Saturday, September 30, 2017

Mozart, Figaro, and.... Trump Tower?

If the Mozart piece in a previous post seems familiar, well, maybe it's because you can find the music at the start of this classic comedy (set in Philadelphia).

the music is, of course, from a Mozart Opera, The Marriage of Figaro. The screenplay back then was a revolutionary work: literally. Because it preached against the aristocracy's excesses at a time when wise monarchs rightly feared revolution was in the air.

Years ago, I saw the PeterSellars version on PBS, done in modern dress and moved to modern day Manhattan.

He sees Mozart's egalitarianism as perfectly reflecting the new order that, 200 years ago, was "sweeping away the rot and decay of the upper classes." All eight principals in the opera, he says, the servants and the aristocrats, end up as equals.
So Mr. Sellars had no qualms about switching the scene from a chateau near Seville in the 18th century to an apartment in Trump Tower in Manhattan today. "Thank God," he says, "the feudal system remains firmly in place in the United States of America in the 90's."

Similarly, in Trading places, there is a bite behind it's humor: about inequality, about eugenics, and a satire on the old families who were uberrich who thought they had the right to run things and manipulate other people's lives.

Saddest scene: when the enter the Twin Towers.


Musical interlude of the day

The crash of 2007

I know nothing about economics, but this lecture is from the Teaching Company so presumably doesn't have a political agenda.

Nasa plans to touch the sun

headsup DavidReneke.

"touch the sun"... a nice way to describe the mission...

there is a lot of poetic imagery behind the phrase, including some which are not very nice...

but I suspect the phrase was inspired by this poem:

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air… .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Zippety Do Dah!

From Improbable research:
Ziptune, the musical zipper has just been granted a patent.

and if you are really non PC, they posted this as the song to be embedded in the zipper's musical chip.
here is a song for you to sing along with:

That is James Backett singing...This song comes from a movie, the Song of the South, which is pretty well impossible to find since it has been labeled racist. I saw it as a kid, so don't ask me.

But the "brer rabbit" part is based on African folk tales: he is a "trickster" figure, common in mythology. From Brittanica:

The character’s adventures embody an idea considered to be a universal creation among oppressed peoples—that a small, weak, but ingenious force can overcome a larger, stronger, but dull-witted power.

the "tar baby" tale (i.e. a warning not to get involved in something that seems benign but turns out to embed you into a problem, as touching a doll made from tar glues you to the doll in the tale) is almost taboo today.... but we still can say "born and bred in a briar patch", i.e. that what seems to be a fatal situation is actually a place where some people know how to thrive.

Presumably the next film that will be censored is this one:

yes that is the great Bojangles Robinson

he was in the movie "Stormy weather", one of two black musicals from the "good old days" (/s), the other being "Cabin in the Sky". Both are probably seen now as racist too. But the history of blacks in the entertainment field shows how their talent was often overlooked, or copied (Elvis anyone?)

( I added the  "/s" part because I am old enough to remember traveling through the south as a young child and seeing segregated restaurants etc. So this history is still within living memory.)

the bottomstory of the day is that Dr Seuss is "too white" and can't be appreciated by kids in Boston, according to a librarian there.

Why? who knows in these crazy days:

It's anti green people! because the Grinch is green and Whoville is....white.

And the story is about Christmas! Religion is not PC! (never mind the author was Jewish) And the Cat in the hat is not a "trickster" teaching overprogramed children how to play but a caricatures of black people. And was one of the books about how Horton hears a Who? (a parable that some protested pushed the idea that the little fetus is human)?

The many themes in the books was about encouraging freedom, and accepting outsiders. In those days it was about McCarthyism, but today, there is danger that a child brought up with the subversive themes in Dr Seuss might even start questioning the meme pushed by the PC today.

Never mind.

Ironically, Bojangles is probably remembered today because had a song written in his memory:

Friday, September 29, 2017

Philippine news

Rainy again today, and it is rice harvest season. Rain makes it hard cut the ripe rice, and also to dry rice ( it is dried on roadways and tarps in the sun) so farmers will have to pay for rice mills to do this.

Lolo bought an electric rice drier a few years ago but I now hear is has been broken for awhile and not yet fixed. WTF? Don't ask me: I'm a doctor, not a mechanic.

Duterte is going after politicians, (link2) so expect more cries of "look at all those innocent people he killed" stuff in the news.

The ombudsman is crooked? Who wudda thot (I wonder if I could post one rumor about this that I know about but the libel law keeps me quiet).

#Lenileaks scandal: No, she is not behind those baaaad folks trying to remove Duterte (history lesson for non Pinoys: This is how we got Gloria, who overthrew populist Erap a couple years ago: our President and VP can come from different parties). (history lesson 2: Leni's husband was a popular guy who died in a plane crash, so she got the sympathy vote. Unlike him, she came from a rich family).

However, Trillianes, who once tried to pull a military coup against Gloria, is probably behind the movement.

a lot of the drugs are from Chinese gangsters, not just in China but from Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Duterte dared to mention Taiwan as allowing illegal drugs to be sent here, and boy did they get mad...(and has since pulled back on his accusation).

Wikipedia page on the "14K bamboo triad".

Founding locationGuangzhou, Guangdong, China[1]Mainland China, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and South Africa
TerritoryLos Angeles, CaliforniaSanta Ana, CaliforniaSouthern California
EthnicityChinese ethnic groups[2]
Membership (est.)20.000-25.000
Criminal activitiesDrug trafficking, counterfeiting, arms trafficking, arson, fraud, prostitution, human trafficking, identity theft, money laundering, extortion, murder, illegal immigration, kidnapping, hacking,racketeering, home invasion robberies[3]

Ya think? Backstory: Chinese run the economy here, either immigrants or the descendents of immigrants. Lolo and many Pinoys hate Chinese, because they run the place, and non relations can't succeed or get ahead. So many of our best people emigrate.

Finally, StrategyPage reports on China's banking problem.  for later reading, but this part about the Philippines (and  the US defending the West Philippine Sea from China's territorial grab).

The growing bad debt problem, more than the South China Sea dispute, is what keeps Chinese leaders up at night. GDP growth is slowing, it was down to 6.7 percent in 2016 and the new American government is openly discussing economic retaliation against China. That is scarier than the American military because it can be more safely used by the Americans and the Chinese government refuses to discuss this vulnerability for obvious reasons. It is believed that nearly $600 billion worth of these loans are uncollectable.

Italics mine.

Heh. Trumpie boy is doing something. Don't expect the press to notice...

Oxford Union Redux?

there is a lot of hatred of the US being touted (yes, they say it is anti Trumpie boy, but they are openly ridiculing the flag, the military, and distorting the freedoms of the country to do so.

What is rarely noticed is that  he trend predates Trump...

(indeed is part of the reason people voted for him: Because he was so non PC to ridicule them).

however this is not a new idea: students in 1933 did the same thing:

In 1933 the Oxford Union, the university undergraduate debating society, passed a famous motion that "This House would not in any circumstances fight for King and Country".
It made headline news at the time: Churchill called the vote "abject, squalid, shameless" and "nauseating", and it is even said to have misled Hitler into thinking the British had lost the will to fight, so it is clearly important historical evidence, but of what?

the article goes on to note that although they represented only the elite, and after all were students (and prone toward exaggerated responsed), nevertheless, they were seen by the MSM of the time as trendsetters.

They were regarded - rightly - as the rising stars of politics and both the press and politicians took an interest in what the students were saying, especially in their debating societies. 
ironically, they changed their mind when instead of debating theory, they faced reality:

Remember also that the vote took place in 1933, before the full implications of Hitler's rise to power had become apparent. When war finally came in 1939 many of those who had taken part in the debate did indeed fight - and die - for King and Country.

Richard Hillary's biography about a spoiled undergraduate who then goes on to be a pilot gives a background of this generation, and their change. You can buy it here on Amazon, or read it via Project Gutenburg Australia.

Pocast of the week

InourTime podcast this week is about Wuthering Heights.

you know, the author of Jane Eyre worked as a nanny and as a teacher in Belgium, where she fell in love with the headmaster.

But where did Emily Bronte get the inspiration for the manipulative and destructive sociopath Heathcliff?

update: I finally got around to listening to it. They don't answer that question.

But I always thought that their drug addicted manipulative brother might have helped inspire the bad guys who are rotten and exploit/push around everyone areound them, but nevertheless loved.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Hepatitis and the "4F" problem

From Instapundit:

THE 21ST CENTURY ISN’T TURING OUT HOW I’D HOPED: Attorneys discuss rights to pooping in public after “Mad Pooper” video release.And the right to poop in public is a penumbra emanating from what, exactly?

He said Shirley is sorry for desecrating people's lawns but claimed her actions are not her fault. ...  The "spokesman" also claimed that her actions are protected under the First Amendment and the government cannot control where and when she relieves herself.
presumably he/she never heard about adult diapers.

the problem? Disease. the 4F spread of certain diseases (Feces-Flies-Fingers-Food).

And I have a long discussion of it here, on my medical blog. Warning: a bit technical (boring) and R rated.

I mainly point out the failure of basic public health prevention is behind a major hepatitis A epidemic in San Diego.

indeed, they are lucky it is "merely" hepatitis A, and not cholera or typhoid fever...

Headilnes below the fold

What do Catalan and Kurdistan have in common (apart from their desire to be their own country?)

Austin Bay points out the cultural basis for this:

 Ethno-nationalism contrasts with civic nationalism (e.g., U.S. nationalism) where the body politic's unifying bond is not ethnicity, but shared citizenship in a democratic state established and operating under the rule of laws that protect the rights of individual citizens.

one reason why immigrants in the US have managed to assimilate but they have trouble in Europe is this tribalism idea. A Muslim Somali or Catholic Filipino can become a full fledged American, but he can never really become a German or a Frenchman.

this is the explanation why so many Americans agree with Trumpieboy about the "flag" protests: they are essentially rejecting the idea of civic nationalism in favor of identity politics, which leads to tribalism.

And, by the way, the ceremony of saluting the flag at baseball games goes back to 1918:

On September 6, 1918, during a World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs—how strange does that sound?—the band in Chicago played "The Star Spangled Banner" during the seventh-inning stretch. The U.S. was in the midst of World War I, and Cubs’ third baseman Fred Thomas, on leave from the Navy at the time, saluted the flag in response to hearing the anthem. Other players followed Thomas’ lead, and the crowd sang along.
The moment was so stirring that the New York Times chose to highlight it, writing, “First the song was taken up by a few, then others joined, and when the final notes came, a great volume of melody rolled across the field. It was at the very end that the onlookers exploded into thunderous applause and rent the air with a cheer that marked the highest point of the day’s enthusiasm

the intellectuals have been sniping at this and the post 911 custom of singing God Bless America,  but it is because they ignore the value of custom in society to bind people together.

There is good "multiculturalism" which respects and sees the good in cultures and emphasizes the common values, as opposed to the newfangled "multiculturalism" which seems to be more about hating American culture than about rejoicing in the good parts of other cultures that can strengthen the US as a society.

A good explanation of how ceremony shapes cultures can be found in Paul Woodruff's book Reverence: renewing a forgotten virtue.

LINK from a review:

Reverence is an ancient virtue that survives among us in half-forgotten patterns of civility and moments of inarticulate awe.
Reverence gives meaning to much that we do, yet the word has almost passed out of our vocabulary.
Reverence, says philosopher and classicist Paul Woodruff, begins in an understanding of human limitations. From this grows the capacity to be in awe of whatever we believe lies outside our control -- God, truth, justice, nature, even death. It is a quality of character that is especially important in leadership and in teaching, although it figures in virtually every human relationship. It transcends religious boundaries and can be found outside religion altogether.
Woodruff draws on thinking about this lost virtue in ancient Greek and Chinese traditions and applies lessons from these highly reverent cultures to today's world. The book covers reverence in a variety of contexts -- the arts, leadership, teaching, warfare, and the home -- and shows how essential a quality it is to a well-functioning society.

related item: Spengler on the Kurds.

Trump opposed the election, I suspect because the State Dept opposed it and I suspect partly because it will mess up the war against ISIS.

One hopes Trump will pull a "Harry Truman" and overturn the "experts" and support them (as Harry Truman opposed the SD and supported an independent Israel).

Joe Biden was ridiculed years ago for saying Iraq will stay at war until they break into three countries, so that each ethnic group can have a say in their own destiny.

Heh. Joe was probably right.

But this goes beyond Iraq:

Turkey risks losing their western territory where a large minority of Kurds live.

Given Turkey's history of ethnic cleansing of Armenians and Greeks, and now their push toward Islamification, one does hope this can be settled in a peaceful manner.

Get Religion discusses the religious background for the Saudis changing the law to allow women to drive.

much of the pressure to change the law actually is because middle class Saudis, who can't afford a private driver, have to wait for the husband to come home from work to drive his wife to shop.

The original law might have been to protect women, who are vulnerable if they get a flat tire etc. while driving.

but other Muslim countries have no problem allowing Women to drive, and remember: most Muslims do not reside in the Middle East.


related item:

StrategyPage discusses the woes of this group of migrants who never were accepted into Burmese society. And then the Saudis "reeducated" some of them working in Saudi, and voila, an upsurge in violence and Burmese pushback.

September 25, 2017: Burmese suspicions voiced earlier in 2017 that someone was supplying cash to buy arms and otherwise support Rohingya rebels turned out to be true as more became known about the origins of the ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army), its founder and why much of the cash came from Saudi Arabia.
read the whole thing for more background and details.

and this one mentions Pakistan is guilty of this too.


Tennessee  church was attacked by immigrant Not yet known if race or religion or being mad at someone who attended the multiracial bible church was the source of his anger, or maybe he had descended into paranoia and nobody stopped him, not even the police who were aware he had problems.

I read that the response of local churches are holding prayer services to pray for those injured, and for the shooter. And the local Muslims are sending apologies and sympathy to those hurt, even though the shooter's religion is not known, and he has a Christian first name.

If someone tries to attack you when you are in a restaurant or bank, what do you do? Hide or Run?

The dirty little secret is that if you are not trained to respond without thinking, you will freeze.

But people who are trained will respond and try to stop the attacker.

One of the worst terrorist attacks in the US was when a single terrorist shot a bunch of peaceful people inside of a nightclub that catered to gays and Hispanics.

Pro gun types say: That would not have happened if those inside had guns and/or had fought back.

maybe, or maybe not.

So yesterday, I was watching Homicide Hunter, and a similar attack occurred, when a paranoid schizophrenic decided to revenge himself on some ent people in a biker bar, who alas didn't have guns inside, but did fight back.

Two dead and six injured was the result.

Alas, as Lt. Joe Kenda points out: the two who died were heroes who died trying to save their friends, but they couldn't convince a jury of this.

I got rhythm

In Africa, singing and drumming has a long history.

Our German sisters who ran our hospital, brought up on classical music, only heard banging and noise, but I could detect the rhythms, because American popular music tends to be a combination of celtic ballads and African rhythms, and I was amazed to find how complicated the rhythmic patterns are: Often different drummers played different rhythm in complementary forms to each other.

The nurses tried to give me a lesson in using one of the smaller drums, but alas I didn't have the time to actually get into the complicated rhythms of traditional songs.

Here is a lecture on African music at the Library of Congress about it: Downloaded for later watching.

The Mbira is another instrument. Usually you see these in craft shops as a single line, but professionals use a larger and more complicated one.

Alex Weeks at English Wikipedia

No, you don't play the melody on it: The melody is sung,  and the mbira is played counterpoint to the song, as can be heard in this film:

People will carry small versions with them and play them in leisure time, but professional musicians have larger versions.

usually the larger version is played inside a gourd or as in this film, with a sounding board.

You can often "buy" one at a craft shop or make your own, but like any instrument, it is part of the musical heritage, so you need to learn not only how to "play" it but the musical forms of Africa.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Family news

Went to court again about my husband's will... after many meetings we finally got his daughter in law as the one to probate the will, but now his son is upset, because we accused him of mortgaging a property named in the will before the will was probated. His claims that it was his business ignored that it was my husband's hard earned money that bought the property.

So we continue to support our lawyers...

On the other hand, until the will is probated, he can't try to throw me out of my house, since he was given this property along with the business compound. Luckily, under Philippine law, you can't throw a widow out of her house. (Under Philippine law, I cannot own property).

And he is still angry that his daughter, who won a full scholarship to a prestigious school in Canada, started school there last week. He forbade her to go because it is a secular school, and he wants her to go to a Christian school.

The Bible says she has to obey her father (ditto for his wife to submit to her husband). So if she disobeys him she is a bad person.

Again, I refer to Psych Central's article on 11 ways for narcissists to shame control people: Number 7:

Religious Guilt. It doesn’t matter what the religion of the narcissist or the other person is. In every religion, there are a set of standards and expectations. The narcissist will use the other person’s religious beliefs to guilt them into acting a certain way. They might even go as far to say, “God told me you need to…”

Sigh. Long story.

The scholarship covered the tuition but rent money from an apartment Lolo gifted her plus money he gifted me ten years ago, (to be used in case of illness or emergencies until my pension kicked in) managed to pay for things like plane tickets and miscellaneous expenses.

Keep her in your prayers, because teenagers are vulnerable to this type of manipulation: the good news is now that it is via email to her and her school.

But it does give some background on why I dislike self righteous SJW who manipulate good people.

well, it doesn't work well with me.

Grandmom Mazur, call your office...

Pumpkin spice is back

via Dusbury, who comments it probably tastes better than asbestos

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Pathological shaming

Since the federal response to the hurricane in Puerto Rico ha merely shown that Trump is competent (or rather, he hires folks who are competent and lets them run things), Hillary's meme that Trump hates Hispanics is losing it's value as a meme.

New meme: Trump hates free speech, so those athletes dissing the flag, Trump, the military, their fans, and the first responders who protect them in times of trouble are the newest heroes in the MSM...

Free speech, right...

See earlier essay in which I defended Kaepernik. I can argue both sides of the issue.

But this is being manipulated from above. And that angers me.

Why do I say this?

they couldn't do that if their owners didn't allow it.

Ah, but it is a spontaneous demonstration, right?

but then a military veteran refused to join in disrespect for the flag and his country, and dared to stand (alone) with his hand on his heart during the National Anthem.

He has now "apologized". From instapundit:

Villenueva:”I made coach Tomlin look bad, and that is my fault and my fault only…Every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself, I feel embarrassed.”

the pressure point used to "change" his mind: How dare he embarrass his team mates!

such virtue shaming works only on good people of course.

AnnAlthouse has an essay on this:  Classic liberal manipulation: Creating the fear that you will be thought of as uncaring..

I'm enough of a feminist to recognize this as a manipulative scam: from psycCentral:

A weakness of a narcissist is their extreme hatred of being embarrassed. There is nothing worse for them than having someone point out even the slightest fault.
Ironically, they have no problem openly doing this to others. This method of casting shame allows them to feel superior while minimizing any impact the other person might have.
It also serves as a way of discounting any future comments the other person use to embarrass the narcissist. Basically, they are beating the other person to the first punch.
read the whole thing, which lists 11 ways that "narcissists" manipulate people

however, there are a few peacemakers out there trying to defuse this fake controversy. Again from Instapundit:

AMERICA’S TEAM KNEES AMERICA? Cowboys Take A Knee In Prayer Before National Anthem.
“According to Kristi Scales, the pregame kneel was in prayer for equality and unity, and purposely not during the anthem.”

Blessed are the peacemakers etc etc...

But don't worry: no good deed goes unpunished:



Winston Smith, call your office...


update: One has to love MadDog Mattis

Reporter: Do you have anything to say about the NFL?
SEC. MATTIS: I'm the secretary of defense. We defend the country.

Logistics logistics logistics

so the plan to make Trump the scapegoat for the hurricane disaster in Puerto Rico hit a wall, when the Governor there thanked the president. ABCNews report:

In San Juan, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello appeared at a brief news conference Monday and praised the U.S. federal response to Hurricane Maria, which has included sending nearly 10,000 people to help recovery from the devastation. He also said his government has been in touch with mayors across the island and was working to get food and water to isolated communities cut off after the hurricane.
Rossello said federal agencies also have helped restore power to a medical center in San Juan and supply diesel to fuel the generators of hospitals as well as deliver food and water to hard-hit communities across the island.
And the governor said he was "very grateful" to President Donald Trump for responding Puerto Rico's petition for help.

the logistics is complicated, partly due to the fact that a lot of the "assets" (people and supplies) have been busy helping the disasters in other nearby islands hit by earier storms.


Via  the rightwing site, Gatewaypundit. which summarizes other articles on the response.

In our prayers. Been there, done that...

Xenophon on the Kurds

In the March of the Ten Thousand, Xenophon had to pass thru Kurdistan, and Wikipedia notes this:

A people called the Carduchoi are mentioned in Xenophon's Anabasis. They inhabited the mountains north of the Tigris in 401 BC, living in well-provisioned villages. They were enemies to the king of Persia,[10] as were the Greek mercenaries with Xenophon, but their response to thousands of armed and desperate strangers was hostile. They had no heavy troops who could face the battle-hardened hoplites, but they used longbows and slings effectively, and for the Greeks the "seven days spent in traversing the country of the Carduchians had been one long continuous battle, which had cost them more suffering than the whole of their troubles at the hands of the king [of Persia] and Tissaphernes put together."[11]
And remember: Saladin was a Kurd...

Right now, the Kurds have pretty well run their own area since Bush I stopped Saddam from bombing and gassing them after Desert Storm.

But now the Syrian Kurds have pretty well kicked out both sides of that civil war, so might join them.

If the Iraqi Kurds vote for independence, the result could be messy: For there are a lot of Kurds in Turkey  (more than in Iraq) and also Iran who might want to join them... but both these countries  aren't about to let these folks leave.

and with the war against ISIS and the civil war in Syria going on, the US is worrying that this will just be one more complication to mess things up in that area.

the modern boundaries only go back to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the boundary lines made up by Europeans in the Versailles treaty.

and read about the one million Kurdish refugees in Europe, most of whom fled Saddam Hussein's genocides.

One factoid there are quite a few in Nashville Tennessee 

and here is another interesting fact:

The urdish diaspora can vote via the internet... and the first e-vote came from China.

National book festival

Celebrate reading and literacy as Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden hosts presentations by fantasy-sci-fi novelist Diana Gabaldon ("Outlander" series), historian David McCullough ("The American Spirit"), children's book author Reshma Saujani ("Girls Who Code"), nonfiction writer Margot Lee Shetterly ("Hidden Figures") and thriller writer Scott Turow ("Testimony").
heh. Authors who I actually have read.

transcript here.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Grey Eagles are coming

StrategyPage reports that the US will help the Philippines fight the Abus and other ISIS types who are trying to set up shop in the south with Grey Eagles: the MQ-1C drone.

they will be used for surveillance of the enemy, since actually having a US drone shoot someone would be seen as American military fighting here, a taboo subject.

some background.

Obama's hissy fit about the drug war here led to his decision to punish us by stopping us from buying guns etc.

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday told U.S. President Barack Obama to “go to hell” and said the United States had refused to sell some weapons to his country but he did not care because Russia and China were willing suppliers.
In his latest salvo, Duterte said he was realigning his foreign policy because the United States had failed the Philippines and added that at some point, “I will break up with America”. It was not clear what he meant by “break up”.
So with Trump allowing us to get drones to spy on bad buys, it sounds like the FilAm friendship is back on.

they are both populist loudmouths who speak bluntly but are loved because they actually are both trying to "drain the swamp", as the saying goes: i.e. get rid of the corrupt oligarchies that run the government to enrich themselves while ignoring the needs of ordinary folks.

The US military does a lot of "helping" here, but is not supposed to fight (although rumors that in a fire fight no body complains if the advisor picks up a gun).

It has to do with national pride.

a couple years ago, a drone spotted a bad guy and he ended up dead, and the left here had a big hissy fit until it was revealed that the Philippine airforce took him out.

Pride means the Philippine military does the hard work, but advanced military intelligence is a big help.

and electronic surveillance is one way that the US can help.

I remember one story, probably an urban legend, where a phone call for a pizza delivery by a known bad guy was picked up by someone spying on phone calls, and they were able to eliminate him (probably a cellphone, since few folks have land lines here but everyone has a cellphone).

The wags on TV made a lot of jokes about that incident: one was said the reason for all the Italian priests being kidnapped was to make them pizza.

Puerto Rico:The unsung weekend warriors

in case you are reading the PC (i.e. Hillary Clinton) lamenting the mess left in Puerto Rico after the hurricanes, and salivating that they are going to politicize the mess to destroy Trump.  She is blaming Trump for not posting the USN Comfort there right away,... uh, a google would show you it is resting in Newport News, so that could take a few days...

Maybe instead of reading headlines in the MSM and cable news stations, you should read the local papers.

In Puerto Rico, local rescuers are on the scene, including their National Guard units:

but outside help is starting to come in.

ABC7 Sept 25 reports:

Riding along with NY Air National Guard in Puerto Rico

see also:

and the Miami Herald has this report: Sept 23:

After Maria clobbered Puerto Rico, U.S. military relocates base for foreign relief efforts

The Joint Task Force-Leeward Islands, which is supporting relief efforts to the islands of St. Martin and Dominica after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, is moving its main command and control element to Martinique, the U.S. Southern Command said in a statement. Its fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft will be based out of Barbados and Guadeloupe respectively. The task force, which first deployed Sept. 9 in response to Hurricane Irma’s battering of St. Martin, was also tasked Friday with assisting the government of Dominica after it was the first island to be bashed by Maria’s punishing, then-Category 5 winds. The U.S. Navy amphibious ship USS Wasp, with about 1,100 people and two helicopters aboard, was tapped to join the mission. About 300 military personnel, eight other helicopters and four C-130 Hercules aircraft will be moved, Southcom said.
But notes that the logistics for moving in help started earlier: This article is from Sept 22.

I was going to post an excerpt, except that too many units are mentioned. And note: A lot of them are already in the area, helping with the disasters on other islands nearby.

and if you google or check youtube, you will find the military and the National Guard are already helping in the previous hurricanes in Houston and Florida.

For folks who don't know how the US military works: Combat units are combat units, but do have units whih cn help in disasters.

However, the National Guard is the part time "weekend warriors" who are trained for "support" units: military police, water supplies, providing food, mechanical stuff (electricity and construction), etc.

My unit was a tiny clinic which included not just us but our equipment and medical supplies. We never did et called up while I was in (I resigned due to medical problems a couple months before Desert Storm). So my information might be out of date, but you get the idea. Yes, we were taught how to fight, mainly for self defense if something went wrong, but we also trained for civilian disasters.

The National Guard are under not just Washington but the local governors, who can call the up to help in local disasters, and this is good because it means help is nearby.

Indeed one reason so many National Guard units were called up for Iraq or Afghanistan was their expertise was needed.

Logistics mean getting the right help to those who need it. Some loudmouths think you can snap your fingers and voila, instant fix. Nope. it doesn't work that way.

Finally, I am happy that my son in Florida said his place is a mess but his family is okay: Since he is able to get on the internet, that is comforting. When we had the big typhoon here, we were off line for three weeks (and no electricity or water for two weeks).

Florida and Houston are flat, so prone toward storm surge and flooding.  Puerto Rico is hilly, and that makes getting help to isolated areas is hard.Landslides, a dam threatening to burst and other problems come with hills.

call in the helicopters:

If I am a bit cynical about the politicization of the problem, it is because "been there, done that".

Purple Ube anyone?

Purple potatoes are going to be the next fad,

But here in the Philippines we have Ube:

Purple potato eater

The UK Mail reports that purple potatoes, and other colorful fruits and veggies, contain chemicals that help protect you against cancer, especially bowel cancer. Probably the anti oxidants in the food.

'For example, white potatoes may have helpful compounds, but the purple potatoes have much greater concentrations of these anti inflammatory, anti oxidant compounds,' he said.

The article then goes on to note that societies that eat lots of fruits and veggies have less bowel cancer.

Problem? This is probably related to fiber. This is not true in societies that eat white rice: bowel cancer here is common.

And of course, when they point out the problem of cancer, diabetes and other modern diseases, remember: they ignore the flip side of the good old days: malnutrition, and a higher death rate from simple infectious diseases.

another day, another health fad for first world types who want to live forever.

At least these are easily grown in your garden... or in a pot

The Naysayers of modernity

At the time of the French revolution, the enthusiasts were all echoing the memes, but one man dared to say Hey wait a second. There are a couple of problems here...

That naysayer was Edmund Burke, who wrote a nuanced essay to explain what he saw as the problem.

In the Reflections, Burke argued that the French Revolution would end disastrously because its abstract foundations, purportedly rational, ignored the complexities of human nature and society.
Further, he focused on the practicality of solutions instead of the metaphysics, writing "What is the use of discussing a man's abstract right to food or to medicine? The question is upon the method of procuring and administering them. In this deliberation I shall always advise to call in the aid of the farmer and the physician, rather than the professor"

In today's world, the closest thing to Burke is Moynihan. And Chronicles reposts an essay on him HERE

In fact, Moynihan made some of the noblest protests of his time against what he called “the manifest decline of the American civil order,” not least in his essay on liberal linguistic euphemism and evasion, “Defining Deviancy Down,” in The American Scholar.

but his most remembered essay is his warning about allowing the destruction of the family.
And he never tired of reiterating unflattering, painfully learned home truths: “The family is the basic social unit of American life; it is the basic socializing unit. By and large, adult conduct is learned in the family.”
This was particularly poignant coming from the son of a broken family, a poor inner-city New York kid whose father had absconded when he was young.
Though Moynihan was viciously and repeatedly attacked from the left as a racist for his report on the collapsing black family, the African-American sociologist Glenn C. Loury has recently argued that these attacks were not only utterly unfair but ultimately tragic in shutting down analysis and debate on the subject.
heads up TeaAtTrianon.

Sigh. And since then, we see the collapse of the family in all races, starting with the sexual revolution that mad sex a moral free zone, easy divorce that made marriage the only contract that could be broken without impunity by one side, and now made worse by gender theory that ignores the reality of biology and the rules devised pragmatically by our ancestors so that families would stay intact.

one recent example is the attack on some professors who said we need to emphasize middle class values that include the values of hard work and fidelity to marriage.

The elites called them racist for doing so, but I wonder: what race are they talking about?

It seems to me the "race" the professors are criticizing is the white sexually liberated culture pushed by the elites, in movies and TV and in government policies. No one wants to discuss how these ideas have been busy destroying the family for the last fifty years.

Where is multiculturalism when we need it?

Attention: These are the same rules that Confucius devised to counter the societal and political chaos of his time. Save the family and the culture/country will be saved.

And those of us who worked in Africa know well that similar values of hard work and caring for one's family is even stricter than the WASP values: because in Africa, you have to care for the young, old, and crippled in your extended family, which in the USA is outsourced to the government.

that is why Africans see western values as anathema: American individualism translates into the idea that it's okay to ignore your poorer relatives.

Success translates to the idea it's okay to get ahead without any limits, leading to cheating and take bribes in business and politics.

And modern sexual liberation leads to a million street kids without fathers wandering around, and giving a wink to the sexual predators, both hetero and homosexual, who prey on the less powerful (relatives, street kids, students, employees, etc.)


The Football story the press has overlooked

So Football is in the news.

No, not the rich spoiled nincompoops who are virtue signaling by dissing the flag (and their fans).  My cynical take? The saying goes: There is no such thing as bad publicity.

Not the owners, who are losing money because they tolerate this unprofessional behavior and also want to virtue signal their non fans.

My cynical take? In most businesses, pushing religion and politics while you are working for a business is not free speech, but unprofessional behavior. Wasn't this how Tebow got into trouble? So the kerfuffle suggests the owners are bowing to pressure from the now politicized ESPN commentators... and Trumpie boy is not making things better, albeit one could argue he was observing how folks in the real world feel and speaking truth to power.

Not even the growing reports that football, as it is played, causes brain damage, with cognitive problems and impulse control disorder. My take? Similar to what Rush Limbaugh said last week: that this, not the protests, will be the real reason for Football quickly becoming unpopular, because millions of moms won't want their kids to play high school football in fear of them being hurt.

also not in the news: the numerous reports of violence by players, drug abuse by players, and steroid abuse that also can cause increased anger and violent impulses.

As you can tell, I am not exactly a football fan. However: The real story is being overlooked

the WAPO (Aug 31) report noted:

Unable to return to Houston because of flooding caused by Harvey and frustrated at his inability to help, J.J. Watt opened a modest little online fundraising campaign Sunday afternoon from the Houston Texans’ temporary digs in Dallas.
With a Youcaring account, a pledge of $100,000 of his own money, a goal of $200,000 and a video plea, the Texans’ star defensive end started something that is making him the face of relief efforts in Houston. By late morning Thursday, the effort that began Sunday afternoon had reached a truly amazing level: $10 million, helped along by the latest big donation — $1 million each from Ellen DeGeneres and Walmart. 
from Sports Illustrated: JJ Watts raised 37 million dollars for hurricane relief in Houston.

J.J. Watt is a superhuman. What he does on the field, like playing despite having a bone in his finger cut through his skin, is evidence of such.
But it's his recent off-the-field efforts to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey that has elevated him to legendary status. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year launched a fund on to raise money for victims of Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 26 with an initial goal of $200,000.
At the time, that seemed like a sizable yet attainable goal. In hindsight, perhaps Watt (and the rest of us) underestimated humanity's goodwill and willingness to help others in need. Watt recently closed the fundraiser after raising an astonishing $37,097,298, which is more than 185 times his initial goal. More than 200,000 people donated, meaning Watt got as many donors as he expected dollars.

 so did any sports figure donate to his fund? Yup.  A few.

 From SI:

At a press conference at the Texans' practice facility Wednesday, Watt said Brady donated $100,000 and Belichick gave $50,000 and thanked the two for their "incredibly kind gestures." He also suggested that both intended for the donations to be anonymous.
 after listing a couple of owners who donated, the article adds:

A number of athletes and sports franchises/leagues have donated to the relief efforts through other avenues.

JJWatts, however, did not start his charity work with the Houston fundraiser: Wikipedia notes he has been doing similar work for a couple of years.

the flashy part of delivering supplies is now over, and the fundraising is finished.

Now comes the hard part: Making sure the money will go to responsible groups to clean up and rebuild.

Sigh. Been there, done that.

ah but JJ Watts is not the only athlete busy doing good stuff.

and so the NYPost  (Aug 2017) wonders:

Where are the stories of other NFL people who do similar work?

For example, Kaepernick gave a bundle to charity too... after his girl friend converted him and he became a born again SJW.

Since starting the anthem protests a year ago, Kaepernick pledged to work to help poor minorities often left behind by society. He's worked to feed hungry people in Somalia, and he's donated almost $1 million to groups around the country that help others who are less fortunate. In this latest round of donations, he's helping little girls and people looking for work. This is happening right here in New York.

so where is the publicity for this?

 It doesn't seem to factor into the conversation that NFL owners might want to publicize the kind of charity work players like Kaepernick do. The NFL is a league with a concussion problem, a violence issue, and always seems to have trouble treating women with respect. Yet, a non-violent protester seeking social justice is the greatest threat to the game? 
more here.

addendum: I have a thought: Why don't all those multimillionaire virtue signaler players donate a million dollars to help the less fortunate? If JJ Watts and Kaepernik can do it, why can't they do the same?

after all, even Trumpie boy gave a million out of his wealth to help hurricane victims, so maybe they should do the  same, if for no other reason than to show him up.

That might defuse the criticism while they "put their money where their mouth is", as the saying goes....

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Musical interlude of the day

The Smoking footnote

you know the phrase "The smoking gun", which is evidence that proves a crime has occured.

Well, now we see the "smoking" footnote.

a bunch of scholars who wrote a letter to the Pope and pointed out a bunch of problems in his letter "the Joy of Sex" and how it is being interpreted/misinterpreted.
 Included in the list is the “smoking” footnote 351 where the Pope writes that those living in an objective situation of sin can receive the “help of the sacraments” to grow in the life of grace and charity.
it is long and nuanced, but it comes down to two simple ideas:

Is marriage for life?

Is the Eucharist a feel good symbol or is it the Body and Blood of Christ?

This sounds like trivia, but if the Catholic church schisms, it will have many ramifications on the secular world.

read the whole thing, but I warn you: a lot of this goes beyond sex into the philosophical basis of Christianity, including the idea if religion is based on truth or just is a fuzzy feeling that changes according to fashion and whim.


update: Instalache for the Edward Pentin article in the NCReporter.

not yet on Drudge but presumably he will notice it... meaning the MSM won't be able to continue to pretend no one except bigots and bozos are worried about what has been going on.

Nettles and Pineapples and Bananas, oh my

see previous post.

so how do you make fiber from nettles?

of course, here in the Philippines, we don't have nettles

 there is Pineapple cloth.

Abaca is another traditional textile: from the stem of the banana plant. This shows investing in simple machinery so locals can earn more money selling the fiber:

Weaving in the good old days

Cloth goes way back into prehistory.

But how did they weave?

PhysOrg has an article here on ancient textiles.

Twill example from Civita Castellana, Italy, seventh century BC. Credit: Margarita Gleba

The technical differences suggest that during the Iron Age, textiles in Italy more closely resembled those found in Central Europe (associated with the Hallstatt culture that was prevalent in modern-day Germany, Austria and Slovenia) while the textile culture of Greece was largely connected with the Near East. Read more at:

Nature article on using Nettle fiber in Denmark.

UKIndependent on Bronze age fiber in the UK... mainly flax/linen, but it does discuss nettle fiber too.

Be afraid. Old ladies lives matter too

Wesley Smith reports that a poll in pro Euthanasia Canada (Quebec) says 91 percent of caregivers want to be able to kill people with dementia, even against their wishes.

This doesn't surprise me.

Longr essay moved to my medical blog: about how this idea, which we fought when the elite were pushing it in the early 1990's.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Philippine news

I am catching up with posts on local news. Thanks to brown outs, these posts never got fully written or posted.

(they are fixing the electric wires, replacing the small wires with larger single ones, and the wooden poles with higher concrete ones. Some of the wires were sagging down enough to get caught in the rice trucks, which nowadays often have to detour on the side streets. We now have one way traffic on the main street two blocks down, so the trucks have to detour past our place).

I had started a post with links to a social media site that was saying that there was going to be a YUGE anti Duterte demonstration in Manila, and I was going to say well, wait a second: you students should clean up your own house first (we had another boy killed in a fraternity hazing incident at a local college, something that happens a couple times a year, alas).

so when the demonstration took place, I expected the usual notices on TV about rerouting traffic, but nada... then I read that only 5000 people turned up, and they were outnumbered by a counter demonstration.

Only 5000?

This is the Philippines: You can hire a demonstrator for 500 pesos ($10 USD) plus food and water.

The trouble is, like vote buying, the locals are independent: they won't vote for you if they don't like you.  The money comes in because often there are a lot of different candidates paying out money, and often the voters figure since they are all crooks (as Lolo used to say) they would take the highest bidder. But if they didn't agree with you, they would vote how they wanted to vote anyway.

so apparantly, the anti Duterte drug war demonstrators either were too cheap to pay locals to help them get lots of bodies in the demonstration, or the locals (and the grass roots leftist groups who actually are run by ordinary non SJW types) refused to demonstrate with them.

and the dirty little secret is that the drug war remains popular among ordinary folks.

Manila Bulletin has this Bloomberg news report:

More than three-quarters of Filipinos support President Duterte’s drug war, despite thousands of deaths and international condemnation over alleged rights abuses, a Pew Research Center poll has found. Some 78 percent of Filipinos approve of Duterte’s handling of the illegal drugs issue, with 62 percent believing the government’s campaign was making progress, according to Pew’s face-to-face surveys of 1,000 adults.
The president also remained extremely popular a year after his election, with 86 percent saying they had a favorable view of him, a result in line with domestic surveys. The poll had a margin of error of 4.3 percent.

StrategyPage has a long essay on what is going on here.and says the same thing:

President Duterte’s year old war on drugs is still controversial (more so outside the Philippines) but so far most Filipinos back the violent, deadly and unorthodox approach to dealing with illegal drugs, the drug gangs, corrupt politicians and all that. A recent anti-Duterte demonstration attracted some 5,000 protestors. But at the same time three times as many Duterte supporters took to the streets.

the rest of the SP is about military stuff, including the war against the Abus etc in the south, but also noting clashes with the NPA again.

in the meanwhile our local worries continue to be about bird flu, but apparantly the problem is now over, because I can't find any reports in the news about it for the last two weeks.

Right now, we have steady rain: hopefully it will not continue too long, since the rice is almost ready to harvest, and you need dry weather and sunshine to cut and ry the grain.

but the good news here is that the roof has been fixed, so I don't have to have buckets and towels all over my bedroom to stay dry.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Behold the power of... bloggers

Those of us with kids know how one kid will come to us and whine "mom he's LOOKING at me... have him stop". Presumably a sibling's smirk is so evil that they need to be punished severely.

Well, now the PC in the Catholic church are whining: "mom,  he's blogging about me and said something mean".

and who is daring to do this? Father Z is blamed.

but of course he can defend himself... Behold the power of wordpress!

But you know, there is a pattern here that started against the "dubia" bishops, who questioned some "ambiguous" passages in the Pope's letter "the Joy of Sex", and then we saw articles blasting those nasty "converts" knew the bible well enough to quote the Bible to the Pope, saying: isn't there something in the Bible about not receiving the sacrament when you are living in sin?

You know how it goes:

from Catholic culture editor, Phillip Lawler:

See if you recognize this rhetorical strategy: Say that the people who disagree with you are motivated by hatred.
Say that they’re dangerous extremists, a threat to civil society.
Say that you are interested in genuine debate, but your opponents won’t allow it.
Compare your opponents to Nazis. Insist that responsible people must disavow any connection with your opponents.
And then… Say that your opponents are intolerant. It’s a clever technique: a campaign of intolerance, camouflaged as a plea for tolerance. And it’s picking up steam in the Catholic media.

So who stands in their way, when the cautious bishops and theologians don't want to stand with those deplorable  and "rigid" uber-catholics?

 check out Father L....  he notes that a certain unpopular (in the Vatican) Pottawatomie bishop is on the warpath, as is a certain African  Cardinal...

Indeed, both of them dare to write books about not being ashamed to proclaim the gospel in a post Christian world, but with nuances and reason that make their arguments hard to ignore.

and then there are secular reporters who blog about the shenanigans in Rome, such as
Sandro Magister.

Today's headline?
So Long, Wojtyla and Caffarra. Here Comes the Francis Family

Those in the Vatican think tank about the family have been fired, and will be replaced, and they will include "caring for creation" in their mandate.

what could go wrong?

St Athanasius, call your office.