Righteous Indignation: Death, Taxes & Napoles

Doctors, in general, are passive creatures who would rather wait in the sidelines than go to the streets. Che Guevarra and  Bobby dela Paz were notable exceptions.

Dr. Bobby dela Paz, MD (circa 1970's) -- yet another cute guy who died "in the service of his country". Picture from http://www.bantayog.org/node/89

Dr. Bobby dela Paz, MD (circa 1970’s) — yet another cute guy who died “in the service of his country”. Picture from http://www.bantayog.org/node/89

Recently however, some MD friends were up in arms (a figure of speech, of course) due to  a serious-as-death issue — taxes.

If you would care to take the time to read these:

http://toxsickph.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/bir-more-pfun-in-the-pfhilippines/

http://heavenpurgatoryandhell.blogspot.com/2013/09/professional-fees-and-physician.html

 

and this:

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/480689/bir-to-require-doctors-to-post-rates-in-clinics

 

you would get the gist of what I am getting at.

 

Believe it or not, "millionaire doctors" make up < 1 % of all MDs in my country. The rest just scrounges to get by, just like you. Picture from itunes.apple.com

Believe it or not, “millionaire doctors” make up < 1 % of all MDs in my country. The rest just scrounge to get by. Picture from itunes.apple.com

***

Taxes are not inherently evil. They can even be good, as a lot of people receiving Social Security can attest.

However, in my crazy country, taxes more often go to the purse (or the bank) of certain people like Janet and her daughter, Jeane (yes baby ger, I am NOT done with you yet) or to Bong Revilla,   than to worthwhile endeavors like improving the public transportation system.

With such crappy set-up as that, you can’t blame my countrymen (women) for complaining everytime the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) passes the buck at us for their incompetence.

Ouch, Kim Henares, my MD friends actually said that if you would have the gall to apply to medical school, you would be facing a lynch mob in lieu of the admissions committee.

Sometimes, my MD friend further opines, she’d rather be in Syria.

Which, of course, drew a rather horrified gasp from me.

Pathologies of “Chosen People”

Acute thrombotic microangiopathy, a microscopic feature of DIC. Quite beautiful if it's not so very tragic, don't you think? Image from Wikipedia

Acute thrombotic microangiopathy, a microscopic feature of DIC. The image is quite beautiful if it’s not so very tragic, don’t you think? Picture from Wikipedia

In medicine, there is an entity called  “disseminated intravascular coagulation” or DIC. It is a complicated condition when a lot of systems in the body break down due to one (or more) disease condition. In short, it is the complete collapse of civilization, as far as one’s organic hardware is concerned.

Syria (the country) is currently undergoing a malady that is a lot like DIC.

The treatment for DIC is “reversal of the underlying cause”; the prognosis is often grim and chance of survival depends on the “underlying condition”.

The problem with Syria is that the “underlying condition” to its current pathology is varied, multifactorial and has a long complicated history. Like a lot of Middle East countries that have undergone the so-called “Arab Spring”.

I satisfy (or torment) myself  in reading the following articles on the matter:

http://www.rappler.com/world/regions/middle-east

http://opinion.inquirer.net/60385/obama-damascus-and-manila

Mr. Randy David, a Filipino sociologist, is sympathetic; or maybe empathetic is a better world, since he (and I)  and his (my) country have also experienced the  travails, pathos and tragedies (sometimes, there is comedy — albeit the farcical kind) that any type of revolution can curse (or bless) its chosen people.

“In spite of our pressing domestic problems, we must find time to reflect on our responsibilities as citizens of a common world. It behooves nation-states to exhaust all peaceful means to protect the basic rights of ordinary people and allow nations to settle their internal troubles in a nonviolent way. The use of military action against another country is an act of aggression. Its outcomes can never be limited or predicted.  As vital as the votes of parliaments are in finding a solution to this problem, the voice of the global community of netizens must be heard now more than ever.”

***

The Romance of Barry, Bashar and John McCain

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I remember that there was a term, “pussy-foot democracy”, pertaining to the way the current US leaders are handling the situation in Syria — I just forgot the website where I saw it from.

I tried to google what “pussyfoot” (Google, the love-of my-life! sigh!) means and I came across this definition: “to avoid committing oneself.”

I see.

So the US is playing the role of a Regency libertine who can’t commit to one woman because he had been hurt before. I actually am re-reading such a storyline right now!

***

until you

“Until You” by Judith McNaught was published in 1994 and features the (fictional) Earl of Langford, Stephen David Elliott Westmoreland — please note that he has the same number of 1st names as the current (non-fictional) Duchess of Cambridge’s and Will’s new son.

Stephen had been hurt before by a woman who possesses a sappy and stuffy name, Emily Lathrop. An experience which left him cynical about women in general. Until he met the American redhead romance-novel lover (in the 1800’s romance novels were called “dime novels”, which just goes to show how cheaply people regarded them) — Sheridan “Sherry” Bromleigh.

I read “Until You” when I was a wide-eyed idealistic 14-year old.

***

Now, I am no longer 14 or wide-eyed. Not so idealistic either.

puckerclust.wordpress.com

puckerclust.wordpress.com

A painful thing about “growing up” is that one realizes that the world contains more evil-terrible- Sauron/Voldemort types than one would care or wish to have.

Saddam Hussein was a Voldemort. And so is Bashar al-Assad.

Bashar al-Assad. Don't let the smile fool you. Picture from www.theguardian.com

Bashar al-Assad. Don’t let the smile fool you. Picture from http://www.theguardian.com

So can anyone blame Barry Obama for wanting to go to war with him?

Yeah, I know … I did say I’m a pacifist.

However, Barry is sooo cute and sexy that if Michele would do an Emily Lathrop and dumps him someday (wish, wish!), I would, in one heartbeat of a second, scoop him up and carry him into my castle. I mean any guy who would be willing to tell-all as in “Dreams from my Father” surely would not be so inhibited in stripping in front of a woman.

Dreams_from_my_father

With all due respect, John McCain — you ARE cute, especially when you were young and wearing those Air Force uniforms. But man, you have got to lighten up and get a perm!

McCain -- cute guy, but needs a make-over. Tim Gunn alert! From www.treehugger.com

McCain — cute guy, but needs a make-over. Tim Gunn alert! From http://www.treehugger.com

***

So to go back to the first sentence of this post — pussyfoot democracy.

The problem with democracy (and yes, it does have some) is it can be quite cumbersome to get the will of the people by the government — of the people, by the people, for the people, from the people. I hope I got all the bases covered but that’s the idea.

Can we blame Barry for going to Congress regarding Syria? We — or rather You, since I am not an American, ha ha ha — will also blame him if he didn’t.

***

This was Sam’s speech to Frodo in “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”

the two towers

I know the speech sounds sooo George Dubya Bush … but sometimes, I do wonder — what, really, was the difference between Dubya and Bill;  or (to push the metaphor further) Lincoln and Davis? So they wanted a More Perfect Union — I think the people, for and from,  whom their government was made, would also agree with that.

Incidentally, that’s also what I want — with my significant other.

***

A last statement:  Environment factors can and do affect our health; and the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as:

…  a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Guns and Corned Beef

I hate guns but I love corned beef!

Not my favorite brand of canned corned beef, but it will do. I actually  forgot the name-brand of my favorite brand! Does that mean it's not really my favorite at all?

Not my favorite brand of canned corned beef, but it will do. I actually forgot the name-brand of my favorite brand! Does that mean it’s not really my favorite at all?

I came across this recipe for home made corned beef that I would like to try to make, one of these days.

The problem is, I have yet to find juniper berries and allspice in local markets; and these are ingredients to the recipe.

My favorite food blogger featured this corned beef recipe on his blog and my mouth literally watered.

I am copy/pasting the corned beef recipe by Alton Brown here  (just so I will remember):

Ingredients :
2 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons saltpeter
1 cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
12 whole juniper berries
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pounds ice
1 (4 to 5 pound) beef brisket, trimmed
1 small onion, quartered
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
Directions: Place the water into a large 6 to 8 quart stockpot along with salt, sugar, saltpeter, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, juniper berries, bay leaves and ginger. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the ice. Stir until the ice has melted. If necessary, place the brine into the refrigerator until it reaches a temperature of 45 degrees F. Once it has cooled, place the brisket in a 2-gallon zip top bag and add the brine. Seal and lay flat inside a container, cover and place in the refrigerator for 10 days. Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and stir the brine. After 10 days, remove from the brine and rinse well under cool water. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to hold the meat, add the onion, carrot and celery and cover with water by 1-inch. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.

You may notice that the recipe calls for saltpeter, which is also an ingredient in making gunpowder. I think I read that in the book “Like Water for Chocolate”.
like water for chocolate
I have a moral aversion to anything related to guns. Hence, I have resolved not to use saltpeter in this recipe.
Call me a pacifist (some people regard that as a dirty word along with “feminist”) but I have a thing against guns.
My opinion is that, this world is fucked up because of men with guns and men who want to have guns. Yes, despite Madeleine Albright, Margaret Thatcher and Hilary Clinton, it’s still usually men.
Sorry my darling! I know you think the way to Syria’s liberation is by supplying their guy rebels with air-to-ground missiles, and I don’t blame you. The Assad regime is a psychopathic sadistic bastard, if I ever saw one. Thank god, Ferdinand Marcos is dead; for I think he would now be dancing the cha cha with Bashar al-Assad were he still with us.
And yes, I don’t know anything about waging wars, psychological or otherwise. I’m a dimwitted girl who only knows how to pray the devil back to hell.
I would just like to ask, darling, if I may, have you actually inquired what these Syrian girls — er women — think about what would be the best way to deal with their guys who are hell-bent on killing each other? Oh, yes, silly me, you can’t hold a referendum, even an interview because the situation on the ground is hot. Oh well …
Syrian girl with bloody face (obviously) Picture from www.ottawacitizen.comic

Syrian girl with bloody face (obviously) Picture from http://www.ottawacitizen.comic

Syrian women (girls?) on a wall. Crying? Laughing like banshees after being sexually abused? I wouldn't know. The abaya keeps me from seeing their expressions. Picture from respecthumanrights.com

Syrian women (girls?) on a wall. Crying? Laughing like banshees after being sexually abused? I wouldn’t know. The abaya keeps me from seeing their expressions. Picture from respecthumanrights.com

Yes, this post is about a recipe, sorry for the digression. My housemate just said that I’m always saying sorry, for which I retort, “Which is why you love me.”