Thursday, February 28, 2019

The children of agent orange (herbicides discussion)

Agent Orange may have been responsible for 150 thousand children being born with birth defects because of it's use during the Vietnam war.

Agent Orange was an herbicide used to clear vegetation so that the military could spot the enemy soldiers hiding in the trees/jungle/undergrowth, so probably saved many American lives in acute battle situations. But like a lot of stuff used in war, the toxic side effects were either ignored, not looked for, or the dangers considered less of a problem than the advantage of using the chemical.

I had friends who worked in Vietnam during the war (both civilians and military physicians) who noted the high rate of birth defects, so I believe this statistic.

A 1998 review article on the problem at the NIH goes into details and statistical data: like a lot of things, the statistics are not always clear or able to prove the problem.

this article discusses not just Agent Orange but other herbicides that are suspected to be associated with birth defects.

As to Agent Orange, in the past few years, the US and VietNam have been trying to clean up the chemical pollution

and as this Forbes article relates, US military veterans were also exposed, and some claim it caused an increase in birth defects to their children also.

the clean up of Agent Orange has been going on for awhile, but but is far from finished.

this 2018 Reuters article notes an increase in funding to clean up.
Standing near a skull-and-crossbones warning sign meant to keep people away from toxic soil, Mattis was briefed by Vietnamese officials about the massive contamination area. In a possible sign of the sensitivity surrounding Agent Orange in Vietnam, where millions of people are still suffering its effects, reporters were not allowed to attend the outdoor briefing for Mattis at Bien Hoa Air Base. “I came to show the support of the Defense Department for this project and demonstrate that the United States makes good on its promises,” Mattis told his Vietnamese counterpart at a closed-door meeting later in nearby Ho Chi Minh City. Cleanup is expected to start getting under way early next year.

So will Trumpie boy bring up the problem and discuss the clean up while he is there in Vietnam? Anyone? Anyone?


Why is this important? Well, duh, modern agriculture uses similar herbicides (and pesticides and GMO seeds) to get higher yields.

Why? Because there is a need of more food to feed the growing population on earth.

And as I have noted in earlier posts: they are used in the newfangled "dry" method of growing rice that is being promoted to lower methane levels, to replace the traditional "organic" rice growing methods of flooding rice paddies to get rid of weeds (a major cause of methane emissions) and weeding by hand.

The dirty little secret: to grow enough cheap food to feed the earth's growing population, you need to use GMO food, Herbicides and pesticides. But many greens, correctly, worry about side effects.LINK  LINK2

Myself, I am cynical: it's a cost/benefit ratio that needs to guide their use.

We grow organic rice, but it is too expensive for the Manila poor to buy, and of course, the crop yield is lower than using chemicals (we don't have GMO crops here: the Catholic church is green and influences the gov't. Let them eat non gmo rice, and if we can't grow enough, no problem: Import it from China and Vietnam where they do use GMO seeds, herbicides, pesticides, and lie about it on the paperwork, while the crooked politicians can make money off of importing these things.)

Why do I bring up price? well, that notorious famine in Bengal in 1944 that is being used to blacken Churchill's reputation was essentially a "price famine": Not Churchill per se and was not just a lack of rice but because diverting rice to sell at a higher price to city dwellers by merchants made it too expensive to poor people to buy.

war has a lot of side effects that don't get in the history books. Sigh.

as for rice: It's not just modern chemicals that you have to worry about.

In some countries (but not here in the Philippines, thank the Lord), Rice, especially Brown rice contains arsenic.

Good News story of the day:

Asia News: 02/27/2019, 13.34
JAPAN  Tokyo,

at birth he weighed 268gr: the smallest premature baby in the world He fit in the hands of an adult, but now weighs 3,238 pounds and feeds normally.

more at the Asahi Shimbum (Asahi news):

The infant, born in August, was sent home Feb. 20 from Keio University Hospital in Tokyo, making him the world’s lightest-ever newborn boy to be discharged in good health.
 “To be honest, I even didn’t know whether my baby could survive,” said the 29-year-old mother of the infant. “I’m just so happy.” 
The baby was urgently delivered at 24 weeks by Caesarean section, as his slow weight gain put him at high risk of death in his mother’s womb. After receiving a course of drip intravenous injections and other treatments, the thriving infant became able to drink milk on his own. 


Wednesday, February 27, 2019



Korean Crow Tits

cute, aren't they?

but it has a different meaning in Korea:

there's a phrase in Korean "뱁새가 황새 걸음을 걸으면 가랑이가 찢어진다" which means "if a crow-tit walks like a stork, it will break its legs." The meaning is that you’ll ruin yourself if you try to imitate someone better than you. you should research about the song it's a rly meaningful song👍👍👍
the song is here:

and full explantion here:

bad news and conspiracy theories

Democrats in NY and Virginia both voted to allow abortion until birth, and now the Democrats in Congress voted down a bill that would require treatment for infants born alive.

things have changed: the last time such a bill went before Congress, in 2002, even Senator Hillary Clinton voted to save the babies. Sigh.


A lot of hysteria out there about sexual abuse, pedophilia and human trafficking. Some of it is hyped, but the problem is real: and remember, most cases don't hit the headlines.

 PDF of a summary of some 600+ US federal cases in 2017 can be downloaded from Trafficking matters site


As for the church: the latest scandal hasn't hit the US news yet, but it will.

Crazy Ann, who has a background in finance and first hand knowledge of corruption there, says follow the money to find out why ex Cardinal McCarrick got away with a lot. link2

So, what is the link between American "papal foundation" funding a "dermatology hospital", a child trafficker, a dead whistleblowing hooker, and the Pope?


The Great Poobah

The secretary's dog in the next garden is not very friendly but I feed him and since I can't remember his Tagalog name, so I call him Poobah. He was mangy but I did get him an injection for it and he's now looking better, but although he comes to me when I call to feed him, if I get too close, he does growl menacingly at me.

I suspect I got that name: from Elizabeth Goudge's series on the Eliott family (Pilgrim's Inn... free ebook on internet archive) and the grandmothers' old spoiled dog is called Poobah.

The name comes from the Mikado,. a very funny Gilbert and Sullivan operetta that I'm sure that the PC censors will not allow to be shown anymore, but never mind.

wikipedial says that the "grand Poobah"

 is a character: Grand Poobah is a term derived from the name of the haughty character Pooh-Bah in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado (1885)
In this comic opera, Pooh-Bah holds numerous exalted offices, including "First Lord of the Treasury, Lord Chief Justice, Commander-in-Chief, Lord High Admiral ... Archbishop ... Lord Mayor" and "Lord High Everything Else". The name has come to be used as a mocking title for someone self-important or locally high-ranking and who either exhibits an inflated self-regard or who has limited authority while taking impressive titles.
But if the PC don't like the cultural appropriation of the Mikado, I'm sure it could be updated and made politically correct for them.

Hmm... the twittermobs are sort of like the Grand Poobah, they exhibit "an inflated self regard" with "limited authority"...

Oh well: Here is an updated version of Koko's song:


Musical interlude of the day

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

get your haircut here

AlJ has background here;

The country "liberalized" their communist state in the late 1980s and the economy is greatly improved, so Trumpie's argument  is that if they can do it, Kim can do it.

Also, it's good publicity for VietNam, which is is aiming for more tourists. And business meetings.

Joy was in VietNam last year at a conference on organic rice and the local agribusinesses.

Musical interlude of the day


before there was the happy happy happy we all are so wonderful hymns, there used to be hymns like this one

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich, Herr Gott, zu unsern Zeiten. Es ist doch ja kein andrer nicht, der für uns könnte streiten, denn du, unser Gott, alleine.
In these our days so perilous, Lord, peace in mercy send us; no God but thee can fight for us, no God but thee defend us; Thou our only God and Saviour.

headsup Prof Podles. 

I figure this is the only way to respond to the debacle of the latest Vatican meeting.
It wasn't a failure; it was merely a way of gaslighting the faithful. Background here.

headsup FatherZ

The Green Book: Oscar who wudda thot?

When I first noticed there was a film about segregation called the Green Book, I supposed it would be a preachy film that rewrote history in order to insult all working class stiffs and southerners as evil.

You know: Sort of like Spike Lee's film, which was supposed to be an action comedy but so full of weirdness and cartoonish strawman characters and hatred that I couldn't watch it.

And when I heard the black protagonist was gay, I supposed it would be like the Favorite, with a weird beginning that didn't make sense, and a sociopathic manipulative protagonist that made me turn it off even before it got to the character assassination of a poor lonely and somewhat stupid Queen Anne.

But then I saw the film stared Viggo Mortensen, who although further to the left than most of Hollywood establishment, has artistic integrity. He usually chooses to be in artistic films instead of being typecast: The Road comes to mind. And apparently he was one of those who was behind the making of the film.

And I must say: Mortensen makes the film believable.

He is so good in this film that after ten minutes, you forget your are watching a cultured artist pretending to be a working class Italian bouncer, and forgot he was acting (the best actors, according to Michael Caine are those who you don't say: hey he was a good actor, but those you don't even see the person behind the character).

Why, yes.

Mortensen plays an Italian bouncer who becomes a chauffeur/bodyguard to a classic pianist who is going on a tour of concerts in the still segregated south of the early 1960s.

But it is more than that. It is the flip side of "Driving Miss Daisy", where the affluent protagonist is schooled by the driver who is from a different class, and the affluent protagonist teaches a few things to the proud and rigid driver during their long trip through the segregated south of the early 1960s...

The core of the story isn't even segregation, although the stark picture of the south seems realistic to those of us old enough to remember those days: it is about two people from vastly different cultures learning to get along and understand each other.

The description of the film from IMDb pretty well gets to the real reason that people will like this film and will be willing to watch it 30 years from now, when all the "trendy" films are forgotten:
Together, the snobbishly erudite pianist and the crudely practical bouncer can barely get along with their clashing attitudes to life and ideals. However, as the disparate pair witness and endure America's appalling injustices on the road, they find a newfound respect for each other's talents and heart to face them together. In doing so, they would nurture a friendship and understanding that would change both their lives. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (
Indeed, if they had cut out the nude scene of the driver/bodyguard rescuing the pianist after a gay tryst in a shower ( by bribing the cops), I would recommend it to show your kids to remind them of those days. On the other hand, having grandkids who watch netflix, I might say we grandmoms are more shocked they included that scene than my grand kids would be.

So go watch it and enjoy!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Hymns of praise

Lift your hands and praise the Lord.

a really wonderful song that I saw posted on a couple of intenet sites.

I wondered why this song had so many Caucasian (and a few Asian) singers, but it's the BYU choir. That is LDS or Mormon for those of you who are clueless.

Yup, they are in Africa (Kenya). And all over the world. Heck, the missionaries and church are down the street from our house.

I had to laugh: One of the comments about the video was that if you took a phone book and a dozen BYU students, they would start to sing from it. Sounds about right.

Good people and the Social aspect of the church is admirable. It's the theology I don't agree with, but as Rumi wrote: The Lovers of God have no religion but God himself.

Hmm... the Pope tried to say this last week and got smashed, but he is partly right: The truth of religion is scientific, so as a scientist I see all religions as in partial error but seeking the truth, and believe we Catholics sort of tend to get it right, insisting on a core reality at the heart of the faith (although you would be surprised at the amount of nonsense out there that gets pushed as Catholicism but which is merely custom).

But how you live it is based on love, not science, and as Peter wrote, love covers a lot of errors, and at the last judgment a lot of those getting into heaven will be good people who served the Lord but didn't "recognize" Jesus because they lacked faith, or were from another (or no) faith, and maybe the reason they didn't become Christians is because the Christians they met were nincompoops.

Reminds me of Tagore, when Catherine Doherty was a lecturer she met him and asked him why he didn't become a Christian, and he said: I'm waiting for  you to become one first, Catherine. 

So she went out and founded Friendship house in Harlem in the midst of the depression, and promoted racial equality before it was in fashion.

I worked as a doctor in Africa when I was young, so when I came back to the USA, I met few who had done similar work except for a few nuns and ex peace corps types. But when I worked in southern Idaho, and we had a large LDS population, it was seen as no big deal. As the only woman doc in the area, I saw a few of their girls before they left for their mission for physicals.

One of my patients in Idaho had almost died from tropical sprue when she worked in the Philippines.... and of course, if you need a translator for an exotic language, ask the local bishop for one.

Missionaries get a bad press, but being an ex missionary, I have met lots of them, from various churches, and none of them fit the horrid meme pushed by the MSM/Hollywood elite.

Most are kind hearted and charitable to all, be it the Filipina ex nun in Canada who takes in homesick students from Ruby's boarding school to mother, to the Mennonite women who welcome exchange students, to my mom, whose sewing group at the senior center made quilts to fund the center and knitted caps for the guys at the local prison.

back to the song: It comes from Civilization IV: a video game. LINK

but that video only praises the works of men, not the finger of God in each civilization.

the lyrics are here, and since I know some ChiKaranga, another Bantu dialect, I can almost understand them.

Baba yetu, yetu uliye (Our, our Father who are)
Mbinguni yetu, yetu, amina (In heaven, our, our, amen)
Baba yetu, yetu, uliye (Our, our Father, who are)
Jina lako litukuzwe (Let's glorify your name)
Baba yetu, yetu uliye (Our, our Father who are)
Mbinguni yetu, yetu, amina (In heaven, our, our, amen)
Baba yetu, yetu, uliye (Our, our Father, who are)
Jina lako litukuzwe (Let's glorify your name)
Utupe leo chakula chetu (Give us today our food)
Tunachohitaji utusamehe (We need you to forgive us)
Makosa yetu, hey (Our errors, hey)
Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe (As we do forgive those)
Waliotukosea, usitutie (Who did us wrong, don't put us)
Katika majaribu, lakini (Into trials, but)
Utuokoe, na yule, milele na milele (Save us, with him, for ever and ever)
Baba yetu, yetu uliye (Our, our Father who are)
Mbinguni yetu, yetu, amina (In heaven, our, our, amen)
Baba yetu, yetu, uliye (Our, our Father, who are)
Jina lako litukuzwe (Let's glorify your name)
Baba yetu, yetu uliye (Our, our Father who are)
Mbinguni yetu, yetu, amina (In heaven, our, our, amen)
Baba yetu, yetu, uliye (Our, our Father, who are)
Jina lako litukuzwe (Let's glorify your name)
Ufalme wako ufike utakalo (Your kingdom come that it be)
Lifanyike duniani kama mbinguni, amina (done on earth as in heaven, amen)
Baba yetu, yetu uliye (Our, our Father who are)
Mbinguni yetu, yetu, amina (In heaven, our, our, amen)
Baba yetu, yetu, uliye (Our, our Father, who are)
Jina lako litukuzwe (Let's glorify your name)
Baba yetu, yetu uliye (Our, our Father who are)
Mbinguni yetu, yetu, amina (In heaven, our, our, amen)
Baba yetu, yetu, uliye (Our, our Father, who are)
Jina lako litukuzwe (Let's glorify your name)
Utupe leo chakula chetu (Give us today our food)
Tunachohitaji utusamehe (We need you to forgive us)
Makosa yetu, hey (Our errors, hey)
Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe (As we do forgive those)
Waliotukosea, usitutie (Who did us wrong, don't put us)
Katika majaribu, lakini (Into trials, but)
Utuokoe na yule msiba milele (Save us from this distress for ever)
Baba yetu, yetu, uliye (Our, our Father, who are)
Jina lako litukuzwe (Let's glorify your name)
Baba yetu, yetu, uliye (Our, our Father, who are)
Jina lako litukuzwe (Let's glorify your name)

Baba yetu lyrics © Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp.

here is a version from Zimbabwe: 


and of course I'll add a Tagalog version:


Update: it took me awhile to find this version in English.

Musical interlude of the day

remembering when movies made you happy.

Thank you, Stanely Donen, and rest in peace.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Craft item of the day

how to decorate with bananas:

The facts behind the "war on the press" here in the Philippines

The usual suspects are hyperventilating about a war on the press here when the FilAm reporter Maria Ressa behind the webnews site "Rappler" was accused of tax evasion.

 Tax evasion? if they really started going after all those politicians living high on the hog and checked if they paid taxes on their bribes/kickbacks, a lot of famous politicians would be in trouble

The back story of this is that Rappler and the liberal press and the NWO types are trying to get rid of Duterte, who like Trumpie boy managed to win an election over their choice, the "american girl".

 The full court press by the MSM/NWO leaders against Duterte is being ignored by the ordinary folks here, who still support him in polls, because they know the reality of "rule of law" here means that the corrupt just have to either bribe the judges, delay the case, or have the witnesses disappear, and voila, no problem.

( By the way, the NWO types includes the Pope, of course, who worries more about cops killing the drug gangs preying on the poor than on his bishops and priests preying on teenage boys or spending money given by ordinary Catholics for the poor or church expenses to cruise at gay bars and on drugs, but never mind).

So what is behind the prosecution of this lovely lady?

The Manila Times has the backstory, and it's not pretty: She made a lot of enemies out there, and that newspaper names the names of the people who aren't making a fuss about her "persecution",

and they note some of the backstory about how in effect she is a political operative for the previous president, including the suspected Hasienda Luscita shenanigans over that previous president's family's land and behind the removal of a Supreme court justice. (but of course, it didn't affect her coverage of Duterte did it, /s).

but the real story behind the accusation of tax evasion is about something I discussed before: A big shot, a foreigner, who in effect funded Rappler.

Here, the Philippines is very careful about who owns land/business, including the press. So if you want to start a business, the way to get around it is to marry a nice Filipina and SHE owns the business, which then, of course, can be inherited by your children.

so anyway, this law also forbids newspapers being owned by foreigners. And that is Ressa's problem. The courts found out that Rappler was partly funded by outsiders, and told her to dissolve her web newspsper since this broke the law. Uh oh.

But of course, there are ways to get around the law here.

so she claimed it was a gift to their managers, and when they said they didn't want to be involved,

From the Manila Times:

The Securities and Exchange Commission ruled that, indeed, Rappler was in violation of the Constitution and must be dissolved.
Ressa panicked and claimed first, that the foreign money was donated to its managers. When that proved impossible (the managers told her they couldn’t pay for the taxes for such gifts), she claimed that the investments were in the form of securities, the kind PLDT and ABS-CBN use to go around the constitutional ban on foreign money in media.
Oops! The Bureau of Internal Revenue read about her explanation, studied it for months, and ruled that Rappler’s issuance of securities generated capital gains, which, therefore, must be taxed.
Rappler evaded such payment of P133 million in taxes, the BIR concluded. The Justice department had to agree with the BIR and filed a tax evasion case against Ressa and her executives.
can you say "Gotcha", children?


the Manila Times 2017 article points out that the foreign funding of the media here resembles the way outsiders organized regime change elsewhere, including the Ukraine. The article is about NED, the National Endowment for Democracy, which is believe to be a CIA front, but it does note the Omidyar network.

(Another US outfit that has funded NGOs in Ukraine that helped topple Yanukovych is Omidyar Network, owned by tycoon Pierre Omdiyar. It is one of the two foreign financiers of another anti-Duterte media outfit, Rappler.)
So who are the puppetmasters behind the scandal? That is harder for me to figure out, since I am not familiar with the movers and shakers who run the world.

the "Foreigners" behind this gift were the US based the Omidyar Network and North Base Media.

Wikipedia on the Omidyar network doesn't give any backstory on that group, but left wing sites  have lots of finger pointing about their involvement that suggest a CIA/NWO connection, at least with all that money they gifted to the Ukraine.

and the other backer of Rappler, North Based Media, is a Soros funded organization, according to this Rappler article.

Their webpage is here.

This Soros media group that funds "independent" media has Sasa Vicinic, founder of NBM, listed as a previous board member.

According to Bloomberg, Sasa Vucinic is the Managing Partner/Co-Founder, North Base Media Ltd,... does he also have a CIA connection? Who knows.

I am not, per se, opposed the the CIA using their goons to push America's agenda in other countries, especially since everyone else does it for their own country. However, the Philippines is especially sensitive to becoming an American puppet, and exposing two suspected CIA or Soros connected funding groups who have funded Rappler will not help Ressa... (if the story is true, of course: things get murky out there and of course, China and Russia are not above pushing fake news).

Except, according to the Manila Times, guess who is paying Ressa's legal fees? Omidyar of course.

Place conspiracy theory here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Vatican Coup still in progress however

Father Z rants against the propaganda, and notes:

it's not about clearing up abuse but to push an agenda, sigh.

And he is critical about a book that just happened to be released in time for the summit that exaggerates the number of gays in the Vatican (a problem but not that bad), (and I have read elsewhere that the book deliberately tries to paint all the bishops trying to stop the Pope's minions push into heresy are all closet homosexuals.)

As I pointed out in a previous post, Andrew Greeley, a trained sociologist, noted the huge numbers were pushed by those with an agenda.the number of gay priests is exaggerated by those with an agenda, and not only are the numbers lower than often claimed, but most priests keep their vows.
(i.e. 70 percent were heterosexual, and only 16percent were homosexuals) and that most of them keep their vows of celibacy. (72% of priests are celibate heterosexuals and 10 percent are celibate homosexuals, and 18 percent admit they don't keep their vows, but only 3% are actively pushing to get rid of celibacy).

presumably the NYTimes propaganda piece didn't bother to check with any of the priests that keep their vows;

and it doesn't bode well that the up coming summit has Manila's Cardinal Tagle as one of the leaders: It's long been rumored he is running for Pope. Everyone here laughs when Duterte says he should stop putting his nose into politics and instead clean up the corruption in the church.

my point: Corruption happens, and one is happy to clean it up, and if it takes the MSM, some aggressive D.A.'s. and the Catholic blogosphere, good.

but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater: There are still a lot of good priests and bishops out there.

And stop using the sins of the church as an excuse to "reform" or rather deform the church into Anglican lite, a church of mush and feel good social work that has little to do with Jesus Christ, traditional morality or how ordinary people serve God in the duties of their daily life

Professor Leon Podles, who wrote a book about the abuse crisis, notes that the problem with Pope Francis is that he is inconsistant.

Because Francis is erratic, he has not established a clear policy to deal with sexual abuse; he has lessened the penalties that abusers received under Pope Benedict. Since there is not clear policy, one cannot even object to it. One day he lets an abuser function as a priest; the next day he defrocks McCarrick. It all depends the whim and mood of the day. I have little or no hope that any clear and consistent policy about sexual abuse will be established as long as Francis is pope.

True, alas, true.

Is he ADHD and simply forgets what he said yesterday, or is he "gaslighting"?

from Psychology Today:

When the gaslighting starts, you might even feel guilty for doubting a person you’ve come to trust. .... You get temporary reassurance, but you increasingly doubt your own senses, ignore your gut, and become more confused.
The person gaslighting you might act hurt and indignant or play the victim when challenged or questioned. Covert manipulation can easily turn into overt abuse, with accusations that you’re distrustful, ungrateful, unkind, overly sensitive, dishonest, stupid, insecure, crazy, or abusive. Abuse might escalate to anger and intimidation with punishment, threats, or bullying if you don’t accept the false version of reality.

The coup is dead (long live the coup)

VDHanson summarizes the attempted coup of the FBI/Justice Dept against President Trump.

more here.----------

Monday, February 18, 2019

Capitalism 101

Musical interlude of the day


hearsup Instapundit comment.

when I lived in Boston years and years ago, they did have street musicians playing classic music in the subway stations.

The Forgotten Victims

more here:

and here: closeupculture interview with the filmmaker.

Q: I find it troubling that far too many people in the West have a lack – or complete absence – of knowledge about the horrors of the Gulags, but your documentary shows this is also the case for many Russians. Why do you believe this is the case as well as the continued cult of Stalin?
A: Something like half of Russia’s youth have not even heard of the Gulag and Stalin’s Great Terror. Older Russians know because few families were spared. Millions have a grandparent or great grandparent among those “repressed” to use the Soviet term.
For Russians who experienced the collapse of the USSR, they look back on the Soviet period as one of stability and order, but they are thinking of the post-Stalin years, which were characterised by “lesser terror.” Although the Yeltsin government intended to have a “trial of the communist party” – this never happened. The Russian people were therefore deprived of their “Nuremberg.”....
But I think absolutely the understanding of the Gulag is crucial also for the West. Contemporary North Korea has camps which are actually carbon copies of the Stalin camps. In order to understand the mentality of North Korea, it is absolutely crucial and important to understand the mentality of the Soviet camp guards and the Soviet prison system. China is another obvious example: we know from documents and other sources that there were Soviet advisors who went to China in the 1950s and helped the Chinese set up these prison camps.

PBS Frontline pedophile at the IHS

PBS Frontline has an episode about a Pediatrician on an Indian reservation who got away with abusing young boys for years, and after he was under suspicion at one reservation hospital, merely transferred to another one without problem.


I bring this up for several reasons.

One is, of course, because of the headlines on clergy sexual abuse. Yes, it happens, but it also happens with physicians, social workers and (an unreported story) in public schools. And of course, most cases are by friends or family members.

Second: Like the scandal about pedophile priests, the accused physician was transferred after vague accusations that couldn't be proven. Later, please note that one other employee who accused him ended up transferred. This also is why many hesitate to report suspicions.

Third: the boys are at high risk: often they need personal attention which they don't get at home so are easy for predators to attract and groom children.

Most of the Indian children now attended local schools thanks to buses and roads, but Indian children in the past were forced to attend boarding schools, and there were major abuse scandals in such schools.

Author Michael O'Brien, who attended a residential school in Canada, describes how one predator groomed the young boys in his boarding school. LINK... (because he refused the invitations they harassed him.)

One reason adults get away with such things is that children don't report it, and often the predator presents the appearance of a "good guy" who nobody wants to suspect of doing such thing (and often normal people just can't imagine such evil things are going on). Without physical evidence, how does one prove it, when the boys or girls won't complain and the perpetrator claims innocence? And remember: False claims do exist, for revenge, or to get money.

so those who suspect but can't prove abuse often are helpless to stop a predator who claims innocence.

Again, a good film that shows the dilemma of someone who suspects a pedophile but the evidence is ambiguous and is met with the claims of innocence by the perpetrator is the film "Doubt".

Four: the IHS is often a hard place to work: land there is a chronic physician shortage. So some physicians who apply for work are substandard but hired anyway.

My favorite story is from the 1980s, when one older physician who had good credentials and came to work for one hospital in our area after his wife left him. He settled in and got engaged and decided to sell his house in New Jersey. Bad decision: before the new tenants moved in, the cops asked the new tenants if they could dig up the new deck he had installed, and sure enough they found his wife's body.

The locals commented (with wry humor): well, he was a good doctor.

 Overwork is common, not all treatments are available and transfer to a specialist takes time and paperwork,

In 2000, we had to shut our hospital down for a week when the heating system caught fire; at that hospital, we had no lab at night, and for three months in the middle of winter, we had to send people 30 miles to a civilian hospital for a routine x ray because it takes so long to do the paperwork to hire someone and there was no money in the budget to hire temporary help. X rays were sent out and took a day or more for official reports, and sometimes longer. We had no Ultrasounds and CT scans, so again there were delays in non emergency cases to get them scheduled at our referral hospital. Specialist care outside the IHS system is often turned down for lack of funding if it is not "urgent", and even when you get an appointment, the patients end up not going to the appointment.

Overturn of medical personnel at many of the hospitals is high: And one of the physicians who documented the problem was eased out of his job.

Not all doctors are good at understanding different cultures and don't adjust. It takes awhile for patients to trust you. If you have young children, there are no decent schools for your children, and if you are a female doctor, no one is there to date or socialize with. For gay personnel, things are worse: In many tribes there is homophobia.

In summary: the IHS has very real problems, but I think Frontline is overdoing it when they blame the IHS for overlooking a predator: because the real problem is that such sexual predators are hard to detect and prosecute.

update: the full video is now on Youtube:

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Thanks Lt Dan

Gary Sinese has worked with military veterans for years, and has recently been honored for his work.

  People magazine article

Although Gary Sinise didn’t initially set out for a career in service, after four decades of making a difference for military veterans and first responders, he’s exactly where he’s supposed to be.
Sinise, 63, who reflects on his journey from “self to service” in his new book Grateful American, details the major turning points in his life, which include learning the details of his family connections to the military, playing Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump and feeling “broken” after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. “I’ve found that service is the best way to heal,” he tells PEOPLE in the latest issue.
Sinise’s foundation The Gary Sinise Foundation now raises now raises $30 million annually – 90% of which goes toward the organization’s programs, like building specially adapted smart homes for severely disabled vets and bringing military families to Disney World.


Dark matter, Bianary stars, and Frank Zwicky


from wikipedia: Frank Zwiky:

 Swiss astronomer. He worked most of his life at the California Institute of Technology in the United States of America, where he made many important contributions in theoretical and observational astronomy. In 1933, Zwicky was the first to use the virial theorem to infer the existence of unseen dark matter, describing it as "dunkle Materie".

and Wikipedia on the Zwiky transient facility:

The Zwicky Transient Facility is designed to detect transient objects that rapidly change in brightness, for example supernovae, gamma ray bursts, and collision between two neutron stars, and moving objects like comets and asteroids.

for example: here is one of their headlines: Zwicky Transient Facility Nabs Several Supernovae a Night

and then there is this as an example:

Artwork • February 7th, 2019 Artwork showing a pair of white dwarfs in orbit around each other with an accretion disk. This illustrates what happens when one star begins to siphon material off its partner. The white dwarf stars are similar in size to earth but they are 200,000 times more dense. ZTF is well-suited to detect binary star systems like this one.

Credit: CalTech

Black History story of the week


part two

part three

part four

Generations have been enthralled by Alexandre Dumas' characters, especially the wronged hero in The Count of Monte Cristo and the daring swordsmen in The Three Musketeers. Yet few realize that these memorable characters were inspired by Dumas' father, General Alex Dumas, the son of a French count and a black Haitian slave. Tom Reiss brings the elder Dumas alive with previously unpublished correspondence and meticulous research, providing the context necessary to understand how exceptional his life as a mulatto general in a slave-owning empire truly was. From single-handedly holding a bridge in the Alps against 20 enemies to spending years held captive in a fortress, Alex Dumas is a fascinating character that not even his son's vivid imagination could have dreamed up. --Malissa Kent

Headlines below the fold

the russia Russia RUSSIA collusion story seems to be imploding, and now a big shot from the FBI admitted they tried to oust Trumpie boy for firing an FBI director who should have been fired years before for the Anthrax kerfuffle, let alone stopping investigation why Hillary's emails were on Weiner's computer  but never mind.

you mean all those conspiracy theories about the deep state trying to destroy Trumpieboy that were discussed on late night radio shows were true? Who wudda thot.

I'm so old I remember when people used to trust the FBI. Sigh. Lots of good people there (they worked crime on the "res" for example).

As for the wall: Instapundit quotes Brian York's tweet that there are 31 other states of emergency out there, mostly by previous presidents so what's the big deal?

hmmm...what are these other "states of emergency"? Anyone? anyone? don't ask me: I've been too busy to keep up on the news.

Dilbert comments:

  • We watched congress fail right in front of us on wall committee
  • Proposed bill has at least 2 problems per Conservatives
    • 1. Loophole allowing kids to grant adult open door
    • 2. Local cities could block barriers in their vicinity
  • Cartels are buying local officials…and they’ll have a voice on wall?
    • Brandon Darby (border security expert) says it’s happening
  • The cartels will decide if there should be local U.S. wall impeding them
    • Could congress possibly be THAT stupid?
  • \
why, yes.

But has the MSM noticed this? or noticed the cartels paid off the politicians in Mexico? Or noted the tens of thousands of murders there by drug cartels? Or noticed there are more dead of drug overdoses than shooting? Or noticed that the drug overdoses are of street drugs originating in China and smuggled in by the drug cartels in Mexico, not from physicians prescriptions?

ha. Mafia/professional criminals who pay off politicians/policemen is a routine plot in Hollywood films. Is Hollywood only making such things up, or am I missing something?


Speaking of medicine: The FDA will okay ketamine for depression.

I've used a lot of it for anesthesia, both in the USA before the problems of nightmare were realized (usually for short procedures like setting broken arms) and later in Africa (it doesn't depress respiration when used for anesthesia so if you use the floor scrubber to give your anesthesia under your direction, it is safe... true story).

but it went out of favor in the US because it induced terrible nightmares in some people.

Ironically, one very good treatment for depression, electroshock therapy, was overused so is now not used although life saving, so I suspect a similar problem will develop here.

And then you have those who hate Prozac etc. which also works.

again, it is over used. and I have seen some of the "resistant" cases of depression are because the issues behind the depression are not being discussed, often anger or unforgiveness. Sigh.

And by the way: Even before anti depressants were available, it was well known that patients suicide risk was higher as they came out of the depression: which is why the risk of suicide or acting out violently usually happens as prozac starts to bring them out of depression.


JAMA says hello rationing.

Figures. Their "ethical" and health care planners are all for efficiency above caring for patients.

For example, will we ration based on age, say, by disallowing heart surgery coverage for 80-year-old patients regardless of the individual’s ability to benefit from such care?
sounds like my mother: when I asked the Cardiac surgeon why he recommended a bypass for her, he was surprised she was 80, and noted that physiologically she was younger. Indeed, she lived ten more year after the surgery, driving her own car until she was 85.
(Remember President Obama telling a woman, whose 100-year-old mother was successfully treated with a pace maker, that sometimes we just have to tell the elderly they are better off “taking the pain killer”?)
that is the equivalent of the Governor of Virginia saying they wouldn't revive or treat babies if the parents didn't want them treated.

There is a difference between rejecting treatment that won't help or that is unwanted (e.g. chemotherapy or feeding tube) and not treating someone with the aim to kill of the useless person because it costs too much.
Or, will we decide that rationing will be based on “quality of life,” as is done in the “quality adjusted life year” (QALY) system — pushed notably by the New England Journal of Medicine — which medically discriminates against the elderly and people with disabilities?

remember how they ridiculed Sarah Palin for saying they would be having death panels? She was right.
Will health-care rationing increase the pressure to legalize assisted suicide? I believe that many in the medical intelligentsia and bioethics would be fine with that.
yes, which explains why my patients (mainly minorities) in the US were so sceptical when doctors advised signing a DNR order or stopping treatment. They often refused extraordinary treatment to die at home, but were suspicious if you pushed it on them.

what is going on with Brexit?
nobody knows.

 latest BBC story.


war against the press in the Philippines: Rappler reporter is under fire for both tax evasion and libel.

I read Rappler all the time, and it has excellent articles. Like all newspapers here it has a known bias.

However, one does have to note that this article notes that Rappler is "foreign funded".

Two of the biggest broadsheets, the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star, the two TV networks ABS-CBN and GMA7, and the foreign-funded Rappler website have been especially relentless in portraying Metro Manila as having been turned into a killing field of the innocents. 

Rappler took money from this group, link2

place CIA conspiracy theory here.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Cows again

since we don't have cows here (although before a typhoon wrecked the chicken houses, we did have a small broiler chicken business), I can't discuss the pros and cons.

But Freakonomics has a nice discussion here.


long and worth a read considering all the 'AIN'T IT AWFUL' propaganda out there they try to clarify the issue from all sides.

they also discuss veggie burgers. Since they use GMO heme, the radical greens don't like that either.

they also discuss big food investing in lab grown meat.

it comes down to two ways to see the problem:
The two poles are represented by what Mann calls, in his latest book, The Wizard and the Prophet. The prophet sees environmental destruction as a problem best addressed by restoring nature to its natural state. The wizard, meanwhile, believes that technology can address environmental dangers.

of course, being the prophet lets you feel self righteous and better than the scum of the earth who like hamburgers, and being a wizard means hard work, but never mind.

Forget Cow fats: It's the rice stupid

Which is worse? Rice paddies that produce methane or cows that fart?

we used to be told Cows produced 4 percent of global warming (but now estimates say three times that much. Make up your mind).

traditional rice paddy cultivation produces methane. 

UKIndependent  2.5 percent of global warming is caused by growing rice because of rotting weeds etc. in the paddies produce methane.

or maybe not: like all those global warming articles, the percentages vary greatly from article to article because they are estimates based on limited data.

so the experts devised a newer "dry" methods (using intermittant flooding) cut methane production. but now they found it produces Nitrous oxide, which is an even more potent green house gas.

from Xinhuanet:

The investigators measured greenhouse gas emissions from rice farms across southern India and found that nitrous oxide emissions from rice can contribute up to 99 percent of the total climate impact of rice cultivation at a variety of intermittently flooded farms. These emissions contributed substantially to global warming pollution, far more than the estimate of 10 percent previously suggested by multiple global rice research organizations, according to the study.
Italics mine.

so is rice contributing 2.5 percent, 10 percent or more? Who knows.

UKMail has an easier article that explains it all.

Methane and nitrous oxide emissions were measured at rice farms in India Experts examined two methods of water and organic matter management in use Intermittent flooding lead to up to 45 times more nitrous oxide being emitted The findings raise the prospect that rice farming worldwide is responsible for up to twice the level of climate change as had been thought

the dry method planted seeds instead of transplanting seedlings into the flooded paddies. Fine. Less global warming? or maybe not.

But what they are ignoring is seeds take more time to sprout. That is why we only plant two crops a year: Summer crop using seedlings, and the winter crop by planting seeds.

But if you plant seedlings and use lots of fertilizer, you can get three crops a year, as they do in  places like VietNam.

the way you prepare rice fields is you flood them and then plow and plow the weeds under (using a water buffalo or nowadays, a "handplow", sort of a large roto tiller like machine). You plant the rice seedlings by hand. (although they do have rice planting machines nowadays, we don't use them here yet).

 the flooding kills and keeps down weeds (which can't sprout: which is why you need to plant seedling into the flooded fields).

here, we use seedlings for the main crop and seeds for the less important "winter" crop, which needs irrigation.

And the dry method means you have to use more artificial fertilizer and herbicides to control weeds.

however, we are now using the alternating wet/dry method on some of our fields in order to keep down irrigation costs.

 we grow organic rice but usually use a mechanical thresher and have started cutting the rice with machinery on some of our fields.LINK

we still have a waterbuffalo for one wet field, but there are fewer now than when we moved here: They are now encouraging waterbuffalo for milk and dairy products.


Thursday, February 14, 2019

The church of green

Since I'm trolling the Pope, here's another article from a right wing blog: that translates an article from a Brazilian newspaper that is behind their new populist president (populist as in "extreme right wing fascist", or "Trump like" and says the upcoming "Amazon" meeting is to push married priests and liberation theology/green religion.

The "priest" part is because priests are few in that area (true) but excuse my cynicism if I think this is mainly a "wedge" to get married and eventually women priests. Personally, deacons and lay catechists already do a lot of the work of priests in both the US and the third world. So ordaining them after so many years? I wouldn't have a problem (the Eastern Catholics allow married men to become priests, but do not allow priests to marry).

But this is not really their agenda: It is to modernize the church into Anglican lite, to make it a NWO religion of mush by replacing Jesus with the green religion and the religion of radical gender theory.

but in Brazil they face a small problem: The people may not be with them.

The Amazon Synod is pushing, as the intelligence report shows, the intention of the world Church to install a new "other", "second" priesthood, the secular political dimension to score also by social and environmental statements in the left-liberal mainstream, but also an intra-Brazilian dimension of political explosiveness.
it was organized by leftist bishops who loved ex president Lula (who was convicted of stealing a lot of money but never mind).

This is how it works:

first it points out the problem of outsiders who push the meme "indigenous people of the Amazon" distorts who lives there, in order to preserve all the mineral and agricultural resources in the Amazon back into what they see is a pristine garden of Eden (it wasn't by the way: Before disease killed most of the people there, it was a highly populated agricultural breadbasket.. those who live there now are essentially the "preppers" who survived the epidemics).

second, it ignores who actually lives there:

The state of Amazon spreads over a gigantic expanse of more than 1.5 million square kilometers, but is inhabited by only four million people. According to the Brazilian statistics office, only 0.1 percent of them refer to themselves as members of indigenous peoples.

ah but the "greens" envision an Eden like environment and lifestyle and insist we listen to the wisdom of the elders.

Well, partly true, except one suspects the elders/shamans sometimes become bullying tyrants who lord over their small clans... as to their "wisdom": true, harmony is stressed, but when their wisdom includes infanticide and kidnapping women and children so they can have extra wives so one needs to realize that not everything is wonderful.

The alternative? Join the main society, but that leads to alcoholism and depression, and "loss" of the cultures, something that overlooks that most of the actual people involved manage to assimilate.

so who "owns" the Amazon? The small tribes who are dying and being pushed out or assimilated, or the great majority of people in the country, many of whom are hard working poor of mixed race who want to support their families?

We have this problem in Mindanao: The indigenous were pushed out into the mountains by the Muslims and now the Christians have migrated into the empty areas and are outnumbering the Muslims: So who owns the land? And here, priests and ministers trying to protect the land and the traditional people are sometimes killed too, just like those doing this in the Amazon.

 but the key point is something that I stress is happening in South America, and the Philippines (and among Hispanics in the USA): That people are leaving the church of the political left to join a church where Jesus is Lord.
Bolsonaro is a Catholic, his wife is a free-church member. In the election campaign, the new president has relied mainly on the Protestant free churches. Behind it is a massive emigration movement from the Catholic Church to the Free Churches. The reason is the massive political and theological left pressure in the nation’s Catholic Church which has been developing for decades and has led to an alienation of the faithful from their Church.

actually, there is a need for environmentalist to push against greedy exploiters of the Amazon: For example, a major dam burst there a week or so ago and killed a lot of people and is poisoning the local water supply.  The same company had a dam collapse a few years ago: And both dams failed due to "liquifaction" meaning they shouldn't have been built there.

presumably the dam was substandard, meaning no one was keeping an eye on it, and in poor countries, this often means someone was gifted so they wouldn't insist in checking those expensive safety regulations.

or maybe they were just careless:

On the other hand, even the EPA carelessness allowed a major toxic spill in Colorado.

and earthquakes and flooding can cause dams to collapse too: a worry here in the Philippines after every typhoon that our irrigation dams will collapse (and the small ones often do).

but making environmentalism/keeping people living the old fashioned "green" lifestyle (aka keeping the poor in poverty) the core content of religion without balancing it with the idea that God gave resources for people to use is nonsense: the need is for wise use of resources, and stop corruption that lets the greedy get away with destroying the environment/ producing shoddy goods.

But apparently no one bothers to read all those bible verses condemning the corrupt/ those who take bribes/ those who steal land from the poor to get rich.