Monday, July 29, 2019

Family news

Ruby has two class mates (one Canadian, one Malasian/Canadian) are visiting.

They just got back from a couple days in the new, improved (and cleaned up) Boracay. They said it is full of Koreans. That sounds about right. We have a lot of Korean tourism here: And in Baguio, up in the mountains (where it is cool), there are lots of Koreans, mainly students studying English: it's cheaper than going to the USA. A lot of English teachers in Korea also come from the Philippines.

It is Palenke day, so they went to shop for used clothing etc. Since our cook Dita overcooked the Talapia for lunch (again), I suspect they will also buy something to eat.

They plan to go to the mall with Chano to buy food and snacks and other stuff.

Joy has a bad cough and is waiting for it to clear to have surgery.

Dr. Angie will perform it with her daughter in law, also an Obgyn doc. The bad news? The daughter in law is in the hospital with Dengue fever, which since the rains came has caused a major outbreak in the Philippines, including quite a few cases here.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Calling out evil

the Jesuit magazine wrote an article defending communism. Sure, why not: the various communist governments have only killed off about 100 million folks in the last century, but hey, their hearts were in the right place.

The Jesuits pushed communism under the guise of "liberation theology" for the last 40 years: And this is why there is a huge exodus of Catholic Christians to Protestant churches in both South America and the Philippines.

But why stop at  whitewashing communism? Eccles is saved (a satire blog) writes:

The Catholic case for Nero
From America Magazine, edited by James Martin LGBTSJ.
Following our very popular article The Catholic Case for Communism, we have commissioned Dean Dettloff to write The Catholic Case for Nazism and The Catholic Case for the Rwandan Genocide, which are also bound to go down well with our readers. Today's piece explains why the Emperor Nero was not the villain that is usually claimed, and should certainly be canonized.Nero has had a bad press for his lack of ecumenicalism towards Christians, but we should not hold that against him.
His execution of St Peter and St Paul might be interpreted as showing a certain hostility to Catholicism, but modern studies have shown that these Church fathers were greatly over-rated compared with more distinguished theologians such as Hans Küng, Massimo Faggioli, Cardinal Marx, and of course the Holy Father himself. We can be sure that when Nero went to the Pearly Gates, and found St Peter there waiting for him, the two greeted each other as old friends!

Eccles is not the only one who is being snarky:

from the NYPost Sabo strikes again: 


Note that these not only show Epstein but also names NXIVM

the NIXVM scandal, the problem was known years ago ( in 2010 Vanity Fair described the cult, and a 2012 article in local Albany paper had an expose on it) included a lot of VIP's and was pretty well ignored in the MSM.

finally convicted, Hollywood is lining up to make TV shows and movies about this cult.

what's wrong with this picture?

uh, maybe it is the tip of an iceberg of corruption?

They'll make a big fuss about a couple of scapegoats, and of course ignore the rest.

Or maybe they will eventually dig at getting to the climate of corruption and try to name names.

we saw this when, after years of the Johnstown papers covering the scandals in Altoona, that finally a headline hungry DA did an expose (over did it some say) which reopened the floodgates on corrupt bishops that had almost been closed after a similar scandal in Boston years earlier.

The Johnstown paper covered it in 2002, the DA report was a couple years ago, but McCarrick was only "outed" last year, and even then, the web of corruption around him still exists.


 Michael Voris continues to push against the corrupt among the Catholic bishops, 

but now the Epstein scandals are pushing them off the front page.

GetReligionblog, which covers how the press covers religion notes in an earlier article,  how the Miami Herald series covered the Epstein scandal in details, and now has links to an article about many of the leading secular/ anti religion types were his friends.

Don't look for God in Epstein selfies: It's all about who had prestige in elite New York circles

lots of links including this New York Magazine article that discusses how the "beautiful people" of NYC attended his dinners. And not just celebrities:

What seems new, in flipping through the reams of society photos of perhaps the world’s most prolific sexual predator that have been circulating over the past few weeks, is not the powerful and the beautiful who surrounded Epstein, but the intellectuals — the Richard Dawkinses, the Daniel Dennetts, the Steven Pinkers. All men, of course.
A lot of these scandals were covered in detail by local papers long before the prosecutors got off their duffs to investigate them. 

This shows one of the tragedies of the modern MSM: That local papers with honest reporters are going bankrupt and shutting down.


The Ghosts among the ancestors

people move around and met new folks and guess what happens?

The Hidden Aussies behind the Moon landing

DavidReneke's space blog has the story of those who worked at the Carnavon Space Station in Australia.

It is a piece of Australian history never heard — how a TV repair man, a waitress and a young Croatian migrant helped the US win the space race and put man on the Moon....
The Carnarvon Tracking Station was an important link from Earth to the Gemini and Apollo manned space missions from 1965 to 1972. Spacecraft which launched from Cape Canaveral, known as Cape Kennedy during that time, passed close to Carnarvon on their first orbits around the Earth. It was at this point that hundreds of pieces of telemetry data — the pressure and temperature inside the craft, astronauts’ heartbeats and respiratory rates, and available fuel and oxygen — were relayed back to Houston as an essential check on the crew’s wellbeing before the final thrust into space.

go read the whole thing.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Cat Item of the day

Boris Johnson has to face the Parliement, Brexit, and Iran.

But the BBC says he has a real challenge ahead:

Getty Images
Will he make friends with Larry, the chief mouser at the PM's residence?

Russia Russia RUSSIA? No. China China CHINA

StrategyPage has a long report on the Philippines, including how China is pushing us around, about how Duterte is trying to make nice but the public sees China as a bully who is trying to steal the West Philippine Sea from us....

So far China is building bases and, according to one Filipino official, only “controls” seven percent of the South China Sea. China is not yet trying to enforce its claims although it is increasingly vocal about other nations for “violating Chinese territorial waters.” This includes non-military force to prevent non-Chinese (especially Filipino) fishing boats from operating in traditional (and legally Filipino) fishing grounds. President Duterte sought to negotiate a deal with China that would compensate the Philippines for lost access to their fishing areas. That was blocked by Filipinos invoking the constitution and its prohibitions against officials negotiating away those rights without assent of the people (the national legislature).
Ironically, this could have been stopped when China started their shenanigans, but then President PNoy (Aquino) was pressured by the Obama administration to take it to the UN courts and keep quiet when China bullied our fishermen. We won in court, but as the saying goes, who is going to bell the cat?

This affects not only the countries nearby being threatened by the Chinese, but also it enables China from blocking ships to Japan and Korea from Europe and the Middle East.

Presumably no one in the Obama state department could read a map, so they assumed it was just a local fight.

and it's not just the weak Philippines being threatened: Russia and China held "military exercizes" and entered South Korean airspace. 

Both Russia and China have claims on islands now held by Korea and Japan, and their cooperation will annoy the Americans.

In the meanwhile, Trumpieboy essentially says: we are tired of being the world policemen. You are big boys: handle it yourself. And most Americans, seeing these countries get rich while dissing us for guarding them, agree.

But Russia is actually stupid here: China also is pushing in on Pakistan and Russia's ex soviet states in central Asia (aka the "icky stans"). And of course, they used to own Siberia, and right now are invading (via businessmen and migrant workers) Eastern Siberia.

but of course, China blames the US for undermining global security.

SteveGreen on Instapundit has a lot of links about China's infiltration of US companies and universities and even "green" advisers to the Government.

Yes, and Hollywood (no Taiwan patch for Maverick, although unlike the Hollywood left, they do allow patriotism to be seen as a good thing) and they hacked my Federal OPM file awhile back and the Obama administration pretended it was ordinary thieves who did it.

but the scariest part of his post is quoting war reporter Michael Yon, who is visiting Hong Kong and says that China is flaming hatred against other countries, mainly Japan but also the US, that could burst into another war, but that Hong Kong, which still has some freedom and the heritage of British rule of law, is pushing back against their aggressive take over and could be a tipping point.

The conflict in Hong Kong is not about the Extradition Bill — and now many other issues are piling up almost weekly. The issue is that Communist China is trying to swallow and digest Hong Kongers who know the taste of freedom.
...The British helped Hong Kongers taste freedom, and rule of law, and Hong Kongers love their freedom and legitimate judicial system. They will fight. The real fight is beginning.
Honk Kong is a key battle ground in a much larger war. Taiwan and others are watching.”

by the way, at the end of the SP article, they remind you why Duterte is still popular, despite the war of the left and "human rights" folks against him: We are safer.

As I wrote before, his "war on the press" is actually against Rappler who is funded by suspected CIA related fronts. The bishops prefer to lament dead drug dealers while they get photo ops with crooked politicians, and the bad news is that the crooked politicians tend to win in court, and the human rights type back them instead of trying to figure out how they got so rich (i.e. DeLima and GMA).

well, the CIA might be trying to get rid of Duterte because the American girl lost the election, and he is trying to make nice with China. It's almost enough to make one believe in conspiracy theories.


update: StrategyPage on the Chinese theft of intellectual property, including computer chips etc that they then sell to Iran.

Despite official sanction support, China has always been the ultimate source of forbidden military and nuclear research items for Iran. This included Western gear, especially stuff from the United States that the rapidly growing Chinese economy had legitimate buyers for. These American items are usually obtained by Chinese trading companies, who served as a one-stop-shopping source for many countries. The trading companies break American laws when they ship some types of restricted (by American regulations) gear to embargoed nations. This is done using forged documents and bribes that can mask these operations for years. These Chinese exporters have little fear of punishment at home because the Chinese government refuses to discipline its wayward firms. But these trading/smuggling companies can be hurt in other ways. That’s because U.S. regulators can reach just about every other country (even China) using the enormous U.S. presence in the international banking system. But the Chinese traders consider occasional fines and business interruption a cost-of-doing-business and pass these extra costs onto customers like Iran. Thus as the sanctions on Iran grow more formidable, prices Iran must pay go up and the Chinese profits increase even more.

Family news

Joy is with Ruby and two of her visiting school friends in a visit to the wonderful beaches of Boracay. They cleaned up the place so it's even better than when I visited there a couple years ago.

No, I didn't go along: We were supposed to go there for a cousin's wedding last year, but then Duterte closed it down for a few months to clean up the place (too much floating garbage, illegal buildings etc.) so the wedding reception was held in Bataan instead (now a nature center area).

Here, I had to have George, our cat killing Labrador, put to sleep. He went blind from cataracts and then developed a sarcoma, but was still the "alpha dog" that kept us safe. I had him on steroids for bone pain and anti histamines to help him sleep and he was comfortable, still snarling at the younger dogs and trying to chase cats.

But yesterday he developed 2 abscesses around his tumor despite antibiotics and had a lot of pain. With the drug war, it's hard to get narcotics to control the pain so he could die at home like our previous dogs. He was 13, so very old. Sigh,

so we buried him in the garden, and put flowers and two candles on his grave and said a prayer that he would go to dog heaven.

Now we only have medium sized dogs. They stay in a pack so would scare burglars away, but they aren't as scary as George, who would snarl and attack strangers, including visitors who would go up to him because he looked friendly and find out he wasn't really nice.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Corruption and FUD

StrategyPage has a long article about the problem of corruption, and how the free press and internet have helped publicize it world wide.

The problem? The press also distorts reality by emphasizing FUD:
One of the ironies of the post-Cold War world is that most people get the impression that things are getting worse and worse while for the majority of people on the planet life was getting better. Worldwide poverty and death rates are plummeting while income and reported (via opinion surveys) satisfaction are way up. Many major diseases (like tetanus and polio) have nearly been eliminated and malaria, the disease that has killed more people than any other throughout history, is in decline because of medical advances. War related deaths have been declining since World War II ended in 1945 and that decline continued after the Cold War eliminated most communist governments in 1991. Why do most people think otherwise? You can blame the mass media and their most effective marketing tool; FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt).

Hollywood's racism problem

My husband loved James Bond movies, because action and half naked women...

So I had to laugh because the powers that be decided they needed to recast James Bond as a (very plain looking) black woman. 

Hmm...will she take her clothes off and sleep around like the Bond heroes? Mata Hari anyone?

Why not just make a film about a brilliant spy who happens to be a black woman, instead of "recasting" a male chauvanist spy as a woman?

Because political correctness, of course.

But it's a reaction against the years of Hollywood casting whites as other ethnics.

And not just whites as other ethnics:

"Ethnic" looking actors are cross cast as other ethnicities.  Mexican American actor Anthony Quinn is best known for Zorba the Greek. WTF? FilAm Lou Diamond Philipps played Jim Chee, a Navajo. And of course, only Asians like Lolo got upset when the remake of the King and I starred a Chinese actor as a Thai king (sniff... chinese said lolo as he turned it off). Or a Chinese actress as a Geisha. And of course, David Carridine played the Kung fu character on TV, instead of Bruce Lee... because?

people forget it wasn't that long ago that Bill Cosby broke the barrier by playing half of a spy team on a regular tv series I spy.

Disney is one of the worst. Have you seen a more anti Mexican film than Beverly hills Chihuahua? And then there is not one but two "Day of the dead" cartoons that distort that family oriented holiday (with it's Catholic influences) into American occultic beliefs?

My sons, watching Disney channel, always pointed to the brown or black character and said, usually correctly: he'll be killed off before the final scene.

So anyway, when someone remade the Long Ranger as a PC classic, they cast a very white actor as Tonto (on the idea that he might have some Cherokee ancestor, like half of Oklahoma or Elizabeth Warren), whereas even the original character in the TV series was played by Jay Silverheels.

but the hidden secret is that it wasn't just Tonto who got recast and played by a white dude:

reminding one of this:

of course, in today's world, Blazing Saddles would probably never been made.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Ruby has a Canadian classmate visiting, so yesterday morning they went to the 6am "Rumba" exercise class in the nearby plaza, drank a taho from a vendor for a snack, and then bought food for a full Filipino breakfast in the Palenke.

so what does a palenke look like?

yes, we have shops and we now have a mall (and a new one being built) but the regular folk go to the Palenke down the street to do their shopping in the very early morning, before the it gets hot.

Joy then cooked them a full Filipino breakfast: fried Bangus belly (deboned milk fish fillet), red egg (egg soaked in salt brine then hard boiled), and Rice.

Movie of the week

A girl raised to be a mistress, a rich French doctor who wants her as a wife. What could go wrong?

No, it's not Gigi. It's based on a true story about old New Orleans...

Monday, July 22, 2019


The Philippines is in the midst of a Dengue epidemic.

Phil Inquirer:

On July 15, the Department of Health (DOH) for the first time declared a national dengue alert, after the viral illness claimed the lives of at least 450 people in the first six months of the year.
In Iloilo province, hospitals have been overflowing with dengue patients, many of them being treated along hallways. A gymnasium in Maasin town has been converted into a treatment center. In other parts of the province, more health personnel have been deployed and tents readied to accommodate patients. ,,,
  The DOH on Saturday said an additional 5,744 new cases were recorded in just the week of June 30 to July 6. That figure is 22 percent higher than the 4,703 cases in the same period last year. The death toll since the start of the year has climbed to 491, according to the DOH. There have been 115,986 dengue cases nationwide so far this year, already almost double the 62,267 cases recorded in 2018. Children age 5 to 9 years old accounted for nearly a quarter of all dengue cases

the biggest outbreak is in the Visayas, but we are also a hot spot for the disease. 

the Dengue vaccine scandal hasn't helped: Ironically, the FDA has approved of the vaccine, with restrictions.

Dengue is not usually fatal, but if you have had one infection, a second infection is more likely to lead to the more severe and fatal form of the disease.

those who never had Dengue in the past then were given the vaccine and a few (a very few) then developed Dengue and died.

 "Infection by one type of dengue virus usually provides immunity against that specific serotype, but a subsequent infection by any of the other three serotypes of the virus increases the risk of developing severe dengue disease, which may lead to hospitalization or even death," said Peter Marks, MD, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
Dengvaxia is not approved for individuals who have never been infected by any dengue virus stereotype or "for whom this information is unknown," and the agency said healthcare professionals should evaluate individuals for prior dengue infection through medical records or serological testing prior to vaccination.
the Philippines bought this expensive vaccine and gave it to children,

but after a few deaths (less than a dozen, after 800 thousand were given the vaccine), it was withdrawn. There were suspicions someone was influenced to approve the vaccine (never proven, but with the way things work here, not especially paranoid).

One side effect of the dengue scandal was that parents refused other vaccinations for their kids, resulting in a measles epidemic and quite a few deaths (at least 70) from measles.

and of course, it was another way for anti vaxxers to point to so they can make money off of their paranoid conspiracy theories, (yes, I'm pointing to you, Alex Jones) never mind the deaths from not using the vaccine.


Ironically, the Dept of Health is going back to the old fashioned ways to stop the disease: Mosquito control:

Health officials reiterated that the most effective way to avoid dengue is still the ‘4s’ strategy. The 4s strategy stands for Search and destroy mosquito breeding places, Self-protective measures like wearing long sleeves and use of insect repellent, Seek early consultation on the first signs and symptoms of the disease, and Say yes to fogging if there is an impending outbreak.

Alas, it is rainy season, so every garbage heap, and street potholes fill will water for mosquitoes to breed. The open drainage ditches between rains are also a problem, as do the  irrigation channels to nearby rice paddies.

And it doesn't take long: if we leave the dog's water dish unchanged for over a day, one can find "wrigglers" breeding there. Ditto for flower vases. 

Our city has covered over the open ditches nearby used to as sewers to drain water, so that lowered the danger, but so far they haven't sprayed our area.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

(Toxic) Masculinity back in style

So now the whiners at the NYTimes are complaining that sure, the US placed men on the moon, but hey, they were men (full test pilots, not unqualified pilots who were women like Russian space program chose for propaganda purposes).

And what is worse: They were "white" men.

not like the Soviet Union, that had more "diversity" in their space program.

The editorial was written by a woman non scientist, of course.

As Screenwriter Roger Simon points out:

The author, Sophie Pinkham, a doctoral candidate in Slavic Languages, would have to know what these enlightened "multi-culti" Soviets did, in the interest of "equality," just a scant year before the U.S. landed on the moon — invade Czechoslovakia, crushing "Prague Spring."
... She also wrote, "Cosmonaut diversity was key for the Soviet message to the rest of the globe: Under socialism, a person of even the humblest origins could make it all the way up."
Ah, diversity — the new religion. As long as they can put a "person of color" — also, of course, mentioned in the article — or from the proletariat in space, everything else is excused. Even the Gulag Archipelago. Even the Purge Trials. Even Beria. Even the Plot Against the Doctors. Even Stalin's mass starvation of millions of Ukrainians known as the Holodomor. Even the incarceration of Sakharov and the Refuseniks that was going on before, after, and during the cosmonaut program, etc., etc.

In the US, test pilots were chosen because they were trained to cope with emergencies.

Later, they did recruit women (and minorities) when more astronauts were needed, and the risks were less, and science experiments became part of the job. And of course women did fine, including women who piloted the Shuttle.

But women did work behind the scenes (guess she missed Hidden Figures). But the main problem was in the "unenlightened" day of the 1960s, putting women into risky situations was still looked down upon. Because pregnancy. 

Feminism is about never having to say you are pregnant and might need protecting.

Women made great pilots: in WWII they taught men to fly and  flew the planes over the dangerous arctic great circle route to England, which required more skill than many of the pilots who went on bombing missions.

Now things are better of course. 

Top Gun II might be celebrating toxic masculinity, but hey there will be women pilots too.  Because it's more fun to fly a plane and take risks on motorcycles and get an adrenalin rush than to change diapers.

 But of course, it's not just the women who have other less glamourous work to do that is rarely celebrated. Mavarick might be having all the fun, but it is the mechnics, the cooks, the cleaners, the factory workers, the engineers, and the support staff who work behind the scenes in less glamourous jobs are equally important.

Let them get careless, the your plane will literally fall out of the sky.

or blow up Arkansas...

 Strategy Page has an article on why people died because Boeing got sloppy: And that the AirForce told them there was a problem with "quality control" a year before the Civilian airliners crashed.

But now I guess scientific exactitude is not PC. We women in science had no problem with the exactitude, but hey, the feminists insisted the evil environment of strict precision and exactitude was "hostile" for us.

this idea that laxness with good intentions means never having to say you are sorry has infiltrated other institutions:

Father Z posts one of the prayers for today:

direct translation:

they may persevere always in your commands with vigilant watchfulness.

newer translation: No diligence, but hey, at least we are allowed to be " be ever watchful in keeping your commands."


Diligence means hard work. The modern translations let out that "diligent" part. Because mercy, I guess.


somewhat off topic, but Father Z links to a hilarious parody of a Trump speech: if Trump ran for Pope.  from the ACCN website.

Toxic masculinity at it's best.

If you are Catholic, or someone who knows about the degeneration of the church due to modernism, put down your coffee first then read the whole thing.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Plague city

Dr Drew discusses the California crisis that could erupt into Bubonic plague or other epidemics.

Dilbert podcasts. MP3

He is rights.

The problem? Deinstitutionalization and mental illness is the problem, not lack of housing per se.

fake compassion led to deinstitutionalization... the idea that since the mentally ill were not violent, the human rights folks decided they should  be released from institutions.

The idea was that they would live in halfway houses, where their hygiene and medications would be supplied and even forced on them, and reinsitutionalization could be done if they relapsed.

but money for this was limited.

Instead, they ended up on the streets because they stopped taking their medicines, slipped into deep mental illness, and then ended up chronically homeless.

Dr Drew does note: it is not lack of housing: the new migrants (both those who were caught and placed into housing, and those who didn't get caught) are not part of the permanent homeless population. And most "homeless" because of economics do manage to quickly find housing and even a job.

and the problem, as Dr Drew noted, goes back years.

As a doc, I've seen hallucinating violent patients whom I referred to psychiatrists being given a shot of haldol and released.

I've seen families in despair because they had no way to force treatment on their mentally ill family members (most of whom are not violent, thank God).

and a lot of the helplessly drug addicted take street drugs as "self treatment".

Help is out there, and many people who are temporarily homeless do manage to get off the street.

But the hardcore are ignored, because "freedom". Never mind that they are unable to comprehend they need treatment.

as for those who are "mildly mentally disabled (aka "retarded"), many of them also are on the street and exploited or fall into crime. There are entire prison wards full of these people: in good prisons they are separated from the regular population because they are vulnerable to "exploitation" by other inmates.


and in California, what is worse is the failure to provide basic sanitation.

ahh, but California did ban plastic straws...

Mongols vs Muslims

usually the history books of Europe are PC and post the Crusaders as bloody invaders who entered an area that was a peaceful Eden. (/s)

But the real massacres, including the destruction of Baghdad and the irrigation systems that fed the Middle East, was done by the Mongol invasions that happened about the same time.

GetReligion reviews some letters between the Pope and the Mongols, and wonders if lack of missionaries to Mongolia in those days was a lost opportunity, especially since some of the Mongol generals were married to Eastern Christian women, and most were not Muslim at the time.

But things were actually more complicated than that.

StrategyPage discusses the Battle of Ain Jalut, which saved both Muslim and Christian civilization from the Mongol hoards.

The French saw the invasion as an opportunity to destroy the Muslim empire, and contemplated an alliance.   (see wikipedia article) So why didn't the Christian crusader states in the Levant help the Mongols against the Egyptian Muslims who were, after all their enemies? Because the pope, after reading reports of their atrocities, told them not to help the Mongols.

from StrategyPage:
Hulegu Khan fell back to Iran on the news of the death of the Great Khan Monge, leaving a portion of the army under the command of a Christian general, Kitbuqa, who claimed descent from one of the Three Wise Men who visited the infant Jesus, while he contested for Mongol leadership. Emboldened Qutuz advanced, making overtures to the Crusader leaders who were being courted into an alliance by the Mongols against the "hated Muslims". As they wavered a papal decree, based largely on the opinions of a clerical spy, arrived in the Holy Land settling the issue.
so what was the ultimate result of this battle?
The clash of Mongol and Mamluk at Ain Jalut was one of the most significant battles in world history, yet it is a rare Western history class that even hears mention of it, even though it was as important for Western civilization as those fought at Marathon, Salamis, Lepanto, Chalons and Tours.
Had the Mongols succeeded in conquering Egypt, they would have been able to storm across North Africa to the Straits of Gilbraltar. Europe would have been clamped in an iron ring all the way from Poland to the Mediterranean. The Mongols would have been able to invade from so many points that it is unlikely that any European army could have been positioned to hold them back. Instead, the Mamluks stopped the westward Mongol advance and smashed the myth of Mongol invincibility.
the history of Central Asia is largely untaught in the west.

A good place to start would be to read Frankopan's the Silk Roads.

part two

part three 

part four.

and no, I haven't gotten around to listening to it yet.

shorter version:

another version here: the video lecture starts by describing the terrible destruction of Baghdad.

the Chinese were also taken over by the Mongols but eventually defeated them.

So what does this tell us about modern history?

that the bipolar world of "free vs communist" states has now been replaced by the clash of ancient empires.

For example, there is a long history of the Mongols and the Golden Hoard versus Russia: which is why Russia remembers history and today is protecting the Slavs and Christians (taking the part of the Serbs against Muslim Bosnia, taking the part of Assad against the Sunni ISIS types).

and although the Mongols took over China, the Han Chinese eventually defeated them.

but this (and several Islamic uprisings against the government) might explain why China is "reeducating" their Muslim population.

and today, China is making a "new silk road" that involved central Asian states that were once part of the USSR and before then, rich trading states of Central Asia.  (who by the way have a lot of natural gas resources).

Can you say "Afghanistan" people?

what is past is prologue.

But something to remember when you read simplistic stuff about the west, about China, about Islam, about Iran, and about the Afghanistan war.

the modern wars are often just a rehash of ancient wars of empires that predate the "war for oil" or even Islam.

so how exactly did those Roman soldiers end up in China? LINK

Friday, July 19, 2019

God as cowardly co enabler or as a Father?

famous Canadian agnostic tells off bishop spouting love love love.

The professor said later in the conversation with Barron that what's required to really help people today is a “reemphasis on the potential nobility of the human being and the moral responsibility to make that nobility a reality.” “We're built for nobility,” Peterson said. Barron pointed out that people today are “so concerned about people's feelings and about feelings getting hurt” that they’re “afraid if we use that language of a ‘noble’ aspiration” that calls people to something better and higher.
yeah. they were so busy worrying about hurting people's feelings that they don't try to help them.

The idea that the church is a hospital for sinners is correct, but you know: in hospitals and doctor's offices we intervene and correct when needed.

As a doc, I have to tell people to stop smoking, to stop drinking, the risks of sleepig around, what type of foods are good or bad for them, etc etc. It doesn't mean I abandon them if they don't do it, but it does mean that I don't pretend what they are doing is good for them.

headsup Lifesite

full video HERE

Dumping infected pork in the Philippines

There is a world wide Swine flu epidemic, and China is badly affected, causing them to kill thousands of the infected pigs.

The Philippine however, so far is swine flu free. It has banned importation of pork and pork products from countries who have reported the epidemic, for fear of infecting our pig farms.

However, a news article reveals that some of the imported pork from China was contaminated with Swine flu.

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has intercepted a number of pork products from Hong Kong and China at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in between June 19 to 28. ...
 China is one of the 19 countries from where entry of pork and pork-based products are banned.
 From a total of 400 samples that BAI examined, 34 tested positive of ASF and these products could have caused infestation in the country’s hog industry if they were not intercepted.
an accident? or someone trying to sell the infected pork to the Philippines because they figure that the poor Philippines won't notice? (or maybe, alas, that they can give a small gift to officials to look the other way).

But the Philippines is not completely corrupt, so this shipment was discovered, resulting in the government warning to stores to discard any pork products they have that originated in China.

But it's not just China: Someone in Germany knows that the Philippines has banned pork from countries with swine flu, so figured they could send us pork from Poland, which does have swine flu.

Germany was the latest addition to the list of countries where entry of pork products to the Philippines was banned. Though there were no reports yet of ASF-infestation in Germany, the Philippines included it in the list after a German company exported pork products to the Philippines along with some 250 kilograms of pork from ASF-hit Poland...

So Germany is now on the list of countries whose pork products are banned. 

the German company claimed it was due to "human error".

and of course, we believe the Germans. They wouldn't lie about it, would they?

Sigh. Et tu, Germany? we thought we could trust you.

e pluribus union: Tap Dancing

From Brittanica:

Tap originated in the United States through the fusion of several ethnic percussive dances, primarily African tribal dances and Scottish, Irish, and English clog dances, hornpipes, and jigs.
Until the last few decades of the 20th century, it was believed that African slaves and Irish indentured servants had observed each other’s dances on Southern plantations and that tap dancing was born from this contact.
In the late 20th century, however, researchers suggested that tap instead was nurtured in such urban environments as the Five Points District in New York City, where a variety of ethnic groups lived side by side under crowded conditions and in constant contact with the distinctly urban rhythms and syncopations of the machine age. In the mid- to late 1800s, dance competitions were a common form of entertainment...

Happy Filipino commercial of the day

Mozart interlude


 or if you agree with the Emperor that Mozart's music has "too many notes", you may prefer this one: (Mozart starts at 4 minutes)

Headlines you might have missed

BBC: After 1600 deaths, the Ebola outbreak has been declared an emergency.

what you might not know: There is a new vaccine, and that seems to be working.
Isn't there a vaccine? Yes. It is 99% effective and more than 161,000 people have been given it. However, everybody is not vaccinated - only those who come into direct contact with an Ebola patient, and people who come into contact with them.

and another thing you might not know: There have been 1500 measles deaths in that area in recent months. and they have given over a million vaccinations in the area, and plan to give out another 2 million doses.

Despite stepped-up mass vaccination campaigns in some provinces over the past few years, enormous challenges remain in some areas where insecurity, difficulty accessing vaccination sites, population movements, and resistance to vaccination are roadblocks to measles control efforts. Some of the same challenges have dogged the DRC's Ebola response, as well.

from AlJ:

 'Stain of the century': US denounces China's treatment of Uighurs
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says China 'home to one of the worst human rights crises of our time'...
Speaking at the US-hosted Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom conference, Pompeo also accused Beijing of pressuring countries not to attend the gathering.

yup. Don't want to upset the Chinese: their threats even make the US hesitate

 The US has been weighing sanctions against Chinese officials over their policies in Xinjiang, including the Communist Party chief of the region, Chen Quanguo, but has held back amid Chinese threats of retaliation. 


Japanese anime studio was firebombed; many of the dead were in the stairways, suggesting the arsonist placed the gasoline there to deliberately kill those trying to get out.


Strategypage discusses the danger of bombs: the ones that didn't explode, from the first and second world wars.

and they give an update on how to stop drones and drone swarms using microwave weapons.

terrorists using drones with bombs is a growing danger...

Puerto Rican protests: the feds won't give them enough money,(of course, so they can blame Trumpieboy) but the last straw was finding the locals were diverting the aid money to their friends.

sort of like we see here: donors know the money is misspent or stolen, so hesitate to give more.

It's the corruption...


Girl Scouts: It's more than cookies.

No, I wasn't a girlscout: They weren't in our area. Some of my friends however were in 4H...


Don't use cockroach oil (it tastes lousy).

note: it's the elites pushing insects as food: few societies eat insects and those who do rarely use them as a major source of food.


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Remembering the veterans


When I worked in the IHS, Many of our staff and patients were veterans.

This is about the memorial to honor them built by the Osage tribe...When I worked there, the tribe held a (healing) ceremony for those returning from Iraq.

their facebook page is HERE

Stuff around the web

HistoryAccordingToBob is doing a podcast series on the Trojan war.

in college I did a term paper on Bronze age Greece, and modern archeology has discovered a lot of things since then about Troy and the Luwian peoples.


Masaman has the story of the first inhabitants of SEAsia and Australia.


we almost lost Notre Dame Cathedral in that fire:

"That Notre-Dame still stands is due solely to the enormous risks taken by firefighters in those third and fourth hours."
"Disadvantaged by their late start, firefighters would rush up the 300 steps to the burning attic and then be forced to retreat. Finally, a small group of firefighters was sent directly into the flames, as a last, desperate effort to save the cathedral.... 'We were at first reluctant to go because we weren’t sure we’d have an escape route'...
A group of firefighters from a neighboring suburb refused to go, but another team said it would do it. They broke a gate, and as they went inside the northern tower, found parts of a wall and the floor on fire. They climbed a set of stairs to the height of the bells. From there, they could douse the flames. One firefighter almost fell through the cracking steps — but by 9:45, they had the flames under control....
'First off, this is all about our fragility,' Monsignor Chauvet, the rector, said on reflection. 'We are as nothing. The fragility of man, in respect to God. We are nothing but — creatures.'"

NYTimes (behind paywall)
Headsup AnnAlthouse.


It's okay because they're Jews

The FLOPhil has a podcast on a recent book about the killing of Klinghoffer.  mp3link

hijackers of a cruise ship kill an American Jew in a wheelchair. Because he was Jewish.

And unlike the other passengers and crew, he dared to object to their terrorism.
"He created troubles. He was handicapped but he was inciting and provoking the other passengers. So, the decision was made to kill him," Abbas told the Boston Globe in 1998.
Translation: He was Jewish and dared to diss us. (and since he was old and in a wheelchair he couldn't physically stop us from killing him).

Something to remember when the anti Semites of the Squad cry racism. How dare you diss them.

So who will stop them from turning the Democratic party into the party of Anti Semites? Anyone? Anyone?

I'm a Democrat, and the party won seats in Congress in the last election because they ran conservative Democrats, many who had military or CIA backgrounds, in swing districts. But now these new Congressfolk and the traditional leadership are letting the crazies take over the party, because none of them have the courage of a crippled Jewish veteran to say No to these bullies: because they are afraid they'll be called a racist.

JFK, author of the book Profiles in Courage, is now rolling over in his grave over their cowardice.

Israel is evil to the leftists, so it's sins are exaggerated and it's good points are ignored. Because Jews.

It's not about suffering Muslims. No one gives a damn about over a million Muslims actually in Chinese concentration camps, half a million Muslim Rohingya thrown out of Burma and living miserably in poverty stricken Bangladesh, or the millions of refugees, both Muslim and Christian, fleeing disease, famine, and tribal conflicts in various countries in Africa.

What's wrong with this picture.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Follow the money

Get Religion mentions a WV bishop who gifted a lot of money to other bishops, mainly asking about the dogmatic and religious points of view in the story (i.e. another liberal bishop fighting believing Catholic people and priests who are old fashioned)

They correctly point out that a lot of money is just given out to the poor who come to the door so doesn't get in the books, but they don't dig into the real question: Was he gifting the money to other bishops to help their personal charities, or did he do it to get them to look the other way?

Note to non Yanks: West Virginia, best known for it's coal mines, is one of the poorest areas of the USA. 

Reminds me of Altoona, where the bishop diverted lots of money around from a charitable organization, according to The Wanderer (a "far right" Catholic paper),who published a series on him in 1996...I am trying to find the original link, but the bishop's accountability page notes:
In the course of the series of articles, allegations were made that Bishop Adamec had purchased his bishopric, with a multi-million dollar donation to the building of the U.S. bishops’ new headquarters in Washington, D.C. near the campus of the Catholic University of America. Allegedly, Adamec obtained the funds through the Slovak Federation. The allegations published by The Wanderer received no official response, but at that year’s meeting of the conference of bishops, the bishops spent most of their executive session discussing punitive actions against The Wanderer for publishing the expose on Adamec.

and then there was the money links with Cardinal McCarrick. Not my area of expertise, but that modern Jeremiah, Ann Barnhart, who if you look past her vulgarity, usually hits the nail of the head, points a few fingers at them:
Crazy Ann says follow the money to find out why ex Cardinal McCarrick got away with a lot.
What is the link between American "papal foundation" funding a "dermatology hospital", a child trafficker, a dead whistleblowing hooker, and the Pope?
Here in the Philippines, the church is in high gear against Duterte's drug war (i.e. the hit squads. )

Leading the charge is Cardinal Tagle of Manila, who is running for Pope. He goes all over the world giving speeches, including speeches on the abuse crisis where he sheds tears about the problem, but doesn't name names of course. 

Duterte, however, is not so sanguine: he routinely curses out the bishops, which make the SJW hyperventilate and the ordinary folks cheer.

Duterte was molested as a boy, so he holds a grudge. But maybe he also knows that some of the bishops etc. are as corrupt as the politicians.

The anti Duterte webzine Rappler had an editorial awhile back discussing both sides of the feud,. He notes the church is good at helping the victims of the drug war, but unless they clear up their own corruption, they will begin to lose public trust.

it's not just abuse (hey, this is the Philippines where a lot of folks are descended from the Spanish priests' girlfriends, and most businessmen have "second wives"). 

The problem is that the old fashioned ways of donating money and giving it out to the poor is open to corruption. The modern world requires proper paperwork or accounting of where it comes from or where it is going.

here's an example:

From the Rappler, from 2012: Bishop accused of diverting millions.

the layfolk complained and the article says that the issue was sent to the Vatican to investigate.

and the bishop said he'd resign if the Vatican decided he did something wrong.

But last time I looked, the Bishop is still there.

this 2014 article in the Rappler examines the finances of the Manila diocese and the church in general.

The article points out that the bishop resist inspection because a lot of money is just given out without doing the paper work, so you don't know if it goes to the poor or is diverted. As I noted above, this opens you to accusations of fraud where nothing wrong was done.

but as Rappler points out: having financial experts do the paperwork to track the money might not help: a lot of the money is being stolen by experts supposed to be doing the paperwork
 The Church financial adviser said there had been incidents where Church funds were abused and misused by the very financial experts they trusted. The victims are not only the dioceses, but even some religious congregations. “There were cases where millions of funds disappeared after these were entrusted to these so-called experts.”
Heh. sounds about right.

How bad is it?

It's so bad even the Pope is worried. (2015 article).
He said he was approached by two government officials who had a compelling offer.
“‘You have so much need here with so many poor,’” the pope recalled them saying. He said they offered him the equivalent of US$400,000. “I listened because when the offer is so big, the offer challenges even a saint. But they went on: ‘To do this, we make the deposit and then you give us half for ourselves.’”
The offer shocked the future pope. “In that moment I thought about what I would do: either I insult them and give them a kick where the sun doesn’t shine, or I play the fool,” he said. “I played the fool.”
Pope Francis said he politely declined the offer, suggesting the government officials donate the money — with a receipt. “We must ask for forgiveness for these Catholics, those Christians who cause a scandal because of their corruption,” he said.

yes, but did you bother to report their names to the government or to any of our hard working reporters here?  

and THAT, my friends, is why corruption thrives. No one wants to point fingers at friends or relatives, because family, or in this case, the institutional church, is more important than rule of law.

nor is the corruption limited to Catholics, or limited to churches:

Inquirer article on the "diversion" of money supposed to go to the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.


Yes, I am a Catholic.

A lot of naive preachers forget that Judas was involved in skimming the till, kickbacks and taking bribes to spy on Jesus, so none of this is new.
And the secular organizations have the same problem.
Separating the wheat from the weeds is a big problem, because if you overdo it, you pull up the wheat, so until it is terrible, Jesus advised to let it be and let God sort it out at the end of times.
On the other hand, he advised millstones for child abusers and the lowest place in hell for crooked religious leaders, and was probably crucified for his actions against the merchants in the temple who overcharged and probably gave kickbacks to the priest to be allowed a monopoly on the sales...So it balances out.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Family news: feeding the poor, immigration problems

Joy is still coughing, but her internist thinks that she will be okay for her surgery after two more weeks.

She's reading all the side effects on the internet and looking for an excuse not to have surgery, but most of that information is for younger women. One problem: the internet page lists side effects but not the actual risk or risk/ benefit ratio of both the surgery or NOT having surgery.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and often the crazies don't put things into context, or think we docs went into medicine to get rich. Heh. Study 8 years, do 3-6 years post graduate training be stuck with a 100K dollar debt and then you have to work 80 hour weeks. What's not to like?

But we do it because most of us have a calling to heal.

Ruby has been working in an outreach to feed the street kids in Manila. She says many of them are orphans due to their fathers being shot as drug runners. Actually this is partly true, but the problem long predates the drug war. So I pointed out that the problem of missing fathers (mainly by desertion, but also drug/alcohol abuse or accidental deaths) and alas often the moms take a new "husband" who doesn't want the kids so they end up raised by poor relatives or on the street.

The problem of street kids is not new: blame the industrial revolution that brought out of work rural families to the big city.

Maybe I should have her read "Oliver Twist", or maybe the biography of St John Bosco...

However, it does show the need for a type of welfare/ social security for these single moms/widows/deserted spouses. The problem? Fraud, corruption, and encouraging men to desert their families so the wives can get the money.

Ruby says the most sucessful type of outreach in the slums is ordinary folks helping: i.e. the working class and middle class folks who often are just a generation from dire poverty and know what it is like.

This includes many outreaches by the churches, both Protestant (like Ruby's church) and Catholic churches. I should add that Joy, who runs one of our rice businesses in nearby Bulacan and is working with farmers to grow organic rice so they can get a better price for their crops, is also involved with local authorities in feeding programs.

Ruby has worked with her mom and also with her small Protestant church's program with the kids of the poor farmers here, so is used to working with children.

In contrast, the upper class SJW aren't used to slum conditions (the smell, the dirt, the naughty kids) so find it easier and more ego gratifying to virtue signal by tweeting than to actually have to feed and touch street kids and their families.

The government here does subsidize rice for the poor. If you have a card, you can buy it at a lower price. The problem of course is corruption. The Manila Bulletin says there are still problems of targeting the right people, and that there is "leakage". (rice diverted by businessmen and/or politicians to sell for a higher price).


As for me: I'm still in the midst of visa problems: My permanent visa was because Lolo was supporting me, and now the family supports me by letting me live here, while I support them by helping with Ruby's school fees.

 But since my permanent visa was approved, my husband died, and then later they passed a regulation saying that non blood relatives don't count so I am essentially illegal. And no one noticed the problem in when I updated the visa for the last 5 years. Well, duh.

But since the Philippines honors the elderly, and since I do have a pension, it is just a matter or resubmitting the paper work. Joy is good at that type of thing (she used to work for the government and knows the ins and outs of paperwork).

This is why I feel sympathetic to the "immigrants" who miss their court appointments and paper work. It is bad enough for Americans to cope with faceless government bureaucrats (e.g. the DMV to get a driver's license) so you can see how they would prefer to avoid the hassle.

My son's Catholic church in Florida has an outreach to help people there do this, plus other help for immigrants (many of whom are from Central America or Haiti).

The Catholic church's immigration policies predates Trumpie boy: The dirty little secret is that Obama deported hundreds of thousands in his time... but then felt sorry for them and made loopholes "for the innocent children" aka "Dreamers".

Big problem: This move helped the "dreamers" but encouraged people to bring their kids on the long, dangerous trip. And not just their kids, but often they "borrow" a kid to bypass regulations.

Trumpieboy is less sympathetic, because his "base" knows  employers prefer illegal immigrants who work for lower wages, so there are fewer jobs for them. (This is especially true for the black community, something that a lot of people haven't realized or don't want to point out for fear of being called "racist".).

Ironically, if the Democrats had agreed to the wall and more money to process the "incoming", he would probably have agreed to give the dreamers an amnesty. But politics/hatred got in the way.

And now the "squad" of radicals are crying tears over immigrants while refusing to vote for funding to process the immigrants. Huh? what do they want: Dump them on the streets?

I do agree Trumpieboy's tweet: "go back to your old country" (and then solve the problems and then come back here to solve ours) sounds bad, since some of those who were implied in the criticism were born in the USA, but hey, maybe AOC should go back to NYCity and solve their problems before messing up the entire USA.

This type of left wing manufactured/"astroturf" hysteria happened before:

Reminds me of McGovern and 1968, with Pelosi as Hubert Humphrey. Sigh. That was how you got Nixon and now it will probably get you 4 more years of Trump.

The people smuggling business is a world wide multi million dollar business, often run by the same cartels that smuggle drugs.

It's a world wide problem, and until you manage to stop the big shots behind drugs and the banks that launder the money it won't stop.

Duterte is doing his best (but the crooked politicians are fighting back in the name of "human rights").

Everyone laments murders here, including the murder of some priest activists, and points fingers at Duterte (even when it is local politicians ordering the deed).

well, quite a few Mexican priests have been killed by the drug cartels too. And these priests are killed so the cartels can be in power: some because they criticized the drug cartels' violence, but some because they helped migrants escape the violence of the smugglers.

UKGuardian article from Sept 2016: (i.e. before Trump)

Before last week’s murders, Mexico’s Catholic Media Centre had tallied the killings of 28 priests since 2006, most of them in states where criminal groups are powerful, such Michoacán, Guerrero and Veracruz...

So do you play nice and let the cartels make you into a narco state, or start shooting? (It can be done, but it's long and bloody. Colombia did it, but no body noticed. But Duterte is trying to stop things before they get that bad).

You have to figure out a "cost/benefit" ration in these things.

The  number of people killed here varies (whether or not you consider all the dead bodies, including "amoks", pay back murders, political murders, and murders by gangs). But Wikiepedia says our murder rate is 11 per 100 thousand people.

In contrast Time Magazine said Mexico's reported murders in 2018 were 33000;  Wikipedia quotes Mexico's murder rate as 19 out of 100 thousands people.

StrategyPage has this background on Mexico: Ironically their economy has improved thanks to NAFTA forcing them to modernize their economy.

Most of the present wave of immigrants, however, come from Central America, and you can see why:

Wikipedia reports the murder rate in Honduras is 56 and in El Salvador is 61, some of the highest in the world.

and waiting in the wings: Refugees from the wars, disease, and corruption problems of Central Africa, who now that Europe is trying to slow down their refugee flow, are finding their way to the southern border of the USA.