SnippetsBy Peter Wallace
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Today, I’m going to list a few snippets that have been sitting around on my desk in something of a cleanup that might amuse you.
Why are senators referred to as “the gentleman (or lady) from XXX” when they are elected nationally to represent the public in its entirety, and not just one locale? And why are they called “Honorable”?
A member of the House is a representative of the people—it’s why he/she is called “the representative from YYY.” So why don’t they vote to uphold the people’s wishes? Isn’t this their mandate? Some 70 percent of the people they represent are in favor of the Reproductive Health bill, yet for 13 years now some of the “representatives of the people” have defied the people’s wishes. Do they know better than the people? Didn’t the people vote for them because they believed they’d get them what they want?
During then Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment, I said I was horrified to see the Supreme Court looking like a political campaign headquarters. And I was disgusted at the actions of the high court’s employees actively supporting the then chief justice. They are supposed to be COMPLETELY NEUTRAL. If they take sides for someone on trial because they believe in him, how can we, in the future, be assured that they won’t take sides in other cases and maneuver to manipulate the case to the judgment they want? There can be no personal loyalties in a court of law. They have no right to hold a position where impartiality, neutrality, and an apolitical stand are essential if justice is to be administered fairly. They should work for politicians who’ll be running in 2013. They’d be ideal for the job.
As to the justices themselves, I have embraced this society (after 37 years, how can I not), but I grew up in a different society. And in that society, it is unthinkable to accept an appointment by an outgoing leader in an obvious political move. NO gentleman will accept it. That alone made Mr. Corona unfit to hold the post that requires the highest standards of morality. In Australia, the Speaker of the House of Representatives stepped down over allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of taxi payment vouchers. Here you can get away with plunder.
You can’t shoot someone if you don’t have a gun. The President may wish to set the example by giving up his fascination with guns and shift to the crossbow. The modern ones are marvels of technology and ingenuity, and really test your marksmanship skills. You can’t carry one on the back of a motorcycle. In the United States, 30 people per million are killed every year by guns. In Australia, where gun ownership regulations are highly restrictive, the number is two. The correlation is obvious.
It’s time people threw out the power-hungry madmen who dictate on a nation, as is happening in many places today. These dictators should learn from what has happened to every other dictator in history: They eventually die. Often violently. It’s time to live together, peacefully. I’m all for an international SWAT team that, upon a UN vote, assassinates murderous dictators. They can start with Bashar Assad. One man should not be allowed to slaughter thousands. If there’s an occasional mistake, it’s only one man. Human life is more precious than national integrity.
When my wife and I travel, our bags are invariably overweight and generally (Philippine Airlines has always made a kind exception) we have to pay a premium. That’s OK. The heavier the plane, the more the fuel that is used—or at least that’s the argument they put forward—so the more it costs to fly it. I agree, it’s very fair. BUT my wife weighs 50 kg, I weigh 70, and the person in the seat next to us often weighs that in total. Why should he get free flying for his obesity? When you take small propeller-driven planes, they weigh the passenger and luggage because the weight when just getting off the ground must be controlled. Well, I want it that way in the big, bad commercial world. Set a fair weight value for passenger AND luggage. If you’re within that limit, no charge. If you’re not, regardless of whether the avoirdupois is you or your bags, you pay more. It’s only fair. Can I get support for this eminently sensible and fair idea? I think pretty much all Filipinos, given their build, will support fairness in air fares.
Antimining lobbyists should walk naked in the world. It is duplicitous to use products you want banned. Those opposed to the RH bill should adopt a poor family of 12, and the Church should educate them for free. All of them, not just a chosen few. Illegal loggers should be required to build their houses on the slopes they’ve denuded.
Why do we change the international name of a typhoon to a local name when it enters Philippine space? Are we so proud of typhoons that we want to adopt them? Typhoons know no borders. Why confuse the world for no good reason?
Why do people write figures in words and in numbers, thus: “sixteen (16)”? What’s wrong with “16”? And why “one” to “nine,” but “10” to infinity? Is there a logic to that I miss?
If lawyers think you need both to ensure no misinterpretation, then may I suggest they add English to the ancient, unused Latin language they continue to introduce into their briefs (the paper documents, not the cotton two-legged things)? Why not drop Latin altogether? Everyone else has.
Can someone explain to me why bingo is legal, lotto is legal, casinos are legal, but jueteng isn’t? Wouldn’t all the crime and scandals of jueteng disappear if it were legal? Removing Prohibition in the United States shows the way. Or are local officials making so much money from “protecting” it?
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