Monday, October 31, 2016

Scary films

I am not into horror films per se, but if you want to be scared, try one of these films:

31 scariest films

via SenseOfEvents

yes I've seen a few of them, like the original Poltergeist and the Birds...


Of course, now the scariest stuff is "non fiction": We had DeCaprio's film on NatGeo Asia last night.

No, I didn't watch it,

But if you read history, you find climate change is a bitch and may have been behind many disasters in the past

But I feel that a lot of this is propaganda to encourage the acceptance of a "one world government" run by self selected elites.... and any disaster will do...

I mean, I'm old enough to remember the predictions of Paul Ehrlich that we'd all be starving by 1980, or Newsweek telling us we were doomed by global cooling.
Summary: people should remain poor for the sake of mother gaia, and governments should make sure that there are a lot fewer of them... of course, the original idea goes back to Malthus (whose ideas let the British elites ignore the devestation caused by the Irish potato famine, seeing it as nature's way to lower the population of those pesky dirty papists)

Ant those ideas are still with us: and no one except some Marxists know about Nixon's push to keep poor people from having babies.

IF you read the whole summary you find they consider the Catholic church as the enemy for their plans...

this suggests that the idea that the Church has to be changed (presumably by infiltration of their activists) predates what was discussed in those emails, that those astroturfed "Catholic activist" groups are actually political groups whose idea is to change the church to correspond to their progressive political agenda. who is funding the St Gallens conspiracy?

Malachi Martin call your office..

But anyway, the real question of the week: is the reason that so many disparate cultures have flood stories might be because of the floods caused by the melting of the glaciers:

Aeon magazine article discusses Doggerland and other lost worlds...

Water was the source of life but also destruction and, as such, it inspired the earliest recorded version of the most famous ‘flood myth’ of all. The story of a Utnapishtim, a just man who is instructed by a god to build an ark so as to survive a flood, appeared in The Epic of Gilgamish...
 There is a Hindu Noah, an Incan Noah, and a Polynesian Noah.
A First Nation version of the legend maintains that mankind’s wickedness so upset the sun-god Nákúset that he wept a global deluge.
and although Atlantis is not about the rising sea levels from melting glaciers (that legend probably came from the eruption of a volcano) or maybe even Noah (which might have been based on the flooding of the Black sea), a lot of areas are now flooded that once had humans living there.



Emails, what emails?

Federal employees are taught about the danger of emails, from not opening suspicious emails on gov't computers to sending confidential information via computer. For example, we could not email patient information to a doctor when we referred them out: We had to send the information by hard copy or to fax it.

Maybe someone should have taught Hillary and her friends about basic computer security...

or maybe even instruct them on basic computer skills, such as how to delete emails when you don't want to keep them on your hard drive.

of course, it's not just Hillary having bad computer security: My federal personnel file is among those hacked by Chinese hackers two years ago.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Podcast of the week


Usually they provide a different take on the news and the stories behind the news, usually economically related items, which I don't always agree with, but they bring up points and back them with data.

This week is about how the presidency has slowly morphed, almost to the point some call it a dictatorship.

Season 6, Episode 8 Sure, we all pay lip service to the Madisonian system of checks and balances.
But as one legal scholar argues, presidents have been running roughshod over the system for decades. The result? An accumulation of power that’s turned the presidency into a position the founders wouldn’t have recognized.
At the same time, how powerful is the president really? It’s open for debate — but one legal scholar argues the president’s power is constrained not by the constitution, but rather by the difficulty of leading.

 So who do you want as dictator, Hillary or Trumpie baby?

And I suspect no matter who wins, they will have difficulty leading the country and uniting the country behind them, alas.

Family news

The Philippines is shut down for Undas, i.e. All Saints day, when everyone goes to the cemeteries and cleans up the graves of their departed relatives.

I had the staff clean up and wax the brick floor of Lolo's grave, and will get more flowers and candles for it later.

I still visit it weekly... you light a candle and place flowers of Sampagita there, and say a prayer when you visit. For All Saint's day, it usually means staying for a couple hours and eating and drinking and partying there.

In the "old" cemetery, there are vendors all over the place with drinks and snacks, candles and flowers, and toys to keep the children occupied when you clean up the place.

Flowers left on the graves are quickly recycled by the street kids.

But Ina's grave site, where Lolo wanted to be buried, is almost full now, so Lolo is buried in the new part of the cemetery, so has a house around the grave.... so not as much partying going on.

Warm fuzzies versus truth

I'll probably do a rant on this later on my rant blog, so it's mainly for later full reading...

are "men" turned off by churches preaching the warm fuzzies instead of truth and hard rules?

LINK2 has Professor Podles book on the problem

Intellectual Discussion here.
which even quotes Chesterton.

in 1928, Chesterton observed, “There are two kinds of people in the world, the conscious dogmatists and the unconscious dogmatists. I have always found myself that the unconscious dogmatists were by far the most dogmatic.”

Eccles is saved has a biting satire on the subject here...and in the rest of his blog which is funny only if you know what is going on in the hateful Catholic blogosphere which still thinks dogma and morals mean something.

myself? I go because I still believe in the sacramental presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

And my Tagalog isn't good enough for me to follow sermons, which is fine since I rarely listened to them or found them worth listening to in the USA...

However, we do have quite a few men (about 40 percent) at the predawn mass so maybe things aren't as bad here as in the USA.

Maybe because between the Black Nazarene and the story of Ninoy/EDSA that men still know that suffering and heroism in the name of truth are part of the faith...

a feel good church ignores the importance of finding God in the duties of  your daily life...

the little way of St Teresa, where cleaning the dishes for love of God is a way to holiness, or even the spirituality of the latest ogre of the left, Opus Dei:

he could show them that their worldly work could be a way of pleasing God, and that piety would not convert them into sacristy hangers-on or sanctuary drones, but would help them to be responsible in their work. He stressed the divine filiation, the fact that grace truly converts us into sons of God.

My beef against the Pope is that he blasts the rich, condemns airconditioning while preaching the green gospel that would destroy the GM crops that feed the poor and the industries that would give them jobs, but doesn't preach the "good new" to the poor: That they too can serve God by driving a tricycle or growing rice or even by staying single and working as a maid in Saudi to support your extended family in the Philippines.

Absurdities of the day: who put those porn photos on your computer?

Ho Hum... I am reading via Drudge that Humma had some emails from Clinton on her private home computer that she shares with her husband.

Two comments:

One: She shares a computer with her husband? she uses his laptop or is she so old fashioned that she still uses a desktop computer? What, she can't afford her own private laptop?

Two: What was the FBI doing searching the hard drive of Wiener's computer? Yes, he is a slimeball pervert, but since when is texting dirty to a teenager age 15  a federal crime?

Does this mean half of the kids in high school will get the FBI confiscating their iPhones?

for that matter, why is the FBI investigating Brad Pitt for child abuse (of one of his teenaged children)? Is child abuse now a federal crime (as opposed to a local crime)?

TechRepublic on how you can break the law by using your computer.

Most Americans are aware of the protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution's fourth amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures. In general, this means that the government cannot search your person, home, vehicle, or computer without probable cause to believe that you've engaged in some criminal act. What many don't know is that there are quite a few circumstances that the Courts, over the years, have deemed to be exempt from this requirement. One of those occurs when you enter the United States at the border. In April 2008, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the right of Customs officers to search laptops and other digital devices at the border (the definition of which extends to any international airport when you are coming into the country) without probable cause or even the lesser standard of reasonable suspicion.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and other groups strongly disagree with the ruling. You can read more on the EFF Web site.
the reason for the law was to detect terrorists whose laptops contain information on building bombs etc. but now you can get into trouble if they find anything illegal...

And yes, that includes that P2P song you just downloaded.

and remember: Viruses can place porn on your computer without your knowing it

In January 2007, a substitute teacher in Norwich, CT, was convicted of four felony pornography charges, although she claimed the offending pictures were the result of pop-ups and that she did not knowingly access the Web sites in question. The conviction was set aside after forensics and security experts examined her hard drive and found the school's antivirus software was out of date and the computer had no anti-spyware, firewall, or pop-up blocking technology. The teacher ended up pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge.
no, laptops have no right to privacy...
which is a big worry for business travelers with confidential information on their laptops...

although at least one court says that might not be legal--

In one recent case in California, a federal court went against current trends, ruling that laptop searches were a serious invasion of privacy. “People keep all sorts of personal information on computers,” the court ruling said, citing diaries, personal letters, financial records, lawyers’ confidential client information and reporters’ notes on confidential sources. That court ruled, in that specific case, that “the correct standard requires that any border search of the information stored on a person’s electronic storage device be based, at a minimum, on a reasonable suspicion.”

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Bullies are coming!

Grammar police post of the day

I am always reading "X does Y" in science articles, but the grammar implies that X is a sentinent being that deliberately does Y.

Latest Example is from PhysOrg:

Underfed worms program their babies to cope with famine

the actually they don't.

what happens is that babies in utero who are exposed to hormones by their mother's starvation have genes to cope with starvation turned on in utero, so the genes are already turned on and help them cope better after birth.

usually this is carelessness by science reporters, using the active voice in the headlines instead of the more correct passive voice.

But one even finds such shortcuts in popular science done by scientists. From Astronomy cast: turns out that nature figured out how to use electricity long before humans did. Lightning storms are common across the Earth, and even the Solar System...

no, "Nature" did no such thing. Nature has no ability to think or plan, let alone "figure out" how to use something. Unless, of course, you think that Zeus showed Gaia how to use his lightning bolt.

One of the reasons that science flourished in the West was because the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religions denied the reality of all those gods and angels who used to run the place. They insisted God made the plan and the laws, and that when men explore the laws and facts of nature, they are learning about reality and about God.

So Venus is no longer a goddess, and the planets are no longer pushed around by angels: it's the gravity stupid.

Of course, I still believe that God is behind the coincidences (or as Einstein quipped: God does not play dice), but it's sort of nice knowing that we don't have to worry that mother Gaia will wake up and destroy mankind as she tries to do in the climax of the Percy Jackson series.

of course, we might destroy nature ourselves with our minivans and airconditioners, but hey, that's another argument for another rant

Philippine news

the backstory behind the Obama Duterte wars is that for years, China was left to push us around, and then the US used this to insist we reopen the local military bases. In other words, we are not equal allies but just a pawn in his "pivot to Asia"...and again will have foreign troops stationed here.

what is rarely mentioned is that Obama has essentially refused to help the Philippines fight against international terrorists and has even removed US troops from their job of training our local troops and in using sophisticated means to find these bozos.


Washington deployed special forces soldiers to Mindanao in 2002 to train and advise Philippine units fighting Abu Sayyaf militants in a program that once involved 1,200 Americans.
It was discontinued in 2015 but a small presence has remained for logistics and technical support.
War on terror? What war on terror?

In other words, Obama has discontinued the needed help against the Abus, as part of his meme that he won the war on terror, but for years ignored the Chinese chasing out fishermen from their usual fishing grounds and the poaching by Chinese fishermen in those areas and while they destroyed the ecosystem by tearing up the sea bottom and building military bases on shoals.

Indonesia shot back when they pulled that stunt, but hey, the Philippines was ordered not to react violently.

 but now Obama is going to use us as a pawn to pressure China... then if anything happens, he can make the Philippines the scapegoat.

 Washington has since shifted much of its security focus in the Philippines toward the South China Sea, where the two countries have shared concerns about China's territorial claims.
not to mention using "human rights" to push the Philippines around when they try to clean up the growing power of the drug cartels. Guess they don't want to upset international banks by exposing those who help the cartels in making money by destroying people.

this article parrots the usual argument of the multinational elite think tanks want the war to go away by ignoring drug use.

But then the writer gives the game away:telling the story of how a UN group held a conference of groups and wrote the conclusion before the conference opened:

...the UNGASS failed to produce anything remotely responsive to the clamor for more effective approaches. Some 195 civil society groups attending the special session complained about the conference process itself—the 23-page outcome document was prepared by the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna one month before the conference
 What is interesting is the comments, including that Marcos stopped a lot of the cartels by taking one big shot out and shooting him.

Maybe if they did that to the bankers who assisted the cartels things might change.

a short snippet about only one of the several banks cited from the UKGuardian article I cited above:

Wachovia was fined $50m and made to surrender $110m in proven drug profits, but was shown to have inadequately monitored a staggering $376bn through the casa de cambio over four years, of which $10bn was in cash. The whistleblower in the case, an Englishman working as an anti-money laundering officer in the bank's London office, Martin Woods, was disciplined for trying to alert his superiors, and won a settlement after bringing a claim for unfair dismissal.
and as the Guardian adds:

No one from Wachovia went to jail – and, said Woods at the time of the settlement: "These are the proceeds of murder and misery in Mexico, and of drugs sold around the world. But no one goes to jail. What does the settlement do to fight the cartels? Nothing. It encourages the cartels and anyone who wants to make money by laundering their blood dollars."
China is a lot more corrupt, but at least once in awhile they do take out the worst of these drug smugglers and shoot them.

and while the US and the UN and the EU are busy lamenting the drug killings (and lumping all murders including private killings, political murders, and murders by drug gangs into their talley) China at least will help us on paper. They are building a drug rehab center near here, for example.

The main cartels behind the problem here are from China but the Mexican cartels are also moving in.

why? because they can... or they could.

no, killing low level dealers doesn't stop someone from taking their place. But it does scare some to refuse to continue selling drugs, and more importantly it makes some people spill the beans on the major players.

They now are on notice that they might indeed be made dead while being arrested (or if they are lucky, they can wait to get tried in court... we haven't even convicted the politicians behind the Maguindanao massacre yet).

where are the human rights folks when it comes to mentioning the thousands killed by drug cartels in Mexico?

and although it is smuggled in via Mexico, most of that killer Heroin substitute is manufactured guess where?

The real stories behind the headlines

Instapundit's editorial in USA Today reminds people what the election is about:

We need to be talking about five wars, the national debt, rising health care costs and corruption.

well, maybe make that four wars: Syria is about over, and Putin/ Iran/ Assad have won.


is Gender theory, so beloved of the radical feminists, incompatible with science?

Ms. Airaksinen describes just how far modern feminism takes this belief:
[M]erely mentioning biological differences can be wrongthink. Or worse, as I learned in one of my classes, it can be upsetting to genderqueer or transgender students. Thus, some of the root causes of what makes men and women differ — hormonal, neurological, and biological differences — is left out of the discussion.

Obviously, culture does play a large part in shaping behavioral differences between the genders. But to deny the prominent role of biology in our lives is dangerous nonsense. ...  Unfortunately, feminist ideology has already undermined academic freedom. Despite such well documented biological and psychological differences between men and women, some scientists have admitted being afraid to talk about them out of fear of being labeled "sexist."

and I won't even mention the problem that modern gender theory is doing to the idea of marriage, family, children, or freedom of religion...


International security analyst Austin Bay takes off his defense news hat to warn:

Let’s be blunt: Democratic Party operative Robert Creamer used terror to wage war on honesty. Until forced to resign his post as a “consultant” with a Democratic Party-aligned organization named Americans United for Change, Creamer ran what amounts to a domestic U.S. political terror and propaganda operation dedicated to undermining the 2016 U.S. presidential election—“rigging the election,” to use the current term....
The election rigging scheme he commanded relies on street thuggery. That means physical fear—terror—is a core component of Americans United for Change’s crooked enterprise. Street thuggery is very low-level terrorism, but it is a type of terrorism nonetheless and it is wrong to call it otherwise. ...
Street thuggery as an arm of politics is violent, criminalized politics on an ugly downward slope to much worse, the worse including lynchings and pogroms. If you don’t think street thuggery is terror then consider Kristalnacht.
no, its only political terror if done by politically correct enemies.


Don't worry: the SMOD will rescue us from a Trump administration. via Twitchy:

"this election is still going to be an absolute nightmare, but I'm glad it will end with an extinction level asteroid impact."

Not SMOD! We expect corruption from Hillary Clinton, maybe even Donald Trump … but NOT from SMOD!

this is from a political operative who not only defended Clinton I from impeachment but managed to double dip while working at the State Department.

Silly me, but I thought that was illegal.

Mills’ employment arrangement has raised questions regarding potential conflicts of interest, in Mills' case about how one of the State Department’s top employees set boundaries between her public role and a private job that involved work on a project funded by a foreign government.[19] Under Federal ethics laws, employees are prohibited from participating in matters that would have any direct and predictable effect on themselves or an outside employer...
her take on this when questioned: conflict of interest? What conflict of interest?

and Wikipedia has her quoted joking about helping to miscount the Election data in Haiti.


and if the SMOD doesn't kill us, global warming will.

Remember Doggerland and shudder!

the Gratuitous LadyGaga post of the day

Hats are back!

And she is smart enough not to fall into spouting political comments against Donald Trump despite being pushed repeatedly to do this by the BBC interviewer. (She has endorsed Hillary FYI and says she will do a good job, but refuses to criticize Trump or the Trumpettes, probably because she has working class roots).


this seems to be a more toxic political season than usual in the USA:

Ace reports that Esquire did a hit piece against celebrities who "refuse" to endorse candidates.

the aim of it is both chilling and enraging. Repulsive left-wing totalitarians like John Hendrickson want to insert their political agenda into literally every last corner of American life and punish not just those who disagree with them, but also those who wish to simply NOT engage in politics every single waking minute of their day.
As the saying goes, "You will be made to care."

better to keep silent: Look what happened to Dilbet when he didn't toe the line....
you will be noticed by the "#Hillbullies" or even forcibly removed from the social media.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

You want to live like your grandparents?

ahile back I discussed water and that Lolo had a deep well drilled so we can be independent for our water supply.

having an electric pump that can be run by one of your generators is a big help for floods, typhoons, or just when the electricity goes out in the dry season when the hydroelectric dams are inadequate.

But for those of you who think living in the good old days close to nature, just remember that body lice is not a nice thing to have, and the alternative is backbreaking work hauling water and wood to take a bath.

Of course, the poor just went dirty and the rich had lots and lots of servants....

So today's blog read is from PenAndPension blog

that discusses the problem of keeping clean in 18th century Europe.

Being clean was expensive. All water for washing or bathing would have to be fetched in buckets from a well or a stream. Then it had to be heated by burning suitable amounts of wood or coal. To heat enough even for a shallow bath would take a good deal of fuel — fuel which otherwise could have been used for cooking or heating a room.

via TeaAtTrianon

yet the myth that people in Europe did not bath is not quite true, since bath houses for the poor were available in some parts of Europe.

For most people, having a private bath was not an option – it was simply too costly and too time-consuming to have their own baths. That does not mean they went without bathing, for public baths were very common throughout Europe. By the thirteenth-century one could find over 32 bathhouses in Paris; Alexander Neckham, who lived in that city a century earlier, says that he would be awakened in the mornings by people crying in the streets that ‘that baths are hot!”
In Southwark, the town on the opposite side of the Thames River from London, a person could choose from 18 hot baths. Even smaller towns would have bathhouses, often connected with the local bakery – the baths could make use of the heat coming from their ovens to help heat their water.
In her book Clean: A History of Personal Hygiene and Purity Virginia Smith explains,”By the fifteenth-century, bath feasting in many town bathhouses seems to have been as common as going out to a restaurant was to become four centuries later.
Bathing in Islam and in Hindu countries are often encoded in religious laws, so saw Europeans, who came from colder climates, as dirty.

Even in Africa, people often bathed in local streams, which alas were full of Snails carrying schistosomiasis.

however, Vikings did bathe regularly.

What we do know from the excavation of Viking burial mounds is that personal grooming tools are some of the most common items found. Items such as razors, tweezers and ear spoons have been found. In fact combs seem to be the most common artifact found from the Viking Age. We also know that the Vikings made a very strong soap which was used not only for bathing, but also for bleaching their hair. Vikings bleached their hair as it seems blond hair was highly valued in the Viking World. We also know from the accounts of the Anglo-Saxons that the Vikings who attacked and ultimately settled in England were considered to be ‘clean-freaks’, because they would bathe once a week.
presumably they would take the bath with their very own rubber duckie 

Factoid of the day

almost 100 thousand hijacked devices fueled the recent internet takedown.

Image Credits:

Follow the money

from CNBC:

Wall Street is heavily invested in a Clinton victory.
Securities and investment firms have poured nearly $65 million into her campaign coffers, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Goldman Sachs employees have donated $284,816 to Clinton and just $3,641 to Trump, who has received $716,407 from Wall Street.

Live not by Lies

From Alexander Solzhenitsyn:

At one time we dared not even to whisper. Now we write and read samizdat, and sometimes when we gather in the smoking room at the Science Institute we complain frankly to one another: What kind of tricks are they playing on us, and where are they dragging us? Gratuitous boasting of cosmic achievements while there is poverty and destruction at home. Propping up remote, uncivilized regimes. Fanning up civil war. And we recklessly fostered Mao Tse-tung at our expense—and it will be we who are sent to war against him, and will have to go. Is there any way out? And they put on trial anybody they want and they put sane people in asylums—always they, and we are powerless. Things have almost reached rock bottom. A universal spiritual death has already touched us all, and physical death will soon flare up and consume us both and our children—but as before we still smile in a cowardly way and mumble without tounges tied. But what can we do to stop it? We haven't the strength?

hold the wrong opinion in the US, and you will merely be bullied.

But speaking truth to power in many places in the past and even in some places today and and you will face more than being unfriended on facebook or having a sign stolen from your front yard.

So how many people today will remember the 1956 Hungarian uprising? from Austin Bay:

On October 23, 1956, Hungarians began Eastern Europe's only Cold War armed rebellion against Communism. Unfortunately, their attempt to free themselves would falter and fail, defeated by Russian tanks.
But we took the risk; 21st century Hungarians remind our forgetful world. We put lives on the line in a fight for basic freedoms — free speech, freedom from fear of a totalitarian government and its savage secret police.
On October 22, 1956, students in Budapest announced they would rally the next day to protest government injustices. The next day, 100,000 people showed up to cheer as students read a document with 16 demands addressing political and economic issues...
writer James Michener's book A Bridge of Andau is the classic report on the uprising.

and this blog about geography includes an explanation of what went on at that bridge

Then came the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, crushed by Soviet forces. Hungarians supporting the revolution or those simply fleeing violence escaped towards the border, running up against the canal. They found a single modest wooden footbridge, the Brücke von Andau (German) / Andaui-híd (Hungarian) as a passageway to freedom. About 200,000 refugees fled from Hungary and perhaps 70,000 of them used the Bridge at Andau (map) until the Soviets destroyed it. The bridge wasn’t replaced until decades later, reconstructed in commemoration of its historical importance on the 40th anniversary of the revolution.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Learn about the history of Capitalism by watching....Poldark?

Article discusses the economic struggles in Cornish mining which are the background for the melodrama of Poldark.

Professor Steven Fielding – director of the Centre for British Politics at Nottingham University – points in a recent article to the radical context of the original books: "The first Poldark novel was published in 1945, the year Britain elected a Labour government intent on building a more egalitarian society. Graham's work was shaped by that context." Fielding even sees the maid-marrying hero as "a kind of 18th-century Robin Hood" whose "romantic life echoes his ambiguous place in the social order". Yet Ross "was not quite a socialist. The hero was instead a One Nation figure, a man of elevated birth who considered he had responsibilities to look after his tenants and workers." 
The article goes on to tell of the not so glamourous story of mining, i.e. the poverty and health problems of the miners, and the problem of mine disasters (which are part of the backstory of the miniseries)

Ah, but "globalization" 50 years later lead to the closing of many of the mines and the Cornish diaspora.

the Warleggan character is the one who symbolizes the new man of the industrial revolution.

related item: Professor Bob's podcasts lately have discussed the "robber barons" behind America's industrialization.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend post of the day


transcript here.

full film here .... No I haven't watched it but presumably he is against Trump and ridicules the ordinary folks.

But like Sanders, he has more in common with Trump than with Clinton who is the minion of the big corporations.


it's the groping stupid

Apparently, a man who has wandering hands or propsitions a lady is the antichrist. What ever happened to the Bill Clinton feminists who said one grope is allowed.

But there is a larger issue here. From Chronicles, via Tea at Trianon:

The Obama administration began something new in American history, an attempt to deprive mainstream Christian bodies of the ability to run their institutions according to the dictates of their religious beliefs. There is little doubt that a Clinton administration would intensify this assault on the autonomy of Christian institutions.
Indeed, Clinton has spoken of the need of Christians to change their beliefs to conform to today's leftist consensus, and the Clinton emails released by Wikileaks show that close advisers to Clinton created organizations to help undermine the "middle ages dictatorship" that is the papacy and end the "severely backward gender relations" that supposedly mark Catholicism. The Supreme Court, though, put up a roadblock to the Democratic Party's assault on religious freedom in its 5 to 4 decision in the Hobby Lobby case.
But, with the death of Antonin Scalia, that decision now hangs by a thread, and whether it remains good law will be decided by the justice chosen to replace Scalia. It is virtually certain that a justice chosen by Hillary will cast the deciding vote to overturn Hobby Lobby and give the green light to a renewed assault on religious liberty. After all, the last Democratic justice who deviated from leftist orthodoxy on social issues was Byron White, appointed by John F. Kennedy in 1961.

and then there is this: from Instapundit:

WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING? Insurers use California’s assisted-suicide law to deny treatment for terminal patients.
That’s not a bug to some, but a feature.

Behold the evil of Cats

First came evil cows (cow farts and belches erupt methane, a green house gas).

Now, the green types have placed Cats in their cross hairs.

evil Kitty

From Mom Jones, a tongue in check report on the evil of cats.

complete with lots of videos.

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Yes, there are good stories out there

GetReligion, which usually publishes stories about how the press just doesn't know much about religion (i.e. they don't "get religion" as the saying goes), has two nice stories for you to read.

The first is from the LATimes about nuns who are dedicated to caring for the dying. Yes, the modern hospice movement started with Dr Cecily Saunders, a pious Anglican, but nuns who cared for people in homes have been doing this for quite awhile.

 the priests or Eucharistic ministers came weekly to give the sacraments. It was a comfort.

And often clergy praying with our patients lead to their dying comfortably in peace.

the scond story is from a Knoxville paper about a motorcyclist who was thrown into the brush in an accident and who two days later was found when someone just happened to stop at that place to get a drink of water.


Ah, but in God's world there is no such thing as "coincidences"...

Father Z reminds us that it is St Crispin's day, and relates the legend.

so why care about Shakespeare?

from the film Renaissance Man. a 1994 comedy about a teacher trying to teach literature to clueless recruits in the intellectually shallow days of Clinton I....

The reason for classics is that they teach lessons that are timeless, unlike the popular stuff which is out of date in a decade or two...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

philippine news

the cook reported a local barangay politician and his driver were shot dead a few days ago.

No, not the drug wars, but politics: 

from the Manila Standard:

Yes we are looking into politics as one of the motives. You have to look into that because he [San Jose] is a politician,” Madria said, adding other motives being looked into are love triangle and business rivalry.
San Jose’s elder brother Lauro sought justice for his slain brother, saying authorities should exert all-out efforts to find the killers and bring them before the bars of justice.

they are blaming the present mayor, who denies it, but there is an ongoing feud here between the previous mayors who killed and later attempted to kill more members of our present mayor's family... so it's either payback for the previous murders or payback for winning the seat away from someone who thinks he should have won.

I don't know enough about politics to know who is suspected to be behind the hit, but since our nephew was killed in one of the previous hits against the present mayor's relatives, we are affected by such things.

s it may have been payback.

On the other hand, maybe city funds will now be used to  improve the city: even though there is no election in the near future, there are new sewage/drainage canals being dug all over the place....(usually public works are done for a few months before elections, to get votes).

the local paper has a bunch of stories on hits and deaths.

coompare and contrast: StrategyPage has an article on Mexico's drug wars. They had 2000 deaths a month for the last few years.

the bad local news

Tat the last typhoon almost missed us, but we had heavy rains and mild winds that hit mid harvest, meaning that almost ripe rice was flattened and newly harvested rice didn't get dried in time and will be moldy. Sigh.

Lolo bought us our own rice drier after this happened a couple years ago.... but now I hear that "I didn't have money to get it fixed" so we lost much of the profit of our last rice crop.


the big lie

strategyPage has a long essay on the history of the big lie, and how it was made into a fine art by the Soviets.

Yes, but the good news is that although the lie can still be spread, the internet has alternative sources of information.

for example, a lot of the anti Catholic lies spread in the past to support Elizabeth I against others who had a stronger claim to her throne are still believed by the clueless: one of these days they'll notice Elizabeth ran a state of terror that was a lot worse than Bloody Mary, or that the many massacres/starvation/lack of basic civil rights/deportation of minor criminals into slavery in the colonies of the Irish could be done with impunity because years of Anti Catholic/Anti Irish propaganda made much of the public see the Irish as subhuman.

but hey, haters gotta hate, and in this election year, they are all in full swing again.

Copyright stuff

I have trouble watching or downloading some movies on Youtube because of copyright laws (we don't have them, so You tube won't let us watch them for fear we'll steal them)

But it works both ways: Project Gutenburg has Canadian and Australian sites, and some of their books can't be downloaded thanks to Copyright laws.

this title most likely remains copyrighted under United States law, where works copyrighted in 1923 or later can remain under copyright for up to 95 years after publication. It may also be copyrighted in European Union countries and other countries where copyrights can last longer than 50 years past the author's death. 
translation: You can't read them unless your library has them or they are popular enough to be republished.

This week, Project Gutenburg Canada has Nevile Shute's books, but not if you are in the USA... 

actually I have a couple of his books here, but was happy to get PiedPiper, which I hadn't read but saw the movie.

he is more famous for A Town Like Alice, and his classic anti war film, On the Beach.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Dieting advice

Duh. A scientific study shows hardly anyone reads those "mandatory" food labels in fast food joints.

and the UKMail says to lose weight, enjoy your food (if you enjoy it, you might be willing to eat smaller portions).

so here is a gift for your favorite dieter: Brussel Sprouts

Sprouts: love them or hate them, there is no avoiding the bowl of sprouts on the dinner table at least one day a year! But if you were to surprise your friends and family with this box of chocolate sprouts there may well be more cheers than boos. Looking incredibly life like, these bright green, handmade 'sprouts' are made from solid Belgium chocolate. Presented in an attractive gift box, they will make a great fun gift for sprout lovers or haters.

factoid of the week

Brian Sibley, who writes plays for BBC radio among other things, discusses how they recorded Ballard's story Between the Ears using a head shaped microphone to make the biaural listening more close to reality.

lots of photos at the link.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Stories below the fold

Think this election is dirty? Dymphna recounts past elections which were worse.

When Andrew Jackson ran for president the public was told that he was bigamist and that his wife, Rachel was a coarse pipe smoking backwoods harlot who would humiliate the country in front of European visitors to the White House. John Quincy Adams was accused of gambling (he bought a chess board and a pool table) and of giving his maid to the Tsar of Russia while he was a diplomat there. There were whispers that James Buchanan's fiancee did not die from illness but committed suicide because of something she learned about Buchanan...

what's past is prologue audiobook of the day: Drugging a Nation.

no, not about Soros' Open Society's plan to legalize all drugs in the USA, but about how the UK pushed Opium on China to weaken that country.

Yeah but you didn't need opium: Cheap gin kept the London slums from rebellion, and cheap whiskey worked to stop the Irish and AmerIndians from winning their many rebellions.


ForWhat they were blog links to an article on the human genome and the migration of ancient humans. For later reading.


The Baby alarm that destroyed Twitter:

Instapundit links to an article on how the devices connected to the "internet of things" were used to take down the internet.

well, it could be worse. They might be controlling your car to cause an accident, or kill you by turning off your pacemaker...


MarkSteyn discusses how taking a selfie when you are getting a facial will result in punishment by the PC.

and NeoNeocon defends the use of makeup.


I don't know about Planet Nibiru, but astronomers are now discussing Planet Nine.


and the UKTelegraph asks the most controversial question of the week:

Did Poldark assault Elizabeth, or was it consensual sex?

it's ambiguous in the book...

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Movie of the week

If you want a nice movie to remind you that most people are good at heart (but not one like the sentimental claptrap of the Hallmark channel), go see the new Eddie Murphy movie Mr Church.

Ignore the complaints of the SJW that it is just another movie about servile black people. It is about caring and what makes a family.

Wikileaks and Duterte: the press hates them both for not following the meme

This will have consequences: Guy Fawkes hits again...

Twitter etc. who have silenced the non PC commenters have been taken off line  by the  young men in pajamas who live in their parent's basement.

Hackers have power this election cycle. They even managed to hack private non secured emails containing top secret information.

but the hacker wars with China and Russia have actually been going on for a couple of years: and not just evil enemies: hacking non secure email is so easy that even a high school kid can do it,

StrategyPage  has had quite a few articles about the details over the last few years, if you check out their website.

The latest article notes that jamming of enemies' signals has been going on since the 1970's, but that now the military is clamping down on... nose art. You know, the dirty pictures on the nose of the drones/missiles/airplanes?

Of course, one of my friends who was USNavy is hyperventillating on Facebook about a marine who smacked her on her backside like men do to each other in football as she was leaving after conversation... So it is a morale problem. Sheesh.
Every women can tell similar stories, which is why Trumpie boy is in hot water with the women vote.

But as we used to say in the good old days: Don't make a federal case about it.

but one does happen to worry about priorities.

Which is one reason that Duterte is making nice with China despite the press claiming Obama has done a "military pivot to Asia".

Military pivot my foot: Obama has sat back and ignored calls for help, and only now that China has destroyed the ecosystem building artificial islnds with military capacity, and an election is near, that Obama decides to push in their face by sailing the US navy near these islands.

As for the "anti American demonstrations" a few days ago in the Philippines that got in the headlines: I had to laugh. That was done by an activist leftist group, aka communists, who demonstrate all the time.

They can get a demonstration up against the US any day they want to. And they can even hire bodies for 500 pesos a day if they want a crowd: since this was a small crowd, it looks like the regulars are just doing one of their routine protests: nothing new here.

they were demonstrating against US troops being allowed back into their former bases, and this is an on going meme for the last 30 years.

but the US press is making a big thing of it, just as they make a big thing of the anti drug war but for years ignored the drug gang killings. And here in the Philippines, it looks like the US press is making war against the right of the Philippine people to decide how they want to govern themselves.

Body found tied up and killed before Duterte? local news. Body found tied up and killed now: Evil Duterte's drug war.


the anti Americanism, however, like some of the NPA, a lot of this is indeed grass roots: My maid belongs to a sister group who fights for farmer's rights.

And it is not anti Americans, who are liked, but against a US policy of telling the Philippines what to do, like not to make China angry by letting your fishermen continue using their traditional fishing grounds and especially not to antagonize them by using the military to defend the fishermen, as Indonesia has done.

but then you have the usual idiots in the US and ellite press hyperventillating that the local cops ran over some demonstrators, when what happened is that the demonstrators were attacking and hitting on the truck, and the driver moved forward.

well, given the tendency to shoot demonstrators here, it sounds like the cops were being polite.

Presumably the driver should have left them pull him out and beat him up?

Come to think of it, the advice to slowly keep moving was why Instapundit was banned temporarily from USA Today and Twitter.

so we have come a full circle: Insist you have the right to defend yourself, and you are banned by an establishment that ignores the paid demonstrators who attack you.

But ignore another part of the backstory which is the demonstration was actually about the worry that the US military in the south will help the government kill the leftist militants, not just the Islamic militants.

Duterte is actually a leftist who is sympathetic to the NPA (or the MILF for that matter) because many of them want the rights of the locals to be respected and want to fight against the corruption of the elite...,but Duterte is also very willing to kill those who claim to represent the people but drift into kidnapping/drug selling and extortion to get rich.

and ignore the news story where a reporter who found a bunch of Americans in a Subic bar who were worried that Duterte will throw them out of the Philippines. That is propaganda. Most of us are happy that we are in a lot less danger from criminals now. And although Duterte has problems with some aspects of American bossing the Philippines around, there is not a lot of grass roots dislike of Americans in general.

Friday, October 21, 2016

water water everywhere

CDC report on a choNElera outbreak in Tanzania.

they are giving out NaDCC tablets to chlorinate the water.

available from prepper sites, amazon and now from AliBaba.

Yes, chlorine bleach can be used in an emergency too, as can boiling water for 10 minutes and straining out the dirt/particles LINK

NEJM article on the importance of clean water.

it's not just cholera, which kills 3 to five million people a year, but simple diarrhea that is a major cause of death in young children, not to mention typhoid fever...

we helped villagers dig wells when we worked in Africa, supplying the expertise and pumps while they did the work. Alas, they were shallow wells, and the local latrines were the woods, so they did not always result in clean water, but hey, it's easier to boil or treat water from a local pump than it is to do it after you carried a gallon on your head for a mile or two before arriving home.

Here in the Philippines, we used a ceramic water filter for drinking water, until Lolo dug a deep well. However, the local city water is now a lot cleaner and more reliable than in the past, so we mainly use our pump for emergencies, such as the typhoon a couple years ago when electricity and water was out for a week, and everyone was buying containers of water to drink or getting it from friends who like us had deep wells.

Indeed, with the last two typhoons, our electricity and water stayed on (and boy, they are finally digging sewers/ covered drainage ditches to drain the water off).

However, our water just reeks of chlorine, probably to insure it is clean in case of contamination, so we again have a large container jug of Lolo's deep well water that we use for our drinking water.

Shiaparelli call home

ET call home

DavidReneke post about Space weather.

and asks if ET is trying to call us. and discusses the theory that maybe ET killed themselves via climate change or nuclear war.

or maybe they evolved to a higher power, as in Arthur Clarke's story and the New agers theories.

Nah, I sort of agree with Haldane's idea

Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.
there are some right wing Christian sites that wonder if a lot of ET stuff is demonic, but myself, I go along with CSLewis (and Madeline L'Engle and medieval thought) that thinks that some ET's including stories of elves and ancient gods, might be Eldils or angels.... but of course, this doesn't mean they are all good.

sort of related, but this is the theory posted by the Muslim Valkerie in the latest Rick Riordan series: that God is above all, which is why she wears a veil and prays five times a day in between rescuing heroes for Valhalla, but this doesn't negate other stories of gods, demigods, elves and dwarves.

Ahmad al Abbas, call your office...

The comic and the saint

FountOfElias has a prayer to St Jude, a cousin of Jesus and the saint of hopeless causes.

so who is this guy?

Heh. Sounds like the one who needs to be asked to pray that the US election goes off without causing a civil war.

but for docs, St Jude is the cancer hospital for children that devised the St Jude protocol, one of the earliest treatments that resulted in curing children with leukemia.

I am old enough to remember when leukemia was a death sentence for children,.... Then suddenly, it became a treatable disease with even a chance of complete cure.

NIH library link has the story of how this happened here.

The irony of course is that St Jude's hospital was not in New York City or Los Angeles, but in the middle of nowhere: Memphis.

There is a reason for this, and the story can be found here.

Comedian Danny Thomas (from the 1950's sitcom Make Room for Daddy) was out of work and prayed to St Jude to let him know if God wanted him in show business or if he should get a regular job.

Then, when he decided to build a hospital to thank the saint, he was advised that southern California had a lot of hospitals, but that there were few options for children in the Southern USA, and there was an especial need for children suffering from cancer.

and years later, his fundraising helped to build the hospital.

There is a twist to the story: Danny Thomas was an Arab, from Lebanon, and he turned to his fellow Lebanese to raise money to raise money to run the hospital, which treated all patients for free.

The American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC) is the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Its sole mission is to raise the funds and awareness necessary to operate and maintain St. Jude.[1] ALSAC is the third largest healthcare related charity in the United States

In the days before the fragmentation of multiculturalism, one would see this as an example of how all Americans get along and help each other: rich Californians, show business types, Jews and non Catholics helping a Catholic Arab raising money for poor southern black and white children to get badly needed medical care.

or as the hospitals' website says: 
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened its doors on February 4, 1962, based on Danny's dream that "no child should die in the dawn of life." Since then, we’ve made incredible strides in childhood cancer research. We’ve helped improve the survival rate of childhood cancer from 20% to 80%. And ALL, the disease with a virtual death sentence in 1962, now has a survival rate of 94 percent.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


The Joke about Catholics is that it is the church of "here comes everyone"...

but Milo?

more HERE.

Pink Elephants on parade

Dilbert asks:

if everyone but one person sees a pink elephant, who is right?

 No matter how smart you are, good persuaders can still make you see a pink elephant in a room where there is none (figuratively speaking). And Clinton’s team of persuaders has caused half of the country to see Trump as a racist/sexist Hitler with a dangerous temperament. That’s a pink elephant.

An interesting discussion about propaganda, in this case about Trump, but it could be also used to express the propaganda for global warming or for same sex marriage or fill in the blanks with the latest fad of the SJW....

and of course, it reminds me of this little ditty. Turn up speakers and dance!

Be afraid... be very afraid

Did you read that a "christian" leader said to disobey the courts?

The latest kerfuffle was Dr. Dobson and the issue was about telling pro life clinics that they were required to refer women for abortion.

of course, his organization already has opposed the abortion mandate of Obamacare, so we know how this issue will be framed.

But now Canada has decided killing oneself (or getting an inconvenient grandmom or handicapped relative killed by saying they want to die) is a civil right, and at least one Catholic hospital there has drawn a line in the sand.

the ultimate result could be that theses hospitals lose all their federal funding there, since Canada has socialized medicine.

And guess what could happen with Obamacare?

The culture wars are in full swing, and it is not just about abortion, nor about letting someone else the freedom to do things that the Imperial court says they have a right to do: It is now morphing into coercion.

Luckily, a few Catholic bishops in Alberta have stood up against Baby Trudeau's brave new world, but alas not all the bishops there, and I suspect the same thing will happen in the US when some court passes these laws and a president promotes them by presidential decree via administrative decrees instead of having Congress decide what is the law.

So what should docs do?

Of course, this is not new: I resisted doing abortions nearly 50 years ago in medical school, and almost got failed out of the school. What saved me in those days was the Civil Rights act of 1964, which forbad discrimination against religion.

However, the way the president is changing executive orders to make these laws mean something that was never in the original law, one worries what kind of loophole could be found by a president Clinton...

And of course, the law does not protect institutions.... for at least 40 years, Catholic hospitals have been sued to insist they do tubal ligations since they were often the only hospitals in remote rural areas. So far, the ACLU types have lost, but it's only a matter of time.

Except the next step will be ordering religiously run hospices and hospitals to kill patients, and one suspects there will be a hidden screening out of medical students and residents who are pro life.

Question: can the government or king demand you do something contrary to the law of God, or obey an unjust law?

Martin Luther King thought differently.

“One may well ask: How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” wrote King. “The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’

Catholics have been through this before.

In a lot of these issues, pious Muslims are on the same side as the Christians.

Alas, the Islamophobia of conservatives is playing into the hand of those trying to remake the US (and use US pressure to change the world).

But that's another story for another time.