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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, January 17, 2019
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with Ninfa Leonardia
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Shut down or shut up?

Ninfa Leonardia

A bill has been passed by the House of Representatives that will ban cursing and cat-calling. Oh, oh. Whom are they targeting? Who is the number one curser in the country today? How will he react to their temerity in passing such a bill? Of course we all know who is the most prolific curser in this country, and he is not one to miss the implication of such a measure. On the other hand, he might laugh it off and follow his guffaws with more of his colorful expletives, and see where Bill HB 8794, described as “the proposed Safe Street, Spaces, Public and Online Spaces Act”, will end up.

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Aside from cursing, also covered by the bill are cat-calling, also known as “wolf-whistling, intrusive gazing (staring?), taunting, unwanted invitations, and misogynistic and sexist slurs”. We still have to know how the Senate regards this measure, but maybe they will amend it, and delete “cursing” from the whole thing. They could limit the vocabulary of their highest official, you see. Imagine him addressing the public without a cuss word or two, he might sound very lousy, indeed.

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I knew it wouldn’t be long before someone in authority would bat for the legalization of marijuana, or cannabis, and sometimes referred to as plain “MJ”. This time it is no less that the Speaker of the House who admitted that she had been using the substance for medical purposes, but was quick to clarify that she does it only when she was “out of the country”. Would you believe? When had she been “out of the country” after she was going around with that cumbersome neck brace that miraculously disappeared after she got out of hospital (arrest)?”

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So let’s not be hypocritical about this issue, and admit that even high officials are in favor of legalizing the stuff, if only for alleged or real medical purposes. It cannot be denied that it does have some medicinal value, and in other countries, has been known to help in severe cases of ailments that cause unbearable pain and suffering to patients, and even to mentally disturbed and violent characters. Perhaps the vital need is for regulation and strict supervision, so it does not become a bane but a boon to the medical profession. Let’s hear more about this from GMA, who, in case you have forgotten, or don’t know, is former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

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I don’t think I will ever want to go to another function at the new hotel in Bacolod because I am still suffering from an injury I got there 20 days ago. My finger got caught in the door or a cubicle in their rest room area, and I am still being treated for it until now, because my fingernail almost got detached! And how did their people react, or act on my mishap, that, ironically, happened at the PWD cubicle? Well, two employees brought some antiseptic that did not stop the bleeding and pain, and the manager said “Sorry” when we met him as I was being rushed to the hospital? And that was all.

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Luckily I can type with nine fingers, that is why I haven’t missed a column till now. They could say it was my fault for holding onto that door, and, in fact, some people told me I could sue them for this, but what could be the use? It won’t give me back a perfect fingernail but this blackened one, that is still bandaged up to now. I can only pass on the warning to my readers to be very, very careful when dealing with Seda doors. They are made of very thick and heavy wood, that could cut your finger, or maybe your hand!

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Meanwhile, don’t you sympathize with those people whose homes are being threatened by demolition because of road-building projects of the government? Me, I truly sympathize with the homeowners, knowing they had worked and sacrificed to build those homes that are being taken away in the name of progress. But perhaps it would ease their pain if the government adopts measures to help, not by promising payment, and leading them on a merry chase for the price later. A human solution would be to first dialog with the owners, then actually pay them first and not just tread roughly on their rights. Oh we knew of several incidents when it takes not only months, but years to get paid when it it is the government you are dunning. Progress is all right, but achieving it should be humane, too.

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The entire workforce of the American federal government is suffering because of the so-called shutdown caused by the insistence of their president to build a $5 billion-plus wall to keep out Mexican immigrants, and the refusal of Congress to accommodate him. But Donald Trump, using his wealth and position, isn’t budging, claims the problem is easy to solve, which is by giving in to him. Apparently his people believe it is not a shutdown they want, but for him to shut up. Who will blink first?*

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