Saturday, November 30, 2019

texting for Seniors

LOL stuff in the news

The Pope said owning nuclear weapons is a sin.

So, obeying the Pope, I took my two nukes down to the dump and left them there (/sarcasm).


Trump as Rocky? LOL. Even the demonstrators of Hong Kong get it, but not the MSM.

again, this is an American cultural meme that might not be understood by those who don't understand the nuances of American culture: Cheering for the underdog/outsider who fights against the powerful who want to boss you around.

Rocky was a loser from South Philly (he even has a south Philly accent) who was chosen to fight the champ and was supposed to lose. (actually in the first film he did lose but only after staying in the ring for 15 rounds, so it was a moral victory, and he won in the later films).

Trumpieboy is an outsider from the Bronx (he even has a Bronx accent) who was supposed to lose (and he actually lost the vote but not the electoral college)... and presumably he will win in 2020 because like Rocky he can take a beating and still stay on his feet and endure.


A known terrorist left out of jail early attacks civilians in London  where a Cambridge University conference on prisoner rehabilitation - called Learning Together - was taking place.

Unlike previous attacks, he was stopped and taken down by bystanders, including one brandishing a Narwhal tusk and another with a fire extinguisher... one of the bystanders who stopped him , according to one report, was also a criminal out of jail for the day to attend the conference.


latest hot meme on the internet: Baby Yoda.

heh. The PC are pushing perfect size 6 female super heroes who never get pregnant or have menstrual cramps, and now the latest hit is a baby?
who wuddathot?

The SJW are having a hissy fit...


Glenn Reynolds writes that the snobbish SJW who think they are supposed to be superior to the rest of us will be the reason Trumpieboy wins in 2020.

The latest way to virtue signal is to say fossil fuel use is evil.

Hello: all those who want to get rid of fossil fuel like the Pope should try it, and walk everywhere, while growing your own food, doing back breaking labor preparing the rice paddies using your (methane fart producing) water buffalo, and starving when you have a bad harvest.

Today, most of the plowing in our area is now done with a handplow, and then threshed and dried and milled using fossil fuels.

Some poor farmers use only waterbuffalo in this area, but they area gradually being phased out.

But now, instead of being used to plow, the farmers are using them for dairy products: We buy their fresh milk at the palenke every day.

altogether now:

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving take two


actually, my granddaughter is having her first Thanksgiving with some Filipino friends who live near her college in the USA.

She is so happy that they are serving rice and other Filipino dishes: She is homesick.

Happy Thanksgiving

yes, some yanks/ex pats celebrate it, but no, it is not a holiday in the Philippines.

Which is surprising, since we celebrate everything (from Mama Mary to El Nino to the Chinese new year to the Muslim holidays... and often shops or banks are closed so folks can go to their family or barangay celebrations.

no Dewali or Norwuz holidays yet, except in those ethnic communities (did you know a lot of Iranians study here? because English, and because the degrees are accepted in many countries).

Yesterday, one of the "green" sites I usually read had an essay suggesting how we could bring up "global warming" to instruct our sceptical relatives to do whatever (recycle, die of heat stroke instead of using air conditioning, walk or cycle to work in the snow when it's ten below instead of using a car, become a vegetarian and risk iron/vitamin/protein malnutrition).

I wrote back and told them off. Sorry but I do have a temper.

One of the good things in the Philippines is that parties/ fiestas are seen as happy times to gather together as a family. 

But as I pointed out in an earlier blogpost, they do more than let you eat and get fat.

going home for family reunions strengthen the ties between family members, 
 and public Fiestas increase social cohesiveness and ties of trust between neighbors.

since Kuya is busy with harvest (it rained on the drying rice yesterday so they are busy trying to get it dry again) and both Joy and Kuya are busy with getting ready for trade fairs and decorating rice packages for Christmas gift baskets, we probably won't have turkey.

A couple years ago, however, we held a Thanksgiving supper for family, friends and employees. So we bought two turkeys. LIVE turkeys to roast. 

Alas, they kept hopping over the fence; twice the neighbors called us and we got them home, but the third time we couldn't find them... So we bought a lechon instead.

we don't live in an affluent neighborhood or in a gated community, so we figure someone (probably a tricycle driver) saw them and decided to take it home for supper.
Nothing goes to waste in the Philippines, not left overs or even run away turkeys.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

When conspiracy theories come true (? !)

Spengler asks if the war against Trumpieboy is not about him, but about covering up how the CIA screwed things up, mainly in Iraq. He's reviewing McCarthy's book on this.

Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump, the possibility should be horrifying that the world’s oldest continuous democratic constitution might be subverted by a cabal of spies with the support of the major media.

the General Flynn fake prosecution might be the key to this, which is why the press is ignoring it. 

this if from PJMedia, a libertarian site, but Spengler is an investment banker who writes also for the Asian Times (Hong Kong paper) and I rarely agree with him, but I find it's interesting that these ideas that used to be dismissed as conspiracy theories are now being found to have a bit of truth in them.

I mean, remember when Senator Shumer (D NY) warned Trump not to diss the CIA because they have a lot of ways to get back at you.

Much of the impeachment was by bureaucrats, whose main testimony didn't discuss illegal acts but merely lamented that their opinions were not followed (as if they are saying they, not the president, makes foreign policy). This is on top of "anonymous" writing a self congratulatory editorial in the NYTimes about the heroes openly stopping the president from implementing the policies.

The Flynn prosecution (which was about his opposition to funding insurgents in Iraq/Syria, who quickly morphed to ISIS) was a shot across the bow against all the Presidents men that they would be framed and sent to jail under "process crime" laws for dissing the CIA/state department.

The firing of a senior Navy official for trying to negate Trumpieboy's presidential pardon of a SEAL who dared to be politically incorrect (by posing with a dead terrorist's body) sends a message to the career types that their free reign in disobeying the president is coming to an end.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Tree Lighting in the Plaza

the Christmas lights are up, and they had the tree lighting ceremony last night, complete with fireworks, singing by Michael Pangilinan, and lots of local folks celebrating.

yes, it cost a fortune but hey, it's Christmas (and it is a way to advertise we are not a backward poor town but an up and coming city for you to invest here). And it means the kids have something to do besides sit around bored and get drunk/take drugs/ have sex.

the role of parties and fiestas in increasing social cohesiveness is something over looked by the puritans who want people to work work work.

the fireworks were beautiful: but it meant all the dogs were trying to hide under my bed: even the dog from next door.

here is Mikey Bustos discussing Christmas customs in the Philippines.

... and here is a lovely local commercial about family coming home to celebrate Christmas. 


.and EWTN even has a TV series that is about making meal time a way to celebrate family and God's love in one's daily life...


.... yup. Even the simpsons know that  parties are a way for us to anticipate heaven


update: A better video on the tree lighting ceremony here:

They're BAAACK

not being satisfied by destroying cars and trucks, the Bad boys that were fired from the BBC are back... in boats.

one of the few shows that make me LOL...

and it's not pure narcissitic trivia: Here they are saving the world.

(a satire on the do gooders who use poor Africans as a prop to show they are wonderful, and who then go home and forget about it).

Here Clarkson discusses the inspiration for their show:

“Mozambique was very simple, I was watching an Anthony Bourdain show – I like Bourdain, I think he is a top chap – and he was doing this thing about how Mozambique has a contrast between rich and poor. Well not rich and poor as such, but the people are well nourished if they live by the ocean and they are not so well nourished if they live inland. So, I thought inland is only 200 miles, it is nothing, it is one side of Los Angeles to the other or London to Leeds, why do they not just get the fish from the coast, I mean how hard can it be? As it turns out, really hard, unbelievably hard. It appealed to me because it is a story and I like stories. 
yup. Reminds me of trips to vaccinate kids in remote villages when I was in Africa, or even bringing in supplies (our roads were dirt and sandy like they show).

But it also reminds me of here, after the rainy season going to our farm. In recent years, the main road is now paved so no problem, but the back roads are still dirt and you have to navigate roads like this to get the  supplies to the fields (e.g. fertilizer) or rice out. 

History lesson: Harmonica


wikipedia article.

reed pipes were used in China, but the modern version only dates back to the early 1800s. has an article on an 18th century German hamonica recently discovered in Wisconsin.

and they can be used to play anything from classics to blues.


turn up speakers and dance.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Sunday school lesson for today

if you read the bible, (in an old fashioned translation) you will come across the phrase: gird your loins.

Uh, loins? 

that word isn't used much in English nowadays... 

once in awhile you read about a loincloth, (a man diaper) but outside of those cheezy historical films, one rarely see these used nowadays.

More commonly the word is known to those of us who cook, as a"top loin steak" (yum).

but what does "gird" mean?

The dictionary say one definition is to encircle or use a belt. Aha! as in girdle (yes, ladies, I am old enough to have worn one of them in the Madmen days of yore).

but it has another meaning;
intransitive verbto prepare for actionboth sides are girding for battlegird one's loinsto prepare for action muster up one's resources

But how does one "gird one's loins"?

the art of manliness has instructions:

Bambi's revenge?

it's deer hunting season, which means all the good old boys are checking their rifles and other equipment, making plans to go out and get their deer as soon as deer hunting season opens.

When I lived in the mountains of Pennsylvania, they even closed school on the first day of the season. Most of our neighbors were blue collar workers, and it was more than just a sport for them: it was a source of cheap meat for them and their family (Yum! Venison kielbasa)

The bad news is that some deer in the USA are affected with Chronic wasting disease.

so far, there is no evidence that CWD will spread to humans, but scientists are worried because this disease is caused by a prion that is similar to the mad cow disease that spread to Humans a couple years back in the UK, where beef had been contaminated with brain/nerve tissue that contained the infectious agent.

Chronic wasting disease in deer/elk has been spreading in the USA.

so if you are a deer hunter in an area where there is CWD, how do you butcher the meat?

there are now reports that bleach might stop the spread by deactivating, but not killing, the prion of CWD. LINK

Bleach isn’t the cure-all for CWD. It only works on nonporous surfaces, but it’s the first thing scientists have discovered that inactivates the abnormal prion that’s wreaking havoc on cervid herds. What’s more, we know the concentration and exposure time for bleach to be effective. And it works any time, today or in three weeks, because, unfortunately, the prions don’t disappear.

Deer meat is probably not infectious (if it were, we would have seen an epidemic in hunters by now).

But please avoid eating squirrels, because there have been cases from eating squirrels in the USA. Wikipedia:

In 1997, a number of people from Kentucky developed vCJD. It was discovered that all had consumed squirrel brains, although a coincidental relationship between the disease and this dietary practice may have been involved.[39]

Variant CJD, aka "mad cow disease" in humans, is known to be from a prion, but what about regular CJD?


CJD is caused by a protein known as a prion.[5] ... Most cases occur spontaneously, while about 7.5% of cases are inherited from a person's parents in an autosomal dominant manner.[4] Exposure to brain or spinal tissue from an infected person may also result in spread.[4] There is no evidence that it can spread between people via normal contact or blood transfusions.[4] 
translation: You can't get regular CJD easily from contact with a patient with that disease (unless you are in contact with infected brain tissue: e.g. at an autopsy or in a funeral home).

There is a human to human prion disease: Kuru. And when vCJD started to be seen in the UK, someone with knowledge of Kuru suggested prions might be the cause of the terrible neurological diasese.

the prion family of neurological disease has variations that affect many animals: not all are infectious to humans.

To date, about 260 cases of vCJD, mostly in the United Kingdom, have been reported related to consuming beef but none in which the disease was acquired in the U.S.
Other TSEs are found in specific kinds of animals. These include BSE, mink encephalopathy, feline encephalopathy, and scrapie, which affects sheep and goats. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) affects elk and deer and is increasingly prevalent in certain areas in the United States. To date no transmission of CWD to humans has been reported. .
a longer variation of this post can be found on my medical blog.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Sending the Japanese home after World War II

most of the stories about population transfers and repatriation of enemy soldiers and millions of displaced civilians from enemy countries who surrendered at the end of WWII is not covered in a lot of the history books, even in Europe.

But what happened to all the Japanese soldiers and civilians in Manchuria after Japanese surrendered?

Global Voices has The little known story.

In August 1945, an estimated 6.6 million Japanese soldiers, colonial administrators, colonists and other members of the military and occupying forces — about 9 per cent of the total population of Japan — were located all over Asia and Oceania.
At war's end, all of these people were faced with the challenge of somehow making their way back to Japan.
Not everyone would return to Japan immediately, if at all. For example, following the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945, 456,000 soldiers and civilians employed by the Japanese wartime occupying regime were transported by Russian forces to labour camps across the Soviet Union. For the next decade, internees were engaged in forced labour including constructing power plants, mining coal and building bridges and roads as a form of war reparations to the Soviet Union.
most of the article is about this last group who were made slave laborers in the USSR.

more HERE. about Japanese museum about that remembers the repatriation.

and it wasn't just from Manchuria: LINK.

At the end of the war over six million Japanese were scattered throughout the islands in the Western Pacific and on the Asiatic mainland. Their repatriation became one of the major problems confronting General MacArthur. Their early return to Japan was desirable for purely humanitarian reasons as well as for the purpose of easing the economic burden of the liberated countries. (Plate No. 48) In addition, there were approximately 1,170,000 aliens in Japan, many of whom had been forcibly removed from their homelands.

the article goes into details: How the repatriation was done in four phases, and how ships, including merchant marine ships and Japanese ships, were used to transport people,  and then, to complicate matters, a cholera epidemic occurred and some people had to be placed in quarantine to stop the spread of the disease to their home countries. 

the part about the USSR keeping some of their prisoners is found lower down in the chapter:

From June 1948 on, the Soviets did not fulfill their 50,000 monthly quota as specified in the agreement of 19 December 1947, in spite of General MacArthur's repeated protests; they suspended repatriation for periods of several months without any apparent justification.
The repatriation of Japanese nationals still detained in Soviet areas thus evolved into a perplexing situation, involving difficulties of an entirely different type than those encountered in repatriation from other areas.
Heretofore, the problems of repatriation consisted of tremendous distances, limited shipping, epidemics inherent in mass movements under crowded conditions, and integration of millions of returnees into the economic and political life of Japan; repatriation from Soviet areas, however, posed a problem in the uncompromising attitude of the Soviets.
Their repatriation policy was probably predicated on the prolonged use of inexpensive Japanese labor. Interrogation of repatriates also revealed calculated indoctrination in political camps.
italics mine. 
The Soviets completely disregarded the individual rights of approximately 469,000 Japanese who, as of 31 December 1948, were still held by them under conditions of slave labor, and made no attempt to justify their actions in the eyes of the world.

the article also goes on to discuss the geopolitical complications of repatriating Koreans citizens.

There are so many similar stories of the USSR using European POWs and enemy civilians as cheap labor for years after the war ended.

related story from Rappler: 
the program to send bodies of the Japanese war dead from the Philippines.

Since 1958, the remains of only 100,000 out of 518,000 Japanese soldiers who died in the Philippines have been returned to Japan
part of the problem is that many were killed in the jungle or mountains and the bodies never found or identified. Indeed it would be difficult to identify if these bodies were locals or Japanese unless you did forensic analysis of the bones.

and then, of course, some locals decided to rob graves for profit. LINK

Military Stories behind the news

JEDI is going to microsoft

The US Department of Defense recently (25 October) selected the winner of long overdue JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) contract (to) Microsoft (who) will get $10 billion over a 10–year period to provide a single cloud computing network for all online Department of Defense operations...

the conspiracy theory about this is that Trumpieboy was mad at Bezos for his WaPo propaganda against him so Amazon lost the contract. 
And you thought Alex Jones and his conspiracy theories were crazy...

the choice of a new cloud has to do with the ongoing cyberwar, that was ignored for years despite warnings by experts.

You think the Russian hacking was bad? What about China stealing everything in sight, including trade secrets and my federal OPM file?

I was just a lowly physician working for the feds, so probably not of interest to China, but the breach included military and civilians in security areas.

Austin Bay summarizes here what that last one was important: they now have the personnel files on the US military and US Spies.
In 2015, stupidity and reckless senior leader neglect at the Office of Personnel Management, or OPM, led to a data breach that will harm American national security for another 10 years. Hackers stole personnel data on some 4 million federal workers. reported that the theft "included all military personnel" (former and retired). "Since the CIA recruits many ... field agents from former (often retired) SOCOM personnel, many key CIA people were now much less secret," the site said. "Identify theft" like this cripples American intelligence operations.
In August 2017, FBI agents arrested a mainland Chinese citizen involved in the OPM breach. China and other adversaries target the whole of America.
and it's not just spying on military types:
Hackers steal economically valuable knowledge (intellectual property) from businesses, schools and civilian research institutions.

Spacex new spaceship blew up. More HERE.

there is a minor war between NASA and SpaceX. if you are interested, google some articles, but this one at summarizes the David Vs Goliath feud: the nimble upstart kid vs the slow moving behemoth.


StrategyPage podcast on broken ships. MP3


in old films, you see the Brits giving their sailors a rum ration: but now the US Navy uses coffee. History lesson here.

A single cup of morning coffee is scientifically proven to improve mood, vigilance, and energy levels while also generally improving overall physical performance by 11 percent on average.[i] This caffeinated beverage is the backbone of the maritime profession; it is the item responsible for its strength and fortification throughout its many branches and departments. 

and read the article there about the Sailor's love of coffee, and why you never, never wash your coffee mug.

Family news

I spent yesterday traveling to Manila to finalize my retirement visa: My previous permanent visa was canceled when my husband died, so I had to change it.

Due to traffic, it was a 4 hour drive to and from Manila: With the new expressway system, the time traveling to Manila has decreased, but even with "color coding" (your car can only be used on certain days) the traffic in Manila is terrible. The new "skyways", raised streets with limited access inside Manila, do help, but not always.

If you retire to the Philippines, they will help you get a retirement visa. Indeed, even a lot of ex pats with Filipina wives get the retirement visa, since separation or divorce could cancel their visa just like mine was canceled when Lolo died.

You have to prove a source of income and place money in an account, presumably to insure there is money even if you lose your income. We cannot "own" land etc. but they informed me I could invest in a condominium with the money, which is interesting. Of course, I live in my husband's house here, and by law, even though I can't own it, you cannot throw a widow out of her traditional home.

For meals we went first to Jolibee for breakfast (egg, corned beef and rice) and then for lunch we had pizza and spaghetti and chicken wings (a combo meal for a group, since I traveled with Joy, the driver, and a helper).

We also did a few rice deliveries. Joy has more deliveries, but limited the deliveries to five customers since I was along.

We got hit by the edge of a storm on Wednesday, but luckily the water had gone down so no flooded streets in Manila, which had been "signal one". 

But the dogs didn't get walked Wednesday due to the rain, and I wasn't here yesterday, so they are feisty and are chasing cats and barking at traffic at night, until I go out and shush them.

The Christmas lights are up at the plaza, and being put up all over town. So things are looking cheerful. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Follow the money train

the real scandals usually disappear from the MSM:

so who were the Chinese millionaires who left the country with some of the money from the Casino/bank scheme to steal/divert 81 million dollars from Bangladesh to a Philippine bank. A low level bank manager finally got convicted, but what about the masterminds and those who took the money?

What about the Panama papers? 

  • Files reveal the offshore holdings of 140 politicians and public officials from around the world
  • Current and former world leaders in the data include the prime minister of Iceland, the president of Ukraine, and the king of Saudi Arabia
  • More than 214,000 offshore entities appear in the leak, connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories
  • Major banks have driven the creation of hard-to-trace companies in offshore havens

or the Paradise papers from Bermuda? these implicate lots of politicians and their friends and family in the US and Canada, including revealing the corporate and Russian ties of Wilbur Ross, who is working for Trump and had worked for Clinton in the past.

or the Ghosn Nissan scandal in Japan?

and then there was the Maltese journalist/blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia who was investigating funny money stuff by people in the Maltese gov't, the EU and organized crime  in Malta and who had ties revealed from the Panama papers, and had her car bombed.

the UKTelegraph says they caught one of the guys who knew who did it, but he will only testify if he gets a "get out of jail free" card.

here in the Philippines, alas, it is not unusual for reporters who reveal corruption of politicians and businessmen to get killed. 

Rappler (an anti Duterte website that is partially funded by outside sources) has a list, and the Inquirer says 12 have been killed under Duterte's time in office, but that sounds about average since 31 were killed under good guy Aquino.

and StrategyPage notes that the war on drug has included removing a lot of crooked cops etc. so the crime rate is down, even though drugs are still around (and have moved underground).

Most of these political killings of rivals or inconvenient reporters are local: hits ordered by local politicians or businessmen to shut up reporters who reveal their corruption (something, by the way, that is hard to do since we have strict libel laws, even for internet reporting).

In other words, you can't blame the president for these murders, except to point out that an administration that allows corruption will let these guys off, and that Duterte is trying to rid the country of corruption, but hasn't been able to get the big shots convicted, alas.

Our province is notorious for the "wild west" atmosphere in our elections (we even had a "OK Corral" type shootout between the body guards of two rival politicians a decade ago).

But these hits can kill the innocent too: for example, our nephew was killed in the crossfire when the mayor back then ordered a hit on his rival. Years later, a second attempted hit killed a security guard and four innocent bystanders. It took years to get the mayor indicted, and he died several years after that, without having gone to court.

Then there was the Manguindanao massacre, where 31 reporters who were accompanying the wife of a political rival who was going to register him as opposition candidate, were massacred by unknown gunmen. That happened on Arroyo's watch: the suspected mastermind was a friend of Arroyo, and hey the families are still waiting for justice. 

But Arroyo? Somehow she got rich while president (probably via the First Gentleman) but when they had her arrested, the Human rights folks at the UN pressured the courts to get her off so no problem. (/sarcasm).

So, anyway, in US news, there is a lot of kerfuffle about the danger to those testifying against Trump  in the impeachment meetings. One even got his family moved to a military base to keep them safe.

Spilling the beans on VIP's who might have mob or intelligence connections is not exactly a way to stay safe.

But one doubts Trumpieboy would get his mob friends to off a "whistleblower": it's not his style, although there are probably a few good old boys out there who might take a pot shot at them.

The good news? Most of the despicables are not in the inner circle of the Washington elite, so these amateurs might not be able to find the whistle blower, unlike Epstein, who really had dirt on a lot of VIPS, and who was in danger from professionals. Of course, this was known, so he was placed in protective custody, and of course didn't kill killed himself.

but what the MSM seems to be ignoring is that this is not about Trumpieboy asking the Ukraine to make up dirt on a political rival, which is how it is being spun. It is about investigating the Ukraine, who wanted Biden to get the US to send them military aid, and they just happened to know someone who could hire his son.

the dirty little secret is that a lot of US politicians get rich while in office, and no one wants to look closely at how they do it (often it is via family members or spouses getting sweet heart deals: Hillary's cattle futures while Bill was AG and Governor in Arkansas is a notorious example of how it is done:
If all this sounds like a best selling novel, it is. )

Trumpieboy and his corporate buddies are just as bad: but I figure it takes a thief to catch a thief.

So maybe the reason that impeachment was sprung on the American people over this was to stop the investigation about the deal with Biden's son, because too many in Congress have wives/ husbands/ sons/ daughters/ friends/ cousins / in laws etc. who have become rich the same way: By getting deals that ordinary people would never get nor would ever dream about getting.

and if even honest Uncle Joe was found to do such things, what about the really dishonest politicians in Congress?

but why the "over the top" hysteria to get rid of Trumpieboy if, as Lolo would say, "they're all crooked"?

Could a lot of the so called impeachment investigation actually be a distraction so the public won't learn what's in the IG report about FISA abuse that is being released in a few weeks?

The dirty little secret is that the Trump campaign was spied on, using a fake/exaggerated Russia excuse. But not just spied on, but that information shared with the Democrats.

 The cooperation of the Deep state and other public officials into political campaigns is a lot more worrisome than letting Uncle Joe's drug using son get a cushy job for doing nothing.

and one doesn't have to be paranoid to suggest those who can spill the beans, be they reporters or operatives who know the dirt on the VIP's, are in real danger.

Alexandra Chalupa call your office the excrement is about to hit the fan.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Philippine life: parties anyone?

We had a big party on Saturday: The first birthday of one of Dr. Angie and Dr Danny's grandchildren.

Held in a hall at the edge of town that hosts events here: decorated with balloons and unicorns, complete with an MC with games for the kids and a magician to entertain folks after the buffet meal of Filipino delicacies.


parties are big here:  This one included the extended family, complete with cousins/ second cousins/ neighbors and even the help (we went with our cook, who has been with our family for 40 years. She was given a fancy blouse to wear by Dr. Angie, so she went inside, but the drivers weren't forgotten: They had their meals outside in a gazebo, so they could watch the cars and so they didn't have to dress up).

It's not just the affluent who hold parties:

Even our secretary borrowed our meeting hall for her baby's first birthday party, which was catered and had a karaoke machine for music.

sometimes parties (and for wakes and funerals!) hire a local band to play music.

but the middle class folks hire a Karaoke machines for parties: you rent them from a local vendor, and then after you eat, everyone can take turns at singing their favorite songs. (we even have a TV channel with  Karaoke on our cable TV).

Parties like this not only are fun, but  increase social cohesiveness and family ties.

And they provide work for a lot of people: stores that sell balloons and decorations, people who set up the decorations for you, the waiters and caterers, those who supply Lechon, and of course, those who rent you a karaoke machine.

There was a story in an American paper about buying kidneys in Manila (illegal, but hey, there are ways to get around the law). The reporter noted that one donor bought a karaoke machine with his profits. You could almost hear the reporter sniff his disapproval in the way he wrote the story, and of course the snowflakes making comments all echoed the same thing about wasting money on luxuries.

But of course it was not about luxuries: it was an investment so his family could support themselves. 

You can rent the machine out to parties as a business, and since it is part time, it means you can do it as a side job and keep your job working as a tricycle driver etc. since if you are busy, hey one of the kids or relatives can deliver it to parties.

Stories below the fold

Below I complained about the TSP changing their investments to include investing in China (i.e. companies that usually are really government run entities). 

But other "emerging" countries might be included in that list, and some of them might surprise you.

John Bachelor over the last two weeks has had a series of podcasts about the countries of Central Asia that used to be part of the Soviet Union and before then were part of the silk road. (countries that Lucille had labeled the "ickystans" since most Yanks can't tell one from the other)

his podcasts site is here
and here is one of the podcasts:

why is this important? The Great Game, which now includes China... Video here gives another point of view.

it's the China Belt and Road initiative vs the New Silk Road initiative of the USA.

. and China needs their petroleum resources. And China is moving into Pakistan, and pressuring them to stop terrorism, and China is "reforming" their Muslim population in their west.


he also has an interview with the author of a new book about an internet pioneer who was killed on 911: probably killed trying to stop the terrorists taking over his plane:


since the Catholic bishops have put in their two cents and backed the Democrats (ignore abortion, killing grand mom, and rampant bribery/corruption, or that bishops who diddled altar boys and the fact that people are deserting the church as Francis spreads confusion. The big issue for them and the Pope is ecology and immigration uber alles ).

they and the pope are "never trumpers", of course. But since Trumpieboy isn't a Catholic, they can only hint and not excommunicate him, although the Pope has been busy insulting believing Catholics who dare to object  so much that there is actually a blog the PopeFrancis book of insults.

Well, the church has been around for 2000 years, and like the Chinese, we know if you remember history nothing is exactly new. ForgeAndAnvil blog reminds one that backing a non Christian king is sometimes the lesser of two evils: Catholics 4 Clovis.

the latest absurdity? The pope is even proposing to add "eco sins" to the Catholic catechism.

Bless me father, for I have sinned: I use an air conditioner.

And EcclesIsSaved blog has a post on what is being added:

Plastic92357 Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents the use of plastic as an act of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "plastic is intrinsically disordered." It is contrary to the natural law. It does not proceed from a genuine love of Mother Nature as shown to us through Pachamama. Under no circumstances can it be approved.
92358 The inclination to use plastic is objectively disordered, but the number of men and women who feel such deep-seated urges is not negligible. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
92359 God in His mercy has provided for us Green Bins, in which to caste away all plastics that may prevent us from approaching Christian perfection. Although some of us are endowed with bins that are blue, or even rainbow-coloured, they too can be seen as blessings unto us.

SenseOfEvents blog links to Bill Barr's speech about the history of the constitution and advises one to read the whole thing.

Rev. Sensing then goes on to critique modern progressive movement as a millenarian religion, complete with inquisitions, jailing of the non PC and group think.

He then notes this Utopian idea was rampant in the mass movements of the last century: communism, fascism, jihadism to name a few.

and he also links to AndrewSullivan's recent essay that implies the same problem.

How bad are the Democrats now running for president? Even President Obama is warning them they are too fare to the left... "we have to be rooted in reality"...


AtlasObscura has an article about how the Wiyot tribe got back their island off the coast of California.

this is not fake news: The Indian people just want justice and their traditional lands back.

Something to remember the next time some bozo suggests to give the "Northwest Angle" of Minnesota to Canada.

they usually ignore that the RedLake tribe owns most of it, and since they never ceded their land to the USA, the USA can't give it away.

So why the anomaly? blame the surveyors.

the HongKong protests are still going strong. the police are fighting back, and some protesters have noticed that the "police" are speaking Mandarin, not Cantonese, meaning they were sent in from China.

things are staying bad there, but it's not too bad: the Philippine gov't isn't planning to evacuate the 250 thousand OFW yet...

not the only riots in the world:

 the "yellow vest" protests are continueing in France and the protests against raising the prices of petroleum products in Iran.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

sounds about right

Comprehensive coverage of the world on an expansive range of topics.


on my facebook page.
looks like somoene needs a lesson in punctuation.

Every subject uncovered means they uncover/reveal everything.

every subject. Uncovered 

with the period 
means every subject is NOT covered.

as in::

here is a book about punctuation (put down coffee before watching).