Saturday, December 23, 2006

Amazing

The last few weeks of the year was hectic. I am just beginning to catch up with my reading and I came upon this post from stepping on poop. It seemed that Jaime Licauco wrote a column where he referenced James Randi.

For those who does not yet know, James Randi is a magician who heads the James Randi Educational Foundation. The Foundation offers a prize of one million dollars
"to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event."
Anyway, SOP demolishes a lot of Mr. Licaucos claims and James Randi himself wrote a letter to the editor to the inquirer to refute Mr. Licauco's claims.

What I really found amazing is that James Randi actually lived in the Philippines and performed here. I sure wish he'd come back so I can see him perform.

Good Riddance

The US canceled (PDI story) the balikatan exercises because
"The annual military exercises in 2007 under the Balikatan would be canceled. The reason is the current custody issue. The usual protection for US servicemen remains in doubt,"
"He said that if the Philippines cannot ensure the protection of US military personnel, it wouldn’t be prudent to bring in US troops to the country."
What kind of bullshit is this? The Philippines cannot ensure the protection of US military personnel. The US itself cannot ensure the protection of US personnel (see Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam).

Can the US ensure that no Filipino civilian will be harmed by any US troop that will participate in the balikatan? I think not. Any blanket assurance of the protection of military personnel is just stupid.

This is why the United States is seen negatively all over the world. They invade their enemies and bully their allies, especially the week ones. A US soldier was convicted of a crime. The custody of the soldier is now in dispute. Rather than following the procedures laid out by the agreement between the Philippines and the US. The US exerts extra pressure on the Philippine government to get their way.

They are canceling the balikatan. I say good riddance. And do not come back!!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Manny Poohkiaw

My wife got this vid from an e-mail. I hope abs-cbn let this video stand. They need all the advertisement they can get.



Other Pooh clips here

Monday, December 04, 2006

Foaming at the Mouth

Just watched Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago going ballistic with her non-inclusion in the list of nominees for Chief Justice.

Does she not realize her action actually validates the decision of the Judicial and Bar Council? Who in their right mind will actually think she should be the Chief Justice of the Supreme court after her histrionics?

Update 12/5/2006

story from the Philippine Daily Inquirer and quotes

“I am irate. I am foaming at the mouth. I’m homicidal. I’m suicidal. I’m humiliated, debased, degraded. And not only that, I feel like throwing up to be living my middle years in a country of this nature. I am nauseated. I spit in the face of Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and his cohorts in the Supreme Court.”

“I will say that I resent it very deeply. I take it very personally and I will see to it that while I remain in public office that every member of the JBC shall eventually be held to account for their partisanship. For this reason, I will participate in the Con-ass (constituent assembly) for the main purpose of abolishing the JBC for corruption,”
Update 12/26/2006

Found a clip from YouTube

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Population Control

From Human nature: Science, technology, and life.
"A birth dearth is forcing Singapore to promote sex. The birth rate there is 30 percent below what's needed to replace the population. One big reason: Economic pressure makes Singaporeans work so hard, they have no time or energy for sex. The government warns that if births don't increase, the country will need more immigrants. So, it's promoting sex therapy, loosening its control of porn, and offering benefits to working moms. Optimistic liberal view: Nature 1, Repression 0. Pessimistic liberal view: Capitalism 1, Nature 0. Cynical liberal view: Xenophobia 1, Prudery 0. "

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Proclamation No. 1169

From the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines
"November 30, 2006 shall be a working day, while December 1, 2006 shall be a non-working holiday throughout the country."
This is getting to be a yearly ritual. I don't like it, I feel it disrespects Andres Bonifacio. The guy died for our country. The least we can do is celebrate his holiday on the day it's supposed to be celebrated.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Philippines in pictures

Was searching for articles on Philippine elections when I came upon this page full of pictures from the Philippines from the mid 80's. This page will help remind people why we kicked out the Marcoses in the first place.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Act of 2006

A bill, sponsored by Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casino entitled
"PROMOTING THE DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF FREE/OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE (FOSS) IN THE PHILIPPINES, AMENDING RA 3019 OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES”, PROVIDING PENALTIES THEREOF, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES"
can be found here

I have not yet read the bill, will try to read it tonight but the explanatory note is interesting :), the first line borrows liberally from Marx
"A spectre is haunting the global software giants – the spectre of Free/Open Source Software (FOSS)."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Chess Makes Kids Smarter

"On 42 Friday afternoons, after school, Christiaen taught chess to 20 boys randomly selected from a group of 40. The other 20 were the control group, the one that would be compared. He did his best to keep these students ignorant of their experimental function.

In testing after these two years, the chess group scored somewhat better than the control group on several of Piaget’s tests for cognitive development. More of a dif­ference, however, was evident in their regular school testing! In the school testing, the chess group did significantly better in both the fifth grade tests and (somewhat less so) in the sixth grade tests."
Of course the article comes from a chess site and the study was done in the 70's. :)

read more | digg story

The Condom - Single Most Important Environmental Innovation

"Condoms aren't solar powered or reusable or even recyclable, but they've made the environmental revolution possible. As simple birth control continues its spread across the globe, it leaves behind happier healthier societies with significantly less impact on the planet. That is the power of true innovation."
read more | digg story

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Bading si Doogie Howser

Crush na crush pa naman ng misis ko si doogie. :)
"Neil Patrick Harris is gay – and wants to quell recent reports that he had denied it."
read more | digg story

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Need for Sex Education

LiveScience.com - Social Pressure, Not Health Warnings Influence Sexual Behavior
"Young people often decide if they should use a condom by whether they perceive their sexual partners as “clean” or “unclean.” "
The problem of course is no one can really be sure.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday the 14th

It's still Friday the 13th in the US and the Washington Times has this article (via slashdot)
"...It's double-13 Friday. All the numbers in the numerical notation -- 10/13/2006 -- add up to 13 as well, giving great pause to the superstitious.

The phenomenon hasn't happened in 476 years, said Heinrich Hemme, a physicist at Germany's University of Aachen who crunched the numbers to find that the double-whammy last occurred Jan. 13, 1520. "
I really like Philadelphia's haunted express where they
"...ask riders to walk under a ladder, break a mirror, step on a sidewalk crack and confront a black cat before embarking tonight, spokeswoman Leslie Bari said.

"Guests will have the opportunity to challenge superstition," she said."
Nothing unlucky happened to me yesterday, and I was waiting in anticipation. :)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Pandemic influenza awareness week

from Effect Measure via Aetilogy.
"Bird flu means pandemic risk. A pandemic could start at any time and, with modern travel, be all over the world in just a few days. Many people would be ill, a number would die, and we might run short of basic things like food, water and other supplies. We need to prepare for all of that now when there’s no pandemic, because there will be no time to prepare when the pandemic comes, and governments can not prepare everything for everyone.

The purpose of Pandemic Flu Awareness Week, and the Flu Wiki, is to allow the dissemination of information about pandemic flu preparation down to the local level so that everyone can use each others’ experience, planning and ideas. Flu Wiki is a non-profit website, and does not endorse specific products"

Marxism in Our Time - Segment One

I transcribed part one of Dr. Francisco Nemenzo's Lecture "Marxism in our Time" presented by the University of the Philippines Podcast Channel. Hearing Dr. Nemenzo lecture on Marx and Marxism reminded me why I became a socialist in the first place.

Here is the transcript
Sabi nga ni Marx, that if you produce a new means of production, new technology, you will have to reorganize the way you work and the way we relate to each other, that's why we are now just learning how to teach using this new technology.

Next to Niccolo Machiavelli, Karl Marx is the most maligned figure in our Social Science II syllabus. But unlike the others who are now immortalized in classical works that only fascinate the specialists, Karl Marx was able to attract legions of followers whose activities has made a tremendous impact in our life. So anyone who does a serious study of the 20th century cannot ignore Marx and the movement he inspired.

Marx however had the misfortune of being known not for what he actually said, but for what others have said about him. Most detractors who malign him, as well as the disciples who adore him have never studied any of his works. So the popular image of Marx is a caricature either drawn by western mass media or by the communist propaganda. My aim in this lecture is to encourage you to read Marx in his own words, to read the original works of Marx. To study the Marxism of Marx and not the Marxism of his detractors and his disciples.

Now if you are really interested, this is a good starter - The Communist Manifesto. It is short, elegantly written and it is available in the National Bookstore, sometimes you can even buy them for 100 pesos. But if you are adventurous, you are really serious, you can try Das Kapital. This is only the first volume, there are 3 more because Das Kapital comes in 4 volumes. That is for those who are really serious.

What I'm going to do this morning, is to highlight his most controversial ideas and to debate with his contemporary critics. The contemporary critics dismiss Marxism outright as a jurassic ideology out of touch with current reality. The basis for this claim is the fact that the communist regimes in Russia, and Eastern Europe has collapsed whilke China and Vietnam have adopted capitalist ways. But those who have actually studied the works of Marx and shared his commitment to the socialist vision find no reason to discard him. They are convinced that his critique of capitalism is even more relevant now than at the height of the cold war. Marxism I think will survive for as long as there is any form of exploitation. As for me, it was not the presence of a formidable Soviet state that attracted me to Marxism but the rigor of his analysis and the eloquence of his advocacy for revolutionary change.

Contrary to what the critics say, Marx did not offer a blueprint for heaven on earth. The Soviet and Maoist systems, were not patterned after a preconceived model of a perfect society. therefore the failure of the systems in Russia and China does not disprove Marx. If it was not to propose a program for creating an ideal society, what was Marx trying to do in his numerous books and articles, which are by the way compiled in 45 different volumes. Well the answer is that he was just trying to analyze capitalism. So if you want to know about socialism or communism, do not bother with Das Kapital. But if you want to know how capitalism works, you have much to learn from Das Kapital. Nowhere in this 4 volume opus magnum will you find a prescription of how a communist society is to be organized and governed.

Marx analyzed capitalism using a methodology that he called Dialectical Materialism. This methodology starts from the axiom that everything changes except change itself. Applied to human society, it assumes that society is in a state of constant flux and the job of social science is to uncover the laws underlying the process of change. But what for? Just as the conventional economists and the professors of business administration study capitalist society for the purpose of managing it more efficiently Marx analyzed capitalism for the purpose of facilitating it's overthrow. as he put it in his 11th theses of Feurbach "Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, The point however is to change it."

Another axiom of Dialectical Materialism is that the forces of social change are inherent in the society itself. Society consists of antagonistic classes whose interests contradict each other. The struggle between them lies at the root of every historical event that brings about major changes in society. In the life cycle of a given social system like capitalism, piecemeal or evolutionary changes are introduced in response to concrete problems but there comes a point where the system can no longer accommodate further changes without destroying itself. At this point, evolution gives way to revolution. The class struggle according to Marx, is an objective fact, that is, it occurs even if the contending classes are unaware that their interests are irreconcilable. In fact a society to maintain itself, to preserve the status quo, fabricates a myth or what Marx calls an ideology, to make the existing class structure look like the natural order of things. The dominant ideology assuages the conscience of the elite that their priveledges are rightfully theirs. The dominant ideology, also makes the oppressed believe that their duty is to obey their natural superiors.

A revolution only becomes possible, if and when the dominant ideology breaks down and the subordinate classes gain consciousness of their own interests and organize themselves to overthrow existing systems and stand for a new social order. A revolution as Marx used the term is a fundamental change in society. That dramatic moment when the militant section of the subordinate class seizes political power is only the starting point, more crucial is how it rebuilds a new social system upon the ruins of the old.

Marx would not have considered EDSA 1 and EDSA 2 a revolution because both merely replaced the occupant in Malacañang. After 2 EDSA's, the Philippine state still pursues essentially the same foreign policies and the same development strategy because it continues to serve the same ruling class.

Marx did not consider the outbreak of violence as the essence of revolution. As a general rule however, the ruling class will not relinquish their wealth and power without a fight thus compelling the subordinate class to fight back. But Marx gave an allowance that in countries with well established democratic institutions, where the leading politicians respect the rules of the game, the revolution may occur peacefully. A social scientist who is not a captive of the dominant ideology, should analyze the existing social system in order to identify the class which radical change could bring, The class in the social system that has no vested interest in its preservation and for that purpose, Marx dedicated/devoted his whole life, suffering extreme deprivation, in order to analyze capitalism.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

UP Lectures

While googling Dr. Francisco Nemenzo, I came across the University of the Philippines Podcast Channel. The channel contains audio lectures by faculty members of the University on different topics. The topics uploaded are:
  1. Marxism in Our Time by Dr. Francisco Nemenzo
  2. Machiavelli and the Rise of Political Realism by Dr. Francisco Nemenzo
  3. Classical Liberal Political Economy: Adam Smith by Prof. Emmanuel De Dios
  4. Political Obligation and Legitimacy: Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau by Prof. Carolina Hernandez
  5. Medieval Political Thought: St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas by Prof. Athena Lydia Casambre
I'm sure they will be adding to the topics.

No to Nukes

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Random (Korni) Thought

Akala natin nakaligtas na tayo sa Millennium bug, Milenyo bag(yo) pala ang tatama sa atin. :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Nobel academy? No way! How did you get my number?

"Astrophysicist George Smoot spends his days pondering the origin of the universe. But when his phone rang before dawn on Tuesday with news that he and fellow American John Mather won the 2006 Nobel prize for physics, he was skeptical about the origin of the phone call."
If only EEE can be this skeptical. I would like to report that he's given up, he has not.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Penny Pinching

Came across this article by Daniel Gross in Slate about idiotic practices that companies do to save a miniscule amount of money at the cost of employee morale.

Part 1: Pinching the Penny Pinchers

Part 2: More Idiotic Corporate Penny-Pinching Measures

Some quotes
"Lots of you complained about your company's idiotic plan to cut costs by clamping down on the purchase and use of office supplies. J.S., a former employee of U.S. Bank, recalled that the company refused to order or pay for Post-it notes. At a very large name-brand data provider, pens and Post-its are apparently kept under lock and key."
"According to one correspondent, managers at a data center of a different firm were asked to "keep a listing (on a piece of paper) of each clip that we used, and the reason for the use!"
"Why do efforts to save on Post-its and paper clips arouse so much derision? You'd be hard-pressed to come up with an item that is cheaper than paper clips. At Staples, a box of 100 can be had for 49 cents. And large companies that buy in bulk certainly get an even better deal. What's more, these aren't exactly luxury items. People generally use paper clips, Post-its, pens, and notebooks to complete corporate chores. And yet companies presume that their workers show up each morning not for the wages and the benefits but for the opportunity to stuff stacks of purple stickies and tiny coils of very low-grade steel into their bags.

Family Planning Advice















read more | digg story

Day Against DRM

"DRM (officially, its Digital Rights Management) is the name for any technology that restricts the usage of digital media. Although not limited to music, the DRM in the music industry has been criticized more than other mediums in recent months."


The Martian narrates his brush with DRM in music.

read more | digg story

Monday, October 02, 2006

Star Trek: Not Sexist

"From now on, when anyone rolls into the Trek fan forum, spits their gum out onto the floor, and oafishly declares that Kirk was a heterosexual horndog who porked all of the chicks, I want you all to boldly and confidently SCOFF at them. Scoff also if they say that all the TOS women were bimbos in miniskirts who were nothing but eye-candy. The only proper reaction to such ill-informed opinions is round, sound scoffery"
read more | digg story

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Huge List of Full-Length Cartoons

Here is an impressive list of full length YouTube cartoons gathered for your viewing pleasure.

read more | digg story

Peta BULLSHIT!

I noticed that PETA seems to be gaining adherents here. Those attracted to this organizations reputation should watch this video from Penn and Teller.

Penn and Tellers show BULLSHIT! covers the two faced foundation PETA.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Throwing my eggs in

I first heard of the egg throwing incident from a column by Alex Magno (furl copy). I was not surprised. Baiting the military to try and get a reaction from them is a favorite pastime with the LFS and their allied organizations. This is akin to militant rallyist trying to provoke the PNP into dispersing them (although admittedly, it seems the police need very little provocation at this junction). It's a win-win situation for them, they can show how militant they are and if they do get a reaction, produce martyrs for the cause.

What I found amusing is the fact that Alex could have called the students any number of things but he chose to call them fascists. It's funny because fascists is the favorite term leftists like to call people in government and people supporting government, these same students will probably brand Alex Magno as a fascist for his support of the Arroyo government.

Another thing I found amusing from his column was his description of the students "whooping madly as someone on a megaphone announced that they had received a few hundred thousand from the pork barrel of Bayan Muna." I find this funny because I remember quite distinctly in my younger years that the people most critical of the pork barrel of the trapos were the left organizations. Yet, they had no qualms utilizing their share of pork when they were elected into Congress. Of course they may argue that what they were criticizing were the corruption that accompanies the pork of the trapos. But that is a hollow argument, if you want to end the corruption from pork, the best way is to end pork barrel not wallow in it.

It MLQ3's latest post that got me into this harangue. He quotes an interesting though fairly long e-mail from R. Jitana. I will only quote one sentence from it
"One of the greatest things I learned at UP was that the middle stance as the correct stance, is well…a funny assertion. A blind man’s perspective. A joker’s. “Middle” denotes balance and equality. Can the Right ever be equal with the Left? Only in mathematical equations. Never in social reality. The Right has arms and might, while the Left derives its might only from being on the democratic side. “Middle” is only for referees in a boxing fight."
I think he read the statement of the Association of Political Science Majors (APSM) which is why he reacted this way. I received a copy of the statement, the one I linked to above from the UP Samahan sa Agham Pampulitika (UP SAPUL*) e-group. The APSM proudly proclaims that their organization is a non-partisan organization with the slogan "where both ends of the political spectrum meets".

I agree with Mr. Jitana that taking a non-partisan or middle stance is self delusion. You are only deluding yourself that you are non-partisan, when you are in fact defending the status quo. As Political Science and as UP students, the APSM should know better. And their teachers should remind them of it.

But I must demur from Mr. Jitana's simplistic dichotomy of left and right where he equates the democratic struggle with the left. Yes, historically, the left has been in the thick of the democratic struggle in the Philippines but at the historic moment of EDSA, the majority of the left was nowhere to be found (naiwang natutulog sa pansitan). And in the last several months we have seen the left call for a revolutionary transition government, ally themselves with the Estradas, ally themselves with military coup plotters. These are not democratic endeavors.

Yes, we need to work for more democratic space, for a more transparent government, for more accountability in our public institutions, but these are not necessarily the exclusive domain of the left. These causes are the causes of all Filipinos.

_____________________________
*The UP Samahan sa Agham Pampulitika (UP Sapul) is the oldest (and best) Political Science organization in the University of the Philippines. It was established in the 1930's as the Political Science Club and changed its name to its present one in the 70's. We have no official slogan although the closest we have come to is a phrase directly lifted from our constitution
"tungo sa pinakamataas na uri ng paglilingkod"
which can be roughly translated as towards the highest form of service.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Civilization Anonymous

In a previous post, i have linked to a site that helps people overcome their addiction to Civilization. Here are real people narrating their experiences with this game.



read more | digg story

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Anniversary


At left is the design of my shirt circa 1990's when I was active in the campaign against the ratification of the treaty that would have retained the United States' control over certain Philippine territories.

There were a lot of warning from pro-US bases advocate at that time that the Philippines or at least the communities around the US bases will suffer economic dislocation if the US forces withdrew from their bases in the Philippines.

These warnings did not happen partly through the efforts of the communities themselves who worked hard to overcome the loss of the American presence in their midst.

I would like to again thank the 12 senators who voted against the bases treaty.

  1. Jovito Salonga
  2. Wigberto Tanada
  3. Teofisto Guingona
  4. Rene Saguisag
  5. Victor Ziga
  6. Sotero Laurel
  7. Ernesto Maceda
  8. Agapito Aquino
  9. Juan Ponce Enrile
  10. Joseph Estrada
  11. Orlando Mercado
  12. Aquilino Pimentel

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The power of the Senate

According to an inq7.net report,
"THE HEAD of the Presidential Commission on Good Government was arrested Tuesday on orders of the Senate for repeatedly snubbing summons for a hearing, according to reports culled by INQ7.net.

PCGG Chairman Camilo Sabio was picked up in his office by the Senate’s security personnel at 10:45 a.m. and brought to the upper House for detention, Inquirer reporter Alcuin Papa told INQ7.net."
This is an act that the Senate should have done a while ago. That is insisting on their right to question members of the executive in aid of legislation. Their going to the Supreme court to declare EO 464 as unconstitutional was a passive reponse that gave all the initiative to the Executive.

This time around, it is the Senate that has the initiative and the Executive that has to petition the Supreme Court for habeas corpus.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Chess Tutorial

I was channel surfing when I came across Eugene Torre, Asia and the Philippines' first chess grandmaster re-creating one of his games and giving out pointers as he did so. I don't know if this is a regular show or if this is a one time deal but at the end he said that in the future, he will re-create his games with Karpov, Kasparov and Tal.

So Filipino chess fans should watch out every Saturday, about 6:30 pm at SBN channel 21.

Update:

Googled SBN 21 and found out that the show is titled "Barangay Uniting thru Chess" and airs every Saturday 6:00 - 6:30 pm.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Nerd Wannabee

I am nerdier than 23% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

What does this mean? Your nerdiness is:

Not nerdy, but definitely not hip.

I should really get a life. :)

Subtly Simpsons: In-Depth Explanations to The Simpson's Wittiest References

When Sideshow Bob is in jail, his prisoner number is: 24601. This is also Jean Valjean's number in Les Miserables. Episode: 8F20, The Return of Sideshow Bob.

read more | digg story

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Excommunication

From the Guardian via Pharyngula

"A Vatican official has said the Catholic church will excommunicate a medical team who performed Colombia's first legal abortion on an 11-year-old girl, who was eight weeks pregnant after being raped by her stepfather.

Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, the president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, said in addition to the doctors and nurses, the measure could apply to "relatives, politicians and lawmakers" whom he called "protagonists in this abominable crime".

Update

Cardinal Trujillo, the one quoted above has denied having said such a thing.
"A Roman Catholic cardinal has denied reports that he said the Vatican would excommunicate doctors who performed Colombia's first legal abortion on an 11-year-old girl allegedly raped by her stepfather.

"I have not said that, nor has the Holy See, nor have I thought it," said Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Vatican's pontifical council for the family, on Caracol Radio on Wednesday."

Monday, August 28, 2006

One Voice vs. AdCom

FYI. Got this from the One Voice mailing list.

The Manila Times asked the Advocacy Commission and One Voice to
answer 10 questions. Here is part 1 and part 2
The AdCom replies were written by Dr. Jose Abueva. He served as
chairman of the Consultative Commission that drafted the
recommendations that President Arroyo endorsed to Congress last year
for the new Constitution to replace the 1987 one. A former president
of the University of the Philippines, Dr. Abueva is now president of
Kalayaan College.

The One Voice replies were written by Dr. Rene B. Azurin. He
authored the Dissenting Report of the defunct Consultative
Commission and is a convener of One Voice, the nonpartisan
organization against the Charter-change efforts of Sigaw ng Bayan,
the Union of Local Authorities in the Philippines (ULAP) and Adcom.
He teaches Strategic Management at the University of the
Philippines.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design

As per Dr. Myers request at the Pharyngula. I would like to inform you that the folks at the Panda's Thumb is doing a review of the the book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design by Jonathan Wells.

A quotation from the Introduction of the review
"One thing is for sure, Jonathan Wells is too modest. His recently published, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, is not only politically incorrect but incorrect in most other ways as well: scientifically, logically, historically, legally, academically, and morally."

Friday, August 25, 2006

The consequences of allowing Porn

First it was gays now its porn, my going to hell has become a real possibility. :)

Dispatches from the Culture Wars informs us about a new study that "points out, rape has decreased by 85% since 1970, while pornography has become vastly more available and more popular."

He also warns us that correlation does not necessarily mean causation so be warned.

Update 10/05/2006

Here is an article by James McConvill who actually read the study.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dirty Tom Bonney



My pirate name is:


Dirty Tom Bonney



You're the pirate everyone else wants to throw in the ocean -- not to get rid of you, you understand; just to get rid of the smell. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Anti-Escultura

From seattlepi.com
"Grigory Perelman, a 40-year-old native of St. Petersburg, won a Fields Medal - often described as math's equivalent of the Nobel prize - for a breakthrough in the study of shapes that experts say might help scientists figure out the shape of the universe"
The story from the Wall Street Journal
"In 2002 and 2003, he posted two papers to an online archive. Usually, a posting serves a flag-planting function - "I solved this first!" - until the paper is published in a journal, which can take years. But as the math community waited for him to follow up his postings, a realization set in. Dr. Perelman, long affiliated with the Steklov Institute of Mathematics in St. Petersburg, apparently has no intention of saying more. He probably feels he proved the Poincare conjecture, mathematicians surmise, and has no interest in the $1 million bounty. (He did not respond to emailed requests for comment.)"
"Putting his proof online rather than in a journal is only one example of Dr. Perelman's iconoclasm. He admits that he gives only "a sketch of an eclectic proof of" a more general conjecture from which Poincare's follows; he never mentions Poincare. The papers are difficult to understand, and sketchy in the extreme. He asserts that one can prove something by a variation on an earlier argument, but it isn't clear what the variation is. "Perelman's papers are written in a style rather different from what would appear in a journal," says mathematician Bruce Kleiner of Yale University."
"Others have taken it upon themselves to explicate his work - and find no major flaws. Like Torah commentaries, they dwarf the original. Dr. Perelman's 2003 paper is 22 pdf pages; the 2002 paper is 39. But "Notes on Perelman's Papers," in which Prof. Kleiner and John Lott of the University of Michigan explain them almost line-by-line, is 192 pages. A book on the papers is expected to top 300 pages. A "complete proof" of Poincare, based on Dr. Perelman's breakthrough and published last month in the Asian Journal of Mathematics (which Prof. Milnor describes as throwing "a monkey wrench" into the question of who gets credit), is 328 pages long."
He put his proof online and did not answer questions nor defend it, yet other mathematicians recognized the worth of his work continued it and still gave most of the credit to Mr. Perelman. so much so that he won a Fields Medal.

Meanwhile the Gauss Prize that Dr. Escultura has claimed he won was awarded for the first time to Kiyoshi Itô

Ever SEEN an actual firefox?

geek joke + a super cute puppy

read more | digg story

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan...

How far has Alex Magno gone away from his leftist roots? Very far. He is so far gone that he either forgot or was unwilling to directly attribute a quote from Karl Marx. In his column today, he wrote
"They just thought history would simply do a re-run, forgetting Hegel’s famous injunction: that when history seems to repeat itself, the first time it is a tragedy, the second time it is a farce."
I have always thought this was a quote from Karl Marx but I was taught that Marx borrowed a lot of ideas from Hegel and since Alex Magno was one of the teachers who taught me that, I had to consider that I might be mistaken and Marx actually quoted Hegel. So I googled the quote and found out that I was right. Marx was the originator of the phrase, it was the first sentence in his work "The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte".
"Hegel remarks somewhere[*] that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Caussidiere for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848 to 1851 for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, the nephew for the uncle. And the same caricature occurs in the circumstances of the second edition of the Eighteenth Brumaire."
This sentence was followed by my favorite quote from Marx
"Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language."

Bakit sa Tagalog

Para sa araw ng wika (galing lang din sa e-mail)

Kung ang I LOVE YOU ay INIIBIG KITA, bakit ang umiibig (I) at ang umiibig (YOU) ay mukhang tuwirang naglaho sa pagkakasalin? Dahil ba kung umibig ang Pilipino ay nawawala ang AKO at IKAW at nagiging isa at nagsasanib sa KITA? Iyon din marahil ang dahilan kung bakit ang kasal ay PAG-IISANG DIBDIB at ang asawa ay KABIYAK NG PUSO.

Bakit may tawag tayo sa limang daliri ng kamay --- HINLALAKI, HINTUTURO, HINLALATO, PALASINSINGAN, at KALINGKINGAN --- pero sa daliri ng paa ay wala?

Kung ang bicycle ay BISIKLETA, bakit ang motorcycle ay MOTORSIKLO at hindi MOTORSIKLETA? O kaya’y BISIKLO?

Bakit ang SILANGAN (kung saan sumilang ang araw) at KANLURAN (kung saan kumakanlong ang araw) ay maliwanag ang ibig sabihin, pero ang HILAGA at TIMOG ay hindi mo alam ang pinagmulan?

Kung ang likod ng tuhod ay ALAK-ALAKAN, bakit wala tayong tawag sa likod ng siko?

Kung ang IN ay ginagamit sa gitlapi sa prito para maging PRINITO, sa gisa para maging GINISA, at sa paksiw para maging PINAKSIW, bakit sa laga ang ginagamit at ang unlaping NI para maging NILAGA. Bakit hindi LINAGA dahil hindi naman natin sinasabing NIPRITO o NIGISA o NIPAKSIW? Alin ba ang tama?

Bakit may tawag tayo sa four seasons – TAGLAMIG, TAGSIBOL, TAG-INIT at TAGLAGAS – gayong ang panahon sa Pilipinas ay TAG-ARAW at TAG-ULAN lamang?

Kung may inang PUTA, bakit walang amang PUTO? Lahat ba ng lalaking kalapati ay matataas ang lipad?

Bakit nakaugalian na nating sabihing isang SENTIMO at limang SENTIMOS? Wala naman sa balarilang Tagalog ang pagdudugtong ng “s” sa pangngalan para ito maging maramihan. Hindi naman natin sinasabing limang PISOS, ‘di ba?

Kung ang left-handed at KALIWETE, ano ang right-handed? Kung tradisyunal na nating tituturing na ang ama ang haligi ng tahanan, bakit ang asawang babae ay ang MAYBAHAY at ang asawang lalaki ay ang TAO lamang?

Bakit nakasanayan na nating sabihin NAKAKAINIS, NAKAKATAKOT o NAKAKAALIW? Di ba ang dapat na inuulit at ang unang pantig ng salitang-ugat? Kaya dapat ay NAKAIINIS, NAKATATAKOT, at NAKAAALIW.

Kung sinasabi nating AMOY ARAW, LASANG IPIS, o MUKHANG ANGHEL, mayroon na ba talagang nakalanghap ng araw, nakatikim ng ipis o nakakita ng anghel?

Mayroon naman tayong LOLO at LOLA, AMA at INA, at TIYO at TIYA, bakit wala tayong isang-salitang katumbas ng SON at DAUGHTER, NEPHEW at NIECE, at GRANDSON at GRANDDAUGHTER? Itinuturing ba nating asexual ang ANAK, PAMANGKIN at APO?

Bakit sa Tagalog maraming katumbas ang LOVE --- PAG-IBIG, PAGMAMAHAL, PAGSINTA, PAG-IROG, PAGLIYAG, PAGGILIW? Dahil ba ang Pinoy ay likas na palasintahin?

Friday, August 18, 2006

OPEN LETTER TO MR. ISAGANI CRUZ

A friend sent this and asked that it be circulated so I am reproducing it here in full.

OPEN LETTER TO MR. ISAGANI CRUZ

We, members of the Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network Philippines (LAGABLAB-Pilipinas), wishes to thank Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Isagani Cruz for giving us yet another proof that homophobia still exists in our society today. His column ("Don we now our gay apparel, August 12, 2006, Page A10) tells us that, indeed, a law penalizing discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs) should be urgently enacted by Congress.

His stark hatred against homosexuals represents a common belief system that continues to deepen the prejudice that the LGBT community encounters. Mr. Isagani Cruz fails to see that such display of bigotry is easily translated into acts that concretely violate human rights and fundamental freedoms, values whose universality and primacy a former Supreme Court justice should have been able to grasp and uphold. After all, the Supreme Court as an institution has a long tradition of defending civil liberties and human rights. It is therefore ironic that one of its former justices finds it easy to dehumanize us, target us for exclusion, and deny us the right to celebrate our diversity and dignity.

He claims that his scathing homophobia is only reserved to homosexuals who do not conduct themselves decorously. However, his sense of propriety, going by his narrow-minded perspective, means conforming to the destructive boundaries and restrictive stereotypes that our conservative society has established for LGBTs. It means tolerating biased labor policies and practices that act like a glass ceiling that blocks our productivity, or enduring verbal and physical abuses from our own family members or from our immediate community. Mr. Cruz wants us to believe that the fate of homosexuals who openly claim their space in our society as equal members of the human family is a lifetime of humiliation and discrimination. Unless we conform to the whims of people like Mr. Cruz, we should willingly accept that fate. To him, only when we are invisible or servile to what he claims to be the "privileged sex" can we expect acceptance from our society.

Mr. Cruz should understand that human dignity has no sexual orientation or gender identity. Homosexuality is hardly a dilution of the male and female sexes, and femininity and womanhood, upon which equal scorn and prejudice have been heaped by Mr. Cruz, are not synonymous to weakness. The 'third sex' that he ridicules does not exist at all, since we are all equal in dignity and respect, as affirmed by our Constitution, our laws, and the international agreements on equality and human rights that the Philippines signed.

The Filipino LGBT community will continue to march – in sagalas and during the annual Pride parade – because we do not take bigotry sitting down. The likes of Mr. Cruz can't – and we will not let them – push the Filipino LGBT community back to invisibility.

Gay Men are Funny

Don't believe me? I can prove it. And scientimagically using deductive logic.

Our first premise is contained in this article entitled "O brother, where art thou? The fraternal birth-order effect on male sexual orientation". The article
"provides evidence that the social influence of an older brother is irrelevant to whether his younger brother will develop a homosexual orientation. It is the number of older biological brothers the mother carried, not the presence of older brothers while growing up, that makes some boys grow up to be gay. Older stepbrothers in the home have no effect, although older biological brothers raised apart still exert their influence. These data, by elimination, strengthen the notion that the common denominator between biological brothers, the mother, provides a prenatal environment that fosters homosexuality in her younger sons."
The second premise is contained in this article which states that
"Just over half of younger siblings questioned said it was easy to be humorous, compared with just a third of those who were first-born.

And just 11% of only children had the skill, according to the study of 1,000 people by psychologist Richard Wiseman."
So the first premise, gay men tend to have older brothers and the second premise younger siblings are more likely to be funny and the conclusion is gay men are funny.

Ok, so I really did not prove the it. But the two articles combined suggests that the proportion of gay men within the set of all funny men should be higher than the proportion of gay men in the set of unfunny men or the set of all men. In fact maybe I have it all backwards, maybe gay men are not funny, maybe funny men are gay? :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Failure of Logic

This is old news, but I still wanted to write something.

I was taught the different Logical Fallacies when I was in high school and again almost immediately after I entered college. The determination whether a statement is logical or fallacious is a skill every one should possess. This skill can help us parse through arguments and determine if it holds up or whether it is full of baloney

In his August 11 column entitled "Foreign investors’ letter proves Monsod wrong", Mr Jarius Bondoc started out with baloney and goes downhill from there. He started out with this sentence:
"One Voice, an elitist front to demonize Charter changes of little folk, keeps screeching the claim of its head Christian Monsod:"
This is one of the oldest logical fallacies, argumentum ad hominem, He immediately attacks the personality of the organization whose position he is arguing against by calling them elitist without explaining why they are elitist and how the heck does being an elitist makes their argument less valid. He even characterizes their argument as screeching, they are not presenting their opinion, they are screeching.

And what is this "charter change of little folks"? Is this a dig at the stature of President GMA and speaker de Venecia? Certainly he is not saying that the principal proponent of charter change in the Philippines are the masa. Is he?

He then presented One Voice's or as he presents it Christian Monsod's position as
"Restrictive economic provisos in the 1987 Constitution do not bother foreign investors. What they do care about, surveys say, are infrastructure, human capital, consistency of policies and regulations, peace and order."
When I first read this paragraph, the first thought that came to mind was, 'is this even a direct quote?'. I have watched Christian Monsod on television since he was the chairperson of the COMELEC and I have never heard him say such a stupid thing. And even if he was so inclined to say such a stupid thing, I do not think Winnie Monsod will let him get away with it. So I tried to find out if this was an exact quote. Here is the quote I copied from their blog.
"Many other claims of the proponents of the Initiative are not borne out by the facts. For instance, the claim that the economic provisions of the Constitution on land ownership, public utilities, natural resources, media and advertising have closed the doors to beneficial foreign direct investment (FDI). Not only has the 1987 Constitution proven to be resilient to the demands of the times but surveys of foreign investors repeatedly show that the critical factors to FDI are infrastructure, human capital, quality of policies and stability of the regulatory framework, peace and order, among others. Nowhere is amending the economic provisions considered among the really critical."
As you see, the One Voice movement is not arguing that the economic provisions of the constitution do not bother foreign investors, they are arguing that the economic provisions is not a critical factor to foreign investors. Mr. Bondoc basically changed critical factor into bother and that made all the difference. For Mr. Bondoc, a writer to not know the difference between the word bother and the word critical is astonishing. One is a minor irritation while the other one is indispensable or essential.

This is a clear example of a straw man argument. Mr Bondoc mischaracterized One Voice's position so he could more easily poke holes in them by pointing out that
If his (Monsod's) claim were a person, it would slip on a piece of paper and fall flat on its face. That paper is a letter to Economic Planning Sec. Romy Neri, sent July 24, by the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines. In it, the umbrella of foreign firms urged the government to liberalize the entry of new investments – by executive, legislative and constitutional action.
Here, Mr. Bondoc is arguing that the JFC letter urging the Philippine government to liberalize the entry of new investments even through constitutional action proves that foreign investors are bothered by the economic provisions of the constitution. Which of course it does, what it does not prove is that the liberalization of new investments through constitutional action is a critical factor for these investors in their decisions to invest in the Philippines. It does not prove that these investors will decide to not invest in the Philippines because of the presence of the economic provisions.

To round up this display of logical fallacies, Mr. Bondoc also falls into an appeal to authority. In the third to the last paragraph, Mr. Bondoc states that
"one of Monsod's favorite provisions consigns Filipinos to cottage enterprises, never to genuine industry based on metal and machine. Written by Monsod himself, it confines industrialization to agriculture and agrarian reform, and effectively prohibits Filipinos from making railways, bullet trains, ships or cars like neighbor-states. "
and this provision is from
"Article XII (National Economy and Patrimony), Section 1, 2nd paragraph ? states: "The State shall promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform through industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources, and which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets."
Now, I am not an economist and but I can't see how this article consigns Filipino's to cottage enterprises. It states that our industrialization be based on sound agricultural development. and industrialization by its very nature would include technological innovation, I cannot find any provision here that tells the government or anyone that the industries should be limited to whatever. But Mr. Bondoc cites nationalist economist Alejandro Lichauco's book which states
"And what kind of industries can Filipinos engage in under the constitutional rider? 'Apparently, industries like furniture and carpentry, rice milling, making fertilizer out of animal waste, tree-planting, all forms of handicraft, food canning and the like,' Lichauco writes. 'No engineering or machine tool and metal industry because such industries have no connection whatsoever with agriculture and agrarian reform."
I respect Mr. Lichauco, he is one of our premier nationalists. But that does not make his opinion correct.

Friday, August 11, 2006

David Hasselhoff: 'The Antichrist?'

David Hasselhoff fears he may be the Antichrist after reading conspiracy theories about himself on the internet.
He will always be Michael Knight to me. :) Bring back the Knight Rider, Woo hoo!

read more | digg story

Monday, July 24, 2006

In other news

This story on the one laptop per child project by the Sun.Star Cebu was carried by both groklaw and digg. I wish I knew who wrote this piece so I can congratulate him/her. Landing your piece in the front page of digg is huge, and being carried by groklaw is not a small matter either.
"Countries which will initially receive the laptops are China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Nigeria and Thailand... The $100-laptops, which are designed for rough usage, will be Linux-based and have a 500 MHz processor, a 128MB of DRAM, and a 500MB flash memory."
read more | digg story

Little Sister is Watching

V for Vendetta pinoy style (galing sa e-mail, hindi ako ang gumawa)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Linux for Mothers

Been swamped with work for the last 3 weeks but I just can't pass up this post from village idiot savant.

Let us just hope the rest of the Philippines but specially the government sector can follow Dominique and his mom in using Linux and other open source applications.

By the way, his post was also carried by tuxmachines.org

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Conspiracy?

President GMA was hospitalized yesterday with stomach pains. Micketymoc has uncovered the true cause of her ailment.

Pinoy truisms (Forwarded)

galing sa isang kaibigan ko


Ang buhay ay parang bato, it's hard.

Better late than pregnant.

Behind the clouds are the other clouds.

Do unto others... then run!!!

Kapag puno na ang salop, kumuha na ng ibang salop.

Magbiro ka na sa lasing, magbiro ka na sa bagong gising, 'wag lang sa lasing na bagong gising.

When all else fails, follow instructions.

Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika, lumaki sa ibang bansa.

To err is human, to errs is humans.

Ang taong nagigipit...sa bumbay kumakapit

Pag may usok...may nag-iihaw

Ang taong naglalakad nang matulin... may utang.

No guts, no glory... no ID, no entry.

Birds of the same feather that prays together... stays together.

Kapag may sinuksok at walang madukot, may nandukot.

Walang matigas na tinapay sa gutom na tao.

Ang taong di marunong lumingon sa kanyang pinanggalingan ....ay may stiff neck.

Birds of the same feather make a good feather duster.

Kapag may tiyaga, may nilaga. Kapag may taga, may tahi.

Huli man daw at magaling, undertime pa rin.

Ang naglalakad ng matulin, late na sa appointment

Matalino man ang matsing, matsing pa rin.

Better late than later....

Aanhin ang palasyo kung ang nakatira ay kuwago, mabuti pa ang bahay kubo, sa paligid puno ng linga.

Kapag maikli ang kumot, tumangkad ka na!

No man is an island because time is gold.

Hindi lahat ng kumikinang ay ginto.. muta lang yan.

Kapag ang puno mabunga...mataba ang lupa!

When it rains...it floods.

Pagkahaba haba man ng prusisyon .. mauubusan din ng kandila.

Ang buhay ay parang gulong, minsan nasa ibabaw, minsan nasa vulcanizing shop.

Batu-bato sa langit, ang tamaan... sapul.

Try and try until you succeed... or else try another.

Ako ang nagsaing... iba ang kumain. Diet ako eh.

Huwag magbilang ng manok kung alaga mo ay itik.

Kapag maiksi na ang kumot, bumili ka na ng bago.

If you can't beat them, shoot them. (Nalundasan)

An apple a day is too expensive.

An apple a day makes seven apples a week. (really expensive)

Monday, June 19, 2006

From Today's Headlines


Talk about stating the obvious. I think all of us do know that we are all going to die. No need to remind us. :)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

SPAM from GLOBE

rant

I lost my phone last week. I bought a new phone and a new sim card. The sim was from Globe because I have always used globe. But about 2 or 3 days ago, I started noticing spam entering my phone. I didn't know the reason I was getting spam because I never subscribed to any service and I've only had my phone for several days.

And the spam is insidious, it just pops up, no message alert warns you that it has arrived, you just notice your screen lighting up and you think that you just did not hear the message alert sound so you read the message and IT'S SPAM. In one 40 minute period, I got 16 spam messages. And you can't unsubscribe to it, when you press ok, the only choices given you are 1. to see the next message and 2 get more messages for 2.50 pesos per.

I complained called their customer service center and complained. I was informed that this is a feature of their new sim cards and I have to visit a globe service center so I can have it stopped.

Are they crazy, I did not sign up for this service and now I have to go out of my way just to end it? Well, fortunately, globe has competitors. I do not have to take their crap. I have choices, and if this stupid SPAM does not end by tomorrow. I will go to a smart service center and buy a new sim. I would rather go out of my way to buy another sim just to make the point to globe that they cannot abuse their customers like this without consequences.

end rant

Update: 6/19/2006

I have not received any spam from globe since yesterday afternoon. :)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Anniversary

I just realized that last June 10 was the 2nd anniversary of this blog. I started this blog as an outlet. I used to bother my friends regarding my hang-ups through our e-group. But the 2004 election was just too polarizing, unpleasant words were being exchanged so I decided to focus my angst outside the group.

Thank you to all who have read my posts and left comments.

Booksale

Powerbooks is again advertising a sale in their pasig warehouse on June 16-18, 2006. I went there the last time they had a sale and was not too impressed. If you ever went to a National Bookstore Cut Price Booksale, then you can understand the approximate breadth of the selection of books on sale and the percentage discount they were giving.

Anyway, even if I don't have high expectations, I will still probably try to go, it might be different this time. :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Lobo

For Lobo fans

In this short film DC Comics resident Badass Lobo is sent to track down Jolly old Saint Nick. Prepare for the glorious Yuletide Ultra Violence!One of the Best FanFilms ever made.



got this from http://www.rubyfilmz.com

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Star Trek vs. Star Wars



A video on YouTube that finally answers the old Internet forum question of: Who would win in a battle between the Enterprise and an Imperial Star Destroyer? Very clever editing of the original movie/show footage and dialog, combined with CGI.

via digg.com

read more | digg story

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Phallic Symbols

form PCIJ blog
"On May 22, GMA 7’s multi-awarded documentary program “i-witness” featured the lukayo of Kalayaan, Laguna and showed old women decked in brightly colored ribbons, faux jewelry and gaudy flowers, some in boots and oversized sunglasses, all of them displaying phalluses of various sizes and shapes. They were dancing, singing bawdy songs and looked like they were having the time of their lives."
"The program...now risks being suspended by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) for violating Section 2, Chapter 4 of the implementing rules of the board, which prevents the airing of sexual content in a “patently lewd, offensive and demeaning manner."
I really don't know what to say.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

666

via Dispatches from the Culture Wars
670 - Approximate number of the Beast
DCLXVI - Roman numeral of the Beast
666.0000000 - Number of the High Precision Beast
665.9999954 - Number of the Pentium Beast
0.666 - Number of the Millibeast
/666 - Beast Common Denominator
read the rest

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Nakakahiya

via pcijblog
"the outgoing DAP president, reading from a prepared statement, explained that he could not vote for Kalaw who, he said, had subverted the selection process and could not “lead the academy to new heights.”"
How can newly elected Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) president Antonio Kalaw Jr. even occupy the position with this kind of "endorsement" from the outgoing DAP President? Kapal ng apog na lang talaga pag umupo pa siya.

Punta tayo dito

sa Presidential museum ni Erap para manood ng pelikula (Bankang papel sa dagat ng apoy)
"The museum itself features a 65-seater amphitheater which will screen Estrada’s almost 145 movies made while he was a popular actor from 1957 to 1989."
Hindi ko alam kung maiiyak ako o matatawa.

Nagtanong lang nakalaboso pa

via in(s)ane ramblings

Ask for directions, go straight to jail. How can this happen?
"WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team reporter David Collins said Joshua Kelly and Llara Brook, of Chantilly, Va., got lost leaving an Orioles game on Saturday. Collins reported a city officer arrested them for trespassing on a public street while they were asking for directions ."

The Sports Guy on Kobe 2

From his mailbag
"If Kobe truly thought things were hopeless in the second half, he should have punched Raja Bell in the face early in the third quarter and gotten himself kicked out. Not only would he have saved himself the "you quit on your team heat," he would have gotten the satisfaction of punching Raja Bell in the face. No downside there. But he packed it in, proving once and for all that he's not MJ and never will be. So Kobe, stop stealing MJ's patented fist clench after big baskets, and stop pretending that you "tried" in the second half of Game 7, or that you were "just trying to get everyone else involved," because neither of those things were true. You quit."
and on Lebron
I think LeBron comes through tonight.

I think he finishes off Detroit. I think the crowd in Cleveland gets behind him and carries him to another place. I think this will be one of those rare games when you know something momentous is happening as you're watching, even though it's not finished happening yet. I think LeBron seizes the moment, embraces it, crushes it, makes it his own.
update: 2 points!!!
"the Pistons beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 84-82 on Friday night to even their series 3-3"

"James finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds and five assists."

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Da Vinci Code (3rd hirit)

Sorry, I just can't resist quoting Ian Mckellen
"When I read the book I believed it entirely," he said.

"When I put the book down I thought what a load of potential codswallop. That's still going on in my mind.

"But I'm very happy to believe that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. I know that the Catholic Church has problems with gay people. I thought that would be absolute proof Jesus was not gay."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Chutzpah

I can't wait to see if they push through with this.
Venezuela is considering selling its fleet of U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to another country, perhaps Iran, in response to a U.S. ban on arms sales to President Hugo Chavez’s government, a military official said Tuesday.
Update (5/18/2006)

Wimping out or voice of reason? I vote for the latter.
Venezuela's defence minister said on Tuesday that there are no immediate plans to sell US-made fighter jets despite a dispute over replacement parts- backing away from one general's statement that the planes could go to Iran.

What a SHAM!

Michael Shermer writes about the Self-Help and Actualization Movement (SHAM) scam.
"If you need to pay for someone's help, why is it called "self-help"?"
"If what we sold worked, one would expect lives to improve. One would not expect people to need further help from us--at least not in that same problem area, and certainly not time and time again."

Friday, May 12, 2006

Da Vinci Code (2nd Hirit)

It occurred to me that maybe, this brouhaha over the "Da Vinci Code" is a function of the Catholic church's collective consciousness having flashbacks over two novels published in the late 19th century that led to (1) its flock losing their faith in the church which eventually led to (2) the formation of the Philippine Independent church which led (3) to the Catholic church losing its monopoly on Filipino souls. The influence of the novels also led (4) to the institutionalization of the separation of church and state thus (5) weakening the secular influence of the church.


And for those not familiar with Philippine history, I am talking about the Noli Me Tangere and the El Filibusterismo written by our national hero Jose P. Rizal.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Da Vinci Code

From Inq7.net
"'The Da Vinci Code' is a clever and dangerous book suffused with lies, distortions, Satanic imagery and historical inaccuracies, all designed to cast doubt in readers' minds about the deity of Jesus Christ," said Robert Knight, the director of the CWA's Culture and Family
The book is FICTIONAL It says so in the cover where you can find the words "a novel". A novel according to wikipedia is "an extended fictional narrative in prose." And fiction is "storytelling of imagined events and stands in contrast to non-fiction, which makes factual claims about reality."

How stupid is this brouhaha? How stupid are experts who dispute assertions made by a fictional book? And how stupid are organizations trying to stop the movie version from being shown in the Philippines?

To quote Albert Einstein
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the former."

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A word from our sponsor

The Ateneo de Manila University School of Government is now accepting applicants for its Master in Public Management Program.

You can view the procedure for admission in the website or call 729-6869 or 899-7691 local 2405 and look for Mr. Manuel Gregorio.

It they ask how you found out about the program please DO NOT mention my name.

The Sports Guy on Kobe

"...if Kobe doesn't completely eviscerate Bell in Game 7, everyone on the planet is banned from making any more Kobe-MJ comparisons. We all know that MJ would have dropped 55 on Bell, shut down Nash on the other end and disemboweled D'Antoni for good measure. Kobe, if you're going to steal MJ's fist clench/shake from Game 1 of the 1998 Finals without asking, you need to take this all the way. You cannot lose Game 7. You can't. Even if you're playing 4-on-5 and Jax keeps refusing to play Vujacic."
read the whole article

Update (May 7, 2006)

Suns torched the Lakers 121-90 in Game 7

K. Bryant
Points: 24
Reb: 4
Ast: 1
Stl: 0
Blk: 1

1st Salen-ga Award

The first Salen-ga Award is given to Dr. Edgardo Escultura for contributing to the development of Filipinos interest in the fields of Mathematics and Physics.

We congratulate Dr. Escultura for winning the award.

Friday, May 05, 2006

In other (Supreme Court) News

via Pharyngula through Exploding Aardvark from Reuters

Despite slapping down unconstitutional missives from the Executive Department in the PP 1017 case, the Calibrated Preemptive Response case, and the E.O. 464 case, the Supreme Court has also been busy cleaning the judicial system of incompetent judges.
"Floro was sacked last month and fined 40,000 pesos ($780) after a three-year investigation found he was incompetent, had shown bias in a case he was trying and had criticized court procedure, a ruling showed."
This would not be news except that our good judge
"claimed he could see into the future and admitted consulting imaginary mystic dwarfs".
He asked to be reinstated because
"They should not have dismissed me for what I believed"
Hooray for the Supreme Court.

Update:

I started digging in the Supreme Court's website and found the Court's resolution regarding Judge Floro and the press release issued by the Supreme court regarding the resolution.

The resolution reveals that as early as 1995 when Judge Floro applied for Judgeship, he was already considered unfit because
"the required psychological evaluation exposed problems with self-esteem, mood swings, confusion, social/interpersonal deficits, paranoid ideations, suspiciousness, and perceptual distortions."
He was still admitted however because of
"his impressive academic background" and "a second opinion from private practitioners".
I wonder who these private practitioners that gave a favorable opinion in favor of Judge Floro. I think the government should bar them from practising again or conversely, ask them to reimburse the government for the expenses incurred because of Judge Floro.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Filipino table etiquette punished at local school

Got this article from an e-mail. Acording to the story, a boy of Filipino descent was regularly punished by his school's lunch program monitor for eating differently from his schoolmates. When his mother complained to the principal, the principal answered her:
"‘Madame, you are in Canada. Here in Canada you should eat the way Canadians eat.’"
The comments section of the paper contained a lot of negative comments directed at the school, the lunch monitor and the principal. I too was appalled when I read the story but on further reflection I want to withold comments until i know the full story.

There are indications that this may have been a misunderstanding. When the paper interviewed the principal he said
"... it was Luc’s eating technique combined with his behaviour at the table that was inappropriate that day, which is why he was moved. “Luc can be turbulent,” he said yesterday. “Like other children, he is frequently in situations where we have to intervene. It’s normal, he’s a child. He is in a period of learning.”"
Now, this can be true, or this can be a rationalization for the punishments. We just don't know. The school board is conducting its own investigation and
"will not comment — due to confidentiality procedures — until Gallardo’s complaint is filed and she makes a public statement."
What we need to do is to monitor this story so that the truth can come out.

I visited the schools website but it's in French so I can't read it. The paper who broke this story has written a follow-up story.

But even if this event turns out to be a mis-understanding, that should not diminish our esteem for Ms. Maria Gallardo Cagadoc, the mother of the boy who complained. It is her prompt action that has led to the investigation.

Her action illustrates that the personal is political. Our personal complaints, when acted upon can make a difference, can enable change in the society we live in.

Update (May 3, 2006)

*I misunderstood the follow up article, Ms. Cagadoc will file a Human Rights complaint against the School Board (Commission scolaire Marguerite Bourgeoys), not the School (Ecole Lalande). I am sorry, my only excuse is that I am not familiar with the Canadian system. I updated the sentences below to reflect my new understanding.

The Chronicle has a second update on this story. It seems Ms. Maria Gallardo Cagadoc will file a complaint against the School Board . According to the update
"The boy’s mother, Maria Theresa Gallardo, said the Centre for Research Action and Race Relationship (CRARR) of Montreal is guiding the family in making a human rights complaint against Ecole Lalande’s school board, Commission scolaire Marguerite Bourgeoys."
We don't know the reason she is taking her complaint to a higher level but it can be inferred from the article, especially the sentence
"School officials maintain the punishments were disciplinary and have nothing to do with the student’s background."
that the school board has concluded their investigation and found that their principal was not acting out of any prejudice.

Of course, the above is just speculation on my part. I tried visiting the school's website but it's down.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

E.O. 464 (Partly) Illegal

I started this post when the Inq7.net's report on the Supreme Court decision on E.O. 464 was on its 2nd update. It's now on it's 6th update and substantially new information is presented that my previous posts are almost worthless. I will still leave them here so people can follow the development of this story.

So according to INQ7
"THE Supreme Court has upheld the right of Congress to compel executive officials to appear before inquiries “in aid of legislation” as it struck down portions of an executive order by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo."

"The Court also upheld the right of the president to ask for a closed-door session if the "security of the state or the public interest so requires."

"The court said it was "impermissible" for officials to hide behind the President's order to avoid appearing in congressional hearings and for the President to evade requests for information without explaining why to Congress."
I will crow about this however, if the INQ7's 6th update is final, the Supreme Court's decision mirrored my opinion on this matter, and I quote myself.
"This new EO by the President will test the limits of Presidential power. I can see the logic of the President reviewing with the summoned Cabinet members what he/she can discuss in Congressional hearings. I can see how members of the executive branch can be forbidden to testify on matters of national security unless the hearings are in closed session. I just cannot see how the President can forbid Cabinet members from appearing in congressional hearings without just cause."
Yes, I know that next time, I will probably be wrong, but let me be wallow in my smugness at this time. :)

__________________________________________________
(First post - after INQ7's 2nd update on this story)
Inq7.net reports that the Supreme Court declared EO 464 illegal.

The executive branch or government tried to exercise powers beyond its authority and was smacked down by the Supreme Court.

Checks and balance at work.

Additional comments:

I think this is the place to point out Domingo's proposal that the Philippine Congress should adopt the US practice where their
"Congress has practically abandoned its original practice of utilizing the coercive sanction of contempt proceedings at the bar of the House"
"The Congress has instead invoked the aid of the federal judicial system in protecting itself against contumacious conduct. It has become customary to refer these matters to the United States Attorneys for prosecution under criminal law."
Because they are prosecuted under criminal law, they are accorded "every right which is guaranteed to defendants in all other criminal cases.".

This rule should limit our Congress' boorishness towards witnesses they deem uncooperative.

Update (this is after INQ7's 4th of 5th update on this story)

Inq7.net has updated their story and it seems that the Supreme Court has only deemed some of EO 464's provisions as illegal
"Voting 14-0, the high court declared as valid Sections 1 and 2 of EO 464 but nullified Section 2(b) and Section 3."

Deterrence

I've been thinking of writing something about GMA commuting the death row convicts sentence from death to life impisonment when i read Alejandro Roces.
"The death penalty is undoubtedly a deterrent to crime. No criminal who was executed ever committed another crime. Whether it deters other criminals from committing crimes is a separate question."
I love this quote.

I'm worth more in pesos

via pharyngula

I am worth $1,336,010 on HumanForSale.com

Friday, April 07, 2006

"Colasisi" in Camiguin

Crossposting this YahooNews item from greenjournal. It concerns the discovery of two new species of animal in Camiguin. According to the article
"A brightly plumaged parrot and a long-tailed forest mouse unique to the Philippines have been discovered in the vanishing rainforest of a tiny tropical island"
The parrot and the mouse were discovered in the Philippine island of Camiguin, an island known here as a tourist destination. The discovery was surprising because forest cover in the island has been reduced to 18 percent.

It was doubly surprising because the discovered
"new species of parrot was known to locals because of its value in the pet trade. The bird's throat and thighs are bright blue and the top of its head and tail are brilliant scarlet-orange."
The parrot is known among locals as "Colasisi." I would not have believed that a speices, wildly known in a local setting can be "unknown" in a world-wide setting that it becomes news when the "world" hears aboout it.

The other new species discovered was a

"mouse, discovered high on the steep slopes of one of the island's volcanoes, was new to locals.

The rusty-brown rodent, known as Apomys camiguinensis, has large eyes and ears and feeds mostly on insects and seeds"
This news, also stressed by the news story, highlights the significance of our islands and our forests in sheltering endemic, one of a kind species.

A note of warning for foreigners, "Colasisi" or Kulasisi, may be the local name of the bird, but it is also a term for "mistress". So be careful when talking to Filipinos, do not indiscriminately ask to see a kulasisi, you might just get one. :)

p.s.

This story was also carried today by the PDI.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Fantasy NBA Playoff

Finished first in my Yahoo Fantasy Head to Head League and is now in the playoffs. I am leading 8-1 so I am ecstatic. But I am afraid this will be the zenith of my teams achievements so I am posting this now while I am ahead. The scores are very close and I may lose at any moment.

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As you can see of the 9 categories, 5 ( 3pts made, pts made, rebounds, assists, and TO) are very closely contested. I have a comfortable lead in steals but my lead in Blks, FT% and FG% can still be overcome.

My present team consists of

J. Nelson (Orl - PG)
B. Wells (Sac - SG)
G. Arenas (Was - PG)
A. Harrington (Atl - SF,PF)
Ke. Thomas (Sac - PF)
J. Childress (Atl - SG,SF)
J. Foster (Ind - PF,C)
S. Dalembert (Phi - C)
G. Wallace (Cha - SG,SF)
C. Anthony (Den - SF)
J. Terry (Dal - PG)
D. Nowitzki (Dal - PF)
S. Battier (Mem - SF)

While his team is composed of

S. Parker (LAL - PG,SG)
M. Peterson (Tor - SG,SF)
J. Johnson (Atl - PG,SG,SF)
D. Granger (Ind - SF,PF)
A. McDyess (Det - PF)
R. Gomes (Bos - SF,PF)
A. Bogut (Mil - PF,C)
J. Przybilla (Por - C)
S. Nash (Pho - PG)
L. Hughes (Cle - SG)
J. Tinsley (Ind - PG)
B. Diaw (Pho - SG,SF,PF,C)
L. Wright (Mem - C)

If my team does pull through, this will be another surprise in a very surprising season. For most of the year, I did not pay attention to this team because I was busy with my roto team. I was pleasantly surprised that this team finished first, and the credit goes mostly to lady luck.

I did not prepare for the draft and Yahoo auto-drafted for me. I must get credit though for getting Wallace, Nelson, Dalembert and others from the Free Agent pool but the real keys to the winning season are Arenas, Nowitzki and Anthony.

Hope I get as lucky next year.

Update (April 11, 2006)

Won my Playoff match 7-1 and is now starting the championship match.