Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Family news

Ruby is going to her home school base in Manila again today.

She has entered a "short film" contest and has to finish it with her partners (they do it via Skype and the internet but it needs some hands on work).

Joy went along, and has meeting tomorrow in Manila.

They also had rice to deliver: Since my BMW car keys were taken from me, and I was told that it was not my car, they have had to commute via bus etc. which is dangerous since often they return home late in the evening. And rice delivery via bus is awkward and slow for the hired help.

But now Joy has arranged with her cousin to use his pickup truck. That makes it a lot safer and easier for all. One problem is that it is an open bed pickup truck, so they agreed she can buy a (used) camper type cover to put in the back, that will give them more room and keep the rice dry and safer.

So today the driver and helper will not only deliver rice but pick up the camper shell to see if it fits and arrange for it to be painted.

Lolo's will will go to court again next week, so hopefully we will straighten out a lot of stuff.
Right now, Joy was moved against her will to live in my house, (from their upstairs apartment) and I was told that the house is not "mine" since my name is not on it (under law, I cannot own property here).

Whatever.

Actually, Joy and Ruby are safer down here, with the dogs and the farm helper who sleeps in the living room with a machete for safety.



Well well well

We are still on season 3, but someone posted the first of season 6 of Homicide Hunter on youtube and I managed to watch it before the copyright cops removed it.

But I ran across this on Instapundit:



WELL, WELL, WELL: Now 30 BENGHAZI-related emails have been recovered from Hillary’s server....
that Well Well Well is, of course, what the Lt. says when he finds interesting evidence of who did the heinous crime...

and we know that Justice will be done.

So has Kenda's phrase become part of the nation's vocabulary?

 Entomology says no: The meme started in May 2009 from this photo, posted on Demotivational website in August 2008



Or maybe it started in Shakespeare, or is the American variant of Hello Hello in the UK.

While researching the meme, I came across this photo:


Ah, sad. That is Gene Wilder, who passed away last week.

No, I didn't see Willie Wonka and the Chocolate factory, so don't know if he actually says that in the film.

But I am a great fan of Wilder and Mel Brooks, both of whom would be thrown out by the PC snowflakes if they tried to make Blazing Saddles nowadays.

But my favorite is his work in the Young Frankenstein, which my mother and I watched overseas... and we were the only ones in the theater who laughed at the "knockers" joke.

But here is a factoid about the movie, from (of all people) Spengler at PJM:

There is a running joke where horses neigh in horror every time someone says the name of Frau Blucher.

I always assumed the name came from the hero of Waterloo and was chosen because in English is resembles the world Bleech or belch.

But that is not true. He writes:

"Frau Blücher" was the married name of the renegade Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt, the erstwhile mistress of the philosopher and sometime Nazi Party member Martin Heidegger.....
Aside from her love of the Nazi philosopher, Arendt is despised for some of the things she wrote in her book "Eichmann in Jerusalem: a report on the banality of evil".

Many interpret that "banality" implies the evil was banal, i.e. no big thing.

But if you read what she wrote carefully, she is saying that ordinary thoughtless people can do terrible things, and remain a person that an ordinary person (or a learned psychiatrist) would call "normal".

Which reminds one of the quote by Camus in the Plague:

“The evil in the world comes almost always from ignorance, and goodwill can cause as much damage as ill-will if it is not enlightened.
People are more often good than bad, though in fact that is not the question. But they are more or less ignorant and this is what one calls vice or virtue, the most appalling vice being the ignorance that thinks it knows everything and which consequently authorizes itself to kill. The murderer's soul is blind, and there is no true goodness or fine love without the greatest possible degree of clear-sightedness.” ― Albert Camus, The Plague
The Plague, of course, is not just the story of those who passively accept the plague but the story of those who decided to fight it; it is an analogy of France during the Nazi occupation, where civilians alas too often looked the other way.

Ah, but good people would oppose such things, right?

This argument is not as easy as it sounds, since you would have been living in a society which for years has been morphing into a Culture of death, sowing confusion into what is right and what is wrong.

I interpreted her book as implying that the entire continent of Europe suffered from what we today would call the Stockholm syndrome, where people in captivity agree with their kidnappers, and that some end up helping them.

So when Arendt points out how Jewish authorities cooperated with the Nazis in keeping the peace, and even in choosing who should be "resettled" in the East, many American Jews interpreted this as her implying the Jews were partly to blame instead of seeing this as merely reporting an unpleasant fact.

I see it however as a decision to try to limit evil when the choice is between bad and worse. Remember, aside from rumors, most people did not "know" what was going on in the death camps, so it was easier to "believe" they would merely be resettled. And what was the alternative when people are starving to death anyway, and when revolt would mean certain death, not just for you but for your family? which do you chose?

Alas, if it was only this one book, maybe one could question the wrath against Arendt... but add to this Arendt's love of a Nazi philosopher and her later writings against Israel you can see why many American Jews, most of whom can name relatives who died in the Holocaust, consider her a pariah.


Of course, 70 years later, the modern world doesn't believe in evil: at least the elites seem to be clueless.

Being nice is the only rule, and if you dare to judge they quote Jesus saying "judge not". Even Pope Francis, is busy pushing "mercy" to the sinners: apparently the only ones he has condemned are "rigid" types who insist a better phrase would be "Father forgive them for they do not know what they do". That lets us judge the deed as evil while granting the one who does it the possibility of mercy.

So I agree when the Pope feels condemning Trump's tirades against illegal immigration is okay, but I wonder: Why does he remain silent about the holocaust of the unborn that is promoted and even applauded by Democrats at their convention?

And in the near future, if John Paul II is correct and the trends in Canada and the Netherlands become accepted, we will see promotion of killing the elderly and the handicapped as a good thing: something that was actually predicted by Arendt:

There is the well-known fact that Hitler began his mass murders by granting "mercy deaths" to the "incurably ill," and that he intended to wind up his extermination program by doing away with "genetically damaged" Germans (heart and lung patients).
But quite aside from that, it is apparent that this sort of killing can be directed against any given group, that is, that the principle of selection is dependent only upon circumstantial factors.
It is quite conceivable that in the automated economy of a not-too-distant future men may be tempted to exterminate all those whose intelligence quotient is below a certain level.

well, well, well...

-----------------
Eichmann in Jerusalem is on line so judge for yourself.

postscript starts at page 130.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Stories below the fold

A blogger reports on Colombia's Olympic team healing "social fractures"... no, not about FARC....


But while the impressive eight-medal haul has given cause for much celebration — among South American countries only Brazil bettered Colombia — it has also amplified a thorny debate about race and class, since some of the republic's most successful Olympians were citizens of African heritage from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Many are Black ethnics. In Colombia, most blacks are from the coastal regions; my son's rural city in a high mountain valley is mainly "metziso" with many traditional customs. And most of those on TV etc. are of Spanish blood, often blonds.

But my son said he didn't recognize racism until he moved to the USA...

------------------

First you kill grandmom, then you kill the mentally ill. And one quarter were killed by doctors who didn't know the patients. Most were women of course.

oh yes: And soon: they will be able to harvest their organs.

quickly morphing from IchKlagaAn to Gaslight...

and remember: Me before you was not about a man chosing to kill himself because he was handicapped: It was the AUTHOR (and Hollywood) choosing to write and film a story to push suicide for the handicapped....

----------------------------

The groundwater problem of South Asia: Salinity and Arsenic.

=============

many useful plants have a double set of chromosomes.

Polyploidy, or having more than two chromosome copies, is especially common in plants, including some of the tasty ones we eat, such as potatoes, wheat, and strawberries. In fact, polyploidy is a major driver of plant diversity both on our plates and in the wild.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-08-genes-stones-century-polyploidy.html#jCp


----------------------------------------

In the Philippines, we have barongs using Pina cloth but now someone has found how to use the pineapple fibers to make a felt like cloth that is a leather substitute.


headsup Instapundit

---------------

Urban renewal: wonderful or Evil?

Even the CNN article admits that rent control, meant to help the poor afford apartments, was really a scam that allowed the rich to live cheaply in a prime area while the landlord went broke..

======================

Two hospitals that treated the victims of the Orlando terrorist attack will  not bill their patients for uncovered care.

-----------------

-StrategyPage reports..
Syria is getting all the headlines, but the terrible war in Yemen is not... it is actually a proxy fight between the Shia backed by Iran and the Sunni backed by Saudi. And Iran is supplying missiles that could destroy a Saudi oil facility. So far, the anti missile system has stopped them, but it's only a matter of time until one gets through

Aramco is one of the targets has 55 thousand employees in it's various facilities.

I suspect many are foreign workers.

Jan 2016 report of OFW worried about bombing threats and some have asked to go home.

Business insider notes the price of oil has already gone up with the threat.





Monday, August 29, 2016

Fentalyl correction and WTF is going on with the Clinton HIV project

some of the overdoses are from a similar drug used to sedate large animals...
and guess where it is coming from? Probably China, via Mexico.

Longer essay on my medical blog.
--------------

The counterfeit/inferior drug problem, mainly from China and India, probably kills more people than heroin.

I just listened to a C2C podcast where the Clinton Foundation was accused of using inferior and cheaper generic medicines for HIV patients in Africa that didn't work. The source of the medicine was from India.



Right wing site WND has the story.

and I have an essay on this on my medical blog, with lots of links.

Uh Oh: US Justice dept report: the Indian company Ranbaxy got a 350 million dollar fine for their fraud. 2013

They were faking a lot of their data in quality control.

Fortune magazine on the Great Valentine's day raid on the company and an expose on the company. 2013

Australian reporter MichaelSmith has a long article about the HIV medicine problem., including the Clinton Foundation using HIV meds from Ranbaxy for people in Papua New Guinea.

This article lists Australian taxpayer money going to the foundation, and notes a small problem: Bill Clinton signed a lot of papers when he was not officially head of the Clinton Foundation and did not have the legal standing to do this.... and notes other irregularities having to do with money.
(Australia gave 70 million dollars).

His sidebar also has lots of links about fraud on his sidebar, including Clinton fraud for a hospital that never was in Papua New Guinea.

But since I am a doctor, not an accountant, I advise you to go there and read his articles.

as for HIV in Africa: a lot more on my medical blog 

Psst: Yellow fever

forget the Zika hysteria.

The really dangerous disease is yellow fever, which is spreading in Africa (Angola and now the Congo) and has been made worse by a shortage of vaccines.

bbc;

How do you protect millions of people from a deadly disease in the space of a few weeks?That has been the challenge after a yellow fever outbreak has killed more than 400 people in Angola and neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

they are so short of vaccine that they are using partial dosages (something we did when Measles vaccine first came out but we lacked enough to protect everyone).

This gives immunity but doesn't last long.

and China has had a few cases in workers who returned from Angola (which is rich in oil, hence the Chinese are there).

so where did the disease come from? This article in the South China Post notes that immigrants from Eritrea were admitted to the country but had fake papers saying they had gotten the immunization, when they did not get it.

These yellow cards used to be important: Proving you had been vaccinated against smallpox, and if you were in certain countries, you had to prove you had gotten your yellow fever shot.

and if they are short of vaccine, it is because massive numbers of people need shots:
Since the outbreak was identified in January, 10.5 million Angolans – 40 per cent of the population – have been vaccinated and the World Health Organisation (WHO) plans to cover the rest of the war-scarred country by the end of the year.
But with a reported case this week of the disease jumping via a mosquito from one person to another in Kinshasa, a city of over 12 million in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, there are concerns about global vaccine supplies running out.

and  people from Eritrea are part of the massive influx of "refugees" who are entering Europe.

If I remember correctly, the vaccine is very vulnerable to climate: it has to be kept frozen until used, so I had to travel to a different city designated clinic to get the shot when I was planning to go to Africa....but it usually lasts ten years or more.

so why the problem of making more vaccine? they do it in the old fashioned way, via chicken embryos.

Manufacturers, including the Institut Pasteur, government factories in Brazil and Russia, and French drugmaker Sanofi , use a time-consuming method involving sterile chicken eggs.
The article also notes that actually more people have died from malaria so far this year than have died from Yellow fever (a different mosquito)


CDC page on yellow fever vaccine

Geko tech

via Improbable research: The Van Der Waals bra
keeps strapless bras up by using the same idea as geckos use to climb walls

so what is the VanDerWaals force?
the weak attraction between certain molecules.
The ability of geckos – which can hang on a glass surface using only one toe – to climb on sheer surfaces has been attributed to the van der Waals forces between these surfaces and the spatulae, or microscopic projections, which cover the hair-likesetae found on their footpads.[16][17] A later study suggested that capillary adhesion might play a role,[18] but that hypothesis has been rejected by more recent studies.[19][20][21] There were efforts in 2008 to create a dry glue that exploits the effect,[22]and success was achieved in 2011 to create an adhesive tape on similar grounds.[23] In 2011, a paper was published relating the effect to both velcro-like hairs and the presence of lipids in gecko footprints.[24]

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Fentalyl overdoses, thanks to Mexican drug lords and China

The CDC just released a page about the increases of Fentanyl overdoses in recent months.

You might notice all those "heroin" overdoses that Drudge links to? Many of these are Fentanyl laced heroin.

Now, this caught my eye because of two things:

One, Fentanyl has long been used as a short term anesthetic, but is not an ordinary prescription drug. (Indeed, for awhile it was known as the favorite drug for anesthesiologists to get addicted on because it was short acting but gave a wonderful high).

Then they developed a Fenanyl patch. This was also wonderful, because it meant our cancer and pain patients didn't have to keep taking pills and swing between being sleepy and being in pain.

It could however cause problems since it took awhile to work, and in chronically ill patients who got another illness, it could cause a decrease in respirations and alertness (this happened to two of my patients, both elderly).

It was also good because it gave us an alternative for patients who were in pain but kept "losing" their medicines. We started one patient on the patch, and her daughter came in to the ER the next day withdrawing, showing us why her medicines were being lost.

However, druggies are inventive, and after a few years, the druggies found out how to process the patches to get the drug out, which left us with another medicine that could be abused.

However, the recent huge increase in fentanyl overdoses makes me wonder: why now, and where it is coming from?

I posted earlier about how the Mexican cartels were switchinlg from marijuana to meth, cocaine or heroine now that marijuana is essentially "legal" many places (many of the "medical marijuana" clinics are scams for druggies).

So where is the fentanyl coming from?

From the Mexican cartels, of course, with help from China, where they buy the precursors of the drug.

From Fusion.net


Three weeks before El Chapo was re-captured, we returned to Sinaloa to meet with heroin producers who were mixing the drug into their product. “There’s almost nobody making pure heroin anymore, because el diablito is so much stronger,” one trafficker told us. His family sourced the precursor chemicals from China, he said, and paid a Colombian chemist $50,000 to teach them how to cook up fentanyl. While the majority of the fentanyl causing overdoses across the U.S. is from this illegal stockpile produced by Mexican cartels, a portion of it also comes in legal pharmaceutical forms, according to the DEA. But it's hard to get accurate numbers on just how much of the deadly fentanyl is from prescriptions -- most medical examiners and coroners are unable to tell the difference between pharmaceutical and black-market versions of the drug, THE CDC POINTS OUT.
I wonder how much fentanyl is being sold on the black market with the knowledge of drug companies?

and how much is "diverted" or stolen or just carelessly or deliberately sold to pill mills?


update: Some of it is from a fentanyl variation used to shoot animals. LINK
----------


Related item: Rappler has an article about how Duterte's "war on drugs" isn't needed because the amount of drugs used was going down by ordinary means.

Ah, but that was just running in place because the big shots getting paid off weren't being caught.

Now that the mid level dealers are being arrested or worse, the low level users are turning themselves in.

Not only is the local building that used to be the city hall now a drug rehab area, but the local churches are getting involved with rehab.

The college students and the elite media are up in arms huffing and puffing about how terrible his drug war is, because of the killings.

Two comments: They didn't seem upset about killing related to drug users or overdoses in the past. They only worry now because maybe the cops are scared and might not take the usual payment to look the other way?

comment two: They really believe the statistics?

they note the numbers of arrests went way down starting in 2002 and only recently have started going up again.

Figure 2. Sources: PDEA and DDB, as collected in the Philippine Statistical Yearbook 2015.


Hmm.. wonder what could be behind that?

This Inquirer article points out how the big shots get away with it. The big shot is innocent, the family member is innocent, and the guy caught who works for him and was caught red handed gets off with a little help from their friends.

or as Rappler puts it:

What can explain these correlated trends? Could they be an indication of the changing aggressiveness of past administrations in going after drugs? Or could they be indirect measures of the rise and fall of the drug problem on the ground? Understanding the causality (rather than just the correlations) behind these trends highlights the need for further research.

most of those going into rehab are on shabu.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Quick before the copy right cops find it

I did manage to download a bunch of Stephanie Plum audiobooks from youtube before the copyright cops found them and removed them.

But with the local used book kiosk now defunct, my hard copies have stopped at 16...

But number 22 can be read on line here.

and put down coffee before reading: It is a ROLF type book

I yanked the stun gun out of my pocket, pressed the go button, and rammed the prongs against his neck.
His eyes lost focus for a split second but there was no further reaction.
“I don’t like that,” he said. “That’s not a nice thing to do to a man who invites you to a party.”
I kicked out at him, and he backhanded me across the face.
The front door opened, and Lula stuck her head in. “Everything going okay in here?”
“No!” I said. “Shoot him. Shoot him!”
Lula reached into her purse and pulled out the d****.
“What the hell?” Blatzo said.
Lula threw the d**** at him, it bounced off his forehead, and he bent to pick it up.
“Run!” I said to Lula.
We bolted out of the house and across the street, and jumped into the Buick. My hand was shaking so bad I couldn’t turn the key in the ignition.
“He’s coming! He’s coming!” Lula yelled.
I got the engine to crank over, I slammed the gas pedal to the floor, and we motored off, leaving Blatzo standing in the middle of the road. I had a white-knuckle grip on the wheel, and my heart was skipping beats.
“I thought I was going to be cat food,” I said to Lula. “I hit him with the stun gun and he barely blinked.”
“I left my d**** there,” Lula said.
“No kidding. What was the deal with the d**** anyway? I told you to shoot him, not make love to him.”...
“Why didn’t you shoot him?”
“I meant to, but the d**** was on top, and I pulled it out by mistake. I guess it was just easy to wrap my hand around in a panic. You know how you go for something familiar.”

This reminds me of this protest....
Guess one of them would indeed work if a terrorist or school shooter attacked their classroom...

Factoid of the day

The name of the MGM lion was Jackie: Jackie the Lucky.


Find out why HERE, and also the persons behind other logos.

The lady bearing the torch is identified, but only for the redesign.

 ReelClassics discusses the many real ladies behind the logo at various times.

she represents Lady Liberty


headsup the Presurfer

Intellectual mush

Seeing grey as good?

ah but there is a difference between seeing grey as good and discerning black from white, seeing the black as bad, and helping people to remove the black.

David Warren has a long essay pondering on the newfangled idea of discernment.

Sometimes it is complicated. Never is it mush...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Family news

Ruby and Joy are back in Manila for another school event (She home schools but like most home school kids does a lot of "enrichment" courses and events at her magnet school).

It is rainy on and off, monsoon season.

The outdoor lights shorted off again last night, meaning no electricity in the overhead lights here either.

There is a new kitty, who didn't eat via syringe or eye dropper for three days, and was too small for a regular baby bottle. Luckily I found a premie bottle and nipple in the grocery store and now she is eating.... these small kittens rarely make it, but so far so good.

The bad news is that we have feral cats coming in and eating the food in the cat's room. Eventually George the killer dog will scare them away.

Today is another fiesta: The anniversary of the town being declared a city. In the past they called this the "sandals" festival after one of the major town industries (run by the clan of the mayor) but this year we have a new mayor, so back to the regular name. LINK

This means music all night and lots of visitors and traffic in town. It upsets the dogs a lot, especially when they set off fire crackers, and it means a lot of traffic noise because our street is one of the alternate routes through town.


--------
update: the Inquirer has an Article on the local drug war includes this paragraph:


In Nueva Ecija province on Thursday, Gapan City Mayor Emerson Pascual told 434 people who had admitted to trading or using illegal drugs said that vigilantes had not killed any drug dealer in the city “because we value your lives.” Those who surrendered signed an agreement to give up drugs. Pascual said he pleaded with the police to let him speak to the drug suspects first. He is a member of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption who lost two siblings in a 2009 attack. “President Duterte and I have the same goal—to clean our city, to clean our country. We differ in our approaches. I want to do this peacefully. The President wants to achieve this quickly even if it leads to deaths,” Pascual said.
of course, his brothers weren't killed by drug dealers or cops but were a hit against his family because his father was running against our corrupt ex mayor, and our nephew was killed in the hit.

And the ex mayor died in his bed under indictment after years of delay.

Stories below the fold

For later reading

Soros organization Bribed Catholic bishops/Catholic church in USA. 

related item; The Pope always pushes sweetness and light and mainly condemns those who insist right and wrong matter and play by the rules. but Msgr Pope is warning: Stop pushing sweetness and light and open your eyes: persecution is coming.

sounds like he read Orwell's essay about the difficulty of seeing what is right in front of your nose.

AlJ wonders who is behind all the drug dealers being killed here in the Philippines and has a map. Their analysis suggests most were from police raids, but some were private pay back.  The map suggest most of the  cop killings are in the south, whereas the "unknowns" are in Luzon. Yeah...payback... People tired of waiting for justice... we are the area of the Huks and NPA.

India may outlaw surrogancy.... rich westerners paying poor women to carry their baby. Modern slavery.

The proto Aztecs raised bunnies.
a 50 thousand year old needle has been uncovered...in a cave that had been occupied by the Denosova  and balls go back 70 thousand years
Otzi the Ieman had an outfit that included many types of fur/leather.

The outrageous price hike for the EpiPen will result in some people dying, but never mind.
however, NDY points out that this is not the only price gouging being done: so is insulin.

and the mystery: Why do Latinos live longer? Is it their AmerIndian ancestry?
Wait til the gene for metabolic syndrome kicks in with the high fat American diet and this may not be true.'

and the happy news of the day: Gobi has been found.


The dog who ran with a marathon runner was adopted, but ran away from quarantine. He has now been found again.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Quote of the week

via Dustbury (An Okieblogger):


Baton Rouge attorney Heather Cross, in a blistering Open Letter to the media


...Not one person I watched on the national news during the weeks following Alton Sterling's death, or the murder of three police officers gave my friends, my family, my neighbors - any credit or the benefit of the doubt. Nope. The entire news media looked for someone to blame...
So where are the reporters on the flooding?
 I think you people are stone cold silent about this flood, because really, there's no agenda to push. 
There's no side to take. There's nobody to blame. So even though you don't seem in the least bit curious, here's what's been happening around here since you left.

First - as previously stated. There was a Noah's Ark Level Flood.
It affected all of us. Black, white, dog, cat, man, woman, child, transsexual.
While it was still raining, a spontaneous, private, and well-meaning navy of ordinary people assembled themselves. They were black, white, asian and otherwise. They weren't protesting anything. They got into their own boats, spent their own money, spent their own time, risked their own lives. Black people saved white people. White people saved black people. Nobody asked what color you were before knocking on your door.
These are not first responders on some list somewhere. These are a bunch of guys who like to hunt and fish and as a result own flat bottom boats and they assumed that the actual police and other first responders, not to mention their fellow citizens - could use a little help.
So they just showed up. Nobody told them to. They wanted to....
I suppose a bunch of self-sufficient folks that actually love one another, and are trying to figure things out isn't as interesting to you as casting gross stereotypes over people who live fly-over country. But we are a little bit baffled after all that unwanted attention we got a few weeks back, when we actually need you to get the word out, you are nowhere to be found.
I posted this under "Oklahoma" because in previous disasters, I saw a lot of locals do just this:  went to help.

And others organized supplies at their churches and had their youth groups take them there.



Down the Rabbit Hole indeed

I always check out Univ California talks because a lot of them are medically oriented.

But in the last week or two, they are broadcasting a lot of lectures by new age guru Chopra.

Much of it is about mindfulness.

Apparantly yoga and mindfulness can cure everything...

Uh, two problems:

This is being presented as science, but it is actually religion. Not even religion, but magical thinking that you can control disease etc by using these techniques.

Check out the start of this link.

or this one that promotes yoga "

We visit her studio to get an in-depth look at the relationship between her struggle with cancer and her art. We also follow her to the yoga studio with Eddie Stern, Yuko's yoga teacher for almost two decades, who shares his perspective on her illness and recovery, and how yoga practice contributes to
spiritual strength and perseverance.

Define "spiritual strength".

This is not one or two, but at least half a dozen lectures by Chopra. Fine.

But I suspect he will sell a lot of books from those watching these videos, meaning tax dollars at a secular institution is pushing religion as science and promoting an eastern faith, ignoring the wall between religion and state.

My problem: "Mindfullness" essentially is hypnosis. Which means that the entire "mind body" theory is essentially Mesmerism:

The method or power of gaining control over someone's personality or actions, as in hypnosis or suggestion.
now, as a doc, I am well aware of the placebo effect and the power of suggestion, not to mention the power of the mind to help one cope with illness. LINK from the Univ of MD lists lots of stuff but reading through the lines, you see it mainly helps you cope with stress... and none of the articles they list as references are double blind studies or in major journals.

But why is pushing "mindfulness" is "science", but if you push a pilgrimage to Lourdes or sending someone to a faith healer is not?

One of the problems with mindfulness/hypnosis/ deep concentration/relatxation etc. is that different people have different capacities to be hypnotized. It is not "in your mind": It is neurophysiologically wired into you. Want to find if you can be hypnotized? Look up while closing your eye and measure how much white of the eye shows.
LINK... PDF here.

You have a deep ability to use these techniques or be hypnotized if you are creative, emotional, not well organized, can roll your eyes up and show a lot of white below the iris..

 welcome sucker: because you are also prone to be persuaded easily (use my medicine and voila you are cured... and you will swear you are cured, up to the time you die.)

 and about 10 percent are very very easily hypnotized and because they are easy to persuade you can end up with a lot of error (and sometimes they will be persuaded if they think what they say will please you, without being told and even without being hypnotized/relaxed: This is where false memories can be implanted).

If you are a scientific geek, however, furgedaboutit. Think Dawkins, or Sherlock, or the guy running facebook.


And if you have emotional problems, are drunk or high, are schizophrenic, or just plain tired, it might not work too.

so how many of the studies suggesting mind body works for people are biased because they self select from the most vulnerable part of the population? I have no idea.

this NIH paper wonders the same thing.

Conventional medicine relies on methods proved to be safe and effective with carefully designed trials and research. But, many complementary and alternative treatments lack solid research on which to base sound decisions. The dangers and possible benefits of many complementary and alternative treatments remain unproved.

a lot of what is done is symptom relief or stress relief, and basic common sense medical advice all of us give to our overworked worried patients.

But you know what is the most common method used by Americans for stress control? Prayer....

People have used prayer and other spiritual practices for their own and others’ health concerns for thousands of years. Scientific investigation of these practices has begun quite recently, however, to better understand whether they work; if so, how; and for what diseases/conditions and populations. Many Americans are using prayer and other spiritual practices. Prayer is the therapy most commonly used among all the CAM therapies.
Encouraging someone to go to a Bible study, having the local prayer group pray over you, the Sacrament of the sick, Eucharistic adoration, saying the rosary, or arranging for my native American patients to have a ceremony are all ways for people to cope.

And I've recommended them all. That doesn't mean I don't use physical therapy and medicine too.

I doubt yoga will work better than a CABG for your bad heart, although if you go on a strict vegetarian diet and lose 100 pounds along with the yoga it might help. My problem? I have had only one patient in 35 years of practice who managed to do that...

So when a major university is pushing one religious practice as "scientific", well, excuse me.

And religion, which gives you the grace to cope, is not the same as a philosophy that by doing X (mindfullness or yoga) will cure the disease. That is not religion but magical thinking, which is why both Chopra and your local faith healers make me angry.

Drugs kill (the Philippine war on drugs)

The US and local press, along with all those "human rights" folks are getting their knickers in a knot because a lot of folks are taking advantage of Duterte's war on drugs to get vigilante justice against the drug pushers who killed or sold drugs to their loved ones (and destroyed their lives, or were behind their loved ones being murdered by a druggie, or resulted in their deaths by suicide or overdose or shabu related heart attack or stroke)

What is not being told: That drug gangs corrupt cops, paying them to look the other way, they corrupt politicians to look the other way or to steal public money to buy drugs, and that even before Duterte's war on dugs, that every day there were unknown victims found in the streets or fields, killed by the gangs.

From our local paper:


10 Central Luzon mayors, vice mayors in 2nd drug list
 Ten mayors and vice mayors in Central Luzon, including from Nueva Ecija, are in the second list of illegal drug protectors.
 This was confirmed by Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, Region 3 police director, during the mass oath-taking of some 1,200 surrenderees under Project Tokhang held at the Talavera High School gymnasium. ...

another story:

9 illegal drug suspects killed
A total of nine illegal drug suspects were killed in different places in the province.

4 pushers arrested

translation: nine killed, some in vigilante style but many more "resisting arrest"....but a lot more came in to repent.

Cops usually are transferred if their suspected crimes are minor: That way, it takes time to get tempted again, and they know they are being watched.

Right now low level and middle level drug pushers are being targeted, but the result is thousands of low level users (who often are minor pushers) are volunteering for rehab.

The old city hall down the street is being used for rehab as is the local military base.

so what happens when a country doesn't push back on drugs?

StrategyPage on Mexico:

A U.S. government research agency has estimated that from 2006 to the end of 2015 the Cartel War has taken 80,000 lives. A lot of the dead were innocent civilians killed in turf wars between rival cartels.
so who cares about innocent Mexican civilians killed because the government looked the other way?
One suspects eventually the civilians will eventually get mad, and one will see huge anti drug gang demonstrations and the government will be willing to fight the problem, as was done in Colombia.
But in the meanwhile, it's easier for the government to let local people escape the danger to migrate illegally to the US (and if you don't think the drug gangs are coming across the porous border, you are a fool.)

and yes, the Mexican cartels have moved into our area.

The Philippines confirmed that the Sinaloa drug cartel is operating there. Sinaloa uses the Philippines as a drug transshipment point for moving drugs to major markets in the region (China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore) plus points further east (India and the Middle East). Affluence in these areas has grown considerably since the 1990s and so has demand for recreational drugs.


and don't use that nonsense about legalizing marijuana: What happens is that the cartels change to cocaine, meth and heroin.

Here, the main drugs is shabu, (methamphetamines) not marijuana.

and most of it comes from China....smuggled in and then distributed. There are also West African cartels involved.

So why hit low level users? They aren't the ones targeted: They are being encouraged to change.

It is the mid level dealers being targeted now, and working the way up to the big guys, who often have made friends with the powerful. Which is why the Senate hearings on TV are watched, and the human rights problems are worried about, but most ordinary folks shrug and know that a lot of this is merely people who were bribed to do this, or are "useful idiots" enabling the drug/crime/corruption problem by their cluelessness.


from the Inquirer:


“Nothing is free in this life. There is always a price to pay,” Mr. Duterte said. “These human rights, you choose: Is it the comfort and safety of the population or the lives of criminals?” he asked.
The government, he said, is supposed to protect the integrity of the republic and the safety of its citizens.
He said those killed in the campaign to rid the country of illegal drugs were only a small part of the population.
And there is even no certainty that that their deaths were drug-related, he added. “We are 104 million, you give me a s..t about―how many?―1,600 being killed there,” he said. “You’re not even sure how many of them died in an encounter, how many committed suicide, how many were killed out of anger.”
Illustrating his point that illegal drugs are destructive, Mr. Duterte recalled the experience of a friend of his whose child was raped and killed. The child had been a “shabu” addict, he said. “Who would be happy with that? You work your ass to death, staking your life there, and this is what happened,” he said. Mr. Duterte also cited rave deaths and said critics “just want to complain.” 

Stories below the fold

Drudge links to an article on waking coma patients with deep brain stimulation.

I heard a discussion about this awhile back on Coast to Coast.

Factoid: One third of those diagnosed with PVS (Vegetative state) are misdiagnosed.

------------------------

via Instapundit: Texas and Israel ties: the silicone Prarie meets the Silicone Wadi.
Again, note the water technology, and that Israel is now talking about exporting gas to nearby Muslim countries.

they also link to the story that someone, probably the Russians, has hacked the NSA.

Well, duh.

They hacked my federal personnel file a few years back, and you mean no one has bothered to increase computer security since then?

or is it another mole?

Security isn't exactly tight: I mean, Huma's links to the Muslim brotherhood are well known, but she still got a security clearance.



and finally: The coming persecution. Those pushing it don't see how churches benefit the community: they only see bigots.

think this is absurd? Then why is the Red Cross turning away private donations, forbidding a cop to pray with a victim?  and the government putting out guidelines to make sure help is not bigoted and insisting the "Cajun navy" receive training before they go out and save lives.




---------------------
miss old fashioned romance books? Grace Livingstone Hill books now at Librivox. About as realistic as Harlequin romances, without the bodice ripping parts.

----------------------

And the LATimes reports: as you get older, you get happier.

sounds familiar. Turn up speakers and enjoy!




Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Factoid of the day

While checking out articles to write about Germs in military history on my medical blog, I ran into this factoid:

that air ambulances were first used during the Franco Prussian war to evacuate 160 casualties  during the seige of Paris using hot air baloons.

More HERE.

The earliest reported use of air transport to move trauma victims for medical treatment appears to be during the Franco-Prussian war and siege of Paris in 1870. 160 injured soldiers were moved from the battlefield to army hospitals via hot air balloons.

Flood stories

Mom Jones notes the extent of the flood in Baton Rouge.

But for some reason most of the article is whining that it wasn't as bad as Sandy or Katrina, maybe trying to justify that no one (i.e President Obama or the MSM) seemed to be concerned about it.

Of course, I am not sure about comparing it to Sandy: For one thing, the Baton Rouge flooding was due to a failure in flood control plans.

Two, since in the mid West, many folks find shelter with family and friends or pay for their own motel room, comparing the Red Cross numbers of people in shelters to those using shelters in Sandy might underestimate the true number of those made homeless.


Speaking of floods: India has a big one in Bihar. that displaced 200 thousand people, although so far the death tol, 23 is low.
There also have been monsoon related floods in China and Typhoon related flooding in Japan in recent days.

and in the news: The legendary Chinese flood 3900 years ago may have actually happened.

A Chinese myth that speaks of a flood so high "it threatens the very heavens" may be rooted in fact after all. Some 4,000 years ago, legend says, the flood tore through a large area of central China washing away cities and inundating farmland.
Enter a hero named Yu the Great, who earned his sobriquet by spending decades organizing a campaign to dig canals to channel the floodwater, supposedly passing his home three times as he traveled the region, but never setting foot inside until the job was done. Yu was so revered for these public works that he passed into legend as emperor of China's supposed first dynasty, the mythical Xia Dynasty.

hmm...maybe someone should hire someone like Yu the Great in Louisiana.

from the UPI article I cited above:


based on my experience studying risk and resilience in this region, I see parallels between the damage of current flooding and the damage caused by Katrina. In both cases, human decisions magnified the consequences of extreme natural events. Planning and permitting enabled development in areas that had experienced repeat floods, and agencies had failed to complete projects designed to mitigate flood damage before the storms hit.

Shiva and CERN

When the Atomic bomb was exploded for the first time, one scientist said in awe: "I am Shiva, destroyerr of worlds".

So when the statue of Shiva was erected in front of CERN, it made me wonder why. The "official" story was that it was a gift of India, to honor the Indian scientists who worked there.

But were they using Shiva as a secular symbol, i.e. as a destroyer or worlds, or Shiva, the symbol of the dance of the universe? Since there are a million Hindus in the world, one suspects at least a few of them would consider this a holy statue of an actual deity, making one wonder why Shiva and not a Christian religious symbol was erected.

But in secular Europe, who knows.

So the latest is that a bunch of guys conducted and had themselves filmed making a fake human sacrifice in front of the statue to put it on youtube.

Were they outsiders? if so, it means a huge breach of security.

or was it a joke, as the spokesperson in CERN insists.

if so, as IndiaToday notes:

Staged or not, work of fiction or not, such a ritual being conducted at a place that is considered to be driven only by science, is spine-chilling to say the least.  

Is anyone in India upset at this blasphemy against one of the gods?


Of course, it's not much better in the US: It says a lot that you can hold a black mass that ridicules the beliefs of two billion Christians, and desecrate a statue of Mary, a woman beloved of three major world religions (Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Islam)  in the US, and when you object, be told it is legal. So locals could only protest with a prayer meeting....

and now they are essentially holding the equivalent of a black mass in front of Shiva. What, no protests? There are a billion Hindus in today' world. How dare they mock their beliefs.

One wishes the secular authorities would take these things seriously.

On a secular level, all these things are hate speech against those who believe.

Ah, but if there is a supernatural aspect of life, then this goes beyond ridicule: even if it is a "joke" or a "publicity stunt", it is still essentially welcoming the diabolic into one's life.

I would get someone to exorcize the whole place, but never mind.

at least, they should hold mandatory sessions against hate speech for their employees.




Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Philippine news

the big news in the Philippines was the hearing on TV complaining about the innocents killed in the drug war.

Typical story in LATimes 

notes that most of the killings were by the public, who figured they could get away with private revenge that they couldn't get with the slow and corrupt court system

and the sob story doesn't hold water:


Rivera says he never did drugs. She heard later from a local official that police had raided the subdivision seeking a suspected drug dealer. Belmonte was inside with six other people; police arrested four of them and shot three. Yet she still does not know what he was doing in the building, why he was shot, and specifically who shot him.
if you bother to read between the lines of the sob story, this was a raid on a drug den. Why was he there in the middle of the night when he was supposed to be driving a tricycle/taxi?

 One suspects he was picking up drugs to sell, or was a courier for them. And the cops didn't shoot everyone, so maybe they shot the ones who tried to flee or tried to fight back?

locals know these things, which is why Duterte is still very popular, despite the shouts of the UN, US, Catholic church, "human rights organizations" etc.

You know: The type that didn't give a damn about corrupt politicians and others who killed and then never got to court, because either they bribed their way out of it, or they terrorized the witnesses.

So the ex mayor behind our nephew's killing (a bystander when he tried to shoot his political rival) was not indicted for years because rumors said he took city money to bribe the one supposed to indict him, and when he was indicted, he "disappeared", only to be found a couple years later getting dialysis in a clinic in the Manila region. When he died, he had a full Catholic funeral, complete with the KofC honor guard.

And even though our nephew was a US Citizen, we got no help from the embassy, who advised us not to file a case but let the politician's family file one for his two dead sons. WTF? Murder is only prosecuted if you complain? How convenient.

And what about another FilAm USNavy veteran who was killed in a robbery awhile back? Nope, no problem.

Remember the Maguindanao massacre that killed 58 people, many of them journalists?

CNN Nov 2015 report:

Maguindanao massacre: 2,192 days, 0 convictions

Since the massacre happened, there have been four chiefs of the Department of Justice — Agnes Devanadera, Alberto Agra, Leila de Lima, and now Benjamin Caguiao. Meanwhile, seven prosecution witnesses have been killed. And last July 17, Andal Ampatuan Sr. died of liver cancer, leaving his son, Andal Jr., as the sole principal accused. It has been 2,149 days to since the trial started. With the trial still ongoing, there have been zero convictions.

Lots of links at the PCIJ website.


You can see why ordinary folks back Duterte.

of course one waits for the big shots to get indicted.

They are the real problem.

------------------------------------

Big news hidden below the fold

The US has sat back and let China build islands on shoals, destroying the ecosystem of the West Philippine sea.

So now they are threatening to go to war with Japan if Japan dares to travel in this area, even though an international court recently confirmed the area as international waters

This is an important sea lane for shipping to Japan.

China is also trying to push Japan from their islands in the East China sea...

China can get away with this because Japan has no military and no nukes, as per their American written constitution after WWII.... however, they do have a small civil defense force, but this could change if China attacks them and the US continues to sit back and watch.

----------------------

My medical blog has a partial analysis of a CDC survey of 17 states analyzing deaths from violence ... partial beceause I sort of got distracted before I was done.

Summary:

The majority (66.2%) of deaths were suicides, followed by homicides (23.2%), deaths of undetermined intent (8.8%), deaths involving legal intervention (1.2%) (i.e., deaths caused by law enforcement and other persons with legal authority to use deadly force, excluding legal executions), and unintentional firearm deaths 

suicides most common in young and old white men and homicides more common in non white non Hispanic men....

and despite the BLM kerfuffle, only 1.2 percent of violent deaths involve "legal intervention".

--------------------

the Iranian diaspora is allowed so that the educated don't start a revolution? StrategyPage

the current Iranian government is kept in power largely because of the many religious fanatics willing to die to protect religious rule. China and Russia are not officially denounced by the Iranian government (as the U.S., Israel and West are) but China and Russia are not seen, by most Moslems, as friends of Islam.
In short, Iran is a dangerous and unpredictable business partner and shows no signs of trying to change that.
A lot of Iranians agree, which is one reason Iran allows so many well educated Iranians to emigrate.That simply reduces the number of potential (and more able) rebels.

---------------------------------------

disease of the week:

BBC: Bagpipe Lung Warning for wind Musicians

From inhaling mold growing inside the bag. And other wind instruments could also cause problems.

------------------------
via DavidReneke:

Dinosaur not wiped out by asteroid. It was the smoke that done them in:


According to the new hypothesis, when the asteroid struck the oil-rich area of Chicxulub in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, a significant amount of soot was released and spread globally, causing a long period of darkness. This then caused “colder climates at mid-high latitudes, and drought with milder cooling at low latitudes on land … in turn led to the cessation of photosynthesis in oceans in the first two years, followed by surface-water cooling in oceans in subsequent years”, Kaiho’s team reported.

----------------------

The Kitty litter that almost blew up New Mexico

Is it me, or didn't this major nuclear accident in a nuclear waste dump get little publicity?

Today, Drudge has a link to the cost of clean up. LATimes article: a drum inside blew up and contaminated the storage area and 24 employees. It was near Carlsbad this time.

Is it me, or are the feds trying to destroy New Mexico? When I lived there in the early 2000's, there were major fires started by the feds (to burn off dead wood and brush) that burnt parts of LosAlamos and of course, last year there was a major mine waste pond that was drained down the rivers in the north: last week I read the Navajos are tired of the coverup and are suing.

What is interesting about this article is not the explosion and coverup, or that it will cost two billion dollars to clean up the mess: It is that an attempt to make the storage eco friendly that was behind the accident.

It had operated problem-free for 15 years and was touted by the Energy Department as a major success until the explosion, which involved a drum of of plutonium and americium waste that had been packaged at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. 
The problem was traced to material — actual kitty litter — used to blot up liquids in sealed drums. Lab officials had decided to substitute an organic material for a mineral one. But the new material caused a complex chemical reaction that blew the lid off a drum, sending mounds of white, radioactive foam into the air and contaminating 35% of the underground area.

more at this government webpage: includes lots of diagrams and notes two accidents that February: a truck fire and the waster barrel explosion.
yes, a small amount was released into the air.

the report has several PDF files: This one page 17 (actually page 27) notes adding the organic material made it capable of burning.

No, I didn't read the entire 394 page report to see if regular or clump kitty litter was the problem.

Most cat litter is made or clay or silica, but more "eco friendly" types use plant based materials

The composition of cat litter depends on whether it is clay-based or clumping. Clay-based cat litter is made of an absorbent, granulated clay, while clumping or scoopable litter is made of bentonite and silica. Greener, more eco-friendly options include wheat, sawdust, pine and cedar chips, newspaper and baking soda
and of course the "eco friendly" type can burn.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Blame Mother Gaia

NYTimes  lets a graduate student insist Zika is good because it will encourage people not to have any nasty kids

I never really bought the Gaia principle, but this is the perfect disease to present as evidence of its existence. Perhaps the earth is scratching an itch.


headsup Instapundit

longer rant moved to my medical blog.

---------------------------------

Sunday, August 21, 2016

No good deed goes unpunished

That is, if you are a Republican.

When Bush risked his life to visit troops in Baghdad (where the risk of his plane getting shot down was real), He spent the day talking and behind the table handing out food. But then he joked and lifted up a display (real) turkey and voila, the press ignored his deed and for years you heard "plastic turkey" jokes to make fun of him.

So now Trump visits Louisiana and brings a tractor trailer full of food, and gets publicity for a major disaster that has pretty well been ignored by the MSM, and so what do we hear?


it was only a photo op:

Donald Trump struts around Louisiana flood zone, signs autographs, impedes first responders
Uh, that was the reason that Bush gave for no going to Katrina, but of course never mind. And I didn't hear this complaint when Obama went to visit those who were made homeless by Sandy: indeed, he was sure to get a photo op with Christie.

ah, but the ridicule goes on:

Donald Trump goes to Louisiana flooding site, spends a minute handing out Play-Doh, leaves
This is the next two minute twitter hate, btw.

photo from Gateway Pundit: That yellow box on top was playdoh.


So another proof of MSM bias?

Let's leave partisan sites and get a third opinion:
Snopes has the story:


although Donald Trump did donate Play-Doh modeling clay to flood victims in Louisiana, this was not his only donation to those in need, as a video of Trump helping to unload a truck clearly shows that he donated much more than Play-Doh:
Play-Doh, diapers, baby formula, various toys, cleaning supplies and socks can be seen in the above-displayed video...

ah, but he only "helped" unload someone else's donation for a photo op, right? Uh no.
 However, CNN and The Creole, the latter an online news source for Ascension Parish in Louisiana, reported that Trump had "donated" an 18-wheeler full of supplies, Trump spent approximately 20-25 minutes inside the command center and asked a lot of questions, according to [St. Amant Fire Chief James E.] LeBlanc. 

two comments: when the press hates someone so much, it makes me wonder.



Two: If this was a "photo op", then why is President Obama deciding he had better visit next week?

Graphene based sheets for water filtration take two

See previous post on water purification

I can't find any of the graphene foam sheets for sale, but NewAtlas has an article on what they are and how they work.

The biofilm is created as a two-layered structure consisting of two nanocellulose layers produced by bacteria. The lower layer contains pristine cellulose, while the top layer also contains graphene oxide, which absorbs sunlight and produces heat. The system works by drawing up water from underneath like a sponge where it then evaporates in the topmost layer, leaving behind any suspended particulates or salts. Fresh water then condenses on the top, where it can be drawn off and used.
it doesn't require pipes, and it uses solar power.
more HERE.
full article for later reading HERE 

The advantage over old fashioned water filters is explained in the StrategyPage Article:

Together, this material when placed on the surface of polluted water uses sunlight and a sponge-like process to purify the water that can then be directed (by gravity) to containers. Field tests have shown that it works and the next step is to mass produce the graphene-based biofoam sheets and distribute them widely so regional variations in water and climate can be tested and tweaks made to the composition of the sheets for different conditions. 

alas, it doesn't look like it is commercially available, although graphene is being used in water filters and in all sorts of other things.

Guess I'll have to read up on it.

although for those of us in the third world, unless it is cheap and easy to find (i.e. the Chinese sell it cheaply) we will have to stick with old fashioned ceramic pot water filters.

also for later reading: Low cost water purifiers for the developing world.

Water Purification

In my essay below, I pointed out the importance of water purification, and that providing clean water and properly placing latrines was a basic military practice for 2000 years.. or maybe 3000 years, if you read Leviticus...

So today StrategyPage has an article on water purification, and discusses a new method developed for the military.

This is done with sheets of thin, multi-layer foam material that consists mostly of cellulose (what trees are made of 0f) and a layer of graphene (a form of carbon that is extremely thin, strong and cheap) with specific bacteria. Together, this material when placed on the surface of polluted water uses sunlight and a sponge-like process to purify the water that can then be directed (by gravity) to containers.
Field tests have shown that it works and the next step is to mass produce the graphene-based biofoam sheets and distribute them widely so regional variations in water and climate can be tested and tweaks made to the composition of the sheets for different conditions.

they also discuss waterGenSpring, which extracts water from humidity, and  the Lifesaver portable water bottle, and other methods that are now available to the military and civilians.

watergen for troops includes a back pack type using a battery.



More on WaterGenSpring products here.... yup. Essentially the same as a dehumidifiier, and they sell product for dehumidifying/drying too...

 ah but would my civilian dehumidifier work for disaster situations? Discussion here.