The Greed Games: Populist Fascists

Analysis and Opinion

By Joe America

I witness the breakdown of civility and sense in both the US and Philippines with a deep sadness, as if a dear friend had died. All that we did together is lost to time. Our fading memories aren’t vivid or active enough to hold onto the good times.

Neither country will pass this way again. We were dedicated to building a community together. Now we are tearing it down.

Greed is the driver of things.

I don’t mean monetary greed alone, although that is huge. I mean the need to claim righteousness for ourselves. The arrogance of our place on earth, as if we were capable of being the sole judge of right and wrong. That kind of selfish center-of-the-world mentality.

It’s extreme. It’s mixed up. Even science doesn’t count anymore. Doctors are attacked for trying to help save lives. Journalists are threatened and told to ‘write it the right way’. We are knowingly or unknowingly the spreader of lies and deceit and destruction. The framing of laws, order, and respect we’ve lived for are crumbling.

I look at the aura, the passion, that attaches to destructive people like Trump and Duterte and run out of words to explain how wrong it is, and run out of the energy to object. If this is what people find fulfilling, then my values are useless. The concepts of truth, knowledge, and humility as the framework for good deeds, performed together, are lost to deceptions and conspiracy theories as the basis for saying some people are better than others. Populist fascism I suppose. Mobs of zombies are eating brains, but they are doing it conceptually rather than physically.

Did you see that video of a slugfest between anti-vaxxers and pro-vaxxers in Los Angeles the other day? That’s what the photo is about. I couldn’t tell who the good guys were. They were all rather weighty guys beating on one another. It looked EXACTLY like the zombie hordes on my kid’s virtual games.

That’s the path we are on. Right and wrong in the Christian tradition are lost to a passion for power, whether it be in a facebook discussion or halls of the US capitol, or the streets of Los Angeles.

Populist fascists and hired word-gunslingers dominate the discussion.

There is only one way out of this mess.

People have to realize what’s happening. How each of us is being consumed by deceits and angers, fueled by bad information and bad thinking. And we have to realize how we promote these destructive acts. We do. You, me, and they.

It has to start with humility.

After that, it can move to a search for honesty and knowledge, and then a great rediscovery of sense and civility.

But it has to start with humility.


Photo: Pro-vax, anti-vax riot in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times.

211 Responses to “The Greed Games: Populist Fascists”
  1. i7sharp says:

    “… destructive people like Trump and Duterte …”

    JoeAmerica, in the context of your blog article, can you justify lumping Trump and Duterte together?
    In any case, why is Trump destructive?

    • JoeAm says:

      Trump undermines basic values that make the Constitution work, truth, respect for differences, and civility. He has divided the country sharply and has laid the groundwork for demonizing science, journalism, and ethnic differences. He demands loyalty over sense or sincerity. He encouraged the attack on the US capitol, promotes the lie that Biden did not win the election, and destroyed US relationships around the globe. He is considered one of the worst presidents in US history and was thrown out of office after one term by American voters.

      • i7sharp says:

        44 January 20, 2009
        January 20, 2017 Barack Obama Democratic 2008 Joe Biden
        45 January 20, 2017
        January 20, 2021 Donald Trump Republican 2016 Mike Pence
        46 January 20, 2021
        Incumbent Joe Biden Democratic 2020 Kamala Harris

        In contrast to Trump, how did Obama do, how is Biden doing?

        • JoeAm says:

          Biden is too new to rank. Obama is 10th in 2021, having moved up from his debut rank of 12. Historians do the evaluations. The link I provided will lead you as deep as you want to go to understand the why and how. Click on the first link in the article.

          • JoeAm says:

            In terms of my opinion, Barak Obama was superb. Brought the US back from economic ruin on the strength of his charisma, confidence, and a few courageous decisions. Held steady under incredible racist and political attack. Made some mistakes.

            Biden started stronger than I expected. Irish courage to make decisions. Terrific work on putting together a cabinet and geting vaccines out broadly and quickly. Ball-buster spending and infrastructure bills. I find his and his cabinet’s social media presence too promotional. Too ever-present. Like, give it a rest. He’s getting flack from liberal Dems and Republican nut cases, so he’s probably right down the middle. The haters are busy hating. I hope he can continue the excellent work.

      • Grace Penaflor Sapuay says:

        The Philippines has Duterte, US has Trump.

    • JoeAm says:

      Both Trump and Duterte disregard the Constitution and replace loyalty to them over loyalty to the country, or confuse themselves with BEING the country. They are cruel to critics and have no respect for journalism as the Fourth Estate.

  2. Martin says:

    So true Joe. But I hope that good men like you don’t give in to their despair. Because if you do then humanity will deteriorate into the zombies of which you write.

    • JoeAm says:

      Thanks, Martin. I hope the youth of the Philippines come along soon to take up the yoke. Until then, I’ll do my share.

      • Dean says:

        “Journalists are threatened and told to ‘write it the right way’. We are knowingly or unknowingly the spreader of lies and deceit and destruction. The framing of laws, order, and respect we’ve lived for are crumbling.”

        Hear, hear! Joe. I’ve been threatened physically before. That was when I did not yet have a family. It is different now that I have young children. They do not just censor you and tell you off. There are very real threats against vulnerable family members.

        • JoeAm says:

          Well, do what you need to do to stay safe, Dean. You’ve given much to the Philippines already. Gangsters have their turf. Let them have it. Raise the kids the best you can. Enjoy them as they move through their phases of discovery, and you’ll share their joy. The gangsters will just count their money but never be as rich as you.

  3. LCPL_X says:

    They met last month in Koreatown. And before that it was during the BLM and Trump stuff last year, Joe.

    The left is the Pro-Trump individual rights crowd; the other is AntiFa plus which ever is anti-Trump, thus pro-vaxxers.

    You can ID Antifa usually because they are ready to fight, with protective gear and helmets usually.

    The anti-vaxxers have been visible here, usually at hospitals, or vaccine venues, they are a nuisance, but usually they are peaceful, just loud, sometimes if theres enough of them they’ll stall traffic walking back and forth crossing the street.

    pro-vaxxers seem new now in California. So I’m thinking they are more AntiFa and not pro-vaxx really. They basically are there showing up because there’s anti-vaxxers protesting.

    Antifa used to be widely known as anarchists. So IMHO anarchists gonna anarch. Just another day at the office for them.

    I think the reason for the ramp up of anti-vaxx protests is the rhetoric in the media that mandates will soon happen. The anarchists could care less about gov’t mandates, they’re whole point is anti everything.

    What really gets me confused is these Antifa anarchists, love a fist fight, but they don’t seem to work out or train boxing or martial arts, so just like the Wi Spa tit for tat last month, Antifa again were beaten to a pulp.

    but they start these things generally, Joe, there’s videos back last summer during the BLM protests of black folks yelling at these Antifa folks saying Hey we’re not here to start a riot; and AntiFA say something like Hey I’m on your side! and cause property damage anyways. They usually act as tinder to heaps of fire hazard materials.

    Just anarchy, Joe. The vaccine mandates though are a good reason to protest.

    • JoeAm says:

      To be clear, you are just guessing. I’m not aware that identifications have been made. But, yes, humility is driving none of this. Well, any protest is an agenda-driven stampede, not a town hall meeting where different views are welcome. Tribes will be tribal. I suggest they elect leaders and have leadership meetings to hash out where to go and how to get there. The rest is media shows, anarchs anarching.

      • LCPL_X says:


        The media is portraying this as anti vaxxers vs pro vaxxers, well pro vaxxers by virtue of having taken the vaccines are types that would stay away from anti vaxxers.

        Antifa though whether or not vaccinated will want to go where “fascists” will be. This is all via social media, meet and greets. Trumpists/anti-vaxxers say lets all meet up here for an impromtu rally, Antifa groups are also following, they say lets counter their protest!

        And you get interactions above.

        The signs if you watch videos, largely were “No mandatory vaccination” and “COVID=scam”, “My right to refuse” ,etc etc…

        The ‘pro-vaxxers’ weren’t there with “Vaccines are mandatory” or COVID is real or You can’t refuse signs, etc. etc. They were simply there as a counter protest. Specifically to pick a fight and/or cause a commotion.

        Which they did thus successful in what they were attempting to do. The violence I’m saying is largely driven by AntiFa. Not the other way around, but the Trumpists also react. Thus what happened in city hall.

        • LCPL_X says:


          It was a beautiful weekend to laze about on the beach. These folks decided to do this. Which means they must be really passionate about their opinions on these matters and finding fellowship. That’s usually the beginnings of politics. The melee itself is political.

          AntiFa tends not to vote, given their anarchist tendencies;

          anti-vaxxers will come out big in the governor re election;

          pro-vaxxers have the high ground, just need to sit back and relax, thus why I think this was largely an AntiFa and anti vaxxer turn out,

          though in Koreatown last month, the AntiFas aligned with LGBTQplus folks. Trumpists/anti-gays were protesting a man in a woman’s spa section.

        • JoeAm says:

          Makes sense. Both sides seemed to want to fight.

  4. NHerrera says:

    It has to start with humility.

    That seems laudable enough to decelerate the spiral towards some undefined doom. But I wonder if that, even when shown to be genuine, is enough for the likes of the Trumpists and the DDS to stop the tribalism and “greed.”

    My pessimism aligns with the week that we see splashed online and on TV about Afghanistan and the PH onward increase of Covid infections, not helped by the fund’s mismanagement by DOH — something that could have helped a lot.

    • JoeAm says:

      Yes, it’s grim out.

    • kasambahay says:

      ah, humility. taliban boss seems to have doused himself with humility and not being overly jubilant and mega celebratory of his uber good fortune. he knows what happened to bin laden can also happen to him, it’s just a matter of time.

      in the meantime, USA has cut its losses.

  5. chemrock says:

    All those who voted or supported Biden are having buyer’s remorse.

    Biden and Dems have only one domestic and foreign policy. Do the opposite of what Trump did. They hated the orange mop so much they don’t care the consequences, just destroy everything that Trump did.

    Nero played his harp while Rome was burning. Joe vacations in Camp David when Taliban was entering Kabul. Joe is returning to DC Monday and will give a press conference. Too late Joe.

    A catastrophic failure of White House leadersjip. Kamala Harris deserted Joe. No Dem reps or senators come to his aid. Military intel turned against him and said they warned the admin Afghan Army will collaspe. Joe’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki has taken one week’s leave. She has left town.

    I don’t know if the WH telephone operator is still there. Or Joe’s dog.

    The admin has collapsed. No one is in charge as the US suffers unprecedented humiliation on the world stage.

    There is no crisis management team. There is no news from admin. Total darkness during a crisis.

    Some Dems blame Trump. Some Dems blame intel malfunction. But military intel said we briefed you of the Afghan military collaspe.

    Sec of Defence Gen Austin and Chief of Staff Gen Miley downplayed intel. They said Afghan has 300,000 soldiers, best military hardware in the region. You see, both of them don’t know nuts about Afghan because they were never there. If they had ground experience they should know Afghan military has zero credibility. Let me tell you why from guesswork. Most of the soldiers are not fighting men. There are no jobs in Afghan. The rank and file joined the army to get a salary. The top brass are corrupt. Crunch time, they ran when there is no US troops to lead them.

    Austin and Miley are too busy arranging critical race theory training and diversity. No time to visit Kabul. And I can tell you why their withdrawal is a disaster whilst Trump did a successful partial withdrawal. 1. Trump withdrew from a position of strength. Taliban see a weak Biden. In my prophecies in Jan I pointed this out already. The world’s perception of Biden is a weak president. He will be tested by Iran, Norkor and others in ME. It’s happening.
    2. Freaking tactical error of timing for pullout. Trump timed their pullout in winter when the land was frozen, mountain passes closed, Talibans in hibernation, nobody is fighting or moving around. Stupid Biden pullout in Summer time which is the fighting season. That Austin and Miley didn’t understand this is a disaster due to appointment on the basis of wokeness.

    • LCPL_X says:

      They were banking on their treaty with the Taliban.

      And Western reporters on the ground, are verifying that they are not being harmed. So yeah the treaty in part is being respected, the Taliban wasn’t gonna go in Kabul until the US left, but the US left early, so in they went.

      Like Cuba and Vietnam, those that backed the US bigly, made a bad bet.

      They are attempting to cash in now.

      The Taliban will ensure right now that no Westerners will be harmed for now, as soon as all Westerners are gone,

      meaning no reason to avenge anyone;

      The Taliban will clean house. Women’s rights? out the door; Science? out the door; Religious tolerance? out the door; China’s mining concessions? in the door.

      Pre 9/11 the US gov’t and US businesses, oil and mining, were in cahoots with the Taliban gov’t. I’m sure we can do so again. They got McDonald’s in Saigon now. New cars in Cuba.

      After China, we get sloppy seconds. But Hey that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

      Is it Biden’s fault, not really; but this is one Trump move that the Biden administration didn’t renege, so they saw wisdom in pulling out from Afghanistan too.

      Slow pull out, quick pull out, all roads lead to the Taliban taking over. So what does it matter?

      I’m still happy Biden pulled through with it, and Trump decided to get the pull out going, now that’s the real Greed Games. trillions of US taxpayer dollars. Embezzled.

      This photo perfectly encapsulates the 20 years the US was there.

      • LCPL_X says:

        “Trump timed their pullout in winter when the land was frozen, mountain passes closed, Talibans in hibernation, nobody is fighting or moving around. “


        Taliban had all cities surrounded. It wouldn’t have mattered what time of day the pull out happened. They were simply waiting for the US to leave, they’ve been waiting for 20 years!

        Seasons wouldn’t have played a role. Fighting season isn’t really a seasonal thing, but a let’s just wait it out strategy, theres no more waiting they’ve won. Afghans don’t hibernate in winter.

      • i7sharp says:

        I’m still happy Biden pulled through with it, and Trump decided to get the pull out going, now that’s the real Greed Games. trillions of US taxpayer dollars. Embezzled.

        Lance, please try to make the above clearer or easier to understand.

        Meanwhile, regarding GREED, how would you rate these 3:

        • LCPL_X says:

          Obama wanted to focus on domestic issues, Hillary assured him Afghanistan was worth it. So when it comes to Afghanistan, I think it was more Hillary’s rodeo, thus her “GREED”.

          Trump wanted out; his “GREED” is high, when he evaluated if the US under his watch should go into Venezuela he asked can we take their oil, staffers said no we’re in it for human rights only, so Trump said hell no we’re not going into Venezuela.

          Biden, since 2009, has been solidly Let’s get out of Afghanistan already, he was out voted. In Vietnam when asked as senator in 1975, to fund the evacuation of a bunch of Vietnamese he said no,

          “The United States has no obligation to evacuate one, or 100,001, South Vietnamese,” he said in a Senate speech. (from the Atlantic) I believe that s the same principle informing his decisions now.

          So Biden compared to Hillary, Obama, Trump, IMHO has the least “GREED”.

      • isk says:

        As per the Office of the Director of National Intel, the Afghan Government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the Coalition withdraws support. The administration could have done better.

        Click to access R45122.pdf

    • Micha says:

      You’re exaggerating here chemp. Give it at least 3 more days when most everyone who wanted out would have been ferried out and this temporary chaos will be over. Withdrawal is what everybody wants to do so stop whining.

      • chemrock says:

        Nobody disagrees with the withdrawal, what makes you assume that?
        It’s the way it was carried out.

        By the way, what do you think of Biden flying out of Camp David to DC to give a speech, then flying back to CD to continue his vacation. That speech could’nt be delivered ifrom CD?

        • JoeAm says:

          I think it is micro-managing a grown-man’s choices and stretching really hard to find something critical of Biden, basically the schtick that Russian trolls infest social media with to get Americans at each other’s throats. It certainly is nothing a foreigner has any standing to comment on, except that America is free and allows it.

          • kasambahay says:

            americanised and modern, could also be, westernised and modern, those talibans giving interview on t.v. those desert garbs they wore were not scratchy linens but good quality microfiber, crushproof, creaseproof, flowing and not isis black. and those labrusco eyebrows of the talibans were well plucked and well shaped, not overly bushy and combed in the right direction. they have good skin care too, their faces not pockmarked and not weather beaten, maybe they were movie actors hired for their appearance, lol! not one in their dottage, elderly and close to being senile considering it has been 20yrs they’ve been out of afghanistan.

            and they speak better english than me! have continental accents too, the sods. almost similar to those of indians and pakistanis long time residents of UK. certainly not from afghan villages and hillsides where many have eyesight problems caused by the piercing sun, flies and dust.

            corporate raiders not made for battle but for boardroom takeover, seems to me. and by all indication, they want their own state and homeland, forming thier own govt, do business and trade with neighboring countries, and not live like rats hunted from country to country.

            afghanistan they said, is and will be safe country for its citizens, men, women and children alike. that was jaw dropping indeed; better than duterte’s rhetoric, lol!

            • NHerrera says:

              kasambahay, very good observation! Seems to point to Afghanistan II.

            • JoeAm says:

              It is with wary optimism that we watch the new leaders, fresh from victory over America’s corporate security thugs and generals of lost distinction.

              • kasambahay says:

                my friends said, it could well be the talibans told us what we so wanted to hear. and that wily old joe biden so experienced in world conflicts immediately slammed the iron fist and froze all afghanistan assets in america, starving talibans of much needed funds.

                russia and china can always pick up the fund slack, if talibans are willing to pay the price.

              • JoeAm says:

                We’ll see.

        • Micha says:


          The Talibans were too eager beaver to get hold of the center of power. The mess that you exaggerate will simmer down in a few days as the T’s will also try to organize and put in place a theocratic government.

          President Biden will fly out anywhere he wants to exercise the function of his office. Do you have a problem with that?

          By the way, here is the frothing at the mouth exaggeration which you dished in your post above :

          “The admin has collapsed. No one is in charge….There is no news from admin. Total darkness during a crisis.”



          No news?

          A crisis?

          Total darkness?

          Or are you just eager beaver too for the admin to actually collapse so you could have your orgasmic fantasy of Trumpian restoration after the joke of the Arizona recount had been totally discredited?

        • NHerrera says:

          Haha. Provoke. Reaction. Good morning to you, chempo, Joe, Micha — what is left of the morning.

          Meantime, the Metro Manila Mayors are debating what to recommend: continue with current restrictions associated with CoV or relax for the economy’s sake. Here is what I replied to karl’s Tweet on the matter:

          Not an easy decision to make. One, look at the cases surge [worldometer coronavirus Philippines]: it is taking off at big base. Two, the economic cost. Question is if that case trajectory moves to 20k level with restr relaxed, what are the econ consequences. My gut says 2wks more.

    • JoeAm says:

      “All those who voted . . .” Patently a lie, prefacing an extremist political statement. Lies throughout, echoes of Trump’s line. Destructive. Inflammatory. Into the moderation bin for chemmy.

      • JoeAm says:

        I’m struck by how the blog article’s call for humility was so blatantly ignored by one of the blog’s smartest and clued-in contributors. A guy who likes his facts up front. This illustrates the grim situation we are in. Extremists want to pound on people. Facts don’t matter. Pounding does. Alas, it doesn’t build anything. Get thee back to the churches to rediscover a peaceful soul!!!

        • LCPL_X says:

          I’d venture to say 99% of Americans, both Dems, GOP and independents, largely support Biden’s decision to pull out, thus how it was done is irrelevant.

          • JoeAm says:

            Hard to find anyone who thinks we should be there, for sure.

            • kasambahay says:

              where americans go, filipinos are there too, hence in afghanistan as opportunities were there too. crying over spelled milk maybe cathartic for some but in the long run. . . coming to afghanistan was sound decision at the time. the need was there and pay was better.

              and if all those afghans chasing the departing US air force plane use all their energies, turn around and block the advancing talibans, nah. afghans prefer americans to fight their battle for them; the way filipinos like americans to stand up to the chinese in west phils sea while filipinos themselves mope and hang around on the wayside, talking and gossiping and sometimes strongly suggesting to americans how things really should be done. if only those damn americans have kahones, lol!

              • JoeAm says:


              • Karl Garcia says:

                I had mixed emotions when the Americans left in the 90s but China is the clear and present danger here not Russia, not Korea, not Iran and definitely not America.

              • sonny says:

                “I had mixed emotions when the Americans left in the 90s”

                There was defnitely sadness when the American exit was imminent. My sibs & I had sifted & sorted validations of the stories overheard from our elders who experienced the deprivations of WW2 and had none but the hope of deliverance by America. The images of Afghani families scrambling for a place in the C-5 Galaxy hit close to home. We understand.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Like you have been saying Lance, no one wants forever wars, like the one that is pre- Alexander the great.


            • kasambahay says:

              alex the great married a ‘taliban’ royalty and would have been taliban convert had death not beat him to it. already, alex started to dress and behaved like a taliban much to the disgust of his trusted long time generals. there was theory alex was poisoned by his own men, having forgotten his roots and ancestral home, macedonia. and for enforcing his generals to marry talibans brides too, disregarding their macedonian wives, families and estates left back in macedonia. for trying to avoid a forever war through intermarriages and maybe because he no longer has appetite for war, alex lost his life in return.

              anyhow, in the present date and before becoming the wife’s must have accessory, a certain prince once did tour of duty in afghanistan, and now lives in luxurious suburb in los angeles.

      • i7sharp says:

        Interesting that “chemmy” (Chemrock) is put under moderation.
        First time for Chem?

        Same Chem who had written what may have evoked the (probably) most number of comments?:
        Ist Gott tot? (Is God dead?)
        Posted by chemrock on April 24, 2019 · 664 Comments

        by the way, Joe, who else are under moderation (aside from moi and, now, Chemrock)?

        • JoeAm says:

          No, he’s been there before and earned his way out.

          Yes, Chemrock stirs up good conversations with his articles.

          You and Chemrock among the regulars. A handful of non-regulars. It is not a convenience for me when people are on moderation because I have to attend to their comments and make judgments I’d rather not make. But I sleep better because I know no attacks on blog civility and content will be made while I sleep.

          • NHerrera says:

            I like it when I see a blog topic authored by chempo. They are certainly well written and mostly provocative hence the numerous lively, interesting, and informative comments that come in their wake.

            The blog topics by chempo of course provide space for him to elaborate, more than shorter comments he makes such as in the current blog. Is it possible chempo is not 100% on comments on his non-authored blog, i.e. he wants to provoke and see what interesting comments come in its wake? And enjoy sparring with commentators, quick-witted that he is

            But I sleep better because I know no attacks on blog civility and content will be made while I sleep. Haha — sleep away.

            Last note on this comment: chemrock is the preferred name he uses. Why do regulars here use chempo, chimp, chimmy? Endearing names to TSH life? A lively spice in TSH.

            Speaking of spice, I recall one time my whole immediate family was in Singapore having lunch at a Singapore restaurant. Here is this fellow who had a bowl full of chilis with several food items on his table. With every mouthful, he grabs one chili and spice up. I kid you not. I like chili but not at that rate.

        • LCPL_X says:

          “Same Chem who had written what may have evoked the (probably) most number of comments?”

          50% of it maybe more were mine, i7sharp. The history of Satan iconography was my most memorable contribution there, I still refer to it now and then. Bookmarked it. Though some images don’t link or show anymore. 😦

          • i7sharp says:

            “50% of it maybe more were mine, i7sharp.”

            Not quite, Lance, but close enough:
            207 of the 664 comments were from you, it seems.
            (I can double-check later.)

            Perhaps you can relate one or two of them to this “greed games” article.
            Today, “greed” is probably “good” to a majority of people?

            “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil;
            that put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
            that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
            Isaiah 5:20

            • JoeAm says:

              Greed is a judgment call, the term usually used in a disparaging way to criticize those who acquire wealth or goods for themselves, under the presumption that they thereby withholding wealth or goods from others. But the drive to acquire wealth and goods is not binary, mine or yours, good or bad. Capitalism empowers greed for innovation and to generate multiples of wealth and goods. Socialism spreads the wealth and goods to those who have not earned them, thus empowering sloth. Greed makes life better for a whole lot of people. It’s bad because it leaves people behind. Poor allocation of wealth is a great American problem.

      • LCPL_X says:

        Ecclesiastes Chapter 5

        1 Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

        2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

        3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

        4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

        5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

        6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

        7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.

        8 If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.

        9 Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.

        10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

        11 When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?

        12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

        13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.

        14 But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand.

        15 As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.

        16 And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?

        17 All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.

        18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

        19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.

        20 For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.

        • i7sharp says:

          And the conclusion of the whole matter, Lance, is …
          12, 13, 14 …
          Ecc 12:13,14
          13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
          Fear God, and keep his commandments:
          for this is the whole duty of man.

          14 For God shall bring every work into judgment,
          with every secret thing,
          whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

        • JoeAm says:

          That nails it.

          • i7sharp says:

            Just meaning to clarify.

            It seems that JoeAm’s
            “That nails it.”
            refers to Lance’s
            August 17, 2021 at 12:10 pm
            Ecclesiastes Chapter 5

            I know it *definitely* does not refer to i7sharp’s
            August 17, 2021 at 12:24 pm
            And the conclusion of the whole matter,

            The date-stamps
            August 17, 2021 at 12:24 pm (i7sharp post; still unapproved at this time)
            August 17, 2021 at 12:25 pm (JoeAm’s post)
            and the word “conclusion” could mislead the reader.

            Am I right, JoeAm?

            • JoeAm says:

              @i7sharp, I declined to publish your list of headlines. This is a discussion forum and there was too much trash there, without context.

              Yes, I was referring to LCX’s excerpt which perfectly lays out the tension between wealth generation and poverty.

              • i7sharp says:

                I would not be surprised if you do not approve this response for posting for being “argumentative” but I will try anyway.

                My list of headlines was just a little (about 10%) longer than LCX’s quotation of Ecclesiastes 5 which, in full, you and LCX probably don’t even believe, the source of which you both have a low esteem of.
                The context of those headlines is the events of the day or period – especially the fall of Afghanistan.
                Would you at least be fair enough to tell the readers where I got the headlines from?
                So they can compare what they can get from, say,
                Washington Post
                New York Times
                Los Angeles Times
                or any other source you usually rely on?

              • JoeAm says:

                No, I strive to avoid social media trash, which is what you tried to post. I want a mature, dignified, sensible blog, not propaganda, peddling, conspiracy theories, or trolls. If you don’t know what that is, this is not the place for you. If you don’t recognize the eloquence of LCX’s posting for describing the rich/poor tension and see your stuff as similar, you don’t belong here. Simply go away and save us both the grief of trying to do different things here.

        • LCPL_X says:

          “you and LCX probably don’t even believe, the source of which you both have a low esteem of.”

          I don’t believe, but this doesn’t mean I have low esteem of it. My attacking of the KJV is me attacking your total belief of it, i7sharp. I’ve already told you my only paper copy of the Bible is the Mormon FREE KJV, which was given me along with their Book of Mormon (FREE).

          I read the Bible for history, as well as for inspiration. I just don’t believe it’ll save my soul.

          But I can tell you that I’ve read more now of the KJV ever since you brought up your KJV Only stance and we’ve have our discussion on several threads now. I don’t have these passages on instant recall, you asked about Greed; I Googled.

          And after reading several passages, I realized Ecclesiastes nailed it perfect. So I copy and paste. Your conclusion is to fear God, citing the same source; I interact with the thing I read, its not some holy writing for me, for me Ecclesiastes is just some wise dude, maybe right maybe wrong.

          Whose writings happened to be included in what is now the Bible, for Jews and Christians.

          Fear God has never been an expression that I liked, theres no power in fear, even debilitating if unchecked; But like Joe says humility is also necessary. So in the same theme of Ecclesiastes, I would add further that fearing God is also vanity.

          A means to prove one’s piety, thus place oneself above others.

          Being in awe of God is enough. I don’t have to believe, I don’t have to be in fear. Most importantly, its not comparative. Which is exactly what you’ve just proven, in your post above.

          • JoeAm says:

            Well said. Well, I didn’t respond to that comment because anyone who questions another’s beliefs like that is beyond the reach of language. I cannot find the words or emotional expressions needed to convey what it means to sit in a cathedral . . . and we want to nickel and dime which version of the bible is best?

            • Karl Garcia says:

              This blog makes us mature.

              • JoeAm says:

                Yes. The powerhouse days are behind us it seems. Now we get peddlers and malcontents. I wonder if we will get a new set of trolls for the election. I remember the infestation from China that occurred in 2016. Well, no matter. People have lives to live. We still have our humor and curiosity. That goes a long way.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                As long as we are not cats, curiosity won’t kill us.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      I am back to not understanding you Chempo. If Trump would not run in the next elections what would your rants be about?
      Creepy Joe- Check
      Arizona audit-check
      Afghanistan pullout- check
      Rube Goldberg machinations ala roadrunner and wile e coyote or chitty chitty bang bang – check

      What else?
      Cyber Detente?

  6. Karl Garcia says:

    Re: Afghanistan :Opium

    My discussion with Duterte watchdog tackled greed a little bit.
    he was for decrimininalzing drug use and also making it cheap. I gave the farm subsidy example to show that there is no fee lunch.

    • kasambahay says:

      american themselves are supporting talibans, how? I’ve been wondering where talibans get their monies. opium trade is risky, competition is fierce and transporting and importing opium is not only illegal but very expensive and strongly opposed in all airports and seaports if not for the connivance of ground crews out to make extra bucks.

      though some opium are also grown for medicinal purposes under strict rules and conditions.

      those american charities, specially the non-government ones, enable talibans to live not only in luxury but also buy state of the art war gizmos. many wealthy americans with dubious loyalties and citizenships make it their business to supply and donate to such organisations.

  7. Karl Garcia says:

    I learned humility in twitter this past few days.
    I decided to reopen a discussion I left hanging since February.
    I was intimidated by Jonathan’s strong approach.
    I decided to go for the plunge and talk to him, it went well until it did not because he lashed out at everyone in the thread, but most just let him be.

    Plus there is Miyako who wants everyone to be as smart as she is, the only way to deal with that is to eat your pride, ego and narcissism when talking to her. Or be as smart as MLQ3.

  8. Micha says:

    For those who were lamenting that we lost the war in Afghanistan I say, get a grip. Establishing a secular government and routing the Taliban was not the original mission. It was an afterthought in the original objective of toasting Bin Laden who, for a while, took shelter in the Afghan mountains only to be found hiding in plain sight in a Pakistani villa.

    IMO, we should have withdrawn as soon as Bin Laden had been neutralized.

    Would have saved us lots of trouble

  9. NHerrera says:

    President Biden:

    The Taliban takeover could have come five years ago, or at whatever point in the future the United States pulled out. U.S. troops should not fight a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.

    [Bolding, mine.]

    • LCPL_X says:

      I’m sure they are willing to fight for themselves; just not their state (which was largely an American invention), NH. Theres the rub.

      • NHerrera says:

        Lance, here is NYT Opinion Columnist Thomas L. Friedman’s, assessment that parallel’s your thought:

        For years, U.S. officials used a shorthand phrase to describe America’s mission in Afghanistan. It always bothered me: We are there to train the Afghan Army to fight for its own government.

        That turned out to be shorthand for everything that was wrong with our mission — the idea that Afghans didn’t know how to fight and that just one more course in counterinsurgency would do the trick. Really? Thinking you need to train Afghans how to fight is like thinking you need to train Pacific Islanders how to fish. Afghan men know how to fight. They’ve been fighting one another, the British, the Soviets or the Americans for a long, long time.

        It was never about the way our Afghan allies fought. It was always about their will to fight for the corrupt pro-American, pro-Western governments we helped stand up in Kabul.

        • NHerrera says:

          Read more of Friedman’s interesting take from

          He speaks of other sharks — Pakistan, India, China, Russia, and Iran — that will influence Taliban-Afghanistan’s future. Also how technology (smart phone, etc, non-existent in 2001) will influence that future.

          • LCPL_X says:

            Thanks, NH!

            I’m a big fan of Tom Friedman’s books, but don’t really follow his columns.

            But see, Tom Friedman was also rabidly pro-Hillary.

            And those two concepts just don’t jive, IMHO.

            I don’t know about corruption, but the American troops had all the amenities that were so unnecessary it was almost luxurious.

            Logistically speaking if youre bringing more than necessary, you’ll not win.

            If you notice most of the rhetoric about how the Afghan military/gov’t fell is of Americans scratching their heads, saying stuff like we gave them all the logistics and money, they should’ve held on longer.

            In the end, it isn’t about whether you get Shakey’s pizza in Kabul or if you get an Afghan to drive around in armored vehicles, and all sort of gear. its the will to fight, this you can do with just slippers and your hands.

            Read here, NH :

            Click to access Soldier’s%20Load_dated%201980.pdf

    • JoeAm says:

      What is interesting in that statement is that it puts it under Obama’s term. Exactly where it belongs.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Many thanks.

  10. sonny says:

    Even the gods of Olympus could only give Sisyphus a boulder and an inclined plane as “punishment”.

  11. LCPL_X says:

    That’s a good book and gives tons of clues as to how things break down.

    chemp: “By the way, what do you think of Biden flying out of Camp David to DC to give a speech, then flying back to CD to continue his vacation. That speech could’nt be delivered ifrom CD?”

    There’s a good chance they have President Ghani in Camp David, and Biden simply wanted more time with him that’s why he left in such a hurry after said press conference. Why the press conference wasn’t held at Camp David, well that’s easy, water boarding is loud work, a lot of yelling and gurgling sounds, questions like “Why did you leave too early?!!!” shouted or whispered. Messy.

    As to the messiness of said withdrawal, I agree with chemp.

    And here we all have free rein to prognosticate or Monday morning quarterback.

    If you read that book, its in the mission itself, the US embassy is not designed to be an Alamo, physically and psychologically. The diplomats there are too full of hope with the country they are assigned. Like a massive Stockholm syndrome. Watch Ben Affleck’s “Argo” too.

    You got all that idealism and naivete, just bubbling over. Then you got the NGOs and businessmen (to include folks like President Ghani , US citizens making money) spoon feeding all that hopey changey stuff to our diplomats, and its a positive feedback loop, or what in the military is called a circle jerk, Echo Chamber also is apt description.

    In the US embassy are national security and law enforcement entities also, they usually don’t share the diplomats idealism and love of country. The ones that develop relationships with their sources, will also be filled with compassion, but at an individual level.

    Then you got military folks who like the diplomats kinda also get Stockholm syndrome with their military counterparts. Although realists at heart, there s a bit of sunk cost fallacy operating with the military folks. At an institutional level.

    So when Biden and his peeps ask about timeline and stuff, it all depends on whose got clout in that US embassy. My guess is the hopey changey folks probably said, we got this, the Afghans love us and their president is our president, literally, his kids are in NY or something. And he too loves theory and all that good stuff, so we can hold off for awhile.

    All this time, the Taliban (like kb said this isn’t your pre-9/11 Taliban) are going around making offers people can’t refuse.

    That when Biden says okay let’s draw down, Afghan police and military fold, Ghani goes back to the US, and all hell breaks loose.

    Now we’ll have to send out Ben Affleck again but this time title it Gigli II: Return to Kabul, but instead of an evacuation mission, they’ll be returning President Ghani to the Taliban. After having been waterboarded by Biden himself personally. Thus completing a long line of American backed a’holes.

    • NHerrera says:

      Haha. Did you write or ghost-write that book?

      • NHerrera says:

        Lance, I read the initial pages via Kindle sampler. Looks like an interesting non-fiction book; may get the full book.

        Irineo [your post below], I get the same flavor from your first-person snippet as I get from the first-person account of the diplomats in the book. [I read John le Carre’s “A Little Town in Germany.”]

    • The world of Embassies is a bubble in itself – own experience growing up and my parents knew both important DFA folks as well as an assorted crew of Western European diplomats, journalists and expats; then the milieu of the old West German capital Bonn (John Le Carre obviously had deeper inside knowledge leading to him writing “A Little Town in Germany”) and some brief contact to the world of the UN and German NGOs – there are those with naive idealism, the cynics, those who seek their own advantage, and very, very few seasoned old hands who know exactly how things might go, but the question might be is the desk officer at home reading their reports with real urgency?

      “Going native” was a known phenomenon in the British colonial service which lead to tours of duty being limited to 3 or 4 years, even for diplomats. Dutch colonial officials in Indonesia – Dutch also have their Protestant-based idealism – often “went native”.

      And the world of white Land Cruisers of UN agencies and NGOs does exist as well.

      And within that world Filipinos as helpers of all sorts. A UN Filipino based in NY who was jilted by his girlfriend went to Baghdad in the 1990s and managed to build two houses in NJ from the risk pay. Those working in private security companies I only read about.

      I also wonder how the coordination of the NATO countries on the ground in Kabul played out. Sometimes allied Embassies abroad can become a too close insider circle, I heard. Of course “Residents” in Embassies (embedded spies as per Le Carre and Graham Greene) or Marines guarding Embassies, or Pinoy drivers of US Embassies who tell stories about cars always running, ready to go anytime if anything happens, are different.

      • LCPL_X says:

        Can’t get anymore old school than State Department File 649, Ireneo.

        Yeah, that’s the best book I know on US embassies, NH, w/out getting into too much politics and shadiness. But Ireneo’s got a point, there is a huge amount of cash moving around, and Filipinos do make up the backbone of the State Dept. as their servants. Even newly assigned US embassy staff who don’t feel comfortable having servants need to get them cuz the servants would be out of work otherwise. So it perpetuates. and is encouraged. The only American civil servants I know who have servants are diplomats (et al.)

        Most Filipinos in the Philippines have stories of being denied visas at the US embassy, and some you can tell were warranted, ie. borrowing money from friends and family to fluff their own bank account hoping to assure they won’t go TNT in the US; but other examples many actually are at the diplomats whim whoever is manning their particular window that day, and a lot of it has to do with whether they’re Dems or GOP types, Dems will surely allow entry no matter the circumstances, hearts bleeding;

        GOP types will express their displeasure of Am erican immigration policies, via the person they are approving or denying. Mostly denying, you track that person’s denies, compare to their approves you can get a pattern, a simple Python track will do. That pattern is a tell. This person should speak up more in the embassy setting instead of doing these passive aggressive stuff, unprofessional. But he or she is thinking old school.

        Old school needs to return, colonialist mentality instead of too much naivete and cultural relativism IMHO is good when doing work as a diplomat. That’s just my two cents.

        • sonny says:

          “… many actually are at the diplomats whim whoever is manning their particular window that day, and a lot of it has to do with whether they’re Dems or GOP types, Dems will surely allow entry no matter the circumstances, hearts bleeding; ”

          LC, I wish we met up when US visas were gold. We coulda made lotsa moulah with a travel agency using insider/outside tactics with DEM vs GOP poker eyes prepping & role playing. 🙂 lol

          • LCPL_X says:

            It’s like the lottery though, sonny. You don’t know which window you’ll get, and then to appeal when said diplomat says no. The appeal process I think is where you ‘ll be able to make some buck. But given appeals are impossible (part of the process). Its really just back to which window you’ll get, which is back to I-Ching.

            I’m sure there’s a scam somewhere there, but it seems pretty set in stone IMHO.

            Folks are better off, making their way to Mexico, then cross the border, then go to immigration court, then say something like DU30’s out to kill me, or the NPA, or the Ecleos, immigration court 99.9% of the time will just take your word for it, no ability really to investigate, so asylum. But how to get to Mexico, then survive the Sonoran desert is the issue.

            • sonny says:

              You’re right, LC. Can’t game the system. The profile is changing and layered and quota is set & calibrated to a formula.

      • kasambahay says:

        irineo, lately american embassy staff have experienced unusual maladies like temporary hearing loss, loss of balance, severe headaches, vomiting and short term general malaise. probly attributable to directed – beam? something about microwaves, not the oven, lol!

        embassy staff in cuba, russia and china have experienced the unexplained phenomenon at some point. they dont know where it come from and what cause it, yet.

  12. i7sharp says:

    It has to start with humility.

    After that, it can move to a search for honesty and knowledge, and then a great rediscovery of sense and civility.

    But it has to start with humility.

    I, for one, do not have a good grasp of the term “populist fascists” that you use in the title of your blog article.
    But, of “humility” and “civility” I have a good idea, methinks.
    Would you say you are a good example of humility and civility
    (never mind “honesty,” for now)
    in the discussions here at TSoH?

    • JoeAm says:

      @i7sharp, Your obsession with me borders on creepy, and could seem ad hominem accusation if one were to read hostility into the question. I’ll reach for humility and not do that though.

      Like most people, I have many moods and attitudes, depending on the circumstance, alignment of the planets, and my blood sugar level. I certainly strive for civility, and have worked hard here at the blog to maintain it, but humility is a quality I’ll have to strive harder to attain. Civility is more an intellectual quality, humility a state of emotional grace in the face of tension or conflict.

      On Twitter or Facebook, and here too now that I think about it, I am intentionally provocative, which can be uncivil. My Angry Maude rants were purposeful incivility. And fun.

      In the context of the blog article, we have to assume a purpose, to build an honest, productive, safe and just nation. Either here or the US. So humility and civility are posed as a way around divisive politics, as a process and aspiration for those who engage one another starting with differing viewpoints.

      • i7sharp says:


        “So humility and civility are posed as a way around divisive politics, as a process and aspiration for those who engage one another starting with differing viewpoints.”

        Let us share (different) viewpoints on this:


        Biden AWOL for 4 Days, No Calls with World Leaders

        Thousands of Americans Stuck in Taliban’s New Sandbox, and POTUS Hides!

        Nolte: Psychotic Break?
        US President Joe Biden (L) and First Lady Jill Biden (C) board Marine One at Delaware Air National Guard in New Castle, Delaware, on August 13, 2021, as they travel to Camp David, Maryland. – Jill Biden injured her left foot in Oahu, Hawaii, the last weekend in July, while …

        We are entering day five of a crisis where thousands of American civilians are trapped in Afghanistan, and the president of the United States is … on vacation, is nowhere to be found, is not talking to the American public, is totally incommunicado, is not even releasing statements or speaking to other world leaders.

        • JoeAm says:

          Those are far right talking points that ignore the context. They are the venom undermining American unity in a crisis, leveraging the angst, and you and Chempo are willing vendors of that kind of anti-humility and anti-civility. You are both in moderation because this is not a place for political advocacy, especially that built on lies with intent to harm.

          • JoeAm says:

            It is easy to take up a goal, destroy Joe Biden, and use words to mold events around that goal. It is pretty despicable stuff, really, to think so little of America and Americans and to seek to destroy rather than help.

            • JoeAm says:

              Point of information. I have banned i7sharp from commenting further. This is for my own health, given that I have hypertension.

              • kasambahay says:

                one of the best decision you’ve made, joeam. cant have talibans running your blog, shooting here and shooting there, and putting tripwires everywhere, lol!

                lot of people are hypertensive these days, joe biden must be same too; taking all that blame.

                methink, afghans are so like filipino; afghanis voted a president that deserted them just when he is needed the most, turned his back on his own people too, but not before making deal with talibans, so he could be given safe passage to a country of his choice. afghani president gifted the talibans by firing his own afghani army chief beforehand, crippling the army, rank and file afghan soldiers demoralised, their chief as well as their chief executive both missing in action. and the talibans moved in unopposed; confusion made to their advantage. precisely.

                our president loved not only to sleep on the job, vapidly ranted when his awake, and staunchly defended underperforming govt agencies, doh among them.

      • LCPL_X says:

        The world of the day for me is…

        Peripeteia comes from Greek, in which the verb peripiptein means “to fall around” or “to change suddenly.” It usually indicates a turning point in a drama after which the plot moves steadily to its denouement. “ from Merriam-Webster

        Both word and blog subject seem related to the current blog and discussion threads, here’s a sampler…

        “After that the fever subsided a bit, but Frances Yates still is my go-to gal when it comes to any kind of abstruse or coded information. Her work has its ups and downs, definitely, but basically I consider her both completely intellectually honest and greatly gifted creatively – the models she came up so regularly with in her works of intellectual history have a huge mythopoetic force to them.

        Her later work is more of a mixed bag. It was assured of a much wider sale than most historians of ideas enjoy, which led to jealousy from less fortunate colleagues. It also, at times, advanced some rather dubious conjectures on such subjects as the underlying design of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, and the precise influences at work in the court of King Frederick of Bohemia (whose ousting from the throne led directly to the Thirty Years War in Germany).

        Here are her five late books, copies of all of which I’ve collected along the way:

        Theatre of the World. 1969. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969.

        The Rosicrucian Enlightenment. 1972. A Paladin Book. Frogmore, St Albans: Granada Publishing Ltd., 1975.

        Astraea: The Imperial Theme in the Sixteenth Century. 1975. Ark Paperbacks. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985.

        Shakespeare’s Last Plays: A New Approach. 1975. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975.

        The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age. 1979. Ark Paperbacks. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983.

        “It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that she was having fun in these last books. They touch on all the themes dear to her heart, and they’re all exhaustively researched, and yet they’re not quite so convincing as the best of her mature work. The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, in particular, is a dazzling read. Whether or not “Christian Rosenkreuz” and the various strange letters circulating around the continent in the early seventeenth century can really be explained by reference to the politics of the Holy Roman Empire may seem doubtful at times, but certainly nobody else has succeeded in making more sense of that strange tangle of esoteric philosophy and partisan religious politics.

        Similarly, I’m not sure that she proves her point about the shape and structure of Shakespeare’s various theatres, but she brings in Robert Fludd, John Dee, and an awe-inspiring range of learning which gives one some idea of just how complex and delightful such intellectual puzzles can be.”

    • Karl Garcia says:

      So Sharp, I am not mistaken about the familiarity breeds contempt supposition and estimation about you.
      You do have gripes about being moderated, just go the course and follow the road.
      Many got moderated here, Lance, Micha, chempo, Pinoyineurope aka Irineo.

      If I do not watch it I too will get moderated, but so what, we live, we learn and we grow up.

      • JoeAm says:

        I’ve given up on Sharp. Readers have not seen the comments from him that I have not let pass, but they invariably involve attacks on my editorial judgments or character. I’ve concluded he does not have the capacity to get to ideas and is harboring angers that I don’t wish to receive. Enough.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Yes Joe enough is enough.

        • sonny says:

          Amen to that, Joe! Watch that BP. Keep a small bottle of chewable Aspirin with you always. We want you around for a long time.

            • sonny says:

              For those not aware, the quickest delivery to unclot blood vessel with obstruction is by the saliva action (chewing) into the circulatory system. My wife chewed as many aspirins as she could masticate when she had a myocardial infarct in one of her heart arteries. Saved her life. The bottle of aspirin was a chance after-thought during her packing for travel (Rome).

              • LCPL_X says:

                “It’s modern cardiology at its best, and it has improved considerably the outlook for heart attack victims. But how can a humble aspirin tablet add to high-tech medicine, and why is speed so important?

                Most heart attacks develop when a cholesterol-laden plaque in a coronary artery ruptures. Relatively small plaques, which produce only partial blockages, are the ones most likely to rupture. When they do, they attract platelets to their surface. Platelets are the tiny blood cells that trigger blood clotting. A clot, or thrombus, builds up on the ruptured plaque. As the clot grows, it blocks the artery. If the blockage is complete, it deprives a portion of the heart muscle of oxygen. As a result, muscle cells die — and it’s a heart attack.

                Aspirin helps by inhibiting platelets. Only a tiny amount is needed to inhibit all the platelets in the bloodstream; in fact, small amounts are better than high doses. But since the clot grows minute by minute, time is of the essence.

                The reason you need aspirin is the same reason you should call 911 without delay: A heart attack is a dynamic event, and early intervention can limit the damage. The paramedics can give you oxygen and medication, and they’ll monitor your blood pressure and heart rhythm to forestall complications as they speed you to the ER.

                In the hospital, doctors will take EKGs and blood tests to see if you are having a heart attack; if so, they will usually try to open the blocked artery with an angioplasty and stent or, if that’s not available, with a clot-busting drug.”


                sonny, Did you guys already know this technique and prepared for it?

                This is some good info, thanks!

              • JoeAm says:

                Good to know!

              • sonny says:

                LC, her heart attack happened Oct 1998. By that time popular TV was already getting flooded with anecdotal incidents regarding the effectivity of aspirin as an anti-clotting agent against strokes & heart attacks. Her grabbing our aspirin bottle on the way to the airport was reflex due to info saturation. The “miracle” was why was she focused on the bottle on the way to conference she was going to attend like something was telling her to pick up the bottle already. Of course her instinct as a nurse factored in & an overly busy schedule.

          • NHerrera says:

            Ditto. [I made sure that is not spelled Dito — I have to be careful I don’t add to Joe’s BP, at least for today. 🙂 ]

      • LCPL_X says:


        here’s further on UCSC AGPM, the B.A. program specifically, starts out with Python,

        and (C++ is where they end up)

        • LCPL_X says:

          Also, Unity and Unreal is where they start out making their projects.

          But high minded games like Galatea is where they aspire to take their students , instead of just more shoot ’em up game,

 (press ENTER to start ‘game’, then type away, its basically a choose your own adventure game but more philosophical ).

          • LCPL_X says:

            Here’s one more…


            Papers, Please is the latest in a growing wave of “serious” games that aren’t educational, per se, but where the “fun factor” isn’t immediately evident. As a border control guard in a fictional Eastern European country, your actions are mostly confined to shuffling papers and confirming or denying someone’s entry into Arstotzkan. Often, that means finding fake and forged documents, which all of those charts and lists in your office will help you verify.

            Check a person’s passport to confirm country names, diplomatic seals, and code numbers. Interrogate the person when things don’t match up. Make a decision, then let the next person up to the window and repeat.

            A plot centered on a political uprising quickly emerges on top of this daily grind. You get to decide whether you cast off your allegiances and join the resistance, helping “bad” guys and risking your job, or be a good little booth supervisor and reject the winds of change (which brings its own consequences).

            If this were a real country, the game wouldn’t make for great tourist publicity. Papers, Please looks intentionally unrefined, using pixelated designs, sullen faces, and a cold, harsh color palette to present its sad scene. Passport holders have little cheery to say; when they’re not pleading to get in, they’re offering bribes, issuing propaganda, or delivering bombs.

            Yet the most terrifying part about Papers, Please is the sheer satisfaction to be found in its gameplay loop. If you’re sociopathic enough, you can ignore the political statements and the virtual lives that hang above your “DENY” stamp, to discover some tight, puzzle-based play. The act of reviewing and cross-referencing a slew of documents sounds dull, but it taps into a hide-and-seek, “Where’s Waldo”-type reflex.”

        • JoeAm says:

          Thanks. He’s learning python now, will be good to go.

    • LCPL_X says:

      Also, Joe… have jr. look into lot’s of nascent game designs and concepts to be mined.

      Look also into Game Dev Unlocked‘s youtube channel, a very compelling story.

      from David Wehle dot net

      In 2009, I was hired as a video engineer for BYUtv, a cable station broadcasted to over 65 million subscribers. Being able to work alongside Sony, ESPN, and CNN was an invaluable experience. I learned to repair and maintain high-end broadcasting equipment, along with how to use vector scopes and waveform monitors to color correct everything from talk shows to college football games. Soon after, I helped earn a regional Emmy in cinematography for a short film titled Dante due to my color correction expertise.

      In 2011, I was hired as an editor for my alma mater, Brigham Young University, where I helped shoot and edit high-budget commercials and documentaries promoting the university. Now I work at the LDS Motion Picture Studio, where I started as an assistant editor and colorist working on film productions and now work full-time officially as an interactive designer.

      At my current job, at the VOID, our studio’s reputation comes from making the most exciting cutting edge interactive content available, mostly for visitors’ centers and exhibitions. Whether it’s creating a virtual world with an Oculus Rift or animating AAA productions alongside Pixar and Disney Interactive alumni, I’m always up to the challenge of creating something that’s a cut above the rest. Even after work, I love putting in sweat and tears into my personal projects, like my game Home is Where One Starts…, which was released on Steam to stellar reviews.

  13. i7sharp says:
    U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Ramon Brockington

    More than 670 Tacloban residents sit on board a C-17 Globemaster III before being evacuated to Manila following Super Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines Nov. 17, 2013.

    This is unlikely to have been the only super-packed U.S. flight that has or will leave Kabul. We also know that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) packed one of their C-17s with people before this flight in an attempt to get them out before the Taliban sacked Kabul:

  14. NHerrera says:

    A few days ago, Joe tweeted the following and I replied

    JoeAm @societyofhonor

    The most interesting analysis of Afghanistan I’ve read says the US long engagement was a product of the private security companies and other vested interests that got the generals to front for them. Bush fell for it, and Obama. Trump wanted the US out fast. Biden did, too.

    NHerrera @NHerrera01a

    It seems clear that early on the *facts* point to a Vietnam II. What I have difficulty understanding is not preparing sufficiently well for the probable aftermath of a *final* withdrawal. What seems to be missing only is that scene of the helicopter atop the US Vietnam Embassy.

    Let me modify this in the light of further thoughts. Biden:

    – has years of government experience at the highest levels including foreign affairs;
    – he values and consults with experts;
    – he is deliberative sometimes annoying those helping him — he wants to get things right even if it takes time;
    – has been briefed and knows the Afghan officials [and their wheeling and dealing including with the Taliban] and the likelihood of Afghan officialdom, hence soldiers, folding-up quickly in the face of the relentless Taliban seeking vengeance.

    With that (including the last, my conjecture, but most probably correct), there are the major options of

    (1) Deciding the way Biden did;
    (2) Waiting more for the orderly evacuation of American diplomats and staff and the tens of thousands of Afghans who helped the Americans and thus very vulnerable to Taliban’s vengeance.

    I am convinced [again my humble opinion] that either decision has its negatives in the associated details of implementation with time a great factor. And Biden thought with inputs from his advisers that (1) is the better option. We will never know. We were not in the room.

    [Consider that there are the vetting aspects and required valuable time needed for the evacuation of the tens of thousands of Afghans. Re the tens of thousands needed to be evacuated, the environment, post-Vietnam, is different from today .]

    • NHerrera says:

      Needless to emphasize, though mainly appropriate and correct, Biden’s speech post decision was massaged in parts. Again, my humble opinion.

      What will be done with the thousands of vulnerable Afghans who helped the Americans in the country of course is a developing story — and probably part of the reality considered in the light of Decision (1).

      • JoeAm says:

        The liberal commentators on Twitter are abuzz with how media are really stoking the panic (caused by Afghans) as if Biden stoked it, and have ignored the US securing the airfield allowing exit flights to resume in a reasonably orderly way. I checked ‘liberal’ CNN International, and their header still featured the “Chaos” headline from 2 days ago. Tabloids all.

        • kasambahay says:

          tabloids want ratings, the higher the rating, the more tabloids earn money. gotta fed the goose that laid the golden egg as long as they can.

      • kasambahay says:

        nherrera, not all vulnerable afghans are that vulnerable and have to be vetted if they were to settle in america. I’ve heard that some afghans who helped americans have turned over to the other side and become talibans too, as advisers and consultants.

        hard core prisoners in afghan jails, those that killed american and allied soldiers, bombed hospitals and school buildings were freed and given clemency by the talibans. and if same prisoners slip through the cracks and were to settle in america, I can only imagine the trouble they can cause.

        it is very good therefore that americans are meticulously vetting those that are allowed to come to america. the process maybe lengthy, but.

        I think, emotions should not be basis of who can enter the country.

    • JoeAm says:

      “We were not in the room.” It is truly odd, when you think about it, how we observers presume to have equal or better information than the President, and insights better than him. What allowed me to see the good works of President Aquino was a CONFIDENCE that he had good data. Now for someone like Duterte or Trump, data is not so important I think. Cause and effect are what is important.

      Anyway, the one thing we know for sure is that the ‘quitting’ Afghan Army and the Taliban weren’t there.

      • kasambahay says:

        I always wonder why the quitting afghan army left their weapons in good order to the talibans. and not give the weapons to afghani men and women of fighting age. empty the arsenal for good, else burn all their weapons and bomb their deport to oblivion, leaving only ashes for the taliban, then disappear into the hills and smoke stress relieving opium, lol!

        the hastily departing afghan president said, he left because he does not want bloodshed. stupid man, leaving the arsenal to talibans not only ensure the talibans of being well equipped to threaten civilians, but also able to carry out massaker and senseless shootings. maybe, that is what no bloodshed meant to the president: talibans themselves shed no blood, only civilians do.

        • JoeAm says:

          My response, other than defending Joe Biden against nonsense, is to be happy we are out of that madhouse. The Afghans to me make Filipinos look as civilized as the queen’s court, a few thugs, thieves, and murderers notwithstanding.

          • kasambahay says:

            hurrah, for wily old joe biden! I’m terribly terribly glad he froze all the funds and assets of afghanistan deposited in america before the talibans can lay their crooked talons on them.

            if talibans dont play nice, no money and no funds for them and would have to eat dust for dinner, lol!

    • LCPL_X says:

      ‘What seems to be missing only is that scene of the helicopter atop the US Vietnam Embassy.”


      That iconic photo wasn’t the US embassy in Saigon, it was here

      Part of Operation Frequent Wind (which ironically is the same name I use when having ate many a bean burrito).

      • LCPL_X says:

        I hope President Biden doesn’t suffer this same fate, that previous administrations had had to contend with.

        • LCPL_X says:

          “and the likelihood of Afghan officialdom, hence soldiers, folding-up quickly in the face of the relentless Taliban seeking vengeance.”

          The Taliban are savvy. Which means they are not ISIS , they are not Al Qaeda. So we have to give credit where credit is due. A lot of the intra-Afghan “negotiations” , Americans were just not privy to.

          After 20 years , no one really bothered to learn the Afghans, thinking money talks. And nice watches tell time precisely.

  15. Micha says:

    So the Taliban is set to organize their theocracy and already, per NYT, they are struggling to govern.

    Interestingly, there’s a new study which suggest direct correlation between economic performance and religious persecution, referencing the 15th century Spanish Inquisition under Ferdinand II and Isabella I – the same royal couple who set out to Catholicize the Philippines.

    The authors concluded that :

    “The Inquisition’s persecution of perceived heretics is only one example of authoritarian intervention in people’s private lives; other institutions, such as Stalin’s NKVD and Hitler’s Gestapo, instituted similarly intrusive regimes of thought-control. While the suffering of the accused and convicted is the single most important result of persecution, our results suggest its shadows can be long indeed. In the case of the Spanish Inquisition, the local level of persecution continues to influence economic activity and basic attitudes some 200 years after its abolition, undermining trust, reducing investments in human capital, and impoverishing the hardest-hit areas.”

  16. NHerrera says:

    Indeed, the huffing and puffing journalists seem to have come from a pub having one too many, and having seen the news on the pub TV, harried back to the office or home to look at their glossaries and re-use those words to trigger their new creations — bookends, hubris, arrogance, shocking, stunning, uncaring … in the hope of getting more readership ahead of the others.

    But as one wrote, one should wait the morning after the morning after to write a more sobering article.

    How about the week after the week after?

    • NHerrera says:


      AP NEWS

      His [Biden’s] commitment to find a way out for Afghan allies vulnerable to Taliban attacks amounted to a potentially vast expansion of Washington’s promises, given the tens of thousands of translators and other helpers, and their close family members, seeking evacuation.

      “We’re making the same commitment” to Afghan wartime helpers as to U.S. citizens, Biden said, offering the prospect of assistance to Afghans who largely have been fighting individual battles to get the documents and passage into the airport that they need to leave. He called the Afghan allies “equally important” in the evacuations.

    • NHerrera says:

      Fareed Zakaria, a journalist I admire who usually uses, I believe more and equally good sources, has this to say :

      If you want one statistic to explain the failure of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan it is this: The National Security Council met 36 times since April to discuss it. Even more remarkable, this number was shared with the media to illustrate how well the administration had handled things…

      The United States fought the Cold War with a large bureaucracy but one that, especially at the top, was surprisingly lean and effective. The modern National Security Council, for example, created by Henry Kissinger, had no more than 50 people…[By the time Biden took over it has grown] but President Biden has brought it back to more than 350, with lots of deputies, layers and complexity.

      Here is the link to the article,

      Now my comment. I will put the situation in binary form:
      – Biden decided on the basis of advice from the NSC
      – or Biden overrode advice and decided against it.

      I honestly cannot comment further.

      • isk says:

        Click to access R45122.pdf

        Above is from the Congressional Research updated June, 2021 . I posted it days ago, unfortunately it was in PDF
        This may help to understand what went right or wrong.

        • isk says:

          Sorry about this, I posted a link but it came out this way. Mr. Joe please delete. Thanks .

        • JoeAm says:

          The link works for me. Congressional white paper on Afghanistan. Great, unbiased overview showing the challenges and disagreements.


          put https: in front of the above text

        • NHerrera says:

          The last part of that paper published June 11, 2021, under the heading, “Outlook and Issues for Congress,” has this:

          Many U.S. policymakers view Afghanistan’s democratic system, even with its considerable flaws, as a success of U.S. and international efforts. Official views of the Taliban’s stance vary.

          It is significant to me that while the second sentence is relatively an accurate assessment, the first is not — i.e. the last phrase: “as a success of U.S. and international efforts.”

  17. NHerrera says:

    Biliran on MGCQ with heightened restrictions. Compendre, mon ami?

  18. Karl Garcia says:

    As Lance tells us directly or indirectly. Who wants forever wars?
    More VFAs with weaker allies is my suggestion.
    The VFA model still works
    Weak nations like us must continue with its modernization efforts.When the Americans left, we scrambled to have a program then financial crisis after crisis on top of corruption kept on coming.

    • LCPL_X says:

      This is why I was a big fan of Trumpian foreign policy, karl.

      Because how ever flawed the man was, in the end his, ‘What ‘s in it for us?” take on every decision concerning global affairs, in the end lead to benefitting the US.

      Sure an argument can be made that a more isolationist America is bad for all, but the other side of this is also as valid, that America has over stepped its role of Global police, hence has become less powerful.

      A balance must be struck, but it all starts with that question, “What’s in it for us?”. And if its just for some lofty idea of peace in our time, then its not good enough.

  19. Karl Garcia says:

    Biden did not start the Afghanistan mess, he is ending it.

    • isk says:

      Hope the cycle of violence will cease…

    • NHerrera says:

      Viet Thanh Nguyen, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who was four when he and his family escaped Vietnam in 1975 writes:

      Joe Biden, a senator in 1975, surely remembers that the majority of Americans did not want to accept Southeast Asian refugees. Nevertheless, Congress did the right thing, and the subsequent flourishing of Southeast Asian American communities throughout the United States has shown the wisdom of that moral decision. While the politics of these two moments in America’s flawed wars differ, the morality does not. Tens of thousands of Afghans believed in the American promise of ushering in freedom, democracy and an open, tolerant society.

      [Bolding, mine.]

  20. Karl Garcia says:

    We too have history of accepting refugees from WW2 onwards.
    The jews, the Vietnamese.
    The Iranians who could not go to US end up studying here.

    Back to US.

    Even if LCX downplayed the violence against Asians, that is not what I am reading in the news.

    Ok We too have discrimination here, but it has to end somehow.

    • sonny says:

      “The Iranians who could not go to US end up studying here.”

      I get the impression that catch-up education that involves the medium of English can be obtained in the PH. Good or bad?

      • LCPL_X says:


        Just to clarify, i wasn’t downplaying violence against Asians, I was pointing out the narrative surrounding the crimes featured in the news and its relationship to racism, was in fact dubious.

        That more likely it was not really racism, but related to less policing due to BLM; mental illness; and prison release, which all three are related.

        As to racism, the best test is to simply contact every Chinese restaurant in the country, there are Chinese restaurants even int he tiniest towns of America, and ask is Asian hate has increased, and I will venture to say most if not all will say, no difference, they still order Chinese take-out.

        So you add the fact that most of the assailants are blacks and Hispanics, and related more to crime , than racism, really (that’s assuming of course that blacks and Hispanics are immune to racism themselves).

        The conclusion has to be that the crimes are mostly about criminality, and not some media spint narrative of how America is so racist, and beyond repair. This is what chempo ‘s been warning us about, about how American media is so out of touch,

        we’re seeing it now with Afghanistan, 95% of the media is anti-Biden re Afghanistan; 95% of Americans is pro-Biden re Afghanistan.

        There is a disconnect. That was my point, karl.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Maybe good and bad. Bad if the those flagged for terrorism are actually terrorists, but innocent until proven otherwise.
        Bad if they become unruly like some chinese nationals have demonstrated.
        Good because more friends the better.
        more business,etc.

  21. NHerrera says:

    Rather than evoke sadness, I received the image as one of affinity and kindness — the Afghan mother passing on her baby to the kind hand of the soldier over razor wires, evoking a kind of Solomonic scene.

    • kasambahay says:

      I hope that despite the rhetorics, americans will also be kinder to their returning soldiers and look after them well. not left them struggling with mental anguish and suffering ptsd, suicidal and unable to cope with daily life. unsupported and living outside fringes of society, homeless, desperate and danger not only to themselves but to others.

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