Monday, December 30, 2013

Re-Post: Lifting Weights

Originally posted at Da Tech Guy Blog on December 24, 2013.

Over at Twitchy, I did something today which I do regularly about once a month: wade into a comment section of a blog and argue my point. I consider it blogger weight-lifting.

Now, I have occasional been accused of “enjoying being contrary” or “enjoying argument.” As for the latter, I plead guilty and I dispute the notion that ‘argument’ by itself is something bad.  The things which sometimes go along with argument, however--the logical fallacies which many persons use, the imputation of bad faith, etc.--are the problem. But, argument alone--when the arguers exercise personal restraint--is beneficial to the thinking of the participants. We get to see the perspective of others and, through this, get to question our own assumptions. In other words, we are forced to keep from navel-gazing and, if we try to hold to the "rules of engagement"--to keep truth as primary goal--we can be persuaded to a point of view, if the other participant demonstrates that his/her own points are the truth as opposed to our own assertions. And this includes truths we don’t like.

Of course, that method of argument is not used the majority of the time. Often, we are too wrapped up in ourselves: we internalize our opinion as a representation of our very being. And when another challenges that opinion, we feel it as a challenge to our soul--our intellect. It is perceived as an attack and, when this happens, the response is predictable.

I once had a commenter prove me wrong—yeah, it happens :)-- and when he did, he taunted me: “See you were wrong? Now don’t you feel embarrassed?”

“No,” I said. “I’m a human being, not God. Human beings are wrong all the time and I am no different. I appreciate the fact that you corrected me.”

Now that is not a response I might have put forth, say, ten years ago. It’s one born of two things: humility, courtesy of Jesus the Christ, and ten years of learning how to argue a point while keep the logical fallacies in mind.

In short, I’ve been learning how to make Truth higher than myself. Trust me; I still have a long way to go.

BTW, humility almost always involves the pain of humiliation. To paraphrase, without pain, there is no gain.




Saturday, December 28, 2013

How People Respond to Others When Self is the Focus

"How dare you...!"
--Often said when a person "dares" to say or do something that another doesn't like

"I don't appreciate...!"
--Said as if the receiver is supposed to have appreciation for whatever the speaker/actor is saying or doing

"You are arrogant!"
--Often true, but just as often, an indication of the insecurity of the accuser who feels threatened by the confidence of the accused

"Don't judge me!"
--Said when a person does not want to examine his/her actions and would prefer that you didn't either; often a misinterpretation of Jesus' admonition regarding judgment

"I am offended by that!"
--Too often, said when no offense was intended; too often, stemming from looking at everything through the prism of self, by inferring things not implied. Though giving offense is sometimes inadvertent, taking offense is always a choice.

More?

MORE:

"I voted for [insert candidate here] because he/she is the same race/same gender as I am, and it makes me feel good to see someone who looks like I do/has the same equipment that I have."
--Self-...ahem...explanatory.

Saturday Morning Reading--December 28, 2013

LGBT is the New Black Power
Phil Robertson 1, Political Correctness 0
How to Install Bluetooth Audio in Your Car
Zimbabwe ambassador to Australia seeks asylum
15 Wins for the Progressive Movement in 2013
Republican Party Releases Statement Commemorating Kwanzaa

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Night After Christmas (UPDATED)


UPDATE: Slightly re-edited for correct information and clarity. See footnote. (Thanks to Mike F.)

ORIGINAL: I was going to put up this post yesterday, but I didn’t want to rain on any parades. 

Since the creation of Kwanzaa, many have correctly noted that it has no basis in black American history or heritage. For example, its seven core principles all have Swahili names. The Swahili language is predominant in East African countries—Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, etc.—but black Americans are almost all descended from West African cultures. Disclaimer: In spite of being one of the rare Americans who does have some East African heritage, I have never celebrated Kwanzaa.

Some have even opined that the celebration of Kwanzaa is an anathema to Christianity. On this I’m…ahem…agnostic, since Kwanzaa appears to have no religious or spiritual underpinnings—not unless one counts the religious and spiritual underpinnings of its creator, Dr. Maulana Karenga nee Ron Everett.

However, since this black American subcultural phenomenon has been dissected and denounced far and wide, I think it’s important to examine aspects of our larger, overarching culture, its traditions, and to know the truth about them.

And so we turn to Christmas and its questionable foundations.

Nearly all religious scholars agree that Jesus the Christ wasn’t born on December 25th or the equivalent on the Jewish calendar. The reasons? Number one, it was too cold.
  •  Shepherds would not have been in the field at night with their flocks after October. (Luke 2:8)
  •  Romans would not have called for registration requiring travel in December because of the weather. (Matthew 24:20)
At what time of year was Jesus born? Follow the time line and don’t take my word for anything.

Irenaeus, one of the early church fathers (second century A.D.), claimed that Jesus was born in the 41st year of the reign of Augustus Caesar.* If that’s so, then Jesus was born in 2 B.C. rather than the generally accepted 4 B.C.

Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, was a priest in the course of Abijah, the eighth course. (Luke 1:1) Note: The priestly caste was organized by King David into 24 courses. The length of each course was seven days, from Shabbat to the next Shabbat. (1 Chronicles 24: 1-19)

The last Jewish Temple was destroyed by Roman military commander Titus—later Emperor-- during the sacking of Jerusalem on Tish B’Av 3830, which on the Gregorian calendar was August 4, 70 A.D. At this time, the first priestly course had just taken office.

Working backward from the previous fact, one can see that the end of Zacharias’s course occurred on July 13, 3 B.C. In the Luke 1, it is noted that his wife, Elizabeth became pregnant at that time.

If the birth of John the Baptist occurred anywhere from 271 to 280 days after that, then he was born in early to mid April of 2 B.C. And according to the Bible, Jesus the Christ was born five months later, in September. (Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy when Mary—pregnant with Jesus—came to visit her.) Some even think it might have been September 11th. (BTW, the good people at that last link have a slightly different and much more detailed timeline than mine.)

So, why do we celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25th? Here's why.

The first Church experienced hundreds of years of persecution--first from the Jewish clergy, then from the Roman Empire. But when Emperor Constantine (of the western part of the empire and who converted himself and his empire to Christianity) and Emperor Licinius (of the eastern part) agreed to the Edict of Milan, Christianity became legal. 

Constantine—who conducted the First Council of Nicaea--used pagan ideas and practices in order to make the newly condoned celebration of Christ’s birthday more palatable to his mostly pagan subjects. So it is that Christmas falls around the same time as two of pagan Rome's beloved festivals and had taken on the trappings of at least one.


The Saturnalia festival has an astronomical character, referring to the completion of the sun’s yearly course, and the commencement of a new cycle. Saturn, from whom we get the word for the day of the week, Saturday, represented by the sun at its lowest aspect at the winter solstice. The earth is cold, most plants are dead, and it was believed that the sun might also be approaching death. Today winter solstice is around December 21, but because of calendar changes, it was originally December 25th. Saturnalia celebrated the sun overcoming the power of winter, with hope of spring when life would be renewed. In Roman times Bacchus, the god of wine, became the lord of these festivals. (…)

In the Greek myths, Kronos (Saturn) was the Roman Deity of Time and an ancient Italian Corn God known as the Sower. Male ruler of the Roman Gods prior to Jupiter, Saturn's weapon was a scythe or sickle.  Kronos was one of the twelve titans. Upon the advice of Gaea (who understood the changes of life and knew that Uranus would never, of his own accord, yield to the younger generation), Saturn castrated his father and thus separated Heaven from Earth. Gaea created out of flint...a mineral of her own substance...a sickle with which to complete the deed. It was the tool by which life was cut down at the time of harvest and was crescent-shaped like the moon, symbolic of cyclic rise and fall. It was believed that the spilled blood of Uranus formed such creatures as the Giants and the Furies, and that his genitals (which were tossed into the sea eventually produced the beautiful Venus/Aphrodite).


But the actual choice of December 25 for Christmas was thought to have been made under the Emperor Aurelian* because this was the date of the Winter Solstice and was the day devotees of Mithras celebrated the dies natalis solis invictus 'birthday of the invincible sun.’

There are two Mithrases. One has origins in Persia-India; the other is Roman. Whether these are the same entity has long been in dispute.(Side note: Mithras and Saturn sound a whole lot like Osiris.)

Oh and, by the way, early Christians who tried to worship according to the Bible--that is, without the Saturnalia paraphernalia--were excommunicated from Constantine’s Roman Church.

And, finally, all of the traditions conjured in our minds when we think of Christmas have their origins in various pagan practices.
And then there’s this in Jeremiah 10:1-5


10 Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:

Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

Emphasis mine. I think my point is made. 

Now, if people--Christians specifically--still want to celebrate the birth of Christ in the traditional manner, I don’t think there’s any harm in it as long as they know what they are doing and have knowledge of the foundations on which they conduct their celebrations. In Hosea 4:6, God said this about another set of His children:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Additionally, bashing the foundation of something inconsequential like Kwanzaa while, simultaneously, adorning one's house with the pagan symbols of an empire which did not serve the Living God is hypocritical and, more importantly, spiritually dangerous.

Just saying.

*Augustus was born Gaius Octavius and called Octavian. Irenaues counted Augustus’ reign from the second year following the death of the latter’s great-uncle and adoptive father, Julius Caesar (44 B.C.). The principate—“a system of monarchy headed by an emperor holding power for life”--did not exist until Octavian founded it in 27 B.C., subsequently taking on the name ‘Augustus.’

(Thanks to Chuck Missler)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Re-Post: My Conspiracy Theory

Originally posted at Da Tech Guy Blog on December 17, 2013. Edited from the original.

It's not exactly a hot news flash, but here goes.

With all of the media events of recent years that have been molded and shaped by reporters to fit a certain set of narratives, why would anyone not believe that the fix has been in for decades with respect to almost every topic and every persona? After CBS’s Rathergate and the MSNBC reporting shenanigans with respect to the George Zimmerman trial, does anyone really believe that we get the whole story on anything of political or social importance? After the establishment media’s failure to report anything of importance about the background of the man who is now the president of the United States, do we really know about anything which we haven’t observed with our own lying eyes?

When I first began to blog in 2003, I recall how people like former Vice President Al “30 degrees in LA” Gore and  Daily Beast/Newsweek editor Tina Brown reacted to being contradicted by normal people. Cries of “brownshirt” and “StaSi” filled the Internet air. All that specific sort of whining amused me because, as a normal person who has a decent handle on 20th century German history, I knew that both brownshirts and StaSi  were arms of consecutive tyrannical German governments. To toss these epithets at private citizens possessing an opinion, a modem and a laptop (or whatever) was laughable and, it showed that having a degree from distinguished universities did not guarantee that the bearer was able to think at all, much less think anything through. Or so I thought. (For a proper deployment of the StaSi epithet, see one Angela Merkel, once a citizen of the late East Germany.)

But now as I think things through once more, I’m not convinced that persons like Brown and Gore—persons of the Left--care that such name-calling makes no sense when used against their enemies, we, the people. I forgot that almost all media sagas are carried on for the sake of the type of observer who does not want to find information independently or who cannot/won’t think topics through. Such a person—the low information voter (LIV)--will probably not understand the historical illiteracy of calling a private person ‘a brownshirt.’ All that matters is that a person of trust calls out his/her enemies as an enemy--as someone to fight against--and that this call falls on as many ears as possible. Brown and Gore were merely painting their targets, just as their political fellows have done before and after them.

All I'm really saying: keep your third eye open.



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Chasing Order

Again, I am very grateful for the contributions that many have made to this blog and to my projects. They have allowed me to access my old blog domain and to keep all of the info there. Additionally, I was able to buy gasoline, a new phone for my new land line (gonna have to rough it without a cell for a bit), a black ink cartridge for the printer, and the most important substance for blogging: coffee!

Today has been a busy day. Saturday, I usually make at attempt to clean the whole house--at minimum, clean the bathroom and mop all of the floors. (I have no carpet and don't want any.) I mention this because there are many items in the news right now that I really want to get to, in addition to putting down evidence of the usual warped thinking that goes on in this head of mine. But, I want to finish putting my house in a bit more order before I do. Like most people, I actually think better surrounded by order.

To expound on that, my thinking on a given topic is usually a jumble of facts, ideas, premises, observations, conclusions, and occasional bolts of revelation chasing each other in my head, and putting them down shapes them and gives them flow. And when I look at my surroundings and see outer order, I become more focused on the inner order and that order is what usually comes off of my fingertips onto the screen. I think it might be a chick thing.

So I will get to the items directly, today even. But, in the meantime I want to point you to Stacy McCain's blog where he is documenting yet another impending civil war--this time in Southern Sudan--and the US Military's involvement there. He is doing the kind of work I'd like to do with my Kenya Project, so I'm watching and learning.



Friday, December 20, 2013

How Leftist Targeting Calculus Works (UPDATED)


Or geometry or algebra or whatever. From last year.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has told Chick-fil-A that the fast-food company is not welcome in his town because "Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values." In other words, because Chick-fil-A ownership believes in traditional marriage, it shouldn't bother opening up shop in Chicago.

But Emanuel is welcoming Louis Farrakhan, who is against same-sex marriage and who blasted President Obama two months ago for endorsing the practice.

Of course.

Rahm Emanuel--like his Leftist siblings-in-arms at A&E--gets told who to denounce and who not to. (I would guess that, after a while, one would get a feel for whom to target.) Chik-fil-A? Duck Dynasty Stars? Fair game, no pun intended. 

Nation of Islam? Fugedaboutit, especially if the potential denouncer is the mayor of Chicago; he knows who to slime and who not to. But even if we weren’t talking about Rahm Emanuel, the target is a double no-no for the Left: black and Muslim. The combination of the two politically protected groupings beats out the single group—homosexuals. In addition, all Muslim public figures are off limits. Therefore, Emanuel will continue to ignore Louis Farrakhan.

This isn’t difficult.

Reminder: The Nation of Islam joined forces with the Scientology organization back in 2009.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers and thank you for supporting my writing and my causes--Arlen's Harem, the novel and The Kenya Project 2013-2014--with your eyeballs and your donations! The latter has already helped me to migrate my old blog to this platform. Please keep watching this space and, in addition, keep an eye out every Tuesday for my column at Da Tech Guy blog.

Kenya Project Links--December 20, 2013

UPDATE: Issues with both Blogspot and my laptop--in Safe Mode--make this one a bit shorter than I'd prefer.

ORIGINAL: For a preliminary overview of who’s who and what’s what, see my page, The Kenya Project: Who and What. And, remember, I have a lot of information trapped on my old blog. I need $30 in donations to free it. Thanks.


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*****
Inside an al-Shabaab refugee camp

NYPD investigation into the Westgate Mall terrorist attack in Nairobi suggests that there were only four perpetrators and they all escaped. 

The New York conclusions are based on information obtained by its police officers and unclassified open source information.
The New York report also highlighted poor co-ordination between the Kenyan police and the army, which saw troops kill one police officer and wound the commander of a police team.
The Kenyan military disputes this assertion.

Major Emmanuel Chirchir, a military spokesman, said on Thursday that the bodies of the four attackers were burned beyond recognition and dismissed suggestions, attributed to a New York Police Department report released this week that some of the attackers could have escaped.
More from the BBC

***** 


Haggle over refugees looming (registration required)

Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopia camps barely fit for humans: Oxfam


Morning Reading--Friday, December 20, 2013 (UPDATED)

Mandela in the mirror
John Boehner's betrayal
Duck Hunt: The Phil Robertson 'GQ' quote the media refuse to report
White People Suck
Obama's half-brother:"Barack thought I was too white"
GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief
Democrat Campaign Staffers Paid Significantly Less Than Whites

UPDATE: And this. Duck Dynasty: The show that got away (Thanks to Ace)

Related:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Smell Downwind

A number of people have linked to Peggy Noonan’s WSJ blog post, Incompetence, while simultaneously noting that Noonan, herself, was incompetent at recognizing the ideology of the man who is now our president. (More on incompetence: whoever is maintaining Noonan’s blog needs to fix the post. But since it has been broken for two days, I suspect that it is Noonan who maintains it. A low-level worker bee would never let a post look like that for this long.)

The following admission by Noonan is, well, mockable:

I would add that in recent weeks I have begun to worry about the basic competency of the administration, its ability to perform the most fundamental duties of executive management.

And it has gone well-mocked by those of us who discerned Barack Obama’s political intentions from the beginning. However, one of the problems with mockery is that the mockers tend to miss things like the following hair-raising and on-target scenario generated by Noonan’s imagination:

I’m worried, finally, that lines of traditionally assumed competence are being dropped. The past few weeks I can’t shake from my head this picture: The man with the football—the military aide who carries the U.S. nuclear codes, and who travels with the president—is carrying the wrong code. He’s carrying last month’s code, or the one from December 2012. And there’s a crisis—a series of dots on a radar screen traveling toward the continental U.S.—and the president is alerted. He’s in the holding room at a fundraiser out west. The man with the football is called in and he fumbles around in his briefcase and gets the code but wait, the date on the code is wrong. He scrambles, remembers there’s a file on his phone, but the phone ran out on the plane and he thought he could recharge in the holding room but there’s no electrical outlet. All eyes turn to him. “Wait—wait. No—uh—I don’t think that’s the code we use to launch against incoming from North Korea, I think that one takes out Paris!”

I have to say, I’ve never worried about this with any previous administration, ever.
At my old blog, I coined a term: the Coconut Treatment—cut a coconut in half, scrape out the meat, fill the halves with some vile substance, then glue the halves back together, and continue calling the object a coconut. That description is the best way I can find to describe what is being perpetrated on our country and its previously solid and substantive institutions.

That Noonan is only beginning to wake up to this ongoing process tells me that blindness is often willful. However, it also tells me that blindness can also be caused by the type of proximity that Noonan has had with the Washington DC establishment. Indeed, she is part of it and has been since she wrote speeches for Ronald Reagan.

I would say, “Welcome to the party, pal,” but with all the clusterf**kery that had been endemic in the Obama administration since January 2009—culminating in the farce that is the ACA website--Noonan may have merely gotten around to putting a finger up and finally determined which way the wind was blowing.

(Thanks to American Digest)


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A Morning Reading Sample

What will it take?
A jazzman's sour notes on race
Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson suspended by A&E for comments on homosexuality
Phil Robertson knew exactly what he was doing
Marxism mutates

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Help Me Get Access to My Old Blog

Both projects have been updated (see tabs above) and there will be another excerpt of Arlen's Harem posted tomorrow. I have three to chose from.

A few of items are needed to keep everything going and, in addition, make things better. The one item needed the most right now--in bold below--is the least expensive one.
  • Phone and Internet Bill: $70
  • Gas and Electric: $400
  • Car Note: $235
  • Get iPad out of hock: $250
  • Pay for old blog, so I can download it and add it to this blog: $30
If you  want to see both of my projects continue and see my older work, please help keep all of them going. Thanks.


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New Pages

The Kenya Project Proposal 2013-2014

and

The Kenya Project: Who and What

All corrections and suggestions are welcome!


GoFundMe: Arlen's Harem
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My Conspiracy Theory

My Tuesday column at Da Tech Guy Blog went up later than usual yesterday, due to some technical wrangling with my Internet Provider (yes, I'm passing the buck). Go check it out.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Telegraphing

Forget whatever it is that these two charlatans are talking about. Look at what's underneath their feet. Not an accident.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Re-Post: Eyes Front

Originally posted at Da Tech Guy Blog on December 11, 2013.
Last week, when President Obama reverted to the topic of “income inequality,” I was reminded of one of things I used to complain about to God. Why did people who were “worse” sinners than I get the things I’ve always wanted but didn’t have?
Christians are exhorted to keep their eyes on Jesus—the Way, the Truth and The Light--the dispenser of all good things. It is one of the good examples of tunnel vision. Conversely, when one’s eyes are not on the actual source of blessings, but, rather on the perceived blessings of one’s sibling or one’s neighbor, those eyes become blinded by false vision.
You begin to think that God likes others better than He likes you; or you think that God is unfair or that He is really the capricious, randomly-acting god described in other belief systems. Or, you decide that there is no god and that all is fair in “love” and, most especially, in war. You may even begin to believe that those who have been blessed more than you have, got that way by taking your blessings from you. From there, it’s a short road to doing the same-- taking what you want by force. Or, perhaps, you will vote for those who promise to do it for you.
More false vision: allegedly, income inequality varies directly with poverty levels. However, no causal chain is ever described and no historical example is ever given for this “calculus” (algebra, actually).
Measuring self against others, whether you come out “better” or “worse,” always leads to folly. If you believe yourself to be better, you become prideful and arrogant—“high and lifted-up.” And if you believe you have come up short, you become angry, bitter, resentful, and, sometimes, violent.
And you become ungrateful.
The Left’s concern for income inequality was always meant to inflame covetousness and all the sins of commission that flow from that source.
Abel knew.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Re-Post: Hidden Things and Old Books

Originally posted at Da Tech Guy blog on December 3, 2013.

Last week, I was talking with some friends and one of them brought up the Washington Redskins mascot controversy. When I suggested that the team's name be changed to the 'Washington Negroes,' it brought the house down.

From there, someone brought up the old Roots miniseries and we got to talking about Alex Haley (1921-1992) the author of the book on which the miniseries was based. In 1978, Haley was sued for plagiarism by Harold_Courlander and the plaintiff won. One of my companions wondered why he hadn't just published the book as a work of fiction in the first place.

It was then that I was reminded of the historical novel The Dahomean, written by Frank Yerby (1916-1991) and published in 1971. Set in nineteenth-century Virginia, the initial scenario has two white farmers deciding what to name their newly-purchased slave. The slave tells them his African name when asked and speaks only rudimentary English--obviously fresh from his seaborne transport.

The rest of the novel consists of the slave's memories of his life as a free man in Africa--in the Kingdom of Dahomey. It is fantastic--a great work. (At my first reading of the book I was about twelve years old. I didn't read it again until I was in my forties, curious to see if my fledgling judgment of the book's quality held up against my adult reading sensibilities. It did and remains my favorite novel.)

Undoubtedly, Haley was aware of Yerby--an accomplished writer at the time of the publication of The Dahomean--and was also aware of how little commercial success The Dahomean had garnered. (In Yerby's "A Note to the Reader," he acknowledges basing his fiction on Melville J. Herskovits' Dahomey: An Ancient West African Kingdom.) Whether the contemporaneous public showed little interest in such a topic or whether Yerby's publishers did little to promote Yerby's novel is unknown. But I suspect that Haley didn't want a similar obscurity for Roots--published in 1976--and, to that end, decided to pawn it off as an autobiography. No one would find out, he thought. He was correct...for a while. But the truth came out, as it always does.

As for The Dahomean, I've always thought it would make a decent movie. In this climate of political correctness, however, the production would certainly have to be independently financed because Yerby's Dahomeans are, indeed, not politically correct.

As for the present-day climate of racial division and blame for the sins of dead ancestors, Mr. Yerby addresses these things for his own time and I'll let him speak for himself.
The thoughtful reader will observe that the writer has not attempted to make the Dahomeans either more or less than what they were. He is aware that truth is an uncomfortable quality; that neither the racist, the liberal, nor the advocates of Black Power and/or Pride will find much support for their dearly held and perhaps, to them, emotionally and psychologically necessary myths herein. 
So be it. Myths solve nothing, arrange nothing. But then, as the protagonist of this novel is driven in the end to put it, perhaps there are no viable solutions or arrangements in life for any of the desperate problems facing humanity in an all too hostile world.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Back in the Loop

My home Internet is back on and I was able to get car insurance thanks to those who contributed to my projects! Yes, that's what the contributions are for; for me to live while I work.

Tomorrow I have some regular obligations for the first part of the day, but when those are through, I will be working on The Kenya Project. I have a lot of catching up to do, so be patient.

Meanwhile, go read my Tuesday column at Da Tech Guy blog.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thank You!

...for four donations for over $600! These allowed me to turn my home Internet back on (as of tomorrow)! After that, my two projects, Arlen's Harem and The Kenya Project, are back on in earnest, thanks to A., S., M. and H. But the fund-raising is still going on!

As for today, look for my weekly column at Da Tech Guy Blog in a bit. Additionally, I will post the full text of last week's column later.

It will be good to be back on. People are no longer taught to be quiet in libraries.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Re-post: Stranger Than Fiction

Originally posted at Da Tech Guy blog on November 19, 2013.

Please forgive the many "I, me" and "my" references in this post. Readers will understand the apology as they get clued in to the subject.

Assuming that most of Peter's readers have never heard of me, let me tell you all a bit about myself. I have been blogging under the nom de guerre 'baldilocks' for just a bit over ten years. The main topic has been conservative politics, but I will talk about most anything that strikes my fancy or torques me off...or at least I used to. Haven't felt so much like blogging since November 2008.

I am an Air Force retiree and, most recently, a novelist. Until the end of last year, my primary concern was the well-being of my great-aunt. She passed away in December of 2012 at age 91. A good, long life.

But there are some other things about me that readers may find...interesting.
  • I was born in August of 1961.
  • My biological father is Kenyan and of the Luo tribe; my mother is American.
  • My parents met when both were attending the same American college.
  • My parents divorced when I was very young; afterward, my father returned to Kenya.
  • For half of my childhood, I was raised by older relatives of my mother.
  • My mother suffered from ovarian cancer.
  • My maternal grandmother died in 2008.
  • One of my half-sisters is nine years younger than I am. She is married to a man of a different race than she.
  • I am left-handed.
Some of these things may seem familiar, if innocuous. But one thing it certain: all of these things are also part of the biography of a man named Barack Hussein Obama. And some of the dissimilarities have symmetry.
  • I am a woman.
  • I am a conservative.
  • Both of his parents and his step-father are dead. Both of my parents and my step-father are living. (My father, Philip Ochieng, appeared in the documentary, 2016: Obama's America, and was a friend of Barack Obama, Sr.)
  • I was raised by my great-aunt and great-uncle in the first half of my childhood. President Obama was raised by his grandparents in the last half of his minor years.
Since Barack Obama came on the scene almost ten years ago, I have lived in a low-level state of astonishment and I'm not even talking about the type of president he has turned out to be. (That was predictable to anyone who was paying attention.) I'm talking about the personal facts of both our lives.

Considering his character, the notion that he absconded with my identity has come up in my mind a time or two, but there are things that could not be faked--like the malady that beset both of our mothers. My mother was diagnosed several year after his was.

And, in the years since President Obama was elected, I seen all manner of crazy notions pop up about the Luo tribe.
  • That the tribe is mostly Arab. (One look at any of us disputes this. The name 'Obama' is Luo, not Arabic. Fun fact: in Dholuo, 'Obama' means 'bent' or 'crooked.')
  • That the tribe is mostly Muslim. (The Luo are 90% Christian--including me. Most Kenyan Luo are Anglican or Seventh Day Adventist.)
  • That the tribe is a "communist tribe." (That assertion seemed weird, until I remembered that most of the Africans who were educated in Western countries in the sixties--like Barack Obama, Sr. and Philip Ochieng--were sponsored and well-indoctrinated by the Organized Left. My now very conservative mom says that communists were everywhere when my father was courting her.)
And here's one really crazy notion that the ascent of Barack Hussein Obama has put in motion: that most black American Christians are adherents to the I-deology known as Black Liberation Theology. In reality, the only black American Christians who are even familiar with the tenets of that abomination are the minority who are Catholic. Nothing against our Catholic friends, but it is in that denomination where (insert ethnic group here) liberation theologies have mostly taken root, the fact that President Obama's old "church" is "Protestant" notwithstanding.

But I digress.

What does having a cosmic twin who happens to be the President of the United States and who happens to be systematically destroying that same person's country do for one's psyche? It brings humility and, ironically, it also shows that there is a God and that He does have a "wicked" sense of humor. Joke's on me...and, as it appears, the rest of us.

Here's the important question: which one of us is the Bearded Spock?

I guess that depends on whom you asked. If you were to ask President Obama, he'd get the fictional character confused with the real-life Dr. Spock. And then, you would have your answer.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Re-post: Inferiority's Children

Originally posted at Da Tech Guy on November 26, 2013.

http://datechguyblog.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gifOver a decade ago, when I was a student at a community college, I took a government class, taught by one Professor Cohen, as an elective. I asked around about him and received a flood of answers; the word was out that he was tough and it that was difficult to earn an 'A' from him. Most advised me to drop his class and choose an easier professor. I didn't and earned an 'A' in the course. (Those who have read my novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, will recognize this scenario.)

Since taking the course, I've long pondered Professor Cohen's alleged toughness. All he required was that a student read diligently--example: read the US Constitution in its entirety once a week--and regurgitate those readings and lecture notes in essays and on tests. Having been in the military and, therefore, having taken many military courses, this was an easy thing for me to do. It's notable that the only other person in my class who received an 'A' from Professor Cohen was an Army veteran. We were both used to high and objective standards.
But even back then, it was becoming plain that most other students were not used to them, hence the idea that Professor Cohen was so tough. Now, however, high standards are not only something to be avoided, expecting students to meet them is it is an act of violence and, of course, racism.


Current and former students in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies expressed their support for professor emeritus Val Rust following a demonstration in one of his graduate classes last Thursday. 
Student demonstrators alleged that there is a “toxic” racial climate in the graduate school, including in Rust’s classroom. Organizers told the Daily Bruin last week that they decided to host the demonstration after a recent report examining racial discrimination among the university’s faculty stated that UCLA’s policies and procedures do not sufficiently address racially motivated instances of discrimination. 
[...] 
In a letter sent to colleagues in the department after the sit-in, Rust said students in the demonstration described grammar and spelling corrections he made on their dissertation proposals as a form of "micro-aggression." 
[...] 
The demonstration’s organizers said they are aware of several examples in the graduate school where minority students claimed they faced challenges and “micro-aggressions” from professors.
Empasis mine.
This is what decades of indoctrination--rather than education--and entitlement hath wrought. In this case, the entitlements which such students have already received are as follows: high school diploma, undergraduate degree, and acceptance into a graduate program. They expect to accrue their next entitlement--a masters degree and/or a Ph.D--on schedule and this professor won't gift wrap it for them unlike most of his predecessors. Such students have been told overtly and subliminally that these credentials are their "just due"--due to them not because of their abilities, but because of their very existence.
Moreover, these students--and the systems which have promoted them--have internalized the alleged inferiority of blacks. I knew even before I read the story, that the protestors were black because I've seen this type of reasoning all my life. It's produces the same phenomenon in which black K-12 students who attend schools with majority-black student bodies and who excel academically are teased by their peers for "acting white."
Here's how the reasoning works: black persons are genetically unable to master correct grammar, so it's pointless to attempt to teach it to them or expect it from them. And if a teacher, professor or boss expects such, that person is guilty of perpetrating "micro-aggression" on a people.
This widespread mindset does not exist by accident. It's a plan, I say; one which makes ignorance not only prevalent, not only celebrated, but fecund. And, regardless of your color, if you don't think this way, you are not "of the body" and must be scorned.

The plan: the hollowing out of education, institutions, and, most importantly, a people.