Post for May 21-27 2017

Still groping for topics and it is getting more difficult to maintain a 4-TaN post for I will be reducing it to 2 or 3…btw, for those who are trying to respond to this blog, please be advised that it is intended to be for my personal online thoughts and I am not exactly expecting reactions or responses. However, if you really desire to send responses and to avoid having my host site repeatedly remind me to moderate reactions to what I blog, please direct them to millenniumoracle@yahoo.com. Thank you.

Btw, thanks for all the kind words. Please consider everything in this blogspot as common good and public domain. For as long as it conforms to the conditions and provisions of the Fair Use Notice, by all means, cite and quote all that you need. Everything is free; cannot be used for financial gain, whether personal or otherwise, and all for the common good of and for all.

And, if you have anything to share with me, like a video or article, I am only interested in anything that is available and downloadable for free and no copyright. This is in line with my advocacy for sharing everything with everyone for free and for the common good. Anything I cannot download or share or have to join before I will be given the privilege to download…I am not interested. It is written that what you have received for free, you must give (away) for free. Thank you.

Btw again, I am really really really reeeeeeeeeeeeeally late in my posting because my connection to cyberspace is getting more embarrassingly deplorable with each passing payment cycle. It is partly due to the state of telecommunications industry in this country, which is an unofficial cartel. The other part is that I am using, what can be considered, one of the, if not the pitiful proprietary operating system around but I have no choice as I have to access to the better ones aside from the fact that I no longer have any opportunity to learn any other, not without unlearning everything and start from scratch, which is impractical at my age. Finally, since I rely only on what is freely available, as they say…Beggars cannot be choosers. That is life.

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Post for May 20-26 2017

TaN: As I was having my breakfast this May 15th AM, I chanced across an article in The Philippine STAR (dated March 10, 2017, with the title “COLORED JEANS ARE BACK” by a certain Chonx Tibajia) and it made me realize how the fashion industry has been playing most of us for fools (or that most of us are wittingly fools for fashion).

Aside from the other criticism I have for today’s fashion industry, I not just abhor but detest how fashion people merely recycle and previous trends and designs on us poor souls who do not know any better and seek so desperately to be part of the “IN crowd”.  I say, the h*** with today’s fashion.  I have had enough of them.

But then, I feel so sorry for the many among us who have to continuously seek social acceptance and feel that, if we do not bow down to the dictates and caprices of fashion people, we will be considered and treated as social outcasts and marginalized and even stigmatized by others.

In fact, the fashion industry went even further in their conceit that they have “created” their very own fashion police — as if wearing visually “unappealing” is the most important thing to do.  I wonder who died and made them “experts” in fashion.  From what I can see in many fashion runways, these so-called big names in the fashion industry neither have any sense of style nor taste.  Their “creations” makes me want to vomit and laugh hysterically simultaneously.  To say their “creations” are ridiculously insane, inane, repulsive, and stupid are understatements.  I just cannot find the words to properly describe their garbage.

In conclusion, the title in the article mentioned at the onset of this TaN is actually erroneous in that jeans or denims, whether colored or the classic blue, have never gone out of style, and I doubt if it will ever go.

To those self-absorbed fashion experts, please contribute something REALLY worthwhile, otherwise stop wasting our time, insulting our intelligence, and using up precious resources (like air, water, food, and space).  Give it up for someone who has real talent and give something to the benefit of people everywhere.

TaN: What so-called “chefs” are doing today with food is not only weird but inane — and people are gullible enough to patronize, promote, and even regurgitate the inanity of the whole shenanigan, the whole circus.  Food is to be eaten…NOT ADMIRED!

This is another one of those “too-much-time-on-their-hands” instances where people waste their talents in activities and endeavors that do not result in anything meaningful or constructive.

I can understand that these so-called (artistic) chefs need an outlet to be creative but I (personally) prefer them not not to express it on my food.  Leave the creativity where it belongs…out of the kitchen.  Moreover, when I go to an eatery, I expect to eat and be filled.  If I want entertainment visually, I can always watch movies, the television, visit a museum or art gallery, even in a competition, or any of the myriad of other places but, please, not on my plate.  I do not want to have to “admire” what I am eating.

For me, the best way a cook (or you so-badly-want-to-be-called chefs) can display his culinary skills is to serve food in the traditional way.  There is already art in what has been done for millennia.  The combination of colors and texture and shapes and aroma is art in itself.  There is no need to “enhance” it further.  Leave it to the artists; do not compete with them.

And so, I am appealing to all you wannabe artist cooks, just do your job and spare me the teeny tiny artistic food creations.

Btw, I prefer my food without the gravy and sauces — unless necessary, as in pasta dishes.  They merely hide or disguise the true flavor of the food. If a dish needs gravy or sauce, it only means that the cook does not really know his/her job and is relying on the gravy or sauce to make up for the lack in flavor or taste in the food.  Only fresh or raw foods need dips and seasonings because they have a high moisture content which dilutes the taste.  Heating the food evaporates much of the moisture which concentrates the flavor, so there should be no need for gravy or sauce — perhaps seasoning but that is it.

TaN: In a recent development in the local (barangay) level, the national government, through the MMDA or Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, issued some kind of a memorandum or circular that all relevant streets are to be cleared of parked vehicles.  This has been long-delayed much-awaited.

However, it has been almost a week and nothing substantial has changed — at least in my locality.  Cars still clog the streets, many of them even double-parked and with a few occasional and sporadic triple-parking.  So, it is another ho-hum government useless effort at addressing a really important issue.

In addition, there are a few things I would like to comment on this particular issue:
(1) I suppose this effort is in line with making the streets more conducive to traffic flow so I recommend that any and all barangays caught not complying shall be penalized — 1st offense: hefty fine or censure of barangay especially the top official, 2nd offense: slash in budget and suspension of barangay official in charge and whoever is the top official, 3rd and final offense: legal and administrative charges against concerned barangay officials and reduction in next budget,
(2) consideration or provisions must be made for visitors of barangay residents (especially if there is an occasion (like birthdays, fiestas, when the resident has to park temporarily because the driveway door should be opened/closed or forgot something or whatever similar situation, etc) so some kind of a prior or impromptu notification to the barangay may be in place — and this means that all barangay residents with cars should have their vehicle plate numbers registered with the barangay so they can immediately determine non-residents (some kind of a leniency provision or policy),
(3) in the case of commercial or non-private vehicles (like delivery trucks and the like), the parking should be limited — in terms of actual parking time or during off-peak traffic hours only — and it should be limited to only one vehicle per commercial or non-residential establishment, and
(4) for a more lenient, reasonable, practical, and implementable memorandum, I think it would be better if the street-parking ban be implemented only during weekdays except on holiday weekdays or synchronized with the vehicle reduction program of the MMDA or the local government (as in the case of Makati City et al).

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Post for May 7-13 2017

TaN: It is clear that with the rejection of Ms Regina Lopez to be the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DENR), both the voting public are apathetic to what is happening to their country — preferring to leave it to the “wisdom” of their elected “leaders”, who are mostly owners and stockholders of Big Business and those who benefit from exploiting our national resources — and that they do not really care about what happens to the environment (focusing more on their plight of eking out a living in this poverty-stricken forever-poor country).

[Note: My justification of claiming that the Philippines will eternally be poor is because of it being a labor-intensive economy, of the general population are juvenile and are self-centered and are interested only in things and events that benefit or pleasure them over the welfare of others and the country, and of the voting population relying on the leaders to do all the work and relinquishing all participation in improving and developing the country.  Plus, there is no true and strong primary manufacturing industry — as in producing steel and metals that supply secondary manufacturers in the heavy industries such as ship and automotive building, as agricultural and industry equipment manufacturing, and as engine and power generating machines — although having a primary manufacturing base is not the only means to getting out of the doldrums of a third-world country.]

But again I digress.

It is clear that money still rules the Philippines and the voting public still either feels helpless to influence their elected officials or do not really care what happens to their country and, instead, preferring to focus and limit their concerns and efforts to self-gratification and pleasures.  From my experiences over the years dealing with people within my particular world, the impression I got is that if people did not need money to buy food and the other necessities in life, no Filipino would be working.

It would appear that the maturity and awareness level of (the average man-on-the-street) Filipino is still very much way below and still do not understand the significance and importance of (truly meaningful and flourishing) work — that work is the key to development and advancement as an individual and as a people.  [Again, please refer to the work of E F Schumacher in “Buddhist economics” for a better and much clearer discussion on what is truly meant by work and not the jobs that everybody thinks of.]

How does this connect to the rejection of Ms Lopez as DENR Secretary?

The apathy of the average man-on-the-street Filipino towards the country’s natural resources and environment is still very apparent.  Sure, they know how to mouth all the environmental issues and concerns but that is it.  You know because what they say and what they do are worlds apart.

They continue to throw litter and discard waste anywhere and everywhere they please.  They continue to be dis-united when Big Mining and Big Lumber comes to town and offers promises of wealth and dreams of carefree lives not knowing that it is all they will eventually be left with…(broken) dreams and (empty) promises.

They continue to ignore the naked reality that Big Business is only concerned with one thing and one thing only — profit, indecently and obscenely huge profits.

The country needs people like Ms Lopez, even though belonging to one of the wealthiest families in the country, has proven herself — in deeds throughout the years — to be truly concerned with the environment which redounds to the concern for the country.

And so, it is the country’s loss that Big Lobby still trumps love of country and compassion for the less fortunate of society.  The battle may be lost but the war is far from over.

not TaN: I used to dislike, not hate, Republicans due to their adherence to less government control and involvement and let Big Business take charge, but everything changed with Mr Obama.  It was bad enough with Mr Clinton’s lying about his scandalous incident/s with Ms Lewinsky but Mr Obama just broke the camel’s back.  To make things worse, Mrs Clinton is not better but I have to be fair and say that Mr Trump does not make me like Republicans more.

From what I can gather and in my humble and frequently unsolicited opinion, Mrs Clinton’s advocates are just petty and cannot accept defeat.  However, Mr Trump’s attitude and behavior towards media and critics does not makes things any better for Republicans.

All in all, it looks like the truth (regarding Democrats and Republicans) are slowly coming into the glaring light.  Like what I have always suspected, there is actually little or no difference between the two leading political parties of the United States of America.

While it is likewise true that there are individuals within the respective parties that are true to their party ideology, they have become more of the exception rather than the rule, as it once had been (the reverse).

More and more, what many so-called conspiracy theorists — as branded by mainstream politics — have been arguing all this time…that both parties are simply opposite sides of the same coin.  The controlling (global) elite is into both parties and it does not matter which is in power…the elite still win.

And this is how (shrewd) politics is being played today — to ensure one’s interests are protected, one plays both sides.  Sure, it is more expensive but the additional expense is worth it to ensure one’s interests are always protected and the “investment” will guarantee a more than ample return.  In the end, the global elite wins and the loser is the people.

TaN: Passing (premature) judgment on others — i.e., their whole being — requires two pre-requisites: (1) intimate with certainty or foreknowledge of the (definite, as against the possible) future and (2) the ability to see into the heart of an individual (to see the true intentions and rationale of each and every decision and act and not just the superficial).

In our temporal world, we must be content with making or passing judgments (to the best of our abilities and available information and evidence) only on the specific actions and decisions made by someone.  One cannot pass judgment on the entire person as a single action or decision does not make or define a person.  Circumstances have to be considered (and weighed and analyzed) carefully because there are instances where different circumstances may produce a different outcome (i.e., action or decision), especially when there are emotional or sentimental attachments or issues.

It is for this reason that there are laws on slander and libel.  These are laws that govern and limit the extent of our right to free expression and to make judgment on others.  One cannot simply just make pronouncements that pertain or apply to the entire personality of an individual because it would mean that we are making conclusions on future events and deeds — that we can, with absolute certainty, declare that a particular individual is such-and-such.  Encompassing statements and pronouncements risk passing judgment on the totality of a person and not just a small specific part of a person’s being.

It is, likewise, for this very reason that God defers His decision on our fate until we die — because, by then, it has become certain and we can no longer change the course of our destiny.  Death is the only time when it is truly too late, but, until then, one does not have the ability — and therefore the (accompanying) right — to make conclusions on any person.

TaN: One of my biggest issues with people today is why we (i.e., most other people) put too much emphasis on trivial and frequently worthless things — and by “worthless” I mean those that do not contribute neither to human existence (like agriculture) nor to our meaningful progress and advancement (like research in transportation and renewable energy and in telecommunications, architectural and building technology).  It is not as if everything (throughout the world) is nice and peachy — that we have already eliminated poverty, hunger, and disease — that we have nothing else important and urgent to do than to concern ourselves with the mundane and inane (i.e., many refer to as “creative”).

And to make it worse, these so-called “creations” have no redeemable daily value whatsoever.  Then, to top it all off, these worthy “creative activities” not only do not bring benefits but even makes things worse — as in creating waste (since the so-called outlandish fashion creations will soon be discarded after the “show” because I seriously doubt if anyone in their right mind will be wearing them, especially in public) and sometimes in using (already scarce) valuable resources to make something that is non-functional.

A case in point is in the products of fashion shows.  Most of the insane concoctions not only look bizarre and ridiculous but cannot be worn…AT ALL — not unless you want people staring at you and thinking how many screws are loose in your brain or you must have just escaped from the mental asylum.  I just cannot bring myself to believe that there are so many people who spend so much time and energy into attending and (horrors) spending money for such absurdities.

And to add insult to injury, it has even invaded other industries — just watch the major international beauty pageants where the contestants display “national” costumes.  There are even those who stumble across the stage wearing whatever is identified with their country — like the one of Ms USA where she wore a scaled down replica of the space shuttle in the Ms International beauty pageant and that of Ms India and Ms Indonesia and Ms Netherlands which are very obvious that they are not really costumes at all, let alone national.  [I just cannot recall which particular beauty pageant where the contestant even wore a building as she painstakingly lugs the whole spectacle around the stage.]

It used to be that form follows function but in today’s topsy turvy inverted world, everything has made a 180-degree turnaround.  Today, function now follows form — we produce something visually appealing and then find some use for it.  And the fashion industry has grown into a multi-billion industry but has not produced anything of real functional value.  Such waste of time, money, effort, and talent.

Another case in point are the numerous commercial products in the market that deal with insignificant issues under the guise of “solving” crises of and in our daily lives — such as body odor and ugly hair.  And (again) to make matters worse (by adding insult to injury), there is a deodorant being endorsed by a foreign/imported basketball player — whom I have not the faintest idea who he is, even after he introduced himself and the commercial showed his “prowess” — whose dialogue is so boring and monotonous, as in a monotone.  The manufacturer is relying on the fame of the endorser to sell the product, never mind if the endorser has no personality at all.

And then there is the case of a skin care product where the supposed elder sister behaves more childish that the supposed younger sister — as she became hysterical because she cannot find her skin care product and saw her younger sister using it.  How very juvenile for someone who is supposed to be more mature — and therefore should act more responsibly and less hysterical over some trivial matter — to behave so childishly.

In conclusion, I know that tolerance must be exercised so I am restricting myself to just vent out my frustrations and anger in this blog — just exercising my right to expression and free speech and express my opinion.

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Post for Apr 30-May 6 2017

TaN: Wouldn’t it be a great idea to have a foundation or nongovernmental organization (NGO) sponsor and/or produce a television program where only students who are eager to get an education become contestants and the prizes are scholarships — that are non-negotiable or non-transferrable?  This will encourage more indigenous and out-of-school or school dropouts (due to financial reasons) to return to school.

The contestants would have to prove their “eagerness” and determination by passing an initial audition phase before appearing in the television program.  During the television program, they will compete for scholarships — of course, only to selected but good schools, mainly due to financial considerations of the foundation/NGO.

Moreover, the contract (terms and conditions) or agreement with the contestant will include the condition that s/he will not exceed more than a year longer than the supposed duration of his/her education until graduating and ready to find a job.

The selected or accredited schools will likewise have to agree to exclude these scholars from any and all fees and charges outside of the tuition — after all, these scholars will make up only a teeny tiny percentage of the overall student population and they would hardly make a dent in the school’s revenue.  Of course, this goes without saying should the selected/accredited school be a state or government school the aforementioned condition is a given.

Other interested parties who would like a piece of the action can serve as sponsors and additional financiers.

In addition, this can likewise serve as some kind of a monitoring process for those currently enjoying scholarships whereby they show-off what they have learned and for the respective schools where the scholars are enrolled to display the quality of their curriculum and educational system.  The public can see how effective their (i.e., the schools) “brand” of education is and how they compare against the rest of the industry players.

Furthermore, in this manner, there will be transparency in the awarding of scholarships as well as everything will go on public record.

It’s just a thought.

TaN: With the advent and growth of the new science of materials design and fabrication, an ethical issue arises.  This new science develops new materials and have been perfecting the technique of pre-determining how long (or the productive lifespan) a specific material will endure or last before it breaks down or apart and goes to the trash heap.

By this alone, there is no ethical issue.  The (ethical) issue arises when manufacturers make use of this information to design and develop products with a pre-determined operational lifespan with the objective or purpose of ensuring increased repeated business due to the shortened productive period.  This enables the manufacturers to control and manipulate market consumption and pre-program the expiry date.  The ethical issue here is: Is it ethical to manufacture products with a pre-determined useful lifespan without disclosure to the consumer — i.e., to ensure a captive market for a product that has been designed to breakdown within a short period of productive lifespan thereby guaranteeing continued inflow of profit and not with consumers’ interest or welfare in mind.

Moreover, aside from being unethical, intentionally designing or “pre-programming” a product for something as shallow as (pure) profit is as low as it comes.  In a video I watched years ago (and I cannot seem to locate it again) — produced by German television In Focus when their printer developed problems and they tried to find a repair shop that led to an in-depth probe — it was revealed that technology manufacturers use materials with known (and tested) productive lifespans for the sole purpose of ensuring repeat business at the soonest possible time without discouraging consumers because they develop problems too frequently and too soon.

The upside in this issue is that knowledge of exactly when a particular material will lose integrity or productivity is good when it is used in the scheduling of regular maintenance and repair and anticipate breakdowns or in order that new and better materials that will have been developed later can replace the previous material and not have to wait for the latter to breakdown.  But this is seldom the case, especially with the over-emphasis on profit and materialistic wealth accumulation.  As they say, When money gets into the discussion, it is always about the money.

TaN: Plagiarism has not been applicable ever since the maturity of the World Wide Web.  And this is not yet including or considering the explosion of media (both commercial and social) and the rise of mobile and portable telecommunications.

Nowadays, it is next to impossible not to read or hear about something.  Given this, who can truly say that s/he has not read or heard something before.  It is extremely difficult to have an original thought, unless you happen to be cut off from the inter-connected world for a long time — like living in a cave or in the remote rainforest for 5 to 10 years.

This makes it extremely difficult to claim originality or plagiarism.  And what is to important about being original?  We are forgetting that what is important is that the truth comes out, that what we do or say benefits the common good, and that lay claim over the source or origin of something is does not even come close to being as important as whether it contributes to the furtherance of development, (true and sustainable and responsible) universal progress, and serves as a stepping stone to the next good thing.

It is just like the simpler issue in copyright and intellectual property rights in the entertainment industry — specifically in the sub-industry of music — where there are a mere eight fundamental notes or tones to build and combine and recombine to produce all the wonderful music and melodies we are currently enjoying…and which the music industry puts so much effort into curtailing our pleasure as if they have not already profited immensely and obscenely from it already.

Think about it, just eight simple notes and so much music has been produced.  Now imagine now many the letters of the alphabet are in comparison and the much greater number of possible combinations and permutations that can be made.

So we must get over our selfish desire — not a need — to feed our own ego, our pride, our desire to be recognized and idolized and glorified.  True progress and development can only come from altruistic sharing and cooperation and collaboration and giving selflessly to all for everyone’s benefit.

With so much greed going around, I would not be surprised to see patents and copyright infringement fights, challenges, and counter charges emerge from people claiming to have “monopoly rights and royalty” over specific segments of a tune just because they happen to be the exact same sequence in another earlier one that they have crafted.

When or where will it stop?  Can I have patent or copyright over just one musical note so that all tunes that begin with that note should pay royalty to me?  How much similarity should there be before it can be called or ruled as plagiarism, patent violation, copyright infringement, or whatever the other legalese there is.  How greedy can we be?  How narcissistic can we be?  How pitifully deprived of recognition and adulation are we?  How sad.

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Post for Apr 23-29 2017

TaN: First, some fundamental or foundational questions:
(1) What is the generally accepted (and practiced) first day of the week?
(2) What is YOUR first day of the week?
(3) Are you are a (practicing) Christian?
(4) Do you celebrate or at least observe the Roman Catholic feast days — i.e., Christmas, Easter, et al?
(5) If you are a Christian, which of the commandments specified in the Holy Scriptures do you obey or practice?

Is it not amazing that even non-Roman Catholics are “obeying” the rituals and practices of Roman Catholics, even those who claimed to be vehement non-Christians.  But then again, it has been prophesied and what has been foretold will always come to pass, especially if it is God who foretold of such events.

In answer to the first question, it was out of “convenience” as well as a means to avoid continued and persistent persecution by the ruling Roman Empire that the day of worship and of rest of early Christians was observed on the first day (i.e., Sunday) rather than on Saturday (the last day of the week, ergo the Sabbath, as mandated in the Holy Scriptures and teachings of Jesus) as the Romans were sun worshippers.  It was later “formalized” and the Roman Catholic Church appears to claim the credit — my reference is “How The Sabbath Was Changed Sabbath Truth“, URL: http://www.catholic.com/qa/did-the-early-church-move-the-sabbath-from-saturday-to-sunday. Another reference I came across is “Who Changed Sabbath to Sunday” by the Church of God International, URL: http://cgi.org/who-changed-the-sabbath-to-sunday/.

For the second question, you will have to answer it yourself but my guess would be Sunday.

For the third question, you will likewise have to answer alone.  However, to help you, what I mean by Christian — or practicing Christian, because many are Christians only on paper (i.e., they observe no or very little of the virtues and teachings of Jesus Christ as according to the Holy Scriptures) — is whether one believes in Jesus Christ (or not) and by “believe” I mean whether one behaves and lives the lifestyle as described and prescribed and does all the teachings and lessons and admonitions (specified in the Holy Scriptures) that Jesus taught.  A true Christian is serious about being a Christian and not merely going through the procedures and motions.  A true Christian is not ritualistic.  A true Christian is mindfully aware at all times of his being a Christian.

For the fourth question, since it has (already) been revealed and established in the previous question that the sanctity of the Sabbath has been violated, an affirmative answer (here) will contradict an affirmative answer to the third question.  One cannot be a true Christian if one observes Sunday as the rest day.  Moreover, many rituals of Catholicism originated from paganism — such as Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, Christmas Day on the 25th of December, and the gesture of the sign of the cross.

In fact, one of the most inane of Catholic feast days is the Feast of the Epiphany (or the Magi or the Three Kings) which became a movable feast whereas Christmas remains fixed.  Since Epiphany is supposed to be the time when the wise men from the East came to visit the newborn Christ babe and offered gifts (and, therefore, is integrally linked to Christmas Day), it does not make any sense that the time it takes the wise men to arrive at the stable in Bethlehem varies from year to year (some years longer or shorter than others).  How can that be?  It would mean that some years the trip took longer while other years too shorter periods.  But how can it be when the trip was made only once?

Given these arguments, does it not seem strange and suspicious that these flaws in logic and revelations of historical facts that contradict various doctrines and practices are evident and so irrefutable?

And for the final and fifth question, this will likewise have to be answered by oneself.  However, one thing is certain, if the answer is anything but all of the commandments, then one is guilty of cherry-picking for convenience.  Nevertheless, obeying or practicing all commandments does not literally mean all the commandments for there are instances when practice or obedience must be applied figuratively rather than literally because the letter of or terminology used in the commandment was gender-specific but it was used to refer to both genders — like the use of “man” when it meant all persons or a human being, regardless of gender.

In conclusion, the whole exercise of this TaN is to make one examine closely and determine exactly where one stands in one’s religion.  It does not apply only to Christians because the question regarding observing the Sabbath on Sunday affects every person on this planet whether s/he be Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, or any other religion or philosophy — as Buddhism is more of a philosophy of and in life rather than a religion.

TaN: As a rejoinder to an earlier TaN regarding private property, there are (at least) 2 significant concept arguments that bear discussing: [1] that man can only claim ownership — i.e., private property — on things that he has created (not re-arranged, improved, or otherwise merely altered or modified) and [2] from the late Macli’ing Dulag, “Such arrogance to say that you own the land, when you are owned by it!  How can you own that which outlives you?  Only the people own the land because only the people live forever.  To claim a place is the birthright of everyone.  Even the lowly animals have their own place…how much more when we talk of human beings?” — from http://www.bantayog.org/?p=1026 (downloaded on 5/6/17).
(1) It is but common sense that one cannot claim ownership to something that one did not make.  A chair is said to be mine if I myself made it.  If the chair is made by another, then it does not belong to me…rather to the person who made it.  By extension, man (in general) can only own and exchange things that man has made.  [I cannot use “create” for the term implies producing something from nothing, which only God can do.  We merely make alterations on pre-existing things.  The only things that we create are ideas that never existed before, assuming of course that God did not “thought” of them before we did.]
It is for this reason that man cannot claim ownership of nature, such as waters, air, the sun and the stars, the planets, et al — for they were never made by man and, in fact, had been existing since even before any life appeared in this world.  However, strangely, we are “able” to claim ownership of land.  How odd and absurd and arrogant of us.  It runs counter to the principle of owning only those that come from us.  Even our children, who can be said to, in a way, come from us are not owned by us.  So, how can land be owned by us?
(2) In the argument of Macli’ing Dulag, it is logically and arguably sound to say that one can only own something if that something will not outlive us.  A chair, a table, a garment and the rest of man-made items do not last longer than the maker although it can be argued that many an ancestral house outlives the builder.  However, the ancestral house does not really belong to the builder as it is passed on to the next generation or to others.  In this sense, just as Dulag argues, it is (only) the people who eventually (and can) claim ownership for the dead owns nothing.  It will be the clan of the builder who collectively owns the house, therefore the house is not (really) own by just the builder.

Now, there are those who will counter (the first concept) that, in practice, we do not really own the land since we pay an annual real estate (property) tax, which implies that the land is and still belongs to the state and what we own is simply the right to the land.  However, it can likewise be argued that the annual real estate tax is actually a service fee charged by the state for its guaranteed protection and services that the land owner becomes entitled to — like protection against seizure by others, protection against damage (such as fire, flood, quakes, and other natural as well as man-made disasters), and keeping record the deed or land ownership registration, among other services.

But if this were so, then why is it the same cannot or is not extended to water and air and the sun. Well, for one thing, the land is steady (i.e., stationary) whereas the water and the air is constantly moving (and changing). But the counter argument to this is that the land, likewise, is moving and changing, except that the rate of movement and change is not as obvious or easily noticed as water and air.

However, if the argument there is that one cannot own the water and the air because the minute parts cannot be identified or distinguished, but so are the particles of land — because one can simply scoop up some dirt and transfer it somewhere else.  So, do we really own the land.  Which part of the land?  The individual particles of dirt and soil?

Moreover, in the second concept, there is a teeny tiny flaw in Mr Dulag’s argument because we now know many things that should not but do outlive the individual although it should not, by all accounts of science and common sense.  Take the case of the hamburger in the hamburger museum that supposedly and allegedly remain “preserved” for over two decades now.  But these are exceptions rather than the rule.  In fact, when taken cared of properly, there are man-made things that should not outlive the builder or maker but do, especially if extraordinary care is lavished on them, like vintage cars, rare books and manuscripts, and well-preserved art objects and paintings.  And then there are the aged wines.  But, again, these are exceptions because they do not go through the normal wear and tear of routine use.

Finally, private property goes against the very essence and concept of the public utility of things.  If one really and honestly think about it, (almost) all things that are considered private in ownership are actually public in utility.  The only exception would be personal ownership due to hygiene and health issues.  One cannot (and hopefully, does not) share such things as one’s dental care items as well as medications and undergarments.  Such are unthinkable.  Everything else can and usually are used by others and not just the “owners”.

TaN: Red tape in government bureaucracy is principally caused by one of two possibilies: (1) that there are certain people in government who do not know how to formulate efficient procedures and who are incompetent, unscrupulous, and who encourage fixers and “facilitators” because they benefit from the corruption and (2) that government mistrusts the public (or other agencies of government) and puts up so much redundant and/or unnecessary requirements and protocols that it frustrates the public (which they are supposed to serve, being public servants) and make them go through all the steps and processes which, in the end, actually amounts to nothing.

A case in point would be the securing of clearances where (in the Philippines) the NBI or National Bureau Investigation is or should be tasked to be the receptacle of any and all cases filed — like in court, the prosecutor’s office, the police, even in the smallest political unit of which, in this case, is the barangay.  In this light, it does not make sense to require people to secure clearances from the courts and the rest when just a clearance from the NBI will suffice.

Now, if the argument is that there may be cases filed — say, in court — that a copy was not forwarded to the NBI, then the court should be faulted for the incompetence and the burden should not be shifted to the public.  It is no fault of the clearance applicant that a copy of a particular case was not sent to the NBI, so why should the applicant be the one to bear the burden?

It is a terrible injustice — not to mention waste of valuable time, effort (when one has to make the trip), and resources (because money will be spent to travel to obtain the needed documents and papers).  No wonder the public has such a bad impression when it comes to dealing with government.  Why is it that whenever something is required, that it is the little man down the line who ends up taking all the misfortune.

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Post for Apr 16-22 2017

TaN: As an addendum to an earlier TaN regarding Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic resonance theory, another argument in support is that if memories are stored in the brain, why is it that we do not have flashes of memories from the other animal when we (accidentally or intentionally) eat their brains — i.e., animals like that of cows and pigs and more commonly that of fish.  Do they not have memories like we do?

This is another point against the argument that brains are receptacles of memories and (learned or past) experiences — unless it is because the memories are maintained only for as long as the creature is alive…something like the primary storage of a computer.

Furthermore, if brains were to ingested and the conventional school of thought for memories is that they are stored as chemical compounds, then these so-called “chemical memories” will have been digested along with the rest of the brain thereby leaving no trace.  This would go against what is being “sold to the viewing audience” in a particular zombie television series where the ingestion of a victim’s brain leads to the solution of crimes and mysteries (surrounding a death).

Finally, in a lecture series of a popular alternative television preacher, he argued that a person’s memory will be erased at The Judgment because he posits that it would be terrible for a good person who is destined for Paradise to see his/her spouse, who had been bad while alive up to the last moment of life but is nevertheless loved by the good spouse, suffer in Hell.  He claims that God would erase that memory, which makes sense for a benevolent God.

TaN: Vehicular traffic management, in cities and places where jurisdictions overlap and becomes an issue or question, should be given to a government agency with authority that transcends local jurisdiction.  A case in point being Metro Manila (of the Philippines) where several cities and municipalities border each other — literally separated only or frequently sharing a street.

Because there are occasions when situations where local governments are adjacent to or bordering each other and traffic extends from one jurisdiction to the other, the quandary of local government traffic enforcers is how to deal with the traffic snarl because the cause transcends their jurisdiction and into another.  Since the cause of the snarl is in another jurisdiction, it would have to be the officials of the other jurisdiction who will have to come in to address the problem.  But what if the jurisdiction concerned does not and motorists’ rage are skyrocketing, especially when it happens during the hottest part of the day or when they are late for their appointments or rendezvous?

It is precisely this reason — this scenario or situation — that it is necessary for a government body with powers that span jurisdictions to exist and come in.  Moreover, such an agency must not be remiss in its duty so much so that each and every time such traffic jams happen, resolution — from notification or receipt of the traffic jam to its final dissolution — must be quick.  I pity the local traffic enforcers who have to contend with such a problem and can do nothing but scratch his head because the solution to the traffic snarl is outside of his jurisdiction.

TaN: If Mr Duterte is a true Christian, he would realize that for the entire duration of Jesus’ stay with us, never, not even once, did He ever taken the life of anybody.  In fact, He even returned a few of them, the most notable of which was Lazarus whom He raised from his “slumber”.

In this argument, I fail to comprehend or see the rationale behind his bloody campaign, whether against drugs or criminality or anything else.  If God gave us life, only He can take it back or away — unless of course Mr Duterte has a different God or understanding of God or perhaps his medication has already been messing with his thinking.

Moreover, Mr Duterte’s justification for his killings is to save his country, a nation of 100 million (less those he has already killed). Compared to Jesus — who even gave up His own life instead of taking the life He has given us, even to those Mr Duterte deems unworthy of life or who Mr Duterte sees as scums and scourges of society — who is trying to save billions, including those who have already gone ahead.  I really fail to see how Mr Duterte can justify the deaths he has “inspired” and to continuously “encourage” people to commit such atrocities and inhumane acts.

I fail to see or comprehend how Mr Duterte is able to differentiate killing supposedly drug suspects and personalities — even when they have not yet been determined or undergone due process and trials — against people who are simply unfortunate cases of mistaken identity or wrongful or unverified (intelligence) information. How can he be so nonchalant and uncaring about people who may have not had the benefit of knowing right from wrong and the good fortune of having a father who was governor and by virtue is able to provide protection for his son during the latter’s younger years when he was at the fringes of the law.

It is uncanny that Mr Duterte so conveniently forgot the misdeeds of youth and cannot seem to understand how or why a misdeed is the same as another (in degree or gravity) and differs only in form or type.  One misdeed is as wrong as another. One wrongful act may be more heinous than another but, nevertheless, both are still wrong.  How can Mr Duterte fail to comprehend this very basic and rudimentary concept.

I fail to understand how Mr Duterte can put a distinction between the people he has condemned (to death) and those who were killed or summarily executed by police scalawags or vigilante groups or rival syndicates under the guise of being drug personalities, as far as rights, justice, and due process are concerned — Mr Duterte being a former prosecutor and all.  Mr Duterte must have some special talent that even God does not have — the ability to determine with absolute certainty what kind of a person someone will eventually be, which God will not know until the person dies.

Finally, not matter how much I try, I simply cannot reconcile the idea that an “evil” person cannot enjoy the same rights and privileges as good men.  I guess, if Mr Duterte can have his way, the rain will fall only on good or on evil men — because as the passage in the Holy Scriptures goes (in Matthew 5:45): ” That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise ON THE EVIL AND ON THE GOOD [capitalization and emphasis mine], and sendeth RAIN ON THE JUST AND ON THE UNJUST [again, capitalization and emphasis mine].”, KJV.

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Post for Apr 9-16 2017

TaN: No truer words: One cannot be a master if one cannot be a servant.  In fact, this was even masterfully taught (by showing) by no less than Jesus Christ — when He came down to serve man.  He humbled Himself to show us how it is done.  He came down to us, took on our physical form, taught, healed, fed, and suffered along and for us to fulfill the prophecies as well as in order to better illustrate or put actual deeds into His teachings.

It is but logical and obvious that one must experience how it feels and what it is like to obey before one can truly be an effective and fair leader.  One must experience how it feels to be a servant in order for one to understand and be able to be a good and fair master — not to impose and give cruel and unjust orders and commands, not to make servants do things that one will or does not want to do, not to treat them as slaves and possessions but with humanity and compassion.  This is the mark of a true master.

Although there are things that are so obvious and evident that it does not require actual experience or immersion to know and understand them, there are things that necessitate our actual experience to gain the wisdom needed.  In fact, there are even those that, no matter what we do or how much one immerses or involves oneself, one can never truly understand and appreciate the true value or understanding of them, but these are exceptions and are understandably and justifiably forgivable.

TaN: It is not logical to think and believe that God still gets involved with our lives today — at least not in the usual way of our thinking and argument.  If He does, He would be violating His own gift of free will.  Perhaps, the only time He “interferes” with our lives is when we have already voluntarily surrendered our free will back to Him and permit Him to take over our lives completely. It is only then that we can truly claim that God influences our lives.

However, being a benevolent God, He has made overwhelming certainty that we are properly equipped to have a good and righteous life (worthy of eventually entering paradise and be with God) — by leaving us His teachings in the Holy Scriptures and most especially by sending His Only Begotten Son on top of it all.  There is no reason for us to argue that we were left to fend for ourselves and that He does not care.  Au contraire!  He has done everything short of living our lives for us.

Stop blaming God for all our mistakes, faults, and stupidity.  Any misfortune and unfortunate events that happen to us is of our own doing or due to the machinations and shenanigans and orchestrations of Lucifer (and his demons) — since it is written that this world has already been ceded to Lucifer to do as he pleases by God (because He is going to destroy it anyway in the end and create a new and better one).

God’s involvement with man can be likened to how a parent deals with his/her child as the latter ages.  In the first few years, the parent is totally involved — from feeding, to changing, to bathing, and to all the hands-on activities that a parent can and should be doing.  As the child grows, some of the parental duties are turned over to the child — as in potty training, clothing, eating, and such.  Further down the road, house rules for the child, like curfew or bed time, become more lenient and less supervised.  Eventually, the child matures into an adult and parental involvement tapers off to just ensuring the child is safe and grows up to be responsible and morally upright — although it is said and acknowledged that a child will forever remain a parent’s little child, regardless of the actual biological age.

In the same manner, God’s involvement and step-by-step day-to-day involvement in man’s affairs during the “early” years is like a parent guiding and preparing his/her child at the beginning.  Today, we are supposed to be in our mature years — as an adult — so God changed the “house rules” from the Ten Commandments of Moses to the two fundamental Commandments of Jesus Christ, seeing that man is supposed to be in his adult years and should be ready to be independent of hands-on micro-managing supervision.

In all, it looks like man is failing in his being a responsible and mature adult — what with all the wars and conflicts, the spreading diseases and pestilence, the mass famine and starvation and malnutrition, the apathy and narcissism, and all the other blights and ills and depravities and moral turpitude of Sodom and Gomorrha.

But all is not lost. There will still be the Noahs among us.

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