30 March 2009

Hinding hindi siya ang siyentipiko!

Just after Christmas this last year, Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI stated that saving the Earth from homosexuality and transgenderism was analogous to saving the Amazonian rainforest. Now, the Roman Catholic God's representative on Earth believes that condoms are a contributing cause to the spread of HIV in Africa.

What we can gather from these controversies is that the man is not a rigorous scientist in any sense of the word.

26 March 2009

Sublimations of a Homosexual Panic

For progressive and liberal Hawai'i Senators, it is no longer in vogue to go into a homosexual panic. In fact, right-wing neocon Sam Slom and born again Catholic Mike Gabbard are the only two legislators that are informed by the hallucinations on this issue. Instead of a homosexual panic, the rest of the Senators are possessed by what I'd like to call, the recall panic.

Homosexual panic is defined by an acute, brief reactive psychosis involving delusions and accusing a person of various homosexual activities. Recall panic, however, is defined by an acute, brief collective psychosis involving delusions and accusing a person of various recall activities.

This is a sublimation of homosexual panic. Instead of the slippery slope scare of homosexuals infecting individuals with their deviance and converting our children -- as in destabilizing society, now, the threat is senators will infect and convert each other with the idea that the naked majority can actually vote on the merits of bills.

"My position is that we need to ensure that the Senate does not damage itself, and I'm talking about the relationships among senators, as a result of any action taken," Hanabusa said. 1

Sounds pretty gay to me.

24 March 2009

The Rome Statute

The New York Times reported today that President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan traveled on Monday to Eritrea snubbing the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court. There are about 200 countries in the world and 108 signatories to the Rome Statute conferring jurisdiction upon the court. It is likely, though, that Eritrea may be one of the few places in the World the Sudanese President will be able to travel to without worrying about being arrested. He might also consider a short overnighter to the Kingdom of Tonga or North Korea. Of course, there are no direct flights to either of those places from Sudan and so, that just may be a far away fantasy.

16 March 2009

"Large Capacity Interisland Ferry Vessel"

The Hawai'i Supreme Court issued its 3-2-0 ruling on the Superferry Case. For my readers that are not in Hawai'i or don't read the news, the Hawai'i Superferry is a "large capacity, inter island transport vessel" that was summarily exempted from Hawaii's environmental review laws shortly before the state paid for a number of harbor improvements to allow the Superferry to operate between islands. Environmental groups on Maui sued and lost and appealed. The week before operations were to begin, the Hawai'i Supreme Court ruled against the government and the Superferry in a 5-0 decision overturning the decision below. The Superferry sped up operation start date and operated for one day before the lower Maui court issued a temporary restraining order halting operations. Operations stopped until November 2007, when the Hawai'i State Legislature, convened in special session and passed a special law, Act 2, exempting, temporarily, the Superferry from the environmental review laws. The Maui court dissolved the injunction but granted attorney's fees. The Superferry appealed the attorney's fees and the environmentalists appealed the Maui court's determination that Act 2 was constitutional.

The Hawai'i Supreme Court ruled 5-0 that Act 2 was unconstitutional today and 5-0 that awarding of attorney's fees were appropriate -- and 3-2 on how exactly those fees are appropriate.

Lingle has gone and lost her mind. Not only is she insistent that the Superferry decisions and Act 2 were correct, but that losing the Superferry would be "devastating." Gone and lost her mind!

11 March 2009

the Rock and the Hawaiian Hotel

SNL and the Rock performed a great skit that made light of the stark contrasts of tourism in Hawai'i. (The Rock is still very handsome just much much skinnier than I remember). Aiona being the monkey that Rock apes in the skip, went on the offensive to make sure everyone knew he was offended. Marsha Wienert, as white as they come, says that the skit was tasteless to "our culture, the Hawaiian culture." Ironically, Marsha and her rich haole elite class are not represented in the skit. Her presence is only felt indirectly where the Rock expresses his impotent rage at the system Marsha and "her culture" subject the working class to.

The Rock could have encouraged the use of a hapa haole song that used correct Hawaiian language -- but as many are unaware, from the turn of the century to the 1940s, Tin Pan Alley produced scores of "Hawaiian" songs that mimicked the Hawaiian language making it up as the writer went along. While it is unlikely to experience this in Hawai'i hotels today, it doesn't matter non-Native speakers who are tourists can't tell the difference and are not looking for an authentic ethnographic encounter with Hawaiian culture. They are looking for exotic looking (and perhaps sounding) servants that as happy-go-luckies, fit into their projected fantasy of how easy life is away from home.

Anyone that seriously criticizes this skit for its inaccurate representations of Hawai'i or Hawaiian culture is in denial about the social costs of tourism and lying to themselves about the level of need, presenting "authentic" Hawaiian culture is to people who have a wholly inadequate basis to perceive and judge it, is bestowed on tourist's recognition.

Support Tibetan Self-Determination

No matter how the politburo characterizes it, there is nothing revolutionary about a industrializing capitalist country governed as a committee-driven dictatorship. Nothing. And if for the Chinese, capitalism is necessary, I will reserve judgment.

Yet, China's failure to change its policy toward Tibetan Self-Determination is hallmark of the imperialism that was denounced by the Party in previous, non-capitalist times, and contradicts the revolutionary spirit of real freedom.

Every people have the power and right of self-determination. All should support that power and right of every people.

08 March 2009

Igiling-giling ...

I was ambivalent about Wowowee up until the end of January of this year. I have avoided attending (against the wishes of almost everyone else) a taping of it when in Manila, in part because of my fear of being called up by Pokwang to win money in the Hip Hip Hooray contest. Although meeting Pokwang sounds fun and making dancing with Willie Revillame could be fun, not doing it front of the entire bansa or, worse, the global pinoy community. In every rural setting I've spent extended periods of time in, I'm quite an extreme introvert. Wowowee is like the town plaza except that the audience is not just your family from your barangay. It's everyone's family from every barangay in the world.

I have read a few blogs really trashing Wowowee. Looking at it as a globalized version of the plaza ng poblacion, an argument could be made that it is trashing rural life (or perhaps Tolentino's attack of bourgeois trashing of the masa/bakya life). The most consistent criticism from this particular chorus is that it is "mindless." However, the Hip Hip Hooray contest involves determining, in a somewhat random way, which of the people selected have the most flexibility in not being stuck in habit and being creative in an intellectually attentive way.

Trivia (Game Ka Na Ba?) is not the highest form of intellectual achievement on day time television -- if there is a highest form of intellectual achievement at all.

But what really sold me on Wowowee was the amount of time devoted to Wilmer and Red at the end of January. I was watching with my partner and Red slipped in "asawa" and quickly corrected himself "kaibigan" referring to Wilmer. The camera panned to Wilmer and I turned to my partner and said, "I think they're together... bading sila." Oo, talaga!

... kung gusto mong problema nyo ay mawala!

01 March 2009

Social Networking, A Threat to Empathy

Ian Lind's blog had a clip from the Guardian. The Lords were told by a researcher that social networking sites are developing children's minds (or not developing them) in such a way so that they are infantilized and lacking a sense of empathy. When the real world responses do not correspond to what the primitive mammalian parts of the brain have been trained to expect from "screen culture", the psychological responses will be characterized as "attention deficit disorder."

This reminds me of one of the problems of technology in psychological development. Technology always solves material problems, but rarely plans for the changes in psychological development when, in fact, the problem is the materiality itself. Jung pointed out that humans forever wanted to learn how to fly. Upon discovering the means, our major use has been saturation bombing, dropping of nuclear weapons and spying.