[another last-minute insertion, actually 2] TaN: (1) Philippine news headlines — though not confined to the Philippines alone — every now and then, can be very inane and absurd and (2) the spate of measles outbreaks and possible other future “legacy” diseases come as no surprise.
(1) In the case of the news headline “Noy not liable — Palace” (dated Feb 4, 2015, The Philippine STAR), is it not obvious that “One does not bite the hand that feeds you”? This is inane, to say the least. It is as if you ask the waiter/tress or cook in a restaurant: “What is good to eat?” Of course, the answer would be: “Everything”. What restaurant would put an item on the menu if it does not taste good or say that such-and-such menu item is not good to eat? Such questions are a waste of good saliva and one’s time and effort, just like the aforementioned news headline is an absolute waste of good paper space and printing effort and all the other man-hours involved in putting in into print. It is just plain stupid!
(2) As to the measles outbreak and the supposed or perceived expected threat of other “legacy” diseases making a comeback, could it be the stupid immigration policy of Mr Obama where the Texas broder has virtually been eliminated. It has been kept silent by the major (and mainstream) media that events at the Texas-Mexican border where streams, nay rivers, of immigrants are freely being “invited” to enter the USA with nary an inspection of their state of health, much less travel or immigration documentations. It is surprising that a “legacy” childhood disease, such as measles, is said to have but practically eradicated in the USA then making a sudden come back. Where could it have come from and how could it have slipped passed the “CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) radar”? And how did it become so “virulent” — unless it came from outside of the USA via the influx of immigrants from various countries where measles are still prevalent.
Moreover, there lies the danger of eliminating “essential” childhood diseases altogether. Since no disease can be eliminated totally — even when its occurrence is so negligible it can be considered non-existent anymore — one cannot say with certainty that the bacteria or virus or fungus has all but been annihilated. Man has no such power — nor luck. This is why the CDC and other agencies in other countries still maintain specimens of such diseases under tight and secured conditions, for instances (such as this) for research purposes or when it re-emerges so that we can deal with it. “Eradicating” a disease makes many future physicians unfamiliar with the symptoms, much less the behavior and treatment, so it is not a wise decision or move.
In addition, unknown to many an expert and physician, measles and other childhood diseases have a purpose. It is to serve as and ensure that a child’s immune system will be “trained” to handle more lethal and dangerous diseases later in life, because measles are childhood diseases and they come at a time in a child’s life when his/her immunity from the mother is just about wearing out or ending so s/he must develop his/her own. Vaccines prevent or even pre-empt this and pre-emption means that the child is exposed to a disease before it is ready. This is dangerous and may even be deadly. Those who die from measles either have parents (and physicians) who do not know how to recognize and/or handle it or their immune system has been compromised to such a degree that the defenses of the child is practically of no use and the child falls victim. All in all, childhood diseases serve a purpose and it is foolish for the medical community to “play God” and expose the children to dangers they have no control over.
[last-minute insertion] TaN: The issue of the MRT-LRT fare hike is actually easy to resolve but will be complicated to implement; it is just a matter of applying ethics and plain common (and traditional) business sense — none of that modern “new age neo-business” styles, where business assumes no risks (because they just add their profit margin to whatever the cost is, thus the prices fluctuate with the market). What I am referring to is how (the more arrogant and obnoxious) big businesses are guaranteed profits no matter what the consequences — as in the oil industry and the power industry.
The issue here is primarily one of ethics. It is not right that the consumer is made to foot the cost (of repairs, maintenance, and upgrades) that should be the obligation of the service provider. It is not the way to conduct business. It would be like making the customer pay additional for his bread because you will use the mark-up to finance a new oven.
Repairs, maintenance, and upgrades are the obligations of the provider/vendor. The increase in cost should come after all have been done. The provider/vendor must shell out funds from its own coffers/pocket to do repairs, maintenance, and upgrades in order that these can be used to justify the increase — and not the other way around.
Moreover, granting that the increase is permitted, what guarantee is there that the repairs, maintenance, and upgrades will be done to specifications or of good quality or even done at all. After all, they got the increase already without having to do anything — just a “promise” to do. This is utterly wrong.
TaN: In the Philippines this week, among the most controversial issues is the massacre of the 44 SAF (Special Action Force) police operatives. Among the more prominent sub-issues are: Suspended PNP chief Purisma’s alleged knowledge and giving of the go-signal; shooting of downed police in face; and, non-appearance of Aquino at the arrival of the remains.
First, not only is there nothing wrong but it should be protocol to inform the PNP chief of the goings-on with the organization even if suspended. This is because should the PNP chief return to active duty, s/he will not be ignorant of what happaned during the suspension. However, giving orders is an entirely different story. Being suspended, s/he is in no position to be giving or issuing orders or even just go-signals.
Second, under any rules of engagement and articles of war, shooting a person when the latter is no longer a threat is unforgiveable and a clear act of cruelty. To say the it was an act of animalism is an insult to animals for even animals exhibit acts of mercy and compassion to their prey or victim. However, if the facial shot was by accident (perhaps, by a sniper), it is one hell of a lucky shot because the body is much larger target and more likely to be hit than the face. To determine the truth, the bodies should not have been moved because one can examine the ground underneath the victim for shrapnels and bullets that would show and prove that it was an act of barbarism. If it were an accidental lucky shot to the face, there should be no evidence of bullets in the ground under the body.
Third, there is no excuse for not appearing to meet the massacre victims upon their arrival. Nothing is that important — short of a matter of life and death for Aquino — to miss or be absent from such an important event. One cannot praise the fallen for bravery and gallantry but not be present at their arrival. It is hypocritical and unforgiveable.
TaN: Words and wise sayings are only for the mature and responsible. It cannot be applied universally. It is wrong and risky to assume that all, if not most, people understand the significance and implications of wise sayings and how they are observed and practiced. Most people may not even know the true meaning of many of the wise sayings they are familiar with.
What is happening is that unscrupulous (i.e., irresponsible) people use and even go to the extent of (secretly) redefining words to suit their agenda and avoid guilt. This is sometimes known as doublespeak and is frequently used by shameless and dubious politicians and sly marketers and advertisers.
This is somewhat similar to my contention that the quantity and type of laws a country or society enacts reflects on the maturity and responsibility of the citizens. Mature and responsible citizens do not need laws and regulations to dictate their behavior and actions. Laws and regulations become or are redundant.
And then there are those who are intellectually incapable and honestly do not comprehend nor appreciate the implications and obligations of words of wisdom and wise sayings so they tend to misinterpret and mis-apply.
Meanwhile, the mischievous would be similar to the unscrupulous in the sense that they both will tend to philosophize or take the definitions literally in order to elude or escape guilt except that for the former — i.e., the mischievous — there is no intention to do serious harm or take (unfair and undue) advantage of (the trust and confidence of) others.
The mature and responsible, as written and commanded in the Holy Scriptures — in 2 Corinthians 3:6: “…not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” [KJV] — are those who will take and (seriously and sincerely) consider the essence or rationale behind words of wisdom and wise sayings so as to ensure the true and intended purpose or outcome will be achieve.
This is where true progress and advancement relies on and this is why it applies only to or when people are mature and responsible enough.
In this regard, democracy, though ideally should be applied and practiced by all societies, is only applicable to mature and responsible societies and cultures. Immature societies (or those mostly populated by people who still cannot act and behave ethically and morally) are not entitled to democracy, not even republicanism — btw, democracies are not suitable for large populations as the definition of democracy itself makes it impractical for all members to participate directly in the governing process.
For societies that lack the ability to act and behave ehtically and morally, especially when no one is monitoring or watching over them, are more suited to a totalitarian form of government — or variations of it, depending on the degree of maturity/immaturity of the population. These are the societies that need strict and even harsh laws and regulations to ensure “peace and harmony”.
TaN: The play on words or rather semantics is making a mockery of civilization and insulting beyond decency and ethics. They play people for fools — by using different words and redefining terms to suit their interests and ends to get around feeling guilty and trying to skirt ethical and moral issues while deceiving and misleading people.
This is most evident in the marketing and commercial advertising today, as well as among politicians, entertainment figures, pathological liars, unrepentent criminals, and the like — btw, being politically correct is no different from lying. These days, one must not only be wary of deception and fraud using semantics but must likewise monitor oneself of becoming one of them.
TaN: It is very irritating, to say the least, to be suspected of wrongdoing when there is absolutely no basis. What I am referring to is the so-called “new normal” of security everywhere attributed in large part to global and local “terrorism”. Now, we have to prove that we are not dangerous people, that we have not done anything wrong, that we are not carrying nor harboring anything lethal or illegal, that we are who we are.
I understand very well the need for security but it is getting to be absurd. People are being conditioned to be paranoid, to suspect anyone and everyone.
Most people are honest and law-abiding but the shenanigans of a few “mischievous or misguided” nincompoops ruined it for the rest of us. Now, because of the stupidity of the few has made it very inconvenient for all. Now we have to prove our innocence because we are or have been presumed guilty even when we have not yet done anything — otherwise they imply that we have something to hide or that we have bad intentions.
We have to submit ourselves to embarrassing and humiliating body searches — even cavity searches — and to have our privacy invaded and violated all for the sake of safety and security instead of trusting people. Moreover, it is getting to be that we have to prove our innocence instead of our guilt — by accusers.
In any case, it is especially and extremely irritating for people who are fortright and law-abiding to have their innocence and integrity questioned.
TaN: Friends are relatives we chose. As everyone knows, we cannot choose our relatives; we just have to accept them. However, friends can be considered relatives because, like relatives, we form bonds with them. They form part of our circle of people we hold dear and close.