Monday, February 28, 2005

DOUBLE WHAMMY FOR DEMOCRACY

I was stuck to news on cable television on Saturday watching out for updates concerning the recent sojourn of U.S. President George W. Bush into Europe. In most recent memory, there has never been a trip by a Head of State of any country that was as eventful and action-packed as this one. Consider this; Bush’s latest trek across the Atlantic had started with his beseeching of the European Union's plan to lift their arms embargo against China and was topped later on by a seemingly intense exchange between him and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on the issue of how democracy in the former U.S.S.R. should be carried on. Apparently, Bush was taking Putin’s handling of democracy in Russia by the horn and reminding him of international complaints against Putin’s recent crackdown on independent media and Russia’s reported sales of arms to Syria. I wonder why President Bush did not mention anything about Russia’s multi-billion arms trade with the Red Dragon, China?

All in all, what caught the most of my attention on that TV news surfing was the moment when President Putin spoke in front of media while Bush was along side him. He said, “Russia chose democracy fourteen years ago. There can be no return to what we used to have before”. Although he made clear that the Russian people had discovered democracy on its own accord and not by any outside influence or pressure.

Hurray for democracy, I say. Have you had any memory of a time when any Russian leader admitted categorically that the former U.S.S.R. is now practicing democracy? I have no remembrance of any that is why Putin’s recent pronouncement have put the final nail in the coffin and at last, it can now be said in absolute terms that communism failed in that part of the world. This is for me both momentous and historic. And democracy wins big this time.

On another front, somewhere in the western part of Africa, the military-backed president of the remotely-known country of Togo, Faure Gnassingbe, has just announced that he would be stepping down from his post to give way for the holding of a presidential election there. Now this is a class act. Despite the ugly circumstances surrounding Gnassingbe’s resignation, still it is unheard of in any part of the world. You can say that Joseph Estrada had also stepped down from his executive post but it had to take the betrayal of almost all his officers and henchmen before he finally said quits. President Fujimori of Peru had the same move but he had to leave his country immediately or face certain extinction.

The Togo experience is a little more sublime than any other political sacrifice that we all have heard recently. On February 5 this year, Faure Gnassingbe became president of Togo after the military put him into the "throne" shortly after his father’s death, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who by the way had ruled the small west African state for almost 38 years.

When African Union protested this highly undemocratic institution of Gnassingbe, and after the impositions of economic and social sanctions against Togo by said the union, as well as pressures from the United States and a number of European countries, Gnassingbe decided to step down to give way for a popular voting of the president. He would be one of the candidates in the said upcoming election. Knowing Africa and the character of most of the despots who have ruled the states there, we would have expected extreme antagonism before any resignation happens and possibly, bloody fighting among its people.

But despite Gnassinbe’s military backing, he decided to step down and fight his own battle in the tarmac of a more valid form of institution and that is, by popular election.

Again (considering how African politics usually end up), things may still go so wrong after all in Togo like when heavy fighting mars the upcoming election or if the military takes over later on, yet still I say, that even as we speak, Gnassingbe’s move of stepping down from what appeared to be his birthright (in the light of the queer state of African politics), was a class act by itself and another huge winner for democracy in the world. Maybe some of our congressmen and government executives besieged by BIR’s exploration of their hidden wealth can learn a thing or two from Mr. Gnassingbe.

If we reset the score now, we can say, “two for democracy and zero for socialism”.
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Saturday, February 26, 2005

ONLY IF OUR POLICE GET THEIR WARES

Apparently, Gen. Aglipay's words are stronger than stone when he said that the police have a tight case against former lawmaker but now criminal suspect Dennis Roldan. What they've got is perhaps one of the most incontrovertible evidence that could ever be had and that is a videotape showing Roldan together with the 3 year old victim. The video also pins down a certain Suzzette Huang as a conspirator to this ever-despicable crime. Either Roldan and his cohorts were just plain stupid and dim-witted or our police has lately become the more effective force that they ought to be, is something we should see later as the case progresses on. Whatever there might be, what we got here is a real tight-lidded case against Roldan. Only the most arcane of explanation could save the culprits, like for example if Roldan would claim as an alibi that they were just shooting a movie with him and the boy as actors in it.

See Philippine Daily Inquirer Story Here.

In my mind, what we see is something ideal. Something our society could get only if our police force get their proper equipments like video cameras, faster mobiles, reliable communication gadgets, computers, and the likes. Once I visited to a nearby police station in order to verify some suspect’s records and what I saw in the investigation department cubicle was a rotting steel cabinet and one record book with its cover torn and fading. I felt I was in a dirty comfort room than in a government office. My gosh, no wonder they could not grab the criminals as often as we want them to. Only if Congress could see to this and re-examine the crap that our police force get. Or perhaps, they could examine where the money allotted for the purchase of police equipments goes.

We may hire and recruit more and more young men and women into the force just in order to maintain that healthy policeman per block ratio but what we are forgetting is that if our policemen do not get the modern equipments that can make them fairly effective, in a time and age when kidnappers and drug dealers have more nifty gadgets than them, then we may just be contented with a successful police work once in a while similar to the Roldan case, or what it could possibly be.

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Bullying Eagle, Cunning Dragon and A Losing Bear

Among other concerns that U.S. President George W. Bush is harking about while he is in Europe this week is his government’s ardent opposition to European Union’s plan to lift the arms embargo it maintains with China.

Right now, countries from the European Union could not sell their fighter planes and submarines to China even if the latter has one of the highest military budgets in the whole world. At $150 Billion worth of war marbles, China easily becomes a temptation difficult to resist. With this, EU have started to send some signals that it is willing to oppose the United States as it plans to lift the arms embargo on China.

The embargo came to exist after the Tiananmen Massacre incident in 1993. At present, China sources its arms from Israel and Russia. I wonder why the United States is mum on the involvement of these two countries with China considering that some of the weapons produced by Israel are advanced-grade war materials such as drones.

The whole point of EU’s recent inclination towards lifting the arms ban is that it wants to fully normalize its relation with one of the most important country in the world, especially economic wise. European leaders are worried that China may feel so sour over their continued arms embargo and may not allow many European sellers to peddle their cars and cell phones within their shores.

I guess EU leaders had a point. Europe also wants to sell perfumes, and jeans and bottled water to the increasingly becoming the biggest consumer market in the world. They may be left out from the main event of global economics.

The United States is continually opposed to the idea of free flowing of arms trade between Europe and China, fearing that the balance of power between China and Taiwan will all the more become tipped over to the side of the Red Dragon nation, and this may become a cause for more tension in the area.

Questions remain. If despite of the ban China can still sourced their arms necessity from Russia, Israel and some other countries (some British arms companies have found a way to circumvent the ban), then would the E.U. arms embargo really makes a difference?

Does the E.U. embargo really improve the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait region? I mean, isn’t it already tipped over to the side of the ever-powerful China even now as we speak?

U.S. bullies but China remain cunning in sourcing their war imports from Russia and Israel. And the European Union may end up becoming the losing bear in this protracted endgame between the East and the West.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Bush Further Involves NATO in Iraq. U.S. Involvement Does Not End With An Election After All.

ON Tuesday, U.S. President George W. Bush met with leaders of NATO-member countries to discuss “future alliance in Iraq”. This development proves only one thing and that is, U.S. involvement in Iraq shall remain long after the outcome of the January 30 elections that was held there.

See Chicago Tribune News Report Here.

In connection with the above stated development, Heads of State and Government of the 26-nation North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are set to convene on a summit to be held today, February 22 in Brussels to discuss future involvement of the transatlantic body in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans region.

This report would lead observers to ponder upon the significance of the Iraqi Elections. Was it held merely for show? Will the U.S. Military aim to put a rigid clamp on Iraq through a puppet administration?

We are reminded easily that there was a widespread call, especially within the United Nations, that U.S. Military should make a clean pullout from Iraq in the earliest possible time and pull out cleanly. As a response to this insistent clamor, the first popular voting in Iraq was held for the first time ever since we could remember.

Now we realize, George is not yet done with Iraq after all.

The extended entry of NATO to the Iraq scene may complicate matters considering that many European countries that are members of the expanded 1949 treaty have nothing to do with the conflict in the first place and what is apparent to this move would be the flight of NATO away from its original purpose of joint defense and cooperation. NATO was formed by the United States and a handful of European states in 1949 with the aim of thwarting any possibility of threat in the Atlantic region, from such perceived threat of a Hitler-like juggernaut and from the communist bloc headed by the now defunct U.S.S.R. If NATO steps into the Iraq dilemma of President Bush, it will be contradicting itself in the face and wide in front of the eyes of keen world observers.

To think, there is one messy side to this plan of a more NATO involvement. Turkey is a NATO member while at the same time it has existing claims over some oil-rich territories in northern Iraq. In essence, a territorial dispute exists between Iraq and Turkey. If NATO comes deep into the fray, would it not be serving a unique interest of its own member?

The transatlantic community serious involvement in Iraq may matters worst and hideous divisions may grow that could impel long-lasting antagonism between the West represented by the United States and NATO countries on one side and the East represented by countries like Iraq, Iran and China on another.

The United States and NATO should not be thinking of “future alliance” in Iraq. Instead, it should find a way on how to come out from Iraq and come clean real fast.

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Monday, February 21, 2005

A Historic Pullout of Israel, Yet Peace Remains Fragile.

Yesterday, the Israel cabinet finally backed the initiative of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to pull out completely Israeli settlements from the Gaza Strip. He said in a speech that this was the hardest thing for him to do. Mr. Sharon said, "But the decision I took today with my government was the hardest of all my career."

Seems like only yesterday when the Israeli government was pushing hard deep into Palestinian territory in order to partake of area it occupied out of the war it won in the 1960's. But now, they are making the opposite move. This is perhaps just the right move for them since these two steps backward would mean one step ahead in forging finally a most secured, unthreatened and permanent State of Israel.

Yet all is not well. Many skeptics in the Palestinian rank cried unfair compromise believeing that Sharon is offering pullout from the Gaza Strip as a hidden bait, while in the long run, it plans to keep or gain wider area in West Bank, a sort of a one-for-you-two for me deal.

Another hindrance may also arise if the Israeli parliament would later refuse to approve the needed budget that would fund this major pullout. If that happens, the Sharon's gambit of a major pullout from Palestinian territories may be stunted and result to nothing in the end.

Will peace finally come between the Palestinian people and Israel? What's On Your Mind?
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Sunday, February 20, 2005

TSUNAMI...What Do We Do With It?

Just this Saturday, another earthquake of 6.5 magnitude has hit Indonesia again. This time the jolt was spotted somewhere in Sulawesi, within the eastern region of Indonesia. We are lucky that the ramblings of the earth's core did not reach Tsunami scale this time around, because its epicenter is facing Pacific Ocean, which would have endangered our southern coasts.

No one could possibly forget that tsunami disaster just three months ago and everytime there are reported movements of the earth, we could not help but scurry and fear for what might happen. According to reports, Indonesia have been experiencing numerous aftershocks ever since that fateful day when hundreds of thousand of lives were taken by the vicious tide.

It makes me ask what exactly are we doing with this problem? We know that the United Nations has called for a world conference in Tokyo last January just to tackle the means and methods on how to deal with tsunami disasters in the future but have we heard what they have got to say? The outcome of the said conference was too general to comprehend and not sufficient to forewarn ordinary people on the things to do in case this sort of disaster happens again. Among their recommendation was, "to share weather data, formulate response strategies, and set up clean-up and relief funds". They may still be formulating the strategies when another disaster strikes.

In my view, these things must be done:

One: The government should identify the coastal areas most frequented by people.

Two: Put a warning system on the area. There is a Tsunami Alert System available.

Three: If the No. 2 suggestion is costly, put some sort of a cheaper warning system were a person assigned especially for this task could belch out in a loudspeaker about the oncoming danger. Of course, that person must have at least some radio contact from geological agencies such as PAGASA and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Four: Build a ultra-strong elevated platform that could carry hundreds of people. This is where the beach-goers could run if the disaster strikes.

Putting up the Tsunami Alert System may take at least two years and it is a little costly but areas like Boracay and Phuket, places that attracts visitors by the thousands, should have one. Let us remember, most of those who were saved from the tidal waves were people who happened to be in highly-elevated buildings when the water suddenly rose.

In Sri Lanka, most of those who perished were not beach-goers but people who were going about with their daily tasks. Apparently, the seawater strucked deep into the mainland. In these kind of places, the government in the area should put up a warning system that could be heard throughout the city, like a wailing siren with a distinctive sound. Continous education of the inhabitants is of course a major part of this simpler alert system.This could be put up also in low-lying cities like Manila, Cebu or Zamboanga.

I must admit that in the end, there is no amount of warning and preparation that could fight back the fear and devastation brought about by a deceitful disaster like tsunami but if we take enough precautions, any damage may be lessened quite extensively.

Every now and then, as I go to beaches and other low-lying areas, my mind searches for the question, "What would I do now if huge tidal waves suddenly strike the area from which i was standing?". Then my mind automatically looks for a high and strong concrete platform to which I can run to and seek refuge. So maybe, famous beaches should put that elevated concrete platform that could save many lives if such disaster happens. Like for example in Boracay.

What's On Your Mind?
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Friday, February 18, 2005

THE EXORCISTS...Not The Movie This Time Around.

THE EXORCISTS...Not The Movie This Time Around.

ROME - If you think some movies are just pure baloney, this bit of news would dispel that notion. We all know that the 1973 movie "The Exorcist" was based on a true to life account of certain Fr. Lankester Merrin, but have we really believed in such phenomenon as demons and satanic possession?

Another question is: Do we really believe in the power of exorcism?

Apparentlly, the Vatican had found itself with a dilemma recently when parishioners' demand for the service of exorcist had increased dramatically all over the world. Reports from the Los Angeles Times has shown that many people nowadays believe that they are being possessed by the devil and activities that glorifies satan such as drug addiction and cultism are on the rise.

To address the above predicament, more than 800 catholic priest trooped to Regina Apostolorum, a prestigious pontifical university in Rome, to study a course on exorcism. This is the first time that the Vatican had sanctioned such kind of study. Reportedly, one of the main technique to be learned there is how to distinguish a genuine demonic possession from various psychological affectation. This would mean that the priest must also learn a little of psychology.

Exorcism used to be prevalent in the early centuries after the death of Jesus Christ, but with the advance of science and knowldge as a whole, its relevance has waned tremendously until it had become relegated to a meaningless ritual that has no telling to any distress a patient or victim has. Whenever there is someone frothing in the mouth nowadays, medical people would just regard it as some form of mental malady. They say in science, everything could be explained by known scientific principles.

Yet, the demand and need for exorcist has in fact grown in most recent times while a growing number of people are worried that satanism is ever threatening in these modern world where some of our young are even adventurous enough to enter into satanistic cults. According to Reverend Christopher Barak, an attendee to the Vatican course on exorcism,"There are a lot more behaviors and lifestyles that are not of God. There's a lot of relativism. Whatever goes, goes. There's a big surge in New Age, pantheism, young people playing with satanism, a lot of drug use, black magic, psychics are so big, pornography, MTV. ... People are not searching for holiness."

I do not know if I can concur with Fr. Barak's words but to me, to believe in the existence of God is also to believe in the presence of Satan in this world.

I do not know also if I can fully believe in demonic possession and in exorcism for that matter, but when I was a child, I have witnessed some sort of unexplainable occurence when an old uncle of mine suddenly became frigid and sat in the middle of the living room and spoke in a voice that was not his---for it was the voice of a woman. I freaked out and run outdoors and did not know what happened next.

How about you? Do you believe in Satan?
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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

U.S. Military Unveils Robot Soldiers

U.S. Military Unveils Robot Soldiers

First we heard about "smart bombs". And now…

The United States Armed Forces is gearing up for the next level upgrade in armament. No, it’s not a new discovery of an atomic bomb-like weapon. They have just most recently perhaps realized the smartest thing to do in combat and warfare---send robots to the battlefield instead of humans.

In a most recent New York Times report, the U.S. military will sooner than expected roll down a new batch of robot soldiers as early as April of this year and people in the know have already started either glorifying the expediency of the idea or criticizing its grave consequences.

See New York Times Report Here: A New Model Army Soldier Rolls Closer to the Battlefield

Of course, as you read through this, one could not help but feel some sort of excitement about this new development especially when one is a movie addict who have seen "Star Wars" and "Terminator" more times than he had seen the sea.

The progenitors of this project justifies the huge cost of fielding a robot army in the future by rationalizing that robots can do more than human foot soldiers especially in terms of accuracy and ferocity of attack. Besides, any damage or lost to the army would have no human cost as a factor.

The detractors of the robot idea have one huge blaring protestation against it. They asked: What if a fleet of ultra-ferocious robots malfunction and go haywire and starts to shoot at buses and public buildings instead of enemy tanks and missiles. Besides, can the robot decide on its own with reasonable certainty whether to shoot or not shoot a person? Can it, without fail or mistake, distinguish who is the enemy who is the friend? Can the robot analyze information so well while processing the command of whether to shoot a person or not?

These questions remain to be completely unresolved by the robot soldier inventors. Maybe, the doomsday scenario painted in the movie "Terminator" may happen after all in the future that is not so distant from our present time.
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THE IRAQI ELECTION RESULTS: A PERFECT FORMULA FOR CIVIL WAR?

THE IRAQI ELECTION RESULTS: A PERFECT FORMULA FOR CIVIL WAR?

Unofficial results from the January 30 Iraqi Elections showed that the Shiite faction, under the United Islamic Alliance (UIA), have cornered a palpable plurality in the entire turnout of votes.
See CNN News Item Here...

Above results would only bring forth the assumption that most probably, the first President of Post-Enduring Freedom Iraq is a Shiite---one who is more attuned to the basic fundamentals of Islam than to the modern principles of democracy. Does it matter then if Iraq becomes under the hands of Shiite rulers? Well, consider this: Iran is the most prime example of a state governed by Shiite clerics and could you imagine democracy thriving in that country? Your guess might perhaps be as good as mine.

The election numbers showed that a little more than 50% of the voter went for Shiite-backed candidates with the Kurds and Sunni coalition slightly falling below the critical half-of-a-hundred percent pie. It goes to say that the next President, which will be chosen by the majority members of the soon-to-be-established Iraqi parliament, would be someone from the Shiite sector.

In my mind, this congregation of Shiite, Sunni and Kurds in the upcoming Iraqi parliament is like a convergence of lions and lambs; whichever are the lions or the lambs still remains to be seen. This is a very uncomfortable union, a fragile collaboration and perhaps a time bomb just waiting to explode. The outcome of the Iraqi election is like the perfect formula for a civil war. Not that I desire the tumults to come by but I greatly fear that more violence in Iraq will soon reign over this unlikely situation.

Historically, the space between the
Shiites and the Sunnis used to be so long ago merely anchored on the difference as to what members of the Caliphates was the true and anointed propagator of Islam, following in the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad, after he departed from this mortal world.

In theory and practice, the sea that divides the two Islamic sects mainly consists of the manner of prayers, the ceremonies celebrated and the rituals practiced.

But in actuality, the gap between the two factions is as wide as the Pacific Ocean.

The Shiites believes more strictly in observance of the fundamental tenets of Islam. Among others, they believe that religion and state should be treated as one and not as two separated and independent entities. On the other hand, members of the Sunni faction are more modern in point-of-view and highly adaptable to modern concepts of governance, most notably that of democracy. Approximately 90% of Muslims in the world, from Indonesia to Nigeria, including the Philippines, are of Sunni roots. Usually, one can easily tell if one is a Shiite or a Sunni by just looking at the wardrobe of the Muslim individual. The Shiite would be covered in heavy garment covering nearly the entire body while the Sunni wears the casual dress that ordinary western men put on.

You could say that the gap between the two may be at times likened to night and day.

I wonder how the U.S. Administration in Iraq could wisely maneuver the enactment of a constitution that has the characteristic of possibly reconciling the descent of democracy to Iraq and a government ruled by a Shiite majority. I am anxious that after the last U.S. soldier leave Iraq; there would be no more constitution to speak of, for the installed parliament may decide on its own the means and manners by which to run the government in Iraq. Shall we expect U.S. forces to stay in Iraq forever? Maybe not. Or maybe they can maintain a sufficient presence by putting up a huge military base in that country, just like what they did in Japan after World War 2.

Otherwise, the fragile convention of Shiites and Sunnis in the Iraqi parliament may explode into an ugly internal war. And as if this wasn’t enough, we must remember that the Kurds, who represents 20% of Iraq’s population, had separatist ambition in the past. If this is not the formula for civil war, then I do not know what it is.

We might ask: What should be done best?

This question is the hardest thing to answer, I must admit. As a practical measure, it can be suggested that the U.S. Administration in Iraq should stay there forever to prevent absolutely any violent power struggles. But this is exactly against sound wisdom and accepted norms in international law. This is modern-day colonialism that we all hate the more.

Or maybe, the Iraqi people should be let alone to decide for themselves what form of political path they really desire. If everything turns out ugly, then they only have themselves to blame and no one else.

What’s On Your Mind?
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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Will The Sex Bomb Girls Split-Up Soon?

On TV this weekend are less profound matters such as the reported split-up of the famous girl band/dance group The Sex Bomb Girls. The rumblings within the group are supposedly caused by jealousy among members based on discrepancies in take home pays (as if we are still surprised that these things happen) as well as who should be the main stars of the group. In the GMA Network’s showbiz talk show Star Talk on Saturday, main host Joey de Leon has added some color to the issue by castigating rival shows from the “other network” for interviewing members of the girl group when in fact they are not talents of said station. This particular tirade of Mr. De Leon had me scanning my mind for issues of press freedom and the public’s right for information. I was thinking that it was sort of absurd for TV stations to restrict interviews of their own talents even by showbiz reporters from other stations since this would be tantamount to violation of press freedom. They could only restrict appearance of their contract talents in shows from other networks but not for interviews aimed at queries and clarifications on issues that are the current talk of the biz town. Such things should be a matter of prerogative.

While watching further weekend TV staple, I surfed through The Buzz, the showbiz telemagazine of ABS-CBN on Sundays. I have observed that most of their content that afternoon was all about talents from GMA Network. Hmmmm…Maybe Mr. De Leon had a point. It felt like ABS-CBN were a little mocking when they overly done their privileged intrusion into the lives of GMA talents. Take note of this, The Buzz gossip line-up was about: Dino Guevarra, The Sex Bomb Girls, and Ethel Booba—all GMA talents. When these sort of things happen, you could smell some kind of travesty but I hope I am mistaken.

So do you think the Sex Bomb Girls would split up soon?
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Monday, February 14, 2005

A Deadlier Strain Of AIDS Virus.

City Health officials in New York City, USA has reportedly uncovered a more fierce and deadlier strain of HIV, the precursor to the ever-notorious AIDS disease. The new strain is said to have doubly increased the headaches of scientists pursuing the endless road to finding the cure to this sexual malady for it has two unusual features: "resistance to nearly all anti-retroviral drugs used to treat the infection, and stunningly swift progression from infection to full-fledged AIDS". See NY Times News Article Here...

I can almost see in my mind’s eye how the fight against the spread of AIDS is like Sisyphus brought back again to the soiled ground after decades of forward steps in finding the path towards a miracle drug.

The world hasn’t even yet found any remedy that absolutely restrains and impedes the dreaded virus and yet, a deadlier strain has just sprouted. Don’t you feel it just getting eerie and too fearsome for comfort? Me think that the world should start having major changes in its approaches in fighting AIDS which instead of advising the populace on the correct use of condoms (which means to say that they are advising the populace to keep on having sex no matter how illicit and excessive they are, just wear the damn rubber, which by the way, does not work every time), the campaign should be centered on self-discipline and restraint.

I mean, if you have no permanent partner, or even just a semi-permanent partner, then just don’t it, for goodness sake.

This is not a morality issue but a practical one. We must be practical in combating this deadly disease that has become even more ferocious. If one is faced with a possibility of a random sex act, then just do not do it. It is the onset of multiple partners that easily spreads the virus. Just choose not to have multiple partners. Just do not patronize unguarded sex engagements. Just be safe.

What's On Your Mind?



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Friday, February 11, 2005

When We’re About To Think That Nuclear War Ain’t Happening.

When We’re About To Think That Nuclear War Ain’t Happening.


When the Cold War between the United States and the former U.S.S. R. was finally over in the dying years of the 1980’s, with the onset of Glasnost at the tail-end of the Reagan Era, a great flight of hope has come upon us, thinking that the greatest fear of a Nuclear Holocaust has finally come to an end. Major powers, especially the two mentioned superpowers, started to sign every treaties and agreements in reduction and dismantling of nuclear arsenal.

How soon is now when that that great fear of a nuclear war has come to hound us back again like a lapping dog? Or is it like a monkey on our back?

North Korea surprised the world when it announced most recently that it was backing out of the six-nation talk slated September this year due to "unfavorable conditions". Originally, the hermitic communist country requested a one-on-one row with the United States Government but George Bush declined this entreaty saying that multilateral talks are more advantageous. Honestly, I couldn’t see the difference. What matters most in North Korea’s mind is that it needs some sort of privacy when it demanded formally that only the U.S. should talk with them. Most of North Korea’s demands are centered on eking out a better-than-good deal consisting of huge dollar aids. Simply said, they are only willing to stop their nuclear weapons program if they get huge amount of real money. This is sort of embarrassing for them since this is none different than a hold-up in broad daylight. If you won’t give us money, there’d be hell.

In my view, North Korea is being childish and a rogue at its worst. The Korean Peninsula is the hottest zone there is at present after only Kashmir and the world could not afford to watch and see the prevalence of hot weapons like a nuclear bomb in that area. Every path must be pursued with great caution and with utmost diligence.

I think the United States could easily convince countries like North Korea and Iran to back down from their nuclear ambitions if they themselves dismantle their nuclear arsenal to a nil. How could you say that I have some ugly mole in my face if you have one yourself? France continues to stain the South Seas with its arms testing and China surely had armed themselves to the teeth with these kind of murderous toys.

The United nation should enter the fray and demand that every nation on earth must be nuclear-free and not only the so-called "rogue nations". Completely nuclear-free and no denying or confirming to that. What’s in your mind?
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Thursday, February 10, 2005

We Need No Solomonic Gestures Here. Everyone Can Be Happy.

The man of great censor, his honorable Senator Joker Arroyo was at his fiery tongue himself again when he made a public disclosure that part of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth had already been stashed away by the Arroyo Administration for some use the people ought to know. Patently, Senator Arroyo is meaning to keep the government on its toes and won’t let them breathe with any form of callousness concerning the use of the much debated estate of the former dictator.

The stirrings of the senator found its mark immediately as Malacanang sounded off rather quickly that the monies are spent wisely. This may be the case and yet I could not help but feel that this kind of activity should be made known to the public by means of media disclosure but apparently, we are kept in the shadows.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye declared that the government could give a detailed accounting of the expenditures if necessary. Accordingly, part of the 683 Million Dollars worth of confiscated Swiss bank account were already disbursed for the continued implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Law Reform, which according to Secretary Bunye is mandated by the law on agrarian reform.

Despite of the law, any use of the sequestered Marcos assets, or any part thereof should be done with great caution and publication knowing that it is partly claimed by Marcos years’ human rights victims that a U.S. Court in Hawaii have awarded to.

In further clarification, Secretary Bunye assured the public that the $200 Million set apart for the 10,000 human rights victims of the “conjugal dictatorship” is secured and would be distributed as intended. This would make each claimant $20,000 richer or roughly one million pesos in order for them to lick their wounds. Whatever you say, this is a lot of money yet, no money is enough to cover the pain and humiliation of abuse under the Marcos Regime.

If the words of Secretary Bunye are true to form, the long-running and ever furious issue of the Marcos wealth and its liability to human rights claimants may soon be over, and may finally come to a not so bitter end.

Now, comes the big question. Does a U.S. Court have the right credence and jurisdiction to meddle as to how the Marcos loot is spent by the government? Technically speaking, former President Ferdinand Marcos could only be liable to the human rights victims on his own personal account. The State, even during the Marcos years, could not be held liable and litigated against for any crime or tort due to the well-known and generally accepted principle of State Immunity.

On my part, whatever works best should work best here. What is in your mind?
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A Rock Has Rolled On The Brown Plains

This is the first entry. February 9, 2005 at nearly midnight while we breathe this breezy earth's wind.Is oxygen found elsewhere in the universe? If man could find exactly the answer to this question, then it may be known if man could colonized some lurid rocks within the solar system or even in nearby galaxies.

If it were up to you---do you think man is alone in the universe?
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