What drives governments to be so stupid?

“I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. ” Rev 6:8

By Joe America

It is most obvious that many governments today are stupid. They undertake acts certain to punish a lot of innocent people, like us. Why do they do this?

We can look at case studies and get some ideas.

America. Greed has replaced the neutral trading value of money so that people’s ambitions for power and money replace logic. Republicans are a case in point. They are loyal to party over facts . . . and the Constitution . . . in order to preserve their chances to get re-elected in states that are populated by racists or emotionalized poor. That’s as stark as I can make it. You can shade it this way or that, but that’s the fundamental picture.

China. Leaders have weaponized the people’s historical oppression by colonists into a demand that China find her rightful place in the world, a place BETTER and more righteous than the bastards who did the oppressing. No matter who gets hurt. And nevermind that China’s leaders and her own tribal conflicts had a lot to do with the failure of China to do well at anything. So today, government authorizes stealing from and brutalizing others. Those are the national values.

Great Britain. Leaders have weaponized immigration in vile racist terms and seek to isolate the big island from the scourge of needy dark-skinned rascals who eat different food. So they are bailing out of the the European Union, even if that step makes no economic sense, or any other kind of sense, whatsoever.

The Philippines. Leaders have weaponized ignorance, deploying trolls and propaganda and outright lies to manage the people who bear a lot of anger from centuries of oppression. Truth does not exist for government. Meanness is a kind of currency. The operating environment is a bed of bluster, lies, threats, and manipulations. And ruthless executions. Truth does not exist for the people either, they like their gossip and myths and idols. Filipinos who are intelligent and well-read wander around dazed as the flood of idiocy rushes past like so many boulders down a flash flooded ravine. It’s ugly. It’s nonsense. It’s cruel.

Other nations also blunder about, nothing more than giant tribes with leaders contesting for who has the biggest manhood. Or missile. They both look a lot alike.

What chance do we have of confining global warming? Hah! With this ridiculous collective of misguided motives and means?


The planet is doomed to a sure, slow, painful death.

Our time on earth is limited and the wise will seek to find the places that will last the longest, and develop the abilities to dominate over the weaker of the human species. Kindness diminishes as an ideal if death is on one’s own doorstep.

Are there ways to stop the foolishness? Yes, if there is a quick and ruthless response to the stupidity and the worshiping of money and power. If the largest nations set out to do what is smart: managing the affairs of man with some object other than money and power as the reason for being.

With being as the reason for being.


213 Responses to “What drives governments to be so stupid?”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    The president and the best and the brightest.
    Let us not forget the gullibles.
    Before I forget-the oligarchs.(jk)

    Seriously, it is not K to 12
    All our discussions on critical thinking and education can be rehashed here.

    • karlgarcia says:

      All leaders must be surrounded by good men who avoids self interest and compound interest (financial).
      A good leader must be decisive, must not keep on moving goal posts.

      K to 12 was mentioned because a stoopid populace will be stoopid enough to put up with stoopid leadership.

      • K-12 with too small classrooms, hungry children and inadequately prepared teachers = fail.

        Imagine rolling out a great software, but your PCs are 15 years old, all you have on them is Windows 8 to make it really bad, your network is very weak, the monitors 17 inches max, and the key users are like some SEA Games volunteers, what would happen to the project?

        Digong raised military and police salaries but not teacher’s salaries. I know a former teacher who was a maid in HK, now in UK because she met an Englishman there. You know how hard the teacher’s life is if many prefer the HK maid job. Plus the Philippines spends only around 3% of GDP on education while Vietnam spends 6% or so, source is Twitter, feel free to pack check. And teachers need to buy own chalk, cross rivers, all of that.

  2. Chris Albert says:

    A pretty accurate condensation of the current state of affairs in the world. It leaves out the “punter” who is too self centered to care and it has a few inaccuracies e.g Britain/EU is not outright racist. One needs to go there to understand how out of hand the problem with so called refugees has become. Just check out that drama of the 39 illegals that died in a truck enroute from France. They (mostly Vietnamese) paid 20k USD for the trip. Hardly refugees fleeing a war torn area. Also worth noting that with around 25 thousand Euro you could just get a residential visa as a self employed doing say drop shipping. Europe is unable to separate this or deal with it and just forces more and more of those onto the member states. There are huge issues about this in –Italy, Spain, Greece, Poland, Czech Rebublic, Hungary, and to an extend Germany where almiost 3 million of them just “vanished”. Even Ireland who is one of the most open states I know starts to see resistance to that flood. Nobody speaks about the fact that help in their nations was stopped 10 or so years ago which led to the raising of emigration streams.
    People will not change until it hits their pockets/plates sad but thats how things are now. As to the climate…….just look at the current nonsense in Australia to get an idea of affairs.

    • Thanks for the elaboration on British immigration complexities, Chris. It strikes me that we are swarming all over one another, and it will get worse as climate change decimates the ‘have nots’ and the haves do little because, hey, well it’s not their problem.

      • That EU President Ursula von der Leyen has met with the African Union as one of her first acts since assuming office on December 1st becomes more significant in the light of the massive refugee flows from that continent. She is part of Merkel’s political clique and her way of doing things will be similar. As Merkel fades in Germany, it was smart of her to place her candidate in Brussels. Whether it helps we shall see, as with so many other matters.

        Since people tend to go where they hope for wealth – sometimes even just crumbs of it – and walls, police, fences can only so much, there is no choice but to work together. Nowadays information travels fast, people go for Europe because a friend posted a nice selfie, of course they won’t post the harder parts of being a refugee over here. People travel more easily nowadays, leading to cities groaning from quickie tourists (my own term) who come in on Ryanair (often young Brits eager to drink but not stay in any hotel, just party the weekend off and then leave) or on cruise ships (hordes overrun places like Malta, Sicily, Venice, spend little and the leave.. garbage, possibly) – the other side of easy travel is refugees. Damascus to Munich is nearer than Chicago to LA on Route 66.

        Being an island makes it easier for Australia to control who comes in. Trump may fear the Latinos but he doesn’t have to deal with the refugees caused by wars in the Middle East – one reason I think why Europeans try to avoid a war with Iran which Trump might provoke. The Philippines could have a huge problem when its climate change issues get worse – as we post Cagayan is highly flooded – due to its geography. Most Vietnamese boat people landed in Thailand, not the Philippines. The Mediterranean is a deadly place for refugees, so much more will the West Philippine Sea / South China sea be hard to cross.

  3. karlgarcia says:


    Elon Musk was saved by the jury, if it was a regular Joe, he would have lost the defamation case.
    That might send a precedent for trolling in the name of free speech, let us brace our selves.

    • kasambahay says:

      musk has a very good lawyer, convincing in his arguments and the jury agree with him. the two men were trading insults, dapat walang pikunan. would have been better had they traded fisticuffs instead. speaking on hindsight lang po ako.

      free speech has limit, not end all and be all yang free speech. and justice can sometimes go against you. such is life.

      as for us and our free speech, we proceed with caution. so talk and have a good yakka but if told to stop yakka-ing, then by all means stop. that might be the only thing that saves us from expensive lawsuit.

      though the smart among us find ways to go round the bend and hop on and off the rabbit trail, haha.

      • kasambahay says:

        the other guy has told musk to ‘stick his submarine where it hurts’.

        musk answered with, ‘you’re a pedo guy’.

        and that’s about it, all done in twitter. then the court of law got involved.

        there are those that said, the court should just have thrown out the case, but since, musk is high profile and the other guy got equally high profile being cyber personality, both were heard and duly given their just desserts.

  4. Micha says:

    The individual above all. The community, society, civilization itself does not matter. Only the individual matters.

    The march towards hyper individualism started in Vienna mainly through the works of Friedrich von Hayek, got disseminated in the academes of London and Chicago, popularized in the US by the likes of Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, and Alan Greenspan; thoroughly embraced by the Republican Party and policy implemented by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

    Greed is good; selfishness is the supreme virtue.

    That, in a nutshell, is the history of neolibralism. It suffered a cardiac arrest during the 2008 great recession and is now in the throes of dying.

    It would have been good if only the ideology dies but the obvious tragedy is that it seems likely it will bring the whole world and humanity along with it.

  5. NHerrera says:

    For those with a scientific or academic bent, an instance of the ever forward increase in entropy — towards chaos. Needed is an urgent worldwide understanding of this rush to the brink and worldwide action of what has to be done. But the current edition of Homo Sapiens may not be up to the job on this eleventh hour. It needs to go extinct and replaced by a better species.

  6. popoy says:

    Aside from having time and resources for reading comprehension these students have OPEN public SPACES for dancing exercises.

    • popoy says:

      Filipino athletes bring honor and clean pride to their country but it is not their that their gold medals in the SEA GAMES cannot bring food and health to the malnourished and meal to meal deprived Filipino school children.

      • kasambahay says:

        dont be bad sport, popoy! let athletes have their day. they worked hard and harvested the fruits of their hard labor. having won, they’re sure to attract endorsing contract and sponsors and hopefully angat themselves from abject poverty. let them be role models to children who want to succeed in sports. many of our athletes come from poor families, but are determined and have burning ambition to succeed. not all can be academics and they mentor those starting in their chosen fields.

        I’m telling you though that I can outrun some of our athletes. I have outrun and outsprinted traffic cops before and in my high heels pa. it’s those motorbike cops hindi ko katalo. but I know how to jump fences and they cant.

        it’s our govt and our politicians that have the primary task of looking after our citizens, have the big budgets to wield and we really should be bullying them to do their jobs!

        I beg your pardon, popoy, if I appear and asshole. bisaya, e.

        • Thanks for the morning wake-up chuckle. Nay, it was more than that. It was an explosion of mirth at the visuals.

        • popoy says:

          Thanks for the elaboration Kasambahay.

          Filipino athletes bring honor and clean pride to their country but it is not their FAULT (mine for the omission of the word)) that their gold medals in the SEA GAMES cannot bring food and health to the malnourished and meal to meal deprived Filipino school children.

          I failed to write and stressed that the athletes deserved hard earned congratulations. The comments’ inference is that the quality of the population in particular endeavors has no match to the shenanigans of scalawags in Philippine society. Billions of US dollars remittance increasing the GNP by a million OFWs make them HEROES but this has no impact to the starving farmers and fishermen. The dogs of corruption are all over the news.

          I see and read no ass holes in TSoH anymore thanks to the vigilance of JoeAm , etc. At my age I see every upright Filipino tribe like the Ilocanos, the Panggalatoks, Cagayanons, Tagalogs, Bicolanos, Visayans, etc. capable of governing their own state or as nations better than one or two of the ASEAN countries.

    • karlgarcia says:

      A good analysis on where do we gi drom here.
      Teaching how to teach and learning how to learn.

      Is poverty to blame? No. According to the 2018 results, poorer countries like Moldova and Kosovo ranked higher than the Philippines. In my interview with Dr. Schleicher in 2011, he explained that the “Pisa result was not about how much a country is spending on education, but where it is spent. The top-ranking countries do not spend the most for education, but they spend a good portion on recruiting and sustaining the best teachers.”

      Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/125792/why-phs-dismal-pisa-results-were-no-surprise#ixzz67fGU35RX
      Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

      • karlgarcia says:

        where do we go from here

        • kasambahay says:

          ow, I’m kicking up a stink! how in the name of the wonky dirigible did china got the top mark! the bloody chinese cannot even pronounce my fav drink. san tuli,(suntory) I thought initially na may tuli (circumcision) yong isa, haha. yani wokel, god, I could kill meself! poor johnny walker.

          notice how many chinese cannot speak and read english? they published our textbook and made banawe terraces into banana terraces! china should be down with us, not high up there.

      • kasambahay says:

        poor pisa result, is poverty to blame? how easily we forgot the drug war and what it did to school children.

        drug testing in schools traumatised children, they feared going to school, feared that they might be shot, or sent to jail. as well, the presence of kapolisan door-knocking classrooms in an effort to profile teachers because of the red october plot caused lot of disruptions and uncertainties.

        students accused to being npa sympathizers and were rounded up for questioning. and the presence of the armed personnel in school campus is often cause for concern. students have nightmares and their studies are mostly affected.

        poor pisa result is probly govt induced. our students failed to thrive in atmosphere of fear.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Don’t forget the fear induced survey satisfaction ratings,

          • kasambahay says:

            higher rate of teenage pregnancies in highschool, children having babies, the more than usual number of foggings in classrooms because of dengue epidemic, the long line for water, the social and moral decay that surrounds students, the helpless their parents felt and thier inability to make things better, and all education madam briones is thinking is to introduce adherence to the english grammar. such solution!

            fear, I know all about fear, suntory is my witness, haha, drowning all my fears and sorrows.

            pisa is just an outward manifestation of what students felt and feared and faced.

            ay naku, educators might as well wagayway survey satisfaction ratings to students. the higher them ratings are, the lower the pisa.

            • sonny says:

              what is “pisa”?

              • sonny says:

                I found it. Thanks.

              • kasambahay says:

                salamak kaayo for the link, joeam. here’s my apology for I’m going to go feral.

                this pisa really got my hackles. when exactly had angara spoken to students? or read schools newsletter?

                when students sat for pisa, they were more or less nervous wrecks! mindanaw was/is under martial law and there were roadblocks. students feared being caught in crossfire between the military and insurgents. and for voicing concerns, students were accused of being insurgents and were spied on, some were followed and questioned. and there were bombings as well, a cathedral was bombed in jolo. women and children run for safety. year 2018 saw meager christmas mass, worshipers stayed away for fear of another bomb exploding.

                and when digong threatened to put the whole nation under martial law, students in luzon took to the streets. they dont want martial law to be their future, they dont want their parents grabbed off the streets never to be seen again. students might be stubborn and headstrong and rolling their eyes at their parents and sometimes answering back, but they love their parents just the same. and there were numerous rallies, students really dont want martial law, hear, hear!

                and how many female students were made to surrender their honor, or puri, or virginity to kapolisan just so they can visit their parents accused of drug offenses in jail?

                students have tough times and pisa 2018 result is testament.

              • Harsh view, worth exploring further.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I beg to differ housemate ( translation of kasambahay)

                The fear factor should not be dismissed, but it can not be an excuse to not improve teaching how to teach and learning how to learn.

  7. popoy says:

    AMIGA (America Is Great Always) because of its racial conglomerates that discriminate into abilities and talents of its young and oldies. This link just demonstrates a molecular group that maintains America’s greatness.

    • popoy says:

      Make America Great Again (MAGA) began many decades before and been kept in full throttle to this day. Whites and colored Americans made it so; to many countries and peoples of the world like who in far Stockholm by their own eloquent ways had shown recognition and appreciation.

  8. NHerrera says:


    I took the ratio of the total medals earned by the SEA countries for every million of their respective population and I got the table shown below.

    Some Filipinos may criticize me for an attempt to disparage what should be otherwise be viewed as an admirable performance of our compatriots in the 2019 SEA Games.

    But I was wondering what the performance is when the total medals earned is divided by the millions of the countries’ population. PH is still above the average of 2.66, scoring 3.53 on that Ratio. Indonesia is worst at 0.97. East Timor at 4.73 scores better than PH on this Ratio basis. And I don’t find surprising that Brunei and Singapore — scoring 30.31 and 28.66, respectively — for such high score. The funding for their athletes and attention given to them are undoubtedly better since they can afford to.

    • NHerrera says:


      If the behavior of US Congress is divided by US GDP, I will not be surprised if it scores very badly compared to the behavior of PH Congress divided by the latter’s GDP. [Sorry, Joe for veering off on what may be termed a verboten subject.]

      • Another interesting metric. I think the US has lost it’s ethical bearings if the Republican reaction to impeachment is a guide. I don’t know how gdp factors into it. Greed = high gdp? Positive correlation?

        • NHerrera says:

          GDP as a measure of wealth, as a measure of time the populace may devote to thinking about politics as it will affect their and their children and grandchildren’s future; and acting logically or rationally. In contrast to the “hand-to-mouth” existence of the majority of the Filipinos — hence not much time to devote to other than working, eating, sleeping.

          But wait. Here is a trivia. The servants of the middle-class and lower class seems to be treated well or with more dignity compared to their counterpart living with the rich. Attribute that to my poor statistics and limited observation if you like.

    • Very interesting metric provoking further discovery. I wonder about government’s level of commitment as indicated by funding of sports. My sense of the Philippines is that the effort has been weak, perhaps political, perhaps corrupt. Definitely most PH champions do it on their own.

    • popoy says:

      Mr. NHerrera, those are very neurocranial medalstistics, it’s when statistics don’t lie. Congrats. Could be another way of choosing the real extra-athletics real country SEAGAMES champion.

      Can your, the NH system be used as measure of the GOOD LIFE in comparing countries by the number of their PhDs, MDs, Engineers? Oh, Oh a big ?? for the number of Lawyers. More Lawyers means what? Nothing intentional, personal or prejudicial about lawyers though. Just like, may be the UN Human Development Index where the Philippines is below the middle of the list.

      For developing or economically stagnant countries, will there be statistical correlation between the number of lawyers and the population below the poverty line. Or the number of overseas workers. Is there NEGATIVE correlation between the number of poor people and the number of FILTHY rich; More of the former, the fewer of the latter for an speculative statistical world view?

      • karlgarcia says:

        NH is still formulating the spreadsheet.

      • NHerrera says:

        To answer partly popoy’s query, I did a quick googling and here is what I found. I have not googled enough and neither have I searched through the South East Asian countries other than the Philippines. The other countries listed in the table below are Industrialized Countries.

        I may note Japan and Canada’s 23 and 26, respectively, compared to the PH’s 38. These two industrialized countries seem to be doing well with a limited number of lawyers. I am surprised about the number of lawyers in Australia relative to the population.

        In the Philippines most lawyers may not be rendering services to the mass of the country. They are mostly serving the rich, the corporations, and as government officials, politicians?

        • popoy says:

          Thank you NH. There seems to be nothing there unless some other factors or variables gets into the hypothesis like number of lawyers in Congress; or the kinds of laws not the lawyers; must stop this nitpicking lest it becomes tautological.

          • NHerrera says:

            Right, popoy. This old man did 1% of what may satisfy your desire. I have reserved for you the 99% part to do the required googling work to answer your questions. So, google away. 🙂

          • Micha says:

            Forget about the lawyers popoy. In terms of profession, private corporate bankers sit on top of the food chain as parasitic predators.

            They employ mere lawyers to deal with such pesky stuff as regulations even as they loot and suck the blood out of the host economy.

            • karlgarcia says:

              My first impression of you was that you were a banker yourself.

            • popoy says:

              Hi Micha. Are you a Campaneyero? If I may, Chemistry has alchemy; Good or bad for society’s elements there are ALLOYS, CATALYSTS and whatever. In biology there are parasites while in political science there are collaborators, facilitators; in Law there are accomplices and accessories; in medicine there are carcinogens that facilitates what Jose Rizal wrote as Noli Me Tangere.

  9. popoy says:

    My apologies for this irrelevance and sheer impertinence but this is why Canada is [a wee little bit] greater than America (CGTA). True Canucks make it so.


    • sonny says:


      Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle is “a great gift from the Church of the Philippines to the universal Church”, said Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines, commenting to Fides the appointment of the Archbishop of Manila as new Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

      “Today – the Nuncio continued – the Church in the Philippines entrusts and gives Cardinal Tagle to the universal Church: to him the task of taking care not only of the community of a diocese, but of the whole world, for the work of evangelization. We offer the most beautiful gift we have had. We give with an open heart, even if our heart is suffering a little, but we give with joy”, remarked Mgr. Caccia.
      “The Cardinal knows the extent of the responsibility entrusted to him. And, like Mary Immaculate, he trusts the Lord by saying: Here I am, I am only a servant of the Lord, be done according to Your word”, he concluded.

      • NHerrera says:

        I am glad about this appointment as a Catholic. I have a good feeling in my hope that Cardinal Tagle will grow in spiritual strength and capabilities and thus be a good fit to the new responsibilities in behalf of the Church worldwide and particularly in the PH.

    • NHerrera says:

      Thanks for the news, sonny.

      John Allen Jr. fairly writes about Cardinal Tagle on his appointment by Pope Francis as the Vatican’s new Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Allen writes about the potential of Cardinal Tagle while noting his weakness or criticisms about him.

      • popoy says:

        SERENDIPITY or blast from the past.

        There was this essay written in February 2015 in Canada about Pope Francis and Cardinal Tagle:

        “And now after Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines, history so to speak is again on a mild wishful euphoria but I shall imagine it in another albeit bigger light as resurrecting a desire for a non-European but an Asian Pope in the person of Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle.

        Pope Francis and Pope Tagle both with Jesuit “oxygen”
        in their veins as Shepherds of Rome

        Searching the internet to see how Argentina and the Philippines as the two dots of papal source can somehow be connected; scanty information and knowledge feebly suggest there’s a connection even if only by a weak thread representing socio-economic and political dimensions. What happens in the Philippines may already have happened, are still happening or will surely happen in the future in Argentina and vice versa. “

        For the complete essay:


      • sonny says:

        You’re welcome, NH.

        Out of curiosity, I took these 2 items from Wiki just to get a feel for what our Cardinal Tagle will be responsible for as prefect of the Congregation. (Of course, the administrative principle of subsidiarity is strongly practiced by the Church to accomplish her objectives)

        “The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples has jurisdiction over 186 archdioceses, 785 dioceses, 82 vicariates apostolic, 39 prefectures apostolic, 4 apostolic administrations, 6 missiones sui iuris, 1 territorial abbacy, and 6 military ordinariates,” in today’s modern organization. The Congregation has even further jurisdiction over countries in almost every continent including Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and North America. The church overall has many statutes and regulations in place for the overseen congregations so that they may determine the appropriate way to hold mass, perform the sacraments and spread the gospel in difficult or challenging settings.

        (2) As prefect, ex officio, the cardinal will have direct oversight as grand chancellor of the Vatican’s 392 year old Pontifical University Urbaniana tasked with the training and formation of missionaries from the above-mentioned continents.
        “The University provides for research and teaching within the framework of the Holy See’s educational system regulated by the Congregation for Catholic Education”. Its academic focuses are in the studies of philosophy, theology, canon law, as well as missiology

    • sonny says:

      More on Vatican focus on the Filipino Catholic community:

      (as I write this entry, EWTN is running the delayed telecast as Pope Francis celebrates Simbang Gabi Mass (Gaudete Sunday) on the main altar of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome; that Pope Francis celebrates Simbang Gabi from the high altar following Cardinal Chito’s designation is indeed high honor and expectation bestowed on the Filipino people).


      From the article:

      “Who is most likely to succeed Pope Francis?

      By Phil Lawler (bio – articles – email) | Dec 11, 2019

      The appointment of Cardinal Luis Tagle as prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization has prompted informed Vatican journalists to observe that Pope Francis may be hoping to put the Filipino prelate in place to become his successor.

      Pope Francis will celebrate his 83rd birthday next week, and his physical condition has never been robust. Although he shows no signs of slackening his pace—and has not recently repeated his earlier suggestion that his papacy would last only “four or five years”—the Pope could be thinking about ways to ensure that his policies will survive beyond his death or resignation—that he will ensure the “irreversible change” that his supporters hoped he would bring to the Church.

      Cardinal Tagle was already on any informed observer’s list of papabile, and this appointment undoubtedly moves his name up that list. The Congregation for Evangelization, popularly known as Propaganda Fide, is one of the most powerful Vatican dicasteries, responsible for the Church’s work in mission territories around the world. Cardinal Tagle will be watching over about 4,000 dioceses and roughly one-third of the world’s Catholic bishops.

      Moreover, as Edward Pentin notes in the National Catholic Register, the long-awaited reform of the Roman Curia will give Cardinal Tagle even greater authority. In its current draft form, the apostolic constitution Praedicate Evangelium makes Propaganda Fide a super-dicastery, second only to the Secretariat of State (and superior to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) in its power.”

      • sonny says:

        Simbang Gabi has a high liturgical and evangelical provenance. This Filipino pious Advent devotion is done in preparation for the Nativity of the Christ-child. It is a Novena (9) of Masses celebrated on the 9 days immediately preceding Christmas; the Masses are Marian in character, honoring the maternity of the Blessed Virgin; votive (initiated outside liturgical norms but parallel to the liturgy of the Advent season; with proper ecclesiastical dispensation).

        This most beloved devotional practice of the Filipino Church has fittingly resonated with the current migrant character of the Filipino diaspora (under duress, religious nevertheless). From a historical viewpoint, (1565) the missionary labors of colonial (Spanish, American, European) institutions have come to roost and populated the empty Churches in those continents.

  10. NHerrera says:


    The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) noted the poor performance of Filipino students from a PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) assessment.

    Jocelyn Martinez, chair of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), said the implementation of the K-12 program had an impact on the learning of students.

    “There is a correlation between the class sizes and the K-12,” she said in Filipino during an interview with “The Chiefs” aired on Cignal TV’s One News on Monday night.

    “The subjects that the students have to study increased. There are a lot of competencies, content that the students have to study despite having limited time,” she added.

    Martinez also noted problems on teacher competencies, noting cases wherein teachers have to teach subjects that they are not really familiar with because there is no one else available to handle them.

    “There is a mismatch,” she said. “The teachers were not ready for K-12.”

    The Philippines ranked the lowest in reading comprehension and second lowest in mathematics and science out of 79 countries that took part in the assessment.

    Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the K-12 program is not the reason for the low scores of the students.


    • NHerrera says:

      I used the operative word stupid in the current blog title to trigger the above item. After all future PH governments will be populated on the average by graduates of the current K-12 Program, assuming such problem persists.

    • NHerrera says:

      Here are more details on the PISA assessment from Michael Tan


      • popoy says:

        books, Books, B O O K S if there are enough
        for pupils and students to read in libraries
        to bring to study and enjoy at home is
        what reading comprehension is all about.

        No books, without books to read
        starves the young hungry minds.

        Blah, blah, blah of teachers
        TV and movies, cellphones and I-pads
        make young minds obese not with info
        but with data that’s desiderata.

        Reading comprehension is
        a measure of mental malnutrition
        of young school children.

        • NHerrera says:

          The Three Rs — Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic — still matter more than ever in this age and in the future!

          Re wRiting, I am fairly facile with my fingers on the keyboard, but I still love to use my fingers to write and sketch/ draw — but with a difference: I do it with a stylus on a writing-capable tablet screen with capability to change colors and thickness of the lines on whatever background color I choose. It aids my thinking.

          • k says:

            have you tried po using non dominant hand do what the dominant hand does like brushing your teeth, holding a pen and writing? instead of walking forward, can you take a step or two backward presuming it’s safe to do so? can you stand and balance on one foot? can you count backward from a 100? simple exercises but beneficial, makes the brain panic a bit, stock-take and off it goes, solving problems.

            can you recall what you eat at breakfast, lunch, dinner? what clothes you wore yesterday? I know, I know, people here goes au natural, haha. no water for daily shower, no water for washing clothes, but plenty perfume dabbing, minimalistic na lang po.

            mini mental exercises fun for some, challenge for others.

            and yes pls, hang on to the 3Rs and be engaged. imperative po yan.

            • kasambahay says:

              it’s only me po, kasambahay.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Popoy waa the original riddler,
              you are the next.

            • NHerrera says:

              Thanks, k.

              Sounds like items associated with and exercises to put off the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. I know there is no known effective cure for it, but keeping mentally and physically active may help?

              There is the usual joke of the onset of Alzheimer’s. A man calls home from a grocery store with help from a good Samaritan and asks, Honey, why am I here? Or perhaps worse, when holding an item such as a spoon, asks, Honey, what is this for?

              • karlgarcia says:

                I will appreciate more our culture of caring for our elderly, not just because they are the ones who have money.

              • kasambahay says:

                nherrera, the book, the man who mistook his wife for a hat, must read sa amin yan when I was at school. I flunk the essay!

                you are correct po, so far no cure for dementia yet, but dementia can be slowed. and keeping mentally and physically active helps a lot as well as being socially connected. not easy to do for those isolated because of sickness, estranged from thier families, etc.

                karlgarcia, caring for the elderly is like caring for a child, only 60kgs heavier and stronger. and they have bad days and good days. on bad days, carers got spat at and have bruises and on good days, they have laughter.
                now about the money, it’s often a matter for the family court. and before then, there’s an appointed legal guardian who’ll decide matters over life and death like switching off life support, etc.

                smart oldies dont leave things to the last minute.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thanks for the insights.

  11. popoy says:


    What drives governments to be so stupid?
    To be direct, blunt and narrow,
    but perhaps deductive says
    those who govern and the governed
    in a finite time horizon
    are/is what drive(s) governments
    to be so stupid.

    • kasambahay says:

      ahem, stupid as stupid goes. make me wonder tuloy had our best and brightest government sat for pisa, betting ako the result would be stratospheric! twenty leagues below the sea, or ballistic enough to hit chinese satellite orbiting in space, haha.

  12. Micha says:

    Confronting the Lopez and Ayala monopolies in metro water distribution is a good thing. The stupid investors just lost $2 billion.


    What is stupid in Duterte’s plan is to transfer the monopoly to the Villar business conglomerate. If he truly wish to be an authentic popular reformer, he should totally de-privatize MWSS.

    • karlgarcia says:

      • Micha says:

        How do you know we cannot afford to nationalize water service?

        • karlgarcia says:

          With the manpower or lack of it and the debts leftft behind by the concessionaires, default then bailout will ollow.
          Again show me the money.

          • Micha says:

            How do you know the national government don’t have the money? Do you work in the Finance Department? Bureau of Treasury? Central Bank?

            • karlgarcia says:

              No I do not , are you still saying that they have unli money, plus congress has the power of the purse means unli cash, how come it does not show?

              • Micha says:

                Yes, congress has the unlimited ability to fund projects and programs of the national government it deems necessary for the well being of its people.

                Most or all of congress members though do not have an idea that they have that ability because they’ve been clusterf*cked by foreign masters of the imperial kind.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Yeah, they must back read here or read this exchange

            • karlgarcia says:

              You answered the congess part in the next comment, they do not optimize their power then.

    • karlgarcia says:

      • Micha says:

        How do you know we don’t have money and manpower to nationalize water service? Please support your categorical unsubstantiated assertion.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Your suggestion before was to borrow donestically.
          We can not do that, though the mix before China and build buikd build was giing to that direction.

          like I said in the previius bkogs
          Your pet advocacy MMT can answer it but when will it be not a pipe dream?

          Until then, if we just print money, hyperinflation will follow.

          Our money is spent on paying for salaries of government personnel soldiers judiciary …
          about a trillion pesos

          Then the AFP,police andvthe judiciary is not covered by GSIs
          so sooner the pension funds will also explode

          Please show me the money even in theory.

          • Micha says:

            Yes, avoid foreign borrowing as much as possible. We have dollar reserve and current account to cover basic imports.

            Nationalizing the water distribution service requires congressional legislation and the funding allocation for that bill also requires an act of congress. That is where your money comes from – an act of congress executed by the finance department and the central bank.

            What is mostly needed and is severely lacking is the political will from both the executive and the legislative branch to confront those parasitic oligarchs dipping their greedy fingers on the crown jewels of the country.

            • popoy says:

              Micha and Karl if I may bark and bark using photos as I watch your wits-ful exchanges because I am a bit wee awed by the way Americans, Brits, Aussies, Canucks, etc. like their dogs as pets and guard dogs. But these free nations despite having lots and lots of dog breeds haven’t come –as they say– to the dogs. So I go ogled about dogs and here’s some commentative pieces.

              am sending the photos to TSoH.

  13. karlgarcia says:

  14. karlgarcia says:

  15. karlgarcia says:


  16. karlgarcia says:

    In relation to your fear factor stance

  17. karlgarcia says:

    • Micha says:

      That’s a good thing. We’re in a free market right?

      • karlgarcia says:

        Our late friend Rolando Hiro Vaswani even suggested the extreme of complete market failure, then start from there.
        Do you agree?

        • Micha says:

          Those stupid investors who lost billions should know there’s such a thing as risks in investing right? They gambled, they took the risk and lost. That’s the market at work.

          What’s the problem?

          • karlgarcia says:

            Great no problemo, charge it to experience

            • Just driving the prices down so poor pipol like Villars can buy.

              Free the Philippines from mestizo oligarchs, give the new brown skinned flat nosed rich a chance! #MRP

              • karlgarcia says:

                But those mestizos are partnering with rich Chinese.
                The dang hari expressway is now named FWD-MCX named after the owner of FWD insurance, owned by the richest man in HK.

                MvP has also ties which rich Chinese to begin with his main benefactor Salim(Indonesian Chinese)

                The VIllars Uys the Singson/Paquiiao will love low prices for their take over.
                That is how the cookie crumbles.

              • kasambahay says:

                I dont know, sa palagay ko, the 1st thing the those brown sapinsapin do once they come into money is change their looks: nose done, checks got fillers, crooked teeth fixed, hair colored, some even lose weight at naging kahanga-hanga. putting on expensive clothes and being seen in richer company, they have more or less erased what they once were. I am friend with some of them, haha.

                sen villar has yet to have rhinoplasty though. retinol (vit a) is new craze and having skin whitened as well. methink, behind some mestisa’t mestiso, is a shy brown person.

              • karlgarcia says:

                To avoid harshness, I will just say that one rich woman has not used her money to make her self ravishing, maybe because she hates research.

  18. Micha says:

    The onerous contract entered into by the Lopez and Ayala monopolies with MWSS was signed in 1997 under the Ramos administration.

    El Tabako of course is the godfather of neoliberal clusterf*ck in the country responsible for much of the sustained suffering and poverty of a wide swath of our population which, in effect, led to the election of the populist maniac we have right now in Malacanang.

    We’re coming full circle after 22 years.

    • kasambahay says:

      fvr is lucky, he live long enough to see the fruit of his labor. lucky, lucky him. now, he’s going to have showdown with the best and brightest of them all: duterte.

      • Micha says:

        FVR and Duterte are actually buddy-buddies. Both has that fascist streak in their bones so I’m not expecting much of a confrontation.

    • karlgarcia says:

      No argument here, I hated how he handlled the power secctor as well.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Thank you Micha, I thought I will end up just talking to my self.

      • sonny says:

        I remember the power generators; and the buzz word, something-, something-2000. I remember thinking then: the president is a soldier and a civil engineer; now we’ll get somewhere.

        • Micha says:

          He was also known as Amboy, a stooge for the Washington Consensus.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I admit Unc that my dad was once an Asec of DND for a very short time during FVRs term, and they still get to meet occasionally.
          Hindsight about these Utilities sector will tell you that something went wrong and the consequences are still consequences.

  19. popoy says:

    To Sonny

    Darn, when one is about to be 83, PREFERRING to be opaque in the mind is changed by fingers to PREPARING to be opaque.

  20. popoy says:

    what is SOVEREIGNTY ? Other nations trample on another nation’s sacred sovereignty when they trample on a nation’s violatIons and abuses of human rights.


    • Can a father in the slums also invoke soberanti if he abuses his children, as in wala kang paki sa hindi mo pami?

      • karlgarcia says:

        Mixed reaction on viral photos or videos of abuse.
        Some pictures painted 1000 words still do not tell the whole story, even videos.
        You still would not get whey they are coming from, so better get an affidavit(not MRP)

        • karlgarcia says:

          Bolivia also is having second thoughts or regretting their privatization of water utilities.


          “If there’s a reversal of privatization, why? There are several reasons for a country to renationalize or stop privatization. In some cases, following the prescriptions of the IMF and the World Bank, developing countries privatized industries that were under state control and opened their borders to foreign direct investment. Some of these newly privatized firms failed, be it for the tough economic environment they had to operate in or for many of the same reasons there might have been failings when under state control. In our last post we talked about Bolivia’s renationalization of water companies. Columbia University’s Joseph Stiglitz reflected on Bolivia’s renationalization efforts saying ,“They did everything right, they liberalized, they privatized and they felt the pain. Now it’s 20 years later, and they’re saying, ‘when is the gain’?”

          As political observers, what is key is that the pressure for renationalization has started from the bottom. The rise of income inequality, poverty, and unemployment is fuelling the working and middle class to protest against neoliberal policies. In some developing countries, slow economic growth is the perfect environment for populist parties that promote nationalization policies to blame privatization and foreign trade for the country’s economic failures. Some went as far as to argue that the 2007 global recession had discredited the virtues of rampant free market policies and it has become more politically challenging for parties to make the case that more markets and less government is a good thing.”

          • popoy says:

            Karl, what people don’t see is what they get when they don’t know their country is squeezed between two metamorphic rocks of corrupt to the bones private sector and corrupt to the genes public officials. People abet, collaborate and survive by snoozing in the noodle house.

  21. Micha says:

    Now what’s this I hear that Duterds is also threatening not to renew the franchise of Lopez owned ABS-CBN?

    That’s a wallop if he dare follow on that threat truthfully and he may yet turn out to be the most valuable president we ever had. Closing that garbage gurgling tabloid peddling station is the best thing that could happen for the Philippine broadcast and media industry.

    Of course Duterds, such as he is, could always change his mind and, like his metro water tirade or jetski into the Spratleys stunt, just make a deal with the devil and proceed business as usual and everything will be fine in the land of the oligarchs.

    That will leave him a legacy of fraud, criminality, and lies.

  22. karlgarcia says:

    We learn from those who differ, if those who differ can not learn from us.
    Unofficial theme of the comment sections.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Lessons learned.
      When there is a financial crisis Billionnaires remain billionaires and Millionaires remain millionaires, it is the thousanders, hundreders who will have less than zero.(starring RDjr.)

      Those damn oligarchs are good for nothing, investors are stupid, all of them
      that is why they are still billionnaires because
      when prices reach rock bottom it is ripe for predatory takeover and the others must know how to cut losses.
      Congress has the power of the purse they just do not know how to use them because of those imperialist neolibs concensual washingtoners and alll the lies and statistics.
      Do not forget the hacienderos, asinderos and the mineros.

      Greed is good? nah, deficits are good
      But our manang tindera needs cash so do not lista.

  23. karlgarcia says:

    Twitrable tweet

  24. Micha says:

    “In a Dec. 4 letter to the President, the 91-year-old Ramos recalled that the privatization of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) in 1997 and the concession agreements were designed to provide water and sanitation to the sprawling Philippine capital, “which at that time was facing a water crisis.”

    Ah yes, this has always been the script. Never let a good crisis come to waste. Willfully render the government agencies inutile and incompetent to deal with the so-called “crisis” so you could justify the transfer of ownership and operation to the private sector.

    Now after decades of private ownership and operation, water shortages and crisis still occur, rates are going up, and delivery service is as lousy as ever.

    So what’s the difference between an incompetent government agency and an incompetent private corporation?

    The profit motive.

        • Irineo B. R. Salazar says:

          Heribert Prantl, Editor at Munich’s Süddeutsche Zeitung, wrote in his Sunday column today (always a mail to subscribers) that privatization of public services reduces democratic control of such, including examples of failed or only partly successful privatization here.

          In the Philippines, public stuff is hampered by a dinosaur-like bureacracy, private stuff is exclusively in the hand of oligarchs because the culture dictates keeping close control, disfavoring stock companies which at least can spread wealth, as even Karl Marx wrote. Politics mainly under control of personalities is also favored by the low-trust culture that allows little distribution of responsibility as trusting those outside your circle is perilous, until that changes there will be little chance of significant improvement over there.

          • karlgarcia says:


          • karlgarcia says:

            Re: High income countries.
            Finland and Norway have high incomes, does that mean there is more equality?
            Or is it just because of their low population?

              • NHerrera says:

                Karl, thanks for the link.

                I took the population of the countries and plotted it with the gini of these countries [with gini a proxy for inequality — the closer gini is to zero the lower the inequality; the closer to unity, the higher the inequality.] Because of the scale of the population from the 0.35 million of Iceland to 1.39 billion of China, I scaled the abscissa in the natural logarithm of the population.

                [The letters I, D, N, F, S, UK, US, I, C in the chart stands for Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, UK, US, India, China, respectively.]

                One may hypothesize the reason for the correlation, but there is a correlation as you can see.

              • Remarkable. Income inequality is greatest in most populated countries, right? The why hypothesis is that there are more disadvantaged racial and religious groups that no one really cares about, or discriminates against, and the few rich have a lot of peons to deploy for their benefit.

              • karlgarcia says:

                You’re the man, NH! If not for your graphical presentations and spreadsheets with explanation, people will just say those damned $&#% statistics.
                Dr. Habito in his numerous columns was always in defense of the statisticians, especially in the latest poverty stats and survey.

              • karlgarcia says:

                All of the above Joe.
                Some thrive in diversity(and adversity) here we have tribalism, they bring them abroad when they narc on compatriots with immigrations, or other authorities.

                We have discussed that the Church’s stand on RH or population control.
                They give reasons why a populous nation has all the advantages, instead we ha have none such advantages to show, we only have peons.
                We do not have human resources, we have human tools.

          • karlgarcia says:

            I looked him up.
            Heribert Prantl stand on austerity is confusing.


          • karlgarcia says:

            Before there was no competition body to ralk about, no anti-trust law suits

            Now there is, so long as nothing is bastardized things can work.

            Franchises, small medium micro enterprises and even startups can give big conglonerates a run for their money.
            We hear of angel investors, funding startups.

            It has always been the strong lobby that makes breaks/stall policy and legislation, not oligarchs per se. Any pressure /interest group can do that for you.
            National interest should not just be a buzzword.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Re: bastardization and chacha

              The lower house thought they could offer something the Senate cannot refuse by offering shorter but more terms with more reelections and more chances of winning.
              Let us see now that the existence of the senate is no longer threatened if they would dance the chacha.

              • kasambahay says:

                lower house has not learned. patay na ang federalismo at itong chacha ay maging chicharon yata. another waste of good money itong chacha. another bunch of consultants waiting to be hired, money in their pockets na naman. if the same bunch of consultants that cooked up federalismo are hired . . .

                money is better off spent on marawi city’s rehab. people are still living in tents. worse now there is earthquakes in mindanaw. buildings there have to be repaired as well as roads and bridges, people needs housing and jobs. nationwide teachers pay rise is equivalent to a kilo of rice a day. and all the house could think of is chacha? sarap sipain, haha.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Feel free mauna k susumod ako pero magtatago nga lang ako.

              • karlgarcia says:

                We have lots of priority numero unos. Micha and I just rehashed our discussion on the power of Congress to provide Unli cash..
                If you have been a longtime reader here, you would know what I am talking about anyways it is above, most of it anyways.

                Here is my suggestion, spend money on bringing back engineers, all that we have shortage.
                if we can import pogo workers why not import engineers, psychiatrists, fill in the shortages
                Whatcha think?

  25. NHerrera says:

    Thanks for the generous words, fellow travelers in this most interesting of times [to put a positive spin to this period].

    Re Joe’s comment on the why, here is complementary saying about being one in a large number of those similarly placed: there is comfort in a lot suffering together or some such saying.

    In the vernacular, that saying is consuelo de bobo.

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