Post for Mar 11-17 2018 (updated Mar 23)

TaN (update): The Philippine Department of Energy announced that the power reserves for this summer is very thin and, if demand or consumption continues to increase, could result in power outages.  Without explaining the cause or reason, I surmise that one of the principal reasons is the continued emphasis (and patronage of the consuming public) to start purchasing and using electric vehicles (aside from the increased both the continued usage and uptick in the sales of power-hungry consumable electronics) in the government’s “irresponsible” — because it was not well thought out and just gave in to the relentless push of vested interest groups (with huge profits to gain) using climate change as a bogeyman to goad the public into the whole scheme.

In truth, the shift to electric vehicles (from ICEs or internal combustion engines) should not be started without a sustainable renewable energy infrastructure — i.e., from power generation to transmission to distribution to available and easily accessible and affordable convenience outlets, much like the fuel stations of fossil fuels.  With the power demand already expected to rise dramatically due to the oncoming summer season, it is unwise to push for the shift — mainly through the public utility vehicle modernization program of the government.  The reason behind my argument is that because electric vehicles, just like the ICEs, needs to be fuel to be replenished, when the power banks of electric vehicles run low or out, where do you think they will recharge?  They will compete with the current residential, commercial, and industrial consumers because there is no existing viable (and additional) power being brought into the grid.

My qualification of “renewable” (in the immediately preceding paragraph) is because, unless it is renewable, there is no TRUE solution to address the so-called urgent issue of climate change.  I reiterate my previous TaNs: By merely substituting or replacing fossil-fuel burning vehicles with electric vehicles, we are not solving the problem of the burning of fossil fuels that ups global warming but only adding one more step in the process.  The electricity that electric vehicles consume to recharge still comes from the fossil fuel power grid.  True solutions to addressing climate change and global warming can come only from a truly and significantly sustainable RENEWABLE energy infrastructure otherwise we are just adding another step in the current process of power generation.

Moreover, there are so many breakthroughs in renewable energy technology that I fail to comprehend why none of them has yet reached the market — as if I do not know or cannot speculate…it is all about the money!

TaN (update): Contrary to what his allies, underlings, trolls, stooges, and lapdogs say regarding Mr Duterte being brave and is known to face any kind of peril, he is actually cunning, calculating, technical, and pragmatic, aside from being (selectively) gender-biased and has a deep-seated fear of being wrong or branded as bad.  The proof are in his actions (as against his pronouncements) — such as not wanting to engage China in a war because we can never win or making pronouncements then taking them back or later claiming that it was a joke or using the letter instead of the spirit of the law (especially in eluding guilt and responsibility) or publicly hurling insults and expletives and gutter language at people he knows will or cannot “fight back”.  He will pick a fight only when he knows he has the advantage, otherwise he bides his time or has his “henchmen” do the dirty work (then use his knowledge of the law and authority of his office to pardon or exonerate the culprits of responsibility and liability).

In fact, the admission by Mr Duterte of not wanting (read: fearing) to engage China in a war he has no chance of winning is what is giving China the “courage, audacity and arrogance” to do as it pleases in (what is) clearly Philippine territorial waters — which is precisely what China has been doing all along (i.e., building up artificial islands capable of accommodating and supporting military facilities and installations) to extend its military reach and thus project its economic, political, and global sphere of influence and power.

Cunning because he develops “creative” ways to outsmart his detractors, critics, political opponents or rivals or competitors, and potential threats in anticipation to or of what may arise when he implements his plans and schemes.
Calculating because explores and takes into consideration all possibilities when he makes decisions, ensuring that he will have a way out of predicaments and snags when things fall through.
Technical because of his penchant to always take the letter of the law and the technicalities to get out of tight situations, especially when facing embarrassment or liabilities.
Pragmatic because he tends to go for practicality rather than the ideal or what should be, like when he decides not to challenge a neighboring giant to open conflict and even choose to lawyer for them even when it is clear that the other party is in the wrong and he is disadvantaged.
Gender-biased because of his constant and consistent “attacks” on women who have their own stands and express their sentiments (which happen to run counter to his or has bruised his ego).
Fear of being wrong and bad manifests through intolerance of dissenting opinions and views and denials.  Using every means thinkable, he frequently bad-mouths and resorts to insults and put-downs because of an inferiority complex which is often accompanied by bullying tendencies.  Empty boasts and off-color jokes and anecdotes are likewise other manners of expressing one’s insecurities and self-doubts.

In psychology, overcompensation is a common behavior of people with (low) self-esteem issues.  By outwardly projecting violence or threats of violence and bullying others, such personalities feel a sense of comfort, security, and self-assurance and dispel self-doubt and fears.

In addition, over-inflation of ego is likewise another common behavior — as evidenced in his early pronouncements when he boasted of being a mere average (law) student and yet he now is president and have so many brilliant and well-educated people under him.

In conclusion and though not in topic, what Mr Duterte did — i.e., withdrawing the Philippines from the Rome Statute and justifying it with flimsy and obviously self-serving personal but flawed and lame excuses such as not published in the Official Gazette and in the name of the country.  Come on, give me a break.  Puh-leeeeeeeease!  Spare me and give me some credit.  What do you take me for?

TaN (update): In (probably) last hearing of the Philippine Senate on the Dengvaxia issue — today being March 13 (Tuesday) — I would like to bring up another issue: to the best of my knowledge, it would appear that Dengvaxia is the first and only vaccine that requires the patient to have experienced (and survived) a bout of dengue prior to the vaccination.  It is really unusual that there should be this requirement of a prerequisite before the application of the vaccine.

The precondition of the necessity to have gone through dengue before a patient can receive the Dengvaxia vaccine is highly unprecedented.  It is not the case with all other vaccines, so what makes Dengvaxia different?  This question has not been asked, let alone been properly and satisfactorily answered.

The prerequisite of having gone through a bout of dengue reeks of an escape condition for when the dengue virus will already have prior experience and waiting antibodies ready to deal with the dengue virus — so that the vaccine will appear to be effective and protective.

In conclusion, when Sanofi consulted several dengue experts, it was not revealed whether the experts had any conflict of interest — i.e., if they had any vested interest in giving a favorable recommendation.

TaN: Nothing eaten cooked (i.e., heated because marinating, for example certain fish or vegetables in vinegar otherwise known as pickling may likewise be referred to as cooking) cannot be eaten uncooked — with a few exceptions like taro (which contains a toxin that is broken down by heat), certain species of cassava, and a few more others.  In many instances, exposure to heat only makes it more palatable or “familiar” or tastier or “more presentable or less repulsive or unsightly” to a person’s food perception.

However, it is slowly but steadily (though grudgingly) being shown and proven that heating foods — to extremely or at least very high temperatures (i.e., above 120° C or 248° F, because wet-cooking needs a maximum of only 100°C or so at which is boiling whereas dry-cooking needs well over 300°F or 148.89°C or usually rounded to 150°C) — turns normally nutritious and healthy foods into toxic and carcinogenic stuff, like starch into acrylamide and protein into nitrosamines and nitrosamides).  And then there is the oxidation of oil and fat at high temperatures which makes any healthy lipid bad (with exceptions to certain saturated fats such as coconut oil which can withstand high temperatures repeatedly and reportedly can nutritionally be re-heated for up to 10 times).

In any case, healthy eating is (foolishly but dangerously) being pushed globally by (pseudo) experts and celebrities as eating the correct foods (particularly super foods, although there are no such things as super foods) when, in truth, any and every food is good and healthy — notwithstanding the manner in which the foods are grown (for plants) or fed (for animals).  It is the manner in which the foods are prepared and eaten that determines whether they will be healthy (and nutritious — because healthy does not necessarily mean they are nutritious and I will explain hereinafter) or not.

This fits the saying, A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

As to the aforementioned issue of healthy foods not necessarily being nutritious, for me, healthy means possessing the potential to provide health or well being whereas nutritious means actually benefiting from it being healthy.  To elaborate, when we eat healthy food, if our body (specifically the digestive system) is not able to utilize the food — i.e., recognize and properly process and assimilate the nutrients into the blood — it might as well not be healthy nor eaten.

To explain further, let us say that we eat a fried or scrambled egg then have our cholesterol level checked.  The test will reveal that blood serum cholesterol will be elevated.  However, if we eat a raw egg or a soft-boiled egg, our blood serum cholesterol will be the same or low.  The reason for this is that our digestive system recognizes the (raw) egg as food and will readily bio-assimilate it, whereas the fried or scrambled egg will not be recognized and accepted and will most likely cause an inflammatory response — in the form of elevated blood serum cholesterol.

The increase presence of blood serum cholesterol, however, did not come from the fried or scrambled egg but from our own liver.  Our body is not designed to take in dietary cholesterol.  In fact, it has been determined that 80-90 percent of our blood serum cholesterol are produced internally and a mere 10-15 percent is absorbed from food.

Cholesterol is a very important fundamental or principal “raw” material of our body. It is used in the production of numerous substances our body needs — like antibodies of the immune system, platelets and other tissue repairing components, digestive enzymes, and many more.  When food is subjected to high heat, as in frying, the chemical properties and profile of the food is completely changed — in the egg, the evidence is clear when you see the normally translucent albumin or egg white become opaque white or even turns crispy brown — and makes the food “unrecognizable” to the body (as food).  Instead, it will be treated as a foreign invading threat and, as a response, the body releases cholesterol from the liver to be used to manufacture antibodies to address the “imminent danger”.  And this is why blood serum cholesterol is elevated.

Another way of explaining the “phenomenon” is that there are natural (digestive) enzymes in the raw egg, aside from the fact that raw eggs are naturally-occurring and therefore recognized as food.  When food is taken in naturally (i.e., as raw or natural as possible), it will recognized and readily accepted by the body.  Moreover, all living things have to “eat” (food) and all food from living sources will have inherent or produce its own digesting substances or capabilities.

Like anything else, digestive enzymes have a maximum tolerance threshold before it breaks down and temperatures above 40 degrees C is the starting point.  Different enzymes have different levels or degrees of tolerance or resistance to heat.  However, all break down upon exceeding 120 degrees C.  Frying and other forms of dry-cooking need a minimum of 150 degrees C to be able to “cook”.

With raw or unheated foods, the inherent or native digestive enzymes are intact so our body simply uses these enzymes for the food to self-digest.  There is no need to call on the liver and pancreas to produce cholesterol to digestive enzymes.  It is this need to manufacture digestive enzymes — because the food cannot self-digest as its natural enzymes have been broken down in the high heat — which is the principal reason why our blood serum cholesterol is frequently elevated, especially after a meal (unless a large portion of the meal is raw, as in 70-80 percent raw).

TaN: The growing use of words different, especially if very far, from the actual or original (dictionary) definition is getting out of hand and should be reigned in.  It is getting more and more people in trouble due to misunderstanding and the double-meaning is being used to “innocently” insinuating something in order to maliciously insult but claiming otherwise.

It is one thing to have idiomatic expressions but it is entirely different when existing such expressions are (unilaterally) changed to a different connotation in order to define something else to elude or hide the intended meaning or message — as some kind of covert or occult or unconventional coded lingo exclusive to a chosen few or only to those in the know.

This is most prevalent among politicians, entertainers and celebrities (who rely on scandal and gossip for their popularity and wealth), and criminals, as well as “criminals pretending to be upright people and even nationalists”.  Especially among the underworld figures, idiomatic expressions that can easily be interpreted in another way are among the favorite utterances so that, should there be witnesses or incriminating statements that may be used against them, they can always claim “innocence” and say that their conscience is clear.

It is also a favorite among law enforcers and members of the criminal justice system who skirt their guilt by using the letter of the law instead of the spirit — like when they say that they only told their henchmen to take care of somebody and not kill him/her (a matter of semantics).  Moreover, even among the rest of the general population who may not have criminal tendencies or motives, like those in entertainment or show business who rely on controversies to remain popular by making ambiguous statements and self-serving press releases or conferences in order to create an opportunity to be “misquoted” thus stay “relevant or in the limelight”.  Show business is notorious for manufacturing phrases and terms that have more than one meaning in order to have an “escape” and claim to be mis-interpreted.

In any case, this phenomenon of idiomatic expressions and words with double or multiple meanings is already making communication and understanding (others) complicated enough without having to up the ante by “re-purposing” them for other more nefarious and unscrupulous motives or agenda.

TaN: In the commercial regarding a germicidal soap, it boasted of being able to kill 99.7% of all known germs.  What exactly does “99.7% of all known germs” mean?  Does it refer to the quantitative or qualitative aspect — in other words, is it 99.7% of all the germs it comes in contact with or 99.7% of all the germs that we have identified?

To elaborate…suppose in a square inch of skin there are 100 different species of germs and the population count is 100,000 individuals.  Further suppose that 99.7% of those germs have a total population count of 10,000 individuals.  So, does the phrase mean that of the 100,000 germs, only 10,000 will be killed or that 99,700 of the 100,000 germs will be killed?

Moreover, when they refer to germs, what exactly do they mean because “germs” is a generic term to loosely refer to any microorganism (or an organism too small for the naked eye to see without assistance of a microscope or visually enlarging device).  It is important to remember and understand that viruses are also considered as germs but they are not living — because they do not possess all the qualities that we reserve for only for certain groupings of molecules and compounds — and viruses cannot be killed since they are not considered living.

So, what about the viruses among the germs?  Are they included in the claim of 99/7% mortality — because, if so, then the commercial will be liable for mis-representation or making false claims.

TaN: It is very disconcerting and alarming to have people in authority, especially those with backgrounds or (sufficient) knowledge in jurisprudence and all the way to the top of the government such as the chief executive, to skirt criminal liability and ethical responsibility and exploit the loopholes or flaws in the law to achieve “unlawful” objectives.  As I reiterate from past TaNs regarding the forewarning in the Holy Scriptures where it admonishes us to observe the spirit of the law (which gives life) instead of the letter of the law (which brings death).

One should be apprehensive and alert when people in authority say that there is nothing in the law that criminalizes the killing of criminals (conveniently forgetting that to justify or be guiltless of killing a criminal, first it must be proven that the victim was a criminal and this means undergoing due process and not unilaterally) or that human rights are violated (left and right) for the sake or in the name of the country and the victims.

It has been said that, “When leaders talk of peace, be prepared for war.”  Furthermore, it has likewise been said that, “When elephants clash, it is the ants that suffer.”

Aside from being dangerous, taking the literal interpretation or definition of the law is the means whereby people with ulterior motives and hidden agenda to elude criminal liability and/or moral responsibility.  They can always hide behind the imperfections of the law and even literally “get away with murder”.  In addition, it is disheartening that the judicial system, which is or should be the vanguard against abuse or mis-interpretation of the law, become complicit to the injustice being perpetuated by the criminally-motivated when they likewise fall prey to taking the letter of the law, arguing that it is what is written and neglecting the fact that they can always go to the rationale behind the crafting of a law or even go to the extent of conferring and consulting the very authors of the law (what they really meant or intended the particular law to achieve or accomplish).

It is even more disturbing and alarming to realize that the (general) population are apathetic to the transgressions of the law by people who are supposed to be the very people responsible for upholding justice and what is moral through proper interpretation and enforcement of enacted laws and policies.

In conclusion, as the saying goes, all that is needed for evil to triumph is for all good men to do nothing — to let evil take over and have the run of the place.

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