Thursday, November 26, 2015
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Donald Trump is on a war path against political correctness. And America is increasingly behind him as he leads the charge to take the beachhead. US media reportedly does not know what to do about Trump. It covers him because he delivers the all-important ratings their shareholders salivate over yet, in doing so, the industry gives him an even more powerful soapbox upon which he spreads his virulent views on immigration, race, and guns.
So, we ask, what’s the problem? Simply debunk his views using the “right” thinking, right? But, it’s really not that simple when you’re in the “news” media business…
Producers know that when you put someone who’s likely to spew falsehoods and who’s impervious to all attempts to correct them on the air, that person is going to get a lot of opportunities to repeat his falsehoods, and it’ll be very hard if not impossible to debunk him. Viewers will get a healthy sampling of lies, and undoing that damage in the space allowed will be nigh impossible. As Jay Z once said, “A wise man told me don’t argue with fools, ’cause people from a distance can’t tell who is who.”
The trouble with Trump, we are told, is that he is “politically-incorrect”. But then perhaps we need to step back and ask an important question: What, essentially, is political correctness trying to achieve? If you boil down political correctness to its essence, we will see that it is trying to bury supposedly unsavory human cognitive biases no longer “appropriate” in modern societies but which are, in fact, irrevocably hard-wired into the human brain.
So the next correct question to ask, in that light, is this:
Will political correctness succeed?
Everyone has their biases. Everyone is judgmental. Everyone holds a deeply-ingrained suspicion of people who don’t look like them, behave in unfamiliar — often unsettling — ways, and speak in a different language. In hindsight, it now is evident that the dogma of political correctness went a bit too far in trying to suppress all of those very human conditions much the same way that the great monotheistic religions suppressed human sexuality for centuries. Something’s gotta give. To the sexual revolution we saw in the late 1960s that was a long-overdue counter-punch to the theistic conservatism of the parents of the baby boom generation, perhaps we are now seeing a growing backlash against the political correctness liberalism of recent times.
This is, perhaps, the reason why Americans are so willing to believe Donald Trump unconditionally despite all efforts of today’s hipster liberals to drive some modern “sense” into the debate — because he is saying things people who are weary of political correctness want to believe. There is nothing baffling about the Trump phenomenon. It’s been the modus operandi of organised religions for millenia — repeating lies and false statements often enough and repeatedly enough as to effectively trump (pardon the pun) any intellectual effort to debunk them.
Indeed, if we are to understand the bigger point of what Trump is making in, say, leading us to believe that President Barrack Obama will be letting 200,000 Syrian refugees into the US when the fact is Obama only committed to just 10,000, is that, just maybe, American voters have taken the overarching position that Syrian refugees whether they number in the hundreds of thousands or just in the thousands are not welcome. In that regard, the position is consistent though the details vary.
Media should be quite familiar with this state of affairs. Images of carnage from a plane crash make great headlines and pull in the hits. CNN, by its own admission, made a lot of money off the Malaysian Airlines crashes — because aviation safety (which is optimal to within economic reason to begin with) is of the moment‘s importance when the latest plane crash is making headlines. But crunch the numbers and the fact that emerges is, people are more likely to be hit by a car and die while crossing the street than be killed in a plane crash. Nonetheless, plane crashes make headlines. Pedestrian fatalities don’t.
In that sense Trump is both a product of American media and of the audience’s choice of what is attention-worthy (a human condition that media science capitalises on) regardless of the facts. In business, timing is everything. Trump is a businessman and knows when that moment to capitalise on is at hand. Trump is seizing that moment today.
Perhaps we are seeing an America getting back to its old comfy familiar values — the very values that, arguably, made it a big, wealthy, and powerful country. You don’t get that rich and that powerful by being overly politically-correct in your strategy. Trump should know.
One time I got sick and landed in the hospital. There was this one nurse that just drove me crazy. Every time she came in, she would talk to me like I was a little child. She would say in a patronizing tone of voice, "and how are we doing this morning?"
Or.... "are we ready for a bath?"
Or... "are we hungry?"
I had had enough of this particular nurse. One day at breakfast, I took the apple juice off the tray and put it in my bedside stand. Later I was given a urine sample bottle to fill for testing.
So you know where the juice went! The nurse came in a while later, picked up the urine sample bottle, looked at it and said, My, my, it seems we are a little cloudy today.
At this, I snatched the bottle out of her hand, popped off the top, and gulped it down, saying, "well, I'll run it through again. Maybe I can filter it better this time!"
The nurse fainted... I just smiled!
DON'T MESS WITH OLD PEOPLE... you'll lose every time!
Monday, November 23, 2015
The word going around among political operators for months now is that erstwhile undecided presidential candidate Rody/Digong Duterte is allowing himself to be used in a ploy by the Roxas camp to try and pull down Grace Poe’s ratings.
The buzz is that Duterte is Roxas’ cat’s claw. What that means is that Roxas deployed Duterte as a countermeasure against Poe in order to bring down her chances of winning, at least, in Mindanao.
According to a Pulse Asia Survey, in Mindanao, Duterte is at 35 percent, Binay is at 20 percent, and Poe is at 18 percent. If you remember what Virgilio Garcilano said in the Hello Garci tapes, cheating elections involves cleaving to survey stats and taking votes from the weakest contender. More over, you have to consider that for the longest time, most of the so-called electoral cheating has happened in the southern Philippines.
Anyway, there is no denying that Duterte said that he had finally decided to seek the presidency the Senate Electoral Tribunal decided to throw out the disqualification case against Poe — which, by the way, was filed by Rizalito David whom political operators say was funded by Congressman Egay Erice.
Political operators told me months ago that there are many plans under Erice’s Oplan Atake Hila (attack and pull down Grace Poe).
Plan A was to get Poe to run as Roxas’ vice president and if that didn’t work, Plan B would be to launch a sustained vilification campaign against Poe if plan A didn’t pan out well. Then, as Plan B was being implemented, Plan C would be simultaneously come into play and this would involve the filing of cases against Poe at the Senate Electoral Tribunal and at the Commission on Elections.
Then there is Plan D, which is to unleash Duterte against Poe. Which will work in conjunction with Plan E, Election Cheating and from there on,political operators wonder if there is a Plan P for PCOS.
As I have been saying in a number of previous posts, politics is deception and the only way you can discern some form of truth in all of this is to pay more attention to what politicians do. The revealing questions one should ask are: Whose interests are affected positively or negatively by their actions? Who has to most to lose or gain as a consequence of their action/s? What are they not saying or what questions aren’t they answering directly?
I guess, if a journalist is really serious about reporting on political developments, these are the things they would report on. But seeing as some journalists are suspected to be figuratively and literally in bed with their sources or are too busy trying to become some kind of celebrity, I guess it is up to the viewing/reading public to do their best to filter out the propaganda.
With this Duterte-as-Roxas’-cat’s-claw-theory going around, there are number of things over the past several months that I find hard to ignore.
Apart from what I have heard from political operators and my other sources, there are these following things:
In September, Erice came out in an article on www.news5.com.ph (one of TV5’s websites) saying he was certain that Duterte would run for President:
Kung si Liberal Party Chairman for Electoral and Political Affairs Rep. Egay Erice ang tatanungin, tatakbo pa rin si Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte sa pagkapangulo sa 2016 elections. Aniya, isang political strategy lang ang pag-anunsyo ng alkalde na di tatakbo. Maraming beses na raw kasi niyang sinabing walang interes sa mataas na posisyon pero patuloy ang pag-iikot sa mga probinsya.(Translation: If Liberal Party Chairman for Electoral and Political Affairs Rep. Egay Erice were to be asked if Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is running for president in 2016, he says that the mayor’s announcement that he isn’t running is merely a political strategy. Erice pointed out that there were many times that Duterte said that he had no interest in a higher position but still went around the provinces campaigning.)
Then in October, one several Grace Poe for President pages I had liked on Facebook had been renamed to United Supporters & Volunteers of Rody Duterte.
Here is a crop of the description of the page:
But even before these things, in June, Roxas claimed to be really best friends with Duterte:
Matagal na kaming magkaibigan ni Mayor Digong. Kapag nasa Manila siya, nagkikita kami doon. Kapag nandito ako (sa Davao), nagkikita kami,” Roxas said in an interview with reporters.(Mayor Digong (Duterte) and I have been friends for a long time. When he’s in Manila, we see each other. When I am in Davao, we see each other.)On Wednesday night, INQUIRER.net received a photo of Roxas and Duterte’s meeting, which the DILG secretary confirmed.“Ganun lang ‘yun, isang pagtatagpo ng dalawang matalik at matagal nang magkaibigan,” Roxas said.
Gee! Really? Best friends? Yeah, the body language in Rappler’s picture says it all. Duterte with arms crossed and Roxas looking as if he is pleading with Mindanao’s tough guy.
First of all, there are no permanent friends or allies in politics. The only permanent thing is self-interest. What does Duterte have to gain or lose? Think about it.
And, oh yeah, what does the next picture communicate?
The return of former Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte to the Philippines’ 2016 presidential election race says a lot about how little of a foothold real “democracy” has made in Philippine society. Democracy is not just about “freedom” and “elections”. It is also about justice and discipline. Duterte’s main value proposition to Filipino voters addresses those latter two key pillars of any just and truly free society and takes the bull by the horns by revolving around one thing: taking a tough approach to addressing rampant criminality in the Philippines.
This simple platform in combination with the clear track record of results he boasts in its application in Davao makes Duterte the only presidential candidate that presents what all the rest lack: (1) a strong track record of governance and administration, (2) a clear ralllying platform, and (3) the leadership attitude and chops to deliver.
But does Duterte fit the mold of a true “democratic” leader?
The answer to that question should begin by first asking the morefundamental question.
Is democracy in the Philippines working for ordinary Filipinos as we are being led to believe?
Easy. Elections have proven to hardly ever matter to ordinary Filipinos. One would be hard-pressed to cite specifics around how one president or the other truly made a difference to the ordinary Filipino. But consider recent developments in that specific aspect of state governance that matters the most to Filipinos — law enforcement. Because the Philippines is an abject failure in that basic state function, it becomes easy to pitch alternatives — even though these may not necessarily be within the framework of the law. Even crooks and enemies of the state can now claim to be “anti-crime” champions. Indeed, two of the Philippines’ biggest jungle bandit groups have recently scored public relations points by “going after” the illegal drugs trade within their “territories”.
The terrorist Moro Islamic Liberation Front have, for their part, reportedly recently styled themselves an anti-drug crusader in Mindanao…
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has ordered its field commanders to engage in a campaign against illegal drugs in Maguindanao and other areas covered by a government-MILF ceasefire agreement, Inquirer.net reported Sunday.The central committee of the MILF, which signed a 2014 peace deal with the government, has adopted a resolution supporting the order aimed at combating drugs, particularly methamphetamine hydrochloride, or “shabu”.The group has placed posters across Maguindanao warning that “illegal drug is the root of all evil.”
And, not to be outdone, the terror arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army (NPA), have also engaged in their own campaign to summarily gun down suspected drug traders in their“territories”. According to the same report, the NPA have recently “executed four suspected drug dealers as part of its separate campaign.” It is, however, interesting to note that the NPA have, themselves, been found to be large-scale cultivators of marijuana plantations in their areas own and have reportedly used proceeds from the trade in these illegal products to fund their terror operations.
What does all these say about criminal justice in the Philippines? Nothing other than what is glaringly obvious: that vigilante justice is becoming increasingly attractive to Filipinos.
A Rodrigo Duterte presidency will be the ultimate triumph of this sort of West-of-the-Pecos style of law and order. Backdropped against the failure of successive traditional Philippine governments to deliver on the promise of building a “just” society through lawful means, Duterte’s promise of swift express-lane justice resonates strongly amongst a crime-weary public. Its lack of any of the complications of due process which, ironically, makes Philippine justice hopelessly paralysed by its own checks-and-balances flies in the face of the tired and convoluted rhetoric of traditional presidential campaigns Filipino voters have tuned out from.
Indeed, six years of the blatant hypocrisy in the Daang Matuwid (“straight path”) sloganeering of the current administration under Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III may have been the final nail on the coffin of any pretense that the Philippines is a “just” society. There should be no surprise in the way Filipinos are now embracing a starkly real alternative to the farce of the so-called “democracy” we were led to believe was in effect since 1986. Even if we have, for decades, reminded ourselves “Never Again!”, Filipinos deserve a repeat of history. Perhaps the second try may be the charm.
Stuck in the middle of traffic, inching your way like a tortoise every few minutes while staring at the sea of red tail lights at a standstill on the massive virtual parking lot that’s before you as far as the eye could see, you slam the driver’s wheel asking yourself “Why am I even putting up with all this shit?!??!”
Every day, Filipinos are getting more and more pissed off with the situation. It is not difficult to come to the conclusion that a burgeoning growing population of 100M with roads, public transport systems, and infrastructure that cannot keep pace with it will leave you with crammed urban areas just bursting at the seams.
Filipinos must ask themselves some very fundamental questions:
- Do I value my short life this lowly to be wasting 2-3 hours on what should be a 30-minute commute?
- What crime did I commit to deserve jail time in all this traffic and congestion in the Philippines?
- Is this the Filipino dream that I had worked so hard in school for all these years?
- Is it worth enduring all this inconvenience when there are greener pastures waiting out there for me?
I know of parents who practically have to wake up about 4 A.M. and travel in the wee hours of dawn just to avoid the morning rush to bring their child to school. Then there is an engineer who takes 3 hours to get to work + another 3 hours to get back home. Man, that’s already almost a full day’s work, and that doesn’t even count the 1-hour lunch break!
It’s just a matter of time till we come to the end of our fuse and say we’ve had it. Next time you’re stuck in traffic or trying to shove your ass into a jam-packed LRT coach, you may find yourself blowing up inside to finally accept the fact that: The best thing you can do for your country is to Get Out!
By leaving the Philippines, you not only do your country a favor, you also do so for yourself because you deserve better. But how is that so?
The Big School Model
To help you on your journey to getting out of the mind trap many Filipinos fail to see, you will need to take a radical paradigm shift in how you view your country. As in the sci-fi movie The Matrix where the main character Neo realizes that the world he had been living in was all just a big virtual hoax, we all have to see things with a bigger telescope or from the vantage point of a hiker on a mountain top.
The key is to think of the Philippines as merely a big giant school. The primary institution in the Philippines is the school, with every other component of the economy and society just there to support it. Transport, working parents, food, energy, housing, and public services are all in place to provide support to educational institutions that will turn little toddlers into fully profitable college graduates, ready to take on real jobs out in the global arena. This new working class of young men and women constitute the primary product of the Philippines – the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).
Now, government officials, the elite oligarchy and mind-conditioning media (as well as many perverted religious institutions) have made the entire system in the Philippines such a rotten hell-hole that our national product (the graduates, potential OFWs) end up just throwing up their hands in despair and scrambling to get out of the country. They want people to multiply like rabbits and eventually leave – it is the goal, by design. By your leaving this country, these sharks are up to feast on all the benefits that go with it. But more importantly, it is you (the OFW) who stands to gain even more.
- Less traffic/congestion – Your getting out of the country will mean one less car on the road and one less ass standing in line on an ATM or jeepney queue. The sharks need not spend so much on additional infrastructure – saving them on development cost (and you know what they like to do with “savings”).
- Remittances – The sharks are well aware of the overseas Pinoy’s longing and yearning for relatives and friends back home, so you are bound to send back money to them, which will fuel the local consumption-driven economy – cash that will be feasted upon by the sharks and big mall and fast food owners.
- Advanced skills – Learning the advanced real-world techniques and tools of the trade in the host foreign country makes up for the substandard education, facilities, and training in Philippine schools. No better way to beef up your resume, eh?
- First-world values/mindset – By immersion and assimilation into a new foreign culture, you are transformed in your mindset to adopt the advanced work ethics and values of the host country, eventually correcting the “stupidity” that you got infected with while growing up and studying in the Philippines.
- Local jobs – By leaving the Philippines as a skilled worker, you contribute to easing out the local unemployment rate by opening up your vacated position for a person who may have the misfortune of not getting qualified to work abroad.
In addition, more travelers in and out of the country will mean bigger business for the airlines (also more people for the sharks to victimize with scams in the airports).
Missing old friends? All is not lost when you work outside the Philippines. If you choose a country like Singapore, Taiwan, or Hong Kong, you can actually go home very frequently (via budget airlines) owing to its proximity and common time zone. And there is always the Skype app running on lighting fast broadband connections abroad which you can cheaply enjoy to stay connected with relatives/friends at home.
Note: Besides, why worry about past friendships so much? We need to learn to let go of friends in the same way we let go of high school batch mates to enter college, welcoming new sets of friends. Don’t get stuck in the past. It will only keep you from reaching greater heights.
Finally, outside the Philippines, you can enjoy the amenities and perks that come with a fully functioning society that is able to provide reliable undisrupted world-class public services, and not have to endure all the dysfunction in the Philippines that can drive anyone mad.
P.I. – A Hostile Land
In addition, you need to realize that the Philippine archipelago is not really a land ideally meant for human habitation.
Just consider the extremely harsh climate and environment: roughly 10 typhoons a year, searing heat almost all year round, sticky sweaty humidity, active volcanoes & earthquake fault lines (Pacific ring of fire), unpredictable El Niño, and flood-inducing torrential monsoon rains. This natural-disaster-prone un-conducive working environment called the Philippines is an accursed land – most likely due to some karmic debt of its corrupt and self-centered people.
This leads us to consider the dysfunctional zombies who populate it. From the lowliest pedicab driver to the bozo clown sitting on the highest post of the land, everyone is “crazy”, lacking in the basics of common sense and logic. No wonder you’ll get the “worst airport of the world” title, high-death-toll sea disasters that can only happen under the watch of the grossly negligent/incompetent, mind-dumbing programs/shows that zap brain cells, and cities/towns that look like an open stinking dump site littered not just with garbage but lethargic self-entitled squatter-mentality half-dressed criminal-looking tambays. Corruption, crime, mishaps, rebellions, and failure upon embarrassing failure fill the daily news.
Greener Pastures Await You
In contrast, a whole new world awaits you on the other side of the fence – a safe, convenient and orderly world where you can enjoy four seasons (winter, spring, summer, autumn) in crisp cool “air-conditioned” outdoor weather most of the year, along with the fruits and cuisine that change with the seasonal cycle, opportunities to see world-famous sites with new-found friends, and the fulfillment of working on a job that pays handsomely while enjoying the latest tools of the trade with world-class professionals.
Life doesn’t have to suck. It’s a free country. You may not have had the freedom to choose your parents or the land of your birth, but you do have a choice on how you face bifurcations along this short road of life. Don’t let the patriotic guilt trip haunt you on your need to stay (with chants of “your country needs you”), ‘coz the Philippines actually stands more to gain with you OUT of the country than you being on its soil in the body to forcibly cram yourself in with all the other swarming chaotic zombies.
Get a life. Get out of this doubly accursed land. And when you think it’s finally retirement time after working, saving a lot, and enjoying a long fruitful life abroad – then maybe you can start playing Gary V’s old familiar nostalgic song “Babalik ka rin.” But one thing’s for sure, you will be coming home with a superior first-world mindset that this logic- and values-deficient country is in dire need of. So why endure a loser situation today, when a win-win option is right before you?
Go for it – Get Out of the Philippines!
Nakakahiya na rin!! First it was the Mexican people’s calling out Filipinos for our baffling beholdenness to the looks of their president Enrique Peña Nieto. Now we get a veiled lecture from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to focus more on what is real rather than on the merely superficial.
I can only thank the hordes of netizens who “trended” the hashtag APEC hottie. Jesus Christ. It’s no wonder we elect so many dumb showbiz stars to lead us. A pretty European face is a big enough dopamine fix to divert intellectual faculties away from what is important and what matters. It’s no wonder ditzes like Alma Moreno can actually seriously consider running for the Philippine Senate!
The difference here is that these “APEC Hotties” Filipinos are trying to cut down to the level of their vacuous celebs are, on the inside, the real deals.
Trudeau’s message to us already sounds all-too-familiar because it has been all too often repeated…
He went on to share a lesson he learned from his father – the late former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau – to set aside “positive impressions that weren’t grounded in reality” and instead focus on “substance.”“What I also had to learn is that there were a lot of people who liked my father and liked me for reasons entirely unrelated to who I actually was, and I had to learn to set aside positive impressions that weren’t grounded in reality,” Trudeau said.
Positive impressions not grounded in reality.
The trouble with this manner with which we objectify people is that our perceptions of reality suffer. When we see a video of a kid dancing to the tune of “Happy” in the midst of the rubble left by Haiyan in Tacloban and slap the experience with the label “positive vibes”, we kind of ingrain it in our minds that everything will be alright now. And, guess what, important lessons remain unlearned. But, hey, that’s the “power of positivity” we are told by all these Chopran bozos that infest our social media timelines. We focus on possibilities rather than hindrances when we remain “positive”.
I don’t think so.
Just like the way the devil is in the detail, the lessons are in the negatives. The reason we work hard on getting a good education is because we recognize at the time we set out on that journey that our brains are emptyand have yet to be filled. We decide to get an education because of a tacit admission that the glass is half empty rather than live by the hubris of thinking that our brains are glasses that are half-full.
Justin Trudeau will likely win a Philippine election not just because Filipinas all over the archipelago will drop their panties for him but because he has a political pedigree, being the son of long-serving former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Sounds familiar?
But did Justin Trudeau become the prime minister of Canada because of his looks or because of his pedigree? Perhaps there was a bit of that at work. But to suggest so as if those were the only criteria that matter in Canadian politics will likely insult Canadian voters to the bone. And Filipino voters? Filipino voters see no problem with being renowned for their penchant for voting on the basis of looks and pedigree platforms. (Obviously current Philippine President BS Aquino won on the basis of the latter)
And therein lies what sets apart the women from the teenage ditzes. Ditzes wear their ditziness with pride. Grown women look back to their years of being ditzes fondly but embrace their present self-assured maturity.
I suppose we could thank the paralysis Metro Manila suffered during this year’s APEC summit. When a mega-city like Manila grinds to a halt for an entire week, guess what, tens of millions of Filipinos are idled. And it goes without saying that idle minds spell trouble. But hey, I’ll put a positive spin to this mess and propose that at least these idle minds set themselves to the task of perving over Trudeau and Nieto. In other ghettoes around the world, idle minds fall prey to worse things — like the seductively radicalizing views of AK47-wielding false prophets.
In that regard, there is reason to be “thankful”. It could have been worse, right?