Friday, March 31, 2017

Podcast of the week has audio podcasts on Big History..

quick before the copyright cops find it there

Reality bites stories below the fold

via AnneAlthouse

Hillary Clinton’s message to the resistance is exactly what we need right now 

Pure Alinsky.  "Four words keep coming back to me: resist, insist, persist, enlist."

(Translation: we must see Republicans, traditional Catholics, Evangelicals, Mormons and men of all sorts as the enemy...)

This was to a "Professional Business Women of California Conference".
 Essentially she is telling them to despise half of their customer base, and probably make the workplace miserable for about half their employees.

not exactly a good way to make a profit.

 One right wing quip was that she lost the election because she reminded too many men of their nagging ex wife. ..

( or for women,  our husband's crazy first ex wife).

sounds about right...


it took months and lots of money to design Hillary's symbol for the election...

Am I am the only one who sees the symbol as subliminal reference to sex, the two vertical lines as the woman parts and the arrow as a phallic symbol?


SciFi writer Sarah Hoyt discusses the demise of the publishing industry.

Sigh. I could rarely find the books I wanted in the Barnesandnoble or similar bookstores... I even used to drive long distancs to buy from local indie bookstores or used book stores to find the books I wanted to read..... until a doctor friend pointed me to Amazon...

The only trouble with the demise of regular books is that we cant find good things in our local used book kiosk now.

On the other hand, ScribD is pretty good for books (I even read one of Sarah's books there) and a lot of other stuff is on line if you know where to find them.


"Some" native Hawaiians are objecting to a telescope on one of their "sacred" mountains, so scientist say, whatever: we'll just move it to the Canary Islands.

Reminds me of the kerfuffle about the Univ Ariz/vatican telescope that the white Indian activists objected to because it was on top of one of their sacred mountains.

The reason I laugh at this is because the Mescalero Apaches had no problem putting a ski resort on their sacred mountain, because having jobs for their people was important and the mountain, after all, is very very large.

There is a problem with desecrating sacred land (e.g. the pipeline issue, which could have easily been settled by a detour) and having outsiders activists and a few locals decide the agenda, often over the vote of others who live there.

There is no easy answer, (e.g. assimilation vs staying traditional) but compromise is the way to go... alas, often outside activists (including a few self proclaimed local activists, often leftist and college trained) who make things worse. They have an agenda, which is for everyone to live a "traditional lifestyle" (aka a primitive life in poverty).

the logo comes from the ceremony of the "mountain gods" ... to teach girls to be strong women and protect their families. (the mountain gods were the ancestral spirits)...Yup. Apache women are strong: some of them even trained to work with the hotshots.....who fought forest fires...

one more comment: The hospital there was terrible, and the Government employees said it was the tribe's fault for making jobs a priority instead of pushing the government to provide health care, either by "subcontracting" their own people or by paying outside lobbyists to push for more funding...

Never mind that the IHS system is to supply health care...
The problems with the VA system has hit the news, but I have seen few articles on how the IHS works as an example of "single payer health care"... complete with delays and rationing...

One does need the hospitals which hire Indian preference so employees can be sensitive to the cultural differences, but on the other hand, we got as many as we could on Medicaid, so they could get decent care outside the system...

Obama pushed against Brexit, but never mind. Trump say congratulations to Theresa May, and now (via Drudge) the EU ex president says well, he will help support those trying to break up the USA

Showing his deep nuanced knowledge of America, he names which states he thinks might want to exit: Texas and Ohio...

well, I hate to tell him, but Ohio voted for Trumpieboy, as did Texas

actually he names "Austin Texas" for some reason. Yes, it is the capital of that state, full of techhies and is gay friendly, but he forgets that famous quote from Miss Congeniality

Gracie: He had a gun.
Kathy: Of course he had a gun. This is Texas. Everybody has a gun. My florist has a gun!


and what is it about foreigners and Austin? I mean, even the crazy fat guy in North Korea has threatened to nuke Austin....the rumor is not that he hates Texas BBQ, but because Samsung (A south Korean company) has a huge company there.

and yes, I've eaten both Texan and Korean BBQ, and they are delicious.


factoid of the day: Dinosaurs didn't have lips.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Non African sickle cell disease

Sickle cell disease is mainly diagnosed in those with African ancestry, from Malaria infested areas (we didn't see many cases in the highlands of Zimbabwe, for example, but we did diagnose cases in the kids of Miners, who came from Mozmbique etc).

Once in awhile, in the US, you might pick up a case in "white" people, especially from Mediterranean areas (although Thalessemia is much more common).

The reason is that both these disease give some protection from Malaria

But AlJ reports that some of the indigenous tribes of India also have a high rate of the disease

In India, the disease was first detected in 1952 among indigenous tribes in the Nilgiri Hills of south India. That same year, some migrant labourers working in the tea gardens of Assam state were also diagnosed with the hereditary disease. Of Chhattisgarh's 7.5 million strong indigenous tribal population, at least 20 percent, particularly among the Gond tribe, are affected by sickle cell disease, according to Dr Patra.

Stories below the fold

Brexit is on!

I watched the speech on the BBC yesterday. We have relatives in the UK, and Joy and Ruby will be going there to represent a local agricultural business group at a trade fair... about pushing Philippine agricultural products. No, I don't know if this is routine or if it means the Philippines is trying to get a trade deal with the newly independent UK...

StrategyPage had a podcast on North Korea last month, but this month's podcast is even scarier.

Not only can they send missiles to Korea and Japan (a traditional enemy) but now can reach the USA.

This is the result of "strategic patience".... sitting back and letting the rogue nations exchange information on weapons of mass destruction.

Of course, if war breaks out, it will be Trump's fault...(/sarcasm). Under President Obama, it was "peace in our time!"

South Korea is in a kerfuffle about removing their last (female) president for corruption.

the result alas will mean getting back a south Korean president who will try to make nice with the North. The North is threatening all and sundry in order to get aid... their people are facing another famine, but donors know that if they send food it will go to the huge military there, not to the starving peasants. Sigh.

And in the meanwhile, the islands built by China (and destroying the local ecosystem with nary a notice by the green community) are now ready for war... taking over the West Philippine sea are also the result of "Strategic patience" by the Obama adminsitration... who refused to defend the Philippines

Obama was more worried about pushing abortion and gay rights on us, and later stopping trade and aid for us to protest the drug war... so Duterte turned to China to help instead.

a lot of the "drug killings", was actually only because the cops were shooting back,  but no one noticed a lot were drug gang murders of snitches or civilians getting private payback... (uh, what about drug and gang related murders in Chicago and Mexico? They didn't count).

 the Philippines no longer trusts the US to defend them, and of course these islands can block major maritme routes to Japan and Korea from Europe and the Middle East

And could China block the Panama canal too? I don't know.

But anyway, this might have more to do with Trump being cautious about blocking Chinese trade than politics...

In the meanwhile, the expected headlines about "US Strikes killing innocent civilians in Mosul" are back. Yes. Just ignore those human shields and those fake reports. But since Trump is in power, expect the militant pacifists, who ignored the drone strikes by President Obama, to go back to work.

Excuse my sracasm. Do gooders take sides against the west, meaning they are the 'useful idiots" (to use Stalin's phrase) of the communists/leftists, or now in the middle east, with the Islamicists. And the murders by the bad guys just get ignored...

Speaking of bad guys; They just shot another priest in Mexico.

Just ignore all those Africans killed by Islamicists, who continue to ignore Micheel Obama's plea to "bring our girls back"....And Kony is still there, depite all that smoke and mirror stuff on Facebook a couple years ago.  AustinBay writes sarcastically.

Facebook, passionate rhetoric and emotional imagery don't stop mass murderers. Protecting civilians from mass murderers requires police and military power sufficient to deter the thugs and, when deterrence fails (for it will) to defeat them.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Family news

We are having a hot spell, but no brownouts yet. I spend most of my time inside with the airconditioner on... but then I run it as an airfilter even when I don't use the cooler part.

The bad news is that the pump died. Water is on and off. Probably will have to buy a new one but we are trying to get it fixed. This happens about once every two years or so.

Ah, washing up in a bucket is sooo nice! Those bozos who complain about the modern world ignore these things. (we can use city water, but there were objections to us using a pump to get it up to our water tower, so it means low pressure water, i.e. fill the bucket and heat it on the stove).

Ruby will have graduation on Friday, but I won't go: it would mean a four hour trip to Manila and then a three hour ceremony and then four hours back again.

Joy is representing the Philippines in a trade fair in London, and will take Ruby with her. Ruby is used to trade fairs and will help her mom sell Philippine products, so yes it will be a business trip, but only partially funded. They haven't been in London before, but will stay with family there to save money.

The puppies are eating now and will probably go to new owners in a week or two. In the meanwhile, you have to watch where you step since they aren't house trained.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pizzagate is dead, but what about the missing kids?

TeaAtTrianon links to several articles about kids missing from their homes in Washington DC area.

it hasn't made the news much, but there has been an increase in arrests for child and child sexual abuse since Trump took office.

There is more on this topic from the Free Thought Project [WARNING: Disturbing Content]:
 After President Trump held a press conference last month, in which he detailed his plans to go after the victims of the “human trafficking epidemic,” former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney weighed in on the subject, noting that going after child predators will lead to the downfall of both Republicans and Democrats in the United States — as this problem goes all the way to the top. (Read more.)

lots of it goes on here in the Philippines, mainly with street kids who aren't missed, but also kids from isolated villages. On our TV cable channel, almost every month we readn ad from the parents asking for information about another young teenager, usually a girl, who has disappeared.

And then every once in awhile there is a body found. Right now if it is a boy it would be blamed on the drug war, but girls are sometimes found too.

Human trafficking includes adults also, and people forced to work, but also includes those kidnapped and working in sex dens or in cybersex, which has ballooned up recently into a problem.

The term "human trafficking" extends to illegal job recruiting of adults (including young women as nannies) who then find themselves being pushed into prostitution or being abused by the families who hire them (I.e. not being paid, working overtime, no holidays, kept inside, and yes, sometimes as sexual partners for the father or sons in the family).

US State Dept page on human trafficking in the Philippines

 During the reporting period, police investigated 329 alleged trafficking cases, a steady increase from the 282 and 155 suspected cases it investigated in 2014 and 2013, respectively.

this is the tip of the iceberg, of course, since most cases are not reported and even fewer are prosecuted.

Duterte recognizes the link between drugs and exploiting children. Rappler article discusses here. about children pushed into selling drugs, and how Duterte wants to lower the age so he can arrest them.

Wikipedia has an article on it..

the trouble in all of this is that people (including teens and kids) do run away from home, and may make up stories so they won't be punished.

On the other hand, there are a lot of kids exploited, kidnapped, and who disappear. Some are killed by fiends. Others end up on the street and die of disease or overdoses. Many street kids in the US make money as prostites.

And in the third world, sexual exploitation of poor kids is alas common.

When I adopted my sons (who were school age) we were warned that most of the girls and some of the boys would have been sexually abused, even toddlers, and that their emotional problem might not show up until they hit puberty.

If you watched the film "Lion", there is a scene where the night staff of the orphanage made money by passing out kids for the night. If you didn't know what was going on, you might have missed it.

And one of the backstories of "homophobia" in Africa and in parts of Asia is because they fear (from experience) that legalizing homosexual activity will open the door to sex tourism and pedophilia of very young boys.


Lenten reading (for your soul)

Prof Blosser (AKA pertanacious papist) recommends this series, which is not just about liturgy but has meditations/commentary on the liturgy of the day.

I read it and it is something you read one page and ponder.

At Internetarchives LINK

On the other hand, with my ADHD/getting senile mind, my actual lenten reading  is the mystery series on Brother Cadfael.

and some of that series can also be found on Internet archives.

and some of the BBC TV series can be found on Youtube.

a lot of his herbs can be checked out on Breverton's herbal, (one of several herbal books I brought with me) which alas I can't find on line but is available all over the place for money.

There are other herbals, such as Culpeppers, but they don't have photos to identify the plant.

some of the individual herbs can be found here.

thhe problem with herbs is a lot of them don't work (placebo effect only) or have side effects or are poisonous if you don't get the dosage correct. We had a lot of folks die of herbal poisoning when I worked in Africa, and the government there had an association to register and train herbalists to quantify their drug dosages to cut down the death rate.

finally a trivia note: Christians call Christ the Redeemer, but ancient Anglo Saxons called him the healer.

EnglishHistorical fiction essay on Anglo Saxon medicine.

Nasty nasty

Via improbable research:

The pleasure of being nasty but only if they don't whack you back:

klaus-abbinkIn the joy-of-destruction game that we introduce, players can burn each other’s money, but we have removed all conventional reasons to do so. No material gain is achieved, no wrongdoing is punished, no inequality is reduced. Nevertheless, we observe a substantial incidence of nasty behavior in our hidden treatment, where spiteful actions could be covered by random destruction. When destruction is open, it rapidly goes away, but the treatment difference shows that this decline is due to fear of retaliation, not due to kindness.”

IR also has a post on the fig:

“Ecco il fico” — Barbarossa, the fig, the bite, the thumb, and the mule 

The phrase “Ecco il fico” has a particularly ripe meaning, writes Rob Chirico in the Strong Language blog:

making a fig is the medieval equivalent of giving the finger....

stories against the meme

StategyPage has the backstory of the Mexican drug war behind the US heroin epidemic.

if the press paid attention, they might not keep blaming doctors for the opiod epidemics, recognize that more than racial prejudice is behind Trumpie's wall idea, and recognize that out of control drug gangs kill a lot more people than Duterte's Dirty Harry cops.

March 7, 2017: The government’s official crime monitoring service reported that 2,156 people were murdered in January 2017 and 2,098 in February 2017.

and of course, it's not just Mexico: Drugs (and coal mine) money is causing problems in Burma/Myamar. 

much of this is not about the traditional heroin of the golden triangle, but now the problem is meth... which is the drug that is being abused in much of China and here in the Philippines...

Methamphetamine is the most popular drug in Southeast Asia and there are believed to be nearly a million meth addicts in Thailand, plus many tourists who indulge. Most (nearly half) of the seized pills are taken in China, followed by Thailand and most of it is coming from meth labs in northern Burma. 

they also mention the 400 thousand Rohingya who have fled that country: the refugees who do't get no respect even though they are Muslim.

the latest podcast on North Korea.

Last month they discussed the problem too.

why doesn't China pressure them to stop being naughty? the SCMP explains:

 Beijing sees it, the consequences of cutting off economic ties and precipitating the fall of the North Korean regime would be disastrous. Either the result would be complete chaos, with millions of North Korean refugees crossing the Yalu River into China’s depressed North Eastern provinces, or it would be a successful reunification led by South Korea, an eventuality which would in time lead to the emergence of a new American-allied economic powerhouse, complete with US military bases, right on China’s border.


will the UK again become a petrol supplier? Big field found off the Shetland Islands.

this probably will affect the Scottish vs Brexit fight. On the other hand, the highlands and the lowlands of Scotland are not traditionally in agreement, and when the Scots were discussing independence, the islands threatened to break awy if Scotland became independent...
more here in a 2014 story.


another sign that TEOTWAWKI is nigh: from the Inquirer:

MARCH 27, 2017

Glitter Butts Are the Latest Beauty Trend You Need to Know About

Annoying summer things include sand sticking to your butt. It’s inevitable and part of your beach getaway so why fight it? Make it pretty! This is how the glitter butt trend came to be.
Makeup artists Mia Kennington and Sophie Moreno came up with the trend during a music festival. Mia has done a few looks on her Instagram. Those are the photos you have been seeing on your feed lately. Would you try it though? Nylon hilariously points out that the glitter and the sequins might cut into your flesh and the designs might get destroyed once you sit. So what really is the point of the butt glitter?

Religion Stories below the fold

Africans ask why London gets headlines, but they are killed all the time with little outcry.

(heasdup GetReligion).

Uh the same reason that the attack on majority Christian city of Zamboanga or on local Christian villages here in the Philippines doesn't get in the headlines: third world and all of that, but also because the "Christian" angle is not a PC one.


Chinese authorities crack down on democracy advocates in Hong Kong

backstory here

 demonstrations supporting John Tsang

A catholic who has US ties...but is very involved in Chinese culture.

now they are coming for your ipad

discrimination against jihadi countries. I blame Trumpie boy


For later reading: Spengler discusses the Benedict Option.

This could better be called the Ghetto option, or the Amish option.
Alas, the problem is that ghettos and monasteries only make it easy for the really really bad guys to destroy you (i.e. as in Viking raids and pogroms).

Luckily, others like Gregory the Great, who had to manage barbarians, crooked politicians and refugees, (along with promoting good music) did not opt out of society back then.

not to mention Charles Martel and King Alfred the Great, who were willing to fight those trying to destroy Christianity, but are not considered "saints".

 as for having teir own institutions: The Catholics in the US did have their own institutions back in the good old days... then the "reformers" came, reformed the nuns out of existence and let wishywashyness take over the church institutions.

a lot of us question if the church will survive Pope Francis who will destroy the te commandments and let the sociopaths take over (all in the name of mercy of course).

So who outranks the Pope?

A saint...

Catherine of Sienna comes to mind.

related item: one feisty Italian nun drew a line in the sand.

Mother Angelica died one year ago. 

best comment:
Ellen says:27 March 2017 at 2:23 PMIt’s sad then when women of accomplishment get mentioned, Mother Angelica is never on the list. Look at what she did – started a network with a lot of nerve and not a lot of money and it’s still going strong. But she was Catholic nun who was faithful to the Church and to many people that doesn’t count. It’s sad.

well, when the compromising bishops threatened to take over her network, she told them she'd blow the place up first.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Living out fantasies (and forcing you to approve)

Nora Ephron once wrote in an essay about drag queens/transvestites: They don't want to be women; they want to be 18 year old prom queens.

Which explains Brucy Baby spending 100 thousand on surgery etc to look like a prom queen, not a 70 year old grandmother.

What this is about is someone who is unhappy who thinks X will make them happy. What they chose depends on culture: Right now we have broken families, estrogen in the drinking water, and boys growing up without a decent role model.

well, guys dressing up like women is nothing new: The Emperor of Austria's younger brother used to do that, and the family, a pious strict Catholic family, just shrugged. A quirk that didn't bother anyone.

And women pretending to be men so they could study or work is nothing new either.

But it goes beyond that, of course.

via Instapundit,  the explanation by lady who "passed" as a black, and even got a job as a black that she wouldn't have gotten as her own ethnic self:

See, she’d read her grandmother’s National Geographic magazines. So she knew about blackness.
“I’d stir the water from the hose into the earth … and make thin, soupy mud, which I would then rub on my hands, arms, feet, and legs,” Dolezal writes.
“I would pretend to be a dark-skinned princess in the Sahara Desert or one of the Bantu women living in the Congo … imagining I was a different person living in a different place was one of the few ways … that I could escape the oppressive environment I was raised in.”

well, I don't know about "princesses" living in the Sahara desert (Hirsi Ali might have a different take on this: FGM anyone?), but I have worked with the Bantu in both east and west Africa, and they probably worked harder in gardens than she did, not to mention they would be "sold" to the highest bidder if their family needed money..

In other words, she saw a fantasy, not reality. It is the equivalent of being a Disney princess, except if you really watch the classic disney films, most of these princesses were plucky and hard working (Cinderella cleaned the fireplace and kitchen, snow white cooked and cleaned for 7 men who worked in mines).

Here in the Philippines, no one gets hot and bothered by gays or trans or whatever: we are Catholic and like the Austrian royal family, shrug and tolerate eccentricities in families.

But saying such things are good and normal and using lawsuits to push others to say such things are good and normal is not quite th same thing.

if you are rich, you can do anything you want to: but insisting that others go along with your fantasy is something different.

If you have man parts you don't belong in a women's bathroom or locker room. By doing so, you are impinging on these women's right to privacy.

If you think you are black, fine: But you don't take a job away from a real black person who suffered real discrimination, not imaginary discrimination. In other words you harmed someone else by doing this.

And if you "think" your grandmother might be Native American, fine. But you shouldn't use Indian preference to get a job (that allows you to get a job over someone more qualified but of the wrong ethnic group, or maybe using this to steal the job from someone who grew up in the third world like poverty on "the res" know, the ones for which the law was passed to help) unless they check you CDIB card to prove it.

the old saying was I don't care what you do as long as you don't upset the horses. Eccentric people are that: eccentric. But forcing someone to pretend white is black and black is white is beyond charity and acceptance for an individual.

And when your fantasy impinges on the rights of others to privacy or to a job, then maybe someone should say: Wait a minute that's not right.

Sunday, March 26, 2017


Ruby went to Manila Friday for her 10th grade graduation practice. Here, up to last year, high school ended at grade ten but now they added two more year, so she will have to find a school for these years.. She won a scholarship to an international school in Canada, but her father would not sign the papers so she had to turn it down. So we will have to pay tuition if she goes in Manila. Her father wants her to continue home school for two more years, but that is getting difficult... translation: Her mom and I will foot the bills

Sigh Lolo's two year anniversary was yesterday so I bought some flowers. The gravesite needs a good cleaning but it's so hot I am putting it off for awhile No one else in the family sent flowers Sigh.

But some good news: Did I mention that I got my tax refund already?Since I didn't have to wait for Lolo's stuff (traditionally we filed together, but for the last two two years, I waited and waited and never got information on his pension from his son, who took over Lolo's finances when he got sick...I finally filed on my own the last minute, as "married but filing separately...a higher tax rate, and I sent it in by snailmail... ).

So now I am "single" it was a lot easier: Filed via Turbo tax, was sent in electronically and my refund was direct deposit.

So once in awhile the government does things okay.

My son is visiting his extended family in Colombia with his new Mexican American wife and sent photos

Culinary lesson for today

Friday, March 24, 2017

Love in the Henhouse

quote of the day comes from Mrs. Beaton's Book of Household management:

If the cock should, by any accident, get killed, considerable delicacy is required in introducing a new one. The hens may mope, and refuse to associate with their new husband, clustering in corners, and making odious comparisons between him and the departed

and in honor of St Patrick's day:

alternative lyrics here.

Stories below the fold

somalia is in danger of massive deaths from a local famine. Like most "famines", it is war/corruption, not global warming behind the problem (although climate change related drought has been a problem in the region for about 10 thousand years.)

A few days ago, AlJ, which is full of American leftists, complained that the west was not giving enough to Somalia, and that they should follow Turkey's lead.

I suspected they were missing something, and they were: Turkey can shoot the bad guys stealing all the aid money and food and get away with it (whereas if the west did this, the Arab press would be in an uproar).

StrategyPage confirms this:

The local outlaws and Islamic terrorists quickly found that the Turks were as tough as their reputation implied. Al Shabaab still makes threats against the Turks in Somalia, but usually chooses a less dangerous target.

they also discuss the new Somali president who is trying to fight both the bad guys and the rampant corruption there.


Over 100 bomb threats were phoned etc to Jewish community centers etc. in the US in the last six months. The MSM blamed a Trumpie supporter, of course.

But more recent reports said the threats were from overseas. The alt/r press blamed the Muslims, of course.

ALJ now reports the suspect has been arrested: An American Israeli kid who was angry because the Israeli army turned him down.


Improbable research notes a 1908 paper saying that 40 percent of people can learn how to wiggle their ears.

Wilson found that around 40% of experimental subjects were able to move the outer rim of their pinnae, 2-3 mm or so, by purposely shifting their eyes either extreme left or extreme right.*

The Daily Wire on the wiretap stories. 

analyzes the spin. Of course someone was spying. They spy on everyone. The problem is not the spying but that someone released the information for political purposes.

and not only is big brother quietly watching you (but keeping quiet about what he reads) but three days before Trump became president, President Obama made a rule that the information could be shared with a lot of other agencies, which is the government equivalent of a "free TVs" sign. (steal and leak please).

headsup Instapundit

UPDATE: Wikileaks page on Vault7 release.

hmm... maybe I should go back to using Ubuntu.


related item: Senate moves to stop privacy rules. Now your cable company doesn't have to ask if they can steal your private data.

But it is not about you, it is about they are mad because Google and Facebook can know everything about you but they can't.

Cable companies, cellphone carriers and the advertising industry attacked the rules as an overreach. If the permissions requirements went into effect, it may have been more difficult for telecom companies to build advertising businesses that could serve as stiffer competition to Google and Facebook, as they want to do. Internet companies like Google doesn't have to ask users' permission before tracking what sites they visit.
Read more at:

te "casino heist", where Bengladesh money was transferred to the Philippines to a casino bank account and then whisked away by Chinese gamblers, has taken another twist: WSJ vis the Manila Bulletin: It has a North Korean link:

Federal prosecutors are building cases that would accuse North Korea of directing one of the biggest bank robberies of modern times, the theft of $81 million from Bangladesh’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last year, according to people familiar with the matter.
 The charges, if filed, would target alleged Chinese middlemen who, prosecutors believe, helped North Korea orchestrate the theft, the people said....

includes backstory:
Private security researchers have traced the Bangladesh heist to a hacking group known as Lazarus, which, they say, was also behind the Sony hack. In 2014, the FBI blamed North Korea for the Sony breach, which exposed embarrassing emails and led the studio to pull from theaters a movie that involved a plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “The whole security community has said that the attack tools and techniques used in Sony are the same ones used in Bangladesh,” said Eric Chien, an engineer with security vendor Symantec Corp. 

  in times of trouble, people prefer macho men to wimps:

new research from Aarhus BSS at Aarhus Universit shows that support for dominant leaders is not born of fear, but of a wish to handle the country's problems by aggressive means.... "Our research indicates that supporting a dominant leader is a sign that you are prepared to solve conflicts by offensive rather than defensive means. Read more at:

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Video down load of the week

Quick, before the copyright cops find it: based on Anne Rice's novel (YES, THAT Anne Rice) and not always Biblical (heck, not biblical at all, but based in the "gospels that didn't make the cut:"). But it has the best portrayal of Joseph and Mary of any film (except maybe for Mary in TPOTC).

so it is a bit more interesting than superficial pap like The Shack.

hacking tractors?

This article claims US farmers are hacking software so they can fix their tractors themselves

To avoid the draconian locks that John Deere puts on the tractors they buy, farmers throughout America's heartland have started hacking their equipment with firmware that's cracked in Eastern Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums.
Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular because John Deere and other manufacturers have made it impossible to perform "unauthorized" repair on farm equipment, which farmers see as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time.

the article includes an interview with a guy who uses pig manure to power his tractor but had to illegally hack it so he could do this.

and no, don't blame the Russians: It's the Ukrainians who are selling the software hack.

headsup, those libertarian rightwing guys at FR.

Forget the NSA Microsoft Windows 10 is spying on you


I went and fixed the problem. My windows 10 was automatic because I bought my lousy (chinese manufactured Lenovo) computer during the transition.

And I have already removed the Chinese spyware from it (Or the spyware that was found and forced the manufacterers to get a program to remove it).

Now, if I can only stop "sticky keys" from messing up my blog posts

TAKE TWO: Beauty and the Beast

To celebrate, going to court for the 9th time (postponed again until May) we went to see Beauty and the Beast in the afternoon.

It was a wonderful film.

Bring your teenagers, bring your kids, and bring your old grandmother (as my granddaughter did for me).

It is G rated.

The guy who bragged about adding "gay" character should be fired from Disney. No one would have noticed if he hadn't made it an issue: the character is made more sympathetic in the movie, and can and should be seen as a  "Jeeves and Wooster" or a war buddy relationship.

I suspect he wanted to "diss" Christians (presumably for backing the enemy, i.e. Trumpie boy) and send a message to the sophisticated (who disliked the film in their reviews anyway).

No big deal here in the Philippines, where gays are openly all over the place and considered part of the family, and gay characters are common in local films.

But Malaysia and other Muslim and Confucian countries in Asia take this seriously... and I understand they "fixed" the movie by censoring out ten seconds, which sounds about right.

Most of the "added" things add backstories to the characters, and make the movie more interesting.

Gaston was made into a soldier, not a hunter. This makes a lot more sense, about why he would be admired as a leader, and could easily lead the town into war against the beast.

Yes, the scene where he talks to his mirror image about how beautiful he is is funny, but out of character: He is actually "full of himself" for being a hero back from the wars, not for merely being good looking, as is implied in the cartoon.

Emma Watson played Belle as thoughtful and practical. Good casting. She is not stunningly "beautiful", but she underplays the part well... not hysterics. And there is chemistry between her and the Beast

Compare and contrast to  the stunning actress in Cinderella, who I could see making a prince fall in love with her at first sight but couldn't imagine her cleaning up the kitchen, which she does in the fairy tale.

The beast is well played, and yes, he has a backstory too.

the kitchen utensils etc. are CGI and echo the cartoon, The only "backstory" is that at least two of them have spouses who were in town when they were bewitched, so there are reunions at the end (presumably not a lot of time passed between the curse and the transformation).

The "be our guest" music was good, but not as joyful as the cartoon version. However the rest of the songs were fine, and there are even new songs that add to the film.

all the teenage girls at the film sighed when he turned back into the Prince, but I was disappointed: The strong but lovable masculine beast became just a pretty-boy.  Which maybe is why Belle suggests at the end he should grow a beard.

So should you see it? Yes, yes, YES.

And take a handkerchief... or two.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Salon on wikileaks.

One of the most interesting disclosures concerns how the CIA can cover its tracks by leaving electronic trails suggesting the hacking is being done in different places — notably, in Russia. In fact, according to WikiLeaks, there’s an entire department dedicated to this. Its job is to “misdirect attribution” by leaving false fingerprints. If you’ve been at all skeptical about the recent levels of Russia-related hysteria, promoted heavily by U.S. intelligence agencies, alarm bells are probably going off in your head.

more HERE.

Latest WikiLeaks dump reveals CIA can hack computers, smartphones, even TVs


the church of what's happening now

Virtue on line reviews the Shack. Theologically confusing, and gee, that god/godess insists he/she would never punish evildoers (like the guy who kidnapped and killed the protagonist's daughter).

In another chapter, "Papa" corrects Mack's theology by asserting, "I don't need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It's not my purpose to punish it; it's my joy to cure it." 
yes, love is never having to say you're sorry... "who am I to judge"... sounds familiar.

"Who am I to judge": "God made me that way and loves me anyway". Yup. Sounds familiar. (Long story, but we are the bad guys for not agreeing).

Uh, reality check: sociopaths don't feel guilt and narcissists can blame the sin on someone else, and "true believers" (aka SJW) only see social sin, not their own sins.

calling Detective Kenda. Calling Detective Kenda.


but as actor Kevin O'Brien laments: This "touchy feel-y we are all good people rah rah rah" idea has spread to a lot of Catholic churches.

the heart of the homily was this: enthusiasm!  We need to leave our water jars behind and go spread the news about Jesus, as the Woman at the Well did.  We won't be able to help it!  When we encounter Jesus we will be so excited that we'll just have to spread the word!  We won't be able to hold it in!  Apparently, we'll just leave our water jar behind go and start to constantly chatter - like the people were doing before Mass started.
Enthusiasm and happy happy happy let's spread Jesus.

 Christ died, people believe, not to redeem us or reform us, and certainly not to call us to a greater and more awesome degree of maturity or completion as human beings, but to make us feel good about ourselves.

A lot more fun than actually serving god in the duties of one's daily life, by changing diapers, cooking and cleaning, or working at a boring job 8 hours a day to support your family.

So I had all these Christians around me happy happy, but only (after many many requests to hire someone) I finally was permitted to hire help to help me get up with Lolo in the middle of the night when he was dying. So excuse my sarcasm.

Yes, I am feeling snarky today.

We are going to try to (finally) get someone else to probate Lolo's will so his daughters and granddaughter get their fare share according to the will, and not allow the one designated to probate it take everything.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Beauty and the beast: good or bad?

Ruby was supposed to go watch Beauty and the Beast yesterday but I think they had to postpone it due to scheduling problems and a crowded cinema.

If she goes at a time when the cinema is less crowded, I might actually go with her to see it, but I suspect I will have to wait until it is on HBO or on sale at the palenke for 50 pesos next week. (The Palenke black market vendors often have hit movies within a week of the opening in Manila).

I read a couple of bad reviews by "sophisticated" reviewers who disliked the remake, but I wondered if they just disliked fairy tales...

In contrast, (Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 70) and K Ru not only liked it but says it answered some of the holes of the plot.


update: I did manage to get to see it: Full review here.

Medieval history stuff (insomnia alert) has a book review about book by the Quennelles.. and how history visualization has changed in recent years.

But they do link to the book A History of Everyday Things in England, at to read on line or download.  Vol 4 Vol 3

They also have  Everyday life in the old stone age

and more at if you search the name, but a lot are from an internet library in India, so you have to check the link which gives  you pdf and torrent files

I usually don't read these books straight through: I browse and check on things I actually am interested in and read that.

Ebooks however are hatd to "browse".

Ah, but I found I can listen to them on my tablet. Even better, I can rip them to MP3's via Balabolka, using a more pleasant voice (Microsoft David) than is available on my tablet, and instruct the program to rip it into half hour segments. I then mix up these with other lectures to play as background noise when I sleep. Hence the title: INSOMNIA ALERT.

I enjoy history that not only includes battles but the background (trade religion culture). I used to have the entire Durant series in hardback but only have three of them with me here., (ebook and some volumes audio at  (and I also brought with me two of Braudels historys, which alas are harder to find free on line but some are on line at Scribd)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Boobies? We got 'em

from the birdwatching thread at FreeRepublic.

wikipedia article on the blue footed booby

Chuck Berry RIP

Chuck Berry has died. Sigh.

turn up speakers and dance

Mathematical pi

March 14 is PiDay

And here is how you sing it:


Snowflake melting

via Instapundit:

SJW with a degree in feminist/latino studies finds this offensive.

she elsewhere tweets: "as a woman I want to break the glass ceiling".

well, as someone who was a physician when only 8 percent of physicians were women, maybe I should point out that maybe she should persue excellence and knowledge instead of a whining feminism that can't see her ignorance may be the problem, not a hypothetical glass ceiling.

This is, after all, basic history. You know: World War I?

Google is your friend.

And the fact she gets upset at seeing an airplane that has a cross on it shows she is a bigot. True, it is politically correct bigotry, but bigotry nevertheless.

For the clueless, this is one of the Red Baron's planes.

( the biplane is a Fokker CIII Albatross, but he also flew others, including the famous Fokker D1 Triplane).

As in the most famous flying ace of World War I.

You know, the nemesis of Snoopy:

In contrast, Snoopie flew the Sopwith Camel,

why "camel"? 

A metal fairing over the gun breeches, intended to protect the guns from freezing at altitude, created a "hump" that led pilots to refer to the aircraft by the name Camel.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Less crime in the Philippines: Who wudda thot?

StrategyPage has an article on what is going on here in the Philippines, and their essay begins:

March 17, 2017: Since the March 6 thresumption of the crackdown on illegal drugs there has been a lot less violence. The revived war on drugs limits the number of police involved to those who have already been screened and known to be uncorrupt. So far the revised anti-drug tactics have led to about 75 percent fewer arrests per week and 84 percent fewer deaths. Part of that is due to the fact that so many known drug gang members were arrested or killed during the first seven months of the operation. It will take another month or so to determine if the new approach is continuing to reduce the distribution and use of illegal drugs. The initial campaign certainly reduced crime.
they note that only 2512 of the murders in the last year was by cops: most of the others were private payback, vigilante style killings, or drug gangs killings.

and now the emphasis is now on cleaning up the cops.

 Duterte apparently realizes that he has a short period of time to make some fundamental changes before public enthusiasm wanes and his powerful opponents (major drug gangs and corrupt senior politicians and bureaucrats) get organized. 

SP also writes on terrorism, including how the Abus turned to piracy and are now a lot less popular with the locals.

they also have a long explanation on what is going on here with the local Chinese aggression against the Philippines.

they say the Chinese press is openly discussing annexing the Philippines. Read the whole thing.

the takeover of the West Philippine sea is not just about exploiting fishing and natural gas there, but in blocking a major sea lane to Korea and Japan.

and as the Manila Bulletin notes: Australia is worried too.

Americans tend to forget about Australia, who entered the war on terror before the US, after the Bali bombing. They are quietly helping Indonesia in security matters.

One reason Duterte dislikes the US is because he claims the CIA got a bad guy out of prison when he was a mayor. And the US cutting off trade threats after the "Extrajudicial killing" kerfuffle made him even madder, especially since the Mexican drug cartels were moving in and Obama was doing nothing to stop them.

Similarly, he essentially told the European Union do gooders where to go when they went out of their way to try to protect the vixen who was schtupping her driver (who collected the drug bribes for her). At present she is under arrest for drug related charges.

I wrote about the Philippines a few days ago and how the political families were pushing back..Remember, a lot of them are on the take.

the name of the scandal is #LeniLeaks. since a local blogger has posted emails discussing the plot. She is upset, but the article notes she hasn't denied it.

Netizens scored Robredo’s camp for keeping mum about the issue, but the OVP maintained its silence on the leaked emails even amid calls to shed light on #LeniLeaks. Robredo also did not categorically address the supposed leaked emails when interviewed by local media in Iloilo on Saturday.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Stories below the fold

InOurTime podcast discusses global warming: Not not today's global warming but The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum...


After five years without a major hijacking, the Somali pirates did it again... maybe because the international folks stopped their anti piracy effort in December....but then they released the ship and crew, without ransom...

more here.

Back story here: Wikipedia article on Punt.... the Puntland anti piracy effort.  website HERE.
for later reading  LINK

a lot of the sailors who had been kidnapped in the past were Filipino sailors.
UKGuardian story of 26 released late last year


one of the tactics the pirates used was "swarm boat" tactics, i.e. lots of small civilian looking boats in an attack.

Iran is now threatening the same to US boats

 Having A-10s on call, which is quite common in the Persian Gulf, gives the navy another weapon available to deal with any large scale use of swarming tactics in an effort to, for example, close the Hormuz Strait by sinking some large tankers at key points or simply to make a point..

another reason to keep the old but reliable A-10 warthog.

I read somewhere that Kong Island (which with B&tB is playing at our local cinema) is racist because it suggests King Kong is black.

But actually, many in the black community saw this in the original movie: where Kong was made to seem more sympathetic than scary; the character was kidnapped and killed by evil people who wanted him to make them rich, and later when he freed himself in rage for the mistreatment, he was killed by those who exploited and hated him.

Of course, as Tolkien might have pointed out, it was not allegory per se but it was application... like all classic stories it could be read as a story of slavery and/or of the racism of 1930's...


maybe Trump should silence the kerfuffle about importing unscreened Muslims from countries with lots of bad guys pretending to be refugees by importing some of the Rohingye. from AlJ:

More than 90,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar since October when the military launched a crackdown against what it called Rohingya insurgents after an attack on an army post....

Rohingya refugees have been living in Bangladesh since the 1970s. Estimates of the total number vary from 300,000 to 500,000.
less than 3000 were allowed in the US under President Obama last year.


The low tech device to stop being hacked

why worry about hackers (heck, they already have my email password, my federal file) when facebook knows all about you

So what is the way not to get hacked?



Another day, another try by the elites to take back the government

 Lots of stuff about Obama's deep state attempt to undermine Trumpie boy, but today Drudge reports an "impeachment" attempt against Duterte.

Relaity check.

Impeachments (and military coup attempts) are a dime a dozen: there were several against our lovely ex president Arroyo, who never stole a thing but somehow got rich during her presidency, not to mention the "hello Garci" scandal where she discussed stuffing the ballot box.

No serious attempts during PNoy's time in office. He was weak but didn't seem to stp on people's toes.

Ah, but Duterte? He's blamed for every murder in the Philippines: Not just those by the cops but half of the murders listed tend to be "payback" murders, by folks who got tired of waiting for justice delayed or by those who were just trying to clean up the place of drugs on their own...

The "international" types got aghast. No one in the international community dares to attack the Mexican president for the drug related murders there, including those by drug gang wars and crooked cops and politicians.

ah, but even the guy who placed the "impeachment" complain admits he is blaming Duterte for these private payback murders:

Alejano, a former marine officer who was accused of involvement in a failed coup attempt several years ago, denied his complaint was part of an extraconstitutional attempt to unseat Duterte. In his complaint, Alejano echoed rights activists' label of Duterte as a "cheerleader" for encouraging the "summary executions" of drug suspects in violation of their rights to life and due process.
Alejano is one of those who attempted a military coup against Gloria Arroyo

but unlike the others, he is now a patsy for a liberal party takeover of the government.

the sexy vixen and favorite of the international elite is in the Liberal party and probably part of this too.

Like the "deep state" stuff on conspiracy type websites, the Philippines has it's own "deep state": The elite families who are all related to each other

here is an old article (2014)  from the PhilInquirer that outlines how the clans run the Philippines.

and many have deep links with the US and international order. So as soon as Duterte took over, you saw a lot of the same meme "DRUG KILLINGS" all with the same stories and same "statistics" and (like Trump) the same "inflammatory" remarks (usually out of context, or interpreting a humorous/ironic quip as if it were a serious comment).

What is missing? Most people back Duterte because it means the common people are safer. Yes a poll showed a huge number of people who admitted they "feared" a friend or acquaintance might be killed, but hey, we have huge extended families, and we know some of them are druggies or pushers, but since families come first, it's not like we would report them to the (crooked) cops.

The same "yes we want justice but we protect our own" ideas also means that Gloria was freed after the UN said she was jailed for political reasons, and then the Supreme court threw out her case.

Follow the links. GMA was a classmate of Bill Clinton, the "Human rights" lawyer was the "wife" of a movie star who holds fundraisers for Hillary.  And probably more links if I knew more about all of this.

GMA got into office because her father was a popular president, and later she ran as VP, and later threw out ERAP, who was popular, because of "Corruption". in a "people power" uprising II.

The problem? She was even more corrupt, of course, and the backstory of an infamous massacre was that the politician involved stole the election for her and figured he would not be prosecuted.

The American girl was the CIA pick for president, but late in the election cycle, Duterte entered and ended up winning.

But our president and VP are from different parties.

So now we have a VP who got in because her populist husband died in a plane crash. He was populist, but she is from one of the big families.

But Duterte is popular, so the common people won't go for another "spontaneous" revolution. Hence impeachment, using the liberal party who lost the election.

And it will go nowhere. But never mind.

It's better for the MSM to point to drug killings in the Philippines to smear Duterte, not to point out that the Philippines was in danger of becoming another drug cartel state like Mexico, where last time I looked, had seen 20 thousand people killed last year.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Internet free zone

One of the advantages of the internet going out is that I am reading books (not watching a lot of TV since the news is nonsense and most of what is on is junk or in Tagalog, including the Korean dramas that Ruby loves so much). And a lot of the  hype seems repetetive anyway.

David Warren comments on an internet free world:

It takes only three days away from the sources osf anxiety to free one from their iron grip, though much longer to quench the fire they leave burning. I was reminded of this over the weekend, in Ottawa to attend the obsequies for my remarkable friend, Mary Scheer. This took me away from my computer, in which I find the daily news, and upon return to the High Doganate, Monday night, I discovered in myself a decided indifference towards catching up. When I did get around to checking, I saw that there was nothing new in the news: only more “dog shit,” if I may lift a term from a recent Joseph Epstein essay. Why do we waste our consciousness on it? More precisely: why do I?
on the other hand, if China decides to invade Luzon to divert their citizens from the lousy economy, I might like a day or two warning.

For later reading

the internet has been going off in the heat of the day  for the last few days. Something to remember the next time you read all those happy memes about being a cashless society.

lots of political stuff bookmarked so I can read later (the internet often comes back on at sunset)

Spengler on Iran ruining their economy to help Syria.

father Z on nuns pushing fake contemplation. Wasn't she one of those who are pushing the "we are evolving to a higher power" a few years ago?

trump the tweeter: the real story of rolling back unilateral presidential decrees is being ignored.

China again destroys the environment to build a new island to steal land owned traditionally by Vietnam.

FLP podcast: Camille Paglia discusses her latest book mp3

Austin Bay writes the Navy needs more frigates.

What's a frigate?

Though smaller than other line warships, frigates were "built tough and rugged" to operate with the fleet's big ships in all sea conditions. Frigates provided an anti-air and anti-sub "screen" for aircraft carrier battle groups and carried a mix of weapons. Most frigates carried a helicopter and a deck gun (usually 76 mm) capable of rapid fire. The ship had the tools to conduct a solo Freedom of Navigation Operation.

Wikipedia link here.

GetReligion notes that CNN's religion "expert" tends to report on the extreme wackos, not main stream believers...he has smeared Christ and traditional Christian beliefs in his book, and now has a tv program to smear everyone else I guess. Smearing and mis reporting the beliefs and practices is routine for Christians, where we see smears and trumpets of heretical scholars every holy day season. But his smear, portraying a tiny offshoot sect as if they were an example of the beliefs of a billion Hindus is causing protests.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Cashless in India: Reality bites?

the independent blogsite Global Voices has a long article summarizing what is going on in India after they decided to go "cashless".

India stopped people from using "large" bills of money, and to prove they didn't even need cash, decided to declare certain areas fully "cashless".

Emergence of cashless villages
In the months since the demonetization, a number of villages have been declared newly cashless. In a number of cases, the transformation was driven by local NGOs with the help of banks and local authorities. Some 11 remote villages in India have been adopted by the United Bank of India (UBI) under a pilot project to transform them into cashless villages, for instance.

the Times of India article:

Here are the six villages in India are the first to go cashless. This means all adults have bank accounts, use sms-based banking and plastic money while businesses use swipe machines for cashless transactions. Banks are also linking their Aadhaar cards to accounts to ensure benefits gets transferred directly to the beneficiaries.
all of which will allow lots of smart hackers to get rich I'm sure.

I don't live in India, but I do live in the rural Philippines, with cash and vendors and open air markets. So I presume this means the small vendor won't be able to sell stuff because they can't afford a machine.

and do locals really want to go cashless?

Here in the Philippines, people just don't trust the government, and want the cash in hand. We are only beginning to use credit cards here: I had a credit card for years in the US but only got a local one two years ago, and the main place I can use it is in the upscale shops at the mall, (with two pieces of photo ID). We are also starting to use it for e commerce: for things we can't find locally... mainly my granddaughter is doing this, since you have to verify your purchase with your smartphone, and I don't own one but she does.

but twice in the US I had my purse stolen from work and had to cancal my credit card. And that doesn't include on line scams, or identity theft. I mean, if hackers can steal my personnel file from the federal government, don't you think that there will be a lot of fraud and stealing with all these paperless purchases?

then there is the question: what if the internet etc fails? Floods, electrical brownouts, typhoons, landslides are common, alas.

And what would happen if an earthquake takes out the internet cables, as one large one did about ten years ago.

The Economic Times of the Times of India wonders the same thing:

It is a myth that an advanced society must necessarily be cashless. In Germany, a country which knows the perils of authoritarianism, more than 80% of transactions are in cash, as citizens safeguard their privacy and freedom. Even in the US, 45% of transactions are in cash. Note that Germany and the US actually have the banking and technological infrastructure to enable cashlessness. In India, 600 million people have no bank account, and less than 20% of all Indians have a smartphone. Internet  .. Read more at:

so who the heck made a decision for India's one billion people? This is not China, after all: India is a democracy.

Forbes article here.

India’s demonetization scheme was a unilateral initiative that was planned in secret — in a back room of Prime Minister Modi’s home, in fact — by a small group of insiders tied-in with the upper echelons of India’s government. 

it was done to stop the hoarding of cash (invisible to the tax man) and stop the black market.

But I wonder: As my husband used to say about the Philippine politicians: they're all crooks. So, is anyone in India getting rich off this scheme? Besides the hackers and those who steal someone's identity to steal their money I mean.

this was touted as anti corruption.

One of Modi’s main brands is that of a corruption fighter, and his demonetization initiative was rushed into effect in an attempt to catch the black market off guard — which could potentially lead to a big payday for the central bank if large amounts of illicit cash wasn’t redeemed. That plan flopped, as almost all of the recalled notes were officially accounted for one way or another.
 Yup. Anti corruption... except the big shots found ways around the ban to hide their money (I posted about this in an earlier blogpost)...

more herehere and here.

Techasia has a report on being caught during the turnover. Summary? It F***s the working class but won't stop the crooks

So maybe demonetization puts a dent of mysterious size in upper-class black money movers. It’s an inconvenience to the middle class. But it fucks over the working class – the rickshaw drivers, the guy who brings you water, and the lady who owns your trusty but tiny corner store....

Finally, more money flitting around digitally means a greater risk for cybersecurity breaches. Arguably, this risk comes with the reward of a cashless society, but it’s not a fight easily won. The US$81 million Bangladesh Bank heist in February last year is not the last time digital money – and a lot of it – is going to be compromised. (And let’s not forget that last year a single power outage grounded a Fortune 500 airline.) Demonetization – crowds of people opening bank accounts, exchanging cash, and signing onto fintech services – is a hacker’s paradise.
“We invest millions of dollars a year in data security – it’s one of the big risks of digitalization,” cross-border payments startup Payoneer CEO Scott Galit tells Tech in Asia. If there’s opportunity, hackers will come – ready or not.
ah but the WashingtonPost thinks it is honkey dory and has an article how first India had to get everyone finger printed and given a identification number so they could get bank accounts (and not be part of the economy that doesn't pay taxes) and a lot about smartphone money transfer is in the article.

In recent polls and elections the problems and frustrations of ordinary Indians from this policy shows that Modi is still popular.

so presumably no one there is worried if the government is monitoring their purchases and bank account

But would this work in the prickly west, where people simply don't trust the government and big brother?

privacy? what privacy?

and when the CIA/NSA (not to mention facebook) can snoop into everything you do, why am I suspicious that this is just one more "big brother" item?

and of course, there is the problem of security.

I mean, if the Chinese hackers could steal my federal personnel file, then maybe there is a minor problem with cybersecurity that someone should worry about.

but the WaPost says that the big shots in Davos says everyone has to join the cashless society.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, that the United States should follow Modi’s lead in phasing out currency and moving toward a digital economy, because it would have “benefits that outweigh the cost.” Speaking of the inequity and corruption that is becoming an issue in the United States and all over the world, he said: “I believe very strongly that countries like the United States could and should move to a digital currency so that you would have the ability to trace this kind of corruption. There are important issues of privacy, cybersecurity, but it would certainly have big advantages.”

my stepson, along with a lot of other fundamentalist wackos would say this is the mark of the beast and make a fuss. My geeky grandson would say neato.

As for me, well as my mother used to say: Who died and made you king?

The idea that a big shot can radically implement policies with little input fro the ordinary folk is one of the reasons for Brexit and the Trumpsters.

and when a google of the subject shows nearly every story on the subject seems to be positive stories saying almost the same thing about becoming cashless society, it makes you wonder about "fake news". 

I mean, when even "Scientific American" argues for a cashless society because there are germs on money, it makes you wonder who is controlling the news.