Sunday, July 31, 2016

Should we clone Neanderthals?

Long discussion at

Cloning a Neanderthal will take a lot more than just an accurately reconstructed genome. Artificially assembling an exact copy of the Neanderthal DNA sequence could be done easily and cheaply with current technology, but a free-floating strand of DNA isn't much good to a cell. "The bigger challenge is--how do you assemble a genome without a cell?" asks James Noonan, a geneticist at Yale University. "How do you package DNA into chromosomes, and get that into a nucleus? We don't know how to do that." The shape of the DNA within the chromosomes affects the way that genes interact with chemicals inside the cell
they write another way would be to take a human cell and make the thousands of necessary  changes into that cell's DNA....

Or to insert Neaderthal DNA into a human blastocyst. (early human embryo).

Experimenting on human beings used to be considered ethically wrong, until the bioethicists decided that early human embryos were not really human persons. Since the ultimate goal is to call anyone not meeting the "criteria for personhood" (including infants and brain damaged adults) as a human being with rights, you can see where this is going.

ah, but are Neaderthals human?

Genetically, since there is evidence that humans and Neanderthals did interbreed, it would mean yes, one is making a human being.

of course, in a world where religious voices are sidelines and "secular" bioethicists often are "apologists for death" (to use Nat Hentoff's phrase), why stop at experimenting with Neanderthal/human clones?

Well, awhile back the Brits were discussing if a genetically altered pig (a chimera manufactured to get organs to donate), with a large amount of DNA, could be self aware or considered human.

And the British bishops said: Well, better to err on the side of the good and treat them so.

The bishops, who believe that life begins at conception, said that they opposed the creation of any embryo solely for research, but they were also anxious to limit the destruction of such life once it had been brought into existence. In their submission to the committee, they said: “At the very least, embryos with a preponderance of human genes should be assumed to be embryonic human beings, and should be treated accordingly.
so, would you adopt him as a human being, or use him to experiment on?

Encino man or Never Let Me Go....

Another day, another typhoon

Typhoon supposed to hit south of here, but the weather is dark and overcast so I suspect we'll get rain.

Family news

Joy and Ruby are back from Manila.

Our cook's youngest son died of a heart attack. He has been having trouble for about two years, and even had a near death episode a year ago. He had chest pain and went to see his doctor, but when the ambulance arrived, it was too late.

Alas, this was her educated son, a teacher.He had a wife and two kids...

Teachers are respected, but the pay is not that good, so he was trying to get a job overseas, first in Canada before the oil shale business slowed down, and then to work in a factory in Malaysia, but had trouble with that too (lots of jobs are fake, or they recruit too many and then won't hire).

As a teenager guarded our home when Lolo had his first stroke, so we are very sad about this.

I told the cook to take a week off, but she is here this morning anyway.... she will cook and then her daughter will come and serve/do the dishes... money is short, and I suspect she would rather stay busy...

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Wanna be a Francis Catholic? There's an app for that.

The Pope is pushing "yutes" to be SJW at WYD 2016.

yes, instead of pushing the necessity for prayer, repentence and serving God in your daily life, you should be a SJW "FrancisCatholic" ala Kaine, whose one year as a lay missionary lets him say he is a good Catholic despite being a supporter of the Culture of Death party in the USA.

and yes, according to this article, there is an App for that.

YOUCAT, the Catechism and the Compendium of Catholic Social Teaching, and features a foreword by Pope Francis 
As part of the release, a DOCAT app has been made available to all World Youth Day participants. The app helps readers to start groups, participate in discussions, and do acts of justice as a present to the pope, who, in writing the foreword to DOCAT, shared his dream with youth on how to change the world.
So there you have it. Personal piety, bleh. Prayer bleh. Living an ethical life, nah. Support Hillary's pro abortion party? YES! Attend conferences on how to use twitter: YES!

Yes, I should talk: but since I spent much of my life working as a doc among the poor, I figure I can point out the problem:

Jesus didn't call everyone to "sell what you have, give to the poor, and follow me". He also told others to "go and sin no more", and even sent the man he cured of demons to go home to his family when he wanted to join the apostles.

The SJW meme of Catholicism is important, but Francis' emphasis on this as the only way to be a good Catholic marginalizes normal people who have a life to lead, a family to care for, physical or mental handicaps that make such a move impossible. It also neglects to acknowledge  ordinary Catholics, who are no longer be taught how to find holiness in the duties of their daily life.


The Pope cites Mother Teresa. Great saint, of course.

But I am reminded when Mother Teresa attended a Eucharistic Congress in an American city, and was asked by her taxi driver: What should I do (to serve God)? He expected her to say: give money. Or volunteer for a ministry.

What she actually told him was "Smile at your wife more often".


so I laughed when I read "Eccles is saved" Blog:

Welcome to World Oldies day

Listening attentively to Pope Francis.

Yup. Works for me.

War on Drugs

The local News notes that 400+ drug pushers on a list gave themselves up and signed a pledge not to sell drugs. So no cop killing of drug pushers here so far.

Of course, if you read the whole news site, there  have been quite a few "vigilante" type murders.

The main headline is about a ghost corporation where money was spent for "livelihood kits" for the poor... but no kits were delivered, and a lot of the documentation was forged. More information here at GMA

How much money was this about? The project was funded 14 million pesos. (about $300 000) but no note about how much may have ended up in someone's pocket.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Eugenics? Whoopie

I am aghast at this article on Mom Jones, that interviews a guy who lauds the selection of embryos to get your perfect baby.

Greely believes embryo selection will become popular in the United States. "My guess is more than half of babies are likely to be conceived this way," he predicts.

Uh, fellahs: To get an egg, mom has to take medicines that make her ovulate (and get emotional and fat). Then she needs an operation to remove the eggs. Then she needs to go to the office and get them implanted. And one to two thirds of the babies won't "take". If you implant a couple, yes there is a higher chance of getting a kid, but sometimes you get two (or three).

Infertile women will do this, of course. But it's a dirty little secret that a lot of IVF is done when less "intrusive" treatments might work...but IVF makes docs rich, and moms happy, because it's quicker.

But routinely? Nope.

And what about all those discarded embryos? This is a major ethical problem no one wants to discuss...

I was surprised that Mom Jones, who usually opposes artificial GM food, artificial fertilizers, herbicides, chemicals and all sorts of artificial interventions into human life seems to be pushing artificial manipulation of human beings. (Probably they interview him without editorializing, but the writer gets fuzzy on why anyone would oppose this practice).

Catholics, of course object to IVF because of the reason he posits: His book is called "the end of sex" meaning that now you can have a kid without making love.

Separating sex from reproduction is a no no, be it by the pill that gives you sex without a baby, or IVF that gives you a baby without sex. (and I won't even go into the lucrative baby making that uses desperatly poor women to carry someone else's baby to term.).

Like marriage, they stress the biological basis of family, lovemaking, and baby making, as God's gift to humans.

But the summary of how this guy and many others have lost the moral vocabulary to even discuss the moral issues can be found in this quote

After all, he says, "You want to get the best car. Why don't you want to get the best baby?"

Well, maybe because a because a baby is not a "thing" to be bought, but a person to be loved and cherished. By not seeing babies as persons, it is implied that you can return them if defective (which is what is done by discarding embryos, and has been done by parents who refuse to accept an imperfect baby or twins etc. gestated by a pay-for surrogate mother)

And, of course, I'm old enough to remember that when one grew up and married, that babies weren't planned, but just came along and were accepted and welcomed. Kids were considered part of one's vocation of being married, and even among the non "religious", there was the idea that well, God had a plan for the kid even if he/she came at an inconvenient time.

Eugenics rears it's ugly head.

Is Facebook a Potemkin village?

When I surf the web, I see a lot of "sign up for facebook" ads, as if they are seeking new members.

But what has annoyed me in the past weeks is that when I use Chrome, all of a sudden, a tab with Facebook opens when I didn't request it to be opened.

This  is now happening when I used a different browser that I don't use for my mail and haven't used to open Facebook...

This seems to be an old problem: This discussion claims it is because you have the facebook messanger for Windows and that they solved the problem in 2014...

Uh, no, I don't use Facebook messenger.

Mozilla support says run TDDS KILLER to stop this.

I'll put a followup post if this works.

But I wonder:

Question: Is facebook paid for the number of times people open their page?

Martyrs, we haz that

TeaatTrianon has a link to several essays saying that the priest murdered by ISIS in France should be acclaimed a martyr.

 more HERE. and HERE.

I have no problem with that.

My only criticism is that this is not exactly new, nor is it, alas rare.

But then the 37 plus missionaries killed when I worked in Africa were killed, not by Muslims, but by a group of "insurgents" funded by the World Council of Churches, so probably no one wants to write those murders up as martyrs or saints, because it might embarass the PC...

At least one odd lay missionary killed during those time is considered a saint by the local people. And when I say "odd", I mean shellshocked guy. a hanger-on, whom the Jesuits found a job to keep him busy. And I found it interesting that the locals decided he, not the bishop or priests or nuns killed, was the one worthy of being proclaimed a saint. I suspect it was his humility, since we professional do gooders tended to be arrogant SOB's.

I often criticize the Pope and his SJW minions for talking of "mercy" for sociopaths instead of trying to reach out and preach repentence to ordinary people caught in the culture of sin, as many Pentecostal etc. churches are doing.

But of course, this does not mean we do not have good priests and layworkers who do risk their lives doing  just that. And I do know that telling people there is mercy and forgiveness for their (often horrendous) sins is the first step to encourage them to reform.

Reuters has an article about a Catholic outreach to gang members in Mexico. Go read the whole thing.

It's been 50 years since this type of evangelism has gotten attention in the media (the cross and the switchblade was the story back then), even though many pastors and priests are active in this type of ministry.

But now that type of outreach is probably more dangerous.

It's not just ISIS: As Borderlandbeat notes: dozens of Catholic priests have been murdered in Mexico (and this doesn't include those priests, laypeople and pastors killed in Colombia, where FARC once kidnapped an entire church congregation).

the lost heep badly need a shepherd, and yes, there are shepherds trying to find them, (although alas they are too few).

And when they are killed, the world doesn't go out and say: Martyr.

The martyred French priest seems to be a humble guy willing to work after retirement in a parish that mainly served immigrants from Senegal. I am sure he is a saint, and not just because he met martyrdom at the hands of two mixed up kids.

Yes, mixed up kids.

as David Warren noted:

Hardly to my surprise, I learn that the latest murderous adolescents were problems for the state’s social services long before they were “radicalized.” ... His confusion is exacerbated by the deconstruction of all cultures in the contemporary West: the loss of continuity in custom and governing norms. He becomes a different kind of Muslim from his parents, who can’t understand him. In many mosques, financed by the oil-monied Wahabis, the worst features of Islam are emphasized. The Islamists do much recruiting there, and also in prisons: like the Communists before them, they are looking for psychoses to exploit. And of course, the Internet is a great boon, to all of satanic tendency.

The same thing could be said about kids joining gangs, be they Mexico or Los Angeles CA... or the kids on the Res for that matter (our res had a major school shooting after I moved to a warmer climate: The kid was into NeoNazi stuff on the internet, but his history of abuse and family breakdown were the real reason behind the murders).

The scarred and broken are the lost sheep to be healed.

But I do hope there is a hell, not for the mixed up kids seduced by the culture of murder, but for those who push the idea that it is okay to kill in the name of "Good", and those who applaud these architects of death (did I read right, that a woman proclaimed she had an abortion and was applauded at the DNC? ).

and those who push murder as something good, while sitting in their comfortable offices, are the ones who deserve punishment, but instead will die in their beds hailed as heroes.

Question: Will the author and director of "Me before you" take responsibility for the mass murders in Japan, by a guy who thinks they are "better off dead"? NDY knows the handicapped who are murdered are not called martyrs by the MSM, who instead publishes sympathetic peons to those who kill them...

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Memo to DNC: firewalls are your friend

 Note to DNC: Stop Blaming Putin, YOU Wrote the Emails.
Via Instapundit:

better to blame Trump and Russia than to acknowledge they had a problem with computer security, or to discuss  what was in the released emails...

Memo to Pope:discuss martyrdom

JohnAllen at Crux notes: Forget program at WYD: Teach youth about the martyrs

There are places where anti-Christian violence has become stunningly routine, including North Korea, Eritrea, Iraq and Syria, Nigeria, and India. The Global Council for Indian Christians, a largely Protestant body in India, estimates for the last decade, there has been an average of one violent assault on a Christian in their country every other day.

this doesn't include places like the Philippines, where terrorists attack Christian villages and caused thousands of people in a mainly Christian town to flee, and where Christian activists defending civil rights and the environment are killed. (often these are linked since the rich want to exploit the land owned by the poor or indigenous people)

And I suspect this doesn't include those, especially clergy in Mexico and Colombia who were killed for opposing the drug cartels and gangs. Heck, I suspect it doesn't even include those in the US who are killed by gangs because they preach Jesus, or because robbing churches/church workers, are easy targets.

Finally, I should ass tat the priest killed was French, but the pastor of the church, and many who attended the church, were African immigrants. The press is not noting this, but it may be the backstory on why that church was chosen.

Maybe the pope needs to stress the importance of immigrants to evangelize their new countries...

Memo to demonstators:

Nylon doesn't burn 

... (one) man amicably described himself as an anarcho-communist and said he was disappointed that whoever brought the flags had purchased nylon banners rather than cotton. He said experienced activists should know better.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

For later reading

The priest killed in France was helping out the pastor, who is African and was visiting family in the Congo. Apparently it was a multicultural parish in a town with lots of ethnics and immigrants.


Quote of the day:

Air conditioners and refrigerators pose as big a threat to "life on the planet" as the threat of terrorism, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.

well, you can have my Aircon remote when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.

Unless there is a viable alternative, people will die of heat stroke and heat related disease and food poisoning.

Best quote of the day about this comes from ProfP:

It is a great consolation as one’s throat is being cut that the government is focused on global warming.

I hate to be sarcastic, but probably more people are killed in Chicago than have been killed by ISIS, but it's not PC to mention that because:

the majority of the violence is gang-related, with 50 percent of the murder victims identified as known gang members. He says shootings are often a result of personal petty disputes that are fueled by social media.
and the BLM makes the witnesses hostile to the cops, so gangs can literally get away with murder.

  StrategyPage discusses the problem of NGO's. Lots of money diverted into the pockets of the corrupt or of bad guys.

and then there are the NGO's pushing the hedonism of America as part of the deal, and wondering why the conservatives of all faiths get upset.

and lots more. Read the whole thing.
 Rev Sensing asks: Who would Jesus vote for when there is no Christian running for president?

for both the Republicans and the Democrats it is about money and power: Who will receive the largess they will use tax dollars to provide? Whom will be the class they plunder to get it? And how will they spend it to suborn, corrupt or crush so they can keep power?
as for bioethical issues: I agree with WSmith: The courts and propaganda deluge in the MSM etc. will make sure the slide into the culture of death continues: but there is a small difference between the candidates:

Trump won't see stopping it as a priority, but Hillary will help push it along.


Family news

Brownout due today... we already had a ten minute outage but the electricity went back on.

To make things worse, Thunderstorms also due later today.

So probably I won't blog until evening.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cat item of the day

The news is lousy...time to break out the kitties......

China's noodle war

Halal noodle restaurant opens too close to another Halal noodle restaurant, and things then get a little crazy.



it is an ethnic fast food, and these restaurants are usually run by Chinese minorities.

Recipe HERE.

more HERE.including recipe.

these are essentially a spicy version of ramen noodle soup, but with nicer noodles, because they are hand pulled noodles, not the lousy ones in the packages, and include a spicy condiment (here, they give you this on the side to add if you wish).... and the oil added uses hot red peppers.

Heh. Wonder if they know peppers are from South America?

On the other hand, noodles are Chinese, aren't they?

NPR on the history of noodles.

Chinese use fresh dough noodles, not dried as is done in Italy, and the noodles might have made their way west with Genghis Khan, not Marco Polo.

In the US, my kids called this "Spaghetti soup" but here in the Philippines, it is called Mami noodles.

no, it doesn't get it's name from Mama but from MaMonLuk, who introduced the soup to Manila.

Stories below the fold

No, I'm not watching the conventions in the USA but Dave Barry has a report on them:

PHILADELPHIA So now the Russians are involved. Yes! According to rumors circulating here — and if we can’t trust circulating rumors, what can we trust? — it was the Russians who leaked the Democratic National Committee emails, because they wanted to embarrass Hillary Clinton. The theory is that the Russians are secretly supporting Donald Trump, as evidenced by the following evidence:
 ▪ “Ivanka” sounds kind of Russian.
=Vladimir Putin has been wearing a baseball cap that says “Make America Great Again.”


the good news in all of this is that the MSM finally has figured out that most of Wikileaks is inspired by Russia. 

on the other hand, it points out what is wrong with Hillary having an unsecure private email server discussing matters marked "top secret"

I mean, at least make them work a bit hard to steal secrets.

Personal note: My federal personnel  file was hacked, along with millions of other folk's files, from the federal gov't computers. Is anyone taking the cyberwars seriously in the federal gov't?


Pokeman has hit Indonesia.

Fatwa? What fatwa?

and it's coming here soon.


A "Pope Francis Catholic as Democratic VP?


How did that steamship end up in a cornfield


Drug dealers are the new enemy, but the commies, not so much.

On the other hand, in some poor areas they are the ones defending the poor farmers from exploitation...but like the mafia, they also kidnap, shoot people and sell drugs.


Sigh. now 200 thousand people in Northern China displaced by flooding. Heavy monsoon rains the cause, the they are angry because the gov't didn't warn them soon enough.

in our prayers


mass murder: it's not just for Muslims angry white men any more.

A center for disabled elderly hit by a knife wielding crazy in Japan.

in our prayers.

This is, of course, a "copycat " effect, where someone with mental illness who has violent impulses gets the idea they now are allowed to act on these ideas.


forget Brexit: the big news is the Cat fight in the UK


Crowdfunding in rehab

Dustubury reports from rehab.after spinal surgery

And asks his readers if they like his blog to add to his tip jar.

I don't have money but will pass on the request, because I enjoy reading about shoes, my little Pony, and of course the sports news from

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sherlock is coming

Deadline Hollywood reports on a ComicCon discussion about next year's season 4 of Sherlock.

hopefully the plot won't fall apart at the end like the Abomidable Bride. Yes it hints at what might come next year, but I hate dreams pretending to be real.

headsup from hercules at AICN.

Quick. Henry, the FLIT

The latest bad news about Zika is that it might be spread by the Culex mosquito, which is found commonly found in temperate zones.

To paraphrase Airplane: Looks like we picked the wrong century to quit DDT...

Philippine news

AlJ has an article on the Abus: fighting while high on Shabu, kidnapping to get ransoms to buy guns, and of course, sharing the wealth with relatives and local politicians etc to stay protected.

related item: Local ex mayor drug lord arrested.

Adrian Alvaro, PDEA Northern Mindanao chief, told reporters that the former mayor heads the Abinal drug ring, described as the biggest supplier of shabu in the regions of Southern Mindanao, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, Central Mindanao and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
“They (Abinal drug group) are dealing drugs in bulk,” Alvaro said.
“If the orders are huge, [the payment is done] through bank to bank transactions, and on consignment basis,” Alvaro said.
Alvaro said the group obtains its supply from Chinese drug lords in Manila and has been in the illegal drug trade for the past 15 years.

Read more: Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook
Remember that massacre of all those reporters?

Well this relates bribes paid to protect the perpetrators

StrategyPage on Japan's investments in Burma, that replace China's investments. This means they won't be punished if they defend the Philippines at ASEAN. It's the democracy stupid so they have to pay attention to the locals.

 Currently China is eager to buy some regional allies (especially Thailand, Burma and Malaysia) to get some support for Chinese expansion efforts in the South China Sea. China is willing to pay a lot for such support. But Burmese officials knew that most Burmese feared China and backed cracking down on illegal economic activity on the Chinese border and punishing Chinese firms that behave badly while building large new mines and power plants in thinly populated rural areas.

The eal danger: If Zika spreads to SEAsia.

The DOH plans to test athletes when they come back from the Olympics.

But what if the virus comes back with visitors? There has been a Dengue epidemic in SE Asia for decades, and it is the same mosquito.

And no, I haven't seen anyone spraying the open ditches albeit the main drainage canal is now covered.


Reports are that the President is going around on his motorcycle checking out problems in Manila.

his hard line on drugs is "splitting the public".

Translation: Human right folks are worried as is the Catholic church but hey, the ordinary folks are happy.

Family news

Joy and Ruby left for her school in Manila, and with various projects etc they will stay there all week. Why not? It's very unhappy here for both of them.

Alas, the shower in their bedroom doesn't drain so they use mine, and at 3 am, Ruby used my shower, and also used my last towel so I guess I'll have to drip dry myself. When they got moved down here, their towels didn't get moved, or else they are among the unpacked clothing in the closet. Bummer.

I am over the stomach flu and feeling better.

Kuya is building a gazebo and trellis in my tiny front garden. He removed two trees and planted veggies and corn in a beautiful pattern. Now it is his garden. I had planted veggies there, and we had harvested most of them, but now I guess we won't get any more from our garden.

But the main problem is that it is now claustrophobic: Lolo only wanted grass, so had removed a lot of bushes etc. Now it's full of clutter. Beautiful clutter but whatever. But I was told that the house is not mine, and the threat of being thrown out after the will is probated hangs over my head.

IIt also means we can't hang the wash out there: Right now it is hung in our living room and the spare bedroom, which usually we only use when it rains.

It also makes me angry: No money to fix up the house, no money for his child's schoolwork, but plenty to make the public areas pretty.

No, I am fine: I have my social security and here it goes a long way.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fishermen story

a nice story at Reuters about the annual pilgrimage of fishermen to the island of MacDara.

St. MacDara, the patron saint of seafarers, is believed to have built the small church on the island in the sixth century. After mass, the locally crafted boats, known as Galway Hookers, bow their sails in the direction of the church three times to bless the year ahead.

more HERE.

Mac Dara’s Island- a small island off the coast of Carna – was home in the sixth century to St. Mac Dara, Connemara’s most respected saint. He built a one-room chapel here, with a dirt floor, walls of huge stones and a steep stone roof.

...A long tradition of pilgrimage to the church on the island exists on this day for Mass and celebration (people also take picnics and go for strolls around the island if the weather is good). The local fishermen give of their time and their boats by ferrying people out to the island in the morning and back in the afternoon. Others make their way out by canoe, currach and hooker.

NYTimes story of the abandoned islands off the west coast of Ireland.

Missing: WIMPS

LAT reports they can't find dark matter with the LUX detector, but will try again next time with a new, imporved deterctor.

The fact that LUX did not find anything might help to narrow down some of the models for dark matter, Gaitskell said. Of course, there’s always the possibility that this and similar detectors are on the wrong track, because dark matter isn’t some kind of weakly interacting particle at all.

so what does this mean? from UniverseToday:
Not long ago, many scientists proposed that Dark Matter consists of Weakly-Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), which are about 100 times the mass of a proton but interact like neutrinos. However, all attempts to find WIMPs using colliders experiments have come up empty. As such, scientists have been exploring the idea lately that dark matter may be composed of something else entirely.,,

translation: They may have to rewrite the theory.

a discussion of various theories

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Apollo is back

I liked the Percy Jackson series, partly because one of my areas of interest outside of medicine is ancient Greece.

But although I looked forward to his Norse series, I found it too confusing: going up and down the tree of life made my head spin, and the main character is not as vulnerable or loyal to his friends as Percy Jackson.

But don't worry, kids: Percy is back (for the first three chapters anyway) when Zeus decides to punish Apollo for his misdeeds in the earlier series, and send him to earth as a 16 year old wimp with acne and sans superpowers.

and yes, Percy wrecks his mom's car again.

An easy way to teach your kids mythology.

The book just came out in paperback so I bought it for Ruby, who missed the end of the last series because she was reading House of Hades when her car got flooded in the typhoon a couple years ago... so she missed the end of the series.

Of course, now she is a bit beyond kidfiction, and into Jane Austen...

kids grow up fast.

Factoid of the day: Palantir

Palantir is a computer program that analyzes information.

Palantir Intelligence is a complete, proven solution that is used throughout the intelligence community to efficiently, effectively, and securely exploit and analyze data, leading to more informed operational planning and strategic decision-making.
This is a commercial app. But this is the back story on the big brother elites that have all your personal information as discussed in the previous webcast.

At this point, listen to previous podcast link, 
on how it allows them to run your life on many levels.

Tolkien would be aghast: One theme of LOTR is the danger of experts running your life (read Scouring of the Shire, which was left out of the movie).

however, like all tools it is valuable to analyze threats to the public.

Strategypage discusses how troops prefer to use the  commercial app Palantir over the government app when they analyze intelligence. This annoys the bureaucrats, the main sin in todays US Military.

The new elite who run the world

A lecture from the UK Univ of Bath:

In this IPR Public Lecture Professor Janine Wedel - IPR Global Chair and Professor in the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University - introduces a new breed of influence elite that has emerged over the past several decades. 
In contrast to the 'power elites' described by sociologist C. Wright Mills a half century ago, she argues, the muscle of today’s influence elites resides at least as much in social networks as in command-and-control bureaucracy. 
These novel elites are less visible, less stable, and more mobile and global in reach than their forebears. They hold sway through informal, flexible, and unaccountable means and use consulting firms, think tanks, nonprofits, and 'grassroots organisations', among other entities, as vehicles of influence, not to mention the Internet and social media. 
Professor Wedel also contends that today’s influence elites largely defy democratic oversight. link
Bernie was trying to fight this but got destroyed by the Clinton machine. Trump is left, and is using the public's frustration to get elected.

I didn't see his speech, but the MSM meme is that it was angry.

Heh. Yathink?

reminds me of this movie snip:

Friday, July 22, 2016

Hell freezes over stories of the day

Muslims for Trump? And he even has one give a prayer for the convention in prime time.

A Muslim reporter is treated politely but told politely they back Trump;s opposition to Islamic immigration.


We expected a riot, we got a block party says the WAPO
Instapundit quips: Americans keep ourperforming their elite's expectations.


Michael Moore says: Trump's gonna win.


no I am not watching the election. Being able to ignore US politics is one reason I am happy to live here.

And like most of my fellow democrats overseas, I backed Bernie.

for later reading

Professor Mary Beard on democracy

for later reading

No more VCR's

They are planning to stop making VCR's.

The secret of VCR's is that you could tape shows and movies to watch later. I had a whole library of classic films.

Now you just download them from Netflix to watch.

Stories below the fold

Single mothers in Brazil trying to raise their Zika babies.

Sigh. The problem is one third are not married, and they don't have the extended family in the slums as they did when they lived in villages.

They are Catholic, but few attend church: Often they get their spirituality from folk (pagan) religion.

This pope is emphasizing mercy and pushing the rich into caring for the poor, but not telling the poor things like the importance of marrying the mother of your child and not cheating on her. Indeed, he is busy trying to destroy the Catholic rules that date back to that nasty Jewish carpenter who said divorce is a no no.  Because if you think people should follow the rules that protect the innocent, you are "judgmental".

The Pentecostal solution is having preachers from their own lower class background, not upper class outsiders. These preachers emphasize God loves them, but expects you to actually follow his rules.... they train the men to be faithful, and the church home becomes an extended family to help them out.

Which is why the Catholic church is losing members there.

the west pushes abortion as the way to stop Zika microcephaly, but as the woman in the LATimes story says, she got it late in pregnancy and the ultrasound didn't pick it up. And you don't do abortions at 8 months...the kid will live unless you do a very risky procedure to kill it inside the womb when it is half born.


Strategypage discusses the changing mess in Syria...

the heck with the political conventions: ComicCon has the real news: Valerian is coming.

no I am not a follower of the Marvel Universe, but hey, they rule the boxoffice...

and the new Startrek movie is not getting good reviews... personally, I don't like the reboot, except for Scottie. Too many special effects that distract one from the story... and Chris Pine plays Kirk as an immature Kingsman-type smart ass. In the original series, he was Odysseus, the trickster who never had a problem he couldn't figure a way out of, but who did have a serious side.

as for Ghostbusters: I really didn't like the first one, so why bother?

Did you know that all Chinese college students get mandatory military training? But just summer training, no draft and no long term mandatory service.

And their snowflake students are now complaining about it.

and south China had some bad flooding in Wuhan..


Freakonomics on gender barriers. Most of it is about the good old days, when real barriers made it hard for us.

Once "feminists" took over in the mid 1970's, the "mean girls" who persecuted us in college for being nerds decided they were "feminists" and took credit for our success, as if the feminist movement in 1975 was the reason I got into medical school a decade earlier.

The real reason for the feminist revolution is actually the pill...

The problem with women having a successful career is children, of course. One barrier back then was asking how we could take care of children when we worked 80 hours a week. Unlike here in the Philippines, the US didn't have extended families to do this, and most could not afford nannies.

I essentially worked "part time" as a doc (i.e. 40 hours a week) when I had kids. Hence the gender pay gap.


NYTimes essay on the problem when sick people don't have family to feed and house them. link2

where is the extended family in this?

Some are homeless (often from substance abuse), abandoned their spouses or lost them because of promiscuity...

However, remember that 37 million Americans are caretakers for their elderly family members or neighbors. They are often overlooked.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

It was bureaucrats, not space aliens (who built the pyramids)

One of the amusing parts of reading ancient history is finding that writing was not developed to write down stories but to keep track of commerce and taxes.

well, they have found the notes taken by the overseer of the workers making the Great Pyramid.

no, it wasn't space aliens, the stones were moved via canals.

Its entries are dated to the 27th year of Khufu’s reign, when the major remaining building task involved assembling the limestone casing that would cover the outside of the pyramid. Merer detailed the route by which the limestone was transported to the pyramid site from a quarry near present-day Cairo via boat along the Nile and a network of canals—a trip that took four days in all.

Now the question is how they were raised.

The story behind the florist

It might sound like trivia, but there is a difference between being non discriminatory and cooperating with evil.

The CSMonitor has a nuanced story about a florist who refused to cooperate with a gay wedding, even though the customer was a friend.

She did not object to selling flowers or floral arrangements from her shop to Ingersoll, as she’d done many times before. What she objected to was the possibility of a job requiring her personal involvement in the celebration of a same-sex marriage. That would be a denunciation of her faith.
 So when Ingersoll arrived in her shop, excited to share his happy news, Stutzman was torn.
 “Rob was asking me to choose between my affection for him and my commitment to Christ,” she would later write in a Seattle Times essay. “As deeply fond as I am of Rob, my relationship with Jesus is everything to me.” ...
so she faces financial ruin.

headsup Ann Althouse, who adds this wry quote to her blogpost.

The point was to ruin her... It was to send a message to the [people of] the state and the nation that if you dare to say ‘I refuse to violate my religious faith,’ they will literally put everything you own at risk."
This has implications beyond cakes or flowers.

Under Obamacare, forcing people to pay for abortion pills and abortions are already in the courts.

And in the future, doctors, hospitals and hospices will be forced to cooperate with killing people by euthanasia, as is being done in Canada.

Slippery slope arguments are often denied, but very real. And if you don't think that all this pro killing the handicapped talk won't result in people killing the handicapped, then you are just as much a fool as President Obama who didn't think that shouting kill the cops might result in dead policemen.

The agenda was planned 40 years ago, and has taken time but with the dechristianization of America, will succeed, probably via the Supreme Court.

This is the missing piece the explains why religious folks might back a charlatan like Trump: Because if Hillary gets in, the agenda will go into high gear. Probably via the Supreme Court.

Luckily for her, the Bernadine "seamless garment" ideas have impressed SJN catholics (with the help of Soros money backed organizations that claim to be catholic) that SJW issues like immigration trumps killing, so back the democrats and ignore the problem.

Lesser of two evils anyone?

update: That didn't take long. Smith at NR notes there is a law in Vermont requiring doctors to counsel their patients that being killed is an option. They don't have to do it, they just have to bring it up as one of their "options".

Pokemon Go for dummies

FirstThings has an article explaining PokemonGo to those of us who rarely leave our homes.

MBul article says it hasn't been released here yet but it is due any time now.t

When business and politics overlap

Vice article on Hillary, her emails, and Sydney B (aka sid vicious) why was he there? As part of the Clinton foundation, or as an irregular gatherer  of intelligence for Clinton to make state dept decisions outside of regular channels, or was he there looking to make money for himself?

Like the lucrative speeches that politicians of both parties give to banks/businesses/investment firms, they make the rest of us roll up our eyes.

These ties, like those of the Clinton foundation, where those who donate get government contracts, are not well covered in the MSM. Conflict of interest? Business as usual?

But then we have the question of Trump. He is rich. He used much of his own money to run for president. Does this mean he is buying the office, (except spending money didn't work for Jeb) or does it mean he will be able to make decisions without owing favors? Or does it mean he will use his government job to make his company rich?

Does it mean he will make national security decisions based on his own business contacts?

Trump tower is rising in Makati... it is actually under a company run by his son, not Trumpie himself.

But when it comes to the west Philippine sea, does that mean he would get information from his business business contacts here? Will this investment influence foreign policy?

And although he bashes China's business practices, he has a lot of ties with their business community.

WSJ Article about the problem

In other words, both candidates have problems.

so what is being pushed by the media? some minor plagerism.
Joe Biden call your office....

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Haitian mess

in a previous post I mentioned the problem/corruption in the funds supposed to help Haiti after their devastating earthquake, but due to the brownout being due I could only find the report on right wing sites.

Well, now that the internet is back on, I had time to check and HERE is a NYTimes story about the mess.

Among the litany of complaints being laid at their feet: Fewer than half the jobs promised at the industrial park, built after 366 farmers were evicted from their lands, have materialized. Many millions of dollars earmarked for relief efforts have yet to be spent. Mrs. Clinton’s brother Tony Rodham has turned up in business ventures on the island, setting off speculation about insider deals. 
the WAPO has a puff piece here. I say puff piece because it doesn't go into details.
key description:

By the end of the last decade, the Clinton Foundation had been built to fit Bill Clinton’s role in the world. He was a private citizen, a super-connected retiree who could raise and spend money with very little scrutiny of who gave it and who got it.

Global Research calls the organization "predatory humanitarianism".
and has another article that goes into details in this interview with Charles Ortel

DC: In your discussions of the Clinton Foundation on your website and elsewhere, Charles, you often bring up the absence of tax audits by the Clinton entities. What is the problem there?  CO: By audits, I mean detailed income statements, balance sheets, cash-flow statements, and footnotes that are double-checked, that is “audited,” by competent, informed and licensed accounting firms.
Accounting firms understand the numerous detailed requirements that must be followed as these audits are completed. Furthermore, the management and trustees of large entities, like those of the Clintons, are required to certify that the information contained in these audits is true, accurate, and complete.
This is different from the process by which the IRS might decide to audit a given tax return. All financial information provided to the IRS by charities whose revenues are above a low threshold must procure financial statements and supporting information that are audited and must make this work available to taxing authorities and to the general public.
The Clinton entities have repeatedly failed to get their financial statements properly audited. This is an ongoing abuse. I believe they got away with this probably because Lois Lerner was a key person in the IRS who oversaw tax-exempt charities, including the Clinton entities, from 2001 through 2013.

Ortel's website here.

and the left wing site Counterpunch has more HERE.

Secretary Clinton supervised the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), one of the leading donors in the $16 billion effort, referred to as a “gold rush” by Ambassador Kenneth Merten. Highlighting the proximity to the power couple, many who benefited from this gold rush were Clinton contributors.
for example?
Isabeau Doucet and Isabel Macdonald uncovered the role played by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway in building trailers that had formaldehyde, the same trailers that caused people to be sick when FEMA rolled them out following Hurricane Katrina.

I haven't had time to read it, but The Atlantic has an article HERE. 

essentially it says: Conflict of interest? Paper work problems? Well, it's the Clintons, so what did you expect?

so it looks like Hillary has the establishment on her side, and like a certain lovely lady who used to be president here, she will charm the pants off of them manage to manipulate the media so no one looks too closely at what is going on (and shame you right wing conspiracy people for telling people the truth lies.)

Trolling in step

I'm not following politics, but David Warren has the drollest story of the plagerism faux scandal.

 Has anyone checked where Michelle got the lines? They were scintillating, to the media, when Michelle uttered them. She praised hard work, and family values. No one must have thought of doing that before, in a stump speech. How her words must have resonated over the last eight years, for liberal journalists spotted them in seconds. According to my chief social media observer, the charge of “plagiarism” was filling the twittersphere before Melania finished speaking; possibly before she started.
..  A question: Were the journalists plagiarizing each other? Or had they all decided on the meme in advance?

read the whole thing, which says more about the press than it does about Mrs Trump the third.

He ends his essay with a non PC comment:

But between us, gentle reader, don’t you think she’s pretty hot for forty-six? Shouldn’t we be asking what moisturizer she uses?

well, a quick google answers that question:

She has her own brand of skin care products: she is a Trump, you know....

Caviar Complexe C6


The Melania Collection is made of 100% pure Caviar Complexe C6™. These patent-pending formulas consist of caviar imported from a cultered sturgeon farm in the South of France. The quality control processes ensure that the caviar is harvested at optimal ripeness so as to maximize the nutrients and the formulation results.

Family news

Brownout all day. We've been on generators which is good because it is hot outside.

Joy and Ruby got back from the Agri-business meeting in Macau and had a grand time, and a horror story about airport security there.

a for me, I'm staying away from the TV news. Too crazy. Also staying away from facebook because it is full of two minute hate stuff from both sides of the political spectrum.

Of course, brownout means no internet and no cable (actually the cable came on in the afternoon). They are having rolling brownouts in Manila due to lack of electricity, but here the reason is that they are replacing the wooden electric poles with crazy wires all over the place with new cement poles, with fewer wires and with insulators for the wires.

Hopefully they will be high enough that the rice trucks won't snag them down when they detour around our house due to traffic on main street.

Gay Caswell is asking for help

Mrs Gay Caswell tends to be a bit dramatic, but her reports about life "on the res" (as we would call it in the US) tend to sound about right.

Now her daughter is being stalked by a woman who befriended her after the woman's son died. The daughter has left her convent, and is acting strange, and when they both (!) visited the parents, the older woman would not let the daughter talk to her mom in private. Read the whole strange story at the link.

How did they meet? She got to know Sister after the woman's son drowned.

Usually I would shrug and think "lesbian love affair, no problem". Except this sounds a bit sinister. And the strange woman is anti gay marriage. Gay hints at a "cult", but I've known a few rabid right wing catholics who are very controlling of others, albeit usually they are the father of "home schooled kids" (and no, I am not condemning home schooling: my family does this the right way).

And if they supposedly from a "noble" French family, then why are they raising money to visit France? So far 24thousand dollars have been raised, some of it appears to have been raised in France.

 We will honor his memory by raising funds for Benoit, his wife Marguerite and their 5 kids to travel to France and lay Aloys to rest with their family.
this French site mentions the kid was buried in Paris, so that might be true.

But where did this money come from? MrsC write s:

  Sr. just phoned to tell us that she would be away for ten days while she is visiting French shrines. She would not tell us who is paying for this and who else is involved. I made this public because one has to assume that our daughter is under the emotional and financial control of one who has openly stated that “ every time somebody dies something good happens to  ME.( Emphasis mine). Please make public.

The woman claims to be married to a member of the nobility, yet the husband works at a storage company... no he quit that job and now works elsewhere. Managerial job. Probably makes oodles of money. Third job in five years.

So, anyway, Mrs C relates a very strange story, almost sounding like a cult/brainwashing of her daughter.

And she put a "headsup" on her blog asking for help, if any of my ten readers knows anything to help.

Philippine news

StrategyPage report on the Philippines says that China will now be willing to "discuss" the problem with the Philippines.

This (the court case that said China was wrong) was a major disappointment for China which used lots of bribes and threats since the case was filed in 2013 to organize international opposition
could this lead to war? It is about more than the Philippines: it is about sea lane and air lane access for a lot of folks who use these international channels, not to mention hinting to other countries that they will push them around:

If China makes more claims or goes through with threats to declare the air space over its illegal artificial islands to be restricted anyone who challenged China would be within the law and Chinese use of force would be an outlaw act....
If China goes to war it loses. If it violates the court decree it risks international sanctions and the kind of economic slump that will threaten the authority of the current Chinese government.

In the meanwhile, Duterte's war on the drug cartels and pushers is in high gear, keeping the courts busy and the people happy.

And Duterte is mad at China, since the Chinese cartels are the big guys behind the local drugs, and he suspects that their government is taking bribes (best case scenerio) or helping them to run their businesses here and elsewhere (we are a transit for sending drugs to other countries and China is infamous for laundering drug money. Theoretically it is illegal, but one suspects a small gift will allow the Chinese officials to ignore the problem). China the government pulls a Sargent Shultz and says "I see nothing" and says they will cooperate.

lJazeerah reports on China's involvement with the drug trade, made worse by the manufacture of designer drugs.


In related news, our lovely ex president Gloria has gotten a "get out of jail free" card by the SC here: Not enough evidence... they were indicted, but to get them convicted is hard: it's easy to scare witnesses and hide money.

but the actual case being tried in court was about the local charity lottery funds being misused.

then there was the ZTE money, (the deal fell through after the press reported the problems):

Macapagal-Arroyo is fending calls for her resignation amid allegations that her husband, Jose Miguel, and former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos took millions of dollars in kickbacks from the alleged overpricing of the $329 million contract between the Philippine government and China's ZTE Corp. for the network project.

But rich people have connections: George Clooney's wife filed a case with the UN crying that poor Gloria was being treated badly.

This was because the gov't wouldn't let her get medical treatment abroad (i.e. letting her flee: the care is excellent here in Manila).

Hillary was also worried about her 

This was not the only suspected corruption against her.  But kickbacks and bribes under the table are hard to prove in court.

This is alas business as usual here, and yes there are laws and good people trying to stop the problem..


How do frauds and kickbacks and "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" work?

This is a political site, but explains how the Clinton foundation made rich people rich.

Polifact says that most of the money given to the foundation went to charity, but a closer look would find the problem: Kickbacks and delivering sub standard goods.


Tip of iceburg of course.

My beef is not that they stole the money: It is that they didn't deliver what they promised. The houses were substandard and other projects were useless.

There is a special place in hell for those who take money from poor people, either directly or by fraud and corruption and kickbacks.

This is often overlooked in the west, where at least you overpay or bribe but get decent goods and products in return for your money.

But apparently scamming money supposed to be used for Haiti's earthquake victims is okay: Look! Plagerism!

As if anyone cared. But one has to admire that someone noticed it so fast. Reminds me of when a local politician opposed the birth control bill and quoted an obscure speech by Bobby Kennedy: The facebook/tweeter trolls destroyed him.

Reminds me of the punctuation police: They are ever on alert to find a misplaced semicolon.

What is that phrase? Plank/mote?

oh yes: And the next victim will be Drudge. How dare he oppose the will of the Republican establishment!

as Lolo often said: They're all crooks...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Factoid of the day

WesternDigs as an article on a possible pre Clovis site in Texas.

The article goes into details on why they believe this means people were around before the Clovis people arrived (or the locals developed or borrowed the design from the Clovis point)

nut it includes this factoid on Luminesence dating:

To establish their age, Wernecke and his colleagues submitted 18 of the artifacts to a lab for optically stimulated luminescence dating — a process that analyzes tiny grains in the soils to reveal when they were last exposed to sunlight, thereby giving a sense of how long they’ve been buried. The results showed that the artifacts were between 13,200 to 16,700 years old.
why is this important? Because if true, that means they didn't walk over the glaciers... implying that maybe folks just came down along the coast.

more here:


Family news

Joy and Ruby are supposed to be arriving home later today from Macau where they attended a business meeting representing local agricultural entrepeneurs.

It's hot so I am mainly staying inside and avoiding TV and even the internet, since all the news is crazy.

Headlines under the fold

No I'm not watching the convention, but if you want to be up to date, Dave Barry is there: He missed the naked ladies protest, but:

Finally, after much wandering, we found the protest march. I have been to every national political convention since 1984, and I have seen many street protests, and I am here to tell you that, despite the fervent desire of the protesters to be edgy, they are by far the most traditional actors in the kabuki theater of American politics. These protesters were no exception: They were mostly young people carrying signs expressing their opposition to racism, sexism, fascism and of course capitalism, and they were shouting slogans that only they were listening to. They were far outnumbered by the news media and the police, who were busy closing streets so the protesters could pass through, to the annoyance of the actual public.

via Dave Barry: 

UK Mail:How to make a rocket from Pasta.

don't tell the terrorists.

DavidReneke discusses the Zodiac in history. The signs used for astrology are those of Babylon, but the sky has changed since then....

includes this factoid:

But for 17 days in December, the Sun does not sit in any of the 12 signs you’re familiar with. It rests in the constellation Ophiuchus. What’s an Ophiuchus? The Greeks believed this to be the god and inventor of medicine. Now the good doctor is up in the sky wrestling a snake. It’s a long story, but if you were born between Dec. 1 and 17, you may have to rethink your horoscope. According to astronomy, you are an Ophiuchus


PhysOrg: how hummingbirds avoid collisions.


Tim Blair is tired of the press blaming the victims of terrorism for not being nice enough.

and Crisis magazine is tired of "catholic" blogs for ridiculing Maria Goretti's heroism as "slut shaming".

and despite all the rhetoric, biracial marriages and children are common and socially accepted.

The Turkish coup question of the day: Why were the lists of who to purge already made up up before it happened? LINK2

update: Formerspook discusses, and has several background links on the issue.

we have had these small military coups all the time in the Philippines, but rarely have so many been arrested or purged or killed in them.

INdeed, Trilianes not only didn't go to jail for long, but he's a senator now.


Monday, July 18, 2016

China's economic war against poor people

StrategyPage has an article on China's fishing in other people's waters.

Indonesia is fighting back. 

In the case of Indonesia the fighting back consists of shooting at poachers and, since 2014, destroying (via explosives or burning) over 170 ships used by guilty poachers. Indonesia calculates that this poaching costs Indonesia over $2 billion a year and that China’s worldwide poaching operation brings in over $20 billion a year. Since China does not officially admit it is organizing and controlling this, and the Indonesians are using large warships with orders to fire on any poacher caught and refusing to surrender, the Chinese are taking most of the losses off Indonesia. For a while China sent warships to accompany flotillas (often ten or more ocean going fishing ships) and protect the poachers if caught and keep the police or coast guard boats busy while the poachers escaped. But Indonesia responded by sending out warships (corvettes and frigates) with orders to fire on any foreign warships caught with the poachers. China stopped sending warships but the poachers kept on coming and Indonesia keeps capturing and prosecuting the crews.

Argentina has also captured these illegal fishing vessels.

If the Philippines had done this, we wouldn't have airstrips and military bases in international waters. Did President Obama pressure PNoy not to defend our waters? Who knows?

And this article is about China's neocolonialism in Africa.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Turkish problems

Lots of stuff being written about Turkey, an a lot of it is confused, but Spengler at the Asian times points out they oohave demographic and economic problems LINK

Art and beauty

Sometimes the thing to do when the world is chaotic is to rest your mind on the good.... and this includes seeing the beautiful in art.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Book of the week

The Met Museum has posted some new books on line.

Factoid of the day

From GetReligion: Why do Orthodox and Catholics make the sign of the cross differently?

Catholics spontaneously evolved the left to right part in the middle ages.

Protestants just dropped it altogether, but I am not sure why.

Tebow's genuflection (aka Teabowing) made the press froth at the mouth, but the use of the sign of the cross in sports is sort of ignored, probably because the press doesn't see it as anything but superstition. Ah, but is it?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Factoid of the day

Photons ignore each other....

Scitechdaily writes:  but now researchers have developed a quantum gate that uses a Qubit

In order for photons to sense each other’s presence in the first place, let alone switch each other, they need mediators.
In the experiments being conducted by Stephan Ritter’s team of physicists, this mediating role is taken on by a single atom in a resonator.
The resonator consists of two mirrors 0.5 mm apart. The Garching-based researchers use a laser beam to trap the atom in the resonator.
 For their experiments, the scientists now need two photons each carrying one qubit.
A qubit is the quantum mechanical equivalent of the bit of a conventional computer. It can, however, not only encode the zero and the one, but assume all possible states in between as well.
The researchers write the states of the two qubits into the polarization of the two light particles, i.e. into the direction of oscillation of the electromagnetic waves.

An integrated Sock hop? We haz that

I ran across an article where the SJW shut down a college party with a 1950's theme (aka a "sock hop") because... something about those parties were areas of bigotry and segregation.

But ironically, sock hops were on the leading edge of integration:

from the Hollywood reporter: Five Ways that Dick Clark revolutionized American music.

2. He Encouraged the Integration of Pop Music From Bandstand's beginning, Clark had committed to integrating the show.
 The image of a racially diverse crowd of teenagers doing “The Twist” right alongside Chubby Checker is among Bandstand’s most indelible, and would later be dramatized in movies like Hairspray and on NBC’s American Dreams (which Clark produced).
In 1958, Clark curated and promoted the first racially integrated pop concert – a fact fondly recalled by the estate of Michael Jackson. "It still wasn't acceptable for them to dance with white kids, so the blacks just danced with each other. We were waiting for the explosion, but it never happened," Clark said in a 1998 interview with Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine. "The wonderful part about our decision to integrate then was that there were no repercussions, no reverberations, no battles at all — it just happened right there on a television screen in front of millions of people."

The thing about this was that no one made a big deal about it. It was not pushing it in you face, nor was it the virtue proclaiming as in today's SJW. It was just done as if it was normal, and you know what? It was.

I was just a kid, but I remember our cousins and some of our neighbors who would rush there after school to get in. You would even see a few of the dancers wearing Catholic school uniforms because they didn't bother to go home and change.

In those days,, private parties back then tended to be limited to outsiders. Catholics and Jews were outsiders: legally "welcomed" but often kept out of country clubs and even schools (My medical school has no blacks, no women, avoided letting in Catholics, and had a Jewish quota in the 1950's).

Annd yes, interrcial marriage was illegal: One of my fellow medical student in the mid 1960's was debating if she should visit her parents with her husband because the laws were still on the books.

We  Catholics didn't feel welcome at the YMCA, so we had our own organizations for swimming etc.

Nor was the clannishness limited to religion: my big Irish American cousin wasn't allowed to rent the Italain American Social club for his wedding, until he mentioned the name of his Italian American fiance.

The good news is that clannishness meant self policing, and feeling safe. The bad news was that outsiders were not welcome.

But my point is that this was not a racial thing. Which is why I cringe when I hear the progressive meme "white people": Because in the 1950's, Jews and Catholic ethnics weren't considered part of the white establishment.

Biodiversity in Luzon

Physorg has an article on biodiversity in the Philippines.

"The Philippines is one of the most heavily deforested countries in the tropics; only about seven percent of the old-growth tropical forest is left. We learned that quite a few of the species are seriously threatened by habitat loss and over-hunting, but none are yet extinct."
Luzon has a human population of about 50 million, including about 23 million in greater Manila, the country's capital. "Protecting all of these species from extinction is going to be a big challenge. The good news is that when the native forest is allowed to regenerate, the native mammals move back in, and the pest rats get kicked out." 

Much of the deforestation is illegal logging... getting rid of corruption will help stop that problem, as will allowing the area to regrow forest again. The gov't is encouraging the reforestation projects.

did you know it is illegal to buy hardwood lumber, unless it is "old" i.e. recycled? Our gates are "recycled" hard wood lumber...

This is to discourage illegal logging. Alas, a lot of the illegal logging goes to other countries.

the good news of the day

BBC: Don't worry about Zika: In three years the epidemic will stop because everyone will have gotten it. It is called "herd immunity": If most people are immune, it means the disease won't spread.

ah but it will return in ten years or so when there are enough new people, mainly kids, to let the epidemic spread.

This assumes that, unlike Dengue, you get permanent immunity after getting the disease. And then there is a question if having had Dengue makes you get more symptoms than normal.

And then there is the question if the disease will hide in animals to reinfect humans.

Ironically, if you spray mosquitoes to keep the disease down, you might slow down the infection rate in the population, meaning it will take longer to get herd immunity.

Of course, maybe if you do it correctly you might stop the spread of the disease too.

Although Zika infection is largely mild, with most people having no symptoms, it is known to cause microcephaly - babies born with undersized heads.

but so far most studies suggest this occurs in one percent of pregnancies.