Double Sad


Everyman. [Photo from the blog of Akoni Hegemonia, on Filipino farmers]

By Josephivo

We live in a time that new insights are arising. People sense it, the old ways are reaching their limits, signs everywhere, environmental limits, inequalities, mass emigrations, to name a few. Many feel the populist DU30 wants to move in the right direction. But he is hindered by his mix of macho bravado and misplaced modesty, his foul language and above all his lack of respect for the 5th commandment (6th for non-Catholics).

The President is sensing well what many people feel, he has many good notions, good communication skills and crude energy. But his character traits are far out of balance and that makes me double sad, as if his being bad in doing the wrong things should be less painful.

Some examples:

1. The overstretched neoliberal policies.

Current policies are far out of balance. All is about economics and these economic policies are only guided by financial aspects at the cost of social and environmental concerns. Wealth and investments trump the other economic pillars, labor and resources (environment). Returns on large investments are much higher than the economic growth resulting in increasing inequalities (see Pickety). Non-economic aspects of life are neglected or transformed in economic terms (spirituality, relationships, recreation, ethics, art . . .)

In the western world the politics are currently defined by neoliberal technocrats. The political arena is reduced to the question of what to produce and what to consume. Growth is the Holy Grail. The main economic issues are decided outside politics, by central banks, rating agencies, international trade tribunals, boardrooms of major multinationals, and in places like Davos where CEO’s, top technocrats and politicians meet in closed encounters, far away from the public eye . . . and undemocratic.

Parties are reduced to individual leaders and elections fought on simple messages, “Make America great again”, “Change we can believe in”, “The audacity of hope”, “No child left behind” . . . People feel this thin air and its bias for the wealthy. They experience the impotence of politicians and it makes them vote for populists who dare to speak the unspoken and, after vilifying “the others”, propose simple solutions.

Brexit was manipulated by classical politicians. “Brussels is the enemy.” Trump is a neo-liberal technocrat in the extreme, all is as in selling shampoo, great deals, creating supply, cheap labor, all a function of “me”, “bigger” and “more” at whatever environmental, moral or social cost. “Immigrants and Muslims are the enemy.” DU30 the unwilling candidate, the iron fist of Davao, “Drugs and the American imperialists are the enemy.”

The current Philippine president is a little different in so far that he doesn’t care about consumption, a bigger car or a more expensive necktie, even as these are the essence of an economy based on growth. He addresses issues such as honor and sovereignty, drugs and crime, peace with rebels and extortionists, hunger and health. He uses a language people recognize as genuine. He calls every spade an ace of spades. He gave voters a real alternative to the traditional oligarchs and dynasties. Unfortunately, he mobilized mostly septuagenarians as his warriors instead of the youth and millennials. He narrowed his focus to killing shabu addicts and insulting Americans. He missed returning to the essence of politics, the long term interests of citizens, and new ways to organize society (isn’t federalism a Pimentel senior thing?)

2. The understanding that addiction is a health issue, not a criminal issue.

Health care has also a mental aspect. People have physical illnesses and also psychological illnesses. Both need prevention, diagnosis, treatment and a heath care organization supporting them. Addicts are sick. All addicts, whatever the addiction, narcotics, stimulants or hallucinogens such as nicotine, alcohol, sugar, medicines (pain, sleep, performance enhancing, food supplements . . .), marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin . . . and other addictive activities as gambling, sex, gaming, and the internet.

They can be categorized as more or less addictive, more or less harmful to the user (physical, psychological, relational), for societal impact (medical costs, lost productivity, white collar criminality, petty crimes, organized crime . . .), as recreational (age bound or not, individual or social usage) or problematic usage (hindering a normal life), on the likelihood of escalation (in quantity, in type), on cultural acceptance . . . All help needs to be differentiated/specialized.

Help should address the full chain of consumption (marketing and need creation, production, trade, usage, side effects), prevention, management or suppression by families, civil society, law and order (police, legal system, prisons), health care, and linkages to corruption, criminality . . .

All of the above is well studied, well documented. In broad strokes: wars on drugs don’t work, strictly controlled legalization works, influencing markets works, long term education and cultural changes work.

The current Philippine president sees it differently. Over emotional, zero rational. Did he see addiction from too close by? He mixes up troublesome addiction with rebellious recreational use. He overlooks the horrible effects of alcohol addiction on families, health and productivity, neglects the staggering cost of nicotine addiction, the alarming rise of sugar usage in fast food and sodas. All is narrowed down to “Let’s kill everybody who ever touched shabu and feed them to the fishes.”

3. The realization of the dangers of the perfusion of criminal (and terrorist) organizations in the real economy.


A Philippine cartoon from 1920 . . . but still accurate today, from OPINION: Did Grillo grill the President? by Manolo Quezon at ABS-CBN News.

Beside building the illegal markets, criminal organizations have infiltrated and thus corrupted all aspects of life, the real economy, national and local politics, the media and several NGO’s. The illegality moved gradually into legality, from 100% perfidious activities into technically legal but amoral activities and into 100% legal activities. They cover a lot of ground, drugs, human trafficking, smuggling, hacking, sub-standard production, gambling, rent related activities, establishing monopolies, tax avoidance, to name a few of their favorite activities. As major organizations, they are good in all aspects of the business, product design, marketing, production, logistics, finance, human resources, procurement, risk management, even quality management.

Mapping these organizations requires an international approach. Hindering the financial transactions seems to be the most successful strategy.

But this President sees it differently. He doesn’t see the marketing skill of pushers guided by professional criminal gangs. He is afraid of addressing head-on the entanglement of syndicates with politics and the real economy. Chinese triads seem of limit. He wastes much of his energy in an endless fight with one old foe.


Talking of missed opportunities. After 6 months, I have a dwindling hope and I fear that it will go all wrong. But I can still dream of a President being less destructive and less self-destructive. A president not just communicating in such negative terms as planting evidence, killing, canceling contracts or using demeaning terms such as insults and belittling women. I can imagine a president not shooting wildly from the hip in all directions but one surrounding himself with younger people who dare to tell him that the emperor is naked, and who can engage in a rational discussion. And most importantly, a President who respects life.


90 Responses to “Double Sad”
  1. Great article, I totally agree!

  2. karlgarcia says:

    “But I can still dream of a President being less destructive and less self-destructive. A president not just communicating in such negative terms as planting evidence, killing, canceling contracts or using demeaning terms such as insults and belittling women. I can imagine a president not shooting wildly from the hip in all directions but one surrounding himself with younger people who dare to tell him that the emperor is naked, and who can engage in a rational discussion. And most importantly, a President who respects life.”-josephivo.

    I can dream that the above applies to Duterte

  3. karlgarcia says:

    Trump plans to shun NAFTA and China.Bad move.
    Exporters of cars,aerospace,f and b are afraid that with out China and without donestic consumers if their products, they see diom and gloom.

    Now as to Nafta, don’t know the gravity of the implications,but it is not good.

    Neolib, in the Philippines,
    The left is there to check on neolib policies, but with the present state of our logistics and supply chain and infrastructure, I wonder what would be the alternative?

    • josephivo says:

      Long time all was organized by divine intervention, priest had their calling, aristocracy, slaves, serves and free citizens justified by creation. Then came the age of enlightenment with emphasis on individual freedom and free trade (égalité and fraternité where just sounding good). Children perishing in mines and under the weaving looms brought the left and their social correction (égalité, also the workers have rights), the pollution and stress on our little blue marble brought the greens and an environmental correction. The neo-liberals want to return to 200 years ago to an age of total freedom (for the privileged).

      Economically the alternative is to fight for all three. A free market with more social corrections and environmental protection. Politically it is looking at all aspects of society, spiritual, moral, cultural, societal, not only by formulating directions but also the ways to move forwards.

    • josephivo says:

      Nafta is a double edged sword. Of course trade is a must, and more and easier trade is progress. Progress started when people got more time in doing what they are good at. “I’m good at weaving nets, you are good at fishing, so let’s exchange our products instead of each of us wasting time in either fishing our net making.” In the stone age a cutting stone was made of one product, mined, made and used by the same person, today a computer mouse of the same size and shape is made of dozens of products needing hundreds of different skills to produce them and thus people are hundred times more productive in producing a unit of food or clothing.

      But trade deals are mainly negotiated by business owners and are much more likely to be favorable for them. Negotiation teams should be more balanced, capital providers, labor and environmental activists, all aspects 3 should be considered, not just one.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Again many thanks!

      • parengtony says:

        Globalization is a very complex issue. But more economist/experts advocate it over protectionism. In my book, however, the clear enemy of the poor and the middle class all over the globe is cartelization. Perhaps the cartelization phenomenon is the greatest, most consequential economic paradigm shift ever.

        • sonny says:

          I had to let my fingers do the walking, parengtony. Thanks for the stimulus for the terms ‘globalization’ and ‘cartels’ two really complex economic phenomena hinging around a common compound theme, IMO, of ‘big scale organized collusion’. I’m educating myself using this: 🙂

        • josephivo says:

          The root problem are lazy or incompetent politicians. They gave away many essential powers not knowing what they were doing. International trade deals delegated to “specialists” to work out the details, meaning the lawyers and engineers of the companies most involved did define the (defining) fine print of the deals. Conflicts delegated to international trade courts manned by the same specialist. Guess who profits from these deals most. Politicians forgot their task since late 18e century to guarantee free trade and low entrance barriers, of late 19e century to guarantee a social balance and since late 20e century to guarantee environmental balance. Hence a race to the bottom. Fair political balances are swept under the carpet of near-sightedness or even worse sold out for a few corrupt dollars.

          (Same story for monetary policies with the almighty central banks, rating agencies, arbitration courts all manned by a small circle of elite bankers. The ethical questions are also delegated to the same companies that create them. Internet controlled by internet giants. The list goes on and on.)

          • josephivo says:

            Whatever, the “free market” will play the game, but you need good referees (politicians) to keep the game attractive for all and not only the 1%.

    • chemrock says:

      Anti-trade moves are always worrisome, but I perceive an even more problematic scenario arising. The Fed’s timing of rate increase prior to Trump assuming office, and their declaration of several more increases in 2017, indicates a central bank and Executive on a collision course. The stock market has been overpriced for quite some time, artificially pushed up by corporations that took advantage of a zero interest rate environment to borrow heavily and buy back capital. The Left/Right divide is pushing partisan adventurism to reckless brinkmanship.With one side trying to rebuild the economy on anti-trade initiatives, the other works for a stock market collapse.

      The parellelism of US and Philippines is so tragically unnerving. Here win Manila, the Executive is raising tension levels with the central bank to new heights.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Being told to resign or be treated lie drug addicts is a direct threat.
        He must be careful, we still have not forgotten the Good Friday Withrawals and the Multi million Peso accounts.If we have not forgotten,the BSP for sure has not.
        At least they have printed the bils with Duterte’s signature.

  4. karlgarcia says:

    Internet addiction: I will stay away from cardboards and duct tapes.

  5. edgar lores says:

    1. We have looked at the problem from the perspective of morality — that is doing immoral things purportedly for moral reasons.

    2. This wonderful post looks at the problem globally from the perspective of politics, economics, and criminality.

    3. In systems thinking the first step, before analyzing options and offering solutions, is to define the problem. And yet, on one hand, solutions are offered without a clear understanding of the problem and, on the other hand, solutions are not offered because no one sees the problem.

    3.1. Politicians define the problem in terms of simple slogans.

    3.2. Economists define growth as a solution without taking into account policies, products, methods, and resources.

    3.3. The President defines addiction as a criminal issue when it is not.

    3.4. Politicians do NOT define criminal organizations that foster addiction and trade in human misery as a problem.

    4. Within the country, I think the systemic problem is not primarily in the institutional structure but how it has NOT been developed. In an ideal democracy, the basic function of political parties is to define the problems as they see them, and to proffer solutions according to their ideological position in the political spectrum.

    4.1. In our country, non-ideological political parties have formed around personalities with limited understanding, solutions, and vision.

    4.2. Having said that, I think the institutional structure has also been compromised in that the public and diplomatic services have been highly politicized. (In Oz, for example, the Attorney-General (a cabinet position) is different from the Solicitor-General (a professional public service position appointed for a term of 10 years.)

    • josephivo says:

      1. I struggle with morality. How many can you push of a bridge on a track to stop a run-away train that could kill 5 kids playing downstream on the track? And is it a question of age, physical condition or potential contribution to society? Kill one to save one? Kill one to save hundreds (if killing is the only option)?

      2. Tnx

      3. And to define a problem we have to define the Should and the Actual, the difference being the problem. The Actual based on factual evidence, the Should balanced/holistic and over time, immediately, short- and long term. A lot of intellectual work, but luckily – with meaningful copy and paste – it should be doable, we are not the only nation on earth and in history with the same problems.

      4. Within the country, I think politics has less to do with organizing society for the better, but they carved out their private island to collect easy money and they are keeping out all other players as the academe, the judicial, the middle field. The strong dynasties as gate keepers. Also the media are not inter-media-ting between the government and the people.

      • edgar lores says:

        Morality can be very basic: do not lie, do not steal, cause no harm, do not kill.

        • josephivo says:

          And what if a white lie saves lives? A stolen bread feeds a starving kid? Harming or killing in a justified war?

          The basics are simple, dilemmas require judgement. (and judgement depends on your stomach too, a full stomach makes judges more lenient as proven by scientific experiments)

          • josephivo says:

            Or concrete, some people argue that killing thousands, inclusive some collateral damage, is justified as it saves ten thousands of murders by addicts in the rush of their drugs, hundred thousands of burglaries of addicts in need of money to feed their addiction, millions of families who have to deal with addiction.

            (Yes, the should get their figures right. Yes they should look at third solutions to avoid the dilemma. But still what are the criteria to judge, where are the borderlines?)

            • edgar lores says:

              What are the basic principles? The primary rule is don’t cause harm. the secondary rule is don’t kill. The tertiary rule is don’t steal. the quaternary rule is don’t lie. The quinary rule is to have respect.

              Concretely, in reverse order:

              o Having respect for self and family means looking after your health. So you do not turn to drugs in the first place.

              o Don’t lie means you know drugs are not good for you or your family. So you don’t become an addict at all.

              o Don’t steal means addicts should not steal to support their habits. So you don’t engage in crime that will cause neighbors grief and authorities to react.

              o Don’t kill means do not snuff out the lives of drug addicts. So you observe due process and promote the rule of law.

              o Don’t cause harm means recreational drugs should not be produced. So create wealth in a socially responsible way and do not create a narco environment.

              For each rule, the specific action would be different for the role one is playing, whether one is a consumer, the government, or a producer of wealth.

              • josephivo says:

                … like “don’t teach the intricacies of running a marathon to people that can not walk yet”. You gave some clear teaching in how to walk. Thanks.

            • The rules embodied in the Constitution and laws define the consensus morality and going against them is a tribute to the arrogance of ego.

          • edgar lores says:

            That’s true. But we tend to overthink morality. Dilemmas can be resolved by applying the correct principle. Just the four basic ethical rules that I enumerated would go a long way in making the world a better place.

            o You are a witness, don’t lie.
            o You work in the government or elsewhere, don’t steal.
            o You are the president, don’t kill.

            The overriding primary rule in dilemmas would be: cause no harm or cause the least harm.

            Add to these four a sincere respect for self, others and things and I would say a considerable amount of suffering would disappear.

  6. Merry Christmas, everyone!

  7. caliphman says:

    Joe, your apprehensions and sentiments are very well grounded. Duterte’s way of thinking and his articulated thoughts harbor little but a dark future in the months and years ahead. When panic overwhelms fear, when fear stifles ebbing hopes, then there remains little but helplessness and sadness. I count myself and those others lucky not to be in the direct path of this regime’s runaway and careening locomotive to hell.

    • caliphman says:

      Sorry, Josephivo. I mistook your piece to be one of Joe’s recent continuing blogs on the sorry state of governance this country is facing. Time has a current article on how democracy and the EDSA revolution has failed the hopes and needs of the Filipino masses and led to the rise of the likes of Duterte, Trump and other incomprehensibly unfit agents of change. When hopes become distant dreams and near fantasies, that cannot be a good sign.

  8. Great article! Awesome read. We may have the same insights on Philippine society. Hope you can check out our blog too. Cheers

  9. LG says:

    It feels and looks SAD, even at Christmas. The typical merriment of the season seems gone except at some spots at night where holiday lites are lit.

    On TV, Duterte never looks happy, never did, neither does any of his men or women appointees, when seen. Their gloom and doom outlook pervades the landscape.

  10. Zen says:

    I want to see a President whose perspective of governance stems from the fact that he understands democracy and how it had worked in other countries like the UK and America. How for instance, when the banks abuse their role in the financial, economic aspects of society, it will be acted upon through new, appropriate regulations and not sweeping generalizations and conclusions (i.e.housing bubble in the UK and America vs. Duterte’s war on drugs). I want to see a president whose mind is far more refine in coming up with solutions to a problem; well researched as to the cost, the morality and practicality of its decisions. I want to see a president who has the highest sensibility to social justice whether in land, housing, education, labor, occupational rights of its citizens. I want to see a President who is able to envision the country’s progress in the sciences, medicine, the arts and letters. I want to see a Filipino President who can stand side by side with other leaders of the world and contribute to the world’s policies in protecting the environment, the rights of children, eradicate poverty and hunger in all parts of the world, in deciding how best to fight terrorism and mass immigration because of it. I want to see a President who takes on even the world because of some higher knowledge and intelligence and not just some clanging cymbal of a man bragging about making his country like the city he used to run with guns, gold and goons. I want to see a President who is upright, a man of principle and integrity,a decent person and one who speaks the Truth.

    • Superb standards, Zen. Those are the expectations that, if met, would see the Philippines rise in global prominence and wealth. And reduce drug usage, too.

    • edgar lores says:

      A very nice “I want list…” for Xmas.

      “All I want for Christmas is my Du-ter-teeth
      My Du-ter-teeth, ee, my Du-ter-teeth?
      Gee, if I could only have my Du-ter-teeth
      Then I could wish you Merry Christmas!


    • LG says:

      Zen….May your dreams come true, in my lifetime. And that is far enough. They are mine, too, and a whole lot of Filipinos.

      The predicted ML of this administration is likely to come much sooner than later. The writing has been on the wall. In BOLD letters.

      Rule reversal to satiate him. Martial Law without Congressional and SC approval is what this president wants. Crash all other branches of government, in short. Threats to AMLC. He had been getting what he wants.. And keeps pushing boundaries. Truly petrifying developments.

      He had self confessed murder and drug addiction, but who is to plant the bullet on him, or at least handcuff him? Death penalty for heinous crimes and shoot to kill suspects….his top wishes for “my country”.

  11. madlanglupa says:

    > He mixes up troublesome addiction with rebellious recreational use. He overlooks the horrible effects of alcohol addiction on families, health and productivity, neglects the staggering cost of nicotine addiction, the alarming rise of sugar usage in fast food and sodas. All is narrowed down to “Let’s kill everybody who ever touched shabu and feed them to the fishes.”

    I find ignorance the most dangerous of all.

  12. karlgarcia says:

    If the police visibilty in the bus terminals and ports before Christmas is done nation wide 365 days in a year, then perhaps we might feel safer, or the police can not blame organized crime eliminating expendibles.

  13. karlgarcia says:

    If federalism is already a given,why not ensure strong party ststems,anti-turn coatism,anti-dynasty and ensure more new faces run for office.

    Also ensure a professional civil service so we cant just blame the Abayas, Delimas etc.

    The Sc and Cout of Appeals must ensure thst they can not be bought by eliminating the cartelism mentioned by parengtony.

    I suggested100 percent foreign ownership if companues, but this has alteady been happening just ask Manny Pangilinan.

    If they are allowed to own land, then Dubai and the Arabs might just buy the entire country.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Lance Corporal X suggest to limit consumerism to avoid trash.
      Then it will just add inventory to the stores,then one one would suggest to stop manufacturing all together. No can do.

      We have lots of recyclables in the landfills and garbage dump all potential re-raw materials, but by the time we get into Manufacturing 4.0, our neighbors would be in manufacturing 10.0.

      The rest that can not be recycled must become waste to energy.
      Let us watch the UK learn from their mistakes in Wte so we won’t have to repeat it.

      Moving on to internet.
      Zuckerberg could have given internet access for all, but Elon Musk destroyed his satellite,before it even launced.
      So let us wait for them to settle their differences and we will all have internet access.

      • Lance Corporal X suggest to limit consumerism to avoid trash.
        Then it will just add inventory to the stores,then one one would suggest to stop manufacturing all together. No can do.”


        Consumerism/materialism I ‘ve criticized outright (ie. Salvation by Faith, Works, vs. Austerity, austerity’s the only constant in all other religions, philosophies that tend to make sense). Did you catch the Pope’s message on Christmas being taken hostage?

        Manufacturing though as a means to economic betterment, I also agree, but this whole notion that you have to manufacture cheap stuff so as to guarantee a short lifespan, ensuring more consumption, is totally insane.

        Manufacturing in the US (Made in USA) is posturing to rectify this cheap for cheapness ‘ sake model , micro-manufacturing, small batch, artisanal, they are realizing has a market. So again less is more, and people are re-discovering this again, a century after Ford’s bright idea.

        As for inventory.

        This idea, concept, of warehousing stuff is more related to cheap for cheapness sake line of thinking (caching I don’t equate to inventory 😉 that’s more survival).

        The artisanal concept is made to order, so fast food is out and personalization of things (and food) is in—– if you notice McDonald’s is rolling out made to order burgers (not exactly true made to order) but even McDonald’s deviating from the fast food factory model; also check out New Balance shoes ‘customize’ orders.

        Inventory’s the old model of doing things, anti-consumerism will but a dent on this concept, but eventually technology will render inventory moot, ie. 3-D printers, etc. Eventually, shopping will be done online , so no need for big brick and mortar stores , Ebay/Amazon will do inventories for stores, just like UPS/FedEx did for logistics.

        Hence the rise of micro-manufacturing. People might not necessarily buy stuff in malls or stores, but they still want to interact, so stores that sell and personalize stuff will win. I gotta very good feeling manufacturing will come up again in the US under Trump… so keep an eye out for Made in USA, karl.

        Quality’s gonna Trump Quantity again… fewer stuff that lasts longer, like the original VW bugs, LOL!

        • karlgarcia says:

          Yehey! Made in USA is back! But tell Boeing,GM,and Apple and others that there is life beyond China and there is the domestic market.(US)

          • Boeing (and other gov’t contractors) and GM (and the car industry in general) are too dependent on the US gov’t, either via high priced gov’t contracts (essentially fleecing tax payers) and/or gov’t bail outs.

            Apple was dependent on one person, after Jobs death, they stopped innovating. No doubt that market will go to Huawei and others. But truly, I don’t think there’s more to do with smart phones, they’ve hit the proverbial ceiling hence Motorola’s come back (its cases).

            Smart phones will taper off, if you notice Apple’s only escape hatch is its network of recognized schools, and with all these incubators and peer-to-peer crash course programs sprouting everywhere, I think Apple’s gonna be dead soon.

            Google and Uber will remake the car industry, w/ driverless cars. So too Tesla and Solar City and their power generation project.

            Localizing as well as personalizing , it all starts with energy storage. The private power companies have been so threatened that they’ve essentially stopped solar dead on the tracks in Nevada, and in Florida, the sunshine state, doesn’t have a solar program— been blocked by private power for awhile now.

            So once solar marries with energy storage and perfects that, Made in USA micro-manufacturing will blossom… the same way Anheuser-Busch (representing big companies) was taken down by micro-breweries—- of course there will be re-consolidation and back to square one but this time individuals will have the means to make their own energy.

            I’m counting on Ivanka and Jared (and Jared’s kid brother, read up on him) to stir their dad right, alternative energy never had a better chance than now.

            • karlgarcia says:

              I love your ideas and use of your phd in google,except when I am on the other end of the twenty questions. (joke 50%)

              ok your inputs on palm oil contributing to the deforestation of Indonesia,Borneo and now Africa .

            • mellowyellow says:

              Yes I am a firm believer of localization and personalization. One has to produce for himself first for his own consumption and what is extra is then sold. Many money maker traders bank on the idea that persons produce so they can sell them, what is left is what they consume.
              If agriworkers grows products for their own consumption, it is guarrantedd that they will have something to consume, what will occur is that the agriworkers will be courted for their products (that hey can sell) and hence can demand a better barter of them. If they produce a lot more than they will consume, simple logic dictate that get rid of them before they rot.
              If one produces for himself, then he is the boss of himself while if one produces for others, then he is a slave to these others.

              • mellow,

                Definitely. Both myself and karl have talked at length about palm oil and other products that do more to hurt people than actually help them, yet folks in the 3rd World are enticed to produce stuff that don’t really help them in the long run.

                If you’re interested in reading those discussions, there’s some in this article, and I believe if you search this blog for “Salvation by Austerity”, you’ll find some there as well.

              • chemrock says:

                In your world I’ll have a big problem. I need to plant some tomatoes in the balcony, a couple of chickens in the toilet, get rid of the dog and out a pig at the front door, go buy some tool kits that cost me 10,000 pesos to construct a keyboard so I can comment at TSH only to be told by Mary here a Chinese keyboard cost 3,000 pesos, etc. I have so much other tasks

            • karlgarcia says:


              Most suppliers in the supply chain of apple,ibm and microsoft are in China.
              Do they convince the suppliers to move stateside? Would Trump want an all-American supply chain?
              Now as to Ford not pushing through with its Mexican plant is good news for Detroit. Sprint’s binge hiring and expansion and plans for merger with T-mobile is good too.
              Trump can’t take all the credit,but like the ejk where Duterte’s words are to blame, Trump can take credit.

              We are not affected in the manufacturing side,but for BPOs we will be in deep shit.

        • karlgarcia says:

          You will love this article.It is about de-shopping.

          • josephivo says:

            Circular living, peer to peer business, the slow movement… so many good ideas all with the ultimate aim of leaving more diversity and more resources to our children.

            Our generation of baby boomers got it very wrong with its growth at whatever cost, exhausting nature and depleting natural resources.

  14. Bert says:

    To: Joe and family, and to all members of my Society of Honor family and their families…my best wishes to you all on this holiday season.

    I say, relax lang kayo lahat. But…keep your powder dry for the coming future exciting moments, :).

    • sonny says:

      Merry Christmas to you, Bert.

    • Thanks, Bert, best to you and your family, too. You are an expert at relaxing, and I intend to act on your advice. 🙂

    • edgar lores says:

      Bert and All,

      I say it is possible to be double sad and triple happy.

      I would like to come up with something deep and profound… but I have nothing.

      With a Budweiser in hand, all I can think of is that it is comforting to know that there are other souls out there who care and share and have goodwill.

      And with that simple thought, I can take the advice and truly somewhat relax. 🙂


      Bert, and all families in the path, keep safe with Nina on the way.

      • sonny says:

        edgar, this counts as deep:

        “I say it is possible to be double sad and triple happy.”

        I’d ruminate on this and other nuggets over cold Ovaltine but I’m lactose intolerant. 🙂

      • “With a Budweiser in hand, all I can think of is that it is”

        Budweiser? Compared to what you got over there, edgar, Anheuser-Busch is crap. You and bill have VB, Crown and Toohies (and there was another beer that was really popular in Perth, forgot what it was called, but everyone drank it there).

        LOL! Happy New Year.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Merry Christmas Bert and family. Thanks, I tried to rekax by watching a circus acts full of acrobatics, and comedy so notwithstanding the nerve wrecking performances,it was indeed relaxing.

      • Ha, well, we can all use some comedy. Best wishes to you, as well, Karl. Thanks for anchoring this place when I am gadding about or loafing. I hope 2017 is rich and rewarding, in all the ways you want.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Best Wishes JoeAm Sr and jr and Misis JoeAm! Godspeed!
          I hope Nina did minimal damage in Biliran.

          Hope the Society was relaxed as Bert suggested.
          Ps Bert hope everything is well, Metro Manila is next on the typhoon path.

          To all here in TSH,Godspeed!

  15. a distant observer says:

    Just wanted to come around to wish all members of the Society of Honor merry Christmas! May not be the busiest commenter here, I’m still very glad to have found this blog this year. Enjoy the time with your loved ones.

  16. madlanglupa says:

    Back from a brief vacation, sir, and I greet you all a warm Merry Christmas.

    If 2016 was seen as an accursed year where seemingly we would be headed to an uncertain future, peppered with death — of both celebrities and the obscure on the streets — and online degeneration; absolutists, bigots, ultranationalists, plutocrats and robber barons given all a silver platter and a red carpet rolled out, 2017 is where we have to look forward, prepare, and hope many people will realize that they are a victim of a massive bloody swindle.

    Or in wartime parlance, BOHICA — bend over, here it comes again!

    *raises a can of cold Guinness Stout*

  17. karlgarcia says:

    The storm skipped Manila.
    Malacanang is still saying that the citizens are feeling safer and crime rates are down even when a news reporter was citing murder stats.
    They are stil proud of the third quarter growth,even when the consumer and government spending was due to the elections.

  18. karlgarcia says:

    The communist party is complaining that the AFP is taking advantage of the cease fire to continue with their oplan bayanihan,when it us a known fact that through the years the NPA has been using the cease fires to gather,build,and consolidate their forces.

  19. karlgarcia says:

    I am so glad that I found Joe’s blog last year after leaving the comment boxes of the blogosphere and even facebook for more or less three years, and glad to have found new fb friends, and new friends here in TSH.
    Despite all the goings on, I still wish the TSH a Happy New Year!

  20. josephivo says:

    “A Happy New Year”… Starting with understanding what makes you “Happy”? Experiencing “Fraternity” or giving the best of yourself to your close ones? And occasional to some strangers? Experiencing “Liberty” or being able to decide for a large part yourself what to think and what to do? Nothing holding you back? Experiencing “Equality” or keeping your feelings of superiority and jealousy under control? Being able to identify with an endless group of equals? On top for the soul experiencing many spiritual peaks?

    Aren’t words too cheap? Do we really need to know what we mean exactly?

    Luckily Edgar told us to keep it simple, so:

    Carpe Diem (seize the day) and a meaningful Happy New Year to all.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Carpe diem and a meaningful new year, josephivo!

      • Carpe diem and also this (since winter is coming, karl),

        Not today!

        (sorry, for not posting much of late, will wait til Joe deems it feasible to get me off moderation mode, he didn’t specify how long this time— though it was for the personal martial law discussion. 😉 Sorry for the platitudes, will write more as soon as Joe gives me more latitude again, maybe next year? 😉 LOL!)

  21. Waray-waray says:

    Today is Ninos Inocentes Day. And there is nothing I could offer to the thousands of children who have become the so called collateral damage to all forms of war and atrocities but this song and a prayer. I teared up for feeling helpless for them and just listening to this poignant song.

    Bless the Beasts and the Children

    Bless the beasts and the children
    For in this world they have no voice
    They have no choice.

    Bless the beasts and the children
    For this world can never be
    The world they see.

    Light their way when the darkness surrounds them
    Give then love, let it shine all around them.

    Bless the beasts and the children
    Give them shelter from the storm
    Keep them safe
    Keep them warm…

    • karlgarcia says:

      Herod made the Holy family seek asylum in Egypt……

      After Duterte steps down,I pray for a compassionate police force. I pray that they stop killings from even happening. In the mean time, while Duterte is still around I hope they retool reinvent their so called war on drugs maybe to tackle poverty and some major root cause.

  22. Jay says:

    Look for Trump to fall out with Duterte because the pro-China bent of Duterte is not going to be tolerated in the Trump administration.

    • bauwow says:

      Happy New Year everyone🍺🍻🍻🍻
      Hope the New Year will bring us a fresh new hope, that next few years will be at least bearable for each and every Filipino. Cheers! Salut! Tagay!

  23. Bert says:

    HAPPY and PROSPEROUS year 2017 to all. From my heart.

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