Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Expat Living in the Philippines

I get amused at comments expat’s make about the Philippine’s. They will say how GREAT it is and then say things like - expat’s do not usually last here two years - they will say how great the people are then say they are a bunch of thieves - they will say how great the women are then tell you of an expat that has lost everything to a dishonest woman - they are all quick to tell you how merchants cheat foreigners. They always mention  great smiles but most dishonest people smile alot before they screw you.
I have been here for 15 years and find the people are no better or no worse than other people around the world.
It is human nature to take advantages of people who let you. Some ecpat’s do not understand they use Filipinos as much ss they get used. They come for sex and take advantage of poverty. They live cheap many times because they do not pay their house help a fair wage.
Yes, living expenses are less and they are less because most Filipinos live in poverty. Merchants cannot charge first world prices are they would have no customers.
Doctors are not cheaper because they want to charge less. They are cheaper because most Filipinos cannot even afford to go to the doctor now. No one could go if doctors charged first world prices.
Someone pays for lower cost of living. It is those working six days a week for 3 to 6 dollars a day. They are lucky to get a job paying that much.
It is a lie to say you can live like a king in the Philippines on 500 to 800 U.S.A dollars a month. Most expats could not make the sacrifices needed to do that. That is the reason they only last about two years.
Electricity is the highest of any country in Asia. I use one air condition 24/7 it cost around 400 to 500 dollars a month. A decent house is going to cost 500 dollars a month and up. The same brand shoes in the Philippines cost more than in the U.S.A. at the mall.
You may find American products in the grocery store and never find them again. The products supposedly made by U.S.A companies are made in China. Many name brand we purchase in the U.S.A do not even taste the same.
I am very content here and do not desire to return to the U.S.A , but it is not paradise as some (most) expat’s claim. I guess they find it hard to admit they made a mistake moving here.
If you come here and expect to be treated like a Filipino you are going to be surprised. You will always be a foreigner. Family ties and loyalties will always go against a foreigner regardless if the foreigner is right.
Now get mad with me if you like I do not care. But I speak the truth. I have no DOG in this fight. I have a monthly income from a trust fund of 6000 USA dollars a month and can live anywhere in the world I want. I choose to live in the Philippines.ines

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Doctor - With a heart for charitable work

Dr. Jeff Ho,
I want to take a moment to let others know how much I appreciate what Dr. Jess Jo is doing for the senior citizens and poverty stricken people of Davao, Philippines and surrounding areas.  I do not doubt  most doctors are concerned with the care they give their patience’s and want to do the best they can to heal them.  Doctor Ho goes far beyond what I have ever seen a doctor do in my nearly eighty years of life.  He puts medical care before a lavish life-style. He truly has a heart of charity and community concern.

I admit and apologize for wanting to leave when I first entered his office.  I was concerned.  It was not what I was used to.  It was very simple and honestly needs repairs.  I thought of leaving and I thank God I did not.  It is not the furnishing or structure that should be of concern when you seek medical care.  The only thing that should matter is the doctors ability and Dr. Ho certainly far exceeds the ability of many doctors.

To be quite honest I have not known Dr. Ho long, but in one week I saw remarkable change in my health issues.  I have heart, lung and kidney failure and Diabetes.  I was on 17 different medications and taking some twice a day.  My medicine bill was running about $1100 USA dollars per month.  I simply could not afford it any longer.  I also felt I was being poison by medicines.  I had discussed with my previous  doctors about my issues with medication to no avail.  It was like they were the doctor and I was the patient and if I knew so much why did I need a doctor.  I felt like it is my body and I should have a voice in my care.  Dr. Ho has listened to me and is trying to address my issues.

I was taking medication for my lung problems as needed and was hesitant to take it unless I was so bad I thought I would pass out.  He said use it morning and night and through out the day.  This has made a remarkable difference.  Others had told me to limit my fluid intake (water and broth from soups) to 1500 ml.  I simply felt this was not sufficient, but did as they said.  I am taking fluid medication to keep fluid expelled from my body.  Dr. Ho has allowed me to increase my water intake and I believe it has made a difference. I no longer feel dehydrated.   I have had a problem with my right lower leg for over two years.  I was told it was from Diabetes.  Dr. Ho advised me I cannot wear socks up over my ankles and prescribed exercises and increased my fluid medication.  I already see results. 

Of course time will tell, but in this short time I am grateful to Dr. Ho.  This may sound silly to some, but I was in such pain and unable to walk. I use a wheelchair. One morning I prayed to God to lead me to another doctor for another opinion.  I am a retired priest from the USA and I came to Davao after I was forced to retire because of health issues.  I did not really know how to find another doctor.  I went to the computer and searched for help.  Dr. Ho’s site came up immediately and I felt I should give him a try.  Thank God I did!

Dr. Ho provides free care for senior citizens and operates a free clinic on Saturdays for the poor.  He will see the poor and senior citizens anytime in case of an emergency.  The charges to regular customer or unbelievably small. Medical care is available to all because of this one giant of a man.  It is a shame that the Philippine Government or some Charitable Organization does not provide him support.  But, of course if they did they would want to take over his clinice and make all the decisions and destroy what the man has accomplished.

Please pray for Dr. Ho I know of no other doctor anywhere in the world and I have lived in many, many places that is as concerned about people as he is.  He truly lives what he professes.  I was floored when I had my caregiver call him about lab results he had requested and was told he and his wife had gone to wash clothes.  I know of no doctor that washes his own clothes.  I pray God blesses him and his family abundantly with joy, peace, love and protection.

Fr. Tom Martin - Retired

Monday, June 18, 2018

It Is Time To Retaliate Against Unfair Foreign Trade Practices

We are going to see who is treating us fairly and who is not treating us fairly.  Trump signed orders imposing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.  However, he has kept the doors open to negotiations.  Fake media does not mention that President Trump has stated he is willing to negotiate. Also note that President Trump temporarily agreed to suspend the new tariff on steel and aluminum from Mexico and Canada and make it permanent if they would renegotiate NAFTA making it fair to the USA.  Canada and Mexico are not willing to do that. That tell me both countries know NAFTA is an unfair agreement to the USA. Thanks Bill and Hillary Clinton for that NAFTA. 

President Trump has said, America will remain open to modifying or removing the tariffs for individual nations willing to negotiate in good faith. He has even promised to show great flexibility and cooperation towards real friends.

The countries that export the highest volumes of steel and aluminum to the USA also happen to be some of our key allies, including Canada, the European Union, Japan and South Korea.  It is just the start of unleashing American industry from the unfair trade practices that have hounded the USA for years. The fact that these countries may be close allies of ours does not mean we should allow them  to take advantage of us.  In 2017 the USA trade deficit with the EU was $152.4 billion dollars.  The EU charges the USA 10 percent duty on passengers vehicles and a whopping 22 percent on trucks/vans. The USA charges them ONLY 2.5 percent on trucks/vans. Is that fair!

China is another country that charges us 25 percent on all imported vehicles from the USA and we charge them a mere 2.5 percent on the same.  China is suppose to be close to becoming as large or larger than the USA economy, yet our INTELLIGENT politicians Republican and Democrats have allowed this to carry on for decades.  Why!

We should also keep in mind that the EU has a Standard of Measure Clause".  That makes the USA exporters face extra challenges in accessing the EU market. Our products that conform to International Standards may not meet the EU standards."

Canada and Mexico account for 32 percent of USA imports in steel and aluminum.  Canada is the largest exporter of the metals to the USA.  Canada does not talk talk about the transhipping problems they have created in the USA.  Canada buys steel/aluminum from China at a low price and then ships it to the USA.  This helps China keep the appearance that their steel/aluminum shipments (exports) to the USA is lower than it really is.  We actually do not know how much China steel/and aluminum comes into the USA from China because of transhipping from all our FRIENDS. The USA Department of Commerce claims that only 2 percent of U.S. steel is imported from China, but due to transhipping they have no idea.  Canada helps China hide their steel imports to the USA.

Let us take a minute to talk about Canada's Dairy Industry and how unfair they are towards the USA when it comes to trade in dairy products. The truth is Canada charges us 270 percent on some dairy products imported and we change them zero.  Overall Canada charges us 7.5 percent on all dairy products and we charge them zero. They claim this is fair because we subsidize the American dairy farmer.  That is not a valid argument because Canada also does the same, but does it in a different manner.  You see Canada does not pay dairy farmers a subsidy, but they DO NOT ALLOW any dairy products to be imported to their country UNTIL all the Canadian dairy products are sold. Therefore, the dairy products for all practical purpose imported to Canada are restricted and controlled. This protects their dairy farmers. This is something else FAKE MEDIA neglects to tell us.

Now to be fair I must say Canada did import aprroximately 227 million dollars in our dairy products last year because their dairy farmers were not capable of meeting their domestic demands. But, Canada still protects their dairy farmers as they should from imports.

People should also know Canada has a law called "Supply Management" that protects their domestic industries from imports.  Regardless of what the tariffs charged are they still control all imports. In other words they protect Canadian interest as they should and as the USA should.  I do not believe Canada will be willing to negotiate on this point because it works.

We should also keep in mind that the Prime Minster of Canada has many problems besides trade with the USA.  I agree trade problems with the USA would make his problems far worse.  Canada has a weak economy their GDP growth was only 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 and its stock market was down 5 percent in the year of 2017. Canada exports nearly 90 percent of its steel to the USA, the most of any country.  Canada accounts for 41 percent of America's aluminum imports.

This would not be the first time the USA wa forced to address Canada's unfair trade practices we had similar problems with their exports of soft lumber to the USA and in order to correct the problem the USA had to institute tariffs on the products.  FAKE MEDIA would like us to believe President Trump is acting unreasonable when others have taken similar actions in the past on other products. NAFTA did not fall apart then and most likely it will not fall apart now, but if the USA is not getting treated fairly it should fall apart.

Also to be fair I must tell you on March 27, 2018, the Government of Canada announced new measures aimed at preventing the transshipments and diversion of steel and aluminum into Canada.  I believe they did this because of the actions of President Donald Trump in an attempt to avoid imposed USA tariffs on the metals they ship to the USA. Why are they now making it appear they will try to resolve the issue?  We will never know if they are actively enforcing these new rules or not. I would say Canada has known they were screwing us all along and would continue to do so until President Trump threaten action.

Because of President Trumps actions our FRIENDS in South Korea have agreed to reduce there quota of steel/aluminum to the USA to 2.68 million tonnes.  That is 70 percent less than in 2017.  They will also lower their barriers on vehicles  being imported from the USA.  It is once again obvious to me that our FRIENDS in South Korea also knew they were screwing us and realized President Trump was not going to continue to look the other way as Presidents before him has.

Many of our politicians are more concerned with hurting our allies (FRIENDS) than they are protecting American industry and workers. Typical for USA politicians. Vote Republican in November and be sure to support only candidates that support Trump.  If he fails in making America the country it once was it is not because he did not try.  If he fails I will place the blame on Liberals, Democrats and Republican Anti-Trumpers. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

USA Import/Export with Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, Germany and the UK

In 2016 the USA exported $3.51 trillion and imported $4.88 trillion dollars.  A difference or deficit of 1.37 trillion dollars. How many USA manufacturing jobs is that? I am not an expert and do not know.  I do know as a businessman I would not like to be buying 1.38 trillion dollars more of product than I was selling.

In 2016 we exported to Canada $266 billion and imported $296 billion; to Mexico exported $229 billion and imported $302 billion; to Japan exported $63.2 billion and imported $130 billion; to the UK exported $55.3 billion and imported $61.6 billion; to China exported $115 billion and imported $385 billion; imported from Germany $118 billion dollars and we exported less to Germany than Germany imported from the Netherlands, France, Belgium or Italy; we imported from France $36.1 billion and like Germany we exported to France less than they imported from Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.

The USA are these six countries best customers for their exported products.  Yet, in most cases they buy (import) less from the USA than they do other countries.
Can you see why they do not like President Trumps rhetoric?  We mean far more to them than they mean to us.  They need us far more than we need them!

Previous Republican and Democrat Administration since 1965 have allowed these trade deficits to exist and to grow. The Citizens of the USA have sat by passively and allowed it to happen.  We watched in silence as politicians and political parties strangled our steel mills, textile industries, oil/gas/coal industries, automobile industries, and outsourced our jobs to foreign soil. We even like fools kept electing these same people to office term after term. It took its toll on our manufacturing industries and as a results the economy has plummeted. In 1965 53% of our economy depended on manufacturing jobs, in 1988 only 39% and by 2004 only 9%. When any country lacks a strong domestic manufacturing sector it quickly becomes dependent on foreign nations.

President Trump came to office and immediately began to try and address the problem and the foolish Liberals/Democrats and Rino's attack him. Those of us that are intelligent enough to know that we cannot continue to exist as a nation if we do not begin to make changes have sat  back and allow these fools to get away with it.

Since 1998 the USA has lost 3 million manufacturing jobs. Can President Trump correct the bad political decisions of the past.  I frankly do not know, but I know one thing no previous President Republican or Democrat, since Roosevelt, could or did and thank God President Trump is trying.

The Liberals, Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans are quick to criticize the President, but they have not done one damn thing to address the problems.  If these people criticizing the President are so damn smart why do they not run for the office of President? Why did the Liberals and Democrats not address the problems when they control the Office of President, House and Senate for two years? They only dug the hole deeper.

They could have fixed all the integration problems they now gripe and blame on President Trump. The truth is they do not care about the Black or Brown skin or middle class people and it seems that many in that segment of society are too stupid to realize it. The Liberals and Democrats only care about getting votes.

If America does not manufacture and sell goods, then money only leaves the country.  The USA now imports twice as much as it exports around the world.  This has resulted in a trade deficit that has ballooned to an unprecedented $800 billion on an annualized basis.  Unfortunately, this trend showed no signs of abating until President Trump took office.

Every time an American manufacturer closes and then reopens elsewhere, the foreign country gains American technology.  Not having to spend resources developing technology, foreigners can focus on improving or beating it. Boeing is especially guilty of this by their outsourcing labor in China, Japan and other countries.  They produce 70% of all their airplane parts abroad.

Do not let the globalization admirers fool you by saying only low skill jobs are going overseas because their people are unskilled. As of 2005 China will produce 3.3 million university graduates, all of who speak English.  India will turn out 3.1 million English speaking graduates. China will produce 600,000 engineers and India will produces 350,000 as of 2005.  Compare that to the 70,000 the USA produced as of July 2005.There are no difference in skills the difference is foreign workers will work seven days a week for $1.00 an hour.  Americans may be happier now that they can buy cheaper toys, but this will not last.  One day Americans will no longer be able to afford their toys regardless of how cheap the price.

I have seen what can happen when the USA loses manufacturing jobs.  My dad preached to me college and then go to work in the steel mill. He told me you will be set for life.  He was a Supervisor at Sheffield Steel in Houston, Texas.  They worked 3 shifts a day, 365 days a year.  It is now a rust bucket and has been closed for years.  My dad complained about the electric steel mills the USA give Japan after WWII, but he never dreamed it would be the end of the steel industry in the USA. The days when blue collar jobs were passed down the line to family members are over.

Corporate leaders that have moved their operations overseas for a quick profit are also fools.  They never stop to think that the Americans are the major buyer of their products and one day Americans will not be able to afford their products.  There was a time following WWII Japanese were willing to work for low wages and no benefits, but today their minimum wage is higher than the USA.  China and India will experience the same and then all their products will increase in price.

You had better remember as manufacturing jobs go so goes the nation!

More to follow in days to come.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Give President Trump A Chance

Are you willing to destroy the USA simply because you dislike the current President - That is not loyalty - That is not patriotism - That is not what true Americans do. I tolerated President Obama and it was a difficult pill to swallow, but I put the USA before the person sitting in the Oval Office.

I am nearing eighty years old.  I have reached the point in life where I do not have to appease or satisfy anyone.  I could care less what you think about me or my comments. Do not waste your time trying to get through to me.  I am not going to sugar coat this message to avoid upsetting those that do not agree with me.  I have had enough of those Liberal Democrats and Rino Republicans that are willing to damage the USA simply because they hate President Trump.

Some Liberal Democrats (especially celebrities) threaten to leave the USA for Canada if candidate Trump was elected.  Please leave as you threaten!  We do not need you or want you. Go and destroy some other country as you have tried to do to the USA for decades.

Some of you are so foolish that you are actually hoping President Trump fails in his talks with North Korea.  You would actually prefer the constant threat of North Korea's nuclear power. You would prefer war because most of you idiots have never been to war or served in the USA military.  How foolish you are.

I guess since you favor abortion (murdering babies) war casualties mean nothing to you.  Life means nothing to you. I served in Vietnam and I lost buddies in Vietnam.  You treated me like crap when I returned from Vietnam.  I have no respect for you and I have not forgotten you.

You criticize President Trump for not serving in the military, particularly Vietnam.  Yet, you forget that President Clinton fled to Canada to avoid serving.  You forget that President Bush join the National Guards so he could remain Stateside.  You forget that your "God" President Obama did not serve in any branch of the military and had absolutely no idea how important the military is to protecting the USA. He thought he could buy friendships and failed. I actually think the man thought if the USA was weak others would leave us alone because we could not defend ourselves.

You criticize President Trump for being a womanizer and judge him immoral.  Yet, you forget about the sexual affairs of President Kennedy (swimming nude with sex partner in the White House pool).  You forget about the affairs of President Johnson and his long time affair with his mistress.  You forget about President Eisenhower and his affair with his long time mistress. YOU FORGET about the worse sex abuser of all PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON!

You criticize President Trump for his foul language. I can tell you from my personal experience, at President Johnson's ranch in Texas, no man had or has a filthier mouth than President Johnson.  I was in a group of Texas Young Democrats invited to the ranch for a barbecue, This is just a moment of our endeared President speaking to the photographer, "If you want a Goddamn fucking picture of me and these kids you had better do it fast.  I am not standing out in this fucking sun waiting for you to get your fucking finger out of your fucking ass."  I have never heard President Trump use those words, especially open in front of 18 to 20 years old students.

You try to claim he is ignorant, mentally ill, does not know what he is doing, etc., while he made billions running his business'. He lived in mansions while you may be lucky enough to live in some middle class subdivision.  He flew in his own jet while you may have been able to afford a new Ford every three years.

You find every fault with President Trump's family, but ignore President Carter's daughter smoking pot in the White House or President Bush's girls getting drunk in public, or President Obama's girl's smoking pot and one pulling up her blouse showing her "tits" in public.  Frankly, I think he raised wonderful children.

You criticize First Lady Trump, but thought it was cute when First Lady Obama danced on Ellen's show showing a bulge in the front of her white pants or appeared with President Obama in her beautiful blue dress with a very noticeable bulge in the front.  You made a big deal over none of Mrs. Obama's designers would design clothes for Mrs. Trump.  Why would she want any of Mrs. Obama's designers making her clothes if she was going to appear to have a penis.

I guess you find it easy to ignore the pedophile that was in the White House during Obama's Administration - his name is Vice President Biden.  I suppose I am a dirty old man like you say President Trump is because I remember the days when my niece and I were young and she use to accompany me on function because I was a "priest".  I often bragged about how beautiful she was.  I often touched her with affection (not lust). I have said if I was not her uncle and not a priest I would be trying to seriously date her.  Maybe it is not that either of us are dirty old men, maybe it is you that have a dirty mind and project on us what you think and do.

I have much more to say and I will say more in the upcoming days.  I am thankful that at my last doctor's visit I was told I could die at any time and I most likely do not have another year and two at the most.  I am ready to leave you naysayers behind. I am as sick of you as I am sure you are as sick of me and people like me.  Failing Kidneys, Lungs, Heart, Diabetes cannot take me out of my misery soon enough.  But, in my constant 24 hours of pain I have found that I can withstand the pain caused from my health issues more than I can from all you Liberal Democrats and Rino Republicans fools. 


Sunday, June 11, 2017

John McCain is not a war hero!

“Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticizes US senator John McCain for getting captured during the Vietnam war. Speaking at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa on Saturday, Trump says he supported McCain in the 2008 presidential elections, but questions his status as a war hero. Trump is currently running at the top of most Republican polls.”

President Trump still continues to be criticized for that statement and few in the general public ever took the time to investigate and find out if what President Trump said is true.  John McCain is no hero in fact he may have been a traitor.  The only mistake President Trump made was to say “for getting captured during the Vietnam war.”

John McCain flew ground-attack aircraft from carriers in the US Navy. He was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967 and spent the next six years as a prisoner of the Vietnamese, whom he alleged tortured him. His mission when he was shot down was the bombing of a light bulb factory, a civilian target prohibited under international law. This means that rather than a “war hero” John McCain is in fact a “war criminal.”  Many will say he was only following orders and that is true he did not select the target.  But, the liberals did not give the Army and Marine Infantry soldiers the same break.  They called them MURDERS!

McCain didn’t just carry out such illegal orders himself, he willingly voiced support for them, specifically during the 1999 war against Yugoslavia when “water systems, power and heating plants, hospitals, universities, schools, apartment complexes, senior citizens’ homes, bridges, factories, trains, buses, radio and TV stations, the telephone system, oil refineries, embassies, marketplaces and more were deliberately destroyed by U.S./NATO planes in a ruthless 10-week bombing campaign.”

McCain is often called a “war hero”, a title adorning an unlovely resume starting with a father who was an admiral who graduated fifth from the bottom at the US Naval Academy, where he earned the nickname “McNasty”.  McCain flew 23 bombing missions over North Vietnam, (Air Force Pilots were required to fly 100 missions before rotating back to the States). each averaging about half an hour, total time ten hours and thirty minutes. For these brief excursions the admiral’s son was awarded two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Bronze Stars, the Vietnamese Legion of Honor and three Purple Hearts. US Veteran Dispatch calculates our hero earned a medal an hour.  McCain was shot down and parachuted into Truc Boch Lake, whence he was captured by Vietnamese, and put in prison.

On that gray morning more, McCain was knocked unconscious briefly when he ejected from his damaged bomber. Both his arms were broken, his right knee was shattered, and when he splashed into the middle of Truc Bach (White Silk) Lake, his 50 pounds of flight gear kept him from reaching the surface.  His arms and right knee was shattered because he did not follow proper procedures when ejecting from the plane.  In other words he SCREWED up.

Why did Senator McCain oppose releasing documents and information about American prisoners of war in Vietnam and the missing in action who have still not been accounted for.  His staunch resistance to laying open the POW/MIA records has baffled colleagues and others who have followed his career.  His anti-disclosure campaign successfully shut down the release of these documents. Literally thousands of documents that would otherwise have been declassified long ago have now been legislated into secrecy.  What was and is Senator McCain afraid may come out if these documents are released?  Is he afraid that if some of these returned prisoners debriefings were released they may reveal Senator John McCain was a traitor? Many former POWs, MIA families and veterans have suggested there is something especially damning about McCain that the senator wants to keep hidden. 

In 1989, 11 members of the House of Representatives introduced a measure they called “The Truth Bill.” A brief and simple document, it said: “[The] head of each department or agency which holds or receives any records and information, including live-sighting reports, which have been correlated or possibly correlated to United States personnel listed as prisoner of war or missing in action from World War II, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam conflict shall make available to the public all such records and information held or received by that department or agency. In addition, the Department of Defense shall make available to the public with its records and information a complete listing of United States personnel classified as prisoner of war, missing in action, or killed in action (body not returned) from World War II, the Korean conflict, and the Vietnam conflict.” 

This Truth Bill was bitterly opposed by the Pentagon, “The Truth Bill” got nowhere. It was reintroduced in the next Congress in 1991 — and again disappeared. Then, suddenly, out of the Senate, birthed by the Arizona Senator, a new piece of legislation emerged. It was called “The McCain Bill.” This measure turned “The Truth Bill ” on its head. It created a bureaucratic maze from which only a fraction of the available documents could emerge. And it became law. So restrictive were its provisions that one clause actually said the Pentagon didn’t even have to inform the public when it received intelligence that Americans were alive in captivity.

Boiled down, the The McCain Bill means that the Defense Department is not obligated to tell the public about prisoners believed alive in captivity and what efforts are being made to rescue them. It only has to notify the White House and the intelligence committees in the Senate and House. The committees are forbidden under law from releasing such information.

Then there is the Missing Service Personnel Act, which McCain succeeded in gutting in 1996. A year before, the act had been strengthened, with bipartisan support, to compel the Pentagon to deploy more resources with greater speed to locate and rescue missing men. The measure imposed strict reporting requirements.  Again what is Senator McCain afraid may come out?  Other than Senator McCain I do not know one veteran of the Vietnam “Conflict” that supports not doing all we can to discover the truth about these MIA.  I was in Vietnam when Senator McCain was shot down.

 One final evisceration in the law was McCain’s removal of all its enforcement teeth. The original act provided for criminal penalties for anyone, such as military bureaucrats in Washington, who destroy or cover up or withhold from families any information about a missing man. McCain erased this part of the law. He said the penalties would have a chilling effect on the Pentagon’s ability to recruit personnel for its POW/MIA office.

McCain has said again and again that he has seen no “credible” evidence that more than a tiny handful of men might have been alive in captivity after the official prison return in 1973.  One is one too many! He dismisses all of the subsequent radio intercepts, live sightings, satellite photos, CIA reports, defector information, recovered enemy documents and reports of ransom demands — thousands and thousands of pieces of information indicating live captives — as meaningless. He has even described these intelligence reports as the rough equivalent of UFO and alien sightings.  Again I ask why would a former POW work so hard and so persistently to keep POW/MIA information from coming out?

Some McCain watchers searching for answers point to his recently published best-selling autobiography, Faith of My Fathers, half of which is devoted to his years as a prisoner. In the book, he says he felt badly throughout his captivity because he knew he was being treated more leniently than his fellow POWs owing to his propaganda value as the son of Adm. John S. McCain II, who was then the CINCPAC — commander in chief of all U.S. forces in the Pacific region, including Vietnam.  Also in the book, the Arizona Senator repeatedly expresses guilt and disgrace at having broken under torture and given the North Vietnamese a taped confession, a confession he could not deny because tapes were available. The tapes were broadcast over the camp loudspeakers, saying he was a war criminal who had, among other acts, bombed a school. “I felt faithless and couldn’t control my despair,” he writes. What about the 32 tapes played on Vietnam radio where he said he was being treated well and that he killed innocent Vietnamese for the United States and if not for North Vietnam’s fine hospitals and doctors he would have never walked again.  John McCain on 32 radio taped broadcast praised North Vietnam and criticized the United States. A war hero I think not!
New York Times: “His (John McCain’s) most striking achievement came when he joined with another Vietnam veteran, Senator John Kerry (another traitor), to puncture the myth that Vietnam continued holding American prisoners.

The press corps, covering the state-by-state primary vote, made an assumption, based apparently on sentiment, that McCain, as the war hero, would capture the significant veterans’ vote by stunning margins. Actually, he didn’t capture it at all. When the states were tallied up, the veterans’ vote went to George W. Bush.

"When I was offered a chance to go home early from prison camp in Vietnam, I put my country first.  And I’ve been doing that ever since.  I had an opportunity at that time, when I was in prison in North Vietnam, to come home early because of the fact that my father was an admiral," McCain said. "And I chose not to, because I put my country first.”  If he had come home early he would have never been elected to any office in the United States.  He would have disgraced not only himself, but his family.  He certainly would not have been mentioned as a war hero.  He did not come home because he would have lost face.  It had nothing to do with loyalty to his country.  As usual John McCain was only interested in himself and his future.

I have far more to say about John McCain the war hero, but I will save that for a later date.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Making the wrong post on Facebook can be dangerous!

What responsibility does social media particularly Facebook have in many of the deaths and mutilations that result from posting on Facebook?  I am not talking about the typical ones that I have read about where a man kills his wife because she changed her status on Facebook from married to single or man kills his best friend because he sent his girlfriend a wave on Facebook, a woman kills young teens after she seduces them on Facebook or a teenager that shoots his dad for grounding him from using social media.  I do not think operators of social media sites can prevent these mentally deranged people from committing horrendous crimes.

The recent events in Indonesia and Thailand have caused me to think that Facebook and other social media sites should take some action in preventing post in countries where they know certain posts may or will bring harm to their customers. Particularly when the person posting is a minor. 

A sharia court in Indonesia sentenced two Indonesian men to be publicly caned for gay sex for the first time in the conservative province of Aceh, the latest sign of a backlash against homosexuals in the Muslim-majority country.

The pair, aged 20 and 23, were sentenced to 85 strokes of the cane each after being found guilty of breaking sharia law in the only part of Indonesia that implements the strict Islamic regulations.  After this event I looked at Facebook posting from Indonesia and found many in their profile stated they were gay.  Many of the pictures they posted on Facebook would lead someone to think they were living a gay lifestyle.  Looking at their friends list can indicate they have an interest in a gay lifestyle. 

Now I know Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, in the past has always followed a moderate form of Islam. But attitudes are changing within the government concerning sharia law and certainly among the growing number of radical Islamic Indonesians.  Social reforms regarding homosexuality and gender equality has swung far to the right. 

Facebook had no way of knowing these changes would come about, but the problem is they will continue to allow people to post items on Facebook that they know could bring them great harm or death or prison terms.  Many of these people making these posting are teenagers that do not really understand the possible consequences of their actions.  Just as Facebook knew of the problems in Thailand of posting criticism of the King or government they continue to allow teenagers to do so in the name of personal freedom.  The Thai government even warned Facebook of the consequences these posting could have and Facebook refused to monitor the site in Thailand.  Is it morally or ethically acceptable for a company that knows personal freedom in certain countries may or will bring prison and death to minors for them to continue to allow minors to take this risk?   

People in Thailand are going to jail for long periods of time for Facebook comments.  One example is "Do dogs have blue blood now?"  A comment made in December, by a 21 year old college student, reacting to a news story that a man had been charged with making fun of the king's dog and was facing up to 15 years of imprisonment, under the country's lèse majesté law, which punishes anyone who criticizes the king or his family. The man posting the comment could have been sentenced to ten years in prison, but the King showed mercy and he served 385 days. 

In 2016 two people were sentenced to 25 to 30 years for posting on Facebook they thought the government was corrupt.   I believe people have a personal responsibility for what they post, but I also believe many, especially the young, do not understand the possible consequences of their posting.  They are just innocent remarks made on Facebook. 

Most countries will hold corporations and retailers responsible for selling alcohol to minors.  There are countries that hold corporations and retailers responsible for protecting minors from being able to purchase firearms, glue, cigarettes and other inhalants.  Why then does social media, particularly Facebook, have no responsibility to protect minors?

In my opinion Facebook should have a moral and legal responsibility to go back and remove any damaging remarks from Indonesian and Thailand posting and profiles that could bring their clients harm.  The political climate, in Indonesia particularly, has changed and Facebook nor its clients knew this change would come about, but Facebook should now be concerned about their clients and do the right thing and remove dangerous postings.

Does Facebook make their clients really aware that anyone can get access to information saved to a Facebook profile, even if the information was not intended to be made public?  I think not.  Randi Zuckerberg the sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, criticized a friend for being "way uncool" in sharing a private Facebook photo of her on Twitter, only to be told that the image had appeared on a friend-of-a-friend's Facebook news feed.  Even Randi Zuckerberg can get it wrong. That's an example  of how confusing or how you cannot protect yourself from leaks.

Facebook claims they do not want to infringe upon their client's freedom of speech, but Facebook has no problem in censoring news stories that do not reflect their corporate views.  Compare the pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli stories on Facebook news.  They do not mind infringing upon their clients freedom to get all the facts.  Compare their reporting of the Clinton’s (Democrats) and President Trump (Republicans). 

The popular Facebook Live app — normally used by millions to broadcast weddings, concerts and other personal events — has increasingly become a forum for violent acts such as killings, rapes, torture and suicides.  Does Facebook have an obligation to address this problem?  I think so.  It could devise an algorithm to monitor the live transmissions and uploaded videos of its nearly 2 billion members — possibly through key word or images searches — or its thousands of curators might be more vigilant in spotting and ending the transmission of suspicious activity in real-time.  I realize it is not an easy task to accomplish, but it could be accomplished. 

Why is Facebook not put to the same levels of decency as those that exist on television broadcasters?

It is hard for me to believe that Facebook cannot put in place some type of monitoring program to censor postings of clients in certain countries in order to protect them from their government.  Is it they cannot or they do not want to spend the funds or take the time to do so?

Facebook and other social media can bring instant gratification and sometimes instant gratification leads to regrets.  Some got instant gratification from criticizing President Duterte in the Philippines. Now martial law has been declared in some area.  Will there be people who will now find they regret those remarks that only brought them instant gratification and did not bring any real change to the country’s political and economical status?