Post for Jun 12-18 2011 (Tidbits and Nuggets)

TaN: The anti-smoking campaign is a very noble endeavor, but let’s take a closer look at the law itself before anything else.  The (anti-smoking) law explicitly prohibits smoking in public places and include a long list of particular examples.  It also prohibits smoking in confined places and includes any place with a roof or an overhead barrier.  Finally, it specifies that certain public places must establish or set aside a specific and definite area where smokers can have their nicotine hit.

However, there seems to be a slight glitch in the whole noble campaign and law.  By setting up a smoking area, does it guarantee that the smoke emitted or spewed into the atmosphere will stay within the confines (or invisible barriers) of the specified area – especially if the assigned smoking area is not an enclosed area, where air and other suspended particles can freely and unimpededly trespass outside of its boundaries?  In other words, the definition of a particular area for smokers to exercise and avail of their right is ridiculous and moronic.

TaN: We need, very badly, a good anti-trust law; the USA model is good but inadquate. An anti-trust law is designed to discourage monopolies and encourage competition.  It seeks to make sure that no one business or corporation dominates and controls the market, especially those that have a built-in advantage such as banks (like that in the USA) and as media (I have no knowledge of any country with such a law).

It should be illegal for banks (or any enterprise engaged in similar business) to be involved in any other business.  The rationale is that the money they hold – entrusted to them by depositors – is “in danger” of being used (without consent) for other non bank-related business activities.  This gives banks an undue advantage over other businesses which will have use only of their capital while banks have depositor money on top of their own capital.

In the case of media, an anti-trust law is, likewise, required due to the rationale that they deal with information – gathering and disseminating.  One’s behavior can be manipulated and controlled via the amount and type of information received.  In this manner, truth can be subverted and a form of “mind control” can be “established” or effected.  For this very reason, media should, likewise, be subject to an anti-trust law; they have to be confined to seeking and spreading COMPLETE and TRUTHFUL information.  A prime example of the dangers of dispensing partial truths is in advertising, where consumers are led to believe in the benefits of a product or a service while being kept ignorant about the harmful and side effects (especially with the connivance or collaborative endorsement of celebrities and well-known personalities).

TaN: USA Imperialism is still very much alive today – even after all the talk about how the Empire is in its twilight.  The USA evolved imperialism to include international bullying primarily using its politico-military muscle (against countries with either no military capability to strike back, like Iraq and Libya but “back out” against North Korea and China) or its economic (i.e., foreign exchange) advantage (against poor countries, especially with the international instruments like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization) to violate principally any country that it wants to (like the alleged assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan without coordinating with Pakistani authorities) precisely because the violated countries are halpless against the USA.

[And then there is the “special” case of countries like the Philippines where colonial mentality (with respect to the USA) is still very much the mindset of the average Filipino – even among the educated and the elite.  Apparently, there are still countries – mostly their poor and their less learned – so enthralled and enraptured with the USA that they even go beyond mere mimicking but have become “more American than Americans”.]  And, as if it was not enough, the USA has gone as far as cajoling other countries – during the George W Bush presidency, the “coalition of the willing”, and during Obama’s 1st term, NATO’s participation in Libya, which is way out of NATO’s sphere or theatre of operations – into doing the USA’s bullying for them, under the guise of protecting or of promoting democracy and defending the defenseless against the tyranny and atrocities of their oppressive administration – an administration they (help) installed in order to protect the USA’s interests in the first place, just like Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran, like Saddam Hussein of Iraq, and like Augusto Pinochet of Chile.

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