Post Oct 6-12 2013

TaN: None are as blind as those who refuse to see.  Just like the adage in the Philippines: Pinakamahirap gisingin ang nagtutulog-tulogan (It is most difficult to wake one who pretends to be asleep) – it is most infuriating that pride can make us so stubborn as to hinder and obstruct efforts for good.  People cannot see not because we are blind but because we (simply) refuse to see.

In addition, we also cannot see when we are not looking (for it) or not expecting to find something.  A case in point are instances when we do not see something which may be right in front of us, literally right under our nose, but, because we (i.e., our minds) are picturing something else, we still “do not see it”.

The world will be a (whole) lot better if we can be more open to advises (more often they are admonitions) and to change – i.e., for the better and not worse.

Pride should not get in the way of improvement and progress.  There is nothing wrong with or in being wrong.  Everyone makes mistakes; it is normal; it is natural; it is part of being human.  What is wrong is to insist and persist in wrongness – and it is precisely what pride does.  Pride hinders and obstructs human flourishing; it prevents us from becoming better.

More often than not, our handicaps are self-made and are not physical.  It has been said that: What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve.  The countless PWDs (people with disabilities) are witness to the veracity and truthfulness of this statement.  Everyday, we see or hear of people who are physically disabled but have conquered their hindrances and even excelled, putting most of us to shame.

It has also been mentioned (no less than in the Holy Scriptures – in Matthew 15:14) that: “… And if the blinde lead the blinde, both shall fall into the ditch.” – KJV.

TaN: To quote from the article “Defending the Public From Greed” by David Morris (dated in the CommonDreams web site as September 16, 2013), “Electric utilities, FDR [Franklin Delano Roosevelt] argued, were also ‘vested with a public character’ subject to public oversightHe then turned to the next questionHow should government protect the public interest?”

What FDR was referring to was the comment or argument made by the Lord Chancellor Hale under King James of England when the issue of excessive ferry rates were being charged and the public began to complain.  The argument was that (and I quote): “…the ferrymen’s business was quite from other businesses, that the ferry business was, in fact, vested with a public character, that to charge excessive rates was to set up obstacles to public use, and that the rendering of good service was a necessary and public responsibility‘Every ferry,’ said Lord Hale, ‘ought to be under a public regulation, to wit: that it give attendance at due time, keep a boat in due order, and TAKE BUT REASONABLE TOLL.'” [emphasis mine]

In a nutshell, any business that is providing or servicing the general population or have a significant impact on the general welfare should be accountable to the stakeholders and the latter should have a say in the decisions that impact their interests.

At present, we have the government – a particular agency specifically tasked to look out for the interest of the consuming public – to act on behalf of the consuming public.  The problem is that, nowadays, the government or the tasked agency is remiss in its obligation – often because of the “influence” of lobbyists and vested interest groups.  The welfare of the consuming public is subverted by the raw power of money – (almost) always the embattled public’s interest is shunted aside for the sake of preserving or protecting the “economy”.  The truth is that the “economy” is mostly the power elite and has very little to do with the greater majority.

So, the question now becomes, how can we (the consuming public) be guaranteed that our interests will truly be protected?  What can be done to ensure that those who act against the interest of the public – including all co-conspirators – will be brought to accountability?  Everything looks so good on paper but it is an entirely different story in actuality.

The other problem is, how do we prevent or avoid being unjust, especially to the innocent, in the process of dispensing justice – i.e., holding the guilty accountable – specifically when the ones dispensing justice are not responsible people?

All in all, all public utilities (like communications, transportation, and power) – by virtue of their being “public” – should be subject to oversight by the public.  If the owners of such are not willing to subject themselves to public oversight, establish cooperatives to take over, where every consumer is also a co-owner and will have a vote.

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