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Posts tagged "Red Tani"

By Red Tani

Despite his patent lies and his staff’s excuses, Sotto’s plagiarism  is now an established fact. They have even changed their defense to plagiarism being an acceptable practice for Senators. I’d first thought that Sotto was alone in his stupidity, but it appears even Sen. Santiago thinks the Senate is exempted from academic standards of honesty.

But all this talk about plagiarism has overshadowed the most controversial part of Sotto’s recent speech: his claim that oral contraceptives killed his son. Some critics have hesitated to attack this claim, and those who haven’t, such as former health secretary Esperanza Cabral and Rep. Janet Garin, have taken flack for even entertaining the idea that Sotto would lie about something as serious as his own son’s death.

But since Sotto, a public official, has entered his personal tragedy into public record, it is fair game to consider the possibility that Sotto is lying. And I believe this is precisely what he did. Sotto is lying about the death of his son to further his fight against the RH Bill. Many of his statements and actions — these past weeks and even during his entire career — point to this conclusion.

Read the full article on the Filipino Freethinkers website

By Red Tani

Senator Tito Sotto responded to allegations of plagiarism by denying them on national TV. In case comparing his speech with the blog post isn’t enough, the blogger herself, Sarah Pope, has confirmed that she was indeed plagiarized. And as it turns out, she might not be the only victim of Sotto’s plagiarism: some count at least 3 other plagiarized bloggers.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

Let’s humor Tito Sotto and entertain the possibility that his excuse is valid — that he wasn’t quoting the blogger, he was quoting the blogger’s source: Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. But was citing Dr. Natasha a good move?

I don’t think so. As far as Sotto’s credibility goes, citing Dr. Natasha was even worse than plagiarizing Pope. Because Dr. Natasha is a quack.…

Read the full article on the Filipino Freethinkers website.

By Red Tani

Dear Pro-RH Catholics,

You’ve been asking the Vatican for pro-RH reforms for over four decades. During that time, your leader, the Pope, has made it absolutely clear that to be Catholic means to be anti-RH. You have been called “fake Catholics,” “cafeteria Catholics,” and even “oxymorons.” You have been told that if you cannot obey, you should just leave. Your Pope has answered requests for reforms by saying he prefers searching agnostics over fake believers.

You have no control over what your church officially does and decides. Yet you have fought long and hard to cling to your Catholic identity. I respect that, but I respect even more the fact that you recognize the moral value of RH despite the denigration of your detractors. So I’m suggesting that you consider indulging them.

What if you left the Roman Catholic Church completely and formed your own one? It would be identical to your old church, except for one critical difference: it would be pro-RH officially. Of course, your new church will no longer be recognized by the Vatican.

But what would losing Vatican recognition do anyway? If you cared about the Vatican’s official position, you wouldn’t be pro-RH Catholics. This implies that you don’t think the Vatican is the highest authority.

You probably think that Jesus Christ is, and that He is pro-RH. So don’t you owe it to Jesus to create a church that truly represents Him? If you create a church with pro-RH bishops and priests — and you’ve claimed that there are many of them — don’t you think that Jesus would let them represent Him even without the Pope’s permission?

Read the full article on the Filipino Freethinkers website.

By Red Tani

I recorded this video interview with Frank when I got home from COMELEC before writing this post. Some details might be inaccurate, which I hope this post corrects. Toward the end of the video is footage of the BUHAY spokesperson saying the titular statement.

“Your mothers should have aborted you” is so 2010. I’m of course referring to members of Prolife Philippines wishing out loud that we hadn’t been born as we were leaving Manila Cathedral. We were there to listen to a discernment mass on the RH Bill, but weren’t allowed to attend because of the DAMASO shirts we were wearing. Aside from wishing we weren’t alive, a public exorcism on us was also attempted by Eric Manalang, president of Prolife Philippines.

Now it’s 2012, and the Prolife greeting has been updated. It now goes, “Your mother should have used RH.” We learned this yesterday when we expressed our opposition to BUHAY’s party-list accreditation at their COMELEC review hearing. After witnessing the most absurd justification for applying to be a party-list, we had an exchange of words with BUHAY that reflects a lot of what happened in the Manila Cathedral incident of 2010.

It began with a question. The BUHAY spokesperson who had represented them during the hearing approached us and asked, “Are you pro-RH?” “Yes,” answers Kenneth Keng, who had earlier expressed at the hearing our intention to oppose BUHAY’s accreditation. “Then your mother should have used RH. So you wouldn’t be here today.”

At this point, I was approached by another BUHAY member. “Did you go to school?” he asked. “Yes,” I replied. “Then why aren’t you using your education,” he said. He probably meant that my pro-RH position betrayed a lack of education.

Read the full article on the Filipino Freethinkers website

By Red Tani

Note: Please also read how BUHAY responded to our opposition of their party-list accreditation in COMELEC.

The party-list system of representation is broken. Want proof? Consider the case of BUHAY party-list.

According to COMELEC, you have to be a member of the sector you claim to represent. BUHAY claims to represent “the unborn, the sick, the disabled and others not capable of protecting themselves alone, through observance of their basic right to live.” Never mind being sick and disabled and incapable of self-protection (all at the same time!). Is even a single BUHAY representative unborn?

Even if we grant for rhetorical purposes that every BUHAY representative is unborn, they would still be disqualified for one simple reason: the unborn is not a sector recognized by COMELEC. This fact was repeated several times at BUHAY’s accreditation hearing at COMELEC yesterday.

And every time the COMELEC official mentioned this, the BUHAY spokesperson would answer the same way: BUHAY representatives actually represent its own political party, which is the one marginalized and underrepresented.

Setting aside how self-serving this reasoning is, does BUHAY actually think that a political party should be considered a sector of society? Let’s humor them a little and pretend that it is. Why is BUHAY party marginalized?

Read the full article on the Filipino Freethinkers website

by Red Tani


Paul’s revelation made Christianity what it is today.

This is not satire. Although it’s the kind of news that is perfect for mocking the authoritarian nature of the Catholic Church, everything I’m about to tell you is factually true. You can even read this official Vatican news article and leave it open just so you’re sure that I’m not kidding. Ready? Good.

The Vatican has publicized official guidelines to verify whether apparitions — such as Jesus appearing to you in person — and revelations — such as Jesus talking to you in a dream — are authentic. The procedure is strict, and the criteria is comprehensive, but what it ultimately boils down to is this:

If Jesus — or whichever Heavenly character — tells you something that contradicts the teachings of the Catholic Church, the apparition or revelation is fake. You are either a lunatic or a liar — or both — but you certainly did not communicate with the Lord. When God communicates to you through his messengers, He can only tell you something the Catholic Church teaches — nothing more, nothing less.

Pope Benedict XVI puts it this way:

The criterion for judging the truth of a private revelation is its orientation to Christ himself. If it leads us away from him, then it certainly does not come from the Holy Spirit, who guides us more deeply into the Gospel, and not away from it. Private revelation is an aid to this faith, and it demonstrates its credibility precisely because it refers back to the one public revelation.

Ecclesiastical approval of a private revelation essentially means that its message contains nothing contrary to faith and morals.

If these terms are too vague, the actual guidelines put it more concretely. To be considered authentic, a revelation must be “true theological and spiritual doctrine and immune from error.” If it contains “doctrinal errors” the revelation is definitely false.

Rea the full article on the Filipino Freethinkers website.

by Red Tani

heroes

Jessica Sanchez recently lost on American Idol, a talent show, ultimately decided by viewer voting. But by the way many Filipinos reacted to the results, you’d think it was a presidential election. Few accepted Jessica’s defeat, many giving Jessica — and themselves — the consolation prize of believing that while Phillip Phillips was the American Idol, Jessica Sanchez was the World Idol. Some went as far as asking for a recount.

But within the range of reactions, I found one particularly interesting. The argument goes that Phillip Phillips only won because he was American — and the White Guy With Guitar always wins — and that if Jessica were American, too, she would win because she obviously had more talent. And wasn’t American Idol above all a contest of talent? Wasn’t it supposed to avoid becoming a contest about race? If so, wouldn’t this count as racism? Ironically, these are the questions many of Jessica’s fans — and those who subscribe to Pinoy Pride — need to ask themselves.

Read the full article on the Filipino Freethinkers website.

Corona’s Assberg

by Red Tani

by Red Tani

The prosecution has rested its case, but were they right? When Corona admitted to having undisclosed dollar accounts, the prosecution decided that no further cross-examination was needed.

But Corona thinks he has the perfect defense. Although the Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Networth (SALN) requires disclosure of all assets, the Foreign Currency Deposits Act (FCDA) states that dollar accounts need not be disclosed. The FCDA states it explicitly, and by adhering only to what is literally stated, Corona has chosen to obey the letter of the law.

The SALN, however implicitly states that all accounts need to be disclosed, and although it’s not explicitly stated, the spirit of the SALN implies that even dollar accounts must be declared.

But what is the spirit of the SALN? The basic idea is that if public officials declare their assets every year, it would be possible to learn how much they’re making from being in public office. If it exceeds the income expected of a person in their position, the excess can be interpreted as potential corruption, warranting further investigation.

For the SALN to fulfill its purpose, it is obvious that both peso and dollar assets must be declared: a corrupt politician who wants to hide ill-gotten wealth *could* and would use dollar accounts if these were indeed exempted from declaration.

I emphasized “could” because having undisclosed dollar accounts does not necessarily mean that a politician has ill-gotten wealth. It is possible for a politician to have undisclosed accounts — both peso and dollar — but still be clean (all their wealth is made honestly).

But the law is blind — it does not assume good intentions. That is, laws that are made to prevent crime do not make exceptions for the innocent — it applies equally to all.

Consider the following. It is illegal to board airplanes with explosives. This is because an explosive can be used to perform other illegal acts which is infinitely more harmful: taking the passengers hostage and potentially killing them all. Note that the bringing of explosives aboard the plane by itself is not harmful at all.

Hypothetically, a genius inventor could create a bomb that would avoid detection, take it on the plane, and fly to his lab in another country to continue development on his invention. Not a single passenger got hurt. But does that mean the inventor did not do anything illegal? No. He broke the law and deserves to be punished.

But he didn’t hurt anyone, right? Would it be better then if we modify the law so that passengers who promise to behave are allowed to board with bombs? Definitely not. Because the mere potential that a person *could* use the bomb for the more harmful act (detonation) is worth making the act of boarding with bombs illegal itself.

Read the full article on the Filipino Freethinkers website.

By Red Tani

It’s a good time to be gay (and lesbian and bi and trans). Obama’s support for same-sex marriage came shortly after another LGBT win: Miriam Quiambao’s recent homophobic statements galvanized support for the LGBT community, raising awareness and even sympathy for their cause.

Momentum is on the LGBT community’s side, and with this week’s celebration of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO), debates on marriage equality and other LGBT issues have reignited. Although an LGBT win is not guaranteed, the debate itself is a minor victory; the status quo is a defeat by default.

Dictating Definitions

To maintain the status quo, the Catholic Church and other conservative elements will try to dictate definitions — the terms of the debate. In the reproductive health (RH) debate, the most time-consuming distraction they use is the question, “When does life begin?” Pro-RH legislators would invariably fall into the trap of trying to define “life.” The anti-RH then argues as if it had a monopoly on the its meaning, which is to be expected from a group that has proclaims itself the “pro-life” side.

In the marriage equality debate, conservatives will use a similar tactic: they will try to monopolize the meaning of marriage. Marriage, they will argue, is a Catholic sacrament reserved for one man and one woman who love each other (unitive) and intend to have children (procreative) — to go beyond that definition bastardizes its meaning and endangers the institution of marriage itself. But even a brief look at history will show that the Catholic marriage is nothing but a modern invention…

Read the full article on the Filipino Freethinkers website.