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Monthly Archives: June 2011

HOMOSEXUAL PRESIDENT IS NON-ISSUE

BY ALEX P. VIDAL

All these speculations about President P-Noy as being gay because until now he has not yet tied the knot with the country’s future first lady–whoever she is–will not help improve our economy and life as a nation.
If he is gay and the Filipinos eschew homosexual leaders, he would not have edged the macho man Erap in the presidential race (being single or unmarried does not automatically make someone a gay unless the concerned party will announce it with hoopla on Youtube and Facebook).
But assuming that President P-Noy is gay, the issue is irrelevant in as far`as the affairs of the state are concerned.
As long as he is doing his job as mandated, to hell with the color of blood running his veins.

PREFERENCE

We did not elect President P-Noy to be lampooned for his sexual preference and ridiculed for picking handsome executives to join his cabinet.
We elected him with hopes to lead us in crushing poverty in particular, and with trust and confidence of ensuring that each Filipino will live in dignity and security amid fight against abject poverty and graft and corruption in general.
The president can always stop critics of his status in their tracks by keeping his romantic life under wraps (he must scold Kris Aquino for her blabbermouth) while he is busy charting the future of the country.
If he does not intend to marry soon or maintain a girlfriend — or boyfriend for that matter (no offense meant; we must call spade a spade here), he should stop being a “trying hard” (euphemism for giving false hopes to ladies he allegedly dated and the gullible public) just to prove his manhood.

MALE SPECIES

But President P-Noy must also be wary of his “role and obligation” as member of the male species.
In ancient Judaism, not to be married was considered abnormal and wrong. “An unmarried man is not a man in the full sense,” says the Talmud.
A similar attitude was prevalent in ancient Greece and Rome, where remaining unmarried was considered an impious affront to the family gods.
Moreover, celibacy seems to have been forbidden by law or subject to certain penalties in ancient Rome, in Sparta and other Greek city-states.
In the revered beginnings of our own religious tradition, the union of man and woman is held to be essential to the attainment of full humanity as well as to the continuance of the human race.
The ancient attitude was that the individual has no right to halt the transmission of the family and racial life that has been handed on to him.

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Posted by on June 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

WHY PINOY PULITZER WINNER JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS WON’T BE DEPORTED

BY ALEX P. VIDAL

As long as he did not commit a serious crime, the government of the United States will never waste its resources to zero in and deport confessed undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas.
US has a lot of problems to tackle and prioritize than throw the books on the 30-year-old journalist who shared a Pulitzer award with his American colleagues for their Washington Post coverage of the Virginia Tech carnage three years ago.
In fact, we presume Vargas mustered enough courage to reveal his status in a no-holds-barred article entitled “My life as an undocumented immigrant” he wrote for the New Yor Times recently because he was aware of the ongoing efforts of the Democrat Obama administration to tilt on the side of those advocating for the mothballed Dream Act bill, which would give children of illegal immigrants educated in the US the chance to become permanent residents.

REFORM

As founder of Define American, which seeks to change the conversation on immigration reform, Vargas is a high-profile personality in immigration reform debates. As a campus figure, he was outspoken and is not a fly in the ointment.
Narrating the circumstances of his case could be part of his mandate as immigration reform activist representing a large group of people with similar advocacy.
The disclosure of chronology of events starting when his mother “woke me and put me in a cab” sometime in August 1993 when he was 12 years old to prepare him for a trip to the US in the company of a fake uncle on fake passport and fake name, was necessary to document his case and gain sympathy.
Having paid his state and federal taxes religiously while working for several newspapers and fast food chains on bogus Social Security card, Vargas is a shoo-in for amnesty which the Obama administration has been reported to be cooking in collusion with some moderate Republicans who admire Ronald Reagan.

SANCTUARY

Also, being a resident of San Franciso Bay Area, Vargas can’t just be easily touched with a ten-foot pole for being an undocumented immigrant.
San Francisco is known as a “Sanctuary City” where illegal immigrants are protected by a local ordinance. Sanctuary policies instruct city employees not to notify the federal government of the presence of illegal aliens living in their communities.
The policies also end the distinction between legal resident aliens and illegal aliens–so illegal aliens often benefit from taxpayer funded government services and programs too.
Even gays like Vargas enjoy equal treatment from the city’s tolerance and liberal atmosphere.
A former Philippine senator afraid of the wrath of the Catholic Church back home for being gay reportedly wore a lady’s dress openly everytime he was in San Francisco.
California is a Democrat state with Gov. Jerry Brown having been catapulted into power through the strong support from the Hispanic community which constitutes the majority in the 11 million illegal immigrants all over the US.
Even if the US Government adopts a hard-line policy on undocumented aliens, Vargas, despite his confession, won’t be locked in jail and sent to the Philippines on the first available flight as his name can not be found in the data of illegal immigrants that have committed serious criminal offenses.
The Obama administration has deported 800,000 illegals in the last three years. But those deportees were hardened criminals involved in drugs trafficking, kidnapping, rape, murder, among other heinous crimes.

REACTION

The Philippine Government must also refrain from its knee-jerk reaction on Vargas’ case unless he really was serious about wanting to leave the US for good and see his brother and sister in his mother’s second family in the Philippines and he needs travel documents.
Malacanang deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte was reported to have “coordinated immediately” with the DFA after learning of Vargas’ predicament.
Across the United States and all over the world, for that matter, there are thousands of Jose Antonio Vargases longing to go home to see their loved ones and who have either been neglected by the Philippine Government or could not bring to public attention their predicament.
The only difference is that they are unknown and bunched in the “among others” list of faceless individuals. And they have not won a Pulitzer prize.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

REPORTING A WRONG BANK DEPOSIT

BY ALEX P. VIDAL

An amount of US $19,623.60 or an equivalent of Philippine P845,814.80 was wrongly deposited in my (name of bank deleted) California branch checking account recently.
I can withdraw the amount via ATM (or part of the full amount), leave the United States surreptituosly and pretend I’m innocent (unless I have no plans of coming back).
But money is not everything in this world. Peace of mind is.
To have a peace of mind, we must have a clear conscience.
But, my gosh, I badly needed cash; I was going to the Philippines and, believe it or not (I’m not making this up, I swear), I only had Philippine P1,250 cash in my wallet (the P200 I always reserved for terminal fee at the NAIA domestic airport for my Manila to Iloilo PAL flight. Shuttling from the United States to the Philippines back and forth twice in two months proved to be costly for an ordinary journalist).

MORAL LAW

Clear conscience, can we eat it? Can it help defray for our daily expenses in these hard economic times? No. But it is the moral law that governs our whole moral life. No external laws or sanction are required.
Conscience forbids us to lie to ourselves or do harm to ourselves, as well as to others — in this case, the bank as institution!
Before I was tempted to withdraw part of the amount (and face the consequences later as what normally happens in many cases), I was quickly struck by guilt and zapped by a specific kind of consciousness-moral awareness, an inner sense of right and wrong that has compelling power.
The feeling was so familiar with me as I recalled having experienced a similar encounter, nay clinical test in Pasadena, California when I visited my psychiatrist last year.

BOUND

Nobody has the monopoly of this unique feeling. Not even saints, demigods and hollier-than-thou moral preachers in the pulpit.
We are all actually bound by it as it commands us–including the ruffians, dolts, money launderers, 5-6 operators, pimps, and bloodsuckers. It is our Pyramid of Cheops.
If we disobey it, we feel remorse or anxiety. To experience or feel it is to believe!
Therefore, the first thing I will do upon my return in the United States is to report the matter to the bank management (assuming that they still haven’t discovered the error yet).
I am embarrassed to admit that I am guilty of not immediately reporting the matter to them. No excuses!

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

‘I BELIEVE IN GOD, BUT…’

BY ALEX P. VIDAL

AN Irish national now suffering from permanent disability in the back after allegedly being tortured by Catholic priests in Ireland, wants to bring his case in the European Court anew “where justice is fair.”
Tom Toyle, 75, now living in Calumpang, Molo, Iloilo City with his wife, Sally, of Batad, Iloilo, and three-year old daughter, Mary Jane, is asking for more damages from his tormentors in Artane, Dublin.
Limping and walking with a cane, Toyle admitted he had been awarded by the European Court with 60,000 Euros or about P2.5 million when he sued his former institution in Artane where the alleged torture happened when he was 10 to 11 years old.
He said the money “was not enough” for a life-long damage to his body. Toyle claimed he suffered fractured bones in the vertebrate “and this will be a lifetime injury that no amount of money can compensate.”

HOCKEY STICK

“My life was never the same again. They hit my back with hockey stick (as a form of punishment),” Toyle, who is now on his third marriage, revealed. “I collapsed several times.”
He described the atmosphere in the Jesuit-controlled learning institution in Artane as “hellish” saying he suffered from “sadistic mentors” for five years.
“They required us to attend the church rituals twice a day — one in the morning and one in the afternoon. If we failed, we get whacked by hockey stick and other blunt objects in the different parts of the body. They were ruthless and abusive,” Toyle sobbed, referring to their priest administrators.
Every now and then, his back pain has been recurring and is excruciating, he said. Toyle had been in and out of the hospital and his retirement benefits have been eaten up by his medical bills, he said.
He decided to seek justice in the European Court “because there is no justice in Ireland; the government is involved.”

VICTIMS

He estimated that there are about 14,000 other alleged victims of abuses by Catholic authorities in Dublin alone. Most of the cases, he said, are sexual abuse and maltreatment.
Toyle said his tormentors had committed sexual abuse on him when they removed his dress and whipped him. “Their act of removing my dress already constitutes sexual abuse,” he stressed. “That’s the law in Ireland.”
Toyle worked as chef and dietician at St. Vincent Hospital in Sydney, Australia for 15 years. He also had a brief stint as civilian personnel during the Vietnam War.
He said he disliked his father, Thomas, who had served in the British and Irish army. Toyle grew up with his three brothers when their mother died at 31 in 1946.
“I don’t like him (Thomas). He didn’t do anything (to protect and give me justice) because he drank booze with the priests,” Toyle bewailed.

MARRIAGE

Toyle’s first marriage with an English woman collapsed “because she was a heavy drinker.” His second wife, a Filipina he met during a visit in Manila, “took all my money and mismanaged our supermarket business.”
Sally was “referred” to Tolye by a friend in Manila. They have been married for eight years and have put up a printing business. “Even though I am not educated, I’m a businessman,” he quipped.
Because of his bad memories in Artane, Toyle said his views about faith and religion have changed.
“I believe in God, but I don’t believe in the Roman Catholic Church because they don’t teach you religion,” Toyle boomed, “but I don’t stop my wife (a devout Catholic) and kid from going to church.”
Authorities in Artane could not be reached for comment.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

WE ARE NOT IDIOTS, ORIGINALLY!

BY ALEX P. VIDAL

Soren Kierkegaard was right when he cautioned that we must understand life backward and live it forward.
Before we die, we must at least be able to to know the truth and understand the roots of our sufferings, what precipitated our ignorance and why many of us are ashamed of our culture and why we are wallowing in insecurity and lack of pride as a nation.
The murder of Ferdinand Magellan by Lapu-Lapu sealed our fate.
Although Magellan’s death delayed the Spanish colonization of the Philippines by more than 40 years, what happened next became a horror which had unleashed irreparable damage and wrought unimaginable havoc on our psyche until today in the computer age.
Desperate to enslave the Filipinos after efforts to conquer them by force had failed, the Spaniards shifted to Plan B: they instituted an organization which would disable the development of our critical thinking, an IQ reducation program aimed at making the natives dumb.
And they succeeded!

COMMISSION

According to Dr. Carlos Alfonso Santos, this program was called the National IQ Reduction Commission (NIQRC) founded in 1521 “by a bunch of starving Spanish conquistadores in Limasawa.”
“The conquest was not doing well,” wrote Santos. “They were hopelessly lost (they were really looking for Malacca) and Lapu-Lapu had just killed Magellan. The Spaniards realized that if they wanted to claim the land, they would have to make the natives dumber. So they began a number of IQ reduction programs, all coordinated by the NIQRC.”
The most successful initiative at the time, according to Santos, was taken by the Catholic Church. “The fraile (Spanish word for “horny cretin”) pretended to preach the Gospel, but actually aimed to impose blind obedience and servitude.”
“Every Sunday, homilies throughout the archipelago essentially revolved around one them: You are dirty, uneducated, learning impaired idiots who need white men to manage your affairs.”
Santos revealed that when the Americans bought the Philippines three centuries later, they asked the Spaniards what the secret was to holding on to a colony for so long. A former governor general reportedly answered: “It’s simple: keep them stupid.”
“The Americans took this advice to heart and did their utmost in keeping our IQs low. Instead of using the Church, however, they established the public school system,” Santos narrated.

EDUCATION

“Practically every government ministry was eventually turned over to a Filipino–except the Department of Education. With a condescending smile and a great deal of false charm, the Americans taught English and Math and the Boogie, but left critical thinking out on purpose.”
The Americans reportedly were afraid that if anyone actually started thinking, “we would realize that it was just a little bit weird that the United States, itself a former colony that had to wage a bloody revolution to win its freedom, was now taking the rights to self-determination away from another people.”
After World War II, the Americans left when they reportedly realized it was too expensive to fix a war-torn country and kept Guam for posterity sake.
In the history of Western thought, according to Dr. Mortimer Adler, freedom has a number of distinct meanings:
A man is said to be free when external circumstances permit him to act as he wishes for his own good.
A man is said to be free when he has acquired enough virtue or wisdom to be able willingly to do as he ought, to comply with the moral law, or to live in accordance with an ideal befitting human nature.
All men are said to be free because they are endowed by nature with power of free choice–the power to decide for themselves what they shall do or become.

‘INVISIBLE FORCE’

Meanwhile, Santos said the Philippines’ new leaders retained the NIQRC and is now “a major albeit invisible force.”
“They had to find another way of keeping us stupid though. Sunday Mass was no longer effective since no one went to church anymore and those who did invariably fell asleep after the entrance hymn.
“The public school system, on the other hand, was too expensive. If the government had to build schools, pay teachers and buy books, there would be hardly enough funds to set aside for graft and corruption which eats up 50 percent of the budget.
“So under the auspices of the elected officials of the newly independent Philippine Republic, the folks over at the NIQRC received a new mandate: set up a cost-effective IQ reduction program. They, of course, outdid themselves and cooked up the best scheme yet: the soap opera.”
Santos said, “it is a scientifically proven fact that soap opera decrease an average human’s IQ by half a point per episode. The characters and story lines are so flat and utterly lacking in depth that the viewer’s IQ almost invariably drops.”
It’s never too late actually to unshackle our minds from the bondage of this age-old system. We all watch TV and today’s sophisticated cable network offers a smorgasbord of programs. The choice is ours.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

OUR CHINESE FRIENDS HAVE WON A LONG TIME AGO

BY ALEX P. VIDAL

LET’S now stop reciting the oft-repeated mantra that “in the long run, China will win.” They’ve already won. A long time ago.
In fact, the Chinese have become dominant in almost all endeavors and levels of competition and trade globally–except winning the NBA championship and the FIFA World Cup.
We won’t be surprised if a Chinese boxer will soon be the one to send Manny Pacquiao into forced retirement now that all those Mexican taxi drivers have been flattened one after the other.
Was it a Chinese chessplayer who scalped women’s longest reigning world champion Maya Chiburdanidze?
In a mall in Nagoya, Japan in 2001, two Japanese salesmen laughed when I requested a “Made in Japan” bulb, not “Made in China.”
They could not explain it in English, but I was able to read between the lines as they tried their best to speak: “We sell mostly made in China products here.” Including a Sony stereo!

FLAG CARRIER

The biggest mall in the Philippines — and in the entire Asia for that matter — and the country’s flag carrier are owned by Chinese tycoons. Our major telecommunication firms and banking institutions are also controlled by Chinese executives.
A known philantrophist in Iloilo is a low-profile Chinese trader who owns a mall a stone throw away from the Capitol.
They are remarkable in the sense that they have pumped adrenalin on our arid economy and generated employment opportunities for many Filipinos for several decades now.
According to our favorite author, Dr. Will Durant, the No. 1 greatest thinker of all time was Confucius, a Chinese teacher. Greece’s classical heroes Plato and Aristotle, with all their glory and grandeur, are only second and third, respectively.
In business and international trade, China is notches higher than those in the second pack. “Made in China” products flood the markets in Europe, Asia, United States, Canada, Africa in dizzying fashion — from nails to woods, electronics, garments, medical supplies, toothbrush, watches, brooms, toys, perfumes, railways, submarines, space shuttles, etcetera.

DOUBLE STANDARD

We’ve noticed, however, that there seems to be two kinds of “Made in China” products now scattered around the world– the ones suspected to be of inferior quality dumped in the Philippines and other Asean countries and the ones of superior quality shipped to the United States, Canada and Europe. Double standard?
Some Americans and Canadians as well as Europeans and Africans love to collect “Made in China” stuffs bought from within their countries because those items pass the quality standards.
Some Filipinos and their neighbors in Asia, on the other hand, view “Made in China” products with absolute skepticism and suspicion because some of these products are either substandard or unsafe. Is WTO at fault?
Israel is reported to be the second strongest military in the world next to the United States, but China is still superior numerically and logistically. China can afford to take on all comers in a winner-takes-all fracas involving the Spratlys tumult.
China can also now afford to send to moon or mars not only ape but a computer literate human being.
By the way, didn’t we just elect a Chinese president in P-noy “Coo Huang Coo” Aquino?

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

BOOKS I WILL DONATE

BY ALEX P. VIDAL

Ilonggo philosopher-lawyer Ernesto “Ernie” Justiniani Dayot once brought me in his mini library in Brgy. Nanga, Guimbal, Iloilo to show his collection of books, many of them classical and philosophical.

The authors were star-studded: Voltaire, Plato, Bertrand Russell, Baruch Spinoza, Saint Augustine, my all-time favorite Will Durant of the Story of Civilization fame, Deepak Chopra, John Stuart Mill, Ayn Rand, Mortimer Adler, and, believe it or, Shirley Maclaine, to name only a few.

“I started collecting some of them in the early 50’s,” explained Don Ernie, a look-alike of Pope Benedict XVI, according to some readers of the Visayan Tribune, where he maintains a regular column.

Don Ernie, now seventy something, actually continues to collect books as a habit until today and don’t be surprised if one of these days, you will bump in the “Book Sale” store somebody who looks like Pope Benedict XVI, err Don Ernie.

INTELLIGENCE

Anyway, we both agreed that the real measure of a person’s intelligence is not when a person has perfected a quiz or when a person can memorize the Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.

A person may be considered really intelligent if that person is culturally literate.

A conquest and rationalization of fear and creativity and ability to synthesize are also true measures of intelligence.

Cultural literacy includes knowledge about world literature, philosophy, religion, world history, proverbs, idioms, The Bible, mythology and folklore, business and economics, life and earth sciences, medicine and health, technology, world politics, world geography, physical science and mathematics, anthropology, psychology, and sociology.

Although it may help a lot, reading — and not just collecting of — books is an ideal vehicle to cultural literacy. When we collect books and don’t read them, cockroach, ants and pests will do their job.

EVIDENCE

There is evidence that reading increases our creativity. We must remember that Albert Einstein failed math in grade school, yet he developed the Theory of Relativity while working in the patent office, where he read voraciously.

Abraham Lincoln never got past grade 2, yet he finished law school because he read books. Marcus Aurelius always carried a book of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey even during the war. So was Alexander The Great and Andres Bonifacio.

Books build a love for learning as well as open the mind to creativity. Reading has thus produced generation after generation of great men and women. A book, a story, a dream, a future—the love of reading is the best gift we can give to our children.

Having been a book collector myself like Don Ernie, I had the privilege to acquire some of the great books during my travel in Canada and the United States and I am proud to mention that I will soon donate some of them in the Philippines now that school year has beckoned.

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2011 in Uncategorized