TaN: In today’s (October 14) hardcopy issue of The Philippine STAR with the story title “Sara challenges Trillanes to a fight” by a certain Edith Regalado (in page 4), it would appear that it is true what they say about “papa’s girl” and “like father like daughter”. It is sad that when push comes to shove, many of our politicians simply just cannot live up to be responsible adults and degenerate into thugs — who know only one way to resolve issues and that is through physical violence or fisticuffs. They simply cannot handle intellectual and mental exchanges or banters and debates.
It is an age-old ruse of settling issues by people who have met their intellectual match or have been cornered and is desperately trying to dodge the emerging truth or eventual and inevitable defeat. They employ tactics like  diverting or changing the subject,  attacking by raising totally different issues (usually resorting to name-calling, character assassination, absurd and outlandish challenges such as daring the other party to fights or duels), mud-slinging and other similar ways, and  manufacturing lies and stories that will shift public attention and discussion. These are usually used (with consistent and great success) when the general public are not mature and critical thinkers.
A general public who are not mature enough and prone to gossip and rumor-mongering will easily and predictably lap up whatever juicy scandalous topics or issues. And by consistently feeding public opinion with several successive diversionary non-issues, the public attention will be drawn far away enough as to completely lose focus on the original issue.
This is one of those (diversionary) instances — Davao Mayor Sara’s challenge to Sen Trillanes — in an effort to draw attention away from the hot and controversial issue, which is the alleged hidden and yet-to-be-explained (ergo ill-gotten) wealth of Mr Duterte. Aside from this, Mr Duterte’s earlier similar attempts by calling Sen Trillanes “half a man, womanizer” — news article in The Philippine STAR October 5 2017 issue — is another. It was feeble and vain and unsuccessful as Sen Trillanes was too wise and remained focused on the issue at hand.
TaN: The problem with all (or at least many) comic book superhero television series (today) is they are portrayed with ordinary lives and with ordinary people problems — unlike their counterparts in the comic book genre or at least when I used to read them. All that is well and good but it should have dawned upon them — i.e., the superheroes — that they are not really ordinary people and should expect that there will be risks, specifically when it comes to their loved ones. This is the reason for having (secret) alter-egos and keeping secret identities, because of the vulnerability of the loved ones.
Another bone I would like to pick with superheroes (comic book, television, movies, or whatever) is that their ordinary lives — the mundane ones — are seldom, if ever, known. You know, the bath-taking, the toilet, the eating, the financial concerns (like rent, if they do not have a place of their own), the daily social commitments. How about where they get their income for expenses and, if they have some special laboratory or lair or whatever, how do they finance them and get all those unique equipment and gadgets.
At least we know the likes of Oliver Queen, Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Peter Parker, Bartholonew Allen, Tony Stark, Nick Fury (who “evolved” from a WWII caucasian veteran into a black dude, what the heck?!), Reed Richards (and his crew), T’Challa, Natasha Romanov (under the employ of SHIELD), and the others with obvious sources of income (as in wealthy family, media man, forensic scientist, grants, etc). But what about that of Professor Xavier (and his school), Donald Blake (who was originally a crippled medical practitioner but now I do not know), Diana Prince (who was supposed to originally work for the military in the 70s television series but now), and all the others who have or may not have day jobs and have to be absent from work with no apparent excuse? Where do they derive income to sustain themselves daily?
In any case, this TaN is just to fill up the quota of four TaNs per posting.
TaN: The law regarding the limitations of who can be criminally liable — like children below the age of discernment and the elderly beyond a certain age — should have an amendment. There should be an exception under certain conditions, particularly when the perpetrator is aware that his age puts him/her beyond the law.
A case in point will be when an elderly person, say who is 90 years of age, decides to commit a crime because s/he knows the law’s age limitation puts him/her beyond punishment. A good concrete case would be the repeated pronouncement of Mr Duterte that, due to his age, the law cannot put him in prison so he is hell-bent on his bloody and brutal campaign to sow terror and fear among the people — even though the target people are supposed to be only restricted to those who have criminal liabilities and appear not to want to reform.
In this particular instant, this is likewise what is happening among the children who are either used or actual parties to criminal activities. Since they know that the law cannot touch them, they have no compunction to commit misdeeds. This flaw in the legislation should be addressed.
Recently, I heard on television, in a crime news report involving children and minors “in conflict with the law”, that authorities will start making parents and guardians accountable for the misdeeds of minors, especially those that are criminally liable. Well, it is about time but then again, I will have to wait and see. Public pronouncements such as these by authorities are frequently for show and does not have follow-through. Show me first before you make a believer out of me.
TaN: Cognitive decline (and not necessarily forgetfulness) is primarily caused by the decline in neurons and this can be caused by one of the following: (1) neurons dying off (and are not replaced); (2) neurons not being stimulated so they go into a state of lethargy and dormancy; and, (3) no new synapses are being formed. Still another may be due to (extreme) depression which causes the neurons to fail due to suppression of or in their function. Externally stimulated or internally or self-inflicted, depression is a potent and draining force that saps the will which, as one of its manifestations, leads to cognitive failure.
Identifying the reasons behind a symptom means that one can now (effectively and correctly) address the issue/s. Many mistake the symptoms for the cause and this usually results in mistreatment and frequently a reason for the patient to doubt or blame the treatment or the physician. However, should the malady or illness disappear despite the mistreatment, its resolution is (almost always) mere coincidental.
However, the main and biggest problem when properly diagnosing lifestyle diseases is determining the root cause because it takes a long time for lifestyle diseases to develop. So many things have come and gone and it is (literally) impossible to pinpoint the true cause. Sure, there are many corollary or contributory factors but which or what is the trigger?
Moreover, lifestyle diseases have a way of beginning and developing “under the radar” until, by the time one notices it, it is in an advanced stage. A good case of this would be cancer, which allopathic medicine claims takes an average of two decades before it becomes detectable by conventional procedures and tests.
Cognitive failure is another, more especially because many of us tend to deny it and attribute it to advancing age or overwork or information overload. Indeed, cognitive failure is not the same as forgetfulness, which happens to people who are not systematic and well-organized and lose track.
Anyway, what is important is that all — no exceptions — lifestyle diseases can be cured or reversed! It does not make sense that something that was not there before cannot be removed or go back to its previous state; just as it is nonsensical that lifestyle diseases can or will be inherited. It just is not logical.
TaN: One very important reason for developing good habits is that, in our declining years especially when cognitive failure or decline starts creeping in, all that will remain are our habits. Our habits determine whether we will have good, enjoyable, and memorable end-of-life years or not. It also determines how our relatives and friends will be affected.
Imagine if your memory is failing and you are left with just your habits and ingrained behavior still functioning as always. If those habits and reflexes are not “good” — i.e., in sync with those events and situations that keep changing, like fluctuating commuting fares and appointments and new developments — this will spell havoc on your daily routines and chores.
In my experience with my relations who suffer cognitive decline, they become frustrated and depressed because they frequently commit mistakes, mistakes that would not have been otherwise committed had their (short-term) memory still functions properly — because their “normal” lives have become challenges and long-term memory still retains old information that have become obsolete. Moreover, new routines — due to changes over time — are not remembered and they are now experiencing some kind of disconnect with reality and it is worsening their frustration and anxiety.
Old habits that are no longer applicable or should have been superseded or supplanted by better ones keep being done and ending up with wrong or undesired results. New routines that are intended and designed for new situations or conditions are not retained so coping or dealing with events becomes a big issue.
However, had we developed good habits — i.e., good in the sense that they are flexible and have an inherent mechanism or feature that can adapt to new situations on their own — that can automatically adjust to changes in circumstances or conditions with little or no changes which would save a lot of headaches and heartaches and mistakes, such as putting away the day’s newspaper at the end of the day (say, 10PM) instead of immediately when through reading it because you keep forgetting the day’s date and you have to keep referring to the newspaper or as writing things down, especially the important things, lest we forget.
In our declining years, if and when memory fails, all that we are left with are our reflexes and habits so it is critical that the habits be good and flexible. Of course, it will help a lot if there are people who are always around for us and we have a trusting nature — because cognitive decline issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s have been known to become violent against others because they no longer recognize anybody and feel “all alone” in a world that is not getting any better or safer.
And the worst of all is when your bad habits are coupled with or exacerbated by you being obsessive-compulsive.