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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Post for Dec 24-30 2017 (updated Dec 25, re-updated Dec 29)

TaN (update 2): Everybody is still missing the whole issue with regard to the looming jeepney modernization plan of the Philippine government.  It is yet another case of the intention being good but everyone is going about it all wrong.  In the end, the situation will only get worse and the only benefit to be had will be those who stand to gain (financially) from this whole shenanigan.

The issue is not so much the “forced” conversion of jeepneys from ICEs (internal combustion engines) to electric ones but what happens afterwards — and most especially the cost to the jeepney operators and drivers and eventually down the line to the commuters and the environment.  Without first establishing some kind of rudimentary but functioning recharging infrastructure, the jeepneys will have to recharge from the existing power grid — which is mainly servicing households and industry.  This means that the electric jeepneys will not only add to the power demand already existing but will even compete for consumption.  This will increase the burden and power demand and will subsequently result in widespread and frequent power outages due to increased consumption.

Not only will this increase the revenue of existing power suppliers and distributors, it will not make even the tiniest dent in the consumption of fossil fuels — since power generation is still principally or heavily dependent on burning fossil fuels.

The yet-to-be-developed (much less established) recharging stations (infrastructure), to be in line with the drive or clamor for sustainable growth and development, should not get its power supply from the existing grid — which is fossil fuel based.  The renewable or alternative energy industry or sector must first be developed and be fully functioning — i.e., already contributing a significant fraction to the existing power grid — and capable of supplying and supporting the expected demand from electric jeepneys.

Only when a credible recharging infrastructure for the electric jeepneys is in place can we even think of modernizing and shifting from ICEs and electric engines — let alone forcibly implementing the conversion.

Shifting from ICEs to electric engines without any functioning recharging infrastructure only benefits those who are in the electric jeepney — and downstream — business (as well as those who stand to get commissions, agent’s fees, and other such financial bonanzas resulting from the sale and conversion.

So, in the end, it is incorrect to say “No to phase out of jeepneys” since they are not being phased out but merely coerced into shifting to electric engines.  Neither is it correct (for the government) to say that “Jeepney modernization program not anti-poor” (as the title of an article in The Philippine STAR hardcopy edition dated December 29, 2017) because jeepney drivers are not the only ones who are poor nor can government really make good its threat to “tow non-compliant vehicles” (as Senator Grace Poe so ably explained and warned) because “there might not be enough replacements yet for those would be taken off the road” — then there will be a transport crisis (which many “vultures” will quickly capitalize on).

TaN (update 2): In an article in Natural News posted for December 25 titled “Alternative fuel for home heating reduces emissions and recycles waste: Researchers say wood pellet fuel is a winner” by a certain Ralph Flores — URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-12-25-alternative-fuel-for-home-heating-reduces-emissions-and-recycles-waste-researchers-say-wood-pellet-fuel-is-a-winner.html — all these good news to ways to save the environment and mitigate if not altogether halt or reverse climate change is well and good but we are still missing the point.  Conservation and sustainability is not about finding alternatives to our over-indulgence and over-consumption but about sustainable and responsible use of natural resources.

Even with fossil fuel, there will be little difficulty in controlling our emissions and achieve some kind of sustainability if only we curb our over-consumption tendencies and resist the tempting marketing campaigns and commercial advertisements of Big Business.  Always keep in mind — and, of course, practice faithfully and conscientiously — the Marxist principle of (from Critique of the Gotha program): From each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs.  In other words, zero-waste consumption is the only (truly) sustainable way to go — i.e., no unnecessary consumption as well as no unnecessary waste or discards.  We have to do away with encouraging consumers to buy more so business will do well.  We have to put people and environment before profit — money is neutral, it can neither be good nor bad; it is how we use it.

The whole point of sustainability is not to encourage wasteful use of limited resources, especially the non-renewables.  I f we can altogether abandon non-renewables, the better.  Let us return to the “old ways” without sacrificing innovation and creativity.  The Amish is correct in their ways but they are a bit too extreme.

The compromise is to develop technology that benefits all people — and shun or altogether outlaw monopolistic and self-serving ideas such as intellectual property and copyrights and other such “evil” things and innovate for the common good. It is (very) possible to demote money to a (much) lower status or importance and still have technological advancements equal to or even surpass the current rate of technological innovation.  In fact, without the hindrances of intellectual property and copyrights, technological creativity and innovations will most likely proceed at much faster rates because everything will be open to all for scrutiny and more minds will be able to work solving inherent flaws and weaknesses, unlike intellectual property and copyrights which restrict access to the inner workings outside of the rights proprietor and limited trusted people.

In any case, the aforementioned wood pellets are claimed to be ecological and sustainable will, in the end, go the way of all the others because consumption and demand will, once again, render it environmentally unsustainable.

TaN (update): In the (viral) video depicting a younger brother coming to the”rescue” of older sister in a wrestling match, most people notice (at once) the obvious (and adorable) “dramatic rescue” attempt by the younger brother because he thinks his older sister is in trouble and needs assistance.  What most people miss out is that, at his (tender) age, it is surprising that the boy is able to distinguish and recognize that (1) his older sister is engaged in what appears to be a dangerous situation and needs assistance, (2) there is a strong protective bond and instinct in the family even at the young age, and (3) the little boy, mistakingly as it may be, understands his role and responsibility as member of a family.

This video is one of those rare moments that reinforces and brings hope to a world otherwise engulfed in apathy, self-indulgence, greed, and selfishness.

Tan: On this 25th, when not Christiandom but rather only Catholics (should or will) celebrate the birth of Jesus, although the Holy Scriptures does not specifically say that birthdays are not to be celebrated — see Ecclesiastes 7:1: A good name is better then precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth [KJV] — they are nevertheless not encouraged.  In fact, it is for this very reason that the actual date of birth of Jesus is not (made) known or recorded in the Holy Scriptures.

However, the celebration itself is erroneous on two counts: [1] it is not the true or anywhere near the date of birth as, based on the accounts in the Holy Scriptures regarding the environmental and meteorological conditions at the time of birth, there will be or is snow on the ground every December 25 and [2] it is celebrated by most (Catholics, never mind the non-Catholics) for the wrong reason.

In the first count, even granting for the sake of argument that since the actual date is unrecorded (ergo unknown), the date of celebration should at least be as close to the actual date as possible.  It would be an insult to ignore all the descriptions of the weather conditions mentioned in the Holy Scriptures during that momentous event and arbitrarily set a date — which happens to (by some strange chance) coincide with the pagan celebration for the deity Saturnalia the sun god.

In the second count, assuming further than the first count is null, it is still erroneous to celebrate with such merriment and wild abandon but that it should be an occasion when we ponder at the solemnity and blessedness and that the mirth and festivities should reflect the significance of the occasion.  The joy and gaiety may be earnest or impassioned but the theme should be centered around the birth of the Savior.

Let us keep in mind the reason for our celebration — at the very least.

TaN: Unintentionally doing something wrong does not make it any less wrong.  However, intention certainly is a factor is determining culpability or liability or accountability.  Nevertheless, the “type” (for lack of a more accurate term) of intention further complicates matters.

First, the intention.  Should the wrong be intentional, then it is obvious.  However, if the wrong is unintentional, the wrongdoer may or may not be held responsible.  In this instance, it is important to go further into the “unintention”.

Should the “unintention” be willful — say, the wrongdoer was lazy or did not bother to check up and dig into the matter before acting — then it is unexcusable.  Should the “unintention” be sincerely unintentional but, after being informed or hearing about possible ill effects, pretend not to hear about or ignore it, this likewise cannot be condoned.  Any hint of risk or harm when health of people are concerned should be taken seriously, be it only for a single individual or many.

The problem is how to prove there is willful neglect or ignorance when dealing with something without formal documentation — such as a formal letter or public issuance.  This will be up to the conscience of the person.

In any case, no matter what the circumstance, the reasons, the excuses and alibis, wrong will always be wrong.

TaN: In today’s world, another proof that everything is being turned upside down: Legality trumps (science-based evidence-based) facts.  The best case in point is the voluminous studies and preponderances of research on the “miracles” of food nutrients as beneficial to health and yet Big Pharma (and Big Business), through the government dictates what is safe to consume and what can be disseminated to the public, continues to block and frustrate efforts to inform the public on the health and nutritional benefits of naturally or traditionally grown foods.

Everything today is about legality and corporate-funded science.  These are being touted and proclaimed as the only basis of truth and everything else are unfounded and just plain lies.

Another case in point is the growing trend for governments to label and make allegations against people and it is now the burden of whoever the poor individual happens to be to prove him/herself otherwise.  If this does not turn things around 180 degrees, I do not know what does.  I remember it used to be the burden of the accuser and not the accused to prove guilt.  As recent as just a couple of weeks ago, in the Philippines, a private lawyer who filed an impeachment complaint against the sitting chief justice wants the lawmakers to find evidence to substantiate the complaint for him.  What unmitigated gall!

It has gone from “Innocent until proven guilty” to “Guilty until proven innocent“.

And definitions are being twisted to suit the hidden agenda of powerful and influential vested interest groups.  It all started out subtly, like being politically correct, and intensified and progressed (or rather retrogressed) to redefining racism — speaking the truth is not racism and is certainly not wrong — to those too lazy to think for themselves and many more.

I wonder how far will all this go?

TaN: Sitting alone at home one evening — October 8, a Sunday — I suddenly had another epiphany.  Since we are not in control of when it is our time to go but we have a say in how we choose to wait for our moment with destiny (i.e., our death), it is a misplaced to feel shame when our children die before us.  Instead, our shame is when our children die due to something preventable — like disease or malnutrition, but not accidents and disasters.

It is a mistake to blame — or even just consider — ourselves when our children go before us.  Their time is beyond our control (and understanding, why they went ahead).  It is an entirely different story if our children go with preventable diseases or accidents.  This is a sign of negligence on our part.  It means we have been neglectful in our duties as parents (and guardians) of our children.  Our children have been entrusted to our case so it is our sacred duty to watch over them, teach them, and bring them up as good people and, most of all, God-fearing.

Anything beyond our control, like freak accidents, are unfortunate but cannot be due to any lack on our part.  It is beyond our wisdom why the Lord has chosen to call them back so soon.  And neither can we “blame” God for it is from Him that we have the gift of life so it is His prerogative as to when He decides to take it back.

Moreover, who are we to question His decision.  For all we know, God called our child back to save him/her from a worse fate.  We have no idea what the future holds and brings.

Always remember that there are things within our purview but there are those that are beyond and those that are beyond include God’s decisions.

In this sense, there is no such thing as an untimely death.  All deaths are timely.  They may be unfortunate and painful but they are timely.  It is time for them to go back just as we will have our time.

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Post for Dec 17-23 2017 (updated Dec 18, re-updated Dec 19, re-updated Dec 21)

Tan (update 3): In the recent news report regarding the “threat” of USA Ambassador Nikki Haley as response to the move by Turkey and Yemen circulating a draft resolution among the member countries of the United Nations, this is clearly a bullying tactic and is likewise a blatant manifestation of the manipulative and malicious character of the Trump administration to enforce its will on the world.

Under such threats, if will be very sad to see world leaders cowtow to such despicable acts of authoritarianism and, if I were a world leader and succumb to such threats, I will have no face to show my citizens.  I would be so embarrassed I will step down from office effective immediately — never mind the diplomatic mumbo-jumbo and doublespeak and lame alibis that characterize attempts to desperately cling to and stay in power by justifying their submission to foreign power as a “sacrifice” for the sake of the country.

I honestly did not expect such a statement from supposedly no less than an ambassador to the UN of the USA.  I would expect this from juveniles who try to bully others by threatening to tell on them.  Aside from surprise, I also feel sorry that such an educated and high-ranking government official will make such a statement.

Yeah, little Nikki, you go ahead and tell big daddy just how naughty some of your playmates are and tell him who these playmates are.  Go ahead.  See if I care.

TaN (update 2): In the issue of Mr Duterte’s granddaughter’s recent Palace photograph, there is nothing illegal nor immoral about it.  However, it is really in bad taste because the people in the photograph (and the others such as the photographer) are treating the official residence of the president as if it were private property.

It shows no respect for the solemnity of the place.  It is the highest institution of the country.  How we behave in government offices, the more we have to behave in the Palace.  Even if there was an official function, one’s behavior must always be observed; there is a proper decorum to be practiced.  It was very juvenile and shows the cheapness and shallowness of the incident as well as all those involved in it.

Moreover, Mr Duterte need not have defended the incident, but one cannot fault him for being a grandfather.  As the saying goes, You can attack me all you want but stay away from my family.

TaN (update): In an article on technology in Natural News, titled “Researchers have designed a new solar device that may finally make hydrogen cars a reality” [URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-12-17-researchers-have-designed-a-new-solar-device-that-may-make-hydrogen-cars-a-reality.html] by a certain Jhoanna Robinson posted for December 17, there is a statement that I could should have made long ago but didn’t.  However, I am glad that this article did, to wit: “Hydrogen energy is not ‘green’ unless it is produced from renewable sources.”

This is precisely what I have been trying to say all this time when I argue against the current drive to convert from the traditional ICE (internal combustion engine) to electric vehicles.  Electric cars are not eco-friendly if they are not charged with electricity generated in (true) sustainable and environment-friendly ways — i.e., the electricity is still being sourced from fossil fuels.

There is a widespread misconception and misunderstanding that being sustainable means just converting away from direct consumption of fossil fuels (like in power generation and current ICEs) when, in fact, true sustainability means that the entire process — from “harvesting” from the environment to power generation to consumption and even to after-consumption disposition or disposal — is completely environment-friendly and are renewable.

Moreover, just because we shift to electric cars and other supposedly eco- or environmentally-friendly technologies does not (necessarily) make it sustainable nor good for the environment.  There is (also and) still the matter of unnecessary or wasteful consumption.  The issue of consumerism and commercialism is still unaddressed and is one of the, if not principal, reasons for being unsustainable.

No matter how environmentally-friendly our technologies are, if our rate of consumption remains being (heavily) influenced “and dictated” by Big Business — through commercialism and consumerism and peer pressure and envy and our own personal weaknesses in the name of economic activity and growth — there is or will be no true sustainable growth and development and, most importantly, consumption.

Even if all of us were to shift to electric and away from dirty and polluting fossil fuels or even if we were all to go to hydrogen technology, it would still be unsustainable because of how we over-indulge ourselves in the trappings of “modern” living where much of our consumption are completely unnecessary — and therefore unsustainable.

Even if the waste from hydrogen technology is “just” water, imagine an environment where the atmosphere — and ground (because there is bound to be precipitation when the superheated steam exits the vehicular exhaust pipe and encounters the external colder air) — is (over-)saturated with water vapor.  We may well end with a “water world”.

True sustainable growth and development is not so much a change or shift in technology but in our consumption pattern.  We are missing the whole point of being sustainable and permitting Big Business (through media, mass, social or otherwise) to dictate our consumption habits and decisions.

TaN: In numerous videos regarding the race of (ancient) giants sired by angels in the Holy Scriptures, it was repeatedly mentioned that angels are neither male nor female but I wondered, If that were true, why were the “fallen” angels attracted to the daughters of menWhy not attracted to the men or sons of men?

So it would seem that in a default situation where something or someone is deemed to be neither masculine nor feminine, the former is taken or assumed.  Moreover, since God is “masculine” — the Father, the Son — it would only seem natural that the angels He creates would be something similar to Him, especially in terms of gender.

Lastly, it is intriguing to note that the Holy Scriptures mentions giants which implies quite a few that all of them would turn out to be evil.  I guess there were not enough giants to produce an “aberration” of a good giant.

TaN: As I watched some back episodes of the television series The Big Bang Theory, it just dawned on me that there could be some truth to both the Big Bang Theory and the Biblical account of Creation.  The Big Bang Theory’s infinitesimal tiny dot in space, which is supposed to be the source or origin of the universe, would be the Nothingness which God created everything from.  [Or it could be something completely different.]

Nothing, by virtue of it being nothing, will have no physical size — at least not in this temporal reality.  Therefore, it would logically be natural to come to the conclusion that the theoretical dot in space — from which all everything originated — has to be made of the same stuff, albeit in a much much much much denser state which may have different characteristics and attributes.  Nevertheless, this dot cannot be nothing since it IS something, perhaps just not what we are used to calling as something.

More often than not and especially during these “modern” times, semantics plays a pivotal role.  In fact, it has been said that semantics is frequently at the center of all our mis-understandings and misperceptions and conflicts and illogical assessments of each other, our conversations and messages, and the affairs of the world in general.  People either use incorrect, inaccurate, or vague terms or substitute terms not knowing the subtle differences as we communicate with one another.  This is especially true when communication is done in different languages and with people from differing cultures and values and idiomatic expressions.

In the end, it could all be the classic story of the seven blind men and the elephant — with the blind trying to describe the elephant through their sense of touch and coming up with very different accounts when it is but a matter of putting all of their accounts together.

TaN: Not only the principal but probably the sole cause of all our problems and issues regarding environmental damage and sustainable development is the hijacking of the original purpose and concept of doing business from social support and providing comfort and convenience to others to become profit-driven and pure self-interest.

Without the motivation of making profit, we will only take from the environment what we need because it will not make sense to take more.  What would we use the excess for and what would it benefit us to take in excess of what we need?

Whereas if there is the objective of making profit, it makes sense to take as much as we can from the environment in order to make a huge a profit as possible.  This not only puts pressure on the environment but even creates a lot of waste because we would naturally take more than can be consumed to ensure that all consumers will be served — never mind the unsold as they will be relegated as waste because factored into the profits are always the loss from unsold goods.

It is not so much the money but the greed or love of money — as forewarned and prophesied in 1 Timothy 6:10 [KJV]: “For the LOVE OF MONEY is a root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” [emphasis or capitalization mine] — that is putting everything at risk.  When greed sets in, nothing is held sacred anymore and money is very tempting.

To satisfy those who simply cannot (make) do without money (or some form of medium of exchange), I will compromise and say that money has its place but those are the key operative words — “has its place”.  So, I will accede to the use of money but only if restricted to certain very specific instances or conditions (such as mandatory public disclosure of actual production cost of a product and a flat tax rate on gross revenue or income without exemptions and reductions of any sort like discounts and upward progressive according to gross sales).  Only prime commodities can avail of tax incentives and exemptions.

Furthermore, there will be complete transparency of company books, especially those that deal with the cost of raw or input ingredients or materials and the production of goods — i.e., can be subject to public scrutiny with the proper request made for a court order.

In conclusion, I must admit that it is extremely difficult, especially when money has been in use for such a long time and in practically all aspects of life and so many “supporters”, that it will be next to but not totally impossible to completely do away with money, especially when dealing with other people like trading or exchanging goods and putting values on the goods.

TaN: The concept or theory that one’s time of death has been pre-determined at the time of birth is more true that most people think.  However, the problem is most people — particularly those who agree with the notion — have a mis-understanding of what the theory truly means.

It is not so much that the (exact) time of death has been pre-set but the conditions or circumstances that, once met, commences the inevitable.  The time element is still significant, in any case, but the determining factor are the conditions that have been set to trigger the inevitable.

It is the same with the end of the world.  If one combs through the Holy Scriptures carefully and meticulously, one will find the specific passage that reveals when the end that has been pre-set for the end to come.  [I am not telling where, go find it yourself so you will have to read everything through.  But I will give a clue…] It is not so much the exact time but the conditions that have been put in place when, once met, begins the process of the end — but the conditions met only set the wheels in motion and does not mean the world will end immediately.

Be it the world or one’s own end, time cannot be the basis because time is (very) relative in this temporal world and is entirely different or may be totally absent in Heaven — because Stephen Hawking, in his best-seller A Brief History of Time, agues that time is a dimension of matter so if there is no material existence, it follows that there will be no time.

Moreover, time is manifested in two forms: absolute and relative where absolute refers to that which is independent and self-defining whereas relative refers to the different groupings or shorthand notations (such as days, weeks, years, etc) where it is vastly different throughout the universe.  A case in point is that our definition of day is a full rotation on one’s axis while a year is a full revolution or trip around a sun, but it takes Jupiter a longer period to rotate on its own axis than the Earth so a day in Jupiter does not have the same duration as here on Earth and likewise the trip around the sun.  Moreover, what about the sun?  How do you measure its year?  A year would apply only to nonstellar bodies that go around a star.

In addition, relative time has two aspects: personal and impersonal, where the personal refers to one’s age (which is referenced from or at the place of birth — and not death) while the impersonal refers to time as mentioned in the aforementioned statement.

Finally, the end of the world is likewise relative.  There is the end of the world as in the end of all existence and the personal kind which refers to one’s own death.  In the case of personal end of the world, it is (for all intents and purposes) going to be “the end of everything” — literally and figuratively.  Figurative “end” means one’s death is the end of one’s own world, whereas literal “end” means the end of all existence (i.e., Judgment Day).

As in sleep, where one is unconscious of the passage of time, the moment of one’s death means that we will be unconscious of the passage of time for the rest of existence so, as soon as we die, we are awaken to Judgment Day.  The time elapse between the moment we die and the end of all existence will pass by so quickly and unconsciously that we will (literally) “wake up” as soon as we die.

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Post for Dec 10-16 2017 (updated Dec 10; 2nd update Dec 11; 3rd update Dec 13; 4th update Dec 14)

TaN (update 4): In the hardcopy issue of The Philippine STAR today (December 14) with the title “Congress votes overwhelmingly for one year of martial law” by a certain Jess Diaz, this is a classic example of a case where an immature population should not be governed by a republic form of democracy.   It makes a mockery of the political system.  There is little or no balance of power as the tendency of the voting population is to vote in the party of whoever they will vote for as chief executive.  [Note: Just like having so much violence in the “only Christian country in (southeast) Asia”, it is a joke to have a two-party republic form of government where the chief executive’s party almost always dominate the Congress.]

It is especially disturbing when instances like the current Duterte administration where there is an overwhelming support base in both houses of Congress.  There is credible argument from the meager opposition and yet the (super) majority appears to be oblivious to the logic and sobriety of the opposition’s argument.

The specific case in point for this instance is when it is very clear in the Constitution regarding the martial law power of the Congress and the Chief Executive and yet the conditions provided are not being debated before the issue of the extension of martial rule was voted upon.

Cases like the current in the Philippines is good only when the government is under a benevolent dictatorship but what is present appears not to have a benevolence at all.

If only there is a real way to ensure independent and critical thinking lawmakers are elected into office.

Btw, I am not against the motives of Mr Duterte and his cohorts.  I am just against the ways in which the motives and intentions are being carried out.  As I have repeatedly maintained in previous TaNs, The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

TaN (update 3): I really cannot let this lapse without sharing it.  In the December 12 (Tuesday) hardcopy issue of The Philippine STAR, in the regular column of Ma’am Joanne Rae M Ramirez (people, funfare section, pa C7), titled “We do not lose those we give back to God“, this quote just have to be shared and I shall cite the entire paragraph with emphasis (mine) on the specific passage I deem is the highlight, to wit…

“Dear Lord, we now bow to Your Will.  We humbly commend and entrust to Your Bosom our beloved Lupe, her soul, her spirit, her laughter, and her smiles.  We give Lupe back to You, dear Lord.  You who gave her to us one beautiful morning, on June 1, 53 years ago.  You did not lose her then by giving her to us,” [former Senator and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto] Romulo said, when he delivered his eulogy, adding, “WE DO NOT LOSE HER AT ALL BY HER RETURN TO YOU, OUR LORD.”

This is simply just too precious not to share with others.

TaN (update 2): Here’s a thought: if all those cyber space videos on machines creating huge clouds of water vapor to change or alter (and control) the weather are true, why not use them on the wildfires currently besieging California?  Why don’t those tinkering with our weather patterns come to the rescue?  Perhaps then they would be exposed or their denials and secrecy will be refuted and brought to light.  I guess they are not into helping others and the environment…only themselves, their selfish little interests.

TaN (update): In today’s (December 10) hardcopy of The Philippine STAR, a cursory scan of the article titled “Vaccine fiasco: Garin blames predecessor” by a certain Sheila Crisostomo, it is not the natural but common or “customary” tendency of certain people to (quickly) pass the blame on someone else.  However, for certain people who are assumed to have attained a high degree of education, especially government officials and medical practitioners at that, this does not reflect well on their person.

In the “vaccine fiasco”, the blame should be on the final authority, whoever gave the final go-signal for implementation and not on the person who initiated the project or even those in between are responsible.  The one who gave the final nod just before the implementation has the last say on the matter and s/he should have made a thorough probe into the safety and efficacy of the “untried” vaccine.

The problem with most people (in authority) is that they put too much trust in their underlings or subordinates (to do all the leg work).  Although it is understandable — that the higher up in the organizational ladder one is, the more duties there are and cannot help but delegate tasks to subordinates — it is still the risk one takes and must accept responsibility for the consequences that ensue.

As for this vaccine incident, there is enough common sense to hesitate and not go half-cocked into the matter since people’s, especially children’s, lives are involved.  It is not outside of the intelligence of a physician to know and understand: (1) what a vaccine is; (2) what is its role or purpose; and, (3) what are the risks involved.

Common sense already tells us that, since the only tests are field trials and there are still many unknowns, it is wise to proceed with precaution and not implement the project on such a grand scale.  Too much trust was (mis)placed on pharmaceutical companies, even if they happen to be one of the top 5 pharmaceutical companies in the world.  Moreover, it is uncanny that physicians (at least the ones that I have encountered) do not take the time and trouble of reading and understanding the literature that comes with the drugs and vaccine they prescribe (or push).

In the end (and from what I can gather regarding the secretary of health when the dengue vaccine program was implemented), the buck stops at the desk of (former) Health Secretary Janette Garin, regardless of whether it was recommended or even endorsed by the World Health Organization or approved by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration or what other countries are involved.  Sanofi-Pasteur should share the blame unless they had previously issued the warning or medical alert but the media failed to pick it up.

TaN: Gossip is not (really) gossip if if there is truth in it.  However, the gossip must be entirely true or truthful otherwise it is libelous or slanderous.  Gossip, per se, is just another form of information being disseminated except that it is through an informal manner and usually regarding personal matters.  It is traditionally done to an individual in a small social circle but has now been extended to include public figures.

Gossip has its good points — like keeping watch on public figures (who are implicitly role models and) who may be tempted to do something immoral or stupid — but people have a way of turning good things into bad.  Gossip has been turned into a dirt-digging instrument to do damage to another person’s character.  It has become an instrument of malice.

It is entertaining to watch television programs that speak of others (gossip) but there ought to be a boundary where certain topics and issues are off limits, especially when it is already damaging and innocent people may be put in jeopardy.

All in all, gossip has its function and I just wish people do not mangle it into something distasteful.

TaN: The whole point of being (and staying) healthy is to alkalinize the body — not the entire body, of course, because there are certain parts and occasions that specific parts of the body must be acidic like the digestive system.  An acidic environment is nature’s way of indicating that there is death and there is organic matter that must be broken down and returned to the soil for recycling.

An acidic environment signals to normally benign micro-decomposers to become “hostile and attack” whatever is acidic and reduce it to the most elemental organic compounds and substances to be made available for re-uptake into the cycle of life.  Decomposers of all manner and form move into the do the job efficiently and promptly — from bacteria to fungi to some small creatures higher up in the food chain.

Still, sick people will always have an acidic body and this makes them vulnerable and invitingly open to attack.  But there are numerous and simple ways to alkalinize the body.  For one, (raw) fruits, even if they have an acidic taste, will eventually be digested alkaline by the body like citrus fruits and taking a fair amount of (organic) calcium daily.  [Note: Calcium’s role is more as an acid buffer than a bone strengthener.  Whenever the body, specifically the blood becomes acidic (like from too much consumption of sugar and animal protein in the form of amino and uric acids), the body draws calcium from the bones to neutralize the acidity.  The function of making strong bones go to magnesium.]

But, more importantly, to reduce or mitigate the possibility of an acidic body is to simply avoid consuming foods that are or will make the body acidic, like sugar (and more specifically HFCS or high-fructose corn syrup), artificial sweeteners, animal meats, and “bad or negative” stress.  Just like when we ban or deny the manufacturing, much less sale, of cigarettes, we would avoid having to set aside a budget to campaign against the ill-effects of cigarettes and the resulting public healthcare expenses and that money can go into more useful and worthwhile government services and projects.

Being in good health is primordial since everything else follows it. If one is not in good health, we cannot be productive.  The task of maintaining good health is simple.  It is made complicated only because modern living — primarily due to the machinations of Big Business and much to the pleasure and delight of Big Pharma — has made it difficult, what with all the social and commercial pressures exerted to ensure people (i.e., consumers) stay “up-to-date and modern”.

Add to this the fact that pollution in all forms and manner are rampant and uncontrolled, all because or in the name of economic growth and (the corporate-definition of) “sustainable” development.  Everything, including our health, are being sacrificed in the altar of corporate profit.

To return to or stay health, it is not only necessary but mandatory that we go back to “the old ways”.  One of the best examples of good health because they live as nature (and God) intended are the Amish community.  All trappings of the so-called modern civilization has or is being shunned and they are not afraid to work hard and till the soil and living as “primitively” as possible — though, in truth, they are not primitive at all but they lead simple lives.  The tentacles of greed (and love of money, as forewarned by Timothy in the Holy Scriptures) cannot reach them.

The key to it all is to live simply — rural agriculture — and physical labor (though with assistance from animals).  And by eating the way other animals do (i.e., little or no cooking) and confining ourselves to the proper diet — as dictated by our body: teeth (herbivore teeth), jaw (herbivore jaw), brain (salivation in reaction to sensory perception of food), gastric juices (organic hydrochloric acid composition and concentration), intestines (length and torso proportion), and enzymes (very limited uricase production) — we avoid all the pitfalls of incorrect diet and lifestyle of modern life that is at the root of all our health issues and problems.

In conclusion, alkalinizing foods, when subjected to high temperatures, become acidic.  This is the case with starch (when potatoes become french fries, a carcinogenic substance called acrylamide is formed) and with animal meat (especially red meat, when dry-cooked, carcinogenic substances called nitrosamide and n-nitrosamide are formed) — but are not acidic when consumed without exposure to high temperatures (like sashimi meat and boiled potatoes).

TaN: Anywhere (or any time) there is a wide wealth gap, there will always be corruption, high criminality, low population maturity, propensity to indulge in festivities and merriment with the flimsiest of reasons, nepotism (especially in public office, whether elective or appointive), and low compliance and enforcement of the law (with justice being denied to a great majority and anarchy is ubiquitous) — among other things.  Moreover, (true) democracy will and does not apply or work — it will only be paper democracy, where there will be widespread and rampant vote-buying and election manipulation.

Whenever the wealth gap is wide, it only means that government is not doing its job — which is to level the playing field.  Government is being manipulated and controlled by (Big Business) interests that seek only to enrich themselves and at the expense of everybody else.  This is exactly the reason why democracy (or republicanism) is not the best political system for governance.

There is no single one-size-fits-all political system of governance.  It will depend on the circumstances and characteristics that the (to-be) governed possesses.  A case in point is a mature society where a great majority, say 90%, of the population behave ethically and do not really have to be told to do the right thing, a system of governance is redundant but is, nevertheless, kept and maintained as a formality.  A good concrete case are the Scandinavian countries, specifically the peninsular Scandinavians.

In another case, where a great majority behave so juvenile that they need to have so many rules and regulations to ensure every individual gets his/her fair share and treatment and justice is served (fast and correctly), a benevolent dictatorship is best — and even then, it will be a Herculean task (should the population be sizable) for the dictator as s/he would be able to ensure all his (hand-picked) people/cohorts (in government) are and will always be as their (fearless) leader.  A concrete case of this would be the Philippines but Mr Duterte, though is exhibiting all the classical signs and manifestations of a dictator, is hardly perceived to be benevolent.  Among those that would embellish doubt and uncertainty regarding his benevolence are:[1] his arrogance; [2] tendency to bully others (especially those who do not agree with him, like his critics and detractors and especially women); [3] propensity to publicly mock, insult, and debase others just to get some accolade and feed his macho image and ego; and, [4] his intolerance to questions concerning his sincerity, motives and intentions, and decisions, just to name a few.

And for the other assortment and variants between these to the extremes, these would range from democracy (or direct participation by the population in all aspects of government) for a mature yet small population, to republicanism (or representative participation where the population resembles that for a democracy but the size makes it impractical to have direct participation), to socialism (or state-led for a population that is not as mature and cannot be entrusted to make correct policy decisions so the state is entrusted with the function), to authoritarian (where there is participation from the populace in any manner but all policies and laws are handed down by either a single individual or a group commonly known as a junta) and all the other variants and combinations in between.

In any case, a wide wealth gap reflects a dysfunction in government as well as in society — for the people in government comes from society.  However, the dysfunction is not so much in government as in the people in society who put them there — be they elected honestly or through nefarious manipulation and orchestration of the majority of the ill-prepared or ill-qualified voters by powerful and influential politicians and political dynasties and Big Business (to ensure their interests and wealth are well-protected).  And this is exactly why the rich get richer and the poor gets poorer.

In reality, wealth starts out as evenly distributed among the population.  But as time passes and many of those who do not deserve the wealth (because they do not know how to use it but rather has been used by wealth) gradually and eventually lose the wealth which gravitates and pools around and to the rich.  Moreover, from time to time, the rich spends some of the (ill-deserved) wealth to keep the impoverished and fools (for in the saying, a fool and his money are soon parted) thinking that wealth is circulating and that they “taste the good life” once in a while so they will not rebel and upset the established order.

To conclude, as a general rule, the wider the chasm between the richest and the poorest in a society the greater is the risk of a “revolution” — unless the poor are kept entertained and amused and occupied with trivial matters (like sports and gossip and games and senseless music and fantasy films).  The most stable geometric figure of society is a diamond where the center (middle class, the social strata that holds society together and composed mostly of intellectuals) is the broadest and most abundant and the top and bottom are few (top: rich and bottom: poor).  Any other geometric figure is either impossible or unstable and doomed to collapse — as in an upside-down triangle (wealthy class is the largest) because where will all the wealth accumulated at the top come from except from the bottom poor or a right-side up triangle where the wealthy are few and the poor makes up the bulk at the bottom where dissatisfaction and misery fester.  Squares and rectangles are impossible because there can never be an equal proportion of rich, middle class, and poor.
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TaN: Knowledge and information should be public domain; it should be shared for the common good.  Patents, copyrights, and intellectual property are (cleverly and insidiously) disguised as incentives to induce creativity and innovation when, in reality, it merely promotes greed and selfishness.  What benefits man (and society in general) should be made as cost-free or freely as possible.  The only justifiable to put on a cost is if were expenses incurred but those should be minimal and cover only the actual expenditure in making the benefit available to the public.

The way I see it, it is very wrong to “punish” — i.e., make people pay for things that should be freely available and accessible — if they had the information and necessary talent or ability.  The only people that we should make profits from are those who are stupid or lazy.  It is not right to charge people who may be industrious and willing (and able) to do things for themselves where their only problem is knowledge.  If I am not mistaken, this is the idea or concept behind the open source and free software movement.

People should be encouraged to be useful and productive (in a philanthropic or altruistic way) so as to benefit all of humanity and not just themselves (and, of course, the corporate greed, heavens forbid that we forget the corporate).

By making knowledge and information freely available and accessible — and I mean “freely”, with no strings attached like having to sign up first or must give up something personal in exchange — we eliminate any opportunity or possibility of selfishness and greed entering into the picture.

[Let me just clarify that my definition of “free” is in its strictest definition.  There is no cost.  Having to enroll or sign up and provide personal information in exchange for receiving whatever is “free” is not free for, although there is no money involved, something more precious is given up, one’s personal privacy.  This is not free.  It is perversion of what is and should be free.]

By making knowledge and information freely available and accessible, we ensure that more people can participate and perhaps propose improvements and better versions and, perhaps, come up with better ways to solve some of the imperfections — because no human solution will ever be perfect, as in not even the slightest snag or glitch or small inapplicability to some instances with unique and unforeseen circumstances or conditions.

In conclusion, making knowledge and information free available and accessible means people who are intelligent and industrious/hardworking and want to improve their lives will and should benefit and rightfully so precisely because they deserve to benefit — because they are smart and are not afraid to work to better themselves.  The only people we should make money out of are the stupid and the lazy.  These people deserve to be taken advantage of because they have bad qualities and values which are a hindrance and obstacle to mankind’s progress and development.

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Post for Dec 3-9 2017 (updated Dec 8)

TaN (update): In “4 out of 5 cases of cancer among blacks can be prevented with vitamin D” by a certain Vicki Batts (URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-12-05-4-out-of-5-cases-of-cancer-among-blacks-can-be-prevented-with-vitamin-d.html) in the Natural News article posted for December 5 this week, my previous arguments and discussion on skin complexion and beneficial sun exposure are once again vindicated.

I have always maintained even before the publication of several reports and studies on the benefits of sunlight against cancer that people should refrain from migrating to places too far (latitudinally) from their traditional ancestral lands.  There is a (very good) reason why people in hotter (tropical) climates have darker skin and those in the polar regions have fair to pale complexion.  This has to do with extracting the benefits of sun exposure — for the vital vitamin D from sunlight.

Since in equatorial regions where the sun is more intense, there is danger of over-exposure — which will negate the benefits — so the body produces melanin (skin pigmentation) to prevent against too much sun.  Melanin is nature’s natural sun block.

In polar regions where sun intensity is weakest, the skin must be as pale as possible to get the full benefits of sun exposure.  This is also the reason why the hair color is red to blond — the hair is deficient in melanin to permit sun exposure for the scalp to increase skin surface exposure.

In the case of the United States of America where Africans were brought as slaves for the plantations in the southern states and eventually became permanent residents (and citizens), their skin color did not lighten up (much) over the generations.  Melanin is still produced in great quantities which blocks the benefits of sun exposure which accounts for their propensity to many lifestyle diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension, depression, and the rest.

The best solutions are: they return to their ancestral lands (which I doubt most, if not all, will not want to), spend more time in tanning saloons (but there is danger in artificially replicating sunlight using technology), or relocate to other tropical places within or neighboring the United States of America (and as near the equator as possible).

In conclusion, as mentioned earlier, besides cancer, many other lifestyle diseases are treatable with vitamin D (from the sun and not the laboratory) — osteoporosis (to synthesize calcium into the bones), diabetes (where vitamin D stimulates production of insulin), depression (especially SAD or seasonal affective disorder brought about by inadequate production of the happy hormones whose production is stimulated by sun exposure), to name a few.

TaN: In today’s (December 4) news, one controversial issue is the implementation of the newly-developed dengue vaccine by the Philippine government on children (or adults) who had not had dengue before.  According to the recent news, Sanofi-Pasteur issued a warning that the vaccine should not be given to those who had not had the disease before — A YEAR AFTER IT HAD ALREADY BEEN IMPLEMENTED IN THE PHILIPPINES!

So, what is a vaccine anyway, what is its purpose, and how does it work?  According to what I can gather from the cyber space, a vaccine is a medical product that is either orally or intravenously — i.e., via injection — introduced into the body for the purpose of stimulating the immune system to develop an immune response.

The vaccine supposedly contains either dead or weakened pathogens so it will not be strong enough to hurt the body but still enough as to elicit an immune response.  The immune response supposedly remains in the body for a certain duration to ensure that if and when the pathogen does enter the body, the body recognizes it and knows how to fight back.

Given this and for it all to make sense, the vaccine is intended or must be given as a preventive otherwise it will not make sense — as an afterthought.  I simply cannot imagine how such (supposedly) educated people as (high) government officials AND PHYSICIANS — again, I refrain from referring to these people as doctors because they do not teach or educate — fail to see through the veil of deception of Sanofi-Pasteur, the dengue vaccine maker.

In the warning, the pharmaceutical giant said that the vaccine should (only) be given to those who already had the dengue fever — supposedly for it to be effective.  Can nobody see the inconsistency and stupidity in this warning?

A person stricken with dengue fever either lives through it or dies.  If the person dies, well then that is the end of it.  However, if s/he survives, it only means that s/he not only has (gained) the immune capability to fend off the dengue virus but will even have remnants of the “encounter” — for future defense to prevent a repeat in the near future (which is the essence of the term “immunity”.

Following this train of thought, giving the vaccine to dengue fever survivors naturally will be effective because the person has survived so s/he does not need the vaccine anymore.  Moreover, the supposed effectivity of the vaccine given to dengue fever survivors has no basis because, for all you know, it is the person’s acquired immunity that is working and not the vaccine.  How stupid is it to attribute any effective immunization to the vaccine when it is the person’s own immune system that is to be credited for the effectivity.

Well, as they say, A Fool and his money are soon parted.  But the worse part is that it is not the government officials involved in the approval that is losing the money but the taxpayers.  They are squandering our taxes for something utterly nonsensical and fundamentally fraught with flawed logic.

TaN (update): In the post of Natural News for December 2 with an article titled “Transgenderism is the ‘Flat Earth’ theory of the science-challenged Left” by a certain Ethan Huff — please refer to URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-12-02-transgenderism-is-the-flat-earth-theory-of-the-science-challenged-left.html — it dawned on me that transgenderism is an aberration and I opine is an affront and an abomination to God (for theist, especially the monotheists like the Catholics and other Christian denominations).  We have to assume that since God is perfect, it is impossible for Him to make mistakes, not only in or among His creations but with His supposedly pinnacle of creations…MAN.

I realize and it completely confounds me that my God would make such a fantastic and fundamental blunder as to (and to quote from a common utterance) “put a woman in a man’s body” (or vice versa).  It is so unlikely, in fact utterly without merit and unimaginably careless, that He would commit such a mistake.  We believe that we are the epitome of His masterpiece of creation and are we to believe that He would make such a blunder?  I don’t about your god by my God does not make mistakes, especially something as important and as elementary as putting the right person in the right body.

Regardless of how one “feels”, it is the handiwork of the idle mind — the Devil’s workshop.  There is no such excuse or alibi.  It is simply unjustifiable.  It is plain and simple denial or refusal to face up to the role or assignment.  Bash or hate me all you want but I stand firm.

There are only two genders: male and female (for non-humans) and masculine and feminine (for us).  If you are not one, you have to be the other.  Otherwise, you are the remaining: neuter or “it”.  All those who are so engrossed with changing their gender, find something better to do with your life.  You are creating chaos in the world.

Imagine, as I had discussed in earlier TaNs, the conflict between eye-witness testimonies and irrefutable DNA evidence in a crime scene.  There will be conflicting accounts. On the one hand, eye witnesses will claim they saw, say, a woman leaving the scene or even commit the crime but, on the other hand, DNA evidence will still retain the tell-tale Y-chromosome.

It is bad enough that hair dyes and disguises and (topically applied) cosmetics already make it difficult for investigation authorities to get an accurate description.  Imagine the horrendous challenge to properly identify the culprit or suspect when a transgender is involved.

It is as if the world does not have enough problems and pressing issues such as armed conflict, addiction, famine and starvation, malnutrition, extreme weather, (lifestyle) diseases of epic and epidemic proportions, crime and corruption, social unrest and scandals, child and human trafficking, environmental degradation and upheaval, unrestrained and untethered corporate greed, and human rights violations.

And this is not yet including biases and prejudices that label people and built walls instead of bridges.

Unfortunately, all this and worst events must come to pass as prophesied in the Holy Scriptures before relief will finally arrive.  For us who still cling to the promise of God, we just have to cope and fight the good fight with all the talents and wisdom He has given us, for in the end, we who hold and steady the course shall be triumphant and all our efforts will not be for naught.

TaN: It takes a very special kind of person — and very special place in hell — to not feel anything when they separate the young from their mother (and leave them to die a slow death through starvation).

Just like — someone who takes advantage of the weakness of others — a coward, these heartless beasts will not hesitate to cause misery and suffering on others, even if the others happen to be “mere” animals.  It is not as if the separation of the young from their mother was an unfortunate necessity — as in a mother animal happens to kill another mother because she has to feed her young thus depriving of the prey’s offsprings of their food source and consequently die of starvation.  These spineless cravens, for no apparent justifiable reason other than on a whim or just for fun, would perform such dastardly acts is unforgivable.

I have witnessed many times people mindlessly subject the helpless, defenseless, and innocent lives (especially the youngs of and little animals such as birds) to atrocious deeds and conditions.  Even the proud and fearless beasts like the lesser monitor lizards and non-venomous snakes are not spared and are humbled by the dastardly deeds of many simply due to prejudice or even just for the heck of it.

How can we call and claim to be civilized, much less educated, when our actions reveal otherwise.  The civilized shows respect for all life, be they lowly beasts or even predators like raptors, and this article title in the Nation says it very well: “We are judged by how we treat the helpless and the poor” by a certain Richard Kreitner on the 89th date of birth of Cesar Chavez — URL: https://www.thenation.com/article/we-are-judged-by-how-we-treat-the-helpless-and-the-poor/.

TaN: Is it ethical for an elected government official, especially one to a national office or position, to leave his/her office for an appointed position (like the Cabinet)?  Does it constitute abandonment of duty?  As someone who might have voted for him/her, should I ever trust or vote for him/her again the next time s/he runs for office, considering that s/he “abandoned” his sworn oath to represent the people?

Moreover, there seems to be a lapse in legal ethics regarding such issues.  It is not as if the person was appointed — therefore s/he is not accountable to the people (directly) but to the appointing power.  In this case, the said individual can move from one (appointed) government position to another.

It is an entirely different matter when it involves an elected official.  S/he has been entrusted by his/her voters with the position s/he has “promised” to serve to the best of his/her abilities and it does not include leaving the post — unless there is proper consultation and with approval of a significant majority of those (and only of those) who voted for him/her.  After all, it was the constituent voters who elected him/her into office and it is but proper or right that they be the ones to permit is (voluntary) departure otherwise it would, or should (if not), constitute abandonment.

Furthermore, should there be no legal or ethical prohibition to such a decision or move by an elected official, there should at be a legal recourse for a constituent, especially of it is in the form of a class suit, demand accountability and sue the “erring” elected official.  There was a breach of contract when s/he chose to leave office for another, especially without so much as even a tacit assent or agreement by the voting constituency.

In conclusion, with this deficiency or inadequacy or weakness in the (political) system, it is high time that it should be addressed.  This is similar to another TaN where it discussed the another flaw in the legal/judicial system regarding the wealthy and influential using the courts to harass and make false accusations and, when proven to be fictitious or without basis, does not make the complainant responsible — i.e., if the accuser has been proven to be merely harassing or making life miserable against others should be brought to pay for the trouble caused by being the one to be penalized (fines and incarceration).  This way, those with malicious intents will think twice, even thrice or more, before trying to use his/her wealthy, influence, or power to intimidate and cause trouble on the innocent.

TaN: The emergence of digital (mobile) apps should be used for something useful and beneficial to humanity and not wasted on pitiful and shameful senseless (not even educational) fantasy games or even gambling games and vanity apps.

Beneficial would be something like (the current app) helping people find their way about town and avoiding traffic jams and heavy vehicular traffic volume.  Other useful apps would be those that monitor health aspects or issues or those that assist travelers and vacationers.  There are innumerable apps that can be developed, just make sure they provide useful and worthwhile services otherwise it is a terrible waste of energy — i.e., electronic mobile devices compete for power (through recharging) in the power grid against other more vital devices and equipment like hospitals and law enforcement and emergency services.  [Remember that while electronic mobile devices are small and power requirements is almost non-existent compared to that of an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), it must be realized how many mobile devices there are.  A large colony of ants can bring down the biggest elephant.]

It is so irritating and frustrating to see something so potentially useful and beneficial being used by stupid and inane people to “create” a bunch of useless and worthless applications for a whole lot of simple-minded, self-indulging, and pleasure-seeking consuming public for the pathetic and pitiful reason of popularity or fame and, most of all, profit.

TaN: Although like many lifestyle diseases, overweight or obesity has many causes or beginnings.  However, it is different in the sense that the common solution to lose weight frequently fails because the root cause of the condition is not isolated, identified, and addressed properly.

The conventional remedy is to attack the problem via the calories but it is not as simple as that.  Calorie counting or restriction is effective only if and when the reason for the excess body weight is confined to simple less energy expenditure (from low-energy demand activities) than dietary intake or consumption.

However, there are other causes or reasons why body weight increases.  For one, when the body ingests something that it either does not recognize as food or identifies as toxic, its first response is to eliminate it at once (as in the case of sweat or diarrhea).  If this route is not possible or unavailable, it then tries to “neutralize” it by storing it in fat cells.  However, should there not be enough fat cells, the body resorts to creating (additional) fat cells and this becomes the reason for the weight gain.

Increasing physical activity or exertion is a better though it may not be the best solution.  Increasing energy expenditure through physical means, in a way, causes sweating which, in turn, may trigger fat cells to release the stored toxins.

Another more effective method of detoxifying is fasting but fasting has many degrees and it is not fasting unless done for at least 72 consecutive hours (or 3 successive days).  Furthermore, the more severe forms of fasting are (appears to be) more effective but they should not be done by the inexperienced because it could negatively impact more than benefit health.

Finally, it does not necessarily follow that only people with excess weight issues have toxic fat cells.  Toxic fat cells may likewise be found among underweight people.  It is all a matter of how much unhealthy food one is eating (and how fast or efficiently can the body eliminate the toxins).

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Post for Nov 26-Dec 2 2017 (updated Nov 27 and Dec 1)

TaN (update 2): The article in Natural News regarding the issue of sustainable development titled “How green is the technology that makes your green energy? Researchers are working to develop sustainable ways to source the raw materials” by a certain Frances Bloomfield (URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-11-30-how-green-is-the-technology-that-makes-your-green-energy-researchers-are-working-to-develop-sustainable-ways-to-source-the-raw-materials.html) and dated November 30, 2017 is what I have been discussing in previous TaNs concerning what is true sustainable development.  At first glance, the title would seem to suggest a real concern and rightly so as to what has been happening in the green technology sector.

However, after a quick perusal of the contents, it would appear that it is not much better.  They are still missing the point in the critical issue of green technology and renewable energy production.  The article is still focused on the narrow vision of trying to find a “solution” to the unrevealed truth behind conventional green technology — which is the continued ravaging of the environment to stay within the constricted margins of “sustainable development” that conventional Big Business and Big Tech is dictating and has established (in order to protect their corporate interests and profits).

Oh, I have no doubt that the author is sincerely and truly honest in her attempt to mitigate and find a better solution to the incessant problem that beset conventional green technology.  Actually, the solution is easier than imagined but it requires thinking out of the confines of conventional green technology, thinking out of the box, and embracing the inconvenient fact that it is precisely this restrictive parameters on conventional green technology that is hampering efforts to achieve true sustainable development.  The mind-set at its foundation must drastically and dramatically (and substantially) be changed.

If we keep trying to confine our solutions to within the boundaries that ensures that business makes a profit above the global (environmental) interests, there will never be any truly sustainable development.  It has come to the point that solutions that must conform to the limitations set in or by conventional corporate-centered and -inspired green technology will simply be going around in circles and have the perpetual problem of finding “better” techniques and using “better” materials that must be mined or harvested from the environment using unsustainable practices and methods.

For as long as profit remains as the primary or central (and frequently only) consideration in any endeavor to find genuine sustainable ways and solutions to our (energy) problems, there will never be any real sustainable way out.

The only way is to take profit out of the picture or at least relegate it to third priority.  Put people and environment ahead.

TaN (update 2): In the November 28 hardcopy issue of The Philippine STAR, in the article found in the front page titled “Destab? Don’t look at us — Noy” by a certain Robertzon Ramirez, former president Benigno Simon Aquino III could not have said it any better and more aptly (and I quote): “Kung hindo tama yung mga nangyayari, kung hindi natutupad mga pinangako, kung hindi natupad yung mga sinasabi, dun nagke-create ng dissatisfaction.  Hindi sa amon nagmumula ‘yunBaka dapat tumingin sila sa mga paligid nila (If things aren’t turning out right, if promises are not fulfilled, or if words are not kept — these are what create dissatisfaction, and it’s not coming from us.  Maybe they should look around them).”

If government, especially the top national (elected) officials, are or have not been living up to the promises and expectations of the people, if the campaign promises have not been fulfilled, if the way the government is run is contrary to or inconsistent with the common values and sense of decency and justice of the people (like killings of suspects and people under custody and human rights violations and denials of any wrongdoing when it is glaringly blatant), and if arrogance and impunity is the “rule of law”, it will not be surprising that all the misdeeds and wrongdoings will eventually return to haunt them.  Their guilty conscience will begin to create paranoia and scenarios that make them see things that are not there.

The problem is that, when this happens, something and someone must act fast otherwise the situation will degenerate further into chaos and anarchy.

TaN (update 2): In the Natural News article titled “Nation in SHOCK after hidden camera captures nurses laughing like crazy as U.S. veteran gasps for air and dies in a hospital” by a certain JD Heyes (URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-11-27-nation-in-shock-after-hidden-camera-captures-nurses-laughing-like-crazy-as-u-s-veteran-gasps-for-air-and-dies-in-a-hospital.html) posted likewise on November 27, 2017, this is another one of those “pranks” gone wrong.

The trouble with many people, especially among the younger generation, is that they seem to have lost or not acquired — and we not only have technology but ourselves, as parents likewise, to blame — the decency and common sense to know and set the limits or boundaries of pranks and such similar useless forms of (self-)entertainment for deriving amusement and pleasure.

Most of the youths and younger generation who grew up with (modern) digital technology (more than with their parents) appear not to have imbibed the proper values and have little or no knowledge of the limits or boundaries of their actions and decisions as well as be responsible for the consequences that ensue.

Due to the fast pace of technology advancement and innovation — most, if not all, of which is and has been due to the unrelenting, inexcusable, and maniacal drive of corporate greed (in terms of profit) and under the guise of progress and development, sustainable or otherwise — the Biblical warning of Timothy has repeatedly been vindicated…that the “love of money is the root of all evil“.  Because of the fast-changing pace of (digital) technological evolution, values and good manners have fallen by the wayside and the young no longer possess or have been imbued with the ability to distinguish proper decency and compassion for others.

Add to all these the influence and where they get ideas (like the film “Flatliners“) of the cinematic industry where many celluloid plots become reality because some viewers decided it was a good idea to try and emulate it — frequently without fully comprehending the extent of the consequences that ensue.

It is sad that with so much information and ideas being generated and disseminated through mass media and digital technology is so easily accessible (and so much more appealing to the youth), society — specifically the parents, because I put the blame squarely on their shoulders — cannot compete against (digital) technology for the attention and interest of the youth and young generation so much so that the proper (and essential) values are not adequately and firmly taught before exposure to the influences of (and social pressures brought about by) corporate marketing and consumerism.  Moreover, much like society’s problem with the so-called “children in conflict with the law”, it is vital that children be emotionally prepared before they are exposed to aggressive corporate marketing.

It is the same problem with today’s education where children are entering formal education at earlier ages because parents would like to believe that their children are geniuses and advanced for the age so are enrolled before their emotional development has been established.  Intellectual development is much easier than emotional development — the latter taking a longer duration and cannot be rushed — to subject or expose emotionally unprepared children to the demands and pressures of formal education (in an ever more competitive world) that they grow up without the proper values and ethics.  When this happens, this is what we are witnessing (and lamenting) today — that more and more adults (as well as the youth) — where more and more people are committing unethical acts.

Our next generation are being turned into human robots — locked and loaded with information crammed into their brains by formal education but do not have the proper spiritual and ethical compass to guide decisions and actions.

It is (more) important that emotional development must be firmly in place even before the first exposure of a child to intellectual indoctrination by formal education.  A “genius” child with no moral compass is very dangerous and frequently a threat to society.  Because of this, criminal acts and felonies are committed by younger and younger people and innocent people suffer unnecessarily.

TaN (update 2): In the Natural News article titled “The newest device for weight loss is a nose plug: Recent studies have found a connection between the smell of food and weight gain” by a certain Michelle Simmons (URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-11-27-the-newest-device-for-weight-loss-is-a-nose-plug-recent-studies-have-found-a-connection-between-the-smell-of-food-and-weight-gain.html) posted November 27, 2017, the nose plug to help curb the temptation to eat excessively makes sense since [1] the tongue has only the 5 basic taste groups (of sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami) and much of the flavor of food is “tasted” by the nose — which explains why food taste bland when our nose is stuffed or clog — and [2] we smell food log before it touches the tongue.  In this sense, nose plugs will certainly mitigate the urge to constantly eat and eat a lot.

To do it properly — so as not to feel deprived nor to over-eat — plan out first how much you are (supposedly) going to eat (IN ONE PLATE) then plug your nose just before the last couple of mouthfuls.  This ensures that you still eat and will not feel as though you are being “punished” but will not over-eat since, when the nose plug goes into effect, the food will start to taste bland and you will (hopefully) lose interest.

I should have thought of this long ago.

TaN (update): Among many others in the recent past of articles posted in Natural News (dated Nov 25, 2017), these two (titled “Suggestion for the elderly: Run from dementia — literally — regular exercise can heal the brain, according to new study” by a certain Rita Winters [URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-11-25-aca-dietary-fiber-intake-linked-with-reduced-risk-of-disease.html] and “Massive health study finds dietary fiber intake slashes risk of numerous diseases” by a certain Frances Bloomfield [URL: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-11-25-suggestion-for-the-elderly-run-from-dementia-literally-regular-exercise-can-heal-the-brain.html] — just goes to show that there are many simple and inexpensive ways to be and stay healthy, eat right, and fight or prevent sickness and disease.  [Note: I differentiate “sickness” from “disease”. Sickness is natural, like measles, mumps, flu, and chicken pox and even the major threats like small pox and bubonic or black plague; whereas disease (which is the combination of the prefix “dis” meaning “not” and “ease” so the overall meaning is uncomfortable or not at ease) is something unnatural as in lifestyle disease (which is preventable and unnecessary) and man-made (as in weaponized biological and chemical warfare agents and “corporate-sponsored” ones like most Ebola and MRSA or methecillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), don’t tell me it is natural.]

If you have the proper information — which has been revealed to be intentionally being kept from the public by Big Pharma — you can easily avoid or even reverse or cure lifestyle diseases. Moreover, knowing the root or causes of certain illnesses makes it much easier to remember how to stay healthy and find alternative ways (and spread the word FREELY) to stay healthy, just make sure the recommended solution is as universally applicable as possible and not biased to the season and locality of the solution.

Some cases in point are the two aforementioned articles.  For the one concerning running to stave off or even reverse dementia and memory and cognitive failure, actually it is not only running but any heart rate-increasing aerobic (low- or non-impact) physical activity will do as fine or even better (the lower the impact to the joint bones, the better, unless you know how to run properly — which is ball-strike and not heel-strike strides or running).  The reason for this is the increased heart rate coupled with the elevated and more intense muscle activity in the legs helps drive or pump the blood up to the brain against gravity.  This more forceful pump of the blood increases the oxygen and nutrient supply to the brain which not only nourishes the neurons better but even clears the CO2 and toxic cellular respiration wastes that clouds and damages cells and tissues.  The leg-muscle action or activity squeezes against the blood vessels walls (equipped with one-way flow valves) which pushes better against the force of gravity and thereby ensuring a greater supply of fresh oxygen and nutrients to the brain.  This is not to mention that increase physical activity causes the body to produce and release more norepinephrine, the hormone that relaxes or dilates blood vessel walls causing them to distend, be more flexible, and accommodating a greater volume of blood flow.  This hormone is frequently seen when physical and muscle activity is increased to prevent aneurysm and cardiac stress. So, it does not have to be jogging.  Any physical activity that increases muscle activity, especially those in the legs or the major muscle groups, will do just fine and aerobic ones lessen the risk of damaging impact to the joints.

As to the other regarding the benefits of dietary fiber to health, it has already been repeatedly shown that both soluble and insoluble dietary fibers are very beneficial and perform very vital roles in health. For the soluble fiber, they mop up excess damaging LDL (low-density lipoprotein) to be eliminated thereby helping maintain clean and smooth inner blood vessel walls and reducing the strain to the heart; whereas, dietary insoluble fiber absorbs water to bulk up the intestines to induce more frequent cleansing bowel movements as well as serving as a “broom” to gently but firmly scrape toxic substances that stick to the inner intestinal walls to mitigate and even prevent related diseases such as colorectal cancer, anal cancer, hemorrhoids, and constipation. Just make sure that the dietary fibers being taken come from organic or nature-harvested plant foods (especially root crops, legumes and lentils, and leafy vegetables) and they are taken raw or (if you must cook or expose them to heat) with as little exposure to temperatures above 120 degrees Centigrade or 248 degrees Fahrenheit.  At these temperatures, any benefit to be derived from even the healthiest food can and will be turned toxic and even carcinogenic (as in acrylamides in starch or carbohydrates and nitrosamides (as well as n-nitrosamides) in meat).

So, it is important that we know the fundamental reason for doing something beneficial or healthy so we can think of other alternatives that may work even better in the event that the recommended is or cannot be applied — such as running for non-ambulatory people.

TaN: Regardless or irrespective of the quantity of academic degrees and researches and whatever learning a person has achieved or received, s/he is not an educated person if s/he does not know how to respect others.  Respect is one of the primary and fundamental qualities that a person must possess in order to be considered civilized and educated.

Many individuals let their accumulated acquired intelligence go to their heads and (arrogantly) expect or even demand that others not only to acknowledge but to (always) overtly display and address them accordingly.  This is the height of pride and arrogance, to think that being more knowledgeable is a license or right to look down and treat others as lesser mortals.

In addition and to make matters worse, to use (supposed, because its truthfulness is debatable) superior intelligence to impose upon others respect and acknowledgement without reciprocating is a definite and clear sign of being uneducated — for a learned individual is knows and shows respect to others regardless of the latter’s wealth or educational attainment or social status or occupation or skill level (be they lowly manual laborers and indigents or the chief executive).  All people deserve to be treated with respect.

However, it must be remembered that respect is earned or given and cannot be demanded.  One gives respect to others but cannot expect much less demand it from others.  One must prove oneself worthy of being respected.

In conclusion, respect, though it is awarded, must first be given to others before being withdrawn should they prove, later, to be unworthy of the respect.  It must initially be assumed that others are respectable.  One must always think good of others first and until proven otherwise.  It is similar to principle in law regarding guilt — innocent until proven guilty.

TaN: It used to be that health care is taken for granted for it was the easiest thing to do, but with the daily onslaught of toxic and mutagenic chemicals that our body is exposed to in every conceivable manner and circumstance — be it ingested or inhaled or rubbed or sprayed on (as deodorants and perfumes) or in whatever manner that makes our body come in contact with them, it is now of primal concern that we have to be ever vigilant.

It is no longer possible to avoid all the toxic and mutagenic substances so the next best thing is to strengthen or shore up our defense — i.e., immune — system/s.  There are two layers and types of defenses in our body: external (which is passive) and internal (which has both an active and a passive component).

The external layer is the skin — our body’s largest organ and the principal first line of defense.  The internal layer has passive and active components of which the lymphatic system is the former while the latter are the T and B cells and the leukocytes (of which white blood cells or macrophages are a major component) are the more common and well-known cells, aside from natural killer cells.

In any case, there are also dietary nutrients we can take that support the immune system, like (soluble and insoluble) fibers (from unprocessed organic and naturally-grown fruits and vegetables and root crops) — reportedly to actively bind with certain heavy metals and toxic compounds to render them harmless or inert and easily flushed out through the excretory organs and systems (like the kidneys, skin pores, and sinuses, among others).  Insoluble fibers are claimed to bind with excess blood sugar and (oxidized or spent) serum cholesterol, such as HDL or high-density lipoprotein.

Before this wave of consumerism and emphasis on ever-increasing profits by corporate self-interests instead of or at the expense of people’s welfare and well being, staying healthy was simple and almost effortless.  However, with corporate business — as differentiated from the traditional cottage and community-based businesses and industries where the people are familiar and in good terms with everybody else — concerned only with turning profits and not much else, much less the environment where most (if not all) resources are derived, the natural equilibrium of our living surroundings (and by extension the entire planet) have not only been disturbed but even ravaged to the brink of exhaustion and virtually irrecoverable state and pollution of all sorts are all around us.  We are constantly and consistently being pummeled and bombarded by all manners of conceivable toxins and negative and harmful stress which keeps our bodies in a perpetual defensive and off-balanced state.

And as if it were not enough, corporate self-interest and greed has gone to the point where it not only keeps secrets and critical knowledge from the public but has even gone on the offensive with mis- and dis-information and FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) tactics to ensure the people are kept in the dark as to how to extricate themselves out of this quagmire and morass and bring everything back to equilibrium.

In truth, if we are not persistently and maliciously assaulted every moment of our life by corporate greed and self-interest to rake in maximum profits, being and staying healthy is a breeze.  All that is needed to remember for essential health are the five cardinal adjectives that all foods must possess or be taken: Raw, Natural (i.e., little or no human intervention whatsoever), Whole, Seasonal, and Local.  The more of the five are applicable or present, the better.

[Btw, what the five characteristics mean are: Raw = little or no exposure to heat whatsoever and if necessary, heat applied must not exceed 120 degrees C or 248 degrees F; Natural = grown with little or no human intervention (like harvested from the wild, application only of organic uncontaminated compost or natural inorganic fertilizers such as rock dust, and sprouted from seeds that contain their originally natural DNA or from traditional selective breeding, among others) and consuming food as near its natural state as possible (such as carrots as carrots and not in juice form); Whole = whenever possible, must be consumed in its entirety and no cherry picking of only those portions desired (like eating only the egg white but not the yolk and eating an apple or potato along with the skin or peel and eating grapes including the seeds); Seasonal = eating seasonally available food during their traditionally and naturally occurring season (such as watermelons during summer and apples during winter and lychee during spring); and, Local = eating foods that are (naturally) endemic (such as coconuts in the tropics and apples in temperate zones) with exceptions to certain foods that have already been introduced for several generations even though they are actually “alien”, such as maize and potatoes which were originally from South America.]

One last note: It is absolutely and completely wrong and unforgivable to waste still-edible food (such as throwing away half-eaten or untouched but still edible food) or over-indulge when so many others have hardly anything to eat.  Moreover, it is just as evil to let good food go to waste, such as letting food expire because of over-purchase and left forgotten or have grown tired of eating it.  It is vital to remember: Waste not, want not.

TaN: I have a bone to pick with Big Bang Theory advocates and supporters.  It is said (and, unfortunately, accepted generally) that the universe started from a teeny tiny dot somewhere in oblivion then exploded and expanded from there on.  Since then, it has cooled and “slowed” down — but there are many indications and new developments which contest that and say otherwise.

Anyway, my issue is, assuming (for argument sake) that it is as conventional or mainstream science claims, I find it difficult to imagine a tiny dot somewhere out there BUT NOT IN SPACE.  For me, it is like saying that NOTHING is not SOMETHING.  The mere fact that it is NOTHING means or implies that it MUST be something.

Moreover, why did that tiny dot “explode” when it did?  Why not sooner or later?

And speaking of “sooner or later”, does this not imply that there is already time existing back then even “before” the big bang?

Furthermore, if everything was created from that tiny dot, was that tiny dot not a thing in the first place?  So there was already something even back then.

Still another is: If space-time was created at the moment and by that fabled Big Bang, where was that tiny dot located back before space-time was created?  What is that location called?  Is or can it not be called space?

Finally, how did the tiny dot appear?  From where did it come from?  It must have originated from somewhere — like from nothing.  Could it have just materialized by itself from oblivion — and can “oblivion” not be considered a place, in this instance (so how does that “place” differ from the space-time that came into existence from the Big Bang)?

And what is the stuff that made up that tiny primordial dot?  Is or was it homogeneous or a single uniform material?  And what were its properties?  Were those properties unique from that stuff the resulting universe or did it morphed into the present stuff?

Finally, it must have been unstable otherwise why did it “explode”?  But if it was unstable, had it always been unstable or did something change that gave birth to the Big Bang?

Personally, especially after all the aforementioned, I have many doubts and reservations regarding this much-touted Big Bang.  There are still so many unanswered or inconsistent issues and so much still to be known — and to think all these are about a teeny tiny infinitesimal dot, what more the universe?

TaN: As of late (and from my personal experience only), I have noticed that lawyers have become more concerned with keeping their clients out of jail than ensuring that their client’s rights are protected.  In my opinion (and I am not sure whether it is a fact) that serving truth and justice supersedes the duty to defend the client’s rights — which should not have an conflict if done objectively and properly — and (much less) keeping the client out of jail (unless the client is innocent).

Although keeping their client out of jail is one of a lawyer’s fundamental and primordial obligation, it does not however mean that it should be done at the expense of justice and the truth.  Moreover, lawyers should refrain from superimposing their judgments or at least save it for the trial.

While it is part and parcel of the duty of the prosecution to show and prove the guilt and liability of the accused, it is the duty and obligation of the lawyer of the accused to protect the client’s rights only and not interfere with guilt and innocence.  Although it is within the defense lawyer’s purview to show the defendant’s innocence, it should be only because the defendant is truly innocent and not due to anything else, most of all to abet the client avoid or evade criminal responsibility.

In conclusion, especially in controversial cases, lawyers should refrain from using media to air and prejudice their case — trial by publicity — and do not make any remarks as to whether the accused is guilty (on the part of the prosecution or accuser as this is but expected and natural) or innocent (on the part of the defense counsel and for the same previously stated argument).

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