Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Secret churches

 Virtueonline links to an article about the newest version of Christianity in China that has revived the house churches in rural areas: Calvinism originating in Indonesia. As the rural Pentecostal house churches lose the educated young because they are migrating to cities, they want a more substantial church i.e. more emphasis on intellectual basis instead of mere emotion.

I wonder if it is because the rule oriented Calvinism has rules of conduct similar to Confucian ethics, but then I don't know enough about the subject to know if this is true.

the article also notes the persecution of Christians and the destruction of churches in China.


I don't know if anyone outside the religious right notices the problem of closing churches. No, worshipping on line or watching TV is not the same.

Yes, virus. But when the public health authorities said hey, BLM demostrations were fine, one does wonder why pastors in the USA didn't say: well if they can gather outside during the day to demonstrate, well, we can imitate them by having worship services outside.

Here, a couple months ago I posted about a priest in Manila saying mass on the back of a pickup truck in the poor areas of Manila.

and our churches have reopened, although elders are not allowed inside (we have to stand outside and keep our distance). Which means as soon as the hot season stops I might actually try to go back to church.

And in Africa, sometimes the priest would say mass under a tree in isolated villages.

So anyway, Father Z links to an article about the Irish sneaking out to pray at the mass rocks, where the Irish gathered to pray and have mass said during that country's persecution.

Alas,. Ireland's bishops pretty well destroyed their church over the last 30 years, so this seems to be mainly a lay effort.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

here comes the storm

Actually not quite a typhoon but a tropical storm. We are signal 2.
The eye should pass us by tonite.

Heavy rain all day.
The harvested rice is dry, which is good news,..the bad news is that we have more rice to harvest...if the wind is high, the rest of the crop could be ruined.

update: aside from broken banana and palm tree fronds we seem to be okay. Kuya will check the farm later today for damage to the crops

Monday, October 19, 2020

Stories not covered in the media:

 Michael Yon, whose reports on Hong Kong told the inside story of their protests, has now gone to report the antifa "peaceful protests" aka riots.

This dispatch points to one of the biggest problems no one seems to be reporting on: That the homeless problem is due to drugs. and it resembles the revenge of China for the Opium wars.

and during the pandemic, overdoses and suicides (which often are in those who have abuse problems) have skyrocketed.

Of course, if someone tries to do something about it, like Duterte is trying to do here, the "human rights" types will protest, because the lives destroyed by drugs and the people killed by druggies robbing them (as several older folks in our town were killed), well they don't care. 

I remember when things changed: Before the Beatles popularized drug taking, such things were not normalized in society. Then suddenly those of us who refused to go along with taking drugs were ridiculed and marginalized.

So yes, go mourn John Lennon. But remember: The guy who killed him scrambled his brains into psychotic delusions due to drug taking. In the east, this is known as Karma...

and the question no one is asking: Where the H### are the churches on this issue? Afraid to preach against drug taking because they might lose their congregations?


Joe Biden is being brought low by his kids. But hey, Twitter and Facebook etc. are trying to censor that story.

But the question no one is asking:

A lot of this is "legal" since giving money to a son/spouse/family member for political influence is not considered bribery. Ditto for family members who get lucrative business deals. But there are a lot of politicians in Washington who have become rich and no one wants to talk about it.

Which is why the well known shenanigans of Trumpieboy before he became president are shrugged off by the deplorables: 

As my husband would say: They're all crooks. 

and we know lots about Trumpieboy's business deals, (lots of "best sellers" full of these claims are out there) but not how other politicians became millionaires while serving in congress.

So where are the reporters in all of this? Well, given the death of Daphne Caruana, and the lack of interest in things like the Panama papers etc., you can see why these things are not covered very well in the press.


I ran across this photo on Powerline blog.

what hit me was not the contrast between the photos, but that there are crowds at airports where Trumpieboy has landed. LINK LINK2 LINK3 LINK4

apparently he is making a lot of stops at small airports to campaign, and by calling these gathering "peaceful protests" he can point out that Antifa, feminists, BLM etc. protests are going on all the time without much outcry about the virus spread, implying that if you condemn one gathering you have to do the same for the other side.

This bring in mind another President hated by the establishment who did the same thing: Give'm hell Harry's whistle stop campaign, where Truman crossed the country on a train and gave speeches.

Whistle-Stop Campaign July - October 1948

THE TRAIN CAMPAIGN PROVED TO BE AN UNEXPECTED SUCCESS. During the tour, a new relaxed and confident Harry Truman was presented to the people — a candidate who spoke their language and understood their needs...
For his part, Truman relentlessly accused the "do-nothing" Republican Congress of failing to meet the needs of the American people, a tirade that served him well with the common voter.
" Give 'em hell, Harry " became a battle-cry for the hard-fought, uphill battle of the campaign.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Russia steps into the breech

While the US vaccine is being held up by TDS/politics, since any attempt to release it early will be opposed by Trump's opposition by calling such a move risky and based on politics, not science. Just ignore the cost/benefit ratio means that a lot more people will die in the name of "safety" by those insising there be no rare side effects.

hopefully, the vaccine will be released a day or two after the election if Biden wins (who knows when it will be released if Trumpiboy wins, since the establishment is busy trying to blame him for trying to rush the vaccine development)

But the dirty little secret is that the Philippines, and other less affluent countries need a vaccine to reopen the economy if there won't be massive starvation and economic collapse in poorer countries.

Duterte wants everyone here in the Philippines to get the Covid vaccine, both to save people's lives and to reopen the economy. And guess who is offering to provide it? Russia.......


Russia is even offering to open a pharmacology factory here to make the vaccine. 


as I have written in earlier posts, a lot of the anti vax propaganda is Russian disinformation against vaccines, something that dates back at least two decades, as propaganda to make countries afraid of aid from western countries.
so far, people prefer Russian vaccine to the Chinese vaccine. 

and of course, if the US State Dept would get off their puwit and offer Duterte a deal, he'd take them up on it, even though he hates and distrusts the US SD and the CIA, because most docs here prefer the better tested US vaccine.

Bernie got robbed

Lots of chaff out there about Biden's son's corruption...back in the news because a hard drive information was leaked to the press.
And more scandal because twitter is trying to censor the story.

But one of the facts leaking out is not the corruption per ee, but that the computer repair shop gave the hard drives to the FBI last December...meaning they were hiding evidence that would have made the charges behind Trump's impeachment nonsense.

But it has another implication.

If Biden had been tainted with credible/ provable evidence of corruption during the primaries, then Bernie would have won the nomination.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Family news

 Kuya is at the farm trying to get the rice harvest in: there have been low pressure areas and rain, meaning it is hard to cut and dry it before it starts to rain in the afternoon.

The cook's latest great grandchildren, a set of twins, just celebrated their first birthday, so we got given Filipino style spaghetti to eat from the party. (sweet tomato sauce, and hot dogs and processed cheese on top).

Like a lot of twins, one was smaller and hospitalized twice for diarrhea/ fever/ failure to thrive. Mom's milk didn't agree with her (probably the real problem was not enough mom's milk for two kids, and the stronger one sucked her dry)...The doctor finally found an organic formula that worked, and since then she has done well. The problem? It's expensive, (a week's worth of forumla is 800 pesos, but mom and grandmom are out of work due to the virus) so I've been paying for the milk, and since then she has done okay and now is almost as big as her sister.


The maid just asked for extra money so her son could buy a smart phone for classes. She has one, but he has been sharing it with her and cousins so has been doing most of his classes with paper modules, which is stressful.

The maid brought up the suicide of a high school student in Manila, who fell behind and was reprimanded for this, so came home and his mom found him dead in his bedroom. This story is all over the papers and social media because adjusting to the new version of school is causing a lot of stress for middle class and lower middle class families who see education as the way out of poverty.

For example, The cook's youngest son went to college thanks to a scholarship from Japan and help from Lolo...but several of her grandkids are attendind post high school education too, with help from extended family.

In the meanwhile, the BBC ignores all of this and has a report of a " political prisoner" jailed for hiding weapons who had a baby in prison, but the authorities sent the kid home so it died after 3 months with diarrhea and pneumonia...and of course is blaming Duterte. The article claims everyone here is upset, but I didnt read about it. My take, as a doc who saw these problems in Africa?

Grandmom fed her formula mixed with dirty water, and maybe even watered down the formula because she couldn't afford to buy it.... or maybe the diarrhea came from dirty bottles. Alas, these deaths from babies on formula is why they encourage only breast feeding here, and most moms do breast feed. 

. In other words,and maybe if all the horrified SJW had helped out with paying for bottled water and a good formula the kid would have lived.  And maybe even help the kids of other women who cant breatfeed, live too...Ah, but demonstrating is so ego gratifying, and actual hands on helping people cope means getting your hands dirty.

Monday, October 12, 2020

on line learning

 I am behind in my LOTR podcast listening, but today's podcast of Morgoth's Ring started with Prof. Olsen, who a couple years ago established an on line College (Signum University), is discussing inequality of employees in universities, and how he is trying to make all employees on the same team.

he says earlier podcasts started with his discussion of marginalizing faculty by the administration?

Nope. Not my area of expertise. But if you are involved in higher education you might want to check out stuff on their site.

I only bring this up because my granddaughter in the USA is busy attending on line classes, with only a few regular classes at her college.

Will all on line classes be the way of the future?

probably not: Because a lot of learning is with questioning the teacher and with students discussing their subject with other students.

On the other hand, when I was in Medical school (nearly 50 years ago!), we tended to be busy, so one enterprising student started a class notes service: He would tape the lecture then have it typed out and duplicated for those who didn't want to attend classes.

So our Medical school yearbook had a photo labeled: A typical class: Showing an empty classroom with the lonely student with his large tape recorder being the only one in the class room.

Yup. the more things change the more they stay the same.

Again not my area of expertise: I am not a memorizer but learn by concepts and mind pictures. So I prefer to listen and take pithy notes of what I heard, which required me to translate the words into the concept.

On the other hand, my youngest did well with homeschool type modules that were used in his school: He knew that if he didn't master the module, he'd have to repeat it, so he actually paid attention to what he was working at. In regular classes, he'd get bored and start daydreaming and not learn anything at all.

The reason I bring this up:

here, students are taking many of their classes on line with the help of their parents: our mayor has established a cheap internet wifi program, and our internet has been going on and off as they update the data connections with fiberoptic cables. There are also non internet ways to teach, using printed modules of the lessons. Sort of like what my son did in homeschool: You follow the module with your parents' help, and then email the teacher to get help...

here are some local videos about the new way of learning here in the Philippines, which is still in partial lockdown.


I should add that polls show Duterte's approval rating remains high: 90 percent approve of his handling of Covid and 80 percent approve of what he is doing to run the government.

But you can see the need is to reopen the cities, and this won't happen without a vaccine. 

The WHO just decided to stop advising shutdown/quarantines
because of the economic problems it is causing in much of the world

Sunday, October 11, 2020

live not by lies

 Live not by lies. Advice from

Solzhenitsyn's essay Live Not by Lies. A pledge:

  • Will not henceforth write, sign, or print in any way a single phrase which in his opinion distorts the truth.
  • Will utter such a phrase neither in private conversation not in the presence of many people, neither on his own behalf not at the prompting of someone else, either in the role of agitator, teacher, educator, not in 
  • or broadcast a single idea which he can only see is false or a distortion of the truth whether it be in painting, sculpture, photography, technical science, or music.
  • Will not cite out of context, either orally or written, a single quotation so as to please someone, to feather his own nest, to achieve success in his work, if he does not share completely the idea which is quoted, or if it does not accurately reflect the matter at issue.
  • Will not allow himself to be compelled to attend demonstrations or meetings if they are contrary to his desire or will, will neither take into hand not raise into the air a poster or slogan which he does not completely accept.
  • Will not raise his hand to vote for a proposal with which he does not sincerely sympathize, will vote neither openly nor secretly for a person whom he considers unworthy or of doubtful abilities.
  • Will not allow himself to be dragged to a meeting where there can be expected a forced or distorted discussion of a question. Will immediately talk out of a meeting, session, lecture, performance or film showing if he hears a speaker tell lies, or purvey ideological nonsense or shameless propaganda.
  • Will not subscribe to or buy a newspaper or magazine in which information is distorted and primary facts are concealed. Of course we have not listed all of the possible and necessary deviations from falsehood. But a person who purifies himself will easily distinguish other instances with his purified outlook.

  • So who is promoting lies that got my knickers in a knot this week?

    Yup. Francis the merciful, with his embrace of global warming and his anti capitalism encyclical released last week that is unreadable, but does have a few good things in there for obedient Catholics to cherry pick and praise.

    Reality check:

    The Pope has betrayed the Chinese church, "opposed" the culture of death  being promoted by his beloved "progressive" wing of the church, while winking at those promoting it instead of punishing them.

    and shall we ignore the latest scandal, where his friend diverted money donated by ordinary folk to get rid of a meddlesome priest who was investigating financial shennanigans,...yes, that Cardinal got fired, but only after he was outed by the Australian press.

    so now Global Warming is the lynchpin on his fuzzy thinking in his last "encyclical:look at what's being ignored in the text?

     so what's missingt?

    Jesus Christ - 2 God the Father - 0 The Holy Spirit - 2 Church Fathers - 0 Pope - 1 Salvation - 0 Heaven - 1 Hell - 0
    so we have gaslighting, lies and distortion.

    He  distorts history by condeming capitalism

    Translation: God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, thieves, rouges, adulterers, or like those evil capitalists...

    Which capitalists: These: capitalists

    Yup. those evil capitalists who  have raised 80 percent of humanity out of poverty while praising socialism, that has killed at least 100 million people in the last century. 

    But instead of a subtle analysis of reality, we have a Pope who quotes a 6th century bishop who pushes the "pie" theory of economics that there are limited resources so if one person is rich, it makes someone else poor: ignoring the "grow the pie" theory of macro economics that is behind the success of today's world.

    the dirty little secret: poverty is not growing
    True, the gap between the poor and rich is increasing: But not because the poor are poorer,  (I doubt the poor today are worse off than my Irish Ancestors during the potato famine). The real reason is that the rich are richer.

    , but is still a problem in those societies where the economy is not growing (often because of local wars and/or local corruption.
     e.g. central Africa or the Middle East)

    so the Pope should be condemning corruption, and maybe even naming names.

    Here is a another graph, that goes up to 2020:

    this type of thinking is not new, which is why I am so cynical.

    Rremember global winter and the population bomb? And the Ehrlich-Simon bet. 

    The widely-followed contest originated in the pages of Social Science Quarterly, where Simon challenged Ehrlich to put his money where his mouth was. In response to Ehrlich's published claim that "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000" Simon offered to take that bet, or, more realistically, "to stake US$10,000 ... on my belief that the cost of non-government-controlled raw materials (including grain and oil) will not rise in the long run."

    the reasons have changed, but the agenda remains the same.

    why the push of the green agenda now? the up coming world wide economic collapse from economic shut down to stop the covid epidemic.

     It's an opportunity to put into place the plans that have been long discussed on international forums but poorly covered in the press except for "conspiracy sites" who often distort things and can be easily ignored or ridiculed in the MSM. But if you read the articles they refer to, or if you have been involved in developmental work, as I have, all of these ideas are not new, and some of them are good. The problem? I sort of dislike elite folks making plans without asking for our opinion.

    I guess that makes me a deplorable, even though I tend to be sympathetic to Bernie and Chomsky.

    For example, the Pope blames the covid epidemic on capitalism and global warming, yet it was communism, the fear of being a whistleblower in a communist state, and the corruption of the World Health Organization that let the genie out of the bottle.

     the Green Agenda  is openly admitting they plan to use the covid epidemic to change the world (but you will only find this out if you read conspiracy sites that link to their pages.

    Conspiracy theory? Uh, no.

    I keep getting heads up to the big TED symposium of celebrities pushing this.
    This virtual event, streamed free on 10.10.2020, is the Global Launch of Countdown, a new initiative to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. Watch five curated sessions packed with more than 50 speakers, activists, actors and musicians, who share actionable and science-backed ideas, paired with moments of wonder, inspiration and optimism. Presented by TED and Future Stewards.

    Phys Org summary of the meeting here and includes this quip:

    With a call to "fix our climate" by 2030, Prince William on Saturday joined a global array of activists, artists, celebrities and politicians taking part in a free streamed TED event aimed at mobilizing and unifying people to confront the climate crisis....
    Yes because you should let self appointed activists, artists and celebrities tell you how you should live.

    This, by the way, is from 2014.

    A theologcal analysis of  Francis promoting a religion of humanity that leaves out the reality of God