Democracy in the Philippines will be run by power families forever

By JoeAm

I ran a little poll on Twitter to get a sense of how those who inhabit the place and follow me, generally well-read people, see the Philippines developing in the future.

There were four choices as shown in the results profile to the right. The fourth choice, translated, read “A Chinese Province”.

The striking result is that only 10 percent of the people who responded anticipate that the future will be a thriving democracy.

The remaining 90 percent anticipate some kind of authoritarian structure.

A banana republic generally represents a corrupt group of dictatorially inclined power mongers. A dynastic federation represents the same thing but does not weigh corruption as heavily. We might substitute “favored” for corrupt and have the same idea. Powerful families or interests (military cabal) will run things.

If the Philippines at some points becomes a Chinese province in the soft sense that the nation’s leaders are doing what China wants, then we can substitute “Chinese interests” for favored or corrupt and still have the same idea. The Filipino and Chinese families and power structure will dominate the nation’s direction and agenda. Filipino “natives” will be the servant class to the powerful and favored elite.

If the nation becomes a hard, formal province of China like Hong Kong, well, Chinese bosses will be everywhere, including the Palace.

If we see the way the Philippines works today, we see basically HOW it will work in the future. There will be no moral guideposts found in laws or the Constitution, no sense of justice that will be honorable to fairness or some useless ideas about equality. Everything will be honorable to advantage.

The moral guideposts will be respect for power. Subservience to it. Obedience. Loyalty.

You and I will have to get used to it. We will learn to stop complaining and stop recommending better ways. We’ll give up the frustrations attached to failed attempts to do it better. Innovation, invention, and efficiency will be irrelevant. No need to waste our energies on that. There is only one way, after all. What the entitled tell us.

The truth will be their truth, not ours.

The winners will be those who are connected to the powerful interests, who can help them tangibly or help punish those who would be so audacious as to oppose them. That’s how you will be able advance. By helping the entitled rather making things difficult with ideas like fairness or compassion. And by punishing those in the way.

Just like now.

If you ache at the unfairness of it all, the brutality, don’t worry.

You’ll get used to it. You will go dull like the rest. You’ll find satisfaction in being mean. You’ll find your happiness in squashing others and pumping your fist each time you do.

You’ll lie to them, and you’ll lie to yourself.

I mean, how else will you be able to stand what you have become?


194 Responses to “Democracy in the Philippines will be run by power families forever”
  1. arlene says:

    What a grim scenario being under a chinese government. Oh my gosh, it seems that people are no longer that desperate to preserve democracy. We’re all getting lost and it’s sad. Good morning Joeam.

    • Good morning, arlene. We must try to stay real in an environment of distortion. That does not mean we must panic, just grasp what it means. Our truth is what will keep us sane as all others succumb to the new truthtellers.

      My guess is that those who selected the Chinese option don’t think the Philippines will be under China directly, but that China will strongly influence and direct the course of the nation. The tensions have to be played out to see if there is any line of advancement for Filipinos in a Chinese-dominant society. My guess is there will be.

  2. madlanglupa says:

    The problem of having such autocratic caciques otherwise known as the principalia, with associated normalization of nepotism and cronyism, is as old as even since before Magellan set his foot here. The former minor royals became town and city chieftains who quickly adapted to the colonizers as go-betweens and deal-makers, and eventually create the autocratic culture that has become the typical facet of most politicians. Presidents for more than a century after independence tried to root out this culture but those presidents — except maybe for Magsaysay with some American assistance — can’t become presidents without considerable backing of the entrenched political and economic elites.

    According to a mutual friend, a Filipino could not advance in society without either cunning, bribery or connections to officialdom, so pretty much perpetuating the problems we still face; those who do not the “K” either starve, passed over, or emigrate.

    • A lot of potential is wasted in the Philippines through this set of cultural values. Indeed, getting passed over is the reason values are upside down. Those passed over recognize this is not working . . . for me. No one within the power families, the oligarchs, even the Aquino’s, has the power to convince the other oligarchs that this nation shames us all, compared to what we could be. A nation of no shame, I suppose.

      • Two things have maintained the hold on power of the datus/principalia/trapos or elite/burgis:

        1) perceived superiority
        1a) the datus spoke Malay, the lingua franca of the region, commoners did not
        1b) the children of the principalia were educated directly by the friars, spoke Spanish
        1c) the trapos were able to make the most use of English to hijack US-taught democracy

        2) perceived power
        2a) the principalia were perceived as having Spanish troops behind them
        2b) the same with the trapos who were perceived as fully US-backed (until 1986!)
        2c) these same trapos feel more secure with a new foreign power (China) as a backer

        • As a result, the ruling families could afford to be both irresponsible and incompetent.

          I) Incompetence can easily be covered up if the people don’t understand your language. Quo warranto et ab initio in saecula saeculorum, tempus fugit per regem at pecunia non olet, nuamquam neumquam con los gatos y patos de Pateros, further affiant sayeth not.

          II) Irresponsibility is bred by not having to be accountable, as one is not the highest power. Like some rich kids who can always call on their daddy.

          Ruling groups – my personal theory from observing a lot of history in different places – had to learn competence and responsibility where they had more or less the same language as the people and nobody higher to run to when things went wrong.

          The bluff of cultural superiority via Spanish I think started to break down for the elite when Manila had a lot of trading houses. Commoners like Bonifacio got to learn and use Spanish. Likewise in the recent BPO boom where English was demistified. Each time the ruling class looked for a new, yet unknown and mysteriously powerful new backer to maintain their bluff and hide their cards. The USA in 1898, China recently.

          English was also demystified for a short time by the excellent public school system the Americans left to the Filipinos. That was quickly allowed to rot, the non-elite speakers of good English were allowed to migrate abroad.

          • Last but not least, the economic legacies of colonialism are the following:

            A. get-rich quick selling of natural and/or human resources. Little value-added stuff. Some of the handicrafts skills of the native Filipinos survived among the colonized (woodwork and weaving) while others like building boats and making weapons receded.

            B. people with an attitude of being lords and consumers – or workers and consumers. Manufacturing culture is hard to evolve out of such a mindset.

            So both masters and servants in the Philippines have a certain learned helplessness. The masters need a higher, foreign power to protect them (witness Duterte complaining that the USA did not rush to defend the WPS) while the servants need their masters.

            This is a far cry from the Indonesian cousins who built their own ships and planes, and defend their own territory, and deal with big powers with their chins up.

          • Okay, this partly answers my questions. Indolent.

        • That 2c is the surprise. Is it that the ‘families’ do not want to stand independent or don’t know how? They are powerful because they exercise the power of the foreign backer? That is easier than crafting unity, which only exists in the minds of a few intellectuals, like those who drafted the 1987 Constitution? But otherwise simply does not exist?

  3. karlgarcia says:

    I understand that past entries still have comments closed. As far far as the recent topic of people’s initiative goes, if we realize that we finally realize that we can legislate like the legislators do then we can begin with anti-dynasty.

    The thing is at the moment, I do not see any outrage. I saw a tweet calling wishing for an HK scenario as destabilization. My Goodness!

    • I saw that anti-dynasty people’s initiative that you posted on Twitter. I thought “hey, this is brilliant; it’s the one initiative that could upend the grip families have on the nation’s resources and decision-making.” It is a perfect topic for discussion here, come to think about it. It is the antidote to the family or vested interest dominance that the 90% foresee coming.

      • Pablo says:

        Of course, it would be brilliant. But it is non-starter because the whole system is build around dynasties and there is no chance that the dynasties would elect to self-destruct. And the reason the dynasties have been allowed to evolve is the same reason that nobody will tackle those dynasties in earnest without being marginalized. Same root-cause, same result therefore: It is a wet dream.
        If 90% of the free thinking people thinks it is hopeless, lets not waste time dreaming.
        Joe’s data is very valuable. If it would be 60/40, then it would be another case, but 80% cannot be wrong, the background of these people is too varied to ignore the value. If scientists and engineers, dreamers and skeptics are of the same opinion, then we should take it as a given and go from there….
        What’s next? Vote with our feet like 10% of the Filipino’s already have done before us? At least, that is a realistic option. Or be prepared to be corrupted in a authoritarian society? Any other suggestion?
        Born in a western democracy, I would suffocate in a totalitarian society with camera’s at every corner and snitches everywhere. I managed 2 days in the old Eastern Germany before getting distressed and rebelling. My bet is that we probably have to join the rats leaving this sinking ship soon.
        But the time to dream is over. 90% seems to agree.
        If more than 2/3 of the population agrees, the outcome is significant. 90% is just overwhelming and we should treat it as such.

        • I recollect the cockroach in Camus’ Metamorphosis and imagine being a decent person in a power-and-corruption Philippines would be a lot like him. Trapped. Stressed. Not relating. I saw the story as a stage play in Los Angeles. The actor playing the cockroach scaled the walls and hung on a latticework ceiling, watching and thinking. And feeling. I think that will be my approach to it. One’s life need not be neat and clean, I think. We are on a dying planet, after all.

          • sonny says:

            Funny, Joe. Your recollection reminded me of: “Do you know the way to San Jose, I’ve been away so long I’ll lose my way … LA is a great big freeway, put a 100 down and buy a car … in a week, maybe two they’ll make a star … and all the stars that never were are parking cars and pumping gas …” 😦

  4. josephivo says:

    … the one powerful force against “democracy” in the Philippines too might be immigration. Just on the news today: The customer base of a known immigration consultant in Hongkong increased by 300% over the last few weeks with a shift to the best educated. Main reason mentioned is the fear that their children will have to live in an autocratic regime.

    • Say, there is a voice from the past, good to hear!

      So the brain drain, and character drain, is accelerating. The rats are staying on the ship and a lot of the people are getting off. That matches with the overabundant sense of discouragement one can read on-line.

      You are writing of Hong Kong (I realized late), but I suspect the same is happening in the PHilippines.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Hi Josephivo!

    • I’m a big fan of the Wild West stories here, around the time of the California Gold Rush to around the Spanish American War. I see this blip in time as one continuous sweep, Westward Ho all the way to the Philippines.

      Sure, chaos drives away the best educated, and all others who can’t stomach risk. But the opposite is also true. It invites, preachers (for God) , adventurers ( for YOLO/FOMO) and businessmen (for Profit), many times all three are one and the same found in one person.

      For example, many landed, thus now folks with power in Mindanao are ex-senior enlisted, or police officers, stationed there who saw opportunity in chaos. By legal or illicit means or both, they accrued lands, then stood up businesses, then sent their kids to law school, then it is off to the greatest adventure preacher God knows what for pocketing the biggest loot (taxpayer money), that’s politics.

      “Democracy” and the Rule of Law is for people that have gotten theirs, thus wanna keep what they’ve amassed , the safest of all systems; BUT for those that have not amassed anything they’ll usually welcome some sort of upheaval, whatever system that is. Risk. What have they to lose?

      So my point, it cuts both ways. Chaos also creates opportunities, look at Vietnam, the folks who stayed are now enjoying a prosperous Vietnam, but then again those who left and made it big in the US have also returned with their business ideas. Win-Win for Vietnam.

      Whether under the US or China, both rich countries who have proven track record of raising their people up, one thru creative destruction, the other thru sheer reproductive will (thanks to Micha for this). Both are viable paths.

      The only difference really is that Mandarin is just so darn difficult to master. or even just be conversant in. 😉

      The Kurds just got thrown under the bus by Trump, which I think will now galvanize Kurdistan in Iraq, the only reason they’ve stayed with Iraq was because of the US, now that the US has shitted on them. They’ll have good reason now to separate themselves from Iraq, what better time than now. See, chaos to opportunity. Like hand in glove.

      If i were a Kurd I’d set sail for Southern Kurdistan, currently Northern Iraq.

      • josephivo says:

        Immigration has many drivers: fleeing out of fear, lack of opportunities (general or individual often because of the inheritance laws), adventurism… and political as the distribution of free lands in Mindanao for mainly Cebuano Christians

        Today in Hongkong affluent parents have to balance the opportunities in a Beijing dominated economy with the fear for a loss of freedom in Beijing dominated politics. A similar situation here, Filipinos balancing Filipino family values, religious anchors, belonging to a close (supporting) group… versus the fear of rogue cops, corrupt politicians, unscrupulous businessmen (thus longing for a democracy, the rule of law). Due to the more frequent immigration of the later, especially of the more vocal, assertive, political mature once, democracy in the Philippines will get weaker.

        • karlgarcia says:

          For the PH, the influx of Chinese took jobs from Filipinos, drove the prices of real estate beyond the roof, the crime lords and with it crime has increased, it increased the undisciplined and impunity here just because they can, oh wait will the Hongkongers do the same?

      • chemrock says:

        All these people displacements so chaotic and problematic for many.

        I expect a lot of HK folks to come to Singapore. Our property market gets hot again. US$5T has already fled HK into Spore. This is no good for us.

        Last time pre 1997 the rich went to Canada. The middle class came Spore. Our stupid govt willingly gave out lots of PR. With PR status, they are allowed to buy our public HDB apartments so the prices shot up. Few years later when the dust settled, they packed up, sold their HDB, collect the capital gains, rub our noises, and return to HK..

        I wonder if our govy is going to be stupid 2nd time round.

        • “Due to the more frequent immigration of the later, especially of the more vocal, assertive, political mature once, democracy in the Philippines will get weaker.”

          It goes back to the whole question of “is the Filipino worth dying for?”, and again and again, the answer seems to be a resounding ‘NO’, josephivo. But my point is, if those folks don’t wanna stay then there are plenty of other Filipinos in-line to take their place, good, bad, ugly or all three.

          Once those folks, get comfy, they’ll have more to lose too, then will seek greener pastures like their predecessors, and the cycle continues. Topsy-turvy.

          What you have to also consider is not Emigration , but Immigration, the returnees in particular. No matter the system in place, if people can still buy up lands, and start businesses, you’ll still have Filipinos from inside, and from outside.

          Not everyone has something to say, thus need not freedom of expression. This is what pro-Democracy folks never understand. People just want to mind their own business, and be comfortable. They don’t wanna write op-eds, they don’t wanna express themselves, they just wanna be comfy.

          Democracy as i’ve said over and over again here is an after thought, people do what people do first, just like in the Wild West over here, then when people get comfy, they’ll instill some order. But that too is only illusion. Every generation gets to negotiate their own terms.

          chemp, i’ve always wondered if there’s discrimination by Singaporeans against non-Singaporeans like the HK’ers of the 90s who’ve described??? When I was there I saw Chinese on top of the heap, then Indians, then the Malays at the bottom, with Filipinos making up the working class to servant class.

          Did the 90s HK’ers get discriminated against? or were they able to become Singaporeans??? There were parts that felt like HK in Singapore with Chinese-looking folk in dirty undershirts, spitting and smoking and squatting on sidewalks, which didn’t seem Singaporean to me, so maybe those were the HK’ers???

          My impression of Singapore is that they have pretty tight border security, and immigration procedure. The assumption here has always been that all immigrants, no matter their legal status, access, education and skill level , are all good. Which IMHO is wrong.

          We need to be more like Singapore (and Australia), but less racist.

          • Hmmm. I agree with all of this. How peculiar is that? haha

            Singapore has long had a progressive, bold, problem-solving mentality. The Philippines has a regressive, reactionary mentality. The racism is in reverse where those discriminated against like it that way, or certainly accept it.

          • chemrock says:

            Just a few points the clarify the context in Singapore.

            1. Joe’s Singapore has long had a progressive, bold, problem-solving mentality.
            Singapore government’s approach is socioeconomics above political rights. Economy and communal interest first before individual rights. Under 1st generation LKY leadership, people mostly accept the iron grip of govt because that’s required in the first stage of nation building. 2nd gen leadership relaxed a bit, less uptight and a bit more fun stuff and dancing in the streets of Orchard Road. 3rd gen currently encroaching into our private spaces and getting more intrusive and taking away a lot of freedom of speech. Last month our fake news law was implemented. Its not about fake news, it’s about curtailing narratives that’s critical of the govt. I expect to see the coming election end of the year to throw up some surprises.

            The ground is not sweet for the ruling party but they have heads buried in the sand. My worry is they have been giving out too much new citizenships and will this be significant enough to influence the votes in ruling party’s favour.

            Today 40% of our workforce are foreigners. Many local PMETs (professional, managerial, executives, technicians) are being replaced by cheaper foreigners mostly from India, China, Philippines, Malaysia). We have a stupid CECA treaty that facilitated almost borderless mobility for workers which is mostly one way — Indians coming in by thousands every day. When I returned to Singapore after 10 years I had a culture shock. I thought I was in India, not the Singapore I knew.

            The govt today is pushing GDP numbers at the expense of cheaper foreign labour, but refuses to spend on social distribution. Today lots of old folks who cannot afford retirement are driven to collecting cardboxes and recycling what they can find at garbage bins, I kid you not.The younger ones 40+ year olds (that’s when their salary is too high, they get replaced by Indians) are driven to driving taxis or Grab driving. Singapore has the highest number of graduate tax and Grab drivers in the world.

            The Singapore of LKY is long gone. There is great frustration on the ground. I expect the coming election to throw up lots of surprises.

            2. Lance : Chinese on top of the heap, then Indians, then the Malays at the bottom, with Filipinos making up the working class to servant class.

            Chinese on top then Indians then Malays is not by design or policy. It’s education and capital. LKY policy from the very beginning has been to assist the weaker through education. (Malaysia took the economics road of favouring the Malays (Bumiputeras) with social redistribution of commercial assets and government projects for Malays). Today LKY policy has succeeded. We can see lots of younger well qualified Malays coming into the professional job markets.

            There is maybe some lessons for Philippines here. Filipinos are of same Malay stock, same mentality of preferring the blissful wind under coconut trees than chasing dreams by studying hard. After a few decades under LKY policies of no freebies except through education, the Malays in Singapore had a mindset change. They have grown competitive and paid great attention to their offsprings’ education, just like Chinese and Indian families. Education is the great leveler.

            Filipinos — you see them as mostly maids, that’s because we had a policy of allocating work permits according to nationalities. Shipyards workers — mostly Malaysians, Thailand, Indonesians; Constructions workers – mostly Indians and Bangladeshis; health workers – mostly Filipinos and Chinese; Maids – mostly Filipinos, Indonesians, (Chinese – before they became a rich country).

            There was an explosion of foreign inputs into the workforce in the last 20 years. Today there are lots of Filipinos in professional jobs as well as services. The maids remain significant in number.

            3. Racism exist everywhere in the world. It does rear its ugly head ocassionally. But overall, I’m proud to say Singaporean is basically non-rascist. Some parts of our city has been taken over by foreigners for years — Mustaffa Emporium/Little India -s Indian/Bangla territory, Orchard/Lucky Mall area is Filipinos, Geylang is Chinese, etc. For years we have live and let live.

            Some discrimination exist, I wont deny that. But if 80% of your customers are Chinese, would you engage an Indian salesman? Then again discrimination is not necesarrily born of racism.

          • josephivo says:

            “Walk a mile in their shoes”, understand how their world looks different and understand why their world looks different. Not all are Americans, not all are soldiers thinking of in terms of “dying for”.

            Let’s exaggerate some differences, let’s ignore variation and look at the average.

            Christ the Savior: a tortured man on large cross in an immense cathedral. Or: is He a small child in a fancy dress on a private altar in our sala. The prime instinct to deal with a threatening conflict: fight, therefor assure with a personal arsenal of second amendment guaranteed AK-47. Or: flight, and assure that you are invisible in a crowd. Challenges: I have to know, I have to provide the means and ultimately, I will be recognized for my success. Or: someone in my team has to know, we have to have the means, at the end we will celebrate under a palm tree. Time: we have to survive the winter. Or: we have to survive the night. Let’s stand out or let’s conform…

            P.S.: “Change comes from the fringes”. Not from the average people. Good things from the wise ones, bad things from the idiots, (or good things from failing idiots and bad things from failing wise.) Eventually cultural change for the average person will require generations and a lot of education.

            P.S.2: “Survival of the fittest”. Favorite traits will strengthen the population, a process that expels those with a favorite trait will prevent/delay the improvement. The less variation in a group, the faster the introduction on a new favorable trait. Favorable is define by the environment.

            P.S.3: “Post-democracy”. China rating all its citizens and favoring the “good” ones, the Googles of the world changing behavior by creating phone addictions, deep learning by AI favoring anger to get our attention… What are we talking about when the future, Orwell’s 1984, is around the corner?

            • chemp, thanks for the color re Singapore and Malay (and Filipinos as Malay, I tend to agree with Malays are happy go luckies, sex-happy too, which is good also, given moderation/balance of course, 😉 )

              josephivo, for individuals (the world over) there are essentially two challenges, that is

              1. loneliness

              2. boredom

              in the 3rd world (1 and 2) tend to be masked because of sheer proximity and population, people living on top of one another, but loneliness/boredom abound, just felt differently in “advanced” cities vis a vis 3rd world cities.

              Nietzsche’s solution is find your very own work, mission, passion in life, whatever that maybe so long as it doesn’t infringe on others. Create, create, create.

              For governments, all they have to do is create conditions in which the majority can enjoy,

              “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

              A. a comfortable populace doesn’t mean luxury or progress, just means clean water, comfy shelter, healthy food is available. of course order, not necessarily Law and Order, or the “Rule of Law” but just semblance of order. Where others “creations” don’t affect another negatively.

              hence, “Democracy” is not a requirement. order has been a product of all sorts of gov’t systems.

              So long as 1-2 and A coincide , all’s good.

              >>> people ……………………………………………… system <<<

              1. loneliness …………………………………………… A. comfort

              2. boredom ……………………………………………… A. comfort

              So long as there is comfort, the individual can tackle, or be at peace, with their own 1 and 2.

              Of course, part of Nietzsche's solution to overcoming 1-2 is exactly the opposite,

              “… if you refuse to let your own suffering lie upon you for an hour and if you constantly try to prevent and forestall all possible stress way ahead of time; if you experience suffering and displeasure as evil, hateful, worthy of annihilation, and as a defect of existence, then it is clear that besides your religion of pity you also harbor another religion in your heart that is perhaps the mother of the religion of pity: the religion of comfortableness. How little you know of human happiness, you comfortable and benevolent people, for happiness and unhappiness are sisters and even twins that either grow up together or, as in your case, remain small together.”

              Friedrich Nietzsche

              Therein lies the rub, josephivo, we all know that to produce great wine, or a perfect diamond, there must be pressure and/or hardship involved, so who provides that pressure, individuals or states??? that is the main question.

              • In the Marines it’s

                “Mission accomplishment; Troop welfare”

                The first is the purview of the officers (managers), while the last is the NCOs (supervisors). The two are related.

                I guess 1-2 above is for individuals to accomplish for themselves; while the last (which is A) is for states (or corporations, or cults, etc. whatever system we devise next) is to perfect.

              • Speaking of marines, the new US force looks dynamic, focused, strong, sea based, and Pacific based.


              • LCPL_X: It goes back to the whole question of “is the Filipino worth dying for?”, and again and again, the answer seems to be a resounding ‘NO’, josephivo. But my point is, if those folks don’t wanna stay then there are plenty of other Filipinos in-line to take their place, good, bad, ugly or all three.

                Once those folks, get comfy, they’ll have more to lose too, then will seek greener pastures like their predecessors, and the cycle continues. Topsy-turvy.

                also LCPL_X: A. a comfortable populace doesn’t mean luxury or progress, just means clean water, comfy shelter, healthy food is available. of course order, not necessarily Law and Order, or the “Rule of Law” but just semblance of order. Where others “creations” don’t affect another negatively.


                Somehow the datu-principalia-trapo system did work for many – at a simple level – for a long time. A scattered archipelago, abundant natural resources and low-tech made it a workable arrangement. The feudal relations were often symbiotic due to values like utang na loob.

                Even creeping in modernity adjusted to the old ways for quite a while. But expectations rose, for one thing. It is like Africans today going for the refugee life when they see their friends Facebook page – they don’t know yet that their friend is not showing the hard parts.

                Another matter would be the increasing congestion and therefore less natural abundance. Finally people moving from their original places caused the old relations to change. Seems a lot of things are more mercenary these days, implied loyalties gone, new groups forming.


                The urban middle classes that learned to look for more never had enough political power to break the implied master-servant alliance. Not in the 1960s when they took off either for Manila or for the USA. They tried in the 1980s/1990s but a lot gave up as well.

                The new middle class formed out of OFW (and some BPO) money is going for power via a patron – Duterte. Just like the urban poor tried it with Estrada 21 years ago. A large part of the old middle class still in the Philippines gave up on the poor and went for GMA in 2001.

                The question is – will the new middle class go the same way as the old middle class – love it or leave it, but not manage to change anything? To change stuff, you need critical mass, guts and savvy. BTW a good source for this kind of stuff is

              • The key question will be: will the middle classes have places abroad to go?

                Migration is getting harder nowadays. The elites had the following safety valves:

                1920s, 1930s, 1950s: Mindanao for the restive peasants, especially landless ones

                1960s-1980s: the United States for the middle class professionals

                1980s-2000s: Australia, Canada, New Zealand as the USA made it harder


                Many of the OFWs in Southern Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia don’t migrate.

                They may not have the English proficiency, or the education to make the points.


                Recent cuts to health and education indicate that Digong wants to keep the lid on people.

              • Joe,

                This looks familiar they were working on something like this Lily Pad strategy, pre-9/11… then 9/11 happened and was scrapped.

                But the best relevant thing to have happened IMHO that best lends to the Marines’ wider purpose here and now is what happened in Benghazi, there’s this unit called FAST stationed all over to protect US Navy installations which could’ve been sent to help out in the fight during Benghazi (if you haven’t seen “13 Hours” a must see).

                You see, Marines are already Lily padded everywhere, thru Marine Security Forces (FAST falls under here) and Marine Security Guards (these are the ones that guard US embassies).

                Marines and Dept. of State have been working hand in hand for close to two centuries now. Why not build on this, Lily Pad using US Embassies.

                The Foreign Area Officer program needs to be expanded to included SNCOs. The strategic Corporal ideal can happen but it needs to happen within the purview of the US embassy.

                I just skimmed the article will read the actual plan, though I agree with sea centric and Pacific focus, but i’d add as most important expeditionary has been what the Marine Corps has been all about ever since Tripoli vs. the Barbary pirates.

                Thus, we should be more like Indiana Jones, and

          • Click to access the-gay-science-friedrich-nietzsche.pdf

            here’s a FREE pdf of Nietzsche’s Gay Science translated by Walter Kaufmann

            • Digong’s vision of a contented Philippines is probably modelled on Mainland China.

              They do manage to keep their newly affluent and middle classes “content” – and quiet. Certainly not the kind of life we like, but indeed, if most Filipinos assent to that what to do?

              • kasambahay says:

                sometimes the dragon bites its own tail and once ensconced, china may well purged pinas with own anti corruption drive. I wont be surprised if xi does a 360 and digong charged with corruption. a number of higher ranking chinese, mega rich and influential and some are even govt and ex govt officials have indeed been executed for being corrupt!

                friends today, enemies tomorrow. digong et al should not be too comfortable. all are expandable.

          • Joe,

            re the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ “Planning Guidance”, the most significant is his Wargaming program, and I hope he’ll pull it thru. the Army tried doing it, so did the Navy, but at heart of the problem is that you’re getting folks who don’t really understand the point of Wargames to develop wargames for everyone.

            Thus, falling flat.

            They are suppose to be enjoyable first, then transformative, meaning makes you a better strategist, tactician, negotiator, etc. The game element in wargaming is not totally understood, and why they are generally called exercises, neither fun nor transformative.

            I saved this amazon review which I hope the Commandant’s new wargaming staff will understand,


            “I really appreciate The Comprehensive Guide to Board Wargaming. Even though the principles, tactics, and strategies are fairly general in most places (except for the game problems) and I have been playing this type of game for decades, I found each chapter to be valuable. In fact, I will probably provide his list of principles for playing Diplomacy in my “Ethics in Games and Cinema” class when I force students to play a Diplomacy-style variant and write about their experiences. Palmer says: 1) Always tell the truth unless you have a good reason not to do so; 2) Establish relations with everyone, not just the players who can be useful allies at once; 3) Decide if you would rather be boring and win or imaginative and have fun while losing; 4) Don’t allow your personal preferences to lead you away from potentially valuable alliances; 5) Consider that the ideal partner is on the opposite side of a valuable target and with, presumably, less advantages than you; 6) Always offer a helping hand to players in difficulty in order to help them reach a respectable second or third place because it will enhance your metagaming reputation; and 7) Don’t bear grudges. (pp. 62-63)

            Another excellent summary of principles is about force deployment (pp. 92-93) such that: 1) you should place specialized units in each area where their expertise could be used instead of grouping them together; 2) consider the minimum force of any unit type to be useful and be certain that at least that amount is available in each area; 3) don’t use high movement factors to force premature combat, but use them to maneuver to spots where they will have an advantage; 4) mix high and low combat factors in groups that have similar movement allowances so that you’ll have a variety of choices once you reach the front; 5) count hexes to determine where your different units could actually reach by the end of the game.”

            Ranger by Omega Games is another really good game that junior enlisted could be exposed to.

            • My son is into airplanes right now. He wants to fly a Spitfire.

              It has to be on video for him to look at anything. A thoroughly modern kid.

              • You should get him into RC planes, I believe there are some groups there in the Philippines.

       (good read about RC plane hobby in Burbank).

                You should take him to see the Blue Angels and/or Thunderbirds, though I’m not sure they tour globally.

                Here’s more on wargaming,

                Millennium Challenge 2002 (MC02) was a major war game exercise conducted by the United States Armed Forces in mid-2002. The exercise, which ran from July 24 to August 15 and cost $250 million, involved both live exercises and computer simulations. MC02 was meant to be a test of future military “transformation”—a transition toward new technologies that enable network-centric warfare and provide more effective command and control of current and future weaponry and tactics. The simulated combatants were the United States, referred to as “Blue”, and an unknown adversary in the Middle East, “Red”, with many lines of evidence pointing at Iran as the red side.

              • And here’s a good interview w/ the Red Team commander.


                NOVA: How has technology changed the nature of war?

                Van Riper: When I look at any of the modern technology—whether it’s precision-guided munitions, some of the automated command and control, the use of space, the overhead surveillance systems, and so on—I appreciate that technology. But I try to take a long view. Look back over the course of history. There are many moments that could have been called break points because of technology. People at the time thought the world would be fundamentally different because of that technology. Gunpowder would be an example. Use of gas in World War I. Atomic and nuclear weapons.

                In reality, the fundamental nature of war hasn’t changed, won’t change, and, in fact, can’t change. The nature of war was probably best explained and articulated by the Prussian general and theorist Carl von Clausewitz, who wrote the classic On War. In the book, he lays out the nature of war, which is, first of all, fundamentally uncertain. There is no way to predict how any war will turn out. As he said, it has its own dynamics as it unfolds.

                You have the element of friction on the battlefield, for example. You can’t account for friction. It just occurs. It’s everything from a fuel tank that leaks and causes an airplane or a vehicle not to be able to perform its function, to an accidental discharge that a young soldier makes, to weather conditions. All of these have an interplay that causes the friction that leads to uncertainty.

                So if you understand the fundamental nature of war, you realize that it’s not going to change. What is changing—in fact, is always changing—is the character and form of war, and the technology is what influences that character and form. We need to understand that and be careful of it, but it’s not what should drive us.

                NOVA: Isn’t the current revolution—transformation, network-centric warfare—supposed to change how war is fought?

                Van Riper: We hear many terms, whether it’s “transformation,” “military technical revolution,” “revolution of military affairs,” all indicating something revolutionary has happened that’s going to change warfare. Nothing has happened that’s going to change the fundamental elements of war. The nature of war is immutable, though the character and form will change. The difficulty is that those who put forth this argument believe that something fundamentally has changed, and you can change very quickly without thinking your way through it. They want to apply the technology without the brainpower.


                and here’s the press conference lessons-learnt, de-brief of the whole exercise,


            • Joe,

              Junior might be interested in the A-10,

              here’s a great story about it…


              After her last rocket pass, the captain was maneuvering off target when she felt and heard a large explosion at the back of the aircraft.

              “There was no question in my mind,” she said. “I knew I had been hit by enemy fire.”

              The jet rolled violently left and pointed at Baghdad and it wasn’t responding to the captain’s control inputs. This is when the pilot’s flight training kicked in and she was able to react quickly.

              After realizing both of her hydraulics systems were impaired, Major Kim Campbell said she had to put the jet into manual reversion, as the back-up system. She said that manual reversion is a system of cranks and cables that allow the pilot to fly the aircraft under mechanical control.

              “It was my last chance to try and recover the aircraft or I would be riding a parachute down into central Baghdad,” she said.



              When the Hawg loses hydraulics, it goes into fly-by-wire mode.

              Of course, this isn’t the new-fangled electronic “fly-by-wire” like you have on the F-16 and newer fighter jets. Ohhhhh no. This baby goes old school, with actual wires that move. Cables, really. And pulleys. Cables and pulleys. It’s all very technical.

              Usually this would happen as a result of battle damage that perforated your hydraulic lines, but it could happen if there is some weird multiple failure of both hydraulic systems. You can also choose to enter this flight mode by flipping a switch. Trying this flight mode out by flipping that switch is part of A-10 training, and it isn’t done lightly.

              This flight mode is called “manual reversion”, and is a backup to the backup in case you’re having an especially bad day. The way it works is that there are, literally, cables and pulleys, that run from the control stick, all the way out to the control surfaces on the wings and tail.

              Now, those cables don’t move the control surfaces themselves. Those barn doors are pretty weighty, and wind resistance would make it nigh impossible for anyone but King Kong to manhandle the jet around the sky if that’s what you had to do. Instead, the cables actually move the trim tabs on the control surfaces.


              p.s.— i’ve heard of pilots talking about how they started out with RC airplanes as kids. but then again, flight simulators/video games now are a plenty too. look into RC airplanes, and tell Joe jr. about the A-10 Warthog.

    • OT: Joe, where can i post my last frescoe of the Devil, since other threads are now closed for comments? Thanks.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    Predictability, lasting first impressions will make or break us.

  6. NHerrera says:

    Unless a country is like Vietnam or equivalent, a Non-democracy is usually not a thriving country. Thus, the binary opposite of the PH’s future being a thriving democracy — which TSH’s limited survey shows to be 10% — is a Non-thriving Democracy or Non-democracy (90%). Hence the correlation with statistics which shows that expert consultants on immigration to another country are thriving. For the sake of the children’s future.

  7. Francis says:


    In one of the readings in class—there was one interesting theory proposed regarding the Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law (and therefore, the end of the post-war era).

    Martial Law came at an interesting time. The economic growth provided by Import Substitution Industrialisation (ISI) was petering out. The rapid population growth brought down worker wages—and split those diminishing economic gains (what trickled down anyway—as worker wages stagnated, companies earned record profits). The frontier—that is, Mindanao—was closing up; unhappy rural folk could no longer have a safety valve in the form of the southern frontier—and agriculture in the Philippines could no longer go the easy way of “1+1” (just add more inputs, e.g. land!) but be seriously productive (get more out of the same resources).


    RH Bill is barely implemented. Filipinos still have—in regional terms—a relatively high birth rate. What about the other horsemen?

    BPOs. For some reason (I want a specialist in political economy to REALLY explain to me why…) the DOF/Gov’t want to minimise incentives for one of our few “golden geese” in the economy despite PEZA’s strenuous objections. There is also AI.

    Remittances/OFWs. Their money is being split into smaller and smaller pieces (due to population growth) and in the long run, the Middle East (a major employer of OFWs) will start running out of oil/be affected by a transition away from oil.


    Our national elite have been spoilt by fate. They’ve always got access to easy money instead of being productive elites; fat on rents—not “fit” on profits. When the Americans came, their sugar estates got direct access to US markets—therefore reducing the need to stay competitive. They tried being both agricultural and industrial elite in the post-war era, to the detriment of the nation—incoherence in economic strategy reigned, as our elites tried to be both exporters of raw materials and agriculture and industrialize-via-imports.

    Marcos had nice technocrats ask allowance from World Bank, IMF, etc.

    You have pointed out—why don’t we build stuff like Vietnam or Indonesia.

    We have the easy money of BPOs, OFW remittances (and POGOs). Why invest in productive sectors like manufacturing. We—or rather, our elites—have always had easy money, enough to actually not be productive. The form of “easy money” has changed over the years—but it has always existed, to save our elites from exerting effort (and actually facing the consequences of their actions).

    The elite like scorning the poor for being like Juan Tamad—when the entire economy of the Philippines makes them the businessman-equivalent of Juan Tamad, more reliant on political connections rather than actual productivity for wealth.


    • karlgarcia says:

      I think the thinking before was have many kids so they could help out either in the farm or the family biz.
      But there is also this group of people that do not want their kids to be farmers or those who want their kids not to experience all the hardships they experienced and end up either frustrated with most or all their kids and rely on a single breadwinner.
      The thing is not all kids are workhorses and some if not most are lazy parasites and this has been prevalent-to rely on a successful sibling. If everybody is like that no RH law will help us.

    • karlgarcia says:

      RSA has many good intentions
      from airports, highways, spillways, bus terminals, non coal power plants, etc
      The thing is he must keep his foreign partner secret and keep his foreign partner happy or everything goes pfft.

      Btw, if Cayetano’s accusations that he stopped a failed attempt of RSA to control the speakership is heard by many, then eyebrows should have raised, but I guess no one listened or cared.
      Lobbying or power brokering is still the tool for moving or paralysis.
      paralysis = Nalua
      conceptualized 1994
      lobbying from many sectors.
      result nada.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Remember before Dennis Uy, there was Manny Pangilinan who was called a mere puppet of Salim by Duterte. Wait till we find out who is behind the quick rise of Uy.

    • Ireneo: “The key question will be: will the middle classes have places abroad to go?

      I’m sure more and more places will have these types of bumper stickers now. Nowhere to go, everywhere’s full. Closing 8 billion people. No surprise.

      No more vacancies. Sorry. Keep moving.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Canada and Japan.

        • I just got done reading this article , karl:

          They are like Pandas apparently, and don’t seem to want to reproduce:

          Folks from tropical clime tend to have no qualms making babies, thus a great match. the Japanese cannot afford to be purists anymore as to what entails being “Japanese” is. Which is very similar to Israel and how many Filipinos are now becoming citizens there.

          I’ve been to Canada, and I still think most new immigrants there prefer the U.S. which means doing a few years there, then moving south to America. it gets pretty cold there, karl. Best cities to live are Vancouver and Toronto, climate-wise, but

          I’m aware most new immigrants there from the Philippines are getting recruited towards Alberta , city of Edmonton in particular— if you can see the northern lights in Winter you’re too far north, IMHO.

          Israel’s gonna be ultra-Orthodox soon, so in time I think it’ll be just Filipinos and Hasidims, with Palestinians, not a fun place to be in the future. Canada’s too cold.

          But this Japan immigration, looks promising, I’d like to see Japan hybridize with Filipino culture. They are too stuck up, to rigid. Women giggle too much. They need to be over-sexed. Drink cobra-blood, with Red Horse. And stop being to damn healthy. Lol!

          • karlgarcia says:

            Thanks LCX.
            One more stopgap for population growth is to have more Angelna Jolie types who adopts kids from third world countries.

            • I’m a big supporter of gay/lesbian , etc. parents adopting, karl. They have so much love, and i’m frankly sick and tired of seeing dogs in restaurants, in hospitals and at the mall. Have ’em adopt kids from 3rd world countries.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Re dogs.. at the risk of raised eyebrows from dog lovers, I share the same thoughts.

              • chemrock says:

                Have them tell 3rd world countries to produce less !

              • Then we go back to my Onan solution, chemp. Better to do population control at a single cell level, then multi-cell level when there’s human rights and rule of law. 😉 Spermicide vs. Genocide.

              • karlgarcia says:

                back to the anti-RH and anti-EJK stance of the church.

              • sonny says:

                Neph, it’s too bad the birth control method suggested by the Church is unacceptable to the world: abstention and NFP. Instead chemical contraception is the chosen method, a method not totally safe.

          • karlgarcia says:

            One or two things that will make them stay in Canada are Universal health care and cheap insulin.

            • for the older folks, I guess. but for the younger ones pushing a broom at McDonald’s in the middle of Winter in Edmonton, I’m sure that kid is dreaming of Vegas or L.A. where most of his/her “batch” mates, “tropa” are. More “gimmick” to be had in America, karl.

              Like Ireneo said, if you’re in Edmonton stuck in Winter, and see your classmates and friends in L.A. or Vegas, you’re gonna want to move down south too.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Surprise! China’s population is shrinking.

    • chemrock says:

      “in the long run, the Middle East (a major employer of OFWs) will start running out of oil/be affected by a transition away from oil.”

      Their stocks are running low but they are having a crisis at the moment with price levels. Below US$70 per barrel Saudi production is not profitable. That has been the situation for quite a while and they are suffering with high budget deficits. Saudi is trying to sell Aramco and for the first time in decades, the kingdom is forced to go to the debt market.

      The downward pressure on oil continues despite Iran backed enemies bombing Saudi production infras that caused a significant loss of output. That is because of increased US capacity in cracking more.

      If current situation persist, the effect is destabilisation in the ME which is bad. On the other hand Saudi funding to international terrorism and Islamic organizations worldwide will dry up which is good. But Filipino OFWs from ME will be forced to repatriate.

  8. karlgarcia says:

    With China’s total debt already 15% of the global debt and from recent events seem to be rising, I think Africa , Latin America, SriLanka,Myanmar,PH,etc will pay for it since they got the debt diplomacy trap of China.

  9. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: I’m passing this around for further dissemination; no VPN needed for viewing.

  10. NHerrera says:

    Off topic, off country

    Fox News reports a recent poll on Impeachment and Removal of Trump:

    – October: Impeachment and Removal, Impeach and not Remove, Not Impeach — 51%, 4%, 40% [5%, no opinion]
    – July: Impeachment and Removal, Impeach and not Remove, Not Impeach — 42%, 5%, 45% [8%, no opinion]

    There were crtiticsms of other polls, but this poll is at least directionally consistent with those from the other polls, especially from this Trump-friendly Fox News.

    • NHerrera says:

      Belaboring the obvious. Implication of the Fox October Poll: assume the numbers strictly reflect the Republican Senators Votes (out of 53) and assuming all Senate Democrats/ Independents Votes (45 +2 = 47) are for Trump’s removal in a Senate Trial.

      The 11 percent difference (between 51% and 40%, assuming further that the other 9% in the October Poll are “equally” divided to these two numbers on Voting Day at the Trial), the result yields a number well below the 20 threshold required for Removal or 2/3 of 100 Senators, not counting the VP’s vote (that is, 20 + 47 =67). 11% of 53 is only ~ 6.

      • NH,

        at the risk of Joe coming down on us again, and shutting down the blog, I’ll just wax philosophic here. As I’ve said before this whole thing is semantics— maybe he’ll get impeached, maybe not (not my point below). But here’s a good read on semantics,

        “Pears questions the force of Wittgenstein’s use of the inscrutability of isolated, ostensive definitions as an objection to the Private Language hypothesis. Granted, a single, exemplary application of a word is not enough to fix the way in which the technique of applying it is to be developed, but, asks Pears, why should Wittgenstein thus restrict the would-be private linguist? He would not be thus restricted to a single application of the word if he were coining a word in a public language. Pears argues that Wittgenstein would have rejected the hypothesis of a Private Language, on the sole grounds of absence of connection to the physical world. This, Pears takes to be the single essential pillar of the PLA, without which the distinction between being under the impression that one is reporting a sense-impression correctly and actually reporting it correctly is obliterated. His dispensing with the other condition allows Pears to suggest that the PLA does not rely on ‘the dubious assumption that a language must actually be shared and could not be invented by a solitary speaker’; all that it requires is that the meanings of its words be preserved by their regular application to things in the physical world which would be accessible to other people if there were any other people around. What Pears misses here, however, is that it is the regularity of application that requires monitoring and, therefore, a shared language. Connection with the physical world is simply not enough.

        Pears finds Wittgenstein’s verdict on the possibility of a solitary language unclear; he finds that Wittgenstein side-steps the question, asking instead the related question of whether it is possible that there be only one occasion on which someone obeyed a (linguistic) rule, to which Wittgenstein’s answer is an explicit no. Pears decides that the only firm conclusion that can be drawn from Wittgenstein is that a language ‘must be sharable, even if it is not actually shared’ (63). But the point now seems to have evaded Pears (perhaps because in the meantime his Crusoe has unwarrantedly stepped in to replace his Super-Crusoe): a language cannot be sharable if it has never actually been shared. The clear answer that Wittgenstein gave in PI is that the fixing of rules, though not all instances of following rules, demands publicity; or as Victor Descombes elegantly puts it, linguistic rules are rules that I can follow alone, but that I cannot be alone to follow.”

        review is from here:

        PI (Philosophical Investigations) is here, the whole book:

        • sonny says:

          LC, I’m stuck with Quantum Physics, trying very hard to get what’s it all about. Now, your theme on semantics is piquing my curiosity anew. Dunno where to go next. Also stuck with Karl’s RSA – who he is or what it is. Edgar’s gone. What to do. And yes, Joe might lock us down again. 🙂 Chempo and Joseph are too deep for me. Whew! I need a drink, I think. Irineo is busy, too.

          • Spinoza, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein are the Holy Trinity for me. they should scrap all other philosophers, and just teach these 3.

            So long as it’s bouncing around in your head, that’s more than enough, sonny, if you can figure it all out, even better that’s dessert. I don’t know most of the stuff i’m posting , many times via Google i’m arguing ad hoc (ask chemp). It’s how i learn.

            Now I’m reading Darwin’s “Descent of Man” (Darwin does make a case for how we now view evolution to work today, all the way back then at the beginning).

            And also via chemp, I found the book he was alluding to in the now closed blog,

            Reading it now as well, and with Joe’s permission, maybe now or after the impeachment stuff, I’d like to post some pics of pages from that book, which will pique more interests i’m sure from everyone here.

            You’ll need to have watched Showtime’s “Billions” to really understand it; and/or Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” Parts 1 and 2. He’s no Michael Lewis, but “Secret Empires” delivers. Check it out , sonny.

            • sonny says:

              Thanks, LC

              For now QM (Quantum Mechanics) is intriguing me no end: qualitatively; the Math & Physics portion is going from puzzlement to puzzlement. The end of the QM rainbow is the promise of getting a glimpse (teensy-weensy) of the mind of God! Am in good company, the Solvay conferees were on the right track. (the holy trinity of Spinoza-Nietzsche-Wittgenstein belong to software of the mind and the Solvay group belong to the category of hardware, in computer-speak that is) I relate to the latter (hardware) in general; of course, the two must validate each other, IMO.

              • LOL! i’m more a software guy , sonny. But the closest to hardware is those 3 philosophers for me, so in a way if they can validate it, i’ll buy it. And in a way they do. hence, my interests in miracles and saints (hermits, not the political saints). 😉

                Also, am a fan of this guy, and his writings goes very well with Wittgenstein’s,

              • IMHO, Christians need to start focusing on St. Origen (i’ve beatified him) and Onan.



                As you said, sonny, “the two must validate each other” , I see no better examples of validation between hardware and software than these two accounts. One’s more painful than the other, of course. But the end result is the same, or similar.

              • sonny says:

                Darn, LC. 🙂

                In the ’60s, I bought the idea that Onan’s sin was only because he failed to carry on his brother’s ‘lineage’ and not the essential malice/morality of the act.

              • Exactly, sonny.

                it’s not a sin, if seen in the same light as Origen’s act. Tamar wanted a kid, Onan, I’m assuming, doesn’t want kids, he probably wants to see a glimpse of the Mind of God, like you and me. wants to travel and see the world, doesn’t want to be a father, or just wants some free will. or maybe free will is exactly wanting to glimpse the Mind of God. who knows.

                But Onan spilled his beans.

                My favourite parable is the Parable of Talents, and my hero is the servant with one talent which he hid, sonny. I reject St. Paul, thus only rely on the Gospels to understand Jesus, and his parables are central.

                The one talent servant is like Onan. he is the hero.

              • If seen legally today, Onan having to copulate with his sister-in-law, under duress, by force or fear, was technically rape.

              • sonny says:

                I know the feeling, LC. Yet, since I’m Catholic, I can’t cherry-pick my moral-theology sources.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I think it will be possible for the castrated and the aged to sire a child, all they need is skin.


            • sonny says:


              Because of my age (reduced hearing, cultural English, et al.), TV time is reduced to Nature documentaries and GUNSMOKE morality vignettes (am a fan of Miss Kitty).

              • for me it’s Aurore Clément, sonny, from Apocalypse Now. that’s the Philippines there. Beautiful. I could watch the mosquitero scene over and over, and over again.

              • sonny says:

                LC, time and blurred vision and hearing are now my auditors. I saw APOCALYPSE NOW when it first came out. I couldn’t get into the movie ‘ride’ because I got distracted by the images of Laguna-Cavite-Batangas as war-torn Vietnam: The locations used were all the Southern Tagalog images of my youth, the region was II-Military-Area, PH Army jurisdiction where my dad was assigned in the ’50s. Would love to watch the movie now and try to visualize PH scenes as Vietnamese countryside. Incidentally both countries are almost on the same latitude.

              • The scene I’m speaking of, you wouldn’t have seen, it wasn’t included in theatrical release , sonny, but if you are planning to watch it again, watch this version:

                R. Lee Ermey was using his GI Bill funds to go to school in the Philippines at the time of filming and got his start in the movie business while there in Apocalypse Now, I wonder if you crossed paths, sonny. University of Manila it says in his Wiki page.

              • sonny says:

                Mr Ermey and I are almost the same age. APOCALYPSE NOW was in 1979 the year he was in U of Manila (UM). I was already working for the US military-industrial complex at the time. My alma mater (San Beda) is a neighbor (2 blocks away) to UM in the city university belt. There were quite a number of US servicemen doing their GI Bill school credits in Manila. I had two classmates in Biology & Chem. My brother did the same thing when he was in the USAF. Good stuff the GI Bill.

              • I blew my GI bill savings on a blue Ford Maverick, drove it from Colorado to California and became a hippy. Smoked weed. Indeed, the GI bill was good stuff.

            • sonny says:

              This is uncanny, LC. I’m presently trying to get a handle on quantum tunneling and entanglement, what experimental results these two concepts must explain. Tell you what I will find.

        • Micha says:

          And speaking of semantics, why does Joe thinks it’s still called democracy when power families run the country?

          • it’s an ideal, Micha. I get Joe’s idealistic side. I’m more realist, having been schooled in the 3rd world, or gotten my revelations from there.

            Idealism is fine. I’m not gonna knock it, it’s when you think it’s reality that becomes the problem. I don’t think Joe’s naïve , he’s just idealistic.

            • Micha says:

              Just stop calling it democracy. If power families run the country then it is by definition an oligarchy.

              Why go with the pretense of still calling it a democracy?

              • Because calling it oligarchy is resignation.

                While calling it democracy is aspiration, Micha.

                The first is defeat, the second is the striving, the fight.

                The fight is what it’s all about.

                Democracy is the fight. And why we argue and why blogs get shut down.

              • Agree. Laws are the rules as are editorial guidelines. Indeed, that’s why we argue and blogs get shut down.

              • Micha says:

                No, using precise language is how we effectively deal with reality and bring about the change (aspiration) that we want.

                If you accept the pretense, then you are complicit in perpetuating the lie and the oligarchic status quo.

              • Does AOC come from the oligarchy? is she making a dent? How about other mayors, city council members, governors, other lesser elected officials? business leaders, community leaders not elected.

                So if you get a scale,

                democracy <<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> oligarchy

                the US is more democracy, hence there is no need to call it oligarchy. the Philippines is oligarchy. the US is not the Philippines. Precisely because elected officials, volunteers, participating citizens, like AOC exist.

                And there is passionate argument still.

                Thus, it must be called democracy , Micha. Name it the closest to what it resembles. Is my point here. 😉

              • Micha says:

                ” the Philippines is oligarchy. the US is not the Philippines. ”

                Good. I’m mighty glad you know the difference.

              • Wait. Micha, were you talking about the Philippines or the US this whole time?

              • Micha says:

                I’m talking about Joe’s article headline.

              • Democracy is the set of rules. The power blocks within it are unique to the country.

              • ooooooooooooooops… semantics was for Trump impeachment, so I thought when you used semantics, you were talking about the US.

                sorry. But my reading on how Joe see’s things stand regardless.

            • The constitution is not idealistic.

        • NHerrera says:

          Lance, I will not follow you and “wax philosophical” as you do. Thanks for the note though.

          But I have to correct my conceptually wrong, rather contorted arithmetic above. Simply put, until the average of the polls support an Impeach and Remove number of 67% (and assuming this gets reflected into the thinking of all the Senators), the polling number will not easily support Trump’s removal in a Senate Trial.

  11. karlgarcia says:

    @Micha, I have not yet asked for your opinion on people’s initiative.
    Will it give more power to the people or will everything still be in the power of the few.

    • Micha says:

      People’s initiative to do what?

      We already have congress critters who are supposed to listen to their constituents’ demands and pleadings.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Thanks, congress Congree has own agenda and priorities. they fail to represent.

        Some ideas are here.

        • karlgarcia says:

          With so many landlords, how can they favor land reform.
          With so many family relations, how can they favor anti dynasty.
          With so many miners, property developers, etc same point.

          WIith a direct democracy some if not all those mentioned above will be solved.
          FIRST, the requirements should be relaxed.

          • Pablo says:

            It only requires a strong leader.
            The current one still has considerable support, albeit for the wrong reasons, but it proves that the country was ripe for changes. It only went down the drain.
            But the fact remains that a strong leader COULD make it happen in this country.

            The prospects are just bleak at the moment that it can happen again, the drainpit just has been deepened too much to climb out.
            Somebody please get a ladder.

          • Micha says:


            The constitutional provision on people’s initiative was designed to fail. Whoever inserted it in the 1987 constitution must have known that the proles are incapable of exercising power.

            A necessary pre-condition for direct democracy is a politically aware and enlightened citizenry.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Many thankd for your thoughts.

            • Swiss direct democracy grew out of farmers in 3 remote mountain valleys deciding they had enough of landlords and bailiffs from the lowlands exploiting them. Their (conservative) political awareness grew from simple beginnings over seven centuries.

              Bavarian direct democracy was imported by an exile from Nazi rule after WW2 ended, with safeguards againet populist misuse, but to wean a people misled by populism into being politically more mature. I think it has been a helpful exercise with many lessons learned.

            • sonny says:

              On the side; pure democracy can be studied using quantum Physics & the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (tongue-in-cheek). Precedent: the crossover of Economics and some Physics, just me.

          • Direct democracy can be dangerous also.

            The Greeks had ostracism, meaning exile for 10 years.

            People wrote down their vote on pottery shards, ostrakon.

            Now imagine that in the hands of Filipinos.

            Would they exile PNoy or BBM – or Vice Ganda?

            • sonny says:

              On exile, the precedent is national hero A. Mabini to Guam. Will look for details of event.

              • sonny says:

                “The Spaniards underestimated Mabini primarily because he was a cripple. Had they known of his intellectual perspicacity, they would have killed him earlier. The Americans did not. They were aware of his superior intelligence, his tenacity when he faced them in negotiations for autonomy and ceasefire.” — F.Sionil Jose

                Dunno how our sociology and politics will be judged by History. Does our current national drama rise to the level our historical precedents?

              • Fascinating. I don’t think so yet. When the Chinese ambassador is working on Manila transportation, then, yes.

                The Constitution remains in place, a solid foundation.

            • Socrates had the option of being banished for 10 years.

              But , since he was a philosopher, decided to go with his jury’s sentencing (on principle) which was estimated to be 300 to 800 Athenians, no records exist, thus the estimate, but 300 is still waaaaay too much, with bakers and butchers and longshoremen acting as judges and attorneys for the day.

              In the end the hemlock was still Socrates’ choice, direct democracy or not, having a choice in how to go is still pretty cool. Over here, they don’t even afford prisoners of that choice, ie.

              prisoners wanna die the state has to keep ’em alive; or a prisoner wants to die by decapitation or by firing squad, nope a mixture of chemicals it has to be.

  12. karlgarcia says:

    Is basic income the equalizer for the marginalized?

    • Micha says:

      Depends on how much basic income you’re prepared to legislate.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Many thanks, it should be more than enough.

        • I remember talking to a bargirl, who estimated $2,500 a night. She was a hottie, so I believed her, which would bank her P60,000 a month. she was an outlier.

          Half as hot would take home half of that P30,000, then estimate for busy months, touristy seasons, connections, etc. so i’d say P15,000 to P20,000 is what prostitutes, in general, casa, bar, KTV, callgirls, etc. make a month there. NH, can correct my estimates.

          Of course there’s a steep curb, when young (and hot), then it plateaus , then just drops to where sheer personality is what gets you going, missing teeth and whatnot.

          But purely based on their lifestyle, one can live comfortably in the Philippines with P15,000-P20,000 a month. I noticed.

          So legislate that amount??? Or say a flat P10,000 , so they don’t get too comfy and do nothing all their lives, just get them enough for subsistence, then encourage to go out and do more.

    • Replace quid pro quo, with ROI, return of investment, and that’s exactly how Trump supporters see this, Micha. This isn’t like Nixon, where there was an actual burglary, or Clinton where there was stain.

      Again this is semantics. Thus making it a very contentious impeachment. I don’t wanna belabor impeaching or not impeaching, Joe will shut down the blog.

      But why not just beat Trump during the election in one year??? That’s the best way to oust him, in a fair and square election. Joe Biden is done. I hope the Dems pounce on him. Which they ‘ve not yet considered.

      Election is better than Impeachment. That’s how you beat Trump.

      from the article (my answers in BOLD):

      1. What happens, though, if a president uses the powers of office to disrupt the next election? HE’S JUST ASKING FOR MORE DIRT ON JOE BIDEN, THE DIRT IS ALREADY THERE.

      2. What if that president does so by brazenly enlisting the aid of a hostile foreign power? IT’S UKRAINE’S OWN INVESTIGATION ON THE MATTER, TRUMP IS ONLY ASKING THEM TO RE-OPEN IT.

      3. Or if he does so by trying in secret to extort cooperation from a foreign ally threatened by that same hostile power? THIS IS THE CRIME, SIMILAR TO NIXON’S BURGLARY AND CLINTON STAIN ON THE DRESS, BUT LIKE I SAID ON THE OTHER BLOG THE VICTIM HAS TO SAY THAT HE WAS VICTIMIZED.

      4. What if the president has denied the existence of an ongoing systematic cyberattack from the hostile power, which every U.S. intelligence service calls a clear and present threat to our democracy? DENYING IS NOT A CRIME. COLLUSION WAS THE POINT OF MUELLER’S INVESTIGATION.

      5. What if the actions of that president raise urgent questions about the legitimacy of the next election and cast a darker cloud over how he gained the office in the first place? ELECTION HERE HAPPENS COUNTY BY COUNTY, FOR A FOREIGN POWER TO TAKE CONTROL THEY HAVE TO COOPT COUNTY BY COUNTY.

      1 2 and 5 are not really legal questions IMHO,

      3 and 4 are, that’s extortion and collusion/conspiracy. conspiracy has already been done by Mueller; extortion is the point here, and the Dems must prove it first like the burglary and the stain. Provide proof, not circumstantial, so Ukraine has to play victim.

      • Micha says:

        That’s hogwashing the crimes of this pig. Ukraine is not the victim here; it’s an accomplice, an accessory. The victim is the integrity of our democratic institutions. And that’s just one among the many of this mafia don’s transgressions and perversions.

        • Again, that’s in the realm of circumstantial, Micha. if the Dems can beat Trump in the election, given the tone of the Rolling Stone article, then they should easily beat him. Why argue instead for impeachment.

          My point here is simply to say the Dems should just beat Trump by election. I’m just talking about strategy here, not so much the impeachment. Rather the wisdom in impeaching Trump.

          • Micha says:

            It’s not about beating Trump; it’s about making him accountable for impeachable offense(s) he might have most likely committed.

            • That goes back to the heart of my point, which is better? Beating him in the national election or impeaching him.

              What happens to Trump after impeachment, same with Nixon, you live in a nice mansion somewhere.

              Beat him in the next election. A referendum vote will surely seal the lid on Trump, unlike an impeachment.

              I’ve visited Nixon’s library a couple of times, and they’ve made a martyr out of him, and that’s just Nixon being quiet; impeachment will make a martyr of Trump.

          • Thanks for your personal opinion, from within the Trump camp.

      • 1. Source, please.
        3. The US is the victim, not Ukraine.

        The impeachment investigation is the prosecutor doing his job. It will be interesting to see how transparent the Committees doing the work will be, especially in revealing what happens behind the scenes. Mueller stayed quiet then produced a huge volume no one read, except selectively. So he effectively made a mash of it.

        • 1. Joe, as for “dirt” i’m simply saying that Ukraine opened an investigation on Biden, that’s the dirt. Not really getting all conspiracy theory here. Trump just wanted to re-open the Ukrainian investigation— in and of itself, doing so would cast doubt on Biden, which is enough.

          (i’ll post some pics of pages of the book i’m reading on this subject soon)

          3. I’m talking about “extortion” here, which is the crime proposed. Thus Ukraine has to be the victim. I’m not talking about democracy being victimized by Trump, that’s playing semantics with the word “victim”, the legal notion of “extortion” is all i’m using the word victim for.

          I agree with you that this is mostly politics and not legal.

          • The case will define the ethics of political competition, to either disallow foreign engagement (up to now that is the standard), or to allow it (Trump’s methods). It seems to be a process of determining what is nationalistically correct to preserve fair and ethical elections. Given the sharp partisanship, it appears few Republicans today hold to the old standard. Or, if they do, loyalty to their benefactor, as in the Philippines, triumphs over what is good for the nation. I don’t think foreign governments should be invited to engage in American (or Philippine) elections. It should be firm, hard. A law. Foreign governments should be told in no uncertain terms that their engagement is unwelcome, and should they intrude, will pay a price. And candidates who partake of foreign engagement should be removed from office.

            • I agree with you , Joe. I’m pissed off about the way the Kurds were handled.

              Remember my stance on Trump is simply his supposed understanding of ROI/quid pro quo element in how we deal with the world, ex. the US is fronting much of the bill why not have the rest pay , either by blood or treasure, instead of America always having to sacrifice. Same goes for America as the world’s police, Trump’s stance is no we are not.

              He’s fucking up at home, abroad, but the principles which he’s espoused, namely those two above, pay bill and police world, he’s been consistent here. As pissed off as I am about Kurds being thrown under the bus, at the heart of that decision was still to get American troops home (or away from a no-ROI, same with Afghanistan).

              That’s why I support him. Just those two issues. Which I think is at heart of global affairs and domestic issues— i’ve seen first hand. You fix those two and America will be great again, my timeline for America becoming not great is when Pres. Carter from the Oval office told Americans to be more mindful of their consumptions (remember that , Joe?).

              Not heeding President Carter, all Americans have been pigs.

              As that CMC “Planning Guidance” said, we need to start facing China. We’re wasting our time in the middle east, militarily, that’s the realm of special ops/diplomats/spies.

              So, long as those two principles are championed, they start paying the bill and we stop playing world police , i’ll be in support of Trump. Though I’m with Micha (and you, and the rest), Trump is a pig. But he won fair and square.

              Much of this also is how the Executive branch has become so powerful compared to the other 2 branches, and Trump’s the one to expose that, just by simply being him. So curb Presidential powers, you won’t accomplish that by way of impeachment, you’ll only have Trump country throw a fit. Hence, the best solution is the 2020 election, shut Trump out, shut his supporters up. THEN,

              Presidential powers have to be eroded gradually.

              But as it stands, everyone’s just whining now about how President Trump is conducting foreign affairs, in the end and why the Senate will not vote him out, in the end the President is free to do however he wishes to conduct his brand of diplomacy. Because that’s the purview of the Executive branch. Barring any actual crimes.

              • ” It should be firm, hard. A law. Foreign governments should be told in no uncertain terms that their engagement is unwelcome, and should they intrude, will pay a price.”

                Joe, you have to remember, that we do this. America does this. Til now, where before we were more brazen, now it’s more sophisticated. but your talk with chempo re HK and American involvement, you justified it thru “democracy”. Other countries will rationalize it in other ways, mainly like Sparta about Athens. So until we ourselves practice this dictum, we shouldn’t speak from both sides of our mouths.

                My view, expect foreign influence/involvement, but just make sure the counties that manage these elections are warned , that’s FBI and DOJ responsibility. votes are county by county, it’s very difficult to undermine that. townhalls still are tradition here. the Press needs to uncover counties that screw up or fall below standards.

                What goes on in the public realm is open to everyone , even foreign nationals. We are a free nation after all. But Americans vote.

              • Okay, we are getting into “opinion as fact” as a fallacious form of argument, and I am reminded that you did not provide a source for this statement a few days ago “HE’S JUST ASKING FOR MORE DIRT ON JOE BIDEN, THE DIRT IS ALREADY THERE.” You rattled on in some new direction without documenting what I consider to be an absolutely untruthful and outrageous observation.

                So, similarly, I would like authoritative documentation to the claim: “you have to remember, that we do this. America does this.” Cite a case or two and provide authoritative references. Chemrock on Hong Kong was total speculation. There is no evidence whatsoever that the US Government has engaged in any way but publicly arguing for respecting the treaty with the Brits.

                Do I personally think the US meddles in other nation’s governments? Hahahaha. Did Iraq happen? But we are talking about defense of the United States here, and arguing that the US should permit political candidates to seek the support of foreign countries is a jaw-dropping argument for less sovereignty and weaker defense. So divide the two arguments. Should the US interfere in political affairs of other states? Should the US allow it’s political candidates to use foreign resources and aid? The common denominator is US interest. And justifying weakening the US seems a peculiar stance to take, by an American.

              • 1. Joe, re “dirt” on Biden, I’m simply citing the Ukrainian investigation. that is dirt in and of itself. I will post pics of pages from “Secret Empires” soon. I promise. And you can decide whether there’s more dirt there.


                Iran, the Shah and Mossadegh; less well know is Guyana


                “Guyana (formerly the colony British Guiana) gained its independence in the 1960’s. The U.S. government saw in this move the possibility of another communist state in Latin America, this one under the leadership of Marxist Cheddi Jagan. In U.S. Intervention, Rabe suggests that the CIA was responsible for funding the labor unrest, race riots, and general chaos that forced Jagan from office in 1964. The U.S.-supported leader Forbes Burnham gained power and went on to lead a twenty-year dictatorship in which he persecuted the majority Indian population.”

                3. “So divide the two arguments. Should the US interfere in political affairs of other states? Should the US allow it’s political candidates to use foreign resources and aid?”

                Joe, it’s a free country, meaning free market and freedom of expression. Money will flow freely, so too opinions. The only safe-guard from true foreign interference is our security apparatus and our counties minding our election process.

                Sure, you do the best to avoid foreign interference, but one could also go too far, remember McCarthyism??? 😦 Most of Philip Dick’s books were in part inspired by McCarthy’s witch-hunts.

                Keep America open and free.

              • Joe Biden is one of the most red white and blue Americans around. It does not give you pause to label him “dirty” because Trump buys conspiracy theories? What in the hell is going on around here, that the good are slandered and the bad are justified? I dislike this with every fiber of my moral being. You waffle around with the words to escape the fact that you said point blank that he is dirty, but you can’t substantiate it. You are dirty. A dirty conversationalist. The proof is in your words and waffling, distractions, and inability to say simply the truth.

                You are a modern conversationalist, for sure. It’s why the planet is dying and we justify liars in chief.

              • “Joe, it’s a free country.” It is free within the bounds of laws and responsibility to them. It is the security apparatus that is going nuts over Trump with his manner on phone calls (Ukraine, Russia, Turkey) and his recent knee jerk policy decision on Syria to benefit Turkey and ISIS.

                The point is very simple, and you waffle on it. Candidates should not be allowed to use foreign resources for domestic American elections. Period. End of discussion. Why do you drag us over to McCarthyism to confuse the point? It is very simple. JoeJr gets it.

              • Joe,

                Now you’re putting words into my mouth, I didn’t say Joe Biden was dirty (I usually spell it dirrrty when I do, I’m still reading up on this Ukrainian investigation, I’ve not concluded yet for myself, trust me i’ll say dirrrty or not once I have); I said, Trump was getting ‘dirt’ on Joe Biden.

                There was a Ukrainian investigation on him (or his son to be specific, but he sent his son there, he was VP, so on him is spot on too); and at that time it was shady.

                There was China too, chemp has alluded to, and there was this old interview from Meet the Press when Tom Brokaw called him out on his son Hunter Bide’s role in more shady dealings, that’s 3 shady things going on, here:



                “Wasn’t it inappropriate for someone like you in the middle of all this to have your son collecting money from this big credit card company while you were on the floor protecting its interests?”

                Brokaw questions Biden about the propriety of his support for a law that made it harder for consumers to file for bankruptcy protection during a time when his son, Hunter, consulted for a Delaware credit company. Hunter Biden also is the son at the center of the Trump-Ukraine scandal.

                Brokaw references a Wall Street Journal story stating that Hunter Biden made about $100,000 from the company, MBNA, and that the company gave Joe Biden’s campaign $214,000. Brokaw added that Joe Biden was “fighting for a bankruptcy bill that MBNA really wanted to get passed through the Senate” that would make it harder for other companies to file bankruptcy. Brokaw noted that Barack Obama, who was a senator and not yet president, opposed the bill.

                “In retrospect, wasn’t it inappropriate for someone like you in the middle of all this to have your son collecting money from the big credit card company while you were on the floor protecting its interests?” Brokaw asked Biden.


                There are patterns of irregularities, Joe.

              • Biden’s answer, which you did not include:

                “Absolutely not,” Biden said.

                “My son graduated from Yale Law School. The starting salary on Wall Street is $140,000 a year as a lawyer, options he had,” Biden added. “He came home to work for a bank, surprise, surprise.”

                It is all so unseemly, this slander by aspersion, one side only. There are no patterns of irregularity except among those with an agenda. Going back to an old Brokaw interview? C’mon. Come up with something material. Conspiracy theory is not evidence.

              • This is the stuff of Panelo and Calida, the make-up facts that are sold as substance. Kindly put real information in my blog, respectable, responsible, factual information. Not this stretch for effect to defend a position. Joe Biden is a patriot. A dedicated American. A decent man. He does not deserve the De Lima treatment.

              • The salary and campaign donation isn’t really that important. It’s the position of the company Hunter was working for, then Joe Biden’s position politically vis-a-vis Hunter’s position in the company.

                That is the pattern that tends to repeat itself.

                I’ll try to prosecute it here, but allow me some time to finish “Secret Empires” and some Googling. But that is the pattern, the money is the tricky part easier to hide, but the pattern tends to be that Hunter is always placed in a position where Joe Biden gets to affect his son’s financial standing.

                Sure, you can say Dad’s just taking care of his son— like Trump. But the difference is the politics and the policies affected by this. I’m sure Trump is guilty of this too, by the way. I dunno.


                Researching money laundering and hiding of loot, I just don’t have that access I’m simply Googling, what’s troubling though is this pattern of father/son always somehow benefiting.


                1. Delaware

                2. China

                3. Ukraine

                If you notice, Brokaw’s point is very specific it’s this relationship, and Biden flippantly answers about Hunter’s salary (that wasn’t Brokaw’s question was it?). Brokaw didn’t have the luxury of China and Ukraine, thus his case at that time was weak, but add in China and Ukraine and you have a pattern.

                Don’t say NO just yet, Joe. I’ll connect 1-3. Let me Google further.

              • Hunter gets to use his father’s connections and reputation? No shit. That’s the way life works. Here’s an idea. Rather than trying to slander Joe Biden’s character, which is rather like ad hominem in slow motion, consider his policies. Go to the stuff that matters. That is the point of my shutting down the blog. I am tired of this kind of debate, full of slanders and diversions, battling in the arena of emotions and win/loss. Let’s get back to thinking. What does the US, or Philippines need? What can be done to get there? Let’s return to the dignity of debate based on facts and real thinking rather than aspersions and conspiracy theories.

              • Let’s pause here, and let me do some research. And i’ll present it once, and you can say yes or no, so as not to risk another blog shut down.

              • Research his policies. If your standard is perfection, you can always come up with dirt. And I could go to his life spent in public service and overlay 1,000 pieces of good deed for every piece of dirt. Research his policies and stop trying to slander his character.

              • In reading of the impeachment case, I had to laugh in reading Rep. Schiff’s view of the heat being brought to bear on him:

                . . . Schiff said being demonized comes with the territory — and he characterized it as evidence that the facts are on his side.

                “I do my very best to tune out all the noise, and a lot of the noise obviously comes from the president,” he said, adding of his Republican colleagues, “They will attack anyone because they can’t defend the president’s conduct.”

              • chemrock says:

                A contrarian view in the interest of blog neutrality:

                Joe Biden pulled strings for son Hunter to join the Navy and made an officer without going through the rigorous route required. He was over-age at 43 and with no special skills that the Navy needs. He was kicked out after failing a drug test.

                This was well known long before current Ukraine affair. No liberal media talks about this.


                The grapevine at the moment is about Horowitz’s report on his investigation into FISA abuse coming out this Friday. Again no liberal media is talking. Heavy speculation (and I say speculation) that Comey, Brennan and Mcabe are in serious trouble.

              • Thanks for the info. This is relevant for Hunter Biden, not so much for his father. As the Trump kids and wife should be judged on the merits of their work.

              • karlgarcia says:

                For the rest of us who may be interested.


              • Thank you Karl. In reading the lengthy article, I understand why he and his son Hunter are close. I think anyone who would try to slander this man would likely slander their own mother for an edge in political argument.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Five years being a single parent is rough and tough.

              • Joe you can’t say this, “Candidates should not be allowed to use foreign resources for domestic American elections. Period. End of discussion.”

                while espousing this,

                “Hunter gets to use his father’s connections and reputation? No shit. That’s the way life works.”

                Knowing full well that 2. China is mired with this,

                “Hunter became involved with the company through Devon Archer, an American businessman, according to comments made by BHR chief executive Li in the 21st Century Business Herald in 2014.

                Li told the paper that he was a friend of Archer and asked him to introduce potential partners while in New York in 2012. “One day, after visiting five or six top private equity firms, Archer, Li and another executive went into a pub in Manhattan. While they were having cigar and relaxing, Archer suddenly offered to Li, ‘hey, do not you think I am the right partner for you?’” the paper reported.

                Li said he chose Archer to become a partner because of his “deep” ties to US politics, including Biden’s son, according to the report.

                The details match a New Yorker magazine profile of Hunter in July, according to which the younger Biden and Archer talked with the Chinese private equity investor about partnering to raise funds in China, as well as other business opportunities.

                Hunter and Archer co-founded Rosemont Seneca, along with Christopher Heinz, the stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry.”

                from here:


                see the hypocrisy there, Joe???


                In any case, we will be treated to a special appearance of Hunter Biden on GMA tomorrow morning.

                … and then tomorrow evening, “The October Democratic debate will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 15, and air live at 8 p.m. EDT from private liberal arts college Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus.”

                It should be a fun day tomorrow. 😉


                In the mean time, I’m Googling the hell out of this 1-3 , Joe , but chemp if you can explain Bank of China’s involvement in this, i’d appreciate it, from my watching of Showtime’s series “Billions” private equity firms and foundations are the best ways to hide foreign contributions to American elections, since all that money gets cleaned, goes in a yuan and comes out the other end as good old American dollar.

                But why am I reading Bank of China spokespeople explaining stuff??? What’s their involvement in all this mess??? thanks, chemp!

              • chemrock says:

                @ Lance:

                I’ll keep it brief less I be branded for slandering my own mother for an edge in political argument.

                Bank of China is state owned and it’s the vehicle of choice by the CCP to capture targetted corporations. The funds from BOC but they will use a subsidiary of BOC. US$1.5B was released to it’s subsidiary which flowed to Rosemont to buy up a Chinese company (don’t know what is Rosemont’s share in this) which owns the software for facial recognition that China is using in Uighurs for surveillance.

                The funds were released 10 days after that whose name cannot be mentioned + Hunter visited Xi in Beijing.

                Of course the father and son never talked about their business. Not even if the son has said they spoke just once. We have to believe that, of course, or it’s slander.

              • chemrock says:

                @ Lance

                Obama’s and that whose name cannot be mentioned used kid’s gloved in handling China. That relationship in no small part led to an emboldened China’s adventurism in South China Seas. Why the soft touch? Well of course it’s not about business.

              • We’ll give Hunter Biden the chance to respond, given that this whole line of thought is offensive and seems little more than misinformation for reasons I shall leave to the reader to decipher.

    • sonny says:

      Micha, I strongly agree with your comment and the article’s thesis. Thanks.

    • chemrock says:

      We are all trying to be smarter than everielese, just like Rolling Stones.

      Just sit back and let Barr connect the dots. I think he can do a good job. This thing started with George Papadopoulos and Barr has rightly gone to Italy and Israel.

      Do those who say Impeach mean let Biden and the Dems do whatever they wished? Continue with bipartisan plots and corruption and deep state swamp?

      • Therein lies the rub. Barr is not seen by the dems as bipartisan, but as a part of the President’s possible offenses (obstruction of justice being one). And the dems are seen by Trump supporters as not being bipartisan for not putting impeachment investigation to a vote. Well, it is a political arena, after all, and even the Republicans are good at it.

        The true bipartisan observer would not put the conclusions before the horse, but let the process play out. It is an institutional process, quite intricate, quite legalistic, and fascinating to watch. I’d recommend we let it play out, or try to draw lessons as relevant to the Philippines, and not convert this blog space into a war between American political camps. A debate here does not further the purpose of the blog, and in fact, undermines it.

  13. NHerrera says:


    Quantum [Computer] Supremacy [QS] is the point in time at which a quantum computer can complete a mathematical caculation that is demonstrably beyond the reach of even the most powerful current supercomputers. I understand that QS has already been demonstrated for a specific type of calculation with something like about 50 qubits, with the quantum computer kept in a very special laboratory environment, including keeping it at very low temperatures to reduce the “noise” quantum computer is subject to — causing the quantum states in superposition or entanglement needed for the computation to collapse.

    I am looking forward to read your magnum opus on quantum mechanics. I wrote the above because I have started to do some reading on Quantum Computer ahead of your piece. I understand from previous discussion that your piece may relate to free will as it relates to quantum mechanics?

    • NHerrera says:

      Here is a note by Prabir Purkayastha writing in October 10, 2019 for the Asian Times:

      “No, quantum computing did not come of age with Google’s Sycamore, a 53-qubit computer solving in 200 seconds a problem that would take even a supercomputer 10,000 years. Instead, it is the first step, showing that a functional computation can be done with a quantum computer, and it does indeed solve a special class of problems much faster than conventional computers.

      Further he notes his disagreement with the narrow definition of Quantum Supremacy: “This is not evidence that quantum computers have now superseded classical computers. The hype is misleading as it is based on a very narrow definition of quantum supremacy — that quantum supremacy is one quantum computer beating all classical computers for one specially constructed task.

      How about if I say, that I have a “great, unmatched wisdom.” Do I qualify for a Brain Supremacy?

    • karlgarcia says:

      The wiki contributor(s) did an excellent job with the QC article.

      • NHerrera says:

        Karl, yes that link is a good reference. Thanks. Among others, it gives a major timeline of quantum computing. I also like the discussion on cryptography. According to the article, some cryptographic systems — to protect privacy used in classical computers — such as those based on integer factorisation are extremely vulnerable once quantum computer is applied to them.

        • sonny says:

          ditto, ditto, Karl. Awesome article, awesome find by you.

          NH, so glad you came with the subject of QSupremacy; my first time to hear the race to QS point. Glad to be updated, always.

          NH, senior disclosure: my core of information on QMechanics is from standard Chem frosh books on Inorganic (Sienko & Plane) and Organic Chem textbks (circa 1964) and Calculus by Thomas for the Math. Whatever residual memory I have from those days, nowhere approaches the Required Minimum to understand Quantum Physics as alluded to in the article. (I recently browsed the books at Barnes & Noble. Reason I mention this, refers to the “magnum opus” you mentioned) These are parts of my initial conditions to putting my opus which fast becoming a “parvum opus” (small work). Na-uupos na. 🙂 This small quantum-knowledge can only explain how the Chloride ion does not fall apart or how diamonds differ from graphite and Bucky balls when these are all pure Carbon. 🙂

          • sonny says:

            My go-to-guy for explaining the workings of NMR & MRI does not want to be bothered by my questions anymore. His time has become more critical.

          • Bucky balls.

            I’d do a joke about parvum opus, but the current drive is for decency in these virtual pages.

          • NHerrera says:

            Sonny, I note with gladness your digging, researching after aspects of QM and understanding them before you come out with your parvum opus here at TSH — done in true scientific fashion and expressed with humility.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Looking forward to your valuable exchanges with Sonny, hope we can cope.

        • Pablo says:

          Quantum computing might endanger cryptography and privacy. Certainly. The Kremlin uses old fashioned mechanical typewriters and carbon paper for their top-security documents. This seems to indicate that simplicity sometimes is the best way forward. Could that be a lesson for Philippines which ofcourse don’t stand a chance in the Quantum race or any other high-tech race? Fidel Ramos once commented on the “Asian Tiger” collapse that Philippines did not face the same problems as Thailand because our economy is simple, based on agriculture. Keeping things simple sometimes is the smart thing to do if your resources are limited.
          I am struggling how to relate this to the subject of this blog, but I am sure that there is a message here that we need to go back to basics and become self reliant to strengthen the base because neither the Power Families nor China has the interest of the Filipino at heart.
          A brain-teaser probably.

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