Post for Jul 2-8 2017

TaN: Since social media is, for all intents and purposes, a public media, it (should be) implied that if you use it, you are tacitly giving up your right to privacy.  In this light, any and all information and materials that appear in social media is deemed public property except in cases where the materials posted were not done initially in one’s own social media account.

In cases where materials posted in social media were originally posted in a(nother) particular person’s own social media account, then reposting by others cannot be liable for any misconduct or violations of privacy or for any other ethical or criminal accountability.  In other words, for as long as (re)posting materials where they were originally posted by whoever is (mentioned or shown) in them, then it is fair game and others who repost them cannot (or no longer) be held responsible — morally, legally, or otherwise.

Posting in social media cannot be considered private because it is public by nature and use, unless there is some kind of feature or mechanism by which the social media account owner has the option of making it public or keeping it private or sharing it only within a select circle of people.

Now hacking is a totally different story.  This is intentional invasion and violation of privacy and must be dealt with severely and with absolute prejudice.  Hacking is a deliberate act and shows there is malicious intent on the part of the hacker, regardless of whether the hacked materials are made public or not.

As a last word in privacy and other related issues in social media, it is one’s own lookout for whatever one posts in cyberspace and, because of this unforgiving and ruthless character of cyberspace, specifically social media, children who have not yet mastered discretion and fully comprehend the ramifications of each act (and post) in cyberspace should not be permitted access.  The problem is implementation — i.e., how to keep children who should be on the web off the web.  I am sorry but I still have no answer to this problem.

TaN: In today’s (July 6) banner headline in the hardcopy The Philippine STAR — titled “Duterte to troops in terror war: Take no prisoners” by a Christina Mendez — it is a humongous mistake for Mr Duterte and worse for media.  Even if the media does not blurt it out for all to see and read, the word will, sooner or later, get out to the terrorists and this will make rescue and recovery of hostages next to impossible.

This is not to mention that it will strengthen the resolve of the terrorists since they have nothing to gain by surrendering — making them turn into martyrs for Allah.  This will make the job of the military all the more difficult.

It may likewise make the relatives of the terrorists lose hope of ever seeing their kin alive again — unless they escape and become fugitives (outside of the country).

Media’s publication of the order will only intensify the conflict and make it drag on longer.  This is a duplication of what happened at the Luneta hostage (or Rizal Park hostage-taking) crisis of Hong Kong tourists way back in August 23, 2010.

TaN: Since every time Mr Duterte is criticized, especially when coming from a foreigner, he simply just cannot resist responding.  And this is his weakness.  This behavior pattern makes him predictable.  It will be easy to illicit a response from him and manipulate the course of events that follow — i.e., if everything is thought out of carefully and well ahead of time, with considerations for variations and unexpected twists and turns.

Man is a creature of habit and when that habit has been identified and isolated, the “victim target” becomes easy prey.  S/he can be summarily and arbitrarily manipulated into doing something to achieve one’s desired agenda.

Actually, there are either just to many good people in the world who would not take advantage of this weakness of Mr Duterte or he is simply not worth the bother or both.  But I may be wrong because I am almost certain that there are groups of people out there who would and are already putting things into action — e.g., those into eugenics where, through this means, there is the insidious scheme to depopulate the global population into a more “manageable size” — which is what is happening with the bloody campaign of Mr Duterte against whatever he deems to be “bad” for his country by killing all who he sees unfit to continue breathing and all through his brand of “due process”.

Finally, I really and sincerely hope that Mr Duterte will see through the efforts of these manipulators to influence his decisions — by pushing his buttons — and “change his spots”, especially for the innocent victims of his favorite and brutal style to rid his country of misfits and sociopaths.

TaN: Seeing today’s (July 4) front page photograph — with the caption “Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, a reserve Army lieutenant colonel, receives military honors upon his return to General Santos City from Australia, yesterday” — made me realize, though neither immoral nor unethical but nevertheless something is not all right, that non-combatants (i.e., those with little or neither experience nor training in combat and battlefield conditions) or professional non-soldiers in the military enjoy high ranks but have not earned their rank the proper way.

Though most of the cases, it is irrelevant, especially when not in combat or battlefield conditions, this will definitely pose risks and dangers when they are thrust into battlefield conditions.  Professionals, say in the Judge Advocate or other non-combat positions, usually have some kind of wisdom when they come into combat situations but I seriously doubt if Mr Pacquiao will be able to fulfill and carry out the duties and responsibilities when the time comes that he has do really take command of a regiment or a battalion (which is the troop unit size that colonels and lieutenant colonels command).

Mr Pacquiao did not earn his rank.  He rose from the ranks because he became famous and wealthy.  And do not tell me boxing and sparring can provide the kind of experience and training that is vital in battlefield conditions.

The practice of awarding ranks to people who do not deserve it should stop.  [The position of commander-in-chief for the chief executive is different because s/he is not required to be in actual field combat even during times of conflict.  It is more of a position rather than a rank — where a rank means that the person, when the time comes, will have to be in the front lines performing actual and active combat duties.]

TaN: During breakfast today (July 5), it dawned on me that since this is a temporal world, there is really no such thing as unlimited — only limited. The concept of temporal already implies that there is a limit (to everything) or it is limited.  This is because (1) it is precisely a temporal world that unlimited cannot be possible and (2) due to the law or principle that: “Only those that have no beginning have no end” and we all agree that everything, this universe or multiverse or whatever they are calling everything nowadays, had a beginning — whether you believe in science and the Big Bang theory (when everything started with a teeny tiny infinitesimal dot exploded and began it all) or believe in creation (when God created everything, as written in Genesis of the Holy Scriptures) — it must have an end and everything in it must have the same property as well.  It does not make sense that something finite can contain something or has a component that is infinite.

Just because our meager minds, regardless of how brilliant we believe ourselves to be (what with all the technological advancements and scientific knowledge and all those great minds, past and present), cannot grasp the immensity of the totality of everything does not mean it is unlimited.  It is precisely that…we simply just cannot fathom it all (but we must have a term for what we cannot fathom so we named it “infinity” and not for any other reason, especially not for something that has no end).

And with this argument, I correct myself in earlier TaNs that there is infinity in the finite and vice versa — where I argued that within the two finite values of 1 and 2 are an infinite quantity of fractions.

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Post for Jun 25-Jul 1 2017

TaN: In a web article downloaded from NaturalNews.com titled “Broccoli-Sprouts-discovered-to-be-a-secret-weapon-against-diabetes” — http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-06-26-broccoli-sprouts-discovered-to-be-a-secret-weapon-against-diabetes.html — by a certain Tim Wesley and post dated June 26, 2017, an ever-clearer and obvious picture is increasingly emerging to showcase the different (plant) foods that are beneficial and very effective against lifestyle diseases — in this particularly instance, against diabetes mellitus.

Reading these reports and news items reveals that there is a pattern and it is the consumption of green leafy vegetables (and certain fruits, such as bittermelons and zucchinis; Note: Certain fruits are considered as vegetables because they have very low glycemic indices but they are nevertheless technically still fruits as they come from flowers).

In the particular case of diabetes, it is becoming obvious that the most effective are those that are extremely green (and their skins or outer covering can be eaten) and, most of all, in the cruciferous family.  This is because of the high fiber content.

It is widely known, at least among natural food medicine enthusiasts and advocates, that fiber soaks up excess blood sugar.  It is precisely that fibrous fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens and those in the cruciferous family, with all the SOLUBLE fiber — because there are two types: soluble and insoluble — that is responsible for mopping or sopping up excess serum blood sugar that mitigates the risks of diabetes mellitus.  [Btw, insoluble fiber is equally valuable and has a different function or role in our overall health.]

Moreover, sprouts are the young shoots or beginnings and they usually are “well-equipped”.  They have to be, because they are just starting out and there may not be enough nutrients and essential compounds in the soil to provide for the initial growth spurt so the parent plant “packs” enough supplies to ensure survival until the young plant can grow enough of a root network to gather from the immediate surroundings what it needs to sustain the life and growth.

This is the same with animals that do not bear live young (but in eggs laid externally or in vitro) — with their egg yolks.  Their young must have some kind of guaranteed provisional supply of food to sustain it in its first days of life while it searches for surrounding nutrients to augment its stock.

Given this, it is not surprising that crucifers like broccoli, whether sprouts or mature plants, have beneficial effects on the health, plus there are several other healthful benefits aside from against diabetes mellitus.

TaN: Especially today, any good deed is not necessary a good deed.  I think (and posit) that it is for this very reason that the Ten Commandments (which is quantitative in nature) was scrapped by Jesus Christ when He changed it (for qualitative ones) — as it is written in the Holy Scriptures (in Hebrews 7:12,15-16): (12) “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law” and (15-16) “And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” — KJV.

Just as house rules pertaining to house members change over time — i.e., a different set for toddlers, for young kids, for teens, for young adults, and for the elders (like curfew and bedtime and duties and responsibilities — so did the commandments handed down to man change from the time of Moses to the time of Jesus.

In Moses’ time, life was simpler and people were more honest and obedient.  However, as civilization evolved and Satan’s curse grew, people have become more and more cunning in their ways (especially when it comes to circumventing the law and common decency).  It has become therefore necessary that people be more vigilant and critically analytical in their thinking to see through the multiple tiers of deception and glean the true intentions behind the acts of man.

The end all of certain tainted good deeds is debt of gratitude — or at least the common individual’s mis-understanding or misconception of the true application of the virtue of debt of gratitude.

Debt of gratitude is only valid or true under certain strict conditions:
(1) that the favor or good deed was done voluntarily and without the beneficiary asking and may even be without his/her (fore)knowledge;
(2) that the benefactor does not keep count nor has any intention of reciprocity of favor/s rendered;
(3) that the beneficiary voluntarily acknowledges the good deed and likewise neither keeps count of the frequency of favors and good deeds exchanged;
(4) that the good deed is really a good deed and not tainted, not part of a conspiracy or wrongful act (i.e., an act that results in something bad or detrimental to others or is illegal or unethical like trying to instill a sense of debt of gratitude on another); and,
(5) that the good deed is the end in itself, it is its own reward, it does not seek any reciprocity of any shape, form, or kind.

It used to be that, in ancient (or Biblical) times, people are honest, trusting, and cooperative.  They knew it was for their mutual protection and benefit.  Good deeds then were really good and without malice, no strings attached, nothing to suggest that there may be ulterior motives if someone voluntarily and good-heartedly performs a favor for another.

TaN: When a business decides to sell to or is taken over by — as in ownership of stocks shares has been transferred to — another entity, business or otherwise, personal data of employees should never be part of the transfer of ownership (unless the particular employee has explicitly granted permission).  Personal information was given to the former or original employer and therefore should remain with them/it.

It is my understanding that, at the onset of employment where personal information (like marital status, address, photograph, fingerprints, etc) is being gathered by the employer via personnel/manpower/human resources, there is nothing, no stipulation, in the agreement (between employer and applicant) that personal information may be shared with others aside from the said employer.  Ergo, when the transfer of ownership (or control or supervision or whatever that has the effect of giving access to an employee’s personal information) is being effected, personal information of employees must be excluded in the transfer.

In fact, should the prospective applicant to an employer not meet qualifications and subsequent employment does not push through, the personal information gathered should be destroyed.  This is the ethical thing to do.  Probably the only information that can (ethically and justifiably) retained is the name of the applicant, the date of application, and the reason for refusal of employment.  Everything else is irrelevant to the employer (since employment was never consummated) and should therefore not be kept or retained.

Moreover, nowadays, there are so many irrelevant personal information are being requested or required that it appears that the prospective employer (and even banks and financial institutions) are also engaged in mass data gathering (on the side).

And such data gathering activity is not limited to employers and financial institutions, it is likewise rampant in cyberspace where certain web sites that entice surfers and browsers by providing free membership but it is not really free at all.  It is only free in terms of monetary considerations.  What they do not inform you is that the true (and precious) cost is in the personal information that you voluntarily give up (to them) to avail of the “free” membership.

Information trading is the biggest industry today and the proof is in the widespread hacking and identity theft going on.

But I digress again so to return to topic, this issue of personal information gathered by (prospective) employers has gone unnoticed for decades and has become a significant issue only with the emergence and development and advancement of the world wide web and information technology.

It is high time this issue be addressed to forestall further deterioration of people’s right to privacy and freedom from unwarranted scrutiny and from profiling.

TaN: News articles, let alone headlines, with titles (and contents) like “So-and-so now Mrs So-and-So-On” are not only pitiful but downright insulting.  It is bad enough that media, especially those in the entertainment — more like gossip and rumor-mongering — industry talk and report on the lives and activities of publicly known figures as if they are of the utmost and monumental importance but to even entertain for a moment that such information is newsworthy is so sad.

What makes this couple so special that the public has to know about their wedding (at last).  Why?  How about the rest of us?  Are the marriages of all other people less important as to warrant a news report?  Just because they are wealthy?  How pitifully lame and wretched!

But that is not the saddest part.  The worst is that there are actually many people who swallow such trash and it only shows that there are many people with too much time on their hands and would even care about it, that there are so many people with small minds — as in the saying,  Great minds talk about ideas; average minds talk about events, small minds talk about others. Such a terrible waste of resources (media space and time).

It only shows how low people stoop for the sake of trivial pursuits as money, fame, and power.

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Post for Jun 18-24 2017

TaN: The Big Bang did not come from an infinitesimal dot in empty space but literally from nothing, as written in the Holy Scriptures.  Man’s incapacity to grasp the seemingly impossible is what is keeping him from truly and fully understanding and comprehending the absolute and complete splendor and majesty of God’s awesome power and glory.

The conventional or contemporary understanding of the Zero Second of or in the Big Bang is that scientists cannot seem to accept and admit that, with God, something can come from nothing — that is exactly what creation is, which explains the saying: God creates; man re-arranges.

Further proof that something can come from nothing — with God — is the generally accepted fact that when two opposites, such as matter and anti-matter, collide, the result is oblivion or total annihilation.  And this means that these two opposite things end up as nothing.  So if this is so, how is it so difficult to believe the reverse can (and did) transpire — that everything came from nothing.

It guess people can be so stubborn, especially when one’s pride is at stake for those supposed learned and well- and highly-educated people with masters and doctorate degrees.

[As a sidebar, it is a little known fact that the higher the IQ (intelligence quotient) or educational attainment of a person, the easier it is for him/her to be hypnotized.  You would think it would be the other way around, but no.  What does this tell us?

TaN: All the headaches of Mr Duterte and his administration, with respect to its image of human rights abuses and violations, comes from perennial and persistent public pronouncements regarding “killing” all those who seek to harm his beloved country, such as illegal drug personalities, corrupt public officials, and criminals.

Assuming that all the reported deaths attributed as extrajudicial killings and summary executions are merely empty boasts and not to be taken seriously, it must be remembered that Mr Dutette is the president and as such, his utterances, no matter how trivial or absurd can be taken as policy by the public.

Moreover, either Mr Duterte is unaware or has forgotten the adage (and I paraphrase), “Not only must Cesar’s wife be chaste, she must appear to be chaste“.  This means that, in many instances, especially when it comes to the public, perception is just as real as reality — sometimes much more vital, especially in public perception and opinion.  It is for this very reason that Mr Duterte’s public relations team is having such great difficulty doing damage control.

Regardless of whether the allegations and speculations being heaved on Mr Duterte are true or unfounded, the fact remains that “People will believe what they want to believe” and it may not necessarily be or is rarely the truth.

And that is the problem with being too legalistic — which is what Mr Duterte is, given his prosecutor background.  Where the legal system requires hard evidence and convincing and undeniable proof, public perception requires only that bits and pieces of information and rumor gets around and the public paints its own picture and draws its conclusion from there.  The conclusion may be as wrong and as far from the truth as can be but that will not matter because all that is important to the public is what it perceives is (its version of) the truth.

In like manner, from “To Kill a Mockingbird“, “People generally SEE WHAT THEY LOOK FOR, AND HEAR WHAT THEY LISTEN FOR [capitalization emphasis mine], and they have the right to subject their children to it.” has the same connotation.  And this is the problem that is haunting and hounding the Duterte administration, giving its public relations people a real nightmare to tame and convince otherwise; to clean up the “dirty” reputation arising from the negative information reaching people who have no access to further clarificatory information and who may be just too much in a hurry to jump to conclusions.

The best option for Mr Duterte (that I can think of) is to be more prudent with (and choose his words wisely for) his public statements and pronouncements and limit his boastfulness (his braggadocio, as the New York Times editorial once wrote about him sometime last week or two), especially when it comes to making promises he did not think through enough and repeatedly breaks — like his six-month ambitious project to rid the Philippines of illegal drugs and the 3-day Marawi seige, to name the first and the latest as of this writing), where deadlines were repeatedly extended or moved back — but the people are either just too plain patient or gullible or understanding to realize that the promise(s) kept being broken.  It is not so much the broken promises as that Mr Duterte should refrain from making erroneous, misleading, or outright empty boasts that are the stuff of controversial issues that is fodder for the media — unless Mr Duterte enjoys being controversial and/or it is all part of his (long-term) strategy to keep people guessing his next move or real agenda.

But I guess if you have lived to his age with that attitude or behavior since early youth, it will take a miracle to change (for the better, i.e., to be more choosy with his public pronouncements and promises).  As the saying goes, when an irresistible force meets an immovable object, something has got to give. It remains to be seen which one will give.

TaN: It would appear that the Duterte administration is becoming to resemble a cult government where the titular head can do no wrong and all the lackeys, croonies, stooges, and thugs are in synchronicity in support and total (blind) obedience.

Mr Duterte has repeatedly made promises he did or could not keep.  From the very first promise of solving the country’s illegal drug problem — which he promised to solved within six months upon assumption to office (which is approximately 11 months and two-and-a-half weeks to date) — to the latest Marawi City siege — which he first promised to solve in three days, then until Friday of the said week, then by Independence Day, and now, when?

The end of the siege is not only still nowhere in sight but Mr Duterte is even hinting on expanding martial law to the entire country.  If that does not clearly say failure or an unfulfilled promise, I do not what is.  My guess is that it is going to drag on for some time more.

TaN: This article in the New York Times by a certain Thomas L Friedman date posted June 21, 2017 and titled “Where did ‘We the People’ go?” is very timely and apt and, in my humble opinion and perspective, especially for Mr Duterte — URL: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/21/opinion/where-did-we-the-people-go.html?mcubz=2.  I am inviting everyone to peruse it and ponder on its significance, especially in Mr Dov Seidman’s (quoted) statements in paragraphs 6 (“What we’re experiencing is an assault on the very foundation…”) and 7 (“But when there is no ‘we’ anymore…”), 10 (“This anger industry is now either ‘sending us into comfortable echo chambers…”), 13 (“While our system can’t function without leaders with formal authority, what makes it really work…”)-14 (“In fact, we have so few we’ve forgotten what they look like. …”), and 17 (“There’s an adage, explained Seidman, that says: ‘Ask for my honesty and I’ll give you my loyaltyAsk for my loyalty and I’ll give you my honesty.’…”) — just substitute “Americans” with “all people”.  This is a really worthwhile essay and transcends time and situation and all boundaries.  It is a keeper.

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Post for Jun 11-17 2017

TaN: In today’s (June 15) news in The Philippine STAR — titled “Most dangerous countries for tourists: Philippines ranks 11th” by a certain Helen Flores — the ranking is most likely not caused by the ongoing violent conflict in Marawi City but due to the continuing bloody campaign by and of Mr Duterte against illegal drugs, corruption, and to almost anything he can think of.  It seems like Mr Duterte’s answer to all societal, be it national or local or whatever, is to have the wrongdoers killed.

It appears that Mr Duterte does not know that there are gray areas in the punishment segment of the criminal justice system.  It would seem that Mr Duterte’s law background failed to cover those in-between areas but just focused on life or death — so everything to and with him is a life or death situation.  At least he keeps everything simple…only two sides or possibilities or outcomes.  What a guy!

TaN: In the light of the recent and latest headache with respect to the mass rail transit of Metro Manila, it is sad that it is supposed to be one significant solution to both the commuter problem and climate change issues is in such a terrible state that it answers neither issues.  It is foolish to expect commuters to patronize mass rail transit when it is in such a sorry state, to have frequent and constant or intermittent disruptions in service for one reason or another and all of which are mere evidence or proof of corruption and incompetence of both government and private contractors.  How does government expect the public to take the mass rail transit seriously when it does not give the riding public any reason to patronize it.

In addition, the government runs after the rest of the mass transit system — the buses and jeepneys — although, in fairness, they do leave much to be desired by the riding public.  Many of them are dilapidated and driven by irresponsible drivers — i.e., they may have the proper license but do not know the first thing in safety and have been shown to be ignorant of the simplest and most common road traffic signs.  How did they ever get their driver’s license anyway?

Many of these break down in the middle of the road and the drivers do not even know enough to move them to the side so as not to obstruct traffic.

The traffic problem of Metro Manila is a multi-facted one.  It is a combination of many factors which, if not addressed simultaneously and coordinated properly, will remain a problem for a long time to come.  The current so-called solutions are stop-gap measures and does little to mitigate, let alone solve, the problem.  Furthermore, these measures create new problems.

So, what are the different factors that significantly contribute to the traffic problem — that must be addressed and solved simultaneously or in parallel?
(1) There are just plain too many cars on very limited streets.  Solution: Implement the no-designated-parking-no-car-sale policy.  The designated parking spot is not limited to that of the home but also include ample parking at work.  For business or commercial establishments (especially those in the retail industry), either provide ample parking or implement a passenger-drop-off-pick-up-only policy for customers or both.  The barangays can be deputized to assist in the policy since they are most familiar with which residents have cars and how many.  Moreover, to ensure strict compliance with the policy, the government can conduct periodic and unannounced inspections and barangays who are remiss in their function will be sanctioned: fines, budget reduction, removal from office, etc.  Those with pre-existing cars will be given a grace period, without extension of the deadline, to comply — i.e., either construct a garage, lease a parking spot, or move somewhere else.  [Unless otherwise designated by the proper authority, all streets shall be considered tow-away zones and the term “parking” means that the vehicle engine is turned off.  The presence of a passenger or people in the car does or will not be considered as not parking.]
(2) Still on the previous item.  Solution: Implement a graduated and progressive car sales tax system where sales tax will increase radically — commensurate to the purchase price of the car — for those who can afford more than one car.  Again, this can involve the barangay which will issue a certificate as to the size of the garage of the prospective car buyer — i.e., whether the garage can accommodate any additional cars or if there is a neighborhood parking lot where the resident can lease a spot and, in this case, the photostatic copy of the lease agreement must accompany the barangay certification.  More cars imply greater wealth which means they can afford to pay heftier taxes.
(3) Streets are being turned into parking spots and car repair and accessorizing areas.  Solution: Implement a tow-away policy.  Pay parking does not really solve the problem because the revenue cannot justify the inconvenience or obstruction to traffic flow.  The whole idea is to ease traffic congestion and not increase government revenue.
(4) Too many incompetent or undeserving drivers have licenses.  Solution: Implement a three-strike policy for violators — better with a no-contact ticketing system.  For the first offense, a fine according to a traffic violating fine matrix.  For the second offense, suspension of license with a fine.  For the third and final offense, revocation of license with a fine.  There will be a corresponding penalty to the driving test administrator-evaluator who approved the issuance of a driver’s license corresponding to the penalties for first, second, and third offense of the violator.  In the case of undeserving drivers, these refers to those who know their street signs — they are mentally and intellectually fit — but are psychologically or emotionally incapable of abiding (like overtaking when there is a continuous yellow line or being caught in the orange “X” box at an intersection when the traffic light is no longer green).  [Btw, for a 3-colored traffic light, the middle color is amber and not yellow or orange and it means “Stop” just like the red light and not “go faster”.]
(5) Too many poorly-maintained vehicles on the road.  Solution: Implement a three-strike policy for breakdowns.  For the first incident: a fine according to a traffic obstruction fine matrix.  For the second offense, impounding of the vehicle with a fine as well as charges to release from impoundment.  For the third and final offense, the vehicle will be confiscated (because the owner does not take proper care of it) and forfeit in favor of the government.  Of course, this implementation shall apply only to vehicles that break down due to improper maintenance and not due to accidents due to the other vehicle’s something else’s fault.
(6) Obstructive road repair and maintenance projects that either take too long or forever and at the wrong time of day.  Solution: Unless it is absolutely unavoidable (like emergency situations where an explosion from an underground gas pipe or a burst water pipe or damage resulting from a sudden ground tremor), any and all road repair and maintenance must be done off-peak hours.  Moreover, road drainage projects and any road work that entails closing up a lane to vehicular traffic must provide for a way to open the lane to traffic when no work is undergoing.  In addition, road work unfinished and passed the (publicly announced and posted on a street signboard adjacent to the ongoing work) deadline must be liable from suit for breach of contract.
(7) Traffic accidents and other obstructions should be addressed and resolved within 5 minutes, especially where there are currently experiencing heavy and slow moving traffic.  Solution: Position traffic enforcers at strategic points — particularly known choke points and accident-prone areas — along known-to-experience heavy vehicular traffic routes, especially during peak hours, and roving traffic enforcers who move around to locate the cause of bottlenecks and to provide additional or auxiliary manpower (perhaps assisted or augmented by barangays) to points experiencing bottlenecks.  And, self-accidents or self-obstructions will entail stiffer penalties because these are responsibilities of the vehicle owner (and his/her driver) and are avoidable, although it cannot completely be blamed on them as the driving test administrator/evaluator him-/herself most probably do not know the first thing about starting a vehicle — e.g., even before getting into the vehicle (to start the engine), a visual and physical inspection of all the outside must first be carried out, as in checking the tires (pressure), the tail lights (if damaged), checking for obstructions), and, once inside, for the windshield wipers, the horn, the front lights, then, immediately after starting and at the initial forward movement, the brakes.
(8) Sidewalks should be addressed as well — they are either non-existent, in bad condition, or are otherwise occupied with illegal obstructions, including vendors.  Solution: Determine political will must be applied to remove all such forms of obstructions from existing sidewalks, construct non-existing ones where there is a necessity, repair and maintain those in poor conditions, and upgrade those that are below standards or qualifications (such as no or stupidly constructed — like when there is lamp post right smack in the middle of the ramp or the ramp is facing the wrong direction — access ramps for people who are not ambulatorily fit (like those in wheel chairs, with canes or crutches, or otherwise have physical deformities that make it difficult for them to step up on the curb)).  Removal of sidewalk obstructions, non-existence, or those in poor conditions give jay walkers an excuse to use the streets where only vehicular traffic should be using.  Another problem is the use of sidewalks as parking areas.  While it is true that sidewalks are the part of the property of the lot owner, there is a law (or ordinance) which requires the lot owner to leave or allocate the outer (or street side) edge (usually a meter or so) as easement for the government to provide as sidewalk, which is public in use and by public it refers to utilization as a pathway for people to walk by and not to put stationary obstructions that impede the flow of foot traffic.  [Btw, it is likewise common practice in many areas of the metropolis to use the sidewalk as the “toilet” of their pets.  It would be good if they bring along a pooper scooper.]
(9) Large non-passenger transports increase immensely the volume of road traffic.  Solution: A complete and unconditional ban from entering the metropolitan area (during daytime and peak vehicular volume in particular evening periods) on or for all large vehicles not involved in the transport of passengers/commuters — the definition or qualification of “large” will either refer to vehicles exceeding a particular carrying capacity or a particular overall length (from front to the rear bumper).  To ensure this, (1) government must immediately embark on providing alternate routes around the main metropolitan area (like circumferential roads) that permit vehicles, that are merely passing through from one end of the metropolitan area to the other, to go around and avoid entering and thus adding to the traffic flow and (2) those commercial or industrial establishments and businesses with need of transporting large volumes of goods and wares that require large vehicles will be given a grace period to establish a system of scheduling delivery of essential goods.  In the second or latter instance, the business has a choice of either: (1) scheduling deliveries and restocking requirements within or around a window of opportunity to be designated by the traffic authority/ies, (2) establish a warehouse just outside of the metropolitan area and have smaller cargo vehicles (within the designated weight and size limit) deliver and/or distribute the goods and wares to their destination points within the metropolitan area (preferably during non-business hours, like in the evening), or (3) make other arrangements or alternatives like relocating.  In the case of imported or ship-borne cargo and goods, a central receiving government depot shall be established just at the outskirts of the metropolitan area where all cargo and goods will be transported by rail directly from the ship to the facility where businesses can await and pick up their respective merchandise.
(10) Finally (but not limited to this and the aforementioned, it is just these are the only ones I can think of so far for now), flooding of streets contribute a lot to heavy traffic as vehicles, especially those with a low profile or chassis, tend to avoid low-lying and known flood-prone streets.  Solution: A two-prong approach includes (1) a complete and perpetual moratorium on road work or repair where a change in the elevation of the street/road will result and (2) clearing of streets and sidewalks of all man-made non-permanent items and debris (such as commercial wares and equipment, as furniture and laundry, and as garbage and trash not in large bins and heavy containers, to name a few).
In the case of street/road level elevation, it is common practice to raise the street/road level in flood-prone areas, which does not solve the problem because flooding will just shift to the new lowest catch basin, and then the flooding cycle will begin all over again (except that it will be in another area).  This is a terrible waste of taxpayers’ money and profits only the private contractors.  It likewise makes the flood map useless as there will have to be a remapping.
If street levels remain constant throughout the metropolitan area, flooding will be “fixed” in known areas and this will not only prevent shifting around of flooded areas — hence ensuring that there will be no need for flood-prone areas remapping — but the said flood-prone areas can be declared off limits to housing or any manner of construction or settlement but stay as a catch basin of some sort.  Moreover, catchment reservoirs can be installed to drain flood waters fast and perhaps even pump them out to sea.
As to the obstructions, clearing them would guarantee that light malleable non-biodegradable materials (such as plastic bags) will not float away and clog up drains — which are the major reasons for flooding or failure to drain properly into sewers — or get entangled in gears in motor vehicles as well as in cycles (bicycles or motorcycles).  Furthermore, they will not add to the floating islands of debris in the Pacific Ocean and/or poison marine life that mistake them for food (such as sea turtles which feed on jellyfish and man-of-wars) or get entangled in fish gills.

TaN: As Mr Duterte misses another important event “due to sickness”, a vague pattern emerges — it would appear that it is getting to be a “habit” of Mr Duterte to miss certain significant occasions where his presence is not only expected but vital.  His absence from this year’s Independence Day celebration is just another of a string of such incidents.

It seems very convenient that Mr Duterte’s illnesses are uncannily timed to coincide with significant events or occasions.  Sure, we understand that the demands of the office is unforgiving but his staff should at least forewarn him so that he can probably tone down his activities so as to conserve and reserve some energy for the upcoming important functions he will have to attend to.

Moreover, it should not wait until the media and the public begin to make speculations and spread suspicions regarding Mr Duterte’s state of health — because it is undeniable that he is no spring chicken and his salad days are way long past — that the presidential staff address and apologize to the public regarding Mr Duterte’s noticeable absence from the limelight.

Even if the public knows that Mr Duterte is not one who hugs or seeks the spotlight, still, Mr Duterte should realize that the public will always demand or expect to see him on various occasions and that his absence will not go unnoticed.  Moreover, Mr Duterte should remember that his critics and detractors are just lying in wait and will pounce on every opportunity to capitalize on his every absence and mistakes or miscalculations.

And it is not enough that Mr Duterte “ignore” the public and just do what he wants.  There should be an amicable compromise between Mr Duterte and media and the public so as to avoid further such public relations problems.

TaN: In the light of the ongoing campaign against the terrorist group in Mindanao of the Philippines, a 1st lieutenant killed in action has been laid to rest.  What I am curious about is why is this particular casualty given media coverage whereas the many other foot soldiers who likewise died in the line of duty did not receive the same honors and media attention.  Why not?  Why the (apparent) discrimination?  Just because they are “nobodies”, the nameless souls of the service?  Do they not deserve at least equal treatment and attention?

In fact, if any fallen serviceman should be deserving of honors and attention, it should be the unthanked faceless military fodder.  They are the lowest man in the proverbial totem pole.  They are the ones most likely to be in harm’s way and have endure the most difficult and dangerous battlefield conditions — without belittling the officers of the front line units, their valor and bravery are beyond reproach.

It has been said that: Those who have less in life deserve more in law — or, in this case, in the compassion and benefits accorded by the service and society.  In today’s stark reality, it is frequently these unknowns who, even in death, remain faceless and nameless and badly unrecognized.  And, for the rest of us, who will not know of them — unless and until media shines some light their way.

Never mind, God knows who they are and that is more important than any recognition that can be given them.

TaN: Today (June 16, a Friday morning), I realized that there are actually two types of mistakes: those than can be corrected and those that cannot — and by “corrected” I mean there is a conscious, voluntary, deliberate and willing effort.

Most errors can be and are corrected so I need not expound on this.  Meanwhile, those that I regard as “cannot be corrected” are those that are caused by others who are either unwilling or unable to refrain from causing another person to commit mistakes.

A case in point is when you are easily distracted from whatever it is you are doing and another person — say, who suffers from forgetfulness as well as unwilling or unable to remember not to repeat distracting others (i.e., you) — keeps repeating the distraction every now and then, thereby causing you to make mistakes.  This kind of mistake needs the cooperation or willfulness of other people in order to be “corrected”.  The problem is that, since they forgot, they either deny the mistake or do not remember committing it.  As such, the mistake remains “uncorrected”.

Such mistakes, unless they can be defined or categorized into something else other than being a “mistake”, will simply just have to be endured and tolerated, especially if they are not so significant or are somewhat trivial.

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Post for Jun 4-10 2017

TaN: If greenhouse gases are responsible for the sun’s heat from escaping back into space after a day of heating up the planet surface, how did or is it that they, the gases, are able to permit the heat from penetrating the gas cover and heating up the planet?

Shouldn’t it be that if the sun’s heat can pass through the gas cover, it should be able to pass back out into space?  Unless the gas cover was not present during the heating and moves in when it is time for the heat to be radiated back into outer space.

However, should the latter be the case, according to Wikipedia (URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_cover, as of June 10, 2017 when I last accessed the web page), global cloud cover ranges from 0.68 percent and usually does not exceed 1 percent.  Taking this at face value and assuming that the information is still accurate (when I last referenced it), I just cannot imagine how greenhouse gases (GHGs) present in the atmosphere — and I assume that these GHGs are not present in the atmosphere independent of the clouds but form part of it — can be responsible for restricting the escape of solar radiant energy back into the cosmos.

Cloud cover is the most frequent and significant culprit as to why solar or heat radiation, as the sun “sets”, is prevented from escaping or returning back to the vastness of empty space.  [I realize and understand that just because there is no visible thing that blocks the inflow and outflow of solar radiation does not necessarily mean that other invisible gases does or cannot be responsible for heat retention.]

The increasing global surface temperature, annually, is more due to the continued and irresponsible and unsustainable harvest of trees — more than anything else.  Moreover, this, coupled with increasing and rapid spread of urban jungles, creates a double whammy global environment where surface temperature rise will be long and wide-reaching.

Without greenery to absorb solar radiation (and use to produce (their own) food), the heat is left to be absorbed and stored on naked surfaces such as concrete (roads and building outer walls), asphalt (roads and flat building roofs), glass (windows), metal (roofs), et al, the stored heat is later released back into the surroundings.

Add to this the fact that hard flat surfaces, especially the smooth and shiny ones, multiply the intensity the heat as it bounces back and forth off other surfaces like echo chambers. It is for this reason that large sprawls of urbanized and concretized expanses have higher temperatures than the surrounding areas.  Take the case of the New Manila district where it has been recorded repeatedly that, because large shady decades- and even centuries-old trees are planted not only along both sides of the streets inside many of the houses, the ambient temperature 2 to 3 degrees cooler.

Finally, still on the matter of greenery and greenhouse gases, since carbon dioxide is considered one of those responsible for global warming and climate change — just for the sake of argument — and the fact that carbon dioxide is vital to greenery and readily absorb it to produce their food, the carbon dioxide is eagerly absorbed as they are produced by our breaths and by fossil fuel combustion (in our daily, commercial, and industrial activities).  Having greenery, especially trees help a lot in mitigating global warming.  [Btw, have you ever noticed trees planted along streets and roads tend to lean inward.  They are taking advantage of the carbon dioxide from people and motor vehicles that ply the route.]

TaN: In today’s (June 3) article on NaturalNews.com (titled “Hyperbaric oxygen therapy cures woman of stage-4 cancer” — URL: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-06-02-hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy-cures-woman-of-stage-4-cancer.html), it dawned on me the discuss the merits of the story and the reasons why or how they are successful but also fail.

In doing a meta-analysis of all cases involving claimed successes (and failures or recurrences or re-emergence) in curing or reversing cancer — in both natural and allopathic medicine — a commonality arises.  My hypothesis is that the secret is the direct exposure of cancer cells to high concentrations of oxygen.  Unless and until something else comes along, I will stick to my inference.

Looking at all the cases: (1) those who become physically very active, with aerobic activities, especially after leading a sedentary lifestyle; (2) those undergoing hyperbaric therapy; (3) those increase their consumption of RAW green leafy oxygen-rich vegetables; and, (4) those laugh a lot and have (adopted) a cheerful and positive attitude towards life…just to name a few.
(1) Those who become physically very active — The increased physical activity causes increased respiration or breathing in and out which, in turn, raises heart beat and blood circulation through the lungs and bringing it to the rest of the body and which ups the level of oxygen in the blood;
(2) Those undergoing hyperbaric therapy — The isolation in a sealed or air-tight chamber filled with increased amounts of oxygen means there is more oxygen, as the person respires, to be absorbed into the blood as it circulates in the lungs which means a higher concentration of oxygen in the body;
(3) Those increasing consumption of RAW green leafy vegetables — Digestive enzymes have a secondary function, which is to hunt down and destroy or disable cancer cells, and there are higher levels in raw foods because the enzymes are sensitive to and easily chemically broken down or rendered non-functional when exposed to high heat (i.e., temperatures exceeding or above the tolerable threshold); and,
(4) Those laughing more and have positive outlook in life — Laughing causes an increase rate of inflow and outflow of air in the lungs which means that there is a greater degree of exchange of gases (carbon dioxide with oxygen) to increase the presence of oxygen in the body.  Moreover, studies have even shown that just pretending to laugh — i.e., mimicking the mechanism of laughing — is enough to reap increase-blood-oxygen benefits because the whole point is to increase the rate of oxygen intake and laughter, even merely pretending, increases the rate of inflow and outflow of air which translates into greater amounts of oxygen in the lungs within a given time frame as compared with normal or shallow breathing.

However, there are many instances where cancer returned or re-emergence (and, frequently, with a vengeance).  This, likewise, has a commonality — the continued erroneous and unhealthy lifestyle which led to cancer in the first place.

Such failures or re-emergence are commonly attributed to continuing with the wrong (and unhealthy) lifestyle and eating incorrectly prepared foods.  It is not a matter of eating the right foods — and certainly not super foods (because there are no such things as super foods) — but preparing the food properly and eating them appropriately — i.e., there are foods that are intended to be consumed only during times or seasons or under certain conditions.

One of my frequent arguments with respect to the eating properly-prepared foods as against just eating the correct or specific foods is the case of the traditional diets of Okinawans and the Inuits.

In the case of the Okinawans, they seem to be among the healthiest group of people and it cannot be due to the gene pool because Okinawans who leave (mostly the youth and the upwardly mobile) and go to highly Westernized places, they “loose” that healthy disposition and acquire the same lifestyle diseases as their Western counterparts because they adopted the Western diet and lifestyle (not to mention the toxic atmosphere that goes with Western living).  If the gene pool were the key to their healthy, then adapting a Western lifestyle should not have any (negative) impact on their health.

Whereas for the Inuits, so-called health experts warn us of consuming too much meat and, especially, too much fat.  However, it may not be familiar to many but the traditional Inuit diet consists of 60 to 70 percent animal fat or blubber (of walruses, seals, and whales) while the rest is red meat.  Their traditional diet leaves no room for plant food — primarily because there are no plants in the surroundings; it is all ice and snow.  But Inuits who eat the traditional diet (and live the traditional lifestyle) are shown to be in perfect health — how is that possible?  Could it be that all those so-called experts are wrong?

In truth, the Okinawans and the Inuits share, despite their very different diets and lifestyles (attributable to the very different environment or geographical location), a commonality. Both peoples maintain a high percentage — for Okinawans, it is 70 to 80 percent whereas, for Inuits, it is total or 100 percent — of raw foods in their diet and a relatively (bad) stress-free lifestyle.  [Btw, stress is a fact of life and it takes two forms: good or beneficial and bad or detrimental.  Good stress are those that keep our bodies in top and full alert condition while bad stress weakens the immune system and assaults the biological processes of our body.  But this is for another TaN.]

So, even though Inuits consume nothing but pure fat and red meat in their traditional diet, they remain healthy because both are consumed either raw or with no heating — how could they, there is no wood for burning although the oil from the blubber can be used but it is more useful consumed rather than burned.

Moreover, this coincides with that of animals where they (i.e., those in the wild and not those kept by man as pets or zoological exhibits and the like) rarely get sick — aside from the fact that they do not have physicians in the wild and most of them do not enjoy a long life expectancy.  It is because, like the Inuits, animals likewise do not heat their food — and aside from the fact that they eat fresh, as in at once and not some days or weeks or even months later.

Finally and in addition, those who live in remote regions, isolated from the modern world (mostly not by choice), likewise rarely get sick, especially with lifestyle diseases — lifestyle diseases which have been the trend in the civilized world since almost half a century ago.  Furthermore, the fact that they do not enjoy our modern conveniences (which likewise contribute significantly to the rise in lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, hypertension, osteoporosis, diabetes mellitus, autism, cognitive failure, emphysema and COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression and suicidal tendencies, and many more new and exotic ones emerging) increase their chances of avoiding (modern) lifestyle diseases because “convenience” (which, in reality, is actually laziness and not to be confused with real convenience which should only be available to people with physical disabilities and deformities) is one of the most significant factors that contribute to the development and rise of lifestyle diseases.

TaN: In today’s (Jun 8) The Philippine STAR article titled “NBI to run after fake news purveyors” (by a certain Edu Punay on the front page of the hard copy), it would imply that anyone responsible of manufacturing and/or spreading incorrect or untruthful news will be a target, especially those who have great influence (like those in media or in government).  Then, in page 6, there is the article by the same reporter titled “DoJ chief tags opposition in Marawi destab, backtracks“.

It would appear that when you say backtrack, it means that the initial information made public is untruthful or wrong.  The question arises: Will the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), which is under the DoJ (Department of Justice), investigate and go after their boss?  After all, he has publicly admitted to have made an unverified and untruthful statement, which is fake news.

So, how about it Mr NBI director? Will you put your money — or, in this case, your job, your reputation or public image, and your credibility — where your mouth is?  Care to take the dare or are you going to weasel out and try to justify your inaction by some technicality, semantic, or alibi?

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Post for May 28-Jun 3 2017

TaN: One of the most compelling arguments on the issue of the existence of an Almighty is Free Will.  Everything else in the universe has, to some certain degree, been (somewhat) convincingly explained by so-called evolutionary scientists but have conveniently left out explaining how free will developed.

It is interesting to note that most, if not all, of the physical and mental changes and adaptations that came about from or during evolution, another thing that cannot satisfactorily explained is: When the variation occurred in the offspring/s, how did they survive and, for those species that care for their young, how did the parents cope, especially in the case of drastic changes in the diet?  How did the newborns know what to eat and how did the parents know what to feed the young?

Until today, evolutionary scientists have not yet been able to find or at least show (in terms of explanation) the intermediaries or transition species — the so-called “missing links”.  Sure there are some recent discoveries of so-called missing links in evolution — like the coelecanth — but these still do not explain or show the transition.  If there are full-grown specimens or fossil remains, why are there no developmental stages — from hatchlings and newborns and through the different stages of growth?

Moreover, what about the DNA (deoxyribose nucleic acid) composition?  What changes occurred in the DNA?  Were there additions or alterations?  How did these happen from the gamete stage?  Did that parents already carry reproductive cells with variant DNAs?  And, how many “mistakes” did nature have to make before a “successful” divergence from the proginator?

Returning to free will, this will remain as the most compelling and troublesome thorn in the issue of man’s origin — creation or evolution.  [Btw, there is also the scientific and philosophical principle of: One cannot pass on to the next generation what one does not have — and this includes genetic material.  So, if our animal proginators did or do not have free will, how or where the heck did we get it from?  And why is it that only we were so fortunate as to be the only ones to acquire it?  How come at least a couple or so other animals should exhibit some form of free will, considering how many species there are and were?  What are the odds?]

TaN: It never ceases to amaze and intrigue me to hear and read, every now and then, that man is at the brink of destroying the planet.  Well, it will first have to depend on how man (re-)defines “destroy”.  From my understanding, man cannot even come close to destroying the planet.  All he can hope to achieve is to make living conditions extremely intolerable or uninhabitable — for himself and his co-inhabitants.  That is just the best he can ever hope for.

Especially for Christians — those who truly and sincerely believes in and obeys the Holy Scriptures and not those in name only — the power to destroy this planet resides solely with or in the Father.  Imagine the contradiction when scientists and other experts say that there are enough nuclear weapons in the world to destroy the planet yet every time a natural disaster — say a super storm as in hurricane/typhoon/cyclone or a volcanic eruption or a tsunami or an earthquake occurs — to provide an analog to the power of or energy required to bring about the disasters, they frequently use nuclear weapons like “equivalent to so-and-so many nuclear devices”.

So, if such natural disasters have the power or force equivalent to several nuclear devices, then how can it be said that man has the power to destroy the planet when his nuclear weapons cannot even come close to matching the power or energy release of natural disasters?

In fact, modern man — with all his advances in science and technology — has yet to satisfactorily explain how “primitive” man was able to achieve such engineering marvels with the “primitive” tools they had that we still cannot duplicate or replicate.  Further, how is it that great minds such as Eratosthenes was able to calculate the circumference of the earth to within a hundred or so kilometers off — and using no complicated or sophisticated measuring device but simple observation and knowledge of fundamental facts and some simple mathematics.  And remember, he lived more than two millennia ago, even before the birth of Jesus Christ.

Nevertheless, I am not doubting that man is prone to self-destruction — and taking many other species and perhaps even all living things on the planet along with him — but I seriously cannot believe that we can destroy the world (as in break the planet apart).

Sure, with out nuclear weapons, we can crack portions of the planet crust and make massive (from our perspective) craters and holes on the ground but that is all.  I simply cannot bring myself to believe that we have the capability to destroy the planet — as one would destroy a building or a city.

The only way I can see the destruction of the planet is by fire — as written in the Holy Scriptures.  And I can just imagine it because two of the most abundant elements on this planet are highly combustible and are present (literally) everywhere — hydrogen (which is found throughout the universe as it is the most basic of elements) and oxygen, just look at how much water we have (even if most of it is salty or highly mineralized).

TaN: Intellectual property rights (IPR) has its own valid argument but it is a very significant factor in the increasing focus and emphasis of materialism, consumerism, and greed.  It effectively discourages people to share and encourages people to be selfish — to look out only for number 1, the self.

IPR, likewise, encourages piracy because — knowing or being familiar with youthful behavior (because we have all been young once and went through that rebellious stage when we try to challenge authority to test our own resilience, resourcefulness, limits, and just simply for the heck of it) — it is innate in all (or at least many) of us to want what we cannot or should not have.  [It is what got us kicked out of Eden/Paradise.]  We try to see if we can get away with challenging authority or go against established norms and rules.

Eventually, most of us grow out of it, but some either never do or find it profitable, as in the case of so-called IPR pirates.  [Btw, IPR piracy is actually a scheme dreamt up by the ruling wealthy elite — but not quite everyone of the wealthy is guilty of it — to ensure a tight grip or stranglehold on inventions, discoveries, and innovations to create a perpetual monopoly and guarantee control and continuous inflow of revenue to keep the 99% where they belong.] And because of this, most of the global population have a skewed and perverted understanding what true piracy is and willingly accept what the ruling global elite dictates.

In any case, IPR, for all its “noble” purpose of ensuring that creative works are (amply or handsomely) rewarded and guarded against the unscrupulous who seek only to capitalize on the hard work of others and “share” in the profits without having to contribute anything in the process of creation, is still better off discarded.  Unknown or unnoticed by most is that those who are the fiercest or at the forefront of the campaign against piracy (of IPR) are actually the ones who are free riders, pretending to be defenders and guardians of IPR when, in truth, they rake in proportionally more profits than the inventor/innovator,discoverer — if you consider how much they contributed to the invention/innovation/discovery…NADA!

Think about it; really think about it; carefully and honestly examine the facts and see if you will come to the same conclusion as I did: That those who claim to police against IPR pirates make proportionally more, much more, than the inventor/innovator,discoverer and they are profiting by using government to do their work for them, serving as their enforcers.

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Post for May 21-27 2017

TaN: In a video released by Mike Adams — titled “Why carbon dioxide is the ‘Miracle Molecule of Life’ for greening our planet“, URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6-Sk0FEGGQ — it implied that carbon dioxide concentration is highest in (highly) urbanized population centers or cities.  Granting this is true and I am very inclined to agree because its logic is sound — i.e., because of such high concentration of people and human activities.

Continuing with that argument and combining it with the push by climate change and global warming advocates — that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a principal factor that is causing the change, the warming — and further remembering and understanding that we want to bring down the high level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and plants need it to service, to produce its food, and manufacture our precious oxygen (O2), I therefore and hereby posit that we can hit two (I do not like to kill) birds with one stone.

To eliminate or arrest the rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and reduce global warming — because CO2 is said to be a greenhouse gas that is significantly responsible for global warming — let us plant more trees in cities.  These will significantly and drastically absorb the escaping carbon dioxide from human respiration and activities and thereby mitigate the problem — providing that the trees are planted strategically so as to absorb the greatest amount of carbon dioxide as the gas is being released.

Moreover, with more greenery in our midst — as in urban areas and even in the provinces wherever cemented roads and concrete houses are aplenty — there will be less heat because the heat will be absorbed by the greenery instead of being bounced around and intensified off the hard flat smooth surfaces of concrete (in streets and the walls of buildings and high-rises), (most) asphalt roads, metal roofs, glass windows, cars, walls around the houses and posh exclusive villages, and all artificial man-made surfaces.  It is known in physics that heat, when bounced around, increases many times over — which is the principle behind lasers (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation).

Have you ever noticed that when you stand under any man-made structure for shade — such as waiting sheds — relief from the heat is not significantly reduced, especially when there is a hot breeze blowing?  But it is not the same when you stand under a tree — particularly a shady tree?  Under the tree, even with the heat of the sun bearing directly down, it still feels much cooler than if you were to stand under bare, concrete waiting sheds?

However, I beg to disagree with Mr Adams in his belief that carbon dioxide is the so-called “Miracle Molecule of Life“. It is just one small segment in the huge circle of life.  CO2 may be needed by plants to manufacture of our life-giving oxygen — actually it is a waste or by-product — but it is O2 that we use (and need) to produce the CO2 that plants need so badly.  So, in a way, CO2 is the “miracle molecule” for plant life, whereas O2 is for animal life.

TaN: It is so sad and pitiful that the only solution Mr Duterte knows to everything is to shoot (or destroy). In today’s front page news in The Philippine STAR (dated May 20) and basing solely on the title “Rody warns Kadamay on houses: You might get shot“, it is clear (and becoming ever clearer) that Mr Duterte intends to shoot anyone and everyone who steps out of (his) line.

Moreover, it is really amazing how Filipinos (in surveys) continue to be blind to the wrongdoings of Mr Duterte.  No matter what good intention he has, remember the adage, The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Although the original meaning of this adage is somewhat different, there is always more than one way to make an interpretation, depending on the situation it is being applied to.  In this case, what I have in mind is that the Machiavellian style of Mr Duterte applied to the adage — please refer to the headings of Meaning and Studies as elaborated in URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_road_to_hell_is_paved_with_good_intentions.

The good intentions of Mr Duterte — i.e., turning the Philippines around, from illegal drugs, to criminality, to corruption in government, and to whatever he can think of — is all well and good but it is turning the country into a hell for certain industries (such as tourism and especially for the Department of Tourism which is finding it increasingly difficult to sell the country to foreign tourists) and sectors of society (especially the poor and marginalized, because for them, justice is swift).

But I am not being totally truthful. Mr Duterte knows something else besides killing — to give his all out support for the armed services (via weapons and awards and speeches) and visit and comfort their fallen or wounded comrades.

Yet another thing he knows is to tell off-color and distasteful jokes and make promises (especially the deadlines, which keep on extending) he could not keep.  Oh yeah, and to declare states of emergency, lawlessness, and martial law.

In the end, without working to change the newest generations — i.e., the children and the youth — all his efforts and the sacrifices of the people (who died or have been significantly and detrimentally affected) will be for naught.  Illegal drugs will retiurn, and so will corruption, and so will criminality, and so will all the rest, because all Mr Duterte is doing is attack the symptoms or manifestations and not the cause or root of the country’s problems.  After everything, it will all go back to square one.

TaN: Last night (May 24 evening), in the news, the eminent Prof Christian Monsod brought up a very interesting and valid argument against the martial law declaration of Mr Duterte.  Being a former member in the crafting of the last (1986 Freedom) Constitution, he argues that Mr Duterte cannot declare martial law under the conditions or reasons the latter based it on.

According to Prof Monsod, under the present Constitution, the only (permissible) conditions for the declaration and imposition of martial law are: (1) in cases of invasions — i.e., another sovereign state (openly) enters and occupies portions of Philippine territory and (2) in cases of rebellion or armed insurrection — i.e., an attempt to take over the government and the country.  There is nothing in the provisions of the Constitution as grounds for martial law declaration that pertains to acts of terrorism.

Before Mr Duterte can implement martial law based on what transpired in Marawi City and/or elsewhere, the Constitution must first be amended.  Until then, the best Mr Duterte can do is maintain or intensify his efforts within the state of lawlessness that he has already in place, otherwise it would appear that he is incapable of running the country.

Moreover, the military or armed forces ought to consult their legal counsels and the courts before executing the orders of Mr Duterte otherwise they might find themselves in violation of the Constitution, among other things.

In conclusion, it is eerie and spine-chilling to remember that all the pronouncements of Mr Duterte in the past that come across as some kind of ominous threat has come to pass.  His repeated public pronouncements regarding (the threat of) martial law has likewise become a reality.  It is as if everything is going according to (a grand) plan.  I wonder…he must be a seer of some kind.  But I am neither insinuating nor alleging anything…just wondering (aloud).

TaN: In the news today (May 26), a pioneering groundbreaker and a good friend — although I met her only a few times in my youth during the martial law years — has finally bid farewell yesterday…Sen Eva Estrada Kalaw.  She was 96. I cannot say much about her except that during the few occasions I had met and spoke with her, she was really a powerhouse of energy, a dynamo, always on the move and thinking and analyzing.  The most memorable thing trivia I have of her was in the few times I was invited to her place in San Juan, she always has a bag of pumpkin or watermelon seeds.  It seems she just has to keep her mouth busy.

Fare thee well Ma’am Eva.  It has been quite a journey through (your) life and it has been more than an honor and a privilege to have met you.  Your rest is well-deserved.  Godspeed.

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