Sunday, December 28, 2008

Leaves a bad after-taste

Remember how many people have said that Islam is a religion of peace? And many too have said that the statement is baloney.

Maybe this incident has nothing to do with Islam, but the Inquirer reports of a beating of the de la Paz father and son by Nasser Pangandaman Jr and his bodyguards in a golf club. Nasser Pangandaman Jr., a namesake of his father who is a Cabinet secretary of PGMA, is definitely Muslim. Name sounds Muslim, and he is, even worse, a town mayor of Masiu, Lanao del Sur -- one cannot be more Muslim than that.


This punching-kicking muslim mayor even asks the proverbial "Don't you know who I am?" line as if everyone ought to know who he is. It is not surprising for government officials to say that. Should it be that he really does not know who he is.

I'll make guesses.

He is used to doing things and getting things done in his little kingdom much like a dog does to its bitch. If it feels, it does.

He is used to beating people if they complain. What does he do in his town, when his constituents complain? Perhaps they do not complain for fear of getting a beating?

He is an absentee mayor. What is he doing in Manila at Christmas? Surely he must have gone to Manila earlier, to celebrate Christmas? When his province is in some panic because of the MILF threats, he goes to Manila (to celebrate Christmas?). He wants to make sure that he does not get hit by friendly-fire?

He is a child beater. He probably would say his bodyguards did the beating, huh?

He has a father who cares nothing for victims of the beatings done by his son. Would he care also if his son does even greater evils as a mayor? Just asking, Sec. Because when one cannot take care the of the little things, taking care of the big things in life would be really difficult.

This really leaves a bad after-taste. Did you have lechon at Christmas? Nothing beats limoncello to take away the after-taste.

Update 12/29: Bambee writes of the incident involving her father and brother.
Obviously, the Pangandamans say otherwise.


On another note, it isn't only the Philippines who has weird, sometimes useless, projects. California is hoping to get funding from the federal government so that it can start building a high-speed train system (SF-LA-Anaheim). In the face of economic uncertainty, CA wants a high speed train that will sell tickets probably costing much more than a plane, regular train, or bus tickets. And to think that in some areas where the proposed line will pass, because of the mountains, the HST can only travel up to 30mph. Does a HST cut down on gas emissions? Perhaps, as cutting down on emissions seems the only reason for doing anything in CA? Read here.

Do you suppose the California wines can take away the after-taste?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Anthropogenic arrogance

Chad Myers last week talked to Lou Dobbs, and said something that would probably cause him his job, or to change tune soon (which we hope he does not). What did he say? He dissed on the arrogance of those who are beholden to the mistaken belief in man's great effect on weather (global warming, what else?). Isaac MacMillen in Arrogant Consensus quotes part of that interview:

“To think we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant. Mother nature is so big. The world is so big. The oceans are so big. I think we're going to die from a lack of fresh water or die from ocean acidification before we die from global warming, for sure. But this is like you said, in your career; my career has been 22 years long. That's a good career in TV. But in talking about climate, it is like having a car for three days and saying this is a great car. Yes, it was for three days, but maybe in day five, six and seven it won't be so good. That's what we're doing here.”

Saturday, December 20, 2008

So little so late

What will two weeks do to change what is thought to be unchangeable? Again, in PDI,

As Nobel Prize-winning Indian scientist Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN Climate Panel, appeals to people worldwide to eat less meat to fight global warming and lessen greenhouse gas emissions, at the local front health experts are echoing this appeal, urging Filipinos to minimize meat in their diets during Christmas and New Year. Pachauri is a vegetarian.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Here they go again

Wadayono? The proverbial whipping boy is being blamed again for future food crisis. In today's Philippine Daily Inquirer, the United Nations World Food Programme:

... on Wednesday warned of hunger "spiraling out of control" as global population increases and as the effects of the global financial crisis start to be felt.

"We are at a critical juncture where we risk watching hunger spiral out of control as the world's population is set to climb toward nine billion mid-century," said WFP executive director Josette Sheeran, speaking from New Delhi during her first visit to India, the country with the single largest population of undernourished people in the world.

In a statement made available by the local WFP office, Sheeran asked rich countries to allocate $5.2 billion for the UN agency's 2009 program to feed almost 100 million of world's hungriest people, including 59 million children.

WFP's urgent call comes in the wake of historically high food prices earlier this year and continued market volatility. The global financial crisis, which is putting the developed world in recession, is spreading into the developing world as incomes go down, and trade, capital flows, and remittances slow.

How much are we spending for global warming mitigation? How much are we spending for a purported world climate crisis (that "experts" say is going to happen, so why spend for it?)? How much are we spending for research and possible production of alternative energy sources when making more efficient production and consumption of fossil fuels may be more effective? How much are lost to corruption that line the pockets of politicians for projects as varied as brideges-to-nowhere to pay-for-play US Senate seats?

How much are we contributing and spending for "reproductive health services" that eventually will kill more babies?

Then again, maybe we should spend more for these services so that eventually there are no more mouths to feed. BTW, how much more does an adult eat compared to a child?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The 650

More than 650 scientists express their dissent to the 2007 UN IPCC Summary for Policymakers. This number is more than the 52 "scientists" who authored the IPCC report. The dissenting opinions will be included in a US Senate Minority Report that will come out some hours from now -- in time for the ongoing UN global warming conference in Poznan, Poland.

A hint of what the upcoming report contains:

“I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” - Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

“Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.” - Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”

Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” - UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

“The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,” - Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

“The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC "are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.” - Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico

“It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.” - U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

“Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.” – . Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.

“After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri's asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it's hard to remain quiet.” - Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society's Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

“For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?" - Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

“Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp…Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact.” - Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.

“Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined.” - Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.

“Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense…The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.” - Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.

“CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another….Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so…Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.” - Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.

“The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds.” - Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata."

In addition, the report will feature new peer-reviewed scientific studies and analyses refuting man-made warming fears and a heavy dose of inconvenient climate developments. (See Below: Study: Half of warming due to Sun! –Sea Levels Fail to Rise? - Warming Fears in 'Dustbin of History')

H/T: planetgore

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Remember the reason for the season

When the reason for the upcoming season is forgotten, it will come to this:

A Politically Correct Christmas Story

And Joseph went up from Galilee to Bethlehem with Mary, his espoused wife, who was great with child. And she brought forth a son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.

And an angel of the Lord spoke to the shepherds and said, "I bring you tidings of great joy. Unto you is born a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."

"There's a problem with the angel," said a Pharisee who happened to be strolling by. As he explained to Joseph, angels are widely regarded as religious symbols, and the stable was on public property where such symbols were not allowed to land or even hover.

"And I have to tell you, this whole thing looks to me very much like a Nativity scene," he said sadly. "That's a no-no, too."

Joseph had a bright idea. "What if I put a couple of reindeer over there near the ox and ass?" he said, eager to avoid sectarian strife.

"That would definitely help," said the Pharisee, who knew as well as anyone that whenever a savior appeared, judges usually liked to be on the safe side and surround it with deer or woodland creatures of some sort.

"Just to clinch it, throw in a candy cane and a couple of elves and snowmen, too," he said. "No court can resist that."

Mary asked, "What does my son's birth have to do with snowmen?"

"Snowpersons," cried a young woman, changing the subject before it veered dangerously toward religion.

Off to the side of the crowd, a Philistine was painting the Nativity scene. Mary complained that she and Joseph looked too tattered and worn in the picture.

"Artistic license," he said. "I've got to show the plight of the haggard homeless in a greedy, uncaring society in winter," he quipped.

"We're not haggard or homeless. The inn was just full," said Mary.

"Whatever," said the painter.

Two women began to argue fiercely. One said she objected to Jesus' birth "because it privileged motherhood." The other scoffed at virgin births, but said that if they encouraged more attention to diversity in family forms and the rights of single mothers, well, then, she was all for them.

"I'm not a single mother," Mary started to say, but she was cut off by a third woman who insisted that swaddling clothes are a form of child abuse, since they restrict the natural movement of babies.

With the arrival of 10 child advocates, all trained to spot infant abuse and manger rash, Mary and Joseph were pushed to the edge of the crowd, where arguments were breaking out over how many reindeer (or what mix of reindeer and seasonal sprites) had to be installed to compensate for the infant's unfortunate religious character.

An older man bustled up, bowling over two merchants, who had been busy debating whether an elf is the same as a fairy and whether the elf/fairy should be shaking hands with Jesus in the crib or merely standing to the side, jumping around like a sports mascot.

"I'd hold off on the reindeer," the man said, explaining that the use of asses and oxen as picturesque backdrops for Nativity scenes carries the subliminal message of human dominance. He passed out two leaflets, one denouncing manger births as invasions of animal space, the other arguing that stables are "penned environments" where animals are incarcerated against their will. He had no opinion about elves or candy canes.

Signs declaring "Free the Bethlehem Two" began to appear, referring to the obviously exploited ass and ox.

Someone said the halo on Jesus' head was elitist.

Mary was exasperated. "And what about you, old mother?" she said sharply to an elderly woman. "Are you here to attack the shepherds as prison guards for excluded species, maybe to complain that singing in Latin identifies us with our Roman oppressors, or just to say that I should have skipped patriarchal religiosity and joined some dumb new-age goddess religion?"

"None of the above," said the woman, "I just wanted to tell you that the Magi are here."

Sure enough, the three wise men rode up.

The crowd gasped, "They're all male!" and "Not very multicultural!"

"Balthasar here is black," said one of the Magi.

"Yes, but how many of you are gay or disabled?" someone shouted.

A committee was quickly formed to find an impoverished lesbian wise-person among the halt and lame of Bethlehem.

A calm voice said, "Be of good cheer, Mary, you have done well and your son will change the world."

At last, a sane person, Mary thought. She turned to see a radiant and confident female face.

The woman spoke again: "There is one thing, though. Religious holidays are important, but can't we learn to celebrate them in ways that unite, not divide? For instance, instead of all this business about 'Gloria in excelsis Deo,' why not just 'Season's Greetings'?"

Mary said, "You mean my son has entered human history to deliver the message, 'Hello, it's winter'?"

"That's harsh, Mary," said the woman. "Remember, your son could make it big in midwinter festivals, if he doesn't push the religion thing too far. Centuries from now, in nations yet unborn, people will give each other pricey gifts and have big office parties on his birthday. That's not chopped liver."

"Let me get back to you," Mary said.

Lifted from here. H/T: Chez

Sunday, December 07, 2008

No surprise here

From the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, in part.

TV news election coverage of Barack Obama was twice as favorable as John McCain’s and Sarah Palin’s coverage, according to the a new report from the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) Election 2008 NewsWatch. Obama’s coverage was more favorable than any other presidential nominee’s coverage since CMPA began tracking TV election news in 1988. The study also found that Fox News Channel’s coverage was heavily negative toward Obama, but their coverage of McCain and Palin was also negative.


President-elect Barack Obama received 68% positive evaluations on the network evening news shows during the general election. His treatment was twice as favorable as John McCain’s 33% positive and Sarah Palin’s 34% positive evaluations. ative.

Obama’s 68% positive press is the strongest showing CMPA has ever recorded for a presidential candidate, since we began monitoring election news in 1988. He easily eclipsed previous leader John Kerry’s 59% positive evaluations on network news in 2004. Conversely, McCain’s tally of 33% positive evaluations was the worst showing since George H.W. Bush received only 29% positive press in 1988.

Averaged across the all elections since 1988, broadcast network coverage of the six Democratic presidential nominees has been evenly balanced – 50% positive vs. 50% negative press. The average coverage of the six Republican candidates has been 34% positive vs. 66% negative, a margin of 2 to 1 negative.

Obama’s 2 to 1 lead in good press also held true for the candidates’ issue coverage, which includes evaluations of their policies and proposals. A slight majority (53%) of statements about Obama’s policies and proposals were favorable, compared to one out of four (24%) favorable comments about McCain and one out of six (16%) favorable toward Palin. The combined totals were 52% positive issue coverage of the Democrats and 24% positive toward the GOP.

The whole PR here.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Go into green business

While many industries are cautiously looking to 2009 as a difficult year, some are looking at ways to cash-in on the economic slowdown. Over the past few years, one of the fastest growing businesses has been the green business. Yep, those that trade on carbon offsets, those that advocate the cap-and-trade. Steve Milloy writes in Green-on-Green Violence today that:
"Environmentalism has become an industry of sorts. According to a recent Forbes report, the 11 largest environmental groups have combined annual revenues of about $1.8 billion and own billions of dollars of assets. By selling out, Big Green has cashed in.
Read the rest. The greens are going against one another.
It will be interesting to see whether the hardscrabble green groups that seem to really believe in a coming climate apocalypse will succeed in pressuring the limousine Greens to return to the fold, or whether the haves will make the have-nots an offer they can’t refuse.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

"We're expected to do more with less."

All of us, at one time or another, face the prospect of not being able to do what we ought to or dream of, because of a lack of means. Many times, we whine about that situation, ending up not achieving anything at all. Then, there are also times, under the same circumstances, that we win over the lack of means, and achieve what we set out to do -- doing more with less.

Like Tom Faber in USA Today.

In part:

Tom Farber gives a lot of tests. He's a calculus teacher, after all.

So when administrators at Rancho Bernardo, his suburban San Diego high school, announced the district was cutting spending on supplies by nearly a third, Farber had a problem. At 3 cents a page, his tests would cost more than $500 a year. His copying budget: $316. But he wanted to give students enough practice for the big tests they'll face in the spring, such as the Advanced Placement exam.

"Tough times call for tough actions," he says. So he started selling ads on his test papers: $10 for a quiz, $20 for a chapter test, $30 for a semester final.

San Diego magazine and The San Diego Union-Tribune featured his plan just before Thanksgiving, and Farber came home from a few days out of town to 75 e-mail requests for ads. So far, he has collected $350. His semester final is sold out.
H/T: Debbie

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

No more love (so soon)?

I link you to CNN's Campbell Brown most recent "Cutting through the Bull" segment taking Obama to task about questions from the press. Cracks in Obamedia?

In part:
Reporter: You talked about the importance just now of having different voices and robust debate within your administration, but again going back to the campaign, you were asked and talked about the qualifications of the -- now your nominee for secretary of state and you belittled her travels around the world, equated it to having teas with foreign leaders. And your new White House counsel said her resume was grossly exaggerated when it came to foreign policy. I'm wondering if you can talk about the evolution of your views of her credentials since the spring?

Obama: I think this is fun for the press to try to stir up whatever quotes were generated during the course of the campaign. No, I understand, and you're having fun.

There we go again. The pesky media, all we want to do is have a little fun, stir things up for our own amusement.

Really, how silly of that reporter to dare ask you, Mr. President-elect, how it is that you completely mocked Hillary Clinton's foreign policy experience just a few months ago and yet now you think there is no one more qualified than she to lead your foreign policy team?

It's a clever device, treating a question so dismissively in an attempt to delegitimize it, as annoying as you may have found it. It is a fair question.


You could have explained the evolution of your thinking, instead of belittling a question you didn't like.

Mr. President-elect, reporters we hope are going to ask you a lot of annoying questions over the next four years. Get used to it.

That is the job of the media, to hold you accountable, but this isn't about the media, it's about the American people, many of whom voted for you because of what you said during the campaign, and they have a right to know which of those things you meant and which you didn't.

Apparently, as you made clear Monday, you didn't mean what you said about Hillary Clinton. So what else didn't you mean?

The media is going to be asking, and you were wrong Monday. Annoying questions are about more than just the press having fun. Annoying questions are about the press doing its job, and the people's right to know.

Plan for Mindanao modernization

Culled from Sunstar

In effect, Mindanao 2020 is a strategic plan for modernizing Mindanao. It upgrades earlier medium-term and long-range plans for achieving enduring peace and sustainable development in Southern Philippines, Palawan included. The principal partners/cooperators for its operationalization consists of, but not limited to, the:

(a) Confederation of Provincial Governors, City Mayors, and Municipal Mayors Leagues of Mindanao (CONFED) headed by South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes;

(b) Mindanao Bloc, the group of lawmakers from Mindanao led by House Speaker Prospero Nograles;

(c) Mindanao Business Council, the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and various business support organizations, chaired by Vic Lao;

(d) Kusog Mindanao, a group of civil society organizations headed by Rey Teves;

(e) Mindanao Studies Consortium Foundation, Incorporated, an association of academic institutions chaired by Fr. Bert Alejo;

(f) Bishop-Ulama Forum headed by Archbishop Fernando Capalla, Ulama League of the Philippines led by Aleem Mahmod Adilao, and United Church of Christ in the Philippines chaired by Dr. Mariano Apilado; and,

(g) Mindanao Indigenous Peoples headed by Datu Lipatuan Joel Unad, and PANAGTAGPO Mindanao under Datu Victorio Siway.

For the day-to-day implementation of Mindanao 2020, MEDCo is assisted by:

(a) Team of Experts – former Cabinet members working in partnership with Mindanao-based experts;

(b) Eminent Persons Group – respected leaders with extensive knowledge of Mindanao issues to provide general directions and insights; and,

(c) Team Mindanao – representatives/lead convenors of stakeholders actively involved in peace and development advocacy.

The refining process

True to its mandate, MEDCo is undertaking a scientific process to transform the existing Mindanao 2000 framework into a more refined roadmap – which is Mindanao 2020. These step-by-step activities are:

Phase I: Assessment of Mindanao 2000;

Phase II: Review of related studies and documents;

Phase III: Planning consultations;

Phase IV: Formulation of Mindanao 2020;

Phase V: Validation and finalization;

Phase VI: Launching of Mindanao 2020;

Phase VII: Advocacy activities; and

Phase VIII: Monitoring, evaluation, review and updating.

"Super region" speeds up 27 projects

The implementation of 27 major infrastructure projects under PGMA’s Mindanao "Super Region" concept is making progress. Roads, airports, seaports, hospitals, irrigation facilities, power and electrification projects are undergoing construction, while implementing agencies are meeting regularly to resolve bottlenecks.

Land transport along Western, Central, and Northeastern Mindanao routes is expected to improve as seven major road projects report positive progress. These include the Sibuco-Sirawai-Siocon-Baliguian-Gutalac Road (connecting Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur) and Surigao Sur-Davao Oriental Coastal Road.

The private financial and business sectors are also encouraged to invest in "ready-to-go" projects like the Panguil Bay Bridge and Kabulnan Irrigation Project-Phase II.

Still missing, however, is a critical link in an inter-modal transport system that is still on the planning boards – the Mindanao Railway System (MRS). To fulfill the potential of MRS as a vital catalyst to increase productivity by enhancing the delivery of people, goods and services, an enabling authority must be provided to attract private sector investments in the railways industry. Speaker Nograles has announced the harmonization and prioritization of pending MRS bills, principally: H.B. 1855, "An Act Creating the Mindanao Railways Corporation;" and H.B. 2656, "An Act Creating the Mindanao Railways Authority."

The plan for an MRS can be traced back to 1994 when FVR directed the DoTC, DPWH, NEDA and LGUs to collaborate with lawmakers on the proposed Mindanao Railways that should first connect Cagayan de Oro and Iligan (the C-I Corridor). Among the earliest sponsors of an MRS law was Senator Santanina Rasul in the 9th Congress.

BIMP-EAGA and CEAGPOL: Benefiting beyond borders

Among the international components of Mindanao 2020 are the well-known BIMP-EAGA launched in 1994 and – as mentioned in last Sunday’s Part I of this series and in our 21 September column – the emerging Central East Asia Growth Polygon (CEAGPOL).

In a "convergence" meeting in Davao City last March, the EAGA tourism and airline groups agreed to develop "tour brands" utilizing existing BIMP-EAGA aviation packages including a 4-day tour cluster for Davao-Zamboanga-Sandakan-Kota Kinabalu destinations. A similar enticement is the Davao-Singapore-Kuching route utilizing Cebu Pacific’s Davao-Singapore flight started last May.

Port-to-port bilateral talks among the four BIMP-EAGA member-countries are on-going to set up One Stop Action Centers (OSACs) wherein government and private agencies that process, approve, and record export documents are housed under one roof. OSAC operations will be initially pilot-tested in the areas of Davao, Zamboanga, and Puerto Princesa; Sandakan and Kudat in Malaysia; and Manado in Indonesia. OSACs support the efforts to harmonize and streamline Customs, Immigration, Quarantine and Security (CIQS) rules, regulations and procedures, with the goal of reducing costs of doing business and, therefore, curtailing corruption.

The Mindanao Economic Development Authority (MEDA)

The recent flurry of planning and integrating activities by executives, experts and lawmakers on two broad fronts – peacemaking and socio-economic development – augurs well for the people of Mindanao. Since its creation in 1992 until recently, all these multifarious activities were being handled by MalacaƱang thru MEDCo. By virtue of a new Executive Order, however, MEDCo has just been detached from the Office of the President and put under the NEDA; thus, in a very significant way, diluting MEDCo’s direct access to the President, and the power of PGMA’s authority over matters of crucial importance to Mindanao.

In this latest situation, it appears that there is again a tug-of-war over turf, logistics and influence over Mindanao solutions – which is an undesirable but recurring phenomenon in Philippine governance.

Let us recall that if there was measurable and palpable success in Mindanao programs for peace and development during the Ramos Administration, it was mainly because just one official – and only one – Presidential Assistant for Mindanao (PAMIN) Paul Dominguez was clothed with sufficient authority to make on-the-spot decisions over Mindanao matters already covered by national or Presidential policy. This efficient set-up quickly disintegrated during the succeeding Estrada administration with the appointment of 3 PAREs (Presidential Assistants for Regions) in Mindanao – which resulted in inevitable rivalry for Presidential attention and "goodies" by his 3 "com-pares."

The solution: Legislate meda

Considering Mindanao’s recent history of "sulong-atras" (forward-backward) governance, it is essential to maintain the momentum of peace and development by establishing a lasting institutional mechanism to insure a continuous coordinative and integrative process in formulating and implementating Mindanao-wide, inter-regional development plans, programs and projects for maximum impact and benefit.

The creation by law of MEDA will enhance coherence, consistency and optimization of Mindanao development. At present, with MEDCo being merely an agency created by Presidential Order, threats of its discontinuity and abolition are always a probability. Along with such uncertainties are apprehensions of unholistic integration, monitoring and evaluation.

Thus, MEDCo Chair Leyretana recommended last November 7, to PGMA for certification – as among MalacaƱang’s priority bills – H.B. 5255, "An Act Creating the Mindanao Economic Development Authority (MEDA), Defining Its Powers and Functions, and for Other Purposes, and Providing Funds Therefor." In support of Mindanao’s leaders, I strongly endorse this bill’s enactment by the 14th Congress. And, PGMA’s imprimatur thereon will effectively advance Mindanao’s peace process and grassroots progress.

Please send any comments to Copies of articles are available at

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Probably another useless court

Lawyers call for international court for the environment - Telegraph

Stephen Hockman QC is proposing a body similar to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to be the supreme legal authority on issues regarding the environment.

The first role of the new body would be to enforce international agreements on cutting greenhouse gas emissions set to be agreed next year.

But the court would also fine countries or companies that fail to protect endangered species or degrade the natural environment and enforce the "right to a healthy environment".

How about a court to try blabbermouth journalism? Then again, next time, might be wise not to talk to media.
‘We thought we were safe... then CNN stepped in!’
Gunned down moments after he phoned the BBC

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I beg your pardon

Don't include me, please. 

Enteng Romano was quoted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer saying that "each Filipino is partly to blame for the failed impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ... “Every single Filipino citizen is partly to blame. We are all accountable for what is happening to our country."

I am not party to your impeachment complaint.  You brought this failure upon yourselves.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"In Spite Of A SJ Education"

Inside Catholic's Deal Hudson writes about Joseph Cao in "The Jesuits Produce A Great Political Candidate." As I was reading Hudson's article, I remembered some things I have written in this blog on many occasions about my Jesuit education (just search for them as I will not link this time).

Then I scrolled down to the comments. I found some that echo my own sentiments precisely. The title of this blog is copied from one comment's title.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Darn the cafeteria

“I pick and choose”

“I start every one of my days praying,” says Maria Shriver, wife of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I go to church every week. I went to Catholic schools my entire life.” But, says Shriver, when it comes to Church teachings, “I pick and choose… I think I’m probably a ‘Cafeteria Catholic.’”

The greed continues

Businessweek publishes the story FHA-Backed Loans: The New Subprime.  Where is the change?  See also ST, who says, this won't help a bit.

As if they haven't done enough damage. Thousands of subprime mortgage lenders and brokers—many of them the very sorts of firms that helped create the current financial crisis—are going strong. Their new strategy: taking advantage of a long-standing federal program designed to encourage homeownership by insuring mortgages for buyers of modest means.

You read that correctly. Some of the same people who propelled us toward the housing market calamity are now seeking to profit by exploiting billions in federally insured mortgages. Washington, meanwhile, has vastly expanded the availability of such taxpayer-backed loans as part of the emergency campaign to rescue the country's swooning economy.

For generations, these loans, backed by the Federal Housing Administration, have offered working-class families a legitimate means to purchase their own homes. But now there's a severe danger that aggressive lenders and brokers schooled in the rash ways of the subprime industry will overwhelm the FHA with loans for people unlikely to make their payments. Exacerbating matters, FHA officials seem oblivious to what's happening—or incapable of stopping it. They're giving mortgage firms licenses to dole out 100%-insured loans despite lender records blotted by state sanctions, bankruptcy filings, civil lawsuits, and even criminal convictions.

Pass it on

When we "err on the side of life" (KL), we end nicely, actually.
Pass this on. (by way of MM).

And, it pays to wait. Lauren will live -- parents now in agreement: their daughter must live.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Here's the racist?

How come no one calls him racist? Maybe he is crazy, that is why? Of course his words were called "demeaning racial term", but he is never called racist.

H/T: MM. Will they talk to him, dialogue with him now?

We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, and may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics. Most often, though, it grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Who is a racist?

The Philippine Daily Inquirer (on-line) today published Why Fil-Americans Tried to Defeat Obama. I find this typical writing of a racist. Why? Simple. It almost says "If you did not vote for Obama, you are racist."

But it has been very obvious that a lot voted according to race. Now, who is being racist?

Then again, US electoral history has shown that when the economy fizzles in an election year, the incumbent in the White House or Congress gets the boot.

Sore losers

You have been warned

Warning! Graphic!

More here. IF you have the stomach for it.

On the pro-life front

The Uruguayan President vetoed legislation that would make the small nation one of the few in the region to legalize abortions. President Tabare Vasquez made good on his promise to veto the legislation the Congress approved. Read here.

Check this site:
The group behind this put out ads in New York City's subways, and the site has had a lot of hits in a short time.

H/T: JillS

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Global warming has been licked

And it is nothing that we did.  All natural.  Prof. Don J. Easterbrook tells as why here.

He starts:

Despite no global warming in 10 years and recording setting cold in 2007-2008, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC) and computer modelers who believe that CO2 is the cause of global warming still predict the Earth is in store for catastrophic warming in this century. IPCC computer models have predicted global warming of 1° F per decade and 5-6° C (10-11° F) by 2100 (Fig. 1), which would cause global catastrophe with ramifications for human life, natural habitat, energy and water resources, and food production. All of this is predicated on the assumption that global warming is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 and that CO2 will continue to rise rapidly.

However, records of past climate changes suggest an altogether different scenario for the 21st century. Rather than drastic global warming at a rate of 0.5 ° C (1° F) per decade, historic records of past natural cycles suggest global cooling for the first several decades of the 21st century to about 2030, followed by global warming from about 2030 to about 2060, and renewed global cooling from 2060 to 2090 (Easterbrook, D.J., 2005, 2006a, b, 2007, 2008a, b); Easterbrook and Kovanen, 2000, 2001). Climatic fluctuations over the past several hundred years suggest ~30 year climatic cycles of global warming and cooling, on a general rising trend from the Little Ice Age.

And ends thus:

Global warming (i.e, the warming since 1977) is over. The minute increase of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere (0.008%) was not the cause of the warming—it was a continuation of natural cycles that occurred over the past 500 years.

The PDO cool mode has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of about 30 years of global cooling, perhaps much deeper than the global cooling from about 1945 to 1977. Just how much cooler the global climate will be during this cool cycle is uncertain. Recent solar changes suggest that it could be fairly severe, perhaps more like the 1880 to 1915 cool cycle than the more moderate 1945-1977 cool cycle. A more drastic cooling, similar to that during the Dalton and Maunder minimums, could plunge the Earth into another Little Ice Age, but only time will tell if that is likely.

Jennifer Rubin writes

But why should it end? The MSM championed Barack Obama throughout the primaries, clubbed his opponent, lauded him during the general election, and is now marveling at his transition. There’s no reason to stop now. If the mainstream media cared about unbiased reporting and exacting investigation, they would have made some effort earlier to balance the coverage. And now that the election of Obama has fulfilled their dreams and aspirations, why should they return to the humdrum tasks of quibbling with the press secretary, investing inter-agency squabbles, and questioning the lack of progress or the outright repudiation of campaign pledges? That might scuff up the President’s image. And it might put them on the outs with their hero.

Really, I think it’s too much to expect that the lapdog media will turn into attack-dogs or watchdogs anytime soon. After all, they have a President to help succeed.

The whole piece here. H/T: ST

Monday, November 17, 2008

Camille Paglia writes

Camille Paglia, known also for her pro-abortion stance, writes what some have called post-election confessionals.  Last week, she wrote at Salon.  Read her views about how MSM botched the job.  Excerpts:

In the closing weeks of the election, however, I became increasingly disturbed by the mainstream media's avoidance of forthright dealing with several controversies that had been dogging Obama -- even as every flimsy rumor about Sarah Palin was being trumpeted as if it were engraved in stone on Mount Sinai. For example, I had thought for many months that the flap over Obama's birth certificate was a tempest in a teapot. But simple questions about the certificate were never resolved to my satisfaction. Thanks to their own blathering, fanatical overkill, of course, the right-wing challenges to the birth certificate never gained traction.

But Obama could have ended the entire matter months ago by publicly requesting Hawaii to issue a fresh, long-form, stamped certificate and inviting a few high-profile reporters in to examine the document and photograph it. (The campaign did make the "short-form" certificate available to, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.) And why has Obama not made his university records or thesis work widely available? The passivity of the press toward Bush administration propaganda about weapons of mass destruction led the nation into the costly blunder of the Iraq war. We don't need another presidency that finds it all too easy to rely on evasion or stonewalling. I deeply admire Obama, but as a voter I don't like feeling gamed or played.

Another issue that I initially dismissed was the flap over William Ayers, the Chicago-based former member of the violent Weather Underground. Conservative radio host Sean Hannity began the drumbeat about Ayers' association with Obama a year ago -- a theme that most of the mainstream media refused to investigate or even report until this summer. I had never heard of Ayers and couldn't have cared less. I was irritated by Hillary Clinton's aggressive flagging of Ayers in a debate, and I accepted Obama's curt dismissal of the issue.

Hence my concern about Ayers has been very slow in developing. The mainstream media should have fully explored the subject early this year and not allowed it to simmer and boil until it flared up ferociously in the last month of the campaign. Obama may not in recent years have been "pallin' around" with Ayers, in Sarah Palin's memorable line, but his past connections with Ayers do seem to have been more frequent and substantive than he has claimed. Blame for the failure of this issue to take hold must also accrue to the conservative talk shows, which use the scare term "radical" with simplistic sensationalism, blanketing everyone under the sun from scraggly ex-hippies to lipstick-chic Nancy Pelosi.


Given that Obama had served on a Chicago board with Ayers and approved funding of a leftist educational project sponsored by Ayers, one might think that the unrepentant Ayers-Dohrn couple might be of some interest to the national media. But no, reporters have been too busy playing mini-badminton with every random spitball about Sarah Palin, who has been subjected to an atrocious and at times delusional level of defamation merely because she has the temerity to hold pro-life views.

How dare Palin not embrace abortion as the ultimate civilized ideal of modern culture? How tacky that she speaks in a vivacious regional accent indistinguishable from that of Western Canada! How risible that she graduated from the University of Idaho and not one of those plush, pampered commodes of received opinion whose graduates, in their rush to believe the worst about her, have demonstrated that, when it comes to sifting evidence, they don't know their asses from their elbows.

Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology -- contradicting Democratic core principles of compassion, tolerance and independent thought. One would have to look back to the Eisenhower 1950s for parallels to this grotesque lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice.

I held a beating heart in my hand

Waiting for him upon his arrival at the hospital that morning was a cousin along with his girlfriend. They had booked an abortion with him. Four months pregnant, the woman was about to do away with her ninth consecutive child. Adasevic refused, but his cousin was so importunate that he gave in: OK, but this was the very last time. On the USG monitor he clearly saw the child with its thumb in its mouth. Stretching the uterus, he inserted the forceps, took hold of something, and pulled. In the jaws of the forceps was a little arm. He placed it on the table, but in such a way that one of the limbs' nerve endings touched a drop of spilled iodine. Suddenly, the arm began to twitch. The nurse standing beside him almost screamed out. Just like frogs' legs in a physiology lab! Adasevic shuddered, but went on with the abortion. Again he inserted the forceps, gripped, and pulled. This time it was a leg. Just as he was thinking: "Better not let it touch that drop of alcohol", a nurse standing behind him dropped a tray of surgical instruments. Startled by the crash, the doctor released the forceps, and the leg landed right beside the arm. It too began to move.

The staff had never seen anything like it: human limbs twitching on the table. Adasevic decided to mash up what was left in the womb, and pull it out in a formless mass. He began mashing, squashing, crushing. Upon withdrawing the forceps, now certain that he had reduced everything to a pulp, he produced a human heart! The organ was still beating. Weaker and weaker it beat, until it stopped altogether. It was then that he realized he had killed a human being. The world turned dark around him. He cannot recall how long this lasted. Suddenly he felt a tug on his arm. A nurse's terrified voice called out: Doctor Adasevic! Doctor Adasevic! The patient was bleeding. For the first time in years, the doctor began praying earnestly: "Lord! Save not me, but this woman". Normally it could take up to ten minutes to clean the womb of all remaining embryonic matter. This time two insertions of the instrument through the vagina were enough to complete the task. When Adasevic removed his gloves, he knew this was the last abortion he would ever perform.

That was an excerpt of the story that appears in of Stojan Adasevic, one of Belgrade's champions of abortion -- even made more famous when he decided to stop his abortion practice and join the pro-life advocacy. Read the rest here.

H/T: Jill

Stop the War in Mindanao -- What War?

I have been receiving facebook invitations to the cause Stop the War in Mindanao.  I have ignored all of them.  There is no war in Mindanao.

There are battles in some parts of Mindanao, but these are to flush out the bad elements, rogue rebels who are not under the control of their leaders.  Even as some say that the MILF leadership actually supports these bad apples to continue with what they do, and they continue to fight the government, there is no war in Mindanao.

The NPA's have been attacking many areas in the Philippines, does this mean the Philippines is at war?

Mindanao is not at war.  Battles there (in small areas relative to the whole island) are law enforcement.

I know.  I spend 7 days a month in Mindanao.  There is no war.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

y'see y'see

The copying has started.

And here too. Well, they are both "tanned". Young and handsome, riiiiiight.


Update: And more. Goren.

Regulation more than rescue

In today's Gallup Daily poll, Americans would rather have BHO pass new, stricter regulations on financial institutions.

So why did the US Senate and Congress pass all of those bailouts? A case of Legislature not listening to the people? Earmarks, huh?

Not far from RP's case, I guess.

Monday, November 10, 2008

alumni respond to their profs


A response to the position paper Catholics Can Support the RH Bill in Good Conscience

To the community of the Ateneo de Manila University:

We, alumni of our alma mater, wish to respond to the position paper authored by 14 members of our faculty. We laud our professors for a wide-ranging presentation on the Philippine social situation, most especially the undesirable effects of an unmanaged population growth to women, the poor and our young people. We commend their dedication to the integral human development of the Filipino people in these troubling times. However, with respect and fraternal charity towards them, we respond that Catholics cannot support the RH Bill in good conscience.

The question of which method Catholics can and should use in the regulation of birth has been resolved in the encyclical letter Humanae Vitae (quoted as HV) of Pope Paul VI. "…the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles" (HV 16).

Several questions—and indeed objections—arise from this teaching. We ask, "Is this teaching of the Holy Father definitive?" While the fact remains that Pope Paul VI did not issue the above-mentioned encyclical ex cathedra, it is also a fact that the Pope and the bishops are "authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ" (Lumen Gentium 25). "The ordinary and universal Magisterium of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him teaches the faithful the truth to believe, the charity to practice, the beatitude to hope for" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2034).

We therefore distinguish between a solemn magisterium of the Church and an ordinary and universal magisterium (cf. Code of Canon Law 750). Catholics are exhorted to believe those things which are "proposed as divinely revealed either (italics ours) by the solemn magisterium of the Church, or by its ordinary and universal magisterium" (ibid.). "All are therefore bound to shun any contrary doctrines" (ibid.). Since Humanae Vitae is an exercise of the ordinary teaching faculty of the Holy Father, we can rely on it to be a truthful and faithful interpretation of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

A second question arises, "How did Pope Paul VI arrive at such a pronouncement? " An extensive commentary on the encyclical is beyond the scope of this letter, but it will suffice for the moment to say that the Holy Father considered two points: the social situation of his time (and indeed of ours) and an authentic interpretation of the moral law. Very early in the encyclical, Pope Paul VI recognizes that "the changes that have taken place are of considerable importance" (HV 2). He comments on the rapid increase in population and the incommensurate increase in resources, and therefore the difficulty of raising a large family.

However, he is quick to clarify that while the Church encourages parents to be responsible in planning their families, responsible parenthood "concerns the objective moral order which was established by God and of which a right conscience (italics ours) is the true interpreter" (HV 10). Neither the Church nor the Pope can invent the truth about the sanctity of human life and the divine gift that is the sexual faculty. They can only articulate and clarify it, but never create it.. In our effort to be a Church for the Poor and to look at reality from the poor's perspective, we remember that it is only Jesus who is "the Way, the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6) and we look to the Church and the Pope, to whom the keys were given, for guidance and counsel.

A third objection surfaces, "What of the primacy of conscience?" The position paper of the professors states, "Catholic social teachings similarly recognize the primacy of the well-formed conscience over wooden compliance to directives from political and religious authorities" (page 13). While it is true that our conscience always bids us to follow its voice, "in the depths of his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose upon himself, but which holds him in obedience" (Gaudium et Spes 16).

Following one's conscience is therefore not a matter of what one "feels" or "thinks" to be right or wrong. Rather, conscience must stand as a "witness to the authority of truth (italics ours) in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 177). The Catechism quotes John Henry Cardinal Newman who says, "[Conscience] is a messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives" (ibid. 1778). The task of conscience is therefore not to invent truth, but to discern what is true by listening to the voice of Jesus echoed by and through the Church.

It is important to understand that this argument does not lead to a "wooden compliance to directives." Our faith, in St. Anselm's words, is a faith that seeks understanding, fides quaerens intellectum. Catholics therefore do not blindly obey teachings just because they come from the Church. Rather, their faith bids them to seek to understand the mind, heart and spirit of the Church and make them his own.

In the Gospel of St. John, when the Lord told the crowd, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world" (6:51), some of his disciples said, "This is a hard saying; who can accept it?" (6:60). "As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him" (6:66). GK Chesterton poetically articulated this attitude when he said, "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried."

We are similarly faced with a "hard saying"—a faithful and true saying, but hard nevertheless. The Church is not blind to the plight of women, the poor and our young people, but as Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales recently affirmed, this issue is not simply a matter of demographics, economics or sociology. "It's an ethical issue… It's a moral issue." The Church cannot alter the truth about the sanctity of life and the sexual faculty to provide a ready answer to our social dilemma. Catholics whose consciences are good and well formed, and are docile to the honest but firm voice of the Church are bound by conscience not to support the RH Bill. Rather, faced with strong opposition from every side, they turn to our Lord together with St. Peter and exclaim, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!" (John 6:68).

Paul Christopher Cheng
AB Economics-Honors 2008

Varsolo Sunio
BS Physics-CE 2007

Gino Antonio Trinidad
AB Political Science 2008

H/T: jvincentsong

Friday, November 07, 2008

CA Prop 8 Almost a Yes II

I wanted this particular data before I posted the first CA Prop 8 Almost a Yes, but I did not have it until today through MM.
So, who supported the traditional marriage initiative in California?

Black and Latino Obama voters, according to exit polls.


Keep this in mind when you hear liberals ranting about the homophobic, intolerant California voters who oppose gay marriage.

She links to here.
Proposition 8 overturns a May California Supreme Court decision legalizing gay nuptials and rewrites the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Exit poll data showed seven in 10 black voters and more than half of Latino voters backed the ballot initiative, while whites and Asians were split.

Though blacks and Latinos combined make up less than one-third of California’s electorate, their opposition to same-sex marriage appeared to tip the balance. Both groups decisively backed Obama regardless of their position on the initiative.

Obama has said he is not in favor of gay marriage but supports civil unions. The president-elect opposed Proposition 8.

Please enforce

Despite the pundits' desire for Jill Stanek to hang up her gloves now that BO has won, she won't.  She now tells him, in her statement in

“President-elect Obama and his supporters protested loudly that he opposes infanticide of abortion survivors, contrary to what his own record confirmed.

“If it is true that Obama does not support what the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan deemed infanticide, then he should fully support the introduction of Born Alive Infants Protection Act enforcement bills.

“There is significant evidence that babies who survive abortion are either being outright killed or shelved to die despite BAIPA’s 2002 passage. This indicates the need for the President of the United States and its government officials to truly uphold the “right to life” dictated by our Founding Fathers. We hope to have their full support to aid these babies who are born alive after abortions and provide them with necessary medical care.”
She says more in her most recent WorldNetDaily commentary on what it means for the pro-life movement, considering that:

Meanwhile all three state pro-life initiatives failed Tuesday: the California Abortion Waiting Period and Parental Notification Initiative, the Colorado Equal Rights Amendment (defining personhood as beginning at conception) and the South Dakota Abortion Ban Initiative.

And both state anti-life initiatives passed: the Michigan Stem Cell Initiative (allowing human embryo experimentation) and the Washington Death with Dignity Initiative (allowing physician assisted suicide).

Thursday, November 06, 2008

CA Prop 8 almost a Yes

Although the results for the California state ballot measures included in Tuesday's election will have to be certified, it seems that Proposition 8 will pass (52-48), and a change in California's constitution will be effected. Strange,though, that Proposition 4 did not pass. With a quick look, it seems Californians are less likely to accept gay marriages than to put additional requirements for one to procure abortions.

Arizona (56-44) and Florida (62-38) also voted for a similar measure. Arkansas passed an initiative that will ban unmarried "sexual partner(s)" from adopting children or from serving as foster parents. Colorado's Amendment 48 did not pass. It was to define the term "person" to include "any human being from the moment of fertilization", and would have effectively banned abortion in Colorado. South Dakotans also refused to impose more limits to abortion.

Washington passed Initiative 1000, to allow doctor-assisted suicide.

What next? NPA off the terrorist list?

Maybe B. Hussein Obama's winning the Presidency is truly a sign of unity.  Even the communists are rejoicing.  See the post by Michelle Malkin.  Watch the video -- comes in at about 50 seconds.

So what's next?  The US taking off the NPA from the list of foreign terrorist organizations?  Cricky.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

To right a wrong always welcome

Ateneo rebukes profs’ stand on RH bill
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 10:43:00 10/25/2008

MANILA, Philippines—The president of the Ateneo de Manila University has dissociated the school from the position of its faculty members expressing support for the Reproductive Health Bill now pending in the House of Representatives.

In a memo to the Ateneo community wherein he quoted his reply to a request for clarification from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Ateneo president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres said the faculty members had made it clear that they were speaking for themselves alone.

Nebres, in his memo dated October 23, also made it clear that the Ateneo stands with church leaders in questioning and objecting to the family planning and population management measure.

Nebres indicated that CBCP President Angel Lagdameo asked for a clarification from him in connection with the statement of the Ateneo teachers’ position favoring the RH Bill.

Ateneo faculty members have released a position paper entitled Catholics Can Support the RH Bill in Good Conscience and dated October 25. The position paper was widely reported in the newspapers.

“In reply to a request for clarification from His Excellency Most Rev. Angel N. Lagdameo, D.D., President of the CBCP, I wrote him (on October 22)… the faculty members clearly state that they are not speaking for the Ateneo de Manila and that this is their personal position,” Nebres said in his memo dated October 23.

Nebres said he has also written Archbishop Paciano Aniceto and Bishop Gabriel Reyes as early as October 2 about the Ateneo’s position against the RH Bill.

Nebres said several Jesuits have met with members of the faculty in a dialogue regarding the RH Bill. Norman Bordadora

Freedom of Choice

One of the most dangerous bills ever proposed in US Congress is the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). It's been put on hold so far, but the status could change with a change in party control of the White House. Since it was proposed as a reaction to the US Supreme Court's upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion ban, the FOCA is supposed to repeal all laws, federal or state or local, that are not partial to abortion. Read more here.

If the FOCA is signed into law, pro-life activities could be banned as well. Events like this that happened in Cornell will be much worse for pro-lifers.

the one (no caps intentional)

Got a ton of stuff to finish, not much time to troll around the net, so I direct you to this piece in by Guy Benson, Mary Katharine Ham, and Ed Morrissey who say they are:
... two young conservative journalists—both in our 20s. Unlike many of our peers, we are not swept up in Obamamania and would prefer John McCain to win the election. We’ve teamed up with seasoned blogger extraordinaire, Ed Morrissey, whose careful and thoughtful pursuit of the truth—even when it benefits his political opponents—is respected across the blogosphere. In that spirit, we are not at all interested in perpetuating lies, rumors, and innuendo about Barack Obama. Promoting such information does America a disservice, allows Obama’s supporters to justifiably cry “smear,” and damages our own credibility.

I reiterate of course that even if I do not vote in US Elections, the outcome will affect us in the Philippines, whether we like it or not, and only because we tend to copy what they have over in the US.

See also October 23 post of Dawn.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In the tank?

Here's Colleen at STLtoday.

Critics in media conveniently ignore the angry left
Thursday, Oct. 16 2008

After eight years of treating the radical left's foaming-at-the-mouth fury against President George W. Bush as a respectable political posture, America's media establishment has awakened to the dangers of partisan outrage — on the right.

Recent media reports have bemoaned the "angry" tone of rallies for Republicans Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin at which "rowdy crowds" have staged "surreal scenes" featuring what one Washington Post report described as an "outpouring of raw emotion rare in a presidential race." Apparently, the author of that last phrase never attended a rally for Sen. Barack Obama, where supporters have been known to faint and weep upon glimpsing The One.

Attuned as these reporters are to the wrath of the right, they seem to have overlooked the rageaholic tendencies of the left. In the past week alone, groups of Obama supporters spray-painted "Republican means slavery" on the door of a South Carolina GOP office, used a Molotov cocktail to torch a McCain yard sign in Portland, Ore., and arrived at a Palin rally in Pennsylvania sporting T-shirts that described the governor as a four-letter word unprintable in a  family newspaper.

Such nastiness is dispiriting but unsurprising at the end of a hard-fought race. When it gets this close to Election Day, fringe characters inevitably emerge on both ends of the political spectrum.

Yet only one end of that spectrum is drawing the collective ire of mainstream media reporters and commentators. Obama, who recently exhorted supporters to confront Independents and Republicans and "argue with them and get in their face," gets a pass for the strong-arm tactics of his allies on the angry left.

Meanwhile, McCain is blasted for fomenting partisan wrath, even though he has corrected supporters at his rallies when they made comments that he considered over the top.

Mainstream media outlets have given prominent coverage to comments such as those of Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who accused McCain of "sowing the seeds of hatred and division" and compared him to segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace. CNN pundit James Carville has clucked that he fears the McCain crowds "could literally cause physical harm." New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Rich has declared that McCain and Palin are playing "the race card." His evidence: People at McCain-Palin rallies — although not the candidates themselves — sometimes use Obama's middle name or shout out angry retorts to speeches.

Ironically, the same critics seeking to concoct a scandal from a few stray hecklers at McCain-Palin rallies howl in protest whenever McCain supporters raise questions about Obama's much more intimate associations with dubious characters. Whether the topic is Obama's 20-year friendship with racist, anti-American pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his political start in the living room of unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers, his business dealings with convicted felon Tony Rezko or his ties to ACORN, the advocacy group that has been implicated in a nationwide voter-fraud scandal, the answer from Obama's journalistic allies is always the same: That's a distraction.

When it comes to media elites in the grip of Obama-mania, it seems, every criticism of their anointed candidate is a distraction. That bias is not lost on voters. Much of the anger journalists bemoan among McCain supporters is directed at them. As one man told the Washington Post, "You are treating [Obama] like he's Britney Spears and covering him like he's Paris Hilton, instead of the next president of the United States, potentially." Instead of
dismissing such criticism as partisan hysteria, media elites would do well to listen and learn. If they truly want voters to take a more detached, clear-eyed view of the candidates, they can begin by modeling that objectivity in themselves and their own work.

Colleen Carroll Campbell is an author, television and radio host and St. Louis-based fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Her website is

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Delegating Discipline

I quote in full Dr. Ray at the National Catholic Register.
H/T:  Danielle Bean
Delegating Discipline
BY Dr. Ray Guarendi
October 19-25, 2008 Issue | Posted 10/14/08 at 12:54 PM

I know some parents who give kids a say in what consequences they should pay for their misbehaviors. What is your opinion on this approach?

Some parents believe there’s a time and place for kids to set their own discipline consequences: when they’re 27, and the place is their own apartment, maybe somewhere in Europe. I disagree. In fact, I’m certain that allowing youngsters input into at least some of their discipline is fraught with advantages.

First of all, sometimes kids confront us with such bizarre stunts that we’re too shell-shocked to think clearly. We can’t discern any possible rationale for their behavior, much less decide what to do about it. One source of ideas is the source of the trouble: “Iris, I’m not quite sure what to do about this. I’ve never had someone step on every petunia in my flower box looking for a Nerf ball. You tell me what I should do.” The first response you’re likely to hear is “I don’t know.”

You can help Iris gain some insight by following with “Well, if you don’t decide, I’ll have to. Give me something reasonable, and maybe I’ll go with it.” Iris may take a shot at being reasonable, especially if she thinks it will help her escape your “unreasonable” discipline.

A second advantage to concocting one’s own consequences is that the child may be more cooperative in seeing them through. Armstrong may more quietly shovel the snow by himself next time as the price for hitting his brother in the head with an ice ball this time. After all, he publicly picked that outcome. You have it on record with a copy at your attorney’s office.

Third, delegating discipline gives Buford a chance to ponder. In thinking about fair consequences, he is also thinking about the nature of his act. If he needs time to reflect, he can retreat to his room or a similarly quiet, cluttered place and return later with an answer or two. A few youngsters will actually provide several options. These are the ones destined to be counselor types.

Finally, you have the last word on all joint-venture discipline. Leave the matter completely up to Spike, and you could easily hear the likes of “Okay, I’ll write, ‘I’m sorry’ twice … you got any carbon paper?” If given enough time — anywhere between a minute and six years — most kids will conjure up a legitimate outcome: “I think I should pay for all new petunias with my allowance and not have any TV until I do.”

Then, too, kids can be harder on themselves than we would ever be: “I think I should write, ‘I am very, very, very, very sorry for making our home the ugliest house in the neighborhood.’ I think I should write that a million times. And I think I should pay for the broken petunias by mowing the lawn at a penny an acre with a manual lawn mower.”

You may have to temper Chastity’s self-discipline while adding a little meat to Spike’s. In the end, asking kids for discipline help can spur thoughtful answers, teach a good lesson — and keep you from getting an ulcer from struggling to think up something appropriate.

The doctor is always in

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Conspiracy of Silence (EI News)

A Conspiracy of Silence
Melinda Tankard Reist

In two previous excerpts from her book Giving Sorrow Words: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion, journalist and women's rights advocate Melinda Tankard Reist discussed how inadequate and deceptive pre-abortion counseling contributes to the lack of authentic and fair choice, and many women's experiences of coercion, mistreatment, and the psychological and physical effects of abortion.

In this excerpt, she describes the silence and absence of help that many women face after abortion -- a further injustice that deepens their pain and isolation and can lead to prolonged suffering.

E. Joanne Angelo, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine in the U.S., has written about the importance of the mourning process:

Grief following a death in the family is a universally accepted experience. A period of mourning following the loss of a loved one is a normal expectation in every culture. It is also generally understood that if this mourning process is blocked or impacted, there will be negative consequences.1
But there is no period of mourning for a woman suffering grief after an abortion. There are no grief teams, no body for her to cuddle and dress, no footprints or photographs to keep in an album, no ceremony, no grave on which to lay flowers; in short, nothing to acknowledge that this baby ever existed.

Peta makes this point in an extract from her story, writing, "The pain and grief continues because there is no acknowledgment of death, except in my heart ... The shadow of my lost little girl or boy will always follow me."

Beatrice, who underwent a second trimester abortion, describes what this lack of acknowledgement feels like:

My grief will be unresolved because you cannot grieve the normal way, you can’t repeat and repeat yourself. My husband and I never talk about the inner feelings ... although I’m sure he must think of it too. It’s just taboo and you put it to the back of your mind ...

Katarina, a psychologist, wrote of feeling cheated because she is not free to grieve:
My sister has since had two stillbirths—as a family we have grieved and empathized with her and her husband’s dreadful pain. Inside of me I felt cheated as no one had grieved with me for my two lost children—not even me. When my mum says no one in the family has experienced pain like my sister my heart cries out silently, "But I have."

Women are told they’ll get over it, that time heals, but find this is not true. Elizabeth had an abortion in 1973:
The aftermath was a numbness I hadn’t anticipated. I was numb, hollow, dead, and so very heavy with sorrow. The feelings didn’t “go with time” as my delighted mother assured me they would. I grew morose, bitter, very sad; so heavy with sadness, I can’t describe it . . .
I cried every day, I stayed as drunk as I could for as long as I could, and I hated myself and everyone else. I used to dream about the child I’d lost ... I wanted my child. I loved it, cherished it, yearned for its birth, missed it when it was taken from me, and to this day, 26 years later, feel the tragic heaviness of loss. My only consolation is that one day when I die our souls may reunite.
A grieving post-aborted woman faces a conspiracy of silence. She is expected to be full of gratitude and praise that she could access the “right to choose;” to speak badly of her experience makes her seem ungrateful.

The Absence of Help
Women often spoke of being unable to get satisfactory help for their grief from clinics or organizations connected with abortion. Karleen said that when she sought help at a women’s counseling clinic, she was told it was wrong of her to speak badly of her abortion experience. Kara told of posting her personal abortion story on an Internet discussion of abortion. She was told to “get lost”—her story wasn’t welcome.

Sue also went to a women’s center and tried to share the grief she had carried for 24 years:

I took a risk last year at the local women’s center and was very surprised to be confronted by the hostility of one woman present—she had every right to her opinion but I made the mistake of assuming that the women’s center would be a safe place to discuss it without judgment.
There are few “safe places” for women to share their grief. Women are made to suppress their pain and invent other reasons to explain what they are going through. A woman who shared her abortion pain in a story in The Age in 1992 described trying to get help from a pro-choice organization:
They said the reason (that you are hurting) is that you’ve got stuff in your background that you need to resolve. But I don’t think I’ve got unfinished business.2
If a woman is depressed after an abortion, she is made to feel it’s her own inability to deal with sadness which is the problem. The onus is all on the woman. But, as Isabelle wrote, "[P]ost-abortion grief is a very real experience. It goes on and on. Every time abortion is debated it sounds ten times as loud and it hurts ten times as much."

The Need for Resolution

Contributors to this book described many ways of trying to understand what happened to them, searching for a place of “healing” or “resolution” or “peace.” They had in common a need to find a way through crushing grief and to give expression to their mourning and sense of bereavement. A few were able to find a pathway to resolution; others still look for it.
But many more have not been permitted expression of their pain, nor been allowed to seek a way through it. They remain locked in, shut up, shut out of the discussion. Surely the time is long due that they too be encouraged to speak, to give their sorrow words and so help resolve their grief.


Excerpted from the book Giving Sorrow Words: Women's Stories of Grief After Abortion, by Melinda Tankard Reist. This book is available from the Elliot Institute under our Acorn Books publishing imprint. For more information, visit or call 1-888-412-2676.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Double bladed

Dawn Eden's post entitled "I saw some things I can’t get out of my head: Med student 'incredibly freaked out' after a day at Planned Parenthood" made Sam to comment:
The most disturbing was the one with the head severed from the body. I guess that some people who look down upon an Islamic fascist who would sever the head of an infidel never considered that in the United States of God Bless America we do that every day of the week to thousands of unborn humans.
Definitely true. How much outrage have events like this, or this, or this, or this angered us, and get MSM to put in much coverage?

Will they?

Will Media Report ACORN Voter Registration Fraud and Obama Ties?

Of why most US main stream media have not and will not put more emphasis.
H/T Newsbusters.

To be sure, complaining about media's absurd double standard this election cycle seems almost like beating a dead horse.

However, as press members have focused great attention on voting fraud since the Florida recount debacle in 2000, it seems impossible to believe they're ignoring the glaring abuses ACORN is alleged to be committing this year, and the fact that despite his protestations to the contrary, Obama has been involved with this organization for decades.

Well...maybe not.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Marketing the Novus Ordo

From the Creative Minority Report.

Who is really pro-life . . .

I am quoting from Jill's blog the Johnstown, PA speech by Sarah Palin. I could not find the text of the speech in the link that Jill put in her post.

In this same spirit, as defenders of the culture of life, John McCain and I believe in the goodness and potential of every innocent life. I believe the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who are least able to defend and speak for themselves. And who is more vulnerable, or more innocent, than a child?

When I learned that my son Trig would have special needs, I had to prepare my heart for the challenges to come. At first I was scared, and Todd and I had to ask for strength and understanding. But I can tell you a few things I've learned already.

Yes, every innocent life matters. Everyone belongs in the circle of protection. Every child has something to contribute to the world, if we give them that chance. There are the world's standards of perfection... and then there are God's, and these are the final measure. Every child is beautiful before God, and dear to Him for their own sake....

As for our beautiful baby boy, for Todd and me, he is only more precious because he is vulnerable. In some ways, I think we stand to learn more from him than he does from us. When we hold Trig and care for him, we don't feel scared anymore. We feel blessed.

It's hard to think of many issues that could possibly be more important than who is protected in law and who isn't - who is granted life and who is denied it. So when our opponent, Senator Obama, speaks about questions of life, I listen very carefully.

I listened when he defended his unconditional support for unlimited abortions. He said that a woman shouldn't have to be - quote - "punished with a baby." He said that right here in Johnstown - "punished with a baby" - and it's about time we called him on it. The more I hear from Senator Obama, the more I understand why he is so vague and evasive on the subject. Americans need to see his record for what it is. It's not negative or mean-spirited to talk to about his record. Whatever party you belong to, there are facts you need to know.

Senator Obama has voted against bills to end partial-birth abortion. In the IL Senate, a bipartisan majority passed legislation against that practice. Senator Obama opposed that bill. He voted against it in committee, and voted "present" on the Senate floor. In that legislature, "present" is how you vote when you're against something, but don't want to be held to account.

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat, described partial-birth abortion as "too close to infanticide." Barack Obama thinks it's a constitutional right, but he is wrong.

Most troubling, as a state senator, Barack Obama wouldn't even stand up for the rights of infants born alive during an abortion. These infants - often babies with special needs - are simply left to die.

In 2002, Congress unanimously passed a federal law to require medical care for those babies who survive an abortion. They're living, breathing babies, but Senator Obama describes them as "pre-viable." This merciful law was called the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. IL had a version of the same law. Obama voted against it.

Asked about this vote, Senator Obama assured a reporter that he'd have voted "yes" on that bill if it had contained language similar to the federal version of the Born Alive Act. There's just one little problem with that story: the language of both the state and federal bills was identical.

In short, Senator Obama is a politician who has long since left behind even the middle ground on the issue of life. He has sided with those who won't even protect a child born alive. And this exposes the emptiness of his promises to move beyond the "old politics."

In both parties, Americans have many concerns to be weighed in the votes they cast on November fourth. In times like these, with wars and a financial crisis, it's easy to forget even as deep and abiding a concern as the right to life. And it seems our opponent hopes that you will forget. Like so much else in his agenda, he hopes you won't notice how radical his ideas and record are until it's too late.

But let there be no misunderstanding about the stakes.

A vote for Barack Obama is a vote for activist courts that will continue to smother the open and democratic debate we need on this issue, at both the state and federal level. A vote for Barack Obama would give the ultimate power over the issue of life to a politician who has never once done anything to protect the unborn. As Senator Obama told Pastor Rick Warren, it's above his pay grade.

For a candidate who talks so often about "hope," he offers no hope at all in meeting this great challenge to the conscience of America. There is a growing consensus in our country that we can overcome narrow partisanship on this issue, and bring all the resources of a generous country to the aid of both women in need and the child waiting to be born. We need more of the compassion and idealism that our opponent's own party, at its best, once stood for. We need the clarity and conviction of leaders like the late Governor Bob Casey.

He represented a humanity that speaks to all of us - no matter what our party, our background, our faith, or our gender. And no matter your position on this sensitive subject, I hope that spirit will guide you on Election Day. I ask you to vote for McCain-Palin on the November 4th, and help us to bring this country together in the rational discussion of compassion and life.