Friday, July 15, 2016

France again; terrorism plunges world in chaos as 84 die


At least 84 people killed while at least 18 remain in critical condition, according to Nice police
U.S. officials confirm at least two Americans were killed; three Australians injured, according to country's foreign minister, Julie Bishop; two Chinese citizens were also injured, the Chinese consulate in Marseille tells CNN
Identity of assailant was known to authorities for petty crime violations, based on a provisional identification of the attacker. But he was not known to security services for jihadism or Islamist extremism, a source close to the investigation tells CNN
Authorities are working to determine whether an I.D. card of a 31-year-old French-Tunisian found in the truck cab matches the body of the driver, according to a police source reported by AFP
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack

Eyewitness: 'It was well-planned'

Eyewitness Andy McArdy works at Le Queenie, a restaurant on the Promenade des Anglais. He tells CNN of his shock that an attack like this has happened in Nice.
"Maybe though something would happen during the Euro 2016, but that passed without incident. Nice was a soft target, a family outing, people enjoying the music, the promenade.
He continued: "It was very well planned; they knew that the noise of fireworks would mask the noise of gunfire, so that people would think that they were hearing fireworks, instead of, sadly, live gunfire that killed people."
Recalling the moment the truck appeared on the promenade, McArdy said: "He must have broken through the barriers ... You could hear the pop, pop, pop. There were bodies everywhere.
"Everyone came rushing in the restaurant -- about 100 people -- trying to find safe passage. They ended up staying in the building until midnight, when police said it was safe to leave.
McArdy says the scene today has "an extremely eerie atmosphere."
"Nothing has been cleaned away -- the bodies have been removed, but the debris and the blood are still there."

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Regret)

Never regret anything that has happened in your life, it cannot be changed, undone or forgotten so take it as a lesson learned and move on.

Some events in our life--good or bad--are not only necessary but mandatory. They need to happen. We need to experience them. They are part of our being humans. Heartache, joy, frustration, failure, defeat, victory. What matters most is our mental attitude and character. What has been done can not be undone. It can only be remedied. Amid life's imbroglio and intricacies, life must go on.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Enemy)

I'd rather have an enemy who says that he hates me, than to keep a "friend" whose mission is to put me down secretly.

Enemies will sometimes learn to love us when their hatred reaches expiration date, especially if they discover our innate goodness and potentials as allies. But cloak-and-dagger "friends" are worse than vampires. These malignant spirits can never be trusted because they will eat our liver and intestines when opportunity warrants.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Friends)

If you have two friends in your lifetime, you're lucky. If you have one good friend, you're more than lucky 

One real good friend who honestly and courageously tells us we are wrong is better than 20 angels singing hallelujah and heaping ear-piercing but undeserved praises to us when in truth and in fact we are wrong.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Power of Love)

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.

Love is already power. It loses its supremacy and market value only if distorted, abused, and used as a tool to deceive the gullible, exploit the ignorant, and dominate the weak.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Alone)

I never said, 'I want to be alone.' I only said 'I want to be let alone!' There is all the difference.

Unless we don't regularly clean our ears with cotton buds, there's no way we can miss a simple appeal from our partners or loved ones to give them a space when push comes to shove.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Growing Old)

The best part of the art of living is to know how to grow old gracefully.

In growing old, we must focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing the activity but in doing it, therefore we must save our best for last.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Anger)

There's nothing wrong with anger provided you use it constructively.

Anger is one of the most natural of all human foibles. As part of our growth, existence and survival, we need it. We must express it with moderation. We must experience it with restraint and forberance. 

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Giving)

If you give, you will be blessed.

True essence of giving isn't only in a form of material things, for no one can give what one doesn't have. Blessings also beckon for those who heartily and silently give love, quality advice, attention, service, time, and assistance to the downtrodden and those in dire straits.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Kindness)

I've learned that being kind is more important than being right.

If we are rude, arrogant and hateful, we become non-sense even if we are right. If we are kind, characters with wrong values and wrong attitude will listen because it is always right to show kindness to anyone before judging if they are right or wrong.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Character)

Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.

We need intellect to properly guide us on crucial matters especially in decision-making involving moral issues. But character is non-negotiable. Character mirrors our past, present and future. Character is the benchmark of our history and destiny.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Gossip)

What you don't see with your eyes, don't witness with your mouth.

Only those who possess a hateful heart and a sinful tongue can countenance the passing around of gossips, falsehood, and unverified accusations with injurious intent against their neighbors. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

'Pinoy chessers' notoriety known in New York'

"Chess first of all teaches you to be objective." 
-- Alexander Alekhine

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- In any chess hub in New York City today, Filipinos are "notoriously" known for their resilience and unorthodox talent in the long game, rapid and blitz chess. 
Both masters and non-masters in Westport, Bryant Park, Bronx, Queens and Manhattan reportedly avoid them like the plague.
Camelo "Jun" Galinea, president and founder of Elmhurst Chess Club in Queens, said two of the biggest names that sent shock waves in New York chess these past years were Philippine grandmasters Oliver Barbosa and Mark Paragua, now based here working as chess tutors in Manhattan.
"When chess players from different races spotted Oliver and Mark, they slowly scampered away," observed Galinea, 60, who converted his condo unit on corner Ketcham-Elmhurst streets in Queens into regular watering hole for chess habitues every Monday evening. 


Galinea, a self-taught woodpusher and regular participant in the Commercial Chess League of New York, said the two Filipino grandmasters are unbeatable in blitz chess. 
"They can easily beat to the pulp all the chess hustlers anywhere in New York," Galinea disclosed. "Pati ang ibang Filipino nadadamay. I mean, even if other Filipinos are non-masters or ordinary players, other races think they, too, are good thus they were also being avoided." 
Galinea said he heard that the chess club founded by the Hungarian-born Polgar sisters, GMs Susan, Sofia and Judit in Bronx, had been closed because of the Filipino chess hustlers. He did not elaborate.
Barbosa, 29, (FIDE rating 2517) won the recent 10th Parsvnath International Grandmasters Tournament in New Delhi.
Paragua, 32, (FIDE rating 2510), represented the Philippines in World Chess Olympiad four times (2002, 2004, 2006, 2012).  He became the Philippines' youngest GM at 20.


The third gigantic name in New York is super-GM Wisley So (FIDE rating 2773). He is currently ranked No. 10 in the world. 
So, 22, based in St. Louis, Missouri and now representing the United States,  won the Bilbao Chess Masters Final in Bilbao, Spain in November last year. He recently beat former world champion Garri Kasparov in blitz game.
In Elmhurst park, So accepted the challenge of other nationals, giving away four minutes in a five-minute blitz. "Still, So managed to whip them all even if he agreed to have only one minute as against his opponents' five," Galinea narrated.
In Galinea's condo unit, wife Lucille, 49, a former teacher in Fabrica, Negros Occidental in the Philippines, cooked for Filipino chessers with no major titles.
"They gathered in my house and played chess. We discussed and analyzed the games of grandmasters played in major tournaments as well as our games in the commercial chess league," added Galinea, the "godfather" of Elmhurst Chess Club. "We are like members of one family. Chess has brought us all together."
Cebuano lawyer Gerry Albano became the group's sponsor and gave them cash when they swept the Commercial Chess League of New York in 2015.


Among the most talented and winningest chess players in Galinea's team were Rico Salimbagat, a former member of the Scout Ranger in the Philippines; Gilbert Gonzales, Marlo Lina, Anthony Gallon, Leo Gatchalian, Mike Adarlo, Cesar Apalla, Gerson Caballero, Bert Labuac, Bien Villanueva, Andy Punzalan, Leo Buencocillo, Dari Castro, Gerry Gamaro, and Lope Jan Williams.    
When they collected all the major trophies, the players only confirmed the fears of other nationals in New York that Filipino chessers are really a force to reckon with, Galinea concluded.
Elmhurst Park in Queens, New York City.
"Any Filipino who arrives in New York is welcome to play here in Elmhurst. We play for fun. We don't expect to become grandmasters anymore because we are already masters in our own right," declared long-time Elmhurst player Rusty Beof, brother of Sen. Manny Pacquiao's Roman Catholic spiritual adviser, Fr. Marlon Beof.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Shall we condemn her?

"There exists no culture in which adultery is unknown, no cultural device or code that extinguishes philandering." Helen Fisher

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- There is a very interesting incident in our history about a woman arrested for committing adultery.
Although the woman in this account was caught in an act of sin, Saints and Scoundrels of the Bible narrates that she was "most definitely an innocent party in the Pharisees' attempt to trap Jesus with his own words."
This sinful woman came face-to-face with the Messiah, it adds.
One day while Jesus was teaching the crowds in the temple courts, "teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery" (John 8:3 NIV).
Saints and Scoundrel of the Bible narrates: But these men who seemed so concerned about the law were disregarding it themselves--they had arrested only one of the guilty parties, and adultery takes two people.


They brought only the woman to Jesus, suggesting that she had been hired into the relationship for the sole purpose of trapping her partners.
"They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the law, Moses commanded us to stone su ch woman. Now what do you say?" (8:35).
In their eyes, Jesus could have no right answer. If he said, "Stone her," then they could report him to the Roman authorities, who didn't allow Jews to carry out executions.
If Jesus said they should let her go, then he would be guilty of violating the law of Moses.
While the woman stood by, fully expecting death to come quickly, Jesus stooped and wrote on the ground with his finger.


The Bible dosen't tell us what he wrote, or if the woman was close enough to read it.
He may have been listing the sins of the accusers, assumes the book co-authored by Linda Chaffee Taylor, Carol Chaffee Fielding, and Drenda Thomas Richards.
Regardless of the message, they kept questioning Jesus until he stood up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8:7).
Evidently, continues the book, the older men in the group were more aware of their sins than the younger men.


As they slipped quietly away, one by one, the older ones first, the woman's sense of dread must have changed to confusion.
She had been so close to death--what would happen to her now?
Then the Master turned to her and asked, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
"No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin (8:10-11).
With those words the woman received forgiveness. Jesus did not condone her sin but, rather, told her to change her ways, to turn over a new leaf.

Village holds sexual experimentation (PG-13)

"Sex gets your endorphins flowing, the chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Having sex makes you feel good, and increasing your erotic sophistication improves your self-esteem." 

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- The Kerista Village is a commune in which members are not monogamous. They practice polyfidelity—they have sex with other members of their group, but not with outsiders. 
In the following viewpoint, Even Eve, a member of the commune since 1971, explains that such sexual experimentation increases creativity and happiness.
There was a period of time when an article in Psychology Today featuring Kerista as a rare unusual example of non-monogamous people who were jealously-free prompted TV talk show producers across the nation to contact them to appear on their shows. 
They did the Phil Donahue Show, the Today Show and a number of appearances on local (San Francisco Bay Area) programs.
By the eighth or ninth show, they were feeling sort of burned out on describing  their sleeping schedule to middle America and thought it would make a lot of sense to start focusing the discussions more on other elements of their lifestyle, like their plan to create a grassroots philanthropic movement that could solve serious world problems. No go. The dialogue always came back to what Phil Donahue called “the sex part” of the trip and stayed there, regardless of efforts to shoot off in other directions.
“I see this as a plus, really, At least there’s something that gets people’s attention. When I first came into contact with Kerista and Keristans—of whom, at the time, there were only a handful—one of the first things I heard was the maxim, ‘’It all boils down to penises and vaginas,’” Eve is quoted in Sexual Values. “Though I had been moving in hip circles, I was startled by such a blunt reduction of all life’s complicated mysteries. Yet it seemed on reflection, to be fairly accurate, even if hyperbolically stated.”


Eve explains: “My main preoccupations back then was certainly sex-related. What type of relationship, or relationships, did I want? How many? Sex with women and men or men only? And what about all those stereotypical sex roles? How should I get rid of them, and who could I meet that would agree with me about them? Was it true that the vaginal orgasm was a myth? Was there really such a thing as a happy couple? And on and on, ad nauseam at times.”
Like in Kerista clarified the significance of the boiling it all down to genitals homily. It wasn’t that other things weren’t important or wonderful. It was just, very simply, that until a person had sorted all those issues out and gotten her/his intimate life into a satisfactory place, everything else was to some degree put on hold. First things first.
“My guess about most people is that a lot of this sort-and-find stuff related to their sex lives goes on subliminally, without must consciousness, because it’s only very recently that sexual matters have begun coming up to the surface for open thought and discussion. This means that an awful lot of people are going around with a good portion of their total awareness potential buried, as it were, in underground vaults where they can’t do much with it,” Eve adds further. “Just imagine what the world could be like if that locked up potential was liberated for conscious, intelligent use! Despite periodic societal regressions, I think things are going that way.”
The idea of polyfidelity has immense erotic appeal to those of them who have opted for it for reasons beyond the sexual fact of sleeping with a number of wonderful partners. One of the biggest draws is the erotic relationship between the people of the same sex who (in hetero groups such as those existing in Kerista) share the experience of relating sexually to the same opposite sex people.
They call these people “starling” sisters or brothers, and these friendships are unique and delightful. There has been a lively debate going on within the commune for several years now connected to this, having to do with trust and closeness. 
According to those on one side of the debate, there are two “tiers” of relationships in a B-FIC (Best Friend Identify Cluster), with two different levels of closeness. In the closest tier or ring are the sexual relationships; in the second ring are the starlings. Both are precious, but (according to this perspective) sexual relations have innately more depth of feeling, trust and intimacy than platonics.


On the other side of the debate, Eve emphasizes, is the view that there is no inherent difference in trust and closeness between sexual and platonic B-FIC relationships. “The two types of involvements are different but equal; the determinants of how intimate you are with any of your partners has to do with other factors, such as how long you’ve been together and what sorts of shared experiences you’ve logged in. According to this second theory, in fact, you might feel closer to a same-sex, platonic partner with whom you’ve had a stable friendship for many years than to a sexual partner who has only come into the group recently, and has had a history of being unstable in B-FICs due to unsettled psychological issues.”
According to eve, it’s the kind of dialectical debate that they find enjoyable, and pursue in a relaxed and leisurely fashion as they drift through life with each other, without the expectation that one side will ever convince the other to change their views. Conversations about themes like this presuppose a high degree of erotic sophistication.
“We do not deal with any jealousy whatsoever and never have within the Keristan life-style. But there are things that have taken some working out,” Eve points out. “I can remember the time, about none or ten years ago, that Lee and Judd decided to go out to see a live sex show at one of the adult theaters in San Franciso. This was shortly after we had all decided to let go of most of our former erotic restrictions. They came in late that night, having had a good time, and some of us asked them to describe the show. After hearing a brief description, I made a face and said something like, ‘I don’t know how you could find watching women masturbate entertaining,’ in my snottiest tone of voice. Lee looked at me and said, ‘Well, how long have you been beating your wife?’ At that point I backed out down from my implied superiority position and began to realize that the amount of emotionality I was feeling probably had very little to do with the immediate situation and was something I’d really have to take a good look at.”

Friday, July 1, 2016

HAPPY CANADA DAY! I congratulate all Canadians who celebrate Canada Day today. I am proud to have witnessed or to be part of Canada Day for three consecutive years--2010, 2011, 2012. History tells us that on July 1, 1867, the nation was officially born when the Constitution Act joined three provinces into one country: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Canada province, which then split into Ontario and Quebec. Canada was not completely independent of England until 1982. The holiday called Dominion Day was officially established in 1879, but it wasn't observed by many Canadians, who considered themselves to be British citizens.