Ethical standards for blog commenters

Blogger-definitionHow do you engage on behalf of the Philippines?

Do you vote? Did or do you serve in the military, police, fire department or coast guard? Do you work in government? Do you belong to advocacy groups? Are you an OFW who sends part of his hard-earned money to support loved ones, and the Philippine economy? Do you volunteer for the Red Cross or other charities and service groups? Do you pay taxes? Do you follow the laws and toss your trash where it belongs?

Do you support your leaders and national well-being, as John F. Kennedy famously implored: “. . .  ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

There are many ways, yes?

I blog.

That’s how I do it. Along with following the rules, disposing properly of trash and giving some donations to worthwhile causes in the Philippines. And paying taxes.

But mainly, I blog, at The Society of Honor by Joe America.

Do you comment at the blog?

Then you contribute to the Philippines, too.

Let’s talk a little about that. About the ethics of contributing, where ethics are the standards for participating within a community. They can be either voluntary or imposed. The purpose of ethical guidelines is to preserve the integrity of the community.

Commenting on a blog is not a profession, exactly. Not one that earns money anyway. But is it not one that should aspire to certain rules of conduct? The way journalists have a set of ethical standards?

Let me wander around a little before coming back to this point . . .

The goal of this blog shifted a while back from being primarily an exercise in self development (improving my writing skills and education about the Philippines) to contributing ideas to people who are opinion-makers or leaders in government and elsewhere. That is, we began to reach important people. President Aquino stepped things up dramatically by citing the blog in his 2015 State of the Nation Address.

I have advocated for some time that blogging CAN be a new force in social/political development in the Philippines if there are multiple voices speaking loudly and reasonably. I’ve argued that petty jealousies between bloggers and their bands of commenters are wasteful and ridiculous, and the best approach is for bloggers and commenters to support one another, to increase the power of all as an above-board, meaningful, constructive set of voices.

This seems to me to be a hint at the beginning of the idea of ethics in blogging and even commenting. Ethical Rule: support the whole of the blogging community to make it strong. Individual voices are stronger within a strong community.

The top socio/political blog in the Philippines remains Raissa Robles, notwithstanding the splash The Society of Honor made at the SONA and the significant readership the blog has picked up. That splash was good for ALL of blogging, I might add, a rare occasion in which a nation’s President acknowledged that a blog was meaningful to him. And supportive of the Philippines.

Blogging rose a notch as a recognized force.

Now we can either say “cool” and pat ourselves on the back. Or we can take up the challenge to build further.

The Philippines is rich with blog viewpoints. One can find a few of these by putting The Philippine Blog Center on one’s daily reading scan. I particularly like the irreverence of “The Professional Heckler“, and root for several new blogs on the scene in hopes that their writers will have the staying power to move from being a vanity blog to a popular blog. It takes work. Hope does not make a popular blog. Writing well makes a popular blog. Writing good product that the audience WANTS makes a good blog.

And, good discussion threads make a good blog.

For sure, people don’t want the eternal run-down of the Philippines by the anti-pundits or foreigners who pretend they have a better way. Been there, done that, and it is a big “fail”.

Raissa Robles is the best blog because her articles have real-world relevance. It is the work of a journalist who knows Philippine politics and history. Her readership base is huge and when she does a new blog like the current one (“The Dark side of Jejomar Binay“), the commentary just explodes. And she has excellent technology with her comment numbering system that keeps good order to hundreds and hundreds of comments. The shortcoming of the blog recently has been that articles are infrequent, and so the conversation after a number of days tends to drift and go in circles.

The two blogs – Raissa Robles and The Society of Honor – are similar in that they promote no advocacy and are tied to no agenda or political cause. As near as I can tell, only two themes can be discerned from Raissa Robles herself: (1) A strong dislike of the Marcos family, and (2) a preference that the Philippines separate herself from American influence. The Society of Honor appears to be yellow, or avidly supportive of the Aquino Administration, but the long-term reader will discern that this preference comes from:

  • My belief that citizens should support their nation and leadership, and not weaken that leadership (refer again to the Kennedy quote).
  • My belief that President Aquino has done extraordinary work under trying circumstances. I’ve written about this frequently. He is hardly mistake-free, but the sum of the outputs is very good for the Philippines.

Yes, I also believe that Mar Roxas is the best prospective presidential candidate to carry the straight path forward. This was not a conclusion easily arrived at, and one has to sort through a whole lot of writings on other prospects to understand that the agenda did not drive the selection of Roxas, but study did. That study was done live within the blog.

Ha, I remember a time a couple of years ago when I had dismissed Mar Roxas as a presidential candidate, and reader Cha advised me to study more and hold off on that judgment.

As I said, the blog is a learning place. My prior idol, Grace Poe, flamed out as her deeds produced a track record of naive judgment and political pandering for self interest.

If blogging is not a profession because no income is generated, what about ethical standards that prevent influences other than money from degrading the product? If ethics are important, exactly what rules can be followed?

Do blogs have to be factual? I personally think not, if they are aimed at provoking discussion about ideas or concepts. Wilfredo G. Villanueva’s recent poems, or JoeAm’s satire, are cases in point.

Do sources have to be revealed? I think not, as the protection of sources is a right of journalists, and bloggers tread this same path. Protection of sources assures that readers continue to get fresh information and new insights. It is worth noting that there is a reason public or notable figures do not comment in blog discussion threads. Commenting may prejudice them or be mis-interpreted in some way. In the same vein, it is important to protect their right to be quoted “off the record” or as “background”.

Do commenters have an ethical imperative? I believe so, and try to encourage that. I differ from Raissa Robles. My blog is occasionally moderated to minimize trolling, agenda-pushing and personal attack so that the discussion deals with issues. Her’s is free form. Anything goes, and she leaves it to commenters to police commentary for decency. At my blog, Rule #1 is respect for other commenters.

The role of a commenter in a forceful blog is as big or small as the commenter wants to make it. And it can be constructive or destructive. In a recent blog, I received information from sources close to the Aquino Administration. I tried to write a blog that used the information with discretion to present a narrative of the recent INC protest that would give a real-world portrayal of the incident. One with certain drama to it. One that was well handled by President Aquino and his key staff. A positive to cite, rather than overlook.

One commenter determined that I had been fed information by the Aquino Administration’s communications team, and said that I had basically used that for the narrative of the blog. Well, the words were mine, but some new and important information indeed came from people who knew what had happened.

Here’s the interesting thing. Because the commenter blew the “sources/credibility/integrity” matter into a major deal, he negated my attempt at discretion. He highlighted the inside sources. And, in the doing, he possibly put at risk further information from those sources.

Does a commenter have the same obligation to recognize ethical boundaries as a blog writer or journalist does? Do commenters have a mandate to respect what a blog editor is trying to accomplish by not demanding sources? Or does anything go, without regard for impacts?

I ask, because I think blogging is a force, for good or bad, done well or poorly, depending on how contributors see their ethical imperatives, and how they use their own power to build or tear down. The commenters at The Society of Honor are, by and large, extraordinarily well informed, intelligent, and respectful, working at teaching and learning and solving problems. The discussions are rich with information and insights.

What ethical rules should apply to commenters? I’d like to know what you think.

Do commenters have an obligation to give of themselves to build and protect the community, where the community is the sum of all contributions by article-writers and commenters? Or are they just along for the ride, to get on or off the bus when it suits them, and to unload their personal opinions without regard for the well-being of the community?

What ethical rules should apply to commenters, if any?

Or do you prefer “anything goes”? Freedom unrestrained.


281 Responses to “Ethical standards for blog commenters”
  1. Vida Cruz says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with your rule of commenters needing to uphold respect for one another. Here are my specifics in parsing down that rule, and I’ve figured that these usually deflect encourage discourse instead of flame wars:
    1. No name-calling.
    2. No making it personal (i.e. insulting other commenters’ families, friends, workplace, country, etc.).
    3. No spamming, trolling, or doxxing.
    4. Scroll down and read a few comments to get a feel for where the discussion is going before jumping in.
    5. Google unfamiliar turns before giving opinions.
    6. If you state a fact, link a credible source.
    7. Before making a judgment call, remember that your judgment may only be applicable to yourself or your circle of friends.

    • Joe America says:

      Good guidance, Vida, thanks. I had to look up “doxing”, as it was new to me.

      Doxing (from dox, abbreviation of documents), or doxxing, is the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual.

  2. The comments section is the agora. It’s a lively space, some people are on their soap box, some are engaged in threatrics, some preach, or philosophizing– but most are bartering info (or giving to get, or simply paying it forward, simply sharing). When one decides to take a crap in the middle of it all, the marketplace (or place of meeting) stinks.

    I’m for freedom, but respect the place. We’re all grown adults, not kids.

    • Well said, and very briefly. To use my bar analogy below: those who get too drunk should go home by themselves, or get sent home. Or better to know how not to get too drunk…

      • I haven’t really interacted with Johnny so much, but he had a good gripe. Like any gripe, you try to elevate it to an art form (no one likes to hear people bitch about stuff)–especially when you’re talking to higher ups, not just your SGT or LT. But he persisted (been there, done that), the gripe becomes whining–it’s unbecoming. So agree with your take, Ireneo, when caught up in said loop (or the game of chicken) go home, or go to Raissa’s blog (and take a dump there). j/k!

        • Joe America says:

          Ahahaha. Pack of comedians . . .

        • The German Bundeswehr has an old rule, I think it dates back to Wehrmacht times. A soldier may complain to his superior in writing – but he must sleep over it one night. Complaints received and not slept over yet go straight to the wastebasket, unread.

          In terms of blogging, my adaptation is to do something else once I notice that I am getting too pissed off to write in a civil manner, or am getting close to crossing certain lines. Of course taking breaks from blogging/commenting is helpful in terms of keeping cool.

  3. karl garcia says:

    control,self restraint, self discipline is a suggestion.Off topic and chit chat can not be avoided.
    Sometimes we accept being lectured by fellow commenters as long as they are not disagreeable.
    Jameboy is good at disagreeing without being disagreeable except to the one he is disagreeing with as joe said.
    I had issues with i7sharp,but he had a library of information to offer.I learn to appreciate it thanks to lance corporal x.
    MRP, I had issues too,but learned not just to live with it,but grow with it.

    I have lots of room for improvement as a commenter. Ten years doing this,but I am still a novice or a noob if compared to the caliber of commenter here and raissa’s.
    I had issues with others,lost sleep a bit,but after a while back to normal.

  4. Since we had the topic of UP and I put in Ateneo as well in one of my recent comments in the article just before, let me postulate the following:

    UP is to Raissa Robles as Ateneo is to Joe America. Let me state why I think this:

    1) Raissa’s blog is more or less free-for-all, with occasional one-upmanship but moderated by certain unwritten rules – much like it works at UP. Joe’s blog has more emphasis on courtesy and is centrally led, much like Ateneo, especially during the time American Jesuits still ran it. *grin

    2) The commenters at Raissa’s are in their majority UP graduates, the tone is more nationalistic, just like UP. The tone here at Joe’s is more like Ateneo, more internationally open, I even suspect that there are a few more “Arrrneo” grads over here than at UP, main suspect being Andrew Lim.

    3) I also suspect there are more people from the business world over here at Joe’s, usually these people are Ateneans or LaSallians, while the typical Filipino journalist or person close to the political crowd who hangs out at Raissa’s will be UP. Of course more “yellows” among Ateneans.


    Of course there are a lot of us who cross between the two blogs, just like you have people who cross between UP and Ateneo crowds in the Philippines, political and business crowds that used to be more exclusive to one another, more mutually suspicious of one another back in the days.

    Learn from one another, but adapt to the unwritten rules at a given place. I have no problem talking to a US Marine over here and a Filipino nationalist from my home region over there and learning something from both. In fact the different perspectives can be very enriching.


    It’s like one goes to different bars on a Friday night. Be yourself and speak your mind but adapt to the crowd and respect the written and unwritten rules the bar owner puts up. American Joe likes talking to his guests more, Raissa and Alan let the party go to San Mig and chicharon.

    Back to the original question: the Society of Honor used to be a community of people that “knew” one another pretty well. At some point I came in due to Mamasapano, then the SONA brought in many new people. A cozy little bar became popular because TV and papers mentioned it.

    Of course new people bring in new perspectives – but also occasional trouble and irritations. Something they – and the “regulars” will have to deal with. Both sides have to adjust to each other, otherwise the community either does not grow and learn new things, or it collapses.

    • “Something they – and the “regulars” will have to deal with. Both sides have to adjust to each other”

      I agree. There is a slight learning curve (steeper for some) to being part of a blog’s community. There should be some allowance to aholish behaviour, so long as they’re contributing. Allow for growing pains.

    • Apollo Dimayuga says:

      This is not about where you graduated from but how you feel about your country. This blog is about how we can contribute, by way of expressing our views, on how we can bring positive change to our country.

      I am a graduate of UP but most of all I am a Filipino and I love my country even if I have been away for more than 10 years and have renounced my citizenship.

    • Joe America says:

      Very interesting comparison. Fits. I just want to be clear that I am not an American Jesuit, although my MA thesis Professor was . . . 🙂

  5. stpaul says:

    The current set-up Sir Joe works fine. Where a misbehaving commenter gets suspended until he learns his lesson.

  6. edgar lores says:

    Here’s a starter.

    1. I think the cardinal rule is respect.

    o Respect for the blogger.
    o Respect for other commenters
    o Respect for the topic.
    o Respect in the mode of delivery

    2. Respect in the mode of delivery. I would take this item first because it affects all the other areas. This is respect in the use of language and form.

    2.1. Language should be moderate. No name calling. No use of derogatory terms. No four-letter words. Exceptions are allowed… for emphasis.
    2.1.1. Language need not be grammatically or syntactically correct.
    2.1.2. Misspellings are tolerated… to a certain degree, unless you are using a tablet. For lengthy posts, use a text editor that has a grammar and spellchecker. Then copy/paste to the blog.

    2.2. The form pertains to presentation.
    2.2.1. Do not just cite one’s conclusions. Conclusions must be buttressed by reason(s). Just citing an opinion without support is trolling.
    2.2.2. When rebutting, recapitulate if need be the arguments of the blogger you are conversing with so that there is no misunderstanding. Then present your contra-reason(s).
    2.2.3. No excessive use of verbiage. I mean, avoid verbiage.
    2.2.4. No excessive use of text links. Try to summarise the gist of the link. Links may be shortened, but if the links are not excessively long use the original to give the reader an idea of the source and the topic.
    2.2.5. No excessive use of audiovisual links. The time of each blogger is precious and there are only so many rabbit holes he can fall into and explore.
    2.2.6. Learn to use HTML commands to italicize, bold, and strike out texts. Do not use these commands excessively.
    2.2.7. Do not shout – that is, use of all caps.
    2.2.8. Try to be original and fresh in your ideas. Constant and repetitive references to affidavits and U.P. can be tiresome.
    2.2.9. Levity is allowed. Personal exchanges are allowed. But exercise restraint if possible.
    2.2.10. Enumeration is optional.

    3. Respect for the blogger. This does not mean that one has to agree with the author. One can –.and must – disagree when there is a divergence of opinion.
    3.1. Do not stalk the blogger and ask his opinion of all things under the sun. Usually, the blogger will be polite and provide an initial answer. However, try to deduce his stance on issues related to the initial question and answer.
    3.2. Do not ask the blogger for disclosure of sources.

    4. Respect for other commenters. Learn and be aware of the basic affiliations and preferences of other commenters. However, this should not stop you from commenting on or criticizing their affiliations and preferences if done with respect.

    5. Respect for the topic. Try to stay within topic. Important breaking news that is off-topic may be inserted at any time.
    5.1. Tangential comments are acceptable and are encouraged as they make for a rich blog. These offshoots often provide input for future blog posts.

    • “5.1. Tangential comments are acceptable and are encouraged as they make for a rich blog. These offshoots often provide input for future blog posts.”

      100% agree with this one.

    • karl garcia says:

      Duly noted. Edgar.Just guide me if I lose my way,but I will just go back to these guidelines myself. it is complete.

    • Joe America says:

      Excellent, excellent set of guidelines. I particularly like 2.2.1 because it inspires forthright conversation. It also just came to me that one needs to be sensitive to the volume of comments in relation to others so that one person does not take over the thread. On the other hand, active exchange between people is valuable. It’s a balance . . .

      I personally seldom hit on links or videos because my bandwidth limits make it hard to do. Only on particularly meaningful links do I jump over. That’s why a description of the link is important. I prefer text, and original thought, or excerpts where they are pertinent.

    • mercedes santos says:

      OT, methinks i’ll say hello when i’m in cairns. will see OZ again next yaarh.

  7. 2.1.2. guilty as charged..aaargh! ….haha, sorry

    2.2.3. once more , guilty as charged, I have difficulty getting my message across in a few words, hence the verbose diarrhea, also blame my excess enthusiasm

    still learning, hope will bet there somehow…

    I followed you advised and composed a comment in msword, realized it’s too long and won’t post it anymore. had to go home now.

    • edgar lores says:

      Please don’t take my items as they are. They are starters. All the points suggested here are supposed to be discussed, debated, refined or overturned.

      • I’ll take ithem as they are, master Edgar…I bow to your immense command of words, wisdom and discernment…don’t ever tire of sharing them with us, there might be hope for us who are aspiring to be on your level. With yours and Joe’s, help, we will get there. Our country needs the likes of you and most of the commenters here….let us then roll up our sleeves and continue the fight for good governance.

  8. chempo says:

    Commenters should be guided by the notion they are guests and therefore it is incumbent on them to respect house rules and regulations, if any, laid down by the blogger.

    Too much rules stifle creative discussion, no rules invite mayhem. I think Joe’s approach is very level-headed — personal intervention (it’s his blog), some explanation of breach of decorum, a little chiding, suspension, and magnanimously allowing the commenter to return if he/she chooses to.

    Commenters certainly need to conduct themselves ethically in blogs same as in daily discourse in the real world. But when it comes to ethics, different strokes for different people. There’s more than 50 shades of grey. For me, these are my 10 commandments::

    1. Critique only on issues, never on the personal level.
    2. Restrained prose – no need to criticise like Donald Trump.
    3. “Thank you’s” and “Sorry’s” still apply
    4. One just comments — it’s not a debate, there’s no winning or loosing.
    5. If you think an issue is important to you to convince others, go ahead and sell your thoughts best way you can. If you fail, it’s OK. No salesman sells everything all the time.
    6. If you can’t accept someone’s stand on an issue, it’s OK — accept that he has his rights to his views.
    7. Try to respond to someone who pose you a question. It’s manners.
    8. Give praise where it’s deserving. A little encouragement to others is a good thing.
    9. A little digression is fun and acceptable, but don’t stray too far and too long from the conversation — it’s rude to the blogger who has some objectives for the particular blog.
    10. It’s socialising sans the beer. There’s a lot of give and take. Much learning and sharing. Be prepared to share if you have some knowledge or experience, it’s sharing and not boasting.

    • your ten guidelines are worth paying attention, too in addition to sir edgar’s. Thanks to both of you and the rest of those who offered their ideas. a newbie here, still learning.

    • Joe America says:

      Excellent, chempo. That point 4 is sometimes a tough one. It’s a discipline, honed with practice. Come to think of it, I suspect that all who participate here are developing considerable skill in the art of dialogue.

    • edgar lores says:

      I would take 4 and 5 together. And perhaps 6.

      I would redefine “winning” not in the personal sense of superiority over someone, but winning in the sense of presenting the best reasoning. By “best” I mean cogency and coherency. Which is why 5 is important.

      In certain issues the stakes — which is essentially being able to lead better lives in a better world — are high and we are all stakeholders in this world of ours. Usually it is a battle between reason and unreason. No, make that better reason and lesser reason. That is, discernment over ignorance. So, in a sense and for these certain issues which are important, winning is crucial.

  9. Ok, I changed my mind, but I can’t edit it to my satisfaction to shorten it. So here goes:

    I can only offer this observation:

    The blog missed you and your moderation skills. In all my time commenting here, there were only two instances that you left the blog and the commenters on their own so you can take your family off to a much deserved family time.

    During that first time, more than a thousand comments were posted “anything goes, somewhat unrestrained” lacking your timely and skillful moderation skills. Tempers fly and emotions run high as well, thread after thread of discussions some radical, some provocative, mostly educational, sometimes bordering on trading insults and hurting words which eventually tapered off to apologies offered and received, so emotions were controlled, and peace was restored. Some emerged wounded but exhilarated while learning a lot from the experience. I was one.

    On your second time to leave us to our own devices, I did not realize something is going on, focused as I was on an ongoing BIR audit. I offered a comment or two which showed how distracted I was and only half listening.

    So I read the whole exchanges again at home. Sir edgar as usual offered his usual words of wisdom and intellectual defense in your behalf and that should have settled it but somehow it didn’t. I even tried to return to the topic on hand, same with NHerrera and the others but somehow discussion managed to go back to that disclosure thing.

    Even with my enthusiasm and fervor to put across my points of view, I still consider myself a newbie here, and not that aware of existing code of ethics and have to pay attention to timely reminders that are posted from time to time, learning also from observing how it is for those who let tempers and enthusiasm get in the way of respecting personal spaces of the blogger and commenters alike while commenting so I try to make it a point to stay within the topic on hand except when that enthusiasm leads me astray, karl had warned me one time to control my temper.

    I remember one instance in raissa’s blog wherein Yvonne had to say goodbye for a while due to some differences with a commenter. Knowing the value of her contributions and insight, others pleaded that she reconsiders her decision, including raissa herself who devoted a whole article for that purpose. I would not want to miss Johnny lin’s insights and contributions here as well, I hope it will not come to that.

    One thing I can say, if I want to be allowed to continue commenting in any blog, I have to be respectful of other’s feelings, to avoid personal attacks and trollish remarks and cooperate well so the purpose of the blog as envisioned by the administrator can be attained – always for the good of our country.

    I also have to pay attention to sir edgar’s complete list of guidelines, maybe next time….haha

    • chempo says:

      “Can’t edit it to my satisfaction to shorten it” — you’re not alone in this. Have to appreciate English is our second language, so many of us have this baggage. I remember once I drafted a one page report and a peer manager (Irish bloke) vetted it and shortened it to one para and yet all the facts were unchanged.

      • Joe America says:

        You also use the British spelling, substituting “esses” for “zeds”, which amuses me to no end. I realise it is actually quite proper, because I worked for the Brits for 8 years.

        • chempo says:

          Haha .. and I find American “learned” for “learnt” funny. Brits are “learned” fellows not “learnt” fellas. Why not “burned” for “burnt”.

      • It takes longer to write shorter. When I get into the heat of writing about a topic, it used to fill lots of comments here. Now if a topic in itself interests me I go to my own blog, write in rage or passion, then distill the essence the next morning or a few days later to publish.

        Or course the Filipino way of expression it itself is more verbose, it takes practice to learn how to express oneself shortly. Here in Germany, my business partners often complained about my long mails until I started answering from my tablet in order to discipline myself.

        • chempo says:

          I sitll have a problem with KISS…keep it short stupid.

        • caliphman says:

          Irineo, thank you so much for doing that. You add so much by your comments which give the very unique perspective of a Filipino German raised in Pinas but now living in Deutschland. If there was anything I needed to get used to, it was your kilometric posts more so when you were using your other nom de plume. The worst was was when you would come over to the other blog to exchange pleasantries with your now dear friend and admirer of our gracious host, Parekoy! But please be as verbally profuse here as your heart desires and as your digital pen permits as your views can be very stimulating and our mutual friend is hardly ever around to get stimulated! Hehehe

      • You are not alone in this..”hindi ka nag-iisa”

        That’s what Filipinos wanted to tell Ninoy when he came back from Boston, with banners and yellow ribbons, but he was not able to hear and see any of those, a bullet ended it for him but started it all for his countrymen, with the majority waking up from their apathy…

        Tangential comment?

    • Joe America says:

      You are not a newbie any longer, MG. You are a veteran, a part of the fabric with a style that fits perfectly: passionate, logical and direct with real-world perspective. Don’t ease back on your direct-speak in the interest of sparing feelings. Direct-speak is valuable.

      • Thanks a lot, Joe…that was inspiring. I now understand sir edgar when he remarked “made me warm all over.”..or words to that effect to someone who liked his posts and expressed her appreciation..

        Tiny Bubbles, words & music by Leon Pober

        Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
        In the wine (in the wine)
        Make me happy (make me happy)
        Make me feel fine (make me feel fine)

        Tiny praises (tiny praises)
        Make me warm all over
        With a feeling that I’m gonna
        Blog w’ you till the end of time

    • neo canjeca says:

      To Mary Grace PG

      Heto ang malayong sagot kasi palundag lundag ang basa parang may frog legs ang utak.

      Jumping from ABBA to Einstein. Heartening it is that bloggers here connect dots no matter how distant. I am like Feeling ABBA to “have a dream” to “believe in angels” and feels like Einstein to simplify his theory of relativity that sitting beside a beautiful girl an hour goes like a flash while sitting with Ah, never mind feels like a lifetime . So it is with blogs with ABBA and Einstein there, Ms Mary (very likely full of) Grace, a long blog could be a beautiful girl or never mind which might not help reading it twice or thrice. Ang layo ano? Where did that come from?

  10. karl garcia says:

    Cheers to a healthy blog!

  11. neo canjeca says:

    “Do you support your leaders and national well-being, as John F. Kennedy famously implored: ‘. . . ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.’ ”

    Joe Am don’t ask a Brit in the village pub, the Chap might say : “Jack is a teeny bit short there. A good bloke doesn’t ask, he says or yells it, what he can do. Them Bobbies need no guns, they watched for a bit of time, then take you to the Yard.” The NYFD, NYPD, LAPD, RCMP all do it too. In real life sometimes. On TV all the time.

    A black dude standing in 42nd near Port Authority station selling day-tour bus tickets for the Big Apple will glare at you with big eyes: ” I ain’t asking man. I am pitching, selling it man. Damn it. I am doing it man.”

    Joe Am, you wrote, “There are many ways, yes? I blog.” And elucidate it best. I believe it. In this blog of yours, there are guys even in snatches, don’t ask. They say it; even how to do it. Live it and do it at their jobs what is good for their country.

    Bobby had he lived for the presidency would have amplified and justified Jack. “Jack did right to admonish Americans to ask what they can do for America. But I complete Jack’s asking : Citizens must say it and do it like Jesus, Martin Luther, Abe Lincoln, like Jack himself and Martin Luther King Jr. Well, they are gone for good for sure. Gone good.

    Not in this blog but in this country, Jose Rizal wrote it and died for it; Ninoy Aquino too. Now Sonny Trillanes IV lives still not asking but saying it crisp and loud and clear after going to jail for it. For the country.

    • Joe America says:

      Gone for good, for sure, but they left behind a difference.

      • neo canjeca says:

        ” A number of miscellaneous points need to be made here. I am fully aware that any effort to characterize the present cultural moment is very likely to seem quixotic at best, unprofessional at worst. But his I submit, is an aspect of the present cultural moment, in which the social and historical setting of critical activity is a totality felt to be benign (free, apolitical, serious) uncharacterizable as a whole (it is too complex to be described in general and tendentious terms) and somehow outside history. Thus it seems to me some one thing to be tried — out of sheer critical obstinacy–is precisely that kind of generalization, that kind of political portrayal, that kind of overview condemned by the present dominant culture to appear inappropriate and doomed from the start.

        It is my conviction that culture works very effectively to make invisible and even “impossible” the actual affiliations that exist between the world of ideas and scholarship, on the one hand, and the world of brute politics, corporate and state power, and military force on the other. The cult of expertise and professionalism, for example has so restricted our scope of vision that a positive (as opposed to an implicit or passive) doctrine of noninterference among fields has set in. This doctrine has it that the general public is best left ignorant, and the most crucial policy questions affecting human existence are best left to “experts” specialists who talk about their only, and– to use the words first given wide social approbation by Walter Lipmann in Public Opinion and The Phantom Public– “insiders” people (usually men) who are endowed with the special privilege of knowing how things really work and, more important, of being close to power.”

        Those two paragraphs are NOT mine, didn’t write them. But who in this Joe Am’s blog won’t like to risk jail for copyrights breach for those diamond write by Prof. Edward W. Said? Joe Am might know him from ivy Columbia.

        That doctrine of noninterference among fields dates back to my young upstart days. For my bureau director I was arguing a point of law against the bureau lady legal officer who stopped me on my tracks. “You don’t know professional ethics, you are not even a lawyer to argue with me about law.” I was even wondering why so soon, she left us to join the Court of Appeals. Time has made me wonder no more.

        • Joe America says:

          If I can cut to a snapshot of the meaning of this idea, it is bridging between academic idealism and silo-thinking in institutions. It is like open space workplaces at high-tech companies known for creativity, where people can cross-talk openly. Or as Ronald Reagan would have put it: “Take down these walls to enlightenment and achievement, Mr. Gorbachev.”

          Thank you for crystallizing that so clearly, neo. I’ve got to work that into a slogan for the blog.

          • i7sharp says:

            @neo canjeca
            Those two paragraphs are NOT mine, didn’t write them. But who in this Joe Am’s blog won’t like to risk jail for copyrights breach for those diamond write by Prof. Edward W. Said? Joe Am might know him from ivy Columbia.

            neo, what do you think we should know about Edward W. Said?


            @Joe America
            Or as Ronald Reagan would have put it: “Take down these walls to enlightenment and achievement, Mr. Gorbachev.”


            Did Reagan actually say that?


            • i7sharp says:

              Sorry, I meant to say, why do you think Reagan would have put it that way?

            • Joe America says:

              Hahaha, no, he said “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”, a famous plea during President Reagan’s visit to Berlin, as he spoke to the gathering crowd at the Brandenburg Gate of the Berlin Wall.!

              The wall was opened 2 1/2 years later, and then was taken down.

              • neo canjeca says:

                Joe Am without my right hand in salute, I raise my M1 for right shoulder arms, click my heels, start with my left foot marching in place in silent drill. Think I should read more on Reaganism. An ism mentioned many times from where I lifted the two paragraphs: Edward W. Said, “Opponents, Audiences, Constituencies and Community” in Hal Foster, ed., THE ANTI-AESTHETIC, Essays on Post Modern Culture. The New Press, New York: 1998.

                The Press was and keep being unkind to Ronald Reagan?; I saw a collage of short footages of all his films which showed him slugging and flooring lots of villains, as if he is really a violent man. And then Tripoli, the particular building of Kaddafi ? was bombed when drones was yet to be IMAGINEd by Paul McCartney. Hope good me still got time left to understand Reaganomics, so I can share with others what it is all about, Ronald’s twist of the social science of assumptions.

                USA did good in a warring world because of a mere clothing store clerk and a second rate actor? While the Philippines did good too when a mere mechanic rounded up the big commies, became president. These punching bags of elite’s ridicule and insult who did not dream of riches and mansions with wives that’s angels; these guy shifted the gears of their countries destiny. Hey, HEY, I should stop, I am going nowhere, este somewhere naman.

              • Joe America says:

                Ronald Reagan is indeed an interesting man, of stern yet populist bearing, of Christian faith and conservative. A bit the buffoon now and then as he napped during Cabinet meetings, he was pretty much appreciated for his smile and wink and one-liners, and nerve to call it as HE saw it. He was Chairman of the Screen Actor’s Guild and Governor of California before being elected President. So he was more than an actor, and yet it was his charm and candor that got him elected, the charisma. As all Presidents tend to be, he was a captive of his time and politics, the Red Scare creeping across the planet as the Chinese scare is now facing the Philippines, and he took decisions to be loyal to assorted dictators (of unkind way) that we can historically say, “gadzooks, the PRINCIPLES, man, the PRINCIPLES!” I think Reaganomics is the same as any Republican President’s economics, take care of the big guys and the rest will get taken care of, plus a little bit of luck or fate.

                A worthwhile study. He got Alzheimer Disease and became a ghost of his former self, but his wife Nancy, an angel of some considerable spunk and opinion, cared for him until the end. Most Americans think fondly of the guy. That is not true of all presidents.

            • neo canjeca says:

              neo, what do you think we should know about Edward W. Said?

              mr/ms I7sharp, I ain’t really thinking nothing, why should I? your business of thinking, isn’t it none of mine? poor me only know kinda question get kinda answer.

              • i7sharp says:


                It is i7sharp – with a lower-case i. I am male, a grandpa to 7 kids.

                You were the very first one to mention of “Edward W. Said” here, I think.
                Do you feel uncomfortable, for any reason, being asked about him?

                Of course, I can google for info – but why not talk a bit about Mr. Said?

              • i7sharp says:


                How about talking about yourself in relation to the well-being of the Philippines?

              • karl garcia says:


                So you don’t have to google, Edward Said.


              • i7sharp says:

                Karl, thanks for trying to help.

                In the Wikipedia article I went directly to reading about Said and the well-being of Palestine.

                May I offer these two shortcuts (or codes) on Edward Said and Ronald Reagan?:

                We also know that Barack Obama had extensive and documented links with Israel basher, terrorism apologist and academic fraud Edward Said when he was at Columbia, …

                rr = Ronald Reagan
                kj = King James
                “Ronald Reagan and the King James Bible”
                Writing in the journal “The Alternative”, Richard Hanser, author of The Law & the Prophets and Jesus: What Manner of Man Is This?, has called attention to something that is more than a little mind boggling. It is my understanding that the Bible (both the Old & New Testaments) has been the best selling book in the entire history of printing.

                Now another attempt has been made to improve it. I say another because there have been several fairly recent efforts to quote “make the Bible more readable & understandable” unquote. But as Mr. Hanser so eloquently says, “For more than 3 1/2 centuries, its language and its images, have penetrated more deeply into the general culture of the English speaking world, and been more dearly treasured, than anything else ever put on paper.”

                He then quotes the irreverent H. L. Mencken, who spoke of it as purely a literary work and said it was, “probably the most beautiful piece of writing in any language.” They were, of course, speaking of The Authorized Version, the one that came into being when the England of King James was scoured for translators & scholars. It was a time when the English language had reached it’s peak of richness & beauty.

              • karl garcia says:


                If you were in a panel of judges in a pageant, or even a thesis panel.
                The ones answering your questions will cry.Ang hirap ng mga tanong mo.

  12. edgar lores says:

    We forgot the hardest rule: Listen!

    Mea culpa.

  13. karl garcia says:

    We are doing ok.

  14. NHerrera says:

    Regarding the above lists or Blog commenters Commandments according to the Gospels of edgar lores and chempo — thanks to both of you. Copied those for reference.

  15. josephivo says:

    Why not keep it simple, “have fun”.

    Fun might be different for all of us, fun tomorrow might require a different attitude than fun today. When I go to a pub is to have a good time, with no ethical considerations, no written rules, just being one of the customers, not always equally happy with those present, even the bar tender sometimes in a foul mood. You like it until you discover a better one, if not, no choice, just wait until it improves.

    If the nation benefits from our splendid discussions, ok for me, but my major motivation is just fun.

    • mercedes santos says:

      Yup, let off steam with restraint especially re snarky UP and PMA comments; sacred Pinoy dogs as they are. Is there really a need to adopt the NYT style manual ? We are all past grad school, aren’t we? Let’s all listen to Ingolf Wunder play Chopin.

    • Joe America says:

      The problem is, that is an individual motive that does not take care of the group. Trolls are having fun, but when they descend here, it is like scratching the paint on a nice looking car. So I think there has to be more than self interest. For some, it may be a willingness to sacrifice the opportunity for a little fun, in the interest of being a part of a building process. The product is a voice for Philippine well-being, unattached to any other agenda.

      • mercedes santos says:

        Too bad for those who like posh cars, I drive a knock-off Porsche and I couldn’t care less.
        The well-being of Pinas is always on my mind and I feel like voicing it now.

        • mercedes santos says:

          Kiss butt, not my style.

        • Joe America says:

          There is style and there is quality. One is a personal judgment. The other a performance fact. Just a little thought that went through my head. As it pertains to ethics and blogging, I think we ought to aspire to a little of both, a style that is entertaining, informative and respectful that in turn attracts readers who are enriched by the quality of the conversation that in turn serves the Philippines well. Direct-speaking is good quality in my book. Insulting someone is not.

  16. maya pula says:

    kudos to all who contribute to this site. so much good it generates for the nation and the brain.

  17. Joe. I have a question…what happens when conversation re a topic go stale as a result of you publishing a new article. You are so prolific, that sometimes one is left with a feeling that a discussion is somehow left hanging….and others converge on the most recent offering.

    Ok, it happens also at raissa’s although there is a list of recent comments on the left side of the screen that direct you there in one click however long ago that topic is. One example is the topic on Bongbomg who had a direct hand in trying to claim a substantial looted wealth hidden in various offshore banks of his family. Now the marcos loyalists, mostly trolls are converging there.

    Chempo mentioned that it is good manners and respectful to answer a query or a comment is directed to another but then, when that query was posted after the discussion went stale, how does one respond?

    Can wordpress something about it ?

    Ok, I think subscribing to new comments will do the trick, I subscribed to new posts, and an email is on my inbox when a new post of yours is published, but I can’t seem to do it with commenters’ posts. What did I do wrong? Pardon my shameful inadequacy in computer literacy, It’s excel the whole day for me and I write direct to this reply box, hence my frequent typo…but I digress…

    karl has been so patient and helpful before on tracing chempo’s comment.

    • i7sharp says:

      @Mary Grace P. gonzales
      Joe. I have a question…

      Can wordpress something about it ?

      Of course, I am not “Joe.” But I must say that I am hoping Marys comment will elicit many good answers from many participants here.

      Regarding discussions that have become “stale,” let me take the opportunity to thank Edgar – to mention only one member – and to somehow “refresh” a topic in the thread (yesterday’s thread, if you will, and which has 181 comments as of this writing)
      with this:

      Everyone here knows exactly what Edgar means by “modulo”, right?

      (Edgar, I hope to be able to send a replay to you later today – in this today’s thread or in yesterday’s.


    • neo canjeca says:

      Try as I might all night, I can’t KISS it
      The Society of honor is a watershed of ideals
      A catch basin of ideas a source of brain meals
      Where blog threads are flowing rivers and
      Where bloggers can’t swim the same river twice.

      A blogger is a rivulet feeding tributaries wise
      Only to lose it as a river to its own delta dies.
      Blogs imitate life as Art imitates life.

      She and he are gone before
      They can even kiss their child good bye
      Before even to yell “Hey I forget to say thanks.”

      For every blog like life, like all rivers
      must die, rest in peace in its own delta.
      Because blogs like new waters
      flowing in rivers keep moving on.

    • Joe America says:

      Let me see if Word Press has a “recent comments” widget I can put in the right column. You can receive comments to blogs by “following” the blog in the right column (hit the follow button), which will then show you a “managing” option. Click that, and go to The Society of Honor blog. Under the blog it will say “You get instant post emails and no comment emails for this blog”. Then there is an “edit” link you can use to change the settings. You can subscribe to all comments.

      • Joe America says:

        It may be that you have to subscribe to Word Press to get this follow feature. Perhaps Edgar can clarify/instruct. I’m an administrator, so all my buttons/options differ from those of readers.

      • edgar lores says:

        Sorry, Mary, can you please clarify.

        I regularly receive new comments from old “stale” posts going back some years. Subscription is at two levels:

        o New posts
        o New comments

        One just has to tick the two “Notify me…” buttons at the bottom of the “Leave a Reply” box.

        Once (a) one is subscribed to a post and (b) has commented within that post, one should receive new comments. (This is why Giancarlo subscribes and leaves a message saying, “Subscribing for comments.”)

        What I do NOT receive are new comments to posts — new or stale — that I have not subscribed to, that is, to which I have not contributed a comment. Is this what you are referring to? If so, simply do what Giancarlo does.

        If you would like to receive new comments to posts that you have NOT subscribed to and have not commented in, then follow JoeAm’s suggestion. I have just now followed the suggestion — and turned on the “Send new comments by email:” option in the Edit box. I await and will see whether the feature works… although I fear for my Inbox.

        • You fear for your inbox….haha, I got you….one artcle has 100 comments minimum…aaargh! But it would be worth it to be alerted with each and every post.

          Yahoo has unlimited storage – it stores even my mails dating back 20 years, most in folders, would be super fun to store messages in a folder entitled Master edgar’s gold nuggets….or cha’s musings, or karl’s library , etc, etc…I access my inbox when in office only, in raissa’s I get each and every response to MY comment, one click and I’m in the specific thread within the article even if said article was already half year old already.

          • edgar lores says:

            Thanks, Mary.

            So you receive all responses to a comment YOU specifically made.

            Here, you would receive all responses to a post you are subscribed to, and not just the responses to your comment… even though the post is very old.

            I see the difference. The second option has a wider catchment area.

            At Raissa’s, I use the first option. Here, I prefer the second option. The reason for this is that I am interested in the entire discussion and not just the threads I am involved in.

        • I really need to subscribe to Word Press then. Why is it asking me some questions that seem to indicate that I am about to start my own blog?…silly question..err, my question is, , I mean…will be incommunicado again while they are both recharging…will try again after recharging these 2 gadgets, which the four of us in the family are sharing Thanks, sir edgar.

  18. bauwow says:

    One of the reasons why I subscribe in this blog, is that I learn a lot from just reading the blog itself and of course the discussions which the commenters exchange ideas, that in many ways,Josephivo is right that it is as if we are talking in a pub, with a beer in hand, enriching others and in the process enriching oneself by exchanging ideas and/or comments.
    Respect is hard to even consider for those people who think highly of themselves and thought that they were the center of the known universe. Their comments are circuitous in nature, and we end up scratching our heads because we don’t have the facility to understand their comments.


    Lastly, was Johnny suspended? Hope not, his comments are always fun to read.

  19. I just caught on what is going on by reading the comments on the last blog entry. It is sad that Johnny Lin did not take this opportunity to expound on where he is coming from to clear the air.

    I agree with Bert that when you are a houseguest, you abide by the house rules and respect the gentleman/lady of the manor. Comments that may offend should be aired out in private. Joe can always be e-mailed regarding sensitive topics. He had always been gracious when I dropped him the occasional “grumpy” note.

    For the times I offended anybody here, I profusely apologize.

    As for me, THIS is my digital Philippines and ALL commenters here are my people. Most are like old friends whose comments I can’t wait to read and discern. Some makes me smile or laugh out loud. A few pushes my “grumpy” button. Nonetheless, I always leave this blog feeling optimistic about the future of the REAL Philippines and Filipinos.

  20. Juana Pilipinas says:

    OFF TOPIC: Cant’ wait to read Popoy’s ASVEN proposal. It is the topic of one of my unfinished article. Though I got it bass ackward as VENAS and I am proposing a multi year clean up of Pasig River by the DENR ala EPA superfund site or the River Thames biological rehab.

  21. Joe America says:

    One of the thoughts that I may be having difficulty getting across, beyond rules of ethical behavior, is the sense of “ownership” of the blog that really ought not just be assigned to JoeAm, but to each and every person who comments. That will encourage following the rules naturally, because care-taking the blog requires it. Newbies and outsiders come crashing in from time to time to push their cause, and you can see they have not yet developed that sense of responsibility TO the community of all-who-comment.

    • Exactly, Joe.

      There is a bit of autistic tendency to all this virtual stuff.

      To continue the agora analogy, new guys come in (especially opinionated ones, such as myself), they set up their soap box in the middle and start yammering away. And it’s perfectly natural, it’s all virtual after all (in the real world you’d get things thrown at you). As you blah blah blah away on your box, you realize ‘man, there’s a lot of other things going on here’ (like modula, what’s that about? is it magic? you ask yourself), so you get off your soap box and start looking around the agora, and you begin to enjoy it (this is a happening place to use a 70s expression).

      josephivo‘s right, it is about enjoyment.

      The sense of ownership or appreciation for the agora takes time. Let the regulars win them over (enchant them with our typing skills) and welcome them. Too many rules, stifles the agora, remember that song “Signs” by 5 Man Electric?

      • Joe America says:

        Well, I would say, have fun while building a really exceptional blog. There has to be a sensitivity to community, especially as readership expands. Otherwise we go on a slow slide to troll haven.

        • Joe America says:

          I would add that most regulars have that sensitivity, or sense of ownership of the blog. I don’t think Johnny Lin had developed it. He was out for fun or showmanship or something – I don’t quite understand what -. . . at the expense of the blog. Primer, the same.

      • Bert says:

        Fully agree with what you said, LCpl_X, wholeheartedly, :). Nicely done and to exact points. including the song. Really nice and true.

        • Thanks, Bert.

          I tried to give context to my answer to your “save from what?” question–back here, Your comment was the impetus for the article.

          I guess the article’s coming out Wed. Hope you like it, looking forward to your take. It should be fun.

          • Joe America says:

            I fully suspect next week will mentally tax all readers who follow regularly. Maybe we’ll have to take the next week off to recover. I thank you, Chempo and Popoy for bringing what is truly original, meaningful, thought-provoking commentary to the blog.

            • bauwow says:

              Manong Joe, will it be too imposing if I request that the daily blogs be extended to at least two days? For feeble minded individuals like me, it takes time to digest the blog, much more in the discussions! I hope it’s not much to ask. But if you instruct to man up and stretch your mind, I will have to just take Biogesic in case my brain heats up.

              • Joe America says:

                That has been the guide in the past, but when I get a number of guest blogs that are exceptional, I can’t stand to have them sit and go stale. Plus, I need my own say. Finally, we have a very large readership now, and I want to see if daily publication brings in new commenters . . . or maybe it will spread the comments around a bit, as threads with over 200 comments get a little unwieldy. My suggestion is to practice scanning . . . it is a learned skill. Then spend quality time with the most enlightening conversations. Or just pick the blogs that interest you most.

                But I for sure feel your pain. I have to read everything, and tending to comments in the morning is very taxing.

          • i7sharp says:

            LCpl_X, Bert,
            I look forward to reading the article on Wednesday.

            Here is the shortcut to what LCpl_X refers to:

            Think of as “jump”; of “ja” as “Joe America.”

            What about the “worst,” you ask?

            “The faith of Christ saves even the worst of people.”

            Lest you miss the significance of “of” in “The faith of Christ,”….
            Please see:

            by the way, right after I had commented to Edgar regarding “modulo,” I looked up from my computer to the TV screen and was (very) pleasantly surprised to see a “Pawn Sacrifice” scene showing Tobey Maguire playing Bobby Fischer.

            Believe it or not, a few seconds later, I thought of the “Johannine Comma” (1 John 5:7) which we had been discussing
            … and also of Louis Zamperini (Unbroken).
            In two or three sentences I hope to, later, say why.
            I hope you will find it amusing … and educational.

            • i7sharp says:

              Well, that “later” is now.

     (Bobby Fischer, Herbert W. Armstrong)
              Armstrong was one of those who believed “1 John 5:7” should not be in the Bible.

              Tobey Maguire starred in Seabiscuit, which was based on a book written by Laura Hillenbrand who later wrote “Unbroken” which is about the life of Louis Zamperini.

              Should I mention Dr. Ben Carson, presidential candidate, comes to mind, too?

    • edgar lores says:

      I was in two minds about this concept of ownership… until I read Caliphman’s comment on a commenter in Raissa’s blog.

      I have a sense of belongingness but not ownership I think. I would not presume.

      Perhaps it’s my introversion?

      Yes, I visit regularly, know where the Ovaltine is so I can prepare it myself, and have a quaff or two… but I dust off my shoes at the entrance.

      I would like to hear from others.

      • Joe America says:

        But you are impeccably polite and considerate of others, yet direct and open with your views. I would say that ownership (responsible community behavior) comes naturally to you, because you have personal disciplines and drives that the rest of us might have to think consciously to find. It’s like when Irineo gives himself a “time out” if he is getting worked up. That is an expression of ownership or care-taking the well-being of the blog, too.

      • Bert says:

        Me, I consider the owner of this house a bosom-buddy so sometimes just ignored dusting off my shoes unless they’re all muddy. What the heck if I drop off some speckle of dust on his floor and pissed him off at times, he’s a friend and you pissed off friend all the time. But respect is a totally different matter altogether and should not be taken for granted at any time, just like in a family.

      • chempo says:

        I’m mindful of Joe’s bottomline purpose of his blog as his own small way of contributing positiveness to Philippines. I see his stickiness to the idea of “building” instead of “tearing down” the country. Where he has been critical, such as the BOC article, it was in the interest of “building”. I marvel at the idealism, especially from someone not of the country born. I appreciate, therefore I visit.

        I like the pub-like atmosphere and most importantly the intelligent and wise (there’s a difference) contributions from commenters, and the numerous jokes. Karl’s one liners made me throw up the beer often. For me it’s not belongingness or ownership, but a sense of camaraderie that I don’t feel in other blogs.

        For the blog’s subject matter, I’m open to learning, listen to dissenting views. and share from personal experiences because I know there are good people tuning in. I think there are many other visitors who just read but feel inadequate to comment. To these folks I wish they can join in because a variety of views are interesting. No one’s going to laugh if you make mistakes, typo or grammar or whatever. Just don’t troll.

    • caliphman says:

      Joe, is there any reason for the topic and timing for this particular blog? I am glad it was not occasioned by anyone’s suspension including Johnny L of course. I pose the question as I have not noticed any unusually raucous behavior or verbal muggings or blood spills on the blogsite floor?

      • Joe America says:

        The timing was to give a proper forum to Johnny Lin’s complaint and get the discussion into a forum that is appropriate for it. I set the blog up with my side of the story, and if there is another side to present, that can be done here. If blogger credibility or integrity is an issue pertaining to blog ethics or behaviors, then it can be discussed here. I felt I had done a very important blog on the INC protest, and it got side tracked or hijacked, and it was like a dagger each time Johnny took another shot at my integrity in that forum. He can do it here, and I will debate the issue. As an issue.

        • caliphman says:

          You are talking about his aside that there seems to have been an inside source that was not acknowledged in the INC article. I recall responding that in general, while transparency is an ideal that journalists should pursue in their news or other non-fiction writings, one of the highest principles that can trump transparency is protecting one’s sources, specially if assurances along this line was given. I regret his comments had such a large negative impact on you, but without trying to speak for him, I doubt if that was his intention. Several times while we were regulars at CPM, he questioned Raissa on her editorial style including how she would amend or edit original blog articles without notification but it was not in any way to question her integrity but to discuss and understand her view. I am not particularly close to Johnny but know enough of him to say his motives were not born out of malice. Its a shame you were traveling and were not able to respond directly and I am hoping he will take the opporunity to bring up his point and discuss it here, now that you have created the space to address it. If we are to feel ownership for this blog, we should feel safe to bring up editorial or any other sensitive issues without risking personally offending or hurting you or anyone else even if it involves significant differences of opinion. Now how one does that may take some discussion or extra thought but this is what makes this blogsite and its regularx unique I believe.

          • i7sharp says:

            ” we should feel safe to bring up editorial or any other sensitive issues without risking personally offending or hurting you or anyone else even if it involves significant differences of opinion.”

            If I may say so, that is very nicely put.

            I will now take the opportunity to ask you why you have chosen “caliphman” as your handle. 🙂

            Salamat po.

            • karl garcia says:


              [ˈkālif, ˈkal-]


              1.the chief Muslim civil and religious ruler, regarded as the successor of Muhammad. The caliph ruled in Baghdad until 1258 and then in Egypt until the Ottoman conquest of 1517; the title was then held by the Ottoman sultans until it was abolished in 1924 by Atatürk.

              • i7sharp says:

                Again, Karl, thanks for trying to help. Appreciate it much.

                Actually, I know a bit (kapurit lang naman) about “caliph” or “caliphate.”

                I was just curious about the choice for a handle.

                Here is what I found just now – after googling, using some particular criteria:

                The Abbasid caliphs were said to have heard that the Twelfth Imam of the Shiites would establish a just Government and would rule over the east and west of the world, and would destroy the foundations of injustice. Therefore, to counter this event, they tortured and shed the blood of the Shiites. In the year 235 A.H., Mutawakkil, the ‘Abbasid caliph, ordered the Tenth Imam Mohammad Hadi (AS) and his family to be shifted from Medina to Samarra’, his seat of government, so that he could keep a close watch on the Imam of the Shiites. The search to find and kill Imam Mahdi (AS) was intensified when Imam Hassan Askari (AS) died, since it was said that on that day the command of Divine Leadership (Imamate) was to be entrusted to the Twelfth Imam, and the universe would come under his authority. When Imam Hassan Askari (AS) died, the office of Divine Leadership (Imamate) was transferred to the Last Luminous Pearl of the Household of the Holy Prophet (S), Imam Mahdi (AS).

                I have a different perspective though.
                One can get an idea of it from what I have gathered so far on “The 70 Weeks of Daniel”:

                The “bottom line,” if you will:
                Get right with God today, NOW.

                This is for everyone – including PNoy (who I doubt knows or cares much about it – given who he says his spiritual advisers are.)
                I say that with all due to respect – to all. I do not force my beliefs on anyone (knowing that I am very fallible and know very little still).

                The “Rapture” could happen at any time now.


              • i7sharp,

                A ‘caliph’ and a ‘mahdi’ are indeed related terms, but the Sunnis and the Shias see them differently. ‘caliph’ simply means successor, while ‘mahdi’ is one that’s guided– so, a guided successor.

                But somewhere along way, both Sunnis and Shias, developed a concept of “the Mahdi” similar to “the Messiah”. They’re like the Jews and Christians–for Sunnis they are still waiting for the Mahdi, while for the Shias the Mahdi (depends which type of Shia you are) has already been born, just in magical hiding. To the Sunnis, the Mahdi isn’t as magical–just a guided successor.

                The concept of Mahdi is an interesting conversation because the regular Muslim Arab on the street, whether Sunni or Shia, doesn’t really know what to think of it. Same with Zawaj Mut’ah (marriage for enjoyment), and Rida’ah al-Kabir (milk-kinship),

                There’s no concept of Mahdi amongst Filipino Muslims, nor Zawaj Mut’ah (GROs corner this market), neither Rida’ah al-Kabir (since Filipino families are bi-lineal, also it’s strictly a Near East pastoralist tradition).

                Maybe you or sonny or Mary will be familiar with this fresco, though I don’t think it’s Rida’ah al-Kabir (something else I’m sure), but it does look weird,

          • Joe America says:

            I understand that, actually. But when I returned and said I would make a proper forum for discussion of the matter, and that it was “off topic”, he argued and he persisted, basically claiming I have ulterior motives or an agenda with regard to Grace Poe. Johnny marches to his own beat, and I suppose, is naturally at odds with what I am saying here, that building a forceful, respected blog that can be a meaningful contributor to Philippine well-being requires that commenters agree to the mission and become a willing part of that force. Otherwise, we are just another chat room full of people who are just beating their own drums, trying to impress or push their agendas on others.

            How does one respond to a claim of ulterior motive when the party making the claim is not willing to try to understand? It’s like Binay saying Roxas is responsible for floods in Manila. It is done for a purpose. There is no interest in getting to understanding. I just am a little unclear as to what Johnny’s motivation is. Is he a closet nationalist who is fed up with an American citing his views? Is he pro Poe? Why does he not abide by the Ed Lores imperative, to listen? Is he like Parekoy, with a need to dominate? I truly don’t understand the WHY of what happened.

            • Caliphman says:

              Joe, I went back and read what you summarized regarding the back and forth and now I appreciate the purpose of this last blog. Johnny is usually very articulate and coherent in communicating his thoughts, he is no Primer. I am a bit unclear myself as to the material relevance of not disclosing insider sourced info in your account of the INC protest or in your basis in forming your opinions on the fitness and character of Poe and Binay as presidential candidates. Such disclosures should be mandatory or not depending on whether withholding this from your readers would falsely enhance the credibility of your INC account or your assessments of these candidates. I would have to say that quote the contrary, had you divulged that insider sources were used, your account would have been made more believable. So far as your partiality for Roxas and against Poe and Binay and whether inside info from admin sources influenced your forming these judgements, I probably would think less of your assessments as the inside info would be coming from a biased source. Just so that everyone knows if they do not know already, I am strongly anti-Binay, think Pinoy would have done better by anointing Poe, and don’t care much for those who are anti-Poe primarily because if she runs for president, Roxas would have very poor chances of winning.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, I suppose citing sources does provide a certain authentication, although it would still leave me open to the charge of insider bias. I suppose on that article, I will take the lashes in exchange for the personal pleasure of having written what I think was an important story that a whole lot of people appreciated. And I didn’t put any of the people who gave me insights or info on the spot.

                As for Roxas partiality, I have worked hard to try to understand him, and reported my findings here. He for sure is not Mr. Perfect, but I have long advocated stability and continuity going forward, and he clearly does that. It seems to me that Binay and Poe/Escudero are mainly in the business of criticizing and undermining, great populist approaches, but one that I personally find lacking in uplift and vision and leadership maturity. I know your stand on Senator Poe and am glad that you stand firm on your own assessment.

              • edgar lores says:

                That’s a valid perspective.

                If I may add mine. To me, the blog is a continuum and I have been following it for some years now, although I have taken retreats.

                The trajectory of JoeAm’s opinion of Grace Poe has been evident to me from the start. It started at a very high level and gradually diminished. Some of the milestones of the downward trajectory were:

                o Poe’s non-participation in the hearings on Binay
                o Her silence on Binay’s corruption
                o Her low comprehension in the DAP hearings
                o Her selective treatment of Purisima
                o Her questionable conclusions in the Mamasapano report
                o Her alliance with Escudero
                o Her out-of-protocol statement to the American ambassador
                o Her lack of comprehension on the basic issues of the INC protest

                I would suggest that if anyone doubts JoeAm’s unfolding judgement of Grace, he should go back and read the relevant posts here and in Raissa’s blog, and trace the trajectory. If one goes back and scans JoeAm’s opinions on the issues of her parentage and her citizenship in Raissa’s blog, one will find out how silly JoeAm thought of these non-issues. Her background did not matter to him. She was the solution to the Binay problem

                Therefore, I have not been surprised at the changes in JoeAm’s assessments of Grace because I shared this journey with him. The initial view was that Poe had star quality when she topped the senatorial election. And the view became brighter when it was perceived that she was the savior for 2016. But Poe has squandered her opportunities and, for some if not many, shattered the view. For these people, her star is now largely diminished by her own doing.

              • That was one of those instances that I disagreed with Joe, on the issue of Poe’s possible biological father (the former dictator Marcos)…he really was pissed off…!

                The other was regarding the Torre de Manila.

              • Ok…there is a third one…like Juana, I am grumpy with MRP….have low tolerance with his ridicule of us Filipinos, UP, affidavits….not only here but in PDI..oh man…he is a certified troll there….same topic, the Filipinos are the lowest kind of creature in the whole world…he practice literary freedom for effect to the max…

                He listens to Joe, behaves for a while and then…wham..! Back to his trolling.

                Joe is one patient guy.

              • Joe America says:

                Joe enjoys certain challenges to convention, perhaps, and likes wit and wisdom, which can sometimes be like finding a diamond in the mud. Yes, slogging through the mud is exhausting, so a lot of people walk around the mud pit and search for their riches elsewhere.

      • Off topic, everytime I see your gravatar, caliph, I’m expecting Maude….silly of me

  22. Sense of ownership…not in the way parekoy seems to treat raissa’s, alienating others who do not share his view of what that blog should be. Striving to enrich and not diminish ….in ways that is not domineering, mindful of the rights of others even if they don’t agree with your stated opinion..not to ridicule or insult one’s attempt to rebut, no matter how puny that attempt is in another’s POV….stated another way – to maintain an attitude that does not necessitate the owner of the blog to call your attention so frequently – whether to remind, warn, etc. .that’s how I look at it.

    • Joe America says:

      You look at it responsibly, for the betterment of the discussion and blog. That is the sense of ownership, or respect for the community, that I think is important to the kind of blog I aspire to produce.

      • caliphman says:

        I have to make a couple of comments about the blog and a few posts immediately above before a new blog comes in. Joe compares this blogsite and Raissa’s characterizing her as having no bias or advocacy except for being antiMarcos and being strongly independent from US influence. I am not aware of the latter in the 5 years I was a regular there.Secondof all, I would distinguish comparing blogsites with comparing their owners when discussing biases or advocacies. Raissa’s whole blogsite concept is modeled after Hyde Park or its local counterpart, Plaza Miranda, hence CPM for short. It is the politics and biases of CPM regulars one experiences when comparing blogsites since Raissa has a hands off policy on what is being said and how its being said on the blogsite floor. And the fact is, the CPM I experienced when I joined during the CJ Corona scandals and trials is quite different from what it is now. In my view which others may not share, there is a viscious mob and nearly a lynch Poe mentality which I find very dismaying, as that sentiment and bias seems to have affected friends who I have known to be open-minded and quite non-judgemental. If anyone wants to experience how Primer or MRP must feel like amongst us, try visiting CPM a couple of weeks with a name like IM4Poe and try to engage posters in their latest comments of the evil, traitorous, unqualified, and born liar that is Grace Poe. That is CPM and not the Raissa Robles whose investigative journalism put Philippine blogging on the map and put even the Supreme Court to shame by finding a legal loophole for DAP to function which the Court and the entire legal community missed!

        The mark of a mature and liberal community of bloggers is when there is space to have diametrically opposed and conflicting ideas placed on the table and discussed without triggering personal attacks or hurt. It requires understanding of what behavior is acceptable to the community as a whole and agreement to be subject to accepted norms. If I had a choice between a moderated blog environment and belonging to aa morr-or-less civilized community and an anything goes blogsite where flaming, verbal bar brawls, personal insults are the primary means of controlling disruptive behavior, having experienced both, I would definitely pick the former.

        • Joe America says:

          Excellent wisdom, and I accept the point that comparing blogs is as nonconstructive as comparing personalities of people. I didn’t intend to say that Raissa advocated being “strongly independent from US influence”, but that it is a preference that the Philippines be independent . . . a slightly different shading. Raissa is pragmatic about it, I think. I started to object to your use of the word “advocacy” as it pertains to the anti-Marcos stand, but as I think about it, it is an advocacy, if one goes by the number and tenor of articles. Minor quibbles for sure . . .

  23. karl garcia says:

    Speaking of parekoy I miss another know it all tough guy from this parts. RHiro.

  24. karl garcia says:

    When Abe came here defending Binay and used his wordsmith legalese ek ek, I wish caliphman was here to give him some lawyerly stuff.Me, I don’t know how to deal with those types of pro binay former blogging friends.

    Primer,too he might call me a bully,if I decided to exchange with him and remind him of old times.

    • Joe America says:

      Those are indeed huge challenges. One can only try so much, but when their agenda supplants their willingness to listen, one must concede there is probably not much to be gained from discussing further. I have a mental “irrelevant bucket” I sometimes put them into. They can do their thing, but it doesn’t involve me.

    • edgar lores says:

      One of the things Abe said why he was impressed by Binay was Binay’s attention to detail. He cited details of garbage in a particular street and an unreplaced bulb on a lamp post. I do not know if this trait is original to Binay or he picked it up from Malaysia’s Mahathir, who carried a notebook just for the purpose of recording such nitpicking details.

      It’s impressive to a degree… like Mussolini’s insistence that the trains run on time. There is a price to pay for such fascistic order. It views humans as subjects to be used to maintain that order, and that there is always the need to crack the whip. I would rather encourage a society where citizens do things, not out of fear or censure, but out of personal and mutual care and because it is the right thing to do.

  25. Bing Garcia says:

    Mar Roxas should package himself as the architect of the BPO industry and not Mr Palengke. It is just common sense.

  26. Johnny Lin says:

    De Niro: you talking to me?

    Someone alerted me that I might be part subject of this blog. Though I have intended to sign off ala Cronkite from this blog, not because I was guilty of unethical act or disrespectful to Joeam, but My intention was actually to open Joeam eyes that he might be being used by his sources to foster their political agenda and to my mind I have proof on it and will elucidate later.

    Who is unethical?

    I did not violate any ethical standard for commenters or wrote something without the go signal of Joeam. When Joeam went on vacation he posted a side note that since he would be away for a few days he wrote something like this” I will be away for a few days and feel free to keep the conversation going”. That’s a blanket authorization for commenters to write something of significance. If Joeam will deny writing this then read MRP in one his comments in the same blog.

    I have long wanted to alert Joeam to be cautious on his info from administration sources. If many are surprised that he was mentioned in SONA, that was not out of the blue. It was not accidental but designed by handlers of PNoy’s PR team. And it was also not coincidental that I returned commenting in this blog before SONA. Check it out if I tell the truth.

    Joeam has been saying he is politically independent and doesn’t hide his love affair with Aquino because he is trying to led our nation to a better path. I do like Aquino in the same way but not as aggressive like Joeam because many times in Raissa blog, I used to comment about the misgivings of his administration.

    What I don’t like is the way his allies are manipulating the defenders of Aquino including Joeam. Although I think Joeam knew that he is being exploited by his sources, he did not mind it because he thinks he is doing it for the good of the Philippines and its citizens. But Joe does not know much about Philippine politics. Although he is well read about the Philippines and wanted to be more knowledgeable about politics like any locals, he does not understand that Filipinos are dirty politicians, friendly on the outside, traitors on the inside. In JoeAm’s case, his sources are exploiters of a foreigner with good intentions who happens to be popular in blogging sites and could be exploited.

    Joeam says he is not politically affiliated, that he is a blogger, like a reporter that is why he does not like to reveal his sources. He is wrong on this concept even if it’s true he thinks he is is doing the right thing with his good intentions. He should realize that reporters not revealing their sources are involved in investigative reporting and expose. JoeAm’s blog is not about news investigation or reporting. His sources are about national news including political agendas supplied by his administration sources. In other words, Infos were usually one sided, which were meant to be and Joeam was used as a dummy to disseminate the Infos thru his blog. To be truly be an independent politically, reveal the names of political sources. Or else, be just like the same anti Aquino political columnists not revealing their funders.

    What did I write?

    I said: Joeam was not used to writing exact time and accurate sequence of events. Reread what Joe wrote in the blog: “at 8:22 Am on Monday(Aug 31) , the INC spokesman delivered a statement citing “agreement with the government”, and taking credit for a successful protest. Withdrawal began”. Not a word in this sentence was an original of Joeam. It was copied verbatim from the info supplied by his sources. This is a political agenda using Joeam, unbeknown to him. Why is it a political agenda? The event has long past, everybody has crossed the bridge already. Everyone has made their opinions but by supplying the details to Joe so he could resurrect the incident in his blog to perpetuate the political nature of the event and remain fresh in the mind of the people that those who pandered with INC must always be remembered. I don’t mind if it’s aimed at the foes of the administration but I do mind that a foreigner who is naive of philippine politics is abused and exploited by their dirty politics. The fake Roxas money is how dirty our politics. Joe thinks he is doing something good but his handlers have different motives on the detailed info supplied to him. Joeam was USED! As a Filipino, we should not tolerate the sources even if we are their allies in fostering a better Philippines. Until we police ourselves, we will never succeed.

    When Joe came back from his vacation, he started cursing, not scrutinizing every word I commented. Seems quite a few commenters thought I was disrespectful of him. As I said, some of JoeAm’s readers are blind followers and I mean it.

    Notwithstanding, I did not bear bad ills on Joeam nor to my naysayers. It’s a shame that the very same people he tries to ally with are treating him a dummy. They must have also advised him by now that if their names are revealed, they would cut ties with him.

    I’m a free lancer analyst and I could be wrong, but I deduce the facts the way I see them. I anticipated that Joeam will be irritated because he is blinded by his good intentions for the Philippines

    ” If the parents are not the first to say that their children are doing bad things, when an outsider says so it’s usually too late”(spare the rod, spoil the child)
    In a blog the relatives of the blogger are the readers. That’s what I did!

    And that’s the way it is

    He he he!

    • “I’m a free lancer analyst and I could be wrong”

      When you’re playing the assume game, always start with that. You’ve not said anything to support your insinuations, it’s been two threads now. Make your point already–be direct, be aggressive.

      Otherwise, you’re just whining. At least attempt to elevate it to something humorous or poetic–entertain us while you whine.

      Did it ever occur to you that Joe’s playing them? That Joe’s been around the block? That this isn’t his first rodeo? Check your assumptions first, then make your point. Joe’s sources are not yours–get your own.

      • “this isn’t his first rodeo” No it isn’t, and I think Joe knows how to weigh his sources. He’s been in the Filipino game long enough to know what kind of things happen.

        But remember that many Filipinos have attitudes towards “white men” that are shaped by their difficult history. From ruthless adventurers who used the “natives” to those who were blindsided by “natives”, you have everything.

        Suspicion is the norm in the Philippines – and almost nobody believes that ANYBODY is doing things just for the good of the country – because nearly nobody has most of the time. Well I guess Joe should answer that his name is Nobody.

    • Bert says:

      On the assumption part I agree with Cpl_X. You, Johnny, is full of it and not a bit of support for your insinuations. Here’s one glaring example:

      “It’s a shame that the very same people he tries to ally with are treating him a dummy. They must have also advised him by now that if their names are revealed, they would cut ties with him.”—Johnny

      As to branding commenters as blind followers of Joe, I would quote one famous comedian long gone, “That’s a lot of nonsense.”

      • Joe America says:

        “They must have advised him by now that if . . .” Man, that’s like people telling me about the white lady living in the trees of my Mindanao property. It is so steeped in speculation and mistrust and superstition and untruth that it simply can’t be responded to with reason. But I appreciate your calling it out.

        • Joe, it ain’t quite that way. White ladies probably don’t exist, unless some Filipino in your parts sees Maude coming home drunk at night and that scares him. What does exist in the Philippines is journalists, Filipino or foreign, being used for an agenda or vested interests.

          Look up John Nance, Manuel Elizalde and the Tasaday hoax. Now some say John Nance was used, some think Elizalde and/or Marcos and/or mining interests paid him big bucks. There are reasons for “Filipino paranoia”, good reasons based on things that happen.

          • Joe America says:

            Yes, I know reasons for mistrust run deep and naturally, and are justified by history and many personal experiences of betrayal. I mean, look at Binay backstabbing a whole nation. One must ask, though, is skepticism serving a constructive or positive purpose?And ought one not look for information before making accusation?

            I spent a lot of time on my property, in the night, and only saw monitor lizards, snakes, crabs and spiders. I do admit the one tree that supposedly housed the white lady had a huge above-ground root structure that was creepy for all the dark, foreboding caves that could be seen there. I quickly fled, for it was deep within the jungle and discretion is well-applied sometimes. Still, I make no blames. And, yes, it is true that one night, something rattled at our inside bedroom door, and shortly thereafter, an outside window, too high for the reaching. So I concluded the place was “spiritual”. I’ve perhaps mentioned them in blogs now and then, but no one questions the legitimacy of my sources.

            Strange that . . .

            • “One must ask, though, is skepticism serving a constructive or positive purpose?”

              Skepticism (doubt of knowledge) and Cynicism (doubt of good), all have value in fair amounts. But taken too far leads to Solipsism (only your mind exists), something the ancient Greeks weren’t big fans of, because it leads to Idiocy (the ancient Greek meaning, of not participating).

              This is an actual malady, now in epidemic proportions, called Austism–no one should opt to being Austistic (I’m not talking about idiot-savants, but non-functioning sufferers).

              Johnny now is just show boating. Hubris is another word that comes to mind. He could’ve simply said, “Joe, I think you’re getting bamboozled” (then offered why) and left it at that. Instead he chose a circuitous route, like some clown in the circus riding a small bicycle. He doesn’t care for Joe or this blog, he only wants you guys to see his tiny bicycle.


              As for white ladies, I’ve heard stories of veiled figures floating and when you look at the face, you see horror; then there’s same veiled figure but holding a baby, when you look at lady’s face, you see beauty, then stare at the baby’s and you see horror.

              Then there’s the girls you pick-up at cemeteries, they are not quite white ladies, but rather ghosts in physical form. Usually it’s taxis dropping them off or picking them up from cemeteries. But similar stories also have these girls actually going to bed with seemingly random guys and somehow laying curses on them.

              If Stephen King (did you hear he got some WH medal for the arts yesterday, Joe?) visited the Philippines, he’d probably craft 42 more novels.

              I don’t know how it is in Manila or urban areas, or northern rural areas, but in Mindanao, they believe theses stories, Ireneo— especially military & police, they have talismans and sacred cloth to protect them from such encounters. Sleeping with ghost girls were popular stories (everyone knew a friend of a friend…).

              • Joe America says:

                Most appreciate the perspective on Johnny Lin, who with he he’s and rundowns and defense devoid of listening is becoming a startling echo of my nemesis Parekoy at Raissa Robles’ blog. I just don’t interact with him and it’s cool.

                Thanks for the tip on Stephen King. I’m glad to hear that. He is an institution on raising the hairs on the back of one’s neck, and it is best not to read his works before bedtime. I used to (and did last May) take my daughters to the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado for lunch and a look out at the magnificent view. My wife loved the snow and was happy to get out of there. The Stanley is the hotel that the hotel in The Shining was modeled after. They’ve blocked off the room the family stayed in (417?) as a part of the tourist draw. I always check the topiary out of the corner of my eyes to make sure none of the creatures is moving.

              • Also, on skepticism, it’s closely aligned to a culture’s penchant for conspiracy theories. This was the hardest part for me dealing with Arabs in the ME. They had no idea who Ockham was, nor his Razor.

                This is how conversations ended over there, You Americans f’ed us over!; I get it, our bad, but we’re just doing a job here, blame Bush Jr.; You Americans are out to get the Sunnis; Again, that’s all under the bridge, your priority now is to counter the Shias and their Iran backers; You Americans are bringing down Islam; You may be right, but your focus should be the Shias now, so participate in the process; You Americans have rigged the process; If we’ve rigged the process, the only way to guarantee you’ll get a say is to participate; You Americans don’t care about us; Whatever, man, we’ve given you all this time and gave you all this resource so the Shias don’t bulldoze you, KSA’s given funds, so the Gulf states, everyone’s helping you out but you’re not doing anything; You Americans are Great Devil and Israel will rule us; Iranians are gonna rule you first unless you get off your asses!

                Johnny’s line of argument reminds me of that. It’s a headache.

                Just saw the Colorado episode of ‘Aerial America’ that featured the Stanley hotel,

              • Full-blast Filipino paranoia is more akin to the Spanish Inquisition style in being very sure of itself and not to be swayed by reasonable doubt – but hey those guys were under Arab rule for very long who knows how they were influenced.

        • edgar lores says:


          Senator Grace Poe is set to declare her presidential bid on Wednesday, September 16. The plan so far is to launch in the University of the Philippines in Diliman – unless anything dramatic happens.

          Poe is an avid believer of Feng Shui, a Chinese practice. A Rappler source close to the senator said Poe had that date checked by a Feng Shui master and eventually got a go signal. After all, the so-called ghost month should have ended by then.

          Feng Shui may be superstition or philosophy. My guess is it is superstition to Westerners.

          Should Poe win, the course of her administration will be guided by the stars.

    • NHerrera says:



      Let me paraphrase the message: my analysis of the INC blog from sentence structure and style shifts and crucial item like the 8:22 time, correct to the minute, is that you are using inside information which may have been feed to you. Be careful that you are not being used Joeam, or you and your blog and us contributors here will lose our credibility.

      How you deliver that message is the bone of contention, especially, I believe on the part of JoeAm, our host. You can deliver it your way or another way without losing a centavo of the message.

      I feel bad about losing your bright minds in Raissa’s Blog when you said goodbye there. I hope this will not result in so losing that asset here too.

    • Joe America says:

      The point about being “used” by the Administration is a good one but presumes I do not have the capacity to weigh what is good and bad for the purposes of my blog, or that the weighing must be like yours, or it is suspect. You also selectively recount the situation when you ignore that I asked you to save commentary for a blog dedicated to that purpose. Plus you left out the second accusation of bad “integrity” by suggesting I had an agenda with respect to Grace Poe. I appreciate Karl’s recitation of the facts which illustrated that this accusation was possible in error. You are a free-lancer, and not only could you be wrong, you are wrong, on both counts: my getting spoon fed a story, and my having an agenda with regard to Poe. The thing that drove me to swearing was your refusal to respect that this is my blog and I have certain goals and ideals as to how it should be run to be genuinely different and valuable. So you took your free-lance rights as more important than the well-being of the blog. Yes, that pissed me off. And it was the impetus for this article. Do commenters have any responsibility for the end product? Or are they, like Parekoy in Raissa’s blog, entitled to do as they will, to take over, to dominate and shape content in ways that I think will not achieve the highest aims for the blog?

      If free form is your style, then Raissa’s blog is a better place to hang your verbal hat, or the Inquirer’s inane chat rooms filled with bilge. I’d be sorry if you decided to do that, because your comments are intelligent, contain real-world balance, and are often amusing. And are sometimes wrong in your speculations. We would miss your thread across the blog-fabric, and the conversation would be somewhat lesser for the missing. But the standards here are the standards. I set them because, ultimately, I have to read a lot of signs and decide what will create a quality blog. And the standards, like laws in a community, are more important than any individual’s needs to pursue agendas or purpose that run against that grain.

    • edgar lores says:

      1. Johnny’s central argument is this:

      Why is it a political agenda? The event has long past, everybody has crossed the bridge already. Everyone has made their opinions but by supplying the details to Joe so he could resurrect the incident in his blog to perpetuate the political nature of the event and remain fresh in the mind of the people that those who pandered with INC must always be remembered.

      2. Question 1: Is the event long passed?

      2.1. Fact 1: The INC protest spanned 5 days, between August 27 and August 31.

      2.2. Fact 2: The Rappler’s article – entitled “Inside Story: The end of the Iglesia ni C risto protest” was published on August 31 at 10:00 PM, on the very day the protest ended, and was updated on September 04 at 4:38 PM.

      2.3. Fact 3: JoeAm’s piece was published on September 06, 2 days after Rappler’s last update, and 6 days after the protest.

      2.3.1. Fact 4: On the day the protest ended, JoeAm published “Iglesia Ni Cristo: Marcos babies goose-stepping to the front of the line”.

      2.4. Conclusion: I would not say the event had “long passed.” Indeed, a full week had NOT passed. JoeAm’s post did not only recount the event but contained analysis of (a) two desired qualities for prospective leaders, and (b) the degree to which the presidential candidates possess these qualities.

      3. Question 2: Has everyone made their opinions?

      3.1. Fact 5: The Inquirer published the following opinion items connected with the protest:

      3.1.1. Randy David, “Understanding the INC” on September 03 at 12:15 AM. This was before JoeAm’s piece. This piece was in favour the government handling of the crisis. Randy said, “That the government managed to persuade the INC to withdraw its members from Edsa without surrendering any of its powers is an achievement worthy of recognition.”

      3.1.2. Ramon Farolan,. “Sen. Grace Poe and the INC vote” on September 07 at 2:13 AM. This was after JoeAm’s piece. This piece was critical of Grace Poe. He said, “…she decided that votes were more important than the general welfare of the community.”

      3.1.3. Edilberto C. De Jesus’ “Separating church and state” on September 12 at 1:32 AM. This was after JoeAm’s piece. This piece was critical of INC. He said, “The expression of collective religious piety should not inflict collateral damage on innocent bystanders.”

      3.2. Conclusion: No, not everyone had made their opinions.

      4. Question 3: Was there a need to keep fresh in the mind of the people that those who pandered with INC must always be remembered?

      4.1. No there was not. As noted, JoeAm’s piece was too close to the event. And as noted, there were opinion pieces on the event after JoeAm’s piece.

      4.2. One would think a reminder piece would be better timed some months hence… in particular after Grace Poe has made up her mind and thrown her hat in the ring.

      4.3. Conclusion. This claim of the purpose of JoeAm’s piece does not stand. It is a bit illogical because it contradicts the claim that “everyone had made their opinions.”

      4.3.1. If you have made up your mind that the panderers — Binay, Escudero and Poe — confirmed their trapo-ness, would you need Joeam to remind you?

      4.3.2. The event itself will be long remembered by everyone for many reasons. The country is largely Catholic and dramatic troubles in the next largest Christian denomination surely evoked great interest. Stories of abduction of ministers, and family squabbles between son and mother, brother and brother, all recorded on YouTube and broadcast in all media, all these surely set tongues wagging. And many commuters were inconvenienced by the protest.


      5. Question 4: If Johnny has no malice, why did he impugn the integrity of JoeAm?

      5.1. I would think a friendly warning would have been more appropriate. Rather than asking JoeAm to disclose his sources, Johnny could have said, “Hey, Joe, if your sources are just from one side, be cautious. They might be using you. He he he!”

      5.2. Fact 6: Johnny did accept JoeAm’s initial reasoned response. And then he reneged and decided to pursue the matter!

      6. I will not touch much on Johnny’s other claim that “some of JoeAm’s readers are blind followers.” For myself, I know this is not true because I can see pretty well, though I wear glasses, and incidentally I have disagreed with JoeAm. And so have Joseph, Bert, Jameboy and Irineo to my knowledge. I mean disagree with JoeAm. I don’t know whether these good gentlemen wear glasses. I don’t even know if they are gentlemen… but we will presume so.


      7. Johnny claims to be an independent analyst. Does he have inside sources? My recollection from his posts in Raissa’s blog seems to be yes, he does. I remember making a comment that his views seemed to be from that of a fly on the wall. Hmm.

      8. The irony is that JoeAm’s and Johnny’s aim for a better Philippines may — and do? — coincide. But the dirtiness of Philippine politics is such that it seems all are wrestling in the mud. The piggery owner must be laughing in glee at the spectacle.

      9. Gosh, there I was enjoying my observer status, peacefully munching on popcorn… and then this happened! Excusez-moi, I need a shower.

    • Johnny

      So if I understood it correctly, you don’t want Joe to be used by the admin for the wrong reasons. Joe denied having used any “word for word info fed to him”….

      You were concerned that the blog is being used for the wrong reason, Joe is insisting that it is not so.

      Can we leave it at that?

      If I may say so, what irritated Joe was the way the discussion on the current topic at that time, aside from question of his credibility, was effectively hijacked by your concern and you have to admit that it really was. Thread after thread, discussions were about disclosure. He requested that your points be raised in a future article he is writing so it maybe on topic.

      He had a point.

      I see nothing wrong in pursuing the way the presidential contenders’ reactions in the INC rally. It’s not history at all, it showed us what those contenders are made of and the attempt of the INC to shove down the administration’s throat their own take of De Lima’s accepting the case of the expelled minister. It needs to be discussed in a deeper manner, in fact, I was kinda hoping Gian would rejoin us in that blog so he can contribute his input from an insider’s point of view so we may better understand the matter and not to be judgmental of the INC’s actions and not say their action is shoving down anybody’s throat. Isn’t the SAF 44 issue a far older issue, all issues being thrown by Binay are old and being seen to, can’t the administration do anything to clear the perception of them that is being muddled by the opposition…? This is not propaganda, it is analyzing an event that is still current in its consequences and aftermath.

      Please continue to comment here, you are not suspended, but given the chance to have your point of view discussed, which you have done.

      We are not rah rah crowd, blind followers of Joe. It so happened that we share the same aspiration – for the good of the Philippines…I believe that you share it, too.

    • josephivo says:

      Culture. In my myopic experience Americans are more often straightforward, to the point, even blunt. So are the Germans, Scandinavians. Italians, Spaniards, even the French are masters in spinning. Chinese, Japanese, Koreans I don’t know.

      The results or “honor”. For Americans results come first, not getting them is losing face. For Latin nations and most Asians not losing face comes first.

      This discussion seems a typical example how misunderstandings arise because of culture even if common objectives are shared.

      Johnny is concerned with “Face”, “Honor”, “don’t let you be manipulated (and hidden “I know better, Joe, careful, you are not the only alfa-male here”) Joeam looks at results, the betterment of the nation (and “this is my property, follow my rules)

      As Edgar explained the essence of the discussion is “light”. Who cares who made us thinking about the INC event and when? Or who cares about how candidates are assessed? We all have our own opinion, but we appreciate some thought starters. Different cultural viewpoints enrich and should be looked upon that way, how to combine strengths, not how to prove that my culture is the better one.

  27. karl garcia says:

    name the blind followers.

  28. jameboy says:

    The guidelines under the “Policy and Terms” of the blog answers all the concerns we have as a community. I think.

    Do I prefer ‘anything goes’? In certain circumstances an anything goes-type of engagement is fine. It loosens up people and more or less bond them or, in worse cases, separates them defending on what view they hold about on anything. 🙂 So long as control and decency remains as the medium guiding the conversation I’m all for it.

    I understand what brought up this article was the “insider” issue (Is Joe an insider now?) raised in another blog. I don’t know this obsession about ‘source/s’. As for me, I read and if I disagree on what I just read irrespective of who wrote it I respond. I share or present a different angle of how I view or understand a particular issue. Otherwise, I’m usually on a silent mode. Nothing’s wrong in asking for the source of the information so long as there is relevant basis for it. If one asks about the source because of contradiction with the facts, fine. That would be beneficial to everyone because there is an attempt to reconcile or differentiate fact from fiction.

    On the other hand if it’s raised to cast doubt on the impartiality of the writer or his dedication to truth and transparency it should be framed in a way that the one raising the issue intends to prove that there is bias or intent to tip the balance on what was reported. That the readers are being fed propaganda or information twisted in favor of one party. And that would mean malice on the part of the writer must be shown which I think will poison the conversation.

    In the case of JoeAm, he could be an insider or outsider or whatever. He may have been fed information or got it himself or whatever. But who cares? In short, so long as there is no intent to deceive, how he got his info is irrelevant. What’s relevant is if he can support or defend the facts or view he shared if contradicted by another party.

    Was the inquiry about the ‘source’ meant to expose or confirm JoeAm as an insider or supporter of the administration? If so, what’s the point? There is nothing in the guy that I find suspicious or doubtful. He says what he think and he writes his view on things with his own preference or leanings just like the rest of us. Right or wrong there’s transparency there. Even I butt heads with him from time to time because of differences in opinion but I never once thought of questioning the source of his idea because there is no justification for it. Unless one lie or fabricate stories, asking for source of info or whether if one is an insider or out is bordering on insult which we should avoid.

    Bottom line, we are all doing fine sharing and disagreeing. Let’s keep it up! 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      If I were an insider, no way would the Customs blog have been published. I do have back room conversations with lots of people these days, and some of them offer ideas and information and leave it to my discretion as to how to work with it. Or not. Some of these people are in or close to the Administration. Some of the information has found its way into blogs as argument. On Facebook, people are always enrolling me in their advocacy groups, and I follow right behind, taking myself out. The only agenda is the well-being of the Philippines. I’m an insider for that. Read the Inquirer article about President Aquino’s citing of the blog. It is acknowledged by his people that I am critical, but the criticism is always backed with reason. To the President’s credit, he, at least, respects that.

      • Johnny Lin says:

        “If I were an insider, no way would the Customs blog have been published”
        Caliphman was attributed in that Customs blog. Unless you are telling us now Caliphman and Joeam are same person. Why in the blog “Credit…” The administration sources were not attributed?

        With Grace Poe. Reread that particular post again. I posted starting with a waiver for the sake of argument: who would believe every negative statements on Poe were all yours when you admit that you get inside information from administration sources. The question would be then? If truly independent politically, why secrecy on administration sources when Poe herself insinuated to Roxas he has allies in the administration impugning her character? Which is which ? Apolitical or mouthpiece of talking points of administration sources. That is why I accepted the reiteration of being apolitical thinking that disclosure will be abided.

        On insinuation, proof and blind followers : Reread this blog with magnifying glass carefully, word for word especially on the paragraph, ” Here is the interesting thing……” With Emphasis on the last sentence! He he he

        On Rappler- these are presumably professional reporters like Raissa. Different when the author disseminates the political agenda and DETAILED talking points of administration sources because it conflicts with the claim of APOLITICAL. Above about Grace is perfect example of conflict of claim. Reminder: Joeam is a blogger not a professional reporter or columnist.

        On resurrecting the issue: I did not curse.
        On impugning character: Did I? by reminding people on their toes that’s it’s difficult to paddle two boats and honesty is the best policy? Which are the boats? Apolitical and secret administration sources with political talking points.

        Rejoinder not argued but messenger shot
        nobody discussed these main issues which are my main talking points.
        1. discussion started on the timing” at 8:22 AM Monday. Nobody said yet I was dead wrong. Too late.
        2. Did I write “unethically” that is posting something without being given freedom to do so like everyone else by Joeam? Nobody said Joeam did not give a written go signal?

        he he he!

        • I for one did not discuss the timing at 8:22 AM because I deemed it irrelevant…the INC spokesman made the announcement in public, it ‘s on record, not top secret , confidential ek ek for your eyes only document that only an admin source would know…

          “fell free to discuss the topic he left behind before his two day travel”. Is how I understood it…it’s only 2 days, not half month like the first time he left us for overseas travel with his family – now that one is multi-topic discussion, a commenter was free to introduce a topic of his/her choice, micha had a one liner that generated the longest thread…

          One topic has a usual discussion time frame of more than two days.

          I’m a simple minded commenter…providing an exact time of a given event – the TV covered Zabala live, did it not? I read Ludlum and Clancy, but I failed to see any hidden agenda by the admin or the media in this particular matter.

          • Johnny Lin says:

            Librarians and antique dealers have one common sacred word with their treasures

            Provenance of the initial comment of the paragraph “at 8:22 am Monday (Aug 31)” with explanation will be found on the blog “credit where credit is due” to better understand this particular discussion.

            This paragraph is part of the topic blog, as you said what you understood is “feel free to discuss the topic he left behind before his two days travel”. Comment did not veer away from the topic following your understanding of “feel free”

            And that’s what I discussed on a different note, maybe not worthy of archiving but still RELEVANT to the blog because the paragraph quoted is in the body of the blog unless it was missed on reading due to blindness.

            He he he

            • karl garcia says:

              In your world, the blind can read and comment.

            • karl garcia says:

              “At 8:22 am on Monday (Aug 31), the INC spokesman delivered a statement citing “agreement with the government”, and taking credit for a successful protest. Withdrawal began.”

              if it said early morning aug 31, you would there be an issue.?
              btw The link from philstar was just minutes behind schedule..

              what’s the big deal?

              Joe said feel free, you felt free,hence the discussion..but where’s the beef?

              • Joe America says:

                I think the beef goes something like this: The precision of the time suggests that JoeAm had a schedule of events. The blog followed the schedule and may even have been written by Administration staffers. JoeAm is an unwitting tool of the Administration and so the blog has lost credibility.

                So you get different responses:

                Edgar. “JoeAm acknowledges he had insider information, I trust his integrity from having read a lot of his work, the time is irrelevant.”

                Johnny: “I have read his stuff, too, and there is a lot of suspicious writing going on, like his agenda against Grace Poe, so I’m not convinced and have a right to say so.”

                JoeAm: “You both are right, and I’ll make a proper forum for the discussing of that, but get the off-topic discussion out of this blog thread.”

                Chempo: “Thanks for listening, Joey.”

              • karl garcia says:

                you are right. 🙂

        • caliphman says:

          Practically all the research in that article was mine even though Joe wrote the narrative , perspective, assessment and opinion aspects of the piece. There was little if not nothing in the way of info that was attributable to the admin.

        • edgar lores says:

          1. The 8:22 AM argument is of no moment if one concedes, as I do, that insider info was available.

          1.1. To me the issue is not whether insider info was provided. It is whether JoeAm has a duty to disclose.

          2. I do not quite understand the second talking point. However, if it is that one has the freedom to raise ethical questions, then, of course, yes, this is a free society. I have no issue with this.

        • josephivo says:

          When one hits a stone that causes an avalanche, the main question for Americans is “what damage he caused?”, the main question for Europeans is “what was his intention when he hit the stone?”

          As good Filipinos we mixed both questions.


            Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

            Shrek: Urrrrrp – What chicken?

            George Bush: To face a kinder, gentler thousand points of headlights

            Darwin: It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees

            Bob Dylan: How many roads must one chicken cross?

            Robert Frost: To cross the road less traveled by

            Gilligan: The traffic started getting rough; the chicken had to cross. If not for the plumage of its peerless tail the chicken would be lost, the chicken would be lost!

            Martin Luther King : It had a dream

            James T. Kirk: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before

            Sir Isaac Newton: Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest. Chickens in motion tend to cross the road

            Mr. Scott: ‘Cos ma wee transporter beam was na functioning properly. Ah canna work miracles, Captain!

            Mae West: I invited it to come up and see me sometime

            George Washington: Actually it crossed the Delaware with me back in 1776

            Albert Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed
            the chicken depends upon your frame of reference

            Darth Vader: Because it could not resist the power of the Dark Side

            Lord Baden-Powell: To earn a Road Crossing merit badge

            Colonel Sanders: I missed one?

            Raissa Robles: because it ran away from Bongbong Marcos
            Joe America: the chicken finally proved that it was a trapo

            Mar Roxas: the chicken is not Aquino and not Romualdez
            Grace Poe: I am sure that the chicken was a foundling
            Jojo Binay: if the chicken was fat it must be from Makati

            Edgar Lores: 1. the chicken left something 1a. what was it? 1b. where was it 2. where to?
            josephivo: we must look at the chicken from different cultural perspectives
            MRP: the chicken must have been running away from a thieving UP graduate

            Johnny Lin: how do they know the chicken crossed at 8:22?
            NHerrera: there is a 98% chance that the chicken was female

            karl garcia: bakit puro manok ang pinag-uusapan dito?

            • i7sharp says:

              I have ALWAYS liked Colonel Sanders’ retort.


              (Nagpapansin lang. Apparently I have not earned the grade yet. )

              btw, great input, Irineo.

              • Apparently I have not earned the grade yet.

                i7sharp: the chicken is looking for the most accurate King James bible, ‘worst’ think of worst fried chicken ever, Jollibee rhymes with Jubilee keep those lands fallow, OFWs return home. Leviticus 25:10

              • i7sharp says:

                LCpl_X, you really want to know what I think, why the chicken crossed the road?

                The chicken crossed the road … to see Pacman play chess with Jordan (Jordan Clarkson, that is).

                So here comes the inevitable … shortcut (call it code. please )

                If I may say so myself, you will like the images (there are two) in the homepage.

                Or replaying the Immortal Game, the Evergreen, the Move of the Century (Fischer’s), ….

                I don’t mean this one:

            • karl garcia: bakit puro manok ang pinag-uusapan dito?

              Ireneo, you forgot sonny.

              sonny: Uncle, here in Chicago the best fried chicken is at Uncle Remus.


              and here’s you,

              Ireneo: My German grandmother made the best fried chicken in Bavaria, but nothing beats Mang Goryong’s lechon chicken stand in Old Balara during my activist days.

            • Joe America says:

              🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 I was laughing all the way but totally lost it at Edgar Lores . . . the rest I read through tears . . .

            • karl garcia says:


              • that branch I only went to once in my life… LCPL_Xs characterization is much closer to the truth. From time to time, I do succumb to commercialist temptation. I go betray the civilized world of both Europe and Asia as well as my health by going to eat American chicken with its tempting, most probably artificial flavors at the KFC in the city center where American tourists also go to. And atone for my sins against culture by eating Spanish tapas at night.

            • karl garcia says:

              We were talking about chicken,but I asked Joihnny about beef. I entered the wrong restaurant.I must not do that in India, they have holy cows there.

              • Joe America says:

                I’m thinking of changing the blog to a comedy club. I spend most of my time here laughing . . .

              • Karl, thanks for trigerring this morning dose of laughter. I missed the exchanges, gadget ran out of juice again.

                Irineo, thanks for the chicken jokes. You really know each and everyone’s style here, you did it in a much kinder way than parekoy’s manhandling of our handles.

            • edgar lores says:

              I liked Mae West. Because.

              • karl garcia says:

                A double entendre (/dʌbᵊl ɒnˈtɒndʒrə/, /duː-/, /-ʒrə/; French pronunciation: ​[dubl ɑ̃.tɑ̃dʁ(ə)]) is a figure of speech or a particular way of wording that is devised to be understood in either of two ways, having a double meaning. Typically one of the meanings is obvious, given the context whereas the other may require more thought. The innuendo may convey a message that would be socially awkward, sexually suggestive or offensive to state directly (the Oxford English Dictionary describes a double entendre as being used to “convey an indelicate meaning”, whilst Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines it as “a word or phrase that may be understood in two different ways, one of which is often sexual”).[1]

              • i7sharp says:

                @karl garcia
                “A double entendre …”

                The hypothalamus is one of the most important parts of the brain, involved in many kinds of motivation, among other functions. The hypothalamus controls the “Four F’s”: fighting, fleeing, feeding, and mating. -Heard in a neuropsychology classroom

                It took me seconds (maybe a minute or so, at the most) to find the above example of double entendre.

                I found it in a file that is linked to by this shortcut:

                If no one will ask a question about it (my previous comment), I myself will ask myself a question myself.

              • karl garcia says:

                Mae West was known for her double entendres. Here are the examples.


                I wrote the story myself. It’s all about a girl who lost her reputation but never missed it.

                • When I’m good, I’m very good. When I’m bad, I’m better.

                • Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.

                • It’s hard to be funny when you have to be clean.

                • I’m a woman of very few words, but lots of action.

                • I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.

                • It isn’t what I do, but how I do it. It isn’t what I say, but how I say it, and how I look when I do it and say it.

                • I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.

                • When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before.

              • i7sharp says:

                Thanks for the Mae West link and quotes.

                I googled for “wit mae west groucho marx yogi berra oscar wilde mark twain” and found this among many results:

                btw, what do you think of the 4 Fs?:
                “fighting, fleeing, feeding, and mating”

              • karl garcia says:

                sounds like Darwinian to me (4fs)

              • i7sharp says:

                The 4 Fs.

                Methinks, they are, in context, …

                feeding, and
                [f..cking a.k.a.] mating”

              • How about “frolicking”?

              • karl garcia says:

                you got me there, I thought that was fating.(excuses)

              • edgar lores says:


              • i7sharp says:

                “frolicking” would make unnecessary the use of double entendre.

                Anyway, …


      • i7sharp says:

        @Joe America
        The only agenda is the well-being of the Philippines.

        For the well-being of the Philippines, …

        PNoy (President Aquino III), as the leader of “the only Christian nation in Asia” should heed Jesus Christ:
        “Search the scriptures … they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39 KJV

        Does any of his spiritual advisers know where or which the scriptures are?
        To my spiritual advisers, Father Catalino Arevalo, Sister Agnes Guillen, and Father Jett Villarin [applause], and to Cardinal Chito Tagle, Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, Ka Eduardo Manalo, Bishop Soc Villegas, Bishop Jonel Milan, and Brother Eddie Villanueva; …
        PNoy’s sixth and last SONA.

        The very fallible me, who knows very little, would like to most respectfully tell PNoy anyway that the King James Bible is *the* word of God, the scriptures.

        What would PNoy’s advisers say?
        Let us see or hear what they say.

        What about the spiritual advisers of the members here?
        Let us see or hear what they say.


        (Let us stop at #1, first.)

        • Joe America says:

          I leave the answering to them, as I consider faith to be a person’s private business. I smile, because I can imagine Lacierda’s face go blank when faced with such questions, when they are busy running a nation. But you are free to send in an e-mail yourself. I’m sure there is a contact address around somewhere.

        • Bert says:

          The only spirit I know is the spirit of alcohol and I’m averse to it.

          • Joe America says:

            I’m glad you’re my brother. Your wit has become incomparably keen. You are herein designated the Society’s Cranial Surgeon, for the way you wield the drill and scalpel. (Sir Librarian, would you kindly record the award for posterity.)

            • edgar lores says:


              A much deserved award. Congratulations!

            • karl garcia says:

              already catalogued.

              • chit navarro says:

                so you are the Sir Librarian of the Society…

                and if my memory serves me right, also the “Baby” – because
                a lot were looking for you in the article on the INC debacle

              • Joe America says:

                Karl is the Tanod and Librarian, heading both departments. He actually performs those duties diligently and seriously and contributes very timely and informative information on various topics whilst clubbing trolls senseless.

              • karl garcia says:

                Giancarlo’s input would have ben nice since he is from INC, nawawala sya until now.

              • i7sharp says:

                @karl garcia says:
                Giancarlo’s input would have been nice since he is from INC, nawawala sya until now.

                I wish Giancarlo well and hope he is seriously examining the teachings of the INC.
                And also, if he is still a staunch follower of the INC, that he tell us of the good things he knows about iNC.

                Karl, would you be insulted if I say, with all due respect and with the best of intentions, ask you to seriously question the teachings of the RCC?

                btw, I have a close relative who married a member of the INC and as a result left the RCC.
                All my siblings are RCCs. A big, very big, majority of my relatives are RCCs.

          • Johnny Lin says:

            Only spirit I know is fighting, like rebuttal on “insinuations, proof and blind followers”
            Who is insinuating didn’t understand what was read. Proof asked was provided explicitly but wait a minute No Rebuttal. Aha color blind must be the answer!

            And that’s the way it is

            He he he

            • Bert says:

              “Only spirit I know is fighting, like rebuttal on “insinuations, proof and blind followers””—Johnny


            • mercedes santos says:

              Johnny, ano ga ang kulay mo ???

            • caliphman says:

              No response is sometimes a response, and many times the best response. Depends who is responding and who is being responded to. That’s the problem with silence, it can be deafening at times when one is listening. Drama is great except when there is just too much of it.Fighting and insinuations can be interesting until its not. Peace all…ahaha.

  29. I see you have added a new feature, Recent Comments.

    Thank you, thank you…really appreciate this.

    • Joe America says:

      Wink, wink. Listening is important, I understand.

      • Got it…thanks for listening

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          That is why Raissa and Alan’s blog is FREE FORM because they do not read comments to their blogs that these duo cannot know the commenters are at each others throat. Raissa and Alan read my comments. They cannot accept the truth because they are both from UP. UP alum like Raissa and Alan protect their alum and alma mater.

          Like Raissa and Alan, UP alum in the government protect their own that is why it perpetuates corruption in the government thru cover-ups and judicial protection.

          The Senate doesn’t even want to INVESTIGATE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES why they are monopoly in crookery and incompetence. Very unlike in the US where laws, textbooks are plagiarized from. Oklahoma County Clerk’s alma mater was in question and in the limelight when County Clerk did not issue Gay marriage BUT NEVER IN THE U.P.

          Benigno, if you are reading this, since you are from Ateneo, INVESTIGATE U.P. Stop the funding. Also, Benigno, thank you for appointing San Beda graduate deLima. She took on those UP crooks.

          Stop funding University of the Philippines until it is investigated by independent International organization.

          • chit navarro says:

            If you are following Raissas blog, you should know that Raissa reads all the comments but does not reply to the comments, as a rule. she replies only in short, crisp sentences / words…. perhaps, to keep her “independence”….? Not that I am saying JoeAm is NOT independent… he is and he is more “giving” to other commenters…

            • Joe America says:

              I prefer the term loquacious to blabbermouth . . . In the early days of the blog, there was not a lot of cross-chat among readers. Most engaged directly with me, and I made it a policy to give honor back to visitors who honored the blog by commenting. It’s the 13 years I spent working for the Japanese perhaps . . . That is not as necessary these days, but I still think the author’s engagement makes the blog a more friendly place, somehow. Rather like the host of a party circulates to keep the drinks and conversation and introductions going . . .

  30. neo canjeca says:

    I sat immobile atop my hollow blocks of a fence

    Not participating in bloods of reason boiling

    Listening hopefully not hearing the noise

    But the symphonies of gray matter

    If Titans have brains I read it here

    Loud and clear, deafening but clear

    Am ain’t a Titan but a Hobbit dwarf of write

    So if you will read again with patience

    The whispers of my clogs about blogs:

    Try as I might all night, I can’t KISS it
    The Society of honor is a watershed of ideals
    A catch basin of ideas a source of brain meals
    Where blog threads are flowing rivers and
    Where bloggers can’t swim the same river twice
    A blogger is a rivulet feeding tributaries wise
    Only to lose it as a river to its own delta dies.
    Blogs imitate life as Art imitates life
    She and he are gone before
    They can even kiss their child good bye
    Before even to yell “Hey I forget to say thanks.”
    For every blog like life, like all rivers
    must die, rest in peace in its own delta.
    Because blogs like new waters
    flowing in swift rivers keep moving on.
    Moving on is not that bad

    Coming out not from the mouth

    Of despots, thieves, and money mads

    Be happy to see U HAUL trucks

    When Homeowners moving on to new vistas

    Makes like breaking debates’ inertia

    Sending pieces flying of brain matta.

    • chempo says:

      I was in the office of Mr Solomon a wise HR manager of a large corp when John an assembly worker walked in.
      John : Mr Solomon my supervisor Joey refused to show me the plant manual.
      How do I know what he tells me is OK.?
      Solomon : Hmmm you are right John. I’ll talk to him.
      A satisfied John then left. Just then Joey walked.
      Joey : Mr Solomon, I think you should ticket Joey for insubordination for insisting to want to see the manual which he is not entities
      Solomon : Hmm Joey you are right. I’ll have a chat with him
      I was amused and reminded him he had told the two men they are both right.
      He scratched his head and thought for a second, then he told me ” Hey, you know what, I think you are right”.

      Disclaimer : Any association of names to anyone is only accidental. If you feel the names refer to people you actually know — hey you are right .

  31. neo canjeca says:

    karl garcia says:
    September 12, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    If you were in a panel of judges in a pageant, or even a thesis panel.
    The ones answering your questions will cry. Ang hirap ng mga tanong mo.

    From Neo

    Not for me Karl if you’re referring to me. My problem I know is, since retirement I stop treating curious inquisitors as my students trying to prove they know a lot to improve their grades. Inside classrooms I try answering with my little best. Outside classrooms I prefer the knowledgeable to kindly share. Those I quoted are two paragraphs per se I don’t consider nearly sufficient to make the medium as the message.

  32. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Ethical standards for commenters:
    1. No Name Calling, please. That is so Filipino. Typical Filipino responses when angry or disagree with a comment: Bading, Bakla, Check-your-Grammar, S2PDT, Mental, Muntinlupa, Drag-Your-Mama into the fray, Wrong-Spellings, Verb-Disagrees-with-the-Subject, etceteras
    2. If commenter is mad at a comment do not mad back
    3. If commenter starts name calling, stand down. He/She is just having a bad day which is always the case
    4. Do not Drink-and-Blog
    5. Do not Blog Under-the-Influence
    6. We all have different agendas, political leanings and advocacies, please respect it.
    7. Owner of Blog has the right to Delete Comments
    8. Avoid loud and aggressive commenter; they ae vexation to the spirit and camaderie
    9. Do not compare your English with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be lesser commenters than myself
    10. Listen to other commenters, even the dull and the ignorant, they too have their stories
    11. Please be mindful with your caps lock and bold letters. Screaming doesn’t make one right
    12. Not all UP graduates are crooks and incompetent. They just happen to work in the government because the government thinks they are brilliant, honest and competent people but they are not
    13. Please read Philippine newspapers RESPONSIBLY because most of the time they are IRRESPONSIBLE
    14. If you do not apply HUSTISYA MATUWID on The Binays the HUSTISYA MATUWID NA BALUKTOT will eventually catch up on your favorite politicians and presidentiables and use the same judicial principles used by The Binays and you’d all look like fools

    Amid the noise, hatred and haste, it is the only blog mentioned by A PRESIDENT. Be part of it. Respect it. Blogs come and go but Society of Honor remains because we are honorable men and women.

    ( TROLLING is an abused word. What really is TROLLING? Since 1994 its meaning has evolved to this day and still in evolution)

    • mercedes santos says:

      Yippie yay yi, Yippie yay yo ☺

    • Trolling is an art, MRP–you are Banksy.

    • Joe America says:

      Wonderful gems of wisdom, MRP. They read a lot like Edgar’s, but I laughed a bit more here . . . 🙂

    • karl garcia says:

      nice MRP, nice 🙂

    • Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
      As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
      Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
      Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
      If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
      for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

      1st paragraph, Desiderata By Max Ehrman, 1927

      A truly timeless poem my the American poet…a lot of lessons could be learned from it

      • i7sharp says:

        Just trying my hand on poetry:

        Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
        Having some business, do entreat her eyes
        To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
        What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
        The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars
        As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
        Would through the airy region stream so bright
        That birds would sing and think it were not night.

        • karl garcia says:

          Make that your new hobby,you are good at it.

        • i7sharp says:

          Still trying my hand on (copying and pasting) poetry:

          To be, or not to be- that is the question:
          Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
          The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
          Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
          And by opposing end them. To die- to sleep-
          No more; and by a sleep to say we end
          The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
          That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
          Devoutly to be wish’d. To die- to sleep.
          To sleep- perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub!
          For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
          When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
          Must give us pause. There’s the respect
          That makes calamity of so long life.
          For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
          Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
          The pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay,
          The insolence of office, and the spurns
          That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
          When he himself might his quietus make
          With a bare bodkin? Who would these fardels bear,
          To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
          But that the dread of something after death-
          The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn
          No traveller returns- puzzles the will,
          And makes us rather bear those ills we have
          Than fly to others that we know not of?
          Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
          And thus the native hue of resolution
          Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
          And enterprises of great pith and moment
          With this regard their currents turn awry
          And lose the name of action.

          This one took me a bit longer to do than the previous one.

          Questions will be replied to with a (hopefully) rewarding answer.

  33. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Must see and hear if any of you have missed this BBC Documentary on South China Sea the century’s flash point. David versus Goliath. China versus Philippines.

  34. Sal E. says:

    I do not know where some of you get all the time to comment and re-comment on JoeAm’s articles… I am like 3 articles back now. I thought I would add my two-cents to this article late as it is.

    I also could not see the relevance of Johnny’s comments in the previous article. I wanted to jump in then but did not want to contribute to what I thought was bringing the conversation further away from the main topic — INC. I did find Johnny’s insistent need-to-know re JoeAm’s source as irrelevant (I have since read Johnny’s explanation and I still think it is irrelevant and agree with another comment that it sounds more like he is pushing some conspiracy theory).

    For me, bloggers get their “facts” from various sources and they temper this with their own beliefs, values and prejudices to produce their own view of a story… like their own “templada” of adobo, if you will. All of us do the same thing. For example, I watched the movie Heneral Luna and I thought the script was a very nice “templada” of the many varying stories floating out there about Aguinaldo, Bonifacio, Buencamino, Paterno, etc. I did not need to know the sources of the script writers. I felt enlightened after watching the movie and I now am better equipped to choose which version of history to believe. I will never KNOW what truly happened back in the 1890s since I was not there, but I can BELIEVE the version that sounds more credible to me.

    I do not care where JoeAm gets information for his articles. What I care about is what JoeAm thinks of the topic — does it match my view of reality or does it differ given what I have also been told by my network (yes, I also have contacts in government inner circles as well as within the anti groups)? Then I go and make up my own mind based on deductive reasoning. Same would be true for JoeAm. I am sure he talks to a lot of people including the standbys in his town, other bloggers, opinion editors, and even people in government. He weighs what he hears then picks and chooses what sounds reasonable to him again using nothing more than deductive reasoning. I know he goes through this process because we all go through the same process. At the end of the day, the opinion I put out there in public is MY opinion and I better be damn ready to defend it… it is MY damn adobo even if Nora Daza had a lot of input in the process!

    The other thing that bothered me about Johnny’s need-to-know is something I have bitched about since I was in school. It never mattered to me who said something… it needed to make sense to me. I would get rather argumentative in school if I was told, “…because it’s in the bible” or “…God said so”. That just was not good enough for me. I recall a religion class discussion where I asked the teacher, “If you say my God is all loving and all just, why would he banish a baby to limbo for eternity just because the adults failed to sprinkle his forehead with holy water?” So I am used to long-winded discussions because my brain is just wired differently (I guess). However, I also learned when it was useless to pursue my search for the truth… when I was told I was being a “pilosopo” was a good sign because I knew the teacher could not explain his/her point and had to resort to “Believe it… because God said so.” I am sure when I meet God we will have very interesting discussions. The other thing that bugged me about my schooling is that they tried so hard to teach me the correct answer (which is why the ones with the better memory got the better grades)… I preferred they taught me how to think so I could arrive at the right answer on my own. Don’t give me fish… teach me how to fish.

    Way back in 1990 I was one of the early members of the discussion group soc.culture.filipino (SCF), a Usenet newsgroup. The group had less than 100 members then and we had a great time chatting about what was going on back in the Philippines. All the early members either worked in high-tech companies or were students in universities that were connected to the internet. We were mostly Filipinos away from home. Even then we had a handful of flamers and trollers but it was self-regulating because people had to use official email addresses since there were no commercial email providers except for Compuserve which charged a monthly fee for one email address. Back then we could complain to hostmasters about posters who were abusive and they would normally take action. Many members also accessed the internet from home using using slow 1200 baud modems so posts had to be short and sweet. But all that changed in a few short years. The Philippines was connected to the internet sometime 1994 and then all hell broke loose within SCF. The old timers tried to maintain peace and order but to no avail… it became the wild west. Many of us created secret new Usenet groups to get away from all the noise and hang on to our little paradise. We set up rules similar to those suggested in this group but eventually got tired of being the “internet police”. One rule we did insist on — the back and forth stopped after 5 postings (post, rebuttal, response, rebuttal, response) with the final word given to the original poster — basic university debate rules. If the one refuting insisted on discussing it further, he/she was asked to take it offline (one on one). If that still did not do the trick, they were banned from the group. That ground rule is still valid and needed today.

    • edgar lores says:

      Interesting. Thanks for that.

      This post was the “offline” venue. In a way, nothing got resolved: Johnny maintained his stance, but the consensus seemed to have shifted against his arguments.

      I think the 5 postings debate rule would be hard to follow. In formal debates there is a lot of preparation beforehand with argument points pinned down. Here, new arguments can be raised in each iterative round, so discussion can be endless.

    • i7sharp says:

      I had just made a comment, fwiw, about Sal’s comment.
      You can find it here:

    • Joe America says:

      You can pass your adobo this way anytime, Sal E. Nice story-telling way of making the point. I agree the debate guideline of 5 posts is good, but I think hard to manage without me seeming overbearing. A lot of readers prefer free form with even less restrictions than what I do now when I suspend someone. I will keep it in the back of my mind if some arguments get too enduring. Thanks.

  35. Sal E. says:

    Thanks all for your feedback to my late input. JoeAm, will definitely make you pasalubong adobo if I find myself in your neck of the woods or when you next pass Makati on your way to Malacañang (hehehe).

    If I might add a PS to my earlier story, the Cabinet infighting depicted in the movie Heneral Luna reminded me of how Filipinos behave in discussion boards and social media sites today. There are the hotheads who cuss and insult depicted by Luna, the quiet but treacherous backstabbers like Aguinaldo, those willing to trade principle for personal gain as depicted by Paterno and Buencamino, the calm and technically correct depicted by Mabini, and of course the silent majority, the lurkers.

    The line Luna uttered after a heated exchange he had with the Cabinet members struck me — “Mayroon tayong mas matinding kalaban – ang ating sarili !!!” (We have a more intense enemy – ourselves!) This rings true today as it was a hundred years ago.

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