Our collapsing world

Analysis and Opinion

By JoeAm

The world is going to hell. Storms from nature and man are driving us mad. Disease and incompetence unite to drive us home to pray and take worm medicine because the scare artists make us think vaccines will make men pregnant and forks stick to our magnetized foreheads.

But mostly, here in the Philippines, it is two factors merging, one being the incompetence of a corrupt Duterte Administration and the other being the silent majority of the Legislature suddenly waking up to the realization that elections are coming. They’ve spent the past five years coddling incompetence, killings, and thuggery and suddenly have decided they better show they are different.

Most of them aren’t. They are players. So many players. Poe, Pacquiao, Lacson, Duterte-Carpio, the Cayetanos, Legarda, and almost all the rest who act now so voters will like them. They have no principles other than self-advancement. The genuine people are the LP senatorial slate, Pangilinan, De Lima, Hontiveros, Aquino, and Diokno. They put Filipinos first, and honesty, and decency, and intelligence. Not that these qualities mean anything to Filipinos who just want some love and 500 pesos.

Leni Robredo is a superstar which means all the self-dealers must attack her. Filipinos are their own worst enemy. She has the grace and dignity to host the Magsaysay Awards, but the greedy hordes would rather have shabby Filipinos represent their nation, because it feels good to hit someone.

Global warming will be loud. Storms rushing in, the sea battering homes, the roar of a forest burning, mudslides crashing down, mobs demanding food. Pure ugly and testament to our inadequacies as a species, our competence being much oversold in our own minds.

China is already in the Philippines, a stealth invasion. Bong Go sneaks for a reason. China Telecom is here, and Sinovac, and countless mainlanders staffing pogos and looking a lot like soldiers in disguise.

Joe Biden, a most decent US President, is under attack by tabloidian media who, like Philippine journalists, don’t care about their nation, only their subscriptions or clicks. The media have no conscience, really, and the idea that they are a Fourth Estate, good for democracy, is a misbegotten idealistic college journalism concept that is totaly lost in the real world of profit, loss, and fame.

The way I figure it, Biliran is a good place to hang out. All I need are some solar panels, a water well, and lots of guns and ammunition. My place is large enough for a garden, some chickens, and pigs. What more can a man ask for?

161 Responses to “Our collapsing world”
  1. Satellite internet Joe.

  2. http://www.astro.sunysb.edu/fwalter/AST389/TEXTS/Nightfall.htm

    Isaac Asimov’s short story Nightfall is from 1941, meaning the 70 year copyright is elapsed, but still I won’t repost it fully as the link itself makes it very readable.

    It is about a world that self-destructs in regular cycles, and even the most modern cycle of civilization is unable to stop the inevitable, and even the scientist whose formal way of using English is remiscent of Edgar Lores in the end succumbs to fear.

    “..On the horizon outside the window, in the direction of Saro City, a crimson glow began growing, strengthening in brightness, that was not the glow of a sun. The long night had come again.”

    Asimov developed the Foundation series of novels based on his idea of how civilizations rise and fall, with the idea that a group of wise and austere men can at least survive and help the next “cycle” pick up the pieces.

    A bit like Lance’s Salvation by Austerity, or what Sonny told me about St. Benedict.

    • JoeAm says:

      I suspect that is the way forward after war, disease, drought, starvation, and zombie mobs devour civilization. Rather Mad Max after all. Maybe my son will be the guy with the airplane, or is it a helicopter, I forget.

    • NHerrera says:

      The mention of Isaac Asimov immediately brings up thoughts of science fiction. The PH these days bring up something better than science fiction — for its cynical entertainment value. I wonder how Asimov after analyzing and thinking of the PH will develop a story. Same with the situation in the US these days.

    • LCPL_X says:

      Ever since a stumbled upon some commentary on some blog about Game Development and whether or not to go to school or self-teach oneself, I’ve been Googling the hell out of this subject, as I think it relates directly to education and all sorts of possibilities on rewiring your mind (kinda like psychedelics).

      I’ve posted the most relevant of my findings on the previous thread mostly for Joe jr., but actually this is also relevant to everyone all here both old and young and some in between. I’m not much of a video game player, although I see the effectiveness of games say for combat, like ARMA games, etc.

      So currently i’ve been watching youtube videos of talks by Emily Short (of Spirit AI, she’s also the one who created Galatea in 2000 an interactive fiction game I posted on the other thread, which she crafted in grad school where she was studying classical studies, she opted instead in her free time to program games).

      Its not quite AI, but in 2000 Emily Short was able to create enough varying loops and tangents in her game, that there was actual depth in the character Galatea she created, she keeps repeating the world “interiority” in her talks.

      Interiority is very close to the other subject previously I Googled the hell out of, which was the phenomenon Aphantasia, or the absence of a mind’s eye and inner monologue, mind’s ear I guess. What appears in the minds of Aphantasics heads is pure ideas, no visualization no verbal echoes.

      I would think they’d be faster readers too. Whether this condition improves retention of read ideas, i dunno. but I digress.

      What I meant to do was simply connect Isaac Asimov with http://twinery.org/ that’s a FREE from your browser service that allows you to craft interactive stories yourself via graph trees. Click on Use it online , and Skip the intro (or not), then once you’re in the proper screen, click on the Green “+ Story” button, then title your project, click “+ add” button, and you’re off.

      Hover your cursor on the first box, you’ll get 4 icons, press on the “pencil” to start writing. Write for example, “I get up in the morning, and … “, then create two or three branching choices by enclosing said choices in double brackets , so bracket bracket “brush my teeth” bracket bracket , or [[ cook breakfast ]] , then just click on the screen again, and instantly you have a branch graph, move them around however you like to arrange.

      I’ve not fully utilized, or fully understand its possibilities yet. But I gotta feeling Joe can branch off all sorts of What ifs, so too karl. And NH, can do game theory on it; sonny and Ireneo, can probably make something that can clarify their thought process further for us layfolk. Micha and chempo can probably use it to enumerate their ideas. I’m stuck with my Socratic method analogies, but I can see that more can be done with it.

      And it all goes back to the word , “interiority“.

      Here’s a good quick article on it,


      Twine is many things

      First and foremost, though, Twine is a writing tool, specifically for making interactive stories. It can be used to pen digital text adventures that function much like the old Choose Your Own Adventure or Fighting Fantasy books, from short stories to playable poems. It’s also free and remarkably easy to use. If you can handle a word processor, Twine should be no problem. In fact, you won’t need to hammer out a single line of code.

      Sharing stories

      Twine is also a publishing platform. Once you’ve developed your Twine story – or written your game, depending on how you look at it – you can release it very simply. Finished stories exist as web pages, meaning they can be easily released and shared across the internet.

      Gaming’s diversity playground

      Thanks to its ease of use, Twine’s stories have collectively carved out one of the gaming medium’s most diverse landscapes. Twine-spun tales of love, sexuality, gender, comedy and surrealism abound. The tool itself is as close as game development has come to the humble pen and paper, meaning it attracts a delightfully broad pool of creators, giving voice to underrepresented, atypical and also more conventional voices.

      A booming platform

      The volume of Twine stories available today – and usually for free – is spiralling. Try works by authors such as Anna Anthropy, Michael Lutz, Porpentine, Christine Love, Kim Moss and Jonas Kyratzes to get a taste of some of the best.

      • LCPL_X says:

        here’s a good resource on Twine,


        1. Getting Started: Passages and Links
        2. Making Your Game Look Awesome with CSS
        3. Adding Images and Music
        4. Variables, Conditionals, and Programming <<< that 's probably the most interesting use of Twine.

        Bio from link website above,

        I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Toronto, where my work focuses on British modernism (specifically, the relationship between technology, politics, and artistic expression in the period) and Digital Humanities (at the theoretical level, I look at the relationship between technology, politics, and artistic expression in the digital age; at the practical level, I work to develop new applications of natural language processing for meaningful literary analysis).

        Before starting my current job in Toronto, I was an Assistant Professor at San Diego State University. Before that, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Guelph and the University of Victoria. I did my doctoral work at the University of Toronto. My dissertation, 1934: Generic Hybridity and the Search for a Democratic Aesthetic, was supervised by Melba Cuddy-Keane, with whom I co-authored (with Alexandra Peat) Modernism: Keywords (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014).

        After graduating, I developed “The Digital Text,” a pioneering undergraduate class on literature in the digital age. This class provided the foundation for my book Literature in the Digital Age: A Critical Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2016). “The Digital Text” also introduced me to the world of “indie games” and to Superbrothers (Craig D. Adams), the subject of my next book, The Art of Superbrothers (Coach House Books, 2016). “The Digital Text” also introduced me to Julian Brooke, a computational linguist who served as my TA for four sections of the class, and has become a frequent collaborator on Digital Humanities projects.


        Also, look into https://voyant-tools.org/ , related too, but not too directly.

        • LCPL_X says:

          https://itch.io/jam/twine-survival-guide (relevant to the blog, is Twine’s recent contest)…

          “Our fearless tech priests have cracked the code at the heart of Twine and discovered a prophecy embedded in its 1s and 0s. The prophecy reads, Twine games will light the paths of the future. Yes, a digital apocalypse has been prophesied! And Twine games will be the only sources of knowledge to survive. We are sending out a call to all game devs, in order to preserve the world’s most critical information for future generations. We have until July 31st to develop and gather these games!”

          … and here are the results,


          I’ve just gone thru the 1st prize, I’ll see how the others go, but I’m thinking between my de-population and nutrition idea (as game) and Joe’s blog subject re Biliran, even gian’s sat internet, we at TSOH could totally own the next contest.

          I’m gonna keep an eye out and submit something mind blowing for their next contest. I’m gonna channel my Jorge Luis Borges. LOL!

    • sonny says:

      “… what Sonny told me about St. Benedict. …”

      Irineo the original retreat away from civilization written for today’s times was known as the Benedict Option. The worldwide pandemic contraction across the board has since pre-empted or modified the premises originally proposed. FWIW one can still pick up some features of the proposed movement and tweaked and used.


      “The American conservatives Dreher is addressing, on the other hand, are coming from a place of power. For many years, they dictated the legal and cultural terms of non-Christians’ lives. The Benedict option is relevant precisely because America is becoming more religiously fractured, and Christianity is no longer the cultural default.

      Dreher is not embracing this fact, or even accepting it peaceably. His work is largely a project of lament. He speaks about Christianity in apocalyptic terms: the Sexual Revolution has “[deposed] an enfeebled Christianity as the Ostrogoths deposed the hapless last emperor of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century,” and the greatest danger to Christians in the West “comes from the liberal secular order itself.” He prophesies dire scenarios for Christians in America: “We are on the brink of entire areas of commercial and professional life being off-limits to believers whose consciences will not allow The American conservatives Dreher is addressing, on the other hand, are coming from a place of power. For many years, they dictated the legal and cultural terms of non-Christians’ lives. The Benedict option is relevant precisely because America is becoming more religiously fractured, and Christianity is no longer the cultural default.

      Dreher is not embracing this fact, or even accepting it peaceably. His work is largely a project of lament. He speaks about Christianity in apocalyptic terms: the Sexual Revolution has “[deposed] an enfeebled Christianity as the Ostrogoths deposed the hapless last emperor of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century,” and the greatest danger to Christians in the West “comes from the liberal secular order itself.” He prophesies dire scenarios for Christians in America: “We are on the brink of entire areas of commercial and professional life being off-limits to believers whose consciences will not allow them to burn incense to the gods of our age,” he says, warning that young Christians who dream of becoming doctors or lawyers may have to “abandon that hope.” …”

      • I see the Benedictine Option more from the side of self-disciplined, self-sustaining small communities that however quietly kept a certain level of knowledge, transcribing old books but also chronicling the hard times around them for posterity.

        Shaolin monks on the Buddhist side not chroniclers but active in self-defense – I guess it is politically impossible to be both. The fictional Jedi of course more like Shaolin but powerful as Asimov’s Foundation in the Republic of the Star Wars World. Probably a mistake as too much closeness to power is a too strong temptation, though of course the Catholic Church evolved a symbiosis with power during the Middle Ages as we know.

        • LCPL_X says:

          For sure, I don’t think religiosity is a prerequisite in de-growth.

          Like the Philippine Marine Corps which was cut/pasted from the US Marine Corps, the USMC too was a copy/paste from the British Royal Marines,

          “The history of the Royal Marines began on 28 October 1664 with the formation of the Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot soon becoming known as the Admiral’s Regiment. During the War of the Spanish Succession the most historic achievement of the Marines was the capture of the mole during the assault on Gibraltar (sailors of the Royal Navy captured the Rock itself) in 1704. On 5 April 1755, His Majesty’s Marine Forces, fifty Companies in three Divisions, headquartered at Portsmouth, Chatham and Plymouth, were formed by Order of Council under Admiralty control.

          The Royal Marine Artillery was formed as an establishment within the British Royal Marines in 1804 to man the artillery in bomb vessels. As their coats were the blue of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, this group was nicknamed the “Blue Marines” and the Infantry element, who wore the scarlet coats of the British infantry, became known as the “Red Marines”. During the Napoleonic Wars the Royal Marines participated in every notable naval battle on board the Royal Navy’s ships and also took part in multiple amphibious actions. Marines had a dual function aboard ships of the Royal Navy; routinely, they ensured the security of the ship’s officers and supported their maintenance of discipline in the ship’s crew, and in battle, they engaged the enemy’s crews, whether firing from positions on their own ship, or fighting in boarding actions.” —from Wiki

          In the American revolutionary war, the US Marines started out as a unit formed explicitly to be used by the Army and the Navy. Around the time of Napolean, the American Navy kept Marines off their ships, citing morale as the issue. Then during the Civil War , Marines were put on ship again to harass ports, or do beach head type operations.

          Then the Navy wanted them out of their ships again; finally , in WWI , the Marines got attached to the Army, though ensuring autonomy, but ended up excelling in their Army role, so the Army wanted them out too. then the Banana Wars, Marines got slated for that, somewhere along the line also they ended up becoming the US Dept of State’s go to security guards. I think that was after WWII.

          So because of this existential problem right from its conception. The US Marines had to constantly redefine its roll and its mission to be relevant, unlike the Royal Marines which effectively became the first special ops unit for England thus filling a niche, instead the US Marines became generalists, whereas British Marines became specialists.

          Its kinda somewhat related to what’s happening with OnlyFans website, which will be going legit by Oct. 1, 2021. Which ironically became main stream due to the pandemic, in which sex workers, strippers and massage workers, ended up getting closed down, so en masse last year they ended up populating OnlyFans, which is like Patreon/youtube combined in which content providers get paid directly, and said payment gets taxed by OnlyFans during transaction.

          Marines are kinda like these sex workers, OnlyFans is American policy and people who’ll have direct say in whether or not Marines are relevant in the coming wars.

          For example, before the Afghan draw down, the current Commandant of the Marine Corps, knowing the business of counter insurgency and anti-terror was coming to an end, not only cut down its personnel, but also reshuffled the Marine Corps, deleting tanks, and artillery (only keeping the smaller guns, once easily transported); doing away of military police, basically streamlining, so missile units are up, so too cyber units; and more smaller ships ordered that Marines can pilot themselves.

          So like Marines, the current sex workers in OnlyFans, will either have to move to a different website , or adjust to the new environment, since they’ve already invested in nice cameras and lightening, why not produce cooking shows or other how-to videos, even more ASMR, or podcast hosts, whatever, become generalists or specialists, but

          my point here is you gotta constantly be adapting and overcoming if you’re to survive.

          • LCPL_X says:

            LOL! *lighting

            already invested in nice cameras and lightening,

            I was thinking of Mango Avenue in Cebu again, lol !

  3. NHerrera says:

    A corner in Biliran — a quiet place with a garden, guns and solar panels, and a laptop. Others are not even content with the whole Biliran; it has to be the whole caboodle, the Philippines. But what have they done to deserve even a pigpen? Oink oink!

  4. Karl Garcia says:

    By Jared Diamond a book with the title of Collapse – How societies choose to fail or survive

    The choices we have made as a people have led man down a precarious path now more than ever. Dwindling resources overcrowded cities and a shortview perspective have put man on the precipice of fate.


  5. Karl Garcia says:

    There is still hope for the warming and the storms, we need a different kind of revolution.

    The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals And Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World

    Imagine a world in which the excess energy from one business would be used to heat another. Where buildings need less and less energy around the world, and where “regenerative” commercial buildings – ones that create more energy than they use – are being designed. A world in which environmentally sound products and processes would be more cost-effective than wasteful ones.


  6. isk says:

    “My place is large enough for a garden, some chickens, and pigs. What more can a man ask for?”
    You are in paradise Sir. And with a good and reliable internet connection, you’ve got a good spot!

    As to those personalities mentioned, Lacson and Paquiao they are enablers of Duterte in my opinion. How they maneuvered the EJK and DDS Senate hearing is very telling. That Lower House led by Cayetano, it denied a tax compliant ABS-CBN and denied jobs to thousands of employees in the midst of a pandemic. And now they are talking of good governance ? The nation should not elect these kind of politicians , sana all!

    • kasambahay says:

      duterte’s enablers, lacson and paquiao, both want to be president by 2022. duterte kasi has made it look too easy to be president, no accountability needed, unrestrained spending and foreign debts, absent on days of national significance, etc.

      so agreeing with you, lacson, the ultimate father of terror law, pacquiao one time the loyal friend at sobrang masunurin kay duterte, both ought not be elected to public office again.

      methink, whatever the outcome, after election, pacman will go back to being duterte’s man, same with lacson; both enablers again. ducks in a row.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        BBM WANTS to be Sara’s running mate or else he will run for president. In the end Digong will say he is giving up his vp ambitions to BBM….yuck bleeack eew

        Both lacson and paquiao met with Leni
        lacson did the selfless thing and asked leni to pull out if the survey says so,
        on Manny he told leni he will drop his boxing match and retire if leni will be his vp…nah
        dont have a clue what they could have talked about.
        As to Isko…was trillanes serious when he dropped the name to run as Leni’s running mate if he is not running for VP?

        • kasambahay says:

          isko is recovering from covid, has double vaccinations and should mend. whereas trillanes just lost his brother and is mourning.

          isko has joined vico sotto’s party and most likely going to go as presidential candidate vs leni of one sambayan. leni has yet to declare her candidacy and inday sara is just waiting for leni to make an announcement before announcing her own candidacy.

          man proposes, god disposes, that’s what I can say about pacman who is currently indisposed, mabugbug ng todo at nagpapagaling muna sa USA.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Tiny was his buddy other than his brother.
            Digong just accepted the PDP’s nomination for VP. I guess he wants BBM to run as president and her daughter as better luck next time.

            • kasambahay says:

              sus, gulo kaayo. makes me reach for the headache tablet itong dance and song ng mga duterte et al. ang hugpong ng pagbabago ni inday sara ay puno ng mga hindi bago at ayaw magbago, honesty is not issue with them; dishonesty then is maybe virtue. ang pdp laban naman could not make head or tails, what was proposed, god has disposed.

              methink, bong marcos is courting the catholic church. 80 per cent of our population are catholics and their hierarchy is now troglodyte fawning on the tyke.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Family matters according to Roque. Whaaaat?!
                Now Go and Duque are literally escaping accountability every second of the day in the in aid of reelection investigations.

                Did Lacson make his move in that investigation?
                Paquiao is licking his wounds and still dazed because he wants a rematch because he wants to become the Boxer president or president boxer.

                Leni is just relaxed leaving some followers and haters unrelaxed.

              • kasambahay says:

                family matters albeit political best resolved by families in private, kaso there is bong go, lol! has taken care of the father and now taking care of the daughter too, as promised. daughter has inherited a forever photo bomber, her fellow dabawenyo is unshakable so unlike the sheriff easily repulsed by one punch.

                as well, daughter has got herself a ‘match made in heaven’, according to imee marcos. seen on nationwide t.v. imee so happy and ecstatic like a mexican jumping bean, her dear brother to run as the daughter’s vp. no wonder bbm was courting the catholic church, wants their blessing yata. all the angels and saints, all the bishops and cardinals, all the priest and the clergy. . . metaphorically, in an arranged marriage with comelec yet to formally cement the marriage, lol!

                1st time ko ‘to to hear such marriage made in heaven, two dynastic political families, both with their baggages and compulsion to grab power.

                a marriage made in heaven, the daughter’s husband must be feeling addendum, a codicil adjunct.

              • kasambahay says:

                as for dear sen lacson, he’ll do anything to get to the top of poll ratings, is what I think.

  7. mundski says:

    This piece would make for a pretty video with someone narrating it behind stock videos of apocalyptic images, the figures and what not. Like those HBO 24/7 boxing narrations. I love those 🙂

  8. mundski says:

    As grim as it may be right now, there’s still a chance that this pandemic and our local political climate could change as quickly as human technology advances. Though i’m not as confident with global warming.

    • kasambahay says:

      that’s a very scary thought, ‘our political climate could change as quickly as human technology advances’.

      already, denis uy’s logistic firm, f2philippines, is on track to winning the bid to deliver poll equipment and paraphernalia for 2022 election, in charge of all automated election system. duterte’s close friend, denis uy, the dabaw connection, bid the lowest and likely to bag the said 1.6billion project.

      • mundski says:

        oh my is that true? they are going to railroad next year’s election

        • kasambahay says:

          very true and the truth is comelec just awarded f2logistics the project, it’s legal but unethical to many. the president and chair of f2logistics is denis uy, he donated 30millions to duterte’s election campaign in 2016, making duterte president.

  9. Karl Garcia says:

    Ah videos

    Giancarlo made a mashup video of 2 to three tsoh blogs. Here is a sample.

  10. NHerrera says:

    @mundski, @karl, @giancarlo, @lance — refreshing, creative ideas. Thanks.

  11. NHerrera says:


    Writing from the view of “the morning after the morning after.” I believe that the situation of that collapsing world cannot but improve:

    – for the US and President Biden if the massive airlift of Americans and vulnerable Afghans becomes a relative success;
    – for the US allies for the same reason;
    – already there is the beginning of armed resistance to the Taliban’s Afghanistan; it is not as if the Taliban can do its merry way unhampered;
    – the US, Allies, and the UN countries can extend humanitarian aid with some not unpalatable conditions to the Taliban;
    – China and Russia, especially China, can spend itself trying to influence the Taliban and China protecting the Taliban’s possible influence on Xinjiang, spreading itself thin;
    – The incorrigible Taliban may become partly corrigible (?) — after all, we may be from the animal species but have a brain superior to the mere animals (aha, writing this without presenting scientific evidence, and may be proven wrong 🙂 ).

    Re the latter can we say the same thing as the PH. Of course, we can. Much more so.

  12. wolffzen2153 says:

    I really can’t see why you believe that Biden is a most decent guy. In his political career, once he plagiarized a British member of Parliament speech, something he did which he thought if nobody will know will catapult him to high position in government. He is ‘ stained’. At least in the Philippines we do have unstained ‘ walang bahid’ politicians like Robredo, Trillanes, Risa, and all you’ve mentioned.

  13. Karl Garcia says:

    Lance remember a few weeks ago you were boiling mad at Biden’s rhetoric on a shooting war all because of Cyber.
    With the US investing on AI and Quantum, that would not happen, but he is quietly talking and consulting with Arnold Schwarzenneger’s android (not the phone) and Sarah Connor about Skynet and terminator now that would be the sum of all fears, scarier than Nukes.

    • LCPL_X says:

      I get livid too, when talks of families coming apart due to politics. Politics ebb and flows, family should be the constant regardless of disagreements, i’m a big fan of talking things out, til exhaustion thus no quarrel; or til agreement or consensus.

      But this talk of leaving family is akin to that cyber for war bs, karl.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Segue to old discussion on Filipinos not wanting to leave wartorn MENA maybe same with Central Asia and South Asia because of the anywhere but the PH mantra.
        The proxy war is getting worse everyday little attention is given to Yemen because they are taking the Saudis head-on and the Saudis would want it left as quiet as possible look what they did to the Khashogi guy in Turkey that is a different case but that is how they keep them quiet. The book Joe recommended: Reset is heavy on cyber espionage and surveillance and it is non-fiction that is scary even without the shooting war.
        Activists may run but they can’t hide.

        The Filipinos with the said mantra of anywhere but PH attitude which Madlanglupa is advocating against for her own reasons, should reconsider and make the PH a better place which is better than wartorn areas IMO.

        You should know, now that is the talk of leaving family sucks.

        • LCPL_X says:

          Agreed, karl.

          There’s the idea. grass is always greener.

          Then there’s reality, no grass, blood instead.

          But Filipinos like the feeling of grass.

          Ingrained in their heads that everywhere outside the Philippines is better.

  14. madlanglupa says:

    A collapsing world.

    Nothing is far worse than having a collapse being so closer to “home”.

    I think I already have made enemies with the rest of the household at the dinner table, after I disagreed with their idea of voting next year for… Sara, them reasoning “she is not like her father” and “we’re not affected, so why I should give a f* about your poor friends because some are into drugs” BS like that when it would be more like ten steps backward and adding more napalm to the fire.

    Once I get vaccinated I’ll have to pack up and move someplace soon; they cannot be argued easily with, they’re like “coconuts” (brown outside, thinking white inside), they would rather have the country burned down, and their concept of morality is one that is threatening to make me retch.

    • JoeAm says:

      The thinking here is conceptually totally destructive, totally self-involved, I agree.

    • NHerrera says:

      I agree that seems to be as difficult to understand as the US anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers reasoning.

    • kasambahay says:

      madlang, if you leave your family, it’s best to leave in good terms. trust me, and love them at a distance too. sent them cards on birthdays and on christmas, flowers on anniversaries. and visit them now and then. it’s nice when during visiting and when things get really heated, you the pleasure of just turning your back and walking away.

      I split with my family a while ago and reclaimed my life and my sanity, now life is good kahit pandemic. and now love my family at a distance na lang. living with them drove me nuts! takot ako na if I stayed longer, I’d end up killing them all, sobra na talaga. leaving my family was best decision I’ve made.

      • NHerrera says:

        “Loving at a distance” — good suggestion.

        [I am fortunate; my family generally agrees on politics. But that may be a random chance.]

        • kasambahay says:

          nherrera, you’re lucky your family is not like the british royal family with megan markle and prince harry branching on their own, their kiss and tell stories of how unpalatable queen elizabeth’s royal family is, is raking millions on netflix. as well, megan markle and prince harry’s books along similar lines already promised to be best sellers and big money earners too.

          the family duterte is also having family issues, with father and daughter seemingly on each others throat as regards political issues. like father like daughter and non the wiser, lol! so much drama, their squabbles front page on newspapers and headliners on national t.v. news. best to sidestep this family, methink.

    • LCPL_X says:

      “Once I get vaccinated I’ll have to pack up and move someplace soon; they cannot be argued easily with, “

      Sorry, NH and Joe, especially. but you guys are encouraging something totally aberrant from human nature and history.

      Unless madlanglupa has been abused physically, emotionally and or sexually by said family, mere disagreements shouldn’t ever compel one to leave a family; especially in the third world.

      Now granted with one suddenly also becaming a billionaire (in US dollars) sure cutting yourself off from kin, may be a good bet. thats a luxury.

      But mere political disagreements, the world is so much harsher, even amongst people you agree with.

      And it is mere political disagreement, Google if the vaccinated can still spread the virus; then Google how often the vaccinated are themselves ending up in the ER (not as much as the unvaccinated, but the numbers are going up).

      So if both vaccinated and unvaccinated are able to spread; what’s the difference? (where’s the contention here?)

      And if the vaccinated can themselves still succumb to the virus , then the solution should be in finding these individuals that keep testing positive, yet asymptomatic, they are the vaccine. These folks are the cure.

      Until we really start studying why asymptomatics are the way they are, its truly a cold world,

      with no family, its freezing (again in the third world the calculus is different than the first world, I can get sick and not have to rely on friends and family, there’s 9-1-1 , the ER, the morgue, the coroner, etc. etc. essentially theres a system in place not dependent on friends and family).

      Solution: Talk to your loved ones, as if they have a valid point; obviously your point of contention is that once vaccinated you’ll be saved, question that; identify your wrong points, this is part of humility; then talk it out more without calling each other stupids. Then Google all the Israeli studies,

      then like chempo, talk about Novavax and Fr. Austriaco’s vaccines; AstraZeneca is DNA, not RNA based, so take all that into consideration; and J&J is said to be holding up.

      My point, keep your family , forchrissakes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • kasambahay says:

        madlang seems a nice person, she’ll find good friends who’ll treat her better than her own family. we cannot choose our family but we can choose our friends, and some friends are better than families. and chances are, madlang already have good friends.

        • LCPL_X says:

          Cutting ties w/ family due to disagreements over vaccines seem sane to you, kb?

          • kasambahay says:

            I was talking about loving families from a distance when living with them is near impossible.

            and in my comments above, not once did not I mention vaccines.

  15. NHerrera says:

    I just saw an ad on TV — after showing beautiful PH sceneries and cultural activities, it said, “Reignite your love of country.” Fine.

    But how in heavens name can one do that amidst the collapsing part of the country — its leaders and government. The country is not only beautiful sceneries, it includes the government.

  16. Micha says:

    Sorry, I just want to gloat today.

    The Arizona recount is supposed to be the initial salvo to trigger a domino effect across several states that will invalidate election results. Alas, it turns out to be a clown show.

    I’ve made a bow not to be suckered in by any news item featuring the Orange Clown but, there it is.

    • JoeAm says:

      So many clowns these days. I don’t know what happened to ‘good faith’ and ‘earnest’. They seem to have lost out to game-playing and fakery.

    • NHerrera says:

      It turns out the Audit by a bunch of clowns, though not yet finalized, serves a good purpose. But not to the liking of the Clown-in-Chief — your Orange Man.

      If the final report comes out and is judged not credible by many, even by the GOP, OM will blame the clowns.

      • Micha says:

        From the article we learn that the private auditing firm commissioned by the GOP controlled state senate is called Cyber Ninjas.

        No serious or credible auditing firm would call itself that. The only reason it was granted the contract is because its CEO is a die hard Trumper peddling all sorts of lunatic stories.

        Cyber Ninjas, LLC.

        “We give you audit results that you want.”
        Call toll free 1-800-792-LUNATIC.

  17. NHerrera says:

    Prompted by JoeAm’s Tweet, I posted this on Twitter and would like to share it here since it aligns with the concept of our collapsing world.

    NHerrera @NHerrera01a

    A good read for Americans, Filipinos, among others.



    The Biden administration’s execution of the Afghanistan withdrawal is a story that includes both an initial mishandling and an extraordinary logistical achievement. The chaos of the first days — produced by mistaken predictions about the strength of the Afghan government and a lack of appropriate planning — has been followed by the successful evacuation of tens of thousands of Americans, Afghans and other nationals, as many as 20,000 in a single day.

    Which finds us in a familiar pattern: A Democratic president is forced to clean up a mess left by his predecessor, and when doing so turns out to be complicated and difficult, his critics act as though they would have performed perfectly a job they would never have even tried to do.

    When Biden took office, he had to deal with an economic crisis, a public health crisis and a two-decade-long war he was determined to end. Not only that, he has other priorities on his agenda that will require intricate legislating, enormous implementation challenges, or both. Just as Barack Obama confronted an economic crisis while pursuing the most consequential health-care reform in nearly half a century, Biden is handling multiple generation-defining challenges at the same time.

    That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t watch this administration closely, identify its errors and consider what could have been done differently. We absolutely should. But we should also remember that there are seldom straightforward answers in governing, or simple solutions one could easily have pursued. Especially when you’re trying to do hard things.

    • isk says:

      The withdrawal of the Coalition Force in Iraq during the Obama-Biden Administration led to the rise of ISIS, that America needs to send her troops back to the ME. An unforeseen event.

      In Afghanistan, the events on the ground prior to the closure of Bagram Air Base is not favorable for a drawdown IMHO.

      Thanks for sharing that opinion piece.

      • JoeAm says:

        Afghanistan is so complex, so mixed up, that anyone can cite evidence to back any conclusion, and it would be automatically wrong for not including the whole history or context. I listen to a lot of people and most of them don’t even try to paint the whole picture. They just pick what fits their bias.

        • isk says:

          Sir Joe, Mr. Blinken’s State Department launched a US diplomatic proposal for an intra-Afghan agreement , between the Taliban and the Afghani government last Spring of 2021. The senior-level meeting to be held in Turkey was rejected by the Talibans. The refusal demonstrate the unwillingness for a power sharing alternatives. I believe, that violates the agreement signed in Doha, Qatar .

          At this moment, report of a huge explosion at the gate of the Kabul Airport happened. Horrible.

          • LCPL_X says:

            What’s the solution then? To re-occupy Afghanistan, or is this a mere lessons learnt point? List out of things not to do, which the US should’ve learnt back in 1975. Though it did it pretty well post WWII with the Philippines, but that’s also because it was after WWII.

            • isk says:

              The damage is so huge Sir, America lost her credibility. But for security’s sake, the next step is to have a military base in Central Asia for information/intel gathering.

              • LCPL_X says:

                The damage was also huge in 1975, and America ended up winning as we now have more mani/pedi salons than any developed nations in the world.

              • LCPL_X says:

                “The damage is so huge Sir, America lost her credibility. “

                My point is this is what America does, we’re always lossing credibility.

                its a by-product of democracy. Sorry.

    • LCPL_X says:

      The only principle to be gleamed, IMHO, is for the US to stop nation building, sure propaganda the hell out of democracy and how shiny and nice it is, but to actually sink so much money all the time, and this is a consistent mistake since WWII, never learnt. Lessons are never learnt.

      One solution, is that when you become President or part of the Legislature, you “volunteer” a loved one(s) 18-45 yr old, and all those folks become part of an on call military unit;

      Every time a President and the Capitol decide to send people to war, that unit of Loved Ones get sent in first, the tip of the spear. I betcha we won’t be going to wars so quickly!!!

      • NHerrera says:

        Lance, I agree with you that the US should stop nation-building and selling a nice and shiny democracy, especially at this time when the US itself needs nation-building or nation-rebuilding and does not present a nice and shiny democracy.

        Re the last para, I have a question: would hammering Guam to smithereens count as reason enough to go to war?

        • LCPL_X says:

          NH, I know theres a new Marine base there now, Marines from Okinawa/Japan are now spread in Darwin, Guam as well as Hawaii.

          So for sure, attacking Guam is like attacking Hawaii.

          But again, if I were to prognosticate, China doesn’t want war, or if China is planning for one, it’ll not follow Japan’s playbook.

          China can simply buy influence in the mainland. Gut America from the inside, then have Guam in the end. That is the type of war China is waging.

          But again China doesn’t want war, it is simply attempting to out flank America where America usually historically flanks other nations.

          There can be a world in the short term, where China and The US simply carve up their own niche and ecosystems. If that eventually leads to war in the long term, I don’t know.

      • LCPL_X says:

        “…and does not present a nice and shiny democracy.”

        Its not supposed to be nice and shiny, NH. That’s why when a country sells you a nice and shiny democracy, buyer be ware. And that’s what HIllary and W. were selling not really fully understanding how gravely wrong this premise was.

        Not appreciating history.

        Biden seems to be like Trump in this regard, me having just known of his stance on Vietnam in 1975. I hope Biden doesn’t succumb to pressures to re-occupy Kabul. Stick to the August 31st deadline, forces will conspire to suck you back in.


        • Micha says:


          Just last week the CIA Director arranged a high level meeting with Taliban leaders. What they talked about or what agreement they have forged, if any, was not reported. It’s quite possible that the war freaks in the Pentagon would devise a plan to not get the US to permanently leave.

          As of the latest, Biden said he’s going to hunt down ISIS who claimed responsibility for the bombing. Meaning there’ll be multi-pronged front for the endless war.

          There’s every incentive for his political and ideological enemies to see this evacuation turn even more violent and nasty.

          • LCPL_X says:

            ISIS-K vs. the Taliban,

            as for other players, remember Afghanistan was the Goose that lays golden eggs for a lot of people , gov’t contractors, NGOs, etc. etc. More powerful people want Biden to stay.

          • JoeAm says:

            I’d recommend tuning in to the President’s press conferences and those of his spokeswoman where reporters ask questions to clarify these matters. The hunt for ISIS terrorists is tactical and not an ongoing presence in Afghanistan. “Multi-pronged front for an endless war” is inaccurate. I’ve noted how much we speak in these ‘exaggerations for effect’ and view them as destructive. They don’t build. It takes intent to build to build. I’m saying this to myself as much as you. There’s a lot of shouting going on and most of it is wrong.

            • LCPL_X says:

              The best answer by Biden was to the last question asked by the FOX news guy. Basicially, yeah I take full responsibility and yes we’re still going leave period.

              • LCPL_X says:

                Doocy’s point though was why there were no American deaths for more than a year, but now this? his question was that, which is kinda stoopid question, because there’s the draw down right now, chaos begets chaos. Also Biden’s right, there was an agreement by both Trump’s peeps and the Taliban.

                But who cares if theres quiet for 1 yr, the 20 years the US has been there has been up and down.

                Of course you’ll have more deaths during a draw down, i’m just surprised its not Malala herself taking pot shots at the troops, if i were Malala, i’d be pissed (what about my education!!! and women’s rights! baam bam bam, boom, like Rambo).

                pro-Americans have more reasons to kill us right now.

              • JoeAm says:

                Biden’s agreeing to the Trump terms is what is allowing evacuations to keep going forward. If the Taliban does not cooperate, the US will make their lives hell, and they really want stability and respect. Biden wants it done, period, and will not extend.

              • LCPL_X says:


                The Taliban don’t look to me like an unsophisticated outfit.

                Trump’s deadline was May 1st.

                Around April i think, Biden extended that to September 11th. The Taliban can be negotiated with.

                So since April, all these thousands of American citizens businessmen/NGOs/religious orgs, etc. knew the party was ending. last call.

                Okay, i get the fact that Biden won, and hey maybe Biden will be more like Hillary, so people can ignore the coming end; but since April whether you believe Biden will honor the Sept. 11 deadline or not, its time to get the hell out of Dodge. if you ‘re not a gambling type.

                So why are these American citizens still there? they’re all gamblers basically, Joe.

                For those Afghans with special visas, they shoulda known nothing promised is given. But Filipinos should be asking the US Embassy in Manila, hey I support and believe in America, can I get a special visa and get an airlift out of this hell, where a senior citizen can go to parties and stroll on the beach w/out barangay tanod escort?

                The writing was on the wall, if people were so scared of the Taliban , American citizens should’ve paid attention. To these deadlines.

                Over here in local news, they keep on covering this group of Afghan families from the San Diego area that vacationed in Afghanistan for the summer, now are stuck. Why would you vacation in Afghanistan at such crucial time?!!! and bring your kids?!!!

                Again the writing was on the wall. Trump telegraphed it last year. Biden set the date this year.

                My point is the mess isn’t 100% Biden’s, these Americans and permanent residents should also take some of the blame. As for the special visa holders, sorry, thanks for your service, but this isn’t worth another squad or platoon of Marines.

                Take off already.

              • JoeAm says:

                Totally agree.

      • isk says:

        War is ugly, it destroys lives and properties. There’s a moral obligation to reconstruct what was destroyed.

        • LCPL_X says:

          I agree. There’s also a moral obligation to not get into one so easily.

          As for reconstruction, that’s a job better done thru WB, or other economic entities; militaries should not nation build– the only nation one’s military is to nation build is its own.

          The military’s purpose is not baby sitting, pun intended…

        • LCPL_X says:

          “More than 2,000 Marines were supporting evacuation operations and security in Afghanistan, a senior official said Thursday, as the U.S. military hopes to maintain a semblance of control to process more Americans, Afghans and other evacuees onto military transport planes at the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

          Two main units are deployed in Afghanistan to support the noncombatant evacuation mission: 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., including 1st Battalion, 8th Marines; and Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command, which includes 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment from Camp Pendleton, Calif.

          Marines at the Kabul airport are “primarily focused on… the evacuation control center. That is the efforts to process American citizens, [Special Immigrant Visas applicants] and other Afghans and partner-nation citizens for evacuation and ensure that they get on the planes and get out of the country to various locations,” Brig. Gen. Peter Huntley, director of operations at Marine Corps headquarters, told reporters during a media call Thursday afternoon. “We also are participating as part of the perimeter security” at the airport, a mission led by the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.”

          Also, https://www.tf515.marines.mil/About/

      • NHerrera says:

        Nice discussion all around.

        @Lance, that one on Fox News and Biden’s response, “I take full responsibility and yes we’re still going to leave period,” is rich. Trump’s statement we know would have been — I take NO responsibility and yes we’re still going to leave period.

        The responsible one and the irresponsible one. Haha.

        • isk says:

          @NH Here’s the excerpt of the Q & A
          “I bear responsibility for fundamentally all that’s happened of late,”
          ‘You know – I wish one day you’d say these things,’ ‘You know as well as I do that the former president made a deal with the Taliban that he would get all American forces out of Afghanistan by May 1. In return the was made – that was a year before.

          ‘In return for the commitment, the Taliban would continue to attack others but would not attack any American forces. Remember that?’
          There were conditions to be met for the drawdown, if this administration was able to cancel Trump’s MPP (Migrants Protection Policy) for perceived discrimination why not the agreement with the Talibans ?

          Should never been this way…

          • JoeAm says:

            Because Biden wanted to end the engagement in Afghanistan and the deadline gave him the leverage to obtain Taliban cooperation. Cooperate and we’ll get out Aug 31. Don’t cooperate and we’ll make it impossible for you to install a government. Trump’s mistake is to criticize Biden rather than claim credit for the deal that allowed exit.

        • LCPL_X says:

          here’s a good article on the Biden/Doocy flair up,

          “and the on-air personalities at Fox News were setting the stage for a titanic collision between the president and the network’s new, 33-year-old White House correspondent.

          On the campaign trail, Peter Doocy had emerged as the 24/7 news-and-opinion network’s latest reporting star. At one stop after another, his blond husk of hair and 6-foot-5 frame towering over other reporters, he became known for needling Biden, particularly about his adult son Hunter, whose foibles were being pumped up elsewhere in the Murdoch news empire. Doocy’s father, Steve, is the genial longtime co-host of the morning show “Fox & Friends,” but the son’s style is different — courteous, crisp, oppositional. Often, it’s worked: Doocy got Biden to engage even on sensitive topics that other reporters might be less inclined to bring up.”

          • JoeAm says:

            A younger Biden would have climbed over the podium and punched Doocy. The wise version takes his time, holds his deep personal feelings to himself, and answers the questions with due elaboration. But the eyes still flash, the grin grins like no other, and the President of the United States moves on.

  18. LCPL_X says:

    Not OT:


    Is this mechanically sound?

    • NHerrera says:

      Yes indeed, it is! There are details of course to be ironed out. The efficiency is a consideration — heat will be generated in the winches but some bright guys may come with a concept to use this heat too, to up the overall efficiency. Good idea Dr. Lance.

  19. NHerrera says:

    I find this relevant:

    “We understand the values of mainstream journalists, including the effort to report both sides of a story. But a balanced treatment of an unbalanced phenomenon distorts reality. If the political dynamics of Washington are unlikely to change any time soon, at least we should change the way that reality is portrayed to the public.”

    — Margaret Sullivan writing in Washington Post

    • NHerrera says:

      If true for the US at this time, it’s even more so in the Philippines.

      • LCPL_X says:

        I believe what she s talking about is false equivalency, NH.

        So for example Trump and Biden; 80% of this pull out is Trump’s, I agree w/ Joe , its a popular sentiment take ownership of it. But is there room to criticize the planning and implementation , etc. Yes there is as well, and Trump will be Trump, but they should address both Trump and Biden that those folks being airlifted out had a whole year to plan their exit.

        And you are correct, Trump will always pass the buck, if he feels something is not looking good.

        This would be an example of true equivalency, because IMHO Trump and Biden will again run in 2024. And we have to choose between one or the other.

        I don’t see a GOP possible. And Kamala Harris isn’t very well liked. I’ve already mailed in my ballot for the governor recall, I voted for Caitlyn Jenner. I think its a waste of time this recall, but it was the Dems that installed this safety switch a long time ago (no need for Cyber Ninjas).

        And I gotta feeling VP Harris will only worsen Gavin’s chances now. but i digress…

        False equivalency is when you equate vaccinated and unvaccinated (as madlang and kb above have) to some worldview worthy of breaking ties w/ family. Its false, because unlike Trump vs. Biden, you don’t choose one or the other; we’re all breathing the same air, all interacting as humans do, we are not mountain lions who can go for months w/out seeing each other,

        but most importantly, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, are still inputting the virus thus spreading it just the same. So sure social distance, mask up, but since the infection rate is so high w/ Delta. all’s moot at this point.

        So unless theres also in fighting over some family property, that I’m sure some lawyer will just profit, stay with your family, and just learn to argue or not. Talk about lola’s sinigang recipe instead!

        In conclusion,

        Trump vs. Biden = true equivalency,

        Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated = false equivalency.

        Both disagreements not worth losing family over. 😉

        • NHerrera says:

          I believe what she is talking about is false equivalency, NH. YES!

          She is addressing opinion writers who habitually give equal treatment of persons or issues when one of them is clearly not credible — in the name of fairness or being unbiased.

  20. kasambahay says:

    if I was the kb mentioned above, I certainly was not talking about vaccines but of loving families from a distance when living with them is near impossible. repeat: not once did I mention vaccines.

    • LCPL_X says:

      kb: “the pleasure of just turning your back and walking away.

      I split with my family a while ago and reclaimed my life and my sanity, “

      madlang: “Once I get vaccinated I’ll have to pack up and move someplace soon; they cannot be argued easily with, they’re like “coconuts” (brown outside, thinking white inside),”


      The irony in that “white inside” statement is that this is a very 1st world thing to do,

      to break off with one’s family; it is not (unless one is A or B , of course) a Filipino default move. Again something big has to happen, abuse of all types or fighting over inheritance, etc.

      The purpose of a family, kin , unit in the 3rd world is to ensure some security, again 1st world have instutitions that allow us the luxury of forgetting about family, of not needing them. This very notion of leaving one’s family is something new.

      Only in the past 5 years or so, have people over here freely broken off with long time ties, blood or affinity. Due to mere disagreements in opinions.

      You can track it to the rise of social media and fake news and the BLM movement, and Trump, and DU30 over there. now vaccinations.

      My point here is that it is social media (and media) driven, this notion of leaving one’s family because the argument is going nowhere.

      I just watched CNN all day yesterday after the Biden press conference, and if I wasn’t savvy, I’d have gone out and killed all unvaccinated people already, that s how much the hysteria is over played. They forget to mention of course that both vaccinated and unvaccinated are spreading the virus.

      Its media driven, its up to us as smart individuals to resist their stupidity. Don Lemon especially.

      • JoeAm says:

        Aha, you’re a Don Lemon fan, eh? He turned into Fox News left a couple of years ago. His show shifted from news to advocacy.

        • LCPL_X says:

          I remember local news channels used to do editorials as the last few minutes of the news cast;

          and I get that most of the shows in cable are all editorials, basically not news just peoples opinions. But BLM 6-7 years ago, then now with this vaccinated vs. unvaccinated hysteria going on.

          It trickles out into the real world. Don Lemon is doing the same thing as Rush Limbaugh, Chris Coumo too. Anderson Cooper is cool though.

          This weekend, I’m not sure if tomorrow or Sunday, they’re supposed to have another anti-vaxxer rally in Santa Monica, Joe. Surely, Anti-FA will show again, they always do. I hope Santa Monica PD learned their lesson last summer with BLM, that turned into a major riot.

          Supposedly they’ll be out in force. it’ll be in the 100s again tomorrow, so a bunch of people will go to the beach. We’ll see…

          • JoeAm says:

            Enjoy yourself. No switchblade rule is in effect.

            • LCPL_X says:

              HA! I’m going to Balboa island and get me some frozen banana , Joe.

              • JoeAm says:

                Ahh, Balboa Island. Fond memories, a week with a girl long ago. We shared the same sense of the absurd as we observed a table not too far from ours on the second floor patio of a fancy restaurant as the pitchers of beer shared the table with chocolate cake. We snorted and laughed for 20 minutes. Musta been good wine. In NY we laughed for an hour over a waitress sorting peas on a table. A lost restaurant upstate near a raging winter river. My my. She was friends with Bob Dylan and Peter Yarrow. Passed on young, too much smoking. Love Balboa.

  21. Karl Garcia says:

    I hope I am not violating house rules to report that I am lending my ears to chemrock privately.I told him that I am neutral since we are both foreigners but he is lamenting why we can’t see what he is seeing. But he has no issues with the editor unlike others.

    Another past contributor who is an FB friend is Bill in oz, he had his issues not unlike i7sharp’s which were editor related.

    I would not want to enter Sharp’s FB page even if he disclosed his name here.

    Popoy or Andy Ibay used to be an FB friend maybe he blocked me. I just hope that he is doing ok.

    Others who were active here are still visiting Joe’s FB page regularly.

    • JoeAm says:

      Chemrock is the family member who can’t think straight who thinks we don’t think straight. Well, when arguments are built on false premises, it’s hard to build something that makes sense.

  22. NHerrera says:


    Statement by President Joe Biden on the Investigation into the Origins of COVID-⁠19


    Critical information about the origins of this pandemic exists in the People’s Republic of China, yet from the beginning, government officials in China have worked to prevent international investigators and members of the global public health community from accessing it. To this day, the PRC continues to reject calls for transparency and withhold information, even as the toll of this pandemic continue to rise. We needed this information rapidly, from the PRC, while the pandemic was still new. Since taking office, my administration has renewed U.S. leadership in the World Health Organization and rallied allies and partners to renew focus on this critical question. The world deserves answers, and I will not rest until we get them. Responsible nations do not shirk these kinds of responsibilities to the rest of the world. Pandemics do not respect international borders, and we all must better understand how COVID-19 came to be in order to prevent further pandemics.


    Biden’s statement surely will not appear in Xi Jingping’s Thoughts which I understand will become a must read for the Chinese.

    • JoeAm says:

      President Biden is either a superior juggler or he has excellent staff teeing up his statements. They are always well composed, simple, and understandable. He has more going on than any President I know, pushing pushing pushing.

          • LCPL_X says:

            This would make for a great Hollywood movie and/or a really creative documentary film.

            • LCPL_X says:


              “Whether you are interested in an unusual love story or in how the United States fights protracted wars, Ann Scott Tyson’s American Spartan is an important book.. It artfully tells the story of the author and her now-husband, Major Jim Gant, a tough warrior-hero-thinker, who not only was one of the authors of the theory of Village Stability Operations in Afghanistan but became a pioneer practitioner, living among the Afghans in Konar Province for nearly two years. In the end, the Taliban tried very hard to kill him, and none other than Osama bin Laden identified Gant and his 2009 article, “One Tribe at a Time,” as a threat to the global jihad, at least according to the author. In the estimation of General David Petraeus and others, Major Jim Gant was the “perfect counterinsurgent.”

              Major Gant, however, was also a psychologically wounded warrior and not fit for combat. A multi-tour combat veteran, he had severe and apparently untreated PTSD before his final deployment, the result of too much close combat on previous tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. How long can one ride on the hood of a Humvee, drawing sniper fire and scouting for and finding IEDs? He was well into drug and alcohol dependence before he deployed. His condition became worse as his tour progressed. Indeed, he increasingly became the centerpiece of battles against his twin demons: the Taliban and his superior officers. His attitude about war and warfare went off the deep end, and he imagined himself a reincarnated Spartan.”

  23. Micha says:

    “Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan is one that a large majority of Americans favor, and have for years. It’s something he’s long wanted to do. In 2009, he spoke privately to Barack Obama about the then-president’s plans to temporarily add 30,000 troops to the U.S. forces in Afghanistan. As he walked with Obama from the White House residence into the Oval Office, Biden tried to dissuade the president from a ‘surge’ that proved to be a futile attempt to beat back the Taliban. Warning Obama about the advice coming from the military, Biden said: ‘If you let them roll you, you’ll be their puppy for the next four years,’ according to a person familiar with the conversation. ‘Joe, I’d like to see you be president for five minutes to see how you’d do it,’ this person said was Obama’s reply.”


    That there are elements in the military as well as in the private sector component of the MIC that is against the withdrawal is an important point to remember. President Biden might be earnest in his desire to leave Afghanistan but let’s not discount the fact that he’s not supported in that decision by the merchants of war.

    The drama behind the horrible brutality of Kabul bombing might be itself worthy of a Clancy or a Robert Ludlum classic.

    • LCPL_X says:

      Now that we’re finally out, I hope we go back to just watching the world closely from afar, little bit here and there, to ensure the world doesn’t go too crazy (small quiet footprints or none at all). I hope Biden’s puts an end to this Chinese lab stuff, lab or nature, its out who cares at this point. Looks like a wild goose chase, resources should be use for more important things now.

      I hope Biden focuses now on UBI and sells this idea to Americans, after three economic impact checks, plus other perks, Americans now appreciate free money. If Biden makes this his next crusade, he’ll win 2024 for sure, plus marijuana and psychedelics legalization (which many veterans are now getting behind, thanks to 20 years of these wars).

      I can see this graph going mostly blue. What say you, Micha?

      • Micha says:

        The $2 trillion infrastructure bill is already on the House table plus another trillion or so for the Senate reconciliation maneuver. That should be enough for now to grease the covid stranded economy and do something really significant for mitigating climate change.

        Some are anticipating that UBI will encourage sloth. A Job Guarantee program, otoh, creates more productive output.

  24. NHerrera says:

    Lance, here is a news item from NYT about a fellow Lance Cpl.

    After Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20, landed in Afghanistan with his Marine unit, his father, Jim, began checking his phone for a little green dot. [He was born in February 2001 — still a baby when the United States invaded Afghanistan.] Mr. McCollum had not been able to talk with his son, but the green dot next to Rylee’s name on a messaging app meant that he was online. That he was still OK.

    When news came that a suicide bomber killed 13 American service members outside the airport in Kabul on Thursday, Mr. McCollum checked again for the dot. His son was on his first overseas deployment, had gotten married recently, and was about to become a father. Mr. McCollum messaged his son: “Hey man, you good?”

    But the green dot was gone.
    May he RIP.

    • LCPL_X says:

      I agree NH, RIP. But here’s more context…

      To deploy or being a ready unit, means having gone thru individual training and unit training exercises, that give your unit and the bigger unit be it battalion/brigade, etc. the stamp of approval by HQ USMC and DOD to go abroad.

      So prior to getting to Afghanistan, there were chances of said Marines to be killed and/or injured, plenty actually do, an amphib armored vehicle sunk off the coast of CA last year i think or the year prior, killing the same amount of Marines.

      Then you have in country deaths and injuries, like the one a couple of days ago.

      Then you have Marines of the same unit, either being directly part of this, or a buddy of the deceased Marines probably manning another gate or his end of watch thus downtime on his cot or in the latrine/head, and just can’t shake the fact that either his buddies died, or survivors guilt or whatever,

      suicide or a downward spiral into abyss, but months and years later than what occurred this week.

      My point, is deaths all around. this institutional or media hero making IMHO doesn’t help , cuz what of the Marines that sunk in their armored veh during training? or those Marines that die months or years later but of the same incident. I always thought the best way to describe

      these deaths is simply they died doing what Marines are supposed to be doing, period. Leave all the hero stuff, for either really gallant stuff or for civilians that went out of their way. Part of work is part of work. RIP.

      • NHerrera says:

        Good context about Marines deaths, Lance. My point above is to feel good about the human side of this collapsing world — compared to the repetitive antics of McCarthy, Graham et al (not to mention the source, the Orange Man of Micha 🙂 ).

        • LCPL_X says:

          Joe: “Sounds like a whacknut to me,”

          I finally got to watch the video of that USMC Lt. Col.’s rant on facebook. Its a fair criticism, but like he said he was throwing his rank on the table to make said criticism. And it wasn’t political, just directed to Marine Corps higher ups (and DoD) and specifically the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

          One of those things where you should’ve gone for run or something; instead of a video send to facebook. But its done , he knew the consequences, took it.

          Two main take aways from the video is the unit affected in the blast was 1/8, ironically the Beirut Battalion, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Battalion,_8th_Marines , that’s bad luck, if I had stars for ranks I’d send that unit home immediately, get another Battalion in there… self fullfilling prophesies and all.

          His main criticism was why let go of Bagram so early? That was basically it, so I’m assuming he would’ve wanted a more staggered ladder like draw down. I gotta feeling if this same LT COL put in for Embassy duty, instead of just infantry all the way typa career track,

          he’d have a very different perspective. I’m gonna assume he’d not done any FAO, or MSG, or military advisor roles, that sent you abroad where you get a wider picture and see more variables that he’s not accounting for in his rant.

          In hindsight, he should’ve gotten a bunch of Marine officers together, maybe throw in a full bird in there, and write and fully articulate said criticisms, sent to the Commandant, and CC it to everyone else and the media.

          If you get a bunch of officers, especially if there’s a full bird– there’s always a Colonel who knows he’ll never get stars, thus will do shit like this. Then you all can’t get fired. Especially if the criticisms well thought out, for posterity and public opinion is behind you.

          Instead he got fired for a facebook rant, who uses facebook these days?!!!

  25. NHerrera says:


    I love it when President Biden uses responses like this sparingly. Like a spice, repetitive use of large doses of such loses its flavor. For example, the Orange Man use of lots of those.

    Biden responds to DeSantis criticism: “Governor who?”

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