Post for Feb 11-17 2018 (updated Feb 17)

TaN (update): In the issue regarding the environmental situation of the beaches of Boracay, Mr Duterte should fire whoever is the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) official in charge of issuing permits the Boracay establishments as well as the local government units that are responsible for overseeing or with jurisdiction to the said area.  Mr Duterte should hold whoever it is accountable since the situation should not have reached levels where it has to be plastered across the media and be brought to his (Mr Duterte’s) attention.

Moreover, because the problem with large populations with a low incidence of maturity among the people is that it is a gargantuan task for government to keep track of everything, especially when it comes to enforcing government policies and regulations and the law.  A good way to mitigate the ;problem is to have the people organized into associations that will have, as part of their function, to police their own ranks to ensure compliance with law and regulations.  This means that the responsible organization will have to assist and augment the government’s monitoring to ensure compliance.

To illustrate, let the commercial establishments in Boracay police their own members and no business will be permitted to be established without belonging to a particular accredited organization in the industry.  The concerned organization will be held accountable for the compliance and discipline of its members.  In this manner, should a particular commercial establishment be found to violate (existing) regulations or policies, the organization in which it belongs to will have to answer, as well as the local government unit and whichever other government unit or agency that has direct bearing on the violation.

So, if, say, a resort or restaurant in the Boracay is found to be (guilty of) dumping raw sewage into the environment, the organization the resort or restaurant belongs to will have to take action.  Moreover, should it prove too costly for an individual commercial establishment to set up a waste treatment facility, the organization can always set up a common facility for all members to use and charge regular maintenance dues.

Finally, a one-strike policy can be enforced for such violations and the offending or guilty party (commercial establishment) will be closed and the responsible person be barred from putting up another business.  This is draconian but it is the only way that I can think of to make sure things like these will not recur.

TaN (update): Upon reading today’s (February 11) article in the hardcopy of The Philippine STAR, titled “SC decision on ML extension creates ground for dictatorship” by a certain Evelyn Macairan, it dawned on me that another “similarity” between the current Duterte administration and the pre-martial law Marcos one is that both first ensured “control” over the armed services (i.e., military and police) by “buying” their loyalty.

In the case of Mr Marcos, he pampered the military with benefits and promotions and appointments and lavished upon them many perks and overlooked many atrocities and anomalies and brutalities.  Meanwhile, Mr Duterte did it by increasing (doubling) the salaries, aside from providing and upgrading them with more modern weapons and clothing and housing (which is owed them anyway) as well as also giving his “unconditional” support in whatever misdeeds they commit in obedience to his program to save his country (unless media gets a wind of it and public clamor proves to be much to ignore or pooh-pooh away).

At first, the increase in salary is long-overdue so I saw it as but deserving and genuine concern for the plight of the armed services — who lay down their very lives for a paltry sum and benefits that are not really reflective of the true value of their sacrifice.

On the surface and if you are not really critically thinking, you can easily be hoodwinked into believing all the pronouncements and show being heaped on the public but if you take a seat back and really do some deep pondering into it, variant similarities emerge you begin to see the light.

But don’t get me wrong, I admit and agree that many of Mr Duterte’s programs are well-intended and deserving and much-delayed and truly benefits the country.  However, what is being contested — and I reiterate — is the manner in which these programs and well-intentions are being carried out.  There are always numerous ways of doing things but there is (always) only one correct way.

Suffice it to say, the manner in which Mr Duterte chose to do it is not the correct one.  It is for this very reason why the end of the world and Judgment Day is taking so long.

Nothing good comes from haste.  The first lesson in the Holy Scriptures is patience — God created everything in SIX DAYS although He could have done it in the snap of His fingers.  The reason?  Things of value take time.  I always use this analogy: If you want diamonds, you need tremendous pressure (our sacrifices and obedience to God’s word) and a long time but if you are in a hurry and want it now, there is always glass (puwit ng baso or the bottom or base of a glass tumbler).

TaN: I am convinced that there is a common “language” among the same species and a universal “language” for all creatures and a single media — via some sort of telepathy.  How else can one explain how two people of very different cultures and speaking extremely unique languages somehow eventually, through constant, consistent, purposeful, and systematic and determined interactive attempts, establish an understanding.

It is easy to understand or see how the French, Spanish, German, and Italian people can communicate — because their root language is Latin — so there are bound to be similarities.  However, for a French or German to understand and communicate with a Japanese or Chinese or an Arab is more challenging and would require quite a stretch of imagination and patience.  Not only are the language different but the way of writing is vastly dissimilar — what with the use of characters that express or represent entire ideas and concepts instead of just simple symbols that are used to construct queues to form words and thoughts.

I believe that as we try to establish some sort of rapport with another in a different or unfamiliar language or medium of communication, we (somehow) telepathically send out certain brain waves to each other and these brain waves have universality — just like in newborns and parents, especially the mother — which initiates some form of understanding thus enabling communication.  Perhaps these are the so-called “bonds” that we refer to (as in parent-child bond, sibling bond, friendship bond, and all the rest).  There is somehow some kind of universal understanding that transcends the limitations and restrictions of the physical.

There are many things, aside from those that are obvious to our senses and logic, that defy reasoning and can only be explained by faith in the unseen.  Perhaps, it is what is referred to in the Holy Scriptures where it mentions that, though He is unseen and beyond our temporal senses, He has left many signs of His power, His majesty, His presence everywhere.  It is all a matter of know where and how to look.  Those who deny it will never find it.

This universality of a common “language” (among living things) is one of those subtle yet glaring evidences that testify to the glory and creativity and wisdom of the Creator.  It defies counter-arguments against its existence because the contrary is simply impossible or unacceptable.

If one really give it deep and serious thought, one would “rationalize” that there has to be some kind of deeper and more rudimentary consciousness in our perception and interpretation of the (physical) world — perhaps we are able to send out mental images of what we would like to express and communicate and this image is somehow similar to the one in the recipient’s mind so s/he is able to put one and one together and make the association.

I have frequently pondered the instances in movies and documentaries where people of very different cultures and language make the first encounter and try painstakingly to introduce themselves.  It would be interesting to read the notes of early missionaries and explorers when they first meet up with their community or subjects.

TaN: Mountains can be leveled; rivers can be channeled; the hardest of all is to change the ways of man (Chinese proverb).  This illustrates perfectly the situation when man is so convinced about something that s/he literally ignores everything else — even the most blatant and obvious truth or reasoning.

Ever since Jesus resurrection and returned to His Father, God has ceased all direct contact and communication with man.  He has done all He could — sending prophets, leaving Scriptures, bequeathing to us His apostles, and even sending His Only Begotten Son.  There is no excuse for us not to hear Him and heed His words.  And there is nothing left to be done.  It is all up to us.

Moreover, as some sort of a rejoinder to previous TaNs, (today’s) miracles — even during Jesus’ stay with us — are repeated ever so often to us that they are due to strong belief.  It is because of our extreme faith that miracles happen (to us).  This is the most apt proof when Jesus said that (quoted in both the Book of Matthew and of Luke), And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you” (Luke 17:6 KJV,http://biblehub.com/luke/17-6.htm) or “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20 KJV,http://biblehub.com/matthew/17-20.htm).

It is precisely our faith — and not so much as God’s (direct) handiwork — that we perform miracles.  Part of the purpose of Jesus coming to us is to show us that what He can do, we can likewise do.  He did not come to us to flaunt His Godhead.

This is exactly what happens — as I hear testimonies, especially during the Feast of the Nazarene in Quiapo — that the devotees’ firm and extreme conviction and belief produced “miracles” and they attribute it to the wooden idol image.  This is absurd for, as argued in the Holy Scriptures, how can an inanimate object perform such wondrous deeds.

The only concern I have is from whom the miraculous cures and events came from because I seriously doubt if it came from God, much less the wooden object the devotees so revere and worship.  This incorrect devotion only reinforces the idolatry that they are guilty of and their public pronouncement draws in more and more “victims” — leading more sheep to the slaughter.

In any case, for many, all that matters is that their hopes and aspirations were answered (and sickness cured) without so much as thinking from whence it came and if there are strings attached, because if it comes from the devil, there are many strings attached and the ultimate is the immortal soul.

TaN: Examining more closely and honestly the works of Jesus Christ (as written in the Holy Scriptures), it would appear that He only did three miracles — the (acknowledged) first one being changing of water into wine during the wedding feast, the second is the raising of Lazarus (from the dead), and last is His own resurrection.

All the other miracles attributed to Him was never owned by Him.  He never took credit for them.  Every time the sick thanked Him for healing them, He always answered that (and I paraphrase), “It is your faith that has healed you” — even the noted centurion who rode far to beseech Him to heal his favorite slave who had been taken ill.

It is likewise for the same reason that not all who pleaded to be healed by Him were healed.  Since healing is dependent on how much their faith is, those who rely on Jesus to heal them and not their faith in God are not healed.  This likewise implies that the presence of Jesus (or God) is not significant to the healing process.  The intensity of our faith is all that is required.

This, however, does not implied nor mean that God is irrelevant for our faith must be anchored in God.  Faith, in itself, has no meaning.  Faith needs something or someone to focus on and, as can repeatedly be witnessed, faith in inanimate objects do not really work — should healing take place, it is either that there was never really any sickness or the devil is capitalizing on the situation to push his agenda of leading us as far away from God has he can and idolatry is a very good means (First Commandment: I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before me).  Remember, the devil can perform miracles as well.  “Miraculous events” are not the sole province of God, just as it is said that churches and other such stone edifices do not keep the devil away and that even the devil can quote Scriptures.

Performing “miracles” in the name of idols is Satan’s way of deceiving us into believing that it is God’s work and thus leading us further away from God — even if we mistakenly thank God for the “miracle”.  Only faith is God are there true miracles.  There are no such things as intercessors and intermediaries and whatever you can conjure up.  Remember, it is wrong to attribute to God human frailties such as the use of padrinos and go-betweens.  There is but one who truly has the ear of God (the Father) and that is His Only Begotten Son (Jesus); so if you really must need someone to focus on, it is Jesus (and not any facsimile of Him).

TaN: With all these news regarding advancements in technology, especially in robotics and automation and in drone technology, I just realized that what we refer to as inventions and innovations and advancements and progress and development are actually man merely replicating what nature (or God) has done and been doing for the past millennia — or merely reinventing the wheel — from electricity and electric batteries (electric eels and catfish et al) to photocells (leaves) to flight to rebreathers (aqualungs) to plastics and many, many more and, as of the post in Natural News (URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-01-05-scientists-have-created-robots-that-have-rib-cages-flexible-spines-and-can-sweat.html) titled “Scientists have created robots that have rib cages, flexible spines, and can SWEAT” by a certain Earl Garcia, the title explains itself.

In any case, all these so-called advancements are merely our efforts to replicate what nature has done and been doing since time immemorial.  In fact, there remains a multitude of other “advancements” that still have not be made.

Moreover, most of our advancements are not real or substantial advancements.  For me, advancements should benefit the common good, they should be made available to man universally and at the least or no cost.  In addition, these advancements should be meaningful and not trivial or superfluous.

One good case is calling the use of spoon and fork over the use of mere hands in eating as advancement.  We are merely extending the hand with utensils but we still bring food to our mouths.  Advancement would be not using our hands and we levitate the food or even do away with eating all together.  That would be advancement.

We always like to think too highly of ourselves and our “achievements”.  It is as if what we “create” has not yet been done — which is what creation means…something out of nothing.  As the saying goes, God creates while man merely re-arranges.

This reminds of the anecdote I heard many years ago regarding man’s ultimate arrogance.  It seems that man has reached the point where we can also “create” living things out of the non-living so there was a global consensus to send someone to inform God that we no longer need Him (because we can now likewise do what He can do).  As the designated individual spoke to God and explained the situation, God said: “I understand.  But just to humor Me, let us have one last contest.  Let us create a man.”  Our agent agreed so God proceeded to fashion man our of clay and breathe life into it.  As our agent prepared to do the same, he began to fashion a man from clay but, as he was going so, God interrupted him and said, “Wait a minute.  You go and make your own clay.  You are using my clay.”

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