Self-dealing defeats humanity

The King of Self-Dealers [Photo source: Politico]

By JoeAm

Democracy has proved to be rough going. It is a political process. Politics is agenda pushing, agenda-pushing becomes self-dealing, and self-dealing defeats democratic values. Human rights then get in the way.

We see it in the US and UK. We are living it in the Philippines.

Actually, the Philippines has had a self-dealing culture for a long time. Since Aguinaldo, for sure. It is a land of islands and family dynasties. They take care of their own. People are not given jobs for their skills, but for favors. Family and friends make up the pool of bosses. One favor begets another and pretty soon the corruption of values leads to outright theft of people’s money and resources.

President Duterte is not the exception, he is the rule.

In his administration, we can see the outcome of self-dealing as the short-term gains of his Administration overwhelm any long-range care of the Philippines and Filipinos. I mean, what leader would intentionally give away his nation’s lands, seas, and food resources for personal gain?

A person whose entire being encompasses self-dealing in power and favor.

Well, if self-dealing in the Philippines is dysfunctional, self-dealing at the global level is just plain stupid, is it not?  Yet US President Trump is rolling back ‘green’ policies as if he really believes climate change is a hoax. Then we see the height of arrogance . . . China has zero regard for ecology, laws, or other nations.

Pity the planet.

Pity the children.

Democracy is an ideal, and a lot of people are inspired by it. The concept is that we can together craft our way forward better than a single person can. Oh, it’s messy, for sure. We argue and debate endlessly. But those disputes originate a lot of the ideas from which better decisions can be made. We take care of all of us. We are free, seek fairness, and seek high-minded equality among peoples who have different handicaps and cultural beliefs. We seek compassion and giving. Not taking.

It is a slow, sloggy process. Dictatorship is faster. It can get us gains quickly . . . if we are in the right favored group. If we are willing to say to hell with ideals like fairness and equality. And freedom.

And compassion.

The battle between democracy and dictatorship is playing out vividly right next to us in Hong Kong. We can watch China’s thuggish dictator versus idealistic youth who want the opportunity to craft their own future. Violence dispensed demanding violence in return.

It’s getting ugly, two very different ideas about the way humanity should be run.

Nothing is being played out in the Philippines.

It is a settled deal. Those who relish power and favor are selling the entire nation down the road to China for the privilege of being privileged. And wealthy. And powerful.

Never mind the damages.

Never mind Filipino citizens . . .


51 Responses to “Self-dealing defeats humanity”
  1. This article says it all:

    especially the conditions for it to happen with the Philippines: that corruption, inflation or revolution don’t mess things up. Seems the country, as a team, will lose again. Waste another chance.

    • I’m wondering if, as we get closer to 2022, the weight of the existing Administration will seem so heavy that a great desire to unload it will emerge.

    • NHerrera says:


      Lately, I have read/ re-read some of the historical items — in the late 19th-20th centuries — to put perspective to or compare the recent world geopolitical happenings. Among these are about China and the French and American [mis-]adventures in Vietnam.

      Bertrand Russel, British mathematician, logician, philosopher published in 1922 an interesting book entitled, The Problem of China. His characterization of China and the Chinese from which he drew some forecasts of the future of China — no doubt influenced by the events surrounding the decades before his book — are wrong and right in parts. He was of course right in forecasting that from its very poor state of affairs in the early 1900s, China will rise to become a power second to the US.

      Worth a read.

      One can get a free Kindle Player app online and download the free kindle file from Gutenberg:

      • NHerrera says:

        Another thing Russell got right in his book on China: the road for China’s development — and true of other countries with a sizeable population, such as the one cited below by Irineo in the case of Indonesia — is through the following critical elements he quite-well discussed:

        1. The establishment of an orderly government;

        2. Industrial development;

        3. Education.

        I may mention that authoritarian it may have developed, but China through such mechanism has fulfilled Item 1. About Items 2 and 3, Russel discussed why he views Item 2 to precede Item 3.

        Russell, of course, did not say that Item 3 requires the country to produce more Lawyers, and give them more glamor than scientists, agriculturists and engineers by always citing that so and so Attorney Juan Marcos was number 1, number 7 or number 10 at the Bar Exam. Gee whiz.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    We hate dynasties, but we do not vote for people we do not know.
    Self-dealing, self-interests, hah! We only shout Bayan Muna bagoong sarili after watching Antonio Luna!

    • kasambahay says:

      no short cut to success po, for people to be loved and be known to the populace, they would have to submit and be scrutinized to within inches of their lives. and maybe suffer defeat and humiliation along the way, be scarred and hopefully, wiser. be willing and magnanimous to have their dirty bed sheets laundered in public. almost everybody has dirty beddings, that should not deter one from reaching lofty heights of ambition. everything and anything can be explained, ask panelo, and sanchez would have gone free, lol!

      seriously, having dirty sheets is no deterrent for a determined politician and I dont mean sanchez et al.

      going through the grinder and surpassing the odds only makes success that much sweeter and just that much deserved.

      but 1st, gotta start from the beginning at manuyo, like isko moreno was apprentice to erap, learning the tricks of the trade, watching and observing what not to do. and success did come later for isko.

      3months already and the hongkongers are still at it. it’s a long road to freedom.

      we dont vote for people we dont know, but with time and dedication, the people we dont know become the people we know. the people we come to despise, maybe loved even, once.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    Even if we change t to parliamentary to make the party decision making the focus, we will just repeat history and suck at it if the people are still power brokers or dummies of power brokers.
    Cayetano blatantly said on national TV that business interests control the legislature when he crossed Ramon Ang of San Miguel but we just shrugged we did not even sulked.
    Lacson exposed Villar last 2010, people keeps on twitting that Villars keep on converting agricultural lands to subdivisions, but all we can do is complain and be called whiners by those who no longer care.
    Our laws make it difficult for everyone not just foreigners.
    You like to develop the Philippine industry but our procurement law looks for track record, we could have built our own warship and weapons systems by now if not for that. what happened, now we are tied to the Koreans for the next few years, whether it is good or bad, we still do not know.
    How can we have a track record when the track is an obstacle course?

  4. karlgarcia says:

    Pre Hispanic and early 20th Century Chinese are different, we should not see them as underdogs and victims out for revenge they are just predators.

  5. popoy says:

    Words separate
    humans from animals
    Dictatorship is a crime
    Corruption is a crime
    Self-dealing is watered
    down high crime.

    Democracy means choices
    Rationality means
    best alternatives
    the greatest good
    is attained only when
    enjoyed by choices
    of the greatest number.

    two stanzas that heal
    the up and about; that
    sicken and kill snoozers
    in vetsined noodle land.

  6. NHerrera says:

    Off topic


    Mass murder in America is now predictable, and each incident follows a pattern you can set your watch to: a shooter guns down innocents, family and friends bury their loved ones, communities grieve, many politicians offer empty thoughts and prayers, little to no legislative action is taken — and people move on until the next one.

    • NHerrera says:


      As hurricanes, floods and killing summer heat due to Climate Change increase in frequency, the gun violence and its associated deaths and injuries goes up too.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Pro-gun anti-gun lobby produced many books, movies and documentaries like this one.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I also have a balikbayan friend who was a gulf war vet and he was a sniper, he said there are many of them.
        Some maybe dealing with mental health issues and maybe prone to do random sniping, if unchecked.

        • karl,

          This is what the Dems and libs are trying to say, that somehow the veterans and White nationalists are one and the same. Most White nationalist don’t remain White nationalists once they join the military. Vets don’t tend to join White nationalists after leaving the military.

          Now militia organizations are a different issue, most have vets though no groups avow White nationalism, just 2nd amendment anti-gov’t stuff, these militias tend to be mostly White. but vets and White nationalism don’t really mix.

          Though i’d agree that both would be pro-gun, than anti-gun, vets are less likely to carry out mass killings (statistically speaking).

          As for sniper styled mass killings , I’m only familiar with that former-Marine that shot up students from a clock tower in a college, i believe in Texas, and the DC sniper attacks (carried out by two). I’d assume sniper styled shootings (mass murder) would be less also, simply because of the skill involved to carry out successful shots from long distance.

          Me personally, I’m scared of IEDs, whether road side or inside buildings, etc. Knock on wood not yet happened. I’m actually really surprised the long awaited proliferation of IEDs here never materialized. it was so successful out there.

          Let me research more on these sniper styled mass shootings, I’m pretty sure though that those are the only 2.

          But mass shootings don’t really bother me, karl. Statistically speaking, I’ll die in a car accident here. it all boils down to , Low probability , high impact vs. High probability , low impact. it the news covered every single car accident , car vs. car, or car vs. people, everyone would be scared of cars… instead people here are scared of guns.

          Go figure.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Thanks for your input. So they are all death by human error to you statistically speaking.

            • not error-based, karl, plenty are done quite deliberately ie. road rage, wrong way driving for suicide, take as many out typa deal, I just saw a dude sleep in his Tesla on the freeway, so I’m sure deaths by stoopidity will abound as well. My point it’s whatever gets blown up in the nightly news, and whatever gets politicized by politicians. That sends the population hysterical.

              With that said, I don’t go out to concerts and to the mall , and other busy places, thus lowering my anxiety level considerably. But I am on the road often enough, my point here it’s lifestyle that also plays a role whether something is important to you or not.

              For example, a frequent hiker thru the wilderness should be more scared of being abducted by the UFO, based on the frequency of play in the media. Mass shootings not so much.

          • popoy says:

            LCpl, meaty, nice, facts based and NCP.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Even one sniper styled mass shootings is one shooting too many.
            About suicide bombers, I never imagined that it would happen here, but it did.

            • I agree. Especially, if i were shot, karl.

              But statistically speaking, not as worrisome. Because of the skill involved, bombing though the making of it takes skillz, simply setting it off does not really.

          • NHerrera says:

            Lance, on your

            deaths and injuries from gun violence = high [social] impact, low probability events

            deaths and injuries from car incidents = low [social] impact, high probability events

            therefore deaths and injuries from gun violence is “no big deal” because it has a lower probability (my paraphrase of part of your comment to karl).

            Granted the statistics bears out the low probability of the first versus the second, there is a big difference in the two isn’t it? In the aspect that, in the first, there is the intent to do harm.

            To stretch your argument, deaths and injuries resulting from consuming sweets and cakes, hamburgers is of the nature of the second category.

            • Totally, agree, NH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              Who is taking Pepsi and Coca Cola to courts, they did it to the cigarette industry (now there’s Juul). Diabetes and Heart disease is a real big deal. And killing more Americans than mass shootings ever will. Is someone responsible, well the person mass consuming sugars and salt sure, but how about the peddlers of the disease?

              But like i said to , karl, road rage, wrong way driving suicide, ramming people with ones car at the farmers’ markets, etc. etc. is by definition murder there is intent/negligence— why not apply it to Coke and over processed foods too? it’s assigning fault, me thinks is the issue, easier to do when they guys finger’s in the trigger,

              a guys behind the wheel, not so much,

              even less so, when decisions are made by the board.

              Your matrix will be better served , NH, if you adjust for intent thus fault. Define them first.

              • karlgarcia says:

                They only took them to courr after being unable to claim their money from raffles. Many understandstimate their promos, it happened to Hoover vacuum cleaners.
                Maybe if the cigarettes have: I cause cancer stickers, the sodas will have : I cause diabetes.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Forcanned food: I cause hypertension and kidney diseases among others

              • i foresee, driver assist will also get dinged soon, karl. But TESLA has already washed its hands, saying Tesla owners are not suppose to be sleeping behind the wheel— it’s not driverless technology.

                If we see more accidents (murder actually criminal negligence) like these, are we to ban all Teslas and cars like Tesla with driver assist tech??? Again, who’s at fault???

              • karlgarcia says:

                We are back to human error and free will.
                Round and Round it goes.

              • The inhumanity of statistics, I suppose. We are all collateral damage and some things all the will in the world, free at no cost, will not change things. But within the bubble of inevitability, we have choices, and ought to make the best of them, it seems to me. Arguing the details is but a diversion.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Nicely said.

            • In closing, no I am not arguing purely statistics here, as evidenced by the lack of graphs. 😉 What I am arguing is simply the comparison of these risks.

              So a person who drives and texts, or drives while eating a big Mac with large soda, or all three at the same time, cannot cannot get to dictate policy based on fears assigned him/her from cable news.

              Which returns us to Joe’s “choice” and sonny’s “free will”. karl, you’re correct! Me as libertarian just want less government. But if government wants to “do” something, then government must prioritize other “problems” like all those already listed in the above thread.

              Don’t mess with the 1st and 2nd amendment, those two go hand-in-hand. Treat crimes as criminal matter, treat law suits as law suits, deter where you can. I would even agree to a tax on guns and bullets, like we’re now taxing gas and cigarettes.

              But these talks usually lead to all out confiscation of the 2nd amendment– as if there’s no other pressing problems, I’m saying there is a slew of other problems killing us– thus watering down our 1st. It’s a 1-2 punch, these first two amendments. These 2 basic rights is what sets us apart, and need to be understood as such.

              That’s my only point here. Compare the actual risks.


      KABUL, Afghanistan ⁠— The Taliban has issued an official warning against travel to the United States because an increased threat of gun violence. The announcement warned all Afghanis, “Do not travel to the United States. You may get shot there.”

      The release comes in the shadow of a potential peace agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban. Tensions are high ahead of what finally appears to be an end in sight for America’s longest war. But with peace would comes the potential for travel bans to be lifted.

      During a press conference about the warning, Suhail Shaheen, Taliban spokesman, opened up with many formalities about the weather, and spent a few minutes totally being stuck on the finale of Game of Thrones, before getting back on track and issuing edicts.

      “All Afghans [traveling to the United States] should bring at least one towel, body armor, and rape whistles,” he said, “because America is a really dangerous place. Also, don’t go to Chicago. At all. People die there every day.”

      He continued, “We are also concerned with the number of milkshakes being thrown on ordinary U.S. citizens during random riots. We have no idea who the enemies in America are.”

      “The rioters don’t have sophisticated weaponry, but mace burns, so if you chose to ignore our travel warning, please take swimming goggles.”

  7. NHerrera says:


    TSH Retweet which seems to attribute to Philstar’s Boo Chanco,

    “Build, build, build” has so far failed to give us the economic stimulus it was meant to provide. Public construction had slowed down from a 28% annual growth in 2016 to 19.7% last year, and it is negative (-22.1%) this year so far.

    comes from Cielito Habito’s opinion column of Inquirer which TSH includes in the Retweet [Sorry, Boo Chanco may in fact tweeted Habito’s comment, which TSH Retweeted. In any case, it shows, Joe, that I am following both your blog and comments as well as the Tweet Section]:

    “Build, build, build” (BBB) program has so far failed to give us the economic stimulus it was meant to provide. Public construction had already slowed down from a 28-percent annual growth in 2016 to 19.7 percent last year, and the budget impasse swung it into negative (-22.1 percent) this year so far.”

    Here is however a related article by Boo Chanco, “Golden age of promise?” which I excerpted below:

    BSP Governor Ben Diokno is one lucky fellow. Because he has a new supposedly more independent job, he is not obligated to explain what happened to Build Build Build and the golden age of promises.

    Indeed, three years after arrogantly claiming government funded infrastructure projects are faster to implement, they are finding out it just isn’t so. How many of those supposed flagship GAA/ODA funded projects are now in construction stage?

    Money is no longer the problem. The technocrats call it “lack of absorptive capacity.” Government agencies don’t have the trained manpower that the private sector has. Few have qualified staff to evaluate complicated infra proposals. And the approval process is tedious.

    As for ODA, only Japan is on the ball. Chinese ODA are still being processed. Here is a European bank’s view:

    “Chinese-funded infrastructure projects are still in early stages. Most Chinese-funded infrastructure projects are still undergoing pre-procurement activities (i.e. hiring of consultants for bidding, detailed engineering design, etc.) and actual construction for these projects could realistically start only in 2020/2021, given that right-of-way will still need to be acquired.”

    The European bank observed in a recently issued report: “Infrastructure gaps are a major bottleneck for Philippine economic growth. The country is usually criticized as having among the worst infrastructure in Asia and, as a result, foreign investment and tourism are dismal compared with other countries.”

    Luckily for Mr. Duterte, he can inaugurate leftover P-Noy projects that will be completed soon. His infrastructure secretaries took too long to break ground on their own projects.

    • NHerrera says:

      Not to diminish the rightful brouhaha over the incompetent Faeldon’s intended release of Sanchez and the release of the drug lords, but this important financial and construction project items on the BBB Program should receive the brouhaha that it deserves too

  8. madlanglupa says:

    The last thing I need is some madman in the highest office on the planet starting the worst ever.

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