Joe America called out for issuing black propaganda!!!

Wilson Lee Flores, from his Twitter profile

Or how Chinese and Russian ‘influencers’ are at work in the Philippines

By JoeAm

This is perhaps the most meaningful blog I’ve done here in the Philippines over 10 years and 1,500 articles penned. It places us at the cutting edge of the new political, social, and moral landscape that will determine how we and our children live for the rest of this century.

What started it

Here’s the tweet that came screaming out at me this past Monday:

Wilson Lee Flores was complaining about the article I did this past Monday that offered my speculation on China’s plan to bring the Philippines into China’s sphere of influence: China’s Plan for the Philippines

As I checked his profile, it seemed reputable.

28,000 followers. Huge popularity compared to my 6,700. Writes for PhilStar. A baker; who can argue with someone who loves pandesal? Teacher; must be knowledge based. Might have a real estate bias or vested interest. Economics background. Obviously smart. Followed by reputable people including Senator Hontiveros.

That first tweet though gives us a hint of things to come. Flores avidly backs President Duterte. He speaks in glowing terms of people and things he likes. He really puts the polish on.

Generally, I don’t get slammed by local notables because people seem to respect this “Joe America” fellow who has a history of climbing into foxholes with Filipinos. Plus they understand that our work here at the blog is not really political. It is based on discovery (knowledge), formation of values, and reason.

I’ll present some excerpts from the tweet dialogue that transpired in a moment. They shed light on the subject of foreign influencers who are at work here in the Philippines. An influencer is a seemingly reputable, well educated peddler of a line of thought . . . generally misinformation . . . and, often, division and undermining of the values we live by. They posture themselves as objective and wise, but are definitely pushing an advocacy.

But first, some framing for the case to be made.

The new morality

The old values that we of democratic background hold precious are fairness, honesty, reason, and earnest work. These values today are being contested and perhaps replaced by the new value of “winning”. The means don’t matter. Fairness, honesty, reason, and earnestness don’t matter. What matters is manipulations, lying, power-mongering, name-calling and other intimidations, propaganda, and even killing if it will get the win.

It is rather an A dog, B dog contest, with B being the sphere of autocratic states led by China and Russia and A being the sphere of the US, Europe, and other democratic states. The Philippines is a state vulnerable to transition and China and Russia are pushing it along from A to B.

Dog B is gnawing on dog A’s hind leg. It looks to me that people like Wilson Lee Flores are doing the chewing. You don’t see “earnest” in his manipulations, you see agenda.

Both China and Russia have a method these days. They have figured out how to take down democracy. Their formula is to create domestic turmoil and break down democratic institutions. They manufacture enemies out of journalists and political opponents. They idealize the worst of leaders, the destructionists. They get as high up the chain of leadership as they can and push their agendas forward through pawns, some of whom have names like Trump and Duterte. And I guess Flores.

In this grand fight for global dominance, we can safely presume that President Duterte is a pawn, not the main player. That requires emphasis. This is bigger than him. President Duterte is a mayor who has spent a lifetime in the power and favor food chain, and he does not mind being the food for China if he and his clan can be the power in the Philippines.

Well, of course these are speculations, they are opinions, they are not conclusive evidence. Maybe I’m totally out to lunch, eh? Well, let’s explore the Flores-JoeAm twitter dialogue a little further and you can decide if my assessment makes sense or not.

Flores vs JoeAm

Here’s how I responded to Fores’ “black propaganda” accusation. I first replied with the note at the bottom. It shows that I was a little put-out by the trollish name-calling and slur against my reputation.

A little later I retweeted his complaint with a question. That’s the top note about fishermen. It referred to breaking news that came up on my twitter feed and seemed perfect as a counterpoint to Flores’ glowing references to the Duterte/China relationship. It got a number of likes within a few hours.

He responded: “I think if true, those are unfortunate incidents caused by territorial disputes, but let us not let wrong incidents sabotage #Philippines‘ bilateral ties w/ our ancient ally & major #trade partner, in same way #Malaysia #Sabah dispute shouldn’t ruin our ties w/ that #Asean ally.”

I made a comment about his idolizing President Duterte and he answered with this tweet, which was less confrontational and with which I could partially agree.

I pointed out that there is a difference between supporting a person and supporting a nation, via its Constitution.

The associations

You may note on re-reading Flores’ first tweet, that he tagged a gentleman by the name of Adam Garrie. Society of Honor contributor Edgar Lores was sharp enough to search him out and found him featured in a Rappler article that said, in part:

“Among these links is an alleged “geopolitical expert” named Adam Garrie, who writes for websites known to spread misleading claims, and who has been quoted extensively in online posts and interviewed by news networks with links to Iran and Russia. [”EXCLUSIVE: Russian disinformation system influences PH social media]

Well, now, that was like the last click of the tumbler in a combination ringing loud and clear as it unlocked. Now Wilson Lee Flores could be linked to an alleged manipulator for the B Dog Russia.

What was also strange was that Flores, with 28,000 followers, was getting no support for his arguments from those followers. Were the bots unplugged, or what? Have his followers all figured it out and muted him? I mean, no likes or retweets whatsoever except for a like from Adam Garrie and retweets from the following two people:

Well, the headline says all that needs to be said about Noel . . . a federalism shill . . . and his description basically confesses his ambition as an influencer (= troll). Plus if you squint to the small type you can see the extolling of Malaysia (pro-strongman leader) consistent with B dog arguments.

Then we had:

Okie dokie. Dislikes the color yellow and retweets a tweet attacking Maria Ressa and another journalist, Jason Kint. Clear B dog positioning to divide along stark political lines and undermine journalists.

So we have here what appears to be a cabal of B dog influencers: Flores, Garrie, Noel, and littleboy. They are not your everyday Marcos trolls. They have followings, are intelligent, have built up credentials as intellectual, even experts . . . but they are pushing an agenda.

The advocacies

“Kindly elaborate, Joe. This is rather interesting stuff.”

Sure. Well, you can go through the twitter feed of the four people yourselves, of course, and you will find plenty of confirmation for my assessment. Here are a couple of recent Flores tweets:

Well, support for the apparently incompetent DFA Secretary Cayetano who refused to stand up for Philippine sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea is bad enough. But he also supports undermining of due process by advocating FOR release of the hotly criticized Narcolist, just before elections.

Break down those democratic institutions and values. Like due process and presumption of innocence.

Then we have this one from my dialogue with him.

Generous to let us criticize President Duterte. . . but what do we have here? The old “Duterte is like Lee Kuan Yew” argument . . . and he’s like Mahathir, too. This fallacious reasoning is used by the most ignorant of trolls and Flores wants us to buy it, too.

And then there is the shine, polish, my God, the polish.

Well, these techniques are fair game for influencers. Name calling, fallacious arguments, poor reasoning, manipulative tweets as with the sycophantic coddling of pawns, division, and undermining of democracy.

The fundamental dog fight

Flores kept pounding his “strongman” argument, completely ignoring my comments about the Constitution and democratic values of due process and civility.

In this exchange we see the A dog (me) and B dog (him) contest perfectly:

Conclusion

My conclusions?

  1. We are being played by agents of China and Russia, some of them wearing nice suits.
  2. President Duterte is only a pawn in this game.
  3. This is not black propaganda. This is a me calling what I see. You are free to disagree, and express your disagreement in the discussion section of the blog.
  4. Philippine democratic values and institutions are under concerted attack.

 

Comments
200 Responses to “Joe America called out for issuing black propaganda!!!”
  1. madlanglupa says:

    I had a Reddit friend who I talked with while having some beers, and at length he mentioned the Crichton novel Rising Sun, and he got himself to read it again because he said the Chinese have taken to adapt the old mercenary practices of big Japanese business and weaponized it for their own advantage. He also added that along with the Mainlanders — the powerful elite variety — throwing their weight around, comes the propaganda people proselytizing the message that the Mainlanders mean no harm, when these people are also present to be given gifts in exchange for their cooperation.

    I bet this Quisling creature watches CCTV and RT a lot.

  2. QuietPoetic says:

    Anti-Duterte opinion is not equal to false Nationalism.

    I, for one, don’t agree with some opinions in this blog – but Lee Flores is just rich with straw man arguments and do not counter the ideas. Is he really a writer? If so, how come he doesn’t know the most basic fallacy? Very reactionary indeed.

  3. John D Dyte says:

    We are indeed living in interesting times. On the one side are peddlers selling progress at any cost and the other is selling opinion as truth. We are the pedestrians in this open market. I think we just need a different rallying cry. I understand and agree with fairness and honesty but it does not get traction. I prefer we rally around survival. A peddler selling me China would have to defend wearing masks in Beijing as a sign of progress. They would need to explain what will happen to Djibouti and Laos when they cannot pay back the debt to China. Will they survive as a people or will they become the low cost sweatshop of Chinese goods? If I disagree will there ever be aTiananmen Rizal park? Going a more moderate route, I would slightly bend towards China, if they can fund and clean up the rivers of Manila and keep it clean so that we can actually see fish that is healthy enough to eat then I might believe they care about the rest of the world.

    • Yes on China-supporters being forthright and problem-solving in attitude. Not sloganeering and dominant. Yes, close association between China and the Philippines could bring progress to the Philippines if done right.

  4. Here is a profile on Adam Garrie from the Washington Examiner, referred to me by a Twitter reader.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/adam-garrie-or-how-russian-propagandists-play-their-game

    “Garrie begins by explaining how the United States is “no longer a democracy,” but instead a kleptocracy. Here we see the Kremlin’s never-ending effort to spread scorn about American political credibility and social stability. In the long term, President Vladimir Putin wants the U.S. to retreat inwards into our own doubts and fears and thus leave the world free for Russian leadership.”
    . . .

    ”It’s all nonsense, of course, but the Russians know all they have to do is persuade one more viewer to become just a little bit more disillusioned.”

  5. Sup says:

    He is Chinese.
    http://wiredstate.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=16312
    Before he was proud to have Colmenares and Quimbo as speakers in a forum.
    Just go where the wind brings him i guess?

  6. Jay N. Ramos says:

    As long as Red China remains a totalitarian state with hegemonic ambitions, Nothing they do will ever be done right — that is, for any country unfortunate enough to be sucked into their orbit. Red China is a pirate state, and their dreams of global supremacy and domination taints all the so-called economic “benefits” that they seek to inflict on other countries. What good is progress if Red China sucks that living daylights out it, and turns it into a vassal state?

  7. karlgarcia says:

    Ok we are not racist, bigots, discriminator, etc.
    We don’t like it when their government is trampling with our sovereignty, her citizens behavibg badly like the one recently deported for abusing a cop, Or those deported for overstayibg their welcome, abd those that woukd not be deported because only they can understand the instruction manual.

    • The whole “black propaganda” charge is a part of the divisive rhetoric, creating good guys and bad guys, rather than citing where I got it wrong in the article and talking about the underlying issues. It is one of the tricks of the trade, to smear those who express counter-ideas, even if they are trying to be constructive.

  8. karlgarcia says:

    Presidents are usually powerless after their term of office. Thanks to Erap and GMA, future pesidents will be assured that their is life after the presidency.
    After being president, Duterte will be mayor again, with Davao populated by Chinese.

  9. Neth says:

    Tried to engage that account “lee”. His response his somewhat in auto mode. My opinion is that account is just a “propaganda account.

  10. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. As suggested, I went through the Twitter feed of Wilson Lee Flores… and I am exhausted. I counted more than 100 tweets in the space of 3 days (March 5, 6, and the early hours of the 7th).

    2. He is all over the place.

    o Countries — Brazil, Canada, Venezuela, Japan, and America
    o Candidates – Ejercito, Angara, Poe, and Manicad
    o Food – bakery, pandesal, brazo de Mercedes, wine
    o Ideas – Train law, racism, porn, civilizational states
    o Miscellaneous – Ash Wednesday, SC, PNP, (Ben) Diokno, Hugpong, electric car, Juana Azurduy, electric car, airports, greatest scientists, most dangerous countries for women, Joe America

    3. As evidence of his leanings, Mr. Flores references Sass Rogando Sasot, Franco Mabanta, Tom McGregor, Hu Xijin, and, as mentioned, Adam Garrie. As a counterbalance, he also references Rabbi David Wolpe.

    4. All of the above would indicate that Mr. Flores is a fox — as opposed to a hedgehog. We may derive that Joe Am is a hedgehog. The Greek poet Archilochus defines the distinction: “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one thing.”

    4.1. The crucial difference, as expressed by CIO Peter B. Nichol, is this: ” Hedgehogs are the experts. Foxes are the amateurs.”

    5. This trope reinforces the framing that Joe Am offers, that of an A dog and B dog contest.

    6. The framing is further extended by the notion of civilizational states as espoused in several of Mr. Flores’ tweets.

    6.1. The notion is established by Martin Jacques in his book “When China Rules the World.”

    6.2. Here is Gideon Rachman on the notion’s essence: “The notion of the civilization-state has distinctly illiberal implications. It implies that attempts to define universal human rights or common democratic standards are wrong-headed, since each civilization needs political institutions that reflect its own unique culture. The idea of a civilization-state is also exclusive. Minority groups and migrants may never fit in because they are not part of the core civilization.”

    6.3. Rachman expands the notion further:

    o ”… the state should be based on familial relations [and] a very different view of the relationship between the individual and society, with the latter regarded as much more important”.

    o ”…the single most distinctive feature of Indian civilization is the Hindu religion – a notion that implicitly relegates Indian Muslims to a second tier of citizenship.”

    o ”We have a faith-based view of the world versus the rational-scientific view.”

    7. In other words, the philosophical view that Mr. Flores adheres to:

    o Is illiberal rather than liberal
    o Is faith-based rather than rational-scientific
    o Denigrates the worth of the individual against the worth of society
    o Promotes amoral familism rather than sacrificial patriotism
    o Promotes ethnocentrism, the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture
    o Advances the value of inequality rather than the value of equality
    o Prioritizes exclusivism over inclusivism

    7.1. This view is clearly against the Judeo-Christian ethic. It goes against the Second Greatest Commandment: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

    7.2. We are witnesses to the great atrocities being committed in the name of Mr. Flores’ illiberal philosophy:

    o The drug war
    o The Sinicization of Tibet (and the Philippines)
    o The brainwashing of the Uighurs
    o The attacks on religion and religious institutions – Buddhism, Islam, Christianity

    8. And Mr. Flores reveals the emptiness of his fox mindset in a reply tweet to Joe Am: ” It is foolish to be anti-USA or anti-China or anti-Russia.”

    8.1. He does not recognize the seminal and diametrical ideas that drive civilizations, whether they are humanistic or not.

    8.2. Neither does he – or Martin Jacques for that matter – acknowledge that the nations of Western Europe and America are civilization-states that have continuity from the legacy of Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions.

    9. It would be interesting for Mr. Flores to respond to this critique.
    *****

  11. Grace Reyes says:

    Hello joe. I don’t personally know Wilson but his sister was a classmate and his mother was my teacher in Chinese language class. Like many Tsinoys, they all seemed to embrace autocrats like Marcos and DU30. With some exceptions like me and some “woke friends” who totally abhor this administration, we want this administration to shape up or ship out.
    They have their reasons I guess, but many cling to such regimes because of their business interests and perhaps the way they were brought up. In some traditional Chinese families, the word of the patriarch is final. There’s no such thing as democratic process. Countering the oldies resulted in a swat in your backside and they call that “DISCIPLINE.”
    My parents were not like that. They allowed me and my siblings to choose our own paths. They allowed me to study in UP for one which was a hotbed for student activism.
    Wilson may have become a respectable citizen, but his allegiance may not be for the Philippines. His position may be attributed to the reminder of our elders not to forget our cultural roots.

  12. Micha says:

    This is rich. Clash of civilization or civilizational collapse?

    East vs. west. Propagandists and apologists on both sides.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    But the Chinese, Russian, American, European, and Filipino plutocrats will just give a hearty laugh.

    • If they laugh, it is because they are winning and you are not. Go figure . . .

      • Micha says:

        Hahahaha…winning at what cost, Joe?

        • Death of everyone on the planet, I suppose. Your view is that I represent the American plutcrats and Wilson Flores the Eastern plutocrats, I guess. The platforms between the two are different, and that is the real argument. One is built on freedom of expression and the freedom to compete, and it is very productive and generates a lot of fall-out, such as poor distribution of wealth and weak response to global warming. The other is built on authoritarianism and obedience and a managed economy which is, in China, at least, very productive but generates a lot of fall-out, such as human rights violations and weak response to global warming.

          The third side, which is your side, are the thinkers who know the correct way to do it but have no skills in the arena of getting it done. We’ll see if Sanders or Ocasio-Cortez can actually capture enough mandate to achieve something. I suppose they are closest to the model that you could support AND they could get something done if they captured the passions of the American public. They are of the Western values mindset and favor free-market productivity but want to address the most serious of the fall-out problems, poor distribution of wealth and global warming.

          It may surprise you that I am in favor of what they are trying to achieve. In this particular article, I am not arguing global warming or wealth distribution, but rather the choice between free, open, earnest expression under the values stated in the Constitution, versus authoritarianism and the manipulations of super-trolls like Flores. Which frame of government do you think is best for the Philippines, if you set the fallout aside (poor wealth distribution and inattention to global warming)?

          • Micha says:

            @Joe

            Nothing comes to light except through the lens of Orwellian class struggle. We’ve seen that story already all through human history. Masters vs slaves, lords vs serfs.

            Th French and American Revolutions sought to do away that tyrannical social arrangement through a new economic system called capitalism. Initially, capitalism holds that promise of democratizing wealth, of bringing into fruition liberté, égalité, fraternité, of recognizing that all men (and women, presumably) have inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

            Somewhere along the way, that promise got broken, the system was perverted, corrupted. The rise of robber barons in the gilded age reduced that promise only to some men, and it never stopped.

            The level of inequality today exceed those at the time of Pharaohs in Egypt; and we know what happened to that once great civilization.

            The rise of a handful super billionaires today makes capitalism the new feudalism – a tyrannical system that favors the very few.

            If we fail to recognize this, we’d be seeing our modern civilization go the way of the Pharaohs.

            • karlgarcia says:

              But does Sanders and Ocasio-Cortes cut it for you?

            • I think it is recognized by a few, or even a lot. But solutions have not been articulated that people comprehend as to their benefit. And so hopeful eyes turn toward Rep. Cassio-Cortez who intends to kick the problem in its greedy masculine crotch.

              • Micha says:

                But solutions have not been articulated that people comprehend as to their benefit.

                The only people who couldn’t comprehend the benefits of GND are the global warming deniers and the sociopathic plutocrats.

              • No, the people who understand the benefits of GND have failed to popularize their case by connecting people to the benefits. They have allowed the global warming deniers and sociopathic plutocrats to hold sway over the American agenda. In essence, you and the other right-thinking people are rather like the Liberal Party candidates in the Philippines. You’ve failed to overcome the noise of the self-serving deniers and sociopaths to make a case for better solutions. Stomping through the nasturtiums and railing at the bad guys in hostile, vague terms just doesn’t connect. Not everyone is as smart as you or has your knowledge. As long as you keep shouting at them and calling them names, as if they should have picked it up along the way, you will not get your message through. So you become a part of the failure, just as LP holds itself accountable for talking ideas when the people wanted the tangibility of cursing and jet skis.

              • Micha says:

                Wrong, the GND actually has broad popular support among voters, Democrats and Republicans alike. They understand what’s in it and how crucial it is in light of the environmental/ecological crisis.

                It’s only being opposed mainly by politicians who accept lobbying monies from the oil industry and their sycophants in the Fox News propaganda machine.

              • You know, I might have to concede you are right on this debate, when you state it like that. But it is not just oil money that is opposed, but corporations in general who will end up peeling off some profits to fund green initiatives.

            • QuietPoetic says:

              The level of inequality today exceed those at the time of Pharaohs in Egypt

              Do you have reference for this statement?

  13. Micha says:

    This spat with Will Soon Flourish is a pseudo-spat.

    Joe America and Will Soon Flourish are both propagandists and apologists for competing economic powers with severely broken social and moral systems.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Is there such a thing as white propaganda?

      • “Black propaganda is a form of propaganda which is intended to create the impression that it was created by those it is supposed to discredit. Black propaganda contrasts with grey propaganda which does not identify its source, and white propaganda which does not disguise its origins at all.” Wikipedia

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          So Mr. Flores’ use of the term is inaccurate.

          And perhaps the term is more accurately applied to him — if the true source of his leanings towards Beijing is Beijing.
          *****

        • Flores simply uses the term ‘black propaganda’ as an insult to mean “manipulative and untrue”. If it were truly black propaganda, and was seen as discrediting China, then I would be trying to project that I was Chinese. Haha. Flores’ does offer black propaganda because he creates the impression he is a Filipino patriot while trying to discredit the democracy he is a patriot of.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Then you are closest to white propaganda if it is wrong and unfair, please correct me.

          • I do white propaganda when advocating for democracy, human rights, and civility and ignore that there may be advantages to authoritarianism, abuses of people (water boarding to get information to save lives), and intimidation/incivility. Yes.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Propaganda, almost by definition, is a pejorative term.

            White propaganda does not “disguise its origins at all.”

            To the extent that TSH propagates democratic values, it is engaged in white propaganda.

            But if democratic values were recognized and accepted as “true” universal values, then TSH is not engaged in propaganda at all.

            It will take more time — perhaps many centuries — for democratic values to be so recognized and so accepted.
            *****

            • Propaganda in Spanish has a connotation more similar to public relations.

              As in The “Propaganda Movement’.

            • Nice delineation.

              The problem is that life presents variables that are forever challenging the values. I threw out waterboarding as an example. It may be deemed essential to gain the information needed to protect against terrorism attacks, but it is contrary to human rights values. Both are democratic values, security and human rights. So democracy conflicts with itself, and that leaves it vulnerable to the manipulators because you can’t win on the argument. You can’t resolve it. Only a totalitarian can resolve it. It’s like LCX and me going round the may pole on drones.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                🙂
                *****

              • Joe, I’m still reading the blog and its comments— but if you keep invoking me, I’ll have to respond (whether you post it or not, doesn’t really matter).

                Micha’s brought up black propaganda being the same stuff youre selling yourself, albeit for a different system and philosophy. Karl asked is there white propaganda. Ireneo says it’s all PR in the end. edgar says even junk mail is propaganda— well, given the money businesses pay for their ads and the ad companies actually putting thought to paper, yeah it’s all propaganda.

                Like Ireneo described us years ago, Joe— you’re a preacher, and I’m a cowboy, the third type of American being the businessman (which I agree we both are not, though chempo is that in the blog).

                So that’s propaganda, now for our drone talks, that’s not propaganda, that’s a legit argument.

                Now for sure following Micha’s line of thinking which I tend to agree, you are here (ie. the blog, tweets, etc.) for propaganda purposes; while i’d say I’m here mostly for the arguments (i do enjoy them whenever I can get them).

                Propaganda for me is a value judgment discussion, whether thru ads, campaign, etc. you’re saying my side is best, your side sucks. Us vs. Them. Groups, nations, etc.

                If you notice our drone argument was not that. Drone wars have already begone and now policy (though still suspect); the issue we were arguing over was to the efficacy of said tactics and now policy. I’m still keeping tabs on it (the wider debate on this), but where we left off basically your stance was trust the American gov’t; while mine was don’t trust it too much (based mainly on what I saw out there).

                I’m not saying America sucks and you’re saying back America’s good, we’re both Americans (from California no less), we are simply arguing efficacy. now that, I won’t label as propaganda. Unless there’s like an NRA or group that favors drone strikes, and an opposite ACLU group that wants to end drone wars, now you’d have a

                black/white propaganda scenario, Us vs. Them, you suck ; we don’t. but being that there are really no groups favoring one or the other, our drone argument is just that. See the difference here???

                Propaganda presuppose groups that argue for or against; argument is either prior to said groups forming or after when no body truly cares . Hope that clarifies, Joe. 🙂

              • Thanks, Joe! And let me chase it down with this quote (after all, it wouldn’t be a complete LCpl_X payload without a quote/meme 😉 ).

              • NHerrera says:

                Buhay pa siya. [He is alive.] Cheers to you, Lance.

              • LCX responded, but I am unwilling to go down the ‘dominant LCX’ route again and into new areas of discussion. His earlier post was directly relevant and non-argumentative.

                He does say: “When it comes to Chinese culture, I usually defer to chempo; but all things Tsinoy I usually listen to your take , NH, all 80+ years of it.

                Then he poses questions about Tsinoys and their allegiances which diverts the discussion.

              • NHerrera says:

                Hahaha. Even my take on your bum knee below? 🙂

              • @NH, Well, light and personable is a part of the genuine engagements that characterize the blog. Earnest, real, non-manipulative. LCX refuses to comprehend or agree to my right as editor to define the style of the blog, and the style is not him dominating the discussion and challenging people for the sake of argument. I’m water, he is oil, and it is a water blog. He refuses to moderate his engagements here, the final straw a string of some 14 posts that came in overnight, basically responding to (and challenging) everyone who had made a comment. Sorry, that’s my role. Not his. His is to try to grasp the editorial direction, find a subject and debate it for knowledge rather than winning, and not plaster memes and commentary all over the landscape. Color me Ang, and him Tatad. He is fired.

              • NHerrera says:

                Understood! As I wrote before — in so many words — the Editor has the responsibility and the right to keep the entropy of his blog at a level that does not make the discussion descend to chaos.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Thanks for your valuable insights.

  14. Micha says:

    Putin’s Russia and Xi Jinping’s China and Donald Duck’s America are all kleptocracies.

    Freedom and democracy only for the plutocrats and their sycophants; economic enslavement for everybody else.

  15. NHerrera says:

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    We touched again on the subject of unequal distribution of wealth. In this regard, the thoughts of Yuval Noah Hariri is interesting. In the Chapter on Equality in his book, “21 Lessons for the 21st Century,” he traces the history of inequality from the Stone Age to the present, and outlines his thoughts on the Future.

    He says that the rich are not necessarily more brain-endowed than the peasant in the past and the present [just think of Bongbong Marcos]. But with technological-biological advancement, the rich can now put part of their vast wealth to extending their lives and upgrading their physical and cognitive abilities — which means are not available to the vast majority. Hence vastly increasing inequality.

    He says that by 2100, the richest 1% might not merely have most of the world’s wealth but also most of the world’s beauty, creativity, and health.

    • Aieeee! True. Fastest cars. Best AI. Most food and drink. But it seems to me that playing the game (competing for material gain) comes with being animal, and deciding how not to be weak (unemployed or starving).

      • NHerrera says:

        Recalling your earlier note to edgar: an uber-rich man seeing his son’s fondness for basketball will convince his son to have his genes altered so that he enjoys his sport without a bum knee in later years. 🙂

        • As reckless as my son is prone to be on the court . . . or maybe it is quick and fearless . . . he’ll be lucky to have any functioning joints left by old age.

            • sonny says:

              🙂
              Joints, old age … NH, I wonder how Charlie Badion, he of bicycle-shot fame, ended.

              • NHerrera says:

                Yes, sonny. I have no problem walking; can still do that easily for an hour. I can squat well enough to check something below my car when I hear some unusual sound. If I squat long enough though, getting up is the problem — I have to push up with my hands to stand up. [Don’t let JoeAm know — I have a bum knee too. Hehe.]

              • sonny says:

                Glad to know some springs are still working for you, NH. I’m hoping I got some good DNA from my father’s side. 🙂

  16. Pablo says:

    And so, if nothing else, this trol has succeeded in wasting time from Joe and his crew. 99.9% of the population who SHOULD read this type of explanations switch off after the first paragraph.
    Once upon a time when I was in the army, I was taught how to occupy the enemy using minimal resources while the main attack was being prepared far away from the diversion.
    Looks like this gentlemen is applying this strategy.
    We need to focus on things which are real, not distortions by trols. We can learn from differences in opinions/views. Trols are trying to destroy this effort, let’s steer away from them.

    • Wasn’t a waste of time for me at all. I’m sorry it was for you. The article is being well-read and passed around here in the Philippines. Most cite the clear reading on the issue of the battle underway between democracy and authoritarianism, clearly being waged in the Philippines, for sure. Here’s one ‘review’ on twitter:

      “To all my friends on twitter, you don’t have to like what I say just promise to read this piece by our brother @societyofhonor for the next 24 hours and believe me, in doing so, you are defending democracy and protecting your country more than you can imagine!”

      The article is basically restating what you said should be done in your last paragraph, essentially. Warning people and explaining why.

  17. DANY says:

    Well propaganda huh.. How much for this blog? I just heard china made a unique form of army, social media troll army. Army to troll, deceive people and make funny about US & NATO,, “CHINA 50 CENT BRIGADE”

  18. Tambay says:

    China’s head start in cyberwarfare leaves the US and others playing catch-up

    Paragraph below perfectly describes what is happening to the Philippines right now.

    “It proposes ignoring traditional rules of conflict and advocates such tactics as manipulating foreign media, flooding enemy countries with drugs, controlling the markets for natural resources, joining international bodies so as to be in a position to bend them to one’s will, and engaging in cyberwarfare.”

  19. Oh, my!! Wilson Flores holds President Duterte up as cut of the same cloth as Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Meanwhile, Mahathir warned Duterte about Chinese trouble-makers . . . haha . . . such as Flores, I presume.

    https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/03/08/19/malaysian-pm-warns-philippines-against-foreigner-influx

    • NHerrera says:

      Will Wilson Lee Flores acknowledge your note with a Touche’? 🙂

      Your note is a foreign-affairs matter. In this regard I note WLF’s praises for Alan Cayetano, but not the current DFA Sec Locsin. Probably uncharitable of me, but I believe to the Chinese eyes the former is the more Chinese-pliable than the latter.

  20. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    THIS ENGINEER’S FASCINATION WITH THE TECHNICAL

    Singapore, according to news report, is acquiring some ten F-35 stealth fighter planes from the US. Aside from stealth, the F-35 is reputed to have many such whistles desirable with a stealth fighter plane. One is the easy interconnectivity with other such planes from other countries. The US [from the mainland, Guam and Flat Tops], Japan, South Korea and Australia and now Singapore will have these planes acting as one team — if these countries so desire, to counter China.

    Of course, it is not far fetched for China to have such F-35 capable plane in the future [hastened by cyber and human spying?]. But the interconnectivity part? Will China have their version used by their client countries and so operate their version with China, the way US F-35 planes are supposed to do? To my mind, the interconnectivity part must have been tested with F-35 planes from US, Japan, Australia and South Korea. Proven effectiveness is key.

  21. Sup says:

    About a black propagandist.. 🙂
    ha……….hahahahahhahaha

    https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/687264/manila-times-chairman-denies-tatad-fired-because-of-duterte-s-order/story/?just_in

    The chairman emeritus of The Manila Times on Friday denied that President Rodrigo Duterte had a hand in the newspaper’s decision to remove former Senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad from the newspaper’s roster of columnists.

    In his editorial, Dr. Dante Ang said Tatad was lying, noting that neither Duterte nor any of the President’s advisers had reached to him about the erstwhile lawmaker
    “Erstwhile columnist Mr. Francisco S. Tatad lied when he said he was fired from The Manila Times upon instructions from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. I swear on the graves of my parents that no such thing ever happened,” Ang said.

    “I challenge Mr. Tatad that we both undergo a lie detector test anywhere, anytime as he pleases to determine once and for all who between the two of us is lying on this matter,” he added.

    Tatad earlier claimed that Duterte could have been behind Ang’s order, saying that Duterte wants him silenced after his write-ups about the President’s health.

    Ang claimed that Tatad had gone “ballistic” after his last column for the local newspaper was not published. He emphasized that an editor would never publish an article from one of his columnists that contains “lies, innuendos and malice.”

    “Does Mr. Tatad honestly think I will give him space in my paper for his egregious, baseless, malicious article that assaults my competence and integrity, and pay him for it?” Ang asked

  22. Andres 2018. says:

    To me, JoeAm is a propagandist, not a black propagandist. He identifies himself as an American and is bias towards Western political values of capitalism, democracy, individual freedom and liberty, etc. On the other hand, Wilson Lee Flores is also the same as JoeAm, a propagandist for China. I believe with his middle name “Lee” and his chinese-looking-picture he is indeed of some Chinese descent.

    The arguments of both, JoeAm and Flores, boil down to the ideology they are propagating. Looking at it, when JoeAm brought the “argument of the constitution” he is in the higher ground. Why? Simply because the Philippine Constitution adheres to the Western ideology. And Flores could not counter that, other than going out of the grasp of the constitution and find some other basis like the qualities of leaders. Wonder why PRRD said that the Constitution is a piece of paper? Yes it is, to PRRD and other people who thinks not like the west, the Constitution is a piece of paper as it was framed base on western ideology.

    So which is better, West or East? Well its a big argument and i will leave it to everybody, each of their own. As for me, i am east-leaning. By nature the Filipino culture is of the east, so we should be east, and thats a simple reasoning. Yes, i am looking into the dominant yet dormant cultures like tribalism and respect of power. However, given history, the American occupation, we were ingrained with values foreign to ours. And we are like water lilies planted in a pot of loam soil.

    • You may be surprised to understand that I agree with you in principle, and had China continued her modernization with respect for other nations rather than envy or anger or whatever drives the need to dominate, I would be an enthusiastic supporter of China/Philippine partnership. But I struggle with the oppressive monitoring and treatment of citizens as things rather than people in China (and the Philippines), and the lack of moral grounding that permits fair dealing and trust to emerge. It makes a lot more sense for the Philippines to be deeply attached to Asian and China than the US or Europe. But I think oppression and manipulations are ultimately unproductive. They are unfair. They are cruel. So I struggle with rationalizing the joining with a partner who cannot be trusted.

    • John D Dyte says:

      Andres, I do like the way you framed your response in terms of east vs west. You clearly stated the basic principle of the West. May I ask what is the basic principle of the East? However, lets not get into the systems of each side that get abused and causes us all pain. Just for conversation, what is the eastern philosophy for the well being of its citizens?

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      “By nature the Filipino culture is of the east, so we should be east…”

      Actually, the Philippines is at the crossroads of East and West.

      o The original culture in pre-Hispanic times was Malay and Islamic.
      o Spain united the country and brought in Christianity which is now the predominant religion.
      o America introduced democracy and the separation of powers, and the institutions of government follow the American presidential system.

      Philippine culture is a unique blend of Eastern and Western influences.

      o The social structure is Eastern. It is collectivistic and family-oriented.
      o The religious structure is Western. Both Islam and Christianity are Abrahamic religions.
      o The political structure is Western.
      o Other aspects of the culture — such as language, entertainment, and technology — are arguably Western.

      Therefore, the choice between East and West is a choice, not of geography, but of values.

      As previously analyzed, the choice is between illiberalism (East) and liberalism (West).
      *****

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        To put it starkly, the choice is between the Rule of Law and the Rule of Power.

        As previously defined, the Rule of Power is “we can do whatever we like, whenever we like.”
        *****

        • I have tried to understand why East Asia and the West especially Europe/USA evolved differently, and in the West I think it was because human authority was always challenged:

          1) Moses challenged the God-King, the Pharaoh, and then later replaced human capriciousness with the Ten Commandments -> even Kings had to follow a higher authority. This challenge was again raised by the Christians towards the Roman Emperors.

          2) No one King had all the power in the European Middle Ages. The Pope was the arbiter with little wordly but a lot of spiritual/moral power. He was the forerunner of today’s United Nations.

          3) Several challenges were made to the authority of the Church and Kings as well, establishing a certain primacy of science and thinking. Humanistic thinking is what remained of Church doctrine, mixing with democratic thinking to become what we think of as Western values.

          Now let us look at how it played elsewhere:

          A) China had one practically all-powerful Emperor – until the early 20th century, though the last Emperor was but a shadow of before. Philosophers and thinkers yes, but none questioned the assumed universal order. Science and thinking were imported via Communism. Humanistic thinking (what Nietzsche called “Christian slave morals”, indeed the Jews were fleeing slaves of Egypt in the beginning, and the first Christians in Rome were slaves who found the idea of being equal in principle to everyone else attractive) is alien to Chinese thinking. Democracy as well.

          B) In the Islamic and Orthodox worlds, there was not as strict a separation between religion and power as in the Western European world. Islam had the Caliph (a mixture of Pope and Emperor) and Sultans (who have functions similar to both Kings and Bishops) – but also scientists. The idea is everyone is subject to God as the highest authority. Muslims say man is but slave to God (Abd’allah) while the Orthodox do not have the scholarly tradition that Catholic monks rescued from the ancient world. But morality makes both more paternalistic, not pure Rule of Power.

          China has now mastered a lot of Western technology, but without the humanistic brakes to it. Plus there is no idea of anyone or anything above the secular emperors that rule China now. Even international law, formed in the West to control its conflicts, is basically rejected by China.

          • But, everything that has a beginning has an end (c) Matrix..

            Try to imagine the end, where everyone has turned into “Agent Smith”, into a Philippines where everybody has become a clone of Bong Go. That kind of stuff must implode eventually.

          • John D Dyte says:

            My lean is that technology in the west combined with literacy disrupted the traditional hierarchy and allowed individuals to acquire wealth sufficient for a collection of wealthy individuals to evolve their societies in a different path. The same thing occurred in Asia but only in the nations where public literacy was initially instilled such as Korea and Japan. The same thing would have happened to China if not for the Communism component. Again my lean is that we are seeing now is the same expansion made by Europeans during the Industrial revolution. It has always been tough for nations/peoples at the intersection. A lot of pressure to pick a side or be true to your nationality. Many societies have disappeared under such weight. But there are also examples of nations completely devoured but the identity of its people survive.

            • I think that ideas – especially ideas people assume that are part of culture – play a gigantic role. Japan and Korea are also Northeast Asian like China, inspite of the Americanized popular culture. Both believe as much in conformity as the Chinese do, only in a more humane way.

              Then of course you have whether you follow PRINCIPLES or PRINCIPALS (c) Edgar Lores. Western countries have a strong guidance around principles because the principals often found themselves less powerful than Popes and a majority of people who believed in rules for all.

              Asian rules are there also, see Japanese emperor and Shinto, or the Thai emperor, but these are traditional rules which modernity is sweeping away. China lost its traditions due to Communism, so what remains there is just POWER. There is more of the old tradition still alive on Taiwan

              Russia also became a bit of a wasteland due to Communism, but the traditional Christian and paternalistic mindset never died completely there. How it develops after Putin will be interesting. Will it still be so much in favor of China, which is anti-religion? Russia taught China a lot of stuff.

              Southeast Asia has a mixed heritage – early Indian influence, later Muslim influence, then the Western colonial powers and a bit of China, also due to migrants that settled DUE to colonialism. China might of course be tempted to Sinicize at least the Philippines, Cambodia it is also trying.

  23. sonny says:

    “The Philippines is a superb achievement by China.”

    If geo-politics were like the game of chess then there is hope that even as a pawn with very limited prowess, the Philippines with a little help from her friends can gain stature as a queen on the board.

  24. Micha says:

    OT

    It seems like the neocon war freak thugs are improvising on how to regime change Venezuela after their humanitarian aid stunt was exposed and failed. They have now resorted to sabotage a major hydroelectric dam which supplies electricity for much of Venezuela causing 24 hour blackouts ahead of Random Guy-do’s plan to hold a protest rally in the capital city.

    https://www.rt.com/news/453310-venezuela-outage-sabotage-us/

    • ‘Sabotage’ is the loyalist’s label. ‘Operating plan’ is the aggressor’s label. I gather you are pro Maduro.

      • Micha says:

        Joe,

        It’s not about being pro or anti Maduro. Venezuela is a sovereign country. If its people wanted to replace Maduro let them find a way to do it themselves, preferably in a democratic elections.

        The US has no business being actively involved in planning an illegal coup against its democratically elected president.

        • Very good. From Wiki:

          “Surveys between 30 January and 1 February by Meganálisis recorded that 4.1% of Venezuelans recognize Maduro as president, 11.2% were undecided, and 84.6% of respondents recognized Guaidó as interim president. The study of 1,030 Venezuelans was conducted in 16 states and 32 cities.[212]

          In September 2018, Meganalisis polls found that 84.6% of Venezuelans surveyed wanted Maduro and his government to be removed from power.[213]”

          So Venezuelans who want democracy have no right to seek assistance from outside their boundaries to keep that democracy? The parallel would be that Filipinos would have no right to ask the US for assistance if China continued to provoke authoritarian abuses in the Philippines.

          • I would note that you persist in framing the issue as an American issue, and deny the legitimacy of Venezuelans to seek their own destiny because you want them to be able to seek their own destiny . . . but with their hands tied and whilst being abused by a thug. The logic is lost on me.

            • Micha says:

              It is an American issue! Why is Abrams and Pence and Pompeo and Rubio so gung-ho about regime change in Venezuela?

              Would you be okay with a scenario if China actively engage in a coup plot to oust Donald Trump and recognize Nancy Pelosi as interim president?

            • Micha says:

              How is the American intervention in Libya, Iraq, and Syria going so far?

              • Man, you are desperate to win this debate aren’t you? Those cases have their own genesis and the religious and factional frictions in the Middle East are not the same as in Venezuela. Gross argumentative fallacy. Very definitely, democratic nations want a democratic government in Venezuela. And Trump, maybe for the oil, and possibly to stop the flood of refugees from Venezuela trying to get to the US. Most of South America wants Maduro out, a point you are not willing to accept in your excitement to make this is an American program (they have to deal with the instability, Russian engagement, and flood of refugees). And even if it were being driven by the US, that does not make it bad for Venezuelans, Latin America, or Americans. Russia is supporting Maduro, but that is a form of meddling you can accept? You are backing Russia, favoring Venezuelan self determination, denying that the refugee crisis is relevant, all to paint the US as a villain?

                “According to U.N. figures, some 2.3 million Venezuelans — about 7 percent of the population — have left their homeland over the past couple of years. Other estimates place the number at closer to 4 million.”

                Is that a poll you will accept?

                https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/08/23/venezuelas-refugee-exodus-is-biggest-crisis-hemisphere/

              • Micha says:

                You’re not answering my question.

                Would you be okay with a scenario if China actively engage in a coup plot to oust Donald Trump and recognize Nancy Pelosi as interim president?

              • If Americans were living in hyper-inflation, poverty, and chaos and my daughters were living in fear of starvation or being killed for objecting to Trump’s policies, sure, bring Nancy in, with Chinese assistance. See, when you use argumentative fallacies, you get to ridiculous scenarios because the fundamentals in the US are not the same as in Venezuela.

              • Micha says:

                Ah yes, thanks for US sanctions and economic strangulation, thanks for freezing Venezuela’s assets held by Citibank, thanks for sequestering Venezuela’s gold…that sure did help make things better for Venezuelans.

                Please answer the question : Would you be okay with a scenario if China actively engage in a coup plot to oust Donald Trump and recognize Nancy Pelosi as interim president?

              • Answered. Now answer mine, why do most of the world’s democracies, including almost all of Latin America, favor Maduro’s ouster? And how is Russia’s engagement in Venezuela okay, but American engagement is wrong?

                As for sanctions and economic strangulation, again, there is a context for that, and you seem to want to excuse Venezuela from any accountability for the soured relationship. Which puts you on the side of Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Maduro, and Putin. I leave you with them.

              • Micha says:

                Now your democratic pretense is exposed. Trump maybe a horrible president and many of his policies led to the impoverishment of many Americans who also fear for their safety but that is something that should be ironed out by voters in the next elections.

                That you are open for Chinese intervention in the domestic affairs of another country puts to lie your so called adherence to the principles of sovereignty.

              • My democratic ‘pretense’ remains intact. Pelosi vs Trump? Who is better for American democracy? Under the crisis conditions you set up. But I do fear this argument is getting tedious, getting way off the mark, and telling us nothing about the Philippines. You didn’t answer my questions, I would add.

                By the way, what is Russia’s interest in Venezuela? Oil. https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/oil/012919-russia-plans-to-defend-interests-in-venezuela-including-in-oil

                I find that ironically amusing.

              • Micha says:

                To answer your question… the US assembled its neo-liberal allies along with right wing governments in Latin America in its failing attempt for regime change..

                There are 195 countries in the world.

                50 have supposedly joined the US in recognizing Random Guy-do as interim president.

                That leaves 145 countries who are either neutral or recognize Maduro as the legitimate president.

              • Okay, thanks. I answered the Russian question myself, so there you go. Oil. This article discusses the line-up of nations for Maduro, against, and neutral. I’ll leave you to your bed-mates, and I’ll go back to not being that engaged in the matter, as I’m more interested in the Philippines. Thanks for encouraging me to look up a few things about Venezuela.

                https://bigthink.com/strange-maps/which-countries-support-maduro-guaido

              • Micha says:

                If you are okay with the US interfering in the domestic affairs of Latin American countries, steal its resources and try to make them its vassal states, why do you object that China interferes in the domestic affairs of the Philippines, steal its resources and try to make it its vassal state?

              • You are trolling now, putting words out that do not reflect my thinking and emotionalizing the debate with labels outside of context. The word “steal” for example, or that the US wants a “vassal state”, versus the idea that the US will always advocate for governments that share its interests in policy matters and oppose those that don’t. Every nation pursues it’s own interests. I object to China interfering in the domestic affairs of the Philippines because the Philippines is, or was, a functioning democracy, and I believe democracy, civility, human rights, and free markets are the most productive and inspiring form of government. China is an authoritarian state and I think Filipinos would be diminished under her policy mandates. I have the sense that Venezuelans would fare better under democracy than the totalitarian leaders they have had for decades, but I honestly do not follow the situation very carefully.

                Thank you for causing me to think about these matters.

              • Micha says:

                US actions in Venezuela and indeed in most of Latin America is symptomatic of an empire. We’ve seen this in Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, Nicaragua, Cuba, Brazil, Panama, Haiti, Honduras, Bolivia etc.

                You are right in stating that countries do what they think are best for their interests, including America. But the US is not just another country. It is actually an empire in the same sense that we’ve had a British empire, a Japanese empire, or a Roman empire. The stability or longevity of an empire depends not only on how it behaves at home but also on how it treats countries in its imperial sphere. And one can either love or hate an imperial power. It used to be that American concepts of freedom, democracy, and fairness were embraced and loved by other people in other countries. Most of those countries now realize that freedom and democracy are just camouflage for the true intent of American interference, which is economic exploitation and dominance. America doesn’t care if it will have to support a democrat or a murderous dictator as long as that dictator is sympathetic or is willing to accommodate American economic interests.

                Take the case of Brazil. It now has a right wing neo-liberal President. His support for US interference in Venezuela masks the distrust and disgust of most Brazilians towards the US, especially those supporters of former president Lula da Silva who would have still won the presidency if he were allowed to run in the elections.

                The drama now unfolding in Venezuela is about economic ideology. It’s not about freedom or democracy or even about that botched stunt of humanitarian aid. America doesn’t care to bring these things to Venezuela. All it cares is to be able to install a right wing neo-liberal puppet that will do its bidding for economic extraction.

                And for that, most Venezuelans have grown the wiser and will not allow the crude crass and aggressive schema being cooked up by neocon war freaks like Abrams, Pence, and little Marco.

                US defeat in Venezuela means diminished imperial power and diminished credibility. Those are the stakes. That’s why the neocons are getting more aggressive.

              • One’s argument depends on one’s framing. If the framing is that the US is a villain and responsible for Venezuela’s problems, it is rather like saying Marcos had nothing to do with the Philippine descent into poverty during his term. It was the fault of the Americans. Well, America was involved to support Marcos after his “use by” date, so yes, there is truth to America being a part of the problem. But there is also the part about Filipino accountability, as now under Duterte. It is a Filipino problem that the nation’s leaders either want to side with China (Duterte) or are willing to ignore the issue (Poe). China will do what China will do. To say it is a China problem (or a US problem) denies any worth or value or ownership of their own nation by Filipinos. It says Filipinos are not strong enough, smart enough, or courageous enough to take control of their own destiny. They concede it to China (or the US). So I’m the American who is saying Filipinos ARE strong enough, smart enough, and courageous enough to take control of their own destiny, and you are the Filipino who is saying, no, it is China’s responsibility (or America’s) to take care of the Philippines because Filipinos don’t have the ‘right stuff’ to master their own destiny.

                The Philippines is a Filipino problem because Filipinos have the power and right to chart their own destiny.

                Venezuela is a Venezuelan problem because Venezuelans have the power and right to chart their own destiny.

                Here is a very thorough review of the Bolivarian diaspora.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolivarian_diaspora

                You will note that it primarily talks about Venezuelans, Chavez, and the problems of the nation that have driven people to flee. We have the peculiar problem that one of the more popular destinations they want to go to is the US. So your characterization of the US as crude and crass does not matter to those in flight. They know there is one thing they can get in the US that they can’t be assured of getting anywhere else: opportunity.

                Well, yes, Trump has taken American self-interest and turned it into selfish interest. But this is very different from Obama who substantially resurrected the American international reputation after the Bush adventurism in Iraq and global economic collapse. I reflect on Malaysia’s Prime Minister calling the US fickle and saying it made more sense aligning with China. The view reflects a naive idea about democracy, and is a failure to understand that, in providing a free market and free speech and opportunity for citizens, the US gives away the assuredness of a constant direction. Every election is dramatic and can change the direction. Somewhat. Because it always comes back to center with the next self-correcting election.

                So those who write off America for Trump have little idea about how democracy works. They have a short-term view of things and end up either wrong or making decisions that will be self-punishing.

                But, no worries, there will always be people around willing to push accountability for their own wrong decisions or weakness off onto the United States.

              • karlgarcia says:

                From the comments, I gather that Micha is living in the US maybe New York.
                Her dislike for US imperialism is not unlike the dislike of the more prominent leftists.
                I also think they are critics of full spectrum dominance.
                But Tears for Fears is correct: Everybody wants to rule the world. Now, it is China

                Full-spectrum dominance

                US military doctrine

                The United States Department of Defense defines “full-spectrum superiority” as:

                The cumulative effect of dominance in the air, land, maritime, and space domains and information environment, which includes cyberspace, that permits the conduct of joint operations without effective opposition or prohibitive interference.
                The United States military’s doctrine has espoused a strategic intent to be capable of achieving this state in a conflict, either alone or with allies by defeating any adversary and controlling any situation across the range of military operations.

                The stated intent implies significant investment in a range of capabilities: dominant maneuver, precision engagement, focused logistics, and full-dimensional protection.

                Criticism

                As early as 2005, the credibility of full-spectrum dominance as a practical strategic doctrine was dismissed by Professor Philip Taylor of the University of Leeds an expert consultant to the US and UK governments on psychological operations, propaganda and diplomacy.

                It’s true, though rarely recognized in the control-freakery world of the military, that full spectrum dominance is impossible in the global information environment.

                In culture

                Critics of US Imperialism have often referred to the term as proof of the ambitions of policymakers in the USA and their alleged desire for total control. Harold Pinter referred to the term in his 2005 Nobel Prize acceptance speech:

                I have said earlier that the United States is now totally frank about putting its cards on the table. That is the case. Its official declared policy is now defined as “full spectrum dominance”. That is not my term, it is theirs. “Full spectrum dominance” means control of land, sea, air and space and all attendant resources.

                Metaphorical use

                Full Spectrum Dominance is used in a number of non-military fields to describe a comprehensive tactical effort to support a strategy. In marketing, Full Spectrum Dominance can refer to an integrated campaign that takes into account reaching an audience across a wide variety of platforms and media to guarantee visibility and reinforcement. This might include simultaneous integration of online promotions with direct marketing, public relations, social media and other tactical marketing vehicles.

              • I suppose in ‘full spectrum dominance’ (FSD) there is an offensive potential and a defensive potential. The US has a Department of Defense, but not a Department of Empire Building. One can be cynical of that, or even hateful, as seems to be the case with Micha, but various nation’s calculate their own needs and decide if they trust being without US partnership better or worse than having a partnership. The character of the relationship always has two parties, and I know of none that does not have the right or power to tell the US to piss off.

                From a defensive standpoint, the FSD means ‘we can’t afford to lose’, and who in America, besides Micha, would argue with that?

                From an offensive standpoint, one either trusts America’s good will, or doesn’t, and acts accordingly.

                I frankly like Trump’s addition of a ‘Space Force’, in addition to Army, Navy, and Air Force, to make sure defenses ‘out there’ are FSD. I once knew a guy who was working on laser weapons. That was over 40 years ago. He wouldn’t talk about the particulars, but smiled in a wry, confident manner. It made me happy then, as now.

              • Sure. Thanks for bringing that FSD concept in. I agree there is a futility to the expectation of winning every battle, but there ought to be a determination to win any wars that break out.

          • Micha says:

            That’s a skewed parallel. There’s no third party interloper involved in Venezuela.

            And that survey is not credible. Maduro still has large following among the Chavistas. It’s the corrupt upper class who looted the country’s wealth who are fiercely against Maduro.

  25. edgar lores says:

    *******
    THE DICHOTOMY OF EAST AND WEST

    1. The dichotomy of East and West seems to run vertically (heh) across the globe.

    o principals vs. principles
    o rational vs. irrational
    o science vs. superstition
    o reason vs. emotion
    o mind vs. heart
    o conditioning vs. liberation

    2. The answer to the puzzle of the dichotomy lies in Irineo’s observations. If we were to reduce his observations to basics, the elements would be (a) power and (b) the locus of power.

    2.1. Before the Axial Age in the so-called Archaic Period, earthly power resided in human rulers — kings, emperors, pharaohs and such — who were accorded divine status. Non-earthly power – that is, religious power — was polytheistic. There were many gods, all demigods, each controlling an aspect of nature and reflective of human qualities, but none possessing omnipotence.

    2.2. With the coming of the Axial Age, monotheism was introduced and a single omnipotent God was seen to dominate the universe. Earthly power still resided in human rulers but their power became limited and their legitimacy derived from the will of God.

    o In China, there arose Confucianism.
    o In India, Hinduism and Buddhism.
    o In the Middle East, Judaism and eventually Christianity and Islam.
    o In Greece, philosophy.

    (Side note: Despite common belief, Hinduism is not primarily polytheistic but monotheistic. The Supreme Being is Brahman, who is formless and with form. When with form, he is referred to as Paramatma. He has three main forms: Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; and Shiva, the destroyer.)

    2.3. As Irineo notes:

    o Moses challenged the Pharoah and established the Rule of Law. He became the primary Lawgiver.
    o Western European kings ruled under God’s mandate, the divine right of kings, and Chinese emperors/empresses under the mandate of heaven.

    (Side note: John’s proposition of wealthy individuals (and technology) breaking up the monopoly of monarchial power is viable. It is a bottoms-up perspective rather than a top-down one.)

    2.4. America marked a turning point in political history. George Washington rejected the monarchial form of government, and power devolved from kings to the demos. There was the separation of Church and State.

    2.5. In China, as in Russia, power devolved from the tsar/emperor to the Party. The Party rejects all forms of Church.

    3. But the dichotomy is not only East and West. It is a paradox, but we find the dichotomy running through Western constructs.

    3.1. Christianity is Western and Roman Catholicism comprises 51%. Catholicism may be considered to be Eastern in that it reposes power in the Pope. In Protestantism, the connection between the believer and God is direct and personal. In Catholicism, there is a host of intermediaries – pope, priest, and saints. In other words, the Church – while representing a universal deity — arrogates and preserves earthly power to herself.

    3.2. America is Western and democratic. And yet we find in Trump and in Republicanism a pandering to special interests and a rejection of the Rule of Law. Like Duterte, Trump reposes power in Self.

    3.3. I attribute this persistence of the dichotomy as the fracture between heart and mind. Contrary to common perception, the rational mind is softer than the irrational heart.
    *****

  26. Micha says:

    Continuing the long thread here on Venezuela in response to JoeAm…

    1.“To say it is a China problem (or a US problem) denies any worth or value or ownership of their own nation by Filipinos…So I’m the American who is saying Filipinos ARE strong enough, smart enough, and courageous enough to take control of their own destiny, and you are the Filipino who is saying, no, it is China’s responsibility (or America’s) to take care of the Philippines because Filipinos don’t have the ‘right stuff’ to master their own destiny.”

    Autocrats and dictators like Marcos and Duterte do not consult Filipinos on the manner by which they govern. Don’t broadbrush that responsibility thing on Filipinos because I’m quite sure that if, for example, there’s a plebiscite right now on Duterte’s sell out policy at WPS, majority of Filipinos would be voting against it.

    2.“Venezuela is a Venezuelan problem because Venezuelans have the power and right to chart their own destiny.”

    Every country has their own unique domestic problems. That is true in Venezuela, in the Philippines, and yes, even in America.

    No country, however, has natural right to interfere in the domestic affairs of others. That’s the principle of sovereignty and right to self determination. If there are problems in Venezuela, let them sort it out themselves.

    Venezuela does not pose a military threat to the US, why couldn’t the US leave them alone? If it really wanted to help, it should lift those sanctions which only exacerbate the humanitarian problems which the neocons pretend to care so much about.

    If the US is not careful, those sanctions will boomerang on US dollar dominance as countries like Iran, Russia, China, Germany, and France have started to design an alternative payment system to SWIFT.

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4208739-europes-alternative-swift-another-nail-dollars-coffin

    This alternative payment system will render US applied sanctions practically ineffective in the future.

    3.“your characterization of the US as crude and crass does not matter to those in flight.”

    No, I characterize the neocon war freaks like Rubio, Pence, and Abrams as crude and crass. They do not represent the other side of America which is more compassionate, enlightened and refined.

    • Venezuela does not pose a military threat to the US, why couldn’t the US leave them alone?”

      Good question. I don’t speak for the US, and certainly not Trump, and have not followed Venezuela closely. My guess is the US considers Maduro, in association with Putin, a regional threat. Destabilizing to governments and democracy. Perhaps the white supremacists are tired of foreigners pounding on the fence on the Mexican border demanding to be let in, and they’ll go away if they are not being starved by a brutal, incompetent dictator.

      • 3.“your characterization of the US as crude and crass does not matter to those in flight.”

        You say ‘no’ but your denial doesn’t matter. The statement is true from the standpoint of the refugees, one of whom you are not.

        • If the US is not careful, those sanctions will boomerang on US dollar dominance as countries like Iran, Russia, China, Germany, and France have started to design an alternative payment system to SWIFT.

          OMG! Here comes MMT! To Venezuela, of all places!

        • Micha says:

          Venezuelans are free to leave wherever they want. Some go to Brazil, the wealthy go to Florida, some go to Colombia etc.

          Not a unique phenomenon for most LatAm countries and in the Philippines too where poor folks seek work and refuge in all parts of the globe.

          • The Venezuelan migration is considered one of the worst human disasters in the Western Hemisphere, ever, and you trivialize it as nothing. Let’s discuss ignorance, eh?

            • Micha says:

              “The Venezuelan migration is considered one of the worst human disasters in the Western Hemisphere”

              The US has been waging economic war, strangulation and sabotage for the last 20 years since Hugo Chavez became president. The US, or the neocon freaks to be precise, are not concerned about the human toll on this war.

              Under the Bolivarian Revolution, there was very significant improvement in poverty alleviation, health care, and literacy. Chavez was elected 4 times because he was loved and has very strong following among the non-wealthy class in Venezuelan society, something that American neocons and neo-liberals could not tolerate.

              These freaks could not accept that there should be a successfully functioning socialist state just south of its border. So just like what they did with Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Bolivia, Chile and others, these freaks work overtime to undermine Venezuela’s socialist gov’t through the impositions of crippling sanctions and the CIA cultivation of right wing opposition made up, of course, by wealthy Venezuelans who once looted the country’s oil wealth.

              • You keep slipping to a different thought stream to ignore important points (where you are wrong) and slide over to continue the name-calling diatribe against your government. You trivialized the Venezuela disaster by saying it is common to other Latin American countries. Patently not true. Fine, you finally read the Wiki article and got a little less ignorant about it. Congrats. It is a Venezuelan problem and Venezuela will find a solution. Venezuelans are accountable for their own destiny and appear to accept it, as we see from the mobs of people in the street backing either ‘president’. They are neither Russian nor American.

              • Micha says:

                Joe America,

                The migrants that Donald Trump wanted so much to turn away at the southern border where he wanted to build a beautiful wall are economic refugees from Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Nicaragua etc.

                Does that surprise you?

              • Of course not. Your president is a bit of the discriminating sort.

  27. Micha says:

    Trump’s Venezuela regime-change plan hasn’t even bothered updating this old 1963 CIA plan for Cuba regime-change, which calls for using harsh economic sanctions + electricity sabotage + fomenting military rebellion. US Empire as stagnant as it is cruel.

    De-classified CIA paper on Cuba regime change, circa 1963.

    https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v11/d346

    • Thanks for that. Isn’t it also fascinating that your government’s laws require the publication of formerly classified documents so that you as a citizen (or resident) can use the material to criticize that government? I love democracy for it’s candor. This one is from the Kennedy Library. You won’t get that kind thing from the commies.

      To be accurate, neither you nor your source can know for a fact what the current approach might be because you don’t have today’s CIA documents. So that and the name-calling (stagnant and cruelity) are merely your opinions which I can comfortably discount as biased based on knowledge I have gained from our prior discussions.

      But the document itself is an interesting read.

      4. Within the context of the policy assumptions and estimate of the situation in Cuba outlined above, CIA submits a program consisting of the following interdependent courses of action: [Page 830]

      A. Covert collection of intelligence, both for U.S. strategic requirements as well as for operational requirements.
      B. Propaganda actions to stimulate low-risk simple sabotage and other forms of active and passive resistance.
      C. Exploitation and stimulation of disaffection in the Cuban military and other power centers.
      D. Economic denial actions on an increased basis.
      E. General sabotage and harassment.
      F. Support of autonomous anti-Castro Cuban groups to supplement and assist in the execution of the above courses of action.

      So my opinion on this is that the pattern is the same. Haha. And similar to the plot of about every spy movie on the planet.

      I did find interesting the propaganda initiative as that pertains to what is going on in the Philippines, and the subject of this blog:

      In accordance with a previously approved psychological program in support of U.S. policy on Cuba, CIA-controlled radio programs and other propaganda media directed at Cuba encourage low-risk simple sabotage and other forms of active and passive resistance. These media also seek to stimulate and exacerbate tensions within the regime and between Cuba and the Soviet Bloc, taking advantage of Sino-Soviet tensions. All of these propaganda operations are calculated to create a psychological atmosphere within Cuba which will facilitate the accomplishment of the other courses of action within the integrated covert action program.

      The rest is equally interesting, but I leave that to the discretion of readers to explore.

      • Micha says:

        “To be accurate, neither you nor your source can know for a fact what the current approach might be because you don’t have today’s CIA documents.”

        You don’t need today’s CIA documents because you are witnessing the same exact thing replicated in Venezuela now.

        Sanctions. Sabotage. Agitations.

        They’ve just sabotage the Guri Hydroelectric Power Station which provides 80% of all Venezuela’s electricity using what appears to be an upgraded version of the Stuxnet virus they’ve previously used to sabotage Iran’s nuclear reactor.

        The Iranians of course have, as alleged, nuclear ambitions and the empire has all the interest to forestall Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

        It’s an entirely different matter with Venezuela’s Hydro electric plant. It’s not a military threat to the US. It’s a utility serving millions of people,

        The sabotage is a criminal act that warrants UN investigation which must, if parties directly responsible are found, be accordingly punished.

        This neocon instigated intervention in the domestic affairs of Venezuela need to stop. There is zero justification for it.

        It is criminal, cruel, inhumane.

        • Yes, if you read my note, you would see that I acknowledged the similarity. I’ve not really followed the sabotage incident. I do think cruelty is being waged in Venezuela, which is why so many Venezuelans are trying to flee. The ‘neocon’ label means nothing to me as I don’t ‘bite’ on name-calling. Justification is for Venezuelans to figure out, I think. I’m sure there are many who would be thankful to have Maduro out. Many could be ‘most’, actually. They might think it cruel to have to continue suffering and starving.

          • I was just reading about the Somalia war in the NY Times. It is another tragedy between US and Soviet blocs and involving religious extremism, with war violence escalating. I bring it up because the story indicates the Trump Admin is trying to get the US out of these kinds of engagements. Aren’t Trump people the ‘neocons’ to whom you refer, or is that just the security agencies? Clearly there are differing views within the US govt when it comes to fitting incidents into policy.

          • Micha says:

            1.“I’ve not really followed the sabotage incident.”

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/venezuelas-devastating-blackout-stretches-into-friday/2019/03/08/10ea8812-4198-11e9-9361-301ffb5bd5e6_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0c359c9141a0

            2.“I do think cruelty is being waged in Venezuela, which is why so many Venezuelans are trying to flee.”

            The cruelty comes from US economic war/strangulation which exacerbates the condition brought about by low oil prices. Venezuela’s economy is heavily dependent on oil exports. When international oil prices dropped, its economy took a beating. The inability to diversify is a flaw both the Chavez and Maduro presidency have not carefully looked into. They should have developed their agriculture and manufacturing sectors as well.

            3.“The ‘neocon’ label means nothing to me as I don’t ‘bite’ on name-calling”

            Neoconservatism largely refers to a movement started by the war hawks in the 1960’s exemplified today by US interventionist policy in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran, Afghanistan, and currently the latest in Venezuela.

            4.” I’m sure there are many who would be thankful to have Maduro out.”

            By all means let the Venezuelans do it. There’s a power struggle in Venezuela between elements of the wealthy class (the oligarchy) against the grassroots movement of the Bolivarian Revolution largely made up of the poor and the indigenous population.

            The US should stay away from their domestic affairs. US intervention violates international rules and relations.

            • Thanks for this and the explanation that the neocons are the Bush/Cheyny crowd whose initiatives in Iraq have been pretty well revealed as deceitful toward Americans. I hold no affection for that bunch, for sure. I shudder thinking of those Rumsfeld briefings which made my skin crawl.

              I really don’t know if American engagement is good or bad, overall, for either America or Venezuelans. I’d have to study it as I’m not prepared to accept your argument at face value, but grant you your right to take a firm stand on it. Studying it is not a priority for me at the moment, as there is a lot going on it the Philippines that I’d like to attend to. I would note that you and President Trump have the same policy direction, so will not consider him a ‘neocon’. Although I do consider him a white supremacist capitalist pig. 🙂

              Have a good day . . . or evening.

  28. karlgarcia says:

    @Micha,
    Why do you dislike the US policies so much?
    You have left for the US at a young age during Martial law, probably to continue your University studies.
    I assume that you are younger than RHiro, he left for Canada late sixties because he was an activist during College, you are probably the same age as Irineo meaning I am just slightly younger than you are.

    You said you are a Keynesian bred and nurtured until MMT came along.
    I think you were just like Francis when you were younger except that he said he knows just a little economics.

    Now you are like the activists in the Philippines shouting no to the tuta ng imperyalistang Amerikano, who even infiltrates labor strikes who make it more impossible to negotiate with the proprietors so they just close shop.

    The role of the left in Congress can be laudable depending on the mood of Colminares, etc.
    Sometimes they are anti-US sometimes they are anti-China but most of the time they are anti-admin.

    Back to you, why do you hate the US policies so much, do you really believe that they are empire builders, King makers, war mongers, etc?

    • America is a Republic that became an Empire, like Rome before.

      If you cannot avoid the power games between Empires as a small country, choose the Empire whose values are more like your own, or which alliance is strategically most beneficial.

      If America withdrew, would the world be safer? No, others would fill the power vacuum. Only the EU has a certain clout (economic and political) but Russian tanks would reach Paris in 3 days.

      The ideal would be groups of states like EU and ASEAN backing each other, but thx realities are that states with big territory/resources and/or huge populations gravitate towards power. These are USA, Russia, China. India and maybe later Brazil might join the club as well.

      Resources failing could mean that all collapses, and a new Dark Ages resets things.

      • Those who play their independent game like Indonesia, Vietnam or even Cuba have smarts and if needed firepower. The Philippines has neither the leadership pool (that includes loyalty to the nation) nor the organisation (witness Mamasapano and after) nor the weaponry for that.

        • The lack of problem solving determination is rather startling. It is all person-to-person with no real definition or so tediously detailed as to be unusable. On the latter point, I was thinking of the Aquino Admin’s plan for development done by NEDA that was so very very meticulous . . . and irrelevant because it was never really used, I think. Now it is free wheeling and going nowhere as far as I can tell. National will is piled into one man’s dirty mouth.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Thanks. I know Micha does not bother to answer my pesky questions.

    • Micha says:

      “why do you hate the US policies so much”

      I’m not sure which policies you’re referring to karl. I would just assume that in the context of my exchanges with Joe above it’s the foreign policy part.

      Do I hate US foreign policies? Well, as in everything about America there’s always the good side and the bad side. America is not a monolithic or homogeneous lot. There’s the beautiful and the ugly side. The compassionate and the nasty side.

      Often, it displays this arrogant bullying side rooted in its belief in American exceptionalism defined by Kissinger as the notion that American principles are universal, and that countries that do not practice them are not fully legitimized; the notion that a part of the world lives in an unsatisfactory, provisional situation and that one day it will be redeemed by America.

      Well, preaching freedom and democracy can sometimes be a bitch especially when those concepts start to deteriorate in the home country.

      Empires can only project its power effectively if things are not rotten at home. Otherwise, its adventures abroad can only be seen as imperial overreach which could putatively explain why it is failing to plant freedom and democracy in countries it has recently toyed with.

      What is even more disturbing is that American foreign policy makers probably know it’s next to impossible to actually introduce the concept of freedom and democracy in countries which have entirely different set of values and culture but they only use the pretext of exporting freedom and democracy to insert the hidden (and real) agenda of economic exploitation and dominance.

      We are now seeing this dynamic at play in Venezuela where the real intent is to dismantle its socialist government and replace it with the extractive neoliberal capitalist system – a toxic and deteriorating brand that is not only cruel but ecologically unsustainable in the long term.

      • John D Dyte says:

        Why is it when we criticize the U.S. or any country for that matter, we always address it as if it were a person who is fully aware of its actions and hence would be accountable for its hypocrisy or arrogance. We all know that is not how governments operate. As you said, there is a bad side and a good side, but even the good side was not done by a fully aware sentient government. In all likelihood, the good side as you see it was someone pushing a bill or law and through various pushing and compromising and deal making, it was passed and someone became the recipient. The same would apply to the evil that you explained. In all likelihood, either someone with a vested financial or personal belief of a better future pushed the agenda and succeeded in pushing aside obstacles and pushing the right buttons to move his cart forward. If anything, the only thing one can characterize about a nation is its propensity for certain actions by virtue of the current circumstances of its people. I would wager that you would agree that 80% of the Americans or more have no clue about Venezuela and its problems. And 95% or more have no capacity to do anything about it.This leaves a small percentage pushing the buttons. Would it be appropriate then even in conversation that this small band would be America. I hope that is not the perception because Trump is not America. Just like I don’t consider Putin to be Russia or even ISIS to be the Middle East.

        • Micha says:

          “This leaves a small percentage pushing the buttons. Would it be appropriate then even in conversation that this small band would be America. I hope that is not the perception because Trump is not America.”

          Well that’s one unrecognized and prevailing flaw in our so-called democracy. That only a small band of decision makers get to define and implement policies which have far reaching, significant and lasting consequences on the lives of the many. Democracy gets perverted when elected and non-elected officials exercise legislative, judicial, and executive fiat that doesn’t necessarily reflect the will of the majority.

          While Trump’s nastiness and bigotry may not represent the whole of America, his being in office exercising executive powers that project that nastiness will, for now, be the image and representation of America here and abroad.

        • Wonderful explanation of the fallacy of generalized national constructs.

      • karlgarcia says:

        More than enough to satisfy my curiosity. Thanks for responding

  29. Pau corvera says:

    Speaking of influencers Joe, her is one person I have been monitoring since 2017. Claims to be a psychic but most of his predictions are pro duterte and pro marcos / anti democracy drivel to mind condition the more fanatical and cultic among the dds. He also connected to the Manila times. I think he is another paid shiĺl:

    Fearlessprediction.blogspot.com

  30. karlgarcia says:

    Thanks for giving another name to avoid.
    But sometimes If I want a headache, I read disagreeable people.

  31. I can’t get into that as I think legitimate psychics (like my first ex-wife) seldom use their powers because it is too traumatic and those who use it for public consumption are like my bookie Sal . . . guessing.

  32. karlgarcia says:

    That wasreaction to Pau, but could be a reaction to the article it self.

  33. Pau Corvera says:

    I understand. Haha. I encountered that fraud by accident in 2017, when I was looking for articles related to the BBM/Leni election protest. It appeared in the search results and after reading his blog posts and the comments by the fanatics to them, I decided to dig deeper and keep watch on their future posts. That was when I found its connection to the Manila Times and its increasingly pro Duterte and pro Marcos bias. Aside from propaganda, I think that fraud is trying to rope in the gullible and the beauty pageant obsessed people to his psychic racket too.

  34. karlgarcia says:

    Sara Duterte defends ‘honesty not an issue’ remark

    MANILA – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Thursday said she was only helping opposition candidates “dig themselves out of their own hole,” when she remarked that honesty should not be made an issue this election season.

    Sara Duterte: Honesty should not be an election issue
    “I’m helping the Black Hole candidates dig themselves out of their own hole when I say honesty should not be an issue,” Duterte-Carpio said in a statement Thursday, referring to the candidates of the opposition slate Otso Diretso.

    “They use inaccurate, misleading statements and even direct lies when they attack other candidates or President Duterte and they know they are stretching the truth and yet they deny that they are lying,” Duterte-Carpio said.

    “That is the reason why they should not attack other candidates about honesty because they are themselves liars. And this is the truth. And this shows in their dismal performance in the race, people know they are not truthful,” the president’s daughter added.

    Duterte-Carpio issued her now controversial remark when she accused Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano of spreading fake news against senatorial bet Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, whose image and name were printed in souvenir kits of a government-funded program. Duterte-Carpio was also discussing isues hounding Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, who supposedly falsified her university records.

    Go and Marcos are both supported by Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

    Go has since denied knowledge over the illegal campaign materials and called on his supporters not to violate election rules.

    Malacañang earlier said not all voters may be looking at honesty as an important qualification in choosing their candidates in the elections, as it addressed the statement of the President’s daughter.

    Palace: Not all voters looking for honest candidates
    The constitution, however, under Article 2, Section 27 mandates the state to “maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.”

    More election stories here

  35. Sup says:

    I predict i eat french fries tonight…hmmmmmmmmmmmm..maybe i should start a psychic blog about predicting what i eat everyday? 🙂

  36. Hahaha, she is getting good advice from Chinese strategists, how to make the good guys into the bad guys by labeling them back. One is using black propaganda (Sara), the other white (opposition). As an aside, I read on Twitter a comment that Sara Duterte is pushing the view that citizens serve the state, rather than the other way around. This article is consistent with that notion. Because the State (or Sara) are pure of heart, they cannot be criticized. And any criticism is inherently a lie. The opposition should shut up and respect the Queen.

    Isn’t this fascinating to observe? Propaganda in full bloom.

  37. karlgarcia says:

    So fascinating

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  2. […] specialists such as Mocha Uson, Thinking Pinoy, Tiglao, and Wilson Lee Flores (see “Joe America called out for issuing black propaganda!!!“). There are others to look for. It’s important to note that authoritarian advocates do […]



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