Post for May 18-24 2014

TaN: In an evangelical television program (in the evening of last mid-week), the main speaker mentioned something that I never realized is indicative of the hypocrisy of much of the ruling elite in the United States of America — in the preamble of the USA Constitution, “…dedicated to the proposition that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL“.  It suddenly dawned on me that the current USA administration has been remiss with respect to this particular statement of the USA Constitution.

It is “interesting” that the current USA administration treats different people in different ways — ways that are in contradiction to the statement that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL.  To cite a few cases, we have the security checks at the (air)ports (where travelers are treated as if everyone is a suspected terrorist — a violation of the principle of INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY), the drone killings (where summary executions and assassinations are carried out with complete impunity and without any kind of due process), the indiscriminate surveillance and metadata dragnet by the NSA and other agencies of the federal government (in complete disregard of all peoples’ inalienable right to privacy), and many more other instances.

If all men are created equal then all men should be treated equally.  It would appear that wonderful phrase are just scribbles on a worthless piece of paper.  In fact, with every passing USA administration, it just seems that the planet is being treated as personal disposable property of the powers-that-be and the people on it are mere subjects and not citizens — to borrow from the Common Dreams article titled “Citizens v Subjects in a Democratic Society: The American Case” (URL: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/05/11-7?print).

TaN: The recent news story that says much of the ocean bottom is littered with humongous amounts of garbage and mostly of plastic is another nail on our coffin because it is already (subtly) coming back to haunt and bite us in the ass.  Most of us would cringe at the sight of eating garbage, plastics, and all the discards we throw around us mindlessly — but that is what we are actually doing when we treat our surroundings as one huge planetary trash bin.  What do you think the plants and animals that we eat are feeding on?

This is a perfect example of the warning: The garbage you throw away — irresponsibly (i.e., not reducing, not re-using, not recycling) — will one day come back to you.  While everyone is busy trying to stay healthy by eating (a) organic and (b) wild-caught, the seafood and the rain-fed crops have been ingesting these toxic trash we so carelessly dumped into the ocean(b) (thinking: Out of sight, out of mind) and the precipitation(a) from evaporation of contaminated sea water.

The garbage referred to does not only cover the discards and throw-aways from households and industry but include those toxic chemicals and lethal pharmaceuticals we flush down the drain and toilet.  This is why we now increasingly hear of abnormalities and mutations mostly among “lower” aquatic life forms, such as amphibians and fish.  Just because the (farmed or wild-caught) fish we eat “appear” to be normal-looking, it does not mean that its genetic material has not been altered by the toxic stew we dump in our landfill and waters daily.  If you remember your lessons in Biology 101 regarding heredity, there are such things as recessive traits — characteristics that are not latent or “noticeable” but nevertheless they are there.

If you really stop and think about it, it is unnerving.  Imagine eating the garbage you threw away carelessly and precariously.  Kind of makes your stomach turn, doesn’t it?  So, ponder on this the next time you think of unmindfully and irresponsibly discard something.

TaN: Man’s significant alteration of the global tree cover pattern is a principal cause of climate change and changing weather patterns — specifically the so-called “new normal” extreme weather transpiring everywhere.  The global tree cover maintains and regulates the global weather system.  How?

Trees help regulate air currents (partly through evaporation of below-surface ground water thus creating an updraft) and is a major influence in the hydrologic cycle.  In a previous blog post, I mentioned that trees not only contribute significantly to cloud formation but that it is likewise instrumental in mitigating the destructive impact of severe weather as it emerges from large open bodies of water and makes landfall, plus creating watersheds and reduces the scorching effect of intense sunlight on land.

By reducing tree cover:
* cloud formation is affected.  Although there is still the matter of evaporation from open bodies of water, the structure of a water molecule is different from that respirated from trees and this difference in structure presents a different set of behavior or properties which subsequently is the reason behind the “new normal” in extreme weather experienced globally (also see an earlier blog I posted on this issue).
* bare mountaintop and landscape has no irregular topography and this presents little or no resistance to the winds carried or that accompanies storms (much like the devastation wreaked by the tsunamis of Banda Aceh of 2004 where the ocean bottom was cleared of reefs and other obstructions for the tourists whereas the same tsunami had minimal damage to a little village that preserved their reefs and corals (the news story used to be found in: http://www.planetark.com/avantgo/dailynewsstory.cfm?newsid=29275 but a recent visit appears to show the link may already be broken), and
* watersheds and natural water reservoirs disappear because there are little or no large network of root system to hold on to the rain and release it slowly into the rivers and streams.  This not only endangers freshwater supplies but also many of the ecosystems that rely on the “slow release” of the “arrested” rainwater; rivers and streams will dry out and no longer support along their banks.

Reforestation is a good solution but it is be carefully done as planting the wrong trees — non-endemic or non-native trees — may even worsen an already bad situation.  If proper reforestation cannot be done, it is best that nature be left to itself because it has an inherent mechanism of equilibrium and will restore itself to what should be if it will just be given adequate time and be left alone.

TaN: Still in tune with the previous blog on best things in life are free, there are many well-kept secrets that, should they be made public, threatens the very foundation of Big Business — because they can no longer maintain monopolistic control over wealth and power.  What I am referring to in this TaN is a recent revelation in the column of Cito Beltran (in The Philippine STAR, dated May 2, 2014, entitled “The battle against the bug“; URL: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2014/05/02/1318450/battle-against-bug) and a video on Solar News where someone talked about the ancient flooding of the Nile that irrigates and fertilizes the land and made it bountiful.  It was then that I realized that the best fertilizer in the world is free – SALTWATER.

This recent incidents also reminded me of an earlier incident when I learned that someone used diluted seawater to fertilize his land.  I intend to replicate the feat.  It makes sense to me because everything eventually ends up in the seas and oceans — carried by rivers, rains, and floods.  Moreover, it is not surprising that the seas and oceans support more life than land because water covers at least 70 percent of the planet and at depths far deeper than Mt Everest (the tallest mountain on land) is high.

Anyway, I reiterate my advocacy that this planet, being finite, cannot but be shared freely by all, equally between those who were born ahead and after you.  I am also reiterating that, contrary to the widespread and common belief, prosperity does not have to be linked or equated with accumulated wealth.  Prosperity is when the quality of life of everyone is lifted and everyone is living sustainably.  The increasing but sporadic mushrooming of isolated examples of shared economies and commons is a testament to the growing awareness that there is something better for everyone, that more and more people are growing tired of the bovine ordure being handed them, and that a better world awaits all who dare to break the shackles of the current repressive system and share freely.

I vehemently disagree that incentivizing and commoditizing everything will bring about a better world and the present state of affairs is the best proof that not only are these methods utter failures but the entire system is but an illusion perpetrated to keep the gullible in continuous impoverishment and slavery — a slave to our greed and apathy.

The present system would have us believe that people are motivated by using the carrot-and-stick paradigm (i.e., a carrot as an enticement to perform or a stick to threaten with punishment if one does not perform).  However, it has been shown (repeatedly) since the 1940s that this model works only for tasks that are mechanical and not requiring much mental ability — much like beasts of burden.  This implies that (the ordinary mortal) man is intended only to be slaves and modern employment is really nothing more than a sanitized and more sophisticated variant of slavery.

But my contention is that when knowledge is put into the commons to be shared and accessed freely by all — some sort of a pool of knowledge, where everyone contributes and draws from as needed (noosphere) — creativity is multiplied beyond one’s imagination can comprehend and true progress and prosperity will abound and permeate to the very fringes of society.  Everyone benefits and not just those who can afford.  As in the well-known aphorism attributed to the late John Fitzgerald Kennedy, A rising tide lifts all boats.  Prosperity should not be only for a selected elite but to enjoyed by all.  In return or to this end, everyone is expected to pull his own weight, to contribute his share to the commons — as in the Marxist creed of: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

It is in secrecy and selfish propriety that there is unjustifiable inequality.  [I qualify it to be “unjustifiable inequality” in that it must be justifiable because there will never be any instance when everything is equal.  It is in the inequality of diversity that inequality becomes justifiable because this inequality is beneficial to all.]  And it is this unjustifiability that inequality becomes evil, because it restricts the benefits only to a selected elite.  And, as tempting as it is to advocate that benefits from the free access of the commons should be limited to those who truly deserves it — i.e., those who are lazy or stupid should be “penalized” for their laziness or stupidity by having to pay for the access — it would not be right because the Holy Scriptures teach us that it is wrong to deprive others of the benefits of whatever was freely-given by God (as in the saying that: The rain falls on both the just and the unjust).

Finally, I also qualify that it is Big Business and not business that I consider evil.  These are the greedy grubby capitalists who are behind and responsible for all the inequalities — from patents and IPs to private education to private prisons to wars and invasions to free trades and mega corporations that override of entire governments and countries to land grabs to set up private kingdoms, and to many, many more, all contrary to what ought to be: FREE.

TaN: It does not make sense that there are already some of us who are already in Heaven.  There cannot be anyone in Heaven, save for those who are already there, because otherwise Judgment Day would be redundant.  It is highly unlikely, even preposterous, to attribute human qualities to God — to say that He plays favorites and He has already welcomed some people into Heaven ahead of all the rest, or are we implying that there are those among us who will no longer be subject to Judgment Day.  It is even more arrogant of us to think and say that those whom we have already “pre-determined” to be “saints” because we have declared them so (and not even by a simple majority vote of all living souls but only by a select elite in the Vatican), will automatically be permitted entry into Heaven, without having to be go through Judgment?  Imagine the nerve of some people preempting God!

And what about those so-called “miracles” attributed to those departed?  Does it mean that these deceased people can now “perform miracles” which they could not when they were alive?  And what about the verse in Ecclesiastes 9:5 [KJV], For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  Or the verse in the same Chapter of Ecclesiastes, verse 10: Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, their is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.  Does this verse have not the slightest significance?  Are they saying that these dead are defying God and are performing miracles in spite of their being dead?

Do these people really know what they are doing and have no fear for the wrath of God?  Are they implying that they have the unmitigated gall to claim that they decide for God or that they are exempt from the decrees of God — that when one is dead, he cannot do anything anymore?  Would it not be an unpaintable embarrassment to find that, come Judgment Day, all the saints declared by man were not in Heaven — whether waiting for us ordinary mortals or joining us in the rapture?  [Btw, I will be very surprise if I will be part of the rapture.]

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