Friday, July 31, 2015

Oh the poor lion (/S)

In March, Zimbabwe's president Mugabe had a birthday party for 20 thousand of his supporters, and included in the menu were two Elephants and a lion.

Remember the outcry? No, I didn't either.

And Mugabe's party in that poverty stricken country, cost $120,000....

and those killed animals? Well, they were scheduled to be culled, but by "donating" them to the party, it meant locals were impoverished.

"Villagers said the animals were part of their annual hunting quota and donating them meant no income for the year"

Photos of the lion that the SJW are lamenting show an elderly lion.

I suspect he was on the "cull" list, which is why a local tourism company arranged for him to be the one shot. Or maybe they were just corrupt, and figured a lion is just a lion, and hey, this one is old....No one seems to be pointing fingers to that tourism company.

So why allow hunting at all?

Follow the money. In Pennsylvania, hunting dear was a way to supplement the food budget, so when hunting season opened, even the schools were closed in our coal mining town.

I have less patience with rich folks doing it for sport, but one needs to control the population of lions and elephants etc or they will leave the preserves to poach easier prey, like corn crops of the local villagers or killing their cattle or children.

So one answer is to cull the excess animals that can't be supported on the limited land, and for predators like lions, arrange a kill for those who are elderly and would probably die in the near future anyway.

The outcry? Animal rights activists, of course.

And the MSM is hyping this so they don't have to examine the profit in baby bodies by planned parenthood.

Animals are "innocent" so let's mourn a dam lion, never mind that one rarely sees stories about the many dead in Zimbabwe from starvation, political terror, or disease spreading because the infrastructure is deteriorating.

But of course, on TV we can see oodles of "African wildlife" shows, and want to stop their killing.

Photos of starving African kids? Meh.

poetry corner

firstKnownWhenLost blog has a rumination on poetry and art today.

As I have observed here before, the older I get, the simpler Life seems to become.  I'm dumbfounded at the amount of extraneous luggage my mind carried around for years.  All those eventualities that never materialized, good or bad.  Scores of roundabouts and dead-ends, all bound for nowhere.
Yesterday afternoon -- the sky absolutely clear -- I walked through a tunnel of trees, beneath a canopy of interwoven branches.  Overhead, a thousand shades of green, shot through with blue and yellow.  "Life is too short," I thought, "for anything but this."

DavidWarren has an essay on Tea

actually, it is about the classic: The Book of Tea

Now, tea in its modern form — loose tea brewed in a tea pot with a handle and spout — is a development of the Sung Dynasty, centuries later. We tend to assume all progress is improvement, but Chinese scholars did not think that way. As we see in Lu Yu, the old methods were extremely complicated, and required great skills — down to the way the tea was powderized from the cakes, in specially-designed stone mortars, prior to brewing like Japanese matcha. The Japanese tea ceremony is itself derived from older Chinese rituals, which Lu Yu describes, but incompletely. One does not grab at tea, as one grabs at coffee in the morning. Rather it must be given one’s full attention.
the Book of Tea (wikipedia summary) more HERE.

heh. Actually, although Lolo always drank tea (using a tea bag with calimansi, a local citus fruit), I am lazy and tend to drink powdered ice tea...


Professor Giles' Harvard lectures from the early 1900s about China are now at Librivox, including one on his traslations of Chinese poetry.

text here


and for us geeks, the really important poetry question of the day:

Did the Dwarves prewrite the "crack the plates" song?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lesson of the day

From Home Sanctuaryblog.

I see indignation and wrath as our default setting. We're so quick to put our dukes up and assume a fighting stance at the mere mention of our pet topics.

But is this how we should act? ...As people of faith, we should take a higher road.
Let's be the ones to love people who disagree with us. Let our words be balm and healing to those who are wounded around us.
Let's stop having to be right about everything, and instead build bridges made out of gentleness and goodness. Right will win out in the end, anyway.Let's quit having to say the last word; and with gracious self-control, listen to the other side.We might learn something.Let's outdo our enemies, whether real or perceived, in kindness.
Let's not qualify our generosity for only those who "deserve" it.
When we start to lash out in anger, let's ask, "what would love do here?"

Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:3

Factoids for today

FreeLibrary podcast is by Kathy Reich, of "Bones" fame. LINK

Stuff you didn't know from history podcast is about Calamity Jane

Most Americans who went to parochial school know about Maryland being one of two colonies where they could worship legally (the other one being Pennsylvania) but now a silver box makes some think the underground Catholics were in Jamestown too.

Sorry Tom Cruise

Top Gun is obsolete
you don't need fancy expensive jets to shoot down other jets:
Being seen first is usually a death sentence, especially in an era of high off-boresight, long range missiles.  Stillion notes that since Vietnam it’s been missiles all the way.  The last gun kill by anybody was in 1988.

and guess who did that last gun kill? 
the use of guns in aerial combat virtually ended after the Yom Kippur War in late 1973. Out of 498 victory claims since that time, 440 (88 percent) have been credited to AAMs and only thirty to guns.39 The last gun kill of one jet combat aircraft by another occurred in May of 1988 when an Iranian F-4E downed an Iraqi Su-22M with 20 mm cannon fire.
on the other hand, you do need fancy expensive jets to do other things.

bookmarked for later reading.

Stuff around the net

Actor/writer Kevin O'Brien has an on-line speech class  for home schoolers.


Well, maybe Hillary's stroke kept her from answering questions on what really happened in Benghazi, but Michael Bay's movie is due out soon.


what does the Pope's "green" encyclical have to do with Japanese anime?

modern man insisting he can control nature (i.e. he is "god") and finding that idea is neither correct nor moral.

more HERE.

and HERE

Some Pig!

King Neptune, the Red White and Blue Pig that raised $19 million for the war effort.

(Photo: Union County Historical Museum/Used with Permission

Lingle had intended to use the piglet for a Navy fundraising dinner, upon being presented with the young Neptune, he found that he couldn’t slaughter him, describing the pig in a later interview as “an innocent-looking thing.”
Yet where Lingle saw doe-eyed innocence, he also saw opportunity. If those adorable little piggy eyes could keep this animal from the dinner table, maybe they could open a few charitable wallets as well. Thus, the runty little piglet once known as Parker Neptune, was rechristened King Neptune.


viaAtlas Obscura

Rice to the rescue

How to Fix a Phone Dropped in the Toilet

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

the cuddly little Chinese radish monster

from the BBC, a film about a Chinese film hit about a monster that looks like a radish.

The back story is more interesting:

One reason why the film may have done so well is that China severely restricts the release of foreign films to just 34 titles a year so that local titles have a better shot at scoring at the box office.Those that do get approved for release often get delayed opening dates so that local films can get maximum exposure - a restriction especially apparent in the summer.In Monster Hunt's case, there was only one foreign film that was allowed to be released in the same week - Shaun the Sheep Movie - reported Variety.
So the Chinese gov't censors and limits what film you are allowed to watch. Who wudda thot?

which makes me wonder if the Chinese, who pirate and sell films all over the world, why aren't they watching foreign films at home.


Semi related item: Someone is stupid enough to be picketing The Producers because it trivializes Hitler.

sheesh. What's next? censoring Blazing Saddles?


Tolkien lectures

New guest lecture series at Mythgard.

and Tolkien library has an essay on Tolkien as everyman

Stories below the fold: Christians in the MIddle East

Bookmarked for Later Reading

Libertarian blogger AnneAlthouse links to a UKGuardian story about Christian persecution. 


GetReligion reviews a similar post about the "post Christian" middle east.


Ah, but the dirty little secret is that these countries have millions of Christians working there, because local talent is lacking (Chinese tech workers or Filipina nurses) or locals are too proud to do the work, be it farm work in North Africa (done by SubSaharan Africans and Coptic Egyptians) to oil workers (Filippino, Indian, or Pakistani) or maid (Indonesian and Filipino).

Many of these workers are Christian, and although in the small Gulf states they have churches, but there are none in Saudi.

Why do they go? Poverty and no local good paying jobs. And not just men migrate to work as teachers/oil workers/drivers/factory workers, but women, to work as maids or hospital nurses.

MigrantRightsBlog has an article on why Muslim Indonesian  women are willing to leave their families to work as maids.  But a similar story can be said for Catholic Filipinas or Buddhist Nepali women who sacrifice to support their families.

Remember this the next time you read stories by rich western eco-warriors about how evil capitalism should be kept from destroying the lives of simple people need to be left alone to live in those picturesque villages. As my husband once told me: You can't eat the scenery.


related item Yes. I know. The Rohingya refugees are Muslims fleeing Buddhism.

And Chinese Uighurs are finding refuge in Turkey.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Iglesia scandal or how Christ Brown broke the church

The Catholics are being told to pray for the local Iglesia Ni Cristo, a strict church that is undergoing a big scandal in it's leadership.

Apparently the latest generation who inherited their positions are living rich. Tch tch: spending tithe money of their mainly poor members for private planes instead of huge flashy churches.

and then there is the "Chris Brown" scandal.

well, nothing new here. Jesus was a bit sarcastic about the kickbacks paid by crooked merchants in the temple, we Catholics had the Borgia popes, and I'm old enough to remember when the televangelists were outed as living in luxury.

Why is this scandal important? I mean 2.5 million church members is a lot of people, but not a large percentage. And although they tend to be anti Catholic, what amuses me is that the local Baptists etc. consider them a "cult" because they don't believe in the divinity of Jesus.

(Of course, the local Baptists think Mormons worship the devil and Catholics are pagans associated with the beast of Babylon, not Christians, so nothing new about their opinions. I mean, Tim Tebow brags about his family converting Filipinos to Christ as if they never heard of Jesus either).

Ah, but the InC directs their members to vote for certain people, usually on the left side of politics, so they have political clout.

and election year is coming.

The most amusing part of the State of the Nation address yesterday? That we shouldn't have political dynasties.

This from a president who won mainly because his mom was president, his father was martyred to keep him from running for president, and his grandfather helped the Japanese run the place during the occupation (something usually ignored in the history books).

Unlike the US, where we have a Bush and a Clinton running for president, politics runs in the family here.

presumably so their dads can instruct them on how the real world works.

Thornton Melon: Oh, you left out a bunch of stuff.
Dr. Phillip Barbay: Oh really? Like what for instance?
Thornton Melon: First of all you're going to have to grease the local politicians for the sudden zoning problems that always come up. Then there's the kickbacks to the carpenters, and if you plan on using any cement in this building I'm sure the teamsters would like to have a little chat with ya, and that'll cost ya. Oh and don't forget a little something for the building inspectors. Then there's long term costs such as waste disposal. I don't know if you're familiar with who runs that business but I assure you it's not the boyscouts.

RodneyDangerfield Back to School

good news headline of the day

South Korea reports that there are no more MERS cases.

now we only have to worry about new cases in Europe or people flying back from the Middle East.


forget the Oscars: The really fashion conscious watch the SONA crowd here in the Philippines.

or maybe not

Davao Del Norte Rep. Antonio Lagdameo with wife Dawn Zulueta -------------------

Chicken post of the day

image credit Vimeo

it looks like a chicken but it's actually a dove:

Daniel Alamsjah revealed that he was working in Jakarta when he suddenly received a divine message from God to build a prayer room in the form of a dove.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Dog download of the day

All creatures great and small...

audiobook on line.

some of the tv shows are there too...

Family news

Joy left for Manila so Ruby can attend some classes related to her homeschool magnet (i.e. the school that sponsors and supervises here homeschool). They will come back Tuesday night.

Since rice deliveries were scheduled Sunday and Monday, Chano wanted them to take the truck and rely on local transportation when the truck came back here. I gave them my carkey instead, and they found a driver to drive them. So this morning the truck went for the deliveries.

Problem? State of the Nation speech means protests, so schools are closed and streets are blocked off.

Hopefully Joy will be able to drop the money off for my passport (the line was too long last time, and they closed before she was seen).

Stories below the fold

FountainOfEliasBlog reminds us that July 26 celebrates the story of St Anne, the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus. So yes, we grandmoms have a patron saint.

Everybody needs a Jewish grandmother. There is no need too small or insignificant for St. Anne to concern herself with; she is at home among the pots and pans, in the garden, the grocery store, and especially in the labor and delivery room. I can even see her standing in the living room in the middle of a family fight, trying to intervene. She is powerful with God. Her shrine in Quebec is among the most beautiful in the world.

Her story comes from one of those "suppressed" gospels, the Gospel of James, which was so obviously a made up romance type story that church fathers refused to put it in the bible. But the stories were great, so they were read by laypeople in various retellings.


Brian Sibley remembers NASA's first Mars landing in 1976, and Bradbury's Martian Chronicles.


Egypt is making a new Suez canal?


Lost in Space: 50th anniversary of the TVShow


your choice of music reveals your thoughts

South American gene links to Australians.

 da plague da plague....

and it didn't stop in the middle ages: TeaAtTrianon links to an article on the plague in Marseilles of 1720


a new book about the Inklings has been published.

I actually bought the older book the Inklings by Carpenter.
 But since Carpenter had published a biography of Tolkien, the older book mainly was about Lewis and Charles Williams.
This newer book includes a lot about Tolkien too.

me, I'm waiting for a book about Tolkien that includes stories by his students, a lot of whom were women who were "adopted" into the family by his wife Edith. (And I wonder if the Professor and his wife in That Hideous Strength was based on them, as the Ransom of Out of the Silent Planet, who plays with Hrossa cubs, was based on Tolkien).

I have one book of these types of reminisces about Lewis...
the best one is by his gardener, who contrary to Warnie's dislike of Mrs Moore in her dotage, paints a picture of a lady who in her younger days before the paranoia of Alzheimers set in,  always had a handout for the hobos (sort of like The Lady in the Great divorce, who adopted every shopkeeper's son as her own?)


LightReadingBlog links to a NYT article about Oliver Sachs.

 via Incredible Things: Cats eating.

TEOTWAWKI post of the day

Eliz Foley via Instapundit reports that an "anti bullying" group giving a conference to small town kids taught kinky sex to middle schoolers.

so you can't read the bible in school, but you can use tax payer funds to let a gay advocacy group teach this under the guise of "bullying"?

related item: Obama is bullying Kenya to accept gays. Translation: Change your laws or lose American money.

 In societies where authority is obeyed, gay sex means sexual exploitation of those under you, be it the tribal chief, the "problem son" sent to Kenya to avoid scandal, or your employer or schoolteacher. And of course, it is considered "consensual" if they don't object, as I was told by a local businessman who routinely sexually abused his employees.

 St Charles Lwanga, pray for us.

related item: A statue of the devil (actually one of Baphomet) is being unveiled in Detroit, and they claim they will hold a ceremony to honor him. A publicity stunt, of course.

Baphomet, of course, is the nickname of Alister Crowley, a notorious pedophile...and it may not be a coincidence that the proposed statue has two kids with him.

Another partially related item: what happens when a graphic "gotcha" film is made of a person selling baby parts? The reporter will be investigated, of course.

Excuse my cynicism, but ethicists in the AMA back in the 1990's proposed using live but brain damaged babies for body parts (until the outcry made them change their mind). True, these children rarely live more than a week or two, but does that mean they can be killed and harvested?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Team Gawaine vs Team Lancelot

Medievalnet discusses why Gawain really was a better knight than Lancelot.

also there: about Margery Kempe. Yes I read it. Some information about those days (14 kids!) but as a doc, I suspect this so called "holy woman"was a classic narcissistic type with neurosis, since she seems to spend more time defending herself then promoting god.

wetlands wetlands

those who love "wetlands" need to know why people used to drain these places when they were known as Swamps:

The Great Black Swamp of Ohio

Although much of the area to the east, south, and north was settled in the early 19th century, the dense habitat and difficulty of travel through the swamp delayed its development by several decades. A corduroy road (from modern-day Fremont to Perrysburg) was constructed through the Maumee Road Lands in 1825 and paved with gravel in 1838, but travel in the wet season could still take days or even weeks. The impassibility of the swamp was an obstacle during the so-called Toledo War (1835–36); unable to get through the swamp, the Michigan and Ohio militias never came to battle. Settlement of the region was also inhibited by endemic malaria. The disease was a chronic problem for residents of the region until the area was drained and former mosquito-breeding grounds were dried up.
yes, malaria was present in the US in the "good old days". And what stopped it was draining the swamp, not DDT.

from here


Antman is good? Who wudda thot?

First Father Z and now Uncle Orson give a good review for the Marvel movie Antman...

No, I am not a Marvel fan, although I do sort of watch the movies when they hit HBO Asia. Alas, because Lolo didn't like them I rarely watched them all the way through, and since he died, my attention span is five minutes, so again I tend to get bored or distrated especially when Special effects take over, and see only parts of the film. But Marvel seems to be on a roll. That is for the teenaged boy in you. For the girls, the good news: Trailer for Mockingjay 2 is up, and Finick finally marries Annie. Wonder if they will kill him off as they do in the book.

Uncle Orson also notes that ordinary movies may be having a comeback too.

It's kind of sad that most of Hollywood's money now goes into making comic-book and other franchise movies, in which it's only a happy accident when a script is worth filming. But with the death of the once-huge DVD market (people are streaming and downloading now), the huge aftermarket is gone, and those $200 million budgets are being replaced by $30 million budgets for a different kind of film.
You know, the kind with a script. And sometimes a film that never needs a green screen.


hmm...wonder if Papertowns is any good.

I was watching Green give a talk about it on youtube yesterday but the internet died, so no link. For those who are clueless: Google TFIOS, or ask your nearest teenaged granddaughter.

Friday, July 24, 2015

You can have my AirCon remote....

Earlier, when the Pope said no one needed airconditioning (or as it is called in the Philippines, aircon), I replied: You can have my aircon remote when you pry it from my cold dead hands.

So yesterday, a WAPO editorial said that since Washington DC was not hotter than Berlin, most Europeans thought Americans were wuses for not being able to put up with the heat.

Uh, maybe Berlin is as hot as Minneapolis (and  did not have airconditioning when living in FrostbiteFalls MN), but Washington DC was always considered a hardship post for embassies because it was very hot there, and was listed as "subtropical" in the olden days.

And when I worked in Oklahoma, even our poor had airconditioners, because the temperature frequently went over 100 degrees.

So today, Bloomberg news blog notes the same thing.

We do have some cities with more European temperatures, including San Francisco and Seattle, but they are not our largest population centers. The rest of the country, even places that are frozen wastelands in the winter, experiences summertime average highs above 80 degrees. That's not a rogue heat wave, the kind that Northern Europeans complain about endlessly while futilely fiddling with their fans. That's just what we Americans call "summer." A heat wave is when it's 100 degrees (38 Celsius) and your dog won't go outside because the pavement burns his feet.
they then go on to note that since it gets very very cold in winter, actually moving to the south and using airconditioning  uses less energy than heating a housewhen it's 18 degrees F, which is considered balmy in winter if you live in places like Frostbite Falls or Chicago, where wind chills of below zero are common much of the winter.

You could argue that if Americans had not migrated en masse from the temperate north to the blistering sunbelt, we would need less energy for climate control. You could argue that, but you'd be wrong. Americans still expend much more energy heating their homes than cooling them. That's actually not that surprising. The difference between the average temperature outside and the temperature that is comfortable inside is generally only 10 to 20 degrees in most of America, for most of the summer. On the other hand, in January, the residents of Rochester, New York -- the cold, snowy, rapidly depopulating area that my mother hails from -- you need to get the temperature up from an average low of 18 degrees (-8 Celsius) to at least 60 or 65. That takes a lot of energy.

here in the Philippines, usually I only need airconditioning for heat during the hot season or for two hours in the mid afternoon. But as I have asthma, I found my airconditioner also works as a dehumidifier/air filter, so I run this as needed during the rainy season.

and during brownouts, I have my own personal generator.
Yes, the business compound has one, but often it is broken or is running to run the rice mill etc. at the farm, so I bought my own. This was especially important for the last year, when Lolo rarely left his bed due to illness.

So tell the Pope he runs a "universal" church, and  remember the PC left's opinions are not necessarily based on reality.

I mean, do you really think the writer of the WAPO editorial lives in northern Virginia without airconditioning? I doubt it.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cat item of the day

WAGD story of the day

If you want to get scared about what is going on, listen to the CIA agent discussing problems on the new ArtBell show. (7-21-15).

A lot of this has been reported on StrategyPage, and since his take on the Philippines is right on target, it makes me think he knows what is going on.

most of the stuff on these shows is either crazy, paranoid or exaggerated, but some interviews are intelligent. The lack of coverage on "MSM" is probably because they won't present such a long interview (except for CSPAN, which we don't get here).

stories below the fold

Father Z learns about the Marvel universe.
yes, Marvel and it's clones seem to be taking over the world, along with dystopian teenage fiction.

And he links to the baby part scandal.

It goes way beyond the utilitarian use of baby parts, of course: the real danger is seeing the helpless as useless eaters who are better off dead

 living too long is also a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.
Of course, his idea (to stop lots of prevention medical care to those over 75) actually would make it more certain that the elderly would be disabled.

True, overtreatment is a problem (which is why Lolo, whose heart was bad, refused chemotherapy that wouldn't have made much difference due to comorbidities). But since when should the government or insurance policy decide you are too old and need to die?

Which is why when the "ethicist" behind Obamacare says he doesn't want to get old and decrepit, you should worry. Can you say "death panels" children?

and it gets worse than that: In the future, "personhood" will be devised according to their criteria. But that's a rant for another day.


which brings us back to Marvel/X men/divergent type movies: the point is that these people, despite their enhanced talents, mainly are ethical humans. They often fight non ethical humans or supercreatures.

How dare they posit good and evil? How dare Hawkeye have a family, or a female character say she'd like a family?

But rumors are that movies will be made to conform to the PC version of reality.

I mean, women Ghostbusters? What made that a hit was not that they killed ghosts but the Bill Murray and the others were essentially self-mocking male chauvinist pigs who nevertheless were willing to save the world from 100 foot marshmallow men.


FYI: Vietnam is changing. Read the whole thing.

Yes, we know, but a lot of Yanks aren't aware of it.


Family news

Brownout all day yesterday. It's not that hot, but I had the generator to use for dehumidify/filter so I don't have to take allergy medicine during the day.

Some visitors were at the farm doing an inspection and meeting re organic farming.

Right now, Chano is saying the organic won't pay enough and wants to say the heck with it, but Joy has put a lot of work into promoting our product and wants to continue it. I say do both, but usually whatever I say gets ignored or the opposite is done. Since I am a doctor, not a farmer, I am not an expert on this.

I am renewing my passport. I can send in the application and get the passport by mail, but the money has to be paid in person by me or a proxy. Presumably they don't use checks, Western Union or paypal. Oh well. Joy will give money next time she goes to Manila.

So I sat around reading books most of the day. (paperbacks from our used book kiosk).

And discovered why I rarely read "recommended" books by "poetesses" who write praised prose. No, not just the highfalutin language but the milieu. Single woman who wants romance at age 30 and then a handsome guy walks through the door. Huh? And although she took a degree in literature or something, she is aghast that she has to work supervising a restaurant. So what did she expect? Who else would hire her? She sees only other yuppies, (presumably not noticing Lazurus at the door). Her friend brings in a kid (who has time and liesure to come in when you have a kid?) and they have a cappucino. Of course. Sounds like a sex and the city clone, and even though I am a speed reader, who has time for this?

 I love Starbucks as much as the rest of you, but as a busy doc, who has time to sit around and gab between kids and practice? and now I'm retired, so time is there but not a lot of money.

So I switched to Dean Koontz novel. Like Stephen King, the plots are horror, but the protagonists are usually normal middle class or working class types who never get into the books with "literary" recommendations.

No dog so far in this one. I keep telling George the killer Labrador that he needs to take lessons from the Labs who are often featured in Koontz' books, but he says he prefers to be the evil character and bite people and kill cats. Sigh.

Did I mention my small pregnant cat disappeared? Chased off by the black mafia I suspect. But one of the "black mafia" is pregnant. (This is what I call our three black cats who eat here but aren't friendly). So we should have kittens soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Some of us are doing the best we can

Via CWN: The Anchoress articulates what a lot of ordinary Catholics feel when the Pope lectures us:

I love His Holiness Pope Francis, but for a while now, I have been feeling harangued by him, as he’s been harping on us to do more, and ever more, to practice mercy on the world; to welcome the stranger, to clean up the rivers, to bring about justice and peace in our time; to level the playing fields, visit the sick, and so on.
These are, of course, all very good things. You can’t argue with someone who is telling you to love the poor, or to make room in your pew for the transgendered, or to help poor kids get new opportunities, or to pay a worker what he is due.
But sometimes, when I read Pope Francis exhorting us again about the poor, or the environment, and urging people once again, to take action, to go out into the world and fix-all-of-the-things, because Jesus wants it (and yes, I’m sure Jesus does) I can’t help thinking, “but Holy Father, have mercy! Do you not know that many of us are already doing the best we can? Some of us are doing all we can to keep the family together, keep food on the table, and maybe go out to a movie once in a while.

Yes indeed.
There is a lot of sainthood going around with ordinary folks who just try to do the duty of their daily lives. I see it with our workers here, I see it with my patients when I worked in the US.

St Therese of Liseux taught "the Little Way", to do the duties of our daily lives, the joys and sorrows, as a way to serve God....but the idea goes back thousands of years, and one even finds it in non Christian religions: The idea that ordinary folks lives can be as holy as those who "specialize" in doing great religious things.

Flannery O'Connor had a similar cynical take on these "religous" folks:

 To a lot of Protestants I know, monks and nuns are fanatics, none greater. And to a lot of monks and nuns I know, my Protestant prophets are fanatics. For my part, I think the only difference between them is that if you are a Catholic and have this intensity of belief, you join the convent and are heard from no more; whereas if you are a Protestant and have it, there is no convent for you to join and you go about in the world getting into all sorts of trouble and drawing the wrath of people who don’t believe anything much at all down on your head . . . .

yeah. Sounds ok for me. And I am allowed to criticize those who urge us to "be active in ________(fill in the blanks) or you are not a "good" christian... When asked if I believe in Jesus, I usually answer: Believe in him? Heck, I almost got my tush shot off serving him.

But that's another story for another day.

Language lessons on line

quite a few FSI Language tapes, now mp3s, have been moved to

tagalog DLI mp3's are now here (dang...I paid a lot for the set ten years ago).

more DLI language stuff HERE.

For Later reading

three articles on the EU vs Greece, from a religious standpoint.

Greece, of course, has a culture of Orthodoxy not Roman Christianity and the enlightenment.

LINK sees the Greeks demanding "mercy" because Orthodoxy has nuance. But he also thinks the Pope will legalize divorce. Since the second is a fantasy (and would lead to schism) one has to take the first with a grain of salt.


so why is the EU demanding the Greeks open their markets on Sunday as part of the deal?

Link3 from the Economist.

all three essentially say religion insists on a "Get out of jail free" card (or in this case, get out of debt free card)

since forgiving debts of the poor periodically goes back to the Old Testament, I presume this is "religious".

However, what about when much of the money being lost is not from the super-rich, but the hard earned savings of the middle class, often retirement savings, and the reason for the debt is corruption, one has to ask: Is it permissible to screw grandmom out of her hard earned savings to let a Greek bureaucrat to keep his overblown pension?

article headsup via Getreligionblog


related item: Father Z links to an article reminding Catholics they don't have to follow the Pope on economic or political matters.

Yeah. One reason for a lot of anti Catholic sentiment in medieval times was that the Pope intervened as a secular monarch and then used his religious powers to enforce his political opinions.

and love of the poor doesn't mean deprive them of jobs that business would bring: It means teaching honesty to crooked politicians and businessmen.

In case you didn't notice: Obama is pruning down the US military , so that if a war occurs they won't be able to respond.

a lot of this has been going on since the end of the Cold War, and much is reorganization because new weapons require fewer soldiers. But now it is affecting the ability of the military to fight.

related item: Ethnic and religious tensions in the western Sahara.

Hollywood brats vs SJW? I'll believe it when I see it. But when Avengers dared to show a normal marriage, and a character who lamented she couldn't have children, the director ended up quitting Twitter...

although, as I argued earliers, I didn't consider Jurassic world as posing "family values" when the woman who should have been arranging the rescue of ten thousand people went off trying to help "rescue" her nephews, and usually getting in the way doing so.


if you have short wave, Art Bell is back...

Smaug vs Tyranosaurus in film

Monday, July 20, 2015

Iran wins

StrategyPage has a long nuanced discussion of what the Obama treaty will do to help Iran.

They go beyond the soundbites and talking points.

bookmarked for later reading.

The bad news below the headlines

So now I read that not only do the chinese hackers have my federal OPM records and my National Guard records, but that Obama is collecting economic and racial data apparantly from private companies including credit cards (hey, I thought only Facebook and Google did that).

Unbeknown to most Americans, Obama’s racial bean counters are furiously mining data on their health, home loans, credit cards, places of work, neighborhoods, even how their kids are disciplined in school — all to document “inequalities” between minorities and whites...
so why is this being done? "Diversity" must be enforced.
Such databases have never before existed. Obama is presiding over the largest consolidation of personal data in US history. He is creating a diversity police state where government race cops and civil-rights lawyers will micromanage demographic outcomes in virtually every aspect of society.
So why worry if the gov't has data from other businesses?
Uh, 4th amendment anyone? It includes a part about "papers", which mean your records can't be searched.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
but then, what do I know: I'm a doctor, not a lawyer.


Airline stewardess catches Falciparum malaria in Ghana and dies.

old article from the UKGuardian: The mozzies are coming. Now blamed on global warming, but actually the wetlands carried disease in the good old days.

In fact, according to Dr Mary Dobson's pioneering (and surprisingly readable) Contours of Death and Disease in Early Modern England, malaria was probably endemic along the estuaries of south-east England, the Fens and the marshy coastal areas of northern England by the 15th century, if not earlier. And if it is impossible to say what proportion of deaths were directly attributable to malaria, it is plain the disease was a serious threat to health

yeah. Nasty. I was on prevention medicine that didn't work very well and caught a minor case of it when working in Liberia. Draining wetlands was done for "health" reasons, and the "bad air" (mal airia) i.e. stink from the swamps was blamed for the ague.

Something to remember when you read about not draining wetlands: Rome probably fell due to malaria in their nearby swamps.


More problems at the VA? nothing new here.

And wait til reporters check into the mess of the federally run Indian Health Service system.

the problem? It is run by bureaucrats who see following the law/regulations is more important than caring for patients. So docs and nurses spend a lot of time fighting regulations and doing paper work.

I call it the two minute hate of the day: Spiked calls it the Twittermob  and the Twitterati and is aghast at how easily it can control the press.

 power of the Twittermob has officially crossed the line from ‘worrying’ to ‘terrifying’. Yesterday, these ready offence-takers, these always primed chest-beaters over words and images that don’t gel with the moral outlook of the Twitterati, managed to get a newspaper article expunged from the internet, shoved down the memory hole, made into an un-article so that it would never again offend their sensibilities. And they destroyed the article with such swiftness that many people won’t even have noticed that it happened. But it did happen, and we need to talk about it.
the story was about someone who said children need to learn how to fear dangerous things, and the kid ended up killed when he fell from a cliff. Fair enough. The father shouldn't be ridiculed. But censorship of a story and the verbal abuse says a lot about people who have nothing better to do but echo the two minute hate of the day, and how this small minority is distorting what the news dares to report.

since this is the UK, and censorship was done by private, not government types, there is no "first amendment" issue.
But in the US, where ACORN related hate mobs attack as proxies for the President and his policies, it is a first amendment issue.

Strategypage discusses China's Potemkin village of economic data and it's implications.

Me, I figure they will  have a great patriotic war with the aggressive warmongering Philippine Islands to distract their people from what is going on.

why not? They know President Obama will bow down and insist on a "peaceful resolution" to the sealane grab.



Sunday, July 19, 2015

Going into Ludacris mode?

Via Instapundit;

“Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced today that the all-electric Model S sedan now comes with “Ludicrous Mode,” which will send the four-door sedan from 0 to 60 mph in a shockingly quick 2.8 seconds. That’s supercar territory, and it makes ‘Insane Mode,’ introduced last fall and good for a 0 to 60 time of 3.2 seconds, seem utterly lame.

I had to laugh because a lot of internet stories think Tesla's Ludicrous mode is about the rapper.

Nope, it's from Mel Brooks: SPACEBALLS!

Imagine: Economics based on the reality not theory of markets


When economists talk of markets, they are almost invariably thinking of the abstract interactions of what they call rational actors, people who wish to maximise their wealth and leisure time, and minimise the labour needed to acquire those coveted goods. In the standard economist’s model, the participants are expected to obey the law, but the markets themselves are mechanical, not moral.
De Lauzun presents a quite different vision, based on the actual history of markets and the reflections of pre-modern philosophers. In this analysis, virtue is at the centre, not the periphery. Markets are not supposed to be places where selfish individual sellers and buyers fight it out, but communities in which all strive to establish fair prices. For a market to work well, the participants must share a commitment to justice.

sounds similar to the books I linked to earlier.

Add to these Fukuyama's book Trust, and maybe you might find the Marxists like Chomsky are wrong (I stopped reading Chomsky when I realized what he said didn't resemble what I had actually seen around me).

so maybe Pope Francis needs to expand his readings of economics into reading that promote reality instead of talking points, and maybe instead of promoting socialism, which in itself can devolve into tyranny and corruption, he might try  promoting ethical business practices.

A small anecdote: I once heard a lecture in the US where (as an aside), the lecturer said that he often learned a lot giving talks to small groups of businessmen...not necessarily at the meeting, but during the ride to and from the airport, where he usually was driven by one of the local businessmen.

What would open the men to discuss their approach to business and the problems they faced? He would ask them if they ever prayed... and a surprisingly large number said yes, and that prayer helped them make business decisions.

(No God doesn't tell them what to invest: Prayer puts you in touch with your conscience, and that directs you. Sort of like how Christ talks to Don Camillo. )

one example:

He is quite prepared to don a false beard and moustache and knock out a champion boxer - or even toss a bomb onto the roof of the People's Palace, thus exploding a case of dynamite that had been hidden there, so saving the village from an even worse danger."Don Camillo," said the Lord, "are you sure that you did the right thing ?""No," Don Camillo replied. "God leaves man free to choose between right and wrong. I did wrong, I admit it, and I shall repent.""Aren't you repentant already?""No, Lord," whispered Don Camillo. "It's still too early. I must ask for an extension." The Lord sighed.
and prayer lets you see the bigger picture:

 he has one of his regular chats with the figure of Christ on his big cross: "Dear Lord, if the young people make a joke out of the most serious things in life, what on earth is going to become of your church?""Don Camillo," the Christ said in a reassuring tone, "don't let yourself be carried away by what appears on television and in the newspapers. The fact is, God does not need men. It is men who have need of God. Light exists even in a world of the blind. As somebody once said, 'Though they have eyes, yet they cannot see'. The light won't go out just because there's nobody to see it."

the Little world of Don Camillo (PDF)

Remembering when "reason" ruled

the nuns who said no to the government of reason

On this day in 1794 all the nuns of the Carmelite monastery of Compiegne were guillotined by the revolutionary French republicans. They offered their lives for France and her liberation from the terror. They were the last executed under that regime and the terror soon ended. 
so why were the nuns considered "enemies"? for not toeing the Government's line:

Throughout France a vaunted new age of spiritual maturity, free from the bonds of sectarian religion, was underway. On June 20, 1794, a Feast of the Supreme Being" was celebrated in Compi├Ęgne. In November of the previous year, the worship of Reason was officially proclaimed: the church of Saint-Jacques in Compi├ęgne became the Temple of Reason. The church of Saint- Antoine became a public meeting hall and fodder storehouse. In December, the Mayor of Paris had announced in the Temple of Reason that the Declaration of the Rights of Man would henceforth be the catechism of the French, and that the Constitution would be their Gospel

Yes, the "Temple of Reason", the precursor to a million massacres.

from InnAtTheEndOfThe World
via TeaAtTrianon

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Space news

Father Z remembers Apollo 11, which took off July 16 1969.


Calling Sandra Bullock: Space station crew hides from space junk again.


Coming soon: The Martian

audiobook herepart one  Part two

back to the good old days before "victimization" and helplessness was in vogue.
This was the point of the film Saving MrBanks: That creative people can reimagine the world.

For Later Reading

We are in the middle of a monsoon storm, with heavy rains (but no wind) on and off for the last three days. Lots of flooding streets, landslides in the mountains, but good to prepare the fields for rice. (I should add: and with the rain, electrical brownouts and internet interuption).

So bookmarking posts for later deep reading (on my tablet).

Brian Sibley reposts an essay written in 1986 about a trip to Disneyland.

Disneyland,’ Walt once remarked, ‘is like Alice stepping through the Looking-Glass. To step through the portals of Disneyland will be like entering another world.’
More than that, it is like stepping into a living cartoon. Disneyland is a three-dimensional outworking of the techniques and illusions of the animator s art.
The animator is unique among film-makers in creating worlds, entire and complete, out of nothing more than graphite, ink and paint. Everything is drawn from scratch: story, characters, settings, sights and sounds, shots and angles – all dreamt up, imagined and then imbued with a semblance of reality.
This was the point of the film Saving MrBanks: That creative people can reimagine the world.

Escapism? Ah, but as Tolkien noted: it is not the fleeing of a coward from the battle, but the escape of a prisoner.


Related Item: Series of essays by David Warren on culture. Today's essay is a rumination on the idea of authority, and how the modern world discards the authorities in the past, letting one be manipulated by the puppet masters who manipulate us.

again, using imagination to reimagine the world.

Tolkien library: an educator ponders: Why are Tolkien's books popular for schoolkids?

the writer seems a bit daft however, as he claims:

As one accomplishes the first quarter of the book, the tone of Tolkien starts portraying into a melancholic being who does not find it easy to separate good from bad. 

REALLY? I would have thought that the lesson of the book is summarized by Aragorn, who corrects this idea:

  • 'How shall a man judge what to do in such times?' 
    'As he ever has judged,' said Aragorn.
     'Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.'

Friday, July 17, 2015

History lessons of the day

From ConfessionsOfACidevant blog: remembering Lady Stoner

Cecily Stonor is my English heroine because she remained true to what she believed and she bore the consequences. She represents many Catholics during the long recusant era in England who faced great fines, suspicion, arrest, harassment, and even exile or execution because of their loyalty to their faith. Lady Stonor resisted the tide of conformity to the state’s demands; all she wanted was to attend Mass and practice her Catholic faith.


Lileks remembers the stork 

so why is he holding a pickle?
If you are clueless to the reference, follow the link.


So, General, how would you conquer Cinderella's castle?

Step 3:Send in catapults and trebuchets and mount them in the center island. They must be out of reach from archers and other retaliatory siege weapons. Begin the attack with these siege weapons, taking down sections of wall in the front. You must have truly powerful weapons as the walls of Cinderella castle are quite high. If possible, focus your fire on the highest towers because this is where the enemy will have the best vantage point for observing your movements.
ah, but they overlooked the Cinderella had a fairy godmother who could turn mice into horses and pumpkins into coaches. So maybe she might turn a pumpkin into a tank and a tweetiebird into a dive bomber, throwing acorns turned into huge boulders...
(headsup Gotmedieval)


of course, the dirty little secret is that Disney based  his Sleeping Beauty castle design on one built by crazy King Ludwig II

Before the construction of Disneyland, Walt Disney and his wife Lillian took a European tour. A Disneyland representative confirms that the time he spent at Neuschwanstein Castle was indeed the inspiration behind the Sleeping Beauty Castle.
but when Disney world was built, the Cinderella castle had several inspirations behind the design, including the Sleeping beauty castle. and it used special effects to make it look taller (something that predates the movies: e.g. the Parthenon's columns)


Ludwig II was "crazy" because he spent so much money building useless but pretty castles that they made him resign.
Ironically, they are now major tourist attractions bringing in money to the local economy.


Don't hug your chicken

When bird flu killed a couple of humans in Indonesia, backyard chickens in cities were banned. Most folks around here have chickens, not just for meat and eggs but magnificent fighting cocks that are kept under a small roof and on a leash. Presumably the dogs leave them alone out of fear.

But when I warned a couple of urban yuppies that their back yard chickens were a source of disease, they objected because the chickens were pampered, not kept in cages like in chicken farms.  They didn't appreciate it when I pointed out that free range chickens could catch bird flu from local birds coming to steal their chicken feed.

OregonLive story that says the same thing and USA today headline insists the problem is rare, but the article quotes that ten percent of the birds are infected.

and the USDA reported that ten million chickens were euthanized to stop the spread of bird flu.

so what is the problem with hugging your chicken? Most human cases were from direct contact with sick birds,  and remember to thoroughly cook your chicken meat.

or maybe we should follow Asimov's tongue in cheek suggestion and go back to eating Zhenyuanlong suni raptors, the dinosaur raptors who had feathers.


German Squirrel arrested after a woman claimed he was stalking her

Polizei Recklinghausen

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Absurd Stories in the news

TheOtherMcCain blog often charts the paranoid delusion of feminists, but today they note the lawsuit by the Church of Satan that wants to stop laws that limit abortion. Not a big surprise, but then there is this sentence:

The New York-based “Satanic Temple” is filing a federal lawsuit against Missouri, claiming that state laws restricting abortion violate their “free exercise” of Satanism.The suit identifies abortion as an essential religious duty for Satanists.



TimBlair notes his favorite ecowarrior wears adult braces, which didn't exist in the good old days of primitive living where she longs to live and force the rest of us to live (or more likely die).

Ms Keith and her associates wish to wage “decisive ecological warfare” against… well, the rest of us, and to “disrupt and dismantle industrial civilisation,” with “complete economic collapse” as the path to salvation. When not signalling their intellectual wattage by calling for the “abolition” of masculinity and “whiteness,” and the “abolition” of the United States, “an illegitimate settler nation,” Deep Green Resistance very much like the idea of “sabotaging infrastructure” and cutting power lines, thereby leaving tens of thousands of people without light and heat.
Maybe all these types could move to the Philippines and enjoy mother nature at her finest, preferable right after one of our periodic typhoons (or volanic eruptions or earthquakes, or just hot spells when the hydroelectric plants slow down).


Heh. Pope asked by a reporter why he doesn't talk a lot about the middle class.

He says he'll have to study about it, and examine why Americans are upset with his love of socialist solutions.

Maybe he should start by reading Centesimus Annus, which is a critique on capitalism and business as a way to serve not just himself but God.

Man fulfills himself by using his intelligence and freedom. In so doing he utilizes the things of this world as objects and instruments and makes them his own. The foundation of the right to private initiative and ownership is to be found in this activity. By means of his work man commits himself, not only for his own sake but also for others and with others. Each person collaborates in the work of others and for their good. Man works in order to provide for the needs of his family, his community, his nation, and ultimately all humanity.

or maybe read the book Business as a Calling.

 (the autor) argues that business has a vested interest in goodness if only because it cannot advance in the absence of such cardinal virtues as cooperation, courage, honesty, industry, innovation, practicality, and realism. The author goes on to document the many ways in which for-profit concerns benefit host communities and the wider world simply by measuring up to their basic obligations--creating new jobs, earning appropriate returns on investments, producing wealth, promoting respect for the rule of law, satisfying customers, et al. 

The Pope's problem is that he is out of date. The problems of the third world, as I noted in my previous post, need criticism, but his answer, more government and less big business, is short sighted, especially since business is the one who makes wealth to allow people to get out of poverty.

Maybe the answer is not a NWO that abolishes big business, but a church that preaches honest business practices. You know: Like the old Testament prophets?


Live not by Lies.

excerpts from Solzhenitsyn are quoted in David Warren's essay about living in a world being taken over by a false ideology...for later reading.


"We have met the enemy and he is us" links of the day:

is California's drought made worse by ecopolicies of the 1970's?

should churches that teach morality be punished for doing this by removing their tax exemptions?

related item: those non PC Sisters who opposed Obama's mandates.

Virtually every other party who asked for protection from the mandate has been given it,” said Rienzi.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that the Christian-run Hobby Lobby doesn’t have to obey the HHS mandate that is a part of Obamacare that requires businesses to pay for abortion causing drugs in their employee health care plans.

The Little Sisters of the Poor are not community organizers who have moved beyond Jesus like those modern nuns in polyester pantsuits who sing and dance in front of their new age guru, but care for the poor elderly who have no other place to go.

So why is Obama picking on them?

Deep background conspiracy theory:

When the leadership group who claimed to represent all Catholic nuns spun into New Age religion and dissing the pope (and supporting Obama in all things) these nuns dared to say no, and helped start their own organization to represent nuns who remained catholic.


Waterloo trivia

  • Among personal items that Napoleon abandoned in his flight from the field of Waterloo were his silver service, including his chamber pot, his 400 volume traveling library, and a bottle of rum.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stories hidden below the fold

Bastille day? Bah humbug: via LesFemmes
The Vendee massacres were written out of history, but were a prelude to the massacres of later revolutions.

Solzhenitsyn on the Vendee martyrs.


factoid of the day: From strategyPage: Slavery in Muslim lands.

Slavery was outlawed in Arabia in the early 1960s, but that only eliminated the more obvious cases in urban areas. The practice continued in more remote areas. It's been going on for thousands of years, during which Arabs are believed to have enslaved up to 20 million Africans. As a result, up to twenty percent of the people in Arabia appear to have African ancestors and genetic studies have confirmed this.
again, the decimation of East African rural people by Arab slave traders was written out of history. Of course, it dates back way before Islam...

but you know it wasn't just Africans: the slave trade by the Barbary pirates is almost forgotten too...not to mention all those white deportees to America and Australia who were essentially slaves too.

As for the African Slave trade: until Africans write their own history, (i.e. not the marxist version of history that only recognizes the Atlantic slave trade, which was mainly to the west Indies or Brazil) this will not be remembered.

I mean, will they ban Great Zimbabwe because of it's involvement with the slave trade?

of course, nowadays, the importation of foreign workers continues.

No, not slaves, but few rights. And, like slaves, they work cheaply and don't reproduce and leave babies behind to grow up and take over these countries, allowing the clan heads to continue to run things.

which is why the gold standard for people here in the Philippines looking for jobs is the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand or Europe...where they and their children will be integrated into society.

semi related item: The Republican nativists like Donald Trump seem to think that the Hispanics are a monolith and will never be integrated into society (this, despite Cruz being one of their candidates).

Yet the dirty little secrets is that a lot of Hispanics not only intermarry with Anglos and after the first generation but that many of them become Protestant/Pentecostal.

via GetReligionLuis Palau gives a revival in NYC...and unlike the NYTimes notes it is a multi ethnic meeting.


oppose Obama, get psychiatric treatment by court order.

Yes, I know: He broke election finance laws. And he is a bit nutty and one sided in his films, but hey, so is Michael Moore...

Pluto may or may not be a planet, but hey the photos from the fly by are awesome.


ProfPodles: Remembering the hydroplanes and the first Atlantic crossing by air

so how did they navigate before GPS?
On 16 May, the three Curtiss NCs departed on the longest leg of their journey, from Newfoundland to the Azores Islands in the mid-Atlantic. Twenty-two more Navy ships, mostly destroyers, were stationed at about 50-mile (80 km) spacings along this route.[4] These “station ships” were brightly illuminated during the nighttime. Their sailors blazed their searchlightsinto the sky, and they also fired bright star shells into the sky to help the aviators to stay on their planned flight path.[5]

BBC: What does Rosemary (the herb) do to your brain? 

the implications of this kind of research are huge, but they don't mean you need to spend your days smelling of rosemary and your night sleeping on a pillow of lavender. The effects were measurable but modest and they give us a clue that further research into some of the chemicals in essential oils may yield therapeutics and contribute to our understanding of memory and brain function.

from Improbableresearch:

The History of Looking at Breasts