Thursday, July 31, 2008

SONA is Not a Fashion Exhibit

The opening of congress is an awaited political gathering. It is filled with excitements, a fashion show or an awards night as you may want to call it. I likened the gatherings to an inaugural ceremony of newly elected officers of a homeowners association. The wives of the elected officers, in this show, took the limelight where they paraded with splendid gowns, some are new-fashioned creations, and others are antique ones fitted to a museum.


The recent gatherings in congress was just another celebrity shows. The setting was the Batasang Pambansa, a newly refurbished building costing 90 million pesos. This was just to show the physical accomplishment of the newly installed speaker of the house, Congressman Prospero Nograles of the lst district of Davao City –he was the first ever elected speaker from Mindanao and Mindanaoans are very proud upon the election of their representative. The landscaping was well-designed and groomed to greening effect of its surroundings. The walls were repainted neon green that match up with the photographs of the previous house speakers framed in the walls. The metal cladding installed at the exterior facade and the walls erased the memory of the ugly November, 2007, congress bombing. Speaker Nograles, in a six-month leadership has changed not only the substance but the physical grandiose of the Batasang Pambansa.


As the President and guests entered the building, they were treated with the freshened colours of the house and the red carpet leading to the hallways. It was here where Senators: Lorai Lorayna displayed her native and splendiferous –backless gown made of local materials and pineapple fibres; Jimba Madsamana's dark-blue and wide-shouldered gown; Payat Kayetana’s cover-all gown; and Miam Galitsapromo’s oversized-look gown. Also, a number of celebrity wives and socialites paraded in stylishly fashionable manner –good there is no slippery shoes which may fumble on the floor.


The State of the Nation Address (SONA), to be delivered by the President of the Philippines, will grace the congress opening and Ate Glo entered the vibrant hallways, with Deputy Speaker Gerlie Villaroza on her side, then to the resplendent Hall of Congress amid the enthusiastic and rows of skeptic audience. She seated between the Senate President and Speaker of the House –reminiscent of Drilong and de Venasa who act as the theatrical grim-face-mask of senate president and the grin-face-mask of house speaker. (It reminds me of the previous SONA where Drilon ostensibly not listening to the president’s speech while de Venecia was always on standing ovation and clapping his hands almost, always at every end-sentence of the president’s speech.)


The President enumerated her accomplishments and citing the obstacles of global oil price increases, food shortage, and recession. She described the worst recession as short of economic downturn of the Great Depression of 1928 and the end of World War II. EVAT saved the nation, as she paused. The money generated from the collection of Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT) saved the poverty stricken people and shielded them from the onslaught of rice crisis that sent food riots in less-developed countries of Asia and Africa. Her critics and power-obsessed oppositions as well as the communist-inspired civil society groups continued to dump her accomplishments with the aid of biased and unresponsive media, the same groups which gave much credence to the leftist organizations. They, whose leaders were put in congress by the virtue of the party list system of the l987 constitution formulated with the participation of communist leaning delegates. These party-list representatives were given allotment fund from the government to buy ammunition to attack the same government they pretend to protect.


And they seemed to be gaining the upperhand in its campaign of discrediting the government. Ate Glo’s sentiment at the opening of her speech was recognizable with her depressing face expression. She was disturbed by the left and right attacks not only on her administration but even in her person. The latest of which was the popularity rating conducted by the biased research firm which showed “she is the worst president” while there are presidents confirmed worst and were dethroned.


Congress again opened its session and its members are reminded of their duties and responsibilities to perform –there were senators who did not report for work and they should be reprimanded. It should be understood that SONA is not the main concerns of the 14th congress. It is the discussions of legislative agenda and the laws they are going to pass for the welfare of the people and not the individuality of the President.

(Source: Local TV networks.)

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Man-Made Climate Change: The Advertising Company Cliche's

I came across a certain fund enterprise and an inert interest suddenly doused my unconscious mind. False and misleading claims are being used in the advertisements of some companies to promote their products. This enterprising investment firm invited the attention of the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to warn such companies for the sake of would-be investors which maybe lured to invest in a company with the pretext that it adhered to man-made global warming concoction. See more @ Warming Sun Read more on this article...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Global Warming Debate: Is it Warming or Cooling?

(Editor's note: Previously published at Warming Sun republished here for publicity.)

Global warming debate is not over. More and more prominent scientists are making their stand and have been very vocal now in issuing staunch comments that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AWG) is a misleading notion. The current climate situation, viewed from space observatory station and sending signals of climate trends, are tending to prove that there is no noticeable warming in the past decade but a cooling trend instead.

There are scientists who are still members of UN-IPCC and are now vocally criticizing the AWG “consensus” that the panel had stamped in their report. These scientists who were silenced and harassed during the preparation, deliberations, and conclusion of IPCC reports; can no longer hold their conscience in giving consent on the outright corruption and maltreatment of the sanctity of scientific data that they are beholden to protect. They are now on the rise and have become the knights in a shining armor ready to parry the thrust of AGW alarmists in the field of internet‘s Armageddon.

Dr. Richard Evans or David Evans –whichever is the real one- was a consultant to the Australian Greenhouse Office from 1999 to 2005 and he wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia's compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, according to QRZ Forums, dtd. 7-23-08. Now, he has changed his mind with what he believes on man-made global warming. Way back in 1999, he hurriedly jumped to the conclusion that the earth was really warming and that they need to “act quickly” to save the planet and because of the remunerations the government was providing for science research. By 2007, he concluded that: “New evidence has seriously weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming … that carbon played only a minor role…”

Another debunking statement was made by a New Zealand-based climate scientist who reviews the draft report of IPCC since its formation in 1990. He is Dr. Vincent Gray who even shared the Nobel Prize award of IPCC. He has a doctorate degree in Chemistry from Cambridge University and has undertaken a long research works in UK, France, Canada, and China. He has been an”Expert Reviewer” for IPCC science reports and claimed that “all the science of IPCC is unsound.” According to Dr. Gray, in an interview with Glo Warming Skeptics on August 24,2007, IPCC report is the most “dishonest one” for they have unreliable weather forecasts that cannot be checked whether right or wrong and are “worthless l00% of the time.”

The most prominent and perhaps the most controversial is the French Geochemist and Geophysicist Claude Allegre. From the article of, “Allegre is a member of both the French and the United States National Academy of Sciences. As a longtime friend of prime minister Lionel Jospin. Claude was able to secure a position as Minister of Education and Research in the former Socialist government of France and continues to play an active role within the Socialist party.” He is an expert in atmospheric chemistry and won many awards in geochemistry. He was the first to campaign for support to global warming caused by man through the burning of fossil fuels in the eighties then switched to skeptics twenty years later. His writings on retreating snow cap on Mt. Kilimanjaro and the increasing ice in the Antarctica led him to change his mind and called the alarmists as the “prophet of dooms” and the “helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business. “ This sent signals in the “National Post, Fox News, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, on CNN’s Larry King Live by Senator Inhofe.” And being a scientist and politician as well, he was able to mix the issue of global warming, nuclear energy, and fossil fuel industry beneficial on his part. Wikipedia can only brand him as “Allegre, who is not a climatologist, thinks that the causes of climate change are unknown.”

There is another one, an award-winning Doctor of Industrial Chemistry and lecturer of Environmental Metrology, Dr. Kiminori Itoh. He is a Japanese national and a top UN-IPCC Scientist who is an expert reviewer of IPCC reports and author of a book “Lies and Traps in Global Warming Affairs” according to Prison Planet Forum. From the weblog of Climatologist Dr. Roger Pielke, Dr. Itoh called the global warming fears as the: “worst scientific scandal in history.”

It is worthwhile to mention the likes of the following scientists: Ivar Glaever, a recent winner of a Nobel Prize for Physics, who declared “I am a sceptic, we don’t really know what the actual effect on the climate is”; Dr. Craig Loehle, US National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, who said that the “tree rings” are unreliable means of determining temperatures in the past years; Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, who questioned that the “Climate Sensitivity” has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling; James Taylor, a Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy at the Heartland Institute, commented that: "We're not in any kind of an unusual warming period and we can continue warming at the current extent, even if it humans are causing it, for several centuries and still be cooler than conditions that have existed for the last ten-thousand years;” Jeffrey Marque, forum editor of the American Physical Society, who is now inviting and sponsoring public debate in its Physics and Society Forum that is related to global warming; and the 31,000 other scientists, including physicist Professor Freeman Dyson, atmospheric physicist Professor Richard Lindzen and climate scientist Prof Fred Singer, they all led in the issuance of a joint letter warning the governments not to be cajoled on the global warming legerdemain.

With the unfolding reality of nature and the beaming solar rays of the sun, we cannot escape the fact that it is the sun that dictates the changing climate of the universe. Granting that the greenhouse gases –which are presumed to exist in the confined medium in the atmosphere-, contribute to warming the earth, it should be water vapor and not carbon dioxide as the causative factor. Co2 is the result of heating and burning, why would it precede the warming climate?

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Imminent Changing Climate

After the generalized conclusion of the UN-IPCC anthropogenic global warming, cracks in the pipelines have appeared. The presence of the prominent group of scientists who registered their disapproval that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are responsible for the perceived global warming are gradually eroding the foundations of IPCC legerdemain. It’s like a face coloring being washed-away after the pouring of ice-cold tears of nature.


The American Physical Society (APS), an association of almost 50,000 physicists, that previously supported IPCC in its conclusion and termed its findings that the man-made global warming is “incontrovertible”, is now inviting and sponsoring public debate in its Physics and Society Forum. Interested individuals may contact APS forum editor, Jeffrey Marque, and to submit comments or articles “that are scientific in nature.” Politicians and economists that comprised the majority of IPCC may not participate as they may pollute the scientific sanctity of the resultant facts that may be derived from the submission of proofs, experimentations, or convincing scientific evidence by the contending parties. As the APS opens its door and with the prodding of its majority members who were not given fair chance to air their views during the IPCC deliberations, it is anticipated that the wide ranging discussions on the behavior of nature will be brought to open and such will be the only way peer-reviews and consensus will be determined in a credible manner. It is worthwhile to mention Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that:


“Climate sensitivity — the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause — has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate. The IPCC’s presentation of its principal conclusions as though they were near-certain is accordingly unjustifiable. We cannot even measure mean global surface temperature anomalies to within a factor of 2; and the IPCC’s reliance upon mean global temperatures, even if they could be correctly evaluated, itself introduces substantial errors in its evaluation of climate sensitivity.


The IPCC overstates temperature feedbacks to such an extent that the sum of the high-end values that it has now, for the first time, quantified would cross the instability threshold in the Bode feedback equation and induce a runaway greenhouse effect that has not occurred even in geological times despite CO2 concentrations almost 20 times today’s, and temperatures up to 7 ÂșC higher than today’s.”


have contributed largely in the APS decision to encourage debate. His submission of the above-quoted article opens the discussion and made it known that the global warming debate is not yet over. Scientists will be in for the real debate without fear of removal of multi-billion yearly grants.


With this new development, I am confirming the UN official statement in the G8 member nations meeting in Japan that the IPCC’s climate change pact is on a troubled path. The AWG tower which is built on Greenpeace fakery is gradually crumbling and maybe gobbled by Algore’s six meter sea level rise fear monger.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Car Insurance: The Source of Graft at LTO

Every year, a motor vehicle is required to be registered at the Land Transportation Office (LTO). With this registration, a Compulsory Third Party Liability (CTPL) insurance policy is mandatory thereby providing a chance for LTO personnel to serve as agent or broker of insurance company and choked the public with exorbitant insurance fees. The car owner loses the freedom of choice as the fixers, disguised as agent and representing the LTO employee, will make it hard for you to satisfy the requirements unless you buy the CTPL policy from them.


I was once a victim of these practices when I registered a Toyota Corolla car, model 1997. I was made to pay P850.00 for CTPL insurance policy. It was already late when I came to know that a regular amount of CTPL policy is only P560.00 –the annual premium is P448.65 and the taxes are P111.35. I was unaware that I have already bribed LTO with P290.00 difference. Take for granted that the employee managed to register ten vehicles a day, it will be a whopping P2900.00 daily take and not to mention the rampant selling of fake CTPL policies. There are 5,530,052 vehicles registered as of December 2007, per LTO statistics, and billions of pesos will be lost to fake CTPL transactions for the year 2008. (Pls. Read my related post, “Fixers at LTO are Dressed in Uniform”)


The Department of Transportation and Communication, overseeing the functions of LTO, will be integrating the CTPL insurance policies into the registration process of motor vehicles. It authorizes the National Reinsurance Corporation, a subsidiary of Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), as the insurer of vehicles under the CTPL policies –following the Makati Court dismissal of the petition to stop the transfer of CTPL to GSIS filed by the Philippine Insurers and Reinsurance Association (PIRA). With the planned transfer, GSIS, a state-run pension fund, will provide the CTPL insurance coverage of all motor vehicles. “Registrant will only have to go to LTO instead of dealing with 120 or more insurance companies, it will also eliminate fixers,” the GSIS President, Winston Garcia, have said; as they prepare the monopoly of 3.5 billion peso motor vehicle insurance business.


LTO will implement the new registration procedure by August, this year, amid the defiant move of the public transport operators and drivers’ associations. There are 400,000 public utility transports in the country today, as claimed by transport federation FEJODAP, and stated that they have no problem dealing with the private insurance companies. With the transfer, they presumed they will be “hard hit” in claiming the insurance proceeds as they have heard the usual complaint of beneficiaries dealing with GSIS. Meanwhile, PIRA said: “This would constitute monopoly and is therefore unconstitutional.” They claimed that with GSIS takeover, there will be a loss of an estimated 60,000 industry jobs which mainly consist of insurance agents selling CTPL policies. However, the Insurance Commission, through its commissioner, Atty. Eduardo Malinis, favours the GSIS takeover to eliminate the issuance of fake CTPL insurance policies. He further said: “Not all monopolies are unconstitutional. Monopoly is all right as long as it is regulated … the Insurance Commission would work out its immediate implementation.”


It should be, likewise, put into consideration that vehicle with an appropriate insurance Certificate of Cover (those with comprehensive coverage) should no longer be required to have the CTPL policy (which covers bodily injury and/or death up to P100,000) as being enjoyed by owner of a brand new car with a 3-year registration privilege. DOTC should look into this to unburden the car owners of multiple fees requirements which are the source of graft at LTO.


With this new arrangement, the public will be looking forward as to whether GSIS can accomplish the expected elimination of graft, the unscrupulous insurance practices, and the speedy release of insurance proceeds to the aggrieved parties.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Fixers at LTO are Dressed in Uniform

Motor vehicle registration is a big burden to car owners. Not only in complying with the registration requirements but the processing will entail lots of time before you can come up with the last table. Your obligations will not stop at the releasing window but with the fixers who facilitated and followed-up your documents inside the office.
I went to the Land Transportation Office(LTO) in Muntinlupa branch, few days ago, for the renewal of car registration. I saw to it that the car maintenance, engine parts, and car accessories are in good condition after consulting a car mechanic from a reputable auto repair shop. I was the one who made the stencil prints of the engine number, body/chassis number of the motor vehicle, and filled the required information on the LTO registration forms I secured prior to the registration schedule. In short and in my assessments, the car is fit and then brought it to the said LTO office. I was directed for emission standards check at a shop inside the LTO compound. I noticed a number of red-uniformed attendants assisting the vehicle owners and I praised LTO for the display of public assistance at hand. As I approached the emission shop, a uniformed attendant assisted me for a parking space. He suggested doing the stencilling of body and engine numbers, to make the necessary follow-ups, avoid the long line of queuing, and other requirements for a minimal fee. I courteously declined the offer and said: “I can manage, I been doing this a number of years, thank you.” He proceeded with another client while I waited for my assigned number (no. 63, assumed) to be called.
I spent two hours before my car is subjected to a harsh emission test. As they stepped on the acceleration pedal, I worried for the amount of fuel spent to determine the level of pollutants set on the emission standard –it’s an added expense in the registration knowing the unabated increases of the fuel price. The shop was already crowded, it was the deadline of registration of motor vehicles whose plate number is scheduled in the month of June –everyone is fond of beating the deadline.
Again, I have to wait for the written results of the emission test. I thought to attend to some personal necessities but I opted to stay, I feared of being by-passed when my number is called. And that’s it. After a long wait, I noticed there are other registrants who came late but were called ahead of me! “Why is this so?” I asked myself and kept my patience in control. Another two, again were called ahead of me! This time I called the attention of the desk and inquired for my written results. “Please bear with us, the results are being processed on-line and there are problems with our base computer,” the desk defensively replied. “And why there are results of those who came late,” I retorted. He was muted and obviously offended. He got inside the cashier’s booth, stayed there for minutes and brought out the thick-filed results.
In that emission test alone, I spent three hours. I was made to understand later that within the emission shop the transactions between the fixers and LTO regular employees are made; the fixer’s fee, the “grease” money, and the car insurance. You are required to get and pay the car insurance, which is the “Third Party Liability Insurance” or the TPL coverage, from which they serve as personal agent. I have argued sometimes in another venue with this insurance scam. I presented an insurance policy, which is the Comprehensive Car Insurance, thinking that it will suffice the insurance requirement of LTO. It was rejected. They insisted that the TPL is the requirement and I was obliged to have this kind of additional insurance policy. This insurance requirement is another source of graft and evil practices of LTO. This should be corrected to lessen the burden on the paying public.
It was already lunchtime and my registration papers were not on sight. I overheard somebody telling me: “You have to invite them for lunch or it will gather dust in the rack.” Disgusted, I walked alone in the nearby canteen, took some foods, and have some cool sightseeing tour in the adjacent and newly built SM Mall.
I returned at past 2 p.m. with the assumption that my papers were already done. But I was told they wanted to see my EWD! “What?” “Your Early Warning Device.” Oh! My ghost! “You should have inspected it before taking my papers in,” I retaliated with a loud voice.
It was done and my papers were brought again inside. Another obstacle cropped up! It was the 3 o’clock habit snacks. Oh! Again!! My! My! …“Why are they crucifying me?” Afterwards and holding my temper and answering some awkward questions within myself, it was finally finished and ah… a sigh of relief.
Another client arrived and talked directly with the uniformed-red-shirt attendant. He silently hummed in the fixer’s ear covering his lips with his hand. It appeared they approvingly agreed with the nodding of their heads and then smiling like a bare-teeth- dog. He followed further: “Can it be accommodated?” while looking at his watch. Then I heard the fixer said: “It’s over in fifteen minutes.”
I bowed and swung my head and then said to myself: “It took me eight hours without the fixer’s help.”
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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sun Dictates the Climate Change

I have just commented on the environment article posted at Newsweek, entitled “Which of These Is Not Causing Global Warming Today?” I believe the article’s title is quite irrelevant and confusing. The cause of global warming is still being debated by politicians and economists and there is no proof or scientific experiment that will provide concrete evidence that other contributory factors are present except that of the sun.


My comment runs like this: Carbon dioxide is much less the cause of global warming. This is a natural cycle of the earth that maintains and supports life. If the greenhouse effect is being considered as the warming suspect, it should be water vapor as the contributory factor as it is the major component of greenhouse gases. It is an elementary fact that the sun is the source of warm climate, the source of renewable solar energy, and the source … of our itchy prickly heat. Climate change varies from place to place as the earth pole or axis change every year due to wobbling rotation of the earth –the mark at the Ceremonial South Pole is being moved every year as its exact location shifted over time.


Ice is prevalent in the north or south poles because it is not the direct hit of the solar rays of the sun. The geographic poles receive minimal sunlight compared to east and west or earth’s equator where the temperatures are high all year round. South pole is located in the middle of a continental land mass and colder than the North pole which is in the middle of the ocean, the depository of heat where ice melt. In either of the poles, it may be all night throughout the year and daytime in another year.


This is how I understand the varying temperature of the earth responsible to climate change. Cooling and warming cycles are the earth’s natural phenomena and any abrupt changes will imply the terrifying existence of living things.


There is no other factor that will influence the warming changes of the earth. It is only by the sun during the solar maximum when sunspots and solar flares are predominant in a cycle of eleven years.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

And She Got the Major Prize!

My attention was caught in a noon TV show, “Wowowee” yesterday. The contestant was made to choose between “pera” or “bayong” (cash or bag). She chooses ‘bayong’!! And this spells her future, the grand prize or the peanut?


Wowowee is a variety or game show by ABS-CBN hosted by Willie Revillame and his beautiful co-hosts Mariel Rodriguez, Valerie Concepcion, Pokwang, RR Enriquez, and sexy dancers such as Luningning, Milagring, and Mariposa . . . uhmm!, make your choice. The said noontime show is aired worldwide known as “The Filipino Channel” and has been a source of entertainment by many Pinoys, here and abroad.


The final portion of the program is the “Pera o Bayong.” It is where the participants are queuing a long line, rain or shine, just to be accommodated with the popular game show. Lucky-admitted-contestant sometimes relayed that their long wait are untold sacrifices to the extent of skipping food intake so as not to lose their chances. From among the group of 50 contestants, only one will be selected through a series of elimination rounds. The lucky one will be awarded a 10,000-peso cash and a chance to pick the right bag with the cherished prize.


Mhay Pelito is one of them and she overcame the obstacles before reaching the main part where she has to select one bag out of ten bags marked with different flower names. She was crying as she pointed the “bayong” marked “Rosal”. In this selection process, one is to exercise the feel, the luck which will dispel the fortune of the player. You might select one that may contain only joke prize such as one piece of peanut or a toothpick! This is where the host, Willie, make a bargaining bid of a certain amount in exchange for the bag of unknown contents. He will make some perplexing actuations or cite disapproving or baffling words to make the contestant confuse which of the option to select. He will raise some personal interviews in the middle of the bargain to distract the concentration of the player. In the case of Mhay, he asked her source of income, her parent works and personal status. Mhay disclosed that she is an unwed-twenty-one-year-old-mother and have a newly baptized son in her care –she sobbed as she continued. She was not able to continue her schooling and was heavily in debt. Actually she said she only borrowed an exact amount to pay for transportation in going to the TV studio. They don’t have enough for subsistence and her son’s father left her to escape responsibilities. Others made these insinuations to gain some sort of pity or sympathetic clue. And I understand Willie made a certain leniency in offering a big amount at the start of the bargain.


Willie bid right away with 100,000 pesos and urge Mhay to choose “Pera” or “Bayong”? Tempted of such an amount, Mhay chose the cash. Willie was disgusted. It was understood that he really want to help Mhay, but she was uncooperative. He repeated many times the bid to the extent of asking the audience which one they preferred for Mhay. They shouted: “Bayong!!” It was only then that Mhay changed her mind and said “Bayong” instead. Willie made another offer of 2, 3, and 400,000 without repeating each offer to make Mhay believe he really meant to give the million prize. “500,000 pesos, “Pera O Bayong?” as Willie tendered again. This time Mhay faltered and said ‘pera na!’


Willie was dumbfounded. He is bent on giving the prize as can be deduced from his body language. He knew that Mhay made a right choice when she picked the bag with “Rosal” marking. It was the grandest prize out of three grand prizes hidden in the ten bags or “bayong.” It is, likewise, clear that ABS-CBN will give away the grand prize to prop up its popularity rating. The hosting channel needs to grab the news to divert the attention of the viewing public as the rival channel has been reaping the viewers’ preference brought about by Manny Pacquiao’s outstanding performance as the new lightweight boxing champion of the world.


Willie repeated the offer for the nth time and once again made reference with the audience who approvingly shouted for ‘bayong.’ Mhay thought deeply and paused for a while. And clearly with confusing mind opted for the bag. Immediately, Willie urged her to repeat her choice and loudly; then said: ”Isigaw mo!” Mhay shouted “Bayong!” And at that instant, Willie open the hidden portion of the content…, it’s one million pesos, one house and lot, and a brand new car!!! And she got the major prize.

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