Monday, October 27, 2008

The Next Super Power President is...

Would America vote for a 72 year-old Southern Baptist Republican or a 47 year-old Christian Democrat?


McCain graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958. He became a naval aviator, flying ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he nearly lost his life in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. In October 1967, while on a bombing mission over Hanoi, he was shot down, badly injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973, experiencing episodes of torture and refusing an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer; his war wounds left him with lifelong physical limitations.

He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981, moved to Arizona, and entered politics. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, he served two terms, and was then elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, winning re-election easily in 1992, 1998, and 2004. While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain at times has had a media reputation as a "maverick" for having disagreed with his party. After being investigated and largely exonerated in a political influence scandal of the 1980s as a member of the "Keating Five," he made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, which eventually led to the passage of the McCain-Feingold Act in 2002. He is also known for his work towards restoring diplomatic relations with Vietnam in the 1990s, and for his belief that the war in Iraq should be fought to a successful conclusion. McCain has chaired the Senate Commerce Committee, has opposed spending that he considered to be pork barrel, and played a key role in alleviating a crisis over judicial nominations.

McCain lost his bid for the Republican nomination in the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush. He ran again for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, and gained enough delegates to become the party's presumptive nominee in March 2008. McCain was formally nominated at the 2008 Republican National Convention in September 2008, together with his chosen running mate from Alaska, Governor Sarah Palin.


Obama is the first African American to be nominated by a major political party for president.[1] A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama worked as a community organizer and practiced as a civil rights attorney before serving three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate in January 2003. After a primary victory in March 2004, Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He was elected to the Senate in November 2004 with 70 percent of the vote.

As a member of the Democratic minority in the 109th Congress, he helped create legislation to control conventional weapons and to promote greater public accountability in the use of federal funds. He also made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. During the 110th Congress, he helped create legislation regarding lobbying and electoral fraud, climate change, nuclear terrorism, and care for returned U.S. military personnel. Obama announced his presidential campaign in February 2007, and was formally nominated at the 2008 Democratic National Convention with Delaware senator Joe Biden as his running mate.

So who will it be, America? It's time to choose wisely.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What If You Die?

Are you afraid to die? Maybe the soldiers, policemen or the priests are not that terrified at all. But ordinary people like you and me are most certainly scared to death!

But what if you already know that you will die very soon? How will you react? What will you do to spend your remaining time on earth? Now that’s a tough question. This maybe hypothetical for most of us, but it’s not totally fictional. As a matter of fact, thousands die from one reason or another around the world everyday. So if you’re really “lucky”, you may find yourself on their shoes one of these days. For death is inevitable for all of us.

Going back to the question, I have summed up some of the most common and wildest ideas in getting through those precious moments. Before saying “Adios Patria Adorada”, read the following segments and decide which is your best option to take. So one month from now before your die (hypothetically speaking), how will you live out your final days?

Defy your own doom.

Self-denial is a most natural reaction when faced with a dreaded predicament. If you’re a very optimistic person, you will not give in yet to some doomsayer’s prophecy. First thing is to consult your family doctor. If the result is positive that you have a terminal disease, and you cannot live more than a month, then go for a second opinion. If you can try a third or fourth to make sure it’s not just another diagnostic error, then do so. If it is still the conclusion, then you may try to get all possible remedies available like surgery and medication. Or you may try alternative cures. Do your research. Staying alive is still your most important goal. Remember that “it’s not yet over till it’s over.” And that’s the spirit to live for!

Experience all the good pleasures.

If you think you are really dying, then get all the pleasures you want before you go six-feet-under! For starters, you can satisfy your appetite by eating all you can. Even the most taboo food is no exception for you now. (Unless you still want to maintain your diet?) If fashion is your weakness, buy the most fabulous dress you’re "dying" to wear all this time. (You can even wear that in your coffin, you know?) If you have lots of money, spend it on extravagant treats like vacation trip to first-class beach resort, or a week of self-indulgence on a luxurious spa. Of course, you may have sex with your willing partner like there’s no more tomorrow. If the most heinous criminal is entitled for a “royal request” before his death-bed, you too deserve the best that life can offer.

Go back to “Normal Life.”

Try to live as normal as possible. You can’t do anything about your untimely death so you just have to go on with your usual ways. It’s like denying the undeniable demise while going through your life as usual. Yes, this is very difficult to attempt but you simply have no more choice but to accept it. This is your only way to cope up with your dilemma. Keep yourself busy at work or do your hobbies and other daily activities. Find most of your time to be with your loved ones for they are your only life-support system.

Make “Peace” with all people.

If you wish to go to heaven (or at least make your conscience free of guilt), then spend a day to pray to God (or Higher Power) for divine grace. At the same time, it is but right to pardon anyone who offended you in the past. But if you don't believe in the afterlife, at least ask for forgiveness from those you might have hurt in any way. By doing this, you will definitely have a “peace of mind”. For whatever happens in the end, you are assured of a guiltless and sinless soul before you rest in peace. In other words, die clean.

Party until the end of time.

Dying should not always be melancholic. Rather than pity yourself for your looming mortal end, why not be happy on your last day? Gather all your family, relatives and friends for the last reunion. And since it could very well be your last party, make it as the best and most memorable one. 80s new wave era or Cartoon costume party are just some of the fun ideas you might consider.

Give to Charity.

Well if you’re well-off, it’s easy as donating a generous check to any charitable institution you prefer. Otherwise, you may settle on deciding which of your belongings must go to charity. Whatever possessions you may have, they will surely be appreciated by people who have nothing in life. So you can pack your old clothes, blankets, toys, books and other stuff you will not be using and send them to the needy ones. So even with less time on earth, you can still do something good for someone.

Arrange for your own memorial day.

Since it’s your farewell day, you can plan ahead for a more memorable lasting moment with your loved ones. So before you take your last breath, tell your family your most personal idea of a solemn funeral. You can buy your most beautiful outfit with complete accessories to ultimately dress up for your fateful day. Or you can design a unique garb that will suit your most discriminating taste. If you love flowers, then expect them to flood your wake with floral feast of tulips, roses or orchids. Coffin should also be considered. Make it like your own version of state funeral. What the heck. If you wish to be cremated, tell them to put your ash inside a classic urn to be buried under your garden or be stored inside your home. Or if you want a more dramatic ending, ask them to spread your ashes all over the sea. Any more bright ideas?

Write your “Farewell Message”.

Like our national hero, you can write your own version of a historical farewell message (or at least something like that). Release your poetic juices to create a masterpiece letter or just scribble down your innermost feelings to come up with a heartfelt message. Whatever you may write, you can ask your loved ones to read it on your last ritual of respect. You can even inscribe those words on your gravestone. Remember, you will be remembered by those last words so give it your best shot!

Consider being an organ donor.

Despite your situation, do you know you can still save lives? Since you will die anyway, why not give some of your body parts to those who would be needing them the most. After your soul is released from your earthly body, the latter will just undergo an irreversible process of bio-chemical disintegration. So before your whole body turns to ash, preserve your body now for organ beneficiaries. So even after you die, your eyes, heart, liver and kidney can still make someone’s life better.

Pray for your fateful day.

Whether you have totally achieved physical, mental and emotional satisfaction from the finest things in this world, or not, it’s time to enlighten your soul. By spending your most intimate time with your Creator, you will be filled with divine blessings that you will treasure on your next life. Who knows? A “miracle” may still happen and you may live longer than you expect. Otherwise, it’s your time to depart for good. Accepting your fate and letting God take care of your soul, in the end you will surely die gracefully.

I just wish if death comes, it is as easy as closing your eyes and finding the light.

“Learn as if you were to live forever; live as if you were to die to-morrow.” -A Dead Author

An Inspiration to Shine

A year ago, I'd watched this very inspiring film, "Akeelah and the Bee." It tells the story of an 11-year-old black student facing obstacles at home and school, and her struggle to fulfill her young dream. On one of its unforgettable scenes, the spelling-bee-coach (portrayed by Laurence Fishburne) told Akeelah, the spelling-bee-finalist (played by Keke Palmer) to read the quotation hanging on the wall. It was actually the inspiring words taken from Marianne Williamson's poem entitled, "Our Deepest Fear." It reads...

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, "Who are you not to be?" You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

After reading, Akeelah finally learned her greatest lesson; to be not afraid of oneself and to be the best one can be. On a personal note , it has become one of my inspirations in living my life to the fullest!