Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cloud cukoo land articles of the day

Sara Palin quotes Martin Luther King, gets called an idiot.

actually, she is the most powerful housewife in Alaska, and too many of her "idiot" sayings are now seen to be right (i.e. "death panels" or "drill baby drill", which predicted that fracking would lower the price of oil and increase jobs).

when the press reports according to a meme, and through the eyes of polical ambition, they forget that both Sarah (and Michelle for that matter) have a lot of power to shape the ideas of the nation,

but the establishment thinks only in terms of becoming a president, so they don't notice this.


Hillary is delaying her campaign to run for the president.

Sigh. I suspect she hasn't recovered fully from her subdural hematoma or stroke she suffered awhile back, and it's being covered up by those who support her.

but is the photo showing the editor's bias? Making her look old and confused?

Sarah isn't the only female politician who faces sexist bias in the press... Instapundit points out that Joni Ernst is in the crosshairs now for her stories of growing up poor.

Of course, she is a combat veteran so probably won't cry and play the victim when they ridicule her for noting she helped castrate pigs at her parents farm.


I doubt I'll watch "American sniper", even when it hits HBO, because I don't usually watch war movies.

But the criticism that snipers are "evil" is interesting, since it implies they are cowards because they save lives from a distance, not up close and personal.

In history, the same thing was said about bowmen, who were the the ancient equivalent of snipers.

Joan of Arc was wounded by one, and Richard the Lionhearted died after being wounded by one.


freepers discuss why the Airbus pilots might have turned off their computers. About half the comments are intelligent and supply information not available to us peons about pitot tubes and computer glitches in that plane.

Factoid of the week:

The BenLaden family were Yemeni immigrants to Saudi Arabia. Yemen, because geographically it was more fertile and positioned for trade,  was richer than Saudi until oil was discovered.

More on the history of that area HERE.

the good side of tobacco in stressful situations.

 Thus for all its long term problems, tobacco is still one of the best short term anti-stress solution. The other one is candy, but that has more immediate shortcomings as well as long-term dangers that explains all the efforts to cure bad eating habits. Then there are violent video games, which unexpectedly turned out to be an excellent combat stress reliever as well as useful in dealing with long-term (PTSD) combat stress problems. It’s still unclear what the long-term downside is for these games. The problem with video games is that they are not as convenient as tobacco. In any event the search continues for more effective combat stress relievers.

Is the politically correct tobacco ban in the military affecting combat?

when we went cigarette free, our locals just switched to chewing tobacco, which is what many of them had used when working in the mines.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Stuff against the meme

Let's hear a cheer for Michelle Obama who refused to wear a scarf or cover up her face at the King of Saudi's funeral.

Although I personally would have worn a scarf or hat, since I am old enough to remember when women wore hats to formal occasions.

But it's okay: Saudi TV blanked out her face so no men watching it would have impure thoughts.


Statistics statistics:

It reads like fiction: an estimated 50 to 75 percent of American men were infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD); in thousands of families, an STD killed one, two, even five of their children; and an incredible 30 percent of all blindness was attributed to STDs

no, it's not from today's headline but an article about STD problems in 1904... reposted on FR from a prolife webpage.

and that doesn't include the insane asylums filled with dementia patients or people dying of thoracic aortic aneurisms.

One comment notes this little known fact:

And one hundred years earlier the men on the Lewis and Clark expedition came down with VD while messing with the Mandan women in North Dakota.
When they reached the Pacific, they warned the men about messing with the local women there as the women were know n to have VD.
The only “cure” was by using mercury pills.
Heh. I was just reading a book that noted that expedition had plenty of "Dr. Rush's thunderbolts" which were full of mercury  and a powerful laxative, and modern archeologists could trace their campsites by the mercury in the soil.

the links suggested they took it as a laxative, meaning the author only read the G rated version of the expedition, but of course, mercury was the main treatment for STD's in the good old days.

more HERE

Family news

Joy went to Manila to get my visa renewal papers and got home late last night.

Ruby has the chest cold going around.

Lolo is over his chest cold and feeling better.

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

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..

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Family news

Joy and Ruby are back in Manila for the wake of her sister. They will stay there through the weekend.

Chano will stay here and supervise the farm.

We have three visitors staying in our guest room...they will be giving a religious retreat to a local Protestant school.

Lolo is weak but his cough is improving.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Family news

Joy's sister died during the night. She had cancer. So they left at 5 am to go to her home.

Usually viewings here last several days, to give the OFW's time to get home.

Keep the family in your prayers.

It was stormy last night, and cold, but the rain has stopped without flooding, so the roads should be clear.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Another day, another tropical storm

Heh. The Pope had to shorten his stay in Tacloban because of an approaching storm, with a signal 2 warning, meaning lots of rain that will flood the streets (and make travel for visiting pilgrims difficult) and a bit of wind making flying hazardous.

 The quote of the day: It's the first time I had to say mass wearing a rain coat.

Well, at least he didn't have to avoid snakes falling on the altar (which happened to one of our priests in Africa) or bird poop (birds fly in our open doors here all the time.)

The storm should hit us tonite, and we are under a signal one warning...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Family update

Joy had a delivery in the Manila area and got back last night.

Pope update

6 million greeted the Pope yesterday, and he gave a speech condemning the culture of death (opposing contraception and gay marriage). Didn't see much of this on CNN.

The PC local talk shows here had a bozo insisting that the Pope was planning to eliminate these out of date doctrines...don't know if the speech will change their mind. The elite here repeat all the progressive cliches without actually touching poor people in daily life...either to feel superior to the ordinary folks, or because there is a lot of money to be made making friends with these progressive groups.

while the Pope merely talked about the real problems here: Manila Bulletin headline: Pope Condemns corruption.

Too bad the libel law here prevents him from naming names.

Aquino blasted the local bishops for opposing him. Read they opposed his version of the RHBill...and he is worried Binay will win the next election.

The bishops usually supported our lovely ex president GMA was against the RH bill, (although the old lefty bishop Cruz actually named names and got arrested for libel...ah but he also routinely blasts Pnoy for corruption too, so have things actually gotten better? When those who arranged the Manguindanao massacre actually get convicted, maybe I'll start paying attention)...

Most Pinoys assume they are all crooks, so many bishops looked the other way about GMA's for the Manila Bulletin, it had a photo op of her on it's cover almost every day. The reason? She was business friendly, and if she (or often the first gentleman) got rich, well, hey,, don't they all skim a little off the top (Rodney Dangerfield call your office)?

Lots of US and European money went to pass the "RH BILL" which will mandate giving poor women contraception at gov't clinics and hospitals, never mind that one third of poor women deliver at home with untrained midwives, not at clinics, and that the bill will fine any doctor or nurse who won't push contraception or who dares to talks against it.
Yet in a feudal society where peasants are expected to obey their betters (I exaggerate, but not completely) this could be seen as coercion.

The way to allow contraception without the problem of coercion and to get it to those who need it the most is to fund pill ladies, like we had in Africa. Every little village had a pill lady, usually a local teacher or shopkeeper who was born locally and on the same social level as the local women...

Ironically, this program had lots of funds even though most did not have access to clean water or WHO rehydration fluid to stop childhood deaths from diarrhea (priorities I guess). Our hospital got private funds to supervise and provide pumps for wells and to place village health workers with first aid training in remote villages.

Same here: The need is more properly trained midwives in remote villages, and to pay them well enough that they don't expect a nice big "gift" to deliver the kid.

and BTW: Maybe someone should clean out the gutters that serve as a sewer system here? No rain means puddles for lots of mosquitoes to breed in, and dengue is a major problem...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

stuff below the fold

AICN reports they are remaking Ben Hur, and will include Jesus.

most of the usuall ignorant comments, but the best one is:

Superhero Zombie Jesus.
He's back. To take a bite out of the Roman Empire.

well, why not: Abraham Lincoln vampire hunter was a more sympathetic character than the preachy film Lincoln, and (to paraphrase RobinHood Men in tights) unlike other Lincoln films, he was played by a real Yank...(well, actually by a Georgian, but at least he was "merican"...)

most of the other films seem to be remakes or Marvel comic types. Which is why I rarely see films.

Most of the right wing blogs are hyperventillating about the Paris attack (just look the other way when Boko Nutso kill 2000 in Nigeria and everyone flees...but then, the attack a year or so ago on Zamboanga didn't even seem to make the back pages, Even the so called right wing Christian press ignored it, probably because most of those who fled were Catholic Christians who live in this Muslim area).

And 11 dead is about two week's worth of murders in Chicago, but never mind.

and of course, the murmurs about the need for a Muslim reformation is being ignored for political reasons.

Some outsiders argue that Sufi "one on one" emphasis on loving God is a Hindu idea (wonder if the Pentecostals have read the Gita?) but the violence is alas ingrained in the history of Islam, and according to StrategyPage pops up periodically....and those opposing it keep quiet because they are confused that maybe the idiot killers are right.

StrategyPage also points out that history will give you a clue to what happens next. Well, the tribal wars of Libya and the Army takeover of a chaotic Egypt both have happened before, even before Islam. Guess I'll have to read more history.

And yes, if history is correct, China will try to take over the west Philippine sea but will fail due to corruption at it's heart. And they might figure economic takeover of the Philippines (most businesses here are run by the oligarchy who have Chinese merchant roots already) will be better than facing a widespread surly Pinoy population. If they try a takeover, they'll coopt the oligarchy and let them run the place, as did the Spanich, the Americans and the Japanese before them.

Family news

Joy was in Manila and arrived late last night so I don't have her news.

The Pope is due in Manila and the country is essentially shut down for him. The usual "they picked up all the street kids" articles, the "the churches are empty and he's just trying to fill them" articles and the usual "two priests baptized their children and insisted they should marry" articles already appearing. Duh. Here in the Philippines, such mistresses are common, including among married men, but they are usually ignored socially.

Presumably the US Catholic left will insist he wants "Reforms" i.e. make the church into Episcopal lite, and the right will hyperventillate when he supports environmental stewardship and talks against corruption of the oligarchy here (which will be interpreted as supporting socialism) , but the emphasis will be on the poor.

But "love for the poor" too often means a lady bountiful idea, keeping the poor there for you to take care of (read bribe so they vote for you). What is really needed is jobs, and for that you need honesty and hard work, something that the Protestants push one on one, from an equal to an equal, not as a superior who takes care for you.

The Pope's words are always filtered via the liberal press, but if I have time I'll watch on EWTN, which is on our cable, or on the local stations, not via CNN which is a mess, or the BBC which reports more accurately but has a tin ear for religion.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Family news

Joy is wheezing and I added steroids and an inhaler to her antibiotic. Probably viral bronchitis but I didn' t hear pneumonia.

She still intends to visit her sister in Manila today: Her uncle is coming in from Rome to be with the Pope for the visit (pope arrives tomorrow) and today he will say mass in their home and anoint her sister, who has cancer.

I told her to wear a mask, but she won't stay home as advised, so she won't expose her sister to the illness.

Lolo is okay.

Our handiman Ferdie is fixing the doors: The bottoms of the "stainless steel" doors are rusted out (poor quality of course) and so he replaced the areas with new steel which he welds onto the higher parts.

He will also place tiles behind the stove: Right now, the heat and fumes have eaten into the cement covering of the walls..they will replace it with marble tiles (Which are quite cheap here).

My only comment on marble and tiles for floors is that after placing them down, they smear them with cement that makes them look dirty and irregular instead of shiny. I didn't appreciate why until the rains came, and it meant that you could walk across the floors without slipping.

For later reading

Wagner: Sigfried as narcissist or satire as sigfried and roy?

more here.

I rarely agree with the author, but he always makes me think


StrategyPage on the Philippines

same old stuff, and we are the weakest link for China to expand.

So when the Pope preaches peace peace peace, it is saying "come and get it" to them.

He preached reconciliation to SriLanka. Hope he preaches more "stop stealing everything in sight" here, instead of pushing the "green" elites who stop sustainable investment in manufacture, agriculture (GMFood), mining and logging. All that sounds nice, but the real danger is that stopping responsible limited investment that will protect the land, you end up with poor people working for pirates who decimate the environment and politicians getting rich from being bribed to look the other way when the logs/gold/etc. are exported, or the GM or pesticide ridden food is imported, or the shoddy manufacturing goods from China underprice local stuff (of course, no one will buy the local stuff because they figure it is least the Chinese stuff may or may not be shoddy).

To get stuff that will last, you need to buy US/Taiwan/Japanese made goods, and you need to buy it from a reputable store that you know isn't selling a counterfeit item.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bonfire night

All those "occupy" patsies (who didn't realize that the hard left was orchestrating the protests) also didn't realize that the mask worn was that of a catholic terrorist, Guy Faukes.

Of course, the terror of Elizabeth I against secret Catholics was a lot worse than Bloody Mary, who got a bad rep for burning a bishop who lacked the guts to defend Elizabeth'mom but gets good press for being on the right side of history (read: defended the reforms that allowed the British aristocracy to be given all that lovely church land to make them rich instead of supporting monasteries who wanted the money by helpingthe poor and indigent while taking their share off the top).

Anyone who thinks the Muslims are bad needs to read about the protestant reformation (follow the money. Luther would have been toast if the local princes didn't want all the lovely church wealth too).

Of course, the Muslims have gone backward, not forward in this: Few Catholic terrorists nowadays, except for those who embraced liberation theology and helped the local communists kill people.

But Islam has a history to justify killing the infidel in its founder's actions, not just in it's holy books. So although a Christian could point out the murderous justification in the old testament, it's hard to argue that Jesus would have done this. Even the crusades were originally justified to stop the murder of local Christians. Ah, but few westerners know history.

As for the atheist meme about religion causing most of the bloody wars: I find this ironic claim ignores the hundred million victims of atheistic Nazi or communist regimes (not to mention the 7 million Chinese killed by noble Japanese warriors in WWII).

And the biggest mass murderer was probably Genghis Khan and his family. He made Stalin (who only worked his people to death) and Hitler (who only killed the Jews in the cities he captured) look like amateurs.

Even the atheist claim about the "wars of religion" deaths ignore the Turkish Ottoman massacres in eastern Europe, or that at the same time that the Samurai invasion of Korea killed just as many folks, and not for religion, but because they were in the way of the Japanese army invasion of China.

Ironically, Anne Coulter's quip on terrorism: That we need to invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them all to Christianity-- is actually the only thing that works.

It doesn't have to be Christianity: Sufi Islam works too...and even the Mongols calmed down after they became Buddhists. The bad news is that some of their followers became Muslim...and that story is the back story for why Russia sees herself as the defender of Christianity.

Family news

Earthquake yesterday south of Manila. No problem.

Pope set to arrive. With all the terror attacks (and with the plot to kill the pope when he visited in the early 1990's) the country is on full alert.

Joy's uncle, a priest, is coming in from Rome a day before the pope, and will say mass at her sister's house and give her the Sacrament of the sick anointing. Joy has the flu and will go, but I told her she needs to wear a facemask.

Lolo is fine.

The internet is on and off: don't know if it's just the old router or we also need a new modem.

in local news: Someone decided to burn down the houses of some squatters last week. Three young children whose parents weren't at home, died...Sigh. I sent money and some clothing for the survivors, who had nothing.

Here in the Philippines, burning down shanty towns (or in our city, the old Palenke) is a common way to clear land for the owner to build new houses or shops there.

Of course, this is not limited to the Philippines: I remember when they were doing the same in Boston, after reselling the houses/buildings several times to increase their insurance value. In that case it was a toofer: more insurance money and a vacant lot. However, at least in Boston the buildings were usually empty.

Friday, January 09, 2015

family news

Internet is going on and off.

Lolo is running a fever and staying in bed

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Family News

Joy and Ruby are in Manila with the family who are gathering at the wake for her aunt. She probably won't travel to the burial however, due to the expense.

Chano is upstairs and busy doing his thing. The problem is that their apartment is isolated from us and the rest of the house, so we worry about being broken into during the fiesta.

So we arranged for one of the workers to sleep downstairs. It is party time (the town plaza is a block away and a new restorbar across the street...we have had drunks climb over the fence in the side garden to sleep it off...the front garden and main house are guarded by George, the killer lab, and the white dogs guard the main business area, but since George is able to jump over the wall we keep him out of the side garden and lock the gates so the house can't be broken into).

Lolo is fine, but sleeps a lot, and for the last few days wakes up energetic at 3 am to take a bath. He then is exhausted and goes back to sleep. During the day, he walks out to eat or to sit in the garden  which also exhausts him after an hour or so. No pain however.

His lab is unchanged, but he won't get a bone marrow or agree to treatment. Doctors tend to be more cynical about such things than laypeople, and in his case, non treatment is one of the options, at least until anemia sets in when they advise mild chemotherapy. I've monitored several patients with his type of blood problem, and most died of something we worry because it's flu season and lots of visitors from the US might carry it here.


Monday, January 05, 2015

Copyright, bah humbug

I found that I can't download a lot of stuff from the US due to copyright problems (I found out this when I tried to download a classic film from Amazon)

Luckily lots of these are now on youtube, and lots of books I wanted to read but weren't available here I can read on Scribd.

But it works both ways, and Project Gutenburg Canada has some titles not available in the US but legal for the rest of us...including CSLewis and the Lark Rise trilogy by Thompson...actually I brought some of Lewis' books here, and the first of the LarkRise trilogy, but this gives me a chance to read those I don't have.

Stories below the fold. Yucky people count

Sarah BAD, Ellen  GOOD.

Of course, we all know Sarah's real sin is not aborting her kid.

As for the dogs, well, if the dogs involved are upset, maybe they should try this:

photoVia Dustbury

As for PETA: personally I loath PETA: They pay for affluent white (usually  blond) buxom female foreigners to fly over here and proselytize against eating fish and chicken (usually by prancing around naked so they can get headlines). For example, this Canadian bimbo not only got a free trip to Manila but to Malaysia  and Europe....
Notice she's not protesting in Tacloban either. She might have to touch yucky stuff

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?I am terrified of human hair (when it’s not on people’s heads). Having to pick up a hair from my bathroom floor is enough to make me gag. I won’t even talk about my shower drain.

Just ignore those streetkids begging in the background of their photos...of course, those kids probably rarely can afford chicken or fish in their diet (which is why so many have the reddish hair of protein deficiency).


Europe's Ghost Ships.

The smugglers’ tactic appears to be to point a cargo ship full of migrants towards Italy, before abandoning the ship and letting the coastguard pick it up.The gangs buy rusty vessels at the end of their life for around £100,000 before selling spots to hundreds of migrants. Ezadeen, a Sierra Leone-flagged ship, was the 15th to reach Italy in just three months.

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


Our town will shut down for the Three Kings fiesta tomorrow, but Manila will shut down Friday for the Black Nazarene procession.

More HERE.
of course, that is missing the point: The point is that it is a non verbal way to identify one own's suffering with that of the suffering Christ, and to express prayer for help. Instead of using words to the deity in private, it is a communal expression of the idea that we share Christ's sufferings with each other's sufferings...


The good news that you might not have read about


everything from GM food to less poverty to fewer dead from HIV to 3D printing in space

Family news

Doy is here from the UK and visited Lolo yesterday.

The city's main church patron is the Three Kings, so the fiesta is today and tomorrow. Parade today, everything shut down tomorrow so people can feast with the family.

Joy is talking about going to Manila for a delivery and staying there for two days with her family, waiting for relatives to arrive for her aunt's funeral. She probably won't attend the funeral in her home town because of expenses.

Ebola quote of the year

from CWR:

“our humanity is being lost in the face of Ebola. This disease makes impossible ordinary human kindnesses, such as putting your arm around someone who is crying.

it also notes that the countries where Ebola is rampant are those recovering from terrible civil wars (i.e. infrastructure decimated and poverty)

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Churches hide refugees (horrors)

The Republicans in the US who are anti immigration will not only lose the Hispanic vote for doing this, but the vote of many Catholics whose ancestral stories remember when they too were rejected for "bringing down wages" and "taking jobs from Americans" and (of course) including a large substance abusing and criminal class among them.

Paddy wagons, anyone?

But the problem of immigrants without visas is actually world wide.

Every couple of months, some country decides to throw out the Pinoys who overstayed their visas. Not just Israel (which of course got the headlines) but Saudi, Malaysia, Hong Kong and various Gulf nations.

Then there are the huge number of refugees that flee Africa via Italy (which was publicized by the Pope's visit to  refugee camp).

Today, AlJazeerah has an article on a church hiding refugees in South Africa. Most are from Zimbabwe.

"The situation is a tough one. You have a lot of people living without legal documentation, with a great deal of hostility from the local population. And if they are able to work, [they face] a great deal of exploitation. And to add to that, regular harassment from the police and officials."
Many of the migrants continue to face xenophobic attacks from South Africans who feel that they should return to Zimbabwe. 

Some of these are political refugees, but often they are economic ones: If one person gets a job, they can send money home to keep the rest of the family alive, not to mention school fees so that their relatives can have a better life.

Ten percent of Filipinos have emigrated, but much is legal, temporary, or they become citizens. But in Zimbabwe, ten percent of the population fled over just a few years from a combination of political oppression and a collapsed economy (partly due to western sanctions against the oppressive government).

Are sanctions ethically just? Although aimed at the gov'ts, they are usually worked around by the corrupt dictators so they affect the ordinary citizens, and the poor most of all.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Things are great (wonder if CNN knows)

We usually watch the BBC for news, and local stations for local news, but Lolo was watching CNN about the latest plane crash.

But there is good news: You just won't read about it in the press.


Guess what? Crime is down.

Belmont club notes:

Despite the dissatisfaction with the police in Missouri and New York, murder rates in America are actually at historic lows.   “The number of homicides in the United States’ biggest cities hit record lows again in 2013 as the murder rate nationally continued to drop to levels not seen since the 1960s,” writes Time. Every year the numbers drop ever lower.murderrateThe trends in air travel are even more dramatic.  Airplanes are now so safe that some analysts say that pilots are losing their skills. “In 1959, as the jet age was only beginning for passenger airplanes, there were 36 fatal accidents in every one million departures, according to a recent Boeing Co. report. That quickly plunged to 2.4 fatal accidents in every million takeoffs by 1969. In the past decade, the fatal accident rate for airlines hasn’t been higher than 0.6 per million flights.”

yeah. A lot safer than my driving.

and guess what? A lot fewer wars out there:

StrategyPage echoes that last one:

Their article on the wars of the world in 2015 and then notes:

Even with spectacular (at least in the media, which is no accident) threats like ISIL and Russia in Ukraine (and threatening to use nukes, wars continue to decline in number and intensity. Those that still exist get lots of publicity because that’s what the media does. But overall there are more conflicts ending (via negotiation, mutual exhaustion or one side actually winning) than new ones getting started. And new wars are more frequently quickly addressed with peacekeeping efforts. This is all a post-Cold War trend that has been going on since the 1990s. Let us hope it continues.
Most current wars are basically uprisings against police states or feudal societies which are seen as out-of-step with the modern world. Many are led by radicals preaching failed dogmas (Islamic conservatism, Maoism and other forms of radical socialism) that still resonate among people who don't know about the dismal track records of these creeds. Iran has replaced some of the lost Soviet terrorist support effort. That keeps Hezbollah, Hamas, and a few smaller groups going, and that's it. Terrorists in general miss the Soviets, who really knew how to treat bad boys right.

and their podcast this week discusses what they see in the year 2015.


GetReligion links to an article from AlJazeerah on a church laundry day. Twice a month they rent a laundromat so the homeless can do their clothes for free. And they don't just "help the (faceless) poor" but actually make friends with them.


NASA image of the day:

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Gilles Chapdelaine      
 NGC 6535, a globular cluster 22,000 light-years away in the constellation of Serpens (The Serpent) that measures one light-year across.
Globular clusters are tightly bound groups of stars which orbit galaxies. The large mass in the rich stellar centre of the globular cluster pulls the stars inward to form a ball of stars. The word globulus, from which these clusters take their name, is Latin for small sphere.

related item: How Techies see God:

hmm... churches as tech support?

Family news

Joy's aunt died of complications of diabetes, and will be buried in their home town when the relatives come home from overseas. I don't know if Joy will be able to go to the funeral, but she was at her bedside and arranged last rites to be given on the day before she died.

Ruby had her friend over all day yesterday. They ate with us (poor things...very boring...Lolo can't hear and I can't speak Tagalog very well).

Chano was at a New Year's eve party and got home last night at 7 pm, bringing his friends (who knew him from when he studied at medical school) to visit with their families.

That means keeping George the killer lab inside so he doesn't bite the kids.

Sigh. I was already in bed but went out, and the car is not wrecked so I guess things went okay.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Lecture course of the day

A course on Tolkien and CSLewis on Vimeo LINK

no, I haven't watched it yet...our internet is slow so I usually download and rip then listen to it at my leisure


Sir William Osler's essays: Aequanimitas and other essays

on medicine

Stuff below the fold

Gift item of the week: Helen Keller sunglasses.

Headsup Dustbury.


The Year in Review: 1014.

The year of the great Tsunami?
On September 28, 1014, massive flooding, likely caused by a tsunami, struck parts England and Holland. William of Malmesbury wrote that "a tidal wave... grew to an astonishing size such as the memory of man cannot parallel, so as to submerge villages many miles inland and overwhelm and drown their inhabitants." Meanwhile a chronicler in Germany also reported that thousands of people were killed in the flood.
more HERE...a comet?


Pufferfish poisoning in Minneapolis?

Pufferfish are a gourmet item in Japan: they are poisonous, so need specially trained chefs to prepare them so you don't die. If prepared and cooked correctly, they give you a bit of a "buzz".

Lots of suspicious stuff here: The patients bought the fish from a vendor in NYCity, they left quickly, and couldn't be traced. Sounds like someone is selling the fish that was smuggled in illegally claiming it makes you "high" when it actually can make you dead if not properly prepared.


If the headlines are too discouraging: Go to DarkRoastedBlend's feel good issue...

with lots of photos, and links


Protesters reclaiming mosques from the bigots. 


Jolie discusses her film "Unbroken" at EWTN NEWS

factoid of the day

From one of Wired's top science stories of the year:

The creature that can survive in outer space.

 the toughest creature on Earth:the tardigrade. Also known as the water bear (because it looks like an adorable little many-legged bear), this exceedingly tiny critter has an incredible resistance to just about everything. Go ahead and boil it, freeze it, irradiate it, and toss it into the vacuum of space — it won’t die...
more at wikipedia