Post for Jun 5-11 2011 (Tidbits and Nuggets)

TaN: Even before the RH bill is finished, now we have the Divorce bill.  One of the most advanced rationale is that, aside from being the “only” country that still does not have a divorce law, Filipinos are at a disadvantage because a froeigner-spouse can get a divorce in another country and a Filipino/a will be bound (by our law) to remain “married”.  Another is the argument of remaining in a marriage that is, by all accounts, no longer one.

In defense of marriage, first, there is the Filipino adage, Ang pag-aasawa ay hindi parang kanin na mainit na, kapag sinubog, ay iluluwa.  One should not enter into marriage haphazardly, but be very sure about such an important (life-changing) decision.  One is morally bound to make the marriage work.  This is further supported or even strengthened by the phrase (in the marriage vow): “…till death do us part” – NOT “TILL DIVORCE TO US PART”!

The other argument pro-divorce advocates are pushing is that the bill will make it more “affordable” to the poor.  Well, for their information, there are more pressing matters that the poor are concerned with than divorce.

In addition, if the argument is the misery of staying in a failed marriage, we already have legal separation and annulment.  Moreover, even the Holy Scriptures have a provision for such situations.  Surprisingly, there is mention of a “divorce” in Matthew 5:31-32 [KJV] and how to deal with it; but the divorce mentioned is closer of our legal separation.  In conclusion, do make a mockery of marriage by taking the oath only to rescind it later.  And, just because everybody is doing it does not make something wrong right or moral.  This is similar to endorsing any form of contraception or birth control – be it artificial or natural – to escape the responsibility of one’s actions.  Be responsibe, be mature, be Christian.

TaN: The best (and essential) things in life money cannot buy.  This is just a paraphrase of the expression, The best things in life are free.  A difference of opinion will arise from how “best” is defined.  By argument, what is “best” is what is essential, what is needed, whatever we need to enable and sustain the minimum – which is to be alive and develop.  In this light, the “best” would include the bare necessities – food, water, and air – and the intagibles – freedom, rights, virtues and values, respect, dignity, principles and ideals, etc.  Anything else are non-essentials and, ergo, cannot be considered “best”.

The best things or the things that are essential to us have already been provided for and provided for free – anything and everything else are add-ons and are man-made.  However, “free” must be qualified, hence the reason for the expression, No such thing as a free lunch.  As mentioned in a previous blog (see last week’s post on Religious organizations and entities not being exempt from paying taxes), it is written in the Holy Scriptures that “…if any would not work, neither shall he eat”, which means that, even if the “best things” have been provided to us for free, we must still “work” for it – not like Juan Tamad who just lies under the fruit tree waiting for the fruit to fall into his waiting gaping mouth.  In that sense, it is not “free”.

Going back to “best things” being free, radical as it me seem, all things essential to life must be free or not commoditized – like food, water, air, and territory or personal real estate property.  All these must be made accessible and affordable to all and, in the case of territory, must be limited and controlled by the state (for it is an essential component of a state: people, government, and territory or territorial soveignty).  This means that it is wrong for any individual (citizen of a state) to “own” real estate more than s/he can really make productive.  Idle lands must be taxed 100%.  Lastly, individuals should only be granted by the state the right to the use of a particular parcel of land and not own the land itself.  Territory, being an essential element of a state, cannot be parted from the state, otherwise the state loses territory.  [A piece of land cannot have two owners; it is either owned by the state or by an individual.  A deed of ownership or title testifying that a parcel of land belongs to a certain individual is evidence/proof positive that it is no longer in the ownership of the state; it ceases to be part of the state.  In this sense, the state’s territory/sovereignty is diminished.]

Continuing on the concept that any segment of a state’s territory cannot be owned by any other entity except the state, transfer of ownership among individuals should (and can) never be direct but must revert back to the state, except when the right to land is to be transferred to an heir – in which case the heir/s shall have the right of first refusal (i.e., only when the heir/s have waived or explicitly expressed their forfeiture of their right to the land).  Many will argue that this will stifle an individual’s productivity or disincentivize people; however, consider the Indonesian land law model.

TaN: Much of the confusion, especially in language or semantics, is due to people’s intent on skirting the truth or the issue.  For example, “food” and “dish” are different terms.  “Food”, normally, refers to a single or individual item, such as a fruit, a vegetable, a piece of meat, or rice.  “Dish”, however, refers to a mixture of food items, such as stews, as soups, and as salads.  “Meals” are composed of one or more dishes.  It is what is consumed in a sitting.

Another example, but still on eating, is that people should always eat “on time”.  However, the confusion lies on the definition of “on time”.  Most will understand the phrase as a specific point in the day, such as noon time – for lunch.  However, “on time” actually means the moment hunger is felt.  It is only when hunger is felt that it becomes time to eat – the “on time”.  Eating when not hungry should never be done, because hunger is the means by which the body is telling us that its nutrient supply is low and should be replenished.  Eating when not hungry simply adds to the calories stores in the body and eventually as well as subsequently, leads to weight gain.

To complicate matters, people frequently mistake thirst for hunger.  Sometimes, what we think is hunger is actually the body trying to tell us to drink water.  It is said that our body should be 70 to 80 percent water.  This is healthy, but not quite true.  A newborn has a body water composition of 90 percent.  This accounts for the “plumpness” often seen with babies.  When hunger is felt too close to a recent meal, try drinking water first.  If the hunger disappears, you are thirsty, not hungry.  Of course, we are assuming that the recent meal was a healthy balanced meal.

As mentioned, hunger is the means by which the body tells us to restock up on essential nutrients.  However, if we eat unhealthy, unnutritious food, the essential nutrients are not satisfied and the body, soon, signals us to “eat again”.  This piles on the calories but not the nutrition, causing weight gain but still malnourished.  This cycle will continue unless and until a healthy balanced regimen is introduced and observed, to break the vicious cycle – which leads to being overweight and to obesity.

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