The Filipino files: trolls and diplomats

Trollbridge thelandofshadow

Beware the trolls . . . [Photo source:]

It seems to me the Philippines is a nation of trolls. I don’t mean this in a disparaging way, but in a way that characterizes how people conduct their arguments.

I’m thinking much more broadly than the internet and apply the term to any debate or argument undertaken by anybody at any time, any where, for any reason. In other words, the term is comprehensively applied.

Before you haul me off to the shooting fields or lambaste me about what trolls Donald Trump and most Americans are, kindly allow me to establish some definitions so we can rid ourselves of this little bit of needless angst. We can use The Humpty Dumpty New World Dictionary, which fortunately provides definitions exactly suited to our purpose here:

Troll, noun, a person who advocates for a position and holds nothing back in order to defend or promote that position; is not interested in knowledge if it upsets his position and will name-call or distort facts to win.

Diplomat, noun, a person who is impeccably open minded and gracious of thought and speech; may advocate a position, but is always respectful of the opposition’s separate motivations and purposes, and is always open to learning.

So, statistically speaking, how do you peg the ratio of trolls to diplomats in the Philippines?

Now an attorney or other devious person . . . an intellectually and morally fluid person . . . has the capacity to be either a troll or a diplomat, depending on the circumstance in which he finds himself. But most of us are one or the other, as to argumentation style.

Well, let’s use the base of attorneys as a guide for a very rough estimate of the intellectually ambidextrous amongst us. There are about 40,000 lawyers in the Philippines.

Incidentally, you can find a list of attorneys on the Supreme Court’s (SC’s) web site. I can’t imagine why one would find that information valuable, versus . . . say, a treatise on how the SC believes it upholds the power and integrity of the independent Ombudsman. I say this because Ombudsman Morales has once again complained that the SC is undermining her Constitutional mandate with its rulings. So maybe the SC can expound on why the Constitution gives certain agencies independence from the three primary branches of government, and what obligation the Court has to follow the Constitution in this regard.

It seem to me that transparency ought to mean something other than a financial data dump. It ought to mean giving citizens  information that is important. In fact, I wish ALL government agencies would do that by improving the relevance of their web sites. Like, tell us what the REAL problems are and what they are doing to deal with them.

But I digress mightily.

Okay, so if we have, say, rough guess, 500,000 intellectually and morally fluid persons, I’d peg the number of diplomats at some multiple of that, say five. That computes to 2,500,000 diplomats. I suspect that is generous.

In a population of 102 million, that means there are roughly 99 million trolls here, working diligently at their style every day.

See my point?

In the past, I’ve called the group of debaters who will not bend in position from the starting point of the argument to the end . . . either to protect their agenda or their esteem . . . the “100 percenters”.  That’s admittedly a rather clumsy term, so ‘troll’ is better. Invariably, troll discussions unravel to become one of insult and nastiness. That’s because of the little known Law of Human Chemistry under Duress:

When unforgiving contention meets new-found knowledge, the human intellectual chemistry produces caustic acid.

It is a little known law because I just concocted it. But it seems true, does it not?

Over and over again we see this caustic form of civility in newspaper, blog or social media discussion threads. And we can witness it in discussions and arguments in person. We are, after all, an emotional species. So discussions turn condescending or insulting or angry.

But I do think, to be fair, we need to sort the trolls into two discreet batches to separate the innocents from the manipulators. The two batches are:

  1. Those who are naturally defensive, to protect their ‘face’ or esteem.
  2. Those who are intentionally combative, to advance their agenda.

Well, we all have faces and esteems, and I’d bet almost all of us at one point or another have found ourselves as a troll because of the emotions that rise up in a conversation gone south . . . based on how we see it. So I think this is not a malicious kind of trolling. It is the kind that we can manage or limit with a reasonable degree of introspection and discipline. But it would appear that most of the general population does not pursue introspection. They are just being what they be. And that is stubborn.  “Gahi ulo”, as I learned it early on during my residence here. They are defensive but shift that to offensive, for self protection. And so we have trolls and posturing and name-calling in the name of discussion.

This is hard to change because social circumstances hereabouts are unforgiving of mistakes. Therefore, Filipinos resist admitting to them.

Okie dokie. Pause to take a deep breath, then onward. . . . I think we are making progress here on our troll analytics.

We can figure that most trolls are benign, or natural, or non-manipulative, outside their own emotional needs. We can calculate how many of these trolls there are if we estimate how many agenda-based trolls there are. Those pushing an agenda include senators and mayors and anyone of any political party, as well as lobbyists and business negotiators, and even salesmen and saleswomen. Throw in priests, preachers, imams and rabbis as well. It’s a big crowd. What do you think? Maybe 2 million of them? That’s probably generous.

That leaves us with 97 million regular face-saving trolls.

Should a President be a troll, do you think? A Supreme Court Chief Justice? A Legislator? Or do we expect them to have more discipline, more perspective, reach a little higher, listen a little better, get angry a little less often, and set self-interest and politics aside . . .

 . . . because they have sworn an oath to take care of all the people, even those who criticize them.

Well, I don’t think a President should be a troll, because he should always be open of mind and respectful of the people he is elected to lead. All of them. He should be a diplomat. A statesman. The serving father of our rather unruly country.

Nor should a judge be a troll. It disqualifies him or her from being an impartial evaluator of facts.

A legislator? Hmmm . . . that gets a little dicey.

When pro-women’s rights Senator Pia Cayetano endorses and promotes a candidate who humiliates women in public, is she a diplomat or a troll?

It is hard to get the politics out of a legislator, I suspect. It is hard to find non-trollish legislators because their field of politics is so favor bound. They end up being salesmen and saleswomen to get elected, get on committees, get laws passed, and schmooze their constituency. Maybe we can never get politics out of the legislators. The best we can hope for is that when they put forward a bad law, the President, not being a troll, has the fortitude to veto it.

Presidents. Judges. And throw in the Ombudsman and members of COMELEC and the Commission on Audit.

We need diplomats in these key posts, I think.

People of open mind, listeners, students of new knowledge. Kind people who respect whomever they face.

We don’t need trolls in offices that define what the nation will be. Trolls are not objective. They can’t find a common good that respects all of us.

We need adults, people of strong esteem and no juvenile need to put people down for the sake of winning the fight. We need people who can lose a fight gracefully when new information emerges. Not defend the indefensible.

We need accountability.

We need diplomats.

For the President, that is especially true.

We don’t need a troll leading our nation. And we for sure don’t need an army of trolls representing the President of the Philippines, pounding out insults and division on social media. That ought not be what the Philippines stands for.

We need an army of diplomats who embrace diversity and even opposition.

We need class.


187 Responses to “The Filipino files: trolls and diplomats”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    As a commenter,been trollish more than once wittingly or unwittingly.But we all can be consistent to be inconsistent,so we can be a troll a diplomat,ambidextrous,bipolar,and so on.

    • this is Reykjavik after Iceland lost the quarterfinals to France. Viking clap!

      in the Philippines that loss would mean a Senate hearing in aid of humiliation.

      • Joe America says:

        Nah. The PH lost to France yesterday in the FIBA baskerbally tournament, and had the greatest of fun giving the French team (with Tony Parker at the helm) a run for its money. It was the high level of play they were cheering for, not just the win. Sports teaches diplomacy when it is taught correctly.

        • Joe America says:

          Senator Angara today tweeted a picture of himself wearing his Gilas t-shirt. No investigations underway.

          • that is great.. but I have also seen migrant games with fistfights especially Tagalogs vs. Kapampangans and quarrels including non-respect for referees considered ‘biased’… sportsmanship non-existent more the usual tribal warfare..

            • I doubt that most migrants or OFWs identify with Gilas… all university grads.

              We Ausländer or migrants in Germany didn’t care much for the nearly all ‘white’ German national team of the late 90s, or the mainly ‘white’ run government.. it has changed.

      • LG says:

        Classy Icelanders. Cheers in loss or win.

  2. edgar lores says:

    Can trolls be classy? I believe they can.

    I am thinking of Sir Winston Churchill.

    If trolls were as witty and erudite as the man, I would forgive them.

    Call me an existential obscurantist but never — highfalutin!

  3. josephivo says:

    Some thoughts:

    Perception. Arguments will be influenced by to one’s perception.

    – If you have only strong blue light available, the world will look blue. If you have only seen dogs, a lot of animals will look like dogs, the more types of animals you now, the more precise you will recognize an animal. Education / experience influence perception.

    – Quality and shading of one’s widows/glasses. Do you opt for a clear film and the best possible vision, or for a very dark film because of comfort and to hide your face? What you want to see/achieve biases perception.

    – Looking in a spherical mirrors can deform an image. Emotions can muddle vision and narrow the field of vision.

    The light intensity. The type of light: stroboscopic light, polarized light, laser light. The duration of the observation….

    All our perception are bound to be different, But we tend to assume that all see the same and thus should thus come to the same conclusion. Trolls tend to tell more about themselves by giving away their influences than they tell about the issue at hand.

    Religion. For many religion molds the thinking.

    But most of us have two religions, an individual intuitive religion, mother told us and an intellectual institutionalized religion taught by the representatives of the institute.

    – In an intuitive religion there is no reasoning, things are what they are, full stop. (For the Spanish friars and their successors this was more than enough.) The prime way of reasoning is “I feel thus it is”, end of the argument.

    – In an intellectual religion, thing are because I can explain. Explain the rationality or explain the revelations. (The friars kept this for themselves to keep their power. Just saints, incense and holly water are not enough for most Protestants)

    – Ninja believers, just as ninja cops chase drug dealers to confiscate drugs they then sell themselves. Some people use the intuitive way of reasoning of most Filipinos to advance their own agenda.

    • rofodl says:

      he whose only tool is a hammer will see every problem as a nail. except if he is a wielder in the renaissance mould.

  4. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Joe America could be Thomasite II of the internet age. Thanks to Joe for actually teaching us to move from trollship to being diplomats. We can disagree but not be disagreeable. He is leading by example. Thanks to the likes of Chempo, Edgar, Irineo, NH, Mary Grace, Cha, Andrew, Karl, Josephivo–the list is almost endless as more and more bloggers and commenters join the Society for erudite discussion. Joe holds the whip, and he pulls errant contributors to the level of decency expected of everyone. The U.S. birthed both Trump and Joe. It is no wonder that that country will survive even in the face of conflict and confusion, for it stands for decency when sometimes it is hard to come by. Forward, the Society!

    • Joe America says:

      Gadzooks, Sir Will, you are inflating my sense of pride, which means when my wife brings me back to reality it will be a severely heavy blow. 🙂 I am glad you see the effort of moderating the blog to achieve a very special kind of dialogue is important. My thanks to all who have answered the challenge, respectfully. (Although I do miss shouting now and then at caliphman.) 🙂

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Gary Olivar is the trollest of the trolls, from my point of view. But we were able to engage in conversation. Someday, Filipinos from across the divide may be talking this way. Something I posted in Facebook:

        Sharing a conversation with Gary Olivar and friends. Isn’t this the way adversaries should talk across the void for a bigger, bolder, braver, better Philippines?

        Gary Olivar
        21 hrs ·
        Interesting that none of the reviews of PRRD’s inaugural speech mentioned his quote attributed to Abe Lincoln, arguably the best Republican president of the US. I thought it was a deeply encouraging insight into PRRD’s conservative character, one that recognizes the importance of rewarding success in order to promote merit and growth. I am reassured that he will not tear down the strong and the rich for the sake of a faddish homage to redistribution and reducing inequality, even as he gives democratic space to even the most violent of its proponents.
        46Noy Dy-Liacco, Mario Tayag and 44 others

        Tess Mendoza good point my friend.

        Patrice D Ilagan PRRD’s reference to Lincoln’s quote has however been echoed in the airwaves.

        Gary Olivar Yep the online crowd as usual is way ahead of the talking heads.

        Jose Gimeno This speech that newly sworn in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte quoted is normally attributed to Abraham Lincoln but actually was penned by Presbyterian minister

        William John Henry Boetcker in 1916. How true it still is today.

        Chuki Feria Miranda I actually heard it discussed in a radio show hosted by Luchie Cruz. They said it acknowledged the level headed approach of PRRD.

        Renée Will Villanueva From the child in Emperor’s New Clothes: “But that’s not how he represented himself in campaign!” He was/is Pambansang S.O.B. and audiences loved his irreverence and flouting of the law. He was X in campaign, Y in inaugural speech, does a Z exist? He’s confusion wrapped in a riddle tied up in a conundrum.

        Tess Mendoza aren’t humans are? a jekyll & hyde thing. but even God wants neither cold or hot than lukewarm bcoz He’ll spew them out. ( Rev. 14). with due respect, just saying. no deep emotional issue on this. hehe

        Roberto Rafael Lucila Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the US. Du30 is the 16th President of the Ph.Both are lawyers. I hope our new president draws more inspiration from Abe Lincoln.

        Ana Segovia At the end of the day, what he does is what really matters, not what he says.

        Jose Gimeno It’s funny that before we criticized politicians for whatt they did or did not do, not for what they said. Now that Duterte has hit the ground running he is being criticized for what he said !
        He accomplished more in 2 days than Noynoy did in 6 years in the war against drugs.

        Renée Will Villanueva Within the realm of the law?

        Jose Gimeno Yes

        Renée Will Villanueva I leave you to your senses.

        Jose Gimeno Show me evidence, not hearsay.

        Renée Will Villanueva…/115315-duterte-killings…
        Duterte: I killed 700? No, make that 1,700

        Jose Gimeno Of course you believe EVERY thing he says even those said in jest or satire.

        Renée Will Villanueva Even if he did not actually kill people extrajudicially, he is poised to do it, and his followers follow his lead. “Sana ma-rape ka.” Where did that come from?

        Renée Will Villanueva Since when were we equipped to discern if our leader is saying things to play with us? Heard of gravitas?

        Jose Gimeno Simple – look at what he has done. We already had a lot of gravitas with Noynoy. I rather see results.

        Renée Will Villanueva GDP, credit rating, Re-Armed Forces, standing up to China without ambiguity, no martial law in an ungovernable nation, media transparency, civility, leadership by example, peaceful transfer of power. Not results?

        Gary Olivar Naku renee. Rise in self rated poverty. Credit ratings actually turned around in nov 2010 just 5 months after gma whom the raters themselves credited. Mamasapano 44. Playing america’s bad cop and deserting asean on china issue. Destroying practically every republican institution with his vindictiveness and DAPish disregard for law. No FOI. Incivility twds anyone without yellow ribbon. Leadership by negative example, why do u think Mar lost? Peaceful transfer of power, pati ba iyon ibabato mo? Don’t forget, nagsisipilyo sya gabi gabi.

        Renée Will Villanueva Renée is my wife. Si Will ito. Of course you can twist every event to your own benefit. That’s what spokemen are for, so let’s not split hairs. But why do I think Mar Roxas lost? Thirty-five per cent went Duterte. Sixty-five per cent didn’t. In ’86, with two contenders, 65 per cent wins by a mile. Do you get it? The anti-Marcos forces divided the vote. It can’t be a vote against Noynoy, else why did VP Leni make it despite the split vote? Mar was buried by Tacloban, but didn’t Tacloban go for him versus Tatay Digong? If you were Mar’s spokesman, you’ll go to town with that bit of good news. You can make winners lose, and losers win, that’s your strength. Which also happens to be your weakness because of your professional turnarounds.

        Gary Olivar Renée Will Villanueva pards you have to drop that nasty yellow habit of attacking your critic instead of just sticking to the argument. Re mar’s loss, where’s ur proof that in a 2 way contest enough voters against mar (and for his opponents) wud have supported him instead? Speculating abt this is no different fm the losing basketball team complaining that they wud have won if only the game had been 2 minutes longer…or 5 minutes longer…ano talaga? As for leni’s win, i understand bongbong has his own theory why that happened Let’s wait for comelec to say its piece abt this

        Edgardo J. T. Tirona TRUE!

        Renée Will Villanueva You got me there, Gary. But you are very much a part of the argument, and you know that. Anyway, I won’t do ad hominem again. It was a justified foul but a foul nevertheless. Aah, proof? If I recall right, Senators Cayetano, Escudero, Trillanes and Honasan ganged up on Senator Marcos Jr., consistent with an anti-Marcos sentiment rolling across the debate floor. All anti-Marcos votes would have gone to a united anti-Marcos candidate. You really believe in Bongbong’s delusions about electoral fraud? It’s like we have pictures of planet Earth from space and here comes someone saying the world is still flat. Science, man, science.

        Gary Olivar Havent heard yet what BBM has to say pards so i dont know whom to believe. Pero 20 thou pages daw ang complaint nya! Abangan na lang natin.

        Renée Will Villanueva Okay. Abangan. But as an Aquino and a Leni supporter, I’m not losing sleep over it. Read what Christian Monsod said about it in my article in Joe America’s Society of Honor, link follows:

        Renée Will Villanueva
        Marriage on the Rocks
        Don’t get me wrong. I love my country. I will go down with the ship. But tonight as I write this, I…

        Edgardo J. T. Tirona Sad that some (many?) of our countrymen are consumed by, either extreme bias, or extreme prejudice. (Or both!).

        Gary Olivar Read your piece pards. Interesting how you and monsod immediately dismissed the factuality of bbm’s charges and dived into speculation abt his motives instead. Me, i’m willing to wait for the law take its course. As for RRD and leni being a lovelorn couple, where did that come from? The constitution is crystal clear abt what a VP can and cannot do, and right now it’s being scrupulously followed. Spare us the schmaltz, pls. You think we don’t see the shadows of drilon abad abaya the hyatt 10 the FSGO the MBC and of course pnoy lurking behind her?

        Renée Will Villanueva It seems you are bent on protecting yourselves from the likes of us. And we are bent on protecting ourselves from the likes of you. History will judge which side is working for the good of the nation, rather than exploiting it for personal gain.

        Gary Olivar Fair nuff pards n d honesty is appreciated.

        Renée Will Villanueva Same here. The respect is mutual. Ingat.

        • every great nation formed its sense of right and wrong out of similar discussions.

          Gladstone vs. Disraeli was needed to make Churchill possible later.. bill please fill in more!

          • bill in oz says:

            Irineo..I really don’t know..Churchill was the second son of an aristocratic Duke of Marlborough….But I really don’t know what intellectual relationship he had to Gladstone & Disraeli..He was a thorough going ’empire man’ and did not want the colonies to become independent..especially India

            • all I know is that G & D had intense arguments and rivalry…

              and that such discussions help in forming national purpose eventually.

            • Joe America says:

              I tend to think of Churchill and MacArthur having similar personalities, big of the britches, pig-headed. Churchill had better quotes, overall. That’s just an impression, could be off.

              • ‘that is how men talk’

                (c) DU30 😀

              • bill in oz says:

                Ummmm Could be close there Joe :- )

              • Joe America says:

                Hahaha, see, we can agree on things!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

              • bill in oz says:

                He was elected to the Commons as a Liberal ( Disraeli’s party ) in 1906 I think..And with his family connections quickly became a leading light and Minister for the Royal navy. in WW1.Post war the Liberals party fell apart & he joined the Conservative party.. (Gladstone’s Party ).& went on to become PM in 1940 and again in 1950.

                Seeing any similarities here Irineo & Joe, to the Philippines..? Good.

        • Joe America says:

          I missed this post yesterday, Will. It looks like you managed to accomplish something rare, a decent conversation with those who are difficult to converse with. Nice work. I actually had a brief and above board conversation with him some months ago, so I know that often his posturing is just that, posturing. Get past it, and there can be harmony and good graces. Last time we spoke, however, I irritated him and he ranted about what a coward I am hiding behind a mask. Hot and cold, he runs . . .

  5. Sup says:

    Diplomats at work… 🙂

    MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has offered Vice President Leni Robredo a Cabinet post.

    Robredo, who met with Duterte in Malacanang earlier this week, was offered to lead the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

    HUDDC, an agency “under the immediate control and supervision of the President of the Philippines, is charged with the main function of coordinating the activities of the government housing agencies to ensure the accomplishment of the National Shelter Program.”

    • Joe America says:

      That is right and proper. Good for the Duterte Admin, good for VP Robredo to have a working role.

    • More steps toward unity. Nice! Hmm… I wonder what will Mocha Uson have to say about that. lol

      And to share a current musing, I remember reading an article** a while ago which mentioned that Duterte has a penchant for deliberately messing with people to test their mettle. And to be honest, I can’t help but think sometimes it may probably be the case. Maybe this is what is happening now with the generals named by Duterte? If they can’t stand the heat, they’ll be kicked out of the kitchen. But if they can, they’ll probably be forged better and stronger? But yes, it may be unethical and manipulative, but still probably a somewhat effective measure of seeing who can really perform under pressure. A means to separate the trolls masquerading as diplomats from the real diplomats? Because it is true that another way of finding trolls is by baiting them.

      **Still looking for the article. =D

        • karlgarcia says:

          Now,how would Duterte answer his own question?

          • how would we answer it?

            let us pray… no let us THINK (c) IBM

          • (Duterte Simulation Start…)

            Duterte: If they attack Spratlys, I’ll surrender immediately. We don’t have a chance against China. Mag-uubos lang tayo ng tao. But just in case, I’ll ask them to build train lines for the country as “pakunswelo” in exchange for Spratlys.

            Duterte: But do note that I am just saying this because it seems like that we do not have any allies willing to give us a hand when shit hits the fan. Though the U.S. is there, we really can’t expect much from them as they pretty much have their own problems. They won’t risk taking an aggressive stance as of now. But depending on the U.N. tribunal ruling, we might convince them and many other countries otherwise. If that happens, I’m willing to cut Palawan lengthwise into two. The inner half will remain with us. The outer half I will lease to any countries willing to set up bases. Kahit US, JP, AUS, o kahit ano pa, bahala na sila magpatayan dun.

            (Duterte Simulation End…)

            • Konrad Adenauer, 1955: the Federal Republic of Germany is a provisional state composed of the three Western Allied occupation zones. It is the sole representative of the entire Germany in its borders of 1937. The German Democratic is not legitimate. Silesia, Pomerania and Eastern Prussia are zone occupied by Poland and the USSR. We reject the Stalin offer of a neutral unified Germany. Unity without freedom is useless.

              Willy Brandt, 1973: the Federal Republic of Germany has working relations with the German Democratic Republic but no full diplomatic recognition. The original claim to the German borders of 1937 remains untouched.

              Helmut Kohl, 1990: the five states of the reconstituted East Germany, plus the State of Berlin, have joined the Federal Republic of Germany. The 4+2 Treaty has settled that Germany has no more claim to the borders of 1937. Soviet troops shall leave soonest.

              The wording may not be exact, but that is more or less how it went over here.

              That is diplomacy. It can be a tough game of poker. But better than playing Russian roulette with Russians, even with America at your side. Never give up your aces even if you have lost your minor cards, and never sell yourself cheap baka mapusoy ka pa.

              • (Duterte Simulation Start…)

                Duterte: The thing with the bases is of course hyperbole. None can afford of to risk it as it’ll probably be the makings for World War III. And I am telling you, mapupulbos ang buong mundo kapag nangyari yan. We won’t survive it so it would surely be best if we can avoid it. Given that, I’ll keep my mouth shut and just play it safe as we await the results of the U.N. Tribunal ruling. Because it is just then that we will see who our real allies are in this fight for our sovereignty. Kaya wag niyo muna ako kulitin sa China-China na yan. I know my cards and I really can’t afford to miscalculate. And as of now, I really have to keep the enemy closer.

                (Duterte Simulation End…)

                But you’re example is indeed a long haul. But then again, there doesn’t seem to be the same level of aggressiveness and complexity as the issue with the W PH sea/S CH sea.

                And speaking of Russia, I think she should be a good target ally of the PH. Given the diplomatic prowess of the PH, I think it is within reach. IMO, the PH has always been one of the best players in the diplomatic world stage. Hmm… This reminds me of a conspiracy theory that the PH is being intentionally being held down because we have the makings of a world superpower. Heh.

              • Joe America says:

                Your simulations are excellent. Very helpful insights into someone who does not do as we would expect. But then, he is not us, is he? And we weren’t elected President, were we? 🙂 🙂

              • karlgarcia says:

                Russia wants Yuan for its oil,Saudi wants Yuan for its oil Soon Iran might want Yuan for its oil. No more petro dollar.


              • @ Joe America, I’m aware of that. =P But do note that the simulation is actually based on some of Duterte’s actual responses. But then again, it is an amalgamation of different responses from different places and context. Given that, the relations between the different answers may have been my own projections. Still, assuming that maybe the case, I think it can still offer a glimpse of how Duterte operates. Better than nothing, yes?

                As for it’s accuracy, we’ll know after the U.N. tribunal ruling. 😉

              • Joe America says:

                Oh, for sure, keep it up. I didn’t mean that last line as a criticism but as a bit of humor. Sorry for the mixed message. I think the simulations are stimulating.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Lol. But China might follow up on this.


              We leased 10 percent of our agricultural land to the Chinese.

              • karlgarcia says:

                With cha cha,it may no longer be unconstitutional to even sell them more than 10 percent of our land.

      • that is a classic Filipino tactic called panunubok.

        Du30 is a tactician, is he also a strategist?

        • Joe America says:

          I think he is both strategic and a tactician and erratic, sometimes intentional (the debates) and sometimes because he is spontaneous. His staff are working hard to counter the criticisms coming their way in the popular and social media, so they are tuned in to the popular mood. Leni Robredo’s appointment I am sure is an outcome of the harsh criticism of his snub early on, plus her graciousness in not trying to be the opposition, but a partner. There is an effort to calm fears of a blood bath, as well as a walk back on the China friendship issue. This is all good, and suggests a functioning government, interested in positive results, in a popular sense.

          • NHerrera says:

            Being erratic or unpredictable can be part of “the strategy.”

            • Yep. Sun Tzu. Vicara calls Du30 master of moro-moro.

              That is classic Malay strategy. The big question of loyalties remains. I told a Du30 supporter from my Pisay batch you guys did not trust Aquino on BBL now the other side distrusts Duterte on China – could it be because too many Filipino leaders betrayed the country? Possibly the definition of what the Philippines IS and what its core values are is simply too weak, this I add now. The nation has much to discuss in the near future.

  6. bill in oz says:

    Hi Joe ..I am perplexed again..”Trolls…. versus….. Diplomats” ??

    I guess the Humpty Dumpty dictionary may define them as opposites..But it i unusual..

    Trolls I now think of as ‘cyber disrupters’ aiming to disrupt and mislead online discussion like this one..Whether for their own enjoyment or on behalf of other groups or governments

    While diplomats I always think of as individuals who’s role is to be professional representatives of their governments hopefully with the diplomatic skills needed to do a good job.

    There have been plenty of the former in the past 7 months on Joe Am…But not many of the latter ..IMO…
    But maybe you see it differently being the Blog master and knowing from experience who’s who ?

    • Joe America says:

      When you read my articles, it is important to go by my definitions, otherwise the meanings get lost. That is the beauty of the Humpty Dumpty dictionary, the words mean what I say they mean. If you go with traditional words, those are different criteria, and you will come up with a different reasoning and conclusion. I disagree that there are trolls on the blog and not diplomats. Absolutely the opposite, with rare visits by trolls. Just because someone disagrees with you, doesn’t make them a troll (my definition). The question is, do they disagree on the facts rather than calling names. I don’t recall anyone ever calling you names here. Those that call names are usually new arrivals who have not been here long enough to become diplomats, and most of the insults are aimed at me.

  7. josephivo says:

    Just on TED today… if you have 10min:

    • josephivo says:

      And to understand trolls even better:

      Why (other  ) people dotn’t accept they are wrong (17min)

    • Juana Pilipinas says:

      Wonderful. Thank you, Joseph.

      Takeaway from the video:

      What do you most yearn for? Do you yearn to defend your own beliefs (soldier mindset) ? Or do you yearn to see the world as clearly as you possibly can (scout mindset)?

      I would think that the scout mindset is what we we all should strive for, but I may be wrong. 🙂

      • josephivo says:

        Yap, soldiers first concern of surviving, second killing the enemy, typical for trolls. Survival instinct is often feeding on fear or insecurity. The killing instinct needs an enemy, but we don’t like killing humans, so we first have to de-humanize them.

        We are all onions, with different layers of self. Aggressive troll behavior typically has insecurity underneath. Filipinos are very secure in their families, some are still secure in their barangay but then comes the fearful outside world. (Strange that they do not feel the same threats outside the country. Maybe because of the absence of erratic jeepneys unloading in the middle of a busy road, no unexpected counter-flows, no crocodiles at every corner? Maybe because of the absence of judgmental compatriots, less fear to lose face? Or is it just natural selection, that only the more secure Filipinos leave the country?)

        Scouts are looking for opportunities, curious. What can I learn from this situation, from this argument? One needs to be well grounded to question his own convictions.

        Interesting too are the steps we take to defend out positions. First, “the others don’t have all the correct information”, if proven that they have the information “the others are idiots, even with correct information they come to the wrong conclusion”, if proven they are no idiots our last defiance is “the others are bad, they intentionally twist the logic, they serve their hidden agendas” But never question your own position.

      • edgar lores says:

        I am a scout.

    • Joe America says:

      I can’t watch videos because of a slow internet connection. I appreciate Juana’s explanation of the videos.

  8. “We need adults, people of strong esteem and no juvenile need to put people down for the sake of winning the fight. We need people who can lose a fight gracefully when new information emerges. ”

    thank you for your thoughts-, you are speaking truthfully on what is happening in the country (I’m from Davao and I support the recent Administration), even in our day to day lives we need to be a diplomat and respect and open to learning .

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I agree, we should be open minded as to the good deeds that President Duterte is working diligently to do.

      • Max von Lange says:

        Hi Joe. Indeed we should. Trolling here… Leni getting an important job was in my wish list. Now granted. Also included and looking forward to are… A big new airport, decongestion of traffic by way of more trains in the metros, no more cooking of shabu /running drug operation in NBP, lesser corrupt cops and govt men; and better lives for the poorest. I know these things will come to pass in the next 6 years..and a lot lot more… I hope! One more thing, I hope Leni do very well so she can be a great contender to whoever fielded in 2022!

        • karlgarcia says:

          They just said expect heavy traffic due to 24/7 construction,because of infra spending.So that’s it ,no emergency powers to solve traffic,because they now realize progress means traffic.

          • Max von Lange says:

            I’m just throwing this in (since my background is in Rail Consultancy).. IF DOTC can bring up MRT3 to run 60 trains at an interval rate of 3-4 minutes per train arrival, then a significant reduction of vehicles in EDSA corridor can take place. My estimate is up to 30% less. That kind of numbers will ferry 650k commuters at a shorter waiting time. And that’s just focusing on EDSA -the coronary artery of transport in MM. The domino effect is also going to be significant. But alas, I just heard the new Rail Czar from dotc – N. Kintanar of Ayala saying they have “enough trains” – he includes the 12-16 trains (not LRVs) coming from China and the current units. But I totally disagree. That’s add up to only more or less 30-36 trains (depending on final coach config.) That’s not significant. More like a band-aid.

            • karlgarcia says:

              I am for leaving cars in a park and ride types too.If there are more trains and more park and rides,that would be awesome.

              • LG says:

                Have parks out of malls, too many of the latter.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I mean park as in parking lot or slot for your car LG. But I get what you mean,Ond day when malls have been rendered archaic by online shopping might as well turn them to parks and agricultural farms.

              • LG says:

                Yup, got u first time.😉 just I was unclear, being funny. Parks as in park and ride parks/terminals. Gov should stop selling gov land for malls to build. Or buy empty lots now to build such parking parks. May be cheaper infra than building railways and getting new trains, etc,

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, I’m with you on those sentiments, Max . . . have been drafting a blog to that effect, for next week.

  9. comparing FIlipino legislators to salemen or saleswomen is being kind….I can think of a more apt term, but then you might brand me as a troll….

    but seriously, 97 million trolls? what does that make us? The second most trollific country in the world next to china?…lol. I think 97 million is way too high, based on your analysis, trolls need to have a semblance of intelligence, to come into an argument. I think we should consider among that number, another creature, equally hostile and runs with the trolls in the world of social media….the ones I call ‘zombies’,,,,the ones who can’t get past the memes, who clicks on the like buttons first, without reading and verifying the contents of the entire post, who can only type two to four words in their comments, mostly expletives…creatures not easy to miss.

  10. arlene says:

    In short, it means, “walang kokontra, ako ang tama”. Diplomats and trolls. sadly most of us believe in the latter.

  11. josephivo says:

    Of topic.

    Criminally liable at 9??? Have this people ever talked with a 9 year old? Do they have any knowledge about the development of morality? The argument that drug pushers use them to deliver drugs, as the chief police said, is baloney. Because gun kills and not the people, you don’t put guns in prison.

    Adults using kids to commit crimes should get automatically a double punishment, it is a crime against humanity, just as the use of child soldiers.

    (I could recommend the Chief of Police the following book: “The Moral Brain, a Multidisciplinary perspective”, 2015, edited by Jean Decety and Thalia Wheatly)

  12. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic/Currently Reading: “The danger of Duterte’s China and South China Sea approach”

    In this game of geopolitical mahjongg, the Prez will have to realize that making positive overtures to China may cause problems that plagued the Arroyo administration by cutting deals with the dragon, such as infrastructure projects that went nowhere and of course the ZTE-NBN deal.

  13. bill in oz says:

    Off Topic ..Here is some real news from the Duterte government.It will fund & implement the RH law with sex education modules in schools…It plans to increase the RH budget near 2 Billion pesos a year ..Now I think this is a great policy initiative and the the Socioeconomic planning secretary Ernesto Pernia deserves to be roundly congratulated….

    However I must comment that when I went to school in the catholic Christian brothers college from 1960-66 as a student, we got sex education classes for 2 years.It’s a huge pity that the Catholic church did not allow the same thing here then.

    Here is the link..Now why it is in the Enquirer’s business pages is a mystery.

    • bill,

      Focus should be on the pull-out method. (but as with anything, practice makes perfect, so along with teaching the pull-out method, also focus on practice, )

      “Men who have great self-control, experience, and trust may use the pull out method more effectively. Men who use the pull out method must be able to know when they are reaching the point in sexual excitement when ejaculation can no longer be stopped or postponed.
      If you cannot predict this moment accurately, withdrawal will not be as effective.
      Even if a man pulls out in time, pregnancy can still happen. Some experts believe that pre-ejaculate, or pre-cum, can pick up enough sperm left in the urethra from a previous ejaculation to cause pregnancy.
      If a man urinates between ejaculations before having sex again, it will help clear the urethra of sperm and may increase the effectiveness of withdrawal.
      Pregnancy is also possible if semen or pre-ejaculate is spilled on the vulva.
      Keep in mind that the withdrawal method does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. Use a latex condom or female condom to reduce the risk of infection.”

      • bill in oz says:

        As the consequences of failure are high when using withdrawal..It is not recommended for use as a fertility control method. Condoms, the pill, IUD’s all work.So do vasectomies or tubal ligation.
        Channel News Asia ( from Singapore) on Thursday night had an interesting program about 2 young ( 13 & 15) teenagers from Bulacan who are both got pregnant while at school. Parents who are enmeshed in poverty, girls with no job skills, poverty, no sex education.. And no money to even go see a doctor during pregnancy. or after birth either…..
        “Withdrawal’ is just plain gambling..and nature always wins..

        • karlgarcia says:

          Yeah,spot on! How can you gamble without withdrawing money?

        • Joe America says:

          Right, do to a characteristic called “leakage”.

          I asked President Aquino about the three child policy and he said it is not a huge issue. The birth rate has declined to 1.9% and economists have calculated that, with economic growth such as that being registered by the Philippines, a 2% birth rate is needed to replace retiring workers and support the economic growth. Finance Secretary Purisima agreed.

          Well, the PH has a long way to go to bring back its OFWs, and who knows how long the economic growth can run. But I think the point is good, with proper implementation of RH and good public health counsel, the nation needs no mandated family size legislation.

        • There’s no 100%, bill. But re pull-out method, with practice (knowing when to pull out) or even not having to wait for that magic moment and just finish off outside way before explosion. 😉 you must have missed the whole talk awhile back about the same issue, but I had a technique that ensures 100% (or at least 99.9% for the legally minded out there 😉 ) … ask karl about it.

          But I strongly push for pull out because knowing young Filipino men, even retirees, they’ll not line up to buy condoms, some will take the freebies from city clinics, but this taboo prevents Filipinos from actually getting condoms… though the vasectomies and tubal ligation programs under DU30 looks promising. Also re condoms maybe it’s the tropical climate, but there seems to be more accounts of rips happening to tips of condoms, more there than say over here. or maybe its just a quality control issue.

    • LG says:

      News on RH most welcomed👍. Thanks for telling.
      Sex education (SE) in schools, very appropriate, only A step.

      Requires a lot of fore thought….consultation with experts on the issue of teen pregnancy…. culture sensitive and age-appropriate sex education topic and audio-visuals per grade level…SE teacher preparation, a must….parental input and participation, another….

      There is more!

      Tremendous work ahead of n during implementation. Ditto for periodic evaluation.

      After 6 years, less need for 4Ps? Less school drop outs due to pregnancy? Less premature births? Slowed population growth? Growing middle class?

      Let’s go.

      • josephivo says:

        Philippines is the only country with rising teen pregnancies. And a number one position for abortions might not be too far away.

        More need for PPPP, it takes a generation to change (the babies with better nutrition will not be stunted, develop better brain, then will do better at school, eventually have better chances) , so it has to last for 20 years to have a lasting effect. PPPP might eventually have more effect on population growth than RH bill. Education and income correlate better with unwanted pregnancies.

        • LG says:

          Yes, more education and income do correlate with unintended pregnancies. Thus, with the standard education proviso of the 4PS, sex ducation, as a required corollary, makes sense, to increase retention and graduation rates. Better stab at college.

  14. madlanglupa says:

    Now it appears that he’s trying to appeal to the Muslims using another form of rhetoric that was also used by Chavez and Ahmadinejad:

    Again, bread and circuses.

    • “Ayaw lang mag-admit nitong Britain at America, they forced their way into Iraq and killed Saddam (Hussein). Look at Iraq now. Look what happened to Libya. Look at what happened to Syria. Nauubos ang tao doon, pati bata, because they were pushed to the wall for the failed promises,” Duterte said.

      “It is not the Middle East exporting terrorism in America. America imported terrorism. Sinira nila ang Middle East e. Sino ba naman si Saddam? He was one dictator but he was in firm control of the country,” he added.

      Duterte underscored that after several years of investigation, authorities found that “there was no legal basis to declare war against Iraq.”


      that’s actually a fair criticism, whether by anti-Americans or Americans, it’s what happened… Bush and the neo-cons went in balls out, w/out a plan really, then Obama w/ Hillary/Samantha Power (neo-libs?) chose the wrong side of the Arab Spring, knowing full well, extremists would take over (her weapons from Libya to Syria program needs to be examined, instead they’ve focused on her emails).

      Muslims in the Philippines feel more affinity towards other Muslims and not secular/Christian Filipinos, so from the perspective of brownie points, makes good political sense. Again, his family can claim Muslim affinity—either from his grandmother or his in-laws. So he can play the Muslim card.

      What should worry you is that part I’ve bolded, “firm control”.

      • madlanglupa says:

        Yes, but then it’ll be surely picked up by, say, RT, CCTV or given the anti-Muslim sentiment, Fox News.

        Anything he says as President will be considered a command as well as communicating his position in the world. And this is the world he’s dealing with, and we’re one of many pivots, trying to keep ourselves from one step towards a shooting war or be tagged as a “pariah state”.

        • As far as shooting wars go, the US and Americans are all too familiar with GWOT under Bush and GWOT under Obama, nothing can be said that’s not already been said re Iraq/Af-Pak/GWOT.

          “pariah state”, I don’t think this criticism in particular will piss the US off, plus I’m pretty sure the rest of the world is with DU30 re America and GWOT (both 1.0 and 2.0).

          I think it’s one of the few things going for him, that he relates to Muslim Filipinos better than other Filipinos. Let him be the Mindanaoan President, and unless he really screws up with Muslims there, I think the criticism is fair—- even as head of the Philippines.

          • madlanglupa says:

            He’s still much a Christian Filipino who should have a depth of knowledge about history, instead of relying on popular notions. What he said out there was demagoguery and pandering. I am worried as to where his mouth would put this country into God knows what position by next week or next month.

      • bill in oz says:

        Lance, I watch Al Jezera. The USA, UK etc have had troops on the ground in Iraq & Afghanistan…..But the reality is that there are hardly any peaceful Muslim countries.Just .Kuwait, Gulf states, Jordan Morocco, Indonesia & Malaysia come to mind.

        But the rest are all in the midst of conflict of some kind..Low level or high level : Pakistan, Afghanistan Turkmenistan, Iraq, Turkey, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Algeria Chad, Mauretania..Saudi Arabia…Iran has no out right war but there is constant suppresi
        on by the Islamic ‘establishment’ of any one not toeing the Muslim line.

        I have come to the conclusion that the problem is Islam itself.The religion began with conflict & generates conflict.

        And Western countries do themselves a favor by not getting directly involved.

        There are huge differences between these countries culturally and none have had foreign troops on the ground…

          • “I have come to the conclusion that the problem is Islam itself.The religion began with conflict & generates conflict.”

            It can’t be Islam for the simple reason that there are other conflicts around the world w/out Islam. People will find a way to fight it’s what people do.

   read that if you have time. 😉 I think all religions are wrong, but encourage people to read up on as many as they can.

            But I am very interested in Jainism, so far just Google searches and the very few books available (Westerners’ interpretations of Jainism).

            If you say that Islam is different from Christianity and also Judaism… I ‘ll agree. The Jesus religion is similar to Buddhism, while Judaism reads more like the Greek pantheon (only the other gods were erased) IMHO.

            I attribute the conflict and penchant for violence in the ME, aside from Islam, to Arab culture in general (have you read ?).

            But Islam specifically is interesting… Mohammed was a merchant, turned peaceful mystic, turned revolutionary leader, and back to peaceful mystic again. I think most Muslims actually focus on Mohammed as Gandhi, but in times of hardship they’ll focus on early Muslims’ times in Medina (Mohammed as revolutionary) defending their new group (ala Brigham Young of the LDS).

            Considering the era, the Rules of Engagement written out in the Qur’an (although dubiously attributed to “God”) were pretty humane… green lights for killing, always were in the conditional, ie. if they repent show them mercy, etc.

            If you compare the 3 Abrahamic religions, degree of peacefulness I’d actually rank: Christianity as most peaceful, then Islam, then Judaism.

            re hands off policy in the ME, that’s Ron Paul’s platform, and the reason I voted for Obama. I think he’s still very much a Ron Paul guy re the ME, but Hillary/Samantha Power, via the Dept of State, gave us a glimpse at what bleeding hard policies when mixed with violence looks like, particularly the Libyan weapons to Syria program. I think the West has enough ME watchers to be able to forecast how Arabs move, but since politicians don’t make a habit of listening, might as well go the Ron Paul route, hands off completely.

            interestingly there’s a bunch of Australians who travel to the ME, learning Arabic or just backpacking in general, weirdly most are from from Melbourne, why is this? (I never got a good answer from them, aside from I have alot of Arab friends in Melbourne, etc. they usually mean Lebanese 😉 ).

            • Joe America says:

              Your point is for Bill, I believe. For myself, I love all religions as long as I don’t have to belong, they are endlessly fascinating with their rites and wrongs, their preachers of great charisma and wealth, their jugs of orange kool aid or grape juice,their buildings of intricate architecture and cemeteries out back. I may convert to become a Muslim Chinese, rather playing the odds of world tendencies. Seems safest if I can live through being Filipino.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Joe re “I may convert to become a Muslim Chinese”

                This is definitely not a safe option in China..Muslim Uiger terrorists have made Islam an object of fear & distaste in China ..Buddhism (providing it is not the Tibetan type ) is safer..

              • Joe America says:

                That’s okay. It was just a throwaway joke.

            • Joe America says:

              Your point is for Bill, I believe. For myself, I love all religions as long as I don’t have to belong, they are endlessly fascinating with their rites and wrongs, their preachers of great charisma and wealth, their jugs of orange kool aid or grape juice, their buildings of intricate architecture and cemeteries out back. I may convert to become a Muslim and Chinese, rather playing the odds of world tendencies. Seems safest as long as I can live through being Filipino.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              The only countries in the world where Islam peacefully converted followers are in SEA.Indonesia, Malaysia via Muslim traders.Every other country in the world which is majority Islam is so because of conquest….

              And even if SEA, once a few were converted conquest became the modus operandi..Check out Java which was Animist/hindu/Buddhist until around 1500..

              And the Moros in Philippines made a great effort to conquer the Philippines..But failed because of the Spanish..

              So a religion which makes a great play of being the religion of peace spreads by using force..

              Has Christianity done the same thing ? Yes.Especially after Constantine made Christianity the Roman state religion..But that was in 330 AD…Three hundred years after the Jesus.
              Whereas Islam was a conquering faith right from the Go get..Mohamed himself lead conquests in Saudi Arabia..of Mecca for a start…

              AS for Jews, they were ‘instructed’ by God to conquer Canaan..and have been living with the consequences ever since ..An object lesson in listening to ‘God Wallahs.’

              Bloody dangerous

        • The problem is indeed with Islam itself. Well, as of now that is.

          To put it into perspective: In a way, this is also what happened to Christianity in their ‘early’ days. Christians were originally discriminated and marginalized by the other major religions (Paganism and Judaism). But with time, it started to change. Christianity started gaining significance and it had managed to find its place in the world. However, they seemed to have grown too attached to their ideologies. The Christians then returned the favor and this in turn caused the decline of the other religions. This also seemed to have caused a decline in human life in general for quite a while (Dark ages) and forward a little more, the great schism happened and Christianity pretty much started losing their influence little by little and they also seemed to have mellowed down so people started rebuilding again until everything has become what it is today. So from underdog phase to warmongering phase to passive phase due to secularization.

          As for Islam, it’ll probably be also the same. From the underdog phase of being discriminated and marginalized, it also slowly gaining significance. It now seems to be in its warmongering phase and with the way things are now, I won’t be surprised if we also enter a Muslim dark age. (Not if we aren’t actually somewhat in it already). But given this, a great schism for Islam isn’t actually far off. However, Islam doesn’t have a central figure like the Pope to fight over. Given that, the Islamic schism will probably be mainly caused by social/moral pressures with regards to ideologies. But if a schism does happen, I’m guessing that It’ll also secularize with time. Somewhat like a survival of the fittest? After that, it’ll probably be smooth sailing by then. Well, unless irreligion will fuck things up as well. That’ll be ironic to say the least.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            That is a future that I have no wish to be part of at all !! And if the price of avoiding it is the minimisation of Islam then so be it..

            I agree with you about the impact of Christianity after 330 AD, Civilisation went into decline for centuries in Western Europe..

            It was helped quite a bit by Islamic conquerors after 650 AD. who took over all the Middle East and Spain & the Persian empire and the Buddhist lands which now are part of Afghanistan and Sind in India..

            The spread of Islam in Central Europe was stopped before the walls of Vienna by Polish Catholic troops when the Turks were defeated in 1683. It was stopped in the Mediterranean by the Turkish defeat at the battle of Lepanto in 1571…

            Conquest is in the Muslim DNA…And the defeat those efforts at conquest in the last 400 years by European powers is fuel for Islamist terrorists

            • But to give some credit to the Muslims, they did actually play a huge part in the preservation of knowledge during the middle ages. But yes, it does seem to be that Islam is more prone to extremism. But then again, the world has been slowly building up the fuel for this and it really did just need a small spark to cause it to become a great flame. Probably was a long time coming.

              And on minimizing Islam, I find it to be a bit too generalizing. I think I find it no different than saying that we should minimize Christianity because of the Westboro Baptist church. But political correctness aside, what should probably be aimed at is to convince the non-radical Muslims on calling out the radical ones. Because to be blunt, the only one that can really change this problem with Islam is the Muslims themselves. I think condemning everybody of them really won’t help. Let them condemn each other. Heh.

              And speaking of religion, I just stumbled upon something:

              And damn. Now I’m curious of that Duterte Manifesto that is now going around…

              • karlgarcia says:

                Available at your nearest National Bookstore.

              • @karlgarcia, though the desitic tendencies of Duterte is no secret, I think I can’t help but sacrifice 150 pesos for the sake of curiosity. But more probably is for the sake of laughs haha

              • karlgarcia says:

                laughter is the best medicine,but you don’t have to worry about curiosity, because you are not a cat.

              • I agree with most of what you said, ip,

                but it wasn’t actually the Arabs (though they fostered it),

                “But to give some credit to the Muslims, they did actually play a huge part in the preservation of knowledge during the middle ages. “

                Before the rise of Islam, in the 7th century,

                Christianity was split and that old Arian debate was still very much alive. The folks who used the Greek (original) NT they were still trying to figure out how many angels danced on the head of a pin. Those who translated the NT to Latin being former Romans just wanted to spread the religion instead of arguing endlessly (very Roman, so they consolidated quick),

                then there were the Christians further east of the Greek NT users (they used Greek too but mainly the Peshitta, ).

                the Christians who were left in the desert by their Greek and Latin speaking colleagues, were still debating the Council of Nicea. These were the Christians that Muhammed knew in Mecca. So when Muhammed posed a new Christology, that Jesus was also a prophet like Muhammed, these Christians jumped in the band-wagon,

                whether they jumped in because they believed, or simply saw the writing on the wall re Islam in the ME, that’s debatable, but the scribes of early Islam were mostly from the Church of the East, who also knew Greek. That’s why many words in the Qur’an are not Arabic, but Syriac… 😉

                So Christian scribes in the ME preserved Greek knowledge, same as when Catholic monks in Ireland saved Latin works (which were a lot fewer than the Greeks’ 😉 ),


              • Before Islam, those Christians who read the Latin NT and Greek NT, and Peshitta NT (the Armenians also had theirs) ,

                who were fractured ideology wise, used the Mediterranean as a means to come together. It was Islam that essentially cut off the Church of the East, so saying they “preserved” Greek knowledge when they were the ones to cut off this connection in the first place, I think is wrong (though it was the Christians that brought on the Dark ages for sure 😉 ).

                The Arabs more than made up for it in the years that followed, by encouraging Greek knowledge etc. But I don’t think Muslims were the heroes in this story nor were the Christians. Individuals like Al-Fazari and Giordano Bruno (early humanists in the guise of Muslims and Christians, like searching for needles in haystacks, but many free thinkers existed in this time)

          • karlgarcia says:


            Secularism is losing in Bangladesh for now.
            As long as there are radicals disruptions will always be disrupted.

  15. mayapula says:

    as a diplomat-troll Imperfecto Yasay cant be beat, willing to share resources to china, without consent, like rape.

  16. LG says:

    Me reflecting how some people like THE DONALD become consumate TROLLS and others like THE POPE (present one), DIPLOMATS.

    • bill in oz says:

      Well LG he is a Jesuit.They only let bright blokes join..
      And he is Argentine..In his early days Argentina went through the chaos of Peronist government,( 1971-73), near civil war with the Monteneros, Military dictatorship and suppression with ‘El Processo’…Those were very important influences I’m sure.Would have really encouraged a diplomatic attitude.

      • LG says:

        Your take on The Donald?

        • Bill in Oz says:

          I have not studied Trump..So I am not an expert on him..But he is the very wealthy outsider.Not a member of the political establishment in the USA like the Clintons or the other Republican candidates for the presidency…

          His wealth has allowed him to stay an ‘outsider’ and run on a platform which some would call ‘populist’ – a platform which is targeted at those who have lost out as the USA has globalised over the past 30 years..with the movement of jobs & capital to other countries…

          This is definitely not popular with the middle tertiary class educated political establishment in the USA. Trump is seen by them as the heretic who challenges and could undermine their world.

          But among the old working class Americans Trump, is a straight talking American hero.He tells it like they feel it.

          • LG says:

            It does not take a lot of TV views of Trump to conclude that he, Trump, fits Joe’s operational definition of a troll to a T. He is a ‘troll’ noun, verb, and adjective. He he he.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                But loved for it by those who are his target audience.
                No political correctness,, No trolling anonymity Just Trump ‘being’ Trump I guess.

              • Joe America says:

                There is a kind of genius to talking past sense and compassion to tap biases and emotions the way he does.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                For me the interesting thing is that Trump made his fortune in hotels and property development…Both of these investment areas have seen a lot of foreign capital invested in the USA ( Japanese Chinese Saudi etc. )

                So Trump has succeeded as an entrepaneur working with capital & investors from all over the world.Yet as a politician he has been a rough hewn American identifying with Americans who have lost out in the globalisation surge..And his main perspective is “Put America & Americans first & last”.

                Remember that old 1960’s movie “stop the World I want to get off” Well Trump & his supporters are saying “Stop this globalised world.We want to get off”. The UK Leave campaign said something similar “Stop Europe we want to get off”.

                They are legitimate responses to a world rapidly changing.

                In Australia for the past 30 years the same sort of globalising economic processes have been happening. Manufacturing has gone off shore to China. The BPO industries are going off shore to India & Philippines. Cities & smaller towns all over Australia have been affected. It’s happened with the support & blessing of both major parties.

                But last Saturday 25% of the population voted for minor parties voicing their sense of being betrayed. And the result is really interesting.

                The Non Labor government has been returned with a wafer thin majority in the House of Reps and no control of the senate. The government must now deal honestly & openly with the disenchanted.

                I think that parliamentary democracy is better at dealing / negotiating with these political pressures that a Presidential one. But that is a different conversation.

              • Joe America says:

                I’d prefer Bill Gates as President.

              • If trump invested his inheritance of around 200M USD late 70s he would have been about 4-5 times richer (s&p 500 index fund). The trump as a great business man is a myth.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Or Melinda Gates..From a Filipino perspective !!

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Ahh but Gian ‘invested ‘ in what ? Also remember he has married 2-3 times and been skinned in the divorces. Being rich is not all about money..It’s all the other stuff as well…And I wonder who writes those S & P reports..

              • Well Trump & his supporters are saying “Stop this globalised world.We want to get off”

                This is where I actually agree with Trump (Bernie too).

                BUT it’s not ‘Stop this globalised world’, many Americans understand that it’s already here whether we like it or not. I’m not personally affected, but from my vantage I see more and more Mexican owned (Mexican from Mexico) groceries and restaurants chains (I’m sure there’s more in manufacturing, etc. I just don’t see it day to day).

                Mexican groceries stock most of their products from Mexico, cheaper labor, cheaper cost, so really cheap for consumers here. And that’s fine Wal-Mart is playing the same game except it stocks its shelves w/ cheap products from China. The thing with these Mexican groceries and restaurants is they get bigger and bigger, expand into more chains even when there’s less people and less people who go.

                The grocery chains is less obvious to read re number of customers, but restaurants are expanding where there’s clearly no customers… So the obvious reason is Money Laundering via the Drug Trade.

                The next example isn’t NAFTA but with Chinese business here, the two main things that’s very Chinese (from China) are these foot massage establishments (it used to be acupressure when the Koreans monopolized the Oriental massage industry with happy ending) and Chinese buffets.

                The girls in these foot massage places are fresh from China, so either they are getting smuggled in or the ‘native trained’ working visa loophole is being abused. Chinese buffets I think it’s the same , ‘native trained or cultural knowledge’ loophole for these waiters… and they tend to disappear, you don’t see the same faces.

                When you go out back of these buffet restaurants, most empty boxes & containers will have Chinese writing. So we’re eating seafood from China. Like Mexico, it’s so much cheaper.

                So Americans feel abandoned by the Democrats who are suppose to be for the common guy, they feel abandoned by Republicans, they’ve always been for the rich and corporations. And Trump comes along, who ‘s not in the fossil fuel industry — he’s actually in marketing , he left the field of construction awhile back — so when he says we are getting screwed, unlike say Wal-Mart who’s actually screwing the Americans over,

                people like Trump’s message, whether they believe he can deliver or not is up to those voting, but I’m voting for him to get to Hillary and the Koch bros. so I’m kinda a one issue voter.

              • I don’t care so much for big corporations, they get subsidized by the gov’t. In outlining the Mexican and Chinese issues above (small examples, there’s real estate, there’s local gov’t corruption, etc.), I’m simply laying out my concern for small businesses getting bull dozed.

    • Joe America says:

      They are different, aren’t they. Hahahaha, sorry, spilt my mango juice.

    • edgar lores says:

      Juana, the bill looks good to me.

      1. “But if the constituency of the incumbent elective official is national in character, “the above relatives shall be disqualified from running only within the same province where the former is a registered voter.”

      1.1. This would prevent the case of a Binay wife, child or in-law running in Makati, while the father is a vice-president.

      2. “The bill also states that no person who has a political dynasty relationship to the incumbent shall immediately succeed to the position of the latter…”

      2.1. This would prevent continuous monopoly of a constituency.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Edgar..This will never pass both House & senate..And even if they did there would then be 30-40 years wrangling & TRO’ing in the courts..It’s pipe dream stuff…And a lawyers mega picnic..

        • edgar lores says:

          Bill, It’s a test for Duterte’s leadership.

          I wanted to highlight the fact that Ping Lacson’s version is better than the previous ones I have read.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Edgar.I guess my perspective is”what works” rather than let’s test…..

            I read the report from a legal perspective…Apart from the bizae & badly drafted English….What does ‘ consanguinity’ mean ?

            I’ve been doing my home work..The estimated population of the Philippines in 1700 was 1.5 million. Now it’s 105 million…And thus just about everyone is related.( exept the expats ) ..An interesting genetics project !

            • edgar lores says:

              1. We will never know what works until we test.

              2. Relationships are either by blood (consanguinity) or affinity (marriage). I don’t think de facto relationships are formally (legally) recognized in the Philippines.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Blood relationship is determined by DNA…That is the science…

                Linda Newson in her book Conquest & Pestilence in Early Spanish Philippines ( Ateneo de Manila Univeristy press 2011 ) states that the current population of 105 million is descended from 1.5 million in 1700 I suggest that there are very close genetic relationships.

                Now legally that is mares nest..

                And another opportunity for rival candidates to seek TRO’s.

                Imagine ..candidates getitng DNA samples ( licitly or illicitly ) of other candidates & then seeking their exclusion on the basis of ‘consanginity’ to some other existing elected politician..

                The problem is that the issue to be ‘solved’ ( Corrupt ruling family oligarchies ) is not being dealt with in an appropriate fashion.What about cleaning up the justice system so that corruption is punishible by law ? Just thinking..

              • edgar lores says:

                Bill, no need to establish blood relationship by DNA. We are just talking here of blood kinship by what is known publicly. These are the usual vertical relationships — grandparents, parents, children — and horizontal relationships — siblings, cousins, uncles and aunts. “Second degree of consanguinity” refers to relatives that are twice removed… like second cousins.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Arroyos have Pampanga,Bicol and where was the late Iggy Arroyo a congressman?

        • LG says:

          Where mike arroyo is from? Negros?

        • edgar lores says:

          Karl, very good.

          I would classify both houses of Congress as “national in character.” But Lacson’s draft only disqualifies relatives within the same province.

          It should be improved to say that if an incumbent occupies a national office, then no relatives can run at a lower level… or the same level.

          If there is no incumbency, then all are permitted to run simultaneously in different provinces, providing only one is allowed to hold office at the national level. Thus there can be no two (or more) relatives in the Lower House or the Upper House.

          I would also change the term “province” to “region” so that a dynasty cannot dominate in a region consisting of several provinces.

          See any holes?

    • Francis says:

      May never pass.

      But who knows? Maybe we might have a mais con-con yelo surprise 🙂

    • caliphman says:

      Dont anyone hold one’s breath waiting for an enabling law to be enacted from this. Miriam and other legislators also filed similar bills in the past. As I stated in an earlier post, since 1987 there has been a constitutional ban on dynasties. But since most legislators are part of one, there is no chance in hell of a bill being passed in either branch of the legislature.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        So th cat needs to be skinned in a different way..Attempts at anti- dynasty laws are a waste of effort & a diversion…

  17. Joe America says:

    For those interested in the full interview between DFA Sec. Yasay and AFP Manila, Richard J. Heydarian has posted a link to the discussion so there can be no misunderstanding. In my opinion, the discussion started well then went south.

    • edgar lores says:

      Yasay speaks with forked tongue.

    • Diplomats tend to speak with forked tongues (as evidenced by our State Dept wikileaked memos) it’s what they do.

      When dealing with China (I hope we can continue this talk further on Thurs.) it’s best not to get too bogged down on one thing (ie. the China’s man-made islands),

      like over here China will have an all encompassing strategy combining military and civilian and companies , so along with the South China sea issue (didn’t China already state that they’ll not recognize the tribunal’s decision— though I’m sure they’ll parade it around if its pro-China), the question should be…

      if we’re to take the “Nazi Germany’s march on Europe before World War II and linking similar issues of appeasement” analogy, the South China sea should be seen more as a diversion, focus on the Philippine mainland to see where China is inserting itself. Because of corruption I don’t see this happening. Though the strides Sec. Gina Lopez is making this early in the game is very— VERY— impressive. Expand her powers already!

      Then take a look at where China is weakest. Study where she’s weakest , usually you attack where your enemy is weakest , or you can use this as commonality and attempt for a win-win scenario (we are not at war yet, and war with China is no one’s best interest, so focus on win-win scenarios for now). Figure out where China is weakest inside China, and see where the Philippines can play a role. 😉

      • re Reed Bank natural gas extraction… Sec. Gina Lopez should take point. The twin facility is basically right next door to me. There an accepted industrial leak ratio in which they won’t have to tell the public, same with the oil leaks off coast.

        unlike the Aliso Canyon leak (which was actually a bigger deal than the news covering it) Reed Bank will not directly affect local population except for sea life, but the question is what happens when methane, etc. leaks out to the atmosphere.

        This is where the Obama administration is gambling. When all you talk to are industry “experts” you’ll get a class half full view always, this is why it’s crucial Sec. Gina Lopez head this deal if its to pull thru and the folks in the DOST be repurposed to support her,

        looks like she’s the only one who can oblige this mandate in all honesty,

  18. Waray-waray says:

    Countdown to the historic UNCLOS decision on Tuesday the 12th of July 2016.

    This is one occasion that the country should stand united no matter what political affiliation has, and that the current administration should be taking as one big opportunity to drum up support and rally its people behind one big common cause. But it seemed to me that the current administration is deliberately downplaying the occasion. As Filipinos were enthusiastically waiting for the historic date, here comes Sec Yasay shrugging off this momentous moment by subtlely offering to serve our sovereignty on a silver platter to China. All for a shallow reason in exchange for a railway or joint exploration. Totally a wet blanket to me.

    What gives? Is the Filipino crab mentality at work again? Six days into Duterte administration there is a meme circulating comparing the Duterte’s 6-day administration to
    Aquino’s 6-year administration. On Duterte’s column there were around 26 “achievements” including mere proposals and just a yellow ribbon on Aquino’s side.

    A mere speck in the map of a country standing up to China and receiving a precedent historic decision would absolutely be an achievement under Pres. Aquino. So the present administration has to downplay it like it is a non-event.

    It would have been a momentous time to celebrate as a nation. Oh how jealous a nation can be. And I thought yellow tards are the only yellows.

    • Joe America says:

      I think there is more to it than political jealousy. I’ve been writing on it today, and will likely publish in next Sunday. Sorry you have to wait, but it is a bit tricky and I also want to see the reaction to the arbitration hearing.

      • Waray-waray says:

        I agree there is more to it than political jealousy, it really is a bit tricky that when you start discussing it with a kababayan shrugging off a shoulder, you can only scratch your head in return.

        Things are getting curiouser and curiouser. I can’t wait to see this one.

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