Post for Aug 20-26 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 (but I will try when possible to have 4 TaNs)…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, I forgot to update this explanation and lame excuse because I have finally caught up to date and even have advanced posts and I hope to maintain and keep this current from now on but I am not discounting that I may (sometime in the near future) to be late in my posting (again) 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 Aug 13-19 2017 (updated Aug 16)

TaN (updated): Today (August 16), an article in Naturalnews titled “Processed meats or cigarettes — which gives you cancer more quickly?” by a certain S D Welles illustrates perfectly the argument that there is no such thing as “lesser of two evils”.  It is but a clever scheme to get people to do evil or harmful things.

Making a choice between (or among) two or more things that are (all) evil is a trick to get a person to make a choice, but whichever choice is made, it will still be evil.  And as discussed and elaborated in previous TaNs, there is no such thing as Lesser of Evils.

So, in answer to the question in the article title, the question of which gives you cancer more quickly is misleading and it does not matter because you still get cancer.  The choice presented is but an illusion, a ploy to get someone to make a selection of which both have the same evil or harmful result.

TaN (updated): Another article today likewise in Naturalnews titled “Vertical-axis wind turbines potential sources of cheaper electricity in urban and suburban areas, researchers discover” by one Frances Bloomfield is a vindication of my earlier argument that vertical-blade or -fin turbines are more efficient than the conventional lateral type or version.  By “lateral”, I mean that the fins or blades are aligned horizontal to each other, that they are perpendicular to the (spin) axis in arrangement, like the common household electric fans and in external propeller fixed- or rotary-winged aircraft.

I have been arguing and proposing that vertical blades (aligned parallel to the axis) is a better design because of several reasons: [1] they can adjust automatically to different wind speeds and can be made to function even with a very slight breeze; [2] they do not have to be “pointed” towards the wind to function, the wind can come from any direction and even vary hither and yonder and it would still catch the wind; and, [3] they can be segmented on a tall mast to catch winds at different levels and each can function at different speeds.

I first noticed the superior design many years ago on rotating advertisements that are painted on vertical fins on the sidewalk.  They spin no matter which direction the wind is coming from — except from an up-down direction but no wind moves in that manner anyway.  The speed and efficiency would depend on the design of the blades — i.e., how curved are the S-shaped blades, especially at the edges.

TaN (updated): Meanwhile, in the front page of The Philippine STAR (still same day), a photograph captioned with “YUMYUM: Agriculture Secertary Emmanuel Piñol (right) and Pampanga Vice Gov Dennis Pineda eat balut and fried chicken, yesterday, in San Luis town, bird flu Ground Zero” and credited to photographer Michael Vargas shows the two aforementioned government officials feasting.  Its purpose, I would suppose, is to quell fears of the spread of bird flu and intended to allay fears of the consuming public.

In such public display, I would not put too much confidence in it because it would run counter to logic that whoever thought of and provided the publicity meal to prepare food that is contaminated with bird flu — aside from the fact that bird flu is supposed to be a threat to birds, especially nutritionally malnourished commercially farmed birds, and not the eggs which is what “balut” is.  It would not be wise to expose the government (“guinea pigs”) officials to any health danger — i.e., because otherwise they risk reaping their ire if and when they do get infected.

Photo ops of public or government officials showing them eating whatever the consuming public is supposed to be wary of due to rumors of health risks in specific food products cannot be believed.  The “guinea pig” officials will always be ensured that what they will demonstrate eating will be of the utmost untainted food.  There is no guarantee that what we will be buying and eating will be of the same risk-free quality as those in the photo op.  It is all a gimmick, a stunt to allay fears of the public.

TaN: Climate change and global warming is still undergoing a lot of debate and scientific scrutiny.  And, assuming, without admitting, that human activities — power generation, emissions from agricultural activities, internal combustion exhaust (from land, sea, and air transports), heating and cooling systems in residences and buildings, commercial and industrial business activities, etc — are the principal causes, the issue most people are missing is that palliative solutions are being done instead of addressing the root causes which is to stop all activities that significantly contribute to the increase in global temperature.  [This is assuming that climate change and global warming are really happening and are the results of man’s doing.]

Moreover, what exacerbates the whole situation is that, even though many people acknowledge and agree that something has to be done (to address the issue), everyone is waiting and expecting the other person to be the one to make the sacrifice and put in the effort instead of themselves.  It is always the other individual who is expected to be the one to act and make all the sacrifices while we simply lay back and enjoy the fruits of other people’s labor.

In any case, if we examine closely and carefully both sides of the issue, focusing on the information, that both sides claim to be factual, with critical and discerning minds, we will notice the flaws and disconnects and conflicting so-called facts on both sides.

Although it is understandable that each side is interested in winning the argument and there are certain parties on or of both sides who will do (almost) anything to ensure victory — the fanatics and the paid shills and spin doctors and lackeys.  And it is in this light that the issues are muddled and mixed with lies and half or hidden truths so as to create a convincingly argument at the expense of truth and accuracy.

Finally, from the climate change/global warming side, certain information and evidences simply do not add up, especially if you go far back enough into historical, archæological, and geological records.

Meanwhile, from the opposition side of the issue, even as new evidence regarding the claimed GHGs (greenhouse gases) being the chief causes behind climate change and global warming arise, certain questions need answers, like: If global temperatures are not rising, then why has the ice cap of Mt Kilimanjaro retreated (and continues to retreat) to less than 15 percent of its 1912 size — from “Mt Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat” from the New York Times issue dated November 2, 2009 by a Sindya N Bhanoo (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/world/africa/03melt.html?_r=0).  A more recent account may be referred to in URL: http://adventureblog.nationalgeographic.com/2015/01/13/photos-ice-climbing-kilimanjaros-melting-glaciers/ (photographs to have been taken late October of 2014 but posted January 2015).

Another, by David Suzuki — http://davidsuzuki.org/issues/climate-change/science/climate-change-basics/climate-change-deniers/ as of June 11, 2017 — argues that climate change deniers have recently repeatedly shifted their positions and arguments and says (certain) deniers are now acceding (average) global surface temperature has actually what climate change “deniers or co-conspirators” have been saying ever since.  But this is expected because the truth will always come out in the end — some sooner, others later, and then longer — but they will do it discretely and surreptitiously and time it when people are “concerned” with or distracted by other matters.

My take on all this is that man’s (economic) activities does have some impact on the climate but I seriously doubt if there is enough significance that it will sufficiently alter or cause climate to change to such a degree as to severely impact planetary meteorology or weather systems.  It must remembered Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion (Action and Reaction) and most people engrossed in the climate change debate appear to — wittingly or not — ignore the corresponding reactions of and from nature for each action of man.

A case in point would be — as mentioned by Mike Adams in his video “Why carbon dioxide is the ‘Miracle Molecule of Life’” — the impact of a lot of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere where it may be a greenhouse gas that traps solar radiation preventing it to return to outer space at the end of the day but it is also a vital ingredient in plant metabolism to produce its own food.  With increase carbon dioxide presence in the atmosphere, there should be a corresponding increase in plant growth and it is known that plants absorb much of the solar radiation to cool down the planet.

This can be attested in the New Manila model in Quezon City (in the Philippines) where there is so much lush greenery (decades-old trees) that the ambient temperature is usually 2 to 3 degrees (C) cooler than the surrounding areas.

It is the “concrete or urban jungle” that is a major factor in the increased feeling of heat because solar radiation is bounced and amplified by hard flat smooth surfaces (such as concrete walls, glass windows, metal roods, and asphalt or concrete roads) — much like what happens with a laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation).

TaN: Of the environmental movement’s 3Rs — i.e., reduce, recycle, re-use — “Reduce” is and should be the most important and be pushed aggressively because it has the greatest and most beneficial to he environmental cause. It ensures that there will be less waste and unnecessary discards to deal with.  There will be less to re-use and to recycle.  Less things to recycle and re-use means less resources to be “harvested” from the environment which leads to a more sustainable development and more responsible use of available resources.

The next best is Re-use, leaving Recycle to be the least best of the three.  Re-use means that what has been used should be re-used repeatedly whenever applicable and possible until it is no longer viable for re-use.  This mitigates the need to purchase or acquire new items which leads to more waste and discards.

But, recent developments in plastic bags, specifically and particularly grocery or shopping bags, see the use of bio-degradable plastics which are supposed to be environmentally-friendly but does not bode very well for re-users because the plastic, its “expiry date” unknown to the re-user, would bio-degrade anytime and frequently occurs during inopportune times.

Recycling, which has become and is the most popular, is the least desirable because it merely encourages those responsible for producing the waste — mostly packaging, containers (bags and boxes), and wrappings — and discards to produce more.  They would claim that they are providing valuable assistance by “creating” job opportunities for recyclers and their downstream industries and businesses (such as vendors and distributors).  However, in reality, it is merely an excuse they use to justify increasing production of waste and discards — under the guise of supporting rising “cottage” industries to provide livelihood projects for the indigenous and the marginalized and the jobless who cannot, instead of will or do not, find job opportunities.

In addition, (again) due to the introduction of the bio-degradable plastics, this now poses a problem for recyclers who use them as resource materials for their livelihood products.  Imagine using the biodegradables and your recycled product (say, a bag) “decides” to break apart in the middle of whatever you are doing — like when you are carrying groceries (in an eco-friendly sando bag) or your “eco-fashionable” hand bag or your recycled (plastic) home decor and, following Murphy’s Law — “If anything can go wrong, it will and at the worst possible moment” — it biodegrades at the worst moment in the most unlikely place and causes embarrassment (among other things).

Finally, some years back, in a film feature from the Japanese Embassy, a process was developed to reverse and recover the oil used in plastic making.  I wonder what happened to it.  If I recall correctly, there was some kind of a compound or enzyme extracted from the orange peel.  I think we should give it another consideration, especially with all the mountains and oceanic islands of plastic trash and discards accumulating.

TaN: Although it is not illegal to withdraw (or reduce) a (commercial) benefit, it is unethical since it implies bad faith.  Something beneficial given voluntarily to a client/customer/patron then withdrawn or reduced implies that the business has prioritize (further) profit over customer satisfaction.

In business, once a benefit has been voluntarily granted, it can not be changed for the better or for some other equivalent.   To reduce, much less totally withdraw, implies that the business granted the benefit only to “bait” customers/clients.

Reasons given for the reduction or withdrawal of the (commercial) benefit will only (be perceived as) attempts to justify the decision, as alibis, as a means to convince the public of a profit-based corporate policy decision — and much of the public will readily and “gullibly” accept it, especially if it is crafted or worded carefully and cleverly.

All in all, since public opinion is not particularly strong especially along this matter, the public is not expected to react or if there is a detectable or noticeable reaction would actually amount little or no consequence (from the concerned entity that withdrew or reduced the once-freely-given benefit).

As a last word, morality or ethics trumps legality always.  Legality has evolved — due to the increased interaction between cultures and societies that once was far and remote from each other — and had become something that ensures peaceful and harmonious co-existence between and among people of different cultures and backgrounds.  However, due to spreading apathy among men (of morals and integrity), unscrupulous few have hijacked the legal system and has twisted it to suit and conform to their hidden agenda, ulterior motives and self-interests and is able to get around obligations and institutions that are supposed to protect the majority against exploitation and manipulation.  Legality today is not what it used and ought to be.

TaN: What we do today with food (in the First World and the highly urbanized cities of Third World countries) are no longer good food and good presentation.  It has devolved in opulence.

What many so-called chefs do to food today can no longer be considered food preparation or cooking.  I do not know what it is called but I am sure it is not or cannot be food.

It is both really irritating and exasperating, at least to me, that there are people with just too much time on their hands and with nothing better to do that to tinker with food.  Stop playing with food.  Food is for eating.  Appreciating — not admiration — food should be limited to how it is presented — simply and sumptuously.  They should not be in teensy tiny portions and arranged in some bizarre manner that will just tempt and arouse the taste buds but will not even reach the stomach.

Food should be respected and not “ridiculed” in some kind of “artistic” design.  The primary and sole purpose of food is to nourish and not to be admired.  What these so-called “artistic” chefs are doing to food today is SICK!

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Post for Aug 6-12 2017 (updated Aug 10)

TaN (last-minute update after week’s post is done): This week, as the bill regarding free tuition is signed into law, a classic dilemma for government — when it comes to programs and projects — is the perennial problem of funding.  Almost always, in this world where money has become god, good deeds and worthwhile projects will always suffer the problem of funding.

On the one hand, it is foolish to enact a law with full knowledge that it will be inutile because there are no funds to implement them.  Therefore, the law just sits there accomplishing nothing. It is an empty shell worth only for display and nothing else.

However, to wait for sufficient funding before enacting a law would almost always “take forever” as there will be those — with hidden agenda and ulterior motives — who would benefit if the bill is not passed.  Moreover, since the bill is not yet law, there will be no “incentive” to piously seek for funding as there is no urgency.

What to do. In the meantime…

TaN: Imposing a tax on personal/salary income is double taxation and is morally wrong and should be illegal — I think I have taken this issue up in a previous TaN but I shall repeat and expound on it further.  Only corporate or business income/revenue should be taxed.

In almost all countries, personal or salary income is taxed by the state but this practice, even though common, is not justifiable — especially if the only or main reason is that all, if not most, countries are doing it.  Just because a majority is doing something does not necessarily make it right.

As it is, it is the (ordinary rank and file) employee — through salary and other deductions — that is supporting the government (expenses) while business and the fat cats of management enjoy all sorts of tax exemptions and deductibles to achieve a smaller taxable revenue or income, respectively.  Even then, the salaries of the privileged and upper crust is subject to the same “double taxation” imposed on the toiling masses.

Just like (agricultural) products, which where the (food) supply chain begins, enjoy little or no (value-added) tax, so should employee income.  By exempting personal income from taxation, this increases the ability of the ordinary individual to make more purchases which redounds to increased sales and, consequently, government revenue from sales tax.  The “supposed” loss in revenue from not taxing the personal income (as against corporate income or revenue) will be more than compensated or recovered by the increased collection from sales tax.

The problem is the government is too “greedy” that it wants to collect from both ends — from the onset in the salary and wages and at the end in the consumption or sales.  Government thinks it is inherent or owed it that it owns everything and that any use of its property mandates some kind of a tribute or rent, forgetting that the government is nothing without the people.

Without the people, there is no government.  The government owes its very existence to the people.  In fact, it is due to the consent of the people to be governed that there is a government.

Government’s primary role, in this case, is to serve as a regulator and arbiter to ensure that there is fair play and that people know and behave by an agreed set of rules and policies.  Exacting taxes is only a means for government to stay viable, to be self-sustaining, to be remain functional.  Government is not in the business of profit-generating; that is the role of business.  Government cannot and should not compete with business — unless it is to prevent a monopoly, a cartel, an oligopoly, which is unfairly advantageous and beneficial only to a certain person or group of people and, more importantly, detrimental to the rest of the population.

Government’s taxing power should be limited only to corporate revenues and income — and the only possibility of extending it beyond the corporate (and into the personal) is when the disparity of the individual’s salary against that of the national average minimum wage is atrocious.  And never double taxation.

TaN: Having a large following (or audience) today, more so and most especially in social media, has lost most of its meaning and importance.  This is because most people today are merely “zombie lemmings” — those who “mindlessly” go with the flow, follow the trend or craze or mania, who are bandwagoners just because they feel the need to belong, to be “in”, to be accepted by peers and their immediate circle of friends and community like in the workplace or in school (as if acceptance is all there is or all that important).

This is oh so sad and makes one extremely vulnerable — vulnerable to manipulation, to deception, to exploitation, to become unwitting co-conspirators, to be “cannon fodder”. I once heard it said that it is better to have a few true friends and fellow like-minds than a multitude of mindless idolaters and fanatical followers.

However, such unthinking crowds are ideal for profit-hungry commercial interests and these or they are usually targeted by (unethical) marketing campaigns and clever ads — because they are seen as gullible and easy prey — who are always on the prowl for money-making opportunities.

Moreover, there are now paid shills whose jobs are to drum up and hype a mania in order that they can be herded into an amorphous mass to be targets of commercial interests, fleecing them of their hard-earned already-meager savings.

And if that fails, there is always “lobbying” the government to make it a policy or even legislation to coerce and compel people to patronize worthless products (and services) — like what is happening in many parts of the United States of America where children will not be admitted into school and employees are threatened with sanctions and even dismissal unless they get vaccinated.

Social media sites are frequently monitored for frequency of hits or visits by vested interests to capitalize on the “popularity” to sell products and services.

And many public personalities — especially those in the entertainment and sports industry and most especially in movies and (popular) music — are not letting this opportunity lapse and have embarked on their own to commercialize their popularity.  This is very evident in movie and music personalities who have launched their own brands of products (like garments/lingerie/undergarments, perfume/scents, beauty products, and the like).  Furthermore, most actually merely lend their names to the products but do not have significant contribution to product development.  [Note: Most of the products (of those in the entertainment and sports industries) are superficial and vanity products, as compared to educational and developmental products.]

As a last word, I do not mind — in fact, it does not bother me one bit — to have no one follows this blogspot of mine.  I am not in need of attention and validation from others.  I know and am confident in myself. If my words give comfort, assurance, or in any manner provide something positive, you are welcome.  If it provides useful and beneficial information or insights to others, that is good enough for me.  I prefer the thinking crowd, not those who blindly follow, especially because many others are following.

TaN: The best thing in this temporal world is not to know everything or all the answers but to ask the correct questions.  Since it is not possible to know everything — because only God knows everything and even His knowledge is limited to all the possibilities but not the certainties due to free will.

God can know everything — meaning all the possibilities — but because He chose to gift us with free will, this limits His knowledge of the certainties of everything and, instead, is restricted to knowing only all the possibilities but not which ones will be true or the certainties.

To illustrate further, a (dedicated) teacher is familiar with all the behaviors and performances of his/her students and can predict the outcome of each student at the end of the school term with great reliability.  However, there are unforeseeable circumstances or events that may significantly alter the outcomes thereby changing the results and prove his/her predictions inaccurate — like when a poorly performing student suddenly and unexpectedly aces the final examinations because s/he realized the s/he could fail.

But returning to topic, it is not important to know everything.  What is important is knowing those that matter because the rest (of the possibilities) are irrelevant.

A case in point would be knowing all the different routes and the dangers along the way for each of them.  Knowing the dangers of all the routes does not matter.  What matters only are the dangers along the route which one will take.  The other dangers will not have any impact on the route chosen.

Finally, why clutter one’s brain with so many useless and irrelevant information when we will need only a tiny portion of it?  Why bother with so much when only a minuscule fraction will be applicable?  Why amass what is basically trivia when there are so many other knowledge that are more useful and beneficial?  Remembering so much useless information only takes up valuable memory storage that can be used to keep more relevant and worthwhile stuff.

TaN: What is transpiring with all the paranoia on terrorism and its threats is that we keep focusing on the outcomes or manifestations and not on the cause.  The first thing is to answer the question: Why is a particular person a terrorist?  What is his/her reason or motive behind becoming a terrorist?

Frequently, the answer to those questions is the continued and persistent and constant — and may even be increased or scaled up — injustice by the perpetrators in order to stay in power and control over the lives of everybody (else).

The history of (global) terrorism stems from the injustices suffered by certain sectors of society who have been disenfranchised and marginalized by the privileged who intends to maintain and even broaden the status quoi.e., their privileged and affluent lifestyle.

With terrorism, especially it being commonly associated with Muslims, is that the global power elite needs a scapegoat and what better than Islamists who have been demonized for a long time now. Muslims have been the underdog and favorite whipping post for centuries — from the crusades (or even before then) until today.

In fact, this is the latest issue in the United States of America with Mr Trump’s policy on travel in and out of the country which discriminates heavily and unjustly on nations that are predominantly Muslim even if the said country is not usually associated with terrorism.  Furthermore, it likewise does not necessarily mean that there will not be terrorist from non-Muslim-majority countries.

In addition, it has long been known but intentionally ignored or considered as a non-issue that most of the terrorists responsible for the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack in New York City were Saudi nationals and yet Mr Trump is very chummy with the Saudi royalty — or at least that is what the media has been portraying all this time.  It would appear that money and oil speak louder than terrorism or any other thing for that matter.

I guess Muslims are the favorite whipping boys of the global power elite.  And they have (read: own) the dominant mass media to assist them and ensure that Muslims are demonized constantly.  But the bigger problem is that there are Muslims (and Muslim sympathizers) who react as expected, playing right into the hands of the global power elite.

The proper way to deal with terrorists is to find out what made them terrorists — i.e., low-level, middle-level, and high-level frequently have varying and different reasons — what made terrorists become terrorists.

Unless they are plain and simple anarchists, people, even terrorists, always have a reason for doing anything.  Currently, the predominant mindset (of authorities, especially the security forces like the military, police, and intelligence agencies) is to just keep killing terrorists as they pop up — as if the technique is making any headway.

It is very tempting — partly because it is the easiest way that people can think of — to focus on and address the symptoms of problems and issues instead of the (original) cause.  Getting to the root of the problem takes time and lots of efforts but it is the only way to a lasting solution and resolution.

So, the only correct way to combat terrorists is to determine why they became so in the first place.  Problematic people always have a motivation for their being so. In fact, there is always a reason for everything and anything we do or decide — we eat because we are hungry; we sleep because we are tired; we bathe because we are dirty or feel hot; we laugh because something amuses us; all activities are driven by a reason (and for a particular purpose).

Once addressed, terrorists will no longer have any reason or excuse to continue being terrorists — unless they were not (completely) truthful or honest with their reason.  There is always the possibility that there was dishonesty or did not explain their reason clearly.  In this case, it would only mean that, deep down, they want to be terrorists and will not be truthful as to the reason why.

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Post for Jul 30-Aug 5 2017

TaN (update): Today (Aug 1 for me), on NaturalNews.com (posted for Aug 1), are the articles — with the titles: “FAKE NEWS ALERT: CNN falsely claims ‘transgender man’ gave birth to a baby boy” by the web site’s owner Mike Adams and “PRODUCT: Top 10 magnesium-rich foods and their health benefits” by a certain Jhoanna Robinson.

This set me into thinking (and basing it entirely on the title alone) that: [1] Transgenderism will be a humongous aspect in spreading confusion (and fake news or dis-information) and [2] just by basing our food choices on the “Organic” certification alone can still be misleading and dangerous to health.

First, just because a person has “changed” gender does not mean that there is a corresponding and actual change.  The DNA (deoxyribose remains the same) and reference to the person’s “new” gender can cause a lot of confusion, especially in the fields of law (and order) and of medicine (and etiquette).  And then there are the lesser matters of sports, (public) toilets, news reporting, and daily social routines (like commuting).

In law and crime (as discussed in earlier TaNs), crime investigations rely heavily on both witnesses and forensic evidence.  What witnesses saw and DNA evidence will not clash as the two will not corroborate each other — because transgender only alters the physical but not the cellular level.

In medicine, prescription medication that are gender-specific now pose a serious medical risk as the therapy may not work or may even endanger the patient — like giving HPV vaccines and treating for prostate issues.  HPV is useless for men because they affect only women while treating for prostate issues are a waste (at the very least) for women.

In etiquette, the issue would be how to address the transgender — with the former gender or with the new gender?  For me, I will address them with their birth gender because changing genders is superficial (aside from being just plain pitiful) — one must be man (or woman) enough to go with what we have been born with.  Changing genders is but a cop out.  I do not believe the crap of being “trapped in a man’s/woman’s body”.  That is a load of bovine ordure and the transgenders know it; denying it would be dishonesty.  They are merely trying to escape facing up to their responsibilities, duties, obligations, and what is expected of them.

People are just twisting everything around to suit their whims and caprices — transgenders included.  Claiming that it is their right is crap.  There is no such right to being a certain or preferred gender.

In the other fields of sports (physically demanding sports and athletic activities favor the men so transgenders will now be “fraudulently or incorrectly” breaking records), of toilets (how men and women feel when a transgender is in their midst in toilets), of news (how reporters will refer to transgenders, especially when the transgender had been in the limelight before the transition and there is a need to refer to and compare with past pre-transgender information), and of commuting (where there is discrimination between men and women like in the coaches of mass rail transits and some buses).

Second, it would be so nice and simple to just rely on the “organic” label for food choices but a very significant factor in growing food is the nutrients that went into the food.  A certain food may be certified “organic” but what if it were grown in nutrient-deficient or -depleted soil?  [An exception would be the essential element Magnesium — needed by 300 metabolic processes in the body — which is (at) the core of chlorophyll.]  It is not enough to address the macro level because the micro (nutrient) level is just as essential — if not more so.

To increase the reliability that the “organically-raised” food is nutrient rich, one good guarantee is to know or be acquainted with the grower (farmer/animal raiser) and his production operation.  But to be totally or a hundred percent sure, grow or raise the food yourself — and make sure you provide all the necessary nutrient input.

TaN: Not all but cherry-picking or selecting the good that one does (from a variety of good deeds available) cancels or voids any good that should come from the good deed.  There is no room in good to be choosy of which good one will do.  It is either all or nothing.  The only hindrance would be opportunity — since one can only do one thing at a time.  However, that fact does or cannot justify cherry-picking, especially if there is intent to discriminate in order that the other good deeds will not be done.

It is only in evil that deliberate or intentional discrimination of what or which good deed will or is to be done.  This is (one of) evil’s way to justify doing evil — to say that one is doing something good ergo one is a good person.  And people frequently (and conveniently) forget the bad deeds done and focus or retains only those that make them feel good or comfortable with.

Moreover, doing good deeds with ulterior motives likewise negates whatever good the deeds are supposed to have.  Good deeds are good only because they are done precisely because they are good deeds and not for any other reason.  Rewards arising from good deeds should only be unexpected or unanticipated bonuses, for doing the good deed is the reward in itself.

This is similar to doing good deeds because one either is afraid to go to hell or expects to gain favor for entry into Paradise.  This would imply that the good deed would not be done if the prospect of hell or Paradise is absent.  Good deeds are done because it is the right thing to do and not for any other reason.

TaN: In a documentary I was able to download many moons ago, with Steven Hawking on the topic of the universe and the story of everything, I learned that it is imperfection that is the driving force of everything.  Without imperfection, everything will be static or constant.  Change would not exist.  Literally, nothing will happen.

It is precisely because there is in-equilibrium or unequal distribution or differences that things go into motion and motion means change — change in position, whether the change is relative to others in the same quadrant or from its original position.  Even a spinning on its own axis comprises a change.

Hawking explained with an example of a room full of spheres at equi-distant locations.  If there is no inequality in, say, air pressure or gravity, everything will remain in their position and nothing will change.  However, should there be even just a slight difference in the state of equilibrium, the point or area of air pressure or gravity change will cause the sphere/s in that location to change or shift.  And this shifting or change in position will (usually) result in a chain reaction, snowballing to the other neighboring spheres.

This is a very interesting concept and I wondered why I never thought of it.  Perhaps it is why is the world-renowned physicist that he is and I am just me.

TaN: What is in the public domain or in the commons cannot be patented, copyrighted, or otherwise claimed to be or awarded as the property of anyone or any entity — which is what nature is.  Moreover, it also goes (or should go) for those that have been in the public domain that may have once been private property, otherwise this would be a regression instead of a progression.

Progress is when something that used to be paid for eventually becomes for free and not the other way around.  This means that things in nature that we enjoy for free should never become a commodity.  Moreover, when we say nature, it means all of nature so we cannot claim ownership of, say, a certain gene (like the BRCA), much less have it patented.

Nature encompasses not just one’s locality or surroundings but the entire planet and beyond — all the way to the edge of the universe.  This means that one cannot (just) patent anything in nature because there can be (other) places beyond one’s country — or group of countries (not necessarily adjacent to each other as in a region) sharing the same trade agreements or whatever economic interests — where people are availing of it freely and commonly.  Patenting something in nature that is freely and commonly availed of by people (anywhere) violates their right to its use even though they may be too far to be affected.  The issue here is regarding legalities (and ethics); its boundaries — because nature’s and man’s are not always the same.

Moreover, can something (in nature) be patented in one place but will only be effective within the jurisdiction where the patent has jurisdiction.  Although it is being done today through trade pacts — like the GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tariff) and the WTO (World Trade Organization) et al — and coercing foreign governments to police their citizenry to ensure compliance (with or without a patent pending in that country), still it is wasting so much effort and resources when it is so much easier if it was never patented.  Ah, the things people do for greed.

Aside from nature, when a patent lapses and it goes into the public domain, it should never be patentable anew, even if there are subsequent (and substantial) changes or modifications that qualifies it for patenting again.  Moreover, that which have been made available in or to the public domain at the onset should likewise be unpatentable.  Finally, by “patent”, I am referring to any and all forms of monopolistic mechanisms and devices that enables someone to exclusively profit or obtain financial or monetary gain.

In conclusion, it is not right to charge for something that was previously available for free.  This is regressive and runs counter to all that is beneficial and altruistic.  It only shows one’s greed.

Also, it is not right that a freebie (or something that used to be freely available) is used as “bait” — i.e., to lure and lull people into becoming comfortable and familiar with something free only to be discontinued or taken away and replaced with something “better” but we have to (now) pay for.

Anyway, it still remains that things can go from for-profit to cost-free but (should) never the other way around.  It is just plain wrong and not done.

TaN: The Philippine system of securing (government) clearances is absurdly annoying and frustrating.  It is understandable that clearances are required for certain situations but there are numerous instances where it is clearly just for the government to increase revenue and has absolutely nothing to do with the reason behind the securing of clearances.

For one thing, there is blatant redundancy.  How is it that in order to get clearance from, say, a court, a prerequisite for a clearance from the police or some other agency is required?  What does clearance from the police have to do with securing clearance from the court?

I take it that securing clearance from the court is for the purpose of ensuring that there are no pending cases.  So what does the police have to do with it?  I fail to see the connection.  It is not as if the court records (of cases) are kept with the police.  I am sure that each has its own independent and exclusive repository of record of cases.

Moreover, why not simplify everything and come up with an agency or bureau or any repository (with a national scope) tasked with keeping records of any and all cases filed against any person or entity, be it with the courts or with the police or with the barangay or with the NBI etc.  In other words, have the whole thing centralized (but with satellite back ups at the local or barangay level) — oh wait, is it not that that is (part of) the responsibility of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)?  If not, it should be.

In this manner, the cash-strapped average Filipino will not have to shell out transport fare (going to and fro and back and forth), certification fees, and whatever other expenses just to secure multiple clearances when only one is adequate.  In fact, if the purpose for requiring clearances is to ensure there are no pending cases (or charges) which can negatively impact a person’s chances in whatever endeavor s/he is applying for.

In any case, there are ways in which all these need for clearances can be “waived”.  Since this is the Information Age (following the Age of Interconnectivity which is the World Wide Web) and information is digitized, most every information needed can be searched in cyber space.  It would be foolish not to take advantage of this, unless there is a profit motive behind keeping the hard copy system (which is to charge a fee for providing a physical copy of whatever information sought or desired). But even then, digital access can still net some income, except that the one who profits may shift to another “beneficiary”.  [Btw, there may be a way to mitigate or even totally eliminate cyber intrusion, but only for inquiry-only situations.  The discussion will be taken up in a later TaN. Please scroll back up to later posts.]

Information regarding current (legal, criminal, administrative, or other kinds of) cases that may be of interest or concern, such as for employment purposes, can be made available online through an “inquiry-only” — to protect against cyber intrusions — database by the aforementioned national repository.  In this manner, it not only saves a lot of time, effort, and resources using the “old school” style but it is more reliable since the employer will be the one to obtain the clearance and directly from the (legitimate) source.

And if the profit angle — where a fee is charged for the production of a hard copy, say a certification or clearance — is a concern, the fee can still be charged except that it will now shift from the manual to the electronic.  This may not bode well for those profiting from supplying the paper or whatever physical material is needed as the storage medium of the requested query but that is their problem.  After all, it is the interest of the public that should come first (over the vendor or commercial provider).

In conclusion, there should be — and there is — an easier way to secure clearances.  Having people shuttle back and forth is just plain cruel and unnecessary.

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Post for Jul 23-29 2017

TaN: Awards and recognition given by companies to their employees for outstanding performance (especially) in sales and marketing are actually worthless and designed and intended to just give some physical token of appreciation for making for money for the stockholders and owners.

These are meaningless most of all in companies that produce (and sell) products that have no redeeming value to the growth and development of man — such as beauty products that only play and prey on the weakness of self-absorbed people (where fair-skinned people in temperate to the polar zones are hoodwinked into wanting to have darker skin whereas those inhabitants of tropical and equatorial zones are “shamed” into wanting to have fairer complexions).  Tropical and equatorial people must have darker complexions to protect them from the intense sun which can cause cancer whereas temperate and polar people should have fairer complexion so they can maximize the benefits of sunlight else they are prone to osteoporosis and other diseases that are caused by vitamin D deficiency.

In addition, one should take no pride in being able to sell or market products that are not only worthless as far as man’s flourishing and development is concerned but are even detrimental or harmful to people’s health.  It is bad enough that such talents are wasted on peddling worthless stuff but to not conduct any product information research prior to embarking on a marketing blitz and consequently endangering consumers is utterly unforgivable.

Anyway, awards, citations, and trophies have become so ubiquitous that it is superfluous and has lost its meaning or significance.  Seldom can one find a household where there is not some kind of recognition prominently and proudly exhibited for all to see.

TaN: It is interesting to note that (most) people are (unconsciously) very subjective when it comes to overlooking or ignoring the “wrongs” of persons they care about, especially kins and immediate family or individuals who have always treated them well.

As a case in point, how frequently do we read or hear about a person being accused or charged with wrongful acts but their relatives or friends or supporters will vehemently and zealously defend and even go so far as to publicly attest to their kindness and uprightness.

Or, it could be a case of people just plain ignorant of (proper) ethics and act in accordance to natural instincts — even if it means lying or speaking out of ignorance regarding the true character of someone they know (especially if it is a relative), which is to protect or defend them even if all evidence shows guilt or wrongful deeds.

But then again, to a certain degree, it simply cannot be helped because people are inherently subjective and there is no way to completely purge ourselves of prejudice.  No matter what and whatever we do, there will always be at least some tinge or trace of bias in all of our actions and decisions and words.

This being the case, it should be a “healthy” attitude to tolerate some degree of subjectivity when it comes to making “judgments” or conclusions regarding other people.  Total objectivity is not possible, at least not in this reality.

Still, those close to people being accused of some misdeeds should, likewise, be more astute about their defense of their relatives and loved ones.

TaN: In government service, official statements should be checked and rechecked and triple checked before being made public.  Backtracking is a sign of inadequate or insufficient information verification or not thinking things through and thoroughly — or as the saying goes, Please make sure brain is in gear before engaging mouth — and is simple incompetence, especially if the issue is very important (and concerns the security and well being of the nation).

This is the frequent problem or issue with being in government service, especially when the position or agency is high profile, and it is precisely for this reason that there is a spokesman and are protocols (that are expected to be observed) — to make it appear that there is coordination in the ranks and a policy or stand in an issue will have the public perception of coherence and, thereby, credibility.

Moreover, diplomacy and tact are not only good but essential qualities of/for a government official, aside from thinking (carefully) before blurting out any utterance.  It is important to remember that, once a statement has been made public, there is no “take back”.  The damage has been done and there is no way of undoing that which has been done.  Oh sure, one can always apologize or “explain” or make amends but it will no longer be the same.  This is exactly why it is written in the Holy Scriptures (in Matthew 15:11 and in Mark 7:15): “[Matthew] Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man” and “[Mark] There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man” [taken from URL: http://biblehub.com/matthew/15-11.htm and http://biblehub.com/mark/7-15.htm, respectively — KJV].

This not only goes for Mr Duterte but to Mr Aguirre as well.  Mr Aguirre appears to have assimilated the “ways” of his boss in the sense that he is a frequent source of “fake news” — i.e., making public statements that he would later either “clarify” or take back because they have been proven to be either premature, unvetted, ill-informed, or just to have something to say to the media.

What makes all these worse is that the people — or at least Mr Duterte’s supporters, loyalists, lapdogs, and sycophants — are taking all these conflicting and proven-unreliable public pronouncements in stride.  Well, what can I say?  Die hards will be die hards.

TaN: Well, it is finally (un)confirmed — Mr Duterte is implementing his “creeping martial law”.  First it was just public pronouncements, then came the alluding threats, then the state of lawlessness, then martial law in Mindanao, now (today, July 23, The Philippine STAR hardcopy headline, “Congress extends ML until Dec 31” by a certain Paolo Romero, with another front page article “Party-list lawmaker suggests nationwide martial law” by a certain Jess Diaz), which will eventually see the full realization of the public pronouncements of Mr Speaker Alvarez who advocates and insists on having the whole scheme extend all the way to the end of Mr Duterte’s term of office and perhaps even beyond (by his hand-picked successor).  And they keep denying that it cannot be compared to Mr Marcos’ martial rule some four-and-a-half decades ago.

There you have it folks!  The technique is to do it slowly and with none-too-subtle hints and threats.  Couple this with a submissive and apathetic citizenry and you have the spectre of martial law all over again.  Truly, history does repeat itself…only worse.

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Post for Jul 16-22 2017

TaN: It would appear that the best way to ensure sustainable development of a particular environment or locality is for only the permanent residents to be permitted to develop their environment.  Although there are those (businesses) that really and truly practice sustainable development of an environment, this would be more of the exception than the rule and there should be provisions in the principle or law or ordinance that permit such collaborations.

It is common sense that people with the most to lose can be trusted to take the greatest of care, so it would make as much sense to entrust to them the use, (proper) exploitation, and development of natural resources in their local surroundings — i.e., (genuine) sustainable development.

Genuine sustainable development means little or no footprint (i.e., environmental damage where “damage” is not that there is no destruction but that the “destruction” is in tune with the equilibrium of nature because nature and everything in this temporal world is in constant flux or change).  People indigenous to a locality and has been there for generations and intends to live off the land will or can always be relied upon to harvest on what they need and only those that will not severely upset the ecological equilibrium — because their very existence depends completely on the ability of the local surroundings to sustain them.  They cannot afford to significantly and negatively impact their very means of existence — else they perish.

It is not unusual or (generally) wrong to assume that outsiders or non-indigenous people will not take care of an area which they are not part of because they belong somewhere else and wreaking havoc does not impact them — ignorant of the “butterfly effect” or “what goes around, comes around” or the principle of karma.

Remember that I am taking a general “rule of thumb” point because I know that there are people who behave responsibly and maturely — like the Scandinavians, most Native Americans, (practically) all ethnic tribes, all indigenous peoples, and most people who find little or no use for money or the obsession to amass wealth (by any means).

In the end, since most of the so-called civilized world are ruled by greed and inconsiderate self-indulgence and a deep-seated and burning desire to seek hedonistic self-satisfaction without qualms for others, it is not surprising that there is no stopping the world’s downward spiraling plunge into oblivion — so it is written and so it must come to pass.  For God’s word is Truth.

TaN: It is written that (and I paraphrase): Those men deem intelligent are fools to God and those men deem fools are intelligent to God.  It is very true today, especially when it comes to our “well-educated” multiple degree holders and scientists.  Their constant and persistent “interference” with nature — trying to “re-equilibrize” or return to balance — is making the situation ever worse and making climate change more and more a stark reality.

It is this “arrogance” of man — thinking he is the most intelligent and, therefore, in the best (and self-appointed) position to improve the world and create paradise on earth — that has resulted in ever-worsening quality of life for most of the global population and benefiting only the global elite and the wealthy.  This is reflected perfectly in the old joke, Progress is the ever-changing process of making things as good AS THEY USED TO BE.

The so-called technological advancements and the benefits they bring are mere illusions that have been “programmed” into most of us into believing the world today is better (and keeps getting better everyday).  The advancements and better quality of life are only for the wealthy. For the rest of us mere mortals, we suffer hunger (and famine), homelessness and internal displacement, malnutrition, disease, deprivation, violence and conflict, abuse and maltreatment, subsistence wages and living (or even less), and many more, while the privileged global elite wallow in decadence, affluence, even debauchery and various forms of excess.

Anyway, it is so easy to be mesmerized and dazzled by the material world that we forget how much more real the spiritual world is.  Instead of the higher (metaphysical) plane seeping down to the lower (baser) plane, we have done the reverse and this is what is at the root of our woes and misery.  We go from the corrupt lower plane up and, by so, we contaminate and corrupt the spiritual.

This is at the core of the passage in the Holy Scriptures — that we are so self-absorbed and full of ourselves that we lose sight of what is truly worthwhile and good.  We have turned the world upside down because it is easier.

This is why we revere the inane and absolutely useless while, simultaneously, debasing what are truly valuable and precious.  We look down (and even ridicule) on farmers and fisherfolk and garbage collectors and street sweepers and domestic helpers and all the lowly manual laborers and servants while we glamorize and even try to emulate those with the least or most worthless “contribution” to the flourishing of man — like the professional sports players, the fashion designers who produce the most bizarre and unwearable rags and claim them to be works of art, the entertainment celebrities who have done nothing but immerse and indulge themselves in hedonistic pleasures and debauchery without the slightest consideration of sharing their fortune with those who have (much) less, and the corporate executives who earn more in a minute than most of us poor souls (and this is not including the perks and benefits the corporate fat cats enjoy as well).

What we value in this temporal materialistic world is worthless to God in his Paradise and what is valuable in Paradise cannot seem to find people who will give it the proper respect and importance it deserves.

TaN: Instead of huge mega and multinational corporations, SMEs or small-to-medium enterprises should be encouraged.  There are several advantages to SMEs and the most important is that it is to the advantage of labor, government, and society as a whole, whereas huge businesses where employees number in the thousands and tens of thousands and more are advantageous only to business owners or stockholders and are purely for profit objectives — to maximize the bottom line for the pockets of the already-filthy-rich.

The Age of Dinosaurs are long gone and large mega and multinational corporations — that employ not just hundreds but thousands — are or should be long gone as well.  These massive businesses that employ not just thousands but tens and some even hundreds of thousands of people, though are showcases of efficiency in terms of the bureaucracy and business operations, have become dangerous threats to the economy.  The best example are the “too-big-to-fail” industry behemoths run by corporate imbeciles and nincompoops that Mr Bush Jr and his predecessor Mr Obama had to “reward” with billions of freshly-printed and totally-without-gold-backing billions for their incompetency.

In the 21st century where the days of the massive centralized data processing has been replaced with distributive and cooperative data processing (networks of small computers that can standalone and function independently of one another), the same should go for the business model.

China has since seen the wisdom of the networked set-up and one of its earliest applications was in the “mini” power plants that were constructed and linked as a network.  In this set-up, instead of one massive power plant to supply 100 megawatts of electricity, the network is synchronized with, say, 10 10-megawatt power plants, to provide a unified and coherent source of power but each component power plant can be taken off the grid — due to (regular) maintenance or for any other reason.  The output is still the same — 100 MW — but a breakdown or shutdown in the network will not significantly affect the overall power output whereas it is not so with the single 100MW.

Applying this to other industries, especially to commercial establishments, small family or cooperatives (not the huge multi-million ones) or mom-and-pop operations are ideal because, should the business run into trouble and must fold or close shop, the incident would not have a significant impact on the overall industry as compared to a mega corporation that has even just a 30 percent share would severely cripple the industry.

No single business should control or have a significant share of the industry or market to such an extent that its collapse or even just running into liquidity or some other major event would not cause a noticeable impact on the overall market or industry.

The percentage share of the industry or market will depend primarily on its volatility or stability — i.e., if it is, say, the rice supply, the allowable percentage share should be small, let us say, less than 10 percent (meaning it should not even reach ten percent).  In cases like processed food industry, the percentage share can be higher because the industry or market is not that vital or essential as to cause any life-threatening or public safety disruption that would severely impact the overall economy and the consuming public.

In conclusion, mega corporations — i.e., those that employ a large labor or employee force or provide vital services or goods or have massive financial investments — can hold the government “hostage” as in what transpired during the Bush Jr and Obama administrations following the financial crisis of 2008-09.  This should never have happened had government had the political will to wield its prosecutorial power and authority to coerce and hold accountable all those responsible for the (near) collapse of the mega corporations.  Bailing out the failing giants — mostly the mega banks and financial institutions — not only “rewarded” the incompetence but even gave the tragedy a “pat on the back”, like saying good job and go ahead and do it again.

Let those corporate relics go the way of the dinosaurs — to extinction.

TaN: The various societal gaps — like wealth gap, income gap, etc — are all interrelated and as consequences of each other.  Of course, there are exceptions.  There are always exceptions.  There will always be exceptions.

As case in point is the income gap.  Those in the higher income brackets mostly come from the wealthy families (the wealth gap).  This is because, being with wealth, they can afford to attend better schools (the education gap) and have better education and become better prepared for employment.  Moreover, the wealthy families usually know each other and, thus, enjoy an advantage because the owner or those in the higher ups in the corporate ladder would pick them.

Of course, as mentioned earlier, there will always be exceptions, like someone from the less fortunate families work extremely hard and get noticed by upper management resulting in a rise in the corporate ladder. But these are exceptions.

In addition, since the basic needs of man are usually not very different from each other, higher income brackets tend to get wealthier because there is a greater amount or percentage of income left unspent (or disposable) which adds to their already wealthy status.

Meanwhile, for those in the lower income bracket, much of their money is spent on the basic necessities — i.e., the prices of electricity and water and telephone is more or less the same regardless of wealthy or not-so-wealthy, varying only in the gross amount usually because of greater consumption which puts the wealthy in a higher price bracket or range.

Furthermore, there are intermittent or regular promotions and sale events for those who can spend more — like wholesale and introductory prices and special offers.  Though these such instances mean that the wealthy spends more than those with less, the aggregate total spending of all the wealthy for a specific period of time is significantly minuscule when compared to those of the less wealthy for the same period.

In the final outcome, the percentage of income spent by the wealthy is much smaller than that of the less well-to-do.  And the wealth gap continues to widen.

With the larger amount in unspent income added to the already existing wealth, the vicious cycle repeats.

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Post for Jul 9-15 2017

TaN: In today’s hardcopy of The Philippine STAR — titled “Ombudsman: Duterte order to kill criminals unacceptable” by a certain Elizabeth Marcelo — suddenly hit me (what I should have epiphanized at the very onset of Mr Duterte’s bloody campaign versus all things evil in the Philippines) that with a single executive policy or order, Mr Duterte has made an entire branch of government (the judiciary) completely redundant…and him (or his past) along with it (since he was once part of the judiciary branch, being a former prosecutor and all).

I think it is high time (and it is timely that) the Constitution be properly amended.  However, I caution the eager beavers of Charter change because the way the Philippines go about this very important and vital process is haphazardous and extremely dangerous.  It is best that the Philippines adopt the way the United States of America go about it — which is to do it piecemeal (one amendment at a time) and not to completely open up the Charter.

Opening up the Charter (wholesale) renders it vulnerable to all sorts of malicious and selfish manipulations and insertions and whatever can be thought of by vested interests and their hidden agenda.

Whereas Charter change one amendment at a time ensures that only a particular provision is affected while leaving the rest of the Fundamental Law intact and untouched.  Moreover, although it is a slow and tedious process, it is precisely this that piecemeal Charter amendments are a safe and secure way of making changes — making sure that the amendments are tackled one at a time and far apart (say a calendar year after each successful amendment before introducing the next one).

Anyway, returning to topic, I absolutely agree that killing criminals are unacceptable the way Mr Duterte is carrying them out.  What surprises me is that it took this long before the Ombudsman gathered enough courage and integrity to speak her mind and show her principles — or am I speaking too soon?

In addition, let us now wait and see if Congress will muster enough hutzpah and balls to at least match what the Ombudsman did.  Plus, I would like to see more major agencies and departments joining the bandwagon.

It is fervent hope that there will either be some sort of intervention or that Mr Duterte will sooner (not later) see and realize the error of his ways and behave as a (real) Christian, as he claims to be.

TaN: It used to be that we are innocent until proven guilty.  Today, the burden of proof has been shifted to the accused instead of the traditional accuser — we now have to prove that we are not what we are being accused to be, like when we are searched before entering an establishment or a port.  We have to submit to searches because we are assumed to be guilty and must prove our innocence by permitting searches to prove we are not hiding anything.  Alas, another prophecy in the Holy Scriptures has come to pass.

This is most difficult — actually it is impossible — because logic tells us that we cannot prove (or disprove) a negative.  We cannot prove that we are not something or someone because there is nothing to prove (or disprove).

A case in point would be to prove we are not a terrorist.  We can prove someone to be a terrorist but we cannot prove s/he is not. It just cannot be done.  What is there to prove?  It simply defies logic or common sense to prove that something or someone is not something or someone since there is nothing to prove.  It is pure nonsense.

Moreover, it is a principle in philosophy that one cannot deny unless one first affirms.  Extending or applying this to the topic at hand, it would mean that the accusation must first prove his/her accusation (to be true) before the accused has to prove that s/he is not.  Therefore, it cannot be that the accused must prove his/her innocence unless and until the accuser has already proven that the accused is guilty of the accusation leveled on him/her.

Finally, it is a fundamental right that people are presumed innocent until proven guilty.  It cannot be the other way around because it would not make sense.  People cannot just go around accusing anybody and everybody of something and expecting them to prove themselves otherwise.  For one thing, if it were the rule and that easy then imagine how much confusion and chaos if anyone and everyone accuse and counter accuse each other without the burden of proving the accusations.

And should it be the case — and it slowly but gradually looking like it is going irreversibly in that direction, especially with the First World countries and those that aspire to be like them — that it is so easy and simple to just accuse anybody and everybody and just sit back and wait for them to prove themselves otherwise.  It is a good thing that most people have not (yet) adopted that attitude.

TaN: In today’s (July 11) hardcopy of The Philippine STAR, titled “AFP balks at 5-year martial law proposal” by a certain Alexis Romero, it is good that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is against it although it is for a different reason.  From my part, such a long period only shows the competency of the leadership.

If the country is truly behind Mr Duterte, the reason for the declaration of martial rule can be done in the prescribed period in the Constitution — or even earlier.  The problem is that the perceived popularity of Mr Duterte via surveys and polls may not be truly reflective of the country’s confidence in him.

Despite the immense wealth of those who wish only their selfish interests rather than the country’s, it is not an impossible task to solve the terrorist — or any other major and urgent problem besetting the country — within the prescribed period permissible by the Constitution.

If the people is truly behind Mr Duterte, they will rally behind him and even volunteer intelligence information to resolve the twin serious issues of terrorism and illegal drugs.  In fact, there would not be any need for the campaign to be bloody.  Social pressure can be applied to illegal drug personalities while the terrorism and insurgency problems can easily be resolved with sincerity and nationalism — i.e., truly work for the benefit of all Filipinos and not just for an elite group with selfish interests.

Everything frequently gets muddled up if and when selfish greed-driven profit motives gets into the picture.  It would be so nice to have people put away their own interests and cooperate for the common good.

It has been said that the sign of a truly great leader is not in how much the economy has grown but by how much the lives of the poorest of the poor have been improved.

TaN: In a movie I watched today (July 14), there was a dialogue that struck me as an absolute truth (and is fully supported by and in the Holy Scriptures): No one is born evil, it is willingly chosen. In the Holy Scriptures, it is written that Jesus said (and I paraphrase): Children (who have not yet attained the ability to discern and differentiate good from evil) go straight to heaven when they die.  This is because they are still “pure and good”.  Evil has not yet tainted their souls.

Being good is by nature whereas being evil is by choice.  If we do evil or become evil, it is entirely due to our preference.  This is where free will comes in.

Man cannot be evil by nature because it will or does not make any sense.  One has to be inherently good and later turn to the dark side for things to make sense, otherwise temptation would be redundant.

Even if we are innately good, if our maturation foundation is weak, it is easy to succumb to evil.  It is for this very reason that it is essential our formative years are strong and well-rooted.

It is because of a weak foundation of good that evil takes root and eventually eats away at our entire being.  And this is vital (i.e., a strong foundation of good and what is right) because only complete good can be and is good.  The slightest hint or tinge of evil undoes whatever good that has been established.  [Just like a nutritional food must be completely nutritional.  The slightest trace of anything toxic and detrimental renders it unhealthy.]

All logic points to the argument that before one can deny, one must first affirm.  Moreover, it is likewise in the fundamental argument of the principle that one cannot prove a negative — as in, for example in matters of law, the burden of proof (of accusations) is on the accuser proving that we are something and not proving that we are not.  We cannot or do not need to prove that we are not, say, terrorists. It is for our accusers to prove that we are.

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