enter the United States as the mediator. Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia agreed to a series of four meetings in Addis Ababa, Cairo, Khartoum. This week’s meeting in Washington is the fourth in this round of negotiations.

It’s unclear whether the United States will be able to help settle this longstanding dispute. But it’s readily apparent that Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia think the Trump administration may be able to help.

Unfortunately, the American media are unlikely to mention this peaceful role the U.S. is playing.

Update (DTG): Delayed Instalanche, thanks Glenn, welcome folks take a look around. If you liked this piece by Christopher Harper a former member of the MSM and current professor of journalism writes here every Tuesday and often covers things nobody else bothers to, particularly on his oversees trips. Check out his previous pieces like Egyptians for Trump a Greek Getaway and Trump, on his Majesty’s service, and Fake News and me. Oh just check out the lot, both here and on the old host.

And if you think he and the rest of my Magnificent Seven are worth your time considering kicking in to DaTipJar and help keep them paid.

Hello Iran: When people stop believing government lies they stop believing in the government

Latvian Popular Front Leader Mavricks Vulfsons. Signs read “Freedom” and “1940–Year of Stalinist Occupation Regime”

By John Ruberry

Regular readers of my posts here and at Marathon Pundit know that my wife, Mrs. Marathon Pundit, was born in the Soviet Union–in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. She emigrated to the United States in 1991.

Mrs. Marathon Pundit was lied to regularly–just as citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran have been fed untruths since 1979.

As with other members of her generation, Mrs. MP believed the lies pumped out by the government, and that includes the schools, whoppers such as Soviet citizens enjoyed an advanced standard of living, even though Mrs. Marathon Pundit grew up in a farmhouse with no running water that was heated by birch logs. And Latvia was considered better off than most other Soviet Republics. She believed the falsehood that Latvia, along with Estonia and Lithuania, asked to join the USSR in 1940. The reality is that as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact the Baltic States were occupied by the Red Army and promptly annexed; the leaders of Latvia and Estonia were exiled to remote corners of the Soviet Union. The fate of Estonian president Konstantin Päts was particularly sad, as he was tortured in psychiatric hospitals because of his “persistent claiming of being the president of Estonia.”

Mrs. Marathon Pundit’s parents knew better of course. They also knew it was best to keep quiet. They knew repercussions awaited those who talked about the wrong things. The silent survive. And while it was impossible to cover up the deportations to Siberia of the Joseph Stalin era, the extent of it was known only to a few.

There were big lies and little lies. Here’s one of the latter. Before swimming in one of the few public pools in Latvia, Mrs. Marathon Pundit and other bathers were warned that if they chose to urinate in the water, or if there was an accidental leak, the urine would be immediately turn red and the pee menace would be promptly identified and of course punished. Eventually–I don’t know how–she discovered the clear truth on urinating in swimming pools.

Then there were the omissions. My wife didn’t learn until I told her that the Red Army–two weeks after the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939–seized eastern Poland. The same goes with the Soviet invasion of Finland later that year.

The “Throne of Lies” in the USSR began to collapse after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Ordinary Soviet citizens eventually learned that the state-controlled media reported on the severity of the catastrophe only after western governments noticed the spike in radioactivity in their lands. “The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl 20 years ago this month,” Mikhail Gorbachev wrote in 2006, “even more than my launch of perestroika, was perhaps the real cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union five years later.”

Those being lied to didn’t believe the lies any more.

A few years earlier the end of the junta era of Argentina came after the government had to admit their rosy reports on the Falklands War with Great Britain were wrong. It was the UK that was winning nearly every battle.

Now protests are breaking out across Iran after the mullahs were forced to admit that the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, which took place on Wednesday shortly after Iran fired missiles at US troops in Iraq, was caused by a missile fired by the Iranian military, after first denying it. And there was a lie within the lie as the Iranians claimed that the passenger jet veered over a sensitive military area.

“They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here,” is one the chants heard in Tehran.

The people of Iran–or at least some of them–don’t believe the lies anymore.

Kimia Alizadeh, Iran’s only female Olympic medalist, defected last week. Yes, she did win a bronze in taekwando, that’s not a lie, but her state-created image was a sham. “Whatever they said, I wore,” Alizadeh wrote. “Every sentence they ordered, I repeated.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Hunter Biden May Hold the Fate of the Democratic Party in His Hands

My boss would frown upon publishing any puns I have in mind about the title

by baldilocks

This about more than just a mere deadbeat sperm donor.

The Arkansas woman suing former vice president Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden for child support on Monday accused him of needlessly delaying the trial, according to a new court filing.

Lawyers for Lunden Alexis Roberts are crying foul after Biden declared himself “unable to appear” for a scheduled Tuesday hearing that Biden himself set the date for. The filing asks the court to deny Biden’s motion to reschedule the hearing. (…)

Lawyers for Roberts allege that Biden is avoiding the hearing because he is unwilling to provide financial information for fear it will be made available to the public.

“[Biden] has used his carte blanche need for a protective order as a basis for refusing to disclose basic information about his income or assets,” the filing states. “The defendant has been clear that he will not provide his financial information or basic information about his income until his motion for a protective order is heard by the Court.”

Biden, a former government lobbyist, earned more than $50,000 a month to sit on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma from April 2014 to April 2019. He was also recently revealed to have purchased a home worth $2.5 million in Hollywood Hills, Calif. The Monday filing contends that Biden may have assets in excess of $156 million.

Just what California needs, another rich liberal.

Prediction: Biden will evade this for as long as he can. He has to in order to keep the rickety House of Biden upright.

Prediction 2: if the location and amount of Biden’s money is exposed to the public, it will result in him ending up in jail – and, possibly, his father will have the same destination. And, most certainly, it will end the presidential campaign of Biden the elder.

Prediction 3: moreover, it will take the teeth out of at least one of the articles of impeachment against President Trump. Not that there is any “there” there anyway; let’s not forget about our Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with Ukraine.

Think of it: the fortunes of the Democrat Party may hinge on one man’s years ago failure to use a condom in an indiscreet moment.

How appropriate.

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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Egyptians for Trump

By Christopher Harper

It came as a pleasant surprise when I heard about the widespread support for Donald Trump in Egypt.

“No one wanted Hillary,” said one Egyptian acquaintance. “She and Obama were a disaster.”

I heard this sentiment several times during a two-week stay in Egypt.

Back in 2009, President Obama called for a “new beginning” between the Islamic world and the U.S. during a speech at Cairo University. He promised to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, to pursue Palestinian-Israeli peace, and to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq.

His promises went nowhere. It’s also worth noting that the president insisted on having a delegation from the Muslim Brotherhood attend the speech, a group that eventually came to power and ushered in two deadly years at the head of Egypt’s government. 

By the end of his presidency, Obama faced a great deal of bitterness from Arabs. That view came across in a variety of Arab countries in a Pew Research Center survey in June 2015. Support for Obama was incredibly low: about a third of the Lebanese, 15 percent of Palestinians, and 14 percent of Jordanians. See https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2015/06/23/1-americas-global-image/

Although Egypt was not included in the Pew survey, the country got little support from Obama after the 2009 speech.

The Hoover Institution provided an analysis of what Obama did wrong in his relationship with Egypt:

–Obama ignored Egypt’s traditional role as a bridge between Arabs and Israel.

–The president ignored Egypt when taking on Libya and removing its leader.

–The administration failed to lean on the most significant military power in the Arab world during a variety of problems in the region. 

When the Egyptians finally got rid of the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama suspended military aid. 

Ultimately, Obama and Egyptian President Abdel el-Sisi only met on the sidelines at the United Nations. That rebuff to a traditional Arab ally left a bad taste in the mouths of many Egyptians.

“For its part, Washington should expect to provide Egypt’s military leaders the political embrace that Obama was always reluctant to offer, but also requests from Egyptians that it would compensate them in the currency that matters most – U.S. regional leadership that would lead to a resumption of Saudi and other Gulf assistance to help Cairo weather crushing economic problems,” a Hoover Institution analysis argued at the beginning of the Trump era. 

Three years later, Trump has accomplished much of what the Hoover Institution suggested. That’s why Egyptians were happy that Trump beat Hillary and remain so today.

Republicans are handed a winning issue as Democrats call for and act on abolishment of cash bail

By John Ruberry

If your sole source of news is leftist media such as Slate, you’ll believe that there are “people who are in jail solely because they can’t afford to pay their way out.”

Nope.

There are people in jail awaiting trial because they are accused of serious crimes and they are deemed by a judge to be a threat to society.

Someone like Tiffany Harris of Brooklyn seemingly fits that bill. Late last month Harris allegedly slapped three Orthodox Jewish women as she said “F-U Jews” and was promptly arrested.

Courtesy of New York State’s new laws that eliminate most cash bails, Harris was back on the street a few days later. The next day Harris allegedly punched a woman and was arrested again–and was released.

A few days later, during a court-mandated meeting with a social worker, Harris was arrested again after allegedly pinching that worker. She went too far even for New York this time. Harris is now being held for psychiatric evaluations.

The Harris case is not an isolated one in the five days the Empire State’s new bail law has been in effect, as the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle tells us:

On Thursday, a man accused of manslaughter for choking and stabbing a woman to death in Albany was set to be released without bail under New York’s new criminal justice laws.

In Harlem, a man who allegedly hit and killed a pedestrian while driving drunk was released without bail because of the new state law that ends cash bail for misdemeanors and many non-violent felonies.

In Rochester, a man convicted a decade ago of shooting a Rochester police officer was released on new drug charges without bail.

And in Poughkeepsie, a man once convicted of manslaughter was set to be freed on new charges of felony aggravated DWI as he awaits trial, the district attorney said.

Law enforcement officials are understandably aghast over the new law, as are Republicans.

New York City’s left-wing mayor, Bill de Blasio, is now calling for a minor scaling back of the law, adding judicial discretion to keep those are the biggest threat to society either locked up or under the burden of a cash bail.

De Blasio is a former Democratic presidential candidate. Of the top tier Dems running for president, all of them, specifically Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders favor ending cash bail. So dropping it is not a fringe issue among the Democrats. Sanders has gone as far as sponsoring a Senate bill to abolish cash bail.

Anti-police rhetoric dominated liberaldom during the 2016 presidential race, which led President Trump to call himself “the law and order candidate.”

In a November Tweet, President Trump decried the New York bail law, “So sad to see what is happening in New York where Governor Cuomo & Mayor DeBlasio are letting out 900 Criminals, some hardened & bad, onto the sidewalks of our rapidly declining, because of them, city. The Radical Left Dems are killing our cities. NYPD Commissioner is resigning!”

Other Blue States are bowing to the criminals. As I noted here at Da Tech Guy, Cook County Illinois’ State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, best known for dropping the hate crime hoax charges against Jussie Smollett, is bringing additional misery to law-abiding citizens such as myself by refusing to prosecute shoplifters who steal merchandise worth less than $1,000. Probably not coincidentally, Chicago is now plagued with shoplifting mobs. Californians will vote later this year on an initiative to eliminate cash bail–a bill enacted in the former Golden State was blocked by a lawsuit. As I also noted in that DTG entry, the headline was “Welcome to the Age of Criminals,” San Francisco’s new prosecutor, Chesa Boudin, the son of two Weather Underground terrorists, who was raised by two others, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, wants to drop cash bail right now. He favors “restorative justice” as an alternative to imprisonment. New Jersey and one Red State, Alaska, has a weaker version of the New York cash bail law.

Abolishing cash bail for the GOP is what former Chicago White Sox announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson would call a “get-me-over-fastball.” In other words, it’s a gift basket of a pitch that ends up as a home run.

Trump should pursue maintaining cash bail as a campaign issue. But even more so, because law enforcement is primarily a local issue, down-ballot Republicans should do so too.

After all, as I’ve noted many times, the most important duty of any responsible government is to protect its citizens from invaders and criminals.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Best of Baldilocks at DTGB in 2019 — With a Workaround

Happy New Decade!

by baldilocks

I would share excerpts from all of the most popular posts of mine from this blog, but Peter’s old site bought the farm in August. Therefore, I will share the most popular posts from that point in time to today.

However, I do have access to the posts from the dead site, so I’m going to re-post at least one from each month — January to August —  at baldilocks. I will post those in full and they won’t necessarily be the ones which received the most traffic.

Here we go!

*****
Impeachment Strategy

[President Trump] knows that the Democrats have been after him since he announced his candidacy; they pre-conjured a reason for his impeachment, for Heaven’s sake. Therefore, he is forcing an impeachment at the time of his choosing rather than theirs.

More on the Hollowing Out of California

Good and sweet things out, bad and smelly things in.

Gang Warfare

One of President Trump’s missions is to expose the various means which the political gangs have of enriching themselves on monies gotten from the pockets of the tax-payers. Ukraine seems to be both a means of thievery and a huge storage space for the loot.

The Pentagon’s Vast All-Wing Conspiracy: Plunder

In 2018, the Pentagon conducted an audit; it was the first time Department of Defense had ever done so since its 1947 creation, even though an annual audit for the Department has been legally required since 1990. The audit failed – an insufficient description.

The Pentagon cannot account for $21 trillion. TRILLION. Times 21.

That Such Men Lived

What I love about Doris Miller’s existence is that the man was here for only a short time and was merely playing the cards that life dealt him when he performed the action that will long outlive him. When the challenge came, he stepped to it and met it — something intrinsic in heroes and heroism.

It’s Almost Showtime

I wish I were surprised at how many people think that when the House votes on formal impeachment articles that the president must be removed from office right then and there, but I’m not. Even some of those who were around when it happened to President Clinton will not bother themselves to understand the process.

My Vox Problem

On January 1, 2020, it will severely limit all of my gigs. In short, California AB5 limits me to 35 pieces of freelance work per year for an individual recipient.

Pelosi Plays Her Role

Speaker Pelosi is correct in observing that President Trump will have the distinction that only two other presidents have. But I bet he will also have the distinction of showing the entire world how crooked those who claim to lead us and represent us have been for decades. If he does that, he’ll be by himself in history.

More to come at baldilocks blog!

And don’t forget about this.

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 stigma of Camp David

By Christopher Harper

The Camp David Accords—once heralded by the United States, Israel, and Egypt as a solution to the Middle East crisis—continue to stymie any significant efforts to address the problems in the region.

More than 40 years ago, I arrived in the Middle East just after the peace agreement was signed. At the time, Americans saw the agreement as a major step forward. Instead, the accords resulted in the isolation of Egypt—once the leader of the Arab world.

Until now, Egypt has been relegated to a secondary role in the region. Moreover, the agreement led directly to the assassination of Anwar Sadat, the rise of Saddam Hussein, and myriad troubles in the Middle East from Syria to Libya and even Iran.

For Egypt and Israel, the agreement has resulted in what many call a “cold peace” during which the two countries don’t face the possibility of war but with little interaction beyond cursory talks about security and economic issues.

For example, my wife and I have been traveling throughout Egypt over the past two weeks. We wanted to stop in Israel for a short visit. But we found it virtually impossible to find a way to travel directly between the two countries.

The huge volume of U.S. aid has had almost no impact on improving the lot of the average Egyptian, most of whom see little benefit from the Camp David agreement.

Cultural exchanges—once seen as a way to improve relations between Egyptians and Israelis–have faltered badly. For example, Farouk Hosnoy, the former minister for culture for more than two decades, refused to visit Israel and threatened to burn any Israeli book he found in the Alexandria library. Every year, organizers of Cairo Film Festival refuse to allow Israel to participate in the event. When the Israeli Center for Research and Information translated Alaa al-Aswany’s popular novel, The Yacoubian Building, he threatened to sue the center because he opposed to cultural normalization with Israel.

At one point, Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court upheld a ruling that ordered the revocation of citizenship from 30,000 Egyptian men married to Israeli women.

The long-term tension between Israel and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip that borders Egypt, has created problems for the Cairo government. The Egyptians, who brokered a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, has grown increasingly tired of the actions of both sides.

Despite the long list of diplomatic ills, however, a recent gas deal between Egypt and Israel provides some hope for the future.

Partners in Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar offshore gas fields agreed last year to sell $15 billion worth of gas to a customer in Egypt in what Israeli officials called the most significant deal to emerge since the neighbors made peace in 1979.

With this significant step in economic ties, perhaps the “cold peace” will at least result in some future cooperation between the two sides. But the Camp David accords—once hailed as the pathway to peace in the region—will remain a sore point for Egypt, Israel, and the rest of the Middle East.