Monday, November 30, 2015

Headlines below the fold

I am ignoring the climate stuff, since the rigidity on both sides is closer to religious fundamentalism than reality and it is an upper class thing (yes, the elites marched in Manila, but one suspects that the ordinary folks didn't, except for those paid 100 pesos a head to join the march).

Fine: regulate pollution, encourage green technology, but don't destroy the economies doing it.

A lot of stuff about the Philippines being the poster child for global warming. Uh, no. It is the poster child for corruption.

Flooding because bribes allowed the building in "no build" zones, mudslides because bribing officials left illegal loggers and illegal miners to destroy the forested slopes, and many dying because they weren't warned, or because they refused to leave their homes because of fear they would be looted.

And I laugh at them blaming global warming for "typhoons and droughts". Which one is it? Typhoons bring too much water, and the "drought" we have right now is the cyclical ElNino, making the dry season worse than usual.

We are short of water now because we had to let the water out (and flood the town) because the typhoon's rains threatened a dam collapse, and now we have a drought because we don't have that water anymore... wouldn't a better dam help both these things? Or a lake diversion to store the flood water? (and I won't mention the dam that broke a few years ago and flooded the town).

more HERE at the Inquirer:

Daep points to Apsemo’s institutionalization as the key factor that helped Albay implement its “zero casualty” policy for many years and, in the process, gain worldwide recognition in DRRM for its successful programs. “The core reason behind Albay’s [preparedness] is the institutionalization. There is a clear institution to handle the situation and a clearly identified point person who will stay even if there is a change of governor,” Daep said. - See more at:

It is like the Pope blaming capitalism for the lack of clean water in slums in Kenya.-

No, the lack of clean water is due to lack of money, the lack of technical ability or maybe just the laziness of the local government, or maybe it is because corruption diverted the funds to put in pipes into someone's pocket.

The slums were caused because people preferred living there than living in mud and wattle thatched huts growing corn and starving periodically in rural areas like their ancestors.

this "all or nothing" is nonsense. Capitalism causes problems and horrible living conditions (read Dickens) and corporations themselves are corrupt, but the church should preach honesty, temperence and self control, not just condemn the evils of capitalism that has brought millions our of poverty, especially in Asia and now, thanks to China, in Africa.

related item: the Pope has visited a war zone in Africa.

But the "Christian/Muslim" part is not quite true: actually the fight between the non Bantu tribal herders of the Sahel vs the Christian and animist black Bantu farmers. It predates religion.


Related item: Imelda's jewelry and paintings are missing.

The commission has been tasked with recovering the ill-gotten wealth amassed by the family of Ferdinand Marcos, the country’s late dictator, after billions of dollars were looted from the state. His widow became known for her excesses, symbolised by her huge shoe and jewellery collections.Yesterday experts were concluding an appraisal of jewellery seized after the family fled to Hawaii in 1986 after the popular revolt that ended Marcos’s two-decade rule. The pieces include a barrel-shaped diamond worth at least $5m (£3.3m) and a Cartier diamond tiara estimated to be worth more than $100,000.
all of this stolen from the poor in the Philippines (unless you believe the urban legend that Marcos found Yamashita's gold).

related item: Zimbabwe's economic crash.
Uh, this happened years ago but one is happy that Slate finally noticed.

And no, it wasn't just the sanctions: most of the educated left to work in the UK or South Africa because of the government policies, including the harassment of political opposition. As for HIV: Did I tell you about the time Sister Patricia's HIV clinic was destroyed when Mugabe "cleaned up the trash" by demolishing a middle class suburb that dared to vote against him?


the drones started as ways to spy, then as ways to zap bad guys but now:


and Jeremy Clarkson has a new job (and hopefully has attended anger management classes)


the Martian made 50 million in China last weekend.

Hasn't hit here yet, although Hunger Games 4 is here and we will probably watch it tomorrow at the mall.


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