The Office of the Eye of the Bull

Originally published March 5, 2013; republished March 17, 2013. This has been one of JoeAm’s most popular blogs. It was withdrawn due to potential violations of COMELEC rules for engagement in elections by a foreigner. Comments pertaining to political parties and their principals or candidates have been removed. Support of the President is non-political. It advocates for a strong, unified nation.

_____________________________________


I’m not sure why the classic circular target for archery or darts has a small red or black dot in the middle called a “bull’s eye”. Maybe in the American wild west that was the best way to shoot a crazed bull, I dunno. Or Robin Hood’s comrades had a good imagination or sense of humor.

But the bull’s eye is the place where everyone aims this weapon or that.
And I suggest that President Aquino give a name to his office at the Palace, rather like Obama works in the “Oval Office”. President Aquino can call his office “The Eye of the Bull”.
This idea struck me as I watched people criticize President Aquino for the deaths of Sutan Kiram’s people in Mindanao rather than criticize the Sultan.
How in God’s great and glorious green earth people could lay this outcome on the President is beyond me. I suppose there exists a need to find culprits for anything gone wrong. And he is the catch-all culprit. If he had done something different the deaths would not have occurred.
Am I the only guy in the Philippines that believes that if the Sultan had done something different, the deaths would not have occurred?
By my reckoning, the deaths occurred BECAUSE PRESIDENT ACQUINO WORKED HARD to get an agreement structured to stop the murder and mayhem in Mindanao. In so doing, he generated jealousy among those not invited to the peace table.
The Sultan could not wait for the peace progress. He had to push it, because he was not at the table. He waited all his life, some 74 years, most of them in strife, and then, as peace was on the horizon, he took it upon himself to insert himself and assert his claim with an unwanted physical presence in the contested land of Sabah.
Let me tell you, that peace table would have to be as big as my island of Biliran to host all the various Sultans, Emirs, Governors, Mayors, Rabbis (a little humor there) and Clan Leaders who were jealous because they did not get to sit down to carve out their piece of the peace.
I’ve popped off a few comments on Rappler news reports regarding this incident and I am considered a foreign and unsympathetic – and unwanted – critic of the Sultan’s acts by Muslims and their sympathizers, as well as a lot of “normal” Filipinos (a little more humor there) who seem to have an uberpatriotic bent.

I admit to having some measure of cynicism about the incident.

  • The Sultan claims it is his homeland, which is why he is there. He is passionate about it. Yet he would be willing to entertain offers to leave if the rent he receives from Malaysia were increased. I guess his passion is really with his wallet. And for that, people have died.
  • The Mindanao Peace Agreement would provide the unified Filipino negotiating framework for deciding what to do about Sabah. It is a complex situation, and Malaysia has a lot to say about it. Short of outright war, the Philippines is in no position to dictate to Malaysia EVEN IF the Sultan’ claim is completely legitimate. The agreement is on track to be finalized next month. Why, then, did the Sultan pick now to provoke an incident?
So the President’s great success in Mindanao offends people. Just as his crackdown on the corrupt offends the corrupt.
Because he orchestrated a huge diplomatic breakthrough in Mindanao, President Aquino has evidently aroused jealousy, not only from the Sultan and other wanna be Muslim leaders, but from former President Arroyo’s backers, who could not claim this achievement. President Aquino showed them up. Read this interesting article at ellen tordesillas’ blog: “Aquino fell into saboteurs’ trap”.
In the Philippines, that is grievance number one. Doing something better than someone else. It is the cause for vengeance. Never mind what is good for the Philippines.
What counts is what is good for ME!!
Do you want to know why President Aquino works in the Office of the Eye of the Bull? Because, by working to develop a clean, honest, productive Philippines, he is offending people who are corrupt and jealous and angry that their sacred cows are being targeted for reform:
  • The Catholic Church
  • President Arroyo’s Cronies
  • Smugglers , Tax Cheats, Kick-Back Scammers and Bribe Experts like LTO, PNP, Customs, and DENR Officials
  • Generals, Governors and Mayors Indicted for Corruption
  • The Monopolists and Oligarchs Preserving their Easy Road to Riches
  • Muslims Not at the Table
You know, about the only friend the President seems to have most days is the People.
And when the noise gets so loud, the critical arrows whizzing toward the bull’s eye, even the people lose confidence. They join the ranks of the critics, unable to say “I support President Aquino as the leader of my nation” because peer pressure is like envy pressure, a huge power to conform. They can’t stand firm in the face of fire and say, “I am for my country, and the leader of my country”.
They bend, they break, they start criticizing their President.
Do you want to know why the Philippines self-destructs every few years?
Envy. Greed.  And people who are unable to give of themselves to make a community.
I’m an outsider, from a land where patriotism means sacrifice. On some days there seem to be precious few patriots in the Philippines. From the Humpty Dumpty New World Dictionary:
  • Patriot: A citizen who is so committed to the well being of his fellow citizens that he will give of his heart, his mind, and his body to preserve national unity.
Well, if the nation cannot rally around its President, who does it rally around?
Sultan Karim? Senator Enrile? Manny Pacquiao?
Then there are those who argue it is patriotic to criticize.
I answer, “yes, if that criticism is constructive, not personal.” If it is solution-oriented, not destruction oriented. It is not patriotic to undermine and divide. That is the opposite of preserving national unity.
And, of course, the guy with the bull’s eye on his desk is President Aquino, who catches it all.
Well, it’s a free world, a free nation, so all you archers and dart throwers fire away.
But I support President Aquino. I personally don’t expect some unrealistic Jesus ideal. The gap between the unpredictable, error prone, imperfectly informed realities of day to day living and that idealistic, unreachable perfection is the easy space into which critics write or speak sometimes divisive, destructive words.

It is a choice to go into that gap, or not go there.

On days when I have this urge to take the man to task about what he says about China or a certain skulking sultan in Malaysia, I think about what a different impression the Philippines makes to outsiders when people see her as unified, versus bickering and divided and one general away from a coup. And I chew up and swallow the critical words I might otherwise write. And I pen support.

Because I am for the Philippines, and I am for her earnest, decent President.

Comments
48 Responses to “The Office of the Eye of the Bull”
  1. Edgar Lores says:

    1. I am not up to speed on the Sabah issue.2. From my perspective, it seems to be a tribal claim (Sultan of Sulu) against a nation-state (Malaysia) that is not supported by the Sultan’s nation-state (Philippines).2.1 My reading is that the tribal claim – and the Philippine claim – has authenticity from a historical viewpoint. But Malaysia has been exercising sovereignty over Sabah, and the Philippine claim has been “dormant”.2.2 The current Sabah situation, and the China dispute, bolsters my proposition for recourse to a world governing body that will resolve conflicts of this kind between and among communities and nation-states. The alternative is bloodshed.3. The situation is exacerbated by the real motivations behind the tribal claim: it is a ploy to gain greater rent, to trash the Bangsamoro framework agreement, and to embarrass PNoy.3.1 All these point to a lack of consideration for others and a mis-identification of where are true interests lie as a nation. (Am I jumping the gun?)4. Somehow, I think, the Eye of the Bull should be internalized, and we should throw darts at ourselves before aiming for the outside.

  2. I do not know why I would rather believe JoeAm than all the brilliant Philippine journalist combined. Could it be because he is "outside" looking in? A fresh look from an outsider wanted to make Philippines livable? Could it be because "white is right"? His english is better? A person not tainted by corrupted Filipino blood? I JUST DO NOT KNOW. Maybe I am just biased towards white people.Wait a minute. Homeless Americans know their civil rights more than the Filipinos. They can see child abuse, neglect and caretaker absence when they see a teen sleeping on the sidewalk but Filipino government, moreso, brilliant Philippine ivy-school graduate journalists cannot tell that it is state-mandated state-sponsored child abuse until Willie Revillame carted off TFC viewership to another station.If some brown skin punk'd nose politician with slick Tancho pomaded hair tell me stories about Sabah, I WOULDN'T BELIEVE HIM nor Manuel Quezon's historical tale of it. Frankly, I did not even finish reading Quezon's tale. Americans can put that long winded tale into one single-file column in NYTimes one Sunday morning without missing one important point.What was missing in Quezon's was how Mindanao came to be Muslims not Christian Catholic. Anyways, I just wonder what prompted the guy to invade Sabah with 200 light brigade. It is like Philippines invading China. What was he thinking? Why now? Why not then? Who financed the invasion of pigs? It is well known among Filipinos that they'd hack their siblings for a piece of cemetery-sized lot. I have inherited a property from my parents in the resort island of Mactan. My sister said she cannot hand me the original documents because she couldn't locate it but she was able to give my wife a photocopy. HOW LAME. I do not care about that piece of rock to maintain harmony within the family. She cannot have it nor can I. Eventually it will be squatted upon and the squatters will become a problem if evicted AS USUAL. They will wave their rosaries, crucifexs and bible at us being merciless thoughtless "wealthy" stateside OFWs.I know my story of my piece of Mactan rock. For Sabah, I still have to wrap my brain around it. There will not be harmony. Pride, patriotism and nationalism sometimes bring about disharmony and war.Shhhush! Too much warm sake. Where am I going with this.

  3. Envy & jealousy are inherent emotions of crab Filipinos. Mix it with patriotism and national unity makes Envy and Jealousy combustible combination. Filipnos are goot at this. It is soooo deep in their bones that is difficult to separate. I cannot even tell if their patriotism and nationalism is really pulling the rug under benign0 Aquino. There are saboteurs. I wonder what big picture they are looking at. Maybe the May Election. It is all about power.

  4. Yes, I have stopped reading about it, too, because too much information causes the synapses to overheat and erupt like Santiago's eyeball. Everyone argues to the left and argues to the right, none able to provide resolution because there really is no place to officiate the argument, and no way to predict what is in the hearts and minds of Malaysians, who, after all, DO have a say in the matter.The eye of the bull should indeed be internalized, and I would recommend, for security of the Philippines, there are certain times when one should rally around the State flagpole.

  5. You know what I appreciate about your commentaries? They are devoid of the layers of deception that others tend to lay because they want to fit in or be considered conventionally smart.I also gave up on MLQ III's history, like about six lines in. But, still, it provides a foundation of facts to at least get the emotionalists reason to temper their shouting lest they be caught as ignorant.I pasted that Light Brigade poem into Rappler the other day. Some guy was calling for Filipinos to plunge into the breach to defend the brothers under attack in Malaysia. Yeah, okay, Bub, you go up front with the radio and the flag. I'll backstop you from the bunker with the thick walls and tv screens.

  6. Yep. Ulterior motives abound.

  7. Jetlag807 says:

    I'll temporarily trade in my "Danger Dude" rate for that of "REMF" and join you with beer and snacks.

  8. Ahahaha, works for me. Pork rinds, San Mig, feet on the desk, and punching drone buttons. (For the non-military amongst us, REMF is "Rear Echelon Mother Flicker").

  9. Jetlag807 says:

    As of this moment, reports are coming in about the Malaysians (most likely) final assault on the Filipino intruders. Piecing things together (as I do), I figure the Malaysians had a chopper or light aircraft do a fly-over of the target area to draw attention away from the ground assault force. The flight crew, so its being reported, dropped an explosive device for good measure which detonated and caused a fair amount of chaos and confusion. That would be when the ground force would have most likely moved in to conduct their "sweeps"… Prior to this, this Sultan dude had been asking (via the news media) for assistance from the United Nations! WTF? Dude! You got it all Bass-Akwards! The INVADEE is one who asks for UN help NOT the invader! Too funny! I don't man! Maybe the Sultan, his followers and what seems to be the majority of the Philippine public at large think VP Binay would have showed up to save the day like he has done so many times to save the lives of OFWs on Death Row… They could not have been more wrong! Maybe they thought President Aquino would somehow support them or "help" them in some small way… Again, WAY WRONG! The government can not and will not assist the intruders in any way, shape or form. To do otherwise would place the Philippines in a De Facto State of War with Malaysia. So… "The Secretary has disavowed any knowledge of their actions" and rightly so… The lesson here sports fans is this: Keep stupid acts like this within the confines of recognized Philippine Territory. You're more likely to survive… So ends the lesson.

  10. Yes, my impression of the imperial wisdom of Sultans has been severly diminished by this escapade.

  11. http://news.yahoo.com/malaysia-attacks-filipinos-end-borneo-siege-011451517.htmlMuslim-Filipinos routed by Malaysian Special Forces. They are bombarded by Malaysian jet planes. U.S. State Department issued advisory to stay off Sabah or Jolo and Mindanao as a whole. Defeated Muslim-Filipinos will take their ire against anything white with two legs. DEFINITELY, ABSOLUTELY, MUSLIM-FILIPINOS WILL TAKE REVENGE because they are angry of the PUBLICITY the Philippine Media has published of their defeat. Calling Raissa and Alan, WHY DIDN'T YOU GUYS IMPOSED NEWS BLACKOUT like Ces Drilon kidnapping news blackout. Lookit what will happen, Abu Sayaf will get anger. It is OK if Abu Sayaf Ampatuanized these immature kindergartnerish journalists but they kidnap-for-ransom anyone that doesn't look and pray like them.

  12. Anonymous says:

    'Patriot'the only images Pinoys can form in their minds are – the basketball team owned by AirAsia – faces on the coins and bills – a missile made by the UShence, 'Patriotism' is such a mundane word for pinoys. It is only used to depict katiponeros and ilustrados.-Master0fn0ne

  13. Thanks for the update. I think this episode is best ended quickly, for the safety of Filipinos in Sabah and whities such as myself in many areas. I was impressed that the Muslim governors of AARM issued a unified statement asking the Sultan to back off. Of course, he refused. That suggests the peace process will continue. And I think President Aquino handled the matter correctly. Refer to Jetlag's commentary above, which I concur with.

  14. Yes, I find the notion of "unity" to be sorely missing amongst the divisions by island, language, ethnicity, religion, clan, and social class. If the Philippines wishes to be both independent and strong, she might want to do some work on unity.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It really pisses me off when people reduce the Sabah issue to a simple black-and-white, the-Philippines-is-right-Malaysia-is-wrong issue. I almost got into an argument with my mother in law this weekend because she kept saying "But Pnoy should have sided with the Filipinos!" etc etc. If it really were that simple, then we wouldn't be in this predicament now, would we? Fine, the Sulu Sultanate has a claim over Sabah, but who is the real sultan anyway? And what about the actual residents of Sabah? What do they have to say about this? And does anyone really expect Malaysia to just surrender Sabah just like that? It's a very comvoluted issue and I don't think it's fair to blame the president for every effing thing that goes wrong. It's ridiculous.

  16. Yes. Actually, the President DID side with Filipinos, the hundreds of thousands working or living in Sabah peacefully. All responsibility should reside with the Sultan. 100%

  17. Zion says:

    Personally, I think Aquino is doing a good job running the Philippines. I'm honestly not an Aquino supporter because I thought he just won because of Aquino magic but seeing how he is handling the issues right now, I think he is holding on his own.I find it curious though, why NOW? Why now did they try to invade Sabah? I would want Sabah to be part of the Philippines soon but the country has enough problems with China.The word patriotism seems to have faded in the Philippine vocabulary. Just take a look at how k-pop is more famous than OPM. Most of the youth have forgotten what it's like be a Filipino.

  18. Yes, I think President Aquino has a firmness that most overlook because of his generally informal bearing. I attribute it to his father's influence, or maybe having to deal with his father's death. Makes one rather committed to a course of action.I find it interesting, your comment matches that of Master0fn0ne, above. That patriotism is subdued. I do see it arise to back boxers and singers, but that kind is not tested by troubles.Perhaps those of us from a "warmonger" nation get a militaristic patriotism instilled from dealing with life or death fighting. If the world were a peaceful place, I'd guess that kind of patriotism is not so much needed. You've certainly given me something to ponder, and perhaps write about. Thanks.

  19. andrew lim says:

    Joe,See this malady of "you are my enemy in one issue, so you will be my enemy in ALL of the issues" of some Filipinos?Ellen Tortillas' is one. With her inability to see the larger picture, and her frustration with the Burgos case, her mind turns to mush. Like ground meat in a corn shell. At least Raissa pleads for sobriety.

  20. Yes, we need a name for that disease, rather like bird flu. It has leapt the Pacific and is infecting Americans. I call them "100 percenters". If you don't agree 100% of the time you are the enemy. The ability to compromise gets lost along the way. I must say, however, that I've observed a number of calm and reasoned perspectives coming from Filipinos in the Rappler discussion threads on the Sultan. So maybe there is some maturation going on. I think the web influences this, which is a reason for optimism given that web usage in the Philippines is expected to double in the very near term.

  21. andrew lim says:

    Joe, Intel reports on two things that may explode very soon.1. Sabah issue – Two names: Norberto Gonzales and Romeo Intengan. Ive asked for a crowdsource on the two in Raissa's site. Creepy men, if you read their bios. They could provide a clue to what's happening in Sabah.2. I missed this, but it's a huge stinker: how can the Church be an election watchdog thru the PPCRV (Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting) if it is advocating names to vote/not vote?

  22. Wow. Here's the line that got me from readings to brief up on these two characters: "Gonzales and Jesuit Archie Intengan have been suspected of being architects of an extension plan for Arroyo’s presidency."So they are heads of Arroyo's Department of Dirty Tricks. Incredible, and yet, somehow . . . it fits . . .The Church ought to have no watchdog responsibilities. I hope a mighty cry goes out to protest that role.

  23. J says:

    Amen, Joe. Amen.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I second to that…. glad to have found this blog

  25. I'm glad you found us, too. But beware that I may be ripping our fine President in a couple of months if there is no movement on FOI. And steel yourself for Angry Maude's occasional blasts. I saw her stomping through this morning scowling. Something is brewing.

  26. Edgar Lores says:

    The Supreme Court has granted the Bishop's TRO. Expect more tarps.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Had the US the same problem as Sabah, with, say, the Russians, how would you, Americans, have dealt with it?- ricelander

  28. brianitus says:

    Zion,Some suggested reading:www.interaksyon.com/article/56406/walking-in-their-shoes–understanding-what-drives-protagonists-in-sabah-crisis

  29. That's an interesting article, for sure. It still assumes, however, that answers can be provided independent of Malaysia's views. I think J's write-up at the Nutbox best captures the shortcomings of current thinking in all arenas, and is the only article that actually presents a reasonable solution. Rather than just criticism. It drives me nuts the complaints that President Aquino did not do enough to assist the Sultan, yet these complainers are not willing to state what THEY would do because they don't want to be tagged with the body count. It is sooooo easy when you are not responsible for the bodies.

  30. There is no comparable situation with Russia that I am aware of. The set-up gets a little far out. Russia has occupied Alaska for years, and pay rent to the Eskimos. The Eskimos have set up camp in Seattle and want their land back, but no one will listen to them. So the Chief leads a well-armed party to Nome to claim back their land? 800,000 Americans, mostly Eskimos work in Alaska.The United States would do what President Aquino did, but with more strident demands that Russia stop shooting at our people until we get them out and into jail here in the States. The US would not invade Alaska and would not escalate. That would put 800,000 at risk.The US might join with Russia to hunt down the offending armed Eskimos.

  31. brianitus says:

    I guess the fact that the government misplaced the Sultan's letter sent a strong message that there was no concern at all.Anyway, that's just my POV. Here's another interesting angle on how gov't treated this situation:http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2013/03/07/916725/humiliated

  32. Your short note brings lots of thoughts. So excuse me if my response is lengthy.Thanks for the link. The article is indeed interesting.1. The original letter was, as I understand it, received by FA Sec. Del Rosario's predecessor as the Aquino office came into power. It came in and never went anywhere. Del Rosario has apologized, presumably to take the heat off the President, even if it was not his personal responsibility. It was his agency's. He is an honorable man. 2. The case of the bungled emissary does appear to reflect disdain from President Aquino's appointed representative. The question I have, is this disdain deserved by the Sultan? Is he considered a lesser player who wants to be a big cheese, always inserting himself in the national scene. Certainly, reading the text of the Sultan's letter, he was clearly looking for personal gain, not offering public service. The curt order to get out of Sabah reflects that the Administration considers this guy to be a malcontent, not a legitimate representative of any material governmental office. I can comprehend the disdain, although it did indeed not help.3. It is always easy in hindsight to see where errors were made. The people doing the business real time don't have this advantage. One of the real challenges an executive faces in moving up the corporate ladder is learning how to delegate, and live with acts and results from subordinates that are perhaps not the best. "Letting go" it is called. I refuse to get drawn into finding "culprits" other than the Sultan. He is the problem. Others were put in a bad situation by him, and HE is the horrid diplomat here.3. The term "humiliation" seems popular in the Philippines, and I associate it with national insecurity. It is a weak emotion that is not exhibited by the strong of esteem. They see a mistake as a mistake, and they would see Malaysia's actions as reflecting Malaysia's world and bearing no reflection whatsoever on the Philippines.

  33. Well, I see I lost track of my numbers. Where is Edgar Lores when you need him most? The last 3 is a 4.

  34. diamond says:

    "The Sultan could not wait for the peace progress. He had to push it, because he was not at the table. He waited all his life, some 74 years, most of them in strife, and then, as peace was on the horizon, he took it upon himself to insert himself and assert his claim with an unwanted physical presence in the contested land of Sabah."- Excellent idea.From that perspective you can see that Kiram's "intrusion" to Sabah (that is, suddenly sending his armed men to Sabah and never back down in a standoff) and calling the President to take side with him is a shameless manner of dragging the Philippines into conflict with another country.Critics called the President indecisive and ignorant for his refusal to talk to Kiram unless the armies would come back. I rather see a decisive and firm leader who refuses to fall into that trap, probably because he's guided by the same vision with which he forged that peace negotiation with MILF for an enduring peace in Mindanao.

  35. Anonymous says:

    What others fail to see, is that the President's actions is to represent the good of the many, and see and balance people's rights, whether they are foreign or not. I have listened to PNoy's interviews even during the initial phase of his presidency, and from then on, really admired how he handles himself and answers questions. He was always, straightforward and objective. He is a wide reader and believes in proper delegation of work. He has the Philippines in his heart, unlike what the critics claim. As said on the news, there are about 800,000 Filipinos peacefully living in Sabah. To aggravate and antagonize Malaysia is to recklessly endanger the other Filipinos living there. I am not saying the President is cowering for the 800,000 Filipinos, I am saying that our claim or the Sultan's claim is a complex international issue, which any Filipino is as confused as the media. There is no easy answer, and one could just 'imagine' better ways of handling it. What I saddens me though is how the popular 'media' sometimes, just criticizes for better ratings, or paid articles to de-stabilize the government. There should be a principle on 'auto-limitation'. Our divisiveness is a joy to our foreign enemies. Our news always gives out even the most secret plans, and provides the outsiders information on how to beat the Philippines. Sometimes really, can't we have maturity to stop the information, when it involves 'national security'?

  36. Anonymous says:

    Hey Joe America can you post your blog to other sites and facebook pages ? thanks. Some people here in the Philippines, really need to read and learn a lot.

  37. Anonymous says:

    please also post your insight , like yahoo philippines comment section. Some Filipino there are very ignorant. sad to say

  38. Yep, I see the same thing. I agree he handled this strange Sultan well. The more that time passes the more it is clear that the Sultan has earned whatever disdain he receives.

  39. Superb characterization. I see exactly the same thing. I'm glad to know he is a wide reader, and have observed that his work style is "executive" as you suggest re. delegation.The thing we have to anticipate is that the online criticisms are likely to increase as organizations with an agenda send out storm troopers to stir up trouble. China is already doing that. I intend to do a blog about that.

  40. Thanks. I generally leave it to others to take the initiative to cross post as I'm busy enough cranking out an article a day. And I can't tell which articles are worth reading or not because I'm too close to them. Readership is climbing steadily so something must be happening.I appreciate your appreciation for any insights I might accidentally concoct. 🙂

  41. Anonymous says:

    Please do. I have my hunch that there is a participation of China somewhere in this picture. Not to generalize all Filipinos with Chinese ancestry, but I do have friends of that racial descent and while I do love them, I respect, admire and at the same time, threatened by them. I have seen how they were brought up and the the practices that they put in their personal lives to know that theirs, is a culture that knows the value of patience, sacrifice, and 'manipulation' of feelings. It is an endear, empower, and engulf the enemy, before a strike. As regards online criticisms, it is very easy to do so, but for the sake of the country, could we not just help the government in solving their problems and not muddling up their options?We should empower the government as we empower ourselves. I have clients who has a difficult time these period because of PNoy's 'Daang Matuwid', which makes my job harder. Inasmuch as having him out of the presidency would've made my clients happy, for the sake of my children, I wouldn't want 'the old' version of the Philippines to be what they would inherit, so please, a little more objectivity, maturity and factual research. Be mindful of those who stir your emotions, they are mostly, without basis.

  42. Really superior advice. I share your admiration for and reservations about Chinese culture. So rich with history and character, but so dangerously emotional. And your advising "empowering our government" is evern a clearer statement of what I was driving at. Monday's blog will be about the internet and how we are all vulnerable to outside manipulations that have little to do with viruses or hacking.

  43. Galicano says:

    I would be thrilled to read a fresh perspective on this. So far, I have been on a scout for a more objective, balanced and forward-moving news source — one that takes the bigger picture and yet, has a understated positivism that goes about it. The news should be a narration of truth, not a summation of allegations. We cannot undo the past, hence there is no reason just to complain and whine. Another department is in charge of going after the wrongdoers — the Department of Justice, NBI, and the Ombudsman. I'm fed up of watching a sore poli-novela, where everybody manipulates everybody and out to ruin each other for some personal gain. I'd rather be around men of action and trouble-shooters who are focused on solutions and, sometimes, for damage control.

  44. @Galicano, I'm not sure you will find what you are looking for, heh. The news here is so thin. Little depth of research, way too much opinion slipping into reporting. I read the opinion columnists and a wide range of articles to try to get a balance, and from that some ideas about what is factual. Hah, funny. From the opinions, I deduce the facts because those facts aren't in the news reports.Brother!I share you distaste for the manipulations that are all passion and no problem solving, and no progress REAL TIME.

  45. manilatop10 says:

    Having been on television for the first time as a youth (archery) and having served at the 'edge of the tip of the spear,' I'd like to add one word to this atomic post via atom. Firstly, I enjoyed the read and will not offer any significant comment other than the fact that you have the honor to share outside links. Secondly, an Australian whose faith I do not share, toils in ways that could perhaps make him and his wife heroes and heroines of the decade, yet notoriety is not something sought and I've already hinted at the color of his sking. Thirdly and finally: Empathy.

  46. manilatop10 says:

    I think 'concoct' refers to a party affiliation; might want to strike that reference above?

  47. Ha. I'll see if it will sneak past the Immigration censors.

  48. Empathy is important. It, along with discipline, make for fine people.I'm glad you are trekking along with us, via atom.

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