These are my stands.

Mostly political (or anything news-ish) posted here.

Right to Life

“ Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life. ” —Article 6.1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

This right to life is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. This declaration, although seemingly inviolable, has caused some stir with regard to the rights which have been included, in particular, the right to life.

Now everyone knows that Barack Obama is leaning towards "pro-choice", meaning that he is in favor of legalized abortion and the use of artificial birth control methods. On a personal level, I'm quite caught in the middle here because in the first place, I was told years back that my parents used pills for family planning (so that's why I didn't have another sister and got stuck with JC for the rest of eternity) and it was really effective. I also think that it worked to our advantage because now, I don't carry the burden of having to finance a younger sibling's education or worry how she or he will be fed, and things like that. One brother is too much work. Of course some of you may have more siblings than I do, and say that yeah, my parents should be responsible, but you also don't know that my parents are separated (so think of all the negative impact) and do not have stable income. We basically rely on other relatives like my aunts, uncles and paternal grandparents (bless their souls) for support. Think that they also have families and lives of their own. My three-year education was financed with the assistance of my aunt of retirement age who used to work in La Salle, special loan grants, payment to debts and pooled resources. My brother on the other hand is still being financed by my aunt of retirement age who lives in the United States. Think of the impact that another sibling would have caused. You may now be thinking that my parents should have used the natural way -- but does it really work? What if the natural way was physiologically impossible? There are times that we have to be practical. I mean, of course, sex is for married people but it's also part of human nature, and sometimes it is very difficult to control. The times are different now. Isn't it a greater moral fault to bring a child into this world without anything at all.

Abortion, for me, is illicit though. But then, I also think of what my Human Rights professor said about the right to life -- it is controversial. What if it is an unsafe pregnancy? What if the family should choose between the mother and the baby? People would say that the baby should be kept, but aren't we violating the mother's right if we did that? I mean, even if you say that the mother has lived her life longer, isn't that a violation of her right to life?

And this, the War in Iraq -- the one thing I've always questioned about the conservatives and pro-life advocates. I've been a staunch critic of George Bush and some members of the conservative community because of this.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in paragraph 2309, lists four strict conditions for "legitimate defence by military force": - the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;- all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;- there must be serious prospects of success;- the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

Okay, so how is the war in Iraq justified here?
There were three reasons cited for going into war and I have a counter for them.
1) The Bush administration did not find ANY weapons of mass destruction.
2) There was no evidence as to the collaborative relationship between Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.
3) Al Qaeda is to blame for the terror attacks and Bin Laden is still on the loose?

Except for the fact that Saddam Hussein poses a threat to Iraqi people, world leaders barely even attempted to exhaust all possible means of diplomacy. There is no long-term plan for it.

And to pro-life advocates who are so supportive of this war think about this if you're so pro life. You're all too fixated on the babies. But think of the lives that you've possibly taken away after killing would-be parents! Think of the soldiers being sent who are building their own families or have their own families. Think of the innocent people in Iraq. Think of what could have been done with Saddam Hussein. What about those prisoners in Guatanamo Bay? Aren't their rights being violated too? wAnd you still want John McCain in the White House - one of the people who has backed Bush for years and years. Oh please, you're such hypocrites. Ultra conservatism will lead us to nowhere, really. With the global financial crisis, a planet in peril and a perpetual war, there is no other US president who's fit for the job other than Barack Obama simply because he knows what he has to do as stated in his platform.

So before you go around talking about issues, make sure that you've covered the loopholes.

Who wants only a 10% chance on CHANGE?

Being a graduate of International Studies, I'm always drawn to news such as this. I have a shelf full of books discussing these topics -- conservatism, globalism, democracy -- you name it, basically. In the past years, I've never seen a US Candidate for president more compelling and more worthy of the title than Barack Obama. Although there are some policy programs that I do not really agree with him, I still do think that he is the leader who can make America a better a country than what it is now - a declining hegemon, clinging on its former glory.

"And we are here because we love this country too much to make the next four years looks like the last 8. November 4th, we must stand and say: "Eight is enough". - Barack Obama
Barack Accepts the Democratic Nomination

I admire him much more than McCain - who is now losing side right now. I think that he is one who can make this world a better one.

He knows this world so much more than McCain.

America, make this change happen for the sake of the world!

Respect: A reflection on the UAAP

Three years.
It only took me that long to enjoy the privilege of being bona fide student of De La Salle University Manila. During the orientation or LPEP, as La Sallians commonly know it, basic La Sallian values and principles were taught. We were also taught how to cheer (and not to jeer).

In those three years, I have to admit that I have never attempted to skip classes to watch a game live  at the Big Dome. For one, it's a waste of money and time and I would choose listening to my professors' lectures over losing my voice and hearing in Araneta.

The little bits of information I've known about the UAAP came from friends who were quite fanatical. The worst story I've heard was a certain school holding up a banner saying "You've got MONEY. We've got MANNERS." while throwing things at the supporters of our school. Upon hearing this, I absolutely felt irritated as this school used the words "money" and "manners". To start with, not all La Sallians are rich and we were taught how to respect the opposition no matter what their social status is. We never threw things at the opposing side as this behavior is only fit for uncivilized morons. Pardon for the term, but it's true. Other stories I've heard included the scalping industry which has continually grown (and improved -- technology-wise) over the years.

During my last year in DLSU-Manila, I wished for DLSU to win the championship so that I'll experience a victory party and that we'll be vindicated for the suspension in 2006. It eventually came to fruition as DLSU beat the UE Red Warriors, which significantly, made our school a hate figure, as I've observed. People, according to my friends, were screaming "LUTO" as our team won the game. Blog entries from DLSU students also narrated horrific stories about post-game behavior.

I may not be the most value-oriented or unbiased person, but I'm smart enough to know that these acts are unsportsmanlike. So we got suspended two years ago, big deal, we got punished already, FEU got their trophy. Case closed but should this issue come up EVERY SINGLE UAAP Season? Whenever we lead in a game, the opposing team screams "FIXED", but when refs call "fouls" on our players, you think it's right. (Bato bato sa langit, ang tamaan wag magalit) It was also observed by a lot of people that Chito Narvasa suspends referees who calls on a lot of fouls on our opposition. Is that fair?

Which brings me to my next point.

What purpose does the UAAP serve?

Capitalists have profusely taken advantage of the existing rivalries, most notably the ADMU-DLSU one. The one time I went to a game, I've collected a "Yumber 1" finger that says DLSU from Jollibee, A little tarp from Accenture which says "Animo La Salle", a flaglet and cardboard visor from Globe telecom which bears the name of our university. The good thing was that I have a huge plastic bag as I went book shopping at National. I still have them stashed at home, not knowing what to do with them. Oh, and I still do have that DLSU bandana and clapper from last season from Astring-O-Sol. People have already turned these events into cockfights, taking bets on teams.

The other night, I posted a blog entry on Ateneo's bonfire, where the planks used bore the names of our players (past and present). At a certain level, it did not come out right, my blog. And I do apologize for that. Thank you, Sam, for your comment. I actually meant to send the message out to those Ateneans who are posting blogs either saying the pics were photoshopped or the whole thing was fun. Issa D. and I particularly discussed the rivalry on that post, agreeing that the rivalry is too commercialized and overrated. Who wouldn't see that, really? Even high school students were divided between the rivals -- I should know. My class, six years back, was divided too between those two schools as if we were already students there.

The UAAP was established to foster the spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship. After this season though, I think that the high officials of the commission SHOULD consider things for improvement. For one, scalpers who extort money from willing patrons (including student scalpers) should be stopped from hoarding tickets. Next, the unbecoming behavior during games should never be tolerated as this should be a friendly competition. Finally, championship celebrations should always maintain a certain degree of respect to the opponents. Obviously, whoever the alumnus who crafted the planks should have been stopped.  Moreover, I think that the participating universities should instill PROPER values to students. No school should be exempted from this rule. This is the biggest flaw of the UAAP as I've observed.

RESPECT. It's such a simple word to begin with, so why don't we live it if we are so civilized?