Sunday, December 30, 2007

Power of the Mob

I'm a regular digg reader, I have found it to be an important source of information and mostly credible, yet you can still find inaccurate submissions in there. One of the measures digg uses to flag inaccurate submissions is to let the its readers flag the submission as possibly inaccurate, and this method has more or less worked. But supporters of Presidential candidate Ron Paul has really screwed up the system.

They seem to only care about whether a story is good for the image of their candidate so they try to bury negative stories about their candidate. The most recent story is this one where The Information Paradox links to a YouTube video where Ron Paul says he does not accept the theory of evolution. Anybody who watches the clip will hear him say those words categorically yet, his supporters maybe because they cannot bury the story has labeled the story as "possibly inaccurate."

How juvenile can you get? Your candidate says the words himself in the video how much more accurate can you get?

And if these are the kinds of supporters a candidate has, what can we think of the candidate himself?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

High School Reunion


The St. James Academy, Malabon Metro Manila batch 1986 will be having a reunion today, December 29, 2007. Frankly, I was not interested in attending the reunion but the friends that I did make in those years persuaded me to attend.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Worth Dying For

20 some years ago, Benigno Aquino Jr., a former Senator and opposition leader of the Philippines returned to our country with the goal of re-establishing a democratic government. He lasted less than an hour on Philippine soil before assassins killed him.

This year, Benazir Bhutto,two time Prime Minister of Pakistan returned to her native land to try and re-establish Democracy in her country. She lasted several months before an assassin killed her yesterday.

They both knew that it was a possibility that they will be assassinated once they return to their native lands, but they persisted. In the words of Benigno Aquino, Jr. the "Filipino is worth dying for". Pakistani's, for Benazir Bhutto are also worth dying for.

Ms. Bhutto was killed by a suicide bomber, to the bomber however, he was dying not for his people, but for his religion. And that is a tragedy, Ms. Bhutto and Mr. Aquino died trying to give people more freedom, the bomber was trying to take away people's freedom.

Filipino's as a response to Mr. Aquino's heroism rose up and rejected the dictatorship of President Marcos. I can only hope that the people of Pakistan will also draw strength and inspiration from Ms. Bhutto's heroism to reject religious fundamentalism and dictatorship and establish a truly democratic society.

Rally sa Manila Pen

Ayon sa abugado ni Senador Trillanes, hindi daw rebelyon ang ginawa nina Senador Trillanes sa pag-okupa ng Manila Peninsula, eto daw ay isa lamang rally. Kung sa isang rally ay tipikal na nagdadala ng baril ang mga sumasama at nakikipagbarilan sa mga pulis.

Di ba? Kala ko matapang si Senador Trillanes, hindi pala niya kayang pangatawanan ang kanyang mga aksyon. Kala ko galit sila sa mga legal maneuverings ng mga politiko at mayayaman na may mga kaso, ganun din pala ang gagawin niya.


Criticizing Priests

Jose Rizal notwithstanding, criticizing priests in the Philippines is rarely done. Criticizing politicians however is always done. But what happens when a politician is also a priest? Apparently, you criticize the politician for being a priest.

The PDI reports that
"A civil society group that has turned critical of Governor Eddie Panlilio has asked Pampanga Archbishop Paciano Aniceto to inform Catholics and Christians in the province on the status of Panlilio, a priest, in the Roman Catholic Church."
They are now trying to ascertain whether Governor Panlilio is still a priest or whether he can return to the priesthood after his term of office. The article does not mention however, what the heck is their problem with Governor Panlilio . Is he a corrupt Governor? Is he inept? How does his priesthood affect negatively his performance in office?

Without details, this is just an ad hominem attack on Governor Panlilio for being a priest.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pakistan' Benazir Bhutto killed

News coming in that Benazir Bhutto has been killed by suicide bomber. At least 10 other people also killed at the same time.

read more | digg story

Monday, December 24, 2007

Pro Thaksin Party Wins Thai Elections

story from the PDI

The obvious questions are:

Can Thaksin actually return to power in Thailand?
What will the generals do if he does?
What can Thaksin do to the generals if he does?

But the most interesting part of the story to me is this the description of the Chart Thai party:
"The party is known popularly as "the eel" because of its history of slippery alliances based more on political convenience than ideology."
Who the heck votes for a party that is known for acts on political convenience rather than ideology? Most Philippine parties are actually like that but at least they pay lip service to being pro poor and pro-Filipino. How does a party like that campaign?

I think were missing something that will make Chart Thai's role in Thai politics more intelligible.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Church logic

A survey shows that 77% of Filipino Catholics found nothing wrong with using condoms, especially in preventing the spread of STDs. How will the Catholic Church leaders respond? By spewing stupidity. First there's the non sequitur of citing moral law.
“Surveys favoring contraceptives will not alter the Church’s position and insistence in teaching the objective moral laws regarding the dignity of human life and family,”
like moral law has ever stopped anyone determined to sin. Then they tried to poison the well.
"Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, the CBCP spokesperson, called the survey “deceptive,” saying that it was done to “fit their own agenda.”"
So what? As Senator Osmena answered when asked if he commissioned the Pulse Asia survey that labeled President Arroyo as the most corrupt President of the Philippines ever, "Yes. Any problem?" Or as the Executive Director of Pulse Asia responded "The results are independent of who commissioned it,". If there are any criticisms, it should be specific to the survey itself. Were the questions asked leading questions? Were the distribution of the respondents random? etc.

Then theres this bizarre quote position
"“Life begins in the womb. How can you become pro-life if you kill a baby?” said Quitorio."
I just don't know how to begin answering this statement. Should I point out that according to Catholic teachings, God forgives so that one may kill a baby and still be pro-life. Or that according to the bible, God has commanded many babies to be killed, which makes God pro-choice? There is also the problem of sin of omission and commission, if you can prevent the death of someone but did not act, that is still a sin, and a sin that according to Catholic doctrine is on par with abortion. Of course, according to my theology teacher in high school, just thinking about a sinful act is the same as committing the act itself. :)

But the worst part is the outright lie.
"Quitorio said condoms could not stop the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus which causes the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS.

He cited the case of Thailand, where the widespread use of condoms did not stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

“Like in Thailand, they’re using it but AIDS is still proliferating,” said Quitorio."
Ok, let's be generous and say it was a misinformed statement. But he is the spokesperson for the largest religion in the Philippines, he should at least read something on the mater before pontificating on it. According to
"There are very few developing countries in the world where public policy has been effective in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS on a national scale, but Thailand is an exception. A massive programme to control HIV has reduced visits to commercial sex workers by half, raised condom usage, decreased the prevalence of STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) dramatically, and achieved substantial reductions in new HIV infections. 1

Thailand, though, is also a reminder that success can be relative. Its well funded, politically supported and comprehensive prevention programmes have saved millions of lives, reducing the number of new HIV infections from 143,000 in 1991 to 19,000 in 2003. 2 Nonetheless, more than one-in-100 adults in this country of 65 million people is infected with HIV, and AIDS has become a leading cause of death. 3

Unless past efforts are sustained and new sources of infection are addressed, the striking achievements made in controlling the epidemic could now be put at risk. Factors such as an increase in risky sexual behaviour and a rising number of STI cases have led to concerns that Thailand could face a resurgence of HIV and AIDS in coming years. The government has decreased funding for AIDS prevention programmes significantly, and there are signs that public awareness is waning. Complacency - among both the government and the public – poses a real threat to the fight against AIDS in Thailand. 4"
So, condom use is not the problem why AIDS cases are again rising in Thailand, its complacency by the Government and the the people themselves. The anti-HIV program in Thailand has been so successful that people seem to have forgotten the lessons learned in the 1990's. This assessment is echoed by Time Magazine.
"Several factors have contributed to the worsening trends. "We have become complacent," says Mechai Viravaidya, (a.k.a. Mr. Condom), a senator and the principle architect of Thailand's successful anti-AIDS program of the 1990s. "People think because they can't see HIV anymore that we have it kicked, and they are taking risks again." Following the Asia-wide economic crash of 1997, successive Thai governments have slashed budgets for prevention programs to less than half their 1997 levels. Condom funding is down, education programs in schools have ended, and the media campaign has all but disappeared. Meanwhile, other avenues of infection—such as drug users sharing needles and men having sex with other men—have been largely ignored.

And in an understandable but no less ironic twist of fate, the advent of effective anti-HIV drugs has lulled folks at all levels of society into dropping their guard against HIV—just as it did in the U.S. and other countries. "This government has done a good job on treatment and care," says Dr. Praphan Phanupak of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. "But they have to get back into prevention. There needs to be a balance [between treatment and prevention] if you want to contain this virus.""
HIV/AIDS has been largely contained. The new AIDS drugs can prolong the life of an infected person, we can also say the same thing for some cancers, but we still would not want people to be afflicted with them. Condom can prevent a young person from contracting AIDS, not approving it's use is a sin.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Terry Pratchett, the author of the Discworld series of novels was diagnosed with early
onset Alzheimer's


Thanks to Pharyngula

Trillanes the Trapo

Newsbreak reports that when Sen. Trillanes was campaigning, he promised not to avail of pork barrel funds and has just broken that campaign pledge.

"Just more than a month ago, Senator Trillanes broke that campaign pledge.

He asked for the release of P100 million of his pork barrel, citing projects that included help for poor patients and infrastructure. His lawyer and chief of staff Reynaldo Robles confirmed that Trillanes indeed made that request despite a previous declaration that he would not touch his pork. He changed his mind, Robles said, upon the advice of “people from the Senate, his consultants, and myself.” If he didn’t use it, Robles reasoned out, somebody would.

Surely Trillanes knew that long before he was elected senator, that if he didn’t use his pork somebody would? What was he thinking when he made that campaign pledge, that he could justify breaking it as long as the situation called for it? For that seems to be his emerging track record now, justifying everything—including a sloppy tactical plan at The Pen—as long as he felt that the situation called for it."
Note: I am not saying that pork barrel allocations or using pork barrel funds is bad. I think there are valid arguments for allowing pork barrel allocations. I'm just sick of people basically using pork barrel allocations as the symbol of all that is wrong in Philippine politics, yet use them when they are elected into office. If they are wrong per se, then, even if you are doing good projects, then you are contributing to a higher evil.

PBA in Action

Read this great article about Rosell Ellis and the PBA via ESPN's TrueHoop blog
"Basketball is the only professional team sport in the Philippines and plays an enormous role in society. A basketball court, along with an outdoor market, a Catholic church, and a municipal hall, is a hallmark of every town plaza in the archipelago. Even against the starkest odds, Filipinos find ways to play the game. They cut, slide, pivot, and leap in flip-flops or bare feet. They attach wire rims to rusty car hoods and lash the homemade backboards onto coconut trees.

PBA players are as famous as movie stars and politicians; in fact, after they retire from playing ball, they often become one or the other. On the surface, Ellis' life as an import in this hoops-obsessed nation is sweet. The Alaska franchise provides Ellis with an apartment, a maid, a car, and a driver. He makes more money in a month than most Filipino families earn in a year. When fans spot him in malls and restaurants, they call him "idol," ask for high fives and autographs, and take photos with him.

Notoriety feels good once you're used to it. Although African Americans have been in the Philippines since some arrived as soldiers in the Philippine-American War at the end of the 19th century, tall black athletes in Manila are still exotic. Upon seeing Ellis, people occasionally act like visitors at a petting zoo. When he wanders through the aisles of one of Manila's labyrinthine flea markets, browsing for pirated DVDs or knockoff designer clothes, people wait for him to turn his back, then run behind him to measure their heights. The boldest among them reach up to feel his hair, an object of endless fascination among straight-haired Filipinos."
Now I wish I did not stop watching PBA games.

Nakuha sa E-mail

  1. They were only gonna stay for a 'short time' anyway
  2. Bishop Labayen and Fr. Robert Reyes could have heard **confessions
  3. They could have wet the towels in the jacuzzi to combat tear gas
  4. There are no wedding receptions in Victoria Court. Only honeymoons.
  5. It always has more people than Manila Pen
  6. The APC won't know which garage to park
  7. The ceiling mirrors would have thrown off the raiding party.
  8. ABS-CBN could have done an episode of XXX and The Buzz while covering the coup
  9. 'What happens in Victoria Court stays in Victoria court

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Traveler IQ Challenge

Atheista pimped this game in his site. I used to like looking at maps so I thought I'd try it. I only got to level 10 with 357,004 pts and a Traveler IQ of 110. Atheista did so much better.

This Traveler IQ challenge is brought to you by the Web's Original Travel Blog

Monday, December 03, 2007


In a previous post on the Manila Peninsula fiasco, I wrote
"Conspiracy Theory: Maybe Sen. Trillanes is actually in cahoots with the President so they can impose their creeping Martial Law."
Now I find out that, no matter how absurd the conspiracy theory is, some people will be thinking it. Former Commodore Rex Robles today opined that:
"Problema dito sa ginagawa ni Sonny Trillanes nagmumukha kampi siya ng Malacañang. Hindi natin alam kung ano ang totoo kasi gagalaw siya ng galaw na napakahina tapos lalabas na malakas sa Malacanang (The problem with the way Sonny Trillanes's acted was he looked like he was with Malacañang. We don't really know what's the truth because he carried out a weak plot, which made Malacañang
look stronger),"
Kaya ang tanong niya ay
"So our question now is which side Trillanes is really with. Is he really Gloria Arroyo's enemy or ally?"
This theory trumps Sen. Trilanes' own conspiracy theory that National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and AFP Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon were behind the Glorietta blast. :)

Disjointed Thinking

Media people are so full of it. I know that I've been harping about Philippine media's sense of entitlement these past couple of days but they're just so arrogant.

Look at what Amando Doronilla wrote today.
"The mutineers surrounded themselves with media people, all aching to report a good story. Trillanes and Lim used them as shields. They knew the media shield provided them immunity from violence. They knew that government forces could not assault them without slaughtering media people. That would have provoked international outrage against the Arroyo administration."
He recognized that Trillanes and Lim used the media people covering their fiasco as human shields yet, he concluded that.
"The charge that media people were obstructing police operations does not wash and is a poor excuse."
If media people were being used as human shields so that "government forces could not assault (Lim and Trillanes)... then how can you say that "media people obstructing police operations does not wash?"

And then he makes what almost all the media people I've read and heard have argued.
"Their official IDs should be sufficient to identify media people. They should not be subjected to political loyalty test. This restriction is unwarranted and unacceptable, a breach of journalistic freedom and responsibility to serve the public right to know."
Which is just a plea for special treatment because they are media people. They were witnesses, possible accomplices, what were the police supposed to do. Take their word for it? Would the media countenance the police taking the word of anybody else? Would that be good police work?

The Art of BS: How to Succeed on Papers & Essays

I’ve decided to provide a few tips (ten) I’ve learned when writing essays or papers. My tips may not ensure you get that A, but they should help you improve your grade. At the very least, these tips should help you to not fail. Remember, there’s no substitute for actually knowing the material.

read more | digg story

Chilean Prostitute Auctions 27 Hours of Sex for Charity

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A Chilean prostitute has auctioned 27 hours of sex to raise money for the country's largest charity during an annual fund-raising campaign. Maria Carolina became an overnight celebrity in the conservative Roman Catholic country, making news headlines and appearing on talk shows since she made her unusual donation.

read more | digg story