Friday, July 28, 2006

29th of July

Dear Sage, Tomorrow is your Lola Helen's 9th Anniversary. She passed away before you were born... Even before your Mommy and I got married. But you know what, Anaki? I'm sure she is smiling down on us from heaven this very minute. She is very, very ecstatic to see me so Happy with all of you. To be surrounded by overwhelming love is what she wished for me. It is what I wish for my loved ones too.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Liberte! Egalite! Fraternite!

Dear Sage, tomorrow, HAPPY BASTILLE DAY! Okay, I'm not even remotely french. But the storming of that prison changed the world. That act expressed our need for personal freedom. The kind of freedom articulated in this declaration:

"Declaration of the Rights of Man - 1789

Approved by the National Assembly of France, August 26, 1789

The representatives of the French people, organized as a National Assembly, believing that the ignorance, neglect, or contempt of the rights of man are the sole cause of public calamities and of the corruption of governments, have determined to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, unalienable, and sacred rights of man, in order that this declaration, being constantly before all the members of the Social body, shall remind them continually of their rights and duties; in order that the acts of the legislative power, as well as those of the executive power, may be compared at any moment with the objects and purposes of all political institutions and may thus be more respected, and, lastly, in order that the grievances of the citizens, based hereafter upon simple and incontestable principles, shall tend to the maintenance of the constitution and redound to the happiness of all. Therefore the National Assembly recognizes and proclaims, in the presence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, the following rights of man and of the citizen:
1. Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good.
2. The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.
3. The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation. No body nor individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation.
4. Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law.
5. Law can only prohibit such actions as are hurtful to society. Nothing may be prevented which is not forbidden by law, and no one may be forced to do anything not provided for by law.
6. Law is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has a right to participate personally, or through his representative, in its foundation. It must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, are equally eligible to all dignities and to all public positions and occupations, according to their abilities, and without distinction except that of their virtues and talents.
7. No person shall be accused, arrested, or imprisoned except in the cases and according to the forms prescribed by law. Any one soliciting, transmitting, executing, or causing to be executed, any arbitrary order, shall be punished. But any citizen summoned or arrested in virtue of the law shall submit without delay, as resistance constitutes an offense.
8. The law shall provide for such punishments only as are strictly and obviously necessary, and no one shall suffer punishment except it be legally inflicted in virtue of a law passed and promulgated before the commission of the offense.
9. As all persons are held innocent until they shall have been declared guilty, if arrest shall be deemed indispensable, all harshness not essential to the securing of the prisoner's person shall be severely repressed by law.
10. No one shall be disquieted on account of his opinions, including his religious views, provided their manifestation does not disturb the public order established by law.
11. The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law.
12. The security of the rights of man and of the citizen requires public military forces. These forces are, therefore, established for the good of all and not for the personal advantage of those to whom they shall be intrusted.
13. A common contribution is essential for the maintenance of the public forces and for the cost of administration. This should be equitably distributed among all the citizens in proportion to their means.
14. All the citizens have a right to decide, either personally or by their representatives, as to the necessity of the public contribution; to grant this freely; to know to what uses it is put; and to fix the proportion, the mode of assessment and of collection and the duration of the taxes.
15. Society has the right to require of every public agent an account of his administration.
16. A society in which the observance of the law is not assured, nor the separation of powers defined, has no constitution at all.
17. Since property is an inviolable and sacred right, no one shall be deprived thereof except where public necessity, legally determined, shall clearly demand it, and then only on condition that the owner shall have been previously and equitably indemnified."

Ofcourse the revolution it spawned had a lot of excesses. Reading about it will make you stop looking at the French Revolution through the idealistic lense of the romantics. Someday you will read about the massacres, the reign of terror, Guillotine, and that abomination called Bonaparte.

Just remember that for me, the storming of the Bastille symbolized the triumph of Freedom of Thought against the divine right of kings. Absolute Power was defied- not condoned. That's why I remember this day and celebrate it too.

Too bad Zidane lost his cool and the world cup. tsk, tsk.

C'est la vie.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Dear Sabine, Every time you eat M&M you make it a point to share your loot with us. But we noticed recently that you don't just give them indiscriminately. You have created your own color coding scheme. You reserve the yellows for Mommy Ayheen , Reds for Ate Sage, Oranges for Lola Letty, Greens for You... And pour moi? the Blues.

I guess I've been playing the blues since yesterday when Les Bleus lost to the Italians. Zidane's exit was really heart rending.

But heck, it was his fiery passion anyway that brought them as far as the FINALS. what a ride, eh? Who would've thought they'd beat Brazil? Thank God I did not have spare change like some of my friends last friday. They lost them all to those who bet on the Italians.

Ok, that's what you call rationalization.

Anyway, you've always been generous, Sabine. "Sharing" is something that is ingrained within you. It is something you won't out grow.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

An Early Bastille Day

"You are my adversary,but you are not my enemy.For your resistance gives me strength.Your will gives me courage.Your spirit ennobles me.And though I aim to defeat you, should I succeed,I will not humiliate you.Instead, I will honour you. For without you, I am a lesser man."— “Opponent”, from Celebrate

Dear Sage, in the field of human conflict, glory does not lie in Waterloo or Thermophyle... It's only found in the field of SPORTS.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


MY GOD! HOW WAS THAT POSSIBLE? THEY BEAT BRAZIL!!! Merci, Mon Dieu!!! and they say Zidane should retire from the game. Mon cul.

Letters to my kids about their childhood adventures

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan