Wednesday, July 29, 2020


Erasing history is nothing new

Stuff I learned from K Dramas

in the evening, we have been watching K dramas, which often are mini series going on for 15 or more episodes.

Right now, we watched the first episode of Doctor Kim season 2, which seems more about romance between doctors than medicine,

I warned Kuya and Joy that I would probably be yelling at the TV, since often TV dramas get medicine wrong (uh, after a year, the hero/heroine in two different dramas work up and was normal. Uh, it doesn't work that way)...

and sure enough: In the chaotic first ER scene I diagnosed the dissecting aortic aneurism, Yelled to give the guy with DT's a shot of valium before Master Kim told the overworked intern to do this... but I must say that in the laporoscopic surgery scene I couldn't figure out how he diagnosed a tension pneumothorax and I couldn't figure out why it happened.. did someone put the endotrach tube in wrong or overventillate? Oh well.

I suspect I won't manage to get through the drama, since it's about an understaffed rural hospital where Dr Kim is trying to recruit doctors to work there (been there, done that)... which is why I rarely watch medical dramas.

In Jewel in the Palace,about a medieval female doctor at the Korean King's court, I loved the cooking scenes (she begins by being a cook) but wondered about how acupuncture cured the head of the invading Japanese of appendicitis, or how taking a pulse diagnosed a retained twin after a miscarriage. Huh? On the other hand, she did diagnose and treat her friend with pre eclampsia correctly.

Some of it is based on Chinese medical theory, of which I have only a basic knowledge... and don't tell the crazies refusing to wear masks in the US epidemic, but they wore masks when a flu like epidemic hit in the drama.

the medicine of the World of the Married was not part of the plot, and what upset me the most is how the ladydoc at the end reconciled with her manipulative narcissistic ex husband. But for most of the drama, she is the ex wife from hell, meaning a lot of women will cheer.

from King, Eternal monarch, I learned that North Korea has a treasure trove of rare metals that made the King rich.

This series was great, positing two alternative Koreas existing that needed to fix the magic flute to unite...until it sort of fell apart for the last 3 segments into a lot of different Koreas due to the multiuniverse theory, and the protagonists didn't marry but just spent weekends traveling into alternative universes of Korean history. Hmm.. wonder if they hit the one where Truman wasn't president so Mac Arthur nuked Korea to stop the Chinese army... 

The level of electronic surveillence in both Koreas in this drama is mind boggling... Nope, I wouldn't want to live in the King's kingdom. Is it this bad in the US? Just wondering.

Crash landing on you is a drama about the culture clashes between lovers from the two modern Koreas and is such a wonderful romance

finally, we just finished Kingmaker,

based on a novel on the last king/emperor of Korea/ This filled in a few blanks that usually don't get noticed, like the persecution of the Catholics and the peasant revolts, in this case with the background of the Donghak movement.

So now I guess I'll have to read up on Korean history. I did know about the persecution of the Christians since a friend of mine lost her grandfather in one of the later persecutions that happened under the Japanese rule of Korea. because Christians tended to be better educated and more involved in the anti Japanese movement.

in one of Professor Bulliet's lectures (history professor Columbia Univ whose lectures are on youtube), he mentioned talking to one of his Korean students years ago, and the student said he planned to go into film so that he could tell the world about Korean history. So there might be a reason for the K drama being so popular here, especially those about history.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

fixing Blogger to make things harder

so today I checked Blogger and saw they had moved it to the "new" interface.

I don't see much improvement over the old one except for one thing: I couldn't find how to post a new post.

oh well: we elders prefer old stuff, which is why I blog, avoid facebook, and know nothing about Twitter, instagram, etc.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Philippines to the rescue

It is not just in the US...two of our relatives in the UK have contacted the virus. both recovered, but one was very sick with it.

And ignore the spin that these nurses should stay here in the Philippines.

Many go to nursing school in order to work overseas because the pay here is low, and the jobs may not be near your family even if you are willing to work in the Philippines.

The dirty little secret is that, to get out of poverty, working class and middle class people often work overseas. To go to the US, Australia, New Zealand and the UK is the highest goal, since those countries will let you become citizens and then you can bring your children and family over to join you.

the nursing schools here advertise that if you attend them, you can get a job in the US/UK/Australia. About half of the nurses pass their exams, and then are recruited for jobs.
But some can't pass the exam for overseas nursing jobs, but might instead work as a skilled caregiver.

The AlJ film points out the risk to the Filipino nurses in NYC, but that is not the only place that Filipino nurses, caregivers etc are at also ignores that the covid virus is here, and we have had several doctors and nurses die here.

the culture of the Philippines stresses caretaking of family members, and of course has a Catholic stress on caring for the poor and sick.

This Catholic ethic also is seen in the US, where a large percentage of nurse are Catholic.

 in the USA, those who aren't willing to get their hands dirty are looked down on. But of course, even those doing lowly jobs provide a service to their families so are actually helping people.

So if I am sarcastic anbout upper class white folks who are feeding their egos destroying things instead of doing the hard work of helping and building up civil society, it is because I am comparing them to those in our family who migrated overseas to work in the caring professions, so they could support their extended family back here, so that elders could live more comfortably at home, but more importantly to pay the school fees of their extended family so they too can find decent jobs.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

when your race is a crime

one of my friends was hidden in a Catholic orphanage with her sister during the Second World War. Her parents took them there because they were able to find places to be hidden, but because children were noisy and got sick and cried a lot it was hard to find places to hide them.

So her father took her to a Catholic orphanage who agreed to take them in.

When the Germans "inspected" the orphanage (looking for such children), the nuns hid them in the laundry room where the bedwetters' mattresses were being aired out to dry: The odor was so bad that the Germans didn't do a close inspection and so they were not discovered.

Many years later, she returned to France and visited the orphanage, and one of the nuns gave her a toy she had left behind after her parents (who also survived) had taken them home. The nun had kept and cherished the toy to remember the girls.

BBC special on another similar Catholic boarding school where the nuns hid children.

Family news

it's been hot and every evening we have thunderstorms, which mean the 4 dogs are hiding under my bed and the roof is leaking in the bathroom.

I have stopped watching the news because it seems to be all lies.

PJMedia article: 10 big fat lies you've been told about the riots.

Who would oppose BLM?

that depends. If you dare to hint you might not support "BLM", you are called a racist and ostracized.

But the dirty little secret is that no one is pointing out there is a difference between the idea that Black lives do matter and that society needs to do this, and the organization BLM  that is masking their radical Marxist roots.

The well meaning peaceful protesters are being used/being manipulated to shield deliberate rioters who often are trained to destroy things to start a revolution: And the worst ones are the Marxist anarchist types of  Antifa in their looting and destruction of the inner cities, including many small businesses run or owned by minorities?

and to make things even more worse: The press is pretending these riots don't exist, so that any push back on violent rioters is being twisted for political reasons because it is an election year.

quick: Please explain why is it when I google for information about the destruction of businesses in the inner cities from these riots, all the reporting seems to be on right wing sites and often is more than 30 days old?

however, a recent editorial in the WaExaminer notes:

The intentions of these protests are wide-ranging, and some are perfectly justified. But the Black Lives Matter organization is inextricably linked to communism. In the words of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors: “We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories.”
Cullors initially became a trained organizer with the Labor/Community Strategy Center, whose goal is to “focus on Black and Latino communities with deep historical ties to the long history of anti-colonial, anti-imperialist, pro-communist resistance to the U.S. empire.” Her embrace of communism is evident in BLM’s official policy platform, which stereotypically employs the word “comrade” and denounces the “Western-prescribed nuclear family structure” in favor of “extended families and ‘villages.’” Not surprisingly, BLM also supports “a radical and sustainable redistribution of wealth” in the form of tax hikes.
of course, the western "nuclear family" ignores that most "nuclear families" have close links with extended family, although maybe some not as closely as in immigrant communities because people had to move where the jobs were available.

But the destruction of the family was done in the 1960s with their emphasis on personal freedom, easy divorce, and promiscuity pretty well destroyed the idea of caring for family members: I mean, if you can desert your pregnant girlfriend and she justifies her abortion in the name of sexual freedom so she can work long hours like a man, what happens when your relatives get sick? The family that in the past was there to care for you is no longer there.

or is this a correct picture?

Maybe, or maybe not: because another rarely noticed story, is the 53 million caregivers who sacrifice time and often careers to care for their elderly, sick or handicapped family members (and this doesn't count women who work part time or in less strenuous jobs so they can care for their children).

the article goes on to point out that many small businesses are owned by minorities, and that 40 percent of small businesses owned by blacks have been closed thanks to the wuhan virus.

sigh. running a business is hard work, cleaning up after riots, and caring for sick loved one is also hard work. So what are the elites teaching kids? Be a SJW! Join the protests!

Because it makes you feel superior and hey, it is fun!

because the alternative is to grow up and actually do the hard work of helping your family and the community.


in other news: the Chinese floods are huge and not getting much attention.
Dirty little secret: flooding the cities could lead to the destruction of factories that make medicine
and agricultural flooding could lead to a food shortage.

and the rains are flooding Eastern India and Bangladesh, southern Japan, etc. also.
Estimated rainfall amounts since early June can be seen across South Asia. (NASA)
the rains are being blamed on low pressure areas making the monsoon rains stronger than normal.

again, this is going to result in famines later in the year, and the Covid shutdown of the supply chains for supplies is making things worse.

and on top of this: Many Asian countries including the Philippines are seeing less money being sent home from their overseas workers: indeed, tens of thousands of overseas workers are returning home and are supposed to be put into quarantine to stop the spread to their families.

as StrategyPage wrote about the Philippines: choose your poison

But now there are calls to keep the lockdown in cities. The problem is that this shuts down the economy and the government has not got the resources to feed and care for so many urban Filipinos who are confined to their homes. Many of the confined are going hungry and not willing to quietly starve to death. People are defying the lockdown to survive all manner of privation.

so there is going to be a lot of hunger in poorer countries: And the flooding of food growing areas from the excess monsoon rains are making things worse.

so expect a major famine later this year in many countries.


the Johns Hopkins site notes the Covid mortality statistics, including putting it into context of population: and here the USA is not as bad as some European countries, something that the news usually doesn't notice:

San Marino699426.0%124.32
United Kingdom299,50045,76215.3%68.83

two of our nephew's kids who work in hospitals in the UK have had the virus: One got very sick the other a mild case. because so many Filipinos are health care workers, a lot working overseas have caught the virus and several hundred have died. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Musical interlude of the day

Stories you didn't expect to see

white racist attacks an activist who is a POC, police ignore assault.

So it's okay to attack POC if she is Asian?
Ah, but because it's a Phil Am and Filipinas don't count, and besides she's a Republican?

BLM attacks on Asian American stores are making Asians "soul search" their embrace of "white supremacy" or something?

uh, nope.

the dirty little secret is that a lot of hard working immigrants look down on Americans of any colour who whine about oppression by those who work hard. And just ignore the culture of woke that sees nothing wrong with drugs and promiscuity, and even neglect their families because hey, promiscuity is fun ("who am I to judge" is their meme), and thinks abortion and euthanasia are the best thing since sliced bread, (translation: because who wants a kid or to take care of grandmom when you could be out partying)?

Actually, in my experience working among the inner city and rural poor, a lot of people act this way but ironically few actually think that way.

However, the intellectual class is pushing these ideas so alas there are the brain washed college students who actually believe these intellectual fads, and now are being taught to also disdain hard work, honesty, logic, and strict family values because...whiteness. Ergo these ideas need to be destroyed.

reality check please;

I seem to remember reading Confucius taught these things long before Europe became civilized, but never mind.

As for the scientific method (the next "western" idea that the woke plan to destroy), I hate to tell them: Mathematics (Algebra and arabic numbers anyone?) and building (engineering programs e.g. irrigation) have been alive and well in the Middle East, South Asian countries, and China since before 3000 BCE

and of course, the importance of the family as the basic unit of society (and keeping the family strong via strict rules about family responsibilities) is also the basis of both Islamic and Confucian values (and Hispanic values, and African values and Native American values for that matter).

Ah, but what about capitalism?
Does this mean the disdain of those who work hard and running a business?

notice who owns those shops being destroyed? Not all are "white" (whatever that means: I am so old that I remember that Irish Catholics, Italians, and Jews were not considered white, and indeed up to 1960 my medical school had quotas to keep these types out of their classes).

of course, the definition of "White" keeps expanding, so east and south Asians are white, as are many from Latin America.

Indeed, it looks like hard working South Asians and East Asians  and Pakistani and African and West Indians, and Hispanic, and Somali entrepeneurs are looked down on, and their children shamed to think they shouldn't follow the teaching of Moses, Paul, or Confucius, (or Mohammed for that matter: He was a businessman) , because capitalism, which has lifted a couple billion folks out of poverty over the last century, is evil, not a noble profession that allows you to benefit both your family and your workers and customers.

the present day Marxist Riots are about promoting hatred and destroying civilization, not about learning about different cultures and showing that they all have a lot in common with each other,  or that all cultures teach children directly or by example those moral habits that help people live a quiet life and be able to support their families.

AsianDawn summarizes the destruction but the article is from June 3, so probably needs to be updated -------------------
so where are the bishops and pastors preaching ethical living, instead of placating the mob that encourages destruction and hatred?

Well, when the leaders fail, it is left to the least likely people to do this.

the freedom does not come from an election. The freedom comes from you not loading up pornography. The freedom comes from you not taking the Percocet. The freedom comes from you not doubting your brother and your sister. The freedom comes from you putting that gun down and not shooting people at the gas station. It has nothing to do with this election. It only has to do with God and God’s people...
He set pause for us to take a moment and breathe and not TikTok ourselves out. He sent pause for us, now we have a moment to breathe. It has nothing to do with black, white, rich, poor, red, blue, Native American, pilgrim. It has to deal with being truthful to what God has."
Yup. that's Kanye. And he even says the forbidden thing to his audience: That abortion kills a baby.

I wanted to show everyone… exactly what the six month baby that is legal to be destroyed in [inaudible] looked like.....
So let’s say when the baby is conceived, at that point it is a soul. It is a real, living thing. That six month year old baby, that’s a real living thing. Do we agree that that was a real baby? That six month old baby?...
My stance is not to make abortion illegal at all... In 2020, abortion should be legal, but the option of maximum increase should be available. Maximum increase would be everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars, or something like that.
and that pregnant woman needing money should have the child subsidized.

Fine with me. That's common in Europe.

(and for those of you who cry "socialism", just remember how Winston Churchill supported many basic social programs: he defended milk for poor children, for example, and quipped: I can't think of a better investment than putting milk into the mouth of babes")

 But emphasizing the baby's daddy should have a well paying job and take care of her and the baby will help more than just a check....and if Trumpie boy is not exactly a good example for living an ethical life, he is nevertheless good at what he does: Making jobs for people while making a profit for himself.

update: The press is claiming Kanye is manic again. Just so you know.


and finally: the Multicultural Polka!

so is Polka multicultural? Well, maybe.

my Colombian born sons loved to listen to the radio's polka hour, saying it reminded them of Colombian music.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Musical interlude of the day

A Samurai from Japan? Yup

Extracts from: "Annals of His Time" by Don Domingo de San Antón Muñón Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin. EDITED AND TRANSLATED BY JAMES LOCKHART, SUSAN SCHROEDER, AND DORIS NAMALA. Stanford University Press 2006
and lots more stuff in the comments, saying the author was from one of the tribes that assisted the Spanish against the Aztecs, (another story usually left out: The Aztecs were tyrannical and hated by many of the local tribes)

and here is the article about the visit in Spanish.

Endo's book The Samurai, is a fictionalized version of this visit. I actually prefer it to his more famous book "Silence" because it tells the story of the Spanish missionaries and the voyage thru the eyes of a stolid unimaginative Samurai, and like many of Endo's books, stresses the theme of God's mercy for the lowest and unwanted as one of the reasons that some Japanese converted to Christianity.

I brought the paperback book with me but it is on line HERE.

tour Washington before the radicals destroy it

the Great Courses has a couple of videos about touring Washington DC.

I had to laugh (/s) at this one: at 14 minutes, the guy says yes those guards at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier will stop you if you cause problems.

Yes, I've visited the cemetery to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and JFK's grave. But you know, one of my grade school classmates is buried there: He was a winner of the Medal of Honor for saving his unit in VietNam, and when his parents got too old to visit him, they asked if he could be reburied here. Our class actually had a reunion and some accompanied his body to Arlington. 

as for the Pentagon: when I went to a medical conference in Washington DC, I stayed with my step daughter, and caught the train to Washington at the Pentagon bus/subway station. Her husband, who was working there at the time, showed me the memorial on the side of the Pentagon to commemorate 911. No, it is too far from the parking lot for a "truck bomb" to work, (and just ignore the security guards) but never mind since that conspiracy theory came out of a leftist writer in France who obviously had never been to the place, or even flew over the Pentagon on the flight path to Reagan National Airport.

and again, one of my Medical school classmates was working there and helped to triage casualties in the parking lot.

Now, of course, tourism is down: tourists are worrying that they and their kids will be attacked by "peaceful protests", never mind the mask and covid danger. Too bad, because it's a great place to take the kids and most of it is free.

I lived through the 1960s, so am cynical about the "protests".

the press keeps spinning the "peaceful protests" (LOL) but no one outside the bubble believes them any more.

A lot of the destroyed stores are owned by local minorities and/or immigrants, but never mind: the protesters are elites and the cops/firemen/shop keepers etc are working class. So the protests are more about class warfare than about racism. 

my take: it's fun to go out and virtue signal while letting off steam by bashing windows and hating the cops who protect normal people from gang related violence.

Yes, I am sarcastic, because the stress is on being a "social activist" but not actually doing the hard work of helping people.

How many will get a degree in something useful and work in jobs that help people? (teaching, nursing, social worker, garbage collector, street cleaner, policeperson, bus driver etc.).

And of course, there are volunteer jobs for student aged types,  like cleaning up the street garbage after the protesters left, working at a food bank so those out of work can eat, or volunteering to help the isolated families and elderly who are stuck at home (e.g. meals on wheels, driving them to the store or doctor's office, cleaning up their houses or lawns). Or maybe even helping those out of work in their own extended family...

a lot of this type of work is done by the local churches, so of course never gets mentioned in the MSM because ordinary folks doing ordinary things doesn't count.


update: the nonsense of the "white Jesus" nonsense is because of the bad American protestant art. Catholic art tends to be Italian, so Jesus is Italian. Icons tend to be Greek. 

and here in the Philippines? our older traditional church art tends to be Spanish (some of it based on Christ's passion is quite graphic and R rated).

and The child Jesus is a mischevious kid.

Film about the artist Joey Velasco. 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

the problem of the virus here

StrategyPage has a long discussion of various problems in the Philippines, including the covid dilemma: die of hunger/malnutrition or die of the virus? A lot of this I have posted about in the past, but SP is usually well written and concise in their analysis.

The quarantine has been lifted in rural areas where there have been far fewer covid19 cases. But now there are calls to keep the lockdown in cities.
The problem is that this shuts down the economy and the government has not got the resources to feed and care for so many urban Filipinos who are confined to their homes. ...
Covid19 cases in the Philippines are concentrated in cities, especially the capital Manila. Overall, the Philippines has suffered fifteen covid19 (coronavirus) deaths per million population so far, which is up from nine per million five weeks ago. Confirmed cases per million have gone from 200 to 525 known cases of the virus per million people.,,,
dirty little secret: The number of cases depends on the testing. Which is why the US has a huge number of cases, but the death rate has been stable for months, something the MSM is ignoring. This is especially true when talking about third world rates of the virus. And I won't even get into the "false positive" and "false negative" problems of doing widespread testing of a large number of mostly negative patients.

so how bad is the virus? SP Summary:

The number of confirmed cases is just that, people who have been tested and found to be, or has been infected.
It’s been known from the beginning (thanks to being able to test everyone on cruise ships and warships) that 80 percent of the population suffers no ill effects from the virus and half those who do get it feel no ill effects. The death rate for covid19 is low compared to the killer epidemics of the past (smallpox, typhoid, and so on) but higher than most strains of influenzas that appear each year. Scary but not that scary.
so what does this mean to the Philippines, where poverty can kill you?

Many Filipinos do the math and realize that the efforts to halt the spread of the virus are more dangerous than the virus itself.
 and how many children will die because they didn't get their baby shots? or adults die because they don't have money to buy their BP medicine and have a stroke, or don't get their cancer or other disease checkups done?

The SP also discusses China's aggression and that other countries are finally helping the Philippines to push back and defend their territory.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Audiobook of the week

quick, before the copyright cops find it:
caution: R rated bodice ripping fun:

if you want to know how a woman would describe being pregnant and having a baby, listen to the first few minutes of part 5...

Family news

Raining again, and Kuya reports the irrigation water has now been released so they can start planting.

the bad news? The roof is still leaking, although not as badly as before.

Some checks sitting in the bank for months because there was no courier service to take them to the Manila office for processing, have cleared, so I now have money in the bank. Except for one check from the US that had the ink deteriorate so much that it can't be read. The bank told me to send it back to them, but there is no mail service or courier service for me to do this? WTF? I've talked to them twice and emailed them a copy showing the problem but they won't replace it or do an electronic tranfer until I send the check itself back. WTF? Oh well...

yes, I understand the banks worry about fraud, but when you hear about hundreds of thousands or even billions of dollars disappearing from banks, one does wonder when they hyperventillate and won't approve to clear a simple pension check.

After my personal checks cleared, I had enough money to replace the heater for my shower. For the last two months,  I have had to take a shower in Joy's room or just wash from a bucket with a "tabo" to rinse off.

this type of heater will heat only water you are using, and this one, unlike the one in Joy's room, has the shower on a hose so I can take a shower sitting down and move the water to where I actually need it. it is similar to the old heater put in by Lolo 20 plus years ago. This one is Chinese made, so I hope it lasts: It has a five year warranty, meaning it will die in five years and one day from now.

The puppies are all alive and opening their eyes, but not eating yet: Kuya's dog has six and our dog has five.

Here, dogs don't live very long so it is always easy to give them away. Even our dogs have died at a young age of various reasons; Heat stroke, distemper, various infections, kidney failure, etc. especially the dogs we got from the farm (who tended to be malnourished as puppies) but since we now have a vet and I have an income, I can afford to get them their baby shots, so the dogs that Lolo and I took care of lived over 10 years of age and died of old age/cancer.

The present batch of dogs in our house are all descended from a puppy I found crying in the drainage ditch after she fell in there: She had been poisoned either from eating trash or from the toxins in the ditch, and it cost a bit to have the vet treat her. She belonged to a neighbor, but he said he couldn't afford to treat her, and that I could have her.

She is a small dog and had three sets of puppies before I got her fixed. Luckily most of her puppies took after their father, so only 2 of our dogs are short (think Corgi), two others are tall and thin and resemble the thin dog from down the street who herds sheep who wander around eating grass in the vacant lot, and the third generation dog Goofus, resembles the secretary's dog: medium sized with longish hair and floppy ears.

None of them are as vicious or frightening as George, the cat killing Labrador, but when they attack in tandem, they can be dangerous, so we have to herd them away into the back yard when we get visitors.

we also have a bunch of cats who migrated here; they tend to live in the bodega where there are mice and lizards to eat, and just come out to steal dog food. Several live in the house, but I had to banish Petunia from my bedroom after she had kittens on my bed (and now she's pregnant again). The bad news? I now have a mouse in my room who sneaks out at night to eat the dog's food. Sigh.

Churches are now "open" but old folks are told to stay home or stay outside of church during the service. Sounds okay to me. 

By the way: Numbers of cases of the batflu are not accurate, since that relies on testing, but the death rate does give a clue. 

The USA numbers are going up, but the death rate is stable: does this mean the virus is weaker or that more mild cases are being diagnosed? I don't know. 

I do know that I am not going inside stores right now.

Ruby is in the US on school break: The ICE regulation that she has to attend classes, not just streaming classes, won't affect her since her college will have regular classes. Sigh. I understand the reason for the rule, which long predates Trumpieboy but is being blamed on him: It's to prevent students from claiming they are attending class but they are not, they are simply trying to immigrate illegally.

Actually immigration illegally doesn't bother me too much, but when my son in Colombia can't get a visitor visa to visit his family in the USA, it sort of bothers me that others just ignore the law.

Ditto for importing workers: My neighbor in Oklahoma learned to code and was hoping to get a job; but then you hear about a lot of these companies bringing in workers who work more cheaply... not to mention the outsourcing of telephone help.

on the other hand, importing hard working people is an asset to the USA, but when people can't get jobs you can see why they resent illegal immigrants, who by the way are often exploited by their employers by underpaying them and not getting benefits.

Trumpieboy is talking about legalizing DACA but unless there is a compromise (build the wall?) it won't go through. And with the toxic politics in the USA nothing will get passed by congress.

Reminds me of Mike Duncan's book on the fall of the Roman Republic: The Gracchi brothers who used mobs and violence against a Senate who protected the rich, and things didn't work out very well.

Full audiobook here.

of course, one of the problems is outsourcing jobs, which was done deliberatly so big corporations could make money. Hey, it lifted a billion Chinese etc out of poverty, so what could go wrong?

Here in the Philippines, a lot of people work in the telemarketing etc. type jobs, including one of our neighbor's daughters.

On the other hand, ten percent of the population of the Philippines work elsewhere: immigrants, OFW, on ships etc. and that is bad for families, but is one way to get the entire family out of poverty. With the backlash against China, some suggest to move factories to the Philippines. But wages are a bit higher here, and there is a lot of corruption (albeit Duterte is trying to get it under control). 

The good news? there are a lot of people with the needed skills who can work: and might be willing to come back to the Philippines if there were jobs here. And the improvement of roads and rail mean jobs to places outside of metro Manila, all the way up to Pampanga (Clark) or even Subic (a freeport that has now reopened).

One does hope China won't decide to start a war here to distract their people from all their problems. 

Keep the people affected by the terrible floods in your prayers. 

a story about telemarketers:

I used to fix my old Dell computer, and once when I needed to order a part (under warranty), I told the Indian telephone helper what I found what was wrong by opening my computer and she gasped: but you can't open your computer it breaks the warranty. Duh. I asked for an American, got a guy with a Texan accent and he laughed and approved it for me. Another time, I got a lady with a Filipina accent, and when I asked if she was in Manila, she told me snappily she was in Las Vegas thank you. Oh well.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Politically incorrect podcast of the week

Dilbert on the protests brings up a lot of stuff that most of us oldies know (i.e. that it's not as bad as the 1960s).

he also wonders why the press isn't doing as much coverage any more, and lots of other stuff.

He has a different point of view that makes you think: even though I often disagree with his observations or conclusions.

The Politically incorrect song of the week

A classic Flanders and Swan satire:

horse riding vs carriage horses

I ran across a discussion of gaited horses and mules on a discussion board at Instapundit.

first someone put up a video of how to saddle a mule vs a horse:

then they put up this video

leading to this comment:


Interesting this is a gaited mule. My daughter rode one once. Gaited horse breeds are like Tennessee Walking Horses, American Saddlebreds, Rocky Mountain horses, et. al. with same side leg movement, (hind foot and front foot on same side go down at same time). The ride is quite smooth. Gaited horses are crossed with donkeys to get gaited mules. Usually mules are sterile.

Majesticrider has a post about gaited horses..
n the 1800’s when horses where the primary mode of transportation, people rode what was known as saddle horses. These were horses that were smooth and could be ridden for hours without much stress to the rider or the horse. Since horses were used for transport, a horse that could travel far, with great stamina and a smooth ride was preferred.
The trotting horses came about, when carriages were being pulled and when they needed a horse for quicker actions and speed. The trotting horse was also faster at galloping and better at jumping. So as riding became more of a sport instead of transport, there took a turn more toward the trotting horse.
A gaited horse moves each leg independently, so there is always one foot on the ground, since they are transferring weight to different legs but never suspending themselves in the air, as is done with a trot, there is less energy used by the horse. This use of less energy gives the horse more stamina and enables him to travel long distances without as much energy that would be required by a trotting horse.
I read Professor Bulliet's book about the wheel, on Scribd, and he pulls out evidence why the wheel wasn't really great or even necessary.  which goes against the opinions made popular by Jared Diamond and others.

He argues that as soon as horses evolved to be able to carry riders, horse riding replaced wagons for a lot of travel and transport even in Europe... and then goes on to explain that new carriage designs and better roads led to horse carriages becoming the norm. And of course, Bulliet's area of expertise is Persia and the Middle East history, and he notes that it was the camel's efficiency in carrying loads that resulted in the horse/donkey drawn carts becoming less popular there.

and don't forget the revolutionary introduction of the horse collar (so horses could replace oxen in plowing) and the stirrup (That made it possible to stay on the horse more easily) or the problem of Chinese breeding horses, or how the horses led to the Mongol empire (which again overlaps Middle Eastern and Chinese history more than European history, except for the Bubonic plague that came with these invasions).

Wikiepedia on horses in the middle ages.

Article on horses in the Middle Ages in Europe, with a stress on horses for war (carrying warriors and carrying supplies).

there is probably a lot more out there about the subject: I know nothing about the subject but between Bulliet and the Braudel books of history, I had ran across references to these things.

the problem? Bulliet's book was on Scribd and had an expiration date, so I can't browse it to find the facts I want without reading the whole thing, whereas not only are some of Braudel's books on internet archive, but I have two of Braudel's books hard cover with me, so can check the index and can use as a reference book for what I want to read.

I love history but when we read history, it tended to be great men (read murderous conquerors) and battles, whereas now I'm reading or listening to lectures about technology and culture.

The Durant series does include a lot about the history of ideas and cultural trends, but for technology behind history, you have to search for them.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

The White horse

the chalk figures of England are famous, but controversy surrounds them. How ancient are they? ah, that varies, as this BBC article points out:

Hill figures, emblazoned like scar tissue across England's undulating landscape, hark back to times when gods were honoured and appeased by grand gestures. Although horses - and some well-endowed giants - are perhaps the most well-known hill figures there are also some more unusual creatures and carvings. A lion stands proudly in Bedfordshire. A kiwi in Wiltshire is a testament to the homesick New Zealand soldiers once stationed nearby.
The Cerne Abbes Giant were once thought to be ancient, but newer studies show it dates only to the Middle Ages, according to the BBC

but the classic Uffington White Horse probably dates back to the early Iron Age.

wikipedia commons
it's not just the carving per se that is amazing, but the fact that it hasn't been overgrown and disappeared in the last 2000 years.

Over time, though its original purpose was lost, local people maintained a connection with the White Horse that ensured its continued existence. “If it weren’t maintained, the White Horse would be overgrown and disappear in 20 years,” says Andrew Foley, a ranger with the National Trust...

Again from the BBC article:

Soil tests show the horse has been there since between 1200 BC and 800 BC. There are plenty of legends associated with both the figure and with nearby Dragon Hill. There have even been suggestions the horse is in fact a dragon.
One tale is that King Arthur will one day wake when England is in peril. When Arthur rouses (although legend has it he fought against the English, so it would seem unlikely), the Uffington horse will rise up and dance on Dragon Hill. 
But the horse is also linked to King Alfred the Great, who battled the Danish invaders who looted and destroyed the monasteries with their libraries, book copying monks, and schools which were keeping ancient knowledge alive (King Alfred encouraged scholarship in his people to keep civilization alive, hence the name "Great"). 

For winning battles, even battles against barbarians who loot and burn and destroy, is not enough: One needs to keep the wisdom of the past alive so one can rebuild civilization. And in Alfred's time, that mean monasteries that not only cared for the sick and helped the poor, but had schools to teach students, and make copies of the books so more could read them. King Alfred, who spoke Latin enough to (reportedly) translate Boethius' great work, nevertheless arranged this and other great books to be translated into the Anglo Saxon language for those unschooled in Latin.

the legend of King Alfred's fight against the maurading Vikings inspired a famous poem about King Alfred,  by GKChesterton: The Ballad of the White Horse.

as this Lecture  points out:
The Last Great Epic Poem in the English Language Chesterton may have considered The Ballad of the White Horse his greatest literary accomplishment...
The Ballad is the story of the English King Alfred, who fought the Danes in the year 878. But it is also the story of Christianity battling against the destructive forces of nihilism and heathenism, which is the battle we are still fighting.
 At the beginning of the poem, the Blessed Virgin appears to King Alfred, and he asks her if he is going to win the upcoming battle. Her reply is not what he expects: 

          "I tell you naught for your comfort,
          Yea, naught for your desire,
          Save that the sky grows darker yet
          And the sea rises higher.

          "Night shall be thrice night over you,
          And heaven an iron cope.
          Do you have joy without a cause,
          Yea, faith without a hope?"

hmmm... as the lecture points out: the battle is still being fought today as the modern barbarians seek to level all links to the past, in the name of a multiculturalism that has little to do with respecting other cultures as it does with letting them be the ruler of a society without roots.