Post for Jun 21-27 2015

[too-late last-minute insertion] TaN: In today’s (June 26) news in The Philippine STAR regarding the declaration of Pope Francis, titled “Pope: Marital separation sometimes morally necessary“, I would beg to disagree.  We have been too lenient with regard to marriages and dissolutions.  The Holy Scriptures is not only more definitive but more precise and better.

All in all, people get into marriage too hastily — even if the “courtship or getting to know each other (and each other’s values, behavior, and family)” takes years.  The duration to really get to know somebody before “taking the plunge” is really variable and depends heavily if not entirely on: honesty and level of trust with each other, maturity, financial and emotional stability, commitment (to each other) and full comprehension of the demands, obligations and intricacies of marriage, and knowing and understanding the implications and ramifications of the marriage vow.

At present, especially Western marriages, the wrong implementation of divorce (which is mentioned and permitted in the Holy Scriptures along with a very precise process by which it is to be carried out) is making a mockery of the whole ritual.  The phrase “’til death do us part” no longer hold any significance.  People, especially the wealthy and the favored and influential, can get a divorce just like that and with no guilt whatsoever — much like changing clothes.

It should be that once a couple have decided to enter marriage, they must understand that it is forever…hence, until death do us part, and not until I get bored or become irritated with you.  And I reiterate my early stance that there is and should never be any compromise with evil and what is wrong.  Perhaps if there were no methods of dissolution, like divorce and legal separation and annulment, couples would put a lot more effort and thought into marriage before committing themselves.  If they fully understand that they cannot back out and that only death can break the sacred vow, there would be less couples making hasty decisions and enter marriage on the whim.

If people know that they cannot back out of an agreement once they enter into it, they would not only think twice, thrice, quadruple times, but lots and lots of careful and considerations before making such life-altering decisions and commitments.  Once in wedlock, there is no backing out.  It is a matter of our word of honor.  Reneging on such sacred and solemn vows are signs of immaturity, of untrustworthiness, of irresponsibility, of indiscriminate behavior, of (intentional or unintentional) deception and fraud, of infidelity…  Such people should be shunned, ostracized, and otherwise totally and forever dismissed.

There is a Filipino saying on marriage: Ang pagpapakasal ay hindi parang mainit na kanin na isusubo at kapag napaso ay iluluwa (Marriage is not like hot rice that we put into our mouth and then spit out when we get burned).

[another last-minute insertion] TaN: In a recent (this week’s) news article, taken from the web site of The Philippine STAR titled “Pulse: Binay is most trusted gov’t official; Noy 2nd” (dated June 23, 2015), it raises an interesting question: How does being corrupt compared with being trusted?  If faced with the dilemma — i.e., a candidate who is being accused of being corrupt — would you still put your trust in him/her.

Of course, being accused is way different from actually being.  To be accused of corruption, ethics dictate, that the person is still entitled to be considered innocent until proven guilty — although, in these times, it appears that everything has been turned around and that it is now the accused who has to prove his/her innocence instead of the accuser.

So, all things being considered and to be fair, it becomes more understandable to believe the survey that, although Mr Binay is being accused (left and right) of being corrupt but nothing is still sticking, his trust rating is (still) high.  However, it is surprising that Mr Aquino’s trust rating is lower, considering that Aquino is supposed to be perceived as a transparent and trustworthy person.

The explanation could be all the flak that his “hacks” are doing on Mr Binay that puts his trust rating in bad light.  Still, it is interesting.

[last-minute insertion] TaN: Two issues: Rachel Dolezal (NACCP) and photo-bombing of the Rizal monument (Luneta or Rizal Park, Philippines)

1st: My take on the Rachel Dolezal controversy…just drop it, ignore it, it is an absolute waste of time, effort, and resources.  Permitting transgender opens the floodgates to all sorts of trans-whatever.  By continuing to give her attention, we are playing right into her plot.  She should get a lot of serious counseling.  [Btw, there is no such “animal” as a transgender.  They are just people who simply cannot accept the role given to them to play out in life.  I say deal with the gender life has handed to you, unless you are a “quitter”.]

2nd: It is interesting and intriguing that the only defense or argument of the incumbent Manila Mayor Estrada that it is the fault of the previous mayor because it was the former mayor who gave or issued the permit for the Torre de Manila while conveniently avoiding the question or observation (which the good current mayor cleverly skirted when he was asked during a public service talk show in a local television station), Why did he not and continue to not do anything to stop the construction, despite knowing that it is illegal as it violates certain provisions regarding national heritage since he took office.  If he knew about it, why did he not put a stop to it, petition or ask the courts to intervene, but instead permitted the construction to continue to its present 44 or so floors?

It may be true that the previous mayor is accountable for the permit but the current mayor is equally, if not more, accountable since he did not put a stop to it when all arguments indicate that there is nothing that is preventing him from doing so.  The current mayor claims that at the onset of his term of office, there was a temporary stoppage in the construction because there was supposed to have some anomalies in the whole permit process (or something) but was then permitted to resume when all the requirements had been ironed out.

Just as in the case of Energy Secretary Petilla, the problem should have been addressed at the time of taking office.  To claim now, after almost three years, that something that should have been done three years ago but did nothing about it is inexcusable.  One cannot worm one’s way out of the missed opportunity.  It is not as if the authority concerned is an uneducated person.  These people are supposed to be “experts” in order to have been appointed (in the case of secretary) or elected (in the case of the mayor), therefore they cannot use any alibi to get out of blame.

Anyway, I trust they will find an “amicable” solution but I doubt if they can do what Turkey did — and have the whole thing demolish regardless of the cost.  After all, does our respect and admiration for a national hero have a price?  Can we now be bought, when the price is right?

TaN: Should videos that have already been aired to the public and profited from be considered public domain — as far as viewing is concerned?  It is contradictory and smacks of greed that creative artworks, such as cinema, music, and images, and especially if it has already been profited from and more so if they have been in the public domain for a reasonably significant length of time, it should, by all intents and purposes, be considered common property and anyone and everyone should be able to freely avail of it without cost or compensation.  To try and “squeeze” more profit is just plain greedy.

And to continue with this argument, it can not (or no longer) be considered piracy anymore since it has already been released to the public and has already made a (handsome and tidy) profit.  It is also extremely difficult to control and manage the spread of the material since there is a great probability that there have been copies or replicas that have been made since the public release ergo all efforts to rein in the spread and replication will be futile — even with the assistance of enacted laws and the government.

There should be a limit to the extent in which creative materials made or released to the public for consumption and which have already turned a profit, especially when there is no practical nor doable method or mechanism by which the public can be “persuaded” to pay (again, yet another instance) for something already released to general circulation and has profited from.

It is absolutely greedy for creative property that has already been profited from to be profited again, to be “milked” for every bit of profit that can be squeezed out of it.  This is indeed a good example of greed, for unlike material or physical commodities, creative works can be shared by (limitless) numbers of people.

What has been sold should not be resold anymore— at least, if resold, it should be at junk or intrinsic material value and no more of the so-called added value.  This should be destined for recycling to manufacturers and producers to be made into raw materials for new products and commodities.

In the case of abstract or intellectual commodities, regardless of whether the commodity is physical or abstract, it should be sold only once.  For material goods, reselling would be only under the condition that it shall serve as raw material for new goods and items and resold at its junk or intrinsic material value.

Moreover, goods and products manufactured with recycled or resold materials should be priced at considerably less cost as the cost of extraction from the environment and its preparation to be used as raw material is almost negligible.

But I digress.

Returning to the original issue of videos (and other non-material works), given the argument aforementioned, IP (intellectual property) piracy should be applicable — which I have maintained in earlier TaNs that piracy I do not believe in it, especially when what is being “pirated” has been existing in the public domain before it was “owned or proprietized” and most especially when it deprives the general population of a beneficial need (as differentiated from a mere want) — only when the creative work makes it debut to the public.  But, once introduced or exposed to the public, any consequent replication or reproduction should no longer be considered piracy.

Efforts to go after those who are availing and benefiting from non-payment of the creative work frequently prove to not only be too costly (and not cost-effective) but usually employ the services and resources of the government which would have otherwise been used for things more urgent and purposeful.  Moreover, for as long as the “pirate” is not gaining financially for his own benefit, there should be no qualms regarding its non-payment, especially if the use is for educational or some other non-profit endeavor or activity or utility.

In conclusion, the “prescriptive period” for a particular creative work to bring financial gain to the creator is more than enough and any time beyond the period should put in the public domain and for the common good (and enjoyment of all).

TaN: It is really annoying and insulting to have business, especially Internet ones, to make presumptions and make decisions in our stead.  What I am referring to are online applications that pop up always in the most irritating places (on screen) and always likewise at the most worst possible time.  I think that netizens should unite and come up with a consensus to boycott any and all Internet products and services that are “inconsiderate or have no manners” and try to put themselves in our faces.

I understand that, in order for the Internet to remain free or at least relatively low-cost or affordable to the majority, the (pop-up) ads are a “necessary evil”.  However, a need to fund and finance a free Internet is one thing but to shove them in people’s faces — and some go the extra mile and to the extent of covering up whatever the browser is looking at or viewing and provide no quick and easy Close button or one-click skip mechanism.  Ads can still be eye-catching even if they appear in or as runners at the bottom or top of the screen, not entirely out of view but not right smack in the middle of a viewer’s focus of attention.

Another possibility — and a preferred one — is to have a small box asking if one would like to see what they are offering or selling so the viewer will have the option of opening it for a larger and better view.

Still another possibility would be for the ad to be miniaturized and will be enlarge — not blown up occupy practically the entire screen — when the on-screen (pointing device) pointer passes over it (and I said “passes over”, not just passes beside).

It is very irritating — much like the telemarketers and overly-aggressive sales people who make a pest of themselves — to have some ad block one’s view when one is seriously searching, reading, watching, and/or otherwise concentrating on something.

This is one of the few instances when I agree with the recommendation to “vote with your money” or “hit back where it hurts (the most), at the bottom line or at their pockets”.

TaN: God repeatedly stretches out His hands to help and teach us but we arrogantly and foolishly brush it aside — Proverbs 1:24-33 (Because I have called, and ye refused; ve stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon youThen shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not chose the fear of the Lord: They would none of My counsel: they despised all My reproofTherefore shall they eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devicesFor the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy themBut whoso harkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil) [KJV].

Man, in his empty boastfulness, conveniently forgets the Lord during his times of plenty.  It is only when he comes face to face with the stark reality that he is next to nothing in the vastness of this reality and even much less when set next to the greatness and majesty of the Creator that he realizes, understands, admits, and accepts that he is nothing…without God.

In the end, no one can blame God for not being merciful, loving, and all-knowing.  It is precisely that He is all-knowing that He made countless attempts to warn and teach us: speaking directly through the prophets, leaving the Ten Commandments, and sending His only Begotten Son to suffer, be ridiculed, and crucified, in the hope that we will see, repent, and return to Him.

It is precisely that He is loving that He shared all that He has done with us, who are less than dust in the universe…the universe that we irresponsibly exploited, abused, and destroyed with out environmentally-unsustainable practices and (profit-obsessed) justifications.  It is precisely that He is merciful that He repeatedly forgave and continue to forgive us while we wear down His patience and mercy and that He continuously gives us second, third, fourth, fifth, nth chances and opportunities to mend our ways.

Still, man is blinded by his arrogance and smugness just because he possesses abilities and mental faculties that sets him above the ordinary creatures.  Ill-equipped with most of what other creatures need to cope with existence and survival — i.e., fangs and sharp stabbing bone-crushing teeth, horns, thick hides or fur and armor, size and strength, extra sharp or acute senses, speed or agility, claws and talons, extra layer of insulating and life-sustaining fat, wings or prehensile tails, poisons or chemical defenses, etc.  If we judge survival success using the specially-designed weapons and defensive systems that most creatures have, man would not last a day in the wild.  It is because of our mental faculties that man not only survived but even manage to subdue and exploit all of creation.

However, man went beyond what he is supposed to and “managed” to ravage and devastate nature — actually, to be more accurate, a teensy tiny itsy-bitsy wee speck of all creation since this planet does not even measure to the slightest significance in the vastness of all creation.  Our reach barely goes beyond the gravitational influence of our planet, while 99.99999999% of the universe is still intact and clear beyond the clutches of man.

In his false and illusion of greatness, man has iteratively ignored and foolishly disregarded all the efforts of God to teach and guide us away from the self-destructive temptations and ways of Satan.  In the end, man will have to face the consequences of his foolishness, the bitter fruits of his arrogance, the wrath and justice of the Lord.

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