Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hitchens - free speech

Saw this from Dispatches from the Culture Wars with this terrific quote
"Now to this proud record they can add that they finally had the courage finally to face their past and lock up a British historian who’s committed no crime except that of thought and writing. And that’s a scandal. And I can’t find a seconder usually when I propose this, but I don’t care. I don’t need a seconder. My own opinion is enough for me and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, at any time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get on line and kiss my ass."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

In a better place

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

Remembering Hitchens

I join a lot of people today who mourn the death of Christopher Hitchens,  he influenced a lot of people and like all good writers made me jealous of his gift.  Like a lot of people outside of the US and Britain, I only grew aware of Hitchens' existence with the advent of the internet,  before that, I did not have any means to read his writing.  Fittingly enough, I first became aware of him because of his pro-Iraq war writing.

As a Filipino,  I was against the 2nd Iraq war because my country has been subject to the US routinely running roughshod over the sovereignty of the Philippines.  So,  the protection of every nation's sovereignty is very important to me.  Hitchens' argument for the war though is different from those of Bush and co.,  he was arguing that if we as people want to protect the human rights of Iraqi's, the best method will be to remove Saddam. 

I liked that Hitchens presented a different framework for viewing the Iraq war.  I love people who challenges my perception of the world.  He did this and did it with such masterful use of words.

He will be missed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Good luck to the ICC

Normally, I would like to see Sen. Santiago out as soon as possible, but right now, I would rather she exit the Senate after the RH bill is passed.

I don't understand lawyers

This PDI story quotes IBP general counsel Ramon Esguerra saying

"We still hear the call to oust the Chief Justice, and to a certain extent, the other appointees of the former President… We view the populist move for the ouster as mob-inspired and… with some reservations, as… extraconstitutional."

I can't understand how using verbal reproach and now impeachment which are both constitutional make the ouster call for the Chief Justice extraconstitutional.

Monday, December 12, 2011

On the Supreme Court

Mas gusto ko nga na harapan ang pagtuligsa ni Pangulong Noynoy sa supreme court kesa yung mga patagong pag-impluwensiya na hindi natin nalalaman kung ano ang kapalit.

Catholic hypocrisy

This comes from the same editorial from my previous post but is a different point so I wanted its own post.  The editorial states that
"The Church, in its understanding, is guarding persons with homosexual inclinations from “unjust discrimination” and from a lifestyle rife with psychological harm and a host of sexually-transmitted diseases; a lifestyle which wrecks families and marriages, and which, if followed unrepentantly, entails the forfeiture of eternal life."
They discriminate against gays because the gay lifestyle wrecks families and marriages.  Yet the catholic mass media award gave a lifetime achievement award to Ramon Revilla a self confessed Lothario who has sired an unknown number of children with an unknown number of women.  If the catholic church was really serious about this supposed campaign against lifestyles that wreck families and marriages, they would have shunned Ramon Revilla and everybody from Philippine showbiz who behaves like he does.  But they don't, they give them awards.

Catholic church is for equality, unless you're gay 2

From the wow can they think like this department comes another excuse from the catholic church on why they should be able to continue to discriminate against people they don't like.
No. 2358 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

“The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”
In other words, the church accepts gays with respect, compassion and sensitivity in their catechism, in real life they treat gays us less than human who does not deserve the same rights as everybody else.

look, even if we accept their premise, that gayness is a disorder,  why should they not treat gay people equally as everybody else?  Being blind, deaf, or or any other physical incapacity is also a disorder,  and the catholic church agrees that they should be treated equally.

There is no logical reason for the church position on gay people,  the only real reason is their interpretation of a book that tells them to treat gays as less than human.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Abstinence does not work

Probe sought on erring priest

This is a story that proves even the catholic church knows that abstinence does not work. Even if the priest is proven innocent, the fact that they are initiating a probe into his action proves that they think he could have done it. If priests cannot maintain sexual abstinence why should they expect ordinary people to. As Monsignor Binghay of the Cebu archdiocese puts it:
"People in the church commit mistakes, whether small or grave.” he said.
It is high time the catholic church face reality and minister to the needs of their flock, not to an unattainable ideal.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Now everybody knows I watched too much Sesame Street

"In a recent segment, Fox News decried the latest Muppet movie for depicting a wealthy oilman as a villain, thereby indoctrinating a generation of children into the Marxist movement."
via ScreenJunkies

Executive vs Judiciary vs Legislative

There is a lot of talk about a constitutional crisis because of the feud/enmity between the President and the Supreme court.  Impeachment proceedings are supposed to be filed against the Chief Justice.  Personally, as long as the all the branches of government use the prescribed constitutional methods in their feud,  I don't see why a constitutional crisis should arise.

Catholic church is for equality, unless you're gay

or a woman.  

CBCP wants anti-discrimination bill cleansed of provisions on gay rights
"Ronald Reyes, a lawyer of the CBCP, said they had no qualms about the bill before but became concerned when the bill was amended and “sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity” were included.

“It’s opening the door for same sex marriages, which our country doesn’t allow,” Reyes told reporters."
 Which is a stupid thing to say, since if you are correct and this bill allows gay marriage, then you're argument that the country does not allow gay marriage is moot.

And of course Atty. Imbong, has to speak up too
"Another CBCP lawyer Jo Imbong said the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender) should not be considered the same as the elderly, the handicapped, and the poor."
Because of course gays are not people like the elderly, the handicapped and the poor.  What about elderly, handicapped or poor gays?  Would people be allowed to discriminate against them too?  But no,  for Atty Imbong, people should be allowed to discriminate against gays because
"“These people are disadvantaged not by their own choice. But the third sex, they choose this. How can you give protection to a choice like that?” Imbong said."
Which of course would mean that Atty. Imbong is pushing for the removal of religion from among those protected by the bill since people also choose their own religion.  Right?  Right Atty. Imbong?  But in the end, Atty. Imbong goes to the heart of their objection to the bill.  It's because the Catholic church want to discriminate against people they don't like.
"The bill would hinder the Church from teaching what it believed to be right or wrong, Imbong said."
It's fun pointing out the hypocrisy of the CBCP,  but as I tried to research more on this subject,  I found out some disturbing news. 
  1. I can't find a copy of the bill, the closes one is the one filed by Sen. Legarda without the amendments approved by the Senate that are being objected to by the CBCP.
  2. But in her sponsorship speech in the Senate, Sen. Legards had this example as a punishable act under the bill.
    "To give teeth to this measure, a person who is found guilty--for instance, of the act of a media personality using the name of an ethnic group in a joke for a television program--shall serve between nine months and twelve years in prison, and/or will be obliged to pay between Php100,000 to Php500,000."
    This is patently an anti freedom of expression law.  I can understand prohibiting discrimination when it comes to employment opportunities, but jokes?
  3. Also from the sponsorship speech is this little gem.
    "We must strive to transform our society into an open-minded and sensitive community where no child is subjected to name-calling because of his distinct looks;"
    WTF,  how do you even think you can do this?

Maybe it's just Loren Legarda,  maybe the Supreme Court will strike down this patently anti-speech provision in the law if it ever comes to pass.  But as it is, I have this suspicion that this bill, if it becomes law, will only be used by religious bigots like Atty. Imbong to crackdown on the critics of the catholic church.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Another Billy Ray Bates article

As a Crispa fan,  I will always remember Billy Ray Bates as vital cog in getting that 2nd grand slam.  This article however speculates that he may have been better off, if he did not play in the Philippines.

"There was no way Bates could maintain an NBA career while slipping into full-blown alcoholism. So what did he do? Get clean, pull himself together, and take another shot at the big leagues? Nope. By the looks of things, he found a place where he could keep playing without giving up the bottle. That place was the Philippines. In the PBA, Bates's talent was so overwhelming that he probably could have played in a drunken stupor and averaged 30 points per game. By most accounts, he always dried out before tip-off. His career average of 46 points per game is the highest of any PBA player, import or local, and Bates will probably always be remembered as the best import in league history. Throughout the '80s, he was a superstar in the Philippines, one of the nation's most famous and infamous ballers, whose legacy lives on today.

In the same breath, coming to Manila could be considered one of the worst things that ever happened to Bates. In the Philippines, all of Bates's self-destructive habits were enabled, if not encouraged. He could score at will, average almost 50 points a game, and be worshiped by a nation of devotees who treated his ability to put the ball in the hoop like it was proof of the divine. And here's the clincher: Bates never had to quit drinking. Time would eventually catch up with him, but for a few wild years in the mid-1980s, he had found his proverbial free lunch. Catastrophe could wait."
 On the other hand,  his stature as a hero in the Philippines is probably a large reason why the AirAsia Philippine Patriots hired him as a skills coach and he seems to be doing ok.  The Philippines may have been instrumental in his road to alcoholism but it may still be able to help him stay sober and into a better life.