Sunday, August 30, 2020

How to do propaganda

summary: Take a quote, remove part of it so that it sounds like it's saying the exact opposite to what a person means, and then spread it all over Twitter and the MSM without context until even good people believe it is true.

I believe this used to be called the Big Lie.

more propaganda: Pretend that an essentially white crowd didn't attack a US Senator who is at the forefront of prison and police reform. 

he wasn't attacked, says the MSM: they just shouted at him. Well, maybe the reason he wasn't physically attacked is that the mostly black cops prevented that attack.

so now, Rand Paul wants to check out if they are being funded by an outsider.

You know, when I hear that the three guys with police records attacked a pudgy white teenager who looked like an easy target  (until he shot back.), it makes me wonder if they were doing this for free or for fun.

The dirty little secret (only mentioned by Dilbert) is that demonstrating is fun. (so is looting). I am old enough to remember the 1960s. All those demonstrators really didn't care if folks were being killed in VietNam: You know why I say this? Because they never lifted a finger to help the boat people (who were attacked by pirates), the victims of Pol Pot, or even to resettle them into the USA.

the churches helped. The USPHS helped. Lots of ordinary people helped. The activist groups? Nada. (the only anti war activist I remember trying to help was Joan Baez.).

By the time these things happened, they were all into fitness and making money. And yes I'm speaking about you, Jane Fonda.

and quick: How many "activists" who are willing to go to Washington or other cities to have fun demonstrate changed their mind and went instead to help the cleanup from the hurricane on the Gulf Coast, or to help fight the fires or those fleeing the fires in California.

last time I looked, there are a lot of minorities in those places who are hurting and need help.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Movie of the week

the story of people forced off their island home, who later returned. And the story of the Selkies and a lost child.

a film by John Sayles.

Soundtrack here.

this is about an island off the coast of Ireland, but the BBC has a real story about the Island of St Kilda, with photos of those who once lived there...

Early on the morning of 29 August 1930, the last 36 residents began the evacuation from St Kilda, a group of islands 110 miles off the west coast of Scotland that had been lived on for thousands of years. Three hours later, 13 men, 10 women and 13 children were aboard the ship that would take them away from their homes forever. They left because they were concerned they would not last another winter on the barren North Atlantic archipelago, which was virtually cut off from the mainland for nine months of the year by rough seas and winds.

all very sad: A way of life gone. Families broken up by the move to the cities and small towns of the mainland or emigration overseas.

But as one who has lived in the poorer areas of the USA and in various countries in the third world, I am a little less nostalgic about the wonderfulness of such a hard, primitive life where TB, accidents, and childbirth could kill you, and hunger was a danger every winter.


Conspiracy anyone?

Shadowgate conspiracy theory is on Bitchute.

most of it is over my head (I have a life and prefer not to waste time trying to keep track of such stuff: Usually I play it in the background while doing other things, fast forwarding to skip the boring points). Very scary: Big brother is watching you.

Uh, duh. No kidding. 

And of course, not just Big Brother is spying on you because the CIA has it's hands deep into such things (no I'm not paranoid, just old enough to remember the Church committee), but China is doing a lot of hacking, both of personal data (to build a data base of military and business people) and to steal intellectual property.

why do I post this? Because I heard them mention the hack of OPM Personnel records (fast forward to 26 minutes).

This includes my personnel records, since I was both UPHS commissioned Corp, and civil service for the IHS.

We were told the hackers were unknown, and even told we could have insurance if the hackers tried to steal our identity and steal money, implying it was a criminal hack for money. 

 Later various groups mentioned the hack was done by Chinese hackers so they could make a database on military and other personnel.

This movie implies that there was a CIA/ Brennan connection to the hack.

ah, so is the movie only another conspiracy theory about the US government and deep state spying on you, or is it a Russian or Chinese backed conspiracy theory to get you to ignore the spying which they are doing, and to undermine trust in the US government at a time when the election is splitting the country apart?

who knows?

and usually I would just shrug it off as another "conspiracy theory", except that it has been banned from Youtube: not for racism or hate speech but why? Youtube has lots of conspiracy stuff there,(lizard people taking over the world, aliens, pedophiles in government, although that last one seems to have a few reasons to believe it might have a grain of truth in it). so why take this one off? Maybe because it is true?

as Lolo would say: Crazy.

Philippine news

more news from StrategyPage:

the quarantine is threatening the economy, not just because of the shut down of shops, malls, etc. but because of the many OFW coming home and/or not being able to send money home to help their families.

in the meanwhile, they note that China is pushing the Philippines around. Why? Because they can. But now the Philippines is starting a mild push-back after years of trying to "make nice" and getting screwed by China's lies and slow moving but steady aggression.

August 24, 2020: The Philippines has become more aggressive in sending its ships and aircraft to challenge Chinese ships within the Filipino EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) which extends 380 kilometers from the coastline.
In the last two decades China has aggressively asserted its claimed ownership of most of the South China Sea. This claim was first made after World War II but not often acted on, except in the 1970s against Vietnam. In the last decade China has more aggressively asserted its claims om the South China Sea but has not opened fire on anyone “illegally operating in the South China Sea.”

the Chinese lost their claim to the area in an international court, but are ignoring this.

why should the Philippines worry if one of their major trading partners shove around a couple dozen locals?

Because there are hints it won't stop there.

One of the more absurd headlines in the local paper (Manila Bul): a Chinese firm in the Philippines is selling beauty products labled "Manila, Province of China":
Mayor Isko shuts down establishments selling products labeled ‘Manila, Province of China’
Nograles also identified the distributor of the product in the country as Elegant Fumes Beauty Products, Inc., a Binondo-based establishment reportedly owned by a Chinese national...
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque brushed off the mislabeling of the Philippine capital and said no one would believe that it is a province of China.
or would they?

and the UKTelegraph (May2012) reports that a Chinese news station said just that:

He Jia, anchor for China Central Television's (CCTV) nationally televised news broadcast, made the claim during a late Monday broadcast that has been repeatedly replayed on the internet....
"We all know that the Philippines is China's inherent territory and the Philippines belongs to Chinese sovereignty, this is an indisputable fact," He said in the broadcast, which has since disappeared from the CCTV website but is available elsewhere on the web.
after the internet showing the video of this claim there was pushback, and they backpeddled the story as an "accident'.

The presenter apparently meant to say that the Huangyan islands – known in the Philippines as the Scarborough Shoal, and claimed by both nations – is China's territory.
Really?  An accident?

and if you think that was an accidental slip of the tongue, you are wrong: it's been said in other places too.

article from 2018 in National Interest discusses a Chinese take over of the Philippines. This could lead to a war with the USA, so another scenerio is for Duterte to push a "revolutionary government" backed by a Chinese communist party here.

In the words of Philippines news site Rappler, "Gonzales also suspects that China will be forced to use the 'military option' after apparently seeing that there are no other means to extend the term of President Rodrigo Duterte – the most powerful man in the country, and their frequent defender...
The former defense chief said the only way Duterte can extend his term is through a revolutionary government, and the only organization apparently qualified to earn China's nod is the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)."
Old news of course, since even Duterte, who hated the CIA and was sympathetic to the local communists while wanting to increase ties with China,  is now pushing back against China because of too many broken promises.

but one reason I brought this up is that such a "revolutionary government" is again being discussed. From the PhilStar.

Two years before his term ends, Duterte maintained he was not interested in efforts to prolong himself in power.
“You know, there are reports about people calling for a revolutionary government. I have nothing to do with it. I don’t know them and it’s not my strategy,” he said during a taped public address aired yesterday.
On Saturday, the People’s National Coalition for Revolutionary Government and Charter Change assembled at the Clark Freeport in Pampanga to push for the establishment of a revolutionary government and the adoption of a new federal Constitution.
the group seems to be Duterte supporters trying to get him to stay in office (presidents are limited to one term), but hint at a plan to evolve into a stronger dictatorship to solve the problems here in the Philippines.

the move to rewrite the constitution, called "ChaCha" is discussed here... a similar Cha cha to Con Ass  (Charter change to a constitutional assembly) was proposed when President Arroyo held the office.

(and yes, the vulgar acronyms are a typical Filipino way to ridicule the pomposity of politicians)

the problem? Lots of rumors about Duterte's poor health

so local politics will distract locals from Chinese increased aggression against Filipino fishermen.

ah, but will they limit their aggression to the West Philippine sea?

One wonders: becauseChina's threats are now being expanded to non Filipino ships and planes.:they have started shooting missiles in the area,  hinting that these missiles could be used against the USA, but not mentioned in the article is that these missiles could destroy civilian shipping in a major shipping lane to Japan and Korea.

China released the Covid virus on the world, either deliberately or because of a "Chernobyl" type bureaucratic mindset that made officials deny what was going on.

but instead of repenting, they seem to be expanding their aggression against their neighbors who are being weakened by the epidemic. Coincidence? Sinister plan of  China? Place conspiracy theory here.

the irony is that this is not a time China should be risking war.

China also is suffering major population displacements due to flooding, and loss of both manufacturing infrastructure and more importantly, the loss of much of the rice crop in this area. LINK/

so what does Emperor Xi decide to do? Maybe start a war to distract his people.

AustinBay of SP has an essay on China's recent aggression against several of their neighbors (i.e. not just the Philippines).

the most dangerous is against Taiwan, which could spark a war with the USA. But there are other scenerios that could lead to a major war:  China vs VietNam, China vs Japan, China vs India.

and one "war" that no one is talking about: a revolution in China.

One reason for taking down HongKong was because their pro democracy demonstrations threatened to spread the virus of democracy to mainland China.



Musical interlude of the day

I am waiting for heads to explode because Trumpieboy included this among the operatic songs toward the end of last night's songs.

Yet, it is not so much a "Catholic" song but is a "catholic" i.e. universal song, because it is one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

and of course Mary is beloved not just by Catholics and Orthodox Christians, but also Wiccans and Muslims.

but there is another subliminal, dare I say Jungian suggestion from the song: Mary is the mother symbol, to contradict the wrathful image of God that is part and parcel of the religious right. (yes, I know: Jesus meek and mild. The effeminate helpless Jesus of the modern church, but that is an essay for another day).

and of course, the usual icon of Mary is one holding her son: The ultimate symbol of the loving mother.

And Trumpie boy was open about his support of life, even in the womb, whereas the Democrats push abortion under the meme of "freedom and liberty: not as the lesser of two evils for women in distress because of a pregnancy, but as a
core value":  a way of being free of family ties and responsibility so you can get an education and a job and be successful in the world.

It's a dirty little secret, but many women who had abortions did it under duress and have a bitter self hatred for doing it, even when they were pressured into it by family, partner, or economic circumstances. Often they regret it but it's taboo to say so. (a lot of the terrible anger against the pro life movement is projection of their self hatred for having an abortion). And of course, many feel that God cannot forgive them, so they seek solace in Wicca or other non judgemental religions.

Mary is not only reminding one that motherhood is sacred, but as a mother, she is the type who will not condemn sinners, but welcome back her sorrowful children, including mothers who rejected their own children.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Covid notes: Hydrochloroquin, UV and ozone might help too

so hydroxychloroquin works?

the good doctor discusses the studies in detail. 

not a miracle cure, but the Belgium study suggests that if you use it early and correctly, the mortality is lowered 30 percent. 

The dosage and timing is the key:
the problem seems to be that they gave a very high dosage and that is why there were so many side effects. (italics mine).

and the good doctor wonders why all those experts used the wrong dosage... i.e. why did the Brits and WHO get the dosage wrong?

listen to the whole discussion if you want the details.

A Yale Epidemiologist also noted that the ability of the drug to cut the fatality rate

one is reminded of stories that some of the high mortality of the 1918 influenza epidemic was due to overdose of aspirin...-----------------------

update: more discussion here: and also discusses the possibility of reinfection, and what it means for a vaccine stopping the epidemic. Note: The reinfection was from a different version of the virus, and at least one person had a bad immune system.


Another related topic: one wonders about the slowness by the experts in checking out the old fashioned methods to stop viral spread.

Instapundit links to an article about UV light stopping the virus, something I noted a couple of months ago since we still have such UV lights in our hospitals here over doorways (presumably to stop TB spread) and we used to have them in hospitals back when I started working in hospitals back in the 1960s.

however, to kill covid you need a special frequency and high dosage: this will sterilize surfaces, but can cause sunburn and eye damage if used in high dosages in public areas.

But you know, my hepa air filter has UV light inside it to kill mold etc... so I wonder, so will adding UV light, maybe in higher doses than being used now, to air conditioners and heaters that circulate the air kill the virus so that indoor spread will be limited?

this is important, since air conditioners/ air flow indoors are known reasons that the virus spread inside buildings.

ChicagoTrib discusses here.

The best combination to cut down the chances of spreading the virus is a HEPA filter and a UV light, Myers said. HEPA filters, used in hospitals, can remove 99.7% of particles as small as 0.01 micron. That’s efficient enough to capture the COVID-19 virus, which is said to have particles approximately 0.125 micron in size.

and what about ozone? LINK link2

not my area of expertise but again might help in surface sterilization. 

Finally, there will be an investigation into the nursing home kerfuffle, where governors ordered recovering (but still infectious) Covid patients back into nursing homes.

nothing will come from it, of course, because the regulations said it was okay, and the governors were only following the regulations: (italics mine).

The experts who wrote the regulations insisted that infection wouldn't spread if you had adequate PPE used by personnel correctly and you isolated the patient.

The problem? 


Nursing homes often lacked PPE, but the bigger problem is that many are understaffed (money money money) and often the number of staff is estimated for ordinary patients, not for such isolation which takes caregiver's time. 

And I won't even go into the poor quality of staff in many nursing homes (because it pays lousy for hard work, often the staff is not high quality. Duh).

One does not expect a governor to know such things, so one doubts they will be charged because hey, they were only following regulations devised by experts.

However, since the Pennsylvania public health expert who agreed to the policy took her mom out of a nursing home and placed her mom into a hotel for safety reasons, one does suspect that there were some in the state governments who knew the advice was faulty but, this being government, just went along with the policy because hey, if you make waves you get harassed out of your jobs (been there, done that, long story).

and as I noted yesterday: Sweden had the same policy and many of their deaths were also in nursing homes.

so the problem was not just in the USA... 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Archbishop Cruz R.I.P.

I used to post stuff from his blog, calling him the old lefty bishop, not as a criticism but as a complement, because he did not follow the party line of the liberation theology types, but worked for issues that affected the average Filipino...against corruption that was destroying the Philippines, including gambling, casinos, drugs, divorce, and crooked politicians, including all those good politicians whose corruption got overlooked because they opposed contraception.

more HERE
Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz Manila Bulletin

And the press loved him, because he would comment on issues that other bishops preferred to stay silent about, but also because he could explain things in language that ordinary folks could understand.

One favorite story that I remember was when he was sued for libel.

During the reign of the lovely President Arroyo, there was a party to celebrate the birthday of the First Husband....sponsored by companies etc. And instead of hiring professional waiters/waitresses, the companies had their lovely employees volunteer to do this for free.

The bishop wrote a blistering blogpost condemning this, since it exploited these poor girls., but mainly because (according to unverified rumors) the party could be a way to coverup gifts to Gentleman Mike, who by some rumors was the one to go to if you wanted a favor from his wife.

Well. A few of the lovely ladies promptly sued him for libel, saying the blogpost implied they were prostitutes, and took him to court. (we have strict libel laws here). He lost the court case, but ended up being fined a small amount of money...

But he continued to condemn corruption in his blog, but using hints and quoting others, which is how the regular reporters write here, figuring their readers can read between the lines, but makes it hard for outsiders like myself to figure out what is really going on.

The good bishop's blog posts stopped 2 or 3 tears ago and he has not been active recently.

An example of a good bishop.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

nursing homes covid deaths ...not just NYC

The video I posted a few days ago mentioned Sweden seemed to have neglected their elderly, leading to a high death rate.

This article discusses Sweden's approach to push herd immunity, which led to a high death rate but may stop the resurgence we are seeing all over the world as quarantines get lifted, so in the long term may come out about the same.

But they also note not using protection in nursing homes unless the person was diagnosed, and therefore the epidemic "ripped through the country's nursing homes"  ..

This April article from theUK Guardian discusses the problem

And this article crom the BMJ from June also notes the lack of worry about the elderly, not only lack of equipment, but anecdotal stories of physicians giving a "palliative cocktail" to some nursing home patients, i.e. sedating them instead of trying to save them...(we give this to terminal cancer patients but not to people who are merely old and who might have a 30 percent chance of life if properly treated in a hospital

excuse the lack of decent links: I am on my tablet again

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

the invisible heroes

Right now there are 14000 fire fighters risking their lives to stop the infernos in California. 
The governor is asking outsiders to help, from as far away as Australis.

I lived in New Mexico when that state had a lot of fires, including in our area. It is scary. And many of our Apache were trained to fight these fires and went all over to where they were...but when the fires hit closer to home, others joined in as volunteers. Hot, dirty and dangerous work.

So who gets into the headlines and lots of money from the usual useful idiots? Yup.
Trained rioters who are setting fires,

Monday, August 24, 2020

anti body serum...back to the future

Using serum of people eho recovered from a diease is an old treatment but  still used once in awhile.

For example, rabies is a big problem here in the Philippines... if you get bitten here by a strange dog, you get one injection of rabies immune globulin, and then 3 shots of rabies vaccine.

More here

Remeber Balto and the race to Nome to bring serum to save kids from diphtheria? In the past, they manufactured it using horses, who produced lots of immune globulin, but allergy deaths were a problem. 

The covid trestment being proposed will use serum from recovered patients. You give blood, and they separate the plasma and give you your red blood cells back. Then they separate the immune globulin from the other proteins and give it to very sick patients. 

There is a risk for transmission of donor disease but screening lowers this risk.

As fot using animals to produce the product, which would loeer the cost and increase the amount available, it is too soon to say anything.

But there is a very preliminary study using  the animals technique here

So right now they will use serum from folks who have recovered, so there may only be enough for very sick people.

And of course, the usual suspects are shouting Trump is politicizing another treatment.

Because political correctness/TDS uber alles

This is the same folks who delayed testing for weeks because of accuracy issues, and who are stopping the use of HCQ, and other possible cures because of a low danger of side efects and because the medicines only lowered the mortality  a moderate degree and were often used late in the disease and didn't work unless given early.

Win one for the Gipper

there is an old joke about a chaplain who said a prayer at the start of a football game between Notre Dame and a rival team. At the end of the prayer, he reminded the teams that "God has no favorites", at which point one of the Notre Dame players said: NO, but his mother does.

American football is nothing like world football, which we call soccer. And at a time when political correctness is destroying the love of the game for many fans who resent being dissed by millionaire football players as racists and "despicables", it is a good time to point out a time of when Football was almost considered an American religion, and some of football's religious ties.

A few blogposts back, I used the phrase "Hail Mary Pass".

That has it's origin in the University of Notre Dame's football team.

From Wikipedia:

The expression goes back at least to the 1930s, when it was used publicly by two former members of Notre Dame's Four Horsemen, Elmer Layden and Jim Crowley. Originally meaning any sort of desperation play, a "Hail Mary" gradually came to denote a long, low-probability pass... attempted at the end of a half when a team is too far from the end zone to execute a more conventional play, implying that it would take divine intervention for the play to succeed.
For more than 40 years, use of the term was largely confined to Notre Dame and other Catholic universities.[1] The term became widespread after a December 28, 1975, NFL playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings, when Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach said about his game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Drew Pearson, "I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary."

Here is a video about Notre Dame's rise to fame via Knute Rockne:

Another related factoid: President Ronald Reagan was often called "the Gipper": the origin of this knickname is explained here:

Rural medicine

I worked many years in rural medicine in the USA, both in small towns and in the IHS (Indian Health Service).

Dr. John Campbell mentions the AmerIndian covid crisis in this video and there are a lot of invisible things I commented on and needs to be noticed when people discuss medical care in that community.

One: the obvious: Poverty.

Two: not so obvious: People often live in extended families, and a home for grandmom might include her grandchildren whom she is raising: the extended family and friends usually care for each other, so a house might have a lot of family and visitors there. 
If we needed to get information to a patient, often it meant notifying a relative to tell her to contact us. We also had local Tribal health workers who did home visits to check our elders for problem and do wound care on our many diabetics.

it also means that, unlike upper middle class "white" culture, no one dies alone: the entire family will stay in the room or waiting room while the patient is critically ill (hmm...sounds like us in the Philippines...)

Three: Tribes differ: and you have to know the value system of the tribe. Navajo people don't think the same as a Hopi or Objibwe for example... This is one reason that there is "Indian preference" for hiring, because you might miss the cultural cues when you treat the patient.

which brings us to: genetic differences.

Three: a very high rate of diabetes, with it's complications of high blood pressure, renal failure, heart disease, and limb care. 

Prevention of amputations is the reason most clinics have podiatrists visiting weekly to cut toenails and do foot care, and in Minnesota, we had a visiting surgeon who evaluated wounds and did vascular bypasses as part of our outreach to lower the rate of amputations. And there are clusters of immune diseases in some families: Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, etc. so most clinics have a visiting Rheumatology clinic.

There is also tuberculosis, albeit not really a problem now, but sometimes missed on X ray (I saw a lot in Africa, so diagnosed one on an x ray before it was sent out, so sent the patient for a bronchoscopy to culture her lungs: The nurses got very upset at me that I diagnosed her, since it meant x ray and follow up for them and six months of biweekly visiting nurse visits to supervise that the patient took her medicines correctly). 

this brings us to: 

Four: The hospitals are often understaffed and slow to get up to date equipment, but the public health outreach and preventive medicine is good.

finally you have 

Five: the side effect of cultural clashes, unemployment, etc. that leads to alcohol and substance abuse. And yes, AA and other groups are there to work with these patients. But they also lead to families falling apart (and a lot of kids brought up by Grandmom or a relative). Which is why it helps to have a nurse who knows the family to let you know the background of the case you are treating.

In summary, the covid virus is dangerous to the rural AmerIndian population because of poverty, genetics, household crowding and co morbidity.

But the IHS and tribal organizations are already there to be able to track the contacts.

In contrast, when I worked in rural medicine, one of the struggles is to get many of these social/public health resources: social work, psychiatry, lab tests that don't take a week to come back, and you spend a lot of time doing transfers to larger facilities that do have these resources. You also ran into the problem of uninsured patients (I left practice before Obama care). In the past, we just treated them and threw away the bill, but when HMO's took over, a lot of these patients ended up going to the ER for care, often later than they would if they could just see their local doc as they did in the past.

You also have to know the ethnicity and value system of your patients; American Hispanics, Mexican Hispanics, Central American Hispanics, Eastern European Ethnics, Italians, LDS/Mormon patients, etc.

a lot of what I have written is probably out of date: Medicine has become more cookie cutter and computerized since I retired, and Obama care probably has helped with the uninsured. On the other hand, the paperwork takes time from patient care, and the "efficiency" stresses mean you can't sit down and discuss the grandkids with grandmom because the business office sees this as wasting time, even though you get critical information about her and the family by such "gossiping".

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Did China set up Bannon?

the only thing I know about Steve Bannon is that he was dissing Pope Francis awhile back by buying an empty monastery  for "an Academy for the Judeo-Christian West which would offer courses in history, philosophy, theology and politics".

heh. You can almost hear the exploding heads of the modernists who are busy hijacking the Vatican and forgot to check for a "hail mary pass" from the end zone. (/s).

Locally, it caused a kerfuffle after the bureaucrats figured out what he was doing. Artnewspaper article here.

The ministry’s attempt to revoke the group’s lease was launched after Steve Bannon and Benjamin Harnwell announced that they intended to use the monastery to launch an Academy for the Judeo-Christian West which would offer courses in history, philosophy, theology and politics... a revelation which sparked public protests and parliamentary questions from Left-wing parties.

Italics mine...

the whole thing sounds fishy to me, but there is a lot of money in the "trad catholic" community floating around, and I wonder about this because the "trad Catholic" types are naive and vulnerable for fraudsters to bilk them out of their money.

Bannon seems to be a bit nutty, in a "happy warrior/breitbart/oldversion of drudge" way, and I think he's nuts, or at least a little off in his judgement, which is probably why Trumpie boy fired him quite a long time ago.

but all the headlines will link him to Trumpieboy, because it's election year.

The press made a big thing that he was arrested on a yacht of a Chinese millionaire, hinting to those who don't read beyond the headlines that he was a minion of Xi's China. (backstory: this would neutralize lots of stories about Hunter Biden and other politicians kids hired by Chinese companies that might be an issue in the next election).

one problem: That "Chinese Billionaire" was Guo Wengui, a well known opponent to the present Chinese government.

He runs his own news site: GNEWS, and posts youtube stuff in Chinese and English debunking their propaganda.

their take on the matter?

“Fake news”, I said. That is my reaction when I heard from my friend for the first time that there’s a breaking news on Chinese websites said Steve Bannon was arrested.
Ten minutes later, BBC report the same news, and then CNN, FOX, and then it spread to everyone. It took them only 21 minutes to do these things from writing to editing to publishing the news after the things happened. How efficient the China’s propaganda system this time is! Does CCP involve it? I have no idea. All I know is CCP is mad with joy now. Because Mr. Bannon is one of the most threatening people to CCP. From now on, The U.S. judicial system will drag Bannon into the quagmire of litigation.

So is Bannon's arrest due to manipulation of the federal Jusitice system as a result of Chinese interference, in order to influence the American election?

Nah, it would never happen (just ignore that story about the Houston Consulate).

actually, I doubt it: more likely the federal attorney figured Bannon was a "low hanging" fruit so they arrested him as a way to smear Trump.

and indeed, one wonders if others in the wall scheme did siphon a bit of money off into their own pockets and Bannon got caught in the kerfuffle... or maybe they just didn't keep their books tidy so open to be arrested (however, not for a yacht as some stories claim: even Snopes says this is fake news.)

a more nuanced evaluation of all of this can be read at this essay by Spengler, who writes for PJMedia and used to have a column at the Asian times, and worked with Mr Bannon on Ted Cruz' campaign but has major disagreements with him.

Note the part about the shadowy Mr Guo, the billionaire mentioned above. Mr Guo is in trouble with the feds over money too, and the little I read about big finance makes me remember what Lolo used to say to me about politicians and the oligarchy in Manila: They're all crooks.

Bread Beer and Tiger nuts

Atlas Obscura has an article on the diet of the ancient Egyptians, and discusses recipes based on tomb paintings. Recipes included.

Workers painted scenes on tomb walls to commemorate the deceased’s accomplishments and to ensure that important ceremonies, from food to burial rituals, would endure in the Field of Reeds, the Egyptian afterlife. Some tomb paintings even included images depicting how workers prepared food......
This detail of a painting from the tomb of Ramses III shows workers preparing spirals of emmer wheat bread. PUBLIC DOMAIN

bread and beer formed the true bedrock of ancient Egyptian cuisine. Bakers usually made bread with emmer wheat and barley, two of the oldest cultivated grains. Bread was so important, in fact, that it had an outsized influence on ancient Egyptian writing. Historians have recorded 14 distinct hieroglyphics for bread.

but the article also mentions something called tiger nuts, which were mixed with honey to make small cakes: the earliest Egyptian recipe described how to  prepare it for the gods, but it was also eaten by folks.

Wiikipedia commons
I had never heard of "tiger nuts", but it turns out to be chufa, aka turkey food, which I am familiar with since it grew wild near my home when I lived in Appalachia. 

It is a grass/sedge with small tubers which are edible.

wikipedia article discusses, including discusses similar plants that look like it but are bitter.

and here is a discussion of Egyptian food that discusses how to make tiger nut cakes at 9 minutes.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

is famine coming?

Much of Iowa's crops have been destroyed by the "derecho storm" a week ago, and Trump visited the disaster site.

"It's amazing, it's big," Trump told local and federal officials at a briefing about the damage, a day after approving disaster aid for the state.
yes, the "do nothing president" (if you read the MSM) was there and brought help.

here is the background of what this means:
The storm packed hurricane-force winds that crumpled steel storage bins, flattened corn fields, caused widespread damage in towns and left thousands of people without power. Crop losses come as China needs to import more corn to meet rising demand to feed livestock. 
so China has been buying a lot of food products from the USA. more HERE. an analysis of it here.
And that doesn't even mention the African swine flu killing their pigs, various parasitic diseases,

and of course, there have been floods in India, Southern Japan,, southern South Korea, eastern India and Bengladesh.

add to this the disruption of the supply chains by the virus, it means famine in the near future for many places in the world, but for some reason when I google about it, all the articles are dated last April. WTF? even the Wikipedia page references are from back then.

Africa has not only covid, but locusts who are behind their threatened famine... and the Asia times reports on possible Famine in Pakistan link and AlJ report on Latin America do report on the crisis


 on AlJ, I ran into this report about the missing children in Mexico.

An average of seven children go missing daily in Mexico: Report Most are believed to have been trafficked for sexual exploitation or sold into forced labour.
Houston newspaper has a report of this terrible problem that happens all over the world and says it is getting worse from the poverty due to the covid epidemic and made isolated children vulnerable to seduction via internet.

it's a major problem here in the Philippines, which is one of the world centers for cybersex with children.

given the high unemployment due to quarantine shutdowns, I suspect the problem is a lot worse now.

As for local famine: The harvest here so far is okay, but there is a question if the poor will able to afford to buy food since they are now unemployed.

audiobook of the week

Librivox has the main part of the Tale of the Genji for your listening pleasure. (the second part about his kids might not be part of the original story). It is considered by some to be the world's first novel, which was written by a court lady 1000 years ago.

Genji, the son of the emperor by a concubine, was designated a commoner so that he could serve the court but never be their rival. One result is that as a youth he goes around being a famous playboy seducing one woman after another... but after seducing the wrong woman, he is sent into exile and so in the last part of the book he actually grows up.

I was impressed by the Buddhist influences in the book: one of the alternatives for unhappy women was to become a Buddhist nun (often staying home in a small chapel).

this lecture puts it into cultural perspective:

Note the educated women used a different script for their books because hey, women weren't supposed to be involved in the government.

this article discusses the hiragana script.

Kanji represented the world of careers in Japan, and Hiragana was more related to leisure, hobbies, or cultural aspects of life. Writing novels, writing a love letter, exchanging poems in Hiragana helped Japan to attain its uniqueness and its own culture to bloom. The first significant literary masterpiece in Japanese history, “Genji Monogatari“, was written by a noble woman using Hiragana in the 11th century.
I'm not an expert on the complexities of Japanese writing systems but there are lectures about these things on Youtube if you want to investigate this aspect of the book.

There are lots of translations of Genji out there, and internet archives has several versions to borrow and this one to download:
Ebook here, and manga version here.

Summary HERE. and the main site has links to places mentioned in the book and lots of beautiful photos.

Wikipedia describes the technical details of the novel and the problems of translation.

Everyday heroes matter

not every story you run across in the crazy news is about crazy people destroying things and bragging about their virtue.
Here is one for you to remember that there are good people in the world:

The pilot was standing around as I got out of my wheelchair to board my flight to Portland. He followed me and the flight attendant who volunteered to carry my bag. I fling myself into my seat. He quickly asked, “were you in the military.” I replied “yes.”He said, “Afghanistan 2010?” Again, although surprised this time, I said slowly “yessss.”He then told me that he recognized me, my injuries, and my face. He told me he never knew if I survived or not.Marc Vincequere is his name. He flys w United now. Crazy small world. He was the pilot that flew me out of Afghanistan.

I ran across this story in a comment on Instapundit, but it was also posted last year on several sites including this one: LINK which has a longer version of the story as written and a link to Todd Love's facebook page.

and here is a story in the local newspaper about the pilot's 21 year Air Force career, (AFNG) written at the time of his retirement. 

What is not made clear in that story:
Many of the best pilots in the Air Force are these civilian pilots who join the National Guard units, which are considered a part time military job. These pilots are often are called into active duty when the need arises, both in war and in civilian emergencies.

Here is the Wikipedia page on the 243d Airlift wing and here is a link to their Facebook page

Few Americans know about the various types of National Guard units, which are usually under the governor's authority but can be called up as part of the military by the federal government... indeed,  many of these in the NG have specialties that caused them to be called up for Afghanistan or Iraq wars. (medicine, mechanics, police work, water supply).

But they are also called up for civilian emergencies.

Right now the MSM is busy smearing them for when they were called up to stop rioters from destroying people's stores and houses, because hey, the MSM is on the side of the rioters.

and frequently you hear them sneered at as "weekend warriors" by the elite who know nothing about what they do.

The elite MSM ignores these stories but usually the local press covers these stories.

For example, this story  describes what the PANG does in that state: 

The PNG routinely responds to domestic emergencies...(including) search and rescue; distribution of food, supplies and equipment; transporting critical health care workers to health care facilities; assisting with evacuating and transporting citizens to shelters; clearing roads of debris; and prepping for post-storm recovery.
 Most recently, members of the PNG on the Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (PA-HART) helped to rescue two motorists stranded in rapidly rising water in Berks County during flooding caused by Tropical Storm Isaias. In addition to the rescue, a Pennsylvania Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter and crew members accompanied by PA-HART members helped search for a missing person in the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. A total of 100 PNG members responded during Isaias.
and the NG is also being called up for Covid testing work. LINK LINK2 Notice that both these stories are in rural areas where there is a dearth of local health resources to do this.

note: I was in the National Guard for a few years in the 1990s so am a bit familiar with their work.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

one hand washes another

from the Intercept:

Source, The Intercept, which is funded by Omidyar, the same guy who funded the anti Duterte site Rappler here and got their editor in trouble after she tried to coverup foreign funding, and whose manipulation of the press in the Ukraine got rid of their corrupt pro Russian president and replaced him with a corrupt pro American president.
their first big story was about Snowden.
I'm not sure if this makes him right or left wing, or just an all around troublemaker against those who abuse human rights.

more at Breitbart

Zach Hiner, the executive director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), corroborated the bombshell details about Harris revealed by Breitbart News Senior Contributor Peter Schweizer in his book Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite.Linking to a video by The Intercept that profiles Harris’s conduct as San Francisco’s district attorney, Hiner said:

Senator Kamala Harris, as the District Attorney of San Francisco, chose to ignore an opportunity in 2004 to continue the work of her predecessor, Terence Hallinan, who was compiling dossiers about abuse in the Archdiocese of San Francisco with the intention of investigating and cracking down on that archdiocese. Despite the work that Hallinan had done, when Harris assumed office she stopped cooperating with victims and chose not to prosecute a single abusive priest.

and follow the money:

The author detailed that while Harris’s predecessor, former San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan, had launched an aggressive investigation into priests of the Archdiocese of San Francisco accused of sexual abuse, Harris’s campaign to unseat Hallinan showed an unusual influx of unparalleled donations from high-level officials of the Catholic Church.
In addition to campaign donations from multiple law firms defending San Francisco priests against abuse claims, Schweizer observed that “board members of San Francisco Catholic archdiocese-related organizations and their family members donated another $50,950 to Harris’s campaign.”
As Schweizer noted, Harris’s ties to those working to block exposure of the archdiocese’s secret documents containing information about priests accused of sexual abuse were extensive. 

but never mind: Dilbert says she is essentially running for president and could win becase of her personality and of course demographic correctness.

Don't ask me. I have stopped watching the news and only know about these rumors because I used to live in Altoona and keep an eye on the Catholic church abuser problem. Heck, sometimes I even hold my nose and watch Michael Voris to find out the latest rumors.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

good news long term immunity happend

herd immunity happens, and there is evidence that the vaccine will work.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

covid update: Superspreader in the Philippines

covid deaths per million here in the Philippines is 24, which is lower than the 400-500 rate in the US and Europe and Latin America. Ah, but do you believe it? that is the problem, especially in rural areas of third world countries.

He gets into the super spreader problem, which I mentioned in my previous post since a mutated Covid virus found in QC has increased spreading ability.

the lack of ventillation is a big deal here: only the high end shops , and restaurants have air conditioning, ditto for the malls but ordinary shops often only have ventillation through the open door with fans to spread around the air, or a small airconditioner in the window that helps only a little.

the buses are air conditioned,

but when we were in shutdown, not only the shops were closed (some going broke and many employees left without an income) but the tricycle drivers who make a living taking people to the market and to school were essentially out of work, causing a lot of hardship.

 and the tricycles are of course open to the air, but the jeepneys used for short trips only ventillate through the open back door and windows and many jeepney drivers are going broke.

But the real danger is for people who live in extended families in close quarters.

and it makes one worry about inside church services and reopening schools.

Our schools are due to reopen next week: but it is unclear how much will be inside class rooms and how much  will be at home via wifi and tv classes (we have an educational tv station here).

we have limited numbers allowed into stores and church services, and funerals (which usually include several days of visiting the dead in the family's home) is now not being done.

and the mandate to wear masks is getting stricter: even our old cook is wearing one, saying she doesn't want to pay 2500 peso fine when she shops at the open air market/palenke

Family news

Busy at the farm.

The last two puppies will be taken to Joy's family's farm tomorrow. They are at the "cute" stage but not house trained and starting to chew on the legs of the furniture, so I'll be happy to see them off.

Our four dogs attacked Apa, the shaggy dog belonging to the secretary who is an outdoor dog but had come into their kitchen to eat. (we usually keep the door between the office side and the home side closed, but it was open for bringing in food).

we stopped the fight but not before Apa had torn the ear of our gentle dog Barry, who came in and bled all over our floor. I stopped the bleeding with a wet towel and figured he only needed pressure,  and when I went to fetch an elastic bandage, he got into the bedroom. So I bandaged his ear and we had to clean up the floor, then went to dinner since he was hiding under the bed where we have his sleeping rug.

After dinner, we came back to find his bandage off and blood all over my bed (he had never come up on the bed before, but hey, I wasn't there and it is soft). Sigh. Another bandage, another clean up. Today he is fine and I took the bandage off and no bleeding so far.

we have too many dogs partly because two of them were supposed to be given away and they weren't picked up, so now they are too old to give away (they will run back here even if we take them to the farm).

Oh well.

we are back in partial lockdown: and Manila is again in lockdown.

 School starts next week, and so I am being asked for school supply help. I'm not sure how much of the classes will be in person and how much will be on line: The mayor just announced cheap 50 peso Wifi to help.

the bad news: They have detected a new strain of covid in QC, which is part of Manila: it is no more fatal than the usual strain, but it is much more infectious. (superspreader).


Hence the desire to get the Russian vaccine trials started here as soon as possible.

to make things worse, there is a big scandal about PhilHealth.

stealing/diverting money? business as normal so I'm not really following what's going on.

related item:

LA Times has an editorial on the problem of science reporting being inaccurate.