Archive for October, 2003

Whats up Doc?

The Sun newspaper quoted a source at the school as saying: “By the time the afternoon lessons began, there was no hiding what they had done.”

Boyhood pranks–Ahh–I remember some of my own.

Paramedics were called after a fellow student told teachers about the 13-year-olds’ prank.

I never remember paramedics called as a result of mine, just what did these fine young men do?

The local education authority said they think the student took the pills from home and brought them to the all-boys school where he shared them with five friends.

Well now we know pills were involved– these kids show more courage than I did. Lets see, they took pills and the result is now obvious. Must have been slurring words and swaying down the halls.

Paramedics took the six squirming boys to the nearby Royal Berkshire Hospital, where they were monitored until the effects wore off.
The effects of Viagra are typically felt for up to 4 hours, according to viagra.com.

Damm no wonder the prank became so PRONOUNCED. I have heard of giving an apple to the teacher, but will this become the latest fad to hit high schools?
I can see the commercials now. If the an Ameican ad agency gets a hold of these kids were all in trouble!
Hey dad, you won’t be needing that viagra now. If mom allows you within 10 km’s after this embarressment it will be a miracle!
Read the story

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I was wondering about recent stories on a new Iraqi currency. In a place where it takes a truck load of bills to purchase the smallest items it raised questions in my mind. “The most common currency of the old regime – – the 250 dinar note, is worth about 10 cents”. Did someone find the often refered to money tree? In a sense they did, and it grows in Northern California. And the seeds are worth $170 million.

Iraqi bills

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A Sassy Lawyer in Philippine Suburbia: Yes to mass transport; get rid of jeepneys, buses and tricycles

As usual Sassy has touched a nerve that pains us all in the Philippines. Her discourse can be read by following the link.

I have more than my fair share of road rage days plying the highways and byways of Laguna. Luckily none of the Wife’s relative’s live in Manila so my travels almost never take me north of Alabang. Here in the resort and bedroom community of Calamba the problems still exists just on a slightly smaller
scale. The almost complete lack of law enforcement, overabundance of PUJ’S and tricycles mirror problems thought-out most of the country.
Here’s my take on the problems, and solutions.

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What the Hell is wrong with these people!

PRESS Undersecretary He­racleo “Rocky” Nazareno, flayed for urinating on the emergency exit of the presidential plane while drunk, apologized to President Arroyo Wednesday, saying he is “sorry not only for causing embarrassment to himself but also to the Office of the President.”

Is this the real world, or have I slipped into some other dimension? Did I turn off the SLEX at an exit sign that read “Blackhole 500 meters”. I’am no genious by any means, but what in the name of whatever you think is Holy was this guy thinking? And then have the nerve to use the I was drunk excuse, like it will be all better!
And look at his apology. He not only placed having an empty bladder as his number one priority but his embarrassment was more important than the President!
GMA is reported to have banned him from future foreign trips. Yea, that’ll solve it. Leave him here to piss on the natives doorsteps. I assume from his position as Press Undersecretary that he is a journalist by trade. If thats the case may I suggest a job with one of those sleezy taboid’s pounding the night beat at Smokey Mountain. He can urinate till he can’t urinate no more!

Thats it I’m otta here……

‘Rocky’ tells GMA sorry for taking leak on plane door” href=”http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2003/oct/23/top_stories/20031023top11.html”>Read the story and be amazed, or is it DUMBFOUNDED

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The criticisms of COMELEC and the upcoming digital elections are finally resonating outside the Blogisphere.
This article in todays Philippine Inquirer outlines problems with all three phases of election modernization. Will anyone heed the call for for a reality check before its too late?
Someone needs a watchdog with bigger teeth, and a case of rabies to rid the system of waste fraud and abuse!

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Seems a hornets nest of comments has been stirred up at Sassy’s house on a Hill
As an American who now lives in the Philippines I feel qualified to speak on the speech, Democracy, and its current Philippine form.

As most Presidential Speeches Saturdays contained mostly fluff and little substance. Written to appeal to the traveling press corps to be digested and spit out as sound bites for TV stations throughout Southeast Asia and home. Nothing more than pre-arrival propaganda directed at follow-on visits to Thailand and the APEC Meeting in Malaysia.
As any guest in your house it’s expected that Bush would lavish the host with praise and platitudes. That’s normal procedure that any President, Prime Minister, or Dictator would employ, and not to be taken too seriously. The Rizal reference was most likely “Googled” by a staff member or suggested by the White House Chef, who I understand is of Philippine decent..

Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the word Democracy has its roots in the Greek language, Greece having been the first incarnation of the system. Of the many succeeding experiments the American form has been the most successful. Would I recommend a Democratic system to anyone desireing change? A qualified yes with a caveat. Adopting the American blueprint without reservation is foolish, but more so by not learning from its mistakes. Those mistakes I’ll save for another post but here are two hints.

“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” –Thomas Jefferson

Webster’s defines Democracy as “government by the people, collectively”.
That “collective” is now populated by interests groups, lobbyists, multi-national corporations, and an elitist press that serves its own interests rather than the people.

I’m out….

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New use for Blogs

John Allen Muhammad is on trial in Virginia Beach in the sniper spree that terrorized the Washington area last fall. Kerry Sipe, online news coordinator for The Virginian-Pilot, is reporting live from the Beach courts complex. Check here often for minute-by-minute updates throughout the trial.

Web Journals — Muhammad trial updates — HamptonRoads.com

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The Philippine Sheepskin

“The Aids virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon,”– Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family.

The Archbishop of Nairobi, Raphael Ndingi Nzeki told the BBC: “AIDS…has grown so fast because of the availability of condoms.”

In Luak near Lake Victoria, [also Africa] Gordon Wambi, director of an AIDS testing center, said he had been prevented from distributing condoms because of church opposition.

And Cranial says:
I guess the condom, commonly refered to as a sheepskin won’t be on the Vatican’s list of Blessings. Once again the Catholic Church has demonstrated a total collapse of moral leadership. I cannot understand how its leadership can peddle blatant lies from their Holy throne. The irony is the lies are also killing the chances for parishioners to make the children that priests can sodomize and church leaders can pretend not to know about. Good Catholics must rise up and demand accountability from the murderous liars who have seized control of their Church.
The Asia Times link below gives background on the lies being propagated in the Philippines.

Asia Times
MANILA – It would probably be a fair assessment to say that a sizable majority of Filipinos in this mainly Catholic nation believe in miracles. But even the most pious of believers might have a difficult time swallowing one particular miracle being peddled these days.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), the number of Filipinos who had, as of 2002, contracted the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) stood at a mere 1,503. Now compare that to the numbers which, according to figures from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), showed 7.1 million people in the Asia-Pacific region with HIV at the end of 2001 out of a total 40 million people worldwide. An estimated 1.07 million people in the Asia-Pacific region got infected in 2001 alone, with close to half a million deaths due to AIDS, the disease HIV causes, in the same year.

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A view from inside Iraq

Maureen Fan Blog

Maureen is a reporter for the Mercury News, a SF Bay area newspaper. The following exerpt is taken from a blog about her experiences.

I’ve been here a week now, and it seems that from an electricity-garbage-traffic point of view Baghdad is better than when I left at the end of June. Iraqis still go hours without electricity, sewage still runs down the street in poorer neighborhoods and traffic is still brutal on Saturdays (the start of the workday week here) but most Iraqis I’ve talked to say these things are better than before. There are reports that the curfew may be lifted completely in a week’s time. More shops are open later in the evening in the busy Karada neighborhood and merchants like Mudhafir Abdul Majeed Fatohi, who owns five electronics shops, say business is about 70% of what it was before the war.

“Every month is better than the previous month,’’ said Fatohi, 52 and a mechanical engineer with papers that allow him to do business in Sweden and Jordan.

But from a security point of view, it’s obviously much worse. Not only have there been more roadside bombs and suicide bombings, but Shia on Shia violence has escalated and the fear of carjackings and kidnappings is higher than ever. A radical cleric who is complicating the new Governing Council’s job by pushing his own new government is suspected as the driving force behind several of the latest bombings. Women continue to be shuttered in their homes because of these fears, although sometimes this is the result of an overprotective husband more worried about other men looking at his wife.

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COMELEC and the Digital Realm

We all know the Philipine election process has been flawed by corruption, vote buying, and registration anomalies for many years. The hope is that the COMELEC’S modernization program would lead to cleaner elections. Already we have heard about problems from un-named sources within the COMELEC. Those in charge have dismissed them and promised a clean election. The reality is contained in the links provided. The new electronic process is far from foolproof, and is subject to manipulation unlike any “flying voter” ever dreamed of. If the most advanced digital society on Earth is unable to conduct a fault free “touchscreen” election the hopes of COMELEC producing one is less than zero. The time to act is now, I believe COMELEC should scrap any ideas of a digital election in any form. If the Philippine Congress, the local media outlets, and the Palace are flooded with letters/email containing this investigative report some action may be possible before its to late.

Sassy over at House on a Hill writes about a COMELEC whistleblower.

Summary, The Independent a British daily newspaper has said next year’s US presidential election may be compromised by new voting machines that computer scientists believe are unreliable, poorly programmed and prone to tampering.
An investigation published in today’s Independent reveals tens of thousands of touch screen voting machines may be less reliable than the old punchcards, which famously stalled the presidential election in Florida in 2000, leaving the whole election open to international ridicule.

That investigation

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