Why Filipinos reject freedom

Prometheus Unbound [photographer unknown]

By Joe America

Let me step outside the Philippines for a moment, or rather hover above the nation like a drone cam. I’ll look across the landscape and generalize. I admit, these generalizations may not be fair to you or other readers who don’t really fit into my model. I apologize and ask you to grant me some latitude, for the lessons that may emerge.

It is fascinating and painful for those of us with democratic upbringings to watch so many Filipinos reject the freedoms that are built into the democratic system. Most Filipinos today are satisfied with . . . they WANT . . . an autocratic leader. Many call their President “Tatay”, as Christians would worship God “the Father”.

This consignment of fatherly respect, personalizing and adoring a guy who is just holding a job, is fascinating. It is the supreme security, isn’t it? To know that someone is responsible for us . . . so we don’t have to be?

“No worries, mate, Rody’s got it!”

I mean, President Duterte may be a killer, but he is Daddy first. He’ll take care of us.

It seems to me that most Filipinos don’t grasp a very simple idea:

Democracy assigns responsibility to its followers and calls it freedom.

Freedom is not the right to be unchained, but the right to be responsible for one’s own welfare.

THAT is the part about democracy that Filipinos just don’t get, I think. The responsibility part, the ownership part.

And the idea that the responsibility part is also the inspirational part.

That’s why so many Filipinos can do something damaging, say tossing trash out the bus window, but have no sense that they are damaging themselves in the process. There is a disconnect of consequence from deed. The citizens get taxed for trash clean-up, the trash gets swallowed by fish, birds, and carabao, and they die. Food is hard to get, or expensive. The land looks trashy and tourists go to Malaysia instead of Palawan. There are fewer jobs in the Philippines. People remain poor and throw trash out the bus window.

Freedom is the right to apply oneself to reduce taxes, keep food on the table, and build an economy that provides jobs.

Yes, and spout opinions, march in the streets, travel freely, those kinds of things.

Why do Filipinos REJECT that responsibility and give it to Daddy?

Do they LIKE being punished? Are they like the abandoned orphan who has the self image of being a loser and does  irresponsible things that bite back to confirm he is a loser?

Do they not KNOW what freedom feels like? Are they unable to comprehend the confidence and joy of self-determination, where one can chart one’s own destiny and cheer the milestones of education and a job and having the means to care for one’s family?

Well, Filipinos have been under someone else’s boot for centuries. One adjusts. One’s feelings adjust. One gets used to being instructed . . . as in the model of teaching in Filipino schools . . . rather than inspired.

Most Filipinos have no idea what it feels like to be inspired by their own responsibility.

That’s my guess.

Yet, I can’t help but think the glass barrier between the passivity of obedience and the inspiration of responsibility is very thin.

I cite as evidence the most popular blog that was ever written here on The Society of Honor. It had 65,000 reads in one day. Although it was about Mayor Estrada and the Hong Kong bus massacre, the theme that captured readership was the idea that Filipinos should not be instructed by China to sit in the back of the bus. They should sit wherever they like, as did Rosa Parks who broke down racial barriers in the United States by refusing to sit at the back of the bus. (“Why Mayor Estrada is wrong on Hong Kong”)

So I believe Filipinos DO have a clear desire for an inspirational kind of freedom. It’s just that an indentured people can’t comprehend having it. A downtrodden, poor people cannot comprehend being inspired by their conditions in life.

President Duterte at least inspires them by being a tangible father, a real one, as God is rather a nebulous one.

Some would argue, “You see, Joe, that’s why democracy won’t work in the Philippines. People don’t want it.”

I’d respond, “Once they can FEEL it, as inspiration, they’ll want nothing else.”

‘Yellows’ feel it. They want it.

Autocrats desperately need to shut down that inspiration.

The autocrat’s worst nightmare is masses of Filipinos awakening to the idea that they don’t have to be downtrodden if they take responsibility for their own lives. . . if they get inspired by freedom, grasp that democracy is the ultimate empowerment, and reject the idea that they need a President to tell them where to sit on the bus.

 

Comments
105 Responses to “Why Filipinos reject freedom”
  1. Dominique Pahina says:

    Insightful article.

    In my opinion, a nation needs to establish some degree of sovereignty first before it can form a strong and solid set of values.

    It has not been two centuries since the Philippine’s independence from the Spain, which lasted approximately three centuries. Sad to say, the colonial mentality still has deep roots in the country.

    The masses generally believe that the Philippines is a lost cause. They just bedazzle themselves with the latest kilig love teams or movies, beauty pageants, singing contests, and sports to numb the ugly reality in which they live in.

    However, I am positive the country will become truly free in the future if critically-minded Filipinos will become more involved in nation-building. For example, some will dedicate a portion of their lives to reach out to the sleeping masses or educate the children.

    I observed that, generally, the workplace in the Philippines is a cemetery of unrealized potentials. Most employees content themselves with having a salary to pay the bills, buy basic necessities, and indulge in a few luxuries.

    The children are mostly indoctrinated to aim to finish their studies, and get a stable job. Then, that’s it!

    Most adult Filipinos are chained to the cycle of work-get married-retire. On its own, this cycle is NOT detrimental to the realization of an individual’s full potential. However, Filipinos, in general, are clannish. They do not mind what is outside their inner circles. Couple the cycle to this attribute and you will surely get a divided population.

    The masses hog popular songs, and literature. Those who want to bring forth true change in this country should slowly infiltrate popular culture. Steadily but consistently inject themes that encourage critical thinking into telenovelas, songs, movies, and printed literature.

    • Well said, and spot on. I would only say that the sovereignty has to be felt within each Filipino (or most of them), not just a government kind.

    • JohnD says:

      I am not sure it is sufficient to apply traditional norms of nation building in today’s “information age”. There are no long periods of reflection and with the worlds peer pressure to accomplish in varied areas, there is no time to consider ramifications unless it is immediate and directly impacting to oneself. Think about it, for our generation, making friends in adolescence or excellent grades and graduating college with some sports or music mixed in there was our youth. The majority of the current decision making population does that and more. Couple that with an information flow from around the world with a diversity of issues that actually has local impact and your mind is left with very little time for introspection. When we were growing up, yes, there was Vietnam war and a cold war and cultural revolution but they rarely impacted me locally growing up in the Philippines. Unless I read the newspaper, I would never know. Absent that, I did contemplate what was right and wrong. I thought about how things should be. I even wrote school papers about it. If I was a young man in the Philippines today, I would be too busy trying to figure out how to afford a smartphone or get that lucrative overseas job or how to make money quick. Or if I had a job, find enough downpayment for a car(unheard of in my day, people who owned cars paid in full for it).

      It might be more fruitful to acknowledge the environmental difference today and offer mechanisms to achieve a critical thought. I am learning from a young adult close to me who is using comedy in front of a paying audience as an avenue for social analysis.

      • Ethan, the convention here is to explain a link when posting so people can decide whether or not to visit the link (people like me with horrid internet connectivity). I did not go to your link, but presume it is touting the successes of the Duterte economy, or rather the roaring economy that was gifted to him by President Aquino. The only economic drive of the Duterte Admin seems to be build build build, but that has not really gotten started yet because this Admin is crashing into the same pragmatic roadblocks that stymied the last one.

        • here’s the last paras of that article , Joe:

          “Apparently, investors aren’t convinced about the sustainability of economic growth in the Philippines. Especially foreign investors, who have stayed away from Philippines equities.

          There are a couple of reasons for that. One of them is Duterte’s on-going drug war, which threatens to lead the country into a civil war.

          Then there are Duterte’s South China Sea flip-flops, which have added to geopolitical uncertainties surrounding the Philippines’ markets.

          And there’s corruption, the usual killer of emerging market growth, which is getting worse, according to Transparency International.

          Corruption has undermined the Philippines’ economic growth before, and it will kill it again, if Duterte fails to deliver on his pledge to ease this problem.”

          So, can DU30 kill corruption?

  2. Gemino H. Abad says:

    Right on, Joe America! We mustn’t lose hope: there will be more and more of us who are capable of critical thinking and responsibility — the present government’s madness of power, privilege, and egomania is a welcome prod (I should have used “trigger”!).

  3. Sup says:

    Amazing…

    Honeylet’s cousin among those sacked by Duterte
    President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night revealed that a cousin of his partner Honeylet Avancena was among the commissioners of the Presidential Commission on Urban Poor (PCUP) that he fired.
    The President dismissed insinuations that Melissa’s appointment to government was a case of nepotism.

    “Forget it, we are not married. It does not apply. Only when you are married. At saka malayo na,” he

    ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    If you are not married why do you bring Honeylet in Malacanang? Travel Abroad? Etc etc et..

    Is it me who don’t understand this kind of reasoning?

  4. The picture above reminds me of the UP Oblation and represents a similar aspiration.

    I think what Filipinos do not dare is speak truth to power. They do enjoy bashing Aquino as an easy elite target but wouldn’t dare with Duterte.

    First thing peasant Little John did with elitist Robin Hood was tell him ‘thou art a saucy lad, let me mend thy ways’ – and fight him. Elias did not dare the same with Ibarra, peasant NPAs submit to UP leaders as ‘natural’ overlords. Not one goon of Duterte dared tell him off, etc. etc.

  5. manangbok says:

    Filipinos are people who work on click farms. Other people who belong in the 1st world create the click farms so people from countries like mine can work on them.

    http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2550-the-hellish-reality-working-at-overseas-click-farm.html

    Well that is the general idea.

    Of course Pinoys should change their slave mentality and education is the way to do it. And economic growth should be inclusive. And leaders should be chosen on the basis of principles and not patronage. And we should cut some slack to our Muslim siblings and Igorot siblings and lumad siblings. Etc, etc …

    All these things take time. As cliche as it may sound, the best things in life take time. Like, a human pregnancy takes 9 months until delivery (an elephant takes 20 months). If a baby is delivered at 20 weeks or 5 months, you do not expect it to survive, if it does survive, chances are he/she will have a lot of developmental and physical problems and if I were that baby I will kill my parents for not letting me go … sorry, science trumps emotion here.

    We got impatient so we voted for Duterte. I mean, “they” as I did not vote for him, but since these Pinoys are a part of me, I guess I am probably culpable; the way you are responsible if your addled father who has dementia suddenly drops his pants in the grocery store — that means YOU are a lousy caregiver :=(

  6. Sup says:

    O.T. Doug Jones wins..
    Good………

    • NHerrera says:

      Yep, Roy Moore — the Donald Trump of Alabama — lost on Tuesday night. Long live inspirational democracy. But on this news, it is expected that Trump would still insist on the saying, “heads I won, tails you lost.”

      • NHerrera says:

        Interestingly, even the GOP Senate has that sentiment — “Moore lost, GOP won; Moore won, GOP won.” Senate President McConnell would have seen the Senate Republicans with Moore there as a nightmare; he does not want a Trump-like Senator in the GOP Senate.

  7. Sabtang Basco says:

    Filipinos love freedom and defend it fiercely.
    Laws in the Philippines are voluntarily followed if one wished …
    It is an honor system … follow or not to follow that is the question …
    It is a mere suggestion …
    They submit SALNs nobody looks at except during election
    DENR that doesn’t look at effects of wanton approvals of building permits on traffic, flood and congestion which DENR approval is more about collecting fees not mitigating environmental pollution.

    Filipinos do not like suffocating freedom in the U.S.
    Freedom in the U.S. has laws to follow to exercise it
    The U.S. is more communist under the guise of democracy

    The government is listening your phone calls, reading supposedly private text messages. Calls and text messages are parsed by NSA. Words such as “terrorists” “bomb” “ISIS” or any terrorist linked words are flagged and placed in their database.

    The neighbors are listening, too! A scream next door they report it in. They have designated place to toss trash and to relieve themselves. Courting is now criminal. Unwanted advances is felony rape. Persistent courtship means restraining order.

    “His eyes meet hers meet his and they kiss and lived forever ever after” happens only in Hollywood fantasy movies. Under the U.S. court of law if the woman complains it is unwanted advances. Lauer, NPR News director, Cosby, Weinstein, all have resigned so do many others.

    People think Americans are divided by politics, not quiet true. When it comes to sexual misconduct it is bipartisan.

    Republicans do not care if Trump touches women because Republicans are sexist uneducated racist manual-labor high-school drop-outs that still believe that women should give in to men regardless as spelled out in their Bible.

    The world is getting weird. I like Philippines especially in its remote places because there is no pollution of laws it is a place where Freedom is exercised may it there be laws or no laws. THIS I CAN TELL everybody is a member of Neighborhood Watch. They know where I came from. My likes and dislike of adobo smell. Addiction to fresh coconut water. Line-caught deep sea Tuna. I SCREAM WHEN THE INTERNET IS DOWN.

    • The fabric of social relations is tattered, the internet being the pinking shears. Time passes fast. Those of us who have been around have passed through history, seeing mechanics rule, then technologists. Wars confirm we are stupid and unable to master dispute with sense. Remote is good. The next stage is asceticism. Unplug the internet. Enjoy the waves crashing across the rocks, higher this year than last. Enjoy the adobo. Be sure to plant bay leaves in the garden.

  8. Pablo says:

    All the elements are there, but the dots are not yet connected.
    Certainly, the Filipinos have been under someone else’s boots for centuries…. But that is hardly an excuse. Walking through an Indonesian or Vietnamese town, you see people struggling, fighting for next day’s food. In Philippines, there seems to be a never ending safety-net provided by OFW’s, so why fight for the next day’s food. The “economic boom’ is supported to a great extend by investment of OFW’s in condominiums. A nice and comfortable position to be in, why fight for survival when the safety net is provided for? The national hero is the poet, not so much the thousands of warriors who fought against Spanish and American and Japanese occupation. A culture of submission and compliance, of passivity and obedience where nature did not force people to think and fight for themselves. In such an atmosphere, it is easy to ignore every law. That was what struck me most while supporting the local municipality in making their development plans: not a single law was implemented. Not a single one. And Manila is dreaming up next ones to be manipulated so someone can make a killing. Oh no, I am wrong, sorry, the only law I saw implemented is the non-smoking policy which seems to work surprisingly. And ofcourse, many Filipinos dream of a country where the can live safe and clean and healthy. They look to Singapore and returning OFW’s tell stories about their host countries, about the good laws implemented over there…. And the local people are jealous. They are not used to fencing for themselves. And they see the second and third generation of politicians taking over from their fathers, making a killing, without any of the honor and respectability of the first generation and the people become irritable. Without the backbone which comes from fighting for survival, people wait for some hero to solve the problem for them. And here comes a tough guy from Davao with a reputation to clean up the place. Because there is no system of political parties with programs, no conventions, no elected party officials, the tough guy got elected. No surprise. And as there is no system of conventions and programs, the tough guy stands alone and increasingly becomes a dictator, like tough guys do when they start loosing it.
    A hopeless situation…???
    I have seen that it does not have to be. In 1990, after the uprising, there was a short time where people were convinced that corruption was over, that things were going to be like in Singapore. And corruption became (nearly) extinct. Only to be disappointed by a weak leadership and within months, the situation got back to normal and deteriorated ever since. But the beginnings of a good system were there..
    But like a real drug addict, the country probably needs to suffer more before a new beginning can be started. Most of the country is living on islands (literally but also emotionally); life in the provinces is much like it used to be a hundred years ago. Most pick the fruits from the trees when you are hungry, sleep the rest of the day while others toil on the land and are too busy to worry about politics. And TV and Facebook keep the majority away from politics. But slowly, pollution is also reaching the boondogs, slowly it becomes more difficult to land a good job abroad, slowly criminality reaches previously unaffected places, slowly people start to see that the education system is collapsing. When will it be enough? When will the new leader arise, displacing the dictator? Philippines does not need a bloody revolution, it can still elect a new leader. Maybe that is a disadvantage. Probably, democracy shuld never have been tried in a country which is not ripe for it… But we are where we are and the critical mass for change is working abroad There still are many beautiful places left, with beautiful people, great places to hide-out and wait on the coming storm. Just need a lot of patience, like manangbok said: A pregnancy takes nine months, you cannot hurry it too much or the patient will die.

    • Wonderful reflections, Pablo. I was lounging napping on the sofa – easy to do when a low pressure area is cruising in – reflecting on the need to assimilate into the borg like Picard for a while, until the Federation emerges from amongst the common people to introduce individuals back into the hive. I might join the Philippine Living Poet’s Society, architects of a new way of thinking.

  9. Miela says:

    Since you mentioned responsibilty, I think the answer lies in Filipinos’ “allergy” towards responsibility. Be it towrds themselves or towards their nation. We have a bad habit of blaming anyone else if we screw up. Blame the colonizerd whonhave been long gone for 70 years for all our problems, blame the US for China seizing Philippine EEZ, etc.

  10. karlgarcia says:

    Miela is correct we blame everybody but ourselves.
    It is not my fault.
    We demand accountability.
    We bash every scandal unless we are involved.
    We are ashamed but we do not have the sense of shame.

  11. NHerrera says:

    ITEMS:

    1. Oh, we love freedom.
    2. It is the responsibility or accountability associated with it that we do not love.

    CAVEAT

    There is an erratum right there in Item 1, we love to be dependent on the whims of China on our International Maritime Rights. But leave that to “Daddy” — he knows best.

    Corollary to Item 2: we so love entitlement and privilege — ask Aguirre, Alvarez, Gordon, Uson.

    AWAKENING

    Is there an awakening that Items 1 and 2 go together? May be or at least we hope so — I do not feel the weather low pressure, here Joe, so I am not so low.

  12. Francis says:

    1. It’s not our fault—it’s not the fault of the Filipino people, or the average Juan and Juana on the street. It is simply not our fault that we lacked the institutions to teach us how to be free. An American, for instance—he or she loves liberty because he or she is exposed to countless institutions that condition/socialize him or her to adopt the said value of loving liberty. Americans vote for their judges, vote their local school boards, are told that they should keep guns as a guarantee against tyranny, register as members of political parties, think it is damn normal to open their wallets and send the few dollars they have to a guy named Obama or Bernie because they simply believe in that guy and because they also think to themselves: sure my dollar won’t amount to much, but damn maybe a few million other guys like me can match up to any Super PAC. An American does not inherently love freedom—he or she isn’t born as baby screaming “We the People!” straight out of his or her mother’s womb—but rather, he or she is taught to love freedom. In a sense, Americans are made not born. How are Americans made? How are Americans taught, shaped to love freedom?

    At every step of the way—they encounter institutions that guide them to ways that allow them effectively harness the power of their freedom, that allow them to be free. There are political parties one can not only vote for, but also be part of—able to register and volunteer for them. There are PTAs and local school boards that a parent can participate in. There are maybe unions (though granted, this is something that applies more to Europe) that one can join to obtain better representation at the workplace. It seems a bit contradictory but the institutions

    I’m not an expert at all, but this I hold as a cardinal truth—culture is merely the delicious cake and institutions are the flour and all the ingredients, for culture is merely the end-result,the product of how institutions shape a people.

    2. Filipinos love freedom…sort-of.

    The Philippines is a place of anarchy, in many ways. Only, it isn’t man-against-man—but family-against-family, barkada-vs-barkada. An anarchy of countless factions all plotting against each other for advantage. Why is this the case?

    The nation-building process of the Philippines has gone in a strange direction. Our colonial experience meant that we got democracy before we got bureaucracy—if I correctly remember what I skimmed in an article recently. Democracy is a nice thing, I don’t argue—but patronage* might as well be tea ceremony** for democracies. Thus: a decentralized archipelago led by notables from many dynastic clans, kept together only by a strong President with loads of pork.

    From birth until death, the average Filipino barely encounters (in a meaningful fashion) any institution in his or her nation-state that could teach him or her to be free, in the same way that Americans or (in general) Westerners are. Therefore—politics becomes really, a matter of family because there aren’t really things higher than family: no political parties worthy of the term, unions too weak and small to amount to much in the national consciousness, a civil society that is mighty in the aggregate—but a majority of which is in truth really a bunch of tiny local groups which might as well be on the same level as family or barkada, etc.

    Why do people back Duterte? Is it illogical? From an Filipino perspective, I’d argue that it is completely logical: I say I love Duterte, Duterte sees I’m on his side, my family/barkada gets stuff.

    It’s not like there’s anything more than my family/barkada anyways…

    *Patronage isn’t always bad. It can spice up broccoli bills which people don’t like but are also at the same time necessary. It can also enfranchise people given certain conditions. if I can recall correctly, for all the corruption of the infamous Tammany Hall—it also technically gave a voice to the various immigrant ethnic groups in New York. Some have even argued that efforts to reform machines of patronage actually paradoxically hurt the representation of groups like minorities.

    **Authoritarian Regimes are blunter with patronage because they don’t need to have subtlety. Power flows from the barrel of the gun after all.

    • “In a sense, Americans are made not born. How are Americans made? How are Americans taught, shaped to love freedom?”

      I agree w/ you , Francis, in that Americans are made… there’s nothing in the water or air that makes us special. But I don’t think it’s the institutions that make us appreciate our freedoms (nor rely on them), its the opposite actually.

      I remember in elementary & junior high when I learned how a bill was passed and then the Bill of Rights, etc. *yawn, that all went in one ear and out the other, it wasn’t til I met conspiracy theorists, crypto-cipher folks (technology as freedom folks) and libertarians that I appreciated the whole point of being American,

      it’s dissent (suspicion of gov’t).

      The other component which you touched upon is neighborliness , working together for a common good. The dissent part is easy, coupled with neighborliness , that’s a lot more tricky. And I think a lot of it (this combination) is taught in movies, since many now live in cities and anonymity is now prevalent (though social media is getting people together again in the cities).

      But my point is, there is no over reliance of “institutions”, if anything the gov’t from state, to local (cities & counties) and national, they’re seen more as potentials for tyranny. From the git go the films have always had the Keystone Cops genre of comedy.

      So the key, the secret recipe if you will, is neighborliness , I think this one’s in our DNA (cultural) , you have to have a frontier notch in history… this I saw a bit of in Mindanao, ie. Ilocanos living there form a group, Visayans living there form their group, then the whole Christian vs. Muslim stuff, etc. etc.

      if not guns (not everyone) , then for sure most in Mindanao walk around with knives and long farming blades, may not look like neighborliness at first glance, Francis, but for sure in their minds is I’m gonna protect me and mine (so the ultimately form of neighborliness, which is what we had from the colonial period to the gold rush here in California).

      It’s not institutions,

      • manangbok says:

        “So the key, the secret recipe if you will, is neighborliness , I think this one’s in our DNA (cultural) , you have to have a frontier notch in history… this I saw a bit of in Mindanao, ie. Ilocanos living there form a group, Visayans living there form their group, then the whole Christian vs. Muslim stuff, etc. etc.”

        Hey LCpL_X … to go back to Nietzche (hindi talaga maka get over) … I am suddenly struck with an inspiration: it would be good for Pinoys if they (we) hook up with/ marry people outside our tribes. The mixed breeds coming out of such unions would have more incentive to be “neighborly”.

        Actually, with the rise of cities like Metro Manila, people who are not from the same region have been getting together for decades now.

        Tribalism still prevails of course and so does a general disregard for public welfare from individual citizens. (I am reminded of some Ilokano relatives who malign Tagalog relatives for being lazy; and same Tagalog relatives criticizing the Ilokanos for being being stingy. It is easy imagining them shitting in each other’s backyards. I act as referee but I can only do so much … ha ha, excuses! )

        And mixed breeds will probably suffer identity crisis at some point. However, as our favorite philosopher Friedrich had said: “The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.” So maybe some inter-mixing is not only good for the genes but for the intellect as well!

        • bok,

          I actually wrote about something similar in my ACLU article, calling on Filipinos born outside Philippines, and half-Filipinos born outside Philippines, to be lawyers over there… here’s the article: https://joeam.com/2015/05/21/a-filipino-aclu-and-lawyering-in-the-philippines/ (to which some vehemently disagreed and insinuated racism on me, ie. jameboy’s comment here:

          https://joeam.com/2015/05/21/a-filipino-aclu-and-lawyering-in-the-philippines/#comment-121908 )

          But in Israel , secular Jews and Christian Palestinians have intermarried (though not so many Muslim Palestinian & Jew, but theres some), which resulted in what you’ve written above. As for identity crisis, most half-bloods I’ve met (mostly in the military) are the coolest most level headed folk I know. So I totally agree with you, and your point of expanding one’s tribe = expanding one’s worldview, bok– a bunch of half Indian/white played big roles in the West… Jean Baptise, Sagagawea’s child during the Lewis & Clark expedition, was then later adopted by Clark and as Clark’s son/ward, he went to school, traveled to Europe and eventually played roles in the West, ie. mayor of a town in California, speculator, guide, peace keeper, etc.

    • Nice elaboration that I think you nail perfectly. The dilemma is what to do, be satisfied and go along with an obedience form of governance, or aspire to be more, as an individual. The masses don’t know the inspiration of democratic freedoms, and the yellows can’t lead them to it . . . the way they are doing it.

    • madlanglupa says:

      > From birth until death, the average Filipino barely encounters (in a meaningful fashion) any institution in his or her nation-state that could teach him or her to be free, in the same way that Americans or (in general) Westerners are.

      Many have been taught to do these things: study hard, find a job, earn much at it, then send some of the money to the family.

  13. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. Freedom is not the right to be unchained, but the right to be responsible for one’s own welfare.”

    2. I’m trying to understand the concept of freedom, and it is hard to understand. I think there are many kinds of freedom and levels of freedom.

    2.1. The most basic would be physical freedom, the right to be unchained.

    2.2. A prisoner in a cell would want to be free from confinement, free to roam the streets. The freedom from physical restraint is the first freedom.

    3. I think if you ask the Filipino in the street — “Are you free?” – his answer will be yes.

    3.1. He will think, “I can do whatever I please. I can go wherever I want, eat whatever I desire, and I can vote for whomever I choose.”

    3.2. On second thought, he will pause and think, “Well, perhaps that’s not really true… I can vote for whomever I choose and, for the most part, go wherever I want, but I am not really free because I do not have the money to buy what I want to eat, or the house I want to live in or the car I want to drive.”

    4. The freedom from want is the second freedom. This is the freedom from basic subsistence needs as well as higher creature comforts. This is the “right to be responsible for one’s welfare.”

    4.1. Most Filipinos are stuck at this level. We see this in the need and greed for consumables — food and material possessions — at all levels of society. It is the driving force and the focus of most efforts, day in and day out. And the Filipino will go to great lengths, even to the extent of breaking the law, to assuage this need and his greed.

    4.2. It is at this point that Filipinos begin to surrender their freedom. They will parcel out the responsibility for their welfare and allocate part of it to their leaders. They will look for patrons.

    5. The next level of freedom is what I would call freedom from fear. This is the beginning of the inspirational or aspirational part of freedom.

    5.1. There are many aspects to this freedom from fear, from oppression. It could be the moral freedom of the slave from his master, the freedom of a man to be secure in his own person from criminals, or the political freedom of citizens from autocracy. It could be the freedom to walk the streets safely at any time of night or day and for people to be secure in the comfort of their homes. It could also be the freedom to speak freely, to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for redress.

    5.2. The dilawans are practicing this freedom.

    6. The last and ultimate level of freedom is spiritual freedom. It includes freedom of worship, freedom of thought, and the freedom to be. In the post-truth era, this last freedom is under relentless attack by alternative facts, fake news, and by agencies of the state and by news and social media.

    6.1. As Viktor E. Frankl wrote in “Man’s Search for Meaning:” “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

    6.2. A man may be confined to prison and can even be tortured, but this last freedom is indestructible. This is the freedom of Mandela, King, Rizal, and the founders of the great religions.
    *****

    • Sounds a lot like the Maslow hierarchy.

      Maybe most are still busy fulfilling simplest needs while most yellows have them already?

      • LOL! so true! Easy for these “yellows” to say focus on freedom from fear (theoretical), when the rest have been cleaning their crap, like getting dirty street puddle water splashed at them by these “yellow” ‘s nice rides, not to mention the girls at the EDSA entertainment complex getting screwed by these “yellows”, etc. etc.

        The servant class rose up over there, and it turned out the “yellows” were the ones causing them physical and nutritional harm. Now the “yellows” are talking about freedom from fear? IMHO , it just rings hollow when seen from the servant class’ point-of-view ,

        when the “yellows” were the cause of said fear all along, now at least from the servant class’s view , now the “yellows” are in fear—- whether or not they C-D-E crowd win anything significant, just the idea of causing fear to those who have caused them fear (ie. Korina Sanchez) is a win, in and of itself.

        Like this,

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          This is a gross misinterpretation of the term “yellows” as I use it. Yours is a simple and misleading identification of them as the political, economic, and social elite.

          My interpretation is that of freedom fighters from all social classes.

          Note that Duterte maintains high support from the economic elite (AB), your “master class” as opposed to the “servant class.” These are NOT the yellows I speak of.

          Under Duterte, freedom from fear is NOT theoretical.
          *****

          • Just to clarify, those are “yellows” , right?

            “Under Duterte, freedom from fear is NOT theoretical.”

            If the fear is real, then why the support for DU30 still, edgar? If not everyone feels the same re “fear” then, it’s theoretical— though real to some, I’m sure tambays and sigas and druggies and dirrrty politicians are in fear (real), which IMHO is the source of the DU30 support.

            The best test , if you can list ’em, is who is in fear, ie. and what type of fear do they feel, theoretical or real. Like i said, if not everyone feels the same, ie. DU30s support still, then not all of it is real, no?

            • These are the “yellows” , correct?

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              1. I gave my definition of the term “yellows.”

              2. “…it’s theoretical— though real to some…” If it’s real to “some,” it is not theoretical, is it?
              *****

              • yeah, to tambays and sigas and druggies and dirrrty politicians, which is good , no? It’s real to them, not theoretical.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                There’s a comma after the word “some” and then two clauses.

                If one parses the sentence without the clauses, then there is an admission that the fear is not theoretical.

                The two clauses do not negate the admission. They just qualify the admission and establish a particular type of fear. They do not reject the admission that fear exists.

                The admission that fear exists — that is, any type of fear — means that fear is NOT theoretical.

                Yes, support for Duterte exists and is widespread. It does not alter the fact that fear of his autocratic rule exists and is NOT, repeat NOT, theoretical.
                *****

              • So… who fears it then, edgar?

                Can you list those whose fear of DU30 is not theoretical? But clear & present, ie. actual REAL fear?

                If no list, then we have to agree that it is partly theoretical for most, or some, no?

                Like I fear fat women suffocating me by their shear weight, but it’s not “real” fear (because the probability of it happening isn’t likely, though I like fat women). Is it possible that a fat woman can suffocate me, during love making, yes, so yeah in that sense its real.

                Probability vs. Possibility

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                May I suggest you do your own research?

                You may start with the case of Senator Leila de Lima and her fears. Or with Joe America’s FB site.
                *****

              • We’ve already covered D5 here, edgar,

                and I think she’s dirrrty, but I’ve not followed the case. Remember my issue with her was who her driver was working for. So, yeah if you list D5 as someone who has real fear of DU30 and not theoretical, yeah I’d agree, since DU30 put her in jail… but was she innocent?

                Aside from D5, do you have an innocent victim, targeted by DU30 himself? To the anti-yellows, DU30 is simply cleaning up.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                1. Most, or some, believe that the charges against De Lima are trumped-up.

                2. Apart from De Lima, Duterte is targeting Chief Justice Sereno and Ombudsman Carpio-Morales. He has targeted some businesses and business people. He has also targeted mayors. They feared for their lives and at least two were killed. One while he was already in jail. One has fled abroad.

                3. Note that anger is the obverse face of fear. One will come across anger in most commentaries on news and social media.
                *****

              • chemrock says:

                He has targetted Trillanes, Philippines CHR chair, Callarmard. He also targetted jeepney drivers.

              • chemrock says:

                And now the thug blackmails ABS-CBN. He alledged the media is in breach of a contract for non payment of rental of premises and instead of bringing the case to court, he threatened to get congress to deny them an extension of the franchise, Now he tells ABS-CBN to promote federalism and he will hapi-hapi make the case go away.

                http://inquirermobile.net/inqsnap/micro/129504

              • chemp,

                that all seems more like just playing hardball with political opponents, who are not so innocent victims. Trump’s doing the same here!

              • “Aside from D5, do you have an innocent victim, targeted by DU30 himself? To the anti-yellows, DU30 is simply cleaning up.”

                Clarification, targeted here I mean something akin to EJK, or some sparrow unit hit. If you’re issuing warrants and jailing folks, then technically you’re playing within the rules (no doubt rules are being bent), but still within the rules, like when Trump calls for “Lock her up! Lock her up!”, that’s political hardball, manueverings.

                Because IMHO from the perspective of the servant class, DU30 is simply giving them (the “yellows”; edgar’s freedom fighters ; the servant class’ terrorists) a taste of their own medicine, hence the support for DU30, he’s their Robin Hood, kicking ass and taking names of these hypocrites (on their behalf), who talk about human rights, but screw their servants good.

        • edgar: “My interpretation is that of freedom fighters from all social classes.”

        • I think you confuse yellows with social class, which it is not. It is those who believe democracy best prevents the abuses of which you speak. The class of impunity, which is now in charge of the Philippines, better fits your description of yellows.

          • As I understand the term yellow, first it was Cory’s party, then over the years, these guys got fat from corruption, eventually the yellow just became another word for the upper class, so not edgar’s “freedom fighters” but hypocrites (or terrorists if you will) who use high falutin’ words to piss on the lower class.

            If i’ve confused this term, sorry. But as I understand it, this is how the lower class views “yellows”, Joe. How do the lower class view and/or use this term “yellow”, certainly they don’t equate yellow with edgar’s freedom fighters.

            To them it’s a dirrrty word.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        It is a synthesis of:

        o Maslow — freedom from want and the suggestion of a hierarchy of freedom
        o Roosevelt — the four freedoms
        o Frankl — the last freedom
        o Buddhism — freedom from psychological suffering and spiritual freedom
        o American and French revolutions — political liberty and freedom of thought and expression
        o TSH — freedom is coupled with responsibility (JoeAm) and morality (Edgar)

        Just to recap the taxonomy and hierarchy:

        o Physical freedom
        o Freedom from want (economic freedom)
        o Freedom from fear (political freedom including freedom of thought, speech, and expression)
        o Spiritual freedom (freedom of religion, freedom of belief, freedom of morality, the freedom to be (which is also the freedom to be free of conditioning))

        At all levels, there is freedom of choice within the constraints of personal, social and legal morality.

        On 6.2, the practice of spiritual freedom, I forgot to add Senator De Lima. She is a prisoner of conscience (physical, political, and moral).
        *****

    • I was reaching for the inspirational qualities of democracy and which are largely missing in the Philippines. It is missing because people don’t get excited about the responsibility part of the freedoms they have. Wanting to hire competent, ethical people would be an example of that, or keeping the nation clean. For them, freedom means they are free to throw trash out the bus. So I wasn’t really trying to define freedom, which I agree is complex, but an application of it gone missing in the Philippines.

  14. distant observer says:

    Sapere aude! – Dare to be wise!

    Or as Immanuel Kant said: “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity.”

    Are many Filipinos just not brave enough? Are they cowards?

    Yet there was EDSA, a manifestation of people’s urge for freedom. Where are the ambitions from 1986? It’s sad that being called a “yellow” is now considered an insult in some parts of Filipino society. You know who like this development: the Marcoses and their cronies.

    There are other countries with poor, downtrodden people that could have needed their own “EDSA” long ago. Think of Zimbabwe with their 30-year ruler Mugabe. Yet it never happened. This makes me at least a little hopeful that more Filipinos might dare to be wise in the future…

    • Dare to be wise. I like that. I do believe there is a level of wisdom that the current leadership does not want people to rise to. Because it would reveal the leadership for what they are, vicious and manipulative people out for themselves at the expense of others.

  15. “So I believe Filipinos DO have a clear desire for an inspirational kind of freedom. It’s just that an indentured people can’t comprehend having it. A downtrodden, poor people cannot comprehend being inspired by their conditions in life.”

    Joe,

    this part here made me think of Flatland .

    Wherein Filipinos are 2-D folks, so when when high concepts in 3-D pass thru they only perceive a circle to finally a point, only the tip of the ice berg if you will, never the whole thing.

    The best part was when the 2-D fella asked the 3-D guy if there was a 4-D world, LOL!

    I really don’t know if there’s a secret recipe to all this democracy stuff, I know I’ve posited the Hajnal line and SB ‘s English and your institutions, Joe. But maybe, just maybe, 2-D folks just aren’t suppose to understand 3-D, just as 3-D folks aren’t suppose to understand 4-D and so on…

    Which means Star Trek’s Prime Directive applies ,

    • They don’t see how it was meant to work..

      1) human rights: drug dealers never stop
      2) due process: crooks pay judges
      3) democracy: vote fat cats that steal
      4) Congress: baboon house
      5) Senate: teleserye hearings

      Like the kid seeing the ruling class (Dad) screw the working class (maid) etc. etc.

      • Exactly, Ireneo! Like that Korina Sanchez gal slapping the hell out of her servant— true or not, in that specific case, because it is such a truism in general over there (rich mistreatment of poor, ie. screwing the help, both figuratively & literally), the poor just start looking past the “yellow” hypocrisy, it’s all self-serving bs.

        yesterday, they thought Roy Moore was gonna get elected because historically blacks don’t show up to vote in Alabama, blacks here are constantly expressing the hypocrisy of democracy, but I guess when Charles Barkley , “Sir Charles” himself , show up democracy got a jump start, who stated in the past:

        “Poor people cannot rely on the government to come to help you in times of need. You have to get your education. Then nobody can control your destiny.”

        My point, maybe these yellows need a Charles Barkley to lessen the notion of democracy as hypocritical, only serving the rich, not servant slapping Korina Sanchez and her dogs. 😉

  16. Sabtang Basco says:

    Roy Moore is a pedophile.
    Roy Moore was banned from a mall in Alabama …
    so, 14-year-olds can enjoy without Roy Moore.

    But …

    Republican educated and uneducated white women wanted to be sexually molested … provided the molester monsters are Republicans like Donald Trump.

    Funny they label Donald Trump as Republican when he is not. Republicans were afraid they might loose majority in congress and senate if Donald Trump left RNC and ran on his own. So, they suck it up despite his crude and crass mouthfuls recorded with Billy Bush with subsequent apology from Donald that Donald said was FAKE NEWS !!!

    Donald is sick. The congress and senate are complicit of Donald. The U.S. is a goner. Hillary is a liar. GO BERNIE! GO! GO! GO!

  17. Micha says:

    Remember Steve Bannon, the guy who wants to destroy America so he can rebuild it in his own image?

    Well, he now calls himself @PresidentBannon, “ The real 45th POTUS.” (You do remember that election, don’t you?)

    He has some lovely things to say about President Trump.

    You can find them at https://twitter.com/PRESlDENTBANNON together with a picture of him looking like the village drunk.

    To save you time, here is just a sampling of @PresidentBannon’s deathless prose:

    Steve Bannon
    @PRESlDENTBANNON
    The real 45th POTUS

    It’s damn near impossible to cut taxes when you only control the House, the Senate, the White House and the Supreme Court.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Wall length: 0
    Pro-pedophile rallies: 1
    Plea deals: 2
    Approval rating: 32%
    Devices seized by Mueller: 36
    Golf trips: 78
    Denture cost: $5,000
    Documents seized by Mueller: 400,000
    Puerto Ricans without power: 1,000,000
    Tax plan deficit: $1.4 trillion

    So much winning
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Al Franken. If at any point you feel like harassing women or underage girls and you would also like to be a senator, do not hesitate to contact the Republican Party.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Wall: no
    Credibility: gone
    Achievements: none
    GOP slogan: 14 is the new 30
    National monuments: shrinking
    Middle East strategy: burning
    Allies: deserting
    Flynn: singing
    Lawyer: tweeting
    Teeth: crumbling
    Speech: slurring
    Title: Emperor Bonespur of Nambia

    So much winning
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Asked @seanhannity to explain on TV how Flynn’s secret plan to get rid of sanctions and work with Russia to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East wasn’t collusion with Russia but a Deep State conspiracy to undermine the Trump presidency. Ordered by Obama. Paid by Soros
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is the most economical way to set the Middle East on fire.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Let me try to explain.

    – Mitt Romney avoiding Vietnam: BAD
    – Donald Trump avoiding Vietnam: OK

    – Anthony Weiner sexting underage girls: BAD
    – Roy Moore touching underage girls: OK

    – Barack Obama golfing: BAD
    – Donald Trump golfing: OK

    Got it?
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    @realDonaldTrump: Sexual pervert Anthony Weiner has zero business holding public office.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    So a birther, a tax evader, a white supremacist, a Bible basher, a Republican and a sex offender walk into a mall. What does the security guard say?

    “Come on Roy, you are banned from here and you know it.”
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Today’s achievements:

    • Claim to be above the law
    • Feel “very badly” for guilty Flynn
    • Shrink national monuments
    • Endorse alleged child molester

    So much winning, and it’s only Monday
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    If we can make our base — the poor, unemployed people in rural America — to cheer Wall Street hitting record highs, we sure as hell can make Alabama elect a pedophile to the Senate.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Today we have decided to claim that the President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer.

    I feel so bad for Nixon who resigned for nothing
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Priority list:

    1. BUT HER EMAILS
    2. Attack FBI
    3. Attack Bob Mueller
    4. Attack media
    5. Attack Justice Department
    6. Cut own and friends’ taxes
    7. Golf
    .
    .
    812. Prevent nuclear holocaust
    .
    .
    1733. Repair Puerto Rico power grid
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Day 316

    Wall length: 0
    Flipped advisors: 1
    Guilty pleas: 2
    Direct messages to WikiLeaks: 3
    Approval rating: 33%
    Communications with Russians: 51
    Golf trips: 78
    Lies: 1700
    Tweets: 2210
    Golf cart rental cost: $150,000
    Tax plan deficit: $1,400,000,000,000

    Numbers show the winning
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Friday: find out your former National Security Advisor has offered a guilty plea

    Saturday: accidentally admit to obstruction of justice while tweeting on the toilet

    Weekend going great
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Our tax bill has very low public support, but that will change once people realize that it includes a tax break for private jet owners.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Passing the tax reform bill was a big victory. It opens up the possibility of enriching big corporations while eliminating poverty and sickness by killing off the sick and the poor.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Because stock market is at an all-time high, economy running at 3% of GDP, housing starts up 14%, consumer confidence at 17-year high and unemployment at 17-year low, we MUST pass a deficit-financed tax cut bill and strip ACA to give more to big corporations and to the top 1%.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Privately pressing officials to end investigation into your actions is a well-known sign of innocence.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Nov 30

    1) Raise taxes for the poor
    2) Gut net neutrality to silence them
    3) Scrap healthcare subsidies
    4) Laugh in gold-plated penthouse

    Winning
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    It is a well-established fact that the best time to replace the Secretary of State is when you’re a tweet away from nuclear war.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Day 313

    Insult: everybody
    Missiles: North Korean
    War: nearing
    Investigation: widening
    Tweets: out of control
    Her: emails
    Sex scandals: getting closer
    Title: Colonel Covfefe of Nambia
    Unfolding: panic
    Prison: federal
    Indictments: soon
    Diagnosis: dotardism

    Almost tired of winning
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    – Accuse Joe Scarborough of murder
    – Tweet racist fake news
    – Attack Matt Lauer
    – Hold a rally to lie about taxes
    – Insult Kim Jong-un
    – Attack British PM
    – Blame “Deep State”
    – Suggest firing people for “fake news”
    – Blame Democrats
    – Call for boycott of CNN

    Very busy Wednesday
    29 replies 291 retweets 762 likes
    Reply 29 Retweet 291 Like 762 Direct message
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    CNN is fake news
    Climate change is fake
    Obama’s birth certificate is fake
    Access Hollywood tape is fake
    Three million illegals voted
    Biggest inauguration crowd ever
    Time Magazine called
    There will be a wall
    We will drain the swamp
    Your taxes will be cut
    Won’t have time to golf
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Retweeting unverified anti-Muslim videos from far-right groups is the fastest way of gaining international respect and admiration among our allies.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    I understand that the threat of being turned into radioactive dust worries you. We will take care of North Korea, but right now we must concentrate on Obama’s birth certificate and Hillary’s emails.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    We have concluded that the best way to respond to North Korea’s missile launch is to talk about Hillary Clinton’s emails.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Our attempt to stop Rocket Man by golfing frequently appears not to have worked.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Forcing Native American WWII veterans to listen to your “Pocahontas” insults while you stand in front of an Andrew “Indian Killer” Jackson portrait is one of the key elements of making America great again.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    To-do list

    • Divide society
    • Suppress minorities
    • Cut taxes for the top 1%
    • Destroy healthcare
    • Speed up climate change
    • Kill net neutrality rules
    • Support pedophiles
    • Question First Amendment
    • Attack media freedom
    • Weaken consumer protections

    So much winning
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    • Endorse a child molester
    • Golf

    Busy Sunday at Mar-a-Lago
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Lying:

    Jessica Drake
    Summer Zervos
    Rachel Crooks
    Temple Taggart
    Jill Harth
    Natasha Stoynoff
    Jessica Leeds
    Cathy Heller
    Kristin Anderson
    Ninni Laaksonen
    Mindy McGillivray
    Karena Virginia
    Leigh Corfman
    Beverly Young Nelson
    Tina Johnson

    Not lying:

    Roy Moore
    Vladimir Putin
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Day 306

    Walls: 0
    Golf trips: 74
    Biggest problem: LaVar
    Head of Charts: Hannity
    Laundry operations: Panama
    Advisors: grounded
    Ankle bracelets: electronic
    Sponsor: Keurig
    IT support: WikiLeaks
    Slogan: 14 is the new 30
    Full title: Commander Covfefe of Nambia

    The winning never ends
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    White supremacists ✔
    Neo-Nazis ✔
    Child molesters ✔

    In 2018 the plan is to embrace drug traffickers and serial killers.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    We will sort out North Korea and help Puerto Rico, but first we must tackle the really important issues facing America today: kneeling NFL players and LaVar Ball’s ungratefulness.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Please take moment to think about all the millionaires and billionaires who already have so much that our tax cut will not make them any happier. So sad.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    If we have to endorse a child molester in order to take away healthcare from the poor and to secure a tax cut for the top 0.1%, so be it.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Exactly 50 days ago a gunman opened fire on concertgoers in Las Vegas, killing 58 and injuring 546. We have been very busy in doing nothing to prevent something like that from ever happening again.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    – Did you call the Russians?
    – No
    – Here are the phone records
    – Oh THOSE calls
    – Did you meet with Russians?
    – No
    – Here are the participants
    – Oh THAT meeting
    – Did you speak with WikiLeaks?
    – No
    – Here are the messages
    – Oh THAT WikiLeaks

    We are onto a winning strategy here.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Let me explain you our tax plan, it is very simple:

    Those who are poor or terminally ill will pay more. Those who have private jets will pay less.

    Have a nice weekend.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Jared Kushner? Barely remember him, a low-level volunteer staffer. I think he was just the coffee boy.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Day 300

    Build wall ✖
    Drain swamp ✖
    Release tax returns ✖
    Repeal Obamacare ✖
    Lock her up ✖
    Rebuild infrastructure ✖
    Defund sanctuary cities ✖
    Label China a currency manipulator ✖
    Never take a vacation as president ✖
    Lift ban on elephant hunt trophies ✔

    Keeping promises
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    URGENT: MISSING PERSON

    • Name: Jefferson Sessions III
    • Height: 5’2″
    • Weight: 125 lbs
    • Age: 70
    • Eyes: blue
    • Hair: white
    • Race: master
    • Usually wears a suit or a robe
    • Suffers from memory loss
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    – No connection to Russia
    – OK the ambassador called
    – OK we met the ambassador
    – OK there were some emails
    – OK one of us visited Russia
    – OK we met a Russian lawyer
    – OK here are the Wikileaks messages

    So. Much. Winning.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Sending unencrypted direct messages from your personal Twitter account is the safest way of secretly colluding with foreign governments.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Day 295

    FBI: lying
    CIA: lying
    NSA: lying
    Comey: lying
    Clapper: lying
    Hillary: lying
    Obama: lying
    Bush Jr: lying
    Bush Sr: lying
    Papadopoulos: lying
    Media: lying
    Democrats: lying
    Corker: lying
    McCain: lying
    Puerto Rico: lying
    Gold Star widow: lying
    Putin: not lying

    Winning
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    On second thought, maybe our plan of distracting from the child sex issue by defending Putin and attacking our own intelligence agencies on Veterans Day was a bad idea.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Putin did not meddle in our elections. Honest guy. Our intelligence agencies lie. Happy Veterans Day.

    P.S. Bone spurs not bothering anymore.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Mueller must end the Russia investigation because Putin said he did not do it and the accusations make him sad.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Listen up, @seanhannity. Bring back the Pizzagate. Say all Roy Moore’s accusers and witnesses are lying but Democrats are running a child sex ring in the basement of a pizza place with no basement. Your audience will believe it.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      When Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and KKK took over the government DJIA was at 19,792.53 points … this very minute it is at an all time high of 24,614.99 the steepest climb ever in one year by a president. Since Wall Street traders are predominantly jews, therefore, Jews are rooting for Trump?

      Trump entertainment and hospitality enterprises are still sought after venue for golf, live-work-and-play apartments and fine dining from New Jersey all the way south to Mar-a-lago in Florida. Considering Trump voters are poor and in the boondocks it appears the anti-Trump silent Democrats must be patronizing Trump businesses. They are not boycotting Trump after all !!!

      That is why I hate politics. They say and do the opposite.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      Despite my derision of Donald Trump … (I am not saying I am all for crooked Hillary I was rooting for Bernie …)

      I am in favor of anti-immigration. Just because this country is an immigrant country they made this an excuse that they have a right to come to the U.S. A goat herder in the Kalahari is entitled to go to America because America is the land of immigrant. I do not buy that.

      Here is my idea of immigration reform:
      1. Accept only the brightest and the wealthiest. We have the right because we own this country. It should not be dictated by Nomads in Timbuktu
      2. All illegal immigrants should be rounded up and help build that wall before they are being deported. They have to pay for their sins.
      3. DACA should be rescinded to teach others we mean business … this give them shivers in their timber
      4. Do not remove Emma Lazarus poem it should sit there so our children can connect with our past

      Health
      1. Health should be a privilege not entitlement. They should earn it. Because you and I paid for it.
      2. Social Security Medicaid should be run like a humongous HMO, of course, that covers pre-existing conditions
      3. Americans should be allowed to smoke again so they die young. Maintaining old people is not worth it. In the long run they are expensive to keep alive.

      Military
      1. Stop the nukes
      2. Stop developing arms
      3. Stop America as world policeman

      Justice
      1. Justice should be met out like it is done in their home country. Example: If a Filipino-American commits injustice in America they will be sent to prison based on typewritten affidavits by witnesses
      2. If a Muslim commits excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures they will be stoned to death just like in Muslim countries
      3. American justices is for Americans who have integrated and assimilated only.

      WOULDN’T AMERICA BE WONDERFUL?

      • JohnD says:

        Your solution is self-conflicting. The most valuable immigrant is the one who has nothing but a dream. They will work their ass off to get what they want. The wealthy immigrant will have less drive. Just trace any great company and most of them came from poor immigrants.
        Did you also consider that the bulk of group immigration are from countries in which the U.S. entered their door first either in war or business. When you go to another country and open the door for business, they will come in. If you don’t want immigrants, don’t open their door. Sadly, that does not work either. Japan tried to close itself and look who barged in.

        I believe the health problem in the US is more rooted in the food that is allowed. The top 10 countries where heart disease is a major cause are mostly in the western countries, not one from Asia. Diabetes is spreading around the world coinciding with western style progress. We spend billions if not trillions bandaging the wound but not looking at the cause. That’s where true health reform should be.

        Military – no point in discussing that. Human beings are predatory animals and thrive on tactical advantage. It would be easier to just make everyone smoke marijuana.

        Justice – You cannot possibly think that American justice even just for those who have assimilated fully is actually effective in deterring crime. It becomes even less effective when it is blatantly meted unevenly. If your definition of justice is satisfying a loathing then you are on track. But if the objective of justice is a safer society, your solution will make it even more unsafe.

        • “Here is my idea of immigration reform:
          1. Accept only the brightest and the wealthiest.”

          I agree with this, though “wealthiest” would not be my criteria, i’d call for only the best and brightest , no more lottery immigration, no more family immigration (kids , yes but max the age at 14, not older , let them do high school here).

          Brightest: you can prove thru academic and/or corporate credentials

          Best: for anything outside school/work , for artists, creative types, etc. prove this thru contacts and portfolio.

          As for “wealthiest” we don’t need more rich a’holes in America, we need people who can work. not purchase solid gold toilets, or toilet paper.

          • So I’d guess you and John D don’t give to charaties and believe a nation should climb high on the bodies of the disenfranchised.

            • JohnD: “The most valuable immigrant is the one who has nothing but a dream. They will work their ass off to get what they want.”

              JohnD , I think is like you Joe a bleeding heart; dreams are like assholes, everybody’s got one, show me effort and talent, and you can immigrate here (which is Trump’s policy).

              me and SB (along with Bill of Oz) are anti-Open door for everyone as immigration policy. As for charities, I give blood to Red Cross regularly, but don’t give money to panhandlers as a rule (though I’ve given to kids in 3rd worlds, and talented folks on the streets, from street performers to homeless holding funny and/or cardboard signs).

              If I had lots of money I’d be an angel investor to folks with business ideas that coincide with John Muirs environmental principles, nutritious food/clean water without costing the environment.

              I do scour sites like Kickstarter and Gofundme for interesting ideas, i’ve given to some (like this one in particular: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cheapassgames/tak-a-beautiful-game ). I support great ideas and hard work, but not hand-outs for hand-outs sake, like black people using their food stamps (now in the form of EBT cards, like debit cards) to purchase cigarettes and alcohol.


              For example, I’d definitely give 50 cents to a dollar to this guy for taking the time to write something funny. That shows effort.

              • funny and/or *thought provoking cardboard signs…

              • Good to know. Do you believe other nations should drive the escaping Rohingya back to Myanmar?

              • chemrock says:

                Lance
                There are many Filipinos here who know what they want and they work their ass off to get what they want, by climbing over others and disregarding laws, bending rules, by sucking up to the powers that be so that they can disregard laws and bend rules better.

              • chemp,

                My issue is simply with family freebie immigration, just because you’re related to the initial immigrant who’s here (who came say thru work visa, now citizen) shouldn’t automatically grant you immigration status, this clause is for family unity but been abused to include extended family (now for immediate family as i’ve said cut off should be 14 years, to allow proper acculturation period, ie. thru high school); and then theres this immigration lottery system, do away with that, that’s like playing Russian roulette, why do that when we can have a first rate draft… work on immigration that focus on talent for the nation, best & brightest.

                Bill of Oz’s description of Australian immigration policies I like, I believe also Singaporean immigration doesn’t attempt to save the whole world, chemp, Singapore would sink!

                Joe,

                Are you talking about refugees? Refugees from wars we’ve directly caused, then yeah there’s an obligation (but there’s gotta be some balance, ie. don’t get move everyone here forchrissakes!), that’s why I’m with Trump re getting into wars… DON’T! (Bernie too is of the same vein, isn’t a warmonger, same with Rand Paul no more world police/saviour). But the Rohingya is a regional issue, India and Bangladesh should take point, I don’t think the Rohingya should immigrate en masse here, just because Aung San Suu Kyee wants them out. Sure the DoS and USAID can help out a bit alleviate, U.N. too,

                but in the end, we cannot save the whole world , Joe.

              • Nor should we let the world suffer while we grow fat and happy. Compassion ought to be a part of the American national ethic, I think. I really dislike the America First attitude. It is a horrible ‘let them eat cake’ statement to the rest of the world.

              • JohnD says:

                As a late starter, I dont believe you can judge the capacity of a person at any point until after they have proven themselves. I love stories when successful people talk about how they were refused at Stanford or Harvard. Or when people like George Lucas talk about so many studios not caring much about his Star Wars script. Or when Steve Ballmer mocked the over priced iPhone. So, choosing immigrants by pre-qualifying on their proven know how is like giving preference to chemical engineers and ignoring a medicine man from the Amazon rainforest. Can you imagine the military training their linguists in Arabic but not Farsi? Or ignoring the Filipino tribal people trying to teach them jungle warfare. I am sorry but diversity is the proven means to survival for thousands of years by all species on this planet.

                I do have one beef with U.S. immigration policies and that is to use the lure of immigration to gain military objectives. And its been going on since WWII ever since they recruited what were once our enemies rocket experts. After Vietnam, they flew entire Hmong villagers because they helped us. We staged the immigration of Kurds in Guam before being resettled in the U.S. You can now guess why there are a lot of former USSR nationals in the U.S. Immigration should be slow assimilation. Massive influxes in a short period creates conflicts and translates to non-assimilated immigrants finding their way into the political arena. I used the term “assimilate” to mean that they have accepted the U.S. as their home and not an extension of their homeland. It takes at least 1 or 2 generations to that if they came alone. If they come in groups, it will take 2 or 3 generations to assimilate.

              • “I do have one beef with U.S. immigration policies and that is to use the lure of immigration to gain military objectives.”

                This one policy I agree with. If foreign nationals helped us, risked their lives for us, for American interests (or simply because their interests coincided with us) , if our military and diplomats (and others) vouch for them, then by all means bring ’em over (families to tribes, not whole nations).

                For example, why aren’t we prioritizing Christian Arabs?

                As for Operation Paperclip , that’s pure talent acquisition, if it’s innovation the US can gain, hell yeah , bring ’em in too.

                “So, choosing immigrants by pre-qualifying on their proven know how is like giving preference to chemical engineers and ignoring a medicine man from the Amazon rainforest. “

                That’s why I said best & brightest, we should account for talent not in corporate or academia, if that medicine man has a great idea or the last of the Mohicans of great medicine men, then he’d be a special talent case (which there is already a visa category for , https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/o-1-visa-individuals-extraordinary-ability-or-achievement )

              • “Nor should we let the world suffer while we grow fat and happy. “

                It’s not about getting fat and happy anymore, Joe. Empire building is about getting fat and happy, globalization is fat and happy… Now it’s circle the wagons time. We can bring the 3rd world to us, or we can keep it at bay.

                that’s what time it is… sure when prosperity and plentitude comes back, maybe we’ll have the luxury of compassion. But as I see it, things are gonna get worst first.

              • I’d feel sympathy but not when the nation elects climate change deniers and staffs up with white supremacists. It seems like the white rich folk are circling the wagons and saying ‘screw you’ to the rest. Gonna sure get bad for a lot of people, I agree on that.

              • Joe,

                You’re characterizing those who voted Trump into office rather narrowly, yes bigots and climate change deniers also voted him in, but how many of the Bannon type voters actually did IMHO was showcased in the recent Virginia and Alabama votes, they are fringe.

                No study has been done, but I still hold that many who voted for Trump were simply voting to throw a wrench in the whole system, to show the 1%’ers that the people can still shake things up (like I said between Bernie & Trump, I would’ve voted for Bernie— and I gotta feeling most in the Rust Belt had the same calculus).

                And before the election I told you, I win either way. Executive power gets diminished (now everyone’s clamoring for the Legislative branch to act); state rights goes up (Gov. Brown is making national rounds, behind the Presidents back).

                Like JohnD below said, the homeless encampments are now a problem, I’m sure in your recent visit to California you would’ve seen , small town collapse, especially up and down the I-5 corridor. When I say circle the wagons, I don’t mean the rich circle the wagons, I’m talking about me and the rest of not rich folks, wanting some solution to all this economic downturn (now causing literal fires in California).

                We don’t have the luxury to play world police and rescue everyone in the world anymore, Joe.

                Look at Europe’s intake of refugees, its a failure; we need immigration policies that ‘s more similar to Australias, keep ’em at bay (and handpick those who come in). I have compassion for other Americans, those already here; but compassion for everyone else—- that’s a classic survival dilemma, Joe, do you save others at the cost of your own survival?

                So there’s a limit to your compassion, Joe.

              • I think my limit is not nearly as confined as yours.

            • JohnD says:

              I am not sure where I said anything about charities, but weirdly enough, I dont give to charities because most of them are just businesses that thrive on processing your payments. I would prefer to pay higher local taxes to help fund low income housing and similar initiatives. It would also be long term and included in total community planning. I dont understand how a nation can benefit from a disenfranchised. The math will never add up if you continue to fleece the “disenfranchised”. It is only beneficial to pull them out of their handicap.

              • There are two perspectives on life and nationhood. One is that it is win/lose (America First, or me first), and the other is one of consideration, respect, and sometimes compassion. I prefer the latter.

              • JohnD says:

                Joe, I don’t believe that is how “number crunchers” choose the options recommended to decision makers in building a nation. There is no me first or compassion. Choosing to make food stamps exist or not exist is most likely based on budgetary constraints. Even I dont believe the idea began with compassion more than an understanding of history and the implications of ignoring the disenfranchised. Assuming some of the rumours are true that the homeless are partly to blame for the recent Southern California fires who were trying to keep warm, any future remedy to their plight will not be based on compassion but on the economic ramifications of not solving the problem.

                If we choose charity and sympathy in this example, it would be temporary, inconsistent and subject to changing sentiments. If we choose nation/me first, it would be like the Age of Enlightenment never existed.

              • Yes, I see that point, thanks. Yet human rights are a kind of charity from bigots once they learn to set biases aside and stop discriminating. The US social movements of the 60’s and 70’s were profound in reshaping laws and figuring out how to reasonably rectify past wrongs (affirmative action). They paved the way for medical marijuana. These changes were not driven by economic pragmatism, but by the noise of people wanting something more compassionate.

              • JohnD says:

                Agreed. The germ of our advancement is compassion.

              • “Even I dont believe the idea began with compassion more than an understanding of history and the implications of ignoring the disenfranchised.”

                Yeah, but when you see people use EBT cards (food stamp pre-paid debit cards) in liquor stores for alcohol, stogies, cigarettes, etc. and the guy/gal who swiped it goes into an Escalade, you know another lesson in history was over-looked, JohnD, that you can’t save people with free stuff.

                Again there are limits to compassion, a big difference between altruistic helping of another and being a blind chump, both foodstamps & carried interest loophole type bs, same-same…

              • JohnD says:

                I don’t dispute that social welfare systems are abused. But every system is abused. It does not matter if you change it to a brand new one, it will also be abused. And if you abolish it, there will also be a consequence. And there is nothing more dangerous than someone who has nothing to lose and no one will help. Instead of focusing on abolishing it, just fix it a little at a time.

                I could just as easily get on a soapbox and say the U.S. military is unfairly giving retirement to a paper pusher military person who never saw action but after only 20 years, gets half his salary for the rest of their lives plus extremely generous health care discount. You can argue that they can be called to combat at any time, true, so can the reserves and guards but they have to accumulate points which typically equalizes them to civilian retirement.

                My point is that no system is perfect, but abolishing and or looking for replacements all the time is no longer feasible. The volume of people involved in any national decision impacts millions. There will be positive, negative and abuse. We have a system in place, just fix one element at a time.

                Your example of seeing someone using their welfare card and jumping into an Escalade is a common situation. Typically, one partner is on welfare and the other is working a regular job but they purposely do not get married because they would lose their welfare allowance. And the mother being a single parent would get other benefits. Abolishing seems like the easy answer but all you will do is increase the homeless along the I5-corridor.

                (please don’t take offense to the military example, I am a military brat as well as former military. I know you need a consistent policy in the military to be effective but for our conversation, it has parallels in perception)

              • JohnD,

                Yeah I can see that. I’m actually more forgiving when dealing with blacks, knowing full well their history. They were kidnapped here from West Africa and treated like crap for the 3 centuries they’ve been here, so theyre just getting even… and in my humble opinion we owe ’em a lot , I just don’t thing giving them free stuff is the best way to address their situation, but yeah we owe ’em a lot.

                But same welfare programs but to newly arrived immigrants (family unity, lottery, asylum, refugees, over-staying, etc.) and illegals (these folks are more in the form of free medical care, though same scenario you’ve mentioned above also apply), the easy fix is not to have ’em here in the first place IMHO, tightened immigration to mirror Australia’s. That’s just the U.S. being gullible.

  18. Sabtang Basco says:

    “About 8.9 million Filipino adults remained jobless in the third quarter of 2017, according to a recent survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

    The survey, conducted from September 23 to 27, showed that 18.9 percent of Filipino adults remained jobless, lower by 3.3 percent than the 22.2 percent joblessness rate or 10.5 million jobless adults recorded last June 2017.” – CEBUDAILYNEWS

    Yes, Virginia, in the Philippines they SURVEY jobless numbers because their Statistic Office do not have the numbers.

    SWS fan out from my public Ireland to Muslim Jolo to ask question for their survey: “ARE YOU EMPLOYED?”

    In the U.S. we do not survey. We go to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They know how many are employed for how long and for how much out of many Americans. We based it on witholding taxes submitted by employers. American government can also know unemployment thru Department of Employment Development also known as EDD. This is where Donald Trump voters go to to apply for unemployment benefits and insurance.

    We put all the numbers together and we have the unemployment numbers. WE DO NOT DO SURVEYS asking around if a able bodied American walking down 42nd street is employed or not.

    The Philippine Government should tap the geniuses at Ateneo and laSalle and U.P. I hear they crank out the best students in the Philippines. Unless surveying is the best they can do.

    I did my own surveying in Sabtang by asking around,

    SB: “Did SWS surveyed you if you are employed or not?”
    Answer: “What is SWS?”

    Obviously SWS did not survey them.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      additionally, using reverse-mathematics
      x18.9%=8.9M where x = able bodied Filipinos
      8.9M/18.9% = x
      X = 47,089,947 able bodied Filipinos

      47,089,947/110,000,000 Filipinos = 42.8% of the population in the Philippines are able bodied

      In year 2000 there were 78.0m Filipinos
      In year 2017 there are 110.0m Filipinos

      2017 – 2000 = 17 years
      110m – 78.0 = 32,000,000 Filipinos equal to or under 17 years old

      Add:
      32,000,000 equal to or under 17 years old
      47,000,000 able bodied Filipinos
      EQUALS TO 79,000,000 Filipinos

      If 79,000,000 Filipinos are deducted from over all population of 110,000,000 i get 31,000,000 who are neither able bodied and 17 years or younger.

      Is it safe to say 31,000,000 Filipinos are either old and not able? That is a lot of Filipinos !!!

      Ooops! I forgot that 10% of Able Bodied Filipinos are abroad trolling for jobs that nobody wanted. That is around 11.0 M Filipinos abroad.

      So, actually what is left is 20,000,000 Filipinos old or unable to work. That is still a lot of Filipinos !

      My calculation is quick-and-dirty. Sure do make sense than SWS.

      • Sabtang Basco says:

        CORRECTION: 31,000,000 are not able bodied. That is a lot of not able bodied. Probably senior retired citizens?

        • karlgarcia says:

          There is a long thtead up there that mentioned charity and welfare.
          Here in Pinas there is 4Ps which some called a dole out.
          Some families put it to good use and let their children finsh school with the little help they get, some waste it away and then complain that it is never enough.

          You mentioned 31 million unable bodies.
          Lots of aerticlesabout SSS or social security here.

          The almost two hundred thousand plus retired military police and a few hundred thousand retired government employees have higher pendions than the retired SSS pensioners.
          The military has the same pension amount as what their active duty with the same rank gets, the GSIS pendioners, contributed more, so they get more.
          What about tye farmers and the fishermen.
          Many attempts of a cooperative for them were initiated, but the road to perdition is paved with good intentions, so the money went to that good intentioned soul and none to the poor.
          Life is a beach!
          There was an article that a few million old poor are not receiving any form of pension or subsidy at all.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Some of the 31 million unabled are having no choice, but to be able.

          https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/173173-social-pension-senior-citizens-work

          Without pension, senior citizens forced to continue working

  19. NHerrera says:

    A MATH ANALOG

    Three aspects and their variations:

    * Two dimensions of health in the mind of a making-do (non-wealthy) Filipino:

    – Democratic health
    – Economic health

    * For each of these, the short-term deterioration is a spectrum or range

    – Drastic and fast
    – Not felt or minor, even felt as improving per SWS survey

    * For each of these, the probable long-term projections are

    – In ICU with prospect of recovery
    – In ICU with no prospect of recovery

    Current events clearly show the deterioration of democratic health, with economic health deterioration normally lagging, or not felt yet — in fact felt as improving in accordance with recent SWS survey.

  20. some thoughts on mankind, exploitation and freedom..

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