Post for Oct 29-Nov 4 2017 (updated Nov 2)

TaN (update): In the apparent never-ending word war between Mr Duterte and his defenders against Mr Duterte’s critics and detractors with respect to Mr Duterte’s style of solving (the country’s) ills and problems, the former seems always to be missing the whole point of the criticisms.

First, the criticisms are meant to be constructive but it is coming across to the Duterte camp as destructive.

Second, the so-called attacks against Mr Duterte by critics and detractors are directed against Mr Duterte but against his style.  If one studies the poll results carefully and with an objective eye, one would notice that (almost) everyone is — because the criminal elements obviously would not be — for the eradication of the illegal drug scourge and the reformation of the users as well corruption in government and other forms of criminality.  It is the style that the public (and Mr Duterte’s critics and detractors) are against.

In Mr Duterte’s way, there seems to be no room for second chances.  Moreover, his policies have a way of being carried out without clearly defined terms and conditions — for instance, “nanlaban” can be interpreted in many ways, from struggling and wresting for a weapon to something as simple as pulling the arm away to avoid being handcuffed or accosted.  Without clear-cut definitions and guidelines, a suspect can quickly become a victim in the hands of over-eager and overzealous police officers.  Each police officer is left to interpret “nanlaban” in his/her own way and every unfortunate casualty can easily be justified as a case of “nanlaban” and therefore the death is justifiable.

It is a puzzle to note that being a former prosecutor and a lawyer, Mr Duterte seems to have forgotten how important it is to be meticulous in making statements as they may be misconstrued, unless vagueness is the real intent so as to ensure plausible deniability.

In conclusion, perhaps it is even possible that what is happening with the word war between Mr Duterte and his critics and detractors is part of the original grand design to ensure that the oppositors are kept busy while he advances his real agenda of draconian campaigns to establish his legacy in Philippine (political) history — to be remembered (in infamy)?!

TaN: Good is absolute and so is bad.  The (relative) good and bad that we generally refer to (in this temporal) world actually means beneficial and detrimental, respectively.

The relative good that we speak of is the good that is taken from or based on our (subjective) point of view or reference.  We say something is good because we benefit from it.  We say it is bad because it is detrimental to our interest/s.

It is for this reason that there is confusion as to what is good and what is bad.  We are not taking the definition from God’s perspective — because His is absolute and will always be right; it will be just.

The problem with adapting God’s Good is that, due to our selfish tendencies, it will always be tainted — one of those instances is when we label it as situational.  The only way that we can ensure that God’s Good is applied or done as it should be is that we surrender to Him and let Him take over our lives.  Since we will be but mere instruments and it will be His will that will prevail, we can be assured that it will truly be Good.

TaN: In the vaccine controversy, particularly in the United States of America, that has been going on for some time already is overlooking one very important issue — violation of the Hippocratic Oath, unless the oath has already been disregarded, amended, or totally discarded.  Physicians and other medical or health care professionals who refuse to treat or help someone who has not or refuses to be vaccinated are in violation of their solemn oath — i.e., not to refuse aid to anyone who needs it, especially to murderers and even to killers of their loved ones and the innocents.

It is utterly wrong to refuse help to anyone who needs it — assuming that you possess the capability and ability to help.  No amount of justification can be used to deny (medical) assistance to anyone, even to a sworn enemy — taking our cue from the Parable of the Good Samaritan in the Holy Scriptures.

It is bad enough to deny help under (more) ordinary circumstances but to deprive someone of it in instances of medical emergencies or situations is reprehensibly unthinkable.

But for this TaN, to withhold much needed medical assistance is already very wrong but to go to the extent of inflicting harm — as what the vaccine industry is doing, with the (whether wittingly or unwittingly) connivance of medical professionals — is an abomination, especially when done to the defenseless (i.e., children and elderly).

It is an even greater embarrassment when we consider that the vaccine manufacturers (in the USA) are practically and virtually immune from lawsuits.  What unmitigated gall!  What an affront to decency!  How Luciferan!

TaN: It is important that while we are young that we develop good habits and behavior because we do not what the future brings — whether we will live long enough to a ripe old age when we will become senile or not.  Since there is no way to truly and definitely with absolute certainty what our individual future will be, it is vital that we make preparations for what is to come.

But why is this so?

Because should we be so “lucky” as to live long enough to become senile, all that will remain with us is not our memories — since losing those is what senility is all about — but our habits and behavior.

Having bad habits and bad behavior not only will be haunt us and cause trouble, they will likewise become a burden to our loved ones or our caretakers — because those will remain until we die.

It is the long-term memory that endures.  This is the same reason why people with amnesia — be it temporary, hysterical, or permanent — may forget certain things like their identity and people and places and events (even happy memories) but eating, walking, sleeping, talking, and many other daily routines remain.  And it is these routines that are our habits and behavior.

TaN: In a recent experience with cognitive decline, I began to notice a pattern emerging.  It would appear that it is not so much as learning new skills or engaging in a (new) hobby or being more sociable but having a positive attitude to want to learn and no new things and expand one’s social and personal horizons.  It is the desire to want to grow and explore new experiences that forestalls or even reverses cognitive decline.

I came to this conclusion from observing that playing mahjong — which, they say, is supposed to be a way to improve memory — did nothing to those who are depressed despite playing.  It is not so much the mechanical activity but the psychological state of the mind that is responsible for deterring memory loss.  The will is not there so any attempt to master a new physical activity does not do anything to counter memory loss.

Moreover, in the case of playing mahjong, I think it is said to help mitigate or even reverse cognitive decline on the condition that mahjong was never played before and that it is a new experience, something new for the memory to learn.  In other words, it is not so much what activity is chosen that would help in the arresting of cognitive decline but the learning of something new — preferably something complicated yet not too complicated as to result in frustration and thus defeating the purpose.

The key to all our issues on cognitive decline is our will.  We must have the (intense and determined) desire to engage the memory in something new and takes significant effort to learn — but still achievable.

All efforts to address cognitive decline will be an exercise in futility if the subject is unwilling.  Once again, the power of the will is shown to be formidable and key to success or failure — much like those accounts in the Holy Scripture of miraculous transformations and events and the repeated statement of Jesus that it is not so much He but more of the person’s intense faith in the success of whatever the desire is that made the desire come true (be it the Roman centurion wanting to cure his favorite slave, the lame who walked, the blind who saw, and the sick who was healed).

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Post for Oct 22-28 2017 (updated Nov 1)

Tan (update): While viewing Sir David Attenborough explain the rise of vertebrates, I pondered on an age-old question: Exactly how did animals evolved from one species to the next?  Please permit me to elaborate further.

For lack of personal and irrefutable evidence to the contrary, I will admit, for the sake of argument, that the chronological sequence of the appearance of the different species — from single-cells to the warm-bloods — established by conventional (mainstream) science is valid and accurate.  From this,my question now is still the same age-old one: Where are the (missing) links?

Where are the evidences that convincingly and irrefutably show that such and such a specie arose from such and such a predecessor?  A specific case in point would be: Exactly to which specie of dinosaur was the first “bird” — supposedly or allegedly — born to?  Since there were several innovations to transition from reptile to avian, permit me to elaborate and pose the following clarificatory questions:
[1] Did scales slowly narrow and lengthen — through several generations — to become feathers or did they just “magically” appeared in a single generation?  Apparently, all reptilian scales, bird feathers, and mammalian hair are built from a protein called keratin (at least from what I can gather from URL:
[2] Did beaks and bills developed gradually — i.e., likewise over the span of several generations — so as to enable to creature to slowly adapt to new food sources?  If I understand it correctly, the material used for beaks and bills are very different from the jaws of reptiles.  It would be a nearer possibility for the gradual transition from reptile to mammalian jaws than to those of birds.
[3] How do you transition from cold-blooded to a warm-blooded and how about the “evolution” from three-chambered to four-chambered hearts — according to URL:, it is not likely evolvable.  In fact, how does one imagine a single-chambered heart (in fish) to two-chambered (in amphibians) to three-chambered (in most reptiles) and finally to four-chambered hearts (in birds and mammals).  How do you imagine the sudden appearance of an additional chamber because there can be no such thing as a gradual emergence of another chamber — just like one is either pregnant or one is not, there is no such thing as somewhat or partially pregnant or a half-lighted room.

The “missing links” are still missing.  They simply are still no traces showing the gradual transition from reptiles to birds and mammals because it obviously cannot happen overnight as the reptile parents — because not all reptilian parents abandon their offspring upon birth or laying of the eggs — would not recognize and consequently accept the radically unfamiliar form of the offspring from themselves and how to feed them since the food requirement may most likely be substantially different.

I would like to posit where to look for the “missing links”.  Since most mammals are live-bearing — with exceptions to the monotremes, which are egg-layers (in which case, any of the predominant egg-laying reptiles could have given rise to them so we may have to search for physical near-similarities) — mammals would mostly like “descend” from reptiles that bear live young.  Egg-laying reptiles could not be candidates because then the transition from egg-laying to live-bearing would have to be abrupt.  There is no mid-way between egg-laying to live-bearing, at least not among land species — because egg-laying could transition to gel-coated before completely abandoning gel-coats altogether for aquatic and marine animals though the transition from eggshells to gel to none is still quite abrupt.  Moreover, among live-bearing reptiles, the eggshells are still present.  It is only that the eggs are kept in the body until they hatch before giving birth.

Think about it.

TaN (update): In today’s (October 26) hardcopy of The Philippine STAR, with the headline titled “‘I never ordered EJK‘” by a certain Alexis Romero and a Christina Mendez, one should not take the words literally.  Rather, it should be read as “How stupid do you think I am?!” — that I will formally order EJKs?  But then again, as a responsible reporter, one should not put words in other people’s mouths.  If that quote is what Mr Duterte said, then that is what must be reported.

Mr Duterte repeatedly says that he is but a humble and average person — with a mediocre passing grade throughout his school days as well as the bar examinations.  However, no matter how low his intelligence is as his critics and detractors may wont to think or believe, I doubt if there is anyone so stupid as to explicitly give such an order.

Critics and detractors — and human rights people — should, instead, focus on gathering actual provable evidence (and not just affidavits, I have never trusted them, especially nowadays when people will not even blink to declare falsehoods against others and justifying it to avoid a guilty conscience) that can really nail the coffin — assuming that Mr Duterte is really so “evil” as to wish the demise of people, even if they have committed atrocious and heinous crimes and acts of evil.  If they cannot, then they should just shut up and let Mr Duterte get on with his relentless campaign “in peace”.

The biggest stumbling block I can see is to get convincing and undeniable evidence of extrajudicial killings perpetrated due to orders — even by mere allusion just as long as it can be proven that there is intent, which is going to be a Herculean task given the notoriety of many Filipinos and lawyers at that for doublespeak and utterance with malicious undertones — directly from Mr Duterte and not from some lieutenant or underling or cohort.  Add to this a “slogan” intimated to me by a lawyer friend, “Even when caught red-handed, deny until death.”

TaN: It is both so lame and pitiful that there are so many people who mindlessly, narcissistically, and pitifully copy celebrity stunts and publicity gimmicks — for the sake of being trendy and to unwittingly show the world that they are attention-starved copycats.  A case in point are the sporadic nude pregnancy photographs that are posted in cyberspace and I feel sorry for quite a few of them, especially people of note or those who have friends of media people.

I understand that one is proud to be pregnant and it is a beautiful thing.  I even understand the desire to share it with the world.  But to have it splash on broadsheets or in broadcast (visual) media and top it off by baring too much skin — to the point of going naked?  This is going too far.  Well, as the saying goes, A man in love knows no fear; a woman in love knows no shame.

The absolute bottom is to earn from all of it.  In fact, there is so much emphasis on money that it is sickening and pitiful that celebrities — already awashed with money, at least as compared to the ordinary Joe — would still milk the whole incident to the very last cent.  Now that is really shameful.

To make it worse, the adoring public just keeps on lapping it up, hungry for every bit of gossip and dirt they can get, with media as the silver spoon and raking tons of cash for the publicity.

I guess the repetition of Sodom and Gomorrah is just inevitable and we simply refuse to learn from the past.  Man’s lack of shame appears to have no bounds.

TaN: DNA (deoxyribose nucleic acid) is only a fragment that make up man’s totality and does not explain or answer man’s entire being.  It only addresses or accounts for the chemical aspect but not the others, such as the physical (or morphic), behavioral, and spiritual.

DNA only deals with the chemical reactions and metabolic processes and no further.  They either respond to external (relative to the cell they are in but still internal as to the organism’s body) stimuli or to its internal circadian schedule (like when it is time for puberty or meno-/andropause or apoptosis).

It is therefore inaccurate — to point of being almost arguably entirely wrong — to say that we or our behavior is being dictated by our DNA, that our DNA determines our pathology or that it is all in the genes.  While it may be true that a significant portion of what we are is in our genes, it is incorrect to extend our DNA’s role as to encompass our entire being.

We are simply giving DNA way too much credit and it would likewise appear we are attempting to shift the guilt and blame — for any wrong or bad that we might do — to our DNA.  In fact, quite sometime ago, there was news in the United States of America (during the Obama administration) regarding plans or proposals to conduct research or studies to determine how to recognize and isolate people with evil tendencies and come up with ways to pre-empt felonies and criminal behavior and put them in prison.

It is as if evil is a physical entity — instead of a manifestation or result of a sin or misdeed — that can be identified and that there are people born with a predisposition to evil.  Should this be the case, for the sake of argument and not acceding to or agreeing with it, then people would be guiltless because we are only acting in accordance with our genes.  This would mean that evil and wrongdoing are not conscious acts but are involuntary and we are mere “victims”.

And, continuing with this line of argument, we should not be at fault but simply pawns to our genetic code and putting people in prison for crimes that they have no (voluntary) control over would be an injustice.  After all, blame the genes.

In conclusion and still following this line of argument, we should be able to isolate and “correct” these “evil” genes and create a perfect society.  And should there still be evil and crime after “successfully” doing away and correcting these wayward genes, it would only mean [1] the guy who “corrected” the “evil” genes botched it or [2] we identified the wrong genes and those previous “successes” were accidents or coincidences or [3] EVIL IS IN THE HEARTS OF MEN AND NOT IN OUR GENES.

TaN: The problem with statistics and statisticians is that they tend to trivialize things and treat people as inanimate items, especially when it comes to issues such as (children’s) health.  Ten children out of a million may be extremely insignificant — 0.001% — in terms of statistics but the whole perspective or appreciation changes dramatically when your child is one of the ten.

It seems that many people fail to understand that, when it comes to life, especially human life, a death is one death too many.  Such losses are not quantifiable.  There is no quantitative means of measuring or approximating the worth or value of a (human) life, otherwise we reduce lives into inanimate objects or (worse) mere numbers devoid of any intrinsic value.  It will be just like saying that the value of human life is simply the sum value of its chemical compounds and elements in the open market — more or less $1 at today’s prices (according to

Moreover, this is if we assume that we are detached or disinterested parties and cold-hearted automatons.  However, there is this thing called Ethics of Care which, in a nutshell, says that the existence of a relation — i.e., a sentimental or emotional bond or attachment, especially a close one — changes the whole ball game.  It tends to cloud judgment and, on many occasions, significantly influencing what should otherwise have been an objective (ethical) decision.

This is likewise the argument I posed with my economist friends — that economics is supposed to be a social science and yet the “social” aspect seems to have been abandoned or totally ignored nowadays, especially in the field of Economic Statistics.  People are reduced to mere numbers and figures in a chart or graph.

I guess this is what happens when we put money — profit and earnings — ahead of people.  Money becomes the (ultimate) bottom line and nothing else matters.  It would be (slightly) different if there are other considerations at the bottom line besides profit.

TaN: When government mandates something to be applied to the population and the mandate is to be sourced from a private business — thereby ensuring profit for the supplier — it is but ethical that mandate must be bought at cost by the government from the supplier (i.e., production cost).  The supplier must not “earn” from the compliance with the mandate.  Some cases in point are: identification cards, licenses (like professional and driver’s), vaccinations (loss or damage does not apply here), et al.

In the cases of identification cards and licenses and other similar items, only the initial issuance is to be made available for free.  In subsequent replacements due to loss or negligent damage, replacement charges may be imposed as the recipient had been remiss in the proper care and maintenance and therefore is responsible and accountable.  However, as in driver’s licenses when there are periodic renewals, the same at-cost for the government and no-charge for the individual should likewise be applied since it is a mandate and charging or profiting for subsequent mandated renewals is also construed as an attempt to profit from a mandate scheme, which is unethical.

In cases where there is a periodic renewal, like driver’s licenses, succeeding renewals should likewise still be free-of-charge.  Cost of re-issuance should apply to instances of negligence on the part of the issuee, as in loss or damage.  Since renewals are mandated, it is (still or likewise) unethical to put the burden on the individual unless it be construed that it is a money-making or income-generating scheme.

All in all, government mandates where it will involve cost on the part of the public should not be turned into a profit-making, income-generating scheme.  It must be remembered that government does not exist to profit from the people but rather to serve the people.  Its source of revenue to enable and ensure it can carry out its mandate should be from ethical sources, such as taxes, penalties and fines, and return on investments.

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Post for Oct 15-21 2017 (updated Oct 16)

TaN: As I watched a video today (October 15) with the title “Great Depression (1929-1939)” — URL: or — it suddenly dawned on me that (wait a minute, kapeng mainit) if many committed suicide or became distraught during the Great Depression of 1929 in the United States of America, that money suddenly disappeared, where did all the money go?

Money could not just disappear; it must go somewhere.  Why is it not revealed what happened to the money?  It is only proper accounting and mathematics that when you take away from one side of an equation, there must be a corresponding change on the other side of the equation in order to maintain equality (of one side to the other).  So money cannot just disappear but is just moved from one place to another.  So the question is, where did the “disappearing” money go?

Unless money is burnt, destroyed (like blown up by explosives or accidentally torn and shredded by machines or disasters), or somehow damaged into an unusable form, the money that vanished from the masses must have gone to somebody else.

Why has not anybody noticed and asked this unusual issue and what is the answer?  Where did the money go?  Who’s got it?

TaN: I do not believe that divorce — in the context of modern definition and (common) understanding — may or should be permitted (and definitely no remarriage) like what was written in the Holy Scriptures.  In fact, there are several passages that dealt specifically with it, namely:
* 1 Corinthians 7:10-17 – “[10]And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: [11]But and IF SHE DEPART, LET HER REMAIN UNMARRIED or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.”…emphasis mine
* 1 Corinthians 7:39 – “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.”
* Luke 16:18 – “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from [her] husband committeth adultery.”
* Matthew 5:31-32 – “[31]It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: [32]But I say unto you: That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”
* Matthew 19:7-9 – “[7]They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? [8]He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. [9]And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adulttery.”
* Romans 7:2-3 – “[2]For the woman which hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. [3]So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”
* Mark 10:12 – “And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.”
* Deuteronomy 24:1 – “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give [it] in her hand, and send her out of his house.”

This is clear that the relationship of marriage is very sacred otherwise why mention it repeatedly and by different writers?  Moreover, though it mentions divorce (i.e., divorcement), its definition is very different from what we have today.  In the Biblical context, divorce is the equivalent of our legal separation, not annulment — because annulment permits remarriage.  In addition, annulment is granted certain and very specific grounds, like deceit or dishonesty on any or both parties.

However, in the Holy Scriptures, there is no mention of conditions where remarriage is permitted.  This would imply that marriage is something that must be considered carefully and mistakes are not permitted.  A Filipino saying describes it perfectly): Ang kasal ay hindi parang mainit na kanin na isinubo mo at kapag nainitan ka ay iluluwa mo (or loosely but as accurately translated as possible: Marriage is not like steamy rice that when you take a mouthful and you are burned, you will just spew it back out).

And, as in a previous TaN where I mentioned a quote from the late Joan Rivers (and I paraphrase): If you sleep with a man and there is no ring on your finger, you are a whore.  And, by extension, I would add: And if you use marriage as a means to sleep with different women, you are an adulterer.  Legality cannot legitimize the immorality of (modern-day) divorce.

TaN: Trust or confidence is a very powerful thing.  People are known to die because of trust issues — among the most obvious of which is trust in (allopathic) physicians when it comes to matters of health and nutrition, even when it is clear that the latter are the sole cause of the demise or misery (known as iatrogenic disease).  Even when the truth is staring right at us in the face, many find it very difficult to believe that their physicians, especially the oncologists, are really the ones responsible for their loved one’s demise.  This is known as iatrogenic disease — a medical condition or even death caused by the (allopathic or even the naturopath or alternative medicine) physician in the course of applying or administering a treatment or medical protocol.

This misplaced trust (or blind loyalty) make up a great majority of the reason behind a patient’s morbidity or mortality and the continued dominance of allopathy in mainstream or conventional medicine.  And this is backed up by massive support from Big Pharma or pharmaceutical industry (led by vaccine makers, who have become so arrogant as to be immune from suit even when they are clearly responsible for the harm or death of a patient).

When someone enjoys complete trust or confidence, there is (almost) literally no blame that can be leveled on the trusted (no matter how blatantly the trusted is undeserving of the trust) and the “truster” will even fight to the death to defend the trusted — or, as in the case of medicine, be “eternally” grateful to the physician for trying to hard to “save” the patient when in fact it was the physician’s doing that caused the morbidity or mortality.

Moreover, this is likewise witnessed in politics, especially in certain Third World countries, where the masses foolishly and repeatedly elect into office the same corrupt and insidious thugs and continue to believe and support them while in office.  However, this particular case is not completely due to (blind) loyalty but a significantly large reason is due to (extreme) poverty and ignorance of the mechanics of the law — like vote-buying, gerrymandering, and the maliciousness of crafting (specialized) laws that favor particular lawmakers and other government officials.

In conclusion, as in faith, trust is a potent thing and should not be given just on a whim — especially nowadays, when the unscrupulous have become more sophisticated in their ways of winning people’s trust and confidence.

TaN: I just realized that there is really no need to brush your teeth, much less floss, if you eat right.  Tooth decay and other related issues arise only because we do not eat what we are supposed to (and/or not the way it is supposed to be eaten) — physical injuries or damages notwithstanding.  Take the case of wild animals (that do not live in close proximity to urban centers) who never brush their teeth yet enjoy good dental health — except for the expected wear and tear of daily use, especially those that have diets containing anything tough or hard, like shells, bones, barks, and armor.

The only instance that teeth brushing might be necessary is when gooey stuff sticks to the enamel, especially between the teeth.  For those that eat proper foods, the teeth are specifically and perfectly designed to cope.

Carnivores have pointed teeth that are set apart so that food particles that can cause tooth decay will not lodge between the teeth.  And, should it ever happen that food bits get stuck between the teeth, they will be easy to dislodge.

As for herbivores, since the diet consists mainly of fibrous plant matter that should be ground up, the teeth are tightly packed so as for form a continuous surface for grinding.  Should food bits get in between the teeth, these are usually fiber and fiber will not cause tooth decay and they are relatively easy to pull out and unstick.

It is when the wrong food is being consumed that dental problems and issues arise and this is precisely what we do and have.  We are vegetarian omnivores — in contrast to being vegan, which adheres strictly to a pure plant diet — so we can eat both plant and animal food. However, since the qualifier is “vegetarian”, this implies that a large part of the diet would have to be plant matter and not animal meat.  It is when we indulge in a disproportionate and improper plant to animal ration that dental problems emerge.

In addition, we have the propensity to indulge in unnatural food — i.e., man-made such as candy and junk food — that not only compounds but even exacerbates everything.  And this is not to mention that many of man-made stuff are acidic, aside from animal meat, and the acid content in the food eaten contribute significantly to the erosion and destruction of the protective enamel.

Anyway, it is just a thought.

TaN: Nowadays, it is wise to teach our young not to believe, at least immediately and blindly (without so much as discerning the accuracy of the historical accounts being taught), what is being taught us by history in school.  The saying that Might makes right is very true even though it is not (always) correct — i.e., it is (or, if not, it should be) known that the victor always “writes” history and I doubt if any victor will ever accede that they were in the wrong. In addition, there is the other saying that, The victor gets to write history.

It is only when objective historians dig deep and long into the past that there would be a chance to unearth the truth about history.  And even then, there could still be some bias, especially if the sources of (hidden or obscured) information themselves have a skewed perception of what really happened.

In any case, the truth will always come out in the end.  The only problem is how soon that end is and will it be in time to avert any damage or harm to the lives of people?

Moreover, even when the truth is slowing surfacing, there will always be those who benefit from the altered history (or their minions) who are ever on the look out for such attempts and will not hesitate to deter the truth from coming into the light or to muddy the waters, so to speak, to sow confusion and doubt as to mitigate the impact of the truth emerging, if not totally suppress it.

In conclusion, it will always be the eternal struggle between those who have the common interest at heart against those who desire only that alone should benefit, to the detriment or expense of others.  This is one aspect or interpretation of “the good fight” as mentioned in the Holy Scriptures.

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Post for Oct 8-14 2017 (updated Oct 15)

TaN: In today’s (October 14) hardcopy issue of The Philippine STAR with the story title “Sara challenges Trillanes to a fight” by a certain Edith Regalado (in page 4), it would appear that it is true what they say about “papa’s girl” and “like father like daughter”.  It is sad that when push comes to shove, many of our politicians simply just cannot live up to be responsible adults and degenerate into thugs — who know only one way to resolve issues and that is through physical violence or fisticuffs.  They simply cannot handle intellectual and mental exchanges or banters and debates.

It is an age-old ruse of settling issues by people who have met their intellectual match or have been cornered and is desperately trying to dodge the emerging truth or eventual and inevitable defeat.  They employ tactics like [1] diverting or changing the subject, [2] attacking by raising totally different issues (usually resorting to name-calling, character assassination, absurd and outlandish challenges such as daring the other party to fights or duels), mud-slinging and other similar ways, and [3] manufacturing lies and stories that will shift public attention and discussion.  These are usually used (with consistent and great success) when the general public are not mature and critical thinkers.

A general public who are not mature enough and prone to gossip and rumor-mongering will easily and predictably lap up whatever juicy scandalous topics or issues.  And by consistently feeding public opinion with several successive diversionary non-issues, the public attention will be drawn far away enough as to completely lose focus on the original issue.

This is one of those (diversionary) instances — Davao Mayor Sara’s challenge to Sen Trillanes — in an effort to draw attention away from the hot and controversial issue, which is the alleged hidden and yet-to-be-explained (ergo ill-gotten) wealth of Mr Duterte.  Aside from this, Mr Duterte’s earlier similar attempts by calling Sen Trillanes “half a man, womanizer” — news article in The Philippine STAR October 5 2017 issue — is another.  It was feeble and vain and unsuccessful as Sen Trillanes was too wise and remained focused on the issue at hand.

TaN: The problem with all (or at least many) comic book superhero television series (today) is they are portrayed with ordinary lives and with ordinary people problems — unlike their counterparts in the comic book genre or at least when I used to read them.  All that is well and good but it should have dawned upon them — i.e., the superheroes — that they are not really ordinary people and should expect that there will be risks, specifically when it comes to their loved ones.  This is the reason for having (secret) alter-egos and keeping secret identities, because of the vulnerability of the loved ones.

Another bone I would like to pick with superheroes (comic book, television, movies, or whatever) is that their ordinary lives — the mundane ones — are seldom, if ever, known.  You know, the bath-taking, the toilet, the eating, the financial concerns (like rent, if they do not have a place of their own), the daily social commitments.  How about where they get their income for expenses and, if they have some special laboratory or lair or whatever, how do they finance them and get all those unique equipment and gadgets.

At least we know the likes of Oliver Queen, Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Peter Parker, Bartholonew Allen, Tony Stark, Nick Fury (who “evolved” from a WWII caucasian veteran into a black dude, what the heck?!), Reed Richards (and his crew), T’Challa, Natasha Romanov (under the employ of SHIELD), and the others with obvious sources of income (as in wealthy family, media man, forensic scientist, grants, etc). But what about that of Professor Xavier (and his school), Donald Blake (who was originally a crippled medical practitioner but now I do not know), Diana Prince (who was supposed to originally work for the military in the 70s television series but now), and all the others who have or may not have day jobs and have to be absent from work with no apparent excuse?  Where do they derive income to sustain themselves daily?

In any case, this TaN is just to fill up the quota of four TaNs per posting.

TaN: The law regarding the limitations of who can be criminally liable — like children below the age of discernment and the elderly beyond a certain age — should have an amendment.  There should be an exception under certain conditions, particularly when the perpetrator is aware that his age puts him/her beyond the law.

A case in point will be when an elderly person, say who is 90 years of age, decides to commit a crime because s/he knows the law’s age limitation puts him/her beyond punishment.  A good concrete case would be the repeated pronouncement of Mr Duterte that, due to his age, the law cannot put him in prison so he is hell-bent on his bloody and brutal campaign to sow terror and fear among the people — even though the target people are supposed to be only restricted to those who have criminal liabilities and appear not to want to reform.

In this particular instant, this is likewise what is happening among the children who are either used or actual parties to criminal activities.  Since they know that the law cannot touch them, they have no compunction to commit misdeeds.  This flaw in the legislation should be addressed.

Recently, I heard on television, in a crime news report involving children and minors “in conflict with the law”, that authorities will start making parents and guardians accountable for the misdeeds of minors, especially those that are criminally liable.  Well, it is about time but then again, I will have to wait and see. Public pronouncements such as these by authorities are frequently for show and does not have follow-through.  Show me first before you make a believer out of me.

TaN: Cognitive decline (and not necessarily forgetfulness) is primarily caused by the decline in neurons and this can be caused by one of the following: (1) neurons dying off (and are not replaced); (2) neurons not being stimulated so they go into a state of lethargy and dormancy; and, (3) no new synapses are being formed. Still another may be due to (extreme) depression which causes the neurons to fail due to suppression of or in their function.  Externally stimulated or internally or self-inflicted, depression is a potent and draining force that saps the will which, as one of its manifestations, leads to cognitive failure.

Identifying the reasons behind a symptom means that one can now (effectively and correctly) address the issue/s.  Many mistake the symptoms for the cause and this usually results in mistreatment and frequently a reason for the patient to doubt or blame the treatment or the physician.  However, should the malady or illness disappear despite the mistreatment, its resolution is (almost always) mere coincidental.

However, the main and biggest problem when properly diagnosing lifestyle diseases is determining the root cause because it takes a long time for lifestyle diseases to develop.  So many things have come and gone and it is (literally) impossible to pinpoint the true cause.  Sure, there are many corollary or contributory factors but which or what is the trigger?

Moreover, lifestyle diseases have a way of beginning and developing “under the radar” until, by the time one notices it, it is in an advanced stage.  A good case of this would be cancer, which allopathic medicine claims takes an average of two decades before it becomes detectable by conventional procedures and tests.

Cognitive failure is another, more especially because many of us tend to deny it and attribute it to advancing age or overwork or information overload.  Indeed, cognitive failure is not the same as forgetfulness, which happens to people who are not systematic and well-organized and lose track.

Anyway, what is important is that all — no exceptions — lifestyle diseases can be cured or reversed!  It does not make sense that something that was not there before cannot be removed or go back to its previous state; just as it is nonsensical that lifestyle diseases can or will be inherited.  It just is not logical.

TaN: One very important reason for developing good habits is that, in our declining years especially when cognitive failure or decline starts creeping in, all that will remain are our habits.  Our habits determine whether we will have good, enjoyable, and memorable end-of-life years or not.  It also determines how our relatives and friends will be affected.

Imagine if your memory is failing and you are left with just your habits and ingrained behavior still functioning as always.  If those habits and reflexes are not “good” — i.e., in sync with those events and situations that keep changing, like fluctuating commuting fares and appointments and new developments — this will spell havoc on your daily routines and chores.

In my experience with my relations who suffer cognitive decline, they become frustrated and depressed because they frequently commit mistakes, mistakes that would not have been otherwise committed had their (short-term) memory still functions properly — because their “normal” lives have become challenges and long-term memory still retains old information that have become obsolete.  Moreover, new routines — due to changes over time — are not remembered and they are now experiencing some kind of disconnect with reality and it is worsening their frustration and anxiety.

Old habits that are no longer applicable or should have been superseded or supplanted by better ones keep being done and ending up with wrong or undesired results.  New routines that are intended and designed for new situations or conditions are not retained so coping or dealing with events becomes a big issue.

However, had we developed good habits — i.e., good in the sense that they are flexible and have an inherent mechanism or feature that can adapt to new situations on their own — that can automatically adjust to changes in circumstances or conditions with little or no changes which would save a lot of headaches and heartaches and mistakes, such as putting away the day’s newspaper at the end of the day (say, 10PM) instead of immediately when through reading it because you keep forgetting the day’s date and you have to keep referring to the newspaper or as writing things down, especially the important things, lest we forget.

In our declining years, if and when memory fails, all that we are left with are our reflexes and habits so it is critical that the habits be good and flexible.  Of course, it will help a lot if there are people who are always around for us and we have a trusting nature — because cognitive decline issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s have been known to become violent against others because they no longer recognize anybody and feel “all alone” in a world that is not getting any better or safer.

And the worst of all is when your bad habits are coupled with or exacerbated by you being obsessive-compulsive.

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Post for Oct 1-7 2017 (updated Oct 14)

TaN (update): In the latest saga of Mr Duterte and his critics and detractors, it would seem that Mr Duterte is extremely adverse to being doubted — i.e., as to his sincerity, his chastity, his integrity — and to being scrutinized.  It is interesting to note and ask why Mr Duterte is so despite his repeated assertion and public pronouncements regarding his chastity and transparency and good intentions.

Having been in politics for so long, you would think Mr Duterte would have a clear understanding of how politics work — i.e., for a public servant — but it appears otherwise. Perhaps it is because he was used to having his way — in his little pond in Davao City.  But he should understand that the situation is vastly different and that he is no longer a big fish in a small pond but a small fish in a big pond.

Moreover, it would appear that he still cannot comprehend that, despite wielding so much power, he (still) cannot have his cake and eat it too.  The national public is not so easily cowed nor impressed as those in his local kingdom down south.  The national public is more sophisticated, more politicized, and is culturally more heterogeneous — so public opinion is diverse but more pronounced because each cultural group is jockeying for a dominant position.

One thing going for Mr Duterte is his adamant determination to see things done his way — as the song goes, “I did it my way“.  This is reflected as political will and it has its good and bad points.

But the danger is manipulation. Mr Duterte has a very high regard in his own intelligence — even though he frequently “admits” and even boasts that he is of average intelligence and cites his average grades — and is adverse or unwilling to believe that people can influence (or maneuver) him into their own selfish interests or agenda.  He forgets that no matter how intelligence or street smart one is, there will always be people who will be able to outsmart you.

And there lies the danger.  And because I doubt if Mr Duterte will ever admit to being manipulated — for it is highly unlikely that those who are not “big enough” to admit their errors usually have big egos and will not tolerate dissent and usually have (just) below average IQs — it is very likely that he can unwittingly be maneuvered into doing something he thinks is what he wants to do when in truth is has been “suggested” by someone else with a personal or hidden agenda.

All I can say (and my unsolicited avice) to Mr Duterte is: Be very careful of those whom you trust.  Unlike animals, even snakes, people are not (always) honest and truthful.  Some are so good that they remain your “disinterested friend” for years, plotting their every calculated move, before they put it into action.

TaN (update): I would classify all the different problems regarding memory — like Alzheimer’s, dementia, senility, forgetfulness, absent-mindedness, whatever — under cognitive failure or degeneration and, in today’s (October 2, Monday) article post in Naturalnews for October 1 titled “Ward off Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and other physical impairments NATURALLY as you age by developing ‘a sense of purpose’” by a certain JD Heyes, it would appear that the only (common) and effective way of slowing down or even preventing and reversing the effects of failing memory is use the memory continuously (if not more intensely or vigorously).

In a superficial scan, according to the article, it would appear that it is the constant usage of the brain that keeps it in functioning condition, after all the brain is the only organ (in the body) that never rests — because even the heart rests between beats — and continues to work even when we sleep (as in REM sleep and dream state).  About the only time the brain “rests” is when we are dead.

It is very true the saying, Use it or lose it. This has been the pattern over the ages as not all elderly and those in advanced ages develop memory problems.  Their commonality is that those who (appear to) remain cognitively functional are those who remain “useful” even after retirement or disability.  It is, likewise, for this reason that researchers encourage the elderly to engage in (new) hobbies and activities — something they did or had not been doing in their earlier (productive) working years (like dancing, singing, painting, handicraft, memoir-writing, crosswords and puzzles, gardening and horticulture, or even community and church activities).  Doing so induces the brain to create and establish new synapses and neural connections and avoid getting into a “rut”.

It is the going into and staying in the mundane daily chores that cognitive degeneration creeps in because the brain is no longer stimulated.  The brain needs to be constantly and continuously confronted with new things because of its tendency to reduce repetitive activities into habits and reflexes so as to conserve and maximize brain energy expenditure and be more efficient.  After creating a habit or reflex routine, the brain looks for new activities.

It would appear that the more intense or greater mental effort or activity required, the better the brain gets and this forestalls (and even reverses) the ravages of old age.  The brain likes (and is designed) to be challenged.  It feeds on this and boredom and familiarity are its bane.  It has been reported repeatedly that those who chose to remain mentally active and lucid all throughout life (and well into the twilight years) experience no cognitive dysfunction and engage others as if they never aged.

When we are done with whatever we do, we should look for other things to do.  The Creator is like that and it is said and written (in the Holy Scriptures) that we are made in His image — which is to creative and innovative perpetually.

Tan: There may be a way, awkward as it may be, to mitigate or even totally prevent certain cyber intrusions, especially in cases where inquiry-only is needed.  There is a principle (somewhere) that states: More convenience means less controli.e., “convenience” refers to or is defined as “not having to do it yourself or less effort on our part”, as in elevators and escalators are conveniences because people do not have to physically exert effort to climb stairs and in software applications where it is becoming easier and easier to hack a computer as compared to the legacy systems where the user has to manually key-in each and every action the system or software is to undertake.

Since most cyber traffic are either inquiries or online shopping (and chatting/messaging but hacking these are a different issue), it would be safe to say that the software and database contained can be kept to a minimum and restricted to the minimum information.  For instance, with online shopping (especially those that require membership), other shopper information irrelevant to making a purchase can be kept in a separate file and offline.  This way, not only will the files be small — which makes it easier to swap in and out, plus searching and verification will be faster — but vital and critical “negotiable” information are kept out of the reach of hacking.

Moreover, the server that services or is directly connected to cyber space should be a stand-alone system — i.e., it may be connected to cyber space but not to the internal company network/s.  A manual switch may be installed to link to the internal company network/s but this switch should be designed to disengage from cyber space first before it connects to the internal network/s.  There should be a lag time to check for Trojans and worms and other malware that may be dormant and lurking, waiting for an opportunity to emerge and do damage.

Moreover, a firewall may be implemented — where only those site addresses that are included in a list or table will be permitted to gain access and the list/table is updated occasionally (when needed, like adding or removing new site addresses); everything else is dropped.

By restricting access only to those in the list/table, it ensures that only “accredited” sites are permitted access and this provides better security.  In contrast, if the list/table contains those that are denied access, malicious intrusions can always use other site addresses (which are not denied access) to gain access since they most likely will not be in the denied list/table, especially if the site addresses are new.

Of course, there is always the possibility that the intruder acquires or hacks into an “accredited” site address and uses it to gain access.  In this case, one must still have to be vigilant (and leave nothing to chance).

As aforementioned, it is so much trouble to be secure against cyber intrusions but it cannot be denied that convenience has its benefits.  In addition, there is no such thing as a totally secure system.  As the saying goes, If one man can make it, another can break it.  Therefore, it is prudent to find just the acceptable mix of convenience and security.

And since no system can really every be completely secure, the only option remaining is to make it as difficult for intruders to gain access as possible — so difficult that it discourages further efforts to penetrate the target system.

TaN: The problem with lifestyle diseases is not so much the disease itself as the way it develops.  Unlike the diseases and illness we are used to, lifestyle diseases do not happen immediately after the cause is effected or done.  Rather, it takes years — in the case of cancer, it is said to take a MINIMUM of TWENTY YEARS before any detectable trace is found — so many cannot or do not full appreciate the implication or significance because it takes such a long time and so many events will have transpired in between that it is next to impossible to isolate and identify what exactly the cause is (or causes are).

Aside from not being able to pinpoint exactly what we did wrong decades ago that led to the development of the lifestyle disease, there are likewise simply just too many variables that happened along the way to accurately ascertain the cause.  Add to this the fact that we cannot remember which ones we did or were exposed to were harmful to us and which were not.

Many of today’s so-called lifestyle diseases do not have a single cause but arises from a combination factors.  Moreover, the health of a particular organ of the body plays a significant factor in determining which or what lifestyle disease we will eventually develop.  In addition, many lifestyle diseases lead to or are precursors to others — like obesity usually leads to the development of cancer and so does autoimmune diseases.  In fact, in many instances, it starts out as being overweight and hypertensive that progresses to obesity then to diabetes and eventually results in cancer (usually of the digestive system).

However, the so-called “natural progression” of lifestyle diseases is not really natural but a consequential outcome from not heeding the warning signs and continuing down the path of unhealthy lifestyles and diets.  Moreover, even with this “natural progression” of events, it is not hopeless as it is reversible.

The simplest or simplistic way is to do the exact of opposite of what has been determined to be the cause.  But this is dangerous as it may lead to the other extreme which is frequently another lifestyle disease.

The true and correct way is to live the way nature (or God) intended us to live.  Many factors in our body clearly show us the way, if we only are honest, sincere, smart, and humble enough to the correct way.

In conclusion, there is a simple though initially difficult method of reversing all these symptoms and warning signs and restore true health.  May I invite you to peruse “The Natural Human Diet” — URL:

TaN: All deeds and decisions of man must be held accountable.  Someone must be responsible, regardless of age (be they children, adults, or even elders).  Somebody must answer for the consequences of any act of man.

At present, the law holds that children below the age of discernment are innocent of any wrongdoing.  However, this does not mean that the misdeed goes unpunished.  In cases where children are the perpetrators and their age exempts them from any criminal liability, it would be the parents or guardians that are held responsible and accountable.

However, the current situation in the Philippines, most instances of child wrongdoings go unpunished or without anyone being held accountable or responsible and this is very wrong.  It gives the unfair and immoral impression that children (below a certain pre-determined age) can commit wrongful acts and get away scot-free.  It is this reason that there is rampant felonies and misdemeanors being committed (left and right) and victims are unjustly suffering the inaction or absence of retribution.

For children before a pre-determined age of accountability, it should be and is the parents or guardian/s that are responsible and must bear the accountability of wrongdoings.  As for orphans, since they are automatically considered or deemed wards of the state, it is the state that must be accountable and becomes open to complaints and civil litigation from victims — or at least this should be the case.

It is not right that any wrongdoing goes unpunished.  Someone should always be held accountable — be it a private individual or the state.  In any case, the victim/s must always be justice — and retribution.

TaN: Money or currency, especially the paper form, are valuable only because people gave it value otherwise they are mere pieces of paper — actually the “paper” in paper money is actually cloth but this is trivia.  And because it is man that gave value to these instruments of (financial) exchange and wealth, we — as a united force or at least a sufficient number of us that will make a significant impact to start and sustain a change — can take away that value and render all the accumulated wealth of the rich meaningless.  We can do what we want; we just have to realize the power we possess and how to wield it properly for the common good and not just serve the selfish interest of the rich.

Moreover, as I have repeatedly discussed in previous TaNs, true power (really) resides and emanates from the people — united as a whole. Humanity, if united in singular causes, can achieve unparalleled greatness.  And, contrary to popular thought (espoused by Big Business), true motivation does not come from monetary or financial incentives but from altruistic and philanthropic endeavors (that people want to do rather than what they have to do) — please refer to a TED Talk video by a certain career analyst Daniel Pink titled “The puzzle of motivation” and dated some time circa July 2009 (according to as of August 31, 2017), which delved in part on the Candle Problem [URL: or the “animated” version].

Money has power only because most of us give it importance.  We give it power over our lives.  Think how significant money is to a remote and primitive tribe living at the top of a mountain and isolated from civilization.  Imagine how they would respond when you offer them a whole truckload of cash.  Chances are, they would just use it as tinder to start their fire when they cook (because cash is remarkably easy to ignite).

In conclusion and I reiterate for the nth time, if the so-called 99% suddenly and unanimously turn their backs on paper money and commence to trade and barter with each other for goods and services and do things for others because it is for the common good and leave the cash to the wealthy to do what they want with it, I dare say: [1] there will no longer be any distinction between the wealthy and the poor; [2] those who wish to dominate and control people will (suddenly) have no hold over our lives anymore; [3] progress and development will advance a lot faster and will benefit more people (because we share problems and solve each others’ problems and not monopolize it with patents, copyrights, and intellectual property rights); and, [4] practically all of our current pressing problems and crisis issues will disappear (like disease, poverty, crime, hunger, shelter, and conflict — physical, emotional, or otherwise).

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Post for Sep 24-30 2017 (updated Sep 29)

TaN (update): The principal thorn in (or at the heart of) the issue/s of extrajudicial killings and deaths during (legitimate) police operations is the qualifying directive of Mr Duterte that it is sanctioned by the state to kill people who “nanlaban” while in the process of arresting or in police custody.  The problem here is how “nanlaban” is defined and interpreted by both Mr Duterte, the police operatives, the human rights people, the victim’s kinfolk (and friends), media, and the public.

Nanlaban” is actually a semi vague Filipino term and is subject to biased interpretation, especially during sensitive situations.  Without a clear and definitive description from Mr Duterte, the problem of extrajudicial killings and griefs of the victim’s family will continue.

Nanlaban” ranges from a simple jerking away of the arm or shoulder and pulling back to something as severe as an outright attack or retaliation.  In other words, police operatives can claim “nanlaban” even at the slightest sign of resistance by the suspect or “person of interest”.

Perhaps it is high time a clear-cut definition of exactly (and explicitly) what is “nanlaban“, what presicely constitutes it, and what are its scope and limitations.  Until then, the issue of extrajudicial killings will continue to hound and haunt Mr Duterte and his bloody and brutal campaign to rid his country of illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption and victim body count will continue to rise — or, is it exactly what Mr Duterte wants: To be known as “Berdugo” or Butcher.

TaN (update): In a television broadcast in the evening news on Tuesday (September 26) televising a speech by Mr Duterte, he talked about how his critics and detractors should cease and desist from their incessant “attacks” regarding human rights violations and killings in his sworn campaign against illegal drugs and criminality and focus on the rights of the victims and innocents, as well as the deaths of the police operatives and military, instead.

I must admit that Mr Duterte is correct in the sense that the victims and innocents (or “collateral damage”) have rights too and deserve as much meticulous attention but what Mr Duterte seems to imply is that ONLY the rights of the victims and innocents matter and that those of the “guilty” — which have yet to be proven — and those “nanlaban” have none.  So, whenever the current regime accuses rights advocates of applying “selective criticism” while ignoring others, they should look closely at themselves.  It is a case — as written in the Holy Scriptures (Matthew 7:3-5 and Luke 6:42, KJV), “[3]Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? [4]How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? [5]You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” and “Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.” respectively — and the saying, It is a case of the kettle calling the tea pot black.

Moreover, I agree with Mr Duterte that what the drug lords and drug dealers (and their minions) are doing are despicable and deserving of the severest punishment, they still have rights.  It would appear that Mr Duterte — wittingly or not — is conveniently forgetting or omitting the “human” descriptor in the phrase human rights and merely restricting himself to “rights”.  The drug lords and dealers, no matter how deserving of immediate termination, are still human beings and, as such, still deserve to have their day in court — even if our judicial system is grudgingly and admitably deplorable, still it is the only one there is.

And, because Mr Duterte seems to repeatedly return to his legality — like one of his favorite arguments of “no law against threatening criminals” — he has yet to prove that there is a law declaring suspects (because they have not technically yet been proven to be guilty as they have not yet undergon due process) and even criminals to be non-human.  In this light, by virtue of their being human, are still deserving of human rights.

Moreover, still on the matter of legality, Mr Duterte appears to conveniently forget or ignore the fact that those he publicly “threaten” with violence — like the corrupt officials and those in his list of drug personalities — are yet to be convicted of a crime.  Unless I missed something, is it not that a person becomes a criminal only after being (properly) convicted by the judicial system and not by mere labeling of Mr Duterte?  Is it not that, though the acts of these drug personalities are criminal, it does not follow that the people committing the criminal acts are criminals — just as a person who lies does not necessarily mean s/he is a liar because it is vital and essential that we separate the act from the person, otherwise there would be no need for the crimes of libel and slander.

In ethics, we are taught that we can condemn the act but never the actor for we are in no position to declare anyone as being something.  That is the sole prerogative of the Creator — for it is said and written that God and God alone has the right to judge us.

Finally, inasmuch as I do (reluctantly but admittedly) agree with Mr Duterte on the matter of according attention to victims and not just the violators, I still think that both Mr Duterte and his critics and detractors are both correct.  The problem is that both sides appear to be too focused on the details and not the whole picture — a case of not seeing the forest from the trees — which is their bickering.  Just as I have argued during the martial law years when Mr Marcos and his opponents argue over who will help the poor, NO ONE IS HELPING THE POOR.  They are too focused on their fight and lose sight of what they are supposed to be fighting for.

TaN: It is fundamental in problem-solving that the primary step is to determine the cause of the problem.  Without identifying the cause, it is next to — but not totally — impossible to solve it.  It is “next to” but not totally impossible because there are instances where the solution came about or was arrived by accident.

Many of our commercially successful products in the (global or Western) market were results of accidents.  Take the case of the products: super glue, penicillin, post-it notes, Coca Cola, popsicle to name a few.  They started out as attempts to solve current problems and ended up with something else.

Still, aside from imagination — which is not just critical but essential to problem-solving, because without it we cannot solve problems, and I mean CANNOT — foresight and an analytical mind is needed.  Foresight is needed to see opportunity into the future whereas analysis is for complete understanding of how to take advantage of and to ensure that whatever was (accidentally or intentionally) produced or chanced upon can be replicated and utilized.  Analysis is likewise needed to discern how events led to the outcome.

A case in point is the age-old time-tested Chinese traditional remedy of burning whatever is the perceived cause of a simple stomach trouble and eating the burnt food to “counter the (positive) ailment with its negative to cancel each other out and restore equilibrium to the body”.  The belief of the negative of something to counter the positive is based on the duality of things (Yin/Yang) in Chinese medicine principle but it is actually the carbon resulting from the burning that is a potent anti-toxin which can neutralize common stomach troubles (usually indigestion or over-eating etc).

In conclusion, the need to trace back and determine the (true) cause of the problem will ensure the problem is truly being addressed and solved and not merely a coincidence.

TaN: I wonder what happens in the minds of “unsocial” animals — i.e., those that do not naturally live together in groups, like tigers (as compared to lions and their pride) — when weaning time comes around (for the mothers). Do they “forget” their offspring?

When the mothers separate from their young, do they undergo a psychological or mental transformation or lose the memory of the relationship with their young?  Do they feel anything during the process of weaning and separation?

In a particular house cat, I observed that the mother leaves the “nest” for longer and longer periods of time and, when she returns, would meet the young not with a cooing motherly sound but with a hissing and threatening one.  Is this to condition the young (and probably itself) for the eventual inevitable separation?

And from what I have observed in the young, they seem unable to understand the change in behavior of the mother and still look forward to the mother’s return.  Do they miss their mother?

TaN: The worst thing one can do, and especially in a Third World country, is ask or follow a physician’s recommendation in matters of health — i.e., pathological, not nutritional (because health has two aspects: nutrition and pathology).  In many cases, even in industrialized or First World countries, especially when Big Pharma is in control or is very influential in government, in (medical) school, and in society in general), the academic medical training is extremely inadequate in nutritional courses and internships.

In fact, percentage-wise, the (allopathic or conventional or mainstream) medical professional field is peppered with physicians and traditionally-trained medical personnel (such as nurses and such) who have not the slightest inkling when it comes to nutritional health (i.e., if they rely solely on what they learned in medical school and had not done any personal research into the matter).  And yet they — particularly the physicians — constantly and unhesitatingly give nutritional advice left and right as if it were penny candy (which is not good because it is sugary and not the good kind).

[Btw, the wrong sugar is being blamed as the culprit in many lifestyle diseases — especially diabetes mellitus — when, in truth, it is supposed to be its “evil” twin.  There are two principal forms of (monosaccharide) sugar: glucose (from sugar cane and sugar beet) and fructose (from fruits but the commercial form is principally from corn).  Sucrose is a disaccharide which means it is a complex sugar or is a combination of two or more monosacharrides.]

Aside from blood-sugar lifestyle diseases, physicians continue to prescribe dangerous and toxic chemical pharmaceuticals despite the warnings and contraindications in the inset or accompanying literature enumerating all the risks and potential health hazards and side effects the pharmaceutical may have or has been determined to induce.  So far, the worst appear to be with vaccines and followed closely by mind-altering drugs such as anti-depressants.

In conclusion, it is reported that more and more new physicians are not taking the Hippocratic oath anymore — despite the fact that the oath is said to have undergone many revisions and alterations that appear to “water it down”.  Moreover, not taking the Hippocratic oath does neither excuse nor exempt physicians from abiding by the principles embodied in the oath.  It is bad enough that physicians have abandoned taking the oath but to go “the extra mile” by completely exclude it from practice is deplorable and an abomination.

TaN: It is very perilous, healthwise, to deal with micronutrients and other elemental food components (like minerals, especially trace minerals) directly — such as vitamins and minerals.  There is always the danger of overdosing and, in commercially packaged food products, are frequently sourced from inorganic — frequently from petroleum — origins.  It is always best to deal with such nutrients the way nature intends it — at the macro level and as elements or components of whole foods.

This is precisely the reason behind the reports of morbidity due to overdosing, especially in the case of pharmaceuticals.  If nature — or God — had intended for us to take micronutrients directly, it would have been made available in such states naturally.  A case in point is fructose, which is the sugar found in fruits.  Since fructose comes from fruits and fruits are supposed to be very healthy, why is it that HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) is at the core of the diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, osteoporosis, and cancer controversies, just to name a few and the most significant.

How is it that something that is supposed to be beneficial is so “unhealthy”?  It is precisely that for the reason that it is detrimental in high concentrated doses that nature — or God — placed it in fruits, where it is taken along with the other components of fruits that ensure fructose’s detrimental effects will be in check (i.e., the fiber in fruits).  This is a good case of “a little is good but more may no longer be so” and not “some is good so more is better”.

And this is exactly the case with pharmaceutical mishaps and tragedies, where people overdose because chemicals (already highly toxic in small quantities) are taken in large doses — due to various (iatrogenic) reasons, such as erroneous instructions, erroneous dosage amount, erroneous compliance, erroneous medication prescribed, erroneous or misreading the prescription, erroneous diagnosis, just to name a few but all with the same cause (of being mistakes).

The most dangerous problem with concentrated isolated chemicals is that one can easily overdose since they are always in tiny minute amounts and one cannot over-consume, not like whole foods which have loads of fiber and other stuff besides the micronutrients that one is after.  This is very similar, although much less dangerous but nevertheless never to under-estimate danger, the case with juicing — where there have been cases when people turn yellow or orange all over due to over-consumption of juiced carrots.

Moreover, micronutrients are beneficial and even vital but in small quantities.  In huge doses, some (like vitamin A but not necessarily beta carotene, the precursor of vitamin A) have been known to cause unhealthy side effects like cancer.

It is always best to consume food as nature — or God — intended.  Let us neither be too hasty nor too arrogant as to think of ourselves are the epitome of intelligence — but certainly not wisdom — or the pinnacle of evolution.  This is a joke and a bad and very dangerous one.

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Post for Sep 17-23 2017 (updated Sep 19 & Sep 24)

TaN: With all the successive “smart” products appearing on the market and the increasing speed at which they are hacked, it would appear that “smart” things are not so smart after all.  In fact, those we regard as old-school, legacy, “dumb” are smarter.  Perhaps, instead of labeling them as “smart”, it is more apt to brand them as “convenient” — or more appropriately, “lazy”.

[In a previous TaN, I discussed the difference between convenience and laziness.  In a nutshell, convenience is something that one cannot do without and makes it easier for us whereas laziness is something we can do but we chose the easier way — as in an elevator is convenient for a person with disability or an ambulatory-challenged elderly while it is laziness for someone who can use the stairs, assuming that the ascent/descent is just a few floors up or down.]

This is due to a news article from NaturalNews titled “Security flaw: ‘Smart’ drug syringes found to be hackable” with date of posting as September 21, 2017 by a certain J D Hayes and an earlier one titled “Yes, your smart TV really is spying on you: Leaked docs reveal CIA secretly turned Samsung TVs into microphones that spy on your conversations” date posted was March 7, 2017 and by the same J D Hayes.  These and a host of other earlier news articles show that “smart” devices are not safe — as far as privacy and personal security is concerned.

One problem with people is that they cannot — or do not want to — distinguish between convenience and laziness and few know and understand that there is a direct inverse relationship between convenience and control (meaning, for more convenience we have to give up more direct control).  In effect, we become “victims” of technology instead of being its master.

Moreover, “smart” depends on how one defines it.  Most people understand “smart” as being able to anticipate what they want without having to do anything.  However, this definition, though apt, is not quite accurate because if it were (truly) smart, it would not be hacked in the first place.

“Smart”, in this particular instance, should be taken in the context of technology.  Furthermore, the more proper term would be “advance technology”, “AI-assisted”, “user profiling technology”, or even just go back to the “version x.xx” of the recent past but certainly not “smart”.  It was dumb to be hacked.

In any case, I would recommend against using such “modern” technology — and any and all such technology — especially if we consider that such technology enables malice to be done by unscrupulous people remotely as are now being witnessed in periodic reports mostly in alternative media and so-labeled conspiracy theorists.  Use these “smart” technology at your own risk and do not say I did not give any warning.

TaN (update): In the news on September 21, it was reported that, aside from the protesters against Mr Duterte, those who supported the current dispensation conducted a simultaneous rally at the nearest gate to the presidential palace.  I wonder if these rallyist — it must be clear that those who are against are called protesters or demonstrators while those who are in favor are called rallyists — really support Mr Duterte.

It must be understood that the issue, to ensure every person understand clearly, is not Mr Duterte but his methods, specifically the bloody and brutal campaign against illegal drugs and criminality. It is nothing personal against the president.

I wonder if these rallyists will still support Mr Duterte (or his style of “solving” the country’s major and pressing problems) so fervently if a loved one becomes a victim of the campaign.

There is no contention regarding the need and urgency to address the illegal drug and criminality (and corruption) issues.  What is the bone of contention is the methodology.  The issue is the seeming rampant and untethered killing of people without undergoing due process.

Mr Duterte is an impatient man who appears to want to make his permanent mark in history, whatever the cost and no matter the means.  The fear is that he may go down in history known for his infamy rather than the other.

And, as a politician, Mr Duterte seems to be very adept at being one and has adapted to the qualification/s magnificently: use of ambiguous or double-meaning terms (with the intention of deception, concealing or evading the truth), engage in “prestidigitation” (i.e., sleight of hand or magic trickery) with respect to producing things that does not exist, and enthrall gullible minds with fairy tales and false promises.  Btw, there is a saying that goes, When leaders speak of peace, the people must prepare for war.

In any case and I digress again — which is a (bad) habit of mine — a major problem is the stark reality that “People see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear“.

TaN (update): In today’s (September 17) hardcopy issue ot The Philippine STAR titled “Duterte slams CHR chief: Are you a pedophile?” on the front page, although it is nor surprising and not totally unexpected, I still find it amusing and refreshing that there are still people who will not back down when face with the likes of Mr Duterte.

This latest news on Mr Duterte’s pitiful, deplorable, and futile attempt to demean and debase people who are just doing their job — just like what Mr Duterte claims he is doing with his bloody and brutal campaign against illegal drugs and, along the way, against corruption and other things — only shows the degree of intolerance of Mr Duterte against anyone who dares to even (openly) question his methods in achieving his self-imposed crusade against evil.

As to Mr Duterte’s query towards Mr Gascon regarding being a “gay pedophile” because the latter appears — in the former’s perception — too focused on teenage victims of violence and human rights violations, it is good to know what buttons to push to make Mr Duterte respond accordingly.  This makes Mr Duterte vulnerable.

If I were Mr Gascon, I will just ignore Mr Duterte’s outbursts and tirades — let them fall off by the wayside like water off a duck’s back — and continue doing what he is doing.  It would be interesting to see Mr Gascon continue with what he is doing, totally ignoring statements from Mr Duterte as if the latter is some insignificant gnat.  It would be nice to get Mr Duterte’s goat.  I wonder how much rattling can Mr Duterte take and what will happen when he snaps.

It is so funny and amusing to see or watch Mr Duterte go into fits of rage and make such baseless — just because successive high-profile incidents of violence and killings happened to involve teenage victims does not necessarily mean that one is focusing on teenagers and, being a former prosecutor trained in logic, Mr Duterte should or is expected to know better — inane statements such as accusing people of being gay and pedophiles on such flimsy reasons.   It would appear that Mr Duterte regard being gay or being a pedophile as something insulting to people — at least to Mr Gascon — otherwise why use the terms to abase Mr Gascon?

Lastly, it should be commit to mind that people of Mr Duterte’s personality bask in the limelight and the adoration of others so to deprive him of that which he “feeds on” — i.e., attention and adulation — is a big blow to his ego and the best response to Mr Duterte’s insults and tirades.  However, people like that are likewise prone to more drastic measures when they are pushed past their breaking point and we run the risk of more dangerous retaliations, such as physical violence, emotional and psychological distress, damage to public image, and financial ruin, using whatever resources is at their disposal and even underhanded tactics.  There is really no telling to what lengths such people will go to in order to “save face” and heal their ego.

TaN: The true mark of a sport is that it continues when you take away the prize money and simply just give the award and recognition — or at least, if you must have some kind of monetary compensation, it should be modest…just a token amount.  Moreover, it is easier to see with an unbiased and honest view when the prize purse is removed or so insignificant that it does not enter into the picture.

A good case in point would be boxing.  When you take away the huge (prize) purse, the whole thing degenerates into a simple fight between to people trying to punch each other’s lights out.  It is seen for what it truly is — a simple case of savage and barbaric display of pure stupidity and brutality.  It becomes a spectacle where it makes no sense and no real pleasure is derived — unless, of course, you are one of those who are sick.  The only people who will (still) patronize and derive pleasure from it would be those who have a twisted and malevolent taste of brutality and the macabre.

It is really not just a case of being juvenile but infantile and idiotic that people can enjoy such exhibits of inanity and foolishness.  They simply have too much time on their hands and cannot find anything better to do (or watch).

The old practice of pugilism is good because the antagonists are gentlemen and do not draw blood.  They do not taunt each other — for the media hype.  They are fully aware and respectful of the rules and there is very little or no intervention from or by the referee.  There is or was art in the sport; it was truly a sport.  There was no deriding, no mocking, no insulting, no distasteful media fanfare, no boasting, none of all the irrelevant shenanigans that is seen in “sports” these days when they face the media all for the sole purpose of hyping and ratcheting up the frenzy to get more publicity to get more audience which translates to more revenue in terms of advertisements and product endorsements…just for the sake of circus but more for the money.  Today, it has devolved into a “science” — pure and unadulterated systematized punching techniques masquerading as science, plus the fact of the obviously huge money at stake, both with the boxers and gamblers (whether it be a friendly wager among and between friends and relatives or among professional or addicted gamblers).  It was something to be proud of, if you happen to be a sportsman.  There was nobleness in sports — there was dignity, there was integrity, there was prestige.

Remember the age-old wisdom: Whenever money is involved, it is always about the money — regardless of what has been said and sworn to.  Everything else and all the “excuses” previously given are mere schemes and tools to get the true goal — the money.

How I pity money for it is being used to symbolize and portray man’s evil.  Truly, as in the Holy Scriptures (1 Timothy 6:10, KJV): For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

TaN: No one (in this temporal reality) is — nor will ever hope to be — perfect.  However, this cannot be — nor can ever be used as — an excuse not to try and be as near perfection as possible.  [Actually, in at least one previous TaN, I had already elaborated and discussed it arguing that everyone and everything is perfect in its own way for as long as it functions or carries out its nature or purpose — as in a spoon is perfect for bringing food to the mouth but not so much for turning screws.]

The problem with many people is they used the argument of their being imperfect as an alibi to avoid the obligation to improve and develop to as high a level as possible.  This hinders our evolution towards perfection and is a major sin or insult to the Creator who intended for us to be flourish and be the best that we can be.  We are not expected to achieve perfection, at least not in this temporal reality — but the attitude that we develop and sustain is what will be our seed or capital for the next life and it would not do good to bring over mediocre habits and an attitude of no self-drive.

Many people confuse or do not understand that it is not the end but the process that is critical.  It is the journey and not the destination — for upon reaching the destination, what now?

It is difficult to put into words the feeling I have but I believe that, though God is already Perfect,  He does and has not stopped evolving — in His Perfection.  He is constantly dynamic and fluid. He is in perpetual change and this is what is His essence.

God wants to populate Paradise with souls who are of the same attitude and habit as He.  To stop changing is to be dead.  Life is eternally changing, re-arranging and re-inventing oneself. It is the essence of life.

So keep going and push yourself ever onward to goal you have set.  Just remember that the goal must be something attainable but always just out of reach — ever receding away from our grasp in order to motivate us to keep improving.

TaN: In this temporal world, things always begin as good but may turn bad.  It cannot be that something begins as bad then turns good.  It is simply not possible, just as time can only go forward and never backward.

However, it does not mean that what became bad — which implies that it was once not bad — cannot turn back to good.  The first case of this is with Lucifer, when God created him he was God’s greatest work for he is the angel of light and was the most beautiful.  Then he turned to the dark side — because his beauty, his vanity went to his head — then it was downhill ever since.

In the case of man, we also began as good.  This is why it is written that innocent babes who still have not developed any sense of good and bad go straight — but not immediately — Heaven.  It is because they are innately good.  They did not have time nor the opportunity to become bad.

Even the second law of thermodynamics (Law of Entropy) attest to this truth: Things begin or start out as organized and ordered and breaks down or deteriorates (over time) into disorder or chaos.  However, this law does not account or apply (completely) to man as man has the inherent ability to reverse the process (and return to good after turning bad).

TaN: Truth is simple whereas untruths are complicated.  Truth is just a matter of what is, what is reality, what is the actual situation, whereas untruths mean that there has to be deception and inconsistencies so it has to be well-thought of and the intricacy grows exponentially the longer it takes to unravel.

Moreover, since there is the constant threat or risk of unraveling or discovery or being uncovered, one has to live in constant fear and apprehension and anxiety.  This adds to the trauma which could have been (all) avoided had the truth been told at the onset.

However, in many societies and cultures, especially those in the East, saving face and shame are a huge thing and people frequently go to great lengths to hide their skeletons for fear of embarrassment.  For them, embarrassment is an even greater disgrace or dishonor and is deemed a fate worst than death.

Anyway, truth is still the best policy although it may sometimes hurt.  It is written in the Holy Scriptures that telling the truth is never wrong, immoral, sinful, or evil.  It is good.  This means that telling something as “innocent” as white lies and false compliments are wrong because they are untruths.  In other words, calling someone a fool or stupid or using what society normally considers inappropriate and hurtful words are not wrong if they happen to be the truth.

Always call a spade a spade, no matter what. It is the right thing to do. Calling someone stupid is good if the person is truly stupid — Nota bene: one must be careful with such things and limit them to acts and not the person (as in the law which is tantamount to slander or libel).  Ergo, calling it is best to refer to the act as being stupid instead of the person as calling the person such is tantamount to saying the person is stupid until death which may not be true because it could be that only the act is stupid and not the person.

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