Saturday, August 18, 2018

Grand Jury Report in Pennsylvania

  Boston Globe’s Spotlight on Crimes Against Children was posted on this blog on August 7, 2016.  Two years later, almost to the date, the Grand Jury report in Pennsylvania was released.  Here's the original Boston Globe’s Spotlight on Crimes Against Children  with a postscript of new developments:

   In 1981, Donald Roemer pleaded guilty to child molestation in Los Angeles.  In 1985, Gilbert Gauthe, was convicted of similar offences against 11 boys.  Those two were priests, but the abuse was seen as isolated incidents. There was no consistent pattern of a cover up.  The priests were simply moved to a different location without informing the authorities. (www.theguardian.com)

   In 1994, Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act was enacted as a part of the Omnibus Crime Bill as guidelines for states to track sex offenders.  Did priests got on this sex offenders registry? (ojp.gov/smart/legislation.htm)

The story behind the 'Spotlight' movie
   In January 2002, Boston Globe came out with the first of the 800 articles on the scandal involving 150 priests, in Boston alone, accused of sexual abuse on more than 500 victims that filed abuse claims.  The church-goers’ donations slumped by 50%.  That means the other 50% either agreed or didn’t care about the sexual abuse of children. 
(www.theguardian.com)

   As a result of the Boston Globe articles, on Monday, 8 July, 2002, six months later, the Catholic Church apologized for sex abuse committed in the Philippines.  

   “According to the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, about 200 of the country's 7,000 priests may have committed “sexual misconduct” - including child abuse, homosexuality and affairs - over the past two decades.” (BBC News)  That means going all the way back to 1982.  How many were the victims of the 200 priests?  Surely there wasn’t just one each, assuming the twenty years is accurate.

   The Vatican heard of the sex abuse allegations concerning about 3,000 priests dating back up to 50 years, according to Monsignor Charles J Scicluna, the Vatican's Promoter of Justice that investigates the complaints. 

   “The founder of a religious order that treats Roman Catholic priests who molest children concluded in the 1950s that offenders were unlikely to change and should not be returned to ministry, according to his letters, which were obtained by plaintiffs' lawyers… In a 1957 letter to Bishop Matthew Brady of Manchester, N.H., Fitzgerald wrote that abusive priests only pretended to repent and change “to be again in a position where they can continue their wonted activity”… The New Mexico treatment center closed in the 1990s in the face of lawsuits over priests who molested children while staying or after being treated there.  That means the priests still got access to children during and after the so called treatment.

   After the Boston Globe's investigative journalism that earned the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the can still has not given out all its worms.

Postscript, August 18, 2018

   I typically don't date my postscripts but this one tells me more are coming.  I am reposting this article in the light of the recent Grand Jury report in Pennsylvania.  Below is the MSNBC news.

   "Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men.  “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.  Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’" (Matthew 7:20-22)

See also: 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Blogging for Dialysis Patients

   I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) by my primary doctor.  I was referred to a nephrologist, a word I heard for the first time.  No one in my family ever had the same ailment so I knew nothing about it.  I was given a kidney disease orientation immediately.  They put me in a room by myself to watch a PowerPoint presentation that gave me a list of what I can no longer eat or drink and why.  It showed images of the fistula, graft and catheter for dialysis access.  It showed me my options between hemodialysis in a center, home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.  I picked the hemodialysis in a center because I preferred to have professionals overseeing my treatment and didn’t want to miss out on the frequent tests conducted in the center.
  
   The surgeon first installed a fistula on my left arm.  The long scar tells an ordeal I am quite proud of having gone through.  The fistula didn’t develop as it should.  My arm was tight from decades of dumbbell lifting which I did religiously to stay in shape.  The surgeon next installed a graft.  I started dialysis in a couple of days.

   I assumed that every kidney patient went through the same orientation, were given the same options and experienced the same pains.  That was 2009, now, there is social media.  I realized not every patient got the orientation.  I joined Facebook groups of dialysis patients.  It allows patients from different countries, different hemodialysis centers and different methods of treatment to ask each other about their dialysis experience.  The Facebook groups allow us to encourage our fellow patients in some distant continent.
  
   We don’t always get to comment about all our opinions and personal dialysis practices.  This led me to blogging.  Blogging is easy.  Here are the steps I took.

1. I gave my blog a title and got a domain name from GoDaddy Inc.
2. I started a free blog from www.blogger.com, picked a theme or design, tweaked it a little to conform to my liking. 

   My articles on dialysis has 23,888 Pageviews.  If the blog helped one patient, the work is well worth it.

ARTICLE (Click to view)
PAGEVIEWS
1,479
1,641
1,614
3,663
784
480
1,798
2,448
1,551
3,463
1,060
502
212
1,655
1,538
TOTAL
23,888

   Patients need a hobby to stay positive.  Blogging costs $10 a year for the domain name, maybe even less from another provider.  Website building is free and easy.  There are customizable templates.  Free hosting is included. 

   Writing is not for everyone but you'll never know until you tried.  For the old, poor and sick like me, it's a legacy at the cost of ten dollars.



Friday, July 27, 2018

Blogging for Jehovah's Witnesses

Rizal Memorial Stadium

   In 1985 the Jehovah’s Witness sister who was giving me a Bible study took me with her to attend the “Integrity Keepers” Convention held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, Philippines.  She called it “international convention” because “Many foreign delegates traveled to the Manila convention, and about 80 percent of these were in some form of full-time service.”  

   I was impressed by the global reach of the organization but I was a Mormon at that time and have seen Latter Day Saints conventions attended by international members.  During those days before the internet, it was rare to behold the global Jehovah’s Witnesses organization.  

   Now, there is social media.  It doesn’t take the place of international conventions.  However, those who can’t afford to travel can now associate with other nationalities by joining Facebook groups of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  The Facebook groups allow us to console the bereaved fellow witnesses in some distant continent, seconds upon finding tragedy or death in the family.  With a click, it allows us to rejoice with brothers and sisters getting wed, having children, graduating and gaining privileges in the congregation.  By sending messages at no cost, it allows close friendship with particular brothers and sisters to continue after moving to another congregation or another state or country.  

   Long before the world found commenting in social media, Jehovah’s Witnesses have always been encouraged to comment during the Watchtower congregation meeting.  We don’t always get to comment about all our opinions and personal takes of Bible incidents and characters.  This led me to blogging.  Blogging is easy.  Here are the steps I took.

1. I gave my blog a title and got a domain name from GoDaddy Inc.
2. I started a free blog from www.blogger.com.  I picked a theme or design, then tweaked it a little to conform to my liking. 

   My Bible comments through my blog has reached countries like Ukraine, France, Russia, etc. with a total pageviews of 177,613.  I can walk to doors my entire life and probably not get to talk to that number of people.  

   The blog is an instrument of preaching that is not included in the Watchtower statistics of preaching progress.  However, Jehovah sees our efforts and “searches through all hearts, and he discerns every inclination of the thoughts” (1Chronicles 28:9)


   Jehovah has allowed the blog and social media to exist.  Now all we need to do is use them for His purpose. 

See also:


Friday, July 13, 2018

Surprising Info from Google



   In 1997, I bought a Macintosh personal computer in the Philippines.  It was the first to use a mouse.  Back then, a modem was used to connect the computer to a digital subscriber line (DSL) connection.  DSL was the highest speed connection available that used a regular telephone line.  It gave out a dial up tone like the one on the video below.  

   Google was launched in the same year.  Now, people all over the world Google.  That’s right, it can now be a verb.  I do it all the time.  I used to Google English idioms for accurate use on my articles.  I Google historical events, characters and their political implications for my books.  Those are all in the English language.

   Later, more languages were added to the Google search, a total of 149 languages to be exact.  Let me show you how this helps cultural and spiritual exchange between peoples.

   Google explains in English and Tagalog age old Filipino sayings that the younger generations have not learned.  Like, for an example, what does Saling-Pusa mean?  I Googled it and this is what I got.

   Google made any Bible text searchable.  If you don’t remember the exact Bible verse, a word or a phrase would be enough.  











   



      The internet and Google are just inventions of mere mortals.  We can't begin to imagine the level of communication we will enjoy in God's Kingdom.

   For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah as the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14)

See also:

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Genius Idea


Sample of  Newsprint 
   The first genius idea was the invention of paper.  A sheet of paper begins with raw wood, which is made up of fibers.  Other types of plant fiber can also be used to make paper, such as cotton, flax, bamboo, and hemp.  Cotton fibers are used to make paper money.  The majority, 95% of the raw material used to make paper, comes from trees.  Raw wood must be turned into “pulp.”  Mechanical pulping use machines to grind wood into chips then into pulp.  The short fibers created by grinding leads to weak paper most suitable for newsprint, phone books, or other types of low-strength papers.  Then, chemicals were added to make stronger papers that can carry some weight as paper bags.  Multiwall paper sacks are used as containers for fertilizer, animal feed, sand, dry chemicals, flour and cement. Many have several layers of sack papers with plastic film, foil, or polyethylene coating to make the paper water-repellent, insect resistant or rodent barrier.  Still, paper bags are not, in itself, waterproof.  Thus, there is a limit to its reuse.  This genius idea was found to have squandered the trees in the forest.  

   To save the trees, plastic bag was invented.  Used by consumers worldwide since the 1960s, it was believed to be the genius idea that would save the trees.  Since then, plastic bags became common for carrying groceries and wrapping items.  Plastic bags replaced paper bags, plastic items replaced glass, metal, stone, timber and other natural materials.  In time, this genius idea was found to be so durable that each year discarded plastic end up as waste.  The same reason that made plastic bags successful clogged drainage systems to cause flooding.  Carried by ocean currents, it became hazardous to marine animals.  Recently, laws have been enacted to ban or severely reduce the use of this genius idea.

   After the Chinese invented gun powder in the 9th century, it came to Europe.  It wasn’t long before hand-held guns were invented.  That was a genius idea to counter the spears Native Americans can hurl faster and farther using their arms alone.  The Native Americans also used bow and arrows for long range targets.  When the string is released, the arrow is propelled towards its destination.  The guns defeated the arrows.

   Fast forward to this century, the genius idea of the gun is now used on women and children, non-combatant civilians for senseless and unprovoked murders.

   “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong.  It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

See also:

Monday, June 25, 2018

Benefits of a Dialysis Patient



At 56 years old with husband
   A mere ten years ago, I had more energy, like I wasn’t fifty six years old.  I just acquired a new husband, slim with blue eyes, blond hair and mustache.  I had a full time job that gave me $38K a year.  That was no big deal but it was good enough for me.  I shopped at TJ Maxx and Marshalls.  I drove a red coupe I named Slick.  I wore stiletto high heels everywhere and drove with them.  Then, End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) happened.

   Slowly, my body changed.  Cold temperature that used to be tolerable felt like freezing to me.  The summer heat in Kentucky that reached 90+Fahrenheit didn’t use to bother me.  One day, while doing door to door preaching, I felt dizzy and weak.  I was told to rush back to my car and turn on the air conditioning.  

   “It can’t be the heat, I came from a tropical country,” I said.

   “You’ve been here two years now, your body has adjusted to American climate,” the Elder said.  

   There in my car, I cried.  I realized for the first time, it wasn’t the climate, it was the kidney disease.  My new husband divorced me after I was diagnosed.  I lost my job the month I started dialysis.  I could no longer afford the red coupe.  I was told by my doctor to quit wearing high heels.  He said if I should suffer a fall I might get crippled.

   So, where did the benefits come in?  First I got unemployment benefit for one year and a half.  With nothing to do, I started writing a book.  When I traveled, I got a wheelchair and a man pushing to take me to my next gate, no more stress over missing my next flight, or lining up at airport Immigration counter, or catching my luggage at the revolving ramp.  

   When the unemployment benefit was exhausted, I got social security SSA and SSI.  It’s a very small amount compared to what I was earning but I got my basic needs.  I got disabled parking.  I still have time in my hands to write some more, so that I finished two books.  I got a blog going, then a YouTube channel.  Those were not enriching, not exactly fifteen minutes of fame, but gratifying.  

   I found friends in Facebook groups of dialysis patients.  I have patient friends I found at the dialysis center lobby while waiting for our treatment.  There, early mornings on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, all five of us ladies, one American, one Chinese and three Filipinas, sit in a half circle and discuss our concerns.  The techs call us “The View, broadcasting live from the lobby of DaVita!”

See also:


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Dept. of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Process Experience

   I have been on dialysis for eight years before I accepted that I have a disability.  I drive myself to and from dialysis, to and from preaching routinely and to errands.  Parking condition in San Francisco is bad enough for non-disabled.  Imagine what it’s like for the disabled.  Friends have asked me numerous times why I don’t have a disabled parking placard.  Yet, I considered applying for a disabled parking only recently.  

   I got an application form from DMV and asked my nephrologist to sign it, and he included his doctor’s license number.  I submitted the form to DMV on a Wednesday after the preaching work.  I was dressed in what most people recognize as “Jehovah’s Witness attire”.  The Latina lady at the DMV counter took one look at me and decided that I’m not disabled, like I’m making it up because I wasn’t walking with a cane, no wheelchair, no shabby sick look.  

   “Your doctor’s penmanship is unreadable.  Here’s a blank form.  He needs to do it over again,” she said as she handed me the old and blank forms.

   My nephrologist did the form over with better writing, signed it and again included his doctor’s license number.  The DMV lady said it’s still not good enough, a check box was left unchecked.  I had to drive back to my doctor, suffer the terrible parking situation at DMV all over again then went back to DMV.  The Latina at the counter called in another Latina who seemed to be her supervisor.   

   “Oh, you're sixty six years old.” she said, like she didn't believe it.  Most Asians don't look their age.  Then she turned the form over.  “Oh, the doctor put his license number.  Go back to him he needs to check this,” she said marking a paragraph with a highlighter. 

   On the fourth try, I have just about had it.  Still, I went back to DMV to resubmit my application form for a temporary disabled placard.  This time it was on a Friday and the line to the “Appointments and People with Disability” counter was a quarter of a mile long.  

   After I had stood in place for two hours, another Latina employee asked the line who has an appointment and who were the disabled.  She then rearranged the line to put those with appointments who came late up front and threw all the disabled to the back of the line.  I had stood on this line before, as this was the fourth time I was resubmitting.  This was the first time the disabled were thrown to the back of the line.  My anger at the injustice started to rise.  

   Finally after two additional hours of standing, making it a total of four hours, I reached the counter.  I was given a number to watch out for at the monitor hanging from the ceiling.  I sat down in front of the monitor and stared at it for another thirty minutes.  

   Just when my number was almost up, the numbers went ten numbers back away from mine.  I jumped up to ask the lady at the counter why the numbers have gone back.  She said someone made a mistake and I should just wait for my number again.  My anger is now a notch higher.  An African-American old woman seated next to me must have been observing the entire thing. 

   “I am gonna leave you now.  Don’t do anything that will make them take you away in handcuffs.  It’s not worth it.”  She whispered to me then stood up to go.  

   I was stunned!  I didn’t realize smoke was coming out of my ears!

See also:

A Scary Filipina 
Api (Oppressed) Syndrome 
Bullying a Dialysis Patient