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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Post for Feb 4-Feb 10 2018 (updated Feb 8,2nd update Feb 9,3rd update Feb 10)

TaN (3rd update): In today’s (February 10) hardcopy of The Philippine STAR, in the article titled “Rody ready for ICC, firing squad if guilty” by Christina Mendez and Edith Regalado, Mr Duterte is reportedly to have repeatedly said that there is no definition of extrajudicial killing to be found anywhere.  He mentioned that there is no definition in the Philippine Constitution.

Well, first of all, just because EJK is not defined in the Constitution does not mean that it is not defined.  If this were the case (everywhere), then all one has to do is not defined some despicable deed and claim defense that it is not defined anywhere so it cannot be a crime therefore one is exonerated or no longer held liable.  This is just being too literal and technical — which is what Mr Duterte has been doing all this time.  With knowledge of the law, he is able to skirt accountability simply because of technicality and, sad to admit, law today is no longer about justice and what is right but technicality (i.e., he who knows the rules get literally get away with murder, as in this case).

Moreover, in another article in the same issue, titled “Justice will catch up with Rody — lawmaker” by a certain Jess Diaz, the said lawmaker, Representative Edcel Lagman from Bicol, quoted several instances where Mr Duterte was said to have what amounts to admissions of his misdeeds.  In fact, Mr Duterte was supposed to have said (and I requote, because it was quoted by Mr Lagman), “Crime against humanityIn the first place, I’d like to be frank with you: are they humansWhat is your definition of a human being?”  Mr Duterte was supposed to have been referring to the drug personalities, specifically the drug lords and drug pushers.

Although it would be nice to have a law or something that can change a human being into a non-human simply because the person did heinous deeds, the reality is it is not so.  No matter how insidious a person may be, that person remains a human being and enjoys all the rights and privileges accorded to all people.

How wonderful it would be if we can just simply redefine a person into a non-person in order that we can do whatever we want with him/her.  But it does not work that way.

It is for this reason that it is written in the Holy Scriptures that (Matthew 19:24, KJV): “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” It is not so much as a rich person because rich people have a lot more “temptations” to entice him away from the righteous path which will lead him into God’s kingdom.  However, today, with so much emphasis on material indulgences and worldly pleasures, the poor are just as easily tempted from the straight and narrow path — what with their cliche and lame excuses for committing crimes and misdeeds, like “I need money to buy medicine for my sick mother/child” or “I stole because of (extreme) poverty”.

Being poor is not a “get-out-of-jail” ticket nor an entitlement to commit criminal acts. But all blame cannot be laid on the poor.  Some are driven to misdeeds because they have no recourse and they are hungry (and not for any other reasons).  Many poor just need a small piece of land where they can use to grow food but most arable or accessible land are privatized and fenced off beyond the reach of the poor who may be industrious and resourceful enough to just simply use it to grow food.

In conclusion and returning to topic, for the benefit of Mr Duterte, extrajudicial killing is simply the taking of a person’s life, regardless of whether guilty or not, without due process — i.e., undergoing arrest, trial, and conviction.  Come on Mr Duterte, even with your repeated proclamation of being an average-grade student, one could easily surmise that “extra” (combined with “judicial”) means “outside of or not within” and “judicial” means the courts and judicial or criminal-justice system and “killing” is killing.  So when we put them all together, “extrajudicial killing” simple means killing without the benefit of the right to a fair and speedy trial.  Mr Duterte, puh-leeease!  Spare me…

TaN (3rd update): In a separate article buried deep inside which I almost missed, titled “Fake cigarette factory found in Bulacan” credited to Mary Grace Padin and Ramon Efren Lazaro in the Nation section on page 17, I would like to point out that, unless the stuff the reporters were referring to were not cigarettes and are being passed off as such, then “fake” would be the proper term to use.  However, perusing through the article, it seems that all the paraphernalia required to make cigarettes were there except that the fake tax stamps.  It would therefore be more apt if the cigarettes were described as “illegally manufactured” or “improperly stamped or marked” or anything but certainly not “fake” because they are really cigarettes.

TaN (2nd update): In the post of Natural News for February 8, the following articles:

(1) “Organic farming found to eliminate plant parasites longer than conventional chemical pesticides” by a certain Earl Garcia [URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-02-08-organic-farming-found-to-eliminate-plant-parasites-longer-than-conventional-chemical-pesticides.html] — This does not surprise me because it is consistent with the philosophy behind TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) and all other non-mainstream or conventional or so-called Western medicine where pharmaceuticals take over the task of combatting disease or sickness instead of inducing or supporting the body’s natural defense (and immune) systems against whatever medical and health adversities it is experiencing.
The problem with conventional/mainstream/Western medicine is that, by doing the work of the body’s defense systems, it prevents or inhibits the latter from keeping in constant practice to fight issues and makes it completely dependent so it will be ignorant of how to address the same issues the next time it happens.  Whereas, for the natural or traditional medicine, since it supports and assists the body’s defense systems, the latter continues to evolve and learn and adapt to new medical and health issues and this not only keeps it in practice and training but retains some kind of a “memory” (in terms of antibodies and remnants of chemical compounds in the aftermath that lingers as reminders) so it will not be so easy for the pathogen to gain a foothold the next time.
As health and medicine, in organic farming, the environment is given support and assistance to address issues (like invasion of alien species or pathogen or increase in specific endemic species that upsets the natural equilibrium of the locality) instead of using (toxic) chemicals that does what should be the job of the natural environment.  The idea is along the same philosophy as in health and medicine where chemical pesticides are the pharmaceuticals.
Chemical pesticides and pharmaceuticals both render the natural ability of the environment and the body, respectively, moot and redundant and makes them entirely dependent on them in the future.  But if left alone or especially with proper support, both the environment and the body have the innate resiliency to recover and return to equilibrium.

(2) “Cell phone radiation exposure found to give rats CANCER” by a certain Isabelle Z [URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-02-08-cell-phone-radiation-exposure-found-to-give-rats-cancer.html] — In this article, there is the argument that with so many studies showing cell phone radiation exposure causing cancer, there has yet to be a case where cancer was the proven cause.  This is because (1) the rats and lab experiments are controlled environments throughout the study whereas people are exposed to countless toxic situations and scenarios which are likewise known causes of cancer so it cannot be precisely be argued that the cell phone radiation is the (principal) cause and (2) that rats and lab experiments involved are a lot smaller than people and the size or mass of the subject definitely impacts on the immediacy or how soon cancer emerges from the exposure — much like the effectivity of medicine is largely dependent on the dosage in relation to the body mass of the patient.

(3) “BRAINWSHED: The goal of media is to poison the minds of the masses with toxic hatred and engineered ‘thought loops’” by a certain Mike Adams [URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-02-08-the-goal-of-the-media-is-to-poison-the-minds-of-the-masses-with-toxic-hatred-thought-loops.html] — This is precisely the reason my insistent and persistent advocacy (reiterated in past TaNs) that, like banks and other financial institutions, mass media should not be involved or otherwise engaged in any other commercial or business endeavors or ventures.  Because mass media is responsible for disseminating information, especially current events, it will be a case of conflict of interest when the mass media is owned or at least controlled by specific business interests which has the potential to become propaganda machines and public relations instruments to protect the public image or reputation of the non-media owner or controlling interest.
Just like the case of banks and financial institutions — because they are in possession of a large amount of money or wealth that belongs to non-stockholders or non-owners and usually does not have the consent of the latter to treat their deposits and entrustments as if it is the financial institutions’ property or ownership and use it in any manner the latter so desires. This gives the banks and financial institutions an unfair advantage over other businesses (with no such access to such large stores of money and assets).  This is precisely the rationale behind the Glass-Steagall Act of the United States of America which aims to address the potential for the mis-use and abuse of the financial assets entrusted to financial institutions, such as banks, for speculative and non-loan operations.
With mass media, by mis-informing or dis-informing, the public’s perception, and consequently the mindset and thinking, behavior can effectively altered and manipulated to whatever ends, such as changing the image or reputation or suppressing a (potential) scandal or conflict of interest or twisting the truth or selling an idea or scheme for profit or self-interest and so forth.

There is yet another article that I am adding but did not include in the above roster because it is somewhat slightly different, at least to or for me — which is “Are Earth’s magnetic poles about to flip? University researcher warns the reversal is approaching” by a certain Tracey Watson [URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-02-08-are-earths-magnetic-poles-about-to-flip-university-researcher-warns-the-reversal-is-approaching.html]. It is interesting to note that the Earth has had “flipped” it MAGNETIC — meaning that the planet itself will not be doing any flipping or any actual physical spinning but only the magnetic field, i.e., the magnetic north and south poles will change positions.

When magnetic poles flip, huge and catastrophic environmental upheavals occur and entire ecosystem and continents and land masses are altered (exception probably at the pivot points of the magnetic flip). Once lush tropical regions become dry arid deserts overnight — i.e., in terms of geological time.  This is the case with reason for finding oil in deserts and in the Antarctic — because they once used to be filled with dense and flourishing vegetation and with it are the animals that feed on them and their predators.

Since the magnetosphere protects the planet from the (DNA-)destructive effects of cosmic rays and solar wind and since the magnetosphere is not equally distributed or thick or protective all around, when it shifts or flips, the thicker areas that enjoy more protection may suddenly become exposed or less protected thus endangering both endemic flora and fauna.  For marine creatures, the impact is not as severe as those experienced by their (freshwater) aquatic and terrestrial counterparts, because they can migrate more easily and unhindered by large or vast physical land features like mountain ranges and vast lakes and rivers though they can still be obstructed by the salinity and ambient water temperature.

Moreover, since modern civilization has become almost totally dependent on electricity, shifting or flipping of magnetic poles will cause havoc on the power and communication grid and the degree of chaos or damage may prove to be too widespread and irreparable and costly that we may not be able to even conduct damage control, much less make repairs.

In conclusion, the previous magnetic flips have already caused so much destruction and devastation with primitive life (as can readily been seen in museums and our science books), imagine, if you can, how it will impact man and all his modern technological gadgetry and devices and machines.  We may, in a blink of an eye, revert to a prehistoric scenario or something much worse — people degenerating into savages and barbarians with anarchy ruling the day and our behavior because it will suddenly be “every man for himself”.

TaN (update): Amid the current hearing in the Senate regarding the controversial issue of Dengvaxia, it must be remembered, appraised, and appreciated (properly) the fact that people get sick only for two reasons: (1) the immune system is weakened or under-performing (as in sluggish due to cold temperatures or is compromised due to pharmaceuticals or toxins or has an inherent genetic flaw that renders it ineffective) and (2) the disease or sickness is unexpectedly virulent or strong and the immune system is unable to cope.

Furthermore, vaccination is a process in which an artificial (or premature) medical crisis is intentionally introduced into the body in order to exact an immunological (and inflammatory) response with the objective of inducing the production of antibodies and/or defense mechanism in anticipation of possible future such incidents or necessities.

Given this, getting vaccinated is probably the worst and most idiotic and unhealthy thing we do to our health.  There is simply no logic in it and yet most people cannot see passed the veil of deception because of their mistaken placement of blind or unquestionable trust in massive establishments (such as Big Pharma and physicians) not understanding that things have changed and that honesty and transparency are no longer the prevailing virtues (in business, even if it is in the medical and health industry) but rather profit and greed which dictate their actions and motives.  [Remember, for an industry or person (like the mainstream medical and health care professionals) whose (principal) source of income or revenue is entirely dependent on people (and animals) being sick or diseased cannot afford to have sickness and disease eradicated.  It would be contrary to their existence. It would be self-destructive.]

Moreover, even if the argument is that they (have) shifted from curative to preventive — with the increasing push for vaccinations as the main vehicle to achieve this end — it still does not make sense because vaccinations induce inflammatory responses in the body and therefore this means vaccinations are the cause of most (current) medical issues, especially when we take into consideration the myriad of chemicals and adjuvants that are known and confirmed toxins and carcinogens contained.

To borrow or paraphrase from the video aforementioned in this TaN, it is does not make sense to subject or introduce another inflammatory agent into a patient who is already medically compromised and, by introducing the vaccine, the diagnosis would seriously be jeopardized since it will add another factor into the patient’s ongoing medical condition.  It would be different if the diagnosis has been done prior to the vaccination so at least anything subsequent medical development would be attributed to the vaccine.

In conclusion, as morbid or repulsive (to others) may sound and from what was I learned from the video interview of Dr Suzanne Humphries by Mike Adams regarding the former’s recent brush with death (threats) and harassments, there is something “good” — from my own perspective and personal opinion — that came out of all this.  There is now an awakening of the people regarding the whole issue of vaccination.  It is terribly wrong to vaccinate anybody.  Vaccination is intentionally giving a person sickness.  And to make matters worse, the sickness will not go through the normal route but will bypass all the natural lines of defense of the body — from the skin, nose, mouth, stomach, etc — and directly into the bloodstream.  It is high time people wake up to the damage and harm Big Pharma and mainstream medicine is inflicting on people’s health.  Do not be stupid.  Strengthen your immune system instead of getting vaccinations.

TaN (update); The controversial issue regarding the suspension of Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Carandang has been so politicized that both camps have lost sight of what is at the core and important.  It is not so much as Mr Duterte (as president) having authority or jurisdiction over the non-impeachable officials of the Office of the Ombudsman but…
(1) the risk of abuse is great because of an oversight in the Ombudsman Act — that the power to suspend or remove a deputy ombudsman or special prosecutor should not be vested in someone to whom the agency is tasked to watch over and can investigate (such as any impeachable government official) or at least the disciplinary authority or power is rendered suspended when the impeachable official is under investigation, and
(2) being a constitutional body, is or rather should the Office of the Ombudsman really be under the supervision or authority of the executive branch?  I understand that the function of investigation is within the province of the executive (like the Department of Justice and the police), but logic would dictate that to put a watchdog agency of erring government officials under the supervision and control of the same (branch of) government would be some kind of a “conflict of interest” (for want of a more appropriate term) since it can hardly be expected that one “bites the hand that feeds it”.

At the very least, disciplinary action against any personnel of such watchdog agencies should or may be undertaken only upon the concurrence of a disinterested authority (such as the judiciary) prior to the execution of the sanction — i.e., not running to the judiciary for an injunction or restraining order after the disciplinary action has already been carried out or executed.

TaN: Things or events that happen to us in life are but consequences resulting from past events and decisions/actions and there are really no such things as punishments.  Punishment is merely a term we use to describe a consequence where the impact on our lives is negative.  We perceive misfortunes as some sort of punishment or retribution against our past misdeeds and are now receiving the corresponding blowback as well as addressing our sense of guilt (and probably repentance).

It is but a (modified) version of Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law — Action and Reaction — except that the resulting or subsequent effect may not necessarily be opposite or nearly as equal. It can also be the concretization of karma — but, again, the subsequent reactions may not necessarily be rewards or punishments (i.e., beneficial from good and detrimental from bad).

All that is certain is that life goes on and past decisions and deeds will have some (minimum) impact on current events.  Due to the infinitesimal other factors that transpire in and around our lives — from natural to man-made (as in our neighbors, friends, relatives, and even total strangers) — there is no guarantee that the events that happen to us resulted from past deeds and decisions.

The best advice would be to learn from the experience and cope and apply the wisdom.  Blaming or being “victimized” by events and dwelling on them never did anyone any good.  It is done and get on with life.

TaN: While the people’s will is supreme and that the Constitution derives it authority and power from the people’s mandate and consent to submit under its authority, government cannot just skip over the Constitution and (claim that) it is the people’s will and therefore they can run roughshod over all the safeguards in the Fundamental Charter and people’s rights (and privileges).

One big problem with many a leader of a nation these days is that wrongdoings and crime (and evil) is so rampant and deeply-ingrained that — and further considering or remembering that the situation has been growing and evolving and worsening over decades and festering to the point of where — their term of office (even the most well-meaning of leader) is no longer sufficient to address them all.  The best that can be done is damage control.

A good example would be all the vain and futile (though brutal and draconian) attempts — and (implicitly and tacit) admission by Mr Duterte that he cannot fulfill his campaign promises within the self-imposed time frame and had to extended it repeatedly until he finally had to “confessed” that the menace is bigger than him and he is unable to deliver his promises.  His intentions were noble but his methods were crude (to say the least) and uncalled for and frequently have the opposite effects — though his ratings surprisingly reflect otherwise.

Moreover, all that Mr Duterte has to go with to justify his “different” style of solving his country’s problems are his historic landslide election victory and the consistent high approval ratings in the surveys.  However, these are or cannot be used as justifications because:
(1) the election results were (assumed to be) based on his campaign promises and his voters had no idea that it will turn out this way and,
(2) the surveys are but a small sample size and the demographic distribution may be skewed and cannot be a reliable barometer of the true sentiments and concerns of the majority since the respondent/s may be unduly prejudiced so that credible accuracy of the answers will be diminished.

Finally, still on the subject of the surveys, it would be more accurate to restrict the poll to those who changed “sides” or sentiments — i.e., from formerly against now to in favor or vice versa — and against those who remained steadfast.

TaN: If it is not, it ought to be — that the sworn and moral duty of all physicians to support whatever medical decisions of their patients even if those decisions run counter to their (physicians) personal or ethical beliefs and code, short of (obviously, for want of a more appropriate term, or openly) endangering the patient/s’ life (as sworn to in the Hippocratic Oath), although I read somewhere some time ago that there are increasing instances where the oath is no longer being sworn to.

It is the patient’s right to determine their (medical) life and physicians should keep up with all the advancements and developments — all the while maintaining their practice — and not be confined to and be dominated and controlled by Big Pharma’s interests.  Physicians must take the initiative to go beyond the limits of their conventional Big Pharma-controlled medical education and be daring to learn more progressive and effective treatments and therapies for the sake of their patients.  They should strive to stay informed and keep abreast of the newest developments in their respective fields of specialization — as well as in general and outside of their “comfort zone” even at the risk of reaping the ire of their benefactor Big Pharma — no matter how unconventional or uncomfortable it makes them feel. They owe it to their patients to provide the best care possible.  After all sense of duty and service to humanity should always trump all and any other interests or concerns.

Should the physician really and honestly cannot support the patient’s decision, it should be the (alternative) obligation of the physician to help the patient find another physician who is more open and accommodating and is willing to guide and support the patient’s decision, all the while making sure that the patient will not endanger him/herself in the process.

It is a terrible pity that so much effective medical treatments and therapies that are very beneficial to man with minimal or even no detrimental side effects go unused when so much preventable misery and suffering could be avoided.

TaN: While it is true that man was not meant to be sitting all day, it is equally true that he was never meant to be standing all day either. Man, as with all other animals, was meant to be constantly moving about (and creating and innovating and thinking and producing and inventing and flourishing) — hence the Biblical admonition from God (Genesis 3:14-23) when man was “cursed” for his disobedience and he shall be slave to the earth (i.e., toil for his food) until the day he returns to the earth from whence he came from.

It is therefore wrong for a person to be idle and laze around all or most of the day as well as stand idly (like retail sales representatives and clerks and personnel in retail stores and fast food chains and outlets).  Man was intended to be active, which is why active people have better health and better lives.  [Nota bene: It must be qualified that by active, I do not mean that man toil endlessly and laboriously all day nor is it confined to physical but mental activities either.  It is not manual per se labor as in the days of slavery and peonage but reasonable human physical labor that enables and empowers man to flourish and grow.]

It is a significant and fundamental reason why people develop phlebitis (i.e., varicose or spider veins).  The muscles and tissues surrounding veins become so weak or atrophy from lack of use and this causes the veins to bulge (from the internal blood pressure pushing against the blood vessel walls).  In addition, this inflammation — whenever you see “-itis” at the end of a medical term, it means an inflammation, hence carditis is inflammation of the heart (cardi is heart) and meningitis is inflammation of the meninges (the membrane covering and protecting the brain and spinal column) and appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix.

[Nota bene: Once you know or have decoded the “secret” of medical terms — i.e., the prefixes and suffixes — it becomes easy to decipher what mysterious language physicians are talking (to each other) about.]

You seldom, if at all, see farmers and manual laborers get phlebitis.  They actively engage their muscles which keeps them toned and fit so there is no atrophy.

So the secret to many of our daily mini health issues is simply to keep and remain active — of course, it cannot be all work all day — as well as a reasonable period of rest for the body to recuperate and replenish and rejuvenate itself (for the next day’s challenges).

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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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Post for Jan 21-27 2018 (updated Jan 25,2nd update Jan 28)

TaN (2nd update): With the statement in the cartoon strip by Sic n’ Tyrd in the Entertainment section of the hardcopy of The Philippine STAR today (January 26), it said in the last frame (and I quote): “Rappler exposed on how social media was manipulated for Duterte’s rise to power. How filthy money paid trolls to destabilize democracy“.

For argument’s sake, let us assume that there is truth in this statement.  This would mean that the repeated claim by Mr Duterte that he has an overwhelming mandate from the people thereby legitimizing his frequently controversial draconian style of governance and doing things (in the name of public service) and considering that it has been proven convincingly that social media can so easily be manipulated, I am beginning to wonder whether Mr Duterte really did win by a historic and unparalleled landslide election victory or was it all engineered.

This is quite disturbing because, if it is true, then it would mean that the presidency of Mr Duterte is now under suspicion.  However, even with all the reports of how easily social media can be manipulated as to significantly affect reality — including politics — I still doubt whether it is the case with the Philippines.  I would still like to believe that Filipinos are intelligent enough not to be swayed nor herded into doing something they do not want.  However, the odds of the “rumor” being true cannot be ignored.  There could be some degree of manipulation in social media as to significantly impact the outcome of the elections but I just hope there is none.  I hate to think that Mr Duterte won through manipulation of social media by vested interests.

TaN (2nd update): In today’s (January 25) hardcopy issue of The Philippine STAR, the article title “Rody on Kuwait abuse: OFWs can all go home“, I totally and unconditionally agree with Mr Duterte.  There should be a government policy on OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) when it comes to how they are being treated by their employers, especially in countries where it is notorious for maltreating foreign (menial) workers.

In fact, Mr Duterte should not only address his concerns and sentiments (and ire) on Kuwait but to many other countries where OFWs are experiencing (more or less) the same issues.  Even though the incidence of occurrence may be minimal or even insignificant as compared with the overall population of OFWs in the particular country, it is nevertheless a concern.  Remember that: One preventable or unnecessary death is one death too many.

Moreover, Mr Duterte should also extend this address to Big Pharma where the pharmaceutical — but not necessarily the medical profession and professionals — industry is concerned.  The problem is that there seems to be a collusion or “unwritten agreement” between government and Big Pharma to “ignore or overlook or iatrogenic incidents as normal or anticipated or ‘part of doing business'”.  In truth, these mortalities or morbidities are preventable and should never have transpired in the first place had both government and Big Pharma been held more accuntable.

In any case, there is so much needless misery and suffering endured and all for the sake of (decent) employment (read: economic activity and growth).  This is precisely the problem I keep reiterating that whenever money is brought into the picture, there will always be hardships and it will be the poor who will be (hardest) hit.

If only the Philippine government will have the gumption to come up with ways to motivate and encourage local business to be more self-reliant and provide employment with decent wages or even organize people into cooperatives to be self-employed.  Foreign investments should not be relied upon too much — because they will have only their financial interests at heart and the government will have to offer incentives to the detriment of local businesses (which will produce an uneven playing field).

But the most important of all is to re-educate the values and priorities of Filipinos to be more nationalistic and to keep valuable human resources within the country — to help the country before going out to help others.  The problem with most Filipinos is that they are not only more — but appears to be only — concerned with helping themselves and not the country, failing to understand that helping the country redounds to helping themselves.  [As the modified saying goes: Charity begins at home…but it should not end there.]

People, not only Filipinos, cannot seem to comprehend the concept of helping others instead of merely themselves.  They fail to see that by thinking about and caring for others — and assuming that others do the same — there will be more people thinking of and caring for you rather than you just thinking of or for yourself.  This is similar to the concept of open software where, if we open the software (code) to all, more minds will be working find the flaws (and the solutions to those flaws) and improving and making it better and better rather than insisting on intellectual property and having only a few people working on it.

Moreover, (I do not about the rest of you but) just the idea of sharing benefits to and for the common good brings a wave of good feelings, a great sense of accomplishment, and a overwhelming joy knowing that I can and have given something back, that I have made a contribution to the betterment of humanity, that my presence in this world is not a waste of time and resources (i.e., food, air, water, etc).

But I digress (and I have a tendency for digression as can be gleaned from in many of my previous TaNs).

Returning to topic, if every Filipino focuses on contributing what s/he can to building the nation through its citizenry, the country can really go places — because it is globally known that Filipinos are among the most talented, resourceful, resilient, trustworthy, hardworking, and compassionate people, except that it does not seem to be so when they are in their own country.

TaN (update): As the Duterte administration trudges along and the media reports every little bit on the whereabouts and of the goings-on and utterances, I have resigned myself to just take much of the reports for granted.  They have begun to lose much of their nuances and quirkiness and the Filipino machismo — which is more of an aberration of being gay than machismo — is beginning to become annoying.  As of now, I tend to ignore what Mr Duterre (or his lap dogs) say or comment and just look at what they are doing.  [Believe it nor not, being gay and being macho are actually the same for they both are variants of insecurity and self-doubt.  They argue that they are merely trying to let their true selves out when, in fact, they are denying the obvious.]

Admit it or not, most, if not all, gun owners are simply compensating for a feeling of inadequacy and helplessness.  Just like the saying that: Soldiers are the last ones who want war.  Soldiers — the true and professional ones — do not like guns.  The guns in their possession are necessities and part of their job description and not because they like guns.

Moreover, the headlines and pronouncements no longer have any impact.  A case in point are the headlines in the hardcopy issue of The Philippine STAR (January 23):
* “Palace: Phl has sovereignty over Scarborough” (in the banner) — This has no meaning.  From his own words, Mr Duterte has admitted that the Philippines cannot win a war against China so China’s bullying is being interpreted as The Philippines’ tolerance of China.  In truth, Mr Duterte may be pragmatic but he is no nationalist.  A true nationalist is ready to plunge his country into war even at the prospect of complete annihilation but as the saying (I am injecting my own sentiments into it) goes: I would rather be an idealistic but dead hero than a living but subjugated embarassment.
* “Duterte threatens to slap Joma if they meet” — Puh-lease.  Stop with the gayishness.  Stop making a bitch of yourself.
* “Rody: Shoot me if I overstay” — Yeah, right.  As if someone will actually shoot Mr Duterte (for overstaying).
* “Speaker slows down Cha-cha train” — Just joking.  Come on.  Stop emulating your idol.  Governing a country is no joke so stop with the jokes.  Saying that one is joking, after the fact, is just a take-back and a way of saving face.  It is not amusing.

TaN (update): Since we are not privy to the specific questions asked the respondents in the surveys regarding poverty in the Philippines, I would like to put in my 2-sentabos worth of thought.

First, how reliable are the answers to the questions: Because of the continued implementation of the 4Ps of the Philippine government, these poor may have been artificially boosted or distorted to a higher income bracket and a better quality of life.  It would therefore be inaccurate to include these people as respondents since their improved life was not due to any of their own making or endeavor but via a dole-out (or mendicancy) system.

Second, the definition or understanding of the term poverty (from the perspective of the survey takers) must be (made) clear to the respondents otherwise the answers they give will be unreliable because each respondent will have their own interpretation and understanding of what poverty is (to them).  Moreover, the definition of what poverty is must be clear as well with the survey takers because there are several dissimilar definitions which are all valid.  The most common definition is based on the material possessions whereas among primitive and remote tribes and communities, poverty has nothing to do with material possessions but mostly in terms of children and territory.

Third and last, the change in the prevailing quality of life differs from time to time and most people have the tendency to remember (and consider) only the more recent events.  Moreover, unless one is conscious (and keeps track of recent events), when one is too preoccupied on making ends meets, perspective and memory recall suffers.  And although survey takers always account for margin of error, still this may not be enough as to reflect a more approximate picture of the issue being surveyed.

TaN: The Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy states that both mass and energy can neither be created nor destroyed — merely transformed from one state or form to another.  With this, it implies that both mass and energy are in a state of constant flux (i.e., forever and perpetually changing from one to another).

Moreover, since mass is defined (or one way of defining is) as energy at rest and energy is mass in motion, this would imply that mass and energy are one and the same — differing only in whether it is at rest or in motion or the speed at which the mass/energy is moving (where the faster the speed, the more mass is converted or transformed into energy and vice versa).  Furthermore, it likewise implies that within energy and within mass is a cycle of change.

Up to this point, I have neither dispute nor disagreement.

Keeping this in mind, it can now be extrapolated that what we “normally” — or has been “conditioned” to think and — believe to be opposites, mass and energy, are really the same.  Both are actually material, hence the photons or packets of light which are said to be light’s energy form are physical.

The true opposites — and, by logical progression, complementary (just like Einstein’s space-time where both are one and the same and not different or separate — are mass-energy and fields (borrowing, citing, and acknowledging from Sir Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic resonance and which conventional science still has to acknowledge and accept).

The physical structures that form our material universe cannot be explained solely by what we find within the material (just like what contemporary science tries to convince us regarding our DNA or deoxyribose nucleic acid containing information that determines or defines what we look like which is simply not to be found within) because there is nothing in material that defines or determines structure or how something should look.  It is the fields and “laws of nature”, the true abstracts or immaterial, that determines the form and shape of things.

In any case, from the numerous “new” information and “discoveries” made in the recent past, it is beginning to look like the great diversity in forms and shapes and appearances are merely different arrangements of the same fundamental material (that we still have to discover and understand) and sometimes different quantities.

Take the case of the different elements that are merely made up of three (basic) particles — namely: neutron, proton, and electron — and yet look very different from each other and have very varied physical and chemical and nuclear properties.  Moreover, it has been found that these fundamental atomic particles may be made of the same stuff.

In addition, this may finally give rise to the unified theory that has eluded theorists for so long.

TaN: Criticisms and “unsolicited advice” should be taken with a grain of salt and, for as long as there is an accompanying solution or remedy, it should be regarded as a learning experience.  It has been said that, If you have no intention to help, you have no right to criticize.  In this sense, any criticism is destructive unless accompanied or immediately followed by proposed (albeit unsolicited) advice/s — proposals to improvements and advancement.  In this case, it is constructive.

Criticism should not be taken as some form of antagonism where the critic seeks to destroy or damage the reputation or character of another.  When a solution is proposed, it only means that the criticism is intended as an opportunity to re-examine and, perhaps, improve.

People should be open to criticism for as long as one’s mistakes or inconsistencies or flaws or issues are pointed out and explained properly (and without malice) and solutions or improvements are proposed.  It is in the free exchange of ideas and opinions that we make progress — as a person, as a people, as society — that we improve, that we realize our shortfalls and imperfections, that we see from other people’s perspective.

No one is perfect and all should be open and honest enough to admit mistakes, flaws, and shortcomings.  It was once mentioned in a dialogue from a very old movie — titled “Oh God” and featuring George Burns as God and John Denver as the atheist whom God has chosen to deliver His message.  In the film, Denver make all sorts of excuses and reasons in defense of his belief but God was persistent — and as we all know, God always gets His way in the end.

In any case, during the scene where Denver was already ready to agree God’s terms, he asks one final question (and I paraphrase because it has been decades): If You are as they say You are…all kind, all merciful, all caring, and all good, why do You allow so much suffering?  In answer, God said: I do not allow suffering; it is why I gave you each other [emphasis mine].

In this light, this can be applied to criticisms where we were given by God to each other so we can help complement one another’s shortfalls and deficiencies and remedy (honest) mistakes or our short-sightedness.

Unwillingness to take criticism implies that one assumes oneself to be perfect therefore all our actions and decisions are beyond reproach and there will never be mistakes or wrongs — and this is the epitome of ARROGANCE and BOASTFULNESS.

TaN: Actually, there is really no such thing as luck — good or bad.  It is but a natural consequence resulting from the series of life decisions we make and actions we take and how we handle what life brings us.

Of course, there are things called accidents that are not “planned”.  However, most accidents are preventable — mainly because we were not mindful, we were careless, we took risks, we were not alert of surrounding circumstances (both environmental and otherwise), and many more.

And though there are accidents that really are inevitable, still, these cannot really be considered as (bad) luck either, despite them being completely out of our control or foresight and inspite of our being very careful and meticulous.

Events that occur are natural consequences of previous events — either by man’s choice or due to the laws of nature.  Nature is dynamic and in ever constant motion.  The whole universe is not static.  From the moment of the (assuming it is true) the Big Bang, all things have been constant change and flux.

In fact, according to Steven Hawking — in one of his videos, I just cannot recall off hand which — it is precisely because of imperfection, of in-uniformity, of inequality, of unevenness that all is continuously moving.  Imagine if air pressure is constant everywhere; then there would be no wind and no flight.  It is because of the interplay of low and high air pressure that there is wind, there is weather, there is flight.  Aerodynamics is completely dependent on the inconsistency of air pressure.

It is the constant interaction of the fundamental opposing forces — such as light and darkness and hot and cold — that the universe is functioning as it is.  It is not in stasis — which is likewise the nature of its Creator.

So, accidents are natural consequences and cannot be blamed on any single cause but a series of past events.  And neither are accidents good nor bad; they just happen.  Like everything else in nature, only those with free will can be good or bad and man is the only creature we know with free will.

However, when these events occur in conjunction with past or previous occurrences that converge at the same time and place, these are what most people refer to as accidents or luck.

TaN: Non-labeling of whether it is GMO-free or not is a (consumer) rights issue. Regardless of whether the claim by the industry that there is no (physical) difference between GMO and non-GMO is irrelevant.  It is a fundamental human right to be informed, especially if it is important to and directly impacts the welfare of the people.  There are certain rights that are uncompromisable and this is one of them — the right to be (properly) informed.

The right to be informed is intertwined with the right to choice and the giving of consent and are inalienable to every person, irrespective of their ability to discern or age.  The right to choose is inherent (only) to those endowed with free will or the ability to discern and freely decide between and among options available.  By not labeling whether GMO or GMO-free, those rights are effectively and completely removed or taken away.  Without the critical knowledge of whether something is GMO or GMO-free, the consumer cannot make an informed consent and make a choice as to which commodity to purchase.

Moreover, the argument of the industry that the labeling adds to the cost is totally absurd.  Business has been labeling their goods for as far back as I can remember and there has never been a case when there was any argument that it adds to the cost.  Furthermore, the mere fact that industry argues that their GMO is no different from GMO-free (logically and) tacitly or implicitly affirms that there is a difference.  [In logic, one cannot deny without affirming.  It is simply not possible]

Still another argument is the price of a tiny sticker as against an entire box (of cereal or processed snack food such as biscuits and cookies).  I doubt if the cost of a sticker can compared against that of an entire cardboard box.  And as an important note, the sticker should be of a minimum size with brightly contrasting words against the background color and should be placed in the most conspicuous place so the consumer can readily notice and read it.

Finally, if one examines the arguments and counter-arguments of the GMO industry and its shills and toadies, they are full of contradictions.

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Post for Jan 14-20 2018 (updated Jan 28)

TaN (update): I agree completely with the sentiments of Ms Catherine Deneuve and Ms Brigette Bardot when they say that those (actresses) in the MeToo are just plain being too sensitive.  This is the wave that is sweeping over social media today.

For me, it is pathetic and we are playing right into the hands of those who wish to sow discord among people because it is where they derive profit, power, influence, and control — i.e., eventual complete domination.  People become so engrossed, embroiled, and conscious with just about everything and anything that they no longer have time and attention to focus on the really important things in life.

This is precisely what I have been arguing in previous TaNs where people become so conscious about being politically correct that they even go to the extent of “inventing” terminologies just to appear “politically correct” — like chairperson (no such animal), directress (no such animal), doctora (dra, no such animal), and spokesperson (still no such animal).  People have become so gender-conscious that it has reached absurd heights and proportions.

It is the same with the current MeToo thingie.  Stop being such whinies and cry-babies.  If you are only airing out that you have been victimized in the past too, so be it.  But there is no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill.  Most of you are in situations today that are a lot better than most other people in the world.  Those “transgressions” in your past contributed to what you are today.  For all you know, things would have been a lot different (and worse) for you today if those “victimizations” in the past had not occurred.

And as Ms Bardot expressed, many of you “had to sell yourselves” to get ahead.  Well, you got something out of it in exchange.  Would you rather not have been “victimized” and end up way below what you are today?

Okay so it happened to you too.  That is it.  Move on!

And you in the media should be ashamed of yourselves; taking advantage of the miseries of others to advance your own agenda and interests.  Hyping up everything to get as much mileage out of it for your own selfish ends.  How much lower can you sink?

TaN: There are no fake news.  By its definition and nature, news has to be true.  When it is not true, it is not or cannot be news.  Fake news are either shabby, hurried, unvetted, unprofessional, or otherwise irresponsible reporting.

Most people today are so eager to be the first to report or spread some newly-received information and pass it on without first making sure that what is being passed on is accurate and true — if not, at least, factual.  [And should it be factual instead of true, that there should be accompanying qualifying or conditional circumstances to indicate that it is conditional truths — i.e., truthfulness depends on certain conditions existing and when these conditions change, it may no longer be truthful.]

The problem with these times is people are so eager to create new terminology even at the risk of inaccuracy or confusion (terms like super food and fake news) or mis-use terms for their selfish interests (like sustainable).

I guess all these are just part and parcel of the downward vortex we are all spiraling into for the sake of greed (corporate profit and monopolistic and exclusivistic property rights), fame, and power (or control or domination) — because there is no money to be had in peace, love, honesty, and all the other (truly good) virtues.  Only in war, conflict, confusion, discrepancies (and gaps and inequality, like education gap, health gap, knowledge gap, and opportunity gap), and deceit (as in “clever” marketing or deceptive advertising and predatory pricing and cartelization).

TaN: If we go by logic and the Holy Scriptures, it does not make sense that God would punish us — by bringing misfortune upon us.  If what has been written in the Holy Scriptures are to be believed (and I believe so), then our misfortunes are brought on by ourselves (by not obeying God’s directives and teachings, through His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ) and happily obliging Satan.

It does not make sense that God would bestow misfortune upon us after all the trouble and heartache He went through to send and watch His Only Begotten Son suffer under the our hands — as, despite all His miracles, teachings, and good works,  He was mistreated, libeled, ridiculed, beaten up and tortured, and put to death.  What was all that suffering of Christ for if God will only later bring misfortune down upon us (for disobedience).

It does not make sense that God would go to all the trouble of creating the universe in preparation for the creation of man, then creating man only to bring misfortune down on him.  This would make God some kind of sadist or otherwise have the strangest and cruelest sense of humor.

It does not make sense to disobey God and still expect things to turn out fine.  And to top it all, to have the shameless audacity and unmitigated gall to pin all the blame on God for the fruits of our disobedience.

All these are somewhat similar to the argument of conventional and mainstream Big Medicine — most probably with the collusion or even instigation and prodding of Big Pharma — that diseases are inherited and are “incurable”.  He is a cruel and sick God if He creates man with the intention of sharing His happiness and blessings with man and then includes all sorts and manners of diseases and ailments.  This simply defies all the (good) qualities that we attribute to Him.

Furthermore, it does not make sense either to think and believe that a benevolent and loving (and wise) The Father would bother sending His Only Begotten Son to endure all the ordeals and agony to save us when He (i.e., The Father) has purposely included so many diseases for us to suffer.

Finally, logic dictates that inheritance can only happen if and only if our parents have them — and having them means that, sooner or later, they will manifest and be evident — in order to be able to “pass it/them on” to us.  However, as I have always argued, posited, and maintained in previous TaNs, if we go back far enough in our lineage or heritage, we would discover that, eventually, we will arrive at an ancestor/s (and beyond hi/them) who never had the diseases.  So, how can it be said and argued that the diseases are inherited when it was never in our DNA in the first place?

So stop blaming God for our own mistakes, disobedience, misfortunes, and suffering.  How could we?  The NERVE of us!  Such ingrates!

TaN: Do not be a victim of unscrupulous and unethical marketing ploys and campaigns intended to target non-critical thinking and simple-minded and impulse buyers.  What I am referring to is the increasing use of the phrase “up to” in announcing big sales events with discounts.

With the phrase “up to” in the advertisement, all management has to do is have one item — usually the one that management have the most difficult time selling and practically has no worthwhile value at all — that is discounted at the rate mentioned or stated in the advertisement and the company is “off the hook”.  They can no longer be held liable for false advertisement because they really have an item with the stated discount rate — but they should because there was malice to begin with; there was clear intention to deceive and entice people under false pretenses and veiled intentions.

Instead, the smart consumer should look for — but I doubt if there will ever be such a case — the phrase “at least”.  This means that there will be no item with a smaller discount rate.  It does not really matter anymore how high the discount rate of other items.  You are at least guaranteed that no item will have a smaller or lower discount rate — otherwise they will be liable for false or misleading advertising.  The only two things left to be concerned with are whether there are items worth spending our hard-earned money on or the discount is worth to trip to the store for a look-see or they can “escape” the false advertising liability by claiming they have only one item on sale.

The best thing to look for is the combination of “all items on sales” and “at least so-and-so% discount”.  With these phrases together, it is practically ironclad and next to impossible to weasel out of their obligations.  But this is a pipe dream.

In any case, with increasingly widespread and rampant profit-drive corporate greed, consumers are ever more embroiled in a struggle to optimize their dwindling purchasing value of their hard-earned income against Big Business.  And, unless the 99% finally unite and decide to distance themselves from being so dependent on Big Business and cooperate and trade goods and services among themselves — and leave the global power and financial elites out in the cold to fend for themselves, not knowing how to grow things or any practical trade for daily living — everything will just continue to get worse and the Biblical prophecy will eventually come to pass.

Ita sit!

TaN: There is this saying, It is easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.  This is a very pragmatic attitude but extremely risky — because the damage will have been done (assuming that there will most likely be negative rather than positive or (morally) beneficial consequences) and there is no undoing what has been done — and frequently resulting in regrets, especially when the outcome is not (completely) favorable or desirable.

Since there is no option left — because the deed (and damage) has been done — but forgiveness and understanding for the intention behind the action or decision.  This is all well and good but only if and when the results are for the better and everything turned out good.  The risk here is that during the deed, things can go either way and all the blame, responsibilities, consequences will (have to) be shouldered or assumed by all those involved..

This alternative — i.e., do the deed and ask for forgiveness later — is a good topic of discussion for ethicists.

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Post for Jan 7-13 2018 (updated Jan 9, re-updated Jan 15)

TaN (update 2): This is a three-in-one update, posted on Natural News for January 13 for the first two and for January 12 for the third: (1) “Psych QUACK: Yale psychiatry professor who attacked Donald Trump doesn’t have a license to practice psychiatry in her home state” (URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-01-13-psych-quack-yale-psychiatry-professor-who-attacked-donald-trump-doesnt-even-have-a-license-to-practice-psychiatry-in-her-home-state.html) by a certain Jayson Veley and (2) “Trouble sleeping? Eat more fish research suggests a connection between omega 3s and enhanced cognitive performance in school children via better sleep” (URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-01-13-research-suggests-a-connection-between-omega-3s-cognitive-performance-in-school-children.html) by a certain Michelle Simmons and (3) “What happens when socialists run out of money: Venezuelans reach point of desperation as starvation and inflation both go ballistic” (URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-01-12-what-happens-when-socialists-run-out-of-money.html) supposedly sourced from News Editor.

(1) There are many points I would like to raise in this article post: (a) psychology and psychiatry are different so it is inconsistent that a psychology professor will be making psychiatric diagnosis and public comments, (b) I agree that “Arm-chair psychiatry or the use of psychiatry as a political tool is the mis-use of psychiatry and is unacceptable and unethical“, (c) though it is possible to make some kind of diagnosis culled from public and social media statements and media reported patterns of behavior, it would at best still be inconclusive and should not be made public as it can be misconstrued to be something official or credible, (d) it is improper and very unprofessional and unbecoming for a medical practitioner to (permit him/herself to) be used for political ends, much less participate actively in (and mixing medicine with) politics, and (e) the current constant bashing of Mr Trump especially on superficial and trivial matters is a terrible waste of time, energy, and resources which could be invaluable to the country if it were used for national interests — as the saying goes, “Progress in a canoe can be made when everyone paddles in the same as compared with in all or different directions“.

(2) For this article post, I suddenly had an epiphany that, although fish is universally accepted as good brain food, just like the plant foods I had been advocating — insisting that, among the considerations for healthy eating and proper nutrition, aside from being raw, whole, and natural or wild-harvested, food has to be local and (whenever applicable) seasonal.  In the case of fish, this (should) likewise apply.  There are certain fish that are endemic or native to certain geographic areas and, due to “modern” commerce, there are fish from far away places that are now also accessible.
This is dangerous because, for the same argument I have always posited for eating local and seasonal, fish that are not traditionally locally available should be eaten sparingly — i.e., on occasions so as not to “appear” ignorant and we have the right to enjoy foods from other geographies every now and then.  However, for the same argument, God or nature has intended certain fish to be eaten (on a regular basis) only by inhabitants of certain geographical locations otherwise the fish should be widely available (i.e., has a wide and migratory range like salmon and large tunas and those of the deep oceans).
Moreover, seasonality likewise applies to migratory fish because they are not available to certain areas at certain times of the year — precisely because they migrate.  Nature is wise when bears feast on migrating salmon only during their spawning season because they are not only mature (thus giving the population enough time and leeway to replenish itself before being eaten en masse to ensure survival of the species) but they have fattened over time in preparation for the important task of reproducing and replenishing the species.  Since the young were left to mature and there will have been enough to ensure survival of the species to survive the feast that not only bears enjoy but many other animals as well as the trees beside the bodies of water along the migratory route from the decaying leftovers to populate the next generation.

(3) In the last article post, as I have been repeatedly arguing that money is at the very core of most, if not all, of our global problems, the Venezuelans is at a critical point in their national life to implement and prove (decisively) that if money considerations are set aside, there will be none of the big headaches that beset people everywhere. If they begin to rely on themselves — i.e., to return to tilling the soil and not focus so much and so fast on “enjoying” the fruits of (Western) technology — I believe there is still a sufficient mass base with the necessary skill and folk wisdom to start a grand agricultural revolution to feed the population and practice (at least for the meantime) the ancient system of barter and (direct) trading of goods and skills for necessities in life.
I believe and maintain that if we remove money from the center of our world — not totally discard money because I likewise understand and maintain that there are certain instances or situations where money is called for like large-scale trade and commerce with other cultures and countries or even just neighboring communities where value of goods and commodities need to be measured and quantified — things will be so much better and people will not be so enslaved by money.  We keep conveniently forgetting that man had survived very well long before money came into the picture…and we still can.
With food security comes a sense of community and self-reliance and guaranteed survival.  After all, if it were not for the need of food, everything else seems trivial.  Without food, we die.  And, if we die, nothing else matters.  Everything else becomes redundant.
Moreover, there will be better relationships (with our neighbors and community members because there will be no more distinctions between the wealthy and the poor or the haves and the have-nots because there will be no (need for the) accumulation of wealth).  And people will rely on the goodwill of others and the common good.  Naturally, the community expects some kind of reciprocity among its members in order to remain viable — as in the Marxist principle of: From each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs.  Since one’s (basic) needs are assured, there will be no need to amass wealth and property because, aside from things personal (mostly those dealing with hygiene), all will be communal property.

TaN (update): In the recent Golden Globe event where it was reported that a record number of women (in coordinated black gowns and garments) won, it was reported — and I quote from the article in the hardcopy of The Philippine STAR titled “Oprah triumphs as women take center stage at Golden Globes” on the front page as well as previous TaNs discussing the same issue) — “…the Golden Globes were transformed into an A-list expression of female empowerment…”.

As I have repeatedly reiterated in previous TaNs, to “wait” for recognition by others in order that we feel empowered reflects the exact opposite.  If I have to wait for other people’s recognition and approval before I (can) feel empowered then I am not empowered at all.  Empowerment should be and is self-proclaimed.  I do not have to wait for other people to be empowered. It comes from within ourselves.  I feel and am empowered because I have decided to be empowered.

It is just like the Women’s Liberation movement of decades past.  If women have to wait for recognition and approval to feel or be liberated, then it only shows that women are still “at the mercy” of those in control (usually men).  If one needs another person to avail of what is rightfully and inherently one’s (inalienable) right, then it reveals that one still feels subjugated or dominated and that the right is not a right but, at best, a privilege — an entitlement that needs to be earned and can be taken away any time for any reason by anyone.

Btw, the burning of the brassiere is so lame and I still, until now, fail to see how it signifies liberation or even mere defiance.  There is one good thing, I think, that came out of that “burning act”.  I read several reports back then that (and I am inclined to believe the accuracy and veracity of the report) when a cancer survey was conducted among only women who do not wear brassieres, the percentage was almost identical to that of men in terms of breast cancer.  How curious.

TaN: Senior citizen benefits can be very complicated when it comes to utilities.  It seems that the law is silent when it comes to the interpretation and implementation of the senior citizen discount when it comes to utilities.  While it is valid and perfectly reasonable (and rightly so) to argue that the senior citizen discount is intended to benefit only senior citizens, it, however, becomes a question of practicality to pursue the “purity” of the philanthropic benefits.

In utilities — i.e., power, telephone, and water — it is extremely rare, if any exist at all, that there would be an instance where all the occupants of a dwelling are all senior citizens and the company policy (or implementation of the privilege) of permitting the discount only if all the occupants are senior citizens.  Keeping this in mind, it is quite foolish and rather idealistic or even utopic to expect that there will be a (substantial) number of cases where this policy will be applicable.

In a culture where the tradition of extended families are prevalent, there are bound to be other occupants of a dwelling that are not senior citizens.  In this instance, how will or can the application of the discount be done?  If the discount will be applicable only to households with senior citizens only, literally millions will be disenfranchised.  There should be some leniency or practicality where some kind of reasonable compromise is reached.

In another related but not quite similar instance, there are certain businesses that grant senior citizen discounts but, for some reason that still escapes me, do or cannot seem to make much sense.  In one case, there are those that permit the discount only once a day — e.g., a beverage business dispensing fruit shakes and concoctions.  This is strange because if the senior citizen is taking the beverage with his/her meals, then this would mean that s/he can only avail of the beverage for only one meal in the day.  What about the other meals, especially when s/he is taking it for health or nutritional purposes?

It is understandable that there is need to ensure that the discount not be abused — i.e., used for the benefit of those other than senior citizens — but it is unethical to presumptively “imply or pre-judge” a senior of inappropriate use of the discount privilege just because of that possibility.  The beneficiary of the privilege should be given the benefit of the doubt — i.e., it is truly s/he who is availing of the discount and not someone else — until s/he has been proven to abuse or mis-use the privilege.  Moreover, even if it has been proven that a certain senior citizen indeed had committed such indiscretion, it would be unfair to generalize or universalize the incident and penalize all the rest of the senior citizens who abide by the spirit of the privilege.

But returning to utilities, there seems to be some confusion with respect to the implementation in particular situations such as in eateries where food is “to go or take out”.  It is supposed to be that there should be no discount since it cannot be guaranteed that it will be the senior citizen who will eat the food.  However, there are establishments who extend the discount but some extend it fully or partially — at their discretion or company policy.  Though this reflects on the good will of the eatery, still it is a mis-application of the discount privilege — a case where the customer is given the benefit of the doubt.  Although I am not about to “look a gift horse in the mouth”, I am obligated to tell the truth (even at the risk or expense) of causing a “benefit” to be taken away despite what it means to many senior citizens.

In conclusion, it is important that senior citizens get the benefits they deserve and the provisions and specifications as stated in the (IRR or implementing rules and regulations of the) law must be the minimum to be met.  The application or implementation must be according to the spirit and not the letter of the law — because all laws will always be imperfect (i.e., subject to changes through time and progress) so by merely following the letter of the law will always have loopholes and flaws and this is where disenfranchisement and deprivations and injustice occur but will never happen if and when the spirit of law instead is used.  And, in the case where the law is vague or unclear, the senior citizen deserves the benefit of the doubt, especially in the case of utilities billing and instances where non-senior citizens inevitably share in the benefit such as taking taxis where people are not individually billed and calculating the proportional cost to be charged is impractical.

Moreover, after reading a (supposed, because it was written by a noted lawyer, one Atty Rester John Lao Nonato in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), supposedly sourced from or posted in the Cebu Daily News dated August 24, 2012, 6:52AM, URL: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/256716/senior-citizens-law-clarified) an explanation and elaboration of how the senior citizen discount is to be properly implemented, I realize that there is much “injustice” being done by numerous commercial (retail) establishments and senior citizens are merely either ignorant about the injustice being done to them or apathetic so the mis-application is being tolerated.

TaN: One tell-tale sign that our body is toxic or loaded with toxins is the odor that comes from it — be it in the form of fart or body odor or bad breath (and not just halitosis).  Foul smelling fart indicates that the diet is high in animal protein and so it is with the body odor (which is beef eaters smell of beef while goat eaters smell of goat) — which people try to mask or camouflage with perfumes and other deodorants (never mind the lame excuse of wanting to smell good) — and likewise with bad breath (which is also another sign of decaying teeth).  Let us take these three individually.

First, foul-smelling fart — this is a very clear indication that the colorectal area of the digestive tract is filled with putrefying matter.  This is very dangerous as the waste products from digestion and cellular metabolism is overstaying their “welcome” and should have been eliminated long ago.  Its continued stay in the body means that all the toxins gathered from all over the body for elimination is being re-absorbed and this is frequently (but not being admitted by conventional and corporate-backed medical and health authorities) the root cause behind cancers such as colorectal cancer, anal cancer, and stomach cancer.  You can always tell when a person is predominantly an animal eater, his/her fart is foul — or the toilet reeks with the stomach-churning odor that lingers for a while even when there are exhaust fans to draw out the stench.  [Note: Silent farts are often foul-smelling whereas noisy farts are usually odorless.]

Second, body odor — this is likewise a classic manifestation that toxins fill the fat cells under the skin — as well as the gastro-intestinal tract.  We perspire what we eat.  The most common reason our perspiration may not reek of rotting or putrefying meat is the ambient temperature — i.e., when the climate is cool or when inside an air-conditioned room.  The smell does not permeate the air but it will still be noticeable when one gets near enough (to the source).  The only way to reduce the intensity of the body odor — but not necessarily the toxicity of the body — is to bathe or shower as frequently as possible (but not too much).

Third and last, bad breath — besides halitosis or bad breath caused by tooth decay or bits of meat stuck between teeth and at the gums, bad breath can rise up the esophagus from the smell of putrefying meat from the meal you have just eaten (like when burping or belching) — just as certain foods, especially those with strong and pungent odors like raw onions and garlic — or those that lingers in the mouth because the eater failed to clean the mouth after the meal.

In any case, it is not healthy to have foul smelling body odor.  Decaying meat smells horrendous as compared to decaying plant matter — which is almost odorless, except in certain cases such as asparagus, eggs, and pungent vegetables.

And then there are those that result from too much chemical-laden junk food.  Many junk foods contain chemicals that are harmful to health and creates foul-smelling fumes with digested.  It is important that toxins and chemicals that turn into toxins — like triclosan (when mixed with chlorinated water forms toxic and carcinogenic chloroform which taxes the liver and kidneys) and aspartame (when digested is broken down into its components amino acids, methanol and other chemicals which, according to the USA FDA web page URL: https://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dailys/03/Jan03/012203/02P-0317_emc-000196.txt, is quickly absorbed and converted into the highly toxic and carcinogenic embalming liquid formaldehyde) — be avoided because we should not put too much burden on our body’s defenses and elimination organs lest they be eventually overwhelmed and become a liability to our health.  Our body is a wonderful and “perfect” machine created by God but even it can and will succumb to toxins and damage when exposed to enough of them.

If these are not enough to deter us from shunning toxin-laden and chemically-produced commercial foods, I do not know what will.

TaN: As a rejoinder to the first update in the post for Oct 22-28 TaN regarding missing links or evolutionary transition species, still another is how a cold-blooded parent cares for a warm-blooded offspring or how a warm-blooded offspring adapts or copes with the sudden change (from cold-blooded to warm-blooded) and how will a cold-blooded parent teach a warm-blooded offspring the ways of being warm-blooded.  Moreover, is there such a thing as tepid- or lukewarm-blooded?

We are, of course, going by the assumption by conventional evolutionary science that warm-blooded creatures simultaneously split and arose from cold-blooded forebears — unless there appears to be a previous posit that the over-sized reptiles — especially the dinosaurs — were actually warm-blooded.  This is based on the argument that cold-blooded creatures rely heavily on the sun (and ambient environmental temperature) to raise its body heat high enough to become active.

In addition, it is a scientific fact that a larger mass requires a longer time to absorb heat and raise its internal temperature as compared to a much smaller mass, it makes sense that the gargantuan dinosaurs — such as the brontosaurus, diplodocus, brachiosaurus, iguanadon, triceratops, stegasaurus, titanosaurus, allosaurus, megalosaurus, ankylosaurus, hadrosaurus, and even the Tyrannosaurus — must have to be warm-blooded because it would take “forever” for the sun, even in the hottest summer day, to raise their enormous body mass one degree in a 24-hour period.  The only possibility is that these monster reptiles must be able to generate their own internal body heat to be active and survive.

Even if it is easy for them to rely on solar heating when they are young — because of their much smaller body mass — I cannot imagine a transformation from a cold-blooded youngster into a warm-blooded adult.  It just does not happen (in nature).  So this is still another argument in favor of a Creation-based theory of evolution — yes, there is evolution even if it is Creation and not Darwinian but these are merely evolutionary variants within the same species and not inter-species.  This means that domestic dogs can evolve into their wild canine ancestors and back just as the finches of the Galapagos of Darwin (differing in their beak and bills sizes and shapes which dictate their diet).

TaN: In a traffic accident some weeks ago, I realized there are primarily two types: simple negligence (or stupidity) and criminal negligence.  Criminal negligence are those other traffic accidents or violations resulting after the felony has been committed (such as those occurring during car chases or exchange of gunfire).  Simple negligence — or as I would like to call it, STUPIDITY — are the accident themselves and go no further (like collisions or self-accidents).

Either case, these drivers should not have been granted the privilege — i.e., issued driving licenses — in the first place.  And the problem with the current system is that those who were party to the issuing of the driver’s license get away with no accountability.  Moreover, it reflects badly on our screening process to determine who is granted the driving privilege.  The screening process is not thorough enough.

Whenever driving accidents occur — with the exception of force majeure or acts of God, like natural calamities and disasters — all those concerned should be held accountable (and not just the drivers and owners/operators).  Even without probing deep into the system of screening, I can tell what are some of the (major) flaws in the system.

Many, if not most, drivers have the “bad habit” of not going through the motions of safety checks even before getting into the vehicle — let alone starting the engine.  The proper procedure is divided into two three phases: pre-entry, entry, and ignition.  It may be overkill but its faithful practice ensures 98 percent safety — of course, the most important is still driver attitude, especially once behind the steering wheel.

Pre-entry includes checking of all externals — i.e., front and back lights, tire condition (thread, wear, and pressure), external mirrors, brake fluid and oil and water, and others.  Entry includes all inside the vehicle short of turning the ignition — i.e., windshield wipers, front, back, and signal lights (especially if ambient lighting is low), horn, [power locks and windows,] side and rear view mirrors, and others.  For ignition, this includes all involved in operating the vehicle — i.e., foot and hand brakes, clutch and gear shifts, steering wheel, battery status, and others — but these will have to be done when the vehicle is in motion.  In addition, all obstructions to the driver’s full view around the vehicle, especially those dangling from the rear view mirror or mounted on the dashboard and resting on the rear deck and those that are glued on the windows (like stickers and decals), or heavy tints that distort or may obscure small or faintly reflective objects should be removed or taken down.

Of course, as aforementioned, there will always be things beyond our control, like metal fatigue and other drivers (who may intentionally or not be distracted as in tending to the portable electronic device like a mobile telephone).  In any case, defensive driving is always the best.

In conclusion, being extra cautious may not avert the inevitable but it is still best not to tempt fate.

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Post for Dec 31-Jan 6 2018 (updated Jan 6)

TaN (update): In today’s (January 6) hardcopy of The Philippine STAR, two articles caught my attention: (1) a photograph on the front page of people lined up ceremonially shoveling dirt into something, as some sort of symbolic opening; and, (2) the inside article titled “Duterte accepts Paolo’s resignation” by a certain Christina Mendez.

In the photograph, it is very irritating to realize that there are so many people so eager to get their photographs in mass media (newspapers) that they, wittingly or unwittingly, permit themselves to be used for promotional purposes frequently oblivious to the real ramifications of their participation.  What I am referring or alluding to is when a certain “media-worthy” event has some (other) hidden or ulterior issue, like the company is embroiled in some scandal or controversy and is using the media to clean or cover up the mess it is in and using people to abet them in their (cleansing or diversionary) public relations campaign.

As to the article regarding Mr Duterte accepting his son’s resignation as vice mayor of his beloved city, it is hardly news worthy.  In fact, Mr Duterte’s acceptance of his son’s resignation is totally irrelevant.  In the first place, a city vice mayor’s resignation from office is not or hardly within or part of the function of the president.  As far as I know, a city official is responsible to his/her voting constituency so the resignation should have been directed to the city’s voters.  Second, a city vice mayor is a local government official so his/her immediate superior would be the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).  The president should not have been bothered with such trivial matters, unless it is on a personal (father-and-son) level, in which case it need not have been reported at all.

TaN: In last week’s controversial vote in the UN General Assembly on the matter of the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the Trump administration, the abstention of the Philippines is not really an abstention.  It is, for all practical purposes and intentions, a vote with the overwhelming majority — which is against Mr Trump’s decision.

There is actually no practical abstention on the part of the Philippines because of the known long-standing relationship between the Philippines and the United States of America.  In all candidness, it is the only logical diplomatic decision because to vote in favor of Mr Trump’s recognition is but expected due to the historical relationship.

The Philippines is trying to stay neutral.  The Philippines deemed it to stay away from casting a vote as a magistrate would recuse oneself in a case where s/he is seen or perceived to have a bias.  Casting a vote with the majority would be seen and interpreted as a rebuke of Mr Trump whereas a vote against the majority is expected, considering the special relationship between the two countries.

However, by abstaining, it reveals that the Philippines really wanted to express the same sentiment as the majority but it would conflict with their special relationship enjoyed by both the United States of American and itself otherwise if the latter really feels that Mr Trump is correct in his decision, the Philippines should have cast its vote against the majority.

TaN: The cause of (extreme) poverty, especially in developing and low-income countries, varies according to the way the population spends money.  There are actually many instances where there is simply no reason for poverty to exist.  It is all a matter of how the (hard-earned) money is spent.

Unlike the wealthy, the less wealthy cannot (just) spend money left and right.  They have to budget and prioritize their income because there is little or no guarantee that they will have leftover money to life’s leisures, pleasures, and indulgences — i.e., disposable income.  In this regard, the less wealthy cannot or should not try to emulate or mimic the lifestyle spending of the wealthy else they come up short on the budget and complain they do not earn enough.

To cite Filipinos — because I am most familiar with them — many of the low-income families spend too much on electronic gadgets (like social media, online games, and spreading gossip or chatting) and on indulgences (like sodas and junk foods) and on bad habits or vices (like cigarettes and alcohol).  Although their argument has validity — i.e., they already have little in life at least deserve some enjoyment and indulgences — they have the tendency to go overboard.  To prevent a feeling of deprivation from occasional enjoyment is one thing, but they cannot seem to draw the line on when it is enough.

For those interested — should I have unexpected visitors to this blog of mine — and/or have trouble budgeting their meager income (like I do), I have worked up a good technique to assure to some degree that I spend and stay within my limits with some savings to boost.  Before I retired, my colleagues used to ask why I never attend the seminars on how to save money and I always tell them my problem is not saving but spending money.  Here’s one of the ways I do it…

I divide my income into three (more or less) equal portions.  One portion is my forced savings where I put it away and do not dip into it except for life and death situations — like medical expenses.  Another portion is my emergency loan facility — which I always put back whatever I withdraw for whatever emergency.  This emergency fund goes into forced savings at the end of the budget cycle — i.e., it goes back to zero in the next budget session.  The last portion is my spending budget.

In the third and last portion, I divide it further into weekly spending and “mad or cheat or indulgence” money.  The weekly spending is the expected (frequently itemized) regular expenses — such as daily transport fares and food stocks (i.e., market) and utilities and (anticipated, such Internet access and pre-paid loads) bills — are set aside and not touched no matter what happens, whereas the mad money is just so we will feel deprived and sorry for ourselves that we cannot even enjoy an occasional self-indulgence.  However, for the mad money, I still try to restrict my urges to splurge and try to be under-budget so I can have more to add to the savings.

There are no such as things as food or non-essentials that are “to die for”.  As I always say, God and country are to die for, food is to be eaten.  No food is worth the extra effort, like going far far away just to have it.

Moreover, as a rule, I do not spend more than 300 for any restaurant dish.  No matter how inviting and good-smelling a certain food is, like a meat dish, it is still the same meat — like spending more than 20 percent above the same meat cut and quantity that I can get from the public market.  A pork chop in a restaurant is the same pork chop I can buy at the market.

And the greatest mistake of all is that there is no such thing as a staple in restaurant dining.  Many people must have rice or noodles or some other starch-based dish along with the other orders, not knowing that this makes up a large (if not the largest) chunk of revenue of any eatery.  Imagine a kilo of rice can cook from 24 up to 30 (or more) cups so multiply that by the price per cup and compare it to your purchase price (at home).  This is why I never eat noodles nor rice when I eat out.  [This I learned from my mother — she pointed this out to me and I remembered it ever since.]

In addition, when eating out, I try to avoid dishes with sauces and gravies and soups.  These not only add bulk and gives an illusion that you are getting more than you money is worth but sauces and gravies frequently mask or cover up for the lack of flavor or taste of the dish.  Many cooks use sauces and gravies to make the dish look more inviting and fool the taste buds.  Dips and condiments are okay but never sauces and gravies.

Finally, always shop on a full stomach and bring your own “baon” so you will not have to buy when hunger suddenly sets in.  And, many people mistake thirst for hunger because the body sometimes send us the wrong signal and we think we are hungry when we are merely thirsty.  [Nota Bene: Stay away from sweet drinks when thirsty because the sugar will only increase your thirst.]  When you feel hunger, take a gulp of water first.  If the feeling goes away, you were thirsty; if it persists, you may be really hungry.

TaN: Bioluminescence is proof (positive) that there is intelligent design, that there is a Creator, that there is GOD!

Only a fool would believe that such complicated chemical reactions and processes happen by accident and by creatures we regard as to be very much inferior as far as (our definition of) intelligence is concerned.  Thinking and pondering about it seriously and honestly, it cannot be fathomed that such “lowly” creatures could have enough intelligence or even instinct — or even remotely by accident (via evolution and “trial-and-error”), think of the odds; astronomical does not even come close to describing it — to identify and know which elements or substances to acquire and mix to get bioluminescence, especially if you also consider that different environments have varying amounts and types of substances and that there are several different formulas to create the bioluminescent effect.

Moreover, there should be archeological or fossil evidence that there are unsuccessful ones — such as those where bioluminescence is a disadvantage and those that developed it became extinct.  After all, evolution is supposed to be “mindless” so it attempts at bioluminescence would or should have sporadically and randomly developed all all conceivable environments.

Add this to the previous TaN regarding the problems faced by or when transitioning from one species to another — like from scale to feather or fur where scale is no longer a scale but neither can it be called a feather or fur.

TaN: Mr Duterte’s (not just draconian, but extremely) draconian style of solving problems cannot entirely be blamed on him.  His predecessors must share a significant segment of that blame.  The most plausible explanation of Mr Dutette’s brutal and barbaric style of solving problems appear to stem from – I suppose – his sense of urgency to rid his country of the drug scourge.  The country’s drug problem, aside from the many others, has been festering for approximately half a century.

Due to politics and political interests, many presidents did not nip many of the country’s problems in the bud.  These problems were permitted to remain and grow.  Oh, there are times when there were campaigns to rid the country of the said problems but they have been either inadequate, half-heartedly done, for political mileage, or for incompetently handled.

Nevertheless, no matter how urgent the situation may be, it is still unjustifiable to use such savage and barbaric means to solve the problems, regardless of how evil or widespread they may be.  There is always a right way and a wrong way to do things.  The right way is almost always difficult, takes a long time (so requires a lot of patience and political will), and will meet a lot of opposition, mostly from those who stand to gain from the problems.

However Machiavellian reasons Mr Duterte has, the end can never justify the means.  This is where the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” (may have) come from.

The correct way is Jesus’ way.  This is the reason for His utterance: I am the Light, the Truth, and the Way.  He came down to show us how it is done…the correct and proper way.  Only once was He (recorded) to have lost His temper and that was when His Father’s house is being used as a den of thieves.  Nevertheless, He never resorted to killing people…not even slapping them on the wrist (for being bad).

Given this, I see no justification for the brutal and heinous way Mr Duterte’s campaigns against illegal drugs, corruption, criminality, and all other forms of evil.  His heart may be in the right place but his methods are not.

If Mr Duterte is concerned that he will not be able to rid the country of all its scourge, then he has very little faith in his successor because if the people really believe in him and his way, his (anointed) successor will sure be able to carry on his legacy.

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