The Philippines: suffering from diseases way worse than dengue

Diseased solutions generate poor critical thinking . . .

By Joe America

I’m not a doctor or a health professional. I hate pills and feeling sick. I try to stay away from others who are sick. That is getting increasingly hard to do, of late, because there are several diseases spreading rapidly across the Philippine landscape. They have also reached America.

Let’s look at three diseases that have infected Filipinos. In the best tradition of Humpty Dumpty, we shall name them as we please, to help make sense of them.

One is called “internal emptiness”. This is a tag applied by the Society of Honor’s Chief Philosopher and Enumerator, Edgar Lores, to the main factor that led to the election of Donald Trump as America’s President. “Internal emptiness.”

I mean, what were Americans thinking, eh?

They weren’t. As in the Philippines, “they were feeling it”, and the “it” is an emotional emptiness that can be filled quickly with a determined and angry vote.

I trust I do not have to elaborate much on the “it” in the Philippines, because the poor and going-nowhere middle class have been feeling it for decades as they struggle to eat or as they wonder “why does my worthless soul have put up with these miserable MRT lines?” And so they vote for Duterte. It’s a punitive thing, against convention that has not done much for them.

Once having exercised their vengeance, they must defend it, and so they quickly acquire a second disease called “confidence dead end”. That’s when they can’t stand to lose face. Some think this is low self esteem, but that’s not really the problem. Filipinos have lots of personal confidence, but there is nowhere for it to go, and THAT is the dead end. Those suffering from “confidence dead end” are tired of people lording it over them, and so they lash back. That quickly develops as the form of one-way dialogue we see dominating social media. People jam their unbending opinions down other peoples’ throats. “No one is gonna tell me I’m wrong!”

If people had a place to go with their confidence, there would be more “listen” than “lecture” in the discussions, and there would be a more forthright and crowd-sourced search for solutions. But we get very little of that. We get people defending their deficient positions to the death.

The third disease is the deadliest of them all. It is called “character void” where character means having good moral values. Moral values are the rules that keep a group on the same path, and the same wave length, aiming for the same goals. Our nation’s is called a Constitution. People of good character in the Philippines are working to uphold the Constitution. People of bad character are out for themselves. Good = Hontiveros. Bad = Pimentel and Pacquiao and Angara and Sotto and Poe and Aguirre and Alvarez and the hundreds and hundreds of people in positions of power across the Philippines who put the nation, and the people of that nation, second to their own aspirations.

The problem with these three diseases is that they generate a kind of thinking that is unhealthy. People say Filipinos lack critical thinking skills. That is completely wrong. Rather:

  • People are unfulfilled and so are forced to defend who they are.
  • People are burdened and bound and so are forced to defend what they do.
  • People have no moral anchor and so are forced to defend why they do what they do.

So we get rationalizations and justifications, blames and excuses, and not problem solving.

It gets so ludicrous that the President of the Senate, a guy by the name of Pimentel, an attorney, a bar top-notcher, tells barangay officials that they must prove to the President that they are not corrupt. In other words, the starting point for him is “the presumption of guilt”, not the presumption of innocence, as is written into the nation’s laws. Friends, that is just plain bad thinking. Do you realize how hard it is to prove innocence when someone presumes guilt?

The person making the accusation is just showing power. That is what Pimentel is really doing, isn’t it? Leveraging and reinforcing the President’s unstoppable, unshakable, unquestionable power. Pimentel is substituting intimidation for investigation, calling for a quick, nation-wide rush to judgment, which he mistakes for solution.

It’s not a solution. It makes the problem worse.

A lot of that kind of self-destructive thinking goes on in the Philippines as “leaders” inject self-advantage into the business of solving the peoples’ problems.

Filipinos and their leaders are busy justifying who they are, what they do, and why they do it rather than forthrightly agreeing to the goals and path, joining hands and minds, and getting on with getting there.

The Duterte/Trump phenomenon probably has a short shelf-life though. That’s my guess. After all, it is merely a pill for one of the diseases. It is a pill for the internal emptiness, filled as people feel good in lashing out.

But government only cures the burdens of people if it does something about them. And it can’t cure poverty by adding price increases and taxes to the costs of basic goods. It can’t get rid of transit woes by causing gridlock with drive-time train testing and earthquake drills. It can’t provide jobs by chasing away investors with shenanigans like martial law or cursing at Europe.

And the lack of character? Bad character can only promote bad decisions, and the Philippines is overburdened by activities and decisions that don’t even have the people’s well-being as top priority. The Philippines has been in this cycle ever since Aguinaldo had Bonifacio killed and the ideals of Rizal and Mabini were put on the shelf for about 117 years.

The only way out of this disease-ridden cycle is for people to discover there IS a purpose to democracy, that freedom IS uplifting, and that the GOOD DECISIONS flowing from moral discipline are more valuable than money.

  • Building a nation rich with opportunities can fill everyone’s emptiness of purpose.
  • Freedom, transparency, and fairness can assure that the best, most productive people get the most important jobs.
  • High character can lead to good thinking that puts the people’s interests first.

I wonder who has the courage, the insight, the intelligence, the charisma, and the character to pull off such a mass re-education in very short order? That’s all it takes, I think.

That’s all it takes to get rid of the emptiness and unleash progress and good thinking in the Philippines. Is there a Filipino Kennedy or Gandhi? Someone who can both speak sense and connect with the everyday man and woman?

Is there a doctor in the house?


221 Responses to “The Philippines: suffering from diseases way worse than dengue”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    We never learn from mistakes. It is shown every election. Maybe a parliamentary form of government can change that in a few decades . We already discussed how a federalist form will further divide us.
    But the issue here is the anti dynasty, having the same people and people putting them there voluntarily or otherwise.

    For morals.
    We are blaming the catholic church now, because it is always, what have you done for me lately, but they are partly or a major factor in bribging down Marcos, Erap and Arroyo.
    But now, the CBCP will shut up, because their head is familiar with Duterte. I hope I am dead wrong, and I am happy to be wrong here.

    As to confidence dead end. In short yattta yatta yatta. We don’t walk the talk, we whine, we say do this and do that. Hubris and no humility. We could be guilty here at one point in time. Or not.

    • True, hard to have a thriving, results oriented democracy when government and results are for the few and the masses buy illusions.

    • Miela says:

      Not sure if parliamentary would uploft the political situation. It will probably worsen it given thw “compadre” politics.It is not a secret that parties do not matter in the Philippines. If we were a parliamentary right now, everyone in the legislative will still bw PDP-Laban because of Duterte. The LP will probably not have any elected representative

      I dunno I feel the political culture is beyond repair.

      • karlgarcia says:

        My or our issue us with turncoats and dynasties. With the status quo, it will never end, and passage of said bills will be next to impossible.
        I maybe just gving up because of our current situation, but the vote of no confidence and genuine party platforms is easier achieved in parliamentary.

        As for those pdp laban defections, they will disappear depending on the weather.
        Culture is evolving, we just don’t feel it yet.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I spelled my email wrongly. (avatar change)

        • Miela says:

          Parliamentary works well in a political culture that is based on ideology. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case of the Philippines. The closest we hsbe to the parliamentary system is the partylist system – most of which the elected reps are from the NDP front, ironically. But partylists are very specofoc to a sector.

          I think the turncoatism can be checked by a two party system – progressive and conservative. Ot would be hard to jump to party convenience.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Yeah we just can’t make it work. Even the partylist system is bastardized. Yeah right, they ate all marginalized. A shipping or ports tycoon of 1pacman?

            Two party, a few years ago, I was pushing for this, but those who disagreed blamed..(guess what?) the political culture.
            Either we are so pessimistic and negative, or we just do not know what we really want.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Once we know what we want or where we are going to, then we have an ideology.

              • sonny says:

                We used to have Liberal vs. Nacionalista only; party platforms were relatively well-understood; politicians were identified by party affiliation and electorate were pretty sure where and how representations were carried out. I feel party-list dynamics should be better understood, by all voters into ever mature understanding.

              • Miela says:

                Parties on paper have ideologies. But politicians who join parties do not stick to it. I think we have too many parties, not many conviction on ideology. Mga NPA/CPP lang ata ang wagas sa ideology nila.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Yeah they end up partying all the time.
                The pros or advantages offered of two parties is you tend to stick with that party for a long time, but history tells us that if you want to form your own and convince others to join you, you do just that.
                Convenience is paramount.
                One upmanship and irreconcilable differences,gridlocks occur and to reconcile the irreconcilable you have to compromise your ideology.

                On senators, reelectionists wont push for unpopular legislation, if they do, woe to them.
                Like Recto when he pushed for EVAT.
                Or you will be labeled as team buhay or team patay.
                They should not be more powerful than the president.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Bill in Oz voiced out his preference for a preferential voting. Others suggested a runoff.
                This will be the answer to multiple candidates and parties.
                We will never go back to a two party system, no glue, nor magnet, nor a dictator can do that.

            • Miela says:

              Another thing, I think random 24 senators should be abolished. They do not represent anyone, compared to the lower house. I think one region should at least be represented by one senator. Since most voters do not care about party affiliation anyway (unless you are “dilawan”, LOL), the best system we could adapt is regional/provincial representation. Having 1 senator per region will probably help a lot. At least every region is represented in the Senate. Parang US lang, pero 2 senators dito.

              And I don’t know how to solve the hijacked partylist system. The intention is good, but it’s bad that it’s highjacked by the CPP-NPA/NDF so true underrepresented are not really represented.

              • karlgarcia says:

                So many good intentions, and with too many cooks will lead to bringing a spoiled broth as your baon to the road to perdition.

    • sonny says:

      Neph, well said; re: learning from our mistakes, especially about dynasties; cautious when we are “waiting” on CBCP position; yes, to “yatta, yatta, yatta …”

    • popoy says:

      Karl If I may, may be, perhaps, probably the “fault is in our stars” not in learning from our mistakes. I say: It is not a mistake for the multitudes to accept a few bucks for the next meal. It is perhaps the wisest thing to do to embrace survival metabolism of noodles and pangat for our emaciated bodies. If I may ask, where else it goes a fifth of the billions of pesos stolen from taxes paid to finance an election victory, yes, a measly fifth of the billions but to the next meal of the poor voters’ families. Four fifths of billions go to you know where.

      I was inspired to write a piece in defense of FPJ against the mockery of legal criminals because of what he said that the problem of our legions of poor is to stay alive from meal to meal, the problem really is where the next meal is coming from. I said FPJ has better and higher conceptual skills than many PhDs or degree holder politicians who are clueless about the minutiae of lives portrayed on the screen DEPICTING the triumph of good over evil. He was cheated they say; but God PERHAPS knew better when He took him in peace, without pain and as clean as will never be any darn political whistle.

      • popoy says:

        ADDENDA TO THE ABOVE: FPJ would have been right may be. Fault in the stars provided the answer when thence and hence illegal drugs became one easy source to pay for the next meal of the poor. When like bacteria that causes pneumonia drug addicts and their addiction burgeon overnight to support a population of living dead GONE VIRAL.

        • popoy says:

          More. PLS. pardon the explication: Bacteria’s Brownian movement and exponential multiplication can be seen using a microscope. Not so with viruses (protein) which needs an electron microscope to view and study. That’s why perhaps things, stuff and events going VIRAL packs a wallop than going BACTERIAL.

          • popoy says:

            More pa? The movie FAULT IN OUR STARS by the way is nice to see as it jerks the tears in the romantic viewers’ eyes. As it also warms the blood of sexiness of the machitos.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Thanks again Popopy.

        • popoy says:

          Hahaha! You called me Popopy (sounds like a Child nudged to pee). Another says I am Poppy. Lots of meaning there, plaintive or derisive may be; but I like most the sound of a flower from a poem:

          In Flanders fields the poppies grow
          Between the crosses, row on row,
          That mark our place; and in the sky
          The larks, still bravely singing, fly
          Scarce heard amid the guns below.

          We are the Dead. Short days ago
          We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
          Loved and were loved, and now we lie
          In Flanders fields.

          Take up our quarrel with the foe:
          To you from failing hands we throw
          The torch; be yours to hold it high.
          If ye break faith with us who die
          We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
          In Flanders fields.

          IT IS TIMELY NOW to sing the poem for Filipinos who “fell in the night” because hope has only its alpha for the dawn and no omega.

    • Jose Guevarra says:

      Given our country’s lack of political maturity, I am afraid a federal form of government will only strengthen the dynasties. Our nation will be divided into small kingdoms each ruled by political clans. The clans may fight against each other (further dividing us) or “work together” only with the goal of strengthening their hold to power. No, I can not see federalism working for us.

  2. madlanglupa says:

    Can easily count the few people who a statesmen not interested in using their power for personal advantage. Otherwise, for the most part, politicians — asides from learning all the tricks of the game from past grafters — they have also drawn a very long range plan to ensure that they and eventually their successors enjoy perpetual power, at the expense of the people they’re supposed to serve.

    Right now, the atmosphere… never before the most corrupt now enjoy unprecedented access to power and the ability to speak out their minds to please this lunatic regime.

    The question now is, in a very strong wind, how long the bamboo would stand until it breaks?

    • Disillusionment cannot be contained, I think. All it takes is someone who can connect the dots between decisions like martial law and EJK, the instability they promote, and rising prices. The grab/uber controversy hits the well-to-do. More disillusionment. The only thing holding up the president’s high approval ratings may be people’s reluctance to say “I was wrong”. Some are starting to say it.

      • Miela says:

        ” only thing holding up the president’s high approval ratings may be people’s reluctance to say “I was wrong”

        On point. I think this too. Too much pride, no humility. I guess the same people who are reluctant to do so were the same ones looking down of people who voted Erap and FPJ. Since the bases of thode two were the “masa”, they don’t want to be associated with it and want to maintain their “quasi socialite” image. Lol.

      • Chris says:

        I feel “I was wrong” doesn’t reflect the picture you’re painting. More like “I have no choice.” The oligarch? the corrupt? the American? the dying one? Sadly, the only good choice won and she’s not the president.

        • Miela says:

          No choice? Duterte was the worst choice they could make. Duterte’s win is a bandwagon. Uso. Feeling quasi-socialite.

          The rape joke, encouragement of EJK, kowtowing to China were blurted out by Duterte before he won. He also admitted to getting bribe from “Emilio Aguinaldo” before he won. No choice? People made a choice. People also nearly made a CHOICE in electing the fraudsters called Bongbong Marcos

        • Ahhh, very good, Chris. “I had no choice” is likely right as to how people thought, but it is wrong as a concept. If citizens hold onto it as the economy tanks through the President’s indiscretions, they have the choice to support him or not.

  3. grammy2342 says:

    “Physician heal thyself” – said someone.

    But how do we do that when majority of so/called “saviours” are themselves infected? Like zombies?

    This is yet another very astute article that hits the problem right on the nose.

    Who will save “us” from “them” zombies?

  4. andrewlim8 says:

    There was a recent Pew survey of the favorability of North Korea and the Phils was the only country in Asia with a favorable view of it. Go figure.

    Ignorance, stupidity, lack of nutrition, poor education, what?

    There is a “primitiveness” that persists in this country to this day, untouched by civilization, knowledge, decency, democracy, values and other abstract concepts.

    Which is why it is so easy to conquer.

    Is the perpetual smile and hospitality a sign of empty-headedness?

  5. NHerrera says:

    Something I got from “Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy”


    What do we believe when we learn that a merchant is honest? Ordinarily we suppose this means that he is the kind of person who will not cheat others, for instance, customers, even in situations where it might pay him to do so. Why might the merchant do this? While another merchant doesn’t cheat because (or when) it does not pay, our merchant is honest and does not cheat because of his honesty, that is, his character. Ordinarily, this makes a big difference in how we would judge on these two merchants. Both behave cooperatively, but only the latter is praiseworthy for his honesty.


    At his best, Lacson is honest of the former kind; and Hontiveros is honest of the latter kind.

    And of course, most do not even rate the first type.

    • It is so simple. Thousands get it. I often wonder what exactly goes on inside the head of Senator Angara. His esteem needs the padding of favor? His bank account needs the favor of cash from the gods? His compassion seems dead or fake, for show. What is going on in there????

      • Jose Guevarra says:

        May I ask? And this is an honest question, because I really don’t know why. Why does Sonny Angara’s compassion seem fake? Maybe I missed it in my readings, but have there been specific instances when he said one thing and then did quite the opposite?

        • I don’t think he is fake, I think he is not defending human rights (compassion toward the people he represents), or defending civility, democracy, or even the Senate as an institution. The few people who do are weaker because they are so few, all because he and others who play safe choose to curry favors from Executive. Those people in the middle, playing it safe, are making a decision AGAINST democracy and civility. Appeasers.

          • Jose Guevarra says:

            Ok, did a little bit of reading… makes me think, is it possible Sonny Angara is simply choosing his battles? He seems to be addressing issues that have more to do with making life a bit more comfortable for the common citizen (lowering income taxes, extending vat exemptions to seniors and persons with disabilities, urging resolution of the tiff between LTFRB and Uber/Grab); issues that when addressed will, admittedly, make the Duterte administration look better, but nonetheless will make lives just bit easier as well. I get it, Angara does not deal with issues like indiscriminate killings of alleged drug abusers and has certainly not said anything about Duterte’s intent to extend Martial Law. But again, maybe he is simply trying to win the battles he can for common people?

            • If those common people will endure death and great suffering from a return to corruption, favoritism, class distinctions with Chinese on top, demise of democracy and the freedoms it assures, and risky debt-laden economic collapse, I’d say he for sure is focused on poor priorities. But that’s just my view.

              • Jose Guevarra says:

                He is basically a neophyte senator. Needs to start somewhere, right? Maybe in due time he will find the strength and courage to be bolder with his political leanings. I am willing to give Sonny the benefit of the doubt, for now.

  6. NHerrera says:

    Off topic


    Philippine Star Reports:

    MANILA, Philippines – The cases to be filed against former president Benigno Aquino III over the Mamasapano clash in 2015 are doomed to fail, President Duterte said yesterday.

    Duterte brushed aside the charges of graft and usurpation of authority to be filed in court by the Office of the Ombudsman.

    “You know, charging Aquino for that (is) silly. Actually, my term there, it’s a silly charge,” Duterte told reporters at Malacañang. “They are there to ensure its failure.”

    And as if in concert, we have this, from the Senators, using the same Philippine Star report:

    Meanwhile, senators were cool to the proposal of Sen. Richard Gordon to reopen the Mamasapano clash probe since the matter was exhaustively taken up by the Senate in the previous administration.

    Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said that he wants to find out from Gordon “what angle of the incident he wants to probe this time,” considering that the inquiry was previously reopened upon the insistence of former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile.

    I suppose one can read this report in different ways.

    * One view: as a lawyer and former prosecutor and judge, he knows that the charge is really weak.

    * Another view: he is being nice.

    * Still another view: Duterte is looking ahead on the possible future charges that may be lodged against him, considering similar actions he has made or will make. And so if “his signal” to the Sandigan results in his forecast coming true, it will serve some precedent to his possible future case?

    (Posted this earlier in the previous blog, but it did not appear. Hence the posting here.)

    • edgar lores says:

      I think Option 1 is closest to the mark.

      Duterte does not bother about niceness. Look at his treatment of Obama, Leila, and Leni.

      Duterte does not care about his future welfare beyond his presidential term. He is at ease with his mortality.

      This leaves option 1. But rather than his view as a lawyer and former prosecutor — was he ever a judge? — I would say his view stems from his personal philosophy on the use of power.

      Which is: if one is granted the virtually absolute power of the presidency, one is within one’s rights to avail of all the force and tools within reach. And never mind about such niceties as the Constitution and the rule of law.

    • chemrock says:

      By now you should read be able to read Duterte’s mind clearly. I’m afraid he has learnt to employ one of Lee Kuan Yew’s tactics. Praise your enemy before demolishing him. He praised deLima, then put her away. He praised Gina Lopez then he put her away. So why do you think he is praising Pnoy?

      • NHerrera says:

        ! ! !

      • karlgarcia says:

        He is not praising Pnoy, he is saying that the case is weak.

        • karlgarcia says:

          He wants something heavier than usurpation of authority, the left wants reckless imprudence to losses. ( just like a car accident) Maybe he wants his head and wants murder charges.

        • Yes, in a way, if the case against President Aquino succeeds, it puts President Duterte’s autocratic ways at risk. So he is actually acting in his own behalf, not President Aquino’s.

        • chemrock says:

          ah noted. but he did not ‘goad’ the ombudsman. still, he’s playing the angel

          • karlgarcia says:

            Yes, but he is so predictably unpredictable so what he says or does is bound for a draw your own conclusions thing.
            But,you are correct he is playing it nice.

            • Bill In Oz says:

              The Roman emperors ( the Cesars) always defended the divine status of their predecessors. Thus they guaranteed their own future divine status.

              Duterte wants nothing to happen that will tarnish the position of the presidency. It would tarnish his own status in office.

            • popoy says:

              Really? Does everyone not see the eche bucheche of the blather? I will paint an empty canvass with nothing but with two men; one pointing his index finger –while at the same time his middle, ring and pinky fingers ARE POINTING BACK at him– to the back of the departing other man. The point is that the departing man can not do the SAME finger pointing to the man behind him. The whole thing is cognition in reading TSOH.

        • Jose Guevarra says:

          It may not be praise for PNoy, but D30 is certainly making PNoy feel more comfortable than is warranted by the charges filed by the Ombudsman. Then like a thief in the night…

      • Marcos had that tactic too.

        Tatad is a victim I still remember.

  7. ‘(Who can) speak sense and connect with the everyday man and woman?’

    Depends on how much sense still exists.

    Or is the hidden desire to rape a mestiza like Wurtzbach and get an award all that is left to connect with among oh so many on the street?

    • I tend to think there is more integrity to the everyday man and woman than that, but they are worn out from all the shit dealt them by OTHER leaders, they enjoy the shit being dealt by Duterte. I could be wrong, for sure. I don’t see a leader on the horizon that can cut through that, and the system is for sure punitive of anyone who tries.

  8. Miela says:

    Joe, I think “personal confidence” you say among Filipinos isn’t really confidence but overcompensation for inferiority complex. For one, why do Filipinos brag too much about being “English speakers” (to the point of looking down on other countries’ English skills) even if the state of English comprehension in the Philippines is eroding? Case in point, just read whatever the PCOO writes. Lol. Singaporeans are very English-oriented but I hardly see them as areogant as Filipinos when it comes to English. To them, English is a tool, not a social status indicator like in the Philippines.

    This insecurity leads to appropriation and discrimination of ethnic minorities in the Philippines. Case in point, many think they are “cool” if they get a Whang Od tattoo, but they have no problem spurting the lines “ang pangit mo, mukha kang Igorot”.

    True personal confidence does not include arrogance. It emphasizes humility.

    • Miela says:

      If any, I think Filipinos are insecure personally and as a nation. There is so much envy towards other countries that had bigger empires and civilizations.

    • I’m of mixed feelings and no real knowledge on the point. I see the blames, excuses, etc., which are reflective of low self-esteem and the inability to “take a hit”, and yet, there is little hemming or hawing. People know what they know, and know it convincingly.

      • Backing down from bullshit is seen as weakness. Sticking to it no matter what is considered firmness and strength.

        Similar attitudes to considering before stating something (‘weak’) and just stating it (‘strong’) like Trump does.

        • Edgar Lores says:

          The show of confidence stems from one or more of several factors. Could be:

          o Low esteem (JoeAm)
          o To save face (JoeAm)
          o Compensation for an inferiority complex. Same as low esteem. (Miela) (Example: Duterte)
          o Show of strength to counter any perception of weakness (Irineo) (Example: Duterte)
          o Compensation for ignorance (Example: Duterte and Pacquiao)
          o Possession and display of superior power (positional, material, intellectual) (Example: Duterte)

          I differentiate between Irineo’s “show of strength” and “possession and display of superior power” in that the former may obtain in a relationship of equals while the latter arises from a relationship of non-equals.

          As an example of the former: Duterte’s profanity at Obama; in a way both are equals in that both are presidents. This is also an example of compensation for inferiority. Another example would be LCpl_X’s argumentation.

          As an example of the latter: Duterte’s insistence on reinstating Supt. Marcos. Or Obama’s response to Duterte: “My team will contact yours.”

          In short, confidence can arise from negative or positive factors.

          • “Another example would be LCpl_X’s argumentation.”

            How so, edgar? The carrying out of logical ends, both sides? or the use of Schopenhauer’s “controversy”—- this i’ve never kept hidden, as a matter of fact i’ve posted Schopenhauer’s book (though incomplete, he never bothered finishing it) every chance i get when my style of argumentation is questioned or studied. 😉

            • Please, write that article about dialectic,

            • Edgar Lores says:

              1. There’s no rule in the blogosphere nor in real life that you have to agree 100% with your arguments , edgar. I took a position and I’m defending.

              2. ”…and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to cherish truth, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong, should truth lie with him.”

              See the contradiction?

              • How is that contradiction, edgar?

                The “opponent” has to prove his reason sufficiently, then comes the yielding (on my part), otherwise, it’s simply two people with differing opinions; so that “proved to be in the wrong” has to pass some sort of standard, no—- not suppose to be subjective, edgar. 😉

                Both 1 and 2 aren’t exclusive, is my point here, 1 being my statement (and 2 is Schopenhauer’s from “Art of Controversy”) , read my 1 more in this vain, edgar (and you’ll see there’s no “contradiction”):

                As for 2 (the Schopenhauer quote), that was the ideal, his essay/book wasn’t about ideals, here’s his actual take (so his 2, when read in context, is actually more in agreement with my 1 😉 ),

                But more importantly, my original query was on this,

                “This is also an example of compensation for inferiority. Another example would be LCpl_X’s argumentation.”

                Again, how so, edgar?

              • Edgar Lores says:

                The contradiction is in the subjective non-acceptance of “sufficiency.”

                For example, why claim that homosexuality is not natural? When you later admit that you have homosexual friends?

                Do you seriously mean that your friends are not natural in their homosexualtiy — in their nature and in their acts?

              • edgar lores says:

                Schopenhauer contradicts himself.

              • Oh , i see, we’re back to that.

                So i’m assuming here then, that this “an example of compensation for inferiority” is simply a jab back at me for saying homosexuality is not natural? Or should i pursue further my ‘how so’ line of questioning, edgar? If it is about some psychological stuff, ie. compensation for inferiority, i’d love to here your explanation, it’s interesting,

                but if it’s simply a jab back for my homosexuality is not natural counter, i’ve already explained it within the thread, but vis-a-vis Schopenhauer, it was simply the antithesis to your thesis that homosexuality is natural, edgar… had you not said that it was natural, I wouldn’t even have thought of pulling on that thread, and take it to its logical end. Again nothing personal here, edgar, just doing some intellectual fencing. 😉

                Do you in fact have any more to explain “compensation for inferiority”? If not, we’ll just say it was an attempt jab. No worries . 😉

              • edgar lores says:

                “Intellectual fencing?” What happened to the purpose of why we congregate here?

                Irineo said, “Backing down from bullshit is seen as weakness.”

                Connect the dots to compensation for inferiority.

              • “Do you seriously mean that your friends are not natural in their homosexualtiy — in their nature and in their acts?”

                edgar, I am attracted to fat women, my friends make fun of me, but they ‘re still my friends. It’s not a friendship ending position, edgar (why would you think so?) With family and friends, you accept their flaws, and vice versa.

              • edgar lores says:

                I’m weird but I could not possibly be friends with unnaturals.

              • Again from Schopenhauer’s “Art of Controversy”.

                The purpose of why we congregate here , is to affect some sort of dent in the Philippines, no? Why do you think Ireneo translated “the Art of War” to Tagalog? Why am I always talking about Machiavelli and “Art of Controversy”, it’s to win hearts and minds, edgar.

                We’re not merely theorizing here (this isn’t a closed system, ideas flow out, just as easily as it flows in, edgar), so yes it is “intellectual fencing”, wherein some sort of semblance of truth comes out, or just merely practice as Joe said back in the thread you were being dramatic, ie. reddit rules, redaction, etc. etc.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Schopenhauer’s interpretation of “dialectic” is manipulation. It is argument for argument’s sake, and not for truth.

                I agree with Schopenhauer him that truth may come out of an insincere dialectical exchange, but what is the value of that truth? Will it be truly realized? And will it be honored?

                Truth bought with counterfeit money is cheap.

                For example, I did realize something about Pope Francis and his stance of “Who am I to judge?” Did you make the same realization? If so, what was it?

              • “I’m weird but I could not possibly be friends with unnaturals.”

                Be forgiving, that’s always a good start. 😉

              • edgar lores says:

                Ah, but I do not consider homosexuality to be unnatural, so there is nothing for me to forgive.

              • By the way, here’s the best translation IMHO of,

                Click to access Schopenhauer_EN.pdf

              • edgar lores says:

                Thanks. The extracts you have quoted do not make the right impression on me.

              • “Connect the dots to compensation for inferiority.”

                What dots? That’s kinda what I’m asking , edgar.

              • edgar lores says:

                And I’m saying connect the dots by your own capabilities.

              • “For example, I did realize something about Pope Francis and his stance of “Who am I to judge?” Did you make the same realization? If so, what was it?”

                Yeah, it’s about forgiveness, edgar— unconditional. Not judging, let God do that. Only I live it, since I have homosexual friends,

                “Ah, but I do not consider homosexuality to be unnatural, so there is nothing for me to forgive.”
                Apparently, your comment re heterogeneity , was just lip service then, edgar? You don’t really practice it?

                How’s that for contradiction?

              • edgar lores says:

                Where’s the contradiction? Heterogeneity — defined as “the quality or state of being diverse in character or content” — encompasses homosexuality.

              • edgar lores says:

                About Pope Francis, yes, it’s about forgiving.

                But more, it is about the revolutionary acceptance of homosexuals that goes against what is said in the Bible. it is not only a recantation of Catholic doctrine but a repudiation of the Bible verses against homosexuality.

              • “Thanks. The extracts you have quoted do not make the right impression on me.”

                I hope you enjoy it, and write that article, edgar. 😉

              • edgar lores says:

                I’ll pass on this one, thank you.

              • “Where’s the contradiction? Heterogeneity — defined as “the quality or state of being diverse in character or content” — encompasses homosexuality.”

                That should include people you don’t agree with, no? Where’s the diversity in people who all think like you and have the same values, sexual mores, and be offended by the same things, edgar?

              • edgar lores says:

                Ah, but you misunderstand.

                Did I say I am not accepting of people with opinions different from mine?

                Have you not registered that I have said I am a synthesizer and syncretist?

                What I am not accepting of is insincerity — that is, Schopenhauerian dialectics — in the profession of an opinion or a belief… because it is a waste of time.

              • Fine discussion. As I think about the arguments, I find nothing wrong with two people arguing for the sake of arguing if both understand that’s what it is. In a case where one person is playing devil’s advocate in secret, he has certain advantages over someone who is arguing on the merits because the devil’s advocate can use diversions, avoidance, illogic, and demands for proof to avoid reaching a conclusion that is instructional for the way it builds joint knowledge. That’s both cheating and a waste of time for the knowledge seeker. It is gameplaying. But if both parties are into that, no worries.

              • edgar lores says:

                Agree. It’s gameplaying if both are aware. Otherwise, it’s one-upmanship.

              • “And I’m saying connect the dots by your own capabilities.”

                Don’t play coy now, edgar. You made a claim, defend it (explain it).

              • “What I am not accepting of is insincerity”

                But you just said, “I’m weird but I could not possibly be friends with unnaturals.” And i’m saying you should be friends with all sorts of people. Now you’re saying, “What I am not accepting of is insincerity — that is, Schopenhauerian dialectics — in the profession of an opinion or a belief…”

                We were not talking about opinions or beliefs , edgar.

                As for insincerity, where is the insincerity in being able to express your opposing opinions to those holding certain opinions. IMHO, that’s more honesty than insincerity, edgar. Wouldn’t you agree?

              • edgar lores says:

                Ahaha! I did not say who I consider to be “unnaturals.”

                But let me mention some. There are Duterte and Trump. That’s two. There are Putin and Erdogan. There are Aguirre and Panelo. There’s a whole bunch in the Lower House and the Upper House. There are so many columnists. There are Andanar and his groupies. Oh, gosh, I would run out of space if I were to name them individually.

                As to insincerity — again, you misunderstand. The insincerity does not consist in “expressing” “opposing” opinions. Rather it consists in not “believing” in the opinions one expresses as one’s own.

              • OK, I challenged your claim and you balked/cowered , edgar. Let’s just consider it a friendly jab— no harm, no foul. Ad hominem’ish for sure, but it’s fine. As to the homosexual thread, time to move on.

                As they say in Australia, G’day mate! 😉

              • edgar lores says:

                Balk? Perhaps.

                Cower? Compensation?

              • p.s. —- Then you’re misreading Pope Francis, the flaw would be in super-imposing your own values on him (and the Church’s traditions), edgar. But it’s a free country (both Australia and US 😉 ) and you’re free to hold that interpretation. I think you’re wrong, more so wishful thinking than anything else IMHO 😉

                About Pope Francis, yes, it’s about forgiving.

                But more, it is about the revolutionary acceptance of homosexuals that goes against what is said in the Bible. it is not only a recantation of Catholic doctrine but a repudiation of the Bible verses against homosexuality.

              • edgar lores says:

                Pope Francis said in part: “…let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love.”


              • NHerrera says:


                1. Lance, thanks. I saved the pdf file for later normal-pace reading, but I am giving it low priority. I did a very quick scan meantime.

                2. If all the contributors here at TSH are energetic, quick with their fingers on the keyboard, and take to heart and apply Schopenhauer’s ideas, TSH will suffer a breakdown. 🙂

                3. Aggressive use of the stratagems listed in the link smacks in Filipino of pataasan ng ihi (a contest of who can piss the highest).

              • “In a case where one person is playing devil’s advocate in secret, he has certain advantages over someone who is arguing on the merits “

                Joe, I agree and I am pretty consistent when I play Devil’s Advocate , the thread in question I was pretty clear, no? I even joked ahead of time to blame it on karl. So no secrecy was involved. Yet edgar persists on this secrecy angle, though he calls it “insincerity” now (“confession” in the newer thread),

                The insincerity does not consist in “expressing” “opposing” opinions. Rather it consists in not “believing” in the opinions one expresses as one’s own.

                To clarify further, I don’t think homosexuality is natural, but so are most human endeavors unnatural, ie. product of an over enlarged frontal lobe. I just don’t put too much weight on a person’s sexuality, so when I say it’s unnatural (which edgar insists it’s natural) I’m more in line with Pope Francis’ focus on one’s sexuality as wrong ,

                “I am glad that we are talking about ‘homosexual people’ because before all else comes the individual person, in his wholeness and dignity,” he continues. “And people should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies: let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love.”

                “I prefer that homosexuals come to confession, that they stay close to the Lord, and that we pray all together,” says Francis. “You can advise them to pray, show goodwill, show them the way, and accompany them along it.” (that’s the Pope’s stance , edgar, the last 2 phrases renders it highly interpretive, but if you take the man and the Church en toto, you’ll find a pattern,

                what he’s saying is not revolutionary, just a PR adjustment 😉 )

                But my point is that I (anyone for that matter) should be able to disagree with certain individuals’ choices, yet still hold that individual at utmost esteem , there’s nothing “secret” and “insincere” in that. There was no hidden hand in that discussion.

                Now for NH’s comment…

                NH, I totally agree with you , it’s good practice (no doubt, especially for youngsters like intuitiveperceiving etc. , hence my encouraging) but for the young at heart folks like you, aside for maybe some mentions of prostate health from me, etc. or sonny , even Joe’s ‘i’ll not partake—ok, maybe just a little— stance’, I don’t expect you guys to take up this game, there’s more important things to do, hence I put things out there, as discussion starters, whoever bites, bites, it just so happens edgar consistently bites 😉 .

                But I hear you NH, you’ll have no need for that Schopenhauer piece (it won’t be relevant), but if you have a grandson/daughter, grandnephew/niece in college or high school, that, and the Art of War and Machiavelli’s pieces should be mandatory reading for them.

              • 3. Aggressive use of the stratagems listed in the link smacks in Filipino of pataasan ng ihi (a contest of who can piss the highest).

                NH, actually if you read the whole thing, just to see Schopenhauer’s take (because the stratagems are pretty tongue in cheek, I’m sure he had Hegel in mind for them) his intention IMHO was exactly to put a stop to all that,

                fight fire with fire, sorta speak.

                TSH is a pretty tight knit collective, so ideally the point would be to practice here, to render the real stuff in the real world moot/ineffective (ie. i’ve used discussion/debates here and applied them in the real world, with great results). But the rendering part needs practice, Schopenhauer is correct it is an Art, thus requires diligent work and practice.

                But we all have different priorities, NH, if you’d rather practice your love-making 😉 I’d say that’s a better hobby to pursue.

              • karlgarcia says:

                As someone who got emotional with you more than once, I appeal to you to feel if the other party is already annoyed, no longer wants to continue, has already made his or her point, etc.
                I try to find value in your sharings, but sometimes it is tiring.
                You don’t have to ask twice, it is ok to probe, but it is never ok to badger.

              • karl,

                I get that. In your case, I do remember i was badgering (not being sensitive, hence the backlash from you);

                but with edgar, I think he’s more impervious to my badgering (hence I pursue his points farther, he either draws the line or continues lifting the kimono), but the times he’s been offended (gone emotional) weren’t because of my questionings but in his perceptions of me, ie. I’m racist for posing the possibility that Filipinos maybe involved in the bank heist, now it’s for my stance on (or against) homosexuality, which he feels he was tricked into, secret/insincere discussion on it.

                I just wanted to get to the bottom of his jab at me, karl. If edgar feels slighted because I’ve been insincere, I think i’ve proven here that that complaint is baseless. So it was simply an exploration of the jab, which I’m sure edgar appreciates from a psychological perspective.

                Again no harm , no foul. We get emotional , it happens, it depends on the time of day, events going on in our lives, etc. etc.

      • Miela says:

        Blames,excuses..yes they are part of low self-esteem. But in my opinion, so does some “superiority complex” against other peoples (English fluency, skin color, ethnicity, “we have more beauty pageant winners so we are prettier than you” mentality, etc). The first one is the more overt manifestation of low self esteem. The second one is low self esteem disguised as “nationalism”.

        • Miela,

          I do remember in fiestas there the prolific beauty contests. There was an obsession with beauty similar to Brazil and I guess Venezuela (but i’ve never been), the difference for Brazil and Venezuela is the advent of cosmic surgery—- ie. they’re putting money where there mouth is. 😉

          Maybe the problem isn’t so much those things you’ve listed, but that people are just talking and theorizing, no one’s actually doing.

          There’s no points for talking about stuff, there’s only the doing that’ll matter in the long run.

          Yoda, should’ve add , nor theorizing.

          • Miela says:

            Brazil and Venezuela are developing countries like the Philippines. In developed countries, beauty pagaents are not a national obsession. I’m not saying these are the “problems” but are an overcompensation for a low self-esteem. The problem is the socio-economic state of the Philippines as well some historical facts that the Philippines never had some kind of ancient empire like Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam. In order to make themselves feel better, they turn to these to overcompensate. To further hurt the self-esteem of Filipinos, it used to be second to Japan in terms of development in the pre-Marcos years, but now the Philippines is among the bottom.

            • ” In developed countries, beauty pagaents are not a national obsession. “

              For the Philippines, there’s gay pageants, there’s regular beauty pageants, then there’s the religious pageant where-in the ones that pay the most to the Church, get to be princesses or queens,

              I agree it’s not an obsession for Brazil, I think for Brazil the national obsession would be sex, in all forms, and for Venezuela the pageants are more the results of winnings, hence it has become a cottage industry of sorts.

              But my point is push it to its logical end, ie. if everyone wants to be beautiful there, why aren’t we seeing more cosmetic surgeries like Brazil and Venezuela, i’d add Thailand too but that’s more transsexual stuff, though could be associated with beauty, but i’d say more psychological, ie. filling voids or adding 😉 .

              Basically, a point i’ve made again and again here, is that Filipinos have to stop theorizing and start actually doing. I’d say the 2nd national pass time next to beauty contests there is theorizing.

              Enough with the theorizing, start doing.

              “To further hurt the self-esteem of Filipinos, it used to be second to Japan in terms of development in the pre-Marcos years, but now the Philippines is among the bottom.”

              Yeah, but you’re harking back to another illusion, the Philippines was 2nd to Japan (actually it would’ve been 1st) after WWII due to Japanese reparations and American support. Once these 2 were used up, it was back to normal. Correct me here, Ireneo (he’s our resident historian).

        • Got it, thanks. Inverted low esteem from having been tromped on for centuries. The problem is external, but the solution starts internally.

  9. chemrock says:

    When all else seems impossible, when the odds are insurmountable, when the enemy is all powerful, we are left with only the Jehoshaphat strategy. This is Will’s current advocacy.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I thought we should call the Equalizer.

    • edgar lores says:

      What about incremental pushback from different directions? Army, senate, judiciary, press, churches, professional and social organizations, soc-med.

  10. caliphman says:

    What is truly lamentable is that this disease this blog speaks of is not a mere malaise gripping the entire country but it may be indicative of the fundamental nature and core values ( or rarher lack of it) of Philippine society. I share the feeling of deep alienation and dark depression elicited in the article and ensuing at the sordid situation the country has descended into. But for me, it emanates from my sense that it is my feelings of what should be right or wrong as a Filipino which s out of character and anomalous with those felt by the rest of our countrymen.

    • edgar lores says:

      The country is a moral wasteland. Or has become one.

      We inherited Christian religious morality from our encounter with our first colonizer and we adopted Greek political morality from our second colonizer. The roots of these moral systems do not run deep because they have not been regularly watered by our leaders and by ourselves. Subsequently, these two plants have not flourished.

      Duterte is using the ancient cure of bloodletting, and society approves. Many believe the plants will regenerate by this watering of blood and tears. This approach has a long, long way to go.

    • The article is not intended as a dark statement, but a point of stark introspection, from which recovery has a direction. What is missing is a person with the communication skills and charisma to be able to state the path forward in compelling terms. I mean, Duterte’s world is dark and tiresome for being so. The doctor needs a flashlight.

      • popoy says:

        No worry there for me JoeAm. I am, I exist therefore, I think. I am Filipino therefore I think.
        I am islander Filipino therefore I think Lapu-lapu; I am lowlander therefore I think Rizal and Bonifacio; I am highlander therefore I built the rice terraces; I am not Heraclitus therefore I reversed cogito ergo sum into I am therefore I think. I can not think when there is no I am.

        The point? Let’s keep raking the coals until the time fission produces the heat that will blow the rascals away.

      • caliphman says:

        Joe, when it’s the very masses from all the social classes who are happy with their leader and the paths, the presumption is they can be convinced of the need for another leader to chart a recovery from a situation they overwhelmingly approve of. That’s a very shaky premise if someone asks me.

        • Okay, fair enough, what is your proposed way forward?

          • caliphman says:

            The way forward is to depict the grim and sordid reality of our national and social predicament and delve into the long and deep cultural and historical roots that continue to enable and worsen it. I do not pretend to have a recommendation or solution nor do I suggest that anyone wallow in despair and self pity which is one of the surest way to inaction. But waiting for a messianic figure to miraculously show up on the scene might just be as Inducive to inaction and passivity for a population historically proven to be very slow in responding to the yoke of tyranny and oppression. Much of what TSH and Raissa is doing might be putting forth voices in the wilderness but these are the seeds from which salvation will blossom even if one acknowledges that it’s form or figure is nowhere in sight.

            • And my thought is that a charismatic leader would have skills to accelerate the depiction of the grim and sordid reality, etc., and provide an alternative which people buy into, because the reality is that Filipinos seem – by the reality we can observe – to need such charismatic direction. So if you have no way forward, I don’t know exactly why you throw shade at this suggestion.

  11. M says:

    your assessment is accurate. why do I keep on hoping that one day, the taxi drivers I’ve engaged to ride through our horrendous traffic will change their opinion of D. But no, they are critical yes, they feel it , but they now belong to the cult of D. How depressing.

  12. Bing Garcia says:

    “Many of us believe na sana the shorter the better, saka no expansion but I think we don’t have enough information to be able to determine, I’d rather trust the President on this because he is the one who knows the situation,” Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry honorary chairman Sergio Ortiz-Luis said.

    “Certainly there will be some people, some investors who might think it’s too long, but nevertheless we have to bite the bullet… if we really want to have an end of this,” he told ABS-CBN News.

    • NHerrera says:

      Generally speaking, the top man on the totem pole, has a better vantage point, view or information, and thus should be trusted.

      But what if the guy at the top is, say, Alvarez or Aguirre?

      • NHerrera says:

        Here’s an interesting quote from the creator of the Harry Potter Series, J. K. Rowling:

        Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.

      • karlgarcia says:

        A trivia from the show “Bones” says that the top of the totem pole are the peasant or lowly types and the bottom are the highest position.
        I don’t know if its bs. Andrew is correct. Trivia, quotes, news,need to be verfied.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Sorry to continue with this Totem pole

          Wiki says:

          Those from cultures that do not carve totem poles often assume the linear representation of the figures places the most importance on the highest figure, an idea that became pervasive in the dominant culture after it entered into mainstream parlance by the 1930s with the phrase “low man on the totem pole”[25] (and as the title of a bestselling 1941 humor book by H. Allen Smith). However, Native sources either reject the linear component altogether, or reverse the hierarchy, with the most important representations on the bottom, bearing the weight of all the other figures, or at eye level with the viewer to heighten their significance.[26] Many poles have no vertical arrangement at all, consisting of a lone figure atop an undecorated column.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      “Beware of quotations without explanations. For every quote, there is an opposite but equal quote. Quotation queens need to be queried.”

      – wise philosopher Andrew Lim

      🙂 🙂 🙂

  13. NHerrera says:


    There is a simple perhaps naïve explanation for the “clustering” of people around the Duterte-Camp, even without the help of a Mocha Uson:

    From a short-term consideration of utility or payoff in game-theoretic terms, the clustering of politicians and people —

    * for the typical politician, for reason of political advantage if not largesse;

    * for the poor, for basic reason of noodles or plain-vanilla safety or reduced fear from voicing opposition

    — are bigger with the Duterte camp; on the other hand, the number of those outside such cluster will naturally be smaller, because those few practically wither for lack of “nourishment,” except for the few brave and or idealistic ones, counting TSH among them.

    This is a similar phenomenon observed in the clustering of eateries, fashion shops, electronic shops in a mall; or gasoline stations in a stretch of road — although from the viewpoint of the customers, they would wish these shops to be more or less distributed evenly in the mall or road for their convenience.

  14. A full stomach for the masses will go a long way to ignite critical thinking. Hungry populace are bitter and angry. Malnutrition stunts physical and mental development. Let us look for ways to feed them first before expecting them to think straight. The VP has the right idea in alleviating poverty. Going to remote areas and talking to the people about the economic opportunities present in their environment and utilizing these indegenous resources to uplift their lives is an efficient way to give Filipinos a productive purpose in life.

    Food and livestock ranks fifth to sixth of major imported commodity in the Philippines. PH has a rich, arable land and should have a surplus of these products. Why are we importing food? Every Filipino should have an access to vegetable seeds, fruits/nuts saplings and livestock nurseries to be food secure.

    Infrastructures are needed for sure but I think the most important asset of PH are its people. People should be taken care of first if the country is to progress. Critical thinking can’t be done on an empty stomach. We need to find ways in feeding our people for the sake of nation building.

    In my neck of the wood, our legislative representatives really go home to touch base with their contituents throughout their terms and not only during election periods. They call for town meetings on important policies impacting their districts and ask their constituents for guidance on how they will vote. This practice seems to be almost non-existent in PH. Correct me if I am wrong. To me, PH representatives feel like the people voted them to represent them so they can have the power to decide for the people without consulting them. I have not heard of a lot of PH legislators saying what their constituents want. They talk as if they only represent themselves.

  15. Sup says:

    In my humble opinion you could add nr. 4 Alzheimer’s disease because Most Filipino’s forget what happened in the past with people like Marcos, Enrile, Arroyo, Zubiri etc. etc. etc.

  16. josephivo says:

    JoeAm’s diagnosis and DU30’s might be very similar. Even the remedies proposed are similar: “We need a strong leader”, a charismatic one as Kennedy (JoeAm), an autocratic one (DU30).

    The diagnosis that the current attitude towards politics need a strong wake-up call is shared, although the limits of what is acceptable might differ. And both see similar flaws/illnesses in the way citizens consume politics. Our society is sick, we can describe different symptoms and suggest different causes, but something has to be done.

    For DU30 it is clear, a powerful autocratic leader is needed to make the difference. So the first step towards improvements is to amass all powers, suppress the judiciary, the legislative, the free press (as have a staunch supporter buying the FDI), silence external observers. Once this is complete (and it never will) we will make this country the shining house on the hill.

    Joeam beliefs in the powers of a charismatic leader. One person of Mandela’s statue can make the difference.

    But what is history telling? What was the secret Britain to rise to power, of the US, Germany Japan, China? Where got the Swiss, the Scandinavians, Korea, Singapore their wealth? And what is a guarantee for failure? What weakened the Africa, Bangladesh, Haiti? Important not only to look at political leaders but also at economic systems, geography, cultural traits, how strength were used or misused, how weaknesses were circumvent or exploited by the happy few.

    • No, big difference. I believe in a leader who can connect with people. Who will teach them how democracy can get them out of their rut. Not one who is an autocrat instructing people and institutions to obey his whims.

      • edgar lores says:

        The similarity is in the need for a charismatic leader.

        • Sup says:

          As long as ”a candidate” needs at least one billion to become President nothing will change.

          Forbid political adds, no more tarpaulins, stickers, no more parades, vote buying.

          Have pre elections on regional level in lets say some provincial covered courts.

          Good candidates go to the national level.

          Any candidate gets the same amount time at tv to present his/her idea’s
          Radio interviews same procedure…All candidates same amount of time.
          Only promo for the candidate will be in designated areas provided by government..Standard size billboards and standard size posters from candidates on it.

          In this case any good willing citizen of the PH can try to give his best to serve the nation.

          second FOI ……FULL transparent
          Third 100% anti dynasty…including after being elected.
          Forth sign a weaver to let anyone scrutinyze your bank accounts, properties, cars (and famliy to avoid hiding) If you don’t sign no candidate…period.

          During debates on nationwide tv the candidate can explain how he got his/her money in life, why he want to serve, what are his qualifications, former jobs, and most important PLANS !!!

          Lie detector test is for all higher ranking politicians standard plus the national security forms
          like in USA (If you did lie….OUT )

          To me this seems the only way to start with less corrupt serving politicians.

          Sure PH will be in 10 years be a high ranking non corrupt country like Sweden, Denmark, Sweden New Zealand etc etc.

          My 5 cents for today

  17. “I wonder who has the courage, the insight, the intelligence, the charisma, and the character to pull off such a mass re-education in very short order? ”

    The Filipino youths have it.

    The first link is about Filipino youths staging non-violent protests to counter the present administration’s penchant for use of violence as solution to the nation’s problem.

    The second link is written by FVR’s grandson, a Filipino millennial. He excoriated PRD for his use of violence and his blatant disregard for the rule of law to affect change. He states that PRD’s behaviors are paradoxical to the “CHANGE” he promised because a positive change will require peace, cooperation and inclusivity.

    • Sup says:

      You can educate whatever you want but as long as only the few rich can run for higher positions it is useless…..I refer to my post above yours..

      • “As long as ”a candidate” needs at least one billion to become President nothing will change.”

        Isn’t the reason why PRD refused to register at first is because he said he did not have the money to run? Then, rich personalities started coming out of the woodwork to fund his campaign. From his admission, the Marcoses and Ang did. So money is really not an issue for those who want to invest in “utang na loob.” Patronage politics is alive and well in PH. So how do you stop patronage politics, sup? Can it start with a courageous, insightful, intelligent, charismatic and morally upright candidate?

        • Sup says:

          No more candidate promotion outside the given limits by the electoral board…

          So someone with no funds can still run..As long as you can convince voters to vote you during regional and if you pass that one to nationwide you have a chance
          Most European countries have that system…Anybody…yes even a poor guy can become president/ prime minister as long as his presentation will convince the voters…With or without political party.
          If you are a member of a political party you have a slight advantage because people did see you already on tv…….downside from that is when you screw up your campaign promises they will never vote you again.

          Maybe you could read this to understand my point Juana…

          • Sup says:

            To add…If you read that story there is something that property magnates did help…Correct but only to fund starting a political party for him . The cost for that is about 10.000 euro for registration….
            But again you can also run without any party…they are the independent candidates.

            • I think I get your point, sup, but correct me if I am wrong. You want the Comelec to spell out the presidential candidates’ “rules of engagement” during election periods to level the playing field. You want the 3G’s (Guns, Goons and Gold) time to go away so anyone who meets the requirements of Article VII, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution could be PH president. You want it to be like a contest, a sort of survival of the fittest starting at the regional level and ending in the national level. All of that sounds good but we need a game changer who will champion all the changes. Who would you nominate?

              Do you think Isko Moreno could do it? I was impressed by his biography in the link below:


  18. That is this all about? Is Koko dialing PH to a one party system governance? What ideology is he trying to learn from the Communist Party of China?

  19. Edgar Lores says:

    For those who do not understand how revolutionary Pope Francis is, I am providing this article which was written in 2013:

    Let me quote this paragraph:

    Francis violated a set code of Catholic ethical and philosophical discourse when, in an open letter to the prominent Italian journalist and atheist Eugenio Scalfari, in September, he wrote, “I would not speak about ‘absolute’ truths, even for believers. . . . Truth is a relationship. As such, each one of us receives the truth and expresses it from within, that is to say, according to one’s own circumstances, culture, and situation in life.” When Spadaro asked Francis about “the great changes in society, as well as the way human beings are reinterpreting themselves,” Francis got up to retrieve his well-thumbed breviary. He read from a fifth-century saint’s writings on the laws governing progress: “Even the dogma of the Christian religion must proceed from these laws. It progresses, solidifying with years, growing over time.” Then Francis commented, “So we grow in the understanding of the truth. . . . There are ecclesiastical rules and precepts that were once effective, but now they have lost value or meaning. The view of the Church’s teaching as a monolith to defend without nuance or different understandings is wrong.” [Bolding mine.]

    My view of the Pope changed radically — and ironically I might add — when I read the extract below from LCpl_X’s post in which he argues homosexuality is unnatural and claims that this is “more in line with Pope Francis’ focus on one’s [sic] sexuality as wrong.”

    “And people should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies: let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love.”

    Pope Francis is attempting to change Church culture but his record is spotted. His actions do not seem to match his words, as a resigned member of the papal commission on child sexual abuse has said.

    Nevertheless, you be the judge on whether Pope Francis is revolutionary or not.

    • He is revolutionary, edgar. The fact that he’s bringing back the Church to Christ’s focus on poverty is enough to say he’s changing the Church inside out. But to push it further to fit your own cute worldview of the world is IMHO wrong.

      Yeah, he’s making changes consistent with what’s in the Bible, especially Christ’s stance on poverty and immaterialism which he insisted on his followers. But Jesus didn’t mention anything about homosexuality, and all we have as far as the New Testament goes is pretty definitive— no wiggle room. Now you’re already familiar with my stance on St. Paul’s writings, but all of Christendom see no daylight between the Gospels and St. Paul’s letters, hence

      when it comes to homosexuality, things are pretty definitive (no wiggle room), you won’t hear any time soon a Pope going around saying ‘guys, homosexuality is a-okay, have at it’, that will never happen, but a change in tone though is possible, since in the end the point of Christianity is forgiveness.

      Pope Francis qualifies his statements on homosexuality pretty clearly in my humble opinion, edgar. As they say after all, it is written (no wiggle room).

      • edgar lores says:

        The so-called “qualification” does not in any way alter the central idea of acceptance.

        • You can accept the person wholly and with dignity (straight from the Pope), edgar, but still consider homosexuality a sin (as per the Bible). You’re lumping the two, which is wishful thinking. Look , the Pope is a revolutionary for sure, but just not when it comes to homosexuality, edgar—- unless he wakes up tomorrow and does some speech about how homosexuality is now accepted , i’ll have to go with history and tradition.

          Absent of anything solid you go with the most likely, reasonable choice , edgar, you don’t magically pull something out of your ass.

          • edgar lores says:

            Deflection again? How does the bolded section “qualify” the central idea?

            • The IF component is going to Church returning to the fold, the THEN component is good Catholics are to treat them with dignity and show and accompanying them the way, guide them ala Footsteps in the Sand poem.

              You’re making a leap of faith with your interpretation of the Pope is my point, hence wishful thinking; I’m sticking to the Church’s history and tradition. It’s two differing opinions for sure, one more liberal and the other conservative—– there are many justifications to make your choice,

              but IMHO the winning choice here is to go conservative when it comes to homosexuality vis-a-vis Church doctrines, going against what is written, you might as well recant everything in the Bible, so think about it from that angle, edgar… that’s a slippery slope true believers don’t wanna go on.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                1. As promised, I will let you have the last word (12:23 am) on the other issue.

                2. On this matter, I note you are using a Schopenhaurean tactic. The issue is whether Pope Francis is revolutionary. It is NOT whether the Church is revolutionary or whether it will embrace the Pope’s central idea of acceptance. Of 3 paragraphs, you spend 2 paragraphs on this second issue on which I will not comment.

                2.1. You claim that the second part of the Pope’s message “qualifies” the first part, which I refer to as the “central idea of acceptance.”

                2.2. In your usage, the verb “qualify” means to “make (a statement or assertion) less absolute; add reservations to.” It means to make an assertion conditional, present a caveat.

                2.3. Accordingly, you lay out an IF-THEN logic that is not present in the second part of the Pope’s message. The second part does not “qualify” the first part in the sense of making it “less absolute.” The second part is simply a practical and an extended explanation of how the Church will treat homosexuals in their “wholeness and dignity.” It does not say that homosexuals will be treated with wholesomeness and dignity but only if they come to church. It does not alter the central idea; it amplifies.

                3. This is my last word on the subject.

              • “It does not say that homosexuals will be treated with wholesomeness and dignity but only if they come to church. It does not alter the central idea; it amplifies.”

                This , I agree with, edgar. That the Pope was also intending this dignity/respect to spread just in general, like saying, “Catholics, don’t be dicks”. That ‘s good advice all around, no matter what your stance is re homosexuality.

                But we were talking specifically about homosexuality as sin and the Church’s stance on the subject (so that conditional applies, it is implied). So the best analogy here is good cop/bad cop , where the Pope is encouraging the good cop approach, but homosexuality is still a crime in the books —- where youre saying it’s not anymore according to the Pope (this is where we differ ).

                That’s not what the Pope is saying at all.

                My point is, it’s hard to erase homosexuality from the Penal Code , because it’s written. Now the enforcement part — policing 101’s deter, interdict & investigate (before, during & after) —can be done with a lighter touch (where before it was always with a heavy hand) to continue this good cop/bad cop analogy, if you wanna label the Pope revolutionary for this (vis-a-vis homosexuality) for switching to the good cop approach, that’s fine.

                But in the end, the Bible is the Penal Code here, and it’s not like secular Penal Code where crimes can be legislated off.

                For me, knowing the Church’s trajectory , homosexuality will never be written off, it’s too ingrained in the New Testament, hell pretty much every major religion out there, even Buddhism and Jainism (not the Western liberal interpretation, but where much of it is now) frowns upon homosexuality.

  20. edgar lores says:

    For the record: I did not call LCpl_X a racist.

    What I said was: “Fuck you. You are being racist.”

    This was in response to his smear of Filipinos in this question as to who committed the Bangladesh heist: “What’re the chances of Filipino managers working inside Bangladesh Central Bank (or in their IT staff)?” [Bolding mine.]

    • What’s the difference, edgar? By the way, that’s a legit question, given what we were all doing at that time, which was throwing in our 2 cents as to how it could’ve happened. 😉

      • I’d might add that had I been correct, Filipinos the world over would be falling all over congratulating themselves (and don’t tell me no , edgar 😉 , I remember when talking to young Filipinos studying IT over there, they were full of pride talking about Filipino hackers, ie. the love bug guy, and a couple of others i hadn’t known, so you IMHO are feigning offense, edgar—- but that’s just me. )

      • edgar lores says:

        I have deliberately posted my last comments in a new and separate thread. My intention is not to engage you in any further discussion as I hardly receive any “illumination.”

        Wait, that is not quite correct. I did have some change of heart about Pope Francis from our exchange. Not from you directly but from what Francis said.

        So right now, insofar as I am concerned, you are in the doghouse or in the dunce corner, whichever you prefer. You may avail of the cheese, the saltcrackers, and the soda.

        For the moment, I am done with supplying you with answers. You have used the word “badger” and Karl has used the word “tiring.”

        I suggest you work out out the difference between “a racist” and “being a racist” on your own. After you have worked it out logically, I will confirm or reject.

        • Edgar Lores says:

          Sorry, that should be “being racist.”

        • If you say, ‘Fuck you. You are being gay’ vs. ‘Fuck you. You are gay’—- that is still an insult, edgar. Whatever the casuistry involved in the word ‘being’, is immaterial because the ‘Fuck you’ already makes it an insult. My point is , did my question deserve that insult?

          As far as doghouse and dunce corner, why? Because I think homosexuality is not natural, edgar? You’re over-reacting, just like you over-reacted in the Bangladeshi bank heist thread.

          • Edgar Lores says:

            You come here on a Filipino forum, you insult and slander the character of the Filipino people, and you question why I defended my people?

            What gall.

            And all this time, not a word of apology.

            • Yeah, but if you read that thread again, actually not everyone was offended, and those who professed offense only did so to placate your offense, edgar. Read it again.

              It was a fair question to ask. You should be the one apologizing IMHO, but I’m not demanding it.

              • edgar lores says:

                It was a question asked in total ignorance.

              • edgar lores says:

                …and with prejudice.

              • In the words of one (you were defending, edgar),


                “I can just as easily get riled up by anything that smacks of bigotry, but I’d have to give LCpl_X a pass in this case. His first comment (and the first entry) is a dead giveaway of his underlying theory here — that transnational crime syndicates tend to be organized along ethnic/national lines, e.g. the Chinese, Mexican, etc. connections.

                And given how the diaspora gives us such a diffuse global footprint (heck, Pinoy migrant workers are bound to be found even in the most obscure “stan” countries — Kurdistan, Krgystan, Uzbekistan, etc.), it’s not completely unreasonable to imagine that a number of Filipino OCWs might be working or had at least worked in BCB, unless Bangladeshi nationalist provisions in fact restrict foreign employment. Tie that up with the RCBC scandal here, and it does stand to reason from a foreigner’s eyes that a Filipino connection MAYBE in place. As soldier boy has said so himself, he’s just playing detective going on a hunch, and being too PC when doing so is never a good start for unraveling cases.

                That said, do I think Pinoys were involved beyond borders in this case, let alone masterminded the whole enterprise? Nope, simply because OFWs (especially professionals) tend to behave themselves abroad, thankful enough to get reasonably high-paying jobs to risk all in single-score, extremely high-risk/high-return crime capers. If anything, OFWs grown familiar with (and relieved by) order and a functional rule of law in their host countries are the first ones to get preachy about proclaiming the Pinoy’s vaunted predilection for cutting corners as a myth.”

              • And my favourite, same guy in response to you:

                “Sheesh, ease up on the casual shade there. No one’s stopping you from going full-on General Luna on Lance’s ass, but don’t go guilt-hijacking others to feel the same way.”

                Guilt Hi-jacking is about right, edgar.

              • edgar lores says:

                Ah, doing selective quotes now. What happened to the guy making nice-nice?

                The Janus-face is revealed.

              • Just sharing the most appropriate ones, edgar—- you can do the same.

              • edgar lores says:

                Stand on your own conscience.

              • edgar,

                The over-arching lesson here is that if you’re looking to be offended , you’ll find offense. Why didn’t everyone feel offended re Bangladesh bank heist (ever thought of that, edgar?); and recently, I simply stated homosexuality was not natural (in response mind you to your ‘natural’ stance), yet you found offense in that too.

                You found racism in an honest question (very much in context of the thread) and you found offense in my argument (which was simply a rebuttal to yours) , and since that thread you’ve continually brought my name up again and again, i’m at a lost here, edgar, so can we put this to rest now , edgar, please…. I’m not even Catholic , man; And no I don’t hate homosexuals, what else do you want me to do ?

                I’m certainly not going to apologize, that’s absurd, you make yourself offended and I’m suppose to apologize? That’s like appeasing a kid throwing a tantrum. Can we please now drop this, don’t bring up my name again, and connect it to the homosexuality thread, please. Personally i’m tired of this, but if you keep bringing my name up, i’ll have to respond.

              • edgar lores says:

                1. You brought up the racist issue in this blog in your attempt to make nice-nice and paint me as the villain.

                1.1. Yes, I have thought why some Filipinos were not offended. This is an issue we have discussed here ad nauseam. Many Filipinos have little sense of country, of a Filipino nationalistic identity, and of pride in being a Filipino. And many Filipinos are forgiving.

                1.2. I will grant that Butod and Caliphman have a deep sense of country but perhaps not that of a nationalistic identity and not of a deep pride in being one.

                1.3. You are a soldier so you must have a deep sense of patriotism, if not nationalism. And you would die to defend your country. Next to that, what is my profanity? (Rhetorical question.)

                1.4. There are many over-arching lessons. One of them is situational awareness. Another is that if you have committed an offense, even inadvertently, even unintentionally, then you say sorry. That one word would not have caused so many words to flow.

                1.5. Why the need to show such uncompromising toughness? No need to answer.

                2. As to the thread on D.E.A.T.H issues, your points were rather specious which is why I just responded to the first issue.

                2.1. I was not offended when you claimed homosexuality to be unnatural. I was perplexed that you would maintain the claim when you yourself mentioned that bonobo monkeys performed homosexual acts and when I presented that Wikipedia list of animals who engaged in it.

                2.2. I really thought you were joking. And you seemed to confirm this when you admitted you had homosexual friends. Hence, my conclusion of insincerity. It is this insincerity in argumentation that offended me.

                2.3. And then you brought up Schopenhauer dialectics to bolster my impression of insincerity.

                2.4. You now claim your opinion that “homosexuality is unnatural” is a truly held belief. I am not sure. You are not Catholic and you seem to have a progressive mind in certain respects. You once presented a meme here about Jesus acceptance of LGBTs, and your only stated objection was for homosexuals to keep “it” in the bedroom. As I noted, your objection only seems to be on male homosexuality. But I will take your word for it.

                3. So here we are, locked in combat.

                3.1. I have said I would not engage you in discussion any longer, which is a voluntary and unilateral retreat from combat but also a retreat from pointless discussions in which Schopenhauerian tactics are used.

                3.2. Those last two posts (10:55 and 11:00 am) were not meant as a rebuttal, but just a chance to present the “other” side. But you responded… and I have replied to all your posts.

                3.2. From this point forward, I will try not to respond… unless there is a supervening reason. Such as preposterous claims or illogical reasoning. I might suspend myself for a time.

              • 1. You shouldn’t be allowed to play ultra-patriotic if you’ve never even recently set foot in your country of professed ultra-love, edgar… but that’s just me (you left and stayed away for a reason, so you can’t be that patriotic, edgar). What you should’ve done was look at other folks reaction and told yourself, hmmmmmmmmmm I might be over-reacting here to a simple investigative type question (ie. interpreting it the wrong way). But you chose to over-react. Now you’re rationalizing rude behavior.

                2. I already told you why I thought it was unnatural, edgar, physically biologically a penis doesn’t belong inside the anus. It takes a big frontal lobe to even imagine that, animals won’t even attempt it. You need more force (hence sodomy in prisons) and you need the receiving end to accept, essentially the act requires domination & surrender, which you get by fear or love. I doubt there are animals that will surrender voluntarily since they are unable to rationalize love and fear, at least when it comes to having another animal stick their penis in their anus.

                That’s why I said if you can produce this Holy Grail of an evidence, you’ll convince me of homosexuality’s naturalness , edgar (until then I’m gonna go with common sense). I’m convince that homosexuality is only done by humans. And since I’m no Catholic, I could care less, so long as no one’s being victimized. That part I think is what’s confusing you, ie. it’s not natural, but so long as no one’s sodomizing me, I don’t really care, edgar. if you can’t accept that, then that’s your own cognitive dissonance , not mine.

                3. Ditto here, like I said, I’ve been done with the homosexuality thread (i actually didn’t give it a lot of thought, since I was just obliging karl’s taunt), but all these passive aggressive digs afterwards, specifically mentioning me, in 3 threads now (in addition to the original thread) is tiring. Please let’s now stop. Forgive and forget.

              • Here’s the thread to the homosexuality debate, if you wanna add more to that, feel free (i’ll gladly oblige you), but let’s not spread this debate over 3 blogs, if your intent all along was to continue it, let’s continue it there,


              • Edgar Lores says:

                Afterthought re 1.1 about Filipinos not being nationalists. Even some of the presidents were not nationalists, notably Marcos, Erap, Arroyo, and Duterte. Marcos tried to own the Philippines, Arroyo to sell it, and Duterte to give it away.

                Filipinos seem to have a victim mentality from being colonized too long. The apathy and slavishness shown to strong leaders are particularly telling.

  21. Bill In Oz says:

    What is the point of this verbal dispute ? What good purpose does it serve ? I cannot see any at all. Does it all come down to one of you winning by having the last word”?

    • The dispute is about our core values. Are we amoral gameplayers floating with expedience or do we abide by principles of sacrifice to uphold values that we believe will build a common good? In the PH today, I would expect LCX to back Duterte, as he does Trump, and Edgar to oppose him. It’s an important debate.

      • Joe,

        Thanks for allowing this thread to go on; last year it would’ve been suspension on my part and the air will never get cleared. I’ll attempt a last clearing of the air in this thread, get edgar to express everything, then i hope it’s forgive and forget time. I promise this is the last salvo.

        As for core values you’re over-simplifying,

        I chose Trump because I just couldn’t bear to vote for Hillary (ie. Arab Spring, Benghazi, fracking , etc. etc. ), but had it been Bernie vs. Trump in the end, I’d have been all in for Bernie (but we all knew that wasn’t going to happen, it’s a pro-union party after all 😉 ). And my calculations early on proved correct, more Americans are now electrified, where before people didn’t care about fracking in the 2 counties north of me, now they are (when Obama was doing it , it was fine and dandy; but with Trump there’s an element of fear). Executive branch is now being brought down a couple of notches, states (hell even cities) are stepping up now against the Federal gov’t—– which is all good. Trump IMHO will eventually get the boot, but he was an important kick in the nuts for us. That’s why I voted for him.

        Whether or not I would’ve voted for DU30 i’m unsure, don’t know enough. but based on very limited readings, it would’ve been between DU30 and that woman candidate that died shortly after the election, to be honest (both would’ve been perfect for 3rd world politics). As for Mar Roxas his wife beating up on her servants is just a big deal to ignore, especially if you’re poor over there. Personally i think it’s true (because i’ve seen similar things with the rich over there), but if it wasn’t why didn’t they work overtime to clear that angle of the story?

        In the end you chose candidates based on your gut feeling, whatever their resume holds will never prepare them for the job, especially the use of force and unintended consequences, you can be a big shot CEO, a state governor and multi-termed senator, or even a hot shot general, you can’t ever tell, I voted for Obama (for all the hopey-changey stuff) and now my buddies are back in the Middle East, he actually managed to make things worst, Joe.

        I don’t think I’d back DU30 had I been able to, Joe, it would ‘ve been the woman, based on gut feeling, that she had what it takes (both light touch and heavy hand), but it would’ve been between the two, the calculus dependent on that , light touch and heavy hand; in Trump’s case the calculus was different.

        • I’m amused that you find Poe to be a woman of light touch and heavy hand (she has precious little experience or ‘history’) and Clinton a woman to be avoided at any cost, because of her history, a history determined by her being in a tough job at a tough time. Indeed, you are fluid, for sure. Maybe strong women and people of color (Obama) upset your equilibrium? You are TSH’s closet Bannon? 😂😂😂

          • Not Poe, Joe.


   (so I’m a fan of strong women 😉 )

            As for people of color,

            Again I voted for Obama, just wasn’t satisfied with his foreign policies and energy policies in the end, Joe. I think he did OK with Obamacare at least with how it’s being rolled out here in CA, whilst other states went against it. But Hillary, I pegged for fair-weather type politician, goes where-ever the wind blows (i think this was her weakness, and everyone saw it, hence the love affair with Bernie, who was passionate for something and stood for something). So strong is not the descriptor i’d use for her, Joe.

            • Ah, the dying woman who chose Marcos as her running mate and was polling at something like 3%.

              And Hilliard Clinton is not a strong woman. Hhhhhhooooooookay. I know when to end a discussion because I’m arguing with a troll.

              • You said, i’d be for DU30 and I explained that she would’ve been who i’d back (not DU30, though he’d be 2nd), that part about 3% and whether or not she’s well liked by Filipinos, I wouldn’t know anything about , Joe. I only know that in the 3rd world, you need someone who can balance a light touch with a heavy hand, the other 3 didn’t have it. And that’s how i’d make my choice.

                Mar Roxas and Poe would’ve been too light IMHO, the other darker guy for sure had a light hand, but that’s a different matter (remember the Artful Dodger? LOL!)

                As for Hillary being strong, I ‘m sure she’s smart and capable, only she IMHO didn’t stand for anything. As far as light touch/heavy hand goes, she had a heavy hand in the Arab Spring, but she sided with the wrong folks, hence all the mess now, so along with light touch/heavy hand is knowing who to target too—- this was my biggest issue w/ her.

                It’s not just light touch / heavy hand alone. But knowing how to use force proportionally, ie. against who, etc.

                As for Obama he was advised to keep a contingent of a certain number of troops to keep the peace , he pulled out completely. the initial problem in Iraq was when Bremer got rid of the Baathists/Iraqi Army (totally opposite of what we did when we won in WWII both in Europe and Japan), then finally when things were under control, we pulled out completely, At least for where the Marines were in Iraq, those Sunni tribes were asking us to make sure the Shia’s wouldn’t get back at them,

                there was a balancing act going on, like see-saw, the moment we leave one party goes down hard, and that’s exactly what happened, Joe, ISIS filled that vacuum. So Trump is right, Obama created ISIS. But my issue with Obama/Hillary wasn’t really with Iraq or Afghanistan, it was a mess already, my

                issue with them was the Arab Spring, wherein they made a bigger mess, Joe. We took out Saddam and saw the mess after; so why would they do it again in 3 attempts at once, Mubarak, Qaddafi and Assad (we got lucky with Egypt, they had a strong pro-US military, and thanks to Russia Assad’s still going), but that was an unnecessary mess to make, hence my dislike for those two, policy wise.

        • As for Obama and Iraq, he was elected by a public that saw no sense in Americans dying for a nation that would not stand up for its own well-being, so the goal became to accelerate the pace of handover of Iraq security to Iraqis while pulling down the level of American troops. But Iraq is like the Philippines on steroids in terms of the power and independence of local warlords. Hard to manage. Then ISIS cropped up and took over much of Iraq and Iraqi forces were too weak to counter the invasion. So the game changed and you hold Obama responsible? ISIS made the situation worse, not Obama. Obama was exercising the will of the people to stop nation building in the Middle East. To lay blame on him is Bannon-style patriotism, where politics is played with military decisions.

    • edgar lores says:

      The original dispute, from my view, was about national honor.

      The second dispute, from my view, was about sincerity in argumentation.

      I don’t think it’s about having the last word. I have offered to let LCpl_X have the last word. And I have offered to let the readers decide. But, yes, it’s been tit-for-tat to a great extent because there are many angles. How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

      • “I have offered to let LCpl_X have the last word.”

        Thank you. No more passive-aggressive digs. Let’s get back to discussions and debates. That’s what we’re here for.

  22. caliphman says:

    Two of my most favorite and eloquent TSH posters flailing away at each other with verbal scimitars and logic blundetbusses. I see TSH is alive and well even in my prolonged absences. It is with some irony to note that this this spirited discussion on the rightful stature of the current papacy should be considered as meaningfull and relevant as the burning issue of why the Philippines is such a mess…perhaps it no less relevant given this is an American hosted website and when both debates are argued by a Filipino OFW in the land of Oz and a US vet formerly based in the PI but now at the home of the free and the land of the brave.

    • LOL! you’re too late , caliphman! We’re closing down shop now. But thanks for stopping by. 😉

    • edgar lores says:

      Caliphman, thanks.

      From my point of view, these discussions are meaningful and relevant because they are at the center of how we think, reason, and feel. If we do all of these things logically, by heart and by mind, then we will extend this understanding to all other areas of life.

      It is by not thinking logically and not feeling compassionately that we make a mess of things.

  23. josephivo says:

    Without a lot knowledge of philosophy or logic, I have the feeling that there are 3 worlds, one of pure logical arguments, one accepting illogic arguments and one with the absence of logic or illogic arguments, just exploring. As there are specific religions, explicit atheism and the area in between with deism as the lack of interest in religion or the negation of religion. Progress is not driven by logic only. Not all arguments have to be logical.

    What I missed in the arguments are the historical examples and the link to our selfish genes. E.g. examples that proof that the Church follows the flock (with a time delay) more often than the opposite. As most of the stories in the Bible need interpretation, what is selected and how it is interpret is time and location related, look at slavery, male dominance, relationship between poverty and wealth… And e.g. our selfish genes made us all racists, it is a strong feeling needed to give our genes higher survival chances. How strong people feel it varies and how strong they express their feeling varies too what makes judging very difficult. Is a racial statement from a lightly racist person expressing its feeling strongly or from a strongly racist person trying to hide his feelings?

    • Edgar Lores says:

      o The first world of pure logic is mathematics.

      o The second world of illogical arguments is religion.

      o The third world of exploration is science. But science uses logic, not necessarily the pure logic of mathematics but inductive, deductive, abductive, and Bayesian reasoning.

      o Progress is driven by desire, observation, logic, and knowledge.

      o True, not all arguments are logical. The reasons of the heart are not logical.

      o Arguments that use historical data may be statistical and empirical but also highly speculative.

      o Arguments that do not use historical data may be intuitive and/or conceptual.

      o Religions are intersubjective — by time and location.

      o It may be true that genes are inherently selfish (?) but the selfishness (and racism) can be overcome.

      o The last question is impossible to answer. We have no exact way of measuring the strength of feelings. Polygraph? Feelings are highly subjective. And they can be faked.

  24. AmielMateo says:

    I humbly submit sir that you do not understand politics at all. You resented Miriam’s running with Marcos. All you are pointing out is the ignorance of Filipino voters, the hopelessness of the situation, etc. They are not objective assessment at all but rather subjective, complaining thoughts. You pointed out, “I wonder who has the courage, the insight, the intelligence, the charisma, and the character to pull off such a mass re-education in very short order? That’s all it takes, I think”. Let me say that you have to start it within your self. You should be one of those people.

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