August 30, 2008

NEVER TOO EARLY TO START LEAVING A TRAIL OF BROKEN PROMISES, EH?:

Obama vs. Baldilocks: A blogger's African dad came here on the same airlift as Obama's dad. All similarities end there (Max Taves, August 21, 2008, LA Weekly)

Los Angeles blogger Juliette Ochieng has a lot in common with the man who might be the next president, Barack Obama. A lot.

Both were born to Kenyan fathers of the same tribe (the Luo) from the same province (Nyanza), and both of their fathers came as boys to America aboard the same airplane. Growing up, neither Ochieng nor Obama knew their fathers, who both abandoned their American mothers and left their American-born children behind. Both of their fathers returned to Africa in the early 1960s and became friends, bonding at Kenyan bars over their favorite drink — Scotch. Both Ochieng's and Obama's mothers contracted ovarian cancer. (Hers survived it; his did not). Both Ochieng and Obama were born in the U.S. in August 1961 — only weeks apart.

But for someone with parallel beginnings, Juliette Akinyi Ochieng is quite different: Evangelical Christian. Working class. Military veteran. Pro-life. Conservative Republican.

Ochieng went to Los Angeles City College, not Harvard. Although she was born in Chicago — Obama's political birthplace — she lives in South-Central Los Angeles, where she grew up. And since 2003, she has written a blog, luoamerican.com/baldilocks, better known as Baldilocks, a reference to her fashionably close-shaven head. Her soft speech belies her harsh yet thoughtful commentaries on black politics and national security from a conservative perspective.

Last month, she penned an essay for her site and for Republican-oriented pajamasmedia.com, bemoaning blacks' loyalty to the Democrats. Last week, as Russian tanks rolled through Georgia, Ochieng, who worked for years as an Air Force Intelligence cryptologist-linguist specializing in Russian and German, mused about that conflict.

"She was very shaped by her experiences in the military," says fellow blogger Patrick Frey, the deputy district attorney who founded Patterico.com. "She has very strong opinions, and she's a very religious person. She's very warm and hospitable."

Recent visitors to her site cannot miss her new mission: Making good on a promise to a Kenyan school named in honor of Barack Obama.

It's a promise, she says, that Barack Obama broke.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 30, 2008 7:37 PM
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