Monday, December 20, 2010

Google Seeks Users to Test Chrome Netbook

Do you want to test drive a Chrome netbook for free? Google is looking for you. It launched a pilot program Tuesday to gather feedback about its new netbook platform and is accepting applications for it until Dec. 21 from anyone who is at least 18 years old and lives in the United States.

Judging from the application for the pilot program, Google's looking for testers from several areas--business, education, non-profits, developers and individuals.
According to the company, the best candidates for the program are people who "live on the Web" and are not faint of heart. "Things might not always work just right," it cautions.
Each participant in the pilot will receive a black Cr-48 Chrome Notebook. The unit boots up in about 10 seconds and recovers from sleep mode instantly, according to Google. It has Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity from Verizon, as well as a Webcam for video chat.
Other features of the 3.8-pound unit include a 12-inch display, full-size keyboard, eight hours of active battery life, and a week of standby time.

What has been left out of the netbook may be as important as what Google put into it. It doesn't have a hard disk or caps-lock or function keys, and you can work with it on your lap for extended periods of time without burning your thighs.
While the pilot is open to a variety of users, Google is particularly targeting business users with the platform. The devices are secure, easy to administer, have a low cost of ownership, and integrate with Google Apps, which is used by many businesses.

Ready for prime time Chrome netbooks made by Acer and Samsung should be available in the first half of 2011, according to Google.

The company also noted that the Chrome OS is designed to work across a wide range of screen sizes and form factors, so it will be easy to extend the OS beyond netbooks.

When Google announced the Chrome OS a year ago, it bragged that it would have netbooks based in the software available for the 2010 holidays. It may not have met that deadline, but at least the test program removes the vaporware stigma from the platform.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pacquiao-Margarito: What We Can Learn From The Humility, Empathy, and Grace of Manny Pacquiao

Another Pacquiao fight — another drubbing of a much larger opponent, and Pacquaio’s legend as a boxer grows. But the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito produced not just a memorable pay-per-view experience worth every penny of the $64.95 it cost — it produced, for this observer at least, some moments of clarity that helped me better understand what makes the Filipino “National Fist” so much more than just a great athlete.

The True Tale of How the Fight Unfolded, and How Pacquaio Had to Fight Through Early Adversity to Gain Control

First, if you didn’t see the fight but have read about it, you probably have read that Pacquiao dominated; that he won every round or almost every round; that he cut Margarito to shreds so much so that everyone, including Pacquaio, had legitimate concerns about Margarito’s health and whether the fight should continuing the later rounds. That rendition of the fight is accurate up to a point — but it fails to capture the genuine peril that Pacquaio faced in the early rounds, the genuine threat that Margarito represented, and thus the challenge that Pacquiao overcame to prevail against Margarito–a fighter who was in the best shape of his life and weighed 165 to Pacquiao’s 148 on fight night–an advantage of not just 17 lbs but 12% of of body weight–a Goliath to Pacquiao’s David and a disgraced Mexican warrior on an epic quest for redemption  Could Margarito have been more prepared or more motivated?  I don’t see how.  That’s what Pacquiao was up against.

Think it was easy for Pacquiao? Think again. As the fight began, Emmanuel Steward, hall of fame trainer and normally shrewd commentator for HBO said: “I see the size difference — it’s a big factor right now. I see he’s not used to punching at a man as big as this one who seems to be absorbing his blows pretty easily.” Then there was Margarito’s jab — a new weapon — that was touching Pacquiao up in the first round. Steward: “What I’m surprised about is Margarito’s jab, which is a very good move, and that seems at this stage to be the most dominant punch in the fight.” A few moments later, with a minute to go in the first round, Steward said of Pacquaio: “He may have a problem tonight — the physical size seems to be a big factor.” By the time the first round ended Pacquiao had thrown enough punches to  win the round — but just barely, and the sense was that he could be in trouble, that he finally might have bitten off more than he could chew. The jab was a problem, the size difference was a problem, and Margarito–a notoriously slow starter–might get stronger as the fight wore on.

In the early part of the second round Max Kellerman — another normally astute boxing analyst and commentator, had this to say: “Margarito has landed not only some shots but a head butt followed by a right hand — these are hard shots from a big man.”   This prompted Steward to repeat: “The size is being a big factor as I see it right here.” Then, after Pacquiao mounted a flurry that didn’t seem to hurt Margarito, Jim Lampley said: “The loss of power from punching up could be a factor in the fight” – meaning that Margarito’s height advantage was causing Pacquiao to punch skyward and this was taking power out of the punches. Then with 10 seconds to go in round 2, Steward said: “Looking at the eyes, Pacquiao is much more uncomfortable than Margarito is at this stage even though he may be winning the fight.” Lampley: “Brand new experience for Pacquiao.”

Easy fight?

And that was how it felt after the first two rounds. But as he has so often in the past, Pacquiao — guided by the man he calls his “master” Freddie Roach — gradually began to solve the Margarito puzzle and find ways to use his astonishing hand speed, footwork, head movement, and ring savvy to start slicing his opponent, most notably opening a cut under Margarito’s right eye that almost immediately began to swell, causing the eye to almost close. [[Comment: Margarito went straight to the hospital after the fight and it was determined is orbital bone was broken.]] From there Manny gained the upper hand but even after the cut had begun a problem, there were some nerve wracking moments, notably in the 6th round when Margarito got Pacquaio against the ropes and hit him with a huge left to the liver that buckled Pacquiao’s knees.  Later, and more than once, he rocked Manny with uppercuts, most notably one in the 8th round that clearly hurt.

Yet in spite of being hurt more than once, Pacquaio dominated; he repeatedly landed power punches that soon had Margarto’s entire face swollen and bleeding and yet Margarito — to his credit as a warrior if not a sensible human — refused to go down and refused to stop.

By the 10th round there was ample reason to stop the fight–and Pacquaio glanced at the referee more than once as if to ask, “Shouldn’t you end this?”, and his look was one of concern, not bravado and dismissiveness. Steward at that point commented that while the referee had every reason to stop the fight–he wouldn’t because Margarito was still demonstrating his grit by throwing punches even though he could hardly see and his punches no longer had snap or power to them.  To which Kellerman said, rightly: “It’s not about his eyes, it’s about his brain — how many power punches flush to the head can a man take?”   And indeed,  by the end, the compu-box figures that Pacquaio had landed a disturbing 401 power punches to Margarito’s head — and who knows when the damage from that kind of beating will present itself.

Margarito on his stool between the 11th and 12th rounds looked more like Rocky Balboa in the original “Rocky” than any real fight most of us have ever seen —  both eyes almost swollen shut, punch drunk, but demanding that he be allowed to continue, to finish it.  All that was missing was Margarito yelling “cut me” to make it a complete reprise of Hollywood’s epic and amped up vision of the outclassed warrior willing to risk everything to go the distance.   There he was,  insisting through his mangled features that he wanted to fight one more round, to make it to the end, and his corner let him do it–a decision that honored Margarito’s epic courage but placed him in epic danger.

And then it was the 12th round, with Margarito out on his feet and all but defenseless, game but beaten.   There was every reason to believe that Pacquaio, hungry for the KO that would put the exclamation point on his performance, would swarm Margarito and either drop him at last,  or mount a swarming,  blistering final assault that would leave the referee with no choice but to stop it.

But that didn’t happen.

Grace in the 12th Round

The first sign that something special was about to happen came during the traditional touching of gloves before the last round. Pacquiao touched them up, but went a step further — giving a deep nod to Margarito – a salute — and then, as if to make sure the salute was understood, he touched his right glove one more time to Margarito’s — stepped back, crossed himself, and began to “fight” — but not quite.  For the first 30 seconds of the round Pacquiao, who had been throwing power punches at a rate of one every five seconds of the entire fight,  threw only two tentative punches that wouldn’t have hurt a fly, circling Margarito instead of engaging with him.  Pacquiao threw his third punch – an inconsequential jab, 40 seconds into the round –thus three inconsequential punches 1/4 of the way through the final round, when by simple “average” punch count Pacquaio would by then have normally thrown at least 25 punches. 

Something was up. At 45 seconds into the round, Lampley was the first commentator to realize what was happening and comment on it: “Max, I honestly wonder whether Pacquiao has no more stomach for the punishment. He doesn’t seem eager to hit Margarito any more.” Kellerman: “It looks like he’s carrying Margarito right now.” Steward: “It’s much like Joe Calzaghe did…” Lampley: “Some of the greatest fighters in history have done this. There is no question Pacquiao is pulling his punches now. He is not following through and committing the way he does……it’s a nod to Margarito’s guts and courage…and Pacquaio is going to let him finish the fight.” And then Lampley capped it off — no doubt with some hyperbole — but then Pacquiao invites, and deserves, hyperbole: “This is not Manny Pacquaio the fighter, this is Manny Pacquiao the Congressman, Manny Pacquiao the cultural icon, Manny Pacquiao the citizen of the world. That’s the man who’s letting Margarito finish.”

Humility, Empathy, and Candor in the Post Fight Interviews

As the fight ended Pacquaio knelt in his corner in prayer as is his custom. I’ve watched Pacquiao do this and each time I’m struck by his body language as he prays – the intensity with which he clutches his gloves to his head,  blocking out the crowd, the arena, the chaos around him creating what clearly must be a profound moment of heartfelt religious communion.  And then, moments later as the championship belt was draped over his shoulders, a smiling Pacquiao immediately looked around for his crucifix – found it dangling from the hand of a handler, then immediately leaned forward,  head bowed, placing it around his neck.

And then a gracious and amazingly (yet typically) humble post fight interview with Max Kellerman who started by saying: “Manny, that was a pretty big guy you just beat up – what was that like?” Pacquiao: “It’s hard, I really …I mean ….I did my best to win the fight….he’s strong….a very tough fighter. And I can’t believe it.” Kellerman: “What can’t you believe?” Pacquiao: “I mean, he’s very tough and strong and I never expect that.” Who ever heard a boxer be so candid and so humble after such a victory?  What other boxer’s ego would allow such statements?

Then Kellerman drilled down a bit, noting that Pacquiao had gotten his back to the ropes and had a few tough moments in the fight, ending it with “Why was your back on the ropes.” Pacquiao: “Well, I’m trying to psyche him that I’m not hurt, but the truth is — he’s really strong and I got hurt.” Full stop — again, when did a winning boxer ever admit so openly to getting hurt?  Kellerman: “When did you get hurt?” Pacquiao: “When I stayed on the rope.” Kellerman: “Where did you get hurt?” Pacquiao: “In the body and in the face. He got me in the uppercut, so … I am so lucky tonight.” And later, in his second interview: “I tell you the truth. I got hurt in the body shot, I tell you, I got ..I felt so weak in that round because I got really hurt in my stomach.”  [[Comment: Two days later, on Monday, there were media reports that Pacquiao had canceled a TMZ appearance due to rib and torso pain--and watching the replay of the shot in question, it was apparent that the blow almost dropped Pacquiao to the canvas, and that he struggled mightily to regain weather the storm it caused.]]

Kellerman then asked — what were you asking the referee to do when you looked toward him in the 11th round (presumably imploring him to stop the fight). Pacquiao: “You know, I feel….pity to my opponent…his eyes, his bloody face, you know — take a look for that.”  Later, in another interview, Pacquiao was more direct:  ”Boxing is not about killing each other. It’s about entertainment.”

Kellerman: “In the 12th round it looked like maybe you were backing off, maybe not to hurt him”: “I’m not looking for a knockout. I want to finish the round. My trainer said take it easy, win the round, just be careful.” Now this is interesting because on the surface it sounds like Manny was just following Roach’s instructions–and indeed I have no doubt that Roach gave the instructions Manny describes. But I think there is something else going on here — he didn’t want to “dis” his opponent by saying that he intentionally let up. Instead, he just left it that his corner told him to win the round and be careful. But everything from the salute to Margarito at the beginning to Manny’s demeanor throughout the round confirms that he was, indeed, “carrying” Margarito to the finish line, giving the warrior his due in the process.

The interview finished with Pacquiao saying: “That’s all I can give. I’m trying to make people happy.” For a boxer to say “I want to make people happy” seems overly simplistic on one level — but when you think of where Pacquiao comes from — not just the Philippines, but the mean streets of the Philippines, a place of grinding poverty where there is no escape and where hope is often all but extinguished — the power to “make people happy” is a power that means more than producing a transitory moment of enjoyment. It’s an ability to fundamentally alter that state of mind and heart for people – to lift them up and make them feel that there’s hope, and good things are possible in a tough unfriendly world. For Manny Pacquiao, to “make people happy” is something far more profound and meaningful than it would be if the same statement were coming from an American boxer.

Asked about his next moves, Pacquaio replied: “That’s why …. I have another job after this, I’m going back to the Philippines and do my job as a public servant — and I want to help people.” Honestly — much of the time when Pacquiao speaks English you have the feeling that he’s groping for words, that he could be much more articulate in Tagalog — and yet there is a simple clarity to his choice of words — ‘do my job as a public servant’ and ‘I want to help people’. How can you not believe he is sincere — and humble. He’s not just a “public servant” – he’s a congressman, and rightly proud of that. But he always chooses to refer to himself by the term “public servant”, not “Congressman”. There’ is genuine humility–and perhaps a touch of political genius– in that.

The Last Word

Those of us who are connected to the Philippines have followed Manny Pacquiao for many years and we’ve heard him say things like this, and act in this humble, gentle manner — so this in itself is not news for us. But as his fame grows and the rest of the world gradually wakes up and takes notice of Pacquaio as a sporstman who transcends national boundaries and the niche of boxing, hearing him speak this way reminds us that while on the one hand what we see in Manny is unique, in another way it is not, because what is on display when Pacquiao speaks is essential Filipino values that typify the elusive best of a country whose people’s humble and gentle virtues are not particularly well understood abroad. This is, after all, a world where, for example, some cultures have adopted the term “filipina” to be slang for “housekeeper”.

The truth is, it’s easy for ignorant westerners to underestimate and misinterpret the gentle, gracious nature of the Filipino character — yet somehow Manny Pacquaio is singlehandedly changing that, teaching the world and reminding the Philippine universe that humility, grace, compassion, and empathy can coexist with the heart of a warrior.

Yet even if Filipinos instinctively understand the meaning of Manny Pacquiao better than we foreigners — they have been traveling on a learning curve with Pacquaio as well.  Remember that Pacquaio’s popularity in the Philippines, great as it is, did not automatically win him a berth in Congress. He ran previously,  two years ago and lost badly. Some said the loss reflected what was in essence a cynical “no” vote from an electorate who wanted him to keep fighting;  others inerpreted the “no” as a desire keep Pacquiao from becoming tarnished by the dirty nature of Philippine politics.  Pacquao lost, and it wasn’t a split decision — it was much closer to a political knockout.  But he didn’t give up, he showed patience and sincerity and above all perserverence, and throughout it all he continued to talk compellingly about his real reasons for doing it — and along the way many of the skeptics who saw in his first run for Congress a questionable act of celebrity ego began to gradually come to understand that it was another impulse, the impulse toward genuine and sincere public service, that was driving Pacquiao.   And so now he has the position he sought — the position of “public servant”, and he has stated that his goal is to become a “champion of public service” as his life transitions toward a new phase. Boxing has been his vehicle to “make people happy” in one profound, “let me lift you up” way that Filipinos perhaps understand better than the rest of us. That phase will end.

But now, today, he is an elected Congressman who through both his boxing and public service has truly has made millions of people happy in that transcendant way he seeks–so truly and so beautifully that the skinny kid who grew up on the streets may well someday have the opportunity to lead not just an impoverished Sarangani province, but an entire resurgent nation that with Pacquaio as example-maker-in-chief–a long-suffering and self doubting country that under his inspired leadership may lift itself up as a country in ways that would be just as surprising, yet just as inevitable, as Pacquaio’s rise to the top in boxing.

I for one believe in Manny Pacquiao–his heart, his sincerity, the sheer power of his will, and the true Filipino essence of his character.  He makes me feel hope for the future of the Philippines, and proud to be part of a Fil-Am household that has plenty of Filipino blood flowing through our family’s veins.


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Sunday, November 07, 2010

"How to give yourself cancer in five easy steps"

Following with our ever-popular series on "How to Get Disease," this article discusses how to give yourself a raging case of cancer. It could be breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer or even something like leukemia. By following the instructions in this article, you can give yourself almost any form of cancer desirable and if you pursue these strategies to their fullest potential, you could end up with several different forms of cancer all at once. So, let's get started and learn how to give yourself cancer.

If you're aiming for a raging case of cancer, the first thing you've got to do is start consuming food ingredients that actually promote cancer. One of the most powerful cancer-promoting food ingredients of all is called sodium nitrate. This is an ingredient that is added to virtually all packaged meat products including hot dogs, pepperoni, ham, lunchmeat and other similar products. You'll also find it in bacon, sausages and most breakfast meats. It's listed right on the ingredients labels of all of these foods. In order to find sodium nitrate, all you have to do is walk around the grocery store, read the ingredients labels of various packaged meat products and purchase those products that contain it. Then, consume them on a frequent basis and before long, you will greatly increase your odds of being diagnosed with cancer.

There are other ingredients that are suspected of causing cancer. These include hydrogenated oils, aspartame, saccharin and artificial colors, to name a few. A diet that is very high in refined carbohydrates has also been clinically shown to increase your odds of being diagnosed with cancer, so be sure to get plenty of these foods in your pro-cancer diet. That means chowing down on white bread, sweetened breakfast cereals, white fluffy pancakes, candy bars, granola bars, cookies, crackers and sweets of all kinds.

The next thing you can do to give yourself cancer is one of the more obvious things: take up a smoking habit. The more you smoke, the more likely you are to get cancer, especially if you're eating cancer-causing foods and ingredients as discussed above. By smoking, you will multiply the carcinogenic effect of everything else in your life. Before long, you will succeed in your goal at being diagnosed with cancer.

If you'd like to move things along a little more quickly, you can also stay out of all sunlight and use plenty of sun block and sunscreen any time you go outside. This will prevent natural sunlight from touching your skin. Now, how will this give you cancer? It turns out that natural sunlight is powerful prevention for cancer. People who get plenty of natural sunlight have a greatly reduced risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, breast cancer and many other disorders that aren't cancer-related such as osteoporosis and mental depression. By staying out of the sun or using sun block and sunscreen every time you're under the sun, you can prevent your body from preventing cancer, thereby giving yourself a much greater risk for cancer with each passing day. If you find it difficult to avoid the sun, just get a night shift job where you work all night and sleep all day. That's a hugely successful pro-cancer strategy.

Another thing you can do is avoid all physical exercise. It turns out that moving your body helps you prevent cancer. Part of the reason is that body movement moves lymph fluid around, and this is an important function of your immune system that fights cancerous cells. If you refrain from all body movement, you will hamper your body's ability to fight off cancer, thereby further increasing your odds of being diagnosed with this chronic disease.

One thing to keep in mind in all of this is that everybody has cancer right now. In other words, there are cancerous cells in the human body of every person who is living and breathing right now, at this very moment. All you have to do to get diagnosed with cancer is make sure your immune system is sufficiently suppressed so that your body can't take care of the cancerous cells on a regular basis. In other words, if you destroy your immune system function through poor nutrition, nutrient depletion, smoking, lack of sunlight and lack of physical exercise, then it won't be able to do its job of cleaning up cancerous cells around the body and as a result, cancer will become a full-blown disease in no time.

In fact, all of these strategies for giving yourself cancer have one thing in common: the suppression of your natural immune system. Now, if you've been following along and you don't have cancer yet from doing everything mentioned here, and you want to increase your odds even further, the very best thing you can do is actually get chemotherapy or radiation therapy. All you have to do is go to an oncologist and tell them that you think you have cancer, and they may find some reason to put you on chemotherapy or radiation therapy. These therapies do such an outstanding job of destroying the human immune system that you might find yourself experiencing multiple cases of cancer at various sites throughout your body in the subsequent months and years. Chemotherapy is perhaps the most effective method known to modern science for destroying the human immune system other than working at Chernobyl during a nuclear accident. So, if you’re looking to contract cancer as quickly as possible, make sure that you get chemotherapy into your life as early as you can.

By combining all of these strategies, you should be able to give yourself cancer without much effort on your part and without having to wait too long. After all, it would be a shame to die from natural causes and not have the opportunity to "invest" in the R&D efforts of pharmaceutical companies who peddle anti-cancer drugs.

Are you crazy?
You might be asking me, "Why on earth am I writing an article that tells people how to give themselves cancer?" The answer is because virtually all Americans are following this plan right now, today. They are giving themselves cancer step by step by using precisely the detailed plan that I have outlined here. And when they are suddenly diagnosed with cancer, they have a puzzled look on their faces and ask, "Gee, why do I have cancer?" The answer is because they've been following the cancer plan as outlined in this article -- all the foods they've eaten, their lifestyle choices, lack of exercise, lack of sunlight, smoking habits and reliance on chemotherapy and other radical western medical procedures has, in fact, accelerated their cancer and put them in the position they're in today.

All I've really done here in this article is described the plan most Americans are already following. This is the pro-cancer plan that's actually promoted by brand-name food manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and most of conventional medicine. For example, how many doctors are still screaming for people to avoid sunlight like it was the plague? Practically all of them, last time I checked. It's almost as if the entire medical community actually wanted the population to get cancer. Sadly, the entire anti-cancer campaign of conventional medicine seems to be limited to three words: "Don't smoke tobacco."

Of course, most individuals aren't really interested in contracting cancer. They'd rather prevent cancer or even reverse cancer, and now after learning how to give yourself cancer, the process for avoiding that is fairly straightforward: don't do any of the things that have been mentioned in this article. That is, avoid smoking; get plenty of sunlight; get outstanding nutrition and avoid all food ingredients that are known to promote cancer such as sodium nitrite, hydrogenated oils, refined carbohydrates and chemical additives. Also avoid chemotherapy since it is the most powerful way we know of to destroy the human immune system, thereby leaving you more vulnerable to cancer.

I present this information as a unique way to get the point across to people that if they don't want to have cancer in their lifetimes, they need to get off the cancer plan and get on to a plan that actually prevents this terrible disease.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Why Firing Clients is Sometimes a Good Idea"

Imagine a world where all of your clients value what you do. A world where every client you have doesn’t try to lowball you and negotiate your rates down, and a world where these clients pay you on time, refer you to their friends, and keep coming back for more business.

Now wake up. You’re in the real world. Sure, you hopefully have some really great clients, but there’s a good chance you have a few who are less than ideal. It’s inevitable. We’ve all dealt with bad clients, but most of us just force a smile and put up with it. The bad client makes every interaction you have with them totally miserable, but you just don’t have the courage to cut ties with them and send them packing.

That’s because we’ve been taught that the customer is always right. We’ve been led to believe that we have to bow down to the customer and do whatever he says, but that’s just not true.

The truth is firing bad clients is almost always a good idea. Sure, it might temporarily cost you, but by focusing your business on attracting ideal clients, you’ll weed out the bad ones and eventually build up a strong base of profitable clients who are a pleasure to deal with. And guess what? Good clients tend to refer other good clients.

So, just what makes a bad client? You know the signs. They’re usually:

    * Cheap and pushing you to lower your prices

    * Slow to pay

    * Complaining about your work and demand constant attention and coddling

    * Threatening to take their business elsewhere

    * Asking you to do more work than what you agreed to

    * Difficult to get in contact with, but expect you to be available at their beck and call

I don’t know about you, but I started my own business to get away from overly demanding, abusive “bosses”. Now, I’m in a position where I can choose who I do and don’t work with, and I take full advantage of that fact.

You should do. You’ll be happier, and your business will be more profitable as you won’t spend all of your time managing terrible clients.

How to Fire Bad Clients

Hopefully, you agree that firing bad clients is a good idea, but just how do you go about it? While you might really want to drop a “F*** you” bomb on them, that’s probably not the best idea for your business’ image.

Here are some more appropriate ways to fire bad clients.

    * Make sure you’ve fulfilled your contractual obligations—Before you can fire the client, you need to make sure you’re in a good legal position to do so. If you’ve delivered everything you’ve agreed upon, feel free to move forward.

    * Explain that the relationship isn’t best for both parties—Without getting nasty or blaming the client, simply explain that you feel the client would be better served taking their business elsewhere. You can even refer them to other companies if you want.

    * No means no—As a freelancer, I’ve fired my fair share of clients, and I’ve had many try to win me back by offering to increase my rates or just be a better client. A few times, I’ve bitten and taken the client back, but every time, the same issues popped back up. Trust me when I say this—A bad client will always be a bad client, no matter how much they’re paying you. Stick to your guns and end the relationship.

Have you ever fired a client? Do you think it was a good decision?

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pointers: How to weather typhoons


• Keep note of emergency hotlines in your area. Hotline numbers are: 734-2118, 734-2120, 911-5061, 912-5668 (National Disaster Coordinating Council); 527-6136 (Coast Guard); 16220 (Manila Electric Co.); 136 (Metro Manila Development Authority); 143, 527-0000 (Philippine National Red Cross); 931-8101 (Department of Social Welfare and Development); 117 (Philippine National Police); 1626 (Maynilad).

• Store an adequate supply of food and clean water. Prepare food that need not be cooked.

• Keep flashlights, candles and battery-powered radios within easy reach. Should you need to evacuate, bring clothes, first-aid kit, candles/flashlight, battery-powered radio, food, etc.
• Examine your house and repair its unstable parts.

• Harvest crops that can be yielded already.

• Secure domesticated animals in a safe place.

• For fisher folk, place boats in a safe area.

• Monitor the news or your local weather station for updates on the storm situation, when it will hit and how strong it will be.

• If floods or landslides had previously occurred in your area, secure your appliances and other belongings and head to evacuation centers. Also, consider if you are on or near heavily saturated ground, which is very susceptible to mudflows and debris.

• If you think your area is relatively safe, locate the main power switch of your house and be ready to shut off electricity in case of flood.

• Move to higher ground. Move away from creeks, streams, rivers and storm drains to avoid possible flash floods and landslides. Flash floods can sweep over an area without warning, and you may only have minutes to get to safety. Note that flash floods can occur up to 12 hours after heavy rains.

• Check your gutters to make sure they are clear of leaves and debris. You can opt to leave some possessions with someone who is not in a flood-prone area.

• Move vehicles to higher ground. Make sure these have enough fuel and will start quickly in case of emergency evacuation.

• Make sure there are no items outside your house that can be thrown by strong winds and hurt or kill. Board up or cover windows. Secure trees close to your home with ropes so they don’t fall and crush your roof. Trim branches that may snap off and injure others.

• Immediately charge all essential electronics like cellular phones, which you will have to use in case of emergencies.

• You should have a 72-hour survival kit stocked with essential supplies, including flashlights, battery-operated radio, weather radio, spare batteries, at least three gallons of water per person, ready-to-eat food, canned goods, can opener, first-aid supplies and medicines. Also stock up on clothes, including raincoats and rubber boots.

• Prepare special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members and your pets as well.

• If applicable, keep copies of your home or insurance papers inside sealed plastic bags.

• Prepare your escape routes. Practice what you will do in case of floods, flash floods or landslides. Map out safe routes where you can get from your office to your home. Coordinate with your neighbors.

• Decide on a meeting place away from your home where you and your family will gather if you need to leave your home and family members become separated. Prepare escape gear like floating devices, snorkels, swimming gear or inflatable rafts for worst flooding scenarios.


• Stay alert and awake. Many deaths, particularly from landslides, occur while people are sleeping.

• Keep your radios tuned to a local radio station and follow all instructions. If you are told to evacuate, move out of the house or building to safe, high ground.

• Turn off all electricity using your breaker box (main power switch) and turn off the main gas valve. Disconnect any equipment that uses water (like washing machines and dishwashers). Never leave fires unattended.

• Never walk or swim through swiftly moving water. Avoid flooded areas. Floodwaters that are above your knees are dangerous. Turn around and go back to higher ground.

• Never try to cross floodwaters standing or in a vehicle. Water that is 2 feet deep can carry away most cars, including Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs). If you find floodwaters on the road, turn around and find an alternate route. Abandon your vehicle immediately if it becomes surrounded with water or the engine stalls. Seek higher ground immediately.

• Try to stop water from entering your home by putting plugs in sinks and baths and weigh them down with a sandbag, pillowcase or a plastic bag filled with garden soil or a heavy object. Plug water inlet pipes with towels or cloth.

• Attempt to keep contact with your neighbors to make sure everyone is safe and so that you can pool (and later ration) supplies when the situation calls for it.

• Be especially alert when driving. If your car is swept into the water and submerged, do not panic. Stay calm, hold your breath, force your way outside, and swim to the surface.

• If you are swept into fast-moving floodwaters outside of your car, point your feet downstream. Always go over obstacles, never try to go under. Do not enter floodwaters.

• Watch out for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks and other indications of possible debris flow.

• If you are stranded on something above floodwaters, such as a tree or building, stay put and wait for rescue. Call for help if you are in danger.


• Even if the storm is clear, keep listening to weather reports and only return to evacuated buildings if you are told it is safe to do so. Beware of sharp objects and pollution in flood water.

• If your house was damaged, make sure it is already safe and stable before you enter.

• Beware of dangerous animals, such as snakes, that may have entered your house.

• Watch out for live wires or outlet immersed in water.

• Report damaged electrical cables and fallen electric posts to the authorities. Report power meters that have been submerged in floodwaters to Meralco.

• Do not turn on the main power switch or attempt to use electrical appliances that have been wet, because there are hazards of electric shock and fire. Allow several days for extension cords, connectors and other wiring devices to dry completely. Use rubber gloves and wear rubber sole shoes when removing mud and dirt from the main circuit breaker or fuse.

• Avoid water-borne diseases. Assume that any water in flooded or surrounding areas is not safe unless local authorities expressly declared it to be so. If there is no safe water supply for washing, use bottled water or disinfected water (by adding five drops of liquid household bleach and let sit for 30 minutes).

• Before entering an area that has been flooded, put on protective clothing to avoid contact with floodwaters. Decrease the risk of mosquito or other insect bites by using repellants. Throw away all food (even canned ones) that had come in contact with floodwaters.

• Stay away from landslide areas until local officials say it is safe to enter. Watch for flooding, which sometimes follow landslides and debris flows.

• Once permitted to enter landslide areas, check your house’s foundation and surrounding land for damage. Replant damaged ground as soon as possible because erosion can further lead to flash flooding.

• Do not let water accumulate in tires, cans or pots to avoid creating a favorable condition for mosquito breeding.—Compiled by Almi Ilagan, Inquirer Research

Sources: Pagasa, ABS-CBN News, American Red Cross, DZMM, Philippine Red Cross

Friday, October 15, 2010

Coconut Oil and Alzheimer’s Disease

fresh coconut halves on beach  How worried should drug companies be about supplements eating into their monopoly profits? A lot—as this story will show. Please share it with anyone you know who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or is worried about it.
Of course, just about everyone worries about Alzheimer’s. It currently afflicts 5.2 million people in the US and is the seventh leading cause of death. The cost of treating it is estimated at $148 billion.

Mary Newport, MD, has been medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Spring Hill Regional Hospital in Florida since it opened in 2003. About the same time the unit opened, her husband Steve, then 53, began showing signs of progressive dementia, later diagnosed as Alzheimer’s Disease. “Many days, often for several days in a row, he was in a fog; couldn’t find a spoon or remember how to get water out of the refrigerator,” she said.

They started him on Alzheimer’s drugs—Aricept, Namenda, Exelon—but his disease worsened steadily. (It should be noted that the latest research shows that the various Alzheimer’s drugs, like Aricept, have proven disappointing, with little real benefit and often distressing side effects.) When Dr. Newport couldn’t get her husband into a drug trial for a new Alzheimer’s medication, she started researching the mechanism behind Alzheimer’s.

She discovered that with Alzheimer’s disease, certain brain cells may have difficulty utilizing glucose (made from the carbohydrates we eat), the brain’s principal source of energy. Without fuel, these precious neurons may begin to die. There is an alternative energy source for brain cells—fats known as ketones. If deprived of carbohydrates, the body produces ketones naturally.

But this is the hard way to do it—who wants to cut carbohydrates out of the diet completely? Another way to produce ketones is by consuming oils that have medium-chain triglycerides. When MCT oil is digested, the liver converts it into ketones. In the first few weeks of life, ketones provide about 25 percent of the energy newborn babies need to survive.

Dr. Newport learned that the ingredient in the drug trial which was showing so much promise was simply MCT oil derived from coconut oil or palm kernel oil, and that a dose of 20 grams (about 20 ml or 4 teaspoons) was used to produce these results. When MCT oil is metabolized, the ketones which the body creates may, according to the latest research, not only protect against the incidence of Alzheimer’s, but may actually reverse it. Moreover, this is also a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), drug-resistant epilepsy, brittle type I diabetes, and type II (insulin-resistant) diabetes.

So Mr. Newport, not being able to get into the drug trial, started taking the coconut oil twice a day. At this point, he could barely remember how to draw a clock. Two weeks after adding coconut oil to his diet, his drawing improved. After 37 days, Steve’s drawing gained even more clarity. The oil seemed to “lift the fog,” and in the first sixty days, Dr. Newport saw remarkable changes in him: every morning he was alert and happy, talkative, making jokes. His gait was “still a little weird,” but his tremor was no longer very noticeable. He was able to concentrate on things that he wanted to do around the house and in the yard and stay on task, whereas before coconut oil he was easily distractible and rarely accomplished anything unless he was directly supervised.

Over the next year, the dementia continued to reverse itself: he is able to run again, his reading comprehension has improved dramatically, and his short-term memory is improving—he often brings up events that happened days to weeks earlier and relays telephone conversations with accurate detail. A recent MRI shows that the brain atrophy has been completely halted.

Let’s take a moment to consider what actually happened here. Synthetic (patentable) Alzheimer’s drugs have failed. A drug company reluctantly decides to put a non-patentable natural substance (medium-chain triglycerides derived from coconut or palm) through an FDA trial. It works. But, darn it, a smart doctor figures out that a natural food can be substituted for the super-expensive drug. Not only that, the ketones from natural coconut oil last in the body longer than the drug version—eight hours instead of three hours. This is enough to make a drug company start worrying about its future. What if this natural health idea really catches on? Goodbye to monopoly profits!
Coconut oil can be found in many health food stores and even some grocery stores. One large chain sells a non-hydrogenated (no trans-fat) brand of coconut oil in a one-liter size (nearly 32 ounces) for about $7. It can be purchased in quantities as small as a pint and up to five gallons online. It is important to use coconut oil that is non-hydrogenated and contains no trans-fat. We would also strongly encourage the use of virgin oil (chemicals used to extract non-virgin oil are potentially dangerous, and better still, virgin organic, still quite reasonably priced.)

For more information, see Dr. Newport’s website. Sadly, you will not find any information on ketones, or the use of coconut oil or MCT oil, on the Alzheimer’s Association website.

Coconut oil is not the only natural product that has the potential to turn Alzheimer’s around. We will cover some other ones, and drug industry efforts to steal some of them, in a future issue.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"The Dawn of a New Age"

by John Mangun / Outside the Box   

Three events occurred in the last two weeks that will have profound and lasting impact on the world and the Philippines. And it is unlikely you are aware of any of them.

It would be unkind to say that much of the local media live in a fantasy world of issues like “global people power” and a belief that the United States is still the Philippines’ “Uncle Sam.” It would be unkind but it is probably true.
China and Japan went to war two weeks ago. Japan lost. A Chinese fishing trawler was impounded by the Japanese Coast Guard for fishing in the disputed island area in the East China Sea between Taiwan and Okinawa—known as the Diaoyu by China and in Japanese as the Senkakuo. China demanded the ship be released. Japan refused. China stopped its exports of strategic metals (China now produces approximately 97 percent of the world’s rare-earth oxides) that Japan must have for its industry. The next day Japan released the Chinese fishing vessel.

China has made clear that the resources of the ocean area extending through the South China Sea are hers and any country may dispute this fact at its own peril. The “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” concept created by Japan in the 1930s has ended. China now owns Asia, including resources in the Spratly Islands.

The US and Israel went to war against Iran in June. Iran lost. The most sophisticated computer virus ever created, called Stuxnet, was unleashed on Iran, crippling its nuclear plants and processing facilities. Stuxnet has the ability to take over the industrial control system of a power plant, factory, or any other facility using a widely used, standard Siemens computer control system. Stuxnet can then open and close valves, over-ride and shut down critical safety systems, and make any vital control system do what it wants. Iran has publicly admitted that over 30,000 of its industrial computers are infected. Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant was scheduled to go online in August but was delayed “due to hot weather.”

Some interesting speculation about Stuxnet includes this: Was China involved in Stuxnet development or is China the next potential target?

The third event ushers in a new age for the financial world. A little background first.

There are two major schools of thought about the results of the failed $2-trillion stimulus and $15-trillion debt policy of the US government. One is that this will lead to a period of deflation and economic stagnation similar to what Japan has experienced in the last two decades.

By definition, deflation is a decrease in the general price level of goods and services because credit availability and the money supply are dramatically reduced. It amounts to an increase in the real value of money, allowing one to buy more goods with the same amount of money. The value of paper currency increases in purchasing power, but economic activity is stagnant. In light of the huge budget deficit and government debt, increased-value paper money would go to pay debt. Economic activity would resume when that debt is paid down.

The second alternative is a period of potentially hyper-inflation where the money supply is wildly increased to pay off debt, the currency is greatly devalued, and debt is paid back with near-worthless currency (in terms of purchasing power).

The US Federal Reserve through its policymaking Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC) last week confirmed the second option as stated policy.

From Larry Kudlow at CNBC: “Fed head Ben Bernanke and the FOMC dropped a new policy bomb at their meeting this week. Now they say inflation is too low. That’s the real problem. And the solution? Punch up the money supply and punch down the dollar.”

From another commentator at “If the Fed wanted to give the dollar the kiss of death with yesterday’s FOMC release, they certainly managed to accomplish their task. As it has done so, it has resulted in once again another huge inflow of funny money into the commodity sector in an exact replay of what was occurring in early 2008.”

The effects of the Fed deciding to inflate the money supply are predictable. The “funny money” will flow into hard assets: global stock markets, commodities, and currencies other than the US dollar. We saw the start last week with the dollar dropping against virtually all currencies, another explosion on the Philippines stock market with issues like PNB up 30 percent, and commodities including oil, silver and gold moving one way, up.

The Federal Reserve will now even more actively fund US government borrowing by buying US debt, which other countries and institutions are avoiding. Proof? Foreign central banks have been net sellers of US government debt in the last two weeks in the amount of $50 billion. The Fed will buy this debt with newly printed currency because that is what the Fed does, print and control the amount of money in circulation.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is already looking at controlling capital inflow to keep the peso from appreciating too fast. But we will see an appreciating peso. We must see the peso appreciate as the dollar falls or imported goods such as oil will skyrocket.

This is the scenario that has been on the books for a year, since the failed stimulus produced very little US economic activity. This Fed-induced inflation will play out as surely as dawn follows darkness over the next nine to 12 months.

Gold will reach $1,600 per ounce. The Philippine stock market will not trade on corporate fundamentals as much as one of many shelters from dollar devaluation. All commodity prices will rise creating even more attractiveness to the Philippine mining sector. The peso will breach the 40 level in spite of BSP intervention.

If President Aquino’s recent trip to the United States is any indication, the government is dangerously behind the curve of adjusting to world events. No longer can the Philippines display a Third World, near-beggar mentality. This is a time to seize opportunities with a forceful economic policy that emphasizes natural resources, delinking from the US dollar and economy, and developing a clearly stated and very aggressive policy to create the Philippines as a profitable financial and investment destination.

It is the dawn of a new age and yesterday’s ideas and policies will create failure.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How to catch a suspect using Facebook:
Facebook helps Philippine cops nab murder suspect

By JIM GOMEZ, Associated Press Writer

(07-27) 08:45 PDT MANILA, Philippines (AP) --

Philippine police tracked down a suspect in a series of grisly robberies and killings with the help of his Facebook account, officials said Tuesday.

Mark Dizon, a 28-year-old computer technician, did not resist when arrested Tuesday while talking with his father in a public square in northern San Fernando city, police Senior Superintendent Danilo Bautista said.

He is accused of killing nine people — six Filipinos, an American, a Canadian and a Briton — in three different robberies at hotels and homes this month in Angeles city. The area, near the former U.S.-run Clark Air Force Base some 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Manila, is home to many retired expatriates.

Dizon, who is from a well-off family and according to police had a fascination with guns, was Facebook friends with the daughter of one of the victims. A friend of her family showed his photo on the popular social networking site to witnesses to help identify him, police said.

"He was fond of computers and this gave him away," Bautista told The Associated Press.

Murder charges will soon be filed against Dizon, who denied involvement in the killings, Bautista said.

The string of deadly robberies started July 12, when Canadian Geoffrey Alan Bennun, 60, and his Filipino girlfriend were shot to death after a robber broke into their hotel room.

Four days later, Briton James Bolton Porter, 51, and his girlfriend were killed by a gunman in their house in Angeles' Malabanas village, police said.

Dizon allegedly later pawned some of the possessions taken from Bennun, including a laptop and a cell phone, Bautista said, adding investigators have secured pawnshop records and close-circuit television camera footage showing him with the stolen objects in the shop.

Last week, a gunman killed American Albert Mitchell, a 70-year-old veteran of the U.S. Air Force, along with his Filipino wife, Janet, 53, and three Filipino staff inside their Angeles home, Bautista said.

In the last killing, the fleeing gunman was seen by a village guard and a motorcycle taxi driver, who later described him to investigators, according to police.

After hearing descriptions of the suspect, a family friend of the Mitchells looked up Dizon's Facebook page — the Mitchells' daughter was one of his friends on the site. He showed the Facebook profile photo to the witnesses, who identified him as the man fleeing they saw, Bautista said.

He added that the same pistol was used in all the killings, linking Dizon to the other two crimes.
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

State of the Nation Backgrounder

From the Official Gazette of the Philippine Government:

State of the Nation Backgrounder

The delivery by the President of the Philippines of the State of the Nation Address (abbreviated as SONA) is a yearly tradition wherein the President reports on the status of the nation.  In it, he may also propose to Congress, before which the address is delivered, certain proposals for legislation that he believes is necessary.  Article VII, Section 23 of the 1987 Constitution mandates that “[t]he President shall address the Congress at the opening of its regular session.”

The SONA as an annual practice began during the Commonwealth of the Philippines. The 1935 Constitution, as amended, states in Article VII, Section 5 that “[t]he President shall from time to time give to the Congress information on the state of the Nation, and recommend to its consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”  [Read more]
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Friday, July 23, 2010

Nuffnang and HEAVEN Ice Cream invite you to a special screening of ‘SALT’


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Give in to the richest, smoothest, and creamiest by NESTLÉ Ice Cream. Revel in the exquisite goodness of its four sophisticated flavors—Belgian Chocolate Bliss, Strawberry Dream, Vanilla Almond Secret and Butter Pecan Obsession. HEAVEN Ice Cream is made with only the finest ingredients and contains no artificial food colors. Available in 800mL(Php 175) & 450mL(Php 115) tubs across supermarkets, groceries, and convenience stores nationwide.
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Crown of Thorns

Corona of Thorns

I find today's editorial of the Philippine Daily Inquirer cogent and incisive:

LET US BE CLEAR: IF THERE IS A POLITICAL storm gathering over the designation of Renato Corona as the new chief justice, it is not the fault, or even the doing, of presumptive president-elect Benigno Aquino III. If you slap a man in the face, he might strike back or turn the other cheek, but in either case, he is merely reacting to the provocation.
Now that President Macapagal-Arroyo has provoked the crisis-in-the-making, what should Aquino do?
He should follow the law. He should be careful not to fall into the many legal traps laid cunningly by the departing administration. He should be bold, but if faced with a choice err on the side of circumspection.
But none of this means he cannot show his displeasure, or the public’s, at the Arroyo administration’s brazen manipulation of the levers of power, at the way the choice of new chief justice has been rammed down the people’s throat.
Thus, Aquino may want to make good on his promise, and take his oath of office before the captain of his barangay in Tarlac. The latest victims of President Arroyo’s alternative Midas touch—everyone she appoints as spokesman eventually shrinks before our eyes, his or her reputation greatly diminished—cannot be listened to when they suddenly preach about republican courtesies. The Arroyo administration, especially in its last five years in power, ran roughshod over these very niceties, such as due deference between co-equal branches of government. (Where was the administration Charito Planas now tries to defend when the Senate fought for the right to limit the scope of executive privilege?)
While it is true that tradition dictates the presence and the participation of the chief justice at a new president’s oath-taking, this tradition is not a matter of law; a new president is not legally bound to take his or her oath before the head of the judiciary. And there is a glorious precedent: Aquino’s own mother took her oath of office in 1986 before a person other than the chief justice at the time. Cory Aquino’s choice of Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee was deliberate; it reflected public disappointment over a Supreme Court co-opted by the Marcos regime, and recognized the courage of Teehankee’s often solitary dissents.
We do not suggest that Senator Aquino choose an associate justice to administer his oath; that would further politicize an already politicized Court. But he should choose someone other than Corona, to express his conviction, a conviction we share, that while the appointment of the new chief justice can be argued as legal, it is deeply unethical, and serves only President Arroyo’s narrow self-interest.
There are other ways to express this conviction: Aquino can refrain from acknowledging Corona during his first State of the Nation Address, on July 26. Of course, the defenders of the Arroyo administration will immediately jump on this as a petty act—when in fact it is the Arroyo administration which has shown the most breathtaking pettiness. No, a deliberate snub during the Sona, like the choice of a barangay captain to administer the presidential oath, is a principled political statement.

Planas’ vapid advice about statesmanship and standing “10 feet taller,” on the other hand, is an example of a political statement without principle. It grates not only because it uses an argument the Arroyo administration was quite happy to ignore at the peak of its power—who needs statesmanship when you can rely on the so-called presumption of regularity?—but also because it is simply ignorant. A lawyer herself, Planas should have known from the American jurisprudence that shapes Philippine law practice that outright hostility had sometimes marked the relationship between president and chief justice—and yet democracy’s purposes continued to be served.
We suspect Planas and others like her know that there is, in fact, a Philippine difference, and it lies in the weakness of our political institutions. Unfortunately for them, they cannot say, at least not out loud, what greatly weakened those same institutions in the last decade. But we can: It was an administration which, among other failures, made unjustifiable or unethical appointments, and coerced or coaxed the appointees into accepting them.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"Judicial quarantine"

I could not have said it better:

Judicial quarantine


WHILE IT WILL REQUIRE A CONGRESSIONAL resolution for the country to start referring to Sen. Benigno Aquino III as the president-elect, the country as a whole has accepted that he has been conferred the most remarkable mandate since the present Constitution’s ratification in 1987. The conferment of this mandate was such a long-anticipated event that when it became clear the people had spoken, it sparked an epidemic of statesmanship among many (though not all) of Aquino’s major opponents in the presidential race.
Instead of allowing the country to savor the end of the long crisis of legitimacy that began—and deepened— from 2001-2005, the present administration chose to pursue its strategy of manufacturing crises so as to maximize its opportunities for aggrandizing power. The latest manifestation of this pathological approach to political power is President Macapagal-Arroyo’s maneuvering to appoint the next chief justice.
We should never forget that “disempowering” the president from making appointments on the eve of elections, and from election day until he or she turns over the reins of government to a duly-elected successor, is a sensible democratic principle. We should never forget that it is a principle that has been supported for close to two generations—both by jurisprudence and by the intent of the framers of the present Constitution. It is a principle of democratic self-control and executive responsibility—a legacy of the President’s own father, and respected on the whole by every successor of Diosdado Macapagal until his own daughter reached the terminal stage of her own presidency. And we should never forget that the only reason this wholesome and responsible principle has been abandoned is that President Arroyo had wanted it changed and found obliging accomplices.
Thus, during the campaign, when Senator Aquino drew a line in the sand, saying he would not recognize any chief justice appointed by Ms Arroyo, the Palace seized on it to accuse him of recklessness and contempt for the law. A smokescreen to disguise its own relentless assault on well-established ethical and legal principles. In a similar vein, media and the political class knew the administration was viewing the anticipated results of the 2010 elections with dread. Informed circles weren’t surprised when it made a last-minute gambit to postpone the elections; and in the context of this scheme of the administration, Aquino’s warning that the public wouldn’t tolerate postponing the elections was both timely and necessary. As Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, initially (and naively) critical of the warning, belatedly realized.
Recklessness and irresponsibility, therefore, are characteristics of the administration and its Constitution-related experiments. Aquino has properly refused to concede logic or legitimacy to the administration’s efforts. He has properly called attention to the reality that the President’s experimentation would have failed if she hadn’t found willing accomplices, including Associate Justice Renato Corona who shows every sign of being eager to grab the poisoned chalice of a controversial chief magistracy offered by the President.
It is a chalice a former chief justice, Manuel Moran, viewed as simply unethical to accept as far back as 1953. It is a cup that—Corona must be made to recognize—will contain, if not legal, then certainly, ethical hemlock as far as his standing before the next president and the country is concerned. When Aquino said he would prefer to take his oath of office before a humble barangay official, he was anticipating the contents of the oath to be administered on June 30: to uphold both the spirit and letter of the Constitution and to do justice to every man.
Corona must be quarantined until our institutions resolve his legitimacy. What Ms Arroyo and Justice Corona are expecting the country to do is to surrender to tradition when it is tradition—and the law—that they have both flouted. Aquino need not dignify this travesty by extending any kind of official courtesy.
(Phil. Daily Inquirer Editorial, May 15, 2010)
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