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Showing posts from March, 2009

What Kind Of Idiot Would Legalize Abortion?

Those who oppose the Reproductive Health Bill are making a career out of implying that it’s pro-abortion. But Party-List Representative Risa Hontiveros emphatically says that the abortion-related clauses in the Revised Penal Code will remain untouched even if the bill become law. Come to think of it, reproduction is, if you’ll excuse the pun, beside the point. It’s sort of more like about…condoms, if anything. That’s the great thing about democracy: you get to hear both sides of an issue. You also get some really snarky comments sometimes, and they make things spicier and twice as interesting, don’t you agree?

You Are A Child Of The Universe

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The ancient wisdom of looking beneath the surface of things teaches us that while physical attraction alone can move the earth and sky, there are eternal truths more superior and profound. Few would deny the value of character. What matters most is the heart and soul. INTEGRITY. This is the deepest index to one’s character. The idea actually goes beyond the principles of honesty and trustworthiness. More than anything else, it serves as a solid anchor to the Real You. It provides a shield from the things that violate the inner self. Being firmly grounded helps you develop the confidence to deal with life and the tolerance needed in a quite imperfect world. The key word is ‘consistency’. As Thomas a Kempis said, “The testimony of a good conscience is the glory of a good man; have a good conscience and you shall ever have gladness.” Find yourself – but don’t quit your job. INDEPENDENCE. The greatest achievements of feminism is the Dutch Treat. Honestly speaking, we find women wh…

Green Day: Energy Efficency Digest

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Al Gore was asked how did An Inconvenient Truth became the third highest grossing documentary of all time. “I’ve had a powerful ally in reality,” replied the Current TV founder and former VP. “Global warming is now clearly the overriding challenge of our time. Nations around the world are waking up to it and putting in place new policies. Of course, much more is needed, but the good news is that much more change is on the way.” Here are some numbers on global power consumption today: one-third goes to factories while one-fourth ¼ goes to the transport sector. 36% goes to heating/cooling mechanisms. 20% of the world’s electricity goes to lighting – of which 40% goes to incandescent bulbs. The International Energy Agency says that the present demand will double by year 2030. “Even moderate efficiency improvements will contribute more to meeting future demand than all the alternative fuel sources combined,” according to Paul Waide of the IEA. What’s being done? 1. Factories …

Abraham Lincoln and The Art of Statesmanship

General Ulysses S. Grant was given hero’s welcome as he arrived in Washington on March 1864 to assume command of all the Union armies – but the President didn’t hijack his moment of glory because he believed that the “the path to ambition” was wide enough for both of them “to walk it abreast.” The legend of Abraham Lincoln shall not perish from the earth. In her latest bestselling masterpiece A Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Simon & Schuster; 944 pages), Pulitzer Prizewinning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin opens a treasure trove of insightful and illuminating inside stories on America’s 16th President, and reveals a no-holds-barred examination of his failings – and his strengths. “The decision to appoint his political enemies to his Cabinet was perhaps the most obvious example of his emotional strength,” says Goodwin. But happily for us, “there were many others, all of which highlighted a different aspect of it.” Empathy. Lincoln had the gift of in…

Why The Private Sector Can Be The Country's Secret Weapon

“If you want, there’s way; if you don’t, there’s an excuse,” goes one of the slogans of the late great Senator Raul Roco. We all want automated elections, which is actually something we should have had decades ago. Here’s one idea: why not a Congressional Act that will deputize the private sector to take over public projects, instead of paying taxes? The government has a list of projects, and those who want to participate (in lieu of accumulated taxes) can choose which ones to sponsor. Examples: banks can pay the salaries of teachers, real estate developers can retrofit structures to make them earthquake-proof, a group of multinationals can pool funds for poll automation – not to mention computerizing the entire bureaucracy, like in Naga City. The feasibility is proven by the success and public acceptance of the Adopt-A-School project. The BIR can still collect taxes from individuals and SMEs – but by this time, there will be no more need for E-VAT. A more active role in govern…

How Do You Find True Happiness?

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There is a public side in the pursuit of happiness, and it is not a laughing matter. It was a touch of genius that made Thomas Jefferson frame the strikingly original phrase ‘The pursuit of happiness’ as one of man’s most inalienable rights. The Declaration of Independence served not only as the formal break of the U.S. Founding Fathers from the British Crown, but it is also an eloquent testament to the glory of freedom and human dignity. “Today, this should be interpreted to mean that public policy should be judged by how it increases human happiness and human misery,” says Richard Layard in his new book Happiness. An economics professor in London, Layard’s insights come from a large perspective. “It is self-evident that the best society is the happiest.” Running after bliss has been the driving force behind the stunning social progress of the past two centuries. But happiness is essentially subjective. Sunshine on his shoulders made John Denver happy, but what about Count Drac…

Why Diets Don't Work

When Kirstie Alley’s weight zoomed above 200 lbs., it set in motion a much-publicized saga that led to her own reality sitcom Fat Actress. In the opening scene of the pilot episode, she stepped into her bathroom scale – and she dropped to the floor and howled like a wounded animal. Losing excess pound is an enormous problem. It is a heavy burden. Overweight people are everywhere: making anti-Bush documentaries, testifying in Senate investigations, filing libel suits, etc. But it’s mystifying how obesity became so widespread even in Third World countries. Some Filipinos go South Beach (or Atkins or “After 6”) – but they don’t last long. They were weighed and fount panting. Even the 2006 Time Person of the Year – “You” – find it hard to lose weight. Aside from ningas-cogon, what other factors contribute to weight-loss failure? Let’s examine some of them. Over-compensation. Dieters tend to compensate after a weight-loss regimen. “Most experience sensations of intense hunger…

Stress Files

After her retirement, a lady found herself more frazzled than ever – community work, gardening, ballroom dancing, even her grand-children's visits rattled her. She told her husband she will get rid of the cause. And without missing a beat he replied, “But where will I go?” You can't escape stress – like taxes. From an abstract concept, serenity has ow become a precious commodity. You don't have to go to Tibet to achieve peace, but different strokes for different folks, so here are the personal techniques of stress-management gurus. The Five-Year Test. Even if you can't change your Type A personality, you can modify it. If faced with a stunning array of commitments, ask yourself: “Will I care about this 5 years from now?” The Scale of 1 to 10. Getting squished in the MRT won't ruin your weekend unless you let it. You're not obligated to sweat the small stuff. Rate your response on a scale of one to ten before declaring a state of …

Do You Want A Career In Advertising?

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Two men met on a plane. One guy says he’s an account executive in an advertising agency, but he’s not with accounts or research, and he doesn’t write nor sell ads. Pressed for details, he says he’s a marketing man, but clients do the marketing for themselves. Is he in management? “No,” he says, “but I soon will be.” That was a true story, weird, and David Ogilvy quickly wrote the scene he overheard in a memo. Ogilvy, the larger-than-life founder of Ogilvy & Mather and author of the industry bible Confessions of An Advertising Man, had what it takes to turn admen into legends. Here are some of them, from The Unpublished David Ogilvy (Sidgwick & Jackson), edited by Joel Raphaelson. Independent-Minded Unconventional people serve society in their radical ways. During a 1968 speech in his alma mater Fettes, an all-boys academy in Scotland, he said that the founder left his endowment for children, and asked who among the audience are in favor of admitting girls – and the m…

How Literature Can Change A Life

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Beginning today, I will start all over again. They said that yesterday is a dream, today is a reality, and tomorrow is a vision. On this day, I’m letting go of the past and taking hold of the present – in order to shape and mold the future to what I want it to be. Beginning today, I will rediscover and appreciate my uniqueness. There has never been anyone like me in all of history, and there never will be. Like in the Kenny Loggins song For The First Time, I am looking in my eyes, for the first time, I am seeing who I am. I am getting re-acquainted with my inner self – and it’s a wonderful feeling. Beginning today, I will conquer my emotions. I shall be the master of my fate and captain of my soul. Through steady effort and God’s grace, I am achieving peace with myself and with the world around me. Some say that success is getting what you want. In a way this is true. But I believe that real happiness is wanting what you get. But is it possible to have it both ways? Can you …

The Top 10 Signs of Leadership

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Raymundo Punongbayan was the portrait of a true leader. The legendary director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has mapped the country’s geo hazard zones, brought geology into public policy, formed the Quick Response Team – and saved thousands of lives from the eruptions of Pinatubo and Mayon Volcanoes through his uncanny prescience and unparrelled expertise.

What the world needs now is moral leadership. Being in power doesn’t make one a leader, and those most fit to govern are not always in politics. Here are the ten signs of leadership as shared by bestselling author and motivational guru John C. Maxwell.



Character

The first sign of leadership is strength of character. A leader has integrity and moral convictions. He inspires trust because of his word-of-honor and grace under pressure.

Jovito Salonga has become the embodiment of the ideal statesman. The Kilosbayan President and retired Senate President has been forged in the crucible of tyranny – and it foun…

Can You Protect Your Family Against Cyber-Dangers?

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Katherine Lester was a 16-year old honors student who secretly went to Jordan to marry a man she met in MySpace, a popular site for teenagers. Her parents found out in time, and when she got back to her native Michigan in June 2006, she was already known throughout the U.S. as the notorious “Runaway Bride.” Ignorance is bliss but knowledge is power. Modern society has come to a point where life without the Internet is simply inconceivable. But the World Wide Web is not Utopia – sometimes it’s Gotham City. To avoid the troublespots, let us monitor the traffic in the Information Superhighway. Sex Predators The modus operandi is to stalk children in popular cyber-hangouts, then manipulate the victims to meet them in private. “More often than not, conversations online do not match up with expectations in reality,” warns youth development director Carol Balhechet of the Singapore Children’s Society. A March 2006 survey by the U.S. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children …

Why The World Needs Cory Aquino

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A mammoth crowd has gathered in a Zamboanga City plaza. It was a tension-filled snap-presidential campaign, and they are exultantly waiting for a woman in plain yellow dress to articulate their desire that freedom be returned. Suddenly, a grenade exploded in a nearby alley and chaos reigned – but Cory Aquino just sat there, unflinching, dignified and presidential. 
Cory Aquino is the conscience of the Philippine nation, the embodiment of all that is good, one of the rare individuals who are worthy to be called true Christians. This is the life of that bespectacled wonder woman, from the bio Corazon Aquino: The Journey To Power by Laurie Nadel, published by New York- based Julian Messner, a division of Simon & Schuster, and additional sources. 
Corazon Cojuangco Aquino was born on Jan. 25, 1933 in Manila. Her father, Jose Cojuangco, was an industrialist, sugar baron and former congressman in Tarlac, a “peace-loving man” who “never said a bad thing about anybody,” recalls her cousin …

Can You Believe In Both God and Science?

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Albert Einstein once told Cardinal von Faulhaber of Munich that he respects religion but believes in mathematics. The Cardinal said, “To me, both are merely different expressions of the same divine exactness.” Einstein asked, “But Your Eminence, what would you say if mathematical science should someday come to a conclusion directly contrary to your religious beliefs?” The Cardinal replied benignly, “Oh, I have the highest regard for the competence of mathematicians – I am sure they would never rest until they discovered their mistake.” The conflict of science and religion has been randomly mutating since God knows when. When Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of Species, it created a controversy that has evolved through the ages. Its resilience in the survival of the fittest theories seem like the handiwork of an intelligent designer. What makes Darwin’s idea so adaptable to changing conditions? “Evolution by natural selection is a brilliant answer to the riddle of complexity be…

Does Your Boss Inspire You?

Janet Basco was lost in the dark, with her lonely broken heart; then a special someone with leadership qualities came along, took her home and made her his own – goes the story of her classic song You Made Me Live Again. A true leader can raise you up to more than you can be. Here are some of the many ways to identify – and emulate – leadership, based on The Motivating Team Leader (St. Lucie Press) by Dr. Lewis E. Losoncy. Leaders Understand Because They Empathize With The Personal Circumstances of Others Gen. George Marshall will forever be revered as the US Secretary of State who drew up the Marshall Plan, the unprecedented aid program that revived the shattered economies of post-War Europe and shielded it from Soviet domination, but his human touch – with war widows and in his debates against the pro-Navy Pres. FDR in behalf of the under-supplied Army – was equally memorable. Leaders Help People Find A Higher Purpose To Get Involved Dr. Thomas Dooley spent his life saving li…

Can You Go With The Intuitive Flow?

Pablo Picasso, like any true artist, always stayed open to the possibilities of the moment, so in 1907, some intuitive brushstrokes led to the interlocking geometrical figures in Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon, the signal form of Cubism and the strongest influence in 20th century art. Nostradamus is not enough, especially in the office. “You need better intuition, a clearer and more trustworthy inner voice,” say Robert Cooper and Ayman Sawaf in Executive EQ (Orion), their bestseller on how to increase the intuitive flow in the workplace. Here are some of their hints. Totally Experience The Moment Dennis Gabor of Hungary got his ideas while shaving in front of the mirror, including his breakthrough innovations on holography, for which he was honored the 1971 Nobel Prize for Physics. Stretch Your Abilities Robert Ballard was a marine scientist who knew, like most people, that the Titanic had sank on her maiden voyage; but unlike everyone else, he had his certainty that he would find i…

Sex Populi: Why Sex Education Should Be Taught In Schools

As a private tutor for high school kids, I submit that sex education should be taught in schools. It is a highly intelligent way to discuss the consequences of teen pregnancy and venereal diseases. There are, however, other factors that should come into play. First: The role of the media. It is actually the major TV networks that are indirectly promoting premarital sex by obligating their young talents to have love affairs with each other. Celebrities are role models, and they should not be seen injecting malice in their working relationships. Second: The role of the church. The issue of population explosion goes beyond birth control methods. If the church herself highlights the health and economic advantages of having only a few children, then it shows that she cares about her flock, and that she can rise above dogma for the sake of the common good. Third: The role of the parents. If couples are given free literature about responsible parenthood, they would tend to pay closer atte…

The Dark Side Of The Filipino

The reality TV show “Pinoy Big Brother” shows our most malicious fantasy – the omniscience to boost our egos. The orientation of mass media illustrates our deep-seated inferiority complex – we need to see people scandalized because we want to think we're superior. At the same time, insecurity drives us to go overboard for the six -thirty news to confirm our existence. This is the reason why amending the Constitution will not change anything except the Charter – we have "A government run like hell" because it's part of our culture. As the song Man In The Mirror goes: "If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change" – and the first step is to exorcise our own personal demons – not the Haunted House of Representatives.

MacGyver's Garden: Creative Ways To Solve Plant Problems

In Robert P. Tristan’s rose garden, rows of flowers were set side by side with rows of vegetables. His biographer, Raymond Charles Swain, was intrigued by the arrangement the first time he saw it, and the pet explained, “I make nature work for me. The flowers in between the rows of vegetables attract the bees, and the bees pollinate the vegetables. Just think! I get all that labor or nothing!” Creativity is one of the keys to winning in the game of life. Resourcefulness can oftentimes draw the line between success and failure. Here are some novel but effective (and pssst, cheap!) ways to beat plant pests and solve garden dilemmas from horticultural scientists George ‘Doc’ Abraham and Katherine ‘Katy’ Abraham. Mite These are the microscopic menace of fruit trees and ornamental plants. Their mission is to drain the life out foliage, leaving them yellowish and patched with brittle, twisted leaves. Mix 4 cups of wheat flour, 5 gallons of water and ½ c…

Magic Juice: Virgin Coconut Oil

One of the best news nowadays is the steadily growing popularity of virgin coconut oil. According to Dr. Mark Atkinson, “Organic virgin coconut oil stands alone as being the healthiest oil you can use. It possesses a plethora of health benefits, and the research to substantiate it.” Few products can boast such mind-boggling versatility. Virgin coconut oil can be used for frying, as food supplement, as substitute for butter, as ingredient for soap and baby formula, as hair hot oil treatment, moisturizer, grease, make-up remover, massage lotion and salad dressing. Wonder Wine This wonder wine form the coco-palm family has been found to “Prevent heart diseases, dissolve kidney stones, balance blood-sugar and control diabetes, enhance the immune system, protect against cancer, boost your energy and increase your metabolism, lose excess body fat, kill disease-carrying bacteria, viruses and fungi, relieve symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease, …