Monday, February 29, 2016

Nuns on the Pill? Uh, wait a second

I have been watching the present Pope spread confusion around the world, but the kerfuffle about Paul VI letting nuns "in the Congo" to use contraception is not true.

During the Katanga wars after independence in the early 1960's, quite a few nuns and lay missionaries were raped and I heard once that six actually got pregnant (there was a European film about this, but I don't know it's name).

But the Pope at the time was John XXIII...Paul VI was only the Pope after 1964.

Timeline, anyone?

But what is not being said is that the pill can be used for all sorts of things. So when the pill came out, a lot of Catholic women with heavy or painful or irregular periods were put on it.

This included nuns. It's called the principal of double effect. Your aim is a licit reason to use the pill, and the side effect of not getting pregnant is just that, a side effect.

So when the wars got dangerous in one African country where I worked in the 1970'a, the younger nuns were allowed by the bishop to use the pill if they wished. Some, who could justify their consciences because they had medical problems helped by the pill, did just that. Others did not.

What the bishop should have done is send the nuns home (as I was) because of the danger. And indeed, when the area became dangerous, the hospital was shut down: albeit not before several missions were attacked and people of several faiths and nationalities killed.

So when the Pope uses these few cases of double effect to justify contraception because of a 1 percent risk of microcephaly, and does it in passing, on an airplane, he is causing confusion.

Because it will be used and spun by those with a different agenda.

That is why, although I agree with the Pope, I shudder at his statements that will be spun to promote the modern ethos of free sex, abortion, and (especially in Latin America) population control

Why not just get rid of mosquitoes? (Uh, DDT etc are forbidden by animal rights folks, and the greens hate other pesticides.) In other words, it's  a twofer victory for the culture of death: Save the animals, keep the poor from having babies.

I remember in Michener's book The Source, where the rabbis were asked if the Jewish women forced into prostitution by the Nazis should be divorced. The goyim said it was stupid to even pose the question . But the older Jewish colleague pointed out that the Rabbinical court would discuss the dilemma in detail, cite historical cases, cite the law, and after a nuanced discussion come to the same conclusion. But because the discussion was nuanced it would persuade everyone, whereas a fiat would not.

And that is the problem with Pope Francis: His "fiat by airplane talks" are not nuanced, and then they are spun by the press, often compressed into talking points that go along with the agenda of the elite opinion-meisters.

So although I usually back the Pope, the fact that he sows confusion tis a bad sign.

As for "the nuns" given permission to use the pill "by Paul VI" in "the Congo"?

Reality check: Yes and no.

I wasn't in the Congo back then, but when our area erupted in a nasty civil war, indeed, quite a few nuns and women missionaries (from other churches) were raped but afterward, they were killed.

The real question is: Why did the church allow the nuns to stay at undefended missions in the middle of a war zone? (to save people's lives, of course).

What should have been the answer? Well, a lot of the Protestant pastors sent the women and children home, and they themselves went around with a shot gun or an Uzi. Attending a medical conference on rural health back then was like living in Dodge City, with the guns checked at the door...

Would a Christian kill? Uh, self defense, anyone?

Indeed, as Father Z points out, we can follow the example of St Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother, the patron saint of gun enthusiasts, who scared off some insurgents who were raping and pillaging his town by grabbing one of their guns,  shooting a passing lizard to prove he knew how to use it and telling the bad guys to leave.

That might have worked for us, if we could have gotten hold of a shot gun or two.

Our hospital had only had only two people who could shoot: My mother, who grew up with brothers and won a sharpshooting medal in her high school rifle club, and old Sister Ambuya, who as a farm girl in World War I learned to use a shot gun to keep off vermin and thieves at a time when no men were around.

we figured we were toast, but as I said, we lay women were sent home, and when things got really dangerous, the hospital was shut down except for a small number of local nurses who ran a small outpatient clinic and who could flee and blend in with the locals  in case of attack.

So my answer is: Praise God and pass the ammunition, as that old song goes.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Psst Iran is having an election...pass it on...

here is the AFP article via one of our local papers.

If voters support the pro-Rouhani list, a coalition of moderate and reformist candidates, the president could swing the balance of power in parliament, creating an opening for social and political reforms on which he has so far been blocked by lawmakers.
 But a one-week official campaign for the parliamentary election has been largely overshadowed by controversies over who was allowed to run for office.

Yes they are a democracy...but you can only get on the ballot if the Mullahs approve, and that eliminates half of those who tried to get on the list.

StarTrek Trivia and the election

tweet of the day:
Has there been any investigation into the possibility that this Republican primary season is actually a Kobayashi Maru simulation?
Reply Retweet
via Betsy'sPage

Heh. Except of course the reporters obviously is not a Trekkie.

The Kobiyashi Maru incident was a test, where students at the StarTrekAcademy were placed in a "lose/lose" scenerio. The test was to see how they responded to stress.

But one James T Kirk became legendary as the only student who won the test: He reprogramed the computer.

as Driscoll at Instapundit noted
Perhaps, considering that the Kobayashi Maru simulation was bested by an oversexed chubby man in garish attire with a gigantic ego and a not-entirely-lifelike coiffure who went on to conquer the galaxy, in what could turn out to be an eerie bit of foreshadowing.

But real geeks know that when Kirk faced a "lose/lose" incident in reality, he also passed: The Corbomite Maneuver

the famous line is:

Mr. Spock compares the situation to a game ofchess: "In chess, when one player is outmatched, the game is over." He regrets to having no logical answer. Kirk, inspired by his argument with McCoy, replies that the solution is not chess, but poker. He bluffs, telling Balok that the Enterprisecontains Corbomite, a protective substance that automatically destroys any attacker.
so what do you do when faced with a no win situation? You play poker...This was what Truman and Eisenhower did when confronted with a very aggressive Soviet Union in the 1950's.

It was called "Mutually assured destruction" AKA "MAD"...

 this drove the pacifists crazy, and even the US Catholic bishops called at one point for "unilateral disarmament". Because they didn't really believe that those millions killed by Stalin/Mao etc really made these regimes worse than an "evil" USA, whose faults were openly proclaimed so good people could fix them, not hidden by those in charge or by the "useful idiots" in the west.

In other words, the evils done behind the Iron curtain were ignored, because the "pacifist" movement was filled with dupes who shouted the talking points, in the same way we see "conspiracy theories" taking over late night talk shows and the internet: Tell the lie often enough and people will believe it, and you can make money (never mind the truth, or that the really evil folks out there are laughing at your ignorance).

there is nothing new under the sun:

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst    Are full of passionate intensity.

Today we see this not only in the trumpetts, but more openly  in the BLM or Occupy movements (and they may be more dangerous, because their talking points were taken up by the press without any critical analysis: the same press who decided that the TeaParty were white racists and ignored their concerns.)

 So if I despise the PC activists, it is because I saw this one sided blindness to evil back then, and now
when  I see what is happening now that their agenda, and what is happening when their beloved Nobel Peace prize winning president is actually basing his decisions on the talking points of the 1970's (i.e. America is evil. Remove America and we will have utopia).

Hence the resurgence of China stealing land that has been Filipino for 300 years, and the resurgence of Islamic terrorism, and of course, the fact that Russia is now seen as defender of the innocent in Syria.

In the US elections, what is going on is the revolt of the plebes. Well, as JFK said: If you don't let the moderates have a say, the radicals take over. Hence Trump.

No, it is not really the "kobiyashi maru" solution by those who are being ignored by their "betters".

But it might be the fact that they are voting for one who might be able to solve an "unwinnable" situation.

If the plebes choosing Trump, it might be because they see him as a pragmatic winner, like Ulysses of old...(both JTKirk in Startrek and Trump in real life are pragmatic tricksters) Trump has more in common with Ulysses than with Agamemnon (Hillary) or Hector (Cruz/Bernie etc).

Of course, if you know that story, Ulysses did survive everything thrown after him (but his entire crew died. OOPS).

 ah but the press is still using fake polls to smear them plebes. But when the blogosphere is able to point out the small print, don't expect to get away with it:

Also from Instapundit: HEH: David Mastio: Think Trump’s troopers are racist? Don’t be so smug: 

Goofy poll cited by ‘New York Times’ reveals 29% of African-Americans aren’t sure Emancipation Proclamation was a good idea. 40% of Hispanics agree

I tend to support Bernie, but the dirty little secret is that socialism doesn't work, because those running businesses will vote with their feet, and the (lower and middle class) workers who work hard see their salaries decimated by taxes to support the leisure class (e.g. rich students who got in debt studying useless subjects at expensive colleges, instead of going to community or state colleges or night school like the rest of us)

 I know: I should talk. I am living on social security.

Friday, February 26, 2016

When FUD and politics replace science

A good article at theArtsMechanical blog. about modern activists using pseudoscience, manipulating the scientific literature to do so (via peer review that disallows facts that go against the narrative or by citing themselves to support their argument).

What is FUD?

Fear, uncertainty and doubt (often shortened toFUD) is a disinformation strategy used in sales, marketing, public relations, politics andpropaganda. FUD is generally a strategy to influence perception by disseminating negative and dubious or false information and a manifestation of the appeal to fear.

so what is science?

Feynman, a Noble prize winner, is most famous for cutting through the fog on the cause of the Challenger disaster: that the evidence was ignored because they got away with it before.

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations," Feynman wrote, "for nature cannot be fooled."

This is a big problem in medicine: Most of the disputes are about "Big pharma" but the presence of pseudo science that ignores evidence that suggests they are wrong has been a huge problem when medical journals push agendas, be it the NEJM claiming "euthanasia can be regulated" in early 1990's, ignoring the lack of data and the evidence of abuse in the lay literature and the Hastings Center Report (journal), to the "high death rate" in Iraqi civilians, published in a British journal in the month before the US election. (The fact that the researcher was a Sunni who worked for Saddam was ignored, as was that the data disagreed with other data by gov't and NGO's).

Similarly, using the word "Science" to shut up those trying to present alternative data is religion, not science.

And such activism in the medical field kills, be it the "vaccine" kerfuffle to the opposition to the use of pesticides, to GM food vs organic food which goes back to green activists opposing the green revolution: when I worked in Africa, their aim was to keep things simple for local farmers, not to feed people so they can eat enough and get rich, as was done in China.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Cow item of the day

Don't make me don't want to see me angry...

how not to be killed by a cow


related item: Cow Simulator game

Remembering the AmerIndian scouts

StrategyPage has an item about the AmerIndians used in many wars as scouts.

And not just AmerIndians: also Eskimos.

And don't forget the Philippine scouts (who in WWII included some of my relatives).

Since (and before) World War II American troops overseas have continued to hire knowledgeable locals as scouts and interpreters. Perhaps the most famous and enduring of these were the Philippines Scouts, who were organized before World War II as the core of the army for the soon-to-be independent Philippines. That independence was delayed a year by Japanese invasion and occupation. After the invasion many of the scouts refused to surrender and headed for the mountains and were a major part of the anti-Japanese resistance. After the war the “Scout Rangers” became the elite infantry of the Filipino Army.
yeah, every year the US sends troops (often from the National Guard) to the nearby Army camp for training in jungle warfare by the Philippine scouts.

And the annual war games are due anytime now: I heard a multi engine plane going over at low altitude yesterday, which is usually a sign the games are on. But for some reason I can't find information on what is planned this year.

World War III alert

My step son is worried about the middle East, that there will be a third world war there.

I tell him not to worry: No one is going to nuke Manila, and if China takes us over, as they are slowly doing, no problem: The Chinoys and first families run the place anyway.

Of course, if 2 or 3 million OFW leave Saudi/the middle east, and hit here looking for work, things could get messy.

But as my husband, who survived WWII promised me: Don't worry. You will always have enough rice to eat.( the family business is organic rice growing. We even own two water buffalo in case we can't get fuel for our hand plows).

As for the USA: they will just frack and ignore the problem.

The most underreported story of the day is that the US is now independent of middle east energy .

StrategyPage has a long summary about Syria as a Sunni/Shia war proxy, with Turkey's meddling to keep the Kurds from getting their own independent country.

Included is this dirty little secret: Russians and Assad play dirty, which is an advantage in a dirty war: like SriLankha found out, you need to ignore the NGO's crying "human rights violations" to actually win a war against the bad guys.

In the meanwhile, (via Instapundit Germany's influencial newspaper Das Spiegel laments the loss of American "leadership".

Yeah. As the old proverb goes: Watch what you wish for, you may actually get it.

I have been reading anti American tirades on German and other European news sites since Reagan became president.

want a list?

This Germany Watch article from 2011 has examples.

and don't take their word for it: even the DailyBeast noticed how the German press pushed hatred of the US as a priority, often while ignoring the "sins" by their real enemies.

Obama is unlikely to go to war: The Democrats are peaceniks (to the extent Bernie might win their nomination) and the Republicans (who never saw a war they didn't like)? Well, Trump is already hated by Europe, and the Muslims there hate his guts for insisting they don't get a free Green card without checking they aren't sleeper cells.

But as the WAPO notes: Trump is actually closer to Sanders than to the other candidates.

the link? Both are populists, and a lot of those folks who cling to guns and religion are tired of being pushed around not only by the American elites but by their European "allies".

as for me: Don't ask me. I figure if Mohammed had just divorced his child wife, who was behind those who opposed his son in law running Islam, none of this would have happened. Or maybe not: Iran's push to take over the area has it's historical roots in Darius the Great's empire.

Rolling stone take two

Cashing in on the pedophilia hysteria: Newsweek finally notices the problem: that some cases were false accusations.

and the same Rolling Stone reporter behind the fake rape case against UVa started that witch hunt... except in this case, three innocent priests were jailed and one died there.

so why claim abuse when nothing happened? TheseStoneWalls explains:

 Do you recall “Sex Abuse and Signs of Fraud,” my 2005 article in Catalyst? It quoted a prison inmate who reacted to the flood of decades-old claims against priests with a dose of brutal self-honesty about his proclivities and his enablers:

“So let me get this straight. If I say that some priest touched me funny all those years ago, I’ll be seen as a victim, I’ll be paid for it, and my life will be seen as his fault instead of mine. Do you have any idea how tempting this is?”

the problem with "witch hunts" is not that there are not "witches" (even in Salem, the girls who started the accusations were involved in petty conjuring) but that the hysteria leads to people embellishing the story,  claiming major abuse when minor things happened to get money or attention, and sometimes outright fraud.

I did the abuse exams on girls for years when I was in private practice in the 1980's and 1990's, because I was the only woman doc around.

Half the cases were overwrought moms or social workers,  a few were things that went over the line but not bad enough to put the person in jail (e.g. voyeurism, touching, stealing a kiss, sex with a willing 15 year old), and a few cases were terrible.

as for the Boston "coverup": The main priest involved was often lauded in the newspapers for his work with street kids. That meant he, like Bill Clinton or Woody Allen, got an automatic "get out of jail free" card by the media, at least until the reporters figured out a pattern of abuse was going on.

The bishop was made a scapegoat deserved it: not because he covered things up, but because he was lazy and left the priests running his office do these things, and one suspects they covered up these "minor" problems for their "friend", in the same way that cops and doctors often cover up problems.

When I was in medical school, Freudian theory assumed most of the accusations of abuse by children were "projections" of a child's wishes. To make things worse, some psychiatrists in the 1960's and 1970's assured us that children wanted sex, and allowing it would eliminate their "hangups".

Finally, Newsweek was part of the problem: way back in the 1980's they ran an article stating that incestuous fathers should not be reported by their therapists, because it would break up the family. (duh).

And I remember when California was lauded for it's "progressive" ideas when they decided to treat all "non violent sex offenders" as outpatients.

and many priests were reassigned after psychiatrists assured the bishops that these priests had been "cured". Johns Hopkins anyone? From a 1992 BaltSun article:

The clinic, set up in 1980, has maintained a caseload of 200 patients for the last few years. Many of the patients have been convicted criminals given the opportunity to avoid incarceration by entering therapy. Others have been voluntary patients fearing apprehension if their deviant behavior were to continue.
Over the years, Dr. Berlin earned the scorn of many with his position that therapists specializing in the treatment of pedophiles -- child molesters -- should not have to report sexual offenses to law enforcement authorities. He said the threat of criminal prosecution kept many offenders from seeking help.
He won an exemption from the state's mandatory reporting law, but it was repealed after one year in July 1, 1989. Child advocates persuaded lawmakers that the "loophole" allowed offenders to traumatize new victims while escaping punishment.

Evil exists, and a lot of pedophilia is covered up: but the problem is that the coverup brings out the people with false memories, the mentally ill, and the con men... as this BBC examination of a similar hysteria against their politicians finds out.

headsup LesFemmes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sahara Shrimp

from ModernFarmer:

Shrimp farming in the Sahara desert.

a Korean project in Algeria that uses high saline ground water, and recycles shrimp poop to prevent local pollution, and wouldn't have the environmental costs of such farms in tropical countries.

and yes it is being tried in the US midwest.

sounds like it would work here in the Philippines where fish farming is being practiced too...
and not just for shimp:

Tilapia has been shown to grow just as well in such setups, and research is testing out other fish species using similar methods.
This all begs the question: In the future, if our shrimp and fish comes from deserts, will we still call it seafood?

What is it with the hair?

AFP/getty images

One of the symbols of Trump is his hair, but now in the UK, one of the main opponents of the PM and the European Union is another guy with wild hair who does Trump one better: He is most famous for a stunt where the zip wire got stuck.

yes, it's London't mayor Boris Johnson.

Barcroft Media
Image captionAny other politician who got stuck on a zip wire would have been humiliated - but not Mr Johnson

More at the BBC.

headlines below the fold

the "don't get mad, get even" post of the day comes from StrategyPage, which discusses how escaped sex slaves and other women who worry about becoming victims are getting their revenge on ISIS.

 By late 2015 this led to the appearance of the “Sun Ladies” (former sex slaves now armed, trained and seeking revenge) and now there are enough of them to form a separate battalion. ISIL is still holding at least 3,000 Yazidis captive and one objective of all these Yazidi militias (and Kurds in general) is to free the slaves.

the article also notes women who served as soldiers in history...often using smaller weapons because of lower body strength.

 This long Strategypage article is mainly about Pakistan and one item noted is that the Chinese are working on a port there, and building a pipeline for natural gas/petroleum...and Pakistan is trying to keep them safe from terrorists.

Two notes: I remember when Reagan helped the Taliban throw out the Russians, it was claimed he was doing so to be able to build a pipeline for the evil American oil companies. Presumably the same peacenik type people in the west won't notice as the Chinese take over the oil reserves in the Silk road region, any more than they protested the takeover of the oil reserves and the sea lanes by destroying the reefs and shoals in the west Philippine sea by the Chinese.

Second note: This essentially gives China a port on the Indian Ocean.

America only gets 10-20 percent of their oil from the Middle East, but this is another way for China to block the shipping lanes for Japan and Korea and the other Asian tiger countries.

related item: MomJones reports China plans to shut down a lot of their coal driven electric plants. Since China's coal is high sulfur, this should help pollution. But you see why the pipeline would be a big help for energy hungry China.

this is not going to help the number of people willing to donate organs:

People magazine reports that one victim of the Uber shooter woke up and did a "thumbs up" to her mom after being declared brain dead and being prepared to get her organs transplanted.

Headsup WSmith, who notes that this isn't the first highly publicized case of misdiagnosing brain death: Jahi, who is legally dead, still refuses to die.


the lady behind twittergate AKA Stacygate, is the same one who was behind Gamergate. (caution: NSFW language at link)

Libertarian links at Instapundit defend twitter's right to do anything they wish because they are a private company.

Best comment:

Twitter is a private firm & perfectly free to ban/shadowban me or anyone else. It's not like I'm asking them to bake me a gay wedding cake.

the Supreme court to decide if a presidential candidate is a "natural born citizen" and eligible to run. No, not Cruz, Grace Poe.

She was a foundling so can't establish if her parents were Philippine citizens... which makes everyone laugh here because....LINK

My friend in Zimbabwe reports they had a bad harvest so there will be a lot of hungry people, and they will need food aid.LINK

it's a combination of drought (which happens periodically in the area) and bad management (the productive white owned farms confiscated in the name of land reform: some given to local farmers which was good, but alas most given to political cronies who don't know how to farm.

The dirty little secret about Africa is that these places, managed with irrigation and modern farm techniques, could be another bread basket. Zimbabwe has an advantage here, since most of the veldt is free of tsetse flies...Socialist politics, green policies, and the collapse of the economy, are to blame.

some news stories hint the land could be given back to the white farmers, or maybe sold to the Chinese.

In the meanwhile, thanks to the animal lovers making a kerfuffle about Cecil the lion, hunters are afraid to go there. That means a lot of lost tourism money, and now we read that the gov't will cull the excess population by killing 200 lions.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Rewrite the history books: The Black Nurse of the Crimean war

via Feminine Genius:

The story of Mary Seacole.

part two HERE.


Podcast and summary here.

it would make a great movie or miniseries.


However, as a doctor I should add this caveat:

some of the stories say she wasn't accepted into working in the hospitals because of racism.

Excuse me, but Florence Nightingale only took sober reliable women with experience. She was trying to establish nursing as a scientific modern career, and her volunteers tended to be educated women with some knowledge of nursing, not self proclaimed healers from the colonies.

Her party including both Anglican and Roman Catholic nuns. That last part suggests prejudice was not a big thing for Ms Nightingale, since anti Catholic prejudice was huge at that time, possible stronger than anti Black prejudice.

Lately, the nitpickers have turned on Ms Nightingale, claiming the death rate remained high, or that it went down because the soldiers were less sick after year one,  but the lecture here discusses their attacks on her work and defends her with statistical data, although it notes she was not alone in introducing cleanliness etc to these hospitals...from the transcript:

The reports of the inspectors who did the actual work are available, with such details as ‘556 hand carts of filth’ removed from the Barrack and General Hospitals, while at Koulali ‘two tons of filth’ and twenty-four dead horses were removed (Sutherland (1857a), page 38). (‘Filth’ means faeces, rubbish and offensive matter.)

Nightingale in her own ‘confidential’ report described supervising the removal of tubs of excreta from the wards at the Scutari Barrack Hospital and quoted an official report describing faeces flowing across the floor from the plugged toilets (Nightingale (1858a), page 92).

The French data also constitute a refutation of the hypothesis of Hinton (2010) that the decline in Scutari hospital death rates was the result of the healthier condition of soldiers on entering those hospitals. The French Army suffered from the same conditions as the British, and yet their death rates rose considerably in the second year, whereas the British rates fell.

yes, let us laud a woman who helped out soldiers in a war, and celebrate her deeds.

But don't pretend that enthusiasm and giving grog, food and herbal medicine replaced what was needed: Someone to clean the place up and make sure there was decent food for the sick.

Stories below the fold

Freedom of the press story of the day:

The number of reporters/media publishers in Hong Kong who have "disappeared" is now up to five.



Also via Instapundit: Did the Obama administration cut anti terror funding to NYCity to punish Senator Schumer?


getReligionBlog links to a NYT story on an anti crime program in Florida that seems to work: Gladson finds God

not just accepting God into your life, but acting on it (and having others help you in your walk with God).

GR has a related item: A coach's eulogy for his wife.who died after a car accident.

 Williams said this: “Everybody's praying for me and my family, which is right. But let us not forget that there were two people in this situation. And that family needs prayer, as well. And we have no ill will toward that family.
“In my house, we have a sign that says, ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.' We cannot serve the Lord if we don't have a heart of forgiveness.
“That family didn't wake up wanting to hurt my wife. Life is hard. It is very hard. And that was tough, but we hold no ill will toward the Donaldson family, and we as a group, brothers united in unity, should be praying for that family because they grieve as well.”\

video link here.

why am I posting these religious stories? Because in a time when politicians spout hate speech, when the SJW and BLM demonstrations incite hatred of others whom they deem the "enemy", and when law and order types just insist we need more laws and policing and border fences and a litmus test on religion for immigrants,  these two stories show that there is a third way to approach life. Woodlawn anyone?

The evangelical approach is part of the local culture, so it works, but it also works because unlike "catholic" outreach, which tells us to "help the poor", but often implies you are superior to these poor little people, it is an outreach to a brother who is equal...Maybe the Pope should notice and change his rhetoric...


Headlines of the day:

UK debate over staying in the EU 

and maybe there will be a truce in Syria.

big Philippine headlines: Duterte Mariam love match


Just for nice: The Hubble image of the week:

This newly released Hubble image shows Wolf–Rayet star WR 31a.
Sparkling at the center of this beautiful NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a Wolf–Rayet star known as WR 31a, located about 30,000 light-years away in the constellation of Carina (The Keel)

entertainment stories below the fold

Dave Barry Reports that Apollo 10 astronauts hears strange music on their radio
when they were behind the moon.

just radio interference, guys, chill...


Happy Cat Day! Feb22 is cat day in Japan

Twitter Bonjour_licca
and Maru has her own Youtube channel
via AnnAlthouse

Sometimes naked statues are not just naked statues

I posted a link to Dr. E's report of Iran's president visiting Europe a couple of days ago.

But I do remember there was a minor kerfuffle because Italy covered some naked statues when he visited.

The MSM presumed this was done so he wouldn't see statues of naked men.

But StrategyPage says no: it was to prevent his radical opponents from using photographs with these statues in the background to destroy him. was not surprising that when Rouhani visited (at his request) some museums full of centuries old statues and paintings the ones that showed any nudity had the naughty bits covered. While this seems absurd and demeaning to the average Westerners (and some Iranians) it is seen as a defeat by Islamic radicals in Iran waiting to pounce on Rouhani for viewing such decadent and un-Islamic art. Covering up the nakedness deprives Iranian Islamic radicals neutralizing or bringing down another Iranian reformer.
Sometimes what looks like a retreat is actually a victory.

Education take two

Bigoted Christians SJWs protest gay speaker by smearing themselves with blood and saying he should have been aborted.

more here.

Heh. They are probably jealous because he's better looking than they are.

I haven't listened to it, but his controversial speech is here. I understand he uses sarcasm and hyperbole to skewer political correctness.


Happy story of the day

The North Hollywood high school team won the local science bowl.
Richard Shuai, a member of the A-team from North Hollywood High School, competes in the L.A. Department of Water and Power Science Bowl on Saturday. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

the school has magnet programs, it's students have won lots of prizes, is demographically diverse.with a student/teacher ratio of 24 to 1.

and of course, it includes a lot of famous alumni.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Philippine news

Checking conspiracy sites, I find that War is in the air..LINK

however, even the Spiegel has an article on the problem.

Summary: The bear is hungry. Don't make him angry. You wouldn't like to see him angry...

But iRussia is expanding their area of influence into the power vacuum in the Middle East, making Turkey worried, which means some in Nato are also worried.

But it's more complicated than that.
StrategyPage discusses Russia's aim to get back their lost empire.

a long article for later reading.

what does Russia have to do with the Philippines, since it is China who is threatening to take over all their lost land/ocean in SEAsia?

Well,  War in the Middle East would send home 2 million Filipinos and destroy the lifestyle of many middle class families who rely on them for money "luxuries" like medicine, school fees, and decent homes.

I ran across an article pointing out that money sent home from the US to Mexico is larger than the money they earn from their oil industry.

Here the money (and the growing middle class) is thanks to our OFW's, many of whom work in the Middle East.

We know when things get dangerous when the OFW flee home. But now, with the Sunni/Shia wars threatening, if war comes, what would happen to the 2.3 million Filipinos who work in the Middle East?

more HERE.

And it's not just war causing layoffs: LINK

the low price of oil means cut backs in hiring, and layoffs, and the Saudi plan to insist on hiring locals might also send some Pinoys (and others) home, and there have been recent crackdowns on those lacking proper immigration papers...

Wikipedia article about Saudi's 9 million foreign workers...

how bad were the smears against Manny Paquiao?

pretty bad. Two words taken out of context to destroy his career. (and no, Ruby says the full text was on line, and was mainly about opposing gay marriage but loving those who suffer with same sex attraction,  but google must have it on page 100 because I can't find the link yet).

the distortion was so bad that The Huff post is letting him defend himself. sorta. Duh.

and the Catholics are defending his opposition to gay marriage...DUH..

Ruby reports that a lot of Christian youth groups are burning their Nike Sneakers, but that she isn't that political.

I hope not. Those sneakers were expensive. My Nike sandals, however, were only three dollars, so probably chinese counterfeits, so I have a clear conscience.

The WSJ says his remarks will ruin his career. Bullcrappie.

Most people here are worried more about jobs and corruption than this, and the Catholic bishops will try to make nice, but remember: many of tomorrow's leaders are in youth groups: Christian evangelicals or Catholic prolife groups. In other words, grass roots groups, not SJW who take their agenda, talking points (and often money) from left wing groups in the US.

it says a lot that despite a full court press in the elite media and social media here, that frontrunner Duterte (the law and order candidate here) says he disagrees but supports Manny. But what is more interesting is that Manny, despite being from Duterte's area supports Binay, and vice versa...

Notice that part about the social media? Yes: like in the USA, it is the forefront for social change. However, these aggressive Christian youth groups will fight them in their own turf: the "Social media".

Me, I'm just avoiding facebook, because I am sick of the two minute hates there.... not to mention the numerous "Like if you love Jesus" stuff from my relatives.


Formerspook has an article on the Chinese sea lane grab, including the increased pace of their militarization of shoals that up to 10 years ago were unoccupied and often under water.

The HQ-9 is a Chinese knock-off of Russia's sophisticated S-300 air defense system. With a range of 125 nautical miles, the missiles on Woody Island could threaten military and commercial air traffic across a broad swath of the South China Sea. With this latest military move, Beijing has clearly thrown down the gauntlet to Washington. And, as with the recent provocations from North Korea and Iran, the U.S. must decide how to respond. Once upon a time--as recently as the 1990s--Washington would dispatch a significant military force to fly (or cruise) through the area. But times have changed and so have regional perceptions.
yes. Nobody expects a President Obama or President Sanders to do anything about it. I'm not sure how a President Trump or Cruz would react.

As for our election: the Manila bulletin suggests the next president will go easier on China: We are too weak to fight China, so they will just sigh and go along with the power grab (Or as comments on this article note, will take bribes or insist on lucrative business deals from China. I should note here that there is a strict libel law in the Philippines, so naming names could lead to you being sued)...


some new news about the Philippines: Reforestation

Stories below the fold

Leprosy in ShangriLa? Say it isn't so.

the article is about a lepersarium in the rural area founded by a Brit but now run by a local doctor who himself was raised in a similar hospital.

Related item: The real Knights of Malta. Forget the conspiracy theories. They are just a huge NGO...

When I worked with Africa, I was friends with the nun who ran the Hansen's disease outreach program there, which was funded by the Knights.

another ALJ story:
Babies in the Sindh dying of malnutrition? 

the drought this year has pushed the borderline standard of living over the edge.


but I see they are trying to feed up the kids before they end up dying:

The number of infants and toddlers brought to the nutrition stabilisation centre in January is the highest in the last two years.
yes, we had a similar "nutrition village" at our hospital in Africa 40 years ago...if you wait until they are sick, or they have full blown Kwashiorkor, they will probably die on you.

Fiji was devestated by a cyclone. Sigh.


UKMail reports: a blood test for TB?

I'll have to read up on it and post a longer discussion on my medical blog: TB is a complicated illness, and hard to diagnose...


AlJ summarizes the land grab in the West Philippine sea
Asia, the new centre of global economic gravity, seems to be sleepwalking into an all-out conflict.


Lung cancer deaths in the US are down due to less smoking, but radon and air pollution are other causes of this terrible disease.

So China, whose pollution has gotten worse from industrialization, has more lung cancer now.
Is it pollution, or due to their high rate of cigarette smoking?


Gender wars. For later reading


quick, who said this in the Presidential debate:

He said it was wrong to prevent qualified people to run for public office just because they have relatives in the government.

Yes, we are having an election.

Culture of death update

avoid reading if you are a crybully.

the WAPO page also provides links to this article, where a girl bullied a depressed friend into killing himself.

Her attorney argues, however, that the charges should be dropped because Carter’s messages are protected by free speech. According to attorney Joseph P. Cataldo, Carter was “brainwashed” into supporting Roy’s plan for suicide.
ah but if you are old, sick, or handicapped, (and costing the government money and/or being a burden on your family) hey, in the near future, not only will your greedy kids cheer you on, and the government pay for your drugs (while limiting medicines that cost a lot, making it hard to get pain pills, and of course cut home health services) but your doctor, like the teenager's "friend" above will cheer you on.

this is why disability advocates like NotDeadYet are so adamant to oppose the latest fad of "assisted suicide".

and although in Europe doctors have protections, in Canada they may be forced to cooperate.

This is why the "Little Sisters of the Poor" case is so important: Once you can state that cooperation with a medical procedure that you see as immoral is mandatory, the law can use that precedent to expand it to other cases.

which is why the death of Scalia bodes ill for freedom of religion, and why the Pope's cluelessness about using contraception if you risk Zika infection is stupid: The risk is 0.1% of all pregnancies in Brazil were diagnosed with microcephaly (and several hundred of the 3000 cases reported were false positives, i.e. did not have the problem).

yes, it is a problem, but why no hysteria about Dengue fever?

As for the poor babies:  The risk is higher from drinking alcohol while pregnant.

 May et al. (2009) estimated that in the U.S., the prevalence of FAS is in the range of 2–7 per 1000, and for FASD their estimates were as high as 2–5% of school children in the US and Western Europe.

NYTimes article discusses Zika conspiracy theories, rumors and what is actually known (so far) HERE

more HERE. There are a lot of studies going on...

so yes, it is serious. Because it is a new disease. But it is not the black plague and although, as that last article notes, ten percent of kids with microcephaly will be profoundly handicapped and the rest with milder handicaps, the disease is probably not as severe as other disease or conditions that are around and ignored and kill people or children, like malaria or Dengue or tuberculosis....

that is why the Pope's message to use the pill will be overstated: Women already use contraception, and he is just saying what Paul II said: Use your conscience. But it will be spun to change the nuanced church rules, not to mention it is a godsend (/s) to the population controllers.