Post for Apr 15-21 2018

As the Holy Scriptures (the Word of God) was given to us for free, to be disseminated or spread for free so that all may hear, so are the contents of this blog.  They are offered to all who will accept and use whatever good it contains for the common good, for all to benefit.

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 or more)…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 <em><a href=””></a></em>.  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 — and requiring that I enrol or register or somehow provide personal and private information in exchange (for anything) is not free.  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.

[<strong><em>NOTA BENE</em></strong>: Any and all advertisements and other intrusive insertions, especially those with hopes of financial gains, in this blog are absolute and completely unauthorized and utterly immoral.  Please boycott whatever rubbish their are trying to get you to patronize, purchase, or otherwise exact revenue from this blog’s readers.  This blog is for free and expects any and all who would like to quote, cite or otherwise use material content or ideas or issues posted whether in part or whole to do the same for whatever purpose they may have.

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Post for Apr 8-14 2018

TaN: In the issue regarding the National ID to replace all existing government-issued IDs, it is misleading.  It should have been phrased that the National ID system will replace all government-issued IDs that are designed for identification purposes only but will not be applicable to instances beyond identification.

It is misleading to claim that the National ID will be able to replace all current government-issued IDs because one clear instance is the driver’s license, where this particular license is or serves as a privilege (to be) earned by a person in order that s/he can drive a car.  The way the National ID is being touted as an end-all to all IDs, this would imply that any National ID holder will be entitled to drive a car and that the ID will serve as a driver’s license — all without having to pass a driver’s test.  This can only happen — and is happening in the United States of America — when driver’s education is being taught to all citizens in their senior high school curriculum.

Every person must go through the educational system otherwise those living in the remotest regions of the country, though entitled to the National ID, will most probably not have driving skills.  Can they use the National ID as a driver’s license?

Moreover, the National ID cannot literally replace all government-issued IDs because there are certain IDs that are exclusive — such as the SSS versus the GSIS.

TaN: In the article in the hardcopy issue of The Philippine STAR titled “Rody: I love Xi Jinping” for April 10 (Wednesday), it only shows and proves or vindicates the saying that “A bully bows to a bigger bully“.

Bullies are really insecure people who have very little or low self-esteem.  They fear that others will look down on them and not take them seriously.  In this regard, they tend to (over)compensate by preempting other people and acting like a thug or a strongman (in order to project an image of a tough guy and neighborhood ruffian) to hide their insecurities.  They “export or imperialize” their insecurity under the guise of being a roughneck to intimidate and convince others of their being someone to be given courtesy.  In truth, they mistake avoidance and fear from others as respect.

Bullies are “tough or brave” only when they know they are at a clear advantage and are a sure-win or they can bluff the other party.  They talk tough but are really full of hot air.  They bully others into submission whenever the opportunity presents itself — like when they are in (a position of) power or know they can get away with it.

They project an image of confidence and authority bordering on arrogance and conceit.  However, when caught without their usual “backups” (i.e., henchmen, lackies, stooges, toadies, or mindless simpletons who blindly do the bidding of their master and laugh at their master’s littlest jokes and puns no matter how distasteful or abasive or demeaning to others) or alone with only their wits, they quickly reveal their true cowardly nature — short of pee in their pants.

Only cowards and bullies feel the need to explicitly and expressedly display and flaunt their arrogance and impunity for their “audience” — and feed their ego.

But returning to topic, in the case of Mr Jinping, at least his bullying is all in the name of China.  But, in the case of Mr Duterte, he appears to be only after his own interests (while masquerading it all as his nationalism, patriotism, and love of country.  Mr Duterte’s excuse for kissing the ass of Mr Jinping is that China is too powerful and it would be insanity and suicide to engage China in an all-out war — so he “turns a blind eye and even serving as lawyer” as China transgresses and trespasses into and seizes what is clearly Philippine territory.

Mr Duterte’s inability and impotency to man up to, face, and challenge Mr Jinping by giving lame excuses.  His latest sad excuse is when he told an audience that he can always declare war on China but who will he send in on the suicide mission to go up against China…his soldiers and policemen.  This is just his way of expressing his motto: Better a live coward living on bended knees than a dead hero. Oh, how our national heroes are turning in their graves.

TaN: Government services, unless it is tasked or chartered as a revenue generating agency or process (such as that of the Treasury or Finance and agencies such as Customs and Internal Revenue), everything should be freely provided to the public — especially because it is mandated by law or government policy — with minimal or no cost.  The government must not earn from these services, such as documentary stamps and clearances and many other things that are attached, after all, whatever fees (such as library or whatever) is covered by their salary and whatever materials (such as documentary stamps) are covered by their budget.

The only time a minimal charge can be imposed is when there are additional materials or services included that are beyond the capability of government, such as laminating services and identification cards like driver’s licenses and postal ids — and even these should only be charged at cost or what it costs the government to outsourced to the private sector (because they are either needed for security or durability purposes).  Additional expenses for the public should be justifiable and not just a mere opportunity to milk the already-impoverished public — Note: It must be remembered that a great majority of the population are way below the average middle class (i.e., the lower segment of the middle class).  It is an entirely different situation if the a large majority of the population are financially doing okay where the additional financial expenses from transacting with government can comfortably be shouldered.

Moreover, government should not think up of imaginative and creative ways to add to the burden of the public in the name or under the guise of some made-up requirement or policy for public services that directly deals with the people — such as obtaining certifications and clearances and permits.

No wonder there is so much corruption in government.  There is so much sources of money to be siphoned off from the hapless population.  One of the principal sources of corruption are the charges that government levies on what should be provided to the public for free.  Another are the supposed projects that are proposed in the name of public service — mostly infrastructure or village beautification or youth sports or even vital programs with components that are easy targets or wellsprings to overpricing or misdeclare.

Whatever the alleged reason, there is so much money to be “made” from government due to its taxation power and this is where the danger (and temptation) lies — remembering the forewarning in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the LOVE of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (KJV), [emphasis mine].  It is the LOVE OF MONEY and not MONEY (per se) that is the ROOT OF ALL EVIL

TaN: As I was (re-)viewing some old episodes of NCIS [(Naval Criminal Investigative Service)], I came across one in its fourth season where Chief Medical Examiner Donald “Ducky” Mallard, MD, portrayed by the late David McCallum, was being quizzed in preparation for his upcoming forensic psychology examination regarding the difference between ethics and morals, his (dialogue) response was brilliant (but I paraphrase because I cannot recall the exact lines): An ethical person knows that he should not cheat on his wife; a moral person will not.

Although many find it difficult to differentiate between ethics and morality, it becomes easier to understand when it is put into the context of an analogy or a comparison — as was done in the aforementioned incident dialogue in the long-running television action drama series of NCIS (of the United States of America).

I like that example and I think I will keep it in my repertoire for when I have to explain or illustrate the difference between ethics and morality.

Furthermore, it has been a nagging issue — the double standard between men and women with regard to (in)fidelity — but the solution is quite simple, always remember: “The sauce for the goose is also the sauce for the gander.” In other words, if you (the spouse) can do it, so can I and don’t you go about pontificating it.

In conclusion, it is interesting that, every now and then, I come across lessons and examples which reignite the fading glimmer or spark of hope that the world is sinking ever deeper into.

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Post for Apr 1-7 2018

TaN: In the controversy regarding the pull out of Uber from the Philippines, it suddenly dawned on me that the concept of TNVS (transport network vehicle service) is ride-sharing — which implies that there are car owners who use their cars for only a small segment of each day and the rest of the time it is simply sitting there doing nothing productive.  It is probably an idea borrowed from the SETI (search for extra terrestrial intelligence) project where a collaborative effort to use the “down time” of global online computers as a massive integrated “supercomputer” — or, if not, it is very similar in concept.

In the same manner, the TNVS shares this same concept — whose purpose is to augment the existing taxi system that may not have enough units to service the demand of the riding public.  My epiphany is that it is supposed to be a ride-sharing scheme and this implies the use of pre-existing but “idle” cars already in the system.  However, what has happened, in the case of the Philippines, is that people went out to buy cars in order to take advantage of this (new) scheme of augmenting the family income.  This runs counter to the whole idea of ride-sharing because the cars, instead of being pre-existing, became deliberately bought for the principal purpose of creating income and not simply to capitalize or optimize the “productiveness” of idle cars.

In other words, they are — for all intents and purposes — mere taxis and just using another term to define them, but you know what they say, A rose by any other name would smell as sweet (a quote from William Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy “Romeo and Juliet“.

But I digress.  So going back to topic, I have always and consistently and persistently maintaining and advocating — in all pertinent TaNs in the past — that foreign investments should not be a priority, not even foreign lending institutions that address or provide financial assistance facilities for public projects such as infrastructures.  These only push the country deeper into debt and is a principal source of corruption.

Even “no-strings attached” foreign financial assistance (from other countries) are never really “no-strings” — as the saying goes, “There is no such thing as a free lunch” and “One does not get something for nothing“.  There is always a catch.

In any case, foreign investments is good or beneficial but I would not pin my hopes in them too much.  Investments, whether foreign or domestic, have only one (common) concern…the bottom line.  In the case of foreign assistance or aid, the angle is not so much the profit but other “amenities” that are to be had — such as gaining access to natural resources, receiving special incentives or advantages over rivals, or some other “tit for tat”.

In the case of Uber, it would appear that, true to form of the modern profit-driven corporation, it is only in for the profitability.  Once it is no longer profitable — i.e., in the modern context, profitability is defined as experiencing ever greater or increasing financial returns (and not in the traditional “outdated” definition of achieving a positive fiscal net return or bottom line at the end of the fiscal year) — it is time to pull up stakes and look for greener pastures, never mind the concerns and plight or status of those poor souls dependent on the business for their income and financial needs and leave them to fend for themselves.

It is really sad and deplorable that such manners of doing business goes unchecked and as the culture of profit-only mentality spreads progressively, though it is expected for it has already been written in the Holy Scriptures for over two millennia.

TaN: Whenever we do something, regardless of whether the deed will affect others or not, we should always (at the onset) think about the possible consequences and subsequent impact on other people or how we can do it so others will not be burdened or disadvantaged due to our action.

It is very irresponsible and insensitive of and for any person to simply think only of one’s own enjoyment and pleasure without the slightest consideration if our enjoyment will — deliberately or not — negatively impact others, like openly and brazenly flaunting our wealth and affluence in full view of people who are obviously struggling just to make ends meet, like beggars and the homeless who cannot only watch (and probably salivate or drool) longingly to have even just a whiff of the orgy of excessiveness they witness.

To add insult to injury are the gossip shows and programs that display the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous amid a society dominated by morass of mass poverty and starvation and deprivation.  It is indeed callous of and for the wealthy if they should deliberately and shamelessly display their extravagant and ostentatious (to say the least) lifestyles, although it is quite a different story if they try (their best) to lead private lives while the paparazzi actively seeks them out.  And then there is the gray line where the wealthy live their posh lifestyles and away from the public eye (like exclusive resorts and islands, such as the Riviera and Maldives and other such known places that cater mostly to the rich, powerful, and famous) because they have no intention of unabashedly display their wealth but there is still the matter of the staff and the service people who man the exclusive resorts and hotels et al as well as the locals who support the staff and the service people — providing the supplies (such as food)?  They will still see the lavish lifestyle and they may still feel sorry for themselves, their plight in life.

In any case and in conclusion, in everything that we decide and do, we must always keep in mind of how we will impact other people, although other people should not be overly sensitive or reactive as to be offended at the slightest and unintentional act or display of others.

TaN: Among the most stupid people in the world are celebrities and famous people who wear (whether garments, shoes, jewelry, or whatever) that has the name or brand of the product or business entity emblazoned for all to see — i.e., to be a walking advertisement.  Imagine.  It already costs “an arm and a leg” (though not necessarily for them because they can easily afford it) and they voluntarily and foolishly advertise it for free.  What idiots!  What nincompoops!  What a terrible waste of a human being!

But I take it back (momentarily) with an explanation.  The actual idiots are those who not only unwittingly parade brand names and logos and business images around but even shell out good money to be walking advertisements.  The most obvious case in point are the so-called collectibles from fast-food chains — which used to be given away for free but corporate got wise and realize there are so many fools in the world who will even gladly pay to advertise for free — like those from hyped up movies or concerts.

Not to be left out — and just as idiotic and foolish — are those who are “interviewed” in “exit polls” from movie theaters, concerts, and whatever hyped-up events (mostly in the entertainment world) and even go the extra mile by encouraging, nay aggressively and emotionally convincing, others to patronize what they have just watched or attended.

It is sad that there are people so foolish as to permit themselves to be used and exploited and without any corresponding and appropriate “compensation” in return for their trouble or consent (whether witting or not).  Well, as the saying goes, There is one born every minute — sad but true.

TaN: Large tracts of (especially arable) land that has remained idle for an extended period of time, say one calendar year, should be made available for anyone for personal (i.e., for subsistence or personal or familial consumption purposes only) or the barangay with jurisdiction over it can “expropriately borrow” it for public use but with due notice to the landowner.  The only grounds for disallowance for availment should be that the landowner can show convincing proof and valid and satisfactory reason for the delay in the development or use of his/her/their land.

Even with (relatively) smaller urban (or suburban) land plots, any idle land should be made available for personal or public use — size is (almost) irrelevant (because one can even grow vegetables in sando bags and small tin or plastic cans or any other use for as long as it is not for financial gain or profit or for the common good).  Should the land be used for planting, the intended crop to be planted is determine largely by the size or dimensions of the available land (area), among other considerations or factors.

Moreover, it is a terrible injustice that there are perfectly productive land that are “owned” by private individuals or groups and depriving the needy its benefits.  Given this, I must agree and concede with the late Nito Doria that idle land must be taxed 100% — or, in the case of public land, be made freely (i.e., no taxes or fees or charges shall be imposed or levied) available to any person who so desires to avail of it but only for personal purposes and not for financial gain or profit.

As for public land, any person — not limited to citizens — should be able to make productive use of it, for as long as there is proper notification and permission. In addition, whether public or private land, if financial gain or profit will be derived or result from the use of the idle land, proper rental charges should be imposed but the rent should be fair and not be a burden to both parties, especially the needy.

Making idle land legally available to anyone who wants to and can use it is not only moral but will force and ensure that land will not be left to idle.  Furthermore, this ensures that those who want to be productive and possesses the ability or capacity but not the means can rightfully be productive and contribute to society — aside from not being a burden as to be a dependent or recipient of charity or a one-sided assistance.

One last thing regarding this matter is that the user (i.e., not the government or the private individual land owner) should be the one directly working the land and is not permitted to sub-lease or sub-contract or otherwise pass on the use of the land to another party. Plus, the use of the land must be environmentally sustainable.

TaN: Just the other morning, as I was cleaning up after breakfast, I suddenly realized that there are certain words we have become accustomed to substituting and using as proper and daily for words that have been neglected due to under-usage but are more appropriate and accurate.

A case in point is the Tagalog term of “tama” to mean or refer to being “correct” when the proper term is “wasto“.  “Tama” actually means “hitting the target” or just “hitting something”.

In addition, it is likewise possible that there are identical terms with differing uses or meanings due to different origins — as there are terms in one language that happens to have an identical phonetic twin in another but with a different meaning or connotation, such as the term “daan” in Tagalog which either means “path or way” (as in “ito ang daan” or this is the path or way) or “hundred” (as in “isang daan” or one hundred).

Finally, this is most likely one of the principal reasons behind some of the confusion (semantics) in communicating in these globally interconnected days.  It is very important that our terms and communication be as accurate as possible and that idiomatic expressions, unless the recipient/s is/are familiar with what will be or is being used, should be avoided to avoid confusion or misunderstanding or mis-interpretation.

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Post for Mar 25-31 2018

TaN: The issue with the withdrawal of Uber from the Philippines is another point in my argument against giving too much attention or preference to foreign investments — be they direct or indirect.  It is well and good if or when foreigners decide to invest locally — in any country, for that matter — but we, the locals, have to remember one thing: Foreign investors are only after one thing…PROFIT!  And or but what is (more) important is true motive or intention for investing — i.e., are they in only for the money or do they really and truly want to help the domestic economy and the local development along with making a decent return on their investment/s.

To give (more worth) than deserved to foreign investments is to become dependent on others and this goes against self-reliance and makes the country beholden.  And self-reliance is key to self-respect, dignity, autonomy, and self-determination.  Should foreign investments be accorded more importance than what is deserved gives them power over a country’s self-determination — global village, globalization, and interdependence notwithstanding.  It likewise gives foreign investments the power to demand incentives and special treatment or consideration (that frequently prove to be detrimental or disadvantageous to local or domestic businesses and rivals/competitors) as well as the tendency or temptation for foreign investors to look at the host country as lower in stature.

In conclusion, just as in the case of FedEx and several other foreign companies that decided to pull out when the profit margin could no longer be sustained at the desired level, foreign investments desert the host country and seek greener pastures.  It is not as if the foreign investment’s return of investment is falling below break-even, which is a justifiable reason to pull out, but that the desired rate of return desired can no longer be maintained and there is nothing can be done because they have every right to go somewhere else where they can get better rates of returns.

TaN: One way of ensuring a secure password — aside from taking precautions and not leaving it lying around or accidentally blurting it out — is to use either the equivalent in a foreign language or remote dialect (that you are familiar with and will not forget) but can be represented in or by the English alphabet or a phonetic or homophonic equivalent that you can easily remember or will not forget (like in Arabic or Navajo or Inuit).  And to make it even more challenging but making sure that you will not forget, is to jumble it up — like by reversing the sequence of the letters or the syllables or the words themselves (in case it is a phrase or something).

Personally, I do not like to keep changing passwords as a security measure against being hacked.  The problem here is, sooner or later, you will have changed too many times and eventually become confused as to which one is the current.

One way to avoid this problem is to maintain a short list of chosen passwords and come up with a repetition cycle — like four passwords to be used and swapped every quarter or 3 months of the year.

Another is to double the password but the second will be the reverse of the first or, if the software will permit, I embed spaces (not necessarily single but may be double or triple) at strategic points — this way, even if I write it down, people will not know if there are spaces, where they are, and how many successive spaces per occurrence.

In any case, security can actually be very simple.  In fact, the simpler it is, the more difficult it is for the people to guess — just make sure it is not obvious.  Be creative and imaginative.

However, the best security is to make everything open and public.  This way, there is nothing to fear about being attacked or stolen — never do anything you will be ashamed of later; think things through carefully and thoroughly.  Personally, I never put sensitive data — personal or otherwise — online.  Anything true I make public is guaranteed to be meant for public knowledge, otherwise I fabricate.

In conclusion, it must always be remembered that convenience and control are directly or diametrically opposed — at least as far as technology is concerned.  The more convenience we enjoy, the less control we have over our choice or decision — e.g., if we want driverless cars, we cede controlling the car (i.e., determining the direction or route, the speed, the stop-overs, etc).

TaN: The principal and probably the only reason for the increasing incidence of not only diseases and (even minor) medical issues but likewise the appearance or emergence of apparently new diseases and maladies and various other (“exotic”) medical conditions are not because of evolution or any other such similar “scientific” processes but because our immune system(s) have been severely compromised — “severely” because even in a supposedly weakened state, our immune system can still do its job reasonably well with the exception of critical or terminal stages and instances of multiple organ failures — and the different organs, systems, and body areas that traditionally do not encounter health problems but now experience issues and they now manifest them through these so-called “modern” diseases.

Different dietary deficiencies (and especially if they are essential) to health and bodily processes and functions (may frequently) produce different and somewhat unrelated (although they may sometimes appear superficially to be identical or related) medical conditions — and these do not yet include or discount combinations of deficiencies.

Most of our medical or health issues stem from either deficiencies or oversupplies of certain key nutrients — and not from the lack of (toxic) chemicals of pharmaceuticals.  It is insane to even entertain the idea that our (modern) diseases are caused by deficiencies in pharmaceuticals and the Western/mainstream/conventional allopathic medicine’s approach and philosophy of isolationism reductionism is not only dangerous but utterly and completely erroneous.

Moreover, the rampant and global putsch of (deadly) vaccines as a form of “pre-emptive or preventive” medicine is the other principal reason behind the rise and spread of pandemic diseases — especially and mostly attacking the brain and nervous system and the mind (in the forms of depression, suicides, schizophrenia, anxiety, autism, paranoia, delusions, homicidal tendencies (which are now manifesting in mass shootings, mostly in schools and heavily populated public places), and many more that attack and alter the brain’s perception and interpretation of reality.

In conclusion, there is no such thing as a new disease.  Diseases that were never encountered in the past only means that as diets change over the years, there is the possibility that there will be deficiencies or “new” medical and health issues that will develop as we “exchange” one “improper or incorrect” dietary aspect for another when we change diets in our history, especially when we migrate to “greener but unfamiliar pastures” (whether voluntarily or not) — like when early African natives are brought to the New World as slaves to work the plantations or in current times when entire populations are displaced due to violent physical conflicts or in search of better employment opportunities.

TaN: In a telephone discussion with my aunt in New York, I realized a clearer argument in advocacy against diseases being inherited. In the conversation, I explained that diseases cannot be inherited — at least not directly.

Diseases — i.e., current lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes mellitus and cancer and obesity and hypertension and arthritis and osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s and autism and stroke — appear to be inherited because we “inherited” or are exposed to the wrong lifestyle from our parents and other people living with us.  Since the current crop of (more prominent and controversial) diseases are caused by the wrong lifestyle (and diet) and we unfortunately are influenced (at the very least) by imitating or imbibing and adapting them as our own, it is likewise for this very reason that we see the emergence of these so-called lifestyle diseases in younger and younger generations — because they are exposed to them at an early stage in their life and and not due to genetics or “inheritance”.

However, even if armed with the knowledge that it is the “passing on” of the erroneous lifestyle that is at the root of the rampant and epidemic-wide spread of lifestyle diseases, not properly and correctly identifying the true cause is leading many down paths that are making things worse.

It is sad that many share the erroneous idea that it is the eating of the food that is the key or solution.  In truth, it is not (so much) the types of food consumed that is the principal culprit but the way the (healthy) foods are prepared and consumed.  Even with the healthiest of foods — many even falsely believe and claim the existence of the so-called super foods — the wrong manner of consumption will make all the effort and care to no avail.  A vegetarian or even a vegan who eats dry-cooked — or worse, over-cooked — foods will still get the lifestyle disease (if not sooner…later).

The key is to preserve the nutrients for them to be useful to the body and the nutrients are very heat sensitive.  Upon exceeding a maximum overall temperature threshold, nutrients not only break down and become useless but may even — as in the case of carbohydrates which turn into acrylamides, of protein which turn into nitrosamines and nitrosamides, and of fats or lipids which are rapidly and easily oxidized and become rancid and toxic — become carcinogenic.

Especially with (our) health, one should not readily jump to conclusions at the first sign of something “rational” or just because experts (and so many of them) say so.  A great majority of so-called (pseudo) experts are so eager to jump into the bandwagon and proudly proclaim and parrot inaccurate and misleading information to capitalize on and ride (at the crest of) the wave of hype and mania for their own personal profit and agenda, not thinking just how much harm and damage they will cause to others.

How true it was alleged that a certain Mark Twain was to have once said (according to URL: “Be careful about reading health booksYou may die of a misprint.”

TaN: Watching the video regarding Sta Cruz del Islote, Colombia — regarded as the most densely-populated island (as of this writing) in the world — it suddenly dawned on me that, no matter how squalid or wretched one’s existence is or the living conditions are, (the natural instinct of) people will still claim “territory” where one can call one’s own (where one can feel safe and secure and certain of one’s survival).

It is really jam-packed and yet people appear to be happy and content, despite the severely sub-standard living conditions that exist.  This only shows that our idea or concept of what makes us happy and contented is very subjective as well as entirely dependent on one’s attitude and expectations.

In conclusion, no matter how crowded and deplorable one’s surroundings are, if the neighbors are good people and treat each other with dignity, respect and community and look out for each other, we can cope with whatever the world can throw at us.

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Post for Mar 18-24 2018

TaN: As to the controversy besetting Boracay regarding the health safety and hygiene issue and the threat to close the resort island for a year, it is actually quite simple to resolve.

It is understandable that businesses and the local residents who depend (entirely) on the tourist trade are alarmed at the threat of closure of activities for such an extended duration, especially for most of the stakeholders as they do not have enough saved income to last them that long.  For businesses, unless they are the small operations where the income is rolled or re-invested weekly or monthly, the pause could spell permanent closure.

However, it must likewise and equally be admitted that the environment needs a respite from the over-loaded and irresponsible activities of local businesses, local residents, and tourists alike.

As a reasonable compromise, I offer the following:
(1) there should be complete cessation of business and commercial tourism activities (after a reasonable grace period) until such time that the environment shall have sufficiently recovered from the destructive onslaught of our collective and single-minded desire for profit and revenue — this is non-negotiable;
(2) that a timetable be established and strictly adhered to for the suspension of all tourism-related activities but flexible enough that the termination may be done prematurely but if and only if it can and has been proven that all environmental protection violations have been properly addressed and the environment has recuperated significantly enough to resume tourism-related activities;
(3) there is a reliable and implementable mechanism to ensure there will never be another incident or occasion in the future that shall warrant another suspension of commercial activities;
(4) an oversight and impartial and dis-interested multi-sectoral watchdog be formed to closely monitor and guarantee strict compliance to all pertinent laws, policies, regulations, and environmental protective and sanitation measures and safeguards against future repetitions; and,
(5) most important of all, all those (officials and private individuals et al) who are or have been tasked to ensure and implement all the relevant government policies, laws and regulations, and all other pertinent measures that directly or indirectly have a bearing on the proper and sustainable management and exploitation of whatever Boracay can offer, should be held accountable — as in those who signed and/or issued the permits, who did the ocular (regular and annual) inspections (upon completion), who approved of the plans or blueprints (where it would have shown how the waste and sewage disposal system connects to the existing public sewage system or a proper waste treatment facility before elimination to the environment), and whoever else with the responsibility to ensure that there is proper compliance and adherence to polices and regulations for the duration of the existence of the business/commercial establishment (and probably even upon termination or permanent closure) be they in the local and/or national level — which means they must be given due process and be punished (if ever found to be liable and accountable) for neglect or graft and corruption or incompetence or conspiracy or whatever violation has been incurred.

In the event that the environmental disaster is not due to neglect or any person’s fault but because of a flaw in the system or policy or regulation, immediate attention must be given to determine the exact reason for the predicament and corrective or remedial measures be instituted.  And, although it may appear to be drastic and even perhaps too little too late, an immediate audit of all tourist resorts and commercial coastal areas should be conducted to ferret out other possible places that may harbor or require similar actions.

In conclusion, it suddenly dawned on me that it is not enough that there are zoning laws — i.e., regulations as to the quantity and physical descriptions of structures within a particular populated area or population center — but there should likewise be maximum human load presence as well as activities.  This came to me when the news featured certain tourists sights that have passed or enacted limitations or restrictions regarding the number of tourists a particular tourist sight or attraction can accommodate in a day, especially the natural formations or man-made that are irreplaceable (such as caves, underground rivers, museums, and archæological dig sites).  Even just the mere increased presence of carbon dioxide from human exhalation could cause irreparable damage to or even just disturb a delicately-balanced ecosystem, not to mention bringing up the ambient temperature from the collective body heat and increase in oily and acidic moisture from the collective body perspiration.

TaN: As I followed the developments in the case filed before the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Mr Duterte, it suddenly dawned on me that there are so much lies (or fake news, if you want to be current) going around.  The current controversy over fake news and being technical and literal with the law and making statements that are taken back later are all different aberrations of telling falsehoods.

When one makes a (controversial) statement then, after a negative backlash, declares that it was only a joke and, in addition, that one is or has publicly and repeatedly admitted to be prone to tell falsehoods every so often is admitting that one is or has consistently been lying.  Just as it was editorialized many years ago (on the defunct RPN Channel 9) when the late Sen Miriam Defensor-Santiago claimed that she was misquoted from a statement she made the previous day: That when one is telling the truth, one can never be misquoted.

But this is not the sad thing.  What is sad is that the public is taking it (without so much as a whimper or sense of being insulted), which is supposedly evidenced in the still high survey ratings that is consistently being given Mr Duterte.  Furthermore, it amazes and astounds me no end to realize that the average Filipino is no fool and yet s/he continues to fail to see through the misdeeds and misbehavior and it makes me wonder whether the surveys are really reliable or not.  But then again, as the saying goes: People see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear or, to put it another way, None are as blind as those who refuse to see.

In the continuing saga and controversy of Mr Duterte pulling the Philippines out of the Rome Statute — nota bene: I qualified that it is Mr Duterte’s own initiative to withdraw the Philippines from the treaty and not the decision of the country because there was never any consultation done to get a consensus, especially at least from the Senate whose concurrence is required by the Constitution to ratify treaties before the said treaties become part of the law of the land — all sorts of excuses and explanations and defensive justifications have been given to make it appear that the Philippines, and not (just) Mr Duterte, who is being harassed and ganged up on by (segments of) the international community via the United Nations so Mr Duterte deemed that it is his duty to protect the country. In truth, the international fervor is not directed towards the Philippines but only at Mr Duterte but, being the sly shyster that he is, it is being made to appear that the entire Philippines is being targeted and singled out and not him.

I could not agree with Commission on Human Rights commissioner Mr Roberto Cadiz more — in the news article in the hardcopy March 21, 2018 issue in page 5 of The Philippine STAR titled “‘No need for public consultation on ICC withdrawal’” by a certain Janvic Mateo and I quote “(Commission on Human Rights (CHR) commissioner Roberto) Cadiz noted that the decision to withdraw from the ICC appears to be made by the President on a personal level.” — when he said that the decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute was purely personal and not in defense of the state against international and biased and baseless attacks on his country as Mr Duterte would like everyone to believe.

The biggest and clearest indication that Mr Duterte is “in panic mode” is the consistent and persistent output of excuses and explanations for his decision to withdraw — when only one should be enough.

In conclusion, as to the different supporting statements from such sources as China and Russia, we all know regarding the saying,  Birds of the same feather…are the same birds or the “mutual admiration society”.

TaN: At the root of one of the causes of corruption in the Philippines is the widespread and rampant characteristic of the Filipino to be nonchalant (read: inefficient), which is being interpreted or justified as “tolerance for tardiness or patient”.  It is because Filipinos have this trait of being “laid back” in addition to the inability to distinguish between urgent and important matters and those that are not.

Because urgent and important matters are treated as day-to-day matters, this de-motivates or “desensitizes” people, especially when dealing with government and legal matters, into taking transactions as mundane and ordinary — when, in fact, they are vital to the people, such as birth and death certificates and clearances which could mean lost or delayed employment opportunities or benefits claims — which eventually redounds to needing padrinos, grease money, and/or other forms of “incentives” to facilitate processing and matters.  Many government and public servants do not take their jobs seriously (enough) and look at it as a source of income rather than a public service.

There is very little professionalism that can be seen in many a government office, especially those that are not front-line and there is little contact with the public whom they are supposed to be serving.  This is especially widespread and rampant when the leadership is perceived not only to be tolerant of and to but even encouraging of such behavior and practices — but, of course, not as a matter of (public) policy and not in so many words.  Remember, leadership by example; the people follow and emulate what their leader is perceived to be doing or acting.

Add to this the fact that there are many services that should be given freely — as they are already accounted for in the annual budget of the department, such as fees and materials — but the public must shell out payment to get those services and documents just because the law or government policy permits them the discretion to “generate additional income” through such services and documents.

As discussed in a previous TaN, there is no reason for government to charge fees and payments for services and documents that are basically non-commercial and income-generating that the public needs.  It is understandable to charge for business permits and filing of lawsuits and such but to require payment for things such as clearance certificates (for personal even if or especially for employment and not business purposes) and mandatory identification cards (such as social security) is just inviting corruption and red tape.

As in the forewarning in 1 Timothy 6:10 (KJV), “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows“.  It has been said that whenever money gets into the picture, no matter how noble or noteworthy the argument or cause, it is and will always be about the money.  And it is bad enough that the perpetrator of that love of money brings sorrow and misery upon his/her own self and soul, but to inflict them on others as well, especially those who are innocent and good.

In conclusion, if, aside from the annual budget that a government agency or office receives (for its office supplies, salaries, and other anticipated expenditures), the budgetary allocation still proves inadequate and additional funds are needed to ensure proper and correct delivery of services and functioning of a government agency or office, the government should start thinking about exacting taxes from “traditional” untaxed or tax-exempt sources — such as schools and religious institutions — that are unfairly enjoying the benefits of government services while not contributing their share to the burden of funding government expenditures (such as police and fire protection, road use, senior and disabled privileges, and a slew of other entitlements and obligations)

TaN: The implementation of the banning of one-use plastics is a good first step. I only hope it does not stop there.

Moreover, such a ban is not a guarantee nor assurance that there will be less plastics in the garbage.  It all depends on the consuming public.

There is nothing to prevent anyone from throwing away, after a single use, plastics that are (obviously) recyclable or re-usable.  It is all in the mindset and discipline (and commitment and dedication) of the consuming public.

Bringing one’s own (reusable) containers and bags whenever one makes a purchase or goes shopping is definitely a personal commitment and it can be reinforced by corresponding and complementary or reciprocal incentives by the vendor/business establishment — like, say, giving a sizable discount or “reward points” and keeping a record for regular repeat patrons that earn progressively larger discounts over time.

Moreover, the greatest challenge is to change the mindset of the average consumer, to change his attitude towards bringing their own bags and containers.  Many feel “awkward” having to tote along an empty shopping bag or container and even more is the “fear” of being looked upon as “poor” (i.e., one who cannot afford to pay the little extra for not bringing their own bags or containers), after all it does not cost as much as their ego or public image.

Finally, there is the biggest issue of food safety — because plastics are toxic to health and there is literally no person alive who does not have some detectable amount of plastic in the body [remembering that “plastic” is a generic term that covers, describes or refers to a very wide variety of polymer (or giant molecule) materials ranging from shopping and school (and other) bags, drinking and baby (feeding) bottles and containers, canned food lining, wrappers and packaging materials, food containers, waterproofing compounds, tape and adhesive strips, garment and clothing fabrics, jewelry and appliance components (as well as in printed circuits and other internal parts of consumable/consumer electronics), vehicular parts (such as seats and seat upholstery and internal cabin components like the dashboard) and a host of others].

To say that plastics are ubiquitous is a gross understatement.

TaN: It is very disappointing to see media practitioners, especially professionals and industry icons or respected and multi-awarded personalities, to endorse products and services (be they in print or broadcast media).  It is not as if they are not earning enough.

Moreover, this likewise extends to product/service endorsements in media programs — not only in form of infotainment or infomercial but — where specific brand names serve as sponsors for the program to continue airing or running.

And even if the reason behind the endorsement is because they believe in it and would like others to share in the experience, it still does not justify or warrant repeated endorsements, especially if the wording comes on as a promotion (because the words are “standardized”).

I wonder how such people consider and feel comfortable being called or referred to as professionals in their careers when they know very well they are abasing themselves for the sake of financial or other non-profession-related gains.

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Post for Mar 11-17 2018 (updated Mar 23)

TaN (update): The Philippine Department of Energy announced that the power reserves for this summer is very thin and, if demand or consumption continues to increase, could result in power outages.  Without explaining the cause or reason, I surmise that one of the principal reasons is the continued emphasis (and patronage of the consuming public) to start purchasing and using electric vehicles (aside from the increased both the continued usage and uptick in the sales of power-hungry consumable electronics) in the government’s “irresponsible” — because it was not well thought out and just gave in to the relentless push of vested interest groups (with huge profits to gain) using climate change as a bogeyman to goad the public into the whole scheme.

In truth, the shift to electric vehicles (from ICEs or internal combustion engines) should not be started without a sustainable renewable energy infrastructure — i.e., from power generation to transmission to distribution to available and easily accessible and affordable convenience outlets, much like the fuel stations of fossil fuels.  With the power demand already expected to rise dramatically due to the oncoming summer season, it is unwise to push for the shift — mainly through the public utility vehicle modernization program of the government.  The reason behind my argument is that because electric vehicles, just like the ICEs, needs to be fuel to be replenished, when the power banks of electric vehicles run low or out, where do you think they will recharge?  They will compete with the current residential, commercial, and industrial consumers because there is no existing viable (and additional) power being brought into the grid.

My qualification of “renewable” (in the immediately preceding paragraph) is because, unless it is renewable, there is no TRUE solution to address the so-called urgent issue of climate change.  I reiterate my previous TaNs: By merely substituting or replacing fossil-fuel burning vehicles with electric vehicles, we are not solving the problem of the burning of fossil fuels that ups global warming but only adding one more step in the process.  The electricity that electric vehicles consume to recharge still comes from the fossil fuel power grid.  True solutions to addressing climate change and global warming can come only from a truly and significantly sustainable RENEWABLE energy infrastructure otherwise we are just adding another step in the current process of power generation.

Moreover, there are so many breakthroughs in renewable energy technology that I fail to comprehend why none of them has yet reached the market — as if I do not know or cannot speculate…it is all about the money!

TaN (update): Contrary to what his allies, underlings, trolls, stooges, and lapdogs say regarding Mr Duterte being brave and is known to face any kind of peril, he is actually cunning, calculating, technical, and pragmatic, aside from being (selectively) gender-biased and has a deep-seated fear of being wrong or branded as bad.  The proof are in his actions (as against his pronouncements) — such as not wanting to engage China in a war because we can never win or making pronouncements then taking them back or later claiming that it was a joke or using the letter instead of the spirit of the law (especially in eluding guilt and responsibility) or publicly hurling insults and expletives and gutter language at people he knows will or cannot “fight back”.  He will pick a fight only when he knows he has the advantage, otherwise he bides his time or has his “henchmen” do the dirty work (then use his knowledge of the law and authority of his office to pardon or exonerate the culprits of responsibility and liability).

In fact, the admission by Mr Duterte of not wanting (read: fearing) to engage China in a war he has no chance of winning is what is giving China the “courage, audacity and arrogance” to do as it pleases in (what is) clearly Philippine territorial waters — which is precisely what China has been doing all along (i.e., building up artificial islands capable of accommodating and supporting military facilities and installations) to extend its military reach and thus project its economic, political, and global sphere of influence and power.

Cunning because he develops “creative” ways to outsmart his detractors, critics, political opponents or rivals or competitors, and potential threats in anticipation to or of what may arise when he implements his plans and schemes.
Calculating because explores and takes into consideration all possibilities when he makes decisions, ensuring that he will have a way out of predicaments and snags when things fall through.
Technical because of his penchant to always take the letter of the law and the technicalities to get out of tight situations, especially when facing embarrassment or liabilities.
Pragmatic because he tends to go for practicality rather than the ideal or what should be, like when he decides not to challenge a neighboring giant to open conflict and even choose to lawyer for them even when it is clear that the other party is in the wrong and he is disadvantaged.
Gender-biased because of his constant and consistent “attacks” on women who have their own stands and express their sentiments (which happen to run counter to his or has bruised his ego).
Fear of being wrong and bad manifests through intolerance of dissenting opinions and views and denials.  Using every means thinkable, he frequently bad-mouths and resorts to insults and put-downs because of an inferiority complex which is often accompanied by bullying tendencies.  Empty boasts and off-color jokes and anecdotes are likewise other manners of expressing one’s insecurities and self-doubts.

In psychology, overcompensation is a common behavior of people with (low) self-esteem issues.  By outwardly projecting violence or threats of violence and bullying others, such personalities feel a sense of comfort, security, and self-assurance and dispel self-doubt and fears.

In addition, over-inflation of ego is likewise another common behavior — as evidenced in his early pronouncements when he boasted of being a mere average (law) student and yet he now is president and have so many brilliant and well-educated people under him.

In conclusion and though not in topic, what Mr Duterte did — i.e., withdrawing the Philippines from the Rome Statute and justifying it with flimsy and obviously self-serving personal but flawed and lame excuses such as not published in the Official Gazette and in the name of the country.  Come on, give me a break.  Puh-leeeeeeeease!  Spare me and give me some credit.  What do you take me for?

TaN (update): In (probably) last hearing of the Philippine Senate on the Dengvaxia issue — today being March 13 (Tuesday) — I would like to bring up another issue: to the best of my knowledge, it would appear that Dengvaxia is the first and only vaccine that requires the patient to have experienced (and survived) a bout of dengue prior to the vaccination.  It is really unusual that there should be this requirement of a prerequisite before the application of the vaccine.

The precondition of the necessity to have gone through dengue before a patient can receive the Dengvaxia vaccine is highly unprecedented.  It is not the case with all other vaccines, so what makes Dengvaxia different?  This question has not been asked, let alone been properly and satisfactorily answered.

The prerequisite of having gone through a bout of dengue reeks of an escape condition for when the dengue virus will already have prior experience and waiting antibodies ready to deal with the dengue virus — so that the vaccine will appear to be effective and protective.

In conclusion, when Sanofi consulted several dengue experts, it was not revealed whether the experts had any conflict of interest — i.e., if they had any vested interest in giving a favorable recommendation.

TaN: Nothing eaten cooked (i.e., heated because marinating, for example certain fish or vegetables in vinegar otherwise known as pickling may likewise be referred to as cooking) cannot be eaten uncooked — with a few exceptions like taro (which contains a toxin that is broken down by heat), certain species of cassava, and a few more others.  In many instances, exposure to heat only makes it more palatable or “familiar” or tastier or “more presentable or less repulsive or unsightly” to a person’s food perception.

However, it is slowly but steadily (though grudgingly) being shown and proven that heating foods — to extremely or at least very high temperatures (i.e., above 120° C or 248° F, because wet-cooking needs a maximum of only 100°C or so at which is boiling whereas dry-cooking needs well over 300°F or 148.89°C or usually rounded to 150°C) — turns normally nutritious and healthy foods into toxic and carcinogenic stuff, like starch into acrylamide and protein into nitrosamines and nitrosamides).  And then there is the oxidation of oil and fat at high temperatures which makes any healthy lipid bad (with exceptions to certain saturated fats such as coconut oil which can withstand high temperatures repeatedly and reportedly can nutritionally be re-heated for up to 10 times).

In any case, healthy eating is (foolishly but dangerously) being pushed globally by (pseudo) experts and celebrities as eating the correct foods (particularly super foods, although there are no such things as super foods) when, in truth, any and every food is good and healthy — notwithstanding the manner in which the foods are grown (for plants) or fed (for animals).  It is the manner in which the foods are prepared and eaten that determines whether they will be healthy (and nutritious — because healthy does not necessarily mean they are nutritious and I will explain hereinafter) or not.

This fits the saying, A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

As to the aforementioned issue of healthy foods not necessarily being nutritious, for me, healthy means possessing the potential to provide health or well being whereas nutritious means actually benefiting from it being healthy.  To elaborate, when we eat healthy food, if our body (specifically the digestive system) is not able to utilize the food — i.e., recognize and properly process and assimilate the nutrients into the blood — it might as well not be healthy nor eaten.

To explain further, let us say that we eat a fried or scrambled egg then have our cholesterol level checked.  The test will reveal that blood serum cholesterol will be elevated.  However, if we eat a raw egg or a soft-boiled egg, our blood serum cholesterol will be the same or low.  The reason for this is that our digestive system recognizes the (raw) egg as food and will readily bio-assimilate it, whereas the fried or scrambled egg will not be recognized and accepted and will most likely cause an inflammatory response — in the form of elevated blood serum cholesterol.

The increase presence of blood serum cholesterol, however, did not come from the fried or scrambled egg but from our own liver.  Our body is not designed to take in dietary cholesterol.  In fact, it has been determined that 80-90 percent of our blood serum cholesterol are produced internally and a mere 10-15 percent is absorbed from food.

Cholesterol is a very important fundamental or principal “raw” material of our body. It is used in the production of numerous substances our body needs — like antibodies of the immune system, platelets and other tissue repairing components, digestive enzymes, and many more.  When food is subjected to high heat, as in frying, the chemical properties and profile of the food is completely changed — in the egg, the evidence is clear when you see the normally translucent albumin or egg white become opaque white or even turns crispy brown — and makes the food “unrecognizable” to the body (as food).  Instead, it will be treated as a foreign invading threat and, as a response, the body releases cholesterol from the liver to be used to manufacture antibodies to address the “imminent danger”.  And this is why blood serum cholesterol is elevated.

Another way of explaining the “phenomenon” is that there are natural (digestive) enzymes in the raw egg, aside from the fact that raw eggs are naturally-occurring and therefore recognized as food.  When food is taken in naturally (i.e., as raw or natural as possible), it will recognized and readily accepted by the body.  Moreover, all living things have to “eat” (food) and all food from living sources will have inherent or produce its own digesting substances or capabilities.

Like anything else, digestive enzymes have a maximum tolerance threshold before it breaks down and temperatures above 40 degrees C is the starting point.  Different enzymes have different levels or degrees of tolerance or resistance to heat.  However, all break down upon exceeding 120 degrees C.  Frying and other forms of dry-cooking need a minimum of 150 degrees C to be able to “cook”.

With raw or unheated foods, the inherent or native digestive enzymes are intact so our body simply uses these enzymes for the food to self-digest.  There is no need to call on the liver and pancreas to produce cholesterol to digestive enzymes.  It is this need to manufacture digestive enzymes — because the food cannot self-digest as its natural enzymes have been broken down in the high heat — which is the principal reason why our blood serum cholesterol is frequently elevated, especially after a meal (unless a large portion of the meal is raw, as in 70-80 percent raw).

TaN: The growing use of words different, especially if very far, from the actual or original (dictionary) definition is getting out of hand and should be reigned in.  It is getting more and more people in trouble due to misunderstanding and the double-meaning is being used to “innocently” insinuating something in order to maliciously insult but claiming otherwise.

It is one thing to have idiomatic expressions but it is entirely different when existing such expressions are (unilaterally) changed to a different connotation in order to define something else to elude or hide the intended meaning or message — as some kind of covert or occult or unconventional coded lingo exclusive to a chosen few or only to those in the know.

This is most prevalent among politicians, entertainers and celebrities (who rely on scandal and gossip for their popularity and wealth), and criminals, as well as “criminals pretending to be upright people and even nationalists”.  Especially among the underworld figures, idiomatic expressions that can easily be interpreted in another way are among the favorite utterances so that, should there be witnesses or incriminating statements that may be used against them, they can always claim “innocence” and say that their conscience is clear.

It is also a favorite among law enforcers and members of the criminal justice system who skirt their guilt by using the letter of the law instead of the spirit — like when they say that they only told their henchmen to take care of somebody and not kill him/her (a matter of semantics).  Moreover, even among the rest of the general population who may not have criminal tendencies or motives, like those in entertainment or show business who rely on controversies to remain popular by making ambiguous statements and self-serving press releases or conferences in order to create an opportunity to be “misquoted” thus stay “relevant or in the limelight”.  Show business is notorious for manufacturing phrases and terms that have more than one meaning in order to have an “escape” and claim to be mis-interpreted.

In any case, this phenomenon of idiomatic expressions and words with double or multiple meanings is already making communication and understanding (others) complicated enough without having to up the ante by “re-purposing” them for other more nefarious and unscrupulous motives or agenda.

TaN: In the commercial regarding a germicidal soap, it boasted of being able to kill 99.7% of all known germs.  What exactly does “99.7% of all known germs” mean?  Does it refer to the quantitative or qualitative aspect — in other words, is it 99.7% of all the germs it comes in contact with or 99.7% of all the germs that we have identified?

To elaborate…suppose in a square inch of skin there are 100 different species of germs and the population count is 100,000 individuals.  Further suppose that 99.7% of those germs have a total population count of 10,000 individuals.  So, does the phrase mean that of the 100,000 germs, only 10,000 will be killed or that 99,700 of the 100,000 germs will be killed?

Moreover, when they refer to germs, what exactly do they mean because “germs” is a generic term to loosely refer to any microorganism (or an organism too small for the naked eye to see without assistance of a microscope or visually enlarging device).  It is important to remember and understand that viruses are also considered as germs but they are not living — because they do not possess all the qualities that we reserve for only for certain groupings of molecules and compounds — and viruses cannot be killed since they are not considered living.

So, what about the viruses among the germs?  Are they included in the claim of 99/7% mortality — because, if so, then the commercial will be liable for mis-representation or making false claims.

TaN: It is very disconcerting and alarming to have people in authority, especially those with backgrounds or (sufficient) knowledge in jurisprudence and all the way to the top of the government such as the chief executive, to skirt criminal liability and ethical responsibility and exploit the loopholes or flaws in the law to achieve “unlawful” objectives.  As I reiterate from past TaNs regarding the forewarning in the Holy Scriptures where it admonishes us to observe the spirit of the law (which gives life) instead of the letter of the law (which brings death).

One should be apprehensive and alert when people in authority say that there is nothing in the law that criminalizes the killing of criminals (conveniently forgetting that to justify or be guiltless of killing a criminal, first it must be proven that the victim was a criminal and this means undergoing due process and not unilaterally) or that human rights are violated (left and right) for the sake or in the name of the country and the victims.

It has been said that, “When leaders talk of peace, be prepared for war.”  Furthermore, it has likewise been said that, “When elephants clash, it is the ants that suffer.”

Aside from being dangerous, taking the literal interpretation or definition of the law is the means whereby people with ulterior motives and hidden agenda to elude criminal liability and/or moral responsibility.  They can always hide behind the imperfections of the law and even literally “get away with murder”.  In addition, it is disheartening that the judicial system, which is or should be the vanguard against abuse or mis-interpretation of the law, become complicit to the injustice being perpetuated by the criminally-motivated when they likewise fall prey to taking the letter of the law, arguing that it is what is written and neglecting the fact that they can always go to the rationale behind the crafting of a law or even go to the extent of conferring and consulting the very authors of the law (what they really meant or intended the particular law to achieve or accomplish).

It is even more disturbing and alarming to realize that the (general) population are apathetic to the transgressions of the law by people who are supposed to be the very people responsible for upholding justice and what is moral through proper interpretation and enforcement of enacted laws and policies.

In conclusion, as the saying goes, all that is needed for evil to triumph is for all good men to do nothing — to let evil take over and have the run of the place.

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Post for Mar 4-10 2018 (updated Mar 11)

TaN (update): When it comes to preventive medicine, claims of saving lives has no basis.  In fact, since my argument is that the longevity or one’s life span relies entirely upon the “whims” of God (whereas the quality of our life while awaiting for that fateful day is completely in our own hands, and depending on whether or how well we obey the admonitions and commandments of the Lord), it not only makes no sense to make such baseless and nonsensical (and blasphemous) pronouncements and statements but there is likewise no way of determining the accuracy and/or veracity of such unfounded claims.

To revisit the argument, unless and until we know precisely the date (and very moment) of our death, to say that something (we did or did not do) is (directly) responsible to “extending” our stay in this temporal world is utterly and absolutely without merit.  This is the same as my other supporting arguments — regarding growth and intelligence marketing schemes in that unless and until we know exactly how tall or how intelligent we are or will become, there is no way to prove that the schemes worked).

This “sudden” rediscussion is a reaction to the news article in hardcopy issue of The Philippine STAR for March 10 titled “WHO underscores importance of vaccination“.

Vaccination is the major attempt and “answer” of conventional or mainstream medicine to the natural, traditional or preventive medicine — which seeks to pre-empt supposedly or allegedly more serious or fatal diseases in order to “save” (more) lives.  This — i.e., vaccination — is totally and utterly false and undoubtedly and unquestionably deceptive.

[Nota bene: Actually, conventional or mainstream medicine is known as or called allopathic medicine and sometimes also referred to as heroic medicine.  “Allopathy” means alternative.  Ergo, it is really allopathic or conventional medicine that is the alternative and not the mis-label so-called alternative medicine.  Moreover, allopathic medicine is called heroic not because it is heroic but because it is more of emergency medicine, where the application is during drastic and urgent times when life is critically threatened.  In addition, the only worthy allopathic medicine is surgery or surgical medicine, while the rest are but a bunch of mere “hooey”.  Lastly, allopathic medicine is completely out of touch with reality and the world because, the way it is being practiced (especially today) is dragging man farther and farther away from nature and substituting man-made or artificial which is absolutely out of whack or sync from nature, thus creating more and more problems, issues, and complications (read: side effects and contra-indications.]
In any case and returning to topic, although I am inclined towards preventive (as against curative) medicine, I do not, however, subscribe to making such unconfirmable or uncorroboratable (or argument based on ignorance) claims.  This only proves that even in the “alternative” or natural medicine segment of the medical industry, it has already been infiltrated by those who seek only selfish gains and it is these that we must be extra careful about and critically discerning to avoid being scammed.

In these times, the so-called Age of Enlightenment and Transparency, this is truly the time when light and darkness are in mortal combat over men’s souls.  The only hopeful re-assurance I have is that it takes merely the light from a single candle to pierce the darkness.  The only problem is whether there will be anyone who is not blind — otherwise no amount of light against the darkness will be of any consequence.  And it must be remembered, with respect to blindness, None are as blind as those who refuse to see — which is what most of us are today, with regard to the evils and wrongs everywhere today.

In conclusion, vaccination even at its inception is an intrusion and a bypassing of our body’s defense system and there is no such thing as a safe nor beneficial vaccine.  In the video titled “Silent Epidemic: The Untold Story of Vaccines“, I realized and understood one of the statements (and I paraphrase): When a vaccine illicits an immune response, it is said to be effective; however, this does not mean that it is protective (or that the resulting antibodies will be enough to protect or overcome the pathogen).  In addition, the argument that in a democracy the people has the right to choose how s/he brings up his/her family and not the private sector or business interests — in this case, the pharmaceutical or vaccine industry — (through or using the government) to mandate or coerce compliance from the public to the wishes and desires of business interests), which is what an authoritarian state and not a democracy is wont to do.

TaN: With all the advancements in automation and cyber technology as well as the reports of ever-successful hacking, it just dawned on me that our worst fears are slowly but surely becoming a reality.

It is beginning to look like the futuristic sci-fi films regarding robots (and automatons) are correct, all along.  Our technology has advanced to the point where we are now able to build artificial beings with artificial intelligence and mimic ourselves — the way we move (which started with passive or static then to active or dynamic prosthetic) and the way we think (with artificial intelligence).  These also include the latest use of smaller and smaller and more sophisticated actuators and motors and hydraulics and transistors and microchips and circuitry.

If this trend (in science and technology) continues — regardless of whether proceeding steadily or astronomically — and the end times is still quite a way off, it will not be long when we shall see all the imagination-inspired scenes in sci-fi films come to reality.

It is interesting to note and remember the saying that, “Art imitates life and life imitates art” — i.e., cinema gets inspiration and ideas from life and life has a strange way of turning fictional cinema into real life.  Unfortunately, many of those real life imitating cinema are taken from the “wrong” scenes — like how a brilliant theft or bank heist was carried out or how people are tortured or how a murder was planned and executed.

TaN: As I sit and go through my daily morning news gathering and archiving of the day’s more important global health and current developments in cyber space, it suddenly dawned on me — after scanning through several articles regarding people getting sicker and more discoveries of ways to cure or reverse diseases — that a, if not THE, principal reason behind global health (collectively) reaching epidemic proportions is not that we are discovering more and more diseases and medical conditions but that — due to our “insistence” on living and maintaining the wrong lifestyle (and poor or incorrect diets) — our immune system is (being) compromised and that is why we get sick faster and more frequently.

If our immune defenses (because we live the proper lifestyle and eat correctly, for instance like the Amish community of Pennsylvania and most Okinawans and the traditional Inuits) are working properly because we live correctly, all these so-called diseases and medical issues will easily and automatically be taken cared of.  The only instances when we will really be sick is when as nature/God had planned or when a really serious threat (like a new strain of cold and influenza viruses) — like getting and going through the traditional childhood diseases like measles and chicken pox and mumps and the like and eating foods as our bodies have been designed to do (naturally and endemically and according to the seasons).

Our bodies are (literally) designed to “live” forever — as with the Biblical account of Methuselah who purportedly lived to the ripe old age of 969 years!   However, there are several reasons why we do not.  Even the “modern” (unofficial) longest-lived person eventually died — a certain Li-Ching Yuen and reportedly not from any sickness or injury or any other cause but that — and I paraphrase from a statement he was supposed to have said to his friend, an old grandfather like him — “I have done all that I have to do, I am going home now”.  Who knew what he meant, when he said he was going “home”, was that he is returning to his Maker.

In any case, because I am a Christian, I subscribe to the belief that “we decide how we live and wait for our time of death but only God determines when we die”.  Proceeding from this, despite the design of our bodies to “live” forever, when it is time to go, there is nothing we can do about it — regardless of our state of health or anything.  When it is your time to go, you go.

TaN: The growing trend (among the wealthy and the can-afford) of using surrogates (most probably) merely for the purpose of avoiding being pregnant and the only reason is vanity and not something life threatening nor a medical issue may not be illegal or even immoral but should have some kind of legal risks.

Because it is a person’s right — correction: privilege, a right is inherent or natural and therefore inalienable and essential or fundamental while a privilege is bestowed and must be earned or deemed worthy and thus may subsequently be suspended, withdrawn, or otherwise revoked — to chose whether they want to become pregnant or not (but not necessarily due to legitimate nor justifiable reasons) this right should not be curtailed or taken away.  However, there should be some sort of corresponding accountability or risk in order for this privilege — not a right — to be enjoyed.

It will be irresponsible to permit a person (or couple), just because they can afford it and can “get away with it” to avail of the services or opportunity of a surrogate just for the flimsy or whimsical reason of vanity or trend or fad or novelty or whatever cock-a-mame alibi they dream up, especially if the individual or couple has already been pregnant before and there were no complications nor valid issues that would make getting a surrogate appropriate.

In conclusion, the problem with many developments and advancements is that there are or will always be people who will tend to abuse or mis-use it.  This has been the case since time immemorial — as in the case of gun powder (which was originally meant for festivities and celebrations), of Einstein’s theory on atomic energy (which was, I would think, intended for peaceful and man’s flourishing purposes instead of making nuclear weapons and other monstrosities), and of digital and electronics technology (which was meant for education, research, communication, sharing of ideas and aspirations and hope and solutions and such but has been mis-appropriated for crime and malicious deeds, such as spreading of lies and deception and cyber bullying and dirty politics and even cyber warfare and pornography and pedophilia and cyber theft and other criminal or malicious activities), to name a few.

TaN: The most important thing about eating naturally (i.e., the way nature intended it to be eaten) is that we eat on demand.  This way, there is no need for preservatives because they are eaten fresh (i.e., as needed).  And nature always provides in abundance.  Imagine when a tree bears fruit, it is not only for a person or a family or even a tribe — because nature has intended the fruits to be shared by all.  The fruits are always in excess to ensure that there will always be enough for the next generation of trees — that there will be so plentiful that not all fruits can or will be consumed — plus other creatures that also feed on the same fruit.

Actually, as to the “no preservatives” in nature (i.e., fruits), there is a natural preservative — phytic acid. Phytic acid is more of a growth inhibitor than a preservative.  It is present in seeds and grains (in just enough quantity) to prevent them from germinating or sprouting at the wrong moment.  Phytic acid is nature’s time lock which prevents premature germination because the environmental conditions may not be correct to support and sustain the sprouting and growth of the new plant.  It is broken down when immersed in water for a sustained period — when the rainy season is well on its way — and this now permits the seed or grain to start germinating and grow roots and leaves.

Going back to “eating on demand”, eating is an essential activity (because it sustains life) but its abuse leads to health and medical problems and complications — like obesity and diabetes.  It must be remembered that we should…”eat to live and not live to eat”.  Sure, it is good or nice to indulge, once in a while, but not to point as to make a career out of it.

Eating not because we are hungry but rather for the sheer pleasure is a luxury and must not be abused.  Excess calories, unless burned off, will eventually redound to health issues which, if not addressed promptly and properly, may eventually become life-threatening.

A problem today with regard to eating is that many have made it into a past time or, worse, an indulgence.  In the past, food was difficult to come by so health problems were of a different sort — they used to be mainly pathogenic and infectious by nature.  Today, due to advancement and vast improvements in agricultural technology (mostly corporate monoculture plantation-type chemical-laden agriculture), food is no longer scarce and considered a necessity but as a luxury, where there are so many choices.  There are so many available and from so many places the world over.

However, this has its bad side.  Because of the abundance of food and types, affluent societies and countries have populations are rife with obesity and other lifestyle diseases — diseases today are no longer caused by pathogens and infections but by the wrong lifestyle.  In addition, food that used to be seasonal has become available year-round and this is slowly leading to other nutritional issues — because consuming certain foods (like fruits) which are not naturally in season but artificially made to bear fruit for commercial or corporate profits.

Moreover, this food abundance does little to solve the issue of global malnutrition and starvation.  But this is an issue of greed and profit-centered consumerism and will be for another time.

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