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Sunday, August 30, 2015

The trouble with the Iglesia Ni Cristo is that they trouble us

August 30, 2015
by Add
Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) has been a trending topic now for several hours since yesterday. The picture that Top Gear Philippines posted on social media says all the reasons why it is trending. Motorists and commuters are steamed by the rally INC has decided to hold in front EDSA Shrine, and at the nearby intersection of EDSA and Shaw Blvd, without prior notice to the public — a warning could have allowed motorists to avoid the area. The rally has put EDSA, the major circumferential road of Metro Manila, into a virtual standstill.

Carmageddon on EDSA thanks to the Iglesia Ni Cristo rally. (Source: Top Gear Philippines)
Carmageddon on EDSA thanks to the Iglesia Ni Cristo rally.
(Source: Top Gear Philippines)

Asked by media reporters why they chose the Shrine for their demonstration, the rally participants replied that the place is a symbolism of freedom, and they are now fighting for freedom from government oppression. That may be, but a text message has been going around urging INC members to converge at the rally site since it was time to mess up the traffic. Top Gear Philippines, which got hold of this text, is still verifying its authenticity. Authentic or not, it is not hard to conclude that the intention of the rally is to snarl traffic since INC did not give the public any prior notice.
The government oppression that INC is referring to is the move by Department of Justice (DOJ) to entertain the case of a minister whom INC just expelled and who claims he was detained by INC against his will for several days. INC claims that by entertaining this minister with the view of assisting him in filing a case against INC, DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima is meddling in what is supposed to be an internal affair of a religious organization, never mind if it was the minister who approached DOJ for help. Illegal detention is a serious crime, but INC can’t understand why Sec de Lima seems to have given this minister undue priority when there are more cases of national import pending in her desk. But it is simple to understand. Sec de Lima used to be a human rights lawyer. It has to be that this is something intuitive with the Secretary when she sees a case against human rights, as that of above mentioned minister, is as equally important as all the other cases pending at the DOJ.

INC is known to vote en bloc, and they make no effort to hide that they are a monolithic organization. They even encourage the news that it is their voting ways that has put into office Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. This is the reason why candidates court the support of their leadership during elections. It would be interesting to note in the coming days to see if the administration of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III (PNoy) will give in to the pressure of this group that tries hard to be the top kingmaker in Philippine politics. It is interesting to see if the administration of PNoy has principles, or operates based on vague political expediencies.

However the decision of the PNoy administration will end up, INC has already shown that they will brook no dissent whether it is internal or external. They will go to extent of snarling a traffic in a major part of the capital city of a country, if only to prove their point. Never mind if there are people trying to catch a flight. Never mind if there are ambulances on emergency calls that could mean life and death. Never mind if there are millions of people just trying to get home from a long, tiring day of work. Never mind if there are thousands of trucks that urgently need to deliver goods on time so that there is smooth commerce. Maybe, it is a way INC wants to tell the public that traffic could be fatal in order to prove DOTC Sec Abaya wrong when he said that traffic is not fatal.

If INC has shown that they don’t care about public safety and health, two of the persons aspiring to be a President of the Republic have also shown their true color. With the case of the minister still being clarified and no case has yet been filed, these two presumptive presidential candidates have already decided that the DOJ is wrong. Can we please ask them the basis for their decision? Grace Poe and Jojo Binay said that government should not be meddling with something internal to INC. Never mind Binay who everybody knows is a TraPo (traditional politician), but a neophyte like Poe? What is with INC that could transform a seemingly untainted newcomer into TraPo, already protecting vested interests like she was a veteran of it? How do Poe and Binay know the government is meddling; have they listened to aggrieved party who appears now as being scared of his life?

Our understanding is that religion is supposed to bring out the best in people. Well, in less than 48 hours, they have managed to transform motorists and commuters into beasts. Just look at what these people have been posting in social media. But let us set that aside because we want to know how they are impacting our leaders. Just recently, Bureau of Customs (BOC) Chief John Sevilla resigned because he could not give in to the lobby INC was pushing regarding an critical appointment in the agency. That hurt us because the new BOC Chief now wants to mess with balikbayan boxes. That is just one example of their meddling with government and is the most recent, but they have been meddling since the beginning. And, they accuse the government of meddling? Will Sec de Lima also resign now just because of them? That is not bringing out the best from our people and our leaders, does it?

We are all for Freedom of Expression, as well as Freedom of Religion, but when they do such things to us who are not part of their religion, can we at least ask if they are a religion when they are acting like they are not a religious organization, but a political one? Worse, they are acting like a business corporation?

The trouble they are inflicting on the public seems to be a result of their internal troubles. They are a very secretive society, but from the bits and pieces that are leaking, it appears that there is an on-going strife among their leaders. One faction is questioning what is the need of their leader buying a Php 1 billion worth of property in Forbes Park and a private plane which all seem to be just for the private use of the leader. They are also questioning why they had to build so large a venue, the Philippine Arena, which seems to have more of a secular character to it. There are also accusations of corruption among the management group that they call Sanggunian. While we don’t care whether they are growing or squandering their money, and for heaven’s sake, we really don’t, and shouldn’t care, is it too much to ask that they keep their fights among themselves without say, snarling a traffic? It is very hard to imagine that if there was a squabble among stockholders in say, Philippine Airlines or Philex Mining, that the public be made to suffer only because the companies have internal fights.

They are acting like they are not a religion because it is likely that, indeed, they are not a religion. They call themselves Iglesia ni Cristo, or Church of Christ, and consider themselves as Christians. We can therefore assume that they are referring to the same Jesus Christ whom all other Christians believe in. Unlike other Christians, however, INC insists that Jesus is just a man. If Jesus is just a man, then it can be said that their group can be called the Church of a Man. And yet, we always thought that religion had something to do with something divine. So, could they consider themselves a religion if they are just a church of a man. There is another religion that follows a man, and they call themselves ISIS. This group is trying to get to heaven by letting other people in Iraq and Syria suffer. Is this the reason why when INC is pursuing something they see to it that the public suffers?

Stephen Colbert, of Comedy Central fame, in a recent interview, quoted J R R Tolkien (author of Lord of the Rings): “What punishments of God are not gifts?”. Colbert was talking of a time when his father and brother died, and he said he had learned not only to accept what had happened but actually to rejoice in it. Flummoxed, the interlocutor had to ask again, and that is when Colbert quoted Tolkien. Of course, the interlocutor, and for that matter non-Christians, still didn’t understand. But, suffering takes a meaning only Christians understand, and that is why when the first Christians were being persecuted by the Roman Empire, they bear their suffering quietly. Imagine even a comedian, who happens to be a Christian, understood this. For sure, the first Christians didn’t stop the traffic of horses, carts and cattles in any part of the Empire.

If INC call themselves Christian and they insist that theirs is a church of a man and don’t understand suffering as even Colbert understands it, but understand it the way ISIS understands it, what does that make of INC. Shouldn’t we suspect them of deceit and prevarication?

In any event, we really don’t care what they believe. And, we have to emphasize this, we don’t care. For all we know, they might be worshipping the moon and the stars, or just the money and power they appear to be obsessed with, who cares?!?!. All we ask is please do not disturb us, so we won’t disturb you.


GRP Featured Comment hall-of-famer. Former executive of the Far East Regional Office of a US-based multinational company living out of a suitcase covering the market from Tokyo to Mumbai to Melbourne, and all the countries within that triangle. Got tired after logging 300k air miles per year. Now, I just have a little trading biz on specialty chemicals.

Get Real Iglesia Ni Cristo!

August 30, 2015
by Grimwald
Note: This is supposed to be another of my Sunday sermons but I decided to keep this secular because it would be very hypocritical of me to call out another religion while bringing up my own religious beliefs. So no, I won’t be wearing my stole, collar, chastity belt, garter belt and stockings this Sunday. Oh wait, I think I’ll keep my chastity belt on just in case.

And here we are again with another sequel of EDSA People Power! There was EDSA 1 that supposedly won our “freedom” from tyranny, there was EDSA 2 that led to the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (which the current administration insists was the worst president the Philippines ever had), EDSA 3 which just involved a lot of anarchy and violence that was somehow related to supporting former president Joseph Estrada and then there’s EDSA 4 which I honestly don’t know much about and don’t really care anymore. Seriously people, you guys are beginning to remind me of Abbadon the Despoiler and his thirteen ill-fated crusades against the Imperium of Man. Anyway, now we have another “People Power”, this time headed by none other than the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC). Well, my fellow realists Add, Fallen Angel and Paul Farol have said their pieces and now, I’ll give you mine.

4-lane EDSA traffic crunched to a one-lane trickle by Iglesia Ni Cristo 'protesters'. (Source: Inquirer Group on Twitter)
4-lane EDSA traffic crunched to a one-lane trickle by Iglesia Ni Cristo ‘protesters’.
(Source: Inquirer Group on Twitter)

As I’ve said many times before, I try to keep a sense of respect for all religions. After all, who am I to judge people for what divinity they choose to worship? Unfortunately, with things going the way they are now, I have little choice but to speak out. Things are getting out of hand and what’s worse is that religion itself is once again being used for the wrong reasons just as many historical groups have used it to justify their inconsiderate and often violent actions against hapless innocents.
So, let the criticisms begin…

The Hypocrisy Of Separation Of Church And State
The INC claim that they are rallying for the separation of church and state.
The INC is quite infamous for bloc voting, a sure-fire way that will certainly give them some leverage over presidential candidates (which is quite obvious in the way that Roxas, Binay and Poe are reacting to the situation) during election time. They claim that the reason they want the church separate from the state is because they want to prevent the government from “meddling” in their affairs when, thanks to their considerable leverage over presidential candidates, they can meddle with the government whenever they want to.
Of course, the INC isn’t really alone in this regard as the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines (which some have begun disdainfully calling the Philippine Catholic Church) is just as bad when it comes to meddling in politics. However, this does not at all absolve the INC from their own hypocrisy. The thing is, it’s more than a little awkward to tell people to mind their own business when you are thoroughly involved in someone else’s business. It’s like catching a pervert peeping on the ladies’ room, calling him out and then doing the same thing he was doing when he leaves.

Covering Up Their Crimes: Another Hypocrisy
Look, I don’t like De Lima either. To be honest, she is as much a criminal as the masterminds and murderers of the SAF 44 because of her willingness to cover up a heinous crime. However the INC insisting that De Lima focus on the case of the SAF 44 instead of the pending cases human rights violations against the ministers of the INC is just another show of hypocrisy.
I mean really, as Add in his own article said and tying in with my first statement above, what right have they to tell a government official anything when they are in fact clamoring for separation of church and state?
Furthermore, what is being discussed here is human rights violations. These can go on to include many frightening possibilities. Some of the most common forms of “human rights violations” we hear about are sexual harassment, physical assault, rape and outright murder. And take note ladies and gentlemen, these are cases that should not be taken lightly. No matter what religion we adhere to and which god we worship, we should always remember that a “crime is still a crime” and that no one is exempt from the law.
Yes, the SAF 44 deserve justice for what happened to them and the case should receive a thorough and just investigation. But let’s remember that “justice” is supposed to be for everyone, regardless of who one is or what is one’s standing in life. This goes to include members of any religious organization who may be victims of verbal or physical abuse.
The INC is right for demanding justice for the SAF 44 but this does not excuse them from being investigated when they could have done the same thing or worse to other people. If the INC are as righteous as they claim to be and have done right by the law, then there’s really nothing to fear from an investigation.

Another EDSA People Power Courtesy Of The INC
So the INC claim that they have a permit and therefore a “right” to cause a massive traffic jam in the streets of EDSA. Ladies and gentlemen, I remember fellow realist ChinoF saying that: “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s right.” And I have to agree because, at the end of the day, while they may claim to have noble goals, the INC only made a nuisance of themselves in EDSA.
As a commenter said, how many ambulances with passengers requiring urgent medical help did they delay thanks to the traffic the protest caused? How many perishable goods like food arrived late and simply spoiled because of the heavy traffic congestion? How many people just wanted to hurry home to rest but were held back by the legions of protesters that clogged the main roads of EDSA? How many protesters even understood what they were actually fighting for?
So yes, the Iglesia Ni Cristo may have a permit, but this does not essentially mean that they have a right to wreak havoc on the lives of others. I honestly thing that, if they have a beef with the government, then let them take it up with the government and not the common people who are just trying to get by in the crappy third-world country we live in. They should go and block the exits and entrances of Malacanang instead of taking to the streets and ruining the day of many people just trying to make a living.
And to the people I haven’t offended yet, yes that’s you Roxas, Binay, Poe and De Lima, don’t worry. My next article will be just for you. Don’t think you’re exempt from my indignation.


Thaddeus Grimwald is an avid writer and supporter of the GRP website and writes his own fiction in his own Grow Up Philippines website. To check out his works of fiction, you can check the following: Hired Help.

Friday, August 28, 2015


In light of the recent terrorist attack in France, I think a review of the facts is in order......
The Shoe Bomber was a Muslim
The Beltway Snipers were Muslims
The Fort Hood Shooter was a Muslim
The underwear Bomber was a Muslim
The U-S.S. Cole Bombers were Muslims
The Madrid Train Bombers were Muslims
The Bali Nightclub Bombers were Muslims
The London Subway Bombers were Muslims
The Moscow Theatre Attackers were Muslims
The Boston Marathon Bombers were Muslims
The Pan-Am flight #93 Bombers were Muslims
The Air France Entebbe Hijackers were Muslims
The Iranian Embassy Takeover, was by Muslims
The Beirut U.S. Embassy bombers were Muslims
The Libyan U.S. Embassy Attack was by Muslims
The Buenos Aires Suicide Bombers were Muslims
The Israeli Olympic Team Attackers were Muslims
The Kenyan U.S, Embassy Bombers were Muslims
The Saudi, Khobar Towers Bombers were Muslims
The Beirut Marine Barracks bombers were Muslims
The Besian Russian School Attackers were Muslims
The first World Trade Center Bombers were Muslims
The Bombay & Mumbai India Attackers were Muslims
The Achille Lauro Cruise Ship Hijackers were Muslims
The September 11th 2001 Airline Hijackers were Muslims

Think of it:
Buddhists living with Hindus = No Problem
Hindus living with Chris tians = No Problem
Hindus living with Jews = No Problem
Christians living with Shintos = No Problem
Shintos living with Confucians = No Problem
Confucians living with Baha'is = No Problem
Baha'is living with Jews = No Problem
Jews living with Atheists = No Problem
Atheists living with Bud dhists = No Problem
Buddhists living with Sikhs = No Problem
Sikhs living with Hindus = No Problem
Hindus living with Baha'is = No Problem
Baha'is living with Chris tians = No Problem
Christians living with Jews = No Problem
Jews living with Bud dhists = No Problem
Buddhists living with Shintos = No Problem
Shintos living with Atheists = No Problem
Atheists living with Confucians = No Problem
Confucians living with Hindus = No Problem

Muslims living with Hindus = Problem
Muslims living with Bud dhists = Problem
Muslims living with Chris tians = Problem
Muslims living with Jews = Problem
Muslims living with Sikhs = Problem
Muslims living with Baha'is = Problem
Muslims living with Shintos = Problem
Muslims living with Atheists = Problem
and even worse:

**********SO IT LEADS TO *****************

They’re not happy in Gaza
They're not happy in Egypt
They're not happy in Libya
They're not happy in Morocco
They're not happy in Iran
They're not happy in Iraq
They're not happy in Yemen
They're not happy in Afghanistan
They're not happy in Pakistan
They're not happy in Syria
They're not happy in Lebanon
They're not happy in Nigeria
They're not happy in Kenya
They're not happy in Sudan

******** So, where are they happy? **********
They're happy in Australia
They're happy in England
They're happy in Belgium
They're happy in France
They're happy in Italy
They're happy in Germany
They're happy in Sweden
They're happy in the USA & Canada
They're happy in Norway & India
They're happy in almost every country that is NOT Islamic!

And who do they blame?

Not Islam... 
Not their leadership... 
Not themselves...
And they want to change the countries they're happy in to be like the countries they came from where they were unhappy........HOW DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?

AND A LOT MORE !!!!!!!

Think about it
If Muslims in the West want us to believe that their religion is a religion of peace, then they should start acting against the Islamists that spread terror in the Arab lands as well as in our's. 
We need deeds, we are fed up with just words. 

Any sympathies for a jeepney driver shot in the head by a pedestrian he almost hit?

August 28, 2015
by benign0
C’mon, admit it. It’s hard to feel sorry for that jeepney driver lying dead on the pavement with a hole in his head. I had just come across the Inquirer.net story and found myself feeling a bit guilty about how I felt — or didn’t feel. Jeepney driver shot in the head by irate pedestrian in Makati, screamed the headline. There was a graphic photo that came with it. But it was this snippet of information that reassured me that the politically-incorrect way I felt about this story could be rationalised…
Another witness, Christian Torres, said the jeepney almost hit the man as it turned left from Chino Roces into Arnaiz.

I logged back onto Facebook and into the Get Real Philippines Community post where the article link was shared. Sure enough, there were comments that further validated what I was thinking. I’ll defer to one comment that sums up the cocktail of mixed feelings:
First, why was a pedestrian carrying a gun with him?
Second, I too am not gonna lie, jeepney drivers are, as a general rule, assholes on the road. I’d like to give the pedestrian a bouquet of flowers. That’s one f-cker down, millions more to go.
Third, seriously though, we really are devolving as savages. I think it’s fair to point out too that had the pedestrian not got a gun, all he would have gotten was an arrogant response and the generic “Pasensya na kayo, naghahanap buhay lang” bullshit. So, hooray Philippines. Here’s to hoping that this will serve as precedent to all drivers.
When you are a law-abiding motorist that has to share the road with jeepneys, it is likely that you’d also be faced with the same stark lack of the outrage that would normally be exhibited had the stiff on the pavement been that of any other sort of person.
Even the normally-hated traffic enforcement officers of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) attract a heart-warming deluge of support and empathy when they fall victim to abuse and threats of violence from irate civilians.
Jeepney drivers?
Well, it’s complicated. I’d probably respect the honesty of somebody like Ronn who wrote the above comment on Facebook rather than someone who’d wax absolute moral indignation over the murder of a jeepney driver who attracted the ire of one of the victims of the banal lack of consideration he and his community of Kings of the Road routinely apply to their fellow road users.
Everyone can relate to the blanket injustice in the way jeepney drivers discourteously navigate Manila’s streets with impunity. They are no better than the thieving politicians Filipino activists love to hate. Both routinely get away with their indiscretions.
But unlike our politicians, jeepney drivers are seen to possess solid claim to that cherished badge of victimhood many Filipinos wear with pride and use this as license to behave the way they do. But as the quality of the lives of Metro Manilans is increasingly crushed under the weight of the wretchedness of its infernal traffic jams it becomes increasingly difficult to see jeepney drivers as the victims they style themselves.
So did that jeepney driver deserve to die?
Not according to the law. I’ll say that much and nothing more.

No blood, no foul. If you die, sorry ka na lang; ganoon talaga sa Pilipinas

August 28, 2015
by FallenAngel
Eh buhay ka pa naman, diba?” (But you did not die, right?) – reportedly said by President BS Aquino to the recently deceased Tacloban business man Kenneth Uy.
Hindi naman siguro fatal iyan” (It’s not fatal anyway) – Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) head Emilio Abaya’s words, when asked about the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila. Abaya later clarified that “not fatal” means “not burdensome to the daily lives of the people.”
Oh, if he only knew. He apologized eventually, after citizens called him out on his insufferable and callous remarks.
If only I could say that the utter disregard for the well-being of the ordinary Filipinos is something relegated to their government, I would. But alas, that is apparently not the case. After all, the character of the government merely reflects that of the people who elected it.
Let me ask: how many of us have been in arguments like the one shown below, especially for those who are motorists?
Person A: Hey, watch it! We almost got into an accident!
Person B: May nabangga ba? (Did we get into an accident?)
Person A: That’s not the point! You should be more careful!
Person B: May nabangga ba? Wala. O, ano nirereklamo mo diyan? (Did we get into an accident? No, so you shouldn’t complain!)
Sounds all too familiar to many of us, I bet.
The principle of “no blood, no foul” is at work here in Filipino society. As long as one’s not hurt, as long as one’s alive, he/she has no right to complain. And if one of the parties does die? Well, he/she can’t complain anymore. Pasensyahan na lang. Convenient, isn’t it?
What is the part of this mentality I find most disturbing? Because there is no full-blown incident, the typical Filipino thinks that there’s nothing wrong with the way he does something. He keeps teasing fate; eventually his luck will run out and when an incident does occur, he will claim it is the fault of the other party. Worst case scenario, he loses his life.
There is no reflection on “why did that happen” and “what can be done to keep it from happening again”; there is only “no harm, so there’s nothing wrong”. There is no sign of having learned any lesson; there is only hubris enforced by a lack of personal accountability.
I’m not allowed to complain because nothing happened? What if something does happen? What if someone dies? I’m still not allowed to complain?
Yes, in Filipino society complaining is generally unacceptable. You should just grin and bear it. Because, after all, you did not die right?
If you die, pasensyahan na lang. Ang tanga-tanga mo naman kasi eh. (If you die, sorry. It’s because you were stupid.)
If, as a Filipino, you see nothing wrong with such a prevalent and chronic attitude, then it should come as no surprise why your society is such in a decrepit state.
Wala pa naman nangyayari sa akin eh. (Nothing’s happened to me yet.)
Aantayin mo pa ba may mangyari sa iyo bago ka kumilos? (Are you going to wait for something to happen to you before you do something?)
Hay, mga kawawang Pilipino nga naman, di na natuto… (Sigh, pitiful Filipinos, they never learn…)
[Photo courtesy: martoccio.com]

Does the First World owe the rest of the world, its migrants and its refugees anything?

August 27, 2015
by benign0
Europe and much of the rich world today is faced with a moral dilemma surrounding a tidal wave of desperate migrants massing at their borders fleeing war and poverty in their respective homelands. It’s a no-brainer. Migrants are seeking a “better life” in the First World and a slice of that legendary welfare state pie that keeps even the lowliest and most unproductive of the First World’s citizens living in relative comfort and security. Indeed, even Third World Philippines was subject to the same emotional blackmail when faced with a boatload of Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution in Burma.


Does the First World owe these migrants and refugees anything?
That depends on the perspective you take. Europe itself was once a source of virulent undesirable immigrants and refugees. When an entire continent of warlike, often barbaric kingsmen perfected long-haul sea navigation, they spread all over the world bringing not just explorers, adventurers, and merchants but a vast rabble of fortune-seekers, criminals, and indentured labourers to colonise the world.

Contrary to what European historic literature asserts, the world at the time was not necessarily theirs to “civilise”. Indeed, rich magnificent empires and kingdoms were already flourishing in the farthest corners of the world in China, the Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, central and south America, the South Pacific and the Australian continent and surrounding islands.

The downfall of all these non-European civilisations at the dawn of European imperial conquest could serve as a lesson to 21st Century Europe and North America today.

Kingdoms in East Asia, the Indian sub-continent and South America were all not lacking in military organisation and power to repel the initial wave of European invaders. Indeed, the ships that Ming Dynasty China at the time were building utterly dwarfed in size, speed, and firepower any of the ships of the most powerful European navies at the time. But it was not military power that won the world for Europe in the 16th through 17th Centuries. It was the complacency and insularity of these established kingdoms that eventually did them in.

The non-European world succumbed to European domination under the weight their own accumulated delusion that theirs was the superior world view.

Despite the Aztec and Inca armies outnumbering the small band of Spanish conquistadores tens of thousands to one, they did not see these hulking fair-skinned bearded smelly men as a significant threat on first encounter and went as far as inviting them into the inner sanctums of their palaces to meet with their emperors. By the time the hapless American natives realised what happened, it was too late.

China and India, for their part, addicted themselves to European trinkets and manufactured goods. They also got addicted to opium. Indeed, drug trafficking was one of the most profitable British trades in the Far East, and the Taipans who lorded it over the trade enjoyed powerful lobbies in the British imperial government which obliged by passing legislation to further entrench these traders in their Far Eastern markets.

Today we see the same pattern happening all over the world. Immigrants who have gained a solid footing in the societies of their affluent hosts have become gateways for virulent ideas — and products — to entrench themselves. The newly “tolerant” societies of Western Europe and North America have changed their stance on immigrants from one of enforcing assimilation to one of advocating “multi-culturalism”. Much of the drug trade in the First World are facilitated by foreign or ethnically-defined “mafias” and even locals who engage in the trade deal mainly with a supply pipeline brokered by these mafias. More disturbing are the acts of terrorism perpetrated by First World migrant “citizens” who derive moral ascendancy for their heinous acts from thought leaders pontificating about their brand of righteousness in some desert kingdom halfway around the world.

It is therefore hardly surprising that far-right politics are back in vogue. In the United States, the popular billionaire Donald Trump has defined his bid for President around a simple but resonant catchphrase:
“Taking our country back”

Back from who or what exactly? It does not take a rocket scientist to fill in the blanks.

Unfortunately for the trendy hipster “progressives” who spend their days sipping their lattes in the cafes of their expensive coastal cities, the United States’ heartland of disgruntled unemployed voters remain an electoral force to reckon with. And, as such, many political observers are now on their recliners, one arm around a popcorn bucket and fingers on their iPads, poised to “live-tweet” the looming circus that is about to engulf the planet’s mightiest nation.

Is history repeating itself on a massive scale? It looks like it. The same old familiar motivations underlie China’s current expansionist leanings — energy and raw materials. It is gearing up to secure access to both along all possible fronts — political, economic, and military. And unlike Western democracies hobbled by modern “humanist” ideologies, China is unencumbered by the naive scruples and Western-styled ethics that keep the First World and their satellite crony states tightly-leashed to “international law”.

The only way for entire societies and ways of life to prevail is to re-visit that ancient innovation that underpinned Western civilisation’s rise to world domination: smarts. Unlike the hapless sods that fell underneath European conquest in the 16th to 18th Centuries, Europe and its derivative civilisations today enjoy (and will continue to enjoy over the foreseeable future) a commanding position as the primary source of the bulk of humanity’s advancement along the fields of science and technology. It should start using this knowledge wisely — the old-fashioned way.

Massing of Iglesia ni Cristo congregation in Metro Manila: Charity event, or show of force?

October 14, 2013
by benign0
If the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) weren’t a religion, today’s event (benignly described in an Inquirer report as an “outreach project”) would surely constitute what may be a unique peace time civilian invasion of a major capital city. The anticipated scale of the INC’s “medical mission” was such that it prompted Manila mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada to suspend all college-level classes last Friday and the Department of Education (DepEd) to issue an even later eleventh-hour advisory on a decision to suspend classes in major affected cities in the Metro yesterday (Sunday). According to the Inquirer report, the DepEd announcement came on the advise of Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino…
“I am proposing a floating holiday which is normally done abroad, particularly in the United States. In this case, employers allow their workers to take a leave of absence with pay whenever they wish to attend religious activities,” Tolentino said Sunday on MMDA’s weekly radio show.
The MMDA chief also explained that apart from the INC project, there are important occasions for people of other faiths that employers should also consider this week.
“Tomorrow is the start of the pilgrimage to Mecca of our Muslim brothers. It is also the eve of their Eid’l Adha, which is an important day for them. Today, members of the Roman Catholic Church observe the feast day of Our Lady of La Naval and Our Lady of Fatima,” he said.

As of this writing reports have started trickling in of buses and jeepneys full of people (presumably INC members) coming into the city and parking along major thoroughfares snarling traffic flow in the process. Some reports have estimated that up to 1.6 million people may be engulfing Metro Manila over the course of the day. It is likely that much of Metro Manila will be effectively paralysed for the rest of the day.
Some people have noted the bizarreness of this latest religious extravaganza. The question of whether this event which significantly impacts access to public areas within Metro Manila had been issued the proper permits is floating around. And if so, it begs the obvious question: Why was the MMDA evidently unprepared for this? Others have described this spectacle as a “show of force” masquerading as a “charity” operation. One thing is certain, the interesting timing of this vast and paralysing mobilisation of warm bodies in the Philippines’ premier city — its centre of commerce and industry — is not lost in many observers.
The INC has always been a force to reckon when it comes to mobilising blocs of compliant voters and activists to support political positions and agendas decreed by its leadership. Just about every one of the most controversial presidents who’ve ever ruled this sad nation had at one time or another found favour with an INC top honcho
Rather than elaborate further, I will instead illustrate my point with a brief history of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) religious sect:
1986: The INC supports President Ferdinand Marcos over then leader of the “Opposition” Corazon Aquino (Noynoy Aquino’s mother).
1998: The INC supports Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s successful bid for the presidency.
2004: The INC endorses Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in her campaign for President of the Philippines.
2010: The INC endorses Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas as future President and Vice President of the Philippines.
Perhaps what the real agenda of this “charity” event really is will be revealed at some point. For now, as always, we shall defer to the very relevant advise of our favourite kapamilya media outlet:
Abangan ang susunod na kabanata