Thursday, October 31, 2019

We are okay

the earthquake hit the southern Philippines, not our area. We have a stepdaughter lives near there and she and her husband are okay, and busy helping with the relief effort.

Undas is coming

here, some in Manila are starting to celebrate Halloween, but here in the provinces, the big holiday is "Undas": all Saints day.

We go to the graves of our beloved dead, clean up the graves, light candles and place flowers, and then stay to picnic. We also go to church for mass (something I might skip, since in the heat I tend to faint in church).

The cemeteries are packed with visitors, and there are usually vendors there to sell you stuff you forgot (extra candles, snacks and soft drinks and beer, and there are toys for the kids who tend to get bored).

Everyone goes home to their home villages to do this, so the roads are packed, and the police advertise which roads are open and which ones are one way, and again insist that beer in cemeteries is forbidden.

there will be a lot of security out there: terrorism is still a threat, and when lots of folks are crowding on buses etc. you can see the possible problems. And of course, the roads are packed.

I am still a bit sick, so I had the maid and two of her relatives tidy up Lolo's gravesite, and we will go there today to place candles and flowers. November 1 is the big day, but usually it is so crowded you have to walk from the main road, and it is too far for me to do that in the heat.

If you have read my previous rants, you know Catholics see Jesus and heaven as part of an extended family. So family members who have died are still part of the family, and are concerned about us and pray for us here on earth.

 The Church traditionally has three divisions: Those on earth, those in heaven, and those in purgatory. So praying for the loved ones is a way to keep the lines of communication open with those who have gone ahead of us, and if they are in purgatory, a way to help them get out and go to heaven a bit faster.

Purgatory has a bad rap among the Protestants, who point out that it is not biblical (unless your bible has Maccabees in it). However, it is a human belief that there is more than a binary heaven and hell, so that those who don't outright reject God and chose hatred will have a chance to clean up their act get to heaven: meaning those of us with usual sins of weakness will have a chance to make up for it.

The traditional fires of art are probably metaphorical: the more modern see it as facing the harm you have done to yourself and others, and then repenting and reconciling with those we hurt.

So here those beliefs are mixed with the traditional Asian ideas of honoring one's ancestors and offering them gifts and prayers for their souls.

Full explanation here.

If this sounds similar to the Mexican Day of the Dead, you are probably right. But Buddhists and Confucian customs do the same thing, although usually in the spring.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Who's a good dog

there are several movies about military dogs: The most famous is, of course, the children's movie Max.

and the less serious follow up movie:

But this one is about the dog handlers and their dangerous job.

and here is music to calm your dog: no, I don't know if it works. The dog who sleeps in my room is out courting his girlfriend.

it's a young dog who has replaced George our Killer Labrador. Not as vicious as the late George, but until I can afford another Lab, he'll do.

and no, his name is not classified: His name is Barry, named after Barack O'Bama of course.

yes, I know: I have lots of cat themes on my blog, but actually I am a dog person. But the cats tend to like me so I'm stuck with them.

Mama Mary or pachimama? Who really rules?

When I visited rural Colombia with my Colombian born sons, we had to travel up the highway to catch a plane (the local airport was closed due to heavy fog). While taking a detour, I spotted a homemade shrine with flowers and candles on a hill, and asked my sons what it was (in the USA, often such monuments are at the sites of accidents, to remember their loved ones).

My son answered that a local woman had had a vision of the virgin Mary, and the locals had made a shrine there where they prayed.

Such shrines are all over the place: not just where someone saw the Virgin, (such things are rare and usually squashed by the local church officials as soon as they get wind of it) but more often locals put up shrines placed to show their love for the Virgin, to thank her (and her son) for a blessing, or as a petition to keep family members safe.

This is a world wide phenomenon.

Here in the Philippines, often middle class people have "Lourdes grottoes" in their garden. and the practice until recently was to pray the rosary after supper, something still done in our rural area.

but even in the more sophisticated USA, they even have a name: bathtub Madonnas. see Wikipedia page.

lest you think these shrines are the result of overly pious church ladies, maybe look deeper into why people put them up.

my next door neighbor in Pennsylvania, a tough retired coal miner with five sons who had worked in the mines before they shut down, had one, in thanksgiving for keeping them safe. 

And then there is the story of Our Lady of the Rockies, built by out of work miners to the annoyance of both the local bishop and the "freedom from religion" types.

how we worship does involve who we are as a person (see James' Varieties of Religious experience), but also echoes our culture.

So American individualism sees being "born again" the big thing, because the stress is our personal relationship to God. But less modern and more ethnic cultures sees God as part of the whole, or as Pinoys would say: God is Father, Jesus is Kuya (older brother) and Mama Mary is our mother in heaven.

In America, if you ask me who I am, I am a physician.

Here, if you ask me who I am, I am Dr Reyes' wife, and the aunt of Dr. Angi and the stepmother of Kuya who runs one of the local rice businesses. Oh yes: I am also a doctor (in case you want me to check your blood pressure) but I am not seen merely as an individual, but as a person who is part of a family.

The concept is deep in a person's way of thinking: we have "utang ng loob" relationships with each other, which means we are part of each other with a debt of gratitude, so entire families will collect money for a sick loved one, and why so many Filipinos become overseas workers: to support their extended family. 

So for a Filipino, God is part of this extended family, and worship is not just going to church or reading the bible, but taught in the stories of his birth and death which are celebrated in music and fiestas. Indeed, that is why the short, pithy parables of that working class carpenter make more sense to rural farmers than to sophisticated yuppies in the USA.

Weddding feast of Cana? Yup. God loves parties. Black Nazarene? Yes, he suffered and died, just like we suffer so he understands. El Nino? Yup. Children are loved here, so forget the God of wrath: Jesus was a cute kid for you to cuddle, and when you care for your kid, you are serving Jesus.

 A longer explanation of how culture and religion are connected HERE.

and a sociological explanation of how the family oriented culture affects how  Filipino Catholicism is practiced can be found here.

a similar strong family values is found in the Hispanic community, and indeed in many ethnic communities in America (see My Big Fat Greek Wedding I and especially II, which could easily be remade here, with Ruby being dropped off at her college in Minnesota by her mom and some local friends who helped them get her settled).

the problem? the modern world is breaking down the family structure, replacing it with American individualism.

In the third world, when families move from the village to the city to find work, you are left in a cultural vacuum that leaves you open to drugs and worse. 

One alternative is to replace the extended family with fellow church members, either in the local Evangelical or pentecostal church, or in the community outreaches of the local Catholic churches in the city.

But Vatican II types decided to push liberation theology  on South America, so they decided to replace the idea of God who became a man in a family,(and discouraged the rituals and fiestas that strengthen social adhesiveness, and reinforce your relationship with family, neighbors, the deity and the saints) with arid politically correct Marxist ideas (that pit one group against one another) masquerading as social action.

The problem? Coming from mostly elite families, they missed the fact that family oriented ordinary folk who weren't big on theology saw this as rejecting God. So some became Marxists but many more found their lost Jesus in pentecostal churches.

This is part of the background on the crisis of Catholicism in South America: modernism, urban migration, family breakdown, and lurking in the background, the lure of drugs and drug money.

Now, did you notice that none of this seemed to be part of the "Amazon synod"? 

Yes, from a purely secular viewpoint, the Pope and his synod seems to be clueless.

They act as if including benign cultural expressions into the explanation of God and Jesus is something new, as if they never read that idea started with St Paul. But they seems to see this as a way to control people, in it's Marxist interpretation of "caring for the poor", meaning hating the rich and middle class and having a revolution where the people i.e. the elites who self selected themselves to rule the people, rule, and hiding the idea under the guise of religion.

In contrast, the Evangelicals etc. preach hard work and honesty as the way to help your family.

And then there is the paganism. 

"baptizing" pagan symbols as Christian is not new: (Christmas tree, anyone?) but reintroducing unchanged paganism into the church as if it were co equal with God? WTF?

That, and the fact they are mixing up all sorts of "indigenous" stuff from different tribes that don't believe the same thing, (uh, they don't) and then pushing their faux "indigenous" deity as if it had nothing to do with modern day paganism which is being revived among rich yuppies, especially feminist types, including nuns in pants suits.

I mean, pushing a modern art deco  style pachimama, representing not an Amazonian Goddess but the goddess of the Andean volcanoes who was worshiped by killing kids?  link2

So why did they use an art deco interpretation? Because google the actual image, and you will see she looks angry and demonic.

 Come on now. if you want to preach Jesus to a family oriented culture, why not use one of the popular icons of South America, that explain God's love for you in story and pictures, in a way that relates to your daily life? 

The best known "indigenous" icon is Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is dressed as an Aztec princess and appeared to a local Aztec to the annoyance of the Spanish bishop back in the days of conquest. Her message: Am I not your mother? (i.e. the mother of the Indians, not just of the rich Spaniards).

But if that "indigenous" Aztec Madonna isn't South American enough, or if you are one of those modern skeptics who say it was a put up job by the wily bishop to seduce Indians to convert, there are other indigenous Madonnas that might fit the bill.

For example,why not use the Virgin of Las Lajas, a famous shrine along the Ecuadorian/Colombian border, near the home town of my adopted sons, which has been named one of the most beautiful churches in the world.

According to local beliefs, the Virgin Mary appeared to a woman and her deaf-mute daughter in 1754 at the same place where the Las Lajas church is now standing. The Amerindian woman, Maria Meneses de Quiñones, and her daughter a deaf-mute, Rosa, were passing the Guaitara river when they found themselves hiding from a brutal storm. The story says that while the two women were looking for shelter, they felt like a force was guiding them towards a cave, where they were able to see the image of Our Virgin Mary on one of the walls. The little girl then shouted to her mother, pointing to the image. It is believed that the apparition of the Virgin Mary cured Rosa. The news of the miracle reportedly spread across the area,
the locals built a wooden chapel there, and later a church was built, and then rebuilt.

in other words, it was not an astroturf shrine, but one spontaneously built by locals, who recognized Mary as one willing to help the poor.

fast forward to minute 9 and you can see the shrine. Yes, it's in Spanish, but it shows the beauty of the area, has a local hymn to the Virgin in Spanish as background, and it doesn't have the slimy put downs of the usual American tourist videos or the overly pious narration of official videos.


if you thought the Amazon meeting was about married priests, you are ill informed. It is more about the apostasy of some in the Vatican, and what annoys me most is that they are actually clueless to the culture they are trying to use to destroy the church.

hello: There is an alternative.

as Msgr Pope wrote:

Pray for an apostolic exhortation that glorifies and lifts up Jesus as the only way to salvation. An exhortation that focuses not merely on a clean environment but purified souls. An exhortation that doesn’t speak of listening to the spirits of the rainforest, but of listening to Jesus, the Eternal Word of the Father. An exhortation that summons us to prayer, to the sacraments, to the Word of God and to the ancient and perennial teachings of the Church. Pray for an exhortation that casts aside Pachamama and points to Mary, who leads us to her Son!.

update: Bishop Gracida's blog has posted an essay by George Weigel about what is going on.

A line has been crossed.

Lord have mercy.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Family news

a low pressure area is bringing rain to the area. This is good for planting the next harvest but bad for the black rice we just harvested that has to be dried properly before we store it. And our rice drier is broken. Again. Sigh.

The refrigerator was not running well: the freezer kept things cold but not well frozen and the regular part of the fridge didn't keep anything cool at all... in the past this was because dirt was preventing the cold from going down into the main fridge from the freezer compartment, but we thought maybe the compressor needed fixing or the freon replaced.

 Our repairman had a stroke, so we called a different one, who promptly offered to sell me a used fridge, and then took the motor apart and said the circuit board needed to be replaced, and just for good luck I think he scratched it to break the circuit.

We threw him out and bought a new fridge: The old fridge was 10 years old, and things don't last long here due to power surges, brown outs, and a cook who sometimes doesn't shut the door properly.

 Oh well: There goes my budget. My savings are down due to lots of fees for visa problems and the deposit for the retirement visa and Joy's surgery and Ruby's school fees and heavy clothing for college (she only had "Vancouver" cold weather gear. She is now in Minnesota, and it's colder there in October than in January in Vancouver, so she needed to buy sub zero boots and parka etc.).

The rice business is not very profitable: You can live comfortably here, but not a lot for such "extras". And now Joy's mother has health problems, so some of her rice business profits will go to help with her medical bills instead of for our expenses here in the house.

And it's not just Joy's family: The cook's granddaughter had twins by C section (for PROM) and no husband to help with the bills. Here, that is a shameful thing but is becoming more and more common, alas. 

Dr Angi did the surgery, because she was high risk, and the "free" subsidized government hospital is not as high standards. I am helping a bit with the bills, knowing that the alternative is lousy meals because the food budget would be diverted by the cook, who has been in the family for 40 years and can't be fired, although she is older than I am and refuses to quit because she is helping support a lot of her grandkids school fees.

As for me, I am fighting off the cold that is going around. 

and one of the female dogs is in heat, meaning the boy dogs who are left out at night to keep us safe are fighting over her. 

Traffic and sometimes sirens make the night noisy: especially now that they are repairing the main road and it is diverted around out House. And the jail and one of the fire stations is down the street.

To keep out the noise, I tend to run lectures ripped from youtube, audiobooks from librivox or ripped via youtube or computer read mp3s (Balaboka is a good free program to do this), and podcasts on my tablet or small radio as friendly noise: Nothing complicated or too interesting: usually history or science stuff. I do listen to novel audiobooks from Scribd, but they don't put you to sleep: Usually I listen to them from my tablet during the day as I putter around the house.

Finally, Kuya bought something to link my computer to our TV so we can watch Youtube on the TV. We do have a lot of channels, but if the 7pm movies are something we saw or are another superhero type film, we often watch the "oldies but goodies" type movies downloaded from youtube. The new connector will let us bypass the steps of downloading to a thumb drive and hoping the film doesn't crash halfway thru because I didn't rip it properly. It also will make it easier to watch Netflix, which he has on his smart phone and computer.

the family flat screen TV is in my bedroom (we bought one for Lolo before he died) so we often watch TV here after supper.

Yes we get some TV shows, and watch the cooking/ nature/ documentary type shows a lot, but most of the regular series are on late at night and tell you the truth, I often miss parts of the series type show. I never did find out what happened in Lost, Downton Abbey was two years behind, and a lot of the shows are not relaxing. Some, like the Walking dead are advertised "the same time as US", but I'm not into that series either. 

as for news: We have CNN Philippines (not quite as anti American as CNN international), Fox, BBC, Al Jazerah, the evening news from Japan and local stations, and the local 24 hour news in English or Tagalog. But usually I get news via internet or in the local newspaper.

Gaslighting at the Amazon synod

From Magister's blog: he posts an essay a Uruguayan missionary invited to the synod by Pope Francis, Martín Lasarte Topolanski,
that points out how the Amazon manipulated the church.

full essay here,

For example, the idea is that  if you believe in Catholicism you are bad:

9. The atmosphere of the Synod was fairly serene, fraternal and respectful, even though at the end some participants presented things rather dialectically. On the one hand, the Pharisee club was tied to the doctrine, frightened by the new, thus closed to the Holy Spirit; on the other hand, those who listen to the people (“sensus fidei”), without fear, are open to what is new and so are docile to the Holy Spirit… We must admire a Holy Spirit that came so well prepared and organised.
that last bit is sarcasm by the writer, of course.

Like the previous synod of the family, this Synod was carefully orchestrated with compliant bishops etc to astroturf the ideas that the Pope had decided needed to be changed in 2014.

one wonders how many of those who voted for him as Pope were aware of this agenda; indeed, the manipulation of the resignation of Benedict and the manipulation of the conclave (which is illegal by canon law) have many suggesting that this pope is not really a Pope since his election was irregular.

Yes, that has happened before, and resulted in the western Schism back in the middle ages, which is why so many bishops are remaining silent in the face of blasphemy because the alternative is to split the church.

the difference is that back then, both "popes" agreed on dogma (it was merely a political fight). But what is going on now it resembles Henry VIII and Elizabeth II taking over the church, pressuring the bishops to go along with the changes (and killing those who opposed them), and slowly morphing the church by changing dogma and ritual, because the reformers were willing to back the King/queen so they could manufacture their own church.

Except in this case, it's a NWO church being slowly built in front of our eyes.

As for the synod: If you objected to the idols and other stuff, you are racist. And note the "indigenous" theologian is from a Mexican tribe.

Why does this matter? Because tribes are not monoliths.

It reminds me of going to a shop selling "indigenous" souvenirs in Banaue here in the northern Philippines, and I found them selling an Ojibwa dreamcatcher.

why not? For the elite white newage types, who would be eagerly buying the souvenirs, all "indigenous" people look alike. (/s).

Guess what? all that confusion on what the idols stood for and what they were doing was pure gaslighting by those in charge of the synod.

Can you say "gaslighting" children? (fast forward to minute 8)

If you want a background into the pagan ritual that was done in the Vatican garden, the modern Jeremiah, crazy AnnBarnhardt, has done her homework (and gotten a lot of "headsup" emails from her readers).

Pachimama as new age ritual LINK

Link how to do a pachimama ritual at home with lots of explanation of what and who was doing this to honor the Dragon goddess of earthquakes.

LINK Part 2 of how to do a pachimama ritual at home. and headsup from some of her readers.

summary: several bishops are not amused with the insertion of an openly pagan idol worship into the "synod" and are bold enough to say so (here and here) and since some bishops openly said they would skip the closing mass if this was done, a slight of hand was done: the plant/dirt of the original ritual was substituted so that no one would recognize the pagan element was still being honored.

so voila, instead of holy idols, we have holy dirt and plants.

(of course, the ritual is of sophisticated tribes of the Andes, not of the primitive the Amazonian tribes, but no one seemed to notice this either).


the problem? It's almost impossible to fire /impeach the Pope. Yes, it can be done, but you would face a propaganda machines worse than the "deep state" which is using the Democratic patsies to get rid of Trump.

It's all there: if you are following the kerfuffle on the Catholic blogosphere, you will find Strawman arguments, bandwagon argument, guilt by association, black or white arguments, shifting definitions when you try to criticize something, and of course, that old standby: ad hominem attack aka name calling,

if you dare to oppose their agenda, according to the Pope's mouthpiece (Spandero) you are racist, of course .

That's they guy who tried to get the Cajun newscaster fired from EWTN.

Arroyo however refused to bow to his betters and replied:

These depictions “are factually and culturally misreading the situation,” said Arroyo, which end up “destroying or castigating or demonizing others.”
“They make the mistake of casting orthodox Catholics in America as right-wingers, players in a political plot to undo the agenda of Francis.”
“The truth is much more simple,” noted Arroyo. “American Catholics actually believe what the Church has always taught and they are loud enough and have big enough platforms to broadcast that belief.”
you mean people actually believe that nonsense? How gauche.

so where are the other voices?

I suspect they are being manipulated by lies and open falsehoods to be too confused to take a stand, or afraid to be called names if they dare associate with the crazy trads who want a pre vatican II church.

Not true, of course; I am not a trad. I am aware of the importance of culture in religious expression (or in curing the sick for that matter).

But when the Pope and bishops who are supposed to be teaching the truth spread confusion and move the goalposts whenever you object, well, maybe someone needs to recognize what is going on.

I'm sorry to post so much about what seems to be a minor religious story, but the MSM is ignoring it, and if the Catholic church is destroyed and morphed into a puppet of the NWO/UN, it will have major ramifications in the future.



MsgrPope at the NCRegister has a good summary of what a lot of us are worrying about. 

One: it wasn't a true grass roots synod, but one with a stacked deck to insure the desired outcome:
Pope Francis ... seems to have learned his lessons well at previous Synods where he was publicly resisted. There was a tight leash on the proceedings and press conferences were highly scripted.
so did anyone question them about what was going on? 
Catholic reporters did a worthy job, asking often tough questions. The usual reply to these questions by the hand-picked press panel was to express surprise and outrage that such questions were even raised...

The whole process has been steeped with the jargon and ambiguity that is the hallmark of this papacy. And the ambiguity reaches to the most serious matters...
Here the writer brings up some theological areas of confusion, such as an interview where the reporter said the Pope told him he doesn't believ Jesus was God. WTF? 

 Do not such wild claims that the Pope holds such views, touching on the deepest roots of our faith, deserve immediate disavowal from the Pope himself?
And here we get to the idol worship stuff: 
...Add to all this the appalling event in the Vatican Gardens, attended by the Holy Father and a number of Synod participants and fathers. There are pictures of some of them, bowing fully prostrate before a wooden statue of a naked, pregnant woman. After weeks of silence we are told by the Pope that this was not idolatry and there was no idolatrous intention. But then why did people, including priests, prostrate before it? Why was the statue carried in procession into churches like St. Peter’s Basilica and placed before altars at Santa Maria in Traspontina? And if it isn’t an idol of Pachamama (an earth/mother goddess from the Andes), why did the Pope call the image “Pachamama?”
What am I to think? And why am I not reassured by the ambiguous and contradictory statements?...
One could argue that the idol was nothing real, so respecting it was like respecting the American flag, or kissing an ancient Koran: Not an act of worship and not approving of the things done by those who revere the symbol, but showing respect for the beliefs of others who revere these symbols.

After all, in the Bible, sometimes idols are called demons, but other times they are merely called absurd things with no power at all.

But in the context of actions showing participation in a pagan rite, it suggests those who participated either were worshipping the spirit behind the idol, or else that they really don't take the idea of God seriously. As if they are saying: Hey these things are all nonsense, so who cares.
These are but three very grave matters that touch on the divinity of Christ, the First Commandment, the doctrine of hell and the very nature of Holy Orders.
God’s faithful deserve more than ambiguous and confusing replies...
 the entire summary of the synod is being published but few have read and analyzed it.

But Father Pope does summarize what a lot of us wish was in the report, but probably was not.
Pray for an apostolic exhortation that glorifies and lifts up Jesus as the only way to salvation. An exhortation that focuses not merely on a clean environment but purified souls. An exhortation that doesn’t speak of listening to the spirits of the rainforest, but of listening to Jesus, the Eternal Word of the Father. An exhortation that summons us to prayer, to the sacraments, to the Word of God and to the ancient and perennial teachings of the Church. Pray for an exhortation that casts aside Pachamama and points to Mary, who leads us to her Son!.

Amen and amen.

Background behind the news

I posted this before, but it gives the messy background on what is happening in Syria. From StrategyPage:


What is real, and how to spin a story: Take one:

GetReligion, a blog that covers how the press covers religion,  covers the WaPo obituary on that "austere religious leader" killed by a US raid.

the bad news? ISIS is moving into Nigeria and sending experts to help the local terrorists do terror more efficiently. They also discuss the various Islamic terror groups, who by the way kill a lot of "moderate" Muslims, especially now that ethnic cleansing has chased the Christians from the north.

and note that part about why the US (under President Obama) hesitated to send aid to help the government fight the bad guys: Because most of the stuff was stolen/diverted.

more HERE.


And I had to laugh at this, because it hints to one reason Trumpieboy is letting Russia (and Turkey) sort it out in Syria:
The effort to explore for oil in the Moslem north is also crippled by the bad reputation Nigeria has when it comes to foreign oil companies. This is one of the reasons for turning to Russia to help out with oil production. That could be interesting because the Russians tend to be pretty ruthless with problems like oil theft and armed gangs. The Russians hire mercenaries and order them to shoot back and keep shooting.
the background of using US troops to keep the oil safe in Syria is because ISIS had taken it over and had sold it (mainly to Assad and to Turkey) to get money to hire/pay their terror recruits.

Story here.


Monday, October 28, 2019

Russian Collusion!

from the questions after Trumpieboy told about killing a really really bad guy in charge of ISIS; (note: FR may not be workplace friendly).

But the flight in, the flight out, was a very, very dangerous part. There was a chance that we would have met unbelievable fire. Russia treated us great. They opened up. We had to fly over certain Russia areas, Russia-held areas. Russia was great. Iraq was excellent. We really had great cooperation. And you have to understand: They didn’t know what we were doing and where we were going, exactly.
But the ISIS fighters are hated as much by Russia and some of these other countries as they are by us. And that’s why I say they should start doing a lot of the fighting now, and they’ll be able to. I really believe they’ll be able to. 

several other countries were also praised...

the MSM of course is busy doing their usual faux stories, complete with criticism... For example, that secret information that Politico seems to be hyperventillating about? A lot of it is stuff that even I, a lowly ex National Guard person and a grandmother living in the rural Philippines, knew about.

and of course, the compound information came came from the Kurds...

well, duh.

And then there is the way that the MSM wrote lovingly of the dead SOB. Instapundit link one link2

It makes one wonder what the present-day editors of the WaPo would make of Hitler’s death if they had to report it all over again:
“Animal-loving vegetarian with ambitious plans dies tragically”
Or Stalin’s:
“Former seminary student who became leader of a great nation is deeply mourned”
I wasn’t far off from what was the actual NY Times headline for Stalin’s obit, which read, “Stalin Rose From Czarist Oppression to Transform Russia Into Mighty Socialist State.” [Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.]
Wow. That seems to be a real Times headline and not a parody site.

Big Brother is watching you

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Idolotry? we haz that

it seems that those "amazonian idols" that were chucked into the Tiber have been found.

EcclesIsSaved blog says Sherlock Holmes was on the case:

After offering us a humble glass of indigenous Amazon water, Pope Francis explained the problem to us. "Mr Holmes, only you can help us. Last night thieves broke into the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, removed four idols of the Blessed Pachamama (here the Holy Father knelt down and kissed the ground) and threw them into the Tiber."...
"Do you not have replacement idols?" asked Holmes. "I saw traces of Brazilian sawdust on the floor when I came in, which suggest that an idol-making factory is somewhere nearby... 
"Oh yes, we have a whole shed full of the idols," explained Francis. "We shall be sending one to every parish in the world. But it is important for the prestige of the Synod that we recover the missing idols and place them in St Peter's Basilica." 
Holmes and I went down to the Tiber bridge from which Pachamama had received her early bath - now renamed St Pachamama's Bridge - and looked for clues. Would the idols have sunk into the mud, or would they be drifting out to sea, like a small flotilla, wending their way back to the shores of South America? There were no clues, and the crime seemed to be motiveless. What Catholic could possibly object to the demotion of the Trinity, the Virgin Mary and the saints, and their replacement by a smelly old lump of wood?
Only the worst extremist Genghis Khan-following fascist sedevacantists, as little Austen might put it.

the dirty little secret is that these "idols" weren't traditional idols, but carved by a local artist who lives in a South American city. 

and the story keeps changing. NO, nobody bowed to idols (who do you believe, the Vatican spokesperson or your lying eyes?)

And the arguments whether or not they symbolize the Virgin Mary or Mother Gaia or the bloody female deity of the Amazon region keeps changing too. This of course is simply another example of "gaslighting" and manipulation, which describes the entire fake synod which is being used to push an agenda to destroy Catholicism. 

By pushing confusion, if you criticize them, they "morph" what you are criticizing into something else to prove you are wrong.

Ecoreligion is the next agenda being pushed on ordinary folks.

And coming soon, a film inspired by a visit to Cuba (where I don't believe is in the Amazon basin, but never mind): via Netflix;

Excuse my cynicism, but I have spent quite a few years living and working with many different cultures. 

My question is why this fake use of a mythical "Amazon" culture?

Answer: Because few people are experts on that culture, so you can project your own ideas on the people who live there.

Hello! There are many tribes in the Amazon, and many of them have converted to Pentecostal Christianity in the past 20 years... but no, no Christian pastors are being asked by the Vatican on how to evangelize these isolated tribes.

The church has been around for 2000 years, and has managed to preach to a lot of different cultures.

but a lot of cultures aren't isolated enough, so if some "expert" decided to push this agenda, those dang locals might just get out their cellphones and tweet a correction.

I mean, you even have cellphones in primitive villages of darkest Africa (/s), so you couldn't get away with an African synod without some non PC pastor tweeting a correction, and as for Asia: here even my maid has a iPhone.

True, the Vatican has managed to discourge a lot of Asian Christians: they aren't backing the Hong Kong protest of course, and thanks to the pedophile of Washington DC (i.e. McCarrick), the Chinese Catholic church has been destroyed by placing it under the rule of Emperor Xi.

But again, there is a vital and growing Christian community in China that could instruct the Vatican on how to evangelize the Chinese....

and if you are into multiculturalism, why not use the example of the 2000 years old Christianity of the East? (not just Asian Roman Catholics in India or the Philippines, but the churches in the Middle East, including the Coptic, Greek and Russian Orthodox, and Syrian Christianity) ?

Why not use these churches as an example on how to evangelize Catholicism? Because a lot of these people actually believe in Jesus: indeed, many have even been martyred in recent years.

and the dirty little secret of the Amazon synod is that it is about eco religion and destroying traditional Catholic customs and beliefs that stand in the way of a fancy new world order. I mean, follow the money...

 but we Filipinos don't have to go to Rome or the Amazon to find pagan idol worship.

Here's a magazine being sold at the local pharmacy near the Palenke, where the poor shop.


Yup. Dimples Romana's standout meal is very Catholic, because nothing says "help the poor and homeless to eat" as much as having an actress promote a gourmet meal.

and then they wonder why 20 percent of locals have joined Evangelical or pentecostal churches, and the numbers are growing.

(Joy's rice business has outreaches to feed the street people in her area of Bulacan, as part of the outreach from her evangelical church).


Pray for our good priests here, who actually do preach the gospel and care for the poor.

and if I stay Catholic, it is because of the Eucharist.

update one: Yes, I know: a Filipino priest has a cooking show on EWTN: well, here Jesus is Kuya and God is Papa and then there is Mama Mary, and so yes, family get togethers and parties and fiestas sort of include them as part of the family.

Since Jesus' first miracle was at a wedding party, and since Catholicism sees God in everything good, it is fitting. (My complaint is that the magazine is yuppie oriented self help stuff and not about how we serve God in our daily lives).

update 2:  no idols, just a lowly house plant was offered in St Peters.

Gloria TV says:
(reporter Damian) Thompson further learned that “many bishops, including some cardinals, will not feel able to attend the Synod's closing Mass if the [Pachamama] statues are on display”

the conclusion of the "meeting" was pre determined, just as in previous synods. You chose who will attend to those who will cooperate, and then push the agenda through and voila, it's the holy spirit so shut up.

Edward Pentin has a whole book about how this was done in the "Synod of the family" so this type of cynical manipulation is getting sort of old for those of us who actually believe what Christ taught.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Audiobook of the week

Pain pills and trauma care

People rarely die of prescription opioid medications they are prescribed. 
Well, duh. Sounds about right.

even those on high doses for chronic pain don't get "addicted": They might need to be withdrawn slowly from the medicine, but the psychological problems of addiction are not there (i.e. they take it to get rid of the pain not to get high).

The opioid crisis got bad after I left practicing medicine and moved here, but I know of two deaths in people who stole narcotic medications from cancer patients and died of an overdose. One was a known druggie, but another was a 13 year old girl at a party who was told to "drink this" and did. She was unpopular so obeyed the girl who gave it to her (probably as a joke). The source of the narcotic was the girl's grandmother, who kept liquid morphine for break through pain in her purse. Sigh.

but the dirty little secret is that the little old ladies often sell or borrow pain pills from each other because... arthritis pain.

A lot of older people just use a single mild opioid tablet at bedtime so they can sleep.

Yes, NSAIDs are just as good: indeed, for a lot of pain they are better, because they relieve inflammation: but in the elderly they have the risk of bleeding ulcer and kidney damage, so may kill more people than prescription opioids. So which are safer? It's hard to do a "clean" study, since the abuse cases and suicides confuse the statistics LINK

as for the suggestion to use Paracetamol (Tylenol), sorry: it just doesn't work as well, and it only lasts for 4 hours so you have to take a lot of pills to stay comfortable and again they do not relieve inflammation (which causes pain).

Drug abuse is a societal problem.

But of course, if you acknowledge it is Chinese fake percocet/ oxycontin /Fentanyl being smuggled in via Mexican drug cartels, you might have people actually saying yes build that wall to keep out drugs.

and my question: Where are the churches here? Isn't this a moral weakness to use drugs to get high? And how many take drugs because they were in despair, and no one was there to comfort them?

Ah, but PC churches have different priorities: Too busy worshipping Pachamama and changing Wikipedia pages for their enemies I guess...

The Good news: from StrategyPage: Freeze dried plasma will save lives.

you give it to people suffering from blood loss. Plasma has been used since World War II (one of my professors was in charge of the blood bank using this to treat D Day casualties) but the new version is portable and doesn't require refrigeration.

The bad news: The French have been using it since 1994, and the US military has been using the French version since 2010 but is still trying to get the paperwork done to make it for the USA.

Article on the history of treatment of shock with plasma and blood transfusions and with IV fluid. LINK

A black physician, Dr. Charles Drew, developed the logistics of providing blood to the injured used in World War II.

His pioneering research and systematic developments in the use and preservation of blood plasma during World War II not only saved thousands of lives, but innovated the nation’s blood banking process and standardized procedures for long-term blood preservation and storage techniques adapted by the American Red Cross.
The Strategypage article notes other lifesaving methods devised for the military and now used in civilian life, such as hemecon and woundstat, used to stop bleeding and the abdominal belt to stop internal bleeding from the aorta.

not mentioned: Don't forget the helicopters.

The opening scene of MASH shows the helicopters bringing in the wounded, but in the last 30 years, helicopter transfer for civilians is becoming more common: Indeed, when possible they will land at your car accident site or near by (e.g. in parking lots) to take you to the Emergency room in some isolated rural communities.

the bad news: Consumer reports laments often they are used when alternative transport is available, leaving the person with a huge bill. But the problem is that when you call the ambulance, you don't often know how serious is the injury, or if the patient might die at the less equipped local hospital, or deteriorate during the long ambulance ride (when I worked in Northern Minnesota, it was 6 hours to Minneapolis and three hours to Fargo by ambulance... and in rural Pennsylvania a trip that is ten miles by map might take an hour and 30 miles by the mountain roads).

This article about a central Pennsylvania auto accident discusses how people are rescued and transported by medivac helicopter. 

I know the area.

Boalsburg is 30 minute drive to state StateCollege and another one hour or more drive to Altoona and in this case, the helicopter landed in a nearby parking lot.

the maps insist it is only a 45 minute drive to drive the 49 miles, but that is not true: that assumes the car accident happened near the interstate highway, that there is perfect weather, and that you can break the speed limit... 
And the dirty little secret is that it is hard to care for a critical patient in a noisy moving ambulance or in a fixed wing transport...

(I have no experience in the helicopters but these medevacs are well equipped, with experienced personnel, so things are less primitive than when I used to make ambulance runs in ambulances or in the fixed wing Cessna owned by the local undertaker that we used to borrow in the 1980s to transport people 150 miles to Rapid City from the Reservation).

My son in law is a Medevac pilot, Keep him in your prayers. 

and have you thanked your local EMT lately?


In World War I, those suffering mental problem from combat were said to be suffering from "Shell shock".

And the SP article cited above notes that yes, post traumatic stress syndrome is more common in those who had mild brain concussions from IED explosions.

While largely the result of being exposed to a lot of combat, it was, by the late 1990s, realized that head trauma, usually from being too close to a lot of explosions, played a part as well. Work on PTSD continues, especially now that more methods have been developed, including medicines...

more HERE. 

however PTSD also occurs in civilians who had traumatic experiences. WEBMD discusses diagnosis and treatment.

Joe Kenda (of Homicide Hunter) discusses:
Kenda knows he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder similar to what military veterans experience, and the show is a way for him to release some of the pent-up stress that still eats away at him to this day.
“It doesn’t go away,” says Kenda, who worked his way up to commander of the Major Crimes Unit. “You can’t un-see those things, you can’t not think about them, and you can’t forget them, even though you want to...
There are certain events that will trigger a memory, and it’s startling. Imagine having a nightmare while you’re awake. That’s what it can be sometimes.”
Sigh. Been there, done that. We docs see a lot of horrors too, cases of suffering we couldn't stop, or abuse cases or accidents, or of treatment that didn't work,  and you keep busy so just put the memory in a box and carry on. But after retirement, the memories pop back suddenly, and all I can do it give the problem to the Lord...


update: for all of you who do medevac:

Since my blog is named after MASH (actually, after book 2 of the series:  MASH Goes to Maine, where they set up a clinic in the Finest Kind fishmarket in Hawkeye's home town in Maine.) I figured I'd post the famous beginning of the TV show, which shows the helicopters bringing in the casualties.

The book was by a surgeon Dr. Richard Hornburger, who was still practicing in Maine when I was practicing in Massachusetts as a young doctor. 
the books are available to borrow on Internet archives for free registration.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Musical interlude of the day

for all you grandmothers out there: turn up speakers and sing along......

my granddaughters are teens now, but soon I guess I'll be singing them to my great grandkids....

alas, most of the are in the USA so I only see them once a year or so.
here on our cable, we have a station called BabyTV, with songs and happy cartoon stuff on it. LINK

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Movie of the week

One of the books I brought with me to the Philippines was "the Shell Seekers".

The 1989 Hallmark movie based on the novel can be found on Youtube:


and the audiobook version can also be found there:



in the last week, we have seen videos of working class stiffs grabbing eco demonstrators who were trying to block trains until one of the locals grabbed one of them by the legs and pulled him off.

Then there were the California types (affluent white girls) blocking a highway demonstrating against global warming, causing people to be late for work, until one guy grabbed their banner and threw it away and opened the road.

Then there was the unknown people who picked up a set of pagan idols from inside a church in Rome and threw them into the Tiber. The Vatican refused to clarify if these statues were a folk carving of the Virgin Mary, a pagan idol, or just a symbol of "mother earth", but the ceremonies suggested it was being treated as a pagan idol, so a lot of us are cheering that someone took a stand.

being the modern world, and since most of the pushback against aging hippies are from the tech savvy "yutes", we have videos of all these things.

But there are also demonstrations all over: Hong Kong, France, Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria etc. that don't get in the news.

One trouble: it's easy to "astroturf" a demonstration, and the left is very good at doing this.

But which demonstrations are true grass roots demonstrations, and which are fake? Hard to tell.

I know here in the Philippines, the going rate to hire a demonstrator is 500 pesos a day plus lunch. (ten dollars).

Of course, if the unemployed and underemployed don't like what you are demonstrating against, they won't do it. (just like vote buying: They only take money to vote for who they want to vote for, the problem is that when all those running for office are seen as crooks, it means the highest bidder wins).

back to the Vatican: the idea behind the present synod is to remake the church, and if you follow the money it's coming from Germany and international organizations. Then there is a move to implement a socialist statement that the liberation theology types signed back during Vatican II.

The problem; a lot fewer people are poor statistically today than back in the 1960s/

and it is due to capitalism.

and the areas of extreme poverty, such as in Africa, are due to socialism (e.g. Zimbabwe), corruption and tribal wars.

But never mind.

here's another video:

A Black Tudor?

I posted about this before, after the miniseries of Catherine of Aragon had one of her ladies in waiting played by a black acrtress.

But here is a lecture from Gresham College: they have all sorts of lectures there, not just history but math and science and literature. 


You might want to check them out: they have upcoming lectures on black history: LINK

Saturday, October 19, 2019

WTF is going on in Syria?

the latest excuse for removing Trumpieboy (and destroying the constitution) is the war in Syria: Letting Turkey get rid of the Kurdish terrorist group threatening their border.

Lots of political smoke and mirrors being done in the MSM: so many that Dilbert cynically notes the stories of bombed hospitals and dead children have been posted right on schedule. LINK

Has the American press had any articles written from Turkey's point of view?

The PhilInquirer has an editorial explaining Turkey's point of view.

they point out that they are fighting the PKK terrorist groups, not the Kurds per se: and that what they are trying to do here is similar to what they have done in the recent past, with little help or encouragement from their critics: pacify an area and resettle refugees in the now safe area.

Turkey has established a reliable pattern in the last three years. Turkey’s operations in northwestern Syria—in 2016-7 in and around Jarabulus and 2018 in Afrin—cleared a vast area of the terrorist presence. In the aftermath of those operations, the communities that suffered under the terrorists started living in peace and benefiting from orderly governance. Some 365,000 refugees returned to their home in northwestern Syria. 
and the writer is especially cynical against the Europeans who haven't been doing any fighting and who are refusing to help fight and even refusing to repatriate their terrorist fighters.

StrategyPage has a long analysis that sort of points out what Turkey is doing. Turkey is trying to resettle 3 million (Sunni/anti Assad) refugees in the border zone, a group that potentially threatens Assad, and to make things worse, no one likes the Turks, because they remember the Ottoman Empire.

So it's sort of complicated: read the whole thing.

but that won't stop the press from spinning the story to try to destroy Trumpieboy.

And only Rush Limbaugh noted that the most enthusiastic applause for Trump at his last rally was when he said he'd bring the troops home.

Hmmm... didn't President Obama try that too? And things erupted into chaos.

on the other hand, these folks have been fighting each other for 5000 years, so one doubts the US is going to pacify the area.

Tutmosis call your office: Those Syrians are at it again.

Seven days in May?

Did the NYTimes just post an "editorial" by a retired Admiral who essentially said there should be a military coup against the President?
“As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg,” McRaven recalled, “one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, ‘I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!’”
big deal. Anyone watching CNN or MSNBC would say the same thing.

Of course, the details on how Trumpieboy is doing this is vague (it was Russia Russia RUSSIA but that flopped, so now it's Ukraine Ukraine UKRAINE, or maybe Syria Syria SYRIA.)

but it gets worse:

from Breitbart:
McRaven does not argue that President Trump has done anything wrong in particular, but that he has no respect for America’s values. These values, McRaven declares, involve a commitment to “help the weak and stand up against oppression and injustice” around the world.
so America should continue to be the world's  patsy policeman, while Europe and rich Asian nations can sit back and criticize the USA without bothering to help.

Got it.

 Trump, by the way, is copying President Obama in withdrawing American troops from third world hell holes. Did the good Admiral write editorials about the need to get rid of President Obama? Just wondering....

He isn't supporting impeachment, and I guess it won't wait a year until the next election either:

The admiral is unwilling to wait for the 2020 presidential election to see a change of power. He declares (emphasis added): “[I]t is time for a new person in the Oval Office — Republican, Democrat or independent — the sooner, the better. The fate of our Republic depends upon it.”
Hmmm...sounds like he is proposing a military coup.

all of this reminds on of this movie:

full movie link HERE.
wikipedia:even Days in May is a 1964 American political thriller film about a military-political cabal's planned takeover of the United States government in reaction to the president's negotiation of a disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union.

Scott Adams (Dilbert) in his last few podcasts has been suggesting that a silent coup has been going on in plain site, with the MSM pushing the propaganda so you don't notice what is going on. LINK LINK2 LINK3 LINK4

I hate to sound paranoid,  but when the NYTimes prints an editorial suggesting a military coup is needed, then maybe the MSM is indeed the propaganda arm of the "resistance", and is willing to destroy the constitution to remove their "enemy".

But you know, the military take an oath to defend the constitution

so what would happen? Novelist Kurt Schlicter posted a scenario a couple years ago, and it wasn't pretty... part one....part two