Tuesday, August 30, 2005

"Truth, Justice, Impeach"

"Truth, Justice, Impeach"... this is what is written in sticker worn by the pro-empeachment camp. They are also sporting pro-impeachment buttons that said "Not for Sale".

But the irony with these stickers and buttons is that it is worn by congressmen and politicians who are "for sale", liar, unjust and deserve to be impeached. Its both funny and disgusting.

Most scientific papers are probably wrong

I just read an article which says that most published scientific research papers are wrong, according to a new analysis by John P. A. Ioannidis of the University of Ioannina School of Medicine, Ioannina, Greece .

According to him, assuming that the new paper is itself correct, problems with experimental and statistical methods mean that there is less than a 50% chance that the results of any randomly chosen scientific paper are true. Traditionally a study is said to be "statistically significant" if the odds are only 1 in 20 that the result could be pure chance. But in a complicated field where there are many potential hypotheses to sift through - such as whether a particular gene influences a particular disease - it is easy to reach false conclusions using this standard. If you test 20 false hypotheses, one of them is likely to show up as true, on average.

In his paper John P. A. Ioannidis said that small sample sizes, poor study design, researcher bias, and selective reporting and other problems combine to make most research findings false. But even large, well-designed studies are not always right, meaning that scientists and the public have to be wary of reported findings.

We should be careful in gathering information from research papers. It may be false...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Duty, Honor, Country

Max Soliven discussed about a meeting attended by three of the most outstanding Medal of Valor awardees in the country. He also presented the bravery of these great men in battle and their intergrity during the time of peace.

Conrado de Quiros posted the letter of Rene Jarque to the Filipino Wespointers.
In this letter Jarque pointed out the decadence in the armed forces and the corruption and abuse of the military officials. In his letter, he stressed the motto of US Military Academy at West Point ... DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY.

But unluckily what we have are many officials with a motto of ... Money, Money, Me.

I'm disturbed when I know that this is very much different from how McArthur interpret this motto when he says...

"Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn."

......... its the opposite of what we have here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Bookless Library

The CBS News is featuring a bookless library. When classes at University of Texas start Aug. 31 there will be no book in its library. It will be replaced by 250 desktop computers, 75 laptops available for checkout, wireless Internet access, computer labs, software suites, a multimedia studio, a computer help desk and repair shop, and a cafe.

"Library" will need new a definition once the UT library is opened.

Windows 95 Goes 10

The Windows 95 operating system is now 10 years old. Windows 95 is one of the most successful operating system of Microsoft. It cost Microsoft 300 million dollars to launch this OS. Here is the news form Washington Post 10 years ago.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Escaping through blind guards

The Daily Tribune in its commentary section said that the investigation of the great escape of Virgilio “Garci” Garcillano has "ended before it can even get started". The investigation is bound to fail for two reasons: it is headed by a sickly immigration chief and he may be part of the escape itself.

I can't understand why it requires a five-man fact-finding team, created by the government, to know who is responsible for the escape of Garcillano. Its the job of the bureau to know who is reposible for such mistake. If the bureau can't, then the first thing the government should do is to sack the officials of the bureau, not create a fact-finding team. If Garci can't get out of the country without knowing it then Bin Laden can also get in without noticing it.

If the Immigration Chief is sick then he should seek medical treatment at once... but I hope others who remain will not need an EENT to know the truth.

Truth really hurts. It make others sick.

Einstein's Orniginal Manuscript Discovered

The original manuscript of a paper Albert Einstein published in 1925 has been found in the archives of Leiden University's Lorentz Institute for Theoretical Physics. The German-language manuscript is titled "Quantum theory of the monatomic ideal gas," and is dated December 1924. It is considered one of Einstein's last great breakthroughs.

This theory is the basis for the discovery of Bose-Einstein condensate in 2001. This discovery resulted to an award in Nobel Prize in Physics 2001 jointly rewarded to Eric A. Cornell, JILA and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), USA, Wolfgang Ketterle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA and Carl E. Wieman, JILA and University of Colorado, USA.

His handwriting is very difficult to read not only because it is written in Genrman but also due to his not-so-good handwriting. But I'm enchanted by this man. He lays the foundation to new fields of science.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

History of Blogging

I read a site of Rebecca Blood on the history of blogging . Its an enlightening site for a new blogger like me.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Conrado de Quiros pointed out that:
"The current occupant of Malacañang is the single biggest VIRUS in this country. She is making people sick physically, some of them, including a couple of her electoral foes, have already died. But more than making this country sick in the body, she is making this ountry sick in the soul. You have a country where neither the individual's word nor the nation's laws mean anything anymore, you have nothing. Just a vast black void where the Philippines used to be."

I think his analogy is not very appropriate. A virus is a sickness we get from other organism. Its something from outside.

But the sickness caused by this government comes from within. I think this government is like a cancer. It branches out to every part of the sytem and at the same time sucks the resources needed by the body. It makes the entire system weak and prone to other sickness.

Like cancer we can solve the problem by removing it. I should happen before it reaches stage IV and death of the sytem will be inevitable.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Mike Defensor's Ridiculous Move

Mike Defensor's move to prove that the Hello Garci tape has been "doctored" is ridiculous. If indeed the tape has been doctored why is it that GMA does not complain that the tape is altered during her "I Am Sorry" speech. Why is it that she did not complain.... that she did not say "yung dagdag". Her future depends on the tape and its more ridiculous if somebody would say that GMA do not listen to it "word for word" if not "syllable for syallable".

Does Mike Defensor know more than GMA on what she is saying in the tape? I don't think so, unless he is a god.

If indeed the tape is altered no other person is more credible in saying it other than GMA herself. But because she did not complain since the beginning, it , means that GMA is admitting that her conversation with Garci -as heard in the Hello Garci tape- is genuine.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Should Be President

I get this writing of Raul Roco from Rene Saguisag's column. He is just 20 years old when he wrote this treasure:

"April 1—the gate closes today"

"After the last collegeman stands from his examination seat, gathers his overused books and weaves a lonely trail to the college gates, the janitors will pull down the drooping windowpanes; the guards will clang the gates shut; and the corridors will stretch to sleep for the lazy, summer months.

"Dust will sift in the shaded courts. The coolers of the canteen will cease their humming at Coca-Cola bottles. The books of the library will cling to their racks for the lonely summer days. And the Bedan rooms, the Bedan corridors, the Bedan walks will ring with silence.

"Yes, the drowsy hum of bees will fill the gardens. The melancholic trickle of the Jubilee fountain will whimper with the hum. And the leaves of the swaying branches will rustle with the duet as the playful breeze hides and seeks through its leafy labyrinth.

"But the rhythm of nature’s fingertips as they play their solemn pianos will never take the place of the rhythm of collegemen’s feet measuring steps to the chapel; collegemen’s voices in friendly banter; collegemen’s fingers rifling through the pages of a philosophy book.

"So San Beda will sleep as it woke up last June with only the meditative monks and the contemplative silence of the gardens, the walks, the library, the courts.

"But even as it sleeps, even as its corridors resound with the unfamiliar silent echoes, San Beda will be alive with plans for nearing year. For San Beda educates and education never sleeps.

"For the formation of the man is an endless task, and San Beda lives for this task—the Benedictine way.

"The last collegeman who passes the closing gates knows this."

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I'm so mesmerized by Roco's talent.

I read PATRICIA ESTEVES' tribute to Roco and I agree with her that Roco should have been a kind of president we, "shamed", Filipino be proud of. He must have been an "olympic gold medalist" we always dreamed of but never had.

I just imagine how proud I will be when Bata Reyes, Pacquiao and Roco posted together in Times magazine titled "The Master, The Fearless and The Best".

Like Torn and Frayed I consider his death a great loss. Its like losing a candle in a the darkest hour of the night. The saddest thing is that, there is no spare for the Great Man.

Goobye idol. When you met St. Peter please tell him to send another one like you.



Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Dinky Soliman's Lie

Here is letter of Dinky Soliman I get from John Nerry's Blog

Sunflower greetings to my friends in Pagbabago!

It has been a month since I resigned from the Cabinet of PGMA. It
has been ages since you have heard from me. Well, I have found time to write my
thoughts and reflections. I am sharing it with you and your friends.


WHY I RESIGNED FROM GOVERNMENT, AND ASKED MY
BOSS TO RESIGN AS WELL
A Personal Piece by Dinky Soliman (August 8, 2005)


I joined government as a member of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Cabinet because of the principles that I believed in and fought for in the last 30 years of my life. Justice, good governance, equality, empowerment of the poor and marginalized, truth, freedom and love are values and principles that had been the anchors of my involvement in the struggle to transform society. It is because of these same principles that I resigned from government service last July 8, 2005 (exactly a month ago).

Most of you have journeyed with me in the struggle to keep DSWD as I found it, insulated from politics. I admit there were some actions that we did that were politically motivated; I had asked my colleagues in DSWD to implement projects for political accommodation. I apologize for those instructions.

It was always a struggle between good and evil: old habits of traditional politics versus alternative new politics with communities asserting their power. The first three years proved that the reforms far outweighed the political accommodation. Specially when we were able to launch KALAHI-CIDSS; catch up and be on time with commitments on the Early Childhood Development program; install performance management systems; set-up the standards for DSWD institutions (like Golden Acres) as centers of excellence; start the Bright Child campaign for early childhood education, and many more enhancements for our on-going programs.

These outweighed the discomfort I had with the Balikatan exercise because I do not believe in foreign troops in our country, and other activities which I felt have compromised my principles. I was conscious that compromises allowed me to protect the gains of the reform we were undertaking.

The period after the 2004 elections became very challenging. When I thought that the President had a clear mandate, I anticipated that there will be less political accommodation and we will zoom ahead on reforms. Most of you were witness to a series of accommodations including in the DSWD. The appointments of Cabinet members and heads of revenue generating agencies were influenced by the factor of "those who helped in the campaign". The last three months was particularly difficult as the scandals were all coming out. It was so disturbing that we have a jueteng scandal involving the highest levels of government (that is the perception) after we threw out former President Joseph Estrada on the same issue. The tapes, while we do not prejudge the outcome of the investigation, definitely cast doubt on the integrity of the President and in the electoral mandate that she won.

I have discussed these issues with the President many times, alone and with the whole cabinet, with the lady cabinet members. The last three months especially we were discussing ideas on how to win back the credibility from a high distrust by the people. There were two schools of thoughts: 1} political survival at all costs 2} undertake swift and credible action of reforms to survive politically and to govern effectively and efficiently.

Last June 27 the President broke her silence on the tape. I felt hope and was very encouraged because that was the signal to begin the swift and credible actions of reform. Yes, I did sing and meant every word I sang. Then the same pattern of non-action or slow action set in, especially when it will affect people whom she owes a debt-of-gratitude. The July 5, 2005 Cabinet meeting was a tipping point, where it became clear that the frame of action is survival at all cost.

On a personal note, the questions of my children regarding what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false...made me realize that the only thing of real value I can leave to my children is a sense of right and wrong. I made up my mind that I needed to resign; I also asked her to resign for the sake of the country and our future.



CREDIBILITY AND LEADERSHIP

The reforms that are needed to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty require sacrifice from all sectors. There are those who need to give up a significant amount of power and prestige; there are those who will have to tighten their belts because to raise revenues for poverty reduction programs of government we need to discipline ourselves and raise tax collection. This has impact on the working class thus they must also sacrifice over and above their own current struggle.

To move the country forward, we need a leader who can unite the country and undertake these difficult reforms. Unfortunately the President herself is the cause of the division. While we are still struggling to ferret out the truth from all the scandals, she introduces another issue which will cause more division among us: charter change. And yet she also agreed to have a Truth Commission which she will organize to investigate her actions. And over the past four weeks we have seen the resources of the government brought to bear on a media blitz to recover her image. Time and energy of Cabinet members have been used to defend the President and do things other than their work in their own departments. This is the President who is fighting for survival.


MEA CULPA

One question that has been often asked is if I stayed 4 years and a
half -- was I not part of the mistake. I was. I believe that PGMA is a product
of her own personal history. She was exposed and has accepted the practices of
traditional politics such as pay backs, pay ups, operations of dirty tricks; at
the same time she also believed in instituting reforms in the economic, social
and governance spheres using principles of transparency, accountability, and
service to the people. She believed that both worlds can exist in one person and
the dissonance and disconnect will not clash in her and in her actions.


On hindsight, the same thing happened to me. I was able to develop a team in DSWD that crafted and implemented a community driven development
program which was funded by the government through a US$ 100 million loan from the World Bank. It brought to the most marginalized communities the opportunity to use their power to analyze the situation and develop solutions that will be implemented by the community and there will be resources made available to them through the projects. It was an empowerment program that had resources and scale. It was so consistent with my vision of power to the people and it covered 5000 barangays.


To get support for this program I had to work with the rest of the Cabinet and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. I had to be and was a team player. So on the many times that protesters and critics of the administration will be mobilized, I was to be part of the team if not leading the effort of what I call now domesticating tactics. I had directed my colleagues in DSWD to prepare packages of goodies for the urban poor communities as either part of raffle draws, food for work and family day activities to keep them from joining the rallies. We even had medical civic action that had circumcision as part of the package. I admit I was one of those who crafted that strategy; I thought that rather than getting the urban poor out in the rally with the potential of getting pounced upon or even violently dispersed, it was better for them to stay in the community. In the meantime, most of those who wanted numbers in the street began giving cash incentives for the people to stand an hour or two for their rally. The sacred right to stand up for your voice and be heard in the street, the right that many of my friends had died for was now a commercial transaction. Truly, this has led to the commoditization of rights. This to me is the height of insult to the poor because we know that they need the money thus we bought their time -- but it was not only their time that we bought-- we bought their soul and in the process destroyed our own too. Sadly, this was being done by the opposition and the government.
So as I was undertaking the empowerment processes in the KALAHI-CIDSS area, I was part of the domesticating process of the urban poor communities. The urban poor organizations who I was relating with began to see me as their patron as they get favors or first information on the benefits from government.


I was living two sets of values now. I was like PGMA. I was contradicting myself and counteracting my programs. Like PGMA proclaims transparency and accountability but has several parallel operations for an issue.

We were buying loyalty of the people. Instead of serving the people as part of the responsibility of government, instead of recognizing that the services we were providing were the rights of the citizenry, we invoked the utang-na-loob syndrome, exacting loyalty instead of recognizing that it is the right of the citizen and the taxpayer, to exact services and programs from government. We used our resources and power to domesticate the urban poor. I violated a basic principle which I had fought for so long, empowerment of people; I was party to their disempowerment.


ON LOYALTY

One of the strongest criticisms hurled against me was my disloyalty. How could a Cabinet member, a perceived close friend of the President, have the gumption to ask her boss to resign?? Even some of my friends silently believed that I could have made a mistake in my action. I have been reflecting on this point; it was not an easy decision as I have narrated. It was a long and agonizing process; it was to wake up everyday and ask if I am still consistent with my principles and the people I vowed to serve.

Then VP GMA knew about Dinky only in October 2000. Contrary to
popular belief, I am neither a classmate nor a long time associate. We had a
common vision for good governance which was born in the struggle against the
Estrada government. Over the 4 years and 6 months that we worked together we
developed a bond of respect for each other; got pleasantly surprised that we had
some shared values and even common personal likes and dislikes on people. I
treasure the relationship and would have wished that I did not have to do what I
did. I know it hurt her and it pains me that I had to do what I had to do.


It was clear to me that I was in government because of the principles and vision that I believed we shared. The source of her authority emanated from the people by virtue of the mandate they gave her (both in EDSA II and the 2004 election). While it is true that PGMA appointed me to my post, my loyalty to the people is higher than my loyalty to her because ultimately, we are all accountable to the people. I believed that the reforms and the truth were compromised because she has lost credibility and leadership.

It could have been easier if I just resigned and carried on with my
life in development work. But then I would not have only been party to
disempowering the poor, I have also been disempowered. Some of you might say to me: "Hello. Wake up, government is all about compromises." I say the people
deserve more than compromise. If we want our democracy to work for all
especially the disempowered and oppressed then we all have to make our stake, be involved in making it work as an active citizen of this democracy. We have to
Speak up and Act now.


Today's gospel spoke of the time when Jesus walked on the water
towards the boat of the apostles. Most of them were frightened and thought Jesus
was a ghost. But Peter was inspired and he jumped the boat and walked in the
water too. He was pummeled by the waves and the lightning, and wavered, but
ultimately he kept the faith and did not sink.


We too have taken our "walk in the water". We too have been at the
eye of a storm, and have been called traitors and have suffered a lot of
humiliation. But we believe that our children deserve a truthful society and
leadership with integrity. I have not taken an easy path, but we hope to keep
the faith, and keep our heads above the waters of despair and indifference.


I am well and very occupied re-organizng my life and very engaged in the
Cause.


dinky :-)

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Its a lie!.

It would only take a truthful person a day or two to know that this government stinks. Being close to the president, she should have known the corruption of the First Family long before she resigns.

But she stayed in her position for four years and six months! Unless she is blind and deaf I don't think she will not call for the resignation of Arroyo, long before the Hello Garci and Jueting scandal, if she is indeed having the values of an unselfish public servant.

I agree with Dinky when she says that she have the same value with GMA. Like GMA she qoute the Bible to misguide the people and like GMA she the clings to power. But unlike GMA she quits prematurely!

Nauno na man ini sila.

SPREAD THE LIGHT. BANISH THE DARKNESS

SPREAD THE LIGHT. BANISH THE DARKNESS
August 20, 2005 at exactly 6:00 pm.

When an ordinary citizen steals, would an “I am sorry” be enough? When an ordinary citizen lies, would an “I am sorry” be enough? When an ordinary citizen cheats, would an “I am sorry” be enough?

Ask yourself: If you are an employee and your employer catches you cheating, lying and stealing — will an “I am sorry” be sufficient or a “lapse of judgment” be accepted? Or would you stand to lose your job?

What is our country coming to if we hold ordinary Filipinos to higher and stricter standards than we hold the highest official of the land?

This is not to say that the President of the Philippines is guilty of all that she is being accused of. It is only to say two different standards of rules - one for the powerful and one for the powerless — cannot exist if ours is to be a truly democratic and pluralistic society.

This is not the country we want. And so perhaps it is time we do something about it. f you believe, as we do, that it is time for ordinary Filipinos to stand up and be counted in the fight for TRUTH — as well as for Transparency, for Responsibility, for Unity, for Trust and for Hope — then join us in a simple demonstration of our collective sentiments.

On August 20, Saturday, at exactly 6pm, take a few moments to light a candle in demonstration of our collective effort to take this country back from all who have not been true to it and to all of us ordinary citizens - and to be the first step in bringing about the light that will banish the darkness that hovers over our land!

Spread the light. Banish the darkness. August 20, 2005 at exactly 6:00pm.
CITIZENS FOR TRUTHTransparency. Responsibility. Unity. Trust. Hope.