Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy new year

 

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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Hippopotamus post of the year

 CoolGreenScience has a post with stories of Hippopotami: Including what happened to drug kingpin Pablo Escobar's pet Hippos, which have since gone feral.

Owning exotic pets is not in itself noteworthy, but this story took a weird twist after Escobar was killed in a raid. Authorities gathered up the exotic beasts and placed them in zoos, but the hippos proved too unruly to capture. So they left the hippos in their pond, where they bred and prospered. And then moved into the nearby Magdalena River.

the hippos have attacked people and cattle, but when the locals tries to cull them, there was an "outcry". By whom? Probably the same animal lovers who lamented capturing a child killing crokadile here in the Philippines, or killing tigers who kill poor villagers in India.

In Africa, hippos are not looked on as cuddly creatures: They were feared, and they can run quickly to attack people and animals. Indeed, more people in Africa are killed by Hippos than by lions. No, I never treated a hippo bitten person, but one of my collegues did... and the locals became upset when a hippo moved into one of the local irrigation lakes: it meant they hesitated to go there to swim or fish.

The article also goes into the econological problems (Hippo manure causing overgrowth of toxic green algae).



and the same webpage has an article on the Magdalena Riverin Colombia.  Lamenting that it now is blocked by hydro electric dams. Hey, rich people want natural rivers: poor people would prefer electricity to their homes, but never mind. But the cluelessness doesn't stop there:

Just like my grandfather, I am a great lover of rivers, and my work has allowed me the good fortune to visit the last places of a Colombia frozen in time. Whether forgotten due to their remoteness or protected by decades of armed conflict or by chance, there are still rivers to save, some of them with extraordinary value.

italics mine.

Yup, maybe the Colombian civil war resulted in a quarter milliion dead, but hey, at least it kept some of the rivers clean. (/sarcasm)

 Total casualties: 218,094[36][37]

Total civilians killed: 177,307[36]
People abducted: 27,023[36]
Victims of enforced disappearances: 25,007[36]
Victims of anti-personnel mines: 10,189[36]
Total people displaced: 4,744,046–5,712,506[36][38]
Total number of children displaced: 2.3 million children.[39]
Number of refugees: 340,000[40]
The number of children killed: 45,000[39]
Missing children: 8,000 minors[39]

 

 I am all for ecology and sustainable living, but this type of thinking that values nature over people is one reason that the ecology movement has a bad reputation as being just a new version of Eugenics.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

keep cash around for emergencies

 here in the Philippines we know that typhoons, floods and earthquakes can mess up the infrastructure: The city water supply, the electrical system, our internet and cable TV. But also it can affect our bank accounts that rely on electronic communications.

Our internet was cut off for six weeks after a large earthquake south of Taiwan took out a major cable (but luckily we still had TV and radio).

Typhoons knock out the electrical system (indeed, one big one a couple years ago knocked out electricity, cable tv, internet, and the water supply for ten days.) Luckily back then cellphones worked, and all of our neighbors came to us for both water from our deep well and to charge up their cellphones. Within a day, local entrepeneurs had "cellphone charge for fifty cents/25 pesos." The roads to Manila opened after a day but it took three days to get to the farm. Most people don't keep food here, but buy it daily so this could be a problem, but hey we always have rice to eat (we store some of our gourmet organic brown rice here).

Covid caused a different problem: The internet was okay, as was the TV, electricity etc. But the mail service to the USA was essentially out for six months (a pension check took four months to arrive and was so damaged I couldn't cash it, and I had to wait two months to send it back to the USA to get a new one).Luckily electronic banking worked and I arranged wire transfer.

And with the covid, every truck had to be checked and there were huge slowdowns to get supplies: Luckily as testing became more common, you could just get a paper from the local barangay/neighborhood office that let you go through with only a temperature check.

some luxury items went out of stock, but essentially you could get routine things, including medicines: and if it wasn't in one store, they'd refer you to another. That has improved as the quarantine in our area has been partially lifte.

the local internet is slow because kids now get paper modules to do their school work and watch classes on line. The mayor arranged cheap public wifi for the poorer neighborhoods, but that means slow internet and internet going on and off as they upgrade the lines. It got so bad that Joy paid for the new Huawei internet connection (they are busy putting in 5G in our area) so she could do her business meetings etc. on line.

Well, this is all routine for those of us living in rural areas: And indeed, things like periodic brownouts have improved greatly since I moved here., 

Usually in the USA one does not worry about such things: indeed, one doesn't even think things can go wrong so easily, even when Covid shuts down the economy.

What brought this up was that I was reading all the conspiracy theories on the bombing in Nashville (probably an older white guy who descended into paranoia with age). Lots of conspiracy theories out there about the internet center being the target. Early reports were that it knocked out the 911 system for locals, 

but I ran across this local report saying that the local Walgreens is only taking cash for medicine, because they can't do credit card billing.

uh oh: This could cause problems with those who need expensive medicine (e.g. the elderly) and might not have that much cash around... and if the internet is out, that means you might have trouble with insurance paying for your medicine.

And if Walgreens is out, what about the local grocery store, where many use credit cards to shop.

hmm... 

My husband always relied on cash, not credit cards, and he would carry hundreds of dollars with him (but he also had a gun in the car and in the bedstand: partly because he also carried morphine for house calls),

Even here, he would keep a couple hundred dollars in pesos in our safe, something I am now starting to do now that I supply money for the family's food and help.

why not Atm; well, the ATMs often get empty on weekends, and they shut down when the electricity is off. And of course they require the internet to get information on your account...

well, if anything good comes from the bombing, it will be that it is a "headups" to Americans about the fragility of civilization. 

There already are worries about hackers destroying the electrical, water supply, internet, etc etc. 

Right now, the US and China are at the start of World War III, and it won't be fought with nuclear weapons but with hacking and sabotage of the infrastructure.

so maybe the preppers aren't as crazy as they seem.

...................,,,,,,,,,

Family news

another Low pressure area over the Visayas leading to lots of rain here.

The roof in the dining room still leaks but not as badly since the handyman repatched it two days ago. But the drainage gutter must be blocked because it was leaking down my window and into my room... I controlled it with towels that I just changed when they got soaked, but it meant I was up for a few hours last night.

Then at 7 am, the transformer up the street exploded (It has done this twice in the past year...hmm. wonder why... I suspect shoddy parts.). So no electricity all day and we were on generator. But the mayor is good and so the city electric company got it repaired by 3 pm.

No, I didn't go to church, either today or on Christmas: as a senior I am not allowed in church, where the numbers inside are limited, and I'm too old to stand out in the parking lot for an hour. But I do miss the sacraments. Sigh.

Kuya goes to the farm to check things but he still has a bad back. Joy is busy doing her business. 

Christmas eve at midnight we had Noche Buena: this is the big feast traditionally eaten by the family after midnight mass (which of course I couldn't attend, but never mind). We had Pinoy style sphaghetti, BBQ pork and grilled Talapia along with the regular sweets etc.

No ham this year, and not a lot of side dishes since there were only the three of us celebrating this year. (family celebrations with extended family is discouraged).

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Fake Vaccines?

 from the PhilInquirer:

it seems that not all vaccines are equal. DUH.


“We appeal to our task force leaders to look at the effectiveness of the [vaccine] rather than political or geopolitical reasons. The safety of our people should come first not the feelings of our neighboring friends,” he said.ubiri did not mention a specific brand, but he made the remark after the IATF announced that it preferred vaccines made by Chinese pharmaceuticals Sinovac, Sinopharm, and CanSino because of their “affordability and production capability.”....But Brazil, the first country to complete a late-stage trial of the Sinovac vaccine, said on Dec. 23 that the vaccine, called CoronaVac, was only more than 50-percent effective based on trial data. The Department of Science and Technology said CoronaVac’s 50-percent efficacy rate is “acceptable” because that was the minimum requirement of the World Health Organization.


WTF? I'll look into this later, but right now I have a life and hey, it's Christmas. 

but the deal with the US Pfizer fell through because the paper work never got done. Now they are saying it's because they can't refrigerate it....but the Moderna Vaccine only requires ordinary freezing.


--------------

update: Dr. C discusses the various vaccines and confirms that the Chinese vaccine only works to protect half of those given the vaccine. Fast forward to 16 minutes.



Friday, December 25, 2020

no earthquake here

We only felt a rumble or mild tremor when the earthquake hit Batages at noon...far soug of here. We felt nothing when the Quezon earthquake further south hit in the early evening.

So no problem

Merry Christmas

 

... 

from the Youtube comments:

The song was written specifically for this scene in the movie. That's why it has a melancholy tone. But the movie also came out on November 22, 1944. Allied troops were approaching Germany and the Battle of the Bulge would happen 24 days after it came out. No one knew if their loved ones fighting the war would come back. The battles in Europe and the Pacific were long from being over. It really made this song resonate for so many people. It's still a wonderful song because Christmas is a propitious time on the calendar. It comes at the end of the year and no one knows what the next year will hold or who will be around for next Christmas to celebrate with.


and that comment was posted one year ago and reading it today seems like a prophecy

Sigh. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Blessed Christmas to you

]

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, In the bleak midwinter, long ago. Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain; Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign. In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ. Enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day, Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay; Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before, The ox and ass and camel which adore. Angels and archangels may have gathered there, Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air; But His mother only, in her maiden bliss, Worshipped the beloved with a kiss. What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

lyrics Christina Rosetti

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

SPACE X LANDING

 

facebook? not if I can help it.

I just declined to add my grade school friends to my FB page, and told the friend who was suggesting this why:

Facebook is toxic and I avoid it for the sake of my mental health.

I understand it is worse for teenagers: My sister in law told me years ago that she stopped using it when her daughter, who is a good athlete, had her FB page full of rabidly hateful criticism.

Essentially, FB allows the "mean girls" and the nasty gossipers to rule.


so the present epidemic of bullying is nothing new: Yes, they existed long before FB and Twitter. 

but what got me really upset was the almost daily anti Christian/ anti God/ anti Catholic bigotry that was posted by "progressive" friends. I tried answering them, but to no avail. 

Hello: This type of hatred is pathological: and alas only echoes the anti Christian/ Anti Catholic bigotry of the Democratic party that has been growing ever since the early 1990s, when Gov Casey was openly ridiculed on the floor of the convention because he was anti abortion and had passed bills to help women with their expenses so they could carry their pregnancy to term. Even though he was one of the most popular Democratic governors, he was not allowed to give a speech to the convention and was openly mocked by the mean girls who had essentially taken over the party.

So you see why I am not impressed by "doctor" Jill, whose easy degree is touted by her as if she was a "real" doctor, who actually cared for people (quick: How often does the press call Senator Rand "doctor"? ).

well, anyway, I decided to stop checking in on Facebook more than once a week, even though it meant not seeing my relative's baby photos.

there is also the problem that FB is now full of ads for stuff I am not interested in. 

and full of political ads and news stories that fit the bias of Silicon Valley.

in the 2016 election, ads from Russia were exaggerated into the story that Russia helped Trumpiboy steal the election.

But apparently bias in the social media. not to mention your Google searches, in the 2020 election has essentially allowed these companies to "donate" free advertisements for one party in a way that goes around campaign finance laws.

And now: not only feisty non PC professors face ostracism but Youtube is busy censoring  conservative voices.

I'm so old that I remember when corporate monopolies in the public media was a liberal complaint. 

Well, here is John Bachelor podcast discussing the problem.

well well well.

Of course, much of this was reported on the conspiracy type sites,  so I knew about it, but hey, when the real news is censored, then people go to the conspiracy sites.

the side effect is the promotion of real fake news, which now becomes more believable.

Ironically, most conspiracy theories have a grain of truth in them, usually a fact that is being censored by the MSM... and then they exaggerate that fact without putting it into the perspective of the whole picture.

Family news

 it's actually cool here during the day.

The plaza and night market were closed for a week and now reopen, meaning the dogs will get up and bark their heads off at those coming home at midnight. Since two of them sleep in my room, that means I have to wake up and let them out of my room: this destroys my sleep cycle. so I am sort of hibernating during the day.

but yesterday it was cool, and didn't rain in the afternoon, so I bought some flowers and left them on Lolo's gravesite after lighting candles and saying a prayer.

I visited there weekly before the covid hit last spring, so it's been six months since I visited.


we cleaned the old dead flower arrangements and swept the floor. We found another light bulb was stolen. and the flower bushes outside the door will have to be cut back: overgrown, with weeds and an insect infestation too. 

Kuya pulled his back out working in the farm, so was in bed for two days and now is starting to go back to work.

Joy had a delivery in Manila. Her organic rice coop offered one kg of rice to be given to cancer patients for every ten kg you buy. So she is delivering the gift rice to a cancer clinic in Manila.

Ruby is on school break in Minnesota and decided to visit New Orleans with her friends. I wasn't aware the tourism is now open, but she is low risk so no problem.




Sunday, December 20, 2020

Vaccine update

 

----linked so I can watch later.. at 9 minutes he notes the problem with the Chinese vaccine: No data. update: Whoops. new mutation. But the vaccine should work.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Family news: why is it raining in my dining room?

 so it rained heavily last night. 

I wasn't aware there was a typhoon nearby, since Vicky was far south of here, but the cook informs me that we are signal one, which is what it looks like from here.

the heavy rain all night means the roof is again leaking: But since the last time they fixed the roof, most of the leaking is in the dining room.

But last night, the secretary smelled electricity, and we searched and found nothing, and all the electrical stuff seemed to be working.

Ah, but this morning when I went to turn on the lights, no ceiling light. The lights using the wall sockets were okay, as was the air conditioner, but the modem was blinking too. So we figure it is one of the wires in the ceiling has shorted. 

I turned off the fuses to both bedrooms just in case, but Joy's bedroom and modem are working, as is the light in the dining room despite all the water on the floor here. So I am posting this from the dining room.

To make things worse, one of the dogs vomited in the bedroom and I had to clean that up. Sigh. 

I live in the house Lolo built in the 1960s, and since we moved here, we did put a new roof on it, but it always leaks due to gutter problems in heavy rain. But now the roof is still leaking where the last typhoon rippped off some of the roof/ skylight panels:

Our handiman did routine repairs but it still leaks a bit: he couldn't get good quality stuff for repair since everyone's roof had damage ;and supplies were short. I think he used plywood as a stop gap.

We will need a professional roofer to fix it.

No one is up except for me and the cook (and the dogs) and it is still raining heavily. 

ah the pleasure of living in a tropical paradise....


---------------

Update

Bad news...still raining heavily and roof still leaking.

Good news...Wire to the overhead lights fixed.

Bad news neghborhood having a browhnout until 6pm 

Good news...we are on a generator.

Friday, December 18, 2020

K Drama of the week

 we watch videos in the evening, usually one movie or drama via youtube or sometimes Netflix, and then a K drama.

We just finished this K drama: Beautiful Love Wonderful Life

I don't know if this is on Netflix: I found it on youtube, although they seem to be erasing earlier episode now.

The series starts with two depressed teenagers who met on line and made a suicide pact to die together...but only one of the teens dies and the boy's suicide is covered up both to protect the girl from prosecution of enticing his suicide, and to protect his mother, who is told her son dies a hero trying to save the girl's life..... And the series then fast forwards ten years to show the ramifications on everyone's lives from those actions.

here is a preview of the early part of the 100 episode long miniseries:

 

The plot then expands to her family: a subplot of her older sister who marries for money and who is forbidden by her mother in law to stay in touch with her family because of prejudice against poor people (a subplot in many K dramas: See also the movie Parasite).

The husband's adultery with his secretary, a divorce forced on them by his mother, and later his decision to confront his choices and to reheal his marriage; the older sister's realization she needs her poor family to heal from the trauma of a bad marriage, but also as the plot evolves, she realizes that she really loved her husband and does want to forgive him and remarry. 

But it is mainly about family ties and love, despite dysfunction; but the plot examines the  upper class ruthlessness, class prejudice, about the mother in law from hell. Adoption is part of the story. And the problem of school bullying, which was behind the girl's original desire to kill herself is an important subplot.

yes, a chick flick and melodrama.

But several things make it different from American series. 

No graphic sex, and characters in love don't just move in together and have casual sex. Some violence, but not a lot of gratuitous violence, and even that violence is seen as wrong. When minor crimes happen, the police urge settlement: So a boy who assaults a man who insulted him doesn't go to jail because he apologizes, and compensation is given. Lots of apologies in the plot, something that is almost absent in American films, where revenge is the norm. (is this an example of policing reform that is being pushed by the Democrats? Ah, but feeling ashamed and apologizing might not work in an American society where Freud made shame a sin and aggression and revenge is a subplot of nearly every movie).

Ditto for the forgiveness and remarriage: The idea is that the marriage bond is more than a piece of paper, and can and should be rekindled instead of divorce and moving on. Quick: When is the last time you saw that in an American film?

so a happy ending for all after 100 episodes. Oh yes: and there is lots of humor in the plot.

===================

the big hit, of course, is on Netflix: Crash Landing on You. About a sky diving lady executive who accidentally lands in North Korea...and is rescued by a North Korean soldier. 

Not just a chickflik: There are Subplots about corruption in both Koreas, and there is probably enough gunfights and mystery for alpha males to enjoy.

If you don't have netflix, someone posted part of it on youtube, so watch it before the internet cops find it and take it down.


-----------------------------------

in a related matter:

I was amused that a Korean restaurant is opening up the street (many restaurants are closed with only take out). We also have a Korean grocery store. Not many Koreans in town, so maybe they are aiming at locals who see a lot of meals in K dramas and want to try the food.

Even Joy said she might want to try the food, since when she visited Korea with Ruby and friends (as their chaperone), they stayed with our nephew who was there studying the language ...so instead of eating at the expensive local restaurants, she bought food and cooked Filipino food for him in his kitchen.

I'm not sure I would like it, since I dislike hot food, and remember the Korean dishes and BBQ that one of my fellow residents used to serve us at pot luck dish parties.

But I found this ad all over my internet: You heard of Hawaian pizza, with pineapple (invented by Greek immigrants in Canada)? And of course there is Taco pizza.

 Well, welcome to Korean pizza.



K-PIZZA

Premium beef cubes over our naturally aged cheese, with the finest ingredients on a bed of korean bbq sauce and drizzled with sesame seeds


what? No Kimchee on the Pizza? 

Yup. that is Shakeys, who also has Philly Cheesesteak Pizza and lot of other exotic recipes.

------------------------------




.


Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Philippine vaccine conspiracy theory

No, not the usual conspiracy theory about evil big pharma whose vaccines are killing people, but the more common conspiracy theory that the purchase of the Covid vaccine somehow was screwed up by someone, meaning the available vaccine that could have come here this January never got approved by officials so went elsewhere..

 and surprise surprise! the Philippines instead will buy the (unproven) Chinese vaccines.

no, apparently it's not because the Sinovac vaccine is cheaper: it is slightly more expensive than the Pfizer vaccine




Background: There is a second wave outbreak here that will ruin Christmas, and the economy is already in freefall. So the vaccine is needed ASAP to protect people and get the economy restarted.

 the Philippines was supposed to get one of the first shipments of the US Pfizer vaccine, starting in January. But somehow the deal fell through ...

  

Now... what happened?

more from Rappler.

“Thus, they could have secured the delivery of 10 million Pfizer vaccines as early as January next year, way ahead of Singapore, but for the indifference of Secretary Duque, who failed to work on the necessary documentary requirement namely, the Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement (CDA) as he should have done,” Lacson said.
Even Pfizer’s country representative had been following up on the CDA but to no avail, he added. Lacson then lamented how many lives will have been saved if the Pfizer vaccines were made available to Filipinos by January 2021.
Although Duque claimed ongoing talks between the pharmaceutical company and the government, Lacson said the Philippines already missed what would have been the early first salvo of deliveries of the vaccines.

so Singapore and others got the shipment

here's more discussion on twitter that openly hint at what everyone is thinking (but I can't write such conspiracy theories on this blog because I have no first hand knowledge of what's going on).

CNNPhil article notes:


Had the deal brokered by Philippine officials and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo remained on schedule, Pfizer would have been the first coronavirus vaccine to arrive in the country.
To date, only the vaccine produced by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech has secured emergency use authorization abroad, including from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore.
The Duterte administration is still banking on Chinese-manufactured vaccine Sinovac to be the first vaccine to reach the Philippines. Roque on Tuesday said Sinovac is the only brand that can provide supply at the earliest time possible, which is in March or April 2021. The government is looking to secure up to 25 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine, even if the Chinese drug maker has not yet disclosed results of its phase 3 clinical trials to prove it is safe and effective.

(italics mine). 

more HERE

Ironically, the anti vax types are playing into the Chinese strategy: They will exaggerate the "side effects" of the US and British vaccines to scare people away from them, while ignoring the lack of data on the problems with the Chinese vaccine, so anyone not sophisticated enough to see through the ruze will figure the Chinese vaccine is safer since the Chinese deny any problems, and of course, we all know China would never lie about such things.

(/sarcasm).


The Daleks come to the Vatican

 the Vatican goes whole Whovian: presenting the public more confusion and ugliness by presenting an avant garde Nativity scene that only an art critic could love.


my first thought: The Daleks are here.


or maybe just the Lego version of the Nativity. But of course, in the Lego version, unlike the Vatican's version, you actually can identify who is Mary and Joseph.



but it's actually bad "art" from an Italian avant garde artist from the 1970s. Which means the "experts" have to explain it to you.

heck, it's so bad that the Vatican Tour Guides dislike it.

In another tweet, Butorac described the whole nativity scene as looking like “some car parts, kid toys, and an astronaut.” 

And don't give me that "but it's multicultural" shit: it's not. 

the problem is that often the "modern multicultural" artists of all countries tend to imitate bad (i.e. ugly) western art. For example, check how many of these Christmas paintings are copies of avant garde sytle, not traditional styles, and of course are ugly, and note the dates are modern.

for example, no Filipino in his right mind would consider this as representing our culture:


like much of modern art, it is ugly... and has nothing to do with local culture, of course. But it will get the artist praised by the avant garde in Manila who are influenced by the American art elites.


The best explanation of the degenerate fashion of modern art comes from this BBC video by philosopher Roger Scruton: Why beauty matters.

,,
,,

the present Pope is surrounded by those trying to destroy the church, and alas that includes those who think ugly is good.

True he does defend traditional Catholic beliefs: as SandroMagister points out, when he writes against abortion, his words are ignored. Yup. But even Magister notes that when the press trumpets his "compassion" toward gay marriage as a hint the church will change the Bible to approve of such things, the Pope is spreading confusion under the excuse of niceness. 

Update...Father Z links to a report of the Vatican links with pro abortion pro eugenics UN linked groups.
https://wdtprs.com/2020/12/more-bad-news-from-the-vatican-wherein-fr-z-rants/

Here in the Philippines, the Pope is popular: because he is oh so compassionate to the poor when he visits them.

But you know, when he pulls shennanigans such as the Pachemama fisaco, it means more educated middle class Filipinos, who are not into nuances that think ugly pagan idols are okay, will leave the Catholic church and join the local Bible believing Evangelical church to find God. 

for the average "not woke" Catholic, Mother Angelica says it all.


Multicultural does not mean it has to be ugly: compare and contrast: Madonna by Filipino artist Joey Velasco:


-------------'
Update
I am not the only one who thinks this nonsense resembles the monsters of Dr Who. 

check out the satire blog EcclesIsSaved 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

hacking everything but the election

China is the backstory of how a corrupt government allowed the release of  Covid, and is now using the marketing of an partially tested covid vaccine in order to be able to pressure poorer countries to cooperate with them.

But the covid epidemic led to the shutdowns, (and an unstable world due to a world wide recession).

and China of course will offer them "aid" by giving them loans to help recover their economies (and if they can't pay the loan back, hey no problem: China will accept your natural resources instead of money).

But we Pinoys know about all of this.

But the US MSM seems a bit naive about China's motives.

Ah but where are the China stories when it comes to  the US election of a man whose son was bribed by China, (Place conspiracy theory here).

So when I read the latest hack of US Government one does wonder

that Houston Chron story points their fingers at China.
Ah, but the AFP story in the local PhilInquirer story has a different take: It was by Russian hackers "according to a spokesperson for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency".
So why don't I trust that story? Because the same story mentions these Russian hackers spied on US gov't sites during the Obama administration (which is probably true), but the story doesn't mention that it was China who hacked the OPM files of myself and a million other gov't and military employees, (italics mine)... so if they got this wrong, it makes me wonder if the reporter is just ignorant, or trying to "gaslight" their readers.


there is a cyber war out there, and it's not just government spies, but hackers seeking profit: other major black hat hackers are Russian gangsters, North Koreans ransom ware and Iranians.

The AFP story quotes an organization that is listed under Homeland security /HHS
and here is their Recent threat list

number one on that list: the
 Solar Wind corporation:


FireEye Advisory: Highly Evasive Attacker Leverages SolarWinds Supply Chain to Compromise Multiple Global Victims With SUNBURST Backdoor 



  • No, I don't know what all this means.


    aand more about Chinese spying: From John Bachelor:




    U.S. Department of Justice among others announced 23 criminal charges (Financial Fraud, Money Laundering, Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Theft of Trade Secret Technology and Sanctions Violations, etc.) against Huawei & its CFO Wanzhou Meng “The government of China is engaged in espionage overseas, directed through diverse methods via the Ministry of State Security, the United Front Work Department, and People's Liberation Army as well as their numerous front organizations and state-owned enterprises.
    Cleo Paskal, @CleoPaskal, non-resident senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Gordon Chang, @GordonGChang,Daily Beast, in re:: People have looked at this list for months, consider it credible.
    Brave Chinese men and women have risked their lives to release the 1.95 million names of mostly Shanghainese Communist Party names, out of 92 million total membership. We’ve never had anything else like this. Gobsmacked. Consistent and logical with what’s going on in China.
    Most Chinese university students re invited to join the Party, which controls all your opportunities—who you can be. Published also in Australia: brave to do that.
    We’re entering a new era. They believe they're in charge of the universe. List of well-known people. Stunning that someone actually released this. We see that there are CCP cells in major US corporations. What’s really news is that there are cells in consulates—Australia, UK, and US.
    Bok: Political Warfareon how China has been doing this for ever so long, All the allies need to run a training program for our dips before they go to China; this is pervasive.
    New Zealand thinks that when push comes to shove, US Marines will come and save them. Recall Anne-Marie Brady. Excellent people are being tormented at the behest of the CCP, jeopardizing our entire security architecture. https://www.foxnews.com/world/leaked-chinese-communist-party-records-show-ccp-members-employed

     

    This Reuters article from  August discusses how China was targeting the 2020 US election. 

    However, a closer look at the article shows it is gaslighting you, and repeats the lie that Russia interfered for Trumpieboy in the 2016 election and plans to interfere again, without mentioning that their interference in 2016 was ads for both sides and that the conspiracy theory about this interference was fake news: it was hatched by Hillary with Obama and the CIA's advice.

    But did China interfere with the 2020 election?

    Dept AG Rosen gave a speech about this worry back in August noting that outside interference in US elections is nothing new, but with cyberwar abilities that this threat has escalated. 

    And it says a lot about our Silicon valley Lords that when he tweeted a link to that speech recently, that Twitter said it wasn't true.

    Yes, the same Twitter censors who removed the tweets of Chinese dissidents before the Tiannemen Square anniversary (NYTimes June 2019) and then claimed it was not Chinese government interference but they accidentally removed the tweets because it was identified as spam. 

    SHANGHAI — Three days before the most sensitive political anniversary on the Chinese calendar, Twitter suspended the accounts of Chinese political commentators in what it said was an accident. The move showed starkly the global political ramifications of Silicon Valley slip-ups

    but the censorship of stories before the election by the MSM and other social media sites who labled any claim about Biden's son's connections with China as untrue make one wonder...

    especially when one finds out that the FBI had Hunter's computer for over a year, and that it showed links not just with China but with the Ukraine when Trumpieboy was impeached for asking the Ukraine to check out the story. Uh, why didn't the FBI say anything back then? Maybe the same reason we are just now hearing they have Seth  Rich's computer.

     and the gas lighting continues: And the silence about the "Fang Fang" story suggests it's not just Biden's scandals being kept quiet to get rid Trumpieboy, but a covert censorship of negative China stories by big media...

     reminds me of Chomsky's complaints about greedy capitalist media censoring stories, except in this case it is media with links to China that wants them as a market so is biasing news in their favor.

    so fast forward to the election where Trumpieboy's objections via tweet are being called absurd and a lie.

    Well, it's a long tried and true custom by corrupt city political machines of both parties to include  illegal voters (dead, underage,non citizen), stuffing the ballot box (and double voting), throwing out ballots to make sure your candidate wins, etc.

    heck we see this in the Philippines all the time ("hello Garci") and we also know about CIA distortion of our elections by bribes and by manipulating or having their frontmen buy news organizations. 

    but what has changed this time is that there is a lot of suspicion out there about computer shennanigans in the last US election that are "HUGE": but the MSM refuses to cover these allegations seriously, or denies them without evidence to the contrary.


    Gateway Pundit article from Nov 12 lists questions about the election that any decent news organization should have started checking, but somehow did not.

    So the next time you read the conspiracy theories by Trumpieboy that China rigged and helped Biden steal the election (i.e. maybe not Biden cooperating but because China knows Biden won't be as hostile against them as Trump), just ignore the story and move on, folks, nothing going on here.

    uh oh: Gateway pundit reports that Solar wind has been raided by the FBI...

    This was only the fifth Emergency Directive issued by CISA under the authorities granted by Congress in the Cybersecurity Act of 2015.

    CISA reported a breach of the SolarWinds Orion products.

    This Emergency Directive called on all federal civilian agencies to review their networks for indicators of compromise and disconnect or power down SolarWinds Orion products immediately.

    00:2001:35

    So guess who uses SolarWinds?

    Dominion Voting Systems uses SolarWinds products.
    It’s right there on their website.

     BREAKING BOMBSHELL: MI Judge Grants Attorney Matt DePerno Permission To RELEASE Results Of Forensic Examination On 16 Dominion Voting Machines In Antrim Co. 

    that last story can also be found on the PJMedia site LINK: 

    The Antrim County, Mich., forensics report undertaken by Allied Security Operations Group was released to the public on Monday by order of a Michigan judge. The report concluded that “the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results” and “the results of the Antrim County 2020 election are not certifiable.”


     


    h< 


    Huh? You mean there might be something behind Trumpieboy's conspiracy theories? Who wudda thot?


     


    I am sorry to find all this news on "conspiracy sites" but one problem is that the MSM not only hides a lot of stories but asks you to pay for the stories, so I have to find them on secondary sites.

    ?
    update
    ConservativeTreehouse explains the links between the SolarWind raid and huge hacking of government computers.
    another summary at the Spectator.

    ======

    Austin Bay discusses the newest concept of Robo ships (but doesn't discuss if they could be hacked by China).

    But one reason I link is because the article also mentions China's aggression in the West Philippine sea: it's aim is not just the Philippines.

    . Gaucher told the conference, "I want to be able to put an unmanned surface ship inside the adversary's denied areas." His word choice sent a message. China boasts that it can and will deny the U.S. military access to the South China Sea. That is China's operational intent. Its strategic intent is political control of the region and, I think, control of Singapore.


     


    again I refer you to the map of the sea-lanes:

    if the Chinese takeover of the West Philippine Sea means making shipping to Japan and Korea and Siberia more expensive because the ships would have to detour to the west of Luzon, the takeover of Singapore (which is often called the "fourth China" because of it's large Chinese population) would essentially cut off traffic, which would have to bypass through Indonesia.
     LINK.

    Link 2:

    The Malacca Strait is a narrow 550 miles and is the shortest route between the Pacific and Indian oceans. It links major Asian economies such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. The Strait of Malacca is the world’s second-busiest waterway, with more than 83,000 vessels traveling this route each year.

    again, a lot of this is technical and outside my area of expertise. But a lot of modern shipping is via cargo ships, which need a deeper sea. I remember working in Liberia when our hospital would evacuate sailors off of huge tanker ships that had to go around the Horn of Africa because the Suez canal wasn't large enough for them... and because the (artificial) port of Monrovia was also too small, it meant that we had to take a tug boat out to the open ocean to do the evacuation. (but that's another story for another day).


    .