Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Uh Oh: Stories below the fold

The Mahdi is coming! the Mahdi is coming!


Sigh Philippines mourns their dead cops/militia in another massacre/ambush when they tried to raid a known terrorist camp. The guy who ordered the raid was sacked for incompetence...

Better watch it: Erap is threatening to run for president again, and he armed the local Christians so they could fight back.


The bad news: India is so polluted that just visiting there cut Obama's life span six hours.

the good news: The pollution might be from prosperity...

 although I wonder how much of it is from the poor using wood stoves or burning garbage/trash that isn't picked up.


The New York Times is biased against Israel? This used to be the normal anti semitism (and anti Catholicism) of the NYC elites, but it's now the anti semitism (and anti catholicism) of the progressives, who view reality via the lens of their own religion.

The straight news is good, but often what is reported is filtered via the template of what SHOULD be reported.

quote of the day

When Hillary Clinton & Co. talk about how “it takes a village to raise a child” they’re invoking wisdom from what P. J. O’Rourke called the “ancient African kingdom of Hallmarkcardia” to make the case for vast new federal bureaucracies, taxes, programs, regulations, etc. But the phrase itself contains a lot of truth. Unlike bureaucrats in Washington, neighbors, teachers, pastors, coaches, coworkers, and friends can help raise your kids, in ways large and small. Real communities involve extended networks of trust and goodwill. Fake communities have regulations, fees, subsidies, and checklists.

JonahGoldberg, via Teaattrianon..

and the really important article of the day:

How to make mascara out of Oreos

Family News

Family News

Emie sent over some newly cooked crabs and prawns for Lolo: He ate two crabs and two prawns with rice. Since his appetite has been poor, this was a good thing.

Here we do get fresh crab, but the best are from the Visayas. and you have to watch if it is fresh (usually they are still alive when we buy them)... We live far from the ocean, so usually we eat locally grown fresh water fish such as talapia. Talapia grow in small ponds with irrigation water, but usually what is sold is farmed by larger farmers.

Lolo is much better: No fever, wheezing is better, and breathing okay but still he has a wicked cough. This virus is going around, but I was barely sick, whereas Joy had it very bad, with bronchospasm and needed prednisone. She is now better too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

uh oh

our ugly black cat was looking pregnant, then wasn't...I thought she had miscarried.(usually the cats have their kittens in our bedroom closet).

But today I picked her up and found evidence she has been either she is nursing the feral black cat's kitten or she hid her own kitten somewhere.

And lots of visitor cats around. The feral black cat must be in heat.

If you love cats, don't move here: most of the kittens born here or that we rescue are killed by dogs when they start exploring out of the nest. And most of the feral kittens and cats who visit to eat our cats' food are also eventually killed

update. We found the nest in the spare bedtoom closet... on greyb kitten

Afghan development: another unreported story

As a doc I was aware of the huge drop in childbirth related deaths in Afghanistan, but StrategyPage has a summary of what has happened there: not just about who died, who killed them, but also the unreported good news: the cellphone revolution, the increase in prosperity etc.

 In early 2001 only a million children were in school, all of them boys. Now there are eight million in school, and 40 percent are girls. Back then there were only 10,000 phones in the country, all land lines in cities. Now there are 17 million cell phones with access even in remote rural areas. Back then less than ten percent of the population had access to any health care, now 85 percent do and life expectancy has risen from 47 years (the lowest in Eurasia) to 62 (leaving Bangladesh to occupy last place in Eurasia). This is apparently the highest life expectancy has ever been in Afghanistan and the UN noted it was the highest one decade increase ever recorded.

and they point out that the violence reported there is "normal" and will continue for years, but that the press tends to think violence means the (the Taliban and drug gangs) are winning, but that is not true.

Stuff below the fold

The NYorker on small businesses and elite niches for their goods.

... Farmers who sell, say, organic or free-range foods, cannot hope to compete based on price. Instead, they try to create consumers who won’t eat chicken produced by big companies for moral, health, or aesthetic reasons.
yes, in a vibrant economy, we can sell our organic brown rice at a higher price to the up and coming middle class.

In a country with a free economy, we will thrive. The bad news is that the stress on organic means a lower total harvest.

However, the ordinary folks will continue to eat ordinary rice, much of it imported from countries that grow in bulk. And until the green movement acknowledges that without specialized seed, fertilizer, etc. that poor people will starve, they will alienate those of us who think that eating is a human right.

waitingForGodotToLeave post a video of a play based on Kreeft's Socrates meets Jesus.

posted for later viewing.


no links, but the Manila Bulletin insert of NYTimes news had an article on a "cholera clinic" just built in Haiti...for a huge price. Similarly, a recent article bragged how typhoon proof homes could be built for only $4000. (uh, what kills folks is not collapsing houses, but storm surge, where you can drown inside your home). A third article about Liberia notes that the expensive clinics built by the US Army there to treat ebola are empty.

Reality check.
When we had a cholera epidemic in rural Zimbabwe, we were given a talk how to handle it: take over the local schools and use the rooms for cholera isolation wards. Schools had running water and toilets, a roof, and were usually built of concrete and easily cleaned.

So what about Haiti, where there were no buildings? the NYTimes article mentioned 800 dollars per square something or other for the new clinic and said it was a good price. Uh, that is one year's salary for poor people...maybe the money could have been used in a better way?

Well, one old book on how to run a clinic said just build using local methods. In east Africa, that meant poles covered by wattle, with clay/manure/termite mound cement floors and a tin roof, all of which was cheap. True, these would be destroyed in about five years by termites, but if you hired a man to spray the building regularly, it might last ten years, by which time you might be able to afford concrete blocks.

So a basic building would work fine.

In Africa, we had a full time Catholic brother who instructed locals to make bricks and build, so our hospital was concrete.

Here in the Philippines, as the area has gotten more affluent (thanks to land reform, the kids now are educated and working in Manila or overseas) so they now have basic concrete homes in the rural villages. The main problem with concrete is that you have to reinforce them with iron bars so they don't fall down in an earthquake, and if you have bars on the windows, you might drown in a storm surge. But they don't get eaten by termites.

 that hasn't stopped elites from hinting on how we can build elite houses with local bamboo... Again, think termites, or similar bugs that eat bamboo...Traditional houses are concrete bases with hard wood sides and a clay roof. However, thanks to illegal logging, buying new hard wood is impossible, and since we won't break the law, most of our wood is  used wood, or plywood.

The problem with elites is that they don't think cheap, or see the infrastructure that is there. So they push elite cooking and expensive solar stuff, ignoring that the infrastructure would allow LPG cooking (so the small trees are not destroyed to cook with).

one of the best ideas that actualy works was to insert a plastic bottle in the roof to allow in light for slum houses. Yes, that works, and is a variation of having part of our roof that is heavy clear plastic to allow in light.

Monday, January 26, 2015

There and back again?

Heh. someone posted a torrent with a 3 hour edited version of the Hobbit.

I'm sure the copyright cops will find it and sue, but hey, for those of us who prefer to skip over the special effects (so beloved by kids) and fake romance (must keep the girls happy when they watch with their boyfriends), it's quite nice and a lot closer to Tolkien, with more emphasis on Bilbo than the Jackson version.

Also emphasized: The elven king rocks (he resembles the fey elf in Hellboy 2) and with the elf dwarf romance cut, one starts to appreciate his older brother who takes quiet responsibility, especially for his stupid younger sibling. However, the other dwarves lose their personalities (which also mirrors Tolkien's book).

no, I'm not posting a link. It might be illegal in your country.

I rarely download movies (which are available at the Palenke and quite cheap). But I do download, usually BBC stuff like Downton Abbey that takes 3 years to get here and often is played late at night when I am asleep.

For later reading

David Warren on usury and ponders if modern day capitalism is compatible with Christianity.


related item: Instapundit suggests that the elites just want to be in power.

UPDATE: Davos Is A Corporatist Racket. “All right, you say, but surely it’s useful for powerful people to exchange ideas and learn from each other’s mistakes. Well, yes; but this lot rarely seem to learn. Whatever the problem, their preferred solution is always to establish a global bureaucracy staffed by people like themselves.
He also links to the Economist's observations on America's new aristocracy.

Baldilock's latest observations on which Black Lives Matter to the elites.


If you want to be depressed, read Mrs. GayCaswell's observations on life in politically correct Canada.
I'd say she sounds paranoid, except I saw similar problems of government bullying and drug related problems on the Objibwe reservation where I worked in Minnesota...including the one about fighting the oh so liberal bishop...

StrategyPage points out that donors are tired of the corruption that misuses refugee funding, but the really important problem is the UN's policy of encouraging refugees to remain in camps for years and years, so they never resettle and assimiliate in their new countries but stay isolated and resentful against their old one, leading to future wars.
Italics mine:
 The treatment of the Palestinian refugees is the most vivid example of this policy. The equal number of Jewish refugees expelled from Arab countries in the late 1950s was absorbed into Israel and Western nations and were never a problem. The Arab nations refused to absorb the Palestinians and insisted they remain refugees, which millions do until the present. This has caused or contributed to several civil wars and terror campaigns and the deaths of thousands of people.
they also critique the religion of peace

 Nearly all religious schools that train Moslem clerics accept this hatred and hostility although many are prudent enough to stop short of actively supporting Islamic terrorism.

AnnAlthouse notes that animal rights terrorists shut down University of Wisconsin lab that was studying the how the brain uses auditory stimuli, using cats. Why cats?
 Here, in Isthmus, we learn that Yin studied hearing, and cats and human beings have similar auditory systems. The question was whether deaf human beings would benefit from having 2 rather than one cochlear implants, and the cats were deafened and fitted with cochlear implants.

best comment:
AReasonableMan said...The millions of birds killed by cats were unavailable for comment.

second best comment:
Bob Boyd said...The tricky part of this kind of research isn't making a deaf cat hear again. Its figuring out how to tell if the cat is still deaf or just ignoring you. 

Family news

Joy's sister's funeral was yesterday, and the family got back late last night.

Lolo's fever is down and he has a loose cough.

It is chilly here at night: Keep the poor people in your prayers. Usually the bedroom is warm, and we have blankets, so we are okay.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cat item of the day

Discover magazine on cat genetics

now for a mere $7500 you can check your cat for genetic problems such as diabetes

UKMail: Lagerfeld's cat Choupette 

headsup FR

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Headlines below the fold

If you are wondering why the "deflated footballs" are getting the headlines, maybe this is why.

From Instapundit:
IT’S COVERUPS ALL THE WAY DOWN: Whistleblower: Pelosi Covered Up Role In Crisis. “We’ve long suspected the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission wasn’t honest in examining events before the meltdown. But an ex-commissioner says the probe was actually a full-blown political cover-up. In a just-released book, former FCIC member Peter Wallison says that a Democratic Congress worked with the commission’s Democratic chairman to whitewash the government’s central role in the mortgage debacle.”
The book is Peter Wallison’s Hidden in Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World’s Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again

TheOtherMcCain points out that Canada's sex ed standards were written by a child sex abuser.

what could go wrong?
Donald Wuerl call your office.


China's demographic crisis reported on by StrategyPage.

actually, by 2050, they'll just legalize forced euthanasia on all their elderly. You really didn't think the pro euthanasia propaganda deluge was about compassion, did you?

the article also covers their rewriting of history to get hold of the West Philippine sea (so they can control the sea lanes to Japan and Korea, not to mention natural gas).

And they note the reason China hates religion is because religious groups traditionally let the peasants overthrow the tyrannical gov'ts.

Oh yes: And China is helping Iran build their bomb.


CWN discusses the PC idea that traditional marriage is an "ideal" not the norm, meaning no one can follow that commandment so give everyone a pass.

Well, here in the Philippines, "thou shalt not steal" is also an "ideal" and doesn't keep the politicians etc. from taking their share off the top, with kickbacks and bribes being the norm.

and, if Instapundit is right, such things actually go on in NewYork state.

And "thou shalt not kill" is also an ideal.
For the west, it means aborting the kid is okay now (quick: how many news items on the pro life march in the US last week?)

but here it means getting a pass if you off your political rivals or those pesky reporters who spill the beans.

we're still waiting for justice in the murder of our nephew.


The Saudi king has died, long live the king.

heh. Maybe now women will be allowed to drive their own cars. And maybe the maids who are kept in semi slavery or the maids kept in sexual slavery will get legal help. And maybe the one million Catholic OFW working their will actually be allowed to have a church?

I gave Ruby my copy of the book Princess, about a Saudi woman...she asked if things had changed since it was written, and I had to say no...


Friday, January 23, 2015

for later watching

a lecture on CSLewis and liberty

and WatingForGodotToLeave has some clips of an EWTN special on Tolkien, where he plays the professor.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bloglines problem

again, for later reading on my tablet

it worked IT WORKED!


Matt Lueck · Bozeman, MontanaThis was my solution. Log into netvibes using your bloglines info. Click Dashboard then manage. On the left under Dashboards click backup data. Select Bloglines from the dropdown. that will export an XML file from to your computer with everything you were following in bloglines. Now add that to netvibes by clicking add on your page and then import the xml in the menu on the right. Now you can read things in netvibes.
Reply · Like · 2 · Follow Post · January 9 at 6:21amEvan Sulaski · Works at Shawshank tprison

For Later Reading

Its 5 am and I am outside on my computer checking the mail and bookmarking stuff to read later on my tablet. Lolo is still asleep.
The secondary router is dead, and the primary router doesn't reach my room.

to make things worse, my RSS program disappeared, so I have to make new bookmarks to read my regular feeds.

The visitors will be leaving at 6 am so I am also keeping an eye on the dogs so that they don't get bitten.

Gospel and classic texts on wastepaper used for paper mache mummy masks?


The "gov't vs religion" problems nowadays come from overregulation by bureaucratic fiat, not by legislative laws.

It is also worth noting that since regulations, rather than statutory text, tend to be the bleeding edge of the sphere of government authority, it is typically executive branch rules that end up triggering the disputes. This is true of all of the recent disputes that have come before the Supreme Court.

headlines of the day via instapundit:

 80% Of Americans Support Mandatory Labels On Foods Containing DNA. Also, did you know that pregnant women can pass DNA on to their children before birth?


for five days, the Pope was here condemning corruption, insisting that the poor need justice, and pointing out the importance of the family and that children are precious.

Then I watch BBC/CNN and see the same old meme being pushed. And that quote about "breeding like rabbits"? It's a rephrasing of an encyclical about marriage written by Pius XI back in the 1930's.

Contraception, especially the present day variation of "planned parenthood" makes children a burden to both women and society and a curse to be limited and chosen for their perfection and aborted if they stand in the way of your career.

Catholicism sees children as a gift of God, and if they are not perfect, well, that is a gift for you too. But that doesn't mean you can't use natural methods to space your children.

Ah, but the population planners among the Manila elite prefer to push the idea that the church is evil because it mandates having as many children as possible...Which is not the church's message at all...too subtle for soundbites I guess.


Drudge had something about the folks at Davos having a mass "meditation" meeting.

Uh, meditation is essentially self hypnosis, leading folks to be vulnerable to suggestion...True, when properly done, it is  a form of deep concentration that allows one to open oneself to the spirit withing...the problem? This could mean opening not only to the lord of the universe, but to the lordship of one's ego and/or to the demons of the was the meditation quieting the mind to concentrate on God or on the gods of the marketplace?


Zuma in South Africa's latest scandal: Guptagate.


LATimes can't tell "metal sign" of the devil from ASL...they had to add that last part, presumably because they are illiterate about the deaf community.

and presumably doesn't have kids so hasn't watched Sesame Street.

The sign for "I" is an extended small finger. The sign for "L" is the index finger and the thumb extended. the sign for "Y" is the little finger and the index finger pointed up.

so the sign is "I love you"

The "devil" sign has the thumb tucked under.
This sign is used in Italy to ward off the "evil eye", not to summon the devil.
Oh yes: It is also the sign used by the Texas Longhorns fans to cheer on their team..