Sunday, July 31, 2016

Should we clone Neanderthals?

Long discussion at Archeology.com


Cloning a Neanderthal will take a lot more than just an accurately reconstructed genome. Artificially assembling an exact copy of the Neanderthal DNA sequence could be done easily and cheaply with current technology, but a free-floating strand of DNA isn't much good to a cell. "The bigger challenge is--how do you assemble a genome without a cell?" asks James Noonan, a geneticist at Yale University. "How do you package DNA into chromosomes, and get that into a nucleus? We don't know how to do that." The shape of the DNA within the chromosomes affects the way that genes interact with chemicals inside the cell
they write another way would be to take a human cell and make the thousands of necessary  changes into that cell's DNA....

Or to insert Neaderthal DNA into a human blastocyst. (early human embryo).


Experimenting on human beings used to be considered ethically wrong, until the bioethicists decided that early human embryos were not really human persons. Since the ultimate goal is to call anyone not meeting the "criteria for personhood" (including infants and brain damaged adults) as a human being with rights, you can see where this is going.

ah, but are Neaderthals human?





Genetically, since there is evidence that humans and Neanderthals did interbreed, it would mean yes, one is making a human being.


of course, in a world where religious voices are sidelines and "secular" bioethicists often are "apologists for death" (to use Nat Hentoff's phrase), why stop at experimenting with Neanderthal/human clones?

Well, awhile back the Brits were discussing if a genetically altered pig (a chimera manufactured to get organs to donate), with a large amount of DNA, could be self aware or considered human.

And the British bishops said: Well, better to err on the side of the good and treat them so.


The bishops, who believe that life begins at conception, said that they opposed the creation of any embryo solely for research, but they were also anxious to limit the destruction of such life once it had been brought into existence. In their submission to the committee, they said: “At the very least, embryos with a preponderance of human genes should be assumed to be embryonic human beings, and should be treated accordingly.
so, would you adopt him as a human being, or use him to experiment on?

Encino man or Never Let Me Go....


Another day, another typhoon

Typhoon supposed to hit south of here, but the weather is dark and overcast so I suspect we'll get rain.


Family news

Joy and Ruby are back from Manila.

Our cook's youngest son died of a heart attack. He has been having trouble for about two years, and even had a near death episode a year ago. He had chest pain and went to see his doctor, but when the ambulance arrived, it was too late.

Alas, this was her educated son, a teacher.He had a wife and two kids...

Teachers are respected, but the pay is not that good, so he was trying to get a job overseas, first in Canada before the oil shale business slowed down, and then to work in a factory in Malaysia, but had trouble with that too (lots of jobs are fake, or they recruit too many and then won't hire).

As a teenager guarded our home when Lolo had his first stroke, so we are very sad about this.

I told the cook to take a week off, but she is here this morning anyway.... she will cook and then her daughter will come and serve/do the dishes... money is short, and I suspect she would rather stay busy...

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Wanna be a Francis Catholic? There's an app for that.

The Pope is pushing "yutes" to be SJW at WYD 2016.

yes, instead of pushing the necessity for prayer, repentence and serving God in your daily life, you should be a SJW "FrancisCatholic" ala Kaine, whose one year as a lay missionary lets him say he is a good Catholic despite being a supporter of the Culture of Death party in the USA.

and yes, according to this article, there is an App for that.


YOUCAT, the Catechism and the Compendium of Catholic Social Teaching, and features a foreword by Pope Francis 
As part of the release, a DOCAT app has been made available to all World Youth Day participants. The app helps readers to start groups, participate in discussions, and do acts of justice as a present to the pope, who, in writing the foreword to DOCAT, shared his dream with youth on how to change the world.
So there you have it. Personal piety, bleh. Prayer bleh. Living an ethical life, nah. Support Hillary's pro abortion party? YES! Attend conferences on how to use twitter: YES!

Yes, I should talk: but since I spent much of my life working as a doc among the poor, I figure I can point out the problem:

Jesus didn't call everyone to "sell what you have, give to the poor, and follow me". He also told others to "go and sin no more", and even sent the man he cured of demons to go home to his family when he wanted to join the apostles.

The SJW meme of Catholicism is important, but Francis' emphasis on this as the only way to be a good Catholic marginalizes normal people who have a life to lead, a family to care for, physical or mental handicaps that make such a move impossible. It also neglects to acknowledge  ordinary Catholics, who are no longer be taught how to find holiness in the duties of their daily life.

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The Pope cites Mother Teresa. Great saint, of course.

But I am reminded when Mother Teresa attended a Eucharistic Congress in an American city, and was asked by her taxi driver: What should I do (to serve God)? He expected her to say: give money. Or volunteer for a ministry.

What she actually told him was "Smile at your wife more often".


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so I laughed when I read "Eccles is saved" Blog:

Welcome to World Oldies day

Listening attentively to Pope Francis.


Yup. Works for me.

War on Drugs

The local News notes that 400+ drug pushers on a list gave themselves up and signed a pledge not to sell drugs. So no cop killing of drug pushers here so far.

Of course, if you read the whole news site, there  have been quite a few "vigilante" type murders.

The main headline is about a ghost corporation where money was spent for "livelihood kits" for the poor... but no kits were delivered, and a lot of the documentation was forged. More information here at GMA

How much money was this about? The project was funded 14 million pesos. (about $300 000) but no note about how much may have ended up in someone's pocket.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Eugenics? Whoopie

I am aghast at this article on Mom Jones, that interviews a guy who lauds the selection of embryos to get your perfect baby.


Greely believes embryo selection will become popular in the United States. "My guess is more than half of babies are likely to be conceived this way," he predicts.

Uh, fellahs: To get an egg, mom has to take medicines that make her ovulate (and get emotional and fat). Then she needs an operation to remove the eggs. Then she needs to go to the office and get them implanted. And one to two thirds of the babies won't "take". If you implant a couple, yes there is a higher chance of getting a kid, but sometimes you get two (or three).

Infertile women will do this, of course. But it's a dirty little secret that a lot of IVF is done when less "intrusive" treatments might work...but IVF makes docs rich, and moms happy, because it's quicker.

But routinely? Nope.

And what about all those discarded embryos? This is a major ethical problem no one wants to discuss...

I was surprised that Mom Jones, who usually opposes artificial GM food, artificial fertilizers, herbicides, chemicals and all sorts of artificial interventions into human life seems to be pushing artificial manipulation of human beings. (Probably they interview him without editorializing, but the writer gets fuzzy on why anyone would oppose this practice).


Catholics, of course object to IVF because of the reason he posits: His book is called "the end of sex" meaning that now you can have a kid without making love.

Separating sex from reproduction is a no no, be it by the pill that gives you sex without a baby, or IVF that gives you a baby without sex. (and I won't even go into the lucrative baby making that uses desperatly poor women to carry someone else's baby to term.).

Like marriage, they stress the biological basis of family, lovemaking, and baby making, as God's gift to humans.

But the summary of how this guy and many others have lost the moral vocabulary to even discuss the moral issues can be found in this quote

After all, he says, "You want to get the best car. Why don't you want to get the best baby?"

Well, maybe because a because a baby is not a "thing" to be bought, but a person to be loved and cherished. By not seeing babies as persons, it is implied that you can return them if defective (which is what is done by discarding embryos, and has been done by parents who refuse to accept an imperfect baby or twins etc. gestated by a pay-for surrogate mother)

And, of course, I'm old enough to remember that when one grew up and married, that babies weren't planned, but just came along and were accepted and welcomed. Kids were considered part of one's vocation of being married, and even among the non "religious", there was the idea that well, God had a plan for the kid even if he/she came at an inconvenient time.

Eugenics rears it's ugly head.


Is Facebook a Potemkin village?

When I surf the web, I see a lot of "sign up for facebook" ads, as if they are seeking new members.

But what has annoyed me in the past weeks is that when I use Chrome, all of a sudden, a tab with Facebook opens when I didn't request it to be opened.

This  is now happening when I used a different browser that I don't use for my mail and haven't used to open Facebook...

This seems to be an old problem: This discussion claims it is because you have the facebook messanger for Windows and that they solved the problem in 2014...

Uh, no, I don't use Facebook messenger.

Mozilla support says run TDDS KILLER to stop this.

I'll put a followup post if this works.

But I wonder:

Question: Is facebook paid for the number of times people open their page?

Martyrs, we haz that

TeaatTrianon has a link to several essays saying that the priest murdered by ISIS in France should be acclaimed a martyr.

 more HERE. and HERE.

I have no problem with that.

My only criticism is that this is not exactly new, nor is it, alas rare.

But then the 37 plus missionaries killed when I worked in Africa were killed, not by Muslims, but by a group of "insurgents" funded by the World Council of Churches, so probably no one wants to write those murders up as martyrs or saints, because it might embarass the PC...

At least one odd lay missionary killed during those time is considered a saint by the local people. And when I say "odd", I mean shellshocked guy. a hanger-on, whom the Jesuits found a job to keep him busy. And I found it interesting that the locals decided he, not the bishop or priests or nuns killed, was the one worthy of being proclaimed a saint. I suspect it was his humility, since we professional do gooders tended to be arrogant SOB's.

I often criticize the Pope and his SJW minions for talking of "mercy" for sociopaths instead of trying to reach out and preach repentence to ordinary people caught in the culture of sin, as many Pentecostal etc. churches are doing.

But of course, this does not mean we do not have good priests and layworkers who do risk their lives doing  just that. And I do know that telling people there is mercy and forgiveness for their (often horrendous) sins is the first step to encourage them to reform.

Reuters has an article about a Catholic outreach to gang members in Mexico. Go read the whole thing.

It's been 50 years since this type of evangelism has gotten attention in the media (the cross and the switchblade was the story back then), even though many pastors and priests are active in this type of ministry.

But now that type of outreach is probably more dangerous.

It's not just ISIS: As Borderlandbeat notes: dozens of Catholic priests have been murdered in Mexico (and this doesn't include those priests, laypeople and pastors killed in Colombia, where FARC once kidnapped an entire church congregation).

the lost heep badly need a shepherd, and yes, there are shepherds trying to find them, (although alas they are too few).

And when they are killed, the world doesn't go out and say: Martyr.

The martyred French priest seems to be a humble guy willing to work after retirement in a parish that mainly served immigrants from Senegal. I am sure he is a saint, and not just because he met martyrdom at the hands of two mixed up kids.

Yes, mixed up kids.

as David Warren noted:

Hardly to my surprise, I learn that the latest murderous adolescents were problems for the state’s social services long before they were “radicalized.” ... His confusion is exacerbated by the deconstruction of all cultures in the contemporary West: the loss of continuity in custom and governing norms. He becomes a different kind of Muslim from his parents, who can’t understand him. In many mosques, financed by the oil-monied Wahabis, the worst features of Islam are emphasized. The Islamists do much recruiting there, and also in prisons: like the Communists before them, they are looking for psychoses to exploit. And of course, the Internet is a great boon, to all of satanic tendency.

The same thing could be said about kids joining gangs, be they Mexico or Los Angeles CA... or the kids on the Res for that matter (our res had a major school shooting after I moved to a warmer climate: The kid was into NeoNazi stuff on the internet, but his history of abuse and family breakdown were the real reason behind the murders).

The scarred and broken are the lost sheep to be healed.

But I do hope there is a hell, not for the mixed up kids seduced by the culture of murder, but for those who push the idea that it is okay to kill in the name of "Good", and those who applaud these architects of death (did I read right, that a woman proclaimed she had an abortion and was applauded at the DNC? ).

and those who push murder as something good, while sitting in their comfortable offices, are the ones who deserve punishment, but instead will die in their beds hailed as heroes.

Question: Will the author and director of "Me before you" take responsibility for the mass murders in Japan, by a guy who thinks they are "better off dead"? NDY knows the handicapped who are murdered are not called martyrs by the MSM, who instead publishes sympathetic peons to those who kill them...





Thursday, July 28, 2016

Memo to DNC: firewalls are your friend


 Note to DNC: Stop Blaming Putin, YOU Wrote the Emails.
Via Instapundit:

better to blame Trump and Russia than to acknowledge they had a problem with computer security, or to discuss  what was in the released emails...

Memo to Pope:discuss martyrdom

JohnAllen at Crux notes: Forget program at WYD: Teach youth about the martyrs

There are places where anti-Christian violence has become stunningly routine, including North Korea, Eritrea, Iraq and Syria, Nigeria, and India. The Global Council for Indian Christians, a largely Protestant body in India, estimates for the last decade, there has been an average of one violent assault on a Christian in their country every other day.

this doesn't include places like the Philippines, where terrorists attack Christian villages and caused thousands of people in a mainly Christian town to flee, and where Christian activists defending civil rights and the environment are killed. (often these are linked since the rich want to exploit the land owned by the poor or indigenous people)

And I suspect this doesn't include those, especially clergy in Mexico and Colombia who were killed for opposing the drug cartels and gangs. Heck, I suspect it doesn't even include those in the US who are killed by gangs because they preach Jesus, or because robbing churches/church workers, are easy targets.

Finally, I should ass tat the priest killed was French, but the pastor of the church, and many who attended the church, were African immigrants. The press is not noting this, but it may be the backstory on why that church was chosen.

Maybe the pope needs to stress the importance of immigrants to evangelize their new countries...

Memo to demonstators:

Nylon doesn't burn 


... (one) man amicably described himself as an anarcho-communist and said he was disappointed that whoever brought the flags had purchased nylon banners rather than cotton. He said experienced activists should know better.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

For later reading

The priest killed in France was helping out the pastor, who is African and was visiting family in the Congo. Apparently it was a multicultural parish in a town with lots of ethnics and immigrants.


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Quote of the day:

Air conditioners and refrigerators pose as big a threat to "life on the planet" as the threat of terrorism, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.

well, you can have my Aircon remote when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.

Unless there is a viable alternative, people will die of heat stroke and heat related disease and food poisoning.

Best quote of the day about this comes from ProfP:

It is a great consolation as one’s throat is being cut that the government is focused on global warming.
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I hate to be sarcastic, but probably more people are killed in Chicago than have been killed by ISIS, but it's not PC to mention that because:


the majority of the violence is gang-related, with 50 percent of the murder victims identified as known gang members. He says shootings are often a result of personal petty disputes that are fueled by social media.
and the BLM makes the witnesses hostile to the cops, so gangs can literally get away with murder.

===================
  StrategyPage discusses the problem of NGO's. Lots of money diverted into the pockets of the corrupt or of bad guys.

and then there are the NGO's pushing the hedonism of America as part of the deal, and wondering why the conservatives of all faiths get upset.

and lots more. Read the whole thing.
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 Rev Sensing asks: Who would Jesus vote for when there is no Christian running for president?



for both the Republicans and the Democrats it is about money and power: Who will receive the largess they will use tax dollars to provide? Whom will be the class they plunder to get it? And how will they spend it to suborn, corrupt or crush so they can keep power?
as for bioethical issues: I agree with WSmith: The courts and propaganda deluge in the MSM etc. will make sure the slide into the culture of death continues: but there is a small difference between the candidates:

Trump won't see stopping it as a priority, but Hillary will help push it along.

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Family news

Brownout due today... we already had a ten minute outage but the electricity went back on.

To make things worse, Thunderstorms also due later today.

So probably I won't blog until evening.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cat item of the day

The news is lousy...time to break out the kitties......

China's noodle war

Halal noodle restaurant opens too close to another Halal noodle restaurant, and things then get a little crazy.

LINK

LINK2

it is an ethnic fast food, and these restaurants are usually run by Chinese minorities.

Recipe HERE.


more HERE.including recipe.

these are essentially a spicy version of ramen noodle soup, but with nicer noodles, because they are hand pulled noodles, not the lousy ones in the packages, and include a spicy condiment (here, they give you this on the side to add if you wish).... and the oil added uses hot red peppers.

Heh. Wonder if they know peppers are from South America?

On the other hand, noodles are Chinese, aren't they?

NPR on the history of noodles.

Chinese use fresh dough noodles, not dried as is done in Italy, and the noodles might have made their way west with Genghis Khan, not Marco Polo.



In the US, my kids called this "Spaghetti soup" but here in the Philippines, it is called Mami noodles.

no, it doesn't get it's name from Mama but from MaMonLuk, who introduced the soup to Manila.

Stories below the fold

No, I'm not watching the conventions in the USA but Dave Barry has a report on them:


PHILADELPHIA So now the Russians are involved. Yes! According to rumors circulating here — and if we can’t trust circulating rumors, what can we trust? — it was the Russians who leaked the Democratic National Committee emails, because they wanted to embarrass Hillary Clinton. The theory is that the Russians are secretly supporting Donald Trump, as evidenced by the following evidence:
 ▪ “Ivanka” sounds kind of Russian.
=Vladimir Putin has been wearing a baseball cap that says “Make America Great Again.”

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the good news in all of this is that the MSM finally has figured out that most of Wikileaks is inspired by Russia. 


on the other hand, it points out what is wrong with Hillary having an unsecure private email server discussing matters marked "top secret"

I mean, at least make them work a bit hard to steal secrets.

Personal note: My federal personnel  file was hacked, along with millions of other folk's files, from the federal gov't computers. Is anyone taking the cyberwars seriously in the federal gov't?

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Pokeman has hit Indonesia.

Fatwa? What fatwa?

and it's coming here soon.

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A "Pope Francis Catholic as Democratic VP?

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How did that steamship end up in a cornfield

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Drug dealers are the new enemy, but the commies, not so much.

On the other hand, in some poor areas they are the ones defending the poor farmers from exploitation...but like the mafia, they also kidnap, shoot people and sell drugs.

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Sigh. now 200 thousand people in Northern China displaced by flooding. Heavy monsoon rains the cause, the they are angry because the gov't didn't warn them soon enough.


in our prayers

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mass murder: it's not just for Muslims angry white men any more.

A center for disabled elderly hit by a knife wielding crazy in Japan.

in our prayers.

This is, of course, a "copycat " effect, where someone with mental illness who has violent impulses gets the idea they now are allowed to act on these ideas.

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forget Brexit: the big news is the Cat fight in the UK


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Crowdfunding in rehab

Dustubury reports from rehab.after spinal surgery

And asks his readers if they like his blog to add to his tip jar.

I don't have money but will pass on the request, because I enjoy reading about shoes, my little Pony, and of course the sports news from OKC.st

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sherlock is coming

Deadline Hollywood reports on a ComicCon discussion about next year's season 4 of Sherlock.



hopefully the plot won't fall apart at the end like the Abomidable Bride. Yes it hints at what might come next year, but I hate dreams pretending to be real.

headsup from hercules at AICN.

Quick. Henry, the FLIT

The latest bad news about Zika is that it might be spread by the Culex mosquito, which is found commonly found in temperate zones.

To paraphrase Airplane: Looks like we picked the wrong century to quit DDT...




Philippine news

AlJ has an article on the Abus: fighting while high on Shabu, kidnapping to get ransoms to buy guns, and of course, sharing the wealth with relatives and local politicians etc to stay protected.

related item: Local ex mayor drug lord arrested.

Adrian Alvaro, PDEA Northern Mindanao chief, told reporters that the former mayor heads the Abinal drug ring, described as the biggest supplier of shabu in the regions of Southern Mindanao, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, Central Mindanao and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
“They (Abinal drug group) are dealing drugs in bulk,” Alvaro said.
“If the orders are huge, [the payment is done] through bank to bank transactions, and on consignment basis,” Alvaro said.
Alvaro said the group obtains its supply from Chinese drug lords in Manila and has been in the illegal drug trade for the past 15 years.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/798554/narcs-arrest-ex-mayor-tagged-as-mindanao-drug-queen#ixzz4FN7UR9MK Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook
Remember that massacre of all those reporters?

Well this relates bribes paid to protect the perpetrators

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StrategyPage on Japan's investments in Burma, that replace China's investments. This means they won't be punished if they defend the Philippines at ASEAN. It's the democracy stupid so they have to pay attention to the locals.

 Currently China is eager to buy some regional allies (especially Thailand, Burma and Malaysia) to get some support for Chinese expansion efforts in the South China Sea. China is willing to pay a lot for such support. But Burmese officials knew that most Burmese feared China and backed cracking down on illegal economic activity on the Chinese border and punishing Chinese firms that behave badly while building large new mines and power plants in thinly populated rural areas.
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The eal danger: If Zika spreads to SEAsia.

The DOH plans to test athletes when they come back from the Olympics.

But what if the virus comes back with visitors? There has been a Dengue epidemic in SE Asia for decades, and it is the same mosquito.

And no, I haven't seen anyone spraying the open ditches albeit the main drainage canal is now covered.

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Reports are that the President is going around on his motorcycle checking out problems in Manila.

his hard line on drugs is "splitting the public".

Translation: Human right folks are worried as is the Catholic church but hey, the ordinary folks are happy.



Family news

Joy and Ruby left for her school in Manila, and with various projects etc they will stay there all week. Why not? It's very unhappy here for both of them.

Alas, the shower in their bedroom doesn't drain so they use mine, and at 3 am, Ruby used my shower, and also used my last towel so I guess I'll have to drip dry myself. When they got moved down here, their towels didn't get moved, or else they are among the unpacked clothing in the closet. Bummer.

I am over the stomach flu and feeling better.

Kuya is building a gazebo and trellis in my tiny front garden. He removed two trees and planted veggies and corn in a beautiful pattern. Now it is his garden. I had planted veggies there, and we had harvested most of them, but now I guess we won't get any more from our garden.

But the main problem is that it is now claustrophobic: Lolo only wanted grass, so had removed a lot of bushes etc. Now it's full of clutter. Beautiful clutter but whatever. But I was told that the house is not mine, and the threat of being thrown out after the will is probated hangs over my head.

IIt also means we can't hang the wash out there: Right now it is hung in our living room and the spare bedroom, which usually we only use when it rains.

It also makes me angry: No money to fix up the house, no money for his child's schoolwork, but plenty to make the public areas pretty.

No, I am fine: I have my social security and here it goes a long way.