Post for Jan 28-Feb 3 2018 (updated Jan 30; 2nd update Feb 1)

TaN (2nd update): In today’s (January 31) topic on broadcast Channel 11 with Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Fiel Garcia regarding the proposed amendment to the divorce bill in the Philippines is long overdue.  Though I leave the details and nitty gritty of the process to the experts, I would like talk about the aftermath because I have some concerns and reservations — note: I have not had the opportunity to take a gander at the specifications of the bill.

In any case, my concern are the aftermath effects or ramifications with respect to children, re-marriage, and division of property.  Let us go through these…

For children, since they are innocent parties (i.e., they have no part whatsoever in the decisions and consequences of the decisions and deeds that the couple made) but merely results, they should enjoy maximum protection and benefit both legally and morally.  Joint custody must prevail and should not be an option (even if there are minors which the family code provides must be under the care of the mother).  If you have no intention or plans to have joint custody in the event of a dissolution of marriage, do not have children, do not engage in sex.  The pleasure derived from engaging in sex is but a consolation or enticement.  [Believe it or not and whether you accept it or not, sex is not an end in itself but a mere tool to ensure the continuation or propagation of the species.  And using contraceptives under the guise being responsible is just plain self-deluding, self-serving, and pathetic.]  There is no such thing as illegitimate children because people cannot be illegitimate, especially children.  They shall enjoy all rights and privileges entitled to them — although recent developments have questionable “rights” such as no corporal punishments may be inflicted (because I maintain that some degree of corporal punishment may be meted out following certain strict guidelines on how and when such punishments are applicable).

For re-marriage, even in the case of annulment and not just divorce and even in instances of void ab initio, re-marriage should only be permissible in instances where there are no children resulting from the marriage — just as what has been very specifically explained in the Holy Scriptures.  Aside from the obvious subsequent issues regarding genetic complications that may arise, especially when the children are grown, marriage — as the manner in which is practiced in the United States of America and similar countries — is being made a mockery when dissolution of marriage is made so easily and re-marriage is permitted thereafter with no restricting conditions.  With marriage and dissolution being so easily done, especially among the wealthy and influential, people no longer have any respect for the institution.  Marriage is degenerating into an aberration of prostitution and whoredom, only more expensive and legally complicated but otherwise very little difference.  People no longer take marriage seriously and would not think twice before plunging into it.  There is no careful discernment and no serious thought and deep commitment.  Marriage will be seen as merely another life endeavor that is to be experienced then discarded when the thrill or novelty wears off.

For division of property, only conjugal or joint property should be subject to division — i.e., property and wealth prior to the marriage should be left out — unless both spouses agree to include everything.  This will determine whether how serious the spouses are in their decision to get married — whether there was any real love to begin with or merely lust or even childish infatuation.  Moreover, division of property should not stop at the determining of what belongs to whom.  There should also be some mind of a trust fund to be established in cases where there are children to support and bring up.  Expenses for the children will be drawn and funding should come from both parents even after the finality of the separation.  Division of property should not stop at the end of the marriage but continue until such time that the children have reached (the age of) maturity or have become independent of the parents.  In addition, whenever possible, should any or both spouses meet an early demise, support for the children should continue.  The children’s welfare should not suffer just because one or both parents may have passed on. In addition, there should be periodic and regular auditing of the expenses incurred in the child support for unreasonable or extravagant expenditures should not be permitted since what is being ensured is that the children are properly taken cared of and eventually become independent.

In conclusion, I understand the need, especially when people are put at a disadvantage — like when other countries recognize re-marriage after divorce or annulment and we do not — but it must likewise be understood that it is not (entirely) about being disadvantaged (and one’s right to happiness) but the sanctity of the institution of marriage.  By making it (appear) “easy” — to get in and out — marriage is no longer being given the respect and sacredness it deserves.  Moreover, the prohibition of re-marriage when there are children from the marriage is a precautionary measure because, unlike olden times, it is no longer genetically “safe” to inter-marry between and among blood relations up to a certain degree of kinship — a condition known as hemophilia, formerly referred to as blue or royal blood due to the intermarriage in medieval times among relatives to preserve power and blood lines and where blood fails to clot, increases as blood relations get nearer (i.e., vertically along the genealogy).

TaN (update): In today’s (January 30) hearing at the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media aired on Channel 11, I found it not only interesting but also educating.  I had many epiphanies, among them is that
(1) I will take back my initial impression of Sen Pacquiao when he first entered politics (as a member of the House of Representative) and I must admit that he has matured a lot although he still has quite a way to go,
(2) almost everyone brought up many valid and revealing facts and information and recommendations but they (unanimously) missed the most important point — that whatever legislation that may come out of it all that it is but a stop gap, a short-term and immediate and much-needed solution but — the real solution which is to educate the public on the proper and responsible use of digital technology, specifically cyber space; having mature and responsible users of cyber space will be so much easier and (in the long-run) a lot better than continuously fighting a never-ending battle of enacting legislation to keep up with the wrongful use of such a wonderful technological tool, and
(3) cyber space is no different from the traditional and original (Greek) marketplace where, aside from goods and services, ideas and opinions and experiences and information are exchanged except in that it reaches a much wider audience and a lot faster, so it is not accurate to say that cyber space is something new, it is just the next step in the evolution of man’s need for social interaction.

Lastly, there are still numerous issues and topics that must be brought forth but my blog is not designed nor intended to do so.  This is only a TaN (i.e., tidbit and nuggets, so it is limited).  Perhaps, there may be follow-ups some time in the future.

TaN (update): In today’s (January 28) hardcopy of The Philippine STAR, titled “Public should demand MRT fare rollback — Poe” by a certain Marvin Sy, it echoes precisely what I had mentioned in a previous TaN where I argued how wrong it is regarding the “common practice” of certain businesses and agencies (be they government-owned or -controlled) to (be permitted to) hike prices (or fares or toll fees) with the promise or justification that the increase will be used for improvements of goods and services.

Although there are rare moments when the promises or justifications are fulfilled, frequently they are not.  This is most common in the case of the mass rail transit systems.  They always claim that fee increases will go to the improvement of services yet it never happens, and this particular instance with the numerous and consistent incidents with the MRT is exactly vindication of my argument.  It has repeatedly happened that once the fare increased has gone into effect — sure, there may be some initial zarzuelas of activity but this is frequently a ningas cogon and soon disappears — the problems remains and continues.

One of the significant reasons for the public’s frustration with the mass rail transit system is that they feel helpless because, whether they like or not, if management wants to raise toll with no guarantees that the “promises of improvements” will be delivered, there is nothing the public can do, especially when even the government is either behind or in “full” support.

In such situations where public interest is at stake — and especially with a track record of unfulfilled or empty promises or reneging on agreements — increases of this sort should come after the improvements.  Let the corporate or government shell out the expenses from their own budgets first and let the public witness true improvements before increases will be implemented.  Moreover, knowing how clever or creative some of these corporate or government types are, there should be a significant grace period to see if the improvements are truly improvements and not simply window dressing or stop gaps.

In conclusion, Mr Duterte has been boasting of how his administration will finally bring about (true) change and accountability so let us see whether he will put his foot down or in his mouth.

TaN: While watching an animation video of superheroes, one of the characters is a shape-shifter.  However, it dawned on me that the portrayal of a shape-shifter is all wrong.

In the video, the shape-shifter morphed not only his body but likewise everything else on his body, like clothes and accessories and even a cigar and a soda in the hands.  Would the cigar and the soda form part of the shape shifter’s body?  So, they should be able to separate from the body else the body loses bit and pieces of itself.

Moreover, assuming that the bones can just turn flexible and rubbery in an instant, not to mention malleable and pliable as in molding clay or kneading dough, there is still the matter of change in mass — as in transforming from a giant into a midget or from a hefty overweight person into a frail rail-thin little child.

Finally, there was even this case when the Marvel character Mystique shape shifted herself into the form of Wolverine.  How can it be explained that this counterfeit Wolverine likewise was able to acquire the same power and ability of the real Wolverine — of regeneration and the adamantium skeleton?

Really! If it were not for the fact that it is all fantasy and purely for entertainment, there are just too many nonsensical inconsistencies to make it believable.

[One last note: In the case of the Ant-Man, if his strength is retained even after shrinking to ant size, would it likewise follow that his weight would be maintained — since the principle in dividing martial art competitions into weight divisions is because the force of a punch is directly proportional to the weight.  Then how is it that when he jumps to, say, the gun of an assailant, the assailant is still able to wield the gun as if Ant-Man is “weightless”.]

TaN: There is a wise ancient (Chinese) principle regarding nutrition — you eat what you need to fortify, like if you need strong bones, then eat bones (or derivatives from bones such as bone broth).  Moreover, it is preferable that you source it from the nearest “relative” species — like bones from mammals would presumably be more similar as compared with bones from fish so consuming mammalian bone would be more appropriate (or will be assumed to have a more approximate elemental/mineral composition) than fish bones.

So, in order to avoid enriching the already filthy wealthy (like Big Business), it is more prudent to use common sense and get our cue on health and nutrition from nature.  It is like the argument: Why take expensive and rarely bio-assimilable and bio-usable mineral and food commercial supplements (which are mostly or frequently derived from petroleum) for our bones’ calcium needs when we can always eat chalk — since Big Chemicals and corporate science argues that all calcium are the same. Since chalk is calcium (carbonate), would it not be cheaper to eat chalk?  [Nota bene: Big Chemistry does not believe its own science of chiral or stereochemistry.]

The biggest argument I have against the posit of corporate (chemistry) science that all elements are the same is the case of coal and diamonds.  Both are (mostly) carbon yet one is black and (relatively) soft whereas the other is (almost) transparent and the hardest natural known material to man but both have the same chemical composition — and their (physical and chemical) properties are worlds apart). How so now the argument of Big Chemistry?

Among the simplest logic for health, nutrition, and well-being, it is still best to look to nature — instead of to (Big) business.  They are only out to get your money and not really looking after your interests.

TaN: It just occurred to me that purists (as far as health is concerned) who happen to be animal lovers should not feed their pets (or any animal) what is not their natural food — by purist I mean those who advocate and adhere strictly to their belief that nature intended man to be herbivores, shunning animal food sources at all cost including animal products such as eggs.  A case in point is feeding a dog or cat beef or pork since in nature, dogs and cats do not really travel in packs but are solitary as a rule — with some exceptions like the stray or loose or abandoned dogs of urban streets that have learned to live in packs — are neither large nor powerful enough to bring down cows or full grown pigs so the latters’ meat are not their normal fare.

If we want to really be strict about it, purist pet owners should feed their pets what their undomesticated (nearest) counterparts eat — i.e., for cats, it is rodents, birds, small reptiles, and whatever smaller prey they can catch, whereas for dogs, it would be more or less the same but with a larger selection since they are supposed to be bigger so can take down larger prey.  It sounds savage and inhumane to feed cute furry mice, especially if they are still alive, to (pet) cats but that is what nature is.  There is nothing personal about nature.  It is just the way things are.

In fact, the main reason why there are increasingly more pets getting lifestyle diseases — like obesity/overweight and hypertension similar to their human owners, especially very prevalent in Western or industrialized nations where affluence is more common — is because we are feeding them food that is not natural to them.  They eat the same “alien” man-made commercialized food that we do — that is the main culprit for our lifestyle diseases — so it is but natural and expected that our pets will likewise suffer the same lifestyle diseases we are experiencing.  Not only is the food not natural, they are not even healthy but full of chemicals and toxic ingredients — like GMO products (which have repeatedly been proven to be carcinogenic but aggressive propaganda and public relations have been successful in suppressing the truth through intimidation, pay-offs, public opinion manipulation, and all manners of cover-ups and squid tactics and double-speaking).

In less developed and the poorer countries, household pets and domesticated animals do not experience as much lifestyle diseases principally because a large part of the animals’ diet is natural or nearer what nature intended for them.

So, if you have compassion for your pets, be less “humane”.  Feed them what they are supposed to eat — whatever their “wild” counterparts subsist on.

TaN: One of the principal reasons behind the global wealth gap is the uneven and unjust (and impractical) application of deregulating industries. When an industry has been deregulated, inherently and integrally dependent (downstream) industries must likewise be deregulated.

A prime case would be the deregulation of the energy industry while the transport industry remains regulated.  In the Philippines, while the transport fuel sector can move its pricing (practically) at will — using reasons as the movement of global fuel prices and the fluctuating currency exchange rates — the (public) transport sector has to go through the tedious and laborious process of petitioning for fare increases (or decreases) and waiting for approval before any fare adjustment can take place.  So, while the transport sector waits for fare adjustment approval, they have to refuel at the new fuel prices whereas the transport fuel sector is already reaping the benefits of the change in fuel prices.

If the energy sector is deregulated, the (public) transport sector should likewise be deregulated.  It is unfair that the energy sector is already gaining from its price increase and passing it on to the transport sector while the latter has its application for fare increase still pending — and frequently over a long period and may even be rejected or disapproved because by the time the decision is to be made, the energy sector has “decided” to slash its fuel prices thus rendering the request for a transport fare increase moot and conveniently ignoring the fact that all the while the fare increase application is being mulled over the energy sector has already made a “killing” whereas the transport sector gets “nada“.

Now, in order to have some semblance of “sanity”, there should be an established formula for how much the corresponding fare rate adjustment ought to be and a pre-determined (relatively) fixed grace period in which the adjustment will automatically take effect — to avoid possible “see-saw” fluctuations should the fuel prices experience wild and short spasms of global market price fluctuations — and a mechanism to petition for additional adjustments should the automatic adjustment prove to be impractical.

However, the best idea is still that which was implemented during the Marcos-era of the Philippines — the OPSF or oil price stabilization fund.  It was a good idea but there was flaw which the energy sector exploited which made the fund a milking cow.  To ensure a more efficient and transparent implementation of the fund, it should have had a mechanism by which the energy companies must open their books for inspection and audit when the price fluctuates wildly and especially when the interests of the public and government are being compromised or jeopardized.

Other significant reasons behind the global wealth gap are: the indiscriminate and improperly regulated pharmaceutical (and vaccine) industry, the Dodd-Frank and the Glass Steagall Acts (of the United States of America) which should be internationally and universally adopted and properly ad strictly implemented with some refinements and extensions to ensure minimal or no loopholes that can be exploited, and (if there was none then there should be) the universal salary ratio scale where the highest paid should never exceed a certain multiple of the lowest paid just to name a few more.

For the first, it is — or, if not, should be — widely known that the production cost of pharmaceuticals have been calculated to reach as much as a 1.5 MILLION PERCENT mark-up (as was repeated revealed by Dr Gary Null and at least once when he testified before a state medical board hearing).  Moreover, I have heard reports that the alibi of the pharmaceutical companies to justify their their obscene and indecent mark-up is the cost of research but many, if not most, of their research are either from government grants or from tax-deductible academic research grants.  In addition, there have been reports of bio-piracy by pharmaceutical companies, like in India and the Amazon, where traditional folk (and effective) drugs and herbals were patented to monopolize the production, sale, and distribution of what had been freely available to all.

For the second, not only should the financial and banking industry be prevented from engaging in any other enterprise — because they can use the deposited or entrusted cash with them to own or buy-up other businesses. This should be illegal and should even be extended to include those in the media industry — because of the immense influence and power the fourth estate wields over public opinion and the population.  Money entrusted or deposited in financial and banking institutions may be used for investments purposes — otherwise how else can they give interests and other benefits and make a decent profit — but should never be used as collateral or any other sort of financial tool in order to gain control over other non-related industries and businesses.

For the third, (if it is not true then it should be) that the late Chairman Mao had the correct idea to mandate that his salary (being the supposed highest in China) should not be greater than 100 times that of the lowest paid.  It is absurd that the people doing the least amount of work receive the highest salary (even if they are the decision and policy makers) as compared with those doing menial and manual labor.

The problem here is that the “pro rata” categorization is based primarily (and frequently solely) on the financial aspect.  Is not the janitorial service just as important as the board members?  Do you think that the company will run efficient (and not stink) if the janitorial and general (i.e., the toilet and other “dirty” tasks nobody wants) were not doing their part of the organizational jobs?  If there are jobs that are not important to the organization, it should not be there at all.  The fact that there is such a job is because it is essential.  Therefore why should the rank and file receive so much less than the corporate bigwigs?

Moreover, why should retrenchments be done (mostly) among the lowest paid first when it is not their fault that the company is in dire straits?  The lowly laborers and workers were not responsible for making the wrong policy and financial decisions so why should they be the ones to bear the brunt?  Besides, the (unceremonious) sacking of any of the big-salaried executives instantly saves a lot of the financial assets remaining so why not concentrate on them?

Where is the justice there?

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