Hello world!

doy1

I shall be writing topics as it comes to mind. It could be topics, past or present, but relative to the times. I shall also be reacting to articles published, whether domestic or foreign, and voicing my opinion. My views shall always be objective.

Every now and then I shall also be sharing with you videos, photos, sayings and graphics of people, animals, places, etc., that I find interesting, which I hope you will appreciate.

Also, there are times when I will be posting articles about facts – why it happened that way or what could have been if something else happened.

I welcome you to my blog site and I look forward to inter-acting with you. Your participation, your thoughts and commentaries, either for or against, will be very much appreciated. We may have differences in opinion but that is the essence of being rational, to be able to agree to disagree. It is my aim that as we go along we enlighten not only ourselves but also those that finds the opportunity/chance to visit this site. Let us enrich each other in knowledge and build each other up in friendship. Thank you. Jesus Sievert a.k.a  Quierosaber

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¡Hola mundo!

Escribiré temas como estos vienen a la mente. Esto podría ser temas, pasadas o presentes, pero con relación a los tiempos. También reaccionaré a artículos publicados, doméstico o extranjero, y expresaré mi opinión. Mis vistas siempre serán objetivo.

De vez en cuando también compartiré con ustedes vídeos, fotos, refranes y gráficos de la gente, animales, lugares, etc., que encuentro interesante y espero que lo aprecian.

También, hay tiempos cuando fijaré artículos sobre hechos – por qué pasó así o lo que podría haber sido si algo más pasara.

Bienvenidos a mi sitio de blog y espero colaborar con Vd. en el futuro.

Su participación, sus pensamientos y comentarios, para o contra, serán muy apreciados. Podemos tener diferencias en la opinión pero eso es la esencia de ser racional, ser capaz de consentir en discrepar. Esto es mi objetivo que como continuamos, aclaramos no sólo nosotros mismos sino también aquellos  que encuentran  la oportunidad/posibilidad de visitar este sitio. Déjenos enriquecer el uno al otro en el conocimiento y en la amistad. Gracias. Jesus Sievert alias Quierosaber

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A drone comes to the rescue

 

Before going to the full text of how and where this drone made a dramatic rescue, let me just conceptualize first what a drone is.

A drone, in a technological context, is an unmanned aircraft. It is more formally known as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

We are now entering the age of artificial intelligence (AI), also called machine intelligence (MI), as it is mostly found in machines or robots, if you may. MI is in contrast with the natural intelligence (NI) displayed by humans and other animals.

So, basically, a drone is a flying robot. The aircraft may be remotely controlled or can fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded system working in conjunction with on-board sensors and global positioning system (GPS.)

In the recent past, UAVs were most often associated with the military, where they were used initially for anti-aircraft target practice, intelligence gathering and then, more controversially, as weapons platforms. Drones are now also used in a wide range of civilian roles ranging from search and rescue, surveillance, traffic monitoring, weather monitoring and firefighting to personal drones and business drone-based photography, as well as videography, agriculture and even delivery services.

Having said the foregoing, it was reported recently that a pair of Australian swimmers became the first people to be rescued in the ocean by a drone when the aerial lifesaver dropped a safety device to the distressed teens caught in rough seas.

The two boys is said to have been caught in three-meter (10-foot) swells while swimming off Lennox Head in New South Wales, near the border with Queensland.

Beach goers onshore raised the alarm to the lifeguards who then alerted the drone pilot, and the aerial lifesaver was deployed in moments.

Note that Australia is leading the use of the technology in surf lifesaving, with dozens of drones being tried on beaches around the country.

Along with their ability to spot swimmers in trouble and deliver life saving devices faster than traditional lifesaving techniques, like launching surfboards or rubber dinghies, drones are being used in Australia to spot underwater predators like sharks and jellyfish.

 

Miss Belgium is a Filipina

 

Miss Belgium – Angeline Flor Fua

An astonishing news item got the attention of many around the world lately when Belgium, a country in Western Europe with French, Dutch and German as its official languages, has selected a woman with roots in the Philippines as its candidate for either Miss International or Miss Universe contest.

What makes the selection of Angeline Flor Fua incredibly surprising, and controversial now, is that her parents are Filipinos or Asians, if you may, who worked and met in Belgium and decided to make it their home base.

The world has heard so many times already about Filipinas of mixed race winning beauty crowns and this is what makes Angeline’s case unique because her looks represent her Filipino pedigree.

Angeline’s winning, however, is giving rise to some controversy in her own country with comments of ridiculousness and nasty questions being asked as to why the jury made an Asian win instead of awarding the crown to fair, blue eyed, blonde Belgians.

The 22-year-old beauty queen admitted being hurt with the negative comments. She has done several interviews and was always asked about the issue.

She feels it is totally unfair to be bashed like that.

“It hurts a lot. It touches me very deeply but I was born in Belgium, I was raised in Belgium. I have Belgian nationality. My parents met each other in Belgium even if they are both Filipinos and I don’t see any reason why I can’t be Miss Belgium,” she said.

But it was not really walk in the park for the Filipina when she described what she went through.

“It took me eight months of work to win the title. Before joining the Miss Belgium national pageant, we have to join first the regional pageant. I represented Antwerp and we were 35 candidates. I won Miss Antwerp and People’s Choice award. It’s difficult to collect votes, you know. You have to talk to people even if you don’t know them, you have to make them feel like you deserve to win,” she said.

She believes that growing up in two different cultures is what made her exceptional.

“I am also very proud that I have Filipino roots and that’s make me a unique Miss Belgium 2018,” she exclaimed.

By the way, Angeline is studying flying and is set to finish her course this March and hopes to fly a commercial plane soon.

Congratulations and good luck!

Trump’s ‘shithole’ language

US President Donald Trump

Just to refresh you, the word ‘shithole’, made more infamous by no less than US President Donald Trump, came about during bipartisan talks about immigration reform when he said:  “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

By shithole countries Trump was alluding to Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, and apparently most of Africa.

There is no need to ask what a shithole is. We all know it is a hole where one defecates. And so it is how dirty and how vulgar the word is.

I would not have minded if an ordinary person uses it casually. But, when a person of Trump’s stature uses it in making policy statements, man, it is not only preposterous, but simply revolting and condemnable!

What can be more revolting and condemnable than to suggest later on that America should take more people from “countries like Norway.” This is his remark about African countries and Haiti in reverse, explicitly singling out predominantly white nations as favorable.

Thus, when a nation is characterized as a ‘shithole’, it obscenely implies also that its people are filthy, disgusting and contemptible, and therefore, dysfunctional.

Even if Filipinos are not included in the irresponsible and bigoted language of Trump, still it should create outrage in their hearts for the way this racist/supremacist leader has been harshly treating immigrants of which Filipinos number in the millions. And let us not forget that we are still very much a third world country, a shithole in the parlance of this lout of a leader, but what saved us from Trump’s foulmouthed is because the Philippines is useful to the US militarily.

It is simply ironic, as it is inconceivable, that such use of vulgar language can emanate from a country widely known as the bastion of the core values of liberty, self-government, equality, individualism, diversity and unity.

But then Trump is no ordinary American. He is the typical ugly American.

It is said that Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule, who is revered the world over for his nonviolent philosophy of passive resistance, taught the world that a country’s greatness is measured not by its richest, but by how it treats its most vulnerable members. Obviously, by this measure, the U.S. is a certified shithole. If Africa and other ‘shitholes’ are unstable in Trump’s estimation, sadly, so is America now under his pathetic leadership.

Former Mexico President Vicente Fox Quesada went even further and appropriately at that, when he tweeted: “.@realDonaldTrump, your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world. With what authority do you proclaim who’s welcome in America and who’s not. America’s greatness is built on diversity, or have you forgotten your immigrant background, Donald?”

Indeed, how true!

‘The Lowest White Man’

 

This article caught my attention and decided to reprint it as I am sure you will find it an interesting read, the way I felt about it. It’s about controversial US President Donald Trump.

The author, Charles M. Blow, is a black American journalist, commentator, and current visual op-ed columnist for The New York Times.

Blow’s article comes on the heels of a best seller titled, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, written by Michael Wolfe on what is described as Trump’s chaotic first nine months in office.

It is actually a damning book that went as far as questioning Trump’s mental state, which in effect prompted him to respond, tweeting:

I do not know about you, but I find these tweets absurd, if not egomaniacal!

I mean Trump has not even finished his term yet, and even remains to be seen if he can, and he is calling himself ‘a stable genius’ already, whatever that means.

Let history be the judge, I say.

Meanwhile, read the article and learn more about this man called Donald Trump.

‘The Lowest White Man’

I guess Donald Trump was eager to counter the impression in Michael Wolff’s book that he is irascible, mentally small and possibly insane. On Tuesday, he allowed a bipartisan session in the White House about immigration to be televised for nearly an hour.

Surely, he thought that he would be able to demonstrate to the world his lucidity and acumen, his grasp of the issues and his relish for rapprochement with his political adversaries.

But instead what came through was the image of a man who had absolutely no idea what he was talking about; a man who says things that are 180 degrees from the things he has said before; a man who has no clear line of reasoning; a man who is clearly out of his depth and willing to do and say anything to please the people in front of him.

He demonstrated once again that he is a man without principle, interested only in how good he can make himself look and how much money he can make.

Yes, he has an intrinsic hostility to people who are not white, particularly when they challenge him, but as a matter of policy, the whole idea of building a wall for which Mexico would pay was just a cheap campaign stunt to, once again, please the people in front of him.

Trump is not committed to that wall on principle. He is committed only to looking good as a result of whatever comes of it. Mexico is never going to pay for it, and he knows it. He has always known it. That was just another lie. Someone must have stuck the phrases “chain migration” and “diversity lottery” into his brain — easy buzzwords, you see — and he can now rail against those ideas for applause lines.

But he is completely malleable on actual immigration policy. He doesn’t have the stamina for that much reading. Learning about immigration would require reading more words than would fit on a television news chyron.

If Donald Trump follows through with what he said during that meeting, his base will once again be betrayed. He will have proved once again that he was saying anything to keep them angry, even telling lies. He will have demonstrated once again his incompetence and unfitness.

And once again, they won’t care.

That is because Trump is man-as-message, man-as-messiah. Trump support isn’t philosophical but theological.

Trumpism is a religion founded on patriarchy and white supremacy.

It is the belief that even the least qualified man is a better choice than the most qualified woman and a belief that the most vile, anti-intellectual, scandal-plagued simpleton of a white man is sufficient to follow in the presidential footsteps of the best educated, most eloquent, most affable black man.

As President Lyndon B. Johnson said in the 1960s to a young Bill Moyers: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

Trump’s supporters are saying to us, screaming to us, that although he may be the “lowest white man,” he is still better than Barack Obama, the “best colored man.”

In a way, Donald Trump represents white people’s right to be wrong and still be right. He is the embodiment of the unassailability of white power and white privilege.

To abandon him is to give up on the pact that America has made with its white citizens from the beginning: The government will help to underwrite white safety and success, even at the expense of other people in this country, whether they be Native Americans, African-Americans or new immigrants.

But this idea of elevating the lowest white man over those more qualified or deserving didn’t begin with Johnson’s articulation and won’t end with Trump’s manifestation. This is woven into the fabric of the flag.

As I have written here before, when Alabama called a constitutional convention in 1901, Emmet O’Neal, who later became governor, argued that the state should “lay deep and strong and permanent in the fundamental law of the state the foundation of white supremacy forever in Alabama,” and as part of that strategy he argued:

“I don’t believe it is good policy to go up in the hills and tell them that Booker Washington or Councill or anybody else is allowed to vote because they are educated. The minute you do that every white man who is not educated is disfranchised on the same proposition.”

In his essay “Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880,” W.E.B. Du Bois discussed why poor whites didn’t make common cause with poor blacks and slaves but instead prized their roles as overseers and slave catchers, eagerly joining the Klan. This fed the white man’s “vanity because it associated him with the masters,” Du Bois wrote.

He continued:

“Slavery bred in the poor white a dislike of Negro toil of all sorts. He never regarded himself as a laborer, or as part of any labor movement. If he had any ambition at all it was to become a planter and to own ‘niggers.’ To these Negroes he transferred all the dislike and hatred which he had for the whole slave system. The result was that the system was held stable and intact by the poor white.”

For white supremacy to be made perfect, the lowest white man must be exalted above those who are black.

No matter how much of an embarrassment and a failure Trump proves to be, his exploits must be judged a success. He must be deemed a correction to Barack Obama and a superior choice to Hillary Clinton. White supremacy demands it. Patriarchy demands it. Trump’s supporters demand it.

 

Useless diplomatic protest against China

 

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

I am talking of course about Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s statement that the defense department will file a diplomatic protest against China if it can be established that there is indeed militarization over the Fiery Cross Reef (Kagitingan Reef) in the South China Sea (SCS).

Lorenzana should not have acted so naïve even if the Chinese government had promised other claimant nations not to militarize their man-made islands.

Note that the Kagitingan Reef is also claimed by Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines.

Lorenzana, by virtue of his position, should be the first one to know that when China took over the reef and made it into a huge island, that it was not for the purpose of making it a tourist destination.

Like any other Chinese-fortified reclaimed islands in the SCS, the Kagitingan Reef has been transformed into a Chinese military base, which features a 3,125-meter runway for H-6K strategic bombers and equip with a hospital and military facilities, including early warning radars and close-proximity weapons systems. According to reports, over 200 Chinese soldiers are stationed on the artificial island.

Instead of showing total obeisance to China it would have been apt if Lorenzana just been forthright in saying that the protest was a matter of formality it being a threat to peace and security.

What makes the threat real is because the Kagitingan Reef is one of the islands subject to the arbitral tribunal decision that it is within the Philippine economic zone.

But what makes the diplomatic protest useless just the same is China’s disrespect and disregard for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and more so for the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), that area of coastal water and seabed within a certain distance of a country’s coastline, to which the country claims exclusive rights for fishing, drilling, and other economic activities.

The fact that China ‘walk the talk’, after claiming that practically the whole of SCS is theirs and built fortified bases out of the protruding reefs, and not even the greatest nation on Earth, the USA, could do anything about it, makes the diplomatic protest not only useless but absurd as well.

 

President Duterte sustains high ratings

 

President Rodrigo Duterte

People averse to President Rodrigo Duterte as a person and as the country’s leader may be wondering why they can’t put him down.

By people I mean political foes and the elite who to this day can’t believe that a poor and unassuming mayor far from the imperial city of Manila is lording over them.

The more these politicians and privileged class of people silently wish a controversial issue against the president will arise the more they get depressed because his approval and trust ratings continue to be high – issues like Duterte’s bloody war against drugs, extra-judicial killings, human rights violation, revolutionary government, federalism and lately the no election floating balloon.

These people must have been aghast, nay infuriated, reading that Duterte’s approval and trust ratings could go as high as 80 and 82 percent, respectively, as shown in the latest Pulse Asia survey for December 2017.

It looks like nothing can go wrong for as long as the Filipino people continue to manifest their unwavering support for Duterte’s programs and plans for the future.

What does this really mean? Why the continuing steadfast support from the people?

What most politicians, especially the trapos (traditional politicians), and the ritzy should know is that Duterte’s presidency is no longer a presidency of political patronage, but a presidency that exercises political will that is good for the country and for the people in general.

It is a presidency that says what it means and mean what it says for the benefit of the greater number of Filipinos.

It is a presidency that strongly endeavors to fulfill promises pledged during the campaign period and we have seen it and continue seeing it in Duterte’s promise to fight drugs, corruption and criminality.

Suffice to say that Duterte’s sustained high ratings stem from the fact that he has walk the talk and continue to follow through his campaign promises, to change the lives of many Filipinos, especially the poor.

The Filipino people recognize and acknowledge what Duterte is doing, even in charting the future of this country, and for that they are humbly grateful.

Thus, no one should wonder why Duterte is able to sustain his high ratings.

East China Sea territorial dispute

 

Senkaku/Diaoyu islands

What do East China Sea and South China Sea have in common?

Obviously, other than the fact that they are both seas, they also bear distinctly the name China, a giant nation now becoming a superpower next only to the USA.

I have written about East China Sea (ECS) before which you can read at this link: https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/tag/east-china-sea/, and the reason why I am writing about it again is because I want these questions to be answered:

  • Will there be a repeat of South China Sea (SCS) in ECS?
  • Unlike the Philippines and its neighboring nations, will Japan allow China to occupy and/or construct islands in the ECS?

The whole world now knows what China has done in the SCS. It not only claimed practically the whole of the SCS, but it is now made up of militarized man-made islands – a conglomerate of garrisons if you want to call it that.

What is even worse is that some of this fortified islands are located at the Philippine’s ‘backyard’.

The reason why China acted with impunity in our part of the world is because China does not respect the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also known as the Law of the Sea Treaty, the international agreement that defined the limits of the territorial seas of nations and the areas in which they could exploit marine resources.

But what made China pursue its evil scheme is that America, despite knowing what  was going on in the SCS, did not give a hoot and was just interested in making sure that the rules for the use of the high seas for international navigation are to be respected.

So if the greatest military in the world was not able to restrain China from militarizing the SCS, at the expense of the poor nations in the region, what power has the Philippines to stop China from developing islands in our own territorial waters?

Thus, the questions are being asked above. What I am just trying to point out here is that China’s aggressive presence in the SCS will never result to an ugly conflict because any which way one looks at it the Philippines can never win against China.

But the same cannot be said of China and Japan in the ECS because the latter has the military power to fight China and therefore cannot just be bullied like it has done to the Philippines.

It will be remembered that both China and Japan lay claim to a set of islands in the East China Sea that cover around 81,000 square miles. Called Senkaku in Tokyo and Diaoyu in Beijing, the area is near major shipping routes and rich in energy reserves.

In 2012, Tokyo’s decision to purchase three of the five disputed islands from their private owner triggered violent anti-Japanese protests in China, forcing Japanese firms to shut down businesses on the mainland. The following year, Tokyo lodged a protest following Beijing’s declaration of a formal Air Defense Identification Zone over parts of the East China Sea.

According to Ryan Hass, a David M. Rubenstein Fellow at Brooking’s foreign policy program,  “the frequency of close encounters between Chinese and Japanese ships and aircraft in the East China Sea is intensifying” and will likely continue as both countries look to improve their respective air and maritime capabilities in the zone.

The SCS territorial dispute may have caught the attention of the whole world, but the ECS, described to be a lesser-known hotbed of tensions, might be more likely to trigger an international conflict.