Sunday, March 31, 2019

Touchy Feely Uncle Joe

I guess working class candidate for president, Joe Biden is now finished, because a lady with ties to the Bernie campaign accused him of sniffing her hair.

heh. Joe Biden is not really taken seriously by anyone, hence the many many internet memes on the guy, including many photos of him touching young women like a boorish old uncle.

example: UKMail article from 2015.

Biden is stuck back in the 1970s, when everyone was "touchy feely", often embracing you and kissing you as a greeting, and if you pulled back, you were considered "frigid" or at least "unfriendly".

Definition of "Touchy Feely":
from The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved March 30, 2019 from

Touchy-feely openly expressing affection or other emotions, especially through physical contact. In its literal senses, touchy-feely is associated with the development in the 1960s and 1970s of encounter groups in which participants sought psychological benefit through close contact with one another. By the 1990s, the figurative use of the term was strongly established; it is often used to sum up the attitude implicit in the ‘caring nineties’ and the values of a New Age society.

my mother used to call this type of greeting "copping a free feel": and if it gets too strong, most of us knew how to accidentally kick the guy to send a message to back off.

But the "touchyfeely" stuff still is going on in some places.

Indeed, if you live in a "modern" friendly Catholic parish in the USA,  you frequently get manhandled in the midst of the mass in the name of being friendly.

this cartoon is from CTCatholicCorner:

Where do they go to get their lives back?

Raymond Donovan, after being declared innocent from a politically inspired court case, was quoted as saying: "Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?"

so a lot of the stuff going on in Washington makes one wonder: how many are being tricked into "perjury traps" and one even wonders if the scumbags who made money lobbying who probably deserve jail were prosecuted while others who did the same thing or worse were never investigated because of their "connections".

Instapundit links to a long detailed article at the Conservative Tree House about the various ways that a fake dossier was manipulated to take down Trumpieboy.

for later reading (I do have a life and other things to do).

But from a human rights perspective, the use of the CIA/FISA/ and FBI to spy on someone for political reasons is quite disturbing.

One would expect that the CIA would love Republicans (Bush Sr ran the CIA for example), but apparently things have changed with Trump: so is this why so many Democratic candidates in the midterm elections had CIA connections (something usually overlooked, in favor of publicizing the Socialist and Muslim "it girls)...

 I noted in earlier articles about the CIA manipulation of the elections here, and how Duterte, by putting his name in late in the election cycle, threw a monkey wrench into their plans (and here, his support came from ordinary folks: ads and social media propaganda doesn't work for tricycle drivers and farmers, who like Lolo figure they are all crooks and vote for the highest bidder, but Duterte's macho approach to crooks made him popular).

But when the CIA or FBI (or the IRS) get involved with influencing elections in the USA, it is a big story.

When Nixon used the IRS to "scrutinize" those on his enemy list, and paid CIA connected Cubans to break into the Watergate offices of the DNC, it resulted in his impeachment.

when during President Obama's administration, the IRS punished tea party groups, there was little outcry.

So when the CIA and others spied on Trumpieboy, no problem?

Silly me.

and when Scooter Libby, who had nothing to do with "outing" deskjockey Vallery Plame, ended up in jail, why was there no outcry, especially after the real name dropper (a Democrat) never got any punishment? This was a made up scandal too, but Bush was too polite to fight back.

Now, however, Trumpie boy tweets, and his tweets get attention.

But what was not done was actual obstruction or interference with the investigation, unless you think hurt feelings are a crime.

I don't know if it is true, but CT points out the overblow SWAT Team arrests of those on the periphery of the investigation was not because of terrible crimes but to try to provoke Trump to fire Muller so this could be spun into impeachment.

These actions, along with the MSM demonization of anyone associated with Trump, not to mention open attacks on Trump supporters in public places, is even more ominous.

Essentially, ordinary folks with ordinary lives will avoid taking a job for fear of their own and their family's safety.


So who is the first Democrat going to say: Wait a second?

Well it works until one scans the headlines

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Bananas take three: Turon

Bananas take two

hate someone?

Play this video very loudly when they are around.


Banana Republic: When big business attacks


go to 2:20 to hear about Bananas and why we call places banana republics.


Please Don't kiss the Hedgehog

So that's why Sebastian was sick:

NYTimes reports: don't kiss your hedgehog, says the CDC, because you might get Salmonella.

and not just hedgehogs:
Hedgehogs are hardly the only pet known to spread disease. Pet reptiles are most commonly associated with passing salmonella to their owners, Dr. Sykes said. The same strain of the salmonella bacteria has also been associated with pet rodents and frogs, according to the C.D.C. And different strains of salmonella have been linked to pet bearded dragons, geckos, guinea pigs and turtles.

yeah. I had a patient who caught it from her pet turtle (from cleaning the aquarium and then not washing her hands enough to kill the germ).

Bye Bye Trolls

Follow up on my previous post about Rappler vs Duterte. where Ressa complained about being trolled on the social media and suggested this to a Washington Think tank

Ressa demanded that social media platforms like Facebook impose new algorithms that prioritize what she calls “traditional media” — referring presumably to outlets like her own.

so guess what happened?  From the Inquirer:

Facebook takes down 200 accounts linked to former Duterte social media strategist
Around 200 Facebook pages, accounts and groups operating in a network built by communications strategist Nicanor Gabunada Jr. have been taken down for taking part in a “coordinated and inauthentic behavior,” Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy said on Friday. According to Nathaniel Gleicher, 67 Facebook pages, 68 accounts, 40 groups and 25 Instagram accounts were banned from the social media platform. 
I guess the Pinoy equivalent of "deplorables" has to do fake accounts: because the opposition is well organized and is able to coordinate a thousand genuine minions to post the latest lament.

not my business. Here, the real problem is not facebook trolls hurting the feelings of lovely young reporters who oppose the president,  but the danger of actual hit jobs against local politicians before the upcoming local elections.


update: from Chronicles Via TeaAtTrianon:

this is discussing the nevertrumpers in the USA, and guess who is there?

In just listing the various initiatives and projects taken up by Omidyar, it is dizzying to contemplate the resources available to the other wings of the oligarchical alliance. George Soros can meet and match Omidyar, but there are several other contestants in this globalist philanthropy competition. In the end, the bill must come to at least a billion dollars. These billionaires have more resources, in many cases, than many governments—and are, potentially, just as dangerous as any full-fledged state.
Italics mine.

nothing new of course: That is where we get the phrase "banana republic".

Friday, March 29, 2019

Omidyar vs Duterte (and Trump)

One of the big stories here in the Philippines is that the head of Rappler, Ms Ressa, was arrested on arrival at the Manila airport.

She and her cyber news site is quite good, but they are actively trying to get rid of Duterte, and of course, this arrest will make the heads of all the SJW mob explode.

I'd feel sorry for her, since her site does excellent reporting, except for one little problem: Rappler is partly funded by an American millionaire, Pierre Omidyar, and that is forbidden by local law. (foreigners can't own any businesses)...

 but what is worse is their shenanigans trying to hide this: they transferred the investment funding to local managers to get around the law... but they forgot they would have to pay income tax on that gift).

But the foreign money given to Rappler doesn't stop there: according to the Manila Times, Omidyar is even paying Ressa's bail.

Duterte is not pretending he is sorry about finding she broke the law: He has openly stated that Rappler is a CIA front  trying to remove him from office, which of course the Rappler "fact checkers" call a lie.

(Rappler is big in catching his "inaccurate statements": Yet many of these lies are hyperbole/irony of typical Filipino humor and often taken out of context. Most locals recognize this as humor, but hey, if you take them at face value, they are "lies", and if this sounds familiar, it is because a similar tactic is used against Trumpieboy's humorous "tweets").

So is there a CIA connection? The late and greatly beloved Mariam Santiago said about the last presidential election that it was between the CIA candidate and the communist one. Duterte has connections with the NPA, (and the MILF for that matter),  and hates the CIA for personal reason, but it was an open secret that the "American girl" was not only the illegitimate daughter of a famous family here, but probably had CIA ties. LINK2

so the CIA is unhappy with Duterte in charge of the Philippines?. ..So would they actually undermine his presidency? Of course not.

But it's not like CIA fronts have never done this before, even in the recent past.

that "LINK2" I posted above is open source investigations that noted how the CIA manipulated other elections in foreign countries, including how the CIA manipulated the Ukrainian elections in 2004:

In the 2004 presidential election in Ukraine, CIA supported the pro-US candidate Viktor Yushchenko. Born Catherine Claire Chumachenko, Viktor Yushchenko’s wife was a US citizen who had worked at the White House during the Reagan administration. Several US governmental agencies and private organizations contributed millions of dollars to Yushchenko’s campaign.
hmm... "private organizations"? 

the uberleft wing site counterpunch names names:

The Western intervention in Ukraine has now led the region to the brink of war. Political opposition to government of President Viktor Yanukovych — a corrupt and thuggish regime, but as with so many corrupt and thuggish regimes one sees these days, a democratically elected one — was funded in substantial part by organizations of or affiliated with the U.S. government, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (a longtime vehicle for Washington-friendly coups), and USAID. It also received substantial financial backing from Western oligarchs, such as billionaire Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay and sole bankroller of the new venue for “adversarial” journalism, First Look, as Pandodaily reports.
Italics mine.

the more mainstream USAToday article discusses Omidyar and his media group influence, insisting that having a millionaire fund opposition news papers doesn't matter, because after all, they don't interfere with the reporters and they do good reporting.

except, of course, when they hire reporters with a known agenda. Facts are facts, but how you report them and what you chose to report and what you choose to leave out of the story does matter (this is called "spin")

Here we get into conspiracy theories: is his money manipulating governments a CIA plot, or is he just a good guy trying to fund other good guys in the white hats? (yes I'm being sarcastic).

CovertGeoPolitics site article discusses:
Pierre Omidyar’s Funding of Pro-Regime-Change Networks with CIA Cutouts Rappler, etc.
To Omidyar it’s … about … integrating things together to give technocrats, business executives and government officials a God’s-eye view of the world — to manage and control society more efficiently.” — Yasha Levine, author of “Surveillance Valley: The Military History of the Internet”
 and deep inside the article they discuss Rappler and Ressa:

In the Philippines, Rappler has dedicated itself to ousting President Rodrigo Duterte, a demagogic politician whose inflammatory rhetoric and occasional entreaties to Russia and China have spawned anxiety in Washington.
Duterte’s allies have struck back at the outlet, accusing it in court of violating the Philippine constitution with its foreign support. ....... Educated at Princeton, Ressa maintains powerful American allies. Just hours after her arrest and release, the Omidyar Network and the Omidyar-funded CPJ rustled up a $500,000 legal defense fund for Ressa. Last October, Ressa appeared at the NATO-backed Atlantic Council’s Stratcom conference in Washington to detail what she described as a concerted campaign of legal intimidation and online trolling by supporters of Duterte.... 
oh no! not the Trolls! (/s)

Before the think-tank audience, Ressa demanded that social media platforms like Facebook impose new algorithms that prioritize what she calls “traditional media” — referring presumably to outlets like her own.
yes. Because she is for freedom of the press, except when the stories don't agree with the agenda.

as for Omidyar, the discussion includes his organizational links with a lot of other groups (yes, the usual suspects are there: Soros' Open Society, the Clinton foundation, and NBM are mentioned... NBM has also funded Rappler).

And it notes these groups are quietly working for regime change elsewhere, such as in Syria and Zimbabwe (heh. I support this, but hey, what gives you the right to do this?)

the dirty little secret is not that there seems to be links between the US Deep state and tech millionaires manipulating politics in other countries by influencing reporting, but that the MSM is not reporting it.

And of course, the other dirty little secret is that a lot of other folks including Russia and China do it too... even Jack Ma is doing the same thing with his money...

and one note of caution: this type of media manipulation is not limited to a third world country like the Philippines.

American Greatness headline:

No Collusion: Omidyar-Backed NeverTrumpers Hardest Hit
read the whole thing.

Soft pretzel recipe

Hard pretzels have a long shelf life, but soft pretzels do no.

So how can you make some at home? Recipe here.

the trick? you let them rise first and then boil them for a few minutes before you bake them.

how do you eat them? We always ate them with a little bit of mustard on top, but you can also break them apart and dip them into cheeze sauce.

The best soft pretzels come from Philadelphia: History here.

Philadelphia soft pretzels are unique because of their shape (a tight figure-eight rather than a large loop with a twisted center and skinny ends) and their texture (chewy rather than crunchy). ...
Pretzels were originally invented in Italy as far back as 610 AD, where the earliest reports state that Italian monks used the pretiolas, or “little rewards,” to encourage their pupils to study harder. Soon, the popularity of these treats spread to Austria and Germany, where they became known as bretzels. When the Pennsylvania Dutch immigrated to the United States, they – unsurprisingly – brought their favorite snack with them.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Stories behind the news

Austin Bay on the National Security impact of the Muller investigations.

he notes how the president could compartmentalize the kerfuffle so it didn't harm national security:
...thanks to Trump's ability to focus, at the operational level I don't think American national security has suffered much. World leaders, whether friendly or adversarial, see Trump as an American president willing to act and use America's vast powers with savvy.

However, it did have national security implications against the civil rights of American citizens.

Hard evidence exists that a serious national security crime was committed during the election and early 2017. Trump and his campaign were spied upon, not by foreign adversaries but by America's security agencies. Moreover, criminals in these agencies colluded with media compadres to mislead the American people.
The security agency corruption and media collusion produced a cold, hard totalitarian horror committed in and against America, the world's paramount democracy.

Via Instapundit:

  Trump orders plan to protect against EMP attack.

Officials have warned for years that the electric grid is not safe from an EMP attack — either one from a solar flare or a nuclear attack from countries with EMP weapons, including Iran, North Korea, China and Russia. A congressional report warned that an EMP attack on the East Coast would kill 90 percent of those in the area over a year due to the lack of food, money, fuel, electricity, and medical care.
and not just an act of war: Solar flares can damage the grid too:

 like the 1989 solar flare that took out Quebec's electric grid...


Cardinal Daneels who just died was not just a force behind the "st gallens mafia" that conspired to elect Pope Francis, but he was also one of the big shots behind a plot trying to change church teachings by a slight of hand in the 2015 synod on the family.

But has anyone noticed how he might have promoted pedophilia in many ways?

GetReligion has the story and links.

Caution: Strong stuff there in a "sex ed" manual that normalized child sex a la Kinsey.


Ah, the good old 1970s and 1980s.....And I am old enough to remember this was also the position of the German "green" party, being pushed by certain experts in the UK, and we as medical students in the early 1970s were told it was normal and good, not to mention that California essentially decriminalized "non violent" sex offense by refusing to jail the perverts, which resulted in some very terrible crimes and a backlash... and the present day emphasis on keeping them in jail and watching them when released. 2007 article in the NYTimes discusses the problem.

when you read about African or Islamic countries who put Homosexuals to death, in many cases you are overlooking that these laws are about pederasty and sexual exploitation of children of both sexes, not about quiet consensual adult relationships.

Herodatus was again proven correct: this time about boat construction techniques in ancient Egypt.

News you can use

----------- yes this is a satire. Adams is the cartoonist behind Dilbert.

behold the power of eggs

 the Librivox audiobook of the week to put you to sleep is a recipe book: the many ways for cooking eggs.

or read it on line.

this is interesting: if you like Eggs Benedict, here is the recipe on how to make Hollandaise sauce.

    3 tablespoonfuls of butter
  1/2 pint of boiling water
    2 tablespoonfuls of flour
  1/2 teaspoonful of salt
    1 dash of pepper
Rub two tablespoonfuls of butter and the flour together, add the boiling water, stir until boiling, add the salt and pepper; take from the fire, add the remaining tablespoonful of butter and it is ready for use. It must not be boiled after the last butter is added.
Make English drawn butter and add to it, when done, the yolks of two eggs beaten with two tablespoonfuls of water; cook until thick and jelly-like, take from the fire and add one tablespoonful of tarragon vinegar or the juice of half a lemon.

and much lower down, the recipe for Eggs Benedict:

Separate two eggs. Break the yolks, add a cupful of milk, a half teaspoonful of salt, one and a half cupfuls of flour and a tablespoonful of melted butter. Beat well, add two level teaspoonfuls of baking powder and fold in the well-beaten whites. Bake on a griddle in large muffin rings. Broil thin slices of ham. Make a sauce Hollandaise. Chop a truffle. Poach the required number of eggs. Dish the muffins, put a square of ham on each, then a poached egg and cover each egg nicely with sauce Hollandaise. Dust with truffle and serve at once.

or you could go to Youtube and watch how to do it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Kissing rings and "mano po"

I am an American, and the reason a lot of our ancestors moved to the USA was because we objected to royalty and rich people bossing us around.

so no, we yanks don't bow before kings and princes, so don't see what's the fuss with this kerfuffle about kissing the Pope's ring:

From AnnAlthouse:

Pope Francis jerks his hand away from people trying to kiss his ring. He seems to think it's funny, his withdrawal of consent to this old-time practice:
the Catholic blogs see this as a political statement: as a subtle way of making the church egalitarian, so that they can replace the traditions and doctrines. Althouse, a non believer, links to John Allen at the wapo and here is a link by the ubertraditional Father Z.

However, I see it as ignorance and a disrespect for the cultural practices of older Italians, who see it as a sign of respect for his office (not his person).

And the Pope's aggressive rejection of their respect as a cultural faux pas at best, and maybe even could be seen as a rejection of themselves as unworthy or inferior.

In family oriented cultures, showing respect to your superior is not degrading but emphasizes respect for mutual ties of respect and responsibility between family members, and there are various ways that the cultures shows this respect.

which brings us to the equivalent of kissing the Pope's ring: the Philippine custom of "Mano Po".

"Mano po" is the way one shows respect to one's elders (including the priest), and is still common in our rural town.

From the Phil Inquirer:

This is the season for “mano po”—a traditional Filipino gesture to honor our elders by bowing to them or pressing one’s forehead on their offered hand. The person giving respect may say “mano po” (literally, “your hand, please”) to the elder to initiate the gesture, while the elder normally responds with “God bless you” or a silent blessing on the person giving respect. ...
Beyond Christmas, we also do it with our elders upon leaving or coming home, or upon seeing them after some absence. Catholics do it at the end of a Mass or family prayer, and is especially done to a priest or bishop as a gesture of respect and subservience. It’s not only children or young people who do it, as any elder or anyone to whom respect is due, whether older or younger than us, is considered worthy of the gesture.  
and here is a short funny film that shows how it is done here:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Latest news about West Philippine sea

no it's not the South China sea: it is far from China.

It is the West Philippine sea

and here is the latest discussion about the area from SP:

they start with noting the problem of corruption in China, including in the military. Then they go on about China's bullying nearby countries.

and although Duterte is a friend of China, the Philppines has taken China back to the International court for "war crimes" of destroying the environment there.

China’s systematic plan to take over the disputed waters, they said, has deprived Filipino fishermen of their livelihood even within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, and could bring about a fisheries collapse and serious food shortage among other countries also claiming parts of the South China Sea. These, they said, constitute crimes against humanity that are within the jurisdiction of the ICC.
It remains to be seen whether the ICC will take up the novel test case, and China is by no means going to be rattled by it. Yet the Del Rosario-Morales case may already score on moral grounds, as it further emphasizes China’s image as an Asian bully and the Duterte administration’s spineless handling of Beijing’s repeated violations of Philippine sovereignty and interests.

Read more: Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

Shiboleth, gaslighting, and the way back machine

There is an old bible story on how enemy soldiers trying to infiltrate Jewish lines were identified when they were asked to say the word Shiboleth. LINK

The purpose of a shibboleth is exclusionary as much as inclusionary: A person whose way of speaking violates a shibboleth is identified as an outsider and thereby excluded by the group.
this word is used in reference to how one pronounces a word, but subtle cultural differences also can be used to identify a person's background: Subtle things like how far away they stand when they talk to you, or how they hold their knife and fork.

in reference to Trumpieboy, one might say the elites quickly dismissed him as an "outsider" by his Queens accent: a subtle thing that might not be noticed for those who live outside the USA. Queens is a New York Borough where the middle class and working class live: in contrast to parts of Manhattan where the elites live.

Yet interestingly, although Trumpieboy talks like a New York City construction worker, he always dresses in expensive suits with a tie..

 Note this photo from a Time magazine article from 2016 but the photo is from 1980 showing him at the demolition site where he planned to build Trump tower:

Trump has been known in the USA for 30 years, mainly in tabloids and then on TV. But he always dresses immaculately in expensive suits.

So when it came to the Steele dossier, the inclusion of "peepee" allegations was unbelievable: because as Trump insisted: He has a fetish for being clean.

and if this allegation was obviously made up, why should anyone have trusted the rest of the dossier?

so why didn't the press notice this?

uh, maybe because they are biased. Or maybe it's because the press lacks diversity of background, religion, and political opinion?

So now the entire fantasy has been destroyed by the Muller report: 

The full Muller report is not available officially (or as Diplomad 2.0 blog observes: Now, of course, only a handful of people have seen the full report, well, if you don't count the 13,567 Russian, Romanian, Chinese, Iranian, and Israeli hackers--and Julian Assange--who have it . . .) and it's not yet on the Pirate Bay, but you can read the official summary HERE.

Instapundit links to lots of stories about what could very well be a conspiracy to remove the president by the opposition party using federal law enforcement. And it looks like they will not stop but will double down on their effort.

Well that's politics: And why most Americans despise politicians who put political power and personal wealth above the good of the country.

see my earlier post about gaslighting: expect the press and the Democrats to quickly start changing the story and saying: Who do you believe? Me or your lying eyes?

the main problem? With the internet, all you have to do is google and voila, you have the older story as published. (and don't forget about the Wayback machine).

Monday, March 25, 2019

Family news

Today's the 4th anniversary of my husband's death so I went out and bought flowers for his grave.

It is also Joy's birthday, and she requested I check for nice pants she can wear to work at the "ukay ukay" (used clothing) kiosks at the Palenke. I found four in fairly good condition but we will have to see if they fit her, and probably shorten them (she is quite short).

She usually tries them on when she shops, but I figure at 75 pesos ($1.50) each, we can give them to the poor or the staff if they don't fit.

If you read all those articles lamenting how American used clothing is underselling local businesses, well, it is true: But the dirty little secret is that "new" (and fashionable but shoddy) clothing from China is almost as cheap.

If you want good clothing, you buy the cloth, and have a tailor make it for you, which is what Kuya finally had to do because all the used pants/jeans in his size were too shoddy to wear except around the house.

However, I do buy him polo type shirts at one Muslim lady's shop: today while buying for Joy, I found a Lands End one for him, costing 2 dollars and almost new, so I bought it even though he doesn't need any right now.

When I find clothing or shoes that seem to fit me, I often buy even if I don't need them right away because it's hard to find things that fit. Right now, I am wearing tan shoes I bought two years ago, but didn't wear a lot because my good black shoes were still in good shape., until they fell apart (and the puppies ate them) two months back.

Today is Palenke day, when vendors from all over come and sell stuff cheaply.

in other news: Both Joy and Chano are in Manila for a meeting of rice growers/sellers with the gov't agri department. So I am alone with the staff.

And with three old dogs, three half grown puppies, one small puppy and her mom, and sometimes the male dog from next door visiting to see if any of our females are in heat.

the half grown puppies have stopped eating shoes after a few corrections, (and keeping the shoes too high for them to find) but they are now up half the night barking at the traffic, both on foot and in the street.

The main Palenke is three blocks away, but on Palenke day, they set up kiosks in the middle of the street and parking areas at the plaza one block down from us. They start setting up shop in the evening and sleep there, or set up shop early in the morning, ofteh parking in front of our house, so the dogs were very noisy last night. I finally put them inside the house so I could get some sleep.

Hence the two previous blog essays being posted in the middle of the night.

Cruise ship now safe in port

The cruise ship that lost it's engine in a storm escaped disaster and has made port.

AL J story with photos.

900 taken off by helicopter, the rest were safe when they made port. Why the evacuation?

"It was very nearly a disaster. The ship drifted to within 100 metres of running aground before they were able to restart one of the engines," police chief Hans Vik, who heads the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway, told the TV2 broadcaster. "If they had run aground we would have faced a major disaster." 

and yes, it made news here. Many of the crew members were Filipinos.

163 Filipino crew members of stranded cruise ship are safe Read more: Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

morality and religion and ancient societies

Live Science has an article noting how "vengeful gods" i.e. the idea that a deity will punish you if you do evil, is an ancient idea, not just in the Bible, and notes how it worked in ancient societies.

All in all, "our research suggests that religion is playing a functional role throughout world history, helping stabilize societies and people cooperate overall," Savage said.
"In really small societies, like very small groups of hunter-gatherers, everyone knows everyone else, and everyone's keeping an eye on everyone else to make sure they're behaving well. Bigger societies are more anonymous, so you might not know who to trust."
At those sizes, you see the rise of beliefs in an all-powerful, supernatural person watching and keeping things under control, Savage added. "We are not saying anything about the value of religion," Savage added. "We are not saying it is good or bad, but we are saying it has a deep and consistent relationship with societies throughout world history. Religion is deeply intertwined with what it means to be human, for better and for worse."

Way Back Machine: Climate change

FYI: Librivox has an audio version of a Climate change report from 1975.

Understanding Climatic Change - A Program for Action is a 1975 report by the US Committee for the Global Atmospheric Research Program. Already at this time, it was understood that a climate change was taking place, and that it was possibly happening due to human influences. The report gives an overview of past climates, a projection of future climate; it talks about state-of-the-art simulations and lays out a plan for future research and action. (summary by Ava)

pdf version here.

no, I haven't listened to it, and probably won't. Not much I can do about it: I already live pretty "green", except for my air conditioner.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Muller time part 2: The system worked

Historian V D Hanson has an article from last month about the autopsy of a dead coup.

The illegal effort to destroy the 2016 Trump campaign by Hillary Clinton campaign’s use of funds to create, disseminate among court media, and then salt among high Obama administration officials, a fabricated, opposition smear dossier failed.
So has the second special prosecutor phase of the coup to abort the Trump presidency failed. There are many elements to what in time likely will become recognized as the greatest scandal in American political history, marking the first occasion in which U.S. government bureaucrats sought to overturn an election and to remove a sitting U.S. president.
read the whole thing.

and the real scandal is that much of the MSM collaborated with them. 

But ironically, the Muller report shows that the system worked.

presumably the MSM and the Democrats will change the subject, or else regroup and reattack, but I suspect a lot of Americans are just as tired of the drum beat echo chamber and ignore them.

Related item: I'm not the only one thinking of Ferris Bueller: PJMedia on Muller memes.

there hasn't been this much disappointment of a highly touted TV/Cable news story that went kerplunk since Geraldo opened Al Capone's vault.

Mueller? Mueller?

the Mueller investigation has ended, and...


Friday, March 22, 2019

Let's boogie

Philippine news

Burma is producing a lot of meth, and gangsters from both China and Taiwan is behind it's spread.

some of it is coming here, 

heck, Duterte notes even the Colombian cartels are around.

and Chinese nationals are arrested when they raid meth labs.

 Lately there have been a lot of stories about illegal Chinese working here, taking jobs that locals need, and so there is a growing resentment of Chinese indirect aggression via business and financial shenanigans.

Lolo fought against the Japanese, but didn't hate them: who he really hated were the Chinese who came in, married a local lass, and started businesses and only helped each other, keeping locals out from these opportunities. Which is why most of our family now lives in Chicago (and London).

How this works is lines of trust:as described in Francis Fukuyama's book:Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity

In the US, you net work via clubs and churches, and know you can trust people in them. In Asia, you only trust relative so limit opportunities for outsiders.

Ironically, the church ties in the Protestant community are another way to network: Ruby's school arranged her to get a scholarship in a Canadian high school, for example, and Joy is helping them select students for next year, and Joy networks with other Christian businessmen in our rice business.

This phenomenon is also found in Latin America.

Too bad the Pope hasn't noticed: he's too busy preaching about saving mother gaia by turning off airconditioning than preaching honesty and hard work and responsibility.

Only Jordan Peterson seems to be doing that, and you see what it got him: Banned from a job in Cambridge because his opinions go against what their students believe.

Silly me: I thought universities were about learning lots of different opinions, but then, what do I know?


the Philippines is suing China in the ICC for human rights violations and environmental damage in the west Philippine sea.

they not only have destroyed the reefs with their artificial islands, but now they are sending "civilian" ships to harass our fishermen out of another area.

Xi and other Chinese officials allegedly committed crimes against humanity in implementing Beijing's "systematic plan to control the South China Sea." "The situation is both unique and relevant because it presents one of the most massive, near permanent and devastating destruction of the environment in humanity's history," the complainants said. "It adversely affects and injures not only myriad groups of vulnerable fishermen, including 320,000 Filipino fishermen, but also present and future generations of people across nations," the group said in a statement.
China is not a member of the ICC, and Duterte is withdrawing the Philippines from that court, so no one expects much help from the international law types here.

And Duterte says it won't make relations any worse.

China must really be pushing things, since Duterte hates the CIA and loves China, and yet he is now pushing back on their aggression, mainly because, unlike previous politicians, he loves the ordinary Filipino's welfare more than bribes.

presumably the western leftists will take China's line and accuse the US of aggression here.


don't look now, but Jolibee is opening a restaurant in Manhattan.

but hey, even the late Anthony Bourdain liked it.

heh. There is one down the street from us. Their hamburger is so-so, their fried chicken okay (similar to KFC)  but their spaghetti is great.  Local spaghetti has a sweet sauce (similar to spaghettios) and has hot dogs instead of sausage or ground beef in it, and cheddar cheese not Parmesan.

Kristin Lavransdatter

I was delighted that David Warren's essay today is a book review on the classic book Kristen Lavransdatter.

Kristen Lavransdatter is the story of a housewife in medieval times, but it is more than that: it shows a woman in a complex society coping with adversity, including a wayward husband and losing her home. I liked it, not only for the story, but because it is an easy way to learn about the culture. Unlike many "historical" novels, Kristen does not act or think like a modern woman. And in the background you learn many facts about daily life (they ate porridge?).

By thirty pages in, we are not only bathed in this exotic environment, but exposed more directly to hard facts of life that are ignored, today, until it is too late. We feel the winter cold and the demands made to survive it; we begin to understand that if the crops fail, we will starve. The consequence of every human action is amplified, in the absence of our “safety nets.” The politics which Undset depicts are personalized, not abstract and ideological: men of all classes take counsel of each other, not from lofty principles but out of necessity. The dependency of man on man, of woman on woman, of man on woman, and woman on man, was no parlour game. We are about as far as we can get from the fatuities and asininities of “human rights.” 

Here Warren explains why this very feminist novel is not something that is encouraged to be read in Women's studies: because Kristen, and all the other women, see themselves as part of a family:

Undset absolutely refuses to be shallow. She grew up as a feminist; her own mother had been by 1880 well ahead of the “sisterhood” today. Our authoress had written when quite young various feminist tracts, and short novels meant to be “contemporary” and alarming. In the face of reality, through the First World War, she had grown out of it.
And from her own difficult life, full of man problems, and children not only her own, she was in no possible doubt that women are moral agents in the fullest truth.
Not only most spectacularly in her protagonist, Kristin, or in Kristin’s mother Ragnfrid, or later her daughter-in-law Jofrid, but in the little galaxy of other characters through the passing scenes, the theme of motherhood is revolved.
Moreover, not only Kristin in the foreground, but other females in the story are wilful souls. As we will see, for better and for worse, they will not be shackled. In the relations between the women, Undset tackles issues that even our best woman novelists tend to ignore: because Undset’s women live also through their men, their sons and their daughters, and therefore through time in a way our post-family microwave life has forgotten. This does not diminish but enhances their place in the world.
he prefers the older translation to the more modern one by Nunnaly, as I also do: it is more poetic, and echoes the older Norse tone of the original, but if you prefer easier reading, the Nunnaly one is the way to start.

I have read both translations, and have two copies with me here: One I brought with me, which I bought as a used book and is falling apart... and then my stepdaughter who had been an exchange student in Denmark and loved the book, sent me copies of the newer translation as a gift. 

But more recently, I am listening to it on my tablet (which reads ebooks), and you know, listening gives you a different version too: because you have to pay attention to parts that often I skim through while reading: things like scenery, or cooking, or small things that you might skim through as unimportant, like the priest who at one of her father's parties started a fight when someone mentioned a rumor (this seemed to be just a normal quarrel showing priests got drunk back then, but 300 pages later you find the priest knew the rumor was about her mother, and he wanted to shut the guy up).

It's a long read-- it is a trilogy, split into the courtship, the marriage, and her life as a widow--- but if you don't have it at your library, you can download it at internet archives LINK or read it on line.

There was a movie made on the first book LINK which gives an idea of the scenery and clothing and follows the plot of the book.

But I was annoyed at the film: it is miscast and the post Freudian bias in the script distorts the characters as one dimensional sexually repressed people. The cultural background is left out, as are a lot of the nuances and backstory that give insight to the characters.

Kristen, who in the book is so beautiful and graceful that a lot of men fall in love with her and want to protect her, is presented as a self centered neurotic female, and her charming, clintonesque lover/husband is portrayed by someone who looks and acts dorky. What is worse, there is no sexual tension between the characters as portrayed on screen.

Her loving father, who correctly sees Kristen's choice of husband is a mistake, is made out as if he is just a nasty puritan, and religion? not there at all.

this is one book one wishes that NetFlix or the BBC would film as a miniseries.

but if you have time, read the book, and then re read it later. Like most classics, it  is a hard slog to get through, but is worth a couple of reads.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Green book: Fact vs Fiction

Floods: In our prayers (been there, done that)

The Midwestern USA is being inundated by the spring floods. Sigh. 

flooding of the Mississippi or the Missouri rivers happen every couple of years, so no, it's not from Global warming... the ecological disasters of the 1920s and 30s is forgotten, including the great Mississippi flood of 1927:

but this one is flooding a major AFBase, and parts of Omaha are being evacuated.

But hey, no problem: it's the Midwest and so who cares. (/sarcasm)

it's not just the Missouri/Mississippi rivers that cause floods, of course. We evacuated patients from Grand Forks and Fargo when the Red River of the North flooded North Dakota and NW Minnesota.

and, then there was the Johnstown flood of 1977, which affected other nearby towns.... although I didn't live in the area until years later, when I bought my house, I discovered why it was so cheap: it had been under 6 foot of water during the flood of 1977.... luckily the foundation was 8 feet high, so the house survived. And the guys in my National Guard unit remember how they helped with the rescues and supplied clean water for residents until the water was safe.

Here in the Philippines, the houses near the river flood every couple of years, but Lolo built the house on a foundation higher than street level, so we only flooded once since we moved here, when they opened a dam (without warning) to prevent it from over-topping and failing during one heavy storm system.

The neighbors sheltered in their second floor during the flood, as we did (with some other neighbors) but we let them park their cars in the meeting room, which only flooded up to six inches inside. 

However, during another typhoon that changed course resulted in Ruby and the driver being stranded at a gasoline station when the bridge about 20 miles south of here was flooded. They thought they were safe, until about 11 pm when the water started topping the wheels, so they took refuge in the Gas station's store, and a half hour later, the water started flooding the store so they sought refuge on the roof. Nearby, at least one man was drowned trying to wade through the water to get his tricycle out of the flood, alas: the river is downstream from the mountains and the current is swift...

third world floods are alas common and rarely get in the news.

Right now, there is flooding in Zimbabwe.

Ah yes. The year before I worked there, there had been a heavy rainy season, and one of our nuns was found convulsing and the roads and bridges were flooded...there was no physician at the 200 bed hospital at the time, so they called the physician at the next hospital, and she advised them to give her a shot of quinine for cerebral malaria, even though the blood test was negative (a common problem in diagnosing cerebral malaria). The area usually did not have malaria, but there had been some cases due to the unusually wet rainy season, so I never saw a case when I worked there, although I did see a lot of cases when I worked in Liberia, and got a light case myself.

Well, anyway, after three days, Sister was still in a coma, and the "high bridge" of the main road still under a foot of water, so they checked the maps and found a road far north that was upstream from the flooding, and evacuated her that way. And indeed it turned out to be cerebral malaria (the parasites were found in the bone marrow), and unlike many who die of this dreadful complication of malaria, she survived. without brain damage.

The last I heard she was busy running an HIV clinic in Harare that dictator Mugabe destroyed in his "slum clearances" which were done to punish neighborhoods that voted the wrong way.

Right now, in the Philippines, we have the opposite problem: Drought. It is "tag-Init" or the hot and dry season before the Monsoon comes in June, so our deep well is a bit sluggish and we have to supplement it with city water. 

Manila is having a major water shortage, and this Rappler article explains why: the high demand for water due to the population boom, but also because the dam supplying the water has low water levels. Diverting water resources from other dams might help in the future too.

I rarely visit Manila, but I know here, in the past ten years, the population has increased, the level of prosperity has increased, and there are many more businesses. Many of the rice fields just outside of town now have fancy houses, often built as a vacation house by Manila residents, but some are houses replacing their previous house as the returning overseas workers are coming home with money and want a decent house.

So blame Global warming, or blame increased population, or blame the increase in prosperity that means folks use more water per person, or blame the government for not anticipating the increased water need.

Oh well. Just wait and the monsoon will solve it all, complete with flooding.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Absurdity and conspiracy theories

More criticisms against those of us who are praying for the victims of the latest Mosque attack in New Zealand.

Because if we pray, presumably we are bigots, or maybe we are delusional?

And just ignore the murders in Nigeria last week, or the attack on Shiites in Pakistan. The PC will blame religion for these, while ignoring the 30 thousand murders by drug cartels in Mexico, because? Anyone? Anyone?

Because Trumpie boy wants a wall to keep out the thugs.

On the other hand, "only Nixon can go to China", and I suspect once the border is secure, Trumpie boy will start importing folks as guest workers and refuges., especially since unemployment is down.

But never mind: that king of thinking is found in "the art of the deal" but you won't find it on CNN or other propaganda sites.

It's an automatic reflex in the MSM to blame everything on Trumpieboy...

The mosque attack, of course, by a guy who admires China.

But now there are stories in the fake news sites that hints that the guy behind the attack visited the Balkans, Turkey and Pakistan.

False flag? wag the dog?

No just another paranoid schizophrenic, like Ted Kaczynski, complete with a long wordy illogical manifesto he wants to push, except he wants to start a race war in the USA? Huh?

evil is as evil does. And as Robert Frost wrote:

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

People don't realize that in prejudiced Oklahoma, my Okie patients told me that they told their Muslim neighbors they would hide them out if the authorities came for them

and of course, the Nigerian massacres of Christians don't get in the news, nor do the attacks on the Shiites by the Sunni affiliated terrorists.

in the meanwhile, good news for kittens: Senator Markley is trying to pass a law against killing kittens.

yup. A guy who voted not to allow life saving treatment to late abortion survivors will stop them from killing kittens.


Saturday, March 16, 2019


there is a lot of people discussing gaslighting:

wikipedia definition:

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity.

Psychology today article has details of how it works.

the term comes from this film, now on youtube for your watching pleasure...


Chinese Catholics betrayed?

DavidWarren discusses Ambassador Brownbeck's speech about the latest report on the China/Vatican accord on the Catholic church.

essentially it is allowing the government to take over the "underground church".

This betrayal is not a surprise: The Vatican German concordance back in Hitler's day was also betrayed, and the church persecuted anyway, but hey, it essentially stopped Catholics from complaining about it.

The government of China remembers history, and the rebellions enabled by sects (Buddhist, Muslim, and the pseudoChristian sect behind the Taiping rebellion), but from a human rights standpoint, this is a disaster for all believers, including libertarian atheists who don't follow the party line.'

presumably there won't be mass reeducation of Catholics as is being done to the Muslim populatino: so they will only risk individual persecution.

Council of Foreign relations essay on religion in China.
here is the part about the agreement:

Estimates of Catholic faithful in China range between ten million and twelve million. However, the Vatican and Beijing have not had formal diplomatic ties since Mao severed them in 1951. Since August 2014, Pope Francis has sought to thaw relations with China, which had strained further amid a dispute over who has the authority to appoint bishops. Typically, the authority to appoint senior Catholic clergy resides with the pope, following consultations among other high members of the Church. Beijing, however, has appointed a number of bishops without the approval of the papacy; moreover, a few Chinese bishops, primarily within underground house churches, have been self-nominated and self-approved.
In 2018, the two sides reached a provisional agreement that paved the way for a new process by which the Vatican would confirm candidates who have been put forth by Beijing. While it does not formally restore diplomatic relations, the agreement signals a possible change in Chinese policy on foreign interference in state religious affairs. The deal has stirred mixed feelings among Catholics within and outside China. Some favor the rapprochement, while others fear that the Vatican is effectively bowing to the Chinese government.

and from what is being reported, it sounds like the fears are coming true.... 

Family news

problems with the overhead wires meant no internet for two days.

The electric wires, which were single and tangled, are gradually being replaced with higher cables (so they don't snag on the rice trucks going up the side streets),and the wooden poles are being replaced with concrete poles... and since the TVCable and internet/telephone wires are on the old poles, they are being replaced too.

It is the dry season so it's safer to do it now.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

why is the universe comprehensible?

This Scientific American article about the concept of multiverses starts with a quote by Einstein:

“The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible, ”Albert Einstein famously once said.

but why? So the cutting edge of cosmology/physics is the multiverse theory.

the article goes on the discuss the various theories and quantum mechanics and quantum entanglement. And suggests that monism (i.e. the idea that there is indeed only one reality) might be a better fit than the chaos of multiuniverses.

It's way above my head, except to note: What is being discussed is philosophy, more than science, since the experiments are still iffy.

and then I remember one lady physicist who admitted why a lot of scientists love the idea of a multiverse (where not every universe follows the rules): Because the alternative is to admit there is a God (i.e. a pattern behind all of this). And nobody in the PC world of atheistic science wants to admit this possibility.

on the other hand, the logical explanation of the universe goes back to the pre Socratic philosophers, who insisted that you didn't need miracles or Zeus to explain the world: so science doesn't preclude the idea of God, but merely insists that we are able to understand the world because it is logical. And the question haunting science is: why is the world logical/ comprehensible?

and indeed, the article, after a long discussion of scientific concepts, summarizes this as quantum monism, and explains why the alternative ideas might merely be due to limited observations being touted as reality.

This doesn’t mean that every observed coincidence points to the foundations of physics or that any notion of beauty should be realized in nature—but it tells us we shouldn’t stop seeking. As such, quantum monism has the potential to save the soul of science: the conviction that there is a unique, comprehensible and fundamental reality.

Italics mine.

this is philosophy, i.e. metaphysics, which discusses the question of why there is anything instead of nothing.

Monotheistic religions say: Because it was made by a logical creator (pantheists say because the universe is the same as the logical creator). But creators are not scientific concepts, so back to the drawing board.

lots of this is discussed by new age types on conspriacy radio shows like Coast to Coast AM, and by science writers on TED.

Presumably the Vatican is too busy telling us to save mother gaia by turning off our airconditioners in Tag-Init to worry about putting their two cents into the discussion, but presumably there are Catholic writers out there discussing these ideas too. Indeed, EWTN has Father Spitzer's universe program that does go into these theories, albeit at the level to explain it to ordinary folks. some more links to the programs on this website.

Don't ask me. I'm a doctor, not a philosopher. 

But as I have noted before: one of my professors told us that most doctors are not "religious" but they believe in an ultimate reality that explains why some people die despite our best efforts, and others live when we thought they had not chance to survive, and if we didn't believe there was an ultimate reason behind these things we would go crazy.

Or as Einstein supposedly quipped: God does not play dice.

(headsup Instapundit)