TaN: Rejoinder to PDAF issue: Why should the innocent and the deserving be deprived just because some scoundrels have been caught with their filthy little fat fingers in the proverbial cookie jar – where is the justice there? Abolition of the pork barrel is not the solution. This could be a case where the cure is worse than the disease.
In several interviews, some lawmakers who avail of the pork barrel and responsibly put it to good use lamented that deserving scholars had to stop schooling and patients on dialysis died (from assistance funds “drying up”).
Abolition is the easy way out. It is the lazy person’s solution. It is a knee-jerk reaction to a horrendous injustice; it is understandable, but it does not justify the emotion-filled remedy. Oftentimes, it does more harm than good for the needy and deserving masses.
The correct and responsible solution is to meticulously go after each and everyone guilty of conspiring and participating in the wholesale plunder of precious funds of the taxpayers. This is the long and difficult solution but it is the only truly correct solution. The innocent and the deserving should not be deprived in the process of going after the perpetrators.
There is no argument that drastic measures are needed to arrest the hemorrhaging of funds but it should be a temporary and as short-lived as possible – because the longer it remains in force, the longer the needy and deserving have to wait and to continue in their suffering. Moreover, it becomes irreversible in life-and-death instances – as in the case of the indigent dialysis patient died because the funds from the pork barrel was stopped due to the controversy and uproar.
Let us not be too hasty with out decisions. It is understandable that when emotions run high that there must be a outlet to vent the anger and indignation. However, after the intensity of the emotions have passed and calmness and sobriety have taken over, it is time to let the executioner’s ax fall where it must and not make sweeping blows that decimate even the innocent.
TaN: Digital warrantless access is a global violation of privacy rights. In the first place, though rights and its limitations are (supposed to be) universal or universally applicable, every state (or nation or country) has its own way of defining how or the manner of implementing the observance of these rights.
In some countries, installing cctv (closed circuit television) in non-public places does not violate the right to privacy for as long as it is only video. Once the audio component is included, it becomes a violation. However, in the case of the monitoring – and even more so with the storage – of digital traffic, it is a totally different issue and this is being done (i.e., assuming that the news in the alternative media coming from the USA is concerned, where the NSA is purported to be conducting warrantless monitoring and storing of digital internet traffic).
It is bad enough that monitoring internet traffic is conducted without just cause and without a warrant, but to store them is a complete, obvious and downright criminal.
What or who gives anybody the authority or the permission to monitor digital traffic that transcend boundaries. This is somewhat – but not quite – similar to setting the boundary from the shore line to the open seas. But, unlike the ocean, one cannot pinpoint the exact time or location of when digital traffic has crossed into international “waters” – where the laws of one nation will no longer apply.
Moreover, digital traffic, like correspondence, the contents are supposed to be regarded as sacred and inviolable. The primary problem is how to ensure that the contents get to the intended recipient without interference or interception by any unauthorized person. The danger is when the contents are accessed by people other than the intended recipients. There is no (known) way of determining whether the sanctity of privacy was violated or not – not unless someone comes forward with evidence.
It is not so much a matter of being warrantless but no justifiable cause for suspecting that a particular digital content might be a threat. This is a case of being regarded as guilty and one has to prove one’s innocence – the burden of proof being shifted to the accused rather than the accuser. And since it is in cyber space, there is no way of determining or ensuring that privacy intrusion was conducted within the “territory” where there is jurisdiction. This is all part of the “unofficial” World War III – a war to end all wars, a war without borders, because the borders are no longer clearly defined. It all started with Dubya on September 11, 2001 but it has been planned long before that fateful day.
We are getting ever nearer to the truth, the realization and acceptance that it is not the material world that is important but the abstract, the ethereal world. In this case, information is the foundation of all existence and gaining warrantless access to it without justifiable or probable cause and without the permission of the source is unconscionable and unforgiveable. Privacy is one of the fundamental and most sacred of man’s inalienable rights.
TaN: Nothing happens without a reason and reasons, by virtue of being reasons, must make sense. So, I fail to see the reason behind the requirement in the academe for teachers to have a minimum of a Masters degree in order to teach in an undergraduate program – especially if the courses taken in the graduate studies are not needed or being taught to the undergraduates. There must be a reason – though not necessarily justifiable – and logic points to the possibility that there is a predominant perception that higher studies equate to more intelligent and more productive people. And, people are confused about working and being employed.
As in a previous blog, I explained that there is world of difference between working and being employed. As argued in Buddhist economics (and in many others), it is inherent in man to work. It has been mentioned repeatedly – including in the Holy Scriptures, where in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 [KJV] it says, For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. Work in integral to man’s flourishing, one’s development, improvement, and fulfillment.
However, this need to work has been hijacked and manipulated by the global power elite to their ends – and that is to subjugate people to be their “slaves” and to churn out commodities that are given artificial value in order to profit from the labor of others. The wages received for the commodities produced are far from commensurate to their fair share of the revenue.
Today, the working masses are no longer regarded as valued partners in the production of goods but as disposable and dispensable company (human) resources. The wages paid are just enough to keep them in subsistence existence. The perfect storm of globalization and free trade, of outsourcing, and of consumerism have not only pitted global labor against each other (trying to underbid each other for the “privilege” of earning slave or subsistence wages) but even guaranteed ever increasing profits for the uber rich (lining their pocketbooks with 10s to 100s of millions in salaries and perks while the real producers of wealth have to fight each other for pittance and even have to take on 2-3 other jobs just to stay alive).
To relate it to the mandate to obtain post graduate studies in order to teach totally irrelevant (in the sense that they have absolutely no relation in content or subject matter) undergraduate courses, this is merely in line with the prophecy that, to survive in the apocalyptic times, one must accept the mark of the beast or s/he shall not be permitted to engage in any activity (i.e., buy and sell, in other words to live in “civilized” society and “enjoy” the “amenities” like being spied on or having your privacy violated and like being considered guilty first and to have to prove ourselves innocent by submitting ourselves to frisking and to body searches prior to entering buildings and boarding airplanes, etc to show we pose no threat to others) in order to continue with the noblest of all professions, which is to teach.
It would be a totally different situation altogether if what is being required (i.e., to take graduate studies) will be used or taught in the undergraduate level. Then, by all means, pursue higher education. But, unless and until the courses in higher education will have some use in the undergraduate level, I do not see the necessity nor the wisdom in the mandate (and will refuse to take part in such nonsensical waste of time and effort). Let those who wish to be party to such stupidity pursue higher studies. As for me, I have more important things to do.