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The Dog Effect

The Dog Effect

Cess asked me to download a TV series she heard from her officemates. She told me that I would really enjoy it. And true enough, I am hooked.

National Geographic channel’s TV series, “Dog Whisperer” is now part of my lunch and dinner routine. It’s been four days and I still can’t get enough of it.

The series is about a guy named, Cesar Millan, a so-called dog behaviorist in theUS. He takes on the challenge of, what he calls, “rehabilitating” canines of their unwanted behavior to them into a state of calm and submissive behavior – which according to him, is how dogs should behave around humans.

Both Cess and I share this love for dogs – from the big and macho German Shepherds to the small goofy Pugs.

The presence of dogs serve as cue for ceasefire whenever we run into an argument. Whether it’s a dog taking a stroll in the mall, or whether it’s a dog in a pet store or whether it’s a K-9 guarding the mall entrance, dogs never fail to catch our attention.

We would literally stop and forget what we were arguing/talking about. That’s the dog effect to the both of us.

Back at the del Rosario residence in Olongapo, we have our goofy and spoiled Pug named Donald. We found him in ayosdito.ph in 2009.

We thought of buying a dog for my mom because it was the first time all three of us (me and my two sisters) will be leaving our home to study here inManila.

We got the idea when mama was telling us a story about how our Lolo’s dog, Jack (an AsPin) was being possessive of her in front of other people. We saw how animated she was while telling her story –facial expressions and all that.

Since then, a new bunso was introduced to our household.

Now, Donald enjoys the privilege of having Sinigang for lunch while the eldest child (a.k.a. ME) would have Mungo. Enough said.

But going back to my current addiction, this TV series talks about how humans should be the “Pack Leader” of their dogs. Dogs do not follow affectionate or emotional leader, but rather, they follow dominant and assertive leaders.

It’s oftentimes true that: Ang hayop pilit nagpapaka-tao, habang ang tao nagpapaka-hayop. This series reminded me that no matter how hard we try, dogs will stay as what they truly are – animals.

We love them like a true friend but following nature’s course as canines, they will love us more as pack leaders.

Tao ka! Magpakatao ka! Ha ha ha

Watching relaxing episodes of The Dog Whisperer is a good way to spend a well- deserved break from school today, special thanks to Typhoon Falcon.

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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Divorcing Pinoy I Do’s

Divorcing Pinoy I Do’s

Here’s what’s in store for us Filipinos amidst the debates on the Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill) at the House of Representatives:

Introducing, House Bill 1799 a.k.a. Divorce Bill, as proposed by Gabriela Representatives Luzviminda Ilagan and Emerenciana de Jesus. These are the provisions the bill seeks to insert:

Art. 55(B), Family Code of the Philippines

“(B) A PETITION FOR DIVORCE MAY BE FILED ON ANY OF THE

FOLLOWING GROUNDS:

 

(1) THE PETITIONER HAS BEEN SEPARATED DE FACTO FROM HIS OR HER SPOUSE FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS AT THE TIME OF THE FILING OF THE PETITION AND RECONCILIATION IS HIGHLY IMPROBABLE;

(2) THE PETITIONER HAS BEEN LEGALLY SEPARATED FROM HIS OR HER SPOUSE FOR AT LEAST TWO YEARS AT THE TIME OF THE FILING OF THE PETITION AND RECONCILIATION IS HIGHLY IMPROBABLE;

(3) WHEN ANY OF THE GROUNDS FOR LEGAL SEPARATION UNDERPARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS ARTICLE HAS CAUSED THE IRREPARABLE BREAKDOWN OF THE MARRIAGE;

(4) WHEN ONE OR BOTH SPOUSES ARE PSYCHOLOGICALLY INCAPACITATED TO COMPLY WITH THE ESSENTIAL MARITAL OBLIGATIONS;

(5) WHEN THE SPOUSES SUFFER FROM IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES THAT HAVE CAUSED THE IRREPARABLE BREAKDOWN OF THE MARRIAGE.”

These are the grounds that will embed divorce in our society and I would like to give emphasis on numbers one and five.

First, five years de facto (in fact) separation? For whatever reason? (I know, reconciliation is highly improbable, but who decides on that?) Enough said.

And second, what will qualify as an irreconcilable difference between the spouses? And who will decide whether or not that “irreconcilable difference” has caused “irreparable breakdown” in the marriage?

This particular provision is all-encompassing that any problem between the spouses can qualify as an irreconcilable difference. Any disagreement can cause an “irreparable breakdown” in a marriage. Any problem, no matter how shallow it may be, can be irreconcilable. It will all depend on the subjective point of view of the couple!

Is this what we want to legalize in our country? Is this how we protect the Filipino family?

Many people say that we should not force two people to be together when both of them do not love each other anymore. I would like to raise two points:

One, love should not be the only reason why people should stay married;

Two, this is marriage we are talking about, not just any other relationship.

What separates Marriage from a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship is the VOW that people undertake during their wedding. Regardless of how people marry (whether on a church or a judge’s chamber), or what religion they follow, everyone couple who gets married assume the responsibility to stick to each other no matter what and to work and help each other out.

What will become of the family that the couple may have built out of wedlock? Should the couple only think about what is best for their selves instead of thinking about what is best for the whole family?

I may sound optimistic or maybe even naïve but this is one thing that makes me proud as a Filipino—that WE value the sanctity of marriage more than any people or race in the world.

What pisses me off is that SOME people use the argument that we are the only country in the world that does not recognize divorce and that there is an “increase” in the applications for annulment in the Office of the Solicitor General (which is what, only 8,000 per year?!).

I mean, ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?! Is that how shallow we are that because everybody else is doing it, we should too? And just because some couples are trying to annul their marriage we should give them the tools to dissolve their marriage?

I am willing to hear other people’s opinion regarding this issue but if this is the only thing you have, PLEASE you better just shut the hell up! OK?!

Legalizing divorce does not give people a choice, rather, this bill will give some people a GOAL that they should reach in order to satisfy their own agendas. An example would be the first ground regarding de facto separation for five years. Wait until five years, then you are good to go!

Instead of encouraging couples to work things out, it will only teach some people to focus on looking for problems in their marriages to get out of it.

Lastly, people keep on criticizing the courts on how long and how costly it takes for a petition for annulment to be approved. I believe the reason behind this is that the court takes time to give couples the opportunity to ponder on whether they want to separate or not and to test the applicants on how far they are willing to go just to get out of their marriages.

Well, annulment is another topic.

Nobody forces anybody into marriage (if that’s the case, what you have is a ground for Declaration of Nullity, not Divorce). Two individuals enter into this special “contract” with his/her own free will. Everybody is entitled to commit mistakes but two wrongs don’t make a right. Filipinos value marriage and I don’t see any reason why we should do away with it.

Note: I am NOT questioning other cultures about their views regarding marriage. I am speaking as a Filipino based on our culture and beliefs.

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

RH Bill: Reading, Understanding And Making A Stand

RH Bill: Reading, Understanding And Making A Stand

The ultimate question stands: Should Congress approve House Bill 4244 or  the The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011 (RH bill)?

I read the said bill with the hope of finally making a stand to be for or against it. And here’s what I got:

There are some points in the bill that, in my opinion, could do good in our society like:

  1. The emphasis on INFORMING and EDUCATING the people about proper reproductive health and family planning – whether by natural OR artificial means.
  2. The creation of the Population Commission (POPCOM) which will be designated to specifically look after the reproductive health and population development of our country.
  3. The provision on Maternal Health Review which will annually provide an in-depth study of the causes of maternal death for future prevention.
  4. The provision in making all modern family planning methods available in all health care facilities in the country.
  5. The provision on Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education from Grade 5 to 4th year high school. (People should be educated with these before they are even capable of fertility)
  6. And the provision adding, as a requirement in obtaining marriage licenses, a certification on proper family planning, responsible parenthood, breastfeeding and infant nutrition.

But, on the other hand, I do not agree the inclusion of these two provisions in the RH bill:

SEC. 10. Family Planning Supplies as Essential Medicines. Products and supplies for modern family planning methods shall be part of the National Drug Formulary and the same shall be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals and other government health units.
SEC. 11. Procurement and Distribution of Family Planning Supplies. The DOH shall spearhead the efficient procurement, distribution to Local Government Units (LGUs) and usage-monitoring of family planning supplies for the whole country. The DOH shall coordinate with all appropriate LGUs to plan and implement this procurement and distribution program.

I really do not like the idea that people will DO it at the expense of the people’s money (taxes). We have more pressing issues that should be addressed first rather than shouldering the expense of buying condoms/pills just to enable people to have safe sex. They should at least be responsible enough to purchase those on their own.

In addition, this could also be another avenue for corruption for our beloved public officials. *clap, clap*

Summing Up

First, as much as I want to preserve the innocence of our youth and wait for “the right time” for them to be introduced to sex education, I really don’t want our generation to be blamed when our nation’s future generations get caught unprepared in handling this complicated issue.

I agree with those advocating for this bill that cases of unwanted pregnancies and unwanted deaths (both for mothers and their babies whether wanted or unwanted) are increasing because of poor reproductive health. I agree that these are the current realities and that we should deal with it.

But I think, we should put more emphasis on educating people about reproductive health and family planning – even if that means introducing artificial means to help prevent those so-called “evils”.

Let’s face it, we can not stop young people from being exposed to this “practice” because of the trimedia’s sexual content. What we can do is to give them a chance to protect themselves and to teach them to make better decisions for themselves.

The kind of guidance parents provide to their offsprings plays a big role in our youth’s outlook towards this subject. No matter how the government and the public make these contraceptives available to the youth, the morals and values that parents provide will guide our nation’s youth to make better decisions.

Second, regarding the Church’s opposition to the RH bill, everyone has the right to be informed about the truth which should be supported with reliable facts.

A person should not only tell another person what to do. This is why we are all given Free Will, which I consider as one of the best gifts that the Creator has given us.

In my opinion, what puts the Church under a bad light for some (most especially the RH bill advocates), is the fact that they are not stating the reasons why we should be against the bill. Instead, there are some priests who would plainly tell their parishoners not to attend mass if he/she supports the RH bill.

Using contraceptives is not abortion.

There is no provision in this bill that tells people that if it becomes a law, people are MANDATED to make use of contraceptives. What this law provides is that people be informed and be given the information needed to decide for themselves how they would take care of their reproductive health and how they would properly plan their families.

It doesn’t follow that just because condoms are available in our Health Centers that everyone should make use of it, right?! No matter what we say about how safe contraceptives are, engaging in sexual acts alone comes with responsibility and the possibility of diseases, complications and unwanted pregnancies.

What the state is duty-bound to do is to inform us about all of these things but it is up to us to decide for ourselves whether or not to DO it.

Finally, I believe that this bill should still be amended. I do not agree in the sense that the government should shoulder procurement and distribution of free contraceptives for the public. I think it is a way of advertising the practice of sex. Again, we should atleast be responsible whichever method suits us. Why should people’s taxes finance contraceptives? Now that’s absurd.

Respect for life and respect for other people’s belief.

Because of my stated objections, despite the good points given by this bill, I am against this RH bill, although certain amendments may sway me to support it. What our country needs is to educate and to make all the methods available to the public but not to the point that we compromise the sanctity and the respect we put into the sexual act. It comes with a BIG responsibility.

I am hoping that some amendments be introduced to this bill. As of the moment, reading, understanding and making a stand against RH bill is – because  I’m taking up summer classes, just another day in law school.

for those interested in reading the full text of HB 4244 here are some links:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/49328993/Consolidated-RH-Bill-HB-4244

http://filipinosforlife.com/2011/03/10/15th-congress-house-bill-4244-full-text-final-consolidated-rh-bill-hb-4244/

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

On Graduation Speeches

On Graduation Speeches

I’ve always loved listening to graduation speeches. Some move me to tears and  some make me feel like I can do anything.

I was at my cousin’s high school graduation last April 1 and their director/priest  was tasked to deliver that speech.

<Imagine the speaker with Kapampangan accent>

“Pagpasensyahan nyo na yung pagiging strikto ko sa inyo sa loob ng apat na taon.” He said. “Ginawa ko lang lahat ng ‘yun para sa kapakanan nyo.”

“Ngayon na ggraduate na kayo, isa lang ang gusto naming ipaalala sa inyo, ‘Wag nyo sana makalimutan tong school na ito. Inalagaan rin namin kayo dito kahit na nagsusungit at pinapagalitan namin kayo,” he said, amidst the applause from other faculty members and students.

He was also able to make everybody laugh when he said, “Kayo! ’Wag kayo magmamadali mag-asawa! Madali lang ‘yun! Subukan nyo maglakad dyan sa kalye ng walang panty <insert kapampangan mura here> tignan natin kung hindi kayo magkaroon ng asawa bigla!”

But of course the lasting effect of a graduation speech all depends on the speaker himself. I really admire those who can deliver a speech spontaneously and those who have the ability to relate to their audiences.

The said priest possesses both abilities.

Usually, schools invite former honor students, those who won a scholarship abroad or those who bagged a trophy in a national competition or those graduates who have made a mark in the real world, whether it be landing a Malacanang post or bagging a position in a big-time firm, to deliver a graduation speech.

Every time I attend graduation ceremonies or recognition rights, I always ask myself, “What can I do to be like them?” “How does it feel to be up there in front of the (sometimes hundreds of) graduating students and their parents?

During our high school graduation, a certain Mr. Macalintal, (an alumnus of our school) was invited to speak before our graduating class.

Quite frankly, I can’t remember what his message was during his speech. There are just a couple of things I can recall: One, he was shaking before and during his speech and two, we were taught to give him a standing ovation before and after his speech.

Actually, I was already able to deliver one when I was in Nursery! I graduated with 1st honors (huh! *chest out*), but of course I didn’t know what I was saying back then. All I can remember was that they gave me a copy of the speech and I just memorized it all so I guess that doesn’t count, right?

How does it feel to inspire and to leave a message to young minds that they will remember for the rest of their lives?

Is it really possible to have such an effect?

There are at least three people I know who became graduation guest speakers this year and it’s really nice that they were chosen to share their thoughts with the graduating class of their respective schools. I am envious because they must have achieved something significant that they were given such an opportunity to inspire.

Maybe I’ll ask a copy of their respective speeches one of these days.

I would love to end this entry with my usual last line but this is not just another day in law school because as of this moment – I am on vacation.

Freeeeedoooom!!!

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

China Execution Irritation

China Execution Irritation

It’s only been a day and a half since I went home and yet I’m already irritated with  the  news that has been POLLUTING the television channels.

I know many would disagree with me and some would even consider me insensitive  and  unpatriotic but I really don’t understand the amount of attention and air time  that is being given to our three countrymen (Ordinario, Credo and Batain) who were  executed in China due to drug trafficking.

What disturbs me most is how everyone is treating the issue. I don’t know if it is just  me or the media is really treating the three executed Filipinos heroes.

This is what I learned and observed from the reports all day:

a. The three convicted drug traffickers were executed by lethal injection.

b. They were executed despite repeated pleadings by the Philippine government, most notably by VP Binay.

c. Videos of their families (and even some bystanders) crying and airing their sentiments about the execution.

d. Grieving family members saying how great their loved ones were and how they were only victims of an international drug syndicate or poverty or what have you.

d. DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman saying that the government will be providing support for those left by the three.

First, I would like to send my prayers to the family members of the three executed Filipinos. It’s really unfortunate that they weren’t granted clemency and were condemned to death by the Chinese government.

Second, I would like to ask these questions surrounding the whole incident:

  1. If everybody’s lobbying for their freedom, then how come nobody contested the conviction of the three?
  2. Why can’t we accept the fact that China implements a death penalty to convicted drug traffickers?
  3. I don’t know for how long it will be but why is the government going to provide support for the family members left by the three?
  4. Why is the media molding their unfortunate story like they are heroes? (I don’t know, again, maybe it’s just me)

We are in no position to question China’s imposition of death penalty because doing so would also mean questioning their sovereignty over their own country.

Going back on the Subic Rape trial last year,  weren’t we strongly pushing for Daniel Smith’s custody after his conviction? Isn’t it because we want him to suffer directly under our laws and to pay for what he did to Nicole?

According to groups like Amnesty International and Migrante, studies show that the imposition of death penalty is not a crime deterrent and should therefore be abolished but I believe that the recent execution of those three Filipinos in China would definitely shake things up for those who plan to enter this kind of enterprise.

Come to think of it, asking for convicted Filipino drug traffickers’ custody would even aid what the syndicates intend to do — to bring drugs over to other countries and to bring drug mules back here in the Philippines! Imagine, the government will even support these people’s families once they get caught red-handed.

I know that the support being offered by the government is for humanitarian purposes but isn’t it a little unfair to those who have legitimate jobs? We are, in a way, putting these drug-enterprising people in a more advantageous position than those dependents of people who are working multiple jobs thru legitimate means.

I really don’t understand why I keep on getting this feeling that the media is treating the three executed Filipinos like heroes who died for our country. This story is being given too much air time compared to more pressing issues like the oil price hikes. I also noticed that the interviews are somewhat designed to solicit, what I consider as,  too much sympathy for their families whom they have left behind.

Should I start expecting three upcoming movies based on their lives in the very near future? How about a Flor Contemplacion sequel?

I believe that our government has done everything to plead (yes, plead. That’s all we can do.) for custody or even for the commutation of their penalty but I am also hoping that our politicians would not take advantage of their grieving families just to advance their own agendas and to boost their popularity.

I just saw BARANGAY CAPTAIN Jolo Revilla reaching out to one of the grieving families in an interview despite his failure to meet the family during the whole segment. I mean, what’s the point? That’s just pathetic.

Maybe that’s all I could rant right now. It’s vacation time and all I want to do is rest and try not to stress myself out with all these brouhaha. My current irritation with this recent issue is still just another day in law school.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

On the Azkals and Football

On the Azkals and Football

These past few months I’ve been really intrigued about the Philippine Azkals  Football  team. The first time I heard the team name, I thought they were those kids  from smoky mountain who were sent overseas to play football.

Then I heard those US-raised Filipinos football players, Phil and James  Younghusband,who flew to the Philippines to play for our national team.

If I’m not mistaken, these Fil-Am twin atheltes are expected to give our team the  much-needed “big boost” to our country’s football program.

So much for my smoky mountain football team idea. But  can you blame me?  Azkals? Smoky Mountain? Somehow, for me, it fits.

Personally, I still can’t understand why a person would want to compete in such a big court for 1 1/2 hours that could possibly just end up in  a draw (nobody wins). I love playing sports even if my body responds otherwise almost all the time. I love competing and of course, I love to win. The idea, however, of playing a match that long in a court that big and wide with a possibility of winding up in a draw doesn’t really appeal to me that much. I think that’s just me. But I do appreciate people who are willing to play that hard for the love of the game.

Our country is a basketball-crazy nation – as of the moment.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I haven’t seen any football goals in our eskinitas instead of basketball rings and I haven’t come across kids or tambays idolizing any of the Azkals by screaming they are Phil or James Younghusband, or Ian Araneta or Anton del Rosario like they would do for some LEGEN…wait for it…DARY basketball players.

They still scream the names of Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and, yes, sometimes, Jaaaaaames Yap! But one thing the Azkals team brings to our country is another sense of pride aside from the Philippines being home to one of the best boxers of all time, Manny Pacquiao.

Indeed, the Azkals team is another source of inspiration to fuel our sports-minded and competitive nation. I think this sport will bring some sort of team-play way of thinking to our athletes because this time it’s not only about one person playing the superstar role, but this time, it’s a band of men playing together to win a game (goodluck to those Buwaya players who would dare to do that in a field with the size of  at least 12 basketball courts for 1 1/2 hours! hahaha).

I still can’t imagine, as of today, Filipinos cheering as wild as the Europeans and other soccer-loving nations for this sport. However, I can imagine Filipinos finally appreciating and understanding why those Germans and Spaniards we’re that excited to see what flagPaul the Octupus would choose to decide each team’s “destiny” in the FIFA World Cup.

We already are very superstitious players with our chosen sports. Just to mention a few, there are athletes who faithfully wear their “lucky” underwears or socks all throughout tournaments and there are those who are fond of doing certain hand gestures whenever they hit a shot during basketball games.

What’s wrong with adding up a ritual of asking a bulky carabao or a fighting rooster (i know, i didn’t use c*ck) for the outcome of our team’s game, right?

The girls (and the likes) are already cheering and talking about the Younghusbands, screaming “Marry Me!” or “Be my Boyfriend!” or “That’s my hubby!”

It only means that this team has really crept in the consciousness of Filipinos especially after that emphatic 3-0 win against Bangladesh to qualify for the 2010 Challenge Cup finals this June.

The used-to-be azucena-bound dogs are here to try and maybe achieve something that we Filipinos haven’t achieved yet — qualify for the World Cup.

It may still be a long shot but at least we know our patriotic athletes are working their asses off despite having relatively limited fan support. With that said, even during final exams week, appreciating football and congratulating the Philippine Azkals for a job well done is just another day in law school.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Radioactive-Rain-Causing-Class-Suspension-Hoax

Radioactive-Rain-Causing-Class-Suspension-Hoax

I was studying for class this afternoon when I received a text message from my  classmate saying “wala n daw pasok.” Normally, I would immediately jump for joy  because that means there won’t be any tax class “a.k.a. torture class” today but it was disturbing to know what the reason is behind the suspension.

According to my classmate who went here at our apartment to kill some time, our school suspended classes because of the possible “radioactive” rain that could  happen as a result of the latest explosion at the nuclear power plant in Japan.  First, I can’t believe our college fell for that “hoax” that was “radioactive” rain  because one could easily confirm such a thing by just checking the news or even facebook. And second, whoever started that hoax message pisses me off.

One one hand, here is Japan who is really REALLY devastated right now after that massive earthquake and tsunami (not to mention the nuclear crisis and almost 300 aftershocks which followed) and the whole world shaking in fear about a possible coming of the apocalypse and on the other hand, here’s the good-for-nothing Filipino/s who thought it would be “cool” to spread this rumor about the radioactive rain. I can’t believe that there is a living human being right now that would really be that insensitive that he/she would think doing such would be that d*mn cool?! Kung sino ka man, WALA KA NA BA TALAGANG MAGAWANG MATINO?!?!

I’m really sorry for the outburst but I just can’t believe that one could even think of such a cruel joke. Come to think of it, we can’t really blame our school and all the other people who believed that message for that matter because we are all still shocked from what happened to Japan (unless one really don’t give a <insert an angry adjective here> about what’s happening on Earth). The videos of the earthquake and the tsunami are mind-blowing. How does it feel to be in their situation? And how about those who have some of their loved ones living there? Is it too much to ask for someone to just shut up if one really has nothing good to say in a situation like this?

The information was readily available in the internet, especially in facebook (thanks to my friend who was posting everything she has from credible sources) about what was really happening in Japan. The latest news was all about a hydrogen explosion (according to one article, this happens when hydrogen in the released steam is mixed with oxygen in the atmosphere) from the building housing a different reactor. The reactor is intact. The warning was only for those people within 20 kms from the power plant — not including the Philippines, man. I may not be that accurate with every single detail, but one thing is clear — we’re far from those radioactive stuff, ergo, it’s safe to go out without putting betadine on your neck.

I really admire those people who really gave serious efforts to give reliable information through Facebook for everybody’s consumption. That’s the way we should all react during this time of panic and grief for our Japanese brothers and sisters. As for the people like me who were “deprived” (yeah right!) of their day in school, Radioactive-rain-causing-class-suspension-hoax  is just another day in law school. (I guess?)

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Uncategorized