Almost no one will read this article because it is long and contains the word ‘paucity’

[Photo source:]

By JoeAm

In the old days, when we received letters and picked up the ringing phone which had a wire attached, and read the newspaper or caught the news on the TV, we lived with simple understandings. One of them was that this is real. The letter is truly from Cousin Sylvia, the phone call is indeed from our friend Bob, the newspaper has real journalists, is not politically biased, and is making decent money (it need not sell its soul), and the television news features a mature man with chiseled face and well-worn eyes that have seen everything, and who speaks only truths.

We knew that the information we received was honest. We could trust it. Furthermore, no government agency was reading our letters or tapping our phone or monitoring what papers and television stations we were watching.

Now we don’t know whom to trust. The State sponsors propaganda. Every politician postures, preens, and pretends and tells us nothing straight up. Journalists are politically aligned. Governments are intent upon spying on us and knowing where we are and what we are doing.

Information blazes past at the speed of electricity. It passes through filters that snoop on us and know our likes and dislikes. The snoops record all those porn site visits, chat room habits, and on-line purchases. Our e-mails are filtered through spy networks and our phones can reveal our position when we Grab a ride across town.

A lot of our news is crafted by political advocates who toss journalism ethics into the trash bin. Trolls present new realities totally detached from truth, sense, or respect.

Our reading spans have grown shorter to keep up with the flood of information.

The social media giant Facebook has been playing loose and fancy with our private information, passing user information to third parties to help them with their targeting of advertising. That ups Facebook’s ad revenue. The ads presented are based on our activity. Buy a computer game, and suddenly more ads for computer games are in our faces. Search for condo information in Manila, and suddenly ads for condos in Manila pop up in our Facebook news feed.

We also know the United States scans all e-mails coming in or going out of the US, filtering them for key-words to help look for terrorists. They filter, find, read, and read more. It has paid big dividends in keeping America safe from terrorists.

We can guess that China is or will be filtering e-mails going in and out of the Mainland, Hong Kong, and perhaps Taiwan. What are they filtering FOR is the question. If not terrorists, will they hunt for critics? Will critics be listed as terrorists as easily as suspects in the Philippines are slapped on a drug list? At some authoritarian honcho’s whim?

We can expect that, soon, there is likely to be an electronic net around the Philippines. And tighter controls on internet access. And electronic nets WITHIN the country.

To secure the State, of course. To secure the State.

Manila will soon have cameras all over the city. It is a “Build Build Build” project. If it follows the Chinese model that it is based on (architects are Chinese), it will soon include facial recognition. This is straight out of movies from 20 years ago, now real.

Nice, too, that we will all have a National ID branded into everything we touch, electronically. Go through that new subway turnstile and the President’s men will be able to know real time right where you are. Fetch a Grab ride, and they will be able to follow you along the way or meet you when you arrive.

We know that journalism in the Philippines is attached to politics rather than ethics and truth. Rappler is the exception, which is why Maria Ressa is being harassed mercilessly. And Facebook and Twitter are so thick with trolls and advocates that almost no one is speaking simple, straight, honest, earnest truths.

As living organisms, our thinking is shaped by a grand paucity of reliable data. We live without privacy or security. We are fed lies and twisted arguments. We can’t trust much of anything we read or watch on the TV. Or hear from our friends who, if they are Duterte fans, are clearly operating as close to lunatic as a person can get without being shipped off to the funny farm.

The word ‘trust’ will likely fade from our vocabulary. Nobody earns it any more. They demand loyalty instead. They can joke about rape and we should laugh and think it doesn’t matter. They can kill and kill again, and we should still trust them be loyal to them, and ignore it because it has nothing to do with us. They can lie to us daily, and we should stop caring about it. Just trust accept that they do it for a good reason, none of it being our concern.

Enough of this, and caring will soon disappear from our vocabulary, too.

We’ll all be soulless zombies, dead to the world around us.

And the zombie masters will do what they want with us.

I expect to resist. I hope you will, too. We should demand compassion. Demand civility. Demand truth. Demand that trust be earned, and loyalty, too. Demand that the values in the Constitution be respected.

This is not a political stance. It is not liberal elitists preaching to the choir, it is a morally responsible position that says taking care of EVERYONE is important. We ought not allow thugs to stack us on some vertical ranking of priority with Chinese on top, Filipino dynasties and oligarchs next, politicians and other powerful sycophants text, and the rest of us at the bottom being obedient.


Obedience to stupidity, cruelty, deceit, and incivility is not why I was put on earth, I think.

Intelligence, compassion, honesty, and decency are much better moral anchor posts if we expect to live together in peace and well-being.


245 Responses to “Almost no one will read this article because it is long and contains the word ‘paucity’”
  1. I thought you were resting. Happy to see you continuing to fight the good fight joe.

    • I am, actually. I’ve set aside the demands of writing to a schedule, and pulled back my activity in writing to comments or spending as much time on twitter and facebook. I can write what I feel like, if I feel like it. I’m not really fighting as much as contemplating, and sharing those ideas. I think the Philippines needs a right time and a right moment, or a right person, to jerk itself out of its self-destructive direction. The problem is deeply rooted in the ignorance and self-punishing emotional condition of the masses, and the corrupted Philippine electoral system and self-serving morality of legislators, judges, and others in government. I’m just along for the ride, I think.

      • I’m just along for the ride, I think.”

        I think this is the best way to look at all this, Joe. Just cruising.

        It’s not so much “Obedience… stupidity, cruelty, deceit, and incivility” or “Intelligence, compassion, honesty, and decency” or “moral anchor posts” nor “peace and well-being.”

        the “paucity” lies in how you frame this blog and the internet in general (socmed especially), and it is that the essence of all this

        is that you can touch us, and we can touch you back. Some are touchier than others, but that’s OK.

        while on your semi-hiatus, watch Netflix’s “the OA” Part II (skip Part I, if you like it then back track to Part I, but start with Part II).

        • karlgarcia says:

          Is that the prequel to the OC?

          • In a strange way , you’re right, karl. Well not so much its prequel per se, but its beginning. The superfluousness of the OC is exactly what frames “the OA” Part I (2016). But Part II (2019) is where the writers really spread their wings (pun intended), so start there, IMHO.

            Google pdfs of Borges’ “the Garden of Forking Paths” , and watch what Ted Nelson is attempting to get at here (he’s the hypertext guy, but his bigger idea is closer to Borges’ idea, not the click&open links we’re doing now),

            If you like angels you’re gonna like this series, for those interested in quantum physics too, for folks like Joe trying to figure out what all this means it is all that, my interest in this show is more on how it seems to resonate with Gnosticism’s (or what very little we know of it) view of reality, ie. aeons and syzygies.

            * p.s. ~ for those who saw “Miss Sloane”, don’t miss “Molly’s Game”. two thumbs up.

            in this time of hiatus, there’s so much to catch up on, with films and books. 😉

    • popoy says:

      Joe I wasn’t even halfway reading I have to stop. The word IMPLODE came to mind instead of the word EXPLODE. Philippines is not alone, Filipinos are not alone. A world war may no longer be necessary between aligned nations.

      Revolutions will be redefined as IMPLOSIONS within countries suffering from local tyranny. Implosions will cause the new Sodom and Gomorra of the greedy, bad and ugly. Tyranny cleansing will be the new thing carried through implosion by the dirt poor and the silent majority. The Philippines of may be 2,500 years have not suffered any civil war or real revolutions.

      Any country, any nation is NOT a large PRISON or penitentiary where the well fed loud majority are criminals. Any country, any nation the silent majority are NEVER the criminals.

      Lahat may bayad. It is only a matter of time and place. Justice as a reckoning is not timeless but could be time bound. As they pray este say, there will be hell to pay for the indescribable bad. And payments doubled, many like to believe will be certainly collected before and after death. To the greedy, bad and ugly: Morir siempre es no descansar to contradict Jose Rizal. In death there is no rest.

  2. Gemino H. Abad says:

    Great, Joe! We must, as Maria Ressa says, “hold the line.”

  3. sonny says:

    Au contraire, mon ami JoeAm. You got me at “paucity” 🙂

    And you did not disappoint ‘coz you came back swinging. You will keep us on our toes and be glad for it! Me, anyway. Thank you.

    (PS. One’s gotta read someone who leads with “paucity”)

    • Hahaha, well, the word was a hook thrown into the water and you were the fish. 🙂

      • sonny says:

        Mais non! But of course, resistance is futile to a classic JoeAm.

        The tickler has been delivered. The theme is transgressions against the Eighth Commandment, I hope I can find my notes on this, Joe. Will keep you posted somehow.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I was baited by your mais, I thought it was corn, mais non, it is not.

          • sonny says:

            Pardon my wannabe French, Neph. 🙂 Once in a while I get the itch. (Last Dec, I finally stepped onto French soil: that Eiffel Tower you got to see n believe, you’ll know the real meaning of “heavy metal”; TGV, super fast train new meaning to floating on air; listening to the Benedictine monks chant at Solesmes, heavenly – priceless!)

            • This morning TGV Munich-Paris I usually see “sleeping” in Munich main station.. here it starts beside a regional train to Ulm..

              The German counterpart runs only up to 300 km/h.. these are a few at Frankfurt airport station, collecting and distributing airlune passengers all over the country.

              BTW that Gustave Eiffel built or designed the Puente Colgante or Quezon Bridge in Manila turns out to be an urban legend..

              • karlgarcia says:

                Says Filipiknow?

              • karlgarcia says:


              • sonny says:

                Travel is always a revelation.

                Didn’t see the French countryside between Paris & LeMans; The sights & sounds of Paris like stepping into a Hollywood movieset; very few underdressed. 🙂

              • sonny says:

                Am now jealous of the train system of the old countries in the modern system. MRR (Manila Rail Road) was run to the ground by ill-maintenance. Enjoying the northbound & southbound branches to Sn Fernando (Ilocos) and the Bicol region are now wishful objects from the past. Even the British legacy of Myanmar are still functioning.

              • Train systems – regional, national and local – get at lot of people off the roads.

                When I first saw the Munich S-Bahn, shown here – in the less modern version but still the same size of trains and platforms, I was telling people in Manila (1995 before MRT was built) get yourselves a LARGE train like that with LARGE platforms. Munich is just below 2 million people, but the trains are 1-3 sets of 3 wagons, over a hundred people can stand and sit per wagon, so you have a THOUSAND people maximum in a full long train – and these trains are full in the mornings and evenings, going to and from the suburbs up to 50 km around the city. And the Spanish boarding system (visible in the video – loading from the middle, unloading on the sides) fascinated me as highly efficient for BIG CROWDS.. (weekend shoppers and tourists in Munich, for example, but the general idea is to get people in and out as quickly as possible – the long waits at the Manila MRT 3 are a proof that the system was designed with way too low capacity and way too little or no thought)

              • karlgarcia says:

                I know this is dejavu part x
                Will this so-calleed faiked experiment, work?

                The hybrid train was alsobranded as a failure, but PNR will finally use them.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Your French is impeccable, I guess.

            • chemrock says:

              You are lucky to see Eiffel Tower in the French setting. Ten years later all the Jews and French will move out of Paris, just as the Swedes moved out of Malmoe.

              • sonny says:

                Very short visit, Chempo: Notre Dame cathedral, church of Sacre Coeur & a vistaview of the city, a snack at The Louvre and a view of the banks of the Seine; all compliments of a French-speaking Indian lady cabdriver from Madagascar. People-watching on the commuter train from Charles de Gaulle airport to downtown seem to confirm the cosmopolitan/migrant trend you point out; Chinese youth almost ubiquitous. I’m so glad I did the mini-trip in spite of the cold and a gimpy leg.

            • The hybrid train is a good thing, fortunately no President saying “no we will bay prom da Chayniss”. Local source of wagons is essential as MRT experience shows.

  4. This Chinese ship is – just off Batangas.

    Do Filipinos not see the horizon, just coast – and then care only if it concerns them?

    There is a scene in Braveheart where the “primitive” Scots light signal fires along their entire coast to warn of invasion..

    Socmed reports on Chinese-only restaurants in Metro Manila stay in socmed, no paper dares.

    Are people like paralyzed insects in a web?

  5. NHerrera says:

    We sure don’t have paucity of timely, important and well-presented ideas and comments here. Joe, thanks for the new blog article — remarkable, most of the time (99.9 percent, that is).

  6. paugie says:

    This read like a hugot during a buntong-hininga
    But glad to see you back JoeAm. Though I admit I wasn’t worried.

  7. popoy says:

    there you go in TSoH camp, Joe will build a fire and if threatens to smoulder, TSoH got fire extinguishers to control the size of the campfire.

    Is it medically true to be good for the lungs and heart for a bloke to do longer exhales than inhales. Inhale deep in three seconds, exhale slowly in 5 seconds, especially if you’re watching can-can dancers doing the classic exciting.

  8. Micha says:

    Here is an article that connects antiquity, classical era, and modern civilization on matters of finance, debts, politics, and the economy : The Delphic Oracle As Their Davos

    “We have to restore a balanced economy where the oligarchy is controlled, so as to prevent the financial sector from impoverishing society, imposing austerity and reducing the population to clientage and debt serfdom.”

    “What they call a “free market” is an unmixed monolithic, centrally planned financialized economy with freedom for the oligarchy to impoverish the rest of society. That was achieved by landlordism monopolizing the land in feudal Europe, and it is done by finance today.”

  9. edgar lores says:

    1. I feel we are in a sort of hiatus, waiting to see how the cookies crumble.

    o Here, in the Philippines, waiting for the results of next month’s election.
    o There, in the US, waiting for the real revelations from the Muller Report.
    o Overall, how the superpower rivalry will go forward.

    2. On the first cookie, my mind tells me miracles are not to be expected but my heart continues to hope for the unexpected. For me, the unexpected is that at least 4 of Otso Diretso will make it into the Magic 12.

    3. On the second, my mind and heart are in accord that the Muller Report will be devastating for Trump.

    4. And as for the third, this will be a long century. Even so, the Philippines will continue on its unmerry way to further Sinicization… especially if the first cookie is a misfortune cookie. We know fortune cookies are not authentic Chinese just as we know the 9-dash line is authentic Chinese in its inauthenticity. Ming Dynasty vases manufactured in the Qing Dynasty. You know what I mean.

    5. Yes, it is a hiatus. A pause. But there is no paucity of things to say, no paucity of things to reflect on.

    6. I watched “Miss Sloane (2016)” last night, an intelligent film about lobbying, gun control, and corruption. Jessica Chastain with a powerful performance. The box office receipts indicate the film returned a measly $3.5M. Which goes to show just how powerful the NRA lobbying is.

    6.1. You know how watching a good film drains the mind of emotional impedimenta? Catharsis. It feels good to be so purged. That clarity of mind that comes with a hiatus.

    6.2. A paucity is that sort of emptiness.

    • Miss Sloan showed here a couple of months ago. Tough lady lobbyist, conniver, going against big money and power. Used the media to seal the deal. Went to jail. No blood. Good movie, agree.

      I’ve taken to following AOC on Twitter. She ends her day popping off a few tweets, always moving forward. Republicans hate her. Most democrats adore her, which is why she has blasted into the front of the news. She has charisma, and always a few good sound bites for the press. She sees the big picture and translates it into legislative goals. I think they will run into the mush and reality of a cantankerous, Republican, old man senate. But she may help turn the next elections into a democratic landslide, along with a lot of help from Trump.

  10. karlgarcia says:

    the moment I outnumber Joe’s FB posts(lifetime) then I will agree that he is on a hiatus.
    kidding aside, one time I had a hiatus here, it was one of my darkest moments and I started to see a shrink. It is good that hopefully none of you has to see a shrink, but if your loved ones or close friends tell you to see one, better heed.

    I was told to limit my online activities, well I just cut on the porn, but hell no, I will not stop commenting here.

  11. Dturd’s persecution of Rappler is despicable.

  12. chemrock says:

    Again he threatened imposition of revolutionary govt and writ of habeas corpus . All because he was pissed of with Senator Drillon’s comment on review of govt contracts ought to be considered with due regards to sanctity of contracts.

    I say enough of this threats. Just get it on Mr President. Just do it. If the country has to sink, might as well be earlier than later.

  13. Micha says:

    We could rile and bemoan and condemn the state of affairs in the country as well as the rest of the world but that will not change the dynamics or power structure of the current system. We will only be more aware of our impotence to effect change.

    The only way we can reverse this systemic decay is to confront the problem of extreme wealth accumulation by a very small number of extremely greedy plutocrats. Or, to be more precise, confront or reform the economic system which enables such accumulation

    There is no other way around it. Confront we must, or we will be seeing more of this hellish descent towards nihilism or bastardization of life and humanity itself.

    Demagogues and con men like Duterte and Trump are only symptoms of this decaying system.

    To guide us on how we might proceed to effect a system reversal, this 4-part conversation/interview between John Siman and Michael Hudson is a must read :

    Part 2 :

    Part 3 :

    Part 4 :

  14. caliphman says:

    There was a time not long ago when I felt my posts here painted the darkest future for the Philippines. Duterte the mayor and thug was then just a blip on the national radar as TSOH and at Raissa’s site (which I frequented more) concerned itself with with campaigning for Roxas, Binay, or whether Poe had the moral and constitutional right to run for the presidency. So here we are and times have changed and reading Joe’s blog now, that time seems like eons ago. And what was once just foreseen now fills the news. Except when it is manufactured or tightly monitored so it casts Duterte and China in a better ligjt.

    Joe is right not to trust the news and even less the Duterte regime. And indeed the Philippines under Duterte seems headed toward its darkest hour. That being the death of its democracy amidst the dying gasps of a constitution enacted to preserve it and to protect the individual rights and liberties of all Filipinos. This senatorial election is more than whether any of the Otso Diretso will prevail. It is whether Filipinos care enough to oppose tyranny, corruption and the dismantling of their nation’s constitutional democracy. It is whether Filipinos as a people care about their freedoms and rights, includiing the right and power to choose their leadership and not let those in power, worse, a dictator take all these from them.

    Reliable surveys show that the latter course is what the Filipino people find preferable or acceptable, even if it means giving up the same process by which Duterte came to power and the chance to pick another leader if and when his term expires. This is what I mean by saying that Filipinos act like a country of carabaos, content to wallow in mud and misery. So long as their next meal is assured or special treats handed out by whoever their master is. But it is said, a people deserve the kind of government they choose and if they decide to choose to give up their liberty, freedoms,and their right to choose, is not that democracy in its truest form?

    Maybe in a past life I was once or can still be reincarnated a carabao, but for now I seem to treasure what most other Filipinos are willing to discard, a homeland trying to function as a constitutional democracy where laws protect everyone’s rights regardless of the powers that be. And I am not the only one here at TSOH and elsewhere who feels the same. But right now we are but like fish out of water when we advocate for democratic ideals and traditions that are now in the process of being crushed under the heels of a tyrannical and corrupt regime. So if the messages and warnings of a dark era of dictatorship fall mostly on deaf Filipino ears, they still serve as a beacon in the night showing where danger lies and point to the safe harbor for those who still care about living in a democracy.

    So if I am labeled an elitist or a liberal because most Filipinos do not share or care about these values and views, then I am proud to be callied either one.

    • Exceptionally well put. I posted excerpts on my FB page.

    • edgar lores says:

      We Filipinos have an incredible capacity for self-harm.

      Self-harm is a psychological disorder defined as inflicting deliberate self-injury without any suicidal intention. It is an individual disorder but, with Filipinos, I see it as a collective disorder.

      Specifically, in the political domain, we injure ourselves by choosing candidates who we know are selfish and are not up to the task of governing. Yet we choose them for some superficial reason. Because they are authentic, or popular, or personable. Nevermind that they are liars, thieves, and conmen.

      Self-harm is an indication of immaturity. It is a coping mechanism.

      The conventional wisdom is that Duterte was elected because people were angry and dissatisfied with the political elite that never delivered on their promises.

      Well, Duterte has not delivered on his promises — in fact, he has delivered the opposite — and yet people continue to support him.

      So the conventional wisdom may be a myth. There must be another dynamic at play here. Self-harm provides that alternative dynamic.

      We have become used to living by clinging to the knife’s blade. We only feel alive when we feel the sharp cold edge resting — threateningly and comfortingly — against our skin.

      How lovely it is. Kapit sa patalim.

      • Micha says:


        First, “we” is the wrong pronoun to use in your description of our national anomaly. It suggest all Filipinos are complicit in this ill-considered choice.

        Second, like caliphman, you also seem to only see the superficial symptoms of our country’s disease. I wouldn’t call pro-admin voters’ choice as deliberate self-harm. By continuing to support Duterte despite his failures and outright lies, they are merely showing their continuing contempt for the old established order.

        • Micha,

          have you considered that DU30 supporters are actually supporting not despite of, but

          because they see him as delivering on his promises, ie. crime/violence is down (though maybe state sanctioned violence is up); and the old established order is facing a reckoning.

          those 2 promises, whether being accomplished or not in reality (IRL), so long as his supporters think they are (feel it is being accomplished) , that’s the only concern.

          anti-DU30 s have to focus on say the Mactan island to Bohol bridge or the railroad system proposed in Mindanao or dams/reservoirs in Luzon being constructed. tangible items that can be brought to bare.

          it’s not self-harm, or punishing the old order so much IMHO, although St. Augustine once said that resentment was a poison you swallowed yourself, hoping it’ll kill the one you hate. But from what i see,

          DU30 supporters are seeing promises kept, specifically those 2 promises, Micha. Am I right?

          • Micha says:

            Hahaha, you oughta’ be kidding. A fascist state would naturally see crime index going down because it has all the resources for suppression. His promise was to get rid of drug problem in 3 months and in the evening news yesterday drug crimes and violations are still aplenty.

            Old established order facing a reckoning? Really? How?

            • Let me explain,

              there ‘s basically two types of DU30 supporters, the guy who works and the guy who doesn’t work.

              the guy that works a regular 9-5 comes home, walks by the guys who don’t work just drinking away all day. both resent each other both voted for DU30.

              most are guys who work; now since DU30 became president he comes home, either the guys who drink all day and all nite are gone (dead or in jail) or are much more well behaved.

              so of course, the guys who work will still gladly support DU30, Micha. I’m not even touching EJKs or other stuff that’s gotten me in trouble here before, just

              1. Guys who work

              2. Guys who don’t work

              As for old established order facing reckonings , rich Chinese tsinoys have been arrested and/or made to leave (or gunned down); Marawi was also a reckoning; the whole narco-politicos hunt is that reckoning (i know, i know , not high enough, but whether mid- or low- it’s the fact that there is some reckoning, the visual of it all),

              Micha, the fact that DU30 is president is reckoning (he’s not mestizo, not from a landed family, though still up there, he is an outsider).

              Like I said this isn’t about quantifying, its qualitative. it’s all about the regular working dude and what he sees and feels, Micha.

              • Micha says:

                I don’t see a typical Dugyot supporter as mainly concerned with crime as one who have been, for the most part, economically struggling or alienated.

                Who are those rich Chinese tsinoys who have been arrested? Manny Pangilinan? Lucio Tan? Henry Sy? Gokongwei?

                That should have made headline news. Why have I not heard of it?

              • Peter Lim off the top of my head, Micha. i remember the video of both talking went viral.

                Micha, let me ask you a personal question (you don’t have to answer) do you live in a gated community in the Philippines, are you familiar with sigas and tambays, if so what’s your day-to-day interaction with them , would you say positive, negative or neutral.

                My bet is most Filipinos who live in open neighborhoods, where you see guys with no work drinking and singing karaoke all day long (usually they’re belligerent) , are happy of the new status quo, which is

                more behaved sigas and tambays.

              • Micha says:

                Hahaha, now you’re really making me laugh so hard corporal. I’m sorry.

                Peter Lim is a gangster, a drug lord. He’s not in any consequential manner a member of the old established order.


                I have friends who are sigas and tambays. They don’t bother or harass me. More importantly, they are powerless actors in the formulation of national policies which brings us to this pass.

                My non-support for Dugyot has less to do with his treatment of the sigas and tambays than on the manner of his governance and policies.

              • If I remember correctly , Micha. there are two types of rich landed folks over there, rich Chinese tsinoys and Spanish mestizos (and Indians run the 5-6 usury scams). Whether you’re new rich or old, I don’t know if Peter Lim is old or new rich, is less important, it’s your light skin (Chinese or Spanish) and money that signifies old established order.

                “My non-support for Dugyot has less to do with his treatment of the sigas and tambays than on the manner of his governance and policies.”

                This is my point, Micha. for the regular Filipino that’s too high-falutin’ a concern, something that ‘s been talked about but never really done by the old established order. Focus on the street level, the dynamics that occurs in the neighborhoods, from that quiet person who sweeps the street at daybreak, to those knuckleheads that keep everyone awake at 3am shouting and fighting,

                If everyone else in the Philippines can cultivate the same relationship as you have with their tambays and sigas then there would be no need for a DU30 or a Sara DU30, as Poppa & Momma, Micha. When they’re fighting in the middle of the street at 2am or harassing you for beer money, are you as friendly??? really?

              • chemrock says:

                @ Lance

                I agree with your point. But I would distinguish guys who work and who has worldviews, and those who work but have no world views.

                Lance, the regular guy who works spend 4 hours a day travelling to and from work. They wakes up 5 am, prepare the kids for school, prepare meals including the lunch to pack to work. By the time they reach home it’s 10pm. They have no energy and no time to pander to intellectual or critical issues. Consequently, these folks have no worldviews. It’s pure day to day robotic living. The only issue that they can see affecting them personally up close is what you indicated — the prevailing crimes in their neighbourhood. They don’t care how Duterte does it, but it’s true, the neighbourhood is now quieter. The close their eyes to the fact that those kids may have been slaughtered, some innocently. The neighbourhood seems safe is all that matters. Is it any wonder they love Duterte. Economics, dangers of loss of democratic safeguards — these are matters they do not comprehend nor care.

              • edgar lores says:

                Fourth Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey: Families victimized by common crimes rise to 7.6%

                “The December 2018 survey found 54% nationwide agreeing with the statement, “In this neighborhood, people are usually afraid to walk in the street at night because it is not safe (Sa lugar na ito, ang mga tao ay karaniwang natatakot maglakad sa kalye sa gabi dahil mapanganib).”

                This is 8 points above the 46% in March to September, and the highest since the 54% in December 2016.”


              • “The neighbourhood seems safe is all that matters.”

                EXACTLY, chemp. Thanks!

                they could careless if the gov’t goes with MMT or cryptocurrency (no offense Micha, I’m a fan of you and chemp’s MMT talk). But you have to really understand the regular Filipino city block.

              • but it’s true, the neighbourhood is now quieter.

                chemp, I would also add that OFWs working hard outside the Philippines are also happy their neighborhood is quieter. OFWs did make up the bulks of DU30 supporters, thus promise kept.

                you and Micha are of course correct, Filipinos need to expand their worldviews. But until that neighborhood is quieted, everything else is moot. As a visitor there for a short time, I could totally empathized with Charles Bronson in “Death Wish” ( 1, 2, 3 and 4, but not 5 :- ) ) when I walked city streets/neighborhoods, can you

                imagine living there long term? Quiet would be a god-send.

              • Micha says:


                A fascist regime is naturally good at imposing rigid discipline or peace and order. Both Hitler and Mussolini have popular, if possibly coerced, support. Regimes like that could only thrive on imposed fear and demagoguery from a charismatic leader.

                Does it make for a just and progressive society?

                Is that your preferred form of governance?

              • Micha,

                But it’s not “fascist”. there are no Brown shirts, just barangay nightwatch. Life (from what I gather online) is still pretty much as it was during PNoy, just ‘quieter’ or well behaved.

                Does it make for a just and progressive society? of course not.

                that’s another discussion, I’m merely offering a different perspective from self-harm and old established order, both found in St. Augustine’s resentment.

                But let me throw a chiasmus (or something akin), Was there ever ‘just and progressive society’ in the Philippines? if it smacked people in the face would they recognize it even?

                Is that your preferred form of governance? less government is more.

                remember I’m libertarian, my preferred form is less to no gov’t. though I’m no anarchist, i pay attention to where my taxes go. and participate. But again, that sort of thinking is already high-falutin’.

                just focus on the regular working stiff and his street. that’s all the point I want to make. otherwise I’ll be in trouble again. 😉

              • Micha says:

                Au contrare’, Dugyot’s regime has all the elements of fascism. Demonizing and demagoguery on all fronts, from drug addicts to the Pope. Remember that he also vowed to slaughter more people than Hitler did.

                He doesn’t need brownshirts. Blue shirted police and their informants (spies) are more than willing accomplice in his “final solution”.

              • chemrock: “Lance, the regular guy who works spend 4 hours a day travelling to and from work. They wakes up 5 am, prepare the kids for school, prepare meals including the lunch to pack to work. By the time they reach home it’s 10pm. They have no energy and no time to pander to intellectual or critical issues. Consequently, these folks have no worldviews. It’s pure day to day robotic living.”

                Add to that, these people have maximum 6 hours of real sleep if they are lucky.

                Most of the factors a regular salaryman in Metro Manila is exposed to degrade intelligence.

                One needs proper sleep at least, seeing something else than work and traffic, ideally even some exposure to fresh air, fresh water and nature to have the capability to think deeply. Personally I have experienced how lack of sleep makes you unfit for anything except the stuff you do in a routine way. Fear is also bad for thinking, neurologically it is proven that fear short-circuits thinking to short-term, quick solutions – the Stone Age survival program.

                The frustrated nastiness of much Filipino political discourse can have reasons in all of this.

                (Thanks chemrock for reminding me of what I do NOT have to go through, fortunately)

              • karlgarcia says:

                In addition people who are malnourished in their formative years will be stunted for life. (not just in height and weight)


              • NHerrera says:

                I was listening to a portion of a TV Patrol News one night, when one was interviewed about his senatorial voting list — whether he has a complete list already. His answer was very interesting:

                Hindi pa. Kunti pa lang ang napili ko. Kailangan sa listahan ko yung may malaking tsantsang manalo. [Not yet. I have selected only a few. I require that those in my list will have a good chance of winning.]

                I wonder, what part of the voting mass have such mental frame. Not insignificant I would guess. The fellow interviewed may not be typical of the harassed, exhausted worker chemrock described. May be he is one of those with a little more time to spare, if he is not glued to his phone exchanging photos and stories about drinking parties with friends.

                If he is betting on sabong [cockfight] that is a rational enough reason. But voting for Senatorial Candidates as if in a cockfight? Voting for Bato instead of Bam Aquino because of winnability?

              • edgar lores says:

                Self-harm in action.

              • “If he is betting on sabong [cockfight] that is a rational enough reason. But voting for Senatorial Candidates as if in a cockfight? Voting for Bato instead of Bam Aquino because of winnability?”

                Among some Filipinos, having voted for “talunan” has a bit of a stigma attached to it. Somewhat like the stigma attached to being wrong about something in the country of “WHEN YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW”.

                German superstitutions are a lot more humane. For example it is said here that bad luck in gambling means good luck in love and the other way around. Though what does that say about my long deceased Filipino uncle who was a gambler and had 3 kids by 3 women? Probably in the Philippines, the law is “IF YOU LUCKY, YOU LUCKY!” – it is all or nothing whether it comes to power and success, or gambling and womanizing.

              • edgar lores says:

                The voter is not asking the right question: Which candidate will best govern?”

                The question he is asking is: “Which candidate will win and make me look good because I chose him?”

                The voter is seeking to glorify his ego rather than the country: “See how smart I am? I chose the winners!”

                In a cockfight, this kind of reasoning is logical and essential. It is a zero-sum game. Either you win or you lose. Sa pula, sa puti.

                In a national election, this reasoning — which is the bandwagon mentality — may be self-defeating. An election is a non-zero-sum game, where the collective decisions of the voters may result in aggregate gains or losses that can be less than or more than zero.

                If you vote for, say Bong Revilla — and God help you if you do — you may “win” if he wins… but ultimately the country and you lose.

              • “Self-harm in action.” No, Edgar!

                If I were stupid and wore Camp David shirts like Bato does, I would vote for someone like me, because the luck of those who are like us will increase. Fortunately, I am not stupid.

              • edgar lores says:

                Heh, heh.

              • Fellas,

                or maybe it’s just the gov’t responsiveness. ie. finally, something’s being done. that feeling is worth 10x in spades, and that’s Sara DU30’s jumping off point, hence the importance of countering them vis-a-vis the building project.

        • edgar,

          Thanks. that’s an interesting link of a survey.

          Question (from the site):


          On feelings of neighborhood insecurity, the questions are: “Ngayon po, mayroon ako ritong mga statements o pangungusap na maaaring maglarawan sa nararamdaman o naiisip ng mga tao ngayon. Pakisabi po kung kayo ay sumasang-ayon o hindi sumasang-ayon sa mga statements o pangungusap na ito. Pakilagay lang po ang kard na may pangungusap sa naaangkop na lugar sa rating board na ito. (Lubos na sumasang-ayon, Medyo sumasang-ayon, Hindi tiyak kung sumasang-ayon o hindi sumasang-ayon, Medyo hindi sumasang-ayon, o Lubos na hindi sumasang-ayon)

          [I have here some statements which may reflect how people feel or think about certain matters at present. Please tell me if you agree or disagree with these statements. You may indicate your answers by placing the card with the statement in the appropriate place on this rating board. (Strongly agree, Somewhat agree, Undecided if agree or disagree, Somewhat disagree, or Strongly disagree)]”.

          Fear of burglary: “Sa lugar na ito, ang mga tao ay karaniwang natatakot na baka may mga magnanakaw na makakapasok sa loob ng kanilang tahanan

          (In this neighborhood, people are usually afraid that robbers might break into their houses).”

          Fear of unsafe streets: “Sa lugar na ito, ang mga tao ay karaniwang natatakot maglakad sa kalye sa gabi dahil mapanganib

          (In this neighborhood, people are usually afraid to walk in the street at night because it is not safe).”

          Many drug addicts in the area: “Sa lugar na ito, napakarami na ang mga taong na-aadik sa mga ipinagbabawal na gamot

          (In this neighborhood there are already very many people addicted to banned drugs).”



          if I wasn’t told that the purpose of the survey was to compare administrations, i’d answer with a wider perspective of time.

          so the questions should have been as compared to before DU30, etc. like an optometrist, better 1, better 2… or better 3…

          if I lived in a lousy neighborhood , i’d probably answer “Strongly agree” to all three questions too. i’m leaning towards faulty questions here. but the rest of the survey is quite interesting…

          What’s most interesting though is the green squiggly lines below,

          blue and red squigglies go up, but green drastically down??? doesn’t add up.

          • LCPL_X, there was an SWS poll that asked whether people feel there are less drug addicts now and the answer was YES by many. OK, the poll was Mocha-like in its main question, but maybe fear of crime is often a question of perception, not just objectivity.

            The number of addicts cannot have gone down significantly, even if we presume 40K dead that is just one addict per barangay (the country has around 42K barangays) – but what may really have gone down is ADDICTS IN THE STREETS, partly due to the fear factor.

            Munich solved a similar problem at the main train station without putting certain people on the suburban train shown below. Nowadays that place is just a suburb with a bad history.

            Lots of drunks and probably worse hung around the station in recent years. High fear factor. There was on highly publicized case a few years ago of a 38-year old young man, athletic and all, who got beaten into a coma by the types hanging out in front of Munich station.

            I travel a lot and I have seen these people a lot – a lot of them are not just drunk, I think. Then you can add street people have a certain viciousness which compensates for their physical weakness. Probably a 50-year-old street guy, unhinged due to certain substances, is dangerous against a 38-year-old who may be a head taller and go to the gym regulary because he will cross civilized lines. Filipino meth users might be similar (to be continued..)

            • of course the lack of impulse control, second the mixture of overconfidence and unleashed resentment one can ALSO find among Filipino internet trolls. Why that? Because the Philippines is a low self-esteem society and meth touches dopamine receptors and makes people feel temporarily overconfident. Just like being behind an Internet alias can make the usual subservient programming that Filipino culture gives to people irrelevant.

              Just like the dangerous drunks that used to be in front of Munich main station, people like that can be scary to regular people coming home or going to work. People pass by the main station when they go home, some even come from far away place like I do.

              What was the solution to the issue? Ban public drinking in area around the station from 9 p.m. onwards until the morning. Increase patrols, including a new unarmed group of municipal security people (their vests are stab-resistant and their gloves are stab-proof) that go around the station and the strip-club plus gambling joint area around it.

              The folks have moved of course, and regular patrols have “convinced” the hardliners that the rules are here to stay and will be enforced, so the area is MUCH safer now – which is what most commuters care for. Now don’t tell me barangay tanods could not deal with the issue of people outside the entire night in the Philippines? Are they so dangerous and “pasaway” that a few need to be exemplarily killed to scare the rest?

              • LCPL_X, there was an SWS poll that asked whether people feel there are less drug addicts now and the answer was YES by many. OK, the poll was Mocha-like in its main question, but maybe fear of crime is often a question of perception, not just objectivity.”

                Exactly, Ireneo! I’m not disputing the poll, though I’d prefer actual crime stats, like ones done by police over here then compiled objectively by the FBI. not done by some polling company (with not so well thought out questions).

                but that green squiggly line is a dissonance, I don’t know why that would even happen. but yeah it all goes back to perception, which was my initial point with Micha up above.

                Your explanation of addicts just going underground, explains why the red and blue squigglies are still going up. So it s a game of hide & go seek. but clean and quiet streets, the feeling of all this, even if we defer to the polling edgar’s presented us as actual picture of reality,

                that clean and fresh feeling is worthy of another DU30 in office, no? that’s gov’t responsiveness in action! Or the perception of it.

            • “Now don’t tell me barangay tanods could not deal with the issue of people outside the entire night in the Philippines? Are they so dangerous and “pasaway” that a few need to be exemplarily killed to scare the rest?”



              is the heart of it all, now.

              me personally, no. but the fact that so many Filipinos voted DU30 into office, i’m inclined to say the answer for Filipinos is yes. a resounding yes.

              why? now that is a totally different discussion.

              • “why? now that is a totally different discussion.”

                25 years ago, the terrible Rwanda genocide started. Yeah, how do people get convinced that one group of people is at fault for everything? In Rwanda radio played a major role.

              • True. But issues of ethnicity and identity are easier to foment, same with South Sudan and North, the Balkans, etc. but when all’s same-same… dynamics are different, IMHO.

                Ireneo, at the end of the day, sigas and tambays are guys you grew up with in that street; many times your relatives, that’s why tanods many times find it so difficult to control them, too much affinity & familiarity— can’t be professional with them, objective.

                So when someone comes along and does it with so much objectivity, it’s welcomed.

                Remember your story of when you first arrived in Germany and threw trash on the ground, and some German reprimanded you for it??? popoy, right below is correct, there is a price to pay, and that is self-policing. participating.

                If Filipinos did that, if whenever someone cuts in line or slips P100 pesos for some extra service, if Filipinos reprimanded each other, there would be no need for a DU30 or a Sara DU30.

                It’s goes back to the Filipino’s penchant for passive-aggression me thinks, Ireneo. Always non-confrontational, while inside he is seething. thus manifests the likes of DU30, and there will be another one, until

                he learns simply to say, “hey, pick up your cigarette butt!”.

              • karlgarcia says:

                It was on the Metro where a lady cop chided Irineo for throwing a wrapper, IIRC.

              • karlgarcia says:

                We chide we say Hoy, Bawal yan huwag kang pasaway, but only two or three times and sometimes only once.
                (Hey that is illegal or not allowed, dont be pasaway(stubborn?).

    • Micha says:


      Still getting riled at the symptoms of a decaying system? You’re in for more heartbreak.

      It’s the cause of the disease that we need to confront if we expect to make any progress.

      • karlgarcia says:

        How, by emulating whom?
        Robin Hood, Gandhi or the Unabomber?

        • Micha says:

          Have you sufficiently considered the cause of our national anomaly?

          • karlgarcia says:

            Inequality will always be there.
            I like Gandhi’s take on many things.

            We had a discussion before where we agreed(?) that a mixture of capitalism/socialism, etc would be the most ideal.

            Here are Gandhi exerpts.

            “PHILOSOPHY> THE MIND OF MAHATMA GANDHI > Poverty and Riches
            Poverty And Riches
            Avoidance of Strife
            I cannot picture to myself a time when no man shall be richer than another. But I do picture to myself a time when the rich will spurn to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor and the poor will cease to envy the rich. Even in a most perfect world, we shall fail to avoid inequalities, but we can and must avoid strife and bitterness. (YI, 7-10-1926, p. 348)
            I have heard many of our countrymen say that we will gain American wealth, but avoid its methods. I venture to suggest that such an attempt, if it were made, is foredoomed to failure. We cannot be ‘wise, temperate and furious’ in a moment. (SW, pp. 353-4)
            Every palace that one sees in India is a demonstration, not of her riches, but of the insolence of power that riches give to the few, who owe them to the miserably requited labours of the millions of the paupers of India. (YI, 28-4-1927, p. 137)
            Duty of the rich
            The rich should ponder well as to what their duty is today. They who employ mercenaries to guard their wealth may find those very guardians turning on them. The moneyed classes have got to learn how to fight either with arms or with the weapon of non-violence.
            For those who wish to follow the latter way, the best and most effective mantra is:[tyen tyakten bhunjithaha] (Enjoy the wealth by renouncing it). Expanded it means: “Earn your cores by all means. But understand that your wealth is not yours; it belongs to the people. Take what you equire for your legitimate needs, and use the remainder for society.”
            This truth has hitherto not been acted upon; but, if the moneyed classes do not even act on it in these times of stress, they will remain the slaves of their riches and passions and, consequently, of those who overpower them.
            …I see coming the day of the rule of the poor, whether that rule be through force of arms or of non-violence. Let it be remembered that physical force is transitory even as the body is transitory. But the power of the spirit is permanent, even as the spirit is everlasting. (H, 1-2-1942, p. 20)
            I have no hesitation in endorsing the opinion that generally rich men and, for that matter, most men are not particular as to the way they make money. In the application of the method of non-violence, one must believe in the possibility of every person, however depraved, being reformed under humane and skilled treatment. We must appeal to the good in human beings and expect response.
            Good of All
            It is not conducive to the well-being of society that every member uses all his talents, only not for personal aggrandizement but for the good of all? We do not want to produce a dead equality where every person becomes or is rendered incapable of using his ability to the utmost possible extent. Such a society must ultimately perish.
            I therefore suggest that my advice, that moneyed men may earn their cores (honestly only, of course) but so as to dedicate them to the service of all, is perfectly sound. [tyen tyakten bhunjithaha] is a mantra based on uncommon knowledge. It is the surest method to evolve a new order of life of universal benefit in the place of the present one where each one lives for himself without regard to what happens to his neighbour. (H, 22-2-1942, p. 49)
            The grinding poverty and starvation with which our country is afflicted is such that it drives more and more every year into the ranks of the beggars, whose desperate struggle for bread renders them insensible to all feelings of decency and self-respect. And our philanthropists, instead of providing work for them and insisting on their working for bread, give them alms. (A, p. 320)
            My ahimsa would not tolerate the idea of giving a free meal to a healthy person who has not worked for it in some honest way, and if I had the power, I would stop every Sadavrat where free meals are given. It has degraded the nation and has encouraged laziness, idleness, hypocrisy and even crime. Such misplaced charity adds nothing to the wealth of the country, whether material or spiritual, and gives a false sense of meritoriousness to the donor.
            Work, Not Charity
            How nice and wise it would be if the donors were to open institutions where they would give meals under healthy, clean surroundings to men and women who would work for them. I personally think that the spinning wheel or any of the processes that cotton has to go through will be an ideal occupation. But if they will not have that, they may choose any other work; only the rule should be, “No labour, no meal.”….
            I know that it is easier to fling free meals in the faces of idlers, but much more difficult to organize an institution where honest work has to be done before meals are served. From a pecuniary standpoint, in the initial stages at any rate, the cost of feeding people after taking work from them will be more than the cost of the present free kitchen. But I am convinced that it will be cheaper in the long run, if we do not want to increase in geometrical progression the race of loafers which is fast over-running this land.
            (YI, 13-8-1925, p. 282)
            To people famishing and idle, the only acceptable form in which God can dare appear is work and promise of food as wages. (YI, 13-10-1921, p. 325)
            I must refuse to insult the naked by giving them clothes they do not need, instead of giving them work which they sorely need. I will not commit the sin of becoming their patron but, on learning that I had assisted in impoverishing them, I would give them neither crumbs nor cast off clothing, but the best of my food and clothes and associate myself with them in work. (ibid)
            I do feel that, whilst it is bad to encourage begging, I will not send away a beggar without offering him work and food. If he will not work, I should let him go without food. Those who are physically disabled like the halt and the maimed have got to be supported by the State.
            There is, however, a lot of fraud going on under cover of pretended blindness or even genuine blindness. So many blind have become rich because of ill-gotten gains. It would be a good thing if they were taken to an asylum, rather than be exposed to his temptation. (H, 11-5-1935, p. 99)
            Dependence on Servants
            I hold that a man who desires the co-operation of and wishes of co-operate with others should not be dependent on servants. If anyone has to have one at a time of scarcity of servants, he will have to pay what is demanded and accept all other conditions with the result that he will instead of being master, become the servant of his employee. This is good for neither the master nor the servant.
            But if what an individual seeks is not slavery, but the co-operation of a fellow-being, he will not only serve himself but also him whose co-operation he needs. Through the extension of this principle, a man’s family will become co-terminus with the world and his attitude towards his fellow-beings will also undergo a corresponding change. There is no other way of reaching the desired consummation. (H, 10-3-1946, p. 40)””

            • karlgarcia says:

              The Unabomber represents the modern day Luddite a technohater, and an industrialization hater.
              Robin Hood is Robin Hood. The emulators believe the end justifies the means.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Or they could do an Oliver Queen and tell the Uber Rich: “You have failed this nation”‘

            • Micha says:

              Would he have been able to transform India’s society and get rid of the caste system if he had lived long enough? Up for speculation. No guarantees. Members of India’s oligarchy will definitely resist.

              He might have been able to stand up to an imperial power but it’s not clear he’d be able to confront the moneyed class in his country.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Everything is speculation.
                The late Prahalad’s bottom of the pyramid (serving the 4Billion poorest)
                Does not articulate eliminating the caste system.
                Gandhi has accepted that there would always be inequality

              • Micha says:

                Depends which inequality you’re talking about. If it’s wealth inequality, how much inequality can Gandhi accept?

              • karlgarcia says:

                You are right the first time, it would be all speculation.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I knew this would be powerful.

  15. karlgarcia says:

    The Caste do blockvoting so I guess those in the lowest castes hear a lot of sweet nothings during elections.

    The Indian pols weaponized the caste system.

  16. karlgarcia says:

    Was told told to have a socmed break by my dad, I better listen this time.I will still be reading posts and comments.

  17. sonny says:

    Off-off-off-topic (yet one can use as visual for black holes & Phil. politics); @ Micha, absolute lights-out situation? 🙂 Everything is a singularity.

    • hehe… me and Micha are Bernie supporters, sonny.

      ps… you think they’d see a big bang on the other side of that black hole??? looking forward to that photo. thanks, sonny.

    • Micha says:

      Astronomers have postulated that every galaxy has a black hole in its center so maybe it’s a fairly common cosmological phenomena. Could it be somehow related to, or made up of, dark energy responsible for accelerating universal expansion?

      Maybe all black holes will, over time, fuse and become the ultimate singularity.

      Is everything in vain? If it is, then life and all of existence is sheer madness.

      To be, or not to be, that is the question:
      Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
      The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
      Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
      And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep,
      No more; and by a sleep to say we end
      The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
      That flesh is heir to: ’tis a consummation
      Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
      To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub:
      For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
      When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
      Must give us pause—there’s the respect
      That makes calamity of so long life.
      For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
      Th’oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
      The pangs of dispriz’d love, the law’s delay,
      The insolence of office, and the spurns
      That patient merit of th’unworthy takes,
      When he himself might his quietus make
      With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
      To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
      But that the dread of something after death,
      The undiscovere’d country, from whose bourn
      No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
      And makes us rather bear those ills we have
      Than fly to others that we know not of?
      Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
      And thus the native hue of resolution
      Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
      And enterprises of great pitch and moment
      With this regard their currents turn awry
      And lose the name of action.

      • One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

        here’s a funny meme on Ultra Diffuse Galaxies, thought you’d enjoy, Micha,

        and if you wanna get technical,

      • karlgarcia says:

        I was waiting Sonny’s reaction to Micha.s waxi g poetry and do his oown Shamsperar.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Waxing poetic….Shakespeare

          • sonny says:

            Was pleasantly surprised with Micha’s reply. This particular soliloquy is my favorite from Hamlet. And Micha connecting to the human dilemma of life is Micha’s softer side. I can relate … vividly remembering Laurence Olivier delivery while pondering Hamlet’s suicide jump from the tower of Elsinore. Good catch, Micha.

    • edgar lores says:

      Donut with partial vanilla glazing. Coffee, anyone?

      Thanks to computer scientist Katie Bouman.

    • “The French astronomer Charles Messier discovered M87 in 1781, and catalogued it as a nebulous feature while searching for objects that would otherwise confuse comet hunters. M87 is located about 16.4 million parsecs (53 million light-years) from Earth and is the second-brightest galaxy within the northern Virgo Cluster, having many satellite galaxies. Unlike a disk-shaped spiral galaxy,

      M87 has no distinctive dust lanes. Instead, it has an almost featureless, ellipsoidal shape typical of most giant elliptical galaxies, diminishing in luminosity with distance from the center. Forming around one-sixth of its mass, M87’s stars have a nearly spherically symmetric distribution. Their population density decreases with increasing distance from the core. It has an active supermassive black hole at its core, which forms the primary component of an active galactic nucleus.

      The black hole was imaged in 2017 by the Event Horizon Telescope, with a final, processed image released on 10 April 2019.” (Wiki)

      • sonny says:

        The picture of a black hole 55 million light-years away and an accompanying article.

        ” Black holes, it is conjectured, are insatiable cannibals gobbling up everything in their cosmic neighborhood. The late Stephen Hawking is among those who have proposed that black holes are birthing centers for Star Trek phenomena like wormholes, time-tunnels and multiple universes. …”

        “… Stephen Hawking was so confident in the theory that he made a bet with a fellow physicist in 1997 that black hole creation would be proven right. Then, in 2004, Hawking made a startling announcement. …”

        “… Speaking at an international conference in Dublin, Ireland, Hawking said that he was wrong about his 30-year assertion that material entering a black hole leaves our universe.

        Reversing his previous position, Hawking conceded that black holes are not cosmic birthing centers, nor mystical portals to some parallel universe—theories that gained currency through his best-selling book, A Brief History of Time and his later book, Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays.

        Dr. Hawking said his new calculations debunk what he and others have speculated. In a dream-squashing conclusion Hawking emphasized, “I’m sorry to disappoint science fiction fans, but if [mass and energy] is preserved [as required by the laws of physics] there is no possibility of using black holes to travel to other universes.” …”

  18. popoy says:

    Sa itaas, ang daming eche bucheche ng ng katalinuhan at karanasan kaya ang dami at pino hindi ko masakyan. Sabi ng pilosopo: Know thyself, know thy community, KNOW THY COUNTRY; AND IN SMALL LETTERS: know history. Kung ikaw ay educado Sabi ng Lola kong mahaba ang buhay, lahat may bayad ano ba ang ibinayad ng Britanya, Francia, Italia, America, Russia, China, etc. Ano ba ang ibinayad nila, yung kanilang down payment, nagging ayosang buhay nila?. Sa ngayon tignan ang PROSPEROUS Germany, Japan, South Korea, at saka Seguro Vietnam. Ano ba ang ibinayad nila sa kanilang KASAGANAAN ngayon? Ano ba ang ibinayad ng Pinas noong EDSA? Humanga ang mundo sa wala.Yung tulog at himbing sa pancitan hindi bayad yan. Yun puro eche bucheche ng karunungan okay yan maging mitsa sa pag gising sa pagkamulat ng sambayanan.

    • popoy says:

      In the read above
      The enormity of eche bucheche written
      From plentiful intelligence and experience
      So detailed and specific
      I can’t wisely comprehend, so I turned
      to a philosopher who says: KNOW THYSELF
      and I add, know thy country, thy community,
      in a small limited way, better know
      the history of free and shackled nations.

      If you are educated says my old Lola
      Everything needs to be paid for;
      What have these countries UK, France,
      Italy, USA, Russia, China, etc. paid?
      What have these nations paid in advance for
      The decent lives of their people.

      Recent history speaks of dramatic Phoenix
      Germany, Japan, South Korea, may be, Vietnam
      What have these countries paid for
      in return for their present prosperity?

      During EDSA, what has Pinas paid for?
      To gain the admiration of the
      World for nothing? Sleeping does not pay
      For those who sleeps in the noodle house?
      The eche bucheche of intelligence is OKAY
      As wick and fuse to wake up the population.

      • popoy says:

        Habol sa Tagalog:

        Kaysa pangat at tuminit nodel
        Lugaw at Dinuguan
        Okay na tsibug yan
        Sa mga natutulog sa pancitan.
        Kasi Yan lugaw di pang matagalan
        Pero yan ulam na dinuguan
        Madugo at malaman mas OK yan
        Sa kalayaan sa hirap
        at sa gutom pang matagalan.

      • popoy says:

        Habol sa Tagalog:

        Kaysa pangat at tuminit nodel

        Lugaw at Dinuguan

        Okay na tsibug yan

        Sa mga natutulog sa pancitan.

        Kasi Yan lugaw di pang matagalan

        Pero yan ulam na dinuguan

        Madugo at malaman mas OK yan

        Sa kalayaan sa hirap

        at sa gutom pang matagalan.

    • I’m gonna jump in before Micha does. Lol!

      that above is the essence of MMT, i don’t know how it works (Micha will ‘splain) but there is a reason why cops and military see works of art associated with criminality even also in terrorism. You wanna move wealth under the radar and also not have to pay taxes, hide it in arbitrary items such as art,

      and move it around like money.

      the Rich love to differentiate between tax evasion and tax avoidance. Euphemisms. for rich Filipinos it all translates to real estate in California and Nevada, i’m sure once they get sophisticated you’ll see more art studios and art dealers. if there aren’t already.

      • A big issue of MMT is that people don’t want to clearly state what it is so that it can be a testable hypothesis.

        • Micha says:

          MMT states that a sovereign government that issues its own currency does not have a monetary constraint in its spending other than inflation.

          In that short concise sentence, what is it that do you still not understand?

        • I don’t understand how the rich can all agree to support an artist or two and coordinate the valuation of this guy’s or that guy’s paintings, art works, but it works.

          And i’d imagine Micha will say something like, how does that P1,000 peso bill in your pocket, with 2 guys and 1 girl on the front and some photo of an oyster with pearl in the back, how is value generated???

          the first example, a bunch of rich folks come together and agree; the second example, essentially isn’t it the same thing, gian? boil it down. and what’s MMT???

        • chemrock says:


          MMT collapses the moment you want to borrow some money. The fundamental model to measure the value of money is gone. There is no short term or long term yield curves anymore. Without that, there is no way to factor in risk and rewards in economic decision making.

          Notice no MMT exponent never ever comment on international trade?

          • Micha says:

            “MMT collapses the moment you want to borrow some money.”

            Please qualify that sentence because it is too loaded. Who is doing the borrowing? How is MMTgoing to collapse?

            • chemrock says:


              Economics and finance are intertwined like Siamese twins. MMT looks only at economics and totally ignores finance. I’m actually totally surprised at Mossler who is a financial trader of sorts to have that confidence in MMT.

              I’m no expert in high finance, but just understand the basics. The fundamental requirement of any country’s economy is to have a benchmark for setting the price of money, that is, interest rates. Take away government borrowing and you deny the existential institution that sets interest rates. With no short term and long term yield curves, finance cannot function.

              Unless MMT is suggesting that we move away from market driven regime to a centrally planned economy. We all know this did’nt work out well for some countries.

              This is the reason I distrust ivory tower academicians.

              • Micha says:


                If you had actually been paying attention and reading actual MMT literature you should know by now that setting interest rate is not left entirely to the whims of private market forces or banks, if that is what you mean by “existential institution”.

                This is the reason why your critique has no credibility because you are doing it from a position of ignorance.

              • chemrock says:

                Pardon my saying this. I can see you are an economist, althogh our views may differ.
                But I can see you have absolutely no idea about finance.
                Interest rate setting is not about the LIBORs or SIBORs or bank lendings. These all take their cue from something else. Basically its from the yield curves of zero risk assets in the country as determined by certain central bank securities.

          • Micha says:

            “Notice no MMT exponent never ever comment on international trade?”

            Are you sure? Does the dynamics of international trade falsify MMT?

          • You are right Chem. This is why a lot of the criticism of MMT is from the international trade economists like Krugman.


            • Micha says:

              Hahaha, Krugman an international trade economist? Where in the world are you getting this?

              Please read this William Black response to Krugman’s so-called critique.

            • Micha says:

              And btw gian, the link you supplied above is from 9 years ago authored by somebody who only calls himself Mercenary Trader.

              Why did you say it’s a critique from international trade economist Krugman?

            • chemrock says:


              Can you point us to any authoritative literature with comprehensive literature that presents the full economics models. I can’t find any. At the moment, MMT is just guru-based. Just ideas.

              I ask where are the full economic models that we can test in real world environments? Where are the models that can lead to testable predictions? MMT at the moment is not model-based, models that have been robustly tested. How do we test MMT empirically to forecast about macroeconomic aggregates or other quantities.

              The answer is, there is hardly any. What you and any other MMT proponent will do is refer our querries to look at some blogs, an online explainer, a video explainer, a tweet, or many many papers written by MMT proponents.

              MMT is just guru-based. Let’s get the formal models out, if there are any.

              • Micha says:

                You are clearly being disingenuous here chemp. There are tons of literature in the NEP website alone which will guide you through if you are honestly seeking to understand.

                Or maybe you are just lazy to read?


              • chemrock says:

                You point me back to William Black and blog articles.

                Show me someone who has put formal models out there where the economics fraternity has robustly tested and critiqued them.

              • Micha says:


                You are just lazy to read. All the resources are available to you on that website. Start reading and then come back.

                And please stop parroting the Noahpinion strawmanning and non-sequitor. Noah is an obscure orthodox Keynesian who also parrots Krugman. Both are obsessed with their IS-LM model which is now considered flawed “as it cannot explain how tax or spending policies should be formulated with any specificity. This significantly limits its functional appeal. It has very little to say about inflation, rational expectations or international markets. The model also ignores the formation of capital and labor productivity.”

                See :


              • This is a nice setup.

                Were are looking for the models so we can find the limits as you stressed in the issue with IS-LM its

                “as it cannot explain how tax or spending policies should be formulated with any specificity. This significantly limits its functional appeal. It has very little to say about inflation, rational expectations or international markets.

                We want to know what are the things that MMT cannot explain.

                All models are flawed but some are useful.

                We want to know where MMT is useful as a policy tool.

              • chemrock says:

                Micha, thanks for the link. But I still see the same mumbo-jumbo. No fact based models.

                Obviously there is difficulty finding some literature with formal models.

                Well since you say I’m too lazy to read, let me help out here with a real attempt to explain by Pavlina R. Tcherneva who put out a paper in 2002 where some models were provided. It’s a good attempt at explaining. much much better than a lot of mumbo-jumbos I read elsewhere. It’s a good article, but still can’t convince me. You may not have read this, and the reason is probably because it did’nt get a rave review, which was because what? It’s still not convincing?

                Click to access Pavlina_2007.pdf

          • Micha says:

            “Notice no MMT exponent never ever comment on international trade?”

            Are you sure? Does the dynamics of international trade somehow falsify MMT?

      • gian,

        of all the videos i’ve poured over since Micha and chemp’s many discussions on MMT here, i’ve always leaned on this video by Richard Wolff,

        hope that helps! 🙂

  19. caliphman says:

    Gian is like many non-economists here, is merely trying to understand what MMT is. I myself put as much stock in it any more than I do in bitcoinor other cryptocurrencies as a viable idea or investment. But I have little interest nor time right now to critique or even discuss the theory here. I have done so at times but mostly at economic and financial forums.What I did not care for and found offputting is an attitude that many MMT defenders seem to show when asked to explain their theory.

    A friend of mine who runs a financial and investment advise practice commented about this attitude in an article: MMT: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

    “The Ugly”
    MMT advocates are often combative and cultish. I’ve greatly enjoyed learning from and interacting with many MMT advocates over the years. Others are, um, more problematic. I critique a lot of things here with the goal of being constructive, but the MMT people have a uniquely combative mentality when confronted with criticism. One of their founders once wrote an entire blog post about me where he started by claiming to have no idea who I was before jumping into a literal 10 paragraph lie about my character as a “neocon.” Anyone who is remotely familiar with my work knows that calling me a “neocon” is laughable and misleading to the point of being embarrassing. But this is the kind of crap you often run into with MMT and I think it’s a major red flag because the theory is so delicately intertwined that weaknesses in it are exposed as potential fatal flaws. I think they all know this and so they have to defend all facets of the theory as though it is airtight even though they know it isn’t. This results in an often hypersensitive type of response that helps no one.

    To summarize, there’s a lot of good in MMT and I’ve always maintained that, but it’s foolish to think that MMT is a panacea for a period where people think mainstream economics hasn’t served us well. There is, after all, a lot more right with mainstream econ than most people want to admit and this “burn it all down” mentality is not constructive. That said, I am glad MMT is part of the new narrative, but I do hope they defend that narrative with more empirics and less combativeness.”

    I bring this up in case it comes up here or in online discussions elsewhere so it does not detract from learning or presenting whats good or bad about this increasingly mentioned theory.

    • Micha says:

      Thanks for the advice. But no, the “combativeness” does not come from MMT scholars. It’s the old school orthodox economist who are combative because they are threatened by this new unorthodox approach and that their day job and credibility might suffer as a result.

      When Charles Darwin and later on, Richard Dawkins, elaborated the theory of evolution they too were met with aggressive and combative attacks from agents of organized religion.

      Nowadays, only morons think evolution is just a theory.

    • I agree w/ chemp, show us the MMT, Micha!!! show us the money or the electronic money!!!

      but on chemp’s point re “guru-based”, Christianity was at first guru-based,

      also Darwin took so long , only until Wallace was going to publish, that pushed Darwin to published, mainly because he was wary of so many Jesus-nuts pushing back in the mid-1800s. then Darwin became a guru himself, his findings became social Darwinism (totally not what he studied), most who placed Darwin on a guru pedestal didn’t even know how transmutation worked.

      as far as I’m concern Darwin is still a theory, so is Christianity, there are better religions than Christianity, but Darwin’s theory is the best we got so far, until maybe if aliens show up tomorrow and say , we’re all just their experiments. then we’d have to come up with new ways of thinking.

      My point, just because something is guru-based doesn’t render that thing moot, not just yet. But I do agree that models have to be tested out, that is the scientific approach, though intuition in recent studies also say is just as good or even better.

      if MMT is about modern money, let’s see some modern methods applied.

      So if something’s guru-based or intuition based, that’s all good. But to squash these MMT meanderings, Micha, you’ll have to inform us of models, of MMT being worked out, tested in the real world, or in some scenario based study—- the military ‘s favorite way of learning and testing.

      w/out actual testing of said theory, we’re just clicking on other peoples’ blogs and videos. Show us some graphs now, like edgar did above, pie charts, squiggly lines, spider charts, whatever…

      Show us MMT, Micha!!! show us the money!!! or the virtual money if you will.

      • Micha says:

        “if MMT is about modern money, let’s see some modern methods applied.”

        Glad you asked. The Pentagon had been doing MMT for decades now. That’s the reason why Pentagon budget exceeds the budget of top 10 countries’ military spending combined.

        That’s the reason why in the most recent audit, the Pentagon cannot explain where all their excess liquidity is coming from.

        Trump’s trillion dollar tax cut for billionaires and mega corporations is also MMT applied for the welfare of the super rich.

        See, it’s the Republicans who are most eager practitioners of MMT. Dick Cheney famously said deficits don’t matter. Reagan, Bush, and Trump all ramped up their spending.

        • Okay, Micha, i’m tracking the commentary on super rich and Republicans, hence the Helmsley quote above. we’re both Bernie supporters after all.

          But with DoD are you just surmising some accounting mumbo jumbo involved, rob Peter to pay Paul typa scenario, ie. don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing….

          because if you’re equating MMT to accounting shenanigans, then i think you’ve just shot yourself in the foot, Micha. do you see?

          Please tell me you’re talking about some actual tests (studies, models) involving the DoD budget that renders MMT kosher, and not the other way around.

          • Micha says:


            The Pentagons budget is gargantuan but nobody is asking how are we gonna pay for it.

            That’s MMT in action right there. Get it?

            But when it comes to Medicare For All or free college, people are ready to jump with how are we gonna pay for it.

            That’s MMT for the MIC and the billionaires, free market austerity for social programs.

          • Micha says:

            You could also add the bailout of Wall Street banks as another example of MMT in action as enunciated by Bernanke himself.

            • Micha,

              I just want to add that I am with you, though I’m gonna temper my enthusiasm for something new w/ chemp’s and caliphman’s skepticism here.

              “The Pentagons budget is gargantuan but nobody is asking how are we gonna pay for it.”

              simple, they get paid the same reason why police and prison guard unions here in California (and i’m sure other states) have unsustainable incremental pay rates, as well as unsustainable pension plans. it’s fear.

              I hope AOC gets traction on this. you’ll be happy to hear that MMT is quite the buzzword over here now and folks are excited. to think that I first heard of this from you and RHiro (R.I.P.), with much of my learning of it from you and chemp’s polemics (though chemp is the consummate gentlemen, very Britisher of him) 😉 .

              I do hope MMT gets implemented, so we see how it works for reals, and whether or not it is better than other previous means of generating wealth. I do see how the car industry and big banks bailout can be examples of MMT.

      • chemrock says:


        Fact-based and faith based are different stuff.

        I’m glad you agree MMT needs to be substantiated with formal models. Yes I appreciated theories start off with an idea — guru-based. But for economics, you need to move from ideas to models that exist in real world. It is from modelling that the ideas can be fine-tuned and improved till it is acceptable and workable.

        As for Darwinism — the update is that Darwinism has been proven wrong.

        As for Christianity — new archeological finds seem to be proving more and more that the Bible is an astounding historical record of 7,000 years of human history.

        • “As for Darwinism — the update is that Darwinism has been proven wrong.

          As for Christianity — new archeological finds seem to be proving more and more that the Bible is an astounding historical record of 7,000 years of human history.”

          chemp, I can sleep soundly tonight with that Christianity comment (i do agree that it is historical), but i’d have a tummy ache tomorrow if I don’t first hear of why Darwinism has been proven wrong? if so, what’s the new theory that’s surpassed it? “the Lord God made them all” ? 😉

          • chemrock says:

            To prove Darwinism is wrong is to take a creationist view, ie God is real. This discussion will cause Joe to ban us both here.

            For a short version which I’m sure Joe can accommodate us here, I’ll just ask these 3 simple questions, and I assume we are talking about atheist evolution:

            1. Your hero Richard Dawkins could’nt even name the full title of the book written by Dawkins. Can you?

            2. Can someone please explain to me why the hell is the appendix still doing in my body after thousands of years? .

            3. Organisms change due to modifications in genetics. The answer lies in epigenitics. Natural selection does not cut it.


            • edgar lores says:

              1. “The Orange of Species”

              • chemrock says:

                You do mean Origin?…but that is a not the full title.

                In a debate long ago between Richard Dawkins and a clergy Dawkins came on as the usual atheist proponents, brash and belligerent (it’s very difficult to debate an atheist) he put fort the proposition that people who call themselves acutally don’t even know the names of all the disciples or the various biblical books. At that the clergy asked him what is the full title of Darwin’s book at which Dawkins went er…er…er..

                The full title is “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”

              • chemrock says:

                …people who call themselves Christians….

              • chemrock says:

                Edgar — now this is evolution :

              • edgar lores says:


            • No, carry on, no banning in sight. I’m enjoying the read.

            • sonny says:

              Just throwing the evolution foul-ball into the playing field:


              “Until recently, the central tenets of Darwin’s theory of evolution, from how heredity works to the gradual variation in species, had been regarded as settled and beyond challenge. But as David Quammen, a National Geographic contributing writer, explains in his new book The Tangled Tree, new discoveries in human biology in the last few decades have led scientists to radically alter the story of the origins of life, with powerful implications for our health—and even our very nature.

              When National Geographic caught up with the author at his home in Montana, he explained how the discovery of a new “third kingdom” of life changed our understanding of evolution, how so-called kissing bugs can move DNA from one species to another, and why the gene-editing tool CRISPR presents exciting new possibilities, as well as ethical challenges. …”

              • sonny says:

                “… It’s not rewriting the idea of natural selection. Rather, it’s rewriting our understanding of evolution, of which natural selection is still a very important part. There are two phases in classic Darwinian evolution. First, there is the arising of variations from one creature to another or one individual population to another. That was thought to occur incrementally, in very slow stages, by mutations in the genome. Once there are variations among individuals, natural selection, the survival of the fittest, acts upon those variations.

                “What is new, and caused New Scientist to run that over-stated and provocative headline, “Darwin Was Wrong,” is that we now understand there is another, hugely significant form of variation. It’s not just incremental mutation, but horizontal gene transfer, bringing entirely new packages of DNA into genomes. …”

              • thanks for this, sonny. 🙂

              • edgar lores says:

                Horizontal gene transfer may be the solution.

                We keep saying “education education education” — like realtors say “location location location” — but if we can identify the Moral Truth Allele (MTA) in Joe Am’s DNA and replicate it and edit it horizontally into the Filipino DNA, then — voila! — we will have a nation of libertarians in no time.

                We have to be careful though. Somebody might decide to extract the Kill All Opposition Allele (KAOA) of Duterte and spread it around.

                Then we will be all Frankenstein murderers.

                This is supposing that character qualities are inheritable biological sequences that occur in the DNA.

              • chemrock says:

                Sorry — reponding to Edgar, wrongly inserted above.

                The horizontal gene transfer Sonny mentioned is the Epigenitics I quoted.
                But Eureka — Lance, you just proclaimed the solution for Philippines — Eugenics. I’m sure Joe is too willing to contribute some saliva swaps for his DNA.

              • sonny says:

                You’re welcome, LC. That short interview was quite “entertaining” in addition to informative.

                (Note: the existence of transposons and what they can do is quite scary … inspite of the inimitable way edgar put it. 🙂 )

              • the Jews thru eugenics have pretty much eradicated Tay Sachs, sonny.

                no need to slice and splice (ala Jurassic World) , just regular genetic testing (same way Iceland “eradicated” Mongoloidism) and old school match making.

                “Prof. Gideon Bach, who heads the Department of Genetics at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, says the eradication of Tay-Sachs can be attributed primarily to the fact that the general public in Israel is advised to carry out, at the expense of the state, genetic tests to diagnose the disease before the birth of the baby. In the event an unborn baby is diagnosed with Tay-Sachs, the pregnancy is usually terminated.

                Another reason for the eradication of the disease, Bach says, is the work of the ultra-Orthodox association, Dor Yesharim. The association carries out tests on young individuals to check whether they are genetically “suitable.” The results of these tests are passed on to the matchmaker. If there is a risk that a designated couple may give birth to children affected with Tay-Sachs, the matchmaker will report that the match is unsuitable.”

       (very Spartan)

                Match making won’t work in the Philippines, since San Miguel and Tanduay have more a say in procreation over there, but genetic testing may just do the trick edgar proposed above and much cheaper. 😉

              • pushing 8 billion in world population, with climate change looming, realistically eugenics and Spartan cherry picking of babies (or fetii) will have to be discussed plainly.

              • edgar: “— but if we can identify the Moral Truth Allele (MTA) in Joe Am’s DNA and replicate it and edit it horizontally into the Filipino DNA, then — voila! — we will have a nation of libertarians in no time.”

                the science is actually already here!


          • MMT is already trying my patience. Creationism I would take a break here..

        • Micha says:

          Darwinism proven wrong?

          Holy molly, that should be headline news! Completely unsupported. Just stringing sentences.

    • NHerrera says:

      Thanks for the comment.

  20. Why is incompetence and non-accountability so normal in the Philippines?

    I say it is the “senyorito” culture. A powerful person in the Philippines lets things be done by others from childhood onwards – maids, drivers, then maybe goons (Digong), secretaries and flunkies of the Bong Go kind.

    So Digong signs a law on motorcycle plates and hasn’t read it to the level of detail needed..

  21. Micha says:


    Have you both bothered to read MMT literature? If so, do you understand what you’ve read?

    What is it that you do not understand by this :

    A government that issues its own currency does not have a monetary constraint on its spending other than inflation.

    • Reposting this since you may not have read this yet.

      Were are looking for the models so we can find the limits as you stressed in the issue with IS-LM its

      “as it cannot explain how tax or spending policies should be formulated with any specificity. This significantly limits its functional appeal. It has very little to say about inflation, rational expectations or international markets.

      We want to know what are the things that MMT cannot explain.

      All models are flawed but some are useful.

      We want to know where MMT is useful as a policy tool.

      • Micha says:


        You seem to be completely buying the Noahpinion hoax and so you are parroting his demand for models.

        Economic models like the IS-LM are at best unreliable and inaccurate, so my advice to you is don’t be obsessed with models. Start with the basic understanding :

        A government that issues its own currency does not have a monetary constraint on its spending other than inflation.

        That’s the functional import of MMT. Understand it and everything else will flow.

          • Micha says:

            Well, can you state clearly what your opinion is?

            • If you have any conjecture or statement it must be backed up by facts, experimentations, and or models.

              Anything not testable or observable is of little use. It is more of an abstraction.

              I believe most people can learn anything if they decide to.

              I get the statement you are saying: “A government that issues its own currency does not have a monetary constraint on its spending other than inflation. ”

              What are its policy implications?
              How can these be tested or observed?
              Is the observation or observed phenomenon a valid example of the hypothesis tested.

              These are questions out of curiosity.

              If MMT cannot prescribe things such as how can this guide policy then it is useless.

              Governments will not willfuly try it because it cannot even purport to have the answer for this or does it?

              That is why we are looking for models.

              Because Deficits only matter depending on inflation is not workable.

              How much can one budget?

              Can it answer that?

              Let’s take the US. The Fed has an inflation target of 2%. What level of spending endangers that 2% either to increase or decrease that inflation?

              We are curious because we want to understand the world.

              Knowing the sun will rise tomorrow is useless in different places with 4 months of continuous Day or Night

              So even the statement the sun will rise tomorrow is useless depending on place.

              If you cannot suggest a bounding function for the deficit well MMT should be ignored until they do the work of operationalizing their theory.

              This is the disdain with Ivory Tower Academics. The best example of this is Black Sholes Merton model and how they failed when they had their own hedge fund.


              As Nassim Taleb loves to say having skin in the game showed what your theories are made of. If your model is not good you lose money. Unfortunately in the case of MMT. If the MMT guys get control of the government and fail we all fail. Why risk this?

              The MMT people seem to cult like TBH. It’s like nobody really knows anything so any criticism sets them off. Is MMT a religion of some sort?

              • Micha says:

                “What are its policy implications?”

                For one, the useless, energy draining debate on how we’re gonna pay for social programs like Medicare For All can be easily settled.

                “How can these be tested or observed?”

                Well, that’s the trouble with so-called critics like you. You are not paying attention at all. MMT is being applied to the Pentagon budget, the bail out of mega banks in the 2008 crisis, and the trillion dollar tax cuts gifted by the Donald to the billionaire class.

                “Is the observation or observed phenomenon a valid example of the hypothesis tested?”

                If you’ve been observant of the above, what do you think?

                “That is why we are looking for models.”

                You won’t be able to make use of economic models if it’s staring you in the eyeballs.

                “Because Deficits only matter depending on inflation is not workable.”

                I’m not sure you have any idea what you’re talking about.

                “How much can one budget?”

                Your budget is what your economy needs.

                “What level of spending endangers that 2% either to increase or decrease that inflation?”

                You employ automatic stabilizers, drain adjustment, and interest rate setting.

                “We are curious because we want to understand the world.”

                Good for you.

                “If you cannot suggest a bounding function for the deficit well MMT should be ignored until they do the work of operationalizing their theory.”

                Well, bad news for you if that’s your position. MMT is already being adopted by Republican operatives and ignoring it at your say so just won’t cut it.

                “This is the disdain with Ivory Tower Academics.”

                I’m not wasting my time addressing your disdain.

                “If the MMT guys get control of the government and fail we all fail.”

                Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson took MMT into their own hands in 2008 and they succeeded mightily. Aren’t you going to say thank you?

                “Is MMT a religion of some sort?”

                Define religion.

              • Q: “What level of spending endangers that 2% either to increase or decrease that inflation?”
                A: You employ automatic stabilizers, drain adjustment, and interest rate setting.

                This seems to be getting closer to building something pragmatic, if it is agreed that inflation is the primary problem with MMT. What are automatic stabilizers, and how can they be tested or certified from history? What is drain adjustment? How do you explain interest rate setting to laypeople?

                I would add that being snide to people does not make you look more intelligent than them, it just makes you look snide with perhaps more knowledge than them that you are not willing to share, in favor of projecting false superiority.

                And don’t bicker with me on the point. I am at a stage of seeking stress relief and if it means blocking people who just can’t discuss things without going personal, ending that particular form of stress is just a click away.

              • Revisionist history.

                Bernanke and Paulson did not practice MMT. Have you even read Bernanke’s Criticisms of the Bank of Japan? Bernanke is a New Keynesian. Please try again but all the BS and trollish behavior you are spouting leaves me to think you know jack shit.

              • You cant find a credible central bank proponent so you claim one out of thin air. Wait til AOC becomes president and you’ll have your Central Bank Governor or Chief.

                Spouting lies to.bolster your case would.not work on well informed people lile.most cit it out.

              • chemrock says:

                This talk about Republicans, Bernake and Pentagon already already practicing MMT is delusional and just trying to normalise MMT, just like International Hijab Day is trying to normalise Islamic lifestyle. If MMT is already being practiced, the national debt would’nt be continuing on its trajectory north.

              • Micha says:


                Parts of the gov’t adopting and putting into action MMT principles on selective policies will only get part of the predictive result.

                See the NYT article I’ve posted somewhere below about Wall Street bankers embracing MMT.

          • Thanks for that article. It fits with my view as well, and as long as Micha is just condemning those who won’t buy MMT, he is a living example of one of the flaws stated in the article. There appear to be no teachers who buy into MMT, none who can translate the over-arching jargon into real-world impacts. I’m reminded of Yellows who are angry at the masa but are not able to articulate reasons for voting for capable people in terms that the disenfranchised can relate to.

        • I actually posted a few years back praising the Philippine government on issuing Peso Denominated bonds. Why because this debt is much easier to manage by the Central Bank, you can inflate away but my little understanding of the matter makes me believe there are a limiter in the top end and a limiter in the bottom end. There are the Zero Lower Bound and German-style/Zimbabwe-style runaway inflation. If MMT cannot effectively prescribe ways to handle these or at least prevent it well as I said earlier MMT is a useless theory that needs to be worked on until useful. I imagine it is like the AI research of Hinton unusable until the computers became more powerful.

          Also, the Philippines again issued Peso Denominated RTBs.

          • Micha says:

            “If MMT cannot effectively prescribe ways to handle these or at least prevent it well as I said earlier MMT is a useless theory that needs to be worked on until useful.”

            It’s this kind of loaded statements coming from an ignoramus of the theory that’s not helping the conversation.

            Useless as opposed to what? What alternative description of the currently operating monetary system do you have that is useful?

            • Or one could replace ‘ignoramus of’ with ‘someone unknowledgeable about’, thus switching the burden of solving the problem back to the speaker and removing the angst of insult. If you want people on your side, try teaching them rather than driving them off to be happy with their lack of knowledge about a field of economics evidently rich with unsociable people.

            • Dodging the question? What can MMT tell me that is new? MMT doesnt own the government spending is constrained by inflation. Central Banks have known this since the use of Fiat currency. I think you cant answer so you evade. Please stop the trollish dodging and answer the question.

            • Sorry for the being rude and some name calling Micha. Just woke up and haven’t taken my BP meds.

    • chemrock says:


      “A government that issues its own currency does not have a monetary constraint on its spending other than inflation.”

      I understand the monopoly banker never runs out of cash. But ‘a technically correct definition is not the same as a relevant and useful argument.’

      • Micha says:

        So what’s your relevant and useful argument?

        • chemrock says:

          As stated before … show me the models.
          But you are right to ask a valid question. I’m tempted to write a blog on this.We are going too far off topic in Joe’s blog here. But I certainly would like to see a good article from you. Your previous article did not convince me. This is not said in contempt, but it’s a challenge to be able to put forth something that makes sense of MMT. All those ivory tower type conversations I find meaningless.

          • Micha says:

            No, you have not made any coherent argument because you don’t have any. Insisting on models is jumping on the prescriptive part. MMT is largely a description of how the monetary and fiscal function of a sovereign currency issuing government works.

            If the articles that have been made available to you did not convince you, then you are beyond convincing and I am not here to convince you. Like evolution, the theory stands whether you like it or not, it does not depend on your opinion or flawed biases.

            • chemrock says:

              Economics is not pure science, but it is based on mathematical models. MMT has produced what? Other than the one I referred you to.

              Beyond the ideas, it offers mathematical models to relate to real life environment. MMT is divorced from the real world.I would love to see the relationship to real world but all these are un-available.

              • Micha says:

                If economics is not pure science because it has lots of moving externalities and variables then your dogged insistence for a model is flawed as the Keynesian IS-LM model is flawed.

              • chemrock says:

                I don’t know much about LS-IM model but it precisely serves my point. If there is a model then all the smart cookies can robust test it with real life data and conclude it’s flawed or it supports the underlying theories.

              • Micha says:

                MMT is divorced from the real world.I would love to see the relationship to real world but all these are un-available.”

                It’s statements like these that give away your position of cluelessness. When Bernanke rolled the bail out of Wall Street banks and corporations, he was doing MMT. One, no borrowing or tax revenue necessary. Two, no shooting up of inflation. And three, economic free fall was arrested.

                That’s real world rubber meets the road policy that support MMT study and predictive coherence.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Cluelessness deserves be given clues, otherwise it would be playing piano in the in the dark.
                After such enlightenment is given it llonger be your problem.
                I am getting sick of this.But don’t worry I’ll take alka-seltzer, an antacid with aspirin.

              • chemrock says:

                “When Bernanke rolled the bail out of Wall Street banks and corporations, he was doing MMT. One, no borrowing or tax revenue necessary. Two, no shooting up of inflation. And three, economic free fall was arrested.”

                I grant you there was no immediate inflation nor free-falling of the economy. But this serves to fly in your own arguments :

                – Where is the upper limits which Gian asked. You need some modelling to tell you this, otherwise it’s simply not acceptable. At least to me, from a managerial point of view.
                – So the Fed’s action saved the USA, but it’s such very acts that you so detest, is it not?

                And by the way, Bernake’s actions no doubt brought some reprieve. But there is no happy ever after. There is cause and effect. The effects are being played out decades later, which is in current times.

              • fellas,

                Let me add another component here, Micha’s correct AOC seems to be gaining traction and consensus , and personally the more I read about MMT , i’m reminded by Trump’s

                “What have you got to lose?!!!”

                let’s view MMT under the light of global climate change, looming economic collapse, time’s up. do we really have time for models??? What have you got to lose?! the world’s about to end as we know it, obviously the current trajectory is wrong,

                What have we got to lose?!!! we can tinker with the current engine as we barrel to God knows where, or we can change the engine and hopefully avert something worst. sure false dilemma , false choice… but my point,

                let’s add a time element to the discussion. let’s help out our girl AOC.

  22. “No, carry on, no banning in sight. I’m enjoying the read.” — Joe

    Okay, so w/ Joe’s guarantee of safe passage , we shall proceed with Evolution (and the Bible, as “an astounding historical record of 7,000 years of human history” i’ll contend here yeah as metaphor and literature maybe but certainly nothing scientific).

    And thank you to sonny for sharing that article, i’d not heard of that book (will check it out). 🙂

    It took Darwin so long to publish because he was too familiar with the implications of his findings, thus these two quotes preceding the title page:

    As to the full title of the book, keep in mind that “races” to Darwin was just another word for “species” or “types”, but the publisher chose to use “races” precisely because of its social implications and his desire to sell books.

    But Darwin’s book is mainly about his findings while he was at the Galápagos, social Darwinism and Darwin’s theory are two different things, read the underlined below,

    chemp: “I’ll just ask these 3 simple questions, and I assume we are talking about atheist evolution:

    1. Your hero Richard Dawkins could’nt even name the full title of the book written by Dawkins. Can you? answered (and I’m no Richard Dawkins fan, I am a fan of both religions and philosophies)

    2. Can someone please explain to me why the hell is the appendix still doing in my body after thousands of years? I have no idea, chemp, but two of my buddies who had their appendix taken out, due to infection, healed perfectly; but now both have become prone to diarrhea (90% of the time they have diarrhea, or wet poop).

    3. Organisms change due to modifications in genetics. The answer lies in epigenitics. Natural selection does not cut it.”


    noun BIOLOGY

    the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.

    “epigenetics has transformed the way we think about genomes”

    Sure , chemp , i’m open to epigenetics, but I don’t agree with the notion that epigenetics and natural selection are mutually exclusive concepts.

    from sonny‘s article,

    “What is new, and caused New Scientist to run that over-stated and provocative headline, “Darwin Was Wrong,” is that we now understand there is another, hugely significant form of variation. It’s not just incremental mutation, but horizontal gene transfer, bringing entirely new packages of DNA into genomes.

    One of the axioms in Darwin’s day, natura non facit saltus, which your good Latin training [laughs] will tell you means nature does not make leaps; things happen incrementally. But horizontal gene transfer has revealed that nature does sometimes make leaps, whereby huge lumps of DNA can appear in an individual or population quite suddenly and then natural selection acts on them. That can be a very important mechanism in the evolution of new species.” (italics and bolding mine)

    Read the 3rd paragraph of Darwin’s intro, he’s open to other sub-theories in how transmutation works. thus never ruled out other means of transmitting mutations.

    OT : Nietzche’s Will to Power was thought out as in opposition to Darwin’s , he called Darwin’s theory Will to Survive (Darwin never called it that, and the two men never interacted). But Nietzsche thought Darwin’s reactive description of how natural selection worked was just wrong, he proposed w/out explaining genes and mutations that nature was more proactive, able to shape its environment and not the other way around as Darwin described.

    so IMHO, yours and sonny’s thoughts are more inclined to Nietzsche’s Will to Power, and he was a rabid anti-Christian (though he was a fan of Jesus and John the Baptist and St. Francis, but not St. Paul).

    But my question to you , chemp, is how epigenetics or horizontal gene transfer (sonny’s) somehow nullify Darwin’s theory, whilst affirming the Bible as “an astounding historical record of 7,000 years of human history”.

    Don’t get me wrong, chemp, the Book of Job (arguably the oldest book in the Bible) reads like a Natural Geographic article, but it’s not scientific, it’s literature.

    …and to connect this thread with its parent MMT thread above, if you notice the line of questioning I am now chempo while you are now Micha, chemp. 😉

    • chemrock says:

      “But my question to you , chemp, is how epigenetics or horizontal gene transfer (sonny’s) somehow nullify Darwin’s theory, whilst affirming the Bible as “an astounding historical record of 7,000 years of human history”.

      Lance, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying epigenetics or horizontal gene transfer nullify Darwinism. Firstly, Darwin’s theory is just that, a theory. It’s not proven science (which Micha seems to think it is in her repartee — “Darwinism proven wrong?Holy molly, that should be headline news! Completely unsupported. Just stringing sentences.”) My reference to this is our growing knowledge of the genome is throwing more light into organism development that points to biological modifications being impacted by horizontal gene transfers and not purely environmental survivalist demands.

      On the other hand, I’m saying creationism nullifies Darwin’s theory. In the first place, I’m sure you agree Darwin had a starting point in his evolution idea. So instead of following his theory forward of what comes out from the sea to become us, try to follow backwards from when it started. Darwin had a starting point. I’m sure he did’nt say once upon a time some parts of the periodic table mixed itself into a concoction and it rained and there was lightning which striked the compound and organisms came out of it. Darwin did’nt explain how he breathed live into matter. Nor did he explain how consciousness came about. He simply had a starting point and proceeded from it. In other words, someone did some massive work for him earlier. So my line of thinking is if an argument can prove existence of a Creator, Darwin’s theory becomes questionable. And I did say I’m referring to Darwin’s theory as atheist evolution idea.

      • “So my line of thinking is if an argument can prove existence of a Creator, Darwin’s theory becomes questionable.”

        yeah, I get that, same with my “if aliens show up tomorrow and say , we’re all just their experiments. then we’d have to come up with new ways of thinking”.

        “And I did say I’m referring to Darwin’s theory as atheist evolution idea.”

        yeah, you did, chemp. thus an escape hatch early on. 🙂

        • chemrock says:


          I’ll be back to put in my argument why I believe there is a Creator. Need to put some thought into how to present it. You can hold your question on if there is a Creator who creates a Creator till later.

          • now, you’re taking Nassim Taleb’s advice (putting some skin in the game 😉 ). I eagerly await, chemp.

          • caliphman says:

            Chemmy, this site provides so many flashback topics from my youth eons ago. If its not eccentric niche theories now being resurrected from the dustbin of economics history. Thats how long ago Hick’s IS-LM diagrams came out in Samuelson’s mire than galf century old primers on macroeconomics. I think MMT came out before Hicks but maybe I am just ignorant or moronic or kazy ir all three.The thought of a forthcoming dissertation on Uncaused Causes, Unmoved Mover, etc. will certainly bring back memories of my freshman Thomistic philosophy classes. These topics can certainly be a welcome respite from all the gloomy news coming out of the homeland.

  23. Micha says:

    The package of eccentric ideas known as modern monetary theory — for example, that annual deficits are too small, and that the United States can essentially print money to pay off its debt — has been on the receiving end of a remarkable level of vitriol.

    But M.M.T., as it’s known, is attracting a conspicuous number of fans in an unexpected place: Wall Street. Money managers, chief executives and business analysts maintain that the approach offers several important and overlooked insights, and far from finding it fanciful or deranged, they are using M.M.T. to build economic forecasts and even trading strategies.

    “I don’t look at labels in terms of what’s on the left and the right,” said Jan Hatzius, the chief economist at Goldman Sachs. “I try to look at what makes me have a better chance of getting the forecast right, and I do find some of the ideas useful.”

    So does Paul A. McCulley, a former chief economist at the behemoth asset firm Pimco. Ideas like M.M.T. that rub against the grain of conventional economics, he said, have “for all of my career been a very useful framework for analysis.”


      Micha, you think they could revamp another form of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and get Wall Street in the MMT game???

    • from:

      (3) a Green New Deal must be developed through transparent and inclusive consultation, collaboration, and partnership with frontline and vulnerable communities, labor unions, worker cooperatives, civil society groups, academia, and businesses; and

      (4) to achieve the Green New Deal goals and mobilization, a Green New Deal will require the following goals and projects—

      (A) providing and leveraging, in a way that ensures that the public receives appropriate ownership stakes and returns on investment, adequate capital (including through community grants, public banks, and other public financing), technical expertise, supporting policies, and other forms of assistance to communities, organizations, Federal, State, and local government agencies, and businesses working on the Green New Deal mobilization;

      (B) ensuring that the Federal Government takes into account the complete environmental and social costs and impacts of emissions through—

      (i) existing laws;

      (ii) new policies and programs; and

      (iii) ensuring that frontline and vulnerable communities shall not be adversely affected;

      (C) providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States, with a focus on frontline and vulnerable communities, so that all people of the United States may be full and equal participants in the Green New Deal mobilization;

      (D) making public investments in the research and development of new clean and renewable energy technologies and industries;

      (E) directing investments to spur economic development, deepen and diversify industry and business in local and regional economies, and build wealth and community ownership, while prioritizing high-quality job creation and economic, social, and environmental benefits in frontline and vulnerable communities, and deindustrialized communities, that may otherwise struggle with the transition away from greenhouse gas intensive industries;

      (F) ensuring the use of democratic and participatory processes that are inclusive of and led by frontline and vulnerable communities and workers to plan, implement, and administer the Green New Deal mobilization at the local level;

      (G) ensuring that the Green New Deal mobilization creates high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages, hires local workers, offers training and advancement opportunities, and guarantees wage and benefit parity for workers affected by the transition;

      (H) guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States;

      (I) strengthening and protecting the right of all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain free of coercion, intimidation, and harassment;

      (J) strengthening and enforcing labor, workplace health and safety, antidiscrimination, and wage and hour standards across all employers, industries, and sectors;

      (K) enacting and enforcing trade rules, procurement standards, and border adjustments with strong labor and environmental protections—

      (i) to stop the transfer of jobs and pollution overseas; and

      (ii) to grow domestic manufacturing in the United States;

      (L) ensuring that public lands, waters, and oceans are protected and that eminent domain is not abused;

      (M) obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous peoples for all decisions that affect indigenous peoples and their traditional territories, honoring all treaties and agreements with indigenous peoples, and protecting and enforcing the sovereignty and land rights of indigenous peoples;

      (N) ensuring a commercial environment where every businessperson is free from unfair competition and domination by domestic or international monopolies; and

      (O) providing all people of the United States with—

      (i) high-quality health care;

      (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing;

      (iii) economic security; and

      (iv) clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and access to nature.

      • Micha says:

        Thanks for this. We have the tools and resources to get it done. Only thing that gets in the way is politics, dirty destructive interest laden politics.

      • karlgarcia says:

        The funding source will be green bonds.

        What Are Green Bonds and How ‘Green’ Is Green?

        Trillions of dollars of investment are needed to combat global warming. Enter green bonds, a way for issuers to raise money specifically for environmentally friendly projects — such as renewable energy or clean transport — and to be able to boast about it publicly. Fund managers also like the notes as a way of meeting growing investor demand for sustainable options. The market, which opened slowly more than a decade ago, has boomed in recent years, helping spur development of other socially conscious debt products. Because investors face the challenge of judging whether a note is truly green, regulators are working on standards to help guard against greenwashing, or misleading claims about just how good a friend to the environment an issuer is.

        Green bond proceeds can go toward new or existing projects that are meant to have positive environmental or climate effects. Inside that, the range is vast. It covers energy, transport, waste management, building construction, water and land use. Some definitions also include communications and information technology.

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