TaN (update): It has become alarming that the Philippine Constitution has been undergoing repeated revisions and rewriting, making it the most “unstable” Fundamental Charter of any country in the world. It would appear that the Philippines does not know how to amend the Constitution piece meal — or in segments — and, instead, always chooses to open the whole Charter up and making it vulnerable to all sorts of unscrupulous manipulations, machinations, and insertions and inclusions of private interests and agenda.
I am not one to go against the concept of democracy and self-rule but there are societies, cultures, and countries that are not (yet) deserving of self-governance. They simply lack the emotional maturity and preparedness.
Intellectual capability is easy to achieve; it develops naturally with age. However, emotional maturity is an entirely different sort and is not age-dependent — hence the saying, Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
The problem is that democracy is not for everybody. There are societies, cultures, or countries that are better suited for autocratic or authoritarian governance or at least ruled with an iron fist — principally due to the emotional immaturity or the unruliness of a large segment of their population. The emotional maturity of a people can easily be determined by the kind of people they elect into office, the quantity and type of laws enacted and how they are implemented, how the general population reacts or behaves with respect to sports and entertainment and social media, and how they handle justice and human rights, among others.
Moreover, there are instances where benevolent dictatorship is ideal — and the epitome of this is Heaven, where God’s word is law and what He says goes. In Heaven, there is no democracy; we do not vote on issues mainly because there will never be a situation where there will be dissent or contradiction for truth, right, and love shall always be the rule of law — although there is some sort of a caste system or hierarchy: Father, Jesus, man, woman, and angels, respectively.
In conclusion and to return to topic (because it is a “bad” habit of mine that I frequently tend to digress), changing and amending the Fundamental Charter is likewise a sign of instability. It implies that the people are not yet prepared for self-governance and attempts to (re)write a truly reflective and good Basic Law will always be thwarted by vested interests. In addition, true democracy, even republicanism, is a real challenge in states where the population exceeds an ideal size — not to mention that the bureaucracy would be an immense burden on the citizenry, both in terms of taxes and law and order.
TaN (update): I beg to disagree with the headline — assuming it is accurate — in hardcopy of today’s (March 1) The Philippine STAR titled “Koko assures CJ of fair trial“. Without a thorough perusal of the news article, it must be remembered that impeachment is a political process and therefore is not obligated or mandated to observe the rules of court or criminal proceedings.
Bearing this in mind, although it is not impossible and even within the realm of the highly probably, it can be said or guaranteed that the impeachment case of Chief Justice of the (Philippine) Supreme Court Maria Lourdes Sereno will be fair. Likewise, remembering that man, no matter how objective or fair a person may be, s/he is a subjective creature and will forever be subjective.
There will be at least a teeny tiny tinge of subjectivity. Even with court or criminal proceedings and rules, there will still be some degree of subjectivity, no matter how minuscule or infinitesimal.
In any case, assuming that the precedence of public broadcasting of impeachment proceedings in the instance of the late and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, there will be some credible degree of objectivity and fairness since the public will be viewing and following the proceedings.
TaN (update): In the ongoing controversial issue regarding the dengue vaccine in the Philippines and in an interview by tri-media journalist-newscaster Arnold Clavio of GMATV (Greater Manila Area television), a certain clinical pathologist was asked with respect to the seemingly contradictory findings and opinions of the different reports despite the evidence samples were the same, a comment was being elicited as to the accuracy of the reports and if it were possible to reconcile conflicting findings as well as to make a definite and categorical statement.
It must be remembered that, as far as I know and concerned, mathematics is the only exact science. Given this therefore, it is not possible to get a categorical statement regarding the absolute accuracy and validity with respect to the said forensic reports. The best that can be made is to say that there is a convincing preponderance of evidence that inspires a particular conclusion.
Although this should be and is the de facto interpretation or understanding whenever accuracy and certainty is being desired or required, the fact remains that there can be no instance of exactness and precision in most of life.
TaN: As I listened to a video by Mike Adams titled “AMAZING! Scientist translates chemistry into MUSIC (ELEMOICS)” [URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TghTECI5MJo]last year (2017), he mentioned the periodic table (of elements) and how all these make up all the visually physical world that we are familiar with.
As he went on with his lecture, I suddenly realized that, in many instances, it is the specific combination and arrangements of the elements that determine whether it will be beneficial or harmful to us (life). In many cases, simply re-arranging the same elements (with the specific combination) spells all the difference between good and bad (relative to our health and well being). This can readily be attested to by anyone with enough knowledge in chemistry, specifically biochemistry.
Therefore, it is a mistaken notion that an element per se is toxic or beneficial — with a few exceptions such as pure sodium, chlorine, mercury, lead, plutonium, and uranium, to name a few. It all depends on how they are combined with other elements and substances and in what specific molecular arrangement/s. After all, like any other thing in nature, everything in creation — except for man — is amoral and merely possesses the potential for both good and bad. It is all in the mixture and application.
TaN: If I have a malicious and biased mind, I would think that a likely significant reason or factor for the continuous and consistent high ratings in surveys of Mr Duterte is similar to that of the “perpetual” high rating in regimes like North Korea and (mainland) China. Moreover, it has been the characteristic — a character flaw — of Filipinos to always give favorable opinions of the current administration. [I might even hazard to think that it could be a variant or aberration of the so-called Stockholm Syndrome.] Seldom, if ever (as far as I can remember unless my memory is failing me), has there been surveys of the chief executive with the possible exception of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, during his/her incumbency, to have very poor survey ratings.
Another possibility is that the sampling of respondents for the surveys are not truly representative (i.e., a genuine cross-section of the population where political sentiments are more or less equally and proportionately present but have the maturity to be honest or unprejudiced in expressing their views, opinions, and sentiments). At this point, I have to admit (and possibly apologize) if I have made some inappropriate or inaccurate arguments because my knowledge of precisely how the surveys were designed and conducted ergo I should be more cautious regarding my personal impressions.
Moreover, with my limited but adequate knowledge on the laws of probability and of how to ensure a really credible random sampling of respondents, I still doubt if the current techniques and theories in determining the evenness of the distribution of respondent population are (already) reliable enough as to (to some degree) ensure accurate sampling.
Remember that supporters of Mr Duterte who may have initially been rabid fans may have unwittingly experienced the harshness and bitter and permanent effects of his draconian brand of dispensing law and order and justice — as in losing a loved one, be s/he or they were actually guilty or mere “collateral damage” or, as they say, “cost of doing business” — that they would still remain Mr Duterte’s supporters.
I learned in the theory of Ethics of Care that attitudes, sentiments, and behavior (usually) changed when there is some kind of relationship or (emotional or sentimental) attachment involved — that it becomes an entirely different story or situation when we are now talking about being personally involved, like learning of the death of a stranger versus that of a kin. Many are guilty of this. It is easy to justify and be emotionally detached and “feel sympathy” for the misfortune of others but it is very different when it happens to someone dear to us.
Political surveys should be conducted and analyzed carefully because they are very subjective, no matter how careful the survey takers are in designing and ensuring minimally biased questions. Interpretations are especially prejudiced and are always either dismissed because they are negative or unflattering or are praised to high heavens because they are favorable or complimenting. I have yet to learn of anyone who speaks good of survey results that reflect badly on hi/her or vice versa. This is the same as speaking ill of a critic or detractor and lauding friends and allies — which is precisely the reason or objective of the admonition of Jesus when He taught, “Love thy enemies“. As the saying goes, “There is no virtue in loving the lovable” or “It is easy to love the lovable“.
In conclusion, let us stop with the reporting of what political figures and parties and government officials and public personalities opine regarding surveys regarding them. They only a waste of time, news space, and resources, unless they are not self-serving or really contain something meaningful and news worthy.
TaN: It is very irritating and should be illegal for the use of sirens and such devices during non-emergency instances and situations — with the exception of and only for the President and Vice President. This is because it is very annoying to hear sirens (by motorcycle police and barangay and city vehicles escorting funeral entourages). And it is extremely annoying that the sirens are extremely loud and sustained and you are trying to listen to something important (like the news or an interesting television program).
I am particularly referring to the incessant practice in the Philippines either when escorting a funeral entourage or procession to the cemetery or when someone of authority or simply has such a device illegal installed in the vehicle and is stuck in a traffic jam or slow-moving traffic or even law enforcement (like the police) or government officials whose only intention is to get pass the gridlock and not help in solving the situation.
It is not as if the blaring siren is calling out to people to watch the funeral as it passes by because it is somebody important and we are to pay homage or whoever is the fool who feels s/he is so important that vehicles must move out of the way to let him/her pass because his/her time is very precious and s/he is some important person and has to be somewhere for something important.
At least people in other countries are more mature in that they do not need to draw attention to themselves (during the funeral) or that they are so important as to require everybody to clear the way as s/he is passing by. Such juvenile call and need for attention is so lame and pathetic. It only shows that these people did not receive enough love during their childhood years and are now trying to compensate and recuperate whatever attention deficiency they did not get.
Moreover, it is clear that the perpetrator (i.e., the one who is doing the siren or whatever authority-sounding device) that s/he knows what s/he is doing is wrong or illegal when the sounding of the siren or sounding device is not sustained — i.e., it stops and goes or intermittent. When it is official business or has a valid reason, sirens are frequently sustained or continuous. When the siren is turned on and off repeatedly and short bursts, it only means that whoever is the perpetrator knows that s/he is not supposed to be using it on that particular occasion or situation. And these should be reported to the proper authorities for proper action to be taken against them.
As a conclusion, sirens and loud noises during such occasions as funeral processions only show that people are immature and are so hungry for attention that they do anything and everything just to draw people’s attention, even if it causes undue distractions, irritation, and stress.
TaN: It is getting more and more apparent that the Duterte administration’s penchant for considering critical or negative comments, write-ups, feedbacks, and (almost) any information as fake news. It is as if only positive (i.e., truthful, but actually it is redundant to say that news is truthful) news is or can be considered news and not fake. This is very inaccurate, incorrect, and prejudicial.
It is unhealthy not to tolerate, much less welcome, dissenting opinions and views and sentiments — unless we no longer are in a democracy, for it is the very essence of democracy…the free exchange or marketplace of different and even contradicting ideas and views. False or misleading or even intentionally damaging information should be taken (with a grain of salt) although it does not mean that they have to be “swallowed hook, line and sinker”. Remember, the wisdom of the ages: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”
Moreover, when your critics and detractors are “noisy”, they not only telegraph their punches (and intentions) but they likewise tell you where they are. It is when they are silent that you should begin to worry. When your enemies are silent, that is when they are scheming and planning and, unless you have “deep throats”, you may just find yourself betrayed or sold out or trapped. It is wise not to rest too comfortably on one’s laurels for beware of Brutuses in your midst. Some can be sleepers.