Post for Sep 24-30 2017 (updated Sep 29)

TaN (update): The principal thorn in (or at the heart of) the issue/s of extrajudicial killings and deaths during (legitimate) police operations is the qualifying directive of Mr Duterte that it is sanctioned by the state to kill people who “nanlaban” while in the process of arresting or in police custody.  The problem here is how “nanlaban” is defined and interpreted by both Mr Duterte, the police operatives, the human rights people, the victim’s kinfolk (and friends), media, and the public.

Nanlaban” is actually a semi vague Filipino term and is subject to biased interpretation, especially during sensitive situations.  Without a clear and definitive description from Mr Duterte, the problem of extrajudicial killings and griefs of the victim’s family will continue.

Nanlaban” ranges from a simple jerking away of the arm or shoulder and pulling back to something as severe as an outright attack or retaliation.  In other words, police operatives can claim “nanlaban” even at the slightest sign of resistance by the suspect or “person of interest”.

Perhaps it is high time a clear-cut definition of exactly (and explicitly) what is “nanlaban“, what presicely constitutes it, and what are its scope and limitations.  Until then, the issue of extrajudicial killings will continue to hound and haunt Mr Duterte and his bloody and brutal campaign to rid his country of illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption and victim body count will continue to rise — or, is it exactly what Mr Duterte wants: To be known as “Berdugo” or Butcher.

TaN (update): In a television broadcast in the evening news on Tuesday (September 26) televising a speech by Mr Duterte, he talked about how his critics and detractors should cease and desist from their incessant “attacks” regarding human rights violations and killings in his sworn campaign against illegal drugs and criminality and focus on the rights of the victims and innocents, as well as the deaths of the police operatives and military, instead.

I must admit that Mr Duterte is correct in the sense that the victims and innocents (or “collateral damage”) have rights too and deserve as much meticulous attention but what Mr Duterte seems to imply is that ONLY the rights of the victims and innocents matter and that those of the “guilty” — which have yet to be proven — and those “nanlaban” have none.  So, whenever the current regime accuses rights advocates of applying “selective criticism” while ignoring others, they should look closely at themselves.  It is a case — as written in the Holy Scriptures (Matthew 7:3-5 and Luke 6:42, KJV), “[3]Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? [4]How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? [5]You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” and “Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.” respectively — and the saying, It is a case of the kettle calling the tea pot black.

Moreover, I agree with Mr Duterte that what the drug lords and drug dealers (and their minions) are doing are despicable and deserving of the severest punishment, they still have rights.  It would appear that Mr Duterte — wittingly or not — is conveniently forgetting or omitting the “human” descriptor in the phrase human rights and merely restricting himself to “rights”.  The drug lords and dealers, no matter how deserving of immediate termination, are still human beings and, as such, still deserve to have their day in court — even if our judicial system is grudgingly and admitably deplorable, still it is the only one there is.

And, because Mr Duterte seems to repeatedly return to his legality — like one of his favorite arguments of “no law against threatening criminals” — he has yet to prove that there is a law declaring suspects (because they have not technically yet been proven to be guilty as they have not yet undergon due process) and even criminals to be non-human.  In this light, by virtue of their being human, are still deserving of human rights.

Moreover, still on the matter of legality, Mr Duterte appears to conveniently forget or ignore the fact that those he publicly “threaten” with violence — like the corrupt officials and those in his list of drug personalities — are yet to be convicted of a crime.  Unless I missed something, is it not that a person becomes a criminal only after being (properly) convicted by the judicial system and not by mere labeling of Mr Duterte?  Is it not that, though the acts of these drug personalities are criminal, it does not follow that the people committing the criminal acts are criminals — just as a person who lies does not necessarily mean s/he is a liar because it is vital and essential that we separate the act from the person, otherwise there would be no need for the crimes of libel and slander.

In ethics, we are taught that we can condemn the act but never the actor for we are in no position to declare anyone as being something.  That is the sole prerogative of the Creator — for it is said and written that God and God alone has the right to judge us.

Finally, inasmuch as I do (reluctantly but admittedly) agree with Mr Duterte on the matter of according attention to victims and not just the violators, I still think that both Mr Duterte and his critics and detractors are both correct.  The problem is that both sides appear to be too focused on the details and not the whole picture — a case of not seeing the forest from the trees — which is their bickering.  Just as I have argued during the martial law years when Mr Marcos and his opponents argue over who will help the poor, NO ONE IS HELPING THE POOR.  They are too focused on their fight and lose sight of what they are supposed to be fighting for.

TaN: It is fundamental in problem-solving that the primary step is to determine the cause of the problem.  Without identifying the cause, it is next to — but not totally — impossible to solve it.  It is “next to” but not totally impossible because there are instances where the solution came about or was arrived by accident.

Many of our commercially successful products in the (global or Western) market were results of accidents.  Take the case of the products: super glue, penicillin, post-it notes, Coca Cola, popsicle to name a few.  They started out as attempts to solve current problems and ended up with something else.

Still, aside from imagination — which is not just critical but essential to problem-solving, because without it we cannot solve problems, and I mean CANNOT — foresight and an analytical mind is needed.  Foresight is needed to see opportunity into the future whereas analysis is for complete understanding of how to take advantage of and to ensure that whatever was (accidentally or intentionally) produced or chanced upon can be replicated and utilized.  Analysis is likewise needed to discern how events led to the outcome.

A case in point is the age-old time-tested Chinese traditional remedy of burning whatever is the perceived cause of a simple stomach trouble and eating the burnt food to “counter the (positive) ailment with its negative to cancel each other out and restore equilibrium to the body”.  The belief of the negative of something to counter the positive is based on the duality of things (Yin/Yang) in Chinese medicine principle but it is actually the carbon resulting from the burning that is a potent anti-toxin which can neutralize common stomach troubles (usually indigestion or over-eating etc).

In conclusion, the need to trace back and determine the (true) cause of the problem will ensure the problem is truly being addressed and solved and not merely a coincidence.

TaN: I wonder what happens in the minds of “unsocial” animals — i.e., those that do not naturally live together in groups, like tigers (as compared to lions and their pride) — when weaning time comes around (for the mothers). Do they “forget” their offspring?

When the mothers separate from their young, do they undergo a psychological or mental transformation or lose the memory of the relationship with their young?  Do they feel anything during the process of weaning and separation?

In a particular house cat, I observed that the mother leaves the “nest” for longer and longer periods of time and, when she returns, would meet the young not with a cooing motherly sound but with a hissing and threatening one.  Is this to condition the young (and probably itself) for the eventual inevitable separation?

And from what I have observed in the young, they seem unable to understand the change in behavior of the mother and still look forward to the mother’s return.  Do they miss their mother?

TaN: The worst thing one can do, and especially in a Third World country, is ask or follow a physician’s recommendation in matters of health — i.e., pathological, not nutritional (because health has two aspects: nutrition and pathology).  In many cases, even in industrialized or First World countries, especially when Big Pharma is in control or is very influential in government, in (medical) school, and in society in general), the academic medical training is extremely inadequate in nutritional courses and internships.

In fact, percentage-wise, the (allopathic or conventional or mainstream) medical professional field is peppered with physicians and traditionally-trained medical personnel (such as nurses and such) who have not the slightest inkling when it comes to nutritional health (i.e., if they rely solely on what they learned in medical school and had not done any personal research into the matter).  And yet they — particularly the physicians — constantly and unhesitatingly give nutritional advice left and right as if it were penny candy (which is not good because it is sugary and not the good kind).

[Btw, the wrong sugar is being blamed as the culprit in many lifestyle diseases — especially diabetes mellitus — when, in truth, it is supposed to be its “evil” twin.  There are two principal forms of (monosaccharide) sugar: glucose (from sugar cane and sugar beet) and fructose (from fruits but the commercial form is principally from corn).  Sucrose is a disaccharide which means it is a complex sugar or is a combination of two or more monosacharrides.]

Aside from blood-sugar lifestyle diseases, physicians continue to prescribe dangerous and toxic chemical pharmaceuticals despite the warnings and contraindications in the inset or accompanying literature enumerating all the risks and potential health hazards and side effects the pharmaceutical may have or has been determined to induce.  So far, the worst appear to be with vaccines and followed closely by mind-altering drugs such as anti-depressants.

In conclusion, it is reported that more and more new physicians are not taking the Hippocratic oath anymore — despite the fact that the oath is said to have undergone many revisions and alterations that appear to “water it down”.  Moreover, not taking the Hippocratic oath does neither excuse nor exempt physicians from abiding by the principles embodied in the oath.  It is bad enough that physicians have abandoned taking the oath but to go “the extra mile” by completely exclude it from practice is deplorable and an abomination.

TaN: It is very perilous, healthwise, to deal with micronutrients and other elemental food components (like minerals, especially trace minerals) directly — such as vitamins and minerals.  There is always the danger of overdosing and, in commercially packaged food products, are frequently sourced from inorganic — frequently from petroleum — origins.  It is always best to deal with such nutrients the way nature intends it — at the macro level and as elements or components of whole foods.

This is precisely the reason behind the reports of morbidity due to overdosing, especially in the case of pharmaceuticals.  If nature — or God — had intended for us to take micronutrients directly, it would have been made available in such states naturally.  A case in point is fructose, which is the sugar found in fruits.  Since fructose comes from fruits and fruits are supposed to be very healthy, why is it that HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) is at the core of the diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, osteoporosis, and cancer controversies, just to name a few and the most significant.

How is it that something that is supposed to be beneficial is so “unhealthy”?  It is precisely that for the reason that it is detrimental in high concentrated doses that nature — or God — placed it in fruits, where it is taken along with the other components of fruits that ensure fructose’s detrimental effects will be in check (i.e., the fiber in fruits).  This is a good case of “a little is good but more may no longer be so” and not “some is good so more is better”.

And this is exactly the case with pharmaceutical mishaps and tragedies, where people overdose because chemicals (already highly toxic in small quantities) are taken in large doses — due to various (iatrogenic) reasons, such as erroneous instructions, erroneous dosage amount, erroneous compliance, erroneous medication prescribed, erroneous or misreading the prescription, erroneous diagnosis, just to name a few but all with the same cause (of being mistakes).

The most dangerous problem with concentrated isolated chemicals is that one can easily overdose since they are always in tiny minute amounts and one cannot over-consume, not like whole foods which have loads of fiber and other stuff besides the micronutrients that one is after.  This is very similar, although much less dangerous but nevertheless never to under-estimate danger, the case with juicing — where there have been cases when people turn yellow or orange all over due to over-consumption of juiced carrots.

Moreover, micronutrients are beneficial and even vital but in small quantities.  In huge doses, some (like vitamin A but not necessarily beta carotene, the precursor of vitamin A) have been known to cause unhealthy side effects like cancer.

It is always best to consume food as nature — or God — intended.  Let us neither be too hasty nor too arrogant as to think of ourselves are the epitome of intelligence — but certainly not wisdom — or the pinnacle of evolution.  This is a joke and a bad and very dangerous one.

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