Monday, September 22, 2014

Family news

Lolo lost his old watch last week, and we turned the place up and down looking for it, but couldn't find it.
the good news;
The laundress today found it in the basket of dirty laundry from last Friday (that she hadn't done due to the heavy rain from the typhoon).

So Lolo is happy, and we are giving thanks to the Lord, St Anthony, and of course, the laudress (along with a small "gift").

The bad news:

Joy took her sister back to Manila. She has been here all weekend with her brother and parents visiting.
She has to talk to her doctor: The biopsy is bad, so she is seeing if she can get into a trial for a new type of biological chemotherapy.

Keep her in your prayers.

Ruby went with them.

and pray that we get the harvest in okay: The last two typhoons hit north of here, but so far we are okay, and harvest is starting now.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Death panels? We don't have no stinkin death panels

On the other hand, the "architect" of Obamacare thinks we are useless eaters after age 75...

... (aging) It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.

yeah. Useless eaters. Being able to love, showing our children and grandchildren how to bear pain and disabilities with courage, keeping alive the memories of the past...all those things are not part of the mix.


so Palin was right....who wudda thot?

and maybe Palin derangement syndrome is real too...(via Instapundit)

Professor Bob is blogging on the Crimean war, and today's podcast is on Florence nightingale.


There is a lot of discussion on the crazyness of the Franklin expedition, why they died, and who ordered them to lug all those luxuries when going for food. Was it egomania? Hubris? Or lead poisoning from the badly sealed tin foods? Or vitamin A toxicity from eating polar bear livers? Or all of the above?

The discussion has reopened with the discovery of one of their ships in Canadian waters.

slate and the UKGuardian discusses the puzzle, Via TeaAtTrianon:

more here: NOVA 
and here:



it's a muslim thing.

Mostly in women.... and the clan fights will make things worse...


Saturday, September 20, 2014


Rain all night from a small typhoon in the north.

Mild flooding here, but Manila is a mess due to rain and rivers still high from the drainoff from last week's typhoon.

internet going on and off here

Friday, September 19, 2014

Stuff around the net

BBC article on cloves, the sins of colonialism, and the clove tree that defied empires.

In 1652, after displacing the Portuguese and Spanish, the Dutch introduced a policy known as extirpatie: extirpation.
All clove trees not controlled by the Voc were uprooted and burned.
Anyone caught growing, stealing or possessing clove plants without authorisation faced the death penalty.
On the Banda Islands, to the south - the world's only source of nutmeg - the Dutch used Japanese mercenaries to slaughter almost the entire male population.
Like Opec today, the Voc also limited supply to keep prices high. Only 800-1,000 tonnes of cloves were exported per year. The rest of the harvest was burned or dumped in the sea.
Somehow, Afo managed to slip through the net. A rogue clove. A guerrilla plant waging a secret war of resistance.
Afo would eventually bring down the Dutch monopoly on cloves.
In 1770, a Frenchman, appropriately named Poivre, stole some of Afo's seedlings.

the article includes this factoid:

A Han dynasty ruler from the 3rd Century BC insisted that anyone addressing him chew cloves to sweeten their breath. 


Manila needs a new sewer/drainage system, so is in danger of floods as the rain from the last storm comes downstream from the north.

Marikina is partly under sea level, but they managed to build there anyway.


Mona Lisa had high cholesterol

The facial expression - one of the main reasons why the 16th century painting is among the most famous works of art in the world – shows signs of a build up of fatty acids around the eyes of the subject , according to Vito Franco of the University of Palermo.
The Italian scientist says the. model in the oil painting had a xanthelasma – a subcutaneous accumulation of cholesterol – in the hollow of her left eye and a fatty tissue tumour.
It suggests very high levels of cholesterol in the model, thought to be Lisa del Giocondo, a member of a Florence family who married a cloth and silk merchant.

the latest hack: Home Depot. I got an email about this today


Facebook isn't content in knowing your life story and presumably letting the NSA and a lot of businesses to spy on you, they now insist that you use your real name, and it has caused a kerfuffle because they are removing the stage names of dragqueens from their site.

Drag queen Sister Roma says Facebook should change its policy that bans profiles with fake names. (Isabel Angell/KQED)

A Facebook spokesman said the company requires people to use their real name to promote accountability, but drag queen Sister Roma says that is her real name.
“If you ask anybody who I am in and out of drag, my name is Roma. So currently my profile says Michael Williams next to this gorgeous picture of me, and it doesn’t make sense,” she said. “People don’t look for Michael Williams, and it’s not who I am.”

And one wonders if the "fake name" applies to others with stage names or who publish under a pen name.

and I wonder how Facebook knows your real name and that you are lying?

FYI: How to use a fake identity on facebook.


The TV version of Fargo: Behind the scenes.

the best thing about the film were the "in jokes" about Minnesota, but the TV version hasn't hit our screens yet.


Siskel and Ebert panned back to the future?

Well, it's not a "great" film, only a classic comedy.


NYTimes has a couple articles and an editorial condemning "futile" care, especially at the end of life.

Can you say "death panels"?

Most docs actually discourage this, but what they don't see is that often the "futile" care is done because there is a chance for recovery...and there is a fear if you don't do everything you will be sued.

Get rid of malpractice suits and you'll see less futile care.

And I should add: Certain minorities insist that everything be done because they suspect they will be left to die because they are black/nativeAmerican, and that if they were white, they'd be given the chance to live... Given my experience, sometimes they are right to refuse to sign these papers.


Politics, political correctness, and budget cuts are destroying the US Navy.

and the press is parroting "racism" in the services, never mind that it's not true.
it's about getting out the vote, not about racism, since the military was always one way to get trained for a job, the result of the manipulation is a higher unemployment rate, but never mind.


headlines emphasize the negative ignore the real story

children now don't die as much as they used to...

Heh. Shangri la keeps moving

In archeology, experts keep finding "peaceful" cultures that didn't go to war, only to have their ideas found wrong when they find bodies (Minos) or literature (Maya) or other evidence.
Ditto for anthropologists, the most famous being Margaret Meade's finding of a peaceful Samoa which she attributed to teenaged promiscuity.

Here, the greens continue these delusions: There was a nice film about the paradise of a small island in the Visayas that they hoped to keep for ecotourism and they described the folks as happy in their simplicity. The problem? It is Joy's home island, and we always are getting pleas to hire people so they can support their families.

The problem is that a lot of cultures emphasize being nice, so outsiders don't recognize the problems there. For example, where I worked in Africa, the emphasis was never showing anger, so if someone got mad enough, they used witchcraft to revenge themselves. This is one reason for the atrocities in Rwanda: Anger explodes.
Tibet was a favorite "Shangri la" and even was made to seem so in the movies including Seven years in Tibet...but the book, if you read it closely, includes reports of deaths of women in childbirth and children dying of disease.
The Chinese taking them over is seen in the west as "evil", but the Chinese are trying to improve the dire poverty there by development, and those sent there are paid extra as it is considered a hardship post.

So are the Chinese destroying culture, or trying to help the peasants to get out of dire poverty?

The argument about "Destroying culture" is true, but there is no easy answer. Try to educate people into the modern world, and you are now considered evil (although I noticed that on the Native American "reservations", that the ones most against development tend to be college educated Marxists...the regular ones tend to want jobs, hence the casinos and development of oil and mineral resources).

The Shangri la then was changed to Nepal, but after the regicide and the communist insurgency, maybe that won't last long. And now, after the last episode where 7 Sherpas died, a few reporters noted that the Sherpas who risked their lives to help tourists go up Mt Everest did so to support their families... not because they "enjoyed" it, but because it was the only job available that paid well.

well now, the latest Shangri la is Bhutan. at least according to a lady who graduated from an Ivy league college and worked at NPR.

Why, with a huge unemployment rate (leading to the gov't encouraging people to work overseas) and a high maternal mortality is it called Shangri La?

And yes, it allows serial marriage which is seen as a good thing, according to her (just ignore the children, I guess)

Also interesting are her descriptions of ordinary life in Bhutan. Guests walk into people's homes without knocking. Marriage is a casual institution, with couples deemed to be wed when they move in together and unwed when one person moves out. Not every aspect of life in Bhutan is so different from life in L.A.

yeah, just like LA, including children growing up fatherless and in poverty?

The UNICEF’s report ranks Bhutan 45th among 198 countries in under-five mortality rate, the highest in the region after Afghanistan. India is at 49, Nepal 62, Sr Lanka 110, Bangladesh 58 and Maldives 88.
Dysentery, diarrhoea and pneumonia still top the causes for death in children under five in Bhutan.
“The state of the world’s children is intimately linked with the state of the world’s mothers,” said the education minister Lyonpo Thakur Singh Powdyal in his address. 

on the other hand, after promoting the country as an ideal situation, it is nice that the latest softcover version notes there is a little problem with refugees in the area.

The softcover version contains a chapter about the Bhutanese-Nepalese refugee situation, as well as a reader’s guide for book groups. \\\

so where is the shangri la?

Last week, David warren noted one poll said the happiest people were in Denmark, which sounds fine except for their high suicide rate suggests otherwise.

Today's "poll" says the happiest place on earth is Panama.

take the information with a grain of salt.because they also came to this conclusion:

 five countries outside of these regions had levels of thriving within an element that rank in the top 10 of all countries: Bahrain in financial well-being, Saudi Arabia in community well-being and physical well-being, Malta in social well-being, and Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates in community well-being.
So, did they poll the 20 percent of the population of Saudi who are OFWs? Or ask the UAE's maids and oil workers if they were happy?  Did they poll the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka?

In other words, there is no "Shangri La": there are only people being people with people's problems.

As for "Shangri la": When I was a missionary, I was warned that foreigners suffering from culture shock tended to fall into two groups: Those who only saw the good in the the country they visited, and those who only saw the evil.

And seeing Shangri la in primitive countries is a tradition that goes back to Tacitus, who compared the pure and brave Germans to the decadent Romans...


addendum from the BBC article:

About 100,000 ethnic Nepalese refugees from Bhutan live in camps in Nepal after they were allegedly made to leave Bhutan under government pressure in the early 1990s.
From this population, three groups have emerged - the Bhutan Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist), the Bhutan Tiger Force and the United Revolutionary Front of Bhutan.
yeah. They did their own version of ethnic cleansing...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Stuff around the web

Sarah Hoyt suggests that the lilliputin blogs have broken the monopolies that control the hoi polloi.

It was a time of transparency. Real transparency, quite unlike the foolish promises of previous politicians blinded by their narcissism, and nothing like the rotten assurances of the decrepit Gray Lady who had, in her time, turned ablind eye to the Holocaust and hidden the horrors of Holodomor, the depravity of the Gulags to praise collectivist systems that devoured people and dreams and spit out nothing but misery and dehumanization and a boot stepping on a human face forever.
Now, suddenly, they couldn’t make their picked man, their chosen one into theharbinger of that great collectivist future.  They couldn’t snigger behind their hands at the unwashed people who’d never know of his faux pas. Oh, they did what they could, that guard of journalistic castrati protecting the corpse of a corrupt and bloated bureaucracy. But enough slipped through the cracks that most people knew something was wrong: the Summer of Recovery that resided in some unspecified future conditional; the idea that his face would appease Islam’s irate warriors was undone by the beheadings the Jihadists insisted on posting on Youtube; the way the Light Bringer seemed to be in the dark when bereft of a teleprompter.
via Instapundit 

Well, Rush and others have been pointing out stuff that people didn't dare to say, and if you think Rush is bigoted, you haven't been listening to him (or the really scary voices out there).


And the boycott of those who dare to say that traditional marriage is....traditional in places like churches are showing that the blacklist exists, but not it's not against those who posit to overthrow the gov't to impose a tyranny but those who are quietly working hard for a living and helping others to do so.

which is why I don't use firefox.


and while you were sleeping, the terrorists took over the Sahara.

and China is taking over the sea lanes to Japan and the traditional fishing grounds of the Philippines (and the petroleum there), with little opposition except for nasty letters from Europe, who assure the Philippines that they will back them if they also post a nasty letter to the international organizations who, if they judge this, will also send a nasty letter. Sigh.

Most folks who know veterans of the Pacific in WWII know that an invasion of Japan would have been a blood bath for all involved, and that the Bomb actually saved a couple million lives. But the left has rewritten history to paint the US as the bad guys (ignoring that more people were killed in the "rape of Manila" than in Hiroshima).

StrategyPage links to the classic article that gives estimates of casualties expected if the invasion had taken place. PDF

My cousin, who was back in the US after his ship had been hit by a kamikazi, figured he would die in the invasion, so when on leave, went out and got drunk....and when he woke up confused, he "walked" out a second story window, breaking his a result he was with my mom when VJ day was announced.

As for the Philippines, the locals here were chasing the Japanese through the mountains...a horrible story that has never been told, that includes cannibalism because the locals wouldn't help feed the Japanese but would kill or poison their food. This is mentioned as the cause of despression/PTSS  in one of Endo's short stories, and there is a Japanese film about it but I can't remember the name of the film.

I don't have the link, but China just posted a story that if locals voted to become part of China, they would accept and help those areas to seceed against their government.

No, I don't think this is aimed at the Philippines, where China is hated, nor about Taiwan (ditto) s, but at Siberia. Putin better watch his back door.

In other words, ignore the pundits that see a conspiracy between Russia and China against the west.
However, Russia will oppose the US helping the Sunnis in Syria, because of blowback in Chechnya. In this fight, I back Iran, and I wish the President would explain that some bad guys are worse than others, and admit that Saudi is behind a lot more terrorism than Iran.

And, unlike Saudi, Iran does allow Christian churches to exist (But not open conversions).Dirty little secret: Without their overseas workers, Saudi would implode. That is not true of Iran,


A female politician cries sexual harassment, but no, they weren't hitting on her for sex: actually the problem was that some pols pointed out that she was...fat.

So is calling the NJ governor "porky" now called sexual harassment?

and if I warn my patients they are overweight, can I be accused of sexual harassment?


Cat Steven claims Islam is for peace, but GetReligion checked the wayback machine and found Stevens was backing violence way back then...

 On reading the Post, one, who called herself "Gloria2," posted a link to a 1989 articlein the New York Times:
The musician known as Cat Stevens said in a British television program to be broadcast next week that rather than go to a demonstration to burn an effigy of the author Salman Rushdie, ''I would have hoped that it'd be the real thing.''
so, will he disavow his previous opinions in public, and condemn the violence against heretics and infidels now?


FYI: Another day, another volcanic eruption.

No Mayon volcano is far from here, but I've visited there and it is a beautiful sight.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Family news

Joy's sister will have a liver biopsy later this week.

keep her in your prayers: She's getting sicker by the day.

Lolo's retirement papers need another trip to Manila with more papers to fill out.

It keeps the bureaucrats busy to make lots of regulations like this...and although it is mainly a way to stop fraud, I suspect that if Joy gave them a "thank you" gift, they'd approve it in two minutes. But she is a Christian and doesn't do that.

Stuff around the web

A great scroll illustration of the Hobbit 3

via torn


The pope marries some people, including those who are living together, not in a trial marriage but as a common law marriage, and a person who was divorced but had an annulment.

So what's to report? Even that simple action is twisted by the so called MSM.


a discussion of dress codes in schools. link2

puritanism, or emphsizing "dress for success"?

given this photo of a girl in a tanktop, I suggest that she does need the fashion police, since her outfit is ugly and not becoming to makes her look fat and frumpy.

I should talk: I dress frumpy,mainly because it's hard to buy clothes that fit properly here... and even when I wear something well fitting and beautiful I look frumpy.

But when teenaged girls came in looking frumpy, it often meant poor self esteem, and I would advise them on dress and makeup. And get the boygs to use acne medicine.

Here in the Philippines, kids wear uniforms.


International law? We don't need no international law 

more here.

and Here.

We are the weakest link, and solidarity from Europe is worth a bucket of spit (to use Gardner's phrase).

another casualty of having a weak president in the USA.
and don't expect the environmentalists to notice the destruction of the reef ecosystems. They love China and Momjones believes every pro ecology talking point put out by that gov't. (ignore the riots against pollution)...

the WAGD post of the week (which I mentioned as a "headsup" yesterday)

Wired story on the up coming Ebola epidemic.

Given the number of Pinoy health care workers all over the world, we'll be on the front lines.

And don't forget: The Haj is coming..

I wonder why they are still taking sick folks to hospitals? When we had cholera, they treated all these patients in school rooms so that the hospital would be safe for non cholera patients. A similar plan was in place in 2001 for a possible Smallpox epidemic. Schools usually have running water, chairs (patients are put on the ground on mats) and are near villages, so you don't have to transport the patients far.

Which is why I laughed when I read of a "100 bed hospital" of tents being sent to Africa. WTF?

Of course, you could do what the Africans did in the olden days: Put sick patients in huts/houses on the outskirts of town, and bring food/water etc. to the doorways every day. If no one emerges in ten days, burn the huts and the dead folks inside. No nursing means a higher rate of death, but in the long run, fewer caregivers would catch the disease and spread it to others...

One reason for the Native American depopulation was that unlike Africans, they had little experience with epidemics, so tended to nurse their dying.

And, of course, this is why the black death killed most of the good priests/nuns/etc. who did the nursing in medieval days...


for later reading

SP parses no boots on the ground

and notes the propaganda lies behind the hatrd of Israel...something ignored by dem pundits who blasted Cruz..who spoke to a "christian solidarity" conference with ties to Hamas...


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

another sign that the end of the world is nigh

The NYTimes notices that the emperor has no clothes.

 Full commentary by Belmont club

and to make things worse:

EBOLA PANDEMIC! 1 to 2 million dead?

yes, the calculations come from a rabid right wing website, but I usually peruse it because a lot of lurkers have expertise in a lot of area and those threads make up for the many nutty comments.

and my thought here was: hmm..wonder if it is biowarfare to lower the unwanted excess population.

Which is why some Africans on the extreme left think so.

Sorry...I gotta get a second cup of coffee

Family news

Joy is going to Manila for deliveries and also to accompany her sister to her doctor. I figure the next step is a needle biopsy of her liver nodules, but we'll wait for him to decide. Chano is restless, but okay. Usually he gets this way right before he gets creative. Lolo is fine. We took him to get fingerprinted so that they will resume his Philippine veteran pension (to prove he is still alive). Joy will deliver the papers in Manila to their office. We are still waiting for the check for the huge Christmas gift order from a gov't office: She'll check on that too...I suspect someone is waiting for a "thank you" gift" before they release the check, but Joy and Chano are too Christian to do such things. Nono is over to finish cleaning up the garden etc. He bought a bunch of small birds to eat. I'd call them prarie chickens but don't know the real name. We put them in the empty bird cage to keep them safe from the cats until it's time to eat them.