Monday, January 31, 2011

"In Pieces" by Linkin Park

"In Pieces"
by Linkin Park

Telling me to go
But hands beg me to stay

Your lips say that you love
Your eyes say that you hate

There's truth in your lies
Doubt in your faith
What you build you lay to waste

There's truth in your lies
Doubt in your faith
All I've got's what you didn't take

So I, I won't be the one
Be the one to leave this
In pieces

And you
You will be alone
Alone with all your secrets
And regrets

Don't lie
[End Chorus]

You promise me the sky
Then toss me like a stone

You wrap me in your arms
And chill me to the bone

There's truth in your lies
Doubt in your faith
All I've got's what you didn't take

So I, I won't be the one
Be the one to leave this
In pieces

And you
You will be alone
Alone with all your secrets
And regrets

Don't lie

So I, I won't be the one
Be the one to leave this
In pieces

And you
You will be alone
Alone with all your secrets
And regrets

Don't lie
[End Chorus]

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Fourth Wave Democracy and the Middle East?

Democracy as a political system, as an ideology was still developing right from Ancient Greece to the founding of the United States. Even today, nobody can claim that of having the perfect democratic society or democratic government. In 1991, Samuel Huntington wrote about three waves of democracy, dividing and grouping democracies from around the world according to the time of their democratization.

The First Wave Democracy took place in the early 19th Century right through the end of the First World War. Democracies that came out of the century long First Wave Democracy are the United States, Great Britain and part of its empire (Australia, Canada, and New Zealand), France, and the rest of Western Europe, as well as Latin American countries. The First Wave Democracy ended years after the First World War when idealism gave birth to the rise of communism in Russia and Nazism in Germany that leads to the Second World War. We also need to note that some of the most established Western democracies (USA, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, Iceland, Switzerland, and Finland) came out of this period remained democratic to this very day.

The Second Wave Democracy started even before the end of the Second World War. Some First Wave Democracies reverted to authoritarianism in the 1920s, regained their democracy after the Second World War and they were joined by newly independent states (former European colonies in Asia and Africa). New democracies that came out of the almost two decades long Second Wave Democracy are the Philippines, India, Israel, Malaysia, Brazil, South Korea, etc. Unlike the First Wave Democracy, the Second Wave did not last long as many of newly independent democracies experimented with authoritarianism or communism. While others did not see, democracy fit their culture and way of life.

The Third Wave Democracy started when Spain turn democracy and the spontaneous rise of the people power phenomenon in the Philippines that inspired subsequent people’s power uprisings ending the Cold War. Many of the new democracies that emerged from the Third Wave Democracy are former communist states in Eastern Europe and former states within the former Soviet Union.

Some say that we are still in the period of the Third Wave Democracy since there was few reversals back to authoritarianism after 1991 while others argued that the Third Wave Democracy ended and has been replace by the Fourth Wave Democracy.

Now that some countries are slowly integrating into one huge federal union such as the European Union (EU) and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), we might be in the process towards the Fourth Wave Democracy. I noticed a new type of people power unlike those in the mid-1980s to the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. This new type of people power is a mass-type violent protests that in my opinion might have started in May 2001 known as EDSA Tres in the Philippines. That event failed but the same type of mob rebellions followed from Thailand to Iran and just recently, Tunisia. Now, in democracy, people have every right to run to the streets whether they are paid or they are passionate of their cause. It is their right to rally in the streets to voice their demands or concerns or to remove and replace governments. The new type of people power sound violent but it is still democracy in many ways. If we look at the American Declaration of Independence (1776), it says:
“Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
The recent people’s power uprising in Tunisia could be the beginning of the Fourth Wave Democracy and its now being emulated in Egypt and Lebanon. Eventually, the new democratic wave will sweep the Middle East right in our very eyes but I could be wrong.


Monday, January 24, 2011

KryptoNate conquers the Great Wall

The day, 5'6 little Nate Robinson blocked 7'6 Yao Ming (c. 2006). This will never happen again.

For Yao Ming fans:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable…" 
— Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My 100th Post!

Well this is my 100th "published" post here in my blog. Its something to celebrate about I guess. It is not much for long-time bloggers but some blogs out there do not even reach 50 posts. My first three blogs did not even reach 20 posts (the first two failed to reach 10 posts).
Anyway, it has been seven and half months since I started this blog and it has been a roller-coaster ride. A lot of things happened in my life since then (mostly sad) but life goes on. When I started this blog, I got nothing to say really. I planned to turn it into a personal blog, an on-line journal and I guess I failed on that one.

I recently changed the name and blog URL address from “Donmakles - Lanaoan sa Aotearoa” [] to “The Unknown Gazette” []. The result of the changes was very inconvenient. I have to update all other sites connected to my blog for reconnections. Many of my blog entries became temporarily inaccessible because they still have the old links that ain’t working anymore. I even have a hard time trying to have my new entries publish in the Networked Blog (my main source of readers). Good thing I find out that I only need to update the feed URL and everything back to normal (except that the blog now has a new name and a URL address).

Of course, as I keep pointing out, the blog is all about sharing the things I learned and read about. My opinion/commentaries on the topics of my interests (sports, history, politics, food, personal experiences, memories, etc.) You probably sick of reading that.

Anyway, here is the Top 10 Viewed Blog Entries (May 2010 - January 2011) since I started this blog:

As of January 18, 2011
  1. Philippines in the Korean War (60th Anniversary) [posted on September 19, 2010]
  2. Bibingka Galapong (Coconut Rice Cake) Recipe [posted on September 17, 2010]
  3. Top 60 Greatest Players (Philippine National Basketball Team) [posted on August 15, 2010]
  4. Filipinos in the NBA [posted on January 07, 2011]
  5. World Top 10 Record Holders for the Most Three-Points Shots in a Single Professional Game [posted on January 12, 2011]
  6. Philippine National Football Team Records in Official Football Tournaments [posted on December 20, 2010/originally posted on September 2010]
  7. The Philippines in the 2010 Asian Games (basketball) [posted on October 22, 2010]
  8. The “Philippine Dream Team” in the 1990 Asian Games [posted on October 6, 2010]
  9. Smart Gilas: Road to London [posted on August 23, 2010]
  10. Basketball Rivalry: Philippines and Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) [posted on November 22, 2010]
Previously in the Top 10: Paulasi Taulava: A Tribute and The Christchurch Earthquake Experience of 2010.

Here's the rest of the stats:

I would like to thank all my readers! Some of my blog entries are scheduled (usually 06:00 AM New Zealand Time) and I have 27 entries scheduled [spread out] for the year 2011. Of course, as usual I will be adding more entries of different topics (depends on the mood).


[P.S. This is an scheduled entry.. so by the time this is posted.. I'm probably still sleeping!]

Friday, January 14, 2011

Major Richard Winters: A Tribute

Richard Winters, 1918-2011
"That night, I thanked God for seeing me through that day of days and prayed I would make it through D plus 1. I also promised that if some way I could get home again, I would find a nice peaceful town and spend the rest of my life in peace." ~then First Lieutenant Richard Winters after the Day of Days 

Last January 02, 2011, Major Richard "Dick" Winters died at the age of 92 in his rural home in Pennsylvania. Major Winters was the Commanding Officer of the Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division during the Second World War. His military exploits were chronicled in the television mini-series, Band of Brothers (adopted from Stephen Ambrose's book of the same name) and was portrayed in the series by actor Damian Lewis.

One of his quotes that I always remember from the Band of Brothers series was what he told his interviewer:

 I treasure my remark to my grandson who asked, "Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?" Grandpa said, "No... but I served in a company of heroes"

Check Out:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Changing the name...

Well, I changed the name of my blog from "Donmakles - Lanaoan sa Aotearoa" to "The Unknown Gazette".

Originally, I plan to have a personal blog but after 95 post and six months later, most of my blog entries were about different topics of interests (basketball, football, politics, history, food, reviews, Christian, etc) rather than personal. However, I did post some personal experiences and some old memories but they are not that much.

I also have another blog I co-authored with my good friend Scot, known as "The Heat Spot". It is a Miami Heat fan blog. The blog is still developing and we are trying our best to update and post new entries. Here's the link: The Heat Spot 

Anyway, enjoy and keep reading!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Troy" (Book Review)

Book 1
[This entry was from my old defunct blog. Not really a good reviewer but I’m trying my best.]

  • Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow (by David Gemmell)
  • Troy: Shield of Thunder (by David Gemmell)
  • Troy: Fall of Kings (by David Gemmell and Stella Gemmell)

David Gemmell wrote Troy and it is a three-book series about the greatest war of the ancient world. The book is sort of a combination of Homer’s “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey”, and Virgil’s “The Aeneid” with historical references. Unlike Homer’s and Virgil’s masterpieces, the book lacked the physical presence of the Olympians and made the story more realistic and close to human level. The book centers on two important characters and at least four other characters.

The main protagonist of the story is Helikaon, but he was in fact, the Trojan hero Aeneas. The book talks about his life not as a prince but rather a successful merchant in the ancient Mediterranean. Another protagonist of the story is Andromache, and in the story, she was a priestess of the Minotaur and on her way to the Golden City of Troy as bride to the Trojan hero Hektor. What makes the story interesting is the impending love triangle. Helikaon was in love with his best friend’s (Hektor) bride, Andromache.

Book 2
Another character is the Mykene hero Argurios. He was sent by Agamemnon to spy on Troy and was one of the guest passengers of Helikaon’s giant merchant ship Xanthos. In the story, a reader would have suspected him as an assassin but he turn out to be a great hero for Troy at the end.

Another character, probably the most popular, is the Greek hero Odysseus. Unlike the Homeric Odysseus, Gemmell’s Odysseus was an old reformed merchant-king trying to distance himself from his destructive past of sacking cities. In the story, he was the mentor and father figure of Helikaon and known for his rich tale-spinning stories (some of those stories are quite familiar for those who have read Homer’s The Odyssey).

Another character is the Gyppto [Egyptian Hebrew] exile Gershom, who was forced out of his homeland after saving a slave from an impending murder. His story and identity slowly revealed throughout the book series. There are many characters to talk about such as the young Kypriot Xander, the Madman of Melitos, and the exiled Greek warriors, Kalliades and Banokles. But I don't want to spoil everything. In fact, I already said too much.

Book 3
There are many historical references as well, such as the war between the Hittite Empire and Egypt. The book revealed that Troy was a vassal kingdom of the Hittite Empire with the Trojan hero Hektor fighting for the Hittite Imperial Army throughout the first book.

The stories in the books were brilliant and all I can say about the author is that he, just like his Odysseus, was a great “Tale-Spinner”. Must-read books indeed. 

[If you ever wonder what happened to Paris and Helen. Then you got to figure that out yourself by reading the whole series.]

Sunday, January 2, 2011

When God seems far away - Psalm 139

Psalm 139 (The Bible, King James Version)

The Prayer of a believing heart
To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David

[1] O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
[2] Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
[3] Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
[4] For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
[5] Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
[6] Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
[7] Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
[8] If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
[9] If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
[10] Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
[11] If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
[12] Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
[13] For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
[14] I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
[15] My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
[16] Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
[17] How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
[18] If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
[19] Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
[20] For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
[21] Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
[22] I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
[23] Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
[24] And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010: The Year That Was...

Happy New Year to all of you readers… as we look forward to the next 12 months, its time for me to look back at the Year 2010 A.D. or the 10th year of the 21st Century of the years of our Lord.

Not much happening in 2010, one of my best friends got married and a good friend of mine said his good byes before he left for Japan.

Although, I believe that my memories are somehow deteriorating and my ability to remember things that I did before or read before is just not the same anymore. My researches were not as good as it used to be and I am having a hard time doing and writing my research papers.

It also the very reason why I have this blog in the first place to record everything I learned and read. Though, it suppose to be a personal blog but now covers a lot of stuffs from sports to history, politics and current affairs, and even food. Pretty much everything really.

Tsunami Scares (February 28, 2010)

What a way to end the summer in New Zealand. Last February 28, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile (one of the worst in history) and cause tsunami waves in the Pacific Ocean. Tsunami Alerts were issued in Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, and other Pacific Island countries.

Got an early tsunami scare, fortunately only the Chatham Islands got the beating in New Zealand. 

Canterbury Earthquake (September-December 2010)

This one is a biggie. Last September 4 (my late father's birthday), I was getting ready to go to sleep and just as when I closed my eyes the 7.1 magnitude earthquake and violent aftershocks that followed hit the Canterbury residents. Funny how people were so proud that they survive the earthquake even though no recorded human casualties. Plus, people were still able to tell the world (through facebook) despite having no power for eight hours.

Anyway, the quakes and aftershocks lasted for months. The last known recorded aftershocks were on the Boxing Day (December 26) but experts say that the shaking might last for about two years.


Well that’s about it. Like I said earlier, not much happening and I’m sure I left out other events and happenings in my life. That’s because I forgot to record the accounts in my journal and I don’t have something to remind me what happened then.

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