Only in Israel?

After posting yesterday's article, I watched a CNN feed that reminded me of Israeli President Moshe Katsav's current problem. At this point, Katsav is under fire for alleged rape and wiretapping. After that, I remembered that former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was likewise accused of having committed serious offenses.

Well, the Philippines has its own "Hello Garci" scandal but for now, let us look at what I found regarding scandals that hit Israel's leaders.

- Yitzhak Mordechai's promising public career was cut short in 2000, when he resigned as transport minister after he was charged with sexually assaulting a female employee. In 2001, he was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence.

- Former president, the late Ezer Weizman, resigned in July 2000 after revelations that he received around $450,000 as "gifts" from French millionaire Edouard Saroussi in the 1980s, when Weizman was an MP and minister.

- Current chief of the rightwing Likud party and former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu was investigated in 1999 on allegations that he wanted to use public funds to pay for work done on his private residence and with attempting to keep gifts received while premier. Charges were never filed for lack of evidence.
The complete list can be found here.



Nothing seems to be out of place... A President, after the end of his term, may choose to run for any post, barring any legal prohibition.

However, this is something different. The President used to be the Chief Executive of Peru and now, he is running for a seat in the Japanese Diet (parliament). Alberto Fujimori was Peru's President until he stepped down in the midst of a corruption scandal. Being the son of a Japanese couple, he went on self exile in Japan, where he was given a Japanese citizenship. Now, he is in the news when he recently announced that he is running for the Diet.
"I strongly hope Mr. Fujimori, as the last samurai, will add vigor to today's Japanese society, which lacks courage, confidence and benevolence."

-SHIZUKA KAMEI, head of Japan's People's New Party, on Alberto Fujimori.

In Manila, whenever something out of place happens, people shrug it off by saying; "Only in the Philippines!". Well, the Fujimori affair looks like something out of the ordinary.

Perhaps, it will not be out of place for me to say; "ONLY IN JAPAN!"





Here’s a bit about tourism.

Hawaii is an all time favorite vacationers’ destination. Known in the 19th century as the Sandwich Islands, the state is consistently popular for its great beaches and fine "Al fresco" adventures that it offers to tourists. With a good Hawaiian vacation package, one may stretch out in the beach, windsurf, ski, scuba dive or parasail and experience one of the finest vacations ever imagined.

However, there is much more about Hawaii that is bringing in tourists. There are beautiful hiking, horseback and bike trails that have become favorite activities of countless of tourists. Other popular activities include hang-gliding, helicopter tours and, skydiving where licensed professionals are geared up to assist all those who are interested.

In regard to accommodations, online resources are available to help any tourist plan an enjoyable, environmentally friendly and yet inexpensive Hawaiian vacation package. A new popular trend of staying in vacation villas are also very much in vogue in Hawaii. Vacation villas are now being acknowledged to be better appreciated by people out for an excellent, relaxing and memorable vacation. Though it may sound costly, staying in vacation villas may actually be easy on the wallet. The secret is in a good research prior to the trip. All that it will take, will be a few clicks in one’s PC and viola, there is a good Hawaiian vacation package!



Despite its status as one of the developing countries' acknowledged leaders, Brazil is growing below the global average. A BBC news report points out that the culprit is largely attributed to poor governance. The government is said to be slow to act on critical measures that will boost the country's productivity and it has a not so wise spending policy.

In regard to its vital ports:

"With the depth we have now we can take ships of up to about 60,000 tonnes," says Fabricio Piero Domenico, the port's commercial director.

"But if we dredged the channel just a few metres deeper we could take ships of up to 120,000 tons, and that would give us a reasonable capacity."

However, that dredging has been delayed for years by bureaucratic wrangling, an example of how red tape and poor infrastructure are holding Brazil back.

Concerning the country's spending policy;

"In recent years it has increased taxation, but less and less of it is being invested.

It is being spent on pensions and other types of social security payments. Yet Brazil still has millions of poor, who earn so little they don't have enough money to buy things that would boost the domestic economy.

All this means that, unlike China or India, Brazil's current growth rate is not being sustained by rapid industrialisation or domestic demand, but by the high prices the rest of the world is willing to pay for its commodities and raw materials.

When that demand falters or prices fall, Brazil may well find it has missed a golden opportunity for rapid economic development."



This may be unthinkable for some of us but let me tell you.. It is not!

You may be enjoying a drink in the Bahamas with your friends and all of a sudden, you find yourself waking up in an unfamiliar city without a wallet, mobile phone and any other useful belonging. In such an instance, what will you do to survive? Are you absolutely confident of being able to live through it?

Beginning on June 28, the USA Network's Burn Notice, a new TV series, will show you just how a CIA Operative (Michael Weston) survived a condition that is much much worse. Declared by the CIA as unreliable(burned), he was blacklisted, his credit was trashed and his bank account frozen. To further complicate his efforts to survive and redeem himself, Michael is constantly being shadowed by a shady military intelligence liaison hired by the Feds.

USA Network's Burn Notice will show how Michael Weston utilized the special skills he acquired during training and long service in the CIA, and in the process help people that are unable to rely upon police help.

The TV series commercial free premiere will air on June 28, Thursday, at 10/9C. The succeeding episodes will be shown throughout the summer every Thursday at 10/9C.

For sample clips and further information, please visit the website of USA Network's new TV series.



Just like a few other governments, the US (through its congress), is pushing for the wider usage of bio fuels. As reported by ABC News, such a scenario, coupled with the development of fuel efficient automobiles are making oil executives withhold plans to expand their existing refineries. If that happens, high pump prices of gasoline is expected to be the future scenario.

At the moment, there is an existing shortage of oil refineries in the US. In addition, demand for gas products is expected to increase. However, President Bush's call to reduce the demand by 20% though the wider use of bio fuels and development of energy efficient automobiles is making the oil industry rethink its expansion plans.
"Asked recently whether Chevron Corp. might build a new refinery, vice chairman Peter Robertson replied, "Why would I invest in a refinery when you're trying to make 20 percent of the gasoline supply ethanol?"
The ABC news report included various opinions regarding this issue. One thing is clear, most people agree that gas prices are very high at this point. If this continues, maybe it is time to ask; "Is this a case of market failure?"

Should the government intervene to remedy this problem? By the way, this problem is not unique to the United States.


It is quite heartbreaking to realize and accept that we ourselves, a dear friend or a family member have addiction problems. And not only that, there are a lot of instances when we also learn about people we know who relapse and go back to their old habits.

Where to find a good rehabilitation facility is therefore a something that most of us should know about. 1800nodrugs is a non-profit rehab referral service. People call the number (1-800-No-Drugs) toll free to find treatment for themselves or a loved one. They also have a website 1800nodrugs has an international network of drug rehabilitation centers for:

- All types of alcoholism
- Drug addiction
- Substance abuse
- Dual diagnosis
- Chronic relapse

Addiction is something that most of us do not specializate in. Therefore, sending the patient to the first rehabilitation facility that we get to hear about is not a very wise decision. For referrals to reputable facilities, call 1-800-No-Drugs .


This reminds me of a similar incident that happened in Australia.

Relatives are suing the Department of Homeland Security and the Los Angeles County sheriffs office for an alleged illegal deportation of a mentally disabled American citizen - Pedro Guzman. The claim that Guzman is an American citizen is being supported by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California who claims that they have a copy of Guzman's birth certificate that shows he was born at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

In the Australian incident, a Philippine born Aussie got involved in a vehicular accident and suffered from amnesia and severe physical injuries. No identification was found in the crash site and she was unable to provide any usable information to the authorities. Still suffering from the effects of the accident, she was deported to the Philippines, where she was confined to hospitals and eventually, to a charitable institution. Not remembering who she was, the hospital had nobody to call and inform about her case.

It turned out that she had a husband and kids in Australia. After a long search, the woman was located and eventually returned to her family (in Australia). The case became the subject of several headlines and became a national issue.

Back to the case of the deported 29 year old "American", the authorities claim that they are helping in the search but they are "Not obliged" to do so. My advice? Do your best to find Guzman if indeed, he was wrongly deported. Don't let this case reach scandal proportions, like what happened in Australia.


Get paid to blog!

The latest upgrade of PayPerPost launched PayPerPost Direct wherein advertisers can directly contact their blogger of choice and negotiate an ad placement. PayPerPost Direct, provides the secure negotiations and payment platform assuring the integrity of the transaction.

The beauty of this feature is that PayPerPost charges a mere 10% fee, half of which is used to pay Paypal transaction fees and credit card processing expenses. Going around the world wide web, you will get to encounter some of PayPerPosts competitors and realize that they get to keep as much as 50% of your fees. What they normally do is set a high price for your posts by adding a markup of as much as 100%. When an advertiser gets reviewed by a blogger, the other sites will get their sky high markup and pay you the balance.

With PayPerPost Direct, you get paid to blog, the possible number of advertising opportunities in your blog increases and not advertisers get to save in advertising fees!

This is one of the best deals, by far! Get paid to blog. Join PayPerPost Direct!



Here’s a business opportunity that can be found the Philippines.

Farmers need the services of ten to fifteen cold storage facilities amounting to approximately PhP3 Billion. At the current exchange rate, that translates to something like US$ 65.3 million. At the moment, the private companies providing that service is quite well and additional investments in should be beneficial for both investors and the country’s agricultural sector.

“MANILA, Philippines -- Ten to 15 cold storage facilities, worth a total of about P3 billion, are to enhance agricultural productivity, the Cold Chain Association of the Philippines (CCAP) said.

Cold chain facilities can significantly reduce post-harvest and storage losses, help exporters tap opportunities in the global market, and increase farmers’ incomes, association president Anthony Dizon said in a news briefing.”



Having analyzed a number of websites that offers paid writing assignments, let me write about one that I like. Payperpost has a good program that allows advertisers to reach their intended audiences by putting ads on blogs and enable publishers (bloggers) to earn whenever they post advertisers’ reviews.

I have just joined but I can honestly declare Payperpost to be a program that bloggers will want to participate in. At Payperpost, they get to choose within a list of topics, write about it and most importantly, get paid. The beauty of the system is the fact that bloggers’ reviews give the sponsors exposure which is practically the same as putting ads on blogs.

Most of the writing assignments that I have seen in the member’s area were reviews of several companies, websites and various products and services. The amount by which bloggers are paid depends on the type of writing assignments that they choose to avail. Prices are attached to every writing opportunity posted in the Payperpost website and bloggers get to choose from a list of available opportunities.

Would you believe it? Payperpost is even paying me to write this- my first post! Well, in my estimate, my upcoming Payperpost income should be more than enough to pay for my bandwidth fees and help support my community projects.

The most basic advice in monetizing sites is to put ads on blogs. Payperpost is one of the best there is in the blogosphere.



Went over to another blog and found some interesting features. contains job opportunities posted by legitimate outsourcing companies. One of the last posts is about a UK transcription company that is hiring transcribers from all over the world.

Other posts included openings for call center operators who will work from their homes using their own PC's and DSL connections. All the job postings offered a regular monthly salary.

The site also contained a lot of home based business ideas that includes ways and programs on how to make money from blogging.

Nice site!



Previous posts in this site quoted Brazil's, India's and The Philippine's strong opposition to US farm subsidies. At present, Canada has joined the fray by asking the World Trade Organization to act and press the US in regard to the issue of farm subsidies.
"The debate over farm support is sensitive in both Canada and the US and neither is without sin in this regard. The supports and subsidies are designed to protect both the export potential for this sector and to preserve the rural communities that are so important to both nations. The Canadian position has been that US supports have blocked a great deal of legitimate trade in corn, wheat and other staples and they are fearful that their own export potential is being compromised."
For the US, farm subsidies preserve its important rural communities. However, what I cannot understand is the irony of the US posing as the poster boy of free trade while heavily subsiding its local industries not only to protect it against cheap and better imports but to also enhance its export competitiveness.

Isn't that dumping? In my simple mind, dumping is pricing an export item below its normal level of profitability. The intention is to bankrupt other countries local economy in order to monopolize the supply of a particular product.

Related Posts:

DOHA round. GMA. Shinzo Abe. Comfort Women.

Notes on the upcoming trade talks

DOHA Round Updates & Preferential Tariffs in Practice.



When the NAIA 3 Terminal project scandal exploded. My initial feelings were nothing but pity for Frapport AG. They were given a contract by the Philippine government and invested a lot of money into the country. Like Tutubi, I felt that the Philippine government's move to have the contract invalidated for constitutional reasons came very late and was tantamount to changing the rules in the middle of the game. The problem was, Frapport had already poured the money into the country and there was no way that they can take it back.

However, the revelation that there was a grand conspiracy to defraud the Filipinos by knowingly engaging in acts that violates Philippine laws made me change what I felt. If the documents brought into the country by a Frapport stockholder will indeed show that the Frapport officials knowingly approved illegal measures, an official summon should be sent to the people involved and if there is sufficient evidence, the principal characters should be prosecuted. I am not invoking an angry/mob like justice for the accused. The hearings and prosecution should be handled delicately like the war crimes hearing at the Hague. That is the only way that the Philippine government can smoothly can get away with this.

Without any criminal prosecution, the Philippine government will look like a shrewed double talking business enterprise.



Thought you'd like this informative clip. Will post comments (if any) in a separate post. Enjoy!!!!


A quick comparison of Germany and the Philippines shows that its land and population sizes are quite identical. Germany has a land area of 357 thousand sq km and a population of 82.4 Million while the Philippines has 300 thousand sq km and 87.8 million respectively.

However, a continued look will show that most of the other characteristics will paint a picture of David and Goliath. Most glaring is Germany's GDP (adjusted based on Purchasing Power Parity) of US$2.85 Trillion compared to the Philippines' $443.1 Billion. In terms of equality, Germany's percentage of population below poverty line is a low 11% compared to the Philippines' 40 percent.

Though the picture paints a thin and weak Philippines compared to a muscular European country, something is brewing in that part of Asia which threatens to scandalize German politics.

It all started with a noble project on 1996 to Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) a new Manila airport terminal. The bidding was won by PairCargo and its partner Fraport AG of Germany which immediately started building the new terminal. However, before the project can be completed, the project became the subject of lawsuits and arbitration between the Philippine government and Frapport AG. Much has been written about the case but a new twist recently came when a German stockholder of Frapport AG recently came into the Philippines and is said to have brought documents that may weaken the German firms position.
"The documents entrusted to Wengert included minutes of a Fraport board meeting with incriminating evidence showing that the board new and approved certain acts that violated several Philippines laws, including the foreign ownership limits, anti-graft, the build-operate-transfer law, among others."
While this may be nothing like an ENRON scandal, one explosive twist is the involvement of some of Germany's potential future leaders who sit at the Frapport board. Newspapers in the Philippines have reported that the stockholder has already been sued several times in order to prevent him from disclosing the potentially damaging documents. Such cases simply fueled more curiosity over the case.


Was raring to post when a Blogger notice informed me that their spiders tagged this site as a possible spam. As a consequence, my posting was temporarily barred until blogger has made an actual verification. I checked further and among the possible reasons cited for the "Tagging" was the large number of links inside this blog.

Well, this is not a personal blog that talks about my regular routine. This site is some kind of a commentary and trying to practice a bit of responsible journalism, I cited (link) my sources. Anyway, this site has been given a clearance and I hope that the "Human" who did the review liked what he read and will convert into a regular reader. Hahaha!

This is the full text of Blogger's email:

Your blog has been reviewed, verified, and cleared for regular use so that it will no longer appear as potential spam. If you sign out of Blogger and sign back in again, you should be able to post as normal. Thanks for your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

The Blogger Team"
I hope not to have lost any reader because of the fiasco...