Last night I had a chance to talk to Randy David about the nursing exam scandal. He had some interesting thoughts on the matter.

But first, some of Greg Macabenta’s arguments from his BusinessWorld column (October 11, unfortunately not linkable) in which he pointed out, there were five subjects in the examination: Nursing Practice I to V.

Macabenta, argued, however, that even if these portions had been leaked, they wouldn’t have (statistically) affected the chance of students to pass or fail. He advocates, instead, punishing those who did the leaking and the review centers that took advantage of the leaks. He points to the legal principle that it’s better to let one guilty person to get off scott-free, than to punish the innocent -and most students were innocent.

This is how he describes it in his column:

500 test questions were prepared for each of these five subjects by Board of Nursing officials, or a total of 2,500. From this batch, computers extracted (the term used by the PRC) 500 final test questions -the ones administered to the examinees. The 500 short list was extracted just shortly before the exam, leaving only enough time to reproduce hard copies.

Of the raw “unextracted” test questions, Test III and Test V were “compromised,” in the sense that the test questions found their way to companies offering review classes, among these, Gapuz Review Center in Baguio, with branches in Manila, Cebu and Davao, and INRESS, owned by a certain Cordero who was, at the time, president of the Philippine Nurses Association and owner of the Philippine College of Health Sciences.

20 questions for Test III and 90 for Test V were in the final exam sheet. The PRC decided to invalidate the 20 questions in Test III, recomputed the scores on Test V, then re-averaged the results. Each of the five subjects would have been normally given a weight of 20%. In the recomputation, Test V was given only a weight of 10%. Because of this, the PRC insists, the results of the NLE are valid.

Even assuming a leakage of all 2,500 questions, the examinees would not have known which ones would eventually be picked out for the exam…

Randy David approached it from a different perspective. First, he pointed out that the policy of UP is that if a student’s published marks might be negatively affected by the (ex post facto) discovery of errors of an instructor, the passing final mark or ability to graduate of that student are left undisturbed. Teacher error is therefore interpreted in favor of the student. The student took the exam or submitted the requirements in good faith, and the marks based on what may have turned out to be the flawed metholodogy or incompetence of the instructor, once publicly released, cannot be revisited to the prejudice of the student.

The problem, David told us, lies in the nursing exam results having been publicly released, and then taken back -to the detriment of the students. Another factor is that, as Macabenta’s column pointed out, what was released were marks that already factored in the exposure of the cheating. So the grades the students officially received were computed with the cheating having been exposed. So all the more, the grades can be viewed as valid because they attempted to factor out any effects leaked questions may have had.

The objection some schools, such as UST, have, is that the methodology chosen to factor out the cheating was itself flawed. As I understood it, the flaw was in treating the nurses’ exam like the bar exams, where leaks have been exposed and dealt with in the past. In the bar exams, leaks for a particular section lead to the recomputation of the weight of individual questions for that section, maintaining, however, the overall weight, in terms of the total grade, of that section. As Macabenta shows, what happened in the nursing exam was that the re-computation lessened the weight of an individual section; which in turn, led to other sections having a greater weight to maintain the whole. This means that the section with the lessened weight (Test V, or “Care of Clients with Physologic and Psychosocial Alterations (Part C)”) was under-represented in the exams, while other sections were over-represented. And yet, obviously, if each section is supposed to represent 20% of the total score, under-weighing one section goes against the way the tests meant to evaluate the fitness of future nurses.

My sense is that David had no objection to the reasoning of UST and other schools that want a mandatory retake. But he thinks the window of opportunity for a retake has closed. That window was open between the time students who took the exam blew the whistle on the leaks, and the time the authorities found out about the leak -which was before the final results were released to the students. Had no student received a grade, David said, then the authorities could have declared that a leak took place, and ordered a partial or full retake. But since they actually attempted -in a rather rushed manner, and without apparently fully appreciating how their quick-solution simply made things worse- to compensate for the leaks, and thus released scores with the leaks already factored in, how can they demand a retake? Whether full or partial.

David suggested that the whole incident is a kind of political powderkeg. It’s not as if this is the first time allegations of leaks have been made. And the outrage of the students -that the President, for one, has no moral authority to be lecturing anyone on cheating- is yet another manifestation of the credibility of public institutions. Too many students and their families have invested time and effort for the government to be able to take the results back. He thinks that government will have no recourse but to uphold the status quo, and we can only hope for a strong effort to rectify the abuses that have been there for some time, but which have been placed front and center.

The Inquirer editorial tackles the proposed anti-terrorism law. Philippine Commentary objects to the editorial’s reasoning.

The PCIJ summarizes the findings of groups opposed to the so-called “people’s initiative.”

Butch Dalisay explains why banning Filipino to promote English is foolhardy.

Eight essays/manifestos on saludalgabre concerning the UP egg-throwing incident. Most interesting is the last one:

According to one of the aphorisms of the German military: “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” And Nietzsche endorses this in the Twilight of the Idols. That is why cruelty and power are so dear to Nietzsche. Miller interprets Nietzsche as saying that, “To exercise actively the will to power, he regards as the essence of life. To exercise this power with abandon is not only to court being cruel but, when cruelty occurs, to enjoy the pain the suffering, the agony that cruelty causes. “To practice cruelty is to enjoy the highest”-note the adjective: the highest -“gratification of the feeling of power.” To enjoy the exercise of power is, in effect, to be cruel. And cruelty is the virtue of the noble individuals. As Miller points out BE CRUEL in your resoluteness, welcome the harsh renunciations and sometimes brutal costs of relentlessly pursuing any vaulting ideal, be it wisdom, Godliness, or revolutionary purity. This we may call the cruelty proper to the ascetic, an eagerness to suffer the pains entailed by unswerving commitment to any burning faith or transcendent ambition.” Of course the military and the Rightist can claim they can also be cruel. This is where the liberal are out-smarted: they shy away from inflicting cruelty to realize their ideals, but the reactionaries do not!

…This festival should be a reminder to the future generations of UP students, that for a brief moment, the students are able to equalize the status gap between them and the highest military official, no less than the Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Because if the incident happened elsewhere it could have been catastrophic!) And that UP can be a freedom zone where statuses do not matter! And that is the highest meaning of RESPECT –A VIRTUE being misrepresented by liberals, and being flaunted by the MILITARY! Esperon deserves RESPECT, yes! –BUT RESPECT ON EQUAL TERMS. As Nietzsche reminds us, respect can only be exercised among equals! THE HIGHEST FORM OF RESPECT THEREFORE IS DISREPECT! As Zizek puts it, “For me there is one measure of true love: you can insult the other… That’s the truth of it. If there is true love, you can say horrible things and anything goes.”

But then again, no activist could even imagine true love for Esperon. What is at stake in their symbolic protest, apart from staging the principle of respect on equal terms is precisely the radical youth’s intelligent idealism. Against the corrupt and criminal practices of the military apparatus, the egg-pelters staged a symbolic argument for the construction of an ideal military apparatus. They who refuse the underside of military force (read: abuse of military power) have grasped the true horizon in through which respect can be affirmed and accorded. Meanwhile, the ones who insist upon respect for an official of a corrupt institution are the ones who are, actually, disrespectful. For, it appears that they are willing to give up on their desire for another form of democracy that is supposed to be protected by the Army for the sake of good manners and right conduct. But the question is, can anyone respect predominant military practice in the Philippines?

True love is destroying the Other’s illusion. The Other in this context is the military establishment. The students who pelted eggs to Esperon are the young radicals who have seen through the illusion: The current military establishment cannot defend the people. Therefore, the act of pelting eggs, especially to Esperon symbolizes a hopeful stance towards the military establishment: That it can be other than what it is today. An armed Forces that serve the people and not the system of private property that protects the interest of a few. As for the liberals, they are simply playing a coy game, and like the reactionaries and state functionaries from within the UP faculty, they never registered their concern when it was established that Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan were abducted. Yet lately, their mouths are frothing over the “desacralization of the University” erroneously equated with Esperon’s momentary shame.

So the first casualty of our shrinking democratic space is neither the Right nor the Left, but the Middle. And as the apostles of National Security push the envelope (and shrink our space for debate), liberal-minded bloggers may want to refer to RConversation’s linking to a guide on how to blog securely and anonymously.

Robinablog met the President and made an observation that cracked me up:

Good thing I wasnt standing next to the President, she’s small but vicious.

Richard Lloyd Parry takes a comprehensive look at North Korea and its government. He also reviews two books on the country. Left Flank looks at commentary on the North Korean nuke test, and suggests America’s “Suez moment” is nigh.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

48 thoughts on “Powderkeg

  1. So the first casualty of our shrinking democratic space is neither the Right nor the Left, but the Middle.” – mlq3

    Aren’t the first ones who are being summarily executed the members of the Left? Or is your point that when push comes to shove, the Left has less need for that democratic space as compared to the Middle since the former can go toe-to-toe with the reactionary Right?

    Saludalgabre’s essay should be required reading, especially to those who would favor civility over egg-throwing in the current environment. Thanks for posting it.

  2. the left has been suffering for fifty years. but yes, what i mean is if the only front left is a military one, then the left is best prepared to fight it out with the right. in such a situation, the middle can only flee, or wait to be sent to labor camps.

  3. “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” – German military
    “That which does not kill me makes me gain weight.” – Gloria Arroyo

  4. Jeg, unfortunately, the light-a-fire types seem to be outnumbered by those who say that “we are prepared to lose our freedoms and our rights just to move this country forward

  5. On the anti-terror law –

    Do you believe the anti-terror law, in its present version, is safe in anybody’s hands?

    If not, then shouldn’t you oppose the current version until a safer version is submitted ?

    Or is a bad law is better than no law at all and let’s just fix it later?

  6. That’s true, cvj. Although most often, they actually mean, “We are quite content to have others lose their rights just to move this country forward. But dont even think about curtailing my rights.”

  7. mlq3,
    That is what admire you most. You never waded or jumped at an issue without weighing the pros and cons. G.Macabenta and Randy David’s viewa at least counterbalance the views of some of your colleages you referred earlier. At least the discussions are elevated to a more cerebral level, not emotional or visceral. Thank You

  8. The fatal flaw of the anti- terror bill was pointed out by Sassy Lawyer a very long time ago. Sassy pointed out that our present anti-terrorism bill contains a bill of attainder.

    “What is a bill of attainder?” she asked. ” It is a law that punishes a person for a status or association rather than for the commission of any criminal act.”

    Where do we find this bill of attainder in the anti-terrorism bill?

    Sassy said, “Section 8 of the anti-terrorism bill is what characterizes it as a bill of attainder. It is about proscription of organizations.”

    And she asks, “What is proscription and what is so objectionable about it?” Her answer is why the anti-terrorism bill should terrify us all.

    She said, “Proscription means being “branded” or “labeled”. Proscripted organizations will be published and, after publication, any person who joins a proscribed organization violates the anti-terrorism law and can be imprisoned from 6 to 12 years.”

    She continues, “You may ask, so what? If the organization is engaged in terrorism anyway, then anyone who knowingly joins would, in fact, be engaging in terrorism as well.”

    “But see,” she elaborates, “ we have to ask what the factual basis for proscription is. An organization may be proscribed simply because some international organization said so. In short, the burden on the government of proving that an organization is, in fact, engaged in “acts of terrorism” is removed. All that the government has to do is to agree with the labeling of the UN or other international organization and that’s that.”

    Sa madaling salita, the anti-terror bill says, “Guilty until proven innocent!”

    Now, is that a power you want Gloria Arroyo and security forcesto have?

  9. Sen. Enrile is the Senate’s prime mover for the anti-terror bill. He knows what he is talking about. He was defense secretary during the Marcos dictatorship. Did he or the AFP and the PC exercise restraint when they had the powers being contemplated by the anti-terror bill? Do tigers lose their stripes?

  10. Now, is that a power you want Gloria Arroyo and security forces to have?

    “we are prepared to lose our freedoms and our rights just to move this country forward“

  11. Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

  12. cvj, I agree with jeg. Austero’s comment has been dissected a long time ago and is found quite wanting. Even his own inconsistencies have recently surfaced.

    re: anti terror. If indeed a bill of attainder is inserted (sorry, I don’t have time to verify if it does and I’ll just take it as is) then the Anti terror bill is a waste of time for Congress to pass because the present and even the proposed Charter specifically bans it.

  13. Justice League, i agree but i don’t believe the fact that he is inconsistent really matters. What counts is the sentiment behind that outburst. Fascism is not known to be sustained by rationality or internal consistency. On the contrary, the rise of fascism comes on the heels of irrationality and fear, by the availability of people who are easily awed by the display of power, comforted by a veneer of legalities and are willing to present themselves as sheep to some would-be shepherd. Given enough such people, a dictatorship becomes viable.

  14. GMA wants an Anti-Terrorism Law to put a legal semblance to what she is actually doing now. Anti-terror and extrajudicial killings – what’s the difference?

  15. The Arroyo regime will again use the coming Christmas season to downgrade the opposition to a “people’s initiative for ammending the constitution” and to push for real national reconciliation. There is nothing wrong with promoting social harmony. But the Arroyo regime should know first what should be done to push for real social harmony. Faith and love knows no boundaries in this world. A human being who knows how to use her/his faith and love properly knows real happiness. A human being was born into this world with natural and universal human rights and responsible freedoms. Hence, it is only natural for any human being to acknowledge and make use of all of such natural and universal human rights and responsible freedoms. Democracy is the only socio-political system that respects, secures and promotes all of the known human rights and responsible freedoms of humanity. That is because of the fact that democracy is just a method or way of making a political rule or a management style become compatible and in harmony with the natural, universal and moral principles of the universe. So, that makes democracy natural, universal and moral for humanity. A society that has a “stable harmony” is a society that practices democracy in a realistic and moral process. Stable harmony for all the sectors of such society is well-protected by such a realistic and moral process of practicing democracy. A society with stable harmony is not just a society with all of its sectors united in having true harmony. It’s also a society that has harmony with nature, universe and the Divinity. Hence, “social harmonicalism” is an active way of making democracy real and moral to a society. It’s a continuing process that runs in accordance with natural, universal and moral principles.

    The problem with gaining such “social harmonicalism” is that there are things that corrupt and hinder the gaining of social harmony in this world. Among such things that corrupt and hinder the gaining of real social harmony are: dictatorships, monarchies, racist systems, bigoted social traditions, despotic governmental policies, elitism and despotic regimes. Hence, there is a need to peacefully and lawfully abolish all of those “corruptions and hindrances that curtail and repress the gaining of social harmony.

    Political abrogationism is the advocacy that wants to peacefully and lawfully abolish all types of dictatorships, monarchial reigns, despotic regimes, oppressive structures and tyrannical policies that curtail and repress social harmony in this world. Political abrogationism is also the advocacy that preaches that every country, every social organization and every culture in this world should peacefully and lawfully embrace real and moral democracy. That is a clear pathway to “social harmonicalism”. The readers of this message can know more about the teachings of political abrogationism by just typing and clicking the word “political abrogationism” at any internet search box that is currently available. Thanks.

  16. cvj,

    “Given enough such people, a dictatorship becomes viable.” And if I may add, “inevitable”.

  17. First time to have a chance to visit after a month…
    I loved the PDI article were HVRDS was highlighted.(HVRDS fan)
    It is hard to comment on military issues because my dad works for the the senate defense committe(Biazon staff)(and some recent policies are partly his initiative and we might have a domestic issue again about my blogging.(Instead of calling my dad a paranoid,he is till my dad,so I bow)

  18. The Bong Austeros of this country fit the profile of the Germans during Hitler’s time – and they are Legions. Still wonder why GMA gets away with impunity?

  19. Who needs martial law when GMA can have an undeclared one with the Anti-Terrorism Bill. Another shortcut to a democratic process. This administration had made so many shortcuts in the past to the detriment of the country. Next she’ll try to shortcut is the Cha-Cha. After the SnB was finally exposed by Bunye himself, the lower house with its “numbers” will be the next battleground.

  20. I agree 200% with the “…outrage of the students -that the President, for one, has no moral authority to be lecturing anyone on cheating-is yet another manifestation of the credibility of public institutions.”

    I find it ridiculous that someone who has been alledged to have CHEATED, LIED and STOLE has some gall to EVEN comment about the issue on the Nursing leak!!!! Ang kapal talaga ng mukha! With a -11 rating, who listens to a loser?

  21. Jeg, unfortunately, the light-a-fire types seem to be outnumbered by those who say that “we are prepared to lose our freedoms and our rights just to move this country forward“

    …at hindi ba nagsusulat na yung tao na yon sa djaryo ni mr. razon?

  22. mlq3,

    “David suggested that the whole incident is a kind of political powderkeg.”

    David’s ‘Wish ko lang’ powder keg. No outrage, no explosion.

  23. On the nursing exams retake: The percentage of the passing examinees (l7%) of total as compared to previous exams could be a good basis if the leakage had substantially affected the result of the examinations..If the percentage as average is about the same, then a conclusion can be arrived that the leaks may have help a few, but do not warrant punishing the majority. Even in Criminal Justice System, there is the Principle to follow, that is better to see ten guilty accused acquitted due to lack of evidence beyond reasonable doubt than to see one innocent accused convicted. I think the same principle should be applied to the nursing examinees, as you can not punish the whole for the sin of the few. But then again this is just my opinion, the reason why I would like to suggest further that Professional regulations and licensing of practitioner should be better left to their respective profession to regulate themselves. Just like here in Canada and in most states in the U.S. I always believe that people within the profession know what is best for their professions.

  24. mlq3,
    “He points to the legal principle that it’s better to let one guilty person to get off scott-free, than to punish the innocent -and most students were innocent.”

    Was it a legal principle or just a moral guide to legal dilemma?

    But to let ONE guilty/cheating person/NURSE to get off scott-free, (than) IS to punish (the) MANY innocent/helpless PATIENTS -and (most students) ALL PATIENTS were innocent.”…

    A few months later:
    “A victim of a car accident was rushed to Emergency at the nearest hospital, badly needing IV and blood transfusion. After several tries, the attending nurse couldn’t make the insertion. The patient, crying out in pain, asked the nurse “What batch did you take your exam?”. Nurse answered in a whisper,”2006 po”. Will the patient have the chance to say “Take me out of here!!!” or will he expire from shock? The patient’s life is in her hands. (The patient, btw, is/was also a nurse from the same batch. Wouldn’t he be wishing that the questions about the exams been addressed satisfactorily,’beyond reasonable doubt’, for him not to agonize over the competence of his attending ‘nurse’?

    One patient’s life should not be compromised for the sake of ‘the many examenees who are innocent.’ When a patient’s life is at stake, retake now is better than too late for retake. In real life, when life is ‘taken away’, there’s no retake.

    For the sakes of the innocent students and helpless patients LET’S HAVE A MANDATORY RETAKE.

  25. What Sassy Lawyer raises (proscribed list) seems the least of possible issues. I am being left with the impression that Filipinos know a lot more details about US anti-terror laws (internet eavesdropping, Guantanamo, right (or no-right) to face the accused, etc).

  26. vic, In the US, taking of exams and state-certification is required even for haircutters/barbers. This suggests that US hospitals will tiptoe around a possibly-tainted batch of Fil-nurses (when other workers are available from other countries).

  27. The nurses recruited in the Philippines are still required to pass the CGFNS and TOEFL tests.

    Once they are in the US, they are not considered RN yet if they have not passed the NCLEX.

    And before they are made to work in the “floor”, they have already been oriented and trained in the facility.

    What was damning is for a dean of a state university to write the US nursing association not to hire the 2006 nursing licensure board exams.

    Parang tayo na ang sumira sa kababayan natin which is not the fault of the nurses in the first place. What could have been done is to solve the problem internally and without so much bad publicity.

    US has its own system of certifying skills and professions.

  28. You are rigth UP student, especially skilled workers like auto mechanics and plumbers are tested for their respective skills, before allowed to touch a car or repair a leaking pipe. But when it comes to professional such as lawyers, engineers, nurses, pharmacist, teachers, all or most of them are regulated by their own profession, which set their own rules, standards, code of ethics, discipline process, and requirements and qualification for entry, without the government agency like the PRC to govern them. And so far, they are doing a good job in promoting and regulating their own respective pofession.

  29. MB…”Sen. Enrile is the Senate’s prime mover for the anti-terror bill. He knows what he is talking about. He was defense secretary during the Marcos dictatorship. Did he or the AFP and the PC exercise restraint when they had the powers being contemplated by the anti-terror bill? Do tigers lose their stripes?”

    that is why i was surprised when filipinos elected him senator. pinoys always forgive and forget, i think, the main reason why we still in a muck, same trapos everywhere.

  30. Is passing the Philippine board really required to be recruited as a nurse in the States?

    A friend of mine told me that she thinks it isn’t?

  31. BTW, there are several health providers here and elsewhere whose board exams are not scandal tainted. yet they find their way sued for malpractice.

  32. just like any other professions in usa, rp nursing board may not mean much when they are applying for a job. the problem is foreign countries may equate board exam irregularities as a sign of big educational problem in rp. i mean, if there is a problem in the highest level of professional regulatory board, how much more in the lower levels? i hope this theory is not true.

  33. justice,

    boards are made to screen the competence of graduates, to make sure that those who will practice the profession have the MINIMUM knowledge and capacity to do the job. malpractice suites have multitudes of reasons, some have no valid reasons at all. even the best professional in town can make mistakes, all humans are capable of making mistakes.however, medical malpractice suites are generally brought about because of miscommuications, most suites are actually dropped before they reach the court.

  34. Terroristic: Definition by illustration:

    Terroristic look: Macarambon

    Terroristic smile: Palparan

    Terroristic mind: Norberto Gonzales

    Terroristic speech: Miriam Defensor-Santiago

    Terroristic Law maker: Enrile

    Terroristic Republic: State terrorism under GMA regime

    Terroristically speaking, GMA warns public about terrorist attacks — terrorizing in aid of legislation.

    Terrorization is the globalization of terrorism to achieve political and economic gain.

  35. tbl,

    Ok but that also means that passing a non scandal tainted board will in no way serve as an insulation to getting sued or committing mistakes. The court has released its verdict and has issued that only certain examinees are required to retake test 3 and 5.

    BTW, the skill of inserting an IV line is not tested via the boards.

  36. inserting IVs can be done by several types of health care providers, depending on the hospital setting / situations at hand. in the ER, usually they have infusionists, nurses, phlebotomists, PAs, mds…whoever is reaildy available and qualified can do it during emergency, seconds counts in ER.sometimes even the best vascular ssurgeon can’t do it due to many reasons, shock, too many clogged veins due to drug use and others. they may even resort to cutdown of peripheral veins or triple lumen thru the subclavian,sometimes jugular may even be used for IV if necessary ( practically all types of peripheral veins maybe used).

    IV insertion is a trivial thing if in the usual setting. in ER, it can be horrendous thing to do especially when the patient is in shock.

  37. Left v Middle v Right :
    In this single sentence is a hint of why the Middle’s reluctance to join the Left : ” An armed Forces that serve the people and not the system of private property that protects the interest of a few….” The people look positively on “private property”. The Middle-, Middle-Middle, Lower-Middle Class and the poor know the importance of working to own/accumulate property. Property owned can be transformed into cash to pay for medical expenses, or to fund one’s retirement. Property owned can be handed onto to the next generation so that the younger have firmer footing when they start their own families. [The Marxian notion that the youth have no claim to inherited weath (because the inheritors did not earn it — their parents did) is contra to normal human thoughts.]

  38. A Filipina nursing graduate who has just entered the US will probably not be able to immediately start as a registered nurse. The new-arrival may have an easier time (as long as they have “authorization to work”) to start as LPN. The New York State requirements for LPN are as follows:

    Licensed Practical Nursing
    To meet the professional education requirement for licensure as a licensed practical nurse, you must have completed high school or the equivalent, and present satisfactory evidence of either a, b, c or d below.
    (a)–graduation from at least a nine-month program in practical nursing registered by the New York State Education Department as licensure qualifying or recognized as preparatory for practice as a licensed practical nurse by the licensing authority or appropriate governmental agency in the jurisdiction where the school is located; or
    (b)–completion of at least a nine-month program of study that is satisfactory to the New York State Education Department in a program conducted by the armed forces of the United States; or
    (c)–completion of at least three semesters (or four quarters) of an approved U.S. program in professional nursing at the associate, diploma, or baccalaureate degree level, and completed nursing courses with a clinical component in each of the three semesters, having earned 20 semester hour credits (30 quarter hour credits) in clinical nursing courses with a grade of “C” or better in both the clinical and classroom portions of each course within the 20 semester hours (30 quarter hours); or
    (d)–graduation from an approved program in general professional nursing.

  39. Sometime it sis easier to use methaporical examples to describe mindsets. Especially related to the anti- terror bill. An abstract war on the tactics. Terrorism is after all a tactic. Just think of the name Mau-Mau. The brutal anti-colonial struggle of the people of Kenya against the British colonizers.. It was brutal. The reaction to it was just as brutal. You pacify by the process of elimination. It seems there are a minority of views that reflect Vulcan/Romullan or Kling-On mindsets. Or for today’s generation the dark side of the force represented by the Sith.

    The anti-terror bill is downright revolutionary in the opposite direction. It is attempting to abolish the basic premise of the Bill of Rights. Probable cause. For the state to act against an individual it must have a predicate or probable cause. Even when war is declared enemy combatants (insurgents) are due certain basic rights. The U.S. Supreme Court just ruled on that. What we have ongoing today is a magnification of the perceived injustices against the Palestinians by a bunch of well trained eschatological egomaniacs. This bunch feel that the European Jews have come to colonize Arab lands. Political imposition by force is the highest form of evil. Genocide becomes a strategic imperative. A Romullan or Kling On belief. The Pol Pot or Temujin model. Now they are trying to figure out how many people have died in Iraq. I thought 100,000 was the high but apparently they are debating figures from 300K to 600K. Robert Mcnamara brought modern managment planning and financial (mathematical) analysis of economics to the battlefield. A Vulcan like mindset that introduced the body count similar to today’s formula for analyzing corporations perfoirmance in the stock market. EBITDA. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. He brought that mindset to the World Bank and that became the basis of the infamous structural adjustment program. Mathematical models to define realites. Pure logic of numbers. Dogma of effciency equilibrium. He forgot about the fact that they all start their models with the word “If” or all things being equal. An assumption of perfect conditions. Is the law the letter or the process? Ask a Vulcan, Romullan or Kling On. Yoda and Obi Won Kenobi help!!!!

    Ron Suskind on writing about our favorite mad dog,Cheney, reminds one and all about the 1% solution formula. If there is 1% iota of a threat erase it. The terrorist can try 100 times but needs only 1 chance to succeed. It was a U.S. battleship that entered the civil war in Beirut that propelled the rise of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

    It created the madness of strike and counterstrike. Lweft and right are guilty of it. A pointed gun is more frightening before it is fired. After your adrenaline takes over and one dives for cover. Andy Mukerjee of Bloomberg says investors are more comfortable now about eventual reunifcation of Korea. The pygmy in North Korea now has a big stick and has probably staved off invasion. I do not think he is a suicide bomber. All out war would probably be disastrous for the world. But you have a mad dog in the White House who believes in that 1% solution.

  40. I thought the metaphor was leading to a star wars analogy,but it turned to be of Star Trek instead.

    I also like the comment about Enrile, that Filipinos forgive and forget.
    He was said to have staged his assasination that triggered martial law,his son was rumored or allegedly to have been the cause of the passing of a certain matinee idol during the eighties..fast forward… he was accused of dagdag bawas by another senator nad so on.And let’s not forget the pcgg issues.

    If we forget that easily,then is that supposed to be a good thing?
    What will we say to our selves, if we see Mikey Arroyo become our leader one day,when everything is alreay forgotten,let us say,25 years from now,when the current crop of voters would be at least fortythree years old by then and most of us would be in our fifties or sixties and some of us passed on.

  41. UP Student,
    The nurses from the Philippines when recruited are already green card holders so they have unrestricted work atuhorization.

    They do not have to apply for LPN. They do not have to take courses in nursing in the local schools. All they do is challenge the board because our bachelor’s degree is credited in the US educational system as a degree.

    That is one thing that we are more competitive with other Asian countries graduating nurses because practically our nursing curriculum is patterned after the United States.

  42. At last the CA issued a ruling but hopefully it will rule quickly and with finality on the issue. Further, if this goes to the supreme court no TRO be issued consistent with the CA ruling that individual cases be filed againts those who participated in the cheating. It is still a long way to prove from benefiting from a leakage to cheating. CA rejected a wholesale retake because the leakage is not widespread and significant enough to nullify test 3 and 5.This is the subject of UST’s MR, i.e. to submit evidence that not only test 3 and 5 but test 1 and 2 and not only in metromanila and Baguio but nationwide to merit total and nationwide retake. Ust and other oppositors to CA ruling must be afforded their right for a full exercise of due process.

  43. hvrds,

    some people would consider it an honor to be called “Vulcan” like the cerebral Mr. Spock. And even Klingons were good guys, at least when Jacques Picard ran the Enterprise like the Love Boat, and Whorf had the sexiest sword-axes in the 25th century.

    But I get your general drift. However, you are looking at the stars and planets when what concerns the Law in practice are far more simple things.

    Take the matter of Mrs. Dulmatin. I truly believe that he and Umar Patek and the rest of the Bali Bombers have flown the coop. But they really wanted to leave us all a lil CONSUELO DE BOBO as well as save some money for their next big demonstration of sociopathy.

    They left Mrs. Dulmatin here, for the Philippine Govt to pay for her plane fare back into the arms of the Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia, to which we are now legally bound to DEPORT her for lack of a law that would outlaw SUCH tactics.

    I don’t know about you, but the species I admired the most next to the human beings of course, were the Betans, who saw through stuff like your fictions.

  44. hvrds, I meant stuff like our fictions…but with respect to the Anti Terror Law, I must admit it is not an ordinary law. In fact, I like to think of it as a Declaration of War.

    Ideally, that is really what we should do, is have the Congress approve a Resolution of War on Terrorism, or whatever else a clear menace to humanity would like to be called.

    But there is the dilemma of asymmetry in stark relief. WHO do you declare war on? WHERE is their territory?

    I think viewed as a legal or virtual Declaration of War, the anti-terrorism law can be accepted by Vulcans, Klingons and Earthlings alike.

    We ought not be trapped in the intellectual quagmire of requiring a definition of terrorism that has metaphysical precision. An impossibility given the EVOLVING nature of that body of malevolents.

  45. DJB… can anyone point to a URL that contains the Anti-Terror Law being proposed? I suspect the issue is not asymmetrical-warfare but rather those fine detail (that supposedly makes law-enforcement more efficient but) which threaten civil liberties. I am less worried if a foreign national suspected of terrorism is held in Philippine custody for 4 months or 12 months (while investigations are being conducted); but the Philippine military (or national police) must not be allowed to hold for 6 months or more without any formal charge and/or without supervision by the courts any Filipino (even if said citizen is considered a terrorist suspect). Likewise, threats to privacy of communications cannot be given up “in the name of protecting ourselves against terrorism”.

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